Information on Wisconsin Open Meeting And Records Laws

"Our democracy depends on citizens having ready access to local government."

Peg Lautenschlager
Wisconsin Attorney General
There's a great deal of discussion on the local blogosphere about the New Richmond school board and Wisconsin's open meeting and open records laws. Below are links to the statues and information guides to help you as a citizen to interpret these laws.

The Attorney General and the Department of Justice continue to advocate for open government. Wisconsin’s Open Meetings Law, enacted in 1976, attempts to promote openness in government and to provide Wisconsin citizens with an opportunity to observe and educate themselves about their government’s operations.

As a public service, the Attorney General’s Office has developed and recently revised a document that explains Wisconsin’s Open Meetings Law and discusses significant cases that have an impact on the law’s implementation. This document is now available to you through this website to be reviewed and downloaded for your convenience. The Compliance Guide includes appendices that list the authorities and correspondence cited in the text, that reproduce the open meetings law sections of the statutes (current as of the October 2003 date of publication), and a complaint form.

Wis. Stat. §§ 19.81 through 19.98
Wisconsin Openings LawCompliance Guide. This guide containts an opening meeting violation complaint form in the appendix.
The state’s Public Records Law took much of its present form in 1981 and is in place to provide the public with reasonable access to public records at reasonable costs. Portions of the law were substantially revised in 2003 as a legislative response to several court decisions interpreting the law.

As a public service, the Department of Justice has developed and recently revised a document in outline format that explains Wisconsin’s Public Records Law and discusses significant cases that have an impact on the law’s implementation. This document is now available to you through this website to be reviewed and downloaded for your convenience.

Wis. Stat. §§ 19.31 through 19.39
Wisconsin Public Records LawCompliance Outline
Link to Wisconsin Dept. of Justice
Link to Open Meetings/Public Records link on Wis. DOJ site.
Link to Wisconsin State Law Library. This site has numerous resources and the handy Legal Topics A-Z directory.

Quote to Ponder

"One of the most untruthful things possible, you know, is a collection of facts, because they can be made to appear so many different ways."

Dr. Karl Menninger
A Psychiatrist's World

New Rcihmond School District News

Deb Heyerdahl Responds to Questions Raised by Brennan In Letter CC'd To Wis. Attorney General Concerning NR School District Handling of Info Request

On the evening of December 1, I saw a letter from Bill Brennan, a member of the New Richmond school board, posted on the www.ontheborderline.net blog site. The letter was addressed to Deb Heyerdahl of the NR school district with a CC to the Wisconsin Attorney General, Peggy A. Lautenschlager. The topic of the letter was: Open Records Request.

(Click here for the Bill Brennan letter post titled "Open Records Violation In New Richmond?")

The letter is a follow-up to a letter Brennan sent to the school district on November 3 requesting a copy of Craig Hitchens, the newly retired, former school superintendent, final, amended contract. Brennan felt he should have received a copy of the final contract within 24 hours of its signing. Brennan was making his request under Wisconsin's open records law, Wis. State 19.35.

Seeing that the state attorney general was cc'd in on the letter, I would say a pretty serious charge was being leveled against the district. So a wrote up a list of five questions concerning the charges and situations surrounding Brennan's request and charges and e-mailed them to Deb Heyerdahl. She e-mailed me her answers to my questions by mid-morning today, Friday, December 2. After reading her responses, I asked her if I could post them on this and the www.newrichmond.blogspot.com sites. She readily agreed to the posting of her answers.

What follows are the questions I submitted to Ms. Heyerdahl and her responses:

Good morning, Mr. Nelson -
Thanks for the opportunity to respond with the facts concerning this issue:

Q#1: Should Brennan have access to this contract as a school board member?

A#1: Mr. Brennan did get a copy of the requested document as a Board member. This was in executive session.

Q#2: Are Brennan's charges legitimate?, i.e., did he send you a letter a month ago requesting this information?

A#2: He did request another copy through an open records request on November 3rd.

Q#3: Are there laws that prevent the public from see Hitchens' contract?

Q#4: If Hitchen's contract is a public document containing public information, why haven't copies been released to Brennan and the News?

A#3-4: Usually contracts are a matter of public record and are released in short order when requested. However, the legal firm that the school district employs (Weld, Riley, Prenn) advised us that in this case (with the negotiated amended contract for Dr. Hitchens) it needed to be treated as a part of his personnel file, which requires a different process for release.

When records from a personnel file are requested, the employee in question has the right to "augment" the file before it is released. The statute specifies notification procedures and timelines to be followed in this augmentation process. In other words, the employee can not delete anything from his/her file, but must be allowed to add additional explanation that he/she deems necessary to explain items in their personnel file and he/she is given a period of time in which this augmentation should be completed.

The following timeline (through 11/21) regarding this specific request was shared at the 11/21/05 Board meeting by President Lester Jones; I have added the more recent events for your information:

11/03/05: Three records request received.

11/03/05: Lester Jones, school board president, advised by counsel to treat Dr. Hitchens' amended contract as a personnel file document.

11/04/05: Wording of district letter to Dr. Hitchens sent to counsel for review, received approval late Friday afternoon.

11/07/05: Certified letter to Dr. Hitchens sent from Deb Heyerdahl's) office.

11/08/05: Same letter actually mailed from our central mail room.

11/11/05: Holiday, no mail.

11/12/05: First attempt at delivery at Dr. Hitchens' home address; he was not home to accept delivery.

11/17/05: Certified letter received and signed for by Dr. Hitchens.

11/18/05: Mr. Brennan informs Lester Jones (by phone message) and Deb Heyerdahl (in person) that he intends to release amended contract to public w/o required augmentation.

11/18/05: Counsel reaffirms that amended contract must be treated as part of personnel file and not released without augmentation.

11/19/05: Dr. Hitchens' amended contract posted on www.ontheborderline.net blog site.

11/21/05: Mr. Brennan confirms in response to a question by Board member Demulling at 11/21 Board meeting in open session that he released the document in question.

11/22/05: Dr. Hitchens picks up copy of personnel file for augmenting.

11/24/05: Thanksgiving.

11/29/05: Dr. Hitchens returned augmentation for personnel file.

11/30/05: Those requesting copies of amended contract notified by phone (including Mr. Brennan) that it is available with the required augmentation.

12/01/05: Heyerdahl received sealed letter from Mr. Brennan at approx. 11:00 AM - it had been hand delivered to the office earlier but I was in a meeting.

12/01/05: Mr. Brennan's letter posted on blog 3:06 PM.

12/01/05: Written response from Heyerdahl mailed to Mr. Brennan, copy to State Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager.

Q#5: If Hitchen's contract is a public document for public viewing, when can I stop by and pick up a copy?

A#5: You can stop by the district office to pick up a copy of Dr. Hitchens original contract and his amended contract (with augmentation) any time during office hours (7:30 - 4:30 M-Th, 7:30 - 4:00 Friday); please ask for Julie Koop. Or we can mail you the documents upon your written request - email is fine.

I will make on editorial comment about requesting information from the New Richmond school district. Whenever I have requested information from any representative of the school district, it has been quickly and professionally provided to me. I have always told to feel free to get back to the provider for additional information and/or clarification.

Feel free to comment on this information below. I have also posted this and related information on Bob Ziller's blog site: www.newrichmond.blogspot.com. On that site the information can be found in the The $25,000 Payment To The Superintendent

Quotes to Ponder

"I don't know why it is that such a number of people try to make up for the virtue of their conduct by the viciousness of their beliefs."

Robert Lynd
The Blue Lion


Socialist, Collectivist Bloggers of St. Croix County Unite!

When It Comes To Grading In The School Of Reality, OTBL'ers Get Bad Marx

I love it when Chris the Admin over at www.ontheborderline.net gets on his trusty hobby horse and babbles on about how righteous the blogtroopers are on his site. What a hoot! Through Chris' excessive infusion of hot air, his OTBL blog site has been elevated to a shrine of whine. Listen to this self-serving quote from current typing tantrum "No Marx Here":

"Personally, I like to rephrase and transform the saying of the definition of societal culture to that of one in which I can control, that is my personal culture. You see we do have a choice in the matter. A trained eye can easily discern the negative and recognize the positive. One does not have to follow the path of victimization. I am not advocating ignorance. There is a place for the dissemination of the 'Negative' facts that contribute to an understanding of the matter at hand. But to dwell and emphasize on them is not healthy."

I don't know about you, but it would take me six to nine Blogger Lager's to come up with such an incomprehensible scramble of written incoherence.

Chris doesn't get the e-mails I do about how mean and nasty the participants are on his blog. Of course there's a few who want to have an intelligent debate, but generally it's a pack of junkyard dogs that bark and bite but don't know why. Chris and his disgruntled band of anti-community back-stabbers want to play to role of community watch dogs. Fine! I'll play the role of watch dog watcher.

Chris and his back-to-1776'ers ramble on and on about the holy Founding Fathers. They forget these white guys were human and where subject to the same human traits we all have. They weren't saints by a long shot. Read on below:

"I like to characterize those positive ideas and facts with thoughts and actions that are akin to the early Americans found right here in the United States. They thought in terms of liberty, freedom, independence, and self-determination. They saw unrestrained opportunities, choice, and were the first real free thinkers. They took control over their own property and developed a society built on pride of ownership. The world was their proverbial oyster. Their world was built on ideas and possibilities. The government's role was limited."

When I say our founding fathers were "hypocrites," I mean it. I'm a hypocrite. I can say one thing and do another. Who hasn't? Chris only tries to control the monkeys on his blog site that stray from his anti-public education, anti-union and anti-tax bias. That's why you don't see ANY positive postings concerning those three categories. If some one does comment positively on one of those categories, the junkyard dogs are out.

In his quote above, Chris tells us the founding fathers "thought in terms of liberty, freedom, independence, and self-determination." They might have "thought" in those terms, but how often they acted in those terms is up for debate. Jefferson, Washington, George Mason, etc. were slave owners. How do you think they had the time and resources to go up to Philadelphia or New York or Washington to be founding fathers?

Chris tells us the founding fathers "took control over their own property and developed a society built on pride of ownership. The world was their proverbial oyster. Their world was built on ideas and possibilities." Actually, they took control over the property of the Native Americans that were living here. The world was their "proverbial oyster," because they had the fire power to push the Indians west and the spread the diseases the sped up the rapid reduction in the Indians population. Their world was built on the idea that there was money to be made. It's called the "profit motive."

Of course, Chris tells us the "government's role was limited." How else could the founding fathers and the rest of our immigrant forefathers take over the contenient? If there would have be a government in place for the people, by the people, etc. there would not have been a "wild west." In fact the government experts spent decades and decades trying to prove that Blacks and Indians where sub-human.

So if what what I just wrote makes me a "socialist" or "collectivist," then fine. I would prefer to be labelled as someone who has done their homework and spent the past 35 years of his life learning about the history of this great nation called the United States. I've also studied the writings of Marx and other economists. Come to think of it, I majored in economics in college and minored in it in graduate school. I prefer to study about the history of economics and the great economists. When you do this, it helps put their theories in perspective with the historical background of the times. These economists -- like our founding fathers -- were not working in a vacuum.

I encourage you readers to go over and join www.ontheborderline.net. Make postive comments on their posts about public education or unions or say bad things about me. This is America, afterall. Once you get on the border blog site, you will quickly understand why the foudning fathers are so near and dear to their "hearts" of borderline bloggers. You will see that the words they type don't match the actions that take place there. That my friends is called "hypocrisy."

PS: I put in some "commie" symbols above to make Chris feel better. I'm still waiting for him to put the link to my site on his site. Did you notice, he's actually afraid to mention the name of this site on his site? There are probably two reasons why he won't do this: 1. the truth scares him; 2. he doesn't want to lead anybody to the truth.

"Mr. Optimist" by Matt Thompson

Quotes to Ponder

"It is difficult to give children a sense of security unluess you have it yourself. If you have it, they catch it from you."

-- Dr. William C. Menniger
from Self-Understanding

Is Adam Smith's "Free Market" Economics The Cause of Today's "Super Brats?"

Super Brats: Offspring of the Market
The implications of the market becoming the central institution of society

With the spread of free market economics globally we are now faced with a historical aberration. For the first time in the history of humanity the market has been moved to the centre of society replacing family, church, community and even democratically elected governments in terms of the influence it exerts on our lives. For the first time in the history of humanity we are forced into trying to live by two sets of rules, or two opposing moralities. In our economic life we are forced to follow the moral imperatives of the market which are self-interest and competition, and in our private lives we try and live up to the traditional moral ideals of selflessness, altruism, sharing and cooperation. But what if the economists who argue that we are rational enough to distinguish between the two sets of circumstances are wrong and that the morality of the market is starting to replace traditional morality?

Read more: Ohmy News

It Ain't Corporate Greed, It's Called "Marketing"

"Some of the more popular kids in school are the kids that are rich -- they have a lot of money and can afford cool stuff like leather jackets, iPod Nanos, cell phones. Cell phones are a big thing. They think you need money to be cool. Their parents give them money just to go buy stuff, whatever they want. Some kids even have credit cards. But some of the more popular kids don't have many friends 'casue they're mean to other kids. But if you're nice to people, like I am -- well, sometimes -- that's how I get friends. You don't need to have cool things to have friends."

Alex Amundson
6th grader at Lakeville
from 11/28/05 Ant Farm in the St. Paul Pioneer Press


Gunston Hall: The Home of One of America's Founding Hypocrites -- George Mason

I can't let a current post on the OnTheBorderLine blog go without comment. The post is titled "The Moral Superiority of America," by Gunston Hall.

For starters, let's break this post down:

1. I'll use this definition of moral: concerned with principles of right and wrong or conforming to standards of behavior and character based on those principles; "moral sense"; "a moral scrutiny"; "a moral lesson"; "a moral quandary"; "moral convictions"; "a moral life"

2. For superiority, we'll use this definition: displaying a sense of being better than others; "he hated the white man's superiority and condescension"

From these two definitions, we'll say "moral superiority" means our principles of right and wrong display a sense of being better than others. Moral superiority allows us -- the US -- to determine what is right and what is wrong.

FYI: Gunston Hall Plantation is the Virginia home of George Mason. Who was George Mason? He is relatively unknown among the Founding Fathers, but his intellect was renowned as one of the finest in the Colonies. In fact, Thomas Jefferson called Mason "the wisest man of his generation." Fellow Virginian Edmund Randolph added: "He was behind none of the sons of Virginia in knowledge of her history and interest. At a glance, he saw to the bottom of every proposition which affected her." James Madison praised Mason as "a powerful reasoner, a profound statesman, and a devoted republican." He was also a neighbor of George Washington.

Although a lifelong slaveholder, Mason abhorred the institution(Can you say "hypocrite?"), feeling that "every master of slaves is born a petty tyrant." (Can you say, "talk is cheap?") He favored abolition as soon as it was economically feasible (i.e., long after he was dead) and wished to halt all future importation of slaves. However, a hasty compromise (Can you say "middle ground?") was worked out permitting the slave trade to continue for another 20 years.

The Bill of Rights (for white men owning land) has received a lot of attention, but little recognition was given to George Mason, who was the driving force behind the document. Mason (1725-1792) was the author of the 1776 Virginia Declaration of Rights, which the Marquis de Condorcet called "the first Bill of Rights to merit the name." Mason fought against ratification of the United States Constitution because it contained no bill of rights. As a leader of the Anti-Federalists, his objections led to the first 10 amendments, which were ratified in 1791.

Gearge Mason University in Fairfax, VA is named after him and is ground zero of neo-conservativism. A great deal of corporate cash is pumped into George Mason University to get people with PhD's after their names to say great things about corporate greed, pollution and global hegemony and bad things about public education, unions and government health care. In a "fair and balanced" way, George Mason is the FOX News and Weekly Standard of American universities: where right means right (as in Bill Kristol's v. Pat Buchanan's version of right) and left means wrong.

So know on the other side of the borderline, they have a new poster child named Gunston Hall (Hi Bill! How are things in Mississippi?) waving the mighty white flag of blue-nosed, redneck America called the "stars and bars." From his post, it sounds like ol' Gunston spent too much time staring at the stars on his way home from the bars.

Like so many posts over there, the posters gaze intently at the quotes of dead patriots and totally ignore the facts of history that went on before, during and after those patriots where laid to rest. Of course, it's best to base your whole philosophical house of cards on the words of the dead, because the dead can't come back and tell you their minds change over time as new information comes to light. It's hard enough to get live patriots to own up to what they have said and written. If you don't believe me, just ask President Bush.
Here's my "favorite" quote from this particular OTBL post:

“The American Left and most Europeans are really against our moral clarity and our virtues, coupled with the fact we are willing to face the facts; willing to make clear moral judgments and act independently with a sense of righteousness. We need not apologize to anyone for this, we should not apologize for our profits and unmatched success, as it is America, the last and best hope for freedom and liberty in this world, who deserves a huge “thank you” from the rest of the civilized world. The founding fathers of this country understood that our future, and the future of the world, was dependent upon leaving the "Old Countries" and old dogmas behind."
Obviously a drinker of the clear KoolAid of patriotic fantasy, this OTBL poster actually believes a nation so large and diverse as the United States could have "moral clarity," could make "clear moral judgements," and can "act independently with a sense of righteousness." When you face the facts that got America to where it is today, you see blood-stained soil streaking from north to south and blood-splattered trails slashing from east to west. Blood soaks into the ground much faster the wounds of genocide and human bondage heal.

I wonder if poster Gunston Hall is a ninth grader working on his entry for the annual American Legion essay contest? Concerning the "not apologizing for our profits and success" statement, a little history might shed some light on the subject. In 1600-1700s, the profits were mostly going to Spain. In the later 1700s-1800s, most of the profits were going to Britian. Since the late 1800s, the profits have been reaped by the US. Times are changing and, in the not too distant future, the profits may be going to another country.

As for America being "the last and best hope for freedom and liberty in this world," let's hope this statment is based on the lessons we should've learned over the 400 years of the white man's stay in North America. Although, examples like the war in Iraq lead me to believe that our addiction to oil and hunger to "grow the business" will distract us from these lessons. This OTBL cheerleader exemplifies this creed of greed.

No Gunston Hall, the American Left and most Europeans aren't against what you call "moral clarity and our virtues." We are hip to your Orwellian word games and know you mean "make money at the expense of the less fortunate." You paint the rosey picture of pie in the sky and ignore the destruction that litters America's climb to the top of great rock candy mountain.

Study the trail of history, Mr. Gunston Hall. See the slave ships in Cheaspeake Bay. See the KKK lynching those "uppity niggers." See the white European immigrants exterminating the "savages," as the work their way from the East to the West Coast. Hear the government guns firing at the starving workers at Homestead Steel. Hear the muffled death of the mine diasasters. Taste the pollution in Love Canal. See the bald eagle poisoned into an endangered species. Feel the blows of the clubs of corporate greed as they crush the skulls of the weak and poor who grease the machines that increase their bank accounts.

If Gunston Hall is like most OTBL'ers, he likes to deal with facts and figures. Think on these and then think about who owes who an apology:

Here is a list of the larger or more widely known massacres in North America:

•May 26, 1637 - In the Pequot War, English colonists, with Mohegan and Narragansett allies, attack a large Pequot village on the Mystic River in what is now Connecticut and kill perhaps 500 villagers.
•1782 - Gnadenhutten massacre - in the final stages of the American Revolutionary War, nearly 100 noncombatant Christian Delaware (Lenape) Indians (mostly women and children) are killed one at a time (with a hammer blow to the head) by Pennsylvania militiamen.
•April 22, 1818 - Chehaw Affair - United States troops attack a non-hostile village during First Seminole War, killing an estimated fifty men, women, and children.
•August 1-2 1832 - Black Hawk War - about 300 men, women, and children are slaughtered at the Battle of Bad Axe, in Wisconsin by white soldiers
•October 5, 1838 - Killough Massacre - 18 members of the Killough extended family, one of the last massacred in Texas
•1848 - Whitman massacre in Walla Walla, Washington
•1854 - Kaibai Creek, California - 42 Winnemem Wintu men, women, and children are killed by white settlers
•1855 - Grattan Massacre, Brule Sioux in Nebraska Territory.
•February 26, 1860 - Humboldt County, California - upwards of 100 Wiyot men, women, and children are slaughtered by settlers.
•January 29, 1863 - Bear River Massacre - upwards of 200 men, women, and children are slaughtered by whites near Preston, Idaho.
•April 19, 1863 - Keyesville Massacre - in Kern County, California - 35 Tehachapi men are killed by whites [1]
•November 29, 1864 - Sand Creek Massacre - Sand Creek, Colorado - upwards of 160 Cheyenne men, women, and children are slaughtered by militiamen
•December 21, 1866 - Fetterman Massacre - near Fort Phil Kearny, Wyoming - Lt. Col. William J. Fetterman and a compliment of 79 US soldiers were sent to relieve a train under attack by Oglala Sioux led by Crazy Horse and they were wiped out by an ambush. (Evidence suggests that, like Custer's Last Stand [see below], this should be more fairly considered a battle than a massacre.) See Red Cloud's War.
•November 27, 1868 - Washita Massacre - Washita River, Oklahoma - 100 people killed. (This is often considered a battle, not a massacre.)
•January 23, 1870 - Marias Massacre - 200 Piegans, mainly elderly, women, and children, slaughtered by whites
•June 25, 1876 - Battle of the Little Big Horn - About two hundred fifty men of the US 7th Cavalry Regiment, under Lt. Col. George A. Custer, are wiped out in a battle against Sioux and Northern Cheyenne Indians. (Though widely considered a "massacre", Custer's men died fighting and in any case initiated the battle by attacking a nearby Sioux village.)
•December 29, 1890 - Wounded Knee Massacre - Wounded Knee, South Dakota - up to 300 Sioux men, women, and children are killed by US soldiers.

Finally, don't insult our Founding Fathers to justify your greed and selfishness. Democracy in the US is a jambalaya of diversity growing spicier and chunkier with every new immigrant crossing our border. It gets more unstable with every job that gets outsourced. It's a dynamic swirl of flesh and bone, joy, suffering, love, hate, rich and poor, have and have-not, push and shove, ignorance and innovation. You can continue to stick your hand in the sand where the dead patriots are buried and sneak a peak up Ayn Rand's philosophical skirt. Or maybe you can wake up, shag your ass out of bed and come to modern America's table and help rewrite the recipe for this gumbo we call "democracy." The Founding Fathers like George Mason shared their recipes, but over time all recipes change -- usually for the better.

Pssssst...Dr. Luke On Marriage

Howdy Borderliners, my name is Dr. Luke and I've been asked to dispense marital advice on the borderline. Although I've never actually been married, I have been out on dates with Dr. Junkyarddog and have observered the interactions of married couples from my corner stool at Huey's Bar. If you've been paying attention to www.ontheborderline.net for any length of time, you will have noticed that expertise and credentials are not a prerequisite for getting your doctorate in bsology.

You may be surprised that I'm not a rich man. In fact, I myself am surprised. Afterall, people are always telling me that if silence was gold, I'd live a live of poverty. Go figure...

Today's advice:
The next time you come home from work and your wife greets you with the phrase, "Dear, I want to get out of this house and get a job."

You tell her, "Honey, you stick to the washin', ironin', cookin', scrubbin' and diaper changin'. No wife of mine is goona work. Now get me a Blogger Lager and fire up my computer, I've got to save the world from the vast left-wing conspiracy."

...what is it good for?


Bush's Explains His Iraq Exit Strategy

Karl's Secret Plan

Karl reveal's his secret GOP strategy to raise their poll numbers. I guess Karl was to busy searching for his "Get out of Jail Free Card" to pay attention this fall's election results. I don't know what excuse infamous OTBL admin had, A few too many Blogger Lagers maybe.
Dr. Amin. Phd. says,"With any type, and I mean any type, of recovery in the polls of the GOP nationally, there will be no way possible for the Dems to take back control of Congress."
Too many Blogger Lagers Dr. Admin.

How else could you explain someone believing that the GOP is going to retain control of Congress in 2006. Let's see, a tumbling housing market, thousands of layoffs from corporations seeking bankruptcy protection recently denied to individuals, skyrocketing healthcare costs, millions with inadaquate or no health insurance, stagnant or reduced wages, thousands of Katrina hurricane vitims planning to receive assistance from Halliburton as they "employ" (abuse would be more accurate) illegal Mexican immigrants, and an unpopular war begun with faulty intelligence. And that's the short list. I don't know why anyone
would want to change the course of the country amidst so much success?
Dr. Phil has a message for OTBL Admin.

Today In Labor History

“I’m not a lady; I’m a hell-raiser!”

November 30
1930: Mother Jones died at the Burgess Farm in Adelphi, Md

Quotes of Note: Mother Jones

"The employment of children is doing more to fill prisons, insane asylums, almshouses, reformatories, slums, and gin shops than all the efforts of reformers are doing to improve society."

"My address is like my shoes. It travels with me. I abide where there is a fight against wrong."

"I asked a man in prison once how he happened to be there and he said he had stolen a pair of shoes. I told him if he had stolen a railroad he would be a United States Senator. "

Mother Jones
(Mojo makes Ann Clouter look like the skinny, pampered, chain-smoking, sewer-mouth, right-wing-nut spewer of vicious bitch vomit that she is.)

Do Look Back...

One Hand Playing -- Lewis Spencer, You have to believe...

Lewis Spencer, expert on radiation

Physics professor, who grew up in Franklin, also was an inspiring example for disabled
WASHINGTON -- Lewis Spencer, a physics professor and leading authority on measuring the effects of radiation, became an inspiring figure for the disabled after a childhood accident caused him to lose his right arm and right leg.
He died of dementia Nov. 11 at age 80.

Spencer was a promising student and musician, while growing up in Franklin, Ind.
But on Aug. 2, 1937, as he was bicycling to the train station to pick up the afternoon papers for his delivery route, 12-year-old Lewis Van Clief Spencer was run over at a railroad crossing by a coal car. The accident severed his right arm at the shoulder and his right leg above the knee. He was in critical condition for days, but he survived with a witty, cheerful resilience that amazed his doctors and remained part of his character throughout his life. Spencer learned to play the piano and type with just his left hand. Always a good student, after the accident he became exceptional, concentrating on mathematics and science.

"He realized he was going to have to make his way in life by using his mind," his daughter Dorothy Wagener, Reston, Va., said.

After graduating from Franklin College, he went on to Northwestern University, where he received a master's degree at age 21 and a doctorate in physics at 23. Spencer married in 1948 and became a research physicist at the old National Bureau of Standards, now called the National Institute of Standards and Technology, where he became a leading authority on measuring the effects of radiation. Spencer's findings were incorporated into federal guidelines for building standards, fallout shelters and civil defense planning in the 1950s and 1960s and some of his theories have had applications in such far-flung fields as medicine and submarine design.

For 12 years, Spencer also was a physics professor at Ottawa (Kan.) University while continuing to hold his position and supervise research at the Bureau of Standards. He came back to the bureau full time in 1969, staying until he retired in 1984. As remarkable as Spencer's career was, the man himself was even more impressive. While attending graduate school, he taught a typing class to disabled students. Later in life, he taught Sunday school and sang bass in the church choir.

"He never really considered himself handicapped," Wagener said. "He just thought he had problems to overcome."

Spencer required his five children to study mathematics at least through calculus, but he also taught them to bowl, play pingpong and throw a Frisbee. There was one other thing Spencer taught his children. When another daughter, Mary Ellen Goree, now a violinist with the San Antonio Symphony, told her father she wanted to be a professional musician, he gave her advice that had helped him overcome the obstacles he had faced in his life: "You have to believe you are the best in the world at what you do."

By Matt Schudel: The Washington Post

The New White Flight

In Silicon Valley, two high schools with outstanding academic reputations are losing white students as Asian students move in. Why?

November 19, 2005; Page A1

CUPERTINO, Calif. -- By most measures, Monta Vista High here and Lynbrook High, in nearby San Jose, are among the nation's top public high schools. Both boast stellar test scores, an array of advanced-placement classes and a track record of sending graduates from the affluent suburbs of Silicon Valley to prestigious colleges.

But locally, they're also known for something else: white flight. Over the past 10 years, the proportion of white students at Lynbrook has fallen by nearly half, to 25% of the student body. At Monta Vista, white students make up less than one-third of the population, down from 45% -- this in a town that's half white. Some white Cupertino parents are instead sending their children to private schools or moving them to other, whiter public schools. More commonly, young white families in Silicon Valley say they are avoiding Cupertino altogether.

Whites aren't quitting the schools because the schools are failing academically. Quite the contrary: Many white parents say they're leaving because the schools are too academically driven and too narrowly invested in subjects such as math and science at the expense of liberal arts and extracurriculars like sports and other personal interests.

Read more in Hyphen Magazine


Do Look Back...Political Cartoon From 2000

Bush and Cheney, a marriage made in...well?

The Weekly Standard’s War: Rupurt Murdoch’s mag stands athwart history yelling, “Attack!”

As the Weekly Standard celebrates its 10th birthday, it may be time to ask whether America has ever seen a more successful political magazine...

Without the Weekly Standard, would the invasion of Iraq taken place? It’s impossible to know. Without the Standard, other voices—including those of the realist foreign-policy establishment, which had been dominant in the first Bush administration and which opposed a precipitous campaign against Saddam—would have been on a more level playing field with the neocons. That would have made a difference.

So in a sense the Iraq War is Bill Kristol’s War as much as it is George W. Bush’s and Dick Cheney’s, and the Standard is the vehicle that made it possible. It should go down in history as Rupert Murdoch’s War as well, and thus becomes by far the most significant historical event ever to be shaped by the Murdoch media.

How ironic it would be if it were not, in the end, a war Rupert Murdoch particularly wanted.

Read more: The American Conservative

Here's An Editorial Cartoon from 1974

I'm thinking Ford and GM must not have read the editorial page that day...

Quotes to Ponder

"That’s the big problem with issues like affirmative action, busing and quotas. One class of people – largely white, largely well-off, largely going unhungry – tells other classes of people – largely breaking even and of all colors – to bear the burden, pay the price and maintain the standard of social goals set by those who go absolutely untouched by public actions."

--Mike Barnicle, Newspaper Columnist

Pen & Ink Jab: Affirmative Action


OTBL Bloggers Give French Lessons or as OTBL'ers like to say to anonymous letter writers...

"La police, ne t'a pas encore trouv'e?"

As the police say to the OTBL'ers when they reach the parking lot:
"Voulez-vous cesser de me cracher dessus pendant que vous parlez!"

Do Look Back...

Buck Bags OTBL Blogger

Local OTBL Blogger Turned Down For Police Investigator Job

The local chief of police was looking for a criminal investigator to help solve the mystery surrounding a rash of anonomous letters being sent in the community. A help wanted ad was put in the Holy Scared Oracle, the local weekly newspaper. Local OTBL blogger Dr. Luke went down to the police station to apply for the job. The follow is an actual transcript of the the interview. I was obtained the the local OTBL bloggers in a Freedom of Infromation request.

"Ok," said the chief, "Dr. Luke, what is one and one?"

After 20 minutes of very serious math calcualtions with his Big Chief tablet and a pink Crayon, Dr. Luke replied, "That's easy, it's eleven."

The chief thought to himself, "That's not what I meant, but he's right." So the chief asked Dr. Luke, "What two days of the week start with the letter T?"

Dr. Luke qucikly answered, "That's easy, today and tomrrow."

Once again the chief was surprised that Dr. Luke supplied a correct answer he had never considered. This was a common trait of the OTBL klan that Dr. Luke was a member of. With that it might, the chief asked, "Now, Dr. Luke, listen carefully: who killed Abraham Lincoln?"

Dr. Luke looked very surprised at the question, thought hard for a few minutes and responded, "I don't know."

The chief ended the questions and told Dr. Luke to go home and work on that one for a while.

So Dr. Luke left and wandered over to the House of Pink Nail Saloon where his blogger buddies where getting their nails painted and waiting to hear if Dr. Luke got the job. When asked how the interview went, Dr. Luke said, "It went great! Frist day on the job, and I'm already working on a murder case!"


Quotes To Ponder: Give me an "R", Give me an "X"

"Exaggerated motions, exaggerated smiles, exaggerated enthusiasm - they learn those things and they can get people to do what they want."

-- Lynn Williamson,
an adviser at the University of Kentucky,
on why so many former cheerleaders are hired as sales representatives for pharmaceutical companies.