Open Letter to the Hudson Anti-School Choice Apologists

Below is an "open letter" from the OTBL'ers to folks like us. The title is misleading, since it isn't actually open since only a select, controled group of yes-men are allowed into their blog house. But the paranoid cower behind their locked doors and do all in their power to keep the light of debate and discussion away from the darkness hiding inside their door. We can discuss this topic in an intelligent, rational manner...I think. Likewise, the OTBL'ers, as always are welcome to join us in the discussion.
JPN aka dratsum
Filed under: General, News, Education General --- INhyphenTHEhyphenKNOW @ 6:50

Opponents of school choice often claim that it will destroy the public schools, as they think students will leave for private options. Notwithstanding the pure irony of this argument (in his 1994 book School Choice, David Harmer writes: "If students can’t wait to leave, what does that say about the quality of schools? That is an argument for school choice, not against it. The exodus argument sounds like the old East German regime talking about the Berlin Wall: if we take it down, everyone will leave. Exactly; that is precisely why it should come down."), studies have shown that competition forces public schools to improve immensely so they can retain their student population. According to World magazine (July 1, 2000), in Florida, where a voucher system has been instituted, even the mere hint at opening competition among schools caused the public schools to seek improvements and become more effective in their academics and administration.
In addition, those who warn that vouchers or tax credits will not cover transportation costs of students need to keep this in mind: a competitive market will invite a number of new schools to open across existing districts. To get the competitive edge, many competing schools will also offer transportation to students who do not live in the immediate area. Options and services increase as the market operates freely.
By denying parents the right to a competitive product, the government system of schools continues to provide low-performing, unsafe, and inefficient schools. Granted, there are many fine public schools in the country that truly prepare children for life with a solid education, but there are just as many that do not, making the case for competition even more sensible. The answer is not pumping more tax money into a command system; the failed socialist experiments of Eastern Europe have proven that no matter how much money is budgeted for a government program, it is the lack of competition that causes such systems to become unaccountable to its forced consumers.
It is time for this unnatural monopoly to be stripped of its exclusive supply of education. Competition through school choice will accomplish just that.

Elvis Says: Return To Sender --Open Letter Still Sealed

Elvis Sighting

Yes ladies and gentlemen, you heard it first on the Killbear Rapport. An open letter from the borderline to the Anti-School Choice Apologists was personally returned to sender by none other than Elvis Presley. As he disappeared into the night, Elvis was heard singing: "No such number... no such zone..."

Civility on the Blogs

This article has spawned a considerable number of comments. We've decided to move it to a more easily accessable place so that more readers can join in.

Here's an interesting opinion piece concerning blog civility...maybe that's an oxymoron.

Read more: Canton Rep.com

This is a different take on the issue. See Article

Points To Ponder: What Do You Want to Change?

2006 Nobel Peace Prize nomoniees include U2's Bono

First, ourselves, I suppose. To become better people. And second, the wickedness of the world. For a lot of people, the world is a desparate place. A third of the people who live in it cannot achieve sustenance. And there is no real reason for that, other than a certain selfishness and greed.

...Live Aid had raised $250 million -- which felt like an enormous sum of money -- and we were jumping up and down like we'd cracked it. Only to find out, years later, that what Africa spends every couple of weeks repaying the richest countries in the world for old loans taken out be dodgy dictators who were propped up in the Cold War to fight the Commies. Suddenly, the penny drops: There's a structural aspect to this poverty. This about justice, not poverty."

Bono of U2

Read more: Time Honors Bill and Melinda Gates, Bono

Welcome to laissez-faire hell

"Blind faith-based economic policies of privatization of state resources, reduction in public spending and deregulation in general have created a laissez-faire hell for the huge impoverished global majority. Occasionally, as Bill Gates did last week with his declared initiative against TB, corporate multi-millionaires offer to use some of their wealth to alleviate some of the suffering. But had their corporations been subject to equitable taxation and regulation and the resulting revenues been applied to social spending on health and education, much untold suffering might have been avoided in the first place."

Read more: Poverty, consumerism and anti-imperialism


You Might Be Allowed To Join ontheborderline.net If...

1. You've tried to argue that poverty could be abolished if people were allowed to keep more of their minimum wage.

2. You've ever referred to someone as "my (socialist/communist/collectivist) friend."

3. You're a pro-lifer, but support the death penalty.

4. You've ever referred to the moral fiber of something.

5. You've ever uttered the phrase, "Why don't we just bomb the sons of bitches."

6. You've ever called a secretary or waitress "Femi-nazi."

7. You don't think "The Simpsons" is all that funny, but you watch it because that Flanders fellow makes a lot of sense.

8. You don't let your kids watch Sesame Street because you accuse Bert and Ernie of "sexual deviance."

9. You use any of these terms to describe your wife: Luke, Jack Bauer, tax deduction.

10. You scream "I'm wearing duct tape" while making love.

Jack Bauer sez "...It Must Be A Real Expensive House..."

Theodore Roosevelt's ideas on Immigrants and being an AMERICAN in 1907

"In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag... We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language... and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."

Teddy Roosevelt


Come, Fly OTBL

It's nearing the end of February, and cabin fever is
setting in on the tundra dwellers of Western Wisconsin.
You know seasonal light deficiency disorder is taking it's toll
on your family and you need a getaway.
Well, it's time to escape. When you're looking for mid-winter
excitement, there's no better adrenelin pumping experience than
rabble rousing school board meeting disruption.

You say, been there done that. It's the same ol' same ol' here in Hudson,
the Duck tape, the missing $4.5 million, the mythical "fishing class",
it all gets old hat after a while. Well, don't despair, OTBL School Board
Circus Tours is bound to have a package that will add that special spark
to end those winter doldrums.
This week only, there's a special on our increasingly popular
NR Express tours to New Richmond. The package includes round trip air travel
to and from the newly fenced in and terrorist protected New Richmond airfield and back to
the Roswell style landing zone perched high above Hudson in the Stone Pine
gated community. Extras available for the trip are: Portable copy machines to
carry back artifacts unearthed during the school board meeting. Opera glasses,
to catch every little squirm and wink of school board members when you ask
that especially embarassing question. And don't forget our video camera rental
service to capture those memories for years to come.
What do our customers have to say?

"It's like a little piece of heaven, espcially when you find the dirt."
Even Steven, OTBL School Board Circus Customer.

Call today to make your reservations: 1-666-321-TOUR.
Space is limited and sold on a first come first serve basis.

Yo OTBL'ers! How's That Wealth Creating Workin' For You?

Average American Family Income Decline$

WASHINGTON — After the booming 1990s when incomes and stock prices were soaring, this decade has been less of a thrill ride for most American families.

Average incomes after adjusting for inflation actually fell from 2001 to 2004, and the growth in net worth was the weakest in a decade, the Federal Reserve reported Thursday.

Many families were struggling in the aftermath of the 2001 recession and the bursting of the stock market bubble in 2000, the Fed's latest "Survey of Consumer Finances" showed. The comprehensive look at household balance sheets comes every three years.

Average family incomes, after adjusting for inflation, fell to $70,700 in 2004, a drop of 2.3 percent when compared with 2001. That was the weakest showing since a decline of 11.3 percent from 1989 to 1992, a period that also covered a recession.
Let's see...George Bush was was President from 1989 through 1992 and George W. Bush took over the presidency in 2001...interesting. Like father like son.

Read more: Atlanta Journal Constitution

Fear And Loathing In America

"America: just a nation of two hundred million used car salesmen with all the money we need to buy guns and no qualms about killing anybody else in the world who tries to make us uncomfortable."
--Hunter S. Thompson

Have You Noticed Something Missing ontheborderline.net?

It wasn't too long ago that the words "President Bush" would be mentioned regularly in posts at the OTBL website. Many of the poster children over there were big time Bush supporters of the Bush Doctrine. They were sitting right up in the front row at Lakefront Park, when President Bush came to Hudson. A couple of them even came down to the Democrat campaign headquarters in Hudson and personally got in my face about stealing Bush yard signs. I believe 1968 was the last time I took part in any presidential campaign sign pranks and then it was bi-partisan.

Anyway the OTBL'ers have clammed up on all the great things Bush was doing. When the President's biggest supporters go limp on him, you know he's in trouble. It must be time to have another terror alert -- Bush's idea of political Viagra -- just don't have the alert involving one of our East Coast seaports.

"You're Doing a Heck of a Job" GOP Tells Bush Whitehouse

Read Family Income Report

Many families were struggling in the aftermath of the 2001 recession and the bursting of the stock market bubble in 2000, the Fed's latest "Survey of Consumer Finances" showed. The comprehensive look at household balance sheets comes every three years.

Average family incomes, after adjusting for inflation, fell to $70,700 in 2004, a drop of 2.3 percent when compared with 2001. That was the weakest showing since a decline of 11.3 percent from 1989 to 1992, a period that also covered a recession.

Additional Report from Seatle Times

A Ray of Hope Award For Bob Ziller!

I was reading a current post over at ontheborderline.net titled "Is It Good Government Or Just Good Gas?" It's a find example of how the attack dogs of New Richmond's do groupies work, think and slander. OTBL poster Even Steven starts off by pointing out that the school district has gas cards with Skogland Oil and Chris Skogland is on the school board and that must mean a conflict of interest.

Then Cub comments that Skogland will have to answer to a "FELONY!" Yes says "Yes, a felony!" Then Ethel Mertz is linking Skoglund to Super America. The Jack Bauer gets ready to place the phone call to the attorney general.

Then in steps Bob Ziller wearing the cape of reason and experience and says, "Ethel you ignorant floozy. Jack you slimy subterranean sack of sleaze!"

Actually, I made that last part up...Mr. Ziller would never stoop to such cheesy characterizations -- no matter how true. Actually Ziller said, "Ethel Mertz better stick to comedy. You Masked Marvels who get on this blog and start insinuating nefarious deeds with snippets of information would never make it through law school."

And then the junkyard dogs turned on Ziller and ate him up with their gossip-dripping fangs drooling innuendo. That's how it goes over there...especially when the do groupies are exposing their stretch marks of slander beneath the black, fishnet of anonymous phoniness so common ontheborderline.

Way to go Bob Z! Shoot me an e-mail and we'll get together for Kool-Aid sometime. I'll buy. You pick out the flavor.

OTBL Advanced Government Studies Institute

Killbear: Tonight on the Killbear Rapport we have a special segment.
We have invited the intellectual doctors from OTBL to join us in a round
table discussion.
We will ask each to give advice to one of their
newest members on how to obtain a Ph.D. (a/k/a Piled Higher & Deeper).

On my right is OTBL novice Mr. Left Bower. Welcome, Mr. Bower. I understand you have matriculated at the OTBL Institute for your advanced degree.

Bower: That's correct Chris. I'm majoring in Rugged Individualistic
Wealth Building, Anti-Collectivism and Revenge Against Our Enemies, with
a minor in Humor.

Killbear: Yes, very minor indeed. How long will it take to earn your

Bower: Earn?

Killbear: Yes, you know, how long do you have to study the philosophy
of the masters - Rand, von Mises, the Founding Fathers?

Bower: Study?

Killbear: OK, moving on. With us tonight is Dr. Wheeze, Dr. Bil, Dr.
Bubonic, and Dr. SeeKay. Welcome doctors!

Doctors: Shut Up!

Killbear: OK, down to business. Mr. Bower recently went out on a limb
on OTBL to crow about the results of the New Richmond school board
primary contest, as if those results have some meaning for the final
election. Was that wise? Dr. Bubonic, you have some experience in this
area. What can you tell Mr. Bower?

Dr. Bubonic: Don't think of OTBL as the place to sway public opinion in
your direction. The average citizen isn't going to give any weight to
your ramblings. Better to use OTBL as a place to write forcefully, like
a man, instead of speaking in public with a femmy thespian lisp.

Killbear: Interesting. Dr. Wheeze, what advice can you give to Mr.

Dr. Wheeze: Don't think of OTBL as the place to get the heartfelt
thanks of your fellow citizens for everything you have done for them -
because the ungrateful bastards will never give it to you!! Better to
use OTBL as a place to pat yourself on the back continuously under
various aliases so you feel better about yourself.

Killbear. Good advice. Dr. Bil, what can you tell Mr. Bower?

Dr. Bil: Don't think of OTBL as the place to openly debate your
opponents about the issues of the day that affect us all. Better to use
OTBL as a place to repeat your positions ad nauseum to make yourself
seem taller, more intellectual, and more right than you are in real

Killbear: Well said. And last, Dr. SeeKay - any thoughts for Mr.

Dr. SeeKay: Don't think........ and don't ask so many damn questions!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Killbear: Exactly. I think that sums it up for the entire OTBL
doctorhood. So what do you say Mr. Bower - or may I call you Left?

Bower: Sure, call me Left. It's not my real name anyway.

Killbear: Excellent! I see you are well on your way to having that
sheepskin on your wall!

True Feelings Shown

J. Ewing over at Craig Westover's blog had this to say regarding school choice:

"So far the only argument I have heard against this school choice proposal is the highly offensive one that "teachers cannot be accountable because the home is what matters." To that, I have a simple suggestion. Let us simply quit wasting money on poor, black kids from single-parent homes by trying to educate them. They are doomed to failure anyway. I'm not so sure that if you are poor and black, but have two parents, you can succeed, either, so let us say that any two of the three disqualifies you from an education. We could save a whole lot of money that way, that could be better spent putting swimming pools into all the suburban middle schools."

This is how most conservatives feel in regards to school choice, look at any conservative who supports public education and they will argue against the above quote, however, those that want to take down "government education" as they call it truly believe what Mr. Ewing is saying. I do however have to give him credit, at least he has guts to be honest about his feelings on school choice, OTBL'ers just continue to slander what is easy pickens, the union!


Wisconsin tribes become active lobbyists

Unless you're not paying attention, you may have noticed that Indian gaming has become very big business in Wisconsin. Big business is big into campaign funding. Why? Becuase money buys influence. The Indian tribes have learned this lesson and appear to be bringing their wallets to the state capitol.

Is this illegal? No.

Is swindling Indian tribes out of millions of dollars illegal? Yes and that is why Jack Abramoff has been indicted.

Below is a recent story about the Indian campaign contributions in Wisconsin.
Wisconsin tribes with gambling interests have stepped up their political spending in recent years, with Gov. Jim Doyle the primary beneficiary, a newspaper reported. In the past four years, gambling interests have given Doyle and the Democratic Party almost $1.3 million while giving other candidates almost nothing, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Sunday.

Gambling interests gave Republican Tommy G. Thompson about $200,000 in contributions when he was governor from 1987 to 2001. Gov. Scott McCallum, the Republican who lost to Doyle in 2002, received $3,150 from gambling interests.
Read more: Pioneer Press

The Illegal Side Of Casino Campaign Cash Bob Ziller Doesn't Write About

Alabama State GOP chairman resigns from lobbying firm with casino clients

MONTGOMERY, Ala. - The chairman of the Alabama Republican Party, Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh, resigned Tuesday from her job with a Mississippi lobbying firm whose clients include casino operators.

Cavanuagh said her work for Capitol Resources of Jackson, Miss., did not involve any gambling issues, but she quit "to ensure that there is no appearance of any conflict of interest while I am serving as chairman of the Alabama Republican Party."

Capitol Resources is one of Mississippi's most influential lobbying firms. It includes two nephews of Republican Gov. Haley Barbour, and its long list of clients includes the Beau Rivage in Biloxi, Miss., and the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, which operates two casinos in Philadelphia, Miss.

Read more: Pioneer Press

Republican National Committee's Guide to Identifying "Treason"

"My beltway contacts sent in this RNC memo currently making the rounds, which tries to help GOP'ers identify and understand "treason."' Read RNC Chair Ken Mehlman's "treason" talking points

The Lottery- Or-OTBL Financial Planning

Killbear: Welcome back to the Killbear Rapport. I'm your host Chris
Killbear. Tonight's guest is Certified Financial Planner Naomi Ominous.
Welcome to the show Naomi.

Naomi: Thanks Chris, great to be here.

Killbear: Naomi, what kind of financial advice can you give the average
borderliner who needs to provide for his family - house, daily
essentials, health care, college savings, retirement, etc.

Naomi: Well Chris, normally I advise my clients to work hard and save;
avoid debt and stick to your budget. But with borderliners that
philosophy goes right out the window.

Killbear: Why is that?

Naomi: The problem is that borderliners are unable to overcome a basic
wing-nut blogging disability. They can't make a living.

Killbear: That sounds serious.

Naomi: I would agree, but a new financial strategy specifically
designed for the borderliner-handicapped came to me like a flash from a
bright bulb in the St. Croix Valley.

Killbear: Are you saying that it came from OTBL itself?

Naomi: Yes Chris. Recently, I saw this posting: "N. Onimous says:
Ever wonder what it's like to win the lottery? Many of us dream of that
big payout, but few of us ever realize that dream."

Killbear: Brilliant!

Naomi: Yes, and quite sad too. But now I can advise borderliners to
find whatever money they have around the house (income from a spouse
will do), and invest it at the Auto Stop in every imaginable lottery
ticket. This way, many more of them will be able to realize the dream
of the big payout.

Killbear: Thanks Naomi. Once again you are right on the mark.

"Why you should be a socialist"

It's interesting that our blog neighbors at ontheborderline.net would calls us the "local socialist blog." Especially when you readers can attest to the variety of opinion that we provide at this forum. Although we would never stoop to such levels, we are big enough to take what they throw at us and small enough to dodge the drool of their mean-spitited invective.

Since they did call us "socialist," I found this in piece titled "Why You Should Be A Socialist."
WHY DO we live in a world of such obscene inequalities and terrible violence?

A world where 1.2 billion people survive on less than $1 a day. A world where the most powerful country on earth uses horrific weapons of mass destruction in a war for oil and empire. A world where the fat cats live the high life, while working people live in fear that they’ll be standing in the unemployment line--or worse.

There is an alternative. The socialist alternative is based on the power of working people to fight together for a better world--and create a society based not on profit but on making a better life for everyone in it. In this special section, we print excerpts from ALAN MAASS’ Why You Should Be a Socialist, soon to be republished by Haymarket Books in a new and expanded edition.

Read more: Socialist Worker Online
I'd be thinking -- if He were walking the Earth today -- the pharisees at OTBL would be calling Jesus a socialist, as they nailed him to their gold cross of hypocrisy.


Official ontheborderline.net Mascot Suffers "Accidental" Drug Overdose While Staying At Bob Z's Commune

President Bush Meets With A Socialist

...and that's a good thing!

"I think it's astonishing that, in the list of the twenty-two richest countries in the world, the United States is at the bottom in what it gives per capita, i.e., per person, to the poorest of the poor. Now the U.S. reply is, We're keeping the world safe for democracy. Our military saved your ass before, and it's going to save it again, look what's coming up. But some people don't want America World Police. By the way, it might be cheaper to make friends out of potential enemies than to defend yourself against them later. That's why the campaign for aid has not just a moral, but a strategic imperative."

Bono of U2

Read more in the Rolling Stone interview.

In The Words Of Our Presidents -- James Monroe

"Preparation for war is a constant stimulus to suspicion and ill will."

"The best form of government is that which is most likely to prevent the greatest sum of evil."
James Monroe (April 28, 1758 – July 4, 1831) was the fifth (1817–1825) President of the United States and author of the eponymous Monroe Doctrine. Monroe's Presidency was marked by a disappearance of partisan politics, after the politically charged War of 1812, and came to be known as the Era of Good Feelings. Monroe was a major politician of the First Party System; ironically, the Republican party almost withered away during his presidency.

Read more: Monroe Biography


The Roots Of The Borderline Economic Debate

A Presidential Joke

As President Bush gets off the helicopter in front of the White House, he is carrying a baby pig under each arm.

The Marine guard snaps to attention, salutes, and says: "Nice pigs, sir."

The President replies: "These are not pigs, these are authentic Texan Razorback Hogs. I got one for Vice-President Cheney, and I got one for Defense Secretary Rumsfeld."

The Marine again snaps to attention, salutes, and says, "Nice trade, sir."

What St. Croix Valley Is The Ontheborderline.net Blog Site Located In?

I don't know about you readers, but when I drive through western Wisconsin between Houlton, Somerset, New Richmond, Roberts, River Falls and Hudson -- and I cover this area regularly via the main and back roads -- I see growth. But yet, the OTBL ostriches are posting that the boom is over in St. Croix County. The bubble has burst! In a few short decades, the white pine forests will return! The whole county will be up for foreclosure! In other words, the St. Croix Valley landscape will return back to the way it was in 1776 -- the destination date that has been set on the OTBL time machine.

Here's a DATA POINT they are currently having an organsm over:

"The hot St. Croix market took the biggest hit with home sales dropping 22 percent in the fourth quarter of 2005 over the same period in 2004."

This is a data point, not a trend. Of course their entire political worldview depends on such data points to justify their worldview. Any astute statistician knows it takes a series of data points to make a statistic and/or forecast a trend.

Here's another DATA POINT:
"St. Croix County got a double dose of bad news in the report. Not only were home sales down, but the median sales price dropped by 6.2 percent to $194,300."

Lets see what the next few quarters bring. If I see any decline in growth in my next of the valley it's that it's that it only could three houses under construction which ever way I choose to drive three miles from my house. It used to be five. Ten years ago, it was one a summer. This is just another example of using statistics to lie and -- at OTBL -- that is status quo.
Western Wisconsin is featured in a current story in the Milwaukee Journal Online discussing the grow of this area. Here are a few statistics -- not data points -- that contradict the OTBL post:

"St. Croix County's growth is impressive. Since the 2000 census, there are 12,529 new residents, boosting the county's population to an estimated 75,686, as of Jan. 1, 2005. The rate of growth is 19.8%, according to the Wisconsin Department of Administration....The trend is expected to be maintained through 2030, with St. Croix County anticipated to experience the highest rate of growth in the state."

"Of course, growth presents challenges - providing more classrooms for children, dealing with a rise in crime, stresses on water and sewage as homes replace farms."

"What lures people here? More house for the money, when compared with Minnesota real estate. Last year, 3,740 homes were sold in St. Croix County at an average price of $195,213. There's a trade-off, though: Wisconsin's property taxes are higher."

Read the whole story: JS Online

President's Day Trivia #1

20 Things You Didn't Know About U.S. Presidents

Nudity! Ignorance! Stupidity! Grambling! Procreation!

Checkout the reast of the story: type in web link name


Book Assignment Part 1: "A Door Near Here" by Heather Quarles

Students in the 7th grade at the Hudson Middle School are reading the book "A Door Near Here" by Heather Quarles. It is part of the communications curriculum and its use in the school has come under question by the admin at ontheborderline.net (You can read his post at this link: "http://www.ontheborderline.net/?p=2589").

The OTBL admin quotes a couple of paragraphs from the book of a scene where a kid gets a nasty cut on the finger while slicing bread and uses the word "shit" in the trauma that follows. Gee, imagine that, a teenager using the word "shit!" Admin doesn't go on to say that he read the book or give an overview of the context of the story. But he does ask this question:

"What is the real "Motive" behind using these kind of books? This is just wrong! I am pretty thorough with checking most of the content of what is being taught to my daughter but now even need to be more careful. They are teaching children to disrespect people by cussing. Something I don't even allow on this blog. Also, the topic chosen does not even remotely become age appropriate. These are issues I will teach her."

As is typical with the onthebordeliners, everything is part of a vast conspiracy...

I can just picture the OTBL admin sitting at his computer, sanctimoniously blogging away, back straight in his chair, gleaming halo thrusting heavenward, angelic harps emanating from his CD player, as he prepares another baseless attack on a dedicate member of the community. Other than the occasional "limp dick" that he lets slide by, the OTBL admin ACTUALLY doesn't allow swear words on his holy blog. Slander, innuendo, mudslinging, baseless facts are status quo -- but definately no swearing.

To me this OTBL post is a stellar example of the anti-community evil that lurks at the OTBL blog site. He has not read the book and I haven't either, but I've ordered it through inter-library loan and will report back later on it. However, he feels free to pontificate on the following:

"Yes, folks, politics, political correctness, pro-homosexuality, radical environmentalism, multiculturalism, and only god know what is being taught to your children, right here in Hudson. If your child is in 7th grade, give their teachers above a call. I don't contribute over $10,000 a kid to have them be taught this garbage. Call the principal and voice your concerns. Daniel W. Koch kochdw@hudson.k12.wi.us 715-386-4222."

Yes folks, the conspiracy rages on at the OTBL blog site. Notice the admin says he contributes "over $10,0000 a kid" to have them taught this "garbage." He must have a pretty big house and make a substantial income -- far exceeding that of any husband and wife who are teachers in the Hudson district -- to make that $10,000 statement. I say it's just another unsubstantiated, bogus fact floating in the OTBL intellectual, toilet bowl. I'm surprised he did drag out SpongeBob, Barney and Tinky Winky and run them through his conspiracy theory gauntlet. Likewise, the admin doesn't offer any alternative books to read -- another trait of the OTBL'ers. They can offer destructive criticism, but never anything constructive. Then again, seventh graders probably aren't strong enough to carry around a copy of Any Rand's boat anchor "The Fountainhead" -- their likely suggestion.

More on this later...on to the book:

About the author:
Heather Quarles received her M.F.A. from Emerson College. "A Door Near Here" was her master's thesis.

About the book:
Four siblings struggle to maintain a semi-normal home life when their single mother's alcoholism becomes debilitating. Without even noticing, 15-year-old Katherine has become the head of her household. She hasn't had time to notice. Her single mother, an out-of-work alcoholic, has been in bed for weeks, leaving Katherine and her three younger siblings to band together and fend for themselves. But it has gotten harder and harder to maintain any sort of stability. There's no time for housework, food and money are running out, and the kids' teachers are starting to get suspicious. Worst of all, Katherine's youngest sister, Alisa, seems to be losing her grip on reality; she is obsessed with finding a door to the imaginary land of Narnia. And the longer they all struggle to maintain their pretense of normality, the more they have to fear--and to lose.

Reviews of the book:
"Sad, powerful, and compelling."
--VOYA, starred review

"This story of siblings trying their best to survive without a functioning parent [will] pull in almost every YA reader. . . . Memorable."
--KLIATT, starred review

"A painful, authentic story."

"Katherine's hard-edged and driven narration will draw teens."
--The Bulletin

Teens' Top 10 Books: "A Door Near Here" #5

The following list was compiled by the Teens' Top Ten Best Books Task Force, sponsored by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA). Books were chosen by two teen focus groups using YALSA's "Best Books for Young Adults 1999."

1. "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" by J. K. Rowling. Scholastic, 1998.
2. "Holes" by Louis Sachar. Farrar, 1998.
3. "Love Among the Walnuts" by Jean Ferris. Harcourt, 1998.
4. "The Killer's Cousin" by Nancy Werlin. Delacorte, 1998.

5. "A Door Near Here" by Heather Quarles. Delacorte, 1998.

6. "Armageddon Summer" by Jane Yolen and Bruce Coville. Harcourt, 1998.
7. "I Rode a Horse of Milk White Jade" by Diane Lee Wilson. Orchard, 1998.
8. "Petey" by Ben Mikaelson. Hyperion, 1998.
9. "Soldier's Heart" by Gary Paulsen. Delacorte, 1998.
10. "A Long Way from Chicago" by Richard Peck. Dial, 1998.

Source: American Library Association.
Other special notice for "A Door Near Here"

*PBS Go Kids List for Great Books About Alcohol
*Young Hoosier Book Award Nomination List: 2000-2001
*8th Grade Girls' Favorites
...etc., etc.

Move Over Grover

Grover Norquist OTBL Arch angel.
of the Americans for Tax Reform (ATR).

His strategy:
"Norquist is not ashamed to discuss his main political strategy. In May 2003 he was quoted in The Denver Post as saying, "We are trying to change the tones in the state capitals—and turn them toward bitter nastiness and partisanship."

Do you think he may have some allies in the WI State Legislature or maybe even closer to home?

Norquist’s fundamental belief is that taxation is theft—money the government "takes by force." It’s the libertarian view that has animated the conservative movement for years, grounded in an unshakeable faith that if economic decisions are left to individuals and the unrestrained free market, all will be well. Government is always the enemy, and the ultimate goal of the movement is—in a phrase that has now entered the online Dictionary of Public Finance—to "starve the beast." ATR’s mission statement says: "The government’s power to control one’s life derives from its power to tax. We believe that power should be minimized."

"While this might not seem inherently unreasonable to many, he has also famously said that his goal was to shrink government "down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub."

Norquist air drops

Norquist is also quite adept at dropping in at various localities across the country and spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to aid his political allies, this despite his organization being a 501(c)(3) charity.
Here's a short from the Minneapolis Star Tribune from August, 1999:

Antitax group airs ads favorable to Grams

Greg Gordon / Star Tribune

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- An antitax group has given Sen. Rod Grams, R-Minn., an early boost in his reelection effort, spending $424,000 on a television ad campaign in Minnesota that ballyhoos his support of the Republican-backed $792 billion tax-cut plan.

Grover Norquist, head of Americans for Tax Reform, said his nonprofit group is spending $4.5 million to air nearly identical ads in seven states during the last three weeks in August to highlight "who's being helpful to taxpayers and who isn't."

Who's The National Taxpayers Union?

Over at ontheborderline.net they continue to ride Ziller's broom stick pony and whoop about Ron Kind's legal campaign contributions from Indian tribes. . Now some new poster child over there named Lenvik Lad has decided that the National Taxpayers Union scorecard is all we need to know about Ron Kind. Of course Kind score very low on one of the favorite, right-wing, anti-tax groups previously headed by Grover Norquist.

Here's a quote about the NTU that might shade some darkness on their mission:

“If we don’t seize on this revolutionary moment to rein in taxes and rein in entitlements, we could be looking at a government headed for financial oblivion…and a populace that is so over-taxed and so desperate that we could be talking about real revolutions.”

- David Keating in 1995

Learn more about the NTU:
People For The American Way

Skinny Blonde Bitch Uses The Word "Raghead"

Read what the right-wing spin cycle says about Ann Clouter's racist talk at the recent Conservative Action Political Conference.

Read more "fair and balanced" news from Cybercast News Service

Shelia Harsdorf Opposed To 8-Year Hunting Law

A law passed by the Wisconsin Assembly and headed for the Senate would lower the age limit from the current 12. Young hunters would have to complete a hunter safety course and could only share a bow or firearm with an adult, who would have to remain within arm's length of the child.

State Sen. Sheila Harsdorf, R-River Falls, hunts deer and turkey but opposes the bill. "I think 8 is too young. I don't think 8-year-olds have the maturity in decision making or fully understand the danger and responsibility," she said.
Harsdorf noted that she has taken her son hunting for years but now that he's 12, he will be able to shoot alongside her for the first time this year.

Read more: St. Paul Pioneer Press

You can be a better conservative

...it's a great time to join the military instead of just displaying a yellow ribbon. The maximum age for enlistment is now 42, and there's a signing bonus of $40,000 for new active duty recruits and $20,000 for reservists. (Take the 40 grand -- it's the same duty, after all.)

Read more: Seattle PI

Freedom Of Information Act

Just a reminder to readers, there are many ways to obtain information from your local, state and government -- all covered under the Freedom Of Information Act.

Read More: FOI