Don't Like Court's Verdict? - Get Your Own Judges

Conservative court to hear NSA appeal

CINCINNATI - The Bush administration's warrantless surveillance program, rejected by a federal judge, is heading toward an appellate court loaded with the president's own appointees.

See AP Story

Observations By John Kenneth Galbraith

Faced with the choice between changing one's mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof.
In all life one should comfort the afflicted, but verily, also, one should afflict the comfortable, and especially when they are comfortably, contentedly, even happily wrong.
Liberalism is, I think, resurgent. One reason is that more and more people are so painfully aware of the alternative.
The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.
The conspicuously wealthy turn up urging the character building values of the privation of the poor.
The salary of the chief executive of a large corporation is not a market award for achievement. It is frequently in the nature of a warm personal gesture by the individual to himself.

John Kenneth Galbraith

Galbraith, OC, LL.D (October 15, 1908 – April 29, 2006) was an influential Canadian-American economist of the 20th century. He was a Keynesian and an institutionalist, a leading proponent of US-style 20th century political liberalism and progressive politics. His books on economic topics were bestsellers in the late 1950s and during the 1960s.

Galbraith was a prolific author, producing four dozen books and over a thousand articles on various subjects. His most famous works were perhaps a popular trilogy of books on economics, "American Capitalism" (1952), "The Affluent Society (1958)", and "The New Industrial State" (1967). He taught at Harvard University for many years. Galbraith was also active in politics, serving in the administrations of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S Truman, John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson; and among other roles served as U.S. ambassador to India under Kennedy.

He was one of the few two-time recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, receiving one from President Truman in 1946 and another from President Bill Clinton in 2000. He was also awarded the Padma Vibhushan, India's second highest civilian award, for his contributions to strengthening ties between India and the United States.


Market Forces Drive up Price of Sun Oil

Scientists meeting at Dick's Bar, in Hudson WI, declared today that the Sun is not running low on fossil fuel and there is no need for it to switch to renewable energy resources. The public responded to the report by saying..."What?????". Despite the news that there is no supply
problem, the price of Sun Oil rose today by $666 per barrel. Reporting record profits this last quarter, Sun Oil representatives claim the rise in price was only the result of uncontrollable market forces.

The Heat Shall Inherit the Earth

Things To Do In The St. Croix River Valley

Wayne "The Train" Hancock
at the Dalles House
Saturday night, August 26
St. Croix Falls, WI

In the area for a two-day run at the Minnesota State Fair, Wayne Hancock with be stopping at the Dallas House next Saturday for what is guarantee to be a lively set of honky tonk swing music. Lee's Liquor Lounge in Minneapolis is a regular stop for Hancock three or four times a year on his swings up from Austin, Texas. Hot Telecaster picking and "dog house" base slapping provide the foundation for Hancok's excellent song writing -- some of the best in the bidness.

As one who has made the pilgrimage to Lee's to see Wayne, I can guarantee you won't be disappointed. Whether its the three piece band or the four piece with a table steel guitar, the music will be non-stop, hillbilly swing. These boys are country music road warriors who know how to put on a show night after night. If you can't make the Dalles House show, make sure you catch them at the State Fair.

As Willie sez: "There ain't no flies on them boys!!!"

Read more @Bloodshot Records.

How Do You Spell "Laisse-faire?"

L. Percent growth in corporate profits, 2001 through 2003: 62.2

A. Percent growth in labor compensation, 2001 through 2003: 2.8

I. Growth in private wage and salary income (total labor compensation, including health care and pension benefits), 2001 through 2003: -0.6

S. Percentage of Americans living below the poverty level who voted in the 2000 presidential election: 38

S. Percentage of Americans living at twice the poverty level who voted: 68

E. Percentage of average public university tuition covered by a maximum Pell Grant award in 1976: 84
Percentage of average public university tuition covered by a maximum Pell Grant award in 2003: 39

F. A student from a family in the top 25 percent of income with standardized test scores in the lowest 25 percent was as likely to be enrolled in college as a student from a family in the lowest 25 percent of income earners with scores in the top 25 percent.

A. Percent of students from families in the top 25 percent of income who graduate with a four-year degree within five years of entering college: 40

I. Percent of students from families in the lowest quarter of income who graduate within five years: 6

R. Median weekly wage of full-time workers in 2003: $620 ($32,240 annually). Percent increase from 2002: 2

E. Median annual compensation for CEOs of Fortune 500 companies in 2003: $4.6 million. Percent increase from 2002: 27

Borderline Bar Jokes

1. A dyslexic OTBL’er walks into a bra.

2. An OTBL’er walks into a bar with a slab of asphalt under his arm and says:
"A beer please, and one for the road."

3. Two OTBL’ers are eating a clown. One says to the other: "Does this taste funny to you?"

4. An invisible OTBL man marries an invisible OTBL woman. The kids were nothing to look at either.

5. Deja Moo: The feeling that you've heard this bull before.

6. The OTBL’er went to buy some camouflage trousers the other day but couldn't find any.

7. An OTBL’er woke up in a hospital after a serious accident. He shouted, "Doctor, doctor, I can't feel my legs!" The doctor replied, "I know you can't - I've cut off your arms!"

8. An OTBL’er went to a seafood disco last week...and pulled a mussel.

9. Two OTBL’ers sitting in a kayak were chilly, so they lit a fire in the craft. Unsurprisingly it sank, proving once again that you can't have your kayak and heat it too.

10. A group of OTBL chess enthusiasts checked into a hotel and were standing in the lobby discussing their recent tournament victories. After about an hour, the manager came out of the office and asked them to disperse.
"But why," they asked, as they moved off. "Because", he said, "I can't stand chess-nuts boasting in an open foyer."

666. A OTBL woman has twins and gives them up for adoption. One of them goes to a family in Egypt and is named "Ahmal." The other goes to a family in Spain; they name him "Juan." Years later, Juan sends a picture of himself to his birth mother. Upon receiving the picture, she tells her husband that she wishes she also had a picture of Ahmal. Her husband responds, "They're twins! If you've seen Juan, you've seen Ahmal."

30 Million Dead, 40 Million Infected..

..and 40 million new infections in the next five years.

Thanks to a personality problem in the World Health Organizaton and the ignorance of Reagan, Bush Sr., and Clinton on the real scope of the problem, HIV/AIDS has gone from an epidemic to a pandemic with no end in sight.

Amazingly, it took 80's rockstar Bono's influence on none other than Jesse Helms to convince Rice and Bush that the world needed help. In the early years of Bush's Presidency he dedicated 15 billion dollars, much of it to Africa, to pay for medication that has, on average, extended the life of victims an additional 8 years.

That fund will dry up in early 2008, leaving many African's (and other developing countries) unable to afford the cost of the pricely Triple Cocktail. It should be noted that 95% of new infections are in developing countries.

Question: What should the United States' roll be in the world regarding this issue?

Friday Fun: Capitalist Trivia

From 1950-2000 Corporations averaged 17 percent of the total tax contribution to the government.

Now, it is about 7 percent. I'll give everyone until Monday to come up with the number one reason why this is down...with the biggest example in the last decade.

No asking OTBL members! That's cheating.


He's Frustrated...But Still Workin" Hard

New York Times, Aug. 15 — President Bush made clear in a private meeting this week that he was concerned about the lack of progress in Iraq and frustrated that the new Iraqi government — and the Iraqi people — had not shown greater public support for the American mission, participants in the meeting said Tuesday.

“I sensed a frustration with the lack of progress on the bigger picture of Iraq generally — that we continue to lose a lot of lives, it continues to sap our budget,” said one person who attended the meeting. “The president wants the people in Iraq to get more on board to bring success.”

The president expressed frustration that Iraqis had not come to appreciate the sacrifices the United States had made in Iraq, and was puzzled as to how a recent anti-American rally in support of Hezbollah in Baghdad could draw such a large crowd. “I do think he was frustrated about why 10,000 Shiites would go into the streets and demonstrate against the United States,” said another person who attended.

Round 2: Name that Anarchist!

As winner of the last round I find it my duty, and personal honor, to sponsor round 2. Hint: Some may call him NUMBER 1.

Steven Colbert Puts OTBL & Other Wingnuts "ON-NOTICE"


Time to Play: Name that Anarchist!


It's the overnight game sensation that's sweeping the blogshpere.
Play as often as you like.

Candidate Paul R. Nelson: airport security should look for turbaned men named Mohammed

Hey! He didn't call them "ragheads!"

by Jeff Petersen, WIXK

A Republican running in Wisconsin's Third Congressional District advocates racial profiling as a "no nonsense" security measure.

Paul R. Nelson suggests Muslim males ought to be singled out, by airport security. "Racial profiling is one way that we can cut down on security risks," said Nelson. Asked how to tell what a Muslim male looks like, Nelson said "well, you know, if he comes in wearing a turban and his name is Mohammed, that's a good start."
Nelson, of Woodville, is challenging incumbent Democrat Ron Kind of La Crosse in the western Wisconsin district.

Hear the audio@ Wisconsin Radio Network.


Any Other Questions?

Blue States Rank High on ACT!

Read More


The unmourned end of libertarian politics

by Michael Lind,
Senior fellow
New America Foundation

The most epochal event in world politics since the cold war has occurred – and few people have noticed. I am not referring to the conflict in Iraq or Lebanon or the campaign against terrorism.
It is the utter and final defeat of the movement that has shaped the politics of the US and other western democracies for several decades: the libertarian counter-revolution.

Between the 1930s and 1960s, the US and other liberal democracies adopted their own versions of modern welfare state capitalism. By the mid-20th century, in every western democracy, the legitimacy of the welfare state was accepted by mainstream parties of the right as well as the centre and left. But not by the libertarians. Unlike Eisenhower, Nixon and other “modern Republicans”, America’s libertarians did not seek a more fiscally responsible welfare state. They wanted to abolish the welfare state altogether and replace it with an “opportunity society” or “ownership society”. They were revolutionaries – or more precisely, counter-revolutionaries, seeking to restore an idealised Victorian world of laisser faire capitalism.

Read more@ The Financial Times.


Ask Ayn Randers

Dear Ayn,
What will the face of the new police chief look like when being asked what he has done about the Devin Willi threat letter and the June 14 2005 school board meeting fiasco?

Dear N.,

Like This!!

Any Answers?

I found this interesting picture/question currently posted on OTBL:

Below is post done on this blog back in February of this year. From what I've read about the war in Iraq, the dead and wounded are coming from red and blue states.

Meet The "Marlboro Man"

The photograph hit the world on Nov. 10, 2004: a close-cropped shot of a U.S. Marine in Iraq, his face smeared with blood and dirt, a cigarette dangling from his lips, smoke curling across weary eyes.

BATTLE SCARS: The photo of the ‘Marlboro Man’ in Fallujah became a symbol of the Iraq conflict when it ran in newspapers across America in 2004. Now the soldier has returned home to Kentucky,where he battles the demons of post-traumatic stress...

Read the whole story:
San Francisco Chronicle

And the Winner Is.............

There's Another Blog In Hudson

Someone drenced in the Hudson political scene who's office is at an exclusive address paid for by taxpayers told me there is a new blog in Hudson. This person said the Mayor made mention of the blog at a recent city council meeting. The blog is titled "Life and Politics in Hudson WI and appears to let viewers participate freely in the discussion, debate and observations -- unlike the ontheborderline.net blog eminating from the Hudson sewer district.

Check in out: www.hudsonwisconsin.blogspot.com

OTBL's Answer to Dissenting Opinions....

HAHA - Wow, They actually did it. They deleted me. *sigh* That just made my day.

OTBL Celebrates Discrimination

It should come as no surprise to us that our favorite masked friends are celebrating our thumbs up to racial, religious, or ethnic profiling but nonetheless I was sick to my stomach this morning to see this post.

Like I posted on OTBL (We'll see if they approve it).... I am more scared of what's brooding in Heartland America than I am of your average Muslim...

EDIT: My mistake, this isn't in The US. (Thank you Cato for pointing that out) Regardless of where this is happening, the fact that its being celebrated is wrong.... The fact that my siblings are growing up in a town with people that celebrate this kind of thing scares the hell out of me.

The Eve Of Seduction



Get Government Off My Back

A veteran returning from Korea went to college on the GI Bill, bought his house with an FHA loan and saw his kids born in a VA hospital. His family got their electricity from the TVA, and a little later their water came from an EPA project.

Meanwhile, his parents retired to a farm on social security, got electricity from the Rural Electrification Agency and soil testing from USDA. When his father had been laid off and his mother became ill a few years back, the family had been saved from financial ruin by Medicare. Another life in his family was saved with a drug developed by NIH.

His children participated in the school lunch program, learned physics from teachers trained in a National Science Foundation program and went through college with guaranteed student loans. He drove to work on the Interstate and moored his boat in a channel dredged by Army engineers. When floods hit, he took Amtrak to Washington, D.C. to apply for disaster relief, then spent a little time visiting the Smithsonian Institution.

When he returned home, he wrote a letter to his representative in Congress demanding that the government get off his back and stop raising his taxes to pay for all of those government handouts created for ungrateful people.

Originator unknown. Offered by Saul Schniderman

Read more@ Big Labor.com.

Technology In Schools: Gadgets v. Graduates

“Technology has a huge role in being a 21st century collaborator. You can’t be an effective communicator and not use technology to communicate. There isn’t a skill or content area that doesn’t have a significant technology attached to it.”

Ken Kay
Partnership for 21st Century Skills.
Here's an interesting article discussing technology in school v. students. We were having a discussion here a few weeks back about this and this article -- printed in the American School Board Journal -- provides additional perspective.
A Tool For Reform
by Kathleen Vail
American School Board Journal
July 2006
Educators, after focusing on lower grades following passage of the No Child Left Behind Act, are now facing a new wave of reform centered around the nation’s high schools. Alarmingly high dropout rates, particularly among minority students attending mammoth urban comprehensive high schools, are prompting the push to break down larger schools into small learning communities. Fueled both by private funders, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and by federal grants, small learning communities are inspiring other changes, summed up in three words: rigor, relevance, and relationships.

Technology is inextricably tied to this reform, and not just because of Gates’ presence in the arena. To truly transform high schools, reform proponents say, technology is key. Not so much the hardware and software itself, but what the technology allows teachers and students to accomplish.

Read more!

A Biblical View of Economics:

What's In The Soul Of Your Moral Wallet?

I was doing some research on economic theory regarding laissez-faire capitalism and its social impacts and came across this interesting overview by Kirby Anderson. The author points out some interesting comparison between Christian morals and the economic theories of capitalism.
Capitalism: Moral Critiques

One of the first moral arguments against capitalism involves the issue of greed. And this is why many Christians feel ambivalent towards the free enterprise system. After all, some critics of capitalism contend that this economic system makes people greedy.

To answer this question we need to resolve the following question. Does capitalism make people greedy or do we already have greedy people who use the economic freedom of the capitalistic system to achieve their ends? In light of the biblical description of human nature, the latter seems more likely.

Because people are sinful and selfish, some are going to use the capitalist system to feed their greed. But that is not so much a criticism of capitalism as it is a realization of the human condition. The goal of capitalism is not to change people but to protect us from human sinfulness.

Capitalism is a system in which bad people can do the least harm, and good people have the freedom to do good works. Capitalism works well if you have completely moral individuals. But it also functions adequately when you have selfish and greedy people.

Read complete article.