St. Croix County Ranks #6 In Health Survey

...must be the high taxes...

The University of Wisconsin's Population Health Institute has released its annual health survey of Wisconsin counties and St. Croix County was ranked #6 on the list.

The strengths in St. Croix County's ranking are:
1. High school graduates
2. Less smoking during pregnancy
3. Fewer children in poverty

The weaknesses include:
1. Binge drinking
2. Exposure to nitrates in water

For more details:

1. 2007 County Snapshots
2. Webinar presentation
3. Full report


Free-Market, Black Friday

"Quality is one thing, safety is a different matter, and if we continue to hear this drumbeat of safety (problems), that could clearly impact consumers' perception of goods made in China."

Jack Ablin
Chief investment officer
Harris Private Bank, Chicago

"The Chinese better take heed and crack down hard (on faulty goods) now or they will be faced with anti-Chinese trade legislation soon."

Andrew Busch
Global foreign-exchange strategist
BMO Capital Markets, Chicago

Think twice about toys made in China

Hurt by a series of safety recalls of Chinese-made toys this year, U.S. toy companies and retailers are pressing China-based manufacturers to use quality materials. Some manufacturers say this is squeezing them financially.

Depending on which poll you trust, between 45 percent and 75 percent of American consumers said they will not buy toys made in China for Christmas this year. Count us among them. After the recall of millions of the most harmless-seeming items -- for high lead content, harmful chemicals, choking hazards or other worrisome risks -- there's no way we're bringing home any toys with a "made in China" tag.

Boycotting toys from China may be impractical, unrealistic, naive, misguided or excessive. Between 70 percent and 80 percent of toys sold in the United States are manufactured there. Many American-made toys, in addition to costing more than the ones made in China, have a hard time passing muster with our kids. How the heck can Christmas be Christmas if Santa is curtailed from delivering the items on youngsters' lists?

Read more at the Chicago Sun-Times.

"From the purely economic point of view nothing speaks against free trade and everything against protectionism."

Ludwig von Mises

A mother said Thursday she knew something was terribly wrong when her 20-month-old son began to stumble and started vomiting. He had just ingested a popular toy that contains a chemical that turns into a powerful ''date rape'' drug when eaten. It was the latest Chinese-made toy pulled from shelves in North America.

Read more at the Salt Lake Tribune.



Q: What Is Sean Hannity Afraid Of?

A: Ron Paul

Below is a video collection with Ron Paul discussing his vision of foreign policy in a recent debate and Rudy Giuliani firing back with his vision. The post debate -- hosted by FOX News (always fair and balanced) -- discussion carried over to an interview with Paul on Hannity and Colmes. The final clip is Hannity on his radio show trying to fend off Paul's supporters.

For Hannity it's all a conspiracy cooked up by Paul's supporters and/or the liberal bloggers. If you listen to Hannity, it doesn't take long the he is for pushing for Rommney or Giuliani. He spending the most time under the desk of team Bush-Cheney and the consummate mouthpiece of corporate Republican talking points must be having visions of co-hosting a cable-access TV show with Tucker Carlson in the near future.

As I've mentioned before, the 2008 Reality Presidential contest would feature Paul and Dennis Kucinich. Both candidates are in the position where they can actually talk truth in the debates and political discussion. Of course, both get painted at nut cases buy the corporate pawnbrokers. Both Paul and Kuchinich wear heavy shades of the make-up of populism and exude hardly a whiff of the "buck scent" of corporate politics. It's interesting to see all the other Republican candidates focusing on Hillary Clinton, while Paul is standing on some very bedrock principles of Republicanism that would be familiar to Reagan, Goldwater and Nixon.

Christian Group Upset About Pagan Symbol Being Called Family Tree

Lowe's Apologizes for 'Family Trees' in Christmas Catalog

Let's see, a "White Christmas" starts with "black Friday" and a group called the American Family Association is upset at Lowe's for calling a "Christmas tree" a "family tree."

According to People for the America Way, the American Family Association (AFA) has been a long-time promoter of "traditional moral values" in the media, particularly television. AFA built its reputation on organizing boycotts against sponsors of TV shows with "anti-Christian" messages and ideas, or against companies it claims support the so-called "homosexual agenda" or marriage equality.

According to an e-mail from the American Family Association, Lowe's "Holiday 2007 catalog features scores of products, including lights, wreaths, trees and yard decorations. Most people would associate these items with Christmas, but not Lowe's! Except for two obscure references, they refer to everything in their catalog as 'holiday.'"

Actually, Jeremiah might not have associated the family tree with a Christmas tree. In Jeremiah 10:2-4, we read, "Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not."

So, Lowe's has taken the first cheap shot in 2007's "war on Christmas." Certainly, Bill O'Reilly will be digging much deeper into the scandalous attack on pagan symbols that have blended into a commercial holiday named after Jesus.

Read more at Cybercast News Service, a right wing propaganda service hellbent of keeping pagan symbolism wrapped in the green (cash) and red (debt) we've come to associate with Christmas.

Read more about the history of the "family" or "Christmas" tree.

Meanwhile, in Africa...


If Mickey Mouse Can Do It, Why Not...

Ron Paul Supporters Arrested For Minting Coin

Federal agents, in a move that could have an impact on the presidential race, raided the Indiana office of the issuer of a private currency known as the Liberty Dollar — and seized tens of thousands of coins bearing the likeness of a presidential candidate, Rep. Ron Paul.

Overall, agents on Wednesday hauled away more than 2 tons of copper coins and 500 pounds of silver coins, as well as records and computers, the founder of the currency system, Bernard von NotHaus, told The New York Sun by phone from Miami. Although not present in Evansville, Ind., for the raid, Mr. von NotHaus said he has been told that the government agents left business cards from the FBI and Secret Service. Neither agency would confirm or deny the raid when contacted by the Sun.



O. Nonimous Manure-For-A-Brain Award

Voted-out Yakima councilman sues winner's wife for anonymous blog

In honor of our local blogging friends at Ontheborderline.nut, we are proudly presenting a new series of awards. These awards will be handed out on a "regular" basis in order to honor the low life in a community who anonymously slanders and slimes individuals with false and misleading information.

Our award, the O. Nonimous Manure-For-A-Brain Award is created in dishonor of ontheborderline.nut blogger O. Nonimous. The person who wins this award will be any anonymous blogger who attracts the attention of the police or court systems by anonymously blogging false and slanderous information about someone in the community. Receivers of this award are generally marginally employed and usually live off the labor and related retirement and health benefits of their spouse. In edition, receivers of this award are always hyper-jealous of anyone who has been able to have a successful career that is looked favorably on by the community. Furthermore, this award winner never has to worry about being highly overpaid and is definitely gifted at using large words to confuse loved ones when accused of being lazy and shiftless. Finally the winner of this award is recognized for spending excessive amounts of unproductive time in the basement on a computer trying to use the words "malfeasance" and "public" in the same sentence.

So, with the above in mind, we proudly present the N. Onimous Manure-For-A-Brain Award to Diane Ensey of Yakima, Washington for her efforts to take anonymous blogging to a new in public elections.

Read on...

YAKIMA, Wash. -- A Yakima city councilman who lost his bid for re-election has sued his opponent's wife for blogging unfounded rumors that he had been arrested for drunken driving.

Ron Bonlender lost his seat last week to Rick Ensey.

After the election, Ensey acknowledged his wife, Diane, was the anonymous blogger.

Now Bonlender is suing Diane and Rick Ensey in superior court for defamation.

Rick Ensey says he can't comment on the lawsuit.

We Can't Make It Here Anymore

by James McMurtry