Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Sunday, February 04, 2007

I Didn't Think It Was THIS Bad

I forgot to do a "...since the Cubs last won..." update last week.

I'm taking a different approach this week:

Did you know Leo Tolstoy (b. 1828) and Mark Twain (b. 1835) were both still alive when the Cubs last won a World Series. That is simply unbelievable. Both writers passed away in 1910.

Wimps in Michigan

I was reading the Peoria paper online today and discovered that despite both teams being there, the Rivermen game in Grand Rapids, Michigan was postponed due to weather Saturday night. They mentioned "blizzard conditions" and I checked, the temp was about zero with "negative windchills."

Um, dudes, you freakin' live in Michigan. Wimps.

Meanwhile, across Lake Superior in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, and other cities across the Iron Range, temps dropped to -20 to -30 Saturday night, with windchills of -60 and even lower, yet the state's entire high school hockey schedule went off without a hitch.

I heard people complaining here in Illinois about the weather this past week. Yawn. You want cold? Spend a weekend in Warroad, or International Falls, or Bemidji, or Ely, or Biwabik, in January or February and you'll get cold.

Two Minnesota Guys Shine at The Super Bowl

Thank you, Tony Dungy (Minnesota '77)! Thanks to Tony, I can actually have a normal next couple of weeks instead of listening to non-stop talk about how wonderful the Bears are.

Note to Bears fans: Your team got throttled. Your team got the chance to be throttled by playing in the lamest NFC ever assembled. The '85 Bears would eat these current guys' lunch. And the '06 Colts just did. So thank you Tony Dungy.

Now, when the talk turned to "who is the MVP"? I couldn't think of one that actually wore a Colt or Bear uniform, the first thought that came to mind was the halftime entertainment.

Yep. Prince (native Minnesotan) was the true MVP of this game...the only individual of the bunch I'd pay to see. Mr. Nelson might indeed be one of the top two or three musical artists of all time, Beethoven and Bach included. And certainly his halftime show was much more entertaining than that game. By far.

Monday, January 29, 2007

A Little Sadness Tonight

This blog is named after a song written by my favorite songwriter and performer, Jeffrey Steele.

My buddy Dan Dermody called me tonight to tell me that Jeffrey and Stephanie's son Alex, only 13-years old, was killed Sunday in a 4-wheeler accident. I never got the pleasure to meet Alex, but if he was anything like his dad, I would have liked him very, very much.

I feel so bad for Jeffrey, his wife and their three daughters. I know they'll never forget their young man, and hopefully happy memories can replace the current terrible feelings very soon for all of them.

Sunday, January 14, 2007


This week's edition of: "Something that came into the world SINCE the pathetic, hapless, worst pro sports franchise ever - the Chicago Cubs - last won a World Series."

That's right. Talking movies came AFTER the last Cubs' title.

Here's Hoping He Waits...Forever

Mark McGwire didn't get into the baseball Hall of Fame this year. Good. I am among those who hope he NEVER gets in. His obvious steroid use and his pathetic performance in front of Congress would be enough for me to leave him out of the Hall, but beyond that, the guy really wasn't any better than Dave Kingman, he just juiced his body to hit more homers than Kingman did.

McGwire, Sosa, Bonds, they can all rot away and never see the inside of the Hall of Fame. Deserving players like Bert Blyleven, Tommy John, Jim Kaat, Tony Oliva, and Goose Gossage are still not in, how about we not even discuss these steroid freaks until the right players who DIDN'T enhance their body through chemistry are allowed into the Hall.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Mitch McConnell Is An Idiot

I'll post more later when my head stops shaking uncontrollably. What a freakin' buffoon.

BTW, can I just say this? I am so sick of the GOP line "we haven't been attacked since 9/11". STOP it. It's NOT A BIG DEAL. We've gone DECADES without conflict, CENTURIES without "an attack on our homeland". My word.

It is SO hard to type when you can't stop shaking your head in incredulous disbelief at what you're hearing. Amazing.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

What's Good For The Goose...

I'm driving home from Bloomington last night, punching around the AM dial (nothing better than late night AM radio...STILL). I pick up Nashville, Cincinnati, Detroit, Dallas, Minneapolis, Louisville, Pittsburgh, Atlanta...I'm having a blast! And then I pick up a talk show on out of Denver.

The host on that station is upset that Muslim cabbies in Minneapolis are refusing to transport people with alcohol. He says, "if it's part of the job, you have to deal with it. If you knew that going in, why take the job?!?!?"

He then tells of a time when he was at a major league baseball game and ordered a hot dog with chili, and the girl behind the counter had to wait for someone else to come over and help her because "she didn't handle pork products". So again, he says, "why would you take that job if you can't handle the job requirements??!?!"

So a caller joins in and says he's a cabbie in Reno, and if a gay couple wants a ride to a gay bar, he has to take them, whether he supports their "behavior" or not, because "that's the job I signed up to do." And the host says, "see? that's what I'm talking about. Good for you! You just do the job, right? Because if you DIDN'T transport the gays, these liberals would be calling you a bigot!"

Well, guess who's the next caller...yep, me! I say, "I gotta tell ya, I agree with what you're saying...if you take a job knowing what the requirements are and still refuse to DO some of the requirements, why should you be allowed to keep that job?"

And he says, "right on, that's what I'm saying! Why is that so hard to understand?"

I add, "I dunno. I just think these Muslims shouldn't be letting their religious beliefs get in the way of their job."

And he's excited now, " one is telling them they can't be Muslim (the old conservative cabal there, see it?), but they've gotta do the job as described."

I go on: "Absolutely, I agree. And because of that, I feel the same way about druggists. If a guy takes a job at a pharmacy that sells the pill and other forms of birth control and doesn't want to do that based on his religious beliefs, then he shouldn't work there or shouldn't even have applied in the first place, right?"

Silence. Or, as we call it in the business, dead air. Then I hear a click on my end.

I crank up the radio, hear the end of my own comments as the 7-second delay kicks in, and then I hear the silence.

Followed by this intelligent comeback: "Okay people, let's stick to the topic here...we've been talking about only ONE thing here...Muslim cabbies and their refusal to take fares that have alcoholic beverages on them. See how these liberals are? For the last five minutes, I've been laser beam focused on Muslim cabbies, and then they gotta try and spin the subject and twist what I'm saying. (heavy sigh) We'll be right back."

Just to recap...the guy who brought up the big league ballpark situation and allowed the caller right in front of me to express his displeasure with gay people says he's "laser beam focused" on Muslims/cabbies/alcohol and hangs up on me without remotely answering my question.

I drove on, shook my head, laughed out loud, and punched up a Jeffrey Steele CD.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Slight Change

I went to the "moderate comments" section and made it so only "registered users" could comment. Does this mean anonymous gutless wonders will have to sign in with some kind of handle now to comment? Hope so.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Wow...THAT long ago?!?!?

This week's edition of: "Something that came into the world SINCE the pathetic, hapless, worst pro sports franchise ever - the Chicago Cubs - last won a World Series."


Saturday, December 30, 2006

Imagine Manhattan Floating Out To Sea

This stuff fascinates and worries me at the same time.

Ice Shelf Breaks

Nothing lasts forever, eh? 3,000-4,000 years old. Wow. In other words, this thing has been around since BEFORE the Cubs last won a Series.

A Clarification Is Needed

I've been hearing people call Gerry Ford "our only unelected president". Sorry, this isn't correct. One could make a case that Veeps who took over for assassinated presidents were "elected" because they were part of a ticket...I understand that. But what about 2000? Love him or hate him (and I worry about anyone who still would fall into the "love" category), Bush didn't "win" the election in 2000. He did, however, get SELECTED by the Supreme Court to serve in the Oval Office. There was no winner in 2000, therefore, the person who took over in January 2001 was not "elected". I'd say the same damn thing if Al Gore would have been selected by the Court.

Northern Iowa Is Better Than Bradley...In Almost Every Way

Twenty years ago, I was living in Waterloo/Cedar Falls, Iowa, and reporting on University of Northern Iowa sports. Ten years ago, I moved back to the Midwest after a hiatus in Nevada, and to Peoria, where I heard about Bradley University.

A few months into my new quarters, I noticed the columnists at the local paper in Peoria had a "look down our noses" view of Northern Iowa. The attitude was "how dare this school be in the same conference as esteemed Bradley University." Most of the venom came during basketball season, as Northern Iowa is consistently a Top 10 Division 1-AA football team, but of course this is ignored around Peoria because Bradley...doesn't even have a football program.

I saw commentary from guys I like very, very much, like Phil and Kirk, showing thinly-veiled disdain for the low-life public school known as UNI, based in such a nothing town as Cedar Falls, and wondering how they would dare play basketball with the stuffy private likes of Bradley, Evansville, and Creighton.

So it gives me some pleasure every time Northern Iowa stuffs Bradley in basketball, like they did earlier this week. The two teams have been very even over the years, as a matter of fact they've split the last 16 games. Now, if I was 8-8 in this decade against another school, I'd at least call them my basketball equal, wouldn't you?

Beyond that, it gives me a measure of satisfaction that UNI spent the last 10 years hosting Bradley in a gorgeous place called the UNI-Dome, built for football, but STILL better for basketball than the old Bradley Fieldhouse (but not as basketball-friendly as the Peoria Civic Center). And even though I don't go back, was never a big, big fan of UNI, and really don't follow them that closely, it gives me yet another measure of satisfaction to see that UNI and Cedar Falls have a new basketball-only arena, which Kirk compliments on his blog this week, by that way.

A 7,000 seat on-campus venue that is a perfect size for a mid-major conference that will never again be a top conference, just a "nice" one.

And Northern Iowa has that venue. Bradley doesn't. I think that's awesome. Good for them.

I don't know, as I get ready to publish this, what prompted this rant. Other than the fact that I find it pleasing that the "football school" has a better basketball venue AND a basketball program that is just as good - if not better - than the stuffy elitists at Bradley and those who live for their every game.

EDIT: One more note: In the last five seasons, UNI is 46-34 in MVC play...Bradley is 34-46. So let's just go ahead and say UNI is indeed a better program right now.

New Feature!

Now that football is almost over for the year, (as soon as Ohio State disposes of Florida), it's time to start thinking baseball.

(No, I don't care about the NFL. Football season is over. Period.)

So, a new feature as I make a resolution to blog more...

Each week, I will feature a photo of something that came into the world SINCE the pathetic, hapless, worst pro sports franchise ever - the Chicago Cubs - last won a World Series. We'll start with this youngster:

Man Responsible For 9/11 Hanged!

Oh, wait, wrong guy. Sorry.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Haven't Seen The Likes Of It Since I Was Growing Up In Minnesota

I came outside Friday morning, December 1st, to find this in my driveway:

That black thing under the white stuff is a 2000 Pontiac Grand Prix. I understand my friends in Peoria are having trouble getting their streets back to normal, almost a week after receiving about 1/2 the snow we got in Kewanee. I'm happy to report my road was plowed about 9am Friday morning, I did get a ride to work, and the entire town was completely cleared out and driveable by Friday night/Saturday morning. Kewanee has about 14,000 residents...larger than Morton, I think.

They did a fabulous job of clearing out up here. Glad I'm out of Peoria for numerous reasons, and this is just another one.

Friday, December 01, 2006

I Plagierize a Good Marketing Campaign

Let me give it a shot:

Fumbling the bin Laden search.

Lying to the country to get us into Iraq.

Ignoring the Geneva Convention.

Creating a Civil War in Iraq.

Sending thousands of young Americans to their death, and leaving tens of thousands more disabled and disfigured for life, all over a bunch of lies and deceptions.

Losing credibility for our country world wide.

Losing the GOP majority in the U.S. House.

Losing the GOP majority in the U.S. Senate.

Squashing freedoms of U.S. Citizens with the "Patroit Act".

Squandering a budget surplus and driving us DEEP into debt.

But giving tax breaks to his rich buddies in the process.

Securing the title "Worst President In United States History"

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Decorating is a blast!

For the last few years, Diane has been collecting different parts of a little village to put on display during the christmas season. We put it up today, and it's starting to look like quite the town. We've got buildings, trees, streetlights that work, a skating pond that uses magnets to make the skaters "skate", a cobblestone street, animals grazing in a fenced area outside a barn, a fishing hole with a couple of guys dangling poles in the nearly-frozen water (and probably sharing a flask of blackberry brandy), all sorts of holiday things.

As we get older and the world moves faster and faster, as we personally get busier, as life basically flies by, it's amazing how relaxing it can be to turn on all the lights of the tiny village, sit on the couch, and just stare at it. It's fun. I imagine there will be a quiet time tonight, with all lights off except for the village, and we'll just sit there an enjoy our immobile town. I recommend the therapy of it.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

I love my dog

He's a handsome chap, don't you think? Name is Juneau. Digs holes like he's trying to visit China the short way. Eats people food as often as possible. Sleeps either a) on the couch in the living room, b) on the couch in the family room, or c) on somebody's bed. He feels he's human.

Obviously, I haven't blogged since August. My new job is both time consuming and extremely, extremely enjoyable. The new house is even more fun. So less time is spent at the computer. Maybe I'll blog more soon, I don't know. Things are good. Job is good, house is good, politics are coming around to the way they should be.

And other big stuff coming soon in my life. So upon further review, yes, there will be more blogging on the way.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Wow, Time Flies, Eh?

I checked this blog out this morning and realized it's been over two weeks since I posted. Those two weeks have been spent moving, and we are now an official resident of Kewanee, IL.

That's right, I decided to move on the two days that it was 101 and 103 degrees. See how smart I am? Diane is not to blame for this decision. I was the one who rented the U-Haul and made the plans. Well, it was hot. How hot? read on.

I made Michael Jordan look like he doesn't sweat.
I averaged taking more showers in a day than most Europeans take in a month.
I changed clothes so often I thought I was in a Cher concert.
Gatorade stock went up .12 per share after that weekend.
I shook my head and almost drowned the cat.
It was so hot my sweat was sweating.

Ok, that'll about cover it.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

The Price Of Gas(es)

Between seeing "$3.12" per gallon of unleaded and seeing heating bills this past winter, it's obvious that "gas" of any kind is not cheap anymore. This, of course, despite record profits for the greedy friends-of-Bush in the oil industry.

So one of my employees had an idea this morning...from now on, every time he's in a public place, when he feels flatulence coming on, he's going to let it go...and then walk around the place and collect money for it. He figures if people are willing to pay $3.12 a gallon without complaint, and fork over hundreds of dollars every month to Ameren without complaint, they won't mind paying two bits or so for his gas, and they should do it without complaint.

Maddening Driving Habits, #254

Don't you just love it when you come up behind someone dutifully rolling along right at the speed limit ("good for them", you think, "but I gotta go"), and then speed up the moment you try to slip past them?

I just love that.

Then, when you get by and set your cruise at 63 or 64 (in a 55), the dude decides to tailgate you at that same speed.

I just love that.

Here's my message to the blue Ford dually this morning on Highway 78: If you don't have the guts to speed out there all by yourself, stop using me as a front door. I'm open about my intentions, expectations, and possible consequences...why don't you grow a pair and do the same?

I can't think of any more gutless driving behavior than the driver that will follow anybody going over the limit, but refuses to lead the pack. Wimps. You think you're smart, but you're really not. When my uncle patrolled the highways of Minnesota, he purposely picked up the second car in line whenever he came upon a group of speeders. He figured (rightly so) that the second guy was just using the first guy to do his dirty work.


So I get on I74 at Knoxville this morning, just like every morning, and I set the cruise at 45, just like every morning, and 231 cars pass me before I get to the new Sterling exit, just like every morning, and I don't see a patrol car the entire time, just like every morning.

After Sterling, I am still going 45, just like every morning, and in the one lane of traffic, I've got cars so close to me I can read the VIN numbers on THEIR car, just like every morning. As the end of the construction zone nears, 21 cars pull out to the right of me and accelerate before the 45 zone ends, just like every morning, with no patrol car in sight, just like every morning.

So what's the annoying part? The annoying part is that two miles WEST of the 74/474 interchange, there sits one of Illinois' finest, in the median, sideways, radar gun in hand, trying to catch people speeding...on the open, construction-free part of the highway.

Would somebody PLEASE get a clue over there in Metamora? If you're trying to get that end-of-month quota met so you can get the required income you're searching for, it's quite obvious to ANYONE WITH A BRAIN that the easy pickings at $375 per ticket are right there for you.

If you're trying to keep the roads SAFER (the standard line given), then again, there's no excuse because ANYONE WITH A BRAIN knows that someone going 55 within a few feet of an unprotected construction worker is more dangerous than someone going 75 on the open, straight road.

With the constant speeding in the construction zone, there is NO excuse to be patrolling a stretch of road four miles west of this area right now. NO excuse. None. Period.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

10 Fun Years

Some of you may know I've been the Public Address voice of the Peoria Rivermen ever since I arrived in town just before the 1996-97 season. Then-GM Greg Griffith hired me, since then Scott Schuetz, John Butler and Bart Rogers kept welcoming me back to do this fun gig 35-50 nights every winter.

I called Bart this week to tell him I would not be returning in 2006-2007. Time for somebody else to do it. With my new job in Kewanee, we both knew it would be difficult for me to do all the games, particularly the weeknight games. So I won't be doing it this year, and I will miss it.

It was great fun, and I thank Bruce Saurs, Anne Griffith, Tim Saurs, and all the afore-mentioned GM's for letting me have some fun and get to stand between the two penalty boxes for 10 years of pro hockey. The Rivermen joined the ECHL my first year here, and therefore I was the only P.A. voice they had in nine years of ECHL play. I'm very proud of that. I also greatly enjoyed the hockey in the AHL last year, Peoria's first year in that league.

One of the neatest things about the gig is all the talented young men I've befriended during this time. Dan Hodge, Trevor Baker, Jason Christie, Troy Riddle, Joe Rybar, Jason Lawmaster and Darren Clark...those are the guys I spent the most time with, but I got to know hundreds of athletes over these last ten years, and there are many, many, many more I've kept in touch with and shared laughs with over the years. And the many, many tall tales, jokes and talks I shared with the great Norm Ulrich will also not be forgotten. Norm, you are the funniest guy I know. Period.

And of course, the fans were always great...the ones who used to make me feel good by complimenting my work, the ones who playfully picked on me, the ones who didn't like me...I truly did enjoy seeing everybody over 10 years. Next year, if I'm at a game, I'll be in the stands with you all, and then I can finally yell at a ref. :)

Ain't It The Truth

Georgy Always Makes So Much Sense

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Wow, I Almost Caused A Wreck

For the first time in many, many years, I almost had a car accident early this week. I have had a few close-calls (but no "near misses", nothing that serious) in the last decade, but they've all been caused by someone else (idiot running stop sign, idiot not using turn signal, idiot not paying attention to traffic around him, etc.) I have avoided accidents in these situations because, quite frankly, I pay attention whilst I drive, whether or not I'm on the phone or adjusting the radio or even reading a CD liner. I don't like accidents. They hurt. So I avoid them by paying attention and being a very good-to-excellent driver. I'm proud of that.

Well, Monday evening, I suddenly played the part of "idiot". As I was entering I-74 from Route 78, I got up to speed, quickly catching the lady who decided to enter the highway at a rousing 48 MPH ("Things More Dangerous Than Speeding, #321"), and immediately, without checking my blind spot, moved to the left. Just in time, I noticed out of my peripheral vision a small white sedan in the left lane. I whipped back into the right lane and mouthed an "I'm sorry, my bad" while patting my chest in apologetic fashion. The gentleman waved back and showed tremendous understanding. It was the one time someone could have and should have shot me the bird. Amazingly, he did not, leaving the bird-shooting to the idiots who screw up and then finger ME. But I digress.

So I got to thinking...what made me mess up like this, I NEVER forget to check my blind spot over my left shoulder when I make this did it happen?

I collected my thoughts: Nope, wasn't on the phone...there it sits in the console; nope, CD player isn't even ON, so it couldn't be that; not eating; not reading a map or newspaper or CD jacket; I don't smoke so it can't be that; seat belt is on so I can't say it was that; I wasn't drinking a soda or iced tea, don't have one at this time; I don't wear makeup or brush my teeth while driving...could it, could it, could it be? YES! I was DOING NOTHING!!!!

That's right, I wasn't doing anything. Not a thing. Just sitting behind the wheel spacing off. So could I then make the case that "doing nothing" causes a fall-off in concentration? "Doing nothing" caused me to daydream and not pay attention to my driving? Could I say that there wasn't enough external stimuli to keep me focused? Could I say that? Well, yes, I can say that!

So I am. I'm saying it. So now let's see the powers that be start a study on this, and maybe when they're taking my cell phone away they can also make a law that says "you can't just sit and DO NOTHING but drive. DOING NOTHING causes the distraction of DAYDREAMING, and is now illegal." I want to see that.

In other words, you want my cell phone? Kiss my daydreaming, non-distracted, almost-wreck causing rear.

Great Line From John Dean

While visiting with Jon Stewart last night, John Dean said, "I'm still very much a Goldwater Republican...which today makes me left of center apparently."

How true. I've got this little graph I draw for people that shows how the "Center" has been manipulated to the right BY the right in the last 30 years, and it's alternately sad, frightening and disgusting. Wise thinking people who would have been smack dab in the middle in a very prosperous America of the 50's and 60's are now portrayed as "the liberal left" daily, with idiots like Limbaugh, Hannity, and Coulter perpetrating the ruse.

So the true centrists (yours truly would be one) are portrayed as "liberal", and the fringe right, small in numbers but loud in bullying tactics, makes that seem as if it's a dirty word. I know this drives GOP'ers nuts, but the best "Republican" president of the last 40 years (according to what the Republican platform is SUPPOSED to be, not the Bush platform) has been...Bill Clinton.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

What A Joke

Anyone who's ever read this knows what I think about A.J. Pierzynski. But that doesn't make his All-Star selection any less of a joke. A.J. over Francisco Liriano? Puh-leeze. Seven White Sox and two Tigers? Whatever. Seven White Sox and two Twins? Um, no.

I say from now on the manager of the team with the WORST record in his respective league the previous season gets to manage the All-Star game. Ozzie is within his rights to do what he did, but he's rewarding a couple of guys for their performances LAST year.

The best first baseman in the AL right now is Justin Morneau, Minnesota. The best pitcher this side of Johan Santana (Minnesota) is Francisco Liriano (Minnesota). And if A.J. were still a Twin, he wouldn't even be the STARTER, thanks to Joe Mauer.


Wow, What A Difference 10 Years Makes

When I left Nevada in 1996, I left behind a state that was run by a Democratic governor (Bob Miller), and had both the state house and senate run by Democrats. They were trying to figure out the best way to spend their surplus...SURPLUS of state funds. The state was operating completely in the black. New, state of the art schools were being built yearly in Las Vegas, the Carson City High School was completely remodeled from 1994-1996, highways were among the nation's best, snow removal was second to none in the snowy winters of Northern Nevada, and all of this was done with NO STATE INCOME TAX on it's citizens.

Miller's unprecedented 10-year run ended in 1999. He had filled Richard Bryan's last two years after Bryan was elected to U.S. Senate, and he won the next two elections. And rightfully so. The state was absolutely booming, and he was successful at fighting off the feds who were trying to locate a nuclear waste dump inside Yucca Mountain, a mountain which just happens to sit on a major fault line. He was a hero.

In 1999, due to an influx of disgruntled right-wing Californians infiltrating the Nevada borders, the GOP took over the state house, the state senate, and the governorship (Kenny Guinn). Their first line of action? "We've got to lower these darn taxes, what's with this surplus, what's with all these unnecessary new schools?"

Their second agenda: Legislating morality. Trying to put clamps on casinos (publicly, while privately cutting deals with and lining the pockets of the high-rolling casino owners to keep the funds rolling in). Then, there was the assault on the legal brothels. Never mind that the state has less crime against prostitutes and less STD outbreaks than any of the other 49 states. Never mind that the "pros" are kept in restricted "houses" and the johns go to them, with their security cameras, bodyguards, doctor exams, and strict code enforcement. Never mind the windfall of tax monies brought in by making the brothels and their employees pay taxes on their earnings (something that obviously DOESN'T happen in Peoria or all of Illinois or any of the other 49 states). It's bad, because a bunch of christians say so, so it must go away.

Their third...and most dangerous...agenda: Working with the federal government to get all that nuclear waste inside an earthquake-prone mountain. The funniest thing, of course, was the state's leaders (and I use that term loosely) saying "we need the money that this effort will bring to the state). Idiots!!!!! You had all the money you needed WITHOUT this boondoggle before you starting giving tax breaks to the rich (sound familiar?).

Fortunately, the good people of Nevada, the LONGTIME Nevadans and those who have moved there with a brain, have successfully fought off the onslaught on "morality". The same, sadly, cannot be said for the state's coffers, and of course, Yucca Mountain.

By 2003, after a huge GOP tax break and promises of "more money in your pocket" (sound familiar?), this is what Gov. Guinn had to do:

Gov. Kenny Guinn called for nearly $1 billion in new taxes, saying it would be “political cowardice” for lawmakers to oppose the biggest tax hike in Nevada history. The tax plan covers what would be a $700-million-plus shortfall and allows for expansion of some services, mainly in education and human services programs.

Hilarious! A Republican calling it "political cowardice" if legislators OPPOSED a tax hike. Oh...My...Supreme Being.

Oh, the casinos? Guinn had helped them get out of paying many taxes on entertainment, food, rooms and everything else they had payed (while raking in then-record profits) in the 1990's. Corporate welfare, the GOP staple. Now, the casinos rake in even more money by paying less in taxes, but the citizens are being told that taxes must again go up (most of my family still lives there).

How in hell anyone in their right mind can say that today's GOP - at ANY level, local, state, or federal - knows how to handle an economy or budget is beyond me. Time after time after time after time the GOP style FAILS. It happened in Minnesota. It happened in the 80's in Iowa, when the GOP governor and the vastly overrated Ronald Reagan oversaw the foreclosing of thousands of family farms (replaced by big corporate ones, of course), and it happened in Nevada.

I want my government to focus on one thing: running the business of the city/state/country in represents. Not the morals. The BUSINESS. I'm certainly no economic genius, I just look at the simple facts. And the simple facts are...right there on the surface for anyone to see...that the Dems in states that I've lived in and in the Federal government...have a much better handle on money issues than the GOP. I thought growing up (because we were told over and over and over and over again) that the Dems were the "tax and spend big government" party. But EVERYTHING I've seen in those three state cases I mentioned and in our federal government points to the opposite. Can't people see that?

It's NOT Simply "Speed Related".

Yet another tragic loss in Tazewell County, and yet another report by law enforcement that it was a "speed related" accident. First, that's a copout (pardon the pun). For two vehicles to collide, at least one must be moving, therefore, traveling at a "speed"...2 MPH is technically a "speed". So, all accidents could be called "speed related".

But that's not the real story here. In the PJS account of the story on Tuesday, nothing was mentioned about the real cause of this latest fatality until the VERY LAST LINE of the story:

Potts said it is not official, but early indications are that Riley ran a stop sign before the fatal crash.

That makes it NOT a speed related accident, but a failure to obey a traffic control accident. And there are FAR MORE of those than there are "speed related" accidents. It's just more propoganda being spread to try and slow people down. How about we concentrate on stopping for stop signs and using turn signals instead?

Also, the story, like every other one like it, has the police quick to point out (they can't wait to spit it out) that the driver "was not wearing his seat belt..." at the time of the crash. I had an incident about five years ago in Bureau County, when the police called the radio station with a fatal accident report, in which the reporting officer never said "was not wearing a seat belt."

So at the end of the report, I asked, "did the driver have his seat belt on?"

(long pause) "Um, er, ah, well, actually, it's not mentioned here on the report."

"So in other words, the driver that died WAS wearing his seat belt?"

"I didn't say that."

"Well, you didn't say he WASN'T wearing his seat belt, right?"

"What are you getting at?"

"If he wasn't wearing his belt, you would have mentioned that to me, correct?"

"Yes, I certainly would have."

"So since you didn't say that, I can safely assume he WAS wearing his belt."

"Say what you want." (click)

Moral of the story: If you want to tell me about a lack of seat belt usage every opportunity you get, then you have to tell me when the driver DID have a seat belt on, too.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

A.J. = Clutch

I was listening to WSCR on the way home from work Thursday night, as the Cubs-White Sox was the exclusive topic instead of boring football for a change.

The host was wondering if or how the "White Sox were going to get revenge" for Michael Barrett's cheap shot on A.J. Pierzynski this weekend at Overrated, er, Wrigley Field.

I was on hold waiting to get my .02 in when the caller in front of me said it for me: "I think the Sox will not stoop to the Cubs' level and they'll get their revenge by just thumping them on the scoreboard."

How sweet it was today, then, to see the Cubs within three outs of a win, and to have none other than A.J. wreck their day with a three run shot. I've said it before in this very blog, A.J. is about as clutch a hitter as there is, and the bottom line is he's a winner. As a Twins' fan, I miss him being on that team, (although they knew they had Joe Mauer coming, so A.J. was indeed tradeable...and that trade brought them ace closer Joe Nathan and this year's probable rookie of the year, Francisco Liriano) but as a White Sox fan, too, I enjoy seeing the kid play ball. All he cares about is winning. And he has a ring to prove it. The Cubs and their fans could learn something from A.J., instead of hating him.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Vonnie, Are You Sure You Want To Go There?

I'd have put this on Vonster's "blog", but comments aren't allowed, so it goes here:

Vonnie says that communism "has killed 100 million people" in his new sub-title. Um, er, well, where do we start? I'm assuming from his tone and his past, we are supposed to say, "wow, that communism is the worst thing EVER." I'm here to tell you, communism isn't alone in it's vileness.

First, the total itself. How is that total arrived upon? It seems like a pretty vague thing to say. Does it mean Russia killed 100 million enemy soldiers? Does it mean that several million starved because they had no food, and "communism" was blamed? I mean, it's obvious that communism failed, and humans being what we are, it will never work. And thankfully, it is not the rule we live under. But we're not to be held completely innocent, either, are we?

But do you really want to go there with that stat, Von? Could someone not come right back with the argument "how many people has democracy killed?" How many American Indian nations were demolished "in the name of democracy"? How many slaves were beaten to death, or starved to death, or worked to death by the American white man? (I am, of course, an American white guy.)

Or should we look into how many have died at the hands of christianity? Or radical islam? Or religion as a whole? We really don't want to go there, do we?

Pro-Life = Anti-Choice

Chase made a comment on a thread below, and it reminded me of a recent discussion I had with some of my internet fantasy baseball buddies.

I prefer to call so-called pro-lifers "anti-choice". Why? Because when it comes to the death penalty and war, they're usually more eager to pursue and condone the death penalty and more "willing" to accept casualties. So they're not really "pro-life", except where abortion is concerned. More correctly, by wanting a ban on abortion, they are trying to take a woman's personal choice away. Hence, "Anti-Choice".

Immediately upon saying that, it gets mentioned that I, then, am "anti-life". Well, that's not correct. Without even getting into the semantics of when life begins, for me to be "anti-life" I'd have to demand that EVERY prisoner be executed, EVERY soldier die, and EVERY pregancy not be allowed to come to fruition. Eventually, there wouldn't be any "life". That would be closer to "anti-life".

The bottom line is that "anti-life" and "pro-life" both make zero sense. You're either for choice, or against it. Therefore, the correct terms to describe the sides on the abortion debate are "pro-choice" and "anti-choice".

It's A Good Day To Be A Fan Of Minnesota Sports

Ahh, what a nice weekend.

The Twins are red-hot, and two straight over the pathetic Cubs is icing on the cake. The Twins are going for the sweep right now, but even if they lose today, they've won the series. Who would have thought the AL Central, with the Tigers, Twins and White Sox, would be baseball's best division?

Plus, the Twins learned they are finally getting a new ballpark....long overdue.

Meanwhile, the first overall pick and three of the top eight picks in the NHL draft were native Minnesotans. Think about that, a draft of the entire world, and the State Of Hockey (as we like to call it) had three of the first eight picks. Amazing. That first overall pick, by the Blues, was defenseman Erik Johnson, who has many options right now: He could go to the University of Minnesota and play this year while remaining property of the Blues, he could sign and make the big club in St. Louis, or he could sign and spend next year as a Peoria Rivermen before making the jump to the Blues.

Also, the Minnesota Wild of the NHL improved themselves greatly by trading a draft pick for Pavol Demitra, the former Blue, who played last year in L.A. He will add more punch to a team that plays great defense, but doesn't have much scoring firepower.

So it's a good day. Oh yea! As I write this, the Twins take a 2-0 lead on Team Pathetic. Nice.

Tsk, Tsk, Denny


Porky Hastert not only brings home the bacon to Illinois, but he goes beyond that and fills his bank vault in the process.


Did You Apply The Same Standard To Mr. Bush?

That is a question I pose to Peoria Journal-Star letter writer Donald Frank of Washington today. His letter in this morning's paper points out his disgust with John Kerry and other "liberal politicians" (there's that dirty word "liberal" again) for wanting a timetable and a withdrawal date from Iraq, wondering if those people are not indeed treasonists for making such a demand.

So my question to Mr. Frank is posed, of course, because of the words then-candidate George W. Bush spoke in 1999:

George W. Bush, 4/9/99:

“Victory means exit strategy, and it’s important for the president to explain to us what the exit strategy is.”

George W. Bush, 6/5/99

“I think it’s also important for the president to lay out a timetable as to how long they will be involved and when they will be withdrawn.”