Thursday, July 31, 2008

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I guess Ludacris likes Obama

The biggest thing about this is that it's rap . . . and I'm not particularly fond of rap. There are songs I like. Not so much this one.

Still, I like the effort. It's obviously not endorsed by Obama, and for a song about one's opponent, it's pretty good. Funny, if anything. But, not really a good rap song.

What's next? A song by Ted Nugent ripping Obama?

Britney, Paris, . . . Obama?

OK. On the one hand, I love the video. Without saying so it compares NObama to the two vacants that are so popular, yet offer little in the way of talent. Perfect.

But, it should have been a non-McCain related viral video. If this is really a clip from the McCain campaign, then I don't like it. It could have worked without the two skanks in it and, for me, was rather off putting.

I don't think any negative reaction will have legs, and it's fun to listen to reaction, but it wasn't a good idea.


So, the wife and I saw Batman last night. Awesome. But, two things . . . I really don't and didn't like Maggie Gyllenhal. I wasn't a big fan of Kate, either. But, Mags is the worse of the two.

Second, that Joker sure is a resourceful guy. Bombs planted everywhere, barrels of oil at his disposal, guys to help him . . . don't get me wrong, I loved the movie. One does have to suspend various beliefs, though.

But, MOST importantly . . . the DA in the movie refers to Batman as . . . . a THUG! Batman!


Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Cyber Murderer Wants Case Dismissed

Lori Drew, the Missouri woman who was indicted in May on charges related to MySpace cyberbullying activities that led a 13-year-old girl to commit suicide, has filed three motions to dismiss the charges on grounds that they're vague and misuse a computer crime law.

With all that has gone on with regard to this, I imagine Lori's life is not likely going to be normal again anytime soon. She's been harassed and threatened, and her daughter gets the same.


What she did was way beyond reprehension. Truly pathetic for an adult to act this way.

Drew was indicted in Los Angeles County, where MySpace is based, in the wake of public outrage that stemmed from the failure of authorities in Missouri to charge her with a crime. Authorities in that state had said their hands were tied since there were no laws prohibiting cyberbullying.

Drew was charged with one count of conspiracy and three violations of the anti-hacking Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, on grounds that she obtained unauthorized access to MySpace servers by allegedly violating MySpace's terms of service.

Drew and two co-conspirators allegedly provided fake information to MySpace to set up and maintain a phony MySpace account in 2006 under the identity of a nonexistent 16-year-old boy named Josh Evans. The Evans account was used to flirt with and befriend 13-year-old Megan Meier, who'd had a falling-out with Drew's daughter.

The fake "Josh" ultimately turned on Meier and told the girl that the world would be a better place without her. Meier already suffered from clinical depression, and shortly after that final message she hanged herself in her bedroom.

What a low life. Her daughter has some falling out with a girl and Lori goes through all the time and trouble to create a fake person to befriend then betray the girl who winds up killing herself over it.

That's sick. That's twisted. That's f*cked up.

I know the girl who killed herself had problems, and may have committed suicide at some point anyway. But, she didn't need a PUSH in that direction. NORMAL people would seek help for someone like that.

MySpace's user agreement requires registrants, among other things, to provide factual information about themselves and to refrain from soliciting personal information from minors or using information obtained from MySpace services to harass or harm other people. By allegedly violating that click-to-agree contract, Drew committed the same crime as any hacker, prosecutors maintain.

The use of the anti-hacking law to charge Drew was roundly criticized by experts who said it set a dangerous precedent that could potentially make a felon out of anyone who violated the terms of service of any website -- a prospect that is particularly troubling, they said, because terms-of-service agreements sometimes contain onerous provisions, are often arbitrarily and unilaterally changed by companies, and are rarely read by users.

Drew's lawyer, H. Dean Steward, who would not respond to any questions from Threat Level, filed three motions to dismiss on grounds that prosecutors were too vague in their charges, failed to state facts in support of allegations that Drew intended to violate the terms of service, and have improperly delegated prosecutorial powers.

This is what's really troubling. Fact is, Lori may not have committed any real crime. The case is a slippery slope. But, maybe it points to the seriousness of disclosing information on the net. Sure, as we've seen, publicity can be good and bad . . . true or not. One does have to be careful. One should be able to remain anonymous. But, is it too much to ask that people be truthful when initially joining commercial sites? I think it's reasonable. With all the crap that's out there, full disclosure might be a good idea.

I had a person waste my time with an eBay sale once. Pissed me off. I went after his ISP and got him kicked off as it violated the terms of agreement. And that's just an eBay sale. Lori lied to PURPOSEFULLY cyber-bully a person . . . who wound up killing herself. I think that's worth some charges.

Life may not be quite the same for Lori. But, at least, she's alive.

Gordon Almost a Goner!

Ramsay, the star of hit shows Kitchen Nightmares and Hell's Kitchen, was filming The F Word in Iceland when he slipped and fell 85 metres, The Sun reported.

"I thought I was a goner," Ramsay said.
"They say cats have nine lives. I've had 12 already and I don't know how many more I'll have."

The 41-year-old told The Sun he struggled to get to the surface because of the heavy gear he was wearing.
"I remember thinking, 'Oh f**k'. My boots and my waterproofs were dragging me down."

"I'm an extremely good swimmer but I couldn't get to the surface. I was panicking and my lungs were filling up with water."
"When I got to the top after getting my boots off I was dazed and my head was totally numb."

Ramsay's TV crew pulled him out after throwing him a rope.

He said he was too scared to tell his wife, Tana.

"I chickened out but she knew something was up. She was upset and extremely pissed off. When I was underwater all I could think of was Tana and my kids.

"It wasn't until I was on the plane home I realised what a close call I'd had."

Whew. Lucky for him.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Well, now . . .

From USAToday:

Obama was ahead 47%-44% among registered voters, down from a 6-percentage point lead he had last month. McCain led 49%-45% among likely voters, reversing a 5-point Obama lead among that group. In both cases, the margin of error is +/—4 points.

the whole article is here.

The one thing about NObama's trip . . . the public has a short memory for these things. That and the trip didn't shore up anything for anyone anyway. Except that he's all about the photo op. His not visiting the wounded soldiers will likely have a little more staying power than anything else that came out of the trip . . . which was nothing, really.

There's still plenty of time for NObama to stick is foot in his mouth. . . repeatedly.

Sometimes, I do believe

"Aaron looks lost when he has to do two things at once. Though, at this point, he would be my choice."

Can I quote myself? Well, I gonna. I said Aaron would be my choice and the Food Network thought so, too. Good. I so didn't want Lisa to win. She's sooooo annoying. Adam couldn't really cook and, in spite of all his "experience", really sucked when it came to the on camera stuff. Aaron really cooked some good stuff. While he needs some polish, he had the best personailty a viewer could relate with.

Well, next to Kelsey. But I don't want to talk about it.

"OK. No one says ANYTHING about this!"

CALIMESA, Calif. — Three naked men were robbed after women lured them to a Calimesa motel for some partying.
The men told Riverside County sheriff's deputies they met three women in a Yucaipa park and they rented a room at the request of the women.

After the men took off their clothes, sheriff's investigators say four other men entered the room and robbed them of about $80 and fled.

One of the victims ran from the motel room at about 1:20 a.m. Thursday, leading to 911 calls about a nude man in the area. Sheriff's dispatchers then got a call reporting a robbery and assault with a deadly weapon.

That's harsh.

Still, a little "turn about is fair play" sort of thing, perhaps?

Sunday, July 27, 2008

A couple more . . .

So, Silent E and me ain't quite done with our moments, yet. Here are two more that go back and really got me started on the whole brass and rock thing. Chicago really started me off, and this is one of my favorites from them:

I saw Chicago when Terry Kath was still alive. What I always liked about him was that he rarely used distortion of any sort. Truly one of the most under recognized guitar players.

This one is more jazz band than jazz rock. But, I still like it.

OK. I think I'm dome with my moment.

Friday, July 25, 2008

I'm having a moment!

One of my favorite songs . . . ever. From a group that's been together for over 40 years. Amazing. I love this sound.

Huey Lewis and the News, Chicago, The Tower of Power, and locally, the Groove Hogs all have that great brass and rock sound. Again, though, the Ides of March have been together for 40 years . . . unchanged. All original members. Wow.


My friend Silent E reminded me of another great song:


Thursday, July 24, 2008

Help me understand

Two French toddlers died of heat exhaustion when their fathers allegedly forgot they were strapped in child seats in the back of their cars as they went to work.

Both cases involve middle-class men, described as devoted and loving parents, who appear to have forgotten their children in an inexplicable lapse of concentration.

Prosecutors said Wednesday that a three-year-old girl had died from heatstroke and dehydration after spending the day locked in her father's vehicle in the car park at the factory where he had a managerial post.

The outside temperature was no more than 77 degrees, which is relatively low for southern France during the summer. Inside the car, it rose to 113 degrees, according to fire officers.

When the unidentified man finally noticed his daughter, he drove directly to the local fire and ambulance station but rescue workers were unable to revive her.

“We have not been able to question the father. He is still in a very disturbed psychological state,” said Thierry Bas, the state prosecutor in nearby Chalon-sur-Saône.

The incident came seven days after a two-year-old boy died in similar circumstances in Pont-de-Chéruy, also in eastern France.

A passer-by found Yannis strapped into the baby seat in the family vehicle after being left for about three hours by Eric Allarousse, 38, his father. The outside temperature was between 77 and 80 degrees.

Allarousse, who owns a pharmacy, told detectives he had forgotten his son after witnessing a traffic accident after lunch on July 15.

OK. Tragic. No question. A toddler should not lose its life this way.

But, for the life of me, I cannot understand how a person forgets they have their child in the car. It seems impossible. But, I certainly don't believe these people did this on purpose. So, it must be true. But, how? I find myself wanting to scold the parents for being idiots, but is that fair?


Criss Angel is a dork

I like magic. I have a handful of stock tricks that I do from time to time. I enjoy watching magicians perform. One of my favorites is David Blaine. No, not when he's making an idiot out of himself trying to die. When he performs his street magic stuff. He's very good. But, I admit, he can be very dorky.

Well, if dorky is a creed, Criss Angel is their king. Or bishop. Or whatever.

For obvious reasons, big illusions don't work on TV. I would hope that most people are smart enough to know that you can pretty much do anything "magical" on TV. Especially when cameras cut from one scene to the next. Kind of loses it's "live" feel. So, news flash to Criss . . . WE KNOW IT"S A TRICK!

What's worse, though, and Criss has been criticized for this before, he performs these big lavish illusions in front of about 20 people! Wouldn't you think you'd want a huge audience?!?! Well, that's because, they're all plants. Picked to act "amazed", "shocked", and "bewildered".

It's pathetic. I don't know what's worse, watching Angel act like he really has super powers . . . or watching and listening to the "audience" gasp in amazement. Then go on in the interview on how shocked they were.

Oh. My. God.

As Jack Black would say . . . LAME.

Criss' premiere show was to have him be the first magician to walk across Lake Mead. Walk on water. I swear, it looked more like a parody of a Criss Angel show. He spent the better part of the hour talking about water, being one with it, mystical crap, bad hairdo . . . what's with all the f*ckin' rings? He's such a dork. Anyway, so the time finally comes and there's about . . . oh . . . 20 people there. WHAT?!? Wouldn't you think you'd want a huge crowd there? So, he starts walking on the water. Again, we know it's a trick. Come on. But then, two girls get in the water and are in constant awe. Geez. You'd thought he was Obama or something! One girl, actually reaches up to touch Criss' hand. That did it. Slap on a crown of thorns on this guy and call him jesus. OMG, it was pathetic.

But then, he goes out about 20 feet . . . and stands there. Hands up like he's summoning Crispin Glover's energy or something. WTF? In the mean time, more "oohs" and "aahs" and "OMG's", and "look at that", and I'm thinking . . . when is he going to walk across the lake?!?!? He's just standing there on a plexiglass platform looking like a biker who just found religion and wants to be baptized . . . walk, asswipe!

Nope. He just sinks.

We never see where he goes. The camera cuts to the crowd where they gasp and wonder and disbelieve and be generally stupid. He never does show up anywhere. I suppose you can't show him coming to the surface swimming. Why not float?

I know, why watch? I keep hoping he'll do something cool. But he never does. He always a dork. I guess it's like picking a scab. You know you shouldn't, but you just can't help it. Once again, though, the DVR saved me. I only bled a little.

Gore has competition!

For crazy person of the year. This one, at least, is interesting.

(Yeah, I know, the end of the world due to mankind's awful raping of the earth isn't interesting to me. Go ride a bike.)

Anyway, former astronaut and moon walker (that should give you a clue right there) Edgar Mitchell claims ET's are real, have visited earth many times, look pretty much as we've depicted them, and whose existence is being covered up.

Moon-walker claims alien contact cover-up

I love this comment:

Chillingly, he claimed our technology is "not nearly as sophisticated" as theirs and "had they been hostile", he warned "we would be been gone by now".

Hmm. Aliens that visit us from outer space . . . likely outside our solar system . . . and our technology is "not nearly as sophisticated"?

Assuming for a moment this is true . . . no shit sherlock. What amazing insight!

I wonder how much tin foil this guy has.

Stern is stern!

Sirius Satellite Radio host Howard Stern supports the merger of his network with XM Satelitte Radio and is fuming at Democratic opposition on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) panel.

After FCC commissioners announced they have reached a deal to approve the merger of Sirius (NASDAQ:SIRI) and XM (NASDAQ:XMSR), Stern ranted about Democrats’ ‘gangsterism’ and ‘communism’ and the obstacles to the merger.

Stern described a phone conversation he had with his agent, who he described as a “liberal Democrat kind of guy.”

“I go, ‘That’s it!’” Stern said. “[I] go, ‘You know what Don, I’ve voted Republican and I’ve voted Democrat. I have vowed I will never vote for a Democrat again. I don’t give a [expletive] – no matter who they are. I don’t care if God becomes a Democrat.’ I said, ‘I backed Hillary Clinton, I backed Al Gore, I backed John Kerry. I am done with them.’”

Stern took it a step even further and called Democrats on the FCC “communists” and referred to their tactics as “gangsterism.”

“The fact that these Democrats on the FCC are communists,” Stern said. “They’re for communism. They don’t want to see companies – this is gangsterism. I said, ‘This is crazy.’”

The FCC commission is a five-member panel made up of three Republicans and two Democrats. The Democrats include Jonathan Adelstein and Michael Copps. The Republicans include FCC Chairman Kevin Martin, Robert McDowell and Deborah Taylor Tate. Tate had been the swing vote on the proposed merger and on July 24 The Wall Street Journal reported she would vote in favor of the merger.

You know what? I have no opinion about this whatsoever. I don't subscribe to satellite radio so I really don't care about the merger one way or another.

I just like stories that rag on demoncrats.

Childish? I know.

I really want to be a teacher!

Actually, I do . . . and always have. I've done some. Guitar, drums, photography, and video production. All either privately, at a tech school, and at MPS. I've always enjoyed teaching. I've been hesitant to go after certification simply because of the state of our society today. But, who knows?

Anyway, between the bennies, pension, and summers off, there's now another possible reason to try and become a teacher:

Schools eye four-day week to cut fuel costs

The entire article is here.

I think it's interesting that one solution is just to eliminate busing all together. To me, it's one of those parental responsibilities. I understand every situation is different, but if one decides they have to live way out in the country then they'd better be able to cart their kids to school. Harsh? I know.

Also, there's no mention of better conservation in the buildings. Maybe it's been done to its extent, but is shutting down a full day a week the ONLY answer?

Interestingly, the end of the article reports better attendance and improved performance by the students. That's a plus, of course. But, are they on par with the rest of the districts?

Of course, for the teachers . . . THIS IS GOLDEN! No mention of pay or benefit cuts. Oh no. I'm sure everything is the same. Same pay for less work. Nice.

I wanna be a teacher!

The Terminator Talks Tough

SACRAMENTO (AP) - Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is threatening to pay thousands of state employees the federal minimum wage of $6.55 an hour until lawmakers reach a deal on California's overdue state budget.

This is pretty funny. I'm not sure if it could happen or not, but I wish it would. Maybe if these pencil pushers found out what it was really like to have to make a budget work, it would help them do a better job with taxpayer money.

Then again. I doubt it.

The entire article.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Yeah, but can it encode a movie to mp4

Some serious computing muscle.

And I was all happy about the MacBook I bought.

Mine has a built in iSight. Theirs doesn't!



No love for Jessica in Wisconsin

According to an article on A Socialite's Life, Wisconsin wasn't all too keen on listening to Jessica "Mindless" Simpson:

Country Thunder in WI

I can't imagine any true Country fan would care much for her. But, is there a double standard here? Some seem to make the crossover from Country to Rock (Dixie Bags, Shania Twain). But can someone make the change from Rock to Country? Of course, I say Rock when it's actually, what . . . ? Adult Contemporary? Soft Rock? Or, in the case of the Dixie Bags, crap?

I'm not saying, I'm only saying. You know what I'm saying?

I hope so. I don't.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Who is/was The Best?

There was an article somewhere on the web talking about Batman and the various actors that have played him. The article went on to mention other "replacements" in other roles. So, let's play along.

For Batman, they were all pretty good. No one, in my opinion, sucked. But, if I had to pick a favorite it would be George Clooney. Bale would be my very close second choice.

Jack Ryan in The Hunt for Red October, and others, was best played by Alec Baldwin. Though, Alec would have to join Jenny Craig to play him today. Harrison Ford was way too intense. Plus, he's just not that good an actor.

007. Well, I hated, HATED, Peirce Brosnan. Too much of a weenie. I'm not too crazy about Daniel Craig, but he's better than Brosnan. Actually, I liked Tim Dalton. Though I might be the ONLY person who did. Rodger Moore would be my second choice. Much as I like Sean Connery, he was rather goofy looking when he was younger.

Of the women I can only think of Silence of the Lambs and the role of Clarice. I think Jodie Foster did a better job than Julianne Moore, but I like them both.

I know in the upcoming Mummy with Brendan Frasier, Eveyln, originally played by Rachel Weisz, will be replaced by Mario Bello. That's a tough one. Of course, I haven't seen it yet but I reeeeealy like Rachel Weisz.

Any others?

Friday, July 18, 2008

National forest planners may close motorized access to some roads

National forest planners are proposing to close motorized access to 55% of the roads in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest.

The rest of the article is here.

I don't have a huge opinion about this one way or another. I can be fairly moderate on some environmental issues. Others, like protecting a nest, I think is goofy.

But what struck me about this article,

The plan is designed to protect the ecology of the sprawling northern forest, but some motor sports enthusiasts and outdoorsmen say they will lose access to many remote areas.

Yeah? So what? Go somewhere else. It's not your "right" to have access to federally owned property. Get over it.

Open? Closed?

H/T: Ick

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Hollweird to remake "10"

Hyde Park Entertainment Group has secured rights from Blake Edwards to remake his 1979 comedy "10."
Original pic starred Dudley Moore, Julie Andrews and a famously cornrowed Bo Derek.

Hyde Park chairman Ashok Amritraj and exec Patrick Aiello will produce with Lou Pitt; Blake Edwards and Geoffrey Edwards will exec produce.

After a long campaign to get Edwards to entrust them, the producers have already met with agencies to package the romantic comedy. They hope to engage in a global search for a newcomer to play the new "10."

"Blake's timeless original encapsulated the fallacy of 'the grass is always greener' in relationships," said Amritraj.

Hyde Park's in post on the Capcom vidgame adaptation "Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li," which will be released Feb. 27 through its co-production deal with 20th Century Fox. Hyde Park also just wrapped romantic comedy "The Other End of the Line," which MGM will release in November. Hyde Park Intl. is selling international on those titles.

Can Hollyweird do anything new? I guess not. But, let's play along. They mention looking for a newcomer to play the new "10". But, if you had to chose, who would it be?

My vote would be for Kate Beckinsale.

What about the Dudley Moore part?

I'm starting to lean this way . . .

Brett needs a time out.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Thanks. I hope your spleen ruptures!

The victim of a car-jacking Tuesday on Milwaukee's northwest side was 8 1/2 months pregnant, police say.

Two men stole a minivan from the pregnant woman as she was getting fuel at a northwest side gas station Tuesday afternoon, said Anne E. Schwartz, spokeswoman for the Milwaukee Police Department.

The men drove off with the gas nozzle still inserted in the minivan's fuel tank, Schwartz said.

The 26-year-old woman was fueling a maroon 2000 Dodge Caravan at the Citgo station near W. Villard Ave. and N. 68th St. about 4:40 p.m. when the men approached and told her to give them the van, Schwartz said.

One of the men held a handgun to the woman's abdomen, and the woman gave the keys to the men, she said.
The woman was not injured, but a gas station employee refused to call police for her, Schwartz said.

The hose broke off the pump when the men drove away, but the pump's automatic shutoff feature prevented much fuel from spilling, said police Capt. Christopher Domagalski.

The first robber was described as black and 17 or 18 years old, about 5 feet 6 inches tall with a slim build and weighing about 120 pounds. He was wearing a white T-shirt and black shorts.

A detailed description was not available for the second robber.

Why the f*ck wouldn't the attendant call the police? What a scumbag. Aren't there laws against being a gutless douchbag? Can we get him on being a needle dick chicken shit? Geez, Is he afraid? Think the perps assumed someone would call the police?

So, avoid the Citgo at 68th and Villard. Nothing but chicken shit being served there.

Packer's Public Proprietorship

Something I think we forget . . . the Packers are publicly owned. JSonline is reporting a meeting of shareholders next Thursday.

That could be trouble. I don't know which way . . . but it could be a problem.

Then, just to add to the drama (you can't write this stuff!) the Vikings are being accused of contract tampering!

My, what a tangled football seam we weave!

I was happily wrong about this!


Heroes returns.

The football season, Heroes . . . Californication is in there somewhere, Rescue Me . . . I hate to see summer end, but I love the fall TV season.

But, Speaking of Rescue Me . . . has anyone else been disappointed by last season? It really lost me. And right at the beginning. I'm hoping, as I am for Heroes, that the new season is better.

Speaking more of TV . . . this is ER's last season. I've been very on and off with that show since "what's his name" left to become a big star. Guess it hasn't happened yet. Anyway, curious to see what that show has in store.

Anything else? What are you looking forward to?

Displaced Irony

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A Brooklyn man was sentenced to 30 months in prison on Tuesday for sending spam e-mails to more than 1.2 million subscribers of America Online in a scheme that foiled the Internet company's spam-filtering system.

Adam Vitale, 27, was sentenced in federal court in Manhattan after pleading guilty more than a year ago to breaking anti-spam laws. He was also ordered to pay $180,000 to AOL in restitution.

Vitale was caught making a deal with a government informant to send junk e-mails -- known as spam -- that advertised a computer security program in return for 50 percent of the product's profits, prosecutors said.

"Spamming is serious criminal conduct; this is not a teenager engaging in child's play," U.S. District Judge Denny Chin told Vitale as he sentenced him. Vitale earlier apologized and said he had learned a lesson.

Prosecutors said Vitale had 22 prior convictions and had also helped run an online prostitution ring on the Web site, but he has not been criminally charged.

In the spam e-mail case, Vitale and another man, Todd Moeller, defeated AOL's filter system by using several different computer servers to relay the e-mails and changed the e-mail header information to ensure the spam e-mails could not be traced back to them.

Moeller, of New Jersey, was sentenced last November to 27 months for his role in the scheme.

Court papers said that in less than a week in August 2005, Vitale and Moeller sent e-mails on behalf of the informant to more than 1,277,000 addresses of subscribers at AOL, the online division of Time Warner Inc.

Can I get AOL thrown in jail for spamming me with thousands of their f*cking CD's in my snail mail?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Keep it simple, stupid

NEW YORK - Oil prices fell harder than they have in 17 years Tuesday, as fears that record fuel prices are spreading broad economic pain exacerbated the third big sell-off in just over a week.

Light, sweet crude plunged $6.44, or 4.4 percent, to settle at $138.74 a barrel in an extremely volatile session. Prices at one point plummeted more than $10 from the day's high.

Mounting concerns about the risks inflation poses to the United States, the world's biggest oil consumer, helped spark the declines. Analysts also attributed the sell-off to Thursday's expiration of options contracts, which tend to increase volatility, and to computers programed to automatically sell once prices reach certain thresholds.

I'm no economist. But, there are some basic things I understand. The above is clear evidence of what happens with futures markets. Of which oil is a part. It is also a world market taking in influence not just from the US, but from around the world. Yes, we're the largest consumer of oil. But, we're also one of the most volatile in terms of influence. Again, as evidenced above. Just the threat of inflation sent the market plunging.

Now, imagine what would happen if we decided to go after more oil right here in the US. Hmm. Speculation of increased supply at some time in the future, you wonder?


But, we don't know how much that would be, you say. Doesn't matter. It's speculation. That's why they call it a futures market. It only matters when it comes time to settle. In fact, because of the volatility of the market, the gubmint is considering taking oil off the futures market. But, there are problems with that. Anyway, here's an interesting read:

The relationship between future and current oil prices implies that an expected change in the future price of oil will have an immediate impact on the current price of oil.
Thus, when oil producers concluded that the demand for oil in China and some other countries will grow more rapidly in future years than they had previously expected, they inferred that the future price of oil would be higher than they had previously believed. They responded by reducing supply and raising the spot price enough to bring the expected price rise back to its initial rate.

Hence, with no change in the current demand for oil, the expectation of a greater future demand and a higher future price caused the current price to rise. Similarly, credible reports about the future decline of oil production in Russia and in Mexico implied a higher future global price of oil – and that also required an increase in the current oil price to maintain the initial expected rate of increase in the price of oil.

Once this relation is understood, it is easy to see how news stories, rumors and industry reports can cause substantial fluctuations in current prices – all without anything happening to current demand or supply.

Now here is the good news. Any policy that causes the expected future oil price to fall can cause the current price to fall, or to rise less than it would otherwise do. In other words, it is possible to bring down today’s price of oil with policies that will have their physical impact on oil demand or supply only in the future.

For example, increases in government subsidies to develop technology that will make future cars more efficient, or tighter standards that gradually improve the gas mileage of the stock of cars, would lower the future demand for oil and therefore the price of oil today.

Similarly, increasing the expected future supply of oil would also reduce today’s price. That fall in the current price would induce an immediate rise in oil consumption that would be matched by an increase in supply from the OPEC producers and others with some current excess capacity or available inventories.

Any steps that can be taken now to increase the future supply of oil, or reduce the future demand for oil in the U.S. or elsewhere, can therefore lead both to lower prices and increased consumption today.

To get to the point . . . drill now. If you don't think it that upon it's mere announcement prices would drop, you need to go back to school.

Father badly beaten after trying to protect daughter at Valleyfair

Six men remain in the Scott County jail following what police call a brutal assault on a father trying to protect his daughter.

Shakopee police say as the crowd was leaving Valleyfair Amusement Park around midnight on the 4th of July, the victim's daughter was confronted by two men.

"The 12-year-old daughter was either touched or slapped in the buttocks area," Scott County Attorney Patrick Ciliberto said. "The father confronted (the men) by yelling at them for what they had done to his daughter," he added.

Police say the two men called their friends, who were also in the park. The group of seven men and a juvenile then confronted the father.

"They beat him to the ground and then, the evidence that we have, when he was on the ground, they used their feet on him. They were kicking him in the face when he was down," Ciliberto said.

According to the criminal complaints, the men were stomping on the 41-year-old father as he lay on the ground, unconscious.

He suffered severe head injuries, including a fractured right orbital bone and possible subdural bleeding on the brain. "We don't know if there are permanent injuries yet," the County Attorney said.

Shakopee Police found the suspects in the parking lot. Seven of them were arrested and one man ran from the scene and police are still looking for him. Of the seven taken into custody, one was a 14-year-old.

The six adults charged and held in jail are Devondre Evans-Lewis, Andrew Shannon, Darris Evans, Terry Arnold, Derry Evans, and Anthony Gildersleeve.

The Scott County Attorney says several of the men have criminal histories and they are all from the Twin Cities metro area. They range in age from 18 to 22-years-old.

All six adults have been charged with 3rd degree felony assault causing substantial bodily harm.

Absolutely tragic. While the father may make a complete recovery, it's not likely. He's sure to have some brain damage after this. For him to wind up this way as a result of defending his daughter . . . then to be attacked in front of his daughter . . . makes it all the more despicable. What a bunch of low life coward dirtbags. So, two wasn't enough?

My heart goes out to this family. I hope he makes a full recovery.

Four things. One, never get into a confrontation like this. I don't blame the dad at all. In the heat of a situation, I would certainly defend my little girl. In today's world, however, one should think twice.

Two. 3rd degree felony assault? Are you kidding me?! When are we going to change this? When a group of men continue to assault a person by STOMPING ON THIER HEAD after they've passed out, that's attempted murder.

Three. Think this qualifies as a hate crime? If not, why not?

Four, concealed carry anyone?

Favre, the mama of drama

I try to with hold final opinion of things until I hear from both sides. I know I stated that I'm in the "move on" camp, but I've also stated that I wanted to hear from Favre. Well, we have.

Have I changed MY mind? As I said, I could go either way. It's too bad things have happened the way they have. On the one hand, Brett has simply been looking out for the team . . . wanting a Superbowl win. What's wrong with that? Is Ted so egotistical that he can't take some advice from a guy who not only personifies the game, is one of the best that ever played, and who knows a thing or two about football? Not to mention the Packers?

On the other hand, if he takes Favre's advice then he might as well take advice from other players as well. I don't think it's a bad thing to have a simple rule of "no player involvement in personnel decisions". It would be chaos otherwise. Plus, Thompson has done a pretty good job. As has McCarthy. Does anyone think he was a bad choice now? Would you prefer Mariucci?

Here's the one real concern I have . . . the team. What would bringing Brett back do to the psyche of the team? Would they care? Would it piss them off? I gotta believe Rodgers would be pissed. And maybe that shouldn't matter. But, for me, I need the team dynamic to be intact. I would want everyone happy with a Favre return. I can't imagine they wouldn't be, but who knows?

If I could be assured that the team is fully behind the decision, that Rodgers will wait another year, then I would be OK with Brett returning. But . . .

That makes me verrrrrrrrry nervous. As much as others are nervous about Rodgers starting for the team, I'm nervous about a Favre return. It ain't automatic he would pick up where he left off. At least with Aaron, you know there might be some stumbling blocks. With Brett, I expect Superbowl. Otherwise, as I've said, it ain't worth it.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Random camping thoughts

"Honey, let's go camping!"

Can I just say no or must I take a stick and pry my eye out it's socket so I can spend 8 hours in the emergency room? How 'bout I buy some beer for you then check in at the 6 nearby. You can tell me about how comfy the ground was and I can tell you about the nip slip I saw on Telemundo.


What happens to stuff after camping? Does it reproduce? Regenerate? How can one leave with a van half full and neatly packed and come back with stuff spilling out the windows and causing the back bumper to drag on the ground? Are there camper rummage sales?

"Let's pitch the tent in the backyard and sleep out there!"

Excuse me? Are you mental? There isn't enough xanax in the cabinet to make that happen.

"Come on. The kids will love it!"

That's because they're kids. Their spinal cords function properly. Their joints don't creak. They could sleep on a tree branch.

"It's perfect weather for camping!"

Which means it would be a great night to crawl in bed and open the windows.

"Breathing the fresh air will be good for you!"

No it won't. Pollution and global warming is just getting worse. Exposing myself to city air will make me stronger.

Actually, I love the outdoors. I just want to sleep IN doors. And shower. And poop. For me, roughing it is no room service. On top of which, one has to load enough crap to sustain a small village in order to camp. WTF?! I thought camping was supposed to be fun? Waaaaay too much work. I can load in my pockets what I need for a weekend away at a motel.

So, you can take your tents, shove 'em in your back packs, and walk off a cliff. I ain't sharing a bar of soap with some fat guy in a lake.

Plus I'd miss those nip slips.

Favre Rally Draws 30 people

Uh, maybe there shouldn't be anymore rallies.

That's embarrassing.

Sorry Brett.

Jimmy Kimmel and Sarah Silverman Split

Read the People article here.

Not sure who's better off. Certainly neither of them are worse off. Well, maybe Jimmy. Other than for his money, who's going to want to go out with him? Silverman is annoying and her voice is grating. Beyond that, she's not hard to look at.

ANother hollyweird power couple down the tubes.

Dear Mr. Feingold . . .

With gas prices soaring to over $4 a gallon, many people and industries are feeling the sting of high gas prices. We in the oil industry want everyone, including you, to now that we feel your pain and we hear your pleas of a solution. To be honest, we've been at a bit of a loss. Until now. Mr. Feingold, you're comments about "use it or lose it" were nothing short of brilliant. To say you've re-energized an entire industry would be putting it lightly. All this time we've been banging our heads against the wall looking for solutions and the answer was right under our nose . . . well, feet, actually!

The fact is, it NEVER occurred to us to drill for more oil in other areas of our leased land. D'oh! All that time and energy wasted on trying to convince the government and the public that we needed to drill in other areas for our oil . . . man, I feel foolish talking about it right now.

So, thank you, Mr. Feingold. Thank you for the obvious. Between some big salary types and those idiot researchers, we've got some house cleaning to do.

We'll get started right away.


Big Oil

Next Food Network Star

Kelsi is gone. There is essentially no more good reason to continue to watch the show. I can't stand Lisa. Her hyper-ness, her haircut, her CONSTANT crying, all annoy me. There are enough hoidy toidies on food TV, we don't need another one. Adam is funny but can't cook. And Aaron looks lost when he has to do two things at once. Though, at this point, he would be my choice. I really thought Kesli was a natural. And given the choice between training for personality and training for a few extra cooking skills, Kelsi had everything one would want in a TV personality. She made some mistakes during the throwdown challenge but I didn't think it would cost her chance to move on.

Cute, sweet, little Kelsi is gone. I think I'm gonna cry.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Memories . . .

Groundbreaking choir Pilgrim People to celebrate anniversary

I was 10 when my parents joined the Pilgrim People. At first I was simply along for the ride. But, as I was pretty musically talented myself, I became part of the choir at first playing percussion, then drumming, and then playing guitar and leading the instrumentalists. It was a lot of fun, and a good outlet to be utilizing my musical abilities.

The early years were tenuous. Often, people were fairly put off by the notion of "rock music" in church. Some churches were still doing mass in latin at the time. The Pilgrim People were a big deal to some. But, we persevered. The Pilgrims started with about 12 members and grew to about 70. At one point we had 4 guitarists (including bass), a drummer, piano, a flute, violin, 2 dancers, a trumpet, harmonica, a banjo, and the 70 choir members.

The Pilgrims cut 4 records. I played on the first three. I lasted about 20 years before finally hanging it up. The Pilgrims went about 10 more years on a regular basis. The last 10 years have been sporadic. The novelty had certainly worn off, and people were getting older. New members were hard to come by as most churches had their own choir members.

I met my wife in the Pilgrims. Originally, Jackie came with her mom and sat with the congregation. She was resistant, at first. Going along with mommy wasn't very cool. Then she saw me.

And I saw her. Suddenly it's 22 years of marriage and one daughter later. The service today brought back a lot of memories of friends, music, a new age for the church and music, and meeting my wife. Of the members there, I was the only original. Pretty cool.

What makes this story all the more interesting . . . I'm really an agnostic. A moral atheist. Always have been. I ain't real keen on organized religion. But, I respect anyone who professes deep faith and belongs to a church. The time that I spent with the Pilgrims was always very moving for me. Not in the sense of a connection with God, but in the sense of connecting with people and bringing joy into their lives through music.

Anyway, there's link on the website to some music cuts from various records. I drummed on some, played guitar on others. Have a listen and enjoy. The music represents 40 years of a mission that was carried out by people of various religions, various colors, and various ages. All sharing one thing in common . . . the desire to worship in the form of music, singing, and dancing. Some, including my dad, have passed. It is part in their memory that I sang and played today.


Packers will not release Favre

Ted Thompson hasn't ruled out the possibility of Brett Favre playing for the Green Bay Packers this season, but in what he described as a messy situation the general manager remained loyal to Aaron Rodgers as the team's starting quarterback.

The rest of the article is here.

Opinions are all over the place today. The Favre supporters believe Brett is the best chance the Packers have at going to the Superbowl. The MoveOn (so to speak) crowd are likely not big Favre fans to begin with, and are sick of the yearly waffling.

While I stated I'm in the "move on" camp, I could go either way. Brett is certainly one of a kind. He had a great year last season, and we were one game away from the Superbowl.

But, everything is speculation.

Last season the Packer defense came alive . . . and it was a relatively conservative defense. The Packers also found a running game. Something they've struggled with. And, they've been flush with above average receivers. The offensive line also gave him great protection.

All of this helped take the pressure off of Favre. I think McCarthy has done an excellent job reeling in Favre. Similar to the way Holmgren did and Sherman was unable to do.

We should remember just how badly Brett can look. While I'm willing to give Brett his due, some of his success is from pure tenacity. He's an excellent field general. He can throw the ball 50 yards on a rope. But, he's not what I'd call the most accurate quarterback out there.


Yes, Aaron is untested. He scares me. It looks as though he's got the skills, the arm, the mobility, and the smarts. But, can he last the season?

What if . . .

They bring Brett back, Rodgers leaves, and Brett goes down the first game of the season?

Rodgers takes the team to a Superbowl victory?

Either could happen.

Here's the thing . . . if they let Favre return, he'd better f*ckin' play and trump last season. Anything less, and for me it's a big mistake. Better than last season. Fine if they go 12 and 4. But, he better take them to the Superbowl. All of everyone's talk of "he's the best chance we've got" . . . f*ck chance. We'd better go to the Superbowl if we bring him back. Particularly since there's a good chance we'd lose Rodgers.

Also, be the team player. Brett is real good at the "me" stuff. Shut up about the meetings, practices, and the preparation. Play. And play good. If he does, I'll be the biggest, happiest Brett Favre fan out there. I hate to sound like a "fair weather" fan . . . and I'm not. At least as far as the Packers are concerned. Brett DID have a great season last year. I'd hate to see him come back only to disappoint.

As I've said, I don't think anyone is above the team. Not TO, not Brady, not Moss, and not Favre. I think the Packers have accomodated Brett plenty. It's clearly not about the money. If he thinks he's still got it and wants to play . . . fine.

Put your arm where your mouth is.

Friday, July 11, 2008

What should the Packers do about Favre?

What should the Packers do about Brett Favre?
Release him unconditionally
Trade him
Let him play with the Packers
Tell him we're not sure and wait a week before the start of the season to tell him anything
Free polls from

Favre's Follies 2

What the . . . ?!?! Above everything else, I don't think there's a person in the world that fore saw this . . . and certainly didn't want things to end up this way. Here we have one of the best players ever in football and certainly one of the best Packer players ever . . . as well as one of the most respected and beloved . . . and he's about to become public enemy number one.


This is about as mind boggling as anything gets. I understand the Packers not wanting Brett back. I support it. Particularly in light of discussions that have been held and opportunities that have been given to Brett that all went unanswered. As much as I respect Favre, I think Thompson is right in saying no one should be above the team.

The question is . . . how could Brett do this to the Packers?

That's easy. They don't want him and he wants to play. I think what's troubling is thinking Favre didn't really want to be a Packer. If what we're being told is true, that discussions had been had and Brett seemed off putting, is Brett simply doing the Packers a favor? Or does he want to be somewhere else?

Additionally, what about all this "burned out" talk? I can understand Brett changing his mind, but is he really ready to gothrough training camp, practices, and meetings again?


On the one hand, I hope he fails miserably. I don't even care if he signs with the Viqueens or Bearlies. It would be all the sweeter to see him on such loser teams.

On the other hand, the Packers don't want him . . . he wants to play . . . so what's the big deal? He's a competitor, a warrior, and he obviously isn't ready to retire. And if he's willing to sign with the Queens, Bears, Tampa Bay, or Cleveland, he can't be seriously thinking about a Superbowl ring.

Lastly, we haven't heard from him. I have to give him the benefit of doubt and reserve final judgement until I hear what he has to say.

Brett, brett, brett . . .

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Favre's Follies

The rumors are one thing. What should we do if it's true is another.

First, I think they're rumors. I think Favre may have even said something to someone . . . jokingly, and it got out of hand, out of context, and we are where we are. Knowing the type of guy Brett is he might have done this on purpose.

But, just WHAT IF it's true? What should we (the Packers) do?

Jay Weber was talking about this on his show this morning. One good point was made . . . the Packers were a game away from the Superbowl. The team is virtually unchanged, at the least, and much better being a year older, at the most. This could be their year. Unless you think they got awfully lucky last season. Why not let Brett come back and play again? If this is the year, do you want to trust our success the only neophyte starter? Especially the quarterback? Don't we think Favre is, at the worst, third best in the league?

Calls to the show were about evenly split for and against.

On the other hand, Brett can suck no like no other. His playoff record is not very good. And, there are some things we'd gain with a younger quarterback. Trouble is also, from what we can tell, Rogers doesn't suck. He looks good. His durability is in question. But not his skills.

What about a trade? Well, we could certainly cash in on that deal. But, it just wouldn't seem right. Plus, Favre may not want to be traded.

One article I read suggested it was Favre's family that encouraged him to un-retire. I just doubt that. Sure, could he be a little unbearable for a while? Brett doesn't strike me as the type of guy who wouldn't be able to find something to do in place of football. That said, you hear from retired athletes from time to time. And, it does happen. Athletes come out of retirement because their desire to play/participate is just too great.

Well, put me down as wanting him to stay retired. Be with his family. Fish. Golf. Do charity. Whatever. Stay retired and let us move on. Aaron is the man. As much as I'll miss Brett I'm looking forward to seeing Aaron play. It's a new dawn. Go home.

I hope it isn't true.

Psychiatrists: Climate Change Delusion

This explains a lot.

Can we lock up Al Gore to protect himself?


Daddy's having a moment!

Dan Deibert had listed some sexy videos on his blog recently. This one was among them. Without a doubt, one of my all time favorite music videos.

Here she is . . . future mom of the year!

Here she is! Poster child of under age sex, a bastard child, and an attention whore like her bigger siskank.


Hell's Kitchen

So, Christina held out over Petrozza to win the big prize . . . Gordon's new executive chef at the London in L.A.. A young girl out of culinary school against a seasoned vet. She was half his age. I think that helped. At 47, I'm not sure what new tricks Petrozza could learn . . . and how long he could last. Christina was a good chef, no doubt. But I think age was on the side. Age and a slight hint of "bitch". The kind that can be useful, and for her, enough to keep people thinking she's just another pretty blonde.

Still, a tough decision. It's gotta be hard to get that close and not be chosen. But, Petrozza seems like he'll survive. I thought Cory had a chance for a while. She tanked at the service station, though. Early on I thought it was Bobby's to lose. He tuned out to be rather dimensional. Jen was waaaaaaaay to much of a baby, selfish, and a bitch to be considered. Too bad, really. She had some skills. Personality wasn't one of them.

Let's see . . . I've still got the Next Food Network Star, Legally Blonde, the Musical, and America's Got Talent. So I'm good.

Night at the Zoo

I love our zoo. It's big, well kept, and a great place to visit. As the family has a membership, we go there often. Even if it's to just have lunch and do something different.

As good as the zoo is, though . . . it's GREAT in the summer. They have all kinds of special events. Particularly for members. Which we are, thank you.

Anyway, tonight, Sweet Tarts will be playing there. A great and fun cover band. What's more, I'm taking my little girlie as my wife is off to visit her cousins.

So, it's me, my girlie, some cheesy fries with our names on them, and some fun music. It just doesn't get any better than this!

Monday, July 07, 2008

Cindy Crawford

Cindy Crawford was in Madison Wisconsin this weekend and rather than partying like the rest of the world, she was there to do some good.

Cindy made appearances at the University of Wisconsin Children's Hospital to raise awareness of pediatric cancer. Her younger brother died of leukemia in 1975, and Cindy has been actively contributing to the Pediatric Oncology program at the hospital for the last twenty years.

She's also the honorary chair of Kids with Courage, which had its fourth reunion of childhood cancer survivors Saturday in Madison. Good for Cindy for making a difference!

So, not only is she beautiful, she's smart, and wants to do good in the world. Not only that, but we have some of the best hospitals in the nation here in Wisconsin. Particularly Children's Hospitals. We should all be proud of the work that takes place here. It's obviously important to Cindy.

Did I mention she is beautiful?

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Summerfest Epilog

Wow. Summerfest had a great run. Summerfest benefitted from 10 days of almost perfect weather. I'll be curious to see the numbers. I'll bet we break records. Of course, I have a few thoughts.

First, no shirt, get out. Or, allow the women to go topless. SInce that's not likely to happen, everyone wears a shirt. Yes, I'm sure you ladies love some of the eye candy. Problem is, there's a lot of eye vomit as well.

Second, I didn't make it last year for some reason. So this is the first I've seen many of the improvements. Of course, some are new for this year. The Harley Stage is spectacular. In fact, all the stage improvements have been great. One of the reasons it's $15 to get in this year. That's OK, though. At least I can see where my money is going.

But . . .

There at the same point they were 10 years ago or so with trying to cram too much in to a fixed space. I understand revenue, but there's too much.

I don't mind the extra security. But if it's what you have to do, get metal detectors. They don't have to be permanent. I think it would speed up the entrance process.

Install cell phone jamming devices for the entire place unless you're off the grounds. OK. I know that will never happen. But I can dream, can't I?

Anyway, on the the rest of the fests!

Friday, July 04, 2008

Cell Phones Gone Wild

I've never been fond of cell phones. I understand their usefulness. But, our society has officially become OBSESSED with them. I was at Summerfest last night (Friday night). Many people . . . a lot of people were walking along with cell phones to their ear. Of course, in that environment, they were all struggling to have a conversation. Which makes me ask . . .

WHY?!?! What could possibly be so important as to have your flippin' cell phone to our ear while walking around at Summerfest?!?!

If you don't think cell phones distract a person in their car, you're an idiot. People can't WALK and avoid running in to you while on a cell phone. It scares me to think these same people get in a car and drive on the freeway with their cell phones glued to their ear.

Has this become the new "cool" thing? Like smoking . . . or having a cigarette in your mouth . . . was 50 years ago? Is it just an "image" thing? It must be. There can be no logical or practical reason for so many people to be on their cells while at Summerfest.
Well, let me tell you something . . .

It's stupid. It's annoying. You people look like the biggest idiots walking around. I understand calling to check in with mommy, meeting people, or arranging a ride. But, that's not what this was. Wanna chat with your BFF, cuz OMG, UR LMAO . . . go home. Stay home.

Of course, what worse, are those people who try to text while walking. That's a real treat. I don't care what it would cost . . . next time I'm going to walk around with a beer in a cup so I can spill it all over a person's cell phone when they run in to me while trying to text someone. It will be my mission to ruin as many of them as possible in a days time.

This has gotten out of control.

Lakefront Fireworks

In case you misses it, here's about the last 5 minutes of the fireworks. It was great. We got there about 20 minutes before they started and was able to find a spot right on the water across from the park. Beautiful night. Perfect. The fireworks were awesome! Quite a few were new to me, and they were fired off from 4 different locations. Veteran's Park, the barge, the top of the US Bank building, and the upper grassy area of the art museum . . . I think. Anyway, it looked so beautiful I decided to videotape a bit of it.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Happy 4th of July!

The family will be pretty busy tomorrow. First I'll be MC'ing the festivities at Enderis Park. After that, to an afternoon cookout. After that, take in some local fireworks.

So, Happy 4th of July everyone! Have fun. Be safe.

Crack kills

Appetite, desire, and ambience.


You can't count to ten?!?!

A Milwaukee day care center is under investigation on suspicion of leaving a toddler unattended at a park, where he fell from a swing set and was taken to Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin with a head injury, according to the Milwaukee County sheriff’s office.

Excellent Little Angels, 8320 W. Lisbon Ave., has closed voluntarily during the investigation by the state Department of Children and Families, said Jill Chase, director of the Bureau of Early Care Regulation.

The sheriff’s office is recommending one charge of child neglect against Cynthia Black, the day care center’s licensee, sheriff’s spokeswoman Kim Brooks said.

According to the sheriff’s office:

The 23-month-old boy was discovered Tuesday in Algonquin Park after he was injured. Witnesses could not find a parent or guardian.

Excellent Little Angels workers noticed the boy was missing when they returned to the day care.

A woman affiliated with the center returned to the park and was questioned by deputies, whom she told different stories about what happened. Deputies later arrested her on an outstanding warrant for retail theft in Grafton.

Brooks said the child care center was uncooperative with deputies and changed its account many times.

She said the child’s injuries were not life threatening, but his condition was unknown.

This place had 10 kids on the bus going. They had 9 coming. How frickin' difficult is this? I'd be Baldwin mad at this place. Thankfully, though hurt from falling off the swing, the boy was found and is now being treated at Children's Hospital.

Of course, to make matters worse, the place lies about what happened . . . then they had someone with an outstanding warrant working for them looking for the kid. It can't get any more retarded than this.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

America's Got Talent, Baby!

This is a heartfelt story of a girl just trying to make her dreams come true.

Very touching.

Now THAT'S entertainment.

Buyer Beware . . . even more!

Madison - Home buyers who believe a seller has lied to them cannot sue for fraud to recover damages, a divided Wisconsin Supreme Court said Tuesday.

The decision is bad news for homeowners and sellers and makes Wisconsin the only state barring civil fraud cases in real estate transactions, Justice Ann Walsh Bradley said. She was one of three justices who broke with the four-member majority.

The opinion opens the door for a home seller to “look the buyer in the eye, lie about the condition of the home, and escape legal consequences,” Bradley said.

Those in the majority said home buyers, as well as real estate brokers and agents, should be “assured” that lawsuits alleging breach of contract and false advertising can still be filed.

“It kind of creates a world where it’s buyer beware a bit more,” said Debbie Conrad, attorney for the Wisconsin Realtors Association.

The decision is bad for home buyers, said Steve Meili, outgoing director of the Consumer Law Litigation Clinic at the University of Wisconsin Law School in Madison.

Barring fraud lawsuits means ripped-off home buyers can’t be awarded punitive damages, he said. That threat served as a deterrent to possibly unscrupulous sellers, Meili said.

Vicki Zick, the attorney who won the case, said the court’s decision still leaves buyers with recourse.

“It really just says we’re not going to let you sue for huge punitive damages,” she said.

Until now, disgruntled home buyers who felt they were ripped off most commonly sued for fraud, Brookfield attorney Rudolph Kuss said. His client, Shannon Below, claimed the sellers of a home she bought in Milwaukee committed fraud by not telling her about a broken sewer line.

“The vast majority of defrauded home owners are still going to be able to seek legal remedies for the wrongs that have been committed,” Kuss said.

Bradley noted that while lawsuits making other claims can be brought, in some instances a fraud lawsuit is the only option. She accused the justices in the majority of making law from the bench by expanding the state’s economic loss doctrine.

That doctrine is designed to bar civil claims for economic losses in cases involving a contract for a product. It had been applied to commercial real estate sales, and Tuesday’s decision expands it to residential sales.

First, it is and always has been a buyer beware kind of world. People need to take responsibility for something as huge as a home purchase and do the things they need to do and do it right. As evidence, the whole sub prime loan fiasco. To think you can buy a $250,000 earning $50,000 a year is ludicrous. Not having a home properly inspected is the buyers fault.

Second, what this means, really, is that Doris Dingbat can't go to the courts and claim that "because of the roof leak, my 6 year old daughter thought she wet the bed and has now been traumatized. She goes to therapy now and needs medication and won't sleep in her bed. Not to mention the strain this has put on us. I need 50 millions dollars for the suffering!"

You can still get the roof fixed. Which is all anyone should ask for. I don't doubt there are unscrupulous sellers out there. But like anything thing else, it's really up to the buyer to be sure not only the product checks out, but the seller as well.

Take your time, take your time!

So the Marquette Interchange is going to be ready two months earlier than expected and millions under budget.


These are roads and bridges we're talking about here, not someone's landscaping. Are we really happy that bridges one hundred feet up and more are going to be done faster and for less money? Does faster mean rushed? Does less money mean corner were cut? I'm sure the money savings is largely labor. Still . . .

Seriously, this is great. Our DOT did a great job on something that was sorely needed. Once people get used to the changes and see how nice it is, they'll wonder when the zoo interchange construction will start.

Celebridiot of the Day 7/2

RENO, Nev. (AP) — Dennis Haysbert likes to believe his portrayal as the first African-American U.S. president on Fox's "24" may have helped pave the way for Barack Obama.
"If anything, my portrayal of David Palmer, I think, may have helped open the eyes of the American people," said the actor, who has contributed $2,300 to the Illinois Democrat's presidential campaign.
"And I mean the American people from across the board — from the poorest to the richest, every color and creed, every religious base — to prove the possibility there could be an African-American president, a female president, any type of president that puts the people first," he said Tuesday.
Haysbert, who now stars on "The Unit" on CBS, made his comments to reporters during a teleconference call promoting the upcoming American Century Celebrity Golf Championship at Lake Tahoe.
Haysbert, who also played Nelson Mandela in the 2007 film "Goodbye Bafana," said his role as President Palmer seemed to "confuse people" who would approach him on the street "every day, almost every hour, and ask me to run."
"I still, even after three seasons into `The Unit' playing Sgt. Maj. Jonas Blaine, I'm still asked by people on the street to run," he said.
Haysbert, 54, said he recently stopped for dinner south of Los Angeles with his daughter in Dana Point, Calif., a town he described as "very wealthy, very white and very Republican."
"I go into this little restaurant with that demographic and a lady comes up to me and says, `You know, I want to vote for you,'" he said. "I don't know if it is a joke or that people just like to say those things. But to me, for them to say it out loud means they are thinking about it."

I wonder if he inspired any baseball players to keep dead chickens in their locker . . . hmm . . . he probably doesn't like to talk about it.

This is the problem, folks. People who play "make believe" then take themselves waaaay too seriously and believe they have the impact on society they think they do.

The other problem is, though, for some, he's probably right.