Thursday, June 28, 2007


Charlie's The Lowest Circle of Tax Hell post really caught my attention. With all the amazing aspects of the proposed tax increase, I think a couple points were missed by The Tax Foundation.
  • I haven't read the bill, but I don't think the Senate budget eliminates the State's structural deficit. Think about that, doubling tax revenues without paying off the debt, that is simply hard to do.
  • Although not close to the historical level of the Senate's tax increase, Doyle proposed $1.7 Billion tax increase on its own would rank in the Top 10 tax increases as a percentage of gross state product.
How big was that mandate for the Democrats in 2006, again?

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Those Subaru Ads ...

... are driving me nuts. What a bunch of self righteous sanctimonious crap.

All-wheel drive is their most highly touted benefit. But at what cost to the environment?

I have some number crunching to do. At a cost of 3 to 4 miles per gallon of fuel economy, I contend that Subaru is an environmental villain. I'll prove it when I get a chance to breath.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

I won't see this film

A Mighty Heart, the story of the murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, opens today. I won't see it. James T. had a post about the casting of Angelina Jolie as Mariana Pearl, a woman of color. His point is valid, and relates to the reason I will avoid this film. I can't stand Jolie.

Like Julia Roberts, Jolie can never play a role in my eyes and mind. All I see is the actress on the screen, not the person she is portraying. Some reasons why:
1. Her looks. Jolie used to be an extremely attractive woman, but she now has freakish looks. I know that it is buy 9, get the 10th free at the Neverland Cosmetic Surgery Center, but Jolie is about one nose short of looking Jacksonian. STOP IT!

2. The weirdness. Her fetish with adopting pets, er children (probably no difference for Jolie), bothers me. I won't go into the rest of her "personal" life, I don't want to think about any of it.

3. The voice. I've seen the trailers for A Mighty Heart and cannot get past her voice. She cannot pull off anything but Californian to my ear (having an English mother made me very keen to fake accents). It may be the cadence or word emphasis, but Jolie sounds like an American trying to be something else, not that something else.
In any case, I'd love to see a film about Daniel Pearl, but this isn't about Pearl, it is about Jolie. This is supposed to be her first Oscar winning role and I don't doubt it. The lackeys and hangers-on in Hollywood were never about rewarding talent. They all belong to a labor union, after all.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

I told you so

The Financial Post catches up with the real danger of climate change, and Drudge blasts a headline - NOW PREPARE FOR 'DANGEROUS GLOBAL COOLING'

Indeed, that is precisely what has been discovered. In a series of groundbreaking scientific papers starting in 2002, Veizer, Shaviv, Carslaw, and most recently Svensmark et al., have collectively demonstrated that as the output of the sun varies, and with it, our star's protective solar wind, varying amounts of galactic cosmic rays from deep space are able to enter our solar system and penetrate the Earth's atmosphere. These cosmic rays enhance cloud formation which, overall, has a cooling effect on the planet. When the sun's energy output is greater, not only does the Earth warm slightly due to direct solar heating, but the stronger solar wind generated during these "high sun" periods blocks many of the cosmic rays from entering our atmosphere. Cloud cover decreases and the Earth warms still more.

The opposite occurs when the sun is less bright. More cosmic rays are able to get through to Earth's atmosphere, more clouds form, and the planet cools more than would otherwise be the case due to direct solar effects alone. This is precisely what happened from the middle of the 17th century into the early 18th century, when the solar energy input to our atmosphere, as indicated by the number of sunspots, was at a minimum and the planet was stuck in the Little Ice Age. These new findings suggest that changes in the output of the sun caused the most recent climate change. By comparison, CO2 variations show little correlation with our planet's climate on long, medium and even short time scales.


Solar scientists predict that, by 2020, the sun will be starting into its weakest Schwabe solar cycle of the past two centuries, likely leading to unusually cool conditions on Earth. Beginning to plan for adaptation to such a cool period, one which may continue well beyond one 11-year cycle, as did the Little Ice Age, should be a priority for governments. It is global cooling, not warming, that is the major climate threat to the world, especially Canada. As a country at the northern limit to agriculture in the world, it would take very little cooling to destroy much of our food crops, while a warming would only require that we adopt farming techniques practiced to the south of us.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

No longer a blog

I was batting this around with Steve at the No Runny Eggs today.

With all the hoopla of the redesign of Michelle Malkin's blog, the point that is missed is that it is no longer a blog.

Click this
link and you are not at a blog. There is a heading on the right that says "Blog," but it isn't a blog. It is a list of headlines with links to articles. A lot like the JSOnline website offers headlines with links to their articles.

I expect a blog to be a series of posts on a webpage without the need to separately click links to read the content. To illustrate the difference, the JSOnline website also offers NewsWatch, A Weblog of today's local news. Once in NewsWatch, all the content is available without further links. That is a blog. Sorry, but is not a blog anymore.

Malkin is more interested in hits to her links, than having her content read. I postulate that this is a keystone of the Pajama's Media business model (can you spell IPO?). I disapprove. Perhaps another enterprising blogger will put all of Malkin's content in one place to bypass this silliness.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Graduation Day

I don't have anything heart warming like Dad, but here's my report from Child No. 3's graduation at Sussex Hamilton High School today.

The theme of the graduation speeches was Dr. Suess. Sounds silly, but it worked. I made it through the ceremony with minimal discomfort. My mind wasn't numbed, just my rear-end.

In the top of the first, one of the speakers whiffed on a home run opportunity. A young lady named Samantha did not introduce herself with "I do not like green eggs and ham, I do not like them ..."

The foreign exchange student's speech was wonderful. I thought Finns had no sense of humor.

During the presentation of diplomas, I saw the Vice Principal my son calls "The Enforcer" (you know the one) pointing a Waukesha County Sheriff's Deputy into the area of the seated graduates. I was holding my breath, wondering what dumb thing a student was caught doing. Instead, the deputy stepped behind a young lady in a wheelchair and wheeled her to the stage so she could walk across for her diploma. Maybe it was her dad, I don't know.

Personally, I had an emotional day. The last time I was in the high school gymnasium was for my daughter's graduation three years ago. At the time I was in the middle of chemotherapy and felt absolutely awful. I was tired, nauseous, extremely hot, and barely made it through the ceremony. I was so happy to around for my final child's high school graduation. I could not imagine missing it.

Going pro ...

I am a sellout. There will be no Blackwater BBQ Assassins or White Men Can't Smoke BBQ Team.

For the low cost of one case of barbecue sauce, I have sold the naming rights for my barbecue team to Roadhouse Bar-B-Que Sauce. My price was low, but I feel honored to have the confidence of Buddy Roadhouse in my ability to produce quality barbecue.

JR's Roadhouse Smokers will debut at the Taste of Grand Rapids on July 13-14. We will also compete at The Big Pig Gig in Menomonee Falls, September 28-29.

You are invited to visit my barbecue booth at these competitions. Tell me that "Buddy Roadhouse sent me" and I'll let you sample my product.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Do you see Lisa Simpson?

This had to be deliberate. What were they thinking?

HT - Tinakala in Estonia

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The new religion

Hat tip to Planet Gore again for linking to this UK Website - global warming as a religion. I had started to blog that it is not science due to the failure to follow the scientific method. This finished my essay.

John Brignell concludes that global warming is religion, not science. Some highlights.

It was Michael Crichton who first prominently identified environmentalism as a religion. That was in a speech in 2003, but the world has moved on apace since then and adherents of the creed now have a firm grip on the world at large.

Global Warming has become the core belief in a new eco-theology. The term is used as shorthand for anthropogenic (or man made) global warming. It is closely related to other modern belief systems, such as political correctness, chemophobia and various other forms of scaremongering, but it represents the vanguard in the assault on scientific man.

The activists now prefer to call it “climate change”. This gives them two advantages:

  1. It allows them to seize as “evidence” the inevitable occurrences of unusually cold weather as well as warm ones.
  2. The climate is always changing, so they must be right.

Faith is a belief held without evidence. The scientific method, a loose collection of procedures of great variety, is based on precisely the opposite concept, as famously declared by Thomas Henry Huxley:

The improver of natural knowledge absolutely refuses to acknowledge authority, as such. For him, scepticism is the highest of duties; blind faith the one unpardonable sin.

The global warmers like to use the name of science, but they do not like its methods. They promote slogans such a “The science is settled” when real scientists know that science is never settled. They were not, however, always so wise. In 1900, for example, the great Lord Kelvin famously stated, "There is nothing new to be discovered in physics now. All that remains is more and more precise measurement." Within a few years classical physics was shattered by Einstein and his contemporaries. Since then, in science, the debate is never closed.

The world might (or might not) have warmed by a fraction of a degree. This might (or might not) be all (or in part) due to the activities of mankind. It all depends on the quality of observations and the validity of various hypotheses. Science is at ease with this situation. It accepts various theories, such as gravitation or evolution, as the least bad available and of the most practical use, but it does not believe. Religion is different.


The human spirit is sick. It soared during the enlightenment of the eighteenth century. It flowered during the nineteenth. It beat off the tyrants of the twentieth century. Now, at an alarming rate, it is surrendering its freedoms to a concocted religion based on fraudulent science. Of course, it is not only science that has suffered in the overwhelming cultural downturn. The great artistic tradition has given way to displays of dead animals and soiled beds. In much of what passes for literature and drama, the expletives remain while the loftier aspirations of humanity are deleted. Entertainment is debased by displays of banality, cruelty and vacuous, groundless celebrity. It was science, however, that gave us lives of a length, comfort and healthiness that were unthought-of, even within human memory; a gift that is cold-bloodedly, but covertly, being denied to millions in poorer parts of the world. Extremists of the new religion regard humanity as an inconvenience or a pestilence that can be disposed of (not including themselves, of course).

Above all, science represented the triumph of humanity over the primitive superstitions that haunted our ancestors, a creation of pure reason, a monument to that evolutionary (or, if you prefer, God-given) miracle of the human brain. It is too valuable just to be tossed away like a used tissue. But who will speak for science when the barbarian is already inside the gate?

Monday, June 11, 2007

Will someone answer the question?

Delavan police have identified the victims of a suspected murder-suicide that claimed the lives of six people, including infant twins and their mother. Police said they believe that Amborosio Analco, 23, the father of the twins and ex-boyfriend of the mother, did the shootings and then took his own life.
Might Mr. Analco be a friend of Borat Sagdiyev visiting the U.S. legally from Kazakhstan?


This morning's paper answers the question.

Analco's first name is spelled three ways in court records: Ambrosio, Argenis and Aguenis. Walworth County District Attorney Phil Koss said Analco, who was born in Mexico, had a Social Security card, but Koss did not know if he was a U.S. citizen.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Dirty snow

I spotted a link to this report at The Corner.

Dirty Snow May Warm Arctic As Much As Greenhouse Gases

Science Daily The global warming debate has focused on carbon dioxide emissions, but scientists at UC Irvine have determined that a lesser-known mechanism – dirty snow – can explain one-third or more of the Arctic warming primarily attributed to greenhouse gases.

Snow becomes dirty when soot from tailpipes, smoke stacks and forest fires enters the atmosphere and falls to the ground. Soot-infused snow is darker than natural snow. Dark surfaces absorb sunlight and cause warming, while bright surfaces reflect heat back into space and cause cooling.
What the report and analysis at The Corner don't report is that as global temperatures have increased since the 1960's, the U.S., E.U., and other developed nations have reduced their dirty emissions. It is developing nations (i.e, CHINA) that are spewing the stuff that dirties the snow, and warms the Earth.

But that doesn't fit the political priorities of the UN and MSM (i.e., SOCIALISM) and will not be reported.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Connect the dots please

From the All Spin Zone:
Wisconsin drops to 8th highest taxed state

There's good news and bad news for Badger State taxpayers today, courtesy of analysts at Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance in Madison.

The bad news: Wisconsin is still on the top 10 list for highest-taxing states in America, based on 2004-2005 incomes and state-local tax burden.

The good news: We've dropped from sixth highest to eighth highest, as our share of income paid for taxes dipped to 12.13% from 12.18% a year earlier.

When user fees and charges are factored in, Wisconsin's ranking drops out of the top 10, to 13th - also an improvement over a year ago, the nonprofit public interest group reported.
Is there a statistician in the blogosphere? Is 0.05% statistically significant?

Also ...

Doyle and other state and business leaders have made a goal of getting Wisconsin out of the top 10 states in tax burden as a percentage of personal income.

"We've worked hard in this state, Democrats and Republicans, to hold the line on taxes, and give middle-class families relief in the areas they need it most," Doyle said in a statement issued by his office in reaction to the alliance report. "We've made progress in lowering the tax burden on Wisconsin citizens and businesses, but we still have work to do."

I would hate to see what Doyle would do if that wasn't a priority. How much more than $1.7 Billion would his proposed tax increase be?
State economy growth lags national rate

Wisconsin's economy grew at 1.8% last year, well below the 3.4% increase nationally, according to the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Of the 50 states, Wisconsin had the 42nd highest growth rate last year, the BEA reported.

Wisconsin grew more slowly than all of its neighbors except Michigan, which was the only state to see its economy shrink last year, the BEA said. Illinois's economy grew 3.0%, Minnesota's 2.9% and Iowa's 2.6%. Michigan's fell 0.5%.

On a per capita basis, Wisconsin's economy produced $35,390 last year, 25th among the 50 states, the BEA reported. That was 94% of the national average.
No. 8 highest in taxes. No. 9 lowest in economic growth. No one at the paper saw a connection between these two rankings?

H/T - No Runny Eggs

The Paris Blog

I have recently had an epiphany of sorts and will devote my blog to my idol, Paris Hilton, in the future. With her beauty, talent and high moral standards, lovely Paris should be held as an example for all American women.

But seriously folks, I have had enough of all of this. I will avoid anything that may benefit or is connected to the Skank Diva.

I love the biscuits, but no more Hardees for me. This is payback for that TV commercial.

Hampton Inn or Holiday Inn Express? Not a tough choice, I have changed brand loyalties for business travel (What? You thought I stayed at the Westin?).

Let me know of any other products or brands to avoid.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Golfers will buy anything

I thought this was a joke.

Golfsmith NCC-1701 Putter Head: Boldly go where no putter has gone before. This fully USGA conforming, officially licensed collectible shares its looks with the famous STAR TREK® U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701 starship from the classic television series.

But its out-of-this-world look is not just a novelty. With a moment of inertia (MOI) of 6818 g-cm² — 40% higher than average putter MOI — the NCC-1701 is the most forgiving putter head we offer. Most of its weight is positioned in stainless steel heel and toe weight cylinders which give the CNC-milled putter head its unique look — and also serve as alignment aids.

The milled aluminum body features an advanced urethane face insert for soft, solid feel at impact. Whether you are a true fan of Mr. Spock or are in search of a putter head design with ultimate forgiveness, the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701 is a great way to "beam it" into the cup.

Whatever happened to "plain in shape?"

Monday, June 04, 2007

You should grill this for Father's Day

This is a throw-back beef recipe.
The way meat was cooked in the 1960's and 70's, no frou-frou sauces or rubs, and no concerns about fat content. If your dad is still with you, treat him to a Grilled Beef Tenderloin Roast on June 17. If he has passed, hoist a Smokey Martini to him on Father's Day as you prepare and enjoy the beef.

Growing up, my father’s signature dish was a grilled tenderloin of beef. This is my interpretation of his recipe. Although the recipe was never taught to me and I never paid particular attention as my dad cooked the beef, I must have watched it enough times to internalize the technique. Step-by-step instructions are provided below.

My dad's butcher would trim and tie his roasts for him. But in this age of cryovac'd discount beef, I have learned to do it myself. Starting with a whole tenderloin, the silver skin and excess fat are trimmed away.

This whole tenderloin is next cut into two equal length pieces.

The two pieces are laid thick ends to thin, then wrapped and tied with butcher twine.
Doubling the meat makes for a larger area of rare beef and also makes it convenient to hide some garlic cloves within the meat.

My dad’s main seasoning was bacon. Bacon adds a salty, smoky flavor to the beef. Using this technique, I have had great success with USDA Select and no-roll (ungraded) beef. Grade does not seem to make a big difference because the bacon adds flavor and fat, and helps maintain the moisture of the beef. It also makes this a very economical meal. I bought the tenderloin pictured here for only $3.99 per pound.

The grilling technique begins with the roast being seared on all sides over a very hot direct fire. I usually sear the meat about 5 minutes on each of 4 sides. Bacon is left on the tenderloin so it can start to render and a slice of bacon is placed in grill pan to avoid having the beef stick when it is put in the pan.

After searing, the tenderloin roast goes in the grill pan with the bacon over it and it is grilled using indirect heat.

This meat was removed at an internal temperature of 125F for medium rare beef. This usually takes 45 minutes to one hour including searing time. The roast should be left to rest under foil for fifteen minutes, then removed to a cutting board. The drippings left behind in the grill pan are spooned over the meat when served. There is enough flavor in the drippings that salt and pepper are usually not needed.

A beef tenderloin grilled this way is exceptionally tender and flavorful. Don't be afraid to try it. I'm am here to help if you have any questions.

Note to Buddy Roadhouse: If I can figure out how to bottle this stuff, Daddy's Roadhouse Steak Sauce will allow you and me to each retire at a young age.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

This punk feels lucky

I generally don't need a day to celebrate, but I'll take it.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Mojo Watch

Two consecutive wins is now a streak for the Milwaukee Brewers. What a difference 3 weeks make.

The pundits are blaming this bad stretch on the increased level of competition over this period. Good news for the regular season, but a bad sign for the Brewers when they reach the MLB playoffs.
This nickname contest for the Brewers in today's paper will cause some bad, bad mojo. The team stands 14 games over .500 right now. This kind of talk means that we'll be seeing a lot of losing starting soon.

When the Brewers are back to .500 by the All Star break. I will know who is to blame.
I'll keep tracking this to determine whether my May 13 words are from a prophet or a moron.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Major nuclear accident

The Fort Calhoun nuke plant was getting their new main transformer (spare) from Austria. It was shipped half way around the world and they got it within less than 100 feet of where it was to be stored and it dropped. This thing weighs approximately 400 tons and cost $6,000,000.00. It had come in by barge to the plant's neighbor's facility that has a loading dock on the river and then transferred by rail for about a mile to the plant. Once it was at the plant it was loaded on the multi wheeled truck you see in the pictures and was being driven about a half mile to a site right outside their protected area to be stored until needed. The truck being used is a 12 axle self leveling hydraulic truck.

They got the transformer to about 100 feet of the storage location and a $2.00 O-ring failed on one of the hydraulic leveling rams and the trailer started tilting and when it got so far, the transformer broke all its hold down chains and came over on its side, made a rather loud thud and kicked up a lot of dust. The company that manufactured it came over and performed an inspection and deemed it unrepairable. The vendor is on the hook for it as part of the contract was to deliver it to the storage location and then the utility would take control of it. So the vendor is making another one and utility should get it next summer, all on the vendors nickel, and it is a LOT of nickels.

I'll give the Wisconsin DOT the benefit of the doubt on this one.

Elsewhere, Dr. Jack Kevorkian was
briefly detained on suspicion of assisting in a suicide after being observed near corpse-like "60 Minutes" correspondent Mike Wallace.

Gross receipts tax

Gross receipts tax – does that really mean what it says?

Wow. This is beyond any sales or income tax and is NOT a tax on PROFITS as this article falsely claims. The proposed statute will require that this tax be paid by oil companies, not on profit, but on gross revenues.

To find out what this means in reality, I examined the 2006 Income Statement for ExxonMobil. While I did not have information on revenues and expenses for Wisconsin available, I was easily able to back things out on a percentage basis to approximate what the tax will mean to ExxonMobil for earnings in Wisconsin. I freely admit that this approach is overly simplistic, but the overall affect on profit should be similar.


Two-and-one-half-percent of anything does not sound like much. If Governor Jim Doyle proposed reducing the Wisconsin sales or income tax to 2.5%, I’d be all over it. But this is not a sales or income tax, it is a tax on the revenue of oil companies.

For corporations, this is significant because net income is always a small fraction of gross revenues. In the case of ExxonMobil that fraction was 10.18% for FY2006. Therefore the JimDoyleTax would be approximately 24.6% of ExxonMobil’s Net Income from Operations for Wisconsin. That is not 2.5% as most think about it and is absolutely confiscatory (think Hugo Chavez) when you consider that ExxonMobil will continue to pay federal and state income taxes in addition to the JimDoyleTax.

Put another way, ExxonMobil paid a total of 41.4% of their Net Income Before Taxes in Income Tax Expense in 2006. With the additional of the JimDoyleTax, ExxonMobil will pay 55.4% of every dollar of Net Income Before Taxes earned in Wisconsin as federal, state, and Wisconsin Gross Receipt taxes. This will reduce the overall profit for fuels sold in Wisconsin for ExxonMobil from 10.2% to 7.7%.

Is it worthwhile for ExxonMobil to sell gasoline in Wisconsin with a net margin of 7.7% when they can sell this commodity in other states and earn 10.2%? Certainly not. ExxonMobil and other oil companies will either pass through the JimDoyleTax to consumers, or market their product in areas where they will earn higher return.

Elsewhere, acknowledging the team’s success since the start of their “These Brewers need a nickname” contest, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel announced today that the team’s nickname for 2007 is “The Cubs.”