Sunday, July 30, 2006

Husband Gets It – Wife Not

Accomplished professional Time Magazine writer Lisa Beyer has written the most absurd article on the ongoing conflict in the Middle East. This veteran reporter acknowledges Hisballah is a terrorist organization existing to kill civilians and destroy Israel. Furthermore, she admits Hisballah is controlled and financed by Iran, a declared enemy of the United States. Then after reviewing all these facts she concludes the U.S. should not care.

Why the Middle East Crisis Isn't Really About Terrorism: However grand it may be to fight all global terrorists, though, the simple fact is that we can't: we don't have the troops, the money or the political will. That means it may make sense to limit our hit list to the groups that actually threaten us. Hizballah does not now do that.

The headline is misleading. The fact that Hizballah is a murderous armed militia utilizing terrorist tactics means that the current fighting is exactly about terrorism. This is a classic example of liberal pride in being able to discern and enumerate differences, while being completely oblivious to the broad pattern and overarching principles which unite individually unique circumstances. Hizballah has differences from Hamas and Al Qaeda - so what?

Time Magazine is promoting the defeatist idea the United States can not completely engage the magnitude of the problem of religious justified murder. Ms. Beyer understands the core problem as evidenced in her writings immediately after 9/11.

The Most Wanted Man In The World” (Lisa Beyer, TIME, from the 2001/9/24 issue) In many ways, bin Laden's story is like that of many other Muslim extremists. There's the fanatical religiosity and the intemperate interpretation of Islam;

"Roots Of Rage" (Lisa Beyer, TIME, from the 2001/10/01 issue) But to get to the virulence of antipathy exhibited by the kamikaze 19 and their abettors and apologists, another element is required. That element is the idea that the U.S. is not just the enemy of the Arabs or even of Muslims generally but also the enemy of God. It is an idea encouraged by the Ayatullah Khomeini, who proclaimed the U.S. "the Great Satan," spread by Islamic extremists throughout the Arab world and now given potent expression by, it would seem, the biggest player among all such militants today, Osama bin Laden."

Coming up on five years into the post 9/11 global struggle, the liberal media is now willing to deny what they once knew. The jihadist problems threatening world civilization start with the belief, supported by Islamic scripture, that the one God desires and rewards the killing of humans who fail to worship him properly. When Beyer writes today: “But there is no one ideology among terrorists. And terrorism isn't even an ideology. It's a tactic”, she denies the unifying foundation of the crisis and thus negates any validity of her proposed solutions.

Her husband Zev Chafets is also an accomplished professional writer, and to his credit he understands the scope of the problem. Writing earlier this week he discusses the thinking of apocalyptic Christianity towards the current violence, and brilliantly links their end of the world obsession with the comparable global warming nonsense being swallowed hook, line and sinker by the progressive left.

All quiet at Armageddon: Secular liberals find this scenario preposterous. On the other hand, many of these same scoffers profoundly believe that high-octane gasoline and the profligate use of electric home appliances will heat planet Earth to a doomsday temperature last experienced 420,000 years ago. … They may have odd ideas about the end of the world, but the evangelicals' ideology has made them into militant anti-fascists (which is more than I can say for some of my best friends).

Best friends and wife.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Real Nazi’s Coming to Madison

UW-Madison Alumni Simona and Jerome A. Chazen are very wealthy and rather than hiring poor people at living wages, they have given $20 Million to the University. The gift is for expanding the existing Art Museum and then naming it after themselves. The purchase of giant decorated tombstones is as old as the history of wealth and I don’t really have a problem with the tradition. I can’t help thinking, however, that these are exactly the type of rich New York Liberals who sip cocktails in fabulous surroundings while indulging in smug superiority about the lack of Republican compassion for the underclass.
Chazen Museum Seeks Architect: This summer, the University of Wisconsin – Madison, in collaboration with the State of Wisconsin, will be soliciting for a design team for a 62,000 GSF addition to the Chazen Museum of Art (formerly known as the Elvehjem Museum of Art.).
“The museum chose world-renowned architect Cesar Pelli to complete preliminary "massing" plans for the expansion project”, but the grunt work of designing where electrical outlets and sewer pipes are placed is up for bid. Firms interested in actually obtaining the contract are advised to remember their checkbooks and this website.

In the course of checking facts at the DOA I discover this coming attraction.
State of Wisconsin Department of Administration Events: National Socialist Movement Rally 8/26/2006 The National Socialist Movement is sponsoring a rally "Americans for Americans" on the North Hamilton upper sidewalk from 2:00pm to 4:00pm.
The Nazi’s are coming to Madison. If there is a silver lining perhaps our local progressive activists will take the time to actually meet a real Nazi in person. In the spirit of "all lives are equally valuable multicultural understanding", maybe the Nazi’s will explain they are highly offended by being compared to Republicans and ask them to stop.
Madison Liberal: "I'm sorry, we didn't realize you guys were still around"

Actual Nazi - with indignant scowl: "Next time, do some RESEARCH"

Friday, July 28, 2006

Midsummer Dreaming

January will be here soon enough and there is reason to believe there may be hot nights in the coming dead of winter.
Wisconsin setting lofty goals for next season: "I don't want to toot our team's horn, but, realistically, I think we are a Final Four team," Wisconsin point guard Kammron Taylor told … A deep bench could be a big weapon for a coach like Ryan. The Badgers' leader has grown a reputation for getting players to overachieve, and he has proved to be a winner. He has highest winning percentage of any active Division I coach (.765 %) with at least 20 years of experience. Under Ryan, Wisconsin's Kohl Center has also become one of the nation's biggest home-court advantages. The Badgers are a remarkable 72-5 at home in Ryan's five seasons in Madison.
ummmhhhh ... Final Four. Still, the future is a long way off and hot summer nights are absolutely wonderful so get outside and live in the moment.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

The Afternoon Keeps Getting Weirder

The Isthmus describes this afternoon’s “weather event” on the Isthmus.

Torrential downpours soak Madison: Early reports from today's downpour suggest that three or four inches of rain may have fallen during the lunchtime storm.

The high density of streets and buildings in central Madison immediately funnel the rain into flash floods powerful enough push open basement doors and turn storm drains into splashing bubblers. The UW-Madison is especially hard hit.

Strong Rains Cause Flooding Damage in 30-Plus Campus Buildings: Alan Fish, associate vice chancellor for facilities, said immediately after the downpour that crews were dispatched to 68 sites as of 3 p.m. to deal with water problems across the campus. … UW Police warned that flooding hit some parking ramps especially hard, submerging vehicles in some places.

Mayor Dave Cieslewicz has nothing to say and may be working on a response that will somehow explain why this "abnormality" should not be used against his plans for packing more people and more buildings into the central city. I strongly suspect his first reaction to flooded cars is that those people should have taken the bus.

At the United Nations Kofi Annan, speaking on behalf Hezbollah, announces Bin Laden & Zawahiri Productions will soon have a video ready for Al Jazeera, explaining the targeted rainfall attack is the hand of Allah punishing the UW-Madison for sheltering Jews. UW-Madison Instructor Kevin Barrett immediately launches an email action alert to his minions urging them to denounce the UN report. The will of Allah is not behind today’s assault on Madison, Barrett writes, because this soggy aggression has all the trademarks of a Dick Cheney plot.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Madison Mayoral Politics Preview

Those of us in living in Madison will have a meaningful choice for Mayor next spring. The State Journal reports that money is building up in the coffers of the two contenders.

Mayoral candidates amassing big money: Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz and challenger Ray Allen are already massing big campaign war chests for what could be a very expensive spring election. … "This is going to be the most expensive race in Madison history," Pasha said, adding that his candidate could spend between $300,000 and $350,000.

It appears long time players from the Republican side are aiding Ray Allen's bid to be a Republican Mayor of “The Most Progressive City in America”.

GOP stalwarts behind Allen? The invitation for the June 29 event asked potential donors to contact either Mary Hegi or Dan Morse, both of Gateway Ventures. Morse is working for the Magnum campaign along with Gateway President Phil Prange, a high-profile Republican fundraiser who was a key figure in former Gov. Tommy Thompson's campaigns.

Incumbent Dave Cieslewicz has aggressively pursued a socialist inspired makeover of Capital City with the planning, advice and assistance of the UW Madison Sociology Department. The reality of Mayor Dave’s utopian New Urbanist vision is that individual freedom is subordinate to government defined lifestyles, and the American Dream of house, yard and car is actively disparaged to convince people that life in storage boxes with city service dependency is for their own good.

Dave Cieslewicz: Cities are good. Whether the issue is providing quality public services, reducing our reliance on fossil fuels, providing affordable housing or creating family-supporting jobs, cities offer policies that can work for America. That was the conclusion from the first meeting of the New Cities Project, a national conference I initiated with the help of UW-Madison professor Joel Rogers and his Center on Wisconsin Strategy (COWS).

The Ray Allen website appears to have benefited from professional coaching, as he is fine tuning a message to play to the rising discontent with the heavy handed lifestyle makeover the current administration is forcing on traditional Madison.

Ray Allen: Our city is a wonderful place to live, but that quality of life is being threatened by a city government that has the wrong priorities. With basic city services being cut or neglected, local property taxes increasing more than three times the state average, and leaders who place more value in social policy experiments than managing our city, it is time to get back to what made Madison one of the top places to live in our nation.

When I say the latest effort is an improvement of the message I am referring, of course, to his coming out statement earlier this year.

Candidacy Announcement: "I don't think anyone who is in the mainstream of politics can support George Bush. I didn't vote for him. George Bush and I disagree on everything from No Child Left Behind to the war in Iraq," said Allen.

The sad truth in Madison, as it is almost everywhere in America, is that marginal Republicans are still considerably better than true believer Democrats.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

A Post-it Note from the Boss

The mystery is revealed. The reason President Bush has only used his veto pen once in six years is simply that he found a more effective way around inconvenient legislation. The technical term for the maneuver is a “signing statement” and it is the legal equivalent of a Post-it Note from the boss. The American Bar Association has decided to cry foul and the pack of progressive hyenas are yelping with blood lust.

PRESIDENT BUSH'S SIGNING STATEMENTS: The task force determined that signing statements that signal the president’s intent to disregard laws adopted by Congress undermine the separation of powers by depriving Congress of the opportunity to override a veto, and by shutting off policy debate between the two branches of government. According to the task force, they operate as a “line item veto,” which the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled unconstitutional.

CBS legal analyst Andrew Cohen describes the issues in a straightforward manner, although he just can't refrain from putting in an anti-Bush slam at the end.

Signing Statements: Virtues And Vices: A signing statement is a written declaration composed by White House lawyers offering the executive branch's perspective (critics would call it "spin") on the legislation to which it is attached. It's as if the President says to Congress with every signing statement: "You have passed this law, and I have signed it, but the White House does not necessarily agree with its purpose, language or scope. Therefore, we reserve the right to subsequently assert a legal position, or otherwise act, in a manner that is inconsistent with this new law."

The law goes into effect as written by Congress, but employees of the Administration know exactly what the boss thinks about the matter. The process is perfectly legal, but Bush has utilized it more than all other previous administrations combined and the lawyers and congressmen are freaking out and demanding rules changes. Once again, poor dumb Bush has figured out a way to fight a hot war against wealthy and well armed enemies of the United States, while deflecting the constant interference of domestic resistance to the success of his efforts.

Monday, July 24, 2006

God’s Army From Iran

It is pleasant weather for a walk at dusk, with the midsummer buzz of insects and the traffic hum of a healthy economy. Only the flashes of lightning in the storm clouds on the horizon temper complacency with an awareness of being outside and unprotected. The fighting in Lebanon continues and there are excellent reviews of exactly who the enemy is and why the enemy exists in this one location.

God's army has plans to run the whole Middle East: Many Hezbollah militants and officials have married into Iranian religious families, often connected to influential ayatollahs. Dozens of Lebanese Shi’ites have worked and continue to work in the Iranian administration, especially in the ministries of security, information and culture. Since the mid-1980s, most of the Lebanese Shi’ite clerics have undertaken training in Iran.

In exchange, thousands of Iranian security officers and members of the Revolutionary Guards have lived and worked in Lebanon. As Ali Yunesi, Iran’s former intelligence minister, said: “Iran is Hezbollah and Hezbollah is Iran.”

NRO expands the discussion to the global reach of the terrorist network, with a reminder that effective organizations have leaders excelling at planning and achieving goals.

Terror in Buenos Aires: Another factor explaining Hezbollah’s long reach is the organizational genius of Hezbollah’s security chief, Imad Mughniyah. A former gunman with Yasser Arafat’s elite Force 17, Mughniyah is on the FBI’s most-wanted list for his role in the 1985 hijacking of TWA 847 in which a U.S. Navy diver was tortured and killed. Linked to numerous terrorist attacks, including suicide bombings and hostage taking in Lebanon, and the Buenos Aires attacks, Mughniyah is currently believed to be coordinating Iranian and Hezbollah support for Palestinian terrorists. He also met with Osama bin Laden in the early 1990s to forge an alliance between al Qaeda and Hezbollah. Wanted by several governments, Mughniyah keeps a low profile. However, he is believed to have appeared publicly, for the first time in over a decade, with Iran’s President Ahmadinejad at a meeting in Damascus in January.

Word from Israel today confirms the 23 tons of bombs targeted against the leadership bunker five days ago was intended to kill both Nasrallah and Mughniyah, but Iranian engineering apparently has worked as designed.

Opening a window on intelligence: Hidden under an innocent-looking mosque, the bunker had been built by Iranian engineers who specialized in the construction of protected subterranean building for their country's nuclear facilities. … It is clear that the chief target, Nasrallah, is still alive today, and so apparently is Imad Mughniyah.

Iran is a formidable opponent and the anti-war Senators and Clinton era appeasers downplay the risk to the American way of life with a nonchalance that raises serious questions about their commitment to our way of life. The Bush Administration, for all its faults, clearly does value the way we live and understands that peace is not the temporary absence of violence, but rather the permanent absence of danger.

White House Press Briefing: But the more important thing is, sustainable really does matter, because as we've seen in some places, if you allow terrorists to proclaim victory and to continue to take root within a country, you actually encourage further misbehavior. There's no place on the record where as a result of a negotiation a terrorist organization has said, okay, we give up, great treaty.

God’s Army will be continue to be told that survival is a sign of favor, so appeasement only strengthens the psychology behind their malevolent pathology.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Chavez Only Wants Security

Hugo Chavez wants a vote on the United Nations Security Council and with the help of the Arab League he may obtain the opportunity.

Venezuela Receives Arab League Support: President Chavez also secured Arab League support for Venezuela’s UN Security Council bid. "We expect 22 countries to support the (Venezuela) candidacy." Stated Ahmed Benhelli, Secretary General of the Arab League of Nations. With Arab League assistance, Foreign Affairs Minister Alí Rodríguez Araque on Tuesday guaranteed Venezuela has obtained more than the 128 votes necessary to win a non-permanent seat at the Security Council, as a number of international organizations have already agreed to support Caracas, including the Caribbean Community and Common Market (Caricom) and the Common Market of the South (Mercosur). In return for Arab league backing, Egypt is seeking South American support in its Security Council bid.

The elected socialist leader of the resource rich South American country wants influence within the global debate society because his street cred depends upon selling the idea he is protecting the poor from the United States.

Venezuela seeks UN balance: South America's largest trade bloc said in a statement that Venezuela would "help bring necessary balance" to the council. Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan president, has said that he wants his nation to join the council to dilute Washington's "imperialist" influence.

In addition to hanging with Castro and paying homage to Che Guevara, El Presidente is making sure long time close personal friends command his freshly supplied army.

Venezuelan Military Changes: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has appointed Army General Pedro Azuaje Apitz as the new Army C-i-C. The announcement was made during the swearing-in of General Raul Baduel as Defense Minister.

General Baduel moves up and his second in command moves up one notch with him. The new Defense Minister makes it clear which enemy he is arming against.

Weapons Purchase: "Our country owns colossal natural resources and perhaps the largest fossil energy reserve around the world. Therefore, it would illusory not to notice that a number of multinationals - the so-called corporate predators - are controlling the elites that assume the right to interfere anywhere in the world based on any excuse, as in Iraq, for example."

British Leftist Hilary Wainwright manages to have a meeting with the new #2 man in Venezuelan power circles and shares her memories of the meeting.

Venezuela's New Model Army: Baduel had been at military college with Chavez. Like Chavez and many other officers, he was from a working class background and had been to university. He had also been one of the rebel officers who formed the Bolivarian Movement with Chavez and launched the unsuccessful coup attempt in 1992 against the repressive regime of President Carlos Andres Perez.

“we are ushered in to the most extraordinary office I’ve ever seen. Straight out of the magical realism of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, it is a mixture of a shrine – statuettes of the Virgin Mary and other saints everywhere, hundreds of them, plus an almost ‘life’-size statue of an angel slaughtering a wild animal; a military museum – a set of Samurai swords; a library – books piled high on his desks, including a vast tome entitled Power; and a family portrait gallery. There is a slight smell of incense. Gregorian chants play in the background.”

The telling moment: 'We have to set an example in our administration of resources, in our transparency and above all in being absolutely ruthless towards corruption,' he says of the army. He reinforces his point by getting up and taking one of the samurai swords out of its sheath and swinging it in an ‘off with their heads’ gesture.

Yep. That sounds just about right.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Kevin Barrett Reflects UW Standards

I have not tried to analyze the reasoning flaws of 9/11 Denier Kevin Barrett, because there is no point to lending any attention to a delusional attention starved individual. Living in Madison I have been aware of him for a couple of years. Barrett declared himself a Muslim in 1992 and now, with the certainty of the convert, he is proclaiming Osama bin Laden a liar for taking credit for 9/11. Until recently, he was only one more local extremist head case.

When the University of Wisconsin Madison hired him to teach and then dug in to defend their decision, however, the focus shifts from the lack of sound judgment in an individual to the lack of sound judgment by our premier university. Barrett is a product of the College of Letters & Science, and more specifically the Department of African Languages and Literature. UW-Madison awarded Barrett his Ph.D. so they are not hiring an unknown who subsequently reveals unexpected reasoning flaws. They know he is a man who has fallen in love with a story.

I am encouraged there continues to be pressure on the UW-Madison to face the reality that Kevin Barrett is unfit to teach at a publicly funded institution.

Althouse on Barrett: I wish I could link to the article on Barrett in the Isthmus (a local paper), which ends with his expressing complete certitude that anyone reading the evidence would have to believe that the U.S. government carried out the 9/11 attacks. Where is the educational experience in learning from someone who is teaching completely outside of his field of expertise and expressing certitude in an obviously wrong theory? Ironically, Farrell's scholarly expertise is engineering.

Our premier Law Prof Blogger writes in response to increasingly lame justifications by the University Administration for paying Barrett to interact with students.

UW Madison Provost Patrick Farrell: "I still have every expectation this will be a very positive educational experience for our students" "Some are upset about Mr. Barrett's viewpoints on 9/11 and don't want to pay much attention to what makes for a quality educational experience."

A quality educational EXPERIENCE! Binge drinking on State Street to the point of “fall down and throw up” is an experience, but it is not a physics lesson. Every moment of life is an experience but it is only educational when it leads toward mastery of useful skills and verifiable knowledge. Experience for experience sake is not formal education and certainly not worth the price of tuition dollars.

There is a pervasive belief in academia that emotional exploration is an essential aspect of education. In many disciplines, however, if you can not eventually do the math or master the experimental technique, then the educational career disappears. The UW Madison gave Barrett their highest degree and I suppose they are now taking the position there are no meaningful scholarship guidelines in the professional study of fiction. That may be true, but the UW absolutely needs to demand employees actually understand the difference between fiction and reality.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Campaign Financing Outrage - District 8

2006 congressional election gamesmanship is gearing up as the autumn elections approach. The Democrats desperately want to capture control of at least one branch of congress and Wisconsin’s 8th Congressional District is one of the few seats in serious competitive play. It is against this background that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee bestows upon candidate John Gard, The Rubber Stamp Republican Award.

The contemptible behavior charges against the current State Assembly Leader include the following damnable transgression:

Gard Took More Out-Of-District Donations Than Any Other Candidate. According to the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign. In his first year as Assembly Speaker, John Gard raised more large individual contributions from powerful special interests outside of his Assembly District than any previous candidate for the Legislature.

Look, look, look!!! The foul stench of out of area money covers John Gard.

How then do the Democrats spin the following hard numbers from this specific local campaign? Courtesy of Open Secrets, July 10th, 2006 data for WI District 8: In State vs. Out of State Contributions.

John Gard (R) - 93% In State and 7% Out of State contributions.

Terri McCormick (R) - 93% In State and 7% Out of State contributions.

Steven Kagen (D) - 75% In State and 25% Out of State contributions.

Jamie Wall (D) - 54% In State and 46% Out of State contributions.

Money from outside of Wisconsin is trying to buy this congressional seat. Just to verify this is not a freakish aberration, please note that Madison’s own Liberal Democrat Tammy Baldwin is happily accepting 24% of her cash from California and Massachusetts.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Tony Snow Schools the Press

The beauty of the internet and the threat to the main street media is that by opening up source material to the public, it provides the public with a way to analyze the analysis. I love the way White House Press Secretary answers press questions about the role of diplomacy in the current Israeli operation to destroy a long standing terrorist enclave.

White House Press Briefing: Just one final one on this. Why shouldn't the President be the one to mount an aggressive diplomacy, pick up the phone, call Assad of Syria and say, put an end to this, and start negotiating directly with the Syrians?

MR. SNOW: Because the track record stinks. I don't know if you remember all the old pictures of diplomats in the Reagan years going -- in the Carter, Reagan, and maybe even the early Bush years, the first Bush administration -- who knows, Clinton may have done it, too -- sitting around there drinking tea with Hafez al-Assad, the father, having to sit there for five, six, ten hours, listening to polite but long discourses on greater Syria, and at the end of that, having gotten nothing. There is absolutely no reason to assume, based on the track record, that negotiations and conversations with the Syrians would yield any fruit.

Q Wait a minute. You said yourself, correctly, that both Bush 41 and Clinton had talks with Hafez al-Assad --

MR. SNOW: Which were blazingly pointless. ...

Q But it's a --

MR. SNOW: I mean, it may sound good that you dispatch somebody who then can be dealt with in bad faith by a government that does not intend to deliver.

Exactly. The anti-war crowd has this core belief that conflict is about differences which can be reasoned away which is the essential utility and promise of diplomacy. The desire to kill for God, however, is not a difference for which there is negotiated middle ground and diplomacy over this irresolvable difference is a foolish waste of time. When history repeatedly demonstrates that a ceasefire is merely a “time out” to resupply and reorganize for further aggression, it is stupidity to repeat the mistake. Diplomacy will be appropriate when innocent victims in the vicinity of the defeated evil forces need assistance to rebuilt a good and just society.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Likely, But Implausible

As freedom of speech and scientific rigor increasingly collide in the media, it is apparent to those of us paying attention that the precision of the scientific method comes in a distant second to the enthusiasm of activists with a cause. TCS Daily comments on the phenomenon.
Likely, But Implausible: Adjective creep amounts to increasing the strength of a finding as it is condensed, simplified and becomes more widely disseminated. It is much like what happens to rumors as they pass from person to person, with each person embellishing on what the previous gossip has told them. One minute Mary sniffles, the next her husband is getting condolences on her passing from pneumonia. In scientific circles there is lot of that disease going around.
Author Duane D. Freese points out a classic example of unjustifiable exaggeration by none other than our very own Surgeon General of the United States, Richard Carmona, proselytizing on second hand cigarette smoke.
Carmona took these deadly findings of chronic exposure, and took increased risk up a notch. He proclaimed: "We know that secondhand smoke harms people's health, but many people assume that exposure to secondhand smoke in small doses does not do any significant damage to one's health. However, science has proven that there is NO risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke. Let me say that again: there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke."

He went on to say: "Breathing secondhand smoke for even a short time can damage cells and set the cancer process in motion. Brief exposure can have immediate harmful effects on blood and blood vessels, potentially increasing the risk of a heart attack."

None of this appeared in the actual report, for which Michael Siegel, a physician and anti-smoking advocate, took exception, because it diminished legitimate tobacco control efforts and spurred specious ones -- such as police contemplating charging smoking parents with child abuse.
There is difference between “acute” and “chronic” exposure to anything. The whole second hand smoke scare is just that, scare tactics. Want proof? Call your Doctor, explain you walked by smokers on the sidewalk and demand the currently accepted medical treatment for smoke inhalation. Make sure to accept nothing less than a prescription for in-home oxygen.

Monday, July 17, 2006

An Exit Strategy of Transformation

The stated goal of the Bush Administration has always been a Middle East transformed. In the sense transformation means a change in structure or appearance the idea has an almost utopian overtone, and there have been many willing to label George W as a bumbling Don Quixote, foolishly charging at windmills of imaginary malice.

In the sense transformation means renewal, there is a glimmer of hope that a change in attitude is underway in the region. Much is being written about the restraint in Arab response to Israeli actions to remove and destroy murderous Hizbollah from the neighborhood. The Strategy Page makes a case that Arab distrust of Iran is the common ground the region finds they share.
The War With Iran: Could this mean that the principal Arab leaders are not all that unhappy to see Hizbollah get it in the neck? After all, most of the Arabs are Sunni, while Hizbollah and Iran are Shia. … But most Arabs fear Iran, not because most Iranians are Shia, but because Iranians are not Arabs.

Also scary is the fact that Iran is currently run by a religious dictatorship. Most Arabs have noted how that worked in Iran, Sudan and Afghanistan and want no part of it. Worse, the Iranian religious leadership believes that they would do a better job running the Hejaz (the region of Saudi Arabia containing Mecca and Medina and the most holy places in Islam). For centuries, the Turks kept the Iranians out of the Hejaz. But who would keep nuclear armed Iranians out?
A majority of Muslim Arabs are beginning to appreciate that they prefer making money to making jihad. There is also a growing understanding that living under authoritarian government with religion is demonstrably better than living under authoritarian religion with government military and police powers. Finally and most recently, the dawning insight that Persian rule of Arab lands is as undesirable as any foreign occupation, especially since this latest batch of Persians are apocalyptic nut-cases.

Remember the “Arab Street” which was going to explode upon the downfall of the mass murder Saddam Hussein? By and large they paid attention to the news and kept living their daily lives. If the street finally talks it may be they are not enamored with the reality of thugs for Allah.
Arab Majority May Not Stay Forever Silent: Tariq Alhomayed, editor in chief of the Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat, stuck the dagger in deeper: "Mr. Nasrallah bombastically announced he consulted no one when he decided to attack Israel, nor did he measure Lebanon's need for security, prosperity, and the safety of its people. He said he needs no one's help but God's to fight the fight." Mr. Alhomayed's punch line was, in so many words: Go with God, Sheik Nasrallah, but count the rest of us out.
Or in other words: God help you, you terrorist trash.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Remission or Cure?

The world press is filled with predictable calls for an immediate cease fire in Lebanon, mixed with concerns the Israeli response is somehow disproportionate to the provocation. Maybe this is a good time to reflect not on proportion but perspective. From National Review Online:
Andy McCarthy: The root cause of Islamic terrorism is an interpretation of Islamic doctrine. There are many verses of the Koran and the Hadiths that tend support this interpretation. It has not been created out of whole cloth, and if Thomas Jefferson himself resurrected tomorrow, he could not make these scriptures disappear. … The terrorists don't want to kill us because they have been deprived of freedom. They want to kill us because they believe their religion tells them that is what they are required to do.
The problem in the entire Middle East is a sect of religious faith believing Allah desires and rewards killing. The problem in the entire Middle East is an Islam of apocalypse. Clinton Administration Secretary of State Madeline Albright again demonstrates she can focus on proportion while ignoring perspective. In her analysis the US should be more involved in Lebanon and not involved at all in Iraq.
Albright Blasts Bush: "I'm very worried that we're at a crossroads and we're not going to take the right turn here," "I still do think that we actually need to be more involved."… "I think that it's very hard to say that [the Iraq war] has not made it worse. … It is absolutely clear that it has made it worse."
Current Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice tries once more to explain to those lacking perspective, that goal is to make the Middle East a place with sustainable peace and that means continuing, in the face of determined murderous resistance, to remove the killers for Allah.
Rice Defends Israel: "We support, at this point, an effort to make certain that when there is a cease-fire that it is one that is sustainable." … "Iran is providing technology. Syria is harboring Hezbollah. So yes, what you have here [is] that extremist forces — Hamas, Hezbollah, the Iran and the Syrians — recognize that they are facing a different kind of Middle East, the emergence of a different kind of Middle East in which moderate forces will dominate, and they want to stop it. We have to be equally determined that they can't stop it."
To cure disease it is necessary to follow the complete course of therapy, even when the acute symptoms subside and even when what is effective is painful. Treatment needs to be proportionate to the probable end point of the affliction rather than the initial magnitude of the symptoms. This knowledge comes not from ivory tower a priori reasoning, but rather from consistent empirical observation that infections will flare up if the course of therapy is cut short. It is the understanding that the source of malignancy is in irreparably altered individual cells, and that fatal risk exists as long as those individuals exist at liberty.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Iran Raises the Bet

This war between Israel and Hezbollah invites comparisons to the 1982 Invasion of Lebanon, but the stakes are much higher because world is very different.

The Israeli counter attack is clearly attempting to circumscribe the battle within the boundaries of Lebanon, because if Iran is allowed to supply terrorists with armaments and supplemental troops, it will force the conflict to expand to counter those supplies. The White House today reiterated the fact that Syria is at the decision point where they are either with the United States or Iran.
White House: The problem is, in the end of the day, people have choices to make, and Syria is making bad choices. And one of the things that the President said about the kind of incident that we have been through, is it has a way of clarifying the situation, and what is at stake, and making clear to people that there are choices they need to make. And lots of messages have been and will continue to be Syria -- sent to Syria -- but the problem is they have a choice to make, and so far they made the wrong choice, from our standpoint.
What concerns me is that Israel is facing enemies that not only outnumber them, as in the past, but are approaching equality in the sophistication of weaponry. Iran is providing Chinese supplied missile technology far advanced from anything Israel has faced in previous conflicts.
Iran aided Hezbollah ship attack: Elite Iranian troops helped Hezbollah fire a sophisticated radar-guided missile at an Israeli warship, Israeli officials said Saturday, describing an apparent surprise blow by militants who had been using only low-tech weapons.
If Israel is overcome and obliterated by Iranian Military Imperialism, then all of Europe is in danger because in the years since 1982, Europe has willingly allowed millions of Muslims into their nations. A damning condemnation of the current European political elite in The Brussels Journal details how leftist multiculturalism has primed the old west for an historical change.
“Let Them Eat Kebab” – The New Marie Antoinettes: The Multicultural ideology is malignant because it fragments society into separate, cultural ghettos, a kind of apartheid. We’re living in an age dominated on one hand by cultural relativism in the West, and on the other hand by aggressive Islamic intolerance, No Truths vs. One Truth. Is this just a coincidence, or is it possible that the vacuum of nihilism and moral indifference is provoking an aggressive counter-reaction? If so, Multiculturalism promotes totalitarianism rather than tolerance.
I wonder how Winston Churchill would respond to a British Government report concluding that “Britishness” had “systematic, largely unspoken, racial connotations” and the country should be formally “recognized as a multicultural society” whose history must be “revised, rethought, or jettisoned”?

Friday, July 14, 2006

Let Them Eat Paper

Direct talks between North and South Korea reach a sudden premature end when it becomes clear the North Koreans are only here for the freebies.
A Slap in the Face for Bumbling South Korea: South Korea clung to resolving the issue by way of one-nation politics: it would deal with the missile issue and the question of the six-party talks in inter-Korean ministerial talks. The North was having none of it, refusing point-blank to discuss anything not on the approved agenda. Instead, it made the preposterous demand that since its “military first” policy protects the South with its nuclear weapons and missiles, the South should give it the rice it promised. When that demand was rejected, the North Koreans stormed out with the empty threat that the South “will pay the price.”
Of course, the free lunch comes off the table if the business meeting cancels.
Seoul halts key aid to North as talks flop: It was the first high-level meeting between the two neighbours, technically still at war because the 1950-53 Korean War ended in a truce instead of a peace agreement, since North Korea’s missile tests. South Korea said after the talks collapsed that it would withhold any more food aid to the North.
Meanwhile, the United Nations, after earnest and serious deliberation, is very close to deciding what type of paper they want to toss at the Norks.
US, Japan push for UNSC vote on North Korea: The United States and Japan insisted that the Security Council vote Saturday on a proposed resolution condemning North Korea's missile tests, and a last-minute proposal brought the divided council closer to an agreement.
I expect Kim Jong-il’s next post on his Beloved Leader Blog will be an “authoritative” discussion on the nutritional value of processed cellulose fiber.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Islamic Education Update

I am waiting for WEAC and Governor Doyle to issue their response to this Human Rights Watch report. I want to hear if there is any Democratic outrage that Islamic Jihadism has adopted the deliberate tactic of killing teachers and students.
Lessons in Terror: Attacks on Education in Afghanistan: Brutal attacks by armed opposition groups on Afghan teachers, students, and their schools have occurred throughout much of Afghanistan in recent months, particularly in the south.

As detailed below, groups opposed to the authority of the Afghan central government and its international supporters have increasingly filled this vacuum, using tactics such as suicide bombings and attacks on “soft targets” such as schools and teachers to instill terror in ordinary Afghans and thus turn them away from a central government that is unable to protect them.
Teachers are especially easy targets when hunting humans. The report details in 142 pages, the latest in the Islamic approach to education. Taliban, Al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hizbullah, Hamas or whatever nom de plume the Jihadist movement adopts for the local geography, the goals of the movement are the same and only the opportunity to fully achieve them differs. Maybe the Educators for Social Responsibility study guide for the War in Iraq should rethink some discussion questions.
Essential Questions about the War with Iraq: What role does culture, government, and religion play in these situations? In what ways have differences in culture, political philosophies, and religion exacerbated tensions? How can we work with cultural, political, and religious diversity to find solutions?
Updated question: How can we work with cultural, political and religious diversity to find solutions when gunmen open fire in a classroom because of their “ideological opposition to education other than that offered in madrassas (Islamic schools), and in particular opposition to girls’ education”?

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Militant Islam Wants War

Militant Islam wants war. The Islam of Jihad, the conquest and conversion for the faith, wants war. Israel is attacked in the south by Hamas and in the north by Hizbullah. The Jerusalem Post has details and analysis.
Editorial: War and Peace: It is inconceivable that Hizbullah would carry out such attacks without the knowledge and acquiescence of the Iranian and Syrian governments, on which it is deeply dependent. … Defending Israel requires both military and diplomatic action. Hizbullah and Hamas must be dealt direct, heavy blows from which they will not quickly recover.

Editorial: Stop Iran Now: Yesterday, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was clear enough: "In the face of the venomous campaign of malicious people, we'll not step back one iota... the Iranian people are standing tall on their way to access their full rights and complete use of the nuclear fuel cycle."
The provocation is undeniable and those who believe that mutual understanding will make violence simply go away, simply don’t understand.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Once again, someone feels compelled

“Once again, someone feels compelled to prove the intellectual superiority of their position by killing scores of random civilians.” - Bill Weinberg

The quote is from a post about today’s episode of mass murder in India.
Minorities fear reprisals: Within minutes, seven explosions on the railway that forms Mumbai’s spinal cord left at least 163 people dead and possibly more than 1,000 wounded in one of the worst terrorist attacks in India.
But, the violent don't have any concern at all about “intellectual” superiority.
Taliban use beheadings and beatings to keep Afghanistan's Schools Closed: The letter pinned overnight to the wall of the mosque in Kandahar was succinct. "Girls going to school need to be careful for their safety. If we put acid on their faces or they are murdered then the blame will be on their parents." Today the local school stands empty, victim of what amounts to a Taliban war on knowledge.
The violence is simple assault upon the very concept of modern knowledge.
Wisconsin ACLU Supports 9/11 Denier Barrett: Today, the American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin applauded the University of Wisconsin – Madison for adhering to the University’s own policies and procedures that protect academic freedom, when making its decision to allow a lecturer, Kevin Barrett, to continue to teach a course this fall entitled Islam: Religion and Culture.
A sign of success being when knowledge and opinion are treated as interchangeable, because the requirement to differentiate between right and wrong is not a serious consideration.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Global Warming to the Supreme Court

The political debate over the existence, degree, source and danger of global warming has captured a spot on the United States Supreme Court agenda. Initiated in Massachusetts, Attorney Generals in twelve states are suing the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for not regulating carbon dioxide.
Massachusetts Attorney General Tom Reilly: "Delay has serious potential consequences," the petition states. "Given that air pollutants associated with climate change are accumulating in the atmosphere at an alarming rate, the window of opportunity in which we can mitigate the dangers of climate change is rapidly closing."
The litigation centers upon whether wording of EPA regulations gives the agency broad authority to regulate carbon dioxide emissions and relies heavily on a 1998 opinion by a General Counsel of the EPA under President Clinton.
EPA's Authority to Regulate Pollutants: Section 302(g) defines air pollutant" as any air pollution agent or combination of such agents, including any physical, chemical, biological, [or] -radioactive . . . substance or matter which is emitted into or otherwise enters the ambient air. Such term includes any precursors to the formation of any air pollutant, to the extent that the Administrator has identified such precursor or precursors for the particular purpose for which the term "air pollutant" is used.
Marlo Lewis writing last April for National Review Online concisely explains why environmental socialists have carefully selected carbon dioxide as the scapegoat to be demonized and banished, as much as possible in the private sector, from western society.
Crazy on Carbon Dioxide: Carbon dioxide is the inescapable combustion byproduct of gasoline and other carbon-based fuels. …The power to restrict CO2 emissions is literally the power to cripple U.S. productivity, competitiveness, and growth.
This entirely political skirmish continues while Real Science, written without the intention to scare people, continues to establish there is nothing to fear from a molecule essential to life. Let us hope our Supreme Court Justices have the common sense to understand a natural component of air is not an unnatural addition to air.

The Background Overview of the legal history charts this latest attempt to override congressional and administrative decisions and Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) calls it correctly.
Inhofe Reacts: “Unfortunately, those who have failed to impose their draconian ideology through legislation are now trying to use the courts to overturn the will of Congress.”

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Conspiracy in Mexico

As of this moment Felipe Calderon has a 240,000 vote lead over Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador from the 41 Million ballots cast for the Presidency of Mexico. Calderon believes free trade and market economies will improve the lives of Mexican citizens. Obrador offers socialist promises to redistribute wealth to the poor. The extreme closeness of tally, however, means the eventual winner will be declared by the court.
Mexican courts decide if Calderon winner: Under Mexico's complex election laws, Calderon won't have won until the Federal Electoral Tribunal certifies the count. … The magistrates then add up the votes that have survived challenges and declare a winner by Sept. 6, a decision that can't be appealed.
For the next two months the left will have their opportunity to prove their loss is a result of election fraud. Predictably, leftist British author Greg Palast announces election theft even before the votes are completely counted.
Grand theft Mexico: As in Florida in 2000, and as in Ohio in 2004, the exit polls show the voters voted for the progressive candidate. The race is "officially" too close to call. But they will call it - after they steal it. Reuters reports that, as of 8pm eastern time, as voting concluded in Mexico, exit polls showed Andrés Manuel López Obrador of the "leftwing" party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) leading in exit polls over Felipe Calderón of the ruling conservative National Action party (PAN).
Oops! Even fellow progressive Joshua Holland sees the flaw with this claim.
Alternet: I asked him to retract his Guardian post, "Grand Theft Mexico," which hangs entirely on a claim that's simply false. … Reuters never reported that López Obrador was ahead in the exit polls. … López Obrador -- a candidate -- claimed that his own exit poll -- one private exit poll with no known methodology, no precise results, no known margin-of-error, no known sample size and no polling director we can call up to find out that stuff (campaigns keep internal polling data close to the chest) -- showed he was in the lead.
Still there is plenty of time to concoct a conspiracy theory filled with isolated facts, anecdotal stories and injustice both real and imagined. Personally, I like outrage over the lack of illegal immigrant voting.
Mexico's Surreal Elections: Undocumented workers were denied absentee ballot applications at consulates and embassies and more than a million eligible voters were barred from casting a ballot because their voter registration cards were not up to date and the IFE refused to update them outside of Mexico. Untold numbers of undocumented workers who could not risk returning to Mexico for a minimum 25 days to renew their credential were denied the franchise the IFE was sworn to defend. The PRD insists that the majority of undocumented Mexicans in the U.S. would have cast a ballot for Lopez Obrador.
Yep, Mexico’s Federal Electoral Institute (IFE) decided if you are living abroad illegally and won't bother to return home to update your registration, then to bad. Maybe they can vote in Wisconsin elections because we don’t check ID’s here.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Better than I can say it

Courtesy of Gates of Vienna, a recommend read of the day. Some snippets:
Europe Must Find its Roots in America: In the 17th and 18th centuries North America was colonised by freedom loving people who brought the political institutions and traditions from Europe to a new continent across the sea. Many of them had left Europe because they wanted the freedom to live according to their own conscience instead of the conscience of the centralist absolutist rulers of the new age that was sweeping across Europe from the 16th century onwards.

Their traditions were rooted in the decentralised traditions of the late Middle Ages and the Aristotelian philosophy of Saint Thomas Aquinas. Europe’s Middle Ages had been characterised by an absence of central power, while man was bound to multiple legal systems: the legal order of his city, that of the land, that of his guild, that of the church. There was not one monopolistic ruler, as in China or in the Muslim world, but many, which guaranteed greater freedom for the individual.

The philosophy of Aquinas, moreover, was centered on the individual. God had called man to be free from sin, but in order to be free from sin he had to be virtuous, and in order for virtue to have any value it had to be voluntary, implying that the virtuous man had to be free in every aspect of his life including, as Aquinas’ followers later pointed out, his economic activities.

When the Americans rebelled in 1776 they rebelled against absolutism in order to keep their old freedoms. Theirs was a conservative revolution.
Well said Paul Belien.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Dr. Kevin Barrett - 9/11 Denier

Back on April 17, 2005, Dr. Kevin Barrett came to my attention. My question at that time was “What type of scholarship does the University of Wisconsin-Madison consider worthy of receiving a Ph.D.” He pops up again July 16, 2005 as I wonder why the Dane County Democratic Party is lending active support to his Emergency Truth Convergence. Most recently on June 5, 2006 I noted his participation in the annual UW-Madison Havens Center Midwest Social Forum starting today in Milwaukee.

Suddenly the entire cheddernet is abuzz with the discovery that a 9/11 denier has been hired by the very University that granted him his doctorate. Welcome Dad29 and Jessica McBride and Badger Blogger and Dummocrats and Althouse and the many others to the understanding that the UW Madison Sociology Department is not simply “teaching” extremely radical visions for transforming American society.

Every progressive leftist organization in the area will be at UW-Milwaukee Student Union 2200 Kenwood Blvd East in Milwaukee all weekend. I would hope the Badger Blog Alliance readers will stop by to Dr. Barrett’s presentation Sunday 9am-10-30am as he explains how the Republican Administration planned and carried out all of the attacks on 9/11 to advance their conquest and subjugation of the planet.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Independence Day 2006

I like the concept of the inflection point, the idea of a moment when direction changes and the path of events moves into new realms. American Independence Day honors the achievement of our founders in creating a government constitutionally bound to ideal concepts about the rights of free individuals, and the limits to which government can use power to control daily life.

Several millenniums of thought, from Egyptian and Persian dynasties through the arc of Greco-Roman Judeo-Christian civilization, shape our understanding of what the words life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness mean. Above all it means there are three fundamental desires that need to be balanced against each other.

From life we have concerns about the problems of injury, illness and death which underlie all political struggles over safety and health. From liberty the idea that all humans are equal as humans, especially in the possession of free will to decide how to behave within a framework of law. Pursuit of happiness recognizes the emotional component of our existence, so envy and fear, contentment and love are legitimate factors in determining the shape of the legal cage we construct for ourselves.

On July 4, 1776 the American Revolutionists announce their intention to form a new government to regulate thirteeen new world British colonies. Over time this wild experiment produces widespread justice and prosperity unprecedented in history. The inflection point turning the path of events the American Way deserves celebration, and also the understanding that the revolution is still ongoing.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Building Cieslewicztown Continues

Dave Cieslewicz is effectively maintaining his frantic pace in rebuilding Madison into a completely different type of city. The next target type for “infill” development is commercial land serving residential housing tracts. If you have money and a willingness to build a Mayor Dave approved design, then our tax paid public servants will green light everything. Neighborhood opinion is irrelevant to the final decision.
Lampert-Smith: Everybody loves plan - except the neighbors : In case you haven't been paying attention, Midvale Plaza is an ugly strip mall at the corner of Midvale and Tokay boulevards that developer Joe Krupp, golfer Jerry Kelly and his dad, Jack Kelly, want to spend $25 million to redevelop. The plan includes condos, apartments, retail and a new home for the Sequoya branch of the library.

The fight pits "new urbanism" versus old suburbanism, with the classic Madison overtones of neighborhood versus developer.
Or in other words, this fight pits the idea that individuals can own land versus the idea that collectives, which include both governments and corporations, can own land and people can own parts of buildings. It is a fight for the idea that a house and yard is preferable to an assured place in a stack of storage crates. New Urbanism is a socialist vision, a picture of an urban paradise painted by leaders who want to rule you. Seriously.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

2,500 Year Old Clay Tablets

US Federal Judge Blanche M. Manning, a Clinton appointee based in Chicago, came to my attention last summer when she sided with the ACLU in issuing the order preventing the Department of Defense from allowing the Boy Scouts to use a military base for their annual Jamboree.

Her 2006 encore is a decision that Persian antiquities on loan to the University of Chicago since the 1930’s can be confiscated for auction sale, to compensate relatives of American victims of a Hamas suicide bombing in Israel. The key reason stated is that representatives of the Iranian government did not show up in her courtroom to object.
Persian Artifacts, Victims of Political Crisis: Arguing that Iran was also responsible for the bombing because of its support from Hamas, Starchman asked the Federal Court to confiscate Iran’s assets in the US, including its ancient artifacts in Chicago University, as compensation to the families of the victims. When Iran did not show up in court, the judge ruled for the plaintiffs by default, awarding them damages of $423.5 million.
Attorneys for the University defend the absence of Iran saying they “were gun-shy because of bad experiences with the American legal system”. I fully believe the Islamic Theocracy in Iran is a danger to America and even appreciate a reluctance to deal with our Federal Courts because of the erratic and unprincipled decisions of late. Still, I’m not convinced that museum objects on loan from pre-terrorist regimes should be counted with cash and financial instruments when seizing assets for victim compensation. The Mullah’s aren’t very happy either.
Iran Threatens Retaliation: "If America lays claim to Iranian assets to implement some of its courts' rulings, it will face a similar measure from Tehran," Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki told the official IRNA news agency.
The irony is the Judge may have opened a door for direct US-Iran diplomatic talks.
Iran, US In New Cultural Battle: Charles Miller, a spokesman for the US Department of Justice, said, "We are reviewing the courts' ruling". This is while, in several recent cases involving US citizens and foreign nations, the Department of Justice intervened and claimed the national interest is better served if such disputes are resolved through diplomatic negotiations rather than legal suit, an argument revived in the University of Chicago case.
We can’t talk about nuclear bombs or intercontinental missiles or massive financial support for religious murder, but 2,500 year old clay tablets could get both sides to a single table. Well maybe if all parties were rational humans.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Foreign National Voting in Madison

The cover story of this weeks Isthmus is Latino immigration, legal and illegal, into Dane County Wisconsin. Local government believes there are between 20,000 to 40,000 individuals of Mexican and South American origin in the county. The numbers represent a surge in the percentage of the total population from 1.4% sixteen years ago to around 4% currently. There are concerns in the stories from new arrivals and, more importantly, issues in how government is reacting.

Immigrant Obstacle Course: (from the print edition) “Madison, they found, was peaceful. Calm. The houses all had running water and electricity. In the winter, everyone had heat. The schools were free.”

Our schools are most decidedly not free. If anything, Wisconsin public schools are unnecessarily expensive. Furthermore, no government benefits are without cost and almost all are funded by mandatory tax levies on citizen property and income. Kathleen Falk is the highest ranking elected Democrat in Dane County and as County Executive she has designed and is implementing the policy that citizen status is irrelevant.

Kathleen Falk: We created in Dane County an ordinance that prohibits County workers from inquiring about the legal status of the people we are serving, so that people do not need to be afraid to come to the County for help, with anything from economic assistance, child care and other human services programs, to our law enforcement and courts system.

Campaign Website: As County Executive, Kathleen has made sure that essentially all Department of Human Services programs and services are available to Dane County residents without regard to citizenship and documentation. … The County is currently implementing its countywide Limited English proficiency plan to provide better services to citizens who need language assistance in areas such as obtaining marriage licenses and other vital County documents and added two half time interpreter positions to serve residents in Court proceedings.

I believe this position is a logical derivative from a fundamental Democratic Party belief that, the proper role of government is to guarantee and administer solutions to the needs of individuals within their jurisdiction. In other words, resident persons subject to local law are subjects for equal treatment under the law. This, of course, is the opposite of the revolutionary American concept that humans are not subjects of the greater human power, but rather free citizens who construct and staff regulatory institutions by elective consent.

The Kathleen Falk idea that citizenship is irrelevant in operational practice, runs into logical conflict with the right of citizens to vote for government leadership. Quite simply, if foreign nationals can work, pay taxes, receive government benefits and services, then residence and not citizenship defines the relationship between individual and authority. If no other aspect of this interaction depends on citizenship, then why should voting?

Madison is run by Falk’s hand picked Mayor. The city Guide to the Election Process, also available in a Spanish Version, states that only US Citizens are eligible to vote, but the Registration Information requires only proof of residence. Furthermore, “Any commercial document that shows name and current address” is acceptable proof of residence. Does this mean that a job application from McDonalds or any other business is acceptable evidence of a right to vote? This is a good question to clarify with newly hired City Clerk Diane Hermann-Brown. The key follow up question is what steps are you taking to verify if residency equals citizenship for voter registration?