HELLO FROM EAU CLAIRE, WISCONSIN:

HELLO FROM EAU CLAIRE, WISCONSIN - city of big bottoms and small minds.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

WALKER TO SIGN ID LAW TODAY - SCORE ANOTHER FOR REPUBLICAN BUNDESTAG

Some time ago, I got into a short discussion about the Wisconsin Voter ID Law. The woman who took issue with me didn't see that passing such a law was any impingement on our rights. I disagreed. However, I didn't follow up with the "reasons why" because I figured this person would not be persuaded anyway.

But today I read an article by Scot of "One Wisconsin Now" and he did an admirable job of stating my case. Here it is, in it's entirety:


Dear Friend:
Many of you have written to me in response to my email yesterday about the voter ID bill. Some of you were very enthusiastic in your support of our efforts to fight back against this assault on our voting rights. But others of you had questions about the bill, and wondered why we oppose requiring qualified voters to show an ID at the polls. "You have to show an ID to rent a video, why not to vote?" someone asked. "With all the voter fraud out there, I think voter ID is a good idea," another person wrote.
I want to address these questions and fully explain why this bill is wrong for Wisconsin.
First of all, the right to vote is guaranteed to citizens of Wisconsin in our state constitution. The right to rent a movie, open a checking account, go to the bar, get on an airplane or any other similar activity is not, and requiring an ID for these types of activities is not a barrier to exercising a constitutionally-protect right. Voter ID is fundamentally different.
There is absolutely no evidence of a widespread conspiracy to commit voter fraud. Wisconsin's Republican Attorney General JB Van Hollen has made prosecuting so-called voter fraud one of his top priorities. However, after a two year investigation into the 2008 election, Van Hollen has found a scant 11 potentially improper ballots out of nearly 3 million total votes cast. Of those, eight involved felons who voted while out in the community on probation or parole, a situation that voter ID would not remedy. That leaves 3 potentially bad votes out of 3,000,000 votes, or about 0.000001% of all votes cast. Voter ID is a solution in search of a problem.
The bill's authors, Republican Rep. Jeff Stone and Sen. Joe Leibham, have modeled their bill after Indiana's Voter ID law, which was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. According to the Supreme Court case upholding Indiana’s Voter ID bill, the lower court found “99 percent of Indiana’s voting age population already possesses the necessary photo identification to vote under the requirements.”
Wisconsin’s population is substantially less likely to have a state-issued identification. Those without state-issued photo identification and who would need to obtain one under the Wisconsin Voter ID bill include:
23 percent of all elderly Wisconsinites over the age of 65
17 percent of white men and women
55 percent of all African American males and 49 percent of African American women
46 percent of Hispanic men and 59% of Hispanic women
78 percent of African American males age 18-24 and 66 percent of African American women age 18-24
[Driver License Status of the Voting Age Population in Wisconsin, 6/05]
Yes, the bill as written does have a provision to provide free identification for some Wisconsinites. Each and every one of these people would have to take the time off (in many cases unpaid) from work or family obligations to flock to Wisconsin DMVs. However, access to the DMV is a problem in Wisconsin; Indiana provides its residents exponentially more access to its Department of Motor Vehicles offices to obtain identification.
Wisconsin and Indiana have similar voting age populations (4.35 million vs. 4,8 million), but Wisconsin is 50 percent larger geographically than Indiana (54,314 sq. miles vs. 35,870 sq. miles). Indiana not only provides its residents 50 percent more DMV offices than Wisconsin (140 to 91), but also nearly three times the total hours these facilities are open.
Also consider:
Twenty-six percent of Wisconsin’s 91 DMVs are open one day a month or less, while none of Indiana’s are open less than 100 days a year and nearly all are open over 250 days a year.
Wisconsin has only one DMV with weekend hours, while Indiana has 124 offices with weekend hours.
Three Wisconsin counties have no DMVs, no Indiana county is without a DMV.
Over half of Wisconsin’s 91 DMVs are open on a part-time basis, while Indiana provides full-time DMVs in every county.
[Wisconsin DMV service centers and hours, by county; Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles, locations and hours]
The need to expand the numbers and operational hours of Wisconsin DMVs to provide appropriate access could increase the $70 million biennial Wisconsin DMV budget by as much as 50 percent on top of the current $5 million price tag to provide free identifications.
Requiring eligible voters to produce ID at the polls is an unnecessary hurdle to exercising our right to vote which will prevent many people from voting. The "widespread voter fraud" that this bill is aimed at "fixing" does not exist, and the microscopic number of double votes will be FAR outpaced by the number of people who will be prevented from voting by the voter ID requirement. In a time when Wisconsin faces a $3 billion budget deficit, we simply cannot afford to double the DMV budget. Voter ID is a big-government, budget-busting solution in search of a problem; a solution that will make it more difficult to practice our most fundamental right.
That is why we oppose voter ID. I hope this email helps to answer your questions about this bill. If you're ready to join this fight, please sign up for our Voter Protection Task Force to push back against this assault on our democratic rights.
Sorry for the long email, but thank you, as always, for everything you do.


Scot
One Wisconsin Now

GREEN BAY PACKER JACKET BECOMING WEARABLE HISTORY OF TEAM


It took some doing, but I finally found someone who does embroidery to update my wins/losses patch for my Green Bay Packer "History of the Packers" jacket. I also had difficulty finding the 1 1/2 inch numerals to match the others on the jacket back, but finally located them online through a company way out in Idaho.

The jacket has gotten many and varied comments from people



when I wear it out in public. While walking towards the Eau Claire Post Office downtown, I was approached by a young man going the other way who looked at my jacket and laughed. I thought this rather strange but suspect he was high on something as his eyes were as big as saucers.

While attending a game in Green Bay, I went into the packers Pro Shop before the game and the woman behind the check out counter asked: "Mind if I read your jacket?" I consider that a correct response.

Another woman at the grocery store looked at it and said: "Wow. You don't have any more places to put patches, do you?" I told her that the jacket was so old that the patches were all that were holding it together.

Except for the Willabee and Ward Super Bowl XLV patch, my jacket is now completed. I really can't add any more Super Bowl wins to it.

Guess I better start looking for another jacket!

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Sunday, May 22, 2011

PROUD TO BE A PART OF "FIGHTIN' BOB FEST NORTH"


Despite the fact that I was still fighting off my latest tussle with Spring fibromyalgia, I had enough left to do a pretty darn good twenty minute set - following one of my all time political heroes, retired senator Dave Obey, who has given so much of himself to our great state which is now in free fall, thanks to Scott "The Big Lie" Walker.

I opened with a Norwegian joke in which Ole showed up back at the house after dark, dragging a huge 18 point buck carcass - and no sign of his hunting partner, our beloved governor.

When Lena asked what happened, Ole said: "Vell, the governor had a heart attack (it was a good dream) and so I had to decide whether to drag him or the deer and I figgered nobody would steal Walker, dead or alive!"

I then launched into the Snowmobile Song, followed by my "Pinocchio and Walker" tune which the audience joined with gusto on the chorus.

I finished by honoring the guv with the "Butthead Polka", which seemed appropriate, given the circumstances.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

FOSTER BAR, GREAT FOLKS - THROW A GREAT PARTY

Saturday morning it felt more like early April than mid-May. I was slated to work the three o'clock slot in an all day music jam to raise money for the American Cancer Society at the Foster Bar in Foster.

Rather than do something intelligent like give them a telephone call to see if I was working indoors or out, I instead assumed we would be playing outside and dressed accordingly. Accordingly for a 70 year old man is long johns, a tee shirt layered under a long sleeve shirt and a hoody over all.

After making a run to the bank to take the lose change I keep in a jar on my bureau, I made for Foster in a light drizzle.
I had been looking forward for a long time to doing this gig as work has been hard to come by and truthfully, I haven't keep up my guitar playing and the callouses are gone.

When I got there, the very solid duo you see pictured, Dayne and Dana, were performing to a slowly building crowd. This picture was taken around 2:30PM, so things were just starting to roll.

I went on a three o'clock and did a good 45 minute set on the Gibson J-45, mic'ed through the board as I prefer the much "woodier" sound I can get that way, rather than plugging in electrically. I still haven't heard a pick up made for acoustic guitar that doesn't make the guitar sound "tinny".

I was happily surprised when my good friend and keyboard wizard Tom Wieseler arrived and asked if he could sit in for my set. Another of my pals and fellow musicians, Tim Keilholtz, volunteered to play bass so I had a Hell of a good time working as a trio.

This time around, I did something I haven't done in months and months. I had a couple of boiler makers with Wisconsin's two most consumed libations: brandy and beer. I was feeling no pain by four o'clock and even though my fingers hurt, I grabbed the J-45 and played rhythm backing one of our best songwriters, Billy Krause. Fortunately, I only live about seven miles from the bar, so I made it back safely without having to walk a straight line.

The wholE experience got me thinking about how much I would like to put the band back together again for one last and very final band tour.

I would get my old Chevy panel van repainted bright red and lettered "The Big Tamata"and would rename the band as such.

Well, a guy can dream.

I want to say a special thanks to Sandy Bowe, Jane, and the crew at Foster's Bar for the love and generosity in their hearts to do a fund raiser and also to think of me to be a part of the day.

I hope I get a chance to do it again next Spring!

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Thursday, May 12, 2011

LATEST PHOTOGRAPHS REVEAL PROOF STATE SUPREME COURT RACE FIXED BY NICKOLAUS


After reading the following Truthout Article, it becomes very clear that the State of Wisconsin needs to re-do the election for state Supreme Court. This is sickening!



City of Brookfield Ballot Bags Found 'Wide Open' In Waukesha County, Wisconsin
Thursday 12 May 2011
by: Brad Friedman, The BRAD BLOG

Bags of ballots from the City of Brookfield in Waukesha County were discovered to have been open during the state Supreme Court election 'recount' on Thursday. (Photos: Mary Magnuson)

Five out of six bags of ballots from first batch to be counted out of the City of Brookfield in Waukesha County, Wisconsin today were discovered "almost wide open" during Day 9 of the statewide Supreme Court election "recount." The bags were open and unsealed, according to both photographic evidence and an eye-witnesses account from the counting room.

"When the ballot bags were taken out and placed upon the counting table, we were literally stunned," one of the citizen observers, Mary Magnuson, a Kloppenburg volunteer, told The BRAD BLOG this morning. "5 out of the 6 ballot bags were almost literally wide open, and ballots could be clearly seen."

The ballots in those bags were among the 14,000 said to have been cast in the April 5th election, but left off of Waukesha County's tally as reported to the media on Election Night.

Earlier this week we offered a detailed report on the status of the statewide "recount," highlighting a host of disturbing and outright violations of the chain of custody of ballots, including unnumbered and renumbered ballots bags (many of them from Waukesha County); ballots discovered unsecured and/or left out of the original count all together; and exceedingly sloppy record-keeping and reporting of "recount" results by the state's chief election agency, the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board (GAB). In sum, we described the state of the "recount" of the contested election between Republican incumbent Justice David Prosser and his independent challenger Asst. AG JoAnne Kloppenburg, as "a mess."

Today, after the newest revelations from the Waukesha County counting room, it got a lot messier.

"We are finding significant anomalies, including chain of custody and missing ballots, that we need to shine light on," Kloppenburg campaign manager Melissa Mulliken told The BRAD BLOG earlier this week, while we were working on our previous story. The anomalies she was referring to, given where today's unsecured ballots are said to come from, have gotten much more "significant" in the past few hours...



'Widest gap seen so far'

Magnuson quoted retired Circuit Court Judge Robert Mawdsley --- appointed by the GAB to oversee Waukesha's count in place of controversial County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus, who recused herself in light of several ongoing investigations into her handling of election results --- as saying that the opening in one of the ballot bags from the City of Brookfield was "the widest gap we have seen in any of the bags so far."

Moreover, in addition to the open ballots bags, one of them had its serial number crossed out and then replaced by another number to match the one seen on the plastic zip-cord "seal" still attached to the bag --- another chain of custody violation. Also, yesterday, ballot bags with six-inch openings in the top, large enough to pull ballots in and out of, were also discovered from Waukesha's Village of Elm Grove.

The new anomalies come on top of similarly disturbing chain of custody violations previously discovered in at least eight other "counting units," mostly in Waukesha, but elsewhere in the state as well.

According to the eye-witness Magnuson today, when the unsecured Brookfield ballots were discovered, legal counsel for Kloppenburg "objected to the ballots even being counted and/or included, due to the extremely evident lack of security insofar as the ballots were concerned." Nonetheless the Kloppenburg volunteer observer told The BRAD BLOG, "Prosser's counsel argued in favor of counting the ballots and Judge Mawdsley ruled in favor of counting them."

Kloppenburg excercised her right to this "recount" after the unverified results of the post-election canvass by all 72 counties in the Badger State found her to be just 7,316 votes shy of Prosser out of some 1.5 million ballots cast in the hotly-contested April 5th election. The 0.488% unofficial margin entitled her to a state-sponsored count, which she requested after learning that some 14,000 votes from the City of Brookfield were allegedly left out of Waukesha County's originally reported Election Night tally.

It is those votes which were scheduled to be "recounted" today in Waukesha and discovered to have been left wide open in unsecured bags, as documented in photographs taken by Magnuson, who has been observing the count for several days over the past week since counting began last Wednesday.

The 'Recount': Verifying questionable results for the first time

The majority of votes cast in Wisconsin are on hand-marked paper ballots, but are then scanned by oft-failed and easily-manipulated electronic tabulating optical-scan computers made by companies like Diebold, ES&S, and Sequoia without being checked for accuracy by human beings. Thus, our use of quotes around the word "recount,"
since almost all of the ballots cast in the crucial statewide election have never, until now, been examined for accuracy by any human being.

The stunning announcement of those 14,000 votes from the City of Brookfield, two days after the April 5th election, reversed what had originally been reported as an exceedingly slim (and unverified) "win" for Kloppenburg on Election Night. The Supreme Court race had become a referendum on Republican Gov. Scott Walker's controversial move to strip rights from citizens to collectively bargain with the state. Supporters of both candidates spent millions on outside advertising in the closing days of the contest.

Brookfield's game-changing votes were revealed to have been missed during a remarkable press conference on the night of April 7th, held by Prosser's former colleague and long-time GOP activist, Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus. She is now under investigation for past election irregularities as well, including the recent discovery of some 20,000 more votes reported than the number said to have been cast in the county's 2006 general election.

Nickolaus waited nearly two days before notifying state officials or her own Board of Canvassers to her discovery of what she described as "human error" in failing to report the Brookfield totals on Election Night. The Kloppenburg campaign has asked for a special independent investigation into the matter.

The unsecured ballots from the City of Brookfield

Below are a number of photographs taken this afternoon in the Waukesha County, Wisconsin, counting room, of ballot bags from Wards 1, 2, and 3 in the City of Brookfield. (see Truthout Article http://www.truth-out.org/city-brookfield-ballot-bags-found-wide-open-waukesha-county-wisconsin/1305227275 for photos)

The plastic orange zip-cord tie attached to each bag is supposed to be a tamper-evident "seal." Each one has a serial number that is also supposed to match the one written on the bag's label, which is signed by two witnesses. The numbers are also supposed to match the one on the "Inspector's Report" filed on Election Night. (In our report earlier this week we detailed bags from the Town of Delafield, also in Waukesha County, which were missing serial numbers altogether or had their serial numbers scratched out and replaced by others.)

As Magnuson explained via email today...

"This morning, at the Waukesha County recount, things began, as usual. We were waiting to count the City of Brookfield, Wards 1, 2 and 3, when a representative from the County Clerk's office wheeled in the bin of information which included the inventory sheet, various envelopes, and, of course, the ballot bags.

"When the ballot bags were taken out and placed upon the counting table, we were literally stunned. 5 out of the 6 ballot bags were almost literally wide open, and ballots could be clearly seen. This, despite the fact that seals were around the top; still, the sides remained very clearly open with three different colors of ballots within"...







"Also made on the record was that the identifying number (or serial number) on bag 4, had been crossed out and replaced with another (serial, or identifying) number on the bag itself.

"Counsel for JoAnne Kloppenburg made that a part of the record, as well"...



[Update: "Giles Goat Boy" at Daily Kos has a link to the video and a partial transcript of the snap "hearing" that went on in the counting room to determine why the Brookfield ballot bags were open, and what explanation was offered by Brookfield's City Clerk Kristine Schmidt.]

Late this evening, Magnuson told us, "In the afternoon, six other ballot bags were pulled out when we opened the second bin for City of Brookfield, Wards 4, 5 & 6. Four of those bags had numbers scratched off of little white labels affixed to the bag."

"When the Kloppenburg representative asked the Brookfield City Clerk Kristine Schmidt for an explanation," of those labels and scratch-outs, says Magnuson, "she said, 'I don't know.'"

Here's one of those bags...



Elm Grove ballot bags: 'You could have stuck your entire hand in the damned things, your arm, maybe'...

Three bags from the Village of Elm Grove in Waukesha County, counted yesterday, were also discovered to have been unsecured. Each had "a 6 inch opening on each side" of the impenetrable plastic zip-line "seal" at the top-center of each bag.

Magnuson described those ballot bags to us yesterday as follows...

"This morning, Wednesday, May 4, at the Waukesha County recount, we began, as usual, with the introduction of a bin containing records, ballots, etc; today's count came from the Village of Elm Grove. The particular ward(s) included in the first count, were wards 5, 6, 7 and 8.

"Kelly, from the County Clerk's office brought the bin into the room and began to remove the various records, envelopes and ballot bags from the bin for identification purposes.

"At the time the ballot bags were removed from the bin and placed upon the tabulators' table, it was immediately noted by Judge Mawdsley that each of the three ballot bags, (bag 1 of 3, bag 2 of 3 and bag 3 of 3) were all sealed improperly. Specifically, despite the fact that an official seal had been placed on each bag, the tops of the ballot bags had not been properly folded over and/or tucked in, leaving an approximate six (6) inch gap on each side of the official red seal. Counsel for JoAnne Kloppenburg immediately requested that the condition of the bags be made part of the record; that request was accommodated.

"At one point, Judge Mawdsley referred to the condition of the tops of the bags as 'wing-like'. Another observer mentioned that she believed someone would have been able to 'fit their whole arm in there'. Regardless, after these observations, the bags were opened - each at the bottom, with a scissors - and the recount commenced in the normal fashion"...



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When we asked the Kloppenburg campaign for comment on the Elm Grove bags last night, campaign manger Mulliken said she did not yet have them on her list of reported incidents.

Earlier in the week, when we'd asked her about the several incidents of broken chain of custody discovered in ballots bags in other Waukesha municipalities discovered previously in the count, Mulliken expressed frustration with what was being found, but confidence in her "team of folks on the ground":

"In Waukesha," she told us, "the recount is moving slowly, partly because there have been questions and issues about almost every bag of ballots they've opened to recount. We have a great team of folks on the ground and have had an attorney there every day raising objections and making sure the record reflects what is happening and our objections."

When we queried the GAB about incidents of ballot bags with missing or scratched out numbers from Waukesha's Town of Delafield, in violation of chain of custody procedures, a spokesperson told The BRAD BLOG they would not be offering a response on such issues until after the "recount" was completed in the county.

"I haven't been briefed on that situation and so I can't comment on it at this point," the GAB's Reid Magney told us on Tuesday.

"Generally we don't have information about these things until we get minutes from the county. We don't get the minutes until the entire county has completed their count," he explained

A few other late 'recount' related items...

Machine counting in Waukesha?

Yesterday, while we were watching the live webstream of the counting room in Waukesha, we noticed ballots being tallied by machine, rather than by hand. Wisconsin "recount" procedures [PDF] specify that paper ballots are to be "recounted" by the same machines which tabulated them in the first place on Election Night, unless a court order is obtained to count them by hand.

Before the counting began, we reported that the Kloppenburg and Prosser campaigns had agreed to count paper ballots by hand in parts of some 31 of the state's 72 counties, after it had been learned that memory cartridges from theOptech Eagle optical-scan systems (sold by both ES&S and Sequoia), as used for the April 5th election in those counties, would have to be erased to accommodate the "recount." The memory cartridges, as the GAB's legal filings revealed, are no longer manufactured and are in short supply. We reported at the time that while ballots in parts of those 31 counties would therefore be counted by hand, "all" of Waukesha's ballots would be manually counted by agreement of the two campaigns.

So we were curious when we saw the machine counting going on. We queried the Kloppenburg campaign for an explanation last night, and Mulliken told us that the agreement was to count by hand only where the Optech Eagle system was used, and not in the entirety of Waukesha County as we had previously understood. In fact, there are a couple of municipalities in Waukesha which use the Sequoia-based op-scan system and others which use the ES&S op-scan system, but all of those op-scan systems are Optech Eagle according to VerifiedVoting.org's database, as updated on 1/13/08.

We will, of course, report any additional details on this as we are able to learn them.

[Update/Correction: We originally reported that two municipalities in Waukesha did not use the Optech Eagle. In fact, VerifiedVoting.org's database says they all use the Optech Eagle, at least as of 2008, though in some municipalities they use the ones put out by ES&S and, in others, the ones put out by Sequoia, since both companies used to sell those systems. We've corrected the above to reflect that additional information, but remain confused as to why the county seemed to be counting some ballots by machine on Wednesday. We're still seeking further information and will try to report back if we are able to get any.]

Prosser campaign 'lies' about 'targeting the nuns'

A story fed to the media by Prosser's camp yesterday, and published uncritically by Charlie Sykes of Milwaukee's am620 WTMJ under the headline "Targeting the Nuns," charged that a number of absentee ballots from cloistered nuns in Sauk County were missing their witness signatures and were tossed after "the Kloppenburg team argued that the ballots should be thrown out."

"The canvas board, after a long and somewhat contentious conversation voted to reject the ballots --- at the insistence of the Kloppenburg attorney," according to the published email "from the Prosser folks." (Sykes failed to identify the name of the "Prosser folk" it came from when he ran it in full on the WTMJ website.)

"This is why Kloppenburg’s goons justify a million dollar (plus) recount…to make sure the votes of nuns are [sic] counted," the email concludes.

We asked Mulliken about the incident and she was uncharacteristically blunt in quickly describing the Prosser story as "a lie."

"We did not object, that is a lie," she said. "It is just untrue. It is inaccurate. It is misinformation. We did not object."

Mulliken went on to explain that the canvass board and other officials in Sauk County decided not to count them because "that's the law."

"Ballots with missing witness signatures have been discovered in the normal course around the state," Mulliken continued, "and that makes them deficient. That's the law and that's the rule and that's what happened here. Everyone's vote is equal, whatever your occupation is. If your absentee ballot isn't witnessed properly it doesn't count."

In a statement sent to media in response to the charges yesterday, the campaign said:

The Prosser campaign has the facts wrong. To spread misinformation in order to disparage the recount process, disrespects Wisconsin voters who are entitled to have confidence that elections are fair. Justice Prosser should know that every vote is equal and every vote should be treated in accordance with the law.

A more responsible version of the nun story was published last night by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, explaining...

Because canvassers were unable to match the actual ballots to the voter, they took all 24 absentee ballots from the Town of Sumpter and randomly drew 18, which were then set aside and not counted. Of those ballots, Prosser had 14 while Kloppenburg had four.

The Prosser campaign made two appeals to have the ballots counted, including early Wednesday, but they were turned down by the board of canvassers, [counsel for Sauk County Alene] Bolin, said.

$25,000 reward posted for evidence of fraud in WI's Supreme Court Election

Finally (or almost), election integrity and government watchdog organization VelvetRevolution.us' Protect Our Elections campaign posted a $25,000 reward notice, for "information leading to the arrest and conviction of any person or persons for election tampering, resulting in reversal of the current outcome of the April 5, 2011 Wisconsin Supreme Court election."

[FULL DISCLOSURE: The BRAD BLOG is a co-founder of VelvetRevolution.us]

A printable version of the reward notice is posted here [PDF].



Dems charge GOP 'fraud' in state Senate recall petition drive...

One more...As we reported earlier today, state Democrats are alleging that Republicans have fraudulently submitted thousands of signatures on petitions for recalls of Democratic state Senators. Currently, signed petitions have been filed with the GAB for recall elections of 6 Republicans and 3 Democratic Senators in the wake of the passage of Walker's union-stripping legislation. See our earlier report for more details...

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

COLLECTING FOOTBALLS PUTS ME IN TOUCH WITH SPORTS HISTORY


There was a time when I was collecting football helmets but that day is gone. Then one day I found (on eBay, where else?) a vintage Wilson football that was manufactured in the Ada, Ohio, plant prior to the days when the NFL balls were adorned with a facsimile of the NFL commissioner under whose administration the ball was manufactured.

These footballs were stamped with the words "The Duke", so named to honor NY Giants owner Wellington Mara whose nickname was the duke.

So I began to watch for listings of those footballs. I now have four, one of which is almost in non-used perfect condition. Then a couple of weeks later I spotted the pictured football for sale. It is a Sonnett model K5 which was manufactured originally in Kentucky. By the mid 1950's, Wilson Sporting Goods bought out that company and began manufacturing the ball at their Ada, Ohio, location with the Sonnett name on one side and Wilson on the opposite side.

This ball is in really incredibly good shape for a ball that is as old as this one is. The only flaw is that when I inflate it to a full 13 pounds pressure, it slow leaks down to about 10 pounds and then stops.

Eventually I will send it to Wilson and have the valve and bladder replaced.

I am pretty excited to have found the precursor to "The Duke"!

_________________________________________________________________


Hollywood Squares:


These great questions and answers are from the days when ' Hollywood Squares' game show responses were spontaneous, not scripted, as they are now. Peter Marshall was the host asking the questions, of course...

Q.. Paul, what is a good reason for pounding meat?

A. Paul Lynde: Loneliness!

(The audience laughed so long and so hard it took up almost 15 minutes of the show!)


Q. Do female frogs croak?

A. Paul Lynde: If you hold their little heads under water long enough.


Q. If you're going to make a parachute jump, at least how high should you be?

A. Charley Weaver: Three days of steady drinking should do it.


Q. True or False, a pea can last as long as 5,000 years.

A. George Gobel: Boy, it sure seems that way sometimes.


Q. You've been having trouble going to sleep. Are you probably a man or a woman?

A.. Don Knotts: That's what's been keeping me awake.


Q. According to Cosmopolitan, if you meet a stranger at a party and you think that he is attractive, is it okay to come out and ask him if he's married?

A.. Rose Marie: No wait until morning.


Q. Which of your five senses tends to diminish as you get older?

A. Charley Weaver: My sense of decency.


Q. In Hawaiian, does it take more than three words to say 'I Love You'?

A. Vincent Price: No, you can say it with a pineapple and a twenty.


Q. What are 'Do It,' 'I Can Help,' and 'I Can't Get Enough'?

A. George Gobel: I don't know, but it's coming from the next apartment.


Q. As you grow older, do you tend to gesture more or less with your hands while talking?

A. Rose Marie: You ask me one more growing old question Peter, and I'll give you a gesture you'll never forget.


Q. Paul, why do Hell's Angels wear leather?

A. Paul Lynde: Because chiffon wrinkles too easily.


Q.. Charley, you've just decided to grow strawberries. Are you going to get any during the first year?

A.. Charley Weaver: Of course not, I'm too busy growing strawberries.


Q. In bowling, what's a perfect score?

A. Rose Marie: Ralph, the pin boy.


Q. It is considered in bad taste to discuss two subjects at nudist camps.. One is politics, what is the other?

A. Paul Lynde: Tape measures.


Q. During a tornado, are you safer in the bedroom or in the closet?

A. Rose Marie: Unfortunately Peter, I'm always safe in the bedroom.


Q. Can boys join the Camp Fire Girls?

A.. Marty Allen: Only after lights out.


Q. When you pat a dog on its head he will wag his tail. What will a goose do?

A. Paul Lynde: Make him bark?


Q. If you were pregnant for two years, what would you give birth to?

A. Paul Lynde: Whatever it is, it would never be afraid of the dark.


Q. According to Ann Landers, is there anything wrong with getting into the habit of kissing a lot of people?

A. Charley Weaver: It got me out of the army.


Q. It is the most abused and neglected part of your body, what is it?

A. Paul Lynde: Mine may be abused, but it certainly isn't neglected.


Q. Back in the old days, when Great Grandpa put horseradish on his head, what was he trying to do?

A. George Gobel: Get it in his mouth.


Q. Who stays pregnant for a longer period of time, your wife or your elephant?

A. Paul Lynde: Who told you about my elephant?


Q. When a couple have a baby, who is responsible for its sex?

A.. Charley Weaver: I'll lend him the car, the rest is up to him.


Q. Jackie Gleason recently revealed that he firmly believes in them and has actually seen them on at least two occasions. What are they?

A. Charley Weaver: His feet.


Q.. According to Ann Landers, what are two things you should never do in bed?

A. Paul Lynde: Point and laugh.

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In New Orleans, it's four strikes and you're out.

At least if you're trying to deal weed. The city, still struggling to recover from the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina, is meting out rough justice to Cornell Hood II for his fourth weed conviction. He got off with probation after three marijuana convictions in New Orleans.

But according to the Times-Picayune, following his move over to St. Tammany Parish, Hood, 35, could be headed to prison for the rest of his life. State Judge Raymond S. Childress brought the hammer down on Hood under Louisiana's repeat-offender law on Thursday after a jury found Hood guilty of attempting to possess and distribute marijuana at his Slidell home.

After moving from Eastern New Orleans to Slidell following a guilty plea to separate charges of distribution of marijuana and possession with intent to distribute marijuana on in December 2009, Hood received a suspended five-year prison sentence and five years' of probation for each. It was the same penalty he got in that court in February 2005 for the same charges.

An assistant DA used Hood's past convictions to argue he was a career criminal worthy of harsher punishment in the state, which allows for life imprisonment for drug offenders who've been convicted three or more times for a crime that carries a sentence of 10 years of more.

Does New Orleans man deserve life in prison for pot?


How depressing is this?? I got so depressed I rolled a fatty and went to New Orleans (in my mind).

Monday, May 9, 2011

TRUMAN THE LAST OF THE GREAT PRESIDENTS

If someone asks me who was the last great president, I would not hesitate to answer Harry Truman.

Harry "the buck stops here" Truman was truly a man of the people - one of us. We have not seen a president since who led so strongly.

Harry Truman was a different kind of President. He probably made as many, or more important decisions regarding our nation's history as any of the other 42 Presidents preceding him. However, a measure of his greatness may rest on what he did after he left the White House.

The only asset he had when he died was the house he lived in, which was in Independence Missouri . His wife had inherited the house from her mother and father and other than their years in the White House, they lived their entire lives there.

When he retired from office in 1952, his income was a U.S. Army pension reported to have been $13,507.72 a year. Congress, noting that he was paying for his stamps and personally licking them, granted him an 'allowance' and, later, a retroactive pension of $25,000 per year.

After President Eisenhower was inaugurated, Harry and Bess drove home to Missouri by themselves. There was no Secret Service following them.

When offered corporate positions at large salaries, he declined, stating, "You don 't want me. You want the office of the President, and that doesn't belong to me. It belongs to the American people and it's not for sale.."

Even later, on May 6, 1971, when Congress was preparing to award him the Medal of Honor on his 87th birthday, he refused to accept it, writing, "I don 't consider that I have don e anything which should be the reason for any award, Congressional or otherwise."

As president he paid for all of his own travel expenses and food.

Modern politicians have found a new level of success in cashing in on the Presidency, resulting in untold wealth. Today, many in Congress also have found a way to become quite wealthy while enjoying the fruits of their offices. Political offices are now for sale. (sic. Illinois )

Good old Harry Truman was correct when he observed, "My choices in life were either to be a piano player in a whore house or a politician. And to tell the truth, there's hardly any difference!"

I say dig him up and clone him!!

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Saturday, May 7, 2011

JON MAKES PROGRESS IN MUSIC CAREER


I have taken quite a lengthy hiatus from writing here - mostly because of my annual Spring depression, which all but paralyzes me when it strikes. That coupled with our idiot governor completely destroying the afterglow of winning Super Bowl XLV with his Tea Party antics in Madison that are currently destoying our beautiful state, was enough to make me hide, whimpering, in a dark closet.

But the first real signs that Winter may have finally bowed out (I found a wood tick embedded on my back this morning), no snow for nearly a week, and being almost completely out of stove wood for the office, have lifted my spirits greatly.

But mostly my attitude has greatly improved because of the young man pictured with the pizza.

Jonathan, the older of my two sons, went through some very hard times this past Winter, but lately, he too, seems to be emerging into the light!

I got a call from him recently and he was feeling very, very good about a show case he had just finished playing for - Jon plays guitar and writes the music for a great new children's music group called "Shine and the Moonbeams". (If you have time, google them and listen to some of their great kids' music).

They showcased in Brooklyn at Kindiefest for agents from all over the United States and were very well received. In fact, their music is a fresh new approach to children's music, incorporating elements of blues, jazz, soul, and hip hop.

In attendance was Tor Hyams, who is THE man when it comes to the children's music industry. He is based in Los Angeles and in the past expressed some interest in the group from tapes they had sent.

Here is what Wikipedia has to say about Hyams:

Tor Hyams is a songwriter and Grammy nominated music producer whose roster of artists include Joan Osborne, Vivian Campbell, Billy Gibbons, Lou Rawls, Rachel York, Lisa Loeb, Perry Farrell and Deborah Harry. Most recently[when?], Hyams produced the Edwin McCain album Nobody's Fault But Mine.


Hyams has also worked on children's music, writing and producing the CD A World of Happiness for Disney's Buena Vista Records featuring performances from Samuel L. Jackson, Magic Johnson, Lou Rawls, Isaac Hayes, Deborah Harry, Gary Oldman, Perry Farrell, Lisa Loeb, Michael McKean, Annette O'Toole, Brad Whitford, and Jane Kaczmarek.] He also co-produced the music video for one of the tracks "The Patience Bossa", directed by Gary Oldman and featuring a duet by Perry Farrell and Deborah Harry.
In 2005, Hyams developed and presented the children's music festival, Kidzapalooza, with Perry Farrell at the Lollapalooza music festival in Chicago. In 2009 Kidzapalooza was a stand-alone festival at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, again produced by Hyams and Farrell.] Kidzapalooza has run for six years with Hyams as producer and emcee. It will continue to at least 2015 and has spawned Kidzapalooza Radio on Sirius/XM and a compilation album. Hyams also produces the children's festival Austin Kiddie Limits as part of the Austin City Limits Music Festival.
Hyams formed Happiness Entertainment, a children’s music label with distribution through E1 Entertainment. In it’s inaugural year, Happiness has already released three albums, including a reissue of A World of Happiness with bonus tracks, The Kidzapalooza Compilation CD and an album by family hip hop act Secret Agent 23 Skidoo. Tor has also encouraged families to the SXSW Music Festival and through this co-founded KindieFest, a family music conference featuring panels and performances with influential figures from the world of children’s music. The first KindieFest was held in Brooklyn. He has also been named a judge for the NAPPA awards for children’s audio products.
His other work includes a Diane Warren composition for MTV which involved Michelle Branch, Bubba Sparxx & Sleepy Brown, Monica and JC Chasez. He has also produced a number of artists and compilations for TVT Records and UMS Records in New York.
For television, Hyams has composed themes and music packages for NBC, ABC, CBS, TBS, Showtime, The History Channel, USA, FX, Bravo, MTV, Sony and Paramount Television. Additionally, he has scored several feature films, including projects for Miramax, Artisan Entertainment, The Shooting Gallery and Fox Searchlight.
Another of his projects is Chutzpah (the world's first Jewish Hip Hop Super Group). Their reality-based comedy short film, Chutzpah, This Is? (The Official Hip-Hop-U-Mentary),[6] stars George Segal, Gary Oldman, Debi Mazar and Vivian Campbell. It received accolades from the HBO Comedy Festival and the Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival Audience Award and received official selection at 16 film festivals, both in the USA and overseas.[7] The group has since made several TV and radio appearances, including Fox TV LA and Good Day New York. Their second album Hip Hop Fantasy was released in July 2009.

After the show, Mr. Hyams sought out "Shine and the Moon Beams" and expressed an interest in producing their first album, hopefully by this coming autumn.

In addition, Jon has been performing with Corn Mo, an up and coming singer/songwriter - as his lead guitarist in the band .357 Lover. Some of their tunes can also be found on Youtube.

So I start each day with a prayer for Jon and success in his musical endeavors. I am very proud of the fact that he has suffered through some rough times to get to this point but has never given up on his talent or his dream.

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ALERTS TO THREATS IN 2011: BY JOHN CLEESE

The English are feeling the pinch in relation to recent events in Libya and have therefore raised their security level from "Miffed" to "Peeved." Soon, though, security levels may be raised yet again to "Irritated" or even "A Bit Cross." The English have not been "A Bit Cross" since the blitz in 1940 when tea supplies nearly ran out.

Terrorists have been re-categorized from "Tiresome" to "A Bloody Nuisance." The last time the British issued a "Bloody Nuisance" warning level was in 1588, when threatened by the Spanish Armada.

The Scots have raised their threat level from "Pissed Off" to "Let's get the Bastards." They don't have any other levels. This is the reason they have been used on the front line of the British army for the last 300 years.

The French government announced yesterday that it has raised its terror alert level from "Run" to "Hide." The only two higher levels in France are "Collaborate" and "Surrender." The rise was precipitated by a recent fire that destroyed France 's white flag factory, effectively paralyzing the country's military capability.

Italy has increased the alert level from "Shout Loudly and Excitedly" to "Elaborate Military Posturing." Two more levels remain: "Ineffective Combat Operations" and "Change Sides."

The Germans have increased their alert state from "Disdainful
Arrogance" to "Dress in Uniform and Sing Marching Songs." They also have two higher levels: "Invade a Neighbor" and "Lose."

Belgians, on the other hand, are all on holiday as usual; the only
threat they are worried about is NATO pulling out of Brussels.

The Spanish are all excited to see their new submarines ready to deploy. These beautifully designed subs have glass bottoms so the new Spanish navy can get a really good look at the old Spanish navy.

Australia , meanwhile, has raised its security level from "No worries" to "She'll be alright, Mate." Two more escalation levels remain: "Crikey! I think we'll need to cancel the barbie this weekend!" and "The barbie is canceled." So far no situation has ever warranted use of the final escalation level.

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