This is a great idea for UWO

A new program at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh aims to help students catch up with an ever-shrinking global society.

“The rest of the world knows a lot about America, but Americans know little about the rest of the world,” said Courtney Bauder, a member of the College of Education and Human Services faculty who organized the new Global Educator Certificate Program, the first of its kind in Wisconsin for graduate degree seeking students. “That’s bad politics, bad diplomacy, bad business, and bad economics. If we continue down this path it will be disastrous.”

Michael Greene was one of the university’s first graduates in the environmental studies bachelor’s degree program, now he’s among the first students to be part of the Global Educator program.



Homophobia, Iraq War Support and SUV's Mean You Might be a Girly-man (as Arnold might say)?

Doubt a man’s masculinity and he’ll get macho
Men whose male identity is compromised will overcompensate, study finds

NEW YORK - Tell a man that he’s not “man enough” and he may exhibit extremely macho behavior to compensate, new study findings suggest.

Here's the interesting part:

In the fall of 2004, 111 male and female undergraduate students at Cornell completed gender identity surveys, in which they rated themselves on a number of traditionally male and female traits, such as assertiveness, forcefulness and yielding. Willer then gave the students random feedback, although the students believed the feedback was genuinely based on their survey responses.
Some men were told that their survey responses were indicative of a female identity and others were told the opposite. The same was true for women, who were used as the comparison group.

Afterwards, Willer had the students complete a survey that examined their attitudes about certain masculine concepts, including homophobia, purchase of a sport-utility vehicle and support for the Iraq war.

Men whose masculinity was threatened — who were told that their initial survey responses were more feminine than masculine — tended to overcompensate for it in the second survey by expressing more homophobia, a higher level of support for the Iraq war and a greater interest in buying an SUV as opposed to other types of vehicles, Willer reports. These men also reported more feelings of shame, guilt, upset and hostility than did those whose masculinity was not threatened.

I personally think this explains a lot about the Bush Administration and it's overly-vocal supporters.....

The Power of Solidarity...

British Airways strike leaves 70,000 stranded
All Heathrow flights cancelled after transport, food workers walk out

LONDON - At least 70,000 travelers were left stranded Friday as British Airways canceled all flights to and from Heathrow Airport after a wildcat strike among catering staff spread to baggage handlers and other ground crew.

Problems for British Airways’ flights started Thursday after baggage handlers and other ground staff walked out in support of employees who were fired by the airline’s caterer after going on strike. The caterer, Gate Gourmet, said they were trying to resolve the dispute.

The dispute started when Gate Gourmet, which provides onboard meals for British Airways flights, fired 800 workers on Wednesday, according to a union representing the catering workers. The company said only 667 workers had been dismissed.

BA baggage handlers and loaders represented by the same union — the Transport and General Workers Union — stopped work in sympathy with the fired catering staff.

Gate Gourmet Chief Executive Dave Siegel said the firm was “actively engaged in trying to find a solution.”

Later Thursday, another union representing British Airways check-in staff advised their members to stop work for health and safety reasons after disgruntled passengers took out their frustrations on staff.

And guess where the offending company is from?

Gate Gourmet, which is owned by the Fort Worth, Texas, buyout firm Texas Pacific Group, claimed that workers staged an unofficial strike, but the Transport and General Workers Union accused managers of deliberately provoking the dispute.

And furthermore:

British Airways Chief Executive Rod Eddington said in a statement Thursday that nearly 100 aircraft and 1,000 pilots and cabin crew were left “in the wrong places around the world” because of the dispute.

“It is a huge disappointment to us that we have become embroiled in someone else’s dispute,” Eddington said.


Why is it that if a company outsources, they feel not responsible for their actions? The airline passenger is paying BA to get on a flight. Therefore BA is responsible for all aspects of that service. If you hire someone that treats labor poorly, you are responsible for the consequences. BA should have either kept the service in house, or hired a responsible provider.

Anyway, back to solidarity - I hope the our labor leaders are seeing the result of true solidarity between workers. I feel sorry for the stranded passengers, but great for working people worldwide.

This is just bad writing...

'Trained and ready'
Guardsmen plan family reunion before heading to war
Appleton unit to escort military supply convoys in Iraq

By Steve Wideman Post-Crescent staff writer

CAMP SHELBY, Miss. -- Crocodile tears welled up in Army Spc. Dan Lederhaus' eyes at thoughts of returning home to Fremont after months of training to fight in the war in Iraq.

"It'll be great just to go home and see my wife, Mae, my kids and my friends," said Lederhaus, who will spend the next four days at home before heading to Kuwait with 620 other members of the Army National Guard's Appleton-based 2nd 'Gator' Battalion, 127th Infantry.

Sure, they are the 'Gator' Battalion, but come on, crocodile tears is not witty. Don't they know what that means? I hope there was a retraapologyd appology today.



I Wish this Would Have Been the Video for Holiday...

Holiday was a better song and statement.

But, it is still powerful:


By the way, if you don't have this album, it was the best of last year. I was never a big Green Day fan before, but this album moved me. Front to back, it is amazing.

No Politics on This One...

Flipping channels, the movie Anaconda is on...

Can you imagine what this cast would cost at the peak of each actors' career?

Jennifer Lopez .... Terri Flores
Ice Cube .... Danny Rich
Jon Voight .... Paul Sarone
Eric Stoltz .... Dr. Steven Cale
Owen Wilson .... Gary Dixon
Kari Wuhrer .... Denise Kalberg
Danny Trejo .... Poacher


But, it's still a bad movie.

Wounded Soldier Refuses to Meet with Bush

One day a nurse came in to ask Rodgers if he wanted to meet President Bush, who was visiting the hospital. Rodgers declined.

"I don't want anything to do with him," he explains. "My belief is that his ego is getting people killed and mutilated for no reason -- just his ego and his reputation. If we really wanted to, we could pull out of Iraq. Maybe not completely but enough that we wouldn't be losing people -- at least not at this rate. So I think he himself is responsible for quite a few American deaths."

Bill Swisher, a spokesman for Walter Reed, says it's "fairly common" for patients to decline to see visitors. "We've had visitors from Sheryl Crow to Hulk Hogan," he says, but he has no idea how many have refused to see Bush, who has visited the hospital eight times.

Rodgers says he also declined to meet Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and Condoleezza Rice. This wounded soldier has lost faith in his leaders, and he no longer believes their repeated assurances of victory.

"It's gonna go on as long as we're there," he says. "There's always gonna be insurgents trying to blow us up. There's just too many of 'em that are willing to do it. You're never gonna catch all of 'em. And it seems like they have unlimited amounts of ammunition. So I don't think it's ever gonna end."


Hannity the Hypocrite (Along with the rest of the Conservative Machine)

Discussing Judge Robert's confirmation...

Hannity on the August 1 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes:

You know, I look at the Democrats in the case of John Roberts. They want documents handed over by him that no other Department of Justice person appointed to a court position has ever had to hand over.

They want questions answered that have never been answered before by a nominee. They want an abortion litmus test. And they want a religious litmus test. Are they preparing to Bork this man?

After this, it came out that Judge Robert's provided pro bono assistance to gay-rights activists in the case of Romer vs Evans.

Here is Hannity's new position:

I'm gonna be honest, I'm concerned. Seven of the nine Supreme Court justices that currently comprise this court were appointed by Republicans. We have been burned by four of the seven, so we must look at whatever information becomes available, as always we encourage intellectual honesty about what it shows.

This is one of the most important and defining moments in our history. You cannot make a mistake here. And so we've got to be intellectually honest, and we've got to read over these memos. He's gotta answer questions. I wanna hear good questions from Republicans, as well as Chuck Schumer and the Democrats. We've been burned four out of seven times on the Supreme Court, and I don't want to be burned again.

Blumenthal on the Prince of Darkness...

The tension of possibly being asked an impertinent question about Valerie Plame was unbearable for Robert Novak. Before it could be posed on CNN's Aug. 4 "Inside Politics," Novak growled a vulgarism, threw off his microphone, and stalked off the set.

Then he gives an overview of the history behind leak gate.

Miller's sentencing tightened the ring around Novak. He had covered numerous politicians in trouble, but finding himself in this spotlight was a novelty for him. Appearing on C-SPAN just before Miller went to jail, he expressed irritation at her and Cooper for making a case against testifying about their sources. "I don't know why they're upset with me," Novak said. "They ought to worry about themselves. I worry about myself."

Over the past two years, he has offered several conflicting accounts of the circumstances surrounding the information he received about Plame's identity. "I didn't dig it out; it was given to me," he told Newsday in his first explanation. "They thought it was significant, they gave me the name, and I used it." Then, on Sept. 29, 2003, the day the criminal investigation was formally announced, Novak declared on CNN, "Nobody in the Bush administration called me to leak this." Shifting back and forth in his chair, he engaged in a show of bravado. "It looks like the ambassador [Wilson] really doesn't know who leaked this to me," he said. He turned to a guest on the show, Rep. Harold Ford of Tennessee, and asked, "Do you know whether my source was in the White House? Do you know that at all?"

At CNN, Novak's Aug. 1 column created something of a crisis. For some time, the news director and producers had tried to ask Novak about his knowledge of the Plame affair. How could the network claim to be a serious news organization if it gave Novak a free pass? Now they decided that Novak had to be asked about "Who's Who." Is that where he learned about Valerie Plame? Or was he diverting attention from where he really got the information?

CNN anchor Ed Henry placed a copy of "Who's Who" on the desk in front of Novak as he prepared to parry with his usual foil, Democratic political consultant James Carville. The proximate subject was the Senate candidacy of Republican Rep. Katherine Harris of Florida. "Don't be too sure she's going to lose ... all the establishment's against her and I've seen these Republican anti-establishment candidates who do pretty well," Novak said. Carville attempted to make a comment, but Novak cut him off. "Just let me finish what I'm going to say, James. Please, I know you hate to hear me, but you have ..." Carville replied that Novak has "got to show these right-wingers that he's got backbone, you know. It's why the Wall Street Journal editorial page is watching you. Show 'em you're tough." "Well, I think that's bullshit!" spat back Novak. "And I hate that." He turned to Henry, glancing at the volume of "Who's Who," and said, "Just let it go." With that, he removed his microphone and departed.

"I'm sorry as well that Bob Novak obviously left the set a little early," Henry explained to viewers. "I had told him in advance that we were going to ask him about the CIA leak case. He was not here for me to be able to ask him about that. Hopefully we'll be able to ask him about that in the future." But perhaps not for a long time, until CNN decides when to lift Novak's suspension, which some at CNN have suggested to me may not be until the Plame imbroglio is entirely resolved.

He then follows up with an interesting overview of Novak's career.

Read it all here:



Another Oldie but Goodie...

A Day in the Life of Joe Republican

Joe gets up at 6 a.m. and fills his coffee pot with water to prepare his morning coffee. The water is clean and good because some tree-hugging liberal fought for minimum water-quality standards. With his first swallow of coffee, he takes his daily medication. His medications are safe to take because some stupid commie liberal fought to insure their safety and that they work as advertised. All but $10 of Joe's medications are paid for by his employer's medical plan because some liberal union workers fought their employers for paid medical insurance - now Joe gets it too. He prepares his morning breakfast, bacon and eggs. Joe's bacon is safe to eat because some girly-man liberal fought for laws to regulate the meat packing industry. In the morning shower, Joe reaches for his shampoo. His bottle is properly labeled with each ingredient and its amount in the total contents because some crybaby liberal fought for his right to know what he was putting on his body and how much it contained. Joe dresses, walks outside and takes a deep breath. The air he breathes is clean because some environmentalist wacko liberal fought for laws to stop industries from polluting our air. He walks to the subway station for his government-subsidized ride to work. It saves him considerable money in parking and transportation fees because some fancy-pants liberal fought for affordable public transportation, which gives everyone the opportunity to be a contributor.

Joe begins his work day. He has a good job with excellent pay, medical benefits, retirement, paid holidays and vacation because some lazy liberal union members fought and died for these working standards. Joe's employer pays these standards because Joe's employer doesn't want his employees to call the union. If Joe is hurt on the job or becomes unemployed, he'll get a worker compensation or unemployment check because some stupid liberal didn't think he should lose his home because of his temporary misfortune. It's noontime and Joe needs to make a bank deposit so the can pay some bills. Joe's deposit is federally insured by the FSLIC because some godless liberal wanted to protect Joe's money from unscrupulous bankers who ruined the banking system before the Great Depression. Joe has to pay his Fannie Mae-underwritten mortgage and his below-market federal student loan because some elitist liberal decided that Joe and the government would be better off if he was educated and earned more money over his lifetime.

After work this evening, Joe plans to visit his father at his farm home in the country. He gets in his car for the drive. His car is among the safest in the world because some America-hating liberal fought for car safety standards. He arrives at his boyhood home. His was the third generation to live in the house financed by Farmers' Home Administration because bankers didn't want to make rural loans. The house didn't have electricity until some big-government liberal stuck his nose where it didn't belong and demanded rural electrification. Joe is happy to see his father, who is now retired and lives on Social Security and a union pension because some wine-drinking, cheese-eating liberal made sure he could take care of himself so Joe wouldn't have to. Joe gets back in his car for the ride home, and turns on a radio talk show. The radio host keeps saying that liberals are bad and conservatives are good. He doesn't mention that the beloved Republicans have fought against every protection and benefit Joe enjoys throughout his day. Joe agrees: "We don't need those big-government liberals ruining our lives! After all, I'm a self-made man who believes everyone should take care of themselves, just like I have."

A Neat Look at Polling Trends

Tony Plameri linked to this site earlier, I had never seen it. If you are a numbers geek like me, it is cool to look at the trends.

Here are some examples:

Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling his job as president?

Date Approve Disapprove No opinion
2005 Aug 5-7 45 51 4
2005 Jul 7-10 49 48 3
2005 Jun 6-8 47 49 4
2005 May 2-5 50 45 5
2005 Apr 1-2 48 48 4

2005 Mar 7-10 52 44 4
2005 Feb 4-6 57 40 3
2005 Jan 3-5 52 44 4
2004 Dec 5-8 53 44 3
2004 Nov 7-10 53 44 3

Looks like buyer's remorse to me.

As you may know, John Roberts is the person nominated to serve on the Supreme Court. Would you like to see the Senate vote in favor of Roberts serving on the Supreme Court, or not?

Date Yes, vote in favor No, would not No opinion
2005 Aug 5-7 51 28 21
2005 Jul 22-24 59 22 19

That's a heck of a change in one week.

Do you think the federal government should – or should not – fund research that would use newly created stem cells obtained from human embryos?

Date Yes, should No, should not No opinion
2005 Aug 5-7 56 40 4

In view of the developments since we first sent our troops to Iraq, do you think the United States made a mistake in sending troops to Iraq, or not?
Based on 481 adults surveyed

Date Yes, a mistake No, Not No opinion
2005 Aug 5-7 54 44 2
2005 Apr 29-May 1 49 48 3
2005 Mar 18-20 46 51 3
2005 Feb 25-27 47 51 2
2005 Feb 4-6 45 55
2005 Jan 14-16 52 47 1
2005 Jan 7-9 50 48 2
2004 Nov 19-21 47 51 2
2004 Oct 29-31 44 52 4
2004 Oct 22-24 47 51 2
2004 Oct 14-16 47 52 1
2004 Oct 9-10 46 53 1
2004 Oct 1-3 48 51 1
2004 Sep 24-26 42 55 3
2004 Sep 3-5 35 57 5
2004 Aug 23-25 48 50 2
2004 Jul 30-Aug 1 47 51 2
2004 Jul 19-21 50 47 3
2004 Jul 8-11 54 45 1
2004 Jun 21-23 54 44 2
2004 Jun 3-6 41 58 1
2004 May 7-9 44 54 2
2004 Apr 16-18 42 57 1
2004 Jan 12-15 42 56 2
2003 Nov 3-5 39 60 1
2003 Oct 6-8 40 59 1
2003 Jul 7-9 27 72 1
2003 Mar 24-25 23 75 2

Final Thought: Things are not going well for the Republicans.

Eisenhower Calls Bush Stupid From Beyond the Grave...

I saw this several places - I wasn't sure if it was true, so I went to my favorite source:


Turns out it is right on... Here's the quote:

President Dwight Eisenhower, Republican, uttered these words on November 8, 1954:

"Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes that you can do these things. Among them are a few Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or businessman from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid."

Genius in the Northwestern Today...


(Scroll down to my letter...)

It is about time! Only several weeks later!


Is there a housing bubble?

Look at this from Krugman in the NY Times:

This is the way the bubble ends: not with a pop, but with a hiss.

Housing prices move much more slowly than stock prices. There are no Black Mondays, when prices fall 23 percent in a day. In fact, prices often keep rising for a while even after a housing boom goes bust.

So the news that the U.S. housing bubble is over won't come in the form of plunging prices; it will come in the form of falling sales and rising inventory, as sellers try to get prices that buyers are no longer willing to pay. And the process may already have started.


Compare that with this from the Northwestern:

As of the end of June, there were 89 duplexes of 50 years or older on the market,” Captain said.

“Last year, 29 duplexes of that sort sold. In other words, we have a three-year supply (of duplexes) on the market. What’s happening is some (landlords) are deciding to get out of the business, but we can’t sell the ... things.”


Just something to toss around....

Ohio Unit Requested More Troops

A Marine regiment that took heavy casualties last week in western Iraq including 19 killed from a Reserve unit headquartered in Ohio - had repeatedly asked for about 1,000 more troops. Those requests were not granted.

Regimental Combat Team 2 began asking for additional troops to police its volatile 24,000-square-mile territory before most of its Marines deployed in February, said operations officer Lt. Col. Christopher Starling, 39, of Jacksonville, N.C.

Starling said the unit could "optimally" use one more battalion, about 1,000 troops, to take some of the pressure off the Reserve unit, which is spearheading an offensive in the region. "With a fourth battalion, I wouldn't have to play pick-up ball," Starling said.

The requests for additional forces were passed to higher headquarters in nearby Ramadi; it is unclear whether they went beyond that level, Starling said.

And what was the Pentagon response:

Pentagon spokesman Larry DiRita said Sunday, "I don't doubt every colonel wishes he had more in his area, but the decisions about how troops are (deployed) are made by the commanders above them."

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has said that he would authorize an increase in the number of troops in Iraq if top commanders asked for them. The Pentagon says that so far they haven't.

Alston said it was "not uncommon for commanders in the field to say 'I need more troops.' "

When will people see and understand the disconnect between the ground forces and the incompetence of the civilian leadership?


The Past Few Days in History...

On Aug. 8, 1974, President Richard Nixon announced he would resign following damaging revelations in the Watergate scandal.

On Aug. 7, 1964, Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin resolution, giving President Johnson broad powers in dealing with reported North Vietnamese attacks on United States forces.

On Aug. 6, 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, during World War II, killing an estimated 140,000 people in the first use of a nuclear weapon in warfare.


A Good Overview of the Iraq Situation in Public Opinion...

Judging from what's out there, it appears to be time to pile on the Administration over Iraq. A strikingly close outcome in a special congressional election in Ohio last week suggested that voters in a traditionally Republican stronghold are more receptive to criticism about President Bush's conduct of the war. Sixty-one percent of Americans disapprove of his handling of it, per Newsweek. Jessica Lynch tells Time magazine that she feels she was "used as a symbol." The mother of a US soldier killed in Iraq, an anti-war activist, is getting national media attention for her vigil in Crawford; she has already met with Administration officials but hopes to meet with Bush, etc.


Another Great Editorial Cartoon...



Great Editorial in the Northwestern

They never cease to amaze.... They got it spot on this time, and deserve the kudos for it.


Oshkosh man’s role in Iraq more clear than nation’s

The loss of Oshkosh Army Capt. Benjamin Jansky has given all of those national questions about our involvement in the Iraq war a local face.

Our city has reached a point where the national questions about the duration of the war and its price are no longer separate. Some who have questioned these issues in the past may now find company in people who hadn’t.

We strain now to serve loyalties to a president who declared “mission accomplished” when we now know it isn’t. In our search for answers about where Jansky fit into the bigger picture, we see honorable service. In our search for answers about where our nation fits into the bigger picture, we see less clarity.

In the name of Benjamin Jansky, we implore our president who authorized this war to give the reassurances that we need.

Tell us, Mr. President, how many more good men and women our military planners expect to die in order to win this war, American and Iraqi? How many?

Tell us, Mr. President, what are the specifics of which troops will leave first, reserve or regulars?

Tell us, Mr. President, what is the exit strategy so we may know that there is one. Is there an exit strategy?

The only certainty that Oshkosh has in this war in Iraq is that we don’t have answers to the above questions. But we know for a fact that we have lost a fine and very young man.

The Final Thought: The loss of a local son in Iraq in the face of a continued lack of direction in that war is an imbalance that isn’t acceptable.


More on Community WI-FI

Kristoff in the NY Ttimes:

This is cowboy country, where the rodeo is coming to town, the high school's "kiss the pig" contest involves a genuine hog, and life seems about as high-tech as the local calf-dressing competition, when teams race to wrestle protesting calves into T-shirts.

But Hermiston is actually a global leader of our Internet future. Today, this chunk of arid farm country appears to be the largest Wi-Fi hot spot in the world, with wireless high-speed Internet access available free for some 600 square miles. Most of that is in eastern Oregon, with some just across the border in southern Washington.

Driving along the road here, I used my laptop to get e-mail and download video - and you can do that while cruising at 70 miles per hour, mile after mile after mile, at a transmission speed several times as fast as a T-1 line. (Note: it's preferable to do this with someone else driving.)

This kind of network is the wave of the future, and eastern Oregon shows that it's technically and financially feasible. New York and other leading cities should be embarrassed that Morrow and Umatilla Counties in eastern Oregon are far ahead of them in providing high-speed Internet coverage to residents, schools and law enforcement officers - even though all of Morrow County doesn't even have a single traffic light.

Indeed, we need to envision broadband Internet access as just another utility, like electricity or water. Often the best way to provide that will be to blanket a region with Wi-Fi coverage to create wireless computer networks, rather than running D.S.L., cable or fiber-optic lines to every home.

Read more about it here:


Could this be a way for Oshkosh to become a Wisconsin pioneer?

Would we better attract and keep residents?

Is Inteligent Design Science?

From Newsweek, excerpts here:

Monkey See, Monkey Do
Offering ID as an alternative to evolution is a cruel joke. It walks and talks like science but in the lab performs worse than medieval alchemy.

Eighty years after the Scopes "monkey trial," the threat to science and reason comes less from fundamentalists who believe the earth was created in six days than from sophisticated branding experts and polemical Ph.D. s who are clever enough to refrain from referring to God or even the Creator, and have now found a willing tool in the president of the United States.

Lest you think this is merely of academic interest, consider the stakes: the Pentagon last week revealed that it is spending money to train certain scientists how to write screenplays for thrillers related to their specialties. Why? Because the status of science has sunk so low that the government needs these disciplines to become sexy again among students or the brain drain will threaten national security.

When Bush was asked about intelligent design last week, he answered, "Both sides ought to be properly taught... so people can understand what the debate is about." This sounds reasonable until you realize that, as the president's own science adviser, John H. Marburger III, admits, there is no real debate. "Intelligent design is not a scientific concept."

Its (Ineligent Design's) basic claim—that the human cell is too complex to be explained by natural selection—is unproven and probably unprovable.

Brown University biologist Kenneth Miller (who attends mass every week) says the "unspoken message" peddled by the Discovery Institute is that evolution is the single shakiest theory in science. In fact, despite its flaws, it remains among the most durable theories in all of science.

The scholarly articles (on Inteligent Design) are often well written and provocative. But the science within these papers has been demolished over and over by other scientists. As Miller explains, science is perhaps the last true marketplace of ideas. After a decade in circulation, intelligent design has failed the market test. So now its backers are seeking the equivalent of a government bailout, by going around their scientific peers to Red State politicians trying to slip religious dogma into the classroom.