A university is just a group of buildings gathered around a library. ~Shelby Foote

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Come to Wisconsin!

What a great state! Yes, friends, you too can join me in the fine state of Wisconsin!

Here are just a few of the many, many reason to come to our fine state-- live here or just visit, you can't go wrong!

Yes, my friends, come to the beautiful state of Wisconsin! And always remember-- the state motto is "Forward!"


Nice, Nick. That almost (and I stress almost) makes me happy to be here in Minnesota.

Really, the three best reasons to be here (for me, anyway) are:

1. My wife and daughter are here.

2. Dad still pays for the Packer season tickets while I'm in "le Toilet de Nord."

3. NHL Hockey has returned to Minnesota.
Nick, you open yourself up for the obvious retort:

Why don't you move then? What KEEPS you here?

Because I'm sure there's all kinds of open space in all those Red states, and South Dakota definitely needs an archivist!

BTW, I'm with you on the discrimination thing. So I got THAT going for me. Which is, you know, nice.
Just the discrimination thing, tc? You're okay with MMSD dumping untreated and partially treated sewage into Lake Michigan? Your okay with doctors up and leaving the Badger State because malpractice insurance is through the roof here? You're okay with the hugely bloated county boards we have here?

I mean, I didn't expect you to agree with me on Feingold, concealed carry or WEAC, but the only one that bothers you is the same sex marriage amendment?

Oh, as to why I don't move-- family mostly. They are all here except for one brother-in-law. Family outweighs a lot.

Having a job I like helps, too. How do you know South Dakota needs an archivist? I know two working there now-- are you saying they're incompetent? Hmm, hmm?!

Though, in all seriousness, if a good job came along somewhere else, I'd actually stop and consider it these days. Which is not something I would likely have done as little as four years ago.

Oh, and just for the record-- given the huge amount of complainage about Bush and the anti-intellectual rightwingers you do over at your blog www.empireofthesenseless.blogspot.com why haven't you left the country? Hmmm? ;-)
Last question firstest. I have thought about leaving the country. following my civil rights so to speak.

But other than the fact that this is MY DAMN COUNTRY too, as much as yours or George Bush's, I still maintain a hope, a trust that the governmental interrelationships designed by the Smartest Guys In The Room can eventually compensate for the dramatic shift toward corporate sponsored authoritarianism in recent years.

I still have the ability to vent and complain, join a protest, call my Senators to register my voice. But ask me again if these things continue to be circumscribed.
The dumping sounds really bad, but the discrimination doesn't bother me. Homosexuals can't marry in Wisconsin right now. The only point of amending the constitution is to make painfully obvious what is only blindingly obvious right now what the law is. If you don't like it, blame the tricksy judges, whom you already appear to dislike.
Okay, let's go.

Concealed carry. What is the big deal here that we need this? Why is this needed by any stretch of the imagination? What possible positive effect can come of this addition to our Bang Bang Rights?

MMSD and the Lakes. I have a friend who was involved with the engineering of the Deep Tunnel project, and a sister in law who has done biological work on Lake Michigan. Not saying that I'm incredibly knowledgeable on these issues, but maybe I've gotten a bit of info that doesn't get floated on Charlie Sykes radio rants.

Before the Deep Tunnel project, you know why there was no news about waste dumping? BECAUSE IT HAPPENED ALL THE TIME, AND THERE WAS NO MITIGIATING FACTOR. Whenever weather dumped excessive amounts of water into the system, it just sluiced directly into the river and the lakebecause there was no place for it to go. Creation of the tunnel system has actually decreased the annual amount of untreated runoff because in more moderate storms, the water can be stored and treated. When it is necessary to dump the water (and to my knowledge, this has always been within guidelines established by the DNR)

DNR rules on piers. No real point, just an anecdote. When I was in high school, I was a draftsman at an engineering firm; one summer my boss's son also worked there for a while, until he was injured. He was injured diving off a pier. He dove into the water, and impacted on the bottom with his head. His spine was fortunately not broken, but two vertebrae were compacted and he was unable to turn his head afterward. All I'm saying is that sometimes, it's easy to point out some rules that may sound unreasonable, but there actually may be sound reasoning behind it. I'd like to know more before I discard it as ridiculaous, but I know the DNR is a favorite whipping boy.

Buying influence? Why that's something that simply wouldn't happen in a Republican-led State! except for the $600,000 sent to Thompson by mining interests, or the $377,000 given him by Real Estate industry, or the $350,000 he got from road-building folks. Here's another anecdote: When I first started an independent architectural firm, I discovered that the selection committee for State architectural contracts was told to supply 2 firms to Thompson's office for any contract over $50,000; his Secretary of State, Scott McCallum, would then select one. It was tacitly acknowledged that the deciding factor at that level of the process was how much money had been donated to Thompson and the Republicans.

Malpractice. Interestingly enough, we used to subscribe to the Wall Street Journal. One of the things we discovered was the at the paper was extremely well written and very reliable. except for the Editorial page, which was amusingly at odds with the rest of the paper, espousing the more radical and fringe business-oriented malarkey that was often at odds with information contained within the paper elsewhere. A new study, reported by the WaPo, indicates no correlation between malpractice awards and increasing malpractice premiums (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A22197-2005Mar9.html). also here: http://www.braytonlaw.com/news/legalnews/072905_medmal.htm. In fact, a study by Americans for Insurance Reform shows indications that the increase in insurance costs is more directly related to the insurers themselves, compensating for insurance price wars in the 1990s.

County Board members. I'm not sure I understand what the issue is here. Representative democracy in action, is what I see. I presume that since Bruce Murphy and Charlie Sykes have picked up on this issue, that there is some way that fewer county board members will benefit corporations and the well-off, but I don't know how, so I'm going to claim agnosticism on this one.

Sounds to me like the Oracle program was selected, under cotnract was subjected to a pilot program, and did not meet the goals, so was terminated properly. Let me give you another anecdote- from the point of someone who runs on of those companies that does that 'work' you refer to. When we looked at computerizing our drafting operation, we looked at a CAD system, and selected one station as a start. after working with it for a while, we discovered that the limitation of a single system was a bottleneck, and we made a decision to go to a different system that was less pricey, to allow us to integrate more systems at the outset to eliminate the bottleneck. Costy of learning this: about 9 grand. Sometimes, something that meets your needs on paper doesn't do the trick in meatspace, and you need to alter your approach. Now if they decided to go with the Oracle system even though it didn't meet the goals, now THAT would be something that would alarm me.

You, of course, are right about Russ. But I'm not going to get into that here.

I'll dive right into the smoking ban. I'm not a smoker, never have been, but my parents both were. But I spend a fair amount of time in clubs and bars watching bands, and the stench of the smoke on my clothes when I get home is...unpleasant. Now, the tavern league claims that they will lose all kinds of money if they can't let people smoke, but we visited Florida, a smoking ban state (run by a Republican? do tell!) and the bars seemed to be doing pretty fine down there. And it was a treat to come home from a night out without smelling like an ashtray. As a matter of fact, we visited with a couple who were smokers, and they seemed to be just fine with going outside to pound a nail or two. Now, I'm a big fan of bars and would like to see more, not less. But I think the Tavern league may be over reacting a bit.

Bet that's the last time you ask me for more reaction. Now I gotta get some dang work done. I'm sure my clients will be just fine with you distracting me.
I've said it before and I'll say it again: Escape Wisconsin!

I get this from experience. When I lived in Minnesota a few years ago, the local wags took the Wisconsin Tourist Bureaus “Escape to Wisconsin” bumper stickers and cut out the ‘to.’

It makes as much sense now as it did then!
Yeah, but I really do like Wisconsin. It's a beautiful state, and I have many, many wonderful memories here. The people are, for the most part, very friendly and open and it has a marvelous mix of the cosmopolitan niceities of urban areas with easy access to magnificent rural/outdoor regions and activities.

Plus, nearly all my family is here.

I'd much rather my state stopped doig stupid things than for me to have to leave because I'm sick of all the stupid things.

Oh, and to Greg's point. I'm disappointed. That's a pretty lame reason to write discrimination into the state's constitution, Greg.

If you wish to oppose homosexual marriage on moral grounds, fine. I'll disagree with you. If you want to advocate that each state legislate whether homosexual marriage is okay, fine. I'm a federalist, that works for me. What is acceptable in Massachusetts and California isn't in South Dakota. That's the point of federalism.

But this isn't writing a new law specifically forbidding gay marriage-- such a law would be vetoed by the Governor in a heartbeat and the Republicans don't have the votes to override. Heck, they barely have the majority needed to pass the legislation in the first place.

So, they are attempting to circumvent that process by writing it into our constitution. Quite frankly, even if I agreed with the sentiment, which clearly I don't, I would find that appalling.

Amending the constitution-- be it the U.S. or a state version-- should be done in only the most important of cases. A fact which is illustrated by the XVIII Amendment (prohibition) of the US Constitution.

Indeed, many of the amendments to the US Constitution have been to eliminate discrimination-- not enforce it.

If the legislature can't force discrimination into the law via the normal routes, then they should sit their butts down until they can. Which is likely never to happen-- my generation is the last to really care a whole lot about the issue, and even most of us don't think it's a huge deal.

Anyway. I am hopeful the issue will crash and burn in the next legislative session-- though I don't think it will-- and if that does not happen, that the citizens of Wisconsin will realize what a bad idea it is and vote the thing down.
Good article. thank you

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