Saturday, February 25, 2006


Delusional ramblings of an idle (addled?) mind:

-- Why have no legitimate candidates for the Champaign Council come out of the bushes to fill the opening being left by the departure of Kathy Ennan? I've heard Deb Feinen and Matt Varble being mentioned but I don't believe either one of them will be serious candidates. Although Matt on the council would be, to say the least, entertaining. Also curious that there hasn't been a lot of 'Kathy will be missed' sentiment being passed around. My guess is it's gonna end up being some relative outsider. Just hope it's not another ditzy wife of a wealthy developer.

-- Over at IP they're wondering why there's not more support for Democratic gubernatorial challenger Ed Eisendrath. It's a good question. Personally, I like the man, but the feeling is that Rod's just too powerful statewide (in Democratic circles) to lose a primary. All the major movers and shakers are in Rod's camp and/or pocket. And $16 million is nothing to sneeze at. The GOP recognizes that, too.

-- Meanwhile, the GOP race is morphing into the mudslinging party everyone wanted to avoid. But that everyone knew would happen sooner or later. I suspect by primary time the Grousing Old Party will be split so severely that Rod will coast. Where's Alan Keyes when we need him...?

-- Funny how some people complain when political bodies play by the rules we have imposed on them. We (or at least someone looking like 'we') forced tax caps on political bodies. That set the ground rules. Rule No. 1: Get every dollar you can while you can because you may not be able to get the extra dollar tomorrow when you need it because of the caps. That's the way the game's gotta be played. To yell at the MTD (or any other taxing body covered under tax caps) is ignorant. The tax caps set the rules. They're just playing the game.

-- Been a bit of a frustrating year for the Illini basketball team. What was a great defensive team has become at the best average. At almost the exact rate the offense has improved, the defense has regressed. That means the team is exactly no better than they were in December.

-- If Theresa Grentz wasn't in the Hall of Fame, would she still have a job at the UI?

-- Good luck to the UI baseball team and especially new coach Dan Hartleb. Those are some big, Itchy shoes to fill. And to those who haven't been out to a UI baseball game before: GO. Can't find better entertainment or more fun for the money anywhere in the area. Good hot dogs, too.

And so it goes.

Friday, February 17, 2006


This 'n' that:

-- The cold/flu/virus/whatever that's going around sure saps one's enthusiasm for blogging, or for reading blogs for that matter.

-- I'm mystified that the DI management would come down so hard on its editors and pull the 'offending' cartoon page from its website. If there was damage, it already was done. Pulling the page accomplishes nothing. It's like trying to un-shoot a fellow hunter. Then there's the issue of running the cartoons in the first place. Regardless of the perceived motives of the editors, it's impossible to have an informed debate about something like those cartoons without knowing exactly what you're talking about. Saying something's offensive is one thing. Seeing it something else entirely. Seems to me the best place for an intelligent debate on something like that would be an an institute of higher learning. But I guess that eliminates the UI, huh?

-- How in heck does that stupid CU tram idea keep resurfacing? How many ways does the populace have to say NO! before they get it?

-- When a driver is pulled over for possible drunk driving and alcohol is smelled on his breath, usually he'll say 'I just had one beer, officer. Really. One.' When a vice president shoots his hunting partner and then waits until the next day to talk to the authorities.... Draw your own conclusions.

-- It appears that political ambition and the drive for power knows no bounds. The Champaign School Board is currently pushing a very controversial and unpopular bond issue. The School Board president has resigned. Yet there is no shortage of candidates to take his place? Isn't that kinda like volunteering to be a firing squad practice target? Or a vice presidential hunting partner?

And so it goes.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Completely understandable

When I was growing up in the Western U.S., hunting season had almost religions undertones. Some years school was cancelled for opening day.

And invariably once or twice a year (or so it seemed) a father-in-law and son-in-law, or a boss and employee or business partners or husband and wife or some similar pairing would go out. And only one would come back. With the standard explanation. "I thought he was a deer/elk/antelope/pheasant/grouse/duck."

Generally only a cursory investigation was undertaken because, 'these things happen.' Everyone knew that. It was completely understandable.

I see our Vice President over the weekend thought one of his hunting partners was a grouse.

And so it goes.

Friday, February 10, 2006

I approve of disapproval

Looks like a majorty of people in the U.S. have finally figured the W-imbecile out.

Poor Georgie's approval ratings are staying in the toilet. Which is about where they belong.
WASHINGTON --President Bush's marks on overall job approval and for handling the economy are mired near their lowest levels despite a spike in consumer confidence over the past month, an AP-Ipsos poll found.
Bush's job approval is now at 40 percent and his approval on handling the economy at 39 percent. Those numbers haven't budged over the last month even with the public's confidence in the economy growing and the president delivering an upbeat State of the Union address.
Apparently stating that the state of the union is good does not necessarily make it so.

If I was a Republican, I'd be worried. Since I'm not, I'm cheered:
The poll found low approval of Congress with 47 percent wanting Democrats to take control. Republican control was favored by 37 percent.

And so it goes.

Thursday, February 9, 2006


Good for them.

The Daily Illini has published the Danish cartoons that have sparked worldwide controversy, protests, burning of embassies and outrage in the Muslim world.

Yeah, the cartoons are offensive to some. Even worse, they're really not very good in the scheme of things. But I think it's important that the world see just what is sparking the controversy.

And then judge for themselves if it is offensive. What would be more offensive, however, is never publishing something because it might offend someone's sensibilities.

A free press sometimes means publishiing things that are not popular. And even things that offend. It takes courage to publish controversial things.

If we don't have a free press, we have no freedom.

Good for the DI

And so it goes.

Wednesday, February 8, 2006

Front runners

Don't know why this news doesn't cheer me as much as it should.

It would appear that the Blago-Topinka race is officially on, according to the Tribune.
Gov. Rod Blagojevich holds a better than three-to-one advantage over his lesser-known primary challenger while Judy Baar Topinka holds a sizable edge over a crowded field seeking the Republican nomination for governor, a new Tribune/WGN-TV poll shows.
(Contrary to reports elsewhere, the poll is doesn't speculate on who may be leading between Blago and Topinka in the predicted general election). So, what we're faced with for most of the rest of the year is a race between an ethics-challenged incumbent Democrat versus an unindicted George Ryan protegee Republican. What a choice.

Imagine my enthusiasm.

I may vote for Andy Martin-Trigona in the primary, just out of protest.

And so it goes.

Friday, February 3, 2006


Things are not looking good for the cheef (or the dinosaurs on the UI BOT). That's old news, I know. But here's little more proof from the AP, courtesy USA Today:
OMAHA (AP) -- Myles Brand says the NCAA will hold firm on its ban of American Indian mascots and images in postseason competition despite resistance from institutions deemed to be offenders.

The NCAA president, who spoke at a Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce luncheon Thursday, said part of the NCAA's mission is to protect values.

"One of the values we hold dear is respect for everyone," Brand said in an interview. "Some of the mascots, names, costumes and other acting out about Native Americans is very hostile and uncomfortable — mostly for Native Americans but others as well."
Does not look good for UI's sad, pathetic second appeal of the decision declaring the cheef 'hostile and abusive,' methinks.

Brand went further, effectively silencing the 'but what about...' crowd.
Asked why "Fighting Irish" is acceptable at Notre Dame, Brand said, "We've never had any Irish people come to us and say we find that offensive. The American Psychological Association said it's harmful to Native Americans to have these images. The U.S. Civil Rights Commission has said the same thing. We have cases where real people are being offended, not make-believe leprechauns."
I might add that those delusional people who cannot tell the difference between a race of people and a nationality are one of the problems in this ongoing war.

I'd have to say that statements like that are not a good omen for the cheef's future and for UI's last-second second appeal.

Gee, that's too bad.

And so it goes.

Wednesday, February 1, 2006

Look for the union label?

I was going to write something pithy yet sarcastic (and potentially humorous) about the rather pathetic State of the Union address last night.

But I can't top this.

Read it. And enjoy.

And so it goes.