Sarah Palin's image already appears on the newer nickels.

calendar   Saturday - January 18, 2020

Sleepy Saturday

Winter is upon us after a month of mild. How dare you!!™

We’re having “the big storm”. It’s been snowing since about 10am. We have a bit more than an inch. Winter Storm Jacob has hammered large swaths of the Midwest and Northwest, but here in New Jersey the expectation is for 5” or less. Probably quite a lot less here in my town. Somehow Clinton is a weather hole; systems move around us instead of through us. This saved our bacon during hurricane Sandy, with “only” half a million trees downed in our county. Compare that to where I once lived, up in Binghamton NY, which is a weather pivot. Watch any animated weather map of the Northeast, and you will see the storm systems head East across the flat southern border of NY until just before they get to that wiggly part that goes down to the right. Right there, that’s Binghamtom. Then the storms slow down, turn southeast, and head downstate towards New York City. So Binghamton gets a double dose. Lots of snow and rain and clouds. But then the clouds seem to split a little coming over the Endless Mountains of central Pennsylvania, and then more over the Poconos in the east end of the state, and the worst parts of the weather pass by to the north, while the milder parts of the weather swoop down to the southern part of NJ. And Clinton gets a pass. Sweet.

I think naming snowstorms is pretty silly.

Ok, here’s a nice picture. I’m sure you recognize her. Actress Yvonne Craig from about 1967. She passed away in 2015.


Yup, it’s Batgirl. Wow, what a cutie.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 01/18/2020 at 05:21 PM   
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calendar   Thursday - January 16, 2020

Hell Yeah Alex Trebeck

Ain’t No Such Place, Never Was, Never Will Be

Meanwhile, on Jeopardy -

The show is structured under a number of different categories in which contestants answer questions that revolve around the same theme. In the episode that aired earlier this week, contestants were asked questions under the “Where’s the Church?” category, in which they had to name the place that was,"Built in the 300s A.D., the Church of the Nativity.”

In response, contestant Katie Needle said “What is Palestine?” But, her answer was rejected. Her opponent, however, responded with “What is Israel?” and was awarded the point.

The news article above has a leftist slant, arguing that the whole world calls it Palestine, and calling the area “Israeli occupied”. Fuck that. It’s Israel, it was never Palestine. There has never been a country called Palestine, and if someone lets me near the Big Button there never will be.

So good for you Alex Trebeck. Even though half the time I think you’re a Canadian socialist, and the other half the time I think you’re a stuck up snob. But once in a while you do the right thing. Well done.

Otay, that was really concise!!


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 01/16/2020 at 03:13 PM   
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Memories Of The Heartland

I saw this today at Instapundit, but I’ll repost it anyway.

Memories of Knoxville: Steamed Hoagies and the original Fresh-O-Matic


“No one likes the button”

Grab yourself a big mug of coffee and something to nibble on, sit back and enjoy this 40 minute read. No politics, no snowflakes, no modern technology. Just a nostalgia trip about food, a salute to the small entrepreneur, and a big long story of how things used to be and in a few places still are.

This piece of writing should win some kind of major award. It’s that good.

We lived in South Knoxville, in a mid-century subdivision full of bad drivers — a dicey mix of old people and teenagers. I was always careful to stay off the shoulderless road, keeping my little sister corralled on the safe side as we tramped along on so many sticky Tennessee summer evenings, our light-up sneakers collecting cut grass. About a quarter-mile down the hill from our house sat a low cinderblock building shaped like a brick, its white paint speckled with adornments in always-fresh Volunteer orange. It was the first place we were allowed to go by ourselves.

The Korner Market & Deli was not a quaint country store. It was a purpose-serving place, anchoring the neighborhood in a way that was becoming dated even in the early 1990s. I learned the word “loitering” as soon as I could read, sounding out the hand-lettered rules on the side of the building while my mom ran in to grab an emergency bag of hotdog buns, or Cokes and Winstons for my visiting grandparents.

I worried the quiet corner store I wandered to as a child might have folded in on itself, crumpled by chain restaurants, or reduced traffic, or modernity in general. But when I revisit the neighborhood for the first time in a decade, the Korner Market still sits down the hill and around the curve from my childhood home, thrumming neon and fluorescence into the early winter darkness. I push the door open, the bell clangs, and I’m hit with that same old smell of scrubbed-down, Marlboro-glazed linoleum. There’s a sweetness, and a whoosh, and it’s me and my sister, two sticky-fingered baby ghosts pushing past me, scampering out into the evening buzz of cicadas, our mouths crammed full of Bubblicious. I twist around, expecting to see the high crown of my grandfather’s mesh cap as he waits for us in the parking lot, or the beat-up purple Saturn I drove as a teenager winking its one headlight, ticking as the little engine cools. Back inside, an awkward 13-year-old me winces as she peels her bare legs off one of the vinyl stools fixed along the counter; the 21-year-old heaves a sweating sixer of High Life proudly up to the register. In this abruptly flooded plane of memory, it is always summer, and every me exists at once.

PS - Krystal’s is a southern restaurant franchise, kind of like a White Castle that also does breakfast, along with grits, biscuits, and gravy. I’d never heard of them, but if I ever get down to Georgia again I’ll stop in.

PPS - Comment at Insty relating how a very Appalachian local explained the steamed sandwich thing: “Well, mainly is because REDNECKS AINT GOT NO TEETH.” and he smiles at me with a mouthful of black stumps. “Ain’t none of us can eat your Yankee bread.”.

PPPS - “dark” rolls are pumpernickel, made with coffee and cocoa powder. Makes for a strong flavor and a heavy duty bun that can handle the steam. 


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 01/16/2020 at 11:51 AM   
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calendar   Wednesday - January 15, 2020

Crivens, Caulk Curing Calamity

Damn, the wonderful GE 100% silicone 7 year mold free 30 minute water-ready caulk I put around the bottom rim of the toilet has not cured a bit in several days. WTH?? When in trouble or in doubt, run in circles scream and shout. And then look stuff up online.

Turns out that caulk has an expiration date. Who knew, and given that the stuff is “100% silicon”, and that silicon is an actual element, like iron or copper, wouldn’t such an expiration date be pretty meaningless like so many of them are? But NO.

Silicon caulk past or near it’s expiration date will stay soft in the tube, but will often not cure at all when applied. Apparently there is some other ingredient in the stuff that breaks down over time, even though the caulk still “smells fresh” (like vinegar) when used.

I looked at my tube and saw that it was marked “use by 04/2017”. Crivens. Guess I have to dig most of it out with a plastic scraper and go buy some fresh. I think I’ll get one of those little toothpaste tube sizes, as I only used about a quarter of a standard tube on this project.

Crap. Once bitten, twice shy, and I’ll never buy or use out of code caulk again. It’s going to SUCK trying to get the bad caulk up. That shizz is like greasy glue and it gets on everything.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 01/15/2020 at 09:55 AM   
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calendar   Monday - January 13, 2020

Old Guns, Again

Sunday’s Time Waster

In which an odd corner of an old illustration causes Drew to sieve the internet looking for information that doesn’t exist, coming up with loads of interesting links and eating up half the afternoon.

Somewhere online I ran across a picture of a medieval illustration of the attack on Constantinople during the Fourth Crusade. This was on April 12, 1204.

This painting was done, probably by a bunch of monks, somewhere in the 15th Century, around the 1450s; a couple hundred years later. This was long before Byzantium fell to the muslim horde and became Istanbul. The attackers were western European Christians, the defenders were eastern European Christians. Eastern Orthodox, with a lot of Greeks. This is the big “act of betrayal” from that messed up Crusade where the Venetians sacked cities to recoup their investments, after having turned their entire economy upside down for more than a year to equip and transport the vast army of soldiers and horses promised by the pope that never materialized. They were hundreds of thousands of marks in the hole, equivalent to tens of millions of dollars in today’s terms.

Venice was a trading nation, with almost no land or resources, but was really good at buying and selling. Situated on a river delta / tidal swamp up at the top of the Adriatic on the east side of Italy, they were the pivot point between Europe and the far East. Nominally Catholic Christians, but they put religion on the back burner and got down to business, unlike a large chunk of the world in those days, who put piety at the very top of their life list. So there were tensions with Rome, all sorts of politics and intrigues, etc. But Venice became rich, while the rest of Europe plodded along with feudalism and subsistence agriculture.

Anyway, looking closely at the illustration, I saw this:


That’s a gun, baby. A fire stick. A “hand gonne”, “culverin”, or “hand bombard”. *

And therein lies the problem. The standard article of faith is that Marco Polo brought back several things from China: pasta, paper, gunpowder, VD, and the plague. Problem is, old Marco wasn’t born until 50 years after this attack happened. So where did the gun come from?

“Respected authorities” put the beginning of firearms in Europe around the 1320s. But what is their definition of Europe? I’m sure Hungary counts themselves part of it, but perhaps we’ve got some “just the north” kind of centrism here.

The Chinese had bombs, rockets, fireworks, and possibly cannons and guns for several centuries before this. Marco Polo was not the first westerner in China. There is strong evidence that the Mongol horde - a pre-islamic invasion, at first - used some kind of guns when they attacked Hungary at the Battle of Mohi in 1241. But China didn’t attack Hungary, or Constantinople. The Mongols did. KHAN!!!. Um, the same Mongols who were just beginning to take over China at this time. Good old “Jenghis” Khan ( and his happy buddy Kubla? Turns out that Xanadu was real ). But good technology spreads quickly, and the Silk Road ( that both Venice and Constantinople lie alongside ) was a knowledge corridor as well as a caravan route. So it wasn’t impossible.

On the other hand, a lot of these old medieval paintings aren’t precisely factually accurate. The whole style back then was to make pictures of ancient events and fill them with people dressed in the current fashions of Europe. You know, David and Goliath wearing doublets and hose, with pointy cloth shoes. And Middle Ages armor. Um, riiight. So maybe the gonne got in there by accident, put in by a bored monk tired of drawing swords and horses.  On the third hand, the other weapons in the picture are accurate to the period, and the period was a slow one. It’s not like they reinvented the wheel every 18 months like we do today. R&D was nearly at a standstill. Heck, these guys wouldn’t even figure out the horse collar for another couple hundred years (another Chinese import? They’d had them for 800 years at that point).

The thing is, the internet being so broad and deep, that I could not find a single mention of this oddity in this rather common illustration. Not even a few words supporting it or decrying it. Nada. I can’t be the first person to have noticed this in 575 years, can I?

* : Interesting aside: by 1410 the French had a “murderer”, a small pintle mounted swivel cannon with a locking breech and cartridge ammunition. While pretty rough in form, such a gun loaded with lead or iron shot could wreak mayhem, and would have a pretty fast rate of fire - at least 10 rounds a minute - if several of the cast iron bottle shaped cartridges were available. Seriously, there isn’t much new in firearms design that hasn’t been around for centuries longer than most people know.

This wrought iron thing was also known as a Pierrier à boîte, a thrower of stones. Perrier is the English version of the word. While not the tightest design, this kind of breech loading anti-personnel swivel gun quickly caught on all around the world, and was used for centuries ... as late as the Moro uprising in the Philippines in 1904.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 01/13/2020 at 10:52 AM   
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calendar   Wednesday - January 01, 2020

Plumb Crazy: It’s Now And Official Project

Ok, I went to the hardware store and got all the bits and pieces needed. New sink trap, a nice flanged 12” long PVC downtube, and a little jar of plumbers putty. Gathered up a couple flashlights, a bit of carpet to lie on under the sink, and my giant C jaw Vise Grips. Then I figured out how the Insinkerator mounting flange was attached (the triangular pressure ring screws push against the underside of the sink, and pulls their sink trap attaching collar down tight by pressing against a big snap ring that fits into the lower end of their trap collar. Stick a flat screwdriver in there between the ends of the snap ring, give it a twist and the ring comes out and it all falls right apart. Use the screwdriver as a lever and scraper to pry the old paper gasket away and you’re good to go. It’s like watching this video in reverse, only without the cheesecake shots.). Then I did the plumber’s putty thing and got the new sink trap in, nice and centered and tight. Doing good. 

But it turns out that the main drain pipe is connected to the T fitting for the dishwasher drain connection that begins the P trap was originally offset so much because of the large diameter of the garbage disposer that the connecting tube inside and between them is barely an inch long. I need it to be about 3 or 4 inches long. It’s the same kind of flanged PVC 1 1/2” downtube that the sink trap uses. But I don’t have an extra one, so I have to drive 20 minutes back to Lowe’s, spend $2.88 on a 6 incher, and drive back. This makes this task an official project, because if a task doesn’t require at least two trips to the hardware store then it isn’t a project, it’s just a slapdash repair. Sure, I could probably, maybe, arc the downtube enough to make it go, but that would leave it under constant stress, which means it would either break or leak at some point. So one more trip it will be, and I’ll do the job right. That’s the proper man way to do it.

So I’m getting grubby with old pipe yuck and grit falling in my face, getting a sore back from lying under the sink, and starting to smell like old plumbing fixtures. She’s taking a nap on the couch with a cat or two on her lap. That’s the proper woman way to do it.


And done. Leak tests seemed Ok. Running the dishwasher now to make sure. It’s just about in drain mode, so I’d better go check ... yup, bone dry. Good. Done. Now to clean up everything.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 01/01/2020 at 06:29 PM   
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calendar   Tuesday - December 31, 2019

2nd best New Year’s Eve Evar !!

Household Disaster, Narrowly Avoided

Late this afternoon half the kitchen floor peeled up spontaneously, and we suddenly had water everywhere. WTF?? The way our kitchen is built in this condo ... we’re on the lower level so our floors are poured concrete; the water lines and the drain line run right across the kitchen floor from the sink, to the washer and dryer that’s in a closet on the other side of the room, to the main drain that runs under the hallway on the other side of the wall behind them. We’d had a problem a year or so ago with some water coming up through the adhesive vinyl floor tiles that were there when we bought this place 7 years ago. That issue was caused by a grease clog in the main drain, that caused the vertical washer drain tube in the wall to not drain, and the excess water to run down the overflow hole in the faucet divot in the wall behind the washer. That water ran down between the studs in the wall, and out underneath, but behind the baseboard, and then under the flooring under the washer, and from there out across the middle of the kitchen floor. So it was a big expensive bitch to fix, and to get a plumber in with the clog buster machine to clean all the lines out, even the main drain out 50 feet past the outside wall of our unit. So oh no, it’s clogged up again?? But no!

This time it was a problem under the sink. Same path under the tiles, but from the other end. The sink has a garbage grinder on it, which we almost never use. All our food bits and pan grease go in the trash, not down the drain. But it’s an OEM grinder, from when the place was built in 1978. And the inner seals finally wore out. I’d kind of wondered if we were having another water problem a couple days ago when I noticed a couple of the kitchen floor tiles seemed a bit buckled up. But ever since the water got in last time, their adhesive is now weak, and they tend to lift up a bit when we have high humidity. And it’s been raining here like life in England for the past few days, so I didn’t think much of it. But what we had at that point was a slow leak in the garbage grinder, a steady drip going on for a bunch of days - come on, how often do you go underneath the kitchen sink and nose around? It’s the Twilight Zone under there. And the water was dripping down onto the base, flowing backwards to the wall behind the sink, and going down and getting under the floor tiles from that side. So it looked like the same problem as before, since low point in the concrete slab is the line between the sink and the washer where the builders laid the pipes in a trough and then poured it full with concrete. And this afternoon we did a few loads in the dishwasher and the sink, getting the place all nice and clean for 2020. And then the tiles erupted.

So lots of mopping, lots of buckets. Running around checking all the faucets and valves and stuff. I had to remove the garbage grinder from it’s Rube Goldberg maze of P-trap drain bits, and disconnect the wire. At least there’s a switch, so I wasn’t lying in water playing with live electricity. Well, duh, Drew did something smart for once. Once! So right now we have no drain attached to the kitchen sink, and it looks like the kitchen renovation project we’ve been talking about for the last few years will become a sudden top priority. Crap.

After having a plate of nice holiday nibbles for lunch, and a little scotch comparison for fun, before the mishap, we were in the middle of making a nice pot of sauce for spaghetti when this happened. I cleaned up and mopped up, but we still have everything from under the sink all over the kitchen floor. Amazing how much crap gets pigeon holed under there. So when it was time to serve the pasta, I took the pot and the strainer up to the bathroom sink and drained it there. It worked. I didn’t get scalded, didn’t spill a drop, and now the bathroom sink drain has been sanitized, Italian style.


Why was this only the 2nd worst best NYE ever for me? I spent the eve of the millennium in the hospital trying to pass a kidney stone. Only one I’ve ever had, and that was 20 years ago. But OMG did that hurt. OTOH, the nurse gave me two shots of ... I think it was called Dilaudid ... some heavy duty opiate, laudanum based pain killer. Maybe it was something else, but it was a hammer blow, mainlined right into me. I was holding onto the exam table to keep from floating away. Holy cats, I haven’t been that high since college. I had to pee through a paint filter funnel cone for a week after that to make sure I caught any more stones if they passed. There weren’t any, but they only gave me the one paper cone filter. Needless to say, after a week of use, it wasn’t very appealing.


And a Happy New Year for everyone, and may your 2020 start out with less panic and stress than mine has.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 12/31/2019 at 11:17 PM   
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I might be getting better. Several boxes of tissues later, a couple days of extreme coughing, plenty of aspirin and chicken soup, and a trip to the doctor ... and I slept halfway through the night and didn’t wake up soaked with sweat. And that’s a big improvement. Heck, I might even feel up to taking a shower and brushing my teeth today. Putting on clean clothes. Eating a normal meal maybe. Changing the sheets. I hate being sick.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 12/31/2019 at 08:41 AM   
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calendar   Monday - December 30, 2019

still trying

As usual, I’m sick as a dog after the holidays. I go places I’m not used to, see a whole bunch of people, drive myself to near exhaustion, and then afterwards I get sick. Every year. Hardly slept at all the past couple of days; I’m drowning in mucus. Nose is raw from blowing; have to get some of those greased tissues. And get to the doctor. 


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 12/30/2019 at 07:58 AM   
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calendar   Saturday - December 28, 2019

Oh those open minded muzzies

Brunei: Celebrate Christmas, Go To Jail

Anyone found illegally celebrating Christmas in Brunei could face up to five years in prison, according to a reported declaration by the Sultan of the tiny oil-rich state.

Brunei introduced its ban on Christmas last year over fears that celebrating it “excessively and openly” could lead its Muslim population astray.

Christians and others can celebrate Christmas, but must do so in private and have to first alert the authorities.

Local Islamic religious leaders have promoted the ban, warning that adopting the trappings of Christmas is tantamount to imitation of another faith, prohibited in some interpretations of Islam.

Officials from the Ministry of Religious Affairs have also reportedly visited local businesses to ensure they are not displaying Christmas decorations, including Santa hats and banners with Christmas greetings.

Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, who has ruled the former British colony for nearly 50 years, introduced the ban on Christmas in 2014, the same year Brunei adopted a stricter penal code, based on Islamic sharia and including punishments such as stoning and amputation.

The Christmas ban is justified under the new laws – the punishment for celebrating Christmas is a fine of $20,000 or up to five years in prison, or both

Brunei is a dinky little kingdom on the northwest corner of the primitive jungle island of Borneo. Borneo is SE of Vietnam, SW of the Philippines, and E of Singapore. It is about the size of Delaware and has about half a million residents, all under strict sharia law, although only 2 in 3 are muslim. The country makes most of it’s money from oil and gas.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 12/28/2019 at 11:27 AM   
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Currying Favor Flavor


We got a year’s supply of curry paste for Christmas. We had a leftover roast chicken we’d been eating on, so the day after Christmas we picked the remaining meat off the bones and made curry. Curry is a great way to use up leftovers. With the canned paste it’s easy, and the stewing will soften up meat that may have dried out a bit in the fridge. We usually add a bunch of Asian extras to fancy it up, but the cans of the Maesri brand were new to us, so we just made it basic to try it out.

3/4lb or more of shredded roast chicken
1/3 of a medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
2 Yukon Gold potatoes, washed and cut into 1/2” cubes
1 can of good coconut milk
a couple dried Thai or Indian hot peppers
1/4 cup water
1/2 4oz can Maesri brand yellow curry, more if you want

Wake the curry up in the sauce pan by heating it until it starts to sizzle. Add the fat from the can of coconut milk, stir it in and let it heat up again. Add the coconut liquid from the can, stir. Add the chicken, onions, hot peppers, potatoes, and let it simmer. Add a little extra water in a few minutes if it looks a little too thick. Simmer covered for 15 minutes until the potatoes are soft, serve over rice. 2lb meat, a whole onion, and 4 potatoes will feed 6 people, but use the whole can of curry for that.

It was pretty good. Straight up, the curry paste is not hot, and not overly salty. We did not add any fish sauce, peeled ginger, kaffir lime leaves to amp it up, nor did we throw in a bag of frozen stir fry veg like we usually do. 


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 12/28/2019 at 10:25 AM   
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calendar   Monday - December 23, 2019

Shameless Plug For Charity


Canines for Disabled Kids helps to provide assistance and therapy dogs for kids in wheelchairs. It’s a non-profit that gets by entirely on donations. If you feel like spreading a little Christmas Cheer ...

Yeah, I’m a big fan of the comic strip Johnny Optimism, which stars wheelchair bound Johnny and his support dog Lance. Stilton’s little book of the early comic strips raised enough money to allow him to donate $100 to CFK. I’d like to help exceed that.



Posted by Drew458   United States  on 12/23/2019 at 12:44 PM   
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calendar   Saturday - December 21, 2019

rolling Ok as the solstice approaches

My goodness, it’s dark out there! Up at my usual time to feed the kittehs, and it’s pitch dark out. 7 o’clock in the morning, and it’s still dark. And COLD. No worries though, the weather chicken says the old thermometer will top out at a crackling hot 34 this afternoon, just before it gets dark again at 4:35. It’s the time of the year for heavy blankets, a banked fire, and a big chunk of aged fruitcake. And then back to bed until early March.


Well, we managed to take 3 out of 7 last night, bowling against the ringers. There’s a team that is simply way too good for our little league. And to make it worse, they often bring in this one guy as a sub who has a 238 average. Which means he can throw nearly perfect games at will. So, after several seasons of this, we know the drill. We get a ton of handicap points - 178 last night - and then bowl our best the first two games while they compete with each other. Then they get down to drinking in the third game, not even trying, and it’s up to us to win the 3rd game if we can do it. We call it charity sex, but we’ll take what we can get. But wife and I bowled pretty well last night, so we kept the points margin in the first two games pretty tight, so when we won the third game we wound up with wood too. So 3-4 for us for the night, which is much better than 0-7. I threw a 577 series, which is a 192 average, pulling a 213 in the last game. I’m happy with that.

Watching these guys bowl was an education. They all rev the daylights out of the ball which gives them huge powerful hooks. But they aren’t throwing the ball that hard, or snapping their arms up forcefully to make that happen. What they are doing is “getting under the ball”, which means they’re kind of palming with a cupped wrist. This lets their fingers apply spinning torque to about 150 degrees of rotation as they release the ball, compared to about 60 degrees worth delivered by those with a straight wrist who are merely “behind the ball”. So the same action delivers more than twice the impetus. Those who bowl with a relaxed wrist are lucky if they can apply even 30 degrees of rotation. So getting under is going to be my New Years revolution. I mean my resolution. 


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 12/21/2019 at 07:48 AM   
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calendar   Thursday - December 19, 2019

Music To My Ears

Bring out your dead! Bring out your dead!!

Wisconsin Purging Voter Rolls Of Nearly A Quarter Million Improper Voters

A conservative group is forcing Wisconsin to remove upwards of 230,000 people from state voter rolls more than a year earlier than planned, a move that would disproportionately affect Democrats before the 2020 election.

The group behind the lawsuit, the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty (known as Will), is a legal advocacy group that has backed conservative causes across the state since the beginning of the decade. Led by Rick Esenberg, Will has defended rollbacks on public sector union power, promoted charter schools, and challenged campaign finance restrictions among other issues.

Earlier this year, Wisconsin election officials sent out notices to about 234,000 people – 7% of registered voters in the state – suspected of changing home addresses this year. They planned on giving people until the spring of 2021 to confirm their registrations before they were removed. But on Friday, county circuit judge Paul Malloy sided with Will and ordered the state to remove the voters from the state’s rolls within 30 days.

Wisconsin officials are appealing the ruling. In a 3-3 split vote Monday, the Wisconsin Elections Commission declined to move forward with the removals, citing the pending appeal.

The dispute is the latest in a series of voting rights brawls in Wisconsin, considered one of the most important states in the upcoming presidential election. In recent years, Republicans drew electoral districts that severely benefitted their party, unsuccessfully tried to limit early voting, and implemented a strict voter ID law. The law discouraged as many as 23,252 people in the state from casting a ballot in 2016, one estimate found.

These tactics could sway elections in a state of close wins and losses. A Republican won a seat on the state supreme court by less than 6,000 votes in April. Governor Tony Evers, a Democrat, defeated Scott Walker by just under 30,000 votes last year. And Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton by a little over 22,000 votes in 2016.

“It’s over 200,000 voters who are affected. If even a small slice of them were deterred from voting in 2020, it could tip the outcome,” said Barry Burden, a political science professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and director of its Elections Research Center. He added the people affected would be young people and those who live in cities – groups that tend to vote Democratic.

So if you live there and you’ve moved, you’d better get your registration updated and squared away ASAP.

There’s always going to be some crybabies claiming Raycis and Disenfranchisement. Tough titties, and that’s a BS argument. Every state in the country should be doing this, and doing it now. Furthermore, they should be working closely with coroners, funeral homes, hospitals, etc to unregister those who have passed away.

I’m all for it. Voting may be a right, but it doesn’t have to be an unchallenging one. Everyone should have to reregister every 5 years. Everyone should have a photo voter ID. Everyone ought to be run through the government databases to prove that they are eligible and that they are who they say they are. And if you have to be fingerprinted, so what? It’s not like any of us have any privacy anymore anyway, and your prints are probably already in one of the systems and you just don’t know it.

And while we’re at it, let’s have a big old investigation of Social Security and iii, to make sure that nobody who works for either place is doing naughty stuff on the sly. Like selling SSNs to illegals, or taking some cash money to purge an iii (which is the national criminal identification code).

As for redistricting, or gerrymandering as it’s usually called ... dump it. Use latitude and longitude for the most part, just jiggling things a bit to make the population areas a bit even. To hell with race; we’re all equal. And once they’re set, the districts don’t get redrawn for another 20 years.

One eligible citizen, one vote, in one place, during one lifetime. No cheating, no ballot box stuffing, no provisional voting, no dead people, felons, or foreigners voting. That’s the very basis of the foundation of a representative government the people can have faith in.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 12/19/2019 at 03:05 PM   
Filed Under: • Miscellaneous •  
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Not that very many people ever read this far down, but this blog was the creation of Allan Kelly and his friend Vilmar. Vilmar moved on to his own blog some time ago, and Allan ran this place alone until his sudden and unexpected death partway through 2006. We all miss him. A lot. Even though he is gone this site will always still be more than a little bit his. We who are left to carry on the BMEWS tradition owe him a great debt of gratitude, and we hope to be able to pay that back by following his last advice to us all:
  1. Keep a firm grasp of Right and Wrong
  2. Stay involved with government on every level and don't let those bastards get away with a thing
  3. Use every legal means to defend yourself in the event of real internal trouble, and, most importantly:
  4. Keep talking to each other, whether here or elsewhere
It's been a long strange trip without you Skipper, but thanks for pointing us in the right direction and giving us a swift kick in the behind to get us going. Keep lookin' down on us, will ya? Thanks.


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GNU Terry Pratchett

Oh, and here's some kind of visitor flag counter thingy. Hey, all the cool blogs have one, so I should too. The Visitors Online thingy up at the top doesn't count anything, but it looks neat. It had better, since I paid actual money for it.
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