I Want to Save a Child's Sight!

Tuesday, November 30, 2004


Ken Jennings has finally lost.

After a 74-game whirlwind, and $2,520,700 in earnings, Jennings finally handed his "Jeopardy" crown to Nancy Zerg, of California.

This was so huge that I just had to post something about it. [Yahoo!]

You're Fired!

Reports indicate that Tom Ridge is going to resign. I say good riddance to the color-coded terror alerts. Randi Rhodes of Air America put it best when she said after New York was put on "orange-plus" alert, that New York City is now a cool, refreshing, breakfast drink. [CNN] [Yahoo!]

Notre Dame fires Tyrone Willingham after 3 seasons. He went 21-15. Not good enough for the golden domers. He still had 2 years left on his contract. What does it take to win at ND? Maybe they'll look to add Nick Saban from LSU...everyone else is. [CBS] [Yahoo!]

Butch Davis also "steps down" as coach of the Cleveland Browns. He was forced to resign after the Browns got off to a 3-8 record so far this year. [CBS]

Monday, November 29, 2004

Alright, back to the madness...

Oh, the poor children. Frank Rich knocks it out of the park again. [NYT]

UNC won the Maui Invitational last Wednesday with a 106-92 victory over Iowa. Last night, they destroyed USC 97-65. This game was over with 10 minutes left in the first half. [CBS]
Next up: Indiana in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. 8 PM Wednesday on ESPN.

The Air America: Unfiltered Talking Point for 11/23/2004:

"Just moments before a vote, House Speaker Dennis Hastert pulled the Intelligence Reform bill from the floor – this bill is the recommendations of the 9/11 commission, our country’s main response to 9/11.
So why did he do it? Because he was worried that the bill had too much Democratic support. It would have passed easily, but the Republicans can’t stand to pass anything that Democrats might vote for. So, no government response to Nine-Eleven:

No new security reforms.

No national intelligence director.

And nobody walking the plank for the worst intelligence failures in our nation’s history." [Unfiltered]

Welcome Back, Kotter!

After my extended weekend in Green Bay for Thanksgiving, I'm back!

Great weekend. Thursday was the best. We all got together at my Grandpa & Grandma's house for "Thanks-mas." Now, you're probably asking what "Thanks-mas" is. This is a twist on "Christmukkah" that has been popularized by Seth Cohen on The O.C. Since my Grandparents go to Florida every winter now, they don't stay much past Thanksgiving. So, our new tradition is to have Thanksgiving dinner, then we do Christmas; hence "Thanks-mas" or "Christ-giving." Now, just to clarify, it's ALWAYS around 85-90 degrees in my Grandpa & Grandma's house. So, when you pack 20 people in a basement room to celebrate, it gets REALLY hot. Good times.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Happy Pumpkin Pie Day!!!

That's what my wife calls it.

Anyways, have a safe and happy Thanksgiving! I will be in Green Bay with family, and won't be posting until at least Sunday night, or Monday morning.


The War on America

The war against women rages on. The ongoing struggle for women to obtain and safeguard basic reproductive rights has suffered another setback with the passage of the omnibus spending bill. Why would a spending bill cut back on women's rights? Well, instead of worrying about the HUGE federal deficit, Republicans decided to include provision that is intended to curtail the options women have with regards to their reproductive rights. This provision cuts options that women have to speak to their doctor, get an abortion, or get information regarding reproductive health. [NYT]

The war on taxpayers rages on. A back-door provision was inserted into the very same spending bill that would have allowed your lawmakers to view your tax returns, without regard to privacy protections. Of course, they don't tell you that the omnibus spending bill was given to lawmakers less than 24 hours before the vote. Oh well you say? Yeah, it was 14 inches thick! So, some nefarious "evildoer" inserted this provision into the bill. Luckily, it was caught and defeated. Hmmm...Who could have put that in there...A staffer? Nevermind that fact that they voted on the bill at about 4 AM! [NYT]

Oh, and Dan Rather announced his retirement effective in March 2005. I never really had any problems with the guy. He is 73, and even though the end of his tenure was marked with controversy, his legacy will be a positive one. He's still no Walter Cronkite (my journalistic idol), but he lasted 24 years. [Yahoo]

Maui Wowie!

UNC defeated Tennessee last night, 94-81, in a game that wasn't even that close. The Heels led by 20 at halftime, and never looked back. [CBS]
Rashad McCants had 27 points, Sean May had 13 boards, and Felton had 9 assists. I was particularly impressed by freshman F Marvin Williams and senior Jawad Williams. They also shot 58.8% from the field for the game, which never hurts. Their defense is starting to come around, and it is clearly a different team with Felton running the show.

UNC vs Iowa tonight at 8:30 PM on ESPN for the Championship of the Maui Invitational.

UWGB got hammered by Michigan State. [CBS]
Wisconsin beat UC-Santa Barbara. [CBS]

A good article by Scott Miller from Sportsline about how the Cubs need to part ways with Sammy Sosa...and FAST. [CBS]

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Something Wicked This Way Comes!

Today is the release of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, the third movie in the Harry Potter series. [Amazon] [Harry Potter]

Directed by Alfonso Cuarón, this movie was a huge departure from the first 2 installments in the series, which had both been directed by Christopher Columbus (not THAT Christopher Columbus!). I actually went and saw this movie on opening night here in Milwaukee with my sister. VERY awesome movie. She got me interested in the Harry Potter books about the time that the 2nd movie came out. I've read all five of the books about three times each. I just love them. This is the best movie of the series so far, even if it follows the book the least of the three.

I'm such a hopeless nerd...


UNC improved to 1-1 after a thorough drubbing of BYU last night, 86-50. Sean May had 18 pts and 8 boards. They are on ESPN tonight in the semifinals of the Maui Invitational against Tennessee. Biggest story of this game: Buzz Peterson is the head coach at Tennessee, and a former player at UNC.
[Recap] [Photos I] [Photos II]

Monday, November 22, 2004

Just Livin' the Dream

Bob Herbert on poverty in America and trying to earn a living wage. It's not easy, and 11.2% of the American population lives in poverty. But, people don't want to hear about that...[NYT]

An article from MoDo the Dragon Lady. Why do we even have checks and balances in government? Or a better question is why did we, because they aren't there anymore. Oh, and the new budget...over 15 BILLION in "pork" added. Such necessary spending additions: antiabortion legislation, and a toilet paper hall of fame. Nice. If they're serving up pork, I want ribs. [NYT]

This is an article about the "Motown brawl" from this past Friday night, where Ron Artest of the Indiana Pacers was doused in beer, then proceeded to charge into the stands. Seriously, whomever threw that beer deserves to be held responsible, and to be banned from coming to future games. But, Artest just snapped. He deserves what he got. [NYT]

Sunday, November 21, 2004


Never has something so tiny caused so much controversy. Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle has introduced a $750 million plan for a biotechnology research institute on the UW-Madison campus. This research institute would allow Wisconsin to compete with California, who just passed a $3 billion (over 10 years) public funding bill to support stem-cell research. But, this measure might not gain support in the Wisconsin Legislature (R-controlled) because of moral concerns. What?
"Embryonic stem cells are master cells that can form any tissue or organ in the body and may hold the cures for spinal cord injuries, diabetes, Alzheimer's and other illnesses. Adult stem-cells are less "plastic," meaning they can only become cells of the tissue from which they were taken, such as the brain or blood vessels." [JS]
These embryonic stem-cells can be harvested from fertility clinics as an alternative. As a sufferer of Type I Diabetes (insulin-dependent), this is extremely important to me. This could provide millions of sufferers of Diabetes, Alzheimer's, spinal injuries, a chance at a cure...a more normal life. But because of concerns over what it might do to a clump of cells, it might not be passed. This would also create jobs, boost the economy of Wisconsin, and stop some of the "brain drain" of talented Wisconsin college students leaving for other places where they can do some of this research. [Gov Doyle]
Everyone that is reading this has been, or will be affected by one of these serious illnesses. I urge everyone to really think about what effect this could have to millions of people. We are just starting to unlock the potential of embryonic stem-cells. Write your Wisconsin Legislator and tell them to please support this measure from Governor Jim Doyle. [WI Legislature]

Saturday, November 20, 2004


So, what's the controversy here? Err...there was some innuendo, but really, that's about it. Here is the link to the MNF video. If you have realplayer, you can click on it and watch it full-screen. Honestly, I can see the point that maybe it wasn't completely appropriate for kids under the age of say, 12. But it really wasn't that bad. Some of the media is making this out to be an issue because TO is African-American, and Sheridan is white. So what? Watch for yourself and decide. [IndyChannel]

Friday, November 19, 2004

Auspicious Debut

I haven't written a lot about sports yet, but I'm a fanatic. I'm a rabid sports junkie. I've of course fallen for the teams that are the "lovable losers," and the "team that almost won it." I make no secret about the fact that I'm a HUGE Chicago Cubs fan. I've got a team (or 2) in every sport. My allegiances are as follows:

MLB: Chicago Cubs, Milwaukee Brewers, Boston Red Sox, and whomever is playing the Yankees. Did I mention that NL baseball is superior to AL baseball? Designated hitter? I don't even know her!
NFL: Chicago Bears
NBA: well, I really don't like the NBA...at all. I root for the Milwaukee Bucks though.
NHL: Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks (I know, impossible!); God I miss the NHL right about now! At least we have the Wisconsin Badgers college hockey team. They are definitely 'East Coast Canadian,' EH?!
College Football: Wisconsin Badgers, Nebraska Cornhuskers (my uncle Otis went to school there and was the athletic trainer under legendary coach, Tom Osborne), my DIII fave: the UW-Whitewater Warhawks!
College Basketball: Here is where it gets muddled...I LOVE the UNC Tarheels. I'm also a big fan of the UWGB Phoenix, the Wisconsin Badgers, and whomever is playing Dook. I don't mind Marquette too much either. I give most of my love to the ACC. Best conference in the land, hands down. Gotta give props to the Big Ten (11?) though!

So, my Tarheels debuted tonight in Oakland against Santa Clara. NOT good...They were without Raymond Felton (PG). They played poorly and ended up losing 77-66, to start the season 0-1. [CBS] [UNC] [ESPN]

The Politics of Persecution

Never has any President had to endure such hardship. Never has one man had to stand as strong under the harsh light of scrutiny, all the while trying to steer a nation to a safe port in the storm. I don't think that Bill Clinton was the greatest President ever...But I do think that he was treated very poorly. Yes, he had "relations" with an intern (not cool). While this was wrong, and it is what most people remember of his Presidency, that's not what it was all about. I will always have a special place in my heart for Bill Clinton; he was the first President that I had a chance to vote for. He wasn't perfect. But, I would take another 8 years of Clinton economic prosperity and safety over another 4 years of deficit, illegal war on Iraq, the environment, and the American people. Pundits will look for a legacy; Bill just tried to defend his. [SFGate]

What will King George II's legacy? Protest????? [AP] [CommonDreams]

Bob Herbert: "History will show that the Bush crowd of incompetents brought tremendous amounts of suffering to enormous numbers of people." [NYT]

Morals? Really? Not the Republicans...Sorry, wrong number. They would rather just change the rules so that no one notices that even if they get convicted of a FELONY, they can stay in Congress, and even keep their leadership positions. [NYT] [SeattleWeekly]

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Media Censorship

Frank Rich NAILS it again...So, why won't you air "Saving Private Ryan?" Afraid of a fine for running a movie about a 60-year old war with a few expletives and some (although very graphic) gore. If you don't like it, don't watch. This was supposed to air on VETERAN'S DAY!
So, let's not show this "offensive" movie, and then we won't show the truth of Iraq either...Let's toe that line the Administration has drawn in the sand and follow in lockstep with Fox News!!!

You WILL be loyal subjects!!! King George II is your one true ruler!!!
"Not only are the Bush officials who failed to protect the country and misled us into war not losing their jobs. They're getting promoted."
MoDo the Dragon Lady (ala Bartcop). [NYT]

Apologize? Why? What ABC should have said after the Monday Night Football "incident": "We have heard from conservative America whose shallow take on our country lends more importance to lost family values and media images rather than the real issues of the world. We realize how the bare back of an attractive woman might upset them. But we don't apologize; we aren't sorry and no matter what the media says, we know there are plenty of people out there who agree that this whole thing is ridiculous." [ESPN]

Then, a member of the media gets it right, protects his source, and now he's going to jail. [Yahoo] So...Why isn't Robert Novak in jail instead of this guy???

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Empty Cabinet

All the rats are jumping ship. Six Cabinet members have tendered their resignations, as well as Richard Armitage, Deputy Secretary of State. [ABC]

And Condi as the new Secretary of State?? Don't they want someone that will challenge the Administration on its hawkish policies??? Oh wait...

Alberto Gonzales is also a terrible choice for Attorney General. Are the Republicans trying to gain favor with Hispanic voters by nominating what could be the first Hispanic to hold that office? Sorry, wrong Hispanic, wrong time. Of course, there is the school of thought that anyone is better than John Ashcroft. I believe that to be true. BUT, Gonzales is the same guy who condoned the torture at Abu Ghraib prison and sent a memo stating that the Geneva Conventions don't apply to terrorism. [Guardian]

Well, I don't mean to call Colin Powell a rat, because he isn't. He was the one voice of reason in that entire administration. I can even forgive him for his terrible plea in front of the UN last year regarding WMD's in Iraq (that don't exist). [Bloomberg]

So, which direction does the new Bush Cabinet take? Does he reject the Christian-right that re-elected him and move toward unity, or does he pursue revolutionary changes on the right, and the country be damned? Ask Nicholas Kristof. [NYT]

Oh, and good news! Tom Delay gets to keep his leadership position as Majority Leader of the Senate if he is indicted by a Texas grand jury for state political corruption charges. Yes, that is a felony. This guy has been reprimanded three times in the last month by the House Ethics committee. [Yahoo]

Born to Run

I haven't run in a while. After I finished my college eligibility at UW-Whitewater, I really had to search for the desire to keep running. It shouldn't have been hard, but it has been. I'm not lazy. I just haven't had the motivation or desire to start up with it again. Some of my friends have started (or started and stopped) since, and I praise them for it. It's a large time commitment. I always wondered why people started running, and when in history.
I found this article that talks about the evolution of running and how it affected the evolution of man. [NYT] [Yahoo]

I also wanted to say congratulations and good luck to the two individuals from UW-Whitewater that will be competing in this Saturday's NCAA Division III Cross-Country National Championships in Eau Claire. [UW-W]

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

My Wife ROCKS!!!

Becky finished her first Grad School class tonight!!! 3 credits down, 32 to go! [Becky ROCKS!]

This got me thinking about the state of education in the US, and about our finances. With Becky in Grad School, our finances are tighter than ever. Once she finishes, eventually, she will make slightly more money. But, not enough to keep up with inflation. Teacher pay has only risen 1.3 percent each year since 2001. That is much less than the average rate of cost of living increase each year. Tough to make a living. Even after she gets these two Grad degrees, she may have to find another job that pays more.

As of 2003, Wisconsin ranked 23rd in average teacher pay. [WEAC]
This article sites stagnant resources as jeopardizing our public school systems. [NEA]

I'm told that my readership has increased a bit. Keep 'em coming! You can e-mail me with comments at [gmail] or [yahoo].

Monday, November 15, 2004

A Time For Renewal

A time for Renewal is upon us.
"There is now a debate within the Democratic Party over what to do in the 2004 election's aftermath. Some, of a very pragmatic (and, some of the less-charitable of us would say, amoral) mindset, encourage us to move even further to the right "because that's where the votes are." But do we want to govern from there? What would that mean for the moral principles that motivated our political involvement in the first place? Shall the Democrats become Goya's Saturn, eating our own children?
No, my friends, this is our 1964." [DU]

I realize at this point that my readership is well...me. I don't let this stop me! I just want to have some fun with this foray into the blogosphere!

Bear Down!

Who would have thought that the Chicago Bears offense could score 3 points, and they would WIN! Sunday, my beloved Chicago Bears won to improve to 4-5 with a 19-17 OT win over the Titans! [Sportsline]
Too bad that middle linebacker Brian Urlacher will be out 4-6 weeks after a lower leg injury. OUCH!

This article is on The Politics of Victimization. I received it in an e-mail, and thought it was definitely worth reading for any Democrat that is still reeling from the recent election. [Mathew Gross]

Saturday, November 13, 2004


Here is a link to watch Eminem's video "Mosh." It's really kick-ass!!! [Eminem]

Friday, November 12, 2004

"The Things They Wrote"

Yesterday, I posted a link to a NY Times article that had excerpts from the last letters/e-mails/correspondence from soldiers to family. This is a follow up article by Bob Herbert about the same subject. It also has snippets of the last correspondences from soldiers. [NYT]

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Sorry Everybody!

I thought this site was completely hilarious. Check it out!!!!!!

"Some of us — hopefully most of us — are trying to understand and appreciate the effect our recent election will have on you, the citizens of the rest of the world. As our so-called leaders redouble their efforts to screw you over, please remember that some of us — hopefully most of us — are truly, truly sorry. And we'll say we're sorry, even on the behalf of the ones who aren't."

Click on Gallery on the top [Sorry!]

Veteran's Day

I wanted to give a big thank you to ALL of our Veterans, past and present. Thank you for safeguarding our freedoms!!!!!! Now, lets get the current troops out of Iraq, and bring them home! By all accounts, as of today, the Pentagon is reporting at least 1,152 dead, and the count of wounded is over 10,000, with OVER 100,000 Iraqi civilians dead (countless maimed). Why? [Casualty Count]

This is an article titled "The Things They Wrote." It is from soldiers that were stationed in Iraq, and were killed in action, to their families. Pretty powerful. [NYT]

Also from the NY Times, this article talks about the "morals" from this past election. Frank Rich NAILS it. [NYT]

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

This is my Family: Brother Nate (Dogg), Wife Becky, Me, Sister Kelly, Dad, and Mom on St. Patrick's Day 2004 Posted by Hello

"The Virgin Suicides"

This is my first foray into the world of "blogging," hence the virgin from the title. I've read a few, including my best friend Mike's Blog.

Well, as a small introduction, my name is Ben. I'm huge into politics, sports, TV/Movies, most of everything. I'll try to post on here as much as time allows, but when you are married, time does not allow!

How about that election last week? I think that's where the suicides part of the title comes in. I love it when smart people vote against their best interests. At least Russ Feingold (D-WI) won! I worked on the Kerry/Edwards Campaign here in Milwaukee, WI. At least we went Blue!