March 24, 2007

Iran ‘to try Britons for espionage’

FIFTEEN British sailors and marines arrested by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards off the coast of Iraq may be charged with spying.

A website run by associates of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president, reported last night that the Britons would be put before a court and indicted.

Referring to them as “insurgents”, the site concluded: “If it is proven that they deliberately entered Iranian territory, they will be charged with espionage. If that is proven, they can expect a very serious penalty since according to Iranian law, espionage is one of the most serious offences.”

The warning followed claims by Iranian officials that the British navy personnel had been taken to Tehran, the capital, to explain their “aggressive action” in entering Iranian waters. British officials insist the servicemen were in Iraqi waters when they were held.

The penalty for espionage in Iran is death. However, similar accusations of spying were made when eight British servicemen were detained in the same area in 2004. They were paraded blindfolded on television but did not appear in court and were freed after three nights in detention.

Iranian student groups called yesterday for the 15 detainees to be held until US forces released five Revolutionary Guards captured in Iraq earlier this year.

It becomes clearer to me every day that Iran under its current leadership is literally every day trying to find ways to provoke the west into military action.

This is the most serious front we face and our leadership had better figure it out quick.

Congress wants to spend their attention on why the President dismissed people he had every right to dismiss.

We need to stop the pettiness and stupid attacks within and focus our attentions on dangers outside our borders.

We have a madman in Iran trying his best to obtain nuclear weapons, he'll use them, he has said so. And here we are playing partisan games and freaking out about global warming instead of looking at the real issues facing us.

Final Spider-Man 3 Trailer

Is it May 4th yet?

March 23, 2007

Iran rattles their sabre...

Britain demands Iran free seized sailors

By JIM KRANE, Associated Press Writer 2 hours, 31 minutes ago
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -

Naval forces of Iran's hardline Revolutionary Guards captured 15 British sailors and marines at gunpoint Friday in the Persian Gulf — an audacious move coming during heightened tensions between the West and Iran.

U.S. and British officials said a boarding party from the frigate HMS Cornwall was seized about 10:30 a.m. during a routine inspection of a merchant ship inside Iraqi territorial waters near the disputed Shatt al-Arab waterway.

Iran's Foreign Ministry insisted the Britons were operating in Iranian waters and would be held "for further investigation," Iranian state television said.

In other news...

UNITED NATIONS - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad canceled a trip to New York to address the U.N. Security Council before it votes on whether to impose further sanctions against his country for refusing to stop enriching uranium, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said Friday.

The decision came as diplomats from the five veto-wielding members of the Security Council — the U.S., Britain, France, China and Russia — and Germany held a flurry of last-minute negotiations in New York on a draft resolution seeking to pressure Iran to comply.

The six powers want a vote on the resolution by Saturday, but diplomats said that could be delayed by efforts to reach consensus to give the sanctions more weight.

Are these items unrelated?

We thought we were going to get a change when they came into power

Anti-war protesters arrested at Pelosi’s office

By Chris Good

March 22, 2007

Four members of the anti-war group Code Pink were arrested outside the office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) Thursday afternoon, following an announcement that they would seek to take over the office.

The group’s members had planned to hold a symbolic “Pin the war on the Donkey” demonstration at Pelosi’s office to show their frustration with the Democratic leadership’s inaction on ending the war in Iraq.

However, Capitol Police prevented the taping of a drawn donkey to the wall.
Code Pink members were crying outside Pelosi’s office. When asked why, Rae Abileah, 24, said she was crying out of “outrage that this is all we can get from the Democrats,” referring to the Iraq supplemental funding bill, scheduled for a vote Friday.

“We’re just heartbroken that Nancy Pelosi has decided to keep funding George Bush’s war, and now the war belongs to the Democrats as well as the Republicans,” said Code Pink co-founder Medea Benjamin. “We thought we were going to get a change when they came into power.”


Hinode sees the dynamic and violent sun as sharply as never before


Date Released: Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Hinode, the newest solar observatory on the space scene, has obtained never-before-seen images showing that the sun's magnetic field is much more turbulent and dynamic than previously known.

Hinode, Japanese for 'sunrise', was launched on 23 September 2006 to study the sun's magnetic field and how its explosive energy propagates through the different layers of the solar atmosphere.

"For the first time, we are now able to make out tiny granules of hot gas that rise and fall in the sun's magnified atmosphere," said Dick Fisher, director of NASA's Heliophysics Division. "These images will open up a new era of study on some of the sun's processes that effect Earth, astronauts, orbiting satellites and the solar system."

Hinode's three primary instruments, the Solar Optical Telescope, the X-ray Telescope and the Extreme Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrometer, are observing the different layers of the sun.

Studies focus on the solar atmosphere from the photosphere - the visible surface of the sun, to the corona - the outer atmosphere that extends outward into the solar system.

Thanks to coordinated measurements from the three instruments, Hinode is already showing how changes in the structure of the magnetic field and the release of magnetic energy in the low atmosphere spread outward through the corona and into interplanetary space.

"The release of magnetic energy is at the base of space weather," says Bernhard Fleck, ESA's SOHO and Hinode Project Scientist. "Complementing the SOHO data with those of Hinode will allow us to improve our understanding of the violent processes on the Sun that drive space storms. The synergies between the two missions will clearly boost our space weather forecasting capabilities."

Space weather involves the production of energetic particles and the emissions of electromagnetic radiation. These bursts of energy can black out long-distance communications over entire continents and disrupt the global navigational system.

"Hinode images are revealing irrefutable evidence for the presence of turbulence-driven processes that are bringing magnetic fields, on all scales, to the sun's surface, resulting in an extremely dynamic chromosphere or gaseous envelope around the sun," said Alan Title, a corporate senior fellow at Lockheed Martin, Palo Alto, California, and consulting professor of physics at Stanford University, Stanford, California.

By following the evolution of the solar structures that outline the magnetic field before, during and after these explosive events, scientists hope to find clear evidence to establish that magnetic reconnection – a process whereby magnetic field lines from different magnetic domains are spliced to one another and cause a reconfiguration of the magnetic field - is the underlying cause for this explosive activity.

And once again we find out science does not know everything there is to know...

Moving this to the global warming front I have a question.

If the sun provides all the light, energy and warming for our planet, how can all the global warming "science" not include the sun as a factor in global warming?

March 22, 2007

Commodore Vic-20 commercial


The Wiz

This might just be enough to make Mrs RDW a NASCAR fan.

Culver's racing sponsorship adds NASCAR

The Business Journal of Milwaukee - 2:56 PM CDT Thursday, March 22, 2007

Culver's is expanding its motorsports sponsorship from a regional program to the national spotlight with entry into several NASCAR races this year.

The Prairie du Sac restaurant chain said Thursday that long-time Culver's Racing driver Frank Kreyer will move up from regional late-models to driving in two NASCAR's Crafstman truck series events and four Busch Series car tour events in 2007.

"We believe NASCAR's strong national reach will help us build broader brand familiarity as Culver's expands and as the sport continues to grow in popularity," co-founder Craig Culver said Thursday in announcing the sponsorship at its restaurant in West Milwaukee.

Financial details of the sponsorship were not disclosed. Culver's has sponsored Kreyer in regional races across the Midwest for the last six years.

Wisconsin native Kreyer, 36, will drive the number 44 Culver's Chevrolet Silverado, fielded by Key Motorsports, March 31 in the Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway in Virginia and again May 26 in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Ohio 250 in Mansfield, Ohio.

Kreyer will then return to Wisconsin for the his initial BUSCH Series event, driving the Mac Hill Motorsports number 56 Culver's Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS in the June 23 AT&T 250 at the Milwaukee Mile. His other Busch races are the July 21 NASCAR Busch Series 250 at Gateway International Raceway outside St. Louis, the Kroger 200 at O'Reilly Raceway Park in Indianapolis, and the Nov. 10 Arizona.Travel 200 at Phoenix International Raceway.

Kreyer will continue driving the number 99 Culver's Ford Fusion in the Wisconsin Challenge Series, along with selected appearances in the newly formed ASA Midwest Tour in Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa and Minnesota.

(Look Honey, it is Culver's, Pepsi and Pink!)

Happy Anniversary.

You can resist the biscuits being handed round the office.

You can put your hand over your glass and say 'no' to more wine.
But there's one thing that even the most self-controlled person can't stop themselves doing – popping Bubble Wrap.

The plastic material, which is celebrating its 50th birthday this year, is the only kind of packaging that's as popular for relieving stress as it is for protecting post.
The Bubble Wrap story began completely by accident in 1957.

Two US engineers, Alfred Fielding and Marc Chavannes, were trying to make a textured wallpaper with an easy-to-use paper backing.

But they soon realised they had a bigger hit on their hands, switched to using layers of melted plastic resin, and formed Sealed Air, which is now a global company worth £2billion.

Metro did contact the makers to get some more fun facts but all the executives were in Florida attending the 50th birthday party.

It was left to Lisa Bond, of stationers Ryman, to pay tribute: 'Not only has it taken the packaging world by storm but households and offices around the country readily use it as a fun way to let off steam.'

Exactly how you attack those bubbles has always been the subject of debate, says, where you can pop bubbles online.

Do you go for the classic, single pop or the multi-pop by crushing handfuls in a fist? Or how about wrapping yourself in the stuff and rolling over and over?

One things is for certain – once you pop, you won't be able to stop.

March 21, 2007

It's Springtime in Racine...

Flowers begin to bloom, birds return to chirp in the trees, and Unified asks for more money. You can predict the annual referendum from the local school district quite easily now.

While it's not certain that they will ask for more money, it is on the agenda for the April school board meeting. The questions they face are should a referendum be sought and for how much. Speculation has the board going for a multi-year referendum totaling over $30 million. The cries of fiscal mismanagement and cutting programs will fly toward each other for the next few months.

Programs for students with special needs have grown at a huge rate over recent years. With these programs come the need for additional staff. Bilingual and ESL programs have also expanded in recent years. Although it is arguable that the need for more bilingual and ESL was actually needed.

Apart from programming, RUSD has stealthily added administrators to its corporate headquarters, I mean central office. Unified has new Chief (fill in the blank) Officers popping up about every 6 - 9 months. This is on top of the numerous assistant superintendents and other support staffs already in place.

Unified needs to find a way to control these costs before they can get a handle on how big a deficit actually exists.

Yes I am aware of the salary and benefit package we teachers receive. That is a valid concern for the need for a referendum, but is also an issue for another post.

Well wasn't that conviiiiiiiiiiiiienient.

DOT chief's calendar erased
Entries for '03-'04 were destroyed by accident, state says


Posted: March 20, 2007

Calendar entries for state Transportation Secretary Frank Busalacchi and his top assistant have been erased, making it impossible to know where they were for their first two years in office.

The Journal Sentinel recently requested Busalacchi's calendar going back to January 2003, but the Department of Transportation said his calendars for 2003 and 2004 were accidentally destroyed because of a problem with a computer server. Deputy Secretary Ruben Anthony Jr.'s calendars also are missing for those years.

Busalacchi has said he never talked to now-indicted Kenosha businessman Dennis Troha about tax troubles faced by companies Troha owned at the time. Busalacchi was to meet with Troha on the issue in April 2004, but Busalacchi said Troha - a major contributor to Gov. Jim Doyle - did not show up for the meeting.

The Journal Sentinel asked for Busalacchi's schedule to see how involved he was in the tax cases affecting Troha's firms. But the Department of Transportation said this week that it did not have the calendars for 2003 and 2004.

"This is nothing we did on purpose," said Chris Klein, an aide to Busalacchi. "It was a mistake that occurred."

Sometime before August 2006, an information technology worker tried to back up the calendars of Busalacchi and Anthony but inadvertently erased them instead, Klein said. He said he did not know whether anyone else's calendar was wiped out.

Klein did not name the IT employee.

Scott Gaidano, president and co-owner of Drive Savers, a leading data recovery firm based in Novato, Calif., said the state's explanation was plausible but that it was also possible the information was retrievable. For example, he said, if information on the computer drive had only been erased and not overwritten with new data, it could be recovered.

"I never believe anybody telling me the data is unrecoverable until I personally make sure our engineers go through it," Gaidano said.

A spot check of other state agencies by the Journal Sentinel found no other problems. Calendars for top officials going back to 2003 are available for the Department of Revenue, the

Department of Health and Family Services and the Department of Workforce Development, the agencies said.

The state Department of Transportation admitted this year it had violated the open records law in an unrelated case by delaying a report's release for months in 2004 after a public employees union asked Busalacchi for it.

Troha inquiry

The federal indictment issued this month accuses Troha of funneling campaign donations to Doyle by giving money to Troha's relatives through a company he controlled and lying about it to the FBI. Donors cannot give more than $10,000 each to a candidate for governor during each four-year election cycle.

Troha and his family have contributed $200,000 to Doyle since 2002.

Troha spearheaded the effort to win approval for an $808 million Menominee Indian casino in Kenosha but pulled out of the deal as word of the investigation leaked out last month.

The investigation into Troha is ongoing. U.S. Attorney Steven M. Biskupic said this week he and the FBI are looking into a deal Troha struck to get paid through 2010 by a trucking company he used to own because Congress approved legislation benefiting the firm, JHT Holdings. Troha and his family donated tens of thousands of dollars to congressmen who pushed the legislation through, including almost $60,000 since 1998 to U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan of Janesville.

Troha sold his interest in JHT last year so he could focus on the casino project.

The FBI has also interviewed at least one state DOT auditor about how the department handled a tax dispute involving JHT subsidiaries. Under an interstate pact, Wisconsin collects fuel taxes for other states from the firms because they are based here.

The companies disputed about $1 million in taxes the DOT said they owed to other states. DOT employees went to Illinois and Pennsylvania to help settle the cases, but Busalacchi has said the agency would have done the same for any Wisconsin-based companies.

Busalacchi was supposed to meet with Troha and lawyers for the trucking companies on the issue in April 2004, but Busalacchi said only the attorneys attended. Two other planned meetings with Troha, which Busalacchi has described as social engagements, were canceled, officials say.

E-mails show Busalacchi called Troha in May 2005 and July 2006, but they do not say what they discussed.

Jeff Fleming, a spokesman for Troha, said Troha did not attend the April 2004 meeting and does not recall being invited to it.

Former DOT chief counsel Jim Thiel says Troha was at the meeting, but no one else who attended the meeting recalls Troha being there, according to Thiel's replacement, Robert Jambois. Jambois has spoken with Thiel and most of the others who attended the meeting.
The DOT's Klein said top agency officials discovered the problem with the missing calendars in August 2006 after the state Republican Party asked for Busalacchi's calendar going back to January 2003, when he started the job the Democratic governor gave him.

The state provided GOP officials with the calendars for 2005 and 2006 but told them the others were missing, Klein said.

Brad Courtney, chairman of the Republican Party, said he was frustrated with the situation.
"None of this surprises me," he said.

March 20, 2007

I'd like to say something about the latest round of war protests.

It is all the rage out there in the conservative world today that a number of out of their minds with rage and hate protesters went nutty in Milwaukee, Detroit and Portland.

I do not think these people represent the run of the mill person who is opposed to the war.

Most of the people opposed to the war are just people who think things have taken too long, and too many have died. We can argue about that, and talk about media and one side of the story and all of that stuff, but it has been done.

We need to be careful to draw those distintions. In my opinion, the ugliness seen here does not reflect the vast majority of people opposed to the war. My guess is if you took the time to ask those people they would be disgusted by the activities of these individuals.

Trying to tie these nutballs to the rest of the anti war movement would be no fairer than those who tried to tie Mark Foley to everyone else with an (r) after their name.

It was not right then, and it is not right now.

As if this story was not already strange enough...

Anna Nicole judge cited for pot in park

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. - A judge who had a secondary role in the recent
Anna Nicole Smith proceedings was charged with smoking marijuana in a city park, police said Monday.

Lawrence Korda was smoking marijuana while sitting under a tree Sunday, police said. Three officers who were training there saw Korda and field-tested the cigarette, said Capt. Tony Rode, a police spokesman.

The judge was not arrested. He was given a misdemeanor citation to appear in court.

"Judge Korda was not given special treatment because of his status as a circuit court judge," Rode said. "He was provided with a notice to appear. That's exactly what 99 percent of other offenders would have been given for this type of offense."

Hilary 1984 Spoof Video

Whoever made this thing should do this for a living.

Thoughts on the ad?

March 19, 2007

24 Hour Pizza Delivery

It is time to play our favorite game again...

What is $16,000?

UPDATE: NEW YORK (AP) -- So what's "Jeopardy!" going to do for an encore?
On Friday -- after more than two decades of games in its current syndicated incarnation -- the famed trivia game show had its first three-way tie.

The three contestants on the venerable U.S. game show all finished with $16,000 after each answering the final question correctly in the category, "Women of the 1930s," on Friday's show. They identified Bonnie Parker, of the famed Bonnie and Clyde crime duo, as a woman who, as a waitress, once served one of the men who shot her. (Watch the exciting conclusion )

"We've had a lot of crazy things happen on 'Jeopardy!' but in 23 years (as host) I've never seen anything like this before," host Alex Trebek said.

My NCAA Bracket

I'm doing fairly well with my NCAA brackets. So far I have 40 of 48 picks correct! Excluding Wisconsin I correctly predicted the Sweet 16!

Click the bracket and it should blow up to a more readable size.

Special Announcement.

In the past I have reached out to try and add a more left leaning contributor to this website.

We have even asked long-time posters Scott Feldstein and Jay Bullock to join the RDW clan. Both declined.

For a time Belle graced our pages and provided a perspective from the left, but alas she retired to become a consultant specializing in new and creative ways to market feathered masks.

We have a new contributor coming on board, a decidedly left of center but fair contributor. They may choose to protect their privacy, that is at their discretion. However, I will not stop them from posting any material of their choosing.

I look forward to the new voice.

The Great Global Warming Swindle (Complete)

Happy Belated St Patricks Day....

I got so busy this weekend I forgot to spead some St Patricks day cheer...