Monday, August 15, 2011

Reflections By The Fire

I got to spend the last part of my vacation up north by the castle.  Outside of a few minor annoyances, like the rain on Friday whenever I tried to do something, it was just what the doctor ordered.  Got the grass cut (more like got the hay harvested), a few other minor chores done and still had a chance to have a nice bonfire to burn some brush.

It also gave me a chance to ponder some things and observe others, which I present here in no particular order:

One of things that helped keep me out of the house and outside enjoying the beauty of the land was that the TV was rotten with political ads.  If you thought the Sandy Pasch/Alberta Darling contest was overdone, it was anemic compared to the ads between Jim Holperin and Kim Simac.

And indeed, the Koch Brothers are pouring money into that race like there's no tomorrow.  Their front groups were running no less than three different ads.  In two of the ads, they were playing the racist card, but it wasn't clear if this was because they thought that would sell up there or if it was more of a reflection of their own attitudes towards minorities.  Their ads also were rather disjointed, and seemed to be throwing everything they could hoping that something, anything, would stick. One of them jumped from veterans to the time the Democratic senators slowed down the Republicans stripping rights from the people of Wisconsin back to veterans and then to "illegal aliens."  They accused Holperin of just about everything but despoiling virgin goats and eating babies.

WISGOP ran their own "us vs. them" ad, trying to pit the protesters against the rest of the state.  I don't know if they understand that many of the protesters came from that region or if they even care.

Simac even had at least one ad that I saw.

The funny thing is none of them, not even Simac herself, could say one positive thing about her, but could only throw one barb after another at Holperin.

We Are Wisconsin also were running a few ads, but not with nearly the frequency that the Koch Brothers front groups were running theirs.  What I learned from these ads was that Simac doesn't like paying her taxes and that the books she writes get printed in China and not at one of the printing businesses here in Wisconsin.

Unlike Simac's side, there were a couple of positive ads as well, like this one from the Greater Wisconsin Committee:

But, in my humble opinion, the most effect ad was with Holperin in it. In said commercial, he simply pointed out that the big business/corporation folks were dumping a lot of money attacking him because he would not support giving them all the handouts they want.  He adds that they can attack him, but he will still work for the voters.  There was nothing flashy about the ad, but the truth behind it and the simplicity of it spoke very loudly.

The water levels in central Wisconsin, or at least in my little part of it, is still very high, especially for this time of the year.  It's a pleasant change from the drought that they were having up there for years. Although the higher water does make cutting the grass, especially near the marsh, rather challenging.

Barack Obama, even having the terrible month he's been having, must have gotten a laugh out of Iowa's straw poll.  I know I did.

If you're going to build a basement in the really sandy soil in my neck of the woods, which is not advisable, make sure you have a sump pump in place and make sure that said sump pump is on.  The neighbors learned that one the hard way.  The damage must be in the tens of thousands of dollars.

I saw the movie "V for Vendetta" for the first time (yeah, I'm way behind on my movie watching and my reading too).  It's kind of eerie how close it reflects American and Wisconsin politics right now.  But instead of those little knives, he should have had a good old sword.

Just like Milwaukeeans often feel like we're the unwanted stepchild by the rest of the state, those in central and northern Wisconsin feel abandoned and that everything they hear is Madison this and Milwaukee that (and that's just not from the Holperin commercial either).  It would appear that the politicians from both sides of the aisle are pitting different parts of the state against each other.  Their biggest fear is occurring now that the people from all areas of the state (even some from Waukesha and Washington Counties) are pulling together and challenging the status quo.

One of my greatest joys in life is to have all my chores done, sitting outside in the yard on a comfortable summer day, with the sound of the birds and the crackling of a small camp fire serenading you into a nap.

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