Saturday, April 07, 2007

Aliens at the Monona Terrace

Several years ago I shot this photo of what looked like aliens, wearing their best dress twinklewear, lining up to go shopping at the Winter Farmer's Market in the Frank Lloyd Wright inspired Monona Terrace Convention Center. Now, based on the comments of Dr. Diablo at the Marina Condominiums post, I realize they really were aliens wearing their best twinklewear.
By now, I think we all pretty much accept that the Government has covered up its contacts with extraterrestrial visitors from whom it has learned to construct antigravity devices and such. They want to leak it to us gradully in order to avert panic. But there is aspect of this conspiracy that remains concealed beneath a thick blanket of silence. I might be the first to raise it, right here, right now.

Aliens wouldn't just share gizmos like time travel chambers adn ray guns. They would share other aspects of their culture--art, music, recipes, architectural blueprints. I believe these are being shoehorned into our society a little bit at a time.

I believe this building was designed by an alien. The semicircular balconies are clearly adapted ports for personal mini-saucers, which advanced aliens would naturally have. I also believe that tofu was reverse engineered from mess kits found at the Roswell crash sight.

Why not use your blog to blow the lid off of all this? Once you accept the idea, you see evidence of it all around you. If we don't wake up, our way of life will be supplanted by that of the Venusians or whoever.
It all fits together -- almost too neatly. The Marina Condominiums are practically in the backyard of the Monona Terrace. Both feature strange, alien-friendly circular motifs. Both overlook water. Clearly the UFOs have landed, and aliens are among us. Consider yourself warned.

The Moon wasn't even full, and it wasn't midnight yet, but Matt Lauer heard its call

Transforming the affable Today Show anchor before my eyes into a right wing attack dog, a virtual wingnut werewolf. I was on my way out of the house to go to work, but had stopped to catch his discussion with Russert about Nancy Pelosi's trip to Syria when he went on the offensive. It was unbelievable.
LAUER: Vice President Cheney called Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Syria “bad behavior,” a Washington Post editorial on Thursday called it “counter-productive and foolish,” and an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal this morning goes a step further and suggests her trip may actually have been a felony, that it may have violated something called the Logan Act. Tim, is this the way the Democrats wanted to get off the mark in terms of foreign affairs?
Russert tries to calm him down, but Lauer just sinks his teeth in more deeply and won't let go.
LAUER: Well, that’s their side of the story. However, if you look back at the mid-term elections, clearly some voters in this country were unhappy with the administration’s foreign policy, specifically in Iraq; it’s one of the reasons we think Democrats took control of Congress. But if the Democrats and Speaker Pelosi appear to be acting irresponsibly or incompetently, and let’s face it, a lot of people think she messed up on this one, what’s the impact for Democrats overall?
You just wondered who was pulling the strings, and why. Does Nancy Pelosi really pose a threat to GE? (Think Progress has video and a complete transcript of this strange interlude of Lauer baying at the Moon.)

Friday, April 06, 2007

Condos after Dark: Marina Condominiums

The silver metallic Marina Condominiums development that looms over Lake Monona features a distinctive design by Madison architect Kenton Peters that resembles a bright student's geometry demonstration that towering cylinders and large square boxes can indeed be forced to coexist. Not everyone is wild about Kenton Peters' work, but at least people know the name of the architect, which is more than can be said of many of Madison's condo projects. From a Capital Times story about reader feedback on local architecture that appeared in June of 2005, before the development was finished:
"Rubes," a Web forum participant said. "The Marina looks like a corrugated cardboard warehouse, or maybe even a correctional institution with the bars extending around the balconies. Too bad we can't do like Lodi and remove the Plan Commission members for approving this disaster."

But the building had some fans.

Teresa Sanders wrote that she was "falling very much 'in like' with the tin can condos on Wilson."

Carol Kincaid, while rapping Peters' Union Transfer condos on East Wilson, confessed, "I have to admit I kind of like his Marina condos up the street, at least from what I can tell so far."

Again Mayor Cieslewicz rose to the defense.

"I think Kenton Peters gets unfairly maligned because he is trying to commit architecture," he said. "I admire the fact that he takes chances, that he's got a strong vision. Some of his buildings are failures and some of them work. I don't like his federal courthouse. But I like those tubes out in Warner Park, and I like the 848 building, the silver building on University Avenue. And I think Marina Place is shaping up.

"It's unfair to judge a building before the windows are in and before it's done."
Two years later, the mayor is newly reelected, the building is done, the windows are in, and more than a few are dark. And, curiously, the name of the man who committed architecture is not mentioned anywhere on the Marina Condominiums promotional website.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Bush to Senate (and Reid): Screw you!

Bush's recess appointment of Republican money guy and Swift Boat Veterans fund raiser Sam Fox as ambassador to Belgium was a particularly egregious abuse of his constitutional authority. The Foreign Relations Committee was about to vote the appointment down when the White House pulled it back -- only to appoint Fox as soon as Congress recessed for the Easter break. In other words, it wasn't really pulled back. It was a tactical retreat so that Bush could mount a stealth attack on his opponent, the Senate, from a different direction.

In the long sweep of history, it isn't going to make much of a difference who our ambassador to Belgium is. But that's exactly what makes Bush's use of the recess appointment power so contemptuous and spiteful. He can't argue that there was some important goal being served by this appointment that was being blocked by an obstreperous Congress. The somewhat arcane recess appointment power survives because it's another one of those "check and balances" that gives the President the ability to make legitimate appointments until the end of the congressional session when they're hopelessly stalled in the Senate. Sometimes it's used legitimately, to achieve an important public purpose. But when used the way Bush just did, it makes a mockery of democracy.

Of course, not everyone sees it that way.
Despite the Democrats' fierce objections to Fox and two other appointees, conservatives lauded Bush's exercise of his constitutional prerogative. Weekly Standard Editor William Kristol, who had urged Bush to recess-appoint Fox, said yesterday: "It's good; it shows he's fighting back. He had a 'kick me' sign on his back, and it shows he's taken the sign off."
If you say so, Bill.

More likely, this was Bush's answer to Henry Reid's recent reminder that "He is president of the United States, not king of the United States."

"Try and stop me," Bush seems to be Bush's taunting response. That's exactly what Congress needs to do.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

That's one decadent Easter Bunny

Consorting with a pardoned turkey who has lost all sense of right and wrong in this week's New Yorker. Cartonist Carolita Johnson provides some of the backstory at her blog Newyorkette, along with this postscript:
PS - for my non-american readers who may not be aware of the custom, the tradition is that just before Thanksgiving, the President of the United States (the Leader of the Free World, as they say), pardons a turkey. That is, this pardoned turkey will be spared from becoming someone’s dinner, and basically “retire” from the food chain.) Other pardoned turkeys include President Nixon.
Anyone know if Scooter Libby will be considered for a Thanksgiving turkey pardon this year?

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Election day: Wisconsin Supreme Court

This year's Wisconsin Supreme Court race between Washington County Circuit Judge Annette Ziegler and Madison attorney Linda Clifford has been the most expensive ever, and one of the nastiest, with robo-calls driving us all nuts and lurid and misleading TV commercials about sex predators that have nothing to do with the Supreme Court polluting the airwaves. No wonder that a poll showing Ziegler ahead released yesterday by the Wisconsin Realtors Association -- which backed Ziegler -- also showed an astonishing 36% undecided. Over the weekend Paul Soglin compared the candidates and summed up the issues in a post that concluded:
A vote for Clifford is not only a vote for justice, it is a vote for sanity in a televised world of hyperbole and distractions.
I agree, and she got my vote this morning, but I wonder if she'll make it. I think she made a mistake by going negative and staying negative in response to Ziegler's mudslinging. Clifford showed she could sling right back, but in doing so, I think she fell into a classic voter suppression trap set by Ziegler's business lobby backers, Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce. Ziegler's best chance of winning was always getting the public so ticked off by this ugly campaign that they simply said the hell with it, and that may have happened, judging from the predicted 25% turnout.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Robert M. La Follette rises from the grave

The ghost of Robert M. La Follette, Sr. rises from the grave in Madison's Forest Hill Cemetery to speak out about the Bush administration's outrages against human rights. It's deja vu all over again, because he already said it in the Progressive in March of 1920.
Let no man think we can deny civil liberty to others and retain it for ourselves. When zealous agents of the Government arrest suspected "radicals" without warrant, hold them without prompt trial, deny them access to counsel and admission of bail....we have shorn the Bill of Rights of its sanctity...
This one's for Dr. Diablo, who thinks that there are better things to photograph at night than dark condos and suggested a trip to Forest Hill.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Condos after Dark: Hilldale Row

Although the sign out front says more than 50% of Madison's Hilldale Row condos are sold, these windows were dark last night. The immediately adjacent "Shorewood" parking ramp was, however, brightly illuminated.

Bush calls for immediate Iraq withdrawal

President Bush last night fired most of his top advisors and announced he would immediately pull U.S. forces out of Iraq. The Wshington Post quotes the President:
"I don't know how I ever let myself be talked into it," he said. "There were no WMDs, just a bunch of neocon talking points. They took me for quite a ride, but they're gone now.

"We will be withdrawing all of our troops as soon as physically possible and closing the Guantanamo Bay detention center, as well as all U.S. bases in Iraq. I will personally devote the remainder of my term to making restitution to the people of Iraq for the destruction we caused in their country.

"Oh, and Gonzales and Rove? I don't know what they were trying to pull with that U.S. attorney thing, but it wasn't right. They're history. "
If only. Happy April Fool's Day.

In the real news: U.S. Toll in March Is Twice Iraq Forces. Bush: Gonzales 'Honorable and Honest'.