Saturday, October 08, 2011
What an incredible day, mixing the warmth of summer with the colors of a sunny day in October. Given the nasty, cold weather we had until a few days ago, I thought I had long since seen my last monarch butterfly of the season, but no -- this splendid creature seems to have passed up the last bus south. It lingered on, and its reward was to have paradise (Tiedeman's Pond, Middleton) all to itself.
Friday, October 07, 2011
Something big is getting started in Reynolds Park.
Truth be told, Reynolds Field Park on the near east side of Madison isn't much of a park. Few people outside the neighborhood know its name. It doesn't even have much of a website. Not much there except a scattering of playground equipment, a few tennis courts on top of the building in the background, and a big field. But that's where the Occupy Madison movement is starting to meet today.
Don't let the small number of people in these photos fool you. They're getting organized. Big events grow out of small ones in Madison. Remember the budget bill protests last winter? They started with a few dozen people on the Saturday before Valentine's Day. Few could have guessed on that day that the turnout would eventually go well over 100,000.
More photos in my Occupy Madison set.
Wednesday, October 05, 2011
"The Computer for the rest of us" -- Apple slogan, 1984
"Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose." -- Steve Jobs, 2005
It was so shocking when the news arrived on this beautiful autumn day, even though it had seemed to be coming. But not this soon. T and I are still in shock. My iPhone and her iPad paid their last respects as best they could.
Monday, October 03, 2011
expose on Koch Industries, the firm owned by Scott Walker's political buddies and campaign contributors, the Koch brothers. It's a sad, tawdry tale that makes for some pretty distressing reading.
A Bloomberg Markets investigation has found that Koch Industries -- in addition to being involved in improper payments to win business in Africa, India and the Middle East -- has sold millions of dollars of petrochemical equipment to Iran, a country the U.S. identifies as a sponsor of global terrorism.And that's before we get to the horrifying tale of the teenage boy and girl who perished in a fireball that engulfed their truck -- caused by leaking propane from a corroded steel pipe.
The ‘Koch Method’
Internal company documents show that the company made those sales through foreign subsidiaries, thwarting a U.S. trade ban. Koch Industries units have also rigged prices with competitors, lied to regulators and repeatedly run afoul of environmental regulations, resulting in five criminal convictions since 1999 in the U.S. and Canada.
From 1999 through 2003, Koch Industries was assessed more than $400 million in fines, penalties and judgments. In December 1999, a civil jury found that Koch Industries had taken oil it didn’t pay for from federal land by mismeasuring the amount of crude it was extracting. Koch paid a $25 million settlement to the U.S.
Phil Dubose, a Koch employee who testified against the company said he and his colleagues were shown by their managers how to steal and cheat -- using techniques they called the Koch Method.
Burned AliveScott Walker, who so famously cozied up to the "Fake David Koch" in that phone call last winter, sure knows how to pick his friends. We should be holding him accountable. It's time to let him know that the least he can do is return the campaign contributions he received from the Koch brothers.
On Aug. 24, 1996, Danielle Smalley and her high school friend and neighbor Jason Stone, both 17, smelled gas outside Smalley’s mobile home in rural Lively, Texas, 50 miles southeast of Dallas. The house had no telephone, so they decided to drive the Smalley family’s pickup truck to a neighbor’s home to call 911.
They never made it.
The truck stalled after the couple drove into a fog-like cloud, says Danielle’s father, Danny Smalley, who watched them drive away. It was butane vapor, leaking from a corroded steel pipeline. Seconds later, as Danielle restarted the truck, the gas ignited into a fireball, burning Danielle and Jason to death.
Smalley’s father sued Koch Industries in 1997 in the Kaufman County, Texas, district court for the wrongful death of his daughter.
“I will tell you Koch Industries is definitely responsible for the death of Danielle Smalley,” Bill Caffey, an executive vice president of the company, testified in a 1999 deposition during Smalley’s lawsuit.
Caffey oversaw pipeline safety at the company. He testified that he thought the pipeline was safe before the explosion. Koch Pipeline Co., the unit that managed the Texas pipeline, knew the line had corroded and didn’t fix it, an investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board concluded in November 1998.
Sunday, October 02, 2011
This what Bucky and his buddies saw as the looked up at the sky Saturday afternoon, while they partied in preparation for Wisconsin's 49-17 blowout of the Nebraska Cornhuskers Saturday night. The Recall Walker forces seem to have commandeered all the available aircraft that normally circle Camp Randall towing commercial signs on game days. The message on one banner was short and to the point: "Recall Walker." The other plane towed a longer banner, one that invoked an appropriate animal metaphor: "Walker Is a Weasel Not a Badger RECALL HIM." It was a vivid reminder that people will be able to circulate recall papers in little more than two months, and that Scott Walker's days in office might be numbered in months, not years.
Quite a Saturday. The game was exciting (for awhile, until the Badgers turned it into a route), but this was thrilling.