SocratesChildren's blog

Efficient cost-effective search for duplicates in Recall Walker Petitions

Finding duplicates in the Recall Walker and Kleefisch petitions could be done in a few weeks for about $150,000 plus computer time.

One efficient way to find duplicates is to enter addresses into a data base, either by scanning or by typing. Scanning of many different handwriting samples will require another level of proofreading to satisfy the critics. While a skilled typist proofreads even while typing.


Grief. Then What?


I'm reminded today in reading Scott Walker's answers to the press that there is a grain of hope, if we but wait and while waiting keep the story alive.


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In August 2002 we learned at a press conference led by WisDOT that the bike path on the Hoan bridge would not happen. This, in spite of WisDOT's own report that the path on the bridge would be a good idea. We were dumbfounded, after 6 years of study and delay, long discussions among us (and secret meetings among the planners). I remember the grief and the feeling of having been manipulated by WisDOT - much like today's but with lesser consequences back then.


Dutch Gets a D

Dutch Gets a D

Professor Stephen Dutch appeared on the scene in a flash with an essay explaining why "we" Americans do not ride transit. While he reports transit that he has experienced, and he is not shy about his personal preferences - don't crowd me, please - he tends to generalize about the rest of us.

A geologist - a fascinating field as a platform for public transportation. I'd prefer a facilities management specialist; but we transit advocates take whatever we get. Everyone is an authority on transit. Everyone knows how to run a transit system.

The real experts of course are bus riders, but specialists? Naw, we have interesting lives, jobs, families, and hobbies. But the bus? Heck, if a professor cares about bus schedules and seat width, we are glad that worry is being taken care of by, well, someone.

Rail Cheaper and Faster Than Air

Today I Googled the numbers for one-way business travel, Chicago to Madison

(using December 14 and January 11 as travel days)





A search turns up over 20 daily flights between Chicago and Madison

Assuming each flight carries 40 passengers (low estimate to include smaller equipment)

Carrying capacity of 20 flights about 800 passengers; price goes up as seats get scarce.

= $316 up to $550

1 hour to get to airport

1 hour to get through security

1 hour to fly

1/2 hour to leave plane and get baggage and

1 hour to get into downtown Madison

4.5 hours - Total Travel Time:





$45 - Ticket price (based on Chicago fares today)

$10-$40 for cab or bus fares

= $55-$85

Cars Ride On The Backs Of Kids And Hummingbirds

Cars Ride On The Backs Of Kids And Hummingbirds



... the faces of kids who had no idea what kind of energy pornography website their beautiful faces, good intentions, skateboards, bikes, and smiles would be hired off to sell cars.



Greenwashing used to be BP. Those mag and TV ads - so hip, so green. And today?


Dead in the water ? To wish. Now comes to save greenwashing from its near death experience in the Gulf.


You see, public transportation in Wisconsin is running out the clock. Fourth down came and went in April. No score and so the State of Wisconsin must turn the ball over to the car manufacturers.


Yes, to the car. That consumer of farmland, the unemployed squatter on precious downtown spaces, that indolent 20-hour a day sleeper in your household that gobbles up nearly as much green as your mortgage. The car is now promoted by the State of Wisconsin in a five-figure ad campaign promoting cars. Profits go to carmakers and road-builders and parking lot owners.


Milwaukee County Park thrown to the Dogs

Milwaukee needs a dog park so badly, it will cut down 5 acres of trees in our venerable Grant Park.

This is the wisdom of Scott Walker. His legacy will be a wrecked bus system, supplemented by new buses paid for by Federal dollars, and now a wasteland where there will be trees, where there will be dogs, where dogs can run about unafraid they will bump their heads on a tree standing in their way.

Bring your camera when this tragedy strikes. We want photos all over Wisconsin this summer, with His Majesty's name on them.

Waukesha Water, Milwaukee Water

I'm not one to draw attention to "Comments" in a media website, but the Comments on this article were illuminating in the sad way of modern political discussion. Raw, hurting, angry, and often devoid of fact.

Milwaukee County panel opposes Waukesha's plan for wastewater effluent

So, stepping in where only fools dare, I have added my own Comment:

Reading this discussion would make a visitor from Europe believe Waukesha and Milwaukee have nothing in common. The vitriol shouted back and forth across the County lines, however, is only the beginning of the discussion that could actually benefit both counties.

First of all, we ought to recognize how regional thinking could benefit both counties. Milwaukee wants political support to improve its public transportation. Waukesha wants Lake Michigan water.

Milwaukee has a vital interest in making its own city more dense, livable, walkable and less car-dependent. I know no one in Milwaukee who wants our workers to move to Waukesha, but I do know that some employers in Waukesha and Wauwatosa would like to figure out how to get low pay workers into their shops and factories.

My Tea Party with Randal O'Toole

My Tea Party with Randal O'Toole

O'Toole had no handout, and offered no link to his talk so we could not go home and study his statistics.

I am a follower of Randal O'Toole, actually a stalker. I've read his material; I've responded to him online when Comments are allowed. I am actually fascinated by this persona. So, when a friend offered to take me along to Racine to hear him, I jumped at the chance (too far for a bike ride on a Tuesday night).

Randal (a Cato Institute Fellow) changed his talk a bit over the past few months. Instead of closing with a report on his "hobby," he opens up with his hobby - refurbishing trains (for museum purposes); point is - no one should subsidize my hobby. Got it, Randal.

Opener. To measure his audience he uses what any smart speaker will use, something engaging. A suggestive remark about the recent health care bill (just passed) brought a roar of approval and applause from his audience of about 200. He knew; they knew; they are on the same side: distrust of government, the theme of the evening, repeated ironically by elected officials and the candidates for office running on Tea.

Part 4. Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism Gets in Bed with the Cato Institute.

Ninety percent (90%) of the opinion in the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism (WCIJ) report on high speed rail is status quo, anti-public investment, and emphatically Cato Institute doctrine.

This essay presents eleven (11) charges that WCIJ failed their ethical principles. And twelve (12) characteristics of sloppy writing that denigrate journalism as a profession.


This blog! is the fourth in a series about a WCIJ Report High Speed Rail broadcast on Wisconsin Public Radio July 22, 2009:

Part 1. The WCIJ Fraud. WCIJ falsified the conclusion in a US Government Accountability Office report.

Part 2. The WCIJ Virus - the Fraud over the GAO text has spread far and wide in the media.


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