Archive for February 2011

All the Non-Wisconsin News That Isn’t

February 28, 2011

All the Non-Wisconsin News That Isn’t

James Franco remakes Freaks & Geeks at Academy Awards.

Porky Pig accepts for King’s Speech

Cam Newton figs it at NFL combine.

1 in 5 banks finished 2010 with a loss as opposed to 5 in 5 of their clients.

Handwriting on the wall as Ukrainian nurse deserts Khadafy.

The thing is, he’s a Bedouin. They’re nomadic. One morning he–and the goats–will just be gone!

After Khadafy–Khadafy Duck.

The Tripoli Starbucks says it knows nothing about any coffee pills.

Rick Santorum’s mouth moving for no reason.

RNC scientists attempting to splic together Republican presidential candiates to get something halfway decent.

Vatican says no communion for NY Governor Cuomo, living in sin with foodie Sandra Lee–but, surely, a nice wine!

Glenn Dreck says something about the Jews.

Justin Bieber gets haircut, loses magical powers.

Then there’s the country singer, Lady AgAg. That’s fresh meat she’s wearing.

Paul Mc Cartney’s debuts ballet Rocky Raccoon Lake.

iPod 2 has wings, twice the absorbency.

Shuttle Discovery breaks out of earth orbit, goes for it.

English sighting of Loch Ness monster just Charles doing the back float.

Cell phone use stimulates brain cells, although you wouldn’t know it from the conversations.

And the UPS replacement for diesel fuel is big and brown . . .

All the Wisconsin News That Isn’t

February 26, 2011

All the Wisconsin News That Isn’t

In a daring Blazing Saddles move, Governor Walker tells the throng, “pass this bill or Scotty gets it!”

Then, inexplicably, he says “Mr. Gorbachev, tear this wall down!”

And something about outsiders from Nevada putting hallucinogen pills in teachers’ coffee.

Vows to pass a raft of regressive legislation and rename the state Wisconsisippi.

The Race to the Bottom.

Probably shouldn’t have called the package Killzone 3.

Something very bad happened to Scott Walker in 4th grade, and it’s been festering ever since.

It’s been tough, though. How do you answer a first grader who wants to know why the Governor wants to hurt Mrs. Rose?

Instead of earrings and perfume, a lot of teachers will be getting pepper spray and nunchucks this Christmas.

When the sleepovers are over, the Capitol will go up for sale as a nice little fixer-upper. The Koch brothers might pick it up for an Eagle’s Nest retreat for the governor.

Governor Walker’s fireside chat was a good idea, but I thought the cauldron was a bit much. Eye of math teacher, liver of blaspheming counselor. . .

Didn’t work when Khadafy tried it either.

You know a guy who takes the same sandwich for 22 years is not about to change his mind. He’s still driving a Saturn.

The governor does have a lot of supporters; little do they know, they’re next.
Everything must go!

Meanwhile, poor Senator Fred Risser–an 84 year old man–living out of a suitcase at the Rockford Clock Tower Resort and Water Park.

The errant Wisconsin senators are out of toiletries and towels, ate the expensive nuts out of desperation, and the cable sucks.

Try to slip home for a nap and the neighbor calls the cops. And you better believe they know which neighbor.

Wisconsin State Troopers, meanwhile, have withdrawn their support of Walker–better watch your speed on I-94, guv, if you can do more than 65 in that Saturn. Especially out there by the Patrol headquarters in Waukesha.

Democrats’ counter-proposal is that the governor work for merit pay.

Anticipating the loss of benefits, teachers are telling the kids to bring their own Kleenex and hand sanitizers. Hall passes–$5 bucks.

A huge number of kids have been out protesting for teachers, who, they can only hope would do the same for them should conditions arise.

Governor Walker has not ruled out faith-based collective bargaining. I assume his wife Tonette will handle that.

Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio: Austria, Poland, France. I’m just saying.

If firing the air traffic controllers brings down the Berlin Wall, I’m in favor of it, but it looks like whatever happened to young Scotty must have been in Social Studies class.

Middle West unrest drives milk higher. Many farmers are milking over their heads.

Illinois is the new Switzerland.

Wisconsin Governor Walker pranked by someone claiming to be the ghost of Christmas past.

Ukrainian nurse stands by Governor.

And, in the spirit of sacrifice, Governor Walker says he will cut back to ham & cheese on wheat, hold the mayo.

That’s All the Wisconsin News That Isn’t

Michael Feldman tweaks the WI state capitol.

The War at Home II

February 19, 2011

On, Wisconsin

A bit of a disappointment on the celebrity side of things—only Joe the Plumber and Jesse Jackson. Sarah Palin couldn’t catch a broom, and President Obama didn’t want to appear to be prying into the affairs of the United States of America. Ed Schultz was pretty much the entire media coverage, outside of Greta Van Susteren, at Fox central, who conceded she had lots of friends from Madison’s West High (my daughter’s school, which turned out in numbers). Ed, a rabble rouser who never quite rouses any rabble, used the opportunity to inveigh the crowd to inveigh against Rush Limbaugh–“Rush called you deadbeats. Are you deadbeats?” Like the deadbeats would even be there.

The Governor did not pour at the Tea Party, preferring to hole up in Wauwatosa with wife Tonette rubbing his temples. The only other possible show stoppers, those wacky AWOL Democrats, were still ensconced outside Wisconsin behind their Republican noms de plume at Rockford’s Clock Tower Inn and Water Park (“the perfect business and family getaway”). The good news is they get union rates, but, as things drag on, they’re probably wishing they had gone with Extended Stay. One prodigal senator who did go home to get some sleep reflexively bounded over the back fence at the first cheese-it—the cops. The police, fellow civil servants, have shown great reluctance to bring in the hounds, in that the mere act of being a state senator is at most a misdemeanor, for now.

What have we learned from Wisconsin’s one week in the sun not involving football? To pay attention to the buttoned-down junior chamber of commerce types, they might just be governor some day. That conservatives don’t want less government, they, in fact, want all of it. That many young people got a taste for doing something about something that could stay with them. Certainly that when you have the votes, you have the votes, and that truisms are called that for a reason. And, that as inspired a motto as it might be, “Forward” depends pretty much on where you stand.

Michael Feldman

Legislators Abscond With Selves

February 17, 2011

The Walker Walk

14 Democratic State Senators hightailing it for Rockford’s Clock Tower Resort & Conference Center and CoCo Key Water Resort (the ideal, full-service resort for professional business and family escapes) is news, but it is not, as Republican Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald reckoned, unprecedented, as this short history of errant legislators suggests:

1861— After Unionists are run off, the Missouri rump legislature votes to secede from the Union.
1868—Black legislators in Georgia leave the state capitol after being denied their seats.
1893—Montana Democrats walk out in the midst of a Republican house cleaning which included them.
1914—Bolsheviks and Mensheviks march hand in hand from Russian Duma as it votes to dissolve itself.
1923—40 members of the Arkansas House hit the highway during no holds barred road bill brawl.
1935—30 members of the Georgia assembly go to Church rather than the state house on Sabbath session.
1951—Republican US House members on the Appropriations Committee go off in a snit over their share of the Appropriations.
1958—Kenyans dismayed with slow pace of independence abandon the legislature altogether.
1982—Black Alabama State Representative Alvin Holmes leaves 20 minutes into President Reagan’s speech to the legislature believing other black legislators to behind him. They are not.
1983—During a raucous French language constitutional amendment debate in Ottawa, English-speaking Progressive Conservatives break for extended High Tea.
1986—Republican minority leadership and staff leave the US House “fed up” with Democratic hospitality.
1987—Black South Carolina legislators do not walk out when “Dixie” is scratched from the inaugural lineup.
2000—Aggravated Jewish members of the Knesset can take no more after Arab legislator mentions Israel’s trove of nuclear warheads out loud.
2003—Texas lawmakers famously flee to Ardmore, Oklahoma to prevent being redistricted into nothingness by GOP. Oklahoma Highway Patrol cannot come up with a charge to arrest them on.
2008—Scores of Iraqi pols storm out of the Council of Representatives when jobs for their cousins are not forthcoming.
2011—14 Wisconsin Democratic State Senators evade capitol police and slip over Illinois state line to avoid losing vote on stripping collective bargaining from state workers, forever to be known as the Clocktower 14.

The Cow You Know

February 15, 2011

I’ve had absolutely no requests for my recent Cownote Speech to the Wisconsin Farmers Union (Go FU!) but I would like to get it off my hard drive, and so,

The Cow You Know

Pleasure to be here–

I’d like to begin by telling you everything I know about farming. The Holsteins are not Jewish. And if you cross a Golden Guernsey with a Holstein, you don’t get a Goldstein. In school I did belong to FFA–Future Feldmans of America–but we had a small lot and only kept a few.

Having got that out of the way, I’d like to say Farmers Union! Go FU! The most sought after stickers and gear in farming. Can’t keep the items in stock.

And it is a union, so I say strike!
You have nothing to lose but your stanchions!

Like to see more milk go down the capitol steps like in the old days.
One guy with a can of the raw was going to do it but it was worth too much to dump. Raw milk is neck and neck with bull semen. Price-wise I mean.

Gotta be more like the French farmers–always burning their produce on the high speed rail-tracks. Beats harvesting it I guess. But I guess we’re not getting the high speed trains, anyway. Governor Scotty Walker don’t like fast trains nor fast- – – well we don’t know that. But he don’t like fast trains.

Now he says we don’t get health care here in WI–what? Are we not men? Prick us do we not bleed? Are we chopped liver? Have we not paid the premiums? Can we at least vote on which laws no don’t apply to WI? Gravity, for example. I’m tired of it. Holding me down.

Governor’s anti-switch grass, too. That was going to be a bonanza, don’t kid yourself. Had to dump all my switch grass futures. Just weeds until you call it bio-mass. Then it’s money. Better than ethanol because you don’t have to grow corn or anything. Weeds grow themselves. Like manna from heaven.

Farming issues, farming issues, farming issues. There I said it and I’m glad. You know we all have issues. You should meet my wife, and then you’d be glad only to have farming issues. That with two strong arms and nine remaining fingers you can still make a life if not a living off the land, before the land makes a living off of you. That last Roundup. Little Roundup goes a long way. You know, since I started using Roundup on my lawn I don’t have neighbor dogs any more.

My only connection to anything remotely farmy is that I have inadvertently come to be synonymous with raw milk due to an article I dashed off for the New York Times, where they occasionally like to reaffirm their belief about the nation’s midsection being, in fact, a midsection.

So I thought I capitalize on this raw milk thing, even though I would never drink it because then I would have to be tuberculin tested and I’ve seen the size of the syringes they use. Then it’s swallow magnets and face the same direction as everybody else, and we can’t have that in a democracy.

Having said that,—you know I always wanted to begin a sentence that way, although its almost as annoying as some saying “I want to say . . . ” when you ask them something. If you want to, then say it, if not, don’t.

Having said that, the Founding Fathers were for it. Took it right from the spigot when the spirit moved them. Jefferson was always in the cow barn. It’s a wonder there wasn’t a 3rd amendment, the right to bare teat. Wasn’t even called raw milk in those days, it was called milk. Pasteur wasn’t for another hundred years yet, and meant it for the wine.

As fate would have it, thanks to my little article, that’s me you see in all the “Got Raw?” ads, and giving a face to the “Hands off Our Teats” handbills, although I had nothing, nothing, to do with that topless protest. BTW, I have friends who grew up on farms, and I know you don’t call them “teats” but we city folk have yet to make that leap of faith.

Inadvertently, and through no fault of my own, I am now the nucleus of the “The Cow You Know” movement, which maintains that as long as you know the cow, you can do pretty much whatever you want with it, or something like that. Whose going to see you up there in Brule, anyway. You’ve heard the jingles ad nauseam by now, I’m sure, “If you can’t milk the one you love, honey, milk the one you’re with.” Its gained a lot of traction, and not a little friction. It’s every bit as good as a pay-to-pick-my-produce-for-me operation in which stockbrokers from Lincolnwood fork it over for the right to milk your cows for you. Its a win-win for the cow and the commodities broker, who gets some hands-on experience with what he’s trading all day in the pit.

There are civil rights, and there are dairy rights. If you have a cow that has naturally occurring milk, you should be able to sell it to someone who drives up in their Volvo from Lincolnwood for as high a price as he will bear, exorbitant, even, because that’s what a free market is all about. If it does them some good, and if it doesn’t do them some bad, so much the better. I’m not sure where Scotty stands on the hands off our teats movement, perhaps off to the side where the tail won’t swat him, but since he is against everything else, we may have to take this fight to the milking parlor.

I will tell you, because of this whole thing, it’s the rare day goes by where some guy doesn’t come up to me and say
[ do gesture and voice]
“I grew up on raw milk, and it never did me no harm!”

I’d like to say something about artisan cheeses. First of all I don’t get it, I mean exactly what that means. Does it assume there’s no art in Kraft Slices, because there’s a lot it–Food Science could just as well be called Food Art, depending upon who’s doing it. I guess they mean artisan like the Rembrandt of cheese, or a nice nutty buttery Gauguin round. Artisan starts off like artificial, for one thing, and it implies cheese made by an non-person, not the message you want to send the consumer.

Artisan–maybe its Japanese, like Michael-san, as I am known in Osaka, or was it Ozaukee, one of the two. Could be made by my brother Art, who’s fully capable of, if uninterested in, making a cheese.

I do think we need to think outside the produce box. I believe Michael Dukakis got a bum rap for saying you ought to grow Belgian Endive, and the other ornamental veggies. Kale should be criminalized, though. Its too unattractive to be a garnish, and inedible to boot. Kudzu before kale, I say, and it would do something about the kudzu problem as well.

They love Belgian Endive in Belgium. Is it the answer to the farm crisis, no, but as a part of the greens revolution it makes sense. In these days of locally grown, we need to encourage consumption of the abundant but underrated urban vegetable, Creeping Charlie, which can be used much like water cress while the yard’s still under water.

I think what Michael Dukakis was saying was that, he sure would, come to the aid of his wife, and he was wrong to wear a tank soldier’s cap especially while riding in a tank, but about growing artisan veggies he was right. Brussels sprouts, by the way, neither grow in Brussels nor are they sprouts, same with the misnomers of the field, Jerusalem artichokes. Asians never outgrow their need for soy, and we’re selling a ton of ginseng to the Chinese, but I see the future and it’s all bear gall bladders, from donor bears on their demise from natural causes, like highways and bad garbage. Bear gall bladder harvesting is a renewable resource and eco-friendly.

I’m just throwing ideas out here–that’s what you do in a keynote speech. So feel free to throw them back.

Thank you for having me —-here’s to the Family Farmer–and Go FU!

Michael Feldman

All the Tweets That Isn’t

February 14, 2011

All the Tweets That Isn’t Michael Feldman

Boehner: No tabs at dad’s tavern.
Lady Gaga and Lady Antebellum annihilate one another in tremendous burst of energy.
Lady Gaga apparently born a pullet.
Artificial intelligence gets real.
Ahmadinejad given a hot foot.
I don’t see how you can call it a budget.
Haley Babar running for king of elephants.
Trump considering Egypt bid.
Help! We’re melting! the Midwest.
I’m sorry–is the Egyptian army a democracy?
Berlusconi’s Lysistrata.
Suppository iPhone rumors emerge.
Boehner says Obama Christian and American but not gentlemen and scholar.
Devastated Justin shaves head joins Saskatoon Skinheads.
Esperanza Spalding surprise new head of Egypt.
Anderson Cooper to meat Lady Gaga.
Palin backs Nefertiti in Egypt.
Dylan to sing Its All Over Now Bieber Blue at Grammys.
Boehner: will trade Obama citizenship for budget cuts.
Egypt: you’re in the army now you’re not behind the dhow.
King Tut and Mubarak among the missing.
Romney finishes behind talking salamander in CPAC poll.
Anderson Cooper titular head of Egypt.
Justin-Selena’s gbf.
Mubarak to take job in Yemen.
Woods closes with 75 but takes 3 wives in Dubai.
Ron Paul wins Munchkin poll.
Mubarak powers accidentally transferred to octomom Nadya Suleman.
Obamanet: universal wireless coverage.

all this and me @myfeldman

All the Tweets That Isn’t

February 14, 2011