Richfield Dairy In Coloma Area Still On Track For Construction

Just a matter of when it will happen.

Estimated to cost around $40 million, the Richfield dairy’s development plans have been in limbo for roughly three years as the company faced court challenges preventing it from proceeding with construction. The facility would be home to 4,300 milking or dry cows and 250 steers, as well as two high-capacity wells with an annual maximum pumping rate of 52.5 million gallons.

Still, Milk Source is not exactly sure when construction on the new farm will begin. For now, the site where the CAFO would sit is bereft of any facility. The land does, however, continue to be farmed.

“It’s been growing crops since we purchased it in 2011,” Harke said.

During the three years the Richfield dairy has been tied up in the courts, the company saw opportunities for new facilities pop up in Hudson, Mich., and Medina, Mich. Milk Source is finishing work at these operations and will complete its work in Michigan before it starts working on its Richfield farm, Harke said.

“We got to finish up Michigan — we got to finish up (the project) in Medina, Mich.,” Harke said. “That’s the No. 1 priority.”

Although a start date for the dairy is unknown, the Richfield dairy’s details — including the farm’s designs and permits — are all set, Harke said.

Trojan Horse Presumed To Have Been Found

Hat Tip to James

Most incredible.

This mythical wooden animal described by Homer in his masterpiece the Odyssey, was long believed to have been an analogy for another war machine or for a natural disaster, but this recent discovery suggests that the Greek subterfuge could actually have taken place as described. The structure seems to fit the descriptions of both Homer, Virgil, Augustus and Quintus Smyrnaeus.

The archaeologists, led by two Boston University archaeology professors, say that they have a “high level of confidence” that the structure is indeed linked to the legendary horse. The codirectors of the project.  Christine Morris, a College of Arts & Sciences senior lecturer in the writing program and the archaeology department, and Chris Wilson, a CAS associate professor of archaeology, say that all the test results up to now have only confirmed their theory.

“The carbon dating tests and other analysis have all suggested that the wooden pieces and other artifacts date from the 12th or 11th centuries BC” claims Professor Morris. “This matches the dates cited for the Trojan War, by many ancient historians like Eratosthenes or Proclus. The assembly of the work also matches the description made by many sources. I don’t want to sound overconfident, but I’m pretty certain that we found the real thing!”

President XI Looked Awful Being Petulant On World Stage

There are things one never should do on the world stage.    Today we witnessed one of them.   A very rare treat was given to reporters but one of the main players could not muster what it takes to stand before the press.

I know everyone gets tired, cranky, bent out of shape, and just wants to get the day over with.   We all have those days.  But when you are a leader of a nation you suck it up, put your chin out, and pretend the world is one large apple pie with real whipped cream piled high.  Anything less is just not acceptable.

Xi Jinping, the Chinese President, was encouraged to take questions directly from the press.  It is a blue moon for such an occasion and even more rare for him to stand alongside another major leader on the world stage during a press conference.  Leading up to this visit the White House had lobbied intensively for reporters’ questions to be taken.

And so all were gathered in the Great Hall of the People.

So far so good, right?

But clearly Xi did not put on his big boy pants today because when a New York Times reporter asked a serious and polite question about allowing foreign correspondents to have easier access with visas so to be able to report Xi simply ignored it, pulled the ear-piece away from his head that allowed for translation, and asked for the next question.

I saw the coverage tonight on NewsHour and needed to replay the video as it was just shocking to see this play out on the world stage.

I get it that the Chinese press is kept away from the top man who never has to address tough questions from lowly folks such as reporters.  But surely XI has the ability to view how the rest of the world operates.  Certainly XI has had a chance to view the give-and-take when a British Prime Minister fields questions each week from a lively parliament or how reporters like CBS White House reporter Major Garrett seemingly asks 17 questions all at once and demands an answer.

If anyone needs to know how it must feel to have news strangled and tossed aside in places like China only needs to watch the video.  If anyone cares to know what press freedom is all about only needs to watch the video.

Fighting for reporters to have the chance to do their jobs without governmental interference is always a good thing.  Seeing a communist leader dismiss the role of the press so cavalierly is simply embarrassing as it is so shameful.

Richard Brown Bringing Needed Voice To Madison Mayoral Election

This summer while sitting outside reading I was fortunate to meet a most engaging and determined man.  He had walked by many times and would say hello and a few words about the weather or the high school sport team he was helping coach.  One day, however. as he passed my way he asked if I had a minute to talk and sat down in a chair.

I was soon shaking hands with Richard Brown, a former Dane County Board Supervisor, as he informed me of a desire to run for mayor of Madison.   I expressed my respect for his intent to enter into a campaign as it is easy to sit on the sidelines and another thing all together to enter the arena.  But as I listened more to the words and reasons that he gave for feeling a need to run I was aware of sitting next to someone who really felt the words he spoke.

This is not to say that others in the race for mayor are not sincere as I know they are and also wish to help Madison continue to grow and prosper.  But Brown made it clear that if we are to prosper as a whole all the parts need to unite and feel the lift of progress.

That is what separates his bid for office from the other announced candidates, and also why his voice in the upcoming campaign will be most important.

As Brown sat on the lawn and told of his efforts, along with others, to sway former Madison Police Chief Noble Wray to enter the mayor’s race I could feel his sincerity concerning the issues of racial disparity that he was hoping to call attention to in the campaign.  Had Wray decided to enter Brown would have been his staunch supporter.

I got the strong impression it was not that Brown himself wanted to be recognized as a candidate as much as he wants to highlight issues that need a full examination by the voters in the election.   We all can applaud a candidate who places the larger needs over the personal ego-driven desire to run a race.  In that way it best serves the electorate.

I told him that afternoon–win or lose–the main thing an effective candidate can do is bring issues to the table that forces a dialogue from all the others in the race.    While The Capital Times has been doing some great reporting and analysis about racial disparity issues in our city I think we need to confront it head-on in a political contest and ratchet up the level of understanding on matters that impact our schools, courts, and neighborhoods.

A smart campaign can achieve that type of dialogue among the citizenry.   And from just one solid conversation with Richard Brown I think he is the man who can use his own voice to make it happen in our city.

Brown has let it be known an official announcement of his candidacy is soon forthcoming.

What Bird Is This On The Madison Isthmus?

This morning the entire area has a large swarm of the bird pictured below searching the grass for something to eat.   Clearly they are migrating and the birds number in the many hundreds as they all land on the lawns and then when something spooks one of them they all fly in a united fashion to the security of the trees.    They are a pretty bird but walk in the grass a little different than most birds in that it is not a smooth movement–instead it appears to me they are a bit choppy with their movements.  I mention this to perhaps allow others to identify them for me.

Thanks in advance for any information.

wb1 wb2

Wisconsin Legislative Republicans Use Elvis Presley As Reference Point

How much more can a beleaguered Wisconsin Democrat take?

I understand that politics and elections run in cycles and there are times when one runs at the top of the hill and other times one winds up dwelling in the valley.  While there were many spirited mid-term races, and Election Day was fun to watch unfold, it is also fair to say that the results stung for many in this state.

As if designed to rub salt in that wound the Wisconsin State Journal reported Elvis Presley was being referenced by Wisconsin Speaker Robin Vos in relation to the GOP majority.

Vos, who ran unopposed for the position, opened a jubilant caucus session noting that Republicans haven’t had this large of a majority since Elvis Presley bought Graceland and the Chevy Bel-Air was the most popular American car.

As an Elvis fan–and a liberal Democrat–I am just shaking my head.  Was Vos all out of Patti Page reference points?

First, it should be noted the conservative and buttoned-down crowd that Vos would have been a part of had he lived in the 50’s would not have been cheering Elvis Presley.   Instead I am sure Vos as an adult would have been one of those deriding what so many teens found exciting about the music–that being the beat, the beat, the beat.  And lets us not even talk about the swiveling and sexually suggestive body language that Presley showcased at each concert.

It should also be noted that Elvis Presley’s family after moving to Memphis had to resort to public housing as a way to survive.   This family would not have been a natural constituency for Vos of the 50’s anymore than that demographic is his political concern today.

Elvis steered clear of politics other than his famed visit to the Oval Office to meet President Nixon.  I think if Elvis knew he was referenced by the GOP he would refer us to a lyric from a song released in the 1950’s, when he was on the Sun label, so to deal with these heady days of Republican domination in Madison.

Well, you may go to college,
You may go to school.
You may have a pink cadillac,
But don’t you be nobody’s fool.

Rick Santorum Takes Vile Shot At Islam

I was not surprised that someone who makes their money by operating a Christian film studio would then go after President Obama and President Bush by claiming both men have “given all Muslims a pass” when it comes to holding the religion as a whole accountable for the actions of Islamic terrorists.

“I’m not saying all Muslims are terrorists, but we have an obligation to face the truth about who the enemy is and what they want to accomplish”, said the tight-assed Republican Rick Santorum while speaking at of all places, Liberty University.

No one need dig very far to expose the hate and bile from Santorum when it comes to Islam.  No one has ever accused the former senator of being a student of history or interested in becoming enlightened about the world around him.

It is not at all in the interest of the United States to have someone who might harbor Potomac Fever to be abusing their position for partisan gain to make such outlandish and straightforward lies.  Instead of whoring himself in front of Liberty University it might be more prudent to have Santorum ask for some quiet time with the likes of Karen Armstrong or Reza Aslan.  They could start to educated him about religion and Islam.

Santorum has long been an embarrassment but now is becoming a danger at a time when the Middle East is roiling.

Interview With Richard Norton Smith About “On His Own Terms: A Life of Nelson Rockefeller”

One of those interviews that could have lasted the entire hour. 

JUDY WOODRUFF: You write, among many other things, about his severe learning disability, the dyslexia, and how he throughout his life compensated for that and how that also shaped him.

RICHARD NORTON SMITH: That’s right. His dyslexia went undiagnosed. He was 50 years old before he ever heard the word dyslexia. He went through life believing that he had a deficient I.Q.

And his mother, again, the redoubtable Abby, said surround yourself with people who are smarter than you. And he took her advice. And every Rockefeller operation was in fact marked by all of these advisers and gurus and policy wonks, one of them Henry Kissinger, whom he introduced to the American scene.