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Saturday Topinka Blogging

Saturday, Dec 18, 2004

Oops. I was out of the office Friday afternoon and forgot all about my Topinka blogging duties.

To the left is an album cover from the Czech band Houpací konÄ›. The first cut off the 2003 album, PísnÄ› z bistra, is called, believe it or not, “Topinka.” Not sure what all this means, but the state treasurer is a Bohemian, so maybe she knows.

You can listen to a sample of the “Topinka” track here. The lyrics can be found here.

A translation of some of the lyrics by Intertran gives us this mangled mess:

WITHIN bistru where shadows hangering as forth as nappy air them here supine plus wind číny Trencher sake two wedges chandry plus spleen she has wine he stewed fruit out of dýní

Wall like out of Číny Bože are supine transpose them out of whistles up mellow loam

I’m as baffled as you are.

Here is some info from an English language website:

The band started playing in 1991. Such a long time ago. In the beginning it was simple rock-songs with czech lyrics, boosters and a mad bass guitarist. Everything was expressive, bitter and noisy. During the years the band has played hundreds of concerts all over the republic and elsewhere – in Slovakia, Germany or Holland, has released three albums, changed members, sound and audience’s interest. In fact they didn’t make it to the first league.

The current sound of the Houpací Koně is not so violent as it used to be. The band realised that hiding behind the wall of guitars and acting in a kind of rocker pose were no longer necessary. However, the y like that with some other bands. But, what has not changed is autenticity and emotional performance. If you understood Czech, you could find a drunk female receptionist polishing her nails and also halfmoon, that fell in love with a ticket collector from the train to hell. One of the founding members of the band, who doesn´t play with them any more, says that the right time for houpaci kone is yet to come. If this prediction turns out true, it will probably mean a denial of all physical laws. But we can experience the above said anyway because they are working on new songs at the moment and they are enjoying it very much.

And that, dear friends, concludes your weekly Topinka blogging.

- Posted by Rich Miller   2 Comments      

Slone gives up

Friday, Dec 17, 2004

Rep. Slone finally gave up the ghost this week (via PeoriaPundit):

State Rep. Ricca Slone is giving up the fight for her 92nd District House seat after a two-day recount failed to turn up any major problems in the city or county election outfits, she said Thursday.

Slone, who lost her seat to Republican Aaron Schock by 235 votes, said “no, of course not” about whether she would ask a judge to order a full recount.

Schock will be sworn in Jan. 12; he said he’s looking forward to putting his legislative office together after the backlash of a contentious campaign that lasted more than a month after Election Day. […]

Mary Harkrader, the former Peoria County clerk who represented Slone, said the only things the group found during the county recount were a handful of ballots that had not been initialed and a few ballot applications that were unsigned by the voters. Those problems were few and sporadic, she said. […]

As for Slone, she is looking for employment and beginning to close down her Peoria office. Though she still is technically the area representative, she advised constituents with problems of any magnitude to call Schock’s office.

Schock doesn’t technically have a legislative office yet, and his soon-to-be hired assistant is sharing Rep. David Leitch’s office. The representative-elect said he would do what he can to help in the interim.

Schock is now in for the ride of his life. The House Democrats will go all out to beat him in two years, and that means running bills at him in the interim that will be tough for him to vote for or against.

For instance, a bill to give unemployment insurance to locked out workers would be greatly opposed by Peoria gargantuan Caterpillar, but 100 percent supported by the by Peoria’s unions, particularly the very strong United Auto Workers.

- Posted by Rich Miller   3 Comments      


Friday, Dec 17, 2004

Here’s a link to Governor Rod Blagojevich’s new website, “Safe Games Illinois” that I wrote about in today’s Capitol Fax. The site is owned by Jascula Terman, a Chicago PR firm.

The 2003 poll about parental attitudes on media influence can be found at the Common Sense Media website.

Meanwhile, the blogoshpere is up in arms about the governor’s proposal to criminalize the sale or rental of violent/sexual video games to minors.

Most of the blogging is super negative. My favorite headline is Governor Rod Blagojevich Thinks You’re an Idiot on momentago.

Another, from Libertarianism ,and entitled “Dem Rod Blagojevich is villainizing videogames,” is far more strident:

“I hate Illinois Nazis”
-Jake Blues, The Blues Brothers

The Software/Videogame industry has policed itself for years with the ESRB ratings. But the Dems and Repubs (surprisingly it’s the Dems that have mostly been fighting against videogames lately) just don’t trust industry organizations to police themselves. Why? Because if industries police themselves then the government can’t create new bureaus and consume more taxpayer dollars and make politicians wallets fatter by doing a half-[redacted] job of regulating things.

(Except that many, including the governor, contend that retailers aren’t doing a very good job of regulating themselves.)

Some, like brothersjudd take the opposite view.

This is an excellent values issue and one the GOP should quickly swipe.

As I told you in Capitol Fax today, other Democratic governors are reportedly about to jump onto this bandwagon.

- Posted by Rich Miller   8 Comments      


Friday, Dec 17, 2004

These guys wonder why local bigtime media outlets haven’t picked up on this story yet, and suggest I might. Not gonna do it.

Here are some of the operative sentences (emphasis mine):

The Justice Department is considering a request to investigate the disclosure of secrets about an expensive U.S. spy satellite project criticized by some senior Democratic senators, a law enforcement official says. […]

The Justice Department has not yet determined whether classified information was leaked and has not decided whether to investigate, the official said.

The request came from an unspecified intelligence agency. […]

The Senate Ethics Committee might be asked to determine whether Rockefeller, Wyden and Durbin disclosed any sensitive information and should face sanctions, a congressional aide said.

Sorry, but as of now that looks more like a payback leak to a compliant wire service reporter than a real story.

- Posted by Rich Miller   1 Comment      

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