Burlington Derailed — The Continuing Story

31 May

Trashy and Rundown Town


Spike:

I see where Bon's Hallow residents would like their hollow cleaned up from all the illegal dumping, a common problem here in River City. Most bluffs and hollows are an eyesore, especially noticeable in the winter when the foliage doesn't hide it.

One law that aids the dumping problem is the DMC requirement that all trash must be covered or you get an additional $10 added to the cost. This just forces some residents to dump their trash in places other than the landfill because they don't have the means to cover up the trash or the fees are just plan high as most government transactions are in Des Moines County.

I do remember after the ice storms that none of the city trucks hauling trash had their cargo covered. I guess the city in their infinite wisdom is exempt from the laws the rest of us must abide by. I saw several streets littered with falling debris from city trucks.

Burlington is a city littered with trash which gives one a view of the local population and how much pride they have in their city. Remember the picture on your site taken over by the football stadium? The area behind the fence running to the halfway house is just full of trash.

How many prisoners are just sitting in jail in this county doing nothing but taking up space, receiving medical care and lawyers complements of the taxpayer? Instead of making them pay, in order to stuff the local coffers, make them work it off by cleaning up the trash on the bluffs and in the hollows or anywhere the trash exists. Of course, the seriousness of the crime has to be considered when opening the gate for work details.

Another thing here in Burlington is the city only enforces codes when it wants to and there's money in it for the city, otherwise nothing is enforced or many of the houses wouldn't look like third world shacks.

There's a house on South 15th Street where the owner gives people siding off his house if they need some, at no cost. You should see the house that sits across from the park on Summer Street. Why does the city let these totally neglected rundown houses ruin the neighborhoods? Our local leaders have shown no shame when it comes to homeowners or landlords that let their
dwellings ruin entire neighborhoods.

Sorry to say the lady wanting to clean up Bonn's Hollow will probably never see it happen because eyesores in Burlington are the name of the game, and many of them are not hidden under foliage but are scattered all around town and in plain site.

Then we have the entitlement crowd, many of which have nothing to do but party and live off the taxpayer rather than finding a job. Why can't some of these people pay back the taxpayer by picking up trash around town?

Why is it that these people live off the taxpayer and give nothing back in return? Anyone over 18, in good health, not going to school or working who is living off the taxpayer should be required to work for the taxpayer or be cut off from entitlements. Burlington has an abundance of people that fit this category who could earn some of their taxpayer funded life support.

Worried
01:01:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Inept Hawk Eye Coverage


Spike:

From The Hawk Eye Tuesday, May 29, 2007
By KILEY MILLER

"A white-haired woman clung to her husband's arm Sunday as she shuffled down an incline to a rear door of Memorial Auditorium.

"I've been leaning on him for 61 years," she said, love swirled with pride in her voice…"


Well Spike, I happened to be at the Memorial Day service and when I checked the calendar, it was Monday and not Sunday as referenced above.

Gosh, one would think that they could try to get the day correct when it comes to such an important event.

Signed,

Perplexed

You shouldn't think. Last year the Advertiser celebrated Memorial Day a day late.

Spike


00:51:00 - SPIKE - No comments

30 May

China Trade


U.S. exports to China have grown 240% since 2000. China’s trade totaled $343 billion last year including $55.2 billion in U.S. exports and $287.8 billion in imports. 80% of the trade is consumer goods. Wal-Mart imported $18 billion in goods from China in 2004.

About 20% of all of China’s exports find their way to the U.S., China’s biggest overseas market.

China holds $420 billion in U.S. Treasury bills or 20% of all foreign held debt.

China has 30 million cars for 1.3 billion people. We have 240 million cars for 300 million citizens.

China has installed 90 gigawatts of coal-powered power plants or about 2 power plants per week.

China could overtake the U.S. as the leader of greenhouse-gas-emissions by November.

China’s population will grow by 8 million (size of New York City) people this year, the size of Memphis each month.

The U.S. has the largest number of internet users, 182 million. China is second with 134 million and is expected to surpass the U.S. by 2010. Source: Wall Street Journal, Business Roundtable.

What, me worry?

04:00:00 - SPIKE - No comments

What Effect the Price of Fuel on Fools?


Spike:

Another casino is preparing to open in Waterloo. The market saturation is already hurting gambling scows in the Quad-Cities. To survive, they are trying to eat each others' lunch.

Add to this over building $4.00 per gallon gasoline and what do you get? Distance and related transportation expenses make a difference.

Southeast Iowa's barge of personal bankruptcy has traditionally taken a hit when it moves to Ft. Madison. Moving from one dying small town to another even smaller only 20 miles away drains revenue away.

Gambling in Iowa is not like Nevada. The patrons are nearly all locals. Other than problem gamblers, will outlying patrons be willing to pay more for fuel to throw their money away?

If the draw from surrounding areas declines, will the gambling sharks target harder the communities in which they are located? If they do and take even more resources out of their host communities, what effect on retail and other local businesses will result? Compound this with less disposable income available after paying for fuel.

Is it possible the gambling bubble and the ethanol bubble will burst simultaneously? If so, what of local taxpayers money used to subsidize a new casino and ethanol plant?

GH

If the gambling and ethanol bubbles burst simultaneously there will be no shoppers at Eminent Domain Mall.

Spike


03:30:00 - SPIKE - No comments

29 May

Morton's Out Of Control Garbage


Spike,

Who the hell is this guy Hal Morton from the dump? Falcon is in a wad as well he should be. This guy needs to be fired and set in the alley with the rest of the trash.

JK

Another power hungry bonehead that wants his little piece of trash.

Spike


14:22:01 - SPIKE - No comments

Ethanol and The Sugar Market


Spike,

Here's a link to an ethanol article you'll enjoy.

HL

12:29:41 - SPIKE - No comments

Notre Dame


Spike,

After reading the post from the former ND Student, they are spot on.

The quote of Mr. Edwards," I don't report to anyone " is indicative of the problem. Based on Edwards actions, or inactions in handling the situations at ND, it makes you think he is playing GOD, and a quote like that would then hold up in my eyes.

As far as sweeping things under the rug, ask just about any ND graduate, they will give examples from just about any era of how certain things do get swept under the rug. Certain families (large donors) are above the rules, or info is contained within the close family of ND so it's image in unaffected.

ND is a family, and families do fight occasionally, hopefully it gets resolved ASAP. Jack Wherle will do an excellent job for the students - but will not stroke any high dollar donors. They just don't get it, what are they going to do? Stop donating and the school closes, make a threat to stop donating, and pull your kids - where you gonna go? Maybe they will drive to Holy Trinity, or home school. One thing is for certain, the Burlington schools has all but shut down voluntary transfers to W. Burlington, and WB may not have room for more students.

From what I heard from a parent who went to the meeting with the new board, their is still a ton of grumbling, and upset parents who did not get the answers they wanted or were looking for. Unfortunately it was handled with the board/Edwards.

We are fortunate we didn't have our own Columbine/V Tech massacre.

WL
12:28:18 - SPIKE - No comments

Packaging May No Longer Sell an Inferior Product


Spike:

News on fish wrap is loosing even more of its appeal.

Technology is making electrons able to light up a more paper-like surface. The old argument about only paper being readable in the bathroom, the bedroom, on the breakfast table and at the beach is nearing extinction.

Will the printing press go the way of the balance wheel watch? Ink on paper will probably never disappear, but remain as a curio like an old Waltham railroad watch.

Providers of information serving up half truths that stink like yesterday's catfish guts will not longer be able to do so based on expensive to produce packaging. Content is all that will count when it comes to selling information.

TC

12:23:20 - SPIKE - No comments

Mexican Trucks Headed This Way


Spike

President Bush has signed a bill into law setting restrictions on the government’s pilot program to allow Mexican trucks access to U.S. highways, the Associated Press reported.

The measure signed Friday was included in a $120 billion Iraq war spending bill, includes requirements such as a certification from the Department of Transportation’s inspector general that safety and inspection requirements be met before the pilot program can begin.

DOT had wanted to start a one-year pilot this year, and if successful, fully open the border to Mexican trucks.

Distressed

12:19:38 - SPIKE - No comments

28 May




13:57:48 - SPIKE - No comments

25 May

More Ethanol Material

I couldn't find the following links to post the other day to support our opinions regarding ethanol.

Biofuel Section of The Des Moines Register

Bush's Unrealistic Expectations

How Ethanol Is Made From Corn Stover - cobs, stalks, leaves, etc.

Why Corn Stover Won't Meet The Need


Iowa Corn Deficit

Pork Producers Have ‘Jitters’ Over Corn-Based Ethanol

Market shift slows ethanol growth

00:10:00 - SPIKE - No comments

24 May

Notre Dame


Spike,

The whole issue with Notre Dame right now is about concerns by parents as to why issues brought to the attention of Mr. Edwards and staff that were not handled in the proper manner.

One of the issues, Mr. Rump was charged with assault based on an investigation and witness statements taken by the Burlington Police Department. The evidence of the investigation was accurate and supported so he was charged. I do not believe the police dept. would have cited him if it wasn’t warranted. There were at least six witnesses who all saw and told the same story as the victim. So why wasn’t he held accountable for his actions?

Rump still continues to teach and coach and has of yet, learned nothing from it. He still berates and swears at his players and students. Mr. Edwards, the H.S. principle was told immediately of this alleged assault by the parents of the victim and yet refused to make Mr. Rump apologize to the victim and the other children present. Why?

As far as the other incident where students were caught with pictures depicting violent acts, the student who started this fiasco was the son of an important staff member. The student drew a picture of himself shooting another student. That’s when only 8th grade students were checked for similar pictures. Why weren’t all High School students also checked. Hmmm? Imagine what would have been found then?

For the record, Mr. Edwards was not present on the day the pictures were discovered so the incident was handled by the elementary principal. Where was Mr. Edwards then?

All these issues surround Mr. Edwards’s ability to oversee this school. Not one of the issues was ever handled in the proper manner and in accordance with the bylaws of this private school. The previous school board (who is in charge of the administration of Notre Dame) was never told of these matters by the staff or principle until well after the fact and it was a phone call made by a parent to the board that brought this all to light.

These were not the only issues that caused these parents to be concerned. There were several more disturbing happenings going on under the supervision of this principle.

As far as the school board goes, they were getting to close to finding out the truth. So they had to be disposed of. The new interim board is made up of mostly previous Notre Dame students and faculty. I wonder whose idea that was.

The old board consisted of outstanding members of the Burlington Community and also parents of children at this school. They made the mistake of being too concerned for the well being of their children and other children in Notre Dame.

All the parents are asking is to be assured that when they send their children off to school they will be safe and protected. If that isn't being done by the current administration then a new administration needs to be put in place. The parents involved are only trying to do what any other parent in this situation would do and that is protecting their children. Are you going to fault them for that?

Signed: Former Student of Notre Dame.

Fire ‘em all. Let God sort them out!

Spike


04:09:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Just Another Friday at Flint Hills


Spike-

Recent hires of the Chamber of Commerce, Grow Greater Burlington, et al. look on as Burlington's subservient City Manager obediently accepts his instructions for the coming week from Chamber President Hinkle. Sensing scandal, the Advertiser's newest Jimmy Olson takes notes for a story that will never run.

G. E. D.



00:06:53 - SPIKE - No comments

Pain, Suffering, and Possible Litigation from the Links


Spike:

I remember an urban legend about a Chicago City employee hurt at Wrigley Field one fine Summer afternoon when he was supposed to be at work. The injured employee was on the clock, sued for workman's compensation and won. So goes the legend.

Golf carts may be hazardous to one's health.

If God forbid, some of our public servants who are supposed to be working at City Hall crash a golf cart at Flint Hills some Friday afternoon, do they get workman's comp.? If Hinkle is along for the ride, they could claim economic development discussions were in progress at the time.

Should such happen and end up in court, would Perry Mason Power recuse himself from defending the City because of his association with all involved?

GH

00:03:14 - SPIKE - No comments

Amnesty Bill


Spike:

The best result of this so called "Amnesty" legislation would be to see President Bush, Ted Kennedy and his midnight cronies are charged with treason.

This legislation is nothing but a sham and invitation to all foreign peoples to come on over and be rewarded by the American taxpayer for breaking our laws, destroying our national language and basically having no intention of ever being loyal Americans as were 19th and 20th century immigrants.

Our congress represents Mexico, the Chamber of Commerce and all other special interest groups that want cheap labor at the expense of the American taxpayer and middle class. The American taxpayer will also be expected to supply the lawyers for these lawbreakers as they try to remain in the country.

Our government has failed to help New Orleans which is over run with low wage illegal aliens that force out American construction workers and lower the wages all in one stroke. With a government incapable of rebuilding New Orleans are we to expect this same deadbeat government to protect our southern border and stem the flow of illegal aliens?

This bill had to be authored in Mexico by Mr. Fox, prior to his departure, endorsed by Mr. Bush and translated into English by Mr. Kennedy and his congressional cronies in the wee hours of the morning. Just what sane American citizen could write such rotten legislation?

Our government fails to enforce current immigration laws and has no real intention of ever enforcing new immigration laws. The real intention of the President and Congress is to reward and promote the continuation of illegal immigration. All taxpaying American citizens should stand up and tell these elected stooges just who they represent and put a stop to this treasonable behavior.

Sick-of-It
00:01:27 - SPIKE - No comments

23 May

Ethanol Problems Dissected


Spike,

I have some of the same feelings about ethanol and am also concerned out many of the same issues. But, I have a problem with you making so many statements in your most recent blog without backing any of it up. You need to show research or where your statements come from and not just blindly expect people to believe it. Not a bad piece but please back it up with something. Line after line with no substantiation is just wrong.

HM

Everything we wrote yesterday is verifiable and the culmination of significant research that resulted in the many posts we’ve made about ethanol’s pitfalls. Click here to review all of the ethanol posts.

The following links can be attributed to all groups and media types writing about ethanol and are just a sampling of the myriad of material that is available. They will all support our position on the pitfalls of the ethanol industry.

If you want to read one of the most definitive analysis of the ethanol industry, read the Executive Summary from A Blueprint for Green Energy in the Americas - Strategic Analysis of Opportunities for Brazil and the Hemisphere, Featuring: The Global Biofuels Outlook 2007
Prepared for the Inter-American Development Bank by Garten Rothkopf
Click Here then click Executive Summary to download.

Ethanol Stocks: Risks, Challenges, & Opportunities,
The Great Ethanol Debate: Shoddy Economics all 'Round
Click Here

Ethanol Fuel in Brazil Click Here I normally don't use Wikipedia for much. But this information is basically accurate and will provide additional insight.

National Pork Producers - 1, 2, 3, 4

Ethanol's Bitter Taste
Click Here

Miscellaneous clips
Click Here
Click Here

USA Today
Click Here

Click Here Does-Brazil-Have-An-Ethanol-Bubble-And-Will-It-Burst

The Des Moines Register has done a good job of dissecting the ethanol industry.
Click Here
Click Here
Click Here
Click Here
Click Here
Click Here
Click Here
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Click Here
Click Here
Click Here
Click Here

02:50:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Are Corn Growers Riding for a Fall?


Spike,

Corn Growers Associations around the Mid-West have been at the public trough for too long. It involves more than ethanol.

We pay far too much for sweeteners. This involves an unholy alliance between the corn growers and domestic sugar producers. Sugar growers take the kitchen table, corn growers get the processed food sweetener market.

As a result, American consumers are paying far too much for soft drinks and sugar in their morning corn flakes.

The Corn Growers Association is a large advocate of maintaining the Upper Mississippi as a silt laden barge canal. Commericial navigation dams are an impediment to small craft operated by the average taxpayer. Of course, the average taxpayer again subsidizes the marketing of corn by maintaining a 9 foot channel and system of locks.

Huge agri-business operations also get in on the act. ADM and others have huge investments in corn sweetner plants. They do not wish to compete on a level field for the sweetener market. They have powerful friends. Bob Dole was riding around in ADM's corporate jet for the price of 1st class commercial air fare during his 1996 presidential bid.

When the ethanol bubble bursts, the Corn Growers and their co-conspirators will receive a lot of unwanted attention. If the stink gets bad enough, more than ethanol may be called into question.

If it does, watch their political allies run for cover.

GH

02:30:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Another Ethanol Pitfall


Spike,

One other problem with ethanol (and I am a hesitant supporter of advancing the science) is that the increased demand for corn has seen farmers planting fence row to fence row and taking more land out of CRP. The unintended consequence is less habitat for wildlife, particularly upland game birds.

This ethanol boom could very well irreparably harm or even destroy pheasant hunting in this great state.

Q

02:25:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Notre Dame Again


Dear IG

I am not sure of Mr. Edwards work record over the last 4 years, but I don't think I would be quick to praise his professional reviews from the past school board. I read somewhere (the publication that wallows with that pig everyday) that the entire school board was dissolved for a number of reasons (which you can read on Falcolns website), and since school boards usually rely on recommendations from administrators concerning policy and procedures, I wonder if the current administration will be dissolved as well.

No, I haven't seen Mr. Edwards at mass, we attend Catholic mass, and I believe he chooses to worship elsewhere, so you shouldn' t be too concerned.

And yes, it is that time of year when we get the dust off the clubs and hack away. I certainly can't blame Mr. Edwards for spending time on the course, we have some of the nicest in the state. Here's a quote for you, when Mr. Edwards was asked jokingly (on a school day) Shouldn't you be at work? His response, "I don't report to anyone."

I see you neglected to respond to his son driving around in a golf cart at Sunnyside. When it affects the safety and well being of my children playing during the ball games at Sunnyside, you bet I'm concerned and will voice my opinion.

Sometimes the truth does hurt, we have all had situations that we are less than proud of, and I am sure they as we all do, have many challenges ahead of us. Hopefully we can all do what best for the children of the area, and we don't just allow things to get swept under the rug.

I wonder if his son had carried out the violent acts he depicted at school, would he still have Mr. Edwards on a pedestal?

Going golfing -FORE!

TK
01:51:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Let Us Tell You More About Yourself


Spike:

Goggle is attempting Senator Courtney's dream. The net giant wants a giant data base on everybody. Information is valuable.

When drawing up his enemies list, Senator Courtney need no longer embarrass himself with another 1984 style Bill on the Iowa Senate
floor. Just report a little of that union money in your campaign kitty was used for "voter data bases." Contact Google's order desk.

If this takes place and you have paid too many visits to Derailed, prepare for the consequences. An endless stream of Building Inspectors keep visiting your property, do not forget the Drunk Mayor is a friend of the Senator's. You loose your job. Your loans are called in. Family pets disappear. Etc. Etc.

Like Stalin's Soviet Union, Burlington is already a single party political system. All that is needed to complete the process is
unfettered access to every scrap of information about every individual.

GK
00:09:00 - SPIKE - No comments

22 May

Re: Ethanol Problems


Spike,

I'm interested in learning what the potential problems are for ethanol investors - of which I'm not one. I keep reading posts here that say the entire thing is going to blow up in our faces, but I'm not sure why. Please explain.

PL

The ethanol market is one of the most volatile manufacturing industries I have ever seen. Any little bobble can make a ripple that can cripple the industry.

The market is totally dependent upon the tariff that protects American ethanol producers from their Brazilian counterparts. Brazilian ethanol producers use sugar cane to produce ethanol at a cost of about 30% of our costs because sugar cane is cheaper to grow and produces more sugar/alcohol than corn. Most meat industry groups are lobbying to abolish the tariff. And Brazil is destroying forest habitat to plant sugar cane.

The demand for corn raises the price of corn to a level that decreases the profitability of the ethanol plants. Tighter margins mean less return on the investment means less money to the investor. That's why Wall Street investors walked away from ethanol last year.

Ethanol production is a terribly inefficient energy user. It takes an enormous amount of energy to produce a low BTU yield energy source. Ethanol produces less power as a fuel than gasoline.

We have a finite amount of corn we can produce. We can NEVER produce enough corn to feed the Orwellian suggestions that ethanol will save us from foreign oil. The technology to use switch grass in a production environment is estimated to be 5 years away.

With this mad dash to capitalize on the ethanol boom countless farmers are investing in the physical plants themselves. That seems like a good idea but you have to keep in perspective the idea behind companies like Fagen is to build plants. They don’t care whether or not you make any money. They only care that you pay the construction bill.

Alcohol is highly corrosive and can’t be moved by pipeline. How long can we afford to transport ethanol to the refineries if fuel prices keep climbing?

When you divert the huge amount of corn to ethanol the cattle, hog, and poultry producers are faced with higher feed prices for their operations and higher costs at the grocery store. Most meat producer groups have already changed their stance on ethanol.

When you divert corn from the export market you negatively impact world trade.

Water quality is already at a critical mass from excess fertilizer use. Remember the algae bloom at Geode a few years ago. Expect more of that all over Iowa.

In many locations there is an insufficient water supply to expand ethanol capacity.

By late Fall there will a corn shortage in Iowa and Iowa will be importing corn to keep up with the ethanol demand.

When these ethanol plants fail, who is going to pay to tear them down? Think it will never happen? Remember the alfalfa plant just west of the ethanol plant? Will that eyesore ever be torn down?

These aren’t all of the reasons the ethanol market is so fragile. But they will give you a start.

Spike


01:05:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Notre Dame


Spike:

The problem with Notre Dame is strictly a parent thing which has been dragging down the public "government" system of education for years.

Sports are exaggerated by both school systems with education taking second place although Notre Dame has a much higher graduation rate and higher college entrance rate, by percent than do the government run schools.

Both systems have been effected by the "political correct" system of education where there is no discipline allowed, books are full of lies and the parents try to control their children's lives by using them to achieve what they failed at during their school years.

Sports are meaningless and a waste of taxpayer money while life's skills are lost and we graduate a bunch of dead head dummies that can't even make change or figure out how to write a check.

Until parents get their head out of their ass and raise children as they should be raised nothing will work and our country will be run by dead heads forever.

Educationally the United States ranks in the lower percentile relative to the rest of the industrial world. We've successfully ruined our education system through the teacher unions and drugged up lackluster deadbeat parents along with the liberal losers.

Our government and congressional bodies are a good example of what's wrong with out country. We have no representation in the government nor do we have it in the schools.

Disgusted

As I have said before, our children and grandchildren will be waiting tables for the rest of the world.

Spike

00:11:37 - SPIKE - No comments

Something for "Concerned"


Spike,

Concerned being worried about Mr. Edward's golfing sounds more like sour or green (with envy) grapes, also most golf in this latitude is played in the summer months, you know when school is out. The concern of how Mr. Edward's chooses to recreate should be moot as long as it is a creditable pass time and specially sense his work record of the pass 4 years is very admirable as is evident in his professional reviews from the past school board.

If Concerned would truly like to speak with Mr. Edward's and is not just looking to dish out hurtful accusations and defaming remarks he/she can find Mr. Edward's at the school not just working the school day but coaching and supporting all the other schools extra circular activities well into the evening and weekends. Concerned could also catch Mr. Edward's at Mass on Sundays where his sons are Alter boys and frequently fill in for other kids when they cannot make it to Mass. Why does Concerned not know this? Maybe Concerned is not really all that concerned.

In addition as far as those involved with this situation giving quotes, I think the people with Catholic education's best interest at heart are not playing out their thoughts in the local media. Wrestle with a pig, you both get dirty but the pig likes it and promoters will sell tickets. Concerned seems to be no stranger to these wallows.

Judge not.

IG
00:05:04 - SPIKE - No comments

An Early Notice of Intentions Would Be Wise


Spike:

If any parents are wishing to pull their children from Notre Dame and enroll them in public schools this Fall, please tell your Public
School District as soon as possible.

If local Public School Districts are to experience an influx, early notice will help reduce confusion and resulting costs. Remember, the
resources involved are coming from all of our taxes.

Such consideration will be appreciated

O. T. (Over Taxed)

00:02:54 - SPIKE - No comments

21 May

Bloom Is Off Ethanol Rose and the Boondoggle is ON!


Spike:

The bloom is off the ethanol rose. This article from Opinion Journal points out that several of the big names in BIG business are making the rounds in DC and putting their handmaidens in congress on notice that corn prices cannot go higher. Tyson, Coca Cola and The Grocery Manufacturers Association are examples.

Even Ducks Unlimited is making their voice heard. Ethanol is an equal opportunity offender. Those of us with our hands in the ethanol till better get it out quick because it is about to slam shut. Legislation is now moving through congress to change the way business is done.

LK

The bloom is off and the Boondogggle is ON! Stay liquid.

Spike


09:42:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Live Parasite Cam - Shows Life Sucked From Host


Spike:

If you want to watch as a waterborne parasite sucks the economic life force out of a community check this site out. Click the Start Control of the camera button and when you get control of the camera click the Preset button from the drop down menu labeled "Pier."

PL

09:11:08 - SPIKE - No comments

RE: "Oh The Places You Will Go" Insert


Spike:

I'm curious if any of the posters and readers of this site can tell me if the salaries of the 12 employees of B/WB Chamber, GGB, Inc., GBCTB & DTP, Inc. are public record.

I was amazed to see how many people work there. I'm sure that some of those individuals are earning in the $20's but I bet some are much more than that. By the time you consider that it's 12 salaries in all and you consider the office space expenses we should be drawing big paybacks in the community.

LT

And it was such a short time ago the staff consisted of 5 people and a million dollar office. How can they afford lunch for everyone? And the cost of 3 foursomes for 18 holes isn't cheap either!

You are right. There should be big paybacks in the community.

Spike


09:05:35 - SPIKE - No comments

Notre Dame Board Remnants Remain


Spike:

The Notre Dame board was dissolved but the priests that sat on the former board are still there. Why? Maybe they're part of the problem. They should be removed. They had a hand in this mess, too. And they will probably unfairly influence the interim board.

TK

09:04:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Notre Dame Needs Cleaning


Spike:

The real Notre Dame is finally rearing it's ugly head. We have, for years, seen many, not all, of their disrespectful students act so badly in public that it would embarrass a sailor. Examples of those students are H&C G who are so disrespectful and rude but are allowed to continue their antics--why? Parent your kids instead of worrying about sports soooo much!

I feel this school will lose enough students that they will be forced to shut their doors. They could have a wonderful school if it were managed correctly and they didn't hold themselves higher than others. This school is no bargain for those paying paying out thousands of dollars and working their tails off trying to hold a zillion fund raisers to keep the school running.

They have so many private issues, that are now becoming public, but they are quite the clique; I would never pay for my children to act like those brats whose parents condone their behavior. I thought it was a school of discipline, people of good morals and character, and Christian fellowship. Those in the school should look to JK as someone who can lead the school to doing what is right by the children. She does what is right, even if it's not popular.

Soon Burlington schools might be able to acquire a nice property on Roosevelt...ND! I feel sorry for the decent Catholics of this community who truly are good people.

The likes of Ryan Rump and his supporters should have been forced out the door as soon as his abuse of a student occurred. Ryan is a bully, unprofessional and physically abuse--his swearing and recent abuse of a student, in front of other students, should have been immediate grounds for dismissal.

SW

It is amazing how the athletic programs bring so many problems to so many schools. And how unwilling school administrators are to resolve problems in the athletic department. John Ossian and Harold Tackleson could resolve these problems and wouldn't need anyone's help.

Spike

09:00:15 - SPIKE - No comments

Faith Based Recovery of "Troubled" Youth


Spike:

Those who have a problem child for whom faith based lite education has failed may wish to drive to Missouri. If counseling with pastries and Dr. Spock fail, spare not the rod.

Not all that far away, a faith based program for recovering youth uses the corporal punishment and is proud of it. Labor and education go hand in hand. Misbehavior has immediate consequences.

Digging out manure up to your reproductive system is far worse than going to bed without supper. Liberals are having a fit, but
Missouri's legal system has not caved to political correctness.

The self supporting program claims success. Many parents swear it was the last hope that saved their kid. If you, or somebody you know, has a serious problem child, this may be something to consider before reform school is ordered.

GH

08:47:00 - SPIKE - No comments

18 May

Looking For A Quote?


Marauding Golf Cart Kid Strikes Sunnyside

Spike:

If the Hawkeye is looking for a quote from Dave Edwards, they should look at for him on Wed/Fri afternoons at the Golf Club - when he should be at school.

If they do find him, please tell him to take the keys out of his golf cart so that his son, who has been expelled, will keep it off the grounds and the ball diamonds at Sunnyside School. If his son is in that much trouble, why is he running around town unsupervised?

Concerned

Another marauding golf cart kid? Slagle had this same problem with a kid and a golf cart.

Kinda like Vikings laying seige to a conquered territory?

Spike


17:28:19 - SPIKE - No comments

Taxpayers Beware – Ethanol Plant Numbers Don’t Add Up


Spike,

I have some real problems with the numbers quoted in Sunday’s article about the local ethanol plant.

The plant's general manager Jim Lieting stated the ethanol cooperative invested nearly $17 million in the original plant. Taxpayers were told the initial investment was about $50 million dollars. Why is there such a disparity?

Now, the plant's expansion is supposed to cost $64.5 million when completed. If they only invested $17 million before, why would it now cost $64.5 million dollars?

Lieting stated 40 full-time employees create an annual payroll of more than $2 million a year. That’s an average of $50,000 for each employee. I doubt that there are many employees making $50,000/year out there even if you include their benefit package.

Lieting also claimed that due to corn's high prices farmers do not receive federal subsidy payments, which results in saving taxpayers millions of dollars. If so, why are some of the investors/corn suppliers the recipients of huge subsidy payments according to numerous website listings of local farm subsidies?

I really liked the economic development methodology behind the 20-year tax abatement fiasco sponsored by Dennis Hinkle and the Grow Greater Burlington. "There was a national downturn in the economy. We were pretty hungry," Hinkle said of a desire for development.

And why was there no discussion of profits and dividends paid to investors?

These folks have a very creative way of expressing and interpreting their financial statement. And I sure don’t feel real safe as a taxpayer with their creative interpretation and crazy thinking.

LJ

You’ve heard it here before; ethanol is the 800 fat man in bicycle shorts. When it finally lets go all you’re going to smell is burning rubber and seared flesh. The other burning rubber will be from the carpetbagger ethanol shysters leaving town.

Spike
02:32:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Mt. Pleasant Voters


Spike,

One thing for sure the voters in Mt. Pleasant don't roll over and vote "YEA" on every issue thrown at them as do the Burlington voters.

Even when the Burlington voter does vote right once in awhile, the city just proceeds anyway regardless of the "NAY" vote.

Of course, Mt. Pleasant isn't run by a dictator with a group of losers enforcing his mandates.

FS
01:39:00 - SPIKE - No comments

A Million Dollars of Pompous BS!


Spike,

I see local contractor Bob Brueck has changed his opinion about the old YWCA building. When the Supervisors wanted to DHS to the old Hy Vee building on Agency, Brueck was one of the folks, along with Largemouth Heland, leading the charge against moving the DHS offices out of downtown citing that the YWCA building was very adequate for the County’s needs.

Now, according to the story printed in the Des Moines County News this week Brueck said the former owner’s had a “lousy track record of maintenance.” Funny how things change when you have a vested interest in a project instead of just standing on the sideline offering your free opinion instead of your paid expertise.

And all this talk sure contradicts the former owners’ claim their “building was worth a million dollars.”

TK

Maybe a million dollars of pompous BS!

Spike

01:20:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Lawn Care


Spike:

The writer apparently isn't aware that the weather has not been favorable to lawn servicesThose who have hired their lawns mowed by commercial mowers are having the same problem. With a few days of sunshine things will get caught up!

JC
00:43:00 - SPIKE - No comments

17 May

Bishop's Letter Very Revealing


Spike,

I read the Bishop's letter regarding Notre Dame. It was very revealing. Seeing the letter in its entirety conveys a different sense of the story than reading about the edited version the paper received.

AM



09:35:43 - SPIKE - No comments

The Advertiser - Only the "Truth" They Want You to Know!


Spike:

The Advertiser's "edited" version of the letter dissolving the Notre Dame School Board was simply more of the same. If those running Burlington do not want you to know something, the truth will be found anywhere but the Advertiser.

GH

00:51:00 - SPIKE - No comments

16 May

Falcon Scores Bishop's Letter


Falcon:

You did a great job in scoring the Bishop's letter without it being blacked out, truly in the essence of Spike. My feelings are somewhat hurt that you scored another sleeper. Like the Kohl's sign story.

I guess I'm getting old and slow or Delaney sent you his copy of the ND letter anonymously. I wonder why Delaney's news posse didn't ask him for his copy of the original letter. What are they hiding?

Spike

10:29:20 - SPIKE - No comments

City Posts Asbestos Warning Signs




03:53:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Verifying a Threat


Spike:

Is asbestos poisoning the citizens of Burlington? Do you think Jimmy Olson fired up his Nash Metropolitan and flew to the scene with his Argus C-3 and trusty kryptonite/asbestos detector?

If TR is onto something, do you figure the guilty will cover their tracks in time? If there is anything to this threat, will it be swept under the rug like our Drunk Mayor's infamous BK nap?

GH

01:40:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Re: Aspen Grove


Spike,

I too noticed the poor condition of the cemetery when I was walking yesterday. The grass is headed out and undoubtedly it will look like a mess for Memorial Day. I did not know there was a change in operations there.

We have several lots at the cemetery and also family members buried there. I'm sorry to see its condition.

DG


00:39:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Fear Of An American Combat Soldier


Spike,

Chelsea Clinton was talking to a decorated combat soldier and she asked him the three things he feared most.

He said :

"Osama, Obama, and Your Momma."

00:14:00 - SPIKE - No comments

15 May

City Violates Asbestos Laws


Spike,

City manager Bruce Slagle has assured us that all asbestos must be removed before these buildings can be torn down and that Environment Services was paid $32,730 for asbestos to do this.

I was at the area they were working on and the asbestos was in the air and they were dumping it into open containers and dump trucks . Evidently what they paid for they did not get. I have sent a sample to the EPA. Will let you know when I get results.

Maybe we should have Bruce Slagle and John Mercer help with the demo on these buildings and they should wear no protection, Concerned.

TR

Pictures are worth a thousand words, especially in Court. Also contact the DNR. Iowa has its own environmental laws.

Airborne asbestos is a clear violation and Environment Services is responsible until they go bankrupt. Then the taxpayers are responsible for the bill.

Spike


09:09:01 - SPIKE - No comments

14 May

Being There


Spike,

"Nobody in their right mind would trust the reporting of people who not only don't know the institutions but aren't even there to witness the events and nuances," said Bryce Nelson, a University of Southern California journalism professor and Pasadena resident. "This is a truly sad picture of what American journalism could become."

Professor Nelson obviously does not read the Advertiser. Reporters with no idea of the institutions they cover are the norm in Burlington. In Pasadena, CA. this approach to news gathering has been carried to its logical end. Reporting has been outsourced to India.

As change threatens profits, Citizen Kane on South Main should really consider replacing Jim Olsons with the Boys from Bombay. Video feeds and two way voice links are cheap and foreign labor is even cheaper than notoriously under paid Jimmy Olsons.

The Advertiser already tells us we should welcome illegal aliens who drive down our wages. Here is a way to drive down reporters wages and it is perfectly legal.

Would outsourcing news degrade the quality of the Advertiser? Outsourcing may actually improve what has already hit bottom.

As for Jimmy Olson, he could always become the night shift manager at a fast food franchise. The pay would probably be better and it unlike newspapers, in a growth sector of our economy.

Jimmy, don't forget to wake the Mayor up when you leave work.

GH

But what happens when the West Burlington City Council's video feed isn't on time? I forgot, there wouldn't be any change.

Spike
08:32:23 - SPIKE - No comments

Aspen Grove Cemetery


Spike,

I've never seen Aspen Grove Cemetery in such poor condition as it is now. There are large areas of cut grass that have turned brown scattered around the entire cemetery.

Some of the roads are still littered with wood particles and other derbies from last winter's ice storm. Cut tree trunks have still not been removed from some of the burial areas.

It looks as though the outsourced grounds keeping firm just cut the grass with riding mowers and didn't trim around the stones or ditches at all.

We've had beautiful weather the past week but yet the cemetery looks just plain bad. I would think it's safe to assume that outsourcing the care has more or less been a failure. Just take a look at the Sunnyside sections, which in the past were always well kept. The grass is close to five inches long in some areas and the whole place just looks shabby.

Concerned

08:25:58 - SPIKE - No comments

12 May

$1.2 Million Awarded For Columbia Townhouses


Spike,

$1.2 million was awarded to the owners of Columbia Townhouses. Broken down it comes to about $23,076.00 a unit.

SL

I didn't think those units were part of the original deal.

Spike


11:14:48 - SPIKE - No comments

10 May

Double Dipping?


Spike:

I wonder how many former Burlington city employees' on retirement are working for the city, a deceitful double dipping wrong.

Also, I notice an Illinois licensed Dodge pick-up parked at the Des Moines County landfill every day. This couldn't be a resident of Illinois being paid by Iowa tax money, could it?

Concerned

It happens more than you think!

Spike


09:12:21 - SPIKE - No comments

09 May

Notre Dame


Spike,

Since Notre Dame is a private school, not supported by taxpayers, public disclosure of disciplinary actions toward an individual student is not released to the public. I doubt the Hawk Eye could unearth that information...thank God.

SJ

09:47:58 - SPIKE - No comments

Eminent Domain Mall


Spike,

Re: "The Eminent Domain Mall"....That would be so sad, I'm cryin' crocodile tears ( with emphasis on "croc" ).

TL
09:46:21 - SPIKE - No comments

Condemnation Proceedings for Columbia Townhouses


Spike,

Next condemnation hearing will be held at AEA 16 Room 233 on 5-11-07 @ 9:30. It is on the Columbia Townhouses, a number of buildings totaling 52 units. Should be very interesting, and based on the location - well attended.

RT
09:44:32 - SPIKE - No comments

A Manor Casino Parking Lot?


Spike:

If the elusive developer for the Manor confiscation crime pulls out, would the Manor make a viable shuttle bus parking lot for the new casino?

Trusting Herr Slagle reminds me of an old British documentary on the collapse of Nazi Germany. A woman related how her trusting mother was incredulous as they were forced to flee the advancing Red Army.

"Dr. Goebbels would not lie to us."


GH


Our Minister of Misinformation might not accurately portray the truth. Keep in mind, " This lawsuit is about jobs....er, this lawsuit is about the money...... Power, tell me again what this is all about?" Oh yes, I forgot, deception.

Spike



09:00:00 - SPIKE - No comments

08 May

Manor Mall Hits a Snag?


We keep hearing a recurring theme song that Eminent Domain Mall has hit a major snag with possible tenants contrary to what Slagle has been telling the media.

Anybody care to comment?

11:33:24 - SPIKE - No comments

NASA's Chandra Sees Brightest Supernova Ever



NASA Image

The brightest stellar explosion ever recorded may be a long-sought new type of supernova, according to observations by NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and ground-based optical telescopes. This discovery indicates that violent explosions of extremely massive stars were relatively common in the early universe, and that a similar explosion may be ready to go off in our own galaxy.

Artist's illustration of supernova SN 2006gy "This was a truly monstrous explosion, a hundred times more energetic than a typical supernova," said Nathan Smith of the University of California at Berkeley, who led a team of astronomers from California and the University of Texas in Austin. "That means the star that exploded might have been as massive as a star can get, about 150 times that of our sun. We've never seen that before."

Astronomers think many of the first generation of stars were this massive, and this new supernova may thus provide a rare glimpse of how the first stars died. It is unprecedented, however, to find such a massive star and witness its death. The discovery of the supernova, known as SN 2006gy, provides evidence that the death of such massive stars is fundamentally different from theoretical predictions.

"Of all exploding stars ever observed, this was the king," said Alex Filippenko, leader of the ground-based observations at the Lick Observatory at Mt. Hamilton, Calif., and the Keck Observatory in Mauna Kea, Hawaii. "We were astonished to see how bright it got, and how long it lasted."

The Chandra observation allowed the team to rule out the most likely alternative explanation for the supernova: that a white dwarf star with a mass only slightly higher than the sun exploded into a dense, hydrogen-rich environment. In that event, SN 2006gy should have been 1,000 times brighter in X-rays than what Chandra detected.

"This provides strong evidence that SN 2006gy was, in fact, the death of an extremely massive star," said Dave Pooley of the University of California at Berkeley, who led the Chandra observations.

The star that produced SN 2006gy apparently expelled a large amount of mass prior to exploding. This large mass loss is similar to that seen from Eta Carinae, a massive star in our galaxy, raising suspicion that Eta Carinae may be poised to explode as a supernova. Although SN 2006gy is intrinsically the brightest supernova ever, it is in the galaxy NGC 1260, some 240 million light years away. However, Eta Carinae is only about 7,500 light years away in our own Milky Way galaxy.

"We don't know for sure if Eta Carinae will explode soon, but we had better keep a close eye on it just in case," said Mario Livio of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, who was not involved in the research. "Eta Carinae's explosion could be the best star-show in the history of modern civilization."

Supernovas usually occur when massive stars exhaust their fuel and collapse under their own gravity. In the case of SN 2006gy, astronomers think that a very different effect may have triggered the explosion. Under some conditions, the core of a massive star produces so much gamma ray radiation that some of the energy from the radiation converts into particle and anti-particle pairs. The resulting drop in energy causes the star to collapse under its own huge gravity.

After this violent collapse, runaway thermonuclear reactions ensue and the star explodes, spewing the remains into space. The SN 2006gy data suggest that spectacular supernovas from the first stars - rather than completely collapsing to a black hole as theorized - may be more common than previously believed.

"In terms of the effect on the early universe, there's a huge difference between these two possibilities," said Smith. "One pollutes the galaxy with large quantities of newly made elements and the other locks them up forever in a black hole."

The results from Smith and his colleagues will appear in The Astrophysical Journal. NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala., manages the Chandra program for the agency's Science Mission Directorate. The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory controls science and flight operations from the Chandra X-ray Center in Cambridge, Mass. Additional information and images are available here.

11:20:47 - SPIKE - No comments

Notre Dame


Spike:

You're right, you won't see much out of ND unless its good news. Remember where Mr. Delaney works and where his kids go to school. News has it that the Principal's son was expelled for threatening behavior. Must have been buried on pg 6.

HL

11:00:00 - SPIKE - No comments

07 May

Being Disrespectful When Americans Don't Act


Spike:

We're just being too hard on the Hispanics of dubious immigration status who displayed disrespectful behavior during the moment of silence for Police Chief Wunnenburg at the Bees game.

The standing around, talking and laughing loudly in Spanish and not removing their hats while the rest of the stadium stood silent in remembrance was just an example of them doing what Americans won't do. You should have celebrated them for bringing their multicultural diversity to your community!

Isn't it great! The Hawk-Eye and the media are always telling us how great it is that they come here and do things Americans won't do so it must be a great thing. Diversity is great! We're supposed to celebrate it! They just ran an article Sunday just slopping over with multicultural diversity drivel.

It isn't too hard to figure out who is employing, housing and supporting these illegals and it's time to start dropping dimes to ICE. It's also time to start ostracizing the business owners and those associated with them in whatever way who are importing them into the community. Don't do business with them. Stop associating with them. Confront them publicly and in social settings for ruining the community by hiring them and putting locals out of work.

CQ

11:02:07 - SPIKE - No comments

Notre Dame


Spike:

I’ve been watching the local daily newspaper for information on what is going on at Notre Dame. I haven’t seen anything. There apparently is more going on concerning the leadership than just the coach flap. Since the newspaper and the city are dominated by some of the same people it is difficult to learn these things in the paper.

WR

10:53:18 - SPIKE - No comments

Lost Keys Role In Anamosa's Lost Keys


Spike,

Was Ell in charge of the Anamosa keys, too? That would explain how they ended up on eBay!

BB

10:44:59 - SPIKE - No comments

Politicians


Spike:

I think we need a civics test for all those that would run for public Office here in Des Moines County with a fee for the test paid for by the person running for office.

Voters here always seem to elect the wrong people for the job at hand, which results in the long list of wrongful, costly decisions predominate here in Burlington and Des Moines County.

People running for office should put in writing, prior to the election, their position on the current rash of issues and what they intend to do if elected. The original should be kept at the library in plain view; so anyone can take a look at the performance of this elected official once on the job.

Currently there is no accountability by elected officials in Washington as well as here in Des Moines County, Iowa. A good place to start would be here in local politics, which would probably advance all the way to Washington should it pass the acid test here locally.

Continuing to elect losers has our city and county on the verge of depression for want of decent livable wage jobs rather than the burger flipping low wage jobs predominate here in this city and county.

Just goes to show that the one party system is a failure and always will be. Our there any elected officials here in Burlington that are not democrat?

Worried

10:43:27 - SPIKE - No comments

04 May

President Lincoln Got It Right


Spike:

"Congressmen who willfully take actions during wartime that damage the morale and undermine the military are saboteurs and should be arrested, exiled or hanged.” President Abraham Lincoln

It looks like President Lincoln understood the detrimental effects misguided Congressmen could have on war efforts. And it goes to show that Congress does repeat itself.

HL

07:38:55 - SPIKE - No comments

Falcon's Point of Roundabout Lunacy


A video speaks a thousand words. See Falcon's great video illustrating the argument against the proposed roundabout for hospital drivers. After watching the video I guess one safety precaution would be to remove the curbs on the roundabout. That should prevent the head-banging.

07:36:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Hail Caesar


Spike:

This south of the border political leader sounds a lot like S. E. Iowa's single party political hacks. Economic development through total elimination private ownership will create a workers' paradise.

The only flaw in the logic is if you nationalize the railroads, how do you sue yourself? I am certain counselor Power will figure out some way to try, at a hefty fee.

WG

Venezuela's Chavez is as out of control as you get. We let him exist because of the Light Crude his country sells us so much of. And he hasn't tried to arm himself with nuclear weapons, yet.

Spike


07:30:24 - SPIKE - No comments

Uncle Hinkle Wants You?


Spike:

Illinois' legislative assininity is making possible economic opportunity. Ostrich-thinking towards firearms has infected an Iowa community upstream as well.

Have any of Burlington's economic development geniuses laid down their forks and nine irons to contact this manufacturer looking to relocate? 14 high skilled, high paying jobs are in flux.

GH

07:22:51 - SPIKE - No comments

Illegal Aliens


Spike:

BP should realize that 63 percent of the illegal aliens from Mexico are functionally illiterate.

Worried

07:00:00 - SPIKE - No comments

03 May

Anamosa Prison Keys On eBay - Prison Changes Locks


Keys for the Anamosa Prison showed up for sale on eBay forcing a change of locks. I wonder what that cost?

01:52:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Courtney & Company's Concern for Criminals Welfare


Spike:

One of the highlights of Sen. Courtney and company's first quarter tax and spend fest in Des Moines was amnesty for tax cheaters. What the hell did our "leaders" in the Legislature do for honest voters?

Everybody's taxes were raised and smokers are running for Missouri to buy smokes. I should have lied on my Iowa taxes and made interest off my crime so I could afford all these new taxes.

Crime does not pay, unless Courtney and like minds are in charge.

GH

01:00:00 - SPIKE - No comments

Roundabout Like Sex Ed


Spike,

I was looking at Falcon’s drawings of the proposed roundabout Trousil wants to build at the hospital. With the skid marks it reminds me of sex ed class in junior high school watching sperm wiggle along.

TK

00:39:00 - SPIKE - No comments

02 May

Arrest In Church Fire


Kevin M. Ravelin was arrested Wednesday for first–degree burglary in connection with the First United Methodist Church fire. Ravelin could also face Federal charges for burning the church down if he set the fire.

Ravelin also faces charges for allegedly breaking into the nearby First Presbyterian Church and then setting a fire inside the church.

21:45:35 - SPIKE - No comments

01 May

Should Have Yelled!


Spike,

While attending the Burlington Bees game on Friday with my girlfriend and children, after the game the announcer came across the PA system stating that before the fireworks a moment of silence was requested in honor of Police Chief Wunnenburg. The entire facility fell silent, hats were removed, and that moment was observed – the sole exception being a group of Hispanics standing around, talking and laughing loudly in Spanish without even having the decency to remove the ball caps most were wearing. Other people in our section could not believe their eyes either as this display of disrespect took place just several feet from where we were.

The next time the topic of immigration comes up I will have a slightly different opinion.

BP

You should have yelled INS!

I'll bet there would have been some respect shown then.

Spike




11:55:47 - SPIKE - No comments

Church Fire


Spike,

Church burners are scum bags and are the same low life's that deface tombstones and/or knock them down. These people have no life other than
ruining the lives of others; they are what we call bottom feeders and have sunk lower than whale dung.

They have the brainpower of a snake and are truly part of the animal world.

They'll receive their appropriate justice sooner or later, in this life or the next.

FS

11:52:02 - SPIKE - No comments

So Much for The Environment


Spike,

4 of the 8 Democratic Presidential candidates flew from Washington D.C. to South Carolina on separate private jets. It's nice to see where they stand on global warming. Then again they don't care as long as the tax payers help foot the bill. If they truly cared they would have car pooled.

Vote em all out, and start over.

FT

10:57:00 - SPIKE - No comments