GOP "kingmaker" proposes enslavement as an answer to undocumented migrants

Jan Mickelson hosts one of Iowa's top talk-radio shows and has entertained many of the GOP's nomination hopefuls who want his endorsement for the all-important Iowa primary. Read the rest

Iowa principals asked to wear bodycams

They're just cheap clip-ons that write to SSDs and have no tamper-evident measures. Read the rest

Crazy-wonderful kids' music CD

Kembrew McLeod sez, "For Kids and By Kids: Songs From Iowa Rock City is a new (and free!) children's album I put together with my wife Lynne Nugent, an editor at The Iowa Review. Her team created a beautiful gatefold CD package with a 24-page lyric and liner notes booklet." Read the rest

GOP senator who boasted about her family's self-reliance received $460K in federal subsidies

Iowa Republican senator Joni Ernst gave her party's official response to the State of the Union address by boasting self-righteously about her humble origins and how her self-reliant, heartland-state family pulled themselves up by their own bootstraps, but conveniently failed to mention that her family's farm was the beneficiary of nearly half a million dollars in federal subsidies. Read the rest

Star Wars Tree Sweater

This is how they yarn-bomb in Iowa City. (via Ellen Kushner) Read the rest

Boss creates "Guess who I'm going to fire next" contest

William Ernst, owner of the QC Mart chain of stores headquartered in Bettendorf, Iowa, has lost a court case against an employee who claimed benefits after quitting. Ernst had created a contest that invited his employees to guess who among them would be fired next, and a cashier named Misty Shelsky quit. Ernst tried to get out of paying her benefits, saying that people who voluntarily leave their positions are not entitled to unemployment pay. Administrative Law Judge Susan D. Ackerman sided with Shelsky, calling the contest "egregious and deplorable."

New Contest – Guess The Next Cashier Who Will Be Fired!!!

To win our game, write on a piece of paper the name of the next cashier you believe will be fired. Write their name [the person who will be fired], today’s date, today’s time, and your name. Seal it in an envelope and give it to the manager to put in my envelope.

Here’s how the game will work: We are doubling our secret-shopper efforts, and your store will be visited during the day and at night several times a week. Secret shoppers will be looking for cashiers wearing a hat, talking on a cell phone, not wearing a QC Mart shirt, having someone hanging around/behind the counter, and/or a personal car parked by the pumps after 7 p.m., among other things.

If the name in your envelope has the right answer, you will win $10 CASH. Only one winner per firing unless there are multiple right answers with the exact same name, date, and time.

Read the rest

Large Iowa family endorses flameless heaters, harvest gold furnishings

They sure knew how to decorate and dress in them days.

ITS NOT A CLOWN CAR Read the rest

ICON 35: science fiction convention in Cedar Rapids, IA this weekend (I'm guest of honor!)

I'm just finalizing my schedule and packing list for ICON 35 A Steam Powered Convention of the Future, the science fiction convention in Cedar Rapids, IA, where I'm guest of honor this weekend. The event's got several kinds of gaming (including two weekend-long LARPs), its own Stormtrooper garrison, an art show and masquerade, a writers' workshop, and appearances from writers including Joe and Gay Haldeman (and many others). I'm really grateful to the ICON volunteers for bringing me to Iowa for the first time in my life, and can't wait for the event, which promises to be a delight!

ICON 35 A Steam Powered Convention of the Future Read the rest

Cory coming to Iowa, Seattle

I'm to be the guest of honor at ICON 35: A Steam Powered Convention of the Future , to be held November 5-7, 2010 at the Cedar Rapids Marriott. This is a great, venerable regional con and I'm really looking forward to seeing some of Iowa! Hope to run into you there. And for those of you on the west coast, a reminder that I'll be a special guest at Norwescon in Seattle, April 1-4, along with Vernor Vinge and many fine other writers, artists, and fans. Read the rest