Badger Blog Alliance

Sic Semper Tyrannis

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

A flagrant act of journalism

I hope everyone noticed Owen's Inappropriate Use of Public Property post. It is what Charlie Sykes would call "a flagrant act of journalism".

Owen posted a picture of a Milwaukee County owned van in Illinois on Easter Sunday. The County Exec. and the media jumped on the bandwagon, go read all about it.

Holloway Investigation Underway

You figured with the way former County Executive Tom Ament was treated local government would clean up its act. Not so in the case of Milwaukee County Board Chairman Lee Holloway. With the downfall of OIC we learned Holloway received $165,000 from the now defunct agency in exchange for a building he owned. Trouble is Holloway never gave up ownership. So while the county board chairman got thousands of dollars from OIC Holloway voted on issues pertaining to the agency. Common sense would tell you Holloway was paid off. The county ethics board is investigating.

Holloway's excuse is amazing. He claims he didn't know he still owned the building. If so, then why did he continue to pay property taxes on it? What kind of idiot would pay taxes on a property he didn't think he owned? Holloway's a Lefty who would feel bad about raising taxes, but even he wouldn't pay taxes he didn't feel he owed. How stupid does Holloway think voters are?

"Ethics Board Subpoenas Holloway's Records"

Two new additions to the blogroll

Welcome to the two newest additions to the BBA blogroll, GOP3-The Triumvirate and Nehring the Edge. GOP3 is run by 3 College Republicans from Marquette who were inspired to blog by February's Adopt a Sniper story at Marquette. Nehring the Edge is a prolific movie reviewer. If you are going to a movie or just renting, go there first. You'll also be pleasantly surprised by the occasional current events post.

State Republicans-beware of losing your base

GBfan of Spottedhorse and I exchanged a couple of emails on this topic. At his request, I'm going to post an entry from his site in its entirety because this is a topic State Republicans need to be thinking about, namely that the actions of some State Republicans could cost them voters down the road. (Read also here.)

Way back in February when I started this little blog, One of my first political posts was how modern politics was like a never ending version of trench warfare.

Well I think I have reached a point in my life where for the first time I don't feel like going over the top and duking it out with the other side. Don't get me wrong I still cannot stand 98% of the things the left stands for. But I am slowly losing faith in the GOP on both the state and federal levels. I have been a political animal for as long as I can remember. The first election that I was politically "aware" was Ford vs Carter(two great choices there lol). My degree was a double major History/Politcal Science. I really used to love this stuff it was the last real blood sport left. But now after 29 years of being one of those people who thought it all mattered I have now reached a point where I am ready to just say F-ck it. The next time the party blows the whistle and tells me to "go over the top" I think I might just start heading towards the rear.

I believe it is the state GutlessOP that has brought me to this point. I can no longer stomach the election year promises of,"just one more big push and then we will really change how things are done in Wisconsin".

I'm tired of being a member of the same party as Mary(I really voted for that )Lazich, Mike(I am really a democrat)Ellis and Dale(Aint no Talk radio in these parts)Schultz.

You would have thought after the party grunts "Fragged" Mary Panzer the rest of the leadership would have learned a lesson. But like the British generals at the Somme they keep reinforcing failure.

So this is one trooper who had has enough of being lied to and stabbed in the back. So until I see some real results from the State GutlessOP I am done no money, none of my time as a Vol.

I will still give time and money to individual "Conservatives" like Scott Walker and Rep Sensenbrener.

So I guess this is one lonely voice calling from a bottom of an endless trench


always remember when dealing with the State GutlessOP the immortal words of rapper Chuck D "Don't Believe the Hype"

A very politically tired GBfan

State Republicans, this is a growing frustration with you and your party. You best pay heed to it, or you may be in for a surprise in future elections. Majorities don't last forever, but there is no sense in ending them prematurely.

Reviewing the "Guest Blogger" experiment

Not much to review. The purpose of the experiment was two fold. One was to gauge the interest Wisconsin bloggers had in participating at the Badger Blog Alliance. The second was to see how willing bloggers were to contribute original content (ie, not cross posted material). There were not takers for those two criteria. Two of you were willing to contribute cross post material, and I thank you, but let's save that for a "Carnival of the Badger Bloggers."

Even though nobody took me up on the original offer, I'm going to keep it open. If you are interested in participating here at the Badger Blog Alliance with an original post (WI related), email me or another posting member. As for cross posted material, hold onto that for the moment. I can't work on a "Carnival of Badger Bloggers" for at least a week, but let's save it until I can.
Perhaps other cities and government entities should consider this before going hat in hand to the taxpayers.
Over the past year the city has sold more than $75,000 in surplus equipment on the Internet trading site eBay, with some items selling for nearly triple the money received in the city’s annual auction.
The University of Wisconsin already has an auction site but these items should be offered to the largest audience online in order to get the best price for the taxpayers.
(Crossposted at Brainpost)

Sunday, March 27, 2005

The Republican Party of Wisconsin says it will saturate the airwaves in eight major markets with a radio ad campaign starting Monday. The ads will urge residents to contact their local senator or Gov. Jim Doyle to support the Assembly-backed Voter ID bill and are timed to coincide with the Senate vote on the issue.

State GOP Executive Director Rick Wiley said the ads will run in Green Bay, Wausau, Rhinelander and Stevens Point, targeting Dem Sens. Dave Hansen, Russ Decker, Roger Breske and Julie Lassa. In the Milwaukee, Madison, Eau Claire and Racine markets, the ads will target Doyle.

"Gov. Doyle has put up roadblock after roadblock on Voter ID, and I think it's time he realizes how this important this issue is. And if he doesn't, it will play out not only this year (but) in next year's election," Wiley said.

Sounds like they are using their resources well and targeting those most vulnerable on sensible legislation. This should not be at all controversial but Governor Doyle has stood on the side of election fraud and has not made even one proposal to help ensure fair elections in Wisconsin, and the State Democratic Party should pay a price for his obstinate position. Good job WI GOP!
(crossposted at Brainpost)

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Time to step it up BBA

Since the slacker Charlie Sykes won't be blogging for a week or so (something about a trip to Spain...) he asks that we keep the people informed.

That Sykes, he won't even take time from his vacation (that he took without us)to do a little Blogging... Yes this post was made because I a totally jealous and I am stuck here in frozen Wisconsin

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Feingold also chimed in on the Terry Schiavo case, saying he didn't understand why the federal government should "micromanage" such a personal matter. End-of-life decisions should be handled through state law, he said.

I wonder if he believes choice and abortion are state issues?
Oh yea, I keep forgetting, that's not life is it. And what about euthanasia?
I want someone to press him on these questions so we know exactly where the Presidential hopeful stands.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Urgent Request for Terri Schiavo

Just received the following email from Pro-Life Wisconsin. If you're in the Madison area, you might consider attending the prayer vigil for Terri Schiavo at the Capitol tonight.

Remember, this isn't about letting a dying woman die in peace; it's about forcing a very much alive, though disabled, woman to die of thirst and starvation.

It's about all the disabled, the inconvenient, the unwanted, the expendable.

It's about the "duty to die", not the "right to die".

It's about the beginning of forced euthanasia in this country.

Ultimately, it's about all of us.

Here's the email I received:
Time is running out! Terri Schiavo continues to be slowly executed by starvation and dehydration. The courts proceed in their barbaric and senseless disregard for Terri’s basic right to life. U.S. District Judge James Whittemore this morning callously refused to order the reinsertion of Terri’s feeding tube thus prompting her parents to appeal to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta. They are desperate and know that Terri can die at any minute.

Take Action Now!

Pro-Life Wisconsin is calling upon you, our members, to humble yourselves in prayer for Terri. If you are in the Dane county area, please consider attending an urgent prayer vigil this evening, March 22nd being organized by Pro-Life Wisconsin Dane County. The Terri Schiavo Prayer Vigil will take place in Madison on the west Capitol steps facing State Street from 8 p.m. – 10 pooh For further details please call Pro-Life Wisconsin at 262-796-1111 or in Madison call Jeanne at 608-831-3139. For the good number of you who are who may not be able to attend, please pray for terra in solidarity with our Dane county affiliate from 8-10 tonight.

Thank You & God Bless You.
Cross-posted at Stand in the Trenches.

Reminder: Public Hearing for Photo ID Today!

The last public hearing for the Photo Voter ID bill is being held today, March 22, from 12:00 PM to 6:00 PM at the Tommy G. Thompson Youth Center, Ballroom Two, at State Fair Park in West Allis. The Youth Center is on the northwest end of the fairgrounds, just south of the Pettit Ice Center.

This kind of hearing usually runs past the scheduled end time, if there's a large crowd, so that everyone who wishes to speak has a chance to do so.

You may register to speak, or simply register in favor of the bill without speaking, if you prefer.

Click here
for more information about the bill itself, or how to contact the Governor on this issue.

I will try to stop in this afternoon. Hope to see lots of people there, testifying or at least signing in favor of the bill.

Sheila Harsdorf For Lt. Governor?

It's only a rumor that I heard at the 3rd District caucus but I don't doubt the possibility. Seeing that both Green and Walker are from the Eastern half of the state it makes sense for them to look at someone from the West.

Crossposted at Wild Wisconsin

Monday, March 21, 2005

Parents Not Welcome In Children's Education

As I detailed in my latest column, WEAC is suing to close down WIVA. In response to the suit, Elizabeth Burmaster, the Superintendent of the Department of Public Instruction, filed a brief in support of WEAC's position. I thought that you might be interested in how involved Burmaster thinks that parents should be in their children's education. The following is from her brief:

Lastly, NOSD/K12 argue that WIVA’s responsible adults do nothing more than what many parents have done for years in helping their students with homework. DPI publishes a “Checklist for Helping Your Child With Homework.” DPI Exhibit 112 (available online at These hints include common sense advice such as making sure the child has a well-lighted place to work, a regular time for homework and adequate supplies. Parents are encouraged to inquire about the child’s assignment. Other assistance suggested includes reviewing the homework, reviewing teacher comments on homework, trying to understand the child’s learning style and contacting the teacher if a homework problem cannot be resolved. Id.

Nowhere, however, is the parent directed to deliver the lesson in the first instance, review concepts, oversee testing, evaluate test answers and make judgments about their sufficiency, incorporate additional curricular materials or any of the myriad other tasks that WIVA’s responsible adults perform daily.

According to Burmaster, I am not permitted to actually help my kids do their homework, except to provide them "adequate lighting." If they have a problem with an assignment, I should contact the teacher. And it is absolutely verboten to give my children some "additional curricular materials" like a math worksheet or spelling quiz.

This position by Burmaster is downright offensive. It rests on the preposterous assumption that parents are unworthy of participating in the education of their own children. As far as Burmaster is concerned, parents shouldn't be allowed to show their kids a documentary or teach them about wildflowers in the park. After all, parent's aren't certified by the DPI.

The next time that you hear Burmaster talking about parent involvement, just remember that the only involvement she really wants is for parents to sharpen pencils and replace light bulbs.

(Cross Posted @ Boots & Sabers)

Lasee blogs

If you've been bouncing around the Wisconsin blogosphere today, I'm sure that you already know that state Assemblyman Frank Lasee is now a member of the blogosphere. Head on over and check out his blog, which is largely devoted to the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights.

Pass This On

Our patron, Charlie Sykes, a radio talk show host in Milwaukee, took a call from John Giese of Fond du Lac today. The audio is here. (Requires Real Player)

John's not famous,
but his daughter Jeanna is. She's the first person to survive rabies without the vaccine. Hers is a truly remarkable and miraculous story.

If you are a big blog, by all means pass the audio on to your readers. Show the world that maybe the story of Jeanna Giese can inspire it to get behind the efforts of the Schindlers and Terri Schiavo.

If you're a person who just enjoys reading this site, take the audio and get the attention of one of the big blogs.

Thank You.

Our own Rep. Sensenbrenner a hero for Terri

I haven't blogged here much lately, because as some of you might know, I've been blogging for Terri Schiavo pretty much non-stop over at Stand in the Trenches.

But I'm posting here today because I think all BBA readers should know that our own WI Rep. Sensenbrenner really stepped up to the plate for Terri Schiavo -- and by extension, for all of us.

The House opened debate on the bill at 9 p.m. EST on Sunday and debated the measure past midnight.

"As millions of Americans observe the beginning of Holy Week this Palm Sunday we are reminded that every life has purpose and none is without meaning," said House Judiciary Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., a leader in crafting the bill.
This is exactly the kind of representative we need if we have any hope of returning to a culture that protects and values the lives of all, from conception to natural death.

President Bush flew in from Crawford so he could be there to sign the bill immediately after pasasge: yet another reason to be thankful that we still have a pro-life President.

However, this bill does not directly restore Terri's feeding tube. It still will be in the hands of a judge. From the same FOX News article:
The legislation says the federal court, after determining the merits of the suit, "shall issue such declaratory and injunctive relief as may be necessary to protect the rights" of the woman. Injunctive relief in this case could mean reinserting the feeding tubes.

"The bill guarantees a process to help Terri but does not guarantee a particular outcome. Once a new case is filed, a federal judge can issue a stay at any time," said Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn. "The judge has discretion of that particular decision; however, I would expect that a federal judge would grant a stay under these circumstances because Terri would need to live in order for the court to consider the case."
Check in with Blogs for Terri and Pro-Life Blogs throughout the day for updates on Terri's situation.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Audio of Terri Schiavo responding to her father on 3/18/05

Matt Drudge played audio on his radio show tonight of Terri Schiavo responding to questions from her father after her feeding tube was removed. While she is unable to form clear words, it is difficult to listen to this audio and believe that she is in a "persistent vegitative state." To hear it yourself, go to My View of the World.

Around the Horn, 3-20-05

Lakeshore Laments "Wing Blogs" the NCAA tournament. [Note: Mentioning Leinies is a sure fire way to make it into Around the Horn ;-) ]

Boots and Sabers goes after state Republicans who are caving on Governor Doyle's plan to raid segregated funds.

My View of the World
has extensive Terri Schiavo coverage.

On the Borderline looks at the the book, Common Sense School Reform.

Spottedhorse congratulates UW and UWM while prodding you Marquette fans.

Mary Eileen has more on Terry Schiavo at Stand in the Trenches.

Standards & Grudges
has audio from the Ward Churchill speech at UWW.

Charlie Sykes
is particularly honest about why this has been a light blogging day around the Badger State.

Teeth of the Constitution keeps an eye on gun legislation in Wisconsin.

More about Terri Schiavo? Check out The American Mind.

Wild Wisconsin looks at the Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

To the Wisconsin blogosphere

Hi everyone. The Badger Blog Alliance has been up and running for about 3 and a half months now. I hope you've all enjoyed the site, and I'm pleased at the small part it has played in uniting the Wisonsin blogosphere a little bit. This is still a bit of a work in progress, though. I think the Badger Blog Alliance can be more than it is right now, but I think we are still a little ways away from opening up more posting positions, mostly because I haven't made up my mind on how we can best get there. I am slowly warming to an idea that On the Borderline has floated a couple of times, so I'd like to try a little week long test of it.

If you are unfamiliar with On the Borderline, it has something of an open blog concept. To make it short and simple, people submit a post to the administrators and they then make a decision on putting it up at the site. I'd like to try that on a limited scale for the next week. If you have a Wisconsin blog and you have a post you'd like to see here at the Badger Blog Alliance, email it to me at ojibway7rj-at-gmail-dot-com. I'll look it over and post it if I think it works well with the general voice of the Badger Blog Alliance. The catch is that it has to be an original piece, because I'm looking at doing a Carnival of Wisconsin Bloggers type thing as well in the near future. There will be a link back to your site, and you'll be introduced as a guest blogger, similar to Lance Burri's post on Gregg Underheim from earleir this week. Since I'm still a bit tentative, this test period ends at the end of the day next Friday, March 25th, at which point the experiment will be reviewed.

Thank you to everyone who makes the Badger Blog Alliance a regular read. Wisconsin blogosphere, hopefully this test will lead to an eventual larger role for everyone.

Friday, March 18, 2005

How does Wisconsin Compare?

Here are some tax comparisons of these neighboring states:
North Dakota
South Dakota

There are probably dozens of conclusions that can be extrapolated out of the data, but here are my observations. These are the comparisons to the surrounding states and national rankings.

Per capita income for Wisconsin is almost right in the middle of the pack. The tax freedom day is April 13th, 11 nationally, but with Minnesota and Illinois, much much later than the Dakota's and Iowa. The Business Climate is in the worse 20%. So is Minnesota. State and Local Tax Burden Per Capita for Wisconsin is 10th nationally. Total tax (Fed and State) divided by Per Capita Income is a whopping 28.04% State and Local Tax Burdens As a Percentage of State Income gives Wisconsin a 6th Ranking Nationally. This rating is disproportionally different than the surrounding states.

The data I compiled was from the Tax Foundation and is in PDF format. The report is called 'Facts and Figures: Does your state compare?' This pocket-sized handbook compares the 50 states on 41 different measures of taxing and spending, including individual and corporate tax rates, business tax climates, excise taxes, tax burdens and state spending. The spreadsheet I put together for the regional comparison is here. (TaxCompare.xls).

These are the hard facts based on numbers. There will be a thousand different reasons as to why these numbers are the way they are. Bottom line, life in the Dakota's is not like living in Wisconsin and anything you can do here you can do there. The tax situation in S.D. makes it a great place to do business and even a small enterprise can gain tremendous tax advantages there. I think a move like adopting TABOR would really help Wisconsin gain a much better business climate and increase income and tax collections to help pay for the state. I also think education funding needs a radical overhaul. The monopoly is the one highest expenditure the Wisconsin residents have to deal with. Get it under control and you have the state budget under control. I would welcome further analysis of why and what we need to do.

xposted @ OntheBorderLine

Congressman Sensenbrenner on Terri Schiavo

Congressman Sensenbrenner was interviewed by Mark Belling today on the bill he is trying to ram through Congress, but he is being fought each step of the way by Congressional Democrats, they will even filibuster to keep anyone from saving Terri Schiavo. I have posted the audio and comments at My View of the World

Something to Watch For - TABOR

This was in today's OpinionJournal Political Diary.
Colorado voters will be asked to make an historic decision in November: whether to retain the lower-cost state government that has helped their economy boom, or bust the caps that the state's pioneering spending limit has imposed on the growth of government.

Colorado Governor Bill Owens announced a deal with leaders of the Democratic state legislature yesterday that would ask voters to approve a five-year suspension of taxpayer refunds that are required by the state's Taxpayer Bill of Rights (Tabor). In 1992, voters approved TABOR, which requires any tax increase to be approved by popular vote and limits state spending in line with inflation and population growth. Any tax revenues collected in excess of the spending limit must be returned to taxpayers as a tax refund unless the public specifically votes to allow the state to keep the extra money.

By limiting spending, Colorado avoided the budget problems that befell other states during the last recession, and the state enjoyed the fastest economic growth in the country, as well as the second-highest personal income growth. But Governor Owens insists he is keeping TABOR intact: He's merely asking voters for needed money to build essential roads, preserve government services and avoid painful cuts in higher education spending. Others disagree. Senator Jim Dyer, a fellow Republican, notes that the compromise does nothing to alter Amendment 23, approved by voters in 2000, which requires automatic education spending increases even at the expense of other programs.

Jon Caldera, the president of the conservative Independence Institute, says the vote in Colorado will be watched closely nationwide. "Florida, Wisconsin, California and other states are debating whether or not to have TABORs of their own right now," he says. "The outcome here will play a big role in whether or not other states adopt this model."
My gut tells me that anti-TABOR forces in Wisconsin will latch onto this news quick. Already the talking point is TABOR lost the GOP the Colorado legislature (There's no proof of this.) so any blow to the Colorado version could be crucial for any version here in the Badger State.

Another thing to watch for is if lobbyists in Wisconsin, Florida, and California move to Denver with the full intent of spending on advertising to weaken Colorado's TABOR.

Cross-Posted at Lakeshore Laments by Kevin
How did Wisconsins Representatives Fair?

Baldwin, T ....................... F ............ 12%
Green, M ..........................B+......... 71%
Kind, R ............................. F ............ 13%
Kleczka, G ........................ F .............. 9%
Obey, D ............................ F ............ 15%
Petri, T .............................B ............ 60%
Ryan, P ............................ A ............ 78%
Sensenbrenner, J ............. A ............ 83%

State Average ....................... 17%
Feingold, R ......................D ........... 22%
Kohl, H ............................. F ............ 18%

Want To Know Who Pays Income Taxes? See Who Pays What Here Xposted @ Brainpost


Dummocrats: "It's 2005. The United States has troops in Iraq as a peacekeeping measure while the Iraqi interim government gets their country put together. A story comes out about what the Pentagon calls 'sexual misconduct.' Namely, US troops have been going to clubs in Iraq which are frequented by young girls, some barely 12 years old, and engaging in sex acts with them. In return, the troops give the girls ten bucks or some food.

Further developments show this is probably the least objectionable action taken by US troops. In other areas, troops were actively looking for teen and pre-teen girls and sexually abusing them. When reached for comment, a Pentagon spokesman said simply 'Boys will be boys.' This on the heels of further revelations of US troops operating brothels and used US equipment to traffic women from other countries.

That would be pretty damned outrageous, wouldn't it? You think Tailhook was a scandal...the press would never let go of this story and I'd wager we'd get a Presidential resignation (if not impeachment) out of it.

Why then, oh why, the virtual silence on this exact story when the cast of characters is not the US military or the Iraqi people, but the United Nations, their 'peacekeepers,' and the residents of such countries as Liberia, Haiti, Burundi, and other countries?"

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Underheim endorsement by guest blogger Lance Burri

BBA Guest Blogger Lance Burri:

Hi, Lance here, taking advantage of Jib's kind offer to let me ask all of you to support Gregg Underheim's campaign for DPI Superintendent.

I don't have to convince any of BBA's members that WEAC - the teacher's union - has far more control over the state's education system than is healthy. They're also going to pull out the stops to beat Underheim, because Underheim doesn't toe their line the way Libby Burmaster - the incumbent - and her predecessors have.

Take a look at his webpage,, for more about Underheim's positions. I recently wrote about the race, as have several other Wisconsin bloggers.
What I really hope you'll all do is post one of these buttons that Jib and I have made on your own sites.

Here's one:
And here's the other:
Please put these up where your visitors will see them every time they visit your website. My four children will thank you!

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Congratulations Owen!

Congratulations to Owen from Boots & Sabers! He won a Mark Belling Bobblehead for correctly answering a question regarding the placement of Milwaukee's new sexual predator residence (The Pervert House). Here is the audio... Towards the end Mark razzes Owen a bit, but I know Owen knew it, heck, even I knew it. Way to go Owen!

(Audio link has been fixed, sorry)

Monday, March 14, 2005

Madison Talk Radio Host Calls For Rape of Local Politician

Sly Sylvester, the Madison talk show host that called Condi Rice “Aunt Jamimah” Colon Powell “Uncle Tom", then he handed out pancake mix and syrup making light of it has now called for the rape of a local politician.

Wisconsin State Journal: Sly says he'll give on-air apology
A Madison radio talk-show host says he will apologize on the air this morning for remarks that some felt suggested that Ald. Robbie Webber should be raped.

The exact comments made by Sly Sylvester during his Friday morning radio show on WTDY-AM 1670 are unknown, and Sylvester refused to provide the Wisconsin State Journal with a tape of the show.

But in an apology Sylvester e-mailed to Webber, who represents District 5, he said he joked that Webber was uptight and "needed to get laid by someone like Kobe Bryant over a chair." Bryant is the NBA basketball player who was accused of sexual assault in 2003.

The comments came after Webber declined an invitation to discuss proposed changes to the city's taxi-driver licensing policy on his show.

Sylvester said he was not insinuating rape, and noted that Bryant was not convicted of a crime. The criminal case against Bryant was dismissed last fall, and a civil suit filed by his accuser was settled out of court.

Webber said she believes Sylvester's comments clearly implied either coerced sex or violence, but even if they didn't, the underlying sentiment is still offensive.

"It's that tired old idea that if you don't like something a woman does or says or the way she treated you, then she's not getting any, or she needs to get some," Webber said.

This liberal talk show host has shown a pattern of racism and a problem with powerful women, but I expect he will get no real criticism, yet Mark Belling still has local pol's trying to get him fired for a single comment that he has apologized and been punished for.

Sly said he will donate $100 to the Rape Crisis Center... So I guess all is forgiven... Nope, no liberal double standard here!

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Around the horn, 3-13-05

Boots & Sabers has a full day of good posts on FEC regulations, university diversity, UW's University Health Services offering the morning after pill via phone prescriptions, the Wisconsin Future Conference, concealed carry, and the latest from Greg Borowski.

My View of the World has audio of this morning's Brookfield press conference as well as a synapsis of Sunday Insight.

For those of you who enjoy NCAA pools, check out the Dummocrats pool.

The World According to Nick has two good posts on a James Sensenbrenner town hall meeting in Wauwatosa, and the conversation he had with Sensenbrener afterwards.

Info on reported Brookfield murderer, or lack there of

The New York Times, via Wisconsin media outlets, is reporting that the name of the man who opened fire at a church meeting in Milwaukee suburb Brookfield is Terry Ratzmann. A search of court records at Wisconsin CCAP shows that Ratzmann did not have a previous record. It will be interesting to see what new information, if any, the Brookfield police are able to provide at 10 am Sunday morning.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

It was a busy day at My View of the World

The big story is of course, the 7 people that were murdered before the killer killed himself. I have audio of the press conference and a running commentary of the events.

I finally did something that I have been meaning to do, I have pout together a contact list of Milwaukee County & City politicians.

I hope everyone has already signed the petition that has united Bloggers of all political leanings against the FEC's effort to curb our free speech rights.

Professor McAdams from Marquette Warrior shows us that UW Whitewater has it's own Churchill Lite.

The ACLU is attacking the Boy Scouts again.

I have started a new feature, each week I will post about a Winner and a Looser each week

Wisconsin's prison wardens are still sticking us with huge bills, another $45K has been used for either personal or unaccounted for non-work use.

This and much more can be found at My View of the World

Brookfield shooting update

The Brookfield Police Chief is reporting 8 have died.

TMJ4 is also reporting that the shooter may have been from New Berlin.

The suspect was affiliated in some way with the church, which had been meeting for 4 years from 10 to 12 on Saturdays at the hotel.

Police do not yet have a motive.

The next briefing will be at 10 am on Sunday morning, at which time the Brookfield Police hope to be able to provide more information.

Update: Brookfield Shooting press conference

Here is video of a brief press conference with the Brookfield Police Chief. Very basic. He will be holding another press conference at 5:10 Central time, at which point he hopes to have more details.

Future Wisconsin Conference

The latest addition to the blogroll, Letters in Bottles-The Island Pundit, is live blogging the Future Wisconsin Conference today (HT: Althouse). Also keep an eye on Boots & Sabers for FWC coverage.

Gunman opens fire at church meeting in Milwaukee suburb

There is not much out there on this story right now. A gunman killed 4, wounded 8, and killed himself at a church meeting at a Brookfield hotel. See more here.

Friday, March 11, 2005

JS Mentions Structural Deficit

But, it's not in a story. It's on the State Politics blog.

Finally mentioned by the JS's Madison bureau today. Members of the BBA have been on this since Wednesday.

On-Site Blogging of JFC Hearing

I'm at LTC watching the JFC hearing.

Click here to follow along.

Kevin @ Lakeshore Laments

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Shifting Positions To Ease Pressure On A Jackass

Here's an interesting little tidbit from Governor Doyle's budget:

This bill creates a program for the issuance of revenue obligations to fund MA costs. The amount of expenditures for the program that may be paid from these revenue obligations may not exceed $130,000,000. The bill provides that the principal and interest costs on the revenue obligations are to be paid from excise taxes that are currently imposed on the sale of liquor, fermented malt beverages, cigarettes, and tobacco products.

What this means is that Governor Doyle wants to securitize future tax revenue in order to get a lump sum to pay for his spending in this budget. Basically, he sells bonds in the amount of
$130,000,000 which are guaranteed to be repaid - with interest - with future excise taxes.

It's horrible fiscal management, but it is typical of Doyle's budget.

The most interesting thing is that another Wisconsin governor did the same thing with the tobacco revenue in 2001. You remember the massive extortion scheme in which the tobacco companies were forced to pay the States billions of dollars over the course of a couple of decades? Scott McCallum proposed securitizing those payments in order to get a lump sum payment to balance the state budget. Here's what Jim Doyle, who was the Attorney General, had to say at the time:

The administration's "proposal to sell off future payments at fire-sale prices, and then to spend a good share of it to cover its past debts, is shortsighted, selfish and harmful to the fiscal and physical health of the people of the state," Doyle told the Legislature's Joint Finance Committee.

Doyle noted McCallum has said the state must budget like a family.

"I agree. No parents would choose to deliberately sell off their children's college fund, or their retirement annuity, to pay a Visa bill. That is precisely what the administration wants you to approve," said Doyle.


The issue is pretty simple. Will we be reckless and selfishly spend this money to get the administration out of its short-term problems? Or will we be visionary and disciplined and act as a prudent steward of this money for future generations?" Doyle said.

If you ask me, securitizing the tobacco settlement, which was paid by the tobacco companies, is not nearly as bad as securitizing future tax revenue.

But, then again, I'm just a guy sitting here in my pajamas.

(Cross Posted @ B&S)

Mark Belling under attack again

Today, a panel of the Milwaukee County Board voted 5-2 to end all dealings with Clear Chanel, including all 6 radio stations and the largest bill board advertising firm in the nation. They state that the reason they are doing this is because of the 5 month old flap about Belling using a single derogatory comment, he called illegal Mexican aliens "wetbacks". Since then Belling was suspended, apologized many times, Clear Chanel has added programming aimed at the minority community and the list goes on.

We all know what this is really about, it is about silencing a strong Conservative voice, because in the same 5 months, hate speech from the Milwaukee Liberals has been rampant! We have an Alderman, Michael McGee Jr. using several really offensive terms like his "sick faggot" comment, he has made disparaging remarks towards black employees of the Mayor and calls the District Attorney "Dumb Ass" as well as other racial remarks he has made on his fathers radio show...

Remember this post I made.
I just wanted to point out a comment Mark Belling made today on the Mike McGee Jr. story. He reminded us that when he used a single derogatory word, the Milwaukee Common Council voted almost unanimously to condemn Belling, even after apologizing, but McGee repeatedly uses racial and derogatory terms toward gays, he refuses to apologize and even flaunts it as a badge of honor, and all the Common Council can do is get 6 Alderman to ask him to apologize…No official condemnation, no sanctions…Nothing!

We in Milwaukee remember Jr. McGee's father, former Alderman Michael McGee Sr. the well known Milwaukee radio host and former Black Panther that is known for his racial commentary and hatred. McGee got into trouble soon after the Belling incident for using "the F word" but he has never been criticized for his many and blatant racial terms including the "N word he uses on a regular basis. McGee and the owner of his radio station received hundreds of thousands of dollars from the now defunct anti-poverty agency OIC. Yet, the County still does business with this company, even though they still use racial and derogatory terms daily, their is no threat to financially attack them if they keep McGee on.

And let's not forget Sly "Aunt Jamimah" Sylvester's acceptable racism calling Condi Rice "Aunt Jamimah" Colon Powell "Uncle Tom", then he handed out pancake mix and syrup making light of it.

Also, remember that these board members supported the hate speech of Ward Churchill and the use of public money to support it, now they are using public money in an attempt to silence a Conservative that made a single offensive comment, compare that to Churchill's repeated hate calling the 9/11 victims Nazi's that deserved to die and calling for more attacks on America.

The full County Board votes on this next week, NOW is the time to call and write your Supervisor! This blatant extortion of Clear Chanel is just wrong!

There will be more on this story!

Cross Posted at My View of the World

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Countering the Hunger Strikes

Kevin reports that the UW's College Republicans planned to eat in the Capitol Rotunda today as a counter-protest to the student hunger strikes against proposed tuition increases. See here.

The University of Wisconsin College Republicans (CRs) has vowed to counter the Associated Students of Madison’s hypocritical hunger strike to lower tuition because of the student government group’s misappropriation and inflation of segregated student fees.

“As these students are fasting for lower tuition, they are raising student fees for the overall student population at UW Madison,” said Nicole Marklein, CR Chair. “It is hypocritical for them to say tuition is pricing them out of an education and then turn around to raise the only part of tuition students have control over.”

Segregated fees make up over $600 of every full time student’s tuition and the amount has risen steadily in recent years. The money goes to fund questionable organizations like Sex Out Loud, which distributes free condoms by utilizing nearly $50,000 of student fee money. Over $443,000 dollars go to the Multicultural Student Center for programs like trips to Miami and over $360,000 dollars for the so-called Diversity Education Specialists, and $94,000 dollars goes to the left wing organization WISPIRG. For a complete list of funded groups, please visit

Hunger Strikes against Tuition Hikes

Lance Burri writes about the hunger strike some UW-Madison students are holding this week to protest Gov. Doyle's proposed tuition increase -- and I sympathize with the students. A 37.5% increase in tuition seems remarkably high, and Doyle proposes increasing it 5 to 7% over the next two years.

However, as Lance points out, when they start talking about college education as a "right," they seem to have gone off-message a bit.

If a college education is a right, not a privilege, aren’t we morally obligated to make sure everybody can get in?

Just think of it. Free college education. The students will all benefit individually, and our community will benefit, too.

Of course, there’s one more major difference between K-12 and college education: the former is mandatory. It’s the law: all children aged 5 through 17 must attend school, whether it’s public, private, or home.

It has to be that way, you understand, because otherwise some parents would pull their kids out after the 10th, or 8th, or 6th grades. That drags society down.

By the same token, some people won’t want to attend higher education, regardless of the benefits to humanity. So perhaps, in addition to making college free, we should make it mandatory. It’s for the good of society, and for your own good, too.

Whole thing here.

"Two Sets of Books" not a big deal?

Mike at het2blog talks about the "two sets of books" controversy, and says it's not the scandal some people want it to be.

. . . non-accountants may conclude that fraud is being perpetrated, when in fact nothing could be further from the truth. Consider that most publicly traded companies keep what would be considered several sets of books that include Financial Accounting Books, Tax Accounting Books and Statutory Books for foreign countries, if the company operates internationally. These different sets of books are nothing more than different views of the same information, developed for different legitimate reporting purposes. Similarly, the Annual Fiscal Report and the Comprehensive Annual Fiscal Report are legitimate different views of the same information.

Go here for the whole thing. I'm no accountant, so I will defer to those better versed in the magical numbers game, but regardless of whether two sets of books is standard operating procedure, or an attempt to hide something, the state still has an enormous deficit, and Gov. Doyle's budget seems to me like so much fiddling while Rome burns.

Tommy Enters Private Sector

Tommy Thompson named president of Logistics Health. Former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson, who recently completed four years as U.S. Health and Human Services secretary, has been named president of Logistics Health Inc. in La Crosse.Thompson will be in La Crosse today to meet with LHI officials, company Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Don Weber said Tuesday. Thompson also is expected to speak to news reporters about his new job.

Link here

I hope that this doesn't mean that you have given up any idea of running against Kohl in '06 Tommy.

About that "Real ID" bill...

A couple weeks ago I posted here about Rep. Sensenbrenner's "Real I.D." bill. (Previous posts on the BBA by here by Chris and here from me.)

I wondered whether I would be able to get answers to all my questions about the bill, since no one in Rep. Sensenbrenner's office was allowed to answer them on the phone, and I wasn't sure if a mere blogger would be given the same information given to members of the press.

Well, yes and no, or maybe I should say, "no and yes", respectively.

I still haven't had all my questions answered, but I was given information from the Judiciary Press Secretary. I received an email from him, with quite a bit of background information, a transcript of a press conference with Rep. Sensenbrenner, and some other material.

That was great. But it still didn't answer all my questions or the critic's objections.

For example, will a database of information on U.S. citizens be compiled and shared with Mexico and Canada, as alleged by Rep. Ron Paul? Nothing I read addressed that question.

Will the machine-readable code on drivers' licenses include an RFID chip? No information was given. Are there limits to the information that could be placed on that machine-readable section? The bill doesn't address that, presumably leaving that up to the states -- for now.

The rationale for this bill is simple, actually, and appeals to common sense (as some commenters here noted). Under current state rules, drivers' licenses are issued to show that an individual has met the state's criteria for being allowed to drive a certain kind of vehicle. That's it. There's no particular effort to make sure that the individual requesting the license is actually who he says he is, nor to verify the documents presented.

This poses a problem because of the way those licenses are used: not just as "permission slips" to drive, but as universally accepted I.D.

So, the "Real I.D." bill attempts to make drivers' licenses, well, "real I.D.'s". To comply with this bill, states would have to make sure that people are who they say they are when applying for a license. The cards themselves would have to meet the bill's minimum standards for data contained in a machine-readable code.

If the state doesn't comply, then those citizens would not be able use their driver's license as acceptable ID for federal purposes, including boarding a plane. Inconvenient, to be sure.

But I'm not sure if this is a case where we should let the federal government make the states roll over. Nobody talks about federal "power grabs" anymore, but this is what the "Real I.D." bill appears to be. If there's one thing we've learned about government, or should have learned, it's that there are no limits to its desire for information, regulation, and control.

Now, if you ask me about the Wisconsin Photo ID bill for voting -- I'm all for it. It's local, it's sensible, and it doesn't launch a new set of databases and privacy issues.

But a federally mandated "Real I.D." bill, with perhaps unlimited data contained on the card, edging toward a national I.D. card -- I'm not so sure.

The good, sensible, law-abiding conservative in me wants to say this is a good thing.

But the libertarian in me is starting to rebel.

One commenter here, who's in favor of a national ID card, said,
"The government, if they so choose, can find out anything they want about you. Accept it as fact and don't do anything stupid to become a target of their investigation."

I can't imagine any quicker way to lose our liberty than to follow that formula. The problem, of course, is that it's the government that gets to determine what is "stupid". Today, I don't do anything stupid (well, by government standards, that is).

But what if tomorrow -- perhaps a distant tomorrow -- the government decides that belonging to a peaceful pro-life group is "stupid". Or owning a gun is "stupid". Or assembling with others to protest a law or court order is "stupid". Or blogging is "stupid".

Having a national ID card, or a fascimile of one, could just quicken the process by which the government identifies and locates individuals they've decided are behaving badly.

I don't want to go there.

Senator Fitzgerald on how dangerous Doyle's budget is

Senator Scott Fitzgerald was on the Charlie Sykes show today to discuss the huge deficit Wisconsin will be running. Charlie teased us, but we discovered that the paper buried this fact in the 13th paragraph of a story buried deep inside of the paper. We learn just how dangerous Doyle and his budget are for Wisconsin and how the paper refuse to cover it! We will have a $1.8 Billion deficit but the paper won't report this because of their bias towards Doyle.

This is really important information, here is the audio.

Sykes is comparing this to the Ament pension scandal, I agree. This is something that all Wisconsinites need to pay attention to!

Is There Choice In Education?

Often I have seen it argued by those who are employed by the government education system (and to the purely ignorant) that those of us who are critical of the system should simply exercise choice and pick a charter school or a private school. Choice, they say, is readily apparent and they don't understand when people continuously argue for choice in education. So, for clarity on this blog I would once and for all like to set the record straight.

Read more »

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Not all pictures are created equal

I'm not going to fisk this entire editorial, but I'll address the primary points.

First, we have this tired old argument:

A photo ID requirement for voting - which the Assembly has approved and the Senate is weighing - is premature. Lawmakers should learn first whether identification fraud is a real problem at the polls - an issue investigations now under way promise to clarify.

No, identification fraud hasn't been proven, nor can it ever be proven. If voters do not currently have to prove their identity, how is it possible to prove identification fraud? The only way to prove identification fraud it to match someone who voted under a false identity with an individual ballot. Since we do not require voters to provide proof of their identity, and the ballots are secret, it is not possible to prove identification fraud unless it was caught at the time of voting. Since that time is past, identification fraud will never be proven in the last election.

What we can look at is a preponderance of the evidence. We have thousands more votes than we have voters, which indicates that people may have voted more than once. We have well over a thousand same-day registration forms for which no voter can be verified, indication than many people may have provided false identification. There are many indications that massive voter fraud took place in Wisconsin, but it will never be proven to a certainty.

The editors have set an impossible, and unreasonable, standard for agreeing with the voter ID bill.

Next, they have this to say:

Under the bill in the Legislature, lack of a prescribed ID card would bar you from voting. In contrast, under the library rule, lack of a photo ID card doesn't bar you from checking out books or compact discs or movies. A library attendant simply snaps your picture, which will pop up with your information on a computer screen each time you use your library card.

The library rule may be convenient, but IT DOESN'T PROVE YOUR IDENTITY! The whole purpose of the voter ID bill is that people will have to prove who they are before casting a ballot. If I show up at the polls and say that I'm Brian Jablonski, how does snapping my picture prove that?

It doesn't.

Unless the snapping of a picture involves proving your identity in some other fashion, like a birth certificate, then it is a meaningless gesture that only drives up the cost of elections.

The editors at the MJS are struggling to support the Democrats in opposing the voter ID bill. If they wanted to look like asses... they succeeded.

(Cross-posted @ Boots & Sabers)

Blogroll Correction

The link to BadgerPundit has been corrected.

The iPod Tax

Governor Doyle may be trying to pass off his budget as a "no new taxes" plan, but hidden away in his budget is at least one sneaky provision -- to tax internet downloads.

Gov. Jim Doyle wants you to pay Wisconsin's 5% sales tax whenever you pay to download a song, book, movie or piece of art.

A little-noticed provision of the Democratic governor's proposed state budget would extend the sales tax to those Internet transactions, officials said Monday. There would be no Internet sales tax police, however, because compliance would be on the honor system.

It's a matter of equity, said state Revenue Secretary Mike Morgan, defending Doyle's goal of having consumers voluntarily pay the sales tax on "intangible" items they buy and download from the Internet. Buyers would have to pay the 5% sales tax if they purchased those items at any Wisconsin store.

It's not exactly clear how you purchase these "intangibles" at any Wisconsin store. I don't know of any "brick and mortar" download emporiums.

Rep. Scott Jensen called the Governor's plan the "iPod Tax" and vowed to "delete" it.

Interestingly, those who do the most downloading are likely to be young people. If Democrats like Gov. Doyle are really chasing after the youth vote, the last thing they'll want to do is alienate them by taxing one of their most cherished activities.

Besides, . . . Doyle's budget is already alienating them:

Some University of Wisconsin-Madison students, staging a hunger strike in the Capitol to protest tuition increases, said they should not be asked to pay the sales tax on any music, movie or other materials they download from the Internet. They noted that Doyle's budget would increase in-state undergraduate tuition next year by 5% to 7%.

I'm unable to listen to Charlie Sykes' radio program, but apparently he was discussing the issue today. A friend wrote to tell me that during the program, a caller complaining of the "iPod Tax" responded that it made him so mad he wanted to write a new School House Rock song about it.

You even had the nerve to tax my MP3.
I've got to tell you, Doyle, I really don't agree.

It's just a bill, . . . yes, it's only a bill . . .

Sykes has a bit more on Gov. Doyle's budget, including this link to the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute's report on the $1.9 Billion deficit in Doyle's "balanced" budget.

Wisconsin Prolife Legislation

Below is a list of the prolife bills that I could find that are before the Wisconsin legislature this year.

Abortion Provider Fund Limitation Bill SB-72 and AB-142 : This bill keeps abortion providers from receiving any public funds. Public funds are already restricted from use in most cases to fund abortions, and this bill would further limit abortion committing organizations from receiving any public funds. Since when did most people in Wisconsin really want to fund with tax dollars Planned Barrenhood's every activity except abortion so that they can funnel more of their funds towards abortion? This bill makes a clear distinction between organizations that commit abortions and those that are out there for the health and safety of mother, father, and child.

Conscience Clause Bill -Circulating for Sponsorship: Neil Noesen's case demonstrates all too clearly why we need this bill which enables medical professionals including pharmacists "the right to refuse to perform certain services based on a violation of personal beliefs or values." This last Sunday I was talking to a friend of mine who is a pharmacist who's concern went beyond birth control. Some drugs he just will not carry becuase he feels they are too dangerous. Aren't pharmacist just being responsible when they adhere to such practices?

Wrongful Birth Bill SB-79: "This bill prohibits the recovery of damages from a person in a wrongful birth or wrongful life action if the damages resulted from a condition that existed at the time of the child's birth and the defendants negligence contributed to the mother's decision not to undergo an abortion."

Parental Notification Bill SB-97 "This bill makes various changes to the law that requires an unemancipated minor to obtain parental or other consent or a judicial waiver of that consent requirement before she may have an abortion....This bill eliminates the authority of an adult family member, a foster parent, a treatment foster parent, or a parent who does not have legal custody of an unemancipated minor to consent to an abortion for the minor."

This list comprises an active front on combating abortion.

Tom Reynolds who is a champion for the preborn is right in the middle of getting these bills put forward. I also noticed that Grothman (who defeated Mary Panzer in a primary) has come through with what he talked about in his race and been very active in these prolife bills. Great going guys!

Voluntary Exchange or Exploitation?

Minimum wage is being discussed everywhere. At the Federal, State, and even city levels. To examine exactly what 'minimum wage' means, we first need to abstract it to its economic context. We need to pull out our 'Economics 101' book. We have at least three classifications of behavior can be called economic behavior. We have production, consumption, and exchange.

Production is any behavior that creates a commodity or service, that is, raises the want-satisfying capacity of something. We have factory that assembles electronic components and offers them to retailers for sale. Production also includes changing the spatial characteristics of the produced goods. What good is a bushel of ripe tomatoes sitting in California if someone from Wisconsin? The middleman or wholesaler changes the spatial characteristics of the tomatoes by moving them to where people have the capacity to enjoy them if they so choose to purchase thereby raising the want-satisfying capacity.

Consumption is easy. Consumption is simply the reduction of the want-satisfying capacity of something. When I eat a pizza, I reduce its want-satisfying capacity. When I rent a movie, I reduce its capacity to satisfy wants. Read more »

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Around the horn, 3/6/05

Since we have a baseball related title, let's start with a baseball related post. Lakeshore Laments takes a look at whether the Brewers will be able to hold onto Ben Sheets.

Stand in the Trenches commends the Tampa Tribune for their coverage of the Terri Sciavo case.

does a little photo blogging on a 57 degree day in Madison.

Dummocrats is inspired by the University of Illinois basketball team to ruminate on perfection.

Head on over to Musings of a Thoughtful Conservative for his Sixth installment of "Why we need TABOR".

Sanity in the Mad City discusses why it isn't a good idea to blog about your job (see also "getting Dooced")

Vista on Current Events tells ANWR may be opened up to oil well drilling via a budget reconcilliation.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Badger Blog Alliance update

After a couple of weeks of spending my evenings playing with the template for the Badger Blog Alliance, I had to take some time off of template changes. I was dreaming code. Over the next couple of weeks, I'll be tinkering with the template again in order to give all of our readers a feature rich sidebar. Today I've added Wisconsin headlines and a Technorati search. I am also going to be working on our various blogrolls, adding some sites as well as defining each blogroll a little better. FEEDBACK IS VERY WELCOME! If you have any troubles with any of these changes, let me know. Also, if there is something you'd like to see added, tell me about.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Progress In Iraqi Security With New Force Graduates

The Iraqi Police graduated 27 S.W.A.T. officers raising the total number trained to date 183.
There were another 292 police officers that have completed specialty courses.
The courses consist of Kidnapping Investigations with 27 graduates, Basic Criminal nvestigations with 63 graduates, Interview & Interrogations with 41 graduates, Organized Crime Investigations with 58 graduates, Incident Command System with 32 graduates, Internal Controls with 44 graduates, and Executive Leadership with 27 graduates.

Iraqi Police
graduated 72 more police officers from the Emergency Response Unit (EMU), bringing the total trained in EMU to 416.

The ERU provides a national level, high-end, rapid response law enforcement tactical unit responsible for high-risk arrest, hostage rescue and explosive ordnance disposal.
With three companies currently operational, ERU has conducted a number of successful missions on national level anti-Iraqi force targets, provided support to other Iraqi Ministry of Interior forces, participated in combat operations in Fallujah and ongoing counterinsurgency operations.

And theres this from last week...

Iraqi Army and Task Force Baghdad Soldiers detained four suspected terrorists and seize multiple weapons in overnight and early-morning raids Feb. 26. Read more...

Soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division detained four local nationals late Feb. 25 in western Baghdad after observing the individuals driving suspiciously in a white vehicle. Read more...
Cross Posted at Brainpost

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Condolences to the Feingold family

The BBA would like to extend condolences to Russ Feingold and his family at the loss of Russ's mother Sylvia. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Senator and his family.

Analogy - Bear with Me

The Property Tax Beast

Just wondering, but who of these two wants to really play "St. George" and slay the real dragon: Government Spending.

Yet another reason to never vote for Feingold, McCain

Do you blog? Do you enjoy reading blogs? Did you enjoy the free speech that surrounded the 2004 election? Well, if your fed'ral gubmint has its way, look back on 2004 with nostalgia, because in 2006 or 2008, the political speech of bloggers will be regulated by the feds. (HT Instapundit). That's right, that campaign finance law that so many cheered as the way to clean up political speech is probably now going to extend to the blogosphere. Something as innocuous as reproducing a press release or a hyperlink could potentially earn bloggers fines in the future.

Blogging is the ultimate in grass roots political speech. Grass roots political speech is also a rough and tumble lot. While everyone is out trying to protect the free speech of the Ward Churchill's of the world (who hasn't had his right to free speech infringed upon yet), the feds will be putting a gag on blogs, right before your eyes.

(Cross posted at Jiblog)

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Public hearings on Photo ID bill in WI

Just got an email from my State Senator, Mary Lazich, saying that hearings have been scheduled around the state on the Photo ID bill (AB63 and SB42).

I called Senator Lazich's office to request the complete schedule so I could post it here; within 20 seconds I had an email with the link in my inbox. Now that's prompt!

From Sen. Lazich's email to constituents:
"You may fill out a hearing slip and speak at the public hearings or you may fill out a slip registering in favor but not wishing to speak. ... I encourage you and others to stop by [the nearest hearing location] that day and testify or register in favor without speaking. I hope the committee record will reflect a large number of supporters. I encourage you and others to also contact the Governor and ask that he sign the bill, rather than veto the bill."
Here's a list of the hearings as scheduled:

  • Thursday, March 3, 2005, 1:00 PM: Altoona Emergency Services Building, Training Room, 1904 Spooner Avenue, Altoona, WI

  • Monday, March 7, 2005, 1:00 PM: Brown County Public Library Meeting Room, 515 Pine Street, Green Bay, WI

  • Monday, March 21, 2005, 5:30 PM: Racine Case High School Auditorium, 7345 Washington Avenue, Racine, WI

  • Tuesday, March 22, 2005, 12:00 PM: Tommy G. Thompson Youth Center, Ballroom Two, State Fair Park, West Allis, WI
  • Here's the Governor's contact info:
    Office of the Governor
    115 East State Capitol
    Madison, WI 53702
    608-266-1212; 608-267-8983 (FAX)

    Or email him here.
    I hope to get to the hearing at State Fair (which is scheduled to run till 6:00 p.m.)

    If you're interested in election reform, here's your chance to do something about it.

    Tuesday, March 01, 2005

    In case you missed Mr. Churchill, I will give you my take on the Ward Churchill speech.

    I only heard the middle portion of the speech as the audio cut in and out and because of more important "life things" going on.

    Mr. Churchill spoke in a relatively calm manner throughout the schpeel.

    The audience only really applauded once that I heard. I did not hear the beginning 1/4 or the last 1/4 of his talk, but I imagine he received more applause at the end.

    His speech started with a 'shout out' (my term, not his) to Leonard Pelltier, a native American serving time, I'm sure in his mind unjustly, for killing two FBI agents.

    He went on to describe how he has published something like 21 books, and how of all his speeches, of all the papers he has written, how the one phrase "little eichmans" has been taken out of the context of his intended larger message, which from what I heard, is that America's foreign policy and dealings with native Americans has lead to policy of hatred toward the U.S. and that we were responsible for the hatred.

    He continued with a litany of 'what's wrong with America', how they have mistreated specifically the American Indian. How the Dutch basically stole Manhattan from the natives for their early trading desires. There was more, basically just touching on the plight of the American Indians.

    He took a shot at Bill O'Reilly, criticizing him for claiming he was taking taxpayer money for his 40 or so speeches. From what I understand, the speech will cost the public around a total of $4,000 as there was costs associated with setting up for the talk, security, etc.

    I believe that he received something along the lines of $1,000 from speaking tonight, the entire amount coming from the University, which gets it's money from student fees.

    Coverage and pictures of the events can be seen here, here, here, and here.

    I'm sure the U. of Whitewater may have something up soon. It appears their website is down. Keep trying. I'm sure someone will have the audio up in the next day or so as well. I do think we need to put Mr. Churchill on suicide watch though. He seems quite miserable. - cross posted at Brainpost


    I just learned from Blog General that WISN broadcast the speech live. Doh! All of you who tuned in now know more about the speech itself than a guy who was there.

    Churchill coverage

    To all of the Badger Blog Alliance's readers, I apologize. My coverage of the pre-speech events at UW Whitewater is over at Jiblog. The photo blogging was just too time consuming with my dial up connection. Head over there, and head over to The American Mind, where Sean has one post up already and will have even more up in a little while when he gets home.

    Here's a brief summary. There were two distinct groups which formed at the end of the campus mall. The larger of the two groups was there for the candle light vigil for 9-11 victims. The smaller, older group was demonstrating on behalf of Ward Churchill. This smaller group was very vocal and did their best to disrupt the prayer vigil. Charlie Sykes and Steve Nass did a great job of keeping the vigil on task despite the fact that they were plagued with a poor sound system. A couple of vocal spats occurred between the two groups, but everyone did a good job of keeping it from escalating beyond that. Sean and I were going to try to live blog the cable broadcast of the speech, but it did not begin until 9:30.

    UWW tonight

    Sean and I will be at the University of Wisconsin Whitewater tonight covering the events surrounding the Ward Churchill speech. I encourage all Wisconsin bloggers and blog readers who can make it to turn out for the College Republicans' 6 pm candlelight prayer vigil for 9-11 victims, which 620 WTMJ's Charlie Sykes will emcee. If you plan on being there, leave a comment here.

    Blog coverage of the event will likely not occur until a little later in the evening. Sean and I are hoping that we'll be able to get an internet connection while on campus, but it isn't certain that we will.