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Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Da Bomb

I'd like a dollar for every Guide visitor who came looking for this post. It's quickly superceded Barbie's Bad Influence as the blog favorite (?).

That, together with the rise in Saudi-originated readers here, the pathetic excuse for a dander at Vinnie's, and the more risible boycott by Kuwait and the Saudis, has me posting the controversial image at left.

The freedom of speech blogburst is on.

Why should you care? How about a case study:

Islam is no laughing matter. The Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten is being protected by security guards and several cartoonists have gone into hiding after the newspaper published a series of twelve cartoons (see them all here, halfway the article) about the prophet Muhammad. According to the Islam it is blasphemous to make images of the prophet. Muslim fundamentalists have threatened to bomb the paper’s offices and kill the cartoonists.

The newspaper published the cartoons when a Danish author complained that he could find no-one to illustrate his book about Muhammad. Jyllands-Posten wondered whether there were more cases of self-censorship regarding Islam in Denmark and asked twelve illustrators to draw the prophet for them. Carsten Juste, the paper’s editor, said the cartoons were a test of whether the threat of Islamic terrorism had limited the freedom of expression in Denmark.

The publication led to outrage among the Muslim immigrants living in Denmark. 5,000 of them took to the streets to protest. Muslim organisations have demanded an apology, but Juste rejects this idea: “We live in a democracy. That’s why we can use all the journalistic methods we want to. Satire is accepted in this country, and you can make caricatures,” he said. The Danish imam Raed Hlayhel reacted with the statement: “This type of democracy is worthless for Muslims. Muslims will never accept this kind of humiliation. The article has insulted every Muslim in the world.”

I believe Mr. Juste has received a response to his test. Along with the rest of the world, he is also disabused of the notion that a free democracy is of interest to Islamics.

But that would never happen in America. Or England. Or France.

Never let it be said that we were afraid to fight the good fight. And don't forget, show your support and stock up on Danish goods today! Mmmm, red clogs and liver pate.


A double victory for Conservatives today

Hello everyone you really need to change the locks here lol.:)

Just a quick thought about Judge Alito becoming Justice Alito today. This is a double victory for Conservatives something that is being forgotten now that one of our goals are being fulfilled, is our first victory in this fight when we stood up to our President and helped to get the Harriet Miers nomination withdrawn. Think how poor that nomination looks now that Judge Alito is hours away from being put on the SCOTUS and we were able to stop it.

All of our Hard Work since 1994 has finally paid off Congratulations to you all for your part in this victory no matter how large or small your role was it mattered.


Monday, January 30, 2006

Oh yeah! Our paper sucks worse than your paper.

Peter and I are beating up The Racine Journal Times today.

They deserve it.

Support the Danes!

Sometime ago I noted a little cartoon contest sponsored by a Danish newspaper. The goal was to depict the Prophet Mohammed in a cartoon. Some cartoons were respectful some not. Either way it was bound and did offend Islamic sensibilities. Now, Saudia Arabia and Kuwait are boycotting Danish goods and yes there are all sorts of threats to bomb Denmark ala Spain and the UK.

Well Michael Ledeen and Little Green Footballs are urging us all to fight back.

From The Corner:
Well, we can and should. In fact the idea immediately occurred to the readers of Charles of LGF who was kind enough to post the news about the Saudi boycott on his popular site. They recommended you buy not only the always delicious Danish butter cookies but also:

Danish Havarti cheese
Carlberg and Tuborg Beers.
Arla owns White Clover Dairy, a Wisconsin company, so buy that brand. [emphasis added]
Danish hams... baby back ribs, because they come from Denmark.
You shop online at The Danish Foodshop.

Wish I would have known this yesterday. The Empress and I went to the local grocery to restock our barren fridge and a block of baby swiss was on the list (Reubens, yummy!), I bought Steve's Cheese (as is usual) but had I known about the above it would have been White Clover cheese.

See here for more information.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Back and the Teeth of the Border Agents.

After long and arduous flights (the Manila-Nagoya leg was spent in business class) the Empress and I are safely back in Appleton.

Anyway the Empress and I were pulled aside by the border agents for a little extra scrutiny (she had her current green card and her previous and expired card with her that was the trouble), but it was only big enough of a deal to make us sit and wait for about 30-40 minutes at least enough time to cause us to miss our onward leg back here to Appleton (it really didn't seem to me it should have taken that long to decide to hold the expired card and stamp her through).

We were not the only ones waiting. A fellow who looked like he was Indian was having a hard time of it. I heard the Border agent he was working with ask the Indian fellow "What finally made you decide to be honest with me", the agent had him spell his wife's name twice and noted the spellings were not identical. I thought pointing out transliterating non-Latin alphabets is not a simple matter and how I had seen often when teaching in the UAE, but decided the agent knew that and would not want to be bothered hearing it from me (not to mention my state at their mercy). I don't exactly know what was going on but am glad I wasn't involved. Another fellow had his bags pulled in and an agent gloved up and went through the man's bags in great detail. It appeared by the time we were leaving the man whose bags were being thouroughly inspected was repacking and was not in any sort of trouble.

I am confident our border agents are doing their jobs but the problem is there just isn't enough of them.


If there was any more proof needed that Milwaukee County DA E. Michael McCann didn't want to prosecute the thugs who slashed tires on the vans rented by the Republican Party of Wisconsin to get voters to the polls on Election Day 2004, the text of a letter sent to McCann by one of the jurors should suffice.

The juror, serving on a jury for the first time, walked away disillusioned at best with the process. With the jury at 9-3 in favor of conviction and moving toward a unanimous verdict, McCann pulled the rug out from under them.

Here is the text of the letter sent to McCann as read by Mark Belling on his Friday afternoon radio show:

Dear E. Michael McCann,

My name is (BLANK). I was one of the 12 jurors on the tire-slashing case. After just turning 18 this past summer, I was very honored to be summoned for jury duty on such a high-profile case. I feel that serving on a jury is one of my fundamental rights as a U.S. citizen. The experience has left me totally disgusted with our justice system in Milwaukee. I endured a lot of personal sacrifice to serve on this jury as the spring semester of college started in the middle of the case, so now I'm behind in my classes.

I was shocked that after only 7 1/2 hours of deliberation, the case was taken out of our hands by you and plea-bargained away. When we began deliberation, it was 7-5 favoring not guilty; but by the time we handed the judge the note stating that we were hung, the vote was 9-3 favoring guilty to being party to a crime.

What ever happened to sequestering a jury? I feel you never gave us the chance to deliberate properly. I feel the plea bargain you gave these individuals is a total travesty of justice, and I hope you have trouble sleeping at night thinking what crimes these individuals will do next.

This cross-posted at Texas Hold 'Em Blogger.

A Ban on Homophobia?

A big thank you to the conservative sympathizer within the UW administration (I know, I was surprised he exists too) who alerted me to this news.

Of course, I have seen absolutely nothing about it in the mainstream media.

The European Union has unanimously approved a resolution banning "homophobia."

The resolution, called "Homophobia in Europe," defines homophobia as "an irrational fear and aversion of homosexuality and of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people based on prejudice, similar to racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, sexism." It calls for action against member states that do not implement programs directed at fair treatment of homosexuals in employment and occupation. It also seeks to "ensure that same-sex partners enjoy the same respect, dignity and protection as the rest of society."

The "Homophobia in Europe" resolution was passed by a vote of 468-149; there were 41 abstentions.

The European Union has, essentially, banned homophobia within its member states, and will "take action against member states" who don't immediately comply.

Even members of the Union saw this resolution as fruitless.

Polish MEP Konrad Szymanski called the debate a "waste of time." "Member states have their legal instruments to protect the rights of their citizens, and there is no need to organise some sort of union to protect homosexuals, as it would - quite on the contrary - undermine European integration," he said.

Franco Frattini, EU commissioner for justice, freedom and security riled homosexual activists when he suggested that a resolution was unnecessary. He argued that the European Community already has the power to prosecute hatred against homosexuals through Article 13 of its Treaty on discrimination.

However, they charged ahead.

A gay-rights group already shows what it plans on forcing with this resolution:

  • Poland closed the nation's equality body, which dealt with various forms of discrimination including on the grounds of sexual orientation.
  • Latvia remains the only EU member state, which despite the requirement of the EU Employment Equality Directive did not explicitly ban sexual orientation discrimination in employment and has now amended its constitution to ban same-sex marriage. A similar proposal is being debated in Lithuania.

They will force governments to have bureaucracies especially devoted to working on discrimination complaints based on homosexuality. They will use this to fight against individual members' bans on same-sex members.

Unfortunately, I wish I could say this egregious behavior by the European Union could be limited to that parliament. However, today in the United States, many judges, even Supreme Court justices, and lawmakers think that international law should be a source or a guide for United States statutes and constitutional interpretations.

As Ruth Bader Ginsburg said most famously just last year,

If U. S. experience and decisions can be instructive to systems that have more recently instituted or invigorated judicial review for constitutionality, so we can learn from others now engaged in measuring ordinary laws and executive actions against charters securing basic rights.


The U. S. judicial system will be the poorer, I believe, if we do not both share our experience with, and learn from, legal systems with values and a commitment to democracy similar to our own.

It is not so hard to believe that certain people within the United States will attempt to follow the European Union's lead, or that certain judges will see this as a way to write things into the constitution which do not exist.

This has huge implications for the freedom of speech. It is one thing to ban discrimination against homosexuals. It is something completely different to ban homophobia. In the United States, we have laws banning discrimination based on age, race, gender, religion and a variety of other reasons.

We do not, however, have laws banning agism, racism, sexism, or anti-Semitism, anti-Lutheranism, or anything of its ilk. The latter crosses into free speech. We may not like it, but it is within one's right to free speech to be racist or sexist.

There is a huge difference between banning discrimination and banning homophobia, or the right to free speech. In banning "homophobia", the European Union crossed the line into infringing upon one's free speech. In Article 10 of the EU Convention on Human Rights, it reads,

Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers.

If the European Union can infringe upon free speech for the sake of banning homophobia, what will stop Americans who so strongly believe in following an international model?

As much as I believe this resolution passed by the European Union was reprehensible for free speech and freedom to practice religion, and as much as I wish it would be limited to members of the European Union, I know the high esteem in which some members of the United States hold the European Union and its actions. Is it at all hard to believe that one day, this may encroach upon our borders?

(Cross-posted at Right off the Shore)

Friday, January 27, 2006

Racine Deomcrats Scammed by the State Democratic Party!

Apparently the Union Takeover by Kurt-Vlach of the Racine County Democratic party was against the bylaws in force. The State Party knew about it and kept quiet until it was too late to protest the election.


I am Making a Decree

(No Jib, the coup is not Lance and I have that planned for when you least expect it.)

I have a degree in Marketing from UW-Eau Claire, which really has limited applications to my current job, but it causes me to do all sorts of strange things at times. Comment on how good (or bad) a commercial was, or storyboard an entire "This is SportsCenter" commercial I someday hope to pitch to ESPN are just some of these side effects.

But most of the time I just think up 'cute' catch phrases for either products, happenings, things I ponder (and boy do I ponder), whatever.

Here's what I was thinking. You know how the insane amount of traffic one gets from being linked to Glenn Reynolds, the InstaPundit, is called an "Instalanche." Well, I'm sure all of have seen similar effects for whenever one of us is linked to by Charlie Sykes on his blog.

So, in keeping with the spirit of alliteration that I seem to love so much (My blog is named Lakeshore Laments after all.), I think a neat name for when Charlie links to one of us and we get insane amount of traffic due to that link be called, (drumroll please)...

"A Sykes Spike."

Think about it, you look at your hits after a hard day of blogging and you see a 'spike' in your numbers all of a sudden. You see that Charlie 'Sykes' has linked to you. A Sykes Spike.

I for one like the term, and will use the term. Feel free to give your thoughts on it.

Now, where was I, oh yes....BRAINS!

Jonah Goldberg appearance in Madison

National Review's Jonah Goldberg will be speaking at Grainger Hall at UW Madison next Wednesday, February 1 (HT: Althouse). CFACT is sponsoring his appearance and it will be open to the public. If you are going to be in or near Madison next Wednesday, I recommend the speech. From what I hear, Goldberg is an entertaining and interesting public speaker.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Less Than 24 Hours

From now will the Empress and I be boarding a big 747 bound for Nagoya Japan and then Detroit MI (from there a small two engine turbo prop). By the history of those who went before us being delayed is a distinct possibility. The husband and children of my sister in law were delayed in Japan for over 24 hours due to snow and Augustus and Adria were also stuck in Japan. We will see.

The vacation was nice but hectic and at times uncomfortable. We were not on the 5 star package and stayed with family in Cebu which most Americans describe as roughing it. My sis-in-law here in Metro-Manila has quite nice digs.

As with most such vacations they can be more hectic and stress inducing than work. However, now that is nearing an end I am sad. My wife's family is wonderful and there are a few things on my list still unchecked. Oh well, motivation to start planning and saving for the next trip.

Commemorating Bad Teachers

Only in Madison.

Tonight, in our beloved republic, the unionized teachers are remembering their strike from thirty years ago with a "30th strike anniversary party."

In January, 1976, the teachers refused to do what they are supposed to do: teach children.

Instead, for two weeks, they refused to allow the children in Madison public schools to receive an education, and defiantly "stood up to the school board."

The recollection of this event seems quite different.

Union boss John Matthews said, "It was a good move, and a reasonable response to a board that was out of touch and that had moved too far to the right for Madison.* People like Dick Kopp and Doug Onsager weren't interested in settling a contract. They were determined to show the union who was the boss and who was the employee," Matthews said."

*Just so we're clear, "too far to the right for Madison" is Che Guevara.

Former school board member Nancy Harper says, "It was an illegal strike and I don't think they accomplished very much."

I'm inclined to agree with Harper. Based on the fact that the rest of this Cap Times article is a lovefest for Matthews, I have a feeling he is a symbol for what's wrong with our schools today.

Former mayor Paul Soglin, who was leading Madison at the time, includes a telling quote on how the left feels about education: "All studies have shown us that there are three variables that affect the quality of education. They include money, which translates to classroom size; the quality of the faculty; and parental involvement. John has certainly contributed to not only the well-being of his union members but to advancing those three factors."

Money is first. (Which, by the way does NOT translate to classroom size.)

Not the quality of the teacher, but money. Like I noted here, throwing money at schools does not work.

However, what Soglin and the entire left does not say is that the money they lobby Doyle and the Dems so hard for doesn't go to the schools, or to educating children, but into the control of WEAC.

It's sad to see Madison remember this pathetic event so fondly.

(Cross-posted at Right off the Shore)

Social Security and Rep. Ryan

Wisconsin's Rep. Paul Ryan gets some props on Townhall, as does Social Security reform:

Will the next president save Social Security? by Terence Jeffrey:

Under Ryan-Sununu, after a lifetime of paying taxes, the worker would be a free man, not a ward of the government. He would own and control his own retirement funds. The government (and younger taxpayers), on the other hand, would be free from the burden of underwriting Social Security.

This is not a pie-in-the-sky scheme. In an April 20 report, Social Security Chief Actuary Steve Goss determined that under Ryan-Sununu 'the Social Security program would be expected to be solvent and to meet its benefit obligations throughout the long-range period 2004 through 2078 and beyond.'

Side issue: what exactly is "props" and did I use it correctly in a sentence?

Welcome Jenna

I'd like to welcome Jenna from Right off the Shore as a posting member of the BBA. Jenna is one of the excellent conservatives voices in the Badgersphere that have come out of UW in the last year plus. I'm looking forward to her participation at the BBA.

At the same time, I'd like to thank Mary-Eileen for her great participation here at the BBA. Mary-Eileen, as soon as you get back into blogging again, I hope you'll join us here again.

Wisconsin to America: All Your Base Are Belong to Us

In a bold move, the cheese state seeks to strike a blow to the US military war machine. Metaphorically speaking.
The grass-roots debate [about the war in Iraq], though, is gaining focus and momentum in La Crosse and at least 19 other communities where voters will be asked April 4 whether the United States should bring the troops home now.

And they're as serious as a cheese-induced, artery-clogged heart attack.

The results, of course, will carry no force of law. But successful local petitions to put the question on ballots around Wisconsin have given the issue added political currency, months ahead of the midterm congressional elections in November.

The move to put the troop measure to voters in La Crosse, Madison and other communities is "really aimed at the Wisconsin congressional delegation," said Steve Burns of the Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice, which has coordinated the signature-gathering with the Wisconsin Green Party.

Okay, so maybe their aim isn't too good. Now, if it were an eight-point buck, well, that'd be different.


The Left's moral responsibility on Iraq

I respect those who think the Iraq War was a bad decision. Noted liberal scholar Alan Dershowitz got it right when he said that going to war was a tough decision either way based on what we knew at that time. While he disagreed in the end, he said that it was a 51-49 disagreement. Anyone who felt going to war was a ludicrous decision, according to Dershowitz, just isn't being fair or thinking deeply enough about it. I share his analysis, though after much pondering, I came to support President Bush's decision.

The question now is what must happen with Iraq. Our nation was clearly divided about going to war, but surely we can agree that winning now is imperative. It is particularly critical to the long term credibility of America and for American confidence in our military capabilities. Moreover, if President Bush is right about the transformational power of a constitutional democracy, a stable and democratic Iraq is critical for Iraqis, critical for peace in the Middle East, and critical in our larger War on Terror.

In light of this, I am exceedingly troubled by the Left's rhetoric about the war. I believe and know many of my liberal friends to be sincere in their convictions. I do not question their love for our country, and I do not believe they would knowingly and intentionally act in ways that would hurt America.

With that said, I believe they are hurting America, and hurting it badly. I do not believe many on the Left understand the international and long-term implications of their words and actions. Many are so caught up in hatred of Bush and the GOP that they would almost prefer to see failure in Iraq and rejoice at the "incompetent" Bush administration than to see us succeed. This both saddens and angers me.

Osama Bin Laden's recent message to the world was a stark reminder that we have an enemy who hates us and would love to see more innocent Americans die. One of Bin Laden's weapons is public opinion. He and the Iraqi insurgents (i.e.-terrorists who slaughter their own people) are trying convince unstable Muslims that we have bad motives, and that we are losing in Iraq. The more he can convince them that they are winning and that America will lose its resolve, the more young radicals will sign up to slaughter and be slaughtered. The more they are convinced of our bad motives, the more they will fight with passion and recruit their friends. In other words, the message to the young Middle East radicals is that we went to Iraq for some nefarious reason and that we are losing and losing our will in Iraq. This creates more terrorists, which means more Americans will die.

In what disappoints me to no end, I must confess that this is the exact same message we hear over and over and over and over again from the NY Times, the "peace" activists, Daily Kos, Dick Durbin, John Kerry, and the rest of the liberal crowd. Make no mistake about it, these messages are sent around the world and heard by young Muslims who are fertile for seduction into a life of terror. I fear that Democrats are so frustrated about their lack of power that they are jeopardizing America and American lives by viewing the world through dark and unwaveringly partisan glasses.

If American and world attitudes toward the war are crucial to effective implementation and eventual victory, then Americans have a moral responsibility to shape this attitude in a way that is positive. This does not mean that we should refrain from asking questions or calling our President to be more effective in Iraqi democracy-building. But it does mean that if Democrats really support our troops, if they really believe in a strong America that is looked up to in the world, they will spend a vast majority of their time discussing the war actually promoting the effort here at home and abroad. And they should spend a distinct minority of their time criticizing the implementation of the war.

As I see it, the Left has two options. One option is to continue to oppose the war, even though this doesn't seem to accomplish much. The person choosing this option must, as Dennis Prager rightly argues and one LA Times columnist recently admitted, confess that they do not support our troops. The other option is to say, "I did not support the war to begin with, but now we are there. I wholeheartedly want to see us win this war more than I want to see a Democratic President in 2008. I will work to support our troops and ensure that we have a healthy Iraqi Democracy when we leave."

So let me challenge those of you on the Left who love America and wish to see freedom blossom in Iraq. Will you please, because of your love for peace, work to shape public and world opinion on the war in our favor? Will you please not have a Dana Carvey-ish knee-jerk "No!" every time our President speaks about the war? Whether or not we should have gone to war is completely and utterly irrelevant now. If you will not take up this challenge, I fear that your actions and words will continue to inspire the recruitment of more civilian-killing "freedom fighters", more of our troops will die, our enemy will increase their resolve, America may lose its resolve, and our country will, at the end of the day, be significantly worse off.

Judge Cashman changes sentence

For those who have not heard this, there has been a large uproar in regards to a Vermont Judge sentencing a child rapist to 60 days in jail. (the reason: treatment is more important than punsihment)

Today Judge Cashman called a do-over and changed the sentence to 3 to 10 years.

I would like to point out that former Survivor winner Richard Hatch is facing up to 13 years for tax evasion.

So, up to 13 years for not paying your taxes, up to 10 years for repeatedly raping a 7 year old child.

Is it me or is there something wrong with this?

Questions for Russ

I'm looking for suggestions on what to ask Sen. Feingold at Friday's listening session. I've been reading Brian Anderson's piece on stifling right-wing speech and am steamed. But I'm looking for other questions.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Doyle Speaks!!

But not on what we want to hear him about.

Governor Jim Doyle today announced he is awarding $114,500 in federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) funds to the Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault (WCASA). The grant will be used by WCASA to provide technical assistance, training, support and information to sexual assault service providers and members of the general public working to end sexual violence in Wisconsin.

"Sexual violence continues to be a tragic crime against Wisconsin's neighborhoods and communities," said Governor Doyle. "Sexual violence affects everyone - from Wisconsin citizens who see rising heath and law enforcement costs; to employers, friends, and family members of victims; to the traumatized victims themselves. This grant will help to fight the battle against heinous crimes of sexual violence."

Funding from this grant supports the annual Training Institute, bringing a multidisciplinary group of professionals together to learn cutting edge sexual assault information; the Northern Training, which trains service providers in far northern Wisconsin; and technical assistance in the specialty areas of legal, judicial, policy, and persons with disabilities.

This grant will also cover some expenses of WCASA's new initiatives, which include scholarships to support leadership development for women of color, and staff to work with leaders in the Deaf community to develop sexual assault resources and services.

"It is important to remember that sexual assault is a crime of violence," said OJA Executive Director David Steingraber. "We are committed to making sure every victim of sexual violence is able to get the help they need."

This federal grant is administered by the Wisconsin Office of Justice Assistance (OJA). OJA administers grants in the areas of Homeland Security, Juvenile Justice, Criminal Justice, and the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). OJA also runs the state's Statistical Analysis Center.

This is nice and all, and great news for battered and abused women across the State of Wisconsin, but aren't there more pressing matters the people of Wisconsin want to heard from their Governor about?

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

GOP gubernatorial candidates and the Ethanol Mandate

Mark Belling asked Scott Walker and Mark Green how they would vote on the Ethanol Mandate being forced through the legislature... We have found a difference between the two. One is opposed, one is squishy at best. Stop at BadgerBlogger to find out which one would vote for it if it included an amendment.

Top Doyle Aide Indicted!

This is just greaking, but Georgia Thompson was just indited by the federal grand jury looking into the Wisconsin "Travelgate" scandal... Will Doyle be next? Can Doyle survive this?

I am keeping up with events as best as I can at

Kohl's a "No" on Alito

Of course, we already knew that Herb is nothing but a puppet of the Senate Democratic Leadership.

Byron York only is nice enough to confirm that publicly for us all.

With this hearing now over, the "Kohl-bot" can return to 'stand-by' mode. 'Stand-by Mode' is when Herb does nothing, talks a lot about the Milwaukee Bucks, and takes up a U.S. Senate seat.

Feingold Visits Conservative Country

Sen. Feingold will be in Menominee Falls Friday at 3:00 p.m. for a listening session. Who wants to take up Jessica McBride's good idea and go with me?

Monday, January 23, 2006

33 Years and Counting...

Thirty-three years ago yesterday, the Supreme Court handed down what nearly every legal scholar agrees was one of the worst and most unjustifiable decisions in history-Roe v. Wade. This decision has caused immeasurable harm to our legal system as it continues to distort all sorts of doctrines. This plank in the grand liberal agenda for the Supreme Court, however, began a firestorm that is only burning more deeply and more thoroughly throughout America. This opinion took the decision out of the hands of the democratic process without any authorization at all from our written Constitution.

We are now 45 million Americans short. That's right, 45,000,000 human beings. For me, I highly resolve again today that these lives shall not have died in vain. These quiet lives represent the great moral issue of our time. I commit myself to continue praying, to continue lobbying, and to continue to convince my fellow Americans that all innocent human beings deserve the right to live.

In light of this, let me share two touching stories.

Turn off the light," Heather Gemmen murmured. She thought her husband, Steve, had returned from an evening at church. When Heather peeked out from the covers, she saw a strange man standing in her bedroom!..."You have to come home! You have to come home!" she pleaded....Shame engulfed her as she spoke. "I've been raped!"... Heather had been pro-life since she was a young girl, but now her theology collided with the painful reality of a crime. What should she do? Read the rest here.

My biological mother was seven-and-a-half months pregnant when she decided to abort me....She went to a clinic in Los Angeles and had a saline abortion. A salt solution is injected into the mother's womb, which the baby gulps. The solution also burns the baby inside and out. The idea was that within 24 hours she would deliver a dead baby. But, by the grace of God, I survived. Read the rest here.

Let us not forget, let us not lose our will, let our mouths not be silent.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

The Unknown Reference

In my latest column, I wrote this:

They’re two of society’s favorite whipping boys – currently, at least. Wal-Mart, and oil companies. One, we despise for charging high prices, the other for charging low prices*. Both make enormous profits, and we hate them most for that.

The asterisk referred to this:

*Another blogger made this point first, but I can't remember who.

Turns out it was who I thought: Elliot at From Where I Sit. But it also turns out that he was just quoting Charlie Sykes, who appears to have made the point first.

So. Mystery solved. Everybody can go get a good night's sleep tonight.

Doyle Administration Under Grand Jury Probe

A grand jury is investigating Gov. Doyle's sweetheart deals with Adelman Travel and the sale of Kewaunee's nuclear power plant. Will Doyle be called to testify and will Left-wing flacks start calling Steven Biskupic the Ken Starr of Wisconsin?

Friday, January 20, 2006

Tire Slashers Get Away with Voter Surpression

Michael McCann's office caved in to a jury having trouble deliberating and handed out plea bargains to four of the Milwaukee 5.

The lesson to be learned: if you're a Democrat in Milwaukee county you have free reign to intimidate and stop Republican election efforts.

More at The American Mind and Brian Fraley.

Panda Bears

So. Pandas don't breed much, and we're worried about the species because of that.

Well no wonder. They can't get any privacy!

Here's the picture making its way around the Internet:

Here's the caption:

Five-year-old giant panda Chuang Chuang (R) and his four-year-old partner Lin Hui mate for the first time at the Chiang Mai zoo in northern Thailand January 17, 2006. The pair were donated to Thailand by the Chinese government. Picture taken January 17, 2006. THAILAND OUT REUTERS/Handout

Would you be so quick to engage in a little intimacy with your big furry babe if you knew some yahoo with no sense of propriety was going to blast the picture all over the world?


Thursday, January 19, 2006

Voces de la Frontera Posts

I put up two new posts on Voces de la Frontera tonight.

Many bloggers have encouraged me to keep on this story. Thanks for your support!

Easy Question & Not So Strange Bed Fellows.

Maybe one of you media types will catch onto this... hello... Charlie...

Dick Durbin on Sam Alito

Democratic Senator and Minority Whip Dick Durbin held a press conference today at Northwestern Law School to announce how he would vote on Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito. His speech was the standard Democratic line. Sandra Day O'Connor was mentioned approximately 58 times, and the old arguments about abortion, Concerned Alumni of Princeton, strip searching a 10-year-old girl, etc. were all brought up. In the end, because O'Connor is the swing vote on so many important issues, and Alito is so dangerous, he does not deserve to be on the Court. No big surprises here.

The end of the speech summed up for me the underlying difference between conservative and liberal visions for the Court. Durbin ended his speech by talking about "caring". He looked to see whether Judge Alito "had a heart". He concluded that Alito has no heart.

Translation: Judicial liberals want the Supreme Court to rule for the little guy and expand rights. Judicial conservatives want the judges to say what the law is, not what they think it should be. If the law says that 10-year-old girls should be strip searched in a situation, or that claims of employment discrimination are difficult to bring, then that's how the judge should rule. Judicial liberals think an unjust or unfair law should be expanded or changed by the judge. That's why they want judges to have "a heart". Judicial conservatives think an unfair law, if it is unfair, should be changed by the legislature. That's what legislatures are for.

Anyways, after the speech, he opened up the floor to questions. I rose my hand and got the first crack at it:

"Sen. Durbin, much of the Judiciary Committee hearing centered around Democratic efforts to get Judge Alito to declare a sort of unalterable commitment to precedent. All of this, of course, was directed at Roe v. Wade. But your side applauded the Court's decisions in, for example, Lawrence v. Texas (private homosexual sodomy a protected Constitutional right), which overruled an 18 year old precedent. It also applauded Roper v. Simmons (execution of minors is unconstitutional), which overruled a 17 year old precedent. In addition, your side pushes for expansive readings of the Commerce Clause, resting on New Deal Era decisions that were themselves overrulings of precedent. So my question is this-do you really care about precedent? If so, why didn't you condemn Lawrence & Roper, among many other decisions? If not, then why did you make such a big deal out of it at the hearings?"

His response was predictable. He said that some decisions should be overturned (like Plessy v. Ferguson) and others shouldn't (like Roe and Griswold). My point, though, was clear to most of the educated audience. Democrats like precedent when they like the decision, and don't like precedent when they don't like the decision. They really aren't as concerned about it as they pretended to be in the Judiciary Committee hearing.

He took another 7 or so questions, and predictably gave the Democratic Party talking points. The only other interesting note was that he clearly said a filibuster was NOT off the table. For him, it was a question of votes. He seemed prepared to fight this to the death. If 40 other Senators are willing to join him (which seems unlikely), he would indeed begin the death march to a filibuster.

I was lucky enough to be about 10 feet away from Sen. Durbin, which gave me an interesting perspective. I don't know how he focused with all the flashes in his face during his speech. I also stayed around afterwards to hear him conduct a mini Q & A with the press (where I was now literally about 5 feet away from him). One thought did cross my mind-how do you possibly stay humble as U.S. Senator in his position? You have to love the spotlight, love talking, and love giving one's opinion.

Some look at this whole process and decry the acrimony in Washington. I don't. While civility would be nice, our founders designed a system of competing ideas. Through checks and balances, they hoped to check the passions of any particular group or party. On my count, we have had only two times in American history where one party or set of ideas had a stranglehold on government-the Republican Party in the Reconstruction Era and the Democratic Party during and after the New Deal. Beyond this, there has pretty much been a partisan stalemate and a consistent fight for power. This is not that bad of a thing.

Without rubbing it in too much, I'd also like to note how extremely pleased I am with the results of this confirmation fight. When this is finished, liberals will have expended considerable political capital and untold millions to stop Alito's confirmation, and they will have failed. The Supreme Court is almost as important to me as the Presidency. And slowly but surely, the last bastion of liberal ideas is slipping out of their grab. They may be going down kicking and screaming, but I take immense satisfaction in seeing them go down.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Just devastating!

Charlie Sykes, along with Mikel Holt, the owner of the largest black owned newspaper, has put together an absolutely devastating ad for School Choice.

Charlie will be posting the audio of this today, so check Sykes Writes throughout the day, or tune in to his show, over the air or on the internet, he will be replaying it through the day.

Update, text is avaliable

Charlie has posted the text of the ad and will be posting audio soon. The audio has been posted at the above link. (refresh if you don't see it.

UPDATE: I couldn't resist
I couldn't resist adding a little something to the audio, they say a picture is worth a thousand words, so... I have made it into a video.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Voces de la Frontera

RealDebateWisconsin has an excellent post on Voces de la Frontera (or as I prefer to refer to them, Voices from the Border). RDW is doing a great job covering that very political organization.

Hugh Hewitt on "The Wisconsin Five"

Hugh Hewitt on the 2004 presidential election in Wisconsin:
Why does it take 16 months to convict vote-obstructors in Wisconsin?

And do you expect to see any coverage of the trialk/conviction on network news?
John Kerry carried Wisconsin by about 11,400 votes out of more than 3 million cast.

<> Wisconsin, not Ohio, was ground zero for voter fraud in 2004. Because that fraud helped put a state in the blue column, it has gone unreported.
<>It is nice of Hugh bring some attention to this now, but it would have been better if he had been banging the drum with the rest of us in January 2005 when the entire voter fraud/tire slashing story was at something of a critical mass.

Concealed Carry Passes Senate (Again)

On to Doyle for the customary veto of course.

Interesting little tidbit. This was the amended bill that the Assembly passed late last year. The non-amended bill passed the Senate by a 23-10 vote. One more than needed for veto override.

The amended bill passed on a 28-5 vote.

Does this prove anything? No.

Battleground's always been the State Assembly on this bill, and continues to be. Call your legislator folks.

Monday, January 16, 2006

TABOR Update - Call to Action

Jessica McBride @ Media Matters has an update. She has some inside info on the Grothman version of TABOR.
Yes, it may be ready within two weeks, but there is still much doubt that the version that Glenn (Grothman) is drafting (ad naseum) will actually LIMIT STATE SPENDING. The most recently floated version exempts a boat-load of state spending including aids to local government. The theory is that pass-through money that goes to schools, counties and municipal governments should fall outside of the inflation + growth formula we may be in for a revolt by conservatives if a pseudo-TABOR is introduced.

If you read between the lines, you will see exactly what all of us have heard the guy who actually hates TABOR, never campaigned on the issue, and wishes it would go away, doesn't really intend to deliver tough limits on spending for the state.
Jessica has a note to base conservatives that we need to rise to the occasion and DEMAND a real TABOR. I am going to hit TABOR hard till it succeeds. So should all of us.

Quick Poll

BBA Members only in the comments please.

As all of us are well aware, Governor Jim Doyle, a wholly-owned subsidiary of [THIS SPACE FOR RENT] will be giving his fourth (and hopefully last) 'State of the State' Address tomorrow night at 7.

Just who here is going to be live-blogging the ego-trip, campaign speech, and political spectacle?

I admit I will; at least until 8. I'm then turning my TV to NBC's Scrubs because
that Sarah Chalke is just hot and the show is a favorite of mine, so I'm hoping he quits talking before then.

It's a non-budget year, so we could get a short speech (around a half hour or so), if we're lucky here. (This has the feeling of a visit to the Dentist written all over it.)

Want to know who I can link to afterwards for those seeking a good round-up of commentary.
Happy MLK Day.

I hope you will find my post "MLK and His Dream Today" (not reproduced here due to length) thought-provoking.

I think it's also a good bracket to my lengthy comments in Brian's post, "Sometimes liberals make it easy."

Point A Gun At the Police ....

And you will get shot. You might even die. That's what happened to a 15-year-old boy in Florida. He brought a weapon to school and in a standoff pointed it at the officer from the SWAT team, a 20-year veteran of the Seminole County Sheriff's Department and 16 years as a SWAT team member. Prior to that, officers requested the boy to put down the weapon. When he pointed it at officers, Lt. Mike Weippert shot once. Eventually the boy died, which may have been his intention: suicide by police.

Turns out the weapon pointed at the police was a pellet gun. And yes, the hand-wringing second guessers are already out. "Oh he was just a kid." "They shouldn't have shot, they should have known it was only a pellet gun." Yada yada yada. Same song, different verse. We've heard it all before every time the police shoot a suspect.

Bottom line is: when the police tell you to put down a weapon and instead you point it at the police, you can expect to be shot. It's a split-second decision; the police officer's life literally hangs in the balance. As a police officer who called into Charlie Sykes's show this morning said: "I'd rather be judged by 12 than carried by six."

Too many Americans get their perceptions of police shootings from watching TV cop shows and from movies. It's easy in Hollywood to have the good guy shoot the gun out of the bad guy's hand, sort of "winging" him, but in real life it doesn't work that way. These are the people who don't understand why this kid and other like him wind up dead.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Sometimes liberals make it easy

President Bush's two contributions to the Supreme Court, Chief Justice Roberts and soon to be Justice Alito, will have a ripple effect on nominations for years to come. No longer do Democrats hold the cards on the Supreme Court, the fading last hope for the liberal social agenda. Judicial conservatism is now mainstream, and Democratic protestations look pretty pathetic.

Liberals still seem to think it's the 1960s and 1970s. They think Republicans secretly hate women and minorities, they continue to think big government programs will make our lives better, they still think they're smarter than conservatives, and they still think the Supreme Court should implement their social agenda.

The good news is, the majority of Americans have moved into the 21st Century. As the majority Party, Republicans need to have an agenda for transforming government. But one of the best ways to increase Republican political capital is simply to let liberals talk.

In this vein, I was particularly pleased to see the Boston Globe's editorial against confirmation of Alito. (hat tip, Bench Memos) Here is their argument against originalism:

Alito declared his overarching constitutional philosophy of originalism: a strict adherence to the actual written text. In deciding court opinions, he said, ''We should look to the meaning that someone would have taken from the text of the Constitution at the time of its adoption." Given that, at the time of its adoption, women could not vote and slaves were considered three-fifths of a person, such a philosophy is outdated, to say the least.

Are you kidding me! Is that the best they can come up with? Any good originalist will tell you that we are big fans of the amendment process. We think that instead of the Supreme Court telling us what our new values should be on the basis of their moral judgments, the people should update the Constitution to reflect new values. Coincidentally, the two brilliant examples in the Globe's editorial were both remedied by Constitutional amendment. The people decided that all persons were to count equally in the apportionment of representatives, that slavery was to be outlawed, and that all citizens were entitled to equal protection of the laws regardless of skin color. So they passed the 13th and 14th Amendments. The people later decided women should vote, so they amended the Constitution to guarantee this right.

If Republicans would only put the spotlight on the Nancy Pelosis, Diane Feinsteins, and the Boston Globes of the world. May I suggest this as an important strategy for the 2006 elections?

A job for Bloggers?

Aaron, at Subject to Change wants to band together with other Bloggers and fight Internet Predators!
Subject to Change: The Next Challenge
There is something that we can agree on, though. And, I think that bloggers are perfectly suited to the task because we spend so much time online. The problem is online predators. I think that the blogosphere ought to be able to do something about them.

Personally, I have done a lot on issues like this at BB and will gladly join Aaron, if anyone wants to learn more, or come along for the ride, check Aaron's full post.

PSA: The Second Annual Future Wisconsin Conference

Thomas J. Keeley, of the Wisconsin Conservative Digest, the UWM Times, and Students for Green, e-mails me my Public Service Announcement for the month: The Second Annual Future Wisconsin Conference in March.

The first panel is a topic dear to my heart, "Alternative Forms of Education." Other panels cover activism, criminal justice, the cost of living in Wisconsin and TABOR, and how to start a newspaper. The day is geared for students, teachers and interested conservatives.

Disclaimer: Owen Robinson of Boots and Sabers (I'm not sure if he's the one on the left, or the one on the right, but nice boots!) is apparently mixed up with these shady characters. Not that we should be proud of the fact or anything.

Disclaimer with Update: Owen is the handsome devil on the right, and he will be a member of the conference's second panel, chaired by J.J. Blonien: "How to Fight Back," on conservative activism in Wisconsin and getting involved to fight the effects of the MoveOn crowd.

Are any BBA folks going?


Friday, January 13, 2006

Why Our Kids are Stupid.

If you were out and didn't see John Stossel's special on education I recommend that you find a copy. At OnTheBorderLine there was nothing new that John brought forth that many at OnTheBorderLine haven't been already talking about for over 15 months.

The points are that the government system we have in place is not working, that there is a monopoly, and the system is full of inefficiencies. To find out more about what wrong with the education system read OnTheBorderLine:Education and stay tuned for some more hard hitting reports on "Why Our Kids are Stupid" and solid solutions that can turn the future of the United States.

See ABC's 20/20

Joel McNally on Illegal Immigration

I actually agreed with Joel McNally on something this week — the Bradley Center, to be specific. McNally being right on something reminds me of the old adage about a broken clock being right twice a day.

Well, McNally is back to being dead wrong again, as Elliot at From Where I Sit points out. He asks a really intriguing question:

Why is it that liberals like Joel McNally love it when immigrants come here illegally to work, but HATE it when companies move factories to the places where illegal immigrants come from and give them work there?

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Which Dems on the Judiciary Committee could be confirmed?

Real Clear Politics answers that question, and the answer is two. Both are from Wisconsin.

It is easy to explain why at least one of Wisconsin's Senators could get confirmed. First, nobody is really sure if Herb Kohl is even still in the Senate. If you don't do much, it is hard to get in trouble or have a paper trail. In regards to Feingold, I'm not so sure he could be. He seems to have some free speech issues (i.e. McCain-Feingold).

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Packers decide on a coach is reporting that the Packers will hire 49'ers offensive coordinator Mike McCarthy and the new head coach.

McCarthy was one of Brett Favre's quarterbacks coaches in 1999.

Dems Want 3rd Day with Alito

Yes, by all means.

Because the first two seem to be going so 'smashingly' in your favor after all.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

33rd election results

Scott Newcomer has won handily.

Scott Newcomer . . . 2,438 - 62.46%
Patrick Byrne . . . . . 1,442 - 36.95%

Voter turnout... 8.81%
With that low of a voter turnout, you folks should be embarrassed! People in Iraq are willing to brave bombs to vote in huge numbers, but less than 9% of the registered voters in the 33rd District could be bother to vote.

First correct prediction right here

It pains me to say that I think my prediction #4 might be on its way to actually happening. If you follow that second link, you may want to wear body armor.

The prediction doesn't come true until York triumphantly breaks wind out the fart jokes.

The Dirty Diapers of Racine County

This is a bizarre story:
MOUNT PLEASANT - Jenny Van Pool wants to put a sign up on Braun Road near Interstate 94: "Want me to come take a dump in your yard?" She's upset over the dirty adult diapers that appear in the ditch on a regular basis. Friday afternoon there were nearly two dozen diapers clearly visible in the ditch and surrounding fields in the blocks of Braun Road east of Interstate 94.
Fred, isn't the inside poop of Racine County your beat? Got any leads on this?

The Ethics of Spying, Part IV

The necessity of spying: The Ethics of Spying, Part I
The "sleight of hand" behind the phony scandal: The Ethics of Spying, Part II
The security problems inherent with liberty: The Ethics of Spying, Part III

Lest anyone continue to question the legality of the warrantless wiretaps, perspective is needed. From the Wall Street Journal:

The Bush Administration’s use of warrantless wiretaps in the war on terrorism continues to generate controversy, and Congress is planning hearings. Some of the loopier elements of the Democratic Party have even suggested the wiretaps are grounds for impeachment. But the more we learn about the practice, the clearer it is that the White House has been right to employ and defend it.

The issue is not about circumventing normal civilian Constitutional protections, after all. The debate concerns surveillance for military purposes during wartime. No one would suggest the President must get a warrant to listen to terrorist communications on the battlefield in Iraq or Afghanistan. But what the critics are really insisting on here is that the President get a warrant the minute a terrorist communicates with an associate who may be inside in the U.S. That’s a loophole only a terrorist could love.

It also represents the breakdown in the previous, dare I call it Clintonian, response to terrorism through showy but limited "police action," vapid statesmanship and empty or bankrupt UN threats. It levels the playing field for terrorists by creating a virtual maze of populace that they gain advantage by blending in with, either on their territory or on ours. After all, we're dealing with criminals, not enemies, goes the thinking.

And, lest anyone think this issue originated with the Bush admin after September 11, the Journal dispels that erroneous notion:

To the extent the President's critics are motivated by anything other than partisanship, their confusion seems to involve a 1978 law called the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. FISA provides a mechanism by which the executive can conduct warrant-approved surveillance under certain circumstances. But FISA covers only a limited number of intelligence-gathering scenarios. And no Administration--Democrat or Republican--has recognized FISA as a binding limit on executive power.

Jimmy Carter's Attorney General, Griffin Bell, emphasized when FISA passed that the law "does not take away the power of the President under the Constitution." And in the 1980 case of United States v. Truong, the Carter Administration successfully argued the government's authority to have conducted entirely domestic, warrantless wiretaps of a U.S. citizen and a Vietnamese citizen who had been passing intelligence to the North Vietnamese during the 1970s Paris peace talks.

In 1994, Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick also asserted an "inherent authority" not just to warrantless electronic surveillance but to "warrantless physical searches," too. The close associate of Hillary Rodham Clinton told Congress that much intelligence gathering couldn't be conducted within the limits placed on normal criminal investigations--even if you wanted to for the sake of appearances. For example, she added, "it is usually impossible to describe the object of the search in advance with sufficient detail to satisfy the requirements of the criminal law."

Finally, it is worth letting Jeff G. (to whom I'm indebted for this material and the above links) reiterate one of my early points:
[T]here has been not a single example offered to date that such FISA warrants weren’t in fact applied for in those situations requiring them (and in fact, Gen Hayden and the President have both said that in such apposite cases, FISA warrants WERE applied for. It is only in the hypothetical bad-faithed situations conjured by the program’s critics and civil libertarian absolutists that any law was “obviously” broken and any constitutional protection “obviously” trampled).

The bottom line is that Bush Derangement Syndrome victims see this as their chance to bring Bush down. They don't care how ignorant and wrongheaded their case is, or what/who else goes down with him. And they won't win.

Tire Slashing Trial Update.

I can not believe what I just heard on the radio.

Apparently in opening statements the lawyers for two of the defendants (They did not say which two, I bet you a nickel they are the two politically connected sons.) are putting forth the defense that disruption and vandalism of RNC offices and equipment was a nation-wide orchestrated effort with as many as 75 persons participating.

We are supposed to believe the tire slashing was orchestrated and carried out by these persons, they have no idea who they are of course, and these poor kids had nothing to do with it.

You have got to be kidding me. The left has been so busy telling us there is no orchestrated effort at vote fraud/suppression, but now we are supposed to believe it. Of course all they have to do is get one nutball juror to believe it.

Is this is all they have, this is going to be great drama.

Here we have it folks, the brand new Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy Defense.

You could not make this stuff up if you tried.


Monday, January 09, 2006

Drinking Liberally to appear on TMJ4

It looks like our left leaning blog friends will have their weekly drinking session filmed by TMJ4 on Wednesday. Good for them. As for us on the right side of the Badgersphere, we prefer to have our vast right wing conspiracy meetings undisturbed by the glare of the camera. Mr. Rove prefers it that way.

Update to blogroll complete

My head is spinning from all of the new additions to the blogroll as well as all of the blogs that started in December that didn't quite make the the longevity cut yet. If you think you should be there and I missed you, yell at me in the comments or via the email I listed a couple of posts below.

Lance's blog is blogrolled on an awful lot of lefty blogs. Lance, something you want to tell us?

Kane spoof

At Jiblog I had sworn off writing about Eugene Kane, but this is pretty interesting. Some enterprising individual has started a Eugene Kane spoof blog.

Do You See It Too?

Is anyone else getting this odd pop-up on Jessica McBride's weblog?

I first noticed it about a month ago. A spyware scan seemed to make it go away. Yet I don't think it's spyware because I did a few scans yesterday, and here it is today.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Race-Baiting Liberal Columnist.

To understand how completely ridiculous Eugene's column was yesterday, all we have to do is change a few words:

If a tree falls in the forest and nobody hears it, has it made a sound?

In a nutshell, that's what I think about most race-baiting liberal columnists.

The Media is overrun with race-baiting liberal columnists. These personal opinion columns are written by both amateur and professional journalists with an ax to grind or strong opinions they are dying to express. Many of them are read by only a small group of readers, sometimes just family or friends.

Despite the current hype over race-baiting liberal columnists taking on the blog authors - Blogosphere to many race-bating liberal columnists - I believe there's little chance that race-baiting liberal columnists will replace traditional forms of reporting and commentary. At least, not in the near future.

But yes, they are making an impact.

I started my "Real Debate Wisconsin" blog on blogger about 8 months ago, mainly out of desire to explore this new and exciting form of expression and counteract some of the rabid partisan constituency that dominates the race-baiting liberal columnists field.

Race-baiting liberal columnists are not equal opportunity complainers.

Race-baiting liberal columnists have gotten credit for forcing major newspapers and television stations to cover big political stories, such as the Clarence Thomas Confirmation Hearings, why the NAACP attacked George Bush during his 2000 presidential run, and the Main Stream Media’s flawed reporting on Louis Farrakhan’s allegations that explosions were set off in New Orleans to send flood waters away from affluent white neighborhoods.

The best thing about race-baiting liberal columnists is the slow manner in which they distribute opinion. If a person is beat to within an inch of his life by a loitering mob, race-baiting liberal columnists can weigh in on their opinion in days, weeks even.

Here in Milwaukee there's an active race-baiting liberal columnist community.Some of it is a byproduct of left-wing racist radio, which makes reading those race-baiting liberal columnists akin to listening to four hours of our local blowhards rail against conservatives, County Executive Scott Walker, Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, President George W. Bush and the other usual suspects.

It's my humble opinion that the best blogs - like mine at - don't rant and rave as much as refer readers to race-baiting liberal columnists and commentary from other sources.

Race-baiting liberal columnists are best when they are a clearinghouse for blame rather than a long-winded exercise in self-control and taking responsibility for one’s own actions.

Enough! I can take no more. I think the point is made. Eugene you ended your column "Bring it on". Are you sure you really want the full weight of the Cheddarsphere to go over every word you write? Be careful what you wish for.

Blogroll update time

I have bookmarked a boat of new blogs that have happened upon the scene, and on Monday evening I will be updating the BBA blogroll to include many of them. If you are brand new, don't be upset if I don't list you because I probably will in the future. If you think you or another blog should be on the blogroll, you may email me at ojibway7rj at gmail dot com, and I'll consider it. The Wisconsin blogosphere has grown by leaps and bounds, and I've tried to keep up but I know I'll miss one here or there. I will also be adding a small out of state blogroll. If you are out of state and I've told you in the last month or two that I'd blogroll you, it wouldn't hurt to remind me with an email or in the comments to this post.



Spent the day fishing on Laguna Del Bay. Laguna Del Bay is the body of water featured in the movie The Great Raid. We were actually fishing in a fish farm owned by a shirt-tail relative. They had some huts on stilts near the enclosures and we had about 40 or so on there. Eating and eating.... A San Miguel would have been nice but didn't happen. In the sun it was distinctly WARM and under the shade of the huts with the nice breeze blowing it was distinctly comfy!

Tomorrow we are off to the Island of Cebu and I get to see the town where the Empress is from. I will be completely off line until we return to Manila.

Stay Warm! :-)

Saturday, January 07, 2006

2006 BBA Predictions

In the fine spirit of prognostication, I asked the BBA to set up predictions for 2006. All of these are non-binding, and all were a heck of a lot of fun to write I'm sure.

Here's a glimpse into some of the Crystal Balls of the Badger Blog Alliance.

Wendy - Boots & Sabers

Here are my 2006 predictions:

-- The Packers will get a new head coach. (My tender self-esteem requires that I get one prediction right.)

-- The following will pass in Wisconsin: TABOR (or whatever Grothman decides to call it), concealed carry, gas, and Brett Favre. Only one of those won't be screamed down by the governor.

-- A prominent Wisconsin blogger will become a parent either for the first time or again (and if this doesn't come true, I'm going to change that to "apparent." Nearly EVERYTHING can be blamed on typos, you know).

-- Tom Cruise's baby will be born and it will be an alien. He and what's her face won't marry.

-- Tim Michels will decide to save himself the embarrassment and not run for US Senate against Herb Kohl. Kohl will be disappointed because he likes it when men bend over and take it from him. (Okay, that's naughty. I'm sorry.)

-- Owen will finally get me diamond earrings for our anniversary.

-- OJ Simpson will prove his critics wrong by finding his ex-wife's and her friend's killer on the 7th hole at some golf course in Florida. After his exoneration, he will start a support group for NFL players who "didn't do it." Ray Lewis will become Secretary AND Treasurer. The Minnesota Vikings are in charge of recruitment.

-- The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel will publish three-no wait-two-no-one nice sentence--make that phrase--about Scott Walker. (You know, every predictions
list has to have a long shot.)

Happy New Year!

Lucas - Wild Wisconsin

1. Before the summer primary, two more people will decide to run for the governor's seat, while two other people will decide NOT to run for Senate against Herb Kohl. One of the Republicans that looses the primary for governor turns around and becomes the candidate for Senate.

2. Those who oppose traditional marriage launch the biggest effort yet to defeat a state marriage amendment in Wisconsin. It includes gigantic spending fund from out of state, and below the belt accusations of hatred and violence against any who disagree with them. The marriage amendment still passes with high numbers with the effort of the most basic grassroots organization.

3. Property taxes continue to rise. Doyle scratches his head publicly while he privately calls the teacher's union for more campaign cash. They give it.

4. School choice becomes hot.

5. Every political campaign this fall has a blog.

Fred D - Real Debate Wisconsin

-- Oscar rules will be re-written to only allow movies featuring gay characters to be nominated. Disney changes the script for Toy Story III the new sub-title. Buzz Loves Woody.

-- Jim Doyle uses his line item veto power to change new ethics laws. By lining out key letters and punctuation the new provision says, Whatever I want, and if you dare ask me any questions I can throw a snit.

-- 25 UW Madison students vanish this spring. A large theory breaks out that President Bush ordered them taken into custody for having attended an anti-war rally in 2003. In truth it turn out the students were on Spring Break in Daytona, Xoff manages to find a creative way to blame Scott Walker for the misunderstanding.

-- WISN radio replaces Limbaugh, Belling and Hannity with Air America programming. Station program manager Jerry Bott is indicted on conspiracy charges when it is discovered he had $200,000 suddenly appear in his checking account courtesy of WTMJ radio. Mark Belling leads an successful attempt to buy AM 1250 and becomes a full-time sports know it all.

-- Milwaukee and Dane County ballots come in 283,471 higher than the number of registered voters. Joel McNally still says this does not point to any vote fraud. Charlie Sykes ruptures his vocal cords finally losing his temper on the air claiming McNally must of killed all but 7 brain cells in the 60's. McNally celebrates by finally updating his hairstyle.

-- Jay Bullock makes a last ditch write in effort for himself for Governor upon realizing there is no third party candidate to swing the results towards Jim Doyle. DailyKos gets behind the effort and arranges a world-wide write in absentee vote for the Folkbum. Jay wins and holds the biggest drinking liberally party ever, at Camp Randall Stadium.

Jib - Jiblog

My psychic powers were a little bit exhausted from my previous predictions at Jiblog, but I got out the crystal ball while channeling the spirits of Harry Houdini for a few more that center largely on the Badgersphere.

1. A new voter scandal hits the scene when bloggers break the news that the DPW tried to buy votes for Governor Doyle in the '06 Governor's race. The voters targeted are middle aged, balding males, and the payments are made in Rogaine.

2. The blogs XOff and Folkbum will merge. The resulting blog is named FolkOff.

3. Wisconsin environmentalists press for new legislation requiring the Wisconsin dairy herd to be fitted with cowtalytic converters to reduce their emissiongasess.

4. After exhausting his vast supply of material on bodily wastes and fluids, Dennis York again retires from blogging. He re-unretires when he realizes that he hasn't even broken into his fart material yet.

5. Belle of Leaning Blue graduates and decides to reveal her true identity. Wisconsin is surprised to learn that Belle never leaves home without her mask on.

6. My stone cold lock prediction of 2006: Jed of Boots & Sabers will buy a gun.

7. After months of posting show prep suggestions for Charlie Sykes, Sean at The American Mind attempts a coup against Sykes' producer. The coup fails when Sean is distracted by the wiley WTMJ news personality Michelle Kotecki.

8. Scandal rocks the Badgersphere when it is revealed that James Wigderson has neither a library nor a pub.

9. Sanna Central will continue to scoop Jiblog on breaking Leinie's news. I will go on a thirst strike in an effort to force the Leinenkugel family to funnel news to me. My thirst strike will last 23 minutes.

10. The UW Madison bloggers will challenge the Marquette University bloggers to a drinking contest for Wisconsin college blogging supremacy. One new blogger from UW Whitewater will crash the party and drink them all under the table. Said new blogger will then single handedly start the first ever blog riot after the Packers win their first preseason game.

11. Russ Feingold will officially not announce his interested non-candidacy for the the Vice Presidency of the United States. Also has his name legally changed to Maverick Russ Feingold.

Tee Bee - Guide to Midwestern Culture

-- Hollywood, needing a major cash infusion after the successes of Brokeback Mountain, Herbie: Fully Loaded and Are We There Yet? will pump out ten super-hero action films - starting with X-Men 3 and most likely moving up the schedule on the third segment of the gripping Spider-Man saga, among others.

-- Lois J. Frankel, the Mayor of West Palm Beach, Florida, will win the Tri-state lottery, and it will subsequently be revealed that she is the birth mother of Luke and Owen Wilson, who talk her into coming to Hollywood to spend time getting to know them. She taps Chelsea Clinton to finish her term and position her to challenge Jeb Bush's hand-picked successor Tom Gallagher in the fall gubanatorial race.

-- Democrats will continue to create "ethics" scandals by pushing "insider" books that twist normal government functions into corruption charges. There will be at least one new special committee and a new grand jury inquiry into otherwise normal and necessary acts of national security. A single indictment will follow.

-- A few Dems will benefit from this in the 06 election cycle. They will regain marginal control of the Senate.

-- Sad but true, University of Wisconsin's football team - Go Badgers! - will join the Packers in obscurity by failing to earn a post-season playoff berth.

-- Again, I will blame it on security officials barring attendance by the team's unofficial mascot, Crazy Hat Guy, for unspecified reasons.

-- Zarqawi will not be captured. Bin Ladin sightings, however, will occur frequently and in unexpected places, such as Swiss skiing resorts and the Bahamas.

-- The speedo men's swim thong will become a trend among Door County summer residents.

-- New York will declare Festivus an official state holiday. Schools will be encouraged to have pageants where students perform "Airing of the Grievances" ceremonies, followed by "Feats of Strength" activities by the teachers.

-- Marijuana will be legalized in the Netherlands. It's already legal, but this will be forgotten by lawmakers and new legislation will be introduced.

Kevin - Lakeshore Laments

-- The Milwaukee Brewers have a stellar season, missing out on the playoffs as the NL Wild Card by losing the final game against the St. Louis Cardinals. Home attendance is over 3 million for the season.

-- Hollywood will have not learned its lesson on killing good TV shows by making bad movies based on them. Full-length versions of ALF, Spencer for Hire, and The A-Team are given the ‘green light.’

--Peg Lautenschlager survives the Democratic Primary for A.G. against Kathleen Falk. She then goes on to lose the General election to J.B. Van Hollen.

-- In celebration of its 25th Anniversary, MTV will return to its old format of 24/7 music videos for a week. The current generation of teenagers will wonder what these things called “music videos” are when they tune in.

-- Justice Stevens will retire from the Supreme Court, creating another vacancy before the 2006 mid-terms.

-- Gwen Moore will be a character witness in her son’s trial for the 2004 Election’s Eve tire-slashing. Upon hitting the witness stand she will be immediately declared a hostile witness – by the Defense.

-- A freak accident involving a beaver, a cheese wheel, and a Swedish masseuse causes Governor Jim Doyle to grow a full head of hair. This causes him to lose the ‘Bassett hound’ image, but it costs him dearly among the vast voting group in Wisconsin that is bald, or balding men.

-- Sen. Herb Kohl’s re-election campaign is another coronation. However, when he re-takes the Oath of Office the batteries in the Kohl-Bot die suddenly, leaving “Herb” silent. No one notices the difference.

--Mark Green wins both the GOP Primary and the Governor’s Mansion.

--Iran will either test a nuclear bomb or Syria will have a populist coup. Both seem likely however.

-- Given the continued reports of his campaign finance troubles, all the money he’s been pooling from WEAC, the tribes, and Lord knows who else, actually becomes the problem; not the solution, to Governor Doyle’s re-election campaign.

-- Yasser Arafat remains at room temperature. No one of any value misses him.

And that's that. We'll find and delete this post in November 2006 just to make sure no one can hold us to any of it.

Have a nice day.

Friday, January 06, 2006

The Ethics of Spying, Part II

While the left pushes the course that "we'd best figure out if any laws have been broken and proceed directly to Grand Jury; can't have any non-sexual trampling-of-people's-rights shenanigans in the White House, now," the Corner's Andy McCarthy provides a look at what he calls the "phony scandal," in response to Rich Lowry's post on a Times article, "What Is the NSA Program?"

The sleight-of-hand used to inflate the NSA program is to subtly shift from emphasis on interception of phone calls to, as the Times puts it, the "volume of information harvested from telecommunication data and voice networks." This, we are breathlessly told, is being done "without court-approved warrants" and in an amount "much larger than the White House has acknowledged."

There's only one problem. As a matter of law, all telephone/email information is not constitutionally or statutorily equal. The interception of content (what you say to me and I say to you in a call or an email) requires court approval based on probable cause in most (but, importantly, not all) instances. But other telecommunication data -- e.g., the fact that my phone number called your phone number at such-and-such at [sic] time on such-and-such a date, and that we spoke for seven minutes -- does not. The latter category of information does not implicate the Fourth Amendment at all because no one has a reasonable expectation of privacy with respect to it.

McCarthy also notes the SCOTUS verdict in the 1979 case, Smith v. Maryland, and contends that "[i]t is disingenuous to suggest, as the Times does, that court-approved warrants are required for the collection of such information."

Meanwhile, Michelle Malkin points to a Hardball exchange intended to nail down the "Bush opposed by his own lackeys" meme with the help of NBC's DOJ correspondent Pete Williams that comes up short. Lowry has the text of the exchange that drips with Matthew's "gotcha" drool.

Malkin updates with a Newsbusters piece and the contention that "the Associated Press is playing book publicist for NYTimes reporter James Risen, whose book blabbing about the Bush administration's classified counterterrorism programs is out today," and links to the Time review as well.

Interestingly, many of the Bush admin "scandals" followed the publication of books involving insiders. Remember Paul O'Neill? Richard Clarke? You can pick up both men's tell-alls on Amazon for a savings of nineteen bucks and change.

The left may be on the right track - were any laws broken? Or not.

The problem is that this questionable pursuit of justice, much like Plamegate, puts the cart before the horse in presuming a crime for which the law must be determined while dragging out unnecessary information. Further, it promises no justice yet comes with a high price tag: national security.

It sounds terribly democratic to say that no one is above the law. But it's merely childish to presume - in a world of nations violently opposed to ours - that we can play the leveling game in terms of law versus justice, intelligence and erstwhile civil rights at home and pay no price to our enemies.

"The Ethics of Spying, Part I."


Thursday, January 05, 2006

Spiceblog. I'm not convinced.

Spivak & Bice are out with Spiceblog. The point of this? As they put it, "trudge through the scores of local political blogs so you don’t have to. Here’s a peek at the good, the not-so-good, the truly offensive or the just sort of interesting"

There were positive comments around the Cheddarspehere about this. Like this, this, this and this. Frankly I am somewhat more cautious.

Why the cautious thoughts?

From the second post ever on Spiceblog we get this.

Whoever said religion and politics don't mix never spent any time in blogland. Take a look at Democratic congressional candidate Bryan Kennedy's essay dealing with his family’s conversion from Catholicism to the Mormon faith -- an odd disclosure to a heavily Catholic electorate.

On the blog response we get this.

Doesn’t matter, Kennedy’s posting has sparked not one but two attacks from the right. Kennedy countered today with a wordy response.

Let me clue you in on something, in the first 7 words of his "essay" Brian Kennedy managed to insult Christians. That might offend some people, would you not think? Brian Kennedy is running for Congress in a VERY conservative district. What he published here at the very least was monumentaly stupid, though obviously an honest reflection of his beliefs. To Spiceblog, it was just an essay with an odd disclosure.

By the way the 7 words, how is it that conservative religious zealots. I do not really care what else he had to say. My point is in 7 words he managed to insult bunches of Christians by calling them zealots. Not a great way to start an open dialouge is it?

However, when two highly respected conservative bloggers respond and offer their comments, they are not offering opinion, they are on the "attack". The Spiceblog statement also implies two responses from this post by Kennedy was somewhat excessive by saying, not one but two.

Let me clue you guys into something on this "new media", we write on what interests us and we do not talk to each other before we post. Frankly, I am surprised there were not more posts on this.

Here is my question, are you going to try to play Spiceblog down the middle, or continue with the usual left leaning writing we get from your paper?

By the way Spiceblog, by my pointing out that Kennedy insulted Christians in the first seven words in his post, am I on the attack or making an astute political observation?

One final point,we kind of like people to come around and read our blogs! So can you drop the "so you don't have to" line? ;)