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This Just In ...

Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely young daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.

You don't pull the mask off the old Lone Ranger

But apparently you do with Iron Man.

With this type of backdrop, there's no way the sequel can match up to last year's blockbuster.

Goodnight everyone, and have a wonderful weekend

It's Friday night. Time to unwind with our regular Friday night feature on This Just in.

The weekend has finally arrived. The sun has set. The evening sky has erupted. 

Let's put controversy and provocative blogs aside for the rest of this work week and smooth our way into Saturday and Sunday.

Tonight, a Latin flavor in advance of next week's Cinco de Mayo. In keeping with the mellow, cocktail-lounge nature of this weekly feature, no Tijuana Taxi (No offense, Herb). I think you'll find the exotic twist on these musical selections to be quite nice. So get out the chips and salsa. And you might want to move the furniture around a la Rob and Laura Petrie and cut a rug.

Let's start out big and brassy, but still smooth, with the Jerry Costanzo/ Mike Carubia Big Band.


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The Barking Lot (5/2/09)

The Barking Lot

The Barking Lot is a regular weekly feature of this just in
Written by my lovely wife, Jennifer and me.  It opens with the weekend dog walking forecast followed by the main blog from dog lover, Jennifer. Then its DOGS IN THE NEWS and our close. Enjoy!

THE WEEKEND DOG-WALKING FORECAST: We grade the weather outlook for taking your pet outdoors.

TODAY:  Sunny with some clouds. High of 64. "B" 

SUNDAY:  Sunny with cloudy intervals. High of  58.  "C"



Do you like dog food?

Have you ever tried dog food?

What is this??!!

Fischer, have you gone nutso again??

Is this some kinda joke??!!

Mabel! MABEL!! Get in here!! You gotta see this!!

It’s that Fischer loony!!

You know what he’s up to now? He’s tellin’ people they should actually eat dog food!! No, I’m not pullin’ your leg, Mabel, it’s right here!!


Yes, Mabel’s right. I’m merely asking, rather nicely I might add, and this is not a joke, if you have ever eaten dog food. And if you did, would you even know it? And what does it taste like? Is it really nasty??

Now, please don’t laugh.  A rather sophisticated study says you wouldn’t know the difference between Alpo and the freshest liverwurst from Usinger’s.

And I do mean sophisticated. The study was done, by of all people, the American Association of Wine Economists (Why they’re messin’ around with dog food, I have no idea).

They found 18 willing participants to take part in a blind taste test. The volunteers were given five samples: duck liver mousse, pork liver pate, pureed liverwurst, Spam, and Newman’s Own dog food.  They knew that one of the five samples was, indeed, dog food.

All of the samples were processed, if you will, so they’d have the same consistency.

Why these people “volunteered” is beyond me. How the American Association of Wine Economists got them to volunteer is also a mystery.

I would like to think that my palate could distinguish the difference between pork liver pate and Mighty Dog. The “volunteers” could not.

According to the study results released Friday, only three of the 18 blinded taste testers could pick out the dog food.
Eight participants believed the pureed liverwurst was the dog food, and four thought the Spam was the culprit. Two people identified the pork liver pate as dog food, and one identified the duck liver mousse as dog food.

"We have this idea in our head that dog food won't taste good and that we would be able to identify it, but it turns out that is not the case," said Robin Goldstein, a co-author of the study.

Again, what’s the point? If anything, this is an indictment of the producers of pate. My goodness, if no one can tell the difference between duck liver mousse and Alpo, no wonder those highbrows at the American Association of Wine Economists have their pinkie out of joint.

Or could it be that dog food isn’t all that bad after all?

Here’s more from CBS News.

It's time now for DOGS IN THE NEWS, canines that made headlines the past week.

"Puppy Mills: Exposed".....a TV review.

Sick dogs can cause family relationship problems.

Bryan Townsend's unemployment is great news for some young patients.

Today, Andre will run in the Furry Scurry. Yes, there's plenty more to Andre's story.

Victoria Stilwell of "It's Me or the Dog" is coming to town.

Step right up, folks and cast your eyes on the world's first glow-in-the-dark dog.

Some hotels say they are pet-friendly, but only to a certain extent. This will explain more.

Those Obama girls.....are they not pulling their weight when it comes to the new dog? So who's really minding Bo?

And finally, it's the flying chihuahua!

That's it for this week. Thanks for stopping by.

We always try to close with an appropriate video, and whenever possible, some real class. This week, we feature two of the world's greatest pianists performing together. Back by popular demand, here's Rowlf and his very special guest, the legendary Victor Borge!


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Week-ends (5/2/09)


A look back at the people and events that made news the past week.
Week-ends is a regular weekly feature of This Just In...


Purple Heart recipients at Walter Reed

17-year old girl from Quartz Hill, California

State Senator Tim Carpenter (D-Milwaukee)

Tony Bennett

Andy Mackie

Once again, Carrie Prejean


The swine flu

VP Joe Biden

The Delaware Department of Transportation

Porscha Bowman

Scott Hanson

Joy Taylor and Phil Carden


"After six years in office Governor Jim Doyle says he's not responsible for our current problems. I disagree. (The culture in Madison) repeatedly puts the interest of government before the interests of those they are meant to serve."
Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker, announcing his bid for governor.

"It's a tough time for us, too, so why should we have to help out Madison with another tax?" 
Rod Fisher, president of the Marathon County Tavern League and owner of The Relocation Pub and Eatery in Kronenwetter, reacting to a proposal to increase the state's beer tax. He estimates that business has been down between 12 percent and 15 percent in the receding economy.

“People that engage in employment discrimination deserve what they get. But in the system now, two-thirds of the claims are dismissed. It’s fraught with unfounded claims, and the concern is that trial, bar and personal injury lawyers may see this as a good way to make money.”
James Buchen, vice president of government relations for Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, on a bill aprpoved by the Legislature that updates Wisconsin’s Fair Employment law by directing circuit courts to order people or companies to pay compensatory and punitive damages if found guilty of discriminating against employees.

"We must do everything we can to prevent error. Errors cost us the lives of our children."
State Senator Spencer Coggs (D-Milwaukee) arguing on the floor of the state Senate for his bill to require alarms on day care vans to alert drivers about chidlren in the back seat.

"I have strong opinions, strong ideas. But I'm not looking to become some famous conservative movement leader. I just don't see that as my role. That's not my thing. I want to be a policy leader."
Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Janesville)

"I would tell members of my family — and I have — I wouldn't go anywhere in confined places now. It's not that it's going to Mexico. It's you're in a confined aircraft. When one person sneezes, it goes all the way through the aircraft."
VP Joe Biden on NBC's "Today Show," about the swine flu.

"The advice he is giving family members is the same advice the administration is giving to all Americans: That they should avoid unnecessary air travel to and from Mexico. If they are sick, they should avoid airplanes and other confined public spaces, such as subways."
Biden spokeswoman Elizabeth Alexander, doing damage control following Biden's remarks on The Today Show.

"If he could say that over again, he would say if they're feeling sick they should stay off of public transit or confined spaces because that is indeed the advice that we're giving."
Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano, attempting to bail out Biden.

If anybody was unduly alarmed for whatever reason, we would apologize for that."
White House press secretary Robert Gibbs, on Biden's comments.

“Leave me, if you must, but be faithful to me if you are with me. I cried and screamed, I went to the bathroom and threw up."
Elizabeth Edwards writing about her husband, John's infidelity in her new book, "Resilience."


White House blunder


State report card shows need to nurture business


Swine flu, perhaps?


He wanted to go to jail with his brother...

Naked frisbee at the University of Oregon

I cheated on my wife.........while sleepwalking

Masked wrestlers and the Virgin Mary

Your suggestions/nominations for any of these categories every week are welcome, especially for HEROES OF THE WEEK. If you know of anyone in the community deserving of recognition, please e-mail me.

No mandate for a sales tax increase

Democrats who run the Legislature's powerful Joint Finance Committee voted after 2:00 in the morning the other day to give an unelected board without accountability the power to increase your sales taxes.

Following a narrow victory in last November's  Milwaukee County sales tax referendum, liberal members of the Milwaukee County Board aren't just lobbying Democrats in the Legislature to vote for the hike. They're DEMANDING it. When they're not flat out dictating, the supervisors are pleading, using every Armageddon scenario in their playbook they can.

The Legislature and the governor must approve the sales tax supported by Milwaukee County voters last November. Governor Doyle is the easy sell. He will tax anything that's not nailed down. He will tax anything that is nailed down. The Legislature, even though controlled by Democrats, might not be quite such a done deal.

I've been at a few meetings where the county folks sit on side of the room and the Milwaukee legislative delegation sits on the other. You hear all kinds of scary words from the county supervisors describing the oultook for parks and transit if the sales tax isn't enacted, words like deteriorate, crumble, disappear, decimated. devastated.

When state Representative Josh Zepnick (D-MIlwaukee) attempts to explain to the Lee Holoway's and Jon Weishan's of the world that this isn't the Milwaukee County Corthouse, that it's an entirely different dynamic, he gets ridiculed.

Are all Democrats in the Legislature gung ho about sales tax increases? There was a glimmer of hope this week for the vast majority of Wisconsinites who believe we're Taxed  Enough Already. State Senator Tim Carpenter (D-Milwaukee) said he could not support the sales tax increase approved by voters last November. Even State Senator John Lehman (D-Racine) joined the Republicans on the Joint Finance Committee during that post-2:00 a.m. vote to oppose the Milwaukee County sales tax increase.

I'm not surprised that Milwaukee County supervisors are acting as though the Apocalypse is on the horizon. They fail to understand that while the sales tax referendum did pass last November, there is no mandate, not even close. And in the tax hell that is Wisconsin, with the governor's proposed budget increasing taxes and fees by $1,707,734,400, Democrats will have to go home and try to explain why, in this economy with pink slips flying and jobs leaving, they supported taking more money out of taxpayers' wallets.

The sales tax referendum was approved but not by much last November:

208,132: YES (51.97 %)

192,390: NO (48.03%)

That's hardly a resounding cry for a tax increase.

The sales tax referendum was rejected in every single ward in the following communities:















Voters in Wauwatosa and West Allis also rejected the sales tax increase.

The sales tax referendum was approved in the city of Milwaukee by 36, 262 votes, in Shorewood by 990 votes, and in West Milwaukee by 38 votes.

I repeat. There is no mandate to increase the Milwaukee County sales tax by 1%.

And seriously think about what that means. The Milwaukee County sales tax would be TRIPLED, that’s right, TRIPLED, from 0.5% to 1.5%. The county's sales tax, remember is tacked on to the state's 5% sales tax and the 0.1% Miller Park tax.

Finally, don't believe any of this mullarkey that the world will end and our transit and parks systems will go to hell in handbasket if we don't jack up the sales tax. That argument has been around for decades. It's simply not true. Don't fall for the scare tactics being employed by the big tax and spenders.

Kevin Fischer & Eugene Kane: Simpatico?

It’s true. In a rare moment of being on the same page, we both take issue with approved legislation to require day care vans to be equipped with alarms so that the, as state Senator Mike Ellis called, moronic drivers don’t forget there are children in the back seat.

Kane wrote this week:

A better bill, in my estimation, would be one that required all child-care centers and schools to demand more stringent background checks, even psychological tests, on prospective drivers to ensure they truly understand the importance of their duties. Another good bill could require anyone who drives a child-care van to agree that if they ever left a child behind, they can't work in that field anymore. No need to stop there. Why not a bill requiring alarms in homes where some irresponsible parents under the influence of alcohol sleep with young children?”

I concur, Eugene.

Recommended reading (5/2/09)

Recommended reading

Here are, in my view, interesting, noteworthy columns and articles from the past week that I highly recommend (You will note that on occasion, I do not endorse the opinions of the author and may point that out. Despite my disagreements, I still feel the piece is worth a read).

World panics over new media-borne virus

“The border between America and Mexico remains wide open.  President Obama says it’s a ‘serious situation’, then did what comes naturally to him in stressful situations:  He reached into America’s piggy bank for $1.5 billion.  For what exactly?  Who knows. But apparently the cure for this thing, like many other problems in life, is just a little retail therapy.”

Why bother?

"It's awfully hard to get into the head of a liberal. Instead of logic and reason, they are drawn to emotions and feelings. That's not to say we conservatives don't emote or feel. It's just that we like to apply a healthy application of common sense to things. If there's a swarm of bees outside an open window, it might be a good idea to close the window, even if a few bees have already flown into the house."

My apology to Perez Hilton

“Good afternoon, Perez. I’m sorry I haven’t yet taken the time to write you in response to your little flap with Miss California. I’ve been down in South Carolina spending the last few days with a beautiful woman who is opposed to gay marriage. I hope that doesn’t offend you. In Hollywood, that’s called bigotry. In South Carolina, it’s called ‘normal’.”

Refuse to be bullied

"Gay marriage is not an inevitability in our nation. It can still be halted and turned around. The institution of marriage can be protected, but we need the collective voice. Let me remind you that marriage is worth fighting for. Those of us in the biblical marriage movement are not fighting because we dislike gays. We are fighting for marriage because we realize that whoever’s values shape this law will shape the practices of the next few generations."

Obama, your slips are showing!

"At the rate that Obama and the liberals are going, when it comes to piling up the national debt, nationalizing banks and major companies, scuttling our missile defense system, reaching out to Islamic and Communist tyrants, funding ACORN, AmeriCorps and Hamas, discussing nuclear disarmament with Russia at the same time that Iran, Pakistan and North Korea are gearing up, talking tough to Israel while currying favor with the Arabs and the Islamists, I have no idea what will be left to salvage a year-and-a-half down the road."

Ten ways Barack Obama is destroying America

“I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that Barack Obama is damaging America more than any other president in its history. Here are ten of the biggest ways Obama is destroying America.”

A hundred days of love

“Three months have made zero difference in the major media’s ardor. They were head over heels in love on January 20, and they’re still head over heels in love on April 29.”

How Republicans can build a big-tent party

"The real mistake is that Republicans became more concerned with staying in D.C. than reforming it."

Notre Dame's greatest comeback

"Countless American Catholic boys have, on some fall Saturday in their young lives, been thrilled to witness—in person, on radio or on TV—a Notre Dame comeback on the football field. Now, a rising generation of American Catholics may witness a Notre Dame comeback of a higher order."

Pro football's college tuition bill

"Until someone comes along to establish a union for college athletes as Marvin Miller did for baseball players, there isn't much that can be done for the exploited players, but there is a solution for reimbursing the colleges that could benefit almost everybody."

After the smoking ban, what next?

A proposed smoking ban in public places in Wisconsin suddenly appears to be on the fast track in the state Legislature.

Leaders would like floor action in both houses by May 13 because after that date, all attention will be on the state budget and the state budget only. So, not only could the smoking ban see action, but any other foolish, tired, old liberal idea that’s been sitting on the shelf gathering dust for ages.

I wonder. Could a ban on breastfeeding while talking on a cell phone while parked in a fast food restaurant drive-thru lane be in the works?

Let’s see. What have the Democrats who control the Legislature treated us with so far?

There’s that big increase in the minimum wage, with future increases tied to the rate of inflation. When your 16-year old is turned away from working at McDonald’s, Burger King, Arby’s, and KFC, that’s the reason why.

This is a good one. In this litigious society, we’ve made it super super easy to sue an employer for just about anything. That’s great for business. At the very least, the Democrats have made employment oh so secure for those trial lawyers that contribute so nicely.

Wisconsin is extending our prevailing wage laws to private construction projects receiving public financing. That will kill future construction projects. Oh well. That’s the way Democrats do business.

We will tax and tax and tax, and when we’re done taxing, we will tax and tax and tax some more.

The same is true for fees. But aren’t fees just taxes? Well, sure. Since when has that bothered the Democrats?

Hey, breastfeeding moms, you want to pull those suckers out anywhere you want? Go right ahead!

You day care van drivers whose job it is to transport small children. We Democrats know how incredibly arduous a task it is for you to understand this concept: Open back seat door, place baby in back seat. I have a baby in back seat. When I get to where ’m going, must remember I have a baby in back seat. I open back seat door and take baby out.

My goodness gracious, no one, I mean no one should be required to work under such intense pressure. We’ll make those nasty manufacturers of day care vans put alarms in so that you drivers can just go about doing whatever the hell it is you do while you’re on the job, like planning what place you’re going to stop at to buy your lottery tickets.

Van care drivers, the blood of those innocent dead babies, that’s not your fault! How were you supposed to remember there was a baby in the back seat after, oh, say two or three minutes?

And don’t forget the smoking ban.

For many, the prospect of banning smoking in PRIVATELY-OWNED bars and PRIVATELY-OWNED restaurants, no doubt, has them in absolute glee.

I wonder how many of these anti-smoking zealots will be ready to offer assistance to business owners and their employees when establishments get boarded up.

I don’t smoke. Don’t particularly like smoking at a restaurant. But until we make tobacco illegal, smoking remains legal. That might be difficult for some to understand, but that’s a fact.

When the government tells a private business owner that people can’t smoke on what amounts to that business owner’s private property, we’ve got some serious problems going on.

Hey, I don’t want to smell that smoke when I’m out with my wife trying to eat!

Hey, I wish Casa di Giorgio would have osso bucco on the menu more often, but they don’t.
Guess what? I don’t have to go there if I don’t like the place!

There’s more to this nutty liberal idea, and yes, trampling on individual and personal property rights and infringing on business is liberal thinking.

Liberals are consistently relentless and they work incrementally. They keep coming and coming and coming and coming with the same old policies that lack any sort of vision (i.e., the minimum wage) and they keep tossing them around until action is taken.

Work incrementally? You bet! Today, they ban smoking in bars and restaurants. Do they take their ball and go home happily? Not on your life.

What will their next target be? Will it be the kind of food and drink bars and restaurants can serve? Don’t want to be too unhealthy now, would we?

What about smoking in cars? In cars that have young children? In cars with pregnant women? In cars, period?

What about smoking in private workplaces? In private residences?

Do you honestly think this slope couldn’t get more slippery?

These outlandish ideas are all within the realm of possibility.

There’s a lot at stake here, folks, and it’s not just a cigarette going out.

Those, poor, poor TSA workers

When you think of great customer service, does the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) quickly come to mind? Not in a million years, you say?

There are four certainties in life:

1) Death

2) Taxes

3) You will get a lawn care brochure in your mailbox within the next 3-5 days.

4) No TSA employee has ever taken/passed a Dale Carnegie course.

I swear these people are sworn to never, ever be courteous. They remind me of that episode of M*A*S*H* where Colonel Flagg brags he was trained not to laugh so well that he could watch hours of the Three Stooges and never so much as chuckle.

TSA workers are not happy unless they are unhappy, and yes, a good number do walk on their knuckles.

Why the TSA tirade? You just have a bad airport affair, Kevie?

Nope, not at all. I just happened to read a ridiculous suck-up article to the TSA from a supposed airline/airport authority.

The author tries to debunk what he considers myths about those poor, misunderstood, thoughtful, kind, sweet, adorable TSA workers. Here’s one of them:

“The TSA doesn't do standard profiling because it is ‘politically incorrect.’ Reality: Again, according to the TSA, they don't profile because it is not effective. ‘It is bad for security,’ (The TSA's Greg) Soule said. ‘We know that terrorist groups recruit from various age groups and people with a wide range of physical appearances. They recruit people who don't fit stereotypical terrorist profiles’."

That’s quite revealing. The TSA doesn’t profile. Isn’t that sweet of them. I know I will feel so much safer on my next flight.

Because everybody knows it’s those 85-year old octogenarians in wheelchairs and walkers that are doing all the hijacking.  The 4-year old blue-eyed blonde-haired kids? Now they're the absolute most dangerous. 

I guess we should just dismiss all those investigative reports, including those done with hidden cameras where weapon-toting journalists managed to sneak arsenals past those high-IQ TSA desperadoes.

To the author of this report: Who you tryin’ to kid? And whose payroll are you really on?

Go, Scott, go!

Scott Walker wows them at the state GOP Convention in La Crosse.


If my wife, Jennifer was still blogging...

I know she'd want to blog about the following.

Even though it has nothing to do with her Saturday morning dog blog, The Barking Lot.

She would want to blog about this.

But she's not blogging.

And when she does blog, it's about dogs.

She doesn't blog about baby items, like this.

So even though she's a proud new mama, she can't blog about thiseven though she's dying to.

And I know that if she was blogging, she'd find a way to slip this in, too.

Sorry, dear. You're on blogging maternity leave.

My most popular blogs (5/03/09)

Most popular

As I post every Sunday, here are the top five most popular of my blog entries from the previous week:

1) Photos of the Week (4//26/09)  Because of the changeover to the new system for NOW bloggers, a few photos did not make the transfer.

2) Culinary no-no #109

3) Changes in the school calendar

4) Two must read opinion pieces in today's MJS 

5) Recommended reading (4/25/09)

The MJS Scorecard (5/03/09)

MJS Scorecard


It should also be noted that this exercise is a categorization. Most, if not all of these articles submitted to, or solicited by the Crossroads staff are well-written, thoughtful, and provocative. I enjoy reading them as I have every Sunday for as long as I can remember. This weekly compilation is an ideological scorecard, not a writing critique.


Frederick Kessler: School choice ought to be funded entirely by state money

Funding problems at MPS.....they're all because of that darned school choice.


Alberta Darling: Keep jobs foremost in mind 

David Dodenhoff: Doyle eases W-2 burden - for state, not clients 


Dave Dempsey: We must not treat water as a privately owned commodity 

Dempsey sees some flaws in the Great Lakes Compact that need fixing. Hmmmm....

Seems to me someone I know very well suggested the Compact needed improvement.

Richard Cortez: A safe, booming American city 

Tom Still: Janesville taking comeback classes 

John Gurda: A respite from Carland


TODAY: Liberal-1, Conservative-2

YEAR TO DATE: Liberal-36, Conservative-34

Photos of the Week (5/3/09)

Photos of the Week



Photos of the Week (5/3/09)

Photos of the Week

City of Milwaukee commissioner of health Bevan K. Baker speaks to the media inside of the Zeidler Building located at 841 N. Broadway Wednesday. Along side Baker is Mayor Tom Barrett (left) and Dr. Seth Foldy, state Public Health Administrator. Officials announced that at the time, at least two probable cases of swine flu had been identified in Milwaukee with a third case in Adams County in central Wisconsin. Journal Sentinel photo: Tom Lynn



Journal Sentinel photo: Tom Lynn

Eric Lomas finds the doors at Riverside High School were locked after officials closed the school because of a suspected swine flu case Wedneday. Lomas was hoping to attend a class on making sushi. Journal Sentinel photo: Benny Sieu 

 Mexico Swine Flu

In this photo taken Thursday April 30, 2009, a relative mourn next to the coffin containing the body of Juana Toribio, 39, who died last April 28 in Mexico City's Institute of Respiratory Illnesses, at her home town in Santa Maria Matamoros, Oaxaca state, Mexico. According to her death certificate she died from atypical pneumonia but Mexican health authorities told the Associated Press they believe she died of complications from the swine flu virus.(AP Photo/Alexandre Meneghini)


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A photo I missed for Photos of the Week....

And it's a dandy!

The Castrated States of America

Yes, it's time for another gem from irreverent, but brilliant columnist Doug Giles. This week, Giles writes about our Wuss-in-Chief:

"From a foreign policy/national defense standpoint, Barack is making Jimmy Carter look like a full-on badass. The President is dead set on taking off our rowdy body armor and replacing it with a petite glittered bustier......Y
ou just know Osama and his boys are in some Pakistani cave smoking a hookah piled high with blonde Lebanese hash as they praise Allah and laugh their butts off at how stupid and soft we’ve become in just a few months..."

As always, great stuff.

Men in high heels no laughing matter

The Walk a Mile in Her Shoes campaign came to Milwaukee today. No doubt you'll see the video on local TV newscasts.

The cause, without a doubt, is highly commendable: to heighten awareness about violence against women.

I have some other thoughts about this spectacle that I posted last fall.

Hope everyone caught what Scott Walker said this weekend, especially you, Franklin

Milwaukee County Executive, now-gubernatorial candidate Scott Walker made an outstanding observation this weekend at the state Republican Party convention in La Crosse.

Walker noted how our not-so good governor has his priorities screwed up on registries. Todd Richmond of the Wisconsin Associated Press covered the convention and wrote:

“He (Walker) criticized Doyle for calling for the early release of well-behaved prisoners and said the governor has been more interested in setting up same-sex couple registries than the state's sex-offender registry.”

Very, very true.

In March, state Senator Mary Lazich documented how Governor Doyle’s proposed state budget puts children at risk.

All state residents should be extremely concerned about Governor Doyle’s mixed up priorities when it comes to registries and child safety. However, the issue should hit home especially hard in Franklin. No other community has campaigned more aggressively and diligently on behalf of children against sex offenders than Franklin.

If you need reminding of the historical background, please read
this recap.

Culinary no-no #110

Culinary no-no's

In order to get into the proper mood for Culinary no-no #110, play along ladies and gentleman, and boys and girls if your parents are so crummy as to allow you to read unsupervised such adult material, and click the following video.

Go ahead.

Don’t be a fuddy duddy.



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Does Franklin need tornado sirens?

I thank Franklin Alderman Kristin Wilhelm for her latest e-mail update. In it, she writes:

“Tornado Sirens – Recent press coverage about our lack of sirens has raised concerns so I asked Fire Chief Jim Martins opinion.  He agreed that surrounding municipal sirens could be heard within Franklin so we are not completely without coverage. The need is based on sound distance rather than siren location. (Areas are studied for distance and the circular areas should slightly overlap). For example, I can hear the airport siren from my home. However, according to Chief Martins, there is a ‘significant’ area of the city that has a lack of siren coverage. The budget included funds to determine areas in need. However, there is not full agreement at the Council for this to move forward.”

It’s hard to imagine anyone not having access to information about severe weather, but I repeat. A small personal investment is better than spending hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Alderman Wilhelm also writes:

Franklin’s Mission/Vision – An 8am Saturday Council meeting was held to discuss the City’s vision and mission, plus other items. Unfortunately, two aldermen weren’t able to make it (myself included). The Council adopted the previous mission/vision statements for the city. I heard citizens were not eager to join and provide input at 8 am on a Saturday.”

Gee, imagine that.

What the smoking ban means

There’s an old saying in politics: “The devil is in the details.”

Here’s a closer look at the statewide smoking ban that will get a hasty public hearing Tuesday before the state Senate’s Health Committee.

How is smoking defined? Under the bill, “smoking” means carrying a lighted burning or holding,

or inhaling or exhaling smoke from, any of the following items containing tobacco:

1. A lighted cigar.
2. A lighted cigarette.
3. A lighted pipe.
4. Any other lighted smoking equipment.

No person may smoke in any of the following enclosed places:

The state capitol.

Residence halls or dormitories owned or operated by a college or university.

Day care centers.


Correctional facilities.

State institutions.


Private clubs.

Common areas of multiple−unit residential properties.

All enclosed places that are places of employment or that are public places.

Any enclosed, indoor area of a state, county, city, village, or town building. 

No person may smoke in any of the following:

1. A sports arena.
2. A bus shelter.
3. A public conveyance.

The bill defines “a place of employment” to be any indoor place that employees normally frequent during the course of employment, such as an office, a work area, an employee lounge, a restroom, a conference room, a meeting room, a classroom, or a hallway. The bill also defines a “public place” to be a place that is open to the public, regardless of whether a fee is charged or a place to which the public has lawful access or may be invited. In addition, the bill defines an “enclosed place” for purposes of determining at what locations smoking is prohibited. An enclosed place must have a roof and at least two walls.


No person in charge may allow any person to smoke in violation at a location that is under the

Read more

Did the swine flu originate in Wisconsin?

says yes.


A brilliant question about our abortion president

It comes from nationally syndicated radio host Allen Hunt, who poses the following about our baby-killing president:

“How does one vote for and endorse the killing of unborn children, even via partial birth abortion or via the ending of a life that arrives even after an abortion has tried to end it, and then articulate a ‘moral’ mandate not to torture our enemies because of the dignity of the human individual?”

A morally bankrupt individual could certainly have such a warped mindset.

Read Allen Hunt’s column.

World Press Photos of the Year 2008

Every Sunday, I post my Photos of the Week.

The 2008 World Press Photo Awards were handed out in Amsterdam over the weekend.

This picture by US photographer Anthony Suau, for Time won the World Press Photo of the Year 2008 award, it was announced by the organisers on 13 February 2009 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. US Economy in Crisis: Following eviction, Detective Robert Kole must ensure residents have moved out of their home in Cleveland, Ohio, 26 March 2008.

This picture by US photographer Anthony Suau, for Time won the World Press Photo of the Year 2008 award, it was announced by the organisers on 13 February 2009 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. US Economy in Crisis: Following eviction, Detective Robert Kole must ensure residents have moved out of their home in Cleveland, Ohio, 26 March 2008.

Read more about the man in the award-winning photo.

Here are all the winning photos.

Can you buy a Craftsman goat at Sears?

Seems to me that late last summer, state Senator Mary Lazich blogged about how the government is going to control your lawnmower.

Let’s hit the blog rewind button to see if I’m right.

Sure enough, there it is, goats being used in California to act as living, breathing lawnmowers.

Don’t laugh. You know how all trends start in California. Google is using goats to cut the grass at their corporate HQ.

This will hit Wisconsin. It's only a  matter of time.



From Munich, Germany, July, 1997....

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*BREAKING NEWS: Mark Belling jaywalks*

I’m always amazed and amused when folks who’ve never spent one minute behind a live microphone pretend to know something about the radio business or conducting a radio program. The blogosphere is loaded with these so-called “experts.”

Many are in a tizzy over one of their favorite targets and what he wrote rather than what he said. Their moonbat noses are bent out of shape over Mark Belling’s Kentucky Derby predictions.

Yes, Belling was incorrect about his Derby winner on his website last week. So were a ton of other fans and bettors.

The detractors wouldn’t know the quality of good radio from an electric razor. A favorite of mine is how they always refer to talk radio hosts that don't share the planet Mars with them as “entertainers.” As if that’s a bad thing. Because heaven knows, when I get in my car and turn on Sirius Satellite Radio, I do my best to find a boring channel.

Conservative talk shows are far more popular than those hosted by lefties. Why?  Listen to Wisconsin Public Radio or any liberal talk show host and it’s painfully obvious. They’re awful. Once they run out of emotional crying towels, it’s difficult for them to make salient observations or arguments, and they can't help but become amateurish to say the least.

An entire hour on the effect of zebra mussels?  ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.

Isn’t what Michelle is wearing these days simply divine? ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.

Republicans, bad. Republicans, evil. Republicans, nasty. Yeh, yeh, yeh.

You have to be interesting, a simple, logical point that escapes a lefty with access to AM radio.

By now, many of you have heard that Belling wrote on his website that if a certain horse won the Derby, he’d give up betting on races and vote for Jim Doyle.  And guess what happened?

I’m not making excuses for Belling, but in the process of making a sports prognostication, he got cute. Some would argue too cute. I believe yours truly once said on television that if the Bucks made the playoffs this season that I’d walk down Wisconsin Avenue during the noon hour in my shorts.

It’s not like Belling said he’d leave the country if George Bush lost to John Kerry. Who’d be stupid enough to say something like that?

So now bloggers and some others who a) don’t know beans about radio and b) love to hate certain hosts have their undies in a bundle.





Get a grip, moonbats!

There have been many blogs written about this entire episode. This might be the best. It certainly is the most comprehensive.

Please tell me what can I do to make a difference?

There’s a question I get asked quite often by citizens who are frustrated with the current political status and want to make the proverbial “difference.” They’re just not sure how.

What can I do? What can we do? What can anybody do?

The answer is far from simple, given that the donkey party runs everything. If their members want to jam something down our throats, no matter how unpalatable, they can and will do it.

That doesn’t mean you toss in towel, become apathetic, and hide silently under the mattress. All is not totally lost.

Conservative columnist and blogger John Hawkins has a penchant for coming up with compelling lists, and he’s done it again with, “Twenty Small Ways to Help Get Our Country Back on Track.”

Twenty, ladies and gentlemen. Not 2, or 3, or 5, or 10……20. Certainly, if you care enough you find one, or hey, maybe even more to get you off the couch to spring into action.

1) Read the Constitution and read the Bible

2) Support and/or join organizations that are making a positive difference

3) Go to your local Tea Parties

4) Get involved with local politics

5) Join the Republican Party

And those are only the first five. To see the rest and Hawkins’ comments on each, you know what to do.

Mom deserves it

Call a restaurant now before you're told they're all filled up. 

The latest attack on Miss California: She was almost, almost nude!

The slimy left can’t figure out a classy, intellectual way to deal with traditional marriage supporter, Carrie Prejean, Miss California, so it attacks the model for posing as a model.

The liberal headlines blare, “Is Miss California in trouble?” Oh, and the beauty queen reportedly had a boob job. Sorry, MSM, but that’s a dog bites man story.

I am glad to hear that Ms. Prejean will keep fighting, no matter how much garbage they toss at her. She just doesn't fit the bizarro, flaky left, Hollywood template. Good for her.

Don’t worry, Miss California. Let them take your tiara away. History shows that they really, really, really showed this woman, too, didn’t they?

And if you missed this column in my Saturday Recommended Reading round-up, it’s worth your time:

My apology to Perez Hilton

“Good afternoon, Perez. I’m sorry I haven’t yet taken the time to write you in response to your little flap with Miss California. I’ve been down in South Carolina spending the last few days with a beautiful woman who is opposed to gay marriage. I hope that doesn’t offend you. In Hollywood, that’s called bigotry. In South Carolina, it’s called ‘normal’.”

Earth to clueless Elizabeth Edwards...


I'll admit the entire Brett Favre soap opera can be somewhat annoying, however...

You gotta admit.

2009 NFL season.

Packers vs. Vikings.

Not once, but twice.

Favre in purple and gold.

The theater would be quite dramatic.

You want to see it,  admit it.

MORE The economy is so bad that...

I'll sell you my hair, and anything else on my body.


A blog that is guaranteed, I'm telling you it is guaranteed to drive women absolutely wild!

What do women like more than anything?

Other than their own presumptuous whims?

Would it be, could it be...... men?

How about men they invite into their homes each and every day?

Well, maybe not.

How about....

Nah, not good enough.

Hey, I know. This always works...

Something a bit bigger, you say....


No, no, no.

#1 on their hit parade that drives them out of their skulls has got to be…

The problem is….

Yes, I know…

You love it.,,,

It doesn’t love you.

Enter David Edwards, Harvard professor, who soon just might be the most popular man in America. He has come up with Le Whif.

Le Whif is an inhalable chocolate. You just sniff the stuff and you’re in chocolate heaven, only without all that extra

Sound great?


Be honest.

Not the same.

Admit it.

You want the real thing, donthcha?

More from

Oprah wants to buy you some KFC

It's true.


Bathroom humor

Most people with computers get bombarded with inconsequential junk in their inbox: jokes, stories, cartoons, etc.

Most of it is just what I said....junk.

Every once in awhile, you receive something of note. I thought so with some photos a friends passed along. I was able to track them to a few blog sites, including this one.

The president claims he's a Christian

"I am a Christian. So, I have a deep faith.  I'm rooted in the Christian tradition. I believe that there are many paths to the same place, and that is a belief that there is a higher power, a belief that we are connected as a people. That there are values that transcend race or culture, that move us forward, and there's an obligation for all of us individually as well as collectively to take responsibility to make those values lived."

Barack Obama, Chicago Sun-Times, April 5, 2004

“I am a Christian.  I am a devout Christian. I’ve been a member of the same church for 20 years. I pray to Jesus every night and try to go to church as much as I can. My faith is important to me. It’s not something that I try to push on other people. But it’s something that helps to guide my life and my values.”
Obama, LA Times, March 2, 2008

hen prove it, Mr. President. Prove it.

Give the National Day of Prayer the full honor and respect it deserves.

President Bush’s 2008 National Day of Prayer Proclamation

Would newspapers have a better chance at survival if they were more conservative?

1) I strongly believe there is a liberal bias that permeates the vast majority of the mainstream media. That is not a news bulletin.

2) I very much want  newspapers to survive.

The fine conservative columnist at the Boston Globe, Jeff Jacoby has a very interesting piece making the case that the liberal ideology thriving in newsrooms is not killing the profession.


New energy bill too costly for America

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Will Franklin get stimulus $$$?

The answer is no.

Franklin’s City Engineer Jack Bennett informed Mayor Taylor and the Common Council that a SEWRPC committee voted today not to use federal stimulus money in Franklin.

But then, we knew this was going to happen, didn’t we?

I am not unhappy about this. We don’t need federal money with strings attached for road projects after all.

Another talk show host in hot water

This is Jay Severin of WTKK-AM Radio:

During a broadcast last week, talk show host Jay Severin called Mexican immigrants 'criminaliens,' 'leeches,' 'the world’s lowest of primitives,' and exporters of 'women with mustaches and VD.' His station, WTKK-FM suspended him.

They’re calling for his head in Boston.

The talk show host made some inflammatory on-air comments last week as the swine flu outbreak hit the world. From the Boston Globe:

During a broadcast last week, Severin called Mexican immigrants ‘criminaliens,’ ‘leeches,’ ‘the world's lowest of primitives,’ and exporters of ‘women with mustaches and VD,’ among other incendiary comments he made as swine flu spread from Mexico to the United States and beyond.”

Severin has been suspended indefinitely. Whether he returns to WTKK remains to be seen.

Severin should get his job back. As a talk show myself, I understand what fuels Severin's feelings. However, there were dozens of other ways to express his views. Severin should have been smart enough to know that in this day and age of a double standard where conservative broadcasters are held to higher ideals, he was bound to be the target of a witch hunt.

A suspension? Fine.

A pink slip? because he was offensive? Because you don't like the guy? No way.

The story…

MN Governor kicks sand in our face

That would be Tim Pawlenty...

Are fools running the UW-Oshkosh?

I think so.


UPDATE: If you read or write on the Internet, this is important

I have written extensively and passionately about my disdain for anonymous blog writers. That includes people who post reactionary comments. Not all are irresponsible, but too many are despicable, devious, and downright evil.

I wish you could read the e-mails I get.

It’s rather easy to hide like a coward behind some nickname and toss out filthy trash with little or no substantiation. You can write anything you want, no matter how false it is, hit the send button, puff up your chest, and go brag to your friends that you sure showed whomever. That’s real class. The sophomoric class.

Another ploy is to use a fictitious name, pretending to be some phony, non-existent person. It’s happened quite a bit right here on the FranklinNOW site and I’m sure many others. What’s even worse is that others, and they know who they are, are fully aware of the goings-on but totally dismiss this twisted behavior. I tell you what. You want more details? If you ever see me out and about in our humble 53132 zip code, and many of you do, simply ask me to elaborate and I just might, but not here.

I love this. There’s an individual, banned from commenting on my blog because of the flat out lies he has peddled, who is allowed to comment on other blogs written by Franklin residents who always, ironically, promotes “transparency” in local government. And yet the other bloggers know who he is (I exposed him on my blog months ago) but permit him to post using one false moniker after another.  I’d rather have zero comments on a blog entry than a hundred phony, anonymous, and usually spiteful comments.

This same individual managed to catch Franklin bloggers in a naïve moment last year willing to swallow his slimy, filthy, untrue bait about the Boomgaard controversy. Boomgaard was an ill-advised suggested branding name for the S.27th Street District bordering Oak Creek and Franklin. The anonymous writer (but well-known to the Franklin bloggers) fed the bloggers with unseemly untruths about the Boomgaard name. Rather than firmly grasping the watchdog role these bloggers normally like to wrap themselves in, and rather than view the anonymous individual’s trash as last week’s fish wrapped in some newspaper, the bloggers irresponsibly chose to print his lies and deal with the truth later. To this day, the bloggers have yet to accept responsibility and publicly admit they allowed blatant lies to go out over their blogs. That’s part of the danger of anonymous people writing into blogs.

Late last year, I wrote about the case of Lori Drew who masqueraded as a teenage boy to hurt a young teenage girl who later committed suicide. Let me spell this out, nice and easy for all to understand, including those who have come on this website and used false identities, and those who are fully aware of this activity.

Lori Drew is an adult woman who should have known better.

Lori Drew pretended to be someone she wasn’t.

Lori Drew, in a twisted, sick, demented manner tried to manipulate the emotions of others, including a young teenage girl.

That girl is dead because of Lori Drew.

This is a rather lengthy intro to another example of how psychotic, evil people have used the Internet for diabolical means. Newsweek writes this week about a sad case:

This is a story about a photo—an image so horrific we can't print it in NEWSWEEK. The picture shows the lifeless body of an 18-year-old Orange County girl named Nikki Catsouras, who was killed in a devastating car crash on Halloween day in 2006. The accident was so gruesome the coroner wouldn't allow her parents, Christos and Lesli Catsouras, to identify their daughter's body. But because of two California Highway Patrol officers, a digital camera and e-mail users' easy access to the "Forward" button, there are now nine photos of the accident scene, taken just moments after Nikki's death, circulating virally on the Web. In one, her nearly decapitated head is drooping out the shattered window of her father's Porsche.

It touches on so many of the ways the Web has become perverted: as an outlet for morbid curiosities, a space where cruel behavior suffers little consequence and an uncontrollable forum in which things that were once private—like photos of the dead—can go public in an instant. The case also illustrates how the law has struggled to define how legal concepts like privacy and defamation are translated into an online world.”

Read the entire Newsweek article.

If there is any justice in the world, someday, these anonymous creeps will get theirs.

House Democrats vote to protect pedophiles, but not veterans

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InterCHANGE is back

Here are the topics the panel discusses Friday night during InterCHANGE on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10 at 6:30 with a repeat Sunday morning at 11:00:


Governor Doyle brings all the mayors to Madison to let them know that they won’t be getting all the shared revenues they might be expecting.  Mayor Barrett threatens the possibility of furloughs for City of Milwaukee employees.  MATC worries about its biggest budget shortfall in decades.  Are all these budget problems real, or is political posturing a big part of the hysteria as entities try to grab the biggest piece of the pie?  As the financial crisis continues,  people lose jobs, homes are foreclosed upon, home properties fall in assessed value, and property, sales, and income taxes fall, is it foolish to think that things will continue along as they always have, or are drastic cuts on the horizon?  What will those cuts be?  Who will get hit the hardest?


After years of discussion and debate, it looks like Wisconsin will finally become a “smoke-free workplace” state.  If all remains as presently proposed, bars, restaurants, etc. will all be smoke-free one year from this July.  Is it about time?  Was this a tricky rush job pushed through by democrat lawmakers?  Was there enough of an opportunity for public comment?  Is it fair for the state to tell private business owners how they have to run their businesses? Should we be at all concerned with the rights of smokers?  Was this really an issue about maintaining a healthy workplace for employees by protecting them from secondhand smoke?  Or, was it the only approach left in the attempt to control a deadly but legal product?

3 – FAVRE.

Will he play for the Vikings or not?  Is Favre a nut-job, or is he still one of the best quarterbacks in the N-F-L, A GUY who just wants to play ball?  Will the Green Bay fans forgive him if he ends up playing for the Vikings?  Will we still be talking about this next year?

Doyle targets state employees

When the private sector is suffering, the public sector needs to sacrifice as well.

Now Governor Doyle, nix the huge tax and spending increases.


Don't forget to leave goodies for your letter carrier...

This Saturday.

How much did the president cut from the federal budget?

President Obama: Budget Cutter?!

No Change Here, Still the Largest Budget in History

In these tough economic times, many American families are cutting back on their household budgets just to make ends meet.

Some are cutting back on groceries ... others are having trouble making car payments.

And some are even losing their homes.

So today, when President Obama proudly announced that he had slashed dollars from the massive tax-and-spend budget passed by Congress last week -- how much do you think he cut?

Take our quick quiz below ... and then learn how much the president really cut from the largest budget in American history:

President Obama Says He Cut the Budget ... How Much Do You Think He Cut?

Did He Cut:

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Sex offenders and the Little League

A This Just In reader in Newington, Connecticut has written an outstanding piece claiming that Little League International that oversees the Little League program fails to provide adequate protection from sex offenders.

Sandra Austin Goldstein describes herself as, “just a mom of a player who's standing up to try and get changes made that are so desperately needed.”

I am pleased she has given me permission to publish her column on This Just In. Goldstein sent a longer version to USA Baseball Executive Director/CEO Paul Seiler in March 2009. Seiler forwarded the piece personally to Little League Baseball Inc. that works with Little League International. Goldstein has yet to receive a response to her column.

Regular readers of my blog know how passionate I am about the issue of sex offenders and sex predators. I am pleased to share this fine work by Sandra Austin Goldstein in the hopes it heightens awareness and helps address what could be a very serious problem.


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A White House resignation

"I have concluded that the controversy surrounding the Presidential Airlift Group's aerial photo shoot over New York City has made it impossible for me to effectively lead the White House Military Office."

 Louis Caldera in a letter to President Obama

Translation: Obama made me do it.

The rosy economic world according to Obama

’s jobless rate has hit a 26-year high.

True, April was the third consecutive month row where the number of jobs lost was not on the rise. Fewer jobs were lost in April than in any other month the previous six. However, 540,000, let me repeat that number…540,000 more jobs disappeared in total during April.

Never mind. The media that continues to drink the Obama Kool-Aid puts on a cheery spin.

David Leonhart of the NY Times: "Before February, job losses had accelerated for six straight months. Last month’s loss was the smallest since October."

The Reuters headline: "U.S. sheds fewest jobs in months.”

The president, who promised to create or save 3 million jobs, says more work needs to be done but the economy appears to be getting getter.

Excuse me?

Tell that to the 540,000 people who discovered unemployment last month.

The Wall Street Journal gets it right: Less bad isn’t good.

Dolan continues to impress in NY

Former Milwaukee Archbishop Timothy Dolan makes it clear to the Wall Street Journal he is adamantly pro-choice…………………on education.

Dolan faces a declining New York archdiocese. Over 50 schools have shut down in the past 25 years. Can the rest hold out and survive? Lack of funding is an issue. But don’t tell that to the ebullient Dolan.

"It's why the Catholic schools are scrappy,“ he told the WSJ. "And in a way that's part of the genius of our schools: We are not rolling in dough. We have to fight for every dime; it becomes a communal endeavor. There is a sense of pride and ownership among the people because, darn it, we fought for this school, we love it, we scraped for it, we have mopped floors and painted classrooms, and we do not take this for granted."

Dolan also addressed why 20-something’s raised as Catholics are turning away, and why fewer people want to become priests and nuns.

You can read what he had to say here.

Headed your way this weekend on This Just In...

Saturday, our regular features: Wake up to The Barking Lot and Week-ends.

We'll have our regular edition of Recommended Reading along with a special Mother's Day version of Recommended Reading.

Sunday, My Most Popular Blogs, Photos of the Week, The MJS Scorecard, and Culinary no-no.

And more than likely some other thoughts as well.

Remember to stop in again, and thanks.


Goodnight everyone, and have a wonderful Mother's Day weekend

The weekend has finally arrived. The sun has set. The evening sky has erupted. Let's put controversy and provocative blogs aside for the rest of this work week and smooth our way into Saturday and Sunday.

During this regular weekly feature, we’ve gone slow, soft, mellow, jazzy, toe-tapping, Latin, and more.

Tonight, we get cute.

My darling wife, Jennifer and I on March 25th celebrated the birth of a beautiful girl, Kyla.  She is a gorgeous blessing from God we cherish in words and feelings that are indescribable. This Mother’s Day weekend will be very special for us and our entire family.

This particular Friday night segment has been dedicated to music that is soft and soothing. We may stretch the boundaries a bit tonight but I believe it’s fitting. In honor of my precious, angelic little girl, and all moms everywhere, I present my favorite artist singing affectionately to, who else, pretty little girls.  They’re the kind of songs that a young Elvis fan upon first seeing and hearing wondered, what’s this all about? I now view these songs in a totally different perspective. Even if you’re not a fan, I think you will enjoy these heartwarming tunes.

Let's begin with this clip from "It Happened at the World's Fair" as Elivs tries to cheer up Vicky Tiu.

Come on and buzz a little, buzz a little, sing a little, sing a little, buzz a little, sing a little bit with me!


Read more

The Barking Lot (5/9/09)

The Barking Lot

The Barking Lot is a regular weekly feature of this just in
Written by my lovely wife, Jennifer and me.  It opens with the weekend dog walking forecast followed by the main blog from dog lover, Jennifer. Then its DOGS IN THE NEWS and our close. Enjoy!

We grade the weather outlook for taking your pet outdoors. 

TODAY:  Windy with early morning showers, then partly cloudy skies. High of 56. "D" in the morning, "C" later.

SUNDAY:  Partly cloudy. High of 56. "C"


Franklin needs three.

Oak Creek needs two.

Greenfield needs one.

They need nine at the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Department and 13 at the House of Corrections.

Are you thinking K-9 officers?

No, that’s not it.

They have the dogs. Now they need to outfit them in protective vests.

K-9’s are bona fide law enforcement. Because they heroically assist their human partners, they share the same risks, are susceptible to the same dangers. As a result, they are stabbed and shot in the line of duty. About a dozen die every year.

Law enforcement departments don’t have the resources to provide an $840 vest for each K-9. That’s where this group comes into play:

Donna Morgan of Janesville was shocked one Saturday night watching “America’s Most Wanted” to see a police dog, Kai, shot in the chest by a criminal Kai was sent to disarm. Kai managed to disarm the shooter before he died.

America’s Most Wanted” showed the tape for a purpose. The program told the story of how an 11-year old girl got the idea to start the Vest a Dog in California. Donna Morgan was inspired. At the end of the program she dialed a number on the screen and was disappointed to learn that no one was working to vest K-9’s in Wisconsin.

She formed the Wisconsin Vest-a-Dog program in 2007. Her laudable goal: Obtain a bullet proof, stab proof vest for every K-9 officer in the state of Wisconsin.

Read more about the program and then consider a tax deductible donation. The website has a wealth of information about this worthwhile cause.

Also, the Janesville Gazette has more on Donna Morgan who founded the Wisconsin Vest-a-Dog program. 

Time now for DOGS IN THE NEWS, canines that made headlines the past week.

K-9 dog in Florida
stabbed in mouth.

Stray dogs in Malaysia turn to cannibalism.

Hoagie, an amazing hero.

Jess Craigie
is also a hero.

Here's an
update on the woman who taped a dog to a fridge.

More evidence you should get a dog if you don't have one (Yes, I know the trouble I'm getting myself into). Dogs are good for
your taxes AND your health.

Is your dog's brain ok?

gestures can a dog understand?

You've heard of Chanel #5?
Try Chanel #120.

Who says Franklin isn't cool?

That's it for this week. Thanks for stopping by. We always like to close with a doggie-related video.


Read more

Week-ends (5/9/09)


A  look back at the people and events that made news the past week.
Week-ends is a regular weekly feature of This Just In...


Forgotten D-day troops

College student in Georgia


Zach Bonner

Kathy Ireland

Bristol Palin

Rick Ankiel

Oh......and this guy.


Nancy Pelosi

Governor Doyle

Drew Peterson

Richard McTear

Forrest Day

Diane Lozaw

Justiniano Alvarez

Father Alberto Cutié

Rembert Weakland

Chuck E. Cheese


"When somebody has a disfigurement and don't look as pretty as you do, don't judge them, because you never know what happened to them. Don't judge people who don't look the same as you do. Because you never know. One day it might be all taken away. I'm not a monster. I'm a person who was shot.”
Connie Culp at a news conference at the Cleveland Clinic where she became the first face transplant patient in the United States. The 46-year-old mother of two lost most of the midsection of her face to a gunshot in 2004. The initial surgery by the Cleveland Clinic team took place in December 2008.

"Accept my sincere apologies for the confusion. We will continue to work with the people of Kenosha to ensure an orderly transition."
Chrysler CEO Bob Nardelli apologizing in a letter to the Wisconsin congressional delegation and Governor Doyle for telling them during a conference call last week that Chrysler was still considering keeping the Kenosha engine plant open. The following day, Chrysler would close the plant. Nardelli said he mistakenly passed along information about the status of the Trenton, Michigan plant in response to a question about the Kenosha facility.

"Let me be clear about what this prospect entails: If you grant Chrysler any additional bailout funds, you are using taxpayers’ hard-earned money to send jobs to Mexico."
Wisconsin Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R--Menomonee Falls) urging Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner to deny federal funding to Chrysler after it closed its plant in Kenosha.

"That's a bunch of pencil-pushing ne’er-do-wells who make it their career to hassle property owners for changing a rotten deck board on their pier."
State Representative Joel Kleefisch ( R-Oconomowoc) referring to the Department of Natural Resources at a news conference blasting Governor Doyle for cutting GPS tracking of sex offenders in his budget. Kleefisch said money could be taken from the DNR to pay for GPS.

"As soon as this bill takes effect, it will start saving lives of our citizens and saving money for our taxpayers."
State Senator Fred Risser (D-Madison) on a compromise statewide smoking ban.

I feel the economy is going in the tank enough the way it is. What they’re doing is going to push it even farther. I’m very upset that they keep controlling our basic rights. Tobacco is a legal product."
Mike Brown, owner of the Logan Bar and vice president of the La Crosse County Tavern League who opposes the smoking ban.


What the state paid to steal another slogan.


Doyle approval ratings are down.


Dan Gokey and Brett Favre. I'm thinking it was legit.


May Madness or, the hot girl contest.

Busty women unite!

didn't help.

REMEMBER: Your suggestions/nominations for any of these categories every week are welcome, especially for HEROES OF THE WEEK. If you know of anyone in the community deserving of recognition, please e-mail me.

Recommended Reading: The Mother's Day edition

Recommended reading

Ten ways to mother

"Each week I hear from new moms who know something is amiss in the culture, instinctively know they need to change how they are parenting, but aren't quite sure where to start. So what is the best way to begin? By living out the principles, behavior and values you want your children to develop.  

So as I salute you in your efforts to truly mother your kids, here are ten simple ways how you can set the example for your children..."

Culture challenge of the week: Minimalizing mothering

"Mothers are increasingly expected to be benchwarmers in the lives of our children so we don't get in the way of the 'professionals.' Many public educators believe they know what is best for your son or daughter. But they can't possibly understand the unique history, gifts and needs of each child shuffled through a system built for the masses.

Mother's Day more than greeting cards, brunch

"Mother's Day isn't about how much you buy mom - it's about how you honor your mother."

Letters from Mom: A voice I  needed to remember

"The letters, now faded, were from my mother, Peggy Chandler, who passed away 19 months ago after a 19-year battle with Alzheimer's."

The messiness of Mother's Day

"I don’t often want to deck someone within 20 seconds of entering church. But that’s exactly what happened about this time last year. I was visiting a friend’s large, seeker-friendly church with her one Sunday morning in May. A gregarious man greeted us at the door and wished us both a hearty 'Happy Mother’s Day'!"

Mother's Day tinged with sadness for birthmoms

"Many birthmothers can't shake their anguish and guilt when Mother's Day rolls around each May, so they've taken on the Saturday before the holiday as their own _ Birth Mother's Day."

Getting a read on your child’s literature

"A Mother's Day fundraiser for the single biggest abortion provider in the United States (subsidized by your tax dollars) is insulting, most especially to the women who are suffering because they rejected motherhood and know they ended a life in the process."


UPDATE: Does Franklin need warning sirens?

Earlier this week, I raised the above question, suggesting there is a better, less costly alternative.

Two days later, meteorologist extraordinaire Craig Koplien in his piece in the Journal Sentinel was advocating. guess what?

Craig, this could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Recommended reading (5/9/09)

Recommended reading

Here are, in my view, interesting, noteworthy columns and articles from the past week that I highly recommend (You will note that on occasion, I do not endorse the opinions of the author and may point that out. Despite my disagreements, I still feel the piece is worth a read).

Free cars for poor fuel road rage

"Gov. Deval Patrick's free wheels for welfare recipients program is revving up despite the stalled economy, as the keys to donated cars loaded with state-funded insurance, repairs and even AAA membership are handed out to get them to work."

Watching MSNBC is torture

"Contrary to MSNBC hosts who are afraid of bugs, water and their own shadows, waterboarding was most definitely not a ‘war crime’ for which the Japanese were prosecuted after World War II -- no matter how many times Mrs. Jonathan Turley, professor of cooking at George Washington University, says so."

Unwed teen pregnancy no joke

“Bristol Palin is back in the news. The Alaska governor's daughter became the most famous unwed pregnant teenager in America last summer when her mother was nominated to be the GOP's vice presidential candidate. Since then, Bristol has given birth to a boy in December and the engagement to the baby's father has ended. This week she took center stage again for promoting abstinence among teenagers as part of Teen Pregnancy Awareness Day — but she's been greeted with howls of derision from pundits and others who think her actions are hypocritical. But before critics jump on Bristol, maybe they should consider the facts."

The destruction of MIss America

"And where is the National Organization for Women? A young woman is being victimized by hate speech, actually being called a bitch on a variety of television programs, and NOW has no comment? Again, the hypocrisy is breathtaking."

The Free Choice Act is anything but

Last year, I (George McGovern) wrote on these pages that I was opposed to this bill because it would eliminate secret ballots in union organizing elections. However, the bill has an additional feature that isn't often mentioned but that is just as troublesome -- compulsory arbitration."

Fraud in Academia
The author refers to a piece written by my firend, Thomas Reeves that I posted a few weeks ago.

"Soon college students will come home and present parents with their grades. To avoid delusion, parents should do some serious discounting because of rampant grade inflation. If grade inflation continues, a college bachelor's degree will have just as much credibility as a high school diploma."

Obama's top ten faith moments

The ‘10 most important Obama faith moments’ include: 1) Two encouraging Muslim relations and religion around the world, 2) two extending and increasing terminations of human life in the womb, 3) one non-religious speaking engagement at a university, 4) two acts promoting community development, 5) seven events that included invocations, 5) and one about the sight of religious soot on the forehead of the vice president.”

Time to retire celibacy requirement for priests

"Over and over again, callers have said: He may be a priest, but he's still a man. The church rule is the problem, not the priest.
Maybe so, but what happened to personal responsibility?"

Steroids hysteria

"Dr. Norman Fost, a bioethicist at the University of Wisconsin, says it's all bunk. The anti-steroid movement, he says, is filled with hysteria and hype."

MPS teachers are their own worst enemies

Do you know any MPS teachers?

I do, many, as a matter of fact.

Let me tell you about them. They are very nice, good, hard-working, caring, decent individuals.

Trust me, I would never want their job.

Here’s another characteristic of all of them, and all MPS teachers in general. They would never, ever, ever, ever, pass a course in public relations. Actually, they would fail miserably.

They are their own worst enemies. The more they talk about themselves, their jobs, their daily routine, the more their support among the public fades and fades. Why? Because the crowd they’re talking to, moaning and groaning to, just isn’t buying it.

The latest PR debacle just took place.

MPS teachers, you’re always crying the blues about how you don’t earn enough and that you deserve more money. You want money?


Ok. You can have it. But you’ll have to work harder and longer.



Public support for MPS teachers?  Hear that air, slowly, slowly, seeping out of the balloon?

Part of the problem is that MPS teacher have had an absolute brain-dead union working on their behalf. But MPS teachers, whether forced to or not, have blindly followed this incompetent leadership like lemmings.

Governor Doyle has just announced that folks like me might have to, OH MY GOD, endure a 16-day unpaid vacation over the next two years. The whining has already begun.

MPS teachers, and it’s a fact, walk off the job in mid-June and shouldn’t, if they know how to budget and adjust properly, have to worry (or work) again until, oh, say Labor Day. Don’t listen to any MPS teacher who plays the “woe is me” game summertime. Given the same option, I’ll find a way to survive.

Here’s the deal, MPS teachers and everyone else in the PUBLIC sector. The taxpaying public doesn’t care.





They don’t have the job security you enjoy.  They have been handed pink slips. They have been told work more for less (unlike MPS teachers who were asked to work more for more).

Given that MPS union officials and the rank and file are PR buffoons and shoot themselves in the foot every time they speak, here’s some friendly advice, especially when your school board is asking for double digit tax increases:

1) Most importantly: Just clam up.

2) Do your job.

3) Have the guts to tell your union to start being an effective tool on your behalf.

4) Drop the crying towels in Lake Michigan.


Kevin's favorites


Thinking of Steve Olson

On this Mother's Day, please think about Franklin alderman Steve Olson. He lost his mother on Friday.

Steve, Jennifer and I extend our deepest sympathies. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

UPDATE: Patricia Olson obituary

My most popular blogs (5/10/09)

Most popular

As I post every Sunday, here are the top five most popular of my blog entries from the previous week:

1) Does Franklin need tornado sirens?

2) A blog that is guaranteed, I'm telling you it is guaranteed to drive women absolutely wild!

3) Culinary no-no #110


5) *BREAKING NEWS: Mark Belling jaywalks*

The MJS Scorecard (5/10/09)

MJS Scorecard


It should also be noted that this exercise is a categorization. Most, if not all of these articles submitted to, or solicited by the Crossroads staff are well-written, thoughtful, and provocative. I enjoy reading them as I have every Sunday for as long as I can remember. This weekly compilation is an ideological scorecard, not a writing critique.


Michael Rosen: In hard times, state must invest more in vital technical colleges 

Barbara Miner: It's time for transparency in vouchers 

Nuclear energy too risky when efficiency works


Only nuclear can offer plentiful clean power


John Drew: Don't send car jobs to Mexico 

Tim Sullivan, Paul Purcell and Jeff Joerres: Six ways Milwaukee can step it up in educating its children 


TODAY: Liberal-3, Conservative-1

YEAR TO DATE: Liberal-39, Conservative-35

It's not often the gang that couldn't shoot straight (The MJS Editorial Board) nails one...

So let's give them the not too frequent credit they deserve.

That would be on this one....


Happy Mother's Day!

Please indulge me, folks.

Mother’s Day is very, very special in the Fischer household this year.

I have interviewed U.S. presidents, met foreign leaders, rubbed elbows with celebrities. Nothing tops what has happened to me the past few years.

I have met and married an incredible woman, my wonderful wife, Jennifer. To say we are a happy couple doesn’t do it justice. In March, we had our first child, a beautiful baby girl.  Don’t believe me, the oh-so proud papa. Everyone that has feasted eyes upon Kyla Fischer has reacted using the same word: “Perfect.”

Kyla is that, and much, much more. I worry not about all the lies and trash and stupid comments that are said and printed about me. I have a wonderful family. That’s all that matters to me.

My mother, still going strong, God bless her, will be over today. She could care less about seeing this big lug. She wishes she could see Kyla every single hour of every single day. Mom’s amazing, and she’s been given a second life, if you will, thanks to adorable Kyla.

Thank you, dear God. 

Thank you for all the blessings you have bestowed upon me for my entire life, and they have been many.  My special thanks for the blessing of blessings, a beautiful, healthy baby girl that is precious beyond belief.

Thank you, dear God, for wonderful Jennifer who has been the quintessential wife and mother.

Kyla’s birth has strengthened even more so my defense for the unborn and my utter disdain for those who would abuse infants and children.

Happy Mother’s Day Mom, Jennifer, all you moms, mothers-to-be, and women who wish they could be mothers.

You have no idea how much I admire each and every one of you.

Photos of the Week (5/10/09)

Photos of the Week

In this photograph released by the White House, one of the president's official planes flies over the Statue of Liberty in New York in this undated photograph. On Friday, the White House released the picture that panicked New York _ a spectacular shot of the president's official plane soaring majestically past the Statue of Liberty. The Obama administration also announced the departure under fire of Louis Caldera, the White House official who authorized the $328,835 photo shoot, which gave the city heart-thumping Sept. 11 flashbacks, enraged local officials and forced the president to condemn the incident.

In this photograph released by the White House, one of the president's official planes flies over the Statue of Liberty in New York in this undated photograph. On Friday, the White House released the picture that panicked New York _ a spectacular shot of the president's official plane soaring majestically past the Statue of Liberty. The Obama administration also announced the departure under fire of Louis Caldera, the White House official who authorized the $328,835 photo shoot, which gave the city heart-thumping Sept. 11 flashbacks, enraged local officials and forced the president to condemn the incident. AP photo.

Mexico Swine Flu

Lorena Balderas, 21, lies in bed while under observation in the area where people suspected to have contracted the swine flu virus are treated at the Naval hospital in Mexico City, Sunday, May 3, 2009. (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills)


Read more

My musical Mother's Day card

Happy Mother's Day to all you mom's, mother's to be, and women who wish they could be mom's.

It seems that all the great Mother's Day songs are country tunes. Let's begin my musical Mother's Day card to you with a classic by Loretta Lynn performed, appropriately in this case, on the Muppets Show.

Read more

How much does it cost to have a baby?

Take a guess. Any idea?

Think you can come within a thousand dollars or two?

Here's the answer.


Woe is me: Technical colleges

Did you catch Michael Rosen’s guest column in Sunday’s Crossroads section of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel? The one where Rosen, an outspoken liberal activist pulled out the crying towel for technical colleges?

Rosen dusts off the liberal playbook by writing the state needs to “invest” in technical colleges. “Invest” is liberal code for “spend like hell.”

Rosen writes, “
Last week, the Legislature increased Wisconsin's technical college funding for the first time in almost a decade. The tiny 1% increase is an improvement over Doyle's proposed cuts. But it hardly makes up for years when funding was frozen, particularly in the wake of rising unemployment and record tech college enrollments.”

The impression Rosen wants to convey is that when it comes to the tech schools, we’ve been a bunch of pikers. That is laughable.

Think about
the total tax levies for the state's 16 technical colleges. According to the nonpartisan Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance, the technical college tax levies have increased from $251 million in 1992-'93 to $622 million in 2005-'06. That’s an increase of almost 150 percent compared to a 75 percent increase in overall levies during the same time period. Unelected technical college boards horrifically have free reign to raise tax levies leaving taxpayers powerless.

No one disputes the value of technical colleges. But to suggest these schools are poorhouses is absurd.

Are big property tax increases on the way?

Could be.

The latest state budget bombshell revelations have Governor Doyle talking about larger cuts in shared revenue to municipalities. That kind of talk made Governor Scott McCallum an instant target of almost every local official and editorial board and sunk his campaign. (So far, Doyle has gotten a pass).

What happens when the state doesn’t send Town XYZ as big a check? How does Town XYZ react? Does Town XYZ respond the way smart households do when confronted with less money coming in?  Does Town XYZ make appropriate tax and spending adjustments? No way. Town XYZ says it has no choice because of the big, bad, evil state but to raise taxes. And by the way, it’s not Town XYZ’s fault.

This latest news that should be a shocking eye-opener probably has some (not all) members of the Franklin School Board behaving like Pavlov’s dog. Old speeches are being pulled out of the files. The wording goes something like this:

We sympathize with the taxpaying public.

Times are indeed tough.

The last thing we want to do is raise taxes.

However, we must not compromise the quality of the education we provide our students. After all, it’s about the children.

The state leaves us no choice but to ask for a (insert obscene percentage here) property tax increase.

This act has been played out before here in Franklin, and no doubt in towns, villages, cities and counties all across the state.

Tax increases during a hard economic downturn would be a horrible mistake.

Culinary no-no #111

Culinary no-no's

It’s the middle of the night, somewhere in California.

In the darkness, behind a closed for the day Chili’s Restaurant, a man is rummaging through the garbage.

Is it a homeless person?

Is the man hungry, desperately searching for food?

This man is on a mission. Why, why, why can’t he resist certain foods, like those Southwestern Eggrolls at Chili’s?

Maybe it’s something in the ingredients that has him hooked. But Chili’s won’t give him the information he wants.

He just has to know.

So he leaves his wife when most of the country is asleep, and drives to a restaurant’s dumpster, and dives in.





I think I…



The hunt is successful.

Found: the ingredient labels on boxes suppliers ship to Chili’s, the second largest restaurant chain in America.

Our dumpster diver is the following:

Harvard grad



Medical school dean


Former Food and Drug Administration commissioner

He is David Kessler who theorizes in his new book, “The End of Overeating” that foods can change and have an effect on the chemistry of the brain that causes folks to eat and eat and eat and eat and eat until it hurts.

Kessler’s desire to assist a nation of gluttons may sound commendable, but it was Kessler who led a heavy-handed all-out regulatory attack against tobacco. He admits the next huge policy fight in America will be about food, and that’s scary. Kessler likens the tobacco industry to the food industry claiming both are manipulative.

He tells the Washington Post, “The food the industry is selling is much more powerful than we realized. I used to think I ate to feel full. Now I know, we have the science that shows, we're eating to stimulate ourselves. And so the question is what are we going to do about it?"

My less than analytical response would be, so what! What’s wrong with that?

Forget diets, Kessler says. It’s all in your mind.

"We did this with cigarettes. It used to be sexy and glamorous but now people look at it and say, 'That's not my friend, that's not something I want.' We need to make a cognitive shift as a country and change the way we look at food. Instead of viewing that huge plate of nachos and fries as a guilty pleasure, we have to . . . look at it and say, 'That's not going to make me feel good. In fact, that's disgusting.' "

What’s interesting is that Kessler admits he has personally made behavioral changes, including in his diet, and he exercises more.

Hmmmm…. Seems far-reaching government intervention and regulation (a la smoking) isn’t necessary.

Read more in the Washington Post.

$1.8 trillion

Tax. Borrow. Spend. Repeat.
$1.8 Trillion Deficit ... And Rising

Click here

The Obama Administration is quick to point out that it inherited deficits from the past administration.

Which is true.

But we fail to see how you solve that problem by quadrupling the deficit.

According to revised White House budget figures, the deficit for the current budget year will rise to above $1.8 billion -- about four times larger than the all-time record set last year.

And, thanks to the massive tax-and-spend budget passed by Congress last week, our deficits will keep growing as far as the eye can see.

According to these new figures, the federal government is now borrowing almost 50 cents for every dollar it spends this year.

These "tax-borrow-spend" policies are mortgaging our country's future -- while doing little to revive our struggling economy.

How do you feel about the rising deficit, increased spending and new taxes? Please click here to share your opinion.


Bill Miller

Yes, Wanda Sykes....

Went too far.

The British press
thinks so.

Unbelievable 9-11 photos

Going around the Internet..

I wish there was some way to imbed this in the minds of every single American, too many of whom, unfortunately have already forgotten 9-11, or simply don't care.


What happens when you impose a smoking ban?

Here's a reminder...

The Minnesota Vikings are definitely...



Quality health care under Obama? Forget it

The Wall Street Journal has a great editorial about what transpires under a government-run health care system sought by President Obama.   The WSJ writes:

"Doctors will consolidate into larger practices to spread overhead costs, and they'll cram more patients into tight schedules to make up in volume what's lost in margin. Visits will be shortened and new appointments harder to secure. It already takes on average 18 days to get an initial appointment with an internist, according to the American Medical Association, and as many as 30 days for specialists like obstetricians and neurologists.

Right or wrong, more doctors will close their practices to new patients, especially patients carrying lower paying insurance such as Medicaid. Some doctors will opt out of the system entirely, going 'cash only.' If too many doctors take this route the government could step in -- as in Canada, for example -- to effectively outlaw private-only medical practice."

No thank you.

Life: Imagine the potential...

Take two.

That's my....girl??

Fans (like me) of the great TV sit-com, “The Dick Van Dyke Show" certainly recall the famous episode, “That’s my boy??”

The Museum of Broadcast Communications on its blog writes this:

“The quintessential example of the innovations offered by The Dick Van Dyke Show occurred when, after the network rejected the script, only an appeal from Sheldon Leonard himself secured permission to film the episode ‘That's My Boy??’ In this episode, Rob (Van Dyke) is convinced that the baby he and Laura brought home from the hospital was not theirs, but a baby belonging to another couple, the Peters. Constant mix-ups with flowers and candy at the hospital, caused by the similarity in names (Petrie and Peters), convinced Rob that the babies were somehow switched, and he decided to confront the Peters family. Only when the Peters show up at Rob and Laura's house does Rob learns that the Peters are African American.”

That was 1963. What seemed hilarious and impossible on TV was actually happening 10 years earlier.

Last summer, Kay Rene (Reed) Qualls and DeeAnn (Angell) Shafer learned that even though they were the only two babies born one day in 1953 at Heppner's Pioneer Memorial Hospital in Heppner, Oregon, they were accidentally switched shortly after birth.

The most amazing element of this incredible story could very well be the attitude of the two women.

It's time now to play FINAL JEOPARDY!

A This Just In favorite.....Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, yes it's that time.....time once again for another This Just In edition of:


And today’s game is mighty, mighty tough.

Are you ready?

Well then, let’s play!

Today’s Final Jeopardy category is:


Now, you know how this works.

In a moment, I’ll give you the Final Jeopardy clue.

You will have 30 seconds (if you play fair, that will be when the music runs out) to come up with an answer and remember, players……… your answer must be in the form of a question.


Here’s your clue.


Good luck.

Read more

MORE The economy is so bad...

Mailman steal stamps to pay mortgage

Hey big boy, wanna buy my hair? How about some blood?

Emotions driving smoking ban

Here are some stark realities.

On Wednesday, the state Senate will approve a statewide smoking ban.

On Wednesday, the state Assembly will also approve a statewide smoking ban.

Soon after, Governor Doyle will sign the bill into law.

Down the road, businesses will close as a result of this ban.

And to the chagrin of the anti-smoking zealots, smokers will not dump their dirty, albeit legal habit. They will continue to smoke. They just won’t do it at Mom and Pop’s Corner Bar (who will be forced to shut down).

Last week, the perfectly orchestrated parade of hand wringers organized by legislative Democrats put on a show before the state Senate Health Committee’s hastily called public hearing on the smoking ban. The Democrats, and this is the way they govern, kept the hearing a secret as long as they legally could so they could,  behind the scenes, rally the anti-smoking troops.

Then, one by one, they sat down at the microphone.

Thank you, thank you, oh, thank you, dear God, Mr. Chairman for having this hearing.


My uncle died of lung cancer.

This relative died too young.

A friend of mine died.

Over and over and  over and over (by a 5-1 margin over smoking ban opponents) again.

Was every story sad?

Of course.

No one is unsympathetic to the dreaded devil, cancer.

How are these deaths caused by what happens at the friendly neighborhood tavern at the end of the block? Why is it the fault of the guy who has run a legitimate establishment for 25, 30, 40 years?

Seriously, folks. Use your heads. What do you think is going on inside that tavern or a restaurant’s bar? Was there ever a case where a person allergic to tobacco smoke or a person who hated second hand smoke was ever dragged kicking and screaming against his or her own will inside a smoke-filled bar or restaurant?

Answer me this. Could anyone annoyed by smoke at any time leave the premises at their own free will?

I’ll give those who testified last week with crying towels in hand this much. They carried a lot more weight than one of the last individuals to speak before the committee. She was a 20-something from, where else, Madison, who lamented the fact that, oh my goodness woe is me, she had nowhere to party on the weekend because she just hates smoke.

The committee chair, Senator Jon Erpenbach (D-Middleton) seemed to relish his role of being in charge asking the Wisconsin equivalent of a Valley girl such pressing questions as, what kind of music do you like when you go out to the bars?

Not to worry, anti-smoking zealots. You’ll get your smoking ban. And many good, decent, hard-working taxpayers will be out of work, just so you can feel good. Meanwhile, you will have made no dent at all in the number of people who smoke. They'll just keep puffing away..

Here’s my question to the anti-smoking crowd: Will you show the same outpouring of emotion and support for the innocent people you’re tossing onto the unemployment line? What kind of sympathy and help will you offer them now, you caring, compassionate bunch?

I’m not holding my smoke-free breath.

Don't be afraid, GOP: JUST SAY NO!

Generally speaking in politics, the political party in the minority is relegated to the back bench. They have little power. They do not set the agenda. They have no control about what’s voted on, when, where or how.

Historically, the minority power (and the majority power, as of this writing, the Democrats knows all to well) has one weapon in its utility belt: scream like hell. The message is usually quite simple. The majority wants to do something, usually extremely stupid like tax and spend us to death, then you, as the minority stand up and yell as loud as possible, “No, No, and if you didn’t hear me, hell no!”

This has been going on much longer than our president has been attending that racist church of his.

So the majority Democrats cry foul. All the minority Republicans seem to do is say NO! They have no desire to engage in bipartisanship!

There’s reason for that. The Democrats’ definition of bipartisanship is:


Would Democrats ever return the favor? No ********* way.

Going NO is the right route if you’re sitting in the back row, Nothing, NO, NOTHING to be ashamed of.

I seem to recall in the not too distant past when the Democrats were in the minority a Democrat state Senator during a floor session yelling and screaming and crying to the point the Capitol Police were called to the scene (That state Senator, after that proud display, is now in Congress). Another Democrat state Senator grabbed the microphone being used by the Senate Chief Clerk and threw it at the Republican Senate Majority Leader. So you see, when Democrats are in the minority, they take saying no to an entirely new level.

Conservative columnist John Hawkins, whose trademark is writing in lists, has compiled a list of perfect examples where it is more than appropriate to JUST SAY NO:

“Now, after being referred to as ‘The Party of No,’ the GOP should embrace that label instead of running from it. Yes, we have plenty of solutions, but before they can be implemented, Barack Obama has to be stopped -- he has to fail. Wanting Barack Obama to fail is like wanting someone who's trying to beat your child to death with a shovel to fail. You want him to fail because you love your child and we want Barack Obama to fail because we love this country.”

Amen, brother Hawkins.

Somebody (but not this guy) forgot to tell GM that sex sells

You want to sell cars?

I'll tell ya how to sell cars.

You give that guy that walks onto the lot annnnyyyyything he wants.

Even if it's.....


Sometimes the liberal media bias can be quite subtle

Take, for example, a Wisconsin Associated Press story about legislative action today on the statewide smoking ban. Note the verbs used for members of each political party.

“Sen. Fred Risser, D-Madison, the chief author of the bill, said……”

“Risser told the Senate.”

“Sen. Bob Jauch, D-Poplar, supported…”

“Risser and Sen. Jon Erpenbach, D-Waunakee, warned…..”

"'It's not a tough thing to get off the bar stool and step outside and smoke,’ said Erpenbach.”

And then we get to the other side of the aisle.

“Early debate in the Assembly was heated, with Republicans bellowing.....”

The writer probably didn't even realize what he was doing, or care.

UPDATE: A subsequent updated AP story about an hour later dropped the word, "bellowing."

A black conservative has a message for black America

I recall shortly after Ronald Reagan was elected president and was being demonized by liberals and most blacks, I was interviewing inside the WUWM studios former major leaguer and then-Greyhound Corporation Vice-President Joe Black.

Black said during the interview that black people weren’t like sheep waiting around to be led blindly by one political group. Black’s conservative stances and candid talk often got him in plenty of trouble with other blacks who labeled him a sellout.

Most blacks aren’t conservative and most certainly aren’t Republican. But there are independent black thinkers who have not been brainwashed by the Democrat Party that has taken minorities for granted for decades.

Ron Miller is one of those black conservatives. A candidate for the state Senate in Maryland, Miller has written an open letter to black America:

“Whether you want to acknowledge it or not, this debate isn't about the past eight years or Obama's race, although I know that's what the talking points say. It's about a fundamental change to the foundational principles of the country and whether or not those changes are going to lead to prosperity or mediocrity.”

Miller concludes:

“My prayer is that one day, rather than being the only demographic group that is 90 percent committed to one political party or worldview, we'll collectively be sophisticated enough and dedicated enough to the principles I know we believe to become free agents in the political marketplace, attracting the attention and consideration of both parties.”

And there’s plenty of good stuff in-between.

Smoking is so bad for you, except....

What’s the key argument of proponents of a statewide smoking ban? It will save lives.

"Secondhand smoke kills," said Senator Fred Risser (D-Madison), the chief Senate sponsor on the floor of the state Senate today. 
"I don't have to tell you about the health effects of smoking. We all know it. It is the most preventable cause of illness in the state."

It’s a matter of life and death, of public health we were lectured.


So, is the smoke at Joe’s Bar and Grill down the corner more dangerous than the smoke at Potawatomi?


State Senator Mary Lazich tried to amend the smoking ban bill to include casinos because, hey, it’s about public health isn’t it? If smoking is so terrible, than doesn’t it follow, anti-smoking zealots that smoke is bad even near the slot machines and blackjack tables?

We can’t make folks work in such unsafe environments, can we?  Shouldn’t that include gambling joints?

Just a few days ago, the Las Vegas Sun reported the following:

Las Vegas casino dealers are exposed to a host of harmful chemicals through secondhand smoke while on the job, according to a new National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health study.

The study, the first to examine the effects of secondhand smoke in Las Vegas casinos, reported that the dealers had traces of a tobacco-specific carcinogen in their urine.”

The facts mean nothing to the anti-smoking crowd.

And how many millions did the tribes contribute to the governor’s campaign?

Public health? Baloney!

The face and body that have lefties apoplectic

They belong to Carrie Prejean.

Miss California Carrie Prejean poses in the press room at the 40th Annual GMA Dove Awards held at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, Tennessee.

Miss California Carrie Prejean competes during the 2009 Miss USA Pageant last month. Carrie Prejean finished as runner-up in the competition and controversy swirled over her response to a question regarding same-sex marriage.

Liberals desperately want her to be like them, but she's not, and it drives them nuts.

Prejean, who never disappoints, has become a star, a true celebrity of the right for two reasons:

1) She spoke her mind freely and courageously.

Read more

Here's what's on the agenda Friday night on InterCHANGE

Here are the topics the panel discusses Friday night on InterCHANGE on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10 at 6:30 with a repeat Sunday morning at 11:00:


The number of children born to unwed mothers in the United States has skyrocketed.  The latest figures show that nearly 40% of the kids are now born to unwed mothers.  That’s more than double what it was in 1980 (18%.)  It’s even worse in the City of Milwaukee, where it’s now 65%.   Why did it get this bad?  What does this tell you about our society?  What is the future going to be like for these children?  What could bring this to an end?  In Japan, it’s only 2%.


In his new book, the former archbishop admits he’s gay.  Any surprises?  Why is he bringing himself even more publicity at this point in his life?  Should we feel bad for him, and the embarrassment he has suffered?  Or, should we feel bad for the kids who were assaulted by the pedophile priests that he quietly shuffled around when he was archbishop?  Is this another good argument to end celibacy for Catholic priests?


The Brewers are 21-14. Is it way too early to get excited?  What do you think of the new manager so far?  Does this team have much depth, or do they all have to stay extremely healthy?

State Assembly furloughs

Assembly Speaker Mike Sheridan and Minority Leader Jeff Fitzgerald have announced that state Assembly staff will, as Governor Doyle had recommended, be put on furlough for 16 days over the next two years.

No word yet on what the state Senate will do.

For the record, I have stated that I will gladly accept a 16-day furlough and not moan and whine and cry about it the way some state employees have been behaving.

A Brewer fan is greedy, and embarrassing

In baseball, there’s an unwritten rule that when a ball is hit into the stands, and it’s a milestone, like the guy's 200th career homer, the fan returns the ball to the hitter in exchange for some other souvenir.

One Milwaukee Brewer fan got too greedy Wednesday night, and I don’t blame this Florida Marlin for being upset.

With all due respect, if you are afforded any, Rembert Weakland...

Please shut up.

There are some people in life who need to do two things:

1) Go away.

2) Go away quietly.

Weakland has chosen to ignore #2.

I pray no one buys his book, written out of a sick desire to bamboozle the flock into forgiving this deviant.

One thing hasn't changed.  Whenever Weakland wanted attention, he turned his back on the local press and shot his mouth off to the NY Times.

WRTL ads focus on Madison Surgery Center

Life - Wisconsin Right To Life - News Release

Wisconsin Right to Life Brings the Stark Reality of Late-Term Abortion Plan to the Public

Ads Begin Today in Wisconsin State Journal

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Smokers died, the zealots lied or, Death by smoking ban

I just came across a compelling blog written about a year ago entitled, “Death by smoking ban.” The author is Edmund Contoski who describes himself as a former director of planning for an internationally renowned environmental consulting firm doing business in more than forty countries. He has also been an urban planner and has held positions with major real estate development companies.

Contoski analyzes the tactics of the pro-smoking ban fanatics.

“In order to get smoking bans passed, it was necessary to create an atmosphere of hatred toward the ‘enemy,’ to work people into a frenzy over a threat to their health, whether the threat was real or not. What mattered was not truth or science but whether the desired result—smoking bans—could be achieved. So truth and science were quickly sacrificed to the-end-justifies-the-means policy of anti-smoking organizations. Michael Seigel, MD, is both a medical doctor and public health official. He has 21 years experience in tobacco policy research and currently teaches at the Boston University School of Public Health. Though adamantly opposed to smoking, he says: ‘The anti-smoking movement is driven by an agenda—an agenda that will not allow science, sound policy analysis, the law, or ethics to get in its way.’

Dr. Seigel has cited over a hundred anti-smoking groups—including the American Cancer Society, the American Lung Association and the American Heart Association—for misleading the public with fallacious scientific claims. His website,, details an astonishing array scientific misrepresentations, outright lies and hypocrisy by anti-smoking groups. These tactics have proven effective, even as they have become ever more shrill and absurd.”

He writes about second-hand smoke:

“Statistically, the risk of secondhand smoke is far smaller than the risk of getting lung cancer from drinking pasteurized milk. While secondhand smoke has not been shown to represent a statistically significant health risk, deaths continue to mount from smoking bans.”

Contoski explains the above claim and then also raises and documents a disturbing trend that, “fraudulent claims of health dangers has spawned a level of hatred that has produced violence and death.”

I don’t think it’s too far-fetched that as a society, we have gone from hating smoking to hating smokers.

Here’s Contoski’s lengthy blog.  Please take time to read thoroughly, there’s a lot there.

UPDATE: Culinary no-no#111

Culinary no-no's

Did you catch this week’s Culinary no-no, #111?

It featured the story of former FDA Commissioner (and weirdo) David Kessler who led the tar and feather brigade against smoking. Kessler admits the next big policy battle, now that tobacco has been sent reeling, will be about food.

Kessler tells the Washington Post:
“The food the industry is selling is much more powerful than we realized. I used to think I ate to feel full. Now I know, we have the science that shows, we're eating to stimulate ourselves. And so the question is what are we going to do about it?"

Kessler thinks there are some funny things going on in the brain commanding poor innocent folks to eat 12 Twinkies at a crack.

"We did this with cigarettes. It used to be sexy and glamorous but now people look at it and say, 'That's not my friend, that's not something I want.' We need to make a cognitive shift as a country and change the way we look at food. Instead of viewing that huge plate of nachos and fries as a guilty pleasure, we have to . . . look at it and say, 'That's not going to make me feel good. In fact, that's disgusting.' "

I’m telling you, these nuts, and that’s what they are, won’t stop at smoking bans. How dare you order prosciutto with that mozzarella marinara! Don’t you know it’s KILLING YOU???!!!

My culinary no-no was yes-yes timely. this week reports:

If you make big bucks — or enjoy alcohol, cigarettes and Coke — the government might hit you up to pay for fixing the nation’s health care system. On Tuesday, the Senate Finance Committee peeked into vending machines and liquor stores, company payrolls and healthe savings accounts, looking for a mix of tax increases and spending cuts as a way to pay for a health overhaul — which could cost more than $1.5 trillion over 10 years.

Columnist David Harsanyi writes: 

The Center for Science in the Public Interest also wants government to 'pressure' food companies to produce healthier fare (because, god knows, there are barely any wholesome options available for the masses), dramatically raise taxes on alcohol (what fresh hell is this?) and dictate the level of sodium allowable in packaged and restaurant food.  The CSPI is the group that once laughably claimed that 150,000 people perish yearly from salt intake (the 'Forgotten Killer') despite lack of any evidence and the ongoing debate regarding the real effects of sodium.”

It started last November, and we’re seeing it creep more and more and more into our daily lives: government intervention, government control, the socialization of America.

Government wants to control your every move, from sun up to sundown, from cradle to coffin, for what you eat and drink and read and watch.



God, help us.

Yes, Miss California...


This is only the beginning.

Meanwhile, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin has issued a statement in support of Prejean.

The Summary of Life

From a friend, another one of those circulating e-mails that (I think) is really good:


1) No matter how hard you try, you can't baptize cats..
2) When your Mum is mad at your Dad, don't let her brush your hair.
3) If your sister hits you, don't hit her back. They always catch the
second person.
4) Never ask your 3-year old brother to hold a tomato.
5) You can't trust dogs to watch your food.
6) Don't sneeze when someone is cutting your hair..
7) Never hold a Dust-Buster and a cat at the same time.
8) You can't hide a piece of broccoli in a glass of milk.
9) Don't wear polka-dot underwear under white shorts.
10) The best place to be when you're sad is Grandpa's lap..


1) Raising teenagers is like nailing jelly to a tree.
2) Wrinkles don't hurt.
3) Families are like fudge...mostly sweet, with a few nuts
4) Today's mighty oak is just yesterday's nut that held its ground...
5) Laughing is good exercise. It's like jogging on the inside.
6) Middle age is when you choose your cereal for the fiber, not the toy.


1) Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional..
2) Forget the health food. I need all the preservatives I can get.
3) When you fall down, you wonder what else you can do while you're down there.
4) You're getting old when you get the same sensation from a rocking chair that you once got from a roller coaster.
5) It's frustrating when you know all the answers but nobody bothers to ask you the questions.
6) Time may be a great healer, but it's a lousy beautician
7) Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.


1) You believe in Santa Claus.
2) You don't believe in Santa Claus.
3) You are Santa Claus.
4) You look like Santa Claus.


At age 4 success is . . . . not piddling in your pants.
At age 12 success is . . .. having friends.
At age 17 success is . . .  having a driver's license.
At age 35 success is . . .. having money.
At age 50 success is . .. . having money.
At age 70 success is . .. . having a drivers license.
At age 75 success is . . .  having friends.
At age 80 success is . . .. not piddling in your pants.

Great news for pro-lifers, and the unborn

Life - Wisconsin Right To Life - News Release

Gallup Poll Shows Exciting Trend to Pro-Life Position on Abortion

Wisconsin Right to Life Educational Work Fuels Attitude Change in Wisconsin

Friday, May 15, 2009

No smokes for veterans

State Representative Kevin Petersen (R-Waupaca) has given me permission to re-print this article he wrote:

King Veterans - Denied the Right to Smoke Indoors

In the compromise on Wisconsin’s statewide smoking ban, one group is noticeably absent from mention. Veterans – the very men and women who selflessly risked their well being and fought for our freedoms will be denied the right to continue smoking indoors.

Read more

Thank goodness for This Just In readers in Las Vegas

They tipped me off to the following, saying they were sure I'd love this, and they were right!

Only in Vegas, baby!

I mean, come on. Could you see that in Sioux City, or Moline,  or Brookfield?


NOTE: Prudes and downright Kevin Fischer haters can e-mail their complaints to Mark Maley at Journal Communications. My guess is that these days, he'd love to hear a protest that's actually interesting rather than, WAHHHH, I HATE THE NEW BLOGGING SYSTEM, I QUIT!

Goodnight everyone, and have a nice weekend

It's Friday night. Time to unwind with our regular Friday night feature on This Just in.

The weekend has finally arrived. The sun has set. The evening sky has erupted. 

Let's put controversy and provocative blogs aside for the rest of this work week and smooth our way into Saturday and Sunday.

Tonight, we get sultry.

I've mentioned that as I've gotten older, I've developed a greater appreciation for the music of my parents that I despised as a youngster. I distinctly remember mom and dad tossing an LP onto the record player and then singing in unison to 'S Wonderful.

George Gershwin's song dates back to 1927, but the first major recording was made by Benny Goodman in 1938. 

Jazz pianist Jean Ronne says, "As far as 'S Wonderful!' I guess it remains a favorite as most all the Gershwin tunes do. It’s at once sophisticated, happy, clever, and has all the features that make the Gershwins’ music timeless. It lends itself to endless interpretations and interesting variations."

It's a perfect selection for contemporary artists, like Diana Krall, who want to put their stamp on old standards.

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I'm so glad I met you, Wayman Tisdale

"You can never give up because quitting is not an option. No matter how dark it is or how weak you get, until you take that last breath, you must fight. "
--Wayman Tisdale

I was saddened tonight to learn of the death of smooth jazz artist and former NBA and college basketball star Wayman Tisdale. Tisdale lost his two-year battle with cancer today at the age of 44.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Tisdale on several occasions when I covered the Milwaukee Bucks for WUWM and National Public Radio during the 1980’s. Tisdale’s infectious smile led my friend, longtime Milwaukee Wave announcer Tom Wynn who often sat next to me at the Bucks press table to remark to me one night, “Isn’t he the happiest player you’ve ever seen?”


Read more

The Barking Lot (5/16/09)

The Barking Lot

Read more

I'm normally not a big fan of protests

Franklin budgets

This is an exception.

Week-ends (5/16/09)


A  look back at the people and events that made news the past week.
Week-ends is a regular weekly feature of This Just In...


Milwaukee police officers

Anonymous couple in Wisconsin Rapids

Beth Biskobing

Kathryne Smith

Donald Trump



Nancy Pelosi

Rembert Weakland

Wanda Sykes
(and why was the president laughing?)

Manny Ramirez

Prison guards in Florida

Maliea Martin


"We spent a fortune to elect Barack Obama -- $60.7 million to be exact -- and we're proud of it." Andy Stern, president of the Service Employees International Union, in an interview with the Las Vegas Sun.

"I've done everything I can to try to protect education, and we're going to still do everything we can to try to protect it. But there are going to have to be cuts. … There are going to have to be cuts in almost everything."
Governor Doyle discussing spending cuts needed to cover the growing state budget deficit, now at $6.6 billion.

In my 25 years in public service, I’ve never seen anything like this. I’m trying to stay naively optimistic.”
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett on the state deficit.

“This is a hazardous material in the workplace. I think we are going to move our state to a better place after we pass this bill.”
State Representative Mark Gottlieb (R-Port Washington), on the statewide smoking ban bill that passed the Assembly 61-38. The bill also passed the Senate 25-8, and will be signed into law Monday. 

“Nobody is compelled as an employee or a customer to go into a business where this legal activity is taking place. … We’re all responsible individually for protecting our health, making good or bad decisions.”
State Representative Dan Knodl (R-Germantown) and a tavern owner for 24 years, speaking against the smoking ban.

"I understand the concerns of individual bar owners ... but the problem here is the CRG people. It's a band of misfits and malcontents choosing this as an opportunity to take advantage of derailing the political process.”
State Senator Jim Sullivan (D-Wauwatosa), on reports that the CRG Network  may try to recall him over his support of the smoking ban.

“There's a lot of bar owners who are very, very angry – viciously angry – about this smoking ban.”
CRG’s Orville Seymer on the tavern owners who approached the CRG group about possibly recalling Sullivan and other lawmakers.

"In the next 100 days I will learn to go off the prompter, and Joe Biden will learn to stay on the prompter."

"In the next 100 days our bipartisan outreach will be so successful that even John Boehner will consider becoming a Democrat ... After all we have a lot in common. He is a person of color... although not a color that appears in the natural world."

"In the next 100 days we will house train our dog Bo. Because the last thing Tim Geithner needs is someone else treating him like a fire hydrant."

"We had been rivals during the campaign. But these days we could not be closer. In fact, the second she got back from Mexico, she pulled me into a hug and gave me a big kiss. Told me I had better get down there myself."

"Tomorrow is Mothers Day.  I do have to say, this is a tough holiday for Rahm because he is not used to saying the word 'day' after 'mother.'"
President Barack Obama at last weekend's White House Correspondent's dinner.


Dead people get stimulus checks.


Roundabouts could face legal challenge.

It might have been this had the story not broke just yesterday.


Concrete thrown into river.


That's not a panther, it's a ...

Free Viagra for the unemployed.

He really wanted that burrito.

An obsession with "Thriller"

REMEMBER: Your suggestions/nominations for any of these categories every week are welcome, especially for HEROES OF THE WEEK. If you know of anyone in the community deserving of recognition, please e-mail me.

Recommended reading (5/16/09)

Recommended reading

Here are, in my view, interesting, noteworthy columns and articles from the past week that I highly recommend (You will note that on occasion, I do not endorse the opinions of the author and may point that out. Despite my disagreements, I still feel the piece is worth a read).

How ObamaCare will affect your doctor

"Doctors will consolidate into larger practices to spread overhead costs, and they'll cram more patients into tight schedules to make up in volume what's lost in margin. Visits will be shortened and new appointments harder to secure. It already takes on average 18 days to get an initial appointment with an internist, according to the American Medical Association, and as many as 30 days for specialists like obstetricians and neurologists."

What's so bad about universal health care?

"If, for example, Denmark, Sweden, Great Britain, and others instituted a law that said everyone must jump off a bridge, would we institute the law in America also? Europe is Europe; let it burn its health care system to the ground if it wants to, but as for America, let us make our own decisions."

Talking points

“What if it was your mother or your child who was tied up somewhere beside a ticking time bomb and you had captured a terrorist who knew where that was? Face it: What you would do to that terrorist to make him talk would make water-boarding look like a picnic.”

Chuck Norris: Of bakeries, burglars and bad Congressional bills

First, I am very honored to help reduce crime anywhere on the planet, even from a photo. (How we all wish it were always that easy!) But I want to protect not only the pastries but also the posterity of America and the world. Consider these statistics, which speak of the obstacles that confront people from infancy through their teenage years.."

A late night comedy writer's proudest moment

"I watched some of the White House Correspondents'  Dinner on C-Span this weekend, but what I found most interesting was something that was broadcast by C-Span to fill the time when the guests were eating. The event was a panel discussion, sponsored by the Writers’ Guild of America, East, which had taken place at the Newseum.  The panel consisted of late night comedy writers and the subject they addressed was the relationship between news and comedy."

Don't insult my intelligence

"For what it’s worth, saying 'no' is part of the minority party’s job. A very important part, actually, since there aren’t many opportunities to pass legislation when you’re at the mercy of the majority’s agenda."

Five useful idiots

"I generally like to use socialists to make my arguments look better by contrast"

Naïveté and the State Budget

"We have also stepped up to the plate and offered a series of specific recommendations as to what should be done to strengthen the budget process. We’re pretty sure that not one of our recommendations has been adopted.  We’re told that we’re naïve; that the Governor and Legislature are too politically astute to administer the medicine we prescribe."

Belt-tightening is sensible way to face reality

"Senate President Fred Risser, D-Madison, said the state should look at raising more taxes to reduce the number of state employee layoffs. ‘I don't think the state should be balancing its deficit entirely on the backs of loyal and dedicated state employees.’What choice do we have but reduced public spending?”

Is early KG school or day care?

"Proponents of the 4K programs say the classes bring more state aid money into districts, easing the overall tax burden on local residents, and give kids a jump-start on their educational careers.


Critics say 4-year-old kindergarten is state-subsidized day care for the 33,976 kids enrolled in Wisconsin programs, and that districts use those children as pawns to attract more aid money instead of further cutting budgets."

Shame, shame on old Notre Dame

I love the University of Notre Dame.

That is why it is so difficult to see what is happening at this great institutiion this weekend.

Watch a 78-year old priest, Norman Weslin, arrested and taken to jail.

 (HT: Sheboygan Shenanigans)

Read more

It could just have well been anywhere in Wisconsin

Columnist Rich Galen had no choice but to visit the DMV:

“When my number was called and I walked up, to the counter with that ‘dealing with a bureaucrat’ face we all put on: Eyebrows raised, lips in an Ozzie Nelson (which is to say non-confrontational) smile, and a general ‘I'm so happy to be here dealing with my state government’ aura spurting out from my entire body.”

The rest of the story…

The world will focus on what President Obama says at ND Sunday

What President Obama says at the commencement ceremony at Notre Dame Sunday is irrelevant. His speech, if it touches at all on the swirling controversy, will only do so briefly. The majority of the delivery will be the usual glittering generalities and platitudes about past accomplishments and future challenges.

While the glowing, adoring mainstream media focuses on what Obama says Sunday, don’t forget what the abortion president has said and done in the past. This president who is the biggest enemy to the unborn to ever serve in the White House has a record of total disregard for human life that is abundantly clear.

Remember that record, as he puts on a phony façade in South Bend Sunday. Remember that, all you guilty Catholics who put this baby-killer into office, many of whom according to recent polls are now having second thoughts about the ballots they cast.

If by chance your faith has been shattered in Notre Dame, why not watch the incredibly sacred Eucharist at Notre Dame Sunday morning. It is no longer available on cable TV, but can be seen over the Internet. Sunday Mass on the South Bend campus is the real Notre Dame, not the farce that has been in the headlines the last several weeks.

God bless those who have stood up to the university’s unfortunate and misguided decision to invite President Obama to speak.

God bless the Notre Dame graduates for your achievements and for the Christian work you will take on in the coming years.

God bless the unborn and the parents who bring their babies into the light of the world.

And God bless Notre Dame, Our Mother.

Read more

'Roe' vs. Obama

In South Bend, the plaintiff in the famous U.S. Supreme Court case on abortion speaks out against the abortion president.

"Asked her opinion of The Most Rev. John D'Arcy, bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, she said he needed to 'get up off his behind and do somethin' to prevent Obama from speaking at Sunday's commencement. And of Obama's travel plans, 'I hope he runs out of jet fuel,' she said."

My most popular blogs (5/17/09)

Most popular

As I post every Sunday, here are the top five most popular of my blog entries from the previous week:

1) How much does it cost to have a baby?


3) Thinking of Steve Olson

4) What happens when you impose a smoking ban

5) It's not often the gang that couldn't shoot straight (The MJS Editorial Board) nails one...

The president at ND urges the use of "fair-minded words" in the abortion debate

In other words, don't criticize me so harshly for my radical pro-abortion views.

Sorry, Mr. President. You are what you are, the most pro-abortion president ever elected, an enemy of the unborn.


The MJS Scorecard (5/17/09)

MJS Scorecard


It should also be noted that this exercise is a categorization. Most, if not all of these articles submitted to, or solicited by the Crossroads staff are well-written, thoughtful, and provocative. I enjoy reading them as I have every Sunday for as long as I can remember. This weekly compilation is an ideological scorecard, not a writing critique.


Richard A. Meeusen: Many cities are selling their water too cheap 

Some of us need to pay more for our water.


Eddee Daniel: Keep nature at County Grounds 

There’s nothing wrong with green space, but must we always use the environment as a roadblock to progress?


Christian Schneider: Employees' share? Yet it's borne by taxpayers 

Bob Smith: Facts refute school choice critics 


Pittsburgh's lesson for Milwaukee: Evolutions in the economy take time

Another View:  What's needed is more good faith from MPS administration

Normally a piece written by the president of the MTEA would be dumped in the “L” column, but Dennis Oulahan spends a lot of paragraphs saying absolutely nothing.


TODAY: Liberal-2, Conservative-2

YEAR TO DATE: Liberal-41, Conservative-37

Photos of the Week (05/17/09)

Photos of the Week


A Notre Dame graduate walks past protestors near the campus of the University of Notre Dame on May 16, 2009 in South Bend, Indiana. Pro-life activists from around the country have been gathering in South Bend to protest the university's decision to invite President Barack Obama, who supports abortion rights, to deliver the commencement address tomorrow and to award him an honorary degree. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)



Representative Gary Peters, a Democrat from Michigan, left, Ed Montgomery, director of Recovery for Auto Communities and Workers for the Obama administration, second from left, Representative Sander Levin, second from right, and Senator Carl Levin, right, both Democrats from Michigan, help unfurl a 100-foot long banner with over 4,000 photos of people who have lost jobs due to the downturn in the auto industry, in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, May 14, 2009. More Americans than forecast filed unemployment-insurance claims last week because of the Chrysler LLC bankruptcy that is likely to reverberate through the economy for months. Melissa Golden/Bloomberg News


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Culinary no-no #112

Culinary no-no's

As I casually strolled through the limited cereal section at Walgreens the other day, I was stunned. Right there, next to the Lucky Charms was the familiar bright yellow box.

This isn’t right. There’s something terribly wrong here, I thought.

Those Cheerios don’t belong here. What’s the matter with these people? They put the Cheerios in the wrong aisle. Shouldn’t it be on the shelf next to the Cholest-off?

After all, my own federal government told me this past week that Cheerios is a drug, albeit one that hasn’t been given the blessing from the high and mighty Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

For some time now, Cheerios, the most popular cereal in America, has boasted right there on the box that it can lower cholesterol and even reduce the risk of heart disease.


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The Catholic Herald's head in the sand view of Rembert Weakland's book

The latest edition of the Catholic Herald devotes an article to the soon-to-be released book by Rembert (I am gay) Weakland. Brian T. Olszewski’s piece is titled, “Why Archbishop Weakland wrote his memoirs.” Olszewski writes:

In the prologue he (Weakland) explains why he wrote it (his book):

‘I write because I am internally propelled to share with those I love and served for so many years a fuller story than I was able to tell in May 2002 when I apologized publicly to them. Most of all, this need is rooted in a religious motivation. It is embedded in my concept of the Church's nature and as a communion of believers on a faith journey, a communion of saints (few in number) and of sinners (most of us). My story affects everyone else's story and thus, at least in part, belongs to them.’

In the epilogue, he returns to why he has written his memoirs, adding that he ‘often had a front seat’ in the church and world history that parallels his life. Noting concern about ‘revisionism’ he detected particularly when people were writing about the years of Pope Paul VI's pontificate, the archbishop wrote, ‘I have thought it important to say how I, as one individual, saw what was happening then. True, it is only one believer's experience, but, I hope, one worth sharing and saving for posterity.’”

And the article concludes with this:

“The final paragraph of the book reads:

‘If I have any sadness, it is that we have made too little progress in understanding and helping victims regain a full life. Too many seem to be left in anger. I also regret that, although we have made headway in delineating the profile of the perpetrators, we have made little progress in detecting this addiction early on and then seeking some sort of cure or humane control. We all are, in that sense, victims of the times we live in and have to accept those limitations, hoping and praying that the next generation will do better than we did. For these reasons, I am at peace with my God, with my Church, and with myself.’”

Some observations.

Weakland says he is at peace with his God, his Church, and himself. How sickening.

What book was Olszewski reading? There is but one paragraph about the entire Weakland scandal. Olszewski apparently couldn’t find it within himself to use the words, “sex,” “pedophile,” “abuse,” or “molest.”

Instead he writes a major fluff, puff piece about the life and times of Rembert Weakland.

It’s bad enough that the despicable Weakland expects us to swallow his revisionist history, but the weekly Catholic newspaper also engages in the cover-up with a glowing book review.

Here’s one Catholic not buying it, in more ways than one.

Seen at the Notre Dame graduation ceremony today...

From the Associated Press;

"Many attending the Mass held anti-abortion signs, and some wore T-shirts showing a leprechaun dressed in green throwing a baby into a trash can.

The shirts' back side read, 'May 17, 2009, The day the dome was tarnished forever' and showed a drawing of the school's famed golden dome covered in blood. "


Seen at my church today...

This bumper sticker...

"The trouble with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money."
---Margaret Thatcher

Not funny and not very classy, Mr. Axelrod

But it's typical of hateful liberals.


Normally, this would be the dumb a** quote of the year...

Yes, that would be the "Dumb ass quote of the year.".

But Joe Biden has over six months more to go!


My Notre Dame heroes

Good for the kids who held their own ceremony at the famous Grotto on the ND campus.

My wife and I were discussing the Notre Dame controversy. What if we were in the shoes of ND graduates?

My immediate reaction? I worked hard for this honor from this prestigious university. I'm going, I'm accepting, but no way do I applaud the president or stand up and acknowledge him.

A stronger statement was made by these students, and again, good for them.

UPDATE: Goodbye and God bless you, Angie

I have blogged several times about Angie Wenzel, a courageous friend who succumbed to breast cancer in March.

I am very pleased to learn that a special scholarship is being established in Angie's name at Carroll University. I will provide more details as soon as they become available.


Could Lori Drew get off?

Lori Drew
is the despicable woman who was convicted last year for playing an Internet hoax that I believe led to the suicide of a 13-year-old girl. I've blogged about her case and talked about it on WISN, in part because of my disdain for many people (not all)  who blog anonymously, comment on blogs anonymously, write anonymously on the Internet, use false identities or masquerade pretending to be people they're not. I know you'd be blown away if you knew who has perpetrated it and to what extent on these very community blogs.

Drew was supposed to be sentenced today in Los Angeles but the sentencing has been delayed until July so the judge can consider a defense motion to dismiss the case.

It would be a stunning travesty of justice if the sicko, psycho Lori Drew got off scot-free for her part in the tragic death of a young girl.


Rembert Weakland remains in denial

Let's face it. Rembert Weakland is sick, always will be, and will never get it. All the more reason he needs to go away and shut up.

When a victim who was molested by a priest protected by Weakland, the former archbishop sends an e-mail to the Associated Press saying he hopes victims will take note of his sincerity.

They don't want your sincerity. They want your hide.


Obama Man Can

Read more

Top 10 reasons to scorn Nancy Pelosi

From Human Events.


The problems with liberals

lumnist John Hawkins has a list. From his latest gem:

Liberals love to think of themselves as sophisticated, nuanced intellectuals, but the truth is they have a kindergartner’s view of the world.”

“Their dogma is based on faith, not logic.”

“If we could all just care about the person across the world as much as we do our families, we could live in a utopia!”

“Like freaky religious cults, liberals have become adept at hiding their more abhorrent views from the public until it's too late.”

“Liberals believe that they're compassionate, but only with other people's money.”

“The most grave of decisions are undertaken by the modern Left without the slightest regard for the potential consequences.”

Read Hawkins’ entire piece.

2 + 2 = 5....future Massachusetts teachers say, what's the problem?

They will get jobs, be teaching young kids, join a union, whine and moan how tough they have it, refuse to work a minute longer than they have to, and scream for double digit salary increases.


The Milwaukee Bucks will have the 10th pick in the NBA draft

They had only a 1% chance of grabbing the #1 pick in the NBA Lottery.

Please dear God, don't let them pick another big, slow, white guy.


While you worked hard today, groups were lobbying against you in Madison

is one of the highest-taxed states in America.

How does a state achieve such a dubious distinction? Simple. It spends too much. The way to reduce high taxes is to reduce spending. When you don’t cuts spending but opt, instead, to spend like there’s no tomorrow, taxes go into orbit.

Is there any relief in sight? Not really. Governor Doyle’s proposed budget increases spending by over 10% and taxes and fees by more than $1.7 billion.

Oh, did I forget to mention Wisconsin has a $6.65 billion deficit?

While the state government keeps spending and spending and spending and taxing and taxing and taxing, the people who pay the bills worry every day if when they arrive at work they might be presented a pink slip.

Taxpayers who were on the job today pushing levers and buttons, operating heavy equipment, sweating profusely, whatever the case may be, had virtually no one lobbying on their behalf.

On the other hand, in Madison and all across Wisconsin, state workers are collectively crying a river that they might, get this, have to take a 16-day unpaid vacation over the next two years.

Did you catch that?

They are not losing their jobs, like so many in the private sector.

They are not facing a salary cut, like so many in the private sector.

Their benefits are not being cut, like so many in the private sector.

Yet they have the audacity to bleed all over themselves and moan to any reporter willing to listen that (faces turning blue) it’s not fair, it’s just not fair!

In the state capital, well organized groups who suddenly feel threatened for the first time in a long time that their extended hands won’t be filled to overflowing, wailed and gnashed their teeth for the liberal press today that we must raise taxes to get out of this mess.

As if you taxpayers haven’t been drained enough.

This is just the beginning. When the big bad state cuts aid to cities, town, and villages, they will scream bloody murder. And then they will go their favorite page in a playbook that’s not very thick by any means, and say:

“We have no other choice as much as we don’t want to (yeh, right) but to raise property taxes.”

Where I live, Franklin, Wisconsin Tax Hell USA, higher property taxes have never been a possibility. They’re a given.

Am I encouraged that the Franklin Stick ‘em up Gang (Franklin School Board) has two new members? Not at all.

What about the Franklin Common Council? Supposedly a conservative bunch, in the past they thought a 9% increase in spending was a gift to taxpayers. Only when Mayor Tom Taylor was challenged by the once formidable but now-defunct tag team of Kevin Fischer and Fred Keller to sign a pledge to hold the line on property tax LEVY increases were taxpayers assured they’d get some help. Without that pledge, my guess is the Franklin Common Council would be asking to borrow the same hymnal the school board uses when they’re done.

It’s the easy way out. We have no choice. It’s the state’s fault.

Times haven’t been all that tough for the Franklin School Board. Last August, I learned that the Franklin School Board quietly, without fanfare had approved big pay hikes for the superintendent and others at a June 2008 meeting (New school board member Janet Evans who attended that and many, many other board meetings and told us so must have had the pause button down on her recorder that night).

You, the taxpayers, are considered to be a bottomless pit to the tax and spenders.

Will you keep their feet to the fire?

Will you watch what they do and let them respectfully know your feelings?

The priorities at City Hall are messed up right now. They’re more concerned about meeting on Saturday’s and giving the Common Council President more to do.

The school board is even more mixed up. But the only people paying attention are the intelligentsia used as plants in the audience at school board meetings.

Generally speaking, I trust the Common Council and the mayor to hold the line more than I do the school board. Both bodies have been given the go-ahead by Governor Doyle to go nuts on property taxes. It’s up to the taxpayers to pay attention to make sure that doesn’t happen.

It's truly amazing Jim Doyle didn't think of this first

But he will, and then he'll be right on board after slapping himself alongside the head and saying, "Of course! What a great idea!"


The misogyny on the left

Michelle Malkin addressed the above in a speech at Wellesley.

It is quite revealing that the left supposedly is so concerned about sexism yet has no qualms about trashing women on the right.

The NBA vs. the WWE

This one's for real.

And quite entertaining.

I say let 'em go 2 out 3 falls to see who gets the building.

The WWE's Vince McMahon wants a cage match.


Why oh why does it take so long...

To do the right thing?

More from USA Today.

Milwaukee has its own Jack the Ripper

He's a serial killer who's preyed on prostitutes.

As evil as the killer is, he has nothing on John Floyd Thomas, Jr. who is scheduled to make a court appearance today.


CRG reaction to settlement in Mercer trial


        CRG Network 

       PO Box 371086  Milwaukee, WI 53237       414-801-0800

Read more

Once again I say, NO!

Democrats sound awfully foolish (boy, there’s a news bulletin!) when they shriek that the Republicans have become the party of “no.” I guess they forgot that when they were out of power for eight years and didn’t have to make tough choices and govern like they do now, all they did was say, no!

Like me, columnist Ron Miller sees nothing wrong with saying no to the loony ideas one after another coming out of Washington. Miller writes:

“I will say ‘no’ from the peak of Mount McKinley to the floor of Death Valley. I will say ‘no’ alongside the spirits of the men and women who created this exceptional nation and preferred the freedom of death to subservience under the living. I will say ‘no’ in the sanctuary of the churches which worship the Creator and Giver of the unalienable human rights of life, liberty and ownership of the fruits of our honest labor. I will say ‘no’ in the public square as we honor the patriots of the 1773 Boston Tea Party with our own grass-roots protests for ‘less taxation and more representation’ as a supporter of mine puts it. I will say ‘no’ even if it makes me a security risk according to the Department of Homeland Security.”

And with good reason.

An unusual, but nice, tribute to our military

It comes from soldiers honoring their fallen comrades.

The details...

How many Brewers made the list?

The Sporting News ranks the top 50 active players in Major League Baseball.


Popular stuff is.....popular

Regular readers of This Just In know a consistent weekend feature on my blog is posted every Sunday morning. I publish the five blogs from the previous week that garnered the most attention.

Why do I do it? I believe in and have developed several regular features that I hope readers have come to enjoy and expect.

I also am of the opinion, and have been for a long time, that news consumers love lists. They satisfy a natural curiosity.

And yes, I do give some consideration as to what was popular in a given week.

I’m surprised more bloggers don’t do it, but everyone manages their product the way they want. Personally, coming from a broadcast background, I see nothing wrong with self-promotion. If the rule at WTMJ Radio was to say the call letters 30 times every 10 minutes and I did so only 29, I could expect some raised eyebrows at the next staff meeting.

It turns out that I’m not the only one interested in knowing what I did during the week that captured the imagination of readers. The readers want to know, too.

I frequently surf the websites of newspapers all across the country. Many regularly rank the most read of their articles. And guess what? Readers want to know what readers are reading the most.

Why am I not surprised.

Since my freshman year in high school and my first public speaking class, I’ve never forgotten the sage advice from my teacher at good ol’ Don Bosco High School:

Know your audience.

The fact is, My Most Popular Blogs is consistently one of my most popular blogs. Who’d have thunk it, a blog listing popular blogs being popular?

The Wall Street Journal (a popular publication in its own right) has more. It writes that popularity shouldn’t be confused with quality, importance, etc.  Maybe so. But something’s got to be #1.

The prudes have been unleashed in Brookfield!




Squeaky clean, holier than thou, better than everyone else, prudish Brookfield is getting, hold on to your pacemakers, a Hooters Restaurant!

Let's cut right to the chase, shall we.

That means that a successful, popular restaurant will offer food served up by young ladies that look like this:


Read more

The InterCHANGE topics Friday night

Here are the topics the panel discusses 6:30 Friday night on Milwaukee Public Television’s InterCHANGE with a repeat Sunday morning at 11:00: 


At least seven murders of drug using prostitutes over the past twenty years have been tied to the same suspect?  Is this a direct result of modern DNA techniques, or are deaths of drug using prostitutes not a high priority?  


Dick Cheney and Barack Obama make it very clear this week that they have different opinions about how to conduct the war on terrorism.  Cheney believes that Obama’s actions are irresponsible and are going to put the country in danger. Obama, as he said often during the campaign, believes he is breaking from the failed policies of the Bush administration.  Who is best serving the interests of our nation?  What does Cheney gain by speaking up at this point in time?

3 – 500K MPS SEARCH.

The Milwaukee School Board continues to amaze everyone.  This week they vote to spend up to one-half million dollars to look for a new superintendent, even though a leading search firm says the job could be done for $70,000.  Do you think they are just trying to send a message that they will go to any expense to find the best person for the job?  Is it an absurd and cavalier attitude to have with taxpayer money?  Wouldn’t it be wiser to use the money to enhance the salary and benefit package for a candidate who might indeed be outstanding?


In the Wausau area, a mother is on trial for reckless homicide after her 11-year-old daughter dies because the parents thought they could heal her diabetes with prayer instead of modern medicine.  In the Minneapolis area, a woman disappears with her 13-year-old son, refusing to use radiation and chemotherapy to treat his cancer because it is against their religious beliefs.  When should the government step in and tell parents how they must treat their children?  When should parents be allowed to follow their own choice of treatments?  Should a parent have the right to let their child die?

When it comes to Ann Coulter...

This is quite possibly her best column.

"How about for next year's graduation ceremony Notre Dame have an abortionist perform an abortion live on stage? They could have a partial-birth abortion for the advanced degrees.

According to liberals, the right to kill babies was enshrined by the Founding Fathers in our Constitution -- and other constitutional rights are celebrated in public.

How about a 21-vacuum hose (D&C) salute? Maybe have the Notre Dame marching band form a giant skull-piercing fork? How about having the president throw out the ceremonial first fetus, like on opening day in baseball?"


What's that, you say? You're offended by such thoughts?

If so, you're almost right. The offending party here isn't Ann Coulter. The offending action isn't Coulter writing this piece.

The real offense is having the most pro-abortion president in our history who is then invited to speak at our nation's most prestigious Catholic university.

So go ahead, be offended. Do it for the right reason.

Here come the property tax increases

Governor Doyle has just announced during a Capitol news conference that the state is cutting state aid to education by 2.5%. If the QEO is eliminated, these two factors will mean school property taxes will increase significantly in many school districts.

Start saving your money. School boards can't wait to get their hands on it.

Governor Doyle in denial

In his announcement late this afternoon of state budget cuts, Governor Doyle blamed "Wall Street" and "national and international" factors out of the state's control for the current budget fiasco.

Jim Doyle has been governor of this state for 6 years. Even though he refuses to accept responsibility, he, more than anyone is accountable for Wisconsin's  fiscal mess.


Who doesn't love these guys?


Polish Sausage

Italian Sausage

Hot Dog


They’re coming to Franklin.

The May newsletter from Great Lakes Distillery, makers of Rehorst

The Monthly Newsletter of Wisconsin's First Craft Distillery      -Number 23-
In This Issue
Tour the Distillery!
Summer Events
American Distilling Institute

Something Special from Wisconsin
Great Lakes Distillery is the only distillery member of  the Wisconsin State Agriculture Departments "Something Special from Wisconsin" created to promote Wisconsin produced products.
Great Lakes Distillery is now open for tours!
Curious about how our products are made? Looking for a unique experience with out of town guests? How about looking for that last minute gift for a Rehorst fan? Well if you're going to be in Milwaukee look no further. Fridays and Saturdays we are now open for tours! No reservation needed but if you have a group of eight or more, we can schedule private tours on a more flexible schedule- just call us at 414-431-8683.
Tours begin at 4:30 and 6:00PM Fridays, and 3:30PM Saturdays. 
This month's quotes are courtesy
of Rehorst Vodka's Literary Consultant and Chef, Dean Kadlec.
Ernest"The only time it isn't good for you is when you write or when you fight. You have to do that cold. But it always helps my shooting. Modern life, too, is often a mechanical oppression and liquor is the only mechanical relief."   

-Ernest Hemingway

"Alcohol is a very necessary article...It makes life bearable to millions of people who could not endure their existence if they were quite sober. It enables Parliament to do things at eleven at night that no sane person would do at eleven in the morning."

-George Bernard Shaw

"Drink! for you know not whence you came, nor why.
Drink! for you know not why you go, nor where."

-Omar Khayyam

New! Twitter!
Blog and Facebook
We're pleased to announce we have gone social!

Follow us on Twitter

If you're on Facebook check out the Rehorst Vodka (and gin) fan page created by Rehorst Vodka fan Ric Larson!

We've also begun "Distilled!" a blog where we spew about alcohol related topics a bit more frequently than the newsletter allows. Keep an eye on the blog for the latest products we may be working on, as well as cocktail recipe's and events.

Memorial Day weekend is here, which means summer's here! So, load up your glass with ice because it's Gin and Tonic time!

We've got some exciting plans for the summer- some of which begin tonight! We've also got a couple great summer cocktail to try.

Details below...
Summer Events begin Today!
Summer is a great time for getting out of the house and actually doing something. This summer we're getting out of the distillery and doing a lot of events!

Tonight! (Friday May 22nd)

SullivansFirst of all we're kicking off the warmer weather with the folks from Sullivan's tonight at 10PM. The event is with our friends from "102.9 The Hog". Meet the top 10 finalists of their Rock Girl Competition and say hi to outgoing Rock Girl Stephanie! Enjoy specials on Rehorst Products! Sullivan's is at 1223 N. Water St. in Milwaukee. See you tonight!

Next Week
(Saturday May 30th)

The RiversideJoin us at the Riverside Theater in Milwaukee for Third Eye Blind. We'll be doing a tasting before the show and Rehorst drink specials will be featured all night!

All Summer!

Jazz in the ParkWe are pleased to announce we are a sponsor of Milwaukee's East Town Jazz in the Park music series. The opening event is Thursday June 4th.

Imagine yourself enjoying 16 weekly concerts with a Rehorst cocktail in hand and listening to some great music in the ambiance of Cathedral Square Park! Wake up. It's not a dream anymore.

Of course we have many more tastings in the works this summer. We always look forward to seeing our friends in spirit, so be sure to say hello.
This months Cocktails

Summer is all about refreshing cocktails! Here's a couple to try from distillery Mixologist Jason Neu-

Lake Effect
2 oz Rehorst Gin
Splash of Ginger Ale
Fresh Mint
All ingredients stirred and served over rocks.

Milwaukee Mai Tai
Based on Trader Vic's  original 1944 Mai Tai recipe. Just swapping Rehorst Citrus & Honey Vodka for the rum.
2 oz Rehorst Citrus & Honey Vodka
¾  oz fresh lemon juice
½ oz Grand Marnier
½ oz orgeat syrup (almond flavored syrup)
-Shake with ice. Pour entire contents into a Collins glass. Float a tsp of dark or spiced rum.
Garnish with a mint sprig
Spirits Updates

Artisan Series Brandies

Our Brandy supply is running low! If you'd like to pick up a bottle or two of these, better start looking. Once they're gone they will be gone until we can make more (Likely not until late fall, with possible release in early winter).

Visit our Artisan Series Brandy Page for more information.

Play Ball '09

Play Ball Vodka

Time is running out. Get your limited edition "PlayBall '09" soon! Remember, sale of "PlayBall 09" benefits Childrens Hospital of Wisconsin.

This is a limited bottling of our Classic vodka. Each bottle is hand numbered and wax sealed. These will only be on the shelf for a limited time, so get them while you can!

More info on PlayBall '09!

Hope you have a great Memorial Day weekend and a terrific summer!

Guy Rehorst
Great Lakes Distillery, LLC
Rehorst Premium Milwaukee Vodka is 40% Alcohol by Volume (80 Proof).
Rehorst Premium Milwaukee Gin is 44% Alcohol By Volume (88 Proof).
Rehorst Premium Milwaukee Citrus & Honey Flavored Vodka is 40% Alcohol By Volume (80 Proof). 
Artisan Series Pear Brandy Eau-de-Vie, Grappa and Kirschwasser are 40% Alcohol by Volume (80 Proof).
Drink Responsibly.
Great Lakes Distillery, Milwaukee WI

Goodnight everyone, and have a happy, safe holiday weekend

It's Friday night. Time to unwind with our regular Friday night feature on This Just in.

The weekend has finally arrived. The sun has set. The evening sky has erupted. 

Let's put controversy and provocative blogs aside for the rest of this work week and smooth our way into Saturday and Sunday.

Tonight, we feature three big stars from the world of smooth jazz.

Our first guest grew up not that far from these parts, in Gurnee, Illinois, and began playing piano at the age of 10. He majored in piano at Northern Illinois University and played, naturally, in the award-winning school big band.

After moving to Los Angeles, he started hanging out and jamming at local clubs where he met future smooth jazz stars Boney James and Norman Brown. For a time, he left his beloved field of jazz and toured with Teena Marie, Janet Jackson, and Sheena Easton before venturing out on his own in 2006. He’s been the musical director for Dave Koz the past ten years.

The title track of his debut album went to #1 on the Radio & Records Smooth Jazz Airplay chart and stayed in the top 5 for four months. Here’s Brian Simpson with that very catchy tune.


Read more

The Barking Lot (5/23/09)

The Barking Lot

The Barking Lot is a regular weekly feature of this just inWritten by my lovely wife, Jennifer and me.  It opens with the weekend dog walking forecast followed by the main blog from dog lover, Jennifer. Then its DOGS IN THE NEWS and our close. Enjoy!

We grade the weather outlook for taking your pet outdoors. 

TODAY:    Cloudy with a few showers. High of 64.  "C"

SUNDAY:  Cloudy in the morning giving way to sunshine in the afternoon. High of  63. "C"


In the past, Jennifer and I have quoted officials from the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) in our blog, The Barking Lot. That is not to suggest that we endorse or support this group. In fact, we find the HSUS to be quite troubling.

WSB-TV in Atlanta recently aired an investigative report showing that HSUS gives less than 4 cents of every dollar of its budget to assist local animal shelters.

Where does 96% of the money raised go?  WSB-TV confirmed it goes to pay for HSUS’ activist work and lobbying. After WSB-TV reporter Amanda Rosseter spoke with owners of animal shelters in the Atlanta area, she came to the conclusion that HSUS’ claims of fighting puppy mills are just talk. Local humane societies are responsible for doing most of the work of rescuing and caring for puppies. Most get no financial help from HSUS.

As part of her investigation, Rosseter attended a local HSUS meeting and found that the HSUS priorities are all about activism and lobbying. HSUS has been criticized for its anti-meat, anti-dairy agenda. The organization opposes pet breeding, zoos, hunting and circus acts with animals. In other words, they’re loony.

And they admit it. Not that they’re loony, but that they are activists and lobbyists.

From the WSB-TV report (that is no longer available online):

“’I think that in all of our literature, it is very explicit as to what our campaigns are and what we are doing,’ said Cheryl McAuliffe, Georgia Director for HSUS. ‘We help where we can and focus on our programs, which are national and international.’

McAuliffe said there are just too many local shelters to help.

‘I always tell people, contribute to your local shelter first,’ said McAuliffe.

When asked how much her budget is for the state of Georgia, McAuliffe said she didn't have a budget and neither did other states. McAuliffe said all money is controlled from headquarters in Washington, D.C.

People who donate to HSUS think, because of the nice sound of the organization’s name, that their money is going for a good cause. If you really want to help rescued pets, donate to a local humane society.

And on this Memorial Day weekend, an update on a previous story on The Barking Lot. It involves Navy Seal Marcus Lutrell  (More from the Washington Post). When our hero returned home, his dog was murdered, and this Navy Seal sprung into action, helping to catch the suspects.

It's time now for DOGS IN THE NEWS, canines that made headlines the previous week.

Heroic dog helps injured dog........MUST SEE VIDEO!

Baby C. is a hero!

More than 300 dogs were seized from a shelter in Richland County.

Michael Vick and the HSUS?

Super Bowl hero's pit bull bites his 2-year old son.

Alaska goes after a man featured in Animal Planet.

This victim of autism has gone into the business of making all-natural dog biscuits.

The dog didn't do it. It was his water bowl

UPDATE: What about the dog taped to the fridge?

Targeting breeds is a waste of time: LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Bravo to Big Ben in Pittsburgh!

Bo's beanie babies are hot sellers.

That's it for this week. Thanks for stopping by!

Next week, the new movie UP opens in theaters.

And, oh yeh...

It features....

A dog.

And, of course...

The dog talks.


Read more

Hell no, we won't furlough!

A lot of state employees continue to moan and whine about their 16-day furloughs (i.e., unpaid vacations). Apparently, they have no clue or compassion about the suffering and sacrifice that has devastated the private sector.

I surely hope these grumblers will remember who did this to them, the man they have backed aimlessly and given financial support to, 
Jim Doyle.

Tuition breaks for illegal immigrants

That's what the Democrats who control the Legislature's Joint Finance Committee approved. Isn't that nice!

Senator Lazich predicted shenanigans this weekend from the committee and here they come.

Week-ends (5/23/09)


A  look back at the people and events that made news the past week.
Week-ends is a regular weekly feature of This Just In...


Marlene Hernandez

Enrique Valdez and his family

Zachary Boyd......"Just imagine seeing that — a guy in pink boxers and flip-flops has you in his crosshairs."

Passengers on Seattle bus

Tustin Mains

Jordan Wiener

Lori Schneider

Phil Mickelson


Tiffany Toribio 

Leilani Neumann

William Cunningham

Mary Kay Letourneau


"We all know nobody did anything wrong. If this happened to a child in a mosque or a child in a synagogue or in a hospital, we wouldn't be here. We're here because it happened in their own place of residence. That is inexcusable."
Leilani Neumann's stepfather, Brian Gordon of San Diego, California. Neumann, 41, of the town of Weston was found guilty Friday of second-degree reckless homicide in connection with the March 23, 2008, death of her 11-year-old daughter, Madeline Kara Neumann. She faces a 25-year prison sentence. Neumann chose to pray for her child rather than seek treatment for the girl's diabetes.

“We have made responsible choices, ones that protect the middle class and have a lesser impact on our priorities, which are education and public safety.”
Governor Jim Doyle unveiling a deal worked out with Democrat legislative leaders to fix the additional $1.6 billion budget hole through a series of spending cuts and furloughs of state employees and other measures.

Increasing the hospital tax, increasing the cell phone tax, saying that people who were planning on getting a deduction will no longer receive it, those to me are increases in taxes and that's something Wisconsin can't afford.”
JFC member, State Representative Robin Vos (R-Caledonia)

The Democrats started this budget process by raising taxes and putting the state budget ahead of the family budget. Now on the weekend where we are to honor those who have given their lives to protect our freedom and open form of government, Democrats are scheduled to vote on provisions in the budget that they want held out of scrutiny by the media and public.”
Assembly Minority Leader Jeff Fitzgerald(R-Horicon), on plans by the Joint Finance Committee to meet on Friday and Saturday of Memorial Day weekend.

This legislation will provide a healthier workplace for thousands of Wisconsin employees and open up businesses to customers who otherwise could not or would not be in smoking facilities.”
State Senator Fred Risser (D-Madison), reacting to Governor Doyle signing a statewide smoking ban.

Jim Doyle wants it both ways. He wants my money every time I buy cigarettes, and he wants to tell me I can't smoke them anywhere, and that sucks.”
Andrew Ballman protesting outside Titletown Brewery in Green Bay, one of three stops Doyle made to celebrate signing the ban.

We're going to have a balanced budget. We are not going to be raising taxes.”
Administration Secretary Michael Morgan to a meeting of mayors and other local government leaders before Doyle's announcement on Thursday that he will cut 2.5 percent from the shared revenue plan in his original budget.

“I think it vindicates us.”
Milwaukee County Board Chairman Lee Holloway on the $45 million settlement the county reached with actuary Mercer Inc. over the county's infamous pension problems. Mercer admitted no wrongdoing in the settlement, but several supervisors insisted the settlement proved they had been misled and unfairly blamed for the pension scandal.

“The notion that this vindicates them is baloney.”
Chris Kliesmet, a spokesman for Citizens for Responsible Government, that led the recall efforts against Milwaukee County Executive Tom Ament and several supervisors. He said supervisors should have asked more questions about the benefits before voting to approve them.


Some Milwaukee County officials, past and present, remain in denial over their role in the pension scandal, claiming the out of court settlement with Mercer this week vindicates their approval of pension votes that led to the current pension mess.


"President Obama has reserved unto himself the right to order the use of enhanced interrogation should he deem it appropriate. What value remains to that authority is debatable, given that the enemy now knows exactly what interrogation methods to train against, and which ones not to worry about. Yet having reserved for himself the authority to order enhanced interrogation after an emergency, you would think that President Obama would be less disdainful of what his predecessor authorized after 9/11. It's almost gone unnoticed that the president has retained the power to order the same methods in the same circumstances."
Former VP Dick Cheney this week, defending the Bush Administration's interrogation methods for terrorists.


Did the wrong contestant win American Idol? Uhh, folks, get over it.


The Ape Man
is on the loose in Fond du Lac.

Escargot a la face.

Gravesite weddings.

WOW! Get a load of what she's wearing!

Creepy crawlers at the morgue

This guy
had better hurry.

REMEMBER: Your suggestions/nominations for any of these categories every week are welcome, especially for HEROES OF THE WEEK. If you know of anyone in the community deserving of recognition, please e-mail me.

Obama's $17 billion budget cuts in context

Read more

Would someone please explain to our Mr.Know It All president...

The difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day?

The Obameessiah messed this up last year, too.

Recommended reading (5/23/09)

Recommended reading

Read more

No public schools would possibly be open Memorial Day, would they?

Guess again.

How ridiculous.

My most popular blogs (5/24/09)

Most popular

As I post every Sunday, here are the top five most popular of my blog entries from the previous week:

1) My Notre Dame heroes

2) Week-ends (5/16/09)

3) Rembert Weakland remains in denial

4) The Barking Lot (5/16/09)

5) My most popular blogs (5/17/09)

Tonight on PBS...

You can see the National Memorial Day Concert tonight at 7:00 on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10.

A special segment will be dedicated to Jose Pequeno.

If you've never seen the program, it's a wonderful tribute to our fallen soldiers. Here's a preview:


Read more

Photos of the Week (05/24/09)

Photos of the Week


Soliders from the U.S. Army Old Guard gather flags before placing them at grave stones at Arlington National Cemetery May 21, 2009 in Arlington, Virginia. It took 1,300 soldiers, sailors and Marines about three hours to place a flag at each of the more than 300,000 gravestones at Arlington ahead of the Memorial Day weekend. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Memorial Day

U.S. Army Pvt. Zach Lawson, 22, of Portland, Ore., places American flags on graves at Arlington National Cemetery for Memorial Day, in Arlington, Va. Thursday, May 21, 2009. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)


Read more

The MJS Scorecard (5/24/09)

MJS Scorecard


It should also be noted that this exercise is a categorization. Most, if not all of these articles submitted to, or solicited by the Crossroads staff are well-written, thoughtful, and provocative. I enjoy reading them as I have every Sunday for as long as I can remember. This weekly compilation is an ideological scorecard, not a writing critique.


David R. Riemer: Let us end poverty in Milwaukee 


Karla Dial: Let schools deliver what parents demand 

George Will: Redefining away free speech 

Another View:  Doyle budget represents a step backward for welfare program


Joseph Hammang: Don't ruin collaborations that help doctors help patients 

Jon Keesecker: Don't forfeit city's water power 


TODAY: Liberal-1, Conservative-3

YEAR TO DATE: Liberal-42, Conservative-40

Obama's (ghost) writer

A friend referred me to the following item in today's American Thinker. It's a lengthy column that she aptly describes as a fascinating piece of detective work:

Who Wrote Dreams and Why it Matters


Obama's Memorial Day facade

Call it hubris, call it hypocrisy, but don't call anything the president says this weekend about the military sincere.

In case you've forgotten, Carol Platt Liebau has some reminders about the Commander-in-Chief's sentiments about our Armed Forces.

"Memorial Day is the most important American holiday"

So claims that great Amercan philosopher, Ted Nugent.

A Memorial Day miracle

NPR has the story.

Celebrity war heroes

I love this.

MSN columnist Martha Brockenbrough has this message for Hollywood:

“So listen up, Madonna, Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Bono, George Clooney and all the rest of you. Here are 10 superstars who not only left indelible marks on the world of pop culture, they also put their bodies on the line for their countries as soldiers and spies.”

Take a look.

UPDATE: Culinary no-no #75

Culinary no-no's

Culinary no-no #75 dealt with my observations about Bon Appétit magazine's choice for the best pizza in America.

The Travel Channel’s Andrew Zimmern takes us inside.

Culinary no-no #113

Culinary no-no's

When writers use descriptive words like, “best,” “perfect” or “awesome,” I’m a bit wary, especially about that adjective, “perfect.” For example, there is no “perfect” burger.

You’re safer using “best” since you could take a dozen burger joints and select the “best” of the 12. Of course, you’re not totally safe using that term because it’s subjective. It’s likely that not everyone would agree that Burger Joint #7 is actually the “best.”

Imagine attempting to choose the best burger in America.

Kevin, don’t tell me someone was foolish enough to do that!

No, because that certainly would have ignited World War III. But the June-July 2009 issue of Food Network magazine used food critics to determine, as it promotes on its cover, the “ultimate burger in every state.”

In Wisconsin, the critics loved the Great Dane Pub in Madison’s Brat and Bacon Pretzel Burger. I’ve been in the Great Dane, just a hop, skip, and a jump away from the state Capitol. Super place. But here’s the danger when you compile such a list, as interesting as it might be.

What makes the Great Dane’s burger better than a similar version I can get at Meyer’s Restaurant in Greenfield?

The Brat and Bacon Pretzel burger, the best in all of Wisconsin. Really?

50 states. 50 burgers.

There are certainly plenty of mouth-watering creations that make you drool. However, I found at least 10 culinary no-no’s in that list of 50.

Here we go, in alphabetical order by state:

COLORADO, the Juarez @ Jack-n-Grill
This one is topped with ham, a hot dog, and guacamole.

HAWAII, the Loco Moco @the Hukilau Café
I love Hawaiian cuisine and would actually love to try this: a beef patty on a bed of rice smothered in gravy. I’ll bet it’s great. I’m also sure it’s very description just brought audible howls.


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If you missed Sunday's live broadcast of the National Memorial Day Concert...

Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10 airs it again tonight at 8:00 with a moving segment about Jose Pequeno.


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Brooke Shields makes her case for Idiot of the Year

In an interview with Health Magazine, 43-year old Brooke Shields, who has never been seen at a Mensa meeting, admits she lost her virginity at the age of 22.

Was that a mistake?

You bet, says Shields.

She wishes she had sex a lot younger! (And laughed during her response in the interview).

How dumb can you be? In this era of teenage sex, STD’s, unwanted pregnancies, and abortions seen as an easy out, Shields is telling young girls that it’s best, when considering something as life-changing as pre-marital, teen sex to just “get it out of the way” as soon as possible.

The lefties in the media, of course, won’t touch such ignorance. Just note the ridiculous title of the article in Health Magazine.

But the lefties (condoms for all!) attack Bristol Palin for choosing to have her baby instead of making a convenient stop to the oh so compassionate Planned (we always inform the woman of all her options) Parenthood.

Brooke Shields is a never-was actress who’s no role model for young girls.

Dear Brooke, you overpriced bubblehead,

I recommend you read the following:

The teenage casualties of casual sex

The remuneration of the slutification of America

It's TIME to talk soccer

One of the many hats I wear involves timing varsity boys and girls high school soccer games. The boys play in the fall and the girls play in the spring. The girl’s season is coming to an end with the playoffs scheduled to begin this week.

I’ve been a soccer timer for over 30 years meaning I have sat through and endured over 700 games. Soccer is NOT my favorite pastime. I have never understood and nothing will ever make me understand the appeal of this slow, methodical, oh let’s just call it what it is, painfully boring sport. This is not to be critical of the players, their parents or coaches. It’s the game that’s goofy.

Soccer is one of the few sports where the clock runs up, not down.

There are two halves, each 40 minutes long. That’s 80 minutes of play. If there’s a tie, the game goes into an overtime period of 10 minutes. The first team to score wins. If neither team scores, a second overtime of ten minutes is played. If neither team scores, the game ends in a tie after 100 minutes. In the playoffs a shootout is held to determine the winner.

Is that stupid or what?  I’ve seen it happen: 100 minutes played, no goals, no score, no winner.

Dumb, dumb, dumb.

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Pray you never have to call 9-1-1...

In Dane County.

A tale of two Greenfield's

There’s the Greenfield that couldn’t control a traditionally family festival where, according to Fox 6 News, 40 arrests were made this weekend. From


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Good luck, Andrew Grose!

Andrew has a very, very, very important week ahead.

M-O-R-E  D-E-T-A-I-L-S


I wish my dad was here

For many reasons.

If he was here today, I’d ask him about that game 50 years ago today.

May 26, 1959.

Milwaukee County Stadium.

The Milwaukee Braves vs. the Pittsburgh Pirates.

I’m pretty confident my dad was there that night. He was an usher for the Braves games all the years they were here, and he also ushered the first few seasons of the Brewers.

Fifty years ago tonight, it was the greatest pitching performance in major league history. What made it even more astounding is that despite his incredible performance, the pitcher actually lost.

Frank Clines had this great retrospective piece in Sunday’s Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Do it UW, do it!

Tell me this wouldn't be popular!

And when can I get my tickets?

20 hypocrisies of liberalism

“To be a politically active liberal is to a be a person whose life is steeped in hypocrisy from the time he gets up until the time he goes to bed…”

I’ve often linked to columnist John Hawkins whose trademark is to write in lists.

Hawkins’ latest effort is simply priceless.

Gov. Doyle scratches the backs of the tribes, and then some

First, Jim Doyle gave a big wet kiss to the Indian tribes when he proposed, and subsequently signed into law, a statewide smoking ban that exempts Indian casinos.

Gotta have clean air.

Gotta have clean air.

Gotta have clean air.

Except in the casinos. Then it’s ok if all those gamblers and workers inhale all those nasty carcinogens.

Now the tribes have turned the other cheek, if you will, and are expecting yet another gigantic smooch. This time, the gift-wrapped package from James Doyle comes in the form of a 75-cent increase in the state’s cigarette tax.

The Wisconsin State Journal reports:

“If a proposed increase in the cigarette tax passes, Wisconsin’s American Indian tribes stand to receive $81.5 million in refunds over the next two years — triple what the tribes got several years ago.

The tax refunds on cigarettes sold by tribal retailers have shot up in recent years as has the cigarette tax itself, raising objections from other retailers about unfair competition and from public health advocates who want the tax levied on as many packs as possible to stop smoking.

The tax would increase by 75 cents per pack under a proposal being debated by the Legislature’s budget committee, increasing the rebates by $18.8 million over the next two years. The committee could take up the proposal as soon as Wednesday.”

This is called payback. These generous thank you’s from Governor Diamond Jim are a direct result of millions and millions of dollars in campaign contributions from the tribes.

UPDATE: Packer party poopers

Last September, I wrote about entrepreneurs who came up with an exciting idea: renting out elaborate Packer party houses near Lambeau Field.

Needless to say, the pencil-pushing bureaucrats and local officials had to show up and try to infringe on capitalism and individual property rights.

The Green Bay Common Council essentially wants to impose heavy-handed restrictions on this positive development in Titletown.

Here’s the latest.

Earth to Green Bay aldermen: leave these people alone!

Is it just me?

Have you seen the trailer for the latest Walt Disney Pixar Films production, "Up"?

The main character is Carl Fredericksen, pictured here to the far right:


To me, Carl looks a heckuva lot like another famous movie character. Whad'ya think?


Spencer Tracy in Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

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Every student in America should be required to read this

Heck, every AMERICAN should be required to read this, from the Foreign Policy Research Institute:

The Ten Things Eevery American Student Should Know About Our Army in World War II.


Franklin: Garbagetown

That’s what Franklin appeared to be for a period of almost 48 hours.

Did you put out your garbage anytime Monday, Memorial Day, expecting regular pickup the next day? In the neighborhoods I drove through, it seemed 50% or more of households plopped their trash at the end of the driveway.

And it sat, and sat, and sat, and sat, and sat, and sat, until sometime today, in some cases, for two straight days.

When a holiday falls on a Monday, Franklin garbage detail on Tuesday’s doesn’t occur until Wednesday. So the garbage sat there, in the wind and rain, for two days.

End of the world? No, but the neighborhoods certainly didn’t look, well, suburban.

The city is not to blame. Franklin has done more than its share of informing citizens of the routine

So, remember Franklin, the day after Labor Day….

Can the obligatory Eugene Kane column of outrage be far behind?

Obviously, the Madison Police Department is racist.

The biggest tax increase in the history of the world


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Fran Tarkenton: Jackass

I’ve never, ever liked Fran Tarkenton. It dates back to my days as a youngster and a Packer fan, and reading in the local sports section the scrambling Tarkenton brazenly taunting the Packer defense to "come and get me.”

Was Tarkenton a great QB? Of course.

He was also a loser with a capital “L” going 0 for 3 in Super Bowl games.

The former Viking and Giant has now decided to make outrageous comments about Brett Favre.

When discussion centers around tremendous NFL QB’s, Favre’s name comes up, but Tarkenton is never mentioned. 

You should also remember that Tarkenton started his career with the Vikings, left for the Giants, and then went back to the Vikings.

Read the article about Tarkenton’s verbal assault on Favre and then listen to
the Tarkenton interview  (The Favre segment begins about 1:40 into the audio).

And then you could always go back and compare Favre’s stats to Fran’s.

Sorry, jackass!

WRTL has UW officials squirming

Life - Wisconsin Right To Life - News Release

UW Officials Squirm as Wisconsin Right to Life Continues to Expose the Truth About Madison Late-Term Abortion Plan

They Admit Employees Will be Forced to Participate When Abortionist Dutton Butchers Women

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The topics Friday night on InterCHANGE

Here are the topics the panel discusses Friday night on InterCHANGE on Milwaukee Public Television at 6:30, with a repeat Sunday morning at 11:00:

1 – Sotomayor Joins the Supremes?

What does the Sonia Sotomayor nomination tell us about President Obama’s thinking about the Court? About his own political position? The right says she’s a radical leftist, the left says she’s not even a solid liberal -- do we know? Will she have any problems in her confirmation process? Will GOP senators hold back on their criticism to avoid offending Hispanics and women? Is that why Obama picked her? Do a judicial nominee’s “life experiences” play a role in his or her judgments on the bench? Should they?

2 – MPS Advisory Council

Here’s the latest attempt to turn around Milwaukee’s troubled public schools. Is there anything to it, or is it just window dressing? What does it say that the state was willing to sign on to this plan? Does this council make the school board irrelevant? Do they have separate missions? Will they cooperate? What do the particular nominees to the council bring to the table? Why has Tom Barrett put his prestige on the line in such a visible way?

3 – The Return of Tom Ament?

He’s kidding, right? Does the settlement of the pension-scandal lawsuit “vindicate” Ament? (That was the newspaper’s word, not his, but still...) Can he really be rehabilitated? Does he still have a future in county politics? Was the settlement the right move for the county? What do you make of Scott Walker’s unwillingness to let Ament off the hook?

4 – Racial Data for Police Stops?

Is there justification for trying to collect this kind of data? Even if it might be justified in Milwaukee, should police all across the state have to collect it? Do disproportionate traffic stops of minorities prove prejudice on the part of the police? (e.g. “More blacks than whites are poor. Poor people don’t maintain their cars as well as well-off people. So won’t more poor people’s cars have broken tail lights? Should the police let them slide because they’re black?”) Why did they take responsibility for analyzing the data away from J.B. Van Hollen?

5 -- Texting: The Next Big Crisis!

Just a quickie, and just for fun. Sleep disorders, limited attention spans, separation anxiety -- is too much teen texting really a problem? Do these experts need to get a hobby? Is it just kids who are constantly keeping in touch? How dependent have you become on social networks and messaging technology?

Say it ain't so, Jeff!

From the Journal Sentinel:

"State Rep. Jeff Stone (R-Greendale) suggested the challenge of financing the work in the Zoo corridor should prompt a look at toll roads as a source of transportation revenue in the state.

'I think you have to say all options are on the table,' Stone said."

Not this option, Jeff.

Not an option that is opposed by, oh, I don't know.......75, 80, 85, 90%.

The proverbial slap on the wrist

This week, Milwaukee alderman Ashanti Hamilton entered a plea of no contest to one count of physical abuse of a child and intentionally causing bodily harm. The alderman had been charged with hitting his 6-year-old daughter on her arms and legs with a coat hanger. He will serve no jail time.

Instead, Hamilton will be required to take parenting and anger management courses. Wow. That's harsh.

Oh, and let’s not forget the 25 hours of envelope licking. The courts call that, “community service.”

Sounds like the alderman got a free pass for abusing his child.

That’s a horrible message to send to other parents who wouldn’t think twice about roughing up their kids.

The powder puff question posed by a person posing as a reporter for the week goes to Channel 12’s Marianne Lyles who tossed up this softball to Hamilton:

"Can you at least tell us how it feels that you're putting an end to this? You seem pretty emotional in there,” Lyles said.

"I just love my girls. I just can't believe. I'm just happy to be moving on," Hamilton replied.

When someone gets off this easy, of course they should be happy.

Very dangerous woman removed forcibly from area near Air Force One


Secret Service personnel remove Brenda Lee from near Air Force One after Lee attempted to give President Obama a letter, Thursday May 28, 2009, at LAX.  AP photo

The video

And more details

I've covered many presidential visits and the Secret Service guys are not there to play nicey-nice. Even if they over-reacted in this case, you still don't mess with them.

What would you do in a case like this?

A high school student is helping to organize a special event at her school. It involves a battle of the bands.


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There is (laughter) no (laughter) liberal bias (laughter) in the media (LAUGHTER)

I thought White House reporters were supposed to perform an adversarial role.


18 minutes of MUST SEE VIDEO: Your state government at work

The state budget deficit is $6.6 billion. There is ZERO wiggle room for taxing and spending and taxing and spending and taxing and spending.

The legislature’s Joint Finance Committee (JFC) is controlled by Democrats, 12-4.

The JFC that has been reviewing the budget adjourned early this morning, but not before it took action on dozens of items that were developed in secret behind closed doors. Minority Republicans had little time, if any to review the numerous provisions and had ZERO input.

Is this the Democrats’ idea of bipartisanship? Yes, it is.

Please take time to watch the recommended 18 minutes of video from last night’s JFC proceedings. It will put in context why state Representative Robin Vos (R-Caledonia) was attempting to read the phone book and the 67 pages of the omnibus motion Republicans had shoved down their throats by Democrats in charge.

Click here, then click on Watch under
05.28.09 | Joint Committee on Finance (Part 1).

Then slide the cursor 4:22:00 into the video where JFC co-chair Mark Pocan calls on Vos. Of course, you can watch whatever you wish, but I recommended watching from 4:22:00 until at least 4:40:18 when Vos finishes his impassioned floor testimony.

Here is the MJS wrap-up from today’s paper.

He didn't ask her

How can the President  of the United States NOT ask his Supreme Court nominee her views on abortion?

Another sign Barack Obama is not ready for prime time.



Coming up this weekend on This Just In...

Our regular weekend features start tonight with our themed package of smooth musical selections to end the work week. That's at sundown.

Saturday, wake up with The Barking Lot, our blog about dogs. Our Saturday week in review, Week-ends will follow. Who's a villain? Who's a hero?

Also Saturday, Recommended Reading.

On Sunday, Photos of the Week, The MJS Scorecard, and our most popular blogs of the week.

Could cheese ever be a culinary no-no? Find out in Culinary no-no #114 on Sunday.

And lots of other good stuff, too.

You miss something here this weekend and you miss a lot. Thanks for stopping by.

Goodnight everyone, and have a terrific weekend

It's Friday night. Time to unwind with our regular Friday night feature on This Just in.

The weekend has finally arrived.

The sun has set.

The evening sky has erupted. 

Let's put controversy and provocative blogs aside for the rest of this work week and smooth our way into Saturday and Sunday.

Tonight, wonderful interpretations of music by:

In the early to mid-60’s, and LP that got played often in the Fischer household was the now extremely hard to find soundtrack from, “A Hard Day’s Night.” The album featured all the great songs performed by the Fab Four in the picture, and included some instrumental tracks as well.

Mom and Dad were both Beatles fans. They both, but especially Dad really liked those orchestral pieces sandwiched between, “I Should Have Known Better,”  and  “I’m Happy Just to Dance with You.”

I wasn’t as appreciate then as I am now of what was and is still being done with Beatle music. My dad understood and appreciated what Beatle producer George Martin manufactured. Those simple teenage love lament vocals could be turned into beautiful, lush arrangements.

If you have that familiar red and black soundtrack LP, you know exactly what I mean (and hold on to it).

From the movie soundtrack LP, scratches and all, here are two instrumentals that made my father a Beatle fan for life.

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The Barking Lot (5/30/09)

The Barking Lot

The Barking Lot is a regular weekly feature of this just inWritten by my lovely wife, Jennifer and me.  It opens with the weekend dog walking forecast followed by the main blog from dog lover, Jennifer. Then its DOGS IN THE NEWS and our close. Enjoy!

We grade the weather outlook for taking your pet outdoors. 

TODAY:    Scattered showers and thunderstorms. High of 71.  "B"

SUNDAY:  Partly cloudy. High of  63. That's 10 degrees below normal.  "C"


This week, a first on The Barking Lot as we combine this popular blog with another favorite on This Just In…

Are you ready?

Oh, this is going to be good!

For the very first time…

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, yes it's that time.....

It is time for the inaugural Barking Lot edition of …



Let’s play!

Today’s Final Jeopardy category is:

Of course…..


Now, you know how this works.

In a moment, I’ll give you the Final Jeopardy clue.

You will have 30 seconds (if you play fair, that will be when the music runs out) to come up with an answer and remember, players……… your answer must be in the form of a question.


Here’s your clue.


Good luck.

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From the Belleville News-Democrat and Glenn McCoy


Week-ends (5/30/09)


A  look back at the people and events that made news the past week.
Week-ends is a regular weekly feature of This Just In...


All our fallen soldiers we paid tribute to on Monday, Memorial Day

Brian Naseman

Wall washers

Connor Sorensen

Elizabeth Kazza

John Krahn

Kevin Laue

Kavya Shivashankar

Gina Marie Incandela

Wayne Allwine


The Legislature's Joint Finance Committee

Sarah Wiley-Jorgensen

Rembert Weakland

Melissa Weber

Raibin Raof Osman

Police in Sandusky, Ohio

South Dakota Harley


“I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.”
Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor commenting during a 2001 speech to a University of California-Berkeley conference on law and diversity.

“She misspoke. Every day that goes by that they don’t say she misspoke and she used the wrong words ... they just feed it and give it life and give Rush [Limbaugh] and [Sean] Hannity more airtime unnecessarily.”
Lanny Davis, a White House lawyer and spokesman for President Bill Clinton on Sotomayor’s above comment.

"What am I going to tell the president when I tell him his teleprompter is broken? What will he do then?"
Vice President Joe Biden joking as he delivered a commencement address to about 1,000 graduates of the Air Force Academy and a gust of wind knocked over his teleprompter.

You guys might think it's a joke the way you're screwing business, but I'm going to finish.”
Joint Finance Committee member, state Representative Robin Vos (R-Caledonia), after majority Democrats attempted to interrupt his attempt at a filibuster during late budget deliberations. Vos started reading off the Yellow Pages list of attorneys, saying lawyers are "the biggest beneficiaries of this budget." Vos was ruled out of order, and then began to read the bill out loud verbatim.

“Were you in community theater? Because this is the theater of the absurd right now. … Can we be statesmen and grow up?”
Joint Finance Committee member, state Representative Jen Shilling (D-La Crosse), reacting to Vos (You can see the Vos-Shilling exchange here).

“These are practical earmarks that help small communities in Wisconsin.”
State Representative Pedro Colón (D-Milwaukee), supporting an omnibus motion approved by the Joint Finance Committee that included numerous earmarks, including $46,000 to the Brown County community of Wrightstown to purchase new recycling bins.

“This is exactly the kind of nickel-and-diming that has put Wisconsin in such a mess over the years. Wasteful earmarks for things like recycling bins for only one town should not be a priority of the state, but to the Democrats on the Joint Finance Committee, it apparently is.”
State Representative Leah Vukmir (R-Wauwatosa)

I’m the only state senator who will put his name on a beer tax bill. It may not happen this time…but that is going to happen during my lifetime. Watch it.”
State Senator Fred Risser (D-Madison)

“I was as good a county executive as this county's ever had. … I want to show that I was.”
Former Milwaukee County Executive Tom Ament contending the recent settlement with Mercer Inc. vindicated him.

That doesn't absolve Ament of having some responsibility for not asking the questions or looking more into this before he signed off.”
Current Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker, who won a special election to replace Ament.


Take your pick.

The Joint Finance Committee (See VILLAINS above).

Your tax dollar at work.

A Texas woman is ordered by a supervisor to take down the American flag in her office.

Kids sending nude photos of themselves to each other via cell phone….what’s all the fuss about sexting? No big deal, right? One study says sexting is no worse than that old pre-pubescent favorite, spin-the-bottle.

Oral sex and prostitution not a problem to
these teens.


I like Pedro Colon, but he made some wild accusations this week.


Stop the presses! Susan Boyle gets mad once in awhile.


She said, "Bite me." So he did.

a grand OLD flag!

What's the first rule of flying?

What's lurking underneath Nevada?

REMEMBER: Your suggestions/nominations for any of these categories every week are welcome, especially for HEROES OF THE WEEK. If you know of anyone in the community deserving of recognition, please e-mail me.

Time to check in on my weather pal, Craig Koplien

Recently, WTMJ meteorologist Craig Koplien and I traded some good-natured jabs and you really have to read the back and forth to get the proper backdrop for this post that, once again, features my blogging buddy, Craig.

In Friday’s Journal Sentinel, it was Craig’s turn to write the Weather Wisdom column. For his lead sentence, he chose a line and put it in quotation marks:

“Just tell me if it’s going to rain or not!”


That so reminded me of a blog I wrote back on February 16 that had this title:

For cryin' out loud, just tell me when it will start snowing!!!”

Back to Craig’s Friday column. Remember the background. Craig became quite defensive about the way I described his forecasting style.

In his Friday column that reads like a litany of excuse-making, Craig wrote, “Weather forecasting is not an exact science.”

Again I say, hmmmmmm.

In a February 1, 2008 blog, I listed three excuses made by an unnamed weatherman:

And my all-time favorite……………

3) You know, Kevin, this is not an exact science.”

There must be some hymnal these guys all carry around.

Here is the
column Craig Koplien wrote Friday.

Recommended reading (5/30/09)

Recommended reading

Here are, in my view, interesting, noteworthy columns and articles from the past week that I highly recommend (You will note that on occasion, I do not endorse the opinions of the author and may point that out. Despite my disagreements, I still feel the piece is worth a read).

Taxpayers foot lawmakers' bills

"An examination of U.S. lawmakers' expense claims shows Washington's elected officials have (also) used public funds for eye-catching purchases."

Budget includes millions in earmarks

Facing a record $6.6 billion deficit, the Legislature's Joint Finance Committee on Friday passed a budget crafted late at night and largely behind closed doors that included tax increases, trims in state aid and millions of dollars in pork-barrel projects in Democratic districts."

To whom honor is due

"Everybody loves a hero. But pop culture spends so much time worshipping athletes and Hollywood stars that many of our children don't know a true hero from an impostor."

Work hard for a nation of makers not takers

"Instead of figuring out how to take from others through taxes and debt, we should be figuring out how to make. We should encourage people to figure out how to start new businesses, create new products and provide services to others."

Rebut, then confirm

"Barring some huge hidden scandal, Sotomayor will be elevated to (that same) Supreme Court. What should a principled conservative do?"

Three stories and one Supreme Court nominee

"Sonia Sotomayor’s commitment to her own personal interpretation of the Constitution could have devastating consequences on everyday Americans, and here’s why:"

It's increasingly evident that Obama should resign

"We expected broken promises. But the gap between the soaring expectations that accompanied Barack Obama’s inauguration and his wretched performance is the broadest such chasm in recent historical memory. This guy makes Bill Clinton look like a paragon of integrity and follow-through."

California ruling shows hurdles remain for gay marriage

"The California ruling served as a reminder that same-sex marriage remains deeply polarizing, and the movement is likely to see more reversals and setbacks as it tries to expand beyond the favorable terrain of the Northeast."

The call to have a family and serve God

"Inevitably, the scandal in Miami has reopened the longstanding debate over celibacy and the Catholic priesthood."

The birds, bees, and cellphones

"On nearly every playground in America, there are cell phones that can transmit X-rated material in the blink of an eye."

Save the planet. Paint the roof.

"The other day, the current Secretary of Energy Dr. Steven Chu was speaking at the 'St James's Palace Nobel Laureate Symposium'  in London which, if it is not the most pretentiously named meeting on the planet, it must be among the top five, told his laureateal colleagues that we should paint much of the world white to reflect heat back up into space and, thus, cure global warming. 

I am not making this up."

Random thoughts

"When I think of the people with serious physical or mental handicaps who nevertheless work, I find it hard to sympathize with able-bodied men who stand on the streets and beg. Nor can I sympathize with those who give them money that subsidizes a parasitic lifestyle which allows such men to be a constant nuisance, or even a danger, to others."

Wake up, Wisconsin!

"Instead of being a magnet for new business, industries and jobs, Gov. Jim Doyle and those in Madison seem oblivious to the concept of finding employers to employ. People need jobs, and there is no way the path we are on is going to attract them."

Could a personalized magazine help save print media?

"Unlike a lot of the publications that slip into my mailbox each month, Mine is full of stories that I actually feel like reading."

NML CEO should stick to actuarial tables

The next time someone in law enforcement tells you there are no quota systems...

Mention Orlando.

Where there's a Will, there's an instant Sunday column in the MJS (by George)

MJS Scorecard

Regular readers of This Just In know I’m keeping tabs on the Crossroads (editorial) section in the Sunday Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

This Sunday’s paper will feature a piece by conservative columnist George Will. That will be the 4th time in the past 7 weeks that a Will column has surfaced in the Crossroads pages.

Granted, from my perspective, there’s nothing wrong with running a George Will column. However, earth to Editorial Page Editor Ricardo Pimentel:

I find it very hard to believe that you can’t find a LOCAL conservative(s) to file worthy pieces for the Sunday Crossroads section instead of 4 George Will columns in 7 weeks.

Quickly lifting Will’s latest nationally syndicated effort is the easy, and yes, lazy way to fill your pages,

A reminder, watch for my MJS Scorecard Sunday.

How does ultra-liberal Madison deal with this?

Late January 2008, the state Capitol in Madison.

Governor Doyle is delivering the annual State of the State address to a joint session of the state Legislature in a packed state Assembly Chambers. Two floors below, in the state Capitol’s basement, a group of homeless individuals is grateful the Capitol is open late today. They get to stay inside a few hours longer before having to battle another bitterly cold night.

An Appleton Post Crescent reporter is downstairs, interviewing the homeless for a story to be headlined, “Icy weather, burning issues bring together Wisconsin's leaders and the homeless under the dome.”

Quoted in the article is 42-year old David Watson who says,
"I didn't expect to live this long. I don't know if I'll make it to spring or not.”

Nothing has changed since then. The Madison nights still find some homeless huddling on the grates just outside the ornate historic building. As the Post-Crescent reported in January 2008,
A fine snow fell as Ricky ‘Joko’ Novak rolled a cigarette while perched atop a steel heating grate. The grate hissed, enveloping the homeless man in a fragile pocket of warmth in the midst of zero-degree wind chills. Ducking inside his jacket, Novak lit the cigarette.”

During the day, when the Capitol doors open, the homeless are right there to head to the basement where a spacious area with tables and chairs and vending machines beckons. The homeless stay there, playing cards, reading, watching their portable TV’s, and sleeping until they must leave when the Capitol closes for the day.

Head to the basement as I do for my 90-cent cans of Pepsi, and the permeating smell is evident just moments after you walk off the elevator, some days more overpowering than others depending on the number of folks who’ve taken shelter.  Restrooms on the ground floor have become facilities that go beyond relieving oneself as people bathe and shave in the cramped quarters.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, apparently oblivious to this daily routine that has been going on for years,  even though the paper has reporters camped right inside the Capitol, has chosen to do a story, not in the dead of winter, but now, as summer approaches, about the problems the homeless are causing. The paper reports the Capitol Police are dealing with all sorts of problems caused by the homeless including, “
alcohol abuse; arguments; defecation and urination; and arrests of people on outstanding warrants.”

One lawmaker quoted in the Journal Sentinel article fears for the safety of Capitol visitors.

Despite these problems, the Capitol Police contend the building is safe. I wholeheartedly agree.

I engage in friendly chit chat often with the homeless in the Capitol. I was stunned one day to be in the basement headed for the Pepsi machine to see an African-American man gazing at his portable DVD player plugged into the wall.  Wow, I thought. I wish I had one of those cool deals, but I don’t.

The man was watching a familiar video of Elvis performing on stage. After stopping at the man’s table, I had to speak up.

“Hey, that’s the (blank) video, isn’t it?”

“Yeh it is,” said the man, who then went into an enthusiastic and knowledgeable decription of the entire video.

There we were, he unshaved and dirty, me in a suit and tie, sharing our admiration for the King.

Another man pictured in the Journal Sentinel story and I have talked on many, many occasions.

Looks are deceiving. Judging from his dialogue with me, I’m actually surprised he’s still homeless.

My point is I’m not sure an over-reaction is necessary here. To be honest, I’ve never had a problem with any homeless individual in the Capitol in the 12-plus years I’ve been working there. Some of the school groups that invade the Capitol with chaperones who, quite frankly, tend to be useless as the kids create a free for all are a bigger nuisance than the homeless. When the Concerts on the Square begin in the summer, some of the crowd that descend upon the Capitol for a free concert look just like the guys that have been in the basement all day.

What will one of the most liberal cities in America do about this problem? I can’t believe it would prevent the general public, and that includes the homeless, entry into the state’s #1 public building.

I say leave this issue alone. The building is incredibly safe and kept that way by a fine police force. There’s no need to do anything else.

My most popular blogs (5/31/09)

Most popular

As I post every Sunday, here are the five most read blog entries of mine from the previous week. NOTE: some entries may have been posted prior to the past week.

1)  A tale of two Greenfield's

2) Obama's Memorial Day facade

3) The prudes have been unleased in Brookfield

4) Governor Doyle in denial

5) Culinary no-no #113

Photos of the Week (05/31/09)

Photos of the Week

APTOPIX South Korea Koreas Nuclear

South Korean protesters with defaced photos of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il shout slogans during a rally against North Korea's nuclear test near the U.S. embassy in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, May 26, 2009. North Korea was likely preparing to fire short range missiles off its western coast, a news report said Tuesday, a day after the country defied world powers and carried out an underground test of a nuclear bomb. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)


APTOPIX South Korea Koreas Nuclear

South Korean elementary school students wearing gas masks while they participate in a lesson on how to use a gas mask in a nuclear attack in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, May 28, 2009. South Korean and U.S. troops raised their alert Thursday to the highest level since 2006 after North Korea renounced its truce with the allied forces and threatened to strike any ships trying to intercept its vessels. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)


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Whoever shot and killed late-term abortionist George Tiller...

...need to be tried, convicted, and sentenced to life in prison.

The story...

has the death penalty. That will certainly add to the debate.

The MJS Scorecard (05/31/09)

MJS Scorecard


It should also be noted that this exercise is a categorization. Most, if not all of these articles submitted to, or solicited by the Crossroads staff are well-written, thoughtful, and provocative. I enjoy reading them as I have every Sunday for as long as I can remember. This weekly compilation is an ideological scorecard, not a writing critique.


Reggie Bicha: Working to end child care fraud 

Bicha is a member of the Doyle administration. The fraud and waste that Bicha writes about that needs to be stopped has been happening on Doyle’s watch.

Peter D. Fox: Keep public notices accessible 

Fox would prefer the state budget not be cut (albeit by a small margin) so that his pockets can be lined. In another article in the news section today, he’s quoted about responsible government. That should include cutting the budget when we’re $6.6 billion in the hole.

Fox also needs to flip his calendar. Public notices certainly can and should go on the Internet.


Tom Still: What's working: high-tech jobs 

George Will: Government thinks it knows best 

Jim Burkee: Accountability czar could restore faith in government 


Gerry Broderick
Milwaukee as water hub: Forethought, execution are the essentials

Michael J. Murphy
Milwaukee as water hub: City must not miss golden opportunity

Even though these two writers are unabashed liberals, their pieces are just not blatant enough to go in the “L” column.


TODAY: Liberal-2, Conservative-3

YEAR TO DATE: Liberal-44, Conservative-43

Dear Franklin City Hall: Please, please get your priorities in order

During August 2007, I wrote a 5-part series about the top issues I believed the city of Franklin was facing.

Silly me. I wrote about topics like taxes, economic development, and sex offenders.

In the past several weeks, examine what has been consuming the time of our locally elected officials: requiring leashes on all dogs, the unnecessary and unpopular widening of a street, finding more for the Common Council president to do, and the rather selfish request to have a new coffee shop built at the Civic Center District, but only under the right conditions.

The list of waste of time ideas continues Monday night as the Franklin Common Council’s Committee of the Whole considers the life or death idea of changing the Franklin mayoral position from part-time to full-time (Item IIA).

Excuse me, but did I miss something?

Is there a hue and cry from the Franklin populace, all 35,000 of them, that we absolutely must have a full-time mayor?

Let me get this straight. As the private sector reduces its workforce by handing out pink slips, and cuts salaries and benefits, the Franklin taxpayers are supposed to accept the expansion of local government?

Franklin is not La Crosse, though some would give anything if only it were so. We are a very, very small city. Full-time mayor? Why? What for?

Current part-time mayor, Tom Taylor and the Franklin Common Council need to get their priorities straight. This isn’t one of them.

Pay close attention to the arguments in favor of making the mayor’s position full-time and WHO’S making them. Could there be a personal agenda at stake here? You betcha.

If the contention is that we can’t attract decent candidates when Tom Taylor decides not to be mayor anymore unless we sweeten the pot, then I suggest we don’t want those kinds of candidates to begin with.

Earth to Franklin City Hall: Dump this stupid idea and move on to far more important business.

FranklinNOW editor Mark Maley, please consider posting a question on the FranklinNOW forum asking readers to weigh in about this issue. I'd be curious as to the response.

Culinary no-no #114

Culinary no-no's


Could cheese, that coveted, revered, almighty food item ever fall into the category of a culinary no-no?

I’ve done 113 Culinary no-no’s, and cheese was never the focal point.

Cheese, a culinary no-no? Why, that would be sacrilegious.

We’ll get back to that.

Later this week, my lovely wife, Jennifer and I will celebrate our wedding anniversary. I will never forget (if I know what’s good for me) one of the happiest days in my life. So many memories. Like our scrumptious wedding cake.

It was green. The color (and cake) looked a lot like this:

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