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 baby daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.
At some point during 2008, 30 percent of U.S. high school students have stolen from a store and 64 percent have cheated on a test. That’s according to a survey of nearly 30,000 students in high schools across the U.S. conducted by the Josephson Institute.
The Institute reports, “More than two of five (42 percent) said that they sometimes lie to save money. Cheating in school continues to be rampant and it’s getting worse. A substantial majority (64 percent) cheated on a test during the past year.”
What’s also troubling is that these figures are probably conservative. Today’s high schoolers have a nonchalant attitude about their lying, cheating ways with more than one in four (26 percent) confessing they lied on at least one or two questions on this survey!
No doubt echoing the sentiments of their parents (“Oh, no, my Johnny would neeeeeeever cheat!), 93 percent said they were satisfied with their personal ethics and character and 77 percent said that when it comes to doing what is right, I am better than most people I know.
Not very promising.
A woman struggles as she comes through the doors with other shoppers at a Wal-Mart store in Secaucus, N.J., shortly after 5:00 a.m., Friday, Nov. 28, 2008. Hundreds of people lined up to get into this Wal-Mart for the annual pre-dawn Black Friday bargain hunting. (AP photo)
On the morning after Thanksgiving, a temporary Wal-Mart worker died after a throng of eager shoppers broke down the doors and trampled him moments after a Long Island store opened.
An attorney for Jdimytai Damour, the man who was trampled, is claiming he had been working at the Long Island store for only about a week when he was knocked over. In the attorney's view, the cause of death: lack of training. I prefer the current approach of law enforcement, and that is to find the people who actually trampled this poor man.
And how many people stepped on, jumped over him, or ignored him? For what? A VCR?
There’s now the incredible overreaction of a call to ban Black Friday shopping.
This from the New York Post:
"We are not aware of any other circumstances where a retail employee has died working on the day after Thanksgiving," said Ellen Davis, a spokeswoman at National Retail Federation.
What happened was tragic. But ban early shopping on the morning after Thanksgiving? There has to be a way for stores to set up an orderly system outside for people waiting to get in so that shoppers are lined up single file. It's been done elsewhere for people waiting to buy concert tickets and what not. Beef up your security inside and outside the store. Have people enter the store at each doorway single file with security at the entrances armed with stop watches, allowing one person in every 15-30 seconds.
If people behave like animals over a video game, then changes have to be made. But certainly that shouldn't and won't include banning Black Friday shopping.
You think Democrats aren’t poised to hoist their loopy liberal agenda upon the rest of us, now that they’re in power? Please, don’t be naïve.
State Senator Spencer Coggs (D-Milwaukee), who is a friend by the way, hasn’t introduced more than 2-3 bills of substance since he joined the state Senate. Now that Democrats control both houses of the Legislature….BINGO! Coggs comes out of nowhere with his self-proclaimed “progressive agenda.”
Don’t you just love liberals? They can’t come to grips with or stomach calling themselves or their moonbat proposals, “liberal.” Instead, they hide behind the moniker, “progressive.”
Just take a look at all these LIBERAL proposals from the suddenly awakened and rejuvenated Spencer Coggs. While you read, just imagine one right after another being sucked away from you:
- Require a background check when a gun is sold or transferred between two private parties. The proposal would also close the “gun show loophole” by requiring purchasers to undergo background checks when firearms are purchased at a gun show.
- Ban most sales of handguns to persons under 21.
- Prohibit the possession or purchase of a gun by anyone who has been convicted of a misdemeanor involving a firearm.
- Require licensed and certified day care centers to equip day care vehicle with occupant alarms, which require manual disarming each time the vehicle’s engine is stopped.
- Prohibit liquor establishments from opening within 300 fee of an existing day care center.
- Require that pay and benefits be ended for Milwaukee police officers fired for rules violations.
- Seek additional funding for local district attorneys to cover costs of operating witness protection programs.
- Make illegal and provide criminal penalties for those attempting to block, intimidate, suppress or deceive in such a way as to disenfranchise citizens from the right to vote.
- Seek to implement several findings of the Governor’s Commission on Reducing Racial Disparities in the Wisconsin Criminal Justice System.
- Incrementally raise the state minority procurement goal to 7% in 2010 and 10% in 2012.
- Create a legal holiday in Wisconsin to recognize June 19 as Juneteenth Day.
- Allow the City of Milwaukee and other cities to create a Housing Trust Fund to promote and support affordable, quality housing in Wisconsin.
- Require a child to attend a 5-year-old kindergarten prior to entering public school as a first-grade student.
- Provide a process for school district residents to object to an ethnic name, nickname, logo, or mascot used by a school.
Keanu Reeves poses for photographs before a screening of the film, "The Day the Earth Stood Still" in Rome, Italy today. (Photo: ALESSANDRO DI MEO, EFE)
Those 50’s drive-in sci-fi flicks were the perfect “B” movies. There were few true classics in this genre. “The Day the Earth Stood Still” in 1951 was one of them. The 2008 remake about an alien visitor and his giant robot counterpart who visit Earth opens in theaters around the country on December 12, 2008.
A 35-foot balsam fir now sits in the state Capitol Rotunda. Of course, anyone with a modicum of common sense or an ounce of the brains God gave him/her knows it’s a Christmas tree. But this is Madison we’re dealing with, folks.
It’s been called the “Holiday Tree” since the 80’s when cowards at the Capitol succumbed to the PC Police. In the last legislative session, the state Assembly passed a bill to call it the, "Wisconsin State Christmas Tree." While the Assembly was exercising good judgment, our clueless governor said he “couldn’t care less” what the tree is called.
So what’s it being called this year?
Uhh, again, this is Madison.
The same old Holiday tree?
None of the above.
Are you ready for this?
Jim Doyle's state Department of Administration has issued a release outlining some of this year's holiday events and it refers to that 35-foot balsam fir as…..
A bipartisan task force appointed by Congress reports that a nuclear or biological attack by terrorists with weapons of mass destruction on a major U.S. city by the end of 2013.
The task force does say a nuclear catastrophe can be prevented and urges President-elect Obama to take a hard line with both Iran and North Korea.
No one wants to see another destructive terrorist attack in the United States. But one must wonder how the cut-and-run Democrats now in command would respond.
Read more in the Washington Post.
HT: Jo Egelhoff and Foxpolitics.net
The brainiacs at the Wisconsin Department of Resources strike again. The news story I’m about to share with you could only be the result of one or more of the following scenarios:
1) Governor Doyle forgot to memo the brainiacs at the DNR.
2) The memo was sent but the brainiacs at the DNR haven’t read it.
3) The brainiacs at the DNR have read the memo and are ignoring it.
4) The brainiacs at the DNR don’t read newspapers, watch TV, or listen to the radio.
5) The brainiacs at the DNR have been in a cave the past few weeks.
6) The brainiacs at the DNR don’t understand what a budget deficit is.
7) The brainiacs at the DNR fully realize the dire straits the state finds itself in.
8) The brainiacs at the DNR have chosen once again to display the characteristics they know best (pompous and arrogant) and don’t care that the state is deep in debt.
Governor Doyle has announced the state budget deficit is $5.4 billion. Even if the numbers are wrong, as some believe, the state budget is still a big mess. We’re broke, again, big time.
The governor has instructed agencies to make big budget cuts. How does the DNR respond?
The Lakeland Times reports:
“The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is asking for a $27.3 million increase in its 2009-11 biennial budget, according to Department of Administration documents released this past week.”
A reader named Mike Brostowitz commented, “What part of across the board cuts’ doesn't the DNR understand? Why should the DNR get the big increase when other state departments suffer, either by employee lay off or cuts.”
More than any newspaper in the state, the Lakeland Times has put heavy scrutiny on the DNR.
DNR wardens rack up more than $2 million in guaranteed overtime.
It’s nice to see that when the state is in a horrible financial crisis, Governor Doyle and the DNR are on the same page, doing their part to help beleaguered taxpayers.
IT’S A CHRISTMAS TREE!
And they're called Christmas carols, thus, it should be called Christmas caroling.
Because I work for the state legislature and follow state political news quite closely, I was very interested to see the 2008 winners in state government reporting awarded at the ninth annual conference of CapitolBeat, an association of reporters and editors who cover state government.
There are two winners from Wisconsin and both articles are very good reads:
Wire Services and Newspapers with more than 75,000 circulation
- Honorable mention: Ryan J. Foley, Associated Press, Wisconsin, “Financial Aid for Sex Offenders” (Foley's reporting led elected officials to take acton)
- Second place: Ben Jones, The Post-Crescent, Appleton, Wis., “One Capitol, two worlds”
Remember Governor Doyle’s state budget address delivered in February 2007 when the governor said:
"Oil companies have gouged this country in every way they can think of. Exxon announced forty billion dollars in profits…That's not just pure profit, it's coming right out of our pockets. Let's turn the tables on big oil."
Doyle’s brilliant idea? Tax the oil companies to get back at them for their gouging.
Where’s the talk of gouging now?
The Wisconsin State Journal editorial board has figured out just how ridiculous Doyle’s idea truly is, but Doyle will push for it again in the next state budget. Dioyle needs to read the paper and pay attention:
"Drumming up oil company outrage was phony back when gas prices were high. So it certainly won't work now that gas is cheap."
Franklin voters were told that if they didn’t approve school referenda totaling over $78 million, students would be forced into trailers.
On April 3, 2007, the referenda were soundly rejected.
I’ve looked and looked and looked. Still haven’t seen those trailers.
I recently responded to a Wisconsin State Journal editorial that suggested UW Band Director Michael Leckrone should be fired if there are any more incidents involving questionable behavior (i.e. hazing) on the part of his musicians.
I wrote, “While it’s true Leckrone is in charge, personal responsibility must come into play. Leckrone cannot serve as babysitter for hundreds of so-called young adults 24/7. His job cannot be put on the line because some boneheads decided to get really stupid. The ones who are stupid should be held responsible and dropped immediately, from the band and possibly from school.”
A UW Band parent e-mailed to say my blog was “spot on.” The parent then wrote the following:
“The recent band turmoil has taken a toll on both of my daughters. It’s apparent that the school’s administration has decided to make much ado about not much….over, and over again….the conspiracy theorist in me believes the intent is to eliminate the band as a creditable course and eliminate Leckrone.
I liken the band experience to my time in the military. Leckrone puts them through hell and breaks down their selfishness until they commit 100% to the band as a whole. There are no individuals and no individual is more important than the band. Because of that shared experience and camaraderie, the band members tend to be very, very tight.
I’m well aware of the downside of that (groups can tend to lose the conscience when shenanigans are afoot), but this group is really not like that. There’s definitely a few individuals that have crossed the line from time to time, but Leckrone deals with them harshly. Mike actually went all the way to the US Court of Appeals to force a member to pay one of his fines (the “F-bomb” is considered “the $200 word). http://badgerherald.com/news/2005/04/25/judge_clears_leckron.php Gauder v. Leckrone, 366 F. Supp. 2d 780 (W.D. Wisc. 2005).
Most of the behavior alleged was boorish, crude and for a lot of “normal” people, offensive. Drinking? Definitely. Excessive drinking? Probably. Underage drinking? Certainly.
But, let’s not forget…these are COLLEGE STUDENTS. Sincerely, the behavior alleged by band members (much of which is unsubstantiated legend) is nowhere near the level of debauchery that occurs every single weekend at most frat houses and athletic team parties.
As the university began the most recent investigation, they asked aggrieved students to come forward and state their grievances. When no one voluntarily went in to talk to the Dean of Students, she sent an email stating words to the effect of: 'because no one is coming forward to talk to us, the band may remain suspended indefinitely.'
The upperclassmen decided to go in on their own and talk to the dean. These 'talks' quickly turned into a witch hunt. Questioning went like this (per my oldest daughter):
'Have you ever _______?'
'Have you ever witnessed anyone else doing ________?'
'Have you ever HEARD of anyone doing _________....if so, who did you hear it from and who did they say did it.'
So, now that all is said and done, what was the outcome? At last count, seven members out of 350 were found to have violated the university code of conduct. All seven received letters of reprimand, which remain in their file…..until graduation….when it is to be removed and destroyed.
The reeking stench of fishy-ness is rampant here. The university tipped off the media to the situation originally.”
In a subsequent e-mail, this parent added:
“Just to illustrate the effect the university’s actions have had on many of the band students, my oldest, called us one night the week the story was in full bloom in the media. She was sobbing. Her comment: ‘I’ve worked so hard for four years…..I always thought being in the band would be such a great thing to put on a resume….now I can’t do that.’
It’s not so much the fact that the university did an ‘investigation’. It’s the way it was handled, the fiasco it created and the way they besmirched the reputation of 350 people when a handful were responsible.
Can you honestly think of any organization, having received an email ‘tip’, that would suspend an entire group and hold a press conference detailing the tip?
You would think the normal response would be: ‘We’ve received an allegation of potential hazing and will investigate. We won’t comment until the investigation is complete.’”
In my view, the university totally botched this entire affair.
In keeping with the loopy, warped, twisted, moonbat tradition of the ACLU, read why they're so upset:
WISDOT VIOLATED CIVIL RIGHTS RULES, ACLU ALLEGES
For Immediate Release: December 3, 2008
Contact: Karyn Rotker, Senior Staff Attorney, (414) 272-4032 x 21; firstname.lastname@example.org
The ACLU of Wisconsin today requested a federal investigation of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation for violating civil rights laws when it decided to expand I-94.
In a complaint filed with Offices for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration, the ACLU object to WisDOT’s plans to widen I-94, build an new interchange at Drexel Ave., and close much of the interchange at 27th St. and I-894. The ACLU is requesting that the government investigate WisDOT, stop the widening of I-94, and prevent construction of the Drexel Interchange - especially if the 27th St. Interchange is closed.
“WisDOT’s own environmental impact statement shows that building the Drexel Interchangeis likely to hurt development in the city of Milwaukee - the state’s only majority-minority city -while it helps development in non-diverse suburbs,” noted Karyn Rotker, Senior Staff Attorney for the ACLU of Wisconsin. Rotker added that the disparities will worsen with closure of the 27th St. Interchange. “Title VI of the Civil Rights Act makes it clear that agencies can’t take actions that have a discriminatory effect on communities of color - even if the discrimination isn’t intentional.”
There are similar problems with spending hundreds of millions of dollars to add lanes to I-94, added ACLU of Wisconsin Executive Director Chris Ahmuty. “WisDOT has said adding the lanes is going to have only a minimal effect on travel times - and that not adding lanes could increase the market for development closer to downtown Milwaukee, thus helping city residents,most of whom are persons of color.” WisDOT, however, rejected that approach.
The ACLU complaint also asserts that expanding highways without moving forward on public transportation projects has a discriminatory effect on communities of color, who are disproportionately dependent on public transit. “In a time of limited resources, WisDOT needs to ensure that it isn’t increasing the disparities between those with access to cars and transit dependent persons. But that’s what this plan does. Instead, WisDOT needs to ensure that a fair share of the benefits of its transportation programs are going to communities of color - who will be much more likely to benefit from increased transit access than from the bigger highway WisDOT wants to build.”
Boy they're really sharp at the ACLU. WisDOT wants to put in that Drexel Interchange because they're racist.