H 52° L 37°
Cloudy | 15MPH

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.

Ted Grintjes is what?

One of Franklin’s most civic-minded citizens, Ted Grintjes is resigning from the 27th Street Steering Committee. In fact, he’s resigning from all of the bodies he’s been serving.

No doubt some are celebrating Grintjes’ departure. I am not one of them because to cheer this development would be using tunnel vision. 

More than anyone, Grintjes became the most vilified individual in the Franklin blogs over the entire “Boomgaard” debacle. The proposed nickname, the PR firm that came up with it, and the price tag associated with the name had people screaming for Grintjes’ head. I wish critics of the $300,000 paid to the Zizzo Group for coming up with the nickname “Boomgaard” would be just as vociferous about the Franklin School Board misinforming taxpayers about the correct school property tax levy increase, resulting in a cost of MILLIONS of dollars.

Here is an excerpt from a blog I wrote back on May 10:

“I also want to mention Ted Grintjes, the suddenly maligned chair of the 27th Street Steering Committee.

I don’t know him that well, but I know of him. Franklin owes a lot of gratitude to him for his work in getting Northwestern Mutual Life and Wheaton Franciscan here. I would remind everyone that this man is a volunteer, giving countless hours of his time and expertise. I do hope he doesn’t get frustrated and continues on because if he should step away, and I’m not suggesting that’s a possibility in any way, shape, or form, Franklin would be hard-pressed to find a replacement with his institutional knowledge, or volunteer time for that matter.”

Grintjes has also been a leader in the business park development and on the Economic Development Commission. Now he’s gone, from everything.

So now what do we do? Who do we find to replace Grintjes? Who does Mayor Taylor select?

Alderman Skowronski? I’m not sure how extensive his involvement in and/or support for this project has been.

Alderman Taylor? He’s a relative newcomer to Franklin who doesn’t know the history or the players.

Alderman Wilhelm?

A private citizen?

Will any of Grintjes’ harsh critics who seemed to know better step forward to take his place?

The fact is you lose a great deal of institutional knowledge, history, background, connections, and dedication when you lose Grintjes.

To single Grintjes out for tarring and feathering over the Boomgaard fiasco is incredibly unfair. While that nickname and the process used to get to it were flawed, Grintjes has a long history of devotion to this community that demands respect.

Who can admirably replace him? I honestly don’t know.

Thank you, Ted, for your many great years of service to our community.

Coming up on This Just In...

Tonight at 11:30, we look back at late night TV concert programs. This week on Friday Night Live, an unusual segment featuring no music.


That’s right. No music.

Saturday morning it’s Week-ends.  Find out which Democrat makes my HEROES OF THE WEEK list.

My wife, Jennifer will have The Barking Lot.

Then on Sunday, we list the 5 most popular of my blogs for the previous week, and the Culinary no-no will be of Olympian proportions.

I know it’s another busy summer weekend so I appreciate you spending some time at This Just In…

Backwards thinking in Tax Hell USA

The drive is on to ask voters to approve increasing the sales tax in Milwaukee County, even though all of our taxes are incredibly high.

Compare that with many other parts of the country that are offering taxpayers a break on their sales taxes.

They at least get it. We don’t, which is why we are and are doomed to be, a Tax Hell.

The DOT spin on roundabouts

Citizen complaints about roundabouts in Wisconsin seem to have touched a nerve in the Doyle administration.

DOT Secretary Busalacchi has written a letter to the editor to Wisconsin newspapers promoting the benefits of these accidents waiting to happen.

Typical liberal junk.

You don’t like roundabouts?

Don’t you understand?

We, the government, know what’s best for you.

Sure you don’t like them now….but in time you will.


Because we say so.

Who says Franklin has no culture....

Brewcity Bruisers
Come check out the last home Travel Team bout for the season!!! 

BCB vs. MRD Aug 2008

Be Cool! 
Take the Party Bus!

Since gas prices are high and drinking and driving isn't cool, take the party bus instead!  
Shuttle departs at the following times and locations:

5:00   Roast Cafe
   2132 E Locust St.
5:15   Landmark Lanes  
2220 N Farwell
5:45   Club Garibaldi   2501 S Superior St.
6:00   Vnuk's   (after-bout location) 5036 S Packard Ave.

$5 round trip, returns to all locations. 
Bout tickets can also be purchased on the bus!! 
Come party with us at Vnuk's! 

Read more

Friday Night Live


Read more

Lessons to be learned from Wal-Mart

One of the major differences between conservatives and liberals is that while conservatives like to deal in factual material, liberals get wrapped up in emotional, feel good arguments when debating their case. It doesn’t take long before liberals run out of ammunition and steam. That’s one of the reasons why liberal talk radio has bombed. When there’s little substance and the hosts are a bore, audiences tend to drift away.

Barbara Fischer (no relation) is going to make liberals very unhappy today. She has written a great guest column in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that is sure to upset the left for several reasons:

1) Her piece is about (cue the theme music from “Jaws”) ……….WAL-MART!

2) It’s a positive piece about (keep the “Jaws” music playing)……..WAL-MART!

3) The column contains numerous facts to back up her case about …….WAL-MART!

4) She’s right.

Here you go.

And from another Fischer...



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...


Greg McKendry

Lisa Alberte

Tom Barrett

John Wallen

Charles Durning

The North family of Franklin


Former Commerce Secretary Jack Fischer (no relation)

Kuddle Kare Day Kare


"I asked Ted, 'Am I welcome in the building if I report?' and Ted was just about shattered. He said, 'Brett, you can't do that — you'll get me fired.' I told him I'm not trying to get anybody fired. So Ted asked me to let the guys report and let's try to resolve this over the next two or three days."
Brett Favre in an interview with ESPN, relating a conversation he had with Packers GM Ted Thompson.

“They played a great four games; they beat us. We got schooled. They played a lot better than we did. We haven’t done anything right in four days.”
Brewer relief pitcher Eric Gagne after the Chicago Cubs swept a four-game series against Milwaukee at Miller Park.

“We don’t like the fact that we allowed their fans to come into our park and have a four-day party. But that’s our fault.”
Brewer manager Ned Yost

“That's just pathetic. I certainly hope that the word has gone forth to all secretaries that you've got to really ratchet this down. It's not time to be trying to impress people with rented limousines.”
State Senator Rob Cowles (R-Green Bay), reacting to the news that  former Commerce Secretary Jack Fischer, who resigned last week, spent $561 to hire a limo to drive between meetings in the Twin Cities on January 9.

“We're keenly aware of the fact that six months of crime progress can be undermined by a couple of bad days of crime news. ... But I think the city deserves, given its investment in us, to get some positive news out of us.”
Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn on figures showing violent crime in Milwaukee dropped 19 percent in the first six months of 2008 compared to the same period in 2007.

“It was a great act of courage since she happened to be a Democrat. Perhaps your reward will be in heaven, not here on Earth.”
John McCain talking about his meeting with recently ousted Democratic National Convention delegate Debra Bartoshevich. McCain spoke at a town hall meeting in Racine.

“He thanked me for supporting my country over my party.”
Debra Bartoshevich after meeting McCain before his town hall meeting.

“He's the biggest celebrity in the world. But is he ready to lead?”
From a John McCain ad comparing Barack Obama to Britney Spears and Paris Hilton.

"It's getting a lot of attention, which is exactly what it was designed to do. Everybody's talking about it, and we're having a great time with it."
John McCain campaign manager Rick Davis defending a McCain ad featuring Britney Spears and Paris Hilton.

"They ran a ridiculous ad that's insulting not to us, but to the American people, he said. "This is beneath him. It's beneath Sen. McCain.. . . . “
Barack Obama strategist David Axelrod

"For a week he's (Obama) been on defense. It's the first time in a while -- and he doesn't like it."
Republican consultant Phil Musser

And this beauty...inflate your tires:


Read more

The Barking Lot

The Barking Lot

Everyone knows I’m one of the biggest dog lovers in Franklin… in Wisconsin… in the Midwest… in the United States… OK, you get the picture.  Everyone also knows that currently I do not own a dog.  That, of course, is more due to my better half’s choice than mine.  Until circumstances are perfectly conducive to us becoming pet parents, I will have to make do with enjoying the dogs of family, friends and neighbors.  (Especially Mickey, a Soft Coated Wheaton Terrier that lives a few doors down from us.  I love her to pieces.)

I regularly buy treats at Greendale’s Pawprints Across Your Heart for my dog-in-law Leia.  I make dog biscuits at Christmas to give to the special dogs in my life.  I will go up to a total stranger and ask them if I can pet their dog.  I never remember the owner’s name but never forget the pooch’s.  Our calendar (this year it’s all dog cartoons from the New Yorker) proudly displays the dates of the dog shows.  I’m eagerly awaiting Irish Fest this year (as always) for many reasons but the biggest is their Dogs of Ireland area… filled with beautiful Irish dogs…  Irish Setters, Irish Wolfhounds, Soft Coated Wheaton Terriers, Skye and Cairn Terriers, etc.  I can not rest until I’ve met and petted at least one of every breed.  And speaking of ethnic festivals, yes I did make Kevin watch the Dachshund races (in the blazing hot sun) at German Fest last week.

So you see, there are ways to get a “dog fix” without having a dog.  But I would never go so far as to rent a dog.  “What???” you say.  “RENT a dog???”  Yes, there are some crazy fools out there who want companionship without commitment of any sort.  And they pay high prices for it.  Hmmm… let’s think about this.  High-priced companionship without commitment.  In human situations that could land you in jail!

Get this:  FlexPetz
is a doggie rental service.  Yes, RENTAL.   Not a foster pet-parent program like the Wisconsin Humane Society offers.  For $99 a month and then $45 per day you can actually rent a dog.  You can read more about FlexPetz here. 

I’m not saying the pets owned by this company are abused.  I’m sure some of them have been rescued from less-than-desirable situations.  I would also like to think that anyone willing to spend $99 a month and $45 a day to have canine companionship for even a little while would, truly, love dogs.  I just think it’s wrong.  I echo the concern in the Newsweek article about the psychological effects on the dog being bounced from one renter to the other, and certainly the “shelf life” of a dog.  Who is going to rent a 14-year-old Lab with hip dysplasia and a bladder-control issue?  What happens to those dogs?  I wonder.

For me, I will stick with enjoying the dogs in my life just the way they are until I can have one (or more!) of my own.
---Jennifer Fischer

Could rent-a-spouse be next?

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

Sushi went to a pet groomer.....and died.

Here's a sad situation, and a warning: Keep an eye on your pets.

We hate when bad people do bad things to dogs. We love when the bad people get caught.
Of course, the accused is denying any wrongdoing.

Last week, we told you about a beaten puppy named Phoenix. Here's a video update on his progress.

Your dog acting up? Try for dogs.

Saudi Arabia knows.......dogs are chick magnets.

That's it for this week.

Remember everyone, these are.......

dogs of summer

The dog days of summer.

The Boston Globe has dozens of pictures of dogs having fun in the warm weather.

Enjoy! (requires registration)

If John McCain can put her in one of his ads, then by golly I can blog about her

If you are offended by the kinds of pictures you see on magazine covers when you're in the checkout line at the supermarket, or you're just a plain prude, please, go no further.

Remember this image from the MTV Awards last September?


I don't have to tell you what the reaction was from women everywhere.

Fast forward to this week on a beach in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

Stars Show Off Beach Bods

I'll bet you that tons of women will still say that Britney Spears is TOO FAT!

Read more

? of the Week

Sunday on This Just In...

A brand new weekly feature.

? of the week.

We'll fill in the blank Sunday.

Will these 10 spell doomsday for Obama?

Here are the Top Ten problems for Barack Hussein Obama that will result in his defeat come November.

Obama is:

1) Snobby

2) Phony

3) Racist

4) Unpatriotic

5) Liberal (extremely)

6) A flip-flopper

7) Inexperienced

8) Not trustworthy

9) A gaffe machine

10) Fuzzy

John Hawkins has developed this list of flaws that he believes will continue to dog and eventually sink Obama. Hawkins is a professional blogger who runs Conservative Grapevine and Right Wing News.

Hawkins is dead on in his evaluation. Read his piece here.

“They (liberals) can’t stand that someone else busted in”

Having hosted talk shows on WUWM, WTMJ, and now WISN, I read with great interest Patrick McIlheran’s piece in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel today, noting how Rush Limbaugh changed the genre and AM radio.

Quoting Charlie Sykes and Mark Belling, McIlheran nails why conservative talk became so popular, and why liberals are off in their assessment of what conservative talk is about and how it really sounds.

McIlheran correctly points out that liberals who can’t compete choose to not engage in toe-to-toe debate, but to attempt to legislate conservative talk off the air through a Fairness Doctrine that would be anything but fair.

For a long time, AM radio was full of lefties. Then conservatives crashed the party and have been very successful ever since. Successful businesses and conservative talk. Lefties hate them both.

Read McIlheran’s column here.

My most popular blogs

Most popular

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

1) Culinary no-no #64

2) Culinary no-no #65

3) "Brett, you can't do that- you'll get me fired"

4) My most popular blogs (7/27/08)

5) I'm not sure if this stuff happens in three's....

Photos of the Week

Photos of the Week

Today we begin a new weekly feature on This Just In....

Like many of you, I do a lot of reading during the week and I see a number of photos. Some catch my eye and pique my interest more than others. Every Sunday, I will post what I consider to be some of the more noteworthy pictures from the previous week. If you see any during the week that you'd like to suggest, please pass them along.


An Iraqi police commando guards a handcuffed suspect in Baquba, 60 kms north of Baghdad on July 31, 2008. Iraqi forces backed by US troops arrested another 14 suspects today during a major military sweep aimed at breaking up the Al-Qaeda network in the restive province of Diyala. Among those detained in the northeastern province's Mandali district were five fighters described as "important members" of the Al-Qaeda network in Iraq, military officials told. From Getty Images by AFP/Getty Images.

An Iraqi police commando guards a handcuffed suspect in Baquba, 60 kms north of Baghdad on July 31, 2008. Iraqi forces backed by US troops arrested another 14 suspects today during a major military sweep aimed at breaking up the Al-Qaeda network in the restive province of Diyala. Among those detained in the northeastern province's Mandali district were five fighters described as "important members" of the Al-Qaeda network in Iraq, military officials told. AFP/Getty Images.

Read more

Culinary no-no #66

Culinary no-no's

Despite efforts in Beijing to clean up its act, all indications are the Summer Olympic Games will be a culinary catastrophe.

A positive menu move was made a few weeks ago. Even so, if I were attending the Olympic Games that begin this week, I’d be leery of some of the local offerings. And this is coming from a guy who eats anything, isn’t picky, and fully understands the theory that a hungry tourist needs to be adventurous and dine as and where the locals do for an enjoyable, exciting experience.

Here’s something I wouldn’t expect to read in Gourmet Magazine. Remember, that’s Gourmet Magazine.

The headline teasing one of this month’s articles tells me that I can dine “exquisitely” in restaurants in the city hosting the Summer Olympics. I don’t doubt that, especially if I stay away from duck’s feet, steamed crap and burnt lion’s head.

The same headline then does an about face and informs me there’s a better alternative.

Prime rib in Beijing??!!


Gourmet Magazine….did I mention the title? GOURMET Magazine says I need to hit one of the outside vendors some evening and sample the wonder of what GOURMET Magazine calls, “A Banquet of Bugs.”

Writer Stephen Henderson recounts how one vendor in a rather unusual manner enticed him to stop and check out his bill of fare (You’ll find out when I link to the article).

There, Henderson of GOURMET Magazine discovered, “
deep-fried centipedes, crickets, grasshoppers, scorpions, silkworms, and starfish. Most of these snacks were neatly arranged kebab-style, on wooden skewers.”

Henderson writes he could feel the little legs tickling his lips as he ate a centipede kebab. He refers to this and other odd dining experiences as broadening the palate and even quotes an “expert” who contends that eating insects, here we go………… will save the planet.

Sorry, Gourmet Magazine. Your arguments just aren’t persuasive enough.

Please pass the crisp Peking duck.

Will anyone be paying attention to any blogs tonight?

I mean, c'mon.

Let's be honest.

It's the end of a nice weekend.

NFL exhibition football is on tonight.

So is baseball on ESPN.

And as I write this, Brett Favre's private plane is about to land in Green Bay. The Brett Favre soap opera changes about as often as I change my socks.

I feel like a Sunday afternoon in the fall in Green Bay when the world literally stops.

Tonight's TV news will be:



Read more

The Packers have dissed Brett Favre and everybody knows it

Before the NFL reinstated Brett Favre and before Brett Favre left Mississippi to report to Packer training camp, the NY Times editorialized earlier today the honest to goodness truth that idiot sportswriters and idiot sports talkers, especially those on WTMJ Radio (does the bigmouth Big Unit come to mind?) are too stupid to realize.......the Green Bay Packer organization has looked like a bunch of fools in their haste to unceremoniously dump one of the greatest players to ever put on the green and gold.

And now we're supposed to believe the Packers when they say they welcome Brett back with open arms.


Read an outstanding piece in the NY Times.

HT: A good friend, Karen

Seen today in Franklin, outside Steve Hanke’s house…

A FOR SALE sign.

Convicted sex offender Steve Hanke has 49 days to move!

A new way to use GPS

This is a good law.

Massachusetts has it, and today, the governor of Illinois signed legislation that will require violators of restraining orders to wear GPS tracking devices.

On March 7, 2008, Cindy Bischof was leaving her real estate job in Elmhurst, Illinois when she was shot and killed by her ex-boyfriend, Michael Giroux. The law is named for Cindy Bischof, who was shot and killed by her ex-boyfriend, Michael L. Giroux.  Bischof had moved from place to place and even installed security cameras. But Giroux continued to find and stalk her. There was a restraining order against him when he killed Bischof. Giroux obtained a gun after he was prosecuted twice for violating restraining orders.

Republicans in the Illinois House proposed the GPS bill that is now law and goes into effect January 1, 2009.

We put GPS on sex predators to protect society. Why not on the creeps who prey on innocent women?

Blagojevich signs domestic abuse bill

Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, with Cindy Bischof's family behind him on Monday, signs a domestic violence law named for her. Behind him at Hull House Uptown Center in Chicago is Bischof's parents Barbara and Frank Bischof. Cindy Bischof was killed by an ex-boyfriend who was under a court order of protection. The new law allows for domestic abuse suspects to be fitted with GPS monitoring devices. (Chicago Tribune photo by Charles Osgood / August 4, 2008)

Another coward tries to make a mockery of the justice system

Take a look at Richard Cooey.

Richard Cooey at the Mansfield Correctional Institution in Mansfield, Ohio

Cooey is on death row.

He threw a large rock off an overpass, striking and disabling a car with two female college student passengers. Cooey pretended to come to their aid, then raped and killed them.

Now he claims it would be unfair to execute him.

Richard Cooey at the Mansfield Correctional Institution in Mansfield, Ohio

Cooey says he's too fat, meaning it would be difficult to find veins to insert the needle to administer the lethal injection.

Did this fiend give his victims any medication to ease their pain before he took their lives?

It's a ridiculous defense that no self-respecting judge should allow. Cooey needs to be put to death.

Those wacky enviros are at it again

Now they're claiming that if we don't put a stop to global warming, do you know what's at stake?

Do you know what's at risk?

Our candy bars.

It's amazing what lunatic liberals can see in just 30 seconds

I realize many of you have already seen this John McCain campaign ad….

Read more

A 15-word breakdown why you should vote for McCain

I have blogged about columnist Doug Giles and have read his stuff on the air when I’ve filled in on WISN.  The guy is witty, irreverent, blunt, and right on the money.
His latest offering deals with why he loves hunting, but before he gets to his main points, he comments on the Presidential race:

Not only has the election become tedious but it is also sad (and hilarious, if it wasn’t so scary) watching the Barack punch drinkers buy into the Obama camp’s hype that this guy is the black Jesus that America needs. Good God, folks. He’s a junior state senator from Chicago who has two more years experience than I do—and I’m not even running for president.

Listen, even though McCain ain’t my Mr. McDream candidate, he kills the boy wonder from an experience standpoint, and I’ll go with age and understanding over young Robin’s Rembrandt veneers any day.

Here’s a simple little executive breakdown of our two candidates (The 15 words):

John McCain
Congress: 26 years
Military: 22 years
Barack Obama
Congress: 143 days
Military: 0 “


Here’s Giles’ column.

Prince Fielder shows once again why the Brewers don't have what it takes

Prince Fielder lost it again tonight in a road loss against Cincinnati, going after fellow teammate Manny Parra in the Brewer’s dugout.

Remember what he pulled last week after making an out late in the game in another loss to the Cubs?

Read more

Today is August 5, 2008

Convicted sex offender Steve Hanke has 48 days to move!

An indicted Congressman on the spot

Jason Mattera of Young America's Foundation caught up with William Jefferson (D-La.) last week in the halls of Congress. Watch.

Read more

Our wonderful DNR strikes again

Every time I blog about the worst agency in the state, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) , lefty bloggers go out of their environmentally snobby pompous minds, blasting me for daring to write unkind things about those angelic folks who would never, ever do anything wrong because, well, you know.......they're the DNR!

I wonder what the apologists for this no-good agency have to say about the incredible piece by Badger Blogger catching one of these prim and proper environmentalists in a dirty deed.

A great bit of blogging and a must-read.

So now Mike McCarthy is a psychiatrist

The Packer head coach says after meeting and talking with Brett Favre, the QB doesn't have the right mindset to play for Green Bay.

Look, the organization simply doesn't want him back. It doesn't matter what Favre would have said. Ted Thompson and McCarthy want him gone and will find any reason to make sure that happens.

During his press conference late this afternoon, McCarthy said that he was done doing PR. That's probably a good thing for the coach because if he was doing PR the past few weeks, he failed miserably.

You want Aaron Rodgers, Mike? You got him. Let's see you go 13-3 this season.

Ask Congress to go back to work

The high cost of gasoline means many hard-working American families won’t be taking a summer vacation. Instead, they continue to labor to pay the high cost of gasoline and food.

Democrats who took control of Congress in November 2006 made bold promises but have failed to deliver. Rather than stay at work on their jobs to try to find a solution to the crippling cost of gas, Congressional Democrats pulled the plug and went home for five weeks.

Americans want Congress to approve domestic drilling, but Democrats aren’t listening. An online petition is being circulated nationwide by Eric Cantor, a fourth-term congressman representing the Seventh District of Virginia, 
asking Congress to return to Washington to do the people’s business.

Franklin, your signs are being ignored, and someone's going to get killed

You’ve seen them on lawns in many neighborhoods. There’s one planted right up the street from my house.

The sign reads, “SLOW DOWN.”

It might as well say, “WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU? FLOOR IT, PAL!”

The street I live on is hilly, and motorists know that driving in a certain direction (downhill) in a certain stretch of the road where it isn’t very congested and the odds of a patrol car are mighty slim makes them feel as though they can exceed the speed limit by as much as they want.

Slow down? The hell with you!

Last night, I sat on my driveway, shorts and sandals, sans shirt. A black car filled with teenage girls drove by, made catcalls in my direction (Hell, they should have seen me 20 years ago), while driving like the old expression: a bat out of hell.

Children often play in a nearby court, on the street, on bikes, and they are known to spill out from the court onto the street that motorists regard as the Indy 500.

I know the people that put up those SLOW DOWN signs mean well. They probably have the same internal crystal ball that I have that tells me someone, probably an innocent young child, is going to get seriously hurt, or even killed.

The usual loudmouth suspects will come out of the woodwork wondering how this could happen and why the city didn't do something to prevent this accident.

We have speed limits and we hope that responsible motorists will understand that in residential neighborhoods in summertime, there just might be some children to watch out for.

I cringe every day I’m out grilling and kids in the neighborhood are outside playing and some hot-rodder comes rocketing down the street. I guess he missed that SLOW DOWN sign two or three blocks away.

Franklin, these idiots are ignoring your well-intentioned signs. Maybe they should say, “SLOW DOWN BEFORE YOU KILL SOMEONE.”

Maybe then they’d pay attention.

Probably not.

Favre says he'd play....

For Tampa Bay.

Care to guess where the Super Bowl is going to be played this year?

Convicted sex offender Steve Hanke...

……..has put his Franklin home up for sale.

Today is August 6, 2008.

Convicted sex offender Steve Hanke has 47 days to move!

I'm back on WISN

I fill in for Mark Belling this Friday on Newstalk 1130 WISN from 3-6 pm.

Yes, there will be plenty to discuss.

I'm stunned the DNR didn't come up with this first

Texas Hold ‘Em Blogger relates the news that there’s a proposal in California to impose a $1,000 fine if your garbage isn’t sorted properly.

That’s got Wisconsin DNR written all over it. I can just picture it……DNR wardens busting down your door, waving a citation in your face.

“Look, Mac, you’ve got a soda can mixed in with your trash! Thought you could get away with it, ayyy! Well we gotcha and you’re really gonna pay now!

I noticed Texas Hold ‘Em Blogger exercised some creative license in describing how out of control this preposterous idea is. I believe he used a Hitler reference. My, oh my. Goodness knows that’s akin to spitting in a wetland.  I smell the super-enviro, ultra-sensitive tar and feather gang approaching.

Death with no dignity

Oregon is the only state in the country to have the Jack Kevorkian-like Death with Dignity Law.

Mary Wagner is 64 years old and is dying of lung cancer. She wants no part of this one of a kind law.

 Barbara Wagner

Read more

You can bet there's voter fraud

Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle vetoed a photo ID requirement three times.

Three times.

Democrats who control the state Senate refused to schedule a vote on a constitutional amendment on photo ID in the last legislative session, killing the measure even though more than 70% of Wisconsinites support such a requirement.

To hear Doyle and state Senate Democrats talk, there is no voter fraud in Wisconsin.

From today:

Criminal inquiry possible in voter filings

At least six voter registration workers could face criminal investigations after turning in 200 to 300 fraudulent registration cards, according to the Milwaukee Election Commission and the activist group that employed them.

In one case, "one woman called us to complain because her husband has been dead for 10 years and a voter registration was submitted," said Sue Edman, the commission's executive director.

In other cases, deputy registrars working for ACORN were "making people up or registering people that were still in prison," said Carolyn Castore, ACORN's state political director.

In still other cases, workers used the same address for numerous voters or used driver's license numbers that did not fit the voters' birth dates, Edman said.

ACORN found the problems and fired a dozen workers, Castore said. But under state law, all of the voter registration cards had to be turned in to the election commission, even if they were clearly fraudulent or incomplete, Edman and Castore said. So ACORN sent in the cards but flagged the fraudulent or incomplete ones, they said.

Edman said she has referred six individuals to the district attorney's office for investigation.

Another 1,500 to 2,000 voter registration cards were incomplete, and ACORN is trying to help the commission staff fill in the blanks, Castore and Edman said. The incomplete and fraudulent cards were a small percentage of the 35,000 registration cards that were turned in, and the suspect workers also were a small percentage of the more than 220 deputy registrars hired by ACORN, Castore said.

This story is like a shrieking siren with laser beam lights, pointing to almost assured shenanigans at the polls this November.

Who has protested most vehemently against photo ID? Democrats.

Who stands to benefit the most from voter fraud? Democrats.

With no photo ID in place this Wisconsin this November, the climate is ripe for all kinds of mischief.

Senator Mary Lazich has written extensively on the photo ID issue and has cited numerous studies pointing out the flawed arguments against requiring a photo ID to vote. Her blogs on the topic can be read here.  All the information Senator Lazich provides should be remembered when you go to the polls later this year.

The "not at all" but still ugly American


The Olympics, just days away, offer the media a chance to get those profiles they like to brand as “up close and personal.”

You know the story. The cameras take us behind the scenes of a young, innocent kid who has had to endure the over-used word the sports media trots out over and over and over and over and over again: adversity. This hard-working all-American youngster, by the end of the fluff network piece, has completely robbed you of your heart. You’re so enraptured that if there’s no gold medal, you scream for a Congressional investigation.

Before we go any further, anyone who knows me or who has read my blogs, listened to me on the radio, or watched me on television knows this:


Amanda Beard is a lovely young lady.

Amanda Beard shows good form in winding up to throw the ceremonial first pitch in June before the Angels played the New York Mets at Angel Stadium in Anaheim.

Read more

The wrong punishment in the Rufus King basketball controversy

On Saturday April 26, 2008, I served as the master of ceremonies for the annual banquet of the Wisconsin Scorers and Timers Association (WISTA). I’m on the Board of Directors for the organization that provides table officials for Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) boy’s and girl’s varsity and junior varsity basketball games.

At the banquet, I presented the annual John Kaczmarek Award to Rufus King varsity boy’s basketball head coach Jim Gosz, The Kaczmarek Award is a prestigious honor named for the late MPS Athletic Commissioner who worked with WISTA in its early days almost 50 years ago.

I did my customary roast of the award recipient, but the majority of my presentation spoke to what a fine coach, man, teacher, and friend  Jim Gosz has been throughout his career.

That’s why I was stunned to read the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article that, “As the result of a five-month Milwaukee Public Schools internal investigation, the Milwaukee King boys basketball team will not be allowed to compete in the 2009 WIAA post-season tournament. The King basketball program has also been placed on probation by the WIAA through the 2009-'10 school year. In addition, a King assistant boys basketball coach has been fired from his coaching position, although an MPS spokesperson said Wednesday that the former coach was allowed to retain his full-time job inside MPS.”

The newspaper reported the following about the MPS investigation:

a) Four students, who were in eighth grade at two separate MPS elementary schools during the 2007-'08 school year, were recruited by a King coach in violation of WIAA rules. They received invitations to participate in an open gym session at King, which is a violation of WIAA open-gym/out-of-season coaching contact rules. Furthermore, they reportedly had conversations with a King coach about attending the school, in violation of WIAA recruiting rules.

b) The four boys were admitted to King for the 2008-'09 school year, but a subsequent review of the admissions materials revealed that "the entrance materials for three of the four boys were manipulated to make the students meet the admissions standards," according to the letter written by Newby-Randle. Jackson said there was evidence that test scores had been altered in at least one case, and that three of the four students in question did not have entrance materials (including grade transcripts, attendance statistics and test results) that met King's admission standards.

The four boys and their families were cleared of any wrongdoing in the matter, and all four remain welcome to attend Rufus King when school opens later this month. They were also given the option of choosing another MPS school. The four will also be eligible to participate in all extracurricular activities, including basketball and other sports.

I believe the WIAA and MPS have gone too far and their punishment is unfair.

Let me say from the outset that I know everyone mentioned in this story with the exception of the King principal and I know  everyone very well, especially Gosz and MPS Athletics Commissioner  Bill Molbeck, for many, many years, They have my utmost respect.

As I’ve mentioned on radio, TV and on this blog, I’ve been heavily involved in MPS athletics going back to mid-60’s when I helped my father take tickets at football games at historic South Stadium. I have been a ticket taker, security guard, football chain gang member, scorer, timer, and public address announcer. For 40-plus years, I’ve watched MPS sports and have met many wonderful student-athletes, coaches, teachers and school administrators. Athletics is one of the best things MPS has going.

Let’s review. Keep in mind there’s no evidence that Jim Gosz, who for many years has run a spotless program at Rufus King, did anything wrong.

1) The Milwaukee King boy's basketball team will not be allowed to compete in the 2009 WIAA post-season tournament.

2) The King basketball program has also been placed on probation by the WIAA through the 2009-'10 school year.

3) A King assistant boys basketball coach has been fired from his coaching position.

4) Four boys were recruited by a King coach in violation of WIAA rules.

5) They received invitations to participate in an open gym session at King, which is a violation of WIAA open-gym/out-of-season coaching contact rules.

6) They reportedly had conversations with a King coach about attending the school, in violation of WIAA recruiting rules.

7) The entrance materials for three of the four boys were manipulated to make the students meet the admissions standards. Test scores had been altered in at least one case, and that three of the four students in question did not have entrance materials that met King's admission standards.

8) The four boys and their families were cleared of any wrongdoing in the matter, and all four remain welcome to attend Rufus King when school opens later this month. They were also given the option of choosing another MPS school. The four will also be eligible to participate in all extracurricular activities, including basketball and other sports.

My analysis:

It appears the coach in question who invited the boys to an open gym and talked to them about attending King has been fired from coaching. That was the right move.

It appears some serious violations occurred in greasing the skids, if you will, academically so that the four boys could attend King. MPS should determine the officials involved in manipulating the records of the four eighth-graders and impose the proper discipline. That’s the common sense remedy.

Keep in mind the four boys involved are bing allowed to enroll at King and even go out for sports because, as the King principal said, "we did not want the situation to cause a loss of opportunity for other families." What about the loss of opportunity for the families of kids that are innocent in this case?

To punish the school, its students, the basketball team, and head coach Gosz, all of whom did nothing wrong, is extremely unfair and punitive.  But I’m not surprised, given the heavy-handedness of the WIAA and its blatant bias against Milwaukee.

You’re going to strip the school from post-season play because some assistant blundered and let some eighth-graders (they’re not even on the team or students at the school) shoot some hoops for an hour in the summer in the school gym? Yes, it’s a rule violation, but the punishment seems awfully steep.

My fear is that the knee –jerk reaction after reading the Journal Sentinel article will be to jump to false conclusions that here’s an MPS school cheating to get ahead.

The fact is Rufus King is a very, very good school and the coaching staff, despite the miscues of one member, is one of the finest in the entire state. I’ve been a guest in their school many times to work games and I know first-hand the quality job that goes on inside that building.

The head coach, the juniors and seniors returning to play varsity basketball did absolutely nothing wrong. And yet they are being punished. That’s what’s wrong with public education today and with the organizations entrusted with overseeing high school sports.

Brett Favre Jets away from Green Bay

The NY Times report...

Green Bay Press Gazette

Tampa Tribune

Favre's biggest moments as a Packer

Remember, today is Purple Heart Day

Every August 7 is Purple Heart Day in Wisconsin.

So many brave men and women have been awarded the Purple Heart. Meet one of them, John Kriesel.

 Sgt. John Kriesel wears prosthetic legs while resting at his ...

Read more

Great line on ESPN earlier today

Reporting on the trade of Brett Favre to the new York jets, an ESPN reporter said the Green Bay Packer organization had managed to do what no one else in the National Football League could do the past 16 years.........knock Brett Favre out of the starting lineup in Green bay.

And as of today, there's a new line on Ted Thompson's vitae:

I traded Brett Favre.

Talk about your hotcakes...

It's this item.

Coming soon to Franklin...

At 51st and Rawson, home of the hustling and bustling, thriving Sendik’s Fine Foods, a new Bank Mutual.

A big sign promises that Bank Mutual is “Coming Soon.”

Meanwhile, just up the road, coming soon to 56th and Rawson at the Fountains of Franklin:



Now that’s really odd.

Just doesn’t seem right.

Let’s check their website, shall we, because that is sure to have updates on all those great places that are supposed to be opening, like that Azana Spa in November.

Click Fountains of Franklin website and we see….

Oh my.


Seems that website has been down for several  weeks.

Gee, you don't suppose......

Ah, but who am I to question any development anywhere in Franklin. That role is apparently reserved for others while the rest of us are supposed to sit back, shut up, and be content with inertia.

Well, my fingers are still crossed for those ol' Fountains, and I keep waiting, and waiting, and waiting, and waiting, and waiting, and waiting, and waiting..........

This week on InterCHANGE

Rick Horowitz fills in for Dan Jones as host this week. The panelists are Joel McNally, Kathleen Dunn, and former Journal reporter and panelist on Mark Belling’s TV show, Ken Lamke. I won’t be on the program because I’m filling in for Mark Belling at WISN.

Here are the topics up for discussion Friday night at 6:30 on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10 with a repeat on Sunday morning at 11:00:

1 – Bye, Bye, Brett!

Did it have to end like this?  Was this a star player with an out-of-control ego, or a confused legend with a nest of insecurities?  Should the Packers have let him change his mind about retirement?  Was the mis-communication inevitable in a situation like this?  Is Ted Thompson finished?  Will Favre regret coming back? Did he do lasting harm to his public image? How will he fit in in New York? And what happens when Aaron Rodgers breaks his ankle in Week 2?

2 -  China Protests

The Olympics begin this weekend -- is this China’s triumphant coming-out party, or an excruciating couple of weeks under the world’s microscope? President Bush sharply criticized China’s human-rights policy today; China told him to mind his own business.  Do big events like this force repressive countries to open up, or does our attendance signal that we accept their behavior?  How should we decide whom we engage, and how? Is the whole idea of an “Olympic movement” a fantasy?

3 – Anthrax Killer?

The Justice Department says it’s got the right guy -- this time. What do you make of the evidence they’ve presented? Do you believe that, if Bruce Ivins was guilty, he acted alone? If Ivins wasn’t guilty, why did he kill himself?  Does a “circumstantial” case automatically mean a less-than-convincing case?  Why did it take the FBI so long to figure this one out? Are we ready for the next bio attack?

4 – State of the Race

This was supposed to be the week one or the other of the presidential candidates announced his choice for Veep -- hasn’t happened yet. Will they both wait until after the Olympics, or risk competing with the Olympics for attention? Meanwhile, both candidates are hitting the Midwest very hard, with personal visits and heavy advertising -- and lots of talk about potential Veep picks from the region. Would any of these prospects make a difference here in Wisconsin?  Will Wisconsin remain a competitive state all the way to November?  Is energy replacing the war in Iraq as the most important topic for voters?  Does that benefit either of the candidates?  Is Hillary Clinton really thinking of having her name placed in nomination?!

Introducing a new right-oriented blog


A new conservative/libertarian blog featuring writers from our area has debuted: The Right View Wisconsin.

Contributors to the blog include:

Randy Hollenbeck of CudahyNOW

Jay Weber of Newstalk 1130 WISN

Orville Seymer and Chris Kliesmet of Citizens for a Responsible Government

Jim Hayett of Lake Country Reporter

Amy Hemmer of Lake Country Reporter

Jeff N.

Scott J.

Wayne U.

Yours truly will also be blogging there. I was happy to accept the organizers’ invitation to get involved.  This is a liberal’s worst nightmare. The left doesn’t want the proliferation of various points of view. No, they want the kind of opinions you’ll read on The Right View Wisconsin to go away and be silenced. That’s why I’m excited to partake in this new site.

My participation will not affect my FranklinNOW blog in any way. I will continue to blog the same features with the same frequency. So, I’m not going anywhere, I’m just adding another spot to express my point of view. I urge you to give The Right View Wisconsin the same patronage you’ve shown This Just In…

Thank you!

More liberal bias: ABC reporter says Americans need to pay more to fix deficit

You can’t make this stuff up. The mainstream media is not only extremely liberal, but they are unconscious in how blatant they are in their one-sided presentations.

Case in point: bubblehead Claire Shipman of ABC’s Good Morning America.

Shipman doesn’t think it’s the government’s responsibility to address the deficit with hard choices and sacrifices. No, Shipman believes you, the hard-working American taxpayer needs to pay even more.

She actually said, in a report on the deficit, on camera:

“If every American were to pitch in $2,000, we could pay off this year's deficit.... Or, if we handed over, each of us, 500 gallons of gasoline or, in terms we could all really understand, if every American gave up 666 lattes for a year, we could pay off this year's deficit.”

Watch. Her breathtaking comment comes near the end of her piece.

Lefties in la la land:

There is no liberal bias.

There is no liberal bias.

There is no liberal bias.

HT: Media Reserach Council

If you miss This Just In this weekend, you miss a lot

Some of the most anticipated blogs come during the weekend on This Just in…

On Friday, don’t forget I’m filling in for Mark Belling on Newstalk 1130 WISN, 3-6. Late in the day, our weekly summer feature, Friday Night Live.  At 11:30 p.m., a living legend performs live in some great vintage clips.

Saturday, Week-ends, our week in review, plus wife Jennifer’s dog blog, The Barking Lot.

Sunday, our top blogs of the week, the Photos of the Week, pictures that caught my eye from around the world, and Culinary no-no, one of the hottest blogs each and every week.

So check back and check back often all weekend long.

Aaron Rodgers: Crybaby?

Of course, this kind of fan treatment towards Aaron Rodgers is wrong.

But then,maybe Rodgers should have thought twice before he uttered these words during a Sports Illustrated interview this summer:

“I don't feel I need to sell myself to fans. They need to get on board now, or keep their mouths shut."

Nutraloaf revisited

A subject I blogged about a few weeks ago, Nutraloaf, was one of my topics on WISN today.

Some corrections workers called in and said they even eat it. One of them works in Wisconsin and says it's served to inmates who need to be segregated or are on suicde watch. A female member of the Wisconsin National Guard said she's eaten worse food in the military. That's amazing. Our courageous men and women risking their lives eat this kind of slop and never complain.

A few callers phoned in to defend inmates saying if we don't want to eat Nutraloaf, why should we expect prisoners to get it. They chose to hang up before I could get to their calls.

Support for Nutraloaf was overwhelming.


You’ll get that impossible restaurant reservation, but it’ll cost you

Topics talked about on WISN

I belong to Sign up for free, make restaurant reservations online, and get points for each visit, good towards restaurant gift certificates.

Now there’s a new online service available for New York and Chicago restaurants where you can buy and even sell reservations to high end restaurants that are next to impossible to get into.

It’s a trend that could grow in popularity. Yes, people are willing to pay $10-$50 just to get inside the restaurant door.

Here’s the story I discussed on WISN today.

The face of the warm, compassionate left

Topics talked about on WISN

John Edwards

He lied repeatedly as he ran for President about sleeping with a woman he met in a bar while his unsuspecting wife was back home battling cancer.

He says he didn't love the woman he had an affair with.

His wife?

Oh, her cancer was in remission at the time.

His mistress' baby?

Oh, it's not his, but he hasn't had a paternity test.

John Edwards.







The obvious problem with the Olympics

China is 126 hours ahead of us.

By the time you read this, it'll be four days later in Beijing.

NBC can do their damndest, but it's impossible to keep true fans from learning what the outcomes of certain events are. If I gotta know, I will find out. This isn't 1956 anymore. While NBC is telling me how the Jamaican boxing team uses yoga to relax, I'm on the computer, trying to find out how badly the U.S. men's basketball team crushed Germany.

I love the summer games far more than the winter.....real competition at real speed, not the figure skating where one judge who doesn't like America can screw us with a 9.2.

But China is in another stratosphere. If NBC thinks I'm going to wait for hours and endure the profile piece of this athlete being born in a log cabin, they've got another guess coming. In this world of immediacy, I have to know.....NOW!

Read more from the NY Times.

For those of you who've stayed up late, in just 15 minutes, the Sex Bomb...

Read more

Friday Night Live


Read more

It's ELVIS Week: The King is STILL making movies


Elvis Week 2008
has arrived.

Elvis is everywhere, and that includes the big screen.

Scorpio Babers

When the Green Bay Packers traded Brett Favre, they had a roster opening.

They filled it with Scorpio Babers out of Sam Houston State.

At 5 feet 11, 194 pounds, Babers is one of those midget cornerbacks the Packers seem to love.




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...


Keela Carr

Dana Hussein

Johnson Controls

Dolphins at Seaquarium


John Edwards

Jon Phillips and Sarah Berry

Gina Conteh


ACORN voter registration workers

Viroqua vandals


Police officer Barbara Nevers

Tyson Foods plant in Tennessee

SF Mayor

And of course, Green Bay Packer GM Ted Thompson, the man who traded Brett Favre


"I am not a traitor."
Brett Favre

"I will always be a Packer."
Brett Favre

“I don’t think anybody would be comfortable with that.”
Packer GM Ted Thompson on his legacy that will include trading Favre.

“When the trade papers actually came and I was going to sign it, which would be my job, I almost wanted someone else to sign it, yes. Despite opinions to the contrary, I like Brett a lot. I’d love to see him have the time of his life. I think all football fans want to see him do well, and we pray he will.”
Ted Thompson

Brett Favre’s life did a 180 late Wednesday night, and it happened because Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson didn’t trust Favre, and Favre didn’t trust Thompson. Drag a razor across this controversy’s beard and that’s what you’ll find under the stubble: distrust, too much scar tissue and the simple yet mind-boggling fact that Packers management thinks Favre isn’t good enough to win. If it thought otherwise, Favre wouldn’t be the quarterback of the New York Jets today."
Gene Wojciechowski,

"Two years ago I made a very serious mistake, a mistake that I am responsible for and no one else. In 2006, I told Elizabeth about the mistake, asked her for her forgiveness, asked God for his forgiveness. And we have kept this within our family since that time."
John Edwards admitting  to ABC News that he had an affair.

 "I saw bodies lying on the streets, around ruined buildings, in cars.It's impossible to count them now. There is hardly a single building left undamaged."
Lyudmila Ostayeva, 50, a wirtness to the fighting between Russia and Georgia. She had fled with her family to Dzhava, a village near the border with Russia.

"We want you to win as many golds as you possibly can. Go forth, give it all you got."
An excited President Bush, speaking to American athletes at the Summer Olympic Games in Beijing.

"Let people say what they think."
President Bush, prodding Chinese leaders, in a reference to the country's pre-Olympic roundup of dissidents and censoring of the Internet during the games.

"Barack has not closed the deal yet. As long as he has not closed the deal after all the love affair that you the press has given him, and he still hasn't put it away, that's a pretty good indication there are lot of undecideds and a lot of people are still making up their minds about him. That's going to be to McCain's benefit."
Former Governor Tommy Thompson, an honorary chairman of the McCain campaign in Wisconsin.

"We have made the deepest cuts of any administration ever, and not only do we make the cuts but we are stopping the growth."
Governor Doyle reacting to an update on progress toward his 2002 campaign promise to cut 10,000 state jobs by 2010. Doyle said his original intention was to "stop this runaway growth in state government that was underway ... and I've never said that there's some magic number that when you say you hit it, you've done it."

"The idea that we're going to reduce the burden of government for taxpayers or the head count so we can reduce the cost -- it just simply hasn't happened."
State Senator Ted Kanavas (R-Brookfield), ripping Doyle's job cut record.


The Brett Favre trade, and the shabby way the Packer organization treated this future Hall of Famer.


Lost in the media frenzy Thursday over Brett Favre's trade to the New York Jets was the fact that it was Purple Heart day in Wisconsin and elsewhere around the country. Some very deserving people got little attention.Here's the story on the Wisconsin ceremony, held in La crosse.


The media's love affair with Barack Obama. The public is starting to notice.According to the Pew Research Center, 48 percent of Americans say they have been hearing too much lately about Obama. Only 26 percent say the same about his Republican opponent, John McCain.


Higher gas prices=more bottles of urine on the highway.

Letter carrier wants an unusual change in the dress code.

Murderer's plea agreement includes feast of chicken, calzones, pizza and ice cream.

And my personal favorite.......crazy eight's.

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.

The Barking Lot

The Barking Lot

I’m filling in for Jennifer who is on a dog blog hiatus, but plans to return next week.

Since I’m in charge this week, let’s get a couple things straight. No, we still don’t have a dog. Just about everywhere I go, people I see engage in conversation that usually goes like this:

“Hi. How are you?  Didja get a dog yet? Have you gained weight?”

No dog yet. Baby first. Then dog. Then I move into the garage.

Let’s talk doggie politics. In a previous Barking Lot, we passed along the story that California is considering a proposal regarding dogs and driving.

Politicians have gone doggone crazy, suggesting we ban cell phones while driving. They’re a distraction you know. We also need to ban texting while driving, they tell us.

But why stop there? Why not Egg McMuffins, newspapers, radio’s, CD players, video displays, coffee cups, lipstick, toothbrushes, other passengers (they’ll talk or even nag and that’s distracting, no?).

In that often crazy world called California, legislators want to ban holding a dog on your lap while driving. The idea is not only silly, it’s unnecessary.

Like Wisconsin that has a law against inattentive driving that addresses all of the concerns about distractions, California has a law that prohibits people from driving with their view obstructed or if there is interference with their control of the vehicle. There is no prohibition against pets moving around freely in vehicles. So your dog or cat can bounce around wild in the back seat, but California lawmakers don’t want you to hold your pet on your lap.

A Republican California Assemblyman has come up with his foolishness. Bill Maze’s bill would prohibit people from driving while holding a live animal in their arms or lap. Get caught (because the California Highway Patrol has nothing better to do than to keep their eyes out for dogs on drivers’ laps) and you pay a fine of $35-$100.

Think this silly bill can’t become law? Guess again. Remember, this is California we’re talking about. The bill has already been approved in the Assembly and is now before the Senate. Time is running out, however. The legislative session in California ends August 31. If the Senate does approve the measure by the end of the month, it would still need to be approved by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The California Highway Patrol has been keeping track of the top ten distractions involved in accidents. Guess where “animal” ranks? Ninth.

According to a California legislative document on the proposed bill, AB 2233, “From 2002 through 2007, there were just 755 collisions, three of which involved a fatality, where an associated factor was listed as "animal." The same document says, “Animals sitting on one's lap may be
calmer and thus less distracting than those engaged in other behaviors that would continue to be permitted under this bill.”

Like a bone in the backyard, this bill needs to be buried.

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

As I've said in the past, the news isn't always good. Such is the case in this disturbing story from Maryland where an overzealous group of police officers stormed the home of a local mayor and needlessly shot and killed two dogs. The FBI is investigating. Read more about what happened.

Is the puppy clone-owner a former sex kidnapper?

How about some good puppies rescued from a floor.

Why does your dog yawn? He/she may not be tired. But you might be.

The number of ways to pamper your dog keeps getting bigger and bigger.

Just yesterday, I got one of those e-mails that circulates everywhere, the kind that has you wondering if it's true or false. This was about a dog with three legs. Turns out the story's legit.

This weekend at the Wisconsin State Fair, it's the National Diving Dog Tour.

And finally, what are you getting your dog for ELVIS Week? ELVIS Week begins today. May I suggest the 68 Special scroll dog collar, a Hound Dog Alley street sign, the Burning Love squeezer dog, and for you ladies, the Hound Dog necklace. 

I kinda like this item.

That's it for this week. Thanks for stopping by. We close with, appropriately, the King, who knew all too well how good dogs really have it.

Read more

If you missed me on WISN...

Here is the podcast of my program Friday, filling in for Mark Belling.

3:00 hour: John Edwards

4:00 hour: Prison inmates sue over Nutraloaf, a meal they claim is unconstitutional it tastes so bad

5:00  Hour: Updates on Wisconsin taxes, ethanol, Wisconsin business leader survey on global warming; New websites offer chance to buy and sell restaurnat reservations

This podcast will be available until 6:00 Monday evening.

Michael Phelps: Superstar

Looks like most of the attention in the Olympics will focus on swimming phenomenon Michael Phelps, and rightfully so. The guy’s got a shot at 8 Gold medals.

He already won his first in commanding fashion Saturday.

Want to learn more about the young man the entire world will have its eye on this week? Read the Baltimore Sun (Baltimore is Phelps’ hometown) and the BBC.

Expect an electric atmosphere at the Olympics today

The USA men's basketball team, Team NBA, takes on the host country, China.

The game will be a blowout, but the crowd will be super-energized.

The obvious problem with the Olympics: UPDATE

The other day I wrote this about the Olympic Games:

“NBC can do their damndest, but it's impossible to keep true fans from learning what the outcomes of certain events are. If I gotta know, I will find out. This isn't 1956 anymore. While NBC is telling me how the Jamaican boxing team uses yoga to relax, I'm on the computer, trying to find out how badly the U.S. men's basketball team crushed Germany. If NBC thinks I'm going to wait for hours and endure the profile piece of this athlete being born in a log cabin, they've got another guess coming.“

I still feel that way, but nothing can replace the power of television, the thrill of actually watching the competition, Michael Phelps crushing his opponents, his mother cheering him on from the stands, the exuberance of the winners, the athletes hugging, the American flag being raised, the National Anthem, the proud American standing tall on the podium.

In some cases, I may already know the outcomes, but I’m still turning on my TV.

No time for R & R

Remember this?  

John Kerry.lg kerry

That’s John Kerry, taking a break from his 2004 campaign for President to windsurf. Though it wasn’t the key factor in his loss to President Bush, taking time out for recreation during the biggest of campaigns was viewed by many as a tactical error.

Barack Obama could be making the same mistake.

Obama has gone home to Hawaii. Some say he’s just resting. I submit he’s licking his wounds. A couple of bad weeks and some John McCain ads that have proven to be effective have McCain catching up, Obama on the ropes wondering what hit him, and Democrats jittery, according to the Financial Times.


All those people going to Sunday Mass today........a problem for Obama

Winning the majority of the Catholic vote is going to be tough for Barack Obama.

Linda Chavez, chairman of the Center for Equal Opportunity and author of Betrayal: How Union Bosses Shake Down Their Members and Corrupt American Politics, writes in her latest column:

Catholics are by no means a single-issue voting group. But for observant Catholics, those who attend Mass regularly and follow the Church's teachings, a candidate's position on abortion matters.”

The breakdown of Catholic voters is pretty even at the moment, but Chavez expects that to change.

This is one of many areas that show a clear and distinct difference between John McCain and Barack Obama.  
Janice Shaw Crouse says, “On the issue of abortion, the two major candidates are polar opposites.”

Crouse spells out the differences here.

If Obama is elected, there's no question he would be the abortion President.

My most popular blogs

Most popular

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

1) Culinary no-no #66

2) The Packers have dissed Brett Favre and everybody knows it

3) Photos of the Week (8/03/08)

4) So now Mike McCarthy is a psychiatrist

5) Will anyone pay attention to any blogs tonight?

Photos of the Week

Photos of the Week

 Iraq US Troops

U.S. Army Capt. Charles Ford plays a video game with seven-year-old Wa'ad, who lost an arm and a leg to an improvised bomb, during a visit to the child's home near Muqdadiyah, about 90 kilometers (60 miles) north of Baghdad in Iraq's volatile Diyala province Sunday, Aug. 3, 2008. Soldiers from Hammer Company, 3rd Squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment are arranging for the child to be fitted with prosthetic limbs. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo) (AP)

Read more

Over at The Right View Wisconsin...

My first post on this brand new conservative/libertarian blog.

I have an update on why Wisconsin can't be like Arizona, and that's our loss.

Check it out and other great entries at The Right View Wisconsin.

Isaac Hayes dies at 65

I was saddened to hear of the death of Isaac Hayes.

This year because of scheduling conflicts, I did not return to working security backstage at the Main Stage at the Wisconsin State Fair, a job I had for I believe the past 15 years.

That’s where I met Mr. Hayes. Last August, I blogged about the experience:


A very nice man, but obviously not as young as he used to be.

Walking him to the stage, I said to him, “Well Mr. Hayes, what’s it going to be tonight? Two, three hours?”

“@#$%& no,” he said with a big laugh.

His manager warned me that during, “Walk on By,” there would be a rather lengthy drum and keyboard solo, and that I should watch to help Hayes back to the dressing room. This was an intentional built-in bathroom break.

Read more

Culinary no-no #67

Culinary no-no's

Back in April, Culinary no-no # 52 examined how the biofuels craze and the subsequent rise in food prices was impacting world hunger.

Dirt cookies made out of mud. Looting.  Rioting.

And it’s getting worse.

Poor women in many parts of the world are trading sex for food, increasing the risk of new AIDS infections. Officials of the United Nations (UN) made that startling announcement at a conference in Mexico last week.

The UN points the finger at biofuels, claiming more expensive food prices have resulted in another 50 million people going hungry. Women are so desperate they’re joining the crews of large fishing boats, selling their bodies for scraps. Officials fear an explosion in new AIDS cases. Those on the front lines grapple with how to combat hunger and AIDS.

Read more from ABC.

As the mountain of evidence suggesting links to biofuels, higher food prices, and a global food crisis continues to grow, a correlation that most Americans fully understand, we can count on our government bureaucrats to turn a deaf ear to this critical issue.

Last week, the Environmental Protection Association refused to reduce the quota on ethanol in cars. The New York Times described the EPA’s conclusion that, “at least for now,  the national goal of reducing oil use trumps any effect on food prices from making fuel from corn.”

The newspaper quoted a typical bureaucrat, completely bankrupt of nay common sense. EPA administrator Stephen L. Johnson demonstrated his head-in-the -sand mentality when he said the ethanol mandate was not causing “severe harm to the economy or the environment.”

What planet is he on?

Food producers disagree, saying food inflation is bad enough but could get worse.

This is very revealing. The feds don’t care that your trip to the grocery to feed your family is becoming increasingly more difficult or that people around the world are starving. They care more about cramming our food into our gas tanks.

The federal government’s refusal to relax the quota and mandates on ethanol and the inability to understand the ramifications of those inactions is a culinary no-no of global proportions.

Yet another reason why Brett Favre.... so cool.

The smear against Mark Carstensen

As much as I hate to dignify the garbage that is going on at some other blogs, I feel the need to address the issue here.

Two Franklin bloggers on other sites (one can be responsible, the other is young, naïve, and incredibly irresponsible), are on a quest to smear one of Franklin’s top corporate citizens, Mark Carstensen.

John Michlig (responsible) and Greg Kowalski (highly irresponsible) have each blogged in tandem this weekend, almost as if orchestrated, suggesting impropriety on the part of  the city of Franklin in its failure to enforce zoning violations against an elderly couple that owns property including a residence and storage facility adjacent to the desert-barren Fountains of Franklin at 56th and Rawson.

Michlig (Sherlock Holmes) and Kowalski (Dr. Watson) surmise that because the couple is accused of violations the two blogging bloodhounds report the city hasn’t enforced, and because developer Mark Carstensen’s vehicle has been spotted….OH MY GOD!....three times parked at the property next to Fountains of Franklin, that somehow Carstensen is involved in some dastardly plot.

Conveniently, they each post a planted e-mail from David Hintzman of Equitable Development that is in charge of the thus-far empty project at 56th and Rawson where Hintzman also suggests something fishy about the Carstensen vehicle. Hintzman asks why any high-end business would set up shop in a community that doesn’t enforce its ordinances. He also admits he had at least 13 commitments from clients to come to Fountains of Franklin.

Obviously, there is some huge controversy going on and that’s why Fountains of Franklin looks like some ghost town in the wild, wild west.

I have it from a very reliable source that Hintzman took the original photo of Carstenson’s vehicle and gave it to his personal press agent, Kowalski, knowing the impressionable blogger would soak up any story handed to him. Kowalski, the loyal water boy, ran with it, never divulging the source because that wouldn’t fit in his smear against Carstenson.

Let’s suppose for a moment the family next door to Fountains is guilty of zoning violations, as Hintzman and his henchmen, Michlig and Kowalski submit. It’s a pretty long stretch to suggest the reason Fountains of Franklin has been a failure and all those 13 commitments dried up is because some zoning rules and regulations weren’t followed. C’mon!

The developers of the 56th and Rawson portion of this project point their fingers at the city, city staff, the next door neighbors, Mark Cartsensen, his vehicle…..everyone but themselves.

Did it ever occur to the Einstein sisters, Michlig and Kowalski that part of the responsibility for the inability for the 56th and Rawson site to attract ANYBODY could lie with the developer?

Here’s my key point and this is why I write. Michlig and Kowalski, acting like they’re Woodward and Bernstein plan to write more about this in the next few days. Fine.

I urge anyone who reads their blogs to question everything they write, especially Kowalski who has a history of blogging anything he wants without facts or substantiation other than rumor and his feelings. Make sure you read carefully for proof and evidence. If they’re going to attack and smear someone, they’d better have the goods. They need to back up anything they say when they write about this in the future, or risk a complete loss of credibility.

Actually, Kowalski’s is all gone. I still hold out some hope for Michlig. When another Franklin blogger, Fred Keller asked Franklin aldermen to address Kowalski’s concerns in this matter, the ones that did respond correctly and appropriately said they could not comment based on hearsay and unsubstantiated assertions (trademarks of Kowalski).

Again, I challenge the bloggers to come loaded with facts and I challenge readers to demand fairness and responsible writing from Michlig and Kowalski.

Who said this?

Who said the following about Bill Clinton?

"I think this president has shown a remarkable disrespect for his office, for the moral dimensions of leadership, for his friends, for his wife, for his precious daughter. It is breathtaking to me the level to which that disrespect has risen."

The answer is:

John Edwards

Just having a little fun with the hateful left

The hateful left, clever devils that they are, like to take the titles of blogs written by conservatives like me or Charlie Sykes or Patrick McIlheran, and distort and twist the on-screen title into something negative about the conservative.

For example, these mentally-challenged buffoons will take a title that reads, “This really stinks,” and then say something highly intelligent like, “Is (so and so) skipping baths again?” My goodness, how do they think them up so fast!

After publishing this sophomoric junk, the lefty will laugh and slap his knee and e-mail all his other hateful lefty morons, “Hey, you gotta see how I nailed dat Fischer bum,” and then go off to some belching or crotch-scratching contest.

Conservatives don’t engage in such stupidity. But one conservative did come across, while doing research, something that’s priceless, and he didn’t even have to make it up, a la the hateful left.

Take a look.


Read more

Michael Savage and John Edwards

A few weeks ago, nationally syndicated radio talk show host Michael Savage did a rotten thing, making some deplorable comments about autistic children and their parents.

(By the way, Savage doesn’t speak for all conservatives and many of us denounce what he did and said).

Some local lefty bloggers went nuts, and called on the right to condemn Savage. Some local right-oriented bloggers did just that, even contacting WTMJ that carries Savage’s show to express outrage.

Fair enough.

John Edwards did a rotten thing. He did it to his wife who has incurable cancer, and he lied about it, not just for a few minutes on a radio show, but for a long, long time. Unlike Savage, Edwards is a former elected official who yearned to be President.

I challenge the left to publicly condemn this despicable, immoral, cruel behavior by Edwards the way they demanded conservatives to lash out at Savage.

I won’t hold my breath waiting.

My cousin comes through again

As I've blogged so often, I'm very proud of my cousin, Doug MacKenzie who is one of the distillers at the local entrepreneur Great Lakes Distillery that produces Rehorst Premium Gin and Vodka.  Here's their latest newsletter about a new, exciting product.

Read more

Culinary no-no #68

Culinary no-no's

My wife and I last night dined at Tenuta’s in Bay View.

I ordered a veal chop. Nowadays, you never know what my wife will select.

She decided on a 12-ich pizza with:

A garlic and olive oil sauce

Artichoke hearts

Plum tomatoes




Read more

Another reason to despise the French

From the Houston Chronicle, on the Summer Olympic Games:

The next gold medal on the table is the 4x100 freestyle relay. (Michael) Phelps isn’t the world’s best at 100-meter sprint, so his teammates will have to help him bring this one home.

Beware the French

The trash talk began early for that race with Alain Bernard of France bragging that the French will have little trouble in Monday morning’s race (Sunday night in Houston).

Read more

Here's a shock

Mrs. Edwards....stands by her lying, cheating husband.

I guess, in the liberal mindset, that means everything's ok.

You just know that there are Packer fans tonight...

Who really want to see Cincinnati take Aaron Rodgers' head off.

Where is the media outrage over John Edwards?

As I predicted while filling in for Mark Belling on Newstalk 1130 WISN last Friday, the mainstream media is doing its damndest to keep the John Edwards scandal quiet. Sweeping the story under the rug, it’s next to impossible to find any scathing newspaper editorials.

I did manage to discover some criticism in the Dallas Morning News and that’s about it.

Newsbusters caught CNN fawning over Edwards in a live segment Saturday.

I guess it’s up to conservative voices to emphasize the atrocities involved and the impact of Edwards’ infidelity. Carol Platt Lieba,  attorney, political commentator, guest radio talk show host based near Los Angeles, and author of "Prude: How the Sex-Obsessed Culture Hurts Young Women (and America, Too!)"writes in her latest column:

It isn’t a crime to cheat on one’s cancer-stricken wife. But certainly it is ethically dubious to direct campaign contributions to a slush fund of sorts for one’s mistress – which is exactly what Edwards did, using his political action committee to pay the woman in question $100,000 in a four-month span to create four Web videos of him (ironically, one including a public speech where he discussed morality). The payment was well in excess of market rates, especially given the recipient's lack of relevant experience.
Such an unsavory arrangement should certainly disqualify a politician from running as vice president – or serving as attorney general or accepting a Supreme Court nomination.”

Again, can you imagine the 24/7 media witch hunt had Edwards been a conservative?

BoyzIIMen and backstage greed

My friend over at rightfromtheright worked backstage at the Main Stage during the entire run of the Wisconsin State Fair, something I’ve done for many years until I took this year off.

He saw what I would agree is a first after the BoyzIIMen concert last Friday night:

“After the show they did something I had never seen before. Instead of selling T-shirts and such, they sold meet and greet passes for $40. They took out 80 of them and sold 80. Not a bad take for only 40 more minutes of work.”

Here’s his entire blog.

Normally, meet and greet backstage passes are divvied up in advance to members of fan clubs through local radio stations. The passes are a thank you for support, buying records, memorabilia, merchandise and attending concerts. They get you a brief chat, an autograph and a quick picture.

Charging for backstage passes can be done, obviously. But it smacks of great chutzpah. Of course, if Paul McCartney can charge $300 for tickets and they sell, then you can’t criticize if fans were willing to dish it out and had a good time.

I still find it egotistical and excessive to charge fans that’ve already made all of the previously mentioned purchases that line the pockets of stars to then charge them for but a fleeting rendezvous backstage.

ELVIS WEEK: Debate over death continues


August 9-17 is ELVIS WEEK 2008. I am proud to be an Elvis fan.

"What happened Aug.16, 1977, would become one of the most highly publicized cliffhangers since the deaths of the Romanovs in Russia, the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa or conspiracy theories about a Marilyn Monroe murder."

The man who conducted the autopsies of Martin Luther KIng Jr. and Elvis Presley stands by his conclusions of over 30 years ago about the death of the King of Rock and Roll even though other medical officials disagree. It appears Elvis can never rest in peace.

Details from the Memphis Commerical Appeal.


Michael Jordan, Michael Reagan, Kevin Fischer, and China 2008

Today, Michael Reagan, the son of President Ronald Reagan, is a national radio talk show host. That wasn’t the case in the summer of 1992.

That's when the Dream Team, the American men’s basketball squad was running rough shod in the Summer Olympics, pummeling everything and everyone in its path. With players like Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, and Charles Barkley, the U.S. was unstoppable.

During the ’92 games, Michael Reagan was performing an on-air audition at WTMJ Radio for a midday talk show host position. Yours truly was the WTMJ News Director, and I occasionally anchored newscasts, including while Reagan was hosting.

I was astounded one day to hear Reagan emphatically hoping that the U.S. team would actually lose a game. Reagan’s theory was that it would bring the mighty egos down to earth and prevent a possible shocking upset later. I found Reagan’s stance to be ridiculous, and during the obligatory chat between the talk show host and news anchor, I politely told him so.

Was Reagan positioning himself for a full-time gig by raising such an outlandish topic? Maybe. It didn’t work. I learned later his demands were so sky-high, the station said no, and shortly thereafter WTMJ hired Jay Marvin to fill its midday slot. (OUCH!).

The 1992 Dream Team wound up winning the Gold, going undefeated. Their average margin of victory was a whopping 43.8 points. Incredibly, the U.S. was so dominant that head coach Chuck Daly never called a single timeout.

I do not subscribe to the Michael Reagan theory of 1992 (It might be different 16 years later). I want the U.S. team to win every Olympic contest. Given our stumbles in international competition in the past, I relish the 20 and 30-point victories. Forget the nail-biting, water cooler kickers, I want blowouts. Perish the thought of a close game in the final seconds coming down to an international referee’s call. Remember 1972?





It's not easy following a legend

A couple of media reports I’ve seen have described Aaron Rodgers’ performance in a meaningless exhibition game last night as, “solid.”

When Vince Lombardi stepped down as the Packers coach, he was succeeded by his longtime defensive coach, Phil Bengston.

Bengston coached Green Bay for the next three years. His coaching record before being fired:


You get my point.

What if .......Brett Favre had stayed?

Would the Packers be a better team?

How many wins would they have in 2008 compared to the team we now have?

Would they make the playoffs and how would they go?

How many more points per game would they score compared to the Rodgers-led Packers?

Would the surrounding cast do better statistically under Favre? did the analysis, and this is very interesting stuff from

Anonymity kills: UPDATE

Regular readers of my blog know of my feelings about anonymous contributors. While some can enhance a blog with their comments, too many feel a great sense of power hiding cowardly behind a fictitious name. They slither out in the middle of the night with false bravado and talk tougher than tough. These are the same weaklings who would fold up like an accordion if forced to use their real name, occupation, and have to plaster their face on the Internet. The hateful left has a bulging membership in this club. And the Franklin community has seen its share of un-named snakes, one “unfettered” scoundrel in particular who has been caught using all sorts of aliases to spread his venom and lies. While other bloggers have shown sympathy and allow him to publish his unfounded screeds laced with hate, he knows he’s not welcome on this site, and doesn’t even try anymore. Good riddance.

Thank God the level of anonymous irresponsibility here has been isolated to mere words. In some cases, similar anonymity has had fatal ramifications.

Last December, I blogged about the case of young Megan Meier, whose story was mentioned in a column I referenced:

On October 15, 2006, 13-year-old Megan Meier received an e-mail from Josh Evans, a “cute”  homeschooled 16-year-old she had met and befriended on MySpace. "I don't know if I want to be friends with you any longer because I hear you're not nice to your friends," Evans wrote in the e-mail. Josh Evans was not real. His profile was the invention of a neighborhood mother, Lori Drew, whose daughter had once been friends with Meier. Drew had originally devised Josh Evans in order to monitor what Meier was saying about her own daughter; eventually the Evans profile became a way of harassing Meier. On October 16, 2003, Meier hanged herself in her closet in St. Charles County, Missouri.

Meier’s death, caused by the actions of individuals possessing sick minds, was not in vain. Missouri recently enacted a new law to prevent similar tragedies. I hope the new law isn’t misapplied and truly does go after credible threats.

Anonymous people on the Internet aren’t all bad. But far too many are slime, and they need to be stopped.

Barack Obama is barbaric


It is well-documented, and Pat Buchanan reinforces it today in his column that Barack Obama has a tremendous affinity for killing babies. Buchanan notes that not once, not twice, but three times while a member of the Illinois Legislature, Barack (the baby killer) Obama voted against protection for babies that survived abortions:

“Thrice, Obama voted to let doctors and nurses allow these tiny human beings die of neglect and be tossed out with the medical waste. How can a man who purports to be a Christian justify this?  If, as its advocates contend, abortion has to remain legal to protect the life and health, mental and physical, of the mother, how is a mother's life or health in the least threatened by a baby no longer inside her -- but lying on a table or in a pan fighting for life and breath?”

Then there’s partial-birth abortion. There is probably no bigger supporter of this hideous procedure than Barack (the baby killer) Obama.  Buchanan writes:

hen Congress was voting to ban this terrible form of death for a mature fetus, Michelle Obama was signing fundraising letters pledging that, if elected, Barack would be  ‘tireless’ in keeping legal this ‘legitimate medical procedure.’”

Legitimate medical procedure? Most Americans, including many who consider themselves pro-choice find this procedure to be barbaric.

Read Buchanan’s column.

Then watch the following brief, but graphic video about partial-birth abortion keeping in mind that Barack Obama fully supports what you’re about to see. He must not be allowed to become President. He is simply too evil and too dangerous.

Read more

Barack Obama is barbaric: MORE

Yesterday I blogged that Barack Obama’s record on abortion makes him, “too evil and too dangerous,” and that he “must not be allowed to become President.” My blog made reference to his three votes in the Illinois Legislature to deny protection to babies that survived abortions.

Today, Wisconsin Right To Life put out a news release about Obama’s cover-up on the votes he took in Illinois:

Obama Cover-Up Exposed on His Votes on Infanticide
For immediate release: Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The National Right to Life Committee has obtained documents that prove presidential candidate Barack Obama has been blatantly covering up his actions as an Illinois state senator to actively defeat legislation to protect the lives of living, breathing babies who survive abortion attempts.

Douglas Johnson, the organization’s legislative director, released the documents from 2003 this week revealing that Obama voted for a “neutrality clause” amendment to an Illinois bill requiring treatments for the tiny abortion survivors and led the charge in committee to kill the amended bill by a 6-4 vote.

“The Illinois born alive bill is virtually identical to a federal law he now is saying he would have supported had he been in the U.S. Senate at the time the bill was voted on,” said Susan Armacost, Legislative Director for Wisconsin Right to Life.

The need for the legislation on both the federal and state levels was sparked by Jill Stanek, a nurse who worked at Christ Hospital in Chicago who blew the lid on the hospital’s practice of inducing premature labor in women seeking lateterm abortions. However, some of these babies were born breathing and alive. Eyewitness accounts revealed that babies were left on the cold counter in the soiled linen room until they died.

In 2002, the U.S. Congress responded by enacting the Born Alive Infant Protection Act (BAIPA) with not a single dissenting vote in either house. Included in the bill was a “neutrality clause” which read: “Nothing in this section shall be construed to affirm, deny, expand, or contract any legal status or legal right applicable to any member of the species homo sapiens at any point to being ‘born alive’ as defined in this section.”

With this clarification that unborn babies were not included in the bill’s provisions, even solidly proabortion senators like Ted Kennedy, Russ Feingold and Hillary Clinton allowed the bill to be passed and it was signed into law by President Bush. The National Abortion Rights Action League also removed its opposition.

Since the bill only applied to federal law, many states introduced born alive
legislation to protect abortion survivors in their own states. In 2003, after the 2002 federal bill with the “neutrality clause” had passed, Barack Obama was the chair of the Illinois State Senate Health and Human Services Committee which presided over the Illinois born alive bill which contained a “neutrality clause” virtually identical to the federal law.

“Barack Obama had the opportunity to right a terrible wrong that was occurring right under his nose,” said Armacost. “But instead, he used the power of his committee chairmanship to prevent Illinois doctors and nurses to attempt to save the lives of living babies, fully separated from their mothers, leaving them to die alone - in the dark - in filthy conditions.”

Obama has repeatedly stated during his presidential campaign that his votes on three separate occasions against Illinois legislation to provide treatment for babies who survive abortion attempts were because there was no “neutrality clause” and he feared that the legislation would negatively impact Roe v. Wade.

“Barack Obama is blatantly trying to cover up his infanticide votes,” said Armacost. “The heartlessness and callousness of this individual needs to beexposed. The vast majority of Americans care about protecting human life. They deserve to know the truth about Barack Obama’s utter disregard forhuman life.”

Wisconsin Right to Life
Susan Armacost
Legislative Director, Wisconsin Right to Life
Phone: 877-855-5007

The news release refers to whistle-blower Jill Stanek who is also mentioned in a column today in National Review that also examines Obama’s abortion record:

“The tiny newborn baby made very little noise as he struggled to breathe. He lacked the strength to cry. He had been born four months premature.

‘At that age,’ says nurse Jill Stanek, ‘their lungs haven’t matured.’

Stanek is the nurse who found herself cradling this baby in her hands for all of his 45-minute lifetime. He was close to ten inches long and weighed perhaps half a pound. It’s just a guess — no one had weighed or measured him at birth. No happy family had been there to welcome him into the world. No one was trying to save his life now, putting him into an incubator, giving him oxygen or nourishment. He had just been left to die.”

The column by David Freddoso also says:

“Most people, whatever their view on abortion, agree that the Constitution at least guarantees the rights of born and living human beings. Barack Obama does not agree. For him, the Constitution exists primarily in order to guarantee the right to abortion, and other rights of human persons — born and alive — are secondary. Beginning with abortion rights as his premise, he draws as his conclusion the unfortunate but necessary legality of infanticide.

Given Obama’s position on babies born alive, it should come as no surprise that he opposes and denounces all restrictions on every kind of abortion, including partial-birth abortions. He promised at a Planned Parenthood event in July 2007 that “the first thing” he will do as president — his top priority for the nation — is sign the Freedom of Choice Act, which would erase every federal and state restriction on abortion, no matter how modest. His top priority, again, is to re-legalize partial birth abortion under all circumstances, abolish all laws on informed consent and parental notification, and eliminate all state restrictions on taxpayer funding of abortions.”

Please take time to watch the following videos and as you do, keep in mind that Barack Obama voted to deny care for babies born ALIVE!  His defense today is to choose legal mumbo jumbo that has been disproven and is simply untrue.

Here's Jill Stanek on the O' Reilly Factor in September of 2000:

Read more

Too sexy for the mall?

Remember the story about the young gal who was considered too sexy to fly?

Now we have a mall telling a young woman to leave because her dress is too short (it wasn’t). Here’s the kicker. She bought the dress at that very same mall.

Here’s the story.

UPDATE: The young woman has hired an attorney. She's also making a nice gesture.

Read more

Maybe she should have kept her clothes on

Amanda Beard failed to make it out of the preliminaries in the 200 meter breaststroke at the Olympics, finishing 18th.

Apparently, she wasn’t mentally prepared, having spent too much time protesting in a manner she knows all too well.

The LA Times sums it all up in a great headline.

New sport planned for Summer Olympics

The International Olympic Committee has announced the Summer Olympic Games in 2012 in London will have a brand new competition.

It will combine the art of professional style wrestling with cycling.

Here's a sneak preview of what it will look like...

Read more

Do you like snakes? The DNR loves 'em

Yes, boy and girls, this is another blog about the fantastic folks at the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Why, they’re so wonderful, did you know that every single employee has taken a Dale Carnegie course??!!

No, I don’t know how many flunked, but does that really matter? After all, they love the air, and they love the flowers, and they love the water, and they love the trees, and they love the birds, and they love the fish, and they love animals. They’re not too thrilled about law-abiding citizens, but that’s okay because……..




So, what draws our attention to the Keystone Kops this time? Well, it turns out the DNR just loves snakes. Poisonous ones. Venomous babies.

From their very own DNR website:

For centuries, snakes have been misunderstood, under-appreciated, and even heavily persecuted. However, most of us are enthralled with them and our natural curiosity seeks to better understand them.”

From the mighty all-powerful DNR on high:

Mere mortals!

Listen to us!

We are the all-knowing omnipotent DNR!
 We know what it is best and what is right!

Foolish mortals!

Afraid of snakes!

Can you imagine.

You just don’t understand the way we do at the perfect world known as….


Snakes are lovely creatures. So they hiss and bite and are venomous.

They’re just misunderstood.

Yes, that’s it, they’re misunderstood.

Snakes are like fine wine and aged cheese. They’re meant to be appreciated. Do you appreciate snakes? If you don’t, shame on you!

You need to get onboard and get with the program because don’t you see? Most of us are absolutely, positively
ENTHRALLED with snakes!

So where are we going with this?

The Daily Scoff blogs about the DNR………oh, wait, I love this……..Jim (I’m the biggest DNR butt-kisser in the entire state of Wisconsin) Rowen (a lefty tree hugger to the nth degree) is about to blow his environmental elitist mind when he reads this…

The Daily Scoff calls the DNR
: Dangerous Nihilistic Renegades.

Dangerous Nihilistic Renegades

How mean-spirited!

Yeh, yeh, yeh.

Put on some more beads and a fresh pair of sandals and deal with it.

The Daily Scoff reacts to a recent Journal Sentinel article that fawns all over the DNR and its efforts to restore the habitat for venomous Massasaugas snakes. The Daily Scoff has a different interpretation, and I quote:

Using thousands of YOUR federal tax dollars, the Wisconsin DNR (Dangerous Nihilistic Renegades) has begun infesting our public woodlands with poisonous rattlesnakes.  Even worse, they’re using thousands of MY federal tax dollars, too.  Come to think of it, that’s WAY worse.

“It’s a native species, so we’re trying to restore it,” wildlife biologist Kris Johansen said. “Then there’s the research aspect. There might be some human benefits from them down the road that we don’t know about yet.”

Here’s the thing, Kris.  While indeed, there “might be” some sort of “benefit” to rattlesnakes, there “is be” a huge detrimental aspect:  they can freaking kill us! Perhaps you were absent that particular day in Biology College when they went over the downside of venomous fangs.  I’ll review for your benefit:  they’re friggin’ deadly, Kris!  Deadly!

Here’s the entire Daily Scoff blog.

Remember, the DNR wanted to fine you and tear down your pier if it was a quarter inch off the new regulations it proposed not too long ago, but it wants to dump more snakes into your back yard.

Oh, they’re a wonderful bunch that DNR. I’m so glad they’re looking out for my welfare, those Dangerous Nihilistic Renegades!

ELVIS WEEK NEWS: Merry Christmas Baby and...Move over Barbie and Ken


Read more

Irish Fest begins today!

Irish Fest
runs through Sunday.

That means incredible Irish entertainment.

Look for the Celtic Tenors!

Read more

When will the majority no longer be a majority?

It's a fascinating question.

And it's bound to happen, the time when whites will no longer comprise a majority of the American population.

The reason is simple. Whites are simply not having as many children.

ABC News has the answer. When will the majority no longer be a majority?

It's sooner than you think.

Friday night on InterCHANGE

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

1 - Russia.

Russia doesn’t seem to care too much about what the rest of the world thinks as it flexes its muscle with regards to the two separatist Georgian provinces.  Why does Russia care about these tiny pieces of property?  Is it because a giant oil pipeline that flows through Georgia is much too important to leave in control of Georgian leaders who might not be too friendly to Russia in the future?  Is this situation, as some would argue is similar to the situation in Iraq, all about the oil?  Should the United States be sending “humanitarian aid” to Georgia?  Is Putin & Company getting more rogue?  Is the United States being hypocritical in its behavior in this dispute?

2 -  MPS/ACT.

Wisconsin high school students always perform extremely well on the ACT tests when compared to the rest of the country.  But, if MPS mandates that all MPS juniors take the test, that will surely bring the average scores in Wisconsin down.  What should MPS do?  Should they spend a year offering ACT prep courses before they mandate that kids take the test?  Who will pay for these kids to take the test?  Should this persuade the state to send more money to MPS so that the students are better prepared?  Will this simply highlight how poorly MPS prepares its students for college?

3 – Republican Convention Cops.

Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn wants to send three dozen of his police officers to St. Paul next month to help with security during the Republican National Convention.  Wise move, or not?  Can Milwaukee afford to do with fewer cops during a hot summer month?  The department historically has complained that it doesn’t have enough officers, and that’s one reason overtime is so high.  Does this just add to the problem?  Or, as the chief says, would this be invaluable experience for our officers, especially as Milwaukee tries to attract more big name conventions.  And, as long as the federal government is going to pick up the tab, why not send as many officers as St. Paul wants?

4Olympics.  What do you think of the Olympics so far?  Do you enjoy the NBC coverage?  Does it give you a sense of pride?  Why is the television audience this Olympics so huge, compared to other recent years?

Hunting for wolves

This could get ugly.

I recall the fairly recent controversy over the adoption of a mourning dove hunt in Wisconsin. Hundreds of people filled a legislative hearing room and an overflow room at the state Capitol during debate on the proposed hunt which eventually was approved. Dissenters were quite emotional. Some cried uncontrollably. Others yelled and hollered.

I suspect there will be loud opposition this time around and a wolf hunt might never get finalized. It definitely has some hurdles to overcome. Admittedly, I need more details before I take a position.

Stupid quote of the week

Why can’t liberals argue using facts?

The potential for voter fraud as the result of improprieties on the part of vote drive registrars has renewed the call for a photo ID requirement in Wisconsin.  Polls indicate overwhelming support for photo ID all across the state, including Democrats. The problem is Democrats in the legislature who refuse to listen to the citizens of this state and exercise common sense.

One of them is state Representative Joe Parisi, Democrat from the People’s Republic of Madison. Parisi told that bastion of quality journalism, the Capital Times that Republicans will come up with any excuse imaginable to push photo ID.

Yes, Representative Parisi, we Republicans are funny that way. We actually think that the person who walks into the polling place and says he’s Joe Smith from Franklin should actually be Joe Smith from Franklin.

Here’s Parisi’s quote expounding on how Republicans will use any reason whatsoever to demand photo ID:

"If it rains too hard, they'll say it's because people aren't required to show their driver's licenses when they vote."

Clever. How does he think up those witty gems so fast?

Parisi’s got it all wrong. I actually think people jaywalk too much because we don’t have photo ID.

Here’s the Capital Times story.

I have to agree with the ACLU on this one

“The next time you attend an outdoor festival to watch a musical performance or a livestock show, someone could be watching you, too. The City of Milwaukee is joining with five surrounding counties to purchase a network of portable video surveillance cameras for monitoring crowds at large public events.”


Let me get this straight. We need to tie up police officers to video people watching an oompah-pah band at German Fest?

Have the following gotten so rowdy and out of control that we need to monitor people simply trying to have a good time on a nice summer day?

Polish Fest

Pride Fest

Festa Italiana

Irish Fest

Fiesta Mexicana

Indian Summer

German Fest

Church festivals

State Fair


Who determines what events get monitored and what events don’t? How is that determination made? If cameras aren’t at Festa Italiana, but pop up at Juneteenth Day (which was pretty quiet this year), someone better be ready to take the heat.

Milwaukee Police used to do this at political protests, and still do, I believe. It’s unnecessary and destroys trust between a community and its law enforcers.

I agree with the ACLU. This is wrong.

Great message to send to the crooks

Dear criminal element of the city of Milwaukee:

Feel free to have at it from September 1-4. Even though it’s summer, the heaviest crime season during the entire year, and my first responsibility is to the safety and well-being of Milwaukeeans, I intend to deliberately reduce the amount of manpower in our city by sending 36 police officers to assist with security at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota.

This, of course, will put the city at risk for additional homicides, assaults, rapes, armed robberies, and burglaries. However, we must help our neighbors handle a national security event. I trust victims of crime between September 1 and September 4 will fully understand.


Edward Flynn
Chief of Police
City of Milwaukee

PDATE, 8/14/08 @ 6:20 PM

Shortly after I posted this entry, I received the following e-mail in response:

What's really scary about Flynn's wanting to send Milwaukee cops to political conventions is that he and Mrs. Barrett are dead serious about doing so! Asking the Fire & Police Commission to intervene would be futile because they and Flynn were appointed by Mrs. Barrett. Do they realize that if a Milwaukee cop makes an arrest or witnesses an offense in Minnesota, appearances in criminal and civil courts would be required, thus taking Milwaukee cops off the Milwaukee streets not only for the appearances at pre-trial hearings, depositions, the actual trial and appeals in higher courts? In such highly-emotional settings, allegations of police misconduct are assured, and appearances would be required by Milwaukee cops not only as the accused cop, but also as witnesses for the defense or prosecution of accused cops in State of Minnesota courts, police oversight commissions, but in Federal courts as well.  Travel to and from Minnesota would also consume man-hours from Milwaukee streets. How can the Milwaukee Common Council deliberate the proposal on such short notice if they don't even know how to convene a special meeting to do so?  Milwaukee has an increase in burglaries. Use the 36 cops to fight that crime!!  I have contacted my Alderman. If you agree, please do so, ASAP!!

Retired Milwaukee cop


ELVIS WEEK: A Little Less Conversation


Elvis had been dead for 25 years when one of his obscure recordings was re-mixed in 2002. It quickly soared to the top of the charts in 20 countries and was added to the CD, “Elvis’ 30 #1 hits, becoming #1 hit,  #31.

In 1968, Elvis sang “A Little Less Conversation” in the forgettable movie, “Live a Little, Love a Little.” The King sang the song to Celeste Yarnall, a typical Hollywood blonde beauty.

Yarnall is in Memphis this week to help commemorate ELVIS WEEK. From

"Who knows what would have been if we hadn't both been married...," mused Yarnall, remembering the two weeks she spent on the set with Elvis.

Set among the swinging beaches and bachelor pads of Southern California, "Live a Little, Love a Little" casts Elvis as dune buggy-driving Greg Nolan, a photographer for Classic Cat girlie magazine. A relatively risque attempt to elevate the Elvis musical to a more mature level, the movie was based on the novel "Kiss My Firm But Pliant Lips" by Daniel Greenburg. Yarnall said the book's title came to mind during the many retakes of her kissing scene with the King. "I was never quite sure how many times Elvis flubbed his lines just to keep the scene going."

Yarnall recalls Elvis’ reaction at the time to a tragic moment in American history.

"Live a Little, Love a Little" was shot in the early spring of 1968. "At this time, Martin Luther King's funeral was being televised, and Elvis was very broken up," Yarnall said. "We watched the funeral in his dressing room and he sang 'Amazing Grace,' a capella, and he was crying and I was comforting him.

Read the entire article...

And then watch the original  version from 1968 with Celeste Yarnall...

Read more

Happy Friday!

Coming this weekend on This Just In… some bonus features.

Friday night at 11:30, it’s our trip down memory lane as we turn Friday Night Live over to the ladies.

Saturday: Week-ends and The Barking Lot, plus.... on the 31st anniversary of the death of my favorite artist, a special Elvis edition of Week-ends.

We may just have a special Elvis edition of Culinary no-no. Ohhhhh, I bet you’re thinking there are lots of options to choose from. But you’ll just have to wait until Sunday.

And this one’s becoming quite popular: Photos of the Week, photos that caught my eye, this Sunday.

Plus lots of stuff in-between.

I do appreciate your continued support. Thanks for checking in.

Who are we to critcize that no-good, slimeball John Edwards?


Let’s be clear. I have no sympathy for the cheat John Edwards and his despicable betrayal of his cancer-stricken wife.

However, it is undeniable that an imperfect society that surrounds Edwards and other deceitful, unfaithful spouses has almost served to give these cheats, in their own warped world of fractured rationalization, the green light to stray.

We glorify messing around everywhere we look: TV, movies, the Internet.

We don’t just glorify, we encourage. Schools pass out condoms like candy, telling teenage girls that because they’re going to have sex anyway (almost as if adults expect them to), here, go ahead, just be protected.

People with power in high places toss on a false sense of invincibility, the “I’ll never get caught but if I do, I’ll survive” syndrome.

Kathryn Jean Lopez in a National Review column begs America to look in the window:

“What he (Edwards) wanted was sex. How can you blame him? After all, what else is there? Look around, the desire for sex dominates much of our culture, from Gossip Girl to Sex and the City, and often there are no real devastating consequences. Not even Billy Ray Cyrus — my heart goes achy breaky — can manage to protect his daughter from premature sexual exposure. Sex, often Pill-fully free of traditional and moral rules and expectations, is at the very center of American life. Why should we expect John Edwards to rein in his desires when people we know — ordinary folks — watch porn, read Playboy, and take their wedding rings off when it’s convenient? When we call marriage “sacred,” but don’t take a stand as judges threaten to redefine it? In our daily lives and in our culture, we’re not all that much better than John Edwards. So why should he be better than us?”

I can answer that. Because it’s the right thing to do, despite the temptations swirling all around us.

But she’s got a point. America’s morals are in desperate need of repair. However, it’s like when you were a kid and you were caught doing something bad by your mom, and you pleaded with her, “But Mom, Billy and Sam did it, too.”

Mom didn’t want to hear about and didn’t care about Billy and Sam.

Lots of people commit adultery. That doesn’t give the next married person a free pass. Not even if the innocent spouse has cancer, but is in remission.

Friday Night Live


Read more

The ELVIS edition of Week-ends: 2008


Thirty-one years ago today, Elvis Presley died at Graceland. The following is a special edition of my regular feature, Week-ends commemorating this anniversary.


In last year's special edition of Week-ends, I mentioned the legion of fans that make the annual trek to Graceland for ELVIS Week, and the rest of the year, they help keep the memories alive. This year, one of the many examples of how Elivs was a true hero.

This is the most touching story I could relate about Elvis, so heartwarming that it inspires and impresses non-Elvis fans, too.

The following is a true story that I hope you will take the time to fully read. There is a book and movie about this wonderful story about Elvis and a remarkable young girl that, unfortunately, are very hard to find.

Please read about the Elvis we rarely hear about:

"The movie, Touched By Love, was based on the book To Elvis, With Love. Lena Canada's now very rare memoir tells the powerful, true story of Lena's friendship and love for Karen, the young girl crippled and dying from the effects of cerebral palsy. It is also the story of the power that Elvis holds for many people. In Karen's case the exchange of letters and gifts between Elvis and her bring incredible joy and happiness to the remainder of her greatly shortened life."

Read the entire article.

In the movie, Karen is played incredibly by a very young Diane Lane. She is unresponsive until she hears and sees Elvis. Her nurse encourages Karen to write to Elvis, but Elvis doesn't write back. Undaunted, little Karen keeps writing and writing, even though her daily trips to the mailbox in her wheelchair yield nothing. This goes on for quite some time, until finally.......

That's where we pick up the movie in this lengthy, but very touching clip (11:00 minutes). 

Read more

Retired detective weighs in again on MPD chief's plan to help GOP Convention

My blog opposing MIlwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn's desire to send 36 officers to St. Paul to assist with security at the Republican National Convention got immediate reaction from a retired MPD detective. He's back with more commentary and I must concur:

Crowd control, civil disturbance training has always been part of the curriculum at the Milw. PD Training Academy; required training for recruits and in-service classes. Training aides are readily available for such classes. If such disturbances should occur within the city while Academy classes were in session, they would stop the classes and convey the officers to the scene and not have to wait for them to return from St. Paul where these officers are receiving a "valuable knowledge and training experience." 

Perhaps members of the Milwaukee Common Council could attend the similar governing bodies of other cities to learn how to convene a special session to address the rent-a-cop brainstorm of Chief Flynn.

Will Flynn volunteer sending Milwaukee officers to the Democrat's convention? To spew that "public safety in our city will be unaffected by the temporary mutual aid assignment in St. Paul" diatribe is folly, given that burglaries, a major felony crime, have increased in Milwaukee according to Chief Flynn.   Tell the victims of residence burglaries that they didn't suffer a 'safety issue.' Then tell those same victims that the deploying of 36 additional officers to their neighborhoods wouldn't make their highly taxed areas safer. 

Mrs. Hegerty's mandate that officers will not respond to burglar alarms, in my opinion, assuredly contributed to the increase in burglaries reported. As far as this being a 'mutual aid'=2 0favor, can you imagine a convention of this magnitude being scheduled in Milwaukee?  I think not, given the lack of convention facilities here. Would the St. Paul PD reciprocate if Milwaukee hosted a convention of such enormity?  I really wonder if their city fathers would allow that. 

“We would have the same number of officers we always have had conducting patrol duties on our streets,” Chief Flynn said.  So NOT true Chief Flynn. 36 officers is the approximate number comprising a District shift here. Add that to the large number of officers on earned vacations here.  If Milwaukee officers want to volunteer to work political conventions while on vacation, let them do so with Chief Flynn's permission and not on his order to do so! 

I can well imagine that the extreme numbers of hooligans in/near St. Paul will commensurately increase the commission of felony crimes there.  Will Flynn volunteer to send a large number of our detectives to assist in major crime investigations in/near St. Paul?  Hmmmmm....I wonder! If allowed, the Milwaukee officers with the "unique training opportunity" given in St. Paul would put the Milw. PD at the top of the list for 'mutual aid' at the upcoming Democrat convention. I predict the Common Council here, if they learn how to convene a special session, will intelligently deny Flynn's request.  I prematurely thank them for their diligence in deflecting Flynn's ridiculous proposal.

Retired Milwaukee cop        

"He is magical...he is Superman"

If you missed it....

When does Michael Phelps race again?

Phelps' 8th and final race, the men's 400 meter relay is at 9:58 tonight Milwaukee time.

The finish of his 7th race....Phelps on the right, Serbia's Cavic on the left


(Nick Laham/Getty Images)

UPDATE, 8/17/08, 11:45 AM

The Barking Lot


That’s a rough Irish translation for “Dogs Rule!”  And they do, at Irish Fest.  The Celtic Canines area at Irish Fest is, of course, my very favorite.

Oh I do love those curly-haired little girls dancing their hearts out on stage.  Corned beef sandwiches?  Bring ‘em on!  There is one particular jeweler we always stop at and more often than not, I end up with a new Claddagh “bauble.”  And then there’s the Tipperary Tea Room… About four years ago, Kevin and I had their Irish Mist torte.  We fell in love with the moist Irish Mist liqueur-soaked cake and heavenly butter icing so much that we inquired who actually made the cake.  Turns out it is made exclusively for Irish Fest by Suzy’s Creamcheese Cakes.  It also turns out they are willing to make it for your wedding, if you ask nicely! 

But this blog isn’t about dancers, sandwiches, jewelry or cake.  It is about D-O-G-S.  Sure, GermanFest has their Dachshund races and they are fantastic.  But while GermanFest highlights only ONE breed, IrishFest showcases MANY breeds.  Trust me, I stop at every one of them, pet at least one of each breed, and then beg Kevin to get me a Soft Coated Wheaton terrier.  We’ve come home with many souvenirs over the years and have yet to have it be a puppy. 

As I tour the area wearing my “Dogs of Ireland” T-shirt (no lie!) patting and petting and swooning, I also enjoy talking to the proud owners.  I strongly encourage you to learn about these magnificent breeds from the people that know them best.  The dogs are all so different from one another.  But the common theme is “adorable.”  For example: 

The silky chestnut strands of the Irish Setter...

.... glisten in the August sun.

The wiry-looking coat of the Irish Wolfhound...

 ... is surprisingly fun to pet, and you can’t help but compare their size to a small pony.

The energetic Irish Terriers...

... are always fun. Watching their antics makes me smile. They know they are the stars, and that the people in the area are there for THEM.

Other “Dogs of Ireland” include the Kerry Blue Terrier...

Read more



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...


New Yorkers, and the woman they tried to save.

The amazing Michael Phelps.

Let's not forget Jason Lezak......and all our Olympic athletes.

Ted Nugent


Jeff Pelo

Tom Anderson.......ABC Video interview.

Vandals in Sheboygan

Whoever was behind this.


"Dream as big as you can dream and anything is possible. I am sort of in a dream world. Sometimes I have to pinch myself to make sure it is real."
U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps, after winning his 7th gold medal at the Olympics.

"It goes to show you that not only is this guy the greatest swimmer of all time and the greatest Olympian of all time, he's maybe the greatest athlete of all time. He's the greatest racer who ever walked the planet."
1972 U.S. Olympian Mark Spitz, on Phelps.

"At this time we would like to declare an emergency and also have CFR [crash equipment] standing by in St. Louis."
Just 41 seconds after discovering he no longer had full control of the plane's up and down movements, a pilot talking to an FAA air traffic controller. The campaign plane carrying Barack Obama last month was owned by Midwest Airlines. According to FAA tapes released this week, the incident was more serious than originally thought. At the time, an FAA spokesperson said the pilot did not declare an emergency and Midwest Airlines said safety  "was never an issue."

"Russia rolls over Georgia, Hillary Clinton does the same to Barack Obama. Now we know who's boss. Obama blinked and stands guilty of appeasing Clinton by agreeing to a roll call vote for her nomination. . . . It was supposed to be his party. Now it's theirs. His and hers."
Michael Goodwin in his New York Daily News column

"What if you have an 18-year-old daughter who has a breakdown in one of these dark zones?"
Jay Sorensen, a Shorewood resident who noticed burned out lights one night in February as he drove home from the airport. The Journal sentinel reported, “Nearly four out of every 10 streetlights along I-794 and the Lake Parkway are burned out, leaving motorists to drive without the guidance of that familiar orange glow spilling down from above as they cruise the expressway late at night.”

"You tell your kids not to jump into a stranger's car alone and why that's dangerous; tell them why they shouldn't travel the Internet highway alone and why it is dangerous."
Wisconsin State Attorney General, J.B. Van Hollen said his office has identified approximately 15,000 computers in the state that are being used by sexual predators to exchange child porn and sexually explicit chat rooms.

“Of course, the Democratic Party is breathing a giant sigh of relief. What if Edwards had won the nomination? They’d be looking at the prospect of their nominee engulfed in a sexual scandal that makes Bill Clinton look like a prude. Since Edwards didn’t win, the only harm to the Democrats is that yet another one of their heroes has been exposed as a lying lout. He joins a large club.”
WISN talk show host Mark Belling in his weekly column.

“I am vetoing this proposal because it is unfair to raise the vehicle registration fee from $75 to $95 for only City of Milwaukee residents. At a time when residents are already grappling with increases in food and fuel prices, a 26% increase in the vehicle registration fee and a complete elimination of the responsibility of other property owners is not the road to go down.”
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett vetoing the proposed city of Milwaukee wheel tax.

"If Milwaukee dramatically increases the number of kids who take the ACT, we'll no longer be in the number one or two in the country. We're going to drop. If the state of Wisconsin wants to be one or two in the ACT, they're going to have to figure out ways to help Milwaukee kids do better."
MPS board member Terry Falk. Wait a minute. Terry, you’re on the school board. Figuring out ways to make Milwaukee kids do better…isn’t that your job?

"Here we are in 2008 and it's early August, and we're already seeing problems I'm very concerned that we're going to see more problems throughout 2008."
Mark Jefferson, executive director of the Republican Party of Wisconsin. The liberal group Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) fired about a dozen of its Milwaukee election registration canvassers for registering voters multiple times as a way to avoid having to actually register new voters to reach their performance goal of 20 voters a day.

"This is the very reason I have fought for photo ID in order to receive a ballot. We have added more names on the voter rolls, and we still have no idea if the person that is handed the ballot is truly that person.”
State Representative Jeff Stone (R-Greenfield)

“Unfortunately, the GOP will use any excuse to call for the use of voter ID. If it rains too hard, they'll say it's because people aren't required to show their driver's licenses when they vote."
State Representative Joe Parisi, a Democrat from Madison, throwing his hat into the ring for dumbest quotes of the year.

“We don’t make this deployment lightly.  We know that our first obligation is to the citizens of the city of Milwaukee. I understand my responsibilities to my city, but . . . none of us can handle national security events alone.”
Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn explaining why he wants to send 36 officers to St. Paul to assist with security at the Republican National Convention.

“I’m not sure we can afford, from a manpower standpoint, to send 36 officers to St. Paul.”
Milwaukee Alderman Bob Bauman


A police chief's #1 prirority is to serve and protect his community. Then why does Milwaukee Police Chief want to put the city in jeopardy while he sends 36 officers to essentially patrol streets and guard doors and keep an eye on dignitaries at the Republican National Convention?


The mainstream media refuses to report how dangerous their anointed one, Barack Obama, really is.


Michael Phelps.............deservedly so.


Hold the pickles, hold the lettuce, special orders don't upset us. Just pass the soap.

Could you two keep it down, We're trying to get some sleep.

Special delivery.

The USC football team can beat a lot of opponents, but what about this?

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.

Former FranklinNOW blogger: Facts are not his friends

In my blog last Sunday, "The Smear Against Mark Carstensen,” I challenged Franklin bloggers Greg Kowalski and John Michlig to be very sure about their facts:

“I urge anyone who reads their blogs to question everything they write, especially Kowalski who has a history of blogging anything he wants without facts or substantiation other than rumor and his feelings. Make sure you read carefully for proof and evidence. If they’re going to attack and smear someone, they’d better have the goods. They need to back up anything they say when they write about this in the future, or risk a complete loss of credibility.”

Former FranklinNOW blogger Greg Kowalski will simply never learn.

In his haste to blast Franklin Mayor Tom Taylor, whom Greg is always, always, always ripping, Greg posted yet another irresponsible blog on one of his three blogs last night (My gosh, he can’t even get one blog right and he’s doing three?).

Greg made two accusations against Mayor Taylor: 1) That Taylor refused to attend Bank Mutual’s ribbon cutting ceremony at 51st and Rawson Thursday, and 2) Mayor Taylor high-tailed it out of town AFTER  Alderman Lyle Sohns filed a letter with the Mayor’s office questioning how complaints have been handled about a property adjacent to the barren Fountains of Franklin site at 56th and Rawson. Mayor Taylor, Greg noted, put Common Council President Steve Taylor in charge while the mayor went camping.

Greg wrote, in part:

"I was told that Mayor Taylor was not at the Bank Mutual ribbon cutting ceremony Thursday afternoon. Instead, it was found out that he was at his office in City Hall at that time."

This morning, Alderman Taylor busted the young gumshoe’s chops, leaving this comment on Greg’s blog:

FYI....I was with Mayor Taylor at the Bank Mutual Ribbon Cutting for over a hour and a half. I also knew that he would be out of town before the letter from Alderman Sohns was even sent.


Posted by: Steve F Taylor | August 16, 2008 at 09:10 AM

Greg, Greg, Greg….

I’ll say it for the 543rd time, even though you won’t listen. You got to get your facts straight, boy! This isn’t some movie or restaurant review.

Let’s go through this in an orderly fashion that maybe Greg can understand.

1) TOM Taylor is the mayor.

2) STEVE Taylor is the Common Council President.

3) TOM can appoint STEVE in charge whenever TOM goes out of town.

4) This is August.

5) August is a summer month.

6) People take vacations in August.

7) Mayor Taylor planned for this vacation well in advance of any Sohns letter. He even informed Alderman Taylor he’d be handling the reins.

8) Mayor Taylor was, indeed, at the ribbon cutting.

9) A simple phone call would have verified #8.

10) Greg was in such a sweat to slam Mayor Taylor with a negative headline, MAYOR VANISHES, that he did what he does so often….writes without supporting arguments, or thinking. He assumed he was doing damage to the mayor when, in fact, he was only harming himself.

That’s quite an omelet Greg is wiping off his face, I’d say.

But as another blogger once said, and it bears repeating, he's such a whippersnapper!

City leaders across the state, take note

home values went up, barely, at 1% last year. That’s the smallest increase in over 20 years.

I hope city leaders all across the state, especially now at budget time, are paying attention. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports, “The 1% growth in home values will squeeze cities as they struggle to live under a 2% cap in their property tax levies for 2009 and don't know what health care and gas and diesel fuel will cost, said Rich Eggleston of the Wisconsin Alliance of Cities.”

It’s simple. Inflation is increasing. Food and gas prices are high. Our taxes are some of the highest in the nation. Families are struggling to get by. Local units of government need to make tough choices and put the clamps on spending.

That means as budgets are prepared, city officials must decipher between needs and wants. If a budget item is unaffordable, serious consideration should be given to dumping it. The well (the taxpayers) has been tapped too often and too much. There isn’t as much to give anymore.

I hope city leaders are paying attention. Their track record would suggest otherwise.

Hostage McCain riots to have Sunday services

In case you missed it, John McCain gave a fascinating interview to the Chicago Tribune about faith, and rioting against his Vietnam captors in an effort to have Sunday services.

McCain talked about how his faith was tested during his years as a prisoner of war from 1967 to 1973, said God must have had a plan for him to have kept him alive, and reminisced about his appointment as informal chaplain to his cellmates.”

Recommended reading today…

My most popular blogs

Most popular

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

1) Here's a shock

2) Photos of the Week (8/10/08)

3) Culinary no-no #68

4) Another reason to despise the French

5) Culinary no-no #67

Photos of the Week

Photos of the Week

 Wounded South Ossetians stay in a hospital shelter in the South Ossetian capital of Tshinvali, August 10, 2008. Russian troops took most of the capital of the separatist Georgian region of South Ossetia on Sunday after a three-day battle but the United States condemned Moscow's "dangerous and disproportionate" action. Russia poured troops and tanks across its southern border into tiny Georgia and bombed Georgian targets after Tbilisi attempted on Thursday evening to retake South Ossetia, a small pro-Russian province which broke away from Georgia in the 1990s. From Reuters Pictures by REUTERS.

Wounded South Ossetians stay in a hospital shelter in the South Ossetian capital of Tshinvali, August 10, 2008. Russian troops took most of the capital of the separatist Georgian region of South Ossetia on Sunday after a three-day battle but the United States condemned Moscow's "dangerous and disproportionate" action. Russia poured troops and tanks across its southern border into tiny Georgia and bombed Georgian targets after Tbilisi attempted on Thursday evening to retake South Ossetia, a small pro-Russian province which broke away from Georgia in the 1990s. (reuters photo) 

Read more

How about Michael Phelps' mom!

You have seen her often during the Olympics. Deborah Phelps is the most famous mom in America today.

She has been an inspiration to her son, Michael, and she’s had to be. She separated from her policeman husband when Michael was 7 years old. That’s when he first learned to swim, even though he was petrified of putting his head underwater.

Watching her son compete this past week has been “no vacation.”

Another view on Ed Flynn/GOP Convention

I have blogged some e-mails from a retired MPD detective who strongly opposes Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn’s desire to send 36 of our officers to St. Paul to help out with the Republican National Convention.

Another retired MPD official, former detective Glenn Frankovis, whom I respect a great deal, has a not the perspective. He wrote a letter to the editor of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel today:


Milwaukee cops should help staff convention

Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn wants to send officers to help provide security at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, and the Milwaukee Police Department will receive training and experience at no cost to the City of Milwaukee taxpayers. Officers will be able to bring that training and experience back here where it can be used if we ever host a similar conference where protesters are expected.

As a City of Milwaukee taxpayer and lifelong resident of Milwaukee, I don't have a problem with Flynn sending troops to help St. Paul. It's not like we'll be the only outside agency helping them, and if you check out the RNC Web site, you'll find the protesters' Web site linked to it. Protesters have a strategy of disruption endorsed by a large number of other protest organizations, including three from Milwaukee. If we're going to send Milwaukee protesters, then the least we can do is send some of our troops.

Crime in Milwaukee is trending down due to Flynn's leadership. If he believes he can do this for a short period of time without sacrificing efficiency, then I trust and support him.

Glenn D. Frankovis
Retired captain, MPD

From a practical and procedural perspective, I still contend this is a bad move.

Culinary no-no #69

Culinary no-no's

When in Rome, do as the Romans do.

My wife, Jennifer told the waitress at Elvis Presley’s Memphis Restaurant she wanted the fried peanut butter and banana sandwich. Jennifer paired it with a chardonnay. That combo is not our culinary no-no, but if you ask a Frenchman, he might have a different opinion.

The Beale Street restaurant closed and is now the site of the EP Delta Kitchen and Bar.


The EP Delta Kitchen and Bar does not have one of the King's favorites, the fried peanut butter and banana sandwich on its menu, and no, that's NOT our culinary no-no, but it certainly could be. I mean, c'mon.

This past week was ELVIS WEEK. Thousands of Elvis fans make the sacred sojourn to Memphis to commemorate the anniversary of the King of Rock and Roll's death, August 16, 1977. So it's only fitting this week's culinary no-no focus on this sandwich Elvis made famous.

The fact is there's nothing wrong with a fried peanut butter and banana sandwich from a purely appetizing standpoint. If we're talking healthy, file under culinary nightmare. A recipe for the sandwich submitted to the Chicago Sun-Times has the following nutrition information:

Nutrition facts per serving: 486 calories, 31 g fat, 11 g saturated fat, 33 mg cholesterol, 45 g carbohydrates, 13 g protein, 546 mg sodium, 4 g fiber

Imagine the flaming dessert Bananas Foster. You've got those bananas swimming in butter and brown sugar and cinnamon and vanilla ice cream and rum. If you toss in some Skippy's, I certainly wouldn’t complain. Fried peanut butter and bananas..yeh, I could see it at Kopp's next August.

It’s when you start messing with or experimenting with other alterations to the peanut butter sandwich formula that the red flag goes up.

The Peanut Butter & Co. Sandwich Shop in the heart of Greenwich Village has some rather different variations of the popular peanut butter on white:

Peanut Butter & Co. Sandwich Shop Menu

Flavored Peanut Butter Sandwiches

The Heat Is On’s  Sandwich
Spicy Peanut Butter and chilled grilled chicken, with a little bit of pineapple jam. Like a Thai satay - only better.

Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Sandwich
Cinnamon-Raisin Peanut Butter and vanilla cream cheese, stuffed with crisp apple slices. Cr-runch!

White Chocolate Wonderful Sandwich
White Chocolate Peanut Butter and orange marmalade. Like a peanutty creamsicle.

Dark Chocolate Dreams Sandwich
Chocolate Peanut Butter and cherry jam, stuffed with shredded coconut. It's peanut butter meets black forest cake.

John Dreyer of the Christian Science Monitor discovered people who admitted to eating peanut butter and mayo,  peanut butter and fried eggs, peanut butter, bacon, and honey on toast,  peanut butter and pickle sandwiches, peanut butter  and bologna, fruit and yogurt peanut butter sandwiches, and peanut butter  and kimchi (the Korean pickled vegetable dish).

And people say Elvis was strange?

Here's another odd one for you. They serve it at Mo's in, where else, Burbank, California. Click here, scroll down the menu to the Burger section and read the description for Foggybottom Burger.

Suddenly the fried peanut butter and banana sandwich sounds pretty tasty. And it's fairy easy to make.

Don't be cruel. Don't disrespect the fried peanut butter and banana sandwich. And by all means, no peanut butter and mayo or bologna in the kids' lunches when they head back to school!


Buckhorn isn't on the Franklin Common Council's why

All of Franklin is outraged at the actions of
Eddie Lynn Keck, who awaits sentencing for running down and killing a West Allis couple in Franklin last Christmas after being over served at the Buckhorn, a Franklin bar. One can certainly understand the anger and frustration at the slow-moving wheels of justice in this case. I blogged in the past that the city of Franklin has left itself open to criticism at the way the entire Buckhorn issue has been handled.

There’s an outcry as to why the Franklin Common Council isn’t taking any action on the one area it has leverage in this controversy: Buckhorn’s license. Like it or not, there’s a specific process that is being followed.

I spoke with Franklin City Attorney Jesse Wesolowski today to get some answers. You’ll recall that several months ago, Franklin named Greenfield City Attorney Roger Pyzyk as the special prosecutor in this matter. I attempted to speak with Pyzyk today for a status report but he was unavailable and is getting back to me.

Pyzyk’s responsibility is to examine the case and make a recommendation. His recommendation could be to strip the license, plea bargain, take action against the bartenders and/or the establishment, or do nothing.

Pyzyk’s recommendation will be submitted to the Franklin Common Council’s License Committee comprised of Aldermen Tim Solomon, Steve Taylor, and Kristen Wilhelm. Solomon years ago was instrumental in changing the city’s licensing procedure that now incorporates intensive reviews by building inspectors and comprehensive reports submitted by Franklin Police.

The License Committee can then conduct a hearing before being required to prepare a written report with its recommendation to present to the full Common Council. Then the Common Council can convene and take action.

At the moment, the ball is in the special prosecutor’s court. Pyzyk has yet to sign off on the case with his recommendations. When he does, it’s then up to the Franklin License Committee to take up the matter before the full Council ultimately acts.

I would submit that most residents aware of the Buckhorn controversy want swift action. That won’t happen until the special prosecutor wraps up his part of the investigation.

Journal Sentinel poll question laughable

In light of an investigation showing MPS has all these empty buildings after a $102 million spending spree to fill neighborhood schools failed miserably, the Journal Sentinel asks online readers the following poll question:

Do you trust MPS to make sound financial decisions?

Are they serious? That’s like asking Packer fans if they respect the Bears.

Poll results thus far…

Pro-infanticide Obama says his critics are liars

Barack Obama has been trying to cover up his votes in favor of infanticide. His latest defense: His detractors are liars.

Prove it, Mr. Obama. That’s the challenge that’s been issued by National Right To Life. Here’s a news release issued today by Wisconsin Right To Life about the most dangerous Presidential candidate ever, a man who favors killing live babies that survive abortions:

Obama Accuses the National Right to Life Committee of Lying
For immediate release: Monday, August 18, 2008

Last week the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) released documents that proved that Barack Obama has been blatantly covering up his actions as an Illinois state senator to actively defeat legislation to protect the lives of born, living, breathing babies who survive abortion attempts.

The documents included records from the Illinois state legislative committee Obama chaired that revealed that Obama voted for language clarifying that a Born Alive bill would not in any way affect
Roe v. Wade. But shockingly, Obama turned around and voted against the amended bill which contained the language he claims to this day would have made the bill acceptable to him. "Obama was caught red-handed in his attempt to deceive the American people when NRLC released these official documents, "said Susan Armacost, Legislative Director for Wisconsin Right to Life.

Over the weekend, Obama continued the cover-up when he told CBN News correspondent David Brody that NRLC is lying about his actions on the Illinois Born Alive bill. Obama said, "I have said repeatedly that I would have been completely in, fully in support of the federal bill that everybody supported -- which was to say -- that you should provide assistance to any infant that was born -- even if it was as a consequence of an induced abortion. That was not the bill that was presented at the state level. What that bill also was doing was trying to undermine Roe v. Wade."

Then Obama attacked NRLC by telling Brody, "So, for people to suggest that I...somehow in favor of withholding life saving support from an infant born alive is ridiculous. It defies commonsense and it defies imagination and for people to keep on pushing this is offensive and it's an example of the kind of politics we have to get beyond. It's one thing for people to disagree with me about the issue of choice, it's another thing for people to out and out misrepresent my positions repeatedly, even after they know that they're wrong."

Douglas Johnson, NRLC Legislative Director, has issued the following challenge to Obama: "We now challenge Obama to either declare the two 2003 documents to be forgeries and call for an official investigation, or else apologize for his four years of misrepresentation on the issue of babies who are born alive during abortions -- and forcalling us liars."

"This issue is not going to go away, " said Armacost. "Obama is still blatantly trying to cover up his infanticide votes and the American people deserve to know the truth."

Contact: Susan Armacost

Obama is no Jesus

One of my favorite columnists is the very blunt, irreverent Doug Giles. While the mainstream media ignores the barbaric, horrific abortion views of the Messiah, Giles is one of many columnists who continues to keep the leaser beam focused on this important issue that isn't going away. Giles writes:

“Barack doesn’t represent hope or change, unless of course you’re an American-based euro-socialist or . . . or . . . an unborn child who’s queued up for an abortion. To the unborn baby, or fetus, as the hopemeister would call you, you’re about to change—but it isn’t for the best. But that doesn’t matter because Obama’s Jesus is cool with your eradication, you little pest. Next!”

Read the entire piece. Giles, as always, is exceptional.

Kobe Bryant, hero; Chris Collinsworth, idiot

LA Lakers star and U.S. Olympian Kobe Bryant put NBC's Chris Collinsworth in his place when Collinsworth questioned if Bryant's patriotism was "cool"?


It's quite revealing. Even the sports media thinks Americans shouldn't be proud to be Americans.

Good for you, Kobe!

I'm on WISN

This Friday, I fill in for Mark Belling on Newstalk 1130 WISN from 3-6.

Not cool

I'm sorry, but...

Henry Winkler unveils the Fonzie statue this morning. Journal Sentinel Photo/Gary Porter

That statue does NOT look like the Fonz.

Franklin School Board approves salary increases for Superintendent Patz, others

I have learned that the Franklin School Board at its June 25, 2008 meeting approved a salary increase for Superintendent Steve Patz as well as salary increases for other District Administrators and certain District non-represented employees. Patz and his office confirmed the salary increases. This is the first time this information is being reported.

The School Board approved a 3.9% increase for Patz who is in the second year of his contract. I reported in my blog, Do NOT cry for any school superintendent” that prior to the Board's action, Patz’s annual salary was $150,000. The increase approved by the Franklin School Board would hike his salary to $155,850. Governor Doyle’s annual salary is $137,092.

The vote in favor of the increases was 5-0. School Board member David Works voted to abstain. School Board members discussed the salaries in closed session, then voted in open session. It is certainly open to debate whether Patz, who already had been signed to a lofty contract, deserved an increase after one year on the job. The actual percentage of the increase is not out of line.

Here’s what I find alarming and totally outrageous. As I’ve documented many times on my blog, last year, the Franklin School Board, at the direction of Business Manager Jim Milzer, approved a property school tax levy increase they thought was 5.6%. Milzer told the Franklin School Board the night they voted for the school budget that the increase was 5.6%. It turned out weeks later after I reported it on my blog that the increase was actually just under 12%.

To date, there have been no ramifications for Milzer who has not been held accountable for his fleecing of the taxpayers. Instead, he’s been rewarded with a huge raise.

Milzer’s previous salary was $119, 893. On June 25, the School Board voted 5-0, with Works abstaining, to increase Milzer’s salary by $14,090. That’s an 11.75% increase, Franklin taxpayers. Milzer’s new salary is $133, 983, putting him in the same ballpark as Governor Doyle.

All total, besides Patz, 61 district employees got raises. Keep this information in mind as the Franklin School Board goes through another round of budget deliberations. Remember all the “woe is us” stories about school districts being cut to the bone with fewer and fewer resources at their disposal.

During a brief, but pleasant chat with I had with the Superintendent, Patz told me there’s a greater emphasis on accountability to the public within the School District. I hope so. It starts with being upfront and open about how you’re spending the taxpayer’s money.

Schools or prisons?

It’s an argument you often hear from the left about spending priorities. If only we’d take a large chunk of that money we allocate for corrections and put it, instead, towards education.

In this spending spree state we call Wisconsin, we’re not cheap when it comes to our prisons, no doubt about it.

The Wisconsin Family Council recently released the comprehensive Wisconsin Cultural Indicators, an overview of important indicators that impact Wisconsin’s best natural resource: traditional families. According to the report:

“Expenditures per inmate have increased over the last several decades. Between 1970 and 2003, per inmate expenditures increased nearly 9 fold in Wisconsin from $4,505 to $40,096 per capita. In 2003, Wisconsin ranked 15th among the states in the amount of total state corrections expenditures. During this year, Wisconsin spent over $9 billion on state corrections. Since 1960, the adult prison population in Wisconsin has increased 8 fold, and between 2000 and 2005, there was a 66.7 percent increase in the adult prison population.”

Yes, we’re locking up lots of bad guys, and yes, we’re paying a pretty penny to keep them incarcerated. But make no mistake, the cost of corrections isn’t short-changing our commitment to education. From Wisconsin Cultural Indicators:

“Expenditures on public primary and secondary education in Wisconsin have increased to $9.9 billion for the 2006-07 school year. In 2005, Wisconsin’s per student spending was 15 percent higher than the U.S. average per student spending.  During this same year, Wisconsin’s average spending per student was $10,605 compared to the U.S. average of $9,207.”

So, we aren’t cheap when it comes to school spending, either. Education is the largest expenditure in the entire mammoth state budget.

Corrections vs. education doesn’t have to be an either-or proposition, nor should it. Money spent on public safety is a wise, if I may use the word liberals always use as code for spending, “investment.” Again, from Wisconsin Cultural Indicators:

“According to the Wisconsin Office of Justice Assistance, a violent offense was committed at a ratio of one every 32 minutes, 23 seconds in 2006. In 2006, there were 165 homicides (one every 2 days, 5 hours, 5 minutes), 1,241 forcible rapes (one every 7 hours, 3 minutes), 5,634 robberies (one every 1 hour, 33 minutes) and 9,183 aggravated assaults (one every 57 minutes, 14 seconds).”

Earlier this year, 
the Pew Center on the States’ Public Safety Performance Project reported that at the end of 2006, Wisconsin had 23,431 inmates. One year later, at the end of 2007, Wisconsin had 22,690 inmates. That’s a decrease of 741 inmates, or a 3.2% decline. Wisconsin is bucking the national trend of locking up more prisoners.

In fiscal year 2007, according to this report, Wisconsin spent $890 million, or 6.7% of the state’s General Fund. How does that compare to education spending in Wisconsin? In fiscal year 2007, Wisconsin spent $1.214 billion on education.

Is the cost of corrections too expensive? It would cost more NOT to lock up criminals.

Crimes of rape, robbery, assault, personal and household theft, burglary, and motor vehicle theft cost victims of crime in America billions of dollars each year according to the U.S. Department of Justice. These costs include losses from property theft or damage, cash losses, medical expenses, and amount of pay lost because of injury or activities related to the crime.

The National Center for Victims of Crime also keeps crime statistics:

• Crime is estimated to create $105 billion in medical expenses, lost earnings, and costs for victim services. Factoring in the intangible costs, such as pain and suffering and a reduced quality of life, brings the total estimated cost of crime to $450 billion annually.
• Victims of violent crime and their families received benefits totaling $442.3 billion in federal fiscal year 2003.
• Medical expenses were 48 percent of all victim compensation payments in 2003; economic support for lost wages for injured victims and for lost support in homicides comprised 21 percent of the total; and 12 percent went toward mental health counseling for crime victims.
• Reported burglaries resulted in an estimated monetary loss of $3.5 billion, with an estimated average of $1,626 per burglary.
• In 2003, the average value of property stolen due to larceny-theft was $698. Cumulatively, $4.9 billion in property was stolen.
• The average monetary value of motor vehicles stolen in 2003 was $6,797. The total value of stolen motor vehicles was $8.6 billion.
• The average dollar loss due to arson offenses was $11,942 per offense in 2003.

When it comes to corrections and education, there doesn’t have to be a choice. We’re already spending more than half of our state budget on education. Cutting back on corrections would only make our streets less safe and cost us a lot more in the long run.

I hope the Obama's were watching and listening

Sanya Richards was supposed to win the gold medal in the women’s 400 meters competition in Beijing. Richards had licked the unusual illness, Behcet’s syndrome to solidify herself as the favorite.

For most of the race, Richards appeared headed to the gold medal spot on the winner’s platform.  But at 320 meters, she knew her hamstring “grabbed up” on her. Somehow, she managed to not only finish the race, but end up in third for the bronze. Most athletes would be happy with that finish, but not when you’re expected to brink back the gold.

The classy Richards consented to an interview with NBC following her defeat, and she told a global audience that the race wasn’t about Sanya Richards, but about our country, one that she’s very proud of.

Even in her despair and depression, in her lowest of moments, she found it in her soul to express love for the United States. Compare that to Mrs. Barack Obama who didn’t feel proud of the U.S. until her husband gained fame. Compare that to Barack Obama, who finds it difficult to express even a modicum of patriotism.

Even if Obama is victorious in November, he’ll never be the winner Sanya Richards is.

Are you paying attention, Franklin School Board?


(After the taxpaying public had been swindled into believing the school administration’s lies that the increase would be less than 6%)


Let’s move to the Fox Valley.



Are you sitting down?



Neenah reduced its school tax levy by over 15%!

Of course, we couldn’t possibly make a substantial cut in our levy, could we? My goodness, we’d have kids going to class in trailers. By the way, what ever happened to those things anyway?

There’s talk our levy increase will be less than 4%. After the heist pulled on us last year, I’ll believe it when I see it.


A woman's worst nightmare

Most of us, if not all, know someone or some family that has been victimized by breast cancer. The daughter-in- law of a good friend of mine for the past 40 years is facing a double mastectomy. The young woman is only in her early 20’s.

A special golf event has been planned for her to assist with her medical bills and treatment. I’ll have more on how you can help very soon.

Last fall, I blogged about and discussed on WISN what I consider to be a special group of women. They are courageous heroes in MY book. Free from cancer, yet at risk because of family history, these women take the extraordinary step of having both breasts removed before cancer can set in. This band of phenomenal women is collectively called, “Previvors.”

Today, they have a role model they can look up to, a spokesperson that can heighten awareness. Often, it takes someone with celebrity status to make an impact on the many afflicted with the same medical issues, a la Magic Johnson and AIDS.

The USA Today highlights the decision by actress Christina Applegate to have a double mastectomy when she could have opted for a less dramatic surgery. Make sure you also read the sidebar story, “She took preventive action.”

God bless these incredible women, their strength, and their courage.

Actress Christina Applegate (R), star of the ABC network series "Samantha Who", is interviewed by Robin Roberts on ABC's "Good Morning America" in New York August 19, 2008 in this video frame grab from ABC. Applegate told Roberts she is free of breast cancer after having both of her breasts removed to combat the disease. Applegate, who revealed her diagnosis in early August 2008, had the double mastectomy performed a month after her diagnosis and plans to have reconstructive surgery in the coming months.

Actress Christina Applegate (R), star of the ABC network series "Samantha Who", is interviewed by Robin Roberts on ABC's "Good Morning America" in New York August 19, 2008 in this video frame grab from ABC. Applegate told Roberts she is free of breast cancer after having both of her breasts removed to combat the disease. Applegate, who revealed her diagnosis in early August 2008, had the double mastectomy performed a month after her diagnosis and plans to have reconstructive surgery in the coming months. REUTERS/

New Presidential poll should have Democrats worried

Democrats, even though they won’t admit, have to be feeling very squeamish. Their perfect candidate, the smartest, most brilliant man God ever put on this planet who do can do absolutely no wrong, just ask the American media, is slipping badly in a new poll.

According to a Reuters/Zogby poll, and remember Zogby historically skews Democratic, John McCain now leads Barack Hussein The Messiah Obama by five, count ‘em, five points. That double digit lead? Gone. Evaporated. Disappeared.

McCain is seen as more experienced, more dependable in a crisis, more Presidential. And scoff if you will, but those Paris Hilton commercials…..they’re working, and the lefties know it.

Here’s what has to be most devastating to Democrats. The Pied Piper effect among the most impressionable voters, the young who haven’t paid much, if anything in the way of taxes, is shrinking. The Kool-Aid has worn off and the eyes are opening.

Reuters reports, “Obama's support among voters between the ages of 18 and 29, which had been one of his strengths, slipped 12 percentage points to 52 percent. McCain, who will turn 72 next week, was winning 40 percent of younger voters.”

Oh-oh. Heart up in throat.

There's more.

“The dip in support for Obama, who would be the first black U.S. president, cut across demographic and ideological lines. He slipped among Catholics, born-again Christians, women, independents and younger voters.”

Obama is expected to name a running mate soon. Unless it’s a real jaw-dropper, he won’t get much help in the polls. If he picks the lackluster retread Joe Biden, his numbers could stay flat or even drop a bit.

Candidates always get a bounce from their conventions. Obama will get his first, then McCain. The point is these polls are fluid and do change. They should be taken with a grain of salt.

However, this new Reuters/Zogby poll is cause for concern on the left. Obama is showing a steady decline with voters across the board. Could it be, the more America hears him, sees him , and actually takes time to think about him in the White House, the less they like him?

I think so.

She let her son live, and today, he's famous....very famous

College football is right around the corner, and with all the anticipation comes talk about pre-season polls and Heisman Trophy candidates.

I’m a Notre Dame and Wisconsin Badger fan, but let’s face it. No one from either team is winning the Heisman, the trophy awarded to college football’s best player.

he pre-season favorite? Florida’s Tim Tebow. Fox Sports says:

“In becoming the first sophomore to win the Heisman a year ago, Tebow also became the first quarterback to rush for 20 touchdowns (he had 23) and throw for 20 (he had 32) in the same season. Now he'll try to become the second player after Archie Griffin to win two Heismans. Looking at the way Tebow runs the spread offense under Florida coach Urban Meyer, there's little reason to doubt Tebow will win it again.”

Tebow owes his chances for the Heisman, more so than any other individual, to his mother.

OK all you lefties, line up single file, click your heels and repeat after me...




MPS waste $$$? Tell me about it

On Friday, August 29, I will tape InterCHANGE at Milwaukee Public television Channel 10, like any other Friday, and when the taping is concluded, I will change from suit and tie into far more comfortable clothes and head to historic South Stadium near 10th and Windlake on Milwaukee’s south side.

I recall local historian and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel columnist John Gurda having once written in booklet on Milwaukee’s south side side that South Stadium is one of the oldest facilities in the city of Milwaukee, period. I’ve been crawling around the stadium for 40 years, initially as a fan whose father who took tickets let his little boy inside so he could watch games. I graduated to ticket taker, security, chain gang member and finally to public address announcer, a duty I’ve proudly served since the mid 70’s.

Friday, August 29th, West Bend West will play Milwaukee South Division in a who-cares, non-conference football match-up. I will arrive and head to the entrance gates. Security guards who know me will not subject me to the obligatory metal detector test.

I will make my way up to the South Stadium press box situated on the north end of the stadium, across from the bleacher seating on Becher Street. No one is allowed to sit on the press box side of South Stadium. It was condemned decades ago. Too many people in the stands could cause a collapse. MPS has done nothing in more than two decades to remedy the situation.

As I walk through the stands that used to be packed with thousands of fans every Friday and Saturday in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s, I walk over rocks, stones, broken glass. When I walk the numerous steps up to the press box and take my seat inside, the ancient facility is filthy, dusty, dirty. The windows, if the gangs haven’t broken them, haven’t been washed in ages.

Will the PA work without an annoying buzz? Fingers are crossed.

The bathrooms are atrocious. The locker rooms are spartan, at best, for the teams and officials. The South Stadium crew, veterans all, know just about every official and coach who’s ever walked inside the stadium gates. The visitors know they will be treated royally, albeit in a once hallowed ballpark that is now a neglected toilet.

The games go on, fans who’ve never been to South Stadium marvel at the red brick structure unlike any other in the area, but those of us who’ve been kicking around the old place know this is an old gray mare that ain’t what it used to be.

So where am I going with this?

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel this week has written a not so surprising series that MPS has spent millions and millions of dollars for empty classrooms. A total waste.

Meanwhile, I’ve trudged into South Stadium every year since 1965, for football and soccer. There were many days and nights the stadium was overflowing. There were many times the crowds were sparse. But there was always a crowd, huge or embarrassingly small. Historic South Stadium was NEVER, EVER empty, even during a blizzard on the last football night of the season one year back in the 80's between South and Muskego.

MPS will spend millions and millions of dollars on empty classrooms, yet it won’t spend a dime on a landmark, historic facility that actually draws people for one of the few areas the school district excels: athletics.

What can I say? That’s MPS.

Milwaukee turns wussy over motorcycles

Less than 24 hours after the city of Milwaukee  paid homage to the Fonz, the motorcycle-riding, coolest of the cool characters from the popular 70’s TV show, “Happy Days,” Milwaukeeans are moaning and having a hissy fit about the 105th anniversary of Harley-Davidson.

The party begins next week, and already, in typical backwards Milwaukee fashion,  wussy townsfolk are complaining about the impending noise, and it appears even Hartley has caved in to the crying.

Hogwash, I say.

There’s something thrilling and exciting to not only see those wonderful bikes, but to hear their roaring thunder.

Milwaukee, could we please put our provincialism on hold and accept these wonderful bikers into our home for just a few days?

Certainly we can tolerate those roaring engines just as we can accept the sound of those cash registers ringing from all the cash those Harley enthusiasts will drop.

For heaven’s sake, you fuddy duddies, park your complaints for just a couple of days, relax, and thank your lucky stars that Milwaukee is fortunate to host such a colossal event.

Harley riders, welcome to Milwaukee! Love that trademark sound of the engine that made Milwaukee famous!

Who says the clergy have no sense of humor?


Great moments from Women's volleyball

Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh become the first team in beach volleyball history to win back-to-back Olympic titles.

If you scroll 47:11 into the video of their gold medal match, it’s worth watching what May does after the contest and hearing what Walsh says to the Commander-in-Chief.

How can you not love these two!

Very nice!

Misty May-Treanor, Kerri Walsh

Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh flank President Bush, who visited the beach volleyball courts during their practice on Aug. 9. (Mandel Ngan / AFP/Getty Images)

Read more

Friday night on InterCHANGE

Here are the topics for InterCHANGE Friday night at 6:30 on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, with a repeat Sunday morning at 11:00. The panelists are Gerard Randall, Joel McNally, and someone to replace me TBA since I will be filling in for Mark Belling.


The polls are starting to show the race between Obama and McCain is tightening up.  Why is Obama losing his big lead?  Will both candidates get a big bump following their respective conventions?  Any predictions about who each will select as his running mate?

2 – MPS.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel ran a very thoroughly researched series this week about how MPS spent millions of dollars building and improving facilities at neighborhood schools throughout the district.  It was supposed to attract more families to their neighborhood schools, and cut down on the amount of money spent on bussing.  The series concludes that the program was a failure.  It concludes that most of the schools haven’t attracted more students, it hasn’t stopped bussing, and hasn’t improved test scores.  What happened?  Should the district just force people to go to their neighborhood schools, and not allow students to be bussed out of their own neighborhoods?  Did private school choice doom this dream of neighborhood schools?  Should the money have been spent on more teachers?  More security? Can anything save MPS?


There’s a push to lower the drinking age from 21 to something between 18 and 21.  Does that make any sense?  Will it go anywhere?  The federal government pressured all the states into increasing the drinking age by threatening to do away with federal highway money.  Was that a smart move?  Did it work?  Did it save lives?  Are college campuses more dangerous places because kids who can’t legally drink just go out and binge drink instead at campus house parties?  If you’re old enough to fight in a war, should you be old enough to have a beer when you get home?  Would 19 be a good compromise?

Guest blogger on This Just In...FRIDAY!

Friday I will be working and then running over to WISN to once again fill in for Mark Belling.

J.Gravelle of The Daily Scoff asked if he could guest blog here on Friday. I considered his idea and thought, why not! He seems like a regular Joe with a good sense of humor, and his blog is very good. So watch Friday to see what insights J. has to offfer.

I’ll be back later in the day with Friday Night Live. Saturday, it’s The Barking Lot with Mrs. Fischer, and Week-ends. Sunday brings us Photos of the Week and the ever-popular Culinary no-no.  And lots of stuff in-between.

Who would you name the Memphis airport after?



Now think about that for a moment.

It wouldn’t take me very long to answer, that’s for sure.

If you had the final say on whom you would re-name the Memphis International Airport after, who would get your vote?


I believe there is but one answer: Elvis, naturally.

One could make an argument for B.B. King, whose name is legendary on Beale Street.

How about Isaac Hayes?

The soul singer who recently passed away should have his name permanently associated with the Memphis airport according to a local Congressman.

I had the good fortune of meeting Isaac Hayes and seeing him in concert, and he was an outstanding talent. The Congressman, no doubt, means well. But his idea might turn out to be divisive.

He needs to simply forget it.

Here’s the story.

Franklin? The DNR?


Two sisters, ages 11 and 3, sold vegetables roadside, much like the time-honored tradition of kids setting up lemonade stands.

Their biggest sellers: melons and zucchini.

That is, until authorities shut them down. Their crime: operating a commercial enterprise in a residential area.

Did this happen in Franklin? After all, the story of the week in our humble, quiet little city has been that WE MUST ENFORCE ALL ORDINANCES! 

Gee whiz, even though we just hate beyond hate to do it, if there’s a complaint about an ordinance violation, WE MUST ENFORCE ALL ORDINANCES!

Can’t wait till the police start pulling people over for going 36 in a 35.


The girls apparently may not have had the proper permits to sell their squash. That sounds like the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources could have been involved because they insist you get a permit to have a permit that takes three years or your first-born, whichever comes first.

Allow me to remove tongue from cheek. This story didn’t happen in Franklin, and this is one time the dastardly DNR isn’t playing hardball.

DATELINE: Clayton, California

Did you get an 11.75% raise this year?

The Franklin School Board recently approved salary increases for the Superintendent (3.9%), Business Manager (11.75%), and dozens of other school district employees.

Either the School Board wasn’t aware of the following reported by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in June, or just doesn’t care about fairness or the ability of the taxpayers to fund these public sector salary hikes.

Stagnant pay increases projected for 2009

A survey of compensation plans in Wisconsin and Minnesota projects continued pay stagnation in 2009.

The consulting firm
Compdata Surveys said today that employers plan to pay raises of 3.58% on average this year and project the same rate next year, little changed from 3.73% in 2007.

The Kansas City, Kan., firm said that budgets for raises have been relatively unchanged nationwide.

"There has been a prevalent trend towards stagnant pay increases for several years," Amy Kaminski, manager of marketing programs for Compdata Surveys, said in a statement.

The company based the report on its annual survey of 147 companies in Wisconsin and Minnesota employing more than 151,000 workers.

Franklin, Wisconsin: Way Better than Franklin, Arkansas

By Guest Blogger J. Gravelle

, WI [ JG* ] I usually write about stuff I want to write about. But filling in for Mr. Fischer's "Franklin Now / This Just In" blog sort of requires me to maintain some sort of regional interest and appeal, so that I alienate as few of his readers as possible while he's busy alienating as few of Mr. Belling's listeners as possible.

The problem is that, despite a quarter century spent in the metro-Milwaukee area, I'm ashamed to say that I know very little about the community of Franklin.  I've never been arrested there (though not for lack of trying) so I can't say much about the police department or court system.  Oh, but I have eaten at the Taco Bell on 76th street, so obviously I'm somewhat familiar with the Franklin Public Works Department.  Mad props on your sewage capacity, yo.

I recently started working with a guy who mentioned that he lived in Franklin at one time, so I asked him what he thought of the community.  He called it "nice".  I asked him to elaborate, and he said "Why?"  At that point, I realized my line of questioning probably seemed a little like the flirtatious small-talk of a potential stalker, so I just walked away with both of us feeling a little creeped out by the whole conversation.

Vowing not to repeat that ugly incident, I went straight to the foremost authority on southeastern Wisconsin communities: Wikipedia.

Turns out, there are cities throughout the country named "Franklin".  Like ours, they were named to honor one of the most beloved and revered people in our nation's history:  Aretha Franklin.  Okay, maybe I didn't read read that part very carefully, but here's my point:

Our Franklin is way better than most of the other Franklins.

The Wisconsin Franklin, for example, is a lot more convenient to get to.  It's pretty much a half hour from anywhere around here.  The rest of 'em are scattered haphazardly all over the map.  There's no discernible pattern to the way they were distributed either, although my kid connected them with a crayon and I'll admit, it looks a little like a turtle. 

Coincidentally, there's a kids' TV show about a turtle named Franklin. It's a pretty good show. You should watch it.

So... um, I guess that's my guest blog about Franklin.

Kev will be back soon, but probably not soon enough...

J. Gravelle
(*Gravelle usually writes for the, and from now on, we'll probably make him stay over there)

Do Somethin', Would'ja?

By Guest Blogger J. Gravelle

Okay, here's the problem.  Apparently, Mr. Fischer has spoiled his regular readers by providing them with hard-hitting, topical, newsworthy content.  Now, in his absence, I'm expected to do likewise.  But frankly Franklin, you're not really giving me a lot to work with here.

The most exciting story I could find with any local relevance (reported here) was about a lady from Franklin getting her glasses stepped on by a lady from Delafield.  Not only is that THE most newsworthy story to hit Franklin in the past 24 hours, but I'd wager it's pretty much the talk of the town in Delafield too.  I'm supposed to comment on THAT?  Um, okay.

Hey... uh, don't... you know... don't step on each others' glasses.  That... that ain't right.

Sorry, but that's about all I can milk outta THAT dehydrated news-udder.

What's wrong with you people?  You and your peaceful, quiet, serene and tranquil suburban lifestyle.  I can't write about THAT.  Geez, get outta the house more often, hey.  Would it kill you to shoot your lawnmower?  Maybe slap your weed whacker around a little?*  Throw me a bone here, would'ja?

You all gotta pay more attention to Cudahy...

 J. Gravelle
[ Gravelle usually writes for the  We tried to get him to stop submitting articles after the last one, but he won't stop typing. ]

*I don't really condone slapping your weed whacker.  Not only is it bad for the weed whacker, but according to my grandma, it's bad for your eyesight too... -jjg

RFP = Ripe For the Picking

By Guest Blogger J. Gravelle

The City of Franklin has their "Community Calendar" online, allowing you, the  concerned citizen to monitor the activities of the people you've hired to spend your money.

Next Wednesday, August 22nd, your "Technology Commission" is getting together.  Their published agenda is online [HERE].

I'm bringing this to your attention for a couple of reasons.  Firstly, the evening's itinerary includes a discussion of a "Request For Proposals".  A government RFP is to tech contractors (like me) what the Country Kitchen Buffet is to Gilbert Brown.  There's a reason Uncle Sam gets charged $640 for a toilet seat... he'll pay it.

Well, you'll pay it.

If you bothered to open the agenda (and you really should have) you'll note that the RFP item and everything else of interest is denoted with one or two astarik-- astrasix-- asstorisk-- um, starry-thingies.  The footnote indicates that all the details are in the attachments which (darn the luck) aren't available online.

Those attachments contain all the meat and potatoes from the aforementioned buffet.  It could be filet mignon with Gratin Dauphinois, or a burger and fries.  There's no way of telling.

(I know... I can spell "Dauphinois" but not "asterisk".  Weird, huh?)

In any event, you're in luck because agenda item #4 is "Website Development - Phase II", which MIGHT give you the opportunity to pipe up and say "Hey!  I want all the starry-thingy items online from now on!"  I say "might" because item #4 itself refers to offline attachments which could very well indicate that the only thing being considered in "Phase II" is a tribute to the beloved American that the City of Franklin was named after who, I'm embarrassed to discover, isn't Aretha Franklin after all.

Turns out, it's Bonnie Franklin.  Man, do I feel stupid.  But at least I'm not buying $640 toilet seats.

Are you?

J. Gravelle
[ Gravelle, normally of the DailyScoff blog, is apparently off his meds.  We've been assured he'll be fine as long as we allow him to keep typing.  If he makes eye contact with you, just smile and nod...]

Thanks, J. Gravelle!

Thanks for holding down the fort while I was at WISN.

But as they say in show biz, don't call us, we'll call you.

Nice job, my friend.

You WILL take the bus, Sonny!

Here’s another example of environmental elitists running amok with their desire to impose their wacko policies so they can control our lives.  In this case, it’s the lefties who rule our college campuses literally taking students out of their very own cars and forcing them to find another way to get to class.


Putting murder accomplices to death

Couldn’t get to this on WISN but it’s an intriguing issue.

If you didn’t kill anyone, but were still involved, should you get the death penalty?

A scheduled execution Thursday was put on hold so the case can get further review.

Before you dismiss the idea, I have two words for you: Charles Manson.

Friday Night Live


Good evening and welcome to Friday Night Live, our summer series looking back at late night TV concert appearances from the 70’s, with an occasional trip back to the 60’s.

Tonight’s guests performed on NBC’s The Midnight Special.

She hosted the very first Midnight Special, and would be a frequent host. Wolfman Jack, The Bee Gees, and Helen Reddy hosted more of the Midnight Special programs than any other performers.

Reddy gained instant fame with this anthem.

Read more

Michael Phelps is too dull

Topics talked about on WISN

That's the absurd asssessment of Chicago Tribune columnist Eric Zorn.

Ok, Phelps isn't brash, bold, cocky, and doesn't change the color of his hair as oftenas Dennis Rodman. To that I say, so what!

Here is Zorn's column I read on the air Friday on WISN that drew a ton of reaction.

Nebraska's Safe Haven Law not at all like Wisconsin's

Topics talked about on WISN

Wisconsin has a Safe Haven Law designed to prevent the abandonment of infants.

From a column written by state Senator Sheila Harsdorf:

“On April 3, 2001, Wisconsin became one of 14 states to adopt a safe haven law.  Under the legislation signed by Governor Scott McCallum, newborn children believed to be under the age of 72 hours may be surrendered into the custody of a law enforcement officer, emergency medical technician (EMT), or hospital staff member.  If a parent is unable to travel to such a location, the parent may utilize the “911” emergency telephone number wherein a law enforcement officer or EMT would be dispatched to take the surrendered child into custody.  The parent who surrenders the child is given complete anonymity and confidentiality, provided that the child is unharmed in any way.  The newborn is then placed for adoption.

According to a study by the National Institute of Health and published in the New England Journal of Medicine, between 1983 and 1991, approximately 1350 infants were killed before reaching 4 months of age.  140 Infants were killed in their first day of life, with 130 of those not being born in hospitals.”

The Safe Haven Law is no longer unique. All 50 states have one, with Nebraska becoming the 50th state to put one on the books last month. However, Nebraska’s law is far different from the other 49. I talked about it on WISN Friday.

Read how Nebraska’s Safe Haven Law goes much too far.

The Barking Lot

The Barking Lot

Last night I met a two-month-old puppy named Mario.  He was a liver and white Springer Spaniel.  While my Skippy was a BLACK and white Springer, petting Mario nonetheless brought back some wonderful memories of Skippy’s puppyhood.  Needless to say that encounter melted my heart and made me wish we had four paws to greet us when we got home.

Then I was surprised to read that my “type” isn’t the most likely to even want to own a dog, much less be as obsessed about them as I am.  “How can this be?” I thought.  I am the PERFECT candidate for owning a dog.  I’ve grown up with dogs, I realize the time and dedication it takes to own them.  I understand the heartbreak of having a sick pet euthanized.

Me?  Not a dog person?  I don’t take dog ownership lightly!  I’ve read the American Kennel Club’s suggestions on finding the right dog based on temperament, size, etc.  I’ve read the similar tips from the Westminster Kennel Club on finding a dog to match your lifestyle. 

Hmmm…  I guess it was just my fate to be born between January 21st and February 19th.  It seems we Aquarians are the least likely to own dogs:

OK, so you aren't the most likely of all the Sun Signs to own a dog, but those of you who crave a dog to call your own will want to consider the gracious Rhodesian Ridgeback. This is a breed of intelligence, which you can appreciate, and is also very independent and willing to follow the road less traveled with you. Just keep in mind that they have very intense sight and sound triggers, so they will wander off if something stirs their curiosity.

Kevin fared better in his astrological assessment of dog parenthood:

The American Staffordshire Terrier (Amstaff for short) is a confident dog that makes a very loyal and devoted companion for the Ram. They have a rep for being slightly aggressive - something you can relate to! - but your dedication to training them correctly will make all the difference in their demeanor. Amstaffs are very trusting and amiable but can be stubborn at times; however, if you assert yourself like a true Aries can, they'll be your compliant companions.

Read the entire article on picking your dog by zodiac sign here. 

Why can I see Kevin trying to use the fact that I fall under a certain Sun Sign to his advantage?  I can hear him now:  “Well, Jennifer I WAS going to get you a Soft Coated Wheaton Terrier this Christmas.  But now that I know Aquarians aren’t the most likely fit for dog ownership, I think we’ll just get a goldfish.”
----Jennifer Fischer

Or a hamster.

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

Ok, who do you side with: the cop or the dog owners?

Cities are considering breed-specific dog rules.

Congratulations, humans. You're actually teaching your dogs morals.

You also determine how bright that dog of yours is.

Come aboard the canine cruise!

That's it for this week. On behalf of Jennifer, thanks for checking out The Barking Lot.

Remember, those summer games in Beijing may soon be over, but more Olympics are coming in December.


Read more



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...


This 8-year old

Homes For Our Troops

Mary Johns

Everybody knows Michael Phelps, but don't forget Dara Torres


Alexander Nava

Patrick Kelly

Muggers in New York

Graffiti globetrotters

Gamblin' Grandma

Mayor of Clayton, California


"I think that the relationship between people that are great is they have a common thread of knowing how to beat their competitors and they know how to constantly be in shape and in top form. If that's the case, I'd know everything about how to beat Michael. He'd also know everything to beat me. We'd have to tie."
Former Olympian Mark Spitz, on Michael Phelps.

"A massive building expansion by Milwaukee Public Schools has saddled the district with tens of millions of dollars worth of vacant or severely underused school additions."
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

"When you build a school, you're building it for over 100 years. If we would have put up shanties and put up temporary buildings . . . that would have been very shortsighted."
MPS Superintendent William Andrekopoulos, who gave his support after the building program was underway.

“I’m not interested in a power grab. I’m interested in MPS performance. But confidence is not high right now.”
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said he is seeking private funds for an outside audit of Milwaukee Public Schools aimed at restoring shaken public confidence in the district.

The bottom line is we have to be aggressive with this when you already have a number of exposed examples where there is serious problems with these voter registration drives. Who knows how many more unreported problems [there are]?"
Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker indicating he is not satisfied in his answers from the Milwaukee Election Commission on voter registration problems in the city. Walker asked the commission to review every voter registration card after it intercepted hundreds of incomplete and some potentially fraudulent cards submitted by workers. Several dozen workers face referral to the Milwaukee County DA for suspected fraud.

Every card that comes in here we scrutinize."
Milwaukee Election Commission Executive Director Susan Edman responding to Walker.

It sets up Milwaukee to become a 'tax island' and unfairly places the sole burden of street repaving on residents when so many others benefit including commercial, non-profit and manufacturing properties and absentee landlords."
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett after vetoing a proposed $20 vehicle registration fee in the city.

I think the Common Council did the right thing today. I thought it was very statesman-like. I appreciate their willingness to come here in August and vote on something that is a national security issue."
Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn, commenting on the Milwaukee Common Council's vote during a special meeting Tuesday to send 36 officers to help provide security for the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota.

"I have decided that in this time of budget deficits for the state, I don't think it is right to accept a full-time salary for what should be a part-time job."
81st Assembly District candidate Tim Kiefer announcing his proposed 50% salary cut. Kiefer is running against Waunakee Village President John Laubmeier, Madison restaurant owner Peng Her, former lobbyist Eric Englund, state Senate legislative aide Justin Sargent and former NARAL Pro-Choice Wisconsin Executive Director Kelda Helen Roys. Since no Republican is running for the seat, the winner of the Sept. 9 partisan primary will get the job.


It's not exactly a news bulletin, but we certainly got more evidence this week:

MPS is a failure.


About the story that whites will become a minority by 2050...


Just who will Obama pick as his VP? It doesn't matter. Obama is still the most liberal member of the U.S. Senate, a huge tax and spender, and given his record and stances on abortion, the most dangerous candidate to ever run for President. Besides, he chose a lightweight with a capital "L."


Wisconsin couple each win lottery.

You stab your estranged husband's pet lizards, you will pay.

Government screwing up? NO WAY!

Government screwing up? NO WAY, PART TWO.

ecord fish caught with Barbie doll pole.

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.

So, what happened to that "Dream Ticket"?

It wasn’t too long ago that the Democrat Party and their wholly owned subsidiary, the mainstream media, were all abuzz about the “Dream Ticket,” a supposedly unbeatable force, Obama and Hillary Clinton. ABC News helps us remember:

A number of high-profile Democrats had publicly pushed for a so-called Obama-Clinton "dream ticket".

"If you really want a winning ticket, this is it," Sen. Diane Feinstein, D-Calif., said in a June interview on "This Week with George Stephanopoulos". "I've looked at every other possible candidate. No one brings to a ticket what Hillary brings -- 18 million people committed to where she's going."

Feinstein and other Clinton allies argued the wide support she received during the primaries from white, blue-collar workers, women, Hispanics and older voters would boost Obama's chances in key battleground states.

"I think she has the qualifications to be president, and I think she would be very strong as a campaigner. So you're doing the two things that need to be done to be qualified," New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine, a Democrat, said July 30 on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

Other Clinton supporters had publicly suggested the former first lady would have been the nominee had news of former Sen. John Edwards' affair with Rielle Hunter broke during the Democratic primaries.

"I believe we would have won Iowa, and Clinton today would therefore have been the nominee," former Clinton communications director Howard Wolfson told

"Our voters and Edwards' voters were the same people," Wolfson said the Clinton polls showed. "They were older, pro-union. Not all, but maybe two-thirds of them would have been for us and we would have barely beaten Obama."

A small minority of Clinton supporters are even refusing to vote for Obama, arguing Clinton won the Democratic primary's popular vote if Michigan and Florida votes were fully counted -- though Obama's name wasn't on the Michigan ballot and both primaries were held early against the will of the national Democratic Party.

"I really don't care who he chooses as vice president because I'm not going to vote for him regardless," Democrat Will Bower recently told

Bower is the co-founder of PUMA, which stands for Party Unity My A**, a Washington-based group urging Clinton to fight for the nomination all the way to the party's convention next week in Denver.

But other former Clinton backers argued the former first lady would have outshone Obama -- a no-no for any running mate or vice president.

"She is such a towering personality that she could have occupied a great deal of media real estate on her own, complicating Obama's challenge of communicating who he is directly to the public," said Chris Lehane, a Democratic strategist and former Vice President Al Gore's presidential campaign spokesperson in 2000.

Democrats in disarray in Denver. Love it.

Read more

Wacky news from the DNC in Denver

The host city is defending its secret jail built just for the event.

And we all know that on the patriotism scale, Barack Obama is at about a “1.” Take a look at the credential to see him speak at the Convention.

And the doggone thing hasn’t even started yet. Oh, I’m sure it’ll get even better.

Union fool, you will vote the way we tell you to vote!

When you belong to a union, you are expected to do what you are told and when and how to do it. You are not expected to exercise your own judgment. You will pay your dues and then perform like trained seals.

I Thank God I don't belong to a union, that I have a mind of my own, and that no one, no one coerces me on how to think and how to vote.


Winter wonderland double-whammy

First we hear this.

On top of that, we now get this news.

And we stay here, why?

Elvis on top...again!

ELVIS #1 this week on the Billboard Music DVD chart.

Rape/incest victims who refuse abortions

Topics talked about on WISN

Many opponents of abortion will support the procedure when a woman is a victim of rape or incest, believing it is the only sensitive, sympathetic and appropriate solution. But the assault victims say no one has bothered to ask them how they feel.

Only a few studies have been done on the subject and I admit my surprise to learn that many women who’ve been assaulted choose to go through with their pregnancies. Most that did are glad they had their babies. Most who had abortions regretted their decisions.

I spoke about this topic that I have never heard brought up on radio while filling in for Mark Belling Friday on WISN. If you missed the program, you can hear the podcast that will be available until 6:00 pm Monday night. The discussion is in Hour One.

The key point is that the women were violated once and didn’t want to go through another traumatic event.  Women who did have abortions felt the trauma was as bad as or even worse than the assault itself.

I admire women who forego abortions after being victimized, but I personally could not and would not criticize them for choosing to abort in such cases.

A group has been formed to lobby Congress and state legislatures around the country to hold hearings on this rarely discussed issue. Here’s their petition:

Petition to Congress and State Legislators
from the Ad Hoc Committee of Women Pregnant by Sexual Assault (WPSA)

We, the undersigned, having each experienced a pregnancy resulting from rape or incest, hereby petition the U.S. Congress and individual state legislatures to hold public hearings at which we and other women who have become pregnant from sexual assault will be invited to discuss our unique needs and concerns. The reasons for such hearings are set out below.

Every year, legislators, judges, and other policy makers discuss the problems of women who have become pregnant as a result of sexual assault. These discussions take place without ever first soliciting our input. In most cases, it is only in the context of highly divisive debates over abortion that we are discussed. In virtually every case, those people who claim to be defending our interests have never taken the time to actually listen to us to learn about our true circumstances, needs, and concerns.

We are deeply offended and dismayed each time our difficult circumstances are exploited for public consumption to promote the political agenda of others. This is a grave injustice. In pursuingtheir political agendas, these exploiters have reduced our concerns, needs, and circumstances to a crude caricature.

Those who claim to represent our interests have never sought our authorization to represent us. They do not know us, understand us, or truly care about us. Just as we were once used, without our consent, to gratify the sexual desires of others, so we continue to be used, without our consent, to gratify the political goals of others.

Only we who have actually experienced a sexual assault pregnancy truly understand the trauma, fears, concerns, and needs of our sisters who are, or will someday become, pregnant as a result
of rape or incest.

Each year, thousands of women will face this experience. Unless society at large begins to listen to us today, these other women will, like us, face great difficulty in finding authentic understanding and help.

The issue of sexual assault pregnancies is both delicate and complicated. Even women who have been sexually assaulted but did not become pregnant can only speak in terms of their own fears rather than their actual experience. Only women who were or are pregnant by sexual assault can knowledgeably testify about this experience.

Our experiences are varied. Many of us carried our pregnancies to term. Some of us raised or are raising our children, while others placed our children in adoptive homes. Others of us had
abortions. In many cases, we felt pressured to abort by family members, social workers, and doctors who insisted that abortion was the “best” solution. For many the abortion caused physicaland emotional trauma equal to or exceeding the trauma of the sexual assault that our abortions were supposed to “cure.”

We are the only ones who can bear witness to our real experiences
and our real needs. How long will you refuse to listen to us?


Read more

My most popular blogs

Most popular

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

1) Culinary no-no #69

2) Kobe Bryant, hero; Chris Collinsworth, idiot

3) Former FranklinNOW blogger: Facts are not his friends

4) I'm on WISN

5) How about Michael Phelps' mom!

Photos of the Week

Photos of the Week

Sgt. LeRoy Watkins embraces his family at the National Guard Armory in Enid

Sgt. LeRoy Watkins embraces his family at the National Guard Armory in Enid, Okla. on Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2008 before departing to Fort Hood, Texas before deploying to Iraq. (AP Photo/Enid News and Eagle, Candice Budgick)

Read more

Culinary no-no #'s 70, 71, 72 and 73

Culinary no-no's

This week, no one large culinary no-no entrée to chew on. Instead, a few smaller appetizer-like items to sample.

Let’s begin with Culinary no-no # 70, a famous cartoon character and his exploits around the pool.


Read more

I hate being misquoted

Topics talked about on WISN

The fact that people disagree with me is not breaking news. I take strong stands and always try to back them up with rational thought and facts.

What I have no patience for is being misquoted. I get misinterpreted frequently, and that’s bad enough. But there is no excuse for being misquoted.

I’ve been doing radio and TV in this market for over 30 years. I’m not alone in being victimized by being misquoted. It happens often. When I worked at WTMJ, I can’t begin to tell you how many telephone calls I received from listeners who swore that I or another newsperson said or reported something when we never did.

On Friday while filling in for Mark Belling on Newstalk 1130 WISN, I opened with what I consider an extraordinary topic that to my knowledge has never been addressed on local talk radio: rape/incest victims and why they make the, as I said numerous times on the program, incredible, inspirational decision to go through with their pregnancies.

My entire focus was to present the issue from the perspective of the assault victims and explain why they refuse to abort. My phone lines were flooded, and everyone who called in got on the air. I didn’t hang up on anyone. I did get agitated with some pro-lifers who misunderstood my position. Apparently, I was too honest in saying that I do have the utmost respect and admiration for the women who keep their babies, but I could understand the decision of those who choose to abort and would not criticize them for it. Never did I say the abortion was the right choice. Some pro-lifers wanted to turn this very specific discussion into a general debate on abortion whereas I wanted to keep the focus narrow.

A respected friend, fellow conservative blogger Dad29 wrote a follow up blog after my show. He makes two brief references to yours truly:

“(It can also be inferred that Kevin Fischer has a distaste for Pro-Life Wisconsin types; on yesterday's show he referred to people who objected to abortion-for-rape-and-incest-victims as "zealots," a term which has ALWAYS been a slur.)”

And later in his blog:

“And if being pro-life means that Kevin calls me a "zealot", so be it.”

There’s a major problem here. I never said the word, “zealot.” Not once. I did express great respect for the pro-life movement, so why would I use that term?

I listened to the podcast and there’s nothing wrong with my hearing. Never is the word, “zealot” that so angered Dad29 mentioned. I confirmed with WISN that my entire show was put up on the WISN website in a podcast for listeners to hear again and this entire segment was posted without edits. Dad29 swears I said the word, but as far as I’m concerned, he can stand on the highest mountain top and scream that to his heart’s content. The tapes don’t lie.

Dad29 says I have distaste for pro-life types. That is a blatantly false statement. He knows me personally and reads my blog. Anyone who thinks I’m not pro-life hasn’t been paying attention and has rocks in their head. Maybe Dad29 would like to talk to the people who run Pro-Life Wisconsin and Wisconsin Right To Life and get their opinion of me.

Dad29’s blog is not only false and misleading, it besmirches my reputation. It also attacks part of my livelihood, albeit part-time, that of being a radio talk show host, and I take that very seriously.

I expect this kind of garbage, and that’s exactly what it is, garbage, from the hateful left, but not from a friend. That’s why this makes me angry and very disappointed and I felt required a response. 

State Senator likens WMC to KKK

Back on August 9 in Shell Lake, the Executive Director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign Mike McCabe was invited to speak by the Washburn County Democratic Party. No surprise, McCabe went on a one-sided partisan tirade against business lobby group, Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC).

That bastion of outstanding journalism, the Spooner Advocate reported:

“McCabe said Madison has changed greatly since he first began working there in 1981.

He said the way politics is done in 2008 would be ‘unrecognizable’ compared to 1981 politics.

The culprit, said McCabe, is the large amount of money in politics, especially the large amount of dollars going to political action committees (PALs), organizations that take donations without having to disclose their sources, while political candidates are required to disclose all of their donations and the law restricts how much individuals can give to each candidate.

McCabe repeatedly used Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC) as an example.”

Repeatedly is the key word. The article is 33 paragraphs and 1076 words long. McCabe is never quoted about WEAC, the state teacher’s union, nor does the reporter bring up that interest group and their immense political spending. The article concludes by quoting the local state Senator known for his bloviating who also takes a shot at WMC:

“In later comments, State Sen. Bob Jauch said more Democrats are needed in Madison to bring about needed reform.

Jauch was asked if the democratically controlled U.S. Legislature, Senate, and House had created any significant campaign reform after gaining control in 2006.

Jauch was unable to mention any federal reform.

He did direct some angry comments at WMC, which has placed issue ads against Jauch. He said the WMC acted like the Ku Klux Klan in bullying candidates.

‘Take the hoods off,’ Jauch said of the WMC.”

That is an obvious reference to the KKK that went unchallenged by the local reporter.

Now, can you imagine the avalanche of statewide criticism if a conservative elected official would make such an inflammatory, derogatory statement?

Jauch, who has a reputation in the state Capitol as a windbag, gets the silent treatment from the media that would be apoplectic if a Republican had made similar remarks. That’s called a double standard, folks.

Here’s a link to the Spooner Advocate article that requires registration with the newspaper.


Annual Meeting of Franklin School Board this Wednesday

This Wednesday, the Franklin School Board holds its Annual Meeting at 6:00 p.m. at the Education and Community Center, 8255 W. Forest Hill Ave. The community is invited to attend and vote on the proposed 2008/09 tax levy. 

The budget prepared by the administration calls for a 3.77% school tax levy increase. I submit it could be better but it sure beats the 11.7% increase from last year.

Let’s hope we can avoid the circus that occurred at last year’s meeting.

The wackiness has started at the DNC in Denver

Protesters are out in full force. Take a good look at Democrats in action.

Gives you goosebumps and fills you with so much pride, doesn't it, lefties?

I love the counter-protesters.



So far, so good in Harrold, Texas


It’s only been two days, but it’s awfully quiet in the Harrold, Texas school district where certain teachers are now allowed to carry guns in class. Before teachers can bring weapons to school, they must be approved by the school board based on their personalities and reaction to a crisis, must have training required for a state concealed weapons license, and must be trained to handle crisis intervention and hostage situations.

It was almost two years ago that Wisconsin Assemblyman Frank Lasee made national news for his proposal to let teachers in Wisconsin bring guns to class. Many people develop a knee-jerk reaction when they first hear this idea. I don’t dismiss it outright.

An advocate of conceal-carry, I can understand why some teachers, with the proper training, would want to, and should be able to have a weapon on hand for protection. In practically every school in America, if an armed individual gets inside, there’s virtually no one who can stop that person.

Law enforcement ignores illegal aliens

I have often blogged that we in America can be our own worst enemy when it comes to the fight against illegal immigration. We see it, we ignore it, thereby, we encourage it.

Case in point: a recent meeting in Wausau where Latinos complained to local officials about the availability of services and programs. They didn’t just complain, hell, they demanded access to taxpayer-funded amenities.  Some in the audience were admitted illegal immigrants. Here illegally, and yet they wanted
Social Security cards and driver's licenses.

Also attending the meeting were, according to the Wausau Daily Herald, Wausau Police Chief Jeff Hardel and Marathon County Sheriff Randy Hoenisch.

Think about that. Two law enforcement officials were on hand, yet no attempt was made to arrest known lawbreakers.

Did anyone raise the issue?


Did the reporter covering the meeting point this out in his article?


It seemed the only concern on the part of the guys in the room wearing the badges was that they wouldn’t be falsely accused of racial profiling. Can't upset their feelings now, can we?

Is it any wonder illegal aliens will do anything and everything possible to get here, and then stay here? Illegal immigrants know that once in America, the free ride can go uninterrupted, because we won’t do anything to stop it.

More wackiness from those crazies at the Democratic National Convention


Watch the warm, compassionate, highly intelligent, free-speech loving nutjob left go after a Fox News crew outside the DNC in Denver.

Read more

Hillary and the Democrats: Hypocrisy personified

Didn't Hillary spend all of 2008 telling us how awful Barack Obama was?

Read more

Remember, there is no voter fraud

Our elections in America are totally honest with absolutely no efforts to attempt to scam the system.


The Spain...falls mainly...on the...plain. FORE!

The ACLU and liberal editorial writers won’t like it, but I do.

The LPGA (Ladies Professional Golf Association) will require players to speak English. Beginning next year, players who have been LPGA members for two years will be subject to suspension if they can't pass an oral evaluation of English skills. The rule goes into effect immediately for new players.

As one tournament director said, “This is an American tour. It is important for sponsors to be able to interact with players and have a positive experience."

Part of the reasoning behind the rule is that it will improve opportunities for all players, on and off the golf course. The female organization needs a marketing shot in the arm to attract more fans and sponsors. Some advertisers have left due to the slumping economy. In the public relations scheme of things, it surely helps if the players and conduct interviews in English.

Watch for the obligatory cries of racism and the charge that the LPGA is being unfair.

Here’s the story.

Hey, Franklin, about that agreement to pay for an Interchange in Oak Creek.......relax!


I will give former FranklinNOW blogger Greg Kowalski this. He’s consistent, consistent in his irresponsibility.

The guy just doesn’t take the time to sit back, relax, take a deep breath, and THINK about what he’s going to blog. No, he prefers a mad dash to the keyboard to write something totally stupid. It’s a pattern with our young whippersnapper who likes to pawn himself off as a government watchdog. But if you’re going to do that, it helps if you’ve got your facts straight. Greg fails miserably.

The city of Oak Creek has asked that the city of Franklin share the costs of a potential Drexel Interchange. This has Greg’s undies in a bundle. Why, you’d think Cheesecake Factory was going out of business.

Greg likes to blog first and deal with any questions or related issues later. Because facts are not Greg’s friends, he naturally assumes that just because Oak Creek asked for Franklin to enter into a cost-sharing agreement, those nasty folks at City Hall that he despises will simply roll over and ask where to sign.

Let’s go to the transcript, shall we. From Greg’s blog earlier today entitled, “We truly need Franklin first”:

“As we all know, some Franklin aldermen will be pushing to spend Franklin taxpayer dollars on an interchange in the City of Oak Creek - - on I-94 & Drexel Avenue.”

As we all know? I didn’t know that…

“What I'm witnessing here, ladies and gentlemen, are some city officials boldly going where no elected official has gone before - - promoting to give our funds to an outside identity in the City of Oak Creek.”

Sounds like Greg probably blogged right after playing some Star Trek video game.

“To further my point towards our elected leaders, I'd encourage them to end the potential hypocrisy they'd be creating by supporting an Oak Creek project.”

There’s the whippersnapper, clearly writing that the decision by Franklin to share the costs of the Interchange with Oak Creek is a foregone conclusion.


Well, I admit I’m very curious!

So, I challenge Mr. Nobody Cares More About Franklin Than I Do, Mr. Woodward (Or is it Bernstein? No, that’s John Michlig), Mr. Franklin Watchdog. Please either e-mail me or write on one of your 13 blogs the answer to a simple question:


“As we all know, some Franklin aldermen will be pushing to spend Franklin taxpayer dollars on an interchange in the City of Oak Creek - - on I-94 & Drexel Avenue.”

“What I'm witnessing here, ladies and gentlemen, are some city officials boldly going where no elected official has gone before - - promoting to give our funds to an outside identity in the City of Oak Creek.”

“To further my point towards our elected leaders, I'd encourage them to end the potential hypocrisy they'd be creating by supporting an Oak Creek project.”

Give us the names, Greg. Who are they?

Folks, Greg can’t and won’t answer that simple question….


I’m not aware of any Franklin alderman supporting this idea.

And yet, Greg goes off half-cocked on his blogs, printing false information that is misleading to the public and unfair to the people he writes about. That’s why his credibility is around zero.

Death, taxes, and Greg Kowalski stepping in it.

Here’s more on the story that Greg bungled.

NOTE: There were some earlier technical glitches with this post that seem to have been rectified.

UPDATE: Hey, Franklin, about that agreement to pay for an Interchange in Oak Creek.......relax!

Earlier today, (despite a glitch that didn’t post my entry at the proper time) I wrote a blog criticizing Greg Kowalski for claiming Franklin aldermen were ready to agree to share the huge cost of a Drexel Avenue Interchange with the city of Oak Creek.

I cited several quotes from Greg clearly showing his belief that Franklin aldermen were ready to make this move. Greg quickly responded pointing to ANOTHER blog entry of his that he says proves his point.

Here’s a quote from that entry from Greg:

“What concerns me today is that our Council will most likely vote on this matter at the next Council meeting, and I think the votes are currently there for passing whatever dollar amount our elected leaders see fit. As far as I see this matter, it'll have at least 3 ‘solid’ votes for spending in Franklin - - Olson, Sohns, and Solomon.”

Greg can try to squirm all he wants to get out of this but he’s flat out wrong. From John Neville’s article today on

Franklin Alderman Timothy Solomon, who also serves as Finance Committee chairman, said he will consider a partnership with Oak Creek but not make a decision until he gets more data on the project.“Until I see an economic impact study (with) the benefits for the city of Franklin, I will not vote on this proposal,’" Solomon said. “Someone needs to figure out the benefit increase for each community.”

Franklin Alderman Steve Olson said Oak Creek has skipped steps by knocking first on Franklin’s door.“Coming to the city of Franklin for money at this point I don’t think is appropriate. (Oak Creek officials) haven’t approached any other players, including South Milwaukee and Milwaukee County, to involve them. Nor have they gone to the DOT and fought the case that this is a regional issue,” Olson said.

Doesn’t sound like “solid” votes for sending cash to Oak Creek to me.

You can’t blog that people are going to vote for something WHEN THEY’RE NOT. I don’t know why that’s so difficult for Greg to understand, but it is.

Finally, I hope that it isn’t lost in all this that Greg and I actually agree that spending Franklin money for a project entirely in Oak Creek is ridiculous.

TEST....this is only a test

This probably means nothing to you readers but the NOW site is having some technical problems with my blog. Some entries I wrote earlier today didn’t post and/or had inaccurate times posted.

The IT people at NOW are aware, have been and continue looking into it.

I’m not sure how much I’ll be able to blog tonight, and I hope the problems are fixed soon.

Putting poverty in perspective

Here we go again. News that Milwaukee has the 7th highest poverty rate in the nation is sure to bring out the usual cast of hand wringers, wailing and gnashing their teeth, crying out for the same tired old demands: a higher minimum wage, a redistribution of wealth, increasing taxes, creating more programs.

The headline could be considered alarming, but the entire poverty issue must be put in perspective. Just how poor are the poor? You’d be surprised.

Robert Rector wrote a paper for the Heritage Foundation in 2004 entitled, “Understanding Poverty in America.” Here are some key excerpts:

To understand poverty in America, it is important…to look at the actual living conditions of the individuals the government deems to be poor.

For most Americans, the word "poverty" suggests destitution: an inability to provide a family with nutritious food, clothing, and reasonable shelter. But only a small number of the 35 million persons classified as "poor" by the Census Bureau fit that description. While real material hardship certainly does occur, it is limited in scope and severity. Most of America's "poor" live in material conditions that would be judged as comfortable or well-off just a few generations ago.

The following are facts about persons defined as "poor" by the Census Bureau, taken from various government reports:

• Forty-six percent of all poor households actually own their own homes. The average home owned by persons classified as poor by the Census Bureau is a three-bedroom house with one-and-a-half baths, a garage, and a porch or patio.
• Seventy-six percent of poor households have air conditioning. By contrast, 30 years ago, only 36 percent of the entire U.S. population enjoyed air conditioning.
• Only 6 percent of poor households are overcrowded. More than two-thirds have more than two rooms per person.
• The average poor American has more living space than the average individual living in Paris, London, Vienna, Athens, and other cities throughout Europe. (These comparisons are to the average citizens in foreign countries, not to those classified as poor.)
• Nearly three-quarters of poor households own a car; 30 percent own two or more cars.
• Ninety-seven percent of poor households have a color television; over half own two or more color televisions.
• Seventy-eight percent have a VCR or DVD player; 62 percent have cable or satellite TV reception.
• Seventy-three percent own microwave ovens, more than half have a stereo, and a third have an automatic dishwasher.

As a group, America's poor are far from being chronically undernourished. The average consumption of protein, vitamins, and minerals is virtually the same for poor and middle-class children and, in most cases, is well above recommended norms. Poor children actually consume more meat than do higher-income children and have average protein intakes 100 percent above recommended levels. Most poor children today are, in fact, supernourished and grow up to be, on average, one inch taller and 10 pounds heavier that the GIs who stormed the beaches of Normandy in World War II.

Eighty-nine percent of the poor report their families have "enough" food to eat, while only 2 percent say they "often" do not have enough to eat.

Overall, the typical American defined as poor by the government has a car, air conditioning, a refrigerator, a stove, a clothes washer and dryer, and a microwave. He has two color televisions, cable or satellite TV reception, a VCR or DVD player, and a stereo. He is able to obtain medical care. His home is in good repair and is not overcrowded. By his own report, his family is not hungry and he had sufficient funds in the past year to meet his family's essential needs. While this individual's life is not opulent, it is equally far from the popular images of dire poverty conveyed by the press, liberal activists, and politicians.

There are two main reasons that American children are poor: Their parents don't work much, and fathers are absent from the home.

While work and marriage are steady ladders out of poverty, the welfare system perversely remains hostile to both. Major programs such as food stamps, public housing, and Medicaid continue to reward idleness and penalize marriage. If welfare could be turned around to encourage work and marriage, remaining poverty would drop quickly.

Read Rector’s entire paper.

Thank you...

Mark Maley and the IT team at NOW for working on earlier mentioned technical problems with my blog. Your work throughout the day today is greatly appreciated.

One Franklin blogger, Greg Kowalski, has decided to use his usual MO and try to make hay out of this by suggesting I blogged when I shouldn't have. (I seem to recall that he had technical problems as well when he claimed some conspiracy back when he blogged for NOW when his was the only blogger photo that wouldn't pop up from time to time on the home page). Keep in mind that this is coming from a guy who claims to have multiple day jobs.

Just this week alone, Greg Kowalski has blogged 6 times and posted 2 updates on his Franklin Today blog between 9:00 a.m. and 2:45 pm.

In that same period, Monday through today, he has posted 10 entries on his Metro Milwaukee Today blog.

And it's not just this week. Greg blogs frequently throughout the day, every day.

I don't know of any private or public sector employer that would allow an employee to post 18 separate blog entries on company time on his personal blogs in just 3 days.

If I were one of Greg's many supposed employers, I'd keep an eye on him.

Sympathize with the 9-year old pitcher, not the lady golfers

The LPGA is going to require that its members know how to speak English. With TV viewers declining and sponsors growing ever reluctant to advertise, the organization doesn’t think it’s too much to ask if the players, when placed in front of a microphone and camera, be equipped to converse with a predominantly American audience.

As expected, the liberals who work for the press see racism. They see American female golfers being pushed around by golfers from other countries being whiners and complainers. They see the LPGA as being unfair.

You want unfair? How about this.

The Youth Baseball League of New Haven, Connecticut has banned a 9-year-old from pitching. Simply because he can pitch. Boy can he pitch.

Jericho Scott throws about 40 mph. He’s almost unhittable. But the wusses running the League see the young Scott as not being talented so much as he is dangerous.  His coach was told Scott must play some other position or the team would be disbanded.

This is yet another clear example of the wimpification of America.

Why does Scott pitch? Because that’s what he does well.

What is his job when goes to the mound to pitch? To do his best and get the other batters out.

And how does the League respond? It penalizes the boy….because he performs to the best of his ability. Instead of serving as an inspiration to other teams to raise their level of performance to match or surpass that of f Scott’s, the League’s response is to punish achievement.

This is the epitome of unfairness. Shame on society and shame on America for allowing this kind of attitude towards our aspiring youth to take hold.

Yes, I know, there was a Franklin School Board meeting tonight

I did not attend the annual Franklin School Board
charade tonight. Other Franklin bloggers did, I’m sure, and I trust they’ll have commendable reviews of what transpired later.

Why didn’t I attend as I did last August? I’ll tell you, in this order: 

1) I don’t trust the Franklin School Board.

Last August, the Board placed index cards in the hands of Franklin pawns, Franklin residents, some of whom had no idea what they were reading, but did so anyway when it was time to make a motion to approve spending increases.

Last August, the Franklin School Board told a crowded room, most of them plants, that they had no choice because the state budget had not been approved and they had no idea how much state aid was coming that they had to increase the school tax levy by 5.6%.

The audience was also told that could change by the time the board set the final budget in October. On Halloween, the scary school board upped the tax levy increase to 5.9%. Later, after some of my digging, we found out that even though the board was told they were voting on a 5.9% increase, they actually approved an 11.7% increase, more than double the increase approved at the “charade” in August.

I’m sorry. I won’t waste an evening being lied to and played like a fiddle by people who put plants in the audience to act like orchestrated robots, reading prepared motions.

2) Their minds are made up.

Wake up, Franklin. They don’t care how many of you show up or what you have to say. They know what they’re going to do tonight, and they know what they’re going to do in October, and if necessary, they know what they’re going to do and say after October.

When has this board or administration shown any indication, no matter how slight it is, that they are going to act with fiscal responsibility?

3) I refuse to be insulted.

That’s what the board does at this “charade.” They pontificate as though they’re acting in the best interest of the taxpayers when in reality their bosses are home, or on vacation, not politically engaged, and unaware that they’re being taken to the cleaners. I’d rather stay home and see what the hateful left is inventing to say about me.

4) My lovely wife and I can share quality time. That beats being frustrated by the “Gang that couldn’t shoot straight.”

5) The Brewers are on TV.

By the way, and I mean this sincerely, read what I consider to be the best blog Bryan Maersch has ever written.  He truly captures the folly of the “annual dog and pony show.”

UPDATE: From FranklinNOW

We've created a monster

He is...


Enlighten us please, oh wonderful DOT

We’ve been told the state DOT is going to educate us on the proper way of roundabouting.

Look on page two of their brochure for simple instructions.

I have been unable to find any wisdom from the DOT on what to do when, on Drexel Avenue, a DPW truck is parked squarely in the roundabout as it waters the curbside grass.

Meanwhile, the people speak...

Friday night on InterCHANGE

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


Will Obama get the expected post convention bump?  Was Biden a good VP pick?  We’ll probably know McCain’s VP pick by show time, so we can talk about that as well?  Do you expect this campaign to get very dirty?  If Doyle got a job in an Obama administration, who would run for governor?


Was it brilliant negotiating strategy for the Teamsters to walk away from the table and go out on strike just when all the Harley Festival activities were about to get underway?  Was it ridiculous that Waste Management let the situation go on so long that it got to this point?  Does this simply cause folks who hate unions, to hate them even more?  If the garbage starts to pile up, won’t this be absolutely horrible for the image of the Milwaukee area?  Waste Management has 100,000 commercial and 16,000 residential customers in southeastern Wisconsin.  That’s a lot of garbage?


The Milwaukee Brewers have already sold more than three million tickets this season, which is an all-time record for the club.  They have had 37 sellouts, including the last 21 consecutive home games.  For the smallest market in the majors, this is pretty impressive.  What has this owner been able to do that the previous ownership team was unable to do?  Do you still think the Brewers have a chance to make it to the World Series?  Could the Brewers ever beat the Cubs in a NL playoff series?  After this year, is it back to mediocrity?

I can understand dumping the peanuts, even the chocolate chip cookies...

But this is crazy.

A common sense, life-saving measure

This is a great idea.

The Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA) wants every hospital in the state to implement standardized color-code alerts for patients by March 1, 2009. The key is that colors used must be the same in every hospital.

About a dozen states already use standardized colors on wristbands and stickers that automatically inform medical personnel about patients’ conditions, such as allergies or the risk of falling. A number of Wisconsin hospital use color codes, but the colors vary from hospital to hospital. The WHA wants to standardize the colors used so health care professionals don’t have to memorize the colors for each hospital.

Standardized colors chosen for alerts in Wisconsin are:

• White or Clear for Patient Identification
• Purple for DNR
• Red for Allergy
• Yellow for Fall Risk

The WHA reports the concept of alert colors was first raised by the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority after a near tragic episode. The WHA says, “A clinician nearly failed to rescue a patient due to an incorrect ‘DNR’ designation. The source of confusion started when a nurse had placed a yellow alert on the patient. In this hospital, the color yellow signified that the patient was a DNR. In a nearby hospital, where this nurse also worked, yellow signified ‘restricted extremity’ meaning that this arm is not to be used for drawing blood or obtaining IV access. Fortunately, the mistake was identified and the patient was resuscitated.”

Here are more details from the WHA 
and more background on the issue from Risk and Insurance. 

Read more

Governor Doyle doesn't get a lot of things....

And that includes humor.

True or false: Kevin Fischer doesn't hate anybody

So what’s the answer?

Whad’ya think?

You’ve got a 50-50 chance of supplying the correct answer.

The answer is...


So who do I hate?

Those liberals I’m always criticizing?


Other bloggers?


The anonymous crowd that e-mails me despicable stuff?


Serial rapists, pedophiles?

Ooooohh. For the purposes of this particular blog……..


In the 90’s when I worked at WTMJ, one of the many hats I wore was producing a daily 2-minute radio commentary. We called it Kevin Fischer’s radio column. Basically, it was my blog on the AM dial.

I recall one particular commentary in which I admitted my hatred. About a week later, I got a letter in the mail from a listener, expressing her deep disappointment. I’ll never forget it was written in perfect penmanship. No surprise, it was penned by a nun.

Dear Kevin, the good sister wrote. She had followed my career from the late 70’s at public radio. And now, just like my mother when I was knee-high to a grasshopper, she was scolding me. Stunned, she was, that I would use the word “hate” directed at anybody. And on the radio! How could I?

The nun had me dead to rights, guilty as charged. On Wisconsin’s largest and most-listened to radio station, I divulged the hate I felt in my heart and soul.

Mid-90’s. What’s the hottest debate in Milwaukee? In all of Wisconsin? What issue is getting oodles of attention on Wisconsin’s Sports Leader, WTMJ?

The Brewers.

The toilet they play in.

Milwaukee County Stadium.

The need for a new ballpark.

Without one, the Brewers leave town.

Milwaukee goes through the heartache, AGAIN, of losing a major league baseball team.

I lived through it once and I didn’t want to witness it again.  Once, and only once, I saw my late, great father cry. Dad would come home from his full-time job with the Post Office, quickly eat, and rush to County Stadium to usher at the Milwaukee Braves games.

Mid 60’s, September. I’m in the front seat of my Dad’s Buick as we drive to County Stadium where dad will sneak me in under the turnstiles. Dad and I are talking baseball.

“They (The Braves) aren’t coming back next year, are they, Dad?”

“No, they’re not,” my Dad said, in tears. First time, only time I ever saw him get that emotional.

I had two childhood heroes: Elvis and Henry Aaron. In grade school, Freddie Nicklaus and I would argue in line as we marched to Mass (We went to a Catholic School) over who was the better ballplayer, Aaron or Willie Mays.

When Aaron put on the Atlanta uniform after the team dumped us, I cheered for Aaron and the Braves. When Aaron was traded to the Brewers, any allegiance I had with the Braves ended.

I hated the Braves. Still do. Their manager, Bobby Cox, a wife beater. Their star player, Chipper Jones, the cheater of all-time. The tomahawk chop. Jane Fonda. I hate it all.

But nothing do I hate more than the fact that the team that this city gave its all for, up and left.

That 90’s WTMJ commentary of mine focused on the Braves, a team on top at the time  (I'm not real nuts about the Bears, either).

After receiving that letter from the nun, I broadcast a subsequent commentary that it’s ok, in the sports vernacular, to “hate” a sports team. It's not as though I want their team plane to go down, for heaven's sake. I just want them to perform miserably and lose every stinkin' day.

If I was on the air at WTMJ today, I would profess my hatred again.

I don’t understand why people who were born in Wisconsin, live in Wisconsin, and work in Wisconsin, root for the Cubs.

The dumbest argument I’ve heard by people who support the Cubs is that they are such lovable losers. Really? Did Chicago Cubs fans root for the Brewers when they stunk for 20 years?

Thursday night, I flipped between the Packer game and the Cubs-Phillies game. Yes, I know Barack Hussein Obama was preaching at the liberal convention. Sorry. I’ll catch the highlights later.

I’ll be brief. The Phillies had the Cubs beaten Thursday night, until a grand slam in the 8th by the Cubs did Philadelphia in. Heartbreak City. The Phillies had the game in hand until the bitter end.

As much as I hate to admit this, as well as the Brewers are playing, the Cubs are a better team with a far better manager. They appear to be destined to win the National League Central Division.

I’m extremely unhappy about that. You know why?

I hate the Chicago Cubs. I reallly do.

Sorry, Sister.

Sarah Palin is pro-life

Wisconsin Right to Life Praises McCain’s VP Pick of Governor Sarah Palin
For immediate release: Friday, August 2008

The state’s leading right-to-life organization today is praising Senator John McCain’s selection of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate.

"We are elated that Senator McCain has chosen Governor Sarah Palin,” said Susan Armacost, Legislative/PAC Director of Wisconsin Right to Life. “She is a dynamic and extremely popular governor. But it is in her private life that Governor Palin has shown extraordinary strength of character.”

Governor Palin is an ardent supporter of the right to life. Her deep respect for life was particularly evident with the recent birth of her fifth child. Palin learned the child she was carrying had Down syndrome. Unphased, Palin never considered abortion, which is the fate of over 90% of children diagnosed in utero with this condition. McCain himself has been very positive about his right-to-life convictions. In the Saddleback Church interviews, both McCain and Barack Obama were asked when does a child receive human rights. Obama gave an incredibly shocking response when he said it was “above my pay grade.” McCain didn’t hesitate when he responded “at the moment of conception.”

In a radio address this past Saturday, McCain said, “If I am President, advancing the cause of life will not be above my pay grade.” McCain also took Obama to task for his infanticide votes as an Illinois state senator.

“We are absolutely thrilled to have a complete team that right-to-life people can wholeheartedly support,” said Armacost.

Wisconsin Right to Life
Susan Armacost
Legislative Director, Wisconsin Right to Life
Phone: 877-855-5007
Wisconsin Right to Life | 10625 W. North Ave. | Suite LL | Milwaukee | WI | 53226-2331

Franklin, the number is 3.1%

This week, the state’s Legislative Fiscal Bureau released the tax base changes due to new construction for every city, village, town and county in Wisconsin. These numbers are important because under the levy limit program, each municipality and county is permitted to increase its 2008-09 tax levy by a percentage equal to its tax base change due to net new construction or 2%, whichever is greater.

If you look on page 46 of the Legislative Fiscal Bureau memo, you’ll see the numbers for Milwaukee County. Franklin’s change is 3.1%. I certainly hope the Franklin Common Council and the Franklin School Board are paying attention.

It seems the city could be on target to meet the 3% levy increase Mayor Taylor promised as a ceiling. It’s anybody’s guess what the Franklin School Board, a bunch that would make Jesse James proud, is going to do, but it'd be nice if they would make some effort to try to stick to the same levy limit as the city.

Friday Night Live


Welcome to the final edition of Friday Night Live, our summer series looking back at old late night concert programs from the 70’s. The 70’s showcased pop stars in late-night hours on Friday, usually after Johnny Carson or some other post-10:00 news programming.  On NBC, it was the Midnight Special. On ABC, it was In Concert. Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert was a syndicated vehicle.

For the past three months, I’ve shared some of my favorite clips from those old shows. The 70’s saw popular music take all shapes and forms, but no style dominated and is more symbolic with the decade than disco. Everyone took a stab at it, even Sinatra.

Tonight on Friday Night Live, the toe-tapping, finger-snapping rhythmic funky beat of 70’s disco.

It’s hard to believe the group that gave us one the most popular wedding reception songs, “Celebration,” actually started as a jazz ensemble in the 60’s. Kool and the Gang had big hits in the 70’s, performed on the soundtrack of Saturday Night Fever (They won a Grammy), and are still touring today.

Read more

The Barking Lot

The Barking Lot

Labor Day weekend is the traditional “Kiss Summer Goodbye” party.  This weekend is usually celebrated with cookouts or perhaps last-minute end-of-summer get-aways.

I’ve mentioned before that one of the objections Kevin raises to us getting a dog is he feels the dog should not have to be left alone for long periods of time.  We do enjoy traveling, especially an extended get-away somewhere warm in the winter months.  Certainly in those situations we would need to make special arrangements for our furry friend.  Luckily we have friends and family who would be happy to help us out.

If you are a dog owner who is not in the fortunate situation to be able to leave your dog at home or have a friend take them in during your vacation, you are not without options.

Certainly there is the traditional kennel boarding found throughout the state, and could possibly be provided by your regular veterinarian.  The American Kennel Club offers tips for boarding your dog. 

Traditional kennel boarding is only one option for your fuzzy family member… Central Bark Doggy Daycare offers a reassuring option of sleepovers for their regular clients.  Donnybrook Inn in Cedar Grove offers pooch-pampering accommodations.  

If you prefer to have your dog remain in your home while you are away, you have a resource for that, too.  Critter Sitters of Milwaukee can help keep your dog comfortable in his/her own surroundings, with minimal interruptions in their usual daily routine.

Last but not least, consider vacationing WITH your dog.  A girl’s camp in Northern Wisconsin offers one weekend a year called Dog Days of Wisconsin when you can camp and play right along with your dog.  (Just remember to alter those S’mores for Fido with CAROB since they can’t have chocolate!)
----Jennifer Fischer

Thanks, Jennifer!

When Jennifer's done and relinquishes the blog back to her better half, that means it's time for DOGS IN THE NEWS, canines that made headlines the past week.

Do not mess with Pawlee!

And with a name like Elvis, this dog knows how to party.

Thanks for checking in to The Barkling Lot, and remember, if you're taking Fido camping....

Read more



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...


Melissa Stockwell

For taking a stand, JoAn Karkos

Debra Bartoshevich. She epitomizes one of the many problems for Barack Obama.

The thousands of Harley-Davidson riders in town from all over the world!


Charlene Hardin

Waukesha Municipal Judge Michael Cook

The city of Milwaukee

China Arnold

Angel Valodia Matos

California tribes don't want ANY competition


Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin "stands up for what's right and she doesn't let anyone tell her to sit down.She's exactly who I need. She's exactly who this country this needs to help me fight the same old Washington politics of me first and country second."
John McCain

I am "
just your average hockey mom in Alaska. The women of America aren't finished yet and we can shatter that glass ceiling once and for all."
Alaska Governor Sarah Palin

"My family, I think, was among the earliest to endorse Barack Obama. I’d say it happened about five minutes into the keynote speech he delivered four years ago. I have asked all my family members why they support Senator Obama so strongly, but no one said it better than my 7-year-old grandson, Asiah. He said: 'We need a president who will work hard for us.'"
Governor Doyle addressing the Democrat National Convention on Tuesday evening. 

"I'm just one voter. I was a Hillary Clinton Democrat, and I think people are going to have to make up their minds on what matters most to them."
Deb Bartoshevich, the former Clinton delegate from Waterford who is featured in a new McCain campaign ad. 

"I had my friends from Planned Parenthood give me a bunch of condoms because I feel I need to protect myself from John McCain as a woman."
U.S. Congresswoamn Gwen Moore, D-Milwaukee, in Denver criticizing McCain’s record on women’s issues.

"Who would you like to have in the White House at 3 a.m. if Russia decides to invade another country? No question it's John McCain."
Former Governor Tommy Thompson criticizing Barack Obama. Thompson said Doyle’s prediction that Obama would win Wisconsin in a walk was the result of “drinking some Kool-Aid that is not very relevant to this election.”

"I'm not going to vote for Obama. I'm not going to vote for McCain, either. We love her, (Hillary Clinton) but it's our vote if we don't trust him or don't like him."
Blanche Darley, 65, a Texas delegate for Clinton at the Democrat National Convention.  Darley wore a button saying "Obamination Scares the Hell Out of Me."

"Can we drill your brains?"
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in a back and forth with protesters demanding domestic drilling.

"Those of us who have been clamoring for photo ID for voting have been blocked by Democrats who keep claiming such a requirement would disenfranchise the poor and the elderly. It is time to call their bluff. Produce six people who don’t have photo IDs. They don’t exist. They certainly don’t try to buy alcohol, fly, take out a library book, withdraw money from a bank, rent a movie, write a check at a grocery store, rent a car, take a cruise, take metal in for recycling, drive, pick up tickets at will call, buy cigarettes or get treated at the doctor’s office. About all you can do without an ID is breathe. Everyone has them - OK, you got me - there may be some poor soul in a coma. But they’re not supposed to vote."
WISN talk show host Mark Belling in his column in the Waukesha Freeman


Despite the fact that 22% of new voter records don't mesh, elections officials vote against voter penalties.


Sarah Palin on McCain's short list. No one saw it coming.


Will Barack Obama's speech at the DNC be the greatest of all-time? Please. The media's lovefest for the guy never ends.


Did you hear the one about the priests who wanted to have a beauty pageant for nuns?

Disposable diaper breaks fall and saves child's life

This alderman is a nutjob. Of course she is. She's from Madison.

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.

Did Obama give a speech the other night?

The greatest speech in the history of mankind given by the most intelligent person God ever put on this planet sure got knocked off the front page in a hurry, didn’t it?

His name is Barack Hussein Obama

I have called the Democrat candidate for President by his first, last and middle name on this blog many times. I did it on InterCHANGE last night (Joel McNally didn’t appreciate that, but tough).

Apparently, it’s now OK because even the NY Times is calling the Obamamessiah by his full name.

Why the focus on the motorcycle helmet?

There’s a sentence that should be banned from use by all journalists:

“The motorcyclist was not wearing a helmet at the time.”

It’s normally one of the last sentences in a story about an accident involving a motorcycle.

The morning’s paper has the tragic story of a Harley rider who was killed Friday afternoon by a female drunken driver. Reporter Jesse Garza ends her story about the rider who was killed with this:

Police said the man was not wearing a helmet.”

What the hell does that have to do with anything? Was the lack of a helmet responsible for the drinking the 61-year old woman did Friday? Was the lack of a helmet the reason the woman made an incredibly bad turn? Was the lack of a helmet the reason she hit a curb? Was the lack of a helmet the reason she hit a motorcycle rider?

Using this flawed logic would mean Milwaukee streets should be littered these past few days with the carnage of dead motorcyclists. After all, literally thousands of bikers are not wearing helmets. And yet, they’re not getting into accidents. They’re not striking anyone. Yes, there was this isolated, unfortunate fatal accident. But that was the result of the worst judgment and horrible driving of another individual, not the motorcyclist’s decision to go sans helmet.

I also blogged about this subject last fall.

Meanwhile, we have thousands of visiting bikers and riders here from all over the world. Take a few moments to read Senator Lazich’s blog. Please, no more accidents during the Harley festivities.

Congratulations, Harley folks! You're the best!

SATURDAY, Aug. 30, 2008, 9:57 p.m.
By John Diedrich

Crowd well-behaved, no arrests

The Milwaukee County Sheriff's Department says the crowd at the Bruce Springsteen concert and all up and down the lakefront is incredibly well-behaved.

As of now, not a single arrest has been reported.

Palin, down syndrome


In this April 23, 2008 file photo, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, left, and her husband, Todd Palin, hold their baby boy Trig in Anchorage, Alaska. The Palin's fifth child was born with Down syndrome, a genetic abnormality that impedes physical, intellectual and language development. AL GRILLO / AP

Read more

You just never know when the race card is going to be played

Can you believe it?

Citizens on the north side of Milwaukee had a worse winter than the people living on the south side.  It’s true. Just read your Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Sunday (today).

The city of Milwaukee responded much more quickly to complaints about potholes on the south side than they did on the north side. Of course, the city departments and officials in charge of this order of business were fully aware of the discrepancies, but proceeded to favor one side of town over the other anyway.

Ladies and gentlemen, the race card has no boundaries. It can be played anywhere, anytime, anyhow.  The ugly card has now been tossed onto the table of politics in the debate over potholes.

South-siders in Milwaukee, you probably had more sunlight, less snow, higher temperatures, and better paved roads last winter, too. You know what this means, don’t you? Milwaukeeans on the south side, you are about to get screwed.

Residents of the north side, along with their representatives, aided by the bleeding heart Milwaukee Journal will play the race card right up until the first snowflake of next winter. Meanwhile, south side residents and their representatives will, frightened of rocking the boat, will clam up. There will be a concerted effort to make sure the north side’s winter woes are addressed firmly and immediately. There’s nothing wrong with that, mind you, just not at the expense of other areas of the city.

For years, police on the south side have been diverted to violent crime areas of the north side, leaving the south side vulnerable. When south side aldermen (Annette Scherbert) complained, guess what happened? You got it. Out came the race card.

Last winter pounded everyone, and all parts of the city suffered. It’s possible that some aldermen complained more often and louder on behalf of their constituents than others. As much as I’d like to avoid charges of racism on potholes, they’re almost inevitable. Because that’s what we do in Milwaukee.

Watch for an editorial from the bleeding hearts at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and a piece from the paper’s race columnist, Eugene Kane who will be utterly aghast at these revelations.

And south siders, start preparing now for a looooooonnnnnnnnggggggggggggggggg winter in 2008-09.

The liberal mistake about Sarah Palin: Women couldn't possibly like her

My friend, ultra-liberal Joel McNally is famous for his preposterous stands and making ridiculous statements. The guy loves criminals, the more violent the better. He'd take a sex predator out to lunch if he could get an interview for his rag, the Shepherd Express. Taxes could never be high enough to meet his satisfaction. He hates the military but loves any social program that is a failure and wastes money.

He didn't disappoint this past Friday on InterCHANGE when he said John McCain's selection of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate was "insulting to women."

Insulting to women?

You see, in McNally's moonbat mind, he has a view that is shared by many liberals, that most women think like he does. Women are pro-choice and they want liberal judges on the bench and they abhor hunting and fishing and the they detest guns.

Keep saying it, Joel. Keep saying this choice is "insulting to women." I beg to differ. Is this the kind of person who's insulting to women? I dont think so.

Sarah Palin is all about family.

In this July 2008 photo provided by the Philadelphia Zoo, Republican vice presidential candidate and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and her daughters, Piper, 5, Bristol, 16, Willow, 12, amd Trig Paxson Van Palin, meet Gus, the Philadelphia Zoo's new two-year-old giraffe. In two short years, Sarah Palin moved from small-town mayor with a taste for mooseburgers to the governor's office and now _ making history _ to John McCain's side as the first female running mate on a Republican presidential ticket, announced Friday, Aug. 29, 2008. AP

She's pro-life, mother of a Down syndrome baby.

Alaska Gov. Sara Palin and her husband Todd present their fifth child, a boy named Trig Paxson Van Palin, who was born April 18th, 2008. On Friday, August 29, 2008, GOP presidential candidate Sen. John McCain chose Palin as his vice presidential running mate. Jim Lavarkas / Anchorage Daily News/MCT

Read more

What could jazz legend Ramsey Lewis possibly have in common with Kevin Fischer?

 Image:Ramsey Lewis.jpg

Stay tuned

Read more

Quiz time: The weather


Hurricane Gustav…

a) is President Bush’s fault.

b) is Dick Cheney’s fault.

c) is the result of our taxes being too low.

d) is the result of too many tax breaks for the wealthy.

e) is the result of not enough social/government programs.

f) wouldn’t be happening if Al Gore was President.

g) All of the above

h) is an act of God.

If you answered h, you are a sensible individual.

If you answered a, b, c, d, e, f, any combination of a-f, or g, you are a hopeless liberal.

My most popular blogs

Most popular

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

1) Culinary no-no #'s 70, 71, 72 and 73

2) Elvis on top...again!

3) Photos of the Week (8/24/08)

4) Week-ends (8/23/08)

5) State Senator likens WMC to KKK

Photos of the Week: 8/31/08

Photos of the Week

A compilation of photos that caught my eye the previous week.

  Troops stand guard outside the Superdome in New Orleans
The newly refurbished Louisiana Superdome - the stadium that symbolised New Orleans' suffering during Hurricane Katrina - was sealed off to stop people taking refuge there this time as Hurricane Gustav heads toward the city. (AFP)

Read more

*BREAKING FRANKLIN NEWS: Rhiner resigns from assignments*

Saturday night, James Rhiner resigned his positions on the Franklin Community Development Authority (CDA) , Economic Development Commission (EDC), and as a member of the EDC, his position on the 27th Street Corridor Steering Committee. Franklin Mayor Tom Taylor has accepted Rhiner’s resignation. Here is Rhiner’s resignation letter:

August 30, 2008

Mr, Tom Taylor, Mayor
City of Franklin
7014 Elroy Court
Franklin, WI 53132

Dear Tom,

I would like to inform you of my resignation from the Community Development Authority, the Economic Development Commission and the 27th Street Corridor Steering Committee, effectively immediately.

Please believe me that it was a very difficult decision to make. I have been wrestling with the decision for several months and due to some elements coming together in my personal life I must do so now with no delay.

As you know, I have led a very active life in my affairs at Oak Creek Assembly of God Church. I now find that I am being led to lead an even more active role in my church affairs which will make more demands of my time.

I have been actively involved in the City's Economic Development since 1984. During this time I have spent numerous hours away from my family. My family has sacrificed a good deal because of my absences. I must now place my family as a priority far and away above that of the city. My wife has been very patient with me and it is now my desire to place her and my family as a primary focus in my life.

My business of providing Forensic Electrical and Lighting Engineering Services to the legal, insurance, and manufacturing industries has also increased greatly as of late and I must pay closer attention to it. After all, it does provide my primary income. I am required to travel out of the state and out of the country on many occasions more now than in the past and find that trying to devote the necessary time to the CDA, the EDC, and the 27th  Street Steering Committee has turned into a time management impossibility.

Let me assure you, that the reasons that I have given are the only reasons for my decision.

I have enjoyed giving of my time to the City and I feel that the work I did truly benefited the citizens of Franklin. I am very proud of my work in establishing the Franklin Business Park. It is a jewel in all of Wisconsin. I am also proud of my activities in the EDC, Franklin First and Ticknor Reports. I feel that the ground work has been laid for the success of the 27th Street Corridor and hope to be still walking God's great earth when it comes to fruition.

Best regards,

Jim Rhiner
C: Mark Luberda, Aldermen

It's time for some campaignin'

Courtesy of JibJab.

I call it "Culinary no-no," Ramsey Lewis calls it "Wining and Dining"

My wife listens to smooth jazz station WJZX (106.9 FM) on her way to work every morning and morning host Ramsey Lewis, jazz legend. Each morning, Lewis has a brief segment on food and drink called, “Wining and Dining.”

Jennifer says that on a few occasions, a few days after one of my Culinary no-no postings, Lewis has discussed the same topics addressed in my blogs. He’s done it, according to Jennifer, at least twice: the moratorium on new fast food restaurants in Los Angeles and chocolate-covered bacon.

I’d be flattered if the legendary Ramsey Lewis or his staff was reading This Just In…

Of course, it’s entirely possible that great minds think alike.

But if Lewis is one of the many who read the ever-popular Culinary no-no, he’s definitely in with “The In Crowd.”

Read more

Culinary no-no #74

Culinary no-no's

Here we go again.

As reported in May, certain restaurants in New York City must now, under a new law, post the number of calories for each item on their menu boards or face fines. Now, an entire state may impose the same requirement.

A bill approved by the California Legislature awaiting the signature of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger would make the west Coast the state the first in the nation to require restaurants to display the calorie counts for each item on their menus and menu boards. The law would apply to chain restaurants that have 15 or more outlets. About 17,000 restaurants would be affected by the law that would take effect in 2011. Supporters believe restaurant patrons will make healthier choices if presented the calorie information.

A new study indicates 3 out of
5 Californians are either overweight or obese. Researchers from  the Dr. Robert C. and Veronica Atkins Center for Weight and Health at UC Berkeley figure a menu-labeling law  will result in people losing weight. They calculate the weight loss after the law’s been in effect for a year would be about 2.7 pounds for adult fast-food customers.

The problem is that there is no way of knowing if people will reduce their intake of fattening menu items and exactly what their weight loss, if any would be. Supporters of the California legislation say the calorie counts in New York City are having a dramatic impact. But that evidence is primarily anecdotal. There’s no definitive study that clearly shows consumers armed with calorie counts makes them thinner. To get the data, a study would have to be done to find out what transpires after the law has actually been in effect for some time.

The American Journal of Public Health looked at 11 chains in New York City giving customers calorie counts. Subway was determined to have the most-easily seen information, making it handy for customers before they placed orders. Only 32% of Subway's customers said they saw the numbers, and of those, only 37% admitted the information affected what they purchased, or 12% of all Subway customers. Researchers determined the difference in calories between customers who saw the numbers and those that didn’t. Subway customers that saw the calorie counts ordered meals on average that had 52 less calories, a 7% reduction.

That tells me a menu-labeling requirement doesn’t work. Most customers aren’t seeing the information, not to mention the fact that a weight loss in a year of 2.7 pounds isn’t, I’m sorry, all that much. Some studies suggest only 15-20% actually pay attention to labels.

California’s restaurant industry prefers legislation proposed by
Assembly member Nicole Parra (D-Hanford). It differs from the bill that calls for calorie counts on menus and menu boards by requiring the same information, but allowing restaurants to display it in several ways: menu or other writing at the point of sale, standard food item packaging, counter or table tent, tray liner, poster, brochure or other printed material, and/or electronic kiosk. The information must be available on the premises of the restaurant.

Will Governor Schwarzenegger sign the bill? Sure looks like it. Recently he signed a bill into law making California the first state to ban trans fats in restaurants.

Restaurant-goers are smart enough, I believe, to be able to discern if a menu item is loaded with calories. Government mandating that restaurants give this information, that will only increase their costs, and will probably not have a significant impact on eating habits, is just plain wrong.

Even should Sarah Palin lose, society wins

Advocacy groups and the media stories about their causes often refer to “heightening awareness,” disseminating critical information to the public.

A great example is former Los Angeles Laker star Magic Johnson holding a news conference to tell the world he had contracted HIV, the virus that can lead to AIDS. Johnson’s stunning announcement was considered to be more than therapeutic. The fact that an athletic, wealthy, star celebrity could get this deadly virus put a name and face on the disease. The message was clear: If Magic can get it, so could anybody. More and more information flowed to the public whose interest in what was thought to be a white homosexual’s affliction increasingly grew.

Alaska Governor Sarah Palin may have done more good than anybody realizes when she said yes to John McCain.

A figure cited by U.S. Senator Sam Brownback (R-Kansas) and published on several websites is that 80% or more of the babies that test positive for Down syndrome are aborted. (Brownback has authored, along with Senator Ted Kennedy, the Prenatally Diagnosed Condition Awareness Act. The legislation would require that when an expectant mother receives the news that she is going to have a child with Down syndrome, Spina Bifida, or Cystic Fibrosis, the women receive up-to-date, scientific information about the life expectancy, clinical course, intellectual and functional development, and prenatal and postnatal treatment options for their child).

On April 18, 2008, Palin gave birth, one month before her due date, to Trig Paxson who weighed 6 pounds, 2 ounces. Four days later, Palin announced her son had Down syndrome. She refused to abort her fifth child.

"Trig is beautiful and already adored by us. We knew through early testing he would face special challenges, and we feel privileged that God would entrust us with this gift and allow us unspeakable joy as he entered our lives. We have faith that every baby is created for good purpose and has potential to make this world a better place. We are truly blessed,” Palin said in a statement.

What Palin did was remarkable, choosing not to diminish the value of a baby that would confront learning disabilities. Most Americans didn’t know who Sarah Palin was in late April, but they certainly know her now. Palin’s life story is sure to be told over and over during the remainder of the Presidential campaign.

Future families faced with receiving the jolting news that their babies will have Down syndrome can now look to Palin for courage and inspiration. Abortion doesn’t have to be the answer.

Sarah Palin heightened awareness about the blessing a Down syndrome baby can mean and the joy it can bring to a family. Now thrust into the global spotlight, Palin and her decision not to say no could mean more and more babies will survive, no matter what happens in November. Compassionate Americans, no matter their party, should be grateful.

Was CC robbed?

CC Sabathia officially gave up only one hit in the Brewers 7-0 win in Pittsburgh today against the Pirates. The Brewers are angry, believing the official scorer messed up, and that the hit credited to Pirate Andy LaRoche should have been an error charged to Sabathia, giving Sabathia a no-hitter.

Brewer Manager Ned Yost says it was an error. Pittsburgh Manager John Russell says it was a hit.

What does the guy who swung the bat, LaRoche have to say?

First, here’s how the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette describes the play in question:

“LaRoche squibbed a 2-2 slider -- off a check-swing -- to the left of the mound. Sabathia got there quickly and tried to barehand the ball but dropped it and never made a throw. Within seconds, (Official scorer Bob) Webb announced to the press box that it was a single. W
ebb's decision, which he explained right after the game, was that it would have taken an ‘above-ordinary’ play for Sabathia to get LaRoche.

‘The way the ball came off the bat, it was spinning, and it went to the left of the mound with a left-handed pitcher going to get it. It's a difficult play,’ Webb said. ‘The definition requires that standard effort is required, and that would have taken more than an ordinary effort. The runner was well down the line.’”

So you’d expect LaRoche to say he had a clean hit, right? Guess again. Once more, from the Pittsburgh paper:

“LaRoche, who saw a replay, said, ‘I'm sure they'll change it to an error. I mean, I obviously didn't hit it very hard, so it really doesn't deserve a hit.’”

Here’s the Pittsburgh paper’s story, and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s coverage.

I’d be stunned if Major League Baseball changes the call. Bob Webb is Public Enemy #1 in Milwaukee.

Page Tools