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.
As I post every Sunday, here are the top five most popular of my blog entries from the previous week:
1) Photos of the Week (2/22/09)
2) Culinary no-no #100
3) UPDATE: Culinary no-no #95-rated XXX
4) Lefty flake Keith Olbermann...
5) Paczkis for the Archbishop
President Barack Obama addresses a joint session of Congress in the House Chamber of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., Tuesday, February 24, 2009. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Pool/MCT)
Mary Ann Herrera is seen at her home in San Antonio, Monday, Feb. 23, 2009. Under the threat of foreclosure, Herrara asked her brother to paint the words "Help!!" and "Foreclosure!!" on her home recently in hopes of getting assistance. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Since I criticize the daily newspaper, it's only fair to compliment when they do something very well. A great example is in today's sports section.
Does the name, "LaMont Weaver" mean anything? It does to me. My dad and I watched on television 40 years ago as Weaver became a Wisconsin sports celebrity.
Gary D'Amato writes a very special piece about the shot heard 'round the state.
NOTE: You do not have to be a sports fan to appreciate this excellent feature article.
Would I get in trouble if I said a woman shouldn't be allowed to breast-feed in a situation like this?
The state Senate recently approved a bill to allow breast-feeding in public. Proponents argue that a woman should be allowed to breast-feed anywhere she is authorized to be.
I wonder what they'd say about the interesting case of Genine Compton that is sure to raise internal conflicts. There's the right to breast-feed, and then there's that whole issue of yakking on a cell phone while driving.
I smell the "Genine Compton" bill coming.
UPDATE: Apparently, this is nothing new.
Here are, in my view, interesting, noteworthy columns and articles from the past week that I highly recommend (You will note that on occasion, I do not endorse the opinions of the author and may point that out. However, my disagreements notwithstanding, I still feel the piece is worth a read).
The Obama Revolution
"With yesterday's fiscal 2010 budget proposal, President Obama is attempting not merely to expand the role of the federal government but to put it in such a dominant position that its power can never be rolled back."
"The new President made clear in his first State of the Union address that he believes in government power as the answer to our current difficulties, and he intends to use it."
"What if the economy is still in bad shape a year or two from now? Will we get apologies from Obama and the stimulus advocates in Congress? Not a chance. Their excuse is already prepared: The stimulus was too small."
Why I'm not lining up for stimulus handouts
"Recently, a firestorm ignited in Wisconsin when I, as Milwaukee County executive, refused to submit a wish list to Gov. Jim Doyle for items in the federal 'stimulus' package."
We are NOT entitled
"One of the most dangerous words in the English language is 'entitlement.' It helped create, and continues to fuel, the current economic meltdown. It underscores a dangerous lack of accountability and honesty by some of our leaders - and ourselves."
The right not to be offended?
"It's a discredit to our national confidence that each time some impolite thought — perceived or otherwise — is uttered, sketched or typed, a faction of professionally offended Americans engage in a collective hyper-sensitivity meltdown."
Locals can make such decisions
"It's conceivable a nickname with strong support in a given local community, but which allegedly offends someone outside that community, could be deemed illegal by a distant state official. And the taxpayers of a district could be fined for daring to defy a state edict to dump their school's mascot."
Bloggers Can't Fill the Gap Left by Shrinking Press Corps
"Across the nation, it's not just that fewer reporters are covering state government; newspapers and TV stations are also devoting far less space and time to that news. Does that mean citizens are less well-informed? Do blogs and other new media fill in where old media are cutting back? Is it really a loss if reporters cover fewer legislative debates?"
EVERY SUNDAY I REVIEW THE MOST COVETED EDITORIAL PAGES OF THE WEEK BY OPINION-MAKERS AS WELL AS THE MOST WIDELY-READ, THE SUNDAY “CROSSROADS” SECTION OF THE MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL. I WILL KEEP TRACK OF THE CONSERVATIVE AND LIBERAL PIECES CONTRIBUTED BY NON-JOURNAL SENTINEL WRITERS AND KEEP A RUNNING SCORE THROUGHOUT THE YEAR.
It should also be noted that this exercise is a categorization. Most, if not all of these articles submitted to, or solicited by the Crossroads staff are well-written, thoughtful, and provocative. I enjoy reading them as I have every Sunday for as long as I can remember. This weekly compilation is an ideological scorecard, not a writing critique.
TODAY'S LIBERAL PIECES
Ellen Bravo: Sick days make economic sense (Dear Crossroads staff: where's the adjoining rebuttal piece?)
Jon Richards: We must fund future via plans of UWM
Laudable, well-intentioned goal, as usual, with huge price tag, as usual, with no explanation as to how to pay for it, as usual. Plus, I'm not sure my friend Jon Richards would appreciate if I called his writing, "conservative."
James Rowe: When democracy leaves MPS kids uneducated, we must act
Rowe's piece starts out, like so many op-ed peices in the past, that we must salvage and improve MPS. I'll go along with that. But then Rowe spoils it by calling for an appointed Milwaukee School Board. Not exactly a conservative point of view. No way do I want unelected school board members with no accountability having wide taxing authority.
Irina Bystrova: With Obama, a Russian thaw?
Another "Things go better with Obama" piece.
TODAY’S CONSERVATIVE PIECES:
Doug Neilson: Business travel helps Milwaukee
Another View: In present form, the RTA plan doesn't work for Racine County
NEITHER LIBERAL NOR CONSERVATIVE
Been down before
Another exceptional local history piece by John Gurda.
TODAY: Liberal-4, Conservative-2
YEAR TO DATE: Liberal-20, Conservative-13
Before you scoff and dismiss the blog title as a lead-in to a tawdry, cheap attempt to draw in readers (that would only be about 5% of the intent of this entry), I challenge you to look at the "sexy" crowd in the photo gallery and see if you agree with me that in many cases, the VS people nailed it (And I ain't talkin' Kelly Ripa).
It is now officially the month of madness. Nothing, I mean absolutely, positively nothing is more important this month than basketball. Let me clarify that. As much as I love high school ball, I'm talkin' college hoops.
Marquette's Dominic James fractures a bone in his foot and Wisconsin, though not as impressive as they've been in the past still plods along. Both teams make it into the NCAA Tournament according to the latest bracket forecast from Fox Sports.
Memphis, Elvis' team and one I keep my eye on is safely in and extremely dangerous. They've won 20 in a row.
And my Fighting Irish who lost 7 in a row earlier and have had trouble playing defense and don't look anything like the team they should be...... still have a shot?
UPDATE: Probably not....
U.S. first lady Michelle Obama (sleeveless, I might add) laughs with White House executive chef Cristeta Comerford as she gives a kitchen preview for the Governors dinner at the White House in Washington February 22, 2009. Photo: Reuters
Our nation is discovering that Barack Obama is the liberal’s liberal.
The new president in just a few short weeks has called for the greatest expansion of the scope of government in our country’s history. There isn’t a component of the average American’s lifestyle that President Obama doesn’t want to intrude upon, and that includes eating.
According to the mainstream media, just about everyone is deliriously happy about the Obama victory and now bows at his altar. Count elitist, snobby, look down their noses chefs in that crowd. They view an Obama White House as their ticket to pontificate as to how America should eat.
The conventional wisdom in some 4-star kitchens goes like this: George W. Bush was a pork rind chewing, unhealthy, stay at home eater-in-chief who considered restaurants off limits. Barack Obama is an adventurous soul who could teach all of us the finer points of dining.
Gag me with a spoon.
Despite many websites that claim George Bush prefers Mexican food, the London Sun reports his favorite dish was something else.
Turns out Obama also loves pizza.
Ahhhhh, but the Great One is more than sauce on pressed out dough. He is much more than that. Obama is not afraid to experiment, to choose healthy meals made form healthy ingredients inspired by local farmer’s markets.
Anything wrong with that? Not at all. When it translates into greater government bureaucracy and regulation….then it’s a problem. The top cheerleaders: chefs at high, higher, highest end restaurants, one who admits he’s an elitist. They want less government support for large corporation farms and increased subsidies for smaller farms that produce what they consider to be healthier food, even if, as they concede, most won’t be able to afford to dine at their establishments anyway.
Elitist snobbery doesn’t begin to describe how arrogant these high-priced cooks really are.
They want to dictate how we should eat? Dan Barber, the chef at New York's Blue Hill restaurant according to the Associated Press cooked a $500-a-plate meal for incoming Obama aides and other guests at a small charity fundraiser the night before the inauguration. It included passed hors d'oeuvres of raw carrots, lettuce and cauliflower.
“Hog snouts left over from slaughter were used as a garnish on a plate of Maine sea scallops.”
I wonder what hog snouts at Barber’s restaurant go for, if they’re even offered?
At the very least, according to these sudden Obama advisors, the nation’s first family could be doing a great service if they, like those announcements on some Milwaukee radio stations the past 50 years of the daily menu at MPS, would just tell us each and every day what Barack, Michelle, Malia and Sasha are eating.
I don’t need to know or want to know what the Obama’s are having this Thursday or wait with baited breath about their bill of fare. The same would have held true for the Bush’s.
I also don’t need the Obama’s or the federal government telling me what’s healthy, or what to buy at a farmer’s market.
As for some of America’s chefs who are orgasmic about Obama, I would politely suggest you save your pomposity for the next soufflé you concoct and keep it there.
Here are more details from the Associated Press.
CULINARY NO-NO BONUS
One of the awards I received while News Director at WTMJ-AM that I am very proud of was for our news department's ongoing coverage of the Cryptosporidium outbreak.
Back then, it was considered scandalous if bottled water companies were caught selling tap water.
Today in New York, it's all the rage.
ANOTHER CULINARY NO-NO BONUS
So says Dr. Tedd Mitchell in the USA WEEKEND insert in your Sunday paper today.
Everybody. That would mean Douglas MacArthur, General Patton, Emily Post, Timothy Dolan, all Catholic nuns and the Fonz.
Is burping really all that bad? The father of a young gal I dated when I was in my early 20's (Mary S., if you're reading, please send me an e-mail) used to say, "Better to belch and feel the shame than hold it in and feel the pain."
If this is an occasional
problem for you, read USA WEEKEND.
Then enjoy the late, great George Carlin expound on the topic beginning at 2:20 into the following (until 5:15) as he describes his old classmate, John Pigman.
There were some fascinating quotes that came out of the just-completed Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington as reported by Salena Zito of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, including the following:
"Conservatives certainly have more a lot more energy, creativity and ideas this year opposing the Obama agenda than they did supporting the Bush administration.”
"The biggest thing that Republicans should avoid is to become the party of no.”
"With the exception of Sarah Palin, McCain and Bush are now part of our past.”
"We now have more than enough evidence of what this administration thinks of the American people. Let me say to Attorney General Holder: I welcome the opportunity to have a dialogue with you about cowardice, anywhere, anytime."
"Thanks to the stimulus package, Republicans have this great moment to distinguish ourselves from the Democratic Party. “
"When we (conservatives) look at a group of people, we see Americans -- we don't see groups of people, we don't see victims, we see potentials."
To find out who said the above and in what context, read this.
Some related incidents in the news had me thinking about what recently happened to the wife of a friend of mine and the troubling reaction it received.
Andy’s at the busy intersection of 51st and Rawson in Franklin has been robbed twice in less than a week.
Ellen Basinski was one of my HEROES OF THE WEEK in my Saturday “Week-ends” blog because the 70-year old would not give in to robbers who broke into her home, attacking one of them with an Emeril’s frying pan.
Keep those in mind as I relate the following story. My friend’s wife is employed at what I will call a local Catholic workplace. One day on the job not too long ago, she noticed that the locker area where she and others keep their valuables had been broken into. Her purse and its contents, including cash, had been stolen.
Local police were summoned and questioned those on the scene, including my friend’s wife who was quite distressed. At some point, a Catholic priest emerged, and if his purpose was to provide a calming influence, he was about as successful as Goliath against David.
The man with the Roman collar nonchalantly said to the robbery victim, “You know, times are tough all over.”
The woman couldn’t believe what she had just heard. She had just been violated, a victim of crime, and she was now being given the “turn the other cheek” speech from a man of the cloth who sounded more sympathetic to the robber. The priest’s comment was, though not intended to be, lacking in compassion and tact.
A devout Catholic, I still have been known to blast my religion here on my blog, on radio and TV when warranted. Is it any wonder the pews are empty when the people of faith we look to for strength, wisdom, counsel and leadership totally disappoint us?
“Times are tough all over.”
Is that what this priest would have told the owner of Andy’s? Would he have chastised Ellen Basinski for swinging her frying pan in defense because the break-in robbers were probably just hungry and destitute?
Undoubtedly, the current recession will mean even more crime committed by thugs and punks. Hoepfully none of the investigating offciers will be ex-priests.
The good Lord, I submit, presented this particular priest with an opportunity to console. Instead, he inflamed an emotional setting.
If there was such a declaration as an 11th Commandment, this priest was clearly in violation:
Thou shalt not make excuses for breaking any of the previous 10.
An associate of mine recently reminded me that life is too short to worry even in the slightest about what people say about you, and believe me, I've been called everything under the sun (those clever, warm, compassionate devils!).
So rather than engage in the hateful, personal, evil, vindictive attacks of the left (and other detractors), I will simply link to this blog and ....
From the Wisconsin State Journal:
"...as Gov. Jim Doyle proposes to raise $291 million more in taxes on smokers and tobacco users over the next two years, he is proposing to cut state help to programs that help smokers kick the habit by $1.8 million — on top of $2 million in cuts already being made this year."
Can't wait to hear the libs spin this one...
The vast majority of teenagers today does not cheat on exams, get high, rob, engage in sexting, or sleep around. In other words, most kids today are pretty darn good.
Problem is, studying, getting good grades, eating all your vegetables, and remaining abstinent doesn’t get you on the 10:00 news. Screwing up big time….now that will get you noticed.
During my speaking engagements at youth events, I often mention that the news media where I spent a great deal of my career is generally absent when there’s good news to report about our young folks. That’s just the way the business is.
Occasions like those I speak at are solid reminders that despite what we read in the papers or see on television, the majority of today’s youth are good, honest, decent, productive citizens and the future of our great country is in very good hands.
Some qualms, at least for me, remain. There’s the whole work ethic. And political astuteness. And general knowledge about the basics of reading, writing and math. And being involved in their communities. And drugs. And sex.
But how bad are today’s teens? How morally bankrupt are they?
National radio talk show host and columnist Michael Medved shoots holes in the commonly held notion that today’s teens only care about and engage in three things: sex, sex, and more sex.
Armed with an arsenal of substantiated data, Medved makes the strong case that most of today’s teens are not promiscuous to the nth degree. Medved lays out the supporting evidence, then the subsequent fact-based conclusions that are great news warranting front page coverage in every daily paper in the country:
“Journalists failed to mention the one most obvious and logical explanation for the rise in the pre-twenty birthrate: it reflected a sharp increase in fertility and childbearing for women of all ages, all races, and all economic situations. The general fertility rate hit its highest level since 1971 – showing a one year-increase among older women at least as notable as the rise among teenagers.
In other words, the rising number of teenage mothers connects with the rise of motherhood in general – and the dramatic decline in abortion.
In this context, the small increase in teenaged births doesn't demonstrate a breakdown of moral discipline among the young, but rather shows the society-wide improvement in attitudes toward human life and child-bearing. In every age group, women proved more eager to welcome babies and far more reluctant to terminate their pregnancies with abortion.”
I encourage you to take the time to read Medved’s column, as well as a New York Times article he refers to.
Medved writes about positive trends involving our youth who aren’t recognized enough for their positive lifestyles. Here’s hoping this good news continues.
In 2007, a Colorado judge gained fame for using Barry Manilow as a deterrent.
The judge continues to make national news….
And now, international news. His influence has reached across the world where New Zealand is attempting to calm the youthful masses.
I just wonder what kind of post BM stress syndrome this might cause for mall employees who would be forced to listen all day.
Boy left in day care van overnight.....the same day another child left alone in van for an hour or two.
It is indefensible. There isn't an excuse in the world that can justify an adult in charge of a child's transportation leaving (I don't buy the "I forgot" routine) that child in the vehicle unattended for any amount of time.
My friend and colleague, state Senator Spencer Coggs (D-Milwaukee) is reintroducing his bill to require day care vans to be equipped with alarms.
It's not a bad idea per se, but I have a better one. How about day care centers hire drivers with enough brains and common sense to not leave any child alone ever. What a concept.
Because of the city of Franklin's courage, vision and leadership, other municipalities around the satte have considered and/or approved Franklin-like ordinances restricting where sex offenders can be or live. Some have thought it over and decided no. That, of course, is their prerogative. Each community must decide what is best for their neighborhoods.
Personally, I would hope more communities would take Franklin's lead. Delafield did not. Their city attorney said the idea of a restrictive ordinance sounds good on paper, but there are so many other issues to consider. He doesn't outline what they are so that they be formally and thoroughly addressed. Delafield aldermen nod their heads in agreement. Not a one offers a dissenting voice.
Hey, if that's what you want, Delafield. But you've just sent a loud and clear message to released sex offenders that as far as they're concerned, Delafield is open for business.
Franklin should thank it's lucky stars for City Attorney Jesse Wesolowski.
How evil. And then, how incredibly stupid.
First, the evil, from the Belleville News Democrat:
"A Belleville teacher's aide is accused of trying to drown one newborn in a toilet after giving birth at a family party in Columbia in November, and is being investigated in the death of another, whose decomposed body was discovered at her home last week."
Now, the incredibly stupid:
"Despite the protests of police, who argued that Elyse J. Mamino put her tiny daughter face-first in a water-filled toilet bowl and left her gasping for air and kicking her legs, child protection workers returned the child to her care."
These two cases, a murder and an attempted murder were preventable. Because the criminal justice system can be too lenient, it enables individuals to repeat their crimes. Illinois, like every state in the country, has what is called a "Safe Haven" law. As I blogged last July, under a safe haven law, all an individual has to do if she doesn't want a newborn child is hop in a car and drive to the nearest police station, drop the baby off and go home, no questions asked:
"Even though most states have safe havens laws, many babies are still being abandoned illegally instead of being dropped off at safe places. I submit the reason more babies aren’t being tenderly taken to safe havens is because many people, especially mixed up babies having babies don’t know these laws exist. There needs to be one of those 'awareness' campaigns, a public education effort we always hear about. Amidst all the talk in public schools about safe sex and condoms, could we spend a few minutes on safe havens? Innocent newborns don’t belong in the garbage. I’d much rather have unwanted babies dropped off at places where they’ll receive all the attention they truly deserve rather than having to place a call to the undertaker."
Here's my blog from last July.
1) The woman in the Illinois case needs to be aggressively prosecuted.
2) The social workers who ignored the advice of police need to be fired immediately.
3) The word about Safe Haven Laws needs to get out.
A PAID POLITICAL ANNOUNCEMENT
BY: BARACK OBAMA
My fellow Americans,
As your president I want to thank voters of all political stripes for their mindless support, despite my complete lack of any legislative achievement, my pastor's ties with Louis Farrakhan and Libyan dictator Moamar Quadafi, and my blatantly liberal voting record while I present myself as some sort of bipartisan agent of change.
I also liked how my supporters claimed my youthful drug use and criminal behaviour somehow qualified me for the presidency after 8 years of claiming Bush's youthful drinking disqualified him. Your hypocrisy is a beacon of hope shining over a sea of political chicanery.
I would also like to thank the Kennedys for coming out in support of me. There's a lot of glamour behind the Kennedy name, even though JFK started the Vietnam War, his brother Robert illegally wiretapped Martin Luther King Jr., they both slept with Marilyn, and Teddy's negligence caused the death of a young girl. I'm not going anywhere near the Kennedy cousins, especially Michael Skakel.
And I'd like to thank Oprah Winfrey for her support. Her love of meaningless empty platitudes was the force that propeled me to the White House.
Americans voted for me, not because of my lack of experience or achievement, but because I make people feel good. White people who voted for me got some relief from their racist guilt.
I said things that sound meaningful but don't really mean anything because Americans are tired of things having meaning. If things have meaning, then that means you have to think.
Americans are tired of thinking. It's time to shut down the brain and open up the heart.