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This Just In ...

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

What's Great About America-Part 5

Dinesh D' Souza, an immigrant from India who is now a U.S. citizen, is author of the New York Times best-seller What’s So Great About America. A few years ago, he wrote a paper for the Heritage Foundation called What’s Great About America. For seven days, I'm posting, one each day, the qualities D'Souza listed in his paper. Here's #5.

Religious Liberty

America has found a solution to religious and ethnic conflict. In many countries today, people from different faiths or tribes are engaged in bloody conflict: Serbs and Croatians, Sikhs and Hindus, Hindus and Muslims, Irish Catholics and Irish Protestants, Jews and Palestinians, Hutu and Tutsi—the list of religious and ethnic combatants goes on and on. Even in countries where ethnic or religious differences do not lead to extreme violence, there is generally no framework for people to coexist harmoniously. In France and Germany, for example, nonwhite immigrants have proved largely indigestible. They form an alien underclass within Europe, and Europeans seem divided about whether to subjugate them or to expel them. One option that is not available to the nonwhite immigrants is to become full citizens. They cannot “become French” or “become German” because being French and German is a function of blood and birth. You become French by having French parents.

In America, things are different. Consider the example of New York City. It is a tumultuous place, teeming with diversity. New York has black and white, rich and poor, immigrant and native. I have noticed two striking things about these people. They are energetic, hard-working, opportunistic: They want to succeed and believe there is a good chance they can. Second, for all their profound differences, they manage somehow to get along. This raises a question about New York and about America: How does it manage both to reconcile such fantastic ethnic and religious and socioeconomic diversity and give hope and inspiration to so many people from all over the world?

The credit, I believe, goes largely to the American Founders. The Founders were all too familiar with the history of the religious wars in Europe, specifically their legacy of havoc and destruction. They were determined to avoid that bloodshed in the New World. Not that the Founders were anti-religion. On the contrary, they were religious men (some Deist, some orthodox Christian) who insisted that political legitimacy and rights derive from God. The Declaration of Independence, for instance, insists that the source of our rights is “our Creator.” It is because rights come from God, and not us, that they are “inalienable.”

Despite the religious foundation for the American system of government, the Founders were determined not to permit theological differences to become the basis for political conflict. The solution they came up with was as simple as it was unique: separation of religion and government. This is not the same thing as religious tolerance. Think about what tolerance means. If I tolerate you, that implies I believe you are wrong: I object to your views, but I will put up with you. England had enacted a series of acts of religious toleration, but England also had an official church. The American system went beyond toleration in refusing to establish a national church and in recognizing that all citizens, as a matter of right, were free to practice their religion. As America’s first President, George Washington, put it in his letter to the Hebrew Congregation of Newport, Rhode Island, of August 1790:

It is now that tolerance is no more spoken of, as if it was by the indulgence of one class of people, that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights. For happily the government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens, in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.

One reason that separation of religion and government worked is that colonial America was made up of numerous, mostly Protestant sects. The Puritans dominated in Massachusetts; the Anglicans, in Virginia; the Catholics were concentrated in Maryland; and so on. No group was strong enough to subdue the others, and so it was in every group’s interest to “live and let live.” The ingenuity of the American solution is evident in Voltaire’s remark that where there is one religion, you have tyranny; where there are two, you have civil conflict; but where they are many, you have freedom.

A second reason the American Founders were able to avoid religious oppression and conflict is that they found a way to channel people’s energies away from theological quarrels and into commercial activity. The American system is founded on property rights and trade, and The Federalist tells us that the protection of the unequal faculties of obtaining property is “the first object of government.” The logic of this position is best expressed by Samuel Johnson’s remark: “there are few ways in which a man is so innocently occupied than in getting money.” The Founders reasoned that people who are working assiduously to better their condition, people who are planning to make an addition to their kitchen and who are saving up for a vacation, are not likely to go around spearing their neighbors.

America has found a similar solution to the problem of racial and ethnic division: Do not extend rights to ethnic groups, only to individuals; in this way, all are equal in the eyes of the law, opportunity is open to everyone who can take advantage of it, and everybody who embraces the law and the American way of life can “become American.”

Of course, Americans have not always lived by these principles, and there are exceptions, such as affirmative action. Such policies remain controversial because, in a sense, they are un-American. In general, however, America is the only country in the world that extends full membership to outsiders. The typical American could go to India and stay for 40 years, perhaps even taking Indian citizenship, but he could not “become Indian.” Indians would not consider such a person Indian, nor would it be possible for him to think of himself in that way. In America, by contrast, millions of people come from all over the world, and over time most of them come to think of themselves as Americans. Their experience suggests that becoming Americans is less a function of birth or blood and more a function of embracing a set of ideas and a way of life.

Today in America, we see how the experiment that the Founders embarked upon two centuries ago has turned out. In American cities like New York, for example, tribal and religious battles, such as we see in Lebanon, Mogadishu, Kashmir, and Belfast, are nowhere in evidence. In Manhattan restaurants, white and African–American secretaries have lunch together. In Silicon Valley, Americans of Jewish and Palestinian descent collaborate on e-commerce solutions and play racquetball after work. Hindus and Muslims, Serbs and Croatians, Turks and Armenians all seem to have forgotten their ancestral differences and joined the vast and varied parade of New Yorkers. Everyone wants to “make it,” to “get ahead,” to “hit it big.” And even as they compete, people recognize that, somehow, they are all in this together in pursuit of some great, elusive American dream.

Happy July 1

Green Bay Packer training camp opens in 27 days.

The Fiscal Wake-Up Tour comes to Milwaukee

Last week, I posted what I called one of the most important blogs I’ve ever done. By no means was the topic sexy or provocative. But it was an extremely critical issue: the fiscal future of America.

There is a lot of information about the Fiscal Wake-Up Tour that came to Milwaukee Monday. If you care about our nation’s economic crisis that most recognize but few are doing anything about, at the very least, watch the 60 Minutes video in my blog.

The Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel did a great job covering the Fiscal Wake-Up Tour’s stop in Milwaukee:

National debt makes U.S. vulnerable, experts say

Fiscal Wake-Up Tour visits Milwaukee to warn of rising debt

Editorial: A $53 trillion problem
The nation’s failure to address runaway spending on Medicare and Social Security is threatening our standard of living.

When it comes to the idea of a sales tax increase, these people get it

Business owners interviewed by David Doege of the Milwaukee Business Journal say a sales tax increase in Milwaukee County would be detrimental to businesses.

The Milwaukee County Board has approved an advisory sales tax referendum for the November ballot, with tax revenue to go toward mass transit and the parks.  Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker will veto the measure, as he should given our current tax climate. The Board may have enough votes to override the veto.

If the referendum is placed on the ballot and then approved by voters, the state Legislature and the Governor would also have to approve the tax hike.
The increase would raise the total sales tax in Milwaukee County to 6.6%. The county collects a 0.5% sales tax, the state sales tax is 5% and the stadium tax is 0.1%.

Here are some of the reactions Doege of the Business Journal got:

"It would have a devastating effect on businesses in Milwaukee County. It's difficult enough just having to deal with the proliferation of Internet retailers that don't charge a sales tax."
Tony Miresse, owner of Art’s Cameras Plus.

"Jewelry is purchased with discretionary income. It would be an even greater challenge for my business to survive."
Vivian Anton, president of Paul's Jewelers.

“This is not a good time to be increasing anybody’s cost to do anything.”
Ed Lump, president and CEO of the Wisconsin Restaurant Association.

“It’s not that we oppose having good transit. But selective taxes impact where people make major purchases.”
Chris Tackett, president and CEO of the Wisconsin Merchants Federation.

“People have not used public transportation, so I can’t see raising the sales tax to support it.”
Glenn Pentler, owner of Uptown Motors in Wauwatosa and Slinger.

“If you raise the price of motor vehicles by just one-half of 1 percent, it will be a significant factor in some people’s decision about whether to buy a car.”
Gary Williams, president of the Wisconsin Automobile and Truck Dealers Association.

These people get it. Raising taxes hurts businesses, especially those located next to areas that don’t have the increases. Consumers will drive the extra miles to save on the sales tax. The poor will be hit hardest by a sales tax increase, a fact liberals are fully aware of but choose not to discuss.

Walker’s veto needs to be upheld. Call your Milwaukee County Supervisor ASAP and ask that he/she vote to sustain the veto of the sales tax referendum.

No this, no that, no nothing on the 4th

We were just kids, playing around.

It was dark, but not dark enough so the July 4th fireworks from a nearby county park hadn’t begun yet. So some of the neighbor kids and I were on a street corner, armed with lit sparklers. My mother was there, too.

Someone, I don’t remember who, decided to toss his lit sparkler into the air. It came down quickly, landing on the ground harmlessly, just as a squad car drove by.

The squad came to a halt.

Oh oh.

An officer inside didn’t get out but talked to my mother through his rolled-down window. He muttered something to the effect that she could go to jail or some nonsense, gave the obligatory “be careful,” and then took off.

My father joked that night and for many years after that if he had been there with my mother, he would have gladly told the officers to haul her away.

In many locales in Wisconsin, just about every firework is illegal, including sparklers. I’ve read that sparklers can reach temperatures of 2500 degrees, and thus, are quite dangerous. At least, that’s what safety officials always told us in interviews when I worked in radio all those years.

Of course sparklers are dangerous………if you’re stupid. Who grabs one of those lit babies by the part that’s actually sparkling? Maybe some child absent parental supervision.

No sparkler known to man will ever burn down a house. Sparklers should be legal in all of Wisconsin but we have tried our darndest to take all the fun out of the 4th of July.

The Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel reminds us that the city of Milwaukee has increased the penalties for fireworks. The old sanction used to be $100-$500 per violation. Now it’s $500 to $1,000 per violation.

Remember my sweet, innocent mom? If that same scenario were to take place now, she could face a fine of $1,000 for letting children use fireworks. If Mrs. Fischer doesn’t pay the fine, she can go to jail for 40 days.

Isn’t it wonderful to see leaders cracking down on the real problems facing the city of Milwaukee?

Listen up Independence Day party animals in the city of Milwaukee: No sparklers, no firecrackers, no Roman candles, no bottle rockets, no peas in the cole slaw. Okay, I made that last one up.

And then consider Wisconsin’s impossible to understand fireworks law. The Wisconsin Department of Justice writes on its website, “Sparklers, stationary cones and fountains, toy snakes, smoke bombs, and caps, noisemakers and confetti poppers with less than Вј of a grain of explosive mixture are legal without permits, unless restricted by local ordinances. All other fireworks, including roman candles, firecrackers, bottle rockets, mortars etc.--anything that explodes or leaves the ground--is illegal except for groups with permits. Penalties: Up to $1,000 forfeiture per violation (each firework may be a violation); up to $10,000 and 9 months in jail for a person who violates an injunction prohibiting them from violating the law.”

Then you have the whole issue of enforcement. You’ll hear law enforcement make proclamations right about this time that they will be out in full force to nab and any and all violators. Oh, really? I’m sure our local police have far higher priorities than scouring the neighborhoods searching for the infamous sparkler.

So, if you want to shoot off fireworks in your backyard or in the neighborhood court, get a permit from your mayor, village president or town chairman. If you don’t and get caught and are actually cited by police, get ready to fork over hundreds and hundreds of dollars.

And have a nice holiday.

No one bothered to help

Last summer, I spent time filling in on WISN discussing the tragic story of the death of Lashanda Callaway. Callaway was stabbed at a convenience store in Wichita, Kansas.

While on the floor, bleeding to death, no one offered to help, not the store employee, not the other five customers. Some of the customers stepped over her body so they could continue in line to make their purchases.

One woman, after stepping over the dying woman several times, finally pulled out a cell phone. But she didn’t call 9-1-1. She took pictures of the woman on the floor. Reportedly, some pictures found their way onto the Internet.

Even though the bleeding woman struggled to her feet, only to fall to the floor several times, nobody bothered to help. Finally, emergency personnel arrived, but the delay cost the woman her life.

This is a disgusting story, a tragic commentary on our times that some individuals have such a total disregard for human life.

Now, another story has surfaced in the news, another blatant example of man’s inhumanity and cruelty. Again, it could have been prevented. Here are the details from MSNBC.

Our country is good, too good

Illegal immigration

I have blogged numerous times that America is often its own worst enemy when it comes to illegal immigration. For decades we sat back and did little while the problem exploded. Now we have millions of illegal immigrants we can’t handle, many of whom are out committing violent crimes against innocent, real Americans.

This story goes beyond outrageous. It’s one thing to throw up our hands and say the epidemic is such that any effort to stem the tide is futile. But to bend over backwards to assist illegals? That’s unconscionable, but it’s happening.

San Francisco juvenile probation officials - citing the city's immigrant sanctuary status - are protecting Honduran youths caught dealing crack cocaine from possible federal deportation and have given some offenders a city-paid flight home with carte blanche to return.

The city's practices recently prompted a federal criminal investigation into whether San Francisco has been systematically circumventing U.S. immigration law, according to officials with knowledge of the matter.

City officials say they are trying to balance their obligations under federal and state law with local court orders and San Francisco's policies aimed at protecting the rights of the young immigrants, who they say are often victims of exploitation.

Federal authorities counter that drug kingpins are indeed exploiting the immigrants, but that the city's stance allows them to get away with ‘gaming the system.’

The practice, federal authorities say, does nothing to prevent offenders from coming back, while federal deportation legally bars them from ever returning. Federal officials also say U.S. law prohibits helping an illegal immigrant to cross the border, even if it is to return home.”

Read the rest in the SF Chronicle.

Your government, working on behalf of illegal immigrants. Is it any wonder we’re in the mess we’re in?

Missing Beatles tape found

VERY COOL!.....speakers up!

Here's more.

What's Great About America: Part 6

Dinesh D' Souza, an immigrant from India who is now a U.S. citizen, is author of the New York Times best-seller What’s So Great About America. A few years ago, he wrote a paper for the Heritage Foundation called What’s Great About America. For seven days, I'm posting, one each day, the qualities D'Souza listed in his paper. Here's #6.

Ideals and Interests

America has the kindest, gentlest foreign policy of any great power in world history. America’s enemies are likely to respond to this notion with sputtering outrage. Their view is that America’s influence has been, and continues to be, deeply destructive and wicked. Many European, Islamic, and Third World critics—as well as many American leftists—make the point that the United States uses the comforting language of morality while operating according to the ruthless norms of power politics. To these critics, America talks about democracy and human rights while supporting ruthless dictatorships around the world. In the 1980s, for example, the U.S. supported Anastasio Somoza in Nicaragua, the Shah of Iran, Augusto Pinochet in Chile, and Ferdinand Marcos in the Philippines. Today, America is allied with unelected regimes in the Muslim world such as Pervez Musharaff in Pakistan, Hosni Mubarak in Egypt, and the royal family in Saudi Arabia. Moreover, the critics charge that America’s actions abroad, such as in the Gulf War and Iraq, were not motivated by noble humanitarian ideals but by the crass desire to guarantee American access to oil.

These charges contain an element of truth. In his book White House Years, Henry Kissinger says that America has no permanent friends or enemies, only interests. It is indeed true that American foreign policy seeks to protect America’s self-interest, but what is wrong with this? All it means is that the American people have empowered their government to act on their behalf against their adversaries. They have not asked their government to remain neutral when their interests and, say, the interests of the Ethiopians come in conflict. It is unreasonable to ask a nation to ignore its own interests, because that is tantamount to asking a nation to ignore the welfare of its own people. Asked why he once supported the Taliban regime and then joined the American effort to oust it, General Musharaff of Pakistan coolly replied, “Because our national interest has changed.” When he said this, nobody thought to ask any further questions.

Critics of U.S. foreign policy judge it by a standard applied to no one else. They denounce America for protecting its self-interest while expecting other countries to protect theirs. Americans need not apologize for their country acting abroad in a way that is good for them. Why should it act in any other way? Indeed, Americans can feel immensely proud about how often their country has served them well while simultaneously promoting noble ideals and the welfare of others. So, yes, America did fight the Gulf War partly to protect its access to oil, but also to liberate Kuwait from Iraqi invasion. American interests did not taint American ideals; just the opposite is true: The ideals dignified the interests.

But what about the United States backing Latin American, Asian, and Middle Eastern dictators such as Somoza, Pinochet, Marcos, and the Shah? It should be noted that, in each of these cases, the United States eventually turned against these dictatorial regimes and actively aided in its ouster. In Chile and the Philippines, the outcomes were favorable: The Pinochet and Marcos regimes were replaced by democratic governments that have so far endured. In Nicaragua and Iran, however, one form of tyranny promptly gave way to another. Somoza was replaced by the Sandinistas, who suspended civil liberties and established a Marxist-style dictatorship, and the Shah of Iran was replaced by a harsh theocracy presided over by the Ayatollah Khomeini.

These outcomes help to highlight a crucial principle of foreign policy: the principle of the lesser evil. It means that one should not pursue a thing that seems good if it is likely to result in something worse. A second implication of this doctrine is that one is usually justified in allying with a bad guy in order to oppose a regime that is even more terrible. The classic example of this was in World War II. The United States allied with a very bad man, Josef Stalin, in order to defeat someone who posed an even greater threat at the time: Adolf Hitler. Once the principle of the lesser evil is taken into account, many of America’s alliances with tin-pot dictators become defensible. America allied with these regimes to win the Cold War. If one accepts what is today almost a universal consensus—that the Soviet Union was an “evil empire”—then the United States was right to attach more importance to the fact that Marcos and Pinochet were reliably anti-Soviet than to the fact that they were autocratic thugs.

None of this is to excuse the blunders and mistakes that have characterized U.S. foreign policy over the decades. Unlike the old colonial powers—the British and the French—the Americans seem to have little aptitude for the nuances of international politics. Part of the problem is America’s astonishing ignorance of the rest of the world. About this, the critics of the United States are correct. They have also played a constructive role in exposing America’s misdoings. Here each person can develop his own list: longstanding U.S. support for a Latin American despot, or the unjust internment of the Japanese–Americans during World War II, or America’s reluctance to impose sanctions on South Africa’s apartheid regime. There is ongoing debate over whether the United States was right to drop atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

However one feels about these cases, let us concede to the critics that America is not always in the right. What the critics completely ignore, however, is the other side of the ledger. Twice in the 20th century, the United States saved the world: first from the Nazi threat, then from Soviet totalitarianism. After destroying Germany and Japan in World War II, America proceeded to rebuild both nations, and today they are close allies. Now the United States is helping Afghanistan and Iraq on the path to political stability and economic development. (What this tells us is that North Vietnam’s misfortune was to win the war against the United States. If it had lost, it wouldn’t be the impoverished country it is now, because America would have helped to rebuild it and to modernize it.)

Consider, too, how magnanimous the United States has been to the former Soviet Union since the Cold War. And even though the United States does not have a serious military rival in the world today, it has not acted in the manner of regimes that have historically occupied this enviable position. For the most part, America is an abstaining superpower: it shows no interest in conquering and subjugating the rest of the world. (Imagine how the Soviets would have acted if they had won the Cold War.) On occasion, the U.S. intervenes to overthrow a tyrannical regime or to halt massive human rights abuses in another country, but it never stays to rule that country. In Grenada and Haiti and Bosnia, the United States got in and then got out.

Moreover, when America does get into a war, it is supremely careful to avoid targeting civilians and to minimize collateral damage. During the military campaign against the Taliban, U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld met with theologians to make sure that America’s actions were in strict conformity with “just war” principles; and even as America bombed the Taliban’s infrastructure and hideouts, its planes dropped rations of food to avert hardship and starvation on the part of Afghan civilians. What other country does these things?

Jeane Kirkpatrick once said, “Americans need to face the truth about themselves, no matter how pleasant it is.” The reason that many Americans don’t feel this way is because they judge themselves by a higher standard than anyone else. Americans are a self-scrutinizing people: Even when they have acted well in a given situation, they are always willing to examine whether they could have acted better. At some subliminal level, everybody knows this. Thus, if the Chinese, the Arabs, or the sub-Saharan Africans slaughter 10,000 of their own people, the world utters a collective sigh and resumes its normal business. We sadly expect the Chinese, the Arabs, and the sub-Saharan Africans to do these things. By contrast, if America, in the middle of a war, accidentally bombs a school or a hospital and kills 200 civilians, there is an immediate uproar followed by an investigation. What all this demonstrates, of course, is the evident moral superiority of American foreign policy.

A very nice PSA

Are you enjoying watching MeTV?

All those great old shows?

All those great old commercials?

"I love me. I love me. I'm wild about sweet me!"

OK. That's major annoying.

I have nightmares, angels playing harps singing that stupid promo.

"I love me. I love me, till I'm all out of breath!"



I give up already!

But because MeTV doesn't broadcast a great deal of local or national commercials that were produced recently as opposed to 38 years ago, they run a lot of PSA's (Public Service Announcements).

One caught my eye and it's really well done.

Read more

The dog ate my homework, California style

“A male motorist was still holding his cell phone in his hand while talking to an officer . . . He claimed he was using it to scratch his head.” 

“A female motorist was talking on her phone and saw the officer looking at her. She attempted to throw (the phone) out the driver's window, but it clanked and fell into her lap.”

Some of the excuses offered by motorists in California caught violating the new law banning the use of cellphones while driving. The law went into effect Tuesday.

It has come to this...

Prostitutes........demanding gas cards.

Quick hits-7/02/08

1) Summerfest officials cave.

Let me get this straight. It’s ok for Stevie Wonder to conduct a mini-campaign rally for Barack Obama on the stage of the Marcus Ampitheater, but a vendor on the grounds can’t have a war game because it might be offensive? Summerfest Administration: wusses.

2) Jazz singer Rene Marie (who?)  was supposed to sing the national anthem at the Denver State of the City Address.  There should be no confusion because there is but ONE national anthem. Instead, Marie sang the Black national anthem. Nothing wrong with the song or the lyrics. But it’s NOT the true national anthem.

From the Denver Post:

"I pulled a switcheroonie on them," Marie said later. She explained that she decided months ago to switch the lyrics because she will no longer sing the national anthem. She said that she made the decision after a Russian broadcaster interviewed her and asked her what it was like to be an American.

At that moment, she said, she realized that as an African-American she at times feels like a foreigner in her home country.

"And I was going to correct her," Marie said. "And I realized I didn't feel like an American, and that bothered me a great deal."

If that’s the case and it’s so horrible here, maybe she should join the other celebrities who have threatened to leave the good ol’ US of A (Alec Baldwin) and get the hell out. That, of course, will never happen. Liberals can never be trusted to he held to what they say.

Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, and union rules.

A teacher’s union remains one of the biggest farces in America. If union leadership really cared about……….THE CHILDREN…… because after all, it’s all about……..THE CHILDREN…….then they wouldn’t be going to court to fight for this nonsense.

Teacher union priorities: Padding their wallets, and electing Democrats, The kids and their classroom performance are far down the list.

What's Great About America: Part 7

Dinesh D' Souza, an immigrant from India who is now a U.S. citizen, is author of the New York Times best-seller What’s So Great About America. A few years ago, he wrote a paper for the Heritage Foundation called What’s Great About America. For the past week, I’ve been posting one of the qualities D'Souza listed in his paper.

Here's the 7th and final segment, America’s Virtue, with the entire paper.

D’Souza’s new book is, What’s So Great About Christianity.

I'm on WISN today

Reminder, I fill in for Mark Belling today on Newstalk1130 WISN from 3-6 pm.

Franklin wins its lawsuit against Steve Hanke- The details

In a story I discussed while filling in for Mark Belling on Newstalk 1130 WISN today during the 3:00 hour, Milwaukee County Circuit Judge John Franke has ruled in favor of the city of Franklin's lawsuit filed against registered sex offender Steve Hanke who moved into Franklin in June of 2007 in violation of the city's ordinance that prohibits released sex offenders from living or congregating within 2000 feet of schools and other locations. Hanke moved into a home 600 feet from a Franklin middle school.

Hanke could now be forced to vacate the premises and face fines for every day he was in violation other ordinance. The ruling is significant, essentially upholding the Franklin ordinance's constitutionality as well as other similar ordinances enacted around the state.

The background...

Franklin has become, over the past several years, the #1 crusader against sex offenders/sex predators and the #1 crusader in the state for protecting all children in all neighborhoods in Wisconsin from sex offender and sex predators.

A few years ago, busloads of Franklin residents stormed a public hearing at State Fair Park to protest a special state committee's thought of building a facility in Franklin to house numerous sexually violent persons. Franklin was considered an ideal location, having the most open space in Milwaukee County.

The loud and strong stand by Franklin residents couldn't be ignored. The special panel wrapped up its business without recommending any site in Milwaukee County for a sex predator house.

A flurry of activity ensued at the state Capitol. A key piece of legislation was approved and signed into law that killed funding for the facility for sexually violent persons and also disbanded the special committee assigned to find a location for the facility. Another bill signed into law makes first degree sexual assault of a child punishable by life in prison. Both bills were authored by state Senator Mary Lazich.

After sailing through the state Senate, a bill requiring that the worst sex offenders in the state be monitored by Global Positioning System or GPS was finally approved after much wrangling in the Assembly and signed into law.

Still, city of Franklin officials wanted to go even further. They were very worried that released sex offenders would be dumped in Franklin. Sparking that fear was the state allowing notorious offender Billy Lee Morford to travel back and forth between his northwest side Milwaukee home and Franklin for 18 months without properly notifying Franklin.

After numerous public hearings and through review, the Franklin Common Council late in 2006 approved an ordinance that was amended and finally put on the books in early 2007 that placed very strict limitations on where sexually violent persons on supervised release could live or congregate in Franklin.

Franklin's ordinance states that no sexually violent person on supervised release may live within two thousand feet of places like schools, libraries, day care centers, parks, playgrounds, athletic fields, movie theatres, etc.

As of today, 35 municipalities from all parts of the state have contacted Franklin for information about their milestone ordinance and have either enacted similar ordinances or are considering passing such laws in their own communities.

The Franklin police have used the ordinance many times to successfully move sex offenders out of areas they weren't supposed to be.

Here's where the story gets controversial and important to every family in the entire state of Wisconsin.

Several months after the Franklin ordinance took effect, Steve Hanke moved into a home about 600 feet from a middle school in Franklin in clear violation of the Franklin ordinance. Hanke, who is in his 
mid-50's, bought the home in the 8200 block of S. 77 Street five months after Franklin adopted its ordinance, in June of 2007.

Hanke refused to leave and Franklin took the necessary legal action to force him out. The city of Franklin filed a lawsuit to evict Hanke, a registered sex offender. Hanke was sentenced to nine years in prison in 1996 for second-degree sexual assault.

Hanke's attorney, Andrew Arena, made the incredibly insulting comment that Franklin residents were overreacting. "The sky is falling in Franklin," he said. "It's just ridiculous."

Why is this all so important?

The city of Franklin had a lot to lose if it did not prevail in this case. A ruling against the city would essentially nullify the Franklin's tough restrictive ordinance that communities all across the state are using as a model to pass their own similar laws. If  Franklin lost this lawsuit, the teeth would have been taken right out of its ordinance and the fear that a facility to house numerous sexually violent persons could be built in Franklin would have started all over again.

Last fall, a court hearing on the matter was held before Judge John Franke. Franke is a very liberal judge with a history.

In June of 2003, Franke released one of Wisconsin's most notorious predators, four-time-convicted child molester Billy Lee Morford, to a home reportedly less than a mile from two schools and a park. Morford was the first sexual predator given supervised release in the city of Milwaukee.

In 1997, Franke granted predator Shawn Schulpius supervised release, contingent on the creation of a plan for housing and monitoring him in Milwaukee. But for more than two years, officials could not find supervised housing for Schulpius in the city. In 2000, Franke reversed himself, saying Schulpius didn't deserve release after all.

So, you have the city of Franklin going to court to get Hanke out, claiming he's violating a constitutional ordinance. A loss for Franklin in court would have been  a loss for the entire state, eliminating restrictive ordinances from the books in other municipalities, and opening the doors for sex offenders to live as close to innocent families and children to prey as they please.

In a conversation I had earlier this week with Franklin's City Attorney Jesse Wesolowski, I said that I could envision Judge Franke issuing his decision on July 3 at 4:00 in the afternoon, and if so, that would be bad news. It didn't turn out that way.

This is a huge victory for not just the city of Franklin, but the entire state of Wisconsin.  Ordinances that are in place right now to restrict where sex offenders can live or congregate in can remain in effect. Other cities, towns, and villages watching anxiously, waiting from the sidelines to see what would transpire can now move forward with their plans to adopt such ordinances.

Franklin actually has two ordinances that are very similar but deal with the same issue.

There's an ordinance that deals with what Franklin City Attorney Jesse Wesolowksi described as a "public order." This ordinance basically states that Franklin is taking these restrictive measures to protect its citizens, and then it also lists all the nuts and bolts, the details of the ordinance, the 2000 feet limits, and so on.

Then there's the all-important zoning ordinance, and this is critical. This sealed the deal for a Franklin victory.

I'm told that it appears Judge Franke made his ruling based on Franklin's zoning ordinance that includes all those nuts and bolts details, but was crafted and adopted based on statutes that allow municipalities like Franklin to pass laws that control its land use. This ordinance, that is almost identical to the first ordinance except for some legal terminology, saved the day for Franklin.

Also, Hanke presented in court at least 10 arguments that questioned the legality and constitutionality. Judge Franke found nothing to support any of those arguments.Franke also ruled against Hanke's motion that the claims made by the city of Franklin were invalid.

So, what does it all mean?

#1- Franklin's tough ordinance is constitutional.

#2- Other ordinances in other communities are safely in place.

#3- Other municipalities considering adopting such ordinances can safely move forward.

#4-Does Hanke have to move? The judge has asked the city of Franklin to prepare a proposed order to have Hanke obey the ordinance;  in other words, to move from his current residence. 

#5- Hanke could be fined, anywhere from $1 to $2500 per day for every day he was in violation of the ordinance. Remember, he moved into his home in violation in June of 2007.The judge wants a hearing to determine what the specifics on fines will be.

have publicly criticized Judge Franke in the past and worried about how he would rule. He made the right decisions and deserves credit.

But there are other, bigger heroes, starting with the people of Franklin, the Franklin-based Citizens for a Safe Wisconsin, The Franklin Common Council and the Mayor, and especially Alderman Steve Olson, the architect of Franklin's ordinance, and yes, state Senator Mary Lazich, who set the table for the creation of the Franklin ordinance through her collaboration with Citizens for a Safe Wisconsin to author anti-sex predator legislation that became law in Wisconsin.

The winners are every single child in the state of Wisconsin and their parents.

If you missed my discussion on the radio, the podcast is available on the Newstalk 1130 WISN website.

UPDATE: I talked about this topic in the 4:00 hour as well.

The MPS Administration goes insane...


This happened last year and the public revolted.

November 2007

Photo/Karen Sherlock

An overflow crowd waits outside the School Board meeting room while some sign up to speak at a school budget hearing, which attracted hundreds of residents. Most who spoke opposed a proposal to raise the tax levy for Milwaukee Public Schools by 16.4%.

Can city of Milwaukee taxpayers get outraged and protest for the 2nd year in a row?

Great flag photos

Happy 4th everyone!

One of the best features that websites of newpapers provide is their photo galleries. They can be incredible.

I think you'll enjoy this one from the Indianapolis Star.

Happy 4th of July 2008!

I hope you enjoy these wonderful patriotic clips.

We begin with this recitation from a great American.

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Old Glory: Look for the U.S. label

Flags flown in or at public buildings in Wisconsin must be American made. The state Legislature approved the requirement during the previous legislative session.

Wisconsin is not alone in passing such legislation.

Herman's Hermits sang it over 40 years ago, still true today: Don't know much about history...

Naomi Wolf
reported some grim news last winter about our nation’s young people and their dreadful lack of knowledge about the country they call home:

“According to a recent study by the National Center for Education Statistics, only 47 percent of high school seniors have mastered a minimum level of U.S. history and civics, while only 14 percent performed at or above the "proficient" level. Middle schoolers in many states are no longer required to take classes in civics or government. Only 29 states require high school students to take a government or civics course, leaving millions of young Americans in the dark about why democracy matters.

A survey released by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute in September found that U.S. high school students missed almost half the questions on a civic literacy test. Only 45.9 percent of those surveyed knew that the sentence "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal" is in the Declaration of Independence. Yet these same students can probably name the winner of "American Idol" in a heartbeat.”

The situation isn’t any better on college campuses. It is a national travesty that many of our nation’s college students, including those attending some of the most prestigious schools in America, know very little about our Presidents. College seniors achieved less than 60 percent correct on a series of questions about U.S. presidents.

It’s imperative that today’s students learn about American history in order that they can be productive, informed, engaged citizens. That’s not happening on our campuses that are generating an abysmal record of turning out well-informed American historians. America's colleges and universities fail to increase knowledge about America's history and institutions. This disturbing trend has been labeled ”The Coming Crisis in Citizenship.”

How sad is the current state of affairs on campus? The average senior at every college scored below 70 percent correct on a civic literacy examination. This would be a D or F on a basic test using a conventional grading scale. Even at colleges with the highest scoring seniors, no class of seniors scored higher than 69 percent, or D+. Seniors at 22 of the 50 schools scored on average below 50 percent, and seniors at four of the colleges had an average score below 40 percent. That’s pathetic.

It’s clear our schools aren’t getting the job done when it comes to instruction about basic American history and political science. More emphasis needs to be placed in this area if our kids are going to develop into conscientious civic-minded citizens.

Now, how would you do if you took a citizenship test?


"Sure, dear, I'll run to Pick 'n' Save for us."


With Sendik's closed today, the 76th and Rawson Pick is a zoo.

Carts are hard to come by.

Lines are terribly long.

Husbands, you've been warned.

I would suspect this alert will remain in effect until dinnertime today.

My wife, a dog, and Kopp's

Many places I go, I now get hit with, “Have you got a dog yet?”

It’s the worst kept secret on the planet, but the true story has been distorted. The general consensus, I have found, is that my dear, sweet, adorable wife, desperately wants and deserves a pet, but her dog-hating, stubborn, no-good husband simply won’t oblige.

Until today, I had forgotten how far down the hieracrchy I would slip if the Fischer household did, indeed, have a dog. Then I went to Kopp’s to pick up a half gallon of one of the flavors the day. It happens to be another of the wonders of life that rates higher than yours truly.

So, for all of you who stop and interrogate me about dog updates, keep this in mind. If and when I cave and we get a dog, the totem pole will look something like this:



3) OUR DOG (s)








There’s probably some others I’m forgetting but the point is, I’m no longer in the top ten in the hit parade.

And many of you (you know who you are) are still encouraging my dear wife to get a dog, or more than one.

Some friends.

A PBS 4th of July-The good and the bad

I’ve had the pleasure of working for over 20 years in local broadcasting: 11 years at WUWM, and for the past 11 years, I’ve been a regular panelist On Channel 10’s InterCHANGE. I also hosted the Channel 10 Auction for many years.

When public broadcasting is good, it’s very, very good. Tonight, Independence Day evening is a perfect example.

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Look for our regular features all weekend

It begins with a special 4th of July edition of Friday Night Live tonight at 11:30. After you get home from the fireworks, fire up the computer for a trip down memory lane.

Despite this being a holiday week, Week-ends is loaded with heroes, villains, strange stories, plus our outrage of the week. That's Saturday, along with wife Jennifer's dog blog, The Barking Lot.

Sunday, it's the ever-popular Culinary no-no.

I hope you're having a safe and pleasant holiday weekend, and thank you for spending some of it here.

Friday Night Live


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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...


Waterford police officer Jimmy Hecht

Greendale woman's rescuers

Kids with Courage

11-year old Emily Moore

Tatyana McFadden

NASCAR legend Darrell Waltrip

Tim Hoeksema of Midwest

Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge John Franke, but more importantly, Franklin's Mayor, Common Council, Citizens for a Safe Wisconsin, and the citizens of Franklin.


Summerfest officials and the small band of peaceniks they caved to on the Army's vrtual game on the Summerfest grounds.
Summerfest, after pressure was applied following discussion on talk radio, somewhat changed their decision, allowing a tamer version of the game.

Mark Dean Schwab

Lenient judge

Ricardo Gonzalez

Emanuel Lopez

Wesley Clark


“I don’t feel I need to sell myself to the fans. They need to get on board now or keep their mouths shut.”
Green Bay Packer QB Aaron Rodgers, on Packer fans.

"I've got the itch."
Green Bay Packer Al Harris on ESPN, quoting what Brett Favre told him about playing again.

"It's all rumor."
Favre when questioned about wanting to play again.

"A lot of kids, when they get out school, are kind of lost," said Jamie Norton, a firefighter in Gridley, Calif. "When you get out of high school, what are you educated to do?"
Jamie Norton, a firefighter in Gridley, California, responding to an AP poll that Americans don't believe schools are doing a good job preparing children.

"For nearly a week, lines at the Coggs center in Milwaukee’s central city stretched out the door and around the block. All indications are the majority of applicants were inner city residents. Most residents of that region are renters, so any flood damage would be the responsibility of the landlord. Besides, there wasn’t much flooding there. So how did we get 10,000 applicants? Because most were lying."
WISN 's Mark Belling in his weekly column.

"Our instincts tell us the answer lies more in the direction of competition and the innovation of free enterprise, not in the direction of government control and centralization. We urge healthy skepticism toward politicians who advocate a government-run single-payer system."
The Green Bay Press Gazette editorializing against government health care.

"It's time for Milwaukee to break from the old, reflexive anti-rail thinking of yesterday. It's time for Milwaukee to get over its rail-phobia, move boldly into the future and reap the massive benefits of rail."
MIlwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.

"We are trying to be good stewards. We are not trying to escape our responsibility to Mother Earth. But at this time, the mandate is not contributing enough to clean air."
State Senator Alberta Darling (R-River Hills), quetioning the value of the mandate in SE Wisconsin for reformulated gas (RFG). When the Journal/Sentinel asked the 
Environmental Protection Agency exactly how the gas benefits air quality today, the EPA said it didn't have the data to supply an answer.

“It represents life. It represents 1,313 babies saved from abortion and the mothers saved from the impact of an abortion.”
Wisconsin Right to Life director Barbara Lyons on the 14% drop in abortions in Wisconsin.

"It is laughable.  Planned Parenthood, the largest performer of abortions in Wisconsin and nationwide, is taking credit for the 14% drop in abortions in Wisconsin in 2007.  According to PP’s news release, abortions are down because PP and others made emergency contraception more available. Wow!  PP forgot to mention that its Milwaukee and Appleton abortion clinics were closed for about seven months last year.   Now that’s a concept — close abortion clinics and the number of abortions go down."
Wisconsin Right to Life director Barbara Lyons

"Everyone is going through tough times. That's certainly with regard to taxpayers who are footing the bill. If they have to live within their means, government has to live within their means."
State Representative Scott Suder (R-Abbotsford) at a forum in Marshfield.

“A male motorist was still holding his cell phone in his hand while talking to an officer . . . He claimed he was using it to scratch his head.”
“A female motorist was talking on her phone and saw the officer looking at her. She attempted to throw (the phone) out the driver's window, but it clanked and fell into her lap.”

Some of the excuses offered by motorists in California caught violating the new law banning the use of cellphones while driving.


Scumbag defense attorney for sex offender says the parents of the victims are at fault.


The ruling by Judge Franke in the Franklin sex offender ordinance lawsuit, I spent close to two hours on it on WISN. The Journal/Sentinel buried the story. televison was too caught up in Summerfest and the 4th of July. Hopefully they'll catch up because the story isn't over yet. And the fight against sex offenders will never end.


Will he or won't he?


Ladies, if you have implants, watch out for flying plastic apples.

Get free gas....and

What? No cole slaw?

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

Paying Premiums for your Pooch?
By Jennifer Fischer

I have written several times about my two childhood dogs, Sugar and Skippy.  (I was also blessed with a wonderful cat, Tommy.  He was the most “non-cat” cat I’ve ever known.  All he wanted to do was eat, sleep, and be petted while sitting on your lap.  While I loved Tommy sitting on my lap, eventually my legs would fall asleep.  You see, Tommy was pushing the scales at over 30 pounds).

Each of these three incredible pets in my life had many health challenges throughout their short time with us.  Sugar underwent cancer surgery twice.  Skippy was poisoned by a neighbor and while she survived, she was never the same.  She had liver trouble and stomach issues.  Tommy (being the 30+ pound lover-of-Twinkie Cakes that he was) had diabetes the last two years of his life.

In addition to the annual check ups and regularly scheduled shots, our pets cost our family a considerable amount of money.  Surgeries and medications for animals are just as costly as they are for humans.  Of course they got the best treatment and care we could provide them, even when it meant a financial sacrifice.  I was raised with, and still have, the belief that if you adopt a pet you need to provide for its well-being.  If you brought them into your family, you need to take care of them from beginning to end.

If pet health insurance 
had existed when we got Sugar, Skippy and Tommy, we would have been able to save quite a bit of money on their care and surgeries.

Dr. Jack Stephens is a former veterinarian who recognized the enormous need for pet health insurance in the United States.  His company, Pets Best Insurance, has a heart-warming history of how it was founded.  When we finally get a puppy I will definitely get an insurance policy.

Perhaps you currently have a dog with health issues.  Or perhaps you are considering a certain breed that has a propensity towards a particular health problem.  Pets Best Insurance, or a similar insurance company, could be a valuable resource for you.  I know that I will consider Pets Best Insurance in the future for our dog.

Thanks, Jennifer.

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

Unfortunately, the news isn't always good. This brave dog died in the line of duty. Closer to home, Rocco has cancer.

Pet owners are forced to make adjustments with the closing of a Greendale pet cemetery.

At Milwaukee's lakefront, border collies have been called in to combat disease-spreading birds.

Here's a touching story. Hundreds line up, not for free food, free gas, free anything. They wanted to adopt rescued dogs.

And it turns out Leona Helmsley's generosity wasn't reserved for just one dog.

We close the Barking Lot this week with an e-mail from one of our readers:

Dear Jennifer (and you, too, Kevin):

Thank you for your weekly dog blog. It is quite clear, Jennifer that you are passionate about dogs and I sure hope Kevin finally breaks down and gets you one someday.

And by the way, Kevin. I have a bone to pick with you. A few weeks ago, you closed out one of the dog blogs with a video of Rowlf from the Muppet Show, accompanying Johnny Cash in a barn singing, “Egg sucking dog.” I watched all the Muppet Shows, and being a dog-lover myself, Rowlf was one of my favorite characters. Rowlf is a talented piano virtuoso, and I’m afraid your blog singling out that video with Johnny Cash may have damaged poor Rowlf’s reputation. I certainly hope not.

A super huge Rowlf fan

Thanks for your e-mail and thanks for reading.

Please enjoy the following classical performance. (Note the candelabra).

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I’d like to add to my HEROES OF THE WEEK this week, a category in my weekly feature, Week-ends.

On the 4th of July, Major League Baseball players wore special caps that will now be auctioned off for a great cause.

And please take a few minutes to watch this incredible video about a terrific young boy. The heroes are Ben Roethlisberger and the rest of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

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No Brewers in starting lineup for the All-Star Game

The New York Post is reporting it has learned all the starters for both the National and American Leagues for this year's All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium on July 15th.

No Milwaukee Brewers cracked the starting lineup for the NL.

Here's the Post story.

The rosters will be officially announced Sunday.

Prince Fielder started at first base for the NL in the 2007 All-Star Game.

Does the Journal/Sentinel practice what it preaches?

In today’s Laurels and Laments section of the editorial page in the Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel, the paper heaps praise on Midwest Air CEO Tim Hoeksema for taking a huge pay cut.

I concur with the MJS. I designated Hoeksema as one of my HEROES OF THE WEEK in my Week-ends blog earlier today.

Here is what the paper wrote about Hoeksema:

“In this era of obscene CEO compensation even as their companies implode and in an era when CEO and 'perp walk' have shown up in the same sentence, it’s refreshing that Hoeksema is imposing a 40% pay cut on himself and a 25% pay cut on senior vice presidents. While asking other employees to take pay cuts to help the company weather bad times, he at least is willing to walk the walk.”

That’s a very interesting position to take by an editorial board for a struggling newspaper that continues to lose circulation and revenue.

And yet, this week, when the newspaper announced a 10% reduction in its workforce to, AHEM, “weather bad times,” I don’t think I read anywhere that any top executive at the Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel or at Journal Communications was taking a pay cut.

(I’ll make a not so bold prediction here. I doubt this will make Best of the Blogs next week).

The flawed MJS editorial on the sales tax referendum

It’s no surprise that the tax-loving editorial board of the Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel is cheerleading for a sales tax referendum to go on the November ballot asking voters to increase the county sales tax. In order for that to happen, the Milwaukee County Board would have to override a veto by County Executive Scott Walker. You can almost sense the glee of editorial writers as they cartwheel down the Journal/Sentinel hallways. Their editorial today is flawed in many ways.

The editorial, anticipating a veto override writes that (Supervisor Gerry) “Broderick says the tax would raise $130 million. About $65 million would go directly to property tax relief, he says…”

Let’s stop right there. Does anyone in their right mind expect that any group of politicians, once they get their hands on a pot of money, let’s say $65 million, won’t devise ways to spend it? Especially the Milwaukee County Board.

Property tax relief? From a sales tax increase? Not gonna happen. You don’t lower taxes by raising another tax.

Again, from the editorial, “Walker says Racine and Waukesha counties pay less in sales taxes than Milwaukee does, but that's an apples-and-oranges analogy. The referendum is about relief for Milwaukee County's taxpayers, not those elsewhere.”

Earth to editorial writers. The rate of sales taxes in surrounding counties is a relevant, legitimate issue of concern, since consumers will drive to those counties to save money.

The editorial also says, “It's time for the board to stand up to Walker and for taxpayers, asking them in November whether they want to pay a penny more in county sales tax to save parks and transit while lowering their property tax bills.”

How is paving the way for a potential tax increase standing up for taxpayers? And I repeat, it is highly doubtful property taxes will go down in Milwaukee County. Not when you consider school taxes, local municipality, MATC, MMSD and state taxes are all part of the local property tax equation.

The editorial says supporters of the referendum may pick up another vote. That would mean one of the six Supervisors that voted against the referendum would have to flip-flop and my sources say that could be Lynn DeBruin.

That’s why it’s important to contact your Milwaukee County Supervisor ASAP to ask him/her to sustain Scott Walker’s veto. Why? Because taxes are high enough. Supervisors were elected to make tough decisions and need to come up with other alternatives.

Walker’s veto needs to be upheld. Call your Milwaukee County Supervisor ASAP and ask that he/she vote to sustain the veto of the sales tax referendum.

I'm sure many of you recognize this man...


And you know what he did for a living.

So what's he doing in this week's Culinary no-no?

Find out in Culinary no-no #61, Sunday.

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Emeril responds to Culinary no-no

Not the BAM! Man himself, but one of his promoters, reacting to Culinary no-no #60:

Hi Kevin

I saw your post on rising food prices and how you tried out Emeril's recipe it was pricey. Well, one of the ways to cut down on food prices is to buy local ingredients from farmer's markets. That's definitely Emeril's new focus.

I wanted to let you know that Emeril Live! premieres on Fine Living Network on Monday, July 7th. After being booted from Food Network late last year, Emeril is now making a comeback with all new episodes on FLN.

Would love you to share the news with your readers – and as an extra bonus, Fine Living has created a show page for Emeril Live which includes special preview videos (embeddable), original recipes, a blog by Emeril's culinary crew, and 30 fun facts you never knew about Emeril (including where the famous "BAM!" came from, among other things):

You can catch all new episodes of Emeril Live on Fine Living Network 7 days a week @7pm, starting 7/7. Hope you and your readers enjoy the info, and let me know if you have any questions.


Sienna Farris, 360i
On the Behalf of FLN

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 #60

2) Liberals lie about their agenda

3) Your employees are too fat so you'll have to pay a fine

4) I'm on WISN

5) Week-ends (June 28)

Culinary no-no # 61

Culinary no-no's

Let’s face it.

Men are pigs.

Truly, as a group, they’re slobs. Most men could never dress themselves properly to save their lives (The sport coat-wrinkled shirt-blue jeans- sneakers combo is a perfect example).

This guy, however, is a gentleman.

Recognize him?

That’s Bum Phillips. Phillips coached the old Houston Oilers from 1975-1980 and also had a coaching stint with the New Orleans Saints. Sports fans would know him almost immediately from that photo. Take another look at it, then look at this photo:


 NFL Football: Chicago Bears Walter Payton #34 on sidelines shaking hands with New Orleans coach Bum Phillips after breaking Jim Brown's NFL rushing record during game vs Saints. Payton became NFL's all-time leading rusher. 
Credit: Manny Millan
SetNumber: X30595 TK3 R1 F30

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The New York Post was wrong- Ryan Braun makes starting NL lineup

Yesterday, I blogged that the New York Post was reporting it had learned all the starters for both the National and American League All-Star teams and that no Brewers made the NL starting team.

WRONG! The story was WRONG!

The teams have been officially announced and Ryan Braun will be in the outfield in the starting lineup for the NL.

Here's the story.

It's not easy being "green"

Topics talked about on WISN

Just ask Anne Hartridge and Matt George of Sacramento, California.

They are environmentalists to the nth degree. In the past, I’ve called their kind hyper-enviro’s. Believe it or not, I feel very sorry for them. Yes, you read that right.

As you know, the western part of the country is experiencing just the opposite of what we’ve had in the Midwest. Dry conditions led California Governor Arnold
Schwarzenegger to declare a statewide drought.

Hartridge and George, who just about rub sticks to start a fire to cook their meals, made the decision to be civic-minded and adhere to the Governor’s call. They stopped watering their lawn and let it die.

That’s when trouble erupted.

What do you think happened next?

If you thought that someone from the local government noticed and intervened…..

You would be ………………….


No, something occurred before that.

Think suburbs.

Think busybody neighbors with nothing better to do.

Think elitist snob neighbors without a life.

Think neighbors who need a sense of humor transplant.

Now you got it!


And then the city of Sacramento pencil-pushing, rules are rules, let’s not use common sense geeky bureaucrats stepped in.

I guess none of them have ever met Arnold, the state’s #1 official I might add, in a dark alley, but they threatened the couple with a $746 fine if they didn’t take proper measures to restore their landscaping.

The couple asked, what can/should we do?

Being a government employee who hates big government, I love this. The response the couple got was they’d get their answer………………………………….in an e-mail.

Guess what?

The e-mail never came.

Nor did responses from their city council representative.

Some yahoo in the city of Sacramento bureaucracy actually admitted not communicating with other agencies to resolve this matter. You see, that would be extra work, plus a deviation from the constituent response playbook.

Seems to me Arnold needs to head to City Hall and kick some butt.

I talked about this on WISN this past week…….here’s yet another perfect example of why people hate government.

Planning to fly soon? This is a must-read

I recall during my discussion on this topic last week on WISN the woman who called in who said it would have cost $110 to send her son's hockey equipment onboard a Midwest flight. She saved $56 by mailing the sticks, helmets, etc.

The airlines are in full "stick it to the passenger" mode, finding creative ways to add on new charges.


Happy Birthday Mr. President!

He's 62.

In case you missed it...

You may have been out of town or just busy with the holiday, but you may have missed a major court ruling that affects not only Franklin, but the entiire state of Wisconsin.

Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge John Franke ruled in favor of the city of Franklin in its lawsuit against sex offender Steve Hanke.

I spoke about it for almost two hours on WISN. Alderman Steve Olson was part of the discussion. The podcast of the program is still available on WISN's website until Mark Belling's show sometime Monday afternoon.

Here are all the details.

Are the Brewers done wheeling and dealing?

Don’t count on it.

Early last week, during a commercial in a Brewer game, I turned to ESPN just in time to see baseball analyst Peter Gammons talking about the Brew Crew.

The Brewers will make a deal for Cleveland’s C.C. Sabathia, Gammons said, and for a second starting pitcher as well. Gammons said J.J. Hardy and Rickie Weeks could be gone as the Brewers try to strengthen their roster for a playoff run.

That was last week. And Gammons, thus far, is looking prophetic.

Today, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports writes that the Brewers may not be satisfied:

“The Sabathia trade might not be the Brewers' last before July 31 -- they have shown interest in the Giants' Jack Taschner, a left-handed reliever, and Ray Durham, a switch-hitter whom they would use off the bench.

But don't be surprised if the Brewers accelerate their transition this winter by trading shortstop J.J. Hardy and possibly first baseman Prince Fielder for multiple high-end prospects.

he demand for shortstops, in particular, is rising. Hardy, second in OPS only to the Marlins' Hanley Ramirez among NL shortstops, could bring a quality young starting pitcher — think Giants right-hander Matt Cain — if he is packaged with the right youngsters.

The Brewers then could replace Hardy with Class AA shortstop Alcides Escobar, whom they signed at age 16 as an international free agent out of Venezuela. Escobar already is considered a superior defender to Hardy, though he might struggle offensively for a time.

Fielder, who hit 50 home runs last season, could be even more coveted in trades than Hardy — the Mets and Yankees, for example, might prefer to acquire him than sign a free agent such as Mark Teixeira for countless millions.”

As much of a fan favorite Fielder is, I get the sense he’s not happy here given the inability to sign a contract that he and/or his agent liked. Eventually, he won’t be able to play first base. Trading him to an AL team that could play him as a DH, just like his dad was used in Detroit, would be the right move.

The Sabathia deal is risky. That’s a lot of money for just three months. The conventional wisdom is he’s gone after this season.

The Brewers are seriously attempting to contend. My own personal feeling is that as long as Ned Yost is the manager, and as long as baseball is still a 9-inning game (Yost panics from the 7th inning on) the Brewers won’t be there in October.

You like it hot and humid? Turn off your AC and vote for Obama

As I write this blog, it’s hot, it’s sticky, and the AC in the Fischer household is rocking and rolling. With every cool breath of central air I take in, I think of how important it is that John McCain be elected our next President.

Huhhhh, you say?

What do liberals love to do?

What makes them deliriously happy?

OK, besides raise taxes through the ceiling.

They relish each opportunity to control and regulate just about every aspect of your life.

Case in point.

Take Joe Klein of TIME Magazine. He has decided that even though most of us enjoy a certain pleasure, that because he despises it, he is selfishly calling for heavy-handed regulation. I’m talking about air conditioning. Klein writes in his latest column in TIME:

“I love warm weather, even when it slouches toward humidity. I detest the harsh, slightly metallic quality of the air forced through even the fanciest AC systems. The only air conditioner I own sits, unused, in my car; my home is happily unrefrigerated. But given the energy mess we're in, I can now gild my personal preference with a patina of high-mindedness: air-conditioning is bad for the planet, and for national security, and for our balance-of-payments deficit. Unfortunately, it is not as bad as I'd like it to be — in part because not all of our electricity is provided by fossil fuels (although coal does predominate). And also because air-conditioning represents a relatively small slice of our energy use, an estimated 4%.”

Even so, the liberal Klein wants the next President to adhere to an energy policy that reduces or eliminates air conditioning.

“I'd like to see both candidates call for an immediate 5deg.F thermostat adjustment, just to get the conservation ball rolling — and because it would be a 'personal virtue' for each candidate to ask it of us. And I'd like to wish you all a nice, warmer summer.”

That’s obviously ludicrous but it clearly demonstrates the extremes liberals will go to achieve their goal of government intrusion and control of our lives from what kind of cars we drive to what we put in those cars to what doctor we can see to what schools we attend to what we can set our air conditioners at, if we can have them at all.

Dangerous stuff. So is a vote for Barack Obama and this kind of philosophy.

"But sex offenders have to live somewhere"

I have read and dissected the 30-page decision handed down on July 2nd by Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge John Franke in City of Franklin v. Steven Hanke. Franke ruled in favor of Franklin’s ordinances that restrict where sex offenders can live or congregate. Hanke has been in violation of the ordinances sine he moved into a home less than 600 feet from a Franklin middle school over a year ago. Over the next few days, I’ll be blogging about some of the aspects of Franke’s ruling that I find noteworthy.

When I discussed the details of this case and the ruling last week on WISN filling in for Mark Belling, I got some of the obligatory sex offender sympathizer calls. Not once did they mention the victims, and their mantra was predictable when referring to the offenders:

“But they’ve got to live somewhere…”

From Franke’s decision:

Defendant (Hanke) contends that Franklin’s residency restriction “infringes upon Mr. Hanke’s fundamental right to liberty and property, by restricting where he may or may not live.” He simply presumes that a person has a right “to live where he wants to” and offers no argument as to why this right qualifies as fundamental for purposes of the Due Process Clause.

The notion that there is a right to “live where we want” has a certain superficial appeal, but on closer analysis it is not a right at all, much less a fundamental one. Our legal traditions have not recognized an individual’s right to live wherever he chooses. We have no right to live in areas the government has set aside for parks, or schools or public activities. When the government condemns a citizen’s land for a highway, the citizen’s “right to live where he wants” has been compromised, but the power of eminent domain is not subject to “strict scrutiny.” Laws often limit how close to the water a person can build a house, or how many different unrelated family members can reside together. Minimum lot sizes and building requirements effectively preclude3 people of modest means from residing in many areas.

To the extent the ordinances are “unfair” to the defendant, it is not because they prevent him from living where he wants, but because they prevent him from living in areas where most people are entitled to live. Such a claim of unfairness does not raise an issue of substantive due process, but rather a q question of equal protection based on the right to be treated equally by the government when it comes to choosing a place to live.

Franke noted Hanke did not choose a claim of equal protection, but even if he had, Franke wrote:

An equal protection argument would fail for the same reasons the defendant’s due process argument fails.

Finally, as Franke noted in his decision, Franklin’s restrictive ordinances only apply to two-thirds of the city limits.

“But they’ve got to live somewhere…”

Sure they do. As long as it’s not within  2000 feet of a school, library, day care center, or any other  restricted areas in the ordinances, and as long as these creeps keep their hands to themselves.

Repeat after me all you lefties: The New York Times is not liberal....the New York Times is not liberal takes note that we're about one month into the Presidential campaign now that we know it's McCain vs.Obama. That means that the New York Times will offer stellar, unbaised, totally objective coverage of the race for the White House, right?


Newsbusters has been monitoring the lefties' favorite national newspaper:

"Consistently, Barack Obama and his wife Michelle were portrayed as racial trailblazers whose religious beliefs and patriotism (and his lack of a flag pin) came under vicious and unfair attacks by conservatives. Meanwhile, John McCain was portrayed as a stiff, out-of-touch, gaffe-prone speaker struggling to appease the right wing of his party."

Liberals stand side by side, hold hands, and chant...



There is no liberal bias.

There is no liberal bias.

There is no liberal bias.

Scott Walker throws out the welcome mat...

To the newest Brewer.

With the Colorado Rockies in town, the Denver Post has picked up on the excitement surrounding the Brewer acquisition:

"Given the buzz surrounding the city, you would have thought Miller beer was sponsoring a Harley-Davidson parade with Brett Favre as the grand marshal."

Businesses 1, Tax Hell 0

The Wisconsin Supreme Court issued a ruling today that will reverberate throughout the entire state. In a case involving tax fairness, taxpayers won in a rare instance.

At issue was the manner in which the city of Madison and other taxing entities were assessing property taxes to Walgreens. Walgreens doesn’t own any of its stores, it rents them. Walgreens hires developers to purchase and own the property and then Walgreens, in return, pays higher rent I exchange for someone else managing the property.

Madison was charging property taxes based on the rent income as opposed to the fair market value of the property, the way all homeowners are assessed in the state of Wisconsin. It was a blatant attempt by government to arbitrarily soak businesses for more revenue.

The state Supreme Court saw through it and ruled in favor of Walgreens, property owners, businesses, and tax fairness.

You can bet every business owner in the state will look at this ruling closely to determine if they’ve been taken to the cleaners by their taxing municipalities.

On sales taxes: The "New North" gets it

Up in what they’re calling the “NEW North” region of the state, some smart marketing guru’s are trying to take advantage of the fact that Chicago has the highest sales taxes in America.

Compare that to our foolish strategy in Milwaukee County of trying to send people away by INCREASING our sales tax.

Another rose on Franklin's bush

Sendik's Fine Foods opens Wednesday, July 9 at the Shoppes of Wyndham Village at Highway 100 and Drexel.

This opening is somewhat anti-climactic, lacking the fanfare of the Sendik's Grand Opening at 52nd and Rawson last fall. Since then, a Sendik's opened at 79th and Layton. However, this development is significant, given Franklin will have, not one, but two Sendiks'.

The official ribbon-cutting is at 9:00 Wednesday morning and the doors open to the public at 10:00. If you've not witnessed the Sendik's experience, you're in for a real treat. I'd recommend the pizza burgers, Swiss and mushroom burgers, the seafood, the chicken soup cheese, horseradish cheese, the pretzel buns, the sun-dried tomato pasta salad, anything in the deli, and the cheese pockets in the bakery section. But as they say, it's all good.

This might be a good time to revisit an old blog of mine that addressed having two Sendiks' in Franklin.

Tonight, THIS is my favorite piece of music

If you will indulge me, this piece keeps going through my head.....oh, since about, 5:00 this afternoon.

If it's unclear for now, it will become clear very soon.

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Judge Franke deserves much praise for his ruling on Franklin ordinances

In upholding Franklin’s tough ordinances restricting where sex offenders can live or congregate, Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge John Franke demonstrated, in this day and age, great judicial restraint.

Here’s what I mean.

Remember, Franke is a liberal judge who has ruled in favor of sex offenders in the past.

Quoting from the 30-page decision by Franke, the judge writes (points in parentheses are mine):

“The defendant (Steve Hanke, a convicted sex offender who moved into Franklin within 600 feet of a middle school in clear violation of the city’s ordinances) repeatedly invites me (Franke) to consider the wisdom of the Franklin ordinances, advancing evidence and arguments as to why the ordinances are bad public policy. However, although three of the constitutional issues raised by the defendant require that I consider whether there is a rational connection between a law and a legitimate public purpose, this does not entitle me to determine whether the law is a good idea. A legislative body determines whether the benefits of a law outweigh its costs. A court determines only whether the law is valid in light of other laws the court has the obligation to apply. Legislation need not be wise to be valid.”

Translation: Franke could have legislated from the bench, but didn't.

All the more reason to praise and thank Judge Franke.

And again, tremendous gratitude to everyone involved in crafting the ordinances that Franke upheld.

Want complete details on this story, the most important Franklin story of the year and one of the most important in the entire state in 2008? Here they are.


That was the word one of the speakers at today’s Sendik’s opening in Franklin, I believe it was Franklin Mayor Tom Taylor, used to describe the architecture of Sendik’s and the adjacent Target, set to open July 23. You can see a picture of Sendik’s in Senator Mary Lazich’s blog.

The buildings do look great at the Shoppes at Wyndham Village, off to a very good start with lots of movement and activity.

While Franklin celebrates, local blogger tosses mud

Today was a great day for Franklin. Sendik’s opened at the Shoppes at Wyndham Village. There was a big crowd soaking in the sun and the celebration. Many people who worked so hard to see this project come to fruition were there to see their vision fulfilled.

It’s extremely unfortunate that one short-sighted area blogger continues his negative and irresponsible writing about this project.

Greg Kowalski no longer blogs on FranklinNOW. He has decided to take his ball and go elsewhere. Maybe he should blog for OakCreekNOW given his penchant for writing the phrase, “Thank God for Oak Creek.” That’s no surprise since he’s always bad-mouthing anyone in Franklin who doesn’t fall all over him.

In the past few days, Kowalski has taken the rather juvenile step of having a contest on his blog, asking readers to write in with nicknames and phrases ripping the look of the large Target sign at Shoppes at Wyndham Village. Now that’s real community pride.

While everyone was basking in the glow of today’s wonderful Sendik’s Grand Opening, Kowalski is writing about second hand information he received about the speeches at the ceremony:

“From some information told to me, a lot of credit was given to Franklin Senior Citizens, Inc. President Casper Green. He was mentioned in speeches by hometown developer Mark Carstensen and by Franklin Mayor Tom Taylor. These speeches gave Casper a pivotal role in somehow luring this Sendik's and development to that location. My only comment is going to be to the point; Casper Green does many good things for the seniors of Franklin, however he shouldn't be given a god-like status just because he knows how to convince seniors in the community to vote his way. I personally take offense to anything of the sort, since there are many Franklin residents who don't fall in the category of being senior citizens and don't seem to be recognized at all by our elected leaders.”

Again, this is not surprising. Last year, Kowalski hated when I called him on a blog he wrote blasting and disrespecting senior citizens who dared disagree with him about Target at a public hearing. Now he goes after Casper Green, Franklin's Person of the Year in 2007. What did Green ever do to Kowalski?

Kowalski also ripped the Shoppes' developer, one of Franklin’s finest corporate citizens, Mark Carstensen, saying he likes the limelight. Yeh, that’s it, Greg. That’s why Carstensen does what he does.

In another blog, Kowalski writes this nonsense about why it’s “a shame” that Ferch’s might open another location at the Shoppes at Wyndham Village:

“Some people will simply forget the pedestrian (un)friendliness and the massive parking long as they got their Ferch's ice cream! Then again...maybe they won't, since the ice cream will melt faster in the searing heat of the Wyndham Village parking lot with barely any trees for shade from the scorching sun during the summer.”

What is Kowalski suggesting? Should a retractable roof be built over the parking lot so he can walk to his car with his ice cream cone?

I close with this. I notice Kowalski’s departure from this website hasn’t improved his woeful grammar and writing. He described Ferch’s as “infamous.” My guess is the great folks at Ferch’s would be highly offended. Infamous means having or deserving a bad reputation, detestable, vile, wicked.

But he’s such a whippersnapper!

$455,000 per household


The story’s not sexy.

It fails to stir emotion.

But oh, is it important.

The traveling roadshow that came to Milwaukee recently with its message of impending economic disaster got covered by yours truly and the Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel. Covering the Fiscal Wake-Up Tour doesn’t excite most news managers because the story’s not real exciting, there are no great visuals to show on television, and it’s so much easier showing police squad car lights at another murder scene.

You may have missed it over the holiday weekend but Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel business columnist John Torinus wrote about the Fiscal Wake-Up Tour led by former comptroller general David Walker. Walker and his band of economic analysts say America is spending itself into oblivion, America knows it, but America isn’t doing anything to stop the hemorrhaging.

One of the astonishing statistics from the Tour reported by Torinus: The national fiscal burden is now at $455,000 per household. How that’s not news is beyond me.

My friend and former colleague in the Legislature, Christian Schneider of the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute has also written about the Tour.

This issue is one of the most important facing our nation. It’s a shame it’s not getting the attention it deserves and needs.

What if we threw out all the illegal immigrants?

Illegal immigration

That’s the question columnist Shirley Skeel asks on She’s a print and radio journalist based in Seattle who has written for Bloomberg News, The Seattle Times, the Los Angeles Times, and the Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph in London. She has also produced radio features for National Public Radio and its affiliates. That should tell you where she’s coming from.

Skeel answers her own question.  Get the crying towel out:

“Lettuce and strawberries would rot in the fields. Dirty dishes would pile up in restaurants. Thousands of farmers and builders would go bust. Predator aircraft drones would prowl the Mexican border. And chunks of Los Angeles and Houston would look like ghost towns.

The biggest losers would be middle-class families with two working parents, living in high-immigrant states such as California, Texas, Florida or New York. Why? They would pay more for food, housing, entertainment and child care as a shortage of low-skilled workers drove up some wages, and therefore, some prices. Meantime, their own pay would remain the same. What's more, the ripple effect of thousands of businesses shrinking or closing for lack of staff might put one of the parents out of a job. Not to mention the garbage collection going to pot and no one to polish the missus' nails.”

Skeel says there would be an impact on hotels and restaurants:

There'd be a triple whammy here. Latino staff and customers would both be lost, while the price of fresh food would be driven up by shortages. Distraught restaurant owners would pin up job ads at colleges, when they weren't up to their elbows in dish soap. The billions of dollars spent annually by illegal immigrants would disappear, bad news for small restaurateurs and fast-food joints. But over time, the industry would adapt. Self-service cafés would pop up. And more restaurants would serve chicken parmesan prepared in a factory and warmed up in a microwave. Yum.”

Well, that’s certainly one take on the question, albeit a nauseating one. Strawberries would rot? My goodness, let’s invite more of them in if that’s the case!

Here's Skeel's column.

What if we threw all the illegal immigrants out of the United States? My responses:

There would one million fewer sex crimes committed.

The federal government deficit would shrink. Costs for Medicaid, food assistance programs such as food stamps, WIC, and free school lunches, the federal prison and court systems would go down.

Billions of dollars would stay in America and not be wired to Mexico and other countries.

The financial burden on education and incarceration would be reduced. We wouldn’t be wasting dollars spent on earned income tax credits given to illegal immigrants.

So, what if we threw them all out?

I only wish we could.

Big announcement coming from The Cheesecake Factory...

In just a few days.

Friday night on InterCHANGE

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

1 – Economy.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two largest mortgage companies in America seem to be in a free fall.  Auto makers continue to report sluggish sales.  The price of oil continues to climb?  Airlines are cutting employees and raising fares.  The value of the dollar abroad is shrinking?  The stock market is stagnant at best.  What is happening to the economy in this country?  Can it all be blamed on the price of oil?  Are the glory days for the US economy over, or is this just a bump in the road?  Is it the responsibility of the government to step in and bail out banks and lenders who falter? Is it the responsibility of the government to make sure people don’t lose their homes?  Has the poor economy really had much of an impact on the average American?  Have any of us changed our lifestyles yet?  Will things be better under a new president?  Would the economy be better if the War in Iraq was over?

2 – Quadruple Murders.

What should/can Milwaukee do about the quadruple murders that happened last week near 28th and Wright?  Is it amazing that the street can be crowded with people, and no one has given police enough information which would lead them to arrest and charge someone?  Do residents have a “no snitch” policy because they hate the police, or because they fear for their own safety?

3 – New Brewer Pitcher.

By acquiring this new pitcher are the Brewers really taking a “this is the year” approach to this season?  Did they trade away their future?  Will C.C., Sheets, Fielder be around next year? Is it all or nothing, now or never?  Do you believe Mark Atanasio when he says the team might not make a profit this year?

They're stealing liquor at the Hales Corners Pick 'n' Save....

Here's the story.

But by golly, no 80-year old woman is getting out of here with a bottle of wine until she gets carded!

Is she nuts?

I say yes.

I’m talking about liberal columnist Maureen Dowd of the New York Times. Her column that was re-printed in today’s Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel focuses on a smear book targeting classy First Lady Laura Bush. Sherryl Connelly of the New York Daily News describes the book as, “a novel that graphically explores the sex life of a fictional George and Laura Bush.”

Connolly’s column is nowhere near as graphic as it could be, given the filth and garbage that’s in the book. says the “sex scenes are too graphic to reprint.”

Maureen Dowd, that hater of conservatives writes this incredibly outrageous paragraph in her moonbat column:

“It’s the sort of novel Laura Bush might curl up with in the White House solarium if it were not about Laura Bush. It would be interesting to hear how that lover of fiction feels about being the subject of fiction.”

What a totally idiotic statement. Now, can you imagine if a conservative columnist wrote this kind of trash about Michelle Obama? Jesse Jackson, Obama’s newest best friend and Al Sharpton would be in cardiac arrest, not to mention every single news network and newspaper editorial board.

Here’s some of the reaction.

Michelle Malkin calls it, Pure, unadulterated hatred masquerading as literature.” writes,
I swear, the left and their unhinged insane hatred for all things Bush makes me absolutely sick to my stomach. There is nothing so disgusting that they won’t do it just to show how much they hate Chimpy McBushHitlerBurton. No one is off-limits, not even one of the most elegant, gentle women ever to inhabit the White House.”

Earth to left-wing nutjob Maureen Dowd: The First Lady’s spokeswoman says Laura Bush would not read this book. No, she wouldn’t “curl up in the White House solarium” with this junk.

By the way, where is the outrage from liberals?

Cue the crickets.

The warm, compassionate left strikes again.

What will the Democrats think of next to try to convince you that taxes should go up?

When it comes to the issue of taxes, specifically, raising them, liberal Democrats have absolutely no shame. They will sink to all depths in their effort to separate you from your hard-earned money.

One of the more disgusting ploys was just utilized by California Senate Pro Tem Don Perata, Democrat from Oakland. He supports a $10 BILLION tax increase. How does he try to sell the idea? By invoking those who died in World War II.

From The Weekly Standard, quoting Perata:

"We've heard so much about the Greatest Generation. Tom Brokaw's book has just unleashed all kinds of paeans to people who were just talking about how wonderful America is thanks to the sacrifices of men and women who died defending the flag, who died for the symbol of the American way of life. I can't help but thinking that is it too much to ask in the memory of someone who died at Normandy to pay a nickel more for a latte. Is it too much to ask for someone who was killed at Pearl Harbor to take the wealth that they've been able to accumulate because of those who died in the Second World War and pay back now for what they were given so much then?"

Sounds like something some revisionist history teacher is telling students in a public school: The Greatest Generation died so we could raise taxes.

Nope. No shame whatsoever.

HT: No Runny Eggs

Which brave dog gets your vote?

This entry couldn’t wait until Saturday’s installment of The Barking Lot.

The American Humane Society is looking for the Valor Dog of the Year. Four dogs are in the competition. Online voting has ended and the winner will be announced shortly. Which of these brave dogs would get your vote?

1) Jack saved the life of a girl with Congenital Bilateral Perisylvian Syndrome (CBPS), an extremely rare neurological condition that mainly affects the oral motor functions.

Buffy was wounded after lunging at a gunman.

Bear attacked an assailant who had a machete.

Anna helped people escape from a burning home.

I’ll post the winner when it’s announced.

Coming up on This Just In...

Friday Night Live at 11:30 Friday night goes back to the 70’s and The Midnight Special and some very, very big names.

Week-ends Saturday morning.


Lake Worth police say that Watauga resident Christian Phillips, 18, delivered a basket of LSD-laced cookies and candy.

is not Ryan Braun when he was a teenager.

The young man in the first photo does make the VILLAINS OF THE WEEK  on Week-ends for doing something that will remind you of a classic Barney Miller episode.

Jennifer Fischer will have the Barking Lot on Saturday

Then on Sunday, what could be the worst Culinary no-no by far of the more than sixty that I’ve posted. I’m not kidding.

Why Judge Franke's ruling on Franklin ordinances is remarkable

Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge John Franke’s ruling last week upholding the constitutionality of both of Franklin’s ordinances restricting where sex offenders can live or congregate is surprising for a few reasons, including the fact Franke’s quite liberal and he has ruled in favor of sex offenders in the past.

The most surprising aspect of Franke’s ruling to me after digging through his 30-page decision is that it’s apparent he has problems with the merit of the ordinances. Even so, he realized that he’s a member of the judicial branch of government and made the proper decision not to legislate from the bench.

Throughout his ruling, Franke makes references to issues he has with the substance and motives of the Franklin ordinances. However, after each concern raised, he then offers a qualifier, a reason why he can’t support the arguments raised by Steve Hanke, the offender who moved into Franklin in violation of the ordinances. Let’s go through the court document.

Hanke contended that restrictions like those in the Franklin ordinances “actually increase the risk that a child will be sexually assaulted.” In addressing Hanke’s claim, Franke’s sentiment about the Franklin ordinances, I believe, comes through:

"The 'evidence' relied on by the defendant is a confusing mix of reports, studies, expert opinions and logical arguments, some of which are conveyed to the court through press releases and newspaper articles. This evidence has not been the subject of a hearing or trial where the relevance and integrity of the studies and opinions could be explored. While defendant has no real 'evidence,' he does have rather compelling arguments as to why the restrictions are unlikely to accomplish their stated purpose. The material relied on by the defendant reflects a number of opinions held by professionals or groups with some degree of relevant expertise."

Then comes Franke’s qualifier:

"However, unless such 'expert opinions' reflect studies that establish facts and inferences that cannot be debated, such expert cannot trump the judgment of a legislative body."

Franke then cites three studies Hanke claims show that the location of a sexual offender’s residence is not at all related to whether or not that person will reoffend. Hanke writes, with what could be considered personal opinion:

"A review of these documents raises a host of obvious questions about whether any conclusions can be drawn concerning the effectiveness of Franklin’s residency restrictions. The studies themselves, as well as the expert opinions that recycle this limited data, only purport to demonstrate that there is no evidence that residency requirements work."

Then, the qualifier:

"But the burden is not on the City to prove that ordinances will work. The burden is on the defendant to prove that there is no rational basis for the belief that the ordinances will accomplish their intended purpose."

Franke then writes that Hanke made repeated references to evidence from Iowa that residency restrictions there led to a dramatic increase in the number of sex offenders who did not comply with state registration requirements. This is a common argument against residency rules. Hanke also argued restrictions work against rehabilitation efforts. Franke’s response:

"As troublesome as these concerns may be, a court cannot give them weight unless the defendant demonstrates by undisputed evidence that the law will do more harm than good. No such evidence exists in this case."

Next come Hanke’s argument that in the majority of child sexual assaults, the perpetrator has a trusty relationship with the victim, an argument the city of Franklin didn’t dispute. Franke writes:

"Suggesting that the typical child sex offender poses a risk of assaulting children as they walk home from school creates a bogeyman that does not really exist. Leaders who take credit for keeping such bogeymen more than 2000 feet from a school unnecessarily promote fear and give the community a false sense of security. Protecting children from the real danger can only be accomplished by educating children about such things and by the efforts of parents and others who are close to a child."

Then, the qualifier:

"While these arguments might be persuasive as matter of public policy, they are ineffective as a matter of due process law. A city council is not constitutionally barred from attempting to solve a small part of a problem simply because it cannot or does not attempt to solve the 'larger' part of a problem."

Franke then jumps right back on his soap box:

"The Franklin ordinances neither eliminate nor minimize access to children, and significant 'common sense' questions arise as to whether residency restrictions make any difference. It seems reasonable to assume that child traffic increases as one gets closer to places children visit, but in a city where children reside in all neighborhoods, how much difference is there, and does a small reduction in access to children mean any reduction in the risk of an offense? It seems reasonable to assume that putting sex offenders slightly farther away from schools might make it slightly more difficult for an offender to go to that area, but is there any reason to think this reduces the risk of an assault? One does not need the defendant’s 'evidence' or expert opinions to question whether an offender inclined to assault a child stranger is most likely to commit the offense right near his home?

Is it possible that high child traffic actually reduces a sex offender’s 'opportunity'? Is the larger number of children found close to a school really worthy of more protection that a smaller number found farther away? If Franklin forces its share of sex offenders into the unrestricted zones, what are the risks to children living in those areas?"

Franke has left no doubt about how he feels about the Franklin ordinances from a policy standpoint. Then, his qualifier:

"Despite these obvious questions and perhaps because the answers are so obviously uncertain, a court cannot conclude with any degree of confidence that keeping sex offenders distant from places where children congregate will have no appreciable impact on the risk of a sexual assault."

Throughout his written ruling, Franke makes no reference with any specificity to Franklin’s arguments in support of its ordinances. Instead, he systematically outlines his concerns about Franklin’s restrictions. Then, one by one, he lays out why even with those reservations he can’t rule against Franklin and for Hanke.

If Franke was an elected member of a local municipality or a state legislator, I think it’s evident he’d vote against residency restrictions for sex offenders. What’s amazing is that Franke put what troubled him aside and based his decision, not on what was in the ordinances, but on whether the ordinances were constitutional.

Franke’s ruling is amazing because of his restraint in exhibiting judicial activism. For that, Franke deserves credit, and many thanks.


John McCain needed this

The national media have picked up on a story by Ryan Foley of the Wisconsin Associated Press that Wisconsin Right To Life, once a huge opponent of John McCain, now backs the Arizona Senator.


Are the Packers dissing Brett Favre?

You bet they are, after all he's done for that organization.

Sure he's been compensated well, but he's earned every cent.

The Packers don't think he's good enough anymore? So what do the Packers have to fear if he goes to play somewhere else?

Give him the release that he wants.

I sure would enjoy seeing him play again.

Here's the latest.

Friday Night Live


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This classic episode of Barney Miller....

.....has a connection to Week-ends, coming up later this morning.

Enjoy...and then come back later for this week's edition of Week-ends.

Wojo brings brownies his new girlfriend made to the 12th Precinct.

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Bias in headline?

In the paper edition this morning of the Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel, there is a front page story with this headline:

"Republican goes after female vote"

The story is about John McCain's campaign stop in Hudson, Wisconsin Friday.

Why doesn't it simply read, "McCain goes after female vote"?

If it was Barack Obama up in Hudson, would the headline have been "Democrat goes after female vote"?

The headline writer for the paper's website got it right.

Maybe from now on we should all just refer to the Journal/Sentinel as, "the paper."

Thank you for your service, Doug!

Doug Wheaton’s last day on the job as Franklin’s Economic Development Director was Friday.

Wheaton ran the department during an incredible growth spurt in the city and deserves congratulations for his dedication and service.

I’ve known Doug going back to when I met him working for the Legislature. I wish him the very best.

Good luck, John!

Another friend and colleague of mine is heading to Iraq. John Scocos is a tremendous public servant. Good luck and God’s speed, John.


State Vets secretary to be deployed to Iraq

Madison - John Scocos, secretary of Wisconsin's Department of Veterans Affairs and an Army Reserve colonel, has been recalled to active duty and leaves in September for a second tour in Iraq, Gov. Jim Doyle said Friday.Scocos, 52, was previously deployed to Iraq in April 2007 and returned in October.Doyle praised Scocos, 52, who has more than 28 years of active and reserve duty in the military. In a statement, Scocos said he was "honored to again have the opportunity to serve my nation in Iraq."



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...


Joseph Dwyer

Tony Gonzalez

LEGAL immigrants

Those who made this possible

Zach Kronz of Franklin

This manufacturer


James Kevin Pope

Theodore Pressman

Dale Decker

John Freshwater

Christian Phillips

German serial killer


"I wanna cut his n_ts out”
Jesse Jackson caught on mic, talking about Barack Obama.

"For any harm or hurt that this hot mic private conversation may have caused, I apologize. My support for Senator Obama's campaign is wide, deep and unequivocal."
Jesse Jackson in a statement after his controversial remark. J
ackson said he called Obama's campaign to apologize.

"Jesse Jackson has spent his entire life in love with the microphone. He knows them intimately. He's such an aficionado of the mike that Detroit's beloved late mayor, Coleman Young, dismissed one of Jackson's failed vanity bids for the presidency by noting that "all he's ever run is his mouth." Jackson's claim to have been caught unbeknownst by a "hot mike" slurring and threatening Barcak Obama is complete hogwash. Somewhere, deep down, he wanted the world - and Obama - to know how much he wants to "cut his n_ts out."
Charles Hurt, DC Bureau Chief for the New York Post.

“I agree that immigrants should learn English. But instead of worrying about whether immigrants can learn English - they’ll learn English - you need to make sure your child can speak Spanish. You should be thinking about how can your child become bilingual. We should have every child speaking more than one language.”
Barack Obama,
answering a question on education when he said he doesn’t understand people who say “we need English only.”

"I am appalled that Sen. Barack Obama suggested that our children should learn to speak Spanish instead of that Spanish-speaking children should speak English.English is our language. Anyone wanting to live here should speak it. Not the other way around. Let's go a little further. What about all the other immigrants living here? Are we to learn their languages, too? Are they going to be told to learn Spanish along with English? What about the seniors, like me? Am I supposed to learn, too?"
MaryAnn Fritz in a letter to the Journal/Sentinel today.

"You've heard of mental depression; this is a mental recession.We have sort of become a nation of whiners. You just hear this constant whining, complaining about a loss of competitiveness, America in decline."
John McCain's chief economics adviser, Phil Gramm, former U.S. Senator from Texas.

"I strongly disagree. Phil Gramm does not speak for me. I speak for me. America is in great difficulty. And we are experiencing enormous economic challenges as well as others."
John McCain's reaction to Gramm.

"I'm not sure of Jack's purpose on the trip, but it did nothing to help any of the participants' businesses."
Chris Frigo, founder of De Pere-based Forte Composites, criticizing Commerce Secretary Jack Fischer in his official evaluation of a March trade mission to Ireland and the United Kingdom. In less than three months this spring, Fischer and administrative assistant Deborah Godt billed taxpayers for parts of three international trips. Those trips came shortly after Governor Doyle imposed limits on travel because of the state budget shortfall.

"I want a Commerce secretary who's out promoting Wisconsin products. The trip to Ireland and the U.K. was a well-organized trade mission."
Governor Doyle defending Fischer.

"I’m fed up with the Republican Party. I don’t think Ronald Reagan would recognize the party anymore. It seems the party has left me and a lot of others behind."
State Representative  Jeff Wood, Independent from Chetek, announcing on the day of the candidate-filing deadline that he has departed the Republican Party to run as an independent for the 67th Assembly District.

"That’s why I want to go, to have the opportunity to see him, to hear him. If he can’t convince me in this kind of platform, how’s he going to convince millions of Americans to support him?"
Debra Bartoshevich, the 1st Congressional District Hillary Clinton delegate who has indicated her support for McCain, on why she wants to retain her status as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention despite objections from the state Democrat Party.

"In this age of violence, if we don't take back our streets, more of us will be burying our children."
State Senator Spencer Coggs, Democrat of MIlwaukee calling on witnesses to come forward with information regarding a gang-related quadruple homicide that occurred July 4.

"Considering the state of the economy, now is the worst time to approve a $130 million tax increase. Every day, I hear from people who are worried about their jobs, upset about gas prices and frustrated with high grocery bills. Adding to their financial burden is not the answer.Supporters of the $130 million sales tax increase will argue that the measure provides property tax relief, but lawyers for the county note that nothing in the referendum question can legally guarantee property tax relief. In fact, history shows just the opposite to be true. In 1991, the County Board passed a 0.5% sales tax increase for the purpose of 'property tax relief.' From 1992 to 2002, the tax levy went up 55%."
Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker, in a letter to the editor of the Journal/Sentinel.Walker is evtoing the sales tax referendum approved by the Milwaukee County Board.

"Um, is Brett Favre coming back?"
11-year-old Miranda Black of Oconto Falls, posing a question to Green Bay Packer head coach Mike McCarthy.

"I want to know which one of those media individuals made you say that. Those are things we'll obviously, we'll get to down the line. But great question."
McCarthy's response.


A trashy book coming out this September will smear First Lady Laura Bush. Caution: this article has a link to graphic material that might be offensive. That's why it's the outrage of the week.


The issue that enabled Democrats to take over Congress in November of 2006, the war (remember how Democrats promised to end it?) is no longer #1 with voters.  Could it be because the surge is working?


Brett Favre?



Celebrity divorces.


Sit down.........again and again and again and again....

Court awards British woman over $14,000 over broken heel.

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.

Dogs of Valor: UPDATE

A few days I ago, I told you about four dogs in the competition for the Dogs of Valor Award from the Humane Society of the United States.

Here are their stories.

And here are the winners.

The Barking Lot

The Barking Lot

And To My Best Friend, Fido, I Leave...
By Jennifer Fischer

From the beginning of time, the reading of a will has been an emotional final “good-bye” from a loved one.  Throughout history, people have left fortunes to the people they cared for. 

These readings, some historically accurate and some soap opera fiction,
have also been the source of additional drama, stress, and fighting.

Perhaps you have given detailed thought to your final wishes, or maybe the very idea of doling out your life’s treasures after your demise makes you shiver.  Bring up the topic to your family and they will (hopefully!) say, “Oh, let’s not talk about that.  I don’t want anything from you, I just want you around forever,” or express a similar sentiment.

But what is Fido thinking?  “Um, who’s gonna put water in my dish?  Who’s gonna take me for a walk?  Who’s gonna buy me a new squeaky toy every week?  Huh?  Huh?”  You look down at those deep, dark eyes, at that wagging tail, and you realize perhaps you should consider EVERY member of your family.

Last week in Kevin’s Dogs In The News
section of The Barking Lot, he mentioned Leona Helmsly’s plan to provide for her pooches after her death.  Undoubtedly you read that, shook your head and quipped, “That’s NUTS.”  But is it?

You view your dog as a member of the family.  You feed him (or her), walk him, bathe him, take him for regular veterinary check-ups.  So why would your caring stop if Fido should outlive you? 

It may not be something you every really thought about.  But the Humane Society of the United States offers tips for providing for your four-legged friend after your death.   Even AARP discusses what pet owners should consider when planning their estate.

So whether you have a trusted family attorney draw up your last will and testament, or you are more of a “do-it-yourselfer”  perhaps you will give additional consideration to your rawhide-loving friend.  Perhaps ol’ Leona wasn’t such a nut after all.

--Jennifer Fischer

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

Are you ready?

We begin with a timely, political question. Will pet owners choose Obama or McCain?

Here's another question. Which breed of dog is the most aggressive?

And did you see last Sunday's USA WEEKEND section in your Sunday paper? The front page story was all about cats, but dogs were a major part of the piece.

And finally, dogs were a topic on the THE VIEW.

We agree, Whoopi.

Here on The Barking Lot, we've touched upon this issue in the past. These are terrific dog walking days. Just remember to please be considerate of others. As they say in Hawaii:



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Bring back Brett Favre

The Brett Favre retirement soap opera isn’t about to end soon.

Around 9:00 this morning, Karen Taubenheim left a comment on my latest Favre blog. Here’s part of that comment:

Where is the outrage?  Where are the fans that show up for a scrimage, a pep-rally in below zero weather, the fans who purchased chunks of dirt in a box called the frozen tundra a few years back, the ones that display flags on their cars, and wear their Packer garb every Packer-Friday to work?

All week long I was waiting for some radio-disc jockey to organize a rally or march down "Holmgren Way" demanding the owners override TT and get Favre back. 

Owners?  Who are the owners, a bunch of fans who bought stock in the team or a Board of Directors, I don't really know, but this is the same state of WI that practically declared a day of mourning last spring when Favre announced retirement.

Perhaps a little bit of public pressure could have swayed TT to do the right thing?  We'll never know.  I really am surprised that the Favre faithful didn't rally for him.  Or have they grown tired of the yearly ritual of "will he or won't he?" hmm?

Here’s Karen’s answer from

“Two brothers from the Milwaukee area have just turned up the heat on getting the Packers to bring back the future Hall of Fame quarterback after Favre told Packers officials that he wanted the team to release him so that he could play for another team.

The brothers have established a Web site -- -- that should be up and running by 5 this afternoon and are in the process of organizing a rally that will be held beginning at noon Sunday at Lambeau Field.”

Meanwhile the Packers continue insulting Favre. Again, from

GM Ted Thompson and coach Mike McCarthy told The Associated Press on Saturday that the star quarterback was welcome to rejoin the team but would have to be a backup.”

Ted Thompson has to be the bonehead of the year.

More from ESPN, including thoughts from Chris Mortensen.

I'm glad Corey Hart is an All-Star but....

Major League Baseball has to devise a better system for selecting an All-Star in online voting.


"Manager Ned Yost said he voted so much his ‘eyes got crossed two or three times’ from staring at the screen. Kristina Hart voted thousands of times and Attanasio voted around 50 times, but his wife, Debbie, voted about 700 times."

Your manager, your wife, the owner’s wife, sitting at the computer with glazed eyes……ENTER, CLICK, ENTER, CLICK, ENTER, CLICK, ENTER, CLICK, ENTER,  CLICK, ENTER.

I’m sorry, but that’s no way for any player to make the All-Star squad.

Frankin vs. Steve Hanke: What's next?

Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge John Franke has upheld Franklin’s restrictive ordinances on sex offenders, stating in his ruling that the “defendant’s (Steve Hanke) constitutional objections are without merit.”

The ruling is a major victory for families and their children all across Wisconsin. But this case isn’t over yet.

Franke in his ruling directed the city of Franklin “to submit a proposed order” for Hanke to abide by the ordinances, that is, to move to an area that is not within 2000 feet of any of the restricted places mentioned in the ordinances.  Franke also called for the scheduling of “a hearing on the amount of any forfeiture to be imposed. “ Hanke can be fined $1-$2500 for every day he was in violation of the ordinances. He moved into Franklin in June of 2007, so he’s been in violation for over a year. As Franke wrote in his ruling, “The facts necessary to establish Hanke’s violation of the ordinances are not in dispute.”

I would suspect the Franklin Common Council must take action on any proposed order to force Hanke to obey Franklin’s ordinances. The aldermen must determine the forfeiture Hanke must pay. For guidance, the Common Council will turn to the expertise of City Attorney Jesse Wesolowski who was instrumental in crafting Franklin’s ordinances. When Franklin Alderman Steve Olson called WISN during my talk show on this topic, he called Wesolowski the best municipal attorney in the state of Wisconsin.

Here’s hoping that an order for Hanke to move is drawn up soon, in advance of the start of the next school year. Hanke currently lives 538 feet from a Franklin middle school.

The forfeiture against Hanke should total in the thousands rather than hundreds of dollars. There’s no telling just how much fear Hanke put upon neighbors and their children for over a year. A reasonable but clear message must be sent that violators of Franklin’s ordinances will be dealt with swiftly and severely.


Elvis comes to Milwaukee

Watch here.

And 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 #61

2) In case you missed it...

3) Planning to fly soon? This is a must-read

4) The NY Post was wrong- Ryan Braun makes the NL starting lineup

5) "But sex offenders have to live somewhere"

More Catholic-bashing from the left

Millions of Roman Catholics will attend church today and receive the Eucharist. Receiving Holy Communion is the most sacred portion of the celebration of Sunday Mass.

A Minnesota professor has boldly proclaimed he intends to desecrate the Eucharist.

Institutions of higher learning all across America have become factories for liberal indoctrination. Now this (contains offensive language).

This man is a disgrace.

Culinary no-no #62

Culinary no-no's



This could very well be the worst, most disgusting of the more than 60 Culinary no-no’s I’ve posted.

You are hereby forewarned.

If you continue beyond this point, I am not responsible for any nausea or immediate loss of appetite that might ensue.

This week’s culinary no-no definitely falls under the category of regional cuisine. There are some variations to the recipe depending on where it’s served.

Let’s start with our neighbor to the south, Illinois. The Illinois version uses……..



This is your final warning, your last chance to turn back.

The Illinois version uses canned spinach, baked beans, tomato paste, margarine, applesauce, bread crumbs, and garlic powder, and mixes them all together until what’s described as a thick paste is formed.

In Vermont, raisins and nondairy cheese are added to the Illinois recipe.

In California, there’s some ground beef, chopped cabbage, diced carrots, cubed potatoes, and whole wheat flour.

All of the ingredients, once molded and folded together are placed in a loafpan and baked.

Here’s what the finished Illinois version looks like....


Illinois Nutraloaf.

Served in some vegan restaurants, this fare is actually far more common in penal institutons where it's called Nutraloaf, or sometimes simply, "the loaf."

Nutraloaf is given to certain prisoners when they act up as a form of behavior modification. That’s doublespeak for punishment. One of the prisoners punished was Samuel LeMaire who filed a lawsuit. LeMaire was served Nutraloaf after he slit a man's throat before going to state prison and attacked his prison guards and fellow prisoners with sharpened poles, human waste, and a homemade knife inside prison. The inmate argued that having to eat Nutraloaf constituted cruel and unusual punishment. A lower court agreed but a higher court did not.  

Nutraloaf is intended to be finger food, served on a single sheet of paper without utensils.

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Great web site for great causes!

I applaud these sports fans for their consideration beyond football.

By the way, great online comment at Fox Sports today on this subject:

"...and it's not like Favre wants more money or is making other ridiculous demands. HE WANTS TO PLAY. Tell me, what's transpired in the last 4 months that drastically changed the climate Favre was playing under in GB? a few mini camps, Rogers tossed the ball to some receivers - big deal. It's not like the Packers are now a baseball team with a great pitcher in Rogers and a QB in Favre. It's the same game - nothing's changed in the off season. and nothing would've changed had Favre not retired. Do any of you make decisions you later regret? Well that's the position Favre is in and he shouldn't have live the rest of his life like a lot of people do regretting it. If he can play - he SHOULD PLAY."

Right on.

Letters to the MJS on the sales tax referendum

These are worth a read. In today’s Journal/Sentinel, there are letters from readers on the Milwaukee County sales tax referendum. The editors did a good job of providing pros and cons. Naturally, I side with the astute letter writers who understand this issue and realize yet another tax increase is not the solution.

The best line comes from Richard Li of Milwaukee:

“Why don't they let us vote on things that matter, such as a constitutional amendment for voter ID?”

No kidding.

We know the answer, of course, to that insightful question. Democrats who could put such a question to voters refuse to do so because they know how much they benefit from crooked voting.

But I digress with such a painfully obvious observation.

Here are the letters to the paper on the sales tax referendum.

By the way....

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The state of Wisconsin stops at 9:00 tonight

Must see TV.



Did WTMJ's Bill Michaels really compare Brett Favre to O.J.?

On the Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel’s website, there are loads of comments about the Brett Favre melodrama posted under the paper’s timeline of the entire sorted affair.

Some of the comments were about remarks made by WTMJ’s Bill Michaels last week:

"I just heard Bill Michaels, from WTMJ in Milwaukee, on ESPN News, talking about this situation, ostensibly as some kind of expert. He called Brett's brother, Steve. STEVE! Its Scott. What a retard.”

 "Not only that, but on some 620 WTMJ show called the James T. Harris Show this afternoon, when Michaels was asked by someone at an event he was at today, if he could recall one sports player ever losing as much favor with his own fans in one day as much as Favre supposedly had (at least in his mind anyway), Michaels said he could only come up with one name: O. J. Simpson. 
Just so I understand, he was comparing a player changing his mind about playing football again, with someone who slaughtered 2 human beings. What a completely irresponsible and reprehensible comment and I believe he should be fired over it. What a tool."

This is why anonymous comments on blogs are so dangerous. Did Bill Michaels really compare Brett Favre to O.J. Simpson? Not directly.

Michaels said he ran into someone earlier in the day who told Michaels that his friends asked him when was the last time a super-star athlete fell from grace so quickly in a 24-hour period. The man Michaels spoke to said he and his friends could only come up with O.J. Simpson.

Even though Michaels didn’t make the analogy himself, he still saw fit to repeat the totally asinine remark on live radio, which wasn’t very smart.

He made some other comments that weren’t the most insightful. You can listen to his on-air discussion with James Harris here.

Sports fans, typically the ones that call into sports talk shows or write in to blogs, can be truly idiotic. One can easily picture Bear fans portrayed on Saturday Night Live, only in this case, they’re Packer fans:


Here are some of the actual genius statements made on the Journal/Sentinel website:

Get the stones out of Deanna's purse already!! She made you look like a big enough wuss at your retirement announcement. Man up, quit texting, come to camp and earn your job back!!!

Favre is just sinking deeper and deeper.  He looks like crap in all of this.  The Packers are doint the right thing by exposing Favre for the Prima Donna he is.  

Please TT let favre go to the vikings it might be our only hope this year.

Very interesting...I can't help but remember that last playoff game...He (Bret) looked old and cold...He looked like he didn't want to be there...If he came back and got to the nfc title game again....What would be different?? It's funny seeing Favre fans accusing others of not being Packer fans, when they themselves refuse to support a Packers QB not named Favre or Starr. Trade Favre and let these "Packer fans" go root for whatever team he lands on.
Like it or not babies you're gonna have to face the Favre-less future at some point. Hopefully it's this year.

Favre left us. I didn't take my ex-wife back either.

This really speaks volumes.  Sadly, it tells of a spoiled prima donna who can't make a decision to save his life.

Trade him.  Let him tarnish his glorious career by learning a new offense while playing for a second tier team.  Hell, trade him to the Vikings, and let the Packer D-Line end the streak by sacking his indecisive a$$ in the first series of downs of the 2008-9 season.

So, Brett Favre and his wife Deanna decided that he should retire.  Then, he decides to unretire.  I might be grasping at straws here, but those two have been on the ropes before, and wouldn't be surprised if there's trouble at the Favre residence. I'm not wishing trouble on anyone, just making an observation and supposition.  I hope I am wrong.

Brilliant. And these people vote, make babies, and operate heavy machinery.

City of Milwaukee taxpayers: SUCKERS!

Here is a list of 10 Milwaukee Aldermen and the results of their winning elections on April 1, 2008 from the city of Milwaukee Election Commission website inlcuding total votes and vote percentages: Willie Hines Jr., Jim Bohl, Joe Davis Sr., Bob Donovan, Ashanti Hamilton, Nik Kovac, Robert Puente, Willie Wade and Jim Witkowiak.  

          Alderperson, District 1


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Crystle Stewart....

Can fall for me anytime!

Fun Fact about Barack Obama

Lance Burri did the calcuations and came up with this.

Obama in a snit over New Yorker cover

When I obejcted recently to some of the garbage Al Franken wrote about conservatives in his book, I was told to relax, it's just satire.

Just satire.......ok.

The New Yorker Magazine, one of the most lefty rags in the entire country is out with what can certalinly be labeled as satire right there on the cover. The magazine took every right-wing stereotype of Barack Obama and satirized them all in one big New Yorker cover cartoon, right down to the roaring fireplace burning the American flag.


The hyper thin-skinned Obama and his campaign are blowing a gasket, calling the cover offensive, insensitive, over the top, etc, etc, etc.

My goodness, gracious, every employee at that lefty publication adores Obama. Why the hissy fit?

Methinks Obama worries the public will view the cover as too close to the truth.

But again, relax everybody.

It's only satire.

Meanwhile, Michelle Malkin tells the Obamassiah to grow a pair.

Roundabouts are on the way, whether you like it or not (and you probably don't)

Amy Rinard of the Journal/Sentinel opened her story today with this lead:

“Wisconsin motorists will be driving in circles more often over the next 10 years as there is likely to be six times the number of traffic roundabouts on state highways.”

Are you excited, Wisconsin motorists? Roundabouts are here and will pop up at a higher rate than weeds. Whoopee.

Have you been on Drexell near the Shoppes at Wyndham Village? How about 116th and Grange in Hales Corners? Moorland Road?

There you will encounter profanity-induced roundabouts, the nightmarish creation of common sense-challenged transportation bureaucrats.

One of them was quoted in Rinard’s article today:

“The chances of killing someone at 20 mph are substantially less than the chances of killing someone at 55 mph.”

But who's going 55 mph in the spots where roundabouts are being placed? Not at 116th and Grange.

So let’s put up roundabouts where no one knows what to do and there’s a rash of fender-benders.

The typical motorist in these parts is clueless when it comes to the simple 4-way stop. Now you expect him/her to safely navigate through a roundabout when he/she has no intention of being cautious and/or courteous?

I have talked to many, many, many people in my regular line of work and I have yet to have anyone tell me they like roundabouts. The only folks that approve of these atrocities are people who hate cars and asphalt and love mass transit. But in true government fashion, roundabouts are being shoved down the public’s throats.

Roundabouts are accidents and road rage waiting to happen.

But government doesn’t care.

Will lawsuits be filed against roundabouts in Wisconsin?

We're told roundabouts are the wave of the transportation future in our state.

Are roundabouts begging for legal action?

A major lawsuit was filed in MIchigan, and here's what happened.


Is this MPS math?

I understand how the Home Run Derby works at the MLB All-Star Game. The two best finishers square off in the 3rd and final round and the slate is cleaned and they start all over.

How is this fair?

Josh Hamilton hits 35 HR's to Justin Morneau's 22 for the night, and Morneau walks away with the trophy?????

Anyone who watched last night's derby knows who was, BY FAR, the most impressive and who was the real star.


Welfare cheats are alive and well and living in Milwaukee

Remember those long lines of people in Milwaukee waiting to be handed free stuff because they claimed they were flood victims?

Of course, if you dared to call their bluff and accuse them of lying and cheating, you faced the obligatory knee-jerk reaction of being called a racist.

Fox 6 Milwaukee did an incredible piece where the cheaters actually went on camera and admitted they were cheaters.

Great work by Channel 6.  Here’s their piece…click on the play button.

HT: Dad29, Real Debate Wisconsin

Teen pregnancy isn't cool

"Being a mom is the best feeling in the world."

That's what Jamie Lynn Spears gushes on the cover of OK! Magazine.

Jamie Lynn is 17.

"The media doesn't show the downside to teenagers getting pregnant."

That true statement comes from Warren Seigel, a pediatrician and founder of the Adolescent Medicine Program at Coney Island Hospital. Siegel spoke to Newsweek and he's right.

The cover of OK! opens the door to critcism that the magazine is glorifying teen pregnancy. Newsweek put that question to OK! executive editor Rob Shuter who, of course, denied any such possibility.

I don't think we pretend for one minute that this story is anything but what it is and I hope what we've done is reflected the reality of the story in a fair way. We didn't go down there to slap this girl on the wrist and tell her off. This is a story about Jamie Lynn and her exceptional story in really, really unique circumstances and how she's making decisions. That's what this is about. We don't set out to be the moral authority. We try to present the facts and let our readers decide.”

"Exceptional story."

Is it?

We don’t want to be the "moral authority."

That’s obvious.

The editor swears the magazine is not involved in glamorizing a story, but is concerned about reality. I don’t think so. Not when they deliberately cover up the “reality” that the female teenage readership probably needs to informed about.

“A while ago we had the exclusive Britney Spears sit down interview and photo shoot, really about her comeback. We did the photo shoot in L.A. and unfortunately it did not go as well as what we had hoped ... it was sort of like a meltdown. It was the first time a journalist or a magazine had really spent any time with Britney. There had been all these stories about her shaving her head but all write-arounds and no journalist had really had access to Britney for an entire day. OK! spent the entire day with Britney and what we saw was really upsetting and very scary. We decided as a magazine not to show the pictures from the shoot that were just not flattering and really just tell the experience of what it was like to spend the day with Britney Spears.”

Except we won’t show or write about anything troubling. Then there’s this bit of nausea:

How did Jamie Lynn go from Britney's little sister to international celebrity?
“I think she became a star by making very smart choices. The mistake that some magazines make about the Spears is thinking they're not a smart family. That is absolutely ridiculous. These are very, very smart young girls. Britney has certainly had her troubles but Jamie Lynn has really learned from years and years of observing this international superstar as her sister. She's seen things that happened to Britney and really learned the lessons so when it came to her own story, or her own image or her own press, she made really smart choices.”

The girl was 16 and got pregnant. Hello! That’s not a “really smart choice.”

Finally, when the OK! editor was asked why babies are such a hot topic….

“Babies are the new ‘it’ factor in the celebrity market. I think the reason that this is the case is that readers want to see celebrities be themselves, be real, and there's nothing more natural and real than giving birth and having a baby. I think it's catching a celebrity at their most, intimate, tender ... It also helps that most celebrities, by the nature of celebrity, are some of the most beautiful people in the world. I think there's a curiosity factor of seeing if two beautiful people have a baby, what that baby looks like.”

As much as I hate to break up this La-la land, it’s time for the brick to the face. A dose of true reality, not the kind the OK! editor believes in.

To lay the smack down to teenage girls who think it’s “cool” to get pregnant, I turn to author, columnist and talk show host Doug Giles. A few weeks ago he wrote a piece reacting to the news that Massachusetts high school girls made a pact to be expecting by the time they reached the 10th grade.

Giles is brilliant in his bluntness, speaking directly to Miss Pregnant Teen USA:

“You see, little sweetie, life isn’t a movie. Unlike Juno your drama’s run time is not going to be one hour and thirty-six minutes. In addition, there will be no soundtrack or popcorn served with this brain fart . . . nor can you pause it or hit rewind.

Also darling, you cannot look to the ubiquitous Hollywood teenage tarts for encouragement because your predicament and their debacle are desperately different. What do I mean? Take Jamie Lynn Spears, for example. If you are hoping to suck inspiration from Spears by comparing your pregnant plight with hers, I’m afraid you are comparing, as the Brits would say, chalk with cheese. Sure both of you made stupid, stupid mistakes and are—by relation of your dense decisions—soul mates. However, economically speaking, she’s a multi-millionaire and you go to Gloucester High School. It’s a little different, girlfriend.

Here’s what’s about to happen to your world:

1. Text messaging is going to diminish greatly because it is really hard to see that little keypad when you’ve been up for four days because your baby is colicky.

2. Your child’s 16 year-old sperm donor will probably leave you in the dust when he gets the revelation that he’s really not ready to be a dad with all that responsibility, blah blah. You watch. He’ll get freaked out, break up with you and will start dating his slutty math teacher.

3. Get ready to say hello to welfare, and I hope you have developed a palate for government cheese, spam (as in the food, not junk email) and powdered milk.

4. Your parents, who thought they were finished with child rearing, probably aren’t thrilled with their interrupted dreams and the child who’ll probably get dropped in their lap.

5. It’s harder for teens with kids to find a single guy who wants to marry that type of pre-packaged burden.

6. Shedding the 60 lbs you’re about to gain ain’t that easy. Sure Christina, Halle, Nicole, Salma and Rippa look great three weeks after giving birth, but what you failed to realize is that they have $1,500 an hour trainers, nutritionists, hair and makeup artists, and a fleet of nannies and spray tanners following them around 24/7. You, on the other hand, have jack. “

Here’s Giles’ entire column.

The best chance for any child is to grow up in a home with two married parents. Sure would love to see that on a magazine cover.

Higher gas prices kill

A brand new report says the higher gas prices go, the worse it is for American households, even if everyone in the house walks. But before we get into the specifics….

When I usher at St. Anthony’s every Sunday morning, it is a sure bet every week that one of the ancient ushers I volunteer with, a curmudgeon of an old grump will hit me with a weekly update on the price of gas. As if I didn’t know gas was expensive.

And this ray of sunshine doesn’t even drive. Yet he hasn’t said “Good morning” to me in years. I, instead, am confronted with, “Did you see gas is $4.11?”

About a year ago this time, a reader objected when I found fault with another blogger who loves high gas prices. High gas prices kill.

The Heritage Foundation in a new report finds that if prices keep going up:
  • Total employment would decrease by 586,000 jobs,
  • Disposable personal income would decrease by $532 billion,
  • Personal consumption expenditure would decrease by $400 billion, and
  • Personal savings would be spent to help pay the cost.

What about individual households?

Take a look.

The argument that high gas prices will force a change in driving behavior and will thus, be good for the country, is hogwash. It will be devastating for American pocketbooks.

Read the Heritage Foundation report.

Let’s start drilling domestically, let’s start building more refineries, let’s lower gas taxes. Let’s do it for the average American family.

One of our best laws that nobody knows about

Two women.

Two young mothers.

Each had a decision to make.

One made the right choice; the other made a deadly one.

Here are their stories.

Last August, 19 year-old Indra Book of La Crosse gave birth to a baby girl at her home. She began breastfeeding, but then stopped just two days later. Book did so knowing that without breastfeeding, the baby girl would perish.

When the baby died, Book took the tiny child and placed it in a cooler. Sometime this past spring, Book took the cooler and tossed it in the garbage.

Book was arrested last week on preliminary charges of first-degree intentional homicide. The baby’s remains have yet to be found. Authorities still don’t know where the baby’s body and the cooler were kept between August and this spring.

Also arrested last week was 21-year-old Adam O’Connor of La Crosse, described as a friend of Book’s. He’s accused of helping to hide the body.

Mother #1. A dead baby.

Next story. Chicago, 2 a.m. Monday morning of this week. A 16-year-old gives birth. Later the same day, the mother walks into a firehouse on S. Burley Avenue, carrying her baby in a blanket. She turned the baby over to workers at the firehouse, and then left freely. The baby was taken to a local hospital and is in good condition.

Mother #2. A live, healthy baby that will be put up for adoption.

Nothing happened to Mother #2 because she merely followed a law that is in place in Illinois, Wisconsin and 27 other states. Often referred to as the “Safe Havens Law,” the Illinois law allows the parent of an unharmed baby up to seven days to turn the baby over to a staff member at a police station, fire station, hospital or other designated safe haven. The parent is then free from prosecution.

Mother #2 made the right choice and as a result, her baby is alive today, hopefully with a bright future. For whatever reason, she didn’t want the baby and took it to a place where the infant could be properly taken care of immediately.

The Chicago Tribune reports that since the Illinois law took effect in 2001, 43 babies have been safely handed over at Illinois safe havens, and 49 were illegally abandoned. Twenty-four of the 49 died.

Wisconsin also has a similar safe havens law. If it had been followed, Indra Book’s little baby girl would be alive today. Book made a conscious and horrible decision to starve her baby and then dispose of it like yesterday’s trash. All she and her “friend” had to do was hop in a car and drive to the nearest police station, drop the baby off and go home, no questions asked.

More than 30 babies have been saved because of Wisconsin’s safe havens law since 2001.

And yet, there’s an atrocious trend happening all across the country. 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.

Bigger than Iron Man?

Could be.

Why is this not surprising?

Franklin Alderman Steve Olson is the first official customer July 9 at Franklin's new Sendik's, located in the Shoppes at Wyndham Village on the corner of Highway 100 and Drexel Avenue. Target will open later this month at The Shoppes.
NOW Photo by Katie Derksen

Just look at him.

The guy couldn’t wait to rush in there, be first in line, and stuff his face.

You realize what he’s saying to the nice checkout person. Alderman Olson is actually giving the worker a hard time.

“Whad’ya mean, that’ll be 12 bucks??!! Look at me! Don’t you know who I am? Twelve bucks! Sheesh! Gimme a break!”

My understanding is that Alderman Olson did pay for his Twinkies, Mountain Dew, Doritos, Cheetoh’s, and cream puffs. But while paying, he just had to give the Sendik’s employee one last shot.

“Ok, hurry up, hurry up, will ya………I’ve got to return this suit by noon!”


In this Tax Hell we call home (Wisconsin), there is a consistent voice the taxpayers can always count on.


Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker today made good on his vow to veto a proposed November referendum on raising the county sales tax by one percentage point…..

"Turning to tax increases as a first resort in addressing the needs of the county results in the false premise that the only way to meet our fiscal challenges is by shifting costs to the already strapped taxpayers of Milwaukee County," Walker said in his prepared remarks.

"Simply passing the buck to taxpayers is not the solution," he said.

Walker also said the higher sales tax would hurt local businesses, driving shoppers across county lines. In addition, he said the tax increase proposal would not provide a firm guarantee of property tax relief.

Future county boards could simply redirect the extra sales tax revenue to increased spending rather than property tax relief, Walker said.

"It is misleading to the citizens of Milwaukee County to ask for support based on a promise that cannot be made," he said.

Have you called your Milwaukee County Supervisor yet on the referendum?

Make the call.

Tell your Supervisor to sustain Scott Walker's veto of the resolution approving the sales tax

Doyle hypocritical on gas taxes

During a Q and A the Appleton Post-Crescent had with Governor Doyle on gas prices, here is one of the questions posed and Doyle’s response (emphasis in Doyle's response mine):

Q. Would the state consider a break or holiday on the motor fuel tax it charges to help out motorists?
A. Well, the problem with that is twofold. There's no reason for me to believe that the gas companies would pass the savings on. We could take off our gas tax, but I believe the oil companies simply would make more profits. They would continue to price gasoline at the same level
. Second, we need those funds to make sure we have good roads and that our bridges are secure.

The big problem with a gasoline tax holiday, which (Sen. John) McCain (of Arizona) talked about, is that it would only save families on average about 30 cents a day or $30 a month. I think the oil companies simply would continue to charge the same price and pocket the additional profit.

The state has frozen its gas tax. It used to go up automatically each year until I signed a bill that stopped that. We really cannot afford to freeze the state gas tax because we need the funds to maintain our roads
and I'm not ready to turn over any extra dollars to the oil companies.

Oh, really, Governor? We can’t mess with the gas tax because we need that revenue to go to the Transportation Fund so we can take care of our roads and bridges, you say?

Then, why, Governor, are you always sticking your big, fat paw into the Transportation Fund cookie jar?

Why didn't the Catholic Church in Wisconsin have to warn about pedophiles? I've got the answers

Disclaimer: I am a lifelong Catholic and proud of it.

It’s no secret that the Catholic Church has had to confront a major scandal involving priests and sexual abuse. Never mind that the vast majority of priests are good, decent men above reproach. The serious violations have been widespread to the point that the Catholic Church has had its reputation shattered from one end of the globe to the other.  Making the scandal even more shocking and disgusting is that the Catholic Church has been complicit, knowledgeable of the abuses and then covering them up by remaining silent and merely transferring bad apples from one diocese to another. Even devout Catholics find the situation nearly impossible to defend.  

The Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled the Madison Catholic Diocese did not have a duty to warn potential employers of a Catholic school teacher's past sexual abuse of children. The same court was divided, 3-3 on whether to reverse decisions that dismissed the same allegations against the Milwaukee Catholic Archdiocese. In that case, church officials begged parents not to report abuse to police, pledging that the teacher would get help and would not have contact with children.  The even split among the justices means the prior court rulings to dismiss the case against the Milwaukee Archdiocese stand.

The split ruling by the high court involves the case of twice convicted sex offender, Gary Kazmarek, who sexually assaulted children in Catholic grade schools in Milwaukee, Madison and Louisville. Kazmarek was dismissed from his first teaching job at St. John’s grade school on the west side of Milwaukee after church officials learned he had sexually assaulted at least 20 of its students, according to the Milwaukee-based group SNAP (The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests).

After the promises that Kazmarek would receive treatment and would not be allowed near children, Kazmarek turned up in Louisville a few months later and began assaulting children at another Catholic school. He returned to Wisconsin and started teaching in the Madison diocese where he was arrested and convicted for child abuse according to SNAP.

SNAP says, “Isn’t it time for insurance companies and others to insist that organizations like the Catholic church, whose geographical reach is so great, that they must at least set up a simple, easily accessible internal ‘bulletin board’ that informs and alerts other dioceses and schools that they are dumping a sex offender priest, teacher or youth director?”

They may have a point. Isn’t there a moral and legal obligation on the part of the Catholic Church to tell the next place where a pedophile is headed that he is, indeed, a pedophile? I certainly think so.

So why did the Supreme Court rule the way it did?  Two reasons: 

1) The slippery slope.

2) It wouldn’t be feasible.

For explanation, here are some excerpts from Justice Louis Butler’s 28-page opinion that shed light on the court’s ruling. I am not suggesting I agree with the court, but here is their reasoning:

There is no state in which employers are recognized as being negligent for failing to seek out, find, and warn future employers of sexually dangerous former employees.

Although the plaintiffs allege that the Diocese knew that Kazmarek had a propensity for sexual abuse, what is more pertinent is what the plaintiffs did not allege. They did not allege that the Diocese knew that Kazmarek was in Kentucky, still teaching children, or working for the Archdiocese in Louisville. They did not allege any knowledge that the children at the Mother of Sorrow School in Louisville were in any danger. They did not allege that the Archdiocese of Louisville asked the Diocese for a reference, that the Diocese made a reference recommending Kazmarek, or that
the Diocese had any communication whatsoever with the Archdiocese of Louisville regarding Kazmarek.

The plaintiffs argue that the duty of ordinary care in this case encompasses a specific obligation to warn all parochial schools and dioceses in this country, as well as future parents of unforeseeable victims, but have cited no cases in which the failure to warn third parties has been described in such sweeping terms.

We decline to rule that under the general duty of ordinary care recognized in Wisconsin, an employer may be found negligent for failing to warn unforeseen third parties of a dangerous former employee. Such a ruling would extend an employer's obligation to warn indefinitely into the future to a sweeping category of persons,
thereby requiring employers to warn nearly all potential future employers or victims, as the plaintiffs in this case argue.

The Diocese warns of a slippery slope that a decision allowing the claims against the Diocese to proceed would create, in essence requiring employers to warn all
prospective employers about any bad acts of ex-employees……allowing recovery would be the beginning of a descent down a slippery slope with no sensible or juststopping point. A decision to the contrary would create precedent suggesting that employers have an obligation to search out and disclose to all potential subsequent employers, which could include in an employment context every school in the country or beyond, all matters concerning an ex-employee's history.

It appears that the plaintiffs here would require that every individual with knowledge about a former employee potentially posing a danger to unforeseen future victims must warn thousands of individuals and organizations across the country, from
dioceses to parochial school systems to even a broad and undefined category of parents of unforeseen future victims. The plaintiffs offer no parameters or guidance about how to make such a warning requirement feasible.

Butler wanted to make it clear the court had empathy for victims of child abuse, and quoted a previous court of appeals ruling to make their point:

“Tragically, sexual abuse has brought devastating consequences to countless children and their families. Sadly, our society has discovered that many pedophiles elude the control of the criminal justice system. Many seem unchanged despite psychotherapeutic intervention and the rehabilitation efforts of corrections, probation, and parole. As pedophiles sexually abuse children again and again, some state legislatures, in a desperate effort to locate new methods to stop the assaults, debate whether to enact "neighborhood notification" laws to warn citizens of paroled child molesters living in their communities. Thus, legislatures debate the appropriate scope of government's duty to warn and they struggle to define sensible starting and stopping points. For government, the struggle is extremely difficult as a matter of public policy. For an individual citizen, the struggle is extremely difficult as a matter of morality, and virtually impossible as a matter of law.”

We emphasize that this court finds abhorrent any type of facilitation of sexual abuse by third parties. It is critical that sexual abuse victims receive full justice throughour criminal and civil laws to the extent legally possible.

There is no sensible stopping point to recognizing negligence claims for such an open-ended and ill-defined sweeping claim. Recognizing the plaintiffs' claim against the Diocese in this case could result in requiring all employers to warn all unforeseen
potential future employers of any number of problems related to any number of past employees. It could further result in all parents who become aware that their child was sexually abused then facing potential liability for not warning every other parent who might also have children at risk of being in contact with the perpetrator.

It’s a mess. The state Supreme Court can be credited with refraining from legislating from the bench. The answer may lie in clearer statutes, and that means review by the state Legislature.  What’s clear to me is that despite the court’s ruling, it is incumbent upon a compassionate body like the Catholic Church to take whatever steps are necessary to inform and /or warn the appropriate individuals and/or entities that a tornado is coming their way. The details must be worked out, but the morally correct course of action that needs no direct legislative instructions lies with the Catholic Church. 

Favre at the 2008 Espy Awards

Favre won the Best Record Breaking Performance award. In accepting his award he joked to host Justin Timberlake with a grin, “watchin that makes me want to play again.” 

 NFL players Eli Manning and Brett Favre arrive at the 2008 ESPY Awards held at NOKIA Theatre L.A. LIVE on July 16, 2008 in Los Angeles, California.  The 2008 ESPYs will air on Sunday, July 20 at 9PM ET on ESPN.

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It's Festa time!

Festa Italiana opens today and runs through Sunday as the lakefront summer ethnic festival season kicks into high gear.

Festa is always one of the best, highlighted this year by Italy’s participant in the 2008 Miss Universe pageant, Miss Italy, Claudia Ferraris:

 claudia ferraris miss universe italy 2008

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Culinary no-no #54: UPDATE!

Culinary no-no's

Culinary no-no?

On Thursday?

What’s goin’ on, Fischer?

I’ll tell ya what’s goin’ on.

News updates wait for no weekend.

Culinary no-no #54 …….of course you remember it like it was yesterday, but it really was in May…..focused on a new law in New York City that would begin in July whereby certain restaurants must post the number of calories for each item on their menu boards or face fines beginning. Food police in the form of pencil-pushing inspectors are going to burst into restaurants, clipboards and cameras in hand, handing out citations. These government hacks will not be smiling and will demonstrate quite clearly that they’ve never heard of Emily Post or Dale Carnegie.

Well guess what?

It’s July!

The law is now in effect.

How are hard-nosed New Yorkers reacting?

Let’s find out.

Brand new in Racine: The Rummage Police

Last month, I blogged about bureaucratic regulations run amok in Racine where the city was considering coming down on the time-honored, warm weather tradition of rummage sales.

Racine considered.

Guess what?

You know it.

They went overboard and implemented new rules on yard sales. Apparently every major issue has been thoroughly dealt with in the Shangri-la known as Racine so all that was left was clamping down on how many times Grandma could try to unload her clothes basket on the front lawn.

Here are details from the Racine Journal-Times and Fox 6 Milwaukee (Click the play button).

The pencil-pushing city bureaucrat has a point about all those nasty signs plastered all over town. Then go after the SIGNS, not the RUMMAGES.

I’ll say it again. Is it any wonder people hate the government.

Friday night on InterCHANGE

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

1 – MillerCoors.

The main headquarters of MillerCoors will be in Chicago.  Is this a major blow to Milwaukee, keeping in mind that more people will still be working in the Milwaukee office than will be working in Chicago.  Miller says it will also be investing $50 million into the Milwaukee brewery, and that employment levels should jump to where they were in the 1970’s. Is it sad that no major brewer will be headquartered here anymore?  Is there anything Milwaukee could have done to make itself more attractive?  It appears Milwaukee was never even in the running as a location for the headquarters.  How can you win a race you’re not even in?

2 – Milwaukee City Wheel Tax / Milwaukee County Sales Tax.

City of Milwaukee alderman want a new wheel tax to support maintenance of city streets, and it appears they have the votes to enact it despite pleas against it from Mayor Barrett.  Milwaukee County Supervisors are pushing ahead with a plan for an increased sales tax to fund parks and busses, despite a veto from County Executive Scott Walker and a possible rejection of the referendum question from the voters.  Are these measures aimed at preserving the quality of life in this community, or are they going to result in making Milwaukee an even costlier place to live and do business?

3 – Brett Favre.

How has Brett Favre conducted himself in this situation?  How have the Packers conducted themselves?  What will happen?  What should happen?  If the goal is to win the Super Bowl, does the team have a better chance of doing it with Favre or with Aaron Rodgers?  Is Favre showing himself to be like any other spoiled jock?  Do the Packers owe Favre anything besides the salary they gave him for the contributions he made to that team?

Milwaukee County already had a referendum on a sales tax increase

It took place on April 1 of this year.

Milwaukee County voters spoke rather demonstrably that they support County Executive Scott Walker’s views, policies, and the way he manages the county, and that includes his strong opposition to a sales tax increase. In a referendum on the job Walker is doing, it wasn’t even close.

Scott Walker: 97, 953 votes (59%)

Lena Taylor: 68, 207 votes (41%)

In Franklin, it was an even bigger landslide.

Walker: 6,448 (79.12%)

:  1,696 (20.81%)

Unfortunately for the vast majority of concerned Milwaukee County taxpayers, you have a County Board comprised of members who have a huge disconnect with the public’s sentiments. They are dead from the neck up, in denial of how citizens feel about taxes, or just plain ignorant.

The county supervisors may get their way and force this ridiculous sales tax idea on the November ballot. I suspect those same folks that came out in full force for Walker in April will then bury a huge tax increase on November 4th.

The public knows what the Milwaukee County Board fails to understand

An astute listener to Charlie Sykes’ program on WTMJ gets credit for this bit of insight.

The Milwaukee County Board will probably have enough votes next week to override County Executive Scott Walker’s veto of that foolish sales tax increase referendum, forcing an advisory question on the November ballot.

The current Milwaukee County sales tax is:


The resolution calling for a referendum asks Milwaukee County voters to increase the sales tax by:


That would bring the Milwaukee County sales tax to:


Do the math: 1.5% as opposed to the current .5%.

That is a
TRIPLING of the current sales tax.

That’s right.

Milwaukee County Board members want to
TRIPLE your county sales tax and they think you’re stupid enough to go to the polls and willingly make the choice to TRIPLE your county share of the sales tax. This would be on top, don’t forget, of the state sales tax and the Miller Park sales tax.

These county supervisors apparently believe that our taxes in these parts just aren’t high enough and need to be raised even more, and not by just a little bit, but instead they need to be……


You also know you’re living in a tax hell when you have some yahoo’s who are downright giddy at the possibility that their county sales tax might be……….


Most of the public gets this. It’s unfortunate the County Board doesn’t.

The "N" word

There is no accepted policy, especially in America’s black community, about the use of the infamous “N” word.

I know a lot, I mean a whole helluva lot of white folk. None, zero, nada, not a single one uses the “N” word and with good reason. To a person, they know how incredibly wrong that particular choice of word is.

What we white folks don’t understand to be quite honest is why it’s okay for blacks to use the word, especially to refer to other blacks.

It’s much like that whole NAACP deal. I can’t say, “colored,” but millions of blacks can be in an organization that does?

I have seen, in person, Jesse Jackson speak, at least 4 or 5 times. I still have the speeches on tape. Each experience was exhilarating and impressive. There was a common theme in every speech: Black Americans needed to be more disciplined and exhibit more independence. The message was beyond admirable. Jackson was not only electrifying, he was right.

That was Jesse Jackson in the 80’s. The Jesse Jackson of recent times is described this way, overseas, in the Daily Telegraph:

The Rev Jackson had already said sorry for saying of Mr. (Barack)Obama that he would like to ‘cut off his nuts’ for talking down to black people.

He was speaking off-air on Fox News and did not realise that his comments to a fellow guest were being picked up by a microphone. It has now emerged that he said: ‘Barack...he's talking down to black people...telling niggers how to behave.’”

That’s in today’s edition of the British paper. In November of 2006, CBS in Los Angeles reported the following:

Rev. Jesse Jackson is calling for entertainers to stop using the N-word.He and other leaders held a news conference in Los Angeles Monday, calling for the voluntary ban. The move comes one day after comedian Michael Richards appeared on Jackson's radio show to apologize for his racial rant last week.As CBS 2's Dorothy Tucker reports, Jackson is going after TV and film stars, as well as musicians.Jackson says he plans to meet with TV networks, film companies and musicians to talk about what they can do to stop using the racial slur. Richards, who played the wacky neighbor on the popular Seinfeld show, was captured on a video cell phone using the N-word after two African Americans heckled him during his comedy routine.”

There appears to be an inconsistency at the very least, even a blatant hypocrisy when it comes to Jackson and the “N” word. This wouldn’t be the first time Jackson has uttered a racist comment and yet we are told by America’s mainstream media that Jackson along with Al Sharpton are black leaders, and the arbiters whenever speech is questioned to be racist.

Again, I can’t (and I never would) use the “N” word. But blacks can call each other the “N” word because, why? It’s a black thing, you stupid honky?

There will be, if there hasn’t been already, a summons to call out the Milwaukee Journal’s race-baiting columnist, Eugene Kane to address Jesse Jackson’s faux pas.

Back in 2006, Tonya Weathersbee wrote on

“A colleague of mine, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel columnist Eugene Kane, is on what has all the markings of a quixotic mission. He wants to bring a ‘ban the N-word 'campaign to Milwaukee public schools.

Right now though, it seems like the black students he’s encountered so far aren’t having it.

Kane wasn’t just prompted to start this sorely-needed consciousness-raising by Michael Richards’ rant, but by a white teacher who was struggling to get her black students to stop using the word.

In the world of surreal twists, that beats all.

Yet sadly enough, when Kane tried to educate her students on the awfulness of the N-word, they shot back defenses that made them seem dumber than the Jim Crow racists of the 1960s who of the 1960s who spelled it as 'Nigers' on their protest signs.

Among other things, they insisted the word doesn’t mean the same as it used to mean in the past. Some even said they wouldn’t care if a white person used it -- a statement I sense wasn’t made out of sincerity as much as it was made to defuse Kane’s argument and have the last word. One girl, Kane wrote, vigorously stood up for the N-word because, she said, it doesn’t mean anything to them to say it.”

It appears black families have some instruction on their hands. To earn respect, they have to respect themselves.

When I was at WUWM, I produced a highly successful documentary on black on black crime that I’m proud won many awards. That was in the late 80’s. Back then, the consensus among experts on the subject was that there is a huge lack of ethnic pride in the black community leading to violent crime. If that’s true, and I believe it is, then what’s stopping someone from tossing the “N” epithet if blacks are shooting and killing each other?

The “N” word isn’t as much of a problem in the white community. Oh, sure, some ignoramus will use it now and then. Unfortunately, until the final day of Earth, a certain amount of racism will exist and that’s tragic. However, the black community needs to clean up its act and stop using the “N’ word just as much as it’s offensive for whites to utter this slur.

How can people respect you if you don’t respect yourself?

Heading to any of the ethnic festivals?

Keep Culinary no-no #7 in mind.

Quick, somebody introduce a bill!

There ought to be a ban on chastising children while driving.

The Milwaukee County Board isn't being truthful about the sales tax

History proves it.

In 1991, the Milwaukee County Board raised the county sales tax, promising property tax relief in return.

What happened? You know what happened if you own a house in Tax Hell, USA.

Between 1992 and 2002, property taxes jumped a whopping, eye-opening 55% in Milwaukee County.

Now the Milwaukee County Board is back, hoping a referendum will go on the November ballot asking voters to TRIPLE the county sales tax. County supervisors who support this folly claim $130-million will be raised and half will go to property tax relief.

There is absolutely no way they can keep that promise. You know and I know they will spend that money. Property taxes go down? Here? Who do they think they’re kidding???

You do not lower taxes by raising another tax.

Unfortunately, even when this gets shot down, big time in November, the clueless County Board still won’t get it.

Still to come on This Just In...

Lots to do this weekend but I hope you'll check in here for our regular weekend features

Still to come tonight, we pull out our guitars for another Friday Night Live, featuring live music from the 70's.

That's at 11:30 tonight music lovers (Or first thing tomorrow morning if you can't stay awake).

Saturday morning, it's Week-ends.

This person makes the list.....

Sex Sting

Is that shirt telling the truth?

Also on Week-ends....

Ku Klux Klan

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Friday Night Live


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National Night Out details


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That's a nice slice

Recently I promised an announcement about Cheesecake Factory, the top-notch national chain. All Cheesecake Factory restaurants nationwide plan to celebrate Wednesday, July 30, National Cheesecake Day by offering every slice of their more than 30 varieties of cheesecake to dine-in guests for $1.50 per slice. That was the price of a slice at the very first Cheesecake Factory when it opened in 1978. 

It’s the 30th anniversary of Cheesecake Factory and the celebration will also include a limited-edition 30th Anniversary cheesecake, Chocolate Cake Cheesecake. In a release I received, CF says:

“This delicious new addition to our dessert menu is a blend of two of our original favorites: Original Cheesecake and our Linda's Fudge Cake. The delectable cake is made of two layers of original cheesecake with two layers of rich chocolate cake, which is topped with chocolate ganache and surrounded by semi-sweet chocolate chunks. Along with marking our 30th anniversary on National Cheesecake Day, the Chocolate Cake Cheesecake will benefit America's Second Harvest. For every slice sold this year, The Cheesecake Factory will donate $0.25 to this important national hunger-relief organization.”

 How are you going to celebrate National Cheesecake Day? I'm thinking of going with the Key Lime…

Coggs wants to line her pocket


It’s a tale of two Milwaukee County Supervisors.

Elizabeth Coggs says gas prices are too high so the supervisors need a $300/month travel allowance. Coggs can’t live but a couple of miles from the Courthouse.

That’s a lot of guts, telling the taxpayers they have to give her $300/month to subsidize her driving after she proposes that the county sales tax be tripled.

Compare Coggs’ idea to one offered by Supervisor Mark Borkowski who represents part of Franklin. At a time when gas prices are through the ceiling, he wants to test what effect a reduction in bus fares from $2 to $1 would have during the month of August.

What’s intriguing about Borkowski’s plan is that it’s not the same tired old proposal we always get from politicians who only have one page in their how to be an elected official: Raise taxes, raise fees.

Borkowski is thinking about taxpayers. Coggs is thinking about herself.



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...


Freedom Honor Flight Inc.

Good Samaritans

Maine fisherman

Johnny Depp

Still a hero


Indra Book

Daniel Allen Everett

Andrea Curry-Demus

Waukesha County


“The reality is, this is a $130 million tax increase.At a time when food and fuel costs are so high here in Wisconsin and across the country, the last thing we need is a $130 million tax increase."
Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker, on the County Board's proposed sales tax increase referendum

"We could take off our gas tax, but I believe the oil companies simply would make more profits. They would continue to price gasoline at the same level. Second, we need those funds to make sure we have good roads and that our bridges are secure. The big problem with a gasoline tax holiday, which (Sen. John) McCain (of Arizona) talked about, is that it would only save families on average about 30 cents a day or $30 a month. I think the oil companies simply would continue to charge the same price and pocket the additional profit."
Governor Jim Doyle

"It has become increasingly difficult to carry out the mission of the Department, and I do not want to stand in the way of continuing progress; because of that, I am resigning."
Jack Fischer, outgoing Wisconin Commerce secretary, in his resignation letter to Governor Jim Doyle. Fischer resigned following reports of questionable foreign trade trip spending while the state was under travel restrictions. Fischer served only eight months on the job.

I am grateful for Jack Fischer’s service to the state of Wisconsin. He brought valuable experience from the private sector to the role of commerce secretary, and I thank him for all his work to promote Wisconsin businesses"
Doyle’s response to Fischer’s departure.

I'm going to be a lot more reluctant with my vote for nominees with this governor."
State Senator Ted Kanavas (R-Brookfield).

"I think Milwaukee is a great place to do business. This doesn’t reflect in any way on the city of Milwaukee or the state of Wisconsin."
MillerCoors President Tom Long, saying that the decision to move the corporate HQ to Chicago came from a desire to pick a neutral location for the headquarters.

"Whether you are for or against raising the sales tax to provide funding for property tax relief, parks, transit and EMS, you should be in favor of an advisory referendum on the issue."
Milwaukee County Board Chairman Lee Holloway on the sales tax increase referendum.

"It does not speak well of a public official who would claim to be a member of one party in order to lure its members into assisting with his campaign effort -- be it with volunteer efforts or financial contributions -- then direct those contributions toward a completely different ideological movement."
Republican Party of Wisconsin Executive Director Mark Jefferson in a letter to State Representative Jeff Wood (I-Chetek) who left the party last week. Wood was aksed to return a total of $1,225 in conduit donations he received this campaign cycle while a member of the party.

"I am deeply sorry for the pain and suffering the victims have endured and I assure them as their pastor that I too share in their suffering.Those responsible for these evils must be brought to justice."
The Pope during an address at a Mass at the church's World Youth Day in Sydney, apologizing to victims of clergy abuse.

"Violent crime in the city of Chicago is out of control. I'm offering resources of the state to the city to work in a constructive way with Mayor Daley to do everything we can possibly do to help stop this violence."
Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, suggesting he might bring in state troopers or the National Guard to fight crime in Chicago.

"Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, or as she is called on the Big Dogs blog, 'the worst speaker in the history of Congress,'explained the cause of high oil prices back in 2006: 'We have two oilmen in the White House. The logical follow-up from that is $3-a-gallon gasoline. It is no accident. It is a cause and effect. A cause and effect.' Yes, that would explain why the price of oral sex, cigars and Hustler magazine skyrocketed during the Clinton years. Also, I note that Speaker Pelosi is a hotelier ... and the price of a hotel room in New York is $1,000 a night! I think she might be onto something."
Ann Coulter


Indra Book's horrible choice.


A janitor at a university is accused of racial harassment because........he was reading.

This Wall Street Journal column captures how institutions of higher learning have become hypersensitive.


Is Heath Ledger really that good in the new Batman movie?


Police officer fired over free coffee.

You can buy just about anything on ebay.

You may never want to do laundry again.

Is the city of Denver trying to hide its homeless?

EMEMBER: 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

By Jennifer Fischer

As I have said several times on The Barking Lot, the main goal of my blog is to entertain, enlighten and warm your heart about all things Dog.  The topic of puppy mills is so horrifying to me that I generally stay away from it, because I like to keep things positive in my stories.

Today the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel shares the story that the Wisconsin Humane Society has purchased what WAS the largest puppy mill in Wisconsin for what they said was “pennies on the dollar.”  I would say that every penny was well spent!  Today’s TMJ4 reported on it as well.

What these sweet, innocent puppies and dogs went through is really more than I can comprehend.  I know I am not the only person who would like to see the owners of these puppy mills suffer the same horrific conditions that the dogs did.  I would love to see THEM in tiny wire cages with nothing soft to lie on.  Of course they would share this “telephone booth-sized” cage with about twelve other adults.  For dinner, I would gladly feed them the Nutra Loaf  that Kevin blogged about last week.  If they started to feel ill, too bad.  No medicine for them.  And to round out the experience they would not have any outside contact from the human world… they would simply be left to their own devices with each other in that miserable existence.  We all know that won’t happen but we can dream.  Instead we can focus on supporting puppy mill legislation that is being worked on.

The Wisconsin Humane Society offers this press release about the wonderful purchase of the Puppy Haven Kennel.

Of course there are numerous expenses associated with this purchase.  Please consider a donation to help cover the enormous costs of this acquisition.  I have had many fundraising jobs for non-profit organizations.  I can tell you that any donation, no matter how insignificant YOU may think it is, is greatly appreciated.  I know that the Wisconsin Human Society feels that way too.  You can mail a check to them or follow the link to make a secure on-line donation. 

I am confident that these puppies and dogs will soon find loving adoptive homes.  I look forward to hearing updates about this project and hope to bring you another story soon.  I would like to offer a sincere, heart-felt THANK YOU to the Wisconsin Humane Society for creating a loving and hopeful future for these precious pups.
---Jennifer Fischer

The Humane Society's wonderful gesture is so important because sadly, so many dogs are abandoned, neglected, even tortured. All week long I've been following a disturbing story out of Texas where a boyfreind scorned took out his anger on a poor, defenseless puppy. Here's the story and video with a disclaimer that the details are very upsetting. CNN has more.

UPDATE: Doctors say "Phoenix" is wagging his tail and can almost stand without falling. He appears to be mostly blind, but was able to find a bit of food on his plate and is now eating on his own.

Let's continue with DOGS IN THE NEWS, more canines that made headlines the past week.

Andre has only two legs, but is a VIP, Very Important Pooch.

Dogs are great for TV ratings.  However, the show's second week saw a drop of over two million viewers. Time to bounce back, guys!

And Incredibly, a dog lost five years ago is back home.

That's it for this week. Unlike previous weekends, this one's not an A+ when it comes to dog walking. Take the umbrella.

And consider adoption.

Read more

Should this person be allowed to blog?

Scott Peterson was convicted of murdering his wife, Laci and their unborn son, Connor in 2004. Sentenced to death in 2005, Peterson awaits a lethal injection while his case is being appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

While on death row in San Quentin, this convicted killer spends his time blogging. Peterson doesn’t have access to the Internet, but he’s allowed to blog on his family’s website, searching for sympathy and crying out that he’s innocent. Peterson’s blog also includes photos of him and Laci.

Inmates are afforded taxpayer-funded food, clothing, shelter, law libraries, college courses, paid work, recreation, gymnasiums, cable TV, Sego, Nintendo,  and now it seems, the opportunity to engage in a public forum by blogging.

Anyone can blog, if they have a computer. Here’s a novel concept. Take Peterson’s computer away. He’s in a prison, not a Hilton and he’s awaiting death for savagely killing two people.  Let him add that to his appeal and see what happens. 

Unfortunately, appeals take time, especially in death penalty cases. The Supreme Court may rule against Peterson. I hope it does and soon. If and when that happens, capital punishment needs to be meted out quickly. The death penalty can hardly be a deterrent if there are endless appeals, the punishment isn’t actually administered, and if we’re now going to add blogging to the list of prison “perks.”

Here are more details, and reaction from Laci Peterson’s mother.

What in the world is this man...

Doing in this week's installment of Culinary no-no?

(To my good friend, this a shameless plug to selfishly draw attention to my blog or what? Hell yes, and by the way, my love to Lynn).

You'll just have to check back sometime tomorrow (Sunday) on:


Gas prices: No news is good news

In less than 24 hours, we heard the good.....and the bad.

First the good, reported Friday. Could it be? We hit the zenith for gas prices. Our cries of "No mas, no mas" had been answered?

Read from Fox News.

That was Friday.

Today we hear this.

The solution, of course, is to drill domestically. But the Do Nothing Democrats in Congress will have nothing to do with that common sense proposal.


CRG on the $ale$ tax increa$e referendum

In previous blogs and Fridaty night (and Sunday morning) on Channel 10's InterCHANGE, I accused the Milwaukee County Board of being disingenuous about the sales tax increase referendum. Chris Kleismet of Citizens for a Responsible Government agrees.

Kleismet writes a guest opinion in Sunday's Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel as my friend and citizen watchdog Orville Seymer first brought to our attention earlier this week. Kleismet writes:

"The sales tax increase referendum put forth by the County Board is disingenuous at best."

Read the rest.

Favre plays it classy on return to Green Bay

WBAY reports the following on its website on Brett Favre in Green Bay tonight to induct former teammate Frank Winters into the Packer Hall of Fame:

Favre was there, and steered clear of any talk of his soap opera with the Packers organization. Instead, he spoke only of his former center, Frank Winters, before quickly stepping down from the podium and out a side door.

"I think when you think of great linemen," Favre said. "there's some great names within this organization...I think you need to think of Frank Winters as well."

Read more

Go, Greg Norman, go!

From the NY Times:

"(Greg) Norman, 53 years old and a newlywed  is leading the 137th British Open by two strokes after three rounds."

Every middle aged golf fan around the world is plugging for the Shark.

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) Favre at the 2008 ESPY Awards

2) Bring back Brett Favre

3) Franklin vs. Steve Hanke: What's next?

4) Culinary no-no #62

5) Will lawsuits be filed against roundabouts in Wisconsin?

I could never forget Mom's birthday

Her birthday falls on the same day as one of the greatest events in American history.

Happy Birthday Mom!


That stands for, "What God Can't Do."

Here's a list.

Happy Sunday.

Culinary no-no #63

Culinary no-no's

In the broadcast business, it's called a "tease."

They are short promotional announcements designed to entice you to watch an upcoming program.

Read more

"Thug" is not a racist word: The left (James Rowen) shows its ignorance again

I have to admit, I am reveling in seeing lefty blogger James Rowen get the elitist environmental snobbery kicked out of him by righty bloggers.

Unless you subscribe to Rowen’s philosophy of kissing 50 different trees daily, or if you just happen to be a conservative, Rowen arrogantly attacks you.

Rowen recently proved what a doofus he truly is by calling righty blogger, “No Runny Eggs” a racist because he referred to Milwaukee County Board Chairman Lee Holloway as a “thug.”

Rowen, you see, is an incredibly guilty white liberal a la Joel McNally. What kind of warped mind actually sees racism in the word, “thug”?  That is an assertion that is so stupid it’s laughable. Rowen either needs to consult a dictionary or emerge from his ivory tower world of “green” to realize that there are black thugs, Hispanic thugs, and yes, even white thugs. No ethnic group has a monopoly on the title, thus, using the word “thug” is not racist.

But it is so simple for the debate-challenged left to toss out the race card when they run out of material, which for Rowen and liberals amounts to about 12 seconds. That’s when the bumper sticker crying towels come flying out. The public is wise to this tactic, but Rowen is too dumb to fathom it.

I am pleased that a bevy of righty bloggers has decided to pinpoint Rowen for the fool he is by writing about his moronic accusation:

Badger Blogger

Boots and Sabers

James Wigderson

Brian Fraley

What’s really nice about this is that a group of righty bloggers has correctly banded together and has refused to suck up to the lefties. They clearly understand that gets you nowhere as a conservative. Lefties will stab you in the back, no matter how nice you are to them.

I’m on the air on Friday this week, possibly too late to discuss Rowen’s absurd and idiotic statements. I certainly hope other talk show hosts, whom Rowen has looked down his long nose at in the past, will pick up on this, and give him the criticism he deserves.

Oh, Kevin, dear sweet husband of mine...

KEVIN: Yes, Jennifer?

JENNIFER: Thank you for taking me to Festa Italiana today.

KEVIN: You are most welcome dear.

JENNIFER: Thanks for buying me lots of good things to eat and drink.

KEVIN: What’s a great husband for?

JENNIFER: Although I thought we could have spent more time in the Italian Gold section…. 

KEVIN: I had to go to the men’s room.

JENNIFER: Oh, I understand and I’m not complaining.

KEVIN: Then what are you getting at?

JENNIFER: Well, being on the Summerfest grounds got me to thinking…

KEVIN: Oh no…

JENNIFER: Will you just shush…. 

KEVIN: Thinking about what? A trip? A new car? What?

JENNIFER: None of those things.

KEVIN: Oh! Well in that case….

JENNIFER: Oh, hush up and listen. I was thinking…

KEVIN: You’re very blonde and very Polish…

JENNIFER: Kevin! Be nice!

KEVIN: Yes dear.  Of course, dear. Three bags full, dear.

JENNIFER: Are you done? I just wanted to remind you that next week it’s German Fest.

KEVIN: That’s right. German pizza and spanferkel and German beer and Ein Prosit and…. 

JENNIFER: Yes, yes, yes…..but there’s more.  They’ve got these dogs….

KEVIN: No, they don’t have dogs. They have bratwurst, and…

JENNIFER:  I’m talking dogs, not hot dogs ….real dogs. 

KEVIN: Real dogs?

JENNIFER: Yes, real dogs. Can we go to German Fest?

KEVIN: We always go to German Fest. I’m 100% German and 100% Irish, remember.

JENNIFER: Then we can go Saturday?

KEVIN: I suppose. Can you get The Barking Lot done and not tie up the computer?

JENNIFER: Well, that’s what I want to talk to you about.

KEVIN: A new Batman movie is out and you’re the Riddler. Speak up!

JENNIFER: I know it’s not Saturday…

KEVIN: You’re blonde and Polish and you got that right….

JENNIFER: And I know I already did the Barking Lot Saturday….

KEVIN: Yes, and it was outstanding…not as good as my stuff, but it was pretty good…

JENNIFER: Well, could I blog again?

KEVIN: You want to blog again??!!


KEVIN: It’s not Saturday! It’s not your turn! You start blogging on other days and the readers will get all confused! Aw geez!

JENNIFER: But I forgot…

KEVIN: Forgot? Forgot what?

JENNIFER: Forgot about German Fest.

KEVIN: No you didn’t. I promise I’ll take you and since I’m such a nice guy, I’ll buy you extra apple sauce.

JENNIFER: That’s not it. I forgot to mention something in The Barking Lot.

KEVIN: Ay caramba!

JENNIFER: Well, I got all wound up in that awesome Humane Society story…

KEVIN: And you forgot…

JENNIFER: And I forgot about German Fest.

KEVIN: I told you I’ll take you to German Fest., alright. Now can I get back to….

JENNIFER: No, no, no. I wanted to mention something about German Fest in The Barking Lot.

KEVIN: Is that all?


KEVIN: No more talk about Italian Gold?


KEVIN: Well then, what are you waiting for? 

JENNIFER: German Fest runs this coming weekend at the Summerfest grounds. I recommend going Saturday for the dachshund races! Here are details!

Danke Schoen, Kevin, my dear sweet husband!

KEVIN: No problem. So, when do you want to go to German Fest? Sunday?

JENNIFER: And he calls me Polish..

Time once again to play Final Jeopardy!

It’s been a few months, so it’s time for another This Just In edition of:


Are you ready?

Well then, let’s play!

Today’s Final Jeopardy category is:


Now, you know how this works.

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

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


Here’s your clue.


Good luck! (please click)


OK, time’s up.  Today’s Final Jeopardy category is MOVIE CHARACTERS.


The correct Final Jeopardy answer is:


In this video.


Again, the Final Jeopardy answer is:

What is $100-million.

Being Batman wouldn't be that cool.

A call to the right to get involved

“There are people in this world who are morally and ideologically opposed to us. We call them the left. They are a group of people who want you to surrender your hard earned money so they can give it to someone else who did not earn it and probably would not need it, but for the their insistence on government dependence.

Their rhetoric is ‘hope and change.’ You know, hope and change are always buzzwords in the revolution against freedom. The only change theyʼll offer is more government. The only choice theyʼll offer you is whether or not to abort your kids. The policies of the last eight years will be replaced by the failed policies of the last 100 years.”

Those are the words of Erick Erickson, the editor of

He’s advocating greater political activism on the right through the use of the Internet.

Read more here.

HT to a fellow freedom fighter, Orv Seymer.

Franklin Target to open soon

FranklinNOW's Alisha Fischer gives us a look.

The first true test for Franklin's new Aldermen and School Board members

Steve Taylor and Kristen Wilhelm of the Franklin Common Council and David Works and Linda Witkowski of the Franklin School Board have been fortunate. Their first few months in office have been relatively quiet, absent of any huge controversies, allowing them time to comfortably transition themselves into their new positions.

That’s about to change.

“Untested” will soon no longer be used to describe this foursome as budget time quickly descends upon the city of Franklin. By far, the most important issue to most Franklin residents is our out of whack tax climate. No doubt Taylor/Wilhelm/Works/Witkowski heard it quite often on the campaign trail. Hope their ears were open and their memories are long because this year’s budget process will be challenging for both the city and the School Board.

Let’s handicap the city tax situation first.

Mayor Tom Taylor, I believe correctly, signed a pledge to submit a budget that contained a city property tax levy increase no larger than 3%. None of the Franklin aldermen signed such a pledge. Franklin blogger Fred Keller and I met with Aldermen Steve Olson and Lyle Sohns in hopes of getting them to sign, but they said no. Concerned Franklin citizen Scott Thinnes was also part of that meeting prior to the election.

Alderman Steve Taylor, the Franklin Common Council President has stated publicly that he will not support a budget that contains a property tax levy greater than 3%. That’s great news and Taylor deserves high praise.

Alderman Wilhelm is on the Finance Committee. Wilhelm told me at the fundraiser for Citizens for a Safe Wisconsin back in February that she was aware of and concerned about Franklin’s astronomical (my word, not hers) taxes. On fiscal items, Wilhelm appears to be playing it close to the vest and is far less predictable than Taylor. It’s just a hunch, but I suspect Wilhelm would vote for a budget that exceeded 3%.

What about the rest of the Common Council?

During last year’s Finance Committee budget deliberations, Franklin’s Alderman NO was Steve Olson, voting time and again against expenditures. But on the final vote to approve the budget, Olson voted YES rather than be the lone NO vote. I think that was the wrong move. Olson should have remained consistent to his principles. It’s the final vote that counts as opposed to all those tallies in committee. Olson has a chance to redeem himself this year and I believe there’s a good chance he will.

Alderman Sohns looked me straight in the face before the election and condescendingly told me that there was no way Franklin could adopt a budget with only a 3% increase. He would have no part of such talk. The defeatist attitude was loud and clear. Sohns did say he’d try very hard to work towards a 3% limit, but also told me and Fred Keller and Scott Thinnes it was impossible.

Sohns is the wild card in the budget equation. If he abandons his woe is us philosophy in favor of a can-do approach, Sohns has fiscal conservative streaks in him. If his colleague Olson supports 3%, Sohns, who often sides with Olson may just follow suit.

That would give you three votes. Ken Skowronski, a supporter of Mayor Taylor’s could provide the 4th and deciding vote. So as difficult as some at City Hall may think it might be to hold the line at 3%, there’s hope it can be accomplished, IF the Aldermen are willing to make the tough choices they were elected to make.

I have far less optimism for our School Board. The talk is that the proposed school tax levy increase will be less than 4%. Compared to last year’s nearly 12% shocker, that sounds terrific.

Here’s the problem. This school board can’t be trusted. No way. No how. They’re already tossing out the caveat that the levy increase is subject to change. Don’t we know it. Last year it jumped six percentage points. The School Board lied to us last year for months. I don’t believe anything they say.

David Works has impressed me. If he follows through and refuses to succumb to the other Board members, I submit the taxpayers have a friend who won’t compromise the goal of quality education.

Linda Witkowski, I’m afraid, worries me. She supported the outrageous Franklin referenda. She’s a bureaucrat, an insider who could very well be indoctrinated into the theory that you’ve got to spend and spend. Prove me wrong, Linda.

Works and Witkowski are but two members. Even if they scratch and claw and fight and scream for fiscal responsibility, they’re outnumbered by a bunch of stick-up artists. Board President Dave Szychlinski has said the public won’t put up with increases like the one last year. He’s right, but I remain highly skeptical this school board understands.

The odds of any fiscal responsibility are far better at City Hall than at the School Board. Steve Taylor and David Works have the best chance of making great impressions in their first budget deliberations. The jury’s out on Kristen Wilhelm and Linda Witkowski.

No regard for human life: the latest

An utter disregard for human life continues to be an outrageous societal trend.

I’ve blogged about cases involving heartless individuals who despicably refuse to assist others in desperate need.

Here’s the latest, from Italy, another sad commentary on the human existence.

Take a guess, This Just In readers....

Which southeast Wisconsin website has this message:

Our Website Is Under Construction - Return Again Soon To Read More About...



The Fountains of Franklin

That would be the same website that used to have all those dates of when certain promised tenants would be opening.


Blatant media bias at the NY Times

There’s no other way to call it.

In a classic example of media bais, the NY Times accepts an op-ed piece written by Barack Obama, then refuses a piece from John McCain.

The op-ed editor offers a condescending, arrogant defense, and even suggests how McCain should write a revision.

This will continue right up until November, folks. The mainstream media is a wholly owned and paid for subsidiary of the Democrat Party, and it’s becoming more and more obvious every day.

Here is the  McCain piece rejected by the NY Times.

Mr. “Nobody cares more about than Franklin than I do” slings mud, AGAIN!

I will say this about former FranklinNOW blogger Greg Kowalski. He’s consistent.

A few weeks ago, just before the opening of the Sendik’s at the Shoppes of Wyndham Village, I blogged about Kowalski’s fault-finding mission with the development, even as Franklin was joyously celebrating the opening of a quality retailer.

Today, as the long-awaited Target opens at the Shoppes of Wyndham Village, guess what? Kowalski is back with another inane, clueless whine about Target. He starts out taking potshots at young FranklinNOW intern Alisha Fischer’s fine video report previewing the new Target.

C’mon, Greg. She’s just a kid. You're familiar with that pout and cry routine. You used it every day when you were blogging over here.

Kowalski says he was “astonished” (Oh my!!) that FranklinNOW “openly embraces shopping at Target for food items!”

Well, yes, Target does sell food items. Ms. Fischer correctly emphasized some of the unique offerings at this particular Target. That’s called news, Greg. What was Ms. Fischer supposed to do, Greg? Target doesn’t sell cars, or trucks, or widgets.

Kowalski then mentions Target’s selection of fine wines and in a tone that has some truth to its desperate sound asks, “can someone please tell me why I'm shopping at Sendik's Fine Foods?” The title of his blog also insinuated that the FranklinNOW video basically gave people reason not to shop at Sendik’s. It did no such thing. The video gave viewers a brief, informative inside look at Target before its opening.

Kowalski, the biz whiz that he is, seriously thinks that because Target sells food and fine wine that it will force next-door Sendik’s out of business.  Is he for real? Sadly, he is. He really thinks that.

Sorry, Greg. You referred to me in your blog, even though you didn’t mention me by name. (By the way, I’m a Senate aide, not a Senatorial aide. Might want to make note of that for your next cheap shot). So as they say on “Law and Order,” you opened the door, counselor, so I’m responding to your second attack in as many weeks on a new store opening.

Competition is good for everyone. The more shopping options for Franklin residents, the better. To suggest that people won’t shop at Sendik’s because Target now has Merlot is, well, pretty dumb.

Besides, the food offerings aren’t the same at Sendik’s and Target, as was pointed out in a blog I did last year.

In his blog today, just hours before the Target ribbon-cutting, Kowalski does what he does best: engage in conjecture and wild speculation.

“If Sendik's closes that strip mall could be solely anchored by a Super Target, which is very scary to Franklin residents who have fought long and hard against massive big boxes in the community.” He then ripped the developer.

And he’s studying business at MATC? Gee, there’s tuition money well spent. 

The main point is that Kowalski likes to prop himself up as the best thing that ever happened to Franklin. I did this and I did that. And yet, in the past two weeks, when Franklin has rightly celebrated the opening of long-awaited community developments, Kowalski didn’t cheer.  He reached for the mud bucket.

Funny how he and others can rip a development that is actually up and running, but when I question one that’s been stuck in neutral for ages, I’m such a bad boy. But that’s another issue for another day.

Congratulations, Mark Carstensen for seeing another dream become reality. Keep in mind that you’ll never win with some folks who will constantly moan and groan and cry that there aren’t enough flowers and there aren’t enough bike stands and there aren’t enough places for them to park their butts to sit by a fountain and have coffee and a bagel and there aren’t enough walkways for the droves of people who want to walk to Target (that’s my favorite). 

You done good, Mark. (By the way, was that your car parked at Wal-Mart? Oh my God, the apocalypse is at hand!).

Congratulations, Franklin. You’ve waited a long time for these developments to take shape and they’re finally here. I have every confidence you’ll be loyal in your support.

Shame on Greg Kowalski who continues his attacks on everyone from the Mayor on down, even an intern, a young intern. He totally mischaracterizes her report but he’s done that his entire blogging career, twisting and distorting, and rarely having facts to back up his wacky assertions.

Oh, and Dave Hintzman, if you’re reading, if and when Fountains of Franklin ever opens, and I certainly hope it does, I’d be real leery of your hand-picked press agent, Mr. Kowalski because he just might bad-mouth your place, too.

Lawmakers want special session on minimum markup law

In an interview last week with the Appleton Post-Crescent, Governor Jim Doyle was given this direct question:

Is there anything the state can do to ease the (price of gas) burden?”

ere was part of Doyle’s answer:

“I wanted to change our minimum markup law that still requires gas to be marked up at various levels. I've always thought that gas should be treated like other products and not pay the required markup.”

The Governor has claimed he’s against the minimum markup law dating back to his days as Attorney General. Just how sincere is he? We’ll find out very soon.

Today, two of the better members of the state Assembly, state Representatives Bill Kramer (R-Waukesha) and Leah Vukmir (R-Wauwatosa) asked Governor Doyle to call the Legislature into special session for a vote on repealing Wisconsin’s outmoded minimum markup law.

In a joint press release, Kramer and Vukmir write, “The minimum markup law, passed in 1939, mandates that retailers include a minimum price increase on gasoline, and also prohibits the sale of goods below cost. Last summer, and then again in November of last
year, news reports indicated that Wisconsin law prohibits residents from taking advantage of cost savings.”

ramer and Vukmir suggest repealing the minimum markup law would provide some relief at the pump. I submit a better plan would be to temporarily suspend the gas tax if you want real relief, but that’s not going to happen. Neither will a special session on minimum markup.

Let’s go back to the Governor’s Q and A where he said he favors repeal. He couched his support in his next sentence where he expressed his true sentiments. 

“I'm not suggesting that would make things right because what's really at issue are these oil companies that are making the biggest profits in the history of the world.”

He’d much rather have a tax on oil companies and would only call the Legislature back if that was on the table.

Kramer and Vukmir have put forth a good effort, but it’s DOA with this Governor who often doesn’t mean what he says.

UPDATE 7/24:

A new report looks at harmful effect of minimum markup law. Here's the report by WPRI.

This report finds the following:

Wisconsin's minimum markup law adds $990 million to the annual price paid by consumers, between $267 and $278 million of which is beyond what a normal profit margin would yield. 

Wisconsin motorists currently pay 30.2 cents per gallon as a result of the minimum markup law. As a result, minimum markup has almost eclipsed the state's 32.9-cent auot fuel tax, which is currently 9th highest in the nation.

As the wholesale price of gas grows, so does the amount per gallon motorists have to pay as a result of minimum  markup . In January of 1998, when the wholesale price of gas was 64 cents per gallon, the minimum markup stood at 56.9 cents per gallon, In July of 2008, the wholesale price stands at $3.29 per gallon, with the per-gallon minimum markup amount at 30.2 cents- an increase of 400% in ten years.

In the past year, the amount the minimum markup law adds to a gallon of gas has increased 44%- from 21 cnets per gallon in July of 2007 to 30.2 cents per gallon in June of 2008. 

Planned Parenthood and racism

Planned Parenthood, another huge supporter and donor to the Democrat Party is about as disgusting and despicable as they come.

Check this out.

All you lefties that worship and/or give $$$ to PP, are you proud of yourselves?

I'm back on WISN

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

I have a gazillion topics I want to get to. No, I won't get to them all.

Women's basketball gets ugly

This is not supposed to happen in women's basketball.

I do a lot of scoring and timing for men's and women's basketball at both the college and high school level. I predict that as a result of this game and all the coverage it received, you're unfortunately going to see more fights in women's and girl's basketball games in the future. Younger players instinctively model themselves after the pros tbey see on TV. There will be more fights among female players.

Read more

The Barking Lot: UPDATES

Here are some updates on last Saturday’s edition of The Barking Lot, co-written by yours truly and my lovely wife, Jennifer.

Dogs that were taken from the Puppy Haven need new homes. That’s where you come in.

And a puppy beaten by a woman’s ex-boyfriend in Texas we told you about named Phoenix is recovering quite nicely.

Remember to check in every Saturday morning for The Barking Lot here at This Just In…

TSA= X-rated

I’m not a fan of Transportation Security Administration (TSA) employees. In a blog last fall, I wrote, “TSA workers are unskilled, arrogant, rude rent-a-cops whom I have little faith or trust in providing the kind of security needed in our airports.” Airport security is ineffective because we have ineffective people using ineffective measures.

To make matters worse, you now have these slugs groping and practically molesting air passengers during screening. What can people do about it? If you object, are you subject to arrest? Will you be detained and miss your flight? Will some TSA Neanderthal get physical with you?

These highly unskilled people need to be reined in, and more effective, appropriate measures need to be implemented to improve airport/airline security.

Wisconsin is also a "regulation" hell


Only in the world of Wisconsin business could you be enthusiastic about your prospects in one instant, and then in the next have your prospects come crashing down like a fallen soufflé.

Case in point, one of the biggest products to come out of Wisconsin besides beer: cranberries.

Earlier this week, the Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel first tantalized us with the better than good news:

"Two of  the largest buyers of Wisconsin cranberries are on a mission to persuade growers to increase their output, with the hope of adding $75 million annually to the state economy and creating 1,115 jobs.”

Tremendous, right?

Then came the dose of reality.

“But in order to make that happen, the presidents of Ocean Spray Cranberries Inc. and Cliffstar Corp. say the state needs to cooperate in  speeding up the permit process to turn more acreage into cranberry bogs.”

We have heard that story time and time again: Wisconsin bureaucracy standing directly in the way of Wisconsin success.

“They are looking for a nearly 30% boost in acres planted —from the current 18,000 to 23,000. If they can’t get the additional 5,000 acres in Wisconsin, the cranberry industry may have to turn to Canada, they say. “

Somewhere in Madison, a taxpayer-funded bureaucrat, armed with visor, a pocket protector, and a book of statutes as thick as the Manhattan phone pages is standing with arms folded shaking his fool head saying “no, no, no, no, no.”

He might as well be saying, “I don’t care. Screw you, Wisconsin. Rules are rules. Our state economy be damned.”

Let’s cut to the chase. Wisconsin’s heavy-handed regulations are preventing Wisconsin business from doing business and prospering, to the point that we have to go internationally to get the job done instead of utilizing our own economic resources to prosper.

The villain? Take a guess: the Gestapo-like Department of Natural Resources, the state agency that isn’t happy unless it’s ruining someone’s life.

Pretty darned stupid, isn’t it? We are our own worst enemy.

We over-license, over-permit, over-regulate, over-dictate in this state. We kill business in this state by inviting firms and companies to pack up and leave for other states with climates that are far more accepting and friendly to places that want to set up shop and create jobs and build the economy.

Why wouldn’t we bend over backwards to help the cranberry industry? Visualize a bureaucrat with a pocket protector, etc.

We need to change our laws that will make it more attractive for business to come here and stay here. If not, be prepared for more businesses to leave.

Ted Wedemeyer dies

Longtime Milwaukee Judge Ted Wedemeyer has died, one of the classiest and most professional judges to serve in our community. I knew Judge Wedemyer and I didn't always agree with his rulings and he knew it. That never affected our professional relationship. My deepest sympathies to his family.


Appeals Court Judge Ted E. Wedemeyer Jr. died Wednesday, five months after being diagnosed with lung cancer.

He was 75.

Wedemeyer's death surprised most of the legal community.

"I know that his death may come as a shock to most of you, as many of you did not even know he was sick," wrote Patricia S. Curley, the presiding judge in the 1st District Court of Appeals that sits in Milwaukee. "It was Ted's wish and request that his illness be kept confidential."

A lawyer for 50 years, Wedemeyer, was appointed byMayor Henry Maier as the first municipal judge for the City of Milwaukee in 1975. He helped organize the court system before his appointment.

Gov. Martin Schreiber appointed him to the circuit court in 1977, a position he held until 1982 when he was elected to the appellate court. He was defeated in his bid fore re-election to the appellate court in 1988 but won the seat again in 1991. He ran unsuccessfully for the Wisconsin Supreme Court in 1995. a job the Milwaukee Bar Association ranked him as the best qualified.

Wedemeyer successfully petitioned the Supreme Court to allow cameras in state courtrooms in the late 1970s. His municipal courtroom was the first where cameras were allowed.

He also served on a committee that worked for a victim's rights constitutional amendment and on one that advocated anti-gang legislation.

Wedemeyer is survived by his wife, Susan.

A wake will be held Sunday from 4 until 8 p.m. at Feerick Funeral Home, 2025 E. Capitol Drive. A funeral mass will be held at Old St. Mary's Church, 836 N. Broadway, at 10 a.m. Monday.

Do NOT cry for any school superintendent


This should come as no surprise to any Wisconsin homeowner. Your government, the 2008 legal incarnation of Jesse James continues to stick you up and rob you.

The Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance says Wisconsin property taxes rose 5.7 percent in 2008. That's the largest single-year increase since 2005.

Take a guess, beleaguered property taxpayer, and my guess is you’ll get it right in nano seconds…..guess what part of your property tax bill went up the most?


School levies rose the most, at 7.4 %

Not surprised, are you Franklin taxpayers? Your school tax levy went up just under 12 % last year.

Let me repeat. Your school tax levy increase, Franklin taxpayers was just under 12% last year, after  EVERYBODY associated with the school district swore for months that the increase would be under 6%.

Now we know where a part of those huge school tax increases has gone.

You think I’m going to say right back into the classrooms, don't you?


How about teacher salaries?

Extra-curricular activities?

Try salaries for superintendents.

The hired guns for school boards are getting bigger and bigger raises at a time when teachers moan and groan about having to resort to buying their own chalk for the blackboards.

Since we’re focused on the superintendent scorecard, let’s take a look at how our area superintendents are doing, salary –wise. Remember, school districts are always crying the blues that they have no money, that voters have to approve colossal referenda, and that students will only perform better in the classroom if communities build Miller Park-like school buildings.

Superintendent salaries and enrollments for area school districts (most available data from Wisconsin DPI):

Franklin School District Supt. Steve Patz: $150, 000
Enrollment: 4,178

Greendale School District Supt. William Hughes: $147, 088
Enrollment: 2598

Whitnall School District Supt. Karen Petric: $143, 412
Enrollment: 2420

Oak Creek-Franklin District Supt. Sara Larsen: $134, 649
Enrollment: 5,867

Greenfield School District Supt. Conrad Farner: $105, 947
Enrollment: 3,255

Milwaukee Public Schools Supt. William G. Andrekopoulos: $171,000
Enrollment: 86, 815

Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle: $137, 092
The national average for gubernatorial salaries is $124, 398

Whoever negotiated for Steve Patz took our School Board to the cleaners. No way, no how should Steve Patz be making more than the governor.

Franklin taxpayers, be advised, the next time you hear a Franklin teacher, or principal or administrator or School Board member or his Royal Highness, the Superintendent himself begging for money for the district, keep this blog in mind.


Remember the biggest crook in the Franklin School District, the guy keeping track of the books, “Business Manager” James Milzer saying publicly over and over and over again that Franklin had to increase school taxes by 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%.

Milzer, the man who singlehandedly screwed Franklin taxpayers and is still a trusted man on the taxpayer-funded payroll earns the following annual salary:

$119, 893

Milzer does two things when he cashes his checks, thanks to you, the Franklin taxpayers:

1) Laughs

2) Lets out a loud shout of: SUCKERS!

Your school tax dollar going directly into classroom instruction?

Guess again.

Your chance to vote on Franklin dining

Those of you have followed my blogs know I’ve touched on all the biggies: taxes, crimes, economic development, sex predators.

If you ask the average Franklin resident about the biggest concerns in our city, that citizen, I’m sure would somewhere in the list include the need to have better dining options in Franklin.

That’s why it’s appropriate outgoing City Economic Development Director Doug Wheaton was sought out by FranklinNOW reporter John Neville for his views on Franklin’s quest for higher quality dining opportunities.

On my blog, we’ve talked about this for a long time. It’s a huge issue if Franklin Alderman Kristen Wilhelm is out herself trying to recruit restaurants to come to Franklin.

This is very important to Franklin. Please take the time to read the article and vote.

And then maybe someday we can all say in Franklin, Bon Appetit!


Franklin vs. Steve Hanke: UPDATE

There could be new developments breaking today in the case of the city of Franklin vs. convicted sex offender Steve Hanke.

Keep checking back here for updates, the only Franklin blog site for the latest details on this story.

*BREAKING NEWS: Franklin victorious in case against Steve Hanke*


Convicted sex offender Steve Hanke has 60 days to move out of his Franklin home as part of a series of rulings this morning by Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge John Franke.

Franke ruled in favor of the City of Franklin on all of the issues before the court in the city’s lawsuit against Hanke who moved into Franklin in June of 2007 in violation of the city’s restrictive ordinances prohibiting where sex offenders can live or congregate. Hanke purchased a home less than 600 feet from a middle school. Earlier this month, Judge Franke had ruled the ordinances constitutional.

Here are the decisions issued by Franke today:

1) Hanke’s presence in a restricted zone does constitute a nuisance.

2) There is cause for the issuance of an injunction for Hanke to move out of the designated restricted area. Franke believes the risk of recidivism is low in Hanke’s case, but substantial enough to warrant an injunction forcing Hanke to move.

3) Franklin’s ordinances impose fines ranging from $1 to $2500 per day for every day an offender is in violation. Franke imposed a fine $40 per day dating back to June 1, 2007 up until September 22, 2008. Hanke has 60 days to move out of the restricted area. That date would be September 22, 2008.

4) The judge stayed the imposition of fines until September 22, 2008, the latest date Hanke has to move out of the restricted area. If Hanke has not moved out by then, he will be fined $500 per day from September 22, 2008 and thereafter plus the $40 per day from June 1, 2007 to September 22, 2008 until he moves out.

If Hanke moves out in the next 60 days, he pays no fines. However, should he miss the September 22, deadline, then he must pay the $40/day fine dating back to June 1, 2007. That totals $19,200. Then he would also pay an additional $500/day for every day after September 22 that he doesn't move. For example, if Hanke moves on September 23, he would be fined $19,700.

These are major victories for not only the City of Franklin but for the entire state of Wisconsin, its families, their children and neighborhoods.

Congratulations go to Franklin City Attorney Jesse Wesolowski who prevailed on every single aspect of this case. Judge Franke, who is quite liberal and has made decisions in the past in favor of sex offenders, is also to be commended for his rulings.

No InterCHANGE Friday night

Normally on Thursday I promote the topics up for discussion on Channel 10's InterCHANGE, the program where I'm one of the regular panelists.

This week is one of those extremely rare situations where host Dan Jones and most of the panel are unavailable, so no show this weekend.

In its place at 6:30 Friday night and 11:00 Sunday morning:

America and the Passenger Train
The development of America's passenger trains from 1830 to 2008 is traced through interviews and vintage footage. Leading experts in the railroad industry are interviewed.

Probably less screaming and yelling and arguing.

Here we go again: another child left unattended in a vehicle dies


"Police now say that the baby who died in a vehicle outside a day care today was a 6-month-old boy.

Lt. Victor Beecher of the Milwaukee Police Department's Criminal Investigation Bureau gave this account:

At about 4 p.m., a 911 caller reported that a child was not breathing or responsive. Police went to Kuddle Kare Day Kare, 3828 W. Lisbon, and the baby was pronounced dead at the scene. It appeared he had been left alone in a vehicle that police believe belonged to or was being used by an employee of the day care.

The Milwaukee County medical examiner's office will conduct an autopsy to determine the cause of death, Beecher said.

He said it appeared the baby might have been left unattended for a number of hours."

Get ready for the same old tired excuses:

1) It was a mistake.

2) No one intended this to happen.

3) No need to hold anyone accountable. They’ve suffered enough.

The defenders of idiots who leave babies or children unattended in vehicles for hours never seem to mention the dead child, do they?

UPDATE 7/25/08

JB the GOP AG and the DNR harass a WI biz

I have blogged in defense of Club Porticello, a restaurant owned by Tony Pepito that is right next to Silver Lake in Oconomowoc.

For a long time, the local bureaucrats fought like hell to keep the restaurant from opening, threatening heavy fines because it was too close to the shoreline. It was a perfect example of how Wisconsin hates business.

But then the locals came to their senses and allowed the restaurant to open legally.

End of story? End of business harassment?


Who would enter the picture at this point? Who always throws tacks in the road? Who lives for finding ways to throw up obstacles to business opening up shop?

Did someone say the DNR (Department of Natural Resources)?


That’s no surprise. I blogged yesterday about the DNR standing in the way of one of Wisconsin’s most successful industries.

What is surprising is that Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen has joined forces with the DNR to resurrect the attack against Club Porticello. I am very disappointed to hear the news. Let the locals handle this. They already have. And get off Club Porticello’s back.


State sues to overturn restaurant opening

Waukesha — The state has filed suit to overturn Oconomowoc’s decision allowing a restaurant to open on the shore of Silver Lake.

In the civil suit, state Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen contends that Oconomowoc zoning commissioners improperly granted variances for Club Porticello, which opened for business in May.

On behalf of the state Department of Natural Resources, the suit alleges that Oconomowoc officials violated the law, partly by failing to address “extensive testimony” that the restaurant would hurt water quality and fish habitats at Silver Lake.

The restaurant is just 17 feet from the shoreline, which normally would not be permitted except for Oconomowoc’s approved variances.

The state’s suit, filed last week in Waukesha County Circuit Court, seeks a judge’s ruling overturning the variances and granting a restraining order on the matter.

God love our businesspeople who put up with this heavy-handed regulation that has ruined our business climate in this state.

It didn't take Doyle long to backtrack on minimum markup

As I wrote earlier this week, Governor Doyle often doesn't mean what he says. An example is the issue of the minimum markup law in Wisconsin.

In an interview last week with the Appleton Post-Crescent, Doyle was given this direct question:

Is there anything the state can do to ease the (price of gas) burden?”

Here was part of Doyle’s answer:

“I wanted to change our minimum markup law that still requires gas to be marked up at various levels. I've always thought that gas should be treated like other products and not pay the required markup.”

That was last week. In Appleton, Doyle was gung ho against the minimum markup law. This week? Well?  The Wisconsin State Journal reports:

"On Tuesday, state GOP Reps. Leah Vukmir, of Wauwatosa, and Bill Kramer, of Waukesha, urged Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle to call a special session to repeal the markup law. Doyle, who also supports repealing the law, said Wednesday he wouldn't call lawmakers back into session if 'the votes aren't there.'

Doyle said eliminating what he sees as an antiquated law would help drivers but won't eliminate the unwelcome reality of $4-a-gallon gas.

'It would help on the margins but not in a major way,' he said."

Translation: Doyle doesn't really hate the minimum markup law all that much. Always take what he says with a grain of salt.

Wisconsin #1 in property taxes

Oh, but we're not a tax hell.

Bravo to the editorial board at the Wisconsin State Journal for writing a piece on the latest studies showing Wisconsin property taxes are insane.

There is a mountain of data proving what homeowners know all too well. And yet, while the people out working hard every day to pay these outrageous taxes understand it, local units of government and the state keep spending and spending and spending and spending and spending.

And they keep asking for more tax increases.

And they keep asking for more fee increases.

And they wonder why people put up FOR SALE signs and move out of the Badger State.

And they wonder why businesses leave and take their jobs with them.

And they wonder why prospective businesses decide to go elsewhere.

It's the taxes, stupid!

The Green Bay Packers play the Buccaneers...

In Tampa Bay on Sunday, September 28th.


Coming up on This Just In...

Lots of good stuff, as the weekend is almost upon us.

Please listen at 3:00 today, Friday, as I fill in for Mark Belling on Newstalk1130 WISN and attempt to squeeze 9 hours of talk programming into 3. It's always live;y when I sit in Mark's chair, that's for sure.

We continue my walk down memory lane with my summer TV concert series looking at 70's late night Friday night concert programs. This week, we "jazz" things up a bit, at 11:30 tonight.

Saturday morning, I have asked a local celebrity to guest blog about a very timely subject. I can't say more than that, but if this local celebrity has accepted my offer, watch for a special blog sometime Saturday morning.

Speaking of Saturday morning, someone in Franklin made HEROES OF THE WEEK in my weekly feature, Week-ends.

And my better half, Jennifer, has another installment of the Barking Lot. Her blog has become very, very popular.We do appreciate your support.

Then when Sunday rolls around, it's time for Culinary no-no. My goodness gracious, what interest you people simply amazes me. I write about weird, strange, and controversial food/drink situations........and you read this stuff? In huge numbers?!  You keep readin', and we'll keep writin'.

Thanks again for stopping by. And do keep checking back all weekend long.

Friday Night Live


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No-peanut zones at the ballpark

Topics talked about on WISN

Last Monday night, when the Milwaukee Brewers opened a 4-game series against the Cardinals in St. Louis, Busch Stadium offered what could be a baseball promotion first……designating an entire section a peanut-free zone. Only fans with peanut allergies and their families were allowed in Section 328 in the outfiled down the first base line, just behind the foul pole.

Peanut-free zones at the ballpark was a topic on my program Friday as I filled in for Mark Belling on Newstalk 1130 WISN. Comments ran the gamut.

Some viewed the promotion as a wonderful, thoughtful idea. Others wondered where you draw the line on special accommodations for fans.

Several callers made the valid argument that parents are taking a serious risk bringing their peanut allergy suffering kids to the stadium because in order to get to their seats, they have to pass many areas where peanuts are still being sold, consumed, and dropped on the ground.

Here are more details.from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Another unattended child dies: Someone needs to be charged

A few years ago while filling in for Mark Belling on Newstalk 1130 WISN, I did what some might consider something unusual on that program: I read part of a press release from a Democrat legislator to praise its content.

State Senator Spencer Coggs (D-Milwaukee) was proposing legislation aimed at people who leave children unattended in hot cars. Listeners who have heard me on WISN know this is an issue that makes me very angry, and I have zero sympathy for these individuals.

Cogg’s bill was the result of the death of little Asia Jones who died of hyperthermia after she was left for eight hours in a sweltering vehicle outside the Come and Grow with Me Learning and Arts Center in West Allis in June 2005. Temperatures inside the van may have reached 128 degrees. The driver used a typical excuse….he forgot, and escaped charges because prosecutors said there was no law under which he could be charged. Asia was two years old.

The “Asia Jones Bill” authored by Senator Spencer Coggs and Representative Tamara Grigsby who has appeared with me on Channel 10’s InterCHANGE  was approved by the Legislature and signed into law in March of 2006 by Governor Doyle. The law makes it a Class A misdemeanor for a child care provider to leave a child in a child care vehicle unattended.  Any child care professional who violates the new law can be fined up to $10,000 and imprisoned for up to nine months.  If a child dies, the person responsible is guilty of a Class G felony, which is punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment and a fine up to $25,000.

This week, a child was left in a day care van in Milwaukee for seven hours and died. As of this posting, no one’s been charged. Someone needs to be held accountable.

Will you call Governor Doyle?

My friend Brian Fraley continues to push for a special legislative session to repeal Wisconsin’s minimum markup law.

Take a look.



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...


Joseph Dwyer

Brookfield officers

Faith Mondry

My friend and colleague, state Representtaive Jim Ott

Franklin Little Leaguers

To  a certain lion, these folks.


Jose Carman Gonzalez-Ricardo

Edwin Ramos

Milton Thomas........caught on video.

Barack Obama


“I like to be an informed voter ... I want to take the time to make an informed decision.”
Debra Bartoshevich, the Waterford resident who was stripped of her delegate status Friday by the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. Bartoshevich said following Hillary Clinton's departure from the White House race that she would vote for John McCain instead of Barack Obama.

“You’re saying you can’t flip a switch and jump to Senator Obama, but you certainly were able to flip a switch and jump to Senator McCain. I find that to be a very serious flaw in your argument.”
Les Nakamoto, the Democrat Party’s 5th Congressional District Chair.

“I’m done. I will never support the Democrat Party again. Not after how they treated me ... If you don’t drink the Kool-Aid, I guess you can’t be a Democrat.”
Bartoshevich in an interview with

“My opponent likes to tell people she is ‘out knocking on doors.’ But the voters know the difference between riding in a car watching staff drop off taxpayer-funded road maps that people did not even ask for and actually knocking on doors and talking to people.”
State Representative Sheldon Wasserman (D-Milwaukee), once again criticizing the health of his opponent for the 8th District Senate seat, Alberta Darling (R-River Hills).

“I take great offense to Sheldon Wasserman’s false accusation that I am not actually knocking on voters’ doors, and his continued insinuation that I am too sick to run for office and restricted to campaigning from a car.”
Senator Darling’s response.

Consumers should be irate. It shouldn't be the government's job to make sure that they're paying more for gas.”
Christian Schneider, author of a Wisconsin Policy Research Institute study on the state’s minimum markup law. The study argues gas markups cost state drivers at least $267 million annually.


Sex offenders living nursing homes.

Read more.


Property taxes just keep going up, and up, and up, and up, and  up.....


Barack Obama's trip overseas. One gigantic news media lovefest.


Guys who dump woman at the altar, BEWARE!

Mystery noise in Green Bay

Cable repairman taken for ride

Black and white twins.

They named their kid....WHAT???

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

Last week in Kevin’s section of the Barking Lot, Dogs in the News, he linked to the story of Rocco, a beagle that was reunited with his family after FIVE YEARS.  This reunion was thanks, in part, to his microchip.

I was fortunate enough in my years of dog ownership that we never lost Sugar or Skippy even for a day.  Once in a while Sugar would manage to break free of her tether but for her that only meant walking around the front yard instead of staying in the back yard.  I can’t imagine what our lives would have been like had we lost either of them.

Almost every time I am at a grocery store or retail store I see a photo of a cat or dog with the desperate plea of “LOST.  Please call 555-8101.  Family misses Roxy very much.  Reward.”  It breaks my heart.

While having a microchip implanted in your dog can’t prevent him or her from running away, it can certainly improve the chances of getting him back.  The adoption fees at the Wisconsin Human Society include microchipping.  

You may have seen commercials for the Home Again brand of microchip, one option for your pet.


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A total disregard for human life: UPDATE

Topics talked about on WISN

On Friday, while filling in for Mark Belling on Newstalk 1130 WISN, I updated a disturbing story I first discussed one year ago. A woman was stabbed to death inside a Wichita surveillance store in June of 2007. As she lay on the floor bleeding, other shoppers ignored her. One took a cell phone out and snapped a picture of her on the floor.

LaShanda Callaway’s attacker, Cherish McCullough was found guilty last week of first degree murder. Apathy inside the convenience store is a clear example of a disgusting societal trend: a blatant disregard for human life.

The Wichita Eagle gave this story outstanding coverage:

The verdict.

A column on the loss of civility.

The murder caught on video.

Here's raw video of the murder. (Caution: Scenes might be difficult to watch)

If you missed Friday’s broadcast, here‘s the WISN podcast. The 4:00 hour features the convenience store murder. I discuss the city of Franklin’s victory in the Steve Hanke case in the 3:00 hour. The podcast will be available until 6:00 pm Monday.

W and The Dark Knight

How is....


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Want to find liberal bias? Follow the $$$

There are a lot of factors that determine media bias: number of stories, amount of time spent on stories, amount of space spent on stories, where stories are placed.

Don’t believe there’s a liberal bias? Just check out this website frequently.

A mountain of evidence exists suggesting the mainstream media is simply unbalanced, and to a very large degree. The most damning proof presents itself when members of the media open their wallets to political candidates.

Investor’s Business Daily has the scoop and it isn’t even close. Take a look at the eye-popping numbers.

IBD refers to an MSNBC article from last summer on this very subject that I blogged about at the time.

Read more

One Tampa Bay writer makes more sense than thousands of Packer fans

His name is Joe Henderson and he writes for the Tampa Bay Tribune. In his Friday column, he espouses more common sense than a stadium full of Packer fans ready and happy to send Brett Favre packing, not to mention the Packer brass. Henderson writes:

“They (The Tampa Bay Buccaneers) have a real good chance to land Brett Favre. This is an opportunity only the timid would decline. A silly thing like a game plan can't stand in the way.
Make your arguments against acquiring him if you want, but there are 4,157 reasons why they should - one for each yard he threw for last season. And there is one reason in favor that trumps all others. He is Brett Favre.”

Henderson makes a very good case.

The Aaron Rodgers crowd

Packer Nation is full of fans who have had it up to here with Brett Favre. As shocking as it seemed months ago, many of Favre's adoring supporters have now dropped him like yesterday's newspaper.

They subscribe to the Ted Thompson-Mike McCarthy theory that the future is down the road, we're moving on, and as we move in a new direction, it's simply time for a change.

It's time for a change.

My goodness gracious.

It certainly seems to me that the Aaron Rodgers camp sure sounds a lot like....


The Brett Favre fiasco has come to this...

Just about everyone has an opinion on the entire Brett Favre saga. That includes the father of a young solider who was killed in Iraq over a year ago.

Wesley Emch of Brimfield, Ohio says he’s a Packer fan and so was his son. Emch wrote a guest column in today’s Green Bay Press Gazette lashing out, not only at Favre, but at the Green Bay Packers.

Emch says Favre and the Packers need to recognize real heroes:

How can I continue to watch football when you all talk about dignity and commitment but don't know the meaning of the words? Packers, you want to do something heroic? Join the Marines and kill the enemies of our country. Otherwise pretend you have some honor, make a commitment, do your job and act like you want to set an example for America. B
rett, you retired. You want to come back? Shut up, earn your job back and act like you are worthy of being my son's hero.”

My stance on the war is well-documented, 100% in support. My great admiration for the courageous young men and women fighting for our country is also well-known through numerous blogs as well as positions stated on TV and radio.

My deepest sympathies go out to Mr. Emch. He’s correct. His son is a hero and deserves our undying gratitude.

I mean no disrespect, but Emch’s anger and hurt are misplaced and misdirected. To compare his son’s fate to the Favre fiasco seems unfair. A better target for Emch's criticism would be the Hollywood prima donna's(they're also millionaires also considered heroes by some) who have little or no regard for our troops.

And Emch is wrong when he says people only give his son and other soldiers a passing thought. No, Mr. Emch. There's a large faction in America that will never forget what our brave military has accomplished.

Read Emch’s column and judge for yourself.

James Rowen: Get a clue

Local lefty environmental blogger and conservative hater James Rowen didn’t like it that I referred to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) as Gestapo-like.

Anyone with a brain would understand what I meant in my description of the often heavy-handed, over-regulating agency known for its harassment. Maybe if Rowen would attend some public hearings to hear what taxpaying citizens really think about the DNR, he’d understand the public has a far worse outlook on them than I do.

Rowen, by the way, has no business pontificating about me or anybody else about the use of language.

PS: In typical lefty fashion, the illogical Rowen refuses to (because he can't) refute the arguments raised in my blog, so he resorts to the incredibly unfair tactic of taking my 431-word post and focuses in on one word, takes it out of context, and blows it out of proportion hoping to stir up controversy where none exists. That's how the hateful left operates. I stand by my earlier blog. Wisconsin is also a regulation hell.

What's the matter, Chicago?

Things not going so well?

Chicago Cubs manager Lou Piniella, left, argues with third base ...

Chicago Cubs manager Lou Piniella, left, argues with third base umpire Brian Gorman, right, after first base umpire Rob Drake ejected Piniella during the ninth inning of their baseball game against the Florida Marlins at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Saturday, July 26, 2008.
(AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Polish dogs infiltrate Germanfest

It happened during the 3rd race at Dachshund Park at Germanfest on a sweltering Saturday afternoon.

Jennifer and I were part of a huge throng gathered to see the dachshund aces. About10 dogs competed in that 3rd race and about halfway to the finish line, the Polish infiltrators were exposed.

They started running the wrong way.

What are Milwaukee Catholics thinking about today?

One has to wonder as Catholics head to church what exactly is on their minds.

What’s next?

Will priests be allowed to date?

Get married?

Will women become priests?

What other areas will the church allow changes?

And how will Archbishop Dolan, who may have stepped in it, be regarded now?

I’m just askin’.

Summer is over

Fall fashions are out.

I’ve seen back to school sales advertised.

And now, this.

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 #63

2) Mr. "Nobody cares more about Franklin than I do" slings mud, AGAIN!

3) Blatant media bias at the NY Times

4) Oh, Kevin, dear sweet husband of mine...

5) The first true test for Franklin's new Aldermen and School Board members

Still to come today on This Just In...not one, but two...

....installments of Culinary no-no.


Both are very timely. I couldn't decide which to post, so I'm doing both with two no-no's later in the day.

Stay tuned.

Is this a culinary no-no?

We begin with a simple yes or no question.

You wouldn't think of dunking a tablespoon into a sugar bowl and lifting out a heaping helping and then swallowing it all, would you?


So, would you eat this?


Read more

Culinary no-no #64

Culinary no-no's

One out of five people reading this post are overweight, terribly overweight. They’re obese.

The St. Vincent Health website (central Indiana) lists the following causes of obesity:



Physical inactivity

Emotional or psychological factors



High-fat / High Calorie diet

Medical problems

Nowhere in the list is this mentioned:

McDonalds - mcdonalds photo

True, the Golden Arches serves a lot of items high in fat and calories. But is McDonald's to blame for a nation of bloated waistlines?

Two years ago, a study group at the University of Alabama at Birmingham suggested 10 new causes for obesity:

1. Sleep debt. Getting too little sleep can increase body weight. Today's Americans get less shut-eye than ever.

2. Pollution. Hormones control body weight. And many of today’s pollutants affect our hormones.

3. Air conditioning. You have to burn calories if your environment is too hot or too cold for comfort. But more people than ever live and work in temperature-controlled homes and offices.

4. Decreased smoking. Smoking reduces weight. Americans smoke much less than they used to.

5. Medicine. Many different drugs — including contraceptives, steroid hormones, diabetes drugs, some antidepressants, and blood pressure drugs — can cause weight gain. Use of these drugs is on the upswing.

6. Population age, ethnicity. Middle-aged people and Hispanic-Americans tend to be more obese than young European-Americans. Americans are getting older and more Hispanic.

7. Older moms. There's some evidence that the older a woman is when she gives birth, the higher her child's risk of obesity. American women are giving birth at older and older ages.

8. Ancestors' environment. Some influences may go back two generations. Environmental changes that made a grandparent obese may "through a fetally driven positive feedback loop" visit obesity on the grandchildren.

9. Obesity linked to fertility. There's some evidence obese people are more fertile than lean ones. If obesity has a genetic component, the percentage of obese people in the population should increase.

10. Unions of obese spouses. Obese women tend to marry obese men. If there are fewer thin people around — and if obesity has a genetic component — there will be still more obese people in the next generation.

They contend fast food and inactivity can lead to obesity, but are circumstantial factors often given too much attention as opposed to a host of other causes.

Regardless of medical research or common sense, liberal politicians know best. In the city of Los Angeles, the evil fast-food restaurants have been designated as the culprits for a certain section of the city being far too fat.

What’s the solution proposed by members of the city council? In essence, they want to ban “fast food restaurants,” placing a one-year moratorium on the opening of
"any establishment which dispenses food for consumption on or off the premises, and which has the following characteristics: a limited menu, items prepared in advance or prepared or heated quickly, no table orders and food served in disposable wrapping or containers."

Approved by a council committee, the moratorium must still pass the full council and the mayor.

Councilman Jose Huizar has problems with the way “fast food restaurant” is defined. For example, what does a “limited menu” mean?

"McDonald's has been increasing the number of items on their menu, so at what point would they exceed that definition?" Huizar said.

The do-gooders in LA haven’t quite figured that out.

Some places, like Subway complained. Subway makes their sandwiches fresh with no heat lamps.

But the intent is clear based on the premise that the restaurants are the villains and that personal responsibility has nothing to do with the problem. So, let’s not build any more Burger King’s. Uhhh, but these political geniuses forget that the moratorium won’t stop those fatties in LA from still going to any of the thousands of fast food joints that are still up and running.

Not only is the idea anti-business, it’s downright foolish. Let’s blame everyone and everything except the individual with questionable personal behavior.
It’s that large, evil, corporate giant that insists on mass producing two all-beef patties, lettuce, special sauce, pickles, and cheese on a sesame seed bun. Los Angeles will show ‘em. And then one year from now, when LA is even fatter, what brilliant plan will they come up with next?

Read more in the LA Times.

To read previous Culinary no-no’s, please click CULINARY NO-NO under my TAGS section.

Culinary no-no #65

Culinary no-no's

When you think of Hawaii, what comes to mind?

Plumeria, Kauai, Hawaii


Read more

"Brett, you can't do that — you'll get me fired."

Brett Favre says he had quite the conversation with Packer GM Ted Thompson this weekend. Sounds like Thompson is scared to death. He should be. What NFL GM in his right mind would actually want to go into battle come September with Aaron Rodgers as his starting QB instead of Brett Favre?

Read more about Favre's discusson with Thompson in the Wisconsin State Journal.

Favre has Thompson begging and pleading like a wuss. Read more from ESPN.

More Catholic-bashing from the left: UPDATE

A few weeks ago I blogged that a Minnesota professor proclaimed he was going to desecrate the Eucharist.

He kept his promise, the pathetic louse. A wonderful display of tolerance from the left....

Here are more details.

Will the mainstream media cover this story?


HT: Kathleen Reeves

New MIlwaukee crime data

Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn says the numbers show a dramatic decline in violent crime.

According to

·  Homicide, 33 in 2008, compared with 48 in 2007.

·  Rape, 88 in 2008, compared with 124 in 2007.

·  Robbery, 1,392 in 2008, compared with 1,607 in 2007.

·  Aggravated assault, 1,703 in 2008, compared with 2,210 in 2007.

Still, it begs the question:

Do you think Milwaukee is a safer city?

I don’t.

Wisconsinites who root for the Cubs

I don’t get it.

There is a large contingent of Wisconsin residents that loves the Chicago Cubs. The only way this is understandable and acceptable is if those individuals are Illinois transplants. If they’re not, then they have no business cheering for the Cubs. Their allegiance should belong to the Brewers.

For years and years, I’ve heard Milwaukeeans say they’re Cub fans because, and this is incredibly stupid, they feel sorry for those perennial losers. Do you think Chicagoans rooted for the Packers from the 70’s to the early 90’s because they were sympathetic to our horrible teams? Nah, they still hated us!

I should have plugged for the Cubs for the past few decades because they stunk?!! No way! I’d rather root for the Russians than the Cubs or the ************* Bears.

If you live in the land of beer and cheese, and weren’t born in the Land of Lincoln, and you like the Cubs, you need serious help because that’s just plain dumb.

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

But if they do….




I’m a bit concerned.

Ted Thompson taken to the woodshed

Gene Wojciechowski of has written a  no-holds barred, scathing column about Packers GM Ted Thompson saying he and the Packer organization are guilty of what they’re accusing Brett Favre of doing: waffling.

Wojciechowski’s flaming keyboard provides these gems:

“Thompson knows what would have happened if Favre had been issued a helmet and a jersey today. Everybody knows. Favre would have been the best quarterback on the field.”

“Thompson isn't interested in putting the best product on the field. If he were, he'd let Aaron Rodgers, his handpicked successor to Favre, compete for the starting position.”

“If Rodgers can't handle the pressure of Favre's presence and open competition for the job in July, what makes you think he can handle the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field in December? But Thompson doesn't want the best man to win. He wants his man to win. So no quarterback bake-off.”

“But nobody has bungled this situation more than Thompson. From the disingenuous ‘We Care About Favre's Legacy’ stance, to the convenient and false statement that Favre could return to the team, Thompson has written the textbook on mismanagement.”

It’s beautiful and dead on. Thompson is the #1 villain in this entire fiasco.

Read the entire column.

Are the Brewers "using" CC Sabathia?

A friend tells me that one of the sportswriters on the Jim Rome program today on ESPN said that new Milwaukee pitcher CC Sabathia is aware and somewhat concerned that the Brewers are “using” him.

“Using” means the club knows Sabathia is gone after this season and the Brewers will pitch him deep into ballgames, wearing him down and burning him out.

Let’s hope this doesn’t become an issue down the stretch.

Putting 90 degrees in perspective

The long range forecast predicts high temperatures in the low 90’s in our area this Saturday and Sunday.

Don’t complain. In Baghdad, Iraq, temperatures will reach 118 degrees this weekend, a full 25 degrees hotter than what we’ll experience.

How do our soldiers in Iraq cope?

Read this from the American Forces Press Service.

Listen to this from NPR.

Here’s what I wrote last summer on this topic.

And come this weekend, think before you say, “It’s too hot.”

How low can Cub fans go?

Mighty low.

Once again, the Franklin School Board is being disingenuous about the school tax increase

Franklin residents, I sure hope you paid good attention to Janet Evans’ roundup of the Franklin School Board meeting of 7/23/08. In paragraph four of her blog (I wish the most important part of the meeting would have been mentioned earlier), Janet, who regularly attends Franklin School Board meetings, gave us this information:

“Also, nowhere in the Budget Draft does it clearly state that the proposed Tax Levy is 3.9%.  The last page of the draft has it broken down over a three year period.  But it is not clearly stated for the citizens what the proposed property tax levy will be…which is the main issue the taxpayers want to know.  They shouldn’t have to calculate it…just state it.”


That’s quite a news bulletin, and it’s not surprising coming from the unscrupulous Franklin Public Schools administration.

For several weeks now, it’s been reported that Franklin school officials have been saying the school tax levy increase will be 3.9% but that the figure is subject to change.

You bet it could change. This is the same gang that couldn’t shoot straight that last year stated publicly for months the increase would be 5.6%. Then on the night the School Board voted on the final budget last fall, we were told Board members thought they were voting on, and thought they approved, a 5.9% increase. I reported on This Just In shortly thereafter that taxpayers had literally been lied to and taken. The tax levy increase was actually 11.7% but no one bothered to tell the people who count the most……..the taxpayers.

Here are more details on last year’s budget scandal.

This group can’t be trusted. They will string taxpayers along for the next few months of budget deliberations, then drop a big bomb at the last minute. That is my fear, and it was heightened by Janet Evans’ recent blog.

Notice to the Franklin Public Schools hold-up artists:

We know what happened last year. And we’re watching you again this year.

Janet Evans attends the meetings. She tapes the meetings. Then she returns home and performs a great community service by reporting what happened. You’re not behaving in an empty room anymore. Oh, sure, some of your machine may attend from time to time, especially if there’s talk of even the slightest cuts. But there are vigilant watchdogs keeping a close eye on what the people who work for them do. That’s right. It’s a concept you haven’t quite grasped yet, but you work for us.

If you say the school tax levy increase is going to be 3.9%, it better be in that ballpark, not in another stratosphere.

Culinary no-no #64: UPDATE

Culinary no-no's

Signs for fast food restaurants are seen on a street in Los Angeles on Monday, July 28, 2008. In South Los Angeles, fast food is also the easiest cuisine to find, and that's a problem for elected officials who see it as an unhealthy source of calories and cholesterol. There is a swath of the city where a proliferation of such eateries goes hand in hand with more fat adults and chunky children than other areas of Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)

In Culinary no-no #64, I wrote that blaming, and then banning, fast food restaurants in an effort to combat obesity is foolish. But that’s exactly what the Los Angeles City Council did.

Today the vote was unanimous to have a one-year moratorium on the opening of fast food restaurants in a certain section of the city. How utterly stupid.

Details from the LA Times and MSNBC.

Will anything ever happen to the Buckhorn?

The Buckhorn is the Franklin bar that served Eddie Lynn Keck over and over and over again last Christmas until he left drunk and then ran down a West Allis couple, killing them.

Tonight, WTMJ-TV Channel 4’s John Mercure did a special report on Wisconsin law pertaining to over-serving. Mercure reported on the case of a young man who went out drinking on the eve of his 21st birthday with friends to the Slammer bar in Waupun. He drank 18 shots of liquor in an hour before the bartender stopped serving him. His friends (some friends) took him home, where he died later.

Mercure interviewed the Fond du Lac County District Attorney on camera who said he felt he couldn’t, based on current Wisconsin law, prosecute the bartender. Mercure reported that it takes about an hour for the young man in the story to have become intoxicated and that the bartender stopped serving while the customer did not appear to be drunk.

The Fond du Lac County DA also said he knows of no case in the state of Wisconsin of a bar being prosecuted and found guilty of over-serving.

It’s clear the Buckhorn over-served and that Keck, who has since entered a plea of guilty on two counts of homicide by intoxicated use of a motor vehicle, will be going to prison.

The Buckhorn should have come up for a review of its license by city of Franklin officials a long time ago. The excuse that the city has to wait while the criminal justice system plays out is a copout. Franklin has a responsibility to ensure the public safety of its boundaries. I submit the Buckhorn license should have been stripped.

But will that ever happen?

Don’t be surprised if nothing happens.

Don't worry, be happy

Of all people, the NY Times comes up with a list of those supposedly evil, no good, rotten things that you really, really shouldn't give a second thought to while on vacation.

Uptight liberals and hyper-enviro's probably won't like this list.

As for me, pass me a hot dog, all the way and crank the AC!

Doyle's Global Warming Task Force wants to control your lives

Topics talked about on WISN

Last Friday while filling in for Mark Belling on Newstalk 1130 WISN, I spent some time going over some of the more outrageous recommendations in the final report of Governor Doyle’s Global Warming Task Force. I firmly believe the general public has no idea what’s in that report, a highly complex, 100-page document. The more people understand how these recommendations would interfere in their lives if enacted, the more upset they’ll be.

Flawed from the outset, the Task Force mission was predicated on the presumption that global warming is an existing crisis that needs immediate government intervention. For example, the report says, “human activity, particularly the burning of fossil fuels, is a major contributor” to global warming. The Task Force fails to take into account or cite the prospect of natural factors impacting the global climate. I submit there is enough skepticism on the part of learned scientists that suggests the jury is still out on the exact degree and/or severity of global warming.

Not surprisingly, the Task Force engages in doublespeak, calling its initiatives, “recommendations.” In reality, the Task Force is suggesting action be taken to enact legislation, regulations, and requirements to become intrusive Wisconsin law. The final report actually uses the words “legislate” or “legislation” more than 20 times. The policies recommended by the Task Force constitute government intervention at its worst with the purpose of controlling many facets of your day to day lives. Some of the troubling Task Force recommendations include the following:

  • Wisconsin would adopt emission standards for passenger vehicles currently in place in California.
  • Wisconsin would adopt voluntary and mandatory emission reduction measures to reduce emissions from off-road sources related to construction, agricultural, lawn/garden care, recreational and industrial/commercial sectors.
  • Truck idling would be limited at depots, over night rest areas and other long-term parking circumstances to a maximum five minutes.
  • The state would set aside funding to regulate the reduction of vehicle miles traveled (VMT) by individuals.
  • The existing 65 mph highway speed limit would be strictly enforced and a study would be conducted of potential future speed limit reductions.
  • Legislation would develop a low carbon fuel standard for fuel providers. The Task Force says, “Providers could meet the standard by blending ethanol (corn/cellulosic) with gasoline, blending biodiesel with diesel,” in other words, an ethanol mandate.
  • The Task Force believes emissions would be reduced by the creation of three programs for public and private transit alternatives: Intercity Rail, Transit Trust Fund and a Regional Transit Authority.
  • Rental properties would be required to install energy efficient lighting.


Read more

Why should THEY get a discount?

The WISCONSIN State Fair opens Thursday. Here is one of the special promotions:

Wisconsin State Fair invites our friends in Illinois to experience the wonders of Wisconsin and all the Fair has to offer! Buy two (2) adult admissions (ages 12 & over) for ONLY $10 when you present your Illinois driver’s license at Wisconsin State Fair Gates on Friday, August 1, 2008 only.

I renew my previous objection to this discount.

I hate the idea of an Illinois Day at the Wisconsin State Fair.

This is a Wisconsin event, funded by the taxpayers of Wisconsin.

Why should the over-burdened residents of one of the highest-taxed states in the nation (that would be us) subsidize carloads of people from Illinois?

Do you think the organizers of other state fairs sit around in their meetings and try to devise ways to give big discounts to people who live in other states?

Why not Iowa Day at the Wisconsin Sate Fair? Minnesota day? Michigan Day? Hawaii Day? District of Columbia Day?

Does the Illnois State Fair have a WISCONSIN Day offering special discounts to Badger tourists? The answer is no.

Let 2008 be the last year for Illinois Day at our State Fair.

Meanwhile, my very good friend at rightfromtheright will be blogging about the fair every day from his great location backstage at the Main Stage.

Read more

Now THIS would be tough to take

Brett Favre as a Bear
Chicago Tribune photo illustration by Phil Geib

InterCHANGE returns Friday night

Here are the topics the panelists discuss Friday night at 6:30 on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, with a re-broadcast Sunday morning at 11:00:

1Wheel Tax / Sick Leave.

Despite pleas from the Mayor, Milwaukee Aldermen vote to enact a $20 wheel tax to help pay for street maintenance and repairs.  If it’s such a bad thing, why did so many aldermen support it?  Will it lead to property tax relief for city residents?  Is it just another tax?  Is it a fair or unfair user fee?  Is this an example of how little power and influence this mayor has over the Common Council?  What’s next?  Also, let’s talk again briefly about the binding referendum which would mandate employers to offer sick leave to their employees.  Is that fair, or will it drive employers elsewhere?

2 -  Black Holocaust Museum & African World Festival.

The Black Holocaust Museum announces it will close, at least temporarily.  Is that a sad thing?  Does it matter to anyone?  Is it simply a publicity stunt to attract some corporate money from somebody that wants to look good in front of the African-American community?  Should this museum just join forces with Clay Benson’s Black Historical Society Museum?  Also, African World Festival was canceled this year?  Why can’t they get their act together?  Is there not enough corporate and public support for that festival?  Is the African American community here just not very well organized?

3 – Favre.

We’ll talk about the latest developments with Brett Favre.  What should/will he do?  What should/will the Packers do?

4 – Brewers.

The Brewers lose the first three in their four game series with archrival Chicago Cubs.  Are the cubs clearly the best team in the division?  Are the Brewers falling apart?  Is it too early in the season to worry?  Is Ned Yost a good manager?

This guy would make a great Pick ‘n’ Save employee


The governor of the state of Washington tried to enter a bar in her own state last weekend.

Waiting at the entrance was a young man checking ID’s.

The governor couldn’t produce identification.

No problem, right?

She’s the governor, right?

Everybody knows her, right?

A quick smile, maybe a handshake and she’s in, right?


The 23-year old bouncer wouldn’t let the governor slide.

No ID, no entry.

Governor Christine Gregoire is 61 years old.

Did the young man do the right thing?

Was he correct in his position that rules are rules and he wasn’t going to let this woman pass through?

Of course he was wrong.

He should have used the brains God gave him, exercised some common sense and let the governor inside.

It was foolish to be as obstinate as he was.

But he’d make an ideal checkout person at Pick ‘n’ Save.

“Uhhh, excuse me ma’am, I mean, like, I know you’re the governor and you’re as old as my Grandma, but, uhhh, could I see your ID?”

Bouncer? Hell, he could be a doggone Pick ‘n’ Save manager in a heartbeat.

Here’s the story.

Friend of the city of Milwaukee taxpayers: Tom Barrett?

DATELINE:  City Hall, downtown Milwaukee, Tax Hell, USA.

Milwaukee aldermen approve a $20 wheel tax for automobile owners who live
in the city of Milwaukee.

Of all people voicing some fiscal sanity on the matter, it’s Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. Barrett understands what’s so difficult for the Aldermen to grasp:

“This is a tax on City of Milwaukee residents and will increase the cost of registering their vehicles from $75 per car to $95 per car - a 26-percent increase for every vehicle in a household.”

Promising a veto, Barrett then does a Scott Walker on the proposed Milwaukee County sales tax increase:

“I do not want Milwaukee to become a ‘tax island.’”

It’s one of those rare moments Barrett is right, even though his veto probably won't stand.

Judge lets lawbreaker choose his own sentence

A Madison bus driver didn’t appreciate that a man urinated in the back of his bus last summer. When the same man tried to board his bus later the same day, the driver wouldn’t let him on.

As the bus pulled away, the man jumped onto the front of the bus and hung on for over a minute as the driver kept motoring.

In a plea agreement, the bus driver pleaded no contest to a disorderly conduct.

Get this. A Madison judge is going to let the bus driver choose his own punishment. The two sentences he has to choose from:

1) 10 days in jail.

2) Probation for a year, after the conclusion of 80 hours of community service.

Letting the numbskull select his own sentence is dumb (The judge can't make a decision?), but is there any doubt what he’ll take?

He’ll be tickled to death to choose the 80 hours worth of licking envelopes.

Madison….goofy, goofy, Madison.

Culinary no-no #45 UPDATE or....A waiter out for revenge

Culinary no-no's

Though it usually comes at the end, I will start with the moral of this story:

Be nice to your waiter.

Culinary no-no #45 dealt with respecting the wait staff at restaurants. We heard from Phoebe Damrosch who has written a book about her experience waiting tables at Thomas Keller’s four-star New York City restaurant, Per Se.

Another book told from the perspective of a waiter is out, only this time, the waiter is out for revenge. Steve Dublanica is the author of, “Waiter Rant: Thanks for the Tip--Confessions of a Cynical Waiter.”

Read an excerpt from his book and also watch a video of his appearance on the Today Show here.  Here's a book review from the Wall Street Journal.

Chances are you’ll have second thoughts the next time you’re thinking about being rude to your server.

Amazing story, amazing video, amazing treatment by the media

It’s rare that the mainstream media does stories about unborn babies.

It’s also rare that when such a story is produced, it’s presented with the wonderful words used by ABC’s Charles Gibson.

In a piece this week on heroic doctors working to save the lives of unborn twins suffering from a potentially fatal complication, Gibson said on- camera, “This surgery is done on the tiniest, most fragile of patients imaginable: Babies yet to be born.”  You can feel that the sentiment in Gibson's delivery is real.

ABC News has the story and amazing video.

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