Thursday, November 29, 2007

Where's Their Outrage Now?

McBride, Sykes and the rest of the right wing squawk brigade were more than willing to point out the sins of Supreme Court Justice Louis Butler. He failed to make timely notice that he took a campaign contribution from an attorney appearing before the court.

Somehow, all of them must have missed the news about today's proceedings with Annette "Gut Check" Ziegler hearing arguments that involve WMC, who donated $2 million to her campaign. And has Milwaukee Rising points out, the AG J.B. Van Hollen, who also benefited greatly from the WMC during his campaign, could have asked for her recusal, but willingly failed to do so.

If you wish to do more than the Attorney General, or any of the local right wing media, in promoting justice, please click on the link below and sign the petition asking Ziegler to do the right thing, for once, and recuse herself.

Thank you to One Wisconsin for organizing the petition drive.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A Bad Day for McIlheran

The local right wing media sure like to strut their pseudo-machismo, with all sorts of blustery opining to show that they're real tough guys.

But unlike the local right wing media, our own Brew City Brawler has earned his moniker. He works out much harder than Charlie and Patrick together. You see, where those two consider supporting evidence to be a link to another conservative blogger's site, Brawler is a well read man that actually purveys the news sources and actually reads books that he hasn't written himself.

Yes, the mighty Brawler is a fine specimen of intellectual fitness, and he knows how to use it.
In a post he did today, Brawler gives McIlheran a one-two punch that I don't think the intellectual lightweight will quickly recover from.

The Brawler points out how the Vatican and Iran are working on establishing a common ground to work from. In other words, the Holy See, home of the Catholic Church to which McIlheran belongs, and the heathen Islamists are actually learning to coexist. Brawler delivers a sharp left jab with this:

Indeed, while home to a relatively small Christian minority, Iran is seen at the Vatican as a key player in the broader context of inter-faith relations. Religious experts say that Catholicism and Shi'a Islam have a surprisingly similar structure and approach to their different faiths. "What you have in Iran is a strong academic tradition, with both philosophical and mystical aspects — in many ways like Catholicism," says Father Daniel Madigan, a Jesuit scholar of islam, and a member of the Vatican's commission for religious relations with Islam who helped arrange for Khatami's visit. There is also a clerical hierarchy in Shi'ism that is absent in other forms of Islam. Madigan notes that Iranians have long studied other cultures and religions. "They know their Western stuff," he said. "Right now, they're isolated because of sanctions, but they really do want to interact with the world." And Rome is one place the interaction has already begun.

In the very same post, the Brawler delivers the right in a knock-out punch with this:

In 2003, then serving as a senior Vatican Cardinal, the current Pope was firmly behind John Paul II's opposition to the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. Indeed, many in Rome cite parallels between the current push from American hardliners to confront Iran and the walkup to the war in Iraq. "The Holy See hasn't forgotten what happened in Iraq," says one Vatican insider. "Seeing how that situation has developed, there is great, great prudence on the part of the Holy See. The judgment shown on Iraq weighs on the Iran situation."

The sound you hear is McIlheran hitting the mat for the 10 count.

But all is not lost for McIlheran. If he would recover from the beating at the hands of Brawler, and decides he's not so macho after all, and wants to give up journalism, Mike Mathias has a suggestion for a new career for him-waterboard guinea pig.

Isn't Research Part Of Journalism?

OK, let us give the benefit of the doubt to McBride, and agree with her that she teaches journalism. Just what part of journalism does she teach? We don't have a clue, but one thing is for sure, it isn't how to do research.

In a post where she is apparently implying that the Milwaukee Sentinel Journal is liberal, she complains that they have buried a line deep within an article that reads:

Gov. Jim Doyle returned part of his salary in his first four years in office, but this year started accepting the full $137,092, said Doyle spokesman Matt Canter.

In this case deep to her is about halfway.

But the title of her post is "What would the media do if Scott Walker did this?" Her answer is:

Answer: There would be big stories about it.

Oh, really now. Let's take a look, shall we? We'll start with this article. Notice the third from last paragraph:

Walker said the proposed increase for the county executive's office was in recognition there could be a different county executive after next spring's election. Walker wanted to restore full funding for a vacant position, as well as add $60,000 - the sum he annually returns to the county from his $130,000 pay - in case he doesn't win re-election, he said.

And there is this article, which is even more telling. The part that is of interest is about halfway down again, just as in the article on Doyle:

Walker also said if he decides to run for another term next year, he'll reconsider whether he wants to continue to return part of his salary. He has given back $60,000 a year since his election in 2002.

"In the future, I definitely would have to look at it," Walker said. "Six years - that's a lot of money to give back. That's not chicken feed anymore."

Today' lesson is that McBride really does teach journalism--yellow journalism.

You'd Better Watch Out, James

James T. Harris, the newest pundit at TMJ radio and blog (in fact he has two sites-who does he think he is, me?) has come out with his position regarding feminism as it relates to fatherhood. I won't go into that whole feminism part of his post. I will leave that for Kay, if she wishes to address it.

But, there are a few lines from the post that should be pointed out (emphasis mine):

As some of you know, I’ve got a little girl. She is the baby of three kids and the only girl I have. That’s right, I said “have”; she is mine. My child. My girl. I own her.

She is not free to do as she pleases.Not now, not ten years form now, not until the day that she leaves my house as a married woman, will she be “free” of me.

Do you now what that means? That means that I have a say in what she wears, eats, plays with, watches, listens to and sings along with. Every aspect of her life is and will be controlled by me. If I don’t like it, it doesn’t happen. If I don’t desire it, it will not be done. If I don’t choose him, he will not be chosen.

I am her father.

Feminism, girl power, women’s rights...They can’t replace the role of a father. They can’t bandage her up when she falls off her bike or give her a shoulder to cry on. I’m all for equal rights, but feminism has taken on a life totally separate from rights and equalities. Feminism in 2007 is false hope. It attempts to take away the significant roles of men – especially in the family – and it attempts to make fatherhood optional. Feminism might have served its purpose at one time, but today its philosophy is fraudulent. In the name of freedom, young women have been told that they need no father or husband or men in their lives. My daughter will not be sacrificed on the alter of freedom. No!

This just smacks of the same kind of attitude and injustice that Sykes, McBride and McIlheran claim we are fighting in Iraq for. If your not careful, they'll think you're one of them Islamofacists and then they declare war on you.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

McBride, The Hypocrite Files

McBride, in this post, comes to the defense of her role model, Ann Coulter. It appears She With The Adam's Apple The Size Of Pluto is getting some minor crank mail from people that are unhappy with her, and she wants to keep her mansion's address unpublished. (Probably to help with her multiple voting, no doubt.)

McBride writes (with misspellings included):

A political pundit's personal sphere (read: their home) should be off limits. Period. Go after Ann Coulter in the public sphere where she plys (sic) her intellectual wares (or whatever you choose to call them) if you want. But stay out of her private phere.

How would anyone like it if political opponents showed up outside their home or sent letters to their home address? Deranged. Creepy.

Normally, this would be an understandable and common sense thing to say. But let me remind the gentle reader of an incident not too long ago, when McBride and her good buddy Michele Malkin talked about a young lad with severe brain damage. Just to make sure some kids didn't get health insurance, some right wing bloggers stalked this boy and his family, and then made egregious falsehoods about them.

Now let's reread that second sentence from McBride. Is it me, or did she just call Malkin and herself deranged and creepy? Hmmm, maybe she is right this time...

On a side note, our own Other Side points out that a blocker won't allow the link on McBride's site. For those with similar problems, the link is to It does come with adult language and links to, shall we say, adult web sites. Where does McBride go for her news?

Sykes' hypocrisy on free speech continues

Remember back in September, when the world was going to end because Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadenijad was going to speak at Columbia University?

Charlie Sykes was in the vanguard of those who denounced the university for inviting Ahmadenijad, saying how it reflected the lefty principles of the Ivory Tower, blah, blah, blah. It was going to be a great propaganda victory for "I'm a nut job" to speak at an American university.

So the Brawler had to look wryly upon Sykes' outrage over two UW-M student groups demanding the university cancel the speech of one Walid Shoebat, a former PLO terrorist -- allegedly -- who's now a Christian fundamentalist. He travels the country talking about the evils of terrorism and anti-Semitism. Which is fine. But he doesn't stop there. He also argues that the West Bank belongs to Israel and that the notion of a Palestinian state is insane. He supports extrajudicial assassinations of Israel's enemies. He's also associated with a web site that denounces Islam. And he's supported by a variety of groups whose view of Islam is comparable to that of the great Texas Hold Em Blogger.

In short, he's provocative and he takes positions and makes statements that are deeply insulting to Muslims and Palestinians (actions not unlike, I dunno, parodying the last supper).

Given the tenor of the times, the Brawler is not surprised that the groups (a Muslim student group and a Palestinian student group) acted the way it did.

That said, the Brawler agrees with Sykes: Let Shoebat speak. If you don't like what he's saying, challenge it. If he says something foolish, make him look foolish. That, actually, may be a more effective way of marginalizing him than showing him the outrage that he so clearly wants to inspire (and that Sykes wouldn't mind stoking).

However, the Brawler wishes Sykes would give up his "champion of free speech" mantle because it's more than a little ragged and funky. Please stop talking about how you're a champion of the free and unfettered exchange of ideas. Because you're not. If you were, you wouldn't have beaten up on Columbia for having Ahmadenijad speak.

No, he didn't call for the speech to be cancelled -- but beating up an institution for trying to be a forum for debate amounts to the same thing.

Our Republic hosted Soviet leaders at the height of the Cold War and survived. And it managed to do the same with Ahmadenijad.

McBride's gossip matters

Capper points out that Jessica McBride has no problem passing along (or making readers aware) of unsubstantiated rumor, inuendo and gossip about Democrats or outgoing Republican senators despised by the right.

But in comments in a post at her blog about Obama telling high school kids he had used cocaine, McBride actually pretends to have standards. Challenged on what she thinks about Bush's alleged -- and never denied -- cocaine use, McBride replies:

How do I feel about Bush and his "cocaine use"? I will weigh in on it when it's proven. I don't steadfastly believe he didn't do it, but I haven't seen any evidence, either. Obama admitted it. Big difference.

Drawing the line!

As a side note, McBride -- unlike Giuliani -- condemns Obama for admitting something he's admitted previously (although if he had just smoked pot, she'd have been cool with that). Read with awe this sentence in which McBride explains how Obama is secretly telling kids it's OK to do coke -- maybe he's sending semaphore via rapid movement of his eyelids:

I acknowledge Obama's encouraging them NOT to do it, but I think his drug confession tacitly tells them it's OK TO do it because the penalty will not be too high, and you can go on to run for president and be a media star even if you do. So, I think he should have kept his mouth shut in front of the kids.

Ponder: Jessica McBride (who entered this topic four full days after Sykes broached it on his radio show) teaches journalism at UW-M.

Monday, November 26, 2007

McBride's "Fair And Balanced" Version Of Journalism

In case anyone missed it, there was a number of stories of people announcing they would be stepping down from public office. One was Milwaukee Councilman Mike D'Amato. Another was U.S. Senator Trent Lott.

D'Amato's announcement has a lot of people speculating on why, especially after comments he has made recently touting his position and how he loves his job. Lott's announcement holds little surprise as that he wants to get out before new rules would keep him from becoming a lobbyist and raking in even more dough.

Simple, right? Not for our McBride.

At 8:47 p.m., McBride posts on the D'Amato announcement, saying that it seems suspicious. She even ends her post with this line:

Don't you normally have another job lined up BEFORE you give up your job? Has Steve Biskupic been lurking around Milwaukee City Hall again? I have no evidence
he has been...
Oooh, how catty of her. But not even two and a half hours later, at 11:14 p.m., she posts on the Lott announcement. Her whole post is this:

So why did Trent Lott announce HE was stepping down so suddenly? The Internet gossip is fast and furious. I hope it's not true. I'm choosing not to link to it unless verified.

To summarize today's lesson in McBridean journalism: Wild speculation is only OK if the subject is not one of your heroes.

Three Great Quotes

As has been noted many times, somtimes the best things come out of the comment threads of the posts, rather than the posts themselves.

Seth at In Effect has his own take on the COEXIST issue. But the great line comes from our own krshorewood in the comments section:
With all of the problems we have in Milwaukee due to our divisiveness, what is it serving the community for Sykes, et al to act like there is something wrong with seeking ways of coexisting?

You would think that with all of the concerns in the Journal editorial pages about the damage being done to Milwaukee from our inability to get along, the broadcast division feels that somehow they are serving a market niche by dishing out Sykes.

Catering to the ignorant, the racist and the sullen throughout SE Wisconsin with their own little victimhood issues is not providing a community service.

I thought that's what taverns are for.

And over at the sight of some young upstarts from Marquette comes a quaint little post telling everyone they had better convert. But here our good friend Zach has some words and Words of wisdom:

Hmmm….in thinking of the controversy surrounding the coexist bumper sticker, as well as young Daniel’s own ham-handed attempt at his own interpretation of the bumper sticker, I’m reminded of one of my favorite passages from the Bible:

“Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke [reason with] thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him.

Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the Lord.”– Leviticus 19: 17-18 (KJV)

In this passage originates a powerful idea: that you should treat your fellow as you yourself would be treated. This is perhaps the oldest definition of empathy, and it’s something folks like young Daniel and all the right-wing talking heads here in SE Wisconsin would be wide to keep in their minds and hearts.

And at our own McBride's site, in her own clever-only-to-herself post about actually seeing a real live COEXIST bumper sticker, we have this, again from Mr. Zach:
Dennis, by your logic, since you seem to revel in the strictest possible
interpretation of holy books, I can't help but wonder if you adhere to the

"Moses assembled all the congregation of the Israelites and said to them: These are the things that the LORD has commanded you to do: Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day you shall have a holy sabbath of solemn rest to the LORD; whoever does any work on it shall be put to death."

-Exodus, Book of (Old Testament)Chapter 35, Verses 1-2 (RSV)

"If a man commits adultery with the wife of his neighbor, both the adulterer and the adulteress shall be put to death."

-Leviticus, Book of (Old Testament)Chapter 20, Verse 10 (RSV)


That's the answer to the question "How much longer?"as in "How much longer in Iraq."

The White House on Monday announced the U.S.-Iraq Declaration of Principles for Friendship and Cooperation, a vaguely Soviet-sounding arrangement that means we're going to be in Iraq for a long, long time.

Here's what it has to say about security:

To support the Iraqi government in training, equipping, and arming the Iraqi Security Forces so they can provide security and stability to all Iraqis; support the Iraqi government in contributing to the international fight against terrorism by confronting terrorists such as Al-Qaeda, its affiliates, other terrorist groups, as well as all other outlaw groups, such as criminal remnants of the former regime; and to provide security assurances to the Iraqi Government to deter any external aggression and to ensure the integrity of Iraq's territory.

Doesn't sound like the Iraqis are going to be self-reliant anytime soon, now, does it? Indeed, it sounds like President Maliki -- unpopular with both Shi'ites and Sunni -- is going to have the biggest, baddest gang on the block.

Talking Point Memo's Spencer Ackerman provides analysis.

The Brawler, more than once prophetic, yesterday asked Patrick McIlheran over how long he thought we should remain in Iraq. McIlheran, happy to call opponents of the war cut and runners, has never answered that question. He's never felt the need to even remotely qualify the scope of sacrifice he'd tolerate in the name of remaining in Iraq. The closest he came to saying anything was no one expected us to be there for as long as we were in West Germany facing down the Soviets. Given today's news it's not inconceivable we'll be there for 44 years. It's quite likely the duration of our occupation could be measured in decades -- and if it isn't it won't be for lack of bloodshed. Arrangements like this always end in tears.

Today's news was totally foreseeable but its pronouncement still depresses. Still, the Brawler looks forward to columns from McIlheran et al explaining why the open-ended occupation of Iraq is a great idea. Or columns explaining that when they said we're bringing liberty to Iraq what they meant to say is that we're bringing Iraq the liberty of a divided, garrison state.

Perhaps some of them will also be able to explain how our invasion of Iraq, which was based on lies and distortions, and our ongoing occupation demonstrates the moral superiority of Christianity to Islam.

Merry COEXISTmas

The ever astute Brew City Brawler has noticed a certain pattern among the conservative bloggers such as Sykes, McIlheran and their sycophants regarding the COEXIST issue. Namely, he has noticed that there is a certain amount of disdain and contempt for the philosophy of peace and those that would promote it, including words like smug (the most repeated), snarky and condescending, to name just a few.

But now that the Yuletide season is upon us, it occurred to me that I had heard a message of peace before. Ah yes, it was in the Bible. Let us go with Luke 2:13-14, shall we:

13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

I wonder what they also would think of Isaiah 9:6:

6For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Now, do you suppose Charlie, Jessica and Patrick, those great defenders of Christianity, would consider an angel to be snarky, or that God is a smug, little twerp? No wonder they're always so angry, they can't even figure out what they believe in.

How Much Longer?

Patrick McIlheran and the rest of the local conservative punditry have been trying to tell us that we have been winning in Iraq for the past five years, even though they originally told us that it would be just a quick little jaunt.

Our own Brawler has a question for McIlheran about his claims. Namely:

As a supporter of the invasion (despite the admonitions of his pope) and the subsequent occupation, you owe an obligation to your readers to say, specifically. how long you think the U.S. should maintain a significant military presence in Iraq. I mean, if you're going to say people who want out just want to "Cut and run," you clearly need to define how long you think we should be there.

Or, at a minimum, is 20 years too long? Is 30 years too long?

Plaisted Writes

Plaisted Writes about l'Affaire de Sykes. Here is an excerpt:

Sykes’ response to the Council was remarkable for its smug sense of pretended outrage and disrespect for the Interfaith Council’s usually uncontroversial membership of reverends, rabbis and priests. Playing the "I come from a Jewish family" card, Sykes waxes indignant about the letter’s accurate description of the parody and the Council’s more-than-legitimate complaint that putting a swastika in the place of a Star of David as particularly offensive. He repeatedly calls the Council members "ignorant", accuses them of "bullying" and even summons up a self-righteous "shame on you". As such recklessly offensive wing-nuts always do when they get caught, Sykes wants to pose for holy pictures on the subject of anti-Semitism. "I have consistently spoken out against anti-Semitism and have been a strong supporter of Israel," and blah blah blah. Well, when it’s convenient for him anyway. He also slings more than a little straw-man mud, calling the Council to task because they supposedly failed to protest "this particular tactic when it has been used by the left," without mentioning that such a thing has never happened.

But Sykes’ primary point in his written response and during the long woe-is-me blabbering on his radio show on Wednesday appears to be that his posting of offensive nonsense on his vanity blog is a "flagrant act of free speech" and he gets to do it and you can’t stop him and na-na-na-boo-boo. "It is free speech that provokes more free speech," he says from his imaginary moral mountaintop. Except when someone disagrees with him, of course. Sykes and his ilk are more than willing to use whatever bully tactics they can to shut down speech at a festival in San Francisco that dares to be held near a Catholic church or to demand that professors who get out of line be fired.

Aw, poor Charlie – for all of his sanctimonious posturing about what anyone else might say, he is so put out by anyone who would dare hold him (or his employer) responsible for his own stupid statements. He declares the Council’s request as an attempt at censorship, conveniently forgetting that only governments censor. There is nothing wrong with concerned citizens who are understandably offended by the in-your-face dancing wing-nuts to ask their employers to get a grip and to avoid unnecessary offense.

You can read the rest here.

Tell Us Something We Didn't Know

Remember when Mark Bellowing used his ethnic slur against Mexicans. It took a lot of pressure to just get the radio station to acknowledge it was inappropriate and suspend Bellowing for a week. And there is the obvious current issues regarding the COEXIST bumper sticker, which turns out to be based on artwork in a museum in Jerusalem.

This type of vitriol appears to be an unfortunate trend going on across the country. In this morning's MSJ, there is a story regarding illegal immigrants and the way the pundits are treating this issue. Here are a few excerpts from the article:

The Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Center has produced reports on anti-Latino rhetoric, and the Anti-Defamation League, founded to expose anti-Semitism, issued a report in October called, "Immigrants Targeted: Extremist Rhetoric Moves Into the Mainstream."

Rational debate over immigration has been drowned out by the noise of unfounded accusations that illegal immigrants are the driving force behind problems such as identity theft and rising health insurance costs.

and a little closer to home:

Mark Potok, a lead researcher at the Southern Poverty Law Center, said, "One of the most obnoxious elements out there are mainstream media talk show hosts perfectly willing to popularize ideas that have no basis in reality."

One could hope that are local right-wing media pundits would read this and reflect how their behaviors fit this report, and forgo their childish rants. But the sad reality, unfortunately, is they'll just turn around and attack the report and the people that produced it.

UPDATE: Milwaukee Rising offers their own take on this issue as well.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Here's A Reminder

Now that we have stuffed ourselves with turkey, and survived another holiday weekend, it's back to work and school. But in between trying to catch up on the stuff that piled up over the long weekend, please make sure to take time and let TMJ know your feelings about l'affaire de Sykes, and that religious bigotry is not controversial, but an inappropriate action from a media outlet.

Here is the contact information:

Jon Schweitzer
Vice President/General Manager
Phone: 414-967-5521

Just remember to be polite, otherwise Mr. Schweitzer might think your applying for a job as a talk show host.

Dishonest like the Founding Fathers

As mentioned previously, it's difficult to capture all that's wrong with Jessica McBride's potentially classic post "Coexisting and phony soldiering."

But just to throw out one more example ... take her lede. Please!

Some liberals don't want to coexist with conservative ideas. Sum up the latest faux liberal outrage, and you reach this inescapable conclusion: They don't feel they can win on the battlefield of ideas. So, they seek to destroy their opponents with dishonest guerrilla warfare.

I'm not going to address the first two points, made as they are by someone who, if memory serves, has never advanced any particular new analysis or idea in her blog. Or who couldn't figure out the joke that every Giuliani sentence had three parts: Noun, verb and 9/11.

But the last sentence struck the Brawler, as Jessica seems to say there's something inherently dishonest with guerrilla warfare. Or is there honest and dishonest guerrilla war? Not sure how you would parse that.

Anyway, the Brawler seems to recall reading that the outnumbered and outgunned Founding Fathers engaged in guerrilla warfare against the British. He also seems to recall reading that the Brits complained that the patriots fought like Indians or something along those lines.

Apparently she agrees with the redcoat analysis.

Jessica: Apart from my boss, everyone thought I did a great job!

Capper and Kay, the Brawler's comrades in hate blogging, have given Jessica McBride's perspective on the Coexist conflagaration more than its due. But the Brawler just couldn't resist pointing out one gem.

Jessica, once again, defends the broadcast in which she used the shooting death of Jasmine Owens in part of a comedy bit (broadly defined) to attack Eugene Kane. She just can't pass up the opportunity to play the martyr. Here's what she says.

They phony soldier'd me, trying to make it sound like I'd made fun of a little girl's death when I was actually saying her death was a crisis and was making fun only of Eugene Kane for refusing to debate anything on my show. To date, not a single person who's not working at Journal Communications or writing a liberal blog has ever registered offense over it.

Which only underscores the fact that folks in Merton are really polite. And that no one, really no one, was listening to her awful radio show ... which justified John "Bashing Muslims is just all right with me" Schweitzer in his move to fire her.

Word to Jessica's students: It pays not to piss off your boss! Because even if your parents think you're doing a great job, it doesn't matter!

It's Funny How These Things Happen

About a month ago, Illusory Tenant did a verbal faux pas. The indignant, self-righteous McBride, joined by a host of other right-wing bloggers and Sykes, himself, lambasted him for this slip of the keyboard (ironically, they're the ones now complaining about the "politically correct police). Whallah! caught some of the backlash, and this prompted the current expansion of Whallah! to not just cover McBride, but all of the local conservative media.

Then, like manna from heaven, Sykes hands us l'Affaire de Sykes. This caused a flurry of blogging, linking and more blogging. Which leads us to where we are today. Where is that you ask? And even if you didn't, I'll tell you anyway.

Whallah!, in the most recent BNN poll, is ranked as the fourth most influential blogsite for this week. Here are the ratings, with the previous week's rating in parentheses:

1 (1) Texas Hold'Em Blogger
2 (3) Dad29
3 (2) McBride's Media Matters
4 (-) Whallah!
5 (12) Badger Blogger
6 (20) The Political Environment
7 (-) Pundit Nation
8 (-)
9 (9) Real Debate Wisconsin
11 (15) Boot and Sabers
12 (-) The World According to Nick
13 (6) An Ol' Broad's Ramblings
14 (-) Stepping Right Up!
15 (10) The Right Side of Wisconsin
16 (16) Charlie Sykes
17 (-) The Still Spinnin Blog
18 (-) Marquette Warrior
19 (7) No Runny Eggs
20 (-) silent E speaks

Now, we all know that this doesn't mean anything. BNN has some goofy formula that probably has to do with how many posts, how many views, how many links, ad nauseum and then they decide on some arbitrary rating scale.

But it does mean something to some people. When the megalomaniacal McBride was number one, she had the tag listed proudly on the side of her blog. The second it dropped to #11, she dropped the tag. (When this was pointed out, she dropped the tag altogether.) I will admit to taking a certain guilty pleasure in thinking of her sputtering mad when she sees that no only has she dropped a step, but that "lefty abuse/hate blog" is right behind her "righty abuse/hate blog".

But what had me rolling on the floor was the thought of the egomaniacal Sykes twelve full spots behing Whallah!. I could see the veins popping, the eyes bulging, and his face turning twelve shades of purple.

It was good to see James Rowen and Team Mathias on the list, but until more lefty sites are up there, you know it's not for real.

I would also like to thank our readers and my co-contributors for getting us where we are, for whatever it's worth. The next round of Millers is on me.

More Fun With John

In a post that shows McBride really doesn't understand the impact of the COEXIST perversion being espoused by the right, we have our personal favorite commenter John starting out the comment thread. At first glance, one might think that John has serious mental health issues, or at the very least, some anger management problems. I personally think he is auditioning to be a radio talk show host. If you doubt me, Whallah!:


What does that mean libs??

Robert Byrd and KKK?
Ted Kennedy and Mary Jo Kopechne?
Bill Clinton and Blue dresses??Libs?

What is your point??Who are you liberals suggesting "we" co-exist with??

The war is over. We are in control. Can you libs tell us about co-existing and "Illegal wars"?


John, Jon Schweitzer from TMJ is waiting for your call.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Oh Yeah, COEXIST Is Soooo Offensive

Kay, one our newest members of Team Whallah!, left a comment regarding McBride's attempt to come to Sykes' aid in l'Affaire de Sykes. The thoughts are too good to be left buried in a comment thread, so they are being brought to the forefront:

First, you forgot to tell me to arm myself with booze before checking out her ranting, which I am holding against you.

Second, it's so overwhelming to take apart because virtually every paragraph she wrote is filthy with distortions. I'm going to skip the whole she compares Ann Coulter to Bill Maher(comedian) and later compares Ann Coulter to Maureen Dowd in a response to a question I posed to her........comedian versus a writer for the NYT? Maher is pretty clever and political, but come on.......What I did find really interesting was her mini rant on the COEXIST bumper sticker and the previous prank of switching out the Star of David with a swastika and her explanation of the satirical humor of it. You see she suggests that the "prank" was to point out that Jews cannot expect to live with Muslims---while assuming the crescent moon and star only represent radical Islam (a big fat lie). Now, here's the joke on her and those twits she was defending. I really like that bumper sticker and keep forgetting to buy one for myself. I figured this was a good time to look around and see if I could find the original designer & buy from there. Get this. It's a Polish artist, Piotr Mlodozeniac. And, guess where this piece of art is on display? The Museum on the
Seam for Dialogue, Understanding, and Coexistence in Jerusalem. Seems Israelis pretty much like the idea and design, so much so they bought it and promoted it. You can check out the museum here and the history of the design here

So, uh, exactly which Jews are they protecting from their own choice in art?

From the second link, one can find not only the history of the design, but the meaning of each symbol. And this:

What we do know is that a much simpler variation of this design was created by Piotr Mlodozeniac, a Polish graphic designer, in 2001 for a contest sponsored by The Museum on the Seam for Dialogue, Understanding, and Coexistence in Jerusalem. The Museum has incorporated Mlodozeniac's design into a traveling exhibit and also sells shirts, posters, etc. bearing the design. The Museum claims exclusive ownership of the design.
Even more telling, is that the article goes on to talk of some of the legal issues regarding patents on the design and people trying to cash in on it. the last couple of the paragraphs are equally relevant to l'Affaire de Sykes:

... we want to help distribute this design because we believe the concept of coexistence is too important a concept to be distributed only by a few. The concept belongs to all of us, and should be distributed by many. We would like to see the Museum on the Seam for Dialogue, Understanding, and Coexistence release Piotr Mlodozeniac's design into the public domain. Gerald Holtom made his nuclear disarmament symbol available freely to the public and it has become a universally recognized symbol for peace. We may not have peace, but at least we have a symbol for it.
We will never have peace if we can't at least agree to stop squabbling over simple words like COEXIST.

UPDATE: James Rowen has more on the history of the Museum on the Seam.

Perhaps that is what Sykes and his supporters are most afraid of: Peace.

Belling on Hunting, or How Stupid Can One Man Be?

Mark Belling, great white hunter, writes on November 21, 2007 (there will be no linking to this idiot)

About 650,000 armed men have been roaming around Wisconsin the last few days.
Yet there are no reports of any of them killing each other intentionally and, as of Monday, only one had died in an accident. Yet, we are lectured over and over by the liberal apologentsia that the reason there’s so much violence in urban America is because of easy access to guns. Yeah, then how come the deer hunters aren’t killing each other?

Gee, only one death by accident and he shows so much compassion in the way he refers to it, I'm sure the family appreciates that. Urban violence and deer rifles? I do believe there are not very many urban shooting involving deer rifles. Most deer hunters keep their precious guns locked up and don't live in urban areas. Why aren't deer hunters killing each other? Oh, wild guess here, but I'm going with they're looking for deer not each other.
In fact, Wisconsin’s deer hunt is everything Milwaukee’s central city isn’t. Despite the often heavy drinking, inevitable tensions between close family members, squabbles over who has a right to hunt where, pressure to get the big buck and the sheer firepower of the average deer rifle, incidents almost never occur. As of Monday evening, there was a lone single fatal accident.
Hey, Bingo! He got one right. Deer hunting is everything Milwaukee's central city is not. Deer hunting is a sport that began not as a sport but as a way of surviving, feeding one's family. It grew into a sport by grandfathers, fathers, uncles and brothers teaching young men the ethos of hunting safely and with the right intentions. It truly was a right of passage for many young men into manhood. Men who had fathers, grandfathers, uncles and brothers who taught gun safety, and provided a stable environment for these young men to mature in. Not exactly the norm in urban areas. Sad, but true.
Then he brings up heavy drinking, okay, I get that. But, then he brings up family tensions, squabbles, and the pressure to bag the big one.........WhoTF does he hunt with, Cheney? Or is this what hunting is like for conservatives? Because I have to say that I come from a hunting family. And, we've all listened to many a hunting story and none of them included family tensions--hangovers from the drinking-ah, yeah, someone getting lost, the lost deer because it got too dark to follow the blood trail (bow), and of course "you wouldn't believe how far I had to drag that thing", all ones I've heard. Hell, most of the guys take the Sheepshead and Cribbage as seriously as the hunt and I've always had the feeling that the whole sport is really a great excuse for male bonding while not using that phrase. Pressure to bag the big one? Now days the limits are so high you can just about shoot anything that has white on it's tail.
How he relates the use of shot guns and rifles for hunting as an example of there not being too many guns circulating in society is beyond me. And, if you're talking about gun violence in urban areas, you're talking about a completely different gun consumer and you can't tell me gun makers don't know exactly who's buying their guns. Not one single manufacturer of anything in the world hasn't spent a bundle on consumer research. So, what sells guns in mass quantities to the law abiding citizen besides hunting...fear. The gun makers allow the distribution of too many guns if their only target market intention is responsible users. We see city violence reported in the media and the gun sales go up. Because after the hunter and the rare target shooter what you have left is people living in fear of all those "surplus guns" and criminals. It's like low level war profiteering. Sell the weapons to both sides and wait for the sales to go up.
I wonder what his commission was from the NRA for this little rant? Oh, and again he refers to the lone accident as if only one life is so insignificant. Maybe to him.

Hitting Her Stride

Six months ago, Template, the founder of Whallah! made an observation about how conservatives, especially McBride, make personal attacks when they cannot argue a point on its merits (in this case it was James Rowen).

In August, Jay Bullock, in a discussion of McBride's arguments against the Fairness Doctrine wrote "...a perfect example of what for most people would be mind-splittingly painful cognitive dissonance".

In the same month, I noted that she isn't strong in the logic department.

Now, McBride rides to the defense of her former BFF, Charlie Sykes, and his Coexist gaffe.

WARNING: Do not read her post without having an economy size bottle of aspirin and/or a liter of hard liquor at hand.

McBride is hitting on all cylinders in this post. It has her tortured reasoning, circuitous logic, her personal attacks, her bringing up old (and I do mean old) grudges (Jim Rowen again, as well as being fired from TMJ), and her uniquely incoherent, disjointed and tangential thought processes.
She also only links to other conservatives or a Whac-a-mole game. I mean really, who could argue with someone who links to a Whac-a-mole came as support for her point?

SIDENOTE I: In Sykes post, he links to this post as an update, showing how desperate he really is for help in this matter.

The most egregious part of McBride's post is that she has obviously never read any of the liberal posts about this matter. This is evident due to the fact that she only parrots and distorts the arguments that the other conservative bloggers have tried, and have failed with. To this, she adds her own paranoiac perceptions.

In other words, she doesn't research the facts of the case, but takes the incorrect opinions of others, adds her own made up facts, stirs well and Whallah!-a classic McBridean post. And to think she teaches journalism, it makes one shudder at the thought of what the news will look like in the future. It makes George Orwell's worst nightmare look like a walk in the park.

If this is what Sykes has going for him as defense, he's in big trouble.

SIDENOTE II: In the comments section the valiant Other Side makes a heroic effort at the Herculean task of introducing reality to the post. Unfortunately, McBride's powerful delusions kept that from happening.

SIDENOTE III: In her next post, she states that she saw one of the original COEXIST bumper stickers on a car at UWM. She makes a snide comment about it. The only thing that McBride doesn't know or doesn't care about is that these bumper stickers have been out for quite a while, and many people, from all over Milwaukee County and southeast Wisconsin have them on their cars. She is not onto something new.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Charlie Digs Deep And Comes Up Empty

One would think that during the holiday yesterday, Sykes may have done some soul-searching to gain insight about the controversy surrounding a post that is amazingly ignorant, even for him. That would have been a foolish hope. Apparently, Sykes spent the day navel-gazing instead.

So this morning he puts up a post to defend his post defending his original post. His defense is worse than lame. He uses the same tactics as his fellow conservative bloggers, which had already been described here.

First he links to others who think that this is actually insightful. They must think insightful and offensive are the same thing. He pulls out the lame "They're really out to get me because I'm a conservative" links, as well as the "They're the anti-Semitic ones, not me!" links. Our own sage, Brawler, single-handedly, and with the aid of Seth Zlotacha's groundwork, lays to rest these foolish claims. You can find his posts here and here. As a Thanksgiving bonus, he also writes about the kind of people that actually support Sykes, and to whom Sykes is proud to link.

This pretty much wipes out 90% of his defense. Jim Rowen, who wrote this masterpiece, gets smeared by Sykes. Rowen showing more grace than most of Sykes supporters combines, gives his response to Sykes' mud-flinging. Being as generous as the Brawler, Mr. Rowen also gives us some insight into the Interfaith Alliance, further dispelling Sykes' fabrications.

At the end of Sykes' festival of falsehoods, he writes:

It all makes you wonder: is the left capable of making an argument that does not involve (1) calling conservatives Nazis, (2) playing the victim card, or (3) using the word "hypocrisy"?

To respond: (1) No one ever called Sykes a Nazi, at least not regarding this issue (not to mention that the right uses that term so much as in feminazis, econazis, etc., (2) no one has played the victim card but Sykes, and he did it by conflating a polite request into "a demand" and "censorship" of his free speech, which is ironic since Pundit Nation wants Sykes to leave the posts up to show the world what kind of person he really is and (3) well, he doesn't like us calling his behavior for what it is, perhaps he would prefer the terms bigotry, crocodile tears, deceit, deception, dishonesty, duplicity, falsity, fraud, hooey, peitism, phoniness, mockery, insincerity, sanctimoniousness, sham, speciousness, two-facedness and/or unctuousness.

And, Charlie, it is usually a bad sign for your argument, when you are reduced to name-calling and lying.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

McIlheran Really Loves Walmart...

...or he is receiving a commission from them.

Those are the only explanations for the desperate attempts he is making in trying to convince the people of Cudahy they should allow a WalMart Supercenter to move in.

His latest arguments involve the fact that there are WalMart Supercenters in some rich communities. Yeah, so? There are WalMarts in poor communities too.

Maybe he thinks that what people want is less important than him getting a crappy cake:

Walmart Employee: "Hello 'dis Walmarts, how can I help you?"

Customer: " I would like to order a cake for a going away party this week."

Walmart Employee: "What you want on the cake?"

Customer: "Best Wishes Suzanne" and underneath that "We will miss you".

h/t Real Debate Wisconsin

More Of What Others Are Saying About L'Affaire De Sykes

Michael Mathias at Pundit Nation has another graphic question about coexisting. Makes one wonder if Sykes hates Laura Bush too.

PaulNoonan has an electrifying take on Sykes' attitude. (h/t folkbum's)

And speaking of folkbum's, Jay puts Sykes as the grand finale of the annual Thanksgiving Day Parade of Hyprocisy.

Happy Thanksgiving

Wishing all our readers a safe and happy holiday.

And a gentle reminder to give a prayer of thanks to whichever deity or deities (is any) you choose to worship.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

TMJ Is OK With Hate-mongering

Tim Cuprisin must have heard the Brawler's call to duty, and started to post some pieces on the Sykes Folly on his website. In his first posting, he does an objective overview of the situation. Be sure to read the comments. They are very telling.

In his second posting, he reports on an interview he had with Jon Schweitzer, the general manager of TMJ and Charlie's boss. (Salutations to Mr. Cuprisin for this bit of actual journalism, something increasingly rare at MSJ.) Mr. Cuprisin writes, quoting Mr. Schweitzer:

"We support Charlie, just as we do anytime that he writes about or discusses sensitive topics that are likely to incite pretty heavy feelings. This is one of those sensitive areas. It deserves to be discussed, and needs to be discussed."

"What do I think about it? I guess everybody has the right to disagree and be offended if that’s really what the issue is. We also have the right as a radio station to discuss sensitive issues and topics, and this is one of those.”

Before I say anything that would give the right a tool to distract the attention away from the message, I will simply go back to James Rowen, who writes:

Sykes and WTMJ and Journal Communications want that fight?

Charlie says he's drawing the line in the sand. Is management really willing to stand there with him? Over a stupid bumper sticker and the loyalty of a few righty bloggers, and a fake fight over political correctness, which is as subjective as you can get?

Secondly, in case it gets forgotten, Charlie was among those leading the recent charge against Miller Brewing for its use of Last Supper imagery in ad for a Gay Rights celebration that people like Charlie found offensive.

You know what? I thought it was offensive, too. I was surprised at Miller's foolishness. It was not carefully thought out. People in those positions need to think beyond the dollar sign.

To this I could only add one morsel. About a month ago, Charlie went on the air, calling Illusory Tenant, Other Side and myself cowards for choosing to be anonymous (even though Other Side isn't). How brave is Charlie for hiding behind the skirts of Mama TMJ, with their deep pockets and platoons of attorneys, yelling insults at other people, like a spoiled child?

If you wish to tell Mr. Schweitzer how much you 'appreciate' the chance "discuss this sensitive topic", (and please do be polite) his contact information is:

Jon Schweitzer
Vice President/General Manager
Phone: 414-967-5521

An Update On L'Affaire De Sykes: What Others Are Saying

For an overview of the basics of the latest Sykes folly, Monsieur Brawler delivers another masterful piece chock full of insight, as opposed to the Chuck full of incite.

There have been quite a number of people posting about this bit of hate mongering. McIlheran and many of the right wing bloggers have, as one would expect, ignoring the facts and using three basic approaches:
  1. Sykes is great, so he can't be wrong.
  2. The Interfaith Alliance once knew a guy who's girlfriend's uncle's third wife's fourth cousin (on the mother side) had a neighbor who delivered a newspaper to a bad man. This means the IA are bad people, even though members come from every denomination.
  3. Here is a link to another right wing blogger who links to yet another right wing blogger who links to another right wing blogger who agrees with Charlie, case closed. So there.

Meanwhile, on the reality-based side of the blogosphere, we have a few posts worth noting.

First, there is the elegant Anne Quimby Mathias, who points out that TMJ should leave Charlie's post up, so that the world can see what they really stand for:

And, under no circumstances, should Sykes remove the "Drawing the Line" post he offers as his rationale for treating a legitimate request for civility as an “obscene” attempt to erode American liberty.

Otherwise, how would we know how willing he is to misrepresent the principles of the First Amendment to suit his own ends? Or that he’s counting on his audience to believe that a request to reconsider the content of his post is an infringement on his right to free expression under the Constitution.

We also have a wry twist to the issue from the bloodied but not beaten Illusory Tenant (yes, that Illusory Tenant, and if you don't like, well, that's too damn bad for you):

It's funny, because I know a lot of, for example, non-Christians who conduct themselves in a manner more in accordance with the admonitions of the founder of
said religion than most of the ones who parade their alleged Christianity like a Macy's balloon.

Mssr. Brawler asks a simple question, with a graphic answer.

But the coup de grace is eloquently delivered by James Rowen:

My point is that even Charlie gets offended, and uses his power to rally the like-minded to put pressure on an organization - - in this case, Miller Brewing, successfully - - to make a change with regard to its use of imagery that means important things to a religious community.

That is exactly what Interfaith is doing, and WTMJ should do what Charlie helped Miller do. Apologize, and be more mindful and consistent in the future when using or debating religion, its symbolism or imagery.

Where Did Likability Get Us?

McBride has a rambling discussion about a poll that rated the presidential candidates of both parties. Taking a long, indirect course, she finally comes to the conclusion that Giuliani is both likable and toughness (I have no clue where toughness came into the discussion) is a "rare - and probably would be a winning - combination."

The last time I heard of a person being elected for being likable and tough, we ended up with this guy:

Spelling is McBride's Achilles' heel

A friend of Whallah! sent us an email regarding this post on McBride's site.

Her title is "The Clinton Camp's achille's heel." Compare that to the title of this post. Would someone please tell her that when she writes a post, she'll notice, in the toolbar, a little checkmark with the letters ABC above it. That's a spellcheck.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Those Darn Lawyers

If one would actually heed what McBride says, they're heads would pop from all of the hypocrisy and self-contradictions. A prime example is her position regarding lawyers and trial lawyers.

For the longest time, McBride warns of the dangers of trial lawyers, that they support such terrible people like Governor Jim Doyle . There is also more current showings of affections to lawyers like Mike Plaisted and Illusory Tenant.

Something must have changed in the last 36 hours as that she now loves lawyers. Or maybe only if they're "super lawyers." I know Mark Chmura thinks Paul is a super lawyer.

He Was For It Before He Was Against It

McIlheran must be the Irish word for flip-flop...

McIlheran, September 30, 2006, on why it would be OK to ban gay marriage in Wisconsin:

And if we're still worried that companies will have to cut off benefits for unmarried partners, we can ask whether that's happened in any of the 19 states that already have such amendments.

It hasn't. Business groups, benefits experts, human resources consultants, even anti-amendment group Fair Wisconsin will tell you that no company has had to cut off benefits because of an amendment. And no one's tried to make a company do so.

Some government employers have run into lawsuits over benefits for same-sex couples. The straightforward answer, say lawyers who filed those suits, is for cities and schools not to premise taxpayer-funded benefits on a particular kind of unmarried relationship. Simply offer an employee-plus-one option open to lovers or disabled adult brothers equally, as some employers already do, and local governments won't be recognizing some unmarried relationships as particularly special.
McIlheran, November 20, 2007, on why we shouldn't allow same sex benefits at MPS:

Milwaukee School Board member Jennifer Morales wants the schools, for benefits purposes, to treat people who are shacking up as if they were married -- "domestic partner" benefits, it's called.

It's supposed to be the epitome of progress. Morales says it's a matter of fairness:
"Fairness for employees is fairness for employees," she told the Journal Sentinel. "It's not about me, it's not about Tina."

Tina would be the woman to whom Morales says she's married. If the schools approve this deal, Morales and Tina Owen, who works at an MPS charter school, would be considered spouses for benefits purposes.
For a more detailed account of McIlheran's self-contradictory and outrageous commentary, According to Nick lays it out.

Why did Charlie Sykes yank a post defending Muslim-bashing?


Earlier this year WTMJ yanked a podcast by then-talker Jessica McBride that trivialized the shooting of a young girl in the name of making fun of Eugene Kane.

Jessica was then shown the exit door.

Could history be repeating itself?

Charlie Sykes today put up a post defending the parody of the "Coexist" bumpersticker that most reasonable people would agree bashes Muslims and Islam. That was in response to a letter from those Commies at the Interfaith Alliance asking that the bumpersticker parody be taken down.

The Brawler would quote from the letter and Charlie's retort, but, sadly he can't.

That post is now gone. Straight up 404'd.

What happened? Will he, Jags and Mueller joke about it in the morning? Or maybe he could pay a visit to the IQ drain that is the Green Room and crack jokes about waterboarding. Or he could just say everybody makes mistakes.

Charlie originally slapped the parody bumpersticker on his site, declaring it "pure genius" here. Pundit Nation took strenuous exception to that charactertization. The itinerant Capper took it on as well.

Does WTMJ have rules even for the godfather? Is it going to talk about why a post has been yanked from its Web site? Cup, are you in the office this week?

UPDATE: As noted above, the "Drawing a Line" post (or something so similar to it the Brawler can't divine the difference) is back up.

It's a Sykesian masterpiece of taking a principled stand on free speech while at the same time denying accountability for controversial implications of said speech. Which is classic Sykes -- and is the antithesis of Journalism 101. As perhaps even Jessica McBride knows, if you quote someone libeling another person in a story you're accountable for the libel.

And so Charlie is accountable for the libel that Islam is the equivalent of Nazism and Communism. (And let's not play games with "Oh, the parody is just trying to be provocative." Please. The context around the creation of the libel is crystal clear: to demonize Islam based on the actions of a small group of violent extremists. And, as parody, the bumper sticker simply doesn't work otherwise.)

Read with awe the slippery prose and reasoning of Sykes:

McMahon’s bumper sticker is a parody that was intended to be provocative. Because it is provocative it was intended to spark reaction and debate and perhaps even offend some people. That does not mean that it should be censored as you suggest. It is free speech that provokes more free speech (which it did – the parody has been linked in both local and national blogs.)

At the risk of speaking for Mr. McMahon, I believe his point was that despite the smug assurance of the original “Coexist” bumper sticker, there are some things – evils -- that we cannot simply “coexist with.” These would include Communism and Nazism. You cannot coexist with Nazism, you must resist it and fight it.

Mr. McMahon believes, and I agree, that we are now engaged in a struggle with Islamic fascism. We cannot coexist with terrorists who blow up buses filled with children, cut off the heads of hostages, and slaughter innocent civilians. We need to
resist and fight them. (Brawler: Uh, Chuck, what exactly are you doing to fight and resist them?)

By substituting the hammer and sickle and swastika in the original image, McMahon “raises the bar” for those who smugly seem to suggest that we have no differences, that we should just get along and sing kumbaya. You can’t sing kumbaya with Adolf Hitler or Joseph Stalin.

In your note, you take particular issue with Mr. McMahon’s argument that it would be easier to coexist with Muslims if some Muslims would “stop hijacking planes and blowing up buildings.” Whether he unfairly conflates all of Islam with terrorism is an issue you might wish to pursue with Mr. McMahon, but I am not going to remove his comments simply because you do not like them.

(God, I love it when Charlie Sykes talks tough and shifts blame! And real quick, Chuck: The crescent and star is not a symbol of "Islamic fascism" it's a symbol of Islam. A not insubstantial portion of your readership -- if not you -- look upon them as one and the same. The parody doesn't make sense without that conflation. You'd be offended, rightly, if someone conflated Christianity with the genocidal actions of the Serbia a decade back or blamed the behavior of the IRA on Catholicism. The Brawler also seems to recall you and others were upset when a local company was tied up with some "provocative" imagery that offended Catholics. If you want to "fight" "Islamic fascism," Chuck, the Brawler would suggest you would speak out against behavior that stigmatizes Islam as a whole or suggests every Muslim is a potential terrorist. That kind of shows the superiority of our way of life, you might say, and that the bin Ladens of the world are wrong when they say we're engaged in a struggle of West against Islam. And we do have, what, 10 million Muslims living in the States? Isn't showing respect for their religion the American way?

And plus, last I checked, the fuzzy headed hippies who created the bumper sticker probably left the swastika off for a reason --you can't coexist with Hitler. (Actually we did coexist with the hammer and sickle for 70-plus years, but that's a different story.) They weren't saying we could sing kumbaya with Hitler in the first place.)

McBride City

With apologies to Scott Stantis

(click to enlarge...I know it's poor quality, I'm still learning)

Will She Comment On This?

McBride considers herself the watchdog of the media, especially the local paper. She often criticizes them for what she feels to biased headlines and/or reporting.

We are waiting to see if she follows through with this regarding a story in this morning's edition of the MSJ. The headline of the article is Ziegler allegations a 'blip'. It goes on to say how Appeals Judge Ralph Adam Fine questions the need for punishment for Ziegler's unethical behavior while serving as a circuit court judge in Washington County.

However, later in the article, there is this:

But another member of the panel, Appeals Judge Charles P. Dykman, said he could not understand why Ziegler would not have stepped aside in the bank cases.

"If you're aware that your spouse has a certain occupation or involvement, how can it be that you still don't do a recusal?" he asked. "It's just sort of hard for me to figure that one out."

The judicial ethics code says a judge must withdraw from a case if his or her spouse is a director for a party to the case. The judge could stay on the case only if all sides
agreed to it.

An unbiased headline might read something like "Judges disagree on seriousness of Ziegler allegations". Or if one were to McBridize it, "Ziegler not fit to be a judge".

Whallah! will monitor to see if McBride catches the obvious media bias in this story. For another take on the Ziegler story, see our friends at Pundit Nation.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Denial Isn't Just A River In Egypt

McBride, for all her quirks and foibles, can do one thing better than anyone else. She knows how to hold on to a grudge.

In this post, she again brings up l'affaire d'Illusory Tenant. This is spurred by a post by Kathy Carpenter who reports that IT called her a name on her site. Of course, both events happened last month. Also, IT had offered an apology, which McBride accepted. But she refuses to let it go. As with her selective outrage, this, too, is old news.

But, Whallah! would like to point out the comments thread on this post. Our friend, Other Side, points out to McBride that the vitriol and venomous attacks are not a trademark of just some liberal bloggers, but also many on the right side of the cheddarshpere. He also points out that the liberal bloggers in question have apologized for their poor choice of words and personal attacks, which is more than can be said for her cohorts. To this, McBride replies:

I've never called anyone anything even remotely analygous (sic) to the C word or B word.

If they had a conscience, they wouldn't say it in the first place.

No, she has never said anything to apologize for...certainly not this, nor this, nor this, not this one either, nor this. And this was just in the past six weeks, almost the same length of time she has been holding onto her grudge against IT. And this list does not nearly cover a fraction of her transgressions. There is still the names that she has call xoff, Whallah!, and a cast of thousands of others.

(By the way, Jessica, the word you mispelled is analogous.)

Addendum: Isn't it ironic that McBride and company, who are constantly criticizing Senator Clinton for "playing the sexist card", continuously play it themselves. As stated before, Whallah! doesn't care about the gender (or race or religion). We only concern ourselves for what is written. If this bothers some people, like Charlie likes to say, "Get over it."

Crazy Like A Fox

According to McIlheran, the citizens of Utah recently voted on a referendum on a statewide school choice plan. The plan went down in flames. McIlheran states that the people in Utah were wrong to do so, and cites a pro-choice school businessmen that goes on to call the voters insane.

They were not wrong nor insane. They probably had read the study by the conservative Wisconsin Policy Research Institute, another school choice proponent. The study was an effort to prove that the free market system would be the best thing for education. The results were quite a bit less than what they hoped for.

From the November 2007 issue of Milwaukee Magazine, in an article by Bruce Murphy (the article is not on their website yet, but when they do post it, one can find it here):

But Wisconsin's "Free Market Think Tank" as the group labels itself, now thinks the market doesn't work so well in education. Its October report "did not yield the results we had hoped to find," WPRI senior fellow George Lightbourn wrote.

It wasn't true that parents chose schools with the best academic performance. That being the case, the impact of choice will be minimized," Lightbourn admitted to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Nor was it true that competition from voucher schools was pushing Milwaukee Public Schools to improve. "We may have oversold that point," (Howard) Fuller confessed.

Justifying the Unjustifiable

McIlheran is still trying to rationalize the war in Iraq. He cites the latest terrorist bombing that killed three children and three soldiers as proof that the invasion of Iraq is part of the war on terror.

This was a terrible act. That much goes without saying. I don't know of anyone that would disagree, except Reverend Phelps. What he fails to mention is that neither the soldiers nor the terrorists would have been there if Bush hadn't started this unjust war in the first place. All that he does manage to do is demonstrate another avoidable tragedy that didn't have to happen.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

What Church Does He Go To?

Even the most casual reading of Harris's blogsite, or a passing moment listening to his radio show (whenever they decide to air it) would reveal that Harris considers himself to be a man of faith. He often states how he feels that many of the troubles in today's world would be cleared up, if only God was allowed into the hearts and lives of people.

Whallah! strongly believes in the right of the person to worship whichever deity they choose, in whichever manner works for them. That said, Whallah! also wonders which church Harris goes to. I have not heard many people of faith say the things he does, and then goes on to mock the governor of Georgia when he prays for rain. Nor do I know of any religions that would condone calling a young lady a "ho" and posting pictures of the young lady in rather sexy pictures.

And then they wonder why people mock their religions.

Wild Speculation

McBride has already demonstrated the danger in making wild speculations about other people. Apparently, the ensuing selective outrage over a side comment befogged the vision of the James T. Harris, or he just didn't care.

Harris does his own bit of wild speculation by posting about an unsubstantiated rumor regarding Hillary Clinton. He immediately follows it up with another post showing an even wilder speculation that Senator Clinton is having a lesbian affair.

Why did he do this? Was he channeling his inner Karl Rove? Does he find such idle gossip titillating? Or is he just trying to fit in with his peers of the right-wing media?

Only he could explain why he was being so irresponsible. I'm not sure I want to know the answer either. But I wonder how he would feel if someone were to be reckless enough to give him a dose of his own medicine. Like, if someone were to link to this post, with this quote:

I was frustrated and impatient, but at least I was in Victoria’s Secret, right? Wrong. Here’s the rub: there was nothing in the store that appealed to me. Nothing. I’m not kidding. I couldn’t concentrate. I’m not comfortable looking at sexualized stuff with a bunch of little pre-teen girls looking at the same stuff!

and then speculating why he was in there in the first place. I'll stop there, because I'm not that reckless.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Some Quick Thoughts

Just some quick thoughts, prompted by the local right-wing media:

  • McBride asks "When did conservatives become pro-pollution?" The answer is "when they realized that it would increase their profit margins."
  • Despite her husband running for Attorney General last year, McBride apparently still doesn't understand how elections work. She also apparently hasn't learned the lesson of ethics that Wisconsin was taught by Annette "Gut-check" Ziegler.
  • According to Sykes and McBride, the only qualification one needs to be police chief is to use the word 'thug' in a sentence. Of course, neither of them live in Milwaukee, either, so that is easy for them to say.
  • McBride credits Scott Walker for keeping taxes in Milwaukee County down. She said the same thing for Mark Green, and any Republican, really. Then maybe she could explain this article from the Waupaca County Post (sorry, small paper, no website):

County approves 5.57% increase in tax levy

Waupaca County supervisors approved a $74.6 million budget Tuesday.

The total 2008 budget will be supported by a $20.43 million property tax levy, up 5.57 percent over last year.

...County Finance Director Jim Bernhagen told the supervisors that the Finance Committee had approved raising the tax levy by the full amount allowed by the recently enacted state budget. The county's levy for debt service, which is not under the cap, was increased by12.84 percent...

There are two things that the gentle reader should be aware of. One is that Waupaca County is such a stronghold of Republicans, that the Democrats from Waupaca County had to join forces with the Democrats from Waushara County to have enough people to make any sort of impact. The other is that her hero, Walker, is also proposing to enter a debt program to cover his short falls. Doesn't seem too financially prudent, now, does it?

Would Someone Please Give Her A Dictionary?

UPDATE: Jay Bullock has added his own take on McBride's new-found interest in women's issues.

Once again, McBride uses her astounding control of selective outrage (doesn't she know any other way to argue?), to complain about the way Hillary Clinton was treated. This time, she is stating that the media is using sexism in picking their questions to Senator Clinton:

This was the nails-on-chalkboard question of Thursday's Democratic presidential debate. It was also, arguably, sexist. They ask the female candidate about jewelry????!
One must wonder if she knows the meaning of the word sexism. After all, it was her that posted about how "hot" Fred Thompson's wife is (her opinion, not necessarily Whallah!'s) and what kind of impact that would have on his campaign.

Then she gets confused on the meaning of the word feminism (apparently she thinks women's rights mean they're always right):

...If they're going to plant a question, at least make it a good one. Like,

Hillary, since you claim to support women's rights, do you think Juanita Broaddrick and Kathleen Willey were telling the truth?

Friday, November 16, 2007

How Symbolic

A couple of months ago, the conservatives were foaming-at-the-mouth mad at Miller Brewing for being the corporate sponsors of the Folsom Street Festival. Led by Sykes and McBride, they were supposedly outraged about an advertisement for the event that had a group of leather-bound people doing a parody of the Last Supper. They claimed their righteous indignation came from having this group mock a painting of a Biblical story, and started a boycott of Miller products until Miller finally offered up an apology. The moral of the story appeared to be that everyone has the freedom of speech, unless it mocks their religion.

Apparently, that moral only applies to their religion. Today, Charlie Sykes posts on his website a posting that was originally posted by another right-wing blogger. The essence of the post is their umbrage at this bumper sticker:

Apparently, they feel threatened by peaceful coexistence.

Anyway, this other blogger photoshopped this bumper sticker into another form. (Due to the reprehensible nature of the photoshopped sticker, Whallah! is choosing not to post it, but if you really need to, you can find it on Charlie's site.) The gist is that two symbols of the original, the e and the Star of David are changed to the Sickle and Hammer and a swastika, respectively.

Yes, you read that right. They changed the Jewish icon, the Star of David, into a swastika, the symbol of Nazism, which hates the Jews, and tried to eradicate them in the Holocaust.
Now, Whallah! recognizes the fact that everyone has a right to free speech. Whallah! also has it on a good, reliable authority, that the original author is a respected, if not affable person, who can say dumb things at times. Then again, who doesn't say things they later regret? I would not begin to speculate if the original author meant this maliciously, but would rather prefer the opinion of my friend that feels it was just an awkward blunder to prove some point.
Likewise, even Charlie has the right to free speech, even though he doesn't feel the same to others. But it has to be noted the Journal Broadcast Group, which is affiliated with the Milwaukee Sentinel Journal, TMJ4, and 620TMJ radio, pays Charlie his salary to do this, pays for the site, and provides the technical support for him to do this. Does this mean that the Journal advocates this? Should we boycott the Journal, Channel 4 and the radio station until they apologize for this perceived bit of anti-Semitism?

I would vote no, but then again, I don't have the hypocrisy and the selective outrage thing down pat like those in the right-wing media. And besides, how else can Whallah! continue to monitor their foolish antics?
For a different perspective of the same issue, check out Pundit Nation.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

We Are Not Alone

Whallah! often ponders why McBride is allowed to teach at UWM. Just as often, Whallah! ponders what she teaches at UWM. We are not the only ones.

Michael Horne, at Milwaukee World, did a lot of work and found out some of the names of staff members of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that have chosed to take a buy out from the paper. He then shares that list of names with us.

Our McBride posts on the list, and links to Mr. Horne's site, but gives acknowledgement, in the form of a hat tip, to James Widgerson. She later tries to explain it away as that she saw it first on Widgerson's blogsite. As is her wont, she not only fails to apologize, take responsibility for her error, and fix it, but chooses to get defensive and snarky about it. The best part, though, is in the comments thread, in which Mr. Horne confronts McBride on her faux pas:

Why the hell are you hat-tipping "Wiggy" when I'm the one who wrote the damned thing? How disingenuous. I'm ready for a hat-tip "Horney(sic)."I did the research, and that should count for something. Are your standards of attribution the norm for what is taught in journalism schools nowadays? Horne

Mr. Horne, we share your concern.

Yet another great review of "50 Rules" by Charlie Sykes!

This latest great review of lying Charlie Sykes' "5o Rules Kids Won't Learn in School" comes from a disgruntled reader at (Brawler's bold):

And I thought liberals were condescending?!, October 12, 2007
By Watujel

The reason you don't get this stuff in school is because any savvy teacher knows that trying to motivate 30 restless kids with Sykes' hoary platitudes and nagging tone will inevitably have the opposite effect. Everything's in here in its cliched condescension except for maybe "back in MY DAY..." Rule number one of imparting advice to anyone of any age - gain their trust first. If you blunder in, wagging your finger as Sykes does, you'll just get a backlash. It's actually worse than keeping your trap

Sykes should try his material on a classroom of average eighth-graders and see if he can get them to do anything close to what he intends.

Sykes expresses resentment toward teachers for getting tenure and suggests that this is not part of the "real world." I envy teachers' schedules (but not their jobs) as well, but just because you resent these perks doesn't mean you can simply write them out of the "real world" unless you're in serious denial. Without tenure, how many people would choose to become teachers what with so many other options available? That's the real world.

It's ironic that he claims to want to instill respect for authority but encourages his young readers to devalue what they're learning from those who are acting in loco parentis. Teachers don't create the curriculum. Changes in curricula are driven by administrators and education colleges. Blaming teachers for teaching too much self-esteem doesn't make any more sense than blaming cops for giving illegal immigrants a pass. In both cases, the priorities are set elsewhere.

In one rule, he complains that kids are too materialistic. Then in another one, he complains about their idealism. Frankly, the Millennial Generation works hard, serves its country, and in general is the most bright-eyed and bushy-tailed I've seen in quite a while. They've really done their best to pick up the pieces in the aftermath of a generation of broken homes left by Sykes' fellow Baby Boomers. But not many of them are going to respond to something this unfocused and mediocre.

Of course, the reviewer should have said the kids of today have "really done their best to pick up the pieces in the aftermath of a generation of broken homes left by Sykes and his fellow Baby Boomers." But that's really a minor quibble.

And, of course, eighth graders or college bound kids won't respond to this book -- and frankly, the Brawler doubts Charlie is even trying. They aren't the target of this book. It's conservative adults of a certain age who want their sense of the world reaffirmed and their own egos stroked. This book tells them how great they are. It doesn't tell their kids how to deal with reality. Seriously, what does Mr. Liz Woodhouse know about reality?

Speaking of Amazon: The Brawler periodically has checked out the book's ranking. Early on it was in the mid-to-high three digits. Lately it's been bouncing between in a range from 2,500 to 5,200 (roughly, if memory serves -- there's a significat plus/minus there). Last the Brawler checked, it clocked in at 5,729. While the algorithms of Amazon ratings are incredibly complex and their meaning opaque, The Brawler senses the slide has yet to begin...

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

There's Reality, Then There's McBride's World

McBride takes after U.S. Senator Russ Feingold for--gasp--meeting with his constituents. (If Feingold was conservative, do you think she'd be first or second in line to decrying her own post as anti-Semetic?)

McBride tries to extract a blurb from an article covering the meeting and spinning it into an attempt at the old martyr routine-"They wanna shut up the conservatives! Whaaaa!"

As commenter Jay Bullock points out:

Based on what Jessica has excerpted here, the audience was complaining about bias.

Feingold, though, was complaining about media consolidation, which ought to be a concern of everyone everywhere, whatever your political stripe. When only a handful of large media conglommerates control broadcast, print, and cable, it wouldn't take much to shut off the spigot for one point of view or another.

And, absent strong net neutrality regulation, even the internet could cease to be truly independent.

You all can mock Feingold if you want, be at least be sure to talk about what he really said, as opposed to what your imaginations thought he said. And be sure you have your facts together, too.

But one other thing caught my eye. At the end of her post, McBride writes:

Russ Feingold, meet the Internet.

Whallah is sure the Senator knows all about the Internet. However, the question is, is McBride aware that not everyone else has access to it, or knows how to use it, or are the elderly and the poor beneath her attention

Who Would Know Better

Not too long ago, PaddyMac tried to defend the use of waterboarding, scrambling to find ways to defend this indefensible position. Mike Mathias of Pundit Nation easily refuted his inane rationalizations.

One source that PaddyMac won't be using to bolster his wrongheaded arguments is an actual columnist and author, Joseph Galloway. Mr. Galloway is a military columnist and former senior military correspondent for Knight Ridder Newpapers. He wrote a column titled "Memo to Media: I Witnessed 'Waterboarding'-And Yes, It is Torture". Here is an excerpt from that column:

Waterboarding was torture when it was used during the Spanish Inquisition; it was torture when it was used on Filipino rebels during the 1890s; it was torture when the Japanese Army used it on prisoners in World War II; it was torture when it was used by the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia; and it's torture when CIA officers or others use it on terrorists.

When George W. Bush was the governor of Texas, the state investigated, indicted, convicted and sentenced to prison for 10 years a county sheriff who, with his deputies, had waterboarded a criminal suspect. That sheriff got no pardon from Gov. Bush.

Waterboarding is torture in the eyes of all civilized peoples, no matter how desperately President George W. Bush tries to rewrite the English language, with which he has only a passing familiarity, anyway. No matter how desperately his entire administration tries to redefine the word "torture" to cover the fact that not only have they acquiesced in its use, but they also have ordered its use.