December 14, 2007

The Cheddarsphere loses a friend.

Triticale died last night from his fight against cancer.

I'd talked with Tom on 10 or 12 occasions. A gentle and kind man. Honestly one of the brightest and sharpest minds I had ever encountered. Sometimes I had the feeling he had to dumb down everything he said so the rest of us could understand.

I'm proud to say that I could call him friend.

I'm better off for having known him.

God's blessings on him and his family.

Holiday Greetings

For My Democrat Friends and Family:

"Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasion and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all. We also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the generally accepted calendar year 2007, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great. Not to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other country nor the only America in the Western Hemisphere, and without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual preference of the wishes. By accepting these greetings you are accepting these terms. This greeting is subject to clarification or withdrawal. It is freely transferable with no alteration to the original greeting. It implies no promise by the wisher to actually implement any of the wishes for herself or himself or others, and is void where prohibited by law and is revocable at the sole discretion of the wisher. This wish is warranted to perform as expected within the usual application of good tidings for a period of one year or until the issuance of a subsequent holiday greeting, whichever comes first, and warranty is limited to replacement of this wish or issuance of a new wish at the sole discretion of the wisher."

For My Republican Friends and Family:

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Naughty Kitten and Dog

Obama to Hillary: I look forward to you advising me

Line of the week.

Racine Post.

I recently contacted Dustin Block, formerly of the Racine Journal Times, to ask him about his new venture, I asked him where his idea came from, what he hoped to accomplish, etc. Rather than try to pick apart his reply I decided to just post it in its entirety.

Hi Fred,

Here's some info on Racine Post you asked for a few weeks back. Thanks for your interest ... I'm sure there are much more interesting things to write about!

There's really not much to say. RacinePost started as an experiment. I wanted to see if one person could create a comprehensive local news website by linking to traditional and new media, much like Matt Drudge does at the DrudgeReport. If a headline came from the JT, great. If it came from Real Debate, that's just good (and often better!). After working at the newspaper for 8 years, I realized there is very little difference in quality between many of the established blogs and commentators and reporters at newspapers like the JT. Bringing the two together, and throwing in some stories of my own, made sense.

Fortunately, for RacinePost's sake, I had some help. Pete Selkowe took an interest right away and immediately saw we had an opportunity to do more than I ever imagined. Not only could we collect news, we could provide an alternative, independent news source that countered a lot of the negative media surrounding our community. Truth is, we really care about Racine. We've lived here for many years, I met my wife and her family here, Pete is deeply involved with community organizations and really want to see it do well. More importantly, and too often missed, the community is doing well. We're trying to make room to share that story.

Truth is, anyone can report about courts and crime. The JT has that market cornered thanks to the mountains of easy-to-access information provided by police and court officials. If you look at the paper on any given day, at least half of their stories are based around crime. Those important stories, no doubt, but they're not the only stories. And crime is just one example. You point out the liberal leanings of the paper and provide an alternative. The writer behind Unplugged Caledonia saw that there was much to write about in the village, and started that excellent blog. Kay Schultz writes the democratic perspective. They're all excellent alternatives to a single media source - and, I believe, critically important to the health of our community.

My hope is more people take up blogs and start writing about Racine and Racine County. Imagine someone going to Racine City Council and County Board meetings and simply reporting what happens (something no one but the clerks do right now). Or writing a local environmental blog, or creating a really good blog on property taxes, John Lehman and Paul Ryan. We can complain about the JT (and the newspaper should be covered like any other organization), but it's a lot more fun to give it a try ourselves. Wouldn't you agree, Fred?

As for us working for the JT, there's not much to say. We both met a point where it was time to move along. I still have good friends who work for the paper and respect for many people there. Pete and I routinely check each other, though, to make sure we're not becoming an anti-JT blog. First of all, how boring would that be? Second, they're much more successful financially than we'll ever be, and they'll always have more resources at their disposal. We'll affect their news coverage; I suppose we already have. But we won't take away much of their business. Instead, we'll just keep looking for good stories, support the local independent media (like you do, Fred) as much as possible and see what develops.

It is clear Dustin has more respect for the blogging world than his former employer does.

There are two components to Racine Post. There is which is a Drudge like site with links to stories from in an around the community. As you look through that site you may notice a highlighted R or I. R's are Racine Post stories, I's are stories put forth by local independent media (blogs). The second part is the Racine Post blog.

I've been reading both of these sites since they started. It is clear that Pete and Dustin are trying to fill the gap and have a real community forum.

For the Racine reader this should be on your daily reading list, I have added links to both sites on my blog roll. For those outside of Racine I'm sure Dustin and Pete would not mind you stopping by from time to time.

For the political junkies, Dustin and Pete try and call things down the middle, though their true leanings do come through in their writing. I'll leave it up to you to figure out where they are coming from. One thing is certain, they care about the community and are trying their best to provide a positive resource, I admire that greatly.

Welcome to the blogosphere gentlemen.

If this doesn't make you cry...

Turn in your human card.

I forget...

What happens when magma hits ice?

Could it melt?

What happens when conventional theory gets blown away?


H/T Still Unreal


Did the Mitchell report do anything other than confirm to us what we already knew?

Front Runner Disease...

I've said a dozen times, remember that Howard Dean was the slam dunk nominee at this time four years ago.

So tell me are Hillary & Rudy done?

It sure seems as if all the momentum has left both of their campaigns.

December 13, 2007


Our new $10 million closer is on the just released baseball steroids list!!!!!!


Any guesses?

Oh golly gee, Michael McGee Jackson Jr's wiretaps can be used in trial...

Another nail in the legal coffin of the corrupt hero of much of Milwaukee.

Anyone want to hazard a guess on the coming editorial decrying how unfair it is that McGee will be in jail for Christmas from Eugene Kane?

The war on Christmas.

Ho-ho-no: McDermott votes against Christmas

Congressman backed Ramadan, Diwali

Maybe you could call him Congressman McGrinch.

Rep. Jim McDermott supported House resolutions this fall to recognize the Islamic holiday of Ramadan and the festival of Diwali, celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs and Jains.

But the Washington Democrat drew the line at Christmas.

McDermott voted Tuesday against a resolution to recognize the importance of Christmas and the Christian faith.

The resolution, sponsored by Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, passed 372-9. Democrats cast all the nay votes.

McDermott, revered by many of his liberal constituents in Seattle, could not be reached for comment Wednesday night. A staff member in his Seattle office said that "if you know the congressman, you'd know why" he opposed the resolution.

Neither the Ramadan nor the Diwali resolutions drew any opposition. No one spoke against the Christmas resolution -- which stated that Christianity was the predominant faith in the U.S. and contributed greatly to the development of Western civilization and America -- leading King to draw his own conclusion.

Congresscritter more than willing to recognize every religion BUT Christianity. For those who do not understand the grousing about the war on Christmas, this is it.

I'm done with Gore.

Now Al Gore is complaining the US is blocking reaching an agreement at the end of the world conference in Bali.

No where in his unpatriotic contempt of his own country is he defending the US against the attempted money grab against the US by the other conferees.

Al Gore is a self serving bore who uses scare tactics to get his message across. And I for one have had enough.

Hewitt on Huckabee

Mike Huckabee's Low Blow

By Hugh Hewitt
Thursday, December 13, 2007

When Mike Huckabee asked a New York Times' reporter, "Don't Mormons believe that Jesus and the devil are brothers," he crossed a line he cannot uncross.

Previous to this he had played a game of teasing the anti-Mormon vote, and had been called on it by Charles Krauthammer and others.

But Huckabee had maintained deniability.

No more. Huckabee's obvious attempt to salt the mine and get the reporter to carry antt-Mormon rhetoric into the paper without Huckabee's fingerprints on it backfired, and the transparent attempt to use the MSM to further the anti-Mormon message was repulsive.

Until he crossed that line, Huckabee remained a viable protest vote for conservative evangelicals who distrusted Romney's conversion on life issues. The hard core anti-Mormon fanatics are actually few in number and many of them are on the left --like Larry O'Donnell-- and Romney had successfully put the issue of his faith behind him with his speech at the Bush Library.

I could not agree more with Mr Hewitt.

Here is the rest of his piece.

December 12, 2007

Kenny Rogers and Wynonna Judd - Mary, did you know?

In the UK the nanny state's next victim...

Thick sliced bread.

There is no end.

Carbon Reparations.

So what is the answer coming out of the big global warming summit in Bali? (why do they always have these things in tropical climates?)

It has been proposed that developed countries (the US) send money to undeveloped countries to help them catch up to us. We of course owe them for developing faster than they did.

Your price tag?

$780 per person annually, or $212 billion per year. Yes for the family of 4 your yearly energy hog carbon tax would be $3120. (funny I thought the value of the dollar was so worthless that nobody wanted them any more)

Oddly, the report acknowledges the $2.3 trillion spent on foreign aid over the last 50 years has not really helped all that much. But now in the name of global warming aided through some yet unimagined distribution source (my guess is Al Gore) things will be better.

And this is all this conference boils down to folks. We are supposed to pay for the sin of our success to those not as fortunate. Well us and China, except China wants nothing to do with this.

It is amazing isn't it that every time a number of countries get together to discuss how to fix the world the answer is always the same. The US should pay.



During Drinking Right last night we got a call from Triticale's wife.

She told us he is not doing very well. His Doctors only give him a few more days.

We offer our respect, best wishes and prayers.

December 11, 2007

DRQ (Drinking Right Quotes)

What do you want on your pie? Dickie.

Alcohol may intensify effect. Nick.

There is snow in my shoe. Fred

The night is young. Suzie

Here come the nazis. Nick

That was Mrs the 8th. Fred

That does not prevent me from reading Fred. Nick.

Now I remember. Dickie.

Don't quote me though. Steve.

By the grace of God. Nick

I love his suit. Leslie

You mean he wasn't out already? Steve

Caption This.

23/6 SwiftKids: Hillary's Cookies

H/T: Dan.

Journal Times Editorial....

New Editor same old stuff from The Racine Journal Times. They have dissected the Boots & Sabers / James Buss issue with some strange conclusions.

Read carefully, reduce hysteria

Friday, December 7, 2007 11:26 PM CST

It’s difficult to distill the teacher-blogger incident in West Bend. There are so many examples of poor judgment here.

It was unwise in the first place for teacher James Buss to post an Internet blog entry lauding the acts of the students who killed 13 and wounded 23 at Columbine High School. You may recall that in his post Buss complained about teachers and cited the Columbine killers: “They knew how to deal with the overpaid teacher union thugs. One shot at a time!”

He was merely being mischievous, he told police who came to question him after someone complained about his post. The police arrested him, which was the next bit of bad judgment.

Maybe the police were playing it safe in a society sensitive to even the most indistinct threats, but the evidence wasn’t there, and the arrest led to widespread publicity which magnified the incident while committing the next misstep.

News reports focused on the inflammatory parts of Buss’ post. The evidence that everyone missed or ignored was his subsequent comment. It read, “I am NOT advcting shootng teachrs,” (sic) according to Boots & Sabers, the conservative Web site where Buss made his comments.

In other words, the comment could be viewed in the same sense as that of someone who says, “I’ll kill him if he doesn’t get here on time.” It’s not an overt threat but a colloquial expression of strong feeling.

Washington County District Attorney Todd Martens showed the one bit of good judgment in deciding not to charge Buss. Though offensive, Martens said, the comments fell under the speech protections of the First Amendment. What Buss’ verbiage amounts to, then, is another piece of the refuse we must endure if we are to maintain free speech for everyone.

Buss still faces the possibility of discipline in Oak Creek where he is a high school chemistry teacher, and if school officials impose a harsh penalty it will be another in this string of poor decisions. Buss’ stupidity does not rise to the same level as hitting or molesting students. Let him return to his school, and let him suffer the snickers and whispers. Public shame and censure can be a much more powerful corrective than any written reprimand from a central office. They are also a consequence of accountability which is why many people seek the anonymity of the Internet.

And here is the cautionary lesson for people who seriously follow unknown online scribblers: Although they are media darlings at present and can contain useful information, blogs are not automatically more serious or believable than the flyers one used to find stapled to utility poles.

The Internet is merely the newest medium through which dubious old messages can be passed more quickly to a larger audience. There is nothing wrong with people communicating freely. Indeed, that principle is the foundation of many benefits in our society. By all means read what you wish. Just keep a bag of skepticism handy to leaven the assertions which you find.

I just don't know where to start with this.

Using hindsight the Journal Times has concluded that everyone over-reacted.

In the post Columbine world can we over-react enough? Hindsight is easy, leadership is hard.

Can you imagine the public outcry had this threat been a real one and kids had died? Imagine the police had known about said threat but had done nothing? It is a sad thing to say but crackpots who say things like Buss did need to be investigated. Dismiss the wrong crackpot and kids die needlessly.

The paper missed the point that the Superintendent of Schools in West Bend is the person who put forth the complaint. She found it credible enough to be concerned about the safety of her students.

I can only imagine the furor if a commenter on any blog had threatened students directly or indirectly and the police had been made aware of that threat and made the decision to ignore it. The newspaper would (justifiably so) be all over the police for ignoring that threat.

The paper also suggest that Buss should not face any disciplinary action from his school. I strongly disagree with that.

In the wake of Columbine and the recent Virginia Tech shootings any teacher dumb enough to invoke those tragedies in an attempt to make some cheap political point is not smart enough or does not show good enough judgement to be allowed to teach our children.

The paper mentions his subsequent comment, “I am NOT advcting shootng teachrs,” but they fail to understand that Buss was still making the same cheap political attack by pretending to be something he was not. It was his sole intent to make conservatives look like what he perceived them to be. In my mind this is close to hate speech.

If he had done exactly the same thing using a racial component instead of a political component I am sure the liberal editorial board would not be so lenient. In fact I am sure they would be calling for Buss' head on a silver platter.

The Journal Times ends with an odd attack on blogs, "Although they are media darlings at present and can contain useful information, blogs are not automatically more serious or believable than the flyers one used to find stapled to utility poles."

Yes there are credible bloggers out there and there are far less than credible bloggers out there. Bloggers build their credibility over time.

In the same way there are newspaper editorial boards out there to me that carry less credibility than flyers stapled to telephone poles.

Enough said.

December 10, 2007


The new MRQ of the week poll is up.

Photo ID is not required. We approve of nasty campaign tactics.

Vote for your favorite!

Drinking Right Ho Ho Ho

And the time has come for the December edition of Drinking Right.

Tuesday evening 7pm until Dickie kicks us out at Papa's social club.

This should not be confused with the Cheddarsphere Holiday bash slated to run December the 30th at the same location at noon.

I heard a rumor that there may be a very special guest on hand. Bad weather may change that so you'll just have to show up to find out.

2007 Predictions Review.

I humbly submit for review my published predictions for 2007.

Brett Favre will return to the Packers for one more season leading the team to a wild-card berth (10-6) in the NFL playoffs then retire after setting virtually every QB record in the books.

(I blew the record part but nailed the intent. Retirement? I'm not so sure)

The Milwaukee Brewers will have a winning record (83-79) but they will not make the playoffs.

(The Brewers finished exactly 83-79 and did not make the playoffs. He shoots, he scores!)

The UW Madison men's basketball team will make the Final Four of the NCAA tournament.

(Wrong a long a ding dong)

Corruption charges will not be brought against Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle as no one will have the guts to testify against him.


Racine Mayor Gary Becker will easily win re-election.

(Gary Becker ran unopposed, this will NOT happen again)

Racine County Executive Bill McReynolds will not so easily win re-election.

(Also true)

Wis Politic's blog of the year award will go to either Wigderson's Library & Pub, or Folkbum's Rambles & Rants.

(Wis politics did not select a blog of the year)

Michael McGee will face a recall vote after a bitter legal battle, he will still be an Alderman in Milwaukee, Eugene Kane still will not get it.

(Nailed that one too, did not see the federal charges though)

Air America will go silent.

(Well technically since no one is listening...)

Racine Unified Schools will have a new Superintendent by the end of 2007.

(bu-bye Supernintendo Hicks)

A sitting Supreme Court Justice will pass away this year.

(not even an ingrown toenail)

All in all not a bad record for crystal ball gazing. The Brewers prediction alone is worthy of an A grade.

MRQ the private jets ran out of parking...

To know me is to love me. Wiggy.

Hooooolllllld on. What's this? Learned Foot.

I wanted to be He-Man when I grew up. Jib.

I don’t bloody well think so ‘booboo! Kate.

those vibrators in the bedside cabinet Bitter.

Men wearing Croc's is bad enough. Jimi.

you might get a Nobel Prize too. Nick.

Feel the snow. James.

My snowblower broke today. Fred.

my IQ dropped 10 points. Elliot

We don't have to say something nice about Fraley, do we? Aaron.

I'll try to be humorous on a regular basis Caledonia Unplugged.

hideous Christmas sweaters Ally.

I welcome our newspaper overlords Plebian.

I need my right hand free to high five all the people who come by my desk to tell me how awesome I am. Casper.

I'd like to buy me some of that new fangled Global Warming stuff... Phoenix.

Bring your own. Nick.

Best. Girlfriend. Ever. Fuzz.

I tawt I saw a city plow! RAG.

Mmmmmmmmmmm … donuts! Peter.

Pink flamingos. Mating? Aaron.

History doesn't repeat itself, stupid people repeat history. Still Unreal.

Fat, grumpy, intolerant ex-mayors ought to be shot. Althouse.

I pulled out my phone and played some solitaire. Joey

It must be true. You read it on the internet. Lance.

That usually only happens when I launder my money. Dean. (they know about shrinkage right?)

MRQ of the week

Congratulations Kathy you have won the MRQ of the week!

Coming between a woman and her chocolate during the holiday season is definitely a crime!

Ah, imparting chocolate into the contest. The best way possible to garner the vote of Mrs RDW.

$5,000 baby tax?

Yep, global warming strikes again.

Hmmm. Pardon me?

All rightie then... So pardons issued by Mike Huckabee are coming under scrutiny.

I have no problem at all with that, it is a legitimate issue. I want to know more about Huckabee's pardons.

I have to wonder though why pardons issued by Bill Clinton for allies of his wife are not coming under similar scrutiny? If our media was so objective you would think they would tell that side of the story as well.