Fighting in the Heart of Liberal Madison for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. This blog will focus on liberal hypocrisy and the small, but significant victories of the right at the University of Wisconsin - Madison.

15 December 2005

True Believers

Check out the Isthmus this week. Yours truely is featured in it! They call me a "pro-American zealot"...they pegged me on that one :). They don't have links to the story itself yet, when they do I will update this post.

Basically, they make my counterpoint, Rae, seem like a nice lady who bakes cookies and me as a right-wing nutjob with a small vocabulary. So, take the story with a grain of salt, but overall, it isn't horrible.

Update: Welcome readers!


Blogger Brad V said...

"Every once in a while, he seems knocked off balance by his own spin."

That Fran Zell and her witty observations...

Pretty good - could've been far worse.

Thu Dec 15, 07:43:00 PM CST

Blogger RT the LT said...

Yeah, it turned out well I think. She spun the article, but I am still pleased with it...overall. Plus some quotes were taken out of context. I do like being called a "True Believer" though, makes me sound like a religious hero or something :)

Thu Dec 15, 10:01:00 PM CST

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Damn, you're Niedermeyer to a tee dude! That's some funny schtick.

Thu Dec 15, 10:36:00 PM CST

Blogger RT the LT said...

Lets see, I am in ROTC and in college, how else am I like Niedermeyer? I don't hate Deltas...I am not an Omega (or in any frat for that matter) But I will give you props for the Animal House Reference. First one on this blog.

Anonymous: Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life, son.

Thu Dec 15, 10:54:00 PM CST

Blogger Bill said...


HER NAME IS "RAE" not "FAE" and I know her... She's the Green Party candidate for US Senate, against Herb Kohl. She lives in Madison, and is a member of Solidarity, a Democratic Socialist group.

Fri Dec 16, 01:40:00 AM CST

Blogger RT the LT said...

Sorry, I'll correct it. She was a very nice lady when I met her at the photo shoot. I hope she beats Herb - or at least drain support so a Repub can get close for once! Bill, what are your opinions on Kohl?

Fri Dec 16, 02:49:00 AM CST

Blogger Kenneth said...

What was quoted out of context?

Fri Dec 16, 08:41:00 AM CST

Blogger Brad V said...

The article noted me as a current member of the College Republicans E-Board, which is factually inaccurate.

Fri Dec 16, 11:17:00 AM CST

Blogger RT the LT said...

Well, for one, the quote about the anti-war folks all being socialists wanting to over throw our democracy. That was in the context of the folks that want to "over throw the Bush regime". It was more a tounge in cheek comment, but it was taken out of context and makes me sound extreme. To "over throw the Bush regime" is undemocratic...but again, it was out of context.

Fri Dec 16, 11:46:00 AM CST

Blogger Bill said...


The very definition of democracy, according to John Locke and Thomas Jefferson, is that the people have the right to overthrow their government.

And I don't like Herb Kohl. He is a corporatist and militarist, has consistantly voted for the war in Iraq. I don't know why the Republicans might feel the need to run someone against him, because it wouldn't change much. Besides, they'd be the last ones to enter the race, since Rae has been campaigning for several months now.

Fri Dec 16, 04:15:00 PM CST

Blogger Brad V said...

Robert Gerald Lorge has already announced he is running as a Republican against Kohl.

Fri Dec 16, 04:49:00 PM CST

Blogger Kellie said...

Obviously I have no problems with Rae or Lorge Running against Kohl, but if think realistically they don't really have a chance. Neither canidate has close to enough money to beat Kohl. When polls in certain places in Wisconsin showed Kohl lacking support, he bought out most of the media market in those places. I believe he spent Millions and millions (I want to say 50 Million but I'm not positive) to win his campaign. I think it would be wiser for these canidates to run for other offices in which they have a realistic chance.

Fri Dec 16, 06:51:00 PM CST

Blogger Bill said...


Don't you just love capitalism? It works by the golden rule: He with the gold, rules.

Rae's campaign is an anti-war campaign. Herb Kohl in an unapologetic war-supporter. If you vote for Kohl, you are voting for war.

Sat Dec 17, 01:23:00 AM CST

Blogger Mark Murphy said...

Your internal monologue must be very simple-
"War=Bad!, No War=Good!"

Mon Dec 19, 02:42:00 PM CST

Blogger Bill said...

Actually, Mark, this isn't true. I'm not a pacifist, nor do I think war is neccessarily bad. There is one kind of war which I not only support, but actively work for: A class war, of the people against the state.

Things aren't so simple. I'm probably not going to be voting for Rae Voegler, because I personally witnessed her authoritarian behavior at an anti-war meeting several months ago, when the "Troops Withdrawal Referendum" campaign was getting underway. A little old lady stood up and made a few statements about the facilitators treating those in the meeting like children, and Rae proceeded to stand up and thank them for their work. I thought the old lady was right, and Rae was being a tool of the established anti-war leadership.

That was about the same time I decided I am not going to vote anymore. Don't be suprised if you see me ceremonially burning a ballot outside a polling place next election.

Mon Dec 19, 06:34:00 PM CST

Blogger the Rising Jurist said...

I just read the article and its nice to know there's people like you in this town. It's just a shame the Isthmus couldn't run a spin-free story. But then you are the enemy! Keep up the good fight.

Mon Dec 19, 09:16:00 PM CST

Blogger Aubrey said...

Be like Mark Cuban, post your entire email dialogue with the reporter and show what was really asked and how you responded. It takes control out of the media's hand and puts it back in yours. Keep up the good fight.

Tue Dec 20, 10:05:00 AM CST

Anonymous jfmartino said...

What did you mean in the article about your parents' business and how it shaped your ideas on taxation? If your family is asset wealthy but cash poor - that is they have liquidity problem - they should consider selling a share of the business, setting up an LLC - if they can find investors they trust. Who do you think we should tax to pay for this war if not you and I and your parents?

Tue Dec 20, 08:33:00 PM CST

Blogger RT the LT said...

Again, that entire section was taken way out of context. First, I was just talking to the reporter in case studies: why farmers need tax breaks, why small businesses need tax breaks, etc. I never said anything about MY parents. I don't even remember mentioning my parents beyond that they were small business owners. Please understand that, as I have said before, just about ever section of that story is out of context and you should take it with a grain of salt.

Tue Dec 20, 10:49:00 PM CST

Blogger the Rising Jurist said...

By way of backing you up on the "out of context" comments:

I have been interviewed a few times about my blog, most recently by the Wisconsin State Journal. And every single time, something gets taken out of context. It's not necessarily malicious, nor does the reporter just make things up.

But what I have seen them do is take wide liberty with turning long conversations into a single quote. And it seems that quotes always get tacked on to a part of the conversation that had nothing to do with the quote.

So I feel your pain on that one. Evidently that's just how journalists are trained.

Wed Dec 21, 12:03:00 AM CST

Anonymous jfmartino said...

OK, so I ask again. Who do we tax or what programs do we cut or who do we borrows from next to come up with the kind of scratch ($500,000,000,000 and counting) to pay for this war and the next one that a preemptive-strike foreign policy is liable to get us into?

Wed Dec 21, 01:45:00 PM CST

Blogger the Rising Jurist said...

We could start by making cuts in other places. Consider the ten departments or programs that are slated to receive the most funding in 2006: Department of Labor (health insurance, retirement and unemployment), Department of Transportation (a host of oversight agencies), Health & Human Services (prevention education), Social Security Administration (obvious). We have a great deal of wasteful, pointless government agencies and programs. These were just in the top ten!

Wed Dec 21, 02:21:00 PM CST

Blogger Bill said...


The military is far and away the biggest spender of Federal Income Tax Revenues

Wed Dec 21, 05:12:00 PM CST

Blogger the Rising Jurist said...

Bill, did I suggest otherwise? The question was where cuts could be made to gain money for the war. In that hypothetical, military funding isn't an option.

Wed Dec 21, 06:53:00 PM CST

Blogger Bill said...


Why would we want to GAIN money for war?

Are you implying something? Perhaps that military spending drains money from society?

I'm sure Bob would be intrigued to here about this!!

Thu Dec 22, 02:30:00 AM CST

Anonymous jfmartino said...

trj, your answer is too generic and so not "actionable". Certainly there is some questionable spending in the programs you mention but the devil is in the details. Whose Social Security benefits do you propose cutting? What transportation projects should we shelve? (and BTW, What weapon systems can we cut from the DoD?)

I originally posted here because of what Bob was quoted as saying about tax policy in the Isthmus. Assuming that we are not going to close down the entire federal government, we have to impose some taxes on somebody.

What is the best criteria by which to choose what taxes to impose? I have always said that "tax fairness" is a BS concept precisely because all Americans have the same idea of what it is - namely, "tax the other guy, not me". (God bless them, the only exception to this near unanimous American opinion are those Hollywood liberals who responsibly raise their hands and say "I love this country so much that I'm willing to fund it - tax me more.")

I think that we should simply recognize what a huge influence that tax policy is on the economy and use taxes to encourage "good" behavior (say saving and investment) and discourage "bad" behavior (say, cigarette smoking.) Granted, if American behavior changed so dramatically that we needed to encourage consumers to spend, we could rein back savings inticements.

I'm all in favor of tax policy that encourages small, local, business development. What about you, Bob? How should we go about doing that?

Thu Dec 22, 06:07:00 AM CST

Blogger Bill said...


I'm not Bob, but I do have some ideas.

Instead of worrying about tax policy, we should be worried about organized labor vs organized capital. Support the NYC Transit strikers.

See, there is this state privilege, which most of don't realize, granted to all investors, which gives their capital invesment the status of legal personhood. The enclosure of the social commons, which results from corporate personhood, is a tax on everyone's wages.

What I'm trying to say, is that these collectivist business entities, known as corporations, have more rights under the law than you or I. And they are nothing more than a legal fiction, that aid capitalists in organizing as a class, to drive down the wages of labor. Have you ever read Adam Smith? He talked about this, in Chapter 8, Book I, The Wealth of Nations, on The Wages of Labor.

The best way to encourage small, local development, is to stop supporting major-party politicains who are in bed with big business lobbyists, and to get involved with co-operatives and co-operative movements like organic, locally grown produce. Madison has a pretty extensive co-operative network, but some politicians in the state assembly have been trying to pass a law that would let capitalist investors take over co-operatives.

Ultimately, the only solution to this problem, is class struggle. The productive force in society (the working-class) have to take matters into our own hands, and dump the capitalists off our backs. That will solve most of the problems we're talking about.

Thu Dec 22, 01:47:00 PM CST

Blogger Bill said...

Woops, the Adam Smith link doesn't go to that chapter.

Use this link instead

NOTE THIS (all those hostile to the NYC Transit strikers...)

What are the common wages of labour, depends every where upon the contract usually made between those two parties, whose interests are by no means the same. The workmen desire to get as much, the masters to give as little as possible. The former are disposed to combine in order to raise, the latter in order to lower the wages of labour.

It is not, however, difficult to foresee which of the two parties must, upon all ordinary occasions, have the advantage in the dispute, and force the other into a compliance with their terms. The masters, being fewer in number, can combine much more easily; and the law, besides, authorises, or at least does not prohibit their combinations, while it prohibits those of the workmen. We have no acts of parliament against combining to lower the price of work; but many against combining to raise it.


We rarely hear, it has been said, of the combinations of masters, though frequently of those of workmen. But whoever imagines, upon this account, that masters rarely combine, is as ignorant of the world as of the subject. Masters are always and every where in a sort of tacit, but constant and uniform combination, not to raise the wages of labour above their actual rate. To violate this combination is every where a most unpopular action, and a sort of reproach to a master among his neighbours and equals. We seldom, indeed, hear of this combination, because it is the usual, and one may say, the natural state of things which nobody ever hears of. Masters too sometimes enter into particular combinations to sink the wages of labour even below this rate. These are always conducted with the utmost silence and secrecy, till the moment of execution, and when the workmen yield, as they sometimes do, without resistance, though severely felt by them, they are never heard of by other people. Such combinations, however, are frequently resisted by a contrary defensive combination of the workmen; who sometimes too, without any provocation of this kind, combine of their own accord to raise the price of their labour. Their usual pretences are, sometimes the high price of provisions; sometimes the great profit which their masters make by their work. But whether their combinations be offensive or defensive, they are always abundantly heard of. In order to bring the point to a speedy decision, they have always recourse to the loudest clamour, and sometimes to the most shocking violence and outrage. They are desperate, and act with the folly and extravagance of desperate men, who must either starve, or frighten their masters into an immediate compliance with their demands. The masters upon these occasions are just as clamorous upon the other side, and never cease to call aloud for the assistance of the civil magistrate, and the rigorous execution of those laws which have been enacted with so much severity against the combinations of servants, labourers, and journeymen. The workmen, accordingly, very seldom derive any advantage from the violence of those tumultuous combinations, which, partly from the interposition of the civil magistrate, partly from the superior steadiness of the masters, partly from the necessity which the greater part of the workmen are under of submitting for the sake of present subsistence, generally end in nothing, but the punishment or ruin of the ringleaders.

Thu Dec 22, 01:54:00 PM CST

Blogger the Rising Jurist said...

Bill, the point of jfmartino's question, which I was answering, was that war costs money. And in light of Bob's comments on taxation, jf wanted to know where the money should come from, if not from taxes. So I was suggesting places to cut expenses.

To wit, jfmartino wants more details.

Whose Social Security benefits do you propose cutting? Everyone's. At some point, that system has to be dismantled. It's outdated and, given our ever-increasing longevity, inherently flawed. So some generation is going to have to be the one to give up its benefits, despite having paid in. I for one would be happy to never see that money again if it meants the social security system was eliminated altogether.

What transportation projects should we shelve? How about the whole thing? Highways are a perfect choice for user fees in the form of tolls, instead of broad taxation.

"Assuming that we are not going to close down the entire federal government, we have to impose some taxes on somebody. What is the best criteria by which to choose what taxes to impose?"

I personally favor user fees; charge the people getting the benefit. Instead, our system proposes a tax bizarrely tied to income. The more you make, the more they take.

And my point, as it related to Bob's original comments, is that liberal spending philosophy tends towards more taxes, to support more programs. Hence my ideas for cutting ridiculous spending. Conversely, the conservative ideas include tax breaks to individuals whose behavior we want to encourage. I assume that was the thrust of Bob's point.

Thu Dec 22, 06:01:00 PM CST

Anonymous jfmartino said...

I agree with trj that user fees (and taxes) should be used to re-internalize costs that the responsible parties have managed to externalize. So let's start with transportation and the Iraq war by raising petroleum fuel taxes up to the point where we can build the roads we need and recover that half a TRILLION dollars that the war for oil has cost us so far. This great economic readjustment will throw us into a depression but we need to make this adjustment sooner or later.

As a Christian I have a harder time with your plan for Social Security. What is supposed to happen to those who cannot care for themselves. A lot of invalids, developmentally disabled, and poor, fragile elderly depend on it. There are a lot more of them than there are of wealthy, able-bodied, "young", retirees who do not really need it. As a nation, are we one people who care for one another? Or are we just a bunch of selfish individuals occupying the same land? How can we ask the young to die for us in war if we won't care for their elderly grandmothers? If we are just a bunch of individuals who can opt out of the system, I'd like to opt out of paying the exorbitant taxes that it takes to support an imperial army. I'd rather pay for a much smaller, truly self-defense force.

The question really is what is a federal government for? What should it do for its citizens? After we answer that question we can figure out what a fair price for those services are and how best to pay for them. Personally, I think that we are a (largely) Christian nation and so we should care for the least among us as Jesus implored us to do. If we aren't that then what is our identity? What does it mean to be an American?

Fri Dec 23, 02:31:00 PM CST

Anonymous Anonymous said...

JF Martino-

Well, let's face it - Bob's Christianity is obviously no more than a prerequisite for his convservatisim, so I wouldn't waste too much time trying to reconcile his religious beliefs with his politics. Pro-war Christian? You can invent a million elaborate theological arguments for that, but if it ain't written on the stone, your God didn't command it.

Fri Dec 23, 03:22:00 PM CST

Anonymous jfmartino said...

You know I'm still waiting for Bob to correct the record of how he was quoted out of context in the Isthmus and to answer some of the questions about it that I've posted here. I guess this MadisonFreedomFighter is just another example of that damn liberal media shutting out the conservatives again.

Oh what's that you say? MadisonFreedomFighter is Bob's own blog? Damn those sneaky liberals! How did they do that?!?

Mon Dec 26, 03:33:00 PM CST

Blogger Bill said...

And I'm still waiting for Bob to take his recent "Stupid Comment of the Month" post, in which I labelled the American Legion a Fascist Organization.

"...the American Legion stands ready to protect our country's institutions and ideals as the Fascisti dealt with the destructionists who menaced Italy... The American Legion is fighting every element that threatens our democratic government - soviets, anarchists, I.W.W., revolutionary socialists and every other red... Do not forget that the Fascisti are to Italy what the American Legion is to the United States." -Alvin Owsley, 1923, President of the American Legion, a quoted in the Journal of the National Education Association

Mon Dec 26, 04:51:00 PM CST

Blogger Tim said...

Hey jfmartino and others! Jesus never advocated the government providing for citizens. He asked people to lend their hand in the service of others whether that be through money or deed. You and other big government liberals have got it all wrong. It's the people who need to provide and help each other, not the government. The government is inefficient and inept in providing social services. Take it upon yourselves to help the poor and help the hurting, we don't need the government.

Tue Dec 27, 02:34:00 AM CST

Anonymous jfmartino said...

I am not a big government liberal. I advocate dismantling our King George's Imperial Army - that will make government a lot smaller. Inefficient social service programs should be corrected or dismantled. But some programs (e.g. Head Start) have a long history of providing social services very efficiently and successfully.

Jesus talked about building a caring community. We live under a form of government that gives "We the people ..." the power to form the kind of communities that we see fit. I want to build a community that is consistent with the principles espoused by Jesus of Nazareth. So, what kind of community do you do you want to build, Timmyscape?

Jesus was a liberal - deal with it.

Tue Dec 27, 08:19:00 AM CST

Blogger Bill said...

Nope. Jesus was a revolutionary, not a liberal. Deal with it.

Tue Dec 27, 08:35:00 PM CST

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jesus liked chocolate truffles. Deal with it.

Fri Dec 30, 12:21:00 PM CST


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