Home / Articles / By Joel McNally
Taking Liberties
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
People who don’t know anything about corrections think boot camp programs for the incarcerated are really terrific. The only thing more satisfying to some people than sanctimoniously sermonizing about miscreants who haven’t led proper lives is screaming it right in their faces, calling them maggots and vermin. We’ve seen the model in films like Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket where boot...
Taking Liberties
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
For years, conservatives denounced the idea of criminals avoiding punishment for their heinous misdeeds by “finding a loophole” and “getting off on a technicality.” The right wing always made it sound as if our legal system had been intentionally set up to free criminals so they could go back to raping and pillaging our communities with abandon. In fact, those so-called...
Taking Liberties
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
If we aren’t going to talk about the dangerous consequences of deteriorating infrastructure when there is a fatal accident, when are we going to talk about it? The least important fact about the tragic accident that killed a 15-year-old boy on his way to Summerfest is that it comes at a politically inconvenient time for Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker, who is running for governor...
Taking Liberties
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Honor among politicians, like honor among thieves, is relative. Early in his professional life, the great investigative reporter Seymour Hersh served as a campaign aide to the late Sen. Eugene McCarthy, the anti-war presidential candidate who forced Democratic President Lyndon Johnson to abandon a bid for a second term. McCarthy was a bemused, intellectual...
Taking Liberties
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
For some bizarre reason, one of the most seismic shifts in Republican political strategy in Wisconsin history—no, the history of the world—has been totally overlooked in the media. I am referring to the startling public declaration by Jim Klauser—Republican Party heavyweight and former Gov. Tommy Thompson’s hatchet man—that henceforth establishment Republicans like himself will embrace only positive...
Taking Liberties
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Only in Wisconsin would it be controversial for the state department charged with protecting wildlife to collaborate with a private organization that cares about animals. As we watch in horror as birds and reptiles get slimed with toxic gunk as a result of man’s blundering about in our fragile environment, our state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) should never demonize people who care about...
Taking Liberties
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Most of the media hype about the Tea Party influence on Republican politics in Wisconsin and across the country paints it as some kind of exciting, new phenomenon. Actually, many of the Tea Party candidates, including businessman Ron Johnson, the newly anointed Republican unknown running against Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold, are strongly libertarian...
Taking Liberties
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
May is way too early for the Milwaukee Brewers’ season to be over. So it’s okay to ignore the chorus of yahoos who say otherwise. Apparently, Brewers owner Mark Attanasio is ready to do the same by keeping his head when all around him are losing theirs and blaming it on Ken Macha. Firing the manager is the simple-minded solution of choice for sports...
Taking Liberties
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
An inventive singer-songwriter named Peter Case wrote a great line: “We were too young not to know better.” That came to mind recently as many of the supposedly responsible grown-ups at Marquette University were making fools of themselves while their students demonstrated against discrimination and hypocrisy. At issue was Marquette President Father Robert Wild...
Taking Liberties
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
At first, the decision by Wisconsin Democratic Congressman David Obey to retire after 41 years in Washington may have appeared surprising. Obey had already raised more than a million dollars for his re-election campaign. He’d risen to one of the most powerful positions in Congress as chairman of the House Appropriations Committee. And he’d recently had the opportunity to preside...