Michael Gableman Must Do His Work In Light Of Day

Once again, there is a news story about Michael Gableman threatening jail time for a mayor from one of Wisconsin’s larger cities. The reason for such bluster is because, once again, no one is agreeing to sit for what can only be termed as a secret interview.

I recall warmly the affable and jowly former Senator Sam Ervin who knew full-well the power of public questioning of individuals involved in the crimes of Watergate. The televised hearings of the Senate Select Committee were a powerful tool that allowed the nation insight into the workings and shady dealing of Richard Nixon’s White House and campaign committee for his reelection.

The House Select Committee relating to the insurrection and rioting at our nation’s Capitol on January 6th also understands the power and need for public hearings. They plan to schedule some prime-time hearings this spring so the nation can better follow along with their work.

It comes as no surprise from a political, public relations, and sound governing perspective open and public hearings are logical.

It is highly troubling and unfathomable to explain, then, how a former justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court is attempting to hold closed, secret, and behind-the-door questioning of duly elected mayors from our state’s largest cities. Openness and transparency is not a new concept. Questions arise and suspicions deepen when people with power seek to limit light and forthrightness.

Why would Gableman go out of his way to create confusion and mystery? Why would he not want to showcase ‘election chicanery’ with a full array of reporters to record his findings?

Perhaps Gableman does not wish to be akin to Geraldo Rivera who opened an empty vault on national television. But therein lies the danger to our democracy in that grand allegations can be made undermining the faith of our election process, but then not the same volume and bandwidth being provided to prove such claims to be wrong.

It is incumbent upon those who thought it wise to set up such a ludicrous investigation probe and place Gableman in charge, to now step up and demand that any hearings or questioning be done in public. The fact is, of course, that no foundation exists for questions about the credibility of the election process, or the outcome by the voters. We know that any public questioning will only further underscore the abuse of power by Speaker Robin Vos and further shine a light on the laughable spectacle that is Gableman.

I must say, that over the past months when Gableman puts out his press releases or speaks I am continually reminded of John Alexander who plays the role of ‘Teddy Roosevelt’ in Arsenic And Old Lace. That delusional character was supposedly digging the Panama Canal in the basement.

Gableman makes as much sense in trying to prove election chicanery the size of the Panama Canal in the 2020 elections.

We see on both the international stage and the more local one the absolute necessity of being vigilant about democracy. The fabrication of why Russian forces ‘needed’ to invade a sovereign nation is repugnant. But so is the creation of a Big Lie about the presidential election that now ‘requires’ closed-door questioning by Gableman.

What is so disconcerting about this entire story is that, first and foremost, the investigation was predicated on a conspiracy theory without any factual foundation. To continue fostering lies about the 2020 election, and to use duly elected mayors as part of the orchestration of that conspiracy so to play to the base of the Republican Party is a complete travesty.

At some point, this bizarre episode by Gableman will end. But when the credits roll, unlike when they did with Alexander’s movie performance, we will not be left with a fond memory.

There was no Panama Canal on that Hollywood movie set, just as there was no election underhandedness that merited this investigation. The only lasting impact of this affair will be the undermining of faith citizens must have in our electoral system.

And so it goes.

Today’s First Draft Of History: British Front Pages Of Ukraine Under Russian Attack

The front pages of British Sunday newspapers tell the story of the anger and pain of the Russin invasion. Newspapers are the first draft of history.

SNL Opening Honors Ukraine And Its People With Perfectly Toned Message

Moving and touching and simply perfect.

That is the only way to describe the opening of Saturday Night Live as the nation and world stands united with Ukraine. Not since the SNL opening following 9/11 has the start of the show produced such a feeling of bittersweetness, beauty, and tears in the eyes of viewers. It did that very thing at our home tonight.

The world is united in condemnation of Russian aggression in Ukraine. We are also united in a common cause of resolve with the Ukrainian people.

We Already Know Time’s 2022 Person Of The Year, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, And His Steadfast Resolve

Long-time readers know I predict Time Magazine’s Person of the Year. I usually wait until November to weigh in as the year is closing out. That long game will not be required this year. Last night on Twitter I made my call for 2022.

There is no doubt as February comes to a close that we are seeing a person who underscores what is best about human nature. We also are witnessing a worldwide lesson, in these years of angst, about something very basic.

Democracy matters. It must be fought for. It can never be taken for granted.

When so many from Madison’s legislature to Moscow, from Trump Tower to Beijing either dismiss democracy or work feverishly to undermine it comes a refreshing– and, oh, so needed reminder–as to why we must never be lackadaisical about its continuance.

With steadfast resolve, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is leading not only his nation but being a teacher to the world.

And the world is watching.

There is no way not to feel his commitment to justice and sincere regard for democracy. There is no way not to fully grasp his correct desire for a heightened international repudiation of Russian thuggery.

When this year ends it will be near impossible to consider anyone more elevated and deserving to be Person of the Year than Volodymyr Zelenskyy. May God keep him and his family safe.

And so it goes.

Doty Land Podcast: Dane County Alzheimer’s Episode Gains Traction

Doty Land is not the biggest or the best podcast, but it is mine and it makes for lots of smiles and hours well-spent on the Madison isthmus.

Radio and broadcasting was my first love as a boy, working at WDOR was a thrill for years, and my home studio for podcasting now is the perfect niche.

I am super pleased with how my Alzheimers episode has landed with listeners, which is what is reflected in the downloads. I used contemporaneous notes from the time and recorded the episode in under 30 minutes. Adding the bumpers and editing and the project was completed in a couple hours.

Stories of laughter and also tenderness deals with the final chapter of the life of Albert Trull. It makes for a somber podcast. But one that is aimed to reach out and ask what role all can play with the elderly people needing friendship and companionship within our communities.

I find the tone of what I hope to achieve on my podcast episodes mirrors what I heard coming over the radio airwaves while growing up in Hancock. Respect your audience, be professional, and have fun, too. Check, check, and check.

And so it goes.

Israel Needs To Join International Community And Enact Sanctions On Russia

It is not a pretty picture to see when Israel, which portrays itself as some arbiter of righteousness and moral certainty, shows its true colors on the world stage.

It was most unsightly to read and hear this week of Israel attempting to balance between aligning itself with its biggest funder in the world–that would be the United States–or with Russia who has committed the largest military operation in Europe since—oh, yes, the time when another madman sought to eradicate the Jews.

It was jaw-dropping to then read on Wednesday Israel could only issue a luke-warm statement that supported Ukraine’s territorial integrity—but hold on dear readers–as it did not condemn Russia. 

The statement then dropped off the cliff into the comically absurd.

“War is not the way to solve conflicts,” Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said.


One only needs to read a few decades of Middle Eastern history as it relates to military actions caused by Israel as to why many in the international community are voicing concern about the fragile nature of loyalty from Isreal as it relates to Ukraine.

Events on the ground forced Israel—not some inner commitment to justice or fighting evil–to state a bit tougher language about Russian President Putin’s attempt to reconstruct the Soviet Union. Still left unstated as of this posting was the Israeli government stepping up in adult pants and joining the international sanctions against Russia. 

It must take time to climb down from the rarefied air of Israeli certainty to mix with the rest of the world leaders.

And so it goes.

One Voice: From My Desk To Ukraine People

The Russian invasion of Ukraine is underway.

There are people in every corner of our world who stand with, care for, pray for, and will plead on behalf of Ukraine and its people. You will not be forgotten by the masses even if world leaders have not exerted their full power to prevent what has now started.

As I watched CNN and MSNBC coverage until 2AM and saw a still photo of an explosion from a missile used by Russia on a Ukrainian city I thought of the words written by George Santayana.

“Only the dead have seen the end of war.” 

Sadly, there are going to be many more names from Ukraine who will fully grasp those words. And if the international community does not snap to attention and heed the call of history scores more will need to be tallied as Putin has thus far not seen any reason to stem his plans.

Like most people who were born after WWII, it is hard to truly understand the fear and uncertainty that was engendered as radio news announcers like Charles Collingwood, Bill Shirer, and of course, Edward Murrow reported the grit and hardness of scenes in Europe as Germany destroyed the social fabric. Many of us likely recall the scenes from the television show The Waltons, sitting around the living room radio hearing about Hitler’s military might and the rise of Nazism. Their dread and powerlessness were best registered on the face of Grandma.

Those thoughts flickered through my mind while we watched the opening hours and heard reports of Putin smashing and bombing his way into a neighboring sovereign country. It was gut-wrenching as it seemed, just like on Walton Mountain, there was nothing able to stop the madness, or end the suffering in Ukraine. Or put Putin in his rightful place where he could do no more harm.

For months we have known this moment was brewing. Western countries with solid reporting and educated citizens knew what was in the offing. This was not a hunch. It was not some fabricated hoax. As intelligence grew and events proved the United States and Britain alerted all to the dire reality of the matter. Russia had every intention of a massive military operation to capture all of Ukraine and overthrow the Zelenskyy government.

What happened tonight was solidly predicted.

And so here we are in a moment leaning into bloodshed and much danger.

To pretend, and yes it is mostly pretending when claiming economic sanctions will now divert or thwart Putin. Frankly, it is embarrassing leaders make such statements. I would rather hear President Biden state what Lenin wrote, and what Putin has learned to be true.

“Probe with a bayonet; if you meet steel, stop! If you meet mush, then push.”

The weakness in American messaging and signaling over the past many weeks pathetically blared when the White House let Russia know it need not fear the prospect of U.S. troops fighting to defend the sovereignty of Ukraine. Biden said, “there is not going to be any American forces moving into Ukraine.”

No one should be pleased Russia knew before the first Ukrainian was killed there would be no military attempt to stop their forward motion. It is not a message we should have sent to the world that the United States would not stand up to Russia over Ukraine in a military fashion. In so doing, we have simply conceded a large nation to Russia, and in Cold War parlance enhanced their–sphere of influence–from which further efforts will doubtless be made upon other countries.  

We have set up a future of ever-more Russian meddling and militarism.

It galls me that area of the world is going to be further brutalized–Eastern Ukraine was already a war zone–due to a megalomaniac wishing to construct a map of the USSR. Nostalgia is a putrid reason for a war.

As such, it was a mistake of the first order to announce to Putin that no real hard ‘red line’ existed in Ukraine.

Let us be perfectly clear. A continuing strident message of deterrence is what Russia understands, and respects. History makes the case. If we need to bump chests and eye the Russians down, then that is what we must do.

The problem is, I fear, that Putin is a far better student of history than western leaders.

And so it goes.

Trans Children, Their Parents, Face Prosecution In Texas, Governor Abbot Unleashes Hate

Just when you thought you had heard the worst possible ideas imaginable from a Republican officeholder, comes this disgusting news story from Texas.

Governor Greg Abbott officially directed Family Protective Services to investigate all trans children in Texas and prosecute their parents as child abusers. He instructed all teachers, doctors, and caregivers to begin reporting any trans students.

While the state’s child welfare agency has said that it will investigate such claims, some county and district attorneys have stated that they will not enforce the opinion. Be that as it may, the entire nation needs to send a message of pulling conventions and sporting events from a state that has so little regard for human decency or any degree of concern or empathy for trans children.

The loathsome depths that Abott will travel to play to a segment of his ignorant and repugnant base must be addressed by the rest of society who simply can no longer abide by such behavior.

And so it goes.