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May 19, 201410:11 AMBlaska's Bring It!

with David Blaska

Boycott Bratfest? Another progressive assault on free speech

Leave it to our liberal/progressive acquaintances (for they ARE ...) to do what they do best — stifle free speech.

Supermarket entrepreneur Tim Metcalfe announces that he is going to have one stage for a Christian, pro-life message for his annual Bratfest over the Memorial Day weekend and today the Madison left is organizing a boycott. That is one stage out of five that will include rock, jazz, country, hip-hop, and (shudder) gospel.

Never mind. No deviance from the party line permitted in Madison, North Korea.

The boycott is being led by the abortion lobbyist Lisa Subeck. In addition to running Wisconsin NARAL, she is a City of Madison alderman and candidate for State Assembly.

Metcalfe told the Wisconsin State Journal that Christian music has a huge following so it’ll be there for people who want it, while those who aren’t fans will have alternatives such as rock. He intends to invite Bob Lenz, who runs the “Save the Storks” bus tour.       

Subeck is an avowed enemy of crisis pregnancy centers, which help troubled mothers who choose life over abortion. Threatens the abortion franchise. (What Subeck calls “women’s health care.” Not so healthy for the baby, but …)

I get that Ms. Subeck makes her living from abortion. She has the right to decline being a celebrity server. Her decision. What is objectionable is the peer pressure, the herd mentality, to derail alternate voices. No more discussion — the issue has been decided. That some women might choose life over abortion? Scandalous!

“We need every elected official in Dane Co to turn him down now. And a boycott,” chimes in Rep. Terese Berceau, D-Madison, on Subeck’s Facebook page.

Subeck helped defeat a federal subsidy to house indigent mothers on Madison’s east side a year ago, despite warnings from city legal staff that Care Net Pregnancy Center of Dane County qualified in every way. (“So much for pro-choice” is related here.)

Metcalfe was a hero just a few months ago for going “homeless” for a few days. Difficult being ideologically pure.

“Like bondage” says my candidate for governor of Idaho, biker Harley Brown.

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Comments, page 1 of 3 1 2 3 Next »
May 19, 2014 01:28 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Subeck pretty clearly just backed out herself as a cashier for the event... unless you have a link to her organizing a boycott somewhere. Berceau is the one who used the B word.

And Metcalfe has done more than just go homeless to earn the admiration of locals. He also engineered a gigantic clothing drive for Madison's homeless. He's also a successful business person who seeks to be part of the solution, which makes him a mentor to many of us who try to put our money where our mouths are in building the community.

May 19, 2014 01:30 pm
 Posted by  David Blaska

It's the Madison Way! Bratfest organizer Tim Metcalfe has canceled his invitation to Mr. Lenz. After all, Mr. M. has to do business in this town. Add Bratfest to the canceled commencement speeches of the likes of Condi Rice, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, et al. Another victory for the Total Conformity!

May 19, 2014 02:11 pm
 Posted by  Leo

Wow, Madison's Josephine Stalin screams bloody murder and Tim Metcalfe obeys.

I'm sure if we all just worked a little bit harder, we could each find something we don't like about BratFest. Maybe we all need to start contacting Mr. Metcalfe with our demands. We've got about five days to make the event more friendly to every single person in the greater Madison area.

I'm sort of offended by the fact that America has murdered over fifty million children in the womb in the past 20 years or so and am further offended by the fact that a local kook who makes her living off that horrific record of death can shape a long running local charity event simply because she objected to one speaker.

Consequently, I think everyone (other than Ms. Subeck) should demand that the generous Mr. Metcalfe go back to the original plan and allow Mr. Lenz to exercise his First Amendment rights. After all, it's still a free country, right???? Right????

And, lastly, having an aggressive supporter of infanticide decline to serve brats and the like at the festival actually makes it a more family friendly event. Subeck out and Lenz back in would make it even more family friendly.

May 19, 2014 02:42 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Let's all remember that brat fest saying no thanks to an evangelical guy has nothing to do with the first amendment. Congress and laws don't figure in at all. There's no state, no religion and no law involved. If Leo or Blaska like Lenz so much, they can have him on their own radio show or at their own brat fests.

I find brat fest to be way too much these days. I love that buying a brat means boy scout troops and other organizations raise some money, but I don't need the preaching so much. I go to church for that. I go to brat fest for brats and philanthropy. I go to this blog for conservative outrage.

May 19, 2014 04:18 pm
 Posted by  Leo

Everyone needs somewhere to go for conservative outrage, so we should be thankful this is the place to go. The Subeck outrage only reared its head when Mr. Lenz was put on the menu. And since his only role was to speak, it may well have something to do with free speech. I'm quite sure there are some who would prefer not being served their brat by the likes of Lisa Subeck, but they weren't demanding that Lisa be dropped from the servers list. The enforcement and penalty demands on free speech and political views comes these days predominantly from those on the left. There's lots to do and fun to be had at Bratfest, so it shouldn't be too hard to overlook someone with a microphone that you may not want to listen to. However, demands that deal primarily with free speech or different thoughts have a way of spilling into areas beyond brats and beer and therein lies the danger. And that should be an outrage to more than just conservatives.

May 19, 2014 04:25 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Cue Commie reference and everything! How predictable. But the thing is, who here hasn't been exposed to what Bob Lenz or Condi Rice brings to the table? We've all heard from them over and over. The former was on the front page of every newspaper in America for several years.

Whose speech are you protecting, exactly? Cuz it seems like it's the well financed conservative power structure's. These speeches you so enthusiastically work to defend are the opposite of free. They are, in fact, paid speech. In the case of college commencement addresses, they are handsomely paid (even as the school slashes its budgets elsewhere). In the case of a fundraiser like Brat Fest, these people speak and perform at the expense of proceeds going to worthwhile community organizations.

So if you want me to come to your sausage fest, is it okay with you if I publicly announce that I'm not crazy about the talent you've brought in and decline? Isn't that free speech, too? Or is that not corporate enough? Should I instead put it on a corporation letterhead in order for you to defend that expression?

May 19, 2014 04:35 pm
 Posted by  David Blaska

If a Bring It! reader objects to your message, Familiar AnnonyMouse at 4:25, should we strike you from the roster?

May 19, 2014 09:55 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Boy Dave, it hurts you that Tim Metcalf was looking at a motivational speaker to talk about suicide, then after doing some more investigation, found out that he has skeletons in his closet. Metcalfs are not trying to get this to be political, which a loud anti abortion speaker could easily bring, so he cancelled Lenz

Tim did the right thing, and is trying not to make it a political situation, but a way of fund raising for many organizations, specially for kids.

But then again, you wouldn't understand that some people are looking out for others.

May 20, 2014 09:46 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

The class act model for giving and community: Don't wear religion and politics on your sleeves. Get the job done and do so with humility and low costs.

May 20, 2014 12:34 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

If Dear Leader Comrade Obama wanted you to have bratwurst, he would have included them in your rations of beets and potatoes.

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About This Blog

Raised on a farm near Sun Prairie, David Blaska is a recovering liberal who spent 18 years in daily newspapers, including 12 at The Capital Times in Madison as a reporter and editor. He served Gov. Tommy Thompson as acting press secretary in 1998 and is a veteran and survivor of 19 years in state government. He served 12 years on the Dane County Board of Supervisors. From December 2007 to November 2011 he wrote the consistently popular "Blaska's Blog" for Isthmus online's "The Daily Page" until, he says, the intolerant liberals ran him off. He blogs from Madison.

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