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In 10th century China, there was a form of torture and capital punishment called lingchi which was a slow slicing of your captured enemy, usually resulting in death.
The practice, finally outlawed in 1905, spawned the semi-popular saying, "Death by a thousand cuts," coming to mean a slow and continued buildup of information that eventually achieved a dastardly result.
Hello Rebecca Bradley.
Bradley, in case you are in the vast majority of people who don’t pay particular attention to races for the Wisconsin Supreme Court, is a sitting justice, running now for a full 10-year-term. She was appointed by Gov. Scott Walker; it was the third time he appointed her to one judgeship or another.
She is also currently in the middle of a prime example of death by a thousand cuts, played out almost exclusively in the largest newspaper in the state, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Here’s the order of cuts so far in the paper, which doesn’t do much well anymore, but it does do stuff like this.
Bradley left a session of the court while the justices were hearing oral arguments in order to give a speech to the state chamber of commerce, a group that has spent heavily on her behalf.
The paper discovered things Bradley wrote for the Marquette Tribune 24 years ago while attending the university. Among the writings, the paper had this quote from Bradley’s writings, following the election of Bill Clinton: "Either you condone drug use, homosexuality, AIDS-producing sex, adultery and murder and are therefore a bad person, or you didn't know that he supports abortion on demand and socialism, which means you are dumb. Have I offended anyone? Good – some of you really need to wake up." She also wrote: "How sad that the lives of degenerate drug addicts and queers are valued more than the innocent victims of more prevalent ailments."
Here comes another one from her days as a college student. The quote from the paper: "Women even declare some right to control their bodies, neglecting the fact that in choosing abortion they are asserting a right to control another body, and a right to murder their own flesh and blood."
Further in the piece, she wrote, "Do not be persuaded by any pleas for a woman's right to control her body or 'choose' to be pregnant or not; they have no moral or ethical basis..." She also equated abortion with the Holocaust.
The paper ran an Associated Press story pointing out that Bradley went to Marquette while Walker was also there and that their enrollments overlapped by one year. She was also in student government with James Vila, who was Walker’s chief of staff while he was Milwaukee County Executive and has been a senior advisor to the governor. The AP article went on to also discuss another 1992 college column written by Bradley in which she argued writer and critic Camille Paglia "legitimately" suggested that women play a role in date rape. "In a collection of essays published that year," the AP piece explains, "Paglia wrote that a girl who gets 'dead drunk' at a fraternity party is a fool, and that if she goes upstairs with a fraternity brother she is an idiot."
Here’s the headline: "Bradley extramarital affair, role in child placement surface." The story concerns Bradley, when she was just a regular attorney, representing a guy she was having an extramarital affair with in a child custody case. She admitted the affair but didn’t think there was any ethical problem in her representing her lover. The article in the paper also discovered more college writing about the election of Clinton. "In a column about Bill Clinton winning the 1992 presidential election," the paper reported, "she called voters either stupid or evil for electing 'a tree-hugging, baby-killing, pot-smoking, flag-burning, queer-loving, draft-dodging, bull-spouting '60s radical socialist adulterer to the highest office in our nation.'"
The onslaught of disclosures was engineered by One Wisconsin Now, a liberal group opposed to Bradley’s nomination. The election is April 5, and if this keeps up, it will be a miracle if she pulls it out.
With a history in Milwaukee stretching back decades, Dave tries to bring a unique perspective to his writing, whether it's sports, politics, theater or any other issue.
He's seen Milwaukee grow, suffer pangs of growth, strive for success and has been involved in many efforts to both shape and re-shape the city. He's a happy man, now that he's quit playing golf, and enjoys music, his children and grandchildren and the myriad of sports in this state. He loves great food and hates bullies and people who think they are smarter than everyone else.
This whole Internet thing continues to baffle him, but he's willing to play the game as long as OnMilwaukee.com keeps lending him a helping hand. He is constantly amazed that just a few dedicated people can provide so much news and information to a hungry public.
Despite some opinions to the contrary, Dave likes most stuff. But he is a skeptic who constantly wonders about the world around him. So many questions, so few answers.