Archive for the 'Neutral Reportage?' Category

The Journal Sentinel Reports on Wikipedia

Tuesday, August 29th, 2006

Kind of interesting.

Two Milwaukee-based Lake Michigan passenger/ferry boat services are in the middle of a trade war. . . on Wikipedia.

Somebody, stop the madness!

Web Wars Ensnarl Ferries

Since March, a Wikipedia article about the Milwaukee-based ferry has been altered repeatedly to emphasize the vessel’s cancellations, delays, mechanical problems and passengers’ seasickness – and to link to a Web site that compared the Lake Express unfavorably to the competing S.S. Badger.

Meanwhile, the Badger has the opposite issue: Wikipedia recently flagged a glowing article about the 53-year-old ferry for possible copyright violations, because some of its wording appeared identical to that of the Badger’s own Web site. That article has since been revised to eliminate the suspect passages.

Wikipedia lake ferry entry has lots of back-and-forth  

Wiki wackiness continued Monday, after the Journal Sentinel reported that a Wikipedia article on the Lake Express high-speed ferry had been changed to emphasize negative information.

In the hours after the Journal Sentinel article first appeared on the JSOnline Web site, the online encyclopedia’s Lake Express entry was changed another 21 times before a Wikipedia administrator erected electronic shields around articles on both the high-speed ferry and its older rival, the S.S. Badger.

One anonymous user even boosted the top speed of the Lake Express from 40 mph to 140 mph and shortened the length of its trips between Milwaukee and Muskegon, Mich., from 2 1/2 hours to half an hour. The same person undid those changes a minute later.

By late Monday afternoon, almost all negative information had been removed from the article and Wikipedia had blocked anonymous users from making any more changes to the entry. Regular users still have access.

More odd Wisconsin news…

Thursday, July 13th, 2006

Paul and I know this theory isn’t true.¬† The most-vacation-ing-est president in the country’s history wouldn’t have purposefully set up this much extra work for himself.¬†

UW Instructor Defends Plan to
Teach 9/11 Conspiracy
Theory in Class

“Why would our government do this? To trigger a War that will not end in our lifetime.”¬† Says Kevin Barrett, a lecturer for UW-Madison who will teach a course on Islam this Fall.
Barrett is the founder of a group called the Muslim Jewish Christian Alliance for 9/11 truth, that has about 1,000 members worldwide.  He says after three years of studying the evidence, he came to the conclusion 9/11 did not happen the way the government says it did.  He believes the Bush Administration planned and executed the attacks on the World Trade Center.
”The physics of those collapses clearly could not have resulted from plane crashes and jet fuel fires with office materials.”¬†Barrett says jet fuel does not burn¬†hot enough to melt steel, and says recent tests on melted steel from the building prove his theory that it was wired to collapse, by the Government.¬†
¬† Barrett says the Bush Administration is fooling the American public with the Adolf Hitler ‘Big Lie Technique’… ”Tell them a little lie and they’ll wonder about it – weapons of mass destruction in Iraq was a relatively little lie – and people are getting called on it.” Barrett says.¬† ”Tell em a big lie like 9/11 and they have a huge resistance to questioning it.”
Barrett quotes from Hitler’s book ”Mein Kampf” in which he writes ”In the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily.¬† It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths and they would not believe that others would have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously.”
That theory is now part of the curriculum for an Introduction to Islam class Barrett will teach this Fall at the UW.¬† He says 14 of the 16 weeks will have nothing to do with politics, but in the remaining two weeks, he will cover what he calls the ”so-called war on terror”.
”And I will present different interpretations of the war on terror, In¬†I think a pretty detached way and encourage students to debate those interpretations and to support whichever one they personally find most persuasive and let them make up their own minds.” Barrett says.
Governor Jim Doyle questioned whether someone with ‘this total irrational idea” should be teaching students at UW, and Rep. Steve Nass called for Barrett to be fired, but Barrett says his students don’t have to agree with his theory about 9/11.
”Of course not!” Barrett says, ”I certainly wouldn’t expect them to… At least not all of them. On the other hand I would expect some of them would once they look at the evidence because the evidence is overwhelming.”
Barrett said he is not surprised, or concerned about the UW’s request to discuss the curriculum of his class.
”These people (his critics) are welcome to their opinions, but we have a tradition of academic freedom here in Wisconsin of sifting fearlessly in pursuit of truth because our motto has it- The truth will set you free. ”¬† Barrett says.
Barrett says a meeting with Provost Patrick Farrell and two others from the UW went well.¬†He says the¬†University officials said they were not interested in his opinions outside of the classroom, just what he planned to teach in it.¬†¬†Farrell will release the UW’s decision about the class in about a week.

Wacky Wisconsin News

Tuesday, June 20th, 2006

Seems like every time Wisconsin makes the national or international news, it’s for something, well, bad.¬† Or¬†odd, at least.¬†

I’m going to start posting more of our strange news stories and trying to keep tabs on if some of them are about more upbeat subjects.

This one’s about der Fuerher, and I’m not spelling the real name in English because I don’t need Google traffic from people searching that particular fellow.

Turns out that der Fuerher’s monument won’t be public, after all.¬†¬†