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Fake Checkpoint Makes Fake Sense

 

Sometimes you gotta wonder.  I mean, really.  You gotta wonder.

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Vote YES on the County Referendum

I've written this post a number of times, and keep having problems posting it for some reason. It's been deleted twice by accident. Determined as I am to get the message out, I'll keep it brief. I was concerned about the property tax referendum and so I contacted my County Supervisor, Theodore Lipscomb, of the 1st District, who spent some time informing be about the issues. Here is a some of what I learned: •The Milwaukee County Parks System has deferred nearly $300 million in maintenance costs, and expects greater service cuts in 2009. •MCTS is in even worse condition, heading for a deficit of almost $18 million in the next two years. •In other communities, bus systems have been doing extremely well in the face of higher gas prices. Milwaukee should doing more to promote ridership and take advantage of these tough economic times. •Letting the MCTS fail is not an option. Thousands of people rely on the bus system to get to jobs, schools, and medical services. If the bus system fails, there are no alternatives for these people, and our local economy would suffer greatly. •The county can begin to address these problems by increasing the sales tax for roughly one penny on the dollar. In turn, about 25% of the county's portion of your property tax bill will be reduced. Dedicated funding for these services will be established. And the best part is, Milwaukee County residents will foot a smaller portion of these taxes. They would pay only 60% of the new sales tax. A lot of the information that has been compiled is readily available online, or can be reviewed at jsonline.com. Clearly, there are a number of considerations, and I am not sure that a sales tax is the best way to address these problems. However, the referendum is advisory, and a strong yes vote would send a clear message that Milwaukee County residents care about their parks and care about their transportation services. Perhaps its time to try something new. Especially if its for such important purposes. Vote yes.

EDUCATED, WHITE AMERICANS MATURED A LITTLE

"Why should we subsidize intellectual curiosity?" -Ronald Reagan

Imagine an educated person voting for someone who would state something so ignorant.  But we did.  And re-elected him President of the U.S.

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How Quickly can We Raise Taxes?

climate change, County Government, Election, Energy, Government, News, Politics, Presidential Politics, Religion, Smoking, taxes

I don't know whether I am amazed or dismayed by the election results. Not talking about the presidential race of course, that was not a surprise. However, some of the other results are going to have far reaching and possibly your reversible effects. This of course involves raising taxes.

I find it hard to believe that a referendum would pass that involves $130 million of new taxes being imposed on citizens and as an alternative only offering $67 million of tax relief. The only good explanation for this would be how the tax-and-spend liberals were to just out to confuse people who did not read and understand the proposal. Instead they offered misleading statements like property taxes are going to be reduced. Nothing could be further from the truth. There are also reports from people who claim to be sane yet are trying to tell me that the parks in Milwaukee County are being used by people from out of state. I have gone past many parks in the Milwaukee County system yet I have not seen an overrun of out-of-state plates and people from outside the county who are sucking all of the park's services and not paying property taxes. However the solution to this is to increase the sales tax in these out-of-state parks users will be making up the difference and more by buying all of our goods and services being offered by businesses adjacent to the County Parks. I'd like to see the math to support this. Why are out-of-state people suddenly going to buy goods and services now that the sales tax is increased? Are the parks going to get that much better that quickly?

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Huh. What should I do now? Huh.

It was weirdly anticlimactic for me yesterday. Virtually assured of an Obama victory in advance, after two years of campaigning, blood boiling, and all sort of What do I do now? Huh.

OBAMA'S FIRST PREZ NEWS CONFERENCE: VERY SPECIAL

 I write this a few moments after watching President-Elect Barack Obama's first news conference.  Folks, we have a very special man here.  As he did all through his campaign for president, he was on-target, comfortable, intelligent, and the man exudes a presidential aura.  As I reflect back over the last 60 years, I realize how limited, and in some cases inept, have been our presidents.  The possible exception was John F. Kennedy.  There was great hope with JFK, let us hope that nothing that terrible befalls our current president-elect. 

Yes, we all know there are kooks on the right and on the left.  But the dangers surrounding the first elected African American president are tremendous.  And make no mistake about it, there are people in important roles in our society, people from the extreme right-wing, for example,  who absolutely cannot accept such a president.  

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WKTI Becomes WKT WHY?

You know, I was really getting nervous. Nervous in a reckless leg syndrome kind of a way. Ever since casting my vote on Tuesday. First, the excitement dwindled. Then the news feeds slowed. Suddenly, it was no longer an election cycle. I didn't have anything to do. What was left for me to comment on? Had I become so involved with matters of local and national politics that I had left myself with nothing relevant to say anymore? I fiddled with a few ideas, worried that my keen insight for the absurd had somehow waned in the face of freebies like Sarah Palin. Sigh. Thank goodness for Journal Broadcasting. Brazenly biting the hand that feeds me (or at least the hand that lets me post online), the newest nut to roast has to be WKTI. Or WLWK. Or whatever. Don't get me wrong. It's not like I really listed to anything but NPR for the last decade anyhow. It's just that some things are an American institution. Somewhere in my parents' basement I still have a few of those old WKTI Tail Gator pins. Those were hot. And though every song on the network sounded exactly the same to me, there's still something incredibly insane about abandoning WKTI. And I'm not talking about the music format. I'm talking about the call letters. Call letters are a very significant part of marketing. And so are nicknames. But who the heck came up with "WLWK?" I mean, it's one thing to call a station by new letters. It's another thing to totally ditch iconic station call letters. WZTR 95.7 famously changed it's name when new owners bought it out. Ditching "Star 95", it also ditched some of the coolest letters on the dial. Now it's WRIT. Just boring. WQFM 93.3 became WJZI for jazz. The QFM thing is personal for me, cause my first law office was in QFM's building on 6th and Wisconsin. They had the top floor. Way cool suite. Would you believe there are actually websites devoted to Milwaukee's past stations? One bemoans not just the loss of QFM, but of WLPX.

GETTING PAST RIGHT-WING HORROR

As we hopefully enter a new age, a new perspective, and new values in the United States, it will not be easy to get past our burdens of right-wing greed, bigotry, lack of altruism, parochial thoughts of America being better than any nation, ignorance of history, self-centered foreign relations, seeing war as a way to settle everything, equating wealth with intelligence, being afraid to challenge ourselves historically or currently, ad infinitum.  Here are some past demons we must exorcise:

"It is time to turn from quarrels and to build our White ramparts again.  The alliance with foreign races means nothing but death for us." -Charles A. Lindbergh, Jr.  [yes, THAT Charles Lindbergh, who also saw Hitler as a hero]

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No hablo Espanol, pero....

Ole, El presidente Obama!


 Another group that influenced the latest presidential election: Hispanics.  Get used to it.  And get over the terrible anti-immigrant psychosis that has gripped America.  How quickly we forget how past immigrants held onto their European languages and customs for not one, but several generations.  In fact, laws had to be passed in some areas so that second and third generation German-Americans and others would finally allow students to have textbooks printed in English.  Current immigrants are making a genuine effort to learn English in their first-generation arrival in the U.S.  Along with the bigotry suffered by African Americans who were brought here as slaves by Anglos, the Hispanic immigrants have had to suffer through untold bigotry on their own.

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REPORTING CRIMES – CALL 911 IMMEDIATELY!

Too often citizens find themselves to be the first person to witness something “unusual” or “out of the ordinary” that may require the attention of the police in order to avoid a crime being committed and another person being victimized.  Sometimes, you may even be the first to observe an actual crime, like a bank robbery, or you may even be the victim of one!  If you happen to ever encounter a situation like this please try to remember  to CALL THE POLICE IMMEDIATELY! 

 

This may seem like a no brainer; but after having been faced with a stressful or unusual situation, sometimes you may forget that the most important people to contact in order to help you and make you feel somewhat safe again is the police.  The police department would like to remind you that  seconds count when police are responding to a crime and that timeliness in reporting information to the police increases our ability to get to you and help you and to“catch the bad guy.” 

 

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CONTRIBUTE TO THE SAFETY OF YOUR COMMUNITY - HELP WANTED

 

How often do you see late night infomercials and advertisements that promise a big return on very little investment?  We all know better than to readily accept that so much can be gained when there is minimal effort involved.  Most of us function under the understanding that, “If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably isn’t.”   However, I happen to know of at least one program that through your minimal effort a significant gain can be made.  The program that provides this opportunity is known as the “Neighborhood Watch Group.”

 

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Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes Fraud Sweeps Milwaukee

 There have been 3 separate instances now of people in Milwaukee getting fake  PCH (Publisher’s Clearing House) sweepstakes checks.  Each contains a letter that says that states the individual has won $___ million dollars.  Each contains a check for a  few thousand to "cover their expenses".  Then, the letter asks the  winner to call "a representative of PCH" before cashing the check.  It also instructs them to call a prescribed IRS representative as well  prior to cashing the check.  The kicker here is that these are arriving in plain, white envelopes  with a clear plastic window WITH A CANADIAN STAMP ON THE FRONT AS  POSTAGE!  They seem to be coming out of Quebec. If you receive one of these checks, do not contact the issuer or the IRS representative they cite in their letter.  Absolutely, DO NOT, provide personal information, account numbers, or any other information to these people.  Contact your local police department and report receipt of the letter to them.

NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH CRIME INFORMATION LINE

Recently the crime information line that had been in place until late last year was resurrected.  Citizens who wish to obtain current information concerning crime and other criminal activity that may affect them can be obtained by calling:

The Neighborhood Watch Group maintains a crime information line that provides citizens with information on crime and suspicious activity that takes place in the Village.  To listen to these reports you may call the following toll free number:                                                      1-877-371-2949

This information is updated weekly.

Poll Results Come at Right Time

climate change, County Government, Election, Energy, Government, News, Politics, Presidential Politics, Religion, taxes

Just when I thought that these so-called advisory referendum for the countywide sales tax was based on people not understanding the question because it was written in a way that was set to produce a predetermined result, a new poll comes out which is even more slanted and producing even more misdirected results for the casual observer. And of course this poll was taken to days after this "advisory"referendum was voted on. From Monday's Journal Sentinel:

  • "If you knew that the majority of metro areas in the United States fund transit by sales tax and that a portion of southeastern Wisconsin's sales tax is paid by visitors from outside the region, which of the following would you prefer be the primary source of funding for public transit services in Southeast Wisconsin: Sales taxes, paid on all non-essential consumer purchases; payroll taxes, paid by all who work in the region; property taxes, paid only by property owners; or vehicle registration fees, paid by vehicle owners?" (47% picked sales taxes, far more than any other option.)
  • "Some people have suggested expanding public transit in Milwaukee, Racine and Kenosha counties. If you knew that transit was seen as a top priority for the economic future of our region by top business and economic development leaders, would you strongly support, somewhat support, somewhat oppose or strongly oppose expanding public transit in this region?" (78% voiced some degree of support.)

Boy, these results will really clear things up for us. It seems like everyone wants higher taxes just to produce more public transportation that will be going largely unused. What could be a better deal? Voting for a $130 million tax increase while only seeking $67 million in tax relief? 30 years ago, Gov. Lee Dreyfus had a surplus in the Wisconsin budget and gave it back to the people, the taxpayers of Wisconsin. Now, of course, there is no surplus in the Wisconsin budget. Reports of a $5 billion deficit are a whole other story. But if we replace a tax levy of $67 million with a tax levy of $130 million, even though these will be differently collected, there is still a lot of money that is not being accounted for at present. Apparently Lee Holloway and the Milwaukee County government board just want to have a field day and spend our money any way they wish. Doing it under the guise of helping the poor get to work. It would be a noble effort if it was not such a fantastic lie.

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Join the Village’s “do not solicit” list today

Sign up at www.bayside-wi.gov for the Village’s “do not solicit” list.  The Village Board recently enacted an Ordinance that allows residents to sign for a do not solicit list, similar to a do not call list, which will prohibit certain types of solicitors from coming to your home.  More information can be found in the Ordinance at http://www.bayside-wi.gov/cm/PDFs/08-591%20transient%20merch.pdf

The Wrong No One Will Right

climate change, County Government, Election, Energy, Government, News, Politics, Presidential Politics, Religion, taxes

Kudos to Dan Bice for his continuing coverage of who is getting huge payouts in exchange for retiring from County service. He is a true watch dog. However, like all watchdogs, a little noise is made. The bite will have no teeth. And after a while, the noise will subside and all will be forgotten. All will be forgiven. And that's too bad.

It has been over seven years since the then Milwaukee County Board made it legal for retirees to collect on huge payouts upon retirement. Unlike the private sector, no monetary investment is made, yet a huge payout is given in return. And taxpayers are expected to foot the bill. Then, to an insult to injury, a current Board of Supervisors is trying to raise taxes in order to provide services of which cannot be paid for because the commitment has been made to make these huge retirement bonus payouts. This is an absolute rape of the taxpayer. And nothing gets done about it. And nothing will get done about it.

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Chutzpah! The new story of corporate welfare in a Lame Duck America

 

The Automobile Industry of the Future

Business, climate change, County Government, Election, Energy, Government, News, Politics, Presidential Politics, taxes

It seems like only a few years ago when the Green Bay Packers would be playing several games on Monday night football. When that would happen, there would be a large amount of absenteeism at the Janesville GM plant. The managers at the plant would go on to remedy this situation by adding a bunch of TVs. How many trucks would get produce that many? I don't know, but apparently the employees had a good time watching football during a day at work. This coming Monday night may be one of the last for the Janesville GM employees to enjoy a night of hard labor and football simultaneously.

This scenario alone did not create the circumstances for closing a plant in Janesville, but it may have contributed at least in a small way. For many years, Janesville has been a proud producer of large GM gas guzzling vehicles. For years, the Janesville plant has also been demonized for producing large GM gas guzzling vehicles. However, this one plant is certainly not the only culprit for what is wrong with the automobile industry today.

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Happy Turkey Day!

Well, my favorite time of the year is barely days upon us.  A day of unconditional, unrestricted, unrepetent gorging.  Eat.  Sleep.  Watch TV.  Man oh man, that's the kind of holiday I'm talking about.

Thanksgiving is a truly American holiday, and ranks up there for me.  For me, in ways, it's more patriotic than the 4th of July.  It gives us a time to be with family and reflect upon what it is that our country has to offer, and how it is that we all came to be a part of this great nation---whether our families arrived here recently or centuries ago.

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Lowering Expectations

Business, climate change, County Government, Election, Energy, Government, News, Politics, Presidential Politics, Religion, taxes

As January 20 approaches, it will slowly be revealed to us whether we are able to collect on the promises that were repeated for the last year in this long presidential campaign or if we have to grant a pass saying it was election year rhetoric, that was all. Comprehensively, Americans were promised change. And now, as Barack Obama begins to put his administration together, we were led to believe by the Obama campaign that we could just sit back and watch the miracles happen. If anything was questioned, the Liberals would fire back calling the questioners bigots. Any dissension would be un-American.

Now we are finding out what change actually means; changes bringing back people from the Clinton administration. Change also means bringing back Jimmy Carter's advisors -- the ones who haven't entered their drooling years. Change means keeping the defense secretary from the Bush administration who for over a year was being lambasted as failed policies and wrong on the war in Iraq. It seemed to me that he would be the first to go if the war in Iraq was one of the major issues. Also, one of the first things he would do as president, Obama would issue an executive order reducing the amount of oil that would be drilled off the shores of the United States. This is also in contrast to the position he campaigned on when he issued that he would be open to such exploration to assure energy independence in America. Without the sterling, the United States would continue to send huge amounts of money to the mid Eastern countries for oil. Gee, Wally, I hope Obama wasn't saying anything just to get elected.

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