As you may have read, the Whitefish Bay School District will have two referendum questions on the Nov. 3rd ballot, which is about 5 weeks away.
I have yet to take a position on the votes, although I will pass along some of the information I've received:
Pat Tillman was a tough-tough defender in the National Football League. He feared no man. When he enlisted to become a Ranger in Afghanistan, it surprised many. He was making multi-millions of dollars as a pro football player. No one can question Pat Tillman's courage and service to his country.
From his earliest deployment in Afghanistan, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and George W. Bush wanted to use his story to cover their mistakes in Iraq. However that didn't happen for at least two reasons. First, Tillman made it very clear that he did not want them to "parade me through the streets." His motives for joining the military had nothing to do with being seen as a hero. Nevertheless the Bush crowd waited until they might utilize him some way. Second, Tillman called our war in Iraq "illegal as hell," and thought it was carried out on an "imperial whim."
With autumn upon us, we are approaching the end of the 2009 season for the East Town Market in Cathedral Square.
Roman Polansky, noted film producer-director, enticed, drugged, raped a 13-year-old girl. After being charged in court, he fled the U.S. After all these years he was taken into custody by Swiss officials in Zurich. The U.S. wants him extradicted.
A resounding cry has sounded from the "creative arts" community that he should be let go. They say the original judge was unfair. They say that after all these years he should be absolved. They say that because he is such a creative person, he should be given special consideration. They say the 13-year-old girl is now a mature woman and does not want him prosecuted [he paid her a handsome sum for a settlement...admitting his guilt once again].
One day after Jimmy Carter turned 85 years old, he gets another example of how racism is turning the Obama presidency into a series of bad luck events.
Barack Obama thought he had a slam dunk. He could take a day or two out of his busy schedule, take Air Force One to Denmark for a one-hour meeting, this also takes a hiatus from global warming responsibilities, and deliver a personal speech to the IOC. In that speech, again he enumerated what a poor country the United States has become over the past few years but his good deeds as a good deed doer will turn things around and have Chicago make America proud again as an endcap on his presidency. It all seems so simple. No room for errors.
Here's the run-down of the October 5th Trustee Meeting:
- Former WFB Trustee, current Milwaukee County Supervisor Joe Rice gave us a County Budget update. To summarize: It's gone to hell in a handbasket. It's a little premature to discuss, since County Exec Scott Walker just created Budget 1.0, and we've seen this movie before. The County Supervisors will severely alter the budget in the next month.
- Also former WFB Trustee John Kearns dropped by to give an update on the Armory Park Memorial project.
The project has raised enough money to put shovels in the ground, and will complete significant parts before the ground freezes.
Funds are still needed for example, for water access, to allow gardens .. so take a moment and consider a donation. Click here for their donation form.
- We approved a contract for study of a Lake Drive Traffic Calming / Pedestrian Enhancement project. The project will look at Lake Drive in its entirety as it runs through WFB, and suggest enhancements. However -- since Lake is State trunk Highway 32, there are a number of typical traffic calming features that might not be approved by the State DOT.
- We were presented with 3 bids to tear down the Klode Park play structure and replace it with something from the same company that manufactured the Cahill structure. The reason for this change is to comply with ADA regulations to make playgrounds more handicapped accessible. -- Most of the funds for this comes from CDBG grants.
However. A number of Trustees, myself included, were hoping for a better option, whereby the playground would be added to, instead of replaced. The current structure is less than 15 years old, and was donated by many generous families, as memorial plaques attest. It would be a shame if we tore it all down, and I assume some or all who donated would be displeased.
One aspect of the new playground is that the wood chips would be removed, to be replaced by rubber mats, which are more wheelchair friendly. This complicates the possibility of keeping the old structure, since significant ground prep is needed to install the mats.
In the end, the project was tabled, and we'll give Village staff a week to rethink, and hopefully propose something with a middle ground. (Villager thoughts?)
- We spent several hours combing through the Village's Comprehensive Plan. Take a look at it, it's quite impressive, documenting WFB's characteristics, yielding recommendations for the future. Public input for the plan has been ongoing, and a Public Hearing is scheduled in two weeks.
*While watching the Packers-Vikings game and reading-viewing after-game accounts, I am amazed at how much was made of Brett Favre's great game and how little was made of Aaron Rodgers miraculous game. Yes, Favre is an all-time great quarterback and he had a very good game. But Favre was not sacked or even touched during the entire game. Any NFL quarterback would have a good game under those conditions, and Favre has the best running back in the League in his backfield.
Rodgers, on the other hand, was sacked over and over, rushed over and over, and his offensive line as like a sieve. Yet Rodgers kept the game close, and few, if any other NFL quarterbacks would have had that marvelous game under those conditions in a hostile enviroment.
In the Current Debate over Health Care in the USA, I never hear about "What" Health Care is Now --- compared to Health Care over 50 Year Ago ......... but if you think about it, the Only Real Difference, is that we now have Medications that Prolong our Lives, and do a Better Job of Alleviating Suffering.
Other than Better Surgery (replacing hearts, hips, knees), the Only Major Advances in Medicine in the Last 70 Years or so has been Innoculations, which can help to Prevent Diseases (Polio was the Big Breakthrough) and Antibiotics that Stave Off Infections (bacterial, not viral).
It is becoming increasingly rare to actually see some responsible leadership from an elected official. However, we are seeing it again from Milwaukee County executive Scott Walker. And of course, the critics are out to cast stone's at the glass House of fiscal responsibility.
Scott Walker was elected six years ago to clean up the mouse created by Tom Ament and a host of county supervisors who selfishly only voted for their own interests. They voted themselves a huge retirement payouts and large pensions to be footed by the taxpayer of the county. Then they were all surprised when they lost recall elections. They not only should have been thrown out of office, they should be made to forfeit their ill-gotten gain.
While in college he was in the ROTC. He volunteered to serve in the U.S. Army in Vietnam. He was awarded the Silver Star and the Bronze Star. A grenade blew off both his legs and his right arm. After returning home for therapy, he served in several public offices in Georgia, and in 1996 was elected to the U.S. Senate as a Democrat. He was considered a moderate. What an amazing set of heroic accomplishments!
Max Cleland has written a new book about all this, and he recounts in gripping testimony what veterans face when returning home from war. For all of us who make statements about war and often exhibit "patriotic and heroic" actions from someplace other than the battlefield, this is a must read. It is time to "get real" and Mr. Cleland makes it real. But this aspect of the book will get short notice because this book is a political bombshell and revelation.
After almost 2 years of continuous praise from the media, president of Barack Obama is now facing some pushback. With almost constant unrelenting acclaim of how great Obama was going to be and what a great information America was going to experience to the point of being sickening to anyone who looks at things objectively, the enthusiasm is starting to wane.
Saturday Night Live opened with the skit taking some jabs at how little Obama has actually accomplished in his first nine months. And this is the time when he will have as much influence to push through his programs and political agenda. If things don't get done now, it will only get more difficult than the next three years. This seems strange coming from NBC was traditionally been his staunchest supporter. But, I'm not crazy enough to think that objectivity will come from Olbermann or Maddow. I'm sure Chris Matthews is still experiencing some tingling.
Far be if from me to decide who should merit the prestige of the Nobel Prize for Peace, but it seems a little premature to award this unique recognition to Barack Obama nine months into his presidency. I understand the fresh voice and hope he brings. I understand what it means to his being the first African American elected to the White House. But these hopes must translate into more direct and specific peace outcomes, though not every Nobel Laureate saw accomplishments evolve from their promise.
Just as I think it is too soon to criticize President Obama in his first nine months in office because he has not solved the avalanche of problems that were years in the making, I think we should temper our showering of praise of this magnitude on him this early.
President Obama is absolutely correct in doing exhaustive research and fact-finding as he decides on the basic and major approaches by the U.S. in Afghanistan. The elephant in the room is that after Bush diverted focus from capturing Osama bin Laden and ending al Qaeda as was imminent at Torah Borah, Bush directed the invasion of Iraq. Afghanistan was left to become a Chinese puzzle. U.S. options in Afghanistan are widely varied, disputed, fraught with danger, and these horrible choices harken back to our disaster in Vietnam. Any chance for a decent outcome in Afghanistan will require complex, new approaches that are carried out intelligently. Listening only to the military would be making the same mistake we made in Vietnam. Their input is essential but limited in perspective.
We are not engaged in only a military battle in Afghanistan. That is the mistake we made from the beginning in both Iraq and Afghanistan. The war in Afghanistan is now the longest in U.S. history. And merely sending 40,000 more combat troops would be a big mistake. We need to find a way to communicate with a wide and splintered illiterate population. Our form of democracy is like trying to foist a 20th century concept onto a 12th century people. And the religious fanaticism that has been trumped up for hundreds of years only adds to the problem. We simply cannot win a war focused only on military infusion and only combat action. The USSR tried that in Afghanistan and failed miserably. And let us recall clearly that the Soviets were close by while we are a half-a-world away. Afghanistan is not a nation in the true sense of the word. It is a fragmented conglomeration of war lords, drug cartels, distortioned Islamists, and a wide spectrum of ethnic splinters.
Even the close supporters of President Barack Obama will acknowledge that the president did little if anything to actually earn the Nobel Peace Prize. A century ago when Theodore Roosevelt or Woodrow Wilson were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, it was because they had put effort into ending a war or bringing peace to the world without achieving world peace.
Woodrow Wilson was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts in organizing the League of Nations. He toured the nation promoting his cause urging citizens to persuade their senator to ratify the treaty creating the League of Nations. He exhausted himself so much that it caused a debilitating stroke which left him paralyzed for the rest of his life. Had there been a 25th amendment to the Constitution at the time, Wilson may not have served out his second term. Yet the Senate did not ratify it. Has Obama even come close to doing something like this?
Will the Sheriff round up a posse to go after those felons? And do we really need more guns on the street?
I haven't exactly been taking a sabbatical from Roasted Nuts. I haven't exactly had writer's block, either. Rather, I've just been so inundated with ideas inside my brilliant mind that I haven't been able to piece them all together.
My brilliance. It's a blessing and a curse. In any event, today will be about little more than a few rants and rambles about felons and guns. We hit on each of the 3 big law enforcement gurus in today's Roasted Nuts.
Needless to say, the United States has become so "ultra-sized" that rational thinking is considered outlandish. Both liberals and conservatives in the U.S. bear almost no resemblance to those with similar labels two generations ago. Yes, I believe that the conservatives have gone farther off the deep end than liberals, but both groups' abnormalities are so extreme as to make it a moot point.
It seems that people holding elective office today feel they have to swear allegiance to an extreme version or a distorted version of liberal or conservative in order to function. This is the sad state of affairs in the U.S. today. What has evolved is an America that is far, far removed from both equality and liberty. At one time equality was more closely associated with liberal thought, and critics felt that carrying it to extreme would mean socialism or communism. On the other hand, critics of extreme conservatism felt that left unregulated, it would result in fascism/Nazism. HOWEVER what has actually developed is a cadre of liberals and conservatives, Democrats and Republicans, who are in the hip-pocket of influence buyers. And this has worked to the detriment of the majority of American citizens. Our elected officials --our servants-- no longer serve us, but serve the buyers.
For the past couple of years, liberal bloggers have spent a lot of time pounding away at their keyboards asserting their disdain at what they believe are the untruths delivered to them by the George W. Bush administration. They call them lies. A select number of the liberal bloggers have professed their objectivity to their political leaning. If one is to take this at face value, these bloggers will be turning out blog after blog proclaiming the same from President Obama. They will be calling him a liar. And in the eyes of those who hold them to be objective, they will be correct.
The methods being used and the Democrats in Congress to pass health care reform is embarrassing at best. At its worst, it's deceit and lies. Apparently they believe Americans are very stupid. And looking at who was elected, or reelected, there's not a lot of room for argument. And that's too bad. However, the government looks at itself as being all-powerful, all-knowing, all governing. Instead of trying to dupe Americans, they should be helping them out by explaining what they are actually doing. But that would be embarrassing for them.
Boo! Did I scare you?
Yes, it’s that time of year again – Halloween. It’s a time for those of us with a penchant for sweets to rejoice. It’s all about the candy, cookies, candy, cupcakes, candy, and all other types of Halloween sweet treats. Did I mention candy??
Here is one of Monkey's favorite Halloween treats. It's quick and easy.
1 large bag of large marshmallows
1 bag of mini chocolate chips
1 can of vanilla frosting (don’t use the whipped frosting, it doesn’t stick well)
Dab a little frosting on the flat side of a chocolate chip (a toothpick works well) and place it on the side of a marshmallow. This will be one eye of the ghost. Repeat with another marshmallow to create the second eye.
Repeat the process to create as many marshmallow ghosts as you need.
24 hour news channels have only been around for about 29 years. In that period of time, only about five presidents have been affected. Of course as time goes on, the later presidents have dealt with the 24-hour news channels more than the early ones. Not all have existed for the entire 29 years. But now, we're seeing something different. A United States president and his administration are now propagandizing themselves with their agenda to target one news organization -- Fox news.
During last year's campaign, one would practically get sick bed watching news organizations such as NBC, MSNBC, CNN, and others where they are just falling all over themselves as if they are in a contest to see who can give more favorable press to Barack Obama. Do people actually expect objectivity in news reporting from talking heads who claim on the air that they get a tingling feeling up their leg every time they hear Barack Obama speak? I guess MSNBC wins the award for who can be the most biased. CNN actually believes that their ratings are so low because they do not have the opinion talkers of other news organizations. Their ratings are low because they suck.
Oh, how non-combatants love to use the term "support our troops" as they act-out their unsupported fantasies about war and its consequences. The reality of war and the actual support of our brave military men and women is something quite different. We should never enter a war unnecessarily, but those presidents and vice presidents who have no battle experience seem to push us in the direction of war.
Ronald Reagan never served yet chose to invade Greneda. George W. Bush never served in battle, yet he CHOSE to invade Iraq. Not only that, but George W. Bush got himself elected by dissing two military heroes, John McCain in the South Carolina primary and elsewhere, and John Kerry in his run for president. And the strongest war hawk in recent years has been Dick Cheney, who got himself several excuses not to be drafted at all. Former General and President Dwight D. Eisenhower, on the other hand, got us out of the Korean War quickly. As shameful as some of these leaders have been, you and I have not given enough attention and support to the veterans when they return from war. Their problems are complex, disabling, and serious. Yet we give them only passing attention.