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Wine & Dine Experience at Coquette Cafe in Milwaukee

A festive Wine & Dine event in Milwaukee was held on Wednesday April 28th, 2010 at the Coquette Cafe at 5:30PM. This was the first event in a monthly series organized by Becky Steimle and David Wise of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Admission to the event was only by reservation, and attendance was limited to 50 guests. It turned out to be a sold-out event, with the proceeds going to the Feeding America program. Other Milwaukee restaurants will be hosting future events.

This first event was hosted by Chefs Chris Hatleli and Nick Burki of Coquette Cafe along with me. As a culinary consultant and an Indian cookbook author, I already had the pleasure of working with Chris and Nick when they were the chefs at the Milwaukee Art Museum's Calatrava cafe. Our collaboration has always been a rewarding experience for me, and I believe it was a rewarding experience for them as well.

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KENT STATE UNIVERSITY

Solemnly, I remember the tragedy that unfolded at Kent State University in Ohio 40 years ago.  I've been on the Kent State campus several times.  Too many of us lazily compartmentalize what happened there by labelng the students "anarchists" or that they got what was coming to them.  With that shallow reading of that event, we shall never learn from it.  Allow me to try and put it in perspective...

First, it should be noted that the Kent disaster was precipitated by the war in Vietnam.  That war was elevated to major status under Democrat President Lyndon B. Johnson.  Much of the fault for that war lies in his decision-making.  There is enough blaming to be done on both parties, but LBJ was a Democrat.

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First Communion 2010

Time to Celebrate

Our family had a great weekend as we celebrated our son's First Communion. The weather was perfect for our families from Ohio, who are well on their way to hot and humid summer days and mass was perfect for all second graders and adults too.

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Anatomy of a Poorly Handled Crisis

Business, climate change, County Government, Election, Energy, Government, Health Care, News, Politics, Presidential Politics, Reform, Religion, Smoking, taxes

Hindsight is always 2020. It is always easier to point out what has gone wrong than it is to do what is right while events are unfolding. A good example of this is what is going on right now in the Gulf of Mexico.

There are no winners coming out of this disaster but there are plenty of things that will be lost. The first casualty is of course the environment. The amount of crude oil leaking into the ocean will certainly not help the sea life any dead fish or animal that will be washing up on shore is going to be viewed as directly related to the oil spill whether or not it was. The second casualty will be the economic dependence on fishing in the Gulf of Mexico. This is being added on to the already bad economy that we have been experiencing for the past year and a half or longer.

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Lowe’s Violates EPA’s Lead Safe Renovation Rule

I was surprised. I am appalled. My wife and I decided to go for a walk around the neighborhood and what I saw was extremely disturbing. Workers from Lowe’s were installing windows in one of my neighbors homes and did not take any precautions what so ever to comply with lead safe renovation.

Lowe's Window Installation

On April 22nd, the EPA’s new lead safe renovator laws went into effect requiring contractors who work on homes built prior to 1978 take precautions to safeguard homeowners against lead poisoning. To be certified, contractors must complete a day long course on lead safe renovation and use lead safe practices to contain lead dust.

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OVERLOOKING FIRST LADIES

With the recent release of Laura Bush's new book, it brings to mind how readily we have overlooked the contributions of  First Ladies in the U.S.  Mrs. Bush has worked miracles in softening the harsh criticism of her husband.  Unlike Barbara Bush and her more hard-edged First Lady persona, Laura Bush brought a more feminine touch, a more school librarian understanding.  She is not alone in being underappreciated.

Think back for a moment.  Eleanor Roosevelt, Mamie Eisenhower, Jackie Kennedy, Lady Bird Johnson, and Hillary Clinton, each brought unique contributions.  Even Mrs. Nixon made Richard Nixon a LITTLE more tolerable at times.  Mrs. Truman,  Mrs. Ford, Mrs. Carter, Mrs. Reagan also brought forth some contributions, silently and/or more openly.

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A Streetcar Named Boondoggle

Business, climate change, County Government, Election, Energy, Government, Health Care, News, Politics, Presidential Politics, Reform, Religion, Smoking, taxes

Recently, there was a study group formed for the sole purpose of finding out how much money they could convince taxpayers in southeast Wisconsin to waste. It consisted of four people. They kept it to a small number because why have a large committee formed with a predetermined outcome? They were formed to see if it would be feasible to continue a political agenda of pushing forward a streetcar program in downtown Milwaukee.

The result Iran already. And surprise, surprise! The committee voted 3 to 1 to push forward the agenda and begin construction of the streetcar program. I was hoping it would be unanimous. Apparently one person forgot that he did not have to be objective. It so now, in addition to the buses, we are going to have another public transportation form that can be taxpayer-funded and grossly underutilized. And another surprise-Mayor Tom Barrett who was also running for governor, is in favor of this. Well, isn't this just a red letter day for tax-and-spend progressives!

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BIGOTRY LIKES TO FORGET...

Before we begin to make wild, wide criticisms of other races, sexes, religions, nationalities, cultures, heritage, races, etc., let us first ponder the many horrors from our own nation and group...

"The First Crusade...set off on its two-thousand mile jaunt by massacring Jews, plundering and slaughtering all the way from the Rhine to the Jordan.  'In the temple of Solmon,' wrote the ecstatic cleric, Raimundus de Agiles, 'one rode in blood up to the knees and even to the horses' bridles, by the just and marvelous Judgment of God!" -Herbert J. Muller

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Tough and Unpopular Policies Are Working

Business, climate change, County Government, Election, Energy, Government, Health Care, News, Politics, Presidential Politics, Reform, Religion, Smoking, taxes

As we turn the pages off our calendar and move further into 2010, we review the economic numbers from the previous month and determine whether or country and its economy are moving in the right direction. Last Friday, after the unemployment numbers came out for April, President Obama made a statement saying that his tough yet unpopular policies that they made the hard decisions to pass, are working and producing results. Let's take a look at those results.

The unemployment rate went from 9.7% up to 9.9%. When President Obama took office, it was less than 8% but on the way up. The national unemployment rate has been above 9% for a year now. Has he economic recovery act work? It clearly has not. But we are seeing the results of what Obama has done. It has slowed the economic recovery and produced a high unemployment rate that will be high for months to come according to economists. According to government economists.

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Bay Ball 2010 "Commercial" with Ted Perry, Molly Fay

Schools

This is really cool.   Whitefish Bay residents Ted Perry (Fox6) and Molly Fay (Morning Blend) have lent their mugs for a "commercial" for Bay Ball 2010.

Click here to watch the video on YouTube .. it's worth a 90 second look.

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DISAPPEARENCE: GOP LIBERALS

In the polarized climate that exists in today's political world, it is astounding to remember that the Republican Party began as a political party dedicated to liberalism. 

Republican President Abraham Lincoln, the first Republican Party president,  took leadership in freeing the slaves.  He advocated for equality of all people in the United States.  He was a leader in introducing many liberal thoughts into American politics.

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Barry's Bailouts

Business, climate change, County Government, Election, Energy, Government, Health Care, News, Politics, Presidential Politics, Reform, Religion, Smoking, taxes

It has been just over a year and a half when Congress orchestrated the TARP build to rescue the banks and save the American economy from fiscal collapse. It was then that the word bailout became part of the American political fabric. Since that time, the banks that had been lent the money I paid it back with interest. This was supposed to be the investment that taxpayers have hoped for that paid off and resulted in a profit. Even if it was a small profit. But since that time, the TARP money has become a political slush fund for the president and his administration.

Populist attitudes was supposed to put an end to the bailouts. The government bails out the banks, and then they become the enemy. Even though they paid us back, we have to impose a tax on them. Of course I won't be passed on to consumers. We bailout the auto industry and the president makes jokes about it. He doesn't want to be in the auto industry. Then why is he? Now we are bailing out countries like Greece. President Obama has committed billions of dollars paid for by the US taxpayer to bailout crease with all the consent of Congress. Yet this bailout is receiving little attention from the mainstream media.

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STRUTTING PATRIOTISM & NATIONALISM

The people who miss the point of a democracy most are the ones who see our nation as without faults or only minor ones at worst.  They seem to find their most comfortable bed partners with militarists.  They see themselves as so right that they will ram the barrel of a gun down your throat to prove the wonderful nature of their form of "democracy."  We meet them on the street everyday, they often have flags in their lapel, or some patriotic bumper sticker on their car.  Their bigotry is kept more hidden unless they can express it anonymously.  Like all cultures throughout history, the U.S. is flooded with them.  We can ignore their violent ignorance, but at what cost?

"The U.S. is having the same troubles as Rome in its search for 'defensible frontiers.'  " -Lord Curzon

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Richards Tennis Courts & Playground

Schools

A loyal reader has sent an email with some interesting commentary about Richards school's construction.  Admittedly, I am no expert on the subject, so he's given me permission to republish his email.

I have bolded a few items below to draw out the most pertinent items.

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Sending a party invitation

Time to Celebrate, share your party planning ideas

Sending a party invitation

As my bio states, I own a personalized stationery business called Paper Celebration. I sell personalized invitations for all occasions. Next week I am travelling to New York for the National Stationery Show at the Javits Center. The show is amazing and attracts stationery designers from all over the country. I love going to see all of the new items and ideas. This will be my 5th or 6th show and I think this show will be very different from previous years. The economy definitely affected the party and stationery industry - if you were looking to cut back that was an easy place to start. Technology has also taken a bite out of the business. Evites are easy to send and economical. The economy and technology have forced the industry to analyze the trends and work hard to create new items that will encourage consumers to spend and encourage consumers to entertain again.

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Nicolet High to postpone asbestos abatement project

Nicolet High School, lawsuits

Nicolet High School will delay an asbestos abatement project until after final exams next month, Superintendent Rick Monroe informed parents Monday.

The delay comes after attorney and parent Michael Watton filed a petition in Milwaukee County Circuit Court on Friday to stop the work from starting while students are still in classes near the work site. A hearing on that petition is scheduled for Monday afternoon.

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TAXES & DEFICITS

Each time the subject of taxes and budget deficits arises, many people immediately think of the waste in government spending on welfare frauds.  This knee-jerk response has been taught through propaganda from corporate interests.  Welfare fraud is not the reason we have budget deficits.  Repeat: so-called "welfare fraud" is not the reason we have budget deficits or high taxes. 

The leading official in the Pentagon has admitted that there is bloat in their budget.  And when there is bloat in the Pentagon, we are talking many, many billions of dollars.  In the pie charts of government spending, social services is miniscule compared to spending on the "bloated" military budget.  Few people would argue against Social Security.  Amazingly, even fewer people think we should use tax money to help elderly, infirm, disabled, veterans, children, etc.  But when it comes to spending money on the military-industrial complex, the sky is the limit!

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Bay Ball, Farmers Market, Lake Drive, etc.

Schools, Silver Spring, BID, Bay Ball

This past Monday was the deadline for Bay Ball tickets.   I've heard from the organizers and they are extending the deadline this week, until the spots are gone.  If you were on the fence, tip over.  They need to fill the place.

I've never been to Bay Ball before .. but my wife and I will be going this year, even though we don't have kids in school.

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HOSPITAL/MEDICAL SCAMS

During part of my career I held an executive director's position in a hospital.  We had purchased a neighboring hospital, a nursing home, and were looking to purchase other hospitals.  I learned something about medicine in the U.S., and about how hospitals are run here.

 I learned that many hospitals in the U.S. were started by religious denominations.  These hospitals served in altruistic fashion and served unmet needs in many communities for many years.  Around the 1960s or so things began to change.  As more and more hospital boards of directors saw a change in membership, no longer were the boards made up of people dedicated to the specific religion or denomination that founded the hospital, but they began to see this as a business.  Some unscrupulous board members saw it as a golden chance to feather their own nest. 

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Prosperity in Exile

Business, climate change, County Government, Election, Energy, Government, Health Care, News, Politics, Presidential Politics, Reform, Religion, Smoking, taxes

A few short weeks ago, there was a 900 point drop in the Dow Jones industrial average that occurred within about a half hour's time. Why this happened, I don't think we know for sure yet. This is been called the "flash crash." The stock market recovered within the hour and outside of the panic, it was a fairly normal trading day. Yet Congress has to have an inquest on this. Why?

It has been blamed on computer glitches, fat fingers, and other things that turned out not to be the cause. Yet Congress and the administration is all up in arms about this. Earlier this week, over a three day period the Dow Jones industrial average dropped at least the same amount of points. Yet investors are just supposed to take the losses as routine. Well, that's part of trading so why is an event that is spread out over three days it has the same result okay but when it happens within an hour we need to regulate the financial markets?

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