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After many months of investigating the actions of the Rupert Murdoch empire, Britain's Parliament has released a statement.  It involved Members of Parliament from the Conservatives, the Liberals, and the middle of the road doing the questioning and writing the report.  While the Conservatives were uncomfortable with some aspects of the report, they all were a part of the honest investigation.  Here is some of what the report said:

"On the basis of the facts and evidence before the committee, we conclude that, if at all relevant times Rupert Murdoch did not take steps to become fully informed about phone hacking, he turned a blind eye and exhibited willful blindness to what was going on in his companies and publications."

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From Milw. Journal Sentinel, 5-2-12, p. 11A: "The four Democrats will be easily be outspent by Walker, whose $25.3 million raised was more than 12 times the $2 million raised by all four challengers combined.  In the most recent reporting period, Walker received two-thirds of his money from out of state."   "Of the nearly $11 million Walker spent over three months, $4.6 million of it...went toward malings.  Much of that money went to SCM Associates of North Carolina, a direct mail firm that lists Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney as a client."                                                                       Adding to the multitude of Scott Walker's lies and distortions are the "facts" and "figures" he presents about Tom Barrett's job as Mayor of Milwaukee.  Trying to run away from his miserable job as Governor, and failing to live up to his promise to bring 250,000 jobs to the state, Walker mentions all the jobs lost in Milwaukee in Barrett's past year.  Well, Scott, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported on Wednesday:

"First, the local March job losses cited by the Walker campaign were for the four-county (Milwaukee, Waukesha, Washingtongon, Ozaukee), not the City of Milwaukee."

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2-week dog foster homes needed

Foster a PAL Dog

Foster families are needed for this summer’s PAL program, which pairs shelter dogs with at-risk kids in the Milwaukee area.
Help out dogs and kids by becoming a foster parent today! Learn more.


I voted today.  The entire voting environment has become so polluted and greed-filled that there is an emptiness in voting.  There isn't much to choose today that is not influenced and tinged with greed capitalism, oligarchical purchase, war corporations, etc.  Our democracy, such as it was, is slipping away fast.  Money rules.  Greed has purchased our culture, way of life, democratic process, etc.

It is interesting to listen to the right-wing comments about how terrible it is that President Obama is making such a big thing out of the capturing and killing of Osama bin Laden under Obama's watch.  Please think for one moment.  If that mission to get bin Laden had failed, what do you think the right-wing would be doing about it during this election year?  The anti-intellectual tea party would be using that to tell us how incompetent Obama is.  Look, our President took a big risk in supporting that mission in Pakistan to get bin Laden.  The fact that it turned out as it did gives Obama the right to use it in his election campaigning.  The right-wing and greed puppets would be using it against Obama if he failed.

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An Ounce of Prevention for Crabapples and Pines

Fungal diseases of trees can be sneaky. Infection of leaves or needles takes place in the spring and early summer as new growth emerges and expands. This new growth is softer, more delicate, and more susceptible to infections.

Symptoms of infection may not be obvious until later in the growing season. An example is crabapple leaves that are turning olive brown and falling prematurely. Another example is pine needles that have failed to reach full size and begin to brown in their first season, leaving dead tips. The culprits in these cases are often apple scab on the crabapples or sphaeropsis/diplodia shoot blight on the pines.

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Don't  let them deny it!  Women are being attacked and challenged anew by the right-wing in America.  A Republican leader in the Wisconsin legislature announced "proudly" that it was only right that men were paid more than women because men needed more money than women.  Shades of the 19th century!  And the right-wing who constantly criticizes government and wants less of it, nevertheless wants legislation that has the government snooping in the physician's exam rooms to be sure women behave puritanically in their lives.  Shades of the 18th century!  With Mother's Day approaching, I thought it was a good time to post some thoughts that relate to woman....[stay to the end, not the usual words]

"Social science affirms that a woman's place in society marks the  level of civilization." -Elizabeth Cady Stanton

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“Twister” the dog survives devastating tornado

 “Twister” the dog survives devastating tornado in Kentucky

One-eyed, three-legged Corgi mix now looking for new home in Wisconsin

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Thank you for reading my blog.  I respect you.  I appreciate you.  I do not take you for granted.

I would like to share something with you that is very dear to my heart.  It is a quote from Pablo Neruda, the wonderful poet from Chile.  But this is not a poem, it is his speculation on the origin of his poetry.  But for you and me it is so much more.  It is loaded with reflections on life and what is important.  I share it with you.  I try to use it to guide my life...

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Where Do We Find Our Employees?

We love our employees too!

After we are finished working on a property we often get asked “Where do you get your staff from” or “where did you learn all that tree stuff”, and we also have a few parents ask “are you hiring? My son or daughter needs a job!” 

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TIRED OF SELF-RIGHTeous judgmentalism

 Don't you wish the strutting fundamentalists would actually read the Bible?  All the posing, all the attention-getting, all the judgments, all the ignorance gets to be very-very tiresome.

Wouldn't it be nice if the immigration bigots would read the story of the Good Samaratan and see how this man from outside the realm, outside the citizenship of the "normal" people conducted himself and set an example for others.  Oh, that we could have such understanding for those outside our "normalcy."  What is truly odd is that those who judge immigrants are the descendants of immigrants themselves.  Of course the judgmentalists love to throw around self-righteous words like "legal" when someone arrives from outside their physical and mental "gated city."

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Party with the animals June 2! Beer, wine, food, music...

Hounds & Sounds: An Anniversary Celebration

 Come celebrate the one-year anniversary of the Wisconsin Humane Society Ozaukee Campus at Hounds & Sounds: An Anniversary Celebration, on Saturday, June 2 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at 630 W. Dekora St. in Saukville. 
Enjoy animal greeters, food, and live music by String-a-Long. Children are welcome to attend, but please leave your four-legged friends at home. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door, and $10 for kids under 12 years old. All adult tickets include a chance to win free Brewers tickets! All proceeds go right back to help the shelter’s animals.  More info – and tickets – can be found here


 "A halber emez iz a gantzer lign." [Yiddish proverb: "A half truth is a whole lie."]

"A conservative government is an organized hypocrisy." -Benjamin Disraeli

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Tree Doctors Still Make House Calls

When you call Wachtel Tree Science and Service to look at your tree, a Certified Arborist will come to provide a thorough assessment of it. You may have some idea regarding how your doctor assesses your health, but what does a Certified Arborist look at when determining your tree’s health or condition?

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Along with a terribly functioning health care system that needs major reform, our criminal justice system also is badly in need of an overhaul.  A recent study indicates how many people are falsely charged and imprisoned for crimes they did not commit.  And yet there are many who would extend the death penalty in the U.S. to states that have been enlightened enough to not commit murder in the name of the government.

The statistics below are just the tip of the ice berg related to false accusations, false imprisonments, false evidence [often by the police themselves], and wrongful "legal" executions.  Besides those who spend time in prison or are executed incorrectly, there are myriad other reasons our criminal justice system needs to be changed dramatically.  More on that in another blog posting.  But here is an Associated Press report:

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Memorial Day Scams Target Military, Families & Supporters

BBB, Better_Business_Bureau, military, scams, Memorial Day

Memorial Day is a time to honor those who serve and remember those who have died in war. But sadly, it has also become a key opportunity for scammers to target those who are serving or have served their nation, especially elderly veterans. BBB is urging consumers and donors to be on the lookout for deals that seem too good to be true, and for disreputable charities.

The unique lifestyle of our service members makes them prime targets for scammers. It’s imperative that we educate our service members and ensure that the support we give to them equals the effort they make every day on behalf of us. Scams can include those that target service personnel and their families directly, but also those that appear to be helping military members via charities.

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As you wring your hands about the state of politics in America, many things are evolving that indicate it may get worse before it gets better ...if it ever does.  We are losing the United States of America, and we have no clue how bad and how deep things are in this regard.  Not only are we losing our democracy to greed, we are losing the very essence of our culture in the process.  And our brains are blank about it all.

It is difficult to express this dilemma in the few words of a blog, but I shall give it a try here.  The following is but a small example of the magnitude of the problem.

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"Life Below Ground"

When thinking about trees and tree health, we should be more aware of what is below ground. Healthy root systems are vital to the health and longevity of trees. A vigorous expanding root system is supported by healthy soils. Often times when the trees crown appears stressed - thin canopy, small or chlorotic leaves, branch dieback - it is the root system and corresponding soils that are the real issue.

Roots obtain water, and essential elements from the soil. Abundant oxygen in the soil is critical for respiration. A good root system anchors the tree in place. Roots also store carbohydrates for growth and tree defense.

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 From the wide variety of sources we still call "news":

Was Archbishop Timothy Dolan elevated to Cardinal because his intra-archdiocese budget manipulations saved the Roman Catholic Church tens of millions of dollars by re-assigning line items in the budget of the archdiocese, thus not included in the bankruptcy filings?

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