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The Empty Chair for the Empty Suit

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

Last week's Republican national convention showed to the country, and much to the dismay of Democrats, that Republicans are not a bunch of back towards, toothless, redneck, gun toting hillbillies. The speeches, the rising stars, the unity, is all being brushed aside so that there can be ridicule done towards the presentation of Clint Eastwood.

Clint Eastwood's presentation was Hollywood entertainment. A break from the continuity of the political figures, an off-the-cuff speech that may not have gone as well as expected due to some of the ramblings. But the empty chair did represent the empty suit that was being represented there.

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Trees Serve Many Functions-Plant a Tree with a Purpose

Trees contribute so much to improve the quality of our lives. The oxygen the trees produce is essential to life. Wood has been an important building material through the ages. Fruit and nut trees feed wildlife and us. These are just a few of the important roles trees play in our lives.

More than just aesthetic beauty, landscape trees can serve many functional roles improving the quality of our lives.

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ROVE, CHENEY, DeLAY, ROMNEY, RYAN...

 There are so many ways that Paul Ryan is a charlatan that I simply ask you to check his own history.  Born into a little money, he used his father's Social Security money to help him get started.  Paul Ryan's family business was built on using government money to get contracts for income.  Paul Ryan is not a log cabin Republixan.  In fact, like Mitt Romney, just about all of Ryan's millions have come directly or indirectly from government funding.  Yet Paul Ryan wants to deny these opportunities to others.  

Just as the other charlatans who used government money to make their fotrunes, Karl Rove and Dick Cheney and George Bush and Tom DeLay and the rest, these two-faced politicians all now speak against government funding though they had used it.  They sit on their wealth pile, helped greatly by government money and/or contracts, and want to deny others the same.  Not only did some of them use government money to further their own fortunes, but some ended up in court, charged with illegalities.

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50K to be donated if 500 shelter animals find homes at WHS

 Wisconsin Humane Society announces 

“50K Community Cares Challenge”

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Romney & Ryan support Socialism???

 Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan love to try and attach the socialist label on Barach Obama.  Usually it refers to some compassionate or altruistic concept or program that President Obama advocates.  Anything that does not give huge tax breaks to the wealthy in the U.S., or offer sweetheart military-industiral contracts to the largest corporations will be labeled "socialistic."  Hmmm.

The health care reform that President Obama was able to get through Congress has been waiting since the administration of President Teddy Roosevelt.  Amazingly, Obama was finally able to achieve it, though many prior presidents had failed.  Romney and Ryan call it Euro-Socialism.  Strange.

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Southeastern Wisconsin Trees and the Prolonged Drought of 2011&2012

Paul Markworth, Consulting Arborist

Over the past two years, southeast Wisconsin’s precipitation has been many inches below normal.   We are in a drought and this drought is beginning to take its toll on our trees.

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More "honesty" from Romney-Ryan...

Oh, they look so honest!  Romney and Ryan will be good leaders.  I trust them.  Wow, are people in for some surprises!  Check their backgrounds, please.  Know the two-faced lies they have told you.  See, how they have designed their platform to help the rich and hurt the middle class and poor.  They have no conscience about trampling you or the government programs designed to help you.  Oh, it is OK for the government to help them, as it has many times.  But not you.  For you it is socialism, for them it is good capitalism.  Sad.  Sick.  Shameful.  Disgusting. 

Yes, by now all of us should know how the drug companies and the insurance companies wine and dine people to get what they want.  They send physicians on luxury vacations at no cost to the physicians; all the docs have to do is prescribe certain drugs.  And insurance companies know how to send politicians on a gravy train route in order to get their support.  Your health and health care is dependent upon physicians who are bought and sold, and upon insurance companies who know how to prevent you from adequate care.  And the king and prince of the drug-insurance cabal in Washington, Romney and Ryan, can't wait to get their hands on power so they can reward their masters.  You get the dregs.

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Failed Tolerance

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

What is going on in the world today? After four years of failed economic policies by the current administration, we are now gaining valuable insight to the failed foreign policies of this administration. President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are taking the usual course of action for this administration-blaming someone else.

After several months of campaigning around the United States , President Obama and Vice President Biden have been spiking the football proudly proclaiming that Osama bin Laden is dead . Well, nobody feels bad about that, but we also need to realize that it was not said in a vacuum. People around the world were listening. So four years after reaching out to the Muslim world, .where has it gotten us?

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Who stole the American dream?

 As a historian with a graduate degree, I carefully review historical writing.  It has absolutely amazed me that few books have been written about how we have lost the American dream.  The stability of the American job left us decades ago, and yet all we hear, at best, are little speech items about it.  Our kids and grandkids may be heading for a life that is far less comfortable than the one we carved for ourselves in the U.S.  Where are the books?  Why no written alarm?  Do we just accept this and march like lemmings over the cliff?

Finally a book has been written about what caused this step backwards:

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Prescribed Fertilization Can Help Your Trees Now!

 by: Anthony C. Arnoldi, Board-Certified Master Arborist WI-0102B

Trees have had had their share of problems this year.

  • They have had to suffer from diminishing root systems during the last2 and a half years of the long, accumulating drought,
  • wood boring insect numbers have risen to extremely high levels and are attacking     various tree species,
  • chlorosis (yellowing due to decreased chlorophyll levels in the leaves) has begun or intensified on susceptible trees,
  • needle diseases and needle drop of evergreens are commonly visible,
  • fungal leaf spot diseases of deciduous trees are noticeably high and causing defoliation,
  • root rots have affected many root systems to some degree,
  • dieback and decline has started on a lot of trees because of these problems, and
  • bad “pruning” from storms, well-intentioned homeowners or unschooled arborists has added injury to insult.

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How We're Better Off

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

At this point of the presidential campaign, there doesn't seem to be a lot of enthusiasm for a change. In fact, a lot of the Democrats are confident that they are going to win and already believe the race is over. I would like to argue that they are wrong, but I have read the latest polling and it is not looking favorable for the Romney camp. I cannot even assume that they are oversampling Democrats.

So, if we're going to be looking at another four years of an Obama administration, it's time to take a look at how we are better off. Let's start with your home value. When you receive your tax bill for this year, you will certainly find that it has not gone down. But what about the value of your home?  Just because it's gone down, doesn't mean that your municipality will be looking for any less money as a result. How about the price of gas? It has only doubled, but needs to go up further in order to incentives us lazy Americans to switch to  green energy and alternative sources of renewable energy. Again, as far as we've come, there's still a long way to go.

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LISTEN TO ROMNEY'S EXACT WORDS

Mitt Romney can't help himself.  When he lies, which is often, he gets into trouble.  When he tells the truth, he gets into trouble.  I guess all we can do is listen carefully to his exact words and try to figure out what he means and what he is trying to hide.  It ain't easy for someone who has had an easy life.

Speaking to a group of wealthy people who feel they have to support the conservative in the presidential race because that will protect their tax breaks, government contracts, and favorable deals with the government or with the government out of the way.  In short, greed trumps everything, and the greediest vote in November will go to the politician who can deliver the protection and the hand-outs to the wealthy.

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Picking up the Pieces: Supporting your workplace after a tragedy

workplace; tragedy; trauma; IMPACT; emergency; employees; training; business; aftermath;

As a business owner or manager, you can take every reasonable safety precaution to try and prevent the bad things from happening. That still won’t thwart an act of violence from an irrational employee or customer; “acts of God” like heart attacks and hurricanes; or random accidents like the ones that happen every day in companies just like yours. Do you realize that, if left unchecked, the aftermath of a critical incident could also cause your business to suffer?

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Did Jesus Have A Wife?

It is all but impossible to express anything close to scholarly or historical commentary about the Bible, Jesus, God, Christianity, etc. in the insane arena of theology, religion, or spiritual authenticity in the United States especially.  If you think Islam has strange cults, groupings, schisms, sects, etc., try to make sense out of what has been done in the name of Christianity through the years. Think Jerry Falwell, Jimmy Swaggart, Pat Robertson, Oral Roberts, burning at the stake, shunning, condemnation to Hell, eerie interpretations of the Bible, bigotry, pedophilia, sexism, ad infinitum.  All of it "Biblical."

When fundamentalists, pentecostals, Roman Catholics, etc. enter historical accounts and discussions, there is absolutely no room for accuracy or truth.  Absurd beliefs of one kind or the other get in the way of honest scholarly study and historical accuracy.  It becomes a house of mirrors, a rubber room, and hocus-pocus and voodooism take over.  We live in a university of lies, deceptions, cover-ups, and anti-intellectual B-movies and strange projections.  Our religious "beliefs" are more in tune with the 5th century than the 21st.

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Mature Oak Care

Oaks trees are native to our area and can live 200 to 300 years. Oaks have been the subject of story, song, and legend. They cannot be replaced with in our or our children’s lifetime.

Mature oaks create a dimension in the landscape that is often taken for granted, because they have been there so long. They may appear indestructible because we see only the toughest part of the tree that is above ground. However the most sensitive portion of a mature tree is the root system.

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Evaluating Romney...

 It is truly amazing that the recent release of a small portion of Mitt Romney's tax liability for a recent year was viewed as a positive by some people.  I won't bother to make an issue of his history of hiding his income and assets in Swiss and Cayman accounts.  But deceptively not paying his full taxes for one year so that his personal reference to paying 14% in income taxes was "accurate" is too much.  It shows blatantly his use of deception to be "truthful."  As Romney himself once said in an interview, "If I didn't use my full deductions and overpaid my tax liability, I probably wouldn't be fit to be President."  Absolutely correct, Mitt.

If Mitt Romney had claimed all of his charitable donations instead of just some of them, he would have paid less than 10% of his income in taxes.  But he said he paid 13 or 14% in all recent years.  So he had his tax accountant NOT use all his deductions so he could show he paid 14% in teaxes.  That is considered honesty by Romney???  Manipulation, perhaps.  Deception, perhaps,  But certainly not honesty!

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Let the Rest of The World Go By

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

To use a football analogy, the Obama campaign is playing prevent defense. The pollsters are acting like the replacement refs, and the Romney campaign is making bad calls. And the worst part is-the United States will have to live with the results for four more years. Next season is a long way off.

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Of course, Tammy Baldwin

Some years ago, while living in Kansas City, I saw a news clip concerning the Governor of Wisconsin.  Being a Badger, and being gone from my home state for quite awhile, I was interested to see who the new Wisconsin gov was.  I couldn't have been more disappointed or embarrassed from the first words out of the mouth of Tommy Thompson.  Could this awkward goof really be the governor of my home state?  He was an embarrassment of the First Waters.

Since that time, the small town boy has become a puppet and servant of the wealthy, and in the process has made himself rich.  Was this because he was talented or intelligent?  Nope, it was because he had no qualms about selling out to well-paying, greedy individuals.  And Tommy had learned to play with the big boys in Washington.  And as is the case with so many of our "servants" in Washington, he left a Cabinet post and offered himself to the highest bidder.  And the bids came in for the man with connections in D.C.

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Why do we hate ourselves so much?

Politicians reflect to the public what they think the public believes and wants to hear from them.  As a result, political campaigns are loaded with hatred, bigotry, sexism, gay bashing, Moslem bashing, and generally bashing of "the other."  There is so much hatred rampant in our own nation and culture that we express our own inferiority complex by trying to pull down people who do not fit our shallow concept of civilization.  We are still grunting cavemen and cavewomen.  We are comfortable in our caves and we don't want anybody to bother us if they don't fit our concept of the "right" color, religion, sexual inclination, ad infinitum.  Very sad.

It is just about beyond my comprehension why somebody would want to hate "the other."  We hate huge groups of people.  How can that be?  Let some others attempt to shed some light on this human curse...

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WE are the uninvited immigrants

No matter which individual or group you believe first came from Europe to settle in the New World, all of us who fit into that category came as uninvited immigrants.  If you read the accounts from the daily log of Columbus and his ships, you will read the most monstrous, inhumane comments and observations about the "natives" they first encountered in this hemisphere. 

The way we treated the people who had been living here for a millenium is also sickening.  The white Europeans gave no thought to the native people, their familites, their traditions, their religion, their welfare, their right to the land they lived on for so very-very long, etc.  We horribly mistreated them, disenfranchised them, stole their land, tried to smother their culture and religion, murdered them, brought disease to them, moved them, herded them onto land that was strange to them, took everything we could from them.

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