The Winter 2007 "Bay Leaves" arrived in the mail today. Looks like it's a bit late, as there are a number of announcements meant for December.
But the bigger story was the front page "Greetings from the Village President" by Katie Pritchard. Usually, Pritchard writes a quality, professional missive full of news items without histrionics. Not this quarter.
"Kudos to the many of you who took the time to determine the facts before responding to the rumors about CVS. The fact is that while CVS did look at a site on .. Silver Spring .. the Village has not received an application .. that would be required .. to proceed."
With news last week that a third candidate was running for Village Trustee, Whitefish Bay now has a race, three people for two spots on the Village Board. Since incumbents have a great probability of re-election, David Fee will probably retain his job, which means this race is mostly between Julie Siegel and Thomas Fehring, who submitted campaign paperwork last week.
Again, please note, I am not a journalist, I'll endeavor to be fair, however, I suppose I will write an endorsement later in the election process. In general, I will ask each candidate the same questions.
Change the radio station, shave, apply makeup, find a cassette tape, read the newspaper, talk on the phone, text, smoke, eat, discipline the kids, argue with spouse, give finger to other drivers, look for street signs, look for friends, dial the phone, cut coupons, search for dropped cigarette, scratch, takeoff coat, change shoes, read mail, read e-mail, look for map, search for gloves in glove compartment, program GPS, floss teeth, look for song on iPod, search for CD, pet dog, roll down rear window, roll up rear window, roll down the front window, drink, eat, think about beer, throw empties in backseat, . . .
As you can see there are many things that people do while driving. Unfortunately, paying attention and being responsible to the other people on the road is often not among the list of things people will do while driving. When I heard the statistics of how many cars have been prevented from crossing the median because of the cable barrier, I was quite surprised that number was so high. Driving a car has more responsibility than people often realize. Too many people view it as wasted time and then go on to accomplish many of the items in the above list and actual driving comes secondary. Cell phones topped the list as main distractors of people driving. This causes traffic jams, slowdowns, and of course accidents. This leads to high repair costs and higher insurance costs. If everyone would just hang up and drive, or pay attention while driving, we all would benefit. So please pass this on to those who are not regular readers of Logos of the Bogus. We all need to get to our destinations safely.
Do you know why people are not watching American TV news broadcasts? Because they stink! American TV news is amateurish, without regularly stationed international reporters, selected for the dumbest audience, focuses on blood pictures, etc. And those who report TV news, the anchors, do not have a clue. The people involved at all levels of broadcast news have no back-story. They must have slept through journalism school. History is unknown to them.
Do you wonder why so many foreign news reporters speak with an English "accent"? Because they cut their news reporting teeth and observations on the BBC. Our public and commercial broadcast networks do not have posted foreign reporters. The BBC does. The BBC is today's gold standard in news reporting. NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox, etc. are influenced by the bottom line and small, real news-gathering payrolls. The BBC is a not-for-profit company! Result: Americans are poorly served by the U.S. news media. And it shows in the relative ignorance in international affairs we as citizens exhibit.
We are about one week into 2008. This is also about one week into the primary season. This of course means that we are halfway to finding out who are nominees for the next president of the United States will be. So far we have the results from one State: Iowa. Going into New Hampshire, and subsequently super Tuesday, the media in America seems to be in love with the two top getters from the Iowa caucus. Even know a couple of the lesser-known candidates have dropped out of the race already, some still think that the race is wide open, especially on the Republican side. Let's hope so.
Candidates love momentum and America loves a winner. I hope that we just don't rubber stamp what has already been done and keep piling on, without stopping to think about the future of this country and how this election is going to affect us. I hope Americans understand the gravity of the situation. One of the candidate's on this stage of the debates is going to be handed the presidency of the United States. Along with it, all the glory and all the responsibility. They are going to be handed over the White House and the codes to the nuclear weapons. Tough times calls for great leaders. If we look at going on on the world, and what's going on in the economy, we are reaching a pivotal moment.
As we become bombarded with sound-bites, we become aware of how important it is to listen to what is being said. But the right questions have to be asked and they sadly are not. There are no questions being post about the economy. I guess it's assumed that taxes are going to be increased. New programs are being proposed. Deficit spending is the bad guy. Yet we're being distracted by issues of immigration which while are important are being made more confusing by candidates tendency to tailor their message to what they believe America wants to hear.
There is no use trying to convince you of anything if you already have your mind made up. But if you are intelligent, and have an open mind, then this inquiry is worth your time. It will show clearly and in hundreds of historical records how the Bush family aided the ***, how fascism is a traditional goal of the Bush family and Bush-Cheney, etc. Not all the hundreds of references are reliable ones. But like any controversial historical investigation, you must decide which is worthy of consideration, which comes from a trusted source, and which is propaganda or trash from some publication or individual with a particular prejudice. Please note, however, how much historical and factual information exists. And then wonder why this is not revealed in corporate, capitalistic U.S., where the media and everything else is bought and paid for As a man with a M.A. degree in history, I think this is perhaps the greatest un-told story in .American history...
To find the volumes and volumes of material on this subject, check with a search engine on-line. There are many, and these are among the most common: Google, Yahoo, MSN, Hotbot, Ask.com, Altavista. Go to the search engines and enter these subjects and wait to be astounded: Begin with George W. Bush's grandfather, Prescott Bush, and then...
I do not know what it is that smokers did to Governor Jim Doyle. But apparently they must've done something pretty bad. It seems like the governor has had it out for smokers for some time.
I will begin with the obligatory I am not a smoker, but what I see the government doing to smokers is laughable. It's unfortunate that smokers do not form a social subculture to unite and fight back for whatever rights they may have left. Smokers have become an easy target to push unfavorable regulation upon them and they just accept it. One day they will rise up and march to Madison, but until then they will sit down and wheeze.
It is hilarious watching the Republican candidates in open support of George W. Bush's totally failed presidency. It is as if they do not fall in line, a stern teacher is going to come out of the woodwork and slap their knuckles with a ruler.
No presidency, not even Coolidge, Harding, or even Nixon has put the U.S. and the world in such jeopardy. And at home we have a recession already underway, favors to the rich at the detriment of the poor, golden gifts to the corporations and crumbs for the underserved, a remaining chasm in New Orleans after all these months, we are almost without a single nation-friend in the world, thousands of Americans killed and permanently wounded or maimed in Iraq, torture, Guantanamo, immense budget deficits, lies and lies and lies, an energy policy to benefit major corporations, tax money to benefit huge drug corporations, a U.S. infrastructure crumbling around us, handouts without bids to Halliburton as a pay-off to Cheney, secret wire-taps on innocent U.S. citizens, an unconstitutional Patriot Act, health care in America in the toilet even though our costs are higher than any industrialized country, the invasion of a sovereign nation that had no part in 9-11, military threats to Iran even though Bush's own staffs said Iran has halted nuclear weapons activity, special favors for the Saudis even though the 9-11 terrorists were primarily Saudi-led and Saudi-supported [a long-standing pay-off from the Bush family to their old friends in Saudi Arabia], ad infinitum.
It is the start of the legislative session and already the Democrats are bringing up the issue of raising the minimum wage. It seems like every year, or at least every other year, there is talk of raising the minimum wage to make it a living wage again. You know the kind of wage that you can raise a family on. It is going to be raised to over seven dollars per hour. And in one of the presidential debates, one of the candidates thought that that was not high enough. They stated it should be raised to $9.50 per hour. To a guy who started working in the minimum wage was less than three dollars per hour, this seems like a lot of money.
As a couple of things being lost here. First, the minimum wage is just that-the minimum. It is not designed to raise a family on. You cannot buy a house or send your kids to college if all you do is earn minimum wage. If you are earning minimum wage, and raising a family, you should've done a little more in terms of life planning. Earning minimum wage is not meant to be shameful, we've all done it, however, once you start learning the job, and getting better at it, learning new skills, building a reputation, everything that goes into the working world, you should be earning a raise and not have to worry about the bare minimum. Remember, if you're selling your soul to the company store. It's up to you to raise your price. If individuals took responsibility for honing their own skills, they would not have to rely on the legislature raising the minimum wage in order for them to get a raise every couple of years. Too often, low-wage workers have not learned the three key principles in what is used to determine their rate of pay: first, is the work itself. A lot of this is determined by the free market. Second, is how well will you do your job. And third is the difficulty in replacing you. Yet today, too many people settle for mediocrity. We don't going to work with the intention of doing just average-yet too often, that is the result.
Well, it's been a while, that's true. It's funny, because so many people told me that two children is nothing like 1. They're right. It's a lot better! It's also a lot busier. Because it's been so long since my last post, I decided that I would return to Roasted Nuts without my writing staff. And with that....
Let's get onto today's topic: the primaries. One of the things that I have spent so much time doing in the last several months is watching is the 2008 election coverage. Oh sure, every 4 years someone says it, but I'll say it right now: we are living in a truly historic time. We have, in succession, the first African American and the first woman to win a Presidential primary. Ever. And even though the country is 230 + years old, it took until this year, this month, for both of these events to happen. The Democrats are more energized than ever. And the stories of each of the Democratic candidates are compelling as well. Barack Obama speaks with an almost intoxicatingly optimistic fervor. John Edwards fights to bring back a bygone era of commitment to the middle class. As for Hillary, she recalls, well, Bill Clinton and 8 great years of economic growth in our country.
Milwaukee County Supervisor Lynne DeBruin is in the fight of her life to retain her seat but paranoia seems to have set in and often times that marks the beginning of the end for the incumbent's candidacy.
DeBruin is telling folks that I'm working on behalf of challenger Dan Cody. The truth is that while I have run into Cody, I am neither helping out in his campaign nor contributing to his campaign. It is true that I believe he would be a better choice for the district but that is due to several reasons.
First and foremost, DeBruin is lazy and when a person with legislative responsibilities earns a full time salary, they ought to provide their constituents with full time work. DeBruin does not. This is not to say that she has not in the past. Back in 1996 through about 1998, DeBruin was one of the work horses on the board. Under then Board Chairman Karen Ordinans, DeBruin manipulated the budget to her liking and she was fairly good at it even if she took some risks that I was not comfortable with.
Along the way, DeBruin lost her work ethic. Instead of working, she chose to stay at home while continuing to draw her $50,000 a year salary. She used her position to guarantee herself an income which she did not earn. It's time for her to step aside and let the next generation of leaders take over.
(Note: A good many Supervisors do earn their salary and all Supervisors should not be lumped together. The public should not let the rhetoric of venomous partisans and lazy journalists guide their opinions of the board as a whole.)
Cody on the other hand has shown his energy in his campaigning style. He has knocked on over 1000 doors already and is committed to parks, the environment and the restoration of fiscal sanity to Milwaukee County. His website asks, "do you think it's time to put an end to the chronic pension scandal problem"?
It's been eight years. One would think that the problem would been handled by now and DeBruin has been there the entire time. DeBruin was on the committee that recommended the ill-fated pension proposal to the board and remained silent to her colleagues except to say that she didn't believe it was "fair enough" to the workers. One would think that DeBruin, a past Chairman of the Finance Committee, more than anyone, should have been able to see some signs of a problem. Why was she silent about the issues to her colleagues? She voted no because it was not rich ENOUGH, not because she saw a problem with the size of the payouts.
A little background is in order here -- I served on the board at the time with DeBruin, however my focus was as Chairman of the Judiciary committee. Had DeBruin had some insight, it was her responsibility to share that with her colleagues just as I would have shared information about the Judiciary committee which was critical to decision making. In all fairness to DeBruin, there was not and is not any now-public documents which could have given her or any other Supervisor any inkling of what the true cost of the pension plan was but that is not to say that the closed door meetings which only DeBruin and a few others were privy to did not provide true insight. Why, her colleagues past and present deserve to know, would she have voted "no" yet raised no red flags at the full board meeting?
To make matters worse, DeBruin was on the Milwaukee Public Museum Board of Directors when the decisions were made that nearly bankrupt the place. When news broke of the problems, she hastily resigned her position on that unpaid board. And I'll just say this for the record -- when I served on that board things were going well. When I left we had over $12,000,000 in reserves that we were continuing to build on with the intention that eventually we could be in a position to use interest income from that indemnified amount to reduce our need for cash from Milwaukee County (who owns the collections and the building).
Where was DeBruin?
So yes, I believe DeBruin needs to go. She's bad for the county and she's bad for the community.
As the weather gets colder, we must remind ourselves that there is still global warming. Or so we are told. But not by science. Or at least scientists who have done objective, extensive research. Al Gore, liberals, et al. This includes at least a couple of presidential candidates. Of those that are left.
What to do? What to do? Is it too late? Is the problem real or propagandized? Is there something we can do today? Is there something I can do today?
Now that the holiday season has passed, the Village of Bayside will resume its normal rubbish and recycling schedule. With the exception of the weeks of Memorial and Labor Day in 2008,
• the Monday rubbish collection route will occur each Monday in 2008
• the Tuesday rubbish collection route will occur each Tuesday in 2008
• the Wednesday recycling route will continue to alternate weeks for collection every other Wednesday
Michael Bloomberg is the mayor of New York City. He is really part Republican, part Democrat, and mostly independent of those political parties. His wealth allowed him to propel himself into the top end of politics. He has given hints that he may consider running as a third party candidate for president. He is a far and positive cry from the likes of Ross Perot.
Among the role call now running for president, he would bring characteristics and nuances that are soley lacking in another group of political hacks running this election year. Where in the heck are all the quality leaders? Just about anyone would be an improvement over George W. Bush. But why is it that the U.S. cannot find leaders to match a Palme of Sweden, or Brandt of Germany, or even the current leader of Germany, Mrs. Merkel?
Milwaukee County Supervisor Lynne DeBruin wanted voters to think that her only challenger, Dan Cody, was some out-of-touch lefty and she was a sensible moderate. As such, she attempted to position herself as just to the right of Cody, figuring that she would pick up all moderates and all conservatives. In a two-person race, that would have been a savvy strategy, but DeBruin is now facing a nightmare scenario.
While Cody has democratic voters in his sights, her newest opponent, Dan Wycklendt is happy to snarf up Republican votes. With DeBruin staking out a position in the center, there are likely to be few reasons for voters to support her. After all, with virtually no chance of grabbing votes from Republican voters with Wycklendt in the race, DeBruin now has to scramble to pull votes away from Cody. Without voters who typically vote for Democrats, DeBruin may not even make it out of the primary. DeBruin is going to have to do a pretty creative dance if she is to buffalo constituents into thinking she has been a hands-on Supervisor, especially considering the fact that she has had a chance to make changes, but has instead chosen to treat the job as a part-time gig funded by the taxpayer. Cody, on the other hand, pledges to be a hands-on Supervisor.
May God bless John Wiley. I really don't know that much about him. I did manage to pick up a few facts about him. As a boy he liked to blow things up. He was interested in explosives. He did manage to stay enough out of trouble to finish high school. Not real sure exactly what happened soon after that, but his story picks up when he becomes a graduate student in physics.
He may be Madison's last chancellor. In a recent article, it was brought out on how little money a chancellor will make in Madison. And the paltry sum is going to be paid to the next chancellor made drastically decrease the number of candidates and pauperize the poor soul who would accept the challenge of leading the flagship of the university system in this state. As reported, the total compensation is $341,495.
Socialized medicine! Boo! Did I frighten you?
Immigration amnesty! Boo! Scared?
Hmm, how should I say this? "I told you so" is too harsh. How about a more collegial, "Hey, I'm glad Glendale's finally going to take a look at evaluating traffic safety along Good Hope and Green Bay!"
As many of you know, I am running for Glendale alderperson for the 4th District. When I first sought to represent the 4th District, I took to the streets to meet with fellow residents and discuss their concerns.
The Village of Bayside follows a full value assessment program, which means that the Assessor attempts to keep all property values at 100 percent of market value, annually. To accomplish this, the Village Assessor inspects one-third (33%) of the 1,625 properties in the Village annually.
Included within the annual evaluation are an analysis of properties sold in the previous year, an inspection of new construction, properties that were issued a building permit in the previous year, and an area approximately representing one-third of the Village. After a thorough analysis of all sale properties Accurate Appraisal will adjust values according to style and neighborhood of the property based on 100% full market value. Accurate Appraisal anticipates beginning the 2008 fieldwork process the end of January or beginning of February 2008. In 2007, a similar amount were evaluated and the final third will be competed in 2009.
Village Assessor, Accurate Appraisal LLC., will soon be starting their second year of a three-year cycle in maintaining the Village’s full value assessment program. In general, the Assessor will be conducting field work in the area between East Fairy Chasm Road and East Brown Deer Road in the east central portion of the Village. This does not mean they will visit all homes in this area, but rather it depends on recent sales, building permits and new construction in 2007. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Accurate Appraisal at 1-800-770-3927. Village of Bayside assessment information may be found at www.accurateassessor.com.
This was supposed to be the most interesting the presidential election in over a generation. The wide open for both parties, we were supposed to get the best candidates. Of the best candidates, we are supposed to nominate the best people to become the next president. Of the two nominees, we will elect a president that we all can be proud of. What is going on?
Listening to the rhetoric of the campaign, we are supposed to get experienced change. We are supposed to get something new yet familiar. We are supposed to be coming into a new era of politics, with some old favorites. However, the more things change, the more they stay the same. It's back to the old spiel. The candidates and the media are trying to distract us. By focusing on a bunch of issues that really don't matter to voters. That of course would be anything except the economy. Once again we're trying to get a referendum on the war in Iraq. Were trying to get a consensus on global warming. We are trying to find out which religion can best interpret our American values. By becoming distracted by these topics, the candidates are polarizing the electorate. Even in orations which emphasize the coming together of different and diverse groups, the opposite is being accomplished.