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Curmudgeon's Corner

cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner

GAB is a Farce

Wisconsin, Political, Quality of Life

The Government Accountability Board (GAB) appears not to be really ‘accountable’ for much of anything.  The GAB is hip-deep in the effort to recall Governor Walker since the signatures collected will be handed to this group for review soon, and since some of its earlier rulings seemed to have been tainted.

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G.A.B. Revisited

Wisconsin, Political, Quality of Life

Reid Magny, Public Information Officer for the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board read my last blog (GAB is a Farce) and sent an e-mail that began, “Your column contains so many inaccuracies I don’t know where to start.”  Needless to say, I was taken aback both by that lead line and the need he saw to respond.  He did point out that my reference to the GAB being “created by the Doyle Administration when the Democrats controlled both houses” was inaccurate.  His e-mail advised me that “2007 Act 1, which created the G.A.B., became law when [R]epublicans controlled the Assembly and [D]emocrats controlled the Senate.  It passed the Senate 33-0 and the Assembly 97-2.”

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Kids on Farms?

Quality of Life, People Making A Difference, Political, U.S.

As on most mornings, I listened to Jay Weber this morning discussing the Labor Department’s effort to restrict farm laborers to those sixteen and older.  I married a ‘farm’ girl who worked side-by-side with her older brother and dad and mom and neighbors for years as a child under the age of sixteen.  That was a way of life for everyone who was born and raised on a dairy farm in western Wisconsin.  There was always work to be done, and more than could usually be done by the dad and mom alone although they were at it from before sunrise to long after sunset.

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December 7, 1941

Wisconsin, U.S., Quality of Life, People Making A Difference

December 7th, 1941.  The “day that will live in infamy” as FDR said to Congress, is here again.  That was 70 years ago, and yet we still remember…or at least some of us still remember.  I was born a couple of months after that attack and don’t remember much of anything about that war except for my mother using ration stamps to buy sugar and my dad talking about where to get tires for his truck that was used to pick up milk from farmers every morning with which he made cheese.

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Is This The Real Newt?

U.S., Political, Quality of Life, Economy

Newt Gingrich is perplexing many people…on both sides of the political aisle.  He has a long history and it has been a very dynamic history.  He is in his third marriage, one that seems to be very stable.  He appears to be more conservative today than he appeared to be a year or two ago, thus causing conservatives to be wary.  The big question seems to be “Is this the real Newt?”

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Village Buzz - December 9th

Village Buzz, Education

The Germantown Education Association with 287 members voted 228 Yes, 2 No and 57 didn’t vote.  Those not voting could likely be considered to have voted no.  Even with that having been said, the vote total was just under 80% in favor of retaining the union.  I was, frankly, surprised that this carried and that it carried by such a large margin.

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Rep. Sensenbrenner is Right

U.S., Political, Quality of Life, People Making A Difference

Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R) had it right yesterday when he stated flat out during a hearing that Atty. General Eric Holder ought to be impeached if he continues to stonewall Congress on the ‘Fast and Furious’ debacle.

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Do You Know a Dilbert?

Potpourri, Quality of Life, People Making A Difference

This morning’s Dilbert comic strip framed something I’ve seen but not felt.  Dilbert is worried because he doesn’t seem to have any problems and he fears that he is about to confront something really bad.  He says, “I feel like a nail waiting to get hammered.”

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Freedom FROM Religion or Freedom OF Religion?

Wisconsin, U.S., Quality of Life

Every year at about this time we see the ultra-atheists going nuts over displays depicting a Deity they deny exists.  I celebrate the birth of Christ at Christmas and they do not believe that Christ ever existed, or, if He did, then He wasn’t what we have Him cracked up to be.  There is a significant divergence of opinion but does that mean that those of us who believe there is a Christ are to be denied our God-given rights to observe His birth?

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NTSB Way Off Base

Quality of Life, U.S., Wisconsin, People Making A Difference

The NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) calling for a complete ban on all cell phone use in vehicles seems like a classic case of governmental agencies either doing too much or too little.  On the state scene, we have the GAB doing too little to be a meaningful agency.  On the federal level, we have the NTSB going way beyond the level of common sense.

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Village Buzz - December 15th

Village Buzz, Quality of Life, Police, Germantown, People Making A Difference

There are additional burglaries or attempted burglaries going on in Germantown again.  So far there were three such incidents yesterday, December 14th.

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My Tax Bill Was a Pleasant Surprise

Wisconsin, Taxes, MATC, School Board, County Board, Political, People Making A Difference

Like many of you, I received my property tax bill a day or two ago and quickly opened the envelope to see what it was compared to a year ago.  I was pleasantly rewarded since the overall bill was 1.3% less for 2011 than it had been for 2010.  The Washington County tax decreased by 1.0%, the Germantown village taxes increased by 1.1%, the MATC taxes increased by 0.4% and the Germantown School District tax decreased by 3.0%.

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Republican Roller-Coaster

Political, Wisconsin, U.S., Economy, Employment

The Republican roller-coaster seems to be gaining speed as one after another of the current slate of presidential candidates has the spotlight shone on him or her.  While this is happening, President Obama is busily adding to his campaign war chest and get-out-the-vote machine.

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Jetsetters?

U.S., Taxes, Political, Quality of Life

We people of the United States have been paying for a lot of vacation travel for the first family.  That isn’t so bad although this first family seems to need a lot more time away than have the recent few first families.  What bothers me is that there is too often some need for part of the family to get started before the President is ready to turn off the lights in the Oval Office.

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Political Lie of the Year

U.S., Wisconsin, Political, Quality of Life

Do you remember the political advertisement that showed a Paul Ryan look-alike pushing a wheelchair-bound old woman off the cliff?  That has been selected by PolitiFact as the Lie of the Year for 2011.

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A Battle of Giants

U.S., Wisconsin, Healthcare, Quality of Life

A battle of giants is about to conclude; Walgreen’s has been trying to renegotiate its deal with one of the biggest pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) in the country.  Express Scripts and Walgreen’s are to end their working agreement at the end of 2011.

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How Do We Stack Religion-wise?

U.S., Potpourri

Gallup does regular polling throughout the year as to religious affiliation, if any, and has done this for over 60 years.  The questions have changed a bit but the trends that are seen over time are very interesting, for me at least.

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A Week For Reflection

Potpourri, Quality of Life, People Making A Difference

This is feeling a little bit like a ‘breather’ week given the slower pace of things between now and the New Year.  Our Christmas celebrations both at home and in our church community were wonderful.  We were with family and good friends throughout Christmas week.  My wife and I participated in the Messiah Chorus at both Crossroads in Mequon and at St. Gabriel in Richfield/Hubertus and that really helped to launch our Christmas season at the beginning of December.

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2012 Republican Dream Ticket

U.S., Political, People Making A Difference

The Washington Times has an interesting poll at http://www.2012dreamticket.com/ which permits you to pick your Dream Team on the Republican ticket for President & Vice President.

Perry outnumbered Romney for President in the top cluster of vote-getters when I took my shot.

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Iran vs. Israel

U.S., Political, Economy, Quality of Life

The issue of Iran and the potential for it to already have or soon obtain working nuclear weapons promises to be a BIG issue in the coming year.  The current Administration has been less-than-robust so far as its commitment to the protection of Israel is concerned.  The Jewish voting block is important to President Obama since that voting block typically favors the Democrat candidate. Consequently, both Israel and Iran understand that this is the time to push the United States from opposite directions.

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Print Media Solution? JS Everywhere Hopes So!

U.S., Wisconsin, Economy, Quality of Life

The ‘print media’ has been among the most challenged segments of our economy for the past several years.  Newspapers have been sold off or shut down.  Many, if not all, of the major newspapers have had their issues trying to stay relevant and trying to stay profitable.

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Mob Mentality

Wisconsin, U.S., Quality of Life, Political

Social media flash mobs have become the “thing” for many young people.  The morning Journal Sentinel carries a story about how such a mob action in the process of being formed was averted last Monday at Mayfair Mall.

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Goodbye 2011

Quality of Life, Political, People Making A Difference, Economy, Education, Employment, U.S., Wisconsin

2011 has been an interesting, frustrating and fulfilling year.  I suspect that could be said by anyone and each likely would have a different take on the aspects that combined to make us use those descriptive terms.

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