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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

MATC...Rubbing Our Noses In It!

Education, Germantown, MATC, Political, School Board, Taxes, Village Board

I don't know if the MATC has a public relations agency under contract but, if it does, they deserve a raise..more than the president of MATC deserves the one he just received!  It is impossible for any PR firm to cover the smell of this institution.

That's right.  The president of MATC, Darnell Cole, just received a pay increase of 5.2%.  This is the same Darnell Cole that was trying to get out of MATC by applying for a position with Lansing Community College in Michigan.  This is the same Darnell Cole that thumbs his nose at the constituency and gets higher and higher budgets passed that take more and more of our money in property taxes.

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Village Buzz - July 9th

Germantown, Political, Village Board, Village Buzz

I have been on a brief vacation and, due to my own short-sightedness, was unable to publish new Blogs during that week.  I have received several emails during that period offering further comments or chastising for things said by me or some of those who have commented.  I'll set the essence of those thoughts forward in this piece.

* * * * * * * * * *

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Walk On The Wild Side...

Potpourri, Quality of Life

(With apologies to Nelson Algren who wrote this book in 1956)

No, I'm not talking about village affairs or the MATC.  I'm not talking about the presidential race or local elections.  I'm referring to the walks we took during our recent visit to Woodland Park, CO, "The City Above The Clouds".  This is the community that Mark Fitzgerald was in charge of prior to assuming a similar role in Menomonee Falls a year or so ago.

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Dance Of The Privileged Few...

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

The people have spoken; loudly and clearly.  There is now a roughly two-thirds majority across all political lines that want oil drilling and refining capacity increases to commence immediately.  That two-thirds majority has had enough of the 'fluff' that passes for 'bipartisanship' in politics today.  That two-thirds majority fills its tanks every week and is very cognizant of the sacrifices it has been forced to make while its elected representatives in Congress dither.

Demagoguery has run rampant...even more so than has come to be the usual level of demagoguery in Washington, D.C.  We witness the daily back and forth of polite name-calling that passes for bipartisanship.  I have yet to be able to understand why it is that conservatives almost always end up on the wrong end of the 'bipartisanship stick'.  Why is it that a conservative-driven effort is demagogued by the liberals but a liberal-driven effort is almost always labeled a 'bipartisanship' effort?

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Tony Snow...Truly A Class Act

Potpourri, Quality of Life

Tony Snow lost his battle with colon cancer this morning at the age of 53.  He leaves his wife and three children to mourn his passing.  They also will have much to celebrate as they look at his legacy.

He demonstrated his personal strength and grace as he toured the country making speeches to add to his family savings recognizing that he might not be with them much longer.

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Village Buzz - July 13th

Germantown, Quality of Life, Village Board, Village Buzz

All the activity surrounding the new Sendik's store reminded me that I hadn't heard much more about the changes being discussed for the intersection of Legend Drive and Mequon Road. 

I had heard that the state was again thinking of a round-about for that intersection recognizing the increased traffic flow that would occur after the opening of the new Sendik's location.  There may have been others who had the same thought, but I understand that Trustee Langer raised the issue of pedestrian traffic navigating the round-about.

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MATC Secession Editorial...

Education, Germantown, MATC, Political, School Board, Taxes, Wisconsin

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel featured an editorial this morning concerning the possibility that Germantown will pursue the secession effort from the Milwaukee Area Technical College district.  They spoke of 'outreach' by MATC and re-established their position that Germantown should remain in the MATC district.

The 'outreach' they spoke of consisted of the appointment of Victor Rossetti (then Superintendent of Germantown Schools) to a MATC Board vacancy, meetings held with Germantown officials, contribution of laptops to the library and a couple of 'free' programs.

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Hire Hispanic-Speaking Employees Or Pay The Price?

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

A pizza-crust maker in Green Bay is coughing up $188,000 to be paid to 500 Hispanic applicants.  This employer, TNT Crust, is accused of having received 500 applications and of not hiring anyone as the result.

The U.S. Labor Department brought this action based on occurrences in 2001 according to news reports.  The action stated that the employer went to the extent of having Spanish language application forms prepared for the use of the Hispanics applying for jobs.  It apparently discriminated by also requiring that the applicants take an English test to assure that each would be able to communicate with the other employees and management.  It used the results of that testing to make its hiring decisions.

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Village Buzz - July 16th: Road Referendum This Fall?

Economy, Education, Germantown, Political, Quality of Life, School Board, Taxes, Village Board, Village Buzz

News reports indicate that Village President Tom Kempinski is considering asking the Board to approve a referendum that would appear on either the September ballot or the November ballot.  This referendum would deal with just how Germantown voters desire to fund some $2,000,000 per year in road repairs, if they desire to do so.  The choices apparently would be borrowing, increasing property taxes or a combination of both or none.

The referendum could be advisory or binding in nature.  Obviously, if advisory, the Board would then decide what, if any action it would take, but it would do so with some idea of the public's mood.  If binding, the results would stand as the electorate decided at least until the Board was reconstituted or until the Board found some other approach to achieve the end if that were possible.

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A Little Lighter Fare...

Potpourri

I received these from a person I thought was a friend; as you read them, you'll understand possibly why I might be questioning the nature of that relationship.

  • Two antennas (antennae if you prefer) met on a roof, fell in love and got married.  The ceremony wasn't much, but the reception was excellent!
  • A jumper cable walked into a bar.  The bartender says, "I'll serve you, but don't start anything!"
  • A man walks into a bar with a slab of asphalt under his arm, and says, "A beer please, and one for the road."
  • Two cannibals are eating a clown.  One says to the other, "Does this taste funny to you?"
  • An invisible man married an invisible woman.  Their kids were nothing to look at either.

And for the grand finale'...

  • Mahatma Gandhi, as you know, walked barefoot most of the time, which produced an impressive set of calluses on his feet.  He also ate very little, which made him rather frail and with his odd diet, he suffered from bad breath.  This made him...this is so bad it's good...
    • A super-callused fragile mystic hexed by halitosis.

Out Of Touch & Out Of Control...

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

Nancy Pelosi continues to amaze though I shouldn't be amazed by her any longer.  She is really a proven quantity by this time.  She has made up her mind that we'll simply not have any more oil because it is not good for us and she knows best what is and isn't good for you and me.  She maintains that more drilling will do nothing to lower the price of gasoline, jet fuel and diesel fuel, but she derides President Bush for not having already agreed to release some of our strategic oil reserves that would be a mere tiny blip on the radar scope of fuel prices and would do nothing to cause a decrease in futures prices.

She has led, and continues to lead, the effort in the House of Representatives to castigate the greedy oil companies, to threaten to take away their leases on the 68 million acres that have already been searched and determined to hold little that could be drilled economically, and to apply tax surcharges just to teach them a lesson.

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Our "Hidden Government" Should Scare Us...

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

While reading a Wall Street Journal editorial this morning, I was reminded of the insidious manner in which Washington causes change in America.  This editorial was titled "The Lawnmower Men" and dealt with the latest Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) epistle, a 588 page document.  In this latest EPA document released on Friday, the EPA lays out its vision for America's future.  The upshot of the document is that the EPA shows us exactly the degree of its "power grab" notions.

The document's future will rest with the next Administration and the next Congress.  It could be largely emasculated or it could be given the force of law and cause massive change in our land and in our economy.  It doesn't take too much 'vision' to see into the future so far as this is concerned.  If we have a President Obama and a Democrat-controlled Congress, these ideas and postulations will stand a very good chance of finding their way into your life and mine...into your wallet and mine.

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Village Buzz - July 20th

Germantown, Quality of Life, Village Buzz

Have you tried out the Germantown Farmer's Market in its new location at The Livery in Rockfield?  I stopped there yesterday at about 10:30AM to see what the new venue was like.  The first thing that impressed me were the mosquitoes...wow, were they ever out in force.  They would've been out in force at the former location, too, in all likelihood.

There was music, some recorded and some live, being broadcast through the PA system, a few people were strolling through the vendors' booths and there was a nice spirit about the place.  I counted some seven or eight outdoor vendors that featured currently available vegetables, jewelry and various foodstuffs on display and available for sampling.  The Livery itself was a nice place to visit with interesting items that aren't often seen in Germantown and pleasant people in attendance.

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The (Un)Fairness Doctrine...

Political, Quality of Life, U.S.

Discussion by liberal Democrats about the so-called 'fairness doctrine' is once again in vogue.  They seem to reason that if there were more radio airtime devoted to liberal viewpoints, there would be more people buying into their premise.  This concept was shoved into a dark, dank closet some time back but we probably should've known that it wouldn't stay there.

This is the supposed antidote for Limbaugh-itis and Hannity-itis, that disease that afflicts liberals because it seems to nourish conservatives.  There is a significant imbalance if one looks at the airtime devoted to conservative talkers as contrasted with that devoted to liberal talkers.  Those of the liberal persuasion believe that, since they are the bright side of this equation, there can be only one possibility; somehow the broadcasters are intentionally skewing the time made available.

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MATC: "We Haven't Had Any Standards..."

Education, Germantown, MATC, School Board, Taxes, Wisconsin

The Journal Sentinel carried an article this morning about the Practical Nurse program offered by MATC.  This program has been on probation for some time and that continues.  Another evaluation visit is scheduled for the Fall of this year.

Low rates of graduation apparently had prompted the probationary status and the state Board of Nursing has been carefully monitoring the progress or lack thereof at MATC in this program.

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Village Buzz - July 22...

Germantown, Political, Quality of Life, Taxes, Village Board, Village Buzz

The Citizen Input agenda item of the Village Board's meeting last evening saw Trustee Jim Langer state his request that Fire Chief Gary Pollpeter resign from his position.  Langer stated that the Fire Chief is lacking in management skills and has been a poor administrator for the department.

No action is taken under this agenda item, so there was no discussion following Langer's statement.

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The Obama World Tour...

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

Barack Obama is the presumptive Democrat nominee for President of the United States.  He and his campaign staffers, and much of the press, appear to also have concluded that he is the presumptive President of the United States. 

The audacity of Obama is yet again on center stage for all to see.  He has kowtowed what passes for the 'free' press and the big three networks have trailed along in awe of the new President.  His campaign staffers refer to him as President when they say things such as, "When the President speaks..." which they did in the last day or so.  His campaign staffers refer to him as President when they create the phony 'Seal' that appeared on the podium behind which he was speaking.  Nothing about this campaign is an accident except for when Obama speaks extemporaneously without benefit of scripting.

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From The Horse's Mouth...

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

This discourse from a CNN interview of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D - California) by Wolf Blitzer on July 17th, concerning offshore oil drilling legislation, appeared in the Notable & Quotable block on the WSJ Opinion page a couple of days ago:

Blitzer:  John Boehner, who's the Republican leader in the House, he says you have to let this come up for a vote.  He says that you're walking your blue dogs, who are moderate and conservative Democrats, and other vulnerable Democrats off a cliff by not allowing this to come up for a vote, the offshore oil drilling legislation.

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Pick 'N Save Product Changes...

Germantown, Potpourri

Okay, this is 'picky' but I have to do it. 

I loved Thomas Square Bagel Bread in the normal size.  We bought this product regularly until it wasn't to be found on the shelf at any local stores.  It worked well for breakfast and was wonderful as a sandwich medium.  Then, I opted for the 'mini' version and bought that until it, too, disappeared.

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"International" Presidential Race Hits Warp Speed...

Political, U.S.

Barack Obama has succeeded in making the November Presidential election an international event.  This world tour that "isn't a campaign trip" certainly seems like a campaign trip.  The mainstream press is falling all over itself providing wall-to-wall coverage, television time, and chatter.  Obama is welcomed with open arms where ever he happens to be.  Apparently countries around the world have been craving "change", and they see Obama as the purveyor of change.  He has been delivering his typically eloquent speeches and he seems to have captivated his audiences.

He seems to have caused the 'victory' in Iraq and has determined exactly what needs to happen to have the same results in Afghanistan.

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Day Care Deaths...

Political, Potpourri, Quality of Life

Another terribly tragic story hit us yesterday.  A four-month old child was left in an SUV and died sometime during the day.

I simply cannot understand how this could happen.  How could the driver not remember that there was an infant in the SUV?  How could the owner of the day care service, who is reported to have asked the driver to look again, forget to follow up?

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Auto Industry "Upside Down"?

Economy, Quality of Life, U.S.

Chrysler announced that it is getting out of the leasing business.  It cannot, apparently, find lenders that will continue to supply money to this part of its business.  Similarly, Ford and GM continue to burn through capital and will or are facing similar realities.

Leases of automobiles and trucks account for something on the order of 20% of the U.S. market.  The lease holders permit the monthly rental (lease) of the vehicle and expect to be able to recover the vehicle and resell it for more than they have invested in it.  This carries risk, and it is that risk that seems now to be threatening at least this portion of sales activities.  The risk is that the vehicles owned by the leasing company will lose value faster than the leasing company expected and that the leasing companies will be "upside down" when the time comes to sell off the vehicles that come off lease.

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MATC Viewed From The Inside...

A current employee of MATC (Milwaukee Area Technical College) living in the Germantown School District wrote what I thought was a well-constructed treatise on MATC that was sent to both the Germantown School Board members as well as to the Germantown Village Board members.  He shall go unnamed although he signed his letter and provided his address information, so it is my decision not to name him.

~~~~~~~~~~

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Are Gas Prices "Too Low"?

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

Have I lost my mind?  I hope not.

My concern is this:  With gas prices dropping and now at the mid $3.80s per gallon, will we lose our impetus to keep the pressure on our elected officials to get more drilling going and to relax the myriad rules on new refineries?

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Village Buzz-July 28th...

Education, Germantown, MATC, School Board, Taxes, Village Buzz, Wisconsin

Test Your Tax Knowledge... 

A group named The Wisconsin Way sent an email today that had the following test of tax knowledge.  I'll re-publish this tomorrow with the answers added so you can check yours.

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Village Buzz - July 29th

Education, Germantown, MATC, School Board, Taxes, Village Buzz, Wisconsin

Board of Education Meeting Review:

The agenda item concerning the secession petition involved some back and forth amongst board members.  Mr. Warnimont pointed out that the Board was already on record with its action of September 24, 2007 to the effect that the secession petition would go forward.  There was some discussion as to which district would be preferable to MATC.  Mr. Bowe indicated that his position favoring WCTC would probably change given new information he had developed.  Among the reasons was the indication that fire fighters seemed to favor the program offered by MPTC over that offered by WCTC.  Mr. Warnimont indicated that he remained in favor of WCTC based on his analysis.

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E Pluribus Unum: The Bradley Project On America's National Identity

Education, Quality of Life, U.S.

The July 25th edition of the Small Business Times includes a great article featuring an interview with Michael Grebe, President & CEO of the Lynde & Harry Bradley Foundation based in Milwaukee.  The Foundation has spent something in the range of $250,000 to develop the project referred to in the title.

If you are a conservative, you know all about the Foundation and probably think it does great work.  If you aren't a conservative, you may not wish to read the rest of this Blog.

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Local & Regional Caps On Emissions...

Economy, Political, Quality of Life, Wisconsin

Governor Doyle heard from his Wisconsin-based study group on carbon footprints, wind generators, etc., etc. a few days ago after it spent 16 months studying the 'problem'.  He recently defended his participation in the Midwest Regional Greenhouse Gas Reduction Accord Advisory Group (the acronym MRGGRAAG just doesn't work for me, by the way) by saying that the various regions across America have to get to work on the issues surrounding us without regard to what others may or may not be doing.

What is missing in all this rhetoric?

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Village Buzz - July 30th...

Education, Germantown, MATC, Quality of Life, Village Buzz

MATC Board...

Former superintendent Victor Rossetti has apparently moved from Germantown.  I have no idea to where he has relocated but his home has a sold sign in front and the new owners are moving in.

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Lest We Forget...

Germantown, Political, Quality of Life, Taxes

Milwaukee seems to view us in the 'burbs' as the enemy that doesn't contribute sufficiently so as to permit it to solve its myriad problems.

Two indications came forth again involving the Milwaukee 'Wheel Tax' that passed the Milwaukee Common Council and the approval of the sale of Lake Michigan water to New Berlin.  These are but two small indicators of a pervasive anti-suburb feeling amongst elected officials.

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