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Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac Exposed?

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

This video collage is most informative as to the sub-prime problems we are dealing with today. 

It seems that there were attempts to rein these two quasi public/private entities in over the years but one party seemed to stand in the way.

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Who Is Gwen Ifill & Is She Biased?

Political, U.S.

The debate between Joe Biden and Sarah Palin on Thursday evening is scheduled to be hosted by Public Television's Gwen Ifill.

It has just been disclosed that Ms. Ifill is a supporter of Barack Obama and has a new book titled "The Breakthrough" scheduled to be released in January, 2009 at about the time our new President will be sworn in to his position.  The book promotes Barack Obama and other black politicians who have benefited from the civil rights movement.  It contends that the civil rights movement, and the black political structure that resulted, has cleared the way to permit an Obama to ascend to the presidency.

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Shocking Experience...

Germantown, Police

I had a shocking experience last evening courtesy of the Germantown Police Department.  I have been, along with several other citizens, participating in the current Citizen's Police Academy offered by the department as a means of informing more people about the department, its duties, its tools and so on.

One of the tools available to our officers is that 'gadget' called a Taser.  I'm not certain what the verb form of that word ought to be, but it will be "tazed" with a long "a" for my purposes this morning.

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An Oldie But Goodie...


Computers...Male or Female?

An English teacher was explaining to his students the concept of gender association in the English language.  He stated how hurricanes at one time were given feminine names and how ships and planes were usually referred to as "she".

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Final Vote Cost Tally - Assembly District 24 Primary...

Political, Wisconsin

My Blog on September 10th portrayed the amounts of money raised and spent as reported through that date for each candidate.  The additional reports have been made to the state and we can now show the final tallies for each candidate.

This is certainly among the most expensive races, and may go down as the most expensive primary race, for the 24th Assembly seat ever; the total amount reported as being spent was $74,250 by the six candidates in the race.  A total of 8,178 votes were cast with each vote carrying a price tag of $9.10.

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Police Department Budget Issues...

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

This Blog promises to be too long...and I apologize up front.  BUT, this topic is critical, in my estimation, to the safety of our citizens and our property.  While we're getting everything on the table, you should know by now that "I am in the tank" for our Police Department; I make no bones about it and I am unapologetic for that!


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Carbon Footprint? All The Buzz!

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

The Wall Street Journal published a special section on the environment today and the primary effort was to help us understand the concept of a carbon footprint.

I need the help!  I had no ability to visualize what a pound of carbon dioxide would look like.  I am a bit of a skeptic about carbon footprints since we're still here and the natural forms of introducing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere have been going on forever.  I am a bit of a skeptic because this wasn't talked about until Al Gore began his 'environmental religion'.  I am a bit of a skeptic because what started as a 'global warming' crisis has been altered to a 'climate change' crisis.  I am a bit of a skeptic since I've yet to be convinced that science supports the broad contentions made by the proponents of 'climate change'.

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Village Buzz (Corrected)- October 6th...

Fire Department, Germantown, Police, Quality of Life, Village Buzz

Lilac Lane Closed Again...

I had mentioned that the new bridge was open and looked great last week.  Soon after, Trustee Wolter e-mailed to advise that this was only temporary since there was some road re-construction happening very soon on Maple Road west of the bridge over Hwy 41. on Lilac Lane from the new bridge to Maple Road.

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Mortgage-Based Investments...Local Impact

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

The story of five school districts that invested borrowed money in an attempt to earn larger returns is back in the news as the result of their court case against the two organizations that sold them the deal.

This is an up close and personal portrayal of the rather esoteric things referred to as CDOs...Collateralized Debt Obligations.  The CDOs that were purchased contained some of the Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac garbage that blew up a short time ago.  So, bad mortgage deals that some politicians wanted made so that their constituency would continue to vote for them have come home to roost in five school districts in Wisconsin.

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Village Buzz - October 7th...

Fire Department, Germantown, Quality of Life, Village Board, Village Buzz

Becca Murray Proclamation...

Germantown's own Gold Medal Olympian, Becca Murray was honored by the Village Board last evening with a Proclamation lauding her accomplishments.  Unfortunately, she was back on campus at Whitewater to get re-oriented and back in that swing after her globe-trotting, but she will cherish this I'm sure.

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Village Buzz - October 9th...

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


JSOnline today carries an article by Tom Kertscher that begins, at least, to answer some questions that have been swirling in my mind for several weeks.  Rumors have been 'on the streets' since early-September to the effect that there had been turmoil within Village Hall.  This article points to a memorandum, written by Village Administrator Dave Schornack, that points to allegations by a village employee concerning sexual harassment supposedly involving Village President Tom Kempinski.

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Obama's Magic...

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

Kimberley Strassel of the Wall Street Journal has done a good job with her Obama's Magic opinion piece in today's Journal.

There will be a lot of "magic" required to accomplish all that he has promised us, but we're accustomed to 'rude awakenings' following  Presidential campaigns.

In A Lighter Vein...


A friend, who shall mercifully go unnamed, has sent along some of the product of his over-active mind in light of the recent spate of mergers and take-overs.  He advised that he wanted me to be able to invest in these new entities so that I could reap a fortune:

The coming together of...

    • Hale Business Systems, Mary Kay Cosmetics, Fuller Brush and the W.R. Grace Company would result in: Hale, Mary, Fuller, Grace.
    • Polygram Records, Warner Bros. and Zesta Crackers would yield: Poly, Warner Cracker
    • 3M merging with Goodyear results in:  MMMGood
    • Zippo Manufacturing, Audi Motors, Dofasco and Dakota Mining will bring us: ZipAudiDoDa
    • FedEx being expected to join with its competitor UPS would bring this:  FedUP
    • Grey Poupon and Docker Pants are expected to become: PouponPants
    • and, Knotts Berry Farm and the National Organization of Women would produce: Knott NOW!

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Big Oaks (or Big Votes) from Little ACORNS Grow?

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

ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, has been in the news for several of the past election cycles and finds itself there again.  Is this simply a politically-driven campaign or does ACORN merit this attention?  How does ACORN influence elections, if it does?

The Journal Sentinel editorialized yesterday on this subject, and essentially took the position that this is much ado over nothing.  The editorial staff cites the recent revelation that ACORN hired seven felons to serve as 'deputy registrars' and justifies this with its further discussion about how the registration cards are subjected to review before being handed over to the election officials, etc.

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Slippery Slopes...

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

As the recent chain of events concerning our country's economy has unfolded, I found myself thinking about 'slippery slopes' and just how easy it would be for us to begin a slide that we'd be unable to overcome.

We have just partially nationalized our major banking entities.  We have effectively nationalized the AIG insurance giant.

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Village Buzz - October 15th...

Education, Germantown, Political, School Board, Taxes, U.S., Village Board, Village Buzz, Wisconsin

I had intended to scan a copy of the sample ballot for Germantown however that wasn't sufficiently legible.  So, we'll list the offices for which there are candidate selections to be made by all of us who are registered to vote in the village.

You may elect to vote a straight ticket including, in the order found on the ballot:

  • Democratic
  • Republican
  • Wisconsin Green
  • Libertarian

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Politics 2.0?

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

There is a very real sense that we have been placed in a new world of politics.  I'll call it Politics 2.0 signifying the coming of a new genre.

As I watched the debate last evening involving Barack Obama and John McCain, it was as if I was witnessing a battle between the old and the new politics.  And, that is exactly what we've been hearing during this twenty-month plus campaign.  Obama has been pointedly making himself the leader of Politics 2.0 so far as the race for the presidency.

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Village Buzz - October 16th...

Germantown, Potpourri, Quality of Life, Village Buzz

Guest Blog - Pete Hoell, Vice President, Germantown Kiwanis

"I am currently a member of the Germantown Kiwanis group and we are in the process of investigating a community project.  As a Kiwanis organization, our primary goal is to support children through grants for activities and projects, scholarships, donations for children's programs and other miscellaneous children's activities.

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Functioning With Technology...

Potpourri, Quality of Life

I had a conversation earlier today with an associate on the subject of secure e-mails.  As we digressed he opined that he believes people born after a certain time have actually evolved to the point that they are more capable of absorbing technology.  I'm a bit of a skeptic on that count...but I can't quite put it out of my mind entirely.

I've been blessed with grandkids and marvel at their nearly immediate grasp of new technology.  And, they could do this even before they had the ability to read instructions.  It is as if they simply continue with a variety of key strokes and suddenly have learned how to navigate as they desire.  They have an uncanny ability to instantly recall these links even after they have not used this information for weeks and weeks.

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More Friday Stuff...

Germantown, Political, Potpourri, Quality of Life

I have long enjoyed my copy of a book called The Portable Curmudgeon and use its 'modern' definition in my Blog overview.  The book was compiled by a fellow by the name of Jon Winokur and is published by the New American Library.  Following are some curmudgeonly comments that struck me over the past few days:

On Politics and Politicians:

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