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"Oil is Power"

 New York Times, Sept 14, 1919 Oil is Power


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The burning question pops up again

City may take up leaf-burning rules again

Alderman's proposal would lead to eventual ban


Since the election of 2006


Hi Kyle, kind of an interesting email I got from a friend. Your a statistaclly oriented person so I thought I might forward it to you for your enjoyment. Also kind of interesting how all the heating and ventilation (new word for air conditioning) need to be replaced at the other facilities. I hope all the yes people can enjoy that. Now if the Democrats get into office and repeal the Bush tax cut's they too won't be able to afford their house any more either. It all adds up in the end. Just a tax Hell. Larry KnetzgerPart 1

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All girls, all boys?


Trying new school of thought

Public districts experiment with separating students by gender

Posted: April 29, 2008

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Badger Care, for low income?

BadgerCare Plus off to a healthy start

State program provides coverage for low-income families

Posted: April 29, 2008

More than 71,000 children and parents in Wisconsin have gotten health insurance in the first six weeks after the state consolidated and simplified the health programs that provide coverage for low-income families.

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You want to do what? More sulfur emissions?


Global warming 'rescue' plan may backfire

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Price Stability Act, another good bill from Wisconsin Blame Congress for Inflation, Paul Ryan, May 1 2008 Wall Street Journal

Ryan Speaks Out Against Inflation; Introduces Price Stability Act of 2008
5/1/08 - On the heels of yet another interest rate cut, Congressman Paul Ryan announced plans to introduced the Price Stability Act of 2008. Ryan also called for an end to the continued rate cuts from the Federal Reserve, which have fueled price increases across the board.

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Some Things are so Simple They're Difficult - Part Two

Last December I wrote a blog with this same title.  It addressed my thoughts on some fundamentally different approaches to Mid-East peace, and my desire that one of the Presidential candidates would make it a major foreign policy discussion of their campaign.  This posting will deal with the same desire but on a different issue - The United Nations. 


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Your Life in Six Words


I have to thank Karen Waldkirch from WauwatosaNow for turning me on to the book Not Quite What I was Planning: Six Word Memoirs by Writers Famous & Obscure.  The idea for this compilation is based on a legend.  Supposedly, someone challenged Ernest Hemmingway to write a story in six words.  This is what he came up with:

"For sale: baby shoes, never worn."

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Assistive Devices

A GPS system has greatly improved my odds of getting to the right place.  It is helpful when traveling beyond one's ‘comfort zone.’  For example, getting from point A to point B in Waukesha has always been a challenge.  For years, my subconscious voice has said, “You’re going to get lost” – and I invariably have.

A recent trip to Waukesha was more pleasant – thanks to the GPS.  But its directions to WalMart led me to Sam’s Club (on 164). 

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Let them eat (and drink) ethanol ala Marie Antoinette

Energy, Environment, Ethanol, Going Green, Legislation, Truth, Unintended consequences

Marie Antoinette's "Let them eat cake" is quoted a lot these days in regard to ethanol and rising food prices. There are many interpretations as to what she meant by it--some debate whether she said it at all.

The most interesting explanation I ever heard came from a UWM theater department teacher. She said that "cake" was the term for a gasket made from dough strips used to seal oven doors. When the baking was finished, the very over-baked, virtually inedible dough gaskets were scraped off and discarded. The poor would dig these out of the garbage and attempt to eat them. In other words, the bakers used food for a purpose other than human or animal consumption, and the insensitive Marie said the starving could always eat the gaskets.

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The Ghost of May Tenth Past

Do you remember?? 

Eighteen years ago today our City was hit by a blitzkrieg.  About 3 AM heavy rain turned to snow, and by daylight nearly ten inches of the heavy wet stuff covered most of Waukesha County.  Trees, shrubs and all manner of plant life were devastated by the crushing weight, and though it would melt by the afternoon, the damage was done.  We spent a good part of that summer cleaning up from the storm, and the sound of chain saws reverberated throughout our city for weeks.

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McDonald's, I'm NOT lovin it! End Support of Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce

Culture, Family, Homosexual agenda, Truth

McDonald's has been showing it's true rainbow colors as of late, and I'm not lovin it. What next? Ronald McDonald coming out of the closet? (Ooh, not ready for that!)

On April 2, 2008, I received an Action Alert from American Family Association, a conservative Christian group. It informed that "McDonald's has signed on to a nationwide effort to promote 'gay' and 'lesbian' business ventures."  

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Learn About Ten Chimneys & the Lunts

Elmbrook Historical Society

The story of “Ten Chimneys & The Lunts” will be told by Mike Drew, award winning writer and former media columnist, on Monday, May 19, 2008.

The talk about this fascinating Genesee Deport estate and the famed actors who lived there is hosted by the Elmbrook Historical Society.  It will be held at Brookfield Park & Recreation Center’s senior hall at 2000 N. Calhoun Road in Brookfield.  The talk is free and open to the public.Ten Chimneys is on the National Registry of Historic Places.  In 1996, the estate was threatened by commercial development.  It was purchased by theatre historian and arts advocate Joseph Garton (Madison) who led public opposition to its destruction.  Twenty-four civic leaders formed the board of trustees of the Ten Chimneys Foundation in 1997 and bought the estate from Garton in 1998.

Wonderful tours of the beautiful estate are given at Ten Chimneys from May through November. 

40, the new 25?


Yeah, right. 

I will be turning 41 in a few days.  Turning 40 sucked.  Turning 41?  Pretty much sucks too.  But as they say, it's better than the alternative.

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The "N" Word

While reading the news of President Bush's inept appeal to the House of Saud to increase its oil output, I was listening to an obscure Rolling Stones song called Sweet Black Angel, from the 1972 double-album Exile on Main Street.  Recorded under surreal conditions, with the band mired in the downward spiral of guitarist Keith Richards' heroin addiction, the album remains one of the seminal works in all of rock.  Angel is a tribute to the 1960's radical activist Angela Davis, and the lyrics include the "n" word - rightfully shocking in its raw and forbidden impact.  The combination of the song and the news got me thinking about another "n" word that, unlike the one in the song, we should all be talking about.

The discussion of energy policy in this country is dysfunctional.  Politicians who know nothing of economics blather about lower gas prices, trying desparately to believe they hold power over the law of supply and demand.  Many others demand a decrease in carbon emissions, while others still remain steadfast in their refusal to allow exploration or drilling ANYWHERE in the United States, despite growing evidence of significant U.S. reserves.  And of course EVERYONE wants to be less dependant on mid-East crude.  Yet somehow this is all supposed to just happen of its sweet accord?!   

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Time to Remember


Many families mark Memorial Day with picnics, parades and planting flowers.  Memorial Day provides a four day weekend, and a time to reflect on our family's traditions.

When I was a child, it was tradition to cut lilacs and visit the cemeteries in Brookfield.  At that time Brookfield seemed so far away. We visited the grave sites of my grandparents at Wisconsin Memorial, and the grave sites of my great-grandparents at Oak Hill Cemetery.  The small Oak Hill Cemetery was not well tended.  Poison Ivy was prevalent.  We would scrub ourselves with homemade lye soap when we got home.

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Memorial Day - Remembering Those That Passeth By

Memorial Day has its origins in the Civil War, when in May of 1862, a group of Confederate widows spent a day decorating the graves of their fallen husbands.  The tradition took hold and quickly became known in the South as Decoration Day.  By the 1880’s this practice evolved into Memorial Day, and ever since, May 30 has been the day established to recognize and remember our nation’s Veterans. 

I take the name of this article from the ancient lines of the Greek Poet Simonides:

“Go tell the Spartans, those that passeth by,
That here, obedient to their laws, we lie”.

These lines refer to the Leonidas and his heroic group of three hundred Spartans who blocked the Pass of Thermopylae, protecting their homeland from the advance of Xerxes’ Persian Army. They knew they would die, but chose to stay.  They did so because they were raised to believe some things were worth more than their lives.

On Memorial Day of 2008 I think of many people.  I think first of my father, father-in-law, and two uncles – all four World War Two Veterans.  And I think of Brookfield Central Lancer and US Army Sergeant Scott Brown, and remember his young family.

I think of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, who penned their names to a document ending with the words “and to this Declaration we pledge our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor”.  Many would dangle at the end of a British rope for having signed that document.  They felt their honor was worth that price.  

I think of the private in the US Army of the Potomac, writing a letter to his young wife and four sons just a few days before Gettysburg.  It is a missive of such pure and evocative beauty that it transcends our physical experience.  I remember St. Peter’s Cathedral in Rome, and gazing in stupefied awe at Michelangelo’s Pieta.  But even that did not have the impact upon me that Gettysburg did. Standing there on that hallowed ground in Pennsylvania, I remember thinking I would not want to meet the person who could do so and remain unmoved.
I think of Sigfried Sassoon, the World War One British Infantry Officer, risking his life by leaving the safety of his trench to look for his wounded friend.  Amidst the carnage Sassoon found his bleeding comrade, who with his dying words looked up at him and murrmured, “I knew you would come”. 

I think of Winston Churchill, alone and magnificent, defying Hitler as he proclaimed to the imperiled Free World, “We shall never surrender”.

I think of Douglas MacArthur, America’s greatest soldier and a distant relative of Churchill's.  I envision him in his eighties on the plain of West Point, jaw still firm and shoulders square as he gave his last public address to the graduating Cadets, proclaiming as the theme of his address:  “Duty, Honor, Country”. 

I think of the opening scenes of Spielberg’s masterpiece Saving Private Ryan, with the enormous, overarching American flags lofting in the Channel-fed breezes, keeping vigil over the fallen that lie in the cemetery at Normandy.

I think of another cemetery - Arlington National outside of Washington D.C.  It is a place of such reverential beauty that it beggars description. The land for the Cemetery once belonged to the family of Robert E. Lee and was confiscated by the Federal Government after the Civil War.  I suspect that Lee would approve of how his land is being used.
For all our Veterans, living and dead, and for all who serve now, our prayers and our appreciation are so inadequate.
Yet it is all we can offer - and so I do.


The Silence of the Calves - Economics 101

The market always works.  For centuries legislators have tried to control it, but the laws of economics are immutable, and stand well beyond the reach of their rhetoric.

The price of corn has tripled in less than eighteen months.  While it is fair to say there are a few factors causing this, there is a primary cause - and that is the well-funded and horribly misguided rush to legislate ethanol fuels. 

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Pause for a Cause

Elmbrook Humane Society

Now that I have your attention, consider this cause for paws.  The Elmbrook Humane Society is located in Brookfield just west of Barker Road on Enterprise Drive.

It's a stopping point for many displaced cats and dogs, and other creatures.  The staff and many volunteers give these pets tender, loving care.   The humane society is very successful at finding new homes for these animals.  Its adoption rate is 98%.

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