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Tin Soldiers and Nixon Coming - Voter Fraud in Ohio

I have no idea what the average age of the readers of this column is, or how many will recognize this title, taken from the lyrics of Neil Young's great protest song, Ohio.

He wrote it in condemnation of the fatal shootings of four students at Kent State University on May 4, 1970.  The disjointed and fractured guitar riff, the devastating salvo of lyrics that form the title of this column, and the hauntingly repeated background vocals of "four dead in Ohio", are imprinted upon the musical DNA of an entire generation.  

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In the Eyes/Ears of the Beholder

Language, Political Correctness, Pop Culture

I'm not talking about beauty.  I'm talking about what offends you.  Two interesting situations came up recently.  I'd be interested in knowing what you think.  (As always comments are being moderated.)

Situation 1 

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Democrat's donations key to why they think rich must pay more taxes?

Ethics, McCain 2008, Obama 2008, Religion, TAXES

I always find it interesting to see how much politicians give to charity. Senator Joe Biden gave a paltry $995 last year, yet he made $2,450,042! And his $995 to nonprofits was over twice his normal yearly giving for the past 9 out of 10 years. Why do I say paltry? Because many teens I know give more money from their part time job income than he gave in his past average donations.  Biden made almost $2.5 million but gave such a little amount... amazing.

Actually, I am surprised at his Scrooge-ishness, because Biden says he is a Catholic. I would have thought he would have given his church more. (David Wade, a spokesperson, said the Bidens did give to their church, “The charitable contributions claimed by the Bidens on their tax returns are not the sum of their annual contributions to charity.” That could be the case. But why they wouldn't record these donations and put them on their tax return is beyond me, since that is such a standard practice. It raises the question, if you aren't claiming the entire amount, then why list any at all?)

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The University of Wisconsin Marching Band

I was on the UW campus Saturday afternoon and at the Badger game Saturday evening.  It was a beautiful autumn day, and I was again reminded of the myriad reasons that for me, make the pageantry of college football superior to any other sport.


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Energy - The Environment - And Congress

Our energy policy in America today is dysfunctional.  And the reason it is dysfunctional is that Congressional (and Presidential) leaders are unwilling to portray realities to the American people such that we can forge a cohesive way forward.  They clammer and clang about being "energy independent" and "bringing relief to the pump", as if their empty rhetoric could make it so.  I believe both candidates, but in particular John McCain, missed an enormous opportunity by not making this a key component of the campaign. 

Reality Number One:  While we absoluely need to explore alternative energy sources (especially nuclear), there is no reason to believe that ANY alternative to fossil fuels is going to have a measurable impact for at least fifteen years.  So while we pursue alternatives, we also need to pursue every drop of oil and every cubic foot of natural gas we can.

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Gilligan's Island visits Trivia Night


The cast of characters of Gilligan's Island paid a visit to Trivia Night last Saturday, October 4th, courtesy of Michelle and Kennan Syverson's table of friends.  Their table wasn't the only group that dressed up...just check out the Indian Table below.   

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How We Got Here - The Theory of Relativity

I am going to take a break from blogging for a bit - don't know how long.  Given what is going on in the world my heart is just not in it right now.  And just as I am not overly interested in writing, I am certain you are not too concerned with hearing from me at this time.

How the heck did we get here?  That question can only be answered with a book or a few sentences.  I'd like to write a book some day, but for now, two paragraphs will have to do:

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Dogs + Architecture = BARKitecture

city, Elm Grove, Elmbrook Humane Society, Town

Elmbrook Humane Society and the Vetter Denk are combining forces for a not-to-be missed event on Thursday, October 23 from 7 to 10 pm.

Picture yourself at Vetter Denk's award winning Bluff Homes, at 919 E. Reservoir (Milwaukee) with views of the downtown city lights.  Enjoy music, wine & hors d’ouevres, dessert & coffee and raffle. 

Reserve your space no later than October 20. Call Cathy Reilly at 262 751 4494. $30 per person.  Please leave your pets at home.  

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Share-a-Pie Program


St. John Vianney Parish, St. Vincent de Paul and Market Day are uniting again to sponsor the sixth annual Share-A-Pie donation program.  Purchase a Market Day pie or cheesecake to be donated to local food pantries for distribution over Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Order pies this weekend after Mass at the tables in the narthex or bring in a completed Market Day Share-A-Pie order form.  Below:  SJV students and volunteers from last year's Share-A-Pie program. 

This annual donation program of SJV's is a wonderful and timely service, especially this year, as many local food pantries see donations dwindling. 

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Doing the "Square"

Local Events, restaurants, Stores

Brookfield Square is holding a "celebration" in honor of its renovation from October 16-19.   I was there a few days ago and was generally impressed with the changes.

Thumbs up:  Overall redecoration

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The VIPs Visit SJV

Bunnies and Halloween

city, Elm Grove, Town

Bunnies are either hated or loved.  The garden variety of bunnies take pleasure in eating our garden's baby plants. (I'm sure they enjoy them just as much as we enjoy baby spinach, baby corn, baby carrots and other tender vegetables.)  The bunnies that are loved are the domesticated variety, often referred to as 'rabbits'.  Well, if you have or want a pet rabbit, you can learn much, much more about them next Saturday.

Just attend Rabbitopia II at the Elmbrook Humane Society (Brookfield).  Rabbit expert and trainer Heather Mohan-Gibbons, will teach clicker-training techniques.  Classes are at 11:30 am and at 1:30 pm. Class space is limited.  Call 262-782-9261 to reserve your seat.  Admission $5. (kids 12 and under free). Rabbits in cages are welcomed.  Their nails will be trimmed and scent glands cleaned.

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Eighth Graders Honored in MUHS Math Competition


Posted by Kelly Feng

Ten SJV Eighth Graders participated in the Marquette University High School Math Competition last Sunday, October 13th. 

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Two of Me

It's time for a feel good story - wrapped inside of a warning.

In the final analysis the only thing that really matters on this earth is the people in our lives, be they well known and loved, or be they strangers we might encounter only once.  I met such a stranger Friday morning morning by the name of Riley.

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Another Empty Storefront: Linens 'N Things Closing


I read the news story a few days ago, and over the weekend, I saw the going out of business banner on the Bluemound Road store. 

Luckily, for those of us who love home furnishing stores like these and could spend hours wandering the packed aisles, Bed, Bath & Beyond is just up the road in the Fountain Square complex.

Don't Miss Fall Fest 10/29

Upcoming events

Posted by Kelly Feng

On Wednesday, October 29, 2008 at 7:00 pm, the Saint John Vianney and St. Dominic's Strings and Band Orchestras will present the Second Annual Fall Fest. Like last year's show. this concert will highlight Halloween songs and college fight songs. Last year, realizing that advanced music students need to have the opportunity to perform more often, strings and band instructors Maria Gesiorek and Joan Lueneburg began considering a fall performance.  After learning St. John Vianney music teacher Jared Ziegler was teaching college fight songs to some of the same students, their idea of a Halloween-Football Fan themed concert resulted in the combined schools'  now second annual Fall Fest. Students will perform in Halloween costumes or their favorite college jerseys. 

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Living Large

The recent economic downturn has people feeling uneasy and anxious.  We may attribute some of this to our patterns of "living large".  Collectively, much spending has focused on our wants, not our needs.  Easy money (credit cards, loans and mortgages) has encouraged us to spend now - not later.

Our parents and grandparents were more conservative than we are today.  They valued owning things outright.  Their homes were affordable and often had low (or no) mortgages.  These generations saved for larger ticket items such as furniture, appliances and cars.  Everyday purchases were made with cash, not plastic.  Families ate dinner together - at home.  Dining out was something special.  

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Which candidate would you invite for coffee? Sarah, meet Silvia

Elections, Just for fun!, McCain 2008, Obama 2008, Politics

Governor Palin returned to her home state, Alaska, after the convention. In watching interviews with the locals, it was pretty hard to miss that they all call her "Sarah." (She does enjoy a 68 to 80% approval rating.)

The ability for the public to relate to a candidate and imagine going out for a beer with in elections is a huge advantage they say. Since I don't drink, I will translate that familiarity to having coffee together.

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Obama's I voted against it before I said I was for it

Elections, Obama 2008, War

One of my favorite lines from the 2004 presidential campaigns was John Kerry's,  “I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it.”  His statement evolved into I voted for the war before I voted against it, and it became synonymous with the term flip-flop.

Most politicians do this to a certain extent. John McCain has changed his stance on domestic oil drilling. Barack Obama certainly is not letting me down! 

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Not For the Faint of Heart!

Fluff, For Laughs

For Halloween, some people give out treats.  I'll give you a trick.  The object of this test is to try and beat the computer at a game of tic tac toe.  It'll have you screaming in frustration.

(In order to do the test, the sound on your computer must be turned on.)

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