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Copyright (c) 2009 Ginny Maziarka. All rights reserved.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving - What IS important?

So there's this family in West Bend who is spending Thanksgiving at Children's Hospital. Their daughter was born with trisomy 18, a rare disorder, that generally kills a child before birth. Survival is rare. Survival to 9 months is extremely rare. This little girl, Zoe, has beat survival statistics. This is a humbling Thanksgiving thought.... It was written by her Dad.

Zoe is thankful.Thankful for 250 days of grace. Thankful you've walked with her and carried her in your prayers when she couldn't go on. Thankful for doctors and nurses who believe in the pricelessness of a breath and the value of life.She's thankful for things we walk by without noticing - a shadow or a brilliant color. The incredible dexterity in our hands. Wind in trees. For things we forgot had worth. A mother's sacrifice. For a baptism. For a breath.And I think if you could ask her and if she could respond - and one day, you ask her for yourself in Heaven - you'll know Zoe right away, the shapely and tough-as-nails woman, terrible and beautiful as a goddess with a smile that makes you forget everything else - if you asked her if she knew all she had done through 250 days, she'd smile and tell you she didn't do anything at all. That God had done it in her and in you. She just fought and breathed and believed.And you were moved because you forgot life was that simple and powerful and meaningful.

Zoe's thankful you remembered.


Today Zoe is expected to be extubated. This is critical. (While we're thinking about turkey and mashed potatoes....)

Incredible perspective.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving to All...

West Bend Store ROBBED at gunpoint...

Hope this didn't ruin anyone's Thanksgiving..... Glad nobody was hurt.

An armed robber escaped with an undetermined amount of cash from the Pay Day Loan Store in West Bend late Monday afternoon, a police spokesman said.

The robber, described as a black man wearing black shoes, blue jeans and a black parka with a hood, entered the store, 1080 Gateway Court, at around 5:54 p.m., displayed a handgun, possibly a semi-automatic, and ordered an employee to open both safes, Sgt. Paul Pokorski said.

The suspect left the store with a green bank bag and the cash. The suspect in believed to have fled on foot, Pokorski said. There were no injuries. The police department continues to investigate.

SUNBURST Ski Hill OPENS - Kewaskum

Sunburst Ski Area in Kewaskum, Wisconsin has six runs open with five lifts. "The base has held up nicely; especially with these cold night time temperatures," Jim Engel, owner of Sunburst said. "Our new snowmaking system really worked well to get this many runs open so early. Conditions are fantastic."
Sunburst has its "Progression Terrain Park" open. The Park Crew has worked hard to have lots of fun hits and rails ready.
Snowmaking will continue with the cold weather allowing Sunburst to be 100 percent open by December 15th... weather permitting.
Sunburst has the following hours of operation posted:
Wednesday, Thanksgiving Eve..................... 4:00PM until 9:00PM
Thursday Thanksgiving Day ......................... Closed to allow family time
Friday of Thanksgiving Weekend................. 10:00AM until 10:00PM
Saturday............................................................. 10:00AM until 10:00PM
Sunday .............................................................. 10:00AM until 9:00PM


Cedarburg parents battle for Open Records

The 2nd District Court of Appeals asked the state Supreme Court today to rule whether the transcript of a closed arbitration hearing involving former Cedarburg teacher Robert Zellner should be made public.

The Cedarburg School District fired Zellner for viewing pornography on his school computer. The district refused to reinstate Zellner after an arbitrator said it should do so.
A circuit court judge ruled that the transcript of that hearing was exempt from public records laws because releasing the transcript would defeat the purpose of having a closed arbitration hearing.

But a group of Cedarburg parents appealed, saying they had a right to know what information Zellner shared with the district so they could judge the appropriateness of the district's actions.

Then we read:

Under state and federal laws, the public is entitled to a wide array of information from all levels of government. In Wisconsin, the presumption is that records are available to the public unless there is a compelling reason for them to remain private. Except in very narrowly defined circumstances, the information and documents belong to everybody – and for good reason. A well-informed public is critical to the exchange of ideas that builds community strength. Just as important, residents need to have access to details that will help them make well-informed voting decisions and assist them in keeping government in line. The media has a watchdog function, but it’s a role every citizen can and should play.

Daily Tribune staff members routinely make open records requests, and they, along with members of the media from throughout the state, recently participated in a Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council audit. The audit, which involved 318 records requests in 65 of 72 counties, showed that three out of 10 requests were not filled properly, and one in 10 were ignored or denied entirely. In Adams County, for example, a sheriff’s department employee told a Daily Tribune reporter that the jail booking log was not a public record.

Clearly, under state law, it is.

To his credit, Adams County Sheriff Darrell Renner set up a meeting with staff members to review the department’s open records policy. He took the matter seriously and responded with an effort to educate – an entirely appropriate course of action.

Most public officials get it. They understand the law and will provide information upon request. Still, sometimes a reminder is needed. One of the benefits of public records audits is drawing attention to policies or behaviors of public employees that need to change.

A lack of understanding about relevant regulations certainly can be a reason a records request is denied. More concerning are government officials who openly and willingly flout open records and meeting laws. By doing so, they fail to properly serve their constituents, draw criticism and face possible lawsuits.

In this state, in this country, the records and information belong to everyone.


Do they? It seems that's what we are told, but when you take a look at incidents such as the one above (and I'll bet there are people that would come forward in droves to affirm this), obtaining those records can take quite a bit of verbal manipulation, lawful skills, and begging. But you don't have to take MY word for it.

Rathergate II: Certification of Live Birth a Forgery?

"The media bought it. The voters bought it. And now some in Congress are resisting the idea of congressional hearings because they believe that Barack Obama's "birth certificate" has been posted online.

Not so.

What was posted was not a birth certificate, but something that resembles a "Certification of Live Birth" or COLB, which, even if authentic, does not prove "natural born" U.S. citizenship. You see, in Hawaii, a Certification of Live Birth is issued within a year of a child's birth to those who register a birth abroad or one that takes place outside a hospital.

It's Rathergate all over again with more amiss than a 1970s Selectric typewriter. But before I tell you what the experts found, let me ask you a few questions:

If you were a natural born American citizen and had it within your means to quiet all the lawsuits and questions with proof, would you do it?

If you were a natural born American citizen, would you spend thousands of dollars to fight the legal cases against you, or would you simply answer the legitimate question of whether you meet the constitutional requirements for office?

If you were a natural born American citizen, would you forge a document called a "Certification of Live Birth" and tell the public it was a real "birth certificate"?

If someone were to violate the law by manufacturing a forgery in order trick the public, would that be enough evidence for members of Congress to conduct hearings and for a court to issue an order for the critical records, including the original long-form birth certificate (signed by the doctor) to ensure that the U.S. constitutional requirements for office were not violated? After all, Congress is sworn to uphold and defend that Constitution, and the justices on the U.S. Supreme Court are "guardians" of the Constitution. That's their job, isn't it? "


TIME Magazine exposes Gay Mafia

A few weeks before Virginia's legislative elections in 2005, a researcher working on behalf of a clandestine group of wealthy, gay political donors telephoned a Virginia legislator named Adam Ebbin. Then, as now, Ebbin was the only openly gay member of the state's general assembly. The researcher wanted Ebbin's advice on how the men he represented could spend their considerable funds to help defeat anti-gay Virginia politicians.

Ebbin, a Democrat who is now 44, was happy to oblige. (Full disclosure: in the mid-'90s, Ebbin and I knew each other briefly as colleagues; he sold ads for Washington City Paper, a weekly where I was a reporter.) Using Ebbin's expertise, the gay donors — none of whom live in Virginia — began contributing to certain candidates in the state. There were five benefactors: David Bohnett of Beverly Hills, Calif., who in 1999 sold the company he had co-founded, Geo-Cities, to Yahoo! in a deal worth $5 billion on the day it was announced; Timothy Gill of Denver, another tech multimillionaire; James Hormel of San Francisco, grandson of George, who founded the famous meat company; Jon Stryker of Kalamazoo, Mich., the billionaire grandson of the founder of medical-technology giant Stryker Corp.; and Henry van Ameringen, whose father Arnold Louis van Ameringen started a Manhattan-based import company that later became the mammoth International Flavors & Fragrances.


Among gay activists, the Cabinet is revered as a kind of secret gay Super Friends, a homosexual justice league that can quietly swoop in wherever anti-gay candidates are threatening and finance victories for the good guys. Rumors abound in gay political circles about the group's recondite influence; some of the rumors are even true. For instance, the Cabinet met in California last year with two sitting governors, Brian Schweitzer of Montana and Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas, both Democrats; political advisers who work for the Cabinet met with a third Democratic governor, Wisconsin's Jim Doyle. The Cabinet has also funded a secretive organization called the Movement Advancement Project (MAP), which a veteran lesbian activist describes as the "Gay IRS." MAP keeps tabs on the major gay organizations to make sure they are operating efficiently. The October 2008 MAP report notes, for example, that the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force fails to meet Better Business Bureau standards for limiting overhead expenses.



1. It is my understanding an appeal has been filed to overturn the lower court's ruling in the McConkey v. State of Wisconsin Court Case. For more information, please see:

http://www.wifamilycouncil.org/materials/07-07-27%20-%20Initial%20Pleading.pdf - Court Case

http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=701716 - McConkey article

http://www.proudparenting.com/node/1068 - McConkey article

2. The Appellate Court could declare the Traditional Marriage Amendment unconstitutional and strike it down.
3. If the Appellate Court ruled that the Marriage Amendment is constitutional, parties to the case could appeal the decision to the Wisconsin Supreme Court where some observe there is a split among the justices - 4 more liberal-leaning justices to 3 more conservative-leaning justices.
4. Should the Marriage Amendment be struck down by Wisconsin's courts, it is likely that liberal interest groups will attempt to introduce a bill legalizing same-sex marriage or same-sex civil unions such as The Equal Rights Amendment (2007 Senate Joint Resolution 2) - http://www.legis.state.wi.us/2007/data/SJR2hst.html .
5. With the Democrats in the majority in the State Assembly, State Senate, as well as the Office of the Governor, challenging days could be ahead in our state as there would likely be no way to stop such legislation.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Look familiar? Who does this remind you of?

Clues: Gestapo, Germany, holocaust, Adolf (Okay, now I'm giving it away.)

Full article here:

(Picture is of David Axelrod, Obama's latest golden child.)

Turkey Quiz??

While I'm in the turkey mood...try taking this interesting turkey quiz.....


Help yourself to the turkey shoot!

I scored 15,833....


Do you have unclaimed property?

From the office of Glenn Grothman:

With the holidays quickly approaching, it doesn’t seem like our dollars are stretching as far as they used to. In light of recent economic concerns, are you aware that the Wisconsin State Treasurer’s Office is currently holding in excess of $330 million in Unclaimed Property? With over one million individuals on the list, could the State be holding some of your or your loved ones property?

Unclaimed Property comes from various sources such as lapsed bank accounts, stocks, certificates of deposit, mature life insurance policies, uncashed death benefit checks, utility deposit refunds, and paychecks among others.

To learn if you or your loved ones may be entitled to receive Unclaimed Property, visit this website

To obtain Unclaimed Property, contact the State Treasurer’s Office directly and provide them with the Property Identification Number.

Office of the State Treasurer
P.O. Box 2114
Madison, WI 53701
1-877-699-9211 – toll-free
www.ost.state.wi.us/home/up.html - website

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Bush Proclaims Thanksgiving as time for gratitude for freedoms....

Curtsy to Righty Blog...

A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America

Thanksgiving is a time for families and friends to gather together and express gratitude for all that we have been given, the freedoms we enjoy, and the loved ones who enrich our lives. We recognize that all of these blessings, and life itself, come not from the hand of man but from Almighty God.


Friday, November 21, 2008

Another good read...

From Where I Sit....

Great conservative blog! Add it to your list of "must reads"....

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Left rising up to appeal ban on same-sex marriage

In tracking numerous efforts by liberals to further their agenda here in Wisconsin and around the country, it is very apparent their success is often attained through the courts rather than through state legislatures and the court of public opinion. In reading the article below, it is most probable that yet another lawsuit may be brought to strike down Wisconsin's Traditional Marriage Amendment similar to what is happening right now with California's Supreme Court and what has happened previously in the Massachusetts and Connecticut Supreme Courts. Even though 59% of Wisconsin's citizens showed their solid support for the sanctity of marriage a few years back in amending our State Constitution, it appears that the Left is marching on. Stay tuned. Be watchful.


California let the cause of equality down this year, just as Wisconsin let it down two years ago.
But that does not mean that the votes in these two states on measures to ban same-sex marriage were identical.

Wisconsin wrote discriminatory language into its state Constitution for the first time -- an indefensibly awful move. But Wisconsin had never allowed same-sex couples to marry.
California did something even more unsettling. After the courts had determined that gays and lesbians in that state had a right to marry their partners, marriages began to be performed. Families finally received the legal recognition they had a right to expect.
The Nov. 4 referendum vote took that right away.
It is bad enough when rights are denied.
It is, somehow, even worse when they are taken away.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Washington County/West Bend have issues with open records requests

Curtsy to Boots and Sabers...

Three in 10 requests made under the state's public records law were not properly fulfilled, according to a statewide audit released Wednesday by open records advocates.

In 30 cases - nearly 10% - requests for simple records were denied or ignored, according to the audit by the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council and the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Journalism and Mass Communication.


In Washington County, the requester had to provide a name to get the jail booking log. Problems also were encountered in Washington County in getting school and town records, and the West Bend Police Department did not provide records regarding calls to a high school.

Local pastor files false complaint against citizen - West Bend

I received a phone call from the West Bend Police Department following a school board meeting telling me that someone had filed a formal complaint against me, stating that I "chased after them" in the parking lot outside of the district offices and made them feel threated in doing so. (I was specifically named in the report.) After a discussion with the police officer, and confirmation of persons in the surveillance video he obtained from last night, we were able to determine that the person in question was a pastor's wife who had ridden with me and mistaken the silver van that the accuser was driving for the one that I was driving, which was silver as well. I saw this woman head towards the accuser's vehicle quickly as it was very cold that night, though she never made it more than half-way across the parking lot and certainly made no threatening gestures, other than holding her coat tightly against herself to keep the wind at bay. I honked my horn to redirect her, and she saw that she had made an error and quickly made her way to my parking spot.

The person who accused me of chasing after her and intimidating/harassing her was a local pastor who spoke out against me personally at that night's meeting. I was quite surprised as she knows who I am and what I look like (as does the individual who was with her), though I have never spoken with her. (This pastor's wife is over 6 inches shorter than myself and was wearing an ankle-length coat. I had on a short brown leather jacket. Interesting.)

This behavior is an appropriate example of how speaking what one believes to be true is punishable by those who feel they are offended by it. What if there had been no surveillance tape? What if this had been a student-to-student action within our schools? How would our harassment policy have protected the accused?

This behavior by a community member is not only shameful, it is obviously an attempt to discredit me in public. I feel I have no choice but to attend all meetings with a witness from this point on for my own protection.

The final reading for this flawed harassment policy is on December 1, 8 p.m., at the District Offices.

(I have a copy of the police report.)

Grothman calls for end to special aid for MPS

MADISON: Today State Senator Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend) called for an immediate end to a special $10 million per year grant that Milwaukee Public Schools receives from the State of Wisconsin beginning this year.

“We’ve all heard for years rumors of rampant waste, excessive bureaucracy, and lack of concern for taxpayers’ money,” said Grothman. “Fortunately, Channel 4 News and CRG-Network has chosen to highlight some of the most outrageous excesses. It turns out Milwaukee Public Schools are spending more on consultants than on school books. In a district that always claims to be short of money, the excessive advertising budget and catering expenses are also an insult.”
According to the Department of Public Instruction, in the most recent year available (2006-07), the Milwaukee Public Schools spent $12,471 per pupil, while the statewide average is $11,413 per pupil, and some districts, such as West Bend, spent $9,836 per pupil. Last year’s new grant will increase the gap of Milwaukee Public Schools to the statewide average by about another $110 per pupil. Additionally, Milwaukee also received a grant last year totaling almost $9 million annually for low income districts which is not available to most other districts around the state.
“I call for Governor Doyle to leave this new program out of the state budget next year,” said Grothman. “Rather than throwing still more money at this wasteful school board, we should focus on getting rid of the residency requirement which chases experienced teachers out of the system, changing the law to remove bad teachers from districts, and expanding the School Choice program where children come first -- not consultants and bureaucrats.”

“It now turns out as so frequently happens in government that an overfunded bureaucracy has been able to dupe gullible politicians into thinking their problem is a lack of money,” said Grothman.

“One would think with economies of scale and a lower transportation budget associated with urban districts, Milwaukee would be spending significantly less than the state average,” observed Grothman. “Their inability to hold senior teachers due to their residency requirement should also make their costs less.”

Grothman plans to reintroduce Senate Bill 383 from last Session making it easier to remove poorly- performing teachers in the public schools and will also introduce a bill to end advertising by public school districts. “Does anybody not know that their local public school exists?,” questioned Grothman.

Appeal rejected - Curt Schmidt - West Bend - to serve full sentence

Justice deserved...

The state Court of Appeals rejected a former West Bend funeral home director's bid today to have his prison sentence reduced for soliciting sex online from a 13-year-old boy and possessing child pornography.

Curtis J. Schmidt, 70, was sentenced in September 2006 by Ozaukee County Circuit Judge Paul V. Malloy to 15 years in prison - 18 months on each of five counts of possessing child pornography, 18 months for providing harmful material to a child and six years for soliciting sex from a 13-year-old boy in Colorado. Each sentence is to run consecutive to the others.
The 15 years is 18 months shy of the maximum allowed under the law.

Schmidt appealed the sentence, contending, among other things, that the trial court failed to explain why lengthy consecutive sentences were necessary and appropriate. He alleged that the trial court erroneously exercised its discretion by imposing consecutive sentences.

Schmidt also contended that the trial court erroneously exercised its discretion by considering disputed, unproven and inaccurate information at sentencing, and by giving undue weight to past undesirable conduct while failing to consider positive factors.

But the appeals court today said Malloy acted within his discretion and provided a rational explanation for the sentences.

According to court documents, Schmidt met the Colorado boy in an online chat room and told him in an e-mail that he wanted to have sex with him and one of his friends.
That and other messages were discovered by the boy's mother, who turned them over to law enforcement.

At Schmidt's sentencing, Malloy cited a history of abuse that included sexually assaulting two nephews; two incidents in Milwaukee for which Schmidt was cited in the 1970s and 1980s; and photographs of child pornography and the genitals of corpses that were discovered by a construction crew at a house in which Schmidt used to live.

It is the second time Schmidt has tried to reduce his sentence. In September 2007, Schmidt filed a motion asking Malloy to modify the prison term.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

West Bend D.A. rejects citizen complaint

A formal complaint was filed back on August 5th with West Bend's D.A., Todd Martens concerning the referendum video that appeared biased and coercive. The video can be seen here: http://wbcommunityinfo.blogspot.com/2008/07/wb-school-board-promo-video-coerces.html

The entire letter can be read here:


A follow-up letter was sent in October since there was no response from the D.A.

Since that time, the referendum questions were pulled from the November ballot and rescheduled for spring.

A formal reply came today:

"I received your letters concerning the West Bend School District and the six-minute video presentation, which contained information about the referendum. Although I received your first letter August 5, 2008, I felt that an immediate was not particularly important since the referendum question was withdrawn prior to the November election. (So a three-month wait for an answer is appropriate? Is this the norm for a citizen complaint?) Nevertheless, I did review the script of the video (Yes, we know this already. That's the problem.) and advised the West Bend School District that I did not believe it contained express advocacy for the referendum. (Which is exactly why you refuse to watch the video now. You might have to eat your words.)

Nothing in your letters changes my opinion in that regard. I have not reviewed the video, nor do I plan to. (Whoah! So six minutes is too much to ask? How does one base their decision on this issue without watching the video? How does one determine context, setting, tone without watching the video? Reading the script is hardly the same.) 'Express advocacy' if found at all, must in my opinion be found from the words used in the video. Your concerns about 'over use' of officials, police and firefighters participating and other concerns expressed in your letter do not go toward the question of whether the words of the video expressly advocate passage of the referendum. In my opinion they do not. (And you based this on??? Watching the video? NOT. "Words" are mentioned in my letter, over and over again. This is not addressed in this letter.)

I am very familiar with the law concerning expressed advocacy State of Wisconsin. I agree with you that it is very important that school districts not use school resources for express advocacy of referendum questions. However, the words of the video in question do not expressly advocate passage of the referendum. Therefore, I decline to take any enforcement action against the District or any of its employees."

(I disagree. It seems that our elected district attorney, Attorney Martens, does not have an open ear to the voters in his community, nor does he wish to make the effort to spend six minutes in order to fulfill a citizen complaint and respond with full knowledge of the situation. He won't be getting MY vote....)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Ann Coulter on David Brooks and liberal Republicans

I just got a good chuckle out of Ann's column today. My thoughts exactly.

For the first time in 32 years, Democrats got more than 50 percent of the country to vote for their candidate in a national election, and now they want to lecture the Republican Party on how to win elections. Liberal Republicans have joined them, both groups hoping no one will notice that we just lost this election by running the candidate they chose for us.


Brooks gushed, “I can tell you there is nobody in politics remotely like him,” and even threw down the gauntlet, saying: “You will never persuade me that he is not among the finest of men.” That took guts at the Times, where McCain is constantly praised by the op-ed columnists and was endorsed by the paper in the Republican primary. Even Frank Rich has hailed McCain as the “most experienced and principled” of the Republicans and said no one in either party “has more experience in matters of war than the Arizona senator” – the biggest rave issued by Rich since “Rent” opened on Broadway. They adored McCain at the Times! Does anyone here not see a cluster of bright red flags?


But now Brooks presumes to lecture Republicans about what to do next time. How about: “Don’t take David Brooks’ advice”? According to Brooks, the reason McCain lost was – naturally – that he ran as a conservative. If only presidential candidates would spurn polls, modern political history, evidence from campaign rallies, facts on the ground and listen to the wishful thinking of Times columnists!


In another sign of how popular liberalism is, liberals have to keep changing their name, like grifters moving from town to town. Liberal Republicans used to be known as “moderates,” then “mavericks” or “centrists.” I guess now they’re “reformists.” Why, liberals are so popular they have to disguise themselves for fear of being mobbed by an adoring public! I gather by “reformist,” Brooks means liberal only on the social issues like gay marriage and abortion because – apart from abortion and gay marriage – Rudy Giuliani was a right-wing lunatic. He engaged in aggressive policing, cut taxes and government bureaucracies, abolished New York’s affirmative action office and was repeatedly denounced as a storm trooper by The New York Times.


I’ll accept the results of the presidential election, if you anti-Proposition 8 die-hards in California accept the results of that vote. Earth to protesters: Most Americans oppose gay marriage. On this, even blacks and Mormons are agreed! Why don’t you people go find something useful to do?



Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Why believe in God? DC Buses will tote new ads for Christmas...

WASHINGTON, D.C. — You better watch out. There is a new combatant in the Christmas wars.
Ads proclaiming, "Why believe in a god? Just be good for goodness' sake," will appear on Washington, D.C., buses starting next week and running through December. The American Humanist Association unveiled the provocative $40,000 holiday ad campaign Tuesday.
In lifting lyrics from "Santa Claus is Coming to Town," the Washington-based group is wading into what has become a perennial debate over commercialism, religion in the public square and the meaning of Christmas.
"We are trying to reach our audience, and sometimes in order to reach an audience, everybody has to hear you," said Fred Edwords, spokesman for the humanist group. "Our reason for doing it during the holidays is there are an awful lot of agnostics, atheists and other types of non-theists who feel a little alone during the holidays because of its association with traditional religion."


Ok, I just had to stop for a minute to wipe away the tears from laughter... This is just too FUNNY! Look at the ridiculous statement made by Edwords, the spokesperson for the AHA... Maybe the agnostics, atheists and other types of nontheists feel alone because they CHOOSE to be alone!
Um, excuse me? The word Christmas would be nonexistent if there had been no Christ, no God, no believers. If one chooses not to believe, then by all means, relax near the hearth with Scrooge on Christmas Day. And by the way...Christmas has become so secularized that one does not have to have any sort of "belief system" in order to celebrate Christmas. So this whole campaign is just a bunch of bah-humbug! STILL LAUGHING!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Harassment Policy pushed through to third reading despite protests

West Bend School District’s controversial harassment policy is again one step closer to implementation after making it through a second reading Monday night. The School Board is one approval away from enacting the policy that has ignited a fire under many district and community residents, students and religious leaders on both sides of the fence. Opposition cites the policy’s inclusion of “sexual orientation” in a list of protected classes, claims the policy violates First Amendment rights and doesn’t include parent notification early enough in harassment investigations.


Six residents spoke on the policy Monday night, five against it. Parental notification and listing the protected classes received the most criticism. “Why doesn’t this harassment policy include the parents until the disciplinary action has been decided and handed down,” said Mary Jane Tucci, mother of a high school student. Tucci is concerned children in the investigative process will be alone, and she wants parents involved early. “We want to be there for our children as you want to be,” she said. Parental involvement would benefit all parties, said Renee Vertin, who expressed concern over alleged harassers. “When does the student receive assistance — the one that’s being accused,” she said.


John Duwell stated he "understands" and has "been listening", but if that was the case, he would know that you can enumerate AND include all students - all in the same policy (even the DPI said so). Nobody said that the "required" wording had to be eliminated. We are simply asking for ALL students to be included. They (the school board), on the other hand, simply refuse. (What is it that they don't get???)

As for Joe Carlson's ridiculous question to Kathy Zarling during the meeting about notifying parents concerning every single incident...how absurd! Who asked for that? WE did NOT. We are asking for parental notification to be written INTO the harassment policy (it is not there whatsoever and the Administrative Rule is not enough), and included EARLIER in the process than when the disciplinary action is finally handed down. Joe's question made him look silly. Of COURSE, we don't need to know about every hangnail. This is yet another example of CHOICE.

To accommodate parent/citizen/taxpayer requests, the board would simply need to do two things:

1. Make the policy include ALL students. (For all intents and purposes, just adding "ETC." after the list of protected classes would suffice!)
2. Include parents in the policy at an earlier stage.
I guess that's just too difficult for our school board.

Kathy Zarling is playing puppetmaster, and the school board is dancing.

Kathy Zarling's comments were disturbing...I wrote her direct quotes....

"We will inform parents as much as practical."

When asked if a child is uncomfortable in the complaint process, Kathy stated they would ask the child what they would need to be made comfortable. If the child asked for their mother, for instance (Kathy's example), they school authorities would "most likely honor that if we could."

This is absolutely unacceptable to us as parents and grandparents in the district. It is an oppressive concept, and an undermining of parental authority.

Berceau vows to push for repeal of abortion statute

This is not good.

If Pro-Life Advocates Don't Speak Up Now, More Unborn Children Will Be Killed In Wisconsin....

Come January, state Rep. Terese Berceau, D-Madison, will be in the majority party for the first time in her long tenure in the Assembly. And she plans to waste no time in reintroducing a bill to repeal a state law criminalizing abortion that dates to the 19th century.

"That is one of the top things on my list," says Berceau, who decided against running for a leadership post in her chamber so she could concentrate on policy initiatives.

But even though Democrats now control both houses of the Legislature and the governor's office, Berceau still isn't sure she has the votes for passage, since some members of her own caucus oppose abortion rights.

"I do have some Democratic colleagues I have to deal with," she says. Assembly Democrats, in general, will likely be more bipartisan than the Republicans were when they ruled the roost, Berceau says. But, she adds, the new majority party will not entertain proposals from such "extreme" groups as Wisconsin Right to Life and Pro-Life Wisconsin, who, for example, recently pushed a bill purportedly aimed at preventing doctors from killing a baby who is born alive.

"That was egregious and misleading," Berceau says. "We're not going to give them the opportunities to be heard when they come up with such egregious anti-women's health bills," she adds. "They're just not going to be heard."

Sue Armacost, legislative director for Wisconsin Right to Life, says she's not surprised to hear of Berceau's plans to repeal the abortion statute: "That would be a shock if they didn't try that again."

Armacost acknowledges that "things are going to be more difficult" for her group given the election. Her colleague, Barbara Lyons, executive director of Wisconsin Right to Life, expressed similar sentiments in a mournful e-mail sent to supporters two days after the election.

"America elected as president the most pro-abortion individual in the United States imaginable," Lyons said. "Our state Legislature was up for grabs and we are now hanging on by a thread."


Monday, November 10, 2008

Stinky plant blooms at Milwaukee Public Museum

I was really intrigued with this story when it came out some time ago and wondered if this plant would bloom or not. Seems it came through and is now fumigating the entire first floor of the museum. Don't plan to eat your lunch there, but by all means, visit and view this exotic wonder that blooms every 7 years....

"Stinky socks.
Rotten meat.
And, of course, used baby diapers.

Many words came to the minds of Milwaukee Public Museum visitors Monday who were astonished, thrilled and, yes, nauseated, by the resurrection of Neilson, the now-famous corpse plant.

When last we visited Neilson on Sunday, it appeared the 7-foot tall stinky plant had collapsed on his side without blooming or giving off any odor at all. You can just imagine what people were saying about Neilson behind his back."

MORE HERE: http://www.jsonline.com/news/milwaukee/34206209.html

Liberty Counsel Files Motion to Intervene/ CA Marriage Amendment TODAY

Today Liberty Counsel is filing a motion to intervene to defend against three lawsuits filed at the California Supreme Court that would undermine marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

The lawsuits were filed last week by same-sex marriage advocates including the ACLU, the National Center for Lesbian Rights and Lambda Legal, asking the Court to overturn the California Marriage Protection Act (Proposition 8) recently passed by 52% of California voters. Those groups are upset because the Act, which states: "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California," will overturn the Court's May 15 ruling in favor of same-sex marriage.


Take a stand - WB School Board Meeting TONIGHT

The harassment policy went back to the table to have a few words changed that did nothing to change the content of the policy. As such, these issues and talking points remain.

Your presence is necessary. You may think it doesn't matter, but this policy will affect future generations of school-age children.We have seen what has happened in California. Morality is declining; constitutional rights are being taken away.


West Bend East High School
See info below:


Friday, November 7, 2008

Kewaskum Ordinance ruled unconstitutional - ADF steps in

This is interesting. I phoned our local police department in West Bend and asked about lit dropping similar information as it pertained to an unconstitutional harassment policy. I was given the exact same spiel. Hmmmmmm............ Methinks an investigation is in order here.

A federal court judge in Milwaukee has ruled a Monroe man's rights were violated when he was prohibited in the village of Kewaskum from leaving religious pamphlets denouncing homosexuality on the door handles of residences.

U.S. District Judge JP Stadtmueller ruled on Oct. 18 that a Village ordinance banning various types of literature distribution was unconstitutional and violated the civil rights of 41-year-old Michael Foht of Monroe, according to a court judgment.

The lawsuit, filed by the Alliance Defense Fund, was dismissed when, faced with the allegations, the village took immediate steps in March to withdraw the ordinance. required by court order to pay the plaintiff's attorneys fees totaling $11,000.



Thursday, November 6, 2008

Planned Parenthood celebrating Obama's victory

Madison, WI- Today, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin’s (PPAWI) One Million Strong Campaign is celebrating the historic election of Barack Obama as the next president of the United States and the state legislative sweep of pro-women’s health candidates endorsed by PPAWI. This campaign was a national commitment from Planned Parenthood affiliates across the country to drive one million pro-choice, pro-women’s health voters to the polls on November 4th.


The election of Barack Obama, who has been a vocal supporter of women’s health and access to prevention-based health care over the extreme ticket of John McCain and Sarah Palin, reiterates that Americans overwhelmingly believe that they should be the ones making decisions about their reproductive health, not the government as the McCain/Palin ticket advocated.


More babies scheduled to die during the reign of the "Exterminator."

MN School District settles lawsuit over Christian T-shirt

HUTCHINSON, Minn. -- The Hutchinson School District has settled a lawsuit with the family of a sixth grader over the district's response to anti-abortion T-shirts he wore to school.

The district agreed to pay the student $1 damages and $12,500 in legal fees, but didn't admit to violating the law. The settlement was filed in federal court on Wednesday. The district says it settled because it didn't want the expense of fighting the lawsuit.

The settlement allows the student to wear his T-shirts, although the district retained the right to react of the shirts cause substantial disruption in the schools.

The lawsuit claims that during April a middle school principal and several teachers told the student he couldn't wear the shirts, and when he did they made him turn them inside out.
The shirts had various slogans, including, "Abortion ... growing, growing, gone," and what the district considered graphic images.

The lawsuit was filed in June by attorneys for the Thomas More Law Center, a Michigan-based Christian legal advocacy group.


HIV scare at Missouri school


NORMANDY, Mo. (AP) — Students at a suburban St. Louis high school headed to the gymnasium for HIV testing this week after an infected person told health officials as many as 50 teenagers might have been exposed to the virus that causes AIDS.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

WB School Board says voters too IRRATIONAL to vote on referendum yesterday

If you voted on the West Bend School District’s referendum Tuesday, get ready for some déjàvu. You could vote on the same or similar plan on the April 7 ballot. In spring, it will count.


District 3 Chief Inspector Dean Benzer said most people didn’t ask about the referendum. He addressed those who did. “You can tell the voters they don’t have to pay any attention to it if they don’t want to,” he said. “Most people said ‘Oh, OK.’” District 4 Chief Inspector Midge Bast said most voters were told to ignore the referendum. That’s what District 4 voter Josh Tonn did. “They told me to ignore it,” he said.


So let me get this right. People were just randomly told to ignore something on the ballot and they just trusted? Where were the official signs that were going to be placed at the polls? I did not see one at MY polling place. Do uninformed citizens just trust officials when they tell us "not to pay attention to" something on our ballots? This is not appropriate.


A few board members cautioned against holding a referendum while emotion is driving decisions. Board President Joe Carlson said he doesn’t want to “taint” the plan on “irrational thinking.”


So was the real reason to get it off the Nov. 4 ballot because of the "emotion" concerning the Obama/McCain election? OR...as the school board had alluded to previously, was it because of "compassion" concerning the current financial condition of the nation? And this is irrational thinking how????????? That is, actually, rather insulting.


The referendum is now slated for April 7. The same questions are expected to be on the ballot, but the School Board has to approve them again in February.


Just say NO.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Absentee Ballots being Challenged in Milwaukee by Police Officer

Let the cartoons begin...

MILWAUKEE -- An off-duty Milwaukee police officer has challenged seven absentee ballots.
Mike Sandvick was at a warehouse at 4200 N. Holton St. on Tuesday, where all of the city's absentee ballots are being counted.

WISN 12 News reporter Marianne Lyles said the ballots will be marked as challenged.

A prosecutor said that three people came forward on Monday and admitted to discrepancies.
Sandvick said he discovered the discrepancies with the ballots while he was on duty, but challenged them as a citizen.


I was just at the polls this morning...

I arrived at 6:30 in the Town of West Bend and there were 55 people ahead of me. By 7 a.m., there were 100 behind me... at least. Everyone seemed to be enjoying the beautiful morning, sipping coffee and chatting with each other.

To the credit of the township, they were very prepared.

Lists of alphabetized names hung on the wall as you entered. You were asked to check for your name to be assured you were a registered voter. This allowed the actual voting process to run smoothly and sorted out the sheep.

Instead of two tables to check in, there were four, all broken down into alphabetization of last name. Check-in was quick and organized. Voting for McCain/Palin was easy.

For an election like this, there was quite inadequate parking. The lot is very small in the Town of West Bend and the only other option is to park on Hwy. Z, a very well-traveled road. If you read this and you vote here, use extreme caution if you must park on the highway. It is extraordinarily busy today.

I did not see any poll watchers today. I am wondering why... I did this in years gone by and feel it is an important part of the voting process. I know the workers don't like it, but no harm is done and it forces accountability and ensures integrity. Just my opinion.

Unfortunately, I did not see any signs posted anywhere that reminded/informed voters about the school referendum, and the formal removal of these items from the ballot. Though it was advertised well by the school board, there will still be people that missed this information. I thought each polling place was supposed to have signs posted regarding this issue? Too bad.

I had thought more people would show up in red/white/blue. I know this is kind of cheesy, but think about former elections, photographs of days done by, etc. People were intensely patriotic. Election day sprouted multi-colored garb and American pride. I saw three people out of the 100+ wearing the tri-colored salute to the nation, myself included. Insert sad face here.

The poll workers were courteous and friendly. Overall, excellent job on the part of these people and thanks to the volunteers who worked today!

Vote Pro-Life MCCAIN




Monday, November 3, 2008

Peggy believes sharing is caring - America's dumbing down with Barak

Curtsy to wbender.

Area professor supports Electoral College - leaves out some information...


"On the other hand, it was equally clear that, in our republic, Farmer Brown needed to be represented even if he didn’t have the education, or time, to pick a president himself. The solution? The Founders assumed Farmer Brown was smart enough to elect Mr. Jefferson, that guy down the road with an education and time to go to Washington to pick a president for him. The Electoral College was born."

When the Electoral College was in place, the outcome was never any different than it was now, with the exception of 1888, where the electoral vote trumped the popular vote. The popular vote has won out every time since then, unless you take into consideration the case in Florida (2000), which the Supreme Court intervened on. Had we played the "Electoral College vote" game, Gore would have surely been in the White House. (ick)


"Ironically, the lack of understanding those students displayed illustrates why the Founders went to such lengths to keep “the people” out of direct involvement in government. Think about it this way: Should anyone who isn’t acquainted with the U.S. Constitution, or even interested in it, be allowed to vote?"


Whoa! Let's think about this. One could be fully acquainted with the issues regarding each candidate, have done their homework, and consider an "educated" decision regarding their presidential vote, but be disqualified because they don't know U.S. history? This piece of history (though interesting) does not affect one's ability to vote. This is a pretty ridiculous statement. I understand the passion here, as I am on board with historical background, education, and the like, but to remove the ability to vote because someone cannot cite past historical events is rather ludicrous.



From the Intellectual Conservative:

"The serenity with which Socrates contemplates his imminent death, placing his hope on virtue in life and immortality of the human soul, stands in sharp contrast to the professions of liberal-progressive materialism by Democratic Party presidential candidates.

They speak of religious faith, but what they really mean is that they place their faith in earthly salvation, the social justice of the collectivized political state, dedicated not to pursuit of moral virtue, but to the dispensation of the material pleasures that Plato rejected for the life of the lover of wisdom."

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Man draws criticism for effigy of Sarah Palin

A very bad idea.

A man who prompted protests by hanging an effigy of U.S. Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin by a noose from his home at Halloween has removed the display because it was causing too much trouble.

Chad Michael Morrisette had dressed a mannequin to resemble the Alaska governor, complete with beehive hairstyle and her trademark glasses, and hung it by the neck from the eaves of his home in famously liberal West Hollywood.