All content, of both the original and this blog, is written from my point of view and is my opinion. I believe it to be accurate at the time it is written. ~ Kyle Prast, Brookfield resident since 1986

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Mary Knoll "Weed Out" Saturday, May 2, 2009, 9am-12noon

Yes, it is that time of year again--plants are growing and greening up! Daffodils are blooming; Forsythia bushes are bursting forth with their welcome sprays of golden blooms. Unfortunately, the Garlic Mustard is coming up too. It's time to head over to Mary Knoll Park for the 5th annual Garlic Mustard Weed Out, on Saturday, May 2nd, from 9 am to 12 noon.

Garlic Mustard is a terrible invasive weed that if left alone will completely take over any area it is allowed to grow in. Area residents, Patty Gerner and family, have been been battling this thug at Mary Knoll Park since 1997. Because of their efforts, along with the help of the annual Weed Out teams, the Garlic Mustard is in retreat and the native wild flowers are making a comeback.

I have participated in several of the Weed Outs and always enjoyed them. The work isn't difficult and Brookfield's Park & Rec. Department provides large bags and will dispose of the weeds too. All you have to do is come prepared to work. They will even provide instruction! (Photo from past Weed Out.)

Do wear your gardening clothes and bring gloves. You might want a kneeling pad or mat and a water bottle. If it is a sunny day (we can hope) you might want a hat too.

Excerpts from the Parks, Recreation & Forestry flier:

Who can participate?
Any interested individual or group
This is an excellent community service project for any
organization, school or church group, family, or private
individual concerned about the environment and the
City parks.

Why participate?

To help our native plants and animals survive so that we can
continue to enjoy them. Garlic mustard is an invasive weed
introduced on the east coast by early settlers for its alleged
medicinal qualities and cooking. In our community it spreads
rapidly, overtaking wildflowers, native tree and shrub seedlings.
It then drives out animals, birds and insects that depend on a
diversity of plant species for food and shelter.

To Register,
Call the Parks, Recreation & Forestry Office
at (262) 796-6675.
(Registration is not mandatory, but gives us
an idea on how many volunteers to expect)
“Project Partners”: The Gerner Family, Boy Scout Troop 23,
Brookfield Central High School Key Club and UW-Extension

Rain or Shine!

You don't have to live near the park to participate. Last year a woman from the north side of Brookfield came to learn how to go about eradicating the weed from her neighborhood park. I think she was hoping to form a group in her area to work on their park. Great idea.

Mary Knoll Park is located at 615 S. Sunnyslpe Road, just south of the I-94 overpass bridge, in Brookfield.

See you there?

Garlic Mustard disposal info:

Past Garlic Mustard Postings:
4th Annual Weed Out

3rd Annual Weed Out (with photos)

It is worth saving (pictures from Weed Out and wildflowers)

Oh, the shame! (photos and tips for evicting Garlic Mustard)

Weed control links: Garlic Mustard and garlic mustard's pretty cousin, Dame's Rocket. (It can take over native areas too.) Garlic mustard should be thrown in the trash and labeled Garlic Mustard: Do not compost.

Practically Speaking, Fairly Conservative, Betterbrookfield, RandyMelchert, CNS News, Jay Weber, Mark Levin, Vicki McKenna Jay Weber, The Right View Wisconsin, The Heritage Foundation

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Monday, April 27, 2009

Elmbrook School District sued over graduation location

I heard on the news last Wednesday that the Americans United for Separation of Church and State was going forward with their lawsuit over Elmbrook schools using Elmbrook Church for their graduation. Argh.

First of all, there is No Separation of Church and State clause in any of our founding documents as interpreted by this group. But that aside, why is it when one person squawks and we all have to change?

I've said this before, the Elmbrook Church auditorium is just that: an auditorium. It is not a sanctuary as there might be in a Catholic church. It is one of the largest auditoriums in our area and has been rented out for totally secular concerts. It is rather like the PAC west, only easier to park at. It does have a simple wood cross at the front. (Photo is from Elmbrook Church's website.)

A few things stood out in the Journal article:
"Earlier this month, the New Berlin district abandoned its plans to use Elmbrook Church for Eisenhower High School's graduation. The ceremony will be on the school's football field. New Berlin Superintendent Paul Kreutzer has said to avoid a showdown with Americans United for Separation of Church and State. WCTC and Mukwonago still plan to hold their ceremonies at the church. In the lawsuit filed against Elmbrook in U.S. District Court in Milwaukee, the group argues that holding commencement at the nondenominational Christian church violates the Constitution's ban on government establishment of religion by coercing parents and students to enter a religious institution for a public school event."

New Berlin is holding theirs outdoors? That is taking a chance in Wisconsin--it could be a real mess. It could cost their district in field repairs too. WCTC and Mukwonago are still planning to use Elmbrook Church? I am thinking that tells me that Elmbrook Church is probably the nicest, largest facility in our area? You would think WCTC would have some venue that would work for graduation, but the Elmbrook location is nice? Probably they don't have anything comparable in accessibility and amenities.

Many of them [those filing the suit] feel uncomfortable with having the ceremony in the church because "Elmbrook Church teaches that persons who do not subscribe to the church's Christian beliefs will suffer torment in hell for all eternity," the suit says.

I noticed that those bringing the suit couldn't bring themselves to say that Elmbrook Church teaches that persons who do not believe what the Bible, God's word, teaches about the necessity to believe in Jesus Christ or be separated from God for all eternity. They made it out like Elmbrook Church is being unreasonable or hateful in preaching the Bible's position. The ultimate truth of the Bible still pertains to all regardless of the graduation setting. Plus, if you are atheist, you don't believe in any of that anyway--God, the Bible, Jesus, hell. What is the difference? Atheists certainly manage to use U.S. currency that states "In God We Trust.

So for all of a student's 12 years of school, Christian students in the Elmbrook School District must endure an atmosphere of A-Theism while attending classes. But on this one day of their school career, the 1 student bringing the suit cannot endure an hour with 1 symbol of Christianity--something they don't even believe in?

Dr. Matt Gibson said this would be the last year Elmbrook schools would be holding graduation at Elmbrook Church. Next year, think gymnasium. Yes, hard bleachers, bad acoustics, and the aura of locker room floating through the air will be so much better than soft, upholstered seating with a backrest, attractive setting, big screen TVs for close-up viewing, and a great sound system. (Photo is of Central High School's new gym.)

The MSNBC article brought up an important point,

"'s less expensive for the district to rent a venue than to stage it within the school, with the custodial overtime, the take down, the set-up, etc."

The choice of Elmbrook Church auditorium is one of practicality and economy, not of proselytizing.

Now if someone will just sneeze at the right time, we could have an invocation too.

I am contacting Superintendent Gibson to give him my support for holding graduation at Elmbrook Church. I hope you will too.

Across the Board: Waste of time and money

Links: Practically Speaking, Fairly Conservative, Betterbrookfield, RandyMelchert, CNS News, Jay Weber, Mark Levin, Vicki McKenna Jay Weber, The Right View Wisconsin, The Heritage Foundation

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Friday, April 24, 2009

Steve Pettit week: Amazing Grace Sunday thru Irish Sacred Concert Friday

Sunday, April 26, 2009, marks the start of a week of special meetings at Brookfield's Brookside Baptist Church with our staff evangelist Steve Pettit and his musical team. Photo is Steve and his team performing at our church picnic last summer. (Steve is the one in the red shirt with the mandolin.)

Steve is a gifted preacher and his group is very talented; the week of special meetings promises to be a good one for the whole family. Their musical style ranges from traditional to Blue Grass to Irish. April 26 - May 1 schedule:

Sunday: Amazing Grace Sunday. Service times are 8:30 am, 10:45 am and 6:00pm.

Monday: Men's Steak-out, 6:00pm. (Catered by Texas Road House, cost $5)

Tuesday: Ladies Night, 6:00pm. (Catered by Olive Garden, cost $5)

Wednesday: Family Night, 7:00pm.

Thursday: Teen Cola War, 5:15pm. (I think this has something to do with Coke vs Pepsi!)

Friday: Irish Sacred Concert, 7:00pm (This should be fabulous! I have a few CDs from the Pettit team and their music is first rate.)

Saturday? There is no Saturday meeting. The team packs up and moves onto the next location on Saturday to do it all again next week! These people are real troopers; they get around.

Although Steve Pettit is on our pastoral staff, we rarely see him. He is almost always on the road. Recently he hosted a tour of the Holy Land for our church. Check out his pictures from Israel.

As I mentioned, I have several CDs from Steve Pettit. Some have traditional hymns played in their unique style, some have new works, and some are just pure fun with songs like Foggy Mountain Breakdown and Puttin' on the Dog. I'm looking forward to seeing them perform live--tin whistle and all.

Brookside is located at 4470 North Pilgrim Rd. Just south of Lisbon.

Practically Speaking, Fairly Conservative, Betterbrookfield, RandyMelchert, CNS News, Jay Weber, Mark Levin, Vicki McKenna Jay Weber, The Right View Wisconsin, The Heritage Foundation

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Brookfield meetings and events: April 22 - June 6, 2009

This information came from my two Alderpersons: Lisa Mellone and Renee' Lowerr

On Wednesday, April 22nd, 4:30 – 7 pm at Swanson Elementary Gymnasium is a DOT Public Information Meeting (open house format) with updates to the 2011 Bluemound Road Project. Over 100 of you showed up to our neighborhood meeting back in November to voice your concerns and provide input on the DOT proposed plans to close medians and eliminate left turns on Bluemound Rd. east of Moorland to 124th Street. Your input mattered and was heard. In response and with our urging, the Mayor and City Engineer sent this letter to DOT expressing those concerns.

You will also find information on Calhoun Rd., Endicott Park improvements, City Survey results, Coyote information and more at

On Thursday, April 30th, please join your Alderpersons of District 7, Lisa Mellone and Renee Lowerr, at 1:30 pm or 7 pm at Gethsemane Lutheran Church on the corner of Elm Grove and Greenfield Roads for a District 7 Informational Meeting.

On May 2, 2009 from 9 am - Noon is the WEED OUT DAY at Mary Knoll Park. Volunteers are needed stop the spread of Garlic Mustard. Its Rain or Shine. Please call the Parks, Rec & Forestry Dept to register as a volunteer at 796-6675. Registration isn't necessary, but assists with planning. This event is actually quite fun – hope to see you there!

On June 6, 2009, 8 am - Noon is Hazardous Waste Day at City Garage located at 19700 Riverview Drive. Save your CFL- spiral compact fluorescent bulbs, lacquers, degreasers, and anti-freeze(used) for disposal on this day.

District 7 Alderpersons: Lisa Mellone 780-0805 and Renee Lowerr 853-9657

Practically Speaking, Fairly Conservative, Betterbrookfield, RandyMelchert, CNS News, Jay Weber, Mark Levin, Vicki McKenna Jay Weber, The Right View Wisconsin, The Heritage Foundation

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Possible American extremists according to Homeland Security

Orig. Post Date: Tuesday, Apr 21 2009

Secretary Janet Napolitano ruffled a lot of conservative feathers when she released her Homeland Security report on taxpayer protest Tea Party day. It certainly got my attention. It also brought attention to the other security alerts regarding right wing ideas.

In her April 15th Homeland Security Report on right-wing extremists, she warned law enforcement about the possibility of military veterans committing acts of violence. So I should have put George Washington's picture first. Because he was a veteran of 2 wars: The French and Indian War and Revolutionary War, he would be suspect. He is pictured later.

The intelligence assessment issued to law enforcement last week said some military veterans could be susceptible to extremist recruiters or commit lone acts of violence.

If Janet were around in 1776, we might include the following people as well.

Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson would certainly be a suspect; he was adamant that States rights should not be overshadowed by Federal rights. According to the Homeland Security Report, p2:

Rightwing extremism in the United States can be broadly divided into those groups, movements, and adherents [it mentions hate groups--not Jefferson or conservatives I know], and those that are mainly antigovernment, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority... It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or [illegal] immigration.

James Madison, detail of an oil painting by Asher B. Durand, 1833; in the collection of The … [Credits : Collection of The New-York Historical Society]
James Madison must be included too. A staunch supporter of religious freedom and also concerned that individual rights might be overshadowed by the Federal Government, thus he insisted on adding the Bill of Rights, which protects among other things, the right to bear arms--GUNS!
p2 (U//FOUO) The possible passage of new restrictions on firearms and the return of military veterans facing significant challenges reintegrating into their communities could lead to the potential emergence of terrorist groups or lone wolf extremists capable of carrying out violent attacks.
p5 (U//FOUO) Many rightwing extremist groups perceive recent gun control legislation as a threat to their right to bear arms and in response have increased weapons and ammunition stockpiling, as well as renewed participation in paramilitary training exercises.

These are the signers of the Constitution; George Washington is standing at the desk. Bet these guys were pro-life--better watch them too.

In the report, right-wing extremism was defined as hate-motivated groups and movements, such as hatred of certain religions, racial or ethnic groups. "It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration," the report said.

...The same definition was included in the agency's March 26 report on domestic extremism. Both reports were marked "For Official Use Only."

Other groups targeted would be those who believe in end times prophecy (that would be Christians who believe the Bible), those who worry about economic collapse (that would include those who don't believe we can tax and spend our way to prosperity). Pretty much this p 4 (U) Economic Hardship and Extremism section group would include most of the thousands of peaceful Tea Party attendees from April 15th.

(U//FOUO) Historically, domestic rightwing extremists have feared, predicted, and anticipated a cataclysmic economic collapse in the United States. ... Antigovernment conspiracy theories and “end times” prophecies could motivate extremist individuals and groups to stockpile food, ammunition, and weapons.

Well, I don't pack a pistol (but I do have a few extra cans of tuna in the pantry), more than one banker has told me they don't know how to advise me or their clients about future investments, and I do believe in the Bible and the book of Revelation. Guess I am in good company though if I include our Founding Fathers and the other Tea Party attendees. For the record, I believe the founding documents of our country should still apply today.

I think it would be good to read through the entire Homeland Security report on Rightwing Extremism. You just might find some of your concerns tagged as being extremist.

Practically Speaking, Fairly Conservative, Betterbrookfield, RandyMelchert, CNS News, Jay Weber, Mark Levin, Vicki McKenna Jay Weber, The Right View Wisconsin, The Heritage Foundation

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Lest we forget: Holocaust Remembrance Day & Hallmark's Irena Sendler

Orig. post date: Tuesday, Apr 21 2009

While many in the world remember the Holocaust on this day, The Day of Remembrance, Iran's President Ahmadinejad spoke before the UN anti-racism conference, spewing his usual Holocaust denial sentiments. Those comments prompted "Dozens of diplomats" from Britain and Europe to walk out. The United States, Israel, Australia, Canada, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand and Poland did not opt to attend at all, because of concerns that the forum "would be used as a platform for attacks on Israel."

Iran's President lived up to that expectation with his assertion that "the Israeli state was created by 'military aggressions to make an entire nation homeless under the pretext of Jewish suffering' from the Second World War." I guess his pretext of suffering was in reference to the Holocaust, where over 6 million Jews were murdered by the German government? Don't ask me where the military aggression came in since the homeland of Israel was a initially a diplomatic solution, not a military one by the Jews.

It is difficult to understand how people like Ahmadinejad can deny the Holocaust when there are people still living who witnessed it, photos and film showing the camps, Jewish prisoners exist (pretty hard to get actors to starve themselves to death just to fool the world), and there is historical evidence--military records, hospital records, newspaper accounts, etc.

One such witness was depicted in Hallmark Hall of Fame's production: The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler, which aired on Sunday, April 19. (If you missed it, it will be coming out on DVD soon.)

The production was based on the true story of Irena Sendler, a young woman who lived in Warsaw, Poland during the war years. Soon after Germany invaded Poland in 1939, the Jews were rounded up and forced to live in a confined area of the city, a ghetto. We learn that Irena's father was a doctor, who died of typhus years ago, that he contracted while treating the Jews. Irena, like her father, had a heart for the suffering of others and tried to make a difference. She was a social worker.

So she decides to not just help by bringing food and supplies to the ghetto dwellers; she sees that the children must be smuggled out and put in Polish homes for safe keeping. The rumors are that the Germans are emptying neighborhoods and taking the residents to "work camps." Irena sets out to find homes for the children.

Her actions are not without cost; she risks her life and safety to rescue the children. When asked if she realizes how dangerous her actions are, she quotes her father saying something like this: Didn't father used to say that if you see someone drowning, you must try to save them even if you can't swim? "A requirement dictated by the heart," she later said. Irena was taken prisoner herself, beaten so badly her legs and feet were broken, but she managed to escape execution.

Hallmark did a great job portraying what true heroism looks like. Irena Sendler didn't possess any special abilities, she just saw a job that needed doing and risked all to do it. As Renata Zajdman--a rescued survivor said, "she [Irena] is proof that an ordinary person can accomplish extraordinary deeds." In all, Irena rescued 2,500 children out of the Warsaw Ghetto. (Oskar Schindler, of Schindler's List rescued 1,100.)

The movie portrayal was a fitting tribute to one of the many people who put self aside to help others during that horrible time. Hallmark has some background information on their website that is worth reading. It tells how this almost forgotten woman's deeds came to be known again. I was surprised to learn that after the war, she "was shunned into obscurity, and branded a Fascist for saving Jews." If you didn't get to view the production on TV, look for it when it comes out on DVD. (Check the library later this year.)

The Holocaust was real. It was not a pretext of suffering. There are still many who lived through it alive today--some thanks to Irena Sendler.

Life in a Jar: The Irena Sendler Project

Practically Speaking, Fairly Conservative, Betterbrookfield, RandyMelchert, CNS News, Jay Weber, Mark Levin, Vicki McKenna Jay Weber, The Right View Wisconsin, The Heritage Foundation

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4K spending high: 4th grade reading scores low

Orig. post date: Friday, Apr 17 2009, 10:25 AM

I stumbled on this interesting bit from the Heritage Foundation: Oklahoma: High Marks for Pre-K Spending, Low Marks for Reading Achievement: (My emphasis throughout)

This clearly begs the question: Are all of those kids enrolled in Oklahoma’s prekindergarten program benefiting academically?

Since Oklahoma started its universal preschool program in 1998, children have actually experienced declines in their fourth grade reading scores. In fact, Oklahoma was the only state to see a significant score decrease in fourth grade reading since 1992. Last year, Oklahoma spent more than $118 million dollars on preschool, yet children in that state are still below the national average in reading.

Since the introduction of universal preschool in Oklahoma, the gap between low-performing students and their peers has not been reduced. The students the program was intended to help have not gained ground.

The actual article from Tulsa, Oklahoma that Heritage cited was headlined: A-plus. That would be A-plus in spending NOT results!

The latest annual survey by the National Institute for Early Education Research shows Oklahoma leading the nation in prekindergarten enrollment.

The State of Preschool 2008 showed Oklahoma in first place with 71 percent of its 4-year-olds enrolled in preschool education. This is not the first time the state has ranked first in this survey.

The survey also found that Oklahoma's preschool program is a high-quality one, meeting nine out of 10 benchmark standards. Oklahoma also was praised for increasing pre-K funding, from $3,635 per-child to $3,966 in 2008.

The Tulsa paper only extolled the virtue of 4-K enrollment, not achievement. Considering all school districts are probably in the same boat Elmbrook is--needing to watch their spending--does Oklahoma spending $118 million a year on pre-school make sense? (Maybe I should say does it make cents?)

We have actual results to look at; some schools have had 4K for a long time. From Does 4K deserve tax dollars?

As I mentioned last year, I attended 4 year old kindergarten in the Shorewood school system. If 4K is so beneficial, shouldn’t Shorewood’s ACT scores be consistently higher than our [Elmbrook] school district’s that didn’t offer 4K? The data shows that this year was the first in the past few years that Shorewood edged out Elmbrook’s ACT scores by 1.23 points. Of the top 10 schools in Wisconsin (Elmbrook consistently is in the top 10), at least 7 had no 4K program at the time those students tested started school. Incidentally, over 250 school districts have 4K so there should have been a better showing in the top 10 if it is so helpful.

If 4K is so beneficial, shouldn't the students graduating from these institutions be consistently waaaaay ahead of those who don't have 4K?

Practically Speaking, Fairly Conservative, Betterbrookfield, RandyMelchert, CNS News, Jay Weber, Mark Levin, Vicki McKenna Jay Weber, The Right View Wisconsin, The Heritage Foundation

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The Tea Party report & photos: local, state, and national

Orig. post date: Thursday, Apr 16 2009, 01:14 PM

All over the nation yesterday, average people gathered to peacefully protest taxation without representation at the local, state, and federal level! By all accounts, it seems the Tea Parties were a great success.

Now the challenge is to keep the momentum going. People tend to have very short memories and if the economy improves by 2010, they are likely to be even shorter. A website, has been set up to keep the momentum going by encouraging running for office, learning about how government works and becoming active instead of passive.

I was at the Red Arrow Park location in Downtown Milwaukee. JSOnline has a video clip of both the Federal Building and Red Arrow Milwaukee groups and an article on the Madison and Milwaukee rallies. About 100 people attended the Red Arrow rally. I think it is important to note that these Tea Party protests are not just about President Obama. Taxpayers are fed up with out of control spending regardless of which party or segment of government is responsible: (Photo is of Journal reporter interviewing an attendee.)

"They're all guilty, not just one person or party," said Jim Schmitz of Milwaukee, a retired salesman.
"Instead of raising taxes, maybe we should be tightening our belts," he [O.J. Merrell] said.

Some in the crowd were critical of Obama, but others said government spending also was out of control during the previous administration. Many said the overall burden would boost inflation and burden their children with taxes for decades.

I watched the In Focus report on the Madison rally last night. Click here to watch the video. Congressman Paul Ryan was fired up! I think everyone there agreed with him that, "America is an exceptional nation...We want to keep it that way."

Julaine Appling, of Wisconsin Family Action, told Gov. Doyle to "Back off!" His and the Wisconsin legislature's tax policy makes it more difficult for Wisconsin families:

It is absolutely true that when Wisconsin’s families are strong, Wisconsin is strong. When our families are weak, Wisconsin is weak. So, back off –back off on your incredibly bad plans to increase taxes, fees and regulations that will make it harder for our families. Harder for our families to make a reasonable living

Superior's Mayor Doug Ross spoke briefly asking, How much of our money do you want, Doyle? All of it! He is a prime example of what AfterTheTeaParty hopes will be a result of the Tea Party day: greater citizen involvement in government. He ran for mayor of Superior as a result of a proposed tax increase some years ago. When he called city hall to complain, they told him more or less, if you don't like the tax increase, why don't you run for mayor. He did! I spoke to Doug Ross at the Americans for Prosperity American Dream summit in March. He is contemplating a run for Lt. Governor. We need more people like Doug Ross.

A young homeschooled lady, Melika Willoughby, spoke passionately about the need to stop the reckless spending and to stop spending her future. (She made this homeschool mom proud of the homeschool movement.)

Here is a bit of trivia about Madison's Tea Party: There were a few brave souls who WALKED 80 miles to Madison from Fond du Lac. The trip took them 4 days. Unlike President Obama's Inauguration, the Madison crowd left the Capitol in an orderly fashion. No heaps of garbage left behind.

Some media coverage assumed that these rallies were organized by the Republican party. Nope. They were truly grassroots, not fake grassroots as Nancy Pelosi accused. She claimed our efforts were "Astroturf", not grassroots, a campaign by "some of the wealthiest people in America." Look at the photos, do these people look like the wealthiest in Milwaukee? Couldn't be, I was there ;-)

For one, the signs were obviously homemade!

The people in attendance were a cross section of taxpayers--young, old, rich, average, fiscally challenged, professionals, retirees, grandmothers, housewives, etc.--Americans. Nary a Right Wing extremist terrorist in the group. (We'll have to save that Homeland Security accusation for another post.)

Catch the following photos and commentary from our state and nation.

My Milwaukee Red Arrow Park Tea Party photos

Milwaukee Red Arrow Park Tea Party photos

Heritage Foundation: Morning Bell: Big Government Backlash Brewing (Includes great links to other Tea Parites)

Massive: Tax Day Tea Party USA, photos from Tea Parties all around the country.

From Representative Rich Zipperer:

In order to turn back the tide of taxes threatening the prosperity of our state, however, we will need to convince some on the other side to vote against the Governor's plan, either during the Finance Committee process or in the full Assembly or Senate. Even in the legislative minority, we can make a difference in the legislative process, as can the folks who journeyed to Madison today and everyone back in Waukesha County unable to attend the rally. Pick up the phone or write an email. Call the Governor. Call the Democratic leadership. Call your family in other parts of the state and tell them to contact their representatives to make sure they too will stand against the tax increases.

Important Phone Numbers
Governor Doyle: 608 266-1212
Assembly Speaker Mike Sheridan: 608 266-3387
Senate Leader Russ Decker: 608 266-2502
Find Your Representative and Senator Here
Members of the Joint Committee on Finance

Practically Speaking, Fairly Conservative, Betterbrookfield, RandyMelchert, CNS News, Jay Weber, Mark Levin, Vicki McKenna Jay Weber, The Right View Wisconsin, The Heritage Foundation

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Ants, Grasshoppers, and April 15th Tea Parties - UPDATE

Original post date: April 14, 2009

UPDATE: See bottom of post for Milwaukee's Tea Party location.

I received a comment request to post a link from today. It came from a couple in Connecticut who have a blog and business making mugs, bumper stickers etc. (Cute stuff) They liked my Ant and the Grasshopper & Tea Parties post. Here is their latest: It's Time For Tea.

After a few emails back and forth I found the wife of the husband/wife team was attending a tea party tomorrow in New Haven, Connecticut. She was impressed that our Madison Tea Party was anticipating a huge crowd. She reported that their organizer would be on Fox News tonight. It is estimated there are between 1,500 and 2,015 Tea Parties scheduled for April 15th. These Tea Parties are catching on!

If you are going to our Madison rally, take your camera. If you take some pictures, send them to me and I will try to post them. Any interesting comments would be welcome as well. I doubt that we will get much in the way of news coverage on the rally. Americans for Prosperity has photos from Tea Parties that have already taken place at Taxpayer Tea Party.

In case you haven't made up your mind yet about attending a Tea Party, here is the info for the Madison's. You DO NOT need to register to attend if you are going on your own. There is a parking lot and free shuttle, courtesy of the Republicans.

Fight Back Wisconsin! Remember, The Wisconsin Tea Party Tax Rally is April 15th, 11:30 am on the steps of the Capitol on the King Street side, in Madison. You do NOT need to register to attend. There is a shuttle service if you are driving, or you can opt to take a bus, which you MUST register for, check the locations then click here for Bus Registration

If Madison's Tea Party seems a bit too much, there is a local man who is organizing a Downtown Milwaukee Tea Party, but please note it is NOT at the Federal Building as noted on Fairly Conservative, but at RED ARROW PARK at 920 N. Water Street at noon. I believe this change was made because the Red Arrow location was given on the Official Tax Day TEA Party site (Click the push pin to the right next to Milwaukee on page 30.) Milwaukee is certainly is more manageable than Madison. Click the Downtown Milwaukee link for a lot of good protest sign ideas.

UPDATE: There was a bit of confusion this morning regarding Milwaukee's Tea Party location. Jay Weber announced it was at the Federal Building, but later corrected and stated it was at RED ARROW. It is at RED ARROW PARK and Johnathan will be there with his signs.

Don't forget to tell the Joint Finance Committee what you think of Doyle's budget.

More reading: Taxpayers Get Really Tea-ed Off: Tax Revolt: The Boston Tea Party helped free us from an oppressive king. This week's nationwide anti-stimulus tea party demonstrations have a tougher goal: ending the tyranny of big-spending politicians.

Practically Speaking, Fairly Conservative, Betterbrookfield, RandyMelchert, CNS News, Jay Weber, Mark Levin, Vicki McKenna Jay Weber, The Right View Wisconsin, The Heritage Foundation

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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Still time to register your comments on Doyle's BIG budget & Tea Parties

If you have been following Governor Doyle's proposed budget at all, you know that it is filled with tax increases, unwanted new government programs, new fees, and a whole host of other overreaching legislation.

According to a JSOnline article, all of these spending measures will result in a $91 dollar or 3.2% property tax increase on the median home in Wisconsin. Since the median home assessment in the state is around $167,000, that means most of Brookfield will see tax increases greater than $91.

"Republican legislators called the property tax increases irresponsible, saying they would pinch homeowners struggling to pay bills and keep their jobs while their homes lose value.

"People shouldn't have to worry over whether they can afford to live in their own homes," said Republican Sen. Scott Fitzgerald of Juneau. "Governor Doyle's budget makes it more difficult for families to afford to live in Wisconsin."

I attended the public hearing on Doyle's budget on March 25th. It was very crowded! People were lining up to address the budget committee. (At the rate they were going, they would be lucky to be finished by 9pm!)

I found one familiar face though, fellow conservative blogger Randy Melchert was there video taping.

I struck up a conversation with a group of people who were independent gas station owners. They were wearing red T-shirts that said, WE ARE NOT BIG OIL. The new 3% tax would not stick it to the BIG OIL men as Gov. Doyle suggests, but harm the little guys like these--the independent gas station and convenience store owners.

They explained that the Governor's proposed 3% oil profits tax would be detrimental to station owners near the state borders because Wisconsin gas would need to be 3% higher in cost than at the neighboring out of state station. Unlike the similar tax proposed last year, this one was NOT to be passed onto the customer. If that was true, they said there was not enough profit margin to absorb a 3% cost increase for them. They would be forced out of business. According to Rep. Petersen's The Inside Scoop:

Regardless of your opinion about oil companies and profits, one must realize they sell and compete on a worldwide market. If the state charges a tax which is forbidden from being passed on to consumers, what is an oil company’s incentive to do business in Wisconsin?

The fee will only serve to discourage the wholesale distribution of fuel into the state. When supplies are short, Wisconsin will be last on a distributor’s list when surrounding states do not impose an “Oil Franchise Tax.” Due to the law of supply and demand, prices will definitely increase as the supply decreases.

By the way, our transportation fund wouldn't need shoring up if Doyle didn't keep raiding it to plug unrelated holes in the budget in the past...

Since he [Doyle] was first elected six years ago, Governor Doyle has raided more than $1.1 billion of the money you’ve paid in gas taxes and Department of Motor Vehicle fees to spend on programs other than roads. In this budget he pledges to raid another $77.5 million.

...and the future:

Governor Doyle balanced his budget in part with $271 million in revenue generated from the [his] "oil profits" tax on big oil.

The Wisconsin Petroleum Marketers & Convenience Store Association group, or WPMCA have been running radio ads and sending out postcards, urging residents to call their legislators at 1-800-632-9472. Their postcard features this stereotypical oil man and states: "They say Big Oil will pay, but experts agree Wisconsin families will get stuck with the bill."

On another front, Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke Jr. spoke at the public hearing urging the Finance Committee to "Remove the early release provision" for prisoners. He says Doyle is not taking into consideration the recidivist factor. He also wanted to dispel the myth of the non-violent offender, saying these people who are locked up for drug offenses are mostly drug dealers from major street gangs. "It might save $24 million," but it doesn't take in consideration the expense to local communities and the 90% re-offending rate.

But Gov. Doyle isn't concerned about local community expense or what effect a tax or a raiding of funds will have down the road; all he wants to do is prop up his budget and extravagant spending now. Stealing from funds and shifting expense to others are just 2 of his methods for funding his plans.

This one is of concern to me, possibly because I am now more familiar with the needs of the elderly and infirmed. It's the mandatory unionization of home care workers. State Senator Michael Ellis spoke about this fact on Mark Belling's show in February. He also wrote about it in a press release, The Wheel Report: (My emphasis)

A little-known provision in Governor Doyle’s proposed budget would make the state a union organizer for personal care workers and would require most people who hire personal care workers to hire only those in the union, a requirement that will certainly increase health care costs...

“This provision is shocking in its scope,” Ellis said. “The state is becoming a coercive union organizer....

The state is requiring all home care providers to become members of the union or they won’t get hired, because the state is requiring all people who hire home care workers to hire only those workers who are on the registry and members of the union.

This law will affect any person hiring a home care worker. It is rather like Doyle saying all baby sitters must be unionized. Certainly it will impact senior citizens or anyone who depends on home care workers to help a loved one stay in their home longer. It also negatively impacts the service provider company--many of which are just mom and pop type businesses. With unionization, firing an inferior worker becomes much more difficult.

How about Gov. Doyle's backdooring gay marriage by providing Domestic Partner benefits despite 59% of the voters in our state voting to ban gay marriage in 2006?

Same-sex couples could form domestic partnerships and receive dozens of the same legal benefits as married people under a proposal by Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle.

So Doyle's budget sticks its nose into the Domestic Partner--gay marriage-- issue but does nothing to prohibit using the state funded Madison Surgery Center to perform 2nd trimester abortions. His motives are pretty clear.

Rep. Vukmir informed me, "The first executive (voting) session for JFC is on the 16th and only a small part of the budget will be considered." At the very least, contact the Democrat co-chairs of the Joint Finance Committee with your concerns: Senator Mark Miller and Representative Mark Pocan

Here are the email addresses of all the Joint Finance Committee members if you wish to send a group email (The last 4 addresses are Republican members of the committee):,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

If you wish to call the Joint Finance Committee members, they can be found at Leah Vukmir's State Budget Hearing page.

Please register your comments with your representatives in Madison too. Both of Brookfield's Assembly Representatives Leah Vukmir and Rich Zipperer and Senator Ted Kanavas are against Doyle's tax increases.

(R) Rep. Leah Vukmir 414-759-1100,

(R) Rep. Rich Zipperer's Boondoggle Alert page 262-264-0655,

(R) Senator Ted Kanavas (608) 266-9174, (800) 863-8883,

(D) Senator Jim Sullivan (608) 266-2512, (866) 817-6061, email:

There are of course many, many more spending measures that are just a huge waste of taxpayer dollars. "High Speed Rail" to Madison's airport anyone? Raising sin taxes again? Hospital Bed/nursing home tax? Just take a look at his plan: 2009-2011 Executive Budget These and many of the other tax increases will be discussed by the legislature in the upcoming weeks, but since Republicans are in the minority in both houses, don't expect much cutting.

Location change: Can't get to Madison on tax day? How about Downtown Milwaukee at Red Arrow Park, 920 N. Water Street at noon? (Note location is not correct on that link.)

Fight Back Wisconsin! Remember, The Wisconsin Tea Party Tax Rally is April 15th, 11:30 am on the steps of the Capitol on the King Street side, in Madison. You do NOT need to register to attend. There is a shuttle service if you are driving, or you can opt to take a bus, which you MUST register for, check the locations then click here for Bus Registration

Previous Post: Public Hearing on Doyle's Budget, March 25th, State Fair Park

Practically Speaking, Fairly Conservative, Betterbrookfield, RandyMelchert, CNS News, Jay Weber, Mark Levin, Vicki McKenna Jay Weber, The Right View Wisconsin, The Heritage Foundation

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Friday, April 10, 2009

Obama's vision of Nuke Free World Shot Down by N. Korea Missile

President Obama is getting a taste of what it is like to be a president whose ideas aren't embraced by the rest of the world. While he speaks of a world without nuclear weaponry, North Korea shoots off a rocket! Guess they let us know what they think of a nuke free world! Rather like a big thumbing of the proverbial nose, eh? Saying, "North Korea broke the rules" is hardly going to make the North Korean's quake in their boots!

What is he going to do as a threat? Talk them to death? He reminds me of my elderly neighbor in Milwaukee who used to scold her dog for incessant barking. "Now Charlie, stop barking," she would say and then wouldn't do anything to remedy the situation. Pathetic.

Look back to the Cuban Missile Crisis; it wasn't our rhetoric that saved the day, it was our technology. We had The Ace in the Hole a.k.a. the Minuteman Missile. And President Obama wants to cut new development of offensive and defensive weapons? Our president's naivete' is stunning and scary.

Some suggest the US should put greater pressure on China to keep North Korea in line. But we are hardly in any position to lay down the law with China, since they hold so much of our debt.

It is ironic that one of the primary purposes of even having a federal government is national security, and this is an area the President proposes cutting? That's "both breathtakingly naive and incredibly dangerous to our national security."

More reading:

US Offers to Cut Nuclear Arms

...The administration is also working to develop an international nuclear-fuel bank, potentially hosted by Kazakhstan, that fledgling nuclear-power states could tap, according to a senior Obama administration official.

And the Rockets' Red Glare

In Prague on Sunday, President Obama pledged an effort to rid the world of nuclear weapons, calling them "the most dangerous legacy of the Cold War."

Well, we won that war in part because of our possession of those weapons and in part to the commitment by President Ronald Reagan to build a missile defense against them.

Obama's Unreality Tour

Barack Obama vowed to turn to the U.N. Security Council for strong action following North Korea's weekend missile launch. He would have done better by turning to Dr. Phil.

So, as the good doctor likes to say: Get real. Get real about North Korea. Get real about the U.N. Get real, also, about NATO, arms control, Russia, the global financial system, and every other item headlining the president's unreality tour through the capitals of Europe.

Obama Milks Military to Offset Domestic Spending

The military will eventually suffer combat readiness problems as it did under Democratic presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, who both inflicted deep wounds in defense spending.

With a rocket, Obama's hope is shot back down to earth

History may one day record it as a stark irony - and let us hope an amusing one rather than the tragic kind - that on the very day that Barack Obama was sketching out to an adoring throng in Prague his vision of a post-nuclear world, North Korea launched a rocket that may one day give it the capacity to fire a nuclear warhead as far as 3,700 miles. This means, to get down to brass tacks, that it could hit Alaska.

Palin Attacks Obama's Anti-Missile Cuts

Responding to North Korea's missile test, Gov. Sarah Palin reaffirmed Alaska's commitment to protecting America from rogue nation missile attacks, according to a statement her office released Monday.

"I am deeply concerned with North Korea's development and testing program which has clear potential of impacting Alaska, a sovereign state of the United States, with a potentially nuclear armed warhead," Palin said.

"I can't emphasize enough how important it is that we continue to develop and perfect the global missile defense network. Alaska's strategic location and the system in place here have proven invaluable in defending the nation."

Practically Speaking, Fairly Conservative, Betterbrookfield, RandyMelchert, CNS News, Jay Weber, Mark Levin, Vicki McKenna Jay Weber, The Right View Wisconsin, The Heritage Foundation

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