Yankee Doodle Dandy I is lost in the computer to in short my all time favorite song and dance movie by the same name will be on TV again and again the July 4th. Be sure to see it as many times as i have. It is moving and patriotic.
Today we celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence. But lost in all of the panoply of celebrating the Fourth, is the remembrance of July 1,2, and 3 in our nation's history.
Just eighty five years after the Founders signed the Declaration, America's long dance with the devil of slavery erupted into the bloodiest quadrille in our history. Slavery morphed into a political conflict over States' rights, to war, and on July 1, 1863, the bloodiest battle in the bloodiest War in our history. It began on this date in the beautiful, rolling farmland of south-central Pennsylvania, near a sleepy and theretofore unknown town called Gettsyburg.
Today our nation celebrates the 235th anniversary of declaring our independence from England with parades, picnics, and fireworks. At church yesterday, we were reminded to pray for our nation and for our leaders.
While I'm not planning on attending our Brookfield parade or fireworks, I do hope to get my gardening chores finished early enough to stop in at the Elm Grove Village Park to see the Revolutionary War re-enactment. What a great idea, Elm Grove! Thanks for focusing our attention on the price that was paid for our freedom.
Hope you enjoy this beautiful day and take a moment to give thanks for this wonderful country and the blessings of liberty we enjoy.
God bless America,
Land that I love,
Stand beside her and guide her
Thru the night with a light from above;
From the mountains, to the prairies,
To the oceans white with foam,
God bless America,
My home, sweet home.
God bless America,
My home, sweet home.
Heritage Foundation - Celebrating America's Enduring Principles
Their Historical Society float took the Best Use of Theme award in yesterday's Brookfield 4th of July Parade. The theme this year was Star Spangled Celebration! Below are a few pictures of the participants.
Trevor Mellone, a Wisconsin Hills student dressed as a Civil War Soldier, played several tunes on the trumpet. He was seated in one of EHS' antique sleighs.
On July 4th, the Village of Elm Grove hosted a Revolutionary War camp complete with re-enactors as part of their 4th of July festivities. Unfortunately, I got there just in time to see them pack up!
But in talking to one of the soldiers, I found out that the group, The North West Territory Alliance - NWTA, would be holding a much larger event this coming weekend at Fox River County Park in Kenosha County, near Silver Lake, Wisconsin. Called Rebels and Redcoats on the Fox, this event will be a much larger encampment and would even include skirmishes. (Though the link was for registering for the event, it also includes a map and directions to the park.)
The NWTA is a "...non-profit educational organization that studies and recreates the culture, lifestyle, and arts of the time of the American Revolution, 1775-1783." They have over 500 reenactors from the Midwest and participate in reenactments in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, and Wisconsin throughout the year. (Their next Wisconsin event is scheduled for Sept. 3&4 at Pioneer Village in Saukville, Wisconsin.)
So take a step back into history this Saturday and Sunday, July 9th and 10th, and witness Rebels and Redcoats on the Fox.
Think your Mayor and Common Council can be responsive to their constituents? Think again. It could all end up like New Berlin with lawsuits and court orders looming.
Zoning has a lot to do with how this project came to be. Anyone recently checked out the planning that was passed around Brookfield Square?
Hitting the Debt-Ceiling has been in the news for months now. Though in theory we surpass our borrowing limits on Aug. 2nd, we don't have to default on our loans as the President threatens because the Treasury can choose which bills to pay--the essential--and which to not pay--the non-essential.
Our government had prepared to shut down those non-essential services, such as the National Parks, back on April 8th. (I was well aware of that possibility, because we had plans to leave on a 15 National Parks and Monuments vacation in the southwest on the very next day--April 9th!) The shutdown never happened however, because Congress passed a stop-gap measure near midnight on April 8th.
Then there was discussion that the debt limit would be reached in mid May. They got through that crisis by tapping into the Federal worker pension fund and using the $200-some billion that flows into the Treasury every month. But now we are hitting our borrowing limit, the debt-ceiling, again.
We have enough revenue; we just spend too much. Yet the President's solution to his debt crisis is to raise the debt-ceiling limit and increase taxes on the rich. (Maybe he is channeling his inner Herbert Hoover?) The words cut spending don't ever seem to be in Obama's vocabulary.
Our economic recovery is in the doldrums. It has even been called a growth-less recovery by Obama's former Chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, and the President sees raising taxes as our only solution?
Raising taxes on anyone right now is NOT the solution to our debt problem. Instead, we need to Cut , Cap & Balance our spending and live within our means by cutting spending and debt and passing a Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would include a "spending limitation and super-majority for raising taxes, in addition to balancing revenues and expenses".
Take a moment to sign the Cut, Cap & Balance pledge and then contact your Senators and House Representative and urge them to pass the Cut, Cap & Balance Act of 2011 introduced on Thursday by Senators Toomey, Paul (Rand), Lee, Blunt, Vitter, Sessions, DeMint and our own Ron Johnson. The CC&B Act currently has 21 co-sponsors.
Let your representatives in Washington D.C. know your views on the debt-ceiling problem.
Find your U.S. Senators by last name
Wisconsin's U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (202) 224-5323
Wisconsin's U.S. Senator Herb Kohl (202) 224-5653
Find your U.S. House of Representatives member by state
House Representative James Sensenbrenner Washington D.C. (202) 225-5101, Brookfield (262) 784-1111
President Obama would like to settle our debt problem now, before the summer recess in August, and with enough spending cushion so the borrowing ceiling/spending issue doesn't come up again until after the 2012 elections. This spending crisis is too important to just push on down the road until after November 2012. Make the calls!
Post Script: I tried calling House Speaker John Boehner's office Friday to implore him to stand firm on NO NEW TAXES or fees or tax code loopholes or whatever he would call a revenue increase but couldn't get through on his Representative phone line and mailbox was full (202) 225-6205. I then tried his House Speaker phone line (513) 779-5400 and it was the same story. I'll take that as a good sign that people are hammering him with 'No more spending and no more taxes of any kind'. I will keep trying.
Cut , Cap & Balance Pledge
More reading: As debt talks ramp up, spending cuts not enough for some Republican senators
Schumer confirms White House considering ignoring debt limit
WSJ Obama's Debt-Ceiling Opportunity
WSJ Inside the Disappointing Comeback
Obama to raid Federal pension pot as United States reaches $14 trillion borrowing limit today
I've just been reading this bit on redistricting from the MJS. It shows how Leah Vukmir (R) will be my new State Senator instead of Rich Zipperer (R).
In fair disclosure, I like Zipperer. His office has been somewhat responsive in the past. I'm not wild about Vukmir - it's more who she is, though, than her work. She votes the Republican agenda like clockwork. That said, I'm not over the moon about the change, but I'll survive.
What dawned on me is that this shift would have never taken place had Ted Kanavas been the State Senator instead of Zipperer. Kanavas lives in Brookfield, which will be entirely represented by Vukmir. Zipperer is, I think, in Pewaukee. And that's when I wondered out loud if the anticipated shift is the reason Kanavas didn't run.
You know me, I'm not convinced we have a Republican crowd with all the oars in the water all the time, but I suppose there's a chance someone saw this opportunity coming and gently encouraged Kanavas to move on. Everyone (and I mean even his neighbor's dog) knows he'd rather be in Washington. Although there's been talk of him making a state-wide run for the Senate seat Herb Kohl (D) holds, I've always thought he was waiting for James Sensenbrenner (R) to retire. Wasn't Kanavas a former Sensenbrenner staffer?
I'm not a huge Kanavas fan, either, but that's not news. In his case, it's opposite the Vukmir issue. I like Ted (well, I like his wife and family) and get annoyed at his constant political posturing that often doesn't make logical sense. I haven't missed that over the last few months.
In any event, read the MJS article. Although they make it sound dastardly that the competitive seats are being redesigned for a firm Republican win, one must also remember they are creating firm Democratic strongholds as well. Instead of lambasting the newly arranged districts, maybe we should rejoice in how those districts will serve to calm the legislature down.
Oh, don't get me wrong. I'm tickled the new lines will serve to buffer Wisconsin's red-state status. Absolutely tickled. (I don't want to have to move to Oklahoma again. Do you know it was 110 degrees last Saturday?)
Let's take a look at two upcoming sectionals which my Brookfield, New Berlin and Wauwatosa schools are in.
Brookfield East is the third seed and Brookfield Central the fourth seed in the Germantown Sectional. East hosts sixth-seeded Sussex Hamilton on July 19, a team they beat 11-1 and 13-3. But the Spartans might be without star pitcher Brian Sylla, who has been struggling with a sore arm.
There are actually a lot of meetings this week. HRPS is meeting for "Discussion and possible action regarding the administrative and employee relations impact of 2011 Wisconsin Act 10 and 2011 Wisconsin Act 32." Sadly, that agenda is always worded so poorly there's a good chance it wouldn't stand up to court challenge. It's supposed to give a reasonable person an idea of the topic of "discussion and possible action." Do you have any idea how big that bill was? It could mean pretty much anything.
Also, the Parks department is active again with a public hearing to amend the 2035 master plan in regards to open spaces. This is planning to change the planning that wasn't thoroughly planned in the first place but can always be amended later if more planning suggests it.
Elect or Appoint Judges. That is the question recently raised in MJS by a writer in the Crossroads section of Sunday, July 17. This writer, me, has written many times on the subject and there has been very little response. Maybe now it is time for the legislature to take a serious look. however, to be serious there must open discussions and public response even if it means a referendum vote.
Wisconsin has a long time honored tradition of electing all judges in the state. There are exceptions such as resignation and a new open vacancy that require an appointment by the Governor.
Though our area State Senators Leah Vukmir and Rich Zipperer are not facing recall elections this August, the results of these recall elections on Aug. 9th and Aug. 16th are still very important for everyone in our state. These recall elections will determine if Republicans hold their majority in the State Senate or not.
I was pleased to learn that Northwoods Patriots Tea Party founder Kim Simac won over her opponent in Senate District 16 way up north (Rhinelander, Eagle River). Her election website Kim Simac for State Senate cleverly bears the subtitle: A Leader Who Won't Run Away, in reference to her opponent, Dem. Senator Jim Holperin, who fled the state rather than take a vote.
Obviously, Simac is a conservative! I first became acquainted with her and the Northwoods Patriots when Simac spoke at the Madison Tea Party rally in 2010. With that kind of grassroots support, I would think she has a good chance of defeating Democrat incumbent Holperin on Aug. 16th.
Former small business owner and attorney Jonathan Steitz won his 22nd Senate District primary yesterday. Much like U.S. Senator Ron Johnson, who stepped forward out of the private sector to run against incumbent Democrat Russ Feingold, Jonathan Steitz has a business background. He will be running against Democrat Bob Wirch on Aug. 16th.
Jonathan Steitz has been sending me press releases since he announced his candidacy in mid May. "We need lower taxes, less government regulation, and common-sense policies that will encourage economic growth for our area," Steitz stated. And that sentiment has become the subtitle for his election website Steitz for Senate: Simplify taxes, reduce regulation and create jobs.
Wisconsin needs conservatives like Simac and Steitz in Madison. I wish them much success.
You can keep up with the latest election information at WisPolitics Election Blog
Don't forget that on Aug. 9th, 6 Republican Senators will be defending their seats in Madison against Democrat opponents. My blogging acquaintance Randy Melchert has posted an assessment of all 9 recall elections. His blog includes the vote total percentages Prosser received in April in their districts and his projections about wins and losses. Check it out.
Yesterday, was the first of the recalls with Democrat Hansen holding his seat in Green Bay against David Vanderleest, who Republicans weren't really promoting. (Republicans flubbed this recall primary big time by not submitting enough nomination signatures for John Nygren, who was the real contender. Thus it was the actual election instead of a primary.)
Aug. 9th is recall election day for Republican Robert Cowles for District 2 -- Shawano , for Republican Alberta Darling in District 8 -- Mequon (north shore, Menomonee Falls too), for Republican Sheila Harsdorf in District 10 -- River Falls, for Republican Luther Olsen in District 14 -- Ripon, for Republican Randy Hopper in District 18 -- Oshkosh/Fond du Lac, and for Republican Dan Kapanke District 32 -- LaCrosse. Kapanke is a good guy and unfortunately, he looks to be the most vulnerable.
Then there are the last 2 recalls on Aug. 16th with Democrat incumbents defending their seats against Kim Simac and Jonathan Steitz.
I am sure any one of these candidates would appreciate a donation or volunteers to make phone calls, etc. Contact them by clicking the link on their name. And if you live in these districts, Don't forget to VOTE!
This is not the place for gossip, sniping at other bloggers, commentors, races, or religions, etc.
Ok, it's not exactly a secret that I think the City of Brookfield could save a big chunk of change by letting a certain Director of Community Development take a hike. Here's the latest brilliant move.
I can just picture it now. The Depatment has had zero, zilch, nada to do for years, so when a developer comes in to prepare a chunk of land (this same developer has been in a few times over the last decade trying to get his land planned in a mutually agreeable way) that office goes bonkers, calls in all the big guns, and attempts to make busy. This time it was $17,000 in busy from a favorite line drawing company named RA Smith.