Wednesday, September 23, 2009

6-2;6-2;6-2; Damn I'm tired of this

We (me and one remaining ally; the other two were ABSENT!)tried to save the taxpayers a little money last night...maybe as much as $4 MILLION by waiting until the results of the grant application were announced..there was a chance, slim but still a chance, that we would get stimulus funding for the fire station. We successfully got a provision for an "additive alternative" for waiting 60 days for the bid awards in the bidding process in order to give the granting agency time to act but the dark side wanted to go RIGHT NOW and screw the grant application.

Their arguments were nonsense. They resorted to ad hominem attacks. and they knew that they had us by one vote even if our other two allies showed the vote to award the bids now went 6-2 in their favor.

Then there were alternatives that would being the project even MORE over budget...three alternatives for a total of $360K...and guess what....they went 6-2, 6-2, and 6-2....

So we're getting a new fire station and the taxpayers are getting stuck with the full $350,000 to $400,000 annual debt service for 15 or 20 years.

Nice move dummies.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Long, Contentious meeting

The meeting I mentioned in my "Al-Co-Hol!" post was just as long and contentious as I thought it would be.

Am I happy with the results?

It's a mixed bag. I'd say three of the four decisions I made were good, solid decisions based on law and justice but that 4th one........

Because of privacy and closed session laws I can't go into it but I can say what we said publicly. We found that the applicant for a servers license had a felony conviction that related to the unsupervised retailing of alcohol in a setting where minors were likely to be present and that presented a risk to the public.

Vague enough?

If it's too vague I'm sorry but that's as far as I want to go.

The establishment did not lose their license or get it suspended. That was fair and just.

One of the other servers did not get his license suspended or revoked. That was fair and just.

Two others were tabled because they did not receive proper notice. That was fair and just.

Two hours. Lots of arguments. lots of 2-1 votes. I think I earned my $1.40 per hour.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Existential questions....

I've come to that point in life where I understand that I am not immortal. Come to think of it, I got my first glimpse of that when I had a heart attack. But I did the most stupid thing possible after the heart attack: I "changed my lifestyle" so that I could live longer and cheat death for a little bit more time. That's stupid because I gave up on living to "live".

To be honest, I've struggled with the question of what do I want to do with my remaining days of life for about 5 years. I've been through all the common things...jump out of airplanes, cure cancer, change the world, have sex 10 times a day (did I mention that much of it is pure fantasy?), run off with my childhood sweetheart, etc., etc..

No. I wasn't drinking when I came up with these, but try the exercise for yourself sometime. Ask yourself, "what if I have only 5 years left in my life?" What would I want to do in those five years? It isn't as easy as it sounds.....I guarantee that at least SOME of the weird thoughts mentioned above will pop into your consciousness.

Well, I did something about these thoughts.

I applied to Law School (online) and passed their entrance exam. At least when they plant me (or write the memorial) my name will have ESQ. behind it which, means that although all my past glories faded, at least I left something behind. I haven't received final acceptance yet but I think I'm going to take the plunge and spend my next three-four years learning the law. I wanted to go to law school right after college but the draft board had other ideas. Now, it's online and I have more time on my hands than I want so.....why the hell not? With a little luck I'll be able to practice law for five or maybe even 10 years when I finish and I think I'd like would make me feel like I finished some "unfinished business" from a long time ago.

I'll resume my normal ranting tomorrow.....

Monday, September 14, 2009


I think I've mentioned before that I have a real chip on my shoulder about alcohol consumption. I grew up with an alcoholic in the family and have horrible memories about lying awake at night wondering when the other shoe was going to drop...I also have a pretty big grudge against a typical Wisconsin institution called "The Tavern League" because of the political power they wield, but if there's one thing I despise more than that, it's unbridled zealotry in local government...

Our local medical "outreach center" is receiving youth alcohol diversion grants and passing them onto our police department to conduct "compliance checks" in local bars. They work something like this:

The police department gets a couple (or up to five) paid "of age" informers to go into a bar with at least one underage informant and they order a drink. If they get served, then they go outside and inform a police officer and the bar gets nailed for serving to minors.

Pretty simple huh?


What if:

There was a group of 6 with five of age persons and one underage and the underage person went to the men's room while one of the five of age persons ordered the drinks?


What if the underage informant was 6-2 with a bald spot and a thick, bushy beard AND they cops put gray hair coloring in his beard?


What if the bar had a bouncer to check IDs and the the of age informants came in and then let the underage informant in a back door?

What if all this is on video tape?

Now here's where it gets tricky:

What if four licensed servers (bar tenders) and one licensed establishment were summoned by the police department to appear before MY committee for a hearing on the revocation or suspension of their licenses (and livelihood) because they accumulated demerit points to warrant suspension from these compliance checks...which they now refer to as stings...

Welcome to my world.....

I think this is border-line entrapment. I am also concerned because the local outreach center is going after these compliance checks with an evangelistic zeal that reminds me of the old Woman's Christian Temperance Union.

The incentives to create a "youth drinking problem" are backwards. The outreach center needs a problem to exist because without the problem there are no federal and state grants to fund personnel positions at the center. The cops need a problem to exist because they collect overtime pay from the out reach center to do the checks....therefore, no problem, no overtime.

I think this is a youth alcohol problem here but it's not in the bars and taverns. It's in the homes that let kids have parties where alcohol runs comes from the more traditional source of kids having friends and relatives who are old enough to buy liquor and beer buy it for them and give it to them. The concentration on the taverns is overstating the source of the problem.

I hate to admit it but some of the tavern owners are working their butts off to keep kids out of the bars and this compliance check (sting) nonsense is just unfair. I've got to work to change it.

Excuse me Mr President....but.....

Like there was ever any chance that Barack Obama would ever actually listen to me......

But if I had the chance to see him, this is what I would say:

As of this morning, I see Joe Wilson is receiving Wingnut-welfare to prop up his campaign and counter the huge sums being donated to his opponent.

In your 60 Minutes interview you said that demanding an apology on the floor of the house is just another “circus” and will distract from the debate over healthcare. I have a shock for you, Mr President:


The neocons are going to create a circus no matter what…either over Joe Wilson or how many idiots can fit on the head of a pin….we might as well make them look like the uncivilized asses they really are because you’re never going to get a single repub vote in the house or senate anyway…the Health Care reform bill will be a democratic party effort alone…they repubs will talk compromise;they’ll talk bipartisanship but in the end they’ll vote straight party line…

(remember Mr. President, they already did this to you once before)

Go ahead and make a fuss over Wilson…then put the Health care bill that is best for the country on the floor and vote on it! Crack the party whip and pass it with your Democratic majority…the Repubs won’t join you anyway.

(by the way…the simplest bill….is to delete the 65 year old age limit for meidcare….IOW Medicare for all!)

For eight long, miserable years, the Republican Party ran roughshod over Democrats in Congress and felt not one single pang of remorse over it. If we are ever going to defeat the demons of stupidity we must stop feeling "sorry" for winning. We must stop feeling liberal guilt over the effective and moral use of political power for the greater good.

Stand up Mr. President....

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Back again.....

I think I need to rant a little bit.

I've tried to stay off of this blog because I know my political enemies are aware of this site and use it for ammunition against me. But I feel like I've got to let off steam.

The past two weeks have been hell. An "ALLY" had charges filed against him for threatening a city worker....WHILE the "ally" was busy trying to file criminal charges against another ally friend of mine. Suddenly, the "ally" switches sides, supports the "dark side"....changes his tune about the city employee he allegedly threatened and then the dark side files a federal criminal complaint against the other ally. I suspect charges against the first "ally" have been dropped and I suspect this is the worst kind of corruption.

Now that the "ally" has flipped to the dark side, the balance of power on the council has changed against the reformers again. Now we're on the wrong side of a constant 6-4 coalition. I sometimes wonder if it's all worth it.