Recommended Reading (04/30/16)

Here are interesting articles from the past week that are worth a read (even if, on occasion, I do not agree with the author).

Election official: Proposed voter ID information campaign ‘complete waste of money’

Bob Spindell, a member of the Milwaukee Election Commission, said he spoke to about 60 election chiefs on election night.

“I asked, ‘What about voter ID? How did it work?’ Without exception, every chief said there was no problems with voter ID,” Spindell said in testimony before the Government Accountability Board.

ESPN fires Curt Schilling –What about the liberal offenders?

Schilling, to ESPN, is a serial offender. And as a private company, it can terminate an employee for perceived offenses.

OK, so Schilling has to go. But what are the rules?

Hillary earns the black vote with hot sauce

Why does the liberal media let Hillary Clinton get away with insulting black people? And why do black people reward Hillary for her insults with votes?

Debunking the Wage Gap: We Are Not Victims

Rather than pitting men and women against each other and using simplistic numbers to suggest that women are victims, we ought to acknowledge these differences and embrace the choices we make

Needed: Some Will Rogers’ sanity

With incivility running high in our politics and society, we sure could use a dose of sanity from Will Rogers, one of America’s greatest humorists.

The words he spoke about elections during the Great Depression are as helpful to us now as they were then.

How long before we tax churches?

On a recent episode of HBO’s “Real Time With Bill Maher,” the outspoken host listed organized religion as a tax deadbeat, declared that religions do much more harm than good and demanded that churches in the U.S. be taxed.

This message resonates with a vocal minority of citizens and stirs them up on the pretense of making churches, synagogues, mosques, etc. pay their “fair share”; but the venom in Maher’s pronouncements make this sound like a purely punitive maneuver.

Bring Back Etiquette

We have lost much by chucking etiquette out the window, and what has taken its place is not an improvement.

Sheriff David Clarke: The Illusion Of Politics 4/30/16 – The People’s Sheriff

Sheriff Clarke explains how politics is nothing more than politicians creating an illusion about what you are doing, not the reality. Plus, one of the trending stories in the news is about Americans confused over which public restroom to use and having a national discussion over it…no, this is not a story from the Onion. Also, the GOP congress does some heavy lifting to help pass one of the Democrats top priority pieces of legislation, get out of jail free criminal justice reform while paying lip service to crime victim’s rights week.

Podcast #1 : These People Are Sick

Podcast #2: The Illusion of Politics

Week-ends (04/30/16)

A look back at the people and events that made news the past week. Week-ends is a regular weekly feature of This Just In…


Antigo, WI police

State legislator Jesse Kremer

Gus Ramirez

Judge Lou Olivera

Her mommy was a donor

Mason Neveu



Security officers

Rutgers, and this artist


Alexis Bloomer’s video rant on fellow millennials

“Lucifer in the flesh. I have Democrat friends and Republican friends. I get along with almost everyone, but I have never worked with a more miserable son of a bitch in my life.”
Former Speaker of the House John Boehner describing Ted Cruz

“I think only card she has is the women’s card. She has nothing else going. And, frankly, if Hillary Clinton were a man, I don’t think she’d get 5% of the vote. The only thing she has going is the woman’s card. And the beautiful thing is women don’t like her, okay?”
Donald Trump on Hillary

“I heard Whoopi Goldberg said that, too. That would be a great, great thing for our country if she got out. We’ll get rid of Rosie (O’Donnell)? Oh, I love it. Well now I have to get elected. Now I have to get elected, because I’ll be doing a great service to our country. I have to. Now it’s much more important.”
Donald Trump roasted celebrities who said they wanted to leave the United States if he’s elected president

“Hillary Clinton was right there in the middle of it all. I saw her. I saw her as a governor, as chairman of the National Governor’s Association, she was terrific. For eight years that we served together in the House, she did her job. She did her job. She was amazing. She was amazing. She always surrounded herself by the best people you could find. God, she was a terrific colleague.”
Sen. Tom Carper (D) campaigning for Hillary Clinton at a rally in Delaware on Monday. Clinton never served as a governor. She was a New York senator for eight years, before she assumed the role of President Obama’s secretary of state.

“My organization used data from the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey to study the working age population – 18 to 64-year-olds – living in poverty in each state. The analysis finds that, in 41 states and the District of Colombia, at least half of adults living in poverty are not employed. In California, just over 60 percent of individuals in poverty don’t have a job, and thus won’t be affected by the raise. The best evidence suggests that this unprecedented (minimum) wage hike (to $15 dollars/hr in California) will add many of those presently working to the ranks of the unemployed.)”
Michael Saltsman, research director at the Employment Policies Institute

“If we (Baltimore) had as many pharmacies as we had liquor stores, it would provide us more opportunity to educate, and promote health and wellness.”
Jennifer Joseph, director of pharmacy at Total Health Care, which has six pharmacies in Baltimore

“I actually said to her at the end of the interview, ‘If I offer you this job, my friends are going to kill me.’ She looked at me and said, ‘If I take it, my friends are going to kill me.’”
Massachusetts GOP Gov. Charlie Baker, talking about Stephanie Pollack, who he hired to lead the state’s transportation department. Pollack is a liberal in a conservative administration and an advocate in an administrative post.


Good Lord, where do we begin

How the state of the economy is LITERALLY killing people


Election official: Proposed voter ID information campaign ‘complete waste of money’

Benefits of ACT 10


Kelly Ripa left her TV show, but Kelly Ripa returned to her show, and Kelly Ripa explained why she left her show…


‘Teen’ basketball star didn’t know

The Barking Lot – America’s Finest Dog Blog (04/30/16)

The Barking Lot is a regular weekly feature of This Just In…Written by my lovely wife, Jennifer and me.  It opens with the weekend dog walking forecast followed by the main blog from dog lover, Jennifer. Then it’s DOGS IN THE NEWS and our close. Enjoy!

THE WEEKEND DOG-WALKING FORECAST: We grade the weather outlook for taking your pet outdoors.

TODAY: Cloudy with occasional rain (90% chance) this afternoon. A high of 48.  “D”

SUNDAY:  Cloudy. A high of 48. “C”

Here’s my lovely wife, Jennifer with this week’s main blog.

My great-grandfather had a “shot” of brandy every day and smoked a cigar every day as well.  He lived a full life until he passed away at 104 years of age.  While I don’t know the specifics of his diet I can guarantee you a couple of things:  it didn’t include kale and it was full of things like red meat and real butter.  I’m confident in saying that not only did he not know his BMI, he didn’t know what a BMI rate even was.  (Given Grandpa’s personality, he wouldn’t have cared anyway.)

I was born in 1973.  That qualifies me as being “a survivor of the 70’s.”   I’m the younger version of my great-grandpa’s generation, I guess.  Having made it through the hazards of growing up without warning labels attached to everything I’m still defying odds.  Because like Grandpa I eat real butter, red meat and don’t touch kale.  And I’m managing just fine.

My point?  Sometimes, experts aren’t experts in the least.  Whether these authorities offer supreme knowledge on fitness, nutrition, child-rearing, relationships or pet care what they offer by way of case studies they lack in common sense.  They can be over-paid, self-important know-it-alls who at times don’t even possess any sort of qualifications to tell the rest of us what to do.

If they challenged on their “wisdom” and are honest at least a few will admit that there are always exceptions to their rules.

Yes of COURSE there is a connection to dogs with all this ranting!  Some yahoo out there is telling us that we shouldn’t hug our dogs because we’re causing them undue stress and trauma…

In the study, Dr Stanley Coren, a canine expert and professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia examined 250 dogs being hugged by adults and children and analysed them for signs of stress.

Coren found that 81 per cent of all dogs being hugged were uncomfortable, suggesting they wanted their owners to put them down.

Then another expert tells us that it’s perfectly OK to hug our dogs…

Cohen’s own dogs love to be hugged, he tells NYT, a reaction which he determines based on the slowing of their breathing and softening of the gaze.

Oi vay!  A person could get whiplash trying to keep up with this tennis match-style arguing.    I’m siding with Matthew Gilbert, thanks.

—Jennifer Fischer

Thanks, Jennifer!

Time now for DOGS IN THE NEWS, canines that made headlines the past week.

In Kenosha police find 17 dogs in homeless couple’s car.

Cities go to extreme lengths to tackle a dog poop epidemic.

In Madrid, don’t pick up after your dog, and…

Hero dog rescues, then collapses and dies.

Can dogs ever be trusted around babies?

Why you should never pet a guide dogDog walking seniors are healthier, but…

Amtrak goes to the dogs.

Diving dogs to star
, not in Franklin, but in, where else…Oak Creek.

Gourmet food…for dogs?

Dog rescues hummingbird. Story doesn’t end there.

Column: Can’t beat a dog’s love: There’s one kind of love that just goes on forever. Get a dog and you will experience unconditional love for as long as the animal is around.




In a lush, sprawling corner of Costa Rica, hundreds of dogs–among the luckiest strays on earth–roam freely on a hillside. Fed, groomed and cared for by vets, more than 750 dogs rescued from the streets of Costa Rica inhabit Territorio de Zaguates or “Land of the Strays.” The 375-acre sanctuary in the center of the Central American country is funded by donations. Around 8,000 dogs have passed through the refuge. There are more than a million stray dogs in Costa Rica, where the government outlawed putting animals down in 2003. The strays at the sanctuary are all available for adoption. Above: Stray dogs run at the sanctuary in Carrizal de Alajuela, Costa Rica, on April 20, 2016. Photo: JUAN CARLOS ULATE / Reuters

And we close as we always do with our dog video of the week. We’ve got a couple in these stories.

Woman walks dog…while driving?

Shelter dog cried.

That’s it for this week.

Thanks for stopping by.

Please share with a fellow dog lover. They’ll be glad you did!

See ya, BARK, next week!


After unnecessary review, City of Franklin staff says BUY 12 TABLES for Kayla’s Playground

Remember efforts two weeks ago by some Franklin Common Council members to reduce the number of tables at Kayla’s Playground failed and we were supposed to believe that a delay tactic until the next meeting was purely in the interest of gathering more info and saving the taxpayers money?

The next meeting is this Tuesday. City of Franklin staff has studied the matter and has come back with this recommendation to the Rhodes scholars on our Common Council.

The cost per table for 12 tables would be the same as the cost for 6 tables.

The original amount of tables proposed would not crowd the playground area.

The picnic tables are needed because there has been an issue with patrons bringing food into the playground. Given that there is ample space on the patio and thee is a known need, Staff recommends that 12 tables be purchased. Fiscal notes remain unchanged for the previous Common Council meeting.

The recommendation of city staff, seen on page 70 of the informational packet sent to the Common Council for next Tuesday’s meeting is to authorize  the purchase of additional site furnishings  (6 regular picnic tables, 6 ADA picnic tables, waste receptacles and concrete bollards) for the patio adjacent to Kayla’s Playground from Wausau Tile in the amount of $11, 593.00.

Barring further stupid games from the Council the proper move on Tuesday would be to vote YES to the original proposal from April 19 to buy 12 tables.

Thanks to the usual obstructionist suspects on the Council, the city wasted time, energy, and effort.

Goodnight everyone, and have a chips and salsa weekend!

“If music be the food of love, play on, Give me excess of it.”
William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night

Every Friday night we smooth our way into the weekend with music, the universal language. These selections demonstrate that despite what is being passed off as art today, there is plenty of really good music available. Come along and enjoy.

Next Thursday is Cinco de Mayo, the fifth of May that commemorates the Mexican army’s 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War (1861-1867). In Mexico there’s little fanfare, but here in the States, we celebrate with parades, honking of car horns, chips and salsa and margaritas. Tonight, to get you in a celebratory mood, music with a Latin flair.

We begin with Meco and a medley from his Big Band album. This features two classics from Perez Prado.

The King of the Mambo, Prado is considered to be the single most important musician involved in the popular Latin dance craze. In 1955 his “Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White” spent ten weeks at #1. Prado’s second #1 recording came in 1958 with “Patricia.”

Meco pays tribute to them both.

In 1999 Carlos Santana released “Smooth” with Rob Thomas doing the vocal. At the 2000 Grammy Awards it won Song Of The Year, Record Of The Year and Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals. The single spent 12 weeks at #1.

Santana waited the longest of any artist between his first charting single and first #1 hit. In 1969, “Tango” hit #56 in the US, and 30 years later “Smooth” made it to the top of the charts.

“Smooth” is redone here by Nestor Torres on the flute.

Nestor Torres | MusicWorld |

Multiple Grammy Award-winning artist Natalie Cole died last New Year’s Eve of congestive heart failure at the age of 65. Just two years before her death, Cole recorded an album of ageless Latin standards as yet another tribute to her father, the legendary Nat King Cole. From the Songwriters Hall of Fame Awards in Miami Beach in 2013.

Come closer to me
So I can see
Heaven in your eyes

Come closer to me
So I can be
Close to paradise

Thrill me with your kisses
Let me learn what bliss is
Kiss me once and then
We’ll kiss and kiss again
And life will be divine

Come closer, my dear
So I can hear
Music in my heart

I’ve waited so long
To hear the song that
Your love will start

Darling, I’ll adore you
Live my life just for you
All I ask is this
Please give me one more kiss
And whisper you’ll be mine

Acercate mas y mas y mas
Pero mucho mas
Y besame asi, asi, asi
Como besas tu

Pero besa pronto
Porque estou sufriendo

Kiss me once and then
We’ll kiss and kiss again
And life will be divine

Come closer, my dear
So I can hear
Music in my heart

I’ve waited so long
To hear the song that
Your love will start

Darling, I’ll adore you
Live my life just for you
All I ask is this
Please give me one more kiss
And whisper you’ll be mine

Next, this is good. Real good.

The man who created Bossa Nova and brought it to America was the late Antonio Carlos Jobim. In this video, that superstar teams up with another legend, Herbie Hancock.

That’s it for this week.


Sleep well.

Have a great weekend.

Remember those old “Hooked On Classics” albums that had orchestras playing up-tempo medleys of famous classical music pieces? They were quite successful and led to other “Hooked on” projects.

Hooked on Opera.

Hooked on Swing.

Hooked on Country.

Hooked on Dixie.

Hooked on Blues.

Hooked on Disco.

Hooked on Christmas.

Hooked on Polkas.

Hooked on Instrumentals.

Hooked on Big Bands.

Hooked on the Beatles.

Hooked on Romance.

Hooked on Bluegrass.

But they never enjoyed the success of the “Hooked on Classics” series.

We close with a track from “Hooked on Classics 5.”

Friday Night Forgotten Oldie: A thing goin’ on

When you’re a teenager and glued to Top 40 radio and you read Billboard and Rolling Stone and listen to Casey Kasem’s weekly countdown show you think you know a little something about popular music and the artists who make it shine. After all, there was no Internet, no cable TV. You might pick up on some tidbits in the album notes of the stars. I never knew any of the following.

This week’s featured guest served in the same Army unit in Germany with Elvis. He didn’t enjoy true music fame until the early 1970’s when he had his biggest (and only) hit about cheating on his spouse (In real life he was married to the same woman for decades).

This singer found success with the writing and producing team of Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff out of Philadelphia. They said this about the singer’s only hit:

“In our view, it is one of the greatest love songs ever recorded.”

I’m not so sure, though there’s no denying what a smash the song about an extramarital affair was in 1972. It won a Grammy in 1973 for best male rhythm ‘n blues performance, beating out Ray Charles and Curtis Mayfield.

Billy Paul died last Sunday after learning he had pancreatic cancer. He was 80.


A great saxophonist, Ed Calle.

When it comes to Franklin’s Tablegate, “this blogger” is not the problem

I am being criticized for votes taken by the Franklin Common Council at its last meeting regarding Kayla’s Playground…for merely writing about what happened.

Because I wrote on my blog I also included my opinion. That’s what a blog is. Commentary.  I base my commentary on the facts I have at hand, what I know.

Sadly our locally elected officials and many folks on social media don’t know the difference between a blog and an ordinary newspaper article.

Folks, this isn’t tough stuff. The Council met. Their meeting was recorded. The audio was placed on the city’s website. I listened to the audio. And then I wrote about the discussion and the subsequent votes on an item to improve Franklin’s incredibly popular project, Kayla’s Playground.

And then one alderwoman played la stupida.  Kristen Wilhelm, clearly on the record for all the world, or at least Franklin, to hear did something incredibly dumb.

She blamed the messenger. That would be me. She never names me in her countless attempts on social media to cover her posterior. I am referred to disrespectfully as “this blogger” or “a friend of the mayor’s.”

Kristen, I have a name. I’m a private citizen residing in Franklin. Not to mention I’m your constituent. You kinda work for me.  Even though you lost my vote a long time ago, you still represent me.  You may not like it, but it’s true.

I’m not an elected official. I have no ability to cast a vote at a public meeting. I have no taxing or spending authority. What I do have is a First Amendment right. I can write. And that bugs the hell out of Wilhelm and others. They’d prefer nobody pays attention or says anything about their shenanigans.

I didn’t vote to reduce the number of tables for visitors to Kayla’s Playground.

I didn’t vote against the original recommendation to have 12 tables at Kayla’s Playground.

I didn’t suggest a delay in what should have been a simple exercise to improve Kayla’s Playground.

I didn’t use a phony excuse of fiscal conservatism in my defense of delaying the improvements. Kristen Wilhelm is, as Johnny Carson once described, “to the left of mayonnaise.” She’s not fooling me and many others that the save her butt delay tactic was because she’s such a good friend of the taxpayers.

The fact is Wilhelm and others on the Council have tried everything possible to throw thumb tacks on the road to Kayla’s Playground because they didn’t get their way. The mayor did, and since they despise the mayor they don’t want him to succeed in any way possible, and that includes tables at a park. They think people don’t get it but they do. They are wise to this petty garbage.

So go ahead. Blame the guy with the keyboard. Keep making yourselves look entirely foolish in the process. In the end, you are the ones accountable.

And speaking of Kayla’s Playground, let’s end on a very nice note.

She’s HOW OLD?

I was in high school. An adolescent.

One day I walked into the middle of a heavy discussion between two of my male friends. They were talking about what teenage boys usually talk about: girls. But in this case it was actually about women.

The question up for debate was simple. Who was sexier?


ann margret hot

For the millennials reading that’s Raquel Welch ….

vs. Ann-Margret.

I saw no wrong answer here. Especially when I was 16 at the time this particular debate took place.

Hard to believe.

Ann-Margret turned 75 today.

I believe my wife will look great when she’s 75.  But I won’t know for sure because if not underground I’ll be in a corner somewhere drooling.

From “Viva Las Vegas”…