Whistleblowers call for removal of VA watchdog

A man who helped expose over prescription of opiates at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Tomah wants to personally present President Barack Obama with a letter from whistleblowers across the country calling for the removal of the VA’s chief watchdog.

The letter from VA Truth Tellers, comprised of more than 40 whistleblowers from VA facilities in more than a dozen states, argues that interim VA Inspector General Richard Griffin is “unable to fulfill the responsibilities and duties” of the job.

Ryan Honl, a member of VA Truth Tellers who blew the whistle last fall on the over prescription of opiates to veterans in Tomah, hopes to deliver the letter to Obama when he’s in La Crosse.

Tom Fulmer to Run for Kenosha Mayor

Tom Fulmer, of Kenosha, has declared his 2016 candidacy for mayor.

He filed his intention to run on June 19 but didn’t announce his bid for mayor until this afternoon.

The news comes a day after former Mayor John Antaramian publicly announced he, too, plans to seek the office he held for 16 years before deciding seven years ago not to seek re-election to a fifth consecutive term. Current Mayor Keith Bosman earlier this month announced he will not seek re-election next year.

MCTS Drivers Unions Calls for a Strike, All Bus Service Suspended

MILWAUKEE – As of 3 am Wednesday, July 1, 2015, all Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) bus service will be suspended because of a strike by the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 998. ATU leaders called for a work stoppage despite significant attempts and concessions from MCTS during a daylong negotiation session.

The union’s decision means tens of thousands of people who rely on MCTS to get to work, school and doctor’s appointments will have to find other transportation. The strike will also shut down Summerfest service that tens of thousands of people rely on every day to get to the Big Gig.

 

070115-religious-pix-1Spirituality Means Waking Up

Most people, even though they don’t know it, are asleep. They’re born asleep, they live asleep, they marry in their sleep, they breed children in their sleep, they die in their sleep without ever waking up. They never understand the loveliness and the beauty of this thing that we call human EXISTENCE. You know, all mystics -Catholic, Christian, non-Christian, no matter what their theology, no matter what their religion — are unanimous on one thing: that all is well, all is well. Though everything is a mess, all is well. Strange paradox, to be sure. But, tragically, most people never get to see that all is well because they are asleep. They are having a nightmare.

Last year on Spanish television I heard a story about this gentleman who knocks on his son’s door. “Jaime,” he says, “wake up!” Jaime answers, “I don’t want to get up, Papa.” The father shouts, “Get up, you have to go to school.” Jaime says, “I don’t want to go to school.” “Why not?” asks the father. “Three reasons,” says Jaime. “First, because it’s so dull; second, the kids tease me; and third, I hate school.”

And the father says, “Well, I am going to give you three reasons why you must go to school. First, because it is YOUR duty; second, because you are forty-five years old, and third, because you are the headmaster.” Wake up, wake up! You’ve grown up. You’re too big to be asleep. Wake up! Stop playing with your toys.

Most people tell you they want to get out of kindergarten, but don’t believe them. Don’t believe them! All they want you to do is to mend their broken toys. “Give me back my wife. Give me back my JOB. Give me back my money. Give me back my reputation, my success.” This is what they want; they want their toys replaced. That’s all. Even the best psychologist will tell you that, that people don’t really want to be cured. What they want is relief; a cure is painful.

Waking up is unpleasant, you know. You are nice and comfortable in bed. It’s irritating to be woken up. That’s the reason the wise guru will not attempt to wake people up. I hope I’m going to be wise here and make no attempt whatsoever to wake you up if you are asleep. It is really none of my business, even though I say to you at times, “Wake up!” My business is to do my thing, to dance my dance. If you profit from it, fine; if you don’t, too bad! As the Arabs say, “The nature of rain is the same, but it makes thorns grow in the marshes and FLOWERS IN THE gardens.”

070115-roberto-ruiz-pix-1Bo Ryan Leaves Behind a Legacy

In a shocking announcement, the man who has coached the University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team for the past 14 seasons has announced that he will be retiring after the 2015-16 season. Ryan is without question the best coach that the Wisconsin basketball program has seen, and he will be leaving a legacy behind that most coaches can only dream of.

While never winning a NCAA championship, Ryan’s squads participated in the NCAA March Madness tournament in each of the 14 seasons that Ryan was at the helm. Prior to Ryan, Wisconsin had participated in only seven tournaments in its history. Ryan led the team to back-to-back Final Four’s, including a heartbreaking loss in the national championship game against Duke this past season that. If the Badgers had beaten Duke, it would have been the ultimate team vs individuals’ triumph. Like most top-tier programs, Duke has opened its arms whole heartedly to the one and done players of this era. Players who play one year for Wisconsin and leave for the pros have never been, and will never be, displaying Badger red. That is because Bo Ryan believes in building well-rounded men as well as professional basketball players.

At the collegiate level, Ryan has amassed 740 victories against only 228 losses. His four championships and 373 victories at University of Wisconsin-Platteville should not, and cannot be ignored. Ryan brought an unmatched intelligence to the game of basketball. His swing offense helped keep overmatched Badger squads in games and in championship contention when the talent level would suggest otherwise. Recruiting mostly in-state players from Wisconsin, which is far from a high school basketball powerhouse, Ryan created a contender literally every year that he was in power.

Ryan hopes that the Badgers will turn to his longtime assistant, and expected successor, Greg Gard to help keep up the level of competitiveness that the state of Wisconsin has grown to expect from its main collegiate basketball program. Gard, who is a Wisconsin native and attended UW-Platteville, began coaching under Ryan in 1993 but did not become the assistant head coach until 2008.

The one knock against Ryan had always been, until two seasons ago, that he had never coached a team to the final four at the division one level. Now the knock is that he has never won a NCAA championship at the D-1 level. Claiming that Bo Ryan doesn’t deserve to be considered one of the best NCAA basketball coaches of all time because he never won a D-1 championship is like saying that Dan Marino doesn’t deserve to be considered one of the best quarterbacks of all time because of his lack of a Super Bowl ring.

After leading his team to the final four for the first time in 2014, and following that up with leading his team to the championship game for the first time in 2015, Badger fans can only hope that he follows that up with a miracle championship team in his final season. Except nobody expects the team this season to win a championship; that hope faded when Sam Dekker entered the NBA draft. Without star players Frank Kaminsky or Dekker, hopes for this team have to rest with winning a big ten championship and having a decent showing in the NCAA tournament.

Bo Ryan is one of the best coaches of all time, period. End of discussion. When Ryan walks away from the game of basketball after this season, we will lose a great teacher, a great coach, a great mentor, and a great man.

Thank you, Coach Ryan.

070115-businessAmazon llega a México

Después de una prueba piloto con libros, como suele ser el modus operandi de la compañía, Amazon entra de lleno a México comercializando artículos físicos y virtuales dentro de la categoría de electrónica, deportes, hogar, cocina, relojes, salud, belleza, cuidado personal, SOFTWARE, música, películas, series de TV y videojuegos.

Se espera que Amazon en México opere de la misma forma en que lo ha hecho en otros países como España, es decir:

Incrementando inventario y categorías a medida que la demanda sea suficiente.

Inician con una bodega local, para productos de mucha demanda.

Envío gratuito en 1 semana, opción a recibir en 2 a 3 días o al día siguiente con costo.

Si el pedido es de $599.99 pesos o más, el envío es gratis. Se recibirá en 3 a 5 días hábiles.

Es posible comprar productos y después obtenerlos en puntos de recolección por si la persona no está en casa u oficina

Amazon abrió una bodega local en Cuautitlán Izcalli de un tamaño de serán 65 mil metros cuadrados. También tercerizarán parte de espacio a Prologics, una empresa de almacenamiento y logística.

Se espera que en unas semanas o meses Amazon introduzca tres PROGRAMAS muy populares en sus operaciones:

Amazon Premium: que por una anualidad baja el cliente frecuente puede hacer compras siempre con envío gratuito.

En el caso de España inicialmente el tiempo de recepción del pedido era de dos a tres días. Recientemente es gratuito para un día.

Referidos: un PROGRAMA que permite que cualquier persona pueda recomendar cualquir producto dentro de la tienda y si se hace la venta, se lleva una comisión

Marketplace: Permite que particulares o empresas pequeñas puedan usar a Amazon como plataforma para vender sus propios productos.

Amazon entra al mercado de retail por e-commerce mexicano prácticamente sin competencia, siendo Linnio la única que pretende competir, pero que por sus inmensos y constantes problemas de operaciones y logísticos, dudamos mucho que realmente sean un problema. Tal vez de quien Amazon deberá preocuparse, con el tiempo, es del grupo Carso y un esfuerzo real por medio de Sanborns de competir en comercio electrónico

070115-fireworks2015 Fourth of July fireworks and parades guide

Once again, we’ve reached our country’s most patriotic time of the year. There’s nothing better than grabbing a blanket and loved ones and heading down to your nearest park for some festivities, firework-gazing and appreciation of the good ol’ U.S. of A.

Here is your ultimate Milwaukee guide to where to picnic, see the parades and ooh and ahh at the bright booms.

Milwaukee

Alcott Park: July 4 – The parade assembly marches into Alcott Park at 9:45 a.m., where children will receive free ice cream. There will also be children’s crafts and games all day. The fireworks ground display starts at 9:15 p.m.

Enderis Playfield: July 4 – Parades depart from 81st Street School and Mother of Good Counsel Church bright and early at 8:30 a.m., followed by a 9:15 a.m. flag raising ceremony and a 9:45 a.m. music concert. Contests and games continue throughout the day, including a fire department water cannon display and watermelon eating contest.

Gordon Park: July 4 – Gordon Park will celebrate the fourth with a parade at 11 am. followed by a day of live music, children’s activities and art projects. The fireworks begin at 9:15 p.m.

Humboldt Park: July 4 – The parade starts at 9 a.m. at Kinnickinnic and Linus Street; the afternoon children’s parade begins at 1 p.m. Games, contests and activities continue throughout the day, and there is live music starting at 7:15 p.m. The night closes with an expanded fireworks display at 9:15 p.m.

Jackson Park: July 4 – Children’s parade begin at 8:30 a.m. with ice cream at 9 a.m. A flag raising ceremony followed by a poster contest, children’s games, and various demonstrations and activities round out the day. Fireworks begin at 9:15 p.m.

Dr. M.L. King, Jr. Park: July 4 – The park hosts a bike decorating contest starting at 11:30 a.m. followed by a neighborhood talent contest at 12 p.m.

Lake Park: July 4 – Parade from the Hartford Avenue School starts at 9 a.m. with art projects and other activities, like a doll buggy, coaster and tricycle parade, to follow throughout the day. Fireworks begin at 9:15 p.m.

Lincoln Park: July 4 – You’ll have to check out another park for daytime festivities but you can make your way to Lincoln Park for fireworks at 9:15 p.m.

Mitchell Park: July 4 –A school parade is held at 9 a.m., with a flag raising in front of the Domes taking place at 10 a.m. Throughout the day, there will be children’s games, contests and a talent show at the band stand. The fireworks start at 9:15 p.m.

Noyes Park: July 4 – A parade leaves at 9 a.m., with a flag raising at 9:45 a.m. and ice cream at 10 a.m. Games begin at 10:45 a.m. and fireworks at 9:15 p.m.

Sherman Park: July 4 – The parade leaves from St. Catherine’s Church at 9:30 a.m. with ice cream and refreshments at 10:30 a.m. The celebration, which starts at 11:15 a.m. following a ceremony, goes through the day with games and prizes.

Washington Park: July 4 – The day begins with a flag raising at 11 a.m., then hosts games and contests until the fireworks show at 9:15 p.m.

Wilson Park: July 4 – The parade commences at 9 a.m. Music, contests and crafts follow until 3 p.m., when The Greater Milwaukee Figure Skating Club puts on a free ice show at the Rec Center, 4001 S. 20th St. Finish off the day with fireworks beginning at 9:15 p.m.

U.S. Bank Fireworks, Veterans Park: July 3 – Fireworks start at dusk, but activities run all day long in Veteran’s Park on the lakefront. This is by far the biggest and most popular fireworks display in the area. Our advice is to camp out early with your blankets for a good seat.

Suburbs and beyond

Kenosha: June 28 and July 4 – The Civic Veterans Parade starts the festivities June 28 at 1 p.m. On July 4th, you can enjoy food, refreshments, and live entertainment at Harbor Park. Fireworks will be launched at 9 p.m. at the east end of the park and can be viewed all along Kenosha’s lakefront.

Greendale: July 2-4 – The Lions Club will be hosting three days of entertainment in the tent next to the Gazebo in Downtown Greendale. Food and beer will be available, and musical acts include Cold Sweat & Brew City Horns, Bobby Way & Way Outs, Superfly, Jackie Brown & The Boys, and Rhythm Method. Fireworks at dusk on Saturday.

Greenfield: July 4 – Just next door, Greenfield rings in the Fourth with a parade at noon featuring the University of Wisconsin-Madison Marching Band. Konkel Park will be the site of a day-long event filled with family fun and live entertainment, ending with fireworks just after dusk.

Racine: July 4 – Racine’s Fourth Fest features one of the largest parades in the Midwest. Get there early to stake out a spot to watch it along its 2.6-mile route down Main Street. Fireworks finish off the day along the lakefront (North Pier) at dusk.

Wauwatosa: July 4 – The North Avenue parade begins at 9 a.m. Afternoon and evening events, which include inflatables and rides for the kids, live music and performances in Hart Park. Fireworks start at 9:15 p.m.

Waukesha: July 4 – The parade starts at Cutler Park and travels to Frame Park. The Waukesha County Exposition Center will host the city’s fireworks, which begin at dusk.

West Allis: July 4 – A grandstand show featuring live music and a flag ceremony starts at 7:30 p.m. at Wisconsin State Fair Park. Fireworks begin at 9:30 p.m.

http://onmilwaukee.com/seasonal/festivals/articles/fireworksguide.html

070115-deportes-pix-2Argentina debe mejorar la puntería para llegar a la final

Argentina es el equipo que más remata, el que más estrellas acumula en ataque y quizá el que mejor futbol despliega, aunque para superar este martes en Concepción la muralla de Paraguay y jugar la final de la Copa América deberá mejorar la puntería.

El gol es la asignatura pendiente de la Albiceleste, la selección más brillante —por juego— del torneo, junto al anfitrión Chile. Y la definición será aún más relevante ante un equipo cerrado como el guaraní, que tras el partido de la primera fase ha cimentado sus líneas y concede poco.

Argentina es el conjunto que más remates ha intentado en el certamen (66 TIROS, 22 más que Paraguay), pero sólo anotó cuatro goles, dos de ellos en el empate inicial ante la Albirroja, que remontó un 2-0 en el segundo tiempo (2-2 final) y desde entonces no ha parado de crecer.

Paraguay, a su vez, volverá a cerrar bien las líneas, a presionar fuerte y a buscar el contragolpe, así como las jugadas a balón parado, con las que ha logrado seis de los últimos ocho goles en las más recientes Copas América.

Los ojos estarán puestos sobre el árbitro brasileño Sandro Ricci, quien expulsó a Edinson Cavani en la polémica jugada con Gonzalo Jara en el Chile-Uruguay.

Más allá del posible juego brusco y cómo lo frena Ricci, varios jugadores ya amonestados en cuartos de final podrían perderse el juego por el título, si ven otra tarjeta amarilla. La Albiceleste es la más preocupada, porque tiene a tres determinantes amenazados: Messi, Javier Mascherano y Sergio Agüero.

takingsidesGovernor Walker: Hey! Don’t Worry About It!  WEDC Shame

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has a hot mess on his hands. His signature jobs making Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, or WEDC, has become an albatross riding along a repo man sought Maserati.

But before we indulge on the notion that we too can possibly have Wisconsin taxpayers buy each of us a Maserati, allow me to bring you up to speed on what WEDC is and why you should PAY attention to what can be potentially Governor Scott Walker’s biggest scandal to date.

WEDC was created in 2011 by Governor Walker who decided to replace the Wisconsin Department of Commerce with the WEDC. Why did he do this? Well, Walker, who promised that he would create 250,000 jobs in the state his first term in office, created WEDC to HELP him achieve that lofty goal.

But as anticipated by those who saw Walker’s action as nothing more than a pipe dream, Walker did not reach his goal of 250,000 promised jobs.

However WEDC, the agency that was supposed to help Walker create jobs instead created a hot mess for Walker I had previously hinted at.

What did Walker’s WEDC achieve, well in May 2013 an audit from the Legislative Audit Bureau reported at the time that WEDC had troubles it could not ignore. The audit found that between 2011 and 2013, WEDC gave out $124.4 million in awards to various corporations without a formal review by staff or underwriters.  Underwriters? You know, the people you wait to hear from that tell you to either hit the road or welcome to the party after you apply for a HOME LOAN.

But don’t get your undies in a bunch. Walker it seems was clever enough to not set up fiscal checks and BALANCES procedures when he created WEDC. Checks and balances?! Who needs stinking checks and balances!?

Indeed, our Governor had things set up so nicely that at the time WEDC was christened, WEDC didn’t mandate staff reviews of awards it was giving out because the awards it seems were all approved by the agency’s bipartisan WEDC board of Directors.

Hmmm….you say! Yes, I say.

This amateurish administrative blunder allowed for awards to go to companies that sat on the brink of ruin. For example, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (MJS) reported that a Milwaukee based company called Building Committee Inc. got a $500,000 loan after falsely saying it hadn’t been sued for five years. The MJS found that this company did default on a loan and later dissolved. But here’s the nugget that caught the attention of political pundits who don’t SUPPORT Walker, the company’s owner had given $10,000 to Walker’s first gubernatorial campaign. BINGO!

But wait a minute! This rabbit hole gets even more interesting. Turns out that Walker’s team pushed very hard to get the Building Committee, Inc. this loan so that the owner of the company, the guy who gave Walker $10,000 campaign donation, can keep his precious Maserati and several other luxury cars.

http://m.jsonline.com//statepolitics/wedc-backed-firm-after-learning-state-money-was-for-luxury-car-debtsb993z1-309866451.html

Since this revelation, reports from newspapers all over the state have published that WEDC did not formally review over 25 other loans totaling over $123 million dollars. Wow!

Imagine you being able to walk into a BANK. No money. In bankruptcy. About to go under. You then see an opportunity. Find $10,000 (LMAO). Donate that money to Scott Walker’s campaign for president and WHAALA! You’re approved for a WEDC loan to spend the money as you please. Oh! By the way! That string tied to the loan reminding you that that money is supposed to be for creating jobs, well, that’s just a technicality.

Hey! Don’t worry about it!

Well, lucky for Wisconsin taxpayers two Democratic members of the WEDC Board of Directors are not biting the line–“move on folks! There’s nothing to see here”.

In fact, Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca (D-Kenosha) and State Senator Julie Lassa (D-Stevens Point) called for a full investigation at WEDC  and have requested the assistance of Attorney General Brad Schimel in facilitating the release of full records and documentation on any unsecured WEDC loans, WEDC loans issued over concerns of underwriters, or WEDC loans where underwriting documentation is missing or was not complete.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-scott-walker-jobs-agency-20150619-story.html

Scott Walker’s failed flagship jobs agency gave out over $123 million worth of taxpayer-funded economic development assistance without review or approval of an underwriter.

Shazam!

And what did Wisconsin taxpayers get BACK for the Building Committee, Inc.  and all the other companies who received loans without and formal review?

A lousy 2,100 jobs, were actually created as a result of the awards provided to the over 24 companies that got $124 million dollars curtesy of Walker’s corporate welfare PROGRAM known as WEDC.

Pathetic puts all this mildly.

Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca (D-Kenosha) and State Senator Julie Lassa (D-Stevens Point) released a statement that concluded:

“Instead of again misleading the public, we would rather WEDC and the Governor focus their energies on quickly getting us all the records we requested – including any awards they made over the objections of underwriters, Community Development Block Grant ACTIVITY under WEDC and now the Department of Administration, and details of loans under $200,000 that were approved without staff review.”

Hey Governor! We are worried about it!