WHO Beclowns Itself by Appointing Mugabe

What a disgrace.

The choice of Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe as a World Health Organization (WHO) goodwill ambassador has been criticised by several organisations including the British government.

It described his selection as “surprising and disappointing” given his country’s rights record, and warned it could overshadow the WHO’s work.

The opposition in Zimbabwe and campaign groups also criticised the move.

The WHO head said he was “rethinking his approach in light of WHO values”.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus had previously praised Zimbabwe for its commitment to public health.

If you’re not familiar with what a horrible tyrant Mugabe is, here’s an old, but very good, article that gives a glimpse.

Homecoming Queen Kicks Winning Field Goal

Cool.

High school kicker Claire Jeffress decided a Texas high school football game by sinking a game-winning field goal.

With the contest tied 35-35, the Dawson High School senior hit a 30-yard kick to beat the Eagles’ rival, Pearland, on Friday night.

[…]

Jeffress, who also plays for the school’s soccer team, was crowned Homecoming Queen last week.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Mother’s Day Restaurant closes

There was little notice, but the doors were locked Tuesday at Mother’s Day Restaurant, 501 Wildwood Road in West Bend. Now comes word Sam Fejzuli has closed the business.

It wasn’t a hard decision according to Fejzuli. He said he had trouble getting employees and it was also difficult to “keep everybody happy.”

Fejzuli purchased the property in May 2015 for $260,000.  It was previously a Dairy Queen; the property had been in foreclosure since January 2014, and was listed at $390,000.

Originally from Macedonia, Fejzuli has been in the U.S. for 29 years. Fejzuli owned the Mother’s Day Restaurant in Horicon. Questioned whether the closure was temporary, whether Fejzuli would open elsewhere or sell the property, he said, “You ask me questions I don’t have the answers to.”

Second Kwik Trip approved in West Bend

The West Bend Common Council approved development of a second Kwik Trip in the city. This one will be in the former Walgreens building, 806 S. Main Street. “Congratulations Kwik Trip and thanks for choosing to do business in West Bend,” said Mayor Kraig Sadownikow.

On Oct. 4 the West Bend Plan Commission voted in favor of the development, however it charged Kwik Trip with completing a traffic study.

As part of the development Kwik Trip will tear down the old Walgreens building. Construction is expected to start in summer 2018. The first Kwik Trip in West Bend opened on Silverbrook Drive just north of Paradise Drive on Oct. 22, 2016.

New stores coming to town

The new strip mall just south of Pick ‘n Save south is taking shape. Larry Sajdak, Executive Vice President – Leasing at Inland Commercial Real Estate Services, said the 7,200-square-foot addition is being built by American Construction Services Inc. of West Bend.

A couple new businesses moving in include ATI Physical Therapy, Cricket Wireless (which is currently located inside GameStop on Paradise Drive), and a nail salon. Sajdak said they are also in talks with Firehouse Subs and they should lock in that deal shortly.

“These businesses will really help drive a lot of business to the area,” he said. “The stores are necessity based and Internet resilient.”

Sajdak said they are currently in discussion with Kroger regarding the former Grimm’s Dollar Express on the north side of the grocery store. Sajdak mentioned a “fuel pad” but said it’s “very early in the conversation.”

Saying thanks to a local hero

A special honor for Nick Busalacchi of West Bend who was recognized by the West Bend Common Council for helping save people following an apartment fire at the Wayne Road Apartments.

According to Fire Chief Gerald Kudek, “on June 1, 2017, Nick Busalacchi smelled smoke in his Wayne Road Apartment. Nick went into the hallway to investigate and found smoke coming from around the doorway of a downstairs apartment. He went outside and noted heavy fire coming from the patio doors of the apartment. Nick knew there were residents still in the apartment so he began to pound on the windows to alert them. He looked into a bedroom window and saw an occupant and he advised her to get out immediately. The occupant then climbed out of the bedroom window.

Once all occupants were accounted for Nick jumped into action and used a garden hose in attempts to control the fire until the Fire Department arrived. Mr. Busalacchi’s quick actions at great risk to his personal safety, saved lives and limited damage.”

Make plans to attend Veterans Day program

A note from VFW Commander John Kleinmaus regarding the upcoming Veterans Day program in West Bend. Despite the fact Veterans Day is on a Saturday this year the traditional Veterans Day program will still be held “at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.”  On Saturday Nov. 11, area veterans will gather at 10:45 a.m. at Veterans Plaza on the corner of Fifth Avenue and Poplar Street in West Bend.

At 10:55 a.m., a brief statement will be read followed by a moment of silence. At 11 a.m., the siren will sound and the West Bend Veterans Color Guard will fire the traditional three-round volley followed by the playing of Taps.

Each year the number of citizens attending this brief service has increased and we hope this trend continues this year. We are inviting all citizens of Washington County to stand with us as we remember our veterans.

Man who founded Jam for Kids has died

Robert “Bob” E. Cross, age 73, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, October 17, 2017 at the Lawliss Family Hospice in Mequon.  Bob had a place in his heart for the Special Olympics, donating his time and being the Founder of Jam For Kids.

Through his efforts, thousands of dollars were raised for the Special Olympics of West Bend.  Bob also had a passion for art, creating all the different logos of Jammin’ Sam and sharing his work with others. A Celebration of Life will be 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 23 at the Phillip Funeral Home Chapel in West Bend with Pastor Roger Knowlton presiding

Update & tidbits

– Weasler Engineering on Highway 45 just north of County Highway D in West Bend has a number of job openings. Mark your calendar for Tuesday, Oct. 24 from 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. for the Weasler Career Fair. Jobs include benefits, health care, and shift premiums.

– AT&T in West Bend has relocated from 1442 W. Washington Street to 1606 S. Main Street. The location in the strip mall on W. Washington Street is now for lease.

– ‘Welcome Naskull Fans!’ to this year’s Holy Hill Halloween display presented by Jimmy Zamzow. The rowdy crowd of skeletons is highlighted in a NASCAR theme. The helmets to prevent head injuries are rather hilarious. The display is on Highway 167 as you make your way west to Holy Hill.

– The first Family Fun Day of this season is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 4 from 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. at the West Bend Community Memorial Library. Themed with the upcoming symphony concert program, these Saturday morning programs usually feature a book, a craft or other hands-on project, and musical listening which combine to show the connection between literature, music and the arts. This is a joint venture between the Kettle Moraine Symphony and the library. The program is geared for ages 4-12, but all ages (including adults) are welcome.

– There will be a reunion Wednesday, Nov. 8 for the former employees of the old St. Joseph’s Hospital in West Bend. “The Best of St. Joe’s” are having another get together, according to Carol Ann Daniels. The gathering will begin with a social hour at 11 a.m. at the Top of the Ridge at Cedar Ridge in West Bend, 113 Cedar Ridge Drive. If you plan on joining us, please contact Carol Daniels, 262-689-1089 for further information. Reservations must be received no later than Oct. 25, 2017.

– The Richfield Historical Society is hosting an event: “Wisconsin Petroglyphs” by Dale Van Holten, on Thursday, Oct. 26 at 7 p.m., at the Richfield Fire Hall, 2008 State Road 175. This presentation will introduce you to petroglyphs discovered in Waterloo, Wisconsin. Admission is free and open to the Richfield Historical Society Members and the general public.

– Fillmore Fire & Rescue is hosting a fish fry on Friday, Nov. 3 from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. Bring a non-perishable food item and get a free dessert.

– The annual VFW Essay contest is underway. The Patriot’s Pen Contest is for all 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students.  The theme is “America’s Gift to My Generation.” The Grand Prize is $5,000.  The Voice of Democracy Contest is for all high school students.  The theme is “American History: Our Hope for the Future.” The Grand Prize is a $30,000 scholarship.

– The West Bend Theatre Company is moving this year’s annual production of “A Christmas Carol” to the Silver Lining Arts Center at the West Bend High School. Production manager Nancy Storrs said the West Bend Theatre Company will share proceeds with the High School choir programs and they plan on sharing with a different nonprofit organization for each show they produce. Next year the donation will be to the Historic Downtown West Bend Theatre.

Trick or treat times and locations

Halloween falls on a Tuesday this year; Oct. 31 but quite a few neighbors in Washington County are holding trick or treat on the weekend.

Barton, West Bend and Trenton will have trick or treat Saturday, Oct. 28 from 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.  Newburg and Richfield are also Saturday but from 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. and Town of Farmington is Saturday, Oct. 28 from 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. and Village of Kewaskum is from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.

In the Village of Jackson the Jackson Area Community Center will host Ghoul Gala on Sunday, Oct. 29 from 3 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. and then trick or treat is 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

The Village of Slinger will hold trick or treat Saturday, Oct. 28 from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. Families are welcome to a free event after as Spooky Slinger will be held from 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. at Slinger Community Park with music, pumpkin carving contest, costume contest, and refreshments.

Allenton and Addison trick or treat is Sunday, Oct. 29 from 3 p.m. – 6 p.m.   Hartford is also Sunday from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Germantown celebrates Halloween on Tuesday, Oct. 31 from 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Hilda Rasmussen from West Bend completes Stars & Stripes Honor Flight

Korean War veteran Hilda Rasmussen of West Bend was one of 11 veterans from Washington County that took part in last Saturday’s Stars & Stripes Honor Flight to Washington D.C.

Rasmussen was 20 years old when she enlisted in the Army. A southerner who grew up in North Carolina and Virginia, Rasmussen was working at Rose’s Five and Dime when a friend whose sister was in the Army suggested she join so she could finish school.

“I enlisted against my parents’ wishes,” said Rasmussen. “My mom had breast cancer and there just wasn’t any money for school. It was hard to get jobs because there were so many wives from the Navy base looking to get jobs.”

Rasmussen said she and her friend were going to go into the service on the Buddy Plan, which meant if two people went in together the military kept them together during service.

“I came home and told my parents and that didn’t go well,” said Rasmussen. Adopting a stern voice she mimicked her mother’s response. “No you’re not,” she barked. “That’s not something a young lady does.”

Rasmussen was upset and later that night had a change of heart when she heard her mother crying. “The next morning at breakfast I told them I prayed about it and didn’t want them to be disappointed in me and said I wasn’t going,” she said.

Rasmussen’s mother had a change of heart too and gave her daughter the OK. “We’re not going to have it said we wouldn’t let you do what you wanted so you’re going,” Rasmussen recalled.

A graduate of Deep Creek High School in Deep Creek, Virginia a young Rasmussen left the cotton and tobacco fields and headed to basic training at Fort McClellan in Anniston, Alabama.

With a goal to continue her education, Rasmussen attended correspondence school at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. She worked in courts and boards and eventually ended up in food service.

A petite soldier who “didn’t even wear a size one dress” Rasmussen was known to colleagues as ‘Danni.’

“It was short for Daniel Boone,” said Rasmussen. “I did pretty well on the rifle range as a sharpshooter.”

Rasmussen pulls out a small, narrow white box full of medals labeled sharpshooter and marksmen; these were post Army service and something she earned when she joined the NRA.

“I had boys after the service and I didn’t want to stay home,” she said. “I went to NRA classes so I could go hunting with them.”

Rasmussen picked up her military story with details on her years in food service and how on Sundays the stewards from various mess halls would invite her over to eat. “They had linen table cloths and real china and they made special desserts for me,” she said laughing. “I had some of the most luscious desserts you ever tasted.”

Following on Sunday feast at the Air Force mess hall, Rasmussen was challenged to leave like everyone leaves in the Air Force. “They made me jump out of a tower,” she said.

Hooked up to a harness with a parachute Rasmussen was fearless. “The only thing was I came in uniform that day and I was wearing a skirt,” she said. “I had two pins in my purse and I pinned my skirt like culottes. I think every man in that mess hall stayed that day to see me jump.”

Rasmussen relays her stories while perched on the edge of her living room couch. Her memories are detailed and her speech pattern is a bit rushed with excitement.

Rasmussen spent her entire military career stateside at Fort Belvoir. She met her husband, who was also stationed at the base. They married March 17 so the military wouldn’t send her overseas to Germany.

After her discharge on July 12, 1956, Rasmussen worked for specifications at Fort Belvoir and later spent nearly five years just outside Washington D.C. as military air-transport service for the plane for the President of the United States.

“I really liked that job,” she said. “There were four girls in the office and 12 men. The building was basically a Quonset hut,” laughed Rasmussen.

In 1960, Rasmussen and her husband moved to the Campbellsport area. “I started my first job at Local Loan Finance Company in Milwaukee. I worked at 21st and North Avenue and I was there 15 years and we were robbed five times,” she said.

As years past Rasmussen’s life changed. Her first husband died and she later remarried. She had two sons and one was killed in a traffic accident in California.

Rasmussen lives with her other son Kevin Nelson. He was her guardian on the Honor Flight.

This was the 42nd “mission” for the Honor Flight since 2008.  There were 90 Korean War vets on the flight along with 10 WWII and 50 Vietnam War veterans.

Week in Review

I’ll be on WPR’s Week in Review at 0800. Host Kate Archer Kent will referee as Mike Browne, from One Wisconsin Now, and I discuss the issues of the week. Up this week… Wisconsin ends the year in surplus; Republicans working on tax reform; Walker releases a commercial; Vukmir and Nicholson battle it out to take on Baldwin; hemp in Wisconsin?; NFL; etc.

Need coffee…

General Kelly Responds to Phone Call Controversy

Wow. I believe that’s the final word.

Spain Moves to Prevent Catalonia from Leaving

I think that the Spanish authorities don’t fully understand what “declaring independence” means.

Spain is to start suspending Catalonia’s autonomy from Saturday, as the region’s leader threatens to declare independence.

The government said ministers would meet to activate Article 155 of the constitution, allowing it to take over running of the region.

Catalonia’s leader said the region’s parliament would vote on independence if Spain continued “repression”.

Catalans voted to secede in a referendum deemed illegal by Spain.

Woman Accused of Drugging Boss

What the

A Wisconsin woman who plead guilty for spiking her bosses coffee with a foreign substance will face six months in jail.

Karen Zenner, 56, wanted to make her supervisor ill so she put anti-anxiety medication, eye drops and caffeine pills all in his coffee at their Athens, Wisconsin, business.

According to court records, the Spencer, Wisconsin, native admitted to putting substances in the coffee for three weeks in January.

Marathon Speeches

Those silly Communists and their loooooong speeches.

Some call Xi Jinping a Chinese Putin. Others a 21st-century Mao.

On Wednesday morning he was China’s Hugo Chávez, testing his comrades’ eyelids – and their bladders – with a three-and-a-half hour, 65-page sermon in which he outlined his brave new vision for the Communist party, and the world.

“The Chinese dream is a dream about history, the present and the future,” Xi declared towards the end of his unexpectedly long-winded address to the opening of China’s 19th party congress. By the conclusion of this eastern answer to Aló Presidente! more than a few of Xi’s audience appeared to have entered a dreamlike state.

Communist Party Determines Future of China

Yes, China is still a totalitarian regime where one party controls the lives of over a billion people. What will the next 5 years hold?

China’s biggest political event, the Communist Party congress, has begun in Beijing under tight security.

Party leader and Chinese president Xi Jinping is addressing more than 2,000 delegates in the capital.

The closed-door summit, which takes place once every five years, determines who rules China and the country’s direction for the next term.

Mr Xi, who became the leader in 2012, has been consolidating power and is expected to remain as party chief.

Wisconsin Finishes With $579 Million Surplus

Fantastic. Let’s return it to the taxpayers. That would be about $100 for every man, woman, and child in the state. I’m sure a family of 4 would appreciate a $400 check before Christmas.

The state finished 2016-17 with a surplus of $579 million, a better ending balance than what the Legislative Fiscal Bureau had previously projected.

The last LFB estimate of a $467 million ending balance, though, did not include a final look at expenditures over the fiscal year. The Department of Administration wrote in its annual fiscal report expenses came in about $41 million less than had been expected, while revenues were up.

Gov. Scott Walker’s office touted it as the second largest closing balance for a fiscal year since 2000. The guv did not call for any new spending, though a spokesman noted Walker has previously urged lawmakers to use money saved through his budget vetoes to cover a $9.7 million boost in aid for small, rural districts in 2018-19.

Trump acts on Obamacare

My column for the Washington County Daily News is online. Here you go:

President Trump, frustrated with Congress’ failure to repeal Obamacare, has begun to take unilateral action to reintroduce market forces into the health insurance market and pick at the pillars of Obamacare. His actions are a great first step.

Before getting into the specifics of Trump’s actions, we must note that the continued concentration of power in the presidency is abhorrent and an existential threat to liberty. That concentration has been progressing for decades, but greatly accelerated during the President Obama’s terms. Whereby Obama bragged about governing with a “phone and a pen,” Trump is exercising that same arbitrary authority. And while Trump’s most recent orders are good policy, the same power can and will be used for bad policy and worse. The fact remains that so much arbitrary power — the power over the lives of hundreds of millions of Americans and trillions of dollars — should never be concentrated in the pen of one person.

Obama used that arbitrary authority to implement Obamacare and make changes to our health care insurance market — sometimes in ways not legal. Trump is using that same arbitrary authority to make different changes to our health care insurance market.

Trump’s first executive order was a series of directives to various cabinet agencies and tweaks to find ways to allow more health insurance options and more flexibility in the health insurance market. The first directive was to the Labor Department to find ways to allow small businesses and individuals to collectively buy insurance through association health plans.

Allowing small businesses and individuals to group together — particularly if they are allowed to do so across state lines — would allow them to gain more purchasing power, better rates and in some circumstances, alleviate them of many of Obamacare’s regulations by shifting their plans under federal regulation instead of state regulations.

The second thing Trump’s order did was to allow people to buy more kinds of short-term health insurance plans. Obama limited these plans to 90 days, but allowing people to by plans for up to a year provides much more flexibility to people between jobs or open enrollment periods.

The third thing Trump’s order did was allow employers more ways to give employees tax-free money to pay for health care expenses elsewhere. In the past, some employers that did not provide health insurance could instead give their employees money to buy insurance on the individual market through a Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA). Obamacare forbade this accommodation and Trump’s order allows it again.

These series of changes are all positive and allow for more flexibility and competition in the health insurance market. It was Trump’s second action, however, that really undercut Obamacare. When the Obamacare law was written, the lawmakers knew that it would dramatically increase the cost of health care insurance. It sought to address that by shifting costs to the taxpayers in two primary ways. The first way was to give subsidies to people buying Obamacare policies if they couldn’t afford it through a tax credit.

The second way was to mandate that the insurance companies providing Obamacare policies cut what they charge health care providers — even if those cuts results in a loss to the insurance company. This was done with the understanding that the taxpayers would pick up the losses of the health insurance companies, but the Obamacare law never appropriated any money for such subsidies. Lawmakers at the time were justifiably fearful of being accused of subsidizing the profits of big health insurance companies, so they did not appropriate the money. President Obama picked up the ball and began illegally giving the health insurance companies subsidies to prop up their profits beginning in 2014.

Trump is ending this illegal practice. Ironically, all Trump is doing is following the law as written. The result is that the insurance companies are still required by law to keep their billings lower — sometimes below costs — but they will not get a check from the taxpayers to cover those losses. They will be forced to either pass those costs on to policy holders through massive premium increases, or exit the Obamacare exchanges. The structural flaws of Obamacare will no longer be covered up with billions of taxpayer dollars illegally funneled to insurance companies.

Obamacare has already failed America. Trump is just trying to mitigate and hopefully reverse some of the damage.

Iraqi Forces Move into Kirkuk

Self-determination for me, but not for thee.

Iraqi government forces have entered central Kirkuk, residents say, after taking key installations outside the disputed city from Kurdish fighters.

Witnesses told the BBC they saw federal forces entering the provincial government building.

Clashes were reported south of Kirkuk earlier in the day, while thousands of residents fled the city.

It comes three weeks after the Kurdistan region held a controversial independence referendum.

While Kirkuk is not inside Iraqi Kurdistan, Kurdish voters inside the city were allowed to take part.

Iraq’s prime minister has said the vote – in which residents of Kurdish-controlled areas, including Kirkuk, overwhelmingly backed secession – was unconstitutional.

We’re seeing this elsewhere in the world and it is the normal response. When Catalans want to break off and form their own nation, the Spanish authorities move in with force. When Kurds want to break off and form their own nation, the Iraqi authorities move in with force. Come to think of it, when South Carolinians wanted to break off and form their own nation, the American authorities moved in with force. The truth is that while the international community talks a good game about self-determination, they only ever really support it when it’s convenient.

City of West Bend Considers Transportation Advisory Referendum Tonight

The Washington County Insider has more details.

Oct. 4, 2017 – West Bend, WI – The Long Range Transportation Planning Committee (LRTPC) will make a recommendation to the Common Council tonight for an advisory referendum to gauge whether neighbors want city leaders to spend more on road repair.

In 2015 the city put together the LRTC to specifically look at issues dealing with road maintenance and repair. Aldermen said roads were the No. 1 complaint of taxpayers.

In September 2015 the city posted a Transportation Survey

Dist. 5 alderman Rich Kasten, who heads up the LRTPC, said the survey was “not to advocate for any potential solution but garner true and valuable feedback on the appetite of the citizens when it comes to road maintenance.”

Some of the options to fund road repair are below:

  1. Continue to spend 4 percent more per year on road maintenance
  2. Enact a wheel tax of $20 per registered passenger vehicle / car or light truck. That could generate about $600,000 annually to be spent on roads.
  3. Increase property taxes specifically for road projects.

[…]

Tonight’s Common Council meeting gets underway at 6:30 p.m. at West Bend City Hall, 1115 S. Main Street.

On Merchants

“The parson lives on the sins of the people, the doctor on their diseases, and the lawyer on their disputes and quarrels. But the merchant lives on the wealth of the people. He never wishes for a poor customer or a poor country… the merchant has every inducement to seek and support the wealth of the state.”

– Pelatiah Webster

Lopez Booed off Stage

Time and a place

Comic George Lopez was booed off stage at a gala for juvenile diabetes in Denver last week, over an anti-Donald Trump routine that fell flat with the crowd.

[…]

We’re told that Lopez responded to Maffei, “Thank you for changing my opinion on old white men, but it doesn’t change the way I feel about orange men.”

Trying to recover and sensing the audience turn, Lopez said, “Listen, it’s about the kids . . . I apologize for bringing politics to an event. This is America — it still is. So I apologize to your white privilege.”

We’re told Lopez also told a joke about Trump’s proposed border wall with Mexico, saying, “I guess you can get some Mexicans to do it cheaper and they wouldn’t crush the tunnels ­underneath.”

When the audience did not respond well, he quipped, “Are you El Chapo people?” in reference to the drug kingpin who has used tunnels to evade authorities.

Lopez is a funny guy and has been able to make make poignant social commentaries through his comedy – particularly regarding cultural differences and immigration. The problem with him, and too many like him, is that he has let his hatred of Trump seep into everything. He can’t help himself. So while he is supposed to be just a funny MC for an event to raise money to fight juvenile diabetes, he uses it as an opportunity to just vent about Trump. It isn’t even funny. It’s just hate. Which is why people were turning on him. Americans have a long history of enjoying political comedy and satire and can generally roll with the punches. But when it is just an un-funny political hate rant, nobody wants to hear it.

Meanwhile, Lopez put his own political hatred above the kids with diabetes. He couldn’t help himself even for a few minutes on behalf of kids. That’s a lot of hatred to contend with.

To NFL or Not to NFL

I’ll just say it. I love football. As a child of Texas, football was a way of life. From the JV games on Thursday, to Friday Night Lights, to college football Saturdays, to the NFL on Sunday and Monday, I love it all.

After the NFL protests started, I found my habits changing. Sundays used go church, brunch, and then sit down to watch pre-game and NFL football for 10 or 11 straight hours. But the NFL protests have changed that for me. I’ll still watch my Cowboys play when it’s convenient. The same is true for the Packers. But that’s about it. I’m just not interested in the rest anymore. I’m not interested in spending time patronizing a business that clearly doesn’t value me as a customer. I still love the game, but I’m finding it easier and easier to do without the NFL. There is lot of football to enjoy without the NFL.

I’m not boycotting. It wasn’t really even a conscious decision. The NFL just turned me off… so I turned them off.

Layoffs at Tesla

That stinks.

Tesla has fired at least 400 employees this week, including associates, team leaders and supervisors, a former employee told Reuters on Friday.

The dismissals were a result of a company-wide annual review, Tesla said in an emailed statement, without confirming the number of employees leaving the company.

‘It’s about 400 people ranging from associates to team leaders to supervisors. We don’t know how high up it went,’ said the former employee, who worked on the assembly line and did not want to be identified.

Tesla Inc fired about 400 employees this week, including associates, team leaders and supervisors, a former employee told Reuters on Friday

Though Tesla cited performance as the reason for the firings, the source told Reuters he was fired in spite of never having been given a bad review.

Tesla is an innovative company that is pushing the boundaries of culture and technology. It is also a company that consistently fails to meet expectations, is propped up by taxpayers, and is apparently very poorly managed. It would be nice to see a better managed company acquire them, their patents, and move it forward.

Identifying the Slaves

Jinkees.

slave

So now standing and respecting our nation during the anthem is a signal that you are a slave? Call me a slave then.

“We shouldn’t let any small dollar amount go un-scrutinized,”

I want more of this mindset in Madison (and Washington, for that matter).

That’s hardly a blip in the state’s $76 billion budget. But Allen, among a group of conservative lawmakers who are particularly focused on DOT spending, said no sum is too meager to consider.

“We shouldn’t let any small dollar amount go un-scrutinized,” Allen said.

Here’s what he’s talking about it.

State law says the department shall give 500 highway maps — the folded paper kind — to the office of all 132 state lawmakers each time they’re published. Another 300 must be given to the Legislature’s nonpartisan reference bureau. Each lawmaker also must get 50 copies of large laminated wall maps of the state highway system.

Allen has asked fellow lawmakers to sign on to a prospective bill to end those requirements.

We need more lawmakers to look around government and say, “well, that’s stupid and wasteful… let’s do something about it.”

We’re Listening

And this is why, despite the fact that I love technology and am a certified geek, I will not have one of these kinds of devices in my home.

A major flaw has been detected in the newly-unveiled Google Home Mini speaker that allows it to secretly record conversations without users knowing.

Last week, Google showed off its next-generation smart speakers at an event in San Francisco. Following the event, it sent members of the press home with a review unit of the Google Home Mini, expected to launch on October 19.

Android Police tech blogger and founder Artem Russakovskii was the first to discover a bug in the software used by those devices. After using the gadget, he went to his Google (GOOG)activity account page and noticed it was populated with audio clips recorded in his home.

The Google Home Mini saved recordings at times when the wake word “OK Google” wasn’t used. (A wake word typically triggers smart devices like Google Home and the Amazon Echo to start listening to your verbal commands).