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home : opinions February 19, 2017

Occupational licensing reforms are long overdue
In his upcoming budget proposal, Gov. Scott Walker is proposing to establish a series of sunrise and sunset review commissions that would analyze proposed and existing occupational licenses to see if they are needed, or if they are too restrictive, and we think it is a good proposal that is long overdue.
Friday, February 3, 2017

A rogue board, by any other name
We're not sure what, if any, laws officials in the Town of Boulder Junction have broken, but we are pretty sure the town government itself is broken.

While we have asked the Vilas County district attorney, Martha Milanowski, to look at what we believe are pretty blatant and brazen actions, we also implore residents to get involved in grassroots oversight and for voters to take control in town elections.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Smearing Team Trump
Oh, no! I did it again.

It was a foolish mistake. But I slipped.

I read The New York Times.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Patrick Durkin and the Ostrich Effect, Part II
In the last column, we showed how Patrick Durkin, the outdoors writer who has proclaimed as tinfoil hatters anyone who questions DNR numbers showing last year's gun-buck harvest to have increased by 30 percent, used red herrings and inept statistical calculations to make his case for the DNR numbers.
Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Patrick Durkin and the Ostrich Effect
Part 1

Did you know that, if you question what the government tells you, if you don't willingly drink the Kool-Aid, you are a tinfoil hatter?

Yep, it's true, at least apparently in the eyes of Patrick Durkin, an outdoors writer whose columns are published widely in Wisconsin. After many in the Northwoods questioned the DNR's reported numbers for the 2016 gun deer season - specifically a 30-percent increase in the northern buck harvest - Durkin proclaimed the skeptics to be members of the Tinfoil Hat Club.

Friday, February 10, 2017

End the foreign-aid racket
Donald Trump's wise and humanitarian move to reinstate the Reagan-era "Mexico City policy," which prohibits U.S. foreign-aid dollars from going to non-government organizations that perform or provide referrals for abortions, has incited a torrent of liberal outrage.
Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Trump bubble bursts

The bubble burst. My fantasy died.

I wasn't a big Donald Trump backer - on TV I have called him a bully, a narcissist, etc. - but his first days were thrilling!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

It's the White House calling
In this era of tweets and texts, the White House of President Donald Trump, ever respectful of tradition, is bringing back the personal phone call. For example, Steve Bannon, the president's chief strategist, by telephone told The New York Times' Michael Grynbaum that his paper and "the elite media got (the 2016 presidential election) dead wrong, 100 percent dead wrong."
Friday, February 3, 2017

Black and Blue America
On Aug. 9, 2014 Michael Brown, a black 289 pound 18-year-old, was fatally shot by a Ferguson, Mo., police officer after Brown robbed a convenience store. Every American who reads newspapers or watches television knows the Michael Brown drama. During the same year 126 police officers in the United States were killed. Can you name one?
Tuesday, January 31, 2017

DeVos should have said
Donald Trump's nominee for secretary of education, Betsy DeVos, probably survived the grilling she got from angry Democrats recently.
Tuesday, January 31, 2017

In Oneida County, all hands on deck
As local lawsuits go, the sheer magnitude of the civil suit filed by former resident Linda Harding against Oneida County officials is jaw-dropping.
Friday, January 27, 2017

You're hired!
In 1998, the state of Wisconsin enacted a "mining moratorium" law. The law requires a company applying for a mining permit to prove that a similar mine has operated for 10 years and been closed for 10 years without the pollution of groundwater or surface water - the mine could be located anywhere in the U.S. or Canada.
Friday, January 27, 2017

The opposition's very wrong first step
In the 1980s, President Ronald Reagan instructed Haley Barbour - his White House political director and a future Republican Party chairman and governor - on building a winning coalition: "The person who agrees with you 80 percent of the time is a friend and an ally - not a 20 percent traitor."
Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Memo to Meryl: a simple thank you would have sufficed
By now Meryl Streep's well-rehearsed performance at the Golden Globe awards may feel like old news. But like so much of Streep's work, it stays with us long after the show has ended.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Inauguration Day
Today, Donald Trump is being sworn in as the 45th president of the United States, and we should take the time to pause and mark it together as fellow citizens of the greatest country on Earth.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Trump's first week
Donald Trump will be busy Friday.

He and Mike Pence have promised, Mother Jones magazine points out, that on Trump's first day in office he will repeal Obamacare, end the "war on coal," expel illegal immigrants, begin construction of a "beautiful Southern border wall," fix the Department of Veterans Affairs, come up with a plan to stop ISIS, get rid of "gun-free zones," "start taking care of our ... military," withdraw from the TPP trade agreement, cut regulations and designate China a currency manipulator.

OK, much of that was probably just campaign talk. I'm grateful for that. I hope some of it never happens.

Friday, January 20, 2017

We need tax reform, not tariffs
If America's competitors intentionally tried designing a tax system to destroy the American economy, they probably couldn't come up with a better plan than the way the United States currently taxes its own businesses.
Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Worst of Times
Now that I no longer do a weekly TV show, I have more time to read my local paper. Sadly, that's The New York Times.
Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Good chief, bad policy
We've all seen the routine in movies where there is a friendly cop and a badgering cop, but in Minocqua this routine is called something else. Here, we don't say, 'Good cop, bad cop,' we call it 'good chief, bad policy.'
Friday, January 13, 2017

When government suppresses science we all lose
It was reported last week in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources had substantially edited a web page about climate change in the Great Lakes region by deleting long-standing references to climate change and its relationship to human activity.

Friday, January 13, 2017

2016's biggest loser: Big Green
The day after the presidential elections, Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club, glumly called the Donald Trump victory "devastating for our climate and our future." Well, yes, if you're a climate-change alarmist who hates fossil fuels, you're in for a bad four and maybe eight years.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The Trump years
Two more weeks until the new administration begins!

I wonder if President Donald Trump will stick to his campaign promises - like reducing immigration and slamming consumers by imposing a 35 percent tariff.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Two cheers for Michael Schiek
We're never shy about telling things like they are, nor do we hesitate to admit when we're wrong, and it's the latter we are doing this week.
Friday, January 6, 2017

Natural resources policy needs bold change
Have you ever met someone who wants to destroy air and water? We haven't.

Friday, January 6, 2017

A real email scandal - and Trump's hypocrisy
For well over a year, Donald Trump ranted constantly about the woman he smeared as "Crooked Hillary," insisting that her alleged disclosures of classified information - although unintentional, harmless and ultimately deemed innocent by the FBI director - were serious felonies for which she ought to be sent to prison. "Hillary Clinton's corruption is on a scale we have never seen before," he sputtered. "We must not let her take her criminal scheme into the Oval Office."

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

King Henry VIII pays us a royal visit
It's a good thing to be king, holding court high in a gold tower. And the 45th American president, Donald Trump, reminds me of one English Tudor king, known for his reddish hair, huge body heft, six wives of various nationalities and, um, forceful personality.
Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Did I say that? I apologize
For your semi-faithful correspondent, 2016 has been a 12-month exercise in humility. I apologize to you, gentle reader, for the errors - all unforced - to which I subjected you.
Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Donald Trump's choice
America's socialists - I mean, progressives, are enraged that President-elect Trump chose Betsy DeVos to be his secretary of education.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

A chance for a new start at the DOT
A few years back, this newspaper called upon Gov. Scott Walker to fire DOT secretary Mark Gottlieb. (subscriber access)
Friday, December 30, 2016

Hunters questioning 30 percent increase in Northern Region buck kill
This thing about registering deer electronically should be fairly straightforward, right?

A phone call or a punch of the "enter" key should equal one deer. I get it. I think most hunters do, too.

But, remember, we're talking deer here - and maybe to a lesser degree timber wolves - so you know what that means.

There is no easy button.

Friday, December 30, 2016

The right way to do infrastructure spending
Back in early 2015, oil and gas company ConocoPhillips requested a permit from the Obama administration to launch an oil-drilling project in Alaska.
Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Close them down!
Donald Trump is appointing good people - Andy Puzder, for example, Trump's nominee for labor secretary.
Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Donald Trump's death panel
Not long ago, Americans learned that the average life expectancy for white people in this country - those most likely to have voted for Donald Trump - actually declined for the first time in many years.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

On the border: Is this our last chance?
In the interest of full disclosure I'm one of those who dwell in the basket of deplorables. I didn't sign up for that distinction. It was given to me because I fell in with a group of millions of citizens who were considered racists and sexists.
Friday, December 23, 2016

Of desperadoes and Russians
Back in 2009, just after Barack Obama was sworn in, the conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh opined that he hoped the new president would fail.
Friday, December 23, 2016

Crony capitalism for the people
When a politician does what he says he's going to do, you'd better get ready for the flak from the ideological and special-interest hacks.

And so it was that President-elect Donald Trump got both the Left and Right in a dither recently when he made good on his promise to save jobs - about a 1,000 of them, give or take - that Carrier Corporation, a division of United Technologies, said it was going to move to Mexico.

Friday, December 23, 2016

A blueprint for improving the public education system: Part 4
Testing students

Many administrators have turned to testing hoping that it will fix or help fix the failures in their schools.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

No lesson learned for LRES committee
When it comes to some local government officials, it's beginning to seem like you can't teach an old dog new tricks, although these tricks should have been taught a long time ago.
Tuesday, December 20, 2016

A strong leader
President-elect Donald Trump's first decisions were exciting. His new team seems to include good people like Betsy DeVos, Andy Puzder and Paul Atkins.
Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Delist gray wolf as endangered species
I have heard the voices of Wisconsinites who have real concerns about the increasing threat of our state's growing wolf population.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

A blueprint for improving the public education system: Part 2
Editor's note: This column was written by local resident D.W. Russler and has been broken into four parts for editorial purposes. Printed here is part two of four.

The COGS in the PES (Professional Education System) continued

3. The board and Superintendent

Since "board members" are responsible and accountable for carrying out the wishes of the people, they have to figure out how they are going to do it.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

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