Sunday, February 26, 2006

Pretzel Logic / Warren Kraft

Father Carr was taken by ambulance to Aurora Hospital last Tuesday morning. He was complaining of chest pains and shortness of breath. Attendance at the men's shelter lunch that day was 12 with some residents at work, which means that about 15 men are being housed.

I have officially given up on the probe into the Omro High School student's claim that a government agency asked his parents why he was reading Mein Kampf.

Recent sign at St. Vincent de Paul store: " Who needs the Mall, We have it All." What a great store. Once or twice a month on a Monday they throw a half price sale and lucky people find gems such as Levis at 75-cents a pair. Such a deal! They do a lot of good for the community too. They provide rent 'kickers' for folks in need in return for volunteering at the store.

Bumper sticker seen at the intersection of Jackson and Algoma: "Ignore the Poor, We Want War, Bush '04".

Lawyer Jokes

My dad only knew one. It was about the fellow who graduates from law school, moves to a small town with no lawyers and hangs out his shingle. He allows a one year start-up time for his business. Six months in he is embarrassed and broke. Bills are mounting and he begins looking at other venues. At the eleven month point another lawyer moves in across town. Both lawyers are now doing well and have a thriving business.

Q: What do you call 20-lawyers at the bottom of Lake Winnebago?
A: A start.
Q: How can you tell when a lawyer is lying?
A: His lips are moving.

Here's my current favorite...A fairly wealthy fellow is on his death bed, has notions of 'taking it with him', and calls his three most trusted advisors to his side: his clergyman, his doctor, and his lawyer. After some prolonged good-byes he hands each one an envelope containing $500,000 in cash and instructs them to place the envelopes in his casket just prior to the funeral.

Several days later just before the funeral the clergyman, doc, and lawyer do just that. After the service they attend a meal at a local supper club and belly up to the bar. After a few beverages the clergyman says he has a confession to make. He tells the doc and the lawyer that he held back $150,000 and gave it to charity citing the 10% tithe rule. A few minutes goes by and the good doctor explains that he too removed some of the money. The doc says he gave half the money ($250,000) to AID's research. A few more minutes go by and the clergyman and the doc are looking at the lawyer. The lawyer looks back and exclaims: "How could you?" "That was his last wish and both of you broke it." The clergyman then looked straight at the lawyer and asked if he had indeed put the $500,000 in the casket. The lawyer said: "Of course!". He then explained that on the day he was given the envelope he went right to the bank and deposited it mentioning that only a fool would carry that much cash. He added: "On the day of the funeral I wrote a personal check for half a million and dropped it in the casket."

Wisconsin Open Records

This is a subject in which I have a level of expertise. A lifelong study of genealogy teaches a person to know and appreciate our open records law. These things change over time but I think the state has about 570 data bases and almost all are open for view including births, deaths, marriages, divorces, and even boat registrations. One of the few not open to public view are adoptions.

The concept behind the open records law is simple. It certainly doesn't take a lawyer to understand or explain it. I'll put it in my own words...

The premise...
Government IS the people.
People ARE the government.
Since the people are the government, the people have a right to know every transaction that takes place in government, since the government IS them.

The law...
EVERYTHING the government does shall be presumed to be open for public inspection.

Oshkosh City Council

I had the pleasure of attending a city council meeting recently and I didn't like what I heard. I heard Mr. Kraft, city atty., advise the city council that they could go into closed session regarding the Five Rivers development. I didn't think then and I don't think now that it met the absolute criteria necessary to go into closed session. One of the criteria has to do with competition. That is: Mr. X, Mr. Y, and Ms. Z, and Mr. Doig want the deal. There is NO Mr. X, Mr. Y, or Ms. Z! IT'S JUST MR. DOIG! Mr. Kraft, as city attorney, advised the council that it was OK to go into closed session. Mr. Kraft refused to wait a day or two to get an opinion from the state Attorney General's office. Mr. Kraft apparently doesn't put much stock in the opinions of those above him in the shark (food) chain.

A Stern Warning Mr. Kraft

You have lived in Wisconsin long enough to know that PRESUMPTION OF OPENNESS is absolutely vital to government, AND IT CAN'T BE THE OTHER WAY AROUND!

The folks who attend the council meetings are your boss Mr. Kraft and you are much closer than you think to losing that paycheck. Flaunting of the open records law is about as serious a breach as it gets. Even if the AG's office officially OK's that closed meeting it still isn't OK. The OPENNESS is PRESUMED FIRST, not after the fact.

My intuition told me to write about Mr. Kraft the day after the council meeting. I should have. My intuition was right!

Mr. Kraft needs to take a good look in the mirror and talk to himself about open records. If he can't come to terms with it maybe it's time to step aside and let someone do the job that is more in tune with what the government (i.e. people) wants.

Personalized plate on the car of a local downtown attorney: "SO SUE ME".


AngelAiken AKA Thee U.M.O.G said...

Wow!!! Nice job Gary, I am really impressed!

Anonymous said...

It is high time that Kraft must go!

eastside said...

so do i!

eastside said...

hellow everybody(aka/sadboy/bones
iam happy to have friends outthere

AngelAiken AKA Thee U.M.O.G said...

oh...found you! :)