Ronald Reagan

Ronald Reagan

The Cold War Comes Home

Recently Roger Kimball, writing for the Wall Street Journalabout the 30th anniversary of Ronald Reagan’s 1988 address at Moscow State University near the “end of the cold war,” remarked, “it is worth recalling both Reagan’s celebration of freedom and his understanding of democracy. ‘Less a system of government,’ he said, than a ‘system to keep government limited, unobtrusive: a system of constraints on power to keep

President Donald Trump

President Donald Trump

politics and government secondary to the important things in life, the true sources of value found only in family and faith.’ ”

For generations we have comforted ourselves with the happy thought that the “cold war is over,” that theKorean peninsula is just one sad exception.If this be so, why has everything in our own country, from football and cake decorating to gaseous cow emissions, become occasion for trial by combat, combat that could well result in your local SWAT team stopping by for a midnight chat about political “collusion” or wet land “violation?”This used to be the stuff of satire or paranoid delusion. Far from being over, it appears that the cold war has come home.

What happened to our “system to keep government limited, unobtrusive?”

Could it be that the wars of varying temperatures between individual freedom and the power of the stateare never over—that any failure to maintain a “system of constraints on power,” leaves us vulnerable to imperial presidents, autocratic judges, arrogant bureaucrats, powerful special interest groups, or rabid mobs of people like us?

It is a sweet irony to watch President Trump use presidential power to pry the fingers of the unelected bureaucratic state from our necks. We love the subsequent flowering of the economy and its unprecedented employment numbers. But this moment will pass unless our representatives in Congress do their job of making the rules of the game and stop enabling thousands of individual referees and agencies to make up the rules as they go along.
Congress can’t do its job if half of the Senate, as epitomized by Senator Baldwin, is dedicated to nothing more than resisting anything other than crowning of a Democrat emperor.

We face conflicts on the Korean Peninsula, in the South China Sea, in Iran, Afghanistan, and Syria, but the most importantis the conflict taking place in our own country. We needn’t choose between rule of the mob or that of powerful presidents and bureaucrats as the left would have us believe. Rather, we must return to the rule of law devised by representatives of the people, who themselves are limited by the rules clearly stated in the Constitution.
What was true 30 years ago is true today. All branches of our constitutional republic must work to rebuild that “system of constraints on power to keep politics and government secondary to the important things in life, the true sources of value found only in family and faith.”

Art DeJong, Sheboygan
6/10/2018

Chappaquidick

Chappaquiddick

In a trailer to promote the movie “Chappaquiddick”, the incident involving Ted Kennedy is billed as a cover-up. It was a unique cover-up for the time because it had the assistance of the news media who conspired by not digging harder for the facts.Indeed, there was still enough information available that any news junkie with a little common sense knew that Ted Kennedy was guilty of much more than “Leaving the scene of an accident.” By ignoring the implications of abandoning Mary Jo Kopechne to die in a submerged car, Kennedy’s political supporters allowed their hero to continue his career as if nothing happened.

After the Clintons and Obamas are deceased, there will be another expose’ involving the Clintons, Obama, and Russian Collusion. The plot will be even more intriguing and riveting than“Chappaquiddick”. There will be FBI obfuscation, a corrupt Justice Dept., and the Clinton Foundation. The Trump character plays the part of a president who stepped into a rat’s nest of deep state liberals trying to undo his election to avoid exposing their illicit activities. As with “Chappaquiddick”, this movie will be about a cover-up because traditional media refuses to investigate the leads. Again, there are enough facts out there for anyone with common sense, a little curiosity, and a willingness to look past the liberal media to figure out what is not being reported. The Clintonites and Obamanistas are burying their heads in the sand by refusing to look at anything but what the fake news outlets want them to see. When the movie eventually debuts, uninformed leftists will be totally amazed when they go to the theater and find out what really happened. And what a thriller it will be!

Dennis Gaspar, Plymouth
5/4/2018

Anger

Fighting Hatred and Anger With Logic and Facts

Recently voters in Madison and Milwaukee turned out in mass to elect an obscure liberal judge to Wisconsin’s Supreme Court. Governor Walker has received flack for suggesting that Republicans should respond to liberal “hatred and anger” by focusing on positive achievement. “What hatred and anger?” they ask.

What other than hatred and anger could motivate so many people to vote against their own self-interest? I wonder. True, Madison, where the chief employer is government, lives on money extracted from the rest of the state, but Madison residents must realize that a booming economy will generate more money to extract. Even students cloistered in Madison should understand that more jobs and careers generated by a dynamic, free economy are really good things. Madison professors may preach the glories of socialism where everybody in some way works for government, but they themselves would never line up to immigrate to socialist paradises like North Korea and Venezuela. Booking a cruise to Cuba, where they can view victims of socialism from the back seat of a vintage, 1952 Cadillac, like visiting royalty, is one thing. Living it, quite another.

And why, if not for hatred and anger, would the good citizens of Milwaukee, the one place in the state where violent crime is out of control thanks partly to soft on crime liberal judges, turn out in in such numbers to elect a liberal Supreme Court judge? Even downtown millennials must realize that real urban revitalization comes from dynamic small businesses and large corporations like Foxconn, not taxpayer grants squeezed out of the rest of the state. They should know what liberal Supreme Court judges can do to abort a dynamic, free market economy, the life blood of a booming city.

Of course, the relentless hatred and anger leveled at our president every day is designed to build a toxic blue wave of hatred against President Trump that will sweep Republicans from office. Hatred has the power to blind people to their own self-interest and to the tide of reforms that already have raised everybody’s boats.

While soft spoken Walker is a harder guy to hate, who can forget the blue fist? While schools in Wisconsin have never been so well funded and while principals now can actually fire bad teachers, the last Supreme Court race has shown that the ACT 10 button still has the power to reignite the old Walker derangement syndrome in otherwise normal people working in a decent profession.

If hatred is necessary to get out the vote, state Republicans, who simply kept their campaign promises to reduce taxes and regulation and energize the economy, will be gone, and all of us back in the hot seat. Can anyone so soon forget the 9% unemployment, the boarded up factories, the empty apartments? We must not let the hatred and anger orchestrated by identity politics make us forget that we are all in this game together.

Art DeJong, Sheboygan
4/19/2018
Conservative Michael Screnock

Conservative Michael Screnock

Why I am Voting for Judge Michael Screnock

Fairness and equality are the buzzwords that I often hear from liberals. There is no Republican that would deny these rights to anyone regardless of race, gender or creed. But equality and fairness cannot be forcefully implemented by redistributing the assets of the wealthy and the working class without job killing results that would adversely affect the poor and minorities. Equality begins and ends with the Rule of Law. That is an American ideal where our citizens from every background are treated equally before the law. Our judiciary must resolve disputes based not on their opinion but upon the law as written in the constitution and as legislated by our local, state and federal governments. Police must monitor neighborhoods and make arrests based solely upon what a person is doing, not who he is. It would be counterproductive to elect to the Wisconsin Supreme Court a person like Rebecca Dallet who when talking about the rule of law stated that her opponent, Judge Screnock “was talking about all this rhetoric about rule of law garbage.” With that mindset, Dallet is summarily unfit to be a judge because she intends to arbitrarily create her own laws from the bench. That makes her a proponent of a privileged class that can change laws at will to suit their selfish interests. Judge Screnock, on the other hand, believes that judges must adhere to the laws of the land and treat everyone equally when interpreting the law without regard to his personal beliefs. That kind of equality creates a level playing field for all racial, ethnic and gender groups, not the leftist equality that favors a small ruling class and makes the rest of us all equally poor. I will be voting for Judge Michael Screnock on April 3.

 
Dennis Gasper, Plymouth
3/20/18

Programming Has Done Nothing To Eliminate Poverty

In a letter made public by Reverends Sarah Moore Nokes, Willie Brisco, they speak for a coalition of faith-based and anti-poverty groups who are setting a goal of cutting poverty in half within ten years in Wisconsin. In their letter, they propose no long-term remedy. Unbelievably, their dissertation includes a false premise: “growing up in poverty lifelong damaging consequences”.

Growing up in the 50’s, I know plenty of folks who escaped poverty. The consequences of poverty were that people learned to be thrifty, get educated and to take control of their lives. Poverty does not lead to criminal activity. Crime and corruption are what leads to poverty. If this coalition is truly interested in ending poverty, they must begin by changing the crime culture in the cities and elsewhere.

Escaping poverty requires a safe neighborhood. An obvious observation but not by the Progressive Democrats in charge of most cities. Next, the children need to be educated in a disciplined environment in language, math, science and history. Instead, children are placed in a disruptive environment and taught tolerance, climate change and white privilege. This is also obvious, but not to the Progressive Democrats who are running the schools.

Third, the Great Society programs begun in the 60’s and expanded since have done nothing to eliminate poverty. Instead, poverty was institutionalized and people demoralized, especially in the inner cities. Sadly, the writers are so condescending to the poverty class that they don’t believe that people living in crime-laden city neighborhoods can raise themselves “by their bootstraps”.

With such low expectations of minoritiesand the poor; crime, illiteracy and the resultant child poverty will continue unabated without regard to tenyear goals.

Dennis Gasper,
Plymouth

12/31/17

A New Year’s Resolution

Every January members of each county Republican Party meet in a “caucus” to set the course for the year.

In 2014 the Sheboygan County caucus resolved, among many things, that government “stimulate the economy by cutting unnecessary programs, unneeded regulation, . . .” In 2015 it urged “government at every level” reduce or end “ unproductive regulations, . . .” In 2016 it addressed a root of the over regulation problem, calling on Congress “to take back the authority that it has ceded to the administrative state and to institute a policy of legislative review that will enable it to veto any and all regulations that do not reflect the intent of Congress.” In 2017 it urged Congress stop nibbling around the edges, calling on them to delete entire agencies and bureaus, and “devolve to the states or remove from the federal agenda policies and programs that do not comply with the 10th amendment.”

As we enter the New Year and approach this year’s caucus, we are heartened by the recent WSJ editorial, The Great Rules Rollback:
It begins, “Amid the debate over tweets and tax reform, perhaps the most significant changes brought by the first year of the Trump Presidency has been overlooked: reining in and rolling back the regulatory state at a pace faster than even Ronald Reagan. This is a major reason for the acceleration of animal spirits and faster economic growth in the past year.” It documents President Trump’s dramatic regulatory rollbacks and credits Congress “with unprecedented use of the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to nullify 14 Obama era rules,” rules “that spared Americans from 3.7 billion in costs and eliminated 4.2 million hours of paperwork . . . .” The editorial concludes, “But the far larger impact is lifting the pall of government hassle and arbitrary enforcement from business. . . . The deregulation effort ranks with judicial confirmations and tax reform as the main Trump achievements of the year.”

This rules rollback is not just a win for the President; it is a big win for our country and for the county caucuses that, for years, have begged Congress and the President to limit the power of our regulatory state.

At a time such as this, our representatives need our encouragement. Resolve this year to join the party and attend our January 26 caucus. It will be more than a celebration of victories in Madison and now in Washington; it will be an opportunity to provide direction and support for the work that must yet be done. If not now, when?

Art DeJong
Sheboygan

12/31/17

Most Attendees At NOAA Forum Spoke Against National Marine Sanctuary

Look what I read in the Sheboygan Press. "Dissenters Derail Sheboygan NOAA Lake Michigan Marine Sanctuary Forum."

What? I arrived at 4:00 pm for the 'Facts Forum' that was to start at 6:30 pm. I did not want to miss one thing and I feel I did not miss one thing. The headline in The Sheboygan Press was a bit misleading as I feel "we were not what they bargained for and I feel we made an impact." At the end of the 45-minute forum, the moderator allowed questions and answers. This event was open to the public and it is true that the clear majority of attendees were AGAINST the Marine Sanctuary. One lady stated "we do not want NOAA putting a legally restrictive area around 1,200 square miles of Lake Michigan and controlling it. We welcome any educational programs for residents of Wisconsin and working with the Wisconsin Historical Society, but stay out of the lake."

An overwhelming response of clapping and cheering followed. One gentleman asked for a show of hands of those who do not support the National Marine Sanctuary. About 85% of the attendees raised their hands. Now add 25 empty seats to that number! I will never forget the look on the panelists' faces as they fell and turned ashen. One presenter on the "facts forum" told us "we were flat out wrong." This indicates that this was not a facts forum at all. Shortly after that, the microphones malfunctioned and we were told the forum was over, half an hour early. This is only a short version of what happened. I know hundreds of you reading this are going to say you never heard of any of this going on. If you want to learn more about big government wanting control of our beautiful Lake Michigan from Mequon all the way up to Two Rivers, stay tuned. We were told by Russ Green on 9-25-17 that "the video should be uploaded shortly." The video is still not available to the public. May I ask "do we think this is a video that NOAA would like to see vanish?"

Pat Schutt
Sheboygan Falls

10/9/17

Intolerant Dems, Media Oppose Trump

It is very unusual for a political party to vote as a solid block. Republicans certainly do not. Respectful of the results of the presidential election, Obama’s appointments were reluctantly confirmed by the Republican-controlled Senate. It is not unusual for Republicans to join Democrats in passing legislation.

The same can’t be said of Democrats. Whether it is state politics such as the debate on Act 10 in 2011, or President Trump’s judicial appointments and legislation, Democrats can often muster 100 percent of their caucus in opposition. What is the glue that holds the Democrats so tightly together? Is it their common goals and policy desires? Is it social equity? Is it opposition to racism, sexism, homophobia? Nope, nope and nope. It is fear.

Like everyone else, Democrats can see firsthand the ability of their party to extinguish someone’s political career. Just watch how President Trump’s words and actions are twisted into pretzels by the liberal press. No matter what he says or does, he will be castigated, demagogued and intentionally misunderstood. If Trump’s base of support is swayed by the rhetoric spewed daily in the fake news, he will be taken down like they took down President Nixon. The cabal that is going after Trump can easily be turned against any Democrat who strays from the party narrative. Any offending Democrat will be destroyed by the intolerant enforcers of progressive dogma who control the media, academia and funding.

For a Democrat to oppose this cabal is a political death sentence. Democrats either become pawns of the progressive power brokers or suffer the consequence, which is to lose financial and media support in any bid for political office. Fear of the beast they uncaged is what guides Democrats in their political decision-making.

Dennis Gasper
Chairman, Republican Party of Sheboygan County
Plymouth

8/27/17

Marine sanctuary 'a house of cards built on nothing'

The Sanctuary’s proposed western boundary is the ordinary high water mark (OHWM) which is inland from the water’s edge, as much as hundreds of feet in some areas. A group of concerned riparian owners such as myself has researched NOAA’s proposal. I read hundreds of pages including proposed regulations, the draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Sanctuary, financial statements and two economic studies of Alpena, MI, (home of the Thunder Bay Sanctuary), the National Marine Sanctuary Act, litigation against NOAA and research on NOAA’s conduct in other Marine Sanctuaries. We visited Alpena where we interviewed business owners and citizens; read every public comment submitted to NOAA; and filed numerous FOIA requests.

After amassing this information, it became obvious that there are serious problems with the proposed Sanctuary which will affect every user of the Lake and its shoreline, and every unit of government.

The Definitions in the proposed Regulations are alarming. NOAA gives itself powers to protect far more than “shipwrecks” as people think of that word. NOAA defines “shipwreck” to include any “piece of debris . . . regardless of where taken, removed, moved, caught, collected or harvested.” [emphasis added] Thus, a “shipwreck” can be a piece of driftwood, beach glass or metal found anywhere. In Alpena, a NOAA employee took photos of and stopped a local organization from using their metal detectors on a public beach — before they found anything. In other Sanctuaries, this definition of “shipwreck” has interfered with prime fishing spots of commercial and recreational fishermen.

NOAA also gives itself authority over any “sanctuary resource” which includes “… “any living or nonliving resource of a national marine sanctuary that contributes to the conservation, recreational, ecological, historical, educational, cultural, archeological, scientific, or aesthetic value of the sanctuary.” NOAA uses airplanes and drones along the shoreline to find new sanctuary resources. NOAA ticketed a couple in a California Sanctuary who picked up beach rocks for “unlawful mineral extraction.” IFines for violation of NOAA’s overbroad regulations will be increased from Wisconsin’s $5,000 per violation to $130,000 per violation per day. To enforce regulations, NOAA uses numerous large ships, as well as federal agents on piers and beaches.

Marinas in four cities are grandfathered. All other activities will require federal permits of some sort, granted at the discretion of a federal bureaucrat. The National Marine Sanctuary Act allows NOAA to assess and collect fees for the conduct of any activity under a Special Use Permit, including “the fair market value of the use of sanctuary resources. “ [emphasis added] This gives NOAA the right to charge for activities we presently enjoy along the Lake. Our Lake Michigan public recreational areas will come under the control of a federal bureaucrat, which could mean permit fees and expensive project requirements. Beware the law of unintended consequences.

The Sanctuary’s claimed narrow focus is to “protect shipwrecks.” Shipwrecks are already protected by overlapping sets of federal and Wisconsin laws. The Sanctuary adds three more layers of federal law and regulation on top of the regulatory scheme already in place. NOAA never studied whether the shipwrecks need further protection. It proposes to do so only after the Sanctuary is designated. NOAA itself states that the Wisconsin Historical Society Marine Archeology Program, with its extensive educational, public outreach and on-line presence, does as good a job as NOAA itself is doing in Alpena. According to the Marine Sanctuary Act, a sanctuary should be proposed only in locations that cannot provide protection on its own. Wisconsin does in fact provide that level of protection. NOAA touts increased tourism as a reason to support the Sanctuary. NOAA states that the Sanctuary will create economic benefit but not SO much economic benefit as to create any additional infrastructure cost. NOAA wants it both ways, but offers no substantiation for either claim. To the contrary, Alpena, home to the Thunder Bay Sanctuary, spent $300,000 in 2014 on bridge and road repairs directly resulting from the location of the Sanctuary there. In 2012, the University of Michigan “finished an assessment on the sanctuary's economic impact in Alpena, Alcona and Presque Isle counties, concluding its potential is great” (twelve years after it was created)[emphasis added]. The only economic boon directly attributable to the Sanctuary is the spike in fuel sales to NOAA boats at the Alpena Marina. Many people I have met believe money for the Sanctuary would be better spent on the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which is correcting identified problems and is in danger of defunding.

Wisconsin Maritime Museum CEO Rolf Johnson may warmly welcome yet another maritime museum in Sheboygan. However, isn’t it is a colossal waste of tax money to support two maritime museums in neighboring small cities?

NOAA provides no budget for the Sanctuary - there is no accountability for taxpayer dollars. NOAA identifies five State agencies and five communities as “committed partners” to ensure the success of the Sanctuary. This potentially obligates them to make additional direct and indirect taxpayer dollar expenditures to the Sanctuary.

Our research shows that bringing in a federal presence will weaken, not strengthen, local civic organizations. We are inviting the 400 pound gorilla to the dance. Are we going to lead? Until now, the federal government has bullied its way through our community with a “sell job” that has deliberately omitted facts necessary to make an informed decision. The whole proposal is a house of cards built on nothing.

We welcome NOAA’s help and expertise. NOAA itself emphasizes Wisconsin’s strong educational and cultural maritime infrastructure. We deserve NOAA’s financial support without having to sell them Lake Michigan.

The good news is that this is not yet final. We deserve a real public debate on the issue — One based on discussion of costs as well as benefits.

The final decision rests with Governor Walker. If he does not sign, it does not happen. Make your opinion known to him today

Judith Perlman
Cleveland
The Sheboygan Press
July 20, 2017

Why preserve wrecks?

This whole business by the government of preserving the wreckage of ships under Lake Michigan and other waters does not make any sense to me.

I assuredly will not be diving down anytime soon to enjoy and study the history of the various wrecks in our area or elsewhere. I don’t even own a fin or a snorkel.

Now a federal agency called the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) wants to have control of the waters, shoreline and floor of 1,200 square miles of Lake Michigan along the Sheboygan, Manitowoc and Ozaukee coastline.

This, at a time when we already have layers of state and federal agencies with their noses poked into every facet of preserving our past.

I can imagine that this preservation of our shipwrecks will require government employees to don expensive gear and dive down to document the remains. Government employees doing that kind of work would make big money plus benefits plus hazardous duty pay. I will never get a chance to view the wreckage, not even in a museum because nothing will be allowed to be removed from the bottom of the Lake. For sure, I will be forced to pay for another extravagance and the expansion of the D.C. swamp.

What would it hurt if some adventurer grabbed a souvenir from a wreck? I surely wouldn’t notice. In fact, it might even end up in a museum where I would be able to enjoy viewing some early maritime artifacts. What’s it to me if these relics become part of someone’s personal collection? At least I wouldn’t have to pay for a boat, gear or his time.

Don’t hesitate to contact your congressman, senators, president and governor. This is about to happen.

Dennis Gasper
Plymouth
Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
7/2/17

A Call To Action

From: Scott Grabins, Dane County Republican Party Chair

As many of you know, my earlier days in political action revolved around an effort called Reach Out Wisconsin. Reach Out Wisconsin (ROW) is a non-partisan organization I helped create to encourage civil discourse on political issues. Although I turned the reins of the ROW over to others when I became Chair, I remain committed to the founding principles of that organization.

While I still believe in the mission of ROW, I can't ignore the reality of where we are as a nation. Last week we had a gunman target Republicans practicing to play a baseball game for charity. You would think this would be an opportunity for a nation to come together but unfortunately it hasn't. Too many liberals continue to cling to some equivalent of "Republicans asked for it" in the aftermath.

I didn't get into politics to drive a hard line. I absolutely believe in live and let live as a personal philosophy - somewhat libertarian frankly. Yet more and more I find that's not good enough for the liberals in our country and especially here in Dane County.

I can't simply accept how an adult chooses to express their sexual identity. Unless I embrace it, encourage my children to embrace it, and rearrange society to embrace it, I'm the bigot.

I can't believe in an individual's right to bear arms. Unless I recognize that Republicans asked for it when a gunman starts shooting then I'm a hypocrite.

I can't believe that climate change is more complex than blaming it on the industrial revolution. Unless I recognize the infallibility of Al Gore then I'm a 'science denier'.

It goes on and on but the bottom line is that there is no middle ground.

Furthermore, what we see on the national level today is nothing short of John Doe III. We lived through the John Doe and John Doe II investigations here in Wisconsin as liberals went after Governor Walker. It was a witch hunt then and it's a witch hunt now.

This is the logical application by liberals of a "John Doe" investigation on the national level as they go after President Trump now. Russian collusion, obstruction of justice, we just need to keep investigating until we find something! In a nutshell, as it was in Wisconsin, it's an investigation in search of a crime. They will not stop unless we beat them back as we did five years ago, first here in Wisconsin.

This is the reality we face today. We should continue to encourage civil dialogue but we can't stop fighting at the same time. We need to support the President's agenda, we need to support the President, and we need to keep fighting right here in Wisconsin for our beliefs. We need to not lose focus of what we have gained here and what we need to do to not lose ground in Wisconsin in the coming year.

We all have a role to play in this fight. Our role is right here in Dane County; right here on the front line of liberal extremism.