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Finding North Without a Compass

A retired Army officer and retired Fortune 500 executive, Warren may be best known for making waves while serving on the Mequon Common Council and Ozaukee County Board. He's no longer an elected official, but he has plenty to say about local, state and national issues.

 

MEQUON'S ASSESSMENT FOLLIES

By this time all Mequon property owners have received the City Assessor’s Official Notice of their new assessment which is an estimate of the full (100%) "market value" of their property as of January 1, 2009. "Market value" is defined in the 2009 Wisconsin Property Assessment Guide as: "The dollar amount for which a property would be sold by a willing seller to a willing buyer under normal market conditions."

Considering single homes, including town house condominiums, it comes as no surprise that both the State and Ozaukee County are on the record stating that such properties lost value in 2007 and 2008 and a further reduction is forecast in the State’s Department of Revenue equalized value report due out in August 2009. The Wall Street Journal, however, reports that a small up-tick is underway in the nationwide home sales market thus far in 2009.

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AN "INGLOURIOUS" MOVIE

Quentin Tarantino’s latest movie, "Inglourious Basterds," is now playing at our North Shore Cinema.  My son invited me to see it with him and I accepted the invitation It was entertaining for its full 153 minutes, covering a time line from 1941 to 1944 during World War II. The locale was occupied France, after the German Army defeated the French and British, driving all organized resistance from western Europe.

Mr. Tarantino tells his story through a series of loosely related vignettes, centered around a group of Jewish-American soldier volunteers, led by Brad Pitt, who were inserted into occupied France to kill Nazis. While the stories are obviously fiction, as a student of military history, I found Mr. Tarantino playing loosely with the facts. Mr. Pitt, who assumes a corn pone accent as an Army Lieutenant leading the team, advocates killing Nazis without mercy and charges his team to each secure 100 scalps. While I have no sympathy with the Nazis of that era, their role in the German military was primarily in the Schutzstaffel (better known as the SS) which means in English, "Protective Echelon." Why then, does Pitt’s team zero in on the Wehrmacht Army personnel, mainly consisting of conscripted German youth who were not members of the Nazi Party? It made me cringe to watch a Wehrmacht Army Sergeant beaten to death with a baseball bat, because he refused to give up military information. I’ll venture that half of the audience who think water boarding is a venal sin, thought that beating a common German soldier to death with a baseball bat was okay. I thought if Pitt’s team wanted to kill Nazis, why didn’t they take on the Nazi SS? Where was Attorney General Eric Holder when we needed him?

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