Wisconsin’s Office of Privacy Protection

The Office of Privacy Protection housed at the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection opened earlier in 2006 to deal with the growing issues of identity theft and fraud. As these problems continue to grow, it’s nice to know that there is a source at the state level to help victims of identity theft. I know that it can be slow-going at times, but I find it at least somewhat useful to know that Wisconsin is serious about combating this problem.

Racine Journal Times: ID theft is growing, but there is help

More on sales tax initiatives

If there is one thing to be said about sales tax, it’s that people really don’t like them at all. As I’ve stated, I’m no major fan of them either. Although the following editorial voices opposition to Senator Erpenbach’s (D-Middleton) proposal to re-evaluate and expand the sales tax, it does offer another viable option: join the Streamlined Sales Tax Project.

Wisconsin reported significant decreases in sales tax collections just a few years ago when the shopping on-line took off. This proposal does not introduce new taxes, but instead enforces the current tax laws. I think it makes perfect sense for Wisconsin to pass legislation to adopt this initiative. In the long run, it will help reduce the overall state tax burden. But I still also encourage the Legislature to review the current sales tax exemptions for frivolous goods and services.

Wisconsin State Journal editorial: Reject expansion of state sales tax

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Doyle urges uniform sales tax rules

Merry what?

About three-and-a-half years ago, I turned my back on religion and chose to live my life as someone that does not believe in a god or some higher power. I did so because of two reasons: first, I did not like the false justification of one’s religion over another’s to assert one’s agenda. Second, I realized that I was not taking full accountability for my own actions, even though they were entirely my own.

So over three years later, I still stick by my decision. However, I also understand that other people have their beliefs, and I respect them for that. But when someone wishes me a “Merry Christmas,” I don’t get upset. Heck, I even say it once in a while.

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Legislator gives up sick pay

Senator Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) announced that she will return about $45,000 in sick pay that can be converted into a retirement health benefit credit. On November 25, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel broke the story about how Wisconsin legislators have been building up sick pay instead of using it appropriately.

Although I do not typically agree with Senator Darling’s political decisions, I give her a lot of credit for her decision on this issue. I think it shows that she has integrity and is willing to do what is right for the taxpayers. I hope more state officials realize the importance of Senator Darling’s actions and this issue.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Darling to give up sick pay

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Lawmakers bypass sick days

Redesigning my Web site – 2006

I’ve “reloaded” my Web site, as indicated by the subtitle in the header. I’ve adopted WordPress as my primary content management system (CMS) and blogging tool, and have taken out a number of pages and elements. It’s a work in progress, but I’ve dedicated some time to this project.

As with any project, there is always a list of up-front work that must be done before jumping in and just doing it. And implementing the work also requires following a plan of attack (typically called a project plan). Even though this is a personal Web site, even I approached this using the project management skills that I developed during my time in my current position.

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Major snow dumped

Although I don’t live in southeast Wisconsin, I read that they received over 9 inches of snow this morning. Although this is not as significant as snow in other places, it’s hard to imagine that we were enjoying mild temperatures just days ago. Even my little city received just a couple of inches of snow today and experienced strong winds tonight. So it seems official: winter is finally here. And as an added bonus, I’ve posted an article about driving safely in the snow.

Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: Newswatch – Snow’s wallop felt across region

Wisconsin DOT: Safe winter driving tips