174 results for author: Phil Anderson


WISCONSIN OLD GROWTH

"I always laugh that if we could have people lay down in the woods in a nice wind ...under some big pines and just listen to that hum that goes through those trees and watch those trees sway, that the peace that would be encountered would put a lot of psychiatrists out of work."  John Bates, naturalist and author When you sit on shore in the Boundary Waters soaking in the solitude, or view the Milky Way on a clear night, or listen to the hum of the wind in trees a thousand years old, you know how insignificant we really are. Nature has the ability to put our petty human lives in perspective and to renew one's spirit. My wife and I have ...

WISCONSIN SPECIAL ELECTION

Wisconsin will have a special election for the U.S. House of Representatives this spring. This election is important for many reasons. Democrats have an opportunity to take back the 7th Congressional District formerly held by Democratic Rep. Dave Obey for 40 years. The good news for Democrats is their candidate will not be facing Republican Rep. Sean Duffy. Duffy resigned his seat creating the need for the special election. Duffy had dominated the district since 2010 defeating five Democratic challengers. The bad news is many of the factors that led to Duffy's success (and are problems with our overall electoral process) are still in ...

SOLUTIONS TO THE RETIREMENT CRISIS: PART 3

“...as soon as 2025, as many as 30 million Americans, many of them originally middle class, will find themselves either poor or “near-poor.” From “How to Solve the Retirement Crisis: A Politico Working Group Report” “The great lie is that the 401(k) was capable of replacing the old system of pensions,” Gerald Facciani former head of the American Society of Pension Actuaries (quoted in the Wall Street Journal) Continuing our look at the retirement crisis, this article discusses several proposals to provide secure pensions to all workers. As the Wisconsin retirement task force considers action on this issue, ...

FIXING RETIREMENT: PART 2

 “When tens of millions of people all have the same problem, it’s not a failure of individual initiative.” Ganesh Sitaraman and Anne L. Alstott, law professors and authors In our last issue, we looked at why many people are not going to have enough money to retire. Wisconsin treasurer Sarah Godlewski is establishing a task force to study and make recommendations on retirement. This effort will likely not address all possible solutions in order to make its recommendations more politically palatable to the Republican-controlled legislature. But the people of Wisconsin need a full examination of all possible solutions. ...

FIXING RETIREMENT

"The reason they call it the American Dream is because you have to be asleep to believe it."  George Carlin, comedian Being able to retire with dignity and financial independence was once an anticipated and expected reward for a lifetime of work. But for many people this dream is not going to come true. Many people will not have enough to retire comfortably. Some people will not be able to retire at all. This decline in secure, adequate income for older persons will affect us all. It will have a negative impact on states, like Wisconsin and Minnesota, which have significant retiree populations. In Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers ...

KILLING THE MESSENGER

 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”  Mathew 5:10 In a recent article I wrote about the legislation in Wisconsin to increase penalties for environmental protesters convicted of trespass or damage to property. These laws are intended to harass and discourage public protests of “critical infrastructure.” Dissidents, reformers, and activists have always been denigrated as criminals, dangerous radicals, terrorists, or Communists. Criticism of the government (or business) is considered unpatriotic. There is a long history of governments beating, jailing, ...

Criminalizing Protest

Republicans in Wisconsin have introduced fascist legislation to increase penalties for protesting. These bills would impose excessively harsh criminal penalties for trespassing and damage to property when protesting “energy providers” and “critical infrastructure.” This is bad legislation and a threat to our civil liberties. When did we become Russia? Or, more accurately, a corporate dictatorship?Assembly Bill 426 and Senate Bill 386 would expand a 2015 law which makes it a felony to trespass on, or damage, property owned, operated, or leased by an electrical or gas company. The new proposals expand coverage to oil, water, electricity, and ...

REAL FREEDOM IS A UNION JOB

“Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost.”President Ronald ReaganOn Labor Day we remembered the sacrifice of union activists to improve the lives of all of us. We should remember that unions and the labor movement helped build the middle class in America. They brought us the weekend, healthcare, retirement, work place safety, and many other employment standards. Unions have also contributed, along with many other social justice advocates, to making “freedom” more than just a platitude. They give some reality to our over-hyped rhetoric on individual liberty. “True individual freedom cannot ...

THINNING THE HERD

“Either we limit our population growth, or the natural world will do it for us...”  David Attenborough, British naturalist producer of nature documentaries. “Reproductive rights are an environmental issue.”Center for Biological Diversity There is a cartoon that shows deer in the woods with a sprawling, traffic jammed, polluted city in the background. One of the deer is saying, “Let me get this straight, it is our herd that needs thinning?” The current world population is 7.7 billion and is increasing by 82 million each year. Estimates say it will reach 10.9 billion by the end of the century. Whose herd ...

Homegrown Tomatoes

The best things in life are free. We went to the beach this week. The weather was perfect and the clean, clear water of Lake Superior was not too cold for swimming. I was reminded of how precious the lake is for all of us and how important it is to keep this resource pristine. A perfect summer day by the big lake is priceless.Summer also brings good things from the garden. Rhubarb, strawberries, blueberries, cucumbers, fresh peas, fresh greens, and vine ripened tomatoes that you can't buy in the store at any price. These aren't free. There is a lot of work that goes into raising them, but they taste a lot better than the corporate, shipped-f...