85 results for author: Virginia Kirsch


HISTORY OF JUNETEENTH DAY

 Juneteenth is short for June 19. It is the commemoration of the end of slavery in the United States. It was on June 19, 1865 that the Union soldiers, led by Major General Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free.  Many slaveowners had moved there with their slaves. President Abraham Lincoln had signed the Emancipation Proclamation in 1862, but the Civil War continued until May 9,1865. Texas was the most remote territory and the last to receive the news of freedom for black slaves. The 13th Amendment abolished slavery. It was passed by ...

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION DAY

March 16 is Freedom of Information Day. It is a day to commemorate people who have worked for the public’s right to know and to reinforce that right in our own lives. The Freedom of Information Act was suggested by John Moss, a Democrat elected to Congress in 1952 during the secrecy of the Cold War. He believed that “the present trend toward government secrecy could end in a dictatorship. The more information that is made available, the greater will be the nation’s security.” He worked for more than a decade to finally have FOIA passed and signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson on July 4, 1966. ...

THE BOMBING THAT STAYED A SECRET

We are all familiar with the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. This surprise attack killed thousands of soldiers and brought America into World War II. Have you heard of the bombs that were dropped on the wooded area of Brookings, Oregon in 1942?  Not many people know of this attack because no people were killed. However, the bombs did start fires in the wooded area. The pilot Nobuo Fujita traveled from Japan to the Oregon coast in a submarine. This was a secret mission. Not even Nobuo’s wife knew of this plan. The crew reassembled the wings on the plane. They loaded 168-pound bombs under each wing of the plane. ...

7th CD FAIR MAPS ON THE MOVE

FAIR MAPS met in Ladysmith, Wisconsin on January 11, 2020 to plan action to end gerrymandering in Wisconsin. The purpose for attending:  Make connections Contribute to the cause Non-partisanship Coordinate messaging Become educated on effective strategy Learn how to pass referendums Learn what we can do locally Contribute to advocacy Find partners How does gerrymandering affect Wisconsin:  Party in power controls everything Opportunity to rig elections Elections at the state level don’t matter Divides municipalities and communities of interest Negative effect on ...

INTO THE FUTURE, OR BACK TO THE FUTURE?

As we approach the beginning of a new year, you can find any forecast you wish, from negative to positive. You surely can find a forecast that suits you.I would like to share a view from Cameron Trimble: She tells the story of four rabbis. An angel visited them and carried them to the seventh Vault of the Seventh Heaven. There they beheld the sacred Wheel of Ezekiel.One Rabbi saw such splendor that he lost his mind and wandered about the earth in madness. He could not handle such splendor from the other world.The second Rabbi was very cynical and said that nothing had happened. He just dreamed about Ezekiel’s Wheel. That was ...

OPENING THE MEXICAN-USA BORDER

This past Tuesday, September 24 I had the grand opportunity to hear Nell Anderson talk about her time in El Paso, Texas where she worked with migrants. Nell is a former Wausau resident and Wausau School District employee. She went on a transformative awareness trip to El Paso, Texas with Abriendo Fronteras—Opening Borders. She met migrants and human rights advocates on both sides of the U.S.-Mexican border. In her group were people from Minnesota, North Dakota, Colorado, Oregon, and Wisconsin. They stayed in a mission center in El Paso. They worked very hard for the eight days they were there: buying food, ...

LOVE WINS OVER HATE

I had the incredible experience of hearing a former racist skinhead and a Sikh man share the same stage. They told their amazing story of how they met and became friends. They are now as close as brothers. The Veninga Lecture (September 23 at Wausau East High School) featured Arno Michaelis and Pardeep Singh Kaleka tell their stories.  Arno was a leader of a worldwide racist skinhead organization in the late 1980s and early 1990s the group that produced the shooter at the August 5, 2012 shooting at Oak Creek Sikh Temple. Arno turned his life around when he became the single parent of his 18-month-old daughter. The ...

LABOR DAY AROUND THE WORLD IN 2019

To celebrate Labor Day, look at what Labor is doing around the world.1. Australia celebrated its Labour (that’s the Australian spelling) Day in Queensland on May 6. Thousands of workers marched through the streets of Brisbane asking for a pay rise.Ros McLennan (Queensland Council of Unions) said that people are struggling to make ends meet. “They are stuck in labour hire, casual work or on sham contracts.” Many workers live paycheck to paycheck and can’t really plan for the future.2. Europe launched the results of its annual Global Rights Index (from International Trade Union Confederation in Geneva). Trade unionists were ...

WIND POWER: HOW SAFE IS IT FOR BIRDS?

Wind power is one of the sources of energy for our future. But how safe is it for birds and bats? Before I talk about the birds and bats, here are some other foes of birds. Pesticides kill 67 million birds a year. Autos kill 200 million birds a year. Outdoor cats kill 2.4 billion birds a year. The biggest long-term threat to birds and other wildlife is climate change. All of these foes are part of our current fossil-fuel society which is in the process of changing. Wind now supplies 6 per cent of our nation’s electricity which is enough to power 26 million homes. There are 59,000 turbines in 43 states plus ...

GOOD AND BAD FORMS OF POPULISM

You hear of populist leaders all over the world. Some work for the common good. Some work for private agendas. How can they all be populists?According to Luke Bretherton’s, book Christ and the Common Life: Political Theology and the Case for Democracy, there are good and bad forms of populism. He uses two terms: democratic populist and the antipolitical populist.The democratic populist works for the common good while the antipolitical populist rules by his own authority. The antipolitical populist throws out checks and balances in the government and pursues private self-interests.There are common traits for the antipolitical and ...