88 results for author: Virginia Kirsch


A history of Middle Wisconsin

In the cold dark days of February 2011, Act 10 was passed. That struck down many unions in Wisconsin. The teachers were demoralized.

CAN YOU CHANGE SOMEONE’S MIND?

 In this holiday season we will gather with family and friends, probably by zoom or phone. How do you keep your conversations from disputes and hard feelings? Amanda Abrams wrote a helpful article in YES. (YES, December 2020) She tells of people who were firmly convinced of one political persuasion and came to realize another view. What brings about deep changes? Researchers tell us not to look to facts. “People think they think like scientists, but they really think a lot like attorneys,” say Pete Ditto, a professor of psychological science at the University of California, Irvine. We develop our beliefs ...

WOMEN CELEBRATE 100 YEARS OF VOTING

 I walked to the 400 Block of downtown Wausau for the Celebration of White Women Voting for the past 100 years. People came in costumes from 100 years ago. People wore masks to deal with the current virus. Red, white and blue sashes added color to the white gowns worn by the “suffragists.” Katie Rosenberg, mayor of Wausau, talked about her great-grandmother writing letters to help women achieve the right to vote. Katie stands on the shoulders of the women before her, who paved the way for women’s right to participate in government. Barb Munson of Mosinee is a long-time activist. For years she has worked for ...

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 ...