70 results for author: Virginia Kirsch


A HISTORY OF THE WALL

The first wall between Mexico and United States was not built to keep out people. It was built to keep out cattle.The first federally funded border fence between Mexico and United States went up in 1911. It was mean to keep out the ticks that came with the cattle from Mexico.Mexican cattle wandered over the southern border with “Texas fever” caused by ticks. This destroyed many cattle on both sides of the border. This increased the price of beef.A barbed-wire fence was put up but did not help very much. There have been repeated outbreaks of Texas fever, some as recently as 2017. The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture has “tick riders” on horseb...

A BRIEF HISTORY OF OUR WISCONSIN RETIREMENT SYSTEM

I have just checked WREA.net (Wisconsin Retired Educators Association) website and learned some interesting things about the history of our Wisconsin Retirement System.Did you know? In 1950 there were more than 85 public pension funds in Wisconsin and most of them were poorly funded? In the early 1950s, the average monthly annuity for a retired teacher was $35? In 1966, Wisconsin and Tennessee had the two worst public pension funds in the nation? Wisconsin now has one of the best retirement systems in the country? The Wisconsin Retirement System is well-funded at roughly 99.9%? That we have an automatic dividend process tied to invest...

WISCONSIN AND NICARAGUA ARE PARTNERS

Wisconsin and Nicaragua are partners. For fifty years, programs have provided assistance to people in Nicaragua of all ages. Programs help with natural resources and cultural diversity, with health and education.For fifty years, the Wisconsin/ Nicaragua partnership has shown that working together brings good results.Wisconsin and Nicaragua have commonalities:++Each approximately 57,000 square miles++Extensive stretches of coastline++Large inland lake++Valuable forest areas++Agricultural productionThe headquarters are in Nelson Hall of UWSP campus, Stevens Point. There is also a warehouse in Stevens Point that collects materials for ...

A CHILD SHALL LEAD THEM

A fifteen-year-old girl from Sweden is showing leadership to the rest of the world.When school began in the fall, Greta Thunberg did not go. She sat down on the steps of the Swedish parliament in Stockholm every morning. She stayed there the entire day.Her reason? If her country’s politicians couldn’t be bothered to fix the climate change, there was no good reason for her to study, because the world would not be livable.Her father is a well-known actor and her mother a famous opera singer. Greta spoke to the Climate Rally in Helsinki, Finland and then to London for the civil disobedience called Extinction Rebellion.She said, ...

What About the Caravan?

U.S. troops shot rubber bullets and tear gas at caravan members reaching the U.S. border. Why would people travel for one month to reach our border only to be fired upon?Let’s look at the beginning. In mid-October about 160 people began their long dangerous journey from San Pedro Sula, Honduras. This is is the center for gangs and drug trafficking. The 160 people decided to travel together for safety, as is often done in their land.By the time they reached the Guatemala border, more than 1000 people were in the caravan. By the time they reached Mexico, the caravan had more than 7000 travelers. People learned of this caravan through social ...

Implicit Bias

Implicit Bias is a term we hear a lot of these days. What is it? Why does it matter? What can we do about it?Andrea Huggenvik, executive director of YWCA, Wausau, spoke at a recent AAUW (American Association of University Women) meeting.She told us that a bias is an unconscious attribution of qualities belonging to a group. Without thinking, we react a certain way that has been pre-set in our brain. It would come under the category “we’ve always done it this way.”Implicit bias happens when our learned associations don’t match our values or knowledge. We are not aware of this happening. Without thinking or reflecting, when I hear a ...

I LOVE PUBLIC SCHOOLS AND GOOD ROADS AND I VOTE

We need to elect officials who will take responsibility for maintaining our public schools and roads. It is unbelievable that local school districts need to hold referendums for money to maintain schools.Seventy-five percent of Wisconsin people support public schools. They realize that public schools are the core of our community and our democracy. We ordinary people are responsible for our property. We take care of broken windows and leaky roofs. In the same vein, public officials need to understand that maintaining our public schools is the order of the day. School maintenance should be automatically on the state budget, not something that ...

WHOSE FREEDOM ARE WE CELEBRATING?

On our beautiful July 4 celebration of fireworks, picnics and watermelon, I wonder what kind of freedom we are celebrating. There are many versions of freedom, but two main ones operate in our nation. One is the progressive view and the other is conservative. Each side thinks it is right and the other will destroy our nation. I refer to George Lakoff’s THE LITTLE BLUE BOOK, for the following:Freedom, to the conservative, is based on a strict family model. The strict father is responsible for providing for himself and his own family, but is not responsible for anyone else. The wife follows the husband’s decisions.A conservative view of ...

POP-UP GROUPS FIX OUR BROKEN POLITICS

Pop-up groups also known as grassroots groups are showing up in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Ohio and North Carolina. Women from the ages of 30 to 70 are saying Enough is Enough to current politics. They are organizing at the local level and running for political office.The media outlets have just recently mentioned this new energy not in the rural or urban areas but in suburbs of Middle America. Since the election of Trump, women new to politics are forming groups. This is no leftist Tea Party or a repeat of Sanders versus Clinton. This is a new movement.The women are mainly college-educated white women in suburbs who are alarmed by the current ...

WORKERS’ MEMORIAL DAY CEREMONY

A wreath was placed on the Memorial for Workers in a recent ceremony at the Workers’ Memorial Park on River Drive in Wausau (next to the Farmers’ Market).There was a moment of silence for the workers killed in the recent helicopter crash as well as for people affected by the explosion in Superior, Wisconsin.Randy Radtke, president of the Marathon County Central Labor Council, gave opening remarks. Mayor Robert Mielke spoke on the importance of safety for all workers. Joel Lewis of Citizen Action and member of OPEIU Local 9 read a resolution from Senator Tammy Baldwin for improved worker safety.Nancy Stencil (member of AFSCME) and Joel ...