66 results for author: Virginia Kirsch


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 ...

UNIVERSAL BASIC INCOME… ARE WE READY FOR IT?

Universal Basic Income (UBI) is an idea that has been around for a while. With automation replacing blue-collar and white-collar jobs, UBI is needed. Forty-eight percent of Americans favor UBI.Universal Basic Income is a simple system where the government gives people a set amount of money each month. Would UBI replace the safety net? Many details would need to be worked out. The system gives an equalizing floor from which all people start.How much per month? Some say $1000 a month, some say more and some say less. Child allowance could be $250 or $300 each month. In the late 1960’s President Nixon proposed this system as a “Family ...

REMEMBER DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.

Fifty years ago on April 4, Dr. King lost his life by an assassin’s bullet. Dr. King was an American Baptist minister and social activist. He led the Civil Rights Movement from 1954 to 1968. He used the tactics of nonviolence and civil disobedience in his work for the poor and the forgotten people.In 1964 he was given the Nobel Peace Prize. In 1968 a federal holiday was created to honor Dr. King. The Martin Luther King Jr. memorial was placed in the National Mall in Washington D.C. in 2011. He was honored in many good ways.However, his work is not done. His words live on. The best way to honor Dr. King is to remember his words and continue ...

SCHOOL SAFETY PLAN

Gov. Walker signed into law his school safety plan. The plan gives $100 million to keep schools safe. The plan offers competitive grants to all school districts for security improvements to school building and staff training. His plan does not include any mention of gun safety. This plan offers a one-time, limited pot of money for building security.What does the Wisconsin Chiefs of Police Association think of this proposal?Here are recommendations from the Wisconsin Chiefs of Police Association. “Do not arm teachers. We believe more harm than good would come of this.” “Do not have “armed guards” in schools. The ability to use ...

ENOUGH

In this busy season, when do we have enough? Do we have enough decorations on the tree? Have we sent out enough cards? Have we included enough people in our holiday parties? Have we bought enough gifts? When have we done enough?For a good perspective on this question, I would like to share Robin Wall Kimmerer’s experience as a teacher. Dr. Kimmerer was telling the Native American story about The Corn Spirit. The people always had enough corn to eat through the year. Then they got complacent and took it easy, neglecting care of the seeds and soil. That resulted in insufficient food to last through the winter.Students in her New York classroom ...