68 results for author: Virginia Kirsch


The Dangers Of Tar Sands Oil – In Wisconsin

Tar Sands Oil is coming to Wisconsin. Last Thursday the state DNR approved an air permit to triple the capacity of the pipeline between Superior and the Illinois state line.Construction could start as soon as Friday on three new storage tanks near Superior.Environmentalists are not happy with this decision. The DNR received 200 written comments and 3400 e-mails asking for a complete environmental review of the project. However, the DNR decided not to do the complete review.This pipeline has been used since 2009 and now carries 400,000 barrels of oil a day. By the year 2016 Enbridge (operator of the pipeline) would like to ship three times ...

ON THE BOOKSHELVES . . . The Dumbest Generation

"The Dumbest Generation" is a book written by Mark Bauerlein, a professor of English at Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia. It was published in 2008. In cybertime, that is a long time ago!The title almost kept me from reading this book, until a friend reminded me of the subtitle:How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future (Or, don’t trust anyone under 30).This book examines the intellectual life of young people. You hear of the top high school student, overworked, overscheduled and yet maintaining perfect grades, “aiming for HYP (Harvard-Yale-Princeton).” But they are the exception.Most young people ...

Rocketship Is Not Rocket Science

A chain of charter schools called Rocketship started in California and has now come to Wisconsin. Rocketship Southside Community Prep opened in Milwaukee in August 2013, and Rocketship plans to open seven more schools in the city with 4000 students by 2018 according to the organizations website http://rsed.org/ . In the next five years, the company plans to open eight school-chains in seven cities and expand enrollment to 30,000.Rocketship is a low budget operation “that relies on young and inexperienced teachers, that reduces curriculum to near-exclusive focus on reading and math, and that replaces teachers with online learning and digital ...

WHAT DOES THE FARM BILL MEAN?

In February, the US Congress passed the Farm Bill in the amount of $958.6 Billion. This money will be spent in the next ten years. Its official title is the Agriculture Act of 2014. US farmers make up less than 2 per cent of the population. Why do they receive so much money?According to the Wisconsin Farmers Union, this legislation is really about food and nutrition. Seventy per-cent of the funds will support SNAP, WIC and the U.S. school lunch program. SNAP is the federal food stamp program, now called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. WIC is the public health program: Women, Infants and Children.Thirty per cent is used for farm ...

WORKERS OF THE WORLD…MARCH!

May 1 is known as May Day and also as International Workers’ Day. Workers march in parades all over the world. It is a day we celebrate the workers of our country and express our gratitude to them for building our nation and keeping it running.On May Day, 2012, thousands of workers marched in New York City to protest the state of the economy and the widening gap of the rich and the poor. In 2014, we remember our workers and continue to push for an increased minimum wage…up to $10.10. There are now 25 states that have increased their minimum wage.Here are other ways to celebrate May Day:+Thank the workers in your family and in your ...

Why You Can’t Do Social Justice Alone

Last summer’s California drought caused severe water shortages. That resulted in higher prices of grain which increased the price of beef. Therefore fast food places cut workers’ wages and the worker sent less money to his family in Mexico. In Mexico, people were dealing with that same drought, which caused immigration in the first place. Kristin Moe raises this issue in her article “Get Intersectional!” in Yes Magazine, April 2014.Who or what is to blame?  - - - Climate change? Labor policies? NAFTA flooding Mexico with cheap US corn? - - -  Probably everything. All issues are related. One action leads to another. No person lives a ...

Our Wisconsin Retirement System is #1 in the nation

The Wisconsin Coalition for Retirement Security (WCRS), a non-partisan coalition of labor and community groups, is standing up for our Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) and the retirement security for all Wisconsin workers.Our WRS “defined benefit” system. The benefit for retirees is known and defined in advance. Both employers and employees pay into the pension fund. The funds are well-managed by public employees, who work for public salaries. They do not receive commissions for managing our retirement funds. There is no gender discrimination in the WRS. Women receive the same amount of pension as men. Retirees under WRS can count on receiv...

Money Out….Voters In

In January 2010 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Citizens United vs FEC (Federal Election Commission). The U.S. Supreme Court in a 5 to 4 decision ruled that corporations are persons and have the same rights to free speech.This allowed corporations and foreign countries to give unlimited amounts of money to any candidate without being identified. In the past four years, a wealthy few people and many corporations have been buying our democracy on all levels: local, state and national.Many groups have been working toward amending the US Constitution to overturn the Citizens United ruling. The past four years show impressive results:Sixteen ...