Politics


Contaminated brownfields: how did it come to this in America?

Photograph of brown field with run down brown building
The business is long gone, the buildings removed but the aftermath is not.  Left behind is a “brownfield,” a nice word for a site contaminated with deadly poisons, and no one left to pay for clean-up if that’s even possible. And what to do with it once it is cleaned up? Another industrial site, another fence line community in the poorer part of town where the people of color live. There are thousands of brownfields all over America. How did it come to this? No one intended to damage the Earth and make humans sick. We blundered into it.

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Remediate contamination to meet housing need in Wausau

This plot is supposed to be zoned as residential. Due to an honest mistake it is labelled industrial and the City wants to go with that instead of pursuing opportunities for housing. But it’s no mistake that working Wausonians are hurting for safe and reasonably priced housing. We’ll need over 400 new residences by 2025.

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Wisconsin Legislature strikes mask order; Governor reinstates four hours later

Talk to your friends and neighbors; this is not a partisan political issue. It's an issue of what is right vs. what is wrong, and what is good vs. what is bad for the people in our communities and state.

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Abusing religious freedom

Freedom from religion is just as important to liberty as “prohibiting the free exercise” of any sect.

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Expectations of the U.S. presidency on this Presidents’ Day

All good Americans need to look at our leaders more critically, asking if we would want this person as our boss, as our public relations person, as the mouthpiece of our nation.

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Happiness, simplicity, and other worthy pursuits

Photo source: iStockThe other morning, while watching snow gently falling, outlining the lampposts and trees, I felt peace. More than that, I felt happy. Soon after, I found myself asking, “why can’t others find happiness in these simple things?” Of course other people do, but maybe not enough.Will, my significant other, has said to me, “sometimes I feel like asking people, ‘have you ever turned around to watch the sunrise?’”It is a question that should be asked of people who resort to violence. Surely there must be some deep unhappiness that ...

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Peaceful protest vs. sedition

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=8ithgUloNR8Video source: YouTube“Congress shall make no law… abridging... the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” -First Amendment“Sedition:incitement of resistance to or insurrection against lawful authority.” -Mariam-WebsterWe have a constitutional right to “petition the Government for redress of grievances.” Taking to the streets to object to, or advocate for, government actions is as American as apple pie.All through our history, no ...

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The common foe; the common solution

Photo source: Public Domain ImageWe are done being divided by the elites. We are done being distracted into hating one another. This is both a challenge and a hope.My family, my wife and I, our children, their spouses, and our grandchildren over the age of 18, probably canceled one another’s presidential votes this past election. Some voted for Biden, some for Trump. These are all intelligent people, they all have formal education beyond high school, and they all have the same concerns. They want a better life and a brighter future for themselves and their ...

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The time for Fair Maps is now

After the 2010 census, the Republican party that controlled the governorship, the state Senate and the Assembly hired a private law firm, Michael Best and Friedrich, to redraw with precision and in secret the legislative and congressional district maps to favor the party in control at that time. Keith Gaddie, a political science professor at Oklahoma University, was hired to engineer the district maps. Wisconsin taxpayers paid the law firm $431,000 to gerrymander the districts.A poll done by the Marquette University Law School (NPR, January 16-20, 2019) found: 72% of ...

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Journalism, politics and the scientific method

Photo source: Art by Jennifer J. DolanI have justifiably been called tangential. It comes from my ability to make seemingly random, sometimes obscure, connections between ideas. While this allows me endless hours of amusement it does not always help me communicate well with others. Please stick with me while I introduce myself by developing the connection between politics, the scientific method and why I support independent journalism.I grew up in rural California, far away from the beaches that many people associate with that state. Instead I grew up in the dry ...

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