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A history of Middle Wisconsin

MADISON, WI - FEBRUARY 18: Jesse Jackson speaks to thousands of union protesters opposing Governor Scott Walker's new budget bill at the Wisconsin Capitol on February 18, 2011 in Madison, Wisconsin. Photograph by Matt Apps
In the cold dark days of February 2011, Act 10 was passed. That struck down many unions in Wisconsin. The teachers were demoralized.

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Moving Forward in Wisconsin

Wisconsin state flag
In Wisconsin, the chauvinistic, conservative – and I would add racist – voice of the Republican legislature is obstructing just about everything good for people. A number of “clearly common sense” actions are being blocked or ignored by political leadership who – as Jimmy Carter once said about Republicans – “are men of narrow vision, who are afraid of the future.”

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Stepping back is hard to do

Cyclist copier, mimeograph machine
When you decide to step away from something you feel is important, it is much like when you have a sudden onset disability. The change in your life is disruptive. You find yourself itching for the old routine and sometimes slip into autopilot even months after. This is normal. These routines have been reinforced through years of training and it takes time to weaken the neural pathways you created in your brain. You will create new pathways as you build up a new routine. That is what our brain does.

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The fascinating hobby of moon study

Photograph of the full moon through a telescope
First, watch the full moon rise from the eastern horizon — preferably with binoculars. It’s fun to see the top ridge of the moon come up first, then the rest of the moon. Select an eastern horizon that is free of obstructions. Your horizon should be as clear as possible and as level as you can find.

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Too Lazy; Doesn’t Read (TL;DR)

Man throws book high into the air, text on right reads too long; didn't read
Originally this phrase was Too Long Didn’t Read or TL;DR. This expression was first used on me by someone I considered a friend. After looking up the new acronym, I was insulted and a little hurt. Well, not immediately. I knew that they were busy with school and had family issues that took up a lot of their time and mental capacity. Then it occurred to me that if in fact they were too busy or too tired, why did they take the time to even be where they could see what I wrote? After all, it is not as though I wrote it out in soup in the kitchen floor. So, they must have had another reason for taking the time to write those four letters. What could those reasons be?

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Moving forward on voting

Exterior ballot drop box.
Since Biden won the presidential election, Republicans have been waging a coordinated, unpatriotic war on democracy and voting rights. In Wisconsin, Sen. Ron Johnson and Rep. Tim Tiffany continue to repeat the blatant lies about “election fraud” and Biden stealing the election. GOP legislators in Wisconsin, and across the nation, are pushing bills to make voting more difficult.

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Working from home works

Photograph of someone sitting at a table with papers and computer working from home.
In the past year, many people have had their first go at working from home. Some people have ranged farther afield taking their tablet computers, cellular phones and laptops to more exotic locations like parks, beaches or even vantage points along highways just to take a break from being at home all the time.

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The road to poverty is paved with good intentions

Photograph of raised hands holding paper money.
As a proposed increase to the minimum wage became part of the COVID Relief bill, then later scrapped, my subconscious pointed out a flaw in my thinking. I had a vivid dream where I was talking to numerous business owners who are a part of our vibrant local food scene. Many of these restaurateurs, farmers, and value-added food producers make $50,000 per year or less while paying the current minimum wage, or slightly more. Paying workers based on a wage ratio limit would not necessarily guarantee a living wage, so in the dream they were asking me what they should pay. What would be a competitive pay rate?

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The purpose of government is to help

Franklin D. Roosevelt
There once was a story of America. It told of the aspiration of centuries of human struggle, of the glowing proof that people from every nation, every walk of life, every religious belief, could come together for the good of all. It told of a magnificent government – of, by, and for the people. It was a story of hope, fairness and respect, a story of community, of caring for one’s fellow man, a story of all the best that humans could be.

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Abundant resources exist for those with multiple sclerosis

Illustration of M.S. ribbon and butterfly by Jen Dolan.
March is Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Awareness Month. As someone with MS, I make a point of writing something pertaining to this chronic and disabling condition each March. This year, my goal is to help those with MS, and their loved ones, become aware of the many groups that offer assistance and support.

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