Suppressing the Vote

Voting
Voting matters to the citizens of Wisconsin.  Here are two examples from my experience as a poll observer in a small community on election day, November 6, 2012.A young man came to city hall to vote.   Unfortunately, he could not vote that day because he did not have the documents to prove his residency.  I spoke to him outside.  He was crying.  This young man worked at a community workshop.  His check was sent directly to the bank showing no address.  He did not have a checking account or any other documents proving his residency because he lived with someone ...

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Inequality for All

Income Inequality
The movie "Inequality for All," with former US Labor Secretary Robert Reich, is a humorous, enlightening expose on America's widening income gap where Reich answers questions like: What is happening with the distribution of income and wealth in the US? Why? And, is it a problem?Reich notes some inequality is inevitable, but the US has by far the most unequal distribution of income of developed nations, ranking 64th in the world. In 1978 the typical US male worker's income was $48,000, adjusted for inflation, while someone in the top 1% made $390,000. In 2010, a ...

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Climate Change Action: What the DOD and AAAS have in common

Climate Change
The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) are both taking action on climate change.The DOD just issued their 64-page 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review, in which they clearly describe steps they’re taking to respond to global climate change. In the introduction, they say, “Climate change poses [a] significant challenge for the United States and the world at large. As greenhouse gas emissions increase, sea levels are rising, average global temperatures are increasing, and severe weather patterns are accele...

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Lenten Thoughts

Bible
During this time of year, 2,100,000,000 Christians think about the life, crucifixion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ as they have over the last 2000 years.  It is echoed in many cultures and in as many languages.  What is the essence, the heart, the main point of His sacrifice as the Christian religion teaches about during Lent?  What are the most important things?  Christ was asked this by a scribe as written in Mark 12:30-31 who gave this insight:30 "And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and ...

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John Doe

John Doe Investigations
“No one cares about crazy people,” was the reply by Kelly Rindfleisch, Walker’s chief-of staff while he was Milwaukee County Administrator, to an email from Keith Gilkes, Walker’s gubernatorial campaign manager. This email exchange was in reference to the death of Cindy Ancza at the Milwaukee County Mental Health Complex. Other serious problems, such as sexual assaults and security lapses, occurred at this facility while Walker was administrator. Gilkes refers to the facility as a “looney bin.”What was Walker’s reply? He wanted to be kept out of the ...

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Retirement for All Legislation Introduced

Retirement
A secure retirement for Wisconsin workers may be coming in the future. Senate Bill 611, introduced by Senator David Hanson (D-Green Bay), creates a board to study creating a private sector program modeled after the highly successful public employee Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS).Being able to retire with dignity and financial independence was once part of the American Dream. But retirement security is declining in America. Many experts say a retirement crisis is developing. Many people will be unable to retire, will have to work longer, or will live in in poverty ...

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Kochs and Popes

Kochs and Pope
What would you think about a history book on Lincoln's presidency that neglected to mention the civil war? Or what about a book on Lyndon Johnson's White House years without mention of the Vietnam War? Which leads me to a question regarding recent Wisconsin history: what would you think about a book on Scott Walker’s gubernatorial reign containing no mention of the Koch Brothers and Art Pope? Things such as Walker's assault on public education and public educators, the shameful redistricting of state and national legislative districts, the environment...

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Limiting Local Control to Our Detriment

Sand Mine
Senator Tom Tiffany has introduced yet another bill, Senate Bill (SB) 632, to limit local government control over nonmetallic mining.In a press release dated 2/26/14, Senator Tiffany included a quote from the Wisconsin Towns Association (WTA) Executive Director stating that the WTA did not oppose SB 632 and its Assembly companion bill, AB 816. This was a critical statement for Senator Tiffany because the WTA had strongly opposed his earlier version of the bill, SB 349, introduced in Fall 2013. In typical fashion, Senator Tiffany scheduled an immediate public hearing ...

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As a Conservative

United States Face
A version of this article was previously published in the Wausau Daily Herald.It is a measure of the extremism sweeping America when, after many decades of being a liberal, I find I must join with other conservatives to fight the radical changes destroying my nation. The definition of conservative is: believing in the value of established and traditional practices in politics and society. I fit this definition perfectly.As a conservative, I wish to preserve the traditional government established by my ancestors. I oppose the radical use of a business model in ...

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How Can It Be

U.S. Poverty
“How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points?” asked Pope Francis in a speech in November when he attacked “trickle-down economics” and sharply criticized “growing inequality and unfettered markets.” Yet this is but one injustice. There are many more.How can it be that:• Millions of children go hungry in the “richest country” in the world, and yet Congress passed a farm bill cutting $800 million dollars a year from the Supplemental Nutrition ...

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