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 ...
We seem at a pivotal point in history - a time of moment, of decision making. This was eloquently captured by Aldo Leopold in his classic “A Sand County Almanac,” when he wrote of human paradox: “man the conqueror versus man the biotic citizen; science the sharpener of his sword versus science the search-light on his universe; land the slave and servant versus land the collective organism.”
Leopold was speaking of our vision of ourselves: egocentric users in a game of “survival of the fittest” and “every man for himself,” or responsible members of a ...
…a World War II veteran lies in a nursing home. Thoughts brighten and fade. The war predominates. “Jimmy and I made friends right away when we met in basic training. We ended up going to Europe together. Jimmy was always there by my side. We liberated Dachau. All that death. They told us we were fighting for democracy, our rights and freedoms. It seemed right. It seemed just. Besides, we had to do it.”
“I’ll never forget that morning. It was cold, real cold. I said ‘morning Jimmy!’ There was no answer. I said good morning again. Jimmy didn’t answer. I ...
1. Fiction: A mass email circulating since 2010 claims under the ACA, Medicare Part B premiums
will reach $247 per month by 2014.
Fact: News from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services disproves that email. Standard premiums for Medicare Part B, covering doctors' services and outpatient care, remain at $104.90 per month for 2014, the same as 2013. People who pay surcharges because of higher incomes will see their rates stay flat. The annual Part B deductible stays unchanged at $147. Officials say the premium, calculated as 25 percent of the program's costs in ...
Good government requires more than just voting. As any good manager knows, employees have to be supervised and their performance monitored. Our political representatives are no different. They must be held accountable. Citizens have to stay informed on issues. They have to know enough to sort through misleading sound bites and talk show bombast. They have to communicate with their representatives.
Yes, politics is dirty. There is too much money and mudslinging. But maybe politics would be more civil if citizens were more involved. Maybe our belief that we can't discuss ...
In the weather news a “polar vortex” has brought winter back to much of the country. In other news there have been a number of nuclear weapons related stories suggesting we have a nuclear weapons vortex threatening us.
For decades the nuclear weapons industry has purported to keep us free and safe. It is a very expensive, giant whirlpool sucking our tax dollars. Between 1946 and 1996, we spent an estimated $8.66 trillion on them. But is it necessary? Not according to Lt. Gen. Robert Gard, Jr. (US Army Ret.). He works for the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proli...
The recent federal budget compromise, although representing some minor breaks in the Washington gridlock, is a bad deal for the country. It is bad because it doesn’t address the real budget problems. It is bad because it does not establish needed budget priorities.
As widely reported in the media, the budget plan fails to extend unemployment benefits, protect food stamps, and other programs that benefit middle and lower income people. On the plus side it does limit the irrational, automatic sequester cuts. And it doesn’t immediately cut Social Security or Medicare. ...
Wisconsin’s elderly and other disabled people have had their safety net dismantled. Now, without
the help the Coalition of Wisconsin Aging Groups and others have provided, many are finding themselves in a state of limbo when they need help the most.
After the Walker administration took over, 1.3 million dollars were removed, annually, from the largest senior coalition in the state of Wisconsin, the Coalition of Wisconsin Aging Groups (see CWAG @ cwagwisconsin.org). The non-partisan CWAG had been helping over 1.2 million Wisconsin elders and people with disabilities ...