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FOXCONN: BREAKING UP IS HARD TO DO

(Mr. Jeff Smith is the State Senator from the 31st District of Wisconsin.)Over time, relationships can go sour. When it happens in one’s private life, the breakup can be agonizing; so much of two people’s lives can be intertwined in a short time. When it’s a public or business relationship, the breakup can be painful and even more complicated. Most likely, there are legal contracts or properties linking the two parties.Take the relationship between Wisconsin and Foxconn, for example.It started in 2017 with so much promise, glamour and, of course, a ...

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TAURUS THE BULL – THE CONSTELLATION FOR JANUARY 2021

Taurus the Bull, the star constellation for January 2021, is pretty hard to beat. For me, it has about everything one would want: the remnants of an exploding star, two beautiful star clusters and an attractive giant orange star.Taurus is easy to find. First, find Orion the Hunter in the southeast sky. (You may want to go to www.skymaps.com to help you locate features in the night sky for each month.)Locate Orion’s belt stars, create an imaginary straight line connecting the stars, then follow the line up and to the right. You will come to a prominent “V ...

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BOOKS TO READ

 How would you describe 2020? Alarming, chaotic, enraging or all of the above? Here are some books to help you make sense of it all. Editors of YES magazine chose these books.  All We Can Save: Truth, Courage, and Solutions for the Climate Crisis ”A splendid offering of wisdom, warmth, and inspiration to reshape our vision of climate futures, All We Can Save is a skillfully curated collection of essays, poems, and illustrations that is decidedly feminine in its character and feminist in its approach. In her essay, “Sacred Resistance,” ...

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WISCONSIN INSTITUTE FOR PUBLIC POLICY AND SERVICE


OUT OF THE LONG SHADOW

 During this time of year, we take time to reflect on the previous year and try to focus on the good things that happened. Even in 2020 there must have been some good things, right? We all know it’s difficult to focus more on the good moments, than the bad. I often think about knocking on doors or holding mobile listening sessions in the district. I’d have a great day of conversations with folks who were friendly and respectful. It’d be just one conversation that didn’t go well, that would continue nagging at me. That may be why most of us ...

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FIRE AND ICE

FIRE AND ICE Some say the world will end in fire, Some say in ice. From what I’ve tasted of desire I hold with those who favor fire. But if it had to perish twice, I think I know enough of hate To know that for destruction ice Is also great And would suffice. (Robert Frost lived from 1874 to 1963.. He lived and taught for many years in Massachusetts and Vermont.)  

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FUNNY MONEY, HOMELESSNESS, AND THE TRUE MEANING OF CHRISTMAS

 "Once again, we come to the Holiday Season, a deeply religious time that each of us observes, in his own way, by going to the mall of his choice."  Dave Barry, humor writer. “Oh look, yet another Christmas TV special! How touching to have the meaning of Christmas brought to us by cola, fast food, and beer…” Bill Watterson, creator of Calvin & Hobbes We have a credit card that accumulates “Reward Points.” We are “rewarded” for buying more than we want or need. For me this is more annoying than motivating. It is a just ...

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WHY WE ARE A NATION DIVIDED

 Born in the 1940’s, my generation was the fortunate beneficiary of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s (FDR) “New Deal,” whose long-term goals after the Great Depression were to enact public, government policies that would develop the nation’s resources while ensuring a fair and egalitarian distribution of America’s vast wealth. World War II had been won and, using its constitutionally authorized right to create the nation’s money, our federal government provided free college education for tens of thousands of returning military men and women ...

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IMPROVE PRISON EDUCATION

 (Tommy Thompson was born in 1941. He was governor of Wisconsin from 1987 to. 2001. He is now President of the University of Wisconsin System.) I first started thinking about prisons during my early years in the Assembly, more than 50 years ago. I believed then, and I believe now, that we need to give people who have committed a crime a second chance.I’ve been thinking more about this lately as I reflect on my accomplishments in political life and as I work to renew the Wisconsin Idea for the 21st century as president of the University of ...

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WHY NOT?

 Some men see things as they are and ask, 'Why?' I dream things that never were and ask, 'Why not?'  Robert F. Kennedy. I recently stumbled on to a website that asked a number of “why not” questions. “A 21st Century Vision for America: Guiding Principles for a Great Nation,” is the work of Gary J. Evans, PhD and a business management consultant. It is a product of his “deep concern about the current state of American politics.” Dr. Evans creates a practical, plain language vision of “our country as most Americans would want it to ...

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