LEADERSHIP, DISCIPLINE, AND DEMOCRACY IN OUR MOVEMENT
Some leaders of Wisconsin Move to Amend have just publicly announced that they are dis-affiliating from the national Move to Amend organization, and they are forming a new organization which they are calling “United to Amend”. The reasons for this action are not clear to me, and the reasons that I have been given are, on their face, not sufficient to fragment this so important, strong and growing non-partisan, truly grassroots Movement, which has such widespread public support. (more…)
The core principle of our Movement to Amend is not to end “corporate personhood” – it is to end corporate Constitutional rights!
“Corporate personhood” is legal-jargon. The phrase itself is a jarring counter-intuitive oxymoron. We all know that a corporation is not a person! For that reason alone, it’s easy for people to disdain that phrase without even thinking about it. But what does it actually mean? Or maybe the question should be, what do WE actually mean?
Is there truth in the legal theory that a corporation possesses the unalienable rights of a person, which are explicitly protected by the Constitution of the United States? Does the Constitution confer the rights of a “person”, or of “the people”, upon artificial legal entities we now know as “corporations”? What exactly does the U.S. Constitution consider to be a “person”? If corporations possess the Constitutional rights of a “person”, then corporate power rules our lives and our future. If, on the other hand, the people are sovereign in our government, and only the people have Constitutional rights, then we the people, in compliance with our Constitution, have full legal authority to determine the rules and the policies that organize and shape our lives. (more…)
Here is the link to the article that is criticized by this essay. You might want to read it first.
In “Let Us Now Praise Corporate Persons” appearing in the Jan-Feb 2015 issue of The Washington Monthly, Kent Greenfield, a self-described “progressive who teaches corporate law”, looks askance at “the corporations-are-not-people crowd” and complains that the core principle of our Movement to Amend “isn’t helping fix the problem – in fact, it’s making it worse.” (more…)
A court in Argentina ruled that an orangutan is a “non-human person” and as such has inherent rights. A court in New York ruled that a chimpanzee does not have any rights, and is not a “person” in the meaning of the U.S. Constitution. [http://www.care2.com/causes/landmark-ruling-an-orangutan-is-a-non-human-person-with-rights-says-argentina.html] The ruling against chimps comes in the nation whose corrupted Supreme Court has ruled without justification that corporations are “persons” in the meaning of the U.S. Constitution.
Adolph was born in Milwaukee on May 2, 1916. His parents were Adolph Winter, Sr. and Amalia (nee Goetter), whose other children were Orville, Dolores, and Carole. His mother’s ancestors migrated from Germany, and in 1848 established the farm that still exists in the Town of Cedarburg, Wisconsin today. His father was a steamfitter in Milwaukee. Adolph Jr. graduated from North Division High School, and while in high school was a state junior champion and a city active men’s champion gymnast with the Milwaukee Turners. He attended Normal College in Indianapolis, and became the first in his family to graduate from high school and from college. He moved to Chicago after graduation, and there married, in December 1940, his college sweetheart, Dorothea Holoubek, who also was the first in her family to graduate from high school and college. He taught gymnastics in Chicago and became a lifelong active member of the Turners.
The MOVI Group and the DNC are actively promoting this summer (in Madison and Milwaukee, Wisconsin this week, and throughout the United States) a Constitutional Amendment that waves the flag, “Money is Not Speech“ before our eyes and the media cameras, but has completely disappeared the flag, “A Corporation is Not a Person“. Yet our non-partisan Movement of the People, based on both of these principles and demands, has been growing and strengthening for years (despite a near complete corporate media blackout). (more…)
Why is Wisconsin Move to Amend endorsing, without any qualification or reservation, the”roadshow” slipping in to Mad-town on Sept. 6? Why is Wisconsin Move to Amend endorsing a “roadshow” which is being sponsored by national Money Out – Voters In, an organization in which national Move to Amend is NOT a member? The national Money Out – Voters In coalition enthusiastically endorses, without any reservations or qualifications, SJR 19, the DNC endorsed proposed Constitutional Amendment, but national Move to Amend does not endorse that proposal. (more…)
For a pioneering revolutionary document that established a democratic republic ten or 12 generations ago, it is surprising how little the U.S. Constitution explicitly talks about “the People”. This founding document shaped the clear outlines and principles of a new and independent government that was to be of, by, and for the people, while hardly mentioning the word, “People”. The key word “People“ appears once in the single ringing sentence known to all as the Preamble. And then it appears only one more time in all of the seven Articles which follow the Preamble sentence. (more…)
Why do words fail us? Why is demonstrable truth so widely and persistently disdained and ignored? Effective communication with integrity is essential for the people – you and I – to become informed and to take action necessary to establish, maintain and strengthen a democratic republic. But effective communication with integrity, even on a personal, one-to-one level, is very, very difficult in modern times.
On the historic occasion of Independence Day and Juneteenth, 2014, with honor and deep respect for the U.S. Constitution, the Gettysburg Address, the Abolition of Slavery, the Equal Rights of all Persons, and the Planet of our birth which has nurtured life and beauty for so long, here is submitted a statement of truth bearing importantly on the evolution and development of government that is of, by, and for the people. May we today be equal to the great task now before us of ensuring that that government shall not perish from the earth. And may we also, and thereby, become equal to what is likely the most dangerous challenge that humankind has ever faced thus far during our entire existence on Earth – a challenge that we ourselves have created, through technology and civilization – the consequences of our own cleverness and industry.
The current majority party controlling the Wisconsin legislative, executive and judicial branches has just enacted a law, which restricts voting opportunities in each municipality in the state to no more than one early voting location for each town, village, or city – regardless of size! The new law also further reduces the number of hours and days allowed for early voting – and entirely eliminates opportunities to vote on a weekend.
The difference in the election experience between, for example, the City of Milwaukee and the County of Ozaukee, which are neighbors, approximately the same size in square miles, illustrates how outrageously unfair this new state law is in practice. (more…)
Instead of the absolutely corrupted election process that has evolved in Wisconsin and the nation, selection of state and federal legislators by lottery from among qualified electors would far better serve our state and country. (more…)
The right of the people to keep and bear arms is an inalienable right that is explicitly supported by our U.S. Constitution. All Americans should also recognize that the people – not corporations – are sovereign in a democratic republic, and only “the people” (not corporations) possess inalienable Constitutional rights, including the right to keep and bear arms.
The corporate controlled government, those in charge of both corporate controlled political parties, and the corporate controlled mass media, all continue to refuse to even make a pretense of discussing publicly, much less seriously considering, the obvious, clear and simple solution to the health care crisis in America. (more…)
Elections in America should be an opportunity for the people to choose their elected representatives. It does not do justice to the people of Wisconsin and of the United States for the legislators to be choosing their constituents. But the current system of partisan “redistricting” does just that – it allows politicians to carve out turf strictly for the benefit of their party and for the protection of incumbents. It hurts democracy, it makes elections-by-district non-competitive, and it takes choice away from the citizens.
Voting rights are basic to all human rights. Violations of voting rights are violations of the core principles of democracy, and of government that should be of, by, and for the people. Violations have become more widespread in the USA than just the states that were originally listed in the landmark, and essential 1965 Voting Rights Act, which was so (tragically) belatedly enacted to finally enforce the basic human rights provisions of the 14th and 15th Amendments a century after those Amendments were ratified.
Corporations and the super-rich now control both political parties, and all three branches of government in the USA, both state and federal. The two parties have established and enforced rules and legislation, which give them an exclusive monopoly, but which also prevents the people from obtaining government that represents and serves us best, even though we the people should be sovereign in a democratic republic. The two party lock permits complete corporate control of government simply because all that extremely rich and powerful corporations and individuals (and their associations) have to do is control those two parties. And that is exactly what they do.
“Corporations v. Persons : The Struggle that Will Define the 21st Century”
Actually, the struggle is even more serious than that.
It is corporations v. life as we have come to know it on Planet Earth.
It is corporate rule v. democracy and a bright future.
The central objective of “Move to Amend” is to amend the U.S. Constitution to establish that:
(1) Corporations do not have Constitutional rights – a corporation is not a person in the meaning of the U.S. Constitution; and
(2) Bribery will no longer be legalized in the USA – Money used to influence government policy, actions, officials, and elections is not protected as “free speech” and can be regulated.
Certain groups and individuals have attached to this Movement of the People, while simultaneously diluting and compromising it by instead asserting that the objective is to “defeat citizens united” and to “get money out of politics”. They seek to return to the status quo and restore certain inadequate “campaign finance reforms” that existed prior to 2010. That objective can do no more than return America to the corruption, the legalized bribery, and the corporate control of government that already prevailed then, and had long been frustrating our best efforts. (more…)
A Note of Respect and Gratitude to Debbie O’Dell Seneca, President Judge Emeritus of the Washington County, PA. Court of Common Pleas, for her Ruling in a Case involving Damages Suffered by Families due to “Fracking” (Extraction of Natural Gas) done by a Corporation:
Please accept my congratulations for your recent courageous ruling that a corporation does not possess Constitutional rights, and for asserting that, if corporations could claim Constitutional rights, then corporations would become a “… legal fabrication superior to the law that created and sustains it”.
I share with many people a deep concern about the struggle that will define the 21st Century – Corporations v. Persons. I have studied and, from time to time, written about this struggle for more than a decade, and a little over two years ago I finally felt impelled to personally dig into the tap root of the problem and closely examine an underlying question: “What, specifically, is in the U.S. Constitution that would allow a Supreme Court Justice to conclude that a corporation legitimately possesses the rights that are defined there as being the rights of a person?” I found an answer that has been overlooked for too long, and to our peril.
Conservative data and analysis holds that three out of every 20 Americans live in poverty in the United States today. It’s worse than that for kids – and it’s toughest for families with children. More than five out of 20 American children under the age of five live in poverty today. And children of color are far more likely than so-called White children to be living in poverty. I guarantee this essay will upset a fondly and very widely held applecart of belief. (more…)
A proposed Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (1) to establish that a corporation is not a person, in the meaning of the Constitution, and (2) to establish that money is not equivalent to Constitutionally protected speech, and (3) to protect the sovereignty and the unalienable rights of the people under this Constitution.
One of the two key citations in the Constitution bearing on whether a corporation is a ‘person’ under the Constitution is the 14th Amendment, which contains four sentences employing the word “person[s]” – (the two sentences that constitute section 1, and the opening sentences in each of sections 2 and 3). The 14th Amendment was cited in the preface to an 1886 Supreme Court case. This preface was later exploited to massively rewrite corporate law using the unjustifiable legal theory that a corporation is a Constitutional ‘person’.
Is there any truth in the legal theory that a corporation possesses, by authority of the U.S. Constitution, any of the inherent, unalienable rights of a person? (more…)
Wisconsin has abolished the death penalty longer than any other government in the world. Wisconsin blazed the trail and set the unwavering example that has since inspired the entire so-called civilized world. Wisconsin is no longer alone in that world. Wisconsin is now entirely encircled by states (Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, and Canada) in which the death penalty has also been abandoned. Sixteen states no longer use the death penalty. Membership in the European Union is open only to countries that have abolished capital punishment. Today, 140 countries no longer impose the death penalty. And in December of 2012 the United Nations General Assembly will be voting on an unprecedented resolution to urge the worldwide abolition of the death penalty. Where will Wisconsin and the United States of America stand on that resolution?
What is Occupy Wall Street and the growing Global Occupation all about? In three words, I’d suggest that in the United States it’s about, “Wake Up, America!” It is up to the 99 percent to get up, stand up – take back our rights, our lives, the future, and all that we cherish.
“Who are the leaders of this protest demonstration and what are their demands?”
Following is a “spin” on the 2011 state senate recall process from a stubborn Independent, who has never been a member of either major political party, and who is not quite satisfied with the distortions and outright lies being presented ad nauseum by hack knee-jerk loyalists of both parties. Spokespersons from each Party weave a story which assures the public that their own Party won the recall battle, and we now must endure the battle of the spin-doctors. But the important question is not which Party won. It’s “Did the people win or lose?”
Have you ever wondered what possessed members of the Supreme Court to determine that a corporation is a “person”, according to the Constitution? Which passages in the U.S. Constitution (including Amendments) could certain Supreme Court Justices have construed to support their determination (in contrast to common understanding and general usage) that a corporation possesses the rights that are explicitly defined for a “person” in the Constitution? Having researched and written about the consequences of this determination several times over the last decade, I became interested and finally compelled to get to this root of the problem. And so I once again studied the Constitution and its Amendments. But this time, I searched in particular for an answer to the question of how in the world anyone can conclude that a corporation possesses the specific Constitutional rights that are described there as belonging to a “person”.
I began by locating and highlighting certain words in the text (such as “corporation”, “company”, “person[s]”, “citizen[s]”, and “people”). Then I studied the context in which those words appear. My search was productive, with results that were startling, informative, and actually simple to comprehend and to share with you.
My ol’ huntin’ partners, Sid D. Complex and Jesse B. Simple, and I were enjoying a couple beers together this Spring. Jess had just boggled my mind with one of his astute observations on the human condition. So I was trying to appear calm, and in full possession of my faculties while feeling more than usually uncertain and unbalanced.
Sid handled the silence that followed by deftly changing the subject. ‘Know what?’ inquired Sid. ‘The word “Person(s)” appears in the U.S. Constitution 22 times. And that same word pops up 27 times in the Constitutional Amendments (which is more than once per Amendment). I know because I counted. But, the word “corporation(s)” doesn’t appear even once in the U.S. Constitution or in any Amendment. What the hell is all this noise about the Supreme Court declaring that a corporation is a person? That’s just plain nuts. A corporation doesn’t bleed, it can’t have kids, a corporation ain’t a person, anybody knows that.’
Smart-as-a-whip Jess came right back, without even pausing to take a deep breath or whet his whistle. (more…)
SOMETIMES THERE’S JUST SMOKE – AND MIRRORS
There is no credible evidence (and certainly no proof), and there is also no rational explanation of motivation, for the oft repeated theory that voter fraud has recently compromised our elections in the United States. (See the difference between voter fraud compared to election fraud.) Despite heavy pressure on mass media reporters and editors, elected officials, election officials, and appointed federal prosecutors around the nation, and despite constantly repeated distortions and outright lies throughout the last decade, no evidence has been found that any systematic or substantial individual voter fraud has been occurring. In fact, not a single instance of voter fraud that would have been prevented by a government issued photo ID has been discovered in this century in Wisconsin.
Federal, state, and local government budgets, and the lives of working people, across America, are in deep trouble for three dominant reasons:
(1) Federal and state policies, including tax policies, during the last three-plus decades have redistributed a consistently and drastically increasing percentage of the income and the wealth of the nation to large corporations and the super-rich. The consistently increasing tax cuts lavished on corporations and the very wealthy over this period have been substantially financed from the Social Security Trust Fund.
(2) Deficit financing of the military-industrial complex, the escalating cost of empire, and the undeclared wars waged, and continuing occupations, in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and elsewhere.
(3) The national economic crisis (which immediately expanded worldwide, and trickled-down to state, local, and family budgets) that was caused by the largest fraud and larceny ever perpetrated in world history.
This worldwide economic crisis, with its massive, tragic consequences, was intentionally perpetrated by decision makers in huge, transnational financial and insurance and investment and accounting corporations. Neither the government that is supposed to be of, by, and for the people, nor either major party, has taken the necessary steps to:
(a) prevent such an outrageous fraud from happening again,
(b) prosecute the looters, and
(c) recover the loot.
Instead, we have been expected to collectively dig the very crooks (and only the crooks) out from under the collapsed consequences of the disaster they initiated.
We must defeat efforts to scapegoat any portion of the people and force them/us to pay even more for this continuing economic crisis.
Wisconsin had just became a state, prior to the Civil War, when Joshua Glover was apprehended alone, by an overpowering number of men, and locked up in southeast Wisconsin in 1854, after putting up a terrible and valiant fight, charged with having escaped from slavery in another state. He was bound in irons and held, awaiting an armed federal escort platoon to return him to a cruel fate to be determined at the sole discretion of the “Party” that claimed ownership of him. (more…)
Russ Feingold’s re-election effort was defeated in November. Citizens of America and of Wisconsin who want clean, uncorrupted government that exists to serve the people, rather than to serve the profits of corporations and the super-rich, did not need that to happen. (more…)
Do not overlook the essential info available in “The Spirit Level”, by Dr. Richard Wilkinson and Dr. Kate Pickett, published in the United States this year. The message of this book (which is fully documented, peer-reviewed, footnoted, and with extensive bibliography) can be boiled down for your convenience as follows:
The people elect government officials, with each citizen’s vote counting the same as any other’s vote – that’s representative democracy. That’s the American way. It couldn’t be simpler. Unfortunately, that’s not how we elect the President and Vice-President of the United States. Fortunately, there is a brilliant, elegant solution.
by Claire Vanderslice
President – League of Women Voters of Ozaukee County, Wisconsin
As part of the US League of Women Voters delegation to Copenhagen in December 2009, I investigated REDD; “Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation”, a mechanism originally conceived to reward “custodians” to keep the remaining tropical forests intact instead of cutting them down. Carbon dioxide is released when trees are cut and burned and the soil is exposed to oxidation. Living trees, on the other hand, convert CO2 to oxygen and sequestered carbon. So protecting forests reduces atmospheric greenhouse gases.
You and I and virtually everyone knows how important Medicare has been to the health and the economic well-being of every American family over the last couple of generations. Where would our families be without Medicare? Where would your family be? What would have happened to your elders, in this and in the previous couple of generations? What would have happened to your life style and to your children’s futures – if Medicare for elders and the disabled had not been signed into law some 45 years ago? Can you even imagine what your family life would be like without Medicare today?
I don’t know what else to write about the health care crisis. After seven years of study and writing and advocacy on the subject I am at a loss for more and different words. If I haven’t explained the issue adequately and completely by now, if I didn’t make the case clearly and compellingly in all those articles and leaflets, there is something deeply deficient in my intelligence and my skills, because the nature and dimensions of the crisis, and the simple, straightforward solution to it, couldn’t be more obvious, to anyone who has undertaken a careful, deep study of the problem. (more…)
The “Citizens United Inc. v. Federal Elections Commission“ ruling in the first month of 2010 represents “Strike Three” called against the U.S. Supreme Court.
The current proposals for health care reform that the Congress is considering are fatally flawed due to the massive harmful influence of the for-profit sickness industry conglomerates, including the insurance corporations. These corporations have controlled and dictated the reform legislation being considered by the Democratic Party. And these corporations have also fueled and controlled the virulent organized opposition to any meaningful health care reform that continues to be mounted by the Republican Party.
On Monday, January 4, from noon until mid-afternoon, Democratic Senator Feingold held a “Listening Session” in Ozaukee County, at the MATC-North Auditorium. It was packed, with virtually all seats filled. A “full house” is not at all uncommon at Senator Feingold’s “Listening Sessions”, and I have attended virtually all of them in Ozaukee County in the last ten or fifteen years. But there was something obviously different about this session from the previous sessions I have attended. (more…)
I’m not his only friend, by a long shot. Skip is respected and well liked by a whole lot of people. He was a fellow seaman and a millwright, a member of the Masters, Mates and Pilots Union, the Carpenter’s Union, an organizer for justice and human rights and the IWW. He loved family and friends, and he valued and respected life and people.
He was working as a millwright when he got sick, and the illness and treatment made him unable to continue working, which, of course, cost him the health insurance coverage he had at the time he became ill. Months of recuperation and healing followed, but when he experienced symptoms that caused him to again seek medical help, he was turned down flat due to his lack of private wealth and the lack of health insurance, which was caused by his lack of current employment, which was caused by his previous illness and treatment. (more…)
What has happened with regards to the deepening health care crisis is a symptom of what is deeply wrong with governance in America. Politicians of only two political parties occupy virtually all elected offices in state and national government. And corporations, with their PACs, simultaneously flood both major parties, and elected officials of both parties with massive campaign “donations” and, on top of that, billions of dollars, annually, for lobbying “access” and pressure on government officials.
The problem with that is that the two major political parties in the United States are in thrall to huge corporations and the super-rich, and have decided to depend, first and foremost, on their money and support.
In return, the corporations and the super-rich expect BOTH parties to defend and advance corporate interests.
And they understand and expect that the two parties will jockey for political advantage while doing so.
All of the grassroots efforts for the substantive, effective health care reform that is so needed by American families, have been attacked – for months, for years, and for decades – by insurance corporations, by their corporate allies, and now by crass strategists within both major political parties. Much of the lavishly funded incessant attack has been stealthy and subliminal. A health care crisis has thus materialized and been getting worse fast.
The words “public option”, have received overwhelming public support in national polls (be sure to see this article analyzing those polls) this year when contrasted with the status quo in health care. However, the proposed public option plan(s) proved vulnerable to certain attacks from the professional spin-meisters who are working to derail any substantive health care reform. Here are three of the most effective PR attacks recently made on “public option” health care reform efforts. The response that is necessary concludes this essay.
The President made an excellent and moving speech to the people and a joint session of Congress on September 9. However, following the money appears to be the only way to find an explanation for certain failures, omissions, and commissions in the President’s otherwise inspiring speech, in the speech and actions of the great majority of “our” legislators of both major parties, and in the news “coverage” by the mass media.
Probably the same sort of person who is not certain what the future holds for her family, or who worries at times about the fine print in whatever health insurance policy currently “covers” them.
There are 3 serious consequences of the huge mistake or betrayal made by “public option” spokespersons, exemplified locally by Wisconsin Citizen Action, and nationally by Move-On, among others, when they declared that the single-payer solution was “off-the-table”. (more…)
The healthcare your family needs is based on medical necessity, as determined by health professionals chosen by you, without interference from health care system administrators.
The healthcare your family member deserves (in today’s lingo) is based on the fine print in a contract with an insurance corporation, the business decisions made by an employer, and the money, status, and family assets remaining that are available to the person needing health care.
The question facing us is, “Should America’s health care system provide health care to families that they need, or should it provide health care that individuals deserve?”
Administration and management of our health care system by insurance corporations, based on business decisions made by employers, is irrational, inefficient, wasteful, and costly. It results in unnecessary suffering and loss of life. (more…)
There are 5 prevalent myths we need to overcome, and 3 basic principles on which we can agree, in order to stand solidly on the high ground while defending our health care rights. It’s now up to you and me. No one else will do it for us. We owe it to our family, our country, and ourselves. (more…)
Gung Ho (means: work together) America
“It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.”
– Mark Twain
Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) issued its 2008 Congressional Report Card, and the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) issued percentage ratings, on how U.S. Senators and Representatives voted regarding issues of direct importance to disabled veterans and recent combat veterans (and their families). Perhaps, like me, you are interested in how the legislators who represent you in Washington, D.C. and the two Senators who ran last year for President, were rated by the IAVA and the DAV.
In the United States, one in every six citizens has no health insurance, and at least as many more have inadequate insurance, and don’t know it. The lack of adequate insurance closes doors to proper health care here. Many of those that have insurance only discover how inadequate it is, when they really need health care. That’s when they find out (from clerks with little or no medical training) about exclusionary clauses, unavailable treatment, pre-existing conditions, bankrupting deductibles and co-payments, and lifetime, annual, or incident limits. There is finally something we can do about this crippling and too-costly system.
If you’re one of 100 million Americans without adequate or any insurance, whether by choice or not, you are playing a cruel game of Russian roulette with stakes the likes of which you better hope and pray you never learn about the hard way. (more…)
In Ozaukee County, Darcy McManus got 44 percent of the votes from the 23 percent of those registered who voted. Therefore, long-time District Attorney Sandy Williams will be the new Branch 3 Circuit Court Judge here. Ozaukee residents might be interested to learn about an earlier but unsuccessful candidate for election to be the Ozaukee/Washington County District Attorney, one Leland Stanford. Name sound familiar? (more…)
On Tuesday April 7, 2009 for the first time in thirty years, voters will have a choice in a contested election for judge for our Ozaukee County Circuit Court, which is the first stop in the judicial system for civil and criminal legal matters under state law. I urge that you help get out the vote for Darcy McManus. I have several reasons.
According to a story from long ago, a big man named Solomon was empowered to decide which woman was the mother of a child they each insistently claimed. In apparent frustration, he announced he would cleave the infant in two with a sword and give half to each woman. One woman immediately relinquished her claim to the baby, saying, “Give her the living child and in no wise slay it.” Solomon awarded her the baby, declaring that only the real mother would love her child so much as to give it up in order to save its life. The story is still told (Bible: 1 Kings 3), and it is asserted that this judicial decision demonstrated Solomon’s surpassing wisdom and cemented his reputation.
Actually, the convincing testimony came from the other woman, not from the tearful plea of the first to speak, don’t you agree? (more…)
The STATEWIDE, COUNTY, REGIONAL, and MUNICIPAL offices to be elected in contested elections in Ozaukee County in the April 7, 2009 Spring Election are shown in very condensed, convenient, voter-friendly format here:
The first page article in the Ozaukee News-Graphic on November 6 began by asserting that “… voters in Ozaukee County stayed true to their Republican roots.” Talk about beginning a news report with fallacies – this takes the cake. First, Ozaukee County’s roots, for the first fifty-plus years of our statehood, were deeply and entirely embedded in the Democratic Party. Despite the Republican Party having been founded in Wisconsin, and overwhelmingly the choice of Wisconsinites, before, during, and for many years after the Civil War, Ozaukee County always voted for Democrats to represent it, until WWI. And second, while, some Republican voters did vote the Party-line, certainly not all did, and not nearly as many as did in the recent past. Our local newspaper report of the election could not have been more factually incorrect (while being, of course, quite “politically correct”, as far as the current local ruling party establishment is concerned).
For the first time in a very long time – several generations, at least – we will have more than one name on the general election ballot in Ozaukee and Washington counties (for state Senate district 20 as well as Assembly districts 58 and 60, and for state Senate district 8 as well as Assembly districts 23 and 24). When there is only one name on the ballot, and no viable challenge, decade after decade, the legislators doesn’t have to worry about how you and I are going to vote. And if they don’t have to worry about how we’re going to vote, the only thing left for them to worry about is how the corporate donors, lobbyists, and anonymous ad sponsors with a grasp on their party, expect them to act in office. That does not give us government of, by, and for the people. That imposes on us a government by and for corporations and lobbyists.
That sort of government, both in Madison and Washington, has burdened us with the greatest transfer of wealth in history, (more…)
Two recent lead articles by the Shepherd Express about contested elections for the state legislature in Wisconsin have both omitted any mention of the unique historic (not merely newsworthy) facts about five grassroots progressive challengers to the Ruling Party’s unquestioned (until now) omnipotence and incumbents in Ozaukee and Washington counties.
“News and Views” by publisher Louis Fortis on October 9, page 7, stated in the opening paragraph of an article headlined, “State Senate Update: Who Is Going to Win? Eight districts are in play” that “Sixteen of the 33 state Senate seats are up for election this year, eight currently held by each party. Of the eight seats held by each party, four seats from each party are held by unopposed incumbents. That leaves eight seats – four held by Democrats and four held by Republicans – that will decide the majority for next session.”
Not true, Mr. Fortis. There are NOT eight contested senate seats. There are nine contested senate seats, and this fact has been clearly and unambiguously known and documented by the G.A.B. since early July, when all candidates officially qualifying for the ballot were listed. Why did you NOT mention the one Independent candidate – the one qualified senate candidate who is neither a Republican nor a Democrat? (more…)
The Wisconsin state legislature will have many contested elections in November. Three out of four Assembly seats will have more than one name on the ballot and be worth voting in, and nine of the 16 state senate seats listed in the general election will have more than one name on the ballot. In particular, the counties of Ozaukee and Washington, long dominated by the Republican Party (and long conceded by the state Democratic Party) have a unique and historic campaign season and election ahead. Fully SIX of the state legislature seats currently occupied by The Ruling Party in Ozaukee and Washington counties are being challenged in the general election. We haven’t had this kind of choice for generations. This is more than merely newsworthy. It is historic. What is fueling this upset of the status quo?
The July 13 OZAUKEEWASHINGTON section lead article in the Journal-Sentinel, “State Races Attract Attention”, is appalling journalism. The errors, misinformation and irrelevancies in this article are too many, and it needs major revision or a fresh start from scratch.
Half of the Senate and the entire Assembly is up for election every two years. There is no news there. But it is news that three-fourths of the Assembly (74 seats) and over half of the Senate offices up for election (nine seats) will be contested elections this November, where the voters will have a choice. (more…)
I b’lieve in the U.S. Constitution and all its amendments (so far, anyway). Including the second. And the Second Amendment means individual people have the right to keep and bear arms, not just people wearing a uniform or under orders.
Let’s spotlight two cases where the U.S. Supreme Court legislated from the bench and violated common sense and our shared values. Next we’ll see what our state legislators have (or have not) done recently to arrest and restrain the government corruption that resulted. We’ll look at where the problem is most festering. And there is one important legislative step that is needed right now. Let’s get er done. By the way, there’s a scoop here, too, with news of three grassroots candidates for election to the state legislature, working to expose and unseat some of the very worst of the “Public Enemies” to be described below.
“The GI Bill gives emphatic notice to the men and women in our armed forces that the American people do not intend to let them down.”
(Franklin Delano Roosevelt, on signing the original G.I Bill for returning veterans)
The Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) is leading an effort to pass a new GI Bill of educational benefits for veterans. What is the bill, what will it cost, and where do Wisconsin’s U.S. Senators and Members of Congress stand?
There is an unfortunate, unintended, inherent contradiction between two government agricultural policies, or their administration, in Wisconsin. This interaction acts to defeat the intention of both policies, and it fleeces the average taxpaying citizen in the process.
The recent Wisconsin Supreme Court election holds great portent for the integrity, impartiality, and independence of the judiciary, not only in Wisconsin, but throughout the country, in both federal and state systems. Anonymous phony issue ad groups have dominated recent Supreme Court elections and appointments. These groups have found a loophole that defeats and makes a mockery of laws intended to prevent the courts from becoming partisan political battlegrounds, and intended to prevent big moneyed interests from determining who can become a judge in America. (more…)
A discussion has been proceeding for the last month in the Ozaukee News-Graphic regarding the continuing occupation of Iraq. This column continues that important discussion, and asks that you contribute to it, as well.
The April Fool 2008 Wisconsin Supreme Court election campaign was publicly conducted as an anti-criminal crusade. The contest was framed as between a law-and-order challenger and a liberal, criminal coddling incumbent. But honest, intelligent people across the political spectrum who have closely observed recent Supreme Court elections know that the real contest was about something else.
44 bills introduced to the Wisconsin legislature during the last ( 2007-2008 ) legislative session were tracked by the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters (LCV). Now that the legislature has adjourned until 2009 (long after the November general election will be over) what has been the fate of those bills?
The Wisconsin Supreme Court election Tuesday, April 1, pits incumbent Justice Louis Butler against challenger Judge Michael Gableman in a critically important election. But it’s being smeared with distortions and misrepresentations. And secretive groups with very deep pockets threaten to take control of justice.
See how Glenn Grothman, one of 33 Wisconsin State Senators, voted during the 2007-2008 legislative session. This is just a short page, a concise quick read, and packed with links to further information if and when you need it.
The next few months will see Wisconsin citizens and all Americans, and those standing for elected office in our Congressional Districts, grappling with or evading several big issues. Among them, none is more important than the continuing occupation of Iraq, which began with the victorious invasion five years ago on March 20.
Do you know whether your state legislators voted (or intend to vote) to protect the integrity, independence, and impartiality of the Wisconsin Supreme Court and its decisions? This brief article has answers.
When you take the trouble to study the issues and candidates, and then vote in an election, you damn sure don’t want your vote, or the election itself, stolen by fraud. What is the best way to prevent that from happening?
One lone man walked down a street in a beleaguered city wearing a yarmulke, in the waning hours of 2007, and was attacked by bigoted thugs with hatred gnawing at their hearts and minds. One other person (a stranger to the obviously Jewish man) observed the attack and physically intervened. The odds thus changed unexpectedly, and the intended victim of the hate crime attack was spared a serious beating and perhaps worse. The two, of course, then warmly met and introduced themselves to each other. The “good Samaritan” turned out to be a Muslim. And the two became fast friends. It’s a good news story to begin a good year in the good ol’ USA.
Here’s another good news local story, and a further harbinger of a hopeful 2008. Last year, the Cedarburg School Board and the Administration considered implementing mandatory random drug testing of students. (more…)
Sid. D. Complex was skinning and butchering the deer carcass that had frozen while hanging in his shed, when I stopped by for a visit, and that perennial sheepshead champ, Jess B. Simple, was being careful not to needle him for his procrastination.
“So,” I opened, deftly avoiding controversy, “who d’ya wanna see win the elections this year?”
All people need health care to achieve, maintain, and (if necessary) restore health. Health insurance is not health care.
The problems we have with our health care system (high cost, and gatekeepers that deny treatment, restrict choice, and discourage proper care) cannot be corrected with our current health insurance apparatus.
Just as private mercenary corporations have no incentive to prevent or end war, and private prison/security corporations have no incentive to reduce crime and recidivism outside their walls, so private health insurance corporations have no incentive to approve needed health care. The primary competitive incentive of the health insurance industry is to cut costs and increase profits by restricting and denying health care to those that will or do need it.
We can no longer afford, private health insurance corporations controlling health care and deciding who can and cannot get what treatment, when, and from which doctors. Keeping the insurance apparatus we have results in the U.S. having by far, the highest per capita cost of health care, and the worst health care outcomes in the industrialized world. It’s incredible, but true, that we all pay more than universal comprehensive health care would cost, in order to let the insurance and managed care corporations “just say no” to needed health care. Letting those profiteering gatekeepers say “No” to health care for some doesn’t save us money. It costs us money – and it harms our health.
It’s about values –
marketplace values and the value of certain investments, versus human values, family values and the value of life and health. Which side are YOU on?
On December 12, 2007, the Wisconsin Assembly voted 56 to 41 in favor of the Compassionate Care for Victims of Rape bill. Since that bill was overwhelmingly approved last spring by strong majorities of both parties in the State Senate 27 to 6, it will finally become law after a final reading in the Assembly and the Governor signs it, following five years of obstruction by a small but powerful faction. Thanks to all of you in the grassroots who persisted in struggling uphill for years, and to you who contacted your legislative representatives, your media, and your family, friends, and neighbors and urged them to support this bill.
The page 1 November 15 Ozaukee News-Graphic article “Random drug testing fails to pass”, fails to represent the facts. Just because an article is presented as a “news report” does not make it factual or unbiased. And just because an article (such as this one) is presented on the editorial page, or in a blog, does not mean it is “merely opinion”. [Note: This article was NOT presented on the editorial page, after all. The editor decided not to publish my criticism of the Nov. 15 article regarding the School District decision.]
AN OPEN LETTER TO CONGRESSMAN SENSENBRENNER:
There’s a wonderful, little heralded landmark in the rapidly changing surroundings of downtown Grafton, Wisconsin. (more…)
Does your family celebrate Columbus Day? Or did it slip by without notice? Columbus Day is usually noted in school classes (well before college) and after that it is all but forgotten. But the four voyages of Columbus represent an incredibly important “first” in world history, in the history of the Western Hemisphere, and in the USA, that we should not forget.
AB 377, the Compassionate Care for Victims of Rape bill, is supported by over eighty percent of Wisconsin residents, and was passed 27-to-6 by clear majorities of both Republican and Democratic Wisconsin State Senators. It is a common sense bill to protect and restore the rights, the health, and the futures of victims of violent crime.
Then the Oral Roberts University graduate who is the Speaker of the Republican majority Wisconsin State Assembly (Michael Huebsch) assigned the bill to the Assembly Judiciary Committee, headed by far-out wrong-wing-Republican Mark Gundrum. (more…)
“Any fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius–and a lot of courage–to move in the opposite direction.” Albert Einstein (mathematician)
Five years ago (and six months prior to the invasion of Iraq in March, 2003) my column in the Ozaukee News-Graphic (in response to the just-initiated Bush Administration PR campaign to invade Iraq) warned that “Targeting Iraq when no evidence exists and none of the hijackers were Iraqi … indicate(s) that we are off course and heading for the rocks.” There was substantial reader response to that column. There were calls for firing me, and for readers to cancel their subscriptions and their advertising. But, bottom line, 80 percent of all reader response sent to the newspaper agreed with my commentary and brief re-cap of history, archived only here.
This article, published in a general readership local newspaper, when there was plenty of time to stop the Congressional authorization, and the Administration ordered invasion of Iraq, was unique in Wisconsin and America. (more…)
The Wisconsin state Assembly budget proposal cuts needed services while simultaneously increasing the state deficit, compared with the Senate budget proposal. The Assembly increases taxes on individuals, at the same time it disdains an opportunity to save Wisconsin businesses and individuals over one billion dollars annually while mounting a significant reform to correct the health care crisis. (more…)
“It never ceases to amaze me, the amount of energy that can go into a project just to avoid doing the right thing… But follow the money and you’ll find why the politicians don’t like it.”
Jack Lohman, retired Wisconsin business owner and author.
The proven fact that single-payer comprehensive universal health care costs LESS than does our current method of administering and managing health care carries an important and unsettling implication. Those who oppose single-payer universal health care cannot claim they do so on the grounds that we can’t afford it. Politicians and media pundits who imply or state that are either inexcusably ignorant (and they should be tossed out of the responsible job they have), or they are simply lying (and should be imprisoned for fraud).
There is no doubt about it. Our health care in the USA was once the best in the world. But now we’re way back in 30-something place, behind almost every other modern industrialized nation. Yet, we as a nation pay about double, per capita, what it costs for health care in those other countries. And those nations provide health care for everyone, with better health care outcomes, across the board.
For most everyone, there is no security in clutching whichever of the thousands of different insurance policies your employer has chosen for you (if any). Your employer, after all, may decide to get rid of that policy – or maybe get rid of your job. You, or someone in your family, may have a “pre-existing condition” or fall through the loopholes, or just not qualify. Maybe your fate has an unwelcome surprise in store. Medical “surprises” are implicated in half the personal bankruptcies that occur in the USA.
Something is very wrong. Sick, even. But the cure is simple, common, and well known.
It doesn’t get any better than this!
The Annual Ozaukee County NAACP summer barbecue will be held Saturday afternoon August 18. You can find out about the Ozaukee Branch NAACP, and about the BBQ, and download a reservation form and directions to the BBQ (which will be held again this year at our Cedarburg farm) by clicking on the links above to the new Ozaukee Branch NAACP website. If you’re interested, please do it now, because we need reservations back by August 10.
2. SWEET CORN!
Our delicious sweet corn, free of synthetic chemicals, is here. (more…)
“The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in times of great moral crises maintain their neutrality” – Dante Alighieri
The Compassionate Care for Victims of Rape Bill (SB129/AB377) before the Wisconsin legislature, would require any hospital in Wisconsin that provides emergency medical services to victims of rape or incest to provide such victims accurate unbiased information about emergency contraception. And if the victim requests, the hospital must provide immediate access to such treatment. Why is this Bill in trouble?
A new and fresh approach is being taken by the Cedarburg School Board and Administration to the issue of substance abuse and the responsibility of the Cedarburg School District to address it. (You may need to see the previously posted article, to understand the context of this essay.)
(Here are some alternative light-hearted titles to the substantive article that follows. Click on the title above to read the article itself.)
“To Pee or Not to Pee; That is the Question.”
“R-E-S-P-E-C-T, Find Out What It Means To Me , (By Urethra Cedarburg)”
“Cedarburg Salad Board – Lettuce Turnip and Pea”
“This Gland Isn’t Your Gland, This Gland Is MY Gland”
“2-4-6-8, Don’t Force Us to Urinate”
“1-2-3-4, Stay Outta Here When I Close the Door”
“Urine Trouble Unless U Urinate”
“Leave No Child Untapped and Unintimidated”
“This ongoing experience of startling significant inequities in our society, particularly brought to my attention in the field of health care, but also evident in education, employment, criminal justice, finance, and other areas, has revealed to me a society and its leaders pathologically unable to face their responsibilities and take effective action, and who instead persistently seek to deny responsibility, hide problems, and blame the victim.” – Glenn Winter, M.D. “Caring for the Uninsured and Underinsured – A Communication from the Front Lines”
The Health Care Crisis in America is getting worse, and all of the legislators representing Ozaukee County (except Senator Russ Feingold) stand directly in the way of the health care Wisconsin and America needs. Our elected Rip Van Winkle representatives ask, “What crisis?” When pressed, they deny and fail to discuss the cause of the crisis.
“You may fool all the people some of the time; you can even fool some of the people all the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all the time.” – Abraham Lincoln
Three incumbents ran as a bloc for three positions on the Cedarburg School Board in the election. Their campaign stance was to re-elect all three, and keep challenger Dan Carr off the school board. Each voter had the opportunity to “vote for not more than three”, but no more than one vote could be cast for any one candidate. With this election rule, those who wanted Carr on the School Board voted directly against that intent if they cast more than one vote. But it’s safe to assume that all supporters of the three incumbents cast three votes each.
You wanna do dope? Why do you think they call it that? – Clarence Lee
The Cedarburg, Wisconsin School Board is considering testing Cedarburg High School students for drug use by requiring random, mandatory, urine sampling. Is this a good idea? That depends on the answers to three questions. (And you might also want to check out Part 1 of this series.)
I’ve come across important information from other Wisconsin communities relevant to Part 1 and Part 2 of my series spotlighting the current proposal to impose random drug testing (by supervised urine collection) on students at Cedarburg High School. Here ’tis:
Whether you and I agree on everything, or even anything, one thing I’m sure we both believe in is that uncontested elections do our communities a disservice. Good governance and democracy, both need oversight, alternative points of view, diversity of experience, and occasionally a bright spotlight, to avoid both tunnel vision and corruption. Accordingly, I have supported Dan Carr’s candidacy as the lone challenger for the three School Board positions in the troubled Cedarburg School District that would otherwise be uncontested. I support Dan Carr, in spite of the fact that he and I apparently have different points of view on many issues.
President Bush 43 famously declared four years ago that the American War in Iraq was over and won. Since then it has been an OCCUPATION, with a predictable, understandable insurrection erupting during the occupation, and a terrible civil war emerging and growing rapidly SINCE the American war in Iraq was won.
There is an important bill under consideration in the Wisconsin legislature that would require that all hospital emergency rooms provide information about, and access to, emergency contraception for victims of sexual assault. Any questions you have about this proposed law are answered in the Fact Sheet provided by the Compassionate Care for Victims of Rape Coalition.
AB377/SB129 is endorsed by the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin among many others.
Click here for a quick summary of the story.
This post is a verbatim record of the communication I have had with State Senators Glenn Grothman and Alberta Darling, and Assemblymen Mark Gottlieb and James Ott, (all representing Ozaukee County), regarding this legislation to require “Compassionate Care for Victims of Rape”.
It was 40 years ago today, that Sgt. Pepper’s band began to play. Richard Nixon declared the War on Drugs 35 years ago. And it was eleven years ago that the Editors of the National Review publicly declared that “…it is our judgment that the War on Drugs has failed, that it is diverting intelligent energy away from how to deal with the problem of addiction, that it is wasting our resources, and that it is encouraging civil, judicial, and penal procedures associated with police states.”
“The well-off and the secure have too often become indifferent and oblivious to the poverty and deprivation in their midst … We cannot be content to see … people victimized with ill-health, when we have the means to help them. In the final analysis, … the agony of the poor unheeded impoverishes the rich…” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
This post contains verbatim correspondence this spring, about the worsening health care crisis, with four state legislators representing Ozaukee County, Wisconsin. Their responses are typical of the obfuscations, distortions, and prevarications that are maintaining the dysfunctional and worsening insurance industry controlled, and managed-for-profit, health care “system” in the USA.
Read ’em and weep. Or, better yet, read and then help make an impact.
Molly Ivins, Texas born and raised, closely observed local and national politics and edited and wrote for newspapers. She died last week, just before her last column appeared in print. Pretty tough lady, to keep creating her astonishingly witty column right through the last days of battling “a scorching case of breast cancer”. Most people never saw her stuff. Too bad. She was real smart, and she’s real fun to read.