hearts and minds

April 3, 2015

Let Us NOT Praise Corporate Sycophants – a 2nd opinion

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…)

July 15, 2014

Is Even the Truth Unsustainable?

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.

November 11, 2009

Governing People for Profits

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.

November 8, 2008

Ozaukee and Washington County Election Result

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).

October 21, 2008

Historic Election in Ozaukee and Washington counties is ignored by the Shepherd Express

Filed under: Media criticism,Politics & elections,Wisconsin legislature — Hearts & Minds @ 6:55 am

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…)

July 15, 2008

Races for Wisconsin Legislature in Ozaukee-Washington counties confound the MSM

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…)

November 27, 2007

Mandatory Random Drug Testing Rejected by Cedarburg School District

Filed under: Bill of Rights,Education,Media criticism,War on Drugs — Hearts & Minds @ 11:04 am

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.]

April 12, 2007

Cedarburg School Board Election Post Mortem

Filed under: Education,Media criticism,Politics & elections — Hearts & Minds @ 2:10 pm

“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.

February 10, 2007

Thanks, Molly Ivins

Filed under: Media criticism,Politics & elections — Hearts & Minds @ 2:38 pm

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.

August 6, 2006

Proportion in Sentencing

Filed under: Courts and Justice,Media criticism,War on Drugs — Hearts & Minds @ 8:08 pm

A recent editorial in this paper labeled young Benjamin Stibbe of Grafton a “serial killer” and urged that he be imprisoned and never permitted to walk the streets again. That term is generally used to apply to an individual who commits by his own hand or direction, intentional, pre-meditated murder of a number of innocent, unsuspecting victims. The crime charged against Mr. Stibbe doesn’t come close to that. And life without parole would be an excessive and unwise (not to mention impossible) sentence, for several reasons.


Mea Culpa

Filed under: Chickenhawks,Iraq,Media criticism,Politics & elections,War on Terror — Hearts & Minds @ 7:23 pm

Several sharp-eyed readers caught an error of fact in my last column, Call the War Question. These politically astute persons spotted a glaring mistake when I noted the political affiliation of Congressman Jack Murtha. Probably a minority of News-Graphic readers would know the political affiliation of all members of Congress from Wisconsin, let alone their names. And even fewer would know the party of a Congressman from Pennsylvania. But if you write a column or a blog, it better be your business to dispense accurate information, or none at all. Guesswork and playing loose with the facts is maybe OK, and often done, across the fence line, or over a bump and a beer, or on shock talk radio and TV, but it has no place in a good newspaper or blog.

Domestic Feral Cat tracks a Red Herring

Filed under: Environment,Media criticism,Wisconsin Conservation Congress — Hearts & Minds @ 4:49 pm

The Conservation Congress feral cat resolution is getting miles of publicity and is unfairly billed by the media as a hunter versus animal rights controversy. C’mon. Do you actually believe there is a hunter out there who is planning a domestic cat hunt? Do you really think there are any animal rights advocates who are ignorant of the damage and depredations caused by careless, ignorant people who unleash domestic cats to reproduce and prey on threatened nesting native birds? If someone needs a conflict here to promote their career or agenda, it’s between wildlife biologists and cat fanciers.


Message for the Media

Filed under: Media criticism,Recreation — Hearts & Minds @ 8:53 am

The retarded level of intellectual content in our mass media, so we’re told, is because “that’s what people want” and “that’s all they can comprehend”. This is often explained with a backhand slap at the great American institution of publicly funded and administered universal education for all children. The attack holds public schools responsible for everything from low test scores to teen pregnancy, drug abuse, attention deficit disorder, and the fifth grade level of fare provided us by the media. It’s an unworthy attack on an honorable dream that was conceived and created in bricks and mortar with public will and hard work. It attacks a dream made real by generations of our respected pioneering predecessors to honor, serve and defend democracy, and to nurture, strengthen, and empower the next generation, and all generations to come.

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