Court plans few map changes”
I was dismayed but not surprised that our Supreme Court voted 4-3 to basically maintain the current legislative district maps. The most specious argument seems to have come from Justice Rebecca Bradley who contended that the justices must make as few changes as a way to “respect the past choices lawmakers have made.” Where was the respect shown to all of the lawmakers ten years ago when the maps where drawn behind closed doors using computer algorithms known only to a few, to maximize Republican’s advantage? Where was the respect shown to the voters of Wisconsin who have repeatedly voiced their desire to eliminate partisan redistricting?
Justice Bradley further contends,”Claims of political unfairness in the maps present political questions not legal ones.” She further states that the questions, “must be resolved through the political process and not by the judiciary.” How can the voters use the political process when the current political process has essentially been stripped of meaning?
Is not the right to vote a legal question? Is not the right to have all votes counted equally a legal question? How can issues so fundamental to our democracy not have the weight of a “legal” question to this Court? The outrageous maps created ten years ago removed any chance of reform through the political process. The Wisconsin Supreme Court has just placed our democracy on very thin ice for another ten years. With global warming, it is unclear just how long this ice will even last.
WILL DEMOCRACY SURVIVE IN WISCONSIN? We hear from respected legal analyst, Jill Wine-Banks:
- Author of The Watergate Girl
- Co-host, #SistersInLaw and iGenPolitics Podcasts
- Former Assistant Watergate Special Prosecutor
- General Counsel of US Army in Carter Administration
Democracy is once again in peril, and Wisconsin is a prime example.
We explore the statewide and national implications of the erosion of democracy with Ms. Wine-Banks, Representative Evan Goyke (moderator) and Wisconsin Representatives Deb Andraca and Jonathan Brostoff.RSVP Sunday, December 5th, 7-8:30 pm. You will receive a link to join the webinar when you sign up.
Any donation is welcome. After you rsvp, you will be taken directly to the donation page! Or, if you prefer, send a check to:
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Brown Deer, WI 53223
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Heartland Forward a Bentonville, AK think tank, came out with a report covering entrepreneurship across the country and the results for Wisconsin that were shockingly dismal but not surprising.
When it comes to entrepreneurial development, Wisconsin ranks 45th. Our neighbor Minnesota, on the other hand, comes in 25th.
This report is yet another sign that, with the thankful exception of having a Democratic governor, our state is in the grips of a regressive Republican party.
This ranking reflects a real problem for this state because the job creators in any economy are new companies. These jobs generate income growth that is good for Wisconsin, and that income will bring revenue into our state treasury.
Wisconsin Wish List
Ask any Badger state resident if they want to see our economy grow, and the answer will be yes. But the problem is you won’t be getting any of this because Robin Vos and company have other things on their mind.
Emblematic of the problem is several years ago, I had the chance to talk to the head of Research Park on the west end of Madison. This gentleman was chief of staff to Tommy Thompson, a life-long Republican, and let me throw in a practicing Catholic.
Among the research happening there was the application of embryonic stem cell therapy. He told me that he had invited a number of state legislators to view what goes on in the labs. The reply from Robin Vos, “I will not spend the time because my mind is already made up on this.”
Vos may have had a personal aversion to the research, but my money is on he knows his base is opposed to embryonic stem cell research, and for him, politics always comes first.
His base also includes Wisconsin’s wealthy one percent, who hates to see the state spend money on anything, but they love their tax cuts. But investment is what we need to pull us out of the entrepreneurial basement.
Wisconsin Is More Unified Than We Think
There is a lot of stuff the people of both parties in this state want – clean water, marijuana legalization, Badgercare expansion, increased education funding, increased money for law enforcement; this list goes on, but kids, in this state, Santa is not coming.
We can’t get what we want because not exactly the state’s best and the brightest have their legislative seats locked down because of the way the districts are engineered to keep them in power. So the only constituency they have in their minds is the state’s wealthiest.
Sure, you and your family have voted Republican for generations. Still, unless we fix our legislative map problem, you’ll have to learn to live without clean drinking water, broadband access, or in this case, an entrepreneurial-friendly state which could open up opportunities for all of us.
The state motto, after all, is FORWARD!
If you have fallen behind on all the distortions around the COVID vaccines, the letter in last week’s Ozaukee Press was an excellent way for you to get up to date.
The claim we see a lot is that the vaccine is a joke as the letter writer claimed, i.e., it is not effective in stopping people from catching the infection and spreading it. This falls along the lines that the vax is not perfect (like all vaccines), so why use it?
For starters despite her claims that what clinics are injecting into our bodies is not a vaccine is not true. Per the CDC, these vaccines, which have been in development for decades, may work differently from other vaccines, but they are still vaccines.
Hence, the confusion and the distortions that come out of confusion. Fact is the vaccines still trigger an immune response inside your body.
The purpose of this claim is that vaccine opponents get pinned down when it is pointed out that we, going back to our days as children, have been required to take a whole battery of vaccines to get into pre-school. When the anti-vaxxers are asked what’s the difference they can’t come up with a cogent response.
So, most disturbing is that vax opponents like Jim Jorden are coming back with we should drop the mandates on all vaccines. To many of us what Jordan wants to do should be very concerning and a dangerous by-product of the anti-vax movement.
It turns out that Donald Drumpf supporters have been very helpful in disproving her assertions about the COVID vaccine by following the writer’s advice and, for the most part, refusing to take the jab. We know that you can spot those counties that are COVID hot spots because they largely went for Drumpf.
She maintains that we will have “never-ending booster shots.” Here’s a great way to avoid that. Get the vaccine. Those Drumpf County hot spots are the breeding groups for new variants to mutate.
Yes, other groups are avoiding getting vaccinated, but the Drumpf backers seem to be less moveable.
What is especially interesting is the claim that people who have contacted COVID don’t need the shot. So, what’s the alternative to getting vaccinated?
Go out and catch COVID? Great plan.
Sadly, public health has become a political issue because one side has decided to make it political at the expense of our health, our economy, and way too many lives.
To the Editor:
Based on the letters in the Ozaukee Press over the last couple of weeks around the Afghanistan withdrawal, it seems that a lot of people believe that the legacy of a predecessor president magically disappears, and the next person starts from zero.
So what Did Donald Trump leave Joe Biden?
- US troop strength down by 12,500 to around 2,500, just enough to get us out.
- The release of 5,000 Taliban prisoners, who no doubt participated in retaking of Afghanistan.
- Not telling the Afghan government what he was up to and not briefing the incoming administration, hampering their effective transition.
- Gutting the Special Immigrant Visa program, resulting in a good part of the evacuation chaos.
As for the charge about leaving behind weapons, most of them were in the hands of the Afghan army, and to destroy them at any time would lead to the immediate collapse of the Afghan government and even more evacuation chaos.
Yes, the buck stops with Biden, but his administration did accomplish the largest airlift in history out of the country and is currently working with the Taliban to extract more people despite the Trump sabotage.
So, if you want to wave the bloody shirt, when Trump on impulse decided to pull out of Syria and leave our Kurdish allies to the tender mercies of the Turks, how many did he evacuate? Try none.
Take issue for sure about how the Biden administration handled the withdrawal, but if you are a Trump supporter or Trump himself, your criticisms are intellectually dishonest.
GRASSROOTS NORTHSHORE MEMBERS – Got an issue on your mind? The Ozaukee Press is very open about printing letters from readers.
In advance of the September 19th Zoom Townhall on Gun Violence, an article by David Kyle Johnson bats back the myths cherished by the pro-gun side. Johnson ran this around the time of the Parkland shootings, but because this issue hasn’t gone away, his points still have relevance.
As with so many issues in this country, what the majority wants doesn’t seem to count. The people for whom guns seem to validate their lives prevail too often with a whole bucket of misconceptions. These myths glue together their forces and usually have some appeal to those on the fence.
But essentially, all of the arguments for gun violence in America don’t hold up when you get out of America.
Atheism? The US has one of the most churched populations in the western world, yet the highest rate of gun violence.
Violent Video Games? Ever see what Japanese kids play on their screens? Yet, Japan had 17 deaths from gun violence in 2020.
Immorality? Try measuring what exactly that is.
There’s more in Johnson’s piece on pro-gun arguments that are like balloons – all shape but only air inside.
So, of course, for the gun fetish crowd, the causes of gun violence are everything except the always available gun in American society.
At the time Johnson wrote this article in 2018, violent gun deaths were going down, and as we all know, gun crimes (but not a lot of other crimes) have been rising in this country.
So what has led to the increase? Try the instability from the pandemic in 2020 and stress from a collapsing economy, for starters. And who was president in 2020? A man who is the very model of impulsive behavior.
The loosened gun laws passed over the last few years – including in Wisconsin – haven’t helped. It’s no accident that our freeways in Metro Milwaukee have been closed down because of road rage shoot-outs.
Thanks to our conceal and carry law, many people have their weapon right at hand in the glove compartment, available when the impulse strikes. Because the guns are now being carried around in cars, they are targets for break-ins, with the stolen guns going right out into criminal world.
But Johnson does not, as Wolf Blitzer would say, leave it there. Check out the list of common-sense gun measures that even members of the NRA can get behind.
The solution is to be as willing to push back as the weapon worships are to flood our neighborhoods with guns. The first step starts with attending our Zoom meeting on gun violence on September 19th.