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Middle WI News - September

Middle WI News - September

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Published by Middle Wisconsin

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Categories:Types, Letters
Published by: Middle Wisconsin on Sep 16, 2011
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Information Technology Solutions
Middle Wisconsin
September 16, 2011
Concert for Voters . . . . . .1
Working Wisconsin . . . . . .3
Hmong Perspectives . . . . 4
Grassroots Wisconsin . . 5The Essay Page . . . . . . . .7
Letters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
The Literary Page. . . . . . . 9
Beyond Wisconsin . . . . . 11
Challenging the Myth . . .12
© 2011Middle Wisconsin
And you know those fund raisers people are always having for victims of cancer or other medical disasters to pay for their bills? Those need to stop. It’s not right. Notbecause you care about your neighbors, but because a medical emergency shouldnot conclude with an economic emergency. It’s time for universal healthcare.” JonErpenbach paused for the crowd gathered around the stage at the 400 Block of Wausau. He spoke on a beautiful, sunny Sunday to a group gathered for music, food,friends, and voter registration.
A twelve hour concert may sound ambitious, and it was, especially since this is thefirst concert coordinated by Middle Wisconsin. Despite the stretch of time, the sched-ule was packed with talent and a variety of entertainment. Starting with Bart Hobsondressed as Mark Twain on the banjo, to the Sol-idarity Singalong straight from Madison, to Jimer on the cello with Sloppy Joe, and ending withthe rambunctious rock of Doug Kroening and theRailers, eight musical acts played with distinctflair and passion, and all agreed to do so for free. The crowd ebbed and flowed throughoutthe day, enjoying the entertainment, singing,dancing, hanging out with friends, kids’ activi-ties, and eating sno cones and eggrolls. Estimates of total attendees range from 600 up to 1000, although it is difficult tosay just how many people filtered through.
The line
up of speakers also helped draw a crowd, starting with our favorite politicallyactive farmer, Tony Schultz, who drew upon the wisdom of Eugene Debs to focus onhis message of unity. Dave Obey, a political legend in Wausau, spoke to the im-portance of the parties working together again, something that Middle Wisconsin hassought as an objective from the beginning. After Erpenbach’s rousing speech, DonnaSeidel spoke of her background and appreciation for the social systems that allowedher to get an education and be successful. I found Pat Kreitlow to be an incrediblypersonable politician with the ability to articulate the values of the community andpoint to clear policy changes.
In addition to food vendors, several information tents were available. Middle Wiscon-sin made thirty new contacts for our email list and sold out of many sizes of t
shirts. Several unions were represented and the Democratic Party tent was busy with
Continued on next page
Editorial Committee:
Dave Svetlik, Jim Mattes,
A Concert for Voters in Review
By Mandy Wright
Individuals consideringrunning for MarathonCounty Board must file by December 1st.
Concert for Voters Continued . . .
visitors all day. Most critical to the entire event though, were the tents that handedout information about the new voter ID laws and registered voters. We empow-ered 39 people to speak their voice in our democratic process and cast a vote inthe next election.
Most important to the success of an event like this was the crowd. “It was a funday,” reported Jen Powers who rode her bike down to the event, volunteered, andstayed long past her shift. Hula
hoopers found open space to get their groove onwhile children enjoyed the AFSCME childcare providers’ generosity with crafts,games, and face painting. I estimate that one hundred people came together tovolunteer everything from time spent organizing the vendors and permits, talent asa musician or childcare provider, money from an organization
although most camein the form of $20 given by individuals, and donating bottled drinks. The truegrassroots nature of our group was apparent in every aspect of this event. Mid-dle Wisconsin began as a means to make a difference in our own community. Weare well on our way folks, thank you for all your help.
Middle Wisconsin
September 16, 2011
Page 2
HAPPINESSI ASKED the professorswho teach the meaning of life to tell me what is hap-piness.
And I went to famous ex-ecutives who boss thework of thousands of men.
They all shook their headsand gave me a smile asthough I was trying tofool with them.
And then one Sunday af-ternoon I wandered outalong the Desplaines river
and I saw a crowd of Hungarians under thetrees with their womenand children and a keg of beer and an accordion.
Carl Sandburg 1878 –1967
Change ―Desplaines‖ to―Wisconsin‖ and―Hungarians‖ to―Middlewisconsinites‖ andthis works quite well!!
© 2011Middle Wisconsin
Information Technology Solutions
I am honored and humbled to receive this award, especially on this day set aside to honor the contributions and sacrifices of labor. I have dedicated my life’s work to improve theworking conditions, wages and benefits for all laborers in North Central Wisconsin andacross this great State of Wisconsin. It is a just and noble cause.
This Labor Day takes on special significance given the recent events in this state since Feb-ruary 2011. All laborers and by extension, the working and middle class are under attack bya radical fringe both at the federal and state level. These radicals, backed by the wealthy andcorporate elite, aim to turn back the progress that labor has made since the turn of the centu-ry. This would include eliminating workers voices in the workplace, scaling back child la- bor protections and reducing the minimum wage among other anti
worker legislation. Thisis being advanced under the falsehood that this is good for the ordinary worker who strug-gles to make ends meet. These anti
worker legislators, primarily in the Republican party,do not have your best economic interests in mind. The only interests they have are self 
to get elected and serve their corporate masters who financially back them.
The attacks on workers have even been embraced at the local level. Prior to the immoralunion busting law passed in June of this year, local counties and municipalities had an op- portunity to give their workers dignity and peace of mind in their workplace. The City of Wausau and Marathon County had a golden opportunity to do just this. However, Mayor Tipple and also the Marathon County Board refused to give their workers a contract eventhough they could have done so. The end result of this refusal has created a workplace of fear and uncertainness. Their actions are shameful and harmful to labor. Moreover, the sig-nificant economic bruising to these employees will drastically affect the local economy asthese employees have less disposable income to spend. These workers will, no doubt, sig-nificantly tighten their belt thus exacerbating the economic recession we are currently in.
Workers know that the only way to have a robust economy rolling is to get the money intothe hands of the laborers who buy goods and services which in turn creates jobs. You are being sold a bill of goods from the Republicans who endlessly dribble through their echochamber minions that if you give the money to the wealthy through tax breaks and corporateloopholes that they will create jobs. It is pure nonsense, contrary to an effective and proveneconomic recovery policy and encourages you to vote against your own economic self 
interests.I encourage you to stop watching fake Fox entertainment network and turn off the punditswhose message harms you. I encourage all workers to become educated about how they are being taken advantage of by the Republicans and their anti
worker agenda. Become educat-ed on the political issues which affect you, become active participants in the political processand stand up for yourself, your family, your children and your community. If you are tiredof being run over, run for political office at either the local or state level and take a stand for labor and the working class. Stand up for communities over corporations and people over  profits. The very existence of the working and middle class is at stake. You can make adifference. Solidarity my brothers and sisters in this historic struggle.
Working Wisconsin
Labor News and Views
By John Spiegelhoff 
Middle Wisconsin
September 16, 2011
Page 3
© 2011Middle Wisconsin
John Spiegelho Sta Representavefor
Wisconsin Council 40
was chosen 2011
Cizen Of The Year
by theMarathon County
Labor Council
This is the text of thespeech given by Johnat the end of theLabor Day Parade inWausau, WI

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