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Middle Wisconsin News - May 2012

Middle Wisconsin News - May 2012

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Published by: Middle Wisconsin on May 24, 2012
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Middle Wisconsin
May 24, 2012
May. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
Fighting Bob Fest . . . . . . . 2
Working Wisconsin . . . . . 3
Something to Consider. . . 4
Recall Endorsement. . . . . 5
Commonwealth . . . . . . . . 6
Worker’s Memorial. . . . . . .8
Dropping the Bomb . . . . .10
The Mining Bill. . . . . . . . 11
Freedom for All. . . . . . . . 12
Worth Repeating . . . . . . 13
Challenging the Myth . . . 14
© 2011Middle Wisconsin
It is nearing the end of May in Wisconsin, and the shades of green on the hillsidesand in the woodlands are beyond description. Each spring our state becomes a par-adise of new life
of resurrection and hope. Can there possibly be a more lush andverdant place on Earth? And perhaps this rebirth is a symbol of the renewal taking place all across Wisconsin.
In cities and countrysides throughout our state we are reaffirming what it means to be a Wisconsinite
and in truth what it means to be an American. We are reaffirm-ing our belief in fairness, in mutual respect, and in a sense of community and thecommon good. We are reaffirming our belief in life.
As we go forward in the months ahead we know we will face problems and strug-gles. But let us remember that we live in Wisconsin. Let us remember that rebirthand renewal surround us.
MAY 2012
Middle Wisconsin Newswelcomes letters, articlesand essays on relevant top-ics. We ask that you limitsubmissions to 800 wordsand provide sources whenappropriate. Submissionsmay be edited for length,clarity and taste. Emailedsubmissions should be sentin plain text or MicrosoftWord attachments to:dave@middlewisconsin.org
The second annual Bob Fest was held at Northern Wisconsin State Fairgrounds, Chippewa Falls, Wis-consin. Ed Garvey started the original FightingBobFest in Baraboo over ten years ago. It was movedto Madison a few years ago to accommodate the thousands of people who attend. So now there are twoBobFests in Wisconsin, one in spring in Chippewa Falls and the other in fall in Madison.
It brings today’s best progressive speakers to the Midwest to inspire local people to speak and act oncritical problems that endanger our democracy. It is a perfect place to remember Fighting Bob LaFol-lette who liked to speak at fairgrounds and parks around the state. During this time in Wisconsin poli-tics, the need for clarity about how money influences elections, campaigns and government is greater than ever.
There is so much I could tell you about the day. In the interest of space, I will give highlights. Timeand again the speakers emphasized that this election is far bigger than Democrats versus Republicans.This is wealth and powerful corporations versus the people.
Dana Schultz of Athens is the director of 9
5, an organization in Milwaukee working for equal rightsfor women. She reminded us that it is the middle
class that creates jobs.
“We all do better when we all do better.” Nino Amato (from the Amato Restaurants in Madison) is the director of Coalition of Wisconsin AgingGroups of Madison. Their mission is to reduce conflicts of interest between prescribers and pharma-ceutical and medical device companies. He recommended two books:
The Time of Our Lives
by TomBrokaw and
That Used to Be Us
by Tom
Friedman. He reminded us that it took over 100 years to gain women suffrage.
Bob Kincaid of West Virginia is a union progressive hillbilly. He hosts a radio show:
HORN (Head
Radio Network) in Appalachia. He told about the coal companies that have blownoff the tops of 500 mountains, burying 2000 miles of streams.He told how the ideas of Bob LaFollette caught fire in West Virginia. He reminded us that the nation iswatching Wisconsin. If the Corporate Powers can destroy Wisconsin, they can win anywhere.
Mike McCabe gave a wonderful, fact
filled speech, as usual. He reminded us that the more moneyinvolved, the less democracy there is. Because of the work of investigative journalists, many peoplenow know about Citizens United and ALEC.
Mike McCabe advised us to think about where we want to START in our work with Wisconsin poli-tics. For the past year, we have concentrated on what we want to STOP, namely Governor Walker andhis radical ideas. Currently, he sees two political parties: one is scarey and the other is scared. TheDemocratic Party is damaged and we need to recover its purpose of progress for every person. Politi-cians need to be free to lead, not to be obliged to financial supporters. If you want to know how to de-velop a progressive party, follow the path of the 1911 session of the Wisconsin Legislatures. We needto do what citizens need, not what corporate power and money desire.Mahlon Mitchell, candidate for Lieutenant Governor, gave a dazzling speech. So did Ruth Conniff of the
I knew that John Nichols writes very well. However, I had never heard him speak and I was riveted to my chair. I couldn’t even take notes. He gave a sensational speech. Then Senator Kathleen Vinehout spoke. Again we stood many many times applauding loudly. She told how Gov.Walker found the state surplus by delaying payment of bills. This only adds to the interest our stateowes. He re
financed the existing debt. The Governor delayed more debt than Gov. Doyle did in his 8years of office.
I left that afternoon session with my ears ringing and my head full of information and ideas, resolved todo all I can to get out the vote on June 5.
Middle Wisconsin
May 24, 2012
Page 2
“Once socialchange begins,it cannot be re-versed. Youcannot unedu-cate the personwho haslearned toread. You can-not humiliatethe person whofeels pride.You cannot op- press the peo- ple who arenot afraid any-more.”
Cesar Chavez
© 2011Middle Wisconsin
By Virginia Kirsch
Fighting Bob Fest May 19, 2012
Divide and Conquer 
“A single twig breaks, but the bundle of twigs is strong.” – Tecumseh Shawnee Chief 
 A certain Father had a family of Sons, who were forever quarreling among themselves. Nowords he could say did the least good, so he cast about in his mind for some very striking ex-ample that should make them see that discord would lead them to misfortune.
One day when the quarreling had been much more violent than usual and each of the Sonswas moping in a surly manner, he asked one of them to bring him a bundle of sticks. Thenhanding the bundle to each of his Sons in turn he told them to try to break it. But althougheach one tried his best, none was able to do so. The Father then untied the bundle and gavethe sticks to his Sons to break one by one. This they did very easily.
 My Sons,"said the Father, " do you not see how certain it is that if you agree with each other and help each other, it will be impossible for your enemies to injure you? But if you are divid-ed among yourselves, you will be no stronger than a single stick in that bundle." . (Aesop)
When you go out in the world, watch for traffic, hold hands, and stick together. (Robert Ful- ghum
All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten)
I am astonished on a daily basis how the State of Wisconsin has come to a point where neigh- bor is pitted against neighbor, communities are divided and workers are demonized. It is tru-ly surreal the animosity between us. I grieve for my State.
It is only together that we can accomplish great things, great ideas and great communities.The myth of the self 
made man must be rejected. The vast majority of us are workers. Thereare few that are born with silver spoons in our mouths. When we believe the myths that di-vide and conquer us, we are weak and will be exploited. That is exactly the reasons that Un-ions were formed
to fight for economic and social justice. I hear the echo chamber that Un-ions have outlived their usefulness. Really? Would economic and social justice be main-tained without Unions? Would corporations pay workers a living wage and not just a mini-mum wage without Unions? Are single twigs stronger that a bundle of sticks?I had an interesting conversation the other day. An acquaintance told me that he was talkingto another person about the myth of the self 
made man and he argued that there are some who just cannot keep their heads above water due to conditions that are not in their control. Heasked this person how we should treat these people in our community. The person responded by saying something like “Well that is just their lot in life and “they” should not get any assis-tance.” He then asked could you please make a list of specific people’s names in his commu-nity who should live so miserably and we should not help out. The conversation abruptlychanged. He put a real face on the issue
he put a human face on the divisive ideals that this person expounded. Would your views change if you had to personally tell your neighbor “tough luck for you
no helping hand.” Unity
not division is a Wisconsin value. Enough isenough.
Middle Wisconsin
May 24, 2012
Page 3
“Most people in thecountry are lookingat everything that’shappened. It justseems it is one dis-aster after another after another. Peo- ple are starting toconnect the dots.”
Anthony Leiserowitzof Yale University, oneof the researchers whocommissioned a new poll showing 69 per cent of Americans be-lieve extreme weather is probably madeworse by global warm-ing.
© 2011Middle Wisconsin
Working Wisconsin
Labor News and Views
By John Spiegelhoff 
Merrill, WI

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