Commentary

COMMENTARY
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 16: Surrounded by members of law enforcement, U.S. President Donald Trump holds up an executive order he signed on “Safe Policing for Safe Communities” during an event in the Rose Garden at the White House (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Trump’s weird, rambling speech is a clear signal to supporters: Time to get off the Trump train

BY: - June 17, 2020

Was anyone comforted by Donald Trump’s Rose Garden speech announcing his executive order on safe policing? “There are bad police officers,” Trump acknowledged, “but they are very tiny.” This statement came after the president assured the families of Black people killed by police, “We are going to pursue what we said we will be pursuing, […]

COMMENTARY
Protesters confronting riot-clad officers on the first day. Officers were blocking side streets. (Photo by Isiah Holmes)

‘I was in a gang. It’s called the police.’

BY: - June 11, 2020

At the time, I laughed. Nearly 13 years later, amid the protests convulsing American cities over police brutality and racism, it doesn’t seem like a joke. I was writing profiles of the candidates vying to replace a longtime south Louisiana sheriff and Godfrey “Doc” Buquet, a retired chief of detectives who looked more than a […]

COMMENTARY

Scott Jensen tries to “pre-rig” redistricting

BY: - June 8, 2020

Scott Jensen, the disgraced former Speaker of the Assembly, is still acting as a battering ram for Wisconsin Republicans. Last week, he filed a request with the Wisconsin Supreme Court for new rules on redistricting, rules that would require that any legal challenges over the redistricting process next year would go straight up to the […]

COMMENTARY
Nursing Home worker

Wisconsin seniors face extraordinary risks amid pandemic

BY: - June 8, 2020

As the COVID19 pandemic rages in America, our senior citizens face extraordinary risks.  I know, because I’m one of them. As a lung transplant survivor requiring immunosuppressing drugs, I fall squarely into the highest risk categories. To date, about 80% of coronavirus deaths in America have been seniors over the age of 65.  But in […]

COMMENTARY

Living as brothers and sisters

BY: - June 5, 2020

Where do I begin? The pandemic in which I must strongly isolate because of my age and my wife’s cancer? The explosive outrage that was bound to come because we as a nation have been  unable to reduce the number of deaths of African Americans at the hands of police? Or do I start  as […]

COMMENTARY
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 01: Demonstrators stand in front law enforcement who are holding a perimeter during protest in downtown Washington, DC. Protests and riots continue in cities across America following the death of George Floyd, who died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. Chauvin, 44, was charged with second-degree murder. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Rejecting Trump’s American carnage

BY: - June 4, 2020

Remember Donald Trump’s “American carnage” speech? In in his inaugural address — an opportunity most presidents use to unite and inspire the nation — Trump presented a vision of America so dark and violent it might have been the opening scene from a Batman movie: “Mothers and children trapped in poverty in our inner cities, […]

COMMENTARY
Natalia Fajardo and her husband Gabriel in Milwaukee. (Photo provided.)

You are only as healthy as I am

BY: - June 4, 2020

March was three months ago. It was also a lifetime ago. In mid-March, both my husband and I had jobs. We were able to travel occasionally to our home country of Colombia to visit our families and get medical care. We could send money to our families there. We didn’t have a lot, but we […]

COMMENTARY
Riot police block the freeway access for protesters during the second day of protests. (Photo by Isiah Holmes)

Law and order won’t save us

BY: - June 3, 2020

The angry, blaring buzzes came first, interrupting my radio oldies. The nearby City of Kenosha was telling me one recent evening of a state of emergency that required residents there to stay in their homes. Other public announcements followed from Milwaukee, also warning residents it was time to stay in their homes. In America in […]

COMMENTARY
Portrait of Marie Antoinette

The Republicans’ Marie Antoinette moment

BY: - May 27, 2020

As the November election approaches, there is reason to believe the Republicans have gone too far. That’s hard to imagine, I know, in the era of Donald Trump. It shakes your faith in democracy when the President of the United States retweets racist rants and promotes his own cockamamie medical theories — prompting the makers […]

COMMENTARY
Cows graze on the Tranel Family Farm, Organic Valley farmer-member (photo courtesy of Organic Valley)

Make a resilient, localized food system part of the next stimulus

BY: and - May 26, 2020

From wasted food, to the exploitation of farmworkers, the COVID-19 pandemic has made it painfully clear that this country’s food system must be changed. Politicians must pass further stimulus legislation that includes policy to reform our inflexible, consolidated system and to prepare for future crises.   Consider the many problems in the meat industry. Workers ill […]

COMMENTARY
World War II veterans, their families and military representatives of the countries that participated in the D-Day invasion hold a wreath laying ceremony at the World War II Memorial on the National Mall on the 75th anniversary of Operation Overlord, June 06, 2019 in Washington, DC. | Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Memorial Day: Time to reflect on the true costs of war

BY: - May 25, 2020

Today is a subdued Memorial Day, with virtual ceremonies and fewer, smaller gatherings. Perhaps the pandemic will give Americans some extra time for reflection and help add some perspective to the observance. It is appropriate that we honor and remember those who died while serving the United States in wartime. But the Memorial Day celebration […]

COMMENTARY
Pig farm

Why euthanize 600,000 pigs?

BY: - May 22, 2020

A New York Times article on May 14, 2020 noted that Iowa hog farmers would be euthanizing an estimated 600,000 hogs over the next six weeks, while Minnesota farmers already had killed 90,000 hogs. For these farmers, this pencils out roughly to losses of $96.85 million and $14.53 million respectively in Iowa and Minnesota (at […]