Commentary

"Ron Johnson" by Gage Skidmore is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

How do you solve a problem like Ron Johnson?

BY: - August 24, 2021

The Cook Political Report recently categorized Sen. Ron Johnson’s 2022 re-election race as a “toss-up” — making Johnson the only incumbent in the country to earn that dubious distinction, which is particularly unusual for a two-termer whose challenger is yet to be determined. And that was even before Johnson’s top-polling prospective opponent, Lt. Gov. Mandela […]

WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 16: A U.S. military helicopter flies over the Afghan Embassy in a leafy, quiet neighborhood in the northwest section of the U.S. capital on August 16, 2021 in Washington, DC. The Taliban has taken control of Afghanistan's government more swiftly than experts expected, forcing Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to flee the country and U.S. President Joe Biden to send thousands of troops to Kabul to secure the evacuation of U.S. citizens. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Afghan refugees remind us of how connected we are to the rest of the world

BY: - August 19, 2021

Early this week, as the eyes of the world focused on the rapidly unfolding tragedy in Afghanistan, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)  in Washington, DC, sent out a poignant press release. The group’s statement had nothing to do with the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, or the Muslim refugees desperately trying to flee the Taliban […]

IV drip in foreground with person laying in a hospital bed in the background unfocused

Should the unvaccinated be denied health care?

BY: - August 18, 2021

The Hippocratic oath requires doctors to treat all patients equally — but what happens when you run out of doctors? This isn’t the first time medical staff and hospital beds were in short supply during the pandemic. There is, however, something notably different this time. In the early stages of COVID-19, patients overflowed hospitals at […]

United States Flag Capitol State Building during Covid19 2020 novel coronavirus Pandemic, 3d virus medical model, Washington DC, USA (photo by Sono Creative/Stock Images)

COVID brings front and center the tug between individual rights and the public good

BY: - August 16, 2021

It seems that getting control of the coronavirus has brought front and center the question: When should an individual’s right become more important than what is in the best interest of the health and welfare of the people, the country? The Bill of Rights places a high priority on individual freedoms — the bedrock of our democracy […]

Cup scooping drinking water out of a lake or river with stones on the bottom

It’s time to reclaim Wisconsin’s legacy of water protection

BY: - August 12, 2021

August is National Water Quality Month, a month dedicated to bringing awareness to the fact that access to clean water is a human right we all share.  In Wisconsin — home of 15,000 lakes, two of the largest freshwater bodies in the world, and an amount of groundwater roughly equal to the volume of Lake […]

William Frantz Elementary School, New Orleans, 1960. "After a Federal court ordered the desegregation of schools in the South, U.S. Marshals escorted a young Black girl, Ruby Bridges, to school." Note: Photo appears to show Bridges and the Marshals leaving the school. She was escorted both to and from the school while segregationist protests continued. (Photo: U.S. Department of Justice. As a work of the U.S. federal government, this image is in the public domain (17 U.S.C. § 101 and 105)

Nonsense about critical race theory is beginning to do real harm

BY: - August 11, 2021

On Wednesday the Wisconsin Legislature’s Senate and Assembly education committees will hold a joint hearing on banning critical race theory in K-12 schools.  Critical race theory — a previously obscure school of legal and academic thought that holds that racism isn’t just a matter of personal prejudice but deeply embedded in U.S. institutions through a […]

Thousands of white flags on a field representing COVID deaths

Debate on COVID vaccinations is reminiscent of smoking bans

BY: - August 10, 2021

This notion that one’s “rights” are more important than the health and well-being of others has a long history. Our problem with the unvaccinated is just the latest manifestation. Right. Americans are belatedly lining up in impressive numbers to be immunized against COVID-19. And, still, at about 60% of the population, not enough are doing […]

cream puff

Fighting COVID with cream puffs

BY: - August 6, 2021

The changing guidance on protecting yourself and others from COVID-19 is both discouraging and confusing.  Just recently, the uber-politically correct Willy Street Co-op on the east side of Madison was a mask-free zone — a sure sign the pandemic was lifting. Now, after the entire state’s COVID activity rate suddenly was upgraded to “high” by […]

The A Bomb Dome in Hiroshima in 2015. The dome, which was part of the city’s industrial exhibition hall, was directly beneath the atomic bomb dropped Aug. 6, 1945. (Max McCoy/Kansas Reflector)

Friday is the 76th anniversary of Hiroshima. Doomsday is closer than ever.

BY: - August 6, 2021

Let me tell you a story of witness and heartbreak. Friday is the 76th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, and that’s where our story is forever frozen in time. Unlike memories, which are malleable, fade with age, and eventually die with us, photographs bear perpetual witness. That’s why photo captions, ideally, should be […]

Friday the 13th still

Running away from the GOP

BY: - August 2, 2021

The head of the Republican Party of Wisconsin quietly stepped down last week. According to Wispolitics it was during a recent summer vacation with his young children that it suddenly occurred to GOP state chair Andrew Hitt that he ought to quit. Can you blame him? Hitt took the job in 2018, right after Republicans […]

A Covid-19 vaccine vial and a syringe (Getty Images)

My daughter is enrolled in Pfizer’s vaccine trial because I don’t trust COVID

BY: - July 30, 2021

On a sunny Wednesday a little over a month ago, my 7-year-old daughter bravely held my hand as we walked into Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City to participate in a pediatric vaccine trial.  After a numbing agent, a blood draw and a nasal swab, she was finally injected with either a placebo or the […]

Wisconsin State Supreme Court entrance

The organized takeover of Wisconsin courts

BY: - July 29, 2021

It barely rated a mention in the news when, on June 28, the Wisconsin Supreme Court issued an order relieving Court of Appeals Chief Judge Lisa Neubauer of her leadership duties.  Neubauer ran for the Supreme Court in 2019 with the support of Democrats and progressives, in an election won by a razor-thin margin by […]