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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

President Trump delivers his third State of the Union to the nation the night before the U.S. Senate is set to vote in his impeachment trial. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Bullies in charge

BY: - May 18, 2020

Wisconsin has been re-opened for business. Forcibly reopened, it turns out, by Republican legislative leaders and four state Supreme Court justices. In a messy decision filled with incendiary language and spurious claims, the court overturned Safer at Home by “torturing the plain language” of a state statute, as Justice Rebecca Dallet put it in her […]

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 29: A U.S. Postal Worker moves packages to a conveyor belt at a processing and distribution center in Oakland, California. U.S. Postal Service workers are continuing to process and deliver the mail amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The Postal Service faces an uncertain future with revenues down an estimated 50 percent this year due to the coronavirus crisis. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Brother, can you spare a stamp?

BY: - May 13, 2020

Conservatives used to be fond of saying that government’s purpose should be limited to defending the shores and delivering the mail. Those passing themselves off as conservatives today seem intent on crossing delivering the mail off that short list. The U.S. Postal Service is bracing for a $13 billion loss in revenue because of the […]

National Memorial For Peace And Justice Examines U.S. History Of Lynchings MONTGOMERY, AL - APRIL 26: Ed Sykes (right), 77, visits the National Memorial For Peace And Justice on April 26, 2018 in Montgomery, Alabama. Sykes, who has family in Mississippi, was distraught when he discovered his last name in the memorial, three months after finding it on separate memorial in Clay County, Mississippi. "This is the second time I've seen the name Sykes as a hanging victim. What can I say?" Sykes, who now lives in San Francisco, plans to investigate the lynching of a possible relative at the Equal Justice Initiative headquarters in Montgomery before returning to California. The memorial is dedicated to the legacy of enslaved black people and those terrorized by lynching and Jim Crow segregation in America. Conceived by the Equal Justice Initiative, the physical environment is intended to foster reflection on America's history of racial inequality.

Arbery case’s true horror is safe harbor given for modern lynching

BY: - May 13, 2020

Only in recent years has white American culture become willing to stare the horror of lynching in the face, or at least glance at it sideways. It has done so only because time’s passage has made it feel safe to do so, allowing us to pretend that it was perpetrated by people utterly unlike ourselves. […]

Protester in a MAGA cheesehead at the Reopen Wisconsin rally at the Capitol on April 24, 2020 (photo by Luther Wu).

The GOP tests 2020 campaign theme: ‘Some of you will have to die’

BY: - May 11, 2020

Republicans appear to be going all-in on the idea that some of us will have to suck it up and die in order to get the economy restarted.  Can they win in 2020 with this message? Party leaders at both the state and national level seem to think so. President Donald Trump made his pitch […]

farmworkers in a field

That this system would fail was entirely predictable

BY: - May 4, 2020

As we face empty grocery shelves the fragility of our highly consolidated food system has become clear during the crisis of COVID-19. We see a market that lacks the resiliency to shift supply lines and fill those shelves, but also a food system that does not provide (and in most cases never has provided) fair […]

Protesters at the Reopen Wisconsin rally at the Capitol on April 24, 2020 (Photo by Luther Wu)

Pandemic temper tantrums

BY: - May 4, 2020

People are sick and tired of staying at home. That was the message about 30 protesters brought to Gov. Tony Evers’ residence on Friday afternoon, gathering in the street outside the wrought-iron gates of the white, columned mansion, and shouting through bullhorns “Come out Tony!” “Government is nonessential!” and “Tony the tyrant!” “Hey, better stay […]

two golden thrones

Vos and Fitzgerald’s flimsy case against ‘Safer at Home’

BY: and - April 29, 2020

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald have presented a flimsy and dangerous case for overturning the Department of Health Services’ extension of the “Safer at Home” order to May 26. Vos and Fitzgerald somehow feel they’re better equipped to make this determination than the public health experts at the Department of […]

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 16: A janitor sweeps up the entrance area to the Criminal Courts building (Photo by Brian Harkin/Getty Images)

We appreciate the thank-you, but frontline workers need your help

BY: - April 29, 2020

As someone on the front line of this pandemic, I know first-hand: The coronavirus is real, in many cases life-threatening, and it’s the janitors, security officers and more who are putting our lives on the line to keep our city and state clean and safe. I secure an essential facility in downtown Milwaukee where people […]