Commentary

DRAKETOWN, GA Members of the National Socialist Movement, one of the largest neo-Nazi groups in the US, hold a swastika burning. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

No nation filled with hate can be great

BY: - August 23, 2019

Hate is not only devastatingly traumatic to those on the receiving end, it’s destructive to those doing the hating. It’s like drinking poison and expecting someone else to die. Still, hate is an undeniably powerful and seductive emotion. It incites people to action, even to violence. It is regularly put to use for political gain. […]

The voices behind driver’s license reform

BY: - August 16, 2019

Until 2007, undocumented immigrants in Wisconsin could obtain driver’s licenses. But after the passage of the federal REAL ID Act, authored by Wisconsin Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Menomonee Falls), states were forced to deny driver’s licenses to people who didn’t have Social Security numbers.  Guadalupe, a single mother of six from Milwaukee, shared in a Wauwatosa […]

Wisconsin Examiner turns one month old

BY: - August 16, 2019

My oldest daughter, Lily, turned 18 at the end of July while on a canoe trip in the Canadian Arctic all summer. This week, the rest of the family and I are headed up to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area on the Minnesota/Canada border for our last fling of summer, and to see Lily return […]

Cat drinking water from a sink tap

Avoid taking a swig of this water

BY: - August 13, 2019

There is abundant evidence that Southwest Wisconsin has concerning levels of drinking water contamination. In early August, researchers conducting the Southwest Wisconsin Groundwater & Geology (SWIGG) Study found that more than nine out of 10 wells in Grant, Iowa and Lafayette counties, that tested positive for coliform bacteria in prior sampling rounds, contained fecal matter […]

Wisconsin State Capitol

Democracy in Wisconsin: Back to the Future

BY: - August 12, 2019

When I became the director of Common Cause in Wisconsin in 1996, this state was still very much one of the bright lights in the nation when it came to honest, transparent, accountable state government and politics.   There was bipartisan consensus here that the amount of special interest money in elections was growing and that […]

Children on pavers playing and drawing with chalk toddler kids school

How to stop the teacher exodus 

BY: - August 9, 2019

It’s time to expose the myth of the teacher shortage. The conditions in today’s classrooms and the ridiculous education policies are responsible for a mass exodus—not shortage—of passionate professionals from their classrooms. Since the release of A Nation at Risk in 1983, public schools and their teachers have been under assault from a political and […]

UW Response to White Nationalism: Threaten Students Protesting Hate

BY: - August 7, 2019

White nationalism is on the rise and the University of Wisconsin System is poised to do something about it–by threatening to expel students who protest purveyors of hate, racism, misogyny and xenophobia on campus.  Next week, the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents will hold a public hearing on August 13 on a “Nonacademic Student […]

Words far beyond dog whistle fertilize hate

BY: - August 4, 2019

If you’re human and not numbed by the horrifying repetition, each mass shooting stirs some measure of outrage and empathy. If the mass shooting targets a specific group and you are a member of that group, trust me, the feeling is far more pronounced, more visceral. Millions of Latinos like me awoke Sunday morning, the […]

Holstein cows in a barn at the Marshfield Agricultural Research Station's north campus near Stratford, Wis., Wednesday afternoon, July 11, 2018. Photo by Michael P. King/UW-Madison CALS

Milk: Too Much of a Good Thing

BY: - July 29, 2019

Our cup runneth over. In 2018 Wisconsin dairy farmers produced a record 30.6 billion pounds of milk. That’s billion with a “b.” We’ve been trained to see increase and plentitude as always a good thing. In the case of milk, America’s Dairyland has too much of a good thing. To be fair it’s not just […]

Thumbs up for McCain’s thumbs down

BY: - July 26, 2019

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) was many things, and very different things to different people. His legacy is complicated, whatever your politics or your feelings towards the man and his life in public service. What is indisputable is that we didn’t always know what we would get from him. Whether you believe him worthy of his […]

Don’t divert our Great Lakes

BY: - July 25, 2019

In 2018, citizens around the Great Lakes Basin celebrated the 10th anniversary of The Great Lakes Compact, a landmark piece of legislation that protects the Great Lakes as a vital economic, cultural and environmental resource. The Compact, signed into law by George W. Bush in October 2008, details how the Great Lakes Basin’s water supply […]

The scourge of privacy

BY: - July 24, 2019

I like privacy as much as the next person. I don’t want anybody tapping my phone or peeking through my windows. I’m even irked that whenever I go online to shop for, say, chainsaws or hiking boots, every other web site I go to afterward reminds me of my interest in these products. But as […]