Defend Wisconsin News Round Up

We bring together news links on the subject of Wisconsin politics. For latest political news, follow Defend Wisconsin News Round Up on Twitter!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Janesville Gazette, partisan politics and local elected offices

In a story on December 25, Janesville Gazette came out strongly questioning whether it is appropriate for those belonging to political parties, and particularly holding offices within local parties, to serve on Janesville City Council, Rock County Board of Supervisors or School Board. This story generated much discussion, primarily from those of us who feel that the premise of the story is unfair and at least on its face appears to be biased.

As if to underline this point, this story was originally posted on the Gazette's website under this headline:
Party politics emerge in local board races ... - Janesville Gazette, which was eventually pulled from the site and replaced with this:

Republican or Democrat? It’s not supposed to matter at local level -- GazetteXtra

Here is what I wrote about this story on my main blog
Christmas Day Attack by Janesville Gazette

Lou Kaye of wrote this piece fairly pointing out that partisan politics were not an issue until the Gazette made them so:
Newspaper Injects Partisan Politics into Local Non-Partisan Elections

Vivian Creekmore, a regular contributor to this website wrote her signature Love Letter to the Gazette, highlighting the fact that everyone has a political point of view but the Gazette is displaying a "blatant political bias".
Dear Janesville Gazette

And just today, Tim Bremel, morning talk show host on "Your Talk Show" on WCLO (owned by Bliss Communications same as the Gazette) devoted half an hour to the subject.  Lack of phone calls eventually leading him to conclude that evidently the partisanship point brought up by the Gazette is "at least somewhat moot".
Partisan politics in non-partisan elected positions

What the Gazette appears to have ultimately missed is that while candidates may be more involved in partisan politics then ever in recent history (or insofar as anyone can remember), the Gazette readers live in the same politicized world as do the candidates, where this kind of involvement from those who want to be involved in positions of leadership is not just not offensive, it is expected.  The unanswered question remains not what party people (or candidates) belong to, but what do they stand for as individuals.

Stephanie Leigh needs our help!

I will get more"Likes"than Scott WalkerEveryone, I got to know Stephanie over the last several months as the voice behind the incredibly popular Facebook page "I will get more "likes" than Scott Walker".  Stephanie spends countless hours gathering and distributing information about the recall effort and the protests in general.  She follows the Occupy movement and many other liberal causes that led her fan count to reach nearly 10,000.  Stephanie is also involved with running several other pages including "The Heroic Wisconsin 14" and "Scott Walker is a Douchebag".  Together these Facebook pages have over 60,000 fans.  
Stephanie and I have never met but we communicate regularly because our missions are similar - essentially to disseminate information about the Wisconsin Protests and to bring together those who want to participate in actively helping Wisconsin gain back what was lost under the brief but fierce reign Scott Walker and the Fitzgerald brothers.  Defend Wisconsin News Round Up sticks to issues that are relevant to Wisconsin protests, while the information shared by Stephanie is far wider in its scope.  

Recently, I learned that Stephanie is struggling.  She has lost a job she held for years, her family is not doing much better than she is, and the unemployment took its time to get to her.  I, myself, do not know all the particulars but I know rent and internet access are a struggle and these are not that expensive.   I also know that there are tens of thousands of people who spend time daily, following the news that Stephanie links and re-links.

We need Stephanie Leigh and the work that she does.  This person has single-handedly brought together thousands of people who care about what is going on in Wisconsin since Scott Walker took power.  In February and March when we were at the Capitol en masse, people from all over the world called and ordered food for protesters.  Now it's the time for us to help one person who helps so many of us stay informed like a one-person information booth.

I know that whether we raise $60,000 or $600, it will help Stephanie continue to do her important work.  Just imagine if one day those pages went silent.  Not only would it limit the sources of information that all of us rely and expect to be there, but it would send a message about our resolve to those on the other side of this important debate.

Here's the link to the donation website I sat up.  Do yourself and our democracy a favor and put in a few bucks!

Yuri Rashkin
Defend Wisconsin News Round Up

Here's link to Stephanie's main site:

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Dear Janesville Gazette

Dear Janesville Gazette:

I love you. I really, really do! After all, I wouldn’t write you two letters if I didn’t love you. Please go back and read my first letter at:

You just seem to be a slow learner! Hope I didn’t hurt your feelings! But, I have a thing or two to say to you! With a loving heart--always with a loving heart!

In fact, this is actually an article that I am dedicating to you—because I love you so much—and you have so much to learn!

And, you confuse me. You really, really do! After all, the Gazette is a newspaper engaged, presumably, in journalism with a blatant political bias. And, yet, you seem to be making a point in a recent article that local office holders are suspect if they have a political affiliation? Hmmm? Doesn’t that make Bliss Communications very suspect? I am trying to understand. I really, really am!

The Janesville Gazette and Bliss Communications can have an apparent political bias, but concerned community members running for local office are not supposed to have a political affiliation? Check?

What is the definition of slander, BTW? Do you know any good attorneys? I don't need one, do I?

The title the article I am dedicating to you is:

"Democrat or Far Right Wing Rag—The Gazette Never Leaves Us Guessing"

I was seriously asking myself why the Gazette hasn’t run any articles with headlines such as:
“Rotarians Take Over the City Council!” or
“Service Club Members Dominate the County Board!” or how about
“Senior Citizens Flood Local Political Offices!” or, hmmmm…
“Church Members Command the City Council!”

Now, these are headlines that I would like to see—something you might see in “The Onion.” Something to bring a smile to my face!

After all, everyone has a right to belong to service clubs, belong to churches, and to serve their communities. And, everyone has a right to their political opinions and to political association—don’t we still? I haven’t checked lately. Maybe not!

I am a member of the Democratic Party of Rock County and we serve no state or national masters. We have a tiny budget; do no big fund-raising; do nothing more dangerous than have an annual Pasta Party--some people gain dangerous amounts of weight; and encourage everyone to participate in their communities. We do hold community participation in high regard, don’t we? Just checking.

Why, I even encourage conservatives and Republicans to register to vote, vote, and get involved in their communities.

Sit down right now with a highlighter, a good article on propaganda, and a copy of "Republican or Democrat--It's Not Supposed to Matter" from the Gazette for an educational experience. No, nevermind. Not worth the time.

I pray no one has been hoping for independent unbiased seriously researched-based journalism from our own Janesville Gazette--because you are not going to get it. But, what you are getting is a first class education in propaganda.

The title of the Gazette article and the article itself: “Republican or Democrat, It’s Not Supposed to Matter” tells us little and implies a lot. We are being told that our local city elections are becoming partisan--although later on the writer admits that local elections and local politics have always been partisan to some degree. Otherwise, why would someone refer to what must surely be a membership in the Republican Party as a $25.00 fee for a newsletter?

And, my goodness, why are the Ultra-Conservative Republican owners of the media in this area worried about who is a Democrat or Republican anyway? They have all the access they will ever need! Relax! Enjoy! You've got the Editorial Page--what more do you need?

And, good grief! I have gotten quite a promotion! I thought I was just a serving on the board of the local Democratic Party. But, no! Now, I find out that I am a “high ranking member of the Democratic Party of Rock County” along with three folks who are entering local politics. WhoooHooo. I guess we are running with the big dogs now. Imagine our surprise.

I did not know that belonging to a political party might disqualify me from public service. I might have worried about marital offenses, sexual harassment, and such like. Or, I might not have worried since they don’t seem to matter.

Oh, poopy. I forgot. That’s propaganda. The Gazette writer could have said, “Three of the candidates for local office are officers of the local Democratic Party.” That’s denotation--just the facts.

But, the Gazette wants to connote something an ittsy bittsy bit different. Ohhh...ahhhh...they want to portray Demorats as a little bit dangerous. So, three Democratic candidates become “high ranking members...” Why that sentence could end in anything--just use your imagination!

More scary music...and the question, “Coincidence?” What if it isn't a coincidence? What if Democrats have a plan? It has never happened before, but, hey anything's possible! What could be scarier than Democrats with a plan to…wait for it…take over local government? Democrats could…cannot think of anything, but I am shaking in my boots! Oh, wait, I am a Democrat. They had ME scared for a moment!

Oh, and what if it isn’t a coincidence that the Gazette ran this story now? What if…what if…surely not!?! What if the owners of the Gazette want the readers to vote for Republicanish type non-partisanish contenders for local elections and THAT was the point of this story?
Are Republicans also gearing up for more partisanship in response to the current climate? Now, that would imply that Republicans haven’t already been actively seeking to dominate local politics? What? The article kinda sorta made it sound like they couldn’t identify any Repuplicans on the city council or county board. Hmmm...what would happen if we did a background check of everyone on the county board or city council?

And, my goodness, that ugly word, “springboard” came into play! Holy kitty cats! Springboard. I have never heard a worse accusation in my life. A Democrat might “springboard” from a local position to a higher political position. I predict that this word will be bandied all over Facebook on the Republican Party sites. Ohhhh…Ahhh…I predict that someone will write about this. Democrats are springboarding everywhere--something that has never been done by a Republican. Ever.

Would it be splitting hairs to point out that some of the folks on the city council might just be denying that they “belong” to the Republican Party but are splitting hairs and could not really deny that they are Republicans or conservative in values or ideology? Or that they vote Republican in every blessed election. Because, if there is anything nastier than spitting hairs, I don’t know what it is. Sounds disgusting.

For example, the Gazette can almost skate by with this article passing as journalism by interviewing someone from Madison and questioning a few Republicns--did I say Republicans? I meant to say city council members. And posing a rhetorical question or two about whether the R’s are responding to the bruhaha in Madison…Uh, the answer to any question about R’s responding to bruhahas in Madison is “No.” The R's are not responding to the bruhaha in Madison. They are causing the bruhaha in Madison. I love the word "bruhaha," don't you?

So, the Gazette couldn't find any Republicans on the Janesville City Council or the Rock County Board and we are being asked to believe that Democrats entering local elections are the cause of increasing partisanship. I hope I have completely misrepresented that.

Thank goodness some lady pointed out her anxieties about another council member’s comments. It is my professional opinion that she cannot take the heat and should get out of the kitchen and take medication. My goodness—how self-serving can you get!

The idea that people cannot work together to solve community problems and manage our local government is crazy.

The idea that people do not have a right to political affiliation or that makes them unable to serve their communities is horse hockey.

The idea that the Gazette ran this article just to let the Republicans know who to vote for is totally possible.

It is the Gazette that has an agenda. It is Bliss Communications that has an agenda. We are not going to get open and honest journalism from this newspaper. JMNHO.

But, it isn’t the agenda that bothers me. No, it is the complete lack of sophistication in how it is presented. How stupid do you think we are? Pretty stinkin’ stupid obviously!

Hey, I am smart! I deserve good propaganda! I deserve the best propaganda. Get up earlier and work harder.

I loathe, despise, hate, abhor, detest, abominate, and repudiate being underestimated! The readers of the Gazette are intelligent discerning people who deserve better than this!

If you are going to serve us propaganda, then by G-d, I want better propaganda! I am sick of this puerile transparent rubbish! No more with simple negative connotations. After all, Democrat is a positive word in some circles! I love Democrats!

Stop with the simple formulae and give us some propaganda with meat on the bones! Give us some research that is hard to repudiate! Give us some glittering generalities, testimonials, and more bad logic! I want to hear some good bandwagon speeches! Make me work harder!

Bliss Communications thinks the residents of South Central Wisconsin are so d@#$ dumb, that we don’t recognize blatant attempts to sabotage candidates for city council. The Gazette thinks you and I are so stupid that we don’t know that not officially joining the Republican Party means that you are not a Republican.

[Someone, please let me know what constitutes libel and slander and if I am getting close?]

Hope I didn’t hurt your feelings! Bless your hearts! I just love you to death! Want a piece of cake? Pie? I've got candy! I want my own radio show. Oh, has anyone mentioned that you need more balance, any balance, actually, on the radio. Happy New Year!

Your friend,


Monday, December 26, 2011

December 17-26 Protest News Round Up

Yuri Rashkin: Christmas Day Attack by Janesville Gazette

Defend Wisconsin News Round Up: LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Was it you who dug the deep gouge keying my c

Defend Wisconsin News Round Up: 20 Reasons Why Wisconsin Teachers Deserve Good Pay and Generous Bene

Defend Wisconsin News Round Up: Dear Republican Christian Gentlemen

Live Online Chat with Yuri Rashkin, Assembly candidate

A Christmas Message From America's Rich | | Rolling Stone

Defend Wisconsin News Round Up: Dear Education Grinches

Party politics emerge in local board races -- GazetteXtra

Jim Bowman column: Obstacles to voting are becoming apparent

Newsmaker of the Year: All eyes on Governor Scott Walker

Daily Kos: Twas the Night Before Recall, or A Visit From a Fighting Spirit, a poem by Steven P. Se

Walker's travel called into question


Walker elusive on his travels

Wall Photos

Please Sign Gov. Walkers Coal Christmas Card

"Peace on earth? NOT in Wisconsin!!" by We the People -- GazetteXtra

Tom Barrett hasn't signed the recall petition

The Reasons for Democratic Optimism in Wisconsin - Hotline On Call

Scott Walker - Nothing to See Here, Move Along

Tommy Thompson's Secret Talks With Scott Walker Show Conservative Drift of Walker's Wisconsin

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker says he has regrets about collective bargaining measure

Chetek man brings Gov. Walker gift of petitions

Scott Walker: Regrets, he’s had a few |

The Sleeping Giant. Or: How Wisconsin Came Together And Changed The Course Of History AVAILABLE NOW

Cognitive Dissidence: Walkergate: The Christmas Train Wreck


State releases details of budget cuts; UW System to take biggest hit

Biz Beat: Jobs report notes high number of Wisconsin layoffs

Walker: State Is Headed In Right Direction

Walker recall activists shoot for a million signatures - Isthmus | The Daily Page

Governor asks Guard to assist Santa Claus

The Political Environment: The WMC's Mining Meltdown

Union leaders urge Barrett not to run in recall race - JSOnline

Walker Supporters: Short Attention Span Theater Feeds the Beast

Hungry Guy: The A.P.A.'s psychopath checklist applied to Governor Scott Walker

Governor Of The Year – Scott Walker

Walker to outline $174 million in new budget cuts - JSOnline

Janesville - Rock County: Having Some Fun With Time and Their "Prophet"

Janesville - Rock County: All Wisconsin Republicans Voted To Raise Taxes On Middle Class

Gov. Walker dominates the air waves early in push to burnish his image - JSOnline

Walker struggles to fulfill promise to create 250K jobs

Fitzgerald's Partisan GAB Pipe Dream Falls Flat

The Reasons for Republican Optimism in Wisconsin - Hotline On Call

Save America Stop Walker

River Falls woman arrested for spitting on recall worker in Wisconsin -

Milwaukee State Rep. Grigsby In Intensive Care

Sly In The Morning: Chief Political Correspondent Dylan Brogan Questions Governor

Witness: Sensenbrenner said first lady has "big butt" - JSOnline

Working Families, Community Members Help Those on Strike This Holiday Season - Wisconsin State AFL-C

‎"The district attorney who filed a lawsuit challenging Wisconsin's law passed earlier this year effectively ending collective bargaining rights for most public workers said Thursday he is considering asking the state Supreme Court to rehear the case. Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne told The Associated Press he was looking at making the request after learning that Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman had received free legal services from a law firm that defended the law in that case decided in June."

Peter Barca: A Year for the Wisconsin History Books

Green Bay Firefighters Union Agrees to Pay More for Benefits

"Candidate passed over for post sues Walker" by Latest News -- GazetteXtra

Recall Now! Recall Now!

Biz Beat: Walker's budget cuts are costing state private jobs, report warns

Koch Industries gets defensive about Badger Democracy expose on “”

FBI Investigating Scott Walker?

Holiday Spirit

An open letter to Tonette Walker | Blogging Blue - Blogging Liberally in the Badger State

Scott Walker - Not Enough People In Jail

Local Supporters of Walker Recall Take to the Street

Muskego Assembly Rep Introduces Partial-Birth Abortion Ban

~ From Doug LaFollette~
Several have asked about my platform and ideas. Given our current situation they are quite simple.

First, or course, defeat walker;

Second, put together a team of attorneys who can determine which of his actions can be reversed by executive order which I would do the first weeks in office;

Third, appoint people to run our State agencies who respect education, worker’s rights, environment protection and other critical values;

Fourth, if we are not successful in getting control of the State Senate, I would veto any bad legislation that was passed;

Finally, we have to realize that until we gain control of both houses, we will not be able to reverse his attack on our State and begin to pass legislation to get Wisconsin back on its progressive track. Therefore, one of my and all of our, efforts will need to be electing people to the Assembly and Senate in the November election.

Pics from the Walker/Ryan protest tonight! What an awesome bunch! And Newman came too!!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Was it you who dug the deep gouge keying my car?

This letter, reduced to 250 words, was published in today's Janesville Gazette.

For the past month, I have volunteered doing my civic duty under our Wisconsin State Constitution to collect signatures with the recall Walker effort. It has often been cold, wet and blustery. More often than not, people give me thumbs up, yell encouragement, honked their vehicle horns in solidarity, and stop to chat, while others have a convenient opportunity to stop and sign the petition.

But, there have been others who gave me the finger, yelled obscenities, and foolishly demonstrated a poor understanding of our democratic society tarnishing the image and reputation of Walker supporters. Was it you who asked me if I had any "of those funny cigarettes given out to children to make them vote?" Was it you who swore at me when I wished you a nice day after offering a hug to quell your anger? Was it you who dug the deep gouge keying my car from front to back?

I'm a fellow Wisconsinite, incredibly proud of the heritage and past integrity of our state. Having lived for a while outside the state, I happily returned to my state that once put the high premium on the value of exceptional educational opportunities for all and one which always - always - put a priority on integrity, progress, citizen well-being and the protection of our environmental resources. The legislature, where I worked in the 1970s, was a legislature where honorable men and women could debate without slander, lies and behind-the-back deceit skirting legality to achieve their agendas. It was a state where self-respect, character, and transparency in government was valued over political party posturing and money from miscreants. It was a state that would never demean nor attack its citizens when they were vocal, never deny them their constitutional rights, nor humiliate them when they were struggling no matter a trumped-up fiscal crisis or ascendancy in political dominance because we were Wisconsin!

When you go past those hardy Wisconsin citizens who are diligently volunteering (NOT being paid!) to collect signatures shouting in your anger, or worse, please understand this: They, we, are Wisconsin. They are doing their civic duty for what they know is best for Wisconsin. We will not be chased away nor intimidated as we defend all that once made Wisconsin uniquely proud. If you must continue to display your anger with threats, vandalizing, and trying to impede lawful democracy in action, you only reveal only one thing to everyone: you have validated our prudence to embark on this recall and we will continue to stand for our mutual Wisconsin and democracy itself.

Judith Detert-Moriarty

Monday, December 19, 2011

Dear Education Grinches

My Dear Dear Education Grinches:

I love you! I really really do! I love all grinches. You are so very easy to love. I love all the people of the world who hate this and hate that and then never do their homework! It makes my job so much easier. After all, it is easy to win arguments with people who never do their homework!

Hope I didn't hurt your feelings!

Educations grinches, I have been waiting with bated breath to hear that you have taken your children out of our rotten horrible no good Wisconsin schools with those sorry slacker teachers who couldn't cut it in the REAL WORLD where you work and begun homeschooling them! WHAT? You haven't!?! Why ever not? You HATE public education and Wisconsins' school teachers! Withdraw your children now, I say!


Wait! You are going to take your children out THIS SEMESTER and send them to private school because you cannot bear for them to spend another minute being taught by those horribly rotten no good slacker school teachers who could not make it for a minute in the REAL WORLD!

I will be watching the private school and home school registration to make sure you are walking the walk. Because that is the only thing that matters, doncha think? Walking the walk?

I admit I have been thinking about that whole "couldn't make it in the REAL WORLD" criticism I keep reading about teachers and public employees I keep reading.

Have any of these critics ever seen a child before? A hormonal teenager? A group of children? What could be more frightening than that!?! I wanted to substitute teach when my daughter went to college, but I learned that I have a paralyzing phobia of more than 10 children in a group.

So, my dear, dear Education Grinches, here is my response to you! No, you don't have to thank me! I love doing research! I learn so much. You should try it. I especially love the Bureau of Labor Statistics. No, sweethearts, biased sources don't count.

I apologize in advance for the caps. Long story.



















1. All teachers have bachelor's degrees and over 50% of Wisconsin teachers have master's degrees. They should make more money because they are better educated.

Fewer than 25% of Wisconsin residents have college degrees or master's degrees, yet critics of teachers’ salaries constantly compare the salaries of this highly educated population with the general population of Wisconsin.

They are not overpaid when their education and years of experience are taken into consideration.

Those with master's degrees make less than in the private sector but their fringe benefits compensate for the lower salary.

2. Starting salaries in Wisconsin are 49th in the country and should be raised to make Wisconsin competitive with Illinois—or Wisconsin school teachers will flee to IL.

3. A four year college degree costs about $80,000/year at a state school in Wisconsin and $200,000 at a private university. Scholarships & even loans are very difficult to come by Opportunity costs raise that another $40-80,000—teachers give up an annual income of at least $10-20,000/year to attend college.

In order to recover just the cost of the education alone, a teacher would need to make over $8,000-20,000 more than they would in another field.Teachers cannot even recover the costs of their education—the pay is too low.

4. Failing to compensate teachers competitively will result in a "brain drain"—the most competitive & qualified teachers will begin leaving the field or not enter it or leave Wisconsin to teach in other states that are "friendlier" to teachers. Web sites rate states according to the pay scale, benefits, scheduled raises, etc.

5. Public education is the final common denominator in our culture. If we despise our schools and our teachers, we despise ourselves. Our schools reflect our culture and are the one experience most of us share.

Most children will attend public schools. Relatively few will attend private or home schools.

Public schools are required to accept all students: those with devoted parents and those with negligent parents; those who are well-behaved and those with behavior problems; those who are mentally healthy and those with mental illness; those with learning disabilities and those who are gifted and talented, etc. Public education is not comparable to private education.

Teachers do not create our social problems and do not have the power to solve our social problems. They have no choice over their "client" -- the have to take all comers. They have to play every hand that is dealt them year in and year out. They deserve generous compensation for this.

6. Teachers work independently, using their own judgment, without close supervision. This is in no way comparable to factory work, office work, or clerking in a store and they deserve compensation for this.

7. Children are, quite literally, the single greatest resource of any person, family, or country.
If our educational system has problems, we must solve them. But, those problems will not be solved by competing with McDonald's for employees.

The people who are responsible for our next generation of physicists, doctors, lawyers, engineers, and mechanics deserve our utmost respect and compensation. If you do not value the people providing the education of your OWN children, shame on you!

Your corporations, your research labs, your armies, your hospitals are worthless without well educated population to work in them. Compete in a global economy? Go to war? You want to pay the people that teach our children peanuts and yet have the gall to talk about a global economy?

8. Teachers are "on" all the time they are not on a designated break. They cannot chat on their cells, take long potty breaks, or snack when no one is looking.

9. They have to be in the room with OTHER PEOPLE'S SPOILED BRATS all day long. Pay them a lot, I say!

10. Teachers grade papers, make bulletin boards, read, attend seminars, etc--all on their own time.

11. EVERYONE should have a family supporting wage, health care, and a retirement plan.

If you are envious of teachers’ compensation packages and union benefits, go to college—it’s never too late! Get a job requiring a college degree or a union job. But, don’t try to cut teachers down to your size.

12. We love and revere Thomas Jefferson don't we? An educated public is necessary to a democracy. There is no more important job in a democracy than that of a teacher. We cannot claim to value education and then refuse to pay for it.

13. Did YOU teach YOUR own children to read or teach them math skills? Why not? Enough said.

14. Education as an industry is a powerful economic engine. Every dollar taken out of the salary budget for education is a dollar taken out of the local community. If you want teachers eating at your restaurant, buying cars at your dealership, shopping at your store, pay them.

15. Fringe benefits are not “free.” They are part of the compensation package that teachers receive. Articles criticizing teachers’ salaries frequently refer to them as free: “Teachers receive free health care,” etc. These benefits are part of a total compensation package. If an employer can purchase an insurance plan for $10,000 that would cost me $20,000—or which I could not buy at all on the non-existent “open market” for insurance—then I am better off taking the insurance in lieu of a higher salary.

16. Articles criticizing teachers salaries usually compare teachers with master’s degrees and years of experience (and include their total compensation package) to the “average worker” who does not have a bachelor’s nor the same years of experience. Comparing apples to apples, teachers are slightly underpaid.

17. Teachers buy supplies with their own money. Some of my elementary school teachers bought Christmas presents for every poor child in class every year.

18. Parents are required by law to send their children to school or to register as a home school. We cannot require our schools by law to provide a service and then under-fund them and the people who provide that service.

19. Did you educate your own children? If you think you can do a better job, do it. Go head. Walk the walk. And, while you are at it, please teach a Sunday School class and be a Big Brother or Big Sister. Were you at the PTO meetings? I didn’t see you. Teachers carry a heavy responsibility for your children's future.

20. Teachers change children’s lives. Teaching can be a spiritual calling. Teachers hold the hearts of our children in their hands. They are responsible for the emotional, intellectual, and physical well-being of our children. They can change the future. They should make at least as much as our politicians.

My dear Education Grinches, if you hate public education so much, withdraw your children today! Today, I say! How can you possibly keep up your military and police state with such a woefully uneducated population! It is frightening! What if your children cannot read the directions on their new handgun box because their teacher who cannot make it in the REAL WORLD didn't teach them well! Get them out of our horrible public schools and teach them yourselves! :>)

Another possibility is that we cherish public education more! Join the PTO! Raise teachers' salaries! Send your children to school every day! Do their homework with them! Don't let your children be bullies--or be bullied! Make them respect their teachers! Teacher your children to read BEFORE they go to school! GASP! GARGLE! Why, we could all teach our children etiquette! OK, now I'm getting carried away...Breathe, Vivian, breathe...

I love you. I really, really do. But, if you want an educated have to educate your population. And, nothing in life is free.

Your friend,


In memory: Wilma Detherage Creekmore. My mother taught school and was a librarian for 30 years in rural Eastern Kentucky. We thought she was a rocket scientist—and so did everyone else. As a child, I could not have imagined a day when people despised teachers. People treated us like we were the children of “Brad & Angelina!” She began teaching at 18 years of age (after WWII with an emergency teacher certificate and 2 years of college) in one and two room schools up “hollers” where the school district had contracts with neighbors to board her when it snowed. She taught in schools that had coal stoves. She taught in schools that had 16 year old six feet tall delinquents in 8th grade. She was never afraid. They, and we, were afraid of her! She graded papers at night, bought her own supplies, and took our clothes to her students. She finished a bachelor’s and a master’s degree after having 2 children. She was the role model of an independent career woman. She fought to unionize the schools—but lost that battle. She fought for sex education in the schools—and won that battle. She always fought for increased funding.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Billie Jo Spears - Mr. Walker It's All Over - Lyrics Update Contest

Introducing Defend Wisconsin News Round Up Billie Jo Spears - Mr. Walker It's All Over - Lyrics Update Contest. Submit your entries and the people will determine the winner by voting at!

Here are the original lyrics:

I left Garden City Kansas
with a ticket and a yen to see New York.
I typed eighty words a minute
so your corporation let me go to work.
I fetched paperclips and coffee
even help you dodge your domineering wife.
Mr. Walker it's all over…
I don't like the New York secretary's life!

In this building there's a crowd of guys
with old familiar thoughts upon their minds.
That's a lot of hands a reaching out to
grab the things that I consider mine!
And the president pursues me
even though he's old and hair a turnin' white.
Mr. Walker it's all over…
I don't like the New York secretary's life!

There's a flat in Greenwich Village
that I took because the subway wasn't far,
But a trumpet player's upstairs
and below me there's a jumping all night bar.
And to frost a bitter cake
I have to share the place with bugs and big ol' mice!
Mr. Walker it's all over…
I don't like the New York secretary's life!

Your sweetheart in personnel said
I should give her written notice like the rest.
So I wrote goodbye with my brightest lipstick
right across her big expensive desk!
You'd better call the Times and tell 'em
put your wanted ad right back in classified.
Mr. Walker it's all over…
I don't like the New York secretary's life!

There's a Greyhound at the station
and a Mom at home with open arms for me.
Garden City's looking better every minute
now since I have learned to see!
And the boy next door don't know it,
but come June he's gonna gain himself a wife.
Mr. Walker it's all over…
I don't like the New York secretary's life!
Mr. Walker it's all over…
I don't like the New York secretary's life!
Mr. Walker it's all over…
I don't like the New York secretary's life!

20 Reasons Why Wisconsin Teachers Deserve Good Pay and Generous Benefits

Vivian asked me this morning to give her 20 reasons why I feel Wisconsin teachers (and teachers in general) should get good pay and generous benefits. Knowing Vivian for the reasonable person that she is, I knew that she wouldn't ask me for anything I couldn't provide, and so I gladly obliged. Here, in no particular order are the 20 reasons why Wisconsin teachers deserve good pay and generous benefits.

1. Teaching is a hard job. 
2. It carries a lot of responsibility 
3. It requires substantial education 
4. It promotes Wisconsin quality of life 
5. It helps us create a better future 
6. It creates a better democracy with voters who understand that learning about candidates is important 
7. Our children matter 
8. Teachers are an important part of our middle class 
9. If we demand accountability, we need to provide an appropriate reward 
10. Wisconsin Idea 
11. All people should have the ability to be paid well and receive generous benefits for good work. 
12 If we want good schools, we need to compensate professionals who work there appropriately 
13. Quality education helps us compete in the global market place 
14. In a small community, which many in Wisconsin are, teachers carry a place of special importance. 
15. We want good smart people to want to become teachers. 
16. High quality education has been historically a Wisconsin value 
17. Generous compensation allows more teachers to engage in other efforts, including volunteering to help their community. 
18. Education as an industry, is a powerful economic engine that helps our communities 
19. Generous compensation encourages more quality teachers to stay in teaching 
20. Forward.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Thursday - Friday Protest News Round Up

Defend Wisconsin News Round Up: Dear Republican Christian Gentlemen

No Wisconsin Recall Fatigue as Signatures Surge Against Walker - Businessweek

Scott Walker's Next Target: Cancer Screenings for Women

Don’t Mess With Wisconsin

With half the money coming from out of state, Walker far outraising recall organizers

Jailed Realtor had requested secret immunity in John Doe probe - JSOnline

Report: Wisconsin has lost out on $1.3 billion in federal money

Why Scott Walker killed wind energy jobs in Wisconsin | Wisconsin Gaze | Wisconsin Gazette - Lesbian

Walker pardons 'Charlotte the Deer'

Citizen Action of Wisconsin | Battleground Wisconsin Podcast | Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

Scott Fitzgerald recall moving forward

One Wisconsin Now: Email - Half of Walker's $5 Million Take Comes From Out of Wisconsin

The BRAD BLOG : WI Man Charged With Multiple Felonies for Defacing 'Recall Walker' Petitions

Wisconsin's Recall-New Governor Candidate Emerging

Recall process has multiple checks and balances - BizTimes

Fox Falsely Claims ‘Mickey Mouse’ And ‘Adolf Hitler’ Are On Scott Walker Recall Petition (VIDEO)


Waukesha Republican goes out of control in public. Recall Walker!

Justice Gableman not charged legal fees in ethics case - JSOnline

Affordable Care Act Enables Health Care Coverage for 28,000 Wisconsin Residents

Here's the lawsuit brought against the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board. Scott Walker just wants to make sure that by the time he is recalled, NOBODY likes him.
Reality Check: Walker Ad Inaccurately Portrays School District's Budget Situation

‘Total Recall’ day is Saturday

Help us out

Wis. GOP Files Lawsuit Against Election Officials Over Recall Process

Monologues of Dissent

Walker, Fitzgerald Attempt Smokescreens While Recall Succeeds and Job Creation Fails

Campaign reports show Walker far outraising recall organizers

Despite Dems recall signatures, Walker says he's focused on jobs - TODAY'S TMJ4

Senator Johnson votes against Congressional insider trading ban

Miles Kristan
We need everyone to the capitol tomorrow and monday by noon to show
Walker and the capitol police that freedom of speech is not
and will never be something we need to pay for
WI Protests--Solidarity Sing Along 12/15/2011

Bill would criminalize signing multiple petitions

Sly In The Morning: Lori Compas: Fitzgerald's worst recall nightmare

Solidarity Sing-Along to test new Wisconsin Capitol access rules and not apply for permit - Isthmus.

State lost 11,700 private-sector jobs in November - JSOnline

A half-million to Recall Scott Walker

Have Recall Walker Organizers Hit Their Goal?

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker to Visit Hudson for Uline Groundbreaking

Paul Ryan Convinces Ron Wyden To Support Greater Privatization Of Medicare

Assembly leader wants to replace state elections agency - JSOnline

Scott Walker Recall: Democrats Collect More Than A Half-Million Signatures In One Month

United Wisconsin: More than half-a-million signatures to recall Scott Walker collected in first 28 d

Spencer Black: It’s clear Walker dances to fossil fuels tune

In Dem poll, the case for challenging Paul Ryan

New Dog Democrat: Enough Signatures Gathered, Walker To Be Recalled!

The strange ballad of Segway Jeremy

Over 540,000 Signatures Collected, This Time For Real!

Daily Kos: Around Wisconsin: Rumors, Pictures and Announcement Tomorrow

The 40 Best Protest Signs Of 2011

Attorney General Eric Holder Says He’s Ready to Protect Voters - COLORLINES

Report: Wisconsin has lost out on $1.3 billion in federal money

"Waukesha County clerk says she's been exonerated " by Latest News -- GazetteXtra

Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters summary of LRB 3520 - Thank you WLCV | The Water's Edge

Doe Season Still Open - Walker Contributer Jailed

PA GOPer Admits There’s No Evidence That Voter ID Laws Are Needed, But He’s Ramming One Through Anyw

Wisconsin Campaign Law Falls To Citizens United

TOTAL RECALL in Waukesha County

From Wisconsin to Wall Street, an Economic Reckoning

Scott Walker To Deliver Big Speech At CPAC

U.S. Appeals Court strikes down part of state election law - JSOnline

Abortion bill to get hearing on Tuesday - JSOnline

What The Justice Department Can Actually Do About Voter ID Laws

the passionate democrat: Walker's DOA Attempts to Sell the Constitution

Madison Cop Signing Walker Recall Petition in Rotunda 11/19/11

EXCLUSIVE: Letter from Walker

Cognitive Dissidence

RECRAWL WALKER! A United Wisconsin pub crawl! at Bay View Brew Haus, Milwaukee on Do414

John Nichols: Attempt to recall Sen. Jauch a fool’s mission

GAB will seek more time to review any recall petitions that are filed - JSOnline

Q&A: Solidarity Singers director says 'we're there to petition our government'

Meeting warns of right-to-work

ACLU Files Lawsuit Challenging Wisconsin’s Unconstitutional Voter ID Law

Gov. Scott Walker says average property tax payer will save $700 under 2011-’13 state budget

First arrest made in John Doe investigation - JSOnline

ACLU Sues Scott Walker Over Wisconsin’s Voter ID Law

Waukesha Republican goes out of control in public. Recall Walker!

Walker Recall Intimidation Caught On Video

Walker to be keynote speaker for Conservative Political Action Conference

Assembly Leader Jeff Fitzgerald abruptly ends press conference for Gogebic Taconite mining project -

Milwaukee Legislators Succeed in Increasing Property Tax Accountability, Transparency

Kelda Files Open Records Request for Walker Communications with Mining Industry

Rep. Barca, Sen. Miller will introduce bill to reverse Gov. Walker’s policy that tramples on the First Amendment

Cognitive Dissidence: Scott Walker's Magic Card Trick

Stand With Walker Fundraiser for the RPECC

"Union Busting Language" Forces Strike In Wisconsin

A Year of Progress for Wisconsin's Job Climate

Walker Ad Shows New Slogan: ‘Laying The Foundation For Wisconsin’s Success’

Angry voice mail among man's calls to recall signers

Dear GOP - F#@K You!

The Koch Brothers, ALEC and the Savage Assault on Democracy | The Nation

PolitiFact | Inside the Walker tax debate: Was budget an increase or a cut?

Wisconsin Senator: If You Are Still Earning Minimum Wage, You're a Bad Worker

The Capitol is not Walker’s private palace


No Joke: Scott Walker "Speaks in Tongues" at His Fringe Church

Wisconsin Senator: If You Are Still Earning Minimum Wage, You're a Bad Worker

Walker Announces Tax Credits to Assist Company That Hopes to Create “at least 3 new jobs”

Protesters shut out of meeting with Ryan in Washington

Waukesha County man uses TV video to contact, challenge recall signers

The ALEC-Koch pipeline to Wisconsin Legislators and the Mining Bill

Analysis: Brokaw mill closure will bring loss of $27 million from economy and 1,100 jobs in region

My Plea to Russ Feingold by Tom T. C.

Sometimes You Just Smile

Thousands Stand in Solidarity with Machinsts at Manitowoc Cranes - Wisconsin State AFL-CIO Blog

Daily Kos: Operation Burn Notice: BIG, BIG, BIG UPDATE!

Recall Walker Organizers May Keep Number Of Signatures Gathered Quiet

Unhinged, I Tell You… They’re Coming Unhinged! | Blogging Blue - Blogging Liberally in the Badger St

"Nativity scene up in Capitol; Atheist group upset" by Latest News -- GazetteXtra

The Political Environment: Walker-Led Wisconsin Dead Last In Federal Bank Economic Ranking

Monologues of Dissent: Leading (and Listening) by Example: A lesson for Scott Walker

Your opinions - JSOnline

Scott Walker stealthily attends ATR holiday party | The Examiner | Yeas & Nays | Washington Examiner

The de facto poll tax of 2011


Feingold answers questions about Gov. Walker, running for office and private life - TODAY'S TMJ4

Person of the Year 2011 - TIME

"Does Walker have any hopes of creating 250,000 jobs?" by Opinion Matters -- GazetteXtra

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Some Progressive Ideas from George Lakoff

As the Recall of Governor Walker Continues....Keep in mind that there Progressive is not a bad word...Teddy Roosevelt was one of the founders and Fighting Bob La Follette sought clean government as well. That is part of it. Words Matter and getting an understanding of the multi-faceted Occupy Movement is another....Keep the Faith....Keep getting those signatures. Then when the time is right court those who seek to lead and heal the movement further. We have many any allow those who seek Walker's Position an ear....We need someone who can rally the most liberal-left libertarian, and moderates of all parties to unite and smack done this mean spirited Far Right Radical Republican Bunch and then heal this Great Progressive State with Moderates that understand economic populism, social responsibility and Forward Thinking. We can't get it all in one swoop as much as we would all like....Recall, Heal, and then Move Forward!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Dear Republican Christian Gentlemen

Dear Republican Gentlemen--Who Cherish Family Values Put Women on Pedestals & Are Role Models for America’s Young Children. Whew!

[To Clarify: I don’t mean are attracted to young children, but are ROLE MODELS for young children.]

Where in the blue blazing heck are you? I have searched high and low. I want to love you--I really, really do. So do a lot of women--Mrs. Cain and a couple of former Mrs.Gingriches, for example. But, we can’t find you! Soon, Republican women are going to be going on Liberal dating sites “...looking for dirty hippy union thug who is loyal and faithful.”

I keep hearing about you: Republican friends tell me there are these “gentlemen and scholars” who treat women with the utmost respect. I hear tales of true gentlemen who earn the bacon, read Bible stories to their children, take their wives out on date night, go with their families to church, never drink or curse (or commit adultry--over & over--for years on end out of excessive patriotism or generosity all the while “finding themselves” and...oh, for God’s sake), follow the “happy wife, happy life” philosophy of marriage, and are not in any closet! Honestly. These are all right wing Republican men who served in the military and in spite of having seen shore leave in every cesspool on 4 continents, were virgins when they got married. Really. I heard it so it must be true.

These Christian Republican stalwarts distinguish themselves from the dirty stinky hippie socialists scum who don’t wear underwear or deodorant or have jobs and are to be seen sleeping on the Capitol floor, protesting with union thugs, and collecting RECALL WALKER signatures on every street corner Wearing underwear? Wearing deodorant? And, otherwise being gentlemanly in manly sorts of ways while carrying concealed weapons...under their cummerbunds? Oh, and holding full-time well-paying jobs. Only Democrats ever get laid off or fired and have to collect unemployment. I have never understand how that works.

Anyway, I have heard about these gentlemen but I have not been seeing them around Janesville.

So, I went looking for the upstanding Republican Christian Gentlemen who are the great defenders of the Constitution, of Marriage, and of our Christian nation against all infidels--by standing on a street corner collecting recall Walker signatures as is my constitutional right.

I expected them to stop and bring me coffee and hot cocoa! Hot soup! Fish sandwiches! Hand warmers! I expected some to stop and ask solicitously, “Anything I can get you, ma’am. You look mighty cold!”

You should see and hear what I got!

So, here is what I learned. Either every Republican man in Janesville drives a white or black pickup truck and has a potty mouth or there are only two Republican men in Janesville--and they are not gentlemen! Holy kitty cats! Their language peeled the paint off one of my Recall Walker signs! The street light turned red in embarrassment.

I am an older, clean, deodorized, conventionally dressed, educated, well-spoken, polite, smiling, generous, hard working, tax paying, upstanding community member, mother, and faithful wife. I am retired. I don’t want or need a job. Oh, and I was standing with a 72 year old man--also retired who is too busy volunteering for his church to work even if he needed or wanted another job.

Tell that to Black & White Pickup Driving Republican “Gentlemen!”

What happened to loving the constitution & democracy! What happened to “What Would Jesus Do?” and keeping America a Christian nation? What happened to putting women on a pedestal? What happened to being role-models for our children? No wonder we are having a problem with bullying in schools.

In fact, I have a new theory. Republican “Gentlemen” are the single cause of bullying in schools! Hmmmm? In fact, after a day or two of standing on street corners, I suspect Republican Gentlemen are the cause of hunger in the third world, divorce everywhere (certainly in red states!) and acne in teenages. Sirs, get a grip and I don’t mean on your S&W!

And, why do Black & White Pickup Guys shout: “Why don’t you slackers get jobs?” Really? Is that the best you’ve got? You are reduced to shouting at elderly people on street corners on Sundays--to get jobs--and making vulgar hand (and arm--don’t want to forget the arm) gestures?

Why weren’t you working, BTW, instead of driving up and down the roads in big pickup trucks single-handedly destroying the environment? Why weren’t you helping your kids do homework, helping you dad put up storm gutters, or cleaning up the lawn for your ex-wife. Where was your wife? Don’t think I didn’t see her ducking under the dash.

Incidentally, are you hiring, Big Job Creator? How much are you paying? How many openings do you have? Are you aware of the unemployment rate in Rock County? Do you have some loaves & fishes to hand out?

Ladies & Gentle of the right, please don’t try to take the high road with me. Don’t talk to me about family values--I’ll give you Newt Gingrich and raise you a Cain. Don’t talk to me about hippies in the Capitol. I’ll give you a hippie in the Capitol and raise you 2 thugs in pick-up trucks shouting at senior citizens and women.

Was there ever a Right Wing Christian Gentleman? There was one in 1921--or so I heard. But, he ran away with a high school cheerleader and left his wife and kids.

I hate to be the one to tell you, but your mother did not love you. If she had, she would have taught you how to behave like a gentleman. Your behavior is ugly. Your wife and children are embarrassed. You don’t know the meaning of “agape.” You are a jealous lover of the constitution--you only love it when it applies to you. You haven’t been to church in 10 years--or, maybe you should get your hearing checked. My best advice to my daughter: “Marry a dirty hippie liberal atheist if you want to find compassion--and, a gentleman--in life.”

Hope I didn’t hurt your feelings! Take an anger management class. Meditate. It hasn't helped me, but...might help you!

Your friend,