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!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Race For 44th District Seat, Democrat Primary Heats Up

by Lucy Faraday

With only two weeks to go until the election for the hotly contested 44th District Assembly seat for Wisconsin, the race to the finish line is beginning to heat up.  With four Democrats standing for election against, unopposed Republican Primary Joe Knilans, the result on August 14th, looks like it will be a close thing.  Key issues in the campaign include unemployment, women’s rights and education, all matters close to the hearts of Janesville people and Wisconsin people as a whole.

Candidate Profiles

So who is standing in the 44th District Assembly race and what sets them apart from each other? As with many elections personalities will no doubt play a key role, but it is issues that will probably win the day. This year the Democrats are looking at four candidates to choose from; Yuri Rashkin, Sam Liebert, Kevin Murray and Deb Kolste all hoping to gain the Primary position and then go on to topple Joe Knilans on the 6th of November. Lets take a quick refresh of the candidates and what they aim to achieve.

Yuri Rashkin

Yuri Rashkin, 37 moved to the USA from the Soviet Union in 1988. He previously held a seat on the City Council for the last 4 years from which he stepped down in April 2012 in order to concentrate on his campaign for the District Assembly.

Yuri is a keen follower of women’s rights and the arts. Creatively minded himself, he has pursued a successful music career alongside his political ambitions. Yuri has built his election campaign platform around core ideas such as improving women’s rights, helping small businesses grow and expand, protecting the elderly, the importance of public education, protecting the environment and encouraging more transparency in government. He has gained strong support from women’s, environmental and art based groups and seems to be a strong contender in the primary race.

Sam Liebert

Wisconsin born and bred, Sam Liebert has been living in Janesville since the age of 5 when he moved there with his single mom and younger sister.  Sam has actively worked for several progressive Democratic campaigns locally and nationally including the campaign for President Barak Obama and has a considerable interest in grassroots politics.  He has a clear vision of community improvement and working towards making the Janesville community more prosperous, both economically and spiritually.

Sam believes in working from the bottom in order to achieve true social change and has been famous for campaigning for such issues as women’s rights and a stronger investment in the public school system.  However Sam’s key issue is providing people with jobs; specifically good, well paid, family supporting jobs, and it is around this that he has built his platform for the election on 14th August.

Deb Kolste

Debra (Deb) Kolste is another candidate with a clear community focus. Deb has been working in community-focused roles for the last 18 years and has been a Janesville School Board member for the last 9 years.  Her key focuses for her platform are centred on education, women’s rights, transparency in government, workers rights, job creation and the provision of healthcare to support poorer families in the community.

Kevin Murray

Another born and bred Wisconsin boy, Kevin Murray seems to be particularly focused on getting to know all of his potential constituents and has been focusing on door knocking as a key part of his campaign, so that the people of Janesville can really get to know him and what he is about. He is centred on core issues such as improving public education and transparency in government, but in addition to this Kevin is keenly interested in public services such as the Fire, Hospital and Police departments, in order to make Janesville a safer place to live.

Wisconsin Deserves The Best

All of the Democrat candidates are in agreement that Janesville and Wisconsin deserves better than the current incumbent Joe Knilans, although clearly they all believe that they will be the best replacement for the position on the assembly. It is certainly true that the beautiful city of Janesville with it’s amazing architecture (20 % of our buildings are on the National Register of Historic Places), honest decent people, beautiful parks and access to inspiring scenery and countryside ideal for experience days and family gatherings, definitely deserves to be looked after. The community of Janesville deserves to be heard and it is up to you, on August 14th, to decide who is going to stand against Joe and hopefully make Wisconsin a place to be even more proud of.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Defend Wisconsin News Round Up

by Lucy Faraday

Total Expensive Recall: Walker Recall Cost $81 Million

You read that right. It’s been reported in a number of newspapers that the Wisconsin recall of Governor Scott Walker has so far cost donors a staggering $81 million. To put that in context, it is the most amount of money spent on any election or political campaign in Wisconsin, ever. This is even twice, yes, twice the amount of money spent by Walker and Barrett in their 2010 election duel.

The Poll

The financial survey was conducted by the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign group, who are a non-partisan group in the state.  Based in Madison, they crunched the data provided from campaign reports and advertising buys  to see how much each campaign spent. In the end it was determined that Walker spent $58.7 million while Barrett spent $22 million. Walker won the recall election in June by 7 points.

The campaign group revealed a few surprises in terms of Walker’s campaign funding. Naturally, the big hitters were there ploughing money in as is often associated with a Republican financing campaign. For example, Tamko Building Products’ David Humphreys gave $260,000, while ABC Supply’s Dian Hendricks gave half a million. What might surprise is that 77 percent of donations were valued at $50 or less, showing that Walker managed to motivate his grassroots support for the recall election.

At the same time and during the previous year there were 15 recall motions in the state. During these elections the Republican party was able to outspend the Democrats in every contest. Total spending including the non-governor recall elections totaled $137 million. Republicans accounted for $84.5 million, while the Democrats spent $52.6 million. As money seems to determine the outcome of elections (as in who spends the most gets the most votes), perhaps it is not surprising that the Democrats only succeeded in removing three state senators. On the other hand it could be argued that getting three out was a triumph of voter power over finance.

Polling Day Problems

It seems many people were upset with the recall election for more reasons than others. Naturally those being recalled resented the fact they were having to re-justify their elections, but that is just the nature of democracy.  The Wisconsin League of Women Voters complained after the election that many constituents found polling booths confusing and that adequate help was not given at the time. 150 volunteers made observations around the state and 420 polls were conducted at the time and afterwards. The most confusing aspect was documentation, as in what was needed and what was not. As a result, the League called for polling booth staff to be better trained for future elections.

Democrats Breaking Up

The result of the election was a narrow 17-16 majority in the senate for the Democrats. This state of affairs lasted barely a month before Tim Cullen threatened to quit the Democrats and go solo. What was a narrow victory in an overall disappointment for the Democrats was caused by Majority Leader Mark Miller, who apparently only offered Cullen chairmanship of a minor committee and nothing more important. The whole debacle raises questions about the effectiveness of the senate. The only good news for Miller is that Rich Zipperer, a Republican senator, is likely to become Walker’s new Deputy Chief of Staff, removing his vote from the senate until the next election. Still, Cullen now has the ability to use his vote as a weapon against the Democrats unless placated. That is a dangerous game to play.

Campaign Funding

The amount of money spent, the confusion at the polls and the power plays of elected officials makes you wonder about democracy. If the biggest spender always wins, is there really an element of choice and thought in the election? Can freedom of thought be linked to money in that way? After all, in a free economy a person is able to change financial service providers if they so choose. For example, if you can find cheaper mortgage rates abroad, you will go and take them. By the same token, companies and wealthy investors are moving their money to whichever candidate best represents their needs, but what about the needs of the voters?

The individual voted into office should win the argument of what to do about the needs of the people as a whole and also as individuals. These are not just finance. They should not be based on patronage, on deals and favors.  Still, the alternative is to give each candidate equal funding from the state and that will just cost taxpayers even more of their hard earned money.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Don't Let Walker Steal This Recall

Don't Let Walker Steal This Recall----

Start with the students and make sure grandma and grandpa realize this is not the Republican Party they used to support. Scott Walker is not a small government conservative....He is an Authoritarian Corporatist who is enabling the very rich to reduce everyone to serfdom except those wealthy enough and nasty enough to take away rights from WE THE PEOPLE. We have marched and canvassed and we must persist. Do not stop now! He is using every dirty trick in the book and those of you still on the fence...Get out there and drive the votes into the voting booths. Everyone needs to participate this time. Don't cry about who is not in the race....Don't cry about how the DNC did not do their part....Get out the vote and make sure you remember why and how we got here! Now get moving!!!!!!  FORWARD  

The Karl Rove Playbook as executed by the Walker Campaign

Tactic #1:   Take the Offensive
Tactic #2:   Attack Your Opponent’s Strengths
Tactic #3:   Accuse Your Opponent of what they will Accuse You Of and then keep attacking. Example: Walker is covering up the reason for his legal defense fund with the aid of poorly researched Wisconsin Journal Sentinel Milwaukee Crime Statistics….
Tactic #4:   Go Negative, and then Cry foul….This has been an everyday event in “Walkerville”.
Tactic #5:   The “Big Lie”---The Need to quickly pass AB 11 because we were broke.
Tactic #6:   Appeal to Moral Values: Walker---Son of a Preacher Man…Really?
Tactic #7    Sell your candidates persona even if it is not true…Walker the Family Man that cares about the poor and middle class….
Tactic # 8:  Sell an Adolescent Worldview so it appears big problems is really small even though they are very complex….The whole budget mess was due to greedy teachers, librarians, and state workers according to Walker. Authoritarians need to have someone to hate. These folks were convenient and happened to be Union Workers.
Tactic #9:   Exploit the Media…Especially those who support your worldview (Fox News…Wisconsin Journal Sentinel…Janesville Gazette) Fox News proved that news no longer has to be true and that is why they are not welcome in Canada.

Tactic #10: Create Straw Issues: Choose from many he and the Fitzgerald’s put forth. Wedge issues and Divide and Conquer…Lie to Congress and then spin it as being picked on. “One of the Republican Party's major successes over the last few decades has been to persuade many of the working poor to vote for tax breaks for billionaires.” And… “Republicans sell values. Consider the four G's: God, guns, gays and grizzlies.” They now have added…Attack Women’s Rights and take away fair pay and the right to choose medical procedures without interference by the state. Don’t forget Senator Glenn Grothman’s bills trying to arrest single parents or at least try to demonize single parents….

Tactic #11:  Employ Surrogates to do the dirty work: Americans For Prosperity for one and as we have been finding out through the John Doe probe….Others on Taxpayer’s time and doing things that are totally against the law and then claiming you are cooperating when you are stonewalling.

Tactic #12:  Use Emotional Appeals: Unions are to blame for everything wrong within the state and job creators need to be worshipped.

Tactic #13:  Rely on Expert Testimonials from those supported by your donors (Follow the Walker Money…and other biased think tanks) Bush Examples: “Often, these people have a financial stake in their positions (e.g., working for a tobacco company or as a lobbyist) or hold a like-minded ideological position (e.g., a member of a think tank, former member of an administration, or ex-government official). To illustrate, Bush has argued that global warming is a phenomenon that has not been proven by the scientific community. To support his point, he points to several scientists who hold this position. However, the overwhelming consensus of the scientific community points to scientific evidence of dramatic climatic shifts, in large measure as a result of human pollutants in the air.” Walker gets support from the Koch Brothers and Diane Hendricks.

Tactic #14:  Rhetorical Devices: “….campaign strategy taps into a wide range of fears and insecurities within the public that in turn controls their attitudes and—more importantly—their voting behavior.”
·         “Misrepresenting a person's position and presenting it in a form that people will reject”
·         “Take your opponent’s words out of context”
·         “Three Card Monte”---…” makes a false statement. He then qualifies it by admitting its falsehood, but then reiterates the first statement, reinforcing the idea in the mind of the public.”
·          “Calls for privatization invariably begin with ominous warnings about Social Security’s financial future. When pressed, administration officials admit that private accounts would do nothing to improve that financial future. Yet in the next sentence, they once again link privatization to the problems posed by an aging population.”  Now substitute with Walker claims: ‘We are broke and we are forced to make these changes….’ Take away rights of workers, poor, suffrage, and seniors’ so we can give the tools necessary for local governments to destroy teachers, county, and municipal workers’.
·         Ignore/Downplay the Evidence ….It worked for George Bush…Why not Scott Walker: “When faced with incriminating evidence, one approach is to ignore it.” Example…His pending possible indictment…..
·         Substitute isolated facts and disguise them as truth to confuse the public. This is the Big Lie of Kleefisch’s Fat Wallet job creation in Beloit…The owner bought a home in Beloit and is renting a facility in Beloit subsidized by the citizens of Beloit…The workers mostly commute from Illinois…There was no job creation here because the income taxes except for possibly the owner have stayed in Illinois.

Tactic 15:    Use of Language: Read the rest of the cited work for more stuff:

 Quotes paraphrased from the above source.

Friday, May 11, 2012

When Rock Co. business, bankers and Walker are behind the scenes working against YOUR rights, it's time YOU stand up to them!

Hendricks: - "...some issues we're just going to avoid a little bit ... so what we're going to do and talk about right now is just concerns that Mary (Willmer-Sheedy) and I have that we probably, are a little controversial to bring up upstairs. OK? I don't want to - because there's press up there."

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Age of Treason: Building a Secular Nation

by Anthony Nguyen

     Politics in America today, as is readily observable on almost any news channel, can be a very hyperbolic, partisan, and longwinded process. This aggravating process is only exacerbated by the religious ideologies that stand stalwart against nearly all opposing viewpoints. In the case of the United States of America, the religion “at fault” per se, is Christianity. This is not to say that Christianity itself or all of its followers are a hindrance to society; rather, the detriment is when Christian principles become entangled with the policies of lawmakers and inhibit progressive legislation. Whether it is the promotion of “intelligent design” in science curriculum, the outright denial of worldwide effects of human-induced climate change, or the exclusion of civil rights of counterculture groups, the combination of faith and politics very often leads to the widespread (and often accepted) promotion of dangerously antiquated beliefs. In short, American governmental policies that are based in religion foster an anti-intellectual environment, prevent adequate human rights, and inhibit rationalism and progressivism in the American society.

     Biological evolution is widely regarded in the scientific community as a valid theory, based on its wide array of comprehensive scientific evidence, which has resulted from decades of research in a variety of fields. Fossil records, radiometric dating, DNA sequencing, and genetic studies all attest to the authenticity of evolutionary science. However, the issue of importance in politics is not only the validity of biological evolution, but also the insistence of “intelligent design” as an equally valid alternative. The idea of intelligent design, in modern Christianity, postulates that the universe was created by a supreme being, or the Christian god. This idea would not be so harmful or even controversial if it were kept within the churches which supposed it. Alas, one of the fundamental tenets of faith is to spread ideology and dogma to all corners of the world. In the Bible, Mark 16:15 states,
“And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”  
     From this passage, one could see how determined and unyielding this religious goal can be. Of course, it was not long after the inception of biological evolutionary theory that the debate between evolution and creationism was brought into public and legal view. The highly publicized Scopes Trial in 1925 was the first trial that addressed these critical issues. The outcome of the trial saw the expansion of the teaching of evolution, as well as the devaluation of fundamentalist creationism in the public opinion. Multiple subsequent trials have dealt with the same issue, even as recent as the past decade. In 2005, the trial Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District was the first intelligent design related trial to be brought to the U.S. Federal Courts. The findings, delivered by Judge John E. Jones, were as follows:
“Teaching intelligent design in public school biology classes violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States (and Article I, Section 3 of the Pennsylvania State Constitution) because intelligent design is not science and "cannot uncouple itself from its creationist, and thus religious, antecedents. "” (Jones, Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District)
     The Establishment Clause he refers to is the section of the U.S. Constitution denoting freedom of religion and separation of religion from government policies, otherwise known as the separation of church and state. Despite many similar rulings in favor of science and evolution, many American politicians continue to disregard the Establishment Clause and push for intelligent design taught in schools. In fact, a few current presidential candidates have even called for the abolition of the separation between church and state. These views are dangerous in that they encourage anti-intellectualism in what is a necessarily intellectual place of learning. The idea of intelligent design is not a testable hypothesis, is not based in any scientific method of inquiry, and – as stated in Judge Jones’ decision above – is therefore “not science.”

Many of the same proponents of intelligent design use the Bible as a justification for their beliefs. In turn, their beliefs are used as justification for their policies. In general, I believe it unwise and hazardous for personal religious belief to dictate policy. Take, for example, a leader who believes that his god has called him to war with another powerful militaristic nation (perhaps Russia, or China, or North Korea). His belief then becomes the basis for his action, and this action could hypothetically start a nuclear war. Thus, his beliefs no longer affect him individually, but they also adversely affect the lives of millions of others. However, a war need not be nuclear or even martial to impact the lives of people. The cultural war that occurs every day within the United States is as good of an example as any. A far-right wing of political leaders shouts out the tenets of “good faith” and would have their constituents believe that this country needs “restoring” and “fixing.” They point to their Bibles as undeniable fact and then formulate proposals for policy, checklist constitutions for a successful Christian nation. Homosexuals should never be allowed to marry, let alone serve in the military. Women should not have the right to choose abortion, and really should not even be able to use contraception at will. Children of all ages should be taught the word of the Christian god in public schools across the nation. Why would they take such stances? The Holy Bible, the infallible word of god, the basis of their beliefs has it explicitly written. The words on the pages told them so, or a voice in their head said that this is right and just. Such are the talking points of the right wing of politics as of late. Meanwhile, the aforementioned groups of interest watch the dialogue unfold. Gays, lesbians, women, atheists, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, generic non-believers, and many other minority groups can see very clearly that these policies infringe on their civil and human rights. It’s a politicized and televised display of unabashed bigotry. Much of this talk goes unchallenged in principle. The religion of these public figures has warped the political discourse into a very unsavory territory, that which disregards what were formerly known as “inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

There are many defining features of a progressive society. Insofar as technological modernization is concerned, America is a shining example of a successful industrial nation. However, progressivism has its realm well beyond the borders of industrialization. Much political talk in the modern age could be focused on preventing war, fighting hunger and poverty in third-world countries, and developing breakthrough technologies that might revolutionize communication or travel. But a large majority of political discussion is truly the antithesis of progressive. Instead of talks of diplomacy or charity or innovation, the discussion centers around those hot issues: “should Steve really be allowed to marry Charlie?” “Global warming is a hoax perpetuated by left-wing atheist scientists!” “Our president is a Marxist, Communist terrorist from Kenya hell-bent on destroying America! And just where is his birth certificate?” When the dialogue reaches such unimaginable levels of inanity, one wonders if there is any possible progressive force left in politics that can reverse the trend. Now, it’s altogether unreasonable to suggest that any single person or idea could solve poverty or bring world peace, but progressivism isn’t utopianism. For a functional political body, the views and ideas must first be rational, then practical. We’ve got a long way to go before rational discourse is the norm, and eliminating faith from politics is just the first step in a reformation process.

     In The End of Faith, Sam Harris also argues about the dangers of religion. However, Harris frames his argument very broadly. He asserts that religion as a whole is dangerous, irrational, and should be unnecessary in human society. Personally, I believe that the more specific and attainable goals of discussion should focus on the negative impact of religion on American politics. It is evident from a brief scan of American history that politics is a very volatile field. So, I find it more reasonable and realistic not to attack religion as a whole, but to begin with its underlying problems in politics – namely that the policies based in religion should no longer be tolerated. The perpetrators of these policies deny the sciences of climate change and evolution; they deny civil rights to minority groups while perpetuating intolerance; they frivolously rant and shift the national focus away from progressive issues; they base it all on their faith. The danger of these rants and proposed policies is essentially in the nature of the society that they cultivate. Through these religious-based ideas, our government faces the bleak possibility of becoming a war-hawked, totalitarian theocracy. I believe that the biggest implicit danger that the United States currently faces comes from the overlap between religion and politics, and that immediate action is necessary to revert the national attention to much more progressive issues. Intellectualism and rational thought must be regarded above faith in this respect. If action is not taken, it might not be long before Orwellian prophecies of 1984-ish proportions begin to materialize from the militaristic, anti-intellectual, oppressive propaganda. After all, the mottos of the Ministry of Truth in Orwell’s 1984 begin to seem hauntingly appropriate in this context: “WAR IS PEACE. FREEDOM IS SLAVERY. IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH.”

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Dear Anonymous Who Cannot Stick to the Topic

Dear Anonymous Who Cannot Stick to the Topic:

I am giving you a voice--but, I am trying to discuss the Circuit Court Judge election. If only you had a name? You are not the guy in the Guy Fawkes mask are you? I know you are one of the 99% -- even if you don’t. I want to prove I have a reader! My response is at the end. I reformatted a little to respond to your main points although I was still not sure what they were. V

AnonymousMar 20, 2012 09:08 PM

"Didn't you plead guilty/ no contest to "Fail/Display Vehicle License Plates" and "Operating motor vehicle w/o proof of insurance" in 2011? I suppose I see why you are so willing to defend Hogue's tickets and his blatantdisregardforthelaw.

I'm really surprised a woman takes such a strong stance against another woman for Judge.

McCory's "trial experience" is a matter of argument. She does put into action restraining orders, initial divorce preceding, visitation rights for parents and many other issues just as Willliam Rentz does who is another Court Commissioner. In fact I believe it is entirely possible to go through a divorce case and never once set foot inside a "Judge's courtroom." Now where has Jack Hoag ever done anything like what McCory does as part of her job?

Did you know in the State of Wisconsin it is not a requirement to pass the Bar Exam to practice law? If you don't believe me just ask Duffy Dillon who made this statement and who is also a supporter of Jack Hoag.

Your belief of the City Counsel being non-partisan is beyond naive.

Now Russ Steeber is an obviously liberal based individual that has the primary interest of Janesville at heart and executes it to the best of his ability.

Sam and Yuri are both extreme liberals looking for higher office and the City Counsel was just a stepping stone to boast their public service while riding on the anti-Walker train.

I couldn't help pointing this out since there is a "Yuri Rashkin link” on the side of this blog.

I used to consider myself a liberal voter but then came people like Sam Liebert, Yuri Rashkin, and many more that want everything for nothing. Welfare, WIC, Food stamps, Medicare, and many other programs’ spending are way out of control. I don't even want to hear the "big business hates the average Joe" argument because my whole line of work revolves around big business giving the average person breaks, deals, and even free items.

I unfortunately run into a lot of unintelligent people that do not take up these offers and then complain they are getting the short end of the stick in life. I have jokingly called it the “Lazy Liberal Syndrome.”

I have recently re-associated myself as an independent as I can no longer associate myself as a liberal that wants everything handed out on a silver platter.

I work hard at my job to be the best I can be and will put in more than my fair share to help my fellow employees and my company achieve success even when my company is obviously a conservative supporter as are almost all businesses. I have obtained more than most people ever will in their lifetime when I only graduated from high school and learned everything else in the journey through life which includes do not even bother to argue with a woman even when you and her both know she is wrong."

Dear Anonymous:

My goodness, you are a very good at distractions, arent' you?

But,I love distractions! And, I love you! I really, really do. Thank you for your kind letter. I don't know what it has to do with the Circuit Court Judge election, but I have a committee trying to decode it. On to those distractions!

DISTRACTION #1: My History of Traffic Violations

Really? We are talking about traffic violations! St. Vibiana! MY traffic violations! You may be confused--I am not running for public office. But, I confess! Please check other states—I travel a lot! Does this make me a criminal? That would be exciting! Well, let's see: we are coming out of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. But, hey! Big news! Jack Hoag & I have had traffic violations!

This implies a blatant disregard for the law? Mmmmm? Don't think so! Now, Wall Street Banksters--those folks have a blatant disregard for the law. And, they didn’t even get tickets, or fines, or charges or… Why are people so worried about the compensation packages of public employees but not the Banksters? Oh, that was a distraction!

DISTRACTION #2: Voting According to Genitalia and Chromosome

My dear sir or madam, are you saying you vote for people who share the same genitalia and chromosomes as yourself? And, you therefore think I would do the same? You think I would vote for people BECAUSE they have vaginas? You are surprised that I am against a candidate because she has a vagina? Well, all I can say is that I find that shocking! Simply shocking! I am sending you a copy of "Miss Manners" forthwith!

My dear, I do, however vote for the candidate that I think will be best FOR women, and children, and men and families.

DISTRACTION #3 Experience in One Area Compensates for a Lack of Overall Vital Experience

No, it doesn’t. Ms. McCrory's "trial" experience is not up for debate or interpretation. She has no criminal court experience and has never tried a case before a jury at all. You are more than welcome to support her--but, I think you should do so on the facts. JMNHO.

DISTRACTION #4 Practicing Law Without Passing the Bar--a red herring my dear Anonymous. You are obviously trying to imply that Mr. Hoag hasn't passed the bar. Or, are you? I have no idea what you are saying or implying.

DISTRACTION#5 City Council

Are you familiar with "sarcasm?" Sarcasm is "a sharp, bitter, or cutting expression or remark; a bitter jibe or taunt", usually conveyed through irony or understatement. I love Wikipedia, don’t you? Of course we all know that the city council is far from non-partisan. To be specific, I was making fun of the Janesville Gazette and an article they ran on the city council. We are discussing the judge's race. Russ Steeber? What's he doing in this conversation?

DISTRACTION #6 Emotional "Buzz Words" That Have Nothing to Do With the Judges Race

"Yuri and Sam" are EXTREME LIBERALS? Scary music. Cold chills. Terror in the heart. Are Sam and Yuri contestants for Rock County Judge? No. The correct answer is no.

Are they ~~Extreme Liberals~~? No. They are two very nice young men who are candidates for the 44th Assembly seat. Why is Anonymous discussing this?

Nothing to do with Jack Hoag. Unless the writer is implying Ms. McCrory is an extreme liberal?

Is Anonymous savvy enough to be telling my readers that people who just hate/fear/loathe liberals should vote for Ms. McCrory in this NON-PARTISAN election? Or against Ms. McCrory? Nah, I don’t think anonymous is that savvy.


Nothing to do with the judges race--unless Anonymous is implying that the judges race is a STEPPING STONE for Ms. McCrory? Where to? Wisconsin Supreme Court? Who is Anonymous and where does he get his intel? I did not know this!

More shocking words meant to emotionally disable the reader: LAZY LIBERAL SYNDROME! People who want SOMETHING FOR NOTHING. ~~~~~Hands shaking on the keyboard!~~~~~

I have looked high and low for these evil looters--and, have never found one. Not. A. Single. One.

Is this a BUZZ WORD CONTEST? “Everything for nothing.” “Big business hates the average joe.” “Lazy Liberal Syndrome.” “Silver Platter.”

Wait a minute? Guess what I heard? I heard that YOU, Mr. Anonymous are on Joe Knilans Re-Election Campaign Committee and your post isn’t even about the judges race at all. I heard these crazy non-sequiturs are all about knocking 2 of Joe Knilans Democratic opponents for the 44th Assembly Seat: current Janesville City Council members Yuri Rashkin and Sam Liebert!

And, Christ on a cracker, Anonymous, no one who can read would believe that you have ever been a liberal voter or even an independent. Sheeeesh!

Anonymous, Wing Nuts, General Everyday Republicans—I love you all. It is easy to do. But, you are not special. We all work hard. Yes, shocked though you may be: Democrats. Work. Hard. At real jobs. Even in the private sector. We work to be the best that we can be. We believe in standing on our own 2 feet. We put in more than our fair share to help our fellow employees and our employers. We work at unskilled labor, skilled labor, management, professions, hair-styling, and even teaching. Many of us have obtained more and achieved more than we ever dreamed possible—and want the same opportunities for everyone.

None of this has anything to do with the Rock County Circuit Court Judge Election--and, nothing to do with my Love Letter! I think Anonymous wants his own blog—attention hog!

Or…Attention Deficit Disorder? Anonymous, you must learn to focus! Take your medication.

DISTRACTION #7 Your Personal Story.

Anonymous, while I am very happy for your accomplishments, for your very lucky conservative employers, for the fact that you are more intelligent than other people, for your superior wit and humor, for your obvious moral superiority over the less fortunate who need help in life, for the pain of arguing with a mere woman (who, of course, knows she is wrong when she argues with such a superior being as you), for your unique ability to have learned through your journey through life (because, God knows, female liberals never struggle or work for the private sector or learn from the journey through life)...

What are you saying and what does it have to do with the judges race?

There, that is all the attention you get! Get your own column! I want my own radio show!

I maintain that Jack Hoag is the most qualified candidate. I am not impressed by distractions. I only hope my support doesn't hurt his candidacy!

Now, honestly, I love everyone! I really, really do. Keep in touch.

Your friend, Vivian

PS Please message me. I want some free stuff from your employer as I am not one of the many unintelligent people who don't want free stuff. Thanks for reading!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Dear Court Commissioners Who Are Not Judges

Dear Court Commissioners Who Are Not Judges:

I just love politics! I really, really do!

And, I especially love women candidates! And, court commissioners!

I love women professionals. I love powerful women. And I love women politicians. You are the trifecta!

I love the word trifecta and I use it in every Love Letter. “Word” insists it isn’t a word but, my bookie insists it is. I also love exclamation points!

Well, imagine how excited I was to find out a woman was running for Rock County Circuit Court Judge Branch 7! I almost spilled my martini! Choked on my appetizer! Dropped my hankie!

The 54% of voters (those would be women) in the last presidential election are ecstatic to see more and more and more women running for office.

But, good golly Miss Martini, there is something that I just love more than women or men or martinis or appetizers or… YES! You guessed it!

I love research! I am a computer addict. A Facebook addict. A library addict. A stickler for precise definitions. For peeling the layers off onions and peeling and peeling and ...

Oh, and I hate messy! I love precision. “Precision tool” means more to me than chocolates and flowers and jewelry…

Hmmm… And, the truth. The whole truth. And, nothing but the truth. I don’t even like shades of gray or implying or hinting.

So, I began my research with the woman candidate, the COMMISSIONER, running for office.

But, keep your thongs on! I thought we had a judge running for office?

We do NOT have a judge running for office! Imagine my surprise! That was the very first thing that I learned. A commissioner is not a judge.

The commissioner’s own literature identifies her as having “judicial” experience.

Even I was confused and I thought I knew everything. Imagine that, if you can. I don’t know everything—I was the last to find out!

I looked the word “judicial” up in the Webster’s Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language that I keep right beside my computer. (I forgive my reader(s) for thinking that these words just pour out like… well… like… water out a spigot.)

Silly me. I thought “judicial” meant “having to do with or pertaining to being a judge.” No, it just means having to do with judgments in courts OR to the administration of justice.

Imagine the tingle up MY leg when I found out that I HAVE JUDICIAL EXPERIENCE! Yes, I do! I am thrilled to the core and am re-writing my resume immediately. I have worked as a Probation and Parole Officer (in a Dungeon back in the Dark Ages)and in the administration of justice.


WHAT? Oh. Well, it appears to me that she is trying to appear otherwise. But, appearances can be deceiving. And, that is messy. And, I just hate messy appearances! Especially in court!

But, she is still the best qualifies candidate, correct? After all, she says so herself. And, I am the Queen of Sheba! I said so myself. Ms. McCrory’s campaign literature tells us she is “The Most Experienced and The Most Qualified.”


Can it be true that Ms. McCrory has handled 0 Criminal Felony cases, 0 Criminal Misdemeanor cases, 8 Civil cases, 0 Traffic cases, and only 196 Family cases--and NEVER TRIED A JURY CASE?

This would be in comparison to candidate Jack Hoag’s respective +1500, 1411, 296, 1209, and 1016 cases. Really.

I am totally confused about how Ms. McCrory is the “most experienced” and “most qualified?”


Still researching… Well, actually, I haven’t begun my real research, yet.

Where was I?

I began my research with our woman candidate because I put women on a pedestal. I love women. I want women to get ahead. Frankly, I want women to get ahead of men in every way possible. I am a feminist. Rush would call me a femi-nazi, I suppose. If it weren’t insulting the memories of millions, I would wear that label proudly.

But, Court Commissioner NOT-a-Judge Who Has NOT Demonstrated Superior Experience and Qualifications, as I continued my research, I began having questions about this NON-partisan race.

You see, the Trifecta in Madison (that would be our Republican Governor, Republican Assembly, and Republican Senate) have passed a bill that enables suits to be filed in any county—and not just Dane County.

That means that it is VERY important to the Republican Party to have loyal Republicans serving as judges everywhere in Wisconsin and not just in Dane County. I am merely making note of the political realities of the day. I am not an expert. I’m not even an attorney. And, in all honesty, I have no real judicial experience.

Well… Where am I and where am I going?

Oh, I am still at the beginning. One of my questions is, of course, does any candidate have strong political ties and would each be independent if a suit with political implications were filed in Rock County?

OK, I love research so on to—the GAB. You know what they say, “Follow the $$$$$$!”

I began my research on the GAB website following the principle of “ladies first.” And, well!

Ms. McCrory spent $2,500 on a consultant from Fond du Lac. Ray Lapierre? Really? He must be fantastic! $2,500? “Who is he?” I asked myself! Maybe he can help me! Remember: I want my own show!

After the GAB, the single most important research tool in the world is…FACEBOOK!

Ray Lapierre is looking like a pretty BFD in Republican circles.

His “Likes” on Facebook include: Scott Walker for Governor of Wisconsin, Scott Fitzgerald, Republican National Committee, Republican Party of Wisconsin, Republican Party of Oneida County, Ripon College Republicans, Rick Gudex, 4 general interests and… Barbara McCrory! And, he donates.

Then, the 3rd most important research tool, (after the GAB and FB) given that I do not YET have access to finger-printing... GOOGLE!

According to an October, 2011 newsletter from Winnebago County, Ray Lapierre is the Republican Party 6th Congressional District Campaign Chairman. Go Ray!

And, Mr. Lapierre is a “school teacher.” He does “candidate school” for Republican candidates:

“The Republican Party of the Sixth Congressional District has set a date for the District’s Candidate School …. The school will be open to all Republicans throughout the state… For more information write or call Ray Lapierre, Republican Party 6th Congressional District Campaign Chairman.”

Hmmm...Why does Ms. McCrory need a Republican Campaign Consultant. I am sure he does other things?

OK, stop the histrionics, Vivian. Big deal! So, Ms. McCrory’s consultant is a Republican Party consultant… and, he looks like a big Republican Party macher. Big deal, right?

But, isn’t former Assembly member from Fort Atkinson—David Ward—Ms. McCrory’s brother? Perhaps they are friends?

But, we all have the right of political affiliation, don’t we? Wait, do we?

STOP! Let’s ask the Gazette!

Didn't the Janesville Gazette question the ability of city council candidates to run for office AND be members of the little ol’ Executive Committee of the little ol' county Democratic Party and didn't they call a candidate ...something really ominous sounding? OH! ... “a high ranking member of the Democratic Party of Rock County.” I know I sent that clipping home to my family because I, too, am a "high ranking member” of the DPRC and they believe I'm a n'ere do well who never ranked highly anywhere. WOW! (My family was not impressed.)

Has the Gazette already run an article about Ms. McCrory and her political affiliations? Did I miss it? I cannot find my glasses! Did they question the ability of people with political consultants to run in non-partisan judicial races? Did they question her choice of a political consulting firm?

I continued forward with my seriously academic research. I read both judge candidates Facebook pages.

On copies of advertisements on Mrs. McCrory’s page, I got the impression that Judge Bates had endorsed her! He is very well respected. Fantastic!

Ummm… but, not quite. Judge Bates wrote a letter to the editor of the Beloit Daily News explaining that he was not endorsing her? Uh oh. Ouchie!

I also read on Ms. McCrory’s Facebook page—on what appears to be another advertising flier—about that “judicial experience.” I have been busy, busy clarifying the position of “Court Commissioner” and definitions of “judicial.” That is not easy to do!

I have clarified that Ms. McCrory is not a “judge,” that she does not try cases, and that she works under the supervision of a judge as a "Family Court Commissioner."

As I understand it, Court Commissioners are supervised by judges and handle:

1. The initial hearing in a divorce matter subject to immediate review by the Judge.

2. Post Judgment hearings involving custody, placement and child support subject to immediate review by the Judge.

3. Domestic abuse restraining order hearings subject to immediate review by the Judge.

What? Yep, that’s all. That comprises about 5% of all court filings in Rock County in one year as I understand it. Really?

So, then what DON’T commissioners do?

Family court commissioners do NOT: Conduct any of the final hearings in a divorce case involving child support, custody, placement, maintenance, property division and related matters.

A commissioner does NOT handle any criminal matters including both misdemeanor and felony matters.

Family court commissioners DON’T conduct civil litigation.

Family court commissioners DON’T participate in any jury trials. Jury trials are only held in criminal, civil or cases involving termination of parenting rights.

Commissioners DO NOT handle any harassment abuse restraining orders? NO juvenile matters. NO termination of parental rights matters.

Family court commissioners DON’T handle any traffic, probate, or small claims matters.

Can someone confirm that Mrs McCrory has NEVER tried a jury case in her life? Really? Neither as a judge nor an attorney. That is my understanding.

So, to summarize, I don’t know how Barbara McCrory votes and I did not look up her record of donations. But, I am concerned about judicial independence and I am concerned about her political connections and loyalties.

I am concerned about experience.

Ms. McCrory is not a judge and seems to be using the word “judicial” to imply that she is.

Despite her claims to be the most experienced and qualified, she has never tried a case before a jury--in any capacity and she does not seem to have a breadth of experience.

Despite her claims, Mrs. McCrory has no Criminal Felony, no Criminal Misdemeanor, no Traffic, and virtually no civil experience.

She is a Family Court Commissioner working under the supervision of a judge.

Of course we all have the right of political affiliation. I suppose the questions are:
“How strong are the political affiliations?”
“Will personal convictions & prejudices pre-determine judgments?”
“How independent would a judge be if a case involving politics got filed in Rock County?”
“How important is a wide variety of experience—especially criminal court experience?”
“How important is complete honesty in what we say, what we don't say, and what we imply?”
“How important is it that a judge have experience with jury trials?” Really? Are we asking that?

I just love politics, don’t you? But, it is too much work! I need a research assistant.

Your friend,

Vivian, Queen of Sheba

Monday, March 12, 2012

Pictures & Video compilation from Reclaim Wisconsin Rally, March 10, 2012

March 10, 2012, Madison - Yuri Rashkin

3/10/12: Peter Barca, Forward Marching Band - Arthur Louis

Reclaim Wisconsin Rally - Lisa Subeck

Rep. Peter Barca Speaks at a Reclaim Wisconsin Feeder Rally 3-10-12 - Arthur Louis

The People Speak at Reclaim Wisconsin Rally to Recall Scott Walkervimeo.comCitizen voices from the Reclaim Wisconsin Rally to Recall Scott Walker. - Matt Brusky

Reclaim WI March 1st set  - Blue Cheddar

Reclaim WI March 2nd set - Blue Cheddar

ReclaimWI 3rd Set  Blue Cheddar

Reclaim Wisconsin Rally - 3/10/12 - Jenna Pope

Reclaim Wisconsin Rally '12 - Jim Sommerville

One-Year Anniversary "Wisconsin Day!" rally to Kick-off a Week of Action (Part One) - YouTube - ScottWalkerWtch

Part 2: John Nichols talks about Wisconsin's Progressive Historyby madisonvoicesnews

One-Year Anniversary "Wisconsin Day!" rally to Kick-off a Week of Action (Part Two)by scottwalkerwtch

March 10, 2012 Rally in Madison - Carol McQuade Herzig

Reclaim Wisconsin Rally - YouTube - ShillyO

Reclaim Wisconsin Rally - March 10, 2012 - YouTube - Totoroglam

Rally to Reclaim Wisconsin, March 10 2012 - YouTube - WisAFLCIO

Rally March 10 2012 - YouTube - WEACvideo

Author John Nichols inspires the Reclaim Wisconsin Crowd - YouTube - d35pmartin

State Sen. Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse) addresses Reclaim Wisconsin Rally - YouTube - d35pmartin

Singing "We Shall Overcome" at the Reclaim Wisconsin Rally (Madison, Wisconsin) - YouTube - lilswissmiss88

Liam Gerner plays "Madison" at Reclaim Wisconsin March/Rally in Madison - March 10, 2012 - YouTube - scottwalkerwtch

Lori Compas speaks at Reclaim Wisconsin rally in Madison WI - March 10, 2012 - YouTube - scottwalkerwtch

Lori Compas at the Reclaim Wisconsin Rally 3-10-12 - YouTube - Arthur Louis

WTDY's Sly introduces Phil Neuenfeldt /State Sen. Jen Shilling at the Reclaim Wisconsin March - YouTube - scottwalkerwtch

Nichols Compas Wisconsin.MOV - YouTube - bjbasten

Friday, March 9, 2012

Dear Parents--Especially Fathers

Dear Parents—Especially Fathers:

I hate being serious--I really, really do. But, we have some work to do.

The world needs your help. And, I am going to be specific!

The reading I did for International Women's Week was...scary. So scary, I have been forced to be serious one more day.

I just read a great quote: “Stopping rape is men’s work.” You, gentlemen, are uniquely qualified to make the world safe for out daughters.

After all, it is men that are largely responsible for making the world a dangerous place for women. Oh, please, don't even think of accusing me of "man-bashing" or I will report some more statistics.

So, gentlemen—fathers, especially—please join in making the world safe for our daughters by changing our culture of violence and seeing that your sons do not molest and rape them.

First a comment about this entire conversation: Much of the time when I have brought up this subject in a group, someone has immediately brought up their grave worry that a girl might make a false accusation against h/er son. Yes, that could happen. But, that isn’t the topic and it is unlikely (the consequences of reporting rape are far too dangerous to the victim). So, don't even think of bringing up the issue of false accusations, either.

This makes me wonder if we are so fearful of falsely accusing sons, that we are willing to sacrifice our girls. On to today’s letter…

So many preventive efforts for so many of the world’s ills address the victims and coping. Yes, victims/survivors need to see the world as it really is and cope with whatever happens to them.

But, they wouldn’t need to if perpetrators stopped committing crimes.

Many of us are deluded in our understanding of problems such as rape and sexual molestation, or even extreme poverty--we comfort ourselves that we live in a "just world"--it helps us believe that nothing bad can ever really happen to us. But,we don’t live in a just world where people deserve what happens to them. Women and girls don’t deserve to be victimized by our sons. And, we need to stop it now.

Yesterday, I wrote a letter about the dangerous world that we are allowing our girls to grow up in: the rape and sexual molestation of women. I addressed the most frequent victims—women under 30 and college age women. And, I addressed the most frequent perpetrators. Those are NOT masked men hiding in allies.

Those who most frequently rape and molest women are their acquaintances, friends, intimates, and relatives—our sons, grandsons, nephews, neighbor boys.

This letter today is to tell YOU that your son needs to leave home with something besides condoms in his pocket and that is YOUR job.

Sons needs to leave the nest with a moral compass. A sure sense of right and wrong. A sense of morality that means that he treats all women the way that he wants his mother to be treated. Or better yet, sons need to leave home with a sense of values that means he would not do anything to a woman that he would not want done to himself. And, sons need the courage to stand up for their beliefs and values.

I suspect that talking with our sons and daughters about their sexual behavior needs to be far more graphic than we ever dreamt. Before my daughter went to high school, I went over with her every single word or phrase or experience that I thought a 9th grader could possibly have that might be unfamiliar—and thus embarrassing to her.

However 2 very shocking events occurred on her first day of high school. One, she over-heard girls at lunch talking about “being fingered.” Second, someone drank out of her soda can. She quickly adjusted to the sexually explicit conversation. She never adjusted to people drinking out of her soda cans and we had to increase her lunch budget.

Forgive me for being the parent of a daughter and not a son. But, I often wonder if parents of boys, because boys don’t get sexually assaulted nearly as frequently, are less vulnerable to STD’s, and never get pregnant, are less likely to discuss sexual matters in great detail with boys. And, when they do talk, do parents fail to use clear and meaningful language? Sometimes such vague language is used to discuss sex that neither person knows what the other is saying.

And, I am quite sure that a few parents are saying something along the lines of, “Sex is dirty nasty awful behavior. Then, when you get married, sex becomes beautiful. That slut down the street had an overnight guest again.” End of sex education.

My point is that YOU have an obligation to discuss sexual behavior with your boys and girls and it may have to be graphic. Scary graphic. And, you also have an obligation to discuss morality in a way that is not demeaning and degrading to women or men. Because it is time we stopped seeing men as animals, also. It is no surprise that my husband, father, grandfather and all of my uncles were men--and none of them were animals.

No matter what religion or personal beliefs that you have about sexuality and marriage, YOU need to teach your son that sexuality is natural and normal. Because men that fear or despise their own sexuality also fear and despise women and feel free to abuse them.

I guarantee you that your son is hearing the words, “bitch, slut, whore, and cunt” (I refuse to give these words magical power by using symbols--c@#$--to represent them.) at school. And, on the raido. In movies. On TV. On the internet. “We all have grown up in a rape culture, one in which many people have internalized victim-blaming, collusive, placating behaviors.” We live in a world where the sexual shaming of women is widespread and completely acceptable—and, that is where your son lives.

YOU need to tell your son in no uncertain terms that this is wrong and that YOU do not allow that words to be used in your home or in your presence. HE is not allowed to use these words or to engage in “sexual shaming” or the demeaning of women. Ever. It might not hurt to let him know that people do get arrested for verbal assault, as well.

Ahhhh…Huh. Then there is you and your behavior. If YOU or other members of your family are abusive to women or children (or anyone else), use abusive language to women or each other, use sexual shaming or “slut-shaming” language, stop it now. If YOU blame the victims of sexual violence, stop it now. The appropriate rules in a functional family are: No abuse of anyone or anything. No abusive language. No name calling. No blaming the victim. Period.

Have YOU looked at your sons’ cell phone and computer? Does your son know that adolescents have been prosecuted for having nude pictures of each other on their cell phones—child pornography. Yes, young people (and old people) send pictures of their genitals and breasts to each other on their cell phones. And, they get caught and those with pictures of under aged boys or girls get charged with crimes. Suspended from school. Humiliated.

YOU need to watch your language in other arenas, too. Make sure your sons don’t just know the medical/scientific and respectful names of their own body parts, but those of the female gender. Knowing the names of sexual acts and activities might even be a plus.

YOU need to make sure your son knows to “Ask first.” “May I touch you here?” “Is this OK?”

Does your son know that he can ask for later: “Tonight, will it be OK to…” “When do you think you will want to…?” But, he still needs to verify later, and still needs a "Yes!"

YOU need to make sure your son knows that “Yes Means Yes.” And, an unqualified “Yes!” is the only acceptable answer to a sexual questions.

“No means No,” and that mean stop. But, before any touching or any sexual activity at all (YOU may have to define that for your sons), wait for an enthusiastic “Yes!” No one can read cues—it is too much like mind-reading.

YOU must tell your sons not to beg or keep pushing for sexual activity until a girl feels like she has been run over by a semi-truck. That is an abuse of power.

Tell your son to stop the body blocking and physical intimidation--sexual and romantic relationships are not wrestling matches: A larger, heavier, stronger person in a physically intimidating position--such as a boy lying on top of a girl--who is insisting, pushing, groping, breathing heavily, begging...can be so frightening to girls that they are simply afraid to say, "No." Girls begin to feel that it is inevitable no matter what she does or says.

No, of course this isn't threatening to a 45 year old man--but, it can be to a 14 year old or a 22 year old. Reverse the genders and picture your son very intoxicated at a party--with a male partner, perhaps, in the same situation. Picture your son who is very intoxicated lying on a bed, with a bigger, stronger, heavier, perhaps older and less intoxicated young man breathing into his ear, begging, pleading, and groping. Not a pretty site. Yes, forgetting homophobia, it is exactly the same thing.

And, there are other scenarios. An intoxicated 15 year old boy losing his virginity to a 23 year old he has never seen before or since. What he would really have liked was to lose his virginity when he was older, completely alert, with someone he KNEW and was in love with. And, he is still sorry.

Fathers, parents, YOU must teach your sons that a girl (or male partner) who has been drinking too much or using drugs is not able to give consent for any type of touching, kissing, or sexual behavior—legally or morally. And, “drinking too much” may not be very much at all for a young person.

YOU must inform your sons, that only a person who is fully, awake, conscious, and sober can give consent to any sexual activity. When a girl (or other partner) says, “Stop!” it is time to stop. No matter what. We are not animals. Our sons are not animals. Don’t teach them that they are.

It is YOUR job as parents to make sure sons know that “circumstances” and “consent” are NOT the same thing. Being in a girl’s bedroom with drinks, candles, and music does not constitute consent for any specific sexual activity. It is not an invitation. It is not permission. Inviting someone to my kitchen does not give them permission to raid my refrigerator.

YOU must make sure your sons know that “making out” does not constitute consent for intercourse or any specific sexual touching. Having lunch with someone does not give h/er permission to cram food down your throat a few minutes later.

Making out while partially undressed is not consent to remove more clothing or to engage in any specific sexual behavior. Just as going to the beach in a swimsuit does not give anyone permission to remove another part of the swimsuit.

One part of the body may be OK to touch, but another is NOT OK to touch. Just as shaking hands does not give the other person consent to grope the breasts or genitals.

One sexual activity one day is OK but may not be OK another day. Just as it is OK for me to buy lunch for my friends today but not OK for them to steal my wallet tomorrow.

Have YOU made sure your sons know the tremendous amount of pressure that girls feel from boys? Have you made sure that your sons can put themselves in a woman’s shoes? Do sons know the tremendous pressure that girls feel to please them, attract them, keep them?

YOU need to make sure that you and your son know the laws about consensual sexual activity in your state. Make sure he knows the ages of girls he dates. Make sure YOU know who your young adults are dating and their ages.

Do YOUR sons understand that it is the feelings of the recipient of his “attentions” that matter and not his “intentions.” “I didn’t mean to do anything wrong” is meaningless to a young woman who did NOT say “yes” and give consent to a young man to have sex with her – because she was UNABLE to give permission, unable to resist, unable to argue, unable to run -- while she was intoxicated. His “intention” of just having sex is meaningless to a girl who couldn’t say, “NO!” for whatever reason.

Have YOU made sure your sons understand that they can be arrested, go to court, and go to jail for having sex with a young woman who was unable to give consent? A partner has to be able to enthusiastically say, “Yes!” to sexual activity.

This young man, “Driscoll,” suffered a very public arrest and a trial that lasted 2 years after having sex with a woman too intoxicated to give informed consent. He, too, was intoxicated and both were in other relationships. He got acquitted. YOUR son might not be so lucky:

"And so began Kevin Driscoll’s nightmare. Charges of first-degree rape—three counts.
A very public humiliation. Two trials. And the loss of just about everything he
valued in life."

Oh, and have YOU taught your son, that it is not only girls who experience rape and other sexual assaults? From Great Britain: Research by the National Society For The Prevention Of Cruelty To Children (NSPCC) reveals that... 16% of boys report that they have experienced some form of sexual violence from a boyfriend or girlfriend..."

Finally, it would be simply fantastic if everyone taught sons to take a stand: speak out against sexual violence and sex shaming. End friendships with men who speak and behave with disregard, disrespect or violence toward women, who engage in blaming victims, who engage in “sex shaming,” etc. A real man stands up for what is right.

Our children and young adults themselves will bring up lots more material for us to discuss.

Don’t just sit there! Start making the world a safe place for our daughters! I don’t have any sons. Oh, wait a minute! I have godsons and a nephew! We have work to do!

I love you! I really, really do!

Your friend,


PS Almost forgot this: According to Planned Parenthood, about 10 percent of teenage girls in the U.S. become pregnant before age 20. And the U.S. Attorney General reports that 38 percent of date rape victims are girls between the age of 14 and 17. That means that the perpetrators are very likely quite young.

For your reading:

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Dear Fathers, Grandfathers, Sons, Husbands, & Brothers

Dear Fathers, Grandfathers, Sons, Husbands, and Brothers:

Women love you and need you.

Today is International Women’s Day—a day to show the world how much we all cherish women. How about we begin with all of us taking a good look in the mirror and making a commitment to change these facts? How about we, women and men, make a commitment to protect our daughters?

• 44% of rape victims are under 18 and 80% are under 30. No, we are definitely not protecting our daughters.
• 60% of sexual assaults are never reported—and, we all know why.
• 27% of college age women who were sexually assaulted did not know that their experience met the legal definition of rape.
• 84% of men report that they did not know if their behavior met the legal definition of rape.
• 90% of rapes of college age women involve alcohol (on part of victim or perpetrator).
• 33% of men admitted that if they could escape detection they would commit rape.
• 15 out of 16 rapists never spend a day in jail.
• 20% of sexual assaults are perpetrated against women over 30. Even the elderly get raped.

This is graphic, for those having a hard time envisioning some of this: Many, many college-age students drink until they are very intoxicated. Young men will then have sexual intercourse (or other sexual activity) with a young woman who is unable to give informed consent. Sometimes more than one man might have sex with a woman who is passed out. Sometimes this consists of a young man having sex with a woman who is simply too intoxicated to resist, to fight or run.

Our college-age girls think they are safe because they are with people they know in a place they know. There was no violence and no “stranger in a mask” – and she knows what happens to girls who report rape, so she does not report.

But, women are safer almost anywhere else than at home, a friend’s home, or near home:

• 50% of rapes occur within one mile of home.
• 40% occur at the woman’s home.
• 20% occur at the home of a friend, neighbor, or relative.
• 10% occur in parking garages.

With stats like these, we may as well encourage our young ladies to take short-cuts through dark allies instead of living alone, dating, going to parties, or visiting friends.

We certainly cannot give our daughters the advice to always “stick close to their friends.”

• 73% of perpetrators are not strangers to the victim.
• 38% are a friend or acquaintance.
• 28% of rapists are an intimate. Read that again.
• 7% are relatives. Read that again.

I cannot imagine any world in which a young man believes that it is acceptable to engage in sexual activities with a girl who is unable to “give consent.” But, then, I could not have imagined that fraternity boys at Yale would chant, “NO MEANS YES!” either. Do you know the rest of the chant? “YES MEANS ANAL!”

By the way, we still blame the victim. It is easy to imagine why young women don’t report rape. The Janesville Gazette ran a story a few years about a girl under the age of 18 who was sexually assaulted at a party. She was a minor! But in spite of this, they did not disable the comments section for days. People vilified this young girl and supported the sports star accused in the assault.

When I called and complained about leaving the comments section up, the editor supported their decision to allow comments for days about a sexual crime committed against a minor. They refused to do articles on “blaming the victim” or on the dangers of “date rape” even though I volunteered to find experts for them to interview and it would have been easy for them to do. The reason: It was not a relevant or timely subject!

Has anyone ever advised their sons, “Don’t drink too much, son, you might get raped!” “Don’t pass out, son, someone might stick a foreign object in your anus—or a penis might get put in your anus or mouth while you are unconscious.” "Girls might stick garbage in your anus or mouth!" “Or, you might just simply get beaten up.” Did you find this more disgusting than girls getting raped? I hope not!

For those who are already thinking, “What do women or girls who are dead drunk expect?” I have an answer. They expect to be safe. They expect to be safe at home, at the homes of friends, at school functions, with acquaintances, with boys they have classes with and think they know, with relatives, with intimates, with dates…"

Please don’t tell me there are any Neanderthals thinking, “What do sluts expect?” I have an answer. I always do. Sex is a natural and normal activity and something is simply wrong with men who engage in sexual activity that they then despise their partners for. Besides that, if a man who has had previous sexual partners is intoxicated, do other people have a right to remove his clothing and perform sexual acts on his unconscious body? Or, if I give you $10.00 today, do you have a right to steal my wallet tomorrow.

I am so very sad that I even have to offer these explanations. This should all go without saying… But, we do live in a world where the privileged, intelligent, talented young men at Yale chanted, “NO MEANS YES AND YES MEANS ANAL.”

What do I expect? I expect that a girl or woman (of any age) whether she has had previous consensual sex with 20, or 50, or 1, or 0 partners can lie passed out stark naked on Main Street at bar time and be safe. I expect that any and every man would cover her with his jacket and call 911.

That is how I want sons, husbands, fathers, grandfathers, and brothers to behave. That’s what I expect.

Every man who has non-consensual sex (that is known as RAPE!) with anyone else is someone’s son. Many will be husbands, fathers, grandfathers, and brothers.

Men, it is time for you to take a stand. Take a stand for your daughters, wives, mothers, grandmothers, sisters. Rape is a crime of violence and not of lust. Any form of non-consensual sexual intercourse is rape. Any form of non-consensual sexual activity is molestation.

Step up, gentlemen! After all, I love you. I really, really do. And, the Daughters of the World need you. They really, really do.

Your friend,


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Dear Daughters of the World

Dear Daughters of the World,

Tomorrow is International Women’s Day; it is a very big holiday in some countries. This is a holiday to honor, celebrate, and praise women.

I hope you in Janesville & Rock County, Wisconsin will be celebrating with us in downtown Janesville at the event “Join Me on the Bridge” from 4:30 to 6:00 pm on the Milwaukee Street Bridge.

But, first I want to accomplish a few things in this letter.

I do want to tell you that I love you very much. I mean that sincerely. I am able to love you whole-heartedly in part because I love myself and because others have loved, cared for me, and invested in me—that is something I want for every single girl in the world.

And, I have experienced hardships and tragedies that make it easy for me to empathize with you. I want that for you, too. Take it with you. Take whatever heartache and tragedy or neglect you have experienced and let it inform you and make you a better person.

It is my belief that the one and only way to solve problems and to find genuine happiness is to see the world and life as it truly is; to see others as they truly are; and to see ourselves as we truly are—to know ourselves.

We, the adults in your lives, are failing you, our Daughters. We are bitterly failing the many of you who are living in poverty, who are experiencing terrible physical abuse and neglect, and who are lacking adequate food, clothing, housing, medical care, and educational opportunity. We are failing to nurture and protect so very many of you. We are failing to empower you and prepare you for life. We are failing to invest in you. That is the brutal reality for you.

We are also failing all of our Daughters (and our Sons) by creating and perpetuating a world that is sexist, racist, homophobic, classist and plagued by war. Every day, we get up and re-create it.

We are rearing our precious Daughters in a world where the single most popular radio host in America routinely uses sexual shaming.

We are allowing our husbands, fathers, and sons to use language about US and our DAUGHTERS that is simply reprehensible. And, then we don't teach our girls how to cope with it and empower themselvs.

And, many women and girls engage in and manipulate and torment each other with sexual shaming. It won’t make boys or men like them—and, it only makes them look so sad.

Shame on us. That is a reality that you have to live with.

But, there is another reality. That is the reality that you have far more ability than you ever dreamt of.

You have talents and abilities that you won’t even know you have until you are 60 or 70 years old.

You have emotional capabilities that are going to light your own world on fire—and are going to light up the lives of those around you. You have passions buried inside you that you don’t even know about.

You have more intelligence that you think possible because you haven’t even begun to try to access it.

You have more physical strength and endurance than you ever thought possible. Take good care of yourselves because you are precious. Demand that others care of you and show your care of them.

You will keep growing and developing until the day you die.

I promise you that no there is always a new day, there is always rebirth, there is always healing.

I promise you that life is going to be 10 times tougher than you ever thought possible and 10 times better. The more you invest in everything you do, the more you enjoy it, the more you benefit, the more you invest, the more fun it is and on and on and on!

You have the ability to work harder, longer, and smarter than you ever dreamed possible. And, that is the BIG SECRET to life. Just work. Work smart. Work better. And, smarter. The more you work, the more you will like it. Then, you will get good at it. And, then you will get great at it. Then, you will realize you are fantastically talented AND skilled AND experienced.

You will learn how to build a life brick by brick by brick: even if your own family and society has failed you miserably.

Well, I hate being serious. It’s so often painful.

But, Daughters of the World, I love you! I really, really do!

Your Ever Faithful Friend,


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Dear Clerics and Politicians

Dear Popes, Cardinals, Bishops, Priests, Evangelical Preacher Men, Right Wing Conservative Politicians [Ricky Perry & The Newt] in Particular:

I love you--each and every one! What a diverse group—all united by your strange interest in women’s lady bits and hoohah’s. My goodness—OH! Not because of your strange obsessions. Good guacamole, no! I love you in spite of it.

And, what an august group—except for the politicians and Ricky, of course. And, Newt. Well, and the Evangelicals. And, pedophiles—don’t want to label them “august.” They are an embarrassing lot. Oh, and the serial monogamists—ewww! Hmmm…and the cheaters in general—cannot call them “august.” Let’s take out Evangelicals—they just do not sound august and they get caught with internet porn too often…

OK, everyone else: What an august group!

So, I am here to offer you unconditional love and unstinting feedback and advice—all in the service of making you better people! Isn’t that what unconditional love is all about, after all? You are all sooooo in need of motherly advice—you have been spending far too much time with each other, and need to get out in the real world a little. Ever think about getting a real job? It would do you wonders!

You need the love and advice of a mother and I am just the woman to give it! I have so much to say that you cannot even imagine—not in your wildest moments. And, august boys, I am pretty sure you have had some pretty dark and wild moments.

Oh, I just wish I could get my hands on all of you! I really, really do! I could just…punch—Oh, that was a Freudian slip! I could just pinch your cheeks you are so cute! And, dangerous! What a combination!

Down to business: You boys don’t get out much, do you? As in:
“Out in the real world.”
“Out where young people live 10 adult years before marrying.”
“Out in the world where the single most important factor in addressing STARVATION is family planning—and, micro-loans to women.”
“Out where doctors practice medicine and not clerics or politicians.”
“Out where people without Rick Santorum’s snobbish education cannot afford REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH CARE for the wife and 10 children—and to also feed them.”

I did not mean to imply that you don’t know jack. Dear me, no! Just that you don’t get your heads out of…wherever they are (hoohahs? a@@#@?)…all that often… This was not intended to hurt. Oh dear! Sorry! So, get your heads out of those dark and steamy places and get a little dose of reality in the real world where women and children live.

Yikes! I hope you won’t mind that I’m not Catholic, nor a politician, nor an Evangelical! I am a WASP—does that help? But, then, you’re not women or doctors! And you are not even the itsy bitsiest teeny weeniest concerned about my religion when you are out there passing laws. Are we officially a theocracy, yet?

Clerics, explain to me again why The Church doesn’t pay taxes when it so clearly plays politics? So, I’m sure you won’t mind. After all, tit for tat! What does that saying mean exactly? I do not want to be vulgar! What is a tat?

Anyway, I was thinking of coming to you Clerics for advice on marriage, sexuality, how to teach my children about safe touching…but…well…you know…What the @#$% is wrong with you? And, then wide-spread cover-ups? You sound more like the mafia or a political party than a church.

I cannot help but notice you are all men?

So…You are in desperate need of loving guidance that you surely did not get from your mothers—and you are not getting it from each other. Here I am! Filled with agape and ready to go!

Your mothers were very busy ladies weren’t they? They didn’t go into a decline did they, and drink Vermouth in a dark room all afternoon? Vodka? Gin? Did they really want children? Is that what this is all about? OMG...YOU are the abortion that didn’t happen. YOU need therapy. NOW. Well, a therapist can retire, but she just cannot quit analyzing. Sorry!

Or, was God speaking to you by the time you were 5 years old? Isn’t that, well…just a bit…narcissistic? You didn’t listen to your mother much, did you!?! Good mothers frequently say things such as, "Who the h@#$ do you think you are? Jesus Almighty?" You didn't answer, "YES!" did you? I thought so. This is going to be tougher than I though!

Well, God AND your mothers speak to me, too! And, they all told me to tell you a thing or two. No pontificating. Just the facts.

That’s the way my mother did things. She did not want to rear any village idiots, pedophiles, or politicians. A trifecta would have killed her.

Since none of you seem to be getting to the point on your own, I am just going to tell you the rules:

1. YOU are NOT God. God still loves you and so do I. If you keep on your current path, I cannot make any promises.

2. NO DIDDLING CHILDREN. Period. Or very young interns. Or mentally compromised congregants. NO, you cannot even think about it.

Newt--quit leaving wife after wife after wife when she is ill. No one is worried about infidelity--we already know. We are worried your killing them.

3. NO COVER-UPS. YOU are legally adults. Act like it and DO THE RIGHT THING! It will get easier with time. We know that you do not have a moral compass, so call a mother of 2 young children. She will tell you what the right thing is! Or, call a survivor of child abuse—s/he will tell you. Or, just call me. Just call anyone at all--a 12 year old could have told you the right thing to do.

4. APPEAR TO BE NORMAL at all times. Newt and Ricky, have your mothers call me. You are not even close. Take acting classes if necessary.

5. STOP THINKING ABOUT LADY PARTS AND HOOHAHS all day long. Think about ending poverty or ending child abuse or ending marital infidelity or ending rape or funding women’s shelters …something like that!

6. STOP PRACTICING GYNECOLGY. You don’t have a license. Your congregants and constituents are not in the stirrups on the table—are they? I hope not! If they are, stop it right now and call me!

Your excessive obsession with eggs and sperm and ovaries and conception and implantation and on…and…on…and…on is simply unseemly. My gynecologist isn’t that interested in these issues.

7. YOU practice religion or politics and let doctors practice medicine. Call me a radical, but that is the opinion of the AMA--and me.


9. LET’S JOIN FORCES to see that all children are welcome and wanted, fed, clothed, housed, have medical care, get an education, and never again experience abuse or neglect.

Because basically until you do this, I’ve got my fingers in my ears going, “Na na na na na na na!” and, I just cannot hear a thing you say.

10. Until REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH CARE is covered by insurance and BIRTH CONTROL IS FREE to all women and men, circumcision is the only male REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH CARE procedure that will be covered by insurance and since it is related to decreased cancer risk in women, it will be immediately required by law and all insurance companies.

Well, I surely do love you even more than I did at the beginning of my letter! Communication is good for the soul—don’t you agree? Right now, I think I have about said it all.

But, there is tomorrow…Oh, I so hope I didn’t hurt anyone’s feelings! Bless your hearts!

Your friend,


PS I will be posting next week about the average penis length, the relationship to sexual satisfaction, what constitutes normal and abnormal penis shapes, the Pope’s prostate, the Cardinals’ and Bishops’ testicular health and whether or not I think evangelical men ought to shower after sex—JIC they kill off some sentient sperm.

Just the other day I was speaking with a sentient sperm and he said, to me, Vivian…Oh, that’s for next week!

Monday, March 5, 2012

PS I Love you. YOU. YOU. YOU

P.S. I love you. You. You. You.

Dear Republican Women Haters:

I just love all of you—especially politicians, radio hosts, clerics, and opinionated drunks at bars. And, drunk politicians, radio host addicts, drunk clerics, and…all of you. Hope I didn’t leave anyone out!

Can you believe that I wrote most of this letter before Rush’s latest little TT? And, all of you just had to keep harping on about vaginas, and fallopian tubes, and uteruses, and seeds, and implantations…

Well, anyway…I have already said it, but I will say it again—get out of our vajayjays!

My phone has been buzzing my pants off! Metaphorically speaking…

Wow! I have to write a postscript because your mothers, sisters, daughters, girlfriends, cousins, aunts, grandmothers, bosses, co-workers, wives, ex-wives, boyfriends…well, you get the picture…

The 51% and a few men all called me and they have quite a few things to add to my previous letter. Oh, my yes. Hope it won’t hurt your feelings!

Holy kitty cats—they love you almost as much as I do! They suggested “Re-education Camps.” Hope that does not mean what it used to mean.

But, I believe in the power of change through love. So, I am offering you redemption through the power of love--at the polls, in the work-place, in the bed room, at the dinner table, at family reunions...everywhere you go!

Here are some of their messages.

Quite a few wives called and said, “NO Viagra prescriptions unless requested by the wife!” Period.

A lot of women and a few men called and screamed into the phone, “If a man has an erection lasting more than 4 hours, for G-d’s sake, take his partner to the ER! Who cares about that selfish bastard!?!”

Both God and Goddess called and said that there is really no such thing as “erectile dysfunction. They concur that they made you just the way they want you to be! This isn’t a “medical problem!” It’s life! Get over and get on with it. It isn’t even terminal.”

Both suggested that you just get hobbies. Goddess suggested gourmet cooking, lawn care, housewifery, and child care. God said to tell you to get a second job, “Because you are going to need it!”

Quite a few women called and said they got an STD from you and you will be hearing from the County Health Department and their attorney. They no longer have REPRODUCTIVE HEATLH CARE and will be suing you. You also have to have testing and report all your partners. Men and women.

Anyway, many women and quite a few men called and said that you are a bunch of @#$%#, @#$$#@, %$#@@, ^%$@#$, and a few foreign words I cannot spell. What is that about?

Now, for the serious part.

I do NOT want to scare you. Do NOT want to hurt your feelings. I love you. I really, really do. I am the only one left. Women haters, you are digging yourselves into a cold and lonely place.

I know how ignorant you are—remember, I don’t mean that in any pejorative way.

Thinking about your war on contraception—which is REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH CARE...

Haven’t you boys heard of paternity testing!?! Does “DNA” ring a bell? Cheek swabs? Watch TV much? Does someone with papers standing at your door ring a bell?

We know how you just love gardening and spreading your seed. We know how you cherish your seed and do not want anything to come between that and the blossoming of your fruit. But, when your next wife leaves, she may leave all that fruit with YOU! You will be stuck with the bill, in any event.

Do you see any connection between that and discretionary spending or your take home pay?

Some of you are getting papers served this week and I don’t mean D-I-V-O-R-C-E! Yes, there actually is someone on your steps ringing a bell. Congratulations! Is it a boy or a girl?

About that rising birth rate associated with seed spreading and fertilizing, restriction on insurance coverage for birth control and women’s REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH CARE (as well as the ever increasing assaults on abortion—which is REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH CARE)…

YOUR mother called and said to ask you, “What the hell are you thinking?” She is too old to help any more.

You do know who impregnates women don’t you? The tooth fairy? Not likely!

YOU do! Conservative Republican men—yes, I know that is a redundancy but I am not speaking to a highly intellectual audience here.

Sexual intercourse is the leading cause of pregnancy! Who knew!?! Yet, you are the very ones opposed to sex education.

And, there are only two ways of preventing it. Abstinance and birth control. How’s abstinence working for YOU?

And…wait for it…if you don’t abstain, guess what kind of health care pregnant women need? REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH CARE! Yes! What a bummer. Your wives and GF’s need REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH CARE!

And, guess who pays for the care and education of children? YOU do. If you want your wives to be SAHM, that means, YOU alone pay. And, your wives won’t have jobs when you leave them for the next one. Then, the judge observes that you had a contract for a conservative marriage and orders you to pay maintenance AND child support.

And…guess which is less expensive to couples and society—REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH CARE including birth control and abortion or unplanned children?

Newsflash: If it involves a doctor, an exam, or a prescription, it is HEALTHCARE! And, insurance ought to cover it—in a sane and normal world that isn’t ruled by sex-crazed theocrats.

So, gentlemen of the right—your doorbells are ringing! Papers are being served!

The 51% loves you! And, the 54% just simply adore you!

See you at the polls. I mean that in a really loving way.

Your friend,


PPS Cannot wait for November!