Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Republicon War on Representative Democracy


Sticking a flag pin on your lapel doesn’t make you a patriot. It’s what lies beneath in your heart that matters. And with Friday’s appeals court ruling imposing the GOPster’s voter suppression scheme on the Badgered state, the scary war on representative democracy that lies at the heart of the Republicon Party is laid bare. But lying, manipulating, gerrymandering, voter suppression and Blitz Gezetz (lightning law) are the means this minority party needs to obtain its ends. I say minority because that is who they now represent, a very small but increasingly wealthy and powerful minority. The Republicon Party has abandoned their belief in representative democracy and local control. They believe only in wealth and power and the related heresies, that money is speech and corporations are people and should write our laws. If the Boston tea party happened today the Republicons would side with the East India Company.

When Robin Vos gerrymandered Wisconsin, he drew the 21st Senate district just for Van Wanggaard, with the district line running right down the side of his block, thus choosing Wanggaard’s voters for him, instead of the other way around. Vanny must be a very special boy to deserve such treatment. Scott Walker used blitz gezetz by the surprise introduction of Act 10 on a Friday afternoon, when all eyes were turned toward the weekend, with the plan to ram it through the inconvenient formality of public hearings and get it passed the following Thursday, before the citizenry would have a chance to consider it and react.
But their attack on voting rights is an extra special betrayal of our Republic. Armed with laws written in secret, by global corporations at the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) Republicons all across the country, including those in the Badgered state have moved to advance their hidden agenda, because everything the Cons do has a hidden agenda, EVERYTHING! Their voter suppression agenda is based on a wild conspiracy theory about massive voter fraud, committed on a perennial basis by busloads of brown people. The mechanics of this conspiracy are so ridiculously improbable that you'd have to be completely divorced from critical thinking to swallow it. Just how foolish does one need to be? Let's examine. If one believes that:

Every election year brown people coordinate getting the forged documents needed to register at the polls and travel all over your state committing multiple counts of voter impersonation fraud for democrats and never get caught, infiltrated or have someone spill the beans, one might be foolish enough to vote in Republicons (FEVIR).

Fraudsters never run into poll workers who know they don't live at the addresses they’re attempting to use or who know the real voter in whose name they're attempting to vote, never try to vote under the name of someone who has already voted or that the real voter never shows up later to find that someone has already voted in their name, one might be FEVIRish.

Brown people who are transported to the polls in vans must not be legitimate voters. And people who traditionally vote at rates lower than the general population would be motivated to risk a felony conviction with no chance of direct personal gain to get a job for someone they don't know personally and with no way of knowing if their effort is even needed to win or if it will be enough to be successful, one might be FEVIRish.

The few people who vote while on probation or parole would be identified and stopped by voter ID, one might be FEVIRish.

DMVs across your state have convenient hours and locations with available public transportation and that getting to the DMV to get a photo ID is easily done by the working poor or elderly without a car, one might be FEVIRish.

Everyone lives like you do and has or needs a driver’s license or photo ID and one is so special that it might be one’s personal vote, out of millions, that might be cancelled and that justifies putting road blocks in front of over 300,000 of our fellow citizen’s right to cast their vote, one might be FEVIRish!

The Republicon Party wouldn't trumpet the news all over the media if in fact they were ever able to catch the supposed perpetrators and expose this massive scheme and the reason they have never offered a reward for the exposure of voter impersonation fraud conspiracies is because they just don't have the money, one might be FEVIRish.

Photo ID is about election integrity and not voter suppression,
 the Republicon Party leadership actually believes in freedom and the wild conspiracy theory that they're foisting on us, one is definitely FEVIRish.

Interfering with the right of citizens to legitimately cast their vote isn't just down right Un-American, one is in a complete stupor!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Monday - BASD Annual Meeting!

This MONDAY NIGHT! It's time for the good people of the Burlington Area School District to come out and support the rational members of our School Board against those who believe (foolishly) that Joseph McCarthy was right. http://burlingtonareaprogressives.blogspot.com/2014/07/good-night-good-grief.html
ANNUAL MEETING - August 25th - Burlington School Board - 8:00 pm Burlington High School Auditorium--"Notice is hereby given to the qualified electors of the Burlington Area School District that the annual meeting of said District for the transaction of business will beheld in the Burlington High School Auditorium, 400 McCanna Parkway, Burlington, Wisconsin."
There is word that there will be the perennial pushback at this meeting from the tea swilling followers of the McCarthyite apologist who believe that ANY levy increase is too much. It's important to get a large number of reasonable people to attend this annual meeting and raise their hands in favor of the very very lean school district budget as it currently is written.
Expect that last-minute attempts to reduce the current budget will be made in the form of amendments to the proposed budget. This tactic must, once again, be voted down by us, the majority of the citizenry exhibiting goodwill to our community and responsibility toward the future.
Our children need us to show up that evening in a large group and show our support for them. Please come and show your support our current tax levy and budget. A lot of time and effort has gone in to trying to keep our tax burden as low as possible, and the results of any further reductions will be dire.
Let's get enough people to "be there and play fair" (like "be there or be square"). Let's be fair to our children and draw that line in the sand that says "ENOUGH!" No more cutting back. Every kid needs our support.
For more info on the annual budget as approved by the board, go here:http://myracinecounty.com/?p=15181

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Citizen Koch is a Go!

Citizen Koch is a Go!


BAPsters bought 64 tickets, more than enough to let the show go on!

There are still tickets left if you'd like to go. You can order them here for $10: http://www.tugg.com/events/10295

If there are still tickets remaining, they will be sold at the door prior to the show - 6:30 Wednesday August 13th at the Plaza Theater in Burlington.

Also, if you missed BAP's hosting of John Nichols last week, you missed quite the presentation. John was very generous to give us his time (again) and his sometimes foreboding, but always insightful, optimistic and entertaining analysis of current events and the long history behind them. Thank you John!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Good Night & Good Grief

Ketterhagen Residence, Veterans Day 2012
Once again, Ketterhagen's got his crazy on. Phil has apparently fallen victim to recent attempts by some rightwing extremists to turn history upside-down by rehabilitating the reputation of Senator Joseph McCarthy -R, WI. you can read about it here in the Burlington Standard Press, with commentary to follow: http://myracinecounty.com/?p=14972

It seems Mr. Ketterhegen objected particularly to the donation of a DVD of the movie Good Night and Good Luck, a movie that recounts how newsman Edward R. Murrow exposed McCarthy for what he was a liar, a bully and threat to American freedoms.

Standard Press Excepts: He (Ketterhagen) said “Good Night, and Good Luck” vilified McCarthy, and didn’t address the historical context of the senator’s behavior. “Correct info should come from the Venona Papers which were released in 1994 from the Russian archives which shows McCarthy was totally correct in his findings,”

Ketterhagen also said at the meeting that he had reviewed teaching materials in the past, and had found a disproportionate amount of communist or socialist authors.


“I’m not going to allow the teaching of a philosophy, or a ‘left’ thing,” Ketterhagen said. He also held up a number of films he personally brought to the meeting, saying that most of the board would consider them too biased toward the “right” for use in the district. When asked, Ketterhagen declined to give the names of the films. End Excerpts
Notice that Ketterhagen not only echos McCarthy with his vague accusations regarding communist/socialist authors and what philosophies he is "going to allow", he also cited the Venona Papers, the very documents used by rightwing revisionists to attempt to justify McCarthy's behavior. Well, below is an article from the Wall Street Journal that demonstrates just how wrong the sort of upside-down thinking Mr. Ketterhagen is swallowingis , but how dangerous it is with regard to our potential to repeat the tragic mistakes of our past. After all, there certainly has been no shortage in the past few years of people of Mr. Ketterhagen's ilk making false and hate-filled accusations at our President of being a communist or a socialist.
Excerpts: "The problem was that McCarthy lied about his information and figures," Lamphere said. "He made charges against people that weren't true. McCarthyism harmed the counterintelligence effort against the Soviet threat because of the revulsion it caused."
During the hearings, McCarthy failed to substantiate his claims that communists had penetrated the Army. He did, however, insinuate that Fred Fischer, a young lawyer at Hale and Dorr, the law firm representing the Army, was a communist sympathizer because he'd been a member of the National Lawyers Guild at Harvard Law School. Supreme Court Justice Arthur J. Goldberg had also been a member of the group, which was alleged to be a communist front.
Upon hearing this accusation, Joseph Welch of Hale and Dorr, responded, "Until this moment, senator, I think I never really gauged your cruelty or recklessness." When McCarthy continued to hound Fischer, Welch said, "Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?"
A Senate committee concluded that McCarthy's behavior as a committee chairman was "inexcusable," "vulgar and insulting." On Dec. 2, 1954, the Senate voted 67-22 to censure him; on May 2, 1957, McCarthy, age 48, died of acute hepatitis, widely believed to be a result of his alcoholism.
As a top Justice Department attorney, John L. Martin prosecuted scores of spies during a long career, and read many of the FBI's most secret raw files on historic espionage cases, including the files on Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, Judith Coplon, Alger Hiss and Rudolph Abel. "While Venona later confirmed and expanded upon what the FBI knew about Soviet operations in the U.S.," Mr. Martin says, McCarthy used "the umbrella of national security to justify his outrageous practice of besmirching reputations of loyal Americans."
Efforts to vindicate McCarthy overlook the fact that he did not help the cause of dealing with the spy threat. Rather, he gave spy hunting a bad name. In sanctioning McCarthy's intimidating tactics and dishonest charges, revisionists dangerously invite history to be repeated.
Once again we can only conclude that Phil Ketterhagen is not only wrong, he's a nut and an embarrassment to the Burlington Area school District.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

BAP Presents and Evening with John Nichols!


Save the date! An Evening with author John Nichols. On July 30th, the Burlington Area Progressives will be hosting an evening with John Nichols. We will meet for coffee in the Burlington High School cafeteria at 6:30pm, with John's presentation at 7:00 in the auditorium. Below is his Bio from the Nation magazine:

John Nichols, a pioneering political blogger, has written the Beat since 1999. His posts have been circulated internationally, quoted in numerous books and mentioned in debates on the floor of Congress.
Nichols writes about politics for The Nation magazine as its Washington correspondent. He is a contributing writer for The Progressive and In These Times and the associate editor of the Capital Times, the daily newspaper in Madison, Wisconsin. His articles have appeared in the New York TimesChicago Tribune and dozens of other newspapers.
Nichols is a frequent guest on radio and television programs as a commentator on politics and media issues. He was featured in Robert Greenwald's documentary, "Outfoxed," and in the documentaries Joan Sekler's "Unprecedented," Matt Kohn's "Call It Democracy" and Robert Pappas's "Orwell Rolls in his Grave." The keynote speaker at the 2004 Congress of the International Federation of Journalists in Athens, Nichols has been a featured presenter at conventions, conferences and public forums on media issues sponsored by the Federal Communications Commission, the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Consumers International, the Future of Music Coalition, the AFL-CIO, the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, the Newspaper Guild [CWA] and dozens of other organizations.
Nichols is the author of The Genius of Impeachment (The New Press); a critically acclaimed analysis of the Florida recount fight of 2000, Jews for Buchanan (The New Press); and a best-selling biography of Vice President Dick Cheney, Dick: The Man Who is President (The New Press), which has recently been published in French and Arabic. He edited Against the Beast: A Documentary History of American Opposition to Empire (Nation Books), of which historian Howard Zinn said: "At exactly the time when we need it most, John Nichols gives us a special gift--a collection of writings, speeches, poems, and songs from throughout American history--that reminds us that our revulsion to war and empire has a long and noble tradition in this country."
With Robert W. McChesney, Nichols has co-authored the books It's the Media, Stupid! (Seven Stories), Our Media, Not Theirs (Seven Stories), Tragedy and Farce: How the American Media Sell Wars, Spin Elections, and Destroy Democracy (The New Press), The Death and Life of American Journalism (Nation Books) and, most recently, Uprising: How Wisconsin Renewed the Politics of Protest, from Madison to Wall Street (Nation Books). McChesney and Nichols are the co-founders of Free Press, the nation's media-reform network, which organized the 2003 and 2005 National Conferences on Media Reform.
Of Nichols, author Gore Vidal says: "Of all the giant slayers now afoot in the great American desert, John Nichols’s sword is the sharpest."

Monday, July 14, 2014

Citizen Koch Coming to Burlington

Citizen Koch

Promoted by Burlington Area Progressives


Wednesday, August 13 6:30PM - 8:26PM

448 Milwaukee Ave., Burlington, WI, 53105 (map) 
$10.00 General


In this searing exposé on the state of democracy in America and the fracturing of the Republican Party, Academy Award®-nominated directors Carl Deal and Tia Lessin (Trouble the Water; co-producers of Fahrenheit 9/11 & Bowling for Columbine) follow the money behind the rise of the Tea Party. CITIZEN KOCH investigates the impact of unlimited, anonymous spending by corporations and billionaires on the electoral process, featuring stories of life-long Republicans whose loyalty is tested when their families become collateral damage in the GOP fight to take organized labor out at the knees. Alternately terrifying and funny, CITIZEN KOCH is an essential and powerful portrait of our political times.

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Declare Your Independence This 4th of July!


Final Push for Move to Amend in Burlington this Weekend!
Five men costumed in priestly robes have now bestowed souls on so-called 'corporate persons" in Merica. It's time to end this heresy confronting our democracy. And you can help this Independence Day weekend when we celebrate the beginning of our revolution, sparked not only by the plutocratic dictates of the British crown, but also by the predatory monopoly of the East India Company, the global corporate behemoth of its time and the target of the Boston tea Party!
We're so close to our goal, but time is running out! Come to Echo Lake Park after 3:00 on the Fourth of July and add your John Hancock to the petitions to get a referendum on the ballot in the City of Burlington in November advising our representatives of the need to overturn the Extreme Court's ruling on Citizen United vs FEC and affirm that corporations are not "People" they are legal constructs and money is not speech, it's merely amplification. We will have folks there to collect your signature. All you need to be is a resident of the City and eligible to register and vote.
Besides, you're going to have fun at the Dance and Fireworks and I personally vouch for the band Lunchmoney Bullies! http://www.burlington-wi.gov/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=145
You can also stop by 324 Amanda St. on Saturday (7/5) between 9:30 and 2:00 from where we will be canvassing and sign the petition or pickup a walk packet and get some exercise, fresh air and signatures!
Thank you,
Sean