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Category Archives: Race in the Hole

What’s In a Name?

What’s In a Name?

“Who gave you that numb?”
James Joyce, Finnegans Wake

 

 When you think about it, most sports mascots are intrinsically silly.  Cardinals and Orioles are songbirds, not even raptors.  I don’t even know what on earth a seahawk is, but perhaps the “Seattle Ospreys” doesn’t quite convey the punch.  Penguins playing hockey – is that supposed to distract your opponent by giving them the giggles?  Would anybody know that a Bruin is a bear?  Is there any coincidence that the most tragic team in baseball is named after a baby animal – the Cubs?  Why not the Kansas City Kittens or Poughkeepsie Puppies?  And while Miami might have the most perfect season in the history of the NFL, its mascot is the indisputably gay dolphin, with cute turquoise, aqua, and corral colors. Read the rest of this entry »

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May D(ay) in China

May D(ay) in China

Each year on the near-south side of Milwaukee a few hundred folks gather together to commemorate the Bay View Tragedy, the bloodiest day — May 5 1886 — in the history of the labor movement in Wisconsin.  I won’t bother rehashing the clash right now (you’re welcome to read about it here).  Instead, I would like to reconsider it in the context of our contemporary world, from Fox News and Foxconn to Scott Walker and Steve Jobs.  Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Aching for Gentrification

Aching for Gentrification

The old saw quips that there are two seasons in Wisconsin: winter and construction.  Depending on which part of the state you live in, the former is debatable, but the latter incontestable.  From first thaw in April to first freeze and flake come sometime in fall, construction orange is ubiquitous and de rigueur.  But while the ties to road construction and Governor Walker are as hot and heavy as the bituminous lathered on our highways, like greased palms giving the glad hand and thumbs up thick as thieves, the kind of reconstruction project I’m talking about is the incremental changes to the very demographic topography of our state.  Today’s case in point?  The state-sanctioned discrimination and disenfranchisement of tenants — yes, people (like me) who don’t own housing but instead rent an apartment.  Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Gone Against the Wind

Gone Against the Wind

Considering that Governor Walker has substantively removed kids of need from the state’s books by gutting funds from education, Medicaid, and the good lord knows what else, it’s not surprising then that he would do so symbolically as well.  Perhaps with an “out of sight, out of mind” rationale, or chutzpah of spring cleaning, Walker removed from the governor’s mansion a commissioned painting depicting three such children on a street in Milwaukee.  They are even based on real people — an African-American homeless girl, a Latina member of the Boys and Girls Club, and a Caucasian boy whose father and brother both were killed by a drunk driver. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Republican Campaign Finance Reform

Republican Campaign Finance Reform

In the brave new world of Ameri© a, where oodles of moolah donated by the rich to political candidates is as much a right of free speech as these very words you are presently reading (penned by an impecunious scrivener, such that I am), thanks to the Citizens United decision of the Supreme Court last year – wherein corporations are rendered the equal of actual people – it’s perfectly consistent, and all too legal, that the effective for-profit privatization of electoral campaigns is seen as a freedom of expression, unlike that socialist gulag of public financing where candidates are forced to limit their hungry bellies to the trough of thoughtful spending, heavens forfend. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Unplanned Parenthood: the Hit or Misogynists of Wisconsin Politics

Unplanned Parenthood: the Hit or Misogynists of Wisconsin Politics

If you listen just long enough you can hear Margaret Sanger crying in her grave.  As has been par for the “coarse” since the first second Governor Scott Walker came into office swinging and slinging, and Republicans toed the line striding and stentorian on their high hoarse hearse of this legislative session, the next step in making Wisconsin gallop backward is defunding Planned Parenthood.  She who wrote in a pamphlet nearly a century ago, “No one can doubt that there are times where an abortion is justifiable but they will become unnecessary when care is taken to prevent conception.  This is the only cure for abortions.”  She would be wailing, were she alive today.  And then fighting like hell. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Voter IDeation

Voter IDeation

Whatever happened to “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”?  In a country founded in no small part on the philosophy of democracy by way of self-governance, why in the world would we discourage its citizens from participating in the process?  Moreover, given how proudly we boast of this form of government being the sine qua non of enlightened nations and even ask our troops to sacrifice their own lives so that peoples around the world can delight in so-called Jeffersonian democracy, why are we inhibiting our fellow neighbors and family members back home from voting?

Welcome to the new Wisconsin, where the druthers of Republicans are one party-rule via a democratically elected hegemony. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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