HELLO FROM EAU CLAIRE, WISCONSIN - city of big bottoms and small minds.

Sunday, March 22, 2015


I haven't blogged in quite some time; truth be told, state and national politics have driven me into a deep depression. Only the correct medications have helped keep me from ending it all.

I truly do not understand what is happening to my once progressive state. How could so many of my fellow Wisconsinites be taken in by a man who is easily the most egotistical,self-serving demagogue to ever come down the pike???

From the get go, Walker made it very clear ON TAPE, TELEVISED, speaking with his billionaire donor, Diane Hendricks of Rock County ABC supply, with this telling conversation:

“Any chance we’ll ever get to be a completely red state and work on these unions and become a right-to-work state? What can we do to help you?”

Walker replied: “Well, we’re going to start in a couple weeks with our budget adjustment bill. The first step is we’re going to deal with collection bargaining for all public employee unions, because you use divide and conquer.”

Yesterday I received an e mail from my old friend, Dr. Ron Keezer, musician and etcher extraordinaire and the article he sent really NAILED IT:

Citizen Dave: Scott Walker and the politics of resentment

Credit:David Michael Miller

If Scott Walker were in governor's school he'd be earning an "F."
Let's look at the record.
He promised he'd create 250,000 private-sector jobs in his first four years. Less than half that number were actually created, and Wisconsin underperformed most Midwest states as well as the national average.
He promised he'd balance the budget. He produced a projected $2 billion deficit for the 2015-17 biennium.
Failing at his employment goals, last year he touted an $800 million tax cut as the way to create jobs. Minnesota's Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton didn't follow Walker's standard ALEC policy playbook. The result? Unemployment in Minnesota is 3.7%, while the unemployment rate in Scott Walker's "open for business" Wisconsin is 5.2%.
And while Wisconsin legislators struggle with that $2 billion deficit, liberal Gov. Dayton's Minnesota just can't agree on what to do with their almost $2 billion surplus.
Walker's refusal of Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act will cost our state $345 million over the next two years and result in 81,000 fewer Wisconsinites being covered. That's right, we're paying more to cover fewer people.
He turned back $810 million, again of our own federal taxes, that would have gone to a high-speed rail system knitting together Chicago, Milwaukee and Madison. That system would have been up and running now for over a year if he hadn't narrowly won election in 2010.
So just between Medicaid and rail alone, Walker has turned his back on over $1.1 billion in federal resources that will just be spent in some other state. Did I mention he's running a $2 billion deficit?
In any school he'd be failing. In any private company he would have been fired a long time ago. If he were a city manager he'd be sued for malfeasance in office.
So, how did this guy who the record shows is incompetent or reckless or both, get elected to begin with, become the only governor in American history to ever survive a recall, and then win reelection to a second term, all in the space of four years?
Answer: He knows how to play on people's resentments.
Let's start with high-speed rail. Walker was actually open to the idea early on in the 2010 Republican primary. But when one of his opponents went hard against it, Walker responded immediately with absolute statements saying that he would turn down the federal money. It became a significant wedge issue, playing on resentment of Milwaukee and Madison in the rest of the state.
Act 10 was all about playing on resentment toward local teachers and "Madison" bureaucrats (but really state and municipal workers all over Wisconsin) in the wake of the Great Recession. Rather than trying to put in place policies that would build up private-sector workers' pay and benefits to equal or exceed their public-sector colleagues, Walker sought to drum up hard feelings between private- and public-sector workers, who should have been on the same side.
The Medicaid refusal is all about capitalizing on resentment of working-class whites against working-class African Americans. Medicaid is often heard as code for black and urban.
Walker's attacks on the UW and the Wisconsin Idea are intended to highlight the differences between those with university degrees and most Wisconsinites, who don't have one, at the expense of all the economic development that comes with a strong higher education system and a better-educated workforce.
And last year's senseless tax cut was mostly about keeping government in a constant state of fiscal crisis so that cutting programs will always be on the table. Walker doesn't want fiscal stability. He wants to gut government. In this way he plays on the resentment of the very idea of government.
So, Walker seeks to divide rural against urban Wisconsin, better-educated Wisconsinites versus blue-collar workers, private-sector employees versus those in the public sector, white Wisconsinites against their black fellow citizens.
My point is that if you want to look for the secret to Scott Walker's success, don't look to the higher human values of the common good. Instead, examine the politics of "divide and conquer." Walker succeeds by employing a remarkable and laser-like focus on exploiting and inflaming human resentments.
This is not the kind of man to be leading Wisconsin, or Wauwatosa for that matter, or any private company or, God help us, the United States of America.



The problem with my fellow citizens is not that difficult to discern. Nobody READS anymore. We have become a state of half-wits who don't really give a shit what is going on around them as long as they can watch FAUX News, (which they actually believe is really news!), and get the latest "smart phone" to stick in their ear.

Want to make you Sunday a real Funday? Read this article on our beloved governor's favorite masturbator:


If this doesn't piss you off, then you are absolutely getting what you deserve: LESS AND LESS OF EVERYTHING.

Monday, January 26, 2015


AS I grow older, I begin to realize that some activities are in the rear view mirror; my sex life for instance. (Oh my God, he's gonna talk about it!) Well, actually, I'm going to talk about the lack of it. First off, don't misunderstand. My wife is an absolutely perfect mate. None of the cessation of sex in my marriage has anything to do with her.

Let's face it. At 73 years of age, and rapidly approaching 74, things don't work like they used to. As someone once said "Making love to a 73 year old is like trying to shoot pool with a rope. And the more I think about Viagara and all those other "helpers" all I can think of is how very ugly a seventy three year old man must look with a raging erection.

Then there's the sleeping disorder that I have. I didn't know that I had one for years, but I finally went in for the overnight sleep test. When morning finally arrived, I got together with the nurse who had administered the test. She told me that I really have a sleep problem called apnea.

Apnea is when, for no apparent reason, I just stop breathing. She told me at one point she almost came into my room to jolt me awake because I had stopped breathing for nearly a minute.

So now every night after ablutions, I have to put my teeth guard in (TMJ), and then strap on my mask, replete with machine and long coiled hose. Anybody want to make love to the alien?

So now, I think about sex. If ever some guy tells you that he doesn't, no matter how old he is, he is bull shitting you. The other day, while driving for Markquart Toyota, I was thinking about various things when suddenly the following "movie" began running in my head.

I believe it was in the year 1972 while I was still struggling with my first marriage. I received a telephone call from one of Eau Claire's long standing grocery store owners. I had already been hired to do a 45 minute set of comedy for the retail grocers of Eau Claire, and I assumed that this is what he wanted to talk to me about. Turns out, I was wrong.

He explained that in addition to my show, they had hired an "exotic dancer" and that she lived out in my neck of the woods, near Elk Lake, so would I be willing to pick her up before coming into town to set up for the show and to escort her back home afterwards. Truth be told, it wasn't the fact that I lived near her that prompted the call . . it was more of a "I can't be seen with an exotic dancer" type reason.

Well, another truth to be told, I kind of looked forward to being her escort as this would probably be a once in a life time opportunity, which now that I think back on it . . it was. He gave me the address and the telephone number and asked me to contact her, which I did.

On the designated evening, I left the house and drove to her address. I didn't even have to get out of the car. She appeared, locked her door, and made her way around to the passenger side. I am not going to lie. She was a beauty. Short woman, raven black hair, which she had up, wore up in a bun, and of all things, she was wearing a business suit. I am talking the three piece with a neatly tied neck tie. As we drove towards Eau Claire's west side, we chatted.

She told me that she is a college student at UWEC, majoring in business. I told her that she looked good in a suit. She not only looked fabulous, but she smelled great, too; not too much perfume at all, but just a devastating hint. We were immediately comfortable in each other's presence as we had something in common. We were both in "show business".

Cocktail hour went by quickly as she sat next to me at the bar and we continued to talk. I do remember that she pointed out my wedding ring and said, I thought with some disappointment: "You're married".

The grocers meantime had their share of booze on an empty stomach and were close to "roaring". You know, when the volume of conversation keeps getting louder and louder as everyone strains to hear each other.

The supper club waitress summoned them to sit as dinner was served. My new friend and I were not invited to partake, and if I had been, I would have declined as I don't like to perform on an empty stomach. Instead we continued to chat while they ate.

After dinner was finished and the introductions and awards were handed out, it was my turn. I did a really good show and had them banging on the tables. After I finished to strong applause, I read the introduction she had written and given to me and she made her appearance, carrying a boom box containing her music.

I cannot recall the music. Had you asked me that night I couldn't have told you because like all the other men in the room, I was immersed and mesmerized by her. I will tell you right now that she did the best strip tease I have ever witnessed, and I have seen more than a few in thirty some years of being on the road. She did not rush at all, but danced, fully clothed, for quite some time, until I could feel the tension growing between her and her all male audience.

Then she started to undress, very, very slowly, in time to the music. First she unbuttoned her suit coat, removed it; then undid her neck tie, danced over to a table of grocers and, grasping both ends of the tie, looped it over a head and did the"drying off with a towel" move. Next , she reached up and with one smooth motion released a cascade of beautiful long, black hair, all the while pulsing to the music. That is as far as she got when the animal noises began from the audience.

Next she lifted her skirt to reveal silk panties and, oh dear, a garter belt with real nylon stockings! She danced slowly, removing each stocking with delicate hands, then slowly slipped each one off into her hand. Both times she executed the lasso move with the stocking, whirling it overhead and then let it fly into the rapt crowd.

Next she began slowly unbuttoning her blouse, revealing a frilly black brassiere. She removed the blouse entirely and tossed that into the crowd as well. She was working these guys into a hot mass of manliness. She danced with her skirt and bra in place for what seemed like hours, then turned her back, unhooked her bra with one hand (I've always marveled how women can do that) and then turned, covering her breasts with the loose bra for several measures, and then that also went into the crowd. She was really good. She covered her breasts with her hands while she danced and threw her raven mane about.

She finally revealed her pert breasts with (as Detroit rocker Bob Seer so sensually described in "Night Moves"):

She was a black-haired beauty with big dark eyes
And points all her own sitting way up high
Way up firm and high

By now, the dollar bills and fivers were fairly flying in her direction. She danced topless, then removed her skirt. Someone got a hat and retrieved all the bills, filling the hat entirely. She danced furiously in only her panties and then . . . she was all done. This was met with yells of disappointment and "take it off" in unison. But she remained resolute. Even after they emptied the hat and passed it around again, she would not give in to their ardor.

She gathered up her strewn clothing and disappeared into the ladies room. Then she came out and sat back down next to me. Looking straight ahead, all I could say was "incredible . . . absolutely incredible."

Then the grocer who had hired me came over with a handful of cash in one hand and the hat full of cash in the other. He told her that the grocers wanted here to have all the cash for being such a "good girl".

Taking her home was quite different from our trip into town. Neither of us said anything. When I reached her driveway and parked the car, she reached over and shook my hand, thanking me at the same time. Then she did something I was not expecting. She enclosed my hand in both her hands and rubbing my hand gently, she said: "You have really nice hands." She paused, as though waiting for me . . . then she said, "well, good night." and she was gone.

All the way home I could hear her saying "You've got really nice hands." And you know what? I can still hear her voice saying that, clear as a bell, every time she comes to mind.


Sunday, September 28, 2014

Sorry I haven't kept up with the blogging. Aw, hell. Who am I kidding? I'm not sorry at all! I used to blog all the time . . . almost every day. That was then. This is now. A whole lot of things going on at the same time. Tends to make you shuffle priorities. But I was thinking yesterday while I was battling all the "It's the weekend" idiots on Highway 94,that it's time to write.

Would someone please explain to me why what appears to be most of Minnesota is in exodus at illegal speeds into my home state?

Every car . . . well, that is an exaggeration . . . every other car roaring down the interstate, passing everything except the other vehicles with Illinois plates, was from the "Land of 10,000 Lakes". WTF? Who are these people? Don't they have a home in Minnesota? Their license plates would indicate that they do. Where the hell are they going in Wisconsin?

I drive "professionally" for Markquart Toyota/Scion, taking one car of a particular color to a dealership in a distant city, dabbling in some paper work at the dealership, retrieving a different car of another color, changing over the dealer plate, and then, after a thorough inspection for any bumps, dents, or paint scrapes, a quick inventory to items listed on the window sticker, I then drive the "swapped" vehicle back to Markquart Toyota/Scion.

Monday, July 28, 2014


Yesterday my wife came back from running errands with quite a tale to tell. She had stopped at Walgreen's to pick up some prescriptions. she drives a Prius with three stickers and an American flag on the rear bumper: "Obama 2008" "Jeff Smith for Assembly" and "Obama 2012".

As she approached her car, a man in his 60's began shouting at her to remove that American flag sticker because she didn't deserve to have it on her car. He told her that "you liberals are everything that's wrong with this country" and that some day, real Americans would "get rid of all the liberals".

Kim was dumbfounded and didn't say anything as he continued: "Did you ever serve your country in the military?" By then Kim was in her car, started it, backed out and left.

When she got home she was very upset for not having answered the attacks. She said: "I should have told him that I have every reason to be flying the flag on my automobile as the flag represents Americans constitutional right to believe in whatever they want."

"I should have told him that 'no', I didn't serve in the military but my father, my uncle, and my husband all had."
President Obama is in the habit of telling audiences that Republicans are patriotic and love America, but they just have a different idea of how to govern. That is just not true and it is likely the President knows it. If they cared one iota about America, its people, or the electoral process they would swallow their pride and work with the opposition to advance the interests of all Americans. Instead, they met in secret on Inauguration night in 2009 and plotted their revenge on the people by swearing an oath to subvert any attempt by the new President to pull the economy out of the catastrophic recession they created during 8 years of the Bush administration. That was over five years ago and the President’s re-election just enraged them to punish Americans by shutting down the government, wasting taxpayers’ time and money with fabricated scandals, and suing the President for doing his job.

Americans expect the President to display a semblance of comity when dealing with Republicans, but the time for niceties is long past. Although the President is beginning to express his frustration with Republican intransigence in public appearances, he seriously needs to address the nation in prime time and explain exactly why Washington is not attending the needs of the people. While he is at it, the President can spend five minutes disabusing several persistent lies Republicans spew without any pushback. For example, he could tell Americans the KeystoneXL pipeline is an export cash cow for the Kochs and the oil industry and that no oil will stay in America. To his credit, the President did say the pipeline is for exporting Canada’s oil to Europe, but it was buried in a NY Times interview; the people that need to hear about Keystone are not reading the NY Times. There are myriad Republican myths the President can dispel quickly, but it requires him to acknowledge openly that not only are Republicans rank liars, but that their actions, or lack thereof, are driven by their hatred for the people, America, and democracy.

Obviously President Obama is not going to address the nation and call Republicans liars, but he can reasonably posit that it is no coincidence that when Americans elect a Democrat as president, Republicans shut down the government, make drastic cuts to social programs, and go on an impeachment crusade. The American people will make the connection that every despicable act by Republicans over the past five years was driven by vengeance to punish the people for electing a Democrat as President; not, as President Obama says, out of their ideological form of patriotism or love for America. Maybe then the people will finally comprehend, like President Obama surely does, that not only do Republicans hate an African American Democratic President, they hate America, its democracy, and most of all they hate the people.

Boehner Is Suing Obama Because Republicans Refuse To Work… The Republican answer to the President's executive actions to help all Americans is suing him for doing what they refuse to do; work for the general welfare of the people.
Obama Drops A Major Truth Bomb On The GOP: They’re… Things are going from bad to worse for the Republicans as President Obama is openly calling out John Boehner and the GOP for suing because they don't like him.
Republicans Are Disgracing America With Their Talk of… By resorting to threatening to impeach President Obama over his use of executive orders, Republicans are not only humiliating themselves. They are also disgracing the country.
Conservative Calls For Obama’s Impeachment Are A Cover The list of charges conservatives have leveled at the President that they claim are irrefutable impeachable offenses that demonstrate their complaints are a cover for racism and anger over losing.
Obama Slams Republicans For Not Wanting 30 Million Americans In the strongest language that he has ever used, President Obama called out Republicans today for wanting to deny 30 million Americans healthcare.

The incident with my wife speaks correctly to Frank Reich's belief that it has everything to do with "the browning" of America and the terrible panic, knowing that being rich and white will not be enough to carry the day any longer.

I told her that the way she handled it was the best way possible. Anything she would have said would not have made a bit of difference to this man, who obviously has mental issues. I told her that who knows; had she argued, he may have been "carrying concealed" and if she had argued long enough, might have been shot.

This is the state our country is in, unfortunately. The Kochs and their co-conspirators, who decided long ago that they would employ the Goebbels "Divide and Conquer" method, are seeing it come to fruition.

Two weeks ago in Texas, and again in last week’s radio address, the President noted that Republicans were furious that, while they were busy obstructing governance and devising political stunts, the President was doing whatever he could to help Americans. However, the President posed a question that he obviously knew the answer to keep the possibility open that Republicans would abandon their obstructionist ways and join him in working for the people, he stopped short of elucidating what the impetus for Republican intransigence is driven by.

The President said, “The truth is, even with all the actions I’ve taken this year, I’m issuing executive orders at the lowest rate in more than 100 years. So it’s not clear how it is that Republicans didn’t seem to mind when President Bush took more executive actions than I did. Maybe it’s just me they don’t like. I don’t know. Maybe there’s some principle out there that I haven’t discerned, that I haven’t figured out. You hear some of them — ‘sue him,’ ‘impeach him.’ Really? Really? For what? You’re going to sue me for doing my job?” Barack Obama is an intelligent man, and he is well aware of recent American history, and although it is true Republicans do not like the President, there is more at play than just racial animus.


I found an online catalogue that I find refreshing as the items for sale fly in the face of convention. I suppose that's why I like it.

Anyway, I immediately sent in my order for this tee shirt as it really reminded me of The Vasectomy Song, which I wrote way back in 1979. I also found out some history of the operation itself.

Did you know it was once illegal to advertise where to get a vasectomy? This shirt was originally designed for the first publicized vasectomy clinic in Chicago (late 1960's). Each customer got a t-shirt. A portion of the sales from each shirt goes to support the great reproduction rights advocate Bill Baird. Bill was once arrested for distributing condoms to unmarried people. Although not an attorney and unable to hire one, he fought two reproductive rights cases in front of the Supreme Court.... and WON!

My song was eventually recorded by The Limeliters, a folk singing trio that I saw in concert as a student at Eau Claire State University. I was a fan of theirs as well as a fan of The Kingston Trio.

Folks might find it interesting to know how it happened that The Limeliters decided to record the song. I had been working in the lounge of the Holiday Inn, downtown Minneapolis, just the week before the trio made an appearance at Orchestra Hall in the city. They apparently saw my advertising that the Holiday Inn displayed on all the elevators, and decided they would like to hear some of my novelty songs.

Alex Hassilev called my house in Eau Claire! He asked if I could send recordings. I told him I would much rather meet with the trio and sing the songs to them in person, as I was a fan. That got me a free pass to the concert, which was a reunion tour with Glenn Yarborough, who had established himself as a single artist with "Baby the Rain Must Fall".

Yarborough was not at the meeting in Hassilev's room. It was Hassilev, bass player, Lou Gottlieb, and a woman who was introduced to me as Tommy Smothers' ex-wife.

I sang The Vasectomy Song and they really responded with enthusiasm. I recall Hassilev telling Gottlieb: "The Kingston Trio would KILL to have this song!" They asked if I would mind if they used it in their shows and might possibly record it at a later date. I said that was fine, but that I wanted credit for the song and if recorded, expected residuals.

So I wrote out the lyrics and then taught them the melody by singing it with them a few times. It was an evening to remember.

They, in fact, used the song in their live shows. I know this for a fact as I accidentally caught a folk concert out of Canada that they were a part of, and they closed with it.

After a year or so, I received a residual check for $75.00. Then nothing. At a much later date, through the diligent work of Elizabeth Fischer, who I dubbed "my marketeer", I received a larger check.

I suppose it probably is time to pursue residuals further. I have seen the song recorded on youtube, also. I am a member of ASCAP, but it really hasn't done me much good.


The above is not really what I had set out to blog about today. But I suppose my subject matter, our beloved governor, made me think of vasectomies.

Here's the question that has been gnawing at me for the past month with new revelations about "the Man": Excuse me, but could you tell me again just why you are going to vote for Walker this coming November?

Here's what's been going down:

During his first year in office,newly elected Governor Walker replaced the state’s Department of Commerce with the “Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation” (WEDC), a quasi-private entity that would, Wisconsin was told, spur economic development and drive a job creation recovery in the state. Instead WEDC has been plagued with allegations of corruption, cronyism and incompetence – and despite unbending support from Gov. Walker, WEDC has failed to recharge Wisconsin’s economy.

Jenny Dye, of One Wisconsin Now, reported that the lack of appropriate oversight and reporting made the success of WEDC incentives in achieving job retention, job creation and investment goals difficult if not impossible to analyze. A 2013 audit of the agency’s 2011-2012 performance found that only 45 percent of recipients of 59 awards had submitted contractually required reports on their progress toward meeting their contractual terms. The report also stated that some awards were made to ineligible recipients, for ineligible projects, and were given amounts that exceeded program limits. Further, one-third of the 30 WEDC economic development programs did not meet their expected goals.

Gov. Walker, campaigning for office, promised to create 250,000 jobs over the course of his term. Recent jobs figures and independent analyses portend he will fall disastrously short of that goal as Wisconsin remains mired as the second worst state in the Midwest for job creation and in the bottom third of states nationally.
Audits and analyses of the WEDC have found an organization rife with problems. Funds have been spent on things like iTunes gift cards, liquor and tickets for sporting events. Funds that have gone for economic development have not been properly tracked, been given to ineligible recipients and in many cases have been ineffective.
Meanwhile, Gov. Walker’s campaign and the Republican Governors Association have reaped over $2 million in campaign cash from donors, who have in turn received a disproportionate share of public economic development funds.
For the people of Wisconsin, has reality of WEDC matched the rhetoric of Gov. Walker? By any objective measure, the answer is a resounding “no”.

(My thanks to my wife, Kim Wilson, for this information)

In addition:

Walker’s WEDC is in the news again, this time for using taxpayer-funded loans to help Wisconsin companies ship jobs overseas. A WKOW 27 News investigative report found that at least two multinational companies who received millions of dollars in taxpayer-funded loans from the WEDC later laid off Wisconsin workers and moved those jobs to Mexico and other foreign locations. One company even received a second WEDC loan after outsourcing jobs.

Report highlights:

• “In April of 2013, Eaton laid off 163 employees at its Cooper Power Systems plant in Pewaukee and announced it was moving those jobs to Mexico. Less than a year later, WEDC awarded Eaton Corp. with up to $1.36 million in additional tax credits for a proposed $54 million expansion at that same Pewaukee plant.”

• “In July of 2012, Plexus announced it was laying off 116 workers from its Neenah facility…Plexus Corp. did not identify where it relocated those jobs to in 2012, but also has offices and interests in the United Kingdom, China, Germany, Romania, Malaysia and Thailand.”

The Wisconsin Democracy Campaign (a nonpartisan watchdog group working for clean, open and honest government and reforms that make people matter more than money in politics) found that the companies cited in the investigation for outsourcing jobs to foreign countries gave generously to Gov. Walker’s campaign.

Wisconsin is ready for a transparent jobs agency that lets taxpayers know how their loans are being used to create jobs in-state. Wisconsin is ready for accountability. Wisconsin is ready for job creation. Wisconsin is ready for a new direction with Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke.

Tea Partiers will tell me that this is not the truth. Unfortunately, however, this IS the truth. SOME OF US, I GUESS, JUST CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH.

Saturday, July 19, 2014


I am way too old to be as worried as I am about current affairs and the state of the nation as well as the state of the state. But, truth be told, I am not able to disengage. I see the many inequities, the incredibly selfish lust for money of the already wealthy, the war on women that Republicans try to tell me is all in my mind, the out and out criminality of our own governor, and worst of all, with an upcoming November election that I personally feel will be the tipping point in American history as to whether we begin to restore the government to be "of the people, by the people, and for the people", the seemingly flippant attitude that was displayed in the past mid-term elections that gave us a Republican controlled House of Representatives nationally, as well as a Republican controlled State of Wisconsin government that has wreaked havoc on our state's environment.

Allow me to quote directly from Politicus, in an editorial comment by Rmuse:

"Since teabaggers and Fox News seized control of the Republican Party directly after the 2010 elections, there has been a preponderance of petitions decrying everything from the Christian right’s attacks on women and gays to the Supreme Court’s unwavering devotion to corporations and Catholic dogmata. It is true that Americans opposed to losing their democracy to religious and corporate fascism are rightly frustrated, but it is just as frustrating that any American is under the delusion that signing a petition is ever going to achieve or change anything, or prevent America’s slide into a corporate theocracy.

There is an inconvenient truth Americans are going to have to come to grips with even though it is painful; no amount of signatures on a petition equals one vote at the ballot box, one vote in either house of Congress, or will overturn a Supreme Court decision. One wants desperately to believe that Americans understand the gravity of the Supreme Court setting a precedent that, in effect, can abolish legally passed laws and eliminate long-standing protections in the United States Constitution, but sadly that is not the case. If the American people were aware that only through their votes could they affect change, it is possible that a close vote in 2000 would not have given the Supreme Court the opportunity to appoint George W Bush as president who followed his father’s footsteps and installed two hardline religious corporatists on the High Court."

The fact that "liberals" and "progressives" talked the talk in 2010, but did not "walk the walk" is why we are in the shape we are today. Each and every one of us has the right, nay, the obligation to get off our dead asses come November and make certain that we have turned the corner on this terrible regression we find ourselves in today.

It astounds me that Americans have such a short memory of current history . . . I'm speaking of going back no more than 14 years!

Republicans are producing tee shirts crying about how they miss George Bush!

Because the print is so small in the picture, here is the copy accompanying it: "Learning the Wrong Lessons" (Steve Benen)
It's not uncommon to hear Democratic officials complain that Republicans, if given half a chance, would return the country to the failures and disasters of the Bush/Cheney era. In an unexpected twist, the Republican National Committee is helping make the case that Dems are onto something.
The Republican National Committee is celebrating former President George W. Bush's birthday this weekend by selling wistful "I Miss W." t-shirts to its supporters. "President George W. Bush led our nation through some of its most challenging moments of our nation's history - - and we miss him and his leadership," reads a fundraising pitch on the RNC's website. "By sporting this comfortable, classic, American-made tee, you can share our message and help us elect principled conservative leaders to office."
(The shirts available for the low, low price of $27.00)
The larger point, however, isn't that Republicans miss a Republican president. Rather, the significance of the silly t-shirt is appreciating just how little the GOP has changed in recent years, even after party leaders seemed to decide collectively that changes were necessary.

So let me get this straight. We are to miss the guy who:
started two wars
One . . . Iraq . . . in which the whole case for was was built on lies.
Introduced the worst recession in U.S. history; one from which we still have not recovered fully.
Implemented a policy of TORTURE
Implemented a doctrine of WAR . . . BECAUSE WE WANT TO
Implemented a policy of not admitting people to a speech if they disagreed
Ignored previous administration's warnings about terrorist attacks and allowed the attacks on NYC on 9/11
Damaged irreparably the credibility and reputation of the United States of America.

A Facebook friend of mine posted: "the only person that missed G W Bush was the Iraqi that threw his shoes at him."

"Americans, says Bmuse, "have to come to their senses and face a fundamental, and very painful fact; because the Supreme Court and Republicans serve the religious right and corporations, it does not matter one iota what the people want. They can gnash their teeth, sign petitions, and bemoan the fascist elimination of their democracy until the proverbial cows come home, but nothing is going to change and it is all down to not voting; particularly during the 2010 midterm elections. It has gotten to the point that even when Democrats do turnout to vote, Republicans in service to the real leaders in America, the religious right, Wall Street, and Koch-corporate fascists, oppose their chosen representatives as evidenced by obstructing anything President Obama supports. The American people twice elected Barack Obama to lead the nation, but because Republicans do not want him as President, they spent the past five years bringing governance to a veritable standstill and it is due to being inexorably bound to the Christian and corporate prerogative.

In the leadup to elections, there is a mantra espoused ad nauseum that “elections have consequences.” One never hears that petitions have consequences for one simple reason; they do not. It is true that turning out en masse to evict Republicans from Congress will affect change for near future, but those Supreme Court rulings giving the religious right and corporations control over Americans’ lives are here to stay. One imagines a different America if more Democrats turned out to vote in the 2000 general election that would have prevented embroiling Americans in two unfunded and unnecessary wars of aggression, and prevented an out-of-control banking industry from nearly destroying the world’s economy. A few thousand more votes would also have prevented a conservative Supreme Court majority from abolishing the Establishment Clause, voting rights laws, campaign finance laws, and the right to class action lawsuits against predatory corporations.

It is true Americans are frustrated with the path the country is on, but their frustration should be put to use educating, registering, and encouraging other Americans to vote instead of signing useless petitions to overturn High Court decisions. It is too late to even ameliorate the damage conservatives on the Court have imposed on America, and the Constitution, but there is time to stop any further damage Republicans in Congress are planning to unleash on the people whether it is privatizing Medicare and Social Security, or eliminating Medicaid, food stamps, environmental protections, and every other social program the Koch brothers, Wall Street, and religious right want abolished. If Americans should feel anything, it should be desperation because while they are signing petitions, the religious right, Koch brothers, and Wall Street are mobilizing their forces to finish what they began in 2000 and 2010 to get what they want; government beholden to the Christian and corporate prerogative and a quick end to democracy."



Thursday, July 17, 2014


While reading the Upworthy story on women being harrassed, I had a flashback to a late night in Eau Claire. I had turned left off Water Street at 5th, wending my way home on the far west side of Eau Claire. It was a warm early summer night, I had my windows down, and as I crossed the intersection of 5th and Niagara, through my open passenger side window, I heard the sounds of an angry male voice and alarming cries of a female. I stopped my van and watched but for a second. When the college age asshole assailant, who was screaming at the young woman, whose arm he had gripped in his left hand, suddenly back-handed her across the face, I opened the driver's side door, stood up on the floor board so as to be able to see over the roof, and shouted at the top of my lungs: "HEY! KNOCK THAT SHIT OFF!" To which the bastard replied "mind your own business, asshole!"

"I am minding my business," I shouted, "and right now, YOU are my business! You should know that I have already called the cops(I lied) and that they will be here any second, so I suggest you let her go!"

And he did. And he decided not to stick around but went running off in the direction of Riverside Park. I then pulled my vehicle to the curb beyond the intersection, climbed out and approached the young woman, who was crying, her face buried in her hands.

"Are you all right?" I asked when I reached her.

"Yes, I'm all right, thank you," she said. But she obviously wasn't. I asked who the guy was and she said he was her boyfriend. I asked if I could give her a ride home, which she first refused. However, I insisted, telling her that I would feel much better escorting her safely to her apartment.

"What if, after I leave, he returns?" I asked. This was enough to convince her to allow me to get her out of there. We didn't speak as I drove the short distance to her apartment address. When she got out of the van, she thanked me again, and left.

I thought about her many times after that evening, wondering if she returned to that abusive relationship. There are two things I will never understand: How a supposed "man" can hit a woman, and secondly, why a woman would ever allow herself to continue to be in that kind of a relationship.

This, today, from The Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters

It's official. 10,000 acres of Wisconsin's public land is now being sold off to private interests, and it's just the start.

Rather than protecting the places that are so important to us, state leaders voted for the first time ever to require that public lands be sold off. This is the wrong direction for Wisconsin.

This is just the beginning. You can bet that more attacks on Wisconsin's lands are sure to come in the next legislative session. We're committed to fighting every day to restore Wisconsin's nonpartisan legacy on conservation that has sadly been abandoned by leaders in recent years.

That's why Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters is working with citizens, like you – to let our legislators know that Wisconsin citizens expect them to protect our land for our families and future generations.

Like you, we grew up camping at state parks, getting our hands and knees dirty in nature, and paddling our state's great lakes and rivers. It's who we are.

Now these special natural places are threatened. Make your donation to Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters today and help us fight back against future attacks on our land.


Bottom line: Once our public lands are sold, they're not coming back. We need to protect land now – for our families and for our children. Wisconsin's public land should remain public.

Thank you for being a conservation voter,

Anne Sayers
Program Director
Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters



There are few things as fundamentally crucial to the existence of human beings and, indeed, all life on Earth as water. It is difficult to believe any human being thinks water is privately-owned, a commodity, to use for profit at the expense of human life, but Americans know there are entities that will go to any lengths to feed their corporate greed. In several states in this country, climate change is wreaking havoc on the people in the form of severe, multi-year droughts. So, with extreme water shortages, what do two industries do with the vanishing precious resource? They either mix it with deadly carcinogens and pump it, under extremely high pressure, back into the ground, often directly over active earthquake faults, or draw it out of the ground, bottle it, and sell it for profit. It is a wealthy corporations’ ideal business model; free raw materials and a product no human being can survive without.

California, like many states primarily in the southwestern United States, is facing one of its most severe droughts on record. The conditions are so severe that in January Governor Jerry Brown declared a drought state of emergency in preparation for water shortages that are especially dangerous during the summer months. The critically severe drought has entered its third year of a projected decade (at least) long drought, and throughout California water restrictions are having a profound impact on agriculture. In fact, the water shortage is so severe that farmers in some of the most agricultural-rich areas of the country are being forewarned there may be no water within two years at best; that is if the extreme conservation measures work.

However, while the rest of the state is attempting to conserve what little life-sustaining water California has left, the Nestle Company ignores the emergency measures the state adopted because its water bottling plant is conveniently located on a Native American reservation. Like all N.A. reservations, it is considered a sovereign nation by the US government. It is a water-theft enterprise any greedy corporation would lust after because unlike farmers, individual Californians, and every municipality in the state, Nestle is exempt from complying with any water-saving state or federal regulations. To make matters worse, Nestle is depleting what precious water reserves lie deep underground in the aquifer and pumping it directly to its bottling plant and selling it for profit. This is not a new endeavor for Nestle, and their blatant disregard for Californians’ need for basic survival was best expressed by Nestle’s CEO and Chairman.

According to the former CEO and now Chairman of the largest food product manufacturer in the world, Nestle, corporations own every drop of water on the planet, and because he believes water is not a basic human right; if human beings get thirsty, they have to pay or die. It is the ultimate privatization insult to mankind, and worse because Nestle is intent on privatizing water the world over; a natural resource that falls from the sky and seeps into the Earth for man to use for survival. In the case of California, and other regions around the world, what precious little water remains for basic survival is being stolen by a filthy corporation to sell to those who can afford to survive, and they are being assisted by Native Americans claiming to be good stewards of the Earth. Maybe this is Native American vengeance on the white man for invading their sovereign land, massacring them, and sending the survivors to permanent interment camps with high-sounding names like “sovereign nations.” But that is another story altogether; this is about Nestle draining California’s water.

The Nestle Arrowhead Mountain Spring Water bottling plant is located on the Morongo Band of Mission Indians reservation and drains water from a Mojave Desert oasis at the base of the San Bernardino Mountains 85 miles from Los Angeles where just three inches of rain falls each year. Their little enterprise prevents water from seeping downhill to fill aquifers of nearby towns struggling for water during the drought, and prior to 2009, about when the drought began, Nestle submitted annual reports to local water districts detailing how much groundwater they were extracting for profit. Since the drought began, neither Nestle nor the Morongo tribe submitted any forms; likely because it would be bad for business to tell local residents how much of their precious water they are being forced to buy to increase Nestle’s profits.

Nestle already has a history of showing blatant disregard for the human race according to Corporate Watch. The company regularly barges into struggling rural areas and extracts groundwater to sell in bottles “completely destroying the water supply without any compensation,” and in fact “actually makes rural areas in the United States foot the bill.” However, Nestle is not focusing only on Americans’ water as reported by Corporate Watch that has documented Nestle and former CEO Peter Brabeck-Letmathe’s long history of disregarding public health and abusing the environment for profit to the tune of $35 billion annually from water bottle sales alone. Corporate Watch states that “NestlĂ© production of mineral water involves the abuse of vulnerable water resources. In the Serra da Mantiqueira region of Brazil, home to the “circuit of waters” park whose groundwater has a high mineral content and medicinal properties, over-pumping has resulted in depletion and long-term damage.”

One wonders if when the Morongo Band of Indians runs out of water themselves and is forced to buy water they allowed Nestle to deplete for profits, they will still consider themselves good stewards of the Earth or that Nestle is a “valued partner.” California is home to the largest Nestle water bottling operation near Mount Shasta that is suffering the drought as much as any other part of the state with nearby Shasta Lake unrecognizable as a lake. Still, the piece of human filth, Nestle CEO, condemned non-governmental organizations like the United Nations and other humanitarian organizations for perpetuating the “extremist idea that drinking water is a human right” that should not have a market price to enrich the Nestle corporation.

Although the extreme California drought is just one reason to take action against Nestle, the point is the giant corporation is pillaging a basic necessity for human life all over the world with little opposition and relative impunity. The company touts job creation as validation for draining the water supply dry and selling it back to thirsty Americans, but when they have exhausted the water supply, no amount of jobs or money will sustain life devoid of water. There is no end to the disregard for human life that corporations have made their overriding mission after profit taking, and at least in one California region, there is no possibility of holding a truly vile and inhumane corporation accountable for a crime against humanity; stealing their dwindling water supply and selling it back for profit because they set up shop in a sovereign nation inside drought-stricken California.


Citizen Action of Wisconsin

When Scott Walker forced tens of thousands of people off BadgerCare he promised that there would be no coverage gap and most would transition to the new on-line marketplace.

But Walker refused to release the actual numbers all spring and summer. Even when Senator Tammy Baldwin asked for the numbers Walker did not provide them.

Last week we at Citizen Action of Wisconsin filed an official open records request demanding the numbers, and on Wednesday the Walker Administration finally released them.

We now know why Walker was sitting on the numbers. Shockingly, over 60% of the 63,000 people Walker kicked off BadgerCare were unable to sign up for marketplace coverage!

Because of Scott Walker’s decision to put politics over people’s health, 38,000 Wisconsinites have no access to BadgerCare or to the new on-line marketplace for the rest of 2014.

We won’t give up until we reverse Walker’s decision to turn down up to $1 million dollars a day for BadgerCare.

We need you to give a tax-deductible contribution of $100, $50, $25 or whatever you can afford to help us win real health care access for everyone in Wisconsin.


Dr. Robert Kraig, Executive Director

Citizen Action of Wisconsin Education Fund

P.S. Contributions to Citizen Action’s charitable arm, Citizen Action of Wisconsin Education Fund, are tax deductible.