“We live the Wisconsin Idea by incubating new educational opportunities, sharing what we learn along the way, and supporting efforts to close opportunity gaps and eliminate achievement gaps.” Vision statement of the UW Office of Educational Opportunity (OEO) which reviews applications for charter schools. (https://www.wisconsin.edu/oeo/about/)
Sounds like a great goal to serve some families in Wisconsin. It has not been well received by the government school district in Madison, however.
Nevertheless, some tax paying parents in Wisconsin prefer to choose schools for their kids rather than let the government choose for them. The Wisconsin State Journal reported that Madison school Superintendent Jennifer Cheatham fears that approval of parental choice schools is done “at the expense of our public school students.” If the government schools aren’t satisfying the parents in the school district, shouldn’t they have an option? Charter schools aren't taking money from public schools; some parents are enrolling their kids in other schools. (https://madison.com/wsj/news/local/education/local_schools/two-years-after-launch-of-uw-charter-schools-office-tension/article_ff15312e-ae3c-55de-9ed8-570d77594a89.html)
In opposing the UW Office of Educational Opportunity vision, Cheatham has claimed that “our schools will be serving students so well that there isn’t a need.” Well, that is how it is supposed to work, not to prevent the competition from competing. Some parents still see a need. “If we are ever going to get equity we are going to have to focus on outcomes over institutional self-interests,” stated Gary Bennett, OEO Director.
Data released by the Department of Public Instruction shows that students in the Parental Choice Programs are outperforming their peers on the ACT. “Higher scores. Lower cost. The continued growth of the programs is good for students and taxpayers in Wisconsin,” according to School Choice Wisconsin.
What is the lesson the Madison school board seems to be teaching parents in their community?
Past Chair, Libertarian Party of Wisconsin
With the elections over, the Fox Valley Libertarians are now looking into moving into the next phase. Our two goals for the Fox Valley Libertarians are as follows:
-Get more Libertarians running for local office - this means your County Board, school board, city clerk, treasurer and/or city council. Growing our party starts with the ground up, building a strong establishment and demonstrating how Libertarians can be effective on their local government. This means repealing restrictive city ordinances and excessive building codes, stopping spending bills, voting down spending motions and higher/more local taxes.
-Increase our presence throughout the valley by finding common ground in other groups which share a common ground with Libertarians.
We could be well on our way in doing both of those things. Recently at a campaign event for Phil Anderson's Gubernatorial race in Appleton, we spoke to someone interested in running for the Grand Chute town board. In another campaign event in Hortonville, we spoke to someone interested in running for School Board in Fremont. This is what we would like to see - not just Libertarians expressing support, but Libertarians running for local office. Are you interested in running for office? Send an email to Fox Valley Libertarians Chair Brian Defferding at firstname.lastname@example.org and let him know!
Then, we started to get involved with other activist groups in the valley. Fox Valley Libertarian chair Brian Defferding is currently on the Winnebago County Board. He started attending meet-ups with ESTHER, a non-profit faith-based social justice group, in Neenah. They have a Prison Reform Task Force that is looking to support and be active in reforming our jail system - reducing recidivism, reforming revocation laws for people on probation and ex-convicts, opposing jail expansion, end racial profiling and putting convicts with mental health disorders on a path to treatment instead of punishment. Brian Defferding is looking to establish a mental health court in Winnebago County, in order to reduce recidivism and get mental health convicts the treatment they need. ESTHER can bring the valuable feedback he needs to establish a proper policy to lessen our jail population. To find out more about Brian, head to his County Board Facebook page, or you may contact him at email@example.com.
Some exciting news - The Libertarian Party of Wisconsin just appointed Appleton's own Carmen Collar to be the Affiliate Chair at Large. This means she will be in charge of helping local affiliates throughout the entire state of Wisconsin get the support they need to expand, network, advertise, volunteer, make inroads everywhere. What brought her to the party was helping out Phil Anderson's gubernatorial race, traveling to different locations dropping off signs and creating events for him all around the Fox Valley. This will be an exciting and challenging new chapter for her, we look forward to seeing her talents unleashed to Wisconsin!
INFORMAL POLL! We are looking at reaching out to having our social hours and business meetings twice a month, to help cater to those unable to make our Wednesday meet-ups. But we would like to hear from you, dear Fox Valley libertarians (big L and small l) - what days of the week work out best for you? And do you have a preference in time - mornings, noon time, afternoon or evenings? Head to the post made at the Fox Valley Libertarians facebook page and let's hear your input! We want to see you at a meetup somewhere, let's see what we can do as a team!
That's all for now. Thank you for taking a few minutes of your day to check in with us! Keep spreading that message of liberty far and wide!
Veterans Day, a day to recognize veterans and their service, was called Armistice Day when I was a child. On the 11th day of the 11th month at the 11th hour, my classmates and I stood, faced the east, and had a minute of silence to remember the signing of the armistice which ended “The Great War”.
On November 11, 1918, the world finally had enough of the irrational killing spree known as World War I. Twenty million individual human beings had perished in what was the largest military conflict the world had yet seen. Many thousands more died of starvation and disease after the war. World War I convinced much of the world of the insanity of war.
America had lost 112,000 of its soldiers in a conflict which had little to do with American interests. Americans found themselves extremely disenchanted with war, and, like the rest of the world, they observed Armistice Day as a time to remember veterans and appreciate the blessings of peace.
After the Korean War, President Eisenhower signed a bill in 1954 that changed the name of the national holiday to Veterans’ Day. There were good intentions: America’s veterans of wars other than World War I deserved some recognition.
Sadly, unlike WWI, our troops did not come home after WW2 was over. Our country hasn’t been at peace ever since, with more and more veterans to honor every November. We have too many veterans. We have too many living veterans. We have too many dead veterans. We have too many wounded veterans. We have too many disabled veterans.
“Low information voters, also known as misinformation voters, are people who may vote yet are generally poorly informed about issues.” – Wikipedia
Sadly, Wisconsin citizens who depend upon the usual media sources for information on the races which include third party or independent candidates, may be low information voters. How can that be? Why is that?
The Marquette University Law School Poll recently reported that more likely voters consider themselves “independent” rather than affiliated with either of the two old parties.
“A majority of Americans, 57%, say there is a need for a third, major political party, while 38% of Americans believe the current two party system does an adequate job of representing the people. These views have been consistent since 2013.” Gallup, Inc.
How has the traditional news media responded?
- The Wisconsin Broadcasters Association’s so-called “gubernatorial debates” excluded three third party and one independent candidate who qualified for the ballot voters will see on Tuesday. Libertarian Phil Anderson has filed a complaint with complaint with the Wisconsin Ethics Commission. “By providing valuable primetime exposure to the Democrat and Republican candidates and by excluding all others, the WBA has made an illegal in-kind donation to both campaigns.” So far, no response.
- In an article called “Voter guide: Here's what you need to know about Wisconsin's Nov. 6 general election,” the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported, “At the top of ballots statewide: incumbent Republican Gov. Scott Walker's bid for re-election is opposed by Democrat Tony Evers, the state superintendent of public instruction …”, ignoring four other candidate.
- Radio and television “news” reports have excluded third party candidate positions on issues which they cover with the major parties. Sometimes they even report what the latest attack ads say about each other as news, as if voters haven’t seen enough of them already, over and over. How does it happen in a democracy?
Want to be an informed voter? Reading newspapers and watching the “news” in Wisconsin won't make one an informed voter in 2018. Can we have a democracy without accurate information on our political choices?
Marathon County Libertarians
The Libertarian Party of Wisconsin demands that MSDF, the Milwaukee Secure Detention Facility, be closed.
“Wisconsin incarcerates way too many people as it is,” says Phil Anderson, Chair of LPWI. “On top of that, incarcerating anyone at MSDF is cruel and unusual punishment.”Read more
If there are six candidates on the ballot and only two are invited to the debate, can it still be called a “Gubernatorial Debate”?
Did you witness the “Gubernatorial Debate”? Did you know that besides the two candidates inside the studio, there were two more who are also on the ballot on the other side of the police barricade? If not, can you trust your source of information?
Phil Anderson, one of the "gubernator" candidates excluded from the debate, let people know what was wrong with broadcasters, who receive advertising revenue from the two old parties, choosing who gets to debate.
Wisconsin voters expect and deserve political news coverage that is non-partisan, not bi-partisan.Will Libertarians “spoil” the election for the two Old Parties in 2018 or will voters send a message to Madison?
Libertarians Attempting to “Meddle” with Election!
They are at it again! They confess. The sneaky Libertarians are again attempting to grab political power in Madison from the two Old Parties and … give it back to the people of Wisconsin! No apologies.
Libertarians aren't alone. There has been growing discontent with the so-called “two-party system." For example, Gallup found that "60 percent of Americans say the Democratic and Republicans parties do such a poor job of representing the American people that a third major party is needed. A new low of 26 percent believe the two major parties adequately represent Americans." Rasmussen Reports recently exposed the fact that "the majority of Americans no longer feel represented and no longer support the two party system monopoly of American politics.” According to a recent Marquette University poll, there are more “Independents” and Undecided voters in Wisconsin than either Republican or Democrat voters. [34%, 33%, 30%]
Most Wisconsin voters support more choices on the ballot and want all qualified candidates to be included in debates. Other polls have indicated that voters would prefer more than two choices, not less. That is not how the Wisconsin Association of Broadcasters sees it. As it has in previous years, the WBA is planning to exclude all candidates except the Democratic and Republican nominees from their televised debate for candidates for governor while still calling it a “Gubernatorial Debate."
Looking at those numbers, it is difficult to understand why in the world the so-called “news” media would choose to ignore such a large portion of the electorate. One might image that including news of interest to a third party and independents would increase the drama and interest in their political coverage.
In the case of the television news, BI-partisan news reports and televised “Gubernatorial Debates” look like free infomercials for the benefit of sponsors of millions of dollars of political attack ads (As if they needed any more advantages.) Follow the money.
Wisconsin voters expect and deserve political news coverage to be non-partisan, not bi-partisan.Will Libertarians “spoil” the election for the two Old Parties in 2018 or will voters send a message to Madison?
Jim Maas, Marathon County Libertarians
This serves as a perfect example in why it's heavily recommended for Libertarians to run for local office.
The City of Neenah continues to have issues with the Phil Anderson for Governor signs.
A couple properties have received violation notices from the City Inspector. The first one was to have the sign moved, as it was over three feet tall and the city has a vision corner ordinance where no sign or fence can be taller than three feet within 25 feet of a street corner.
The resident moved the sign to appease the city. But then the same resident received a notice from the inspector now saying the sign was too big.
According to city statues, there is language that gets into not just how big a sign is on a residential property (maximum 11 square feet for residential zones, 16 square feet for commercial zones) - but also *types* of signs, like campaign/political signs, and when residents can put them on their own lawn (it even states that political signs during non-election years are not allowed).
Both residents in Neenah received this same violation notice. To make it even more interesting, one of these two letters was issued to a commercial zone - yet stating the sign violated the maximum size for a residential zone. You would figure a City Inspector would pay attention to that important detail. It was later found out, upon discussion with the City Inspector's office, that even if a zone is commercial, if there is a residence there, it can be enforced as a residential zone (confirming the city can enforce whatever rules it wants, disregarding its own legal restrictions).
As a response, one resident cut part of the sign and moved it up a little to remain within 11 square feet - and the other resident cut the sign in half and put them next to each other. Now both residents have two signs, under the 11 square feet maximum.
This hilarious nitpicking from the City of Neenah illustrates the droll stupidity of local policy and what some of our tax dollars are funding. It should be asked - for what reason do these ordinances that specifically address political signs exist? Because someone may dare express themselves with a large sign on their front yard for a candidate they may not support, and a neighbor just doesn't like looking at it? This is the epitome of first world problems. There are a million worse things out there than the ability to express themselves on their own private property.
Let's now see if the City of Neenah puts a time limit on how long these signs can be up on their yard. What is happening in Neenah, however, is also likely in your own city, too. It's worth looking up your city codes - just how intrusive is your local government with how you express yourself on your own property?
The City of Madison; what an interesting place and contradictory place. They have a Landmarks Commission which advises the Common Council on preserving historic sites. Recently the Common Council listened to the Commission recommendation on leaving alone the monument listing the names of 140 Confederate soldiers who died in captivity in Madison. Then the Council ignored that recommendation and directed it to be removed from the “Confederate Rest” section of the Forest Hill Cemetery, imagining that the monument had something to do with slavery.
Actually, only six percent of adult males in the antebellum southern United States owned slaves, which means that the average Confederate soldier was not fighting to preserve a system that actually was not in his advantage economically. The average Confederate soldier was a yeoman farmer. Most Southerners were more interested in getting away from Yankee political and economic domination.
But, are there any other uncomfortable reminders of the 19th century the Common Council might want to eradicate? October is the 154th anniversary of General William Tecumseh Sherman’s infamous “march to the sea.” Are there any local public places named after Sherman, the war criminal, or his accomplices? Maybe the Landmarks Commission might want to take a look, if their conclusion would be respected.
The West Point Military Academy taught cadets that armies fight armies and do not target civilians. That was not the case under Sherman and it had nothing to do with slavery.
Historian Thomas DiLorenzo explains, “South Carolina suffered more than any other state at the hands of Sherman’s raping, looting, plundering, murdering and house-burning army because that is where the secession movement started. It was NOT because there were more slaves there than in other states, or because of anything else related to slavery. It was because South Carolinians, even more than other Southerners, did not believe in uncompromising obedience to the central state.”
While it was common for armies on the march to forage for food and supplies, Sherman’s army took what they needed and then destroyed what was left. That meant that thousands of Americans, both black and white, would die from starvation, exposure, and disease that winter. Ironically, Sherman’s victims were supposedly the people the Union wanted back.
But since we observe Indigenous Peoples Day in October, there is more to the story.Read more
Back to the Graveyard of Empires
"Units of the 32nd Brigade have been called to active duty, not as a last line of defense to protect Wisconsin and the nation from foreign invaders, but to be deployed overseas for occupation duty in a bottomless quagmire. Wisconsin National Guard units belong in Wisconsin, to protect our ‘Homeland.” ~ Ben Olson, former Chair of the Libertarian Party of Wisconsin—in 2009!
Deja vu all over again.
The Wisconsin Department of Military Affairs has announced, “Nearly 400 Wisconsin Army National Guard Soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, 127th Infantry will deploy to Afghanistan this winter in support of the NATO-led Resolute Support mission.
"The Appleton-headquartered infantry battalion and its subordinate companies, which are all part of the 32nd 'Red Arrow' Infantry Brigade Combat Team, will deploy as a security element for coalition forces operating in the region, who along with the Afghan security forces, are committed to containing and destroying terrorist safe-havens in Afghanistan and reducing the threat they pose to the world.”
We compliment the Wisconsin Guard’s public affairs staff for their vivid imagination and writing style. “… threat they pose to the world.” The only Americans who have been threatened, killed, or wounded by the Taliban are those who have invaded Afghanistan. So, to reduce that threat, if that is the intention, let’s bring our troops home from the “Graveyard of Empires,” as Afghanistan has been so rightfully referred to as.
“Let’s get out of Afghanistan. Our troops are being killed by the Afghanis we train and we waste billions there. Nonsense! Rebuild the USA.” Candidate Donald Trump tweet. Yes, on that we agree!
Note: the US Army has 470,000 members. To fight with the Taliban on the other side of the planet they need to call up a Wisconsin Guard unit. Mind boggling.