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Political

The Price of Our Beliefs

I was fresh out of college when I first read the book, The Handmaid’s Tale, which is now also a TV series. It depicts the US as a police state ruled by Christian fundamentalists who oppress women while surveilling and regulating the lives of its citizens. When I read it, I was struggling to reconcile my Catholic upbringing with my staunch feminist beliefs. My Catholic feminist mom was struggling with the same. Given that the church we both attended back then was widely regarded as the most liberal in Milwaukee, we were in good company among plenty of Catholics who

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Political

It’s Not You. It’s the System.

Just about every woman I know has told me the same thing: “I’m so tired.” Women who are young mothers. Women who are retired. And women in between each of those stages of life, all saying and feeling the same thing: “I am so, so tired.” I feel the same. And this sentiment is not going unnoticed. Books, articles and podcasts offer similar antidotes to wake us from our communal slumber: Take more bubble baths and naps. Schedule more massages. Demand that your husband/partner/co-worker/boss do more, and/or expect less. In one article offering 50 Ways to Better Self-Care, I found

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Political

Women Got it. Pollsters Didn’t.

There are two things I wouldn’t want to be right now: an employee at Twitter or a pollster. Especially a pollster. They sure got it wrong–again. To be fair, the reasons why are becoming more clear. For one thing, right wing media aggregated the polls showing Republicans in the lead, and they spread those “results” far and wide. The mainstream media fell for it as well, and the polling certainty that Republicans would win spread faster and wider than manure on a Wisconsin cornfield in the spring. And just how did pollsters get it so wrong? I think that maybe,

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Political

Searching for Answers

Inflation and crime. Did anyone think we’d make it through several years of a worldwide pandemic and the resulting economic shutdown without repercussions? If COVID is why we are where we are, moving forward, perhaps the questions we should be asking are: what’s been done to recover from these problems? Are the measures working? And who has the best plans to continue our recovery? Let’s start with inflation. The GOP candidates running for office say inflation has been caused by Dem’s “overspending” on measures to jumpstart our stalled economy. Huh? How can that be true when inflation is happening all

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Dracula Isn’t Real. And the Boogeyman Doesn’t Exist.

I’ve been thinking a lot about fear. Even when Halloween was months away, scary stuff was everywhere. And as the spooky holiday quickly approaches, it’s only getting worse. Of course, I’m talking about the nonstop tv and digital political ads portraying candidates as ghouls and evil villains who only want to do us harm. I’m tired of it. Tired of the scare tactics. Tired of being told over and over again what I should fear, with a lot of it based on outright lies. But mostly, I’m so very tired of the attempted manipulation of my emotions. That’s why I

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Political

Sometimes, It’s Like This

Well, hello again. It’s been far too long since I last posted and I’m sorry about that. But here’s the thing: I needed a break. I (naively? hopefully?) thought that once He Who Shall Not be Named was out of office and a grown-up was back in charge, things would get better. Less chaotic. Less stressful. More civil. I knew that things wouldn’t go back to “normal.” In fact, I hoped it wouldn’t. I hoped that our leaders would see the cracks in the foundation of our society that, thanks in part to an international health pandemic, had opened up

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Political

Once-In-A-Generation Is Now

It’s 1933 and Wisconsin is emerging from The Great Depression. Thanks to FDR’s New Deal program, federal dollars are beginning to flow into communities around the country, including Milwaukee, where visionary leaders years before had hired Frederick Law Olmsted, most famous for designing New York’s Central Park, to create a network of parks for the growing city. Olmstead believed that landscape architecture could serve various social purposes, including providing relief from crowded cities and encouraging people of varied backgrounds and social status to engage in community. Olmstead once described his park work as a “democratic development of the highest significance.”

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Political

Missed Opportunities

A tree falls on your house. Instead of using the insurance money to fix it, would you instead use that money to pay your regular operational expenses, like food, gas, rent/mortgage? Wisconsin Republican legislators think that would be the wise way to go. And heaven forbid you use the money to repair your house so that it’s even better than it was before. They’d think that’s whack. In their proposed education budget, WI GOP legislators say we should use federal Build Back Better money to fund WI schools. Never mind that this federal funding is meant to cover additional expenses

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Political

Investing in Wisconsin’s Future

Should Wisconsin include funding for the testing of our surface, ground and drinking water in our state budget, in order to be able to hold accountable businesses that release toxic “forever chemicals” into our environment? Should Wisconsin be the only state in the country that has refused to expand health insurance to more adults and kids living in poverty, resulting in a loss of $1.6 billion in federal funding to cover the expansion? Do you think big box stores like Walgreens should be able to lower their tax assessments by comparing their stores to shuttered retailers with lower values? Should

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Political

The Ghost of Lessons Past

You’ve been vaccinated (yay!) and you want to take a trip, only you’re not sure where to go. It’s March, so heading to Phoenix sounds nice. But Chicago is always fun and you haven’t been there in ages. How to decide? Many of us would think about where we’ve been, as well as where we are, in order to figure out where to go. Reviewing your past vacations (hmmm, I’ve been to Phoenix a half-dozen times in the last few years) and surveying your current condition (I have two vacation days to use right now), might help you make the

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