Sunday, May 22, 2022

Solar Power


 Hi all: The attached photo was on the front page of Friday's Stevens Point Journal.  They were doing an article on the proposed solar field proposed for southern Portage Country so used a picture of our solar panels.  Note that they did not list us by name: Portage County Democratic Party, but they did list at least us by address: 2220 Division St.  I think this is a great opportunity to thank you all for purchasing the building and the solar system.  We should be proud. Thanks. Jack


Monday, May 9, 2022

2022 May Newsletter








 

How to Use WREA's Website

 This document is also found in the sidebar under "News and Notes."  We will also send it out attached to the next newsletter, and it will be included in the directory in January.



Monday, April 25, 2022

The French Hold Back the Dark Tide

Congratulations to the French for rejecting the far-right candidate for Prime Minister.  And in their honor:









https://youtu.be/cOeFhSzoTuc 

The Horror of it all!!


 The book was among dozens of works recently banned from public school libraries in Walton County, Fla. School district officials confirmed the removal of the books to WJHG-TV in Florida. Walton County School Superintendent Russell Hughes told the outlet that it was “necessary in this moment for me to make that decision and I did it for just a welfare of all involved, including our constituents, our teachers, and our students.”

This is what the extreme right sees as pornography.  Or something.


Monday, March 14, 2022

Volunteer Hours

Many of you asked for this form at the meeting today.  I've put it in the right sidebar under News and Notes.  It's the third page down.





Sunday, March 13, 2022

Accurate and Informative Websites

 We've asked Joyce C. to compile a list of websites that can be trusted.  It's copied below and is also in the "News and Notes" section of the right sidebar.


                      WEBSITES PROVEN TO BE ACCURATE & INFORMATIVE

                                                      March 2022

 

1.  wrea.net  - SPARTA’S state website

 

2.  spartanewsandnotes.com - Our chapter’s website

 

3.  wsaa.org - Wisconsin School Administrators Alliance (WREA’s partner lobbyist site assesses

daily legislation and how he/we respond) 

 

4.  thewheelerreport.com – covers Wisconsin Legislation including schedules

 

5.  wispolitics.com – covers current political activities

 

6.  wisconsinexaminer.com  - 501c3 nonprofit - covers current political updates and concerns

 

7.  captimes.com – current news from Madison

 

8.  prwatch.org – Center for Media and Democracy’s website addressing national political concerns

 

9.  presswatchers.org – addresses correctness of information

 

10.  heathercoxrichardson.substack.com – Daily newsletter about the history behind daily politics

 

11.  dianeravitch.net – Ravitch, former U.S. Assistant Director of Education, discusses current events and their relevance to education for all in her articles.

 

12.  robertreich.org – former U.S. Secretary of Labor discusses relevance of daily events in his articles.

 

13.  robertreich.substack.com – former Secretary of Labor explains current economic issues in his  daily letter. 

 

14.  dcreport.org – David Cay Johnston authors articles regarding current events and addresses his 40+ years of experience with the former president.

 

15.  wallstreetonparade.com – Excellent in depth information and citizen’s guide to wall street and its effect on current events.

 

16.  Sheldon Whitehouse “The Scheme” – Senator from Rhode Island has videotaped over 50 presentations in the U.S. Senate regarding the history of “dark money” and it’s connection to the U.S. Supreme Court and elected officials - referencing extensive research done by the Center for Media and Democracy.  Most presentations are about 20 to 30 minutes. Google the title to access the tapes.

Helping Others

 


Monday, February 28, 2022

Citizens Step up to Defend their Country

Check out Huffington Post: These are the Citizens Stepping up to Defend Ukraine



Former Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko armed in the streets.*

Borys Cherkas at the school in Khotiv, Ukraine, where he teaches history. Sasha Maslov / INSTITUTE

Cherkas at a Territorial Defense Unit training outside Kyiv. Sasha Maslov / INSTITUTE




*Not claiming heel spurs.

Sunday, February 27, 2022

A March Madness Meeting!

Yes, it's finally happened!  We just might be back to something resembling normal, with a for-real, in-person meeting on March 14 at the Park Ridge Family Restaurant (the old Blue-Top).  The newsletter is in your email or can be found under "Pages" in the right hand column.  I figured out how to circumvent the Adobe translation charge and get a copy onto this website.  Now the trick is remembering how I did it for next time.





Saturday, February 26, 2022

Don't You Dare Ask, "How Much Worse Can It Get?"

 I was prepared to make my own list when I saw this list on Pharyngula:  

 Anyone else feeling overwhelmed?


It’s all too much.

  • War in Ukraine is the latest horror story. All we can do is stand back and watch as the Russian army tyrannizes a civilian population.
  • The pandemic is not over, although there is a lot of noise from dangerously ignorant people that it is.
  • Climate change is still creeping inevitably over the world, and no one is doing anything significant about it.

  • You know what else no one is doing anything about? Economic inequity. Billionaires got even richer during the pandemic.

  • Our country is torn apart by racism, and it’s getting worse. It’s flaring up at all levels of society.

  • Somehow, the Right has decided that sexual differences are the biggest issue now. They’re passing laws that will kill transgender people.

  • We’re racing towards a 2024 election that will be more divisive than ever, and that will probably conclude with conservatives trying to dismantle democracy.

  • Personally, my mother is going in for heart surgery next week, & I’m facing the prospect of retirement in a few years.

  • You can probably think of many more.

I’m a science nerd and teacher. I’m completely helpless in the face of circumstance, and I feel that.

How are you all coping?

Pharyngula is a Science Professor at the University of Minnesota-Morris and a spider fanatic. 

Saturday, February 5, 2022

Minnesota Does it Right

From the Minnesota DOT:

Here are the 8 winners of MnDOT's 'Name a Snowplow' contest

Betty Whiteout made it, obviously.


The results are in and Minnesota has eight newly named snowplows.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation announced the results of its second annual "Name a Snowplow" contest, which attracted hundreds of pun-tastic submissions.

Here are the winners, and the districts in which they'll be operating:

  • Betty Whiteout – District 8 (SW Minnesota)
  • Ctrl Salt Delete – District 7 (SW Minnesota)
  • The Big Leplowski – District 4 (West-Central Minnesota)
  • Plowasaurus Rex – Metro District 
  • Scoop Dogg – District 3 (Central Minnesota)
  • Blizzard of Oz – District 2 (NW Minnesota)
  • No More Mr. Ice Guy – District 1 (NE Minnesota)
  • Edward Blizzardhands – District 6 (SE Minnesota)

Betty Whiteout was comfortably the most popular choice, with more than 40,000 votes cast for the name.





Gilead is Coming


Yet another attack on the content of what's being taught in the classroom, this time in Oklahoma.  According to this Alternet article, a law has been introduces that would fine teachers $10,000 for teaching anything that would contradict the parent's religious beliefs: Thou shalt not teach (fill in the blank)

Good-bye to most of Science, History, and Literature.  Surely there's someone who could find something to object to in Math, Art, Music, and any curricula.  


Friday, February 4, 2022

Scam Alert

 From the WREA newsletter:


How Do I Protect Myself from the Scam Artists?

There are different ways in which a scam artist will try to engage you. 

  • One is by sending an email asking for help for a cause. 
  • They may even use a name that you are familiar with. 
  • Look at the email address. Is it one that you recognize? Does it match the name and organization of the sender?

If you got a phishing email or text message, report it. The information you give can help fight the scammers.

  1. If you got a phishing email, forward it to the Anti-Phishing Working Group at reportphishing@apwg.org.
  2. Report the phishing attack to the FTC website at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.
  3. Sign up for biweekly Watchdog Alerts from AARP's Fraud Watch Network. Click here to sign up.
  4. Report a Scam to the AARP Fraud Watch Network.

Read more in the Spring edition of the WREA News, coming to your mailbox soon.

 

Saturday, January 29, 2022

Are We Still a Democracy?

Take your pick of indications of chaos.  Threats by Russia in the Ukraine, the Tennessee school board banned Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic novel 'Maus' from Holocaust curriculum, Ron Johnson declaring that it's not society's job to take care of children, Gov. Youngkin of Virginia setting up a snitch line for parents to report the teaching of "inherently divisive concepts" such as racism, and on and on.  This is my pick for today:

From Hullabaloo, (Downgrade) a report from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace rates our increasing polarization. "On a polarity scale of minus 10 (authoritarian: North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain) to plus 10 (democracy: Denmark, Switzerland, New Zealand, Canada), the United States, for several reasons, saw itself downgraded in 2016 from the plus 10 it held for decades to a plus 8."

Polarity is no longer between Democrats and Republicans. Ms. Walter, a University of California professor and expert on civil conflicts asserts:

"The groups that tend to start wars, especially ethnic wars, are groups that had once been dominant, and have either recently lost power, or they see themselves losing power demographically over time. They’re the ones who feel this deep sense of loss, loss of status. They feel this deep sense of resentment. And importantly, they truly believe that the country is theirs, that that the country should look like them, it should practice their religion, it should be based on their culture, because it’s always been like that."  More at Alternet.com anocracy



Wednesday, January 12, 2022

A Movie Review!

Our SPARTA president has no time for TV viewing or sitting down in general, so it was somewhat shocking that she mentioned seeing this Netflix movie and suggesting that movie reviews during this LOOOONG covid time might be a good idea.

The movie she saw was "Don't Look Up."  In short, it's a satire/spoof/comedy/tragedy about scientists discovering a comet about to hit the Earth, and their attempts to warn authorities.  Many see it as an allegory about climate change, still others see it as a metaphor about covid.  Whatever the topic, it's a thinly disguised, very liberal interpretation of current affairs.

I enjoyed basking in a viewpoint that shared my own villains.  The movie was funny. but too close to the truth.  Throughout the movie, little snippets are shown of the other beings that share this planet: polar bears, bees, forests.  These are extremely touching and remind us of the real tragedy that we're about to face.  The final lines delivered around a family dining table might be our epitaph:  "We really did have everything, didn't we?"


But sit through the end credits.  Revenge is sweet, even 22,740 years later.

A better review can be found at DailyKos: https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2022/1/11/2074128/--Don-t-look-up-Its-creators-say-it-s-a-satire-To-me-it-was-too-real-to-be-a-satire

(You'll have to copy and paste the link.  Their warnings about linking scare me a little.)

To be fair, there are loads of reviews panning this film.  Rotten Tomatoes scored it at 54%, audience scoring 78%.  Roger Ebert disliked it, even Huffington Post deemed it too heavy-handed. 

Satire is dead.  Real life is now beyond satire. 


Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Newsletter, January 1, 2022

 Go to "pages" on the sidebar and click on 2022 January newsletter.  No graphics are included, since transferring a pdf or word document to this platform is a trick that hasn't been mastered yet.



Monday, January 10, 2022

The Center for Media and Democracy

If you are looking for news of the hidden workings behind the headlines, check out the Center for Media and Democracy.  Many thanks to Joyce for passing along these articles:

About war against Science in the war against covid:

 https://www.exposedbycmd.org/2021/12/22/how-the-koch-network-hijacked-the-war-on-covid/

The war against public education:

https://dianeravitch.net/2022/01/03/who-demoralized-the-nations-teachers-readers-respond/

These folks are out of Madison and give a different perspective.