Wisconsin Concealed Carry Confusion

Yahoo News published a wonderful article by Joshua Huffman (not to be confused with Joe Huffman because Joshua sounds quite reasonable).

Fortunately, Lambeau Field officials will have ample time to interpret the law for the new Wisconsin concealed gun law that should be passed this October. Green Bay police aren't aware of how the law impacts their ability to prevent fans from entering the stadium with a handgun.

The NFL prohibits fans from carrying guns into any stadium. However, they could be prohibited from enforcing their own policy on Lambeau Field. The NFL doesn't own the stadium, therefore can't impose their anti-gun policy. Pat Webb, the stadium's executive director, stated, "I don't know enough about Wisconsin's specific law to know if the stadiums are exempt or not or can be exempt."

I wouldn't be comfortable with people carrying guns in an environment of 50,000 people or greater. Post-game driving is hardly safe with the alcohol that's consumed at these sporting events. It only takes one person to create a chaotic scene. I'd be worried about someone trying to pry the gun away from the holder. Some people make irrational decisions when angered. That irrationality is magnified under intoxication.

What's your opinion? How does it work in other states with lax gun laws? Are folks permitted to carry concealed at sporting events in say Florida or Arizona?

I would think the fanaticism of some sports fans is even worse when mixed with guns than your general bar and drinking environment. At huge sporting events some of those sports nuts might also be CCW permit holders and some of them might decide to drink a few beers, you know, bad-rules-be-damned and all that.

What do you think? Good idea or bad idea?

(cross posted at Mikeb302000)


Please leave a comment.

 

 

Wisconsin Concealed Carry Confusion

Yahoo News published a wonderful article by Joshua Huffman (not to be confused with Joe Huffman because Joshua sounds quite reasonable).

Fortunately, Lambeau Field officials will have ample time to interpret the law for the new Wisconsin concealed gun law that should be passed this October. Green Bay police aren't aware of how the law impacts their ability to prevent fans from entering the stadium with a handgun.

The NFL prohibits fans from carrying guns into any stadium. However, they could be prohibited from enforcing their own policy on Lambeau Field. The NFL doesn't own the stadium, therefore can't impose their anti-gun policy. Pat Webb, the stadium's executive director, stated, "I don't know enough about Wisconsin's specific law to know if the stadiums are exempt or not or can be exempt."

I wouldn't be comfortable with people carrying guns in an environment of 50,000 people or greater. Post-game driving is hardly safe with the alcohol that's consumed at these sporting events. It only takes one person to create a chaotic scene. I'd be worried about someone trying to pry the gun away from the holder. Some people make irrational decisions when angered. That irrationality is magnified under intoxication.

What's your opinion? How does it work in other states with lax gun laws? Are folks permitted to carry concealed at sporting events in say Florida or Arizona?

I would think the fanaticism of some sports fans is even worse when mixed with guns than your general bar and drinking environment. At huge sporting events some of those sports nuts might also be CCW permit holders and some of them might decide to drink a few beers, you know, bad-rules-be-damned and all that.

What do you think? Good idea or bad idea?

(cross posted at Mikeb302000)


Please leave a comment.

 

 

Analyzing the 2011 Wisconsin Supreme Court Election

On April 5th, 2011 Wisconsin held an election to choose a Wisconsin Supreme Court nominee. The supposedly non-partisan election turned into a referendum on Republican Governor Scott Walker’s controversial policies against unions. Mr. Walker’s new law will probably be headed to the Wisconsin Supreme Court, and since the Supreme Court is elected by the voters Democrats saw one last chance to defeat his law.

(Note: I strongly encourage you to click the image links on this post when reading; they're essential to understanding what I'm saying.)

The frontrunner was the incumbent justice, Republican David Prosser. The Democratic favorite was relatively unknown JoAnne Kloppenburg. The two candidates essentially tied each other, although Mr. Prosser has taken the lead following the discovery of 14,315 votes in a strongly Republican city.

Here are the results of the election:

Link to Map of Wisconsin, 2011 Supreme Court Election

For a supposedly non-partisan election, the counties that Mr. Prosser won were almost identical to the counties that Republicans win in close races. There was essentially no difference.

A good illustration of this similarity is provided by comparing the results to those of the 2004 presidential election in Wisconsin. In that election Senator John Kerry beat President George W. Bush by less than 12,000 votes:

Link to Map of Wisconsin, 2004 Presidential Eleciton

It is pretty clear that this non-partisan election became a very partisan battle between Democrats and Republicans.

Nevertheless, there were several differences between this election and the 2004 presidential election.

Here is a map of how Mr. Prosser did compared to Mr. Bush:

Link to Map of Wisconsin, Comparison to Mr. Bush

In most places Mr. Prosser is on the defence. He improves in his areas of strength by less than Ms. Kloppenburg does in her areas of strength. More Bush counties move leftward; fewer Kerry counties move rightward.

The great exception, however, is Milwaukee. In that Democratic stronghold Mr. Prosser improved by double-digits over Mr. Bush. Ms. Kloppenburg almost makes up the difference through a massive improvement in Madison (Dane County), the other Democratic stronghold, along with a respectable performance outside Milwaukee and its suburbs. But she doesn’t quite make it.

Here is a good illustration of the importance of Milwaukee:

Link to Map of Wisconsin, 2004 Presidential Election Margins

As one can see, the two great reservoirs of Democratic votes belong in Madison and Milwaukee. Ms. Kloppenberg got all the votes she needed and more in Madison; she got far fewer than hoped for in Milwaukee.

Much of Mr. Prosser’s improvement was due to poor minority turn-out.

Milwaukee is the type of Democratic stronghold based off support from poor minorities (Madison is based off wealthy white liberals and college students). Unfortunately for Ms. Kloppenberg, minority turn-out is generally low in off-year elections such as these.

Another example of this pattern is in Menominee County, a Native American reservation that usually goes strongly Democratic. In 2011 Menominee County voted Democratic as usual (along with Milwaukee), but low turn-out enabled Mr. Prosser to strongly improve on Mr. Bush’s 2004 performance.

All in all, this election provides an interesting example of a Democratic vote depending heavily upon white liberals and the white working class (descendants of non-German European immigrants), and far less upon minorities.


--Inoljt, http://mypolitikal.com/

 

 

Tax day, Passover week: labor, migration & justice, now...and in 2049

From our Restore Fairness blog-

On this year’s Tax Day that has just passed, several organizations including the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), MoveOn, Daily Kos and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) joined forces for ‘Tax Day: Make Them Pay.’ The groups organized peaceful protests around the country outside the offices of big corporations and millionaires that have evaded paying taxes for last year, mostly due to government-mandated tax breaks. According to the site, “In 2009, after helping crash the American economy, Bank of America paid $0 in taxes. GE had a tax bill of $0 in 2010. Republicans want to give a $50 billion tax bailout to big oil companies…” These protests came at the heels of news that corporations such as General Electric paid no federal taxes in 2010, something that has infuriated the millions of workers around the country who work hard and are expected to dutifully pay their taxes on time.

The tax break issue is the latest in a series of developments that have recently charged the country’s politics around the issues of immigration and labor rights, with them coming together in the case of migrant workers. Last month, the country witnessed a major standoff in the Wisconsin state government between Governor Scott Walker (and his Republican-led state assembly) and thousands of labor groups and workers in the state as the Governor pledged to enact a bill to severely curtail collective bargaining. After three weeks of fierce debates, Gov. Walker managed to push the bill through. The Ohio state assembly soon followed suit, with other states such as Tennessee and Iowa heading in a similar direction. This steady erosion of worker rights presents an increasing risk not just to the economy of this country but also to its social fabric. It also echoes a past where worker rights were often ignored, especially in the case of immigrant workers.

Last month, several labor groups and organizations marked the centennial anniversary of an incident that highlights the lack of protection of workers – the infamous Triangle Shirtwaist Fire of March 28, 1911, in which 146 mostly immigrant workers died. To mark the centenary of the tragedy, many labor rights groups amplified their push for pro-labor rights legislation to challenge the spate of anti-union labor bills that were passed recently. The 1911 tragedy brings to light the plight of immigrant workers and the exploitation that still continues today. At a rally commemorating the tragedy, one union member, Walfre Merida, described the similarities between the condition of migrant workers today and those that perished in the fire a hundred years ago. Merida stated-

I see that a hundred years since this terrible accident that killed so many people, things have really not changed at all…Safety conditions, none. Grab your tool and go to work, no more. And do not stop. When we worked in high places, on roofs, we never used harnesses, one became accustomed to the dangers and thanked God we weren’t afraid of heights. One would risk his life out of necessity.

As stories of worker rights violations continue to proliferate, we must take heed from our past mistakes in order to avoid a degradation of these conditions in the future. This week – just as Jews around the world gather at the Passover table to recount their liberation from migrant slave labor in Egypt – Breakthrough’s Facebook game, America 2049, immerses players into discussions around labor rights, especially with regards to the rights of immigrant workers. The game utilizes several events and artifacts from the past to highlight the continued struggles of migrant workers in the United States. In the game’s world in which everyone has an embedded chip to mark their identity, players are given the mission to investigate a counterfeiting ring that helps indentured workers – primarily immigrants, though also citizens who have succumbed to crushing credit debt – to escape their unjust contracts and inhumane living conditions, and begin new lives. The game references the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire as a lesson from the past about the respect and rightful treatment of workers. It also suggests a future that is even bleaker because we as a country have failed to recognize the importance of immigrant workers and worker rights to the success of the country as a whole.

Watch a testimonial by a character in the game, Ziyad Youssef, a Syrian man who was lured into a job with promises of good pay and easy hours, but found himself in slavery-like conditions, unable to look after his sick daughter or provide basic amenities to his family:

The United States is currently grappling with an issue that will inevitably affect our national economy and social conditions in the years to come. The denial of legitimacy and basic rights to immigrant workers will only hamper the nation’s growth on the world stage. In a special report on global migration published in 2008, The Economist argued for the widespread acceptance of migrant workers by the richer countries that so desperately need them. Speaking about the United States, the report stated-

Around a third of the Americans who won Nobel prizes in physics in the past seven years were born abroad. About 40% of science and engineering PhDs working in America are immigrants. Around a third of Silicon Valley companies were started by Indians and Chinese. The low-skilled are needed too, especially in farming, services and care for children and the elderly. It is no coincidence that countries that welcome immigrants—such as Sweden, Ireland, America and Britain—have better economic records than those that shun them…Americans object to the presence of around 12m illegal migrant workers in a country with high rates of legal migration. But given the American economy’s reliance on them, it is not just futile but also foolish to build taller fences to keep them out.

Players in America 2049 will discover valuable artifacts from our country’s past that highlight an ongoing struggle for worker rights and have the agency to join the discussion and save the country’s future from the dystopic scenario the game depicts. One of the artifacts in the game is a poem titled ‘A Song for Many Movements,’ written in 1982 by Audre Lord, a black feminist lesbian poet. The poem articulates the connection between suffering and speaking out against injustices, which is what the workers rights protests around the country have been doing and which we must keep advocating until real change is made-

Broken down gods survive
in the crevasses and mudpots
of every beleaguered city
where it is obvious
there are too many bodies
to cart to the ovens
or gallows
and our uses have become
more important than our silence
after the fall
too many empty cases
of blood to bury or burn
there will be no body left
to listen
and our labor
has become more important
than our silence.

Our labor has become
more important
than our silence.

 

 

Look for the Union Bunny

 

                                  by WALTER BRASCH

 

            Bullied, harassed, and lied to, District 1 of the Amalgamated Association of Easter Bunnies, AFB-CIO (American Federation of Bunnies–Cottontails International Organization) went on strike, forcing a halt to this year’s Easter egg hunts in Wisconsin.

            At Bunny Headquarters, Solomon P. Bunny, union executive secretary, and a militant corps of Easter bunnies were preparing picket signs. I walked in, notepad in hand.

            “Excuse me, Mr. Bunny, why aren’t your members delivering eggs this week?”

            Bunny looked up from the papers on his desk, chomped harder on his cigar, looked at me, scowled, and answered harshly, “Don’t you know!?”

            “No, sir,” I replied apologetically. “I always thought you were happy and content delivering Easter eggs.”

            “We love it,” growled Bunny, “but the Wisconsin Legislature doesn’t love us.”

            “I will admit the newly-elected governor and the newly-elected conservatives in the Legislature were a bit authoritarian in what they did to the rights of the workers.”

            “Authoritarian, heck!” said Bunny, “they’re the models of a fascist government in how they took away our rights.”

            “But don’t the people have a right to balance their budget without excessive union demands?” I asked.

            “Listen, Ink Breath, Wisconsin had a $120 million surplus just three months ago. The deficit isn’t because the public employees’ pensions and wages but more than $140 million in tax breaks the Republicans gave businesses, and another $200 million it pays every year to Wall Street investors. Add in all the travel perks and legislator benefits and you have a pile of money to stack your lies upon.”

            “But I read that public sector employees make more than those in the private sector.”

            “You read it where? In newspapers?” When I didn’t answer him quickly, he continued. “Yeah, thought so. The Center for Economic Policy Research—that’s an independent think tank—independent, you get it?—Independent, as in not funded by FOX News or Progressive Democrats of America—said that public sector workers, when compared against the same criteria as private sector workers, actually earn 4 percent less.”

            “Even with these facts, I doubt you’d have much support,” I said, noting that while most taxpayers want programs they don’t want to pay taxes and think union workers are greedy opportunists who deserve to be thrown on their tails, even if made of cotton.

            Bunny went into one of his files, pulled out a sheaf of papers, and slammed it on the desk. “Read it!” he commanded. Not wanting to further upset a furious bunny, I skimmed  the report that revealed about two-thirds of Americans support the rights of collective bargaining, even if they have serious problems with unions and how unions operate.”

  1.             “But those are polls,” I challenged. “Numbers can be manipulated to say anything.”           “How’s this for a number? In Madison one day, 100,000 citizens went to the capitol to explain things to their legislators. Even the cops and firefighters who had endorsed Republicans during the election were there as part of the working class.”

            “And the legislators heard their concerns?”

            “You crazy? Most snuck in and out of their offices, like the weasels they are. America is being mocked by other countries for what it’s doing to the workers.”

            “But we have the highest standards of living,” I countered.

            “Listen, Lead-type-for-brains, collective bargaining is one of humanity’s most fundamental rights. Says so in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, approved by 48 countries in 1948.”

            “But the Wisconsin governor says he never planned to kill all collective bargaining, just the public sector ones. And only because it would help the people.”

            “You’ve got to be the dumbest piece of cow excrement walking around,” said Bunny. First you believe the newspapers, and then you believe some politician!”

            Humbled, I apologized. “I can see your point,” I said, feeling a little sorry for the bunnies, but I quickly recovered, reasserting my spine as a hard-hitting investigative reporter. “I assume you want everything. More wages, vacation days, sick days, larger pensions, no-pay medical benefits, shorter work weeks.”

            “You been sniffing newsprint? Haven’t you learned anything?! Sure, we want better work conditions. But, most of all, we want the right of collective bargaining negotiation. We ask for stuff. They don’t want to give us stuff. We negotiate. Just like unions have done for two centuries.”

            “There’s still the matter of the Easter eggs. Are you so self-centered that you would deny the people of Wisconsin the right to hunt and capture hard-boiled cholesterol?”

            “We don’t want to harm the decent people of Wisconsin, whether or not they’re in a union.”

            “So you will deliver Easter eggs this week!” I said, thrilled that the bunny union was relenting.

            “This is off-the-record, but everyone will get their eggs. It’s just that some people in Wisconsin may be getting 20-year-old eggs. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to get back to preparing for a demonstration.”

            As I left, Solomon P. Bunny was multi-tasking on three different phones and two computer screens. But, he warned if the rotten eggs of the Legislature and their buddies in corporate industry don’t stop pretending how religious and patriotic they are, while consistently violating the principles that Jesus stood for, “this will be the last Easter they will ever celebrate.”

 

[Walter Brasch is a social activist and award-winning journalist. His next book is Before the First Snow, a look at America’s counter-culture and the nation’s conflicts between oil-based and “clean” nuclear energy. The book is available at amazon.com]

 

 

 

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