Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Recent Columns on Hot-Button Issues

Here are some of my recent columns published in Wisconsin Gazette:

Illegal Abortion: Back to the Future?

De-Coding the Right Wing Lexicon

Fight Against Walker Budget Cuts

Horizontal Hostility: Effective Divide and Conquer Tactic

Sunday, April 13, 2014

New Disney Classic Re-Defines "True Love"

I'm still ga-ga over "Frozen," one of the best Disney films in years and maybe the best ever. A heartwarming tale of separation and redeeming devotion between sisters, Disney undoes 80 years of damage to girls' psyches by redefining "true love" as something other than the kiss of a handsome prince (or even of a handsome commoner). Kudos to screenwriter and Oscar-winning co-director Jennifer Lee for this broad and liberating vision.

The actors in "Frozen" bring all the characters vividly to life. Whose heart doesn’t ache at the dilemma of Anna and Elsa? Who doesn’t thrill to the action sequences and laugh at the hijinx of the adorable snowman Olaf? Visually stunning, the color scheme and saturations are gorgeous. The songs are short, witty and to the point. “Let It Go” has become a rather annoying earworm from constant play on the radio but is perfect in the context of the film. "Do You Want to Build a Snowman?" always brings a lump to my throat.

Although the female characters are still skinny and cinch-waisted with little button noses -- let's hope it doesn’t take Disney another 80 years to give us a heroine of real women's proportions -- they are active, empowered individuals. Anna, in particular, is directly engaged in every effort to save her sister, from fighting wolves and a snow monster to decking the bad guy in the end.

“Frozen” is a wonderful change of pace for animated films. What a brilliant idea to get audiences to think about the meaning of "true love." Its messages of enduring love and female empowerment are important, especially for the young audiences flocking to see it. Thanks, Disney!

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Join Me in Opposing the Attack on Syria

SCROLL DOWN for Congressional contact info & links.

I am appalled that the US is once again planning to bomb another country, this time Syria. I want to encourage all my friends and readers to contact their Senators and Congressional representatives to oppose the upcoming resolution to attack Syria. I am under no illusions this will help as it seems clear the President intends to act with or without Congressional approval. There are forces beyond the control of the mere public who actually run this country and carry out their mad schemes for profit and power, but resist we must. Below are some points you can mention or re-work in your emails or calls. I will write a more thorough critique in my next column for Wisconsin Gazette. Meanwhile, PLEASE make those calls/emails!

Dear Senator/Representative ________,

I want you to vote NO on the resolution giving President Obama authorization to bomb Syria.
1) It is just plain wrong to drop more bombs on an extremely chaotic situation amidst already traumatized populations. We are going to kill thousands of innocent civilians.

2) Destabilizing the Assad government is MORE likely to result in chemical weapons proliferation to the many armed groups which oppose him and are active in the region.

3) We will not be able to limit this action to surgical strikes. It is very likely to expand into a regional war that we will once again have foolishly helped to ignite.

4) Our armed forces should not be committed to another open-ended commitment with nebulous goals.

5) Media pundits say that attacking Syria is intended to teach a lesson to Iran. That is a terrible reason for intervention. Iran is hurting from economic sanctions. They have a new President who has indicated a desire for talks. We should TALK, not bomb!

6) We have massive needs here in the US for which the billions we waste on foreign wars could be used to much better effect.

7) Chemical weapons are terrible but perhaps we should first apologize for killing and maiming tens of thousands of Vietnamese and Cambodians with napalm and Agent Orange and for enabling Saddam Hussein to gas the Iranians before we lead a crusade against Syria.

8) Protecting a president's pride or prestige is not a valid reason to send thousands of our servicemen and women into harm's way, risking their lives, limbs, hearts and minds.

For these reasons and more, please vote NO on the Syria resolution.

Please call, write, email or fax today!

Senator Tammy Baldwin
Washington, DC:
717 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
(202) 224-5653
Fax: (202) 224-9787

30 W. Mifflin Street, Suite 700
Madison, WI 53703
(608) 264-5338

310 W. Wisconsin Ave., Suite 950
Milwaukee, WI 53203
(414) 297-4451
Senator Ron Johnson
Washington, DC:
328 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
(202) 224-5323

517 E. Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 408
Milwaukee, WI 53202
(414) 276-7282
Fax: (414) 276-7284

Rep. Gwen Moore
Washington DC:
2245 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
(202) 225-4572
Fax: (202) 225-8135

219 N. Milwaukee St. Suite 3A
Milwaukee, WI 53202
(414) 297-1140
Fax: (414) 297-1086

Rep. James Sensenbrenner
Washington, DC:
2449 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
(202) 225-5101

120 Bishops Way, #154
Brookfield, WI 53005
(262) 784-1111

For other Wisconsin representatives, Google "Wisconsin Congressional delegation".

Friday, July 19, 2013

Award-Winning Columns in Wisconsin Gazette

In May, I was the recipient of a Milwaukee Press Club Silver Award as Best Columnist for my biweekly columns in Wisconsin Gazette in 2012. Here are links to more recent columns, some of my strongest, including my annual diatribe against the evil Catholic Church.

When Books Were Burned

Rachel Carson's Enduring Values

No Hope for New Pope

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Sen. Ron Johnson: Let 'Em Eat Lead!

U.S. Senator Ron Johnson, a Wisconsin Republican who can ALWAYS be counted on to be on the wrong side of history, voted against the two moderate gun control measures which were before the Senate this week. His colleague, Democratic Senator Tammy Baldwin, voted in support of them.

Gabrielle Giffords, the former Congresswoman and survivor of gun violence, wrote a scathing op-ed in the New York Times today about the Senate’s cave-in to the National Rifle Association. Check it out – it’s really powerful.

Sen. Ron Johnson, elected in 2010, is proving himself to be an evil, conscienceless creep, allied with every reactionary interest known to humankind and the plant and animal kingdoms. Please join me in contacting his Senate offices to express your disapproval of his latest outrage. Here is my letter to him followed by his contact info. It doesn’t take much to make your point. He needs serious pushback on this. Please do make your opinion known!

Dear Senator Johnson,

Your votes against reasonable gun control measures this week are the latest in a string of votes which indicate your priorities are really out of whack with the people on Main Street and that you care little about the safety of your fellow Americans. You should be ashamed of yourself.

I will be joining with hundreds of thousands of Wisconsinites in the next few years – especially Wisconsin women – to ensure that you become known to history as "One Term" Ron Johnson.

J. Jamakaya

Sen. Ron Johnson's Milwaukee Office
517 East Wisconsin Avenue
Suite 408
Milwaukee, WI 53202
(414) 276-7282
Fax: (414) 276-7284

Oshkosh Office
219 Washington Avenue
Suite 100
Oshkosh, WI 54901
(920) 230-7250
Fax: (920) 230-7262

D.C. Office (mail may be delayed due to the ricin scare)
386 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
(202) 224-5323

Or, send an email to Sen. Johnson through his web site.