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Conflicts of Interest

Texas (But Not Only Texas): Regulatory Capture

Regulatory capture is a simple concept: it applies when regulatory agencies become dominated by the industries or interests they are by law required to regulate. These agencies begin to act to benefit particular incumbent firms or people in the industry they are supposed to be overseeing. The concept is also sometimes called agency capture or…

Campaign Conflicts of Interest at a Self-Described Local News Source

The Whitewater Unified School District’s board will see a contested February primary and a contested April general election. Regrettably, Whitewater has no professional newspaper, print or electronic, to cover that race. A post from today at the Whitewater Banner, entitled “Whitewater Unified School District Returns to In-Person Learning; Tom Ganser Photos Show the Excitement at…

Consequences, Accountability, Repentance, Redemption

David Frum, writing of Trump & Trumpism in The Conservative Cult of Victimhood, observes that There is no redemption without repentance. There is no repentance without accountability. There is no accountability without consequences. He rightly concludes that for the Trumpists, the absence of a moral order of accountability and repentance has meant that Even as Trump commits…

Before Man & Movement, That Which Paved the Way

Trump did not spring from the ground; he did not fall from the stars. Neither horticulture nor astrophysics played any role in his rise. Before Trump and Trumpism, there were towns and cities into which he and his movement found receptive audiences. Patients already ill are often susceptible of worse maladies. So it has been…

Whitewater Common Council Meeting, 9.15.20: 4 Points

Updated 9.16.20 with meeting video. Last night, among other items, Whitewater Common Council’s met and considered municipal actions in response to the pandemic, heard presentations from Downtown Whitewater, Inc. and Discover Whitewater, and appointed a resident to fill a council vacancy in AD 5. A few remarks —  1. Pandemic Responses. Whitewater’s council last week declined, on…

Whitewater Common Council Meeting, 9.9.20: 5 Points

Evening of 9.10.20: Updated with full session video. As always, the best record is a recording. Original post follows — Last night, at a special meeting of the Whitewater Common Council, that public body voted 5-1 against consideration of a municipal ordinance to regulate mass gatherings during the pandemic. (The agenda packet, with the ordinance…

Social Capital and Hardship

What role does social capital play in a community’s health? Adam Gopnik, in The Paradoxical Role of Social Capital in the Coronavirus Pandemic, ponders whether there’s a relationship between communities with high social capital and a community’s public health. Gopnik uses a traditional definition of social capital as the “parts of society that, without being…

On Conflicts of Interest, It’s Not Enough to Ask a Question

The annual meeting of the Whitewater University Tech Park Board was scheduled for this earlier morning, and the second item of the published agenda is a superficial attempt to address potential conflicts of interest among board members: Declaration of Conflict of Interest [Watson] a. Would any member(s) of the board wish to declare any known…

An Empty-Headed Man’s Next Gig

Updated with a longer – and so more revealing – video of Kushner’s vapidity. When Jared Kushner is finished impairing America’s response to a pandemic, he’ll need something else to do. Wisconsin still has the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, and in small Wisconsin towns like Whitewater one finds development hucksters, business leagues of landlords &…

APG Was Always Going to Play a Vulture’s Role

One reads that APG, the out-of-state newspaper chain that purchased two local family papers (Janesville Gazette, Daily Jefferson County Union) is slashing the salaries of those papers’ employees. A few remarks — I’m not a newspaperman, and have never aspired to be one. Bloggers are modern-day pamphleteers, reviving a tradition that was robust during our…