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Culture

The Antidote to Boosterism

Bret Stephens offers Neal Armstrong as a worthy example in Apollo 11’s Forgotten Virtues (“Armstrong stayed humble, and human, in the era of relentless puffery and self-promotion”): There’s a short scene near the end of “Apollo 11,” the thrilling new documentary about history’s greatest spaceflight, in which Mike Collins, Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong make…

Accreditation in Context

There is a liturgical tradition in which parishioners reflect on what they have done and what they have left undone.  A secular equivalent for Whitewater would ask a policymaker to consider not merely what has been done so many times before, but what might – and should have been – done, years ago and now.…

The Pictures on the Wall

During a recent visit to the public library here in Whitewater, I stopped to look at a display of photographs, of framed pictures each showing a resident of the city posing with a book. The residents were easy to see, but the book titles harder to identify, so I drew closer to the exhibit.  As…

Why Won’t You Smile?

One can guess that libertarians oppose the anti-market economics of Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez. It’s odd, to me, though, how much time conservatives have spent complaining, critiquing, and analyzing that democratic socialist from New York. In those conservative critiques, however, one sees more than an economic or foreign policy disagreement: some of these conservatives are upset that…

Dupes of Bogus Stories: Partisan or Biased?

Yesterday, I posted to a study that found a disproportionate amount bogus news accounts on Twitter came from elderly conservatives. (For reporting about the study, see Older, right-leaning Twitter users spread the most fake news in 2016, study finds.  For the study, see Science, Fake news on Twitter during the 2016 U.S. presidential election, PDF link.) What about those…

The Recent Cold

It’s been unseasonably cold in southeastern Wisconsin this week, and in Whitewater that presents a challenge for the disproportionately large number of impoverished residents (some of whom occasionally lack utilities, even at the most unfavorable times). The three large public institutions in the city – municipal government, school district, and public university – have collectively dozens…

‘Our Guy’ Isn’t Our Guy

Some months ago, in a radio interview to tout part of the Trump tax bill, the Whitewater Community Development Authority’s executive director Dave Carlson referred to Congressman F. James Sensenbrenner as ‘our guy.’ Sensenbrenner, a pro-Trump septuagenarian multimillionaire from a gerrymandered district, is – literally – Whitewater’s federal representative. Sensenbrenner has never been – and…

Political and Apolitical Means of Local Accomplishment

One test of an institution’s vitality is how eager people are to become members, and how interested a community is to learn who’s become a member. Strong institutions or organizations attract attention. When the institution is a city or county government, one looks to see who’s eager to run for office, and how many people…

The Broad Outlines of 2019

For many years, I would begin the year with predictions for the twelve months ahead.  Events since 2016 have made predictions harder,  but one can still discern some short-term developments for the city.  These prospects, of course, form an online of topics to ponder, and about which to write (often requiring that one return to the…

Kopper Resigns, Whitewater Remains

One reads that Beverly Kopper, UW-Whitewater chancellor, has resigned her position effective 12.31.18.  Her resignation was generally expected for at least the last few weeks, and was, more importantly, necessary.  This was a public matter involving a spouse appointed to a public position accused of sexual harassment by at least five women while the appointing chancellor kept…

Weak Underneath

The was an armed robbery in Whitewater this week. Robbery is wrong and armed robbery especially so.  There’s neither justification nor excuse for the crime. Radio station WFAW reported the crime in a straightforward way, but the Daily Union on Facebook crudely described the suspects not as black males (as would be conventional) but rather as male blacks. …

The ‘Real’ Residents

Emily Badger reports Are Rural Voters the ‘Real’ Voters? Wisconsin Republicans Seem to Think So: In much of Wisconsin, “Madison and Milwaukee” are code words (to some, dog whistles) for the parts of the state that are nonwhite, elite, different: The cities are where people don’t have to work hard with their hands, because they’re collecting…