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Whitewater’s Local Politics 2021: The Limits of Local Politics

This is the final post in a series on Whitewater’s local politics of 2021. Earlier posts at FREE WHITEWATER have addressed the limits of local politics in the community: local public (or powerful private) institutions have a limited power of action (with harmful actions likely to be more immediate than helpful ones). It’s certain that a…

Whitewater’s Local Politics 2021: Majoritarianism

This is the tenth in a series on Whitewater’s local politics of 2021. The contested April school board election has now come to a close. An animating concern of many parents was that the Whitewater public school should not have suspended face-to-face instruction for as long as it did, and that, in doing so, the…

Whitewater’s Local Politics 2021: Marketing

This is the ninth in a series on Whitewater’s local politics of 2021. Through all the difficult events of the last two decades (a Great Recession, an opioid epidemic, economic stagnation, creeping nativism, a pandemic, a pandemic recession), Old Whitewater has responded with the same question: how can we market the town to others? If…

Whitewater’s Local Politics 2021: The Subcultural City

This is the sixth in a series on Whitewater’s local politics of 2021. There’s no politically predominant group in Whitewater. Strictly speaking, a subculture implies a dominant culture, but it’s less dramatic to describe Whitewater as several subcultures than as balkanized. One might call the city multicultural, but that term often implies an acceptance of…

Google Wisely Avoids a 2021 April Fools’ Prank

One reads that, for the second year, Google decided to forgo its annual April Fool’s prank: For the second year in a row, Business Insider has obtained an internal emailstating that Google will not create a series of elaborate and occasionally entertaining April Fools pranks this year. Google confirmed the memo to Business Insider, and…

On COVID-19 Skeptics

It was likely, as it was a century ago during a prior pandemic, that significant numbers of Americans would argue falsely there was no pandemic (‘just like the regular flu’), that if it were a pandemic it would go away (‘like a miracle’), that anyone talking about illness was merely fearful (as though discussions of…

Local Politics Hasn’t Been Merely ‘Local’ for Years

Over at the Wisconsin Examiner, Henry Redman writes (with concern) that All politics is national (‘Candidates for local office are ignoring community issues, instead highlighting national culture wars’). First, Redman’s case, then a few remarks. Woodman [Kyle Woodman, a Republican running for Eau Claire’s city council] is part of a mostly conservative group of candidates…

The Power of Refutation

Laura Hazard Owen writes When’s the best time to correct fake news? After someone’s already read it, apparently: Debunking > prebunking. If you want someone to not believe that false or misleading headline they just read, when’s the best time to correct it? We hear a lot about inoculating people against fake news or “prebunking”…

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…