Sunshine Week 2018 (The Bad Example Nearby)

Just as one would prefer a beautiful neighborhood, so too would a sensible person prefer that nearby towns were well-ordered and successful. And yet, and yet, one cannot choose for those other towns: they will choose for themselves, sometimes well, sometimes poorly. When they do choose poorly, the best one can do is to guard […]

Daylight (Part 3 in a Series)

One finds oneself with a question, when there are gaps in a public record, when there are easily-avoidable deficiencies of open government: What will one do about it? A good method in this matter is deliberate, dispassionate, and diligent. A few thoughts: 1. Foundation. One looks at state and local provisions for public records and […]

Midnight (Part 2 in a Series)

Open government is right both in itself and in consequence: a free society confers political power only for limited & enumerated purposes. Those who confer this power have a right of oversight and a sensible obligation to assure that power’s exercise remains limited & enumerated. The right derives both naturally and by positive law. In […]

The Somber Trio

Among the most serious harms are those to liberty and physical well-being. One can compensate adequately for many injuries, but damages at law are slight compensation for lost liberties and physical injuries. We’ve a new national environment, in which actions once impermissible are now encouraged, and redress once required is now no longer recognized. If […]

The Erosion of Political Norms (Concluding Part 4 in a Series)

More than one small town has struggled for years under the debilitating influence of political & economic conflicts of interest, misguided priorities, and dodgy or grandiose claims. These conditions where those that  That Which Paved the Way for Trumpism. Those locally who carried on this way made Trumpism more likely, the way a moderate illness might weaken […]

Podcast: Stay Tuned with Preet Bharara

There’s a new podcast from Atty. Preet Bharara, former United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York. I’ve embedded the first episode, below, and readers can subscribe to this and future episodes via iTunes or Stitcher. On March 11, 2017 President Donald Trump fired US Attorney Preet Bharara. Preet tells the story in […]

On Transgender Americans

One could write about the recent Twitter statement from Trump that “[a]fter consultation with my generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. military,” but there’s a broader question than military service. To be sure, I believe […]

He Knew

Raquel Rutledge reports that Eric Haertle knew the medical products he sold were infected: The former co-owner and chief operating officer of a Hartland pharmaceutical company — once among the nation’s largest manufacturers of alcohol wipes — has pleaded guilty to shipping a product he knew was contaminated with dangerous bacterium. Eric Haertle, who owned Triad […]

Under the Gazette‘s Reasoning, Rosa Parks Should Have Stayed at the Back of the Bus

Over at the Gazette, there’s an editorial about whether a local school superintendent should have sent a message about immigration to residents without consulting his school board. See, Our Views: Superintendent sends the wrong message. I’ll set aside the issue of immigration, and address the deeper issue of the Gazette‘s reasoning on obedience to the […]

The Enduring Sadness of Walworth County

“ELKHORN—A woman who son was shot and killed by a Walworth County sheriff’s deputy in 2012 has settled her lawsuit against the county and deputy for $1.1 million. Nancy Brown, mother of 22-year-old John Brown, filed suit in U.S. District Court in Milwaukee in May 2013 alleging Deputy Wayne Blanchard used excessive force when he […]