Daily Bread for 11.12.23: The Local Press Conference that Was Neither Local Nor a Press Conference

 Good morning.

Sunday in Whitewater will be partly sunny with a high of 54. Sunrise is 6:43 and sunset 4:34 for 9h 50m 25s of daytime. The moon is new with 0.8% of its visible disk illuminated.

  On this day in 1948, in Tokyo, the International Military Tribunal for the Far East sentences seven Japanese military and government officials, including General Hideki Tojo, to death for their roles in World War II.

  On Friday, U.S. Senator Ron Johnson and U.S. Rep. Bryan Steil found their way to Whitewater for a closed press conference. (A closed event like that is a sham event, and simply a glorified press release with a few local people sitting around as window dressing, non-playing characters, tailor’s dummies, etc.) 

But Johnson and Steil, who’ve never carried the City of Whitewater and never will, had a message for a statewide audience. The few, selected, non-local reporters they carefully situated gave Johnson and Steil the headline they wanted:

Wisconsin lawmakers hold roundtable on crime cartels in Whitewater; call on stricter border policies from Biden Administration.

People will not want to visit, shop, send their children to school, or live in a city that is identified, as this state story does, with a crime cartel. 

People who live here now will not want that either. A more level-headed look at Whitewater would have required a thoughtful set of stories, not a television station’s clickbait. 

For insightful local reporting, the kind that Johnson and Steil did not include in their political event, one should look instead to WhitewaterWise:

Johnson, Steil meet in Whitewater with law enforcement officials; policing challenges discussed and Johnson, Steil hold press conference in Whitewater, discuss immigration, border security initiatives.

That brings residents to the question of policing challenges in Whitewater. At the 11.7.23 meeting of the Whitewater Common Council, one councilmember mentioned the need for at least three more officers for Whitewater’s department.

It’s an understatement to say that the way to build consensus in Whitewater for an expanded force will not come from what officials in county, state, or federal offices think. Some in Whitewater will, surely, support the Johnson-Steil approach. The challenge that Whitewater’s department and council face is that a significant number here find Johnson & Steil objectionable (so much so that neither has ever carried the city vote). It’s not simply that Johnson & Steil are unpopular among Latinos here; they’re unpopular generally. 

An enduring consensus here will be the opposite of their approach: not turning up the dial to eleven, but turning it down to four, and then beginning the discussion. This approach will seem counter-intuitive, if not an invitation to trickery, to many who are addicted to the notion that raising the temperature is a sure-fire winner on this issue. (In some places, on some issues, it is; in Whitewater, on this issue, it won’t be.)

This libertarian blogger doesn’t, and never will, represent the government. Whitewater’s officials will have to sort out the local implications in Whitewater if they want incremental gains in both headcount and community relations for Whitewater. People choose freely, sometimes well, sometimes poorly.  

Much will depend here on how insightful local officials will be about their own local politics and community culture.

We’ll see.

Oops! Lion wanders through Italian town after escaping circus:

A lion prowled the streets of an Italian seaside town for several hours after escaping from a local circus, before being sedated and captured.


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New attendee
6 months ago

Where the Stupidity Ends

In the town of Whitewater, by lakes so grand and clear,
The folks proudly say, “Our direction’s right here!”
No need for those bigwigs and their far-off views,
In Whitewater, we’ve got our own bright news.

By our beautiful lakes, where peace extends,
That’s where all the stupidity ends.
No senators required to chart our course,
We’ll find our own way, with our own resource.

With minds alert and hearts that care,
We tackle our issues with a flair so rare.
Not with uproar or a stormy night,
But with calm thought and insight so bright.

“Let’s ponder and plan,” says the librarian to the teacher,
“Let’s seek solutions that make us each a reacher.”
“Right on!” says the farmer, “our voice is our own,
In Whitewater’s matters, our seeds have been sown.”

The children, they watch, and they learn in kind,
About wisdom’s way, about a thoughtful mind.
By Whitewater’s lakes, where gentle waves send,
That’s where the foolishness, yes, it comes to an end.

Here’s to Whitewater, with its spirit so free,
Where the community’s wisdom is the key to the spree.
Where locals don’t just follow, they lead with insight,
In their unique way, they make everything right.

In this town so spirited, under skies wide and grand,
Where the stupidity ends, wisdom takes a stand.
And they all thrive together, in harmony and friend,
In our cherished town where the stupidity ends.

6 months ago

Yeah, this is the mild way to put this. The whole thing started off as a speech and went downhill from there. What did they think it was going to be?
Very understated for you. Is that because you think it’s doomed (local) strategy?