Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Thinking about voting for JoAnne Kloppenburg? Think again.

There will be an election in Wisconsin a week from today.

One of the races is for Supreme Court Justice.

This is, allegedly, a non-partisan race. It should be, but obviously it isn't according to each contenders' campaign.

The contenders: JoAnne Kloppenburg and Judge David Prosser.

If you are thinking of voting for Kloppenburg only because you are mad at Governor Walker and the Republican legislators, and want to get "even" with them, think again.

"Time to get even" is what all the people pissed at Walker are chanting right now.

But there are a few things to consider here:

The issue with Walker is only one issue. And who knows how that would end or how long it will last.

On the other hand, voting for a Supreme Court Justice is to decide how the highest court in the State of Wisconsin will handle cases in the next two to ten years, as this is not a short appointment. Cases that will range between many issues, not only issues that have to do with Scott Walker and his "evil" bill.

JoAnne Kloppenburg has demonstrated she is far from being "non-partisan". She is an activist whose husband made monetary contributions to Democratic senators, and both have been very vocal in their opinion of Governor Walker's bill.

Her supporters have made it clear that a vote for her will be a step against Walker. Go and do your research. You will find it all over the Internet.

Now, there are some things that the mainstream media do not talk much about. How Kloppenburg has never been a judge and applied to be one three times. Even Obama took a pass on her.

Her main accomplishments: being a Government attorney, representing the DNR and the State, going after property and small business owners.

Because of her vendetta-like actions, a restaurant owner in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin ended up filing for bankruptcy, because he could not afford the attorney fees to keep defending himself against Kloppenburg's harassment. 34 employees lost their jobs, all because the DNR and Kloppenburg would not leave him alone.

An 80-year old land owner was thrown in jail two months after having open heart surgery, because he would not follow an order to plant certain weeds in his OWN PRIVATE PROPERTY to prevent soil run off. Now, I get the worry about protecting Mother Earth and the environment, blah, blah, blah. But, throwing a sick, elderly man in jail, and draining his savings account to pay a lien on the property while in jail? I mean, come on! That sounds to me more like what a communist regime, not an attorney - much less a judge! - in Wisconsin would do.

So these are just a couple of examples. You can read more about it on the link below (please cut and paste to your browser, as my hyperlinks are acting up again!) or you can do your own research.


Our freedoms are at stake here. Actually, if you DISLIKE Walker, you then should think about this: is he really worth putting the citizens of Wisconsin in the hands of an incompetent and obviously misguided candidate to Supreme Court Judge? You have the power of preventing that from happening. She will not have your best interest in mind. What will she do when there is no Walker issue to pursue?

Think about it.

And don't forget to vote!

ETA: Tonight, an Anonymous party attempted to post here information that may be - or not - pertinent to my readers. It will be for the readers to decide. However, this weasel started this way:"I bet you do not have enough guts to post this." I find this insulting and disrespectful, but even more so, hypocritical. How dare you accuse me of not having enough guts when you don't identify yourself? I have accepted comments in the past from anonymous sources; that is not the problem. If you want me to post the info, you show yourself, then I will see if I feel like posting it, since I have no obligation to post anything. But at least, the whole world can see who you are if I decide to. This is my house, my rules. COMPRENDE? In any case, the one that does not have cojones is you.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

My children are awesome!

Oh, the little joys of parenting.

We had parent/teacher conferences tonight.

We are blessed with two wonderful daughters. Each unique and doing great, above average for their grade and age.

It fills my heart with pride, but also with a little sorrow for those children that do not have the sources, or the opportunities my children have.

They have wonderful teachers, and are surrounded by lots of love.

My children are awesome. The most wonderful gift that God has given me. And I am grateful for it. But I know they really don't belong to me.

When I was only a teenager, I read Kahlil Gibran's "The Prophet". One of its pages, titled "On Children", gave me the inspiration for what I wanted my relationship with my children to be one day. And I always remember...

On Children
Kahlil Gibran

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.

Love you, my children. Thank you for being you.


Monday, March 14, 2011

Wisconsin is not Egypt.

No, Wisconsin is NOT Egypt.

It irritates me greatly when people compare Wisconsin current events to the uprising and the fight of the Egyptian people.

As someone who contributed a little grain of sand to help the people of Egypt through Twitter, and read, probably before it hit the media, what some of them went through, I fail to be able to make a comparison.

Why? Well, I will tell you why.

Today, I heard on radio the account of a young woman who witnessed an affront on some one's rights.

Last weekend, Madison saw record numbers of protesters supporting "workers rights." Rights that, according to them, have been stripped from the hard-working people of Wisconsin. We had movie stars, Hollywood personalities, advocating for them because they "belong to an union." Advocating also for the so called "peaceful protesters."

Among all of that crowd, there was no room for those who support the Government to be heard. In Egypt, the people protested, but the Government tried to silence them. In Wisconsin, while those against the Government protest, those in support are the ones attacked, threatened, beaten.

A young woman and a friend dared to show up in Madison. They were driving, with a sign declaring their support for Scott Walker. While stuck in traffic, the driver was attacked by an anti-Walker protester. There were pictures emailed to the host of a local radio show host. I have no reason to doubt this happened. The attacker punched her car, reached in, pulled the sign, and grabbed her cell phone and took off when she attempted to call for help. Fortunately, another protester (one with a conscience who did not think it was right), chased the guy and convinced him to give back the stolen item. He boasted of doing "the right thing."

Meanwhile, the girl tried to find a police officer. Before she did, she was surrounded by anywhere from ten to twenty protesters who yelled obscenities at her. While she cried, they would point cameras at her, saying, "oh, honey, this is going on YouTube, so say whatever you want!", taunted her, bullied her. She finally was able to get help. And none of this has hit the media. Just as the media ignores all the other affronts Governor Walker's supporters are receiving. And I firmly believe that there must have been other similar incidents that have not been reported because people is scared.

You may be thinking, "so what? Just one incident." Or "she is so stupid for going to Madison with a Walker sign." And that is where I say, "WAIT A MINUTE!" Last time I checked, this is a democracy, and we ALL have the right to demonstrate. Madison is not owned by the protesters. It is the house of ALL of Wisconsin residents. So, if a group organized and decided to demonstrate in support of Governor Walker, is it OK for the anti-Walker protesters to treat them like Mubarak's thugs treated protesters in Egypt? I don't think so.

In Egypt, the people protested against the status quo, against a situation that was holding them back and prevailed for decades. They finally said it was enough. And I would not DARE to compare myself to an Egyptian living in the conditions many of them have lived. To me, it would be arrogant on my part, and an insult to the people of Egypt to do such a thing. I know many of them have said they support Wisconsin workers. And that is OK. That is what freedom is about. But I am certain most of them would not support the tactics being used here.

So stop comparing. Those who complained before of political rhetoric causing damage and inciting acts of violence are the ones on the other side of the coin. And they are doing a fine job of showing their true colors.

Saturday, February 26, 2011


In literature, movies, popular culture, crossroads seem to be frequently used as a symbol for a time of introspection and decision-making, a time of crisis, perhaps?

The politically-charged environment of my State has brought me to a sort of crossroads in my ideologies and visions.

I find myself still advocating for many things liberals also advocate for: basic human rights.

The right to choose for my body what I want, and to respect other women in the decisions they make when it comes to contraception and pregnancy. And their right to have access to adequate, safer ways to carry out those decisions.

The rights of women not to be degraded by some people deciding that now "rape" will have a new meaning.

The rights of women to have same working conditions - and pay - as men.

The rights of human beings to love and being in a committed relationship with another human being regardless of their race, religion... or gender. And their right, when illness or the end of their life comes, to not to be harassed by bureaucrats who would not allow them to be with one another because they are not "legally" married. And their right to be married!

The right of soldiers not to be told they cannot serve their country because they are gay. And their rights to be able to say so openly.

The right of people and children not to be victims of human trafficking and abuse.

The right to fight to save the environment.

The right to worship - or not - in any way I see fit. And the right to say what I want. And in both instances, to not be afraid of repercussion, of bodily harm, incarceration or death.

Yes. All of that. And much, much more.

But then, I find myself advocating for a cause a lot of people who consider themselves liberals are against: Governor Walker's Budget Repair Bill.

That 'evil' bill. Well, no. It is not evil.

This last couple of weeks, I have read and heard of some protesters in Madison who claim they are defending their rights, but then they trample on the rights of others. I see the unions advocating for their rights, but they still think they can force union members to join their ranks and pay their dues.

I see people from all walks of life talking ugly about "the other side". I see 14 senators running away from their duty instead of doing their job. And I voted for them.

A handful of Walker supporters went to Madison last week, and a friend of mine was there. This person was subjected to foul language and offensive words. Her right to also protest undermined by those not agreeing with her. Is that freedom?

And I wonder, why is it so hard to understand that this guy is trying to do something to save this great State of Wisconsin from bankruptcy? Plain and simple.

Yes, you can laugh. If you are against this bill, you don't have to agree with me. I would not laugh at you. My previous blog posts give you my answers and stance to some of the issues presented and the fallacies, the myths floating around. I hope everyone would not make their decisions based on "my ______ (relative, friend) belongs (or belonged) to an union" or "so and so are State workers", on emotions. Believe me, I even know teachers, teacher's relatives and public sector workers who understand what this is about.

It is my hope that anyone on each side of the issue can sit down and analyze all the data, then make their decisions based on drawing their own conclusions. If after that, they still do not support it, fine. At least they are firm in their conviction. A conviction that is the fruit of careful thought and consideration.

And being that I am at crossroads reminds me of a time, while growing up, when I witnessed the adults of the era voting across political party lines and it was OK. They did not need to align themselves with a particular party, but with the guy doing the job right at that particular moment in history. And I guess that is the way I will go.

Don't tell me I can't do that. I already did.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Collective Bargaining Fairy Tales. Part I

"Only 5 states do not have collective bargaining for educators and have deemed it illegal. Those states and their ranking on ACT/SAT scores are as follows: South Carolina: 50th, North Carolina: 49th Georgia, 48th Texas: 47th, and Virginia: 44th. Wisconsin is ranked #2 in the nation."

This has been floating around on Twitter for a couple of days. The post is intended to establish a correlation between collective bargaining and students scores. Right?

Well, not so fast.

For starters, the information allegedly comes from this site:


I further researched the matter. The data in the site is from 2006. Five years old.

In further research, I found documented data in a press release from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction on more recent results from 2010(Sorry, you will need to copy and paste the links to your browser, as my link function here seems to be broken):


Interestingly enough, only 4% of the students participated on SAT and 69% participated on the ACT. Not a whooping, slam-dunk indicator of results, is it? By the little analysis written on another blog that seems pretty respectable, "Student Activism" by Angus Johnston, I found the following:

"Wisconsin ranks 3rd in the nation in SAT scores, but with a participation rate of just 4%. On the ACT, with a much more representative participation rate of 69%, it was tied for 17th. In comparison…

•Virginia was 34th on the SAT with 67% participation, 13th on the ACT with 22% participation.
•Texas was 45th on the SAT with 53% participation, 33rd on the ACT with 33% participation.
•Georgia was 48th on the SAT with 74% participation, 34th on the ACT with 44% participation.
•North Carolina was 38th on the SAT with 63% participation, 20th on the ACT with 16% participation.
•South Carolina was 49th on the SAT with 66% participation, 44th on the ACT with 52% participation.

Wisconsin is clearly above the other five states in both SAT and ACT scores, but the gap isn’t anywhere near as big as the pro-union tweets suggest. Among high ACT participation states, Wisconsin ranks something like 4th in the nation. But among high SAT participation states, Virginia ranks about 5th in the nation — almost all the states with better SAT scores than Virginia have far smaller participation rates, drawing on a far more elite test-taking group"

It has a lot more information, and it would be redundant to copy and paste all of it here. It can be found on:


I also found another blog that cites factual, documented information regarding collective bargaining and the impact on test scores:


Regardless of statistics, tables and studies, my personal opinion is this: SAT, ACT, and whatever other scores are there to measure learning don't depend only on the ability of their teachers to bargain, but partly on the dedication they show to teach the children. Additionally, there are so many, many factors that influence how children achieve in school. It certainly is disturbing that people are unknowingly "retweeting" information to back up their claims without checking its accuracy, as clearly has been stated by the sources I used. I went to each and every site the bloggers used as sources. The evidence is there.

So, go ahead, browse the sites and decide for yourself. Instead of falling over-backwards or letting my jaw drop, I went and did my homework, and decided to share it with you.

Happy reading!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Wisconsin Woes: This "Bill" is driving us crazy!

Wisconsin has been my home for more than 20 years. My plan was to go back home -Puerto Rico - after five years. But then, I got married. So here I am. I love Wisconsin, and as an adoptive daughter of this State, it saddens me what is going on in here today. But I have an opinion about it. Maybe not the most popular right now, but here I go.

Those who know me know that I tend to lean more to the "left" side of politics while trying to stay in the "middle-of-the-road": I am pro-choice and pro-women's rights. I am all for gay marriage and rights of same sex couples and so-called "non-traditional" families. I think RAPE is rape, no matter that some individuals would like to redefine it. I think the war sucks, but I still admire and respect profoundly our men and women in uniform; I know this is sort of cliche-y but I will say it because I feel it: because of our soldier's sacrifices, I enjoy the freedoms I do. I think government should stay out of what I eat, but also should stay out of how I control the number of offspring I will give birth to. And I do believe in the right to bear arms.

That is just who I am. I believe I have the right to speak my first language - Spanish - without anyone yelling at me to "speak English!" But I also believe that anyone who comes here with big dreams should learn English if they want to make it, just like I did. I believe that only American citizens should be allowed to enjoy Federal assistance, but I also know this country is made up of inmigrants, and all inmigrants should be given a fair chance to become citizens if they so desire, not treated like criminals or an infected animal.

And, I do believe in the work and goals of unions in America, in the right to protest, to collectively bargain for better benefits. Yes, I do. And, opposite to what many believe, this demonized bill is not what everyone is making it to be. As a matter of fact, I wonder if everyone who is protesting it has even read it. For highlights, you can follow this link:


Now, let's make this clear: I sympathize with those who truly are hard workers and will have to take a hit to their finances. With that said, I will tell you this: Working for the private sector, I know that many of the benefits State workers enjoy have been much better than mine until recent times.

I also know that many teachers do work hard and go above and beyond what is required of them, even when the Union tries to dictate the amount of hours they can work. Then, again, you have those who only work the bare minimum, and even dare to resent the ones who give more because it makes them look bad.

But this is the deal: yesterday, the Madison school district had to close because of all the teachers calling in sick. Translation: taking time off to go to Madison and protest. Their right? Sure! But I am glad I was not the parent that had to call her employer to say, "I will not be in today or I will be late because my kids don't have school and I have to make alternate arrangements for them." The teachers from Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, went and protested loud and hard AFTER school. Good for them! They should protest if that is what they want. But many teachers are against the "Bill" because "it is in the best interest of the children". Really? In the best interest of the children to go protest instead of being in the classroom teaching them? Yes, I've heard it all: they can miss school on a snow day, so this will not hurt them. Reality check: A snow day is not something anyone can control, and on a snow day, I still would rather have my kid learning something. I also heard that, by watching their teachers take a stand in what they believe, they learn good lessons. NOT! Again, other teachers did not call in "sick" to go protest. Yeah, that is great work ethic. Pfft. Some teachers took students to the protest as a "field trip". Whaaaat?!?

My tax dollars already pay for WAY more things than I care about, and I don't have much of a say on it. One thing they pay: education for my children. And I want it to be EXCELLENT. The Unions, while a great thing, as everything in life, have a dark side: they negotiate, advocate and bargain for the not-so-excellent teachers (or workers in general) as well. What is the "Bill" trying to do? Per the link I posted, it "makes various changes to limit collective bargaining for most public employees to wages." It is not taking the bargaining away, just redefining the rules, among other things.

I think enough is enough. This is not about throwing a tantrum because "it is not fair". It is about making things equal for all. Simple: if you are working hard, you earn. If you are not, you don't. Even with the modifications, the State workers - teachers included - will still have a benefits package that is better than most benefit packages in the private sector. And no one is taking away anyone's right to protest and bargain. And, why not? If possible, I too would like the lawmakers to take a bit more time to review this. But I will not be the one chanting "Kill the Bill".

Like my mother always says, let's not forget: your rights end where mine begin.

PS: Please let's have our facts together before spreading rumors. Although I did not vote for Governor Walker, he still is the Governor, and just was elected by some of the same people who wants him recalled now. What about giving him a chance? In my case, well, I am stuck with him for a couple more years, so may as well make the best of it. Many of the rumors circulating are not even true. He did not give away incentives to the rich or deployed the National Guard on protestors. No dictatorship here...although the revolution fever seems to be spreading here as well. That is a good thing. So let's hope that only the best comes out of it.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Write-in candidate for the School Board and the World Language Initiative in the Wauwatosa School District.

I just found that a group of parents in our school district are trying to get a write-in candidate in the upcoming School Board Elections (the deadline to submit candidates has passed), to have the new School Board Member, if elected, help overturn the recently approved World Language Initiative (see the link below for more information).

(You will need to copy and paste the links to your browser)


This "write-in" candidate may be a wonderful, well-intentioned person. However, I have some concerns:

1) What happens if this person goes in and still the decision is not overturned? If the sole motivator for this individual to run for one of the seats coming up for election is to overturn this decision, would the motivation diminish and loose steam if his/her plans and the plans of this group of parents does not come to fruition?

2) How capable is this person going to be to represent the District on ALL issues that will come before him/her? Again, to run for such position with one purpose in mind...then, if in the future this School Board member does not vote favorably (according to the citizens) on some other "hot topic", will there be another "witch hunt" to unseat this person?

3) Is this person going to be able to deal with all the issues objectively, of her own accord, or is he/she going to be "manipulated" by some behind-the-scenes "grassroots" group?

The Group trying to do this has a Facebook page, "Save Tosa School Libraries"; it is now an open group (see the link below).


Just something to think about... This is something ALL citizens in our District able to vote should consider.

If anyone has any ideas or suggestions, please feel free to comment.