Open Letter to Wisconsin Congressman Glenn Grothman

This is an open letter in response to the comments made by Congressman Grothman regarding the SCOTUS gay marriage ruling. http://www.rawstory.com/2015/07/wisconsin-republican-says-marriage-decision-insults-christians-who-died-in-the-religious-civil-war/

Congressman Grothman,
I am a Wisconsinite and I recently heard your reaction to the gay marriage decision. I respect your candor and honesty, but you severely misrepresented Pres. Lincoln, the Civil War, and our nation.

Pres. Lincoln was almost certainly not a Christian.”The Bible is not my book nor Christianity my profession.” — Abraham Lincoln, quoted by Joseph Lewis in “Lincoln the Freethinker”.
Clearly he held a public persona of faith, but as a politician I’m sure you can understand publicly holding a position you don’t personally believe.

The Civil War was not religious war. How dare you simplify the worst conflict in our history. Moreover if it was a religious war, what was the opposing religion? This was not Sunni vs. Shia or Catholics vs. Protestants or The Crusades. It was about states rights, taxation, independence, and slavery. Which brings up the fact Ministers were for slavery and used the Bible to justify limited rights of black people just as you seem to use the Bible against the LGBTQ community. Pastor Ebenezer Warren, in 1861, delivered a sermon entitled, “THE SCRIPTURAL VINDICATION OF SLAVERY”. It was published in The Macon Telegraph. In this sermon, this Christian Pastor speaking to, as you said, “a much more religious country”, said, “Both Christianity and Slavery are from Heaven; both are blessings to humanity; both are to be perpetuated to the end of time; and therefore both have been protected and defended by God’s omnipotent arm from the assaults, oppositions and persecutions through which they have passed.” This seems very similar to the persecution rhetoric Christians have been bandying about since the SCOTUS decision.

Lastly, you speculate the 620,000 Americans who died in that war would be appalled at the SCOTUS application of the 14th amendment. What reason do you have to assume those brave people would agree with you? There were certainly Liberals, Progressives, and homosexuals who died in that war. We are a nation of Jews, Muslims, Christians, Spiritualists, Buddhists, non-believers, and so on. Who are you to speak for those who died for what they believed? You called the judges “arrogant” and yet you claim to know the minds of dead heroes when you don’t even seem to understand the most basic reasons they fought in that great war. Pride goes before the fall Congressman. You are on the wrong side of history and some day someone will be quoting you to show how backwards and regressive our secular nation once was.
Signed,
Someone who believes Wisconsin deserves better

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A Capitol Killing

By the Jail in Madison WI

By the Jail in Madison WI

Tony Robison’s killing by Officer Kenny was determined to be legal according Dane County DA. Police sent officers to Williamson St. in Madison WI on March 6, 2015 due to reports of a man (Robinson) darting in and out of traffic, and assaulting two people. Officer Kenny was the first on the scene, reported hearing a disturbance inside a home, entered and was attacked by Robinson. Tony pushed the officer hard enough to break the drywall. The officer then backed out the door firing his revolver seven times, hitting Robinson five times. Kenny performed CPR, but Robinson died at the hospital. Robinson was later determined via autopsy to have Xanax, psilocybin mushrooms, and THC in his system. Robinson was unarmed

Given the above details it’s hard to argue with Dane County District Attorney’s assessment this was a righteous shooting, or is it? Many Madisonians don’t seem to think so, holding multiple school walk outs, marches, and protests. So given that the boy was on drugs, dashing through traffic, trying to enter homes, and assaulting people including  an officer, why the civil backlash? Shouldn’t everyone thank Madison PD for keeping the streets safe from this menace?

The facts of case lack nuance and perspective. First off, Madison is one of the worst cities in the worst state of the Union for blacks regarding inequality. This fact makes Tony’s killing representative of all injustices suffered by the marginalized races of Dane County. It’s easily argued this never would happen if blacks were treated equally and given the same opportunities. This shooting also happened hot on the heels of events in Ferguson, MO, Staten Island, New York City, and Baltimore, MD where unarmed black men were killed by police. The pain of those unjust police killings serves to inform Madison residents more than the facts of this particular case. The pain of loosing a nineteen year old boy serves to inform Madison residents more than the facts of this case. To many people this case reflects the nation as a whole and the racism systemic in the DOC and Police.

If you come to Madison, the street where the most assaults occur is Langdon St., affectionately known as “Frat Row”. Here young white men can be seen most nights dashing about traffic on an array of drugs, fighting and cursing. The police are rarely called. Often they are present for these cavalcades of testosterone, and simply allow the boys to be boys making sure nothing gets too rough. I have personally seen this. For all the times the white men Tony’s age fought and cussed and acted inebriated in public, not one of them has been shot on Langdon. Not. One. Madison noticed this too.

Tony’s killing may have been “legal” but that doesn’t make it any less useful as a rallying cry to fight discrimination, systemic injustice, and inequality across the board. The fact is people are protesting the state of police relations with black people. They are protesting the state of inequality of black people in Wisconsin. They are protesting the absurdly high incarceration of black men. They are protesting money being spent on MRAPs and Bradley Vehicles instead of police training on how to deal with someone on Xanax, psilocybin mushrooms, and THC. The are protesting the Drug War and the pain and misery that comes with it. They are protesting for every person who has ever been marginalized, harassed, and hurt by the system. Tony Robinson just had to be legally killed for us to take notice.

The house where Tony as shot 9 times

The house where Tony as shot 9 times

Drive fast. Take Chances. Thanks for reading.

 

-Danger


Vote. Vote. VOTE.

Tis the season for political reasoning and toting your vote to the poll. Losing my fellow Americans in the title alone? I can feel your despair. From not understanding our over complicated system to having zero faith in the value of the vote, the candidates, even the accurate vote count. I feel you. I am right there too.

I take a breath and look at the planet spinning through space and time. Given our time we have a nearly unbearable onus and invaluable privilege. Let me make the case.

Brief history of voting in America:

So in 1776 (Or there abouts) when the U.S. of A. kicked some and became a Congressional Republic. Only men who own land can vote. Skip merrily through the next 150 years (or there abouts) of slavery, civil war, intercontinental rail road, slaughter of the indigenous and the buffalo, taming the West, protecting Yosemite, inventing the light bulb, producing Mark Twain and the airplane, we arrive in 1919… (or there abouts). Most men, black, some Asians (the right came and went here and there), and Native Americans who served in the military can vote. Then, in1920, women finally get the vote. Think about that. Less than 100 years ago women couldn’t vote in our country. For everyone voting has been a hard won dominion and blood spackled right.

Dissatisfaction with our country isn’t lost on me. The lack of voting indicates why Americans polled have fear, frustration, and malaise about the their country today. Our congress recently dropped below 9% approval rating. We approve polygamy and neo-Nazis more. We are crushed by debt, our police force is constantly in the media for shootings, we are at war, wonder about the NSA in our devices and struggle to raise our GDP. I am elated to be a American, but no longer sure I am proud to be a American.

It cost most people in the history of this country a lot so we can vote. What effect does it really have?

I find myself thinking about my vote in terms of the Presidential Election. In that case, yes. I do feel like my vote is insignificantly insignificant. However our leader in chief, while enormously consequential to this country, is the head of the country and our House and Senate the neck. Our local governments the arms; we are torso, legs, and feet.

Interestingly we show up the most to least statically valuable vote. The presidential vote. Voting for a senator, a rep, a judge, a DA, a local sheriff, or school boards carries far more weight. They are responsible for our highways, bridges, and parks, educators of our children, protectors of us and our homes, our health and retirement, and adjudicate justice when someone violates any of these. Yes, the president is way outside most of our world. Don’t worry about D.C. Our school board memebers, assembly, and mayors are the next leaders of the free world. We led the world in production innovation, space exploration, progressive thinking, and compromise for the good of many. We accomplish our greatest feats under duress. We are best when pressed. America is pressed. Take back our counties, towns, cities, and burbs. We are the locomotion and heartbeat of this counrty. We can put it back to our use by engaging.  Let us be great again. Let us demand more of our immediate government. Let us vote.

Google the word “vote”. That’s all you need to get started.
Drive fast. Take chances. Thanks for reading.

-Danger