A fresh start for 2013

Dear readers,

I have really enjoyed blogging here at Blogging Blue over the past year, and being part of a creative, talented, and diverse team. Zach has been extremely supportive of my writing and I appreciate that. I also appreciate the time that you have taken to read my posts and the comments you have made. I have learned a lot from you all. But with the new year comes an opportunity for a fresh start, and I am going to seize it.

Beginning in 2013, I will re-build my Waukesha Wonk website (this time with enough security to deter spammers!) and begin a new blogging chapter. The posts will be similar to those I have shared here at Blogging Blue, and I won’t hesitate to address controversial subjects. Comments and discussion will be welcomed, of course, but I will not tolerate incivility. My belief is that readers can disagree with me and with others without name-calling, and without making it personal.

So please check me out at WaukeshaWonk.com. And you can continue to reach me on Facebook at facebook.com/waukeshawonkblog and on twitter @muxywithmoxie.

Thanks again, everybody, and Happy New Year!

Lisa Mux

Overpass Light Brigade photo exhibit kicks off January 4th in Milwaukee

The Overpass Light Brigade is much more than a group of locals holding lighted messages above freeways; it’s a positive, creative, and powerful tool for social and political change. What began as an outlet for the frustrations of a few concerned citizens during the Wisconsin Uprising has morphed into a nation-wide progressive phenomenon. And now, an Overpass Light Brigade photo exhibit is coming to Milwaukee beginning January 4, 2013.

From Occupy Riverwest:

In the last year many have enjoyed the photos and stories of the Overpass Light Brigade one post at a time on Facebook. Beginning January 4th, much of the work done by the photographers of the OLB will be showcased at the Art Bar (722 E. Burleigh Street) in Riverwest.

The opening Friday night kickoff for “The People’s Bandwidth” photo installation will include many of the photographers and their OLB work as well as music from local Milwaukee “holders of the light” and musicians Denny Rauen and Robert Hansen. The installation will also feature a “People’s Wall” in which anyone can add their own photos to a community OLB collage.

The Overpass Light Brigade photo installation will be on display from January 4, 2013- February 7, 2013. It’s a must-see.

Go, Overpass Light Brigade, go!

OLB

Image from Occupy RiverWest

OLB2

Image via Overpass Light Brigade FB fan page

Hot women can be fired just for being hot, rules Iowa Supreme Court

Attention women of Iowa: no matter how great you are at your job, if you’re hot, your boss can apparently now legally fire you just for being hot. According to the Associated Press, the Iowa Supreme Court recently ruled that a boss can legally fire an employee he’s physically attracted to because he and his wife see her as a threat to the sanctity of their marriage.

From CNN.com:

Can a boss fire an employee he finds attractive because he and his wife, fairly or not, see her as a threat to their marriage?

Yes, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled Friday.

“The question we must answer is … whether an employee who has not engaged in flirtatious conduct may be lawfully terminated simply because the boss views the employee as an irresistible attraction,” Justice Edward M. Mansfield wrote for the all-male high court.

The all-male Iowa Supreme Court court sided with a lower court in this case against an apparently super-hot dental hygienist named Melissa Nelson.

Such firings may not be fair, but they do not constitute unlawful discrimination under the Iowa Civil Rights Act, the decision read, siding with a lower court.

Some think this Iowa Supreme Court ruling is a huge victory for “family values.”

An attorney for Fort Dodge dentist James Knight said the decision, the first of its kind in Iowa, is a victory for “family values” because Knight fired Melissa Nelson in the interest of saving his marriage, not because she was a woman.

The dentist (the boss) was the real victim here, his attorney argued.

Nelson, 32, worked for Knight for 10 years, and he considered her a stellar worker. But in the final months of her employment, he complained that her tight clothing was distracting, once telling her that if his pants were bulging that was a sign her clothes were too revealing, according to the opinion.

He also once allegedly remarked about her infrequent sex life by saying, “that’s like having a Lamborghini in the garage and never driving it.”

See, the hygienist and the dentist began texting toward the end of her employment, and that worried the dentist (and his wife).

Knight and Nelson – both married with children – started exchanging text messages, mostly about personal matters, such as their families. Knight’s wife, who also worked in the dental office, found out about the messages and demanded Nelson be fired. The Knights consulted with their pastor, who agreed that terminating Nelson was appropriate.

Knight fired Nelson and gave her one month’s severance. He later told Nelson’s husband that he worried he was getting too personally attached and feared he would eventually try to start an affair with her.

But the hygienist said she never planned to have an affair with her employer; she just wasn’t that into him. And he was her boss.

Nelson was stunned because she viewed the 53-year-old Knight as a father figure and had never been interested in starting a relationship, Fiedler said.

The hygienist didn’t think it was fair that she lose her job simply by causing, um, bulges in her employer’s pants.

An attorney for Melissa Nelson, the fired employee, said the decision was wrong.

“We are appalled by the court’s ruling and its failure to understand the nature of gender bias,” said Paige Fiedler, the attorney. “For the seven men on the Iowa Supreme Court not to ‘get it’ is shocking and disheartening. It underscores the need for judges on the bench to be diverse in terms of their gender, race and life experiences.”

So now, because of the ruling in this case, it seems that women in Iowa can legally be fired for being “irresistible” to their bosses.

But what, really, is the litmus test for irresistibility?

For example, do all gentleman prefer blondes? What about those websites devoted to redheads? Is going brunette the key to job security? What if the boss likes blondes, but his wife prefers brunettes? Would growing a uni-brow prevent a boss bulge from growing? What if the boss has a uni-brow fetish?

The possibilities are endless, as beauty and bulges are in the pants of the beholder. Or something like that.

It’s also important to keep in mind that it’s almost 2013 and that a woman’s job should not be in peril because her boss finds her attractive and doesn’t think he can keep it in his pants.

Read the Iowa Supreme Court decision here.

Truce

A few days ago I wrote a post about Dick’s and guns, and some readers seemed to lose their ever-loving minds over it, on both sides. I tried to run interference and ask commenters to be civil, with some level of success. But it pissed me off, because there is absolutely no excuse for Wisconsinites and Americans to treat each other like crap just because we disagree politically. It’s bullshit, and we ALL need to knock it the fuck off. NOW.

Have I got your attention? GOOD. I rarely swear,  use all caps, or fail to speak politely because that is not who I am as a blogger. So when I do, you know I mean business. (You have no idea how hard it was not to add “please” after “now” in the first paragraph, seriously.)

Look, I’m the “nice” blogger, the one who tries to be fair, the one who doesn’t like to fight just for the sake of fighting. The one who doesn’t need to be right. The one who over-uses smiley-face emoticons.

But it is becoming increasingly difficult for me to sit back and watch us eat each other alive. There is simply NO reason for it.

We’re not animals.

We’re all adults.

I don’t give a rat’s ass that politicians on both sides of the aisle benefit from us being divided and that they encourage it. We have a CHOICE of whether or not to treat each other with respect. We have free will. We are NOT victims.

WE CAN DISAGREE WITHOUT TREATING EACH OTHER LIKE SHIT.

So I’d like to call a truce. Blogging Blue bloggers and readers of all political stripes: Can we at least try to disagree AND treat each other respectfully, like we did back in the olden days, like , say, the 90’s?

What do you say, guys? You in?

(Okay, I have to go take a nap now. The usage of all caps, swearing, and not a single “please” has done me in.)

Five Republicans, one Democrat vie for open Assembly District 98 seat

As of today, five Republicans have declared their candidacies for Wisconsin’s Assembly District 98, which covers parts of Waukesha, Pewaukee, Sussex, and Brookfield. They’re all hoping to fill the seat vacated by Paul Farrow (R), who won the (uncontested) December 4th election for Senate District 33. The GOP candidates will face off in the Republican primary on February 19, 2013, with the winner taking on Democrat Eric Prudent on April 2, 2013. I think Eric Prudent has a decent shot at winning.

This morning Waukesha Patch reported that Pewaukee’s retiring police chief Edward Baumann (R) has thrown his hat into the ring for AD 98. He joins fellow Republicans Adam Neylon (who has worked for Bill Kramer and Jim Sensenbrenner), Jeanne Tarantino (Rebecca Kleefisch’s former chief of staff), Todd Greenwald, and Matt Morzy (ardent supporter of Governor Walker).

Democrat Eric Prudent, of whom I’m a fan, has gotten a huge head start with his campaign since he already ran for AD 98 against Paul Farrow  (Farrow ran for AD 98 and SD 33 simultaneously). Eric has spoken with many people of all political stripes across the district and has some degree of name recognition, increasing his chances for a win. He’s got allies and a dedicated group of action-oriented volunteers. And since he’s not facing a primary, Prudent will be able to save his resources for the general election.

It will be an uphill battle, to be sure, as AD 98 leans Republican. But, as I have said before, if anyone is up to the challenge, it’s Eric Prudent.

Go, Eric Prudent, go!

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Eric Prudent speaks at Drinking Liberally Waukesha