Category Archives: News

refers to a current item in hte news media

Shameless plug: Walking with Anna

This is a shameless plug because no one knows I’m doing it and I receive no direct benefit from your (potential) actions.

You may recall my last story “The girl who ruined my Christmas newsletter” about a young lady who is recovering from a horrendous automobile accident.  If you don’t, you can read it here.  Besides Anna facing years of recovery work, the family faces thousands of dollars in non-covered medical expenses.  If you. Like me, find you are living a pretty good life, you might consider helping the family out with a donation to defray their expenses.

If you click here you can get more information about Anna, her family, and how you can help.

Since Anna’s family doesn’t know I’ve asked you for this help, I want to thank you in advance.

Voter eligibility likely to drop by 3.5 million in Wisconsin

The commercial made it sound like a change in Wisconsin’s State Constitution would provide for a democratically elected Supreme Court Chief Justice.  In reality it would reduce the number of people selecting the Chief Justice from 3.5 million voters to the seven current members of the State’s Supreme Court.

Currently, the Chief Justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court is the Justice who has served the longest on the court.  Since the justices are elected to the court for a (10 year) limited term, the only way one can become Chief Justice is by being consistently endorsed by the eligible voters of the State.  If the Wisconsin S

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tate Constitution is changed on April 7th the seven standing justices will elect a chief Justice for a two year term.  This would allow for much greater volatility of the Court and much greater influence by the special interest groups that have spent so heavily on recent elections.

I don’t always think the electorate is as informed as it could be but I firmly believe a pool of 3.5 million voters is more likely to be representative of the citizens of Wisconsin than seven.  I’ll be voting “No” on April 7 to changing the State Constitution.

To see the ballot question go to ballot item

The ancillary costs of marginalization

I just got done listening to a father speaking of the day his son committed suicide.  The young man was 14 years old, had a learning disability, and just couldn’t take any more bullying.

Five years later Jeff Lasater, the boy’s father, has devoted his life to preventing bullying of special-needs kids.  This is a noble cause that is best engaged in by passionate people.  I’m positive Jeff has a way of bringing this important issue to people that touches them and that his son’s life is honored through Jeff’s actions.

As I listen to Jeff Lasater’s story I am reminded of so many people I know who have made their life’s work advocacy on behalf of a cause that may have been foreign to them until it touched the life of a loved one.  Frequently these “over night advocates” are a result of a marginalized person being the victim of injustice; a special needs kid victimized by bullies, a loved one suffering from mental illness, a teen walking while black, a family member who happened to be gay, and so on.

What I find myself thinking about when I hear these stories is “What would these advocates be doing if their loved one was not left on the fringe?”  How much productivity, creativity, income potential, tax revenue, etc. do we lose when family and loved ones feel compelled to take up the cause of marginalized people?  We kick so many people to the curb on the assumption the marginal cost of inclusion exceeds the marginal revenue to be gained by treating them as whole people.  We rarely tally the cost of those who devote their lives to finding justice in a culture that ignores marginalized people and ignores the ancillary costs of injustice.

Jeff’s story can be found at:

The people, the law and the oath. What a concept!

I listened to Virginia’s Attorney General this morning as he explained why he would not be pursuing defense of the state’s ban on Gay marriage.  It was refreshing to hear a logical, fact based, explanation of someone’s perspective on marriage equality.  Actually, Herring’s explanation didn’t give me a definitive understanding of his support of marriage equality, just that he did not believe it was appropriate for him, as the Attorney General, to fight marriage equality in the state of Virginia.  In an excerpt from a New York Times article Herring’s position was characterized as:

At a news conference in Richmond, Mr. Herring said the ban violated the 14th Amendment right to due process and equal protection, an argument that has been the basis of successful legal challenges to same-sex marriage prohibitions in other states.
“I cannot and will not defend a law that violates Virginians’ fundamental constitutional rights,” Mr. Herring said. To do so, he said, “would be a violation of the law and my oath.”

As the day progressed I heard a variety of reports on Herring’s announcement.  What struck me as an alarming revelation was how much of the commentary simply repeated rhetorical positions on marriage equality.  Very little was said about the legal arguments underlying Herring’s position.

There seems to be something very wrong when an Attorney General’s obligation to the people he represents, the laws he is obligated to uphold, and the oath of office he has taken is secondary to the political positions of various special interest groups.

Recommend a gathering/eating space in Milwaukee?

I’m looking for places in the Milwaukee area where people can gather together for important conversations over a light meal/beverage. Top preference goes to locally owned/operated businesses. I currently facilitate an expanding group of Servant-Leaders and I’m growing a group by and for persons with disabilities engaging in community and economic life.

The ideal location would include:

  • A reasonably priced menu that lends itself to consumption while engaged in conversation
  • A space where a group of 10-15 could converse without disrupting/disruption by others
  • Access to both parking and public transportation
  • Is accessible to persons with disabilities

I’m not making money by convening these groups so I have no money for room rentals. The goal is to find a location where people can support the business with their purchases and want to return with others.

If you have been to such a place please let me know.

Dan Lococo