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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014

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Why is it okay to describe Phil Robertson as a "hillbilly"?
Why is it okay to describe Phil Robertson as a "hillbilly"? (Photo: shutterstock.com)

Everybody is a bigot

2013 was the year of the bigot. There were many examples of alleged media fueled bigotry. The most famous were from celebrities such as Paula Deen, Alec Baldwin and Phil Robertson.  However, there were millions and millions of less publicized examples throughout the country last year.

Personally, I feel everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Until that opinion becomes action, it’s just that: an opinion. Merriam-Webster defines bigotry as a person who strongly and unfairly dislikes other people, ideas, etc. They expound by saying it’s also a person who hates or refuses to accept the members of a particular group.

The media and progressive liberals have done a great job in their continued quest to demonize groups and individuals that have differing opinions from their own, under the guise of inclusion.

Calling someone a "faggot" in 2013 is grounds for denigration and discipline. Doing so can possibly get you fired and will result in social scorn, and rightly so. Using that word is meant to insult a group of Americans that share a different moral lifestyle than the speaker through the use of negative connotations.

If this is truly the new standard we’ve established in this country, then we need to have a uniform policy that deems all behavior like this unacceptable. If using certain words that have the hateful purpose of denigrating specific groups and individuals in this country are wrong, then we need to be consistent. 

Now that we’ve established that it’s bigoted to use language that denigrates certain members of society by using negative connotations, then why is it okay to describe Phil Robertson as a "hillbilly"? That word serves the purpose of having a negative meaning to a specific group of people. 

Why is it okay to call someone from the south a "hick" or a "redneck"? Why can certain people in this country use the hateful term "Bible thumpers" to describe someone they disagree with on a religious basis?

Why it is acceptable for liberal …

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Mr. Attanasio, young pitchers are the key to Milwaukee's long term success.
Mr. Attanasio, young pitchers are the key to Milwaukee's long term success. (Photo: shutterstock.com)

An open letter to Mark Attanasio

Dear Mr. Attanasio,

I’d like to first start by thanking you for your investment in Milwaukee baseball. I’m old enough to remember the glory days, as well as the dry spell that came afterwards. As a diehard baseball fan, I appreciate all you have done to return Brewers baseball to respectability. It’s with the goal of keeping the Brewers relevant in the long term that I write this letter.

The purpose today is to plead with you not to make the same mistakes you have made over the last two offseasons. To make the playoffs, and win once we get there, will require a different approach than adding a couple of expensive veterans to fill perceived holes. This isn’t to say that veterans aren’t required to construct a championship ball club, but the team’s focus needs to be on the foundation that enables a mid-market team – like Milwaukee – to win.

I understand why management continues to invest money in free agents to make the team competitive. There is an obvious need to keep an eye on the bottom line by ensuring there are millions of fans attending games. However, I think this is a shortsighted approach to a long term challenge.

What I would like to discuss is looking towards the future. The 2013 St. Louis Cardinals are a prime example of wisely spending money while staying competitive. They had 50 playoff appearances by seven pitchers at the age of 25 or younger. St Louis drafted amazingly well and invested in their future each off-season by not surrendering their recent first round draft picks. How well did these youngsters play in October?

NAME

AGE

ROUND DRAFTED

YEAR DRAFTED

OVERALL DRAFTED

 

GAMES PITCHED

 

ERA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joe Kelly

25

3rd

2009

98

 

4

 

4.15

Seth Maness

24

11th

2011

350

 

9

 

1.80

Kelly Siegrist

23

41…

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No, a community isn't needed to raise a child.
No, a community isn't needed to raise a child. (Photo: shutterstock.com)

Using regionalism to mask failure

I was intrigued for several reasons by the recent comments from Democratic candidate for governor, Mary Burke. Most surprising was her courage in finally taking a stance on any topic related to Wisconsin politics. However, it was her comments about education, and her trust in mother government, that got my attention. 

Burke, who doesn’t have children, insisted that the government has the responsibility to do things that are best not left up to parents or individuals. Unfortunately, she feels that education qualifies as one of those tasks. Yes, the entitled millionaire feels that public schools are far better suited for educating one's children versus heavy parental involvement. 

This is an expanded liberal talking point that has been espoused for quite some time. You may remember back in April when Melissa Harris of MSNBC discussed the idea that it takes a community to raise a child. Together, the agenda is to stress that individuals are less qualified to decide the manner in which children are raised versus the government.

The concept of regionalism draws a perfect illustration of these ideas that expand beyond the topic of education. Regionalism is rooted in the principles of politics and money. In fact, liberal Milwaukee is a great place to examine these beliefs versus the surrounding conservative communities in southeastern Wisconsin. I do not support regionalism, and I’ll explain why when it comes to politics and money.

Much like every urban center in the United States, Milwaukee has done a ruthlessly efficient job of eliminating almost all conservative politicians from the democratic process. Without any voices of fiscal sanity, budget deficits have soared and the government has been able to spend like a high roller in Las Vegas. As cities continue to overspend, the seemingly limitless taxpayer is milked to non existence. Thus, middle class home owners flee to the suburbs. As a result, leaders like Tom Barrett try to find ways to persuade residents …

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I simply believe that every American should be afforded the opportunity to be insured.
I simply believe that every American should be afforded the opportunity to be insured. (Photo: shutterstock.com)

A different way to look at health care

I must make a confession. At the risk of being labeled a RINO, I need to express my support for universal health care. Before being trashed by my fellow fiscal conservatives and being hailed by hapless progressives, let me explain. 

To me, universal health care provides a defined benefit to all members of society with the purpose of minimizing financial risk while increasing access to health services. Ultimately, the goal is to produce improved results to the overall health of citizens. I’d like to examine this definition a little more closely.

I simply believe that every American should be afforded the opportunity to be insured. This defined benefit should, however, be a choice. A choice and a requirement are two entirely different things.

Any insurance actuary will tell you that increasing the number of participants in an insurance pool by adding unhealthy people increases the risk. Increased risk leads to higher costs. In my opinion, this is where the health care debate hits a snag and partisan hackery takes control.

If we’re all created equal, then why does income factor into how much one pays for health care? If we’re defining the benefit as being guaranteed the right of access to health insurance, then why does the guarantee of access include income considerations? Health care is about age and health. It isn’t (and never should be) about income. Therefore, all Americans of the same age group should be offered health care at the same cost, regardless of health or income. It’s a shared risk. If one chooses not to take the health care coverage due to financial or personal reasons, then so be it. That’s a choice. As you will see, these choices have consequences down the line. 

The main long term challenges to health care are the choices people make. There are two types of Americans in this country. There are people that succeed in life due to smart choices and there are people that fail in life because of poor choices. This certainly applies to …

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