Madison Should Buy Earth Turtle Sculpture Located At Orton Park


Lovers of Mother Nature who have strolled thorough Orton Park on Madison’s isthmus have surely seen the Earth Turtle.  

The metal sculpture from artist Tim Sprengelmeyer is prominently displayed near the Spaight Street entrance, and welcomes everyone with a metallic gaze.  The turtle, made solely from recycled materials, landed at the park in late winter.  The creation was made possible with the help of the Madison Arts Commission, and Parks Division through the commission’s blink grant program.

When considering where the artwork should be placed Sprengelmeyer chose Orton for the beauty of the park, and the people who walk through it.

I chose Orton Park as the location for Earth Turtle because of the beauty of the park itself. Also Orton Park is located in a neighborhood where the majority of people there share an appreciation of artwork as well as a commitment to recycling and taking care of the environment.

There is now some talk, in the initial stages, of trying to find a way to keep the turtle in the park.  Artist Sprengelmeyer says the turtle was scheduled to be moved on June 21, but is trying to find out the level of support that exists for the city to buy the sculpture.

As a resident of the isthmus, and one who walks through the park almost daily (with James), I would strongly endorse the purchase of this amazing piece of art.  It has never failed to produce a look, a smile, and comments such as “hasn’t moved very far today.”  This sculpture blends so nicely with the surroundings of the park, and after only a few months is harmonious with those who live in the neighborhood.

Art defines us in so many ways, and this unique sculpture, located at Orton is truly special by reminding us why we appreciate the planet, and need to work for environmental ends.

Earth Turtle deserves to call Orton Park home.

Lets make it happen!

Mark Pocan Films Congressional Campaign Ad At B.B. Clarke Beach

A film crew, political aides, and one eager politician outnumbered youngsters at B.B. Clarke Beach on Madison’s isthmus Wednesday afternoon. 

A spirited primary for the 2nd congressional district is underway.  One thing is for sure, there will be a television ad buy from Mark Pocan, which started with the filming of a series of spots today, and slated for airing in the weeks to come.

I must say I felt somewhat dated talking to the communications director for the Pocan campaign.  I mentioned that I recalled the wonderful exciting race when Madison’s David  Clarenbach ran for congressThe young, well-intentioned man admitted he had not heard of Clarenbach.

I mention this only since Pocan, who is openly gay, is hoping to follow openly gay Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin to Washington. (Baldwin is running for U.S. Senate.)  It was Clarenbach, a strong advocate of gay rights–though not openly gay while serving–who allowed for so much progress to be made on a whole host of issues to the gay community.  

How can one be involved at a high level with the Mark Pocan campaign and not know of David Clarenbach?  That is puzzling. 

This is not in any way a slap at the man I spoke with, but just a comment.  The aide to Pocan is most serious, and to be applauded for his involvement with politics.

But we must know our history if we are to step with confidence into the future.

Gay Rights (Or Bans) In US, State By State

This is very well done.

Marriage–hospital visitation–adoption–employment–housing–hate crimes–schools

Gay rights laws in America have evolved to allow — but in some cases ban — rights for gay, lesbian and transgender people on a range of issues, including marriage, hospital visitation, adoption, housing, employment and school bullying. The handling of gay rights issues vary by state and follow trends by region.


Hunting Black Holes With High-Energy X-Ray Telescope

This is the cutting edge of science research in space.

Less than an hour after being flung out of the Earth’s atmosphere  the advanced telescope was reportedly safely on its intended course and already prepping for its two-year mission to study the universe’s black holes and remnants of supernova explosions.

With a fundamentally new, high-energy X-ray telescope, NASA will be able to see “the hottest, densest, and more energetic objects,” with more high-definition images than ever before, according to Fiona Harrison, the NuSTAR principal investigator at the California Institute of Technology.

One of the first targets for the $165 million NuSTAR observatory is Cygnus X-1, a black hole in our own galaxy, according to William Craig, NuSTAR instrument manager at the University of California at Berkeley. The local black hole acts as a perfect point source for scientists to check the clarity of its images, Craig told according to

“With NuSTAR, we’ll be able to image the sky, read the story and understand things like how galaxies form, and how black holes grow,” Harrison said during a Monday press briefing.

Letter To President Obama Regarding Failure To Be In Wisconsin For Recall Election

There is no doubt many Democrats are left wondering who really has our backs when the times get tough.

I can play ‘devil’s advoacte’ and recite the political reasons that President Obama did not land in Wisconsin–but flew over it–in the final days of the recall election for Scott Walker.  But those reasons pale when considering that the President is the leader of the Democratic Party, one very well-liked politician, and the public employees and unions are part of the party’s larger family.  When such an attack as that which took place against state workers is felt by one–it should be considered as an attack on us all.

I argue that President Obama had a duty to be in Wisconsin standing shoulder-to-shoulder with union men and women.  (If Tom Barrett wanted to be there, he could show up too.)

That is not, however, how the White House saw it.  As such, there is anger in Wisconsin, and it has manifested itself with salty letters being sent back in mailings that were seeking political contributions from Wisconsin Democrats.

A sample of what is being sent back to Washington via the postal system…

Dear Michelle,

We love you.

Not that enamored of your husband or his campaign right now.

Not happy that he couldn’t find his “comfortable shoes” to support public employees in Wisconsin last year!

Not happy that he or VP Biden couldn’t come to Wisconsin to raise money or campaign for the recall of our anti-worker governor.

Not happy that Former Governor Doyle (angling for an ambassadorship????) said “no big deal if the recall was unsuccessful.” BEFORE THE VOTE!

Not happy that the deputy director of OFA said “no big deal if the recall isn’t successful.” BEFORE THE ELECTION!

Not happy that when my friend emailed the campaign with his concerns, he was blown off with a canned response. I guess you don’t have many staff sitting around in Chicago.

Not happy that Debbie Wasserman-Schultz said “no big deal if the recall wasn’t successful,” no match for all of the republican money spent here and FINALLY dropped in to talk to volunteers in Racine a few days before.

Not happy that POTUS told a news station from Green Bay “Smith: I’d like to ask you about Wisconsin’s recall election. There are a lot of Democrats that are upset you didn’t campaign for Tom Barrett.

President Obama said. “I was supportive of Tom and have been supportive of Tom. Obviously, I would have loved to see a different result.”

Well, I’d be okay with B.O. winning next November. His constant caving in to get 1/8th of a loaf is probably better than the damage Romney would do. I may be shopping for some comfortable shoes, or if the polls show a big lead in Wisconsin either way, I’m voting for Gary Johnson.


Wisconsin Democrats Angry With DNC—Sample Letter One Can Send When Asked For Contribution

There is plenty of reasons to have disparaging words for the Democratic National Committee (DNC) following the hollow and limp-wristed efforts that were employed for the recall election of Scott Walker.

But what can be done to those who did not stand with Wisconsin Democrats when we needed them?

This week a friend sent me his reply that was mailed back in a DNC envelope, an envelope which had accompanied a request for a campaign contribution.

You have got to be kidding me! You hang out democrats in Wisconsin to dry while we’re fighting to recall the most anti-worker anti-labor governor in the country and now you ask for a contribution!? 

The Republicans and their fat cats at least recognized the importance of the fight outspending our side 8 to 1, and the day after the election were pointing to it as a great victory. I’m not a highly paid political consultant, but I could foretell that result. Instead of going down with a fight the national Dems including OBAMA and BIDEN were MIA. 

Meanwhile, our former “Democratic” Governor, Diamond Jim Doyle said no big deal if Walker gets recalled. BEFORE THE ELECTION!!! Apparently maneuvering for the Ambassadorship to the Vatican. 

The deputy director of OFA says no big deal if the recall succeeds. BEFORE THE ELECTION! 

No money from the DNC! 

Debbie Wasserman Schultz shows up a few days before the election to talk to a few volunteers in Racine. 


She said: “I think, honestly, there aren’t going to be any repercussions,” Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) said in a broad-ranging interview on C-SPAN’s “Newsmakers.” 

Way to fire up the troops BEFORE THE ELECTION Debbie!!! Were you a psychology major??? I CAN TELL YOU THERE ARE REPERCUSSIONS IN WISCONSIN FOR THE NEXT 2 ½ YEARS!!! 

And I should send money to the DNC? I’d rather compost it. At least something might grow from it.

Health-Care Not Republicans Strong-Suit–Even With A Favorable Supreme Court Ruling

Some reporters are hearing the Supreme Court ruling on health care might come tomorrow.  It will be a dramatic ruling, regardless of the outcome, as so much political calculations are built into the decision.

As Republicans lick their chops for a chance to make political points if the decision should go against the White House, comes sobering news that makes every family who sits around the dinner table aware that health care remains a significant issue facing the nation.

Spending on hospital visits, medications and other health care rose an estimated 3.9 percent in 2011 and consumed about 17.9 percent of GDP, the same as the previous two years, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said yesterday. The increases in such expenditures will continue to outpace economic growth projections, jumping 7.4 percent in 2014.

The facts are hard to digest, as the numbers are so staggering.

But Republicans are in need of some answers since the court ruling in and of itself, should it go in favor of conservatives, is not going to address the national concerns.

The GOP has no game plan or alternate ideas to replace the healthcare law.  Republicans have not stated how they would handle policies that are already in place, nor have they addressed the very popular discounts on prescription drugs for senior citizens.   How about letting young people stay on their parents’ plans through age 26?  What about people with pre-existing conditions?

There will need to be some serious discussions about health care if the law passed by congress is ruled unconstitutional.

But as we have seen too often when it comes to the GOP and health care it is always easier to apply a political response and kick the can down the road.

I argue that is not good politics, and it certainly is not proper policy-making.

Newt Gingrich Says Elections Rigged “In Favor Of The Wealthy”

Say it isn’t so.

“It is very difficult in America today,” he told MSNBC’s Al Sharpton. “If you look at New York where Mayor Bloomberg spent an extraordinary amount of personal money to buy the mayor’s office for the third time. It is fairly hard to compete with a billionaire if — if they get to spend all the money they want and the middle-class candidate’s raising money in $2,500 units. So I think the current system is rigged, frankly, in favor of the wealthy.”