No fan of Fitzgerald
Sen. Scott Fitzgerald won't appreciate my long memory, but he originally became my senator, back when I lived in Columbus, by beating the incumbent Republican in the primary who was, like him, also conservative but was pro-choice on abortion. Scott bragged to me that he was the only conservative candidate running.
Since then, both Scott, now the Senate majority leader, and his brother Jeff, the new Assembly speaker, have made it clear, as in your recent Isthmus report ("The Right Brothers," 1/7/11), that they believe authoritarian power backed up by harsh punishment is the most effective tool to shape and control society. Justice, democracy and fairness are going to have a difficult time in the upcoming legislative session.
Rights and wrongs
In her criticism of Gov. Walker, Ruth Conniff suggests that citizens derive their freedoms from the government ("Dreading the Walker Era," 1/7/11). The Wisconsin Constitution is clear that the people have certain inherent rights and, "to secure these rights, governments are instituted, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed." The Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution contain similar language.
There is no authority in American political thought that the people derive their rights from the government. Conniff may not agree that rights are endowed by a Creator, but her medieval political philosophy has no place in a 21st-century newspaper.
Walter R. Stewart
Ruth Conniff seems to say that then Gov. James Doyle had to cancel the high-speed rail project. My impression was that he put the project on hold in deference to the governor-elect, in effect letting it die, but that he could have handled the situation differently.
In any case, I thank Conniff and Isthmus for their coverage of the high-speed rail project that could have transformed the region and hope they revisit the story at every opportunity.
Franklin Berkowitz, Fitchburg
To the letter writer who thought the women in the [American Apparel] ad were just topless (Letters, 1/7/11), I ask you: What if that picture was of your mother or your wife or your teenage daughter? That ad does not show women in a respectful manner. I also thought an ad like that was better suited to run inside the newspaper, not the back cover where any child can view it. Freedom of press means you can print anything you want, not that you should.