Madison Wisconsin

Shatter Unnecessary Comfort Zones

Antonio Maurice Daniels

Certain aspects of our day require planning and adhering to a routine.  We do, however, have many opportunities to experience the joy of life that comes from unrestricted spontaneity.  When people are beholden to comfort zones, their lives are dominated by routinization; that is, a highly regimented and scheduled life that acquiesces to the dictates of late capitalism.  Life devoid of spontaneity is mundane and uninteresting.  Although people should not go out and do things that are immature, one needs to benefit from occasional adventures.  Don’t allow your comfort zones to limit who you are and what you can become.

About three years ago, I had one of the most exciting experiences of my life: I went kayaking.  As someone who cannot swim, the thought of kayaking is something I would have never imagined I would do.  One of my best friends, Dr. Renaldo Blocker, convinced me to go kayaking, although I was opposed at first.  Even though I knew there were some potential risks associated with kayaking, I did not allow those risks to prevent me from having a truly fun adventure.  Dr. Blocker, a mutual friend at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and I went kayaking on Lake Mendota in Madison, Wisconsin.  We all had a great time.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

From this experience, I gained a deeper appreciation for the power one obtains from conquering something he fears.  I learned that when one focuses more on meeting a challenge instead of surrendering to it, he can overlook the fear related to the challenge and simply embrace the pure bliss of the moment.

It was such a wonderful day to go kayaking that summer in Madison, Wisconsin, considering it was a really hot day but the coolness of the lake assuaged the sun’s impact.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

Develop a passion for learning something new every week and doing something you’ve never done each month.  When you shatter your unnecessary comfort zones, you can discover strength, resolve, confidence, skills, knowledge, and much more you never recognized you had.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

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Public Workers Protest in Madison, Wisconsin

Since Monday, public workers, union members and activists, supporters of public workers, most Democrats, and those opposed to Governor Scott Walker have federated at the state capitol in Madison, Wisconsin to evince their strong dissatisfaction with his proposed Budget Repair Bill. The dominant reason why many people in Wisconsin and across the nation are protesting Governor Scott Walker’s Budget Repair Bill is it makes significant changes to collective bargaining rights and dramatically reduces the power of unions in the state. Governor Walker contends that with a projected budget deficit of $3.6 billion it’s necessary to make changes to the costs of unions in the state, the costs of collective bargaining in the state, and the costs of benefits and expenses that are currently paid for by the Wisconsin taxpayers for state public workers. Many union members argue that it’s not about the money, but about the Governor Walker’s stripping of the ability of workers’ right to collectively bargain. I’m sure you have read, saw, and/or heard something about this issue and the reason for the protesting at the state capitol in Madison, Wisconsin. Here’s a little more about the situation here:  http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110216/ap_on_re_us/us_wisconsin_budget_unions. The dominant purpose of my article is to give an account of my experience with interviewing protestors at the state capitol in Madison, Wisconsin on Thursday night, February 17, 2011.

Since I’m in the city where we are witnessing some pretty important historical protests and legislation, I thought the readers of Revolutionary Paideia would like to read some of the views of the people about the Budget Repair Bill who were at the capitol. I decided to engage in some discourse with some of the people who were assembled there. I asked the following queries: Do you support the Budget Repair Bill? Did you vote for Governor Scott Walker? If you don’t support the Budget Repair Bill, then what is your solution(s) to the massive state budget deficit? My goal was to have them to not simply be out there protesting without having alternatives to the proposed bill. For me, it’s not meaningful to simply protest without offering alternatives as solutions.

One University of Wisconsin-Madison junior who voted against Governor Walker contended that the Budget Repair Bill is a “manufactured crisis that the Governor cooked up to bust up unions and end the rights of workers in the state to collectively bargain.” This student said that “the worst thing that we could do right now is take money, rights, and protections away from the poorest public workers in the state.” He proposed solution to the state deficit problem is to “raise taxes on the rich citizens in Wisconsin, impose a 10% internet tax, and begin to invest more in small businesses.”

An unemployed White man who did not vote for Governor Scott Walker supports the Budget Repair Bill. He said, “It’s time out for kicking budget deficit after budget deficit down from one governor to the next. I’m proud of Scott Walker for having the balls to help us to become fiscally responsible and get Wisconsin back to work.”

A White female public school teacher who voted against Governor Scott Walker said that she did not support Governor Walker’s Budget Repair Bill. She said that “the best thing to do right now is to work on recalling the governor and recalling the seven republicans in the state senate who we can get out of there and hold up this bill from ever seeing the light of day. I don’t want to offer you any specific solutions, but I do want to offer to you that collective bargaining has nothing to do with our state budget and that cutting the pay of public workers is only going to drive down the economy. If you want a solution, we can get rid of Scott Walker and replace him with a new governor who will go line by line and make appropriate cuts. We should not make cuts that are going to harm people who don’t make nothing already. This man is going to destroy our state. We must recall him and recall other republicans asap.”

A White male small business owner who held a sign in support of Governor Scott Walker said that “Governor Walker’s Budget Repair Bill is a historic piece of legislation that will get Wisconsin back to work and will end the burden to our state economy that unions place on it. This state just imposes unions on you. You don’t have a choice here. Thank God for Governor Walker because the days of union thugs, big government, and high taxes are over. Welcome back Wisconsin! I enthusiastically support the Budget Repair Bill and Governor Walker.”

The aforementioned statements are just some of what the people I interviewed at the capitol had to say about Governor Scott Walker’s Budget Repair Bill. I interviewed a number of other people supporting the bill and opposed to it. These previously mentioned people and statements are representative of the larger feedback I received. I’m glad to see people actively engaged in the political process. This protesting on the capitol is what democracy looks like in action—like it or not.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Stop Letting Your Husband or Boyfriend Beat You

For that woman out there whose husband or boyfriend is beating you, I pray that you will contact the police and let them know what is going on. Women, you are too precious and beautiful to allow a man to beat you. Of course, I understand that women do beat men, but this piece is devoted to women, who are unquestionably the greatest victims of physical and emotional abuse. A man does not have to physically hit you for it to be abuse. The most damaging abuse is emotional abuse because it can be more difficult to overcome. If your man is emotionally abusing you, please get out of the relationship with him.

I have seen too many men who emotionally abuse their women and do not see the tremendously violence that they are doing to them. You don’t own these women! When a man emotionally and physically abuses a woman, he is simply a coward. Why don’t you step to another man and try to do the same thing? If you need someone to pick on, I am always available! For men who are friends with other men who abuse their women, you guys need to be real men and stop them from beating on their women.

About three months ago, I had a conversation with a guy in Madison, Wisconsin who believes it is not another man’s place to try to intervene in another man’s relationship with his woman when there is some question about whether the man is abusing the woman. I let him know I disagreed with him very much. I think it is always best to err on the side of life and on the side of protecting our women from harm.

I have some strong feelings that a man I know in Madison, Wisconsin is emotionally and/or physically abusing his wife.  I have to admit that I don’t care too much for the lady’s husband anyway, but I do love the sweet personality of the man’s wife. I’m going to get this man arrested and put in jail because I am a mastermind and am going to prove he is beating his wife. He thinks he has been getting away with it, but I am going to bring him down!

I want women to start rising up against domestic violence. In your efforts to rise up against domestic violence, I want you to be more concerned about not being emotionally and physically abusive to men too. Women must form partnerships to combat domestic violence because most cases of domestic violence go unreported. I refuse to sit on the sidelines and watch the women in my environment continue to be victimized by abusive men. I will lead an effort and movement to see that any man who hits a woman ends up in jail for a long time. Keep your hands off these women!

Stop raising your voices and screaming at these women trying to intimidate them—this is emotional abuse. If you are a man and you feel the need to raise your voice at a woman and scream at her, please forget about yelling at her and come scream at me. I got the cure for all that screaming! Women, when these men start yelling at you trying to intimidate you, call the police on them. Now, I am not telling you to do trifling stuff like call the police on men just to try to make them mad, but I want you to call the police on men who are legitimately trying to intimidate you and who have a strong possibility of putting their hands on you in a violent way.

Stop the violence today!

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison