Issue of the Week: Walker Undermines High-Speed Rail
Hero of the Week
When their kids reach adulthood and leave the nest, many parents breathe a short sigh of relief and look forward to some downtime. Not so with Jim Braun, who chose instead to donate his spare time to Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Metro Milwaukee.
For the past four years, Braun has spent a few hours each week serving as a friend and mentor to his “little brother,” Raymond. Braun says the most rewarding aspect of the program is “just to see the excitement on a kid’s face… the fact that they know you’re going to be there for them.”
Big Brothers/Big Sisters matches volunteers with youth who may be lacking a strong adult presence in their lives. In addition to one-on-one mentoring, there is a site-based program in area schools. The organization is especially in need of male volunteers who want to make a positive difference. Braun, an advertising executive, dismisses the objection of those who claim they don’t have the time. “That’s a cop-out,” he says. “You can always find the time.”
Readers who wish to get
involved are urged to call Big Brothers/Big Sisters at 414-258-4778 or visit
Jerk of the Week
Senate Candidate Ron
Oshkosh businessman Ron Johnson, a conservative Republican candidate for Senate, has a slim record in the public arena. His one apparent community connection is the Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce, where Johnson was deeply involved in its Partners in Education (PIE) Council. His one notable achievement? Spending more than a year lobbying for a personal appearance before PIE by Charles Murray, the Bradley Foundation-supported author of the The Bell Curve, which was discredited as a racist tome. Murray argues that IQ is substantially inherited and that there are racial differences in cognitive ability. According to the Oshkosh Northwestern, which sifted through hundreds of e-mails and meeting minutes, Johnson “pushed to have Charles Murray speak despite objections from other members.” He even paid for Murray’s $5,750 fee so that Murray could promote his latest book, Real Education, which argues that too many students are going to college. That philosophy meshes with Johnson’s view on the free market, in which there are “winners and losers,” and not much can be done to help those who didn’t have the good sense to choose wealthy parents.