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Essay: Braveheart Boy

Nov 21, 2017
Illustration by Michael Marsicano / Milwaukee Magazine

This Friday, Lake Effect will air a one-hour special about the proposed Foxconn factory in Racine County, recorded on site at the Prairie School in Wind Point.  Our Across the Divide broadcast, produced in association with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, examines questions about the project as it moves forward.

There are not a lot of people in the area with direct experience with the Taiwanese company.  But Milwaukee writer Dan Simmons has some indirect experience, having taught someone who went to work for Foxconn in China:

Essay: A Former Neo-Nazi Visits Auschwitz

Nov 9, 2017
Zohar / Fotolia

Today and tomorrow mark the 79th anniversary of Kristallnacht, the time when the Nazi campaign to eradicate Jews in Germany became explicit and violence against them commonplace.

redchocolatte / Fotolia

Lake Effect essayist Jim Spangler wishes politicians would read more Shakespeare, especially the line in Richard III that goes, “When words are scarce, they are seldom wasted.”

Spangler himself tries to take that lesson to heart in covering three separate topics in the span of one essay, starting with the demise of the family reunion:

Essay: Escape

Oct 14, 2017
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If you grew up with siblings, quite often they also served as your friend, confidant, and playmate.

For essayist and Lake Effect contributor Lauren Groh - who you know from her Appalachian Trail updates - her sister was one of the first people she explored the outdoors with – primarily in their childhood tree house:

Kevin Hagen / Getty Images

Last month, President Trump addressed the annual fall assembly of United Nations in New York City. Lake Effect’s foreign policy contributor Art Cyr says despite the administration’s obvious frustration with the UN, we’re in it for the long haul:

“It is a new day at the UN.”

That is what Ambassador Nikki Haley, the United States representative to the United Nations, said on CNN to underscore current criticism and demand for reform of the world body by the Trump administration.

Essay: Letters From the Past

Sep 14, 2017
Pierre Mornet / Milwaukee Magazine

Essayist Lauren Fox’s grandparents saw what was happening in 1930s Europe and decided to leave. It's something Fox has thought a lot about recently and reflects on in the September issue of Milwaukee Magazine.

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To some people, camping is the ultimate getaway. Lake Effect essayist Meagan Schultz is not one of these people.  

“We’ve never done this before,” my husband said to me with obvious reluctance. “Why don’t we just try one night and see how it goes?”

sv1ambo / Wiki Commons

Do you remember your first car?  Of course you do.  It’s been a while since Lake Effect essayist Jim Spangler bought his first car, but it’s an event - and a car that still occupies an important place in his memory:

With the car show season in full swing, what could possibly upstage this admitted old car fan from attending the best car show in Milwaukee you ask? Tickets to the same Sunday’s matinee performance of Hamilton in Chicago, my wife answered.

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So-called “White Nationalists” demonstrating in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend told reporters they felt emboldened by the election of Donald Trump last fall, and his calls to “take America back.”

Lake Effect essayist Jim Spangler has been thinking about the America to which some would like to return:

There is much talk these days about what old timers call the “good old days.” Now all that has been coopted by some fellow in Washington D.C. as “Make America Great Again.”

Reese / Fotolia

Lake Effect essayist Mark Siegrist is thinking about the ideal summer road trip. In fact, it's one he just took.

Sometimes hitting the open road is just good for the soul.

That might sound rather strange from a guy who hates driving in the city.

All that weaving, and speeding, and tailgating just wears me down.

But the open road is different.

Drivers seem less uptight.

More willing to give a little.

Except for the guy who cut me off at the Illinois tollbooth.

The White House / Wikimedia

While much of the U.S. coverage of the recent G-20 summit focused on America's place at the table, Lake Effect contributor, Art Cyr, is still thinking about the role played by the summit's host country: Germany.

Germany has just hosted the latest summit of the G20, the global group of leading industrialized nations, held in Hamburg over July 7 and 8. Chancellor Merkel can count this is another notable success in her now lengthy tenure leading not only a unified Germany, but much of Europe as well – within and beyond the European Union.

comfreak / pixabay

A sharp political divide shaped France's recent national and regional elections, but in both cases, moderate candidates made significant gains. Lake Effect essayist Art Cyr has some Bastille Day thoughts about the French Republic.

In parliamentary elections held June 18, French voters continued the moderate trend which was apparent in the presidential election last month. In that earlier election, Emmanuel Macron was elected chief executive of the nation by a substantial margin. He decisively defeated radical nationalist Marine Le Pen.

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There are some people who are always on the move - never staying in one place or one city for very long.  But for many others, a single place - often a single house - holds tremendous significance:

In Ecclesiastes 3 we are told there is a time for everything; a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to tear down and a time to build; a time to speak and a time to be silent, and among others, a time to be born and a time to die. What the good book didn’t mention is a time to move, which has been happening in our neighborhood lately with some frequency.

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Lake Effect essayist Meagan Schultz has loss on her mind:

I’ve been thinking a lot about marriage lately. And death.

Wisconsin Historical Society Press

Writer Marnie Mamminga is a Chicago-area native but many of her most touching words are written about her family’s cabin in the northwoods of Wisconsin.

Mamminga’s latest book, On a Clear Night: Essays From the Heartland, is a collection of essays that reminiscences her time in the northwoods as well as other parts of her life.

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