Tag Archive | "Wisconsin"

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Marquette men’s rugby compete at midwest All-Star tournament

Posted on 28 April 2010 by Joe Beres

Last weekend Chicago played host to the annual rugby All-Star tournament for the Midwest. Wisconsin, which is perennially seen as the powerhouse of the tournament, was one of just eight teams that participated in the tournament hosted by the Local Area Union (LAU). This year Marquette was well represented in the tournament, sending four players to the All-Star tournament which tied for most amongst any college in Wisconsin.

The four players represent the depth of Marquette’s club team. Seniors Adam Kreutter, Austin Ryan, Kevin Ryan and Vince Kelly each played for the Wisconsin All-Star team with most of them having earned multiple selections. Austin and Adam were selected for their third consecutive selection while Kevin earned his second selection. This is especially impressive considering that just four years ago Marquette’s club team did not have anyone represent the Golden Eagles in Chicago.

The tournament is broken down into two tiers each containing four teams. The first tier is comprised of the top four teams from the Midwest as determined from the previous year’s tournament, with the second tier containing the remaining four teams. The winner of the first tier is deemed champion of the Midwest while the loser of both games is forced to swap places with the victor of the second tier.

Wisconsin entered this year’s tournament as the reigning champion, and found itself sitting pretty with a number one seed. Wisconsin’s dominance has been so prevalent that it has assumed a dynasty-esque appearance over the past decade so expectations were high for this year’s team. Combine that with the fact that Marquette’s four reps were seniors, it isn’t hard to see how bad they wanted to win another championship. Wisconsin has proved their run as a dynasty by winning four of the past five Midwest All-Star tournaments and this year showed no reason why they should not repeat.

Wisconsin opened their weekend slate Saturday afternoon against arch-rival Minnesota and looked to score an early win from a hated opponent. Unfortunately, after a tough fought out game Wisconsin fell 25-17 in a heart wrenching loss. After a big team dinner and plenty of sleep, the Wisconsin all-stars followed on Sunday and pounded Iowa 29-0 in a game that was never close. Kreutter summed up the feeling saying, “Before this year we had won four of five, so definitely we wanted to defend our title, we just weren’t able to.”

Next year’s all-star team will go down as the number three seed and once again will be faced to match up with the second seeded Minnesota once again which fell in the championship to Ohio. Since Iowa was unable to score a victory they will be sent to the second tier and forced to play their way back to the top tier.

Although all fours reps from Marquette were seniors, it has not lowered expectations for more players being invited by the Wisconsin team in the coming years. When asked whether Marquette is expected to send anyone next year, the assistant captain, Austin Ryan simply replied, “Definitely! We had thirteen guys tryout this year and almost all of them could easily be on the team next year.”

Kreutter, a senior in the College of Engineering, completely agreed saying that, “Marquette’s team is filled with all-star caliber talent and the fact that four of us made the team shows the depth of the entire team not just the individual players.”

Although MU’s involvement in the tournament is extraordinary, each of the players noted the importance of moving past simply a Marquette affiliation and identifying themselves as the Wisconsin team. Ryan claimed that it was actually one of the best parts of the tournament, because “the ability to build camaraderie across the state and allows us to compete with others across the Midwest that take rugby seriously.”

The ability to play alongside some of the best players in the state, not to mention the Midwest, means that rivalries with other schools are temporarily forgotten in favor of the ability to represent this great state. Kreutter remembered a specific instance about which he said “I really could not stand this one guy from Wisconsin-Whitewater whenever we played them, but once I played with him my opinion quickly changed and we became great teammates.”

The importance of cohesion is shared by Ryan who lamented that “At this tournament, individuals do not win games, which was why we lost our first game. A lack of team cohesion is one of the biggest weaknesses a team can have.

Wisconsin is a team that specifically focuses on team cohesion, making the loss due to individualistic play that much harder to swallow. After they trimmed down the original 70 Wisconsin all-star hopefuls to the final 25, they have two scrimmages that focus largely on cohesion. This cohesion has proved invaluable for the players under the system as many have their play elevated to a whole new level. Two-time all-star Kevin Ryan recalled what his first selection did for his game saying, “After playing at a higher level, it gives a perspective of where you are, and allows you to elevate your own expectations. This improvement is hard to see at a local level.”

The exposure to some of the best talent is also the direct result of the ability to play under some of the best coaches in the Midwest. The rugby players’ performance also provides a great opportunity to showcase their skills allowing them potentially to play for the Midwest team. Austin Ryan performance warranted an invite to the Midwest Developmental game a great accomplishment. The depth of Wisconsin has been continually proven by past players as over the past 5 years; three guys have gone on to play for the All-American team.

Regardless of the outcome in Chicago, all four players agreed that it was an incredible experience. Hopefully
the recent past will prove true next year as Marquette hopes to once again send more players to represent Wisconsin in the 2011 All-Star game.

by Joe Beres
[email protected]

rugby boys

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Let me smoke in peace and private

Posted on 30 April 2008 by Jack Jostes

A private business owner should maintain the right to make decisions for his/her own establishment, and consumers should make their personal decision as to whether they will enter.Governor Doyle’s proposed statewide smoking ban would strip business owners of their ability to decide whether or not they can permit smoking. This is a gross infringement on personal freedom.Yes, secondhand smoke is dangerous for everyone, and smoking should not be permitted in public places. But a bar is NOT a public place — it is private, and you choose to enter a bar. If a bar has smoking and you don’t like smoke, stop whining and go somewhere else. Done.

Uhle’s Pipe Shop owner, Jeff Steinbock, believes there are ulterior motives aside from the obvious health aspects.“The anti-smoking industry, and it is an industry, not a movement, is trying to take away owners right to make a decision,” he said. “Pharmaceutical companies are lobbying the government, because they will make money off of products people buy to try to quit smoking, such as gum, patches, etc.”

Ever come across an anti-smoking ad sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation? The RWJF “focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country,” according to their website, RWJF.org. Robert Wood Johnson is the founder of Johnson & Johnson. Johnson & Johnson is the manufacturer of pharmaceutical nicotine products, Nicoderm and Nicoderm CQ, through its subsidiary ALZA.No wonder the RWJF spends hundreds of millions of dollars each year so colleges and not-for-profit organizations like the American Lung Association, American Cancer Society, and American Heart Association can produce gross exaggerations about the effects of smoking. Then smokers can go to tobacco-less nicotine products, made by Johnson & Johnson.According to the history section of the RWJF website, “The philanthropy we practice seeks to be transformative—to change society and the lives of all Americans for the better.” Yeah — change the life of your bank account for the better.

Large amounts of methane gas are harmful to the environment. What’s next? A fart ban, and coinciding Johnson & Johnson Farts-Begone-Patches?

Don’t buy into the anti-smoking propaganda. Don’t let a smoking ban ruin local business and steal our ability to make personal choices.

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Is Governor Jim Doyle racist?

Posted on 07 November 2007 by Robert Fafinski

In a couple of my classes here at Marquette, I’ve heard ridiculous accusations of racism. I’ve been told that anyone who does not support affirmative action is a racist. I’ve been told that the criminal justice system in America is racist because a greater percentage of blacks are in prison than whites. Many times though, calling someone a racist is simply a liberal way of “refuting” a solid argument by a conservative. For those of you who are not juniors or seniors, you may not know about one of the biggest race and social justice issues in Milwaukee: school choice. I want to open your eyes to the fact that it’s possible that Democrat Gov. Jim Doyle may be a racist.

Beginning in the fall of 1990, the Wisconsin State Legislature passed a modest form of school choice that accepted 1.5 percent of the students in Milwaukee into the program. School Choice is when the government gives families a credit that can be used to place their kids at any school in the area. This way, parents could decide that a child who would normally be placed in a bad school could take the money that would have been spent on him or her at that school and use it at a different school of their choice. This program is good because it makes schools compete with each other for students, raising the overall quality of education.

In the late 1990s, Wisconsin expanded the program, allowing for 15% of Milwaukee Public School students from low-income families to participate. In 2005, due to the program’s popularity, the need existed to “lift the cap” on the number of students allowed to participate. The Legislature passed a bill that would’ve done just that – all it needed was the Governor’s signature.

It would seem like a no-brainer; Gov. Doyle’s re-election relied heavily on the votes of poor blacks from inner city Milwaukee. So, when it came to increasing school choice, you should be thinking of course he’d “lift the cap”- something polls showed 80 percent of inner city blacks desired. But Doyle didn’t- he vetoed the bill that would’ve allowed for poor blacks to send their children to richer public or private schools.

At this point, you should be asking yourself why Doyle would do something so heartless. As a liberal Democrat, it would make sense to sign the bill since they claim to be the champions of the poor and disenfranchised. But it came down to money. Of course Doyle believes school choice is good for the poor. But, one of his biggest campaign donors is the Wisconsin Education Association Council (the Teachers’ Union), a group adamantly against the choice program. You see, WEAC realizes that by bringing choice into education, they’d be held accountable for actually providing a decent education – something they don’t want. So instead of embracing competition, they decided to buy a politician who would veto the bill.

I don’t know what’s inside of Gov. Doyle’s heart. Maybe he’s not racist, but then he’s surely guilty of pandering to the demands of WEAC in order to gain their monetary support at the cost of blacks. You see, he takes the black vote for granted, and once in office ignores a big issue for most inner city blacks. So I ask you, is Gov. Doyle a racist? A greedy politician? Or can only a conservative be a racist?

Marquette prides itself on being all about social justice and welfare. Prove it. Many liberals say the “education gap” is the biggest problem in the United States. School choice should be the number one social justice issue at Marquette. Or can only a liberal idea be that progressive?

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Will a cigarette tax hike decrease smoking? YES

Posted on 13 February 2007 by Patrick Kurish

The recent proposition by Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle to increase the cigarette tax $1.25 per pack, and eventually put a ban on smoking in public places, on the surface looks futile, but when examining the entire picture, the prospective law will certainly benefit the state of Wisconsin .

Recent studies have shown that cigarettes are one of the most harmful legal products. They not only damage their users, but they also harm those who aren’t through secondhand smoke.

Smoking has been proven to be a problem throughout the United States but statistics show that Wisconsin is one of the front-runners in tobacco consumption.

In 2004, 22 percent of Wisconsin adults admitted to being smokers, one percent higher than that of the entire United States. Additionally, almost 8,000 Wisconsin residents died as a result of cigarette-related complications. In light of these statistics, definitive action must be taken by the state authorities in an attempt to curb the consumption and consequences of cigarettes.

Opponents say the tax is useless and will have no bearing on the amount of cigarettes purchased. However, statistics of dramatic tobacco tax increases show differently.

In early 2004, Wyoming implemented a 48 cents tax increase (from 12 cents to 60 cents) per carton of cigarettes and saw productive results. Their per capita cigarette sales dramatically dropped from a steep 116 in 2003 to a mere 48 the following year. Not so coincidentally, their smoking-related death rate also dropped from 10,000 in 2000 to about 1,000 in 2004.

While the proposed Wisconsin tax shows promise in regulating the amount of smokers and smoke-related deaths, it will potentially have a great impact on the amount of underage smokers as well. Most adults have a steady income and have the ability to cover the added cost, but the same isn’t true for high school and college kids.

The additional $1.25 will ultimately become too financially burdensome for the teenage generation and will essentially prevent thousands of Wisconsin citizens from starting to smoke. Preventing teenagers from beginning to smoke reduces the number of smokers in the future as the appeal of tobacco lessens with maturity.

If the proposed tax does indeed pass and the number of smokers stays relatively constant, Wisconsin is projected to collect $250 million next year on cigarettes alone. This amount of money has the ability to greatly benefit the tax-paying citizens of Wisconsin namely by reducing health care costs.

Governor Doyle contends that increasing the cigarette tax would make Wisconsin a nationwide leader in tobacco prevention As an elected official, Doyle must do what is best for the health and well-being of Wisconsin residents, which is what the proposed tax aims to do. The prospective cigarette tax does indeed appear to be a legitimate way to regulate statewide smoking and the deaths that come as a direct effect.

This law will benefit Wisconsin by improving the quality of life of ourselves and our fellow citizens. Furthermore, I support Gov Doyle and his prospective tax on cigarettes.

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Posted on 09 December 2006 by Justin Phillips

Welcome to the pre-show for what could be the biggest game of the semester for the MU team. The fans are out in full force. A few of The Warrior staff were out here since 8am and they got seats in the last row of the lower bowl, so do the math on what time you had to be here to get front row seats. I feel anyone who is either in the way back of the upper section, or anyone too drunk to actually appreciate the game. However if you aren’t at this game…lets be honest, you really screwed up. No offense but you really should be here.

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Wisconsin’s uncovered state race

Posted on 25 October 2006 by Thomas Shea

Very few on campus know that come this next election the position of Secretary of State is up for grabs. In fact, I’d bet some do not even know Wisconsin has such a position. The Republican candidate for the position, Sandy Sullivan, could be considered a political novice, as this is her first attempt at a public office. Sullivan was born in Mauston, Wis. She is 65 years old. Sullivan attended the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point and later went on to Madison for her graduate degree.

Her opponent, incumbent Democrat Douglas LaFollette is also a UW graduate, but from Madison. He is 66 years old. He was elected to the office of Secretary of State in 1974 and 1982, and has been re-elected ever since 1986.

LaFollette believes he has had many accomplishments during his tenure. “We have modernized the office and brought it up to standards,” said LaFollette. “We have also been computerizing and microfilming records for preservation.”

LaFollette also said that as the Chairman of the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands, he had succeeded in protecting a large portion of the land that the government manages. They have also used some of this land for development. From this development the Board of Commissioners has been able to generate $25 million in revenue which has been put towards Wisconsin public schools.

When asked about his chances for victory in the election, LaFollette said, “I’m optimistic. While I was out around the state this summer and fall, I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback from people.”

For Sullivan, the motivation to become involved in politics came when she was taking care of her ailing father.

“After I had written my book, ‘Green Bay Love Stories and Other Affairs,’ during my father’s illness, I needed to sell my books so I went to any venue that would let me talk about my book.” said Sullivan. “After each of those venues, people would come up to me saying how honest and forthright I seemed and that they thought I should run for public office.” After investigating what positions were up for election, she decided on Secretary of State.

Sullivan has attracted media attention from outlets as diverse as Fox News and Comedy Central for her book, which details her various sexual and other adventures with Green Bay Packers players in the 1960s.

“I want to restore the position [of Secretary of State] to the way it used to be before LaFollette, when it was in charge of the State Election Board. I want to be able to go out to the world to promote Wisconsin business and encourage foreign investment in the state,” she said.

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YES – Lifting gun control regulations would reduce crime, empower citizens

Posted on 27 September 2006 by Sarah Kirby

According to the Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort (WAVE) Web site, 400 people in Wisconsin are killed each year by guns. With annual firearm deaths exceeding 30,000 nationwide, families and neighborhoods everywhere are devastated daily by this violence.

Although these figures are daunting, WAVE itself may scare me more.

According to the Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort (WAVE) Web site, 400 people in Wisconsin are killed each year by guns. With annual firearm deaths exceeding 30,000 nationwide, families and neighborhoods everywhere are devastated daily by this violence.

Although these figures are daunting, WAVE itself may scare me more.
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NO – Justice would be subjective if citizens allowed to own guns

Posted on 27 September 2006 by Mike Rudzinski

John Wayne is still my hero. From the early days of my youth, I began idolizing the Duke and his roles in The Searchers and The Quiet Man. And just like Sgt. Stryker in Sands of Iwo Jima, I wanted a gun. I wanted to hold a real Thompson Submachine gun – my favorite gun – and be a hero, just like the Duke.

But now, as a conscientious objector to private ownership of automatic weapons, I have a hard time justifying myself owning or even shooting a submachine gun. But it’s tempting, it’s nostalgic, and it’s my right – so why shouldn’t I?

Oddly enough, a similar reasoning goes for conceal and carry laws for firearms. It would make sense that we should defend ourselves, and self-defense is a God-given right every human has, so why not?

Because public safety isn’t a personal issue, it needs to be governed. The principles of conceal and carry are correct: I should be able to defend myself and those around me from threats. But the conclusion that we have to do it ourselves is not. Americans can’t take an issue like self-defense into their own hands, otherwise it becomes entirely subjective. Once I consider myself justified in having a weapon on me at all times, then comes the ultimate question: when do I whip out the heat I’m packing?

If each person decides for his or herself which situation warrants pointing his or her piece, then where are the standards? Therein lays the gray matter of this argument. If diversity legislation has taught us anything, it’s been that everyone comes from a different background, and we all have a different set of morals. Most of the people reading this newspaper are probably trustworthy with a firearm, but am I? How do you know?

You don’t, and that’s the point. The odds of conceal and carry laws encouraging more violence or a great, Dirty Harry-like shootout in Milwaukee are pretty slim. There’s even a chance that crime may dip temporarily, as it did in Florida when conceal and carry laws were first passed. Quite possibly, the opposition may be right and conceal and carry laws may make Wisconsin a safer place. At least for now.

But that wouldn’t change the fact that we would all be at the mercy of individual justice. Handing citizens guns for their own protection is like giving them a gavel, and I am not going to hand my right to justice over to a bunch of Packer Fans. Guns empower people; when you hand someone a gun, you’re giving them a weapon that was designed to kill. You’re giving them power over other human lives. It is the role of the government to determine and deal out justice, not the individual. Courts decide the law and what is just, police enforce it and that keeps justice objective.

Without objective justice, we’re placing our rights, our privileges and our lives in the hands of other citizens – citizens packing heat. Police lose their purpose when we reach that point, and we begin to place this country on a system of vigilante justice. As much as I’d like to have a Thompson around for my own protection, in the end it really doesn’t make any sense when I already live in a country with laws and a police force to protect me. In The Green Berets, the Duke’s last movie, “due process is a bullet.” But as for me and shooting my Thompson, I think I’ll have to wait.

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Tax holiday: student’s dream

Posted on 30 August 2006 by Nathan Sawtelle

Student’s dream: The proposed “tax holiday” by Wisconsin Republican gubernatorial candidate Mark Green would be of the greatest use to college students, who by far spend the most money on their educational supplies without benefits to their disposable income. The proposal would exempt textbooks, writing supplies, technological aides and other instructive necessities in order to support the educational desires of students and tax payers without concern that this source of funding ” the tax-exempt savings ” would be otherwise directed to noneducational expenses.

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Tax holiday: flawed tax code

Posted on 30 August 2006 by Sarah Cotton

Flawed tax code: Wisconsin gubernatorial candidate Mark Green has proposed a three-day “tax holiday” the first weekend of August as part of his platform. The plan would allow sales taxes to be excused on purchases of school supply items under $50, clothing items under $100 and computers less than $1,500. The chief purpose of the plan is to give Wisconsin families a break during the expensive back-to-school season.

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