About 20 neo-Nazis marched up State Street from the UW-Madison campus to the Capitol on Saturday and gathered at James Madison Park in front of the Gates of Heaven synagogue, a historic 19th-century building run by the city parks department.
“To see neo-Nazis marching in our streets and neighborhoods and in the shadow of our State Capitol building spreading their disturbing, hateful messages is truly revolting,” Gov. Tony Evers said in a statement Saturday. “Let us be clear: neo-Nazis, antisemitism, and white supremacy have no home in Wisconsin. We will not accept or normalize this rhetoric and hate. It’s repulsive and disgusting, and I join Wisconsinites in condemning and denouncing their presence in our state in the strongest terms possible.”
The marchers, dressed in red shirts with “Blood Tribe” printed on the back wore black face masks and carried swastika flags. At the Capitol, they reportedly chanted “Israel is not our friend” and “there will be blood” and yelled racial epithets at passers by. Christopher Pohlhaus, a Maine-based former U.S. Marine turned white supremacist leader who founded the group was identified as a participant in the Madison march.
According to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), Blood Tribe “is a growing neo-Nazi group that claims to have chapters across the United States and Canada.”
The ADL web page on the group states:
- Blood Tribe members are followers of Christopher Pohlhaus, whose white supremacist beliefs include elements of Esoteric Hitlerism (which exalts Hitler as a deity) and Wotanism, a variant of Norse Paganism.
- Blood Tribe presents itself as a hardcore white supremacist group and rejects white supremacists who call for softer “optics.”
- Blood Tribe members emphasize hyper-masculinity; the group does not allow female members.
- Blood Tribe sees themselves as both the last remaining bulwark against enemies of the white race and the only path to a white ethnostate.
- Since becoming a membership organization in 2021, Blood Tribe has been increasingly active, holding anti-LGBTQ+ demonstrations and private gatherings.
In addition to Evers, Wisconsin officials including UW Chancellor Jennifer Mnookin, Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway, State Senate Minority Leader Melissa Agard and U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan and U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin issued statements condemning the march.
I am horrified that a group of neo-nazis marched on the State Capitol in Madison today.
Their presence in our city is utterly repugnant.
We at UW-Madison roundly condemn antisemitism and all forms of hate.https://t.co/Ou5Jm0WdQ5
— Chancellor Jennifer Mnookin (@uwchancellor) November 18, 2023
This has no place in Wisconsin.
At a time when we are seeing disturbing spikes in antisemitism, it is more important than ever to denounce this hate in no uncertain terms. https://t.co/QLSaajVoVo
— Sen. Tammy Baldwin (@SenatorBaldwin) November 18, 2023
Well said, @SenatorBaldwin.
Hate has no home here.
These despicable extremists do not speak for the people of Madison, Wisconsin, or the United States. I strongly condemn this blatant showcase of antisemitism. Our community stands resolute against such bigotry. https://t.co/NXrkaCZUWk
— Rep. Mark Pocan (@RepMarkPocan) November 18, 2023
This group and others like it are trying to normalize hatred, racism and antisemitism. We must not let them succeed.
— Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway (@SatyaForMadison) November 18, 2023
The presence of Neo-Nazi’s in downtown Madison today is chilling.
I condemn this march in the strongest possible terms. This hatred is not welcome in Madison and will not be tolerated. https://t.co/zTwA1AxzYe
— Senator Melissa Agard 🌻 (@SenatorAgard) November 18, 2023
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Wisconsin volleyball beats Penn State, advances to regional final
Sarah Franklin returns to Wisconsin volleyball after health scare
The redshirt junior outside hitter explains the condition that sidelined her and how she recovered in time for the first day of practice.
Mark Stewart, Wochit
MADISON – The Wisconsin volleyball team is one step away from its fourth trip to the Final Four in five years.
The Badgers advanced to the regional final Thursday with a 3-1 win over Penn State in front of a sellout crowd of 7,229 at the UW Field House. The victory raised UW’s record to 29-3 and sets up a showdown in the regional final with the winner of Oregon-Purdue at 7 p.m. Saturday.
Oregon and Purdue played at the Field House following Wisconsin’s win.
Penn State, which defeated Wisconsin in four sets on Nov. 11, finished 23-9, falling to the Badgers in the Sweet 16 for the second straight year.
Senior Sarah Franklin finished with 15 kills for the Badgers. Temi Thomas-Ailara, a graduate student, added 11 and senior Devyn Robinson and sophomore Carter Booth added 10 each.
Caroline Crawford finished with a match-high 10 blocks plus 10 kills in the 25-11, 28-30, 25-12, 25-18 win.
Check jsonline later for more on the match
Wisconsin College breaks student barriers as global leader of OER
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. and WASHINGTON, Dec. 7, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — As the President of Chippewa Valley Technical College (CVTC) in west-central Wisconsin, I have the privilege of witnessing the transformative power of education firsthand. I often say our students’ dreams are our mission, and we take that mission very seriously.
To make that a reality, we must find solutions to their most pressing challenges. The cost of traditional textbooks has long been a financial burden on students. Many of our learners are forced to make difficult choices between academic resources and basic necessities.
Over the last decade, the cost of college textbooks has risen four times faster than inflation, according to CBS News. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics data, textbook prices have risen more than 1,000 percent in the span of 40 years. It is not surprising that many students opt instead not to purchase textbooks, which greatly impedes their success in the course.
Several years ago, in the face of these rising costs, CVTC realized it was time for us to make learning more affordable and accessible, and we continue on that journey.
Since 2013, CVTC has been a leader in the development of open education resources (OER). Our OER teaching and learning materials are licensed to be used, shared, adapted, and retained at no charge and do not require extra permission. Like OER, affordable educational resources (AER) make use of resources such as eBooks or journal articles that cannot be shared, adapted or retained but may be used at no cost to the student.
Our commitment to OER and AER adoption and development has led CVTC students to save $3.17 million in the 2022-2023 academic year, with each student saving an average of $341. In that same period, more than 9,300 students enrolled in courses that use OER or AER, 42 percent of CVTC courses were using OER or AER, and over 300 faculty members, staff and leadership were trained as OER champions. Out students are not the only ones who have benefitted, over 75% of colleges in the Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) and 48 colleges throughout the U.S. and Canada have adopted one or more Open RN textbooks.
We are just getting started. As we continue to evolve and transform the educational resources world, we also embrace artificial intelligence opportunities. The incredible potential of artificial intelligence in education to create tools and resources redefines the boundaries of creativity and innovation.
CVTC is currently utilizing AI to generate complex, relevant case studies for health care students. Through carefully written prompts by subject matter experts, we are able to create a variety of accurate health care scenarios, patients, and ailments that aid in the students’ experiential learning. This access to diversity of demographics, symptoms, and complexity in their learning will only strengthen the skills and abilities of these future healthcare professionals.
The use of generative AI is not limited to health care. We’re exploring opportunities in law enforcement, emergency services and all programs that utilize scenario-based training that can benefit from AI.
With these initiatives and our strong partnerships, we are rewriting the narrative of education, dismantling the barriers that have hindered progress. Together, we can empower our students with the resources they need to fulfill their dreams. And that is, without a doubt, our mission.
Uniquely American, community colleges serve more than 10 million students annually, providing critical access to higher education in academic and workforce development. As the voice of the nation’s community colleges, the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), delivers educational and economic opportunity for more than 10 million diverse students in search of the American Dream. Uniquely dedicated to access and success for all students, AACC’s member colleges provide an on-ramp to degree attainment, skilled careers, and family-supporting wages. Located in Washington, D.C., AACC advocates for these not-for-profit, public-serving institutions to ensure they have the resources and support to increase economic mobility for all. https://www.aacc.nche.edu/
SOURCE American Association Of Community Colleges
Wisconsin is one of the most at risk states in the Great Lakes for biodiversity loss, report shows
Over the past 50 years, there have been unprecedented losses of plants, animals and insects around the world due to human-related causes, like climate change and habitat destruction. And a recent report provides a snapshot at how much this could be affecting Wisconsin.
Wisconsin is one of the states most at risk for biodiversity loss in the Great Lakes region, according to the report from Defenders of Wildlife. Compared to the rest of the country, Wisconsin ranked just outside the top ten for states most at risk.
So, why is biodiversity important? How did Wisconsin and the Great Lakes states fare? And what can you do to protect biodiversity? Here’s what what we know.
What is biodiversity?
Biodiversity is all the different kinds of life found in an area, including plants, birds, animals and microbes. It includes all of the variety on Earth from genes, species and ecosystems.
Why is biodiversity important?
Healthy ecosystems need a wide range of animals, plants, insects and microbes.
Every species fills a role in ecosystems, and the system isn’t going to work properly if a species is lost, said Erin Giese, a scientist at the Cofrin Center for Biodiversity at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.
For example, in a prairie some plants have short roots and others have deep roots, which allows better filtering of nutrients out of the groundwater, Giese said.
Biodiversity isn’t just important for an ecosystem to thrive, it provides services for humans as well. Scientists estimate that more than one-third of the world’s crops need pollinators to reproduce, helping to maintain food security. Biodiversity is important to treat disease as around 40% of Western drugs come from plants. Outdoor tourism as well as fishing and hunting industries also rely on biodiversity.
More: ‘The Earth is healing’: What a prairie restoration project on the Oneida Reservation can teach us about partnerships and the land
How do Great Lakes and Wisconsin contribute to biodiversity?
With more than 80% of North America’s surface freshwater, the Great Lakes region is abundant with biodiversity, sustaining more than 4,000 species of plants and animals.
Thanks to Wisconsin’s diverse landscapes, there are approximately 1,800 species of native plants and nearly 700 species of native vertebrates – animals with a backbone, like fish, reptiles, birds and mammals – that have been found in the state. There are also thousands of non-vascular plants, like mosses, and invertebrates as well.
The Great Lakes and Wisconsin are hotspots for birds, especially breeding birds, Giese said. In Wisconsin, 460 bird species have been identified across all seasons.
What are the threats to biodiversity?
The five main drivers of biodiversity loss include: climate change, invasive species introduction, habitat destruction, overexploitation and pollution, according to the report.
Since 1970, nearly 70% of global populations of mammals, birds, fish, reptiles and amphibians have been lost, according to a 2022 report by the World Wildlife Foundation. In the U.S., 40% of animals and 30% are at risk of extinction, according to a report from NatureServe.
More: Wetlands were everywhere on the Great Lakes, how one project is helping save them
Wisconsin is among the states with the highest risk for biodiversity loss
The report mapped the five main drivers of biodiversity loss to determine what is the main cause of biodiversity loss in each state.
Wisconsin is the 11th most at risk state in the country for biodiversity loss. According to the report, the most drastic losses will come from climate change as more intense precipitation and rising temperatures affect where species can live.
The biggest departures from current climate will come in the Driftless Area and along the Mississippi River, according to the report. Wisconsin was the seventh state most at risk for biodiversity loss due to climate change.
Overexploitation – when species are removed from the wild faster than they can recover – is a major problem in the upper Midwest where there is abundant freshwater fishing and harvestable species.
Wisconsin faces high risks from overexploitation in the southeast as well as along the Mississippi River. It was the sixth state most at risk for losses from overexploitation.
Biodiversity loss due to pollution is also a threat in Wisconsin, which ranks eighth in the country. According to the report, the threat is fairly uniform across the state with the greatest threat concentrated near the Lower Fox River.
The threat of biodiversity loss due to invasive species is greatest near Lake Michigan.
More: What’s the state of the Great Lakes? Successful cleanups tempered by new threats from climate change
What about the other Great Lakes states?
After Pennsylvania, Wisconsin was the second most at risk state for biodiversity loss in the Great Lakes. Here are how the eight Great Lakes states fared from most to least at risk:
- New York
According to the report, climate change is one of the biggest threats to biodiversity in the Great Lakes and Upper Midwest. There are more gentle changes in topography that can potentially cause greater ecosystem shifts, making species more vulnerable.
All but two Great Lakes states – Illinois and Pennsylvania – ranked in the top ten for states most at risk for biodiversity losses from climate change.
How can people protect biodiversity?
According to the Royal Society, the world’s oldest scientific society, here are some ways individuals can help protect biodiversity:
- Support action committed to protecting and restoring biodiversity;
- Support companies as well as local and regional projects helping to tackle biodiversity loss;
- Buy fewer products and reduce waste of goods, like food, electronics and clothes;
- Check the products you buy and the companies to make sure buying habits are not destroying habitat and impacting biodiversity; and
- Help educate the public about biodiversity, threats and opportunities to protect species.
More: More than 11 million pounds of plastic pollutes Lake Michigan and its beaches annually. New technology is coming to the rescue.
More: Great Lakes tribes’ knowledge of nature could be key to navigating climate change. Will enough people listen?
Caitlin Looby is a Report for America corps member who writes about the environment and the Great Lakes. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on X @caitlooby.
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