Althouse | category: Wisconsin



an endless succession of beans and nuts.

"How to Get Behind the Scenes at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin?... The writer gets a room of her own at the architect’s former home in the Wisconsin hills. A weekend workshop offers ample time to explore the grounds."

A NYT travel article. The author, Elain Glusac, takes a baking workshop.

When I read "A weekend workshop offers ample time to explore the grounds," I thought they were saying there's not all that much to see in this part of Wisconsin, but, calming down, I think it just means that you won't be in the baking class constantly, and there will be blocks of time when you can walk around the private property that is part of Taliesin. I don't think they are saying it wouldn't be a good idea to base yourself in this area — Spring Green — for a longer time.

Indeed, they don't even mention the American Players Theater, which is right down the road. This season's tickets go on sale today — here! Of course, there are many hikes beyond the private Taliesin grounds. And probably nearly everyone needs to get a look at the House on the Rock.

Back to the NYT article:
[T]he program began on a practical level when our class of nine met at the Frank Lloyd Wright Visitor Center — a building in Wright’s signature Prairie style, characterized by strong horizontal lines and organic materials such as stone and wood — where picture windows frame views of the Wisconsin River. There, a framed essay by Wright entitled “Why I Love Wisconsin” extolled the people, the barns and the hilly landscape “that picks you up in its arms and, so gently, almost lovingly, cradles you.” 
“I love her,” he wrote, referring to Wisconsin, “because she has not so many snobs.”...
Here's a list of the various workshops available at Taliesin.

From the Wright essay, linked above, there's this about landscape preferences, and it resonates with me:
More dramatic elsewhere, perhaps more strange, more thrilling, more grand, too, but nothing that picks you up in its arms and so gently, almost lovingly, cradles you as do these southwestern Wisconsin hills. These ranges of low hills that make these fertile valleys of southwestern Wisconsin by leading down to the great sandy plain that was once the bed of a mightier Wisconsin river than any of us have ever seen. 
I doubt if that vast river flood were more beautiful then, however, than this wide, slow-winding, curving stream in the broad sand bed, where gleaming sand bars make curved beaches and shaded shores to be overhung by masses of great greenery....

So “human” is this countryside in scale and feeling. “Pastoral” beauty, I believe, the poets call it. More like Tuscany, perhaps, than any other land, but the Florentines that roamed those hills never saw such wild flowers as we see any spring, if the snow has been plentiful. The snow usually is plentiful and the cold too....

"The handsome young senator told Washingtonian magazine in 1974 that he understood why he was 'a hot commodity': his youth and his 'tragic fate'..."

"The magazine compared him to 'Robert Redford’s Great Gatsby in natty pinstriped suits.' 'I know I can be a good president,' he said, adding, 'My family still expects me to be there one of these days.'..."

Writes Maureen Dowd in "Scranton Joe Is Ready to Go" (NYT).
But just when it seemed as though Biden’s best days were behind him, Barack Obama chose him for a running mate, seeking foreign policy experience.... 
Obama shoved Biden aside for Hillary, which turned out to be a huge mistake that resulted in the execrable Trump. After being treated dismissively by the Obama team, Biden, Rocky-like, finally won the presidency, nearly half a century after he first talked about it. After that slog, he’s not about to kiss it away because some polls and pundits fret about his age. He thinks he’s doing great. There’s a spring in his step because he feels that he has outwitted the dimwitted Republicans.... 
Hillary thought she could win in 2016 with the new Democratic coalition of minorities, the elite and students. She refused to give a speech at Notre Dame and never bothered to go to Wisconsin. Wisconsin was Biden’s first stop Wednesday in his post-State of the Union blitz...."

"A fire that broke out a Wisconsin dairy plant on Monday night sent a river of melted butter flowing across the factory floor and into nearby storm drains..."

"... where it clogged a historic water artery.... 'The butter runoff and heavy smoke slowed access to the structure,' officials said... 'When we first tried to go up the stairs to that part that collapsed, this stuff, the butter, was running down like, three inches thick on the steps. So our guys were up to their knees trying to go up the steps to get to the top, and they’re trying to drag the hose line... The hose line got so full of butter they couldn’t hang on to it any more.'"

The Guardian reports.

"If you’re allowing people to bake cookies and muffins and breads, why should they not be allowed to make cocoa bombs?"

"The first case said that the government can’t ban the sales of perfectly safe homemade baked goods. And so, since we already had that victory regarding baked goods, it definitely made things easier the second time around.... People shouldn’t need to buy or rent a commercial kitchen in order to sell fudge or candies...."

Said Justin Pearson of the Institute for Justice, which brought the 2 cases discussed in "Wisconsin residents can sell more than baked goods from home, judge rules" (Wisconsin State Journal).

Pearson asserted "the 49 other states... have better cottage food laws than Wisconsin."

I'd never noticed the expression "cottage food," though of course I know "cottage industry." "Cottage" makes the particular home sound unusually cozy and quaint. If you look back into the history of the word "cottage," you'll see that that originally it meant a small home for a poor laborer. The oldest use of "cottage industry," according to the OED, came from was in the Freeman's Journal (Dublin) in 1849: "Do you wish to make your labourers comfortable? Teach their children the use of the loom, and every kind of cottage industry."


That's "Children On A Path Outside A Thatched Cottage, West Horsley, Surrey" (late 1800s) by Helen Allingham. I found that at the Wikipedia article "Cottagecore." Did you know that some kids today romanticize the cottage and the styles and activities they imagine in and around it?

"'Fuck Biden,' 'Don't Tread on Me,' and a Wisconsin Death Trip for Our Times."

"The author knocks on the doors bearing the darkest symbols, behind which lie guns, ammo, antisemitism, antiabortion dogma—and a belief in the coming civil war."

A long article by Jeff Sharlet in Vanity Fair.


Rob called himself “pro-choice,” but that term means something different in his vernacular. He meant the choice of whether or not to murder a baby is up to you. “If you choose to do something that’s medically possible, I’m going to leave it between you and God, until it affects me in the state of readiness of my defense.” Readiness. It requires panopticon paranoia, looking for threats down every sight line. Rob looked at falling birth rates. He looked at what he considered Mexico’s invasion. He looked at what he suspected would be civil war according to a rural/urban divide—in which, even though he lived in town, he would side with the land he held outside of it. He looked at China, he noted they ended their population control program in 2021, he contemplated 1.4 billion Red Chinese divided by half and then by some factor again to account for age and thinks of hundreds of millions of Chinese wombs churning out multiple Chinese babies (in fact, the Chinese birth rate is falling) and he thought, “they’re getting ready.” For the future war. “You start prepping several generations ahead to have bodies when you lose so many bodies that you need a level of fresh bodies you never dreamed you’d have to dig into.”

This way of thinking was, he acknowledged, “macabre.” But the macabre has flowed into the mainstream....

"If Wisconsin Democrats lose several low-budget state legislative contests here on Tuesday... it may not matter who wins the $114 million tossup contest for governor ..."

"... between Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat, and Tim Michels, a Republican. Those northern seats would put Republicans in reach of veto-proof supermajorities that would render a Democratic governor functionally irrelevant.... The Republican leaders in the Wisconsin Legislature say they will bring back all 146 bills Mr. Evers has vetoed during his four years in office — measures on elections, school funding, pandemic mitigation efforts, policing, abortion and the state’s gun laws — if they win a supermajority or if Mr. Michels is elected."

From "Wisconsin Republicans Stand on the Verge of Total, Veto-Proof Power/In a 50-50 battleground state, Republicans are close to capturing supermajorities in the State Legislature that would render the Democratic governor irrelevant even if he wins re-election" (NYT).

The northern seats are "three counties in Wisconsin’s far northwest corner make up one of the last patches of rural America that have remained loyal to Democrats through the Obama and Trump years... Douglas, Bayfield and Ashland Counties."

"In states as disparate as Wisconsin and New Mexico, ads have labeled a Black candidate as 'different' and 'dangerous' and darkened a white man’s hands as they portrayed him as a criminal...."

"In Wisconsin, where Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, who is Black, is the Democratic nominee for Senate, a National Republican Senatorial Committee ad targeting him ends by juxtaposing his face with those of three Democratic House members, all of them women of color, and the words 'different' and 'dangerous.' In a mailer sent to several state House districts in New Mexico, the state Republican Party darkened the hands of a barber shown giving a white child a haircut, next to the question, 'Do you want a sex offender cutting your child’s hair?'... Appeals to white fears and resentments are an old strategy in American elections, etched into the country’s political consciousness, with ads like George Bush’s ad using the Black convict Willie Horton against Michael Dukakis in 1988, and Jesse Helms’s 1990 commercial showing a white man’s hands to denounce his Black opponent’s support for 'quotas.'" 

From "With Ads, Imagery and Words, Republicans Inject Race Into Campaigns/Running ads portraying Black candidates as soft on crime — or as 'different' or 'dangerous' — Republicans have shed quiet defenses of such tactics for unabashed defiance" (NYT).

The manipulation of the color of hands is a very specific problem, and I don't like seeing the name of my state mixed up in that accusation. I don't like "In states as disparate as Wisconsin and New Mexico, ads have... darkened a white man’s hands as they portrayed him as a criminal." That happened in New Mexico but not in Wisconsin.

Yes, there has been been relentless advertising against Mandela Barnes here in Wisconsin, but I haven't seen any photoshopping of the color of hands or other body parts. What I'm seeing — and it's practically the only advertising I'm seeing — is the connection of Mandela Barnes to crime and to policies advocated by the most left-wing Democrats. Yes, you can argue that is inherently racial, and the NYT article also does that, but it's a far cry from this awfulness from New Mexico:

Wisconsin confuses outsiders.

I'm reading "Video of Wisconsin supermarket’s massive frozen pizza section goes viral: ‘What’s going on down there?’" (The Hill).

Down there? Sounds like you couldn't even point to us on a map. Unless you're in Canada. We are not down there. We are up here. And up here, we have a store called Woodman's. When I first moved here 38 years ago, I used to take visitors from New York City to Woodman's to entertain them in precisely the way this video is entertaining millions this week. I didn't have social media to share the fun at the time, but it's funny to me now that something I've known for 38 years — Woodman's is a very big store — is amazing millions in 2022.

I'm only noticing now — and only because "Madison" is trending on Twitter — that Joe Biden flew into Madison yesterday."If you’re allowing people to bake cookies and muffins and breads, why should they not be allowed to make cocoa bombs?""In states as disparate as Wisconsin and New Mexico, ads have labeled a Black candidate as 'different' and 'dangerous' and darkened a white man’s hands as they portrayed him as a criminal...."

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