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Bud's Beat

By: Bud Pisarek, Loomis News Correspondent
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So many events from my childhood seem to be returning to haunt me. In the last several columns, I have written about memories of my dad and his generation’s struggle to have the right to form unions. Now, some 70 years later, that right has been all but taken away from those middle-class workers. The Wisconsin protest still goes on despite the underhanded shenanigans of the ruling political party. Another haunting memory of my days in the Badger State is the scurrilous rantings of Senator McCarthy. Nightmare years, to say the least. I was a young college teacher who dared stand up to the “ism” that bears McCarthy’s name. My protest was mainly in the form of encouragement to a small-town weekly newspaper publisher’s courageous stand against ‘Uncle Joe.” For some of you Baby Boomers who may not know about it, I remind you of the definition of McCarthyism. It is, according to Webster, the political practice of publicizing accusations of disloyalty or subversion with insufficient regard to evidence. Last week, the spectre of McCarthyism reared its ugly face when Rep. Peter King, a Republican from New York, held public hearings questioning American Muslim’s patriotism. Rep. Keith Ellison. one of two elected Muslims, pleaded with King to not radicalize the hearings. He said he hoped the Muslim community would not become the scapegoat in the probe. Scapegoating should be on the minds of Loomis Basin people who remember the event that sent thousands of loyal Japanese Americans to internment camps during World War II. It’s a warning that all citizens must keep guard.