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Monday, June 04, 2007

Fun, Fourth, Fireworks And Community

When I first read about the local tavern owners pitching in to help the Jaycees give Janesville a July 4th celebration, I said "bravo." And instead of taking this one special day as an opportunity for healing and understanding in an effort to unite with the rest of the community, the Gazette editorial staff had these things to say.
JG Excerpt:
It's nice that Halbach gives back to the community. But it troubles many residents that Halbach earns money not just on liquor sales but strip joints such as Diamond Jim's & The Isabella Queen south of the city and Screemin' Meemees on the south side. He has donated much to the fireworks before, but never in such a high-profile fashion.
What's wrong with that? And, was anybody stopping the business loving Forward Janesville and their deep-pocketed profit-taking members and affiliates from donating thousands to the Jaycees Fourth of July Celebration last year or this year? I would guess they think they’ve sacrificed too much in taxes to possibly pitch in more for what they may view as a “social” program for the peons of Janesville – Independence Day. The Gazette is no different. How could Jim Halbach and a group of tavern owners possibly beat these self-righteous family-oriented professionals to the punch?
JG Excerpt:
Before Halbach stepped up, some families were already troubled that the Jaycees fest mixing beer drinking with carnival rides for the kiddies. Of course, families do have another option.
What a play on words here. Only a sliver of common sense seperates this sentence into directly implying that the Jaycees mix beer …for the kiddies.

And insinuating that family-oriented people are offended by the Jaycees ties to Jim Halbach insults the intelligence. I had no idea our country's birthday was a family-only celebration, or that tavern owners and their customers couldn't possibly have families, and making those assumptions to label donors, participants and attendees at the Jaycees event as something less is not only a slap in face, it is the kind of mean-spirited and negative rhetoric that only divides a town and fuels more resentment. Their attitude makes political partisanship look like child's play.

Regular hard working people, familyless and anybody else who do not fit the Gazette’s definition of family should be offended by what this editorial wrongly and smugly implies.

By casting such a negative association towards the efforts of Halbach and friends to organize a community celebration, and drawing wider lines of seperation based on discrimination, the newspaper along with their highborn supporters are an embarrassment to the city. If I were the tavern owners, I’d promote the Jaycees festival as ”FamilyFest 'O7.”

It becomes clear that without Halbach and the others, Janesville's community-based Fourth of July celebration would have died. And after reading this editorial, with deadlines approaching, nothing would have made the editors any happier.

Speaking for myself and my family, we'll celebrate communication, understanding, patience, tolerance, reason and love with the Jaycees and salute Halbach and the other tavern owners this Independence Day at Traxler Park simply because I know now that those offended by these fundamental human principles won’t be there.

Read additional Community must unite


Anonymous said...

Hey maybe we'll get better seats!

I have no problem with Halbach or the taverns giving money. But I also knew as soon as I saw who was giving money there would be an outcry from somebody. You had to expect it. It's not like we're going to see Isabella signs everywhere and strippers handing out beers. People need to relax, it's getting ridiculous.

Bob Keith said...

Indignant nanny-staters abound. Janesville is becoming a mini-Madison of perpetually offended, minus the low unemployment and better paying jobs.

Nice catch of the innuendos in the opinion piece. I had skimmed the paper that day and missed the annoying nuances that smack of the morality-enforcers and an ever ubiquitous assault on just about everything even slightly askew of the boring norm. Eclectic America has vanished into the abyss of righteous indignation - at least in Janesville.

Bob Keith

kuznacic said...

The part of that editorial that sickened me the most was the fact that it was essentially an advertisement for the church festival held about the same time as the Jaycees event.

Go back and read the last third of that editorial and tell me that someone at the Gazette doesn't have something to do with planning that festival.

Just because of the Gazette's continued practice of shoving morality down its readers throats, I'm going to the Jaycees event to get super drunk and obnoxious. Maybe.

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