Monday, February 28, 2011
Sunday, February 27, 2011
I admit there were warning signs I should have noticed. He didn't begin the call by asking me which the various babes pictured in the latest issue of Outsourcing Illustrated I'd like to humiliate, nor did he ask me to get on all fours and bark like a worker and then lick my parts clean--that was as out of character for him as it was disappointing for me.
On Saturday, four journalists who had been released described being rounded up well after they had left a protest of thousands at Baghdad's Tahrir Square. They said they were handcuffed, blindfolded, beaten and threatened with execution by soldiers from an army intelligence unit.
"It was like they were dealing with a bunch of al-Qaeda operatives, not a group of journalists," said Hussan al-Ssairi, a journalist and poet who described seeing hundreds of protesters in black hoods at the detention facility. "Yesterday was like a test, like a picture of the new democracy in Iraq."
The Iraq protests were different from many of the revolts sweeping the Middle East and North Africa in that demonstrators were calling for reform, not for getting rid of the government. Their demands ranged from more electricity and jobs to ending corruption, reflecting a dissatisfaction with government that cuts across sectarian and class lines.
Saturday, February 26, 2011
Friday, February 25, 2011
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
UPDATE: Hat tip to Shutterwi for pointing out what needed to be corrected in the last line. I was so excised about the whole Forde deal that I didn't proofread. I apologize to the family of the father & daughter.
It's probably a Cox, at least today. & happily this Cox is out of a job.
This is one more national embarassment. Given the present political climate, I doubt the country will do the right thing. America seems hellbent on going backwards on everything except sharehold valule. Sickening, in more ways than one.
The report, "Failing its Families," says at least 178 countries have national laws guaranteeing paid leave for new mothers, while the handful of exceptions include the U.S., Swaziland and Papua New Guinea. More than 50 nations, including most Western countries, also guarantee paid leave for new fathers.
& this is how they repay the American taxpayer. Good job, President Obama & Congress.
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Monday, February 21, 2011
The fire was a wrenching event in New York’s history, one that had a profound influence on building codes, labor laws, politics and the beginning of the New Deal two decades later.
Power is operative word. These ReThugs, back by the really big moneyn Koch Brothers, aren't really interested in balancing a budget, or streamlinging public services, or making government more transparent, no, they just want power & their gaited communities, well protected gaited communities.
In any case, however, Mr. Ryan was more right than he knew. For what’s happening in Wisconsin isn’t about the state budget, despite Mr. Walker’s pretense that he’s just trying to be fiscally responsible. It is, instead, about power. What Mr. Walker and his backers are trying to do is to make Wisconsin — and eventually, America — less of a functioning democracy and more of a third-world-style oligarchy. And that’s why anyone who believes that we need some counterweight to the political power of big money should be on the demonstrators’ side.
Sunday, February 20, 2011
Scott Walker, the Governor of Wisconsin who is spearheading the GOP effort to crush collective bargaining, lavished relatively large salary increases on his staff when he was chief executive of the Milwaukee County Board. Walker surreptitiously did this in 2008 - without the approval of the county board itself and at a time that the county was facing a fiscal deficit, and Walker was about to lay off a large number of union workers. In addition, 700 county positions had already been left vacant due to budgetary pressures.
According to a 2008 Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel (MJS) article,which exposed Walker's illicit personal staff raises, one aide was to achieve a 26% increase - solely initiated and approved by Walker - even though the staffer, Tom Nardelli, was to receive tax-payer funded pensions that would exceed $35,700 a year. A member of the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors called Nardelli's salary increase "obscene," according to the MJS.
Dueling Protests in a Capital as Nothing Much Gets Done
UPDATEDx2 - Epic Tea Party FAIL: Anti-union "protesters" out-numbered 35-to-1 in Madison!
Terribly Sad Story & Another Reason Why Public School Administrators Need Not Only An Education, But Also A Heart
Saturday, February 19, 2011
From the wonderful FirstDraft. I encourage all of you, my loyal 5 (Yes, Five!) readers to print out of bunch of these letters & mail them out. Thanks in advance, as usual.
Reader Sue sent this idea along. If businesses don't have demand for their products, it doesn't really matter what happens to their taxes because they won't have the money to pay anybody anything. So if you support the rights of unions to organize, in Wisconsin or in your state, you can send your favorite local business the following letter:
I am: I support your business:
a public employee weekly monthly
a union member several times yearly for large purchases
a non-represented worker seasonally (landscaping, entertaining, holidays)
Dear Business Owner:
You are receiving this letter because I consider you an important business in my life. The recent legislative activity in Madison strongly indicates that our elected officials intend to turn Wisconsin into a right-to-work state. Public employees, who are now having years of negotiated economic and labor rights and benefits taken away from them, are facing a sudden and large hole in their personal budgets. Union members understand that they will be next and non-represented workers understand that their pay and benefits will shrink as a direct result of the rollback of worker rights that will continue under this administration.
This affects you as it affects us. Right-to-work states lag in both wages and personal income*, and any business tax breaks you may be eligible for will not make up for the fact that your customers have less money to spend. It is unlikely that your tax burden will be reduced to nothing; you will still need to pay taxes even if your customers are unable to support you with their purchases at a level that they have in the past.
This letter is not a notification of a boycott of your business; it is precisely because I support your business that I am sending it. However all indications are that I will have less money to support any of my favored businesses, and because of State policies and attitudes that situation is likely to continue even after a recovery.
It does not automatically follow that a pro-business environment has to be anti-labor. I thank you for taking the time to read this letter.
The trouble with the south is that they refuse to realize that they lost the war. None of this surprises me, however, since the ReThug Party has successfully pitted whites against blacks with the lie that black people are somehow using up resources that white people should have. That lie has worked well for the ReThugs, look at Wisco right now - they have successfully, at least so far, to pit the people against each other - public workers are the fault of all budget woes. If the private sector workers have lost wages, benefits, pensions, it is not the fault of the public sector workers, it is their own damn fault for not striking, for giving up before the fight. Let them eat cake, indeed.
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Paul Ryan is a liar, a flack for the Koch brothers, a loser who got turned down by the prettiest & smartest girl in school, & someone who doesn't understand what happened in Cairo. IMHO a colossal dickwad.
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
On this date Mildred Harnack was guillotined in Berlin, Germany. Harnack was born in Milwaukee and studied and lectured at the University of Wisconsin. She and her husband, Arvid Harnack, were key members of a German resistance group which assisted German Jews and political dissidents, circulated illegal literature, met secretly with prisoners of war, and worked to document Nazi atrocities in Europe. Known by the Nazis as the "Red Orchestra," Harnack's companions were arrested, tortured, and tried for their activities. Mildred Harnack was guillotined in Berlin on the personal orders of Adolf Hitler.
I'll need to do some research, but somewhere in my brain, addled as it is, I seem to remember a connection with the mining bunch & Murphy Oil. We'll see.
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Monday, February 14, 2011
My emphases.The main problem with all this, of course, is that he willingly signed a tax cut extension for the wealthiest people on the planet just two months ago even as they are making money hand over fist as it is, so any talk about "shared sacrifice" rings just a little bit hollow now. If he wants to be honest about this and admit that he's catering to spoiled plutocrats and Wall Street Demi-Gods because he truly believes that he needs to sacrifice ordinary Americans on the alter of their egos, that's one thing. But blowing smoke about how this hurts him just as much as the college kid who has to drop out in a terrible labor market --- but he's willing to make the sacrifice and so should we --- well, it is too cynically cheap for words.
Interesting & short article. Read it & contemplate on this warm February morning.
The movies still exploit female bodies, though today American actresses working in the commercial mainstream rarely strip down past their undies. If they tend not to bare it all it isn’t because of feminist progress. Neo-Puritanism and the mainstreaming of pornography have played a role, as have corporate blockbusters aimed at teenage boys, with their sexless superheroes and disposable pretty women smiling on the sidelines. Mind you, there isn’t much for women to smile about when it comes to American film, where for the past few decades, the biggest hits have starred men in stories about and for men. Though every so often there is something for us too; after all, women helped make a success of “Brokeback Mountain” a few years ago. At last, a film with sex and romance, pretty boys and no Jennifer Aniston.
Sunday, February 13, 2011
Scott Walker has done the unthinkable.
Friday, Gov. Walker made the shocking announcement that he plans to use the government to strip away the rights workers in Wisconsin. And he’s willing to call out the National Guard to enforce his unprecedented power grab.
Stand with workers, right now, and sign our petition demanding your legislator vote against Gov. Walker’s proposal to take away rights from working Wisconsinites.
We need to send a message to our representatives at the Capitol that Wisconsin is united against Gov. Walker’s assault on workers in our state. Gov. Walker refused to even meet with public employees, something which Republican and Democratic governors have done in good faith for the past half century. Public employees offered $100 million in concessions and Walker responded by refusing to even meet with them.
Gov. Walker has shoved these abhorrent proposals – such as ending collective bargaining, raiding health programs, and selling state assets to benefit business – in a so-called budget repair bill, but make no mistake: this plan does not create jobs and it will increase our long-term debt.
Why, when unemployment in Wisconsin is so high, would Gov. Walker propose a plan that would use government to take away the rights of people that still are working? Why, after he increased the deficit with a $140 million special interest giveaway, would Gov. Walker propose a budget repair bill that does nothing to repair the budget?
Tell your legislator you oppose this government scheme to take away rights in Wisconsin.
With this bill, Gov. Walker puts himself in charge of independent agencies, he strips away collective bargaining rights so he can personally dictate winners and losers and give himself the power to unilaterally cut people from BadgerCare and SeniorCare without a vote of the full legislature.
It’s unthinkable. But he’s trying to do it. And we have to stop him.
Demand your legislator vote against the appalling budget repair bill Gov. Walker has proposed, and get your friends and family to do the same. Don’t wait. Wisconsin’s workers need you to take action right now.
Thank you for all you do,
PS: A massive mobilization is being planned at the State Capitol this Tuesday and Wednesday. If you are able, please come and show your support for the rights of working Wisconsinites. The events begin at 11a.m. both days. Together, we must stop Gov. Walker’s plan dead in its tracks.
Saturday, February 12, 2011
I'm Pretty Ambivalent About College Basketball, But I Must Out Of A Foolish Pride (I Attended the UW-Madison for awhile & The Kid Graduated From That Great School) --
Mobilize the National Guard in case of labor unrest? I dearly hope that the unions actually do take a job action. I dearly hope the Wisco National Guard has to make some serious decisions concerning its fellow citizens because of what a ReThug governor has done. The potential for Wisco to become a northern Mississippi is fast becoming reality. I hope the goddamned citizens who voted for these morons are sitting comfortably in their recliners on this Saturday gloating about what they have done, because they will probably be the next victim in Walker's March to the Gulf of Mexico.
Oh, & has anyone taken a look at how this sort of bullshit will affect the sainted private sector employee?
Because I find baseball to be just a bit more boring than watching a tree grow. So here's to you nonheroicvet:
Wednesday, February 09, 2011
For some reason, all the hard work was down by the union workers back in the 20th century in America & America prospered & boomed & had a middle class. Today, not so much & it is a real tragedy. When will President Obama quit cozying up to business leaders, when the real producers of goods, services, & money are the workers behind the counter, or in an assembly line (if any still exist) or sitting in an office or being on the road? Business main concern is profit, not the social aspects of work. They only want profits & the workers are shit out of luck, Hopefully, the Egyptian workers will provide leadership, we are in need of that.
& he has no honor, otherwise he would resign. He buddy, Prosser, is up for reelection & must be defeated. He's another ideologue with no interest in justice, much less Wisco. Given the awful condidtion of the state government under the ReThugs, it is imperative that Prosser is not allowed to wreak havoc on the state any more.
Tuesday, February 08, 2011
President Obama has quit smoking according to his wife, let's hope he has quit spying on Americans as well. I guess he hasn't given up torture. Oh yeah, go donate to the ACLU, it will really piss of the Tea Baggers, John Boner(no-sic), & Glenn "Caliphate" Beck. What the heck, if we can't have true freedom & democracy, we might as well get the nut jobs all hot & bothered. To bad their hot & botheredness won't lead them to wonderful, naked, lustful sex, just like the dirty, fucking hippies they detest, but who have always been right.
The father of the state's two most powerful legislators was named Tuesday as the head of the State Patrol. Department of Transportation Secretary Mark Gottlieb passed over five current top officials at the State Patrol to give the job to Stephen Fitzgerald, 68, a former Dodge County sheriff with four decades in law enforcement and until May the U.S. marshal in the Western District of Wisconsin.
Monday, February 07, 2011
Colin Powell, I'll repeat Digby's statement - why is this man still considered a man of dignity? Someone to be trusted, believed? I find this story to just a perverted tale of slavery. Powell became the latest man of color to be humilated by the forces of reaction, a man so convinced of his place in the heart of the administration that he became easy to exclude. I felt sorry for him once, not any more. He had a chance to become a great man, instead, well, you con fill in the descriptor. Reagan made Powell his National Security Advisor. & he turned an honorable, hard-working military man into crap, into what appeared at the United Nations & lied to the whole world. I no longer feel sad for him, like most of us he made his decisions alone, now he needs to live with them, just like most of us.
The fact that he is still considered a serious person, worthy of great respect as an elder statesman is yet another example of the American elite class being completely unaccountable legally, professionally and socially. There is, apparently, nothing they can do that will lose them their exalted place in our culture.
Digby is so correct about America's elite class. What is equally correct is that America has become a class society & I don't mean a class act, IYKWIM. & the fact that Powell has not been held accountable publically for what he lied about & about the damage he did to the country is one more atrocity.
Sunday, February 06, 2011
I Getting More Pumped Up, In An Odd Sort Of Way - I'm Watching Puppy Bowl VII, But Also There Is This Important Info I'd Like You To Act On
6. Reagan is the president who attacked the democratically elected government of Granada under the guise of its being a communist ally of Cuba's Fidel Castro; none of which was true. Granada, under President Bishop was a socialist island, with only a local sense of community with the other countries of the Caribbean, but was no military ally of Castro. Also, Reagan and his liars said there was an airport that could take Russian and Cuban jets, which was not true. Some of us who were part of the Third World Journalists, went to Grenada; the airport was barely able to take a two-engine propeller plane, let alone a jet of any sort, especially a fast-flying fighter plane that would need a long runway! In this attack on Grenada, Reagan killed the whole government as well as the 15-20 policemen who kept order on the Island because Grenada had no special armed forces to fight against the American invasion. Incidentally, several Americans were killed during accidents on landing and parachuting into the island. Ironically, after the invasion and takeover of Grenada, Reagan and his foppy non-combat general, Alexander Haig, stood together and declared, "America is back!" As if killing Grenada wiped out our defeats in Korea and Viet Nam.
I'm glad the Swiss at least appear to have principles & that Bu$hCo is scared enough not to visit the country. President Obama's pressure on the Spainish government only confirms what is my sad belief that this country not only will not, but can not live up to its claimed principles. It's too bad & I suppose we'll all just adjust to living in a country that only stands for the rights of corporations to act in any manner they think will add to shareholder value.
In 2009, for instance, a Spanish court began a criminal investigation of six former administration officials, on grounds that they had violated international law in connection with the military prison at Guantánamo Bay. The Obama administration was apparently so concerned about the investigation that it pressured the Spanish government to make sure the case was derailed, according to State Department cables made public by the antisecrecy group WikiLeaks.
Saturday, February 05, 2011
Bad for America, bad for Wisco, bad for Ashwaubenon, bad for the Packers. The fucking Chamber of Commerce won't be happy until they are allowed to build a Bass Pro Shop on a man-made island in the Fish Creek Estuary of Lake Superior. They'll want to catch the traffic between Hurly, Wisco & Ino, Wisco.
Here's a pic of Lena when I was a youth & enjoyed her movies.
Arn Pearson, a vice president at Common Cause, a liberal group that has been critical of potential conflicts at the Supreme Court caused by Ms. Thomas’s work, said her new position, combined with Justice Antonin Scalia’s recent address before a closed-door seminar of the Tea Party Caucus, provided further evidence of “the politicization of the court.”
“The level of bias we’re seeing is really troubling,” Mr. Pearson said.
Friday, February 04, 2011
...the House voted 245 to 189 Wednesday to repeal President Obama’s signature domestic achievement – health-care reform.
For Democrats, it’s a chance to defend their legacy, including within their own ranks. In the 2010 elections, moderate Democrats took a pounding on health-care reform, but Wednesday most rallied with their own leadership to oppose repeal of a reform they once opposed. Three voted for repeal: Reps. Dan Boren of Oklahoma, Mike McIntyre of North Carolina, and Mike Ross of Arkansas.
Thursday, February 03, 2011
I knew a Koch while I was in college, back in the days when we had dinosaurs as pets. I think he was from a liberal family in Wisco. I'm not sure about that, but you can believe me anyway. I also knew a David Koch, I don't think it's the same one in the article. He was quite rich, alright. I knew him through his wife, who at the time was an incredibly dedicated Gordon Setter owner. She seemed quite happy to organize one of the best, if not the best (including the National Specialty) Specialties in the country. A Specialty, for the non-initiated, is a dog show where only one breed is represented. In the Gordon Setter world there are several of these shows held throughout the country & once a year the parent club, The Gordon Setter Club of America, holds a National, the site is chosen by the Board of Governors of the club. Usually a person who wins or places in the various classes gets a ribbon & a small prize. Sometimes only the lst place dog gets a prize in addition to the blue ribbon. At the Minnesota Specialty things were different. I once one Winners Bitch & Best of Winners & received a pretty expensive & large blow drier for dogs plus an original portrait of Streamer, my winner that day. Anyway, I now wonder if her husband is connected to the awful Koch brothers? I do remember framed photos of this couple with Dan Quayle & the pope, the dead one who ignored the sexual abuse of children & is now on the fast track to sainthood. Talk about one good reason to finally quit, with apologies to the wonderful social clubs in New Orleans, the Roman Catholic Social Club.