I have been trying to avoid the early election shenanigans. The mutant right is constantly making headlines with total insanity. I don’t mean to infer that to condemn anyone that is a Republican. I am simply referring to the freak pack that seems in control of the national party at this point. (Scott Walker being one of the many in this realm.) I am someone that believes in voting. I don’t think voting is enough if you really care about what is going on. However, I don’t think disengaging from the political realm due to dissatisfaction is an option. I am not a big fan of the Clintons and would rather see someone like Bernie Sanders capture the nomination. Bill, in his term, was actually a rather right leaning corporatist Democrat that did many things that I believe harmed this country. (NAFTA, Telecommunications Act of 1996, and so on.) However, if you can’t see that there is a difference between Hillary Clinton and Ted Cruz, or Hillary Clinton and Scott Walker, than I don’t know what to tell you. (Those that believe that all politicians are the same only need to look at recent headlines having to do with Iran and then imagine what those headlines would look like if “Bomb,bomb,bomb, bomb, bomb Iran” John McCain had won in 2008.) But what I think is important is that it is okay to disengage until it matters. I don’t need to be paying attention to the right wing horse race, as I will certainly not be voting for anyone that wins that. I can’t help, in trying to keep up with the news, catching a headline or two. I mean I try to pay attention enough that if I am having a conversation with someone, I can refute whatever insane argument someone might be making on whatever policy issue, but having a deep emotional investment in who is ahead is only going to destroy my health, make me angry, and burn me out on this whole circus before there is really anything I can do about it. The news is really good at destroying one’s soul, only to have you speaking gibberish by the time it comes down to canvas for an issue or candidate you believe in. Also, please keep in mind that I am talking about ignoring the election and not what is going on in general. It is important, extremely important, that a citizen of a democracy stays informed. But at this point in the election cycle it is much more important to pay attention to what is going on, rather than who is saying what, if you get my drift. So try to keep abreast of current issues, but whenever a circus animal like Donald Trump gets paraded out on TV, instead of turning your mind into rat soup, exercise one of the very few freedoms you have and turn the damned thing off.
Above is a really interesting article that talks about Scott Walker’s largely successful campaign against unions in Wisconsin. This is part of a larger right wing move to destroy unions in this country. It is done under the guise of “right to work” by methods of divide and conquer. A sample (The article starts out by following a union worker named Randy Bryce who takes a day off to have his voice heard at a debate in the state government.):
At 6 p.m., Bryce’s name finally appeared on the list of coming speakers. He paced the hallway outside the hearing room in anticipation. But 20 minutes later, Stephen Nass, the Republican senator who is the chairman of the Labor and Government Reform Committee, announced that there was a “credible threat of disruption” and that the hearing would be adjourned so the committee could vote to move the bill forward (it passed). A labor organizer, it turned out, had told The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that some people planned to stand up in protest at 7 p.m., when testimony was to be cut off. (“I went through Act 10 — it was ugly,” Nass said earlier in the hearing, referring to the difficulty some senators experienced reaching various parts of the Capitol after the rotunda was occupied. “We had to go through a tunnel like rats. We don’t want to go through that again.”) About a hundred people were still in line to testify. A chant of “Let us speak” erupted. But Nass quickly took the committee members’ votes and was then escorted out, with his two Republican colleagues, by a phalanx of state troopers.
Bryce still wanted to speak. He had lost a day’s wages, and the committee’s two Democratic senators had remained to hear more testimony. State troopers were now blocking the door to the hearing room, though, so he decided to address a group of protesters in the hallway outside instead.
“My name is Randy Bryce,” he began in a loud voice. “I’ve been a member of Ironworkers Local 8 since 1997. I’ve had the privilege in that time to work on many of Wisconsin’s landmarks, private businesses and numerous other parts of our infrastructure.” As he spoke, the protesters began to quiet. Bryce described how he had wandered from job to job after he left the Army, how Local 8’s apprenticeship program had given him direction, a real career. Finally, he presented the case against what he called “a blatant political attack” on his union. “All of our representatives are elected,” he said. “All of the decisions that we make are voted on. The general membership is given monthly reports on how every dime is spent. Every dime spent is voted on. Unlike what is taking place this week, Ironworkers Local 8 is pure democracy. I am disappointed beyond words at not just what this bill contains, but how it is being passed.”
Two days later, just after the full Senate approved the bill that would make Wisconsin the 25th right-to-work state, Scott Walker was in Maryland, attending the Conservative Political Action Conference, the annual showcase for conservative activists and Republican presidential hopefuls. At a question-and-answer session, one attendee asked Walker how he, as president, would confront the threat from radical Islamist groups like ISIS. Walker’s answer was simple, and may in the end define his candidacy. “If I can take on 100,000 protesters,” he said, “I can do the same across the world.”
I can’t help but feel that anyone that knows the history of working people in this country should be outraged.
Although the song above is dated, it actually deals with Solidarity concerning workers in Poland during the 1980’s, I can’t help but feel that with a few minimal lyric changes, it works perfectly today. Only this time the tyrant is more elusive. Power is with those who exist largely in the shadows and hide behind the utopian myth of the miracle of the unfettered free market. They use the language of hard work, religion, and patriotism to achieve their aims, although I know of no religion whose text celebrates endless greed, they shamelessly drain the livelihoods of many of those that work hardest, and they preach a kind of patriotism which leaves out a great deal of their fellow countrymen and women, which is no kind of patriotism at all. Unions, like all things manmade, are imperfect, but they have played a great role in strengthening the working and middle class of this country. People have literally died to gain the ability to earn a livable wage for an honest days work. If you find yourself again unions, read the history of the coal towns or read about many early factory conditions. Find out the things that the American worker has come to take for granted that exist because of unions. We need strong unions now more than anytime since before the New Deal, when those like Walker stalk the corridors of power.
This is what the modern GOP has come to: Wanting to amend the Constitution to actually deprive people of the pursuit of happiness. All the meanwhile sliding money out the backdoor to multinational corporations. This is backwoods barbarity combined with snake oil salesmanship. They distract people from what is really destroying their quality of life with archaic notions of morality. It’s cruel and stupid. Don’t let them dupe you. Love is the only engine of our survival. Only through kindness and tolerance can we move forward to better days.
Today I was reading about Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s mind bending defense of banning gay marriage. Being a Texas resident, I know that we are in for the long haul concerning this kind of idiocy. Recently I also posted about Florida Governor Rick Scott’s insane banning of the terms global warming and climate change. I am well versed on his idiocy as my girlfriend lived in Florida for ten years. Rick Scott vs. whoever was the Governor of Texas has been a constant argument as to who lived in the state with the dumbest head politician. We can’t very well leave out Scott Walker of Wisconsin either. You can learn about him at the Scott Walker is a douchebag Facebook page. I just decided this morning that these three, especially because they actually have some power on a national level, are our three worst governors. I think we should start calling them The Axis of Stupidity. Even if you find this grouping to be a little bit random, it’s really no more random than the Axis of Evil grouping. So go forth into your day, I have now given you The Axis of Stupidity. Enjoy…
Minnesota put progressive economic policies in place when Governor Mark Dayton was elected. The above article tells the story of what has happened since.
The article is extra enjoyable for the compare and contrast set up with Republican Scott Walker.
Thanks to Mr. Russell for the article.
Matt Taibbi has been slam dunking it lately. Here he takes on Scott Walker, which those of you that have been reading along know I can’t stand. A sample:
Beltway Democrats may not deserve good luck, but it looks like they could have plenty in the next presidential race. Heading into the weekend, Scott Walker, a man born to be slaughtered in a general election, is suddenly leading the pack in the Iowa polls.
Walker is surging thanks to his performance at this week’s Conservative Political Action Conference, where the union-busting governor inspired raucous applause with his “I was a dick in Wisconsin, and I can be one in Washington, too!” stump speech.
Walker’s address was a broadside against a litany of conservative bugbears, from Planned Parenthood to the media to tax day to the subversive act of voting without a photo ID, etc.
But the money line came during a Q&A session. Asked how he would take on radical Islamist terrorists, Walker referred to his experience taking on pro-union protesters in his home state:
“If I can take on 100,000 protesters, I can do the same across the world.”
Walker’s seeming comparison of peaceful union activists to head-chopping Islamic terrorists drew a predictable response, with progressive groups like American Bridge sending out alerts denouncing his comments, along with outrage from the Democratic National Committee.
But the National Review also called it an “unforced error,” with writer Jim Geraghty taking special offense at the fact that Walker had forced him into a place where he had to defend, of all people, union activists. Even Rick Perry, not exactly a kumbaya-chanting paragon of tolerance, chided Walker for crossing a line:
“These are Americans… You are talking about, in the case of ISIS, people who are beheading individuals and committing heinous crimes, who are the face of evil. To try to make the relationship between them and the unions is inappropriate.”
I think Scott Walker’s face would make a great Halloween mask. Where is Leatherface when you need him? Wouldn’t the movie Texas Chainsaw Massacre be way better if Scott Walker was the one running down the road at the end of the movie while Leatherface swung the chainsaw over his head? What could possibly be more just than Walker meeting his end by an unemployed uneducated hillbilly? Unrivaled karma. The Whale drowning Ahab. Make the dream real…
Oh don’t be so serious…
Postscript: Who voted for that dude? I have a lot of Republican friends and I can’t imagine one of them voting for him. Is he the proof we’ve been waiting for that the game is rigged? I feel when I see him that there is some evolutionary force at work, one that makes me want to club him over the head and feed him to the tribal dogs. I mean I never liked Rick Perry, but he looked like an alpha male. He at least could play the part. Walker looks like he would be the Penguin in a Batman remake. What is going on here? Strange things are underway.