Thursday, February 24, 2011

A Game of John Galt

It is getting really tough to know where to go with the coverage of events here in Madison.

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Do we go with the fact that our Governor seriously contemplated introducing agents provocateur to start trouble in our otherwise peaceful protest? And that the only reason he did not do so was that he thought it would not work? What sort of a weasel thinks stirring up trouble in a protest with kids (infants even!), moms, dads, grandparents, and police officers is either ethical or wise? That he might be willing to put all of us, protesters and police, in jeopardy to score media points is morally reprehensible.

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Do I talk about the broader topic of the corrupting influence of Corporate dollars on politics? The idea that "Citizens United" is law of the land is a joke. I will say this once: Corporations are not people. They are amoral constructs created solely to indemnify the officers of said corporation from being personally liable for misconduct. Without regulation they are the opposite of moral. For my proof I will simply point to the condition of Lake Erie in the late 1960's and early 1970's. That was how large corporations behaved when they were not regulated. They are for profit, and the concept of for the people seldom enters the discussion.

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Perhaps it makes more sens to talk about wages, and the trend lines since Reagan took office in 1980. I will not waste time with a link since this information is readily available to anyone willing to look at it. (oh what the hell.) Ordinary worker salaries have remained flat for THIRTY YEARS while executive compensation - those at the top - have shot through the roof. I choose the phrase morally reprehensible once more to describe this situation. Yet, a 3% proposed increase on the taxes of the super rich (whose marginal tax rate is less than their secretary's) is trumpeted as Socialism by our supposedly Liberal media. And here we have a Governor proposing to balance a budget shortfall on the wallets of the flailing middle class. This cannot stand.

Flag In Distress

America is in distress, and Her masses need to wake up and recognize the peril. Once done gutting public labor unions - teachers, librarians, bus drivers, and yes, office workers - the Republicans will not cease. They will then focus their attention on private labor unions - steel workers, plumbers, electricians, and builders of Harley Davidson motorcycles. Once unions are broken, and collective bargaining is a thing of the past, it becomes every man and woman for herself. Once flat wages will fall. Work weeks will creep up (after all, you should be grateful you even have a job). Overtime? Vacation? Workers compensation? Chiseled at and trimmed until a token of what they are. Think I am indulging in hyperbole? A Missouri Republican introduced a bill this year to roll back child labor laws.

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The Republicans are playing a game of John Galt here. So if you are prepared to take 100% care of grandma, or your special cousin Tom, then good for you, but I suspect most Americans do not have the time or knowledge to do so. And interestingly, Galt was tortured by the leftists, not by the Good Old Protagonists.

I refuse to play this game of dice with our least able, our elders, our least fortunate. I urge you to think about what Gov. Walker's bill does not what you wish it would do. Read it. Understand it. And contemplate the effects of terminating a third of our teachers; ending programs to care for our mentally ill; driving down wages; driving tuition at our showcase university up by a minimum of 20%. Is that really what we want in Wisconsin? And ultimately, in these United States?

There are more photos in a SLIDE SHOW, with the newest photos up front.

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