This link is to a series of articles on what's happening in Wisconsin. A little ways down the page is a video of Chris Hayes and Naomi Klein discussing why this matters, what's at stake, and what is the true motivation for this draconian legislation. Klein sees it as the shock doctrine in action.

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Madison's new nuclear option detonated


See Rachel Maddow's story on this. So the conservative representatives in Madison separated the union-stripping section of the budget bill to vote on it individually, which they rammed through a quick vote in committee without public notice or time to read the legislation. Recall their argument for it being in the budget bill in the first place was that it was a budget issue, as allowing unions to bargain negatively impacted it. Last night they changed their tune to move on the issue nefariously because there were signs that the Governor and some Republicans were willing to compromise on the union aspects of the bill. Here you go, conservative ideology at work. Is this what you voted for Wisconsin? America?

um, I know some people don't like expletives on forums but -





According to Huff Post here is the statement of Dale Schultz, the lone Republican who voted against this travesty:

"As someone who as spent the better part of the last four weeks working toward and hoping for a compromise, this is a difficult night.

I’ve had the honor and privilege of representing folks in Southwest and South Central Wisconsin for 28 years, and where I come from ‘compromise’ isn’t a dirty word.

I’ve received tens of thousands of emails, thousands of phone calls and letters, and spent hours meeting with thousands of citizens in my district. I’ve heard personal and heartfelt stories of friends and neighbors, and they ask for just two things.

First, be inclusive by listening and working with your colleagues on both sides of the aisle to reach a compromise which addresses our fiscal crisis. Second, public employees are willing to make sacrifices on things like wages and benefits, but we need to preserve collective bargaining as a tool which has helped keep labor peace in this state for decades.

Ultimately, I voted my conscience which I feel reflects the core beliefs of the majority of voters who sent me here to represent them.

I look forward to working with my colleagues in the days ahead as we now need to join together to work through what promises to be a difficult budget."

James, are you aghast at the Michigan shock doctrine and/or the Madison nuclear option? I know they're both bad but in Michigan it's even worse, with the Gov's new power to suspend local government at his whim if he feels there is a "financial emergency." This far outdoes even the travesty in Madison and is more indicative of the conservative agenda behind all this budget smokescreen: not just corporate fascism but political fascism.

Yes, it's the specifics of the Michigan scenario which are simply unbelievable. While the focus is on Madison they are sneaking in something even worse in Michigan. Seems Arizona is also going berserk


e: "You could raise the taxes on the middle class and the poor (the rich will loophole out of any tax increases) to pay for it like the Governor of Illinois wants to do."

James: Now I know you like to play devil's advocate right?

Nope I never do. It is a waste of time.

...But this throw away comment about the rich loopholings out of taxes as if it's no big deal...... Come on e. ... You're joking right?

Just stating a fact. The rich don't have to break any laws to not pay taxes, they just have a tax attorney look over what their accountant suggests is an exploitable loophole in the law. What are you or Edward going to do about it? Post online about how "wrong" it f'ing hoo!! hahaha

Look the postmodern green liberal value is defunct, it is impotent, it cannot act as it knee jerk reacts. It looks down upon all "lower" value memes and in its intellectual superior smugness the world crumbles. Let's look at some of its recent failures (add your own favorites to the list).

1) 2 wars which it agreed and supported... started by Blue Crusaders and Orange opportunists!!
2) How many "superior" postmodernists lost money in the market to Orange?
3) Health care reform. Why does everyone’s health care premiums keep going up?
4) They had control of the Presidency, House and Senate and wealth is more concentrated in a few people’s hands than ever before!
5) Teenage pregnancy is on the rise.
6) The environment is under siege.
7) They win a popular vote for the Presidency but lose it because of chads!
8) The public school systems are disasters but teachers and administrators get bonuses and retire rich.
9) No higher taxes on the filthy rich.
10) Every level of government is broke.
11) A governor in Wisconsin busts public unions and the Democrats run and hide and they organize pajama sleep overs! a show of superiority, maybe they will throw rotten fruit at the Governor and show him who is boss or better yet blog about how unintelligent he is! lol
12) On and on and on....


Hi e

I'm not aware of being part of a "postmodern green liberal value", but I might be.

Either way, what would you suggest as an alternative, less defunct, less impotent approach?


I knew you were just stating a fact with regard to the rich paying layers to seek out tax loopholes. Do you think this is basically OK and that a right response is to just shrug our shoulders? You're not just shrugging your shoulders when it come to public sector pensions, rather you sound like you're vying for a spot as a frothing-at-the mouth-commentator on Fox News. Why is one just a fact for you, and the other something worth online shouting about?


Also, do you not think that the kind of stuff Maddow is pointing to indicates that there is a conscious plan by powerful right wing / business interests in the US to disempower elected officials and basically privatise everything they possibly can? A bit like Cheney et al did with the Iraq war?

What are you going to do about it? Post online about how wrong it is?

If that's all I'm doing you'd have a point, but as usual it is not and you don't. I use rhetoric to move people to action, including motivating myself. It's something at which the conservatives are indeed adept and from which liberals have much to learn. So what else can we do? I use the rhetoric to take personal responsibility for my consumer purchases. I try to find out which companies are supportive of fair labor practices and environmental impact and spend my money at such businesses, conversely withdrawing it from those that bust unions, pollute and treat employees like shit. (Of the latter, e.g., Integral Institute.) I also get politically involved on a variety of levels, from nagging representatives on all levels of government to organizing public interest lobbying groups. That is another thing at which conservatives are skilled, organizing and pooling money to buy politicians. Well the rest of us can do the same thing and we are, and it will have discernible effects in the next elections. (As one example, see the PCCC.)

However we should not neglect the powerful impact of language and rhetoric on this process. Like xibalba mentioned in the constructivist foundations thread, the likes of Foucault taught us to investigate the power structures behind the rhetoric and how to use it for liberation instead of enslavement. Hence posting on forums like this which attract folks with a "spiritual" impulse might indeed have some small influence in motivating us all to enact a better tomorrow my taking personal action today to right such inequities in our current system. It's true this will never happen unless the rest of us are moved to action. So I choose to goad in that direction rather than not only impotent acceptance of such inequity but tacit support by enacting the very rhetoric and practices that promote it.

Btw, I too am highly critical of the majority of Democrats in Congress for many of the points enumerated above and let them know about it on a regular basis. And I'm working to replace them with better representatives.

Hey James,

The power struggle is centered around Blue/Orange/Green. We can look at this with as much criteria as we wish. Here are a few simple ways. As 3 disparate groups vying for their values i.e. corporate Orange playing (buying) both political parties on either side. Or 2 groups i.e. blue/Orange and Orange/green using their money as influence. I personally don't see leaning to one side as integral. So what to do? Democracy can be defined as freedom and responsibility. With these two needing to be balanced in any political action. I know this is a broad stroke but with just these 2 ideas, any problem can become clearer so a course of action may emerge.

So unions for instance, the governor of Indiana said he had a problem with his unions. He said they crippled his people’s ability to function. He said if he wanted to move a copier down the hall, he had to call the union. I experienced this first hand when I was at the main convention center in Chicago about 13 years ago. The electrician's union wanted to charge me $75 to plug in my trade show booth to a power outlet strip on the floor. This graft got so bad that Chicago started to lose long held trade shows to other cities like Orlando and Las Vegas and the mayor had to step in and smack some sense into the union management at the convention center.

So instead of knee jerk reacting to what the Wisconsin governor is doing maybe ask how they got into the position in the first place i.e. how did fiscal irresponsibility lead to him being able to make union busting politically plausible. But that may require you looking at budgets and spending and sounding "like you're vying for a spot as a frothing-at-the mouth-commentator on Fox News” and appearing conservative God forbid. hahaha

More of this is coming. Look at this site and see where the Republican Right is licking their chops planning their next attacks. So we can either do the hard work of becoming fiscally responsible or start buying a wardrobe of pajamas and planning our oh so powerful liberal sleepovers. But I guess we actually want this sort of thing. I mean what would Edward get so…umm… excited about and moralize over without it? Hahaha

I say all first tier politics are BiaSed. Looking at the two Governor's states from the PBS interview and using the numbers from here do we see a loss in collective bargaining leading to a drop in wages and an increase in part time employees without full time benefits? If Maddow’s liberal BiaS holds true Indiana workers should make substantially less than Montana and there will be many more part time employees. Let’s find out.

Plugging Montana into the 2009 State Government to get the latest data we get.

12months x $77,090,116/20590(full time employees) = $44928 a year per full time equivalent employee
The ratio of full/part time employees = 17149/9211 = 1.86

Plugging union busting Indiana into the 2009 State Government to get the latest data we get.

12months x $357,157,988/92,484/92,484(full time employees) = $46342 a year per full time equivalent employee
The ratio of full/part time employees = 76790/40,709 = 1.89

So we see Indiana workers without collective bargaining rights for the last 6 years having a 3% higher full time wage and a slightly higher full to part time employment ratio. This random state pair does not support Maddow's nor Edward's liberal BiaS rants. Edward would you like to put your liberal spin on the numbers? Maybe find some liberal blog about how PBS is owned by FOX News or the US Census Bureau’s numbers are being manipulated by Republicans, etc. (I am sure you can find something on Wikileaks)? Maybe find a site on cost of living by state or benefit packages to see if that factors in to erase the 3% and show how Satan's Republican cabal is secretly out to hurt the working class and prove all this is not about fiscal responsibility. If not then these unbiased numbers in fact show you are wrong and I will accept your apology on calling me an enabler. :-)

What would be constructive is to find out how these Governors (one liberal and one conservative) have managed to keep their states solvent in this difficult economy. But that is not as fun as bitching and moaning about what the "other side" is doing wrong and about how right my superior political views are. Such is first tier politics i.e. high on the rhetoric, low on actual working solutions.

Here is Colbert's funny take on the tragic loss of democracy in Benton Harbor MI. The MI Governor makes no pretense that democracy is antithetical to his, and his corporate masters', agenda. It is obvious that such autocracy is also typical of the kennilingus modus operandi, all in the name of 2nd tierants taking responsibility for us lower-level, 1st tier ants incapable of self-governing.

As for practical, liberal solutions I referenced Thom Hartmann's book Rebooting the American Dream in this thread. I'm also exploring practical solutions in Eco Transitions by Anrsperger, a kennilingus-approved* economist in this thread. Not to mention the Rifkin and Progressive Economics threads. No, just MGM rhetoric from me if one is to believe e's frothing, autocratic conservatism hiding behind 2nd tierantics.

* At least at one time.

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