Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Tuesday Political Tirade

Don't worry folks. This isn't a regular feature or a meme. I just had to weigh in on the happenings of my home State of Wisconsin.

This blog used to contain political posts every day. It was a feast of my opinions, showing my left leaning liberal radical colors. I haven’t wavered from my beliefs. In fact, I have been just as vocal as I always was,  just not in print on this blog.
I start todays post with this statement because I must make a comment about the situation in my home state, Wisconsin. I know that you have seen Wisconsin in the National news lately.
The standoff over the Republican Governor’s so called Budget Repair Bill, and the straight down party line voting for and against it, has the State totally divided.
Governor Walker of Wisconsin has refused to accept concessions from the State’s public workers unions. These workers, through their unions, have offered to take less pay per hour and pay into their own medical and retirement funds at rates asked for by the terms of this budget proposal. In the past, they have also accepted furlough days. These are days they are just not scheduled to work and therefore not paid. They may have a paycheck one pay period of a full time job and the next might be minus the pay for one day. Like mandatory part-time status. The union membership has accepted and agreed to these concessions.
The Governor wants all of this and more. His budget wants any union worker to give up their rights to collective bargaining. He wants this because as he has said, in front of a TV camera, that “The unions can’t be trusted.”
I realize that there might be those among you that think State employees get too much and most of the private sector doesn't have the same benefits. Let me remind you that without unions, this country would have child sweat shops and workers made to work many hours on an irregular schedule. the union brought the 40 hour work week to America. Without unions, all businesses would be like WalMart and offer low paying jobs in the service industry. Where do you work? How are the conditions there? Just mad at Wisconsin because you don't have a union job? 

So the State sits, with all 14 Democrat state Senators in exile, so as to not allow a vote on this measure. The Republicans, which number 17, all vote for this bill to pass, the Democrats all vote against it. Can you say Ideology?
Oh, the union that bargains with the State Police? Well, they supported Walker when he ran for office, so their union can keep their collective bargaining rights. This is coincidence? I don’t believe so.
These are the reported undisputed facts. Also is the fact that the very rich billionaire Koch Brothers make no rebuttal of the fact that they paid a lot of money to both Walker’s political election campaign and to a Republican organization that put many ads on TV against the competing Democrat.
This is how things really get done. With exorbitant amounts of money spent to crush the opposition. Did you know this budget proposal also contains language that would allow the State to let contracts, without bidding, to any private company for services like utility power and energy. The Koch brothers, benefactors of Governor Walker's election campaign, are in the energy business heavily in Wisconsin. Go figure.
The Republicans had and spent more money than the Democrats. Therefore, the Republican’s have enough votes to make any kind of legislation they want and everyone on one party votes one way and everyone in the other party votes the other way. No compromise, no discussion what so ever.
I don’t ever remember seeing a TV ad or a news report with then candidate Scott Walker saying to the people, “If you elect me, I will take away collective bargaining rights to all public employees except for the unions that support me and I’ll make it so I can give public utility contracts to any business I want without any bids.”
By the way, neither Republican or Democrat law makers have taken any cuts in healthcare, retirement or pay and they are all public servant employees. On top of that, the Governor gave tax cuts to the wealthy residents of Wisconsin. Prior to the tax cuts for the rich, Wisconsin was slated to have a surplus in Government until these tax cuts were announced
All these facts have been reported by reputable news outlets. Do your own research and read for yourself. There is more out there than Fox News. Make up your own mind. My mind says that if the unions are willing to make substantial cuts in wages, healthcare and retirement, but the Governor says no, you must also give up your rights to collective bargaining, it is all for political gain and union busting and doesn’t have anything to do with the budget. 
Have I mentioned the prank phone call, where the Governor speaks candidly to who he thinks is a billionaire supporter of his, and pretty much says he considered planting people to cause trouble within the ranks of those that otherwise peacefully protest his actions? In this same phone call, he accepted an offer of a trip to California to celebrate the busting of the unions in Wisconsin.
There are other factors. Like the fact that the Federal Government doesn’t have collective bargaining. I don’t know what this has to do with anything, unless Governor Walker wants Wisconsin to be exactly like the Federal Government. But that doesn’t make any sense. The state of Texas doesn’t have collective bargaining and they have a budget shortfall as well. Every state does in fact.
I know where I stand. I think it is a good deal for the State to accept the concessions the public employees are offering to give and leave the rights of the people as they are. If a need for a law to disallow collective bargaining needs to be written, then write it and pass it, but not just to say the unions can’t be trusted. That’s exactly like saying all of one race or ethnicity is this or that. Then again, we're doing this with Muslims, aren't we? All Muslims are terrorists. All dark skinned Mexicans are illegal immigrants. All unions that don't support the elected party can't be trusted. Sounds like right wing extremist tea party fear mongering mantra to me.
I’m not a reporter, so I can still say what I want on my blog. At least I think I still can. You know, freedom of speech and all that? All I know is that people should not be stripped of their rights simply because one political party says they can’t trust the other.
By the way, Rush Limbaugh and Glen Beck belong to trade unions. Some Federation of broadcasters or something. I guess they can’t be trusted then, right? No, Left!

Peace

8 comments:

coldH2O said...

Thanks, New Guy for a great post. I appreciate it. We had a decent turnout in Ashland last weekend, 150-175 on a cold, bitter day. We only had one anti- drive buy - some young kids in a big new pickup & middle fingers that worked. The best horn-honker what an Ashland police cruiser - nice! I posted some pics on both of my blogs. Peace to you two & thanks again. I sure hope you get some more comments on this post, since you do have a bunch of regular readers & commenters.

Spadoman said...

Thanks coldH20.. I don't think I'll get too much play with this post, and that's okay. Like America itself, most don't want to get involved until the tanks are rumbling up their driveways.
We'll be home this weekend and make plans for a trip to Ashland. I have a dinner to buy.

Peace

mig said...

I'm more than a little hazy about how this kind of thing works in the USA 'Man but I unhesitatingly agree that to lose the right to collective bargaining is an appalling thought. I would find this frightening. Whichever union it is - the point isn't how much they earn or what benefits they have, the point is that people - the workforce - mustn't be powerless against whatever their employers want to do with them.
And, forgive my ignorance, but I completely fail to understand how curtailing the basic right to collective bargaining can be a way of saving money or preventing layoffs?

Mel said...

Oh yeah.....Wisconsin has been plagued with news. Now, understand that I try not to watch the darn news--mostly cuz there's nothing happy on there.

<-- likes happy news

Iowa had mandatory furlough days for state employees--no one went upside down about it. I figure as public servants, they'd need a break from all of us anyway. (seriously.....can't be easy being a servant of the public any day of the week!)
I don't understand the ins and outs (I avoid the news--already confessed that...LOL). But I do understand greased palms. I just don't like 'em. And if the illustrious Governor bothered to say how he was going to operate and who he was going to do favors for, votes wouldn't have happened.
Is it any wonder folks have difficulty trusting politicians.....and isn't it a shame we actually feel justified in that prejudice? *sigh*

WHY can't we all just get along?

*sigh*
Don't answer that.
I'm afraid it'll come down to dollars and cents and that'll really REALLY make me sad. :-/

Christopher said...

So sorry, Spadoman. And after all that effort, none of this means anything at all to me, except in the general principle, in which you and I walk (figuratively) hand in hand towards a better land.

Peace...

Spadoman said...

Interesting. After my friend and fellow Wisconsin resident coldH2O made a comment, the next three comments came from wonderful people and regular readers here. But two of them are from Great Britain and France!
I appreciate your visit here and comments and I am sorry to have felt the extreme need to air this subject on a blog that usually entertains, (or I am told it does).
Mel, forever the diplomat. You are absolutely correct when you suggest that we all just get along.
Thank you. I'll work hard to come up with something that will make people laugh and feel good. Please excuse my tirade on politics in America.

Peace

Annie said...

Hey Joe? This made my DAY to read this here! That probably does not surprise you, my brother. :)
My grandmother was a teacher in Appleton, Wisconsin from the 1920's to the 1940's. She would echo your opinions, I have little doubt. Thinking of you guys. Thanks!

Fran said...

Wow! My kind of tirade! Really well written. Firing on all cylinders. A deluge of truth.
These politicians are drunk on power & they will tell you anything you want to hear to get elected. And they sure do play the mud slinging card- throwing out the distractions making ugly & mean assertions about the opponent, while never actually saying what they do stand for, or what their plan is.

Today they split the bill in half in order to gain the quorum to pass it.
Our local news caster said they "accomplished what no one thought could be done".... like as if this stunt was a good thing.

Yea well, Karma's a bitch.
You throw the workers rights under the bus, highly likely EX Guv Walker will be thrown under the bus as well.

There's a good budget cut Wisconsin can love.