Monday, March 14, 2011

Al Jazeera English: Live Stream on Japan's Tsunami/Nuclear Danger/Earthquake

Al Jazeera English: Live Stream - Watch Now - Al Jazeera English

What's the difference in possible outcome: nuclear bombs versus nuclear plants? Our lives remain at risk as long as we store them or use them. I was listening to the Ed Show today. I will have to track down the authority being interviewed who said, essentially and with complete sincerity, that we could use solar energy to run the entire planet but don't because it's just too expensive. And that ended the conversation as if that notion settled the matter. It reminded me of religious people who say, well, we can't do it because god said so, or the Bible says so. It's incredulous, really, this rationale against ourselves as if it's a reasonable response. Are we really mad enough to put our lives at risk because it cost too much to assure our safety? It's the same argument over and over. The same limitation in thinking. The same acceptance of destruction over safety over and over. It's repetitive now. Habit.

Japan's Nuclear Situation

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Take the Money

It's an interesting class war if we can call it that. It's very aggressive on the part of the 1% who have accumulated so much at such a terrible cost to the potential of everyone else.

The other day, someone said  we are living in a misrepresentation of an illusion, so elusive it can only be momentarily viewed as a mirrored image of the real illusion, which is veiled from viewing. The best we can do is try to get a sense of the absurdity of the kind of lopsided condition sold as a social system that cannot be tampered with without grave consequences to the fabric that keeps its people alive. 

The other day someone said, take back the money from the banks.
Close their doors and redistribute the money.
Pay off the global national debts.
Pay for global healthcare.
Pay for global education.
Pay for global infrastsructures.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Punitive Shut Down of Barely Noisy Milwaukee GOP Town Hall

A town hall meeting in Milwaukee County (Tosa) abruptly shut down because the organizers perceived the comments from the floor as acts of civil disobedience in need of punishment. 

Here's the local news channel.

Here's the article on it at Huffington Post

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Michael Moore visits Madison Wisconsin

Here's the video of Micheal Moore in Madison.  Everyone starts out thanking everyone. I have to say, it's very exciting to see what's happening in Madison.

Best route for people: DO NOT LEAVE

Best route for 14 Democratic Senators: DO NOT COME BACK YET

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Walker and Class War in Madison

 UPDATE: March 5, 2011: John Stewart of teachers and their pay in Wisconsin.  To add to the comedy skit on Walker with mother issues, I'd have to add a comedic skit on Walker with early elementary and high school teacher issues.  Now is his chance to get even for whatever grudge he harbors.

  UPDATE: March 4, 2011: A democrat congressman is wrestled to the ground inside the capital.

and here's a page at the Huffington Post with numerous articles on the Wisconsin protests.

and here's a note on the Governor Walker being ordered to reopen the state capital. 

 and here's a Democracy Now! video from Feb. 25 that shows the extent of issues of the protests.

UPDATE: The people in Madison are holding firm as of March 3, 2011. They are a very courageous group of people. They are a fine example of the importance and impact of staying in the streets until one's demands are met. We might even call this The Year of Staying the Streets. It's becoming clear that the protesters are starting to annoy the governor, who is starting to use force (arrests, plants, etc.) to get his way. It's important to watch his tactics. They are rather standard procedure: arrests, plants, inciting violence, lies. In addition, he's threatening to lay off 1,500 state workers if the democratic senators don't return. Not to mention, he plans to arrest them if he can catch them. Such behavior, on the part of the governor, appears to put the burden of the effects of the budget crisis on the shoulders of the senators hiding out in Illinois, the teachers, the nurses, the firefighters, the police officers and other government workers. It's interesting. The governor seems to be saying to the protesters and senators, okay, you've had enough time to express your right to disagree. That's America. You have that right. Now let's move on with my plan. Go back to work or to the unemployment line, whichever place you've been relegated to. I hope both the senators and protesters hold firm and do not give up.

Below is a quoted passage from GreenConsciousness, on Walker's Plan that everyone should be cognizant of. While I have some disagreements with an earlier section of the entry (not printed but you can link to it), I find this part of the passage extremely enlightening and important.


Included in the same bill that takes away the right to collective bargaining are measures that would both weaken the state’s “Badgercare” health care program for hundreds of thousands of residents who cannot get regular insurance; and allows the unregulated sell-off of state-owned power plants to the Governor’s corporate allies.

Walker is proposing a $1 billion cut to health care programs that serve the disabled, elderly, and low-income residents currently served through BadgerCare, the state’s Medicaid program.

He plans to weaken the BadgerCare program by reducing legislative oversight.   The Governor wants to allow the Secretary of Health, who came from a recent job at the Heritage Foundation, to be able to change the requirements for enrollment, premium charges, and other basic parameters -- resulting in potential losses of coverage due to lack of affordability, loss of coverage altogether, or losing the federal matching funds that currently account for about 60% of the total funding for the program.  These changes will affect approximately 700,000 Wisconsin residents.

Provision 16.896, which would allow the sale of the state’s heating, cooling, and power plants to private corporations without the solicitation of bids. Adding insult to injury, Walker also aims to strip away the ability of the Public Service Commission to approve or certify this buy-out. In other words, if this bill were to pass, state-owned utilities could easily be bought by corporations as the latter wishes.

The new governor recently proposed a wind turbine siting law that would effectively shut down most wind power production. The new law, if put into effect, would require wind turbines to be set back at least 1,800 feet from any nearby property unless all affected property owners agree to the turbine in writing.

Only one-fourth of Wisconsin’s current wind turbines would ever have been built if this rule had been in place in the past. In other words, 2,250 fewer people would have construction or maintenance jobs, over a million fewer dollars would be flowing to rural communities in the form of land leases, and the 21 manufacturing plants in the state that supply the wind industry would have far fewer orders and would likely be closing their doors.

Other policies that Gov. Walker advanced since coming to power included corporate tax giveaways, the imposition of a two-thirds legislative majority to pass tax increases, the rejection of $800 million in federal funding for high-speed rail, and a “voter ID” law.

Gov. Walker pushed through almost $140 million in corporate tax breaks and spending that benefits large businesses. The Executive Director of One Wisconsin Now, Scot Ross, commented that he was “handing out [millions] in special interest spending to his corporate pals ...

My response

Since corporations are the main beneficiaries of a student's education results, corporations should be taxed to pay for ALL institutions of education. That is, the current taxes for education should be replaced with a corporate tax. Until then, the current taxes should remain as is. We are facing a situation in which the battle for the new consciousness in the global work structure, consumer market and infrastructure are being developed. We have to decide how we wish to restructure these arenas.

I was also asked to view another blog, Clarissa's Blog, and respond to the use of the word privilege, which I do use a great deal.

Here's my response though I don't feel the need to post it on Clarissa's blog:

I use the word privilege all the time. So, no, I wouldn't say to you what Clarissa does about the use of the word. This is a crucial word in my vocabulary. Denying how it works to control social behavior might limit one's ability to see its role as an underlying inhibitor of action. Diminishing its broker role seems to suggest one has internalized the dominant view that privilege-- a culturally shaped characteristic of entitlement--plays little or no role in the stratification of classes. Denying that privilege, a recognizable and calcuable condition in the workplace, forfeits one's chance to understand its full implications as a tool in the hierarchical maintenance of the status quo and institutionalized class system can lead to stagnation. Such denial of the social pathology of privilege helps maintain the fragmentation and divisiveness of the working classes, which includes the middle class. To devalue this term thus devalues the opportunity to unite wage earners against the corporate structures of power.

In academia myself, I also now and then respond to circulating emails at the school. The latest email sent out offered sympathy to the protesters in Wisconsin

Wisconsin is not just asking for wage and pension concessions from their public workers. They are using this challenging economic situation which was produced by the banks and Wall Street, as an excuse to dismantle the public worker unions. I realize that many people are facing extremely difficult times with unemployment rates high, gas and food prices high and economic clouds on every horizon. However, teachers and other public workers didn't get us into this situation. It is one thing to ask people to pitch in when we face difficult times. I think it would be totally appropriate for the government and the unions to negotiate some concessions but it is all together different to use these times for specific political agendas - the dismantling of unions. Another assault on the middle class is not what our society needs today. I urge all of us here at ------- College to stand in support of Wisconsin colleagues.

My general response:

Yes, I signed the petition. And yes,I support the workers and unions in Wisconsin. Nevertheless, I wrote the following:

The bill on the table--correct me if I'm wrong--includes making strikes illegal. That in itself should be a reason to head to the streets and an incentive to stay in the streets.Overall, the bill weakens not just union power, which we already know is pretty weak, but also chips away at a vehicle that gives workers any voice at the negotiating table.

The bill if I have this right makes an attempt to put open control of the conversation and workers pay and benefits in the hands of management. That would be okay as long as the rights, pay and benefits of management were decided by the workers.

The bill is meant to reduce the wages and benefits of public employees to the level of wages and benefits of employees in the private sector. I think I have this right. You create a sense of economic instability to unite workers into accepting their own economic derailment in the name of "we're all in this together."

And whose wages and benefits in the private sector are the architects of the bill referring to? My lawyer, also a professional, earns $300.00 an hour.

Teachers should be smarter than to internalize the desires of a governor who runs the political tables in Wisconsin to favor Wall Street and hoarders of wealth and power. Unions too should be smarter. If the unions compromise in Wisconsin, we should all be very frightened.

Isn't a better mantra for all working people as we deepen into the 21st century Catch Up not Pitch In? Shouldn't that be the example workers in the public sector set for workers in the private sector?

Perhaps a better mantra is Catch up NOT Give up.