Saturday, 2/19/11, Public Square

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Filed under The Public Square

76 responses to “Saturday, 2/19/11, Public Square

  1. Countless are protesting against oppressive rule all over the world, including in Wisconsin and Ohio. The Republican Party seems to have decided jobs for the unworthy masses aren’t what is most important and instead declare war on workers, women, and health care.

    The faces of unlimited greed and the worship of the “holy dollar” are clearly on display and the people will not allow capital gains to come before ethics! Human beings will stand up for themselves and their dignity.

    The Republican Party should be on very high alert right now.

    • prairie pond

      I’m very concerned about this attack in concert on collective bargaining rights. People, mostly fux news heads, have no idea how their own work lives were and are shaped by the results of decades of collective bargaining.

      Do you like your 8 hour workday? Health insurance? Paid vacations? Safety rules? Due process?

      Well all those things and more were innovations decades ago that were fought for and won by unions and collective bargaining. Even if you are not in a union now, your job benefits and safety were brought about by the collective bargaining of others.

      When I worked with CWA and IBEW, I was a young woman. People my age said I had my job with the unions because THEIR family ate biscuits and gravy for weeks on end while their breadwinner was out on strike.

      I got it.

      And now, the very people who benefited from the sacrifices of others want to destroy the vehicle that brought them those benefits. It’s all part of what was said here the other day. That not only do fux heads want everything, they dont want anyone to have anything either.

      Zero sum games. How very American of us.

      Who said the other day that these repukes and fux heads want to take us back to the 19th century with no child labor laws, no clean food or water laws, no safe work place laws, and an economy that benefited ONLY the robber barons.

      Hello, Repukes? The 1800’s called. They want their government and economy back…

      • prairie pond

        Heh. I got on such a righteous rant I forgot the reason I started posting. The difference between now, and the 1930’s when collective bargaining and the NLRB brought us out of the dark ages, is that NOW our SCOTUS is bought and paid for by big business. There will be NO SCOTUS support for labor until the majority shifts. And thanks to Citizens United, and our willingness to turn a blind eye to the corruption of SCOTUS, it will be a generation at least before the majority changes.

        I think REM was right. Bush v Gore was “the end of the world as we know it” and the repukes and their Brooks Brothers rioters knew it too.

        Someday, that will be seen as the tipping point of our end of empire.

    • prairie pond

      I don’t know why this hit me so hard, but it reduced me to a puddle. I lifted it from another blog. Where is Wallace when we need him? I love how these guys were received by the other labor supporters.

      “It’s very important to note that the Wisconsin State Firefighters Association is not under…um…fire currently, but they know that an attack on ANY union is an attack on EVERY union.

      Aside from being very cool, highland pipes signify a call to war. Make no mistake: If your state has a Republican governor, war has been declared.”

    • prairie pond

      So… firefighters, police, teachers, etc. These are the “freeloaders” the repukes want to punish.

      jesus wept

  2. Dear Wisconsin, eight of your republican senators are currently eligible to be recalled, and you only need to flip three seats to put the GOP back into the minority.

    Eight GOP State Senators In Wisconsin Can Be Recalled Right Now; Gov. Walker Can Be Recalled In January

    http://thinkprogress.org/2011/02/18/wisconsin-recall/

    • prairie pond

      I agree with what 617 posted yesterday. We shouldn’t get too gleeful that this is somehow “Egypt in Wisconsin.”

      The geographic distribution of progressive voters makes it tough to get real changes made. Plus, the wingnuts have access to so much more cash through their corporate overlords, that it will get ever tougher for us to compete, especially thanks to Citizens United and the interpretation that money is speech. Progressive voters have also been demoralized by their disappointment in the obama administration and their failure to even TRY on many progressive issues. Especially the young voters. It’s going to be harder and harder to turn out the vote on the Progressive side.

      I’ll believe there will be change when I see it.

    • prairie pond

      HA! I like the articles that refer to Wisconsin’s governor as Hosni Walker!

      Hell, maybe he’s even the idiot son, Hosni W. Walker!

    • prairie pond

      Wisconsin’s populists, progressives, and labor leaders from the first part of the last century must be spinning in their graves.

      We need all those good German-descent brewery workers back! They’d knock some heads and bring labor to the table!

    • prairie pond

      Hee hee heeeeeee! Headline on another blog…

      “Can we get Al Jazeera to cover the Wisconsin protests?”

      I mean, since our media is so entrenched in the corporatocracy….

  3. fragotwofortwo

    The anti -union campaign has been scripted and played for along time. I think it’s a chamber of commerce project. Here’s one of the bigger voices.

    http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2011/02/scapegoating-madness-mom-susie-hit.html

    • prairie pond

      I am everlasingly shamed for the years I spent doing economic development and chamber work. I thought that creating jobs was a good thing. That people need jobs to even step into Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

      Little did I realize that TBTB that fund economic development don’t give a rat’s patoot about people or jobs. They only care about lining their own pockets. They keep score by how much corporate welfare they get, and how massively they raid the public treasury.

      I woke up, eventually. But not before I helped them a bunch. It’s the saddest part of my career.

      • badbiker

        And our Iggy was a HUGE Jaon Baez fan!

      • 6176746f6c6c65

        As am I. Where oh where has the time gone?

      • prairie pond

        Thanks for posting that BB!

        Fnord is right. (As always 😉 ) We haven’t listened to music together for a long time. I think we all need to make a date!

      • prairie pond

        If we make a music date here, maybe we can get tstb hooked up to listen in. He’s a “picker and grinner” from way back and loves music too.

        I miss him…

      • lastlightbreaking

        OMG a blog where I see Maslow and Joan Baez in the same thread.

        Has anyone here read Richard Fariña’s “Been Down so Long It Looks Like Up To Me?”

  4. prairie pond

    HI Fragotwofortwo!

    Our Iggy was a big fan of Mother Jones. I ran across this today. There’s a whole site of Union songs!

    “Old Mary Harris was five feet tall
    Grey hair, eyes an Irish blue
    She’d buried her husband and four little ones
    Now the Union was all she knew
    She’d stand up to any company gun
    Where there was a fight she was home
    And the breaker boys and the silk mill girls
    Called her Mother Jones

    J.P. Morgan owned the Drip Mouth Mine
    He paid a $1.35 a day
    12-14 hours, 6 days a week
    Oh that was the company way
    Now anthracite coal is a hard, hard coal
    It burns so clean and true
    It burns off the dreams of a miner’s soul
    And the blood of the UMW

    Oh Mother cried out shame, shame, shame
    We’ve nothing to lose but our chains
    Many a miner’s life’s been saved
    By a dishpan brigade

    The strikers held out for 4 long months
    Hard bread and coffee everyday
    Between the scabs and the guns
    And the Pinkertons
    Their courage was slipping away
    So the Union called in Mother Jones
    She said,”Will you be slaves or be men?”
    Then she told all the women to meet up at dawn,
    ‘And we’ll go to the lion’s den.’

    So the women marched to that Drip Mouth Mine
    With their dishpans mops and brooms
    And the sheriff said, “Now you go back home
    I’m afraid you’ll upset the mules.”
    But an angry woman knocked the sheriff down
    She said “to hell with the mules and with you”
    Then they chased those scabs all the way back to town
    And that strike was almost through

    Oh Mother cried out shame, shame, shame
    We’ve nothing to lose but our chains
    Many a miner’s life’s been saved
    By a dishpan brigade

    The women kept watch every night
    With their babies in their arms
    And the Union won the Arnot strike
    And not a soul was harmed
    Oh Mother traveled another thirty years
    Where there was a fight she was home
    And the breaker boys and the silk mill girls
    Called her Mother Jones”

    • “We have nothing to lose but our chains.”

    • fragotwofortwo

      And the Pinkertons
      Their courage was slipping away

      If that was only true.

      • prairie pond

        And now the teabaggers are shipping in busloads of their folks to Madison.

        Modern day Pinkertons. Carpetbaggers. And general hooligans.

        I guess the Brooks Brothers riots are going to be the tea bagger riots.

        Wouldn’t want to sully those suits, ya know?

      • prairie pond

        So… think about this. These teabagging pinkertons are protesting FOR the government in Wisconsin, not against them.

        FOR the government TAKING AWAY a basic human right. The FREEDOM to engage in collective bargaining.

        Tell me again how ideologically pure these teabagging butt wipes are. And that they hold no allegiance to political parties.

        Woof.

      • prairie pond

        I think the term “useless tools” applies here.

      • lastlightbreaking

        PP:

        Perhaps you give them too much credit. When you get far enough to the left on the Bell Curve, survival depends less on intelligence and more on having a competent shepherd.

        I don’t know that tebaggers really think things through; at least I’ve never seen convincing evidence of it.

      • prairie pond

        LLB

        No shit!

  5. GOP: “In order to preserve tax breaks for our billionaire corporate sponsors, the rest of y’all will be getting ‘the bird.”

    ———————————–

    House Approves Bill With Massive Spending Cuts After All-Night Session

    • 2012 really isn’t that far away! Where are the jobs?

      Boehner once again wastes time and money on bills that won’t pass. He knows in advance they won’t and still wastes the time, energy, money of the taxpayers.

      Boehner still hasn’t accomplished anything! Not that the Tea Partiers are smart enough to actually realize that… I keep needing to remind myself that GOP constituents don’t expect anything from their elected officials — they’ve had nothing, they expect nothing and they get exactly what they expect.

    • “We are Broke”….. Hmmm, weren’t we broke when Boehner pushed for extending tax breaks for the mega-rich?

      • prairie pond

        We’re broke because of corporate welfare and tax breaks for the rich, not firefighters, police, or teacher salaries!

        The “union” didn’t cause our budget problems. Repukes did with their tax breaks for billionaires and corporate welfare!

  6. Social media has been doing the work of spreading the truth! The page was just set up and so far approx. 16,000 are ‘attending.’

    Virtual Wisconsin State Employees Unions Solidarity Vigil
    HEY GUYS: IN LIGHT OF RECENT EVENTS, I HAVE HAD TO EXPAND THIS EVENT TO A FACEBOOK PAGE OF THE SAME NAME!

    http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/event.php?eid=191312694226266

  7. fragotwofortwo

    Revealed: Air Force ordered software to manage army of fake virtual people
    snip

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/02/18/revealed-air-force-ordered-software-to-manage-army-of-fake-virtual-people/

    Government involvement

    Eerie as that may be, more perplexing, however, is a federal contract from the 6th Contracting Squadron at MacDill Air Force Base, located south of Tampa, Florida, that solicits providers of “persona management software.”

    While there are certainly legitimate applications for such software, such as managing multiple “official” social media accounts from a single input, the more nefarious potential is clear.

    Unfortunately, the Air Force’s contract description doesn’t help dispel suspicions. As the text explains, the software would require licenses for 50 users with 10 personas each, for a total of 500. These personas would have to be “replete with background , history, supporting details, and cyber presences that are technically, culturally and geographacilly consistent.”

    It continues, noting the need for secure virtual private networks that randomize the operator’s Internet protocol (IP) address, making it impossible to detect that it’s a single person orchestrating all these posts. Another entry calls for static IP address management for each persona, making it appear as though each fake person was consistently accessing from the same computer each time.

    The contract also sought methods to anonymously establish virtual private servers with private hosting firms in specific geographic locations. This would allow that server’s “geosite” to be integrated with their social media profiles, effectively gaming geolocation services.

    The Air Force added that the “place of performance” for the contract would be at MacDill Air Force Base, along with Kabul, Afghanistan and Baghdad. The contract was offered on June 22, 2010.

    frago here, this could back fire badly for corporate amerika. I forsee armies of virtual consumers, leaving negative feedback, distorting marketing causing massive mis-allocation of corporate resources and lulz.

    • prairie pond

      This would be our christian taliban air force? The one that forces folks to “believe” and trains their brownshirts in Colorado Springs?

      That one?

      • 6175746f6c6c65

        Yes, the very one. As a USAF vet, it pains me to “type” that, as back in the day, the situation was considerably different.

    • lastlightbreaking

      Ummm…

      Consider the role social media played in organizing the protests. Could 500 bloggers working together alter the course of action to be taken?

      In the 1800s stampedes were stopped by turning the front of the herd in a circle and letting them run themselves out. Could this be the internet equivalent?

  8. fragotwofortwo

    Bahrain, interesting situation for uncle samuel, major naval base located there. Will uncle stay neutral ?

    http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/2011/culhane180211.html

    • 6176746f6c6c65

      Caught on the horns of a dilemma, seems to me Uncle Samuel is.

      • prairie pond

        A dilemma of his own making, I might add. We’ve been installing and/or supporting totalitarian regimes and dictators for decades.

        I believe that “whoosh, whoosh, whoosh” we hear now is the sound of wings flapping. As in, chickens coming home to roost!

        Bawk! Bawk!

  9. It is believed to be the most restrictive in the country, bluntly tackling an issue — money in judicial politics — that has drawn widespread attention.

    ———————–

    New York Takes Step on Money in Judicial Elections

  10. Who will Scott Walker’s union-busting break?

    By picking a fight with state employees, Wisconsin’s governor may have misjudged his enemy – America’s toiling middle class

    • It is my hope that the toiling middle class show the GOP the Tea Baggers are not representative of hard-working middle class Americans. The Tea Baggers are nothing more than puppets of the Koch brothers.

    • From the link above:

      “Wisconsin wasn’t broke at all – in fact, projected to enjoy a surplus – before a $140m spending package and series of tax cuts Walker pushed through in January (Walker says Wisconsin is currently $137m in the hole; the state fiscal bureau disputes this). States have dealt with budget gaps before, usually with strategic layoffs, furloughs and service cuts. Revoking union rights, on the other hand, doesn’t save states any money right now.

      It’s a political, not budgetary move, designed to punish unions who backed the losing side last November.”

      • So Walker paid back his corporate sponsors handing tax giveaways to the fat cats and busted the state of Wisconsin. And every bit of this can be tracked right back to the Koch brothers!

      • If you are reluctant to believe that this is a coordinated attack, consider this-

        This afternoon, Marty Beil, executive director of the Wisconsin Public Workers Union, sent a message to the Governor’s office agreeing to the cuts to pension & welfare benefits sought by Walker in his bill. The governor’s response was “nothing doing.” He wants the whole kit and kaboodle – the end of the collective bargaining rights of the public unions.

        The Americans for Prosperity group, a Tea Party group that is a Koch Brothers front, has put up a website and petition called http://www.standwithwalker.com. The website attacks all collective bargaining – not just for public employees’ unions. Americans for Prosperity is also organizing a rally tomorrow in Wisconsin to support Gov. Walker.

        Why are the Koch Brothers so interested in Wisconsin? They are a major business player in the state.

        Koch owns a coal company subsidiary with facilities in Green Bay, Manitowoc, Ashland and Sheboygan; six timber plants throughout the state; and a large network of pipelines in Wisconsin. While Koch controls much of the infrastructure in the state, they have laid off workers to boost profits. At a time when Koch Industries owners David and Charles Koch awarded themselves an extra $11 billion of income from the company, Koch slashed jobs at their Green Bay plant:

        Officials at Georgia-Pacific said the company is laying off 158 workers at its Day Street plant because out-of-date equipment at the facility is being replaced with newer, more-efficient equipment. The company said much of the new, papermaking equipment will be automated. […] Malach tells FOX 11 that the layoffs are not because of a drop in demand. In fact, Malach said demand is high for the bath tissue and napkins manufactured at the plant.

        You really have to wonder how long it will take for Tea Party devotees to realize just how badly they are being used.

        http://blogs.forbes.com/rickungar/2011/02/18/koch-brothers-behind-wisconsin-effort-to-kill-public-unions/

      • Wisconsin GOP Tries “Illegal” Tactics To Pass Anti-Union Bill

        Wisconsin Democrats say Republicans are breaking the rules in their rush to pass a “budget repair bill” that contains anti-union provisions. Republicans in the State Assembly have enough votes to pass the bill, but decided to start voting on it before the Assembly was scheduled to meet.

        Minority Leader Peter Barca called the move “unprecedented” and “illegal.” He said “I know you are just so eager to tramp on peoples’ and workers’ rights, you can’t just wait, can you?” Barca called for the vote to be struck.

        Republican Assembly Leader Jeff Fitzgerald said he thought the Democrats would not show up for the scheduled 5pm vote. Eventually he agreed to rescind the vote.

        http://theuptake.org/2011/02/19/wisconsin-gop-tries-illegal-tactics-to-pass-anti-union-bill/

  11. 6176746f6c6c65

    The best, imho. In a way, wish it had been me and not Robert Zimmerman as the subject…

  12. WSClark

    I am taking bids for the opportunity to wash my new car/truck today. You do not need to be a professional, just quite detail-oriented and willing to do windows.

    She is a very pretty vehicle and quite easy to get along with, somewhat unlike her “owner.”

    Rumor has it that Kansas winter weather is going to return the first part of next week, so please get your bid in, bid early and often.

    • lastlightbreaking

      Park it on Cheney Dam, leave the keys in it, and I’ll wash it for free!
      (You might want to tie a long, strong rope to the hitch first)

  13. lastlightbreaking

    Stray thoughts:

    I hold onto a thread of hope for Obama, even after he compromised on Bush’s tax cut extension.

    It pushed the next decision to 2012, the year he runs for President again. The liberal Dem turnout will be much higher, and we may retake the house.

    Even if not, the cuts go away unless the Reps have enough votes to override a veto.

    By giving them the cuts now, Obama has boxed the Republicans: if the economy is better, we don’t need the cuts to continue. If it isn’t, the cuts clearly didn’t work.

  14. CapnAmerica

    Has anyone here read Richard Fariña’s “Been Down so Long It Looks Like Up To Me?”

    Yes, LLB, I read it when I was in high school. Great book, in the mold of “On the Road” by Kerouac.

    I also saw Mimi Farina play one time as a warm up for Joni Mitchell.

    • lastlightbreaking

      In the 60s and early 70s we lived in Houston Texas (I ‘commuted’ to KU.)

      There was a coffee house on Westheimer Blvd. called the “Sand Mountain.” It was small, but it was on the circuit between SF and Louisiana.

      In High School I begged and saved to buy a Gibson CO classical guitar; I auditioned for and got a ‘job’ as an unpaid warm-up performer. Unpaid isn’t quite right, I got in free, had all the coffee I wanted, and got to sit in the green room and listen.

      Alan Lomax Jr. came by one week in the summer..

      My RA has gotten in the way of my picking, but I still have the same guitar.

      • lastlightbreaking

        12 hours each way at semester break etc.

      • CapnAmerica

        Pretty cool. Pretty cool.

        That concert with Mimi Farina? Joni does like a third encore and guess who comes out to sing with her?

        Flippin’ Neil Young.

        I just kinda melted into a puddle . . . it was completely unannounced.

      • CapnAmerica

        Speaking of music gods . . . did you happen to see New Riders of the Purple Sage at the Sedgwick County Zoo last summer.

        They’ve still got it going on. They played “Ripple” better than the Dead can play it . . .

    • lastlightbreaking

      Shocker_1 has always reminded me of the cashier that wouldn’t take his silver dollar.

    • prairie pond

      OMG I love the NRPS. I love their version of Panama Red.

      It used to be my theme song in my misspent youth. Heh.

  15. They walk among us! Honestly, what kind of women do these whack jobs hang out with? They’ve certainly taught them to be mistrustful of women! How could any person, but especially those who are female, vote for these idiots who think they are the uterus police?

    ———————

    GEORGIA: Wingnut GOP Rep Wants Police To Investigate All Miscarriages

    Not only does whackadoodle Georgia state Rep. Bobby Franklin want abortion classified as murder, according to his latest bill, the police will have to investigate all miscarriages to ensure that they were “spontaneous.” Here’s the complete bill.

    http://www.legis.ga.gov/Legislation/en-US/display.aspx?Legislation=31965

    • fnord – Isn’t that what I posted the other day?!

      Moonshadow
      February 17, 2011 at 8:31 pm
      Indy – I have heard this proposed in the past. There ARE those that would like to go after the women that have abortions and charge them with murder. Then what is to be done about spontaneous abortions, miscarriages? Wouldn’t they then have to determine if there were any culpability in each and every case?

    • You’re clairvoyant? 😉

  16. indypendent

    But how how can these ‘real’ patriots want the government to be so intrusive into a citizens’ life? And since when are police going to be trained as doctors?

    I swear – these wackadoodle group of Republicans have this insatiable and perverse thirst to get into everyone elses’ sex lives. Isn’t it a shame that these same folks think it is no big deal when they themselves get caught with their pants down (literally) and they are not with their wife!!!

    Social Conservative Republicans are some sick puppies and I am afraid there is no cure.

  17. indypendent

    I had to work today and then we had a family birthday dinner for my grand daughter. She is now 5 yrs old!

    She is so precious and I cannot believe 5 years has gone by so fast. But I worry about her and my 4-mo old grandson’s future. That is why I get so damn angry at all this Republican B.S. being passed off as some sort of wisdom.

    While the rest of the world is marching on – these tea-bag stapled 3-corner hat wearing Paul Revere wannabe’s are trying to drag us back to the 1800’s.

  18. Thunderchild

    Isn’t it about time we demanded that the Koch brother’s toy boat be removed from OUR riverbank?

    Let’s have our own COMMUNITY financed boathouse(TAX the Koch’s to pay for it) and let the Koch’s display their toy boat in front of their slave quarters (Koch industries) or in their own front yard.

    • CapnAmerica

      Good point. Thing is, that the owner of the AmericaCubed racing yacht (or whatever the name is) is one of the “outlaw” Koch Bros . . . Bill. The oldest brother, Fred Jr. also an outlaw, is one of the artsy set in New York circles. Bill is the one who pulled the curtain back by suing the two who stayed with Koch Industries (Charles and David) and — surprise! — ripped the other two brothers off when they bought them out.

    • 6176746f6c6c65

      Well, TC, the “toy boat” is/was Bill Koch’s America’s Cup yacht. Bill’s battles (legal and otherwise) with Charles, in particular, are legendary. I believe Bill has nothing, and has had nothing, to do with the political actions of Charles, et al. Now, that said, the presence of the racing yacht in Wichita makes little sense overall, and perhaps it should be removed for that reason; but its presence has nothing to do with the political machinations of the two Kochs who are the moving force behind the mischief that antagonizes us here.

      Perhaps WSU should be persuaded to change the name of its basetball arena while we’re at it; I’ll not hold my breath.

  19. fragotwofortwo

    I side with 6 here

  20. Too funny.

    However, I think it should simply say: I voted, and all I lost was….
    Neither party is thinking about no one but themselves.

    • Yes! With one tiny exception (which happens to be a BIGGIE to me) — the GOP will always protect the BIG guys, the wealthy, the corporations because they still believe they will one day be that rich and powerful. They’re gullible!