Saturday, February 19, 2011

WISCONSIN PROTESTERS: call out the national guard yourselves

The one card Governor Scott Walker has to play is calling out the national guard, but what if protesters beat him to the punch?

If you know someone in the guard ask them if they will obey the order to disperse or even fire on their friends and neighbors, and what kind state they think they'd end up living in if they did. Then post their replies to blogs or here, anonymously if they want or with their names if they are willing.

It would be a good question for capitol and state police as well.

Reporters should be asking guard commanders the same question. (I'm going to email or call later today).

Even if they say they. Will follow orders, it will plant a seed of doubt.

If someone says they won't follow the orders, I would challenge them to join the protest in uniform--which would be a good idea for veterans among protesters right now. If the right doesn't mind calling teachers and other public workers lazy pigs, it will a lot harder for them to do if it makes them look like they aren't ''supporting the troops.''

Maybe if you know a someone in the military in Iraq or Afghanistan, especially public workers deployed in the guard, you could get video clips of statements of support.

We need to do more than beat the right here--we need to make them afraid to bash public workers and union bash ever again. We should make them BEG for the privilege to vote for the Employee Free Choice Act. This needs to be their Waterloo, and we need the troops on our side to do it.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

SANCTITY OF CONTRACTS: Wall Street execs vs. Wisconsin public workers

If you recall, after Obama was sworn in, people asked if he would add some strings to the no strings attached bailout of Wall Street to the tune of $700 BILLION, like capping executive compensation or cutting those bonuses that surely no one deserved if their company needed a bailout. Obama's excuse for not doing so was those Wall Street execs had CONTRACTS, gosh darn it, and we can't violate those CONTRACTS even if we want to.


If he really believes that, he SHOULDN'T be freezing the salaries of federal workers many of whom have unions and are under contract, and SHOULD be backing the public workers in Wisconsin to the hilt and unleashing his Labor and Justice Department on the governor of Wisconsin the way Eisenhower, Kennedy and Nixon went after governors in the Jim Crow states since the governor is trying to nullify all those contracts.

I'm not hearing much noise like that.

What is the difference between the two sets of workers besides that one works in the private sector and one works in the public?

It can't be that one involves individuals making contract with employers as opposed to large groups making contracts with employers because our government doesn't seem to mind mergers of corporations for more bargaining clout--why should they mind the merger of individuals for more bargaining clout?

The private versus public sector distinction was wiped out by the bailout. Every bank an brokerage that got taxpayer money was a de facto public entity until that money was entirely repaid. If they hadn't gotten the money, many of them would have gone under, which is worse than what Wisconsin or any state faces since they have the power to either borrow with bonds or raise taxes.

It can't be that all contracts are not created equal, with the contracts of the wealthy being more valid than contracts with the working and middle class?

It can't be that the only difference is that public workers don't have as much money to contribute as individual Wall Street execs, or that public worker unions can't offer megabucks jobs as lobbyists, CEO's or do-nothing board members after politicians leave office can it? Or that they can't offer those kinds of bribes to politicians' family members while the politician is still in office like Wall Street can?

If that was the case, how can we accuse any other government of corruption, even our own oil company consultant, brother of a drug lord puppet in Afghanistan?

In reality Obama has shown repeatedly that the contracts of middle class workers are only fit to wipe his ass with. Obama had no trouble demanding concessions from the autoworkers union to bail out Detroit, so those private sector contracts didn't seem so sacred.  And Obama's education secretary made his bones in Chicago with union-busting (and therefore contract-busting)  mass firings of teachers to clear the path for for-profit charter schools and education management companies. Those teachers were also middle class people.

The White House and Congress could at least be honest with the working and middle class and say, ''This is what Wall Street is paying us to screw you. If you can scrape together the money to top that, we can talk,'' instead of just assuming we can't pay.

Or maybe we have to figure out a way to get closer to one person one vote instead of one dollar one vote before most of us end up living in cardboard boxes and sifting throw the garbage and sewage of the rich to survive.

Monday, February 14, 2011

a violent reaction to nonviolent revolution

`Buzzflash posted a debate on violent versus nonviolent revolution between anti-war activists David Swanson and Ted Rall, but I felt an important angle was left out.  Here's my comment:

RE: blocking the courthouse

The hypothetical Swanson mentioned about blocking the courthouse until they allow gay marriages and Rall's reply to it about the cops dragging off the protesters or them being slaughtered shows the real use of violence, and even Martin Luther King used it in this way: when you get those in power to use violence against non-violent protesters and it is broadcast on TV for all to see, those in power have lost.  They can only retain power by using escalating violence and eventually, they will get to the point where police and soldiers will no longer pull the trigger--and then we have won.

That is what happened during the coup against Gorbachev and what happened when we tried to overthrow Hugo Chavez early in the Bush years.  In the latter case, enough of the military was tired of being the bad guys to their own people to undo the coup.

Nonviolence can work if you are willing to be on the receiving end of a rifle butt, tear gas canister, or even a bullet.

But as cities and states across the country are cutting police forces and looking to cut public pensions (which police would have), I don't think we have far to go before they will stop beating us and start joining us.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

FINISH THIS SENTENCE: Low taxes on the rich matter more to Republicans than ____________.

For example, Michelle Bachmann thought low taxes on the rich were more important than veterans benefits--until vets handed her her ass and she backed off.

Clearly, low taxes on the rich are more important than smaller classes in K-12.

Low taxes on the rich are more important than having enough firefighters.

Low taxes on the rich are more important to Republicans than having enough cops on the streets.

Ironically, low taxes on the rich are even more important to Republicans than low taxes on everyone else.

and so on.

Please add your own (with a link if possible).

NOTE: Unfortunately, that question could also include a lot of Blue Dog and DLC Democrats, who (like Republicans), think public office is a way to audition for jobs as lobbyists, CEO's, or highly paid, do-nothing board members.