Tag Archives | unions

What If They Held A Civil War And The Military Didn’t Show Up?

Civil War And Military Didn't ComeI’m sure you’ve already heard the news:  Between roughtly 4:00pm and 6:30pm last night, Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald stripped the union-busting provisions of Wisconsin’s notorious “Budget Repair Bill” into a stand-alone bill, which as an allegedly non-fiscal bill required a much smaller quorum to floor, and forcibly destroyed trade unionism in the state.

A vote in the assembly is scheduled for 11:00am local time today 10th March, but nobody seriously expects any significant defection within the heavy Republican majority.

Upon learning of the coup d’état, crowds rushed and occupied the capitol building in violation of Walker’s Department of Administration restrictions.  See video here.

Although exempted from the draconian provisions of the bill, it’s been clear for weeks that the police and their unions know that it is only a matter of time and opportunity until Walker attempts to destroy their political voice as well.

Clearly the next round of conflict will surround injunctions and constitutional challenges to this extraordinary bill, which surely will be legion.  But Republican Walker’s fantastic incompetence and three-week public relations fiasco has provided more than enough evidence to prove that the measures were never intended to address fiscal issues, but solely to destroy the historically Democrat unions ability to organize politically.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Still Waters Run Deep: Phase 2 Of The Madison Uprising

The ScreamThe differences between Madison, Wisconsin and Tripoli, Libya should be obvious. The fact that Madison hasn’t floated away on a crimson tide of gore should be encouraging—horrors on that atavistic scale happen only where there exists not even the nominal right to redress majoritarian excesses through protest.

The contrast to America’s experience of 1968 is positive as well; I remind you that movement flamed out prematurely due to inexperience and lack of discipline. The image created in my mind by this phase of the Madison Uprising is more like that evoked by Edvard Munch’s “The Scream”—the silent edge of a rising shout.

The crowds in Madison seem to have leveled out at a steady 30,000-40,000 per day, according to most reports.  That is still a pretty freakin’ huge # when put into context of the relatively sparse population of this section of Wisconsin and personal commitments being made by protesters in order to attend, in terms of time and money.  All the more so when you consider the scanty number of counter-demonstrators that the dilettante Koch brothers have been able to scare up from out of state, even with literally billions of dollars at their disposal.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

DNC RIP: 1848 – February 16, 2011

“There was madness in any direction, at any hour. You could strike sparks anywhere. There was a fantastic universal sense that whatever we were doing was right, that we were winning.” — Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Trumka and McEntee

Trumka and McEntee

Well, almost . . . I’m not too confident about defeating Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s junta in the near term. In fact I’m detecting a growing rumble that suggests the earth is about to crack open within the next week and swallow the Madison Uprising whole. However, two other points seem equally clear to me:

1.) If it does, it will likely drag the DNC to Hell along with it

2.) The DNC’s demise may not be all that great a loss for Richard Trumka and Jerry McEntee — or the American people.

Madness

I’m only one lone blogger, an overfed garden gnome with a bad haircut.  I can’t possibly hope to convey to those outside of Wisconsin the full brutal glory and incendiary bolts of sheer lunacy roiling through the state right now.  In part because I have heretofore lacked the resources and the contacts to be at the epicenter and in greater part because the whole awesome mess is so overwhelming that I think it’d be beyond the capability of a dedicated full-time team of bloggers to bring home the sublime scale of the thing.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Back to the (Dystopian) Future: Scott Walker’s CV Explains a Lot

BTF WTFIs Scott Walker’s latest stunt in Wisconsin just an attempt at revenge for his own mediocre academic career?  Let’s take a look at the facts.

Been busy days out here in Wisconsin, what with all the turmoil wrought by “Boy Wonder” Scott Walker’s genius pre-emptory activation of the armed forces.  Clearly the man missed his calling as an FBI hostage negotiator.

As of the time of this writing, the basic facts of the matter remain as they have for nearly a week now:  Scott Walker has called for, and the public employees unions have agreed to, major financial concessions.  Which raises the question as to why there remains so much upset a week into the farrago.  I mean, if this were really about saving $ and ¢, why would Walker have bothered to call in the national guard, starting the meter running on their active-duty pay [1] when unions have caved on the only issue?  Why does Walker still refuse even to negotiate non-financial issues?… Read the rest

Continue Reading

London Calling As The Economy Hovers On The Edge And Scholars Debate War And Terrorism

LONDON: The British capital pretty much looked like it did the last time I was here except for all the closed stores and businesses I passed on the way to the War and Media Conference that brought me here.

I am not sure what it will look like the next time I come because the new Tory government is preparing to slash 40% of public funding in an austerity move which is certain to destroy thousands of jobs and inflict pain on the poor and middle class.

My friend Bill Bowles is afraid his pension might be trimmed along with his “freedom card” which gives folks over 65 free access to local transportation. (Seniors in New York only get half-fare cards). Given that the government is the country’s number one employer, a 40% cut will be devastating to the economy as well, mimicking that famous Vietnam War saying, “we destroyed the village in order to save it.”

He writes:

“By proposing cuts as high as 40% of our social infrastructure, the government might just as well hand out free vials of cyanide to millions of public service workers and then to the thousands of small, medium-sized businesses that get fifty per cent of their business from government according to the BBC.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Two Minutes Hate: Working Class Politics, History, Culture

International Socialist Organization Ashley Smith ISO

The ISO Dutifully Joins "The Left" in Reformist Protest Politics

Nick Pell at the Red Star Times:

Just wanted to do a quick roundup before the weekend comes. Things have been hectic around RST central as I gear up to move and begin work on my book. Still, there’s a few things I just have to make time for.

There’s the small matter of the continuing oil spill uncontrolled hemorrhage, for which no one has, nor will they ever be, arrested and tried for crimes against humanity.

The unions continue their attacks on workers while the Chinese working class continues to prove that it is at the vanguard of struggle against the fake left, capitalism and imperialism. And Red Star Times’s favorite fake left sect the International Socialist Organization gears up for their annual love-in with the Democratic Party, its radical hangers-on and vaguely left-of-center celebrities, ironically named “Socialism 2010.”

Read the Full Article at Red Star Times

Read the rest

Continue Reading