Sunday, February 27, 2011

Look for me, Mom, I'll be there ...

" ... Where there's a fight 'gainst the blood and hatred in the air
Look for me Mom I'll be there
Wherever there's somebody fightin' for a place to stand
Or decent job or a helpin' hand
Wherever somebody's strugglin' to be free
Look in their eyes Mom you'll see me.""

The Ghost of Tom Joad by Bruce Springsteen


100,000 strong in Wisconsin and huge groups across the country protesting the Wisconsin governor's (and by extension the Republican Party) attempt to bust public unions. No matter what they say, it's not about the budget. It's about the rich of one party (Koch brothers and the Republicans) breaking up the biggest funding source of the other party (unions and the Democrats). Remove their funding and the ability of the common man to organize and you will have a self-perpetuating Republican majority that can't be stopped.

But, maybe ... just maybe, the Republicans shot their load too soon. Underestimating the resolve of 14 brave state senators and countless people across the country that make up the backbone of the working class (teachers, firemen, cops and your average private union worker).

Those that are trying to sell you "liberty" and "freedom" are encouraging the exact opposite ... a government funded and dictated to by a small group of huge corporations whose goal this week may be fiscal in nature. But next week, when they have effective control, it will be the removing of environmental and civil rights protections.

We have a choice.







"Let the workers organize. Let the toilers assemble. Let their crystallized voice proclaim their injustices and demand their privileges. Let all thoughtful citizens sustain them, for the future of Labor is the future of America." -- John L. Lewis(President of the UMWA from 1920-1960)


12 comments:

Sadie Lou said...

You know, I'm not about party affiliation anymore because both sides of that fence are corrupt. I like to be objective. I'm not saying you're not objective but have you heard the reports of how hateful and angry those protesters are. There is a YouTube video of a Fox News reporter not being able to exercise his amendment right to free speech! It was during Geraldo's show and the crowd kept finding ways to ruin his live broadcast. From the report,
“And the sickest thing is many go to the University of Wisconsin there or are affiliated as teachers or some other positions with the university, supposedly a liberal bastion committed to the Bill of Rights and the United States,” Rivera said. “And yet, they are using bullying tactics on the one hand and then this gross interruptions of a reporter trying to do his job.”



Also, I like that Shep Smith has been "fair and balanced" on this whole thing on Fox News.
"Smith said he was “I’m not taking a side on this. I’m telling you the story… Facts at times are troublesome things. The Koch brothers have been organizing to bust the unions… This is political.” He went on to say that ”To pretend that this is about a fiscal crisis in the state of Wisconsin is melarky. It’s duck feathers.”

I like that there are people who are willing to look at this objectively, respectfully and maturely. I think the behavior of many liberal protesters speak volumes into the character of left-wing fanatics and this situation in Wisconsin speaks volumes about right-wing radicals.

vjack said...

What is happening in WI seems to be something of a GOP trial balloon. If they win there, they are going to try to do this everywhere. I hope that the Democrats stand firm and hand them a defeat. This sort of momentum could be just what we need.

dbackdad said...

I agree that civility should happen regardless of affiliation. But, I'd guarantee no "left-wing fanatics" are toting guns and calling for the President to be shot.

Those that complain of a FOX News reporter being shouted down are strangely silent when Democratic representatives are shouted down at town meetings. There is a very common misunderstanding of what "freedom of speech" is. It's freedom from "government reprisal" ... not freedom from criticism or freedom from consequences.

It may be a lack of civility but it is not violating anyone's free speech. And FOX News is not deserving of the respect that would be accorded an actual news organization. When it freely and frequently advertises and funds Tea Party protests, it is forfeiting its neutrality.

Sadie said, "I like that there are people who are willing to look at this objectively, respectfully and maturely." - No argument here.

vjack -- These "trial balloons" are becoming all too common. Nothing is too crazy or too "out there". As soon as SB1070 happened here in AZ, several other states went ahead with their laws. When they overextend, they are winners even when they compromise.

But I do think that the national Republican Party underestimated how much this issue would provide a rallying point for a Democratic Party that is, at times, rudderless.

wunelle said...

My next door neighbors were at three days of protesting and said that any talk of incivility are total propaganda bullshit. Of course you'll find passionate people who are a bit carried away in their rhetoric, but these appear to be very much the minority. On the contrary, my neighbors said the mood around the capitol was like a love-fest. The arrival of the right wing shock troops did not succeed in stirring the pot in much of a significant way.

Fox News finding riots and incivility tells you everything you need to know about Fox and their manufacture of news for political ends. I'm amazed that any working-class person would listen to them.

You're absolutely right, Lance, that this has not one thing to do with money. The unions have granted the financial concessions that have been asked, and the governor has no interest whatsoever. Our financial problems stem from a worldwide recession, and are not a result of insane compensation of state workers. No, this is about using the first control opportunity to ram through the most draconian FUTURE power-grab possible, by trying to hobble workers' ability to speak collectively in the future.

My wife is a college professor in the University of Wisconsin system, and the idea that her compensation and benefits are in any way unearned--or a burden to the state--is pure political malice. She routinely works 60-70 hour weeks and the job is killing her. For $43 grand. She has a Master's Degree and it took her years to get here. I know many of her colleagues and with virtually no exceptions they are hard-working folks who are trying to provide a vital social need. I'm sick of them being attacked by people who are threatened by the facts of science and would intellectually bomb our culture back to the stone age.

We are right to resist this as vigorously as necessary to thwart the revolution. I'm thrilled at the actions and resolve of the Democratic Senators, and I'm immensely proud of the citizens of this state who have risen up and refused to let this tyranny stand.

And to the governor who continues to insist that the protesters do not cause him to waver in the least, I say: in that case, sir, you are a sociopath.

dbackdad said...

Wunelle -- When we went to the SB1070 protest, there were 50,000 people there and it could not have been more civil. Anyone that believes that a congregation of liberals can be anything but lacks an understanding of what it means to be a liberal.

We take our inspiration from Ghandi, MLK and the power of non-violent protest.

Sadie Lou said...

Lance,
"It may be a lack of civility but it is not violating anyone's free speech."
Yes it is. Why can't people just chill out and let whomever do a live broadcast? Why do protesters have to damage equipment and get in the way of the Fox News broadcast? Because they don't like Fox News? Because they don't agree with Fox News? Who the eff cares? What are they afraid of? If the show were on the other foot, liberals would be whining too and then the conservatives would be calling it 'propaganda'. Same ol' crap.


"And FOX News is not deserving of the respect that would be accorded an actual news organization. When it freely and frequently advertises and funds Tea Party protests, it is forfeiting its neutrality."

Oh seriously? Like CNN doesn't have the same neutrality issues? Ha! Come on.Why do you think social networking and political blogs are where most people are getting their news stroeis from these days? It's because nobody *really* wants unbiased News anyways. Everybody wants to hear a news story presented with some sort of bent or angle towards what they believe. True?

dbackdad said...

Sadie - I wasn't trying to attack you. Sorry if it sounded like I was. I was just trying to make about free speech and what it actually means.

The difference between FOX and CNN (such that it is) is sizable. FOX was self-admittedly advertising Tea Party events and its hosts fund-raising for them. CNN does no such thing. And I have no love for CNN and wouldn't really defend them for any reason. In many ways, FOX is better than CNN. With FOX, at least you know what you are getting. CNN was once a news-breaking channel that had some integrity but once Turner left, it's basically a joke.

Sadie said, "Why do you think social networking and political blogs are where most people are getting their news stroeis from these days? It's because nobody *really* wants unbiased News anyways" -- If that is true (and it may be), that is truly sad. I want unbiased news and that is why I don't watch any TV news and don't really go to slanted sites. It's all NPR, Mother Jones and news aggregators for me.

Sadie Lou said...

I re-read what I wrote and I think you caught me in an argumentative way! :)
I hope I didn't sound weird but you know me, so I'm not too worried about it.
I was just telling my friend Shelby about how long you and me and cyberkitten and scott and crystal have all been friends. I can't believe how long we have been keeping in touch through our blogs.
Anyhoodles,
It is sad but I really believe that people believe what they want to believe and they listen to news stories from sources that appeal to their way of thinking. I admit, I look at the Drudge Report a lot.
meh.

dbackdad said...

Sadie -- And you know me as well!

The fact that we have kept in touch as long as we have is one of the things I value the most.

And, a last comment on news sources and I will say no more. Where one gets their info doesn't really matter as long as the seeker is vigilant going in. The often cited quote, "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.", is fitting here. I will not make too big a deal about someone having a different opinion. But I will make a big deal about sources that play fast and loose with the facts.

CyberKitten said...

Sadie said: I was just telling my friend Shelby about how long you and me and cyberkitten and scott and crystal have all been friends. I can't believe how long we have been keeping in touch through our blogs.

A little over 5 years now.....

Sadie Lou said...

"I will not make too big a deal about someone having a different opinion. But I will make a big deal about sources that play fast and loose with the facts."

I agree with that.

"The fact that we have kept in touch as long as we have is one of the things I value the most."

I value it too because it shows that we walk the talk. We can all have these lofty ideals about respect, peace and love but none of our ideals amount to much if we can't live it out. All of us have shown that despite our very different world views and perspective, the important things that we really value is friendship.

Cy-"A little over 5 years now....."

Yeah, it's been closer to 6 I think because Andy turns 6 in August and we were all friends during my pregnancy.

wunelle said...

"Where one gets their info doesn't really matter as long as the seeker is vigilant going in. The often cited quote 'Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts' is fitting here. I will not make too big a deal about someone having a different opinion. But I will make a big deal about sources that play fast and loose with the facts."

Much wisdom here (he says, Yoda-like!)