Day: February 17, 2011

In Solidarity With Wisconsin Public Servants: Progressives Rally For Labor Rights

Progressives everywhere should be very proud, and stand in solidarity with Wisconsin public servants and their supporters, who have rallied at the state capitol in Madison for the past three days to protest Republican Governor Scott Walker’s plan to strip workers of long held rights to collective bargaining, and to stop the raid on the salaries and benefits earned by hard won efforts over many years by thousands of dedicated teachers, nurses, police officers, paramedics, firefighters, prison guards, librarians, sanitation workers, social workers and others!

Wisconsin is the home of the progressive movement of a century ago, begun by Governor and Senator and third party presidential candidate Robert LaFollette, Sr. Wisconsin has had many great political leaders, including LaFollette’s two sons, Senator Robert LaFollette, Jr and Governor Philip LaFollette; Russ Feingold; William Proxmire; Gaylord Nelson; Herb Kohl; David Obey; and Patrick Lucey among others.

Democratic lawmakers in the State Senate have fled to Illinois, in order to prevent a 3/5th quorum needed to pass legislation, and we should support their refusal to come back and participate in what is seen as a union busting tactic encouraged by conservative talk show hosts and conservative think tanks and the billionaire Koch Brothers who have been conspiring to stop all reforms and promote corporate power as part of the Republican takeover of many state governorships and the House of Representatives!

The battle in Wisconsin is also the battle in Ohio, Florida, New Jersey and other states, as Wisconsin is simply the first in a long struggle to preserve the great reforms of the New Deal and Great Society. Middle class Americans are seeing their status destroyed, as the elite upper class sets out to concentrate wealth even more, which will lead to a growing underclass, and the wiping out of the middle class!

It is encouraging that President Obama has now come to the defense of public service employees, and it is making very clear where Democrats stand against the Republican onslaught against labor and the middle class!

The Assault On Organized Labor And The Working Class

The year 2011 is seeing a frontal assault on the hard earned rights of organized labor and the working class, gained over the past century with the aid of Presidents Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, George H W Bush, and Bill Clinton.

Collective bargaining is about to disappear in many states controlled by Republican Governors, and the Supreme Court has been actively restricting labor rights and promoting the rights and privileges of corporations.

We are rapidly descending back into the Gilded Age and 1920s mentality, including the possibility of National Guard actions against workers in Wisconsin, and who know where else eventually! 🙁

Meanwhile, the unemployment rate threatens to create a permanent underclass, and employers are making things only worse.

The white population has an unemployment rate of about 8 percent; the African American population rate is 16 percent; the Hispanic rate is 12 percent; and the Asian American rate is about 7 percent. Add to this the growing number of disabled and handicapped workers as well, and then add to the mix the news that employers more than ever are refusing to consider anyone for employment who is at this point without a job.

If this strategy continues, which would seem to be against the civil rights laws on race, ethnicity and the disabled and handicapped, then we are on the way to a permanent underclass of people who will be unable to find work, and will be denied or thrown off unemployment compensation (which is only temporary in any case)!

This sets up a situation of social dynamite, which could lead to bloodshed and violence, including use of the National Guard against the American population, by bully governors who decide to use force against people marching and demonstrating and demanding a change in attitude and policy to give this underclass hope and confidence that there is a future for them.

This whole evolving situation is extremely scary and troubling! 🙁

The Age Of The Bully Governors! :(

The nation is now faced with the age of the Bully Governors with Chris Christie of New Jersey, Rick Scott of Florida, John Kasich of Ohio, and Scott Walker of Wisconsin getting the most notice.

Backed by big business corporations and the wealthy, and conservative activists, these and other bullies are staging a frontal assault on the rights of organized labor and the working class, and undermining respect and appreciation of workers who make our country operate, at wages and working conditions far less than they are entitled to–teachers, firefighters, police officers, prison guards, nurses, librarians, paramedics, sanitation workers and others!

The quality of life is rapidly disintegrating, not only for these dedicated workers who are taken for granted by most of the citizens, but also for the citizens themselves.

This new style of “in your face” bullyism is best exemplified by Chris Christie, who seems to think that politics is “my way or the highway!” 🙁

The thought that such a bully could be considered by many for the Presidency demonstrates how far we have declined in our politics! 🙁

Apparently, being a bully like Chris Christie, Rick Scott, John Kasich or Scott Walker is applauded, and being an uninformed, ignorant person such as Sarah Palin or Michele Bachmann is also admired!

This nation is in deep trouble because of the low caliber of the opposition party’s icons in 2011! 🙁