Sunday, February 27, 2011

Madison Breaking News: They Can Stay

Per TPM the Capitol Police announce the protesters can stay. I say, if the republican lawmakers feel strongly enough they can remove the people themselves. Talk about interesting footage, obese badly dressed white guys with the rare occasional female equivalents fighting with young fit pissed off people. Badgers versus weasels.

Wisconsin: Where Do Things Go From Here?

TPM reports that the protesters have not left the Capitol.While this is in keeping with the heroic nature of what is a spontaneous outpouring there still exists the question of where things go from here. The deeper implications of this struggle are many and not necessarily apparent to all on either side. I was impressed that many at the ongoing event seem to grasp that the survival of an American Middle Class is at stake and that this is not only a question of organized labor but also the consequences of corporate media concentration and the decline of the American Empire. My friend the Wege at Norwegianity has an incisive view:

"What’s it all about? If you’re a righty, Wisconsin is about your deep resentment of public sector workers whose wages and benefits haven’t yet been completely eroded by the selfish few at the top (those who seek always to make their enormous piles even more grotesquely ginormous). If you’re a lefty, the public sector is the last line in the battle to preserve the middle class.

If you’re sane, you wonder what kind of dimwitted middle class moron would support killing unions when it’s obvious that the decline of unions has resulted in wage slavery for most Americans.

In the history of the world, have slaves ever done well? And how exactly did the side that keeps screaming FREEDOM become so enamored with reducing options and gutting safety nets? Is there more dignity in begging for charity than cashing a government check?.....

When wages are going down for all but the rich, what kind of wretchedly hateful person resents the few who have held on to some of what they once had more of? That is what modern Republicanism has been reduced to: hating the survivors of a thirty-year war against workers. Just like they hate those who practice sex or religion differently.

Wisconsin is the last stand against the politics of bigotry and hate, and none of this would be necessary had Rupert Murdoch not founded a 24/7 propaganda channel that lobotomizes its viewers, scooping out their brains one spoonful at a time, replacing gray matter with dark thoughts, paranoia, hatred and resentment.

The left is saying enough is enough. The right replies that enough is never enough, and that the point of having is to have too much, however many have to live with less to enable the winner-takes-all lifestyles of the modern rich."

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Madison Wisconsin February 26th Union Shows Its Muscle

En route to Madison today I was uncertain what to expect of the now two week protest against the corporate reorganization of Wisconsin society under the ostensible direction of arguably the worst governor in the state's history. I was not disappointed. If nothing else Walker has energized and educated a huge number of Wisonsinites in the methods and motives of the republican corporate elite as evidenced by the 100,000 who showed up in subfreezing temperatures and snow today. This whole process has been a life changing experience for hundreds of thousands of Wisconsin workers and students. Many of these people are the same targeted by republicans for lifestyle and xenophobia issues such as gay marriage, abortion, and illegal immigrants. It will be much harder to push this bullshit in the future when people consider personal and societal well being.

Friday, February 25, 2011

This Is What Democracy Doesn't Look Like

The ongoing move to the corporatist one party state continues in Wisconsin. Above is the video from the charade of democracy which passes for legislative process in a one party system. Also included is the full page ad by the Polish Solidarity (Solidarnosc) which appeared in the Milwaukee Journal today. They were darlings of the right when protesting communism but not so much when standing up for working men and women.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Gov. Scott Wanker Takes On the World

It must have been the Egyptian pizza support of the workers that pushed Scott Walker over the edge and led him to take on the United Nations. From the Fighting Bob blog:

"In 1959, Wisconsin's Governor Gaylord Nelson, so the story goes, decided that the citizens of Wisconsin should be as aware as possible of the United Nations and its aspirations for a world without strife, so he created a unique body, the Wisconsin Governor's Commission on the United Nations, to seek to build that awareness. All governors since then, Republicans and Democrats alike, have appointed commissioners from various civic, religious, labor, business and educational organizations. ...
"Wisconsin’s current commissioners were appointed by both Republican and Democratic governors. I myself was appointed to the Governor's Commission on the United Nations by Governor Jim Doyle in 2004, and I am honored to have been so chosen. It has been a very satisfying experience getting to know my fellow commissioners, and I am firmly of the opinion that we have done valuable work.

But newly installed Governor Scott Walker doesn't think we need this unique institution. We each received a letter from the governor's appointments director thanking us for our service to the state, but announcing, "Recently, the decision was made to not reestablish the Governor's Commission on the United Nations. As a result of this decision, pursuant to Wisconsin Statute, section 14.019, the board [sic] no longer exists at this time."
Incidentally, the commission has operated under an informal budget of about $2,000 per annum, intended primarily for travel reimbursement, and has hardly ever been used. All of us volunteer our time and expenses for this cause.

Dag Hammarskjold, the Swedish diplomat who was the U.N.'s first Secretary General, said, "The U.N. is not just a product of do-gooders. It is harshly real. The day will come when men will see the U.N. and what it means, clearly. Everything will be all right - you know when? When people, just people, stop thinking of the United Nations as some weird Picasso abstraction, and see it as a drawing they made themselves."

All of the citizens of the world should be represented and heard if the world body is to fulfill its challenge. But do all Americans understand that challenge, the goals, successes and occasional failings of the U.N.?

A Wisconsin institution with a 52-year history, the only one of its kind in the United States, is no more. Why? I think we deserve an answer to that question. It has not been an expensive program - virtually no money at all - and has lent our state considerable prestige in international circles. We are told repeatedly that we are living in an increasingly global environment. Doesn't it make sense that we educate Americans on the role that the United Nations can and should play in this?

As of now, I believe that we will continue our efforts as an ad hoc group. We enjoy communicating with each other and feel that we are doing good work, so we'll likely continue without official state sanction. But it's sad that Wisconsin has lost this distinction."

Union busting xenophobic assholes on the loose.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Strawbs - Part of the union 1973

My favorite Strawbs song for decades. Rather dreadful suit though.

More Madison Thoughts and Pictures

There were so many creative minds at work as witnessed by the imaginative signage at the ongoing demonstration of democracy. Of note there were no arrests and no publicly displayed firearms in the crowd of 70,000. BTW the Madison police were great.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Buffalo Springfield - For What It's Worth (Monterey 1967)

After the visit to Madison today this seems apropos.

Another Amazing Day In Madison

It was a memorable day in Madison. Somewhere between 50,000 and 100,000 turned out to express their disgust with the corporate agenda of the Walker regime.I have never seen such an energized crowd of this size in my life. And yes there was a contingent of the sociopathic right wing, they were profoundly out-numbered and left en mass and in a huff about 2 hours before the scheduled completion of their gathering at the southeast corner of the capitol grounds. These people are incapable of grasping the concept of the greatest good for the greatest number.If nothing else the preparations for the end of Scott Wanker's political life are now well underway.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Dmitry Orlov: Peak Oil Lessons From The Soviet Union

Dmirty Orlov is an inspiration for this blog. I first went to the then Soviet Union in 1975, since then I have been struck by the similarities rather than the differences between the two societies, we all soldier on.

Wisconsin: We're All In the Union

Song by the Simpsons. Picture from Mrs. smITh

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Wisconsin: Russia Today Weighs In:Wisconsin protests war on unions

Wisconsin's Crowded Capitol: Collective-Bargaining Protest Grows

Madison Struggle Goes On

The amazing situation goes on in Madison. The Senate Democrats have escaped to undisclosed locations and have thwarted a republican fait accomplai. Meanwhile the people continue to mobilize. The local activists are doing an excellent job and who cares about the triangulations of national Democrats especially Obama. The above photos are from Mrs. smITh taken during the day.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Madison, Wi Feb-15-2011 Pro Labor Rally

Time to zero in on the real enemies is now.

Wisconsin Cairo

Corporate fascism advances in Wisconsin. People are starting to react though the struggle will be a long one, at least 1-2 years to recall Walker and another to kick out the republican assembly.Of vital importance will be mobilizing the youth who didn't turn out for the last election. Unfortunately they are learning a hard lesson and the need for real commitment.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The spy from Cairo "Saidi the man" (album: Secretly famous)

After the past several weeks of watching the unfolding events in Cairo I was pleasantly surprised by the outcome. Watching the U.S. media's coverage I was struck by the ambivalence of American opinion regarding a situation they weren't in control of, a situation made more poignant which given the historical, cultural vacuum that most Americans exist in. This leads to the only socially acceptable form of racism in America namely the demonization of Islam and Arab culture. My favorite explanation of the Egyptian quandry comes from Inanities, a very valuable blog for anyone interested in Egypt:


Dear Agony Aunt

After 30 years with my husband I feel like I need a new start, but he doesn’t feel the same way, and now I can’t get rid of him.

I married my current husband in a rather speedy manner after my previous husband, god rest his soul, was shot by a neighbour who objected to the rather oppressive manner in which my former husband dealt with my neighbour’s plants.

My current husband seemed a little dull and to be honest seemed to lack enthusiasm for tying the knot but I was thinking about my kids so the union went ahead. I learnt to put up with his penchant for inappropriate jokes and the hair dye spilt all over the bathroom once a month. He soon developed a taste for the husband role however and within weeks was preventing me from meeting in groups larger than five and locking me up in our bedroom for weeks without telling anyone where I was if I criticised his taste in shirts.

I also had to contend with his sons from his first marriage, one of whom is an insipid streak of bald shite and the other a football-mad idiot. His ex-wife is no better, always trotting around with her handbag and her perfect hair going on about the importance of everyone reading.

Still I put up with him because whenever I even thought about criticising him his friend Safwat would come round and make me a cup of tea and whisper how he would be happy to “whisk me away from my troubles in no time at all”.

Things went along like this for years until recently when my husband stopped buying stuff for the house and my kids went hungry and every time they complained he’d beat them up and get his mate Habib to lock them in the shed. Whenever I complained he’d go on about how I better shut up because he has friends all over the world especially America and one of them owns a gun shop and if I open my mouth again he’ll get a gun and shoot me in the knees.

Things changed drastically when my next door neighbour chucked her fella out and I realised that I didn’t have to take my husband’s shit anymore. My kids took over the garden, preventing him from getting to his vegetable patch, and burnt down his shed. When Habib and Safwat came round and tried to get them to leave they sprayed them with fertilizer and made them fuck off.

My husband then tried a new tactic by getting his mates from the pub to surround the garden and lob rocks on us. We resisted, and they got bored and buggered off. So then my husband started spreading rumours about me on Facebook, saying that I sleep with men for take away meals, especially fried chicken and chips from Kentucky. That didn’t work, so then he got his mates to beat up any one who came near my house and got people from the Neighbourhood Watch to join in.

Two weeks later and all this failed. My kids are still in the garden going strong and my husband has still not fucked off. Now he’s got his friend Omar to intercede but to be honest, Omar gives me the creeps and I hear that he had a dodgy past.

Please advise me how the fuck I get the message across to this turd on legs that he is no longer wanted.

Yours Sincerely,

Mrs Masr


Dear Mrs Masr,

ولعي فيه