the shock doctrine in Wisconsin, water color spring wallpaper

Bargaining rights, rights recognized by the International Labor Organization as a basic human right, a position that it advocates around the world, is not the only issue on the table in Wisconsin. Gov. Walker and his henchmen in the assembly are also trying to sneak through some other less than democratic legislation, Shock Doctrine, U.S.A.

And then there’s this: “Notwithstanding ss. 13.48 (14) (am) and 16.705 (1), the department may sell any state-owned heating, cooling, and power plant or may contract with a private entity for the operation of any such plant, with or without solicitation of bids, for any amount that the department determines to be in the best interest of the state. Notwithstanding ss. 196.49 and 196.80, no approval or certification of the public service commission is necessary for a public utility to purchase, or contract for the operation of, such a plant, and any such purchase is considered to be in the public interest and to comply with the criteria for certification of a project under s. 196.49 (3) (b).”

What’s that about? The state of Wisconsin owns a number of plants supplying heating, cooling, and electricity to state-run facilities (like the University of Wisconsin). The language in the budget bill would, in effect, let the governor privatize any or all of these facilities at whim. Not only that, he could sell them, without taking bids, to anyone he chooses. And note that any such sale would, by definition, be “considered to be in the public interest.”

If this sounds to you like a perfect setup for cronyism and profiteering — remember those missing billions in Iraq? — you’re not alone. ( emphasis mine)

It is my understanding that Wisconsin election law does not allow for a formal recall until November of this year. In the mean time Walker might be impeached, Ex-Attorney General sees law violations by Walker in stunt call

On the tape, Walker is asked about “planting some troublemakers” to incite the crowds at what have been peaceful protests.

“(We) thought about that,” replied the governor, who added: “My only fear would be is if there was a ruckus caused is that that would scare the public into thinking maybe the governor has gotta settle to avoid all these problems.”

“I think there’s a serious issue there,” Lautenschlager explained. “That’s a public safety issue. And I think that is really troublesome: a governor with an obligation to maintain public safety says he’s going to plant people to make trouble.

[  ]…“He essentially parallels what he’s going to do to organized labor with what Ronald Reagan did to the air traffic controllers,” said Lautenschlager, referencing the former president’s firing of striking controllers in 1981. “By doing that at this time, when the contracts for state employees are still in effect, it looks as if he’s signaling a willingness to commit an unfair labor practice violation by refusing to negotiate.”

Lautenschlager noted a body of labor law that prevents employers from using threats of layoffs as a negotiating tactic with unionized workers.

Walker’s attitude and actions are so extreme it is like he is some kind of Manchurian candidate who is working to insure the election of Democrats in the next election cycle. The unions have conceded concessions on every economic point. They only want to retain their bargaining rights. Rights that are not always economic in nature. Imagine taking away the rights of manufacturers to join in the National Manufacturers Association and forbid them to hire lobbyist to send to Washington where they basically write legislation. In light of all the rights business and elected official have ( such as Walker not being subject to an immediate recall) it is astonishing why bargaining rights, which are related to 1st Amendment rights – free speech, freedom of expression and freedom of assembly – are even questioned.

And related, Are Public Employee Unions To Blame For States’ Budget Crises?

The graph suggests that there is no consistent relationship between budget gaps and union coverage. Many states with low public sector coverage have large gaps, while many heavily-unionized states face relatively small shortfalls

water color spring wallpaper


YOU never come back.
I say good-by when I see you going in the doors,
The hopeless open doors that call and wait
And take you then for—how many cents a day?
How many cents for the sleepy eyes and fingers?

I say good-by because I know they tap your wrists,
In the dark, in the silence, day by day,
And all the blood of you drop by drop,
And you are old before you are young.
You never come back.

by Carl Sandburg (1878–1967).  Chicago Poems.  1916.