Wednesday, July 31, 2013

This Land's Not Your Land - Cult of Con Teabagnorance in OUR Rotunda

Photo by Jenna Pope
The photo above taken by Jenna Pope of lyrics used by about 40 The We've Got a Permit Singers in our rotunda on July 19, 2013 (while a couple hundred sang in solidarity outside) exemplifies much of what is sick, twisted and disgusting about Tea Party Cult of Con.

For starters the TPs are always spouting about freedom and oppressive government, until that is Da Gubmint is the Double Authoritarian Scott Walker. Then their worship of authority kicks in and they willingly subjugate themselves to their Ruler's Order to get permission (aka a permit) from the Gubmint to peaceably assemble and exert their right to freedom of speech. That is either cognitive dissonance, the ability to hold two conflicting beliefs and fail to recognize the incongruity, or it is hypocrisy, the willingness to hold two conflicting beliefs and fail give a crap. Both are at epidemic levels in the Cult of Con which of course rests on faith and not reasoning.

To hell with your Fitzwalkerstani permission slip, here are your "permits" boys!
Wisconsin Consitution - Article 1 - Declaration of Rights - SECTION 4. [Right to assemble and petition] The right of the people peaceably to assemble, to consult for the common good, and to petition the government, or any department thereof, shall never be abridged.

Constitution of the United States of America - Bill of Rights - Amendment I: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Representative Government is NOT a Necessary Evil, It's a Vital GOOD!

Those who say YOUR government doesn't work, say so because THEY want to BE your government RULERS!

I cannot recommend strongly enough the show below on Wisconsin Public Radio about the John Birch Society and it's similarity to today's radical right wing Tea Party including support from the Kochs. The big difference? Instead of embracing the whackos and kowtowing to their handlers, in 1960's the Republican Party rejected the extremist wingnut Birchers because they didn't want to be tarnished by them.

8:00 AM

A Personal History of America's Radical Right
Before there was the TEA Party, there was the John Birch Society. Joy Cardin's guest this hour can speak personally to the inner workings of the Society. Her parents were founding members. Learn about the similarities she sees between the John Birch Society of the 1950s and the TEA Party of today.

Guest: Claire Conner, author of Wrapped In the Flag: A Personal History of the Radical Right. She speaks widely on the John Birch Society. She holds a degree in English from the University of Dallas and a graduate degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Monday, July 15, 2013

En Mowing Veritas

Sometimes, it takes a mindless activity to get thoughts to come.  It was during a session of mowing the lawn that a very bright light suddenly came on.  It was my Blues Brothers moment where I started suddenly shouting "ELWOOD, THE BAND!" with James Brown dancing and shouting "Do you see the light?".

I was never able to quite  understand why the hard righties were so in opposition to women controlling the number of children they produced.  I figured "As an employer, wouldn't it make my life easier to have a work force with no children?"  I understood a lot of what they were doing, but I couldn't figure out that part of the equation.

It was mowing that cleared things up.  The answer is "history".  What do I do for a living?  Why, I "teach history".   Seems as if it would have come to me a lot sooner, but maybe I was just simply trying too hard.

Most of the revolutions in the history of the world were basically about food and shelter.  Only when a population is fairly well taken care of--food, shelter, and other basic needs--will a group of people think about higher, more lofty issues.  Now, if I'm fairly comfortable and secure, I can focus on the loftier ideals.  Look at the founding fathers.  Almost all of them earned a pretty good income and didn't have to worry about their next meal.  This freed them up to think about other matters.

But if I am wanting for basic needs, my focus is completely different.  Freedom and rights are wonderful things, but if I'm living in a cardboard box and eating out of dumpsters, I'm not going to be too focused on matters of proper search and seizure or who is listening in on someone's cell phone.

And here's where the multiplier effect kicks in.  Most people think about their kids first.  So, if I can choke off a woman's right to manage her reproductive organs (not just abortion, but also making birth control harder to attain), just maybe she'll have an extra child or two more than she planned on.  If that happens, I have her (or them), right where I want them.  They are much more likely to trade pay and benefits away for job security.  If the job market is tight, they won't be able to leave, no matter how much they may hate the job or how badly I treat them.  And if they are putting in 60+ hours a week between the full time job and the part time, there won't be any energy or time to consider loftier matters.   I'll have them in a mindset of "existing", and if you are an amoral/immoral employer or political party, that's a wonderful place to have your populace, because they are too tired, stressed or focused on their immediate needs to think about lofty documents like the Constitution and such.  

Where's my proof?  I think back to the events I've been involved in between the recall, elections, etc.  MOST of the people involved were either childless (none at all, or the kids were adults and on their own) or they could be described as "comfortable", meaning they either made a pretty good salary, or had fairly good job security, or both.  How much would I have been able to do had I been working 2+ jobs and was stressing about losing one? 

Time constraints alone would have limited my participation, but even if that wasn't a factor, I can easily see how someone that was worrying about putting ANY food on the table would consider someone picketing over some lofty ideal as "whiners".  I know I've griped about the lack of involvement of low-income people in politics.  I now think this may be why, and I'm going to try to be less critical. 

The forces of the powerful do some things really, really well.  One thing they do best is to find things that we care about--family, work ethic, patriotism, religion, etc--and find a way to use it against us.    How do we fix it?  Man, I'm afraid I'm going to have to mow a lot of grass before I can answer that one.

Green Fire This Friday

Michael Fields Agricultural Institute will present the second edition of it's Summer Film Festival this Friday, July 19th at 7:00 pm with Green Fire, about Wisconsin conservationist Aldo Leopold. Admission is FREE!

Michael Fields Agricultural Institute
W2493 County Road ES
Upstairs in the Big Brown Barn
(262) 642-3303

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

RepubliChronic Wasting Disease This is very disturbing. But it is also important to remember HOW Chronic wasting Disease got into Wisconsin's deer herd. It was through the Republicon practice of Industry Self Regulation.

You see the Wisconsin deer farm industry is regulated by a board whose members are appointed by the governor. Tommy Thompson thought it would be a good idea to have the deer farm industry regulate itself and so he gave Pandora the Key to the Box by appointing 9 deer farm owners to the 11 member board.

The board members, thinking about their Short-Term Profits instead of the long term health of their industry or our deer herd, let alone the public interest, decided in their infinite wisdom to allow the importation of mule deer from eastern Colorado and western Nebraska, an Area Known to have Widespread CWD infection. Some of the imported deer were infected with CWD and as easy as 1,2,3 the disease spread to our wild white tail deer herd. So thank you Tommy for Your Legacy, the Genie is Out of that Bottle and there's no putting it back, in fact there is no stopping it's spread and Wisconsin's traditional (and highly profitable) deer hunt is on it's way out. It's just a matter of time. We can only hope the prions can't make inter-species leap to humans.

GOPster self regulation? Stupid, just plain Stupid.

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

BASD Morphed Into Another Gubmint Run Institution!

The above letters to the editor, School Tax Increase Makes Case for Voucher School Expansion by Wayne Raisleger and Walker's Budget is a Slap in the Face to Wisconsin, appeared in the June 27, 2013 Burlington Standard Press and are reposted here, with analysis, as follows below.

Local Mad Hatter Wayne Raisleger is worried about my hard earned money. Bless his heart. He blames our ELECTED Officials for not toeing Gubnah Smug Walkers' Divide and Conquer line by allowing employees of the Burlington Area School District (BASD) to receive a modest pay increase. He goes on to observe that, "Because of their inability to wisely spend your money and make good management decisions, the district has morphed into another government-run institution." Let's see, democratically elected representatives with rule-making and taxing authority, hmmm sounds like the very definition of government to me. But then I admit to being completely incapable of applying Tea Party "logic" to any subject. He probably also wants the Gubmint to keep their hands off his Medicare!

It's the Liberal Elite!

The above letter to the editor, It's the Liberal Elite Who've Taken this Country on the Path to Ruin by admitted Obamaphobe Kathleen Ehlen, appeared in the June 20th 2013 Burlington Standard Press and is reposted here, as with analysis, as follows below.

First of all, the batty scattering above is supposed to be a response to my letter from the previous week which was a slightly edited version of the following BAP blog Post: Apparently Ms. Ehlen didn't grasp that my "screed" was not about "the country", but about Wisconsin's Republicon state budget and had nothing whatsoever to do with abortion, birth control, sex education, pornography promiscuity, drugs, alcohol, sexually transmitted diseases or narcissism. I guess somebody is very groin oriented. And yes, I do feel better, it's good to be elite and awesome to be a liberal! Not to mention a person who can use critical thinking and compose a rational "screed" based on actual facts and reasoned argument. Furthermore, if you don't like that I'm a liberal you can go @$#% yourself, because of course what you do in the privacy of your own home is no business of mine.

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Walker Hurts Wisconsin Workers

As Gubnah Smug Walker signed the Republicon crafted disaster called the state budget, his selfish, ideological and irresponsible refusal to accept Federal Medicaid funding as part of the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare has real consequences for real Wisconsin workers.

A person that I know well works for a non-profit agency that employs hundreds of home healthcare workers. These Wisconsinites perform personal care for disabled citizens in their homes. They do the lifting, bathing, feeding, cleaning and other everyday acts most of us take for granted, that some of our neighbors cannot do for themselves.  The population is aging and these workers will continue to provide vital supports for people who wish to age gracefully and remain in their own homes.We are all potentially one injury or illness away from needing their services. It's a job that comes with hard work, low pay and the requirement to have and maintain a reliable vehicle.
The agency's tight budget does not allow them to provide health insurance to these workers who help maintain the health of others. Most of them make just enough over the poverty level (about $11k per year) that they won't qualify for Walker's revised eligibility Badgercare. However, because of the low earnings of these mostly full-time workers, they would have qualified for healthcare coverage under the expanded federal medicaid funding. But because the ideologue in the Gubnah's mansion turned away $120 million federal dollars with Wisconsin's name on it because he thinks he can be president, these hundreds of workers and 85,000 other Wisconsin citizens are $hit Outta Luck!