Today, while King Walker, yet another despot, is forcing through an immoral and unconscionable attack on the lower middle class of Wisconsin, I would like to share an article or two:
First from William Pitt:
Robin Hood Is Dead
William Rivers Pitt | Saturday 12 February 2011
The streets of Cairo were alive with jubilation on Friday after the announcement that Hosni Mubarak had finally surrendered to the inevitable and lit out of town. After more than two weeks of protest, tension and sheer grit, the deal went down and the air rang with shouts of victorious joy.
In America, by contrast, all was quiet. The rich got richer, the poor got poorer, millions of people went without work, and the “news” media kept everyone up to date on the latest criminal doings of Lindsey Lohan.
...but but but...
Things are better in America than they are in Egypt.
Well, let’s see.
Corporations are people, and they own the news. Money is speech. We are fighting wars in Eurasia and Eastasia simultaneously. It’s cheaper to die if you get sick, unless you’re a car, in which case you are required to have insurance. Rape isn’t rape anymore, if you ask the right people. Being gay means the Bill of Rights isn’t for you. Having brown skin is original sin. Guns don’t kill people. Keep your damn government hands off my Medicare. Clean water is a socialist plot. The polar caps totally aren’t melting and stuff. Have some seafood from the Gulf of Mexico. Visit the 9th Ward in New Orleans. Your vote counts, especially in Ohio and Florida. American citizens don’t get “disappeared,” except for Jose Padilla...remember him? He doesn’t.
...but but but...
Hosni Mubarak was a dictator who stole elections and reigned with an iron fist for 30 years. America isn’t like that.
Ronald Reagan took office thirty years ago. He was a product of General Electric and the “defense” industry, right down to his dyed roots. George H.W. Bush, a subsidiary of the Carlyle Group, followed. Clinton took him down so as to deliver NAFTA, GATT, and The Telecommunications Act. Then came Al Gor…oh, wait, right, another Bush, who was his own man, the kind of guy you’d like to have a beer with, because he wasn’t running anything. Cheney, on the other hand, was still getting paid by Halliburton/KBR while in office, and yeah...he was the boss. Or was he?
So, yeah, who’s been in charge?
Nobody knows Pharaoh better than Egyptians. Those nifty stone triangles soaring out of the soil give testament to the benefits of absolute power, slave labor, and why it’s good to be the king. Everyone thinks Pharaoh went away thousands of years ago – it’s in the textbooks, so it must be true – but the fact of the matter is Pharaoh yet remains, and has no interest whatsoever in letting his people go. Pharaoh is ExxonMobil, BP, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics, Raytheon…yeah, any corporate entity dealing in oil, bombs and/or bullets is rich beyond the dreams of avarice, even in the current crummy economy…or should I say thanks to the current crummy economy.
Who runs America?
Not you. Not me.
Know how I know?
I know because Barack Obama is the President of the United States. Like Bush, Clinton, Bush and Reagan before him, Barack Obama is running the show. He is in charge. He spoke oh so eloquently on Friday about Egyptian freedom, change, and the new normal in the Middle East. Barack Obama is the place where the buck stops. Hope and Change and all that good stuff.
So, yeah, “This is the way democracy works,” he said. Like he would know. Like any of us would know. Ours is a tepid, controlled, managed failure of a democracy, if the streets of Cairo are any clue.
Know how I know?
President Obama is preparing to slash home heating aid to the poorest of the poor in order to get an “Atta boy!” from the GOP that will never, ever, ever, ever, ever come. He is likewise preparing to slash environmental protections while on bended knee to economic fallacies proffered by right-wing fools. He has done nothing, but nothing, but nothing, except to give long luxurious back-rubs to the criminal bastards who stripped us of our future. He has made sure those with money will keep their money and make more besides, but for those with no job and no hope and no heat, well…there’s always suicide, I suppose. Maybe you can move to Egypt, if Pharaoh lets you.
Who runs America?
I thought so.
And here is another from The Rude Pundit:
The Rude Pundit
Proudly lowering the level of political discourse
Your Union-Busting State Sucks:
of us in public employee unions just fucking suck. We are awful, horrible human
beings whose very existence is the very thing that's going to bring about the
end of the United States. Our irrational demands for health insurance
that just barely keep up with the cost of living and retirement funds and wages
that allow us to live relatively secure lives as good consumers and
homeowners and all the things that Americans are
supposed to do to keep the economy going, all that is nothing but greed as we
take money from people to teach their kids and fix their potholes and pick up
their trash and put out their fires. Goddamn, fellow AFL-CIO members, don't you
understand that only sacrificing our benefits and collective bargaining rights
can save the rich pukes of Wisconsin and Ohio and New Jersey from having to pay
one more fucking dime of their precious fortunes? And if we don't like
if we want to protest it by, you know, striking, a right that's been stripped
from us in many state constitutions, then the National Guard will deal with our
That's not hyperbole. Governor Scott Walker, who
teabagged his way into office, has said that if unions have a problem
with his plans to no longer negotiate with them, he'll call in the National
Guard to fill in for things like prison
guards. And as long as they've been called, well, it's a slippery slope to
anarchy, no? Walker's trying to force workers to contribute nearly double to
insurance and start paying part of their retirement, which one
could say seems like fair belt-tightening and all that. Except that it's not.
It's an 11% take-home pay cut on all public employees except firefighters and
cops. You know what's one way to do some of these things? Negotiate in good
faith through binding arbitration and collective bargaining
But Walker wants to terminate 'em and make workers have to
vote every year to see if they want to stay unionized. Funny thing is
in supposedly union-friendly Wisconsin (which was stupid enough to not reelect
Russ Feingold for the Senate), Republicans control both houses of the
legislature, and the Senate's already announced it's got the votes. So
it's bye-bye collective bargaining. Oh, and right now Madison is on the
verge of becoming Cairo. Thousands of people are marching against the
budget. You know that Walker's feeling itchy about using the National Guard to
shoot some hippies.
Yep, we're the convenient scapegoats now for years of
rampant tax cutting and loophole-opening. Gov. Walker, for instance, just
pushed through a tax plan that will cost the state $117
million over two years. His plan for cutting workers' salaries will save the
state $30 million in the next year. Now, the Rude Pundit may not be an
economist, but he's pretty sure that not cutting taxes would have
fuck of a lot more.
In Ohio, Republican then-Governor Bob Taft and the
legislature slashed individual and corporate
back in 2005 when the state had a surplus of revenue. The
Buckeye State has lost $2 billion in revenue per year, and, despite the usual
desperate promises of the filthy, avaricious tax cutters, Ohio has not reaped a
bounty of new jobs. No, in fact, Ohio's fucked, in the hole for $8 billion,
which, again, while not having a degree from the Milton Friedman School of Suck
It, Hobos, the Rude Pundit can calculate that that budget shortfall
would not be
there without the tax cuts. And current Republican Gov. John Kasich's solution?
Maybe raise those taxes back to 2004 levels? Fuck you, commie. No, it's time to
get rid of collective bargaining
because it's the unions that are dragging the state down.
This is the
pattern. All around the nation, against public sector employee unions,
Republicans are on the attack. Fuck, New Jersey's Chris
Christie's probably had a hard-on for destroying teachers since his high school
gym coach made his tubby ass waddle around the track. (See, that's
Christie is dangerously obese.)
You know who hates unions? Bosses and
people who aren't in unions and therefore don't understand what it
means to have
a union behind them. In Wisconsin, essentially Walker's just another boss and
he's got his scab labor in the National Guard ready to step in. Maybe it's time
for labor to start demonstrating again that in union there is strength.