Wisconsin, Scott Walker, and Protesting Workers: The Story Continues

Submitted by Elaine Magliaro, Guest Blogger

There have been some new developments in the Wisconsin story since my last post on the subject, Is the Scott Walker Story Just the Tip of the Koch Brothers Political Iceberg?. More than six hundred comments have been left at that post—and it takes a long time to load the page. I thought it best to write up a new post for people who would like to continue the discussion on the subject of Governor Scott Walker, the protesting workers in Wisconsin, Walker’s anti-union budget repair bill, the AWOL Democratic state senators, and various and sundry other things related to the subject.

Today, I’m just providing links to some news stories on the subject for you.

Wisconsinites were locked out of their capital building. WBAY (ABC)

Madison firefighters were denied access to one of the Capitol’s entrances when they were responding to an emergency. (Journal Sentinel)

A Democratic Wisconsin state representative who was tackled by police when he tried to enter the Capitol to get some of his clothes said that his Capitol card has been disabled. (TPMMucraker)

Some Democratic state legislators wanted to be accessible to their constituents so they moved their desks outside the Capitol to conduct business. (The Nation)

The Wisconsin Senate passed a resolution that called for police to take 14 state Democratic senators who fled to Illinois into custody for contempt. (Wisconsin State Journal)

Scott Walker’s budget defunds Planned Parenthood and targets contraception access. (Huffington Post)

A recent Rasmussen Poll shows that nearly 60% of Wisconsin voters disapprove of Governor Walker. (TPMDC)

AFL-CIO plans another big rally at the Wisconsin Capitol for this Saturday. (TPMDC)

573 thoughts on “Wisconsin, Scott Walker, and Protesting Workers: The Story Continues

  1. IMHO:

    Perfect example of trying to divide and conquer.

    “The face of the protesters changed in large part when police began allowing people to enter the building only as an equal number departed. That left mainly student activists, many of whom had slept on the granite floors for more than two weeks. The long wait for access has discouraged some people from attending protests, and teachers and other union members are now often present only in the afternoon.”


  2. “The governor’s attempt to defund Title V is similar to a measure that Republicans in Congress are proposing at the federal level. Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) recently introduced legislation that would kill the federal Title X program, which provides funding for family planning programs, including Planned Parenthood. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said that Democrats needed to make this issue “too hot to handle” and go on the offense against attempts to take away women’s rights. “[I]t’s the most comprehensive and radical assault on women’s health in our lifetime,” she said. “It’s that bad.”


  3. I posted this to the other thread, but since that has scrolled off, here it is again.

    The Scott Walker saga takes another bizarre turn. He claims to have thousands of emails in support of his position. News outlets want to see them and have filed requests under the state’s Open Records Law. Walker, predictably, is stonewalling the requests. He says he will not provide the records unless he is paid $31,250 for printing them off, to be paid in advance. News outlets have said they don’t want them printed off, just make a CD. This is going to court. Hopefully, the Guv will once again be on the short end of the legal stick. However, he has shown himself to be a scofflaw already with his palace guard tactic making access to the Capitol building all but impossible.


  4. This video is making the rounds of the Internet this morning.

    The subject is Governor Walker’s secret strategy meeting.

  5. “In understanding Enmons, it is important to keep in mind that what the Hobbs Act outlaws is extortion, not just any bad act. Federal law, in particular the National Labor Relations Act, says that collective bargaining and strikes in support of collective bargaining goals are legal and protected. Therefore, since collective bargaining is purpose that is not extortion, one of the key elements of a Hobbs Act violation is not met.”


    From the trolls own link we find the explanation he requests. The actions charged against the Union involved weren’t extortion, hence the act didn’t apply. Incidentally, none of this is pertinent to Wisconsin, where violence is not an issue. It’s easy to prove oneself ignorant, simply by their asserting their misunderstanding as salient points.

  6. This is too incredible not to share…..

    Firefighters denied access to Capitol during emergency call

    By Patrick Marley of the Journal Sentinel

    March 3, 2011 |(62) Comments

    Madison — Security is so restrictive at the state Capitol that firefighters were denied access to the building during an emergency call Tuesday, one of the firefighters said Thursday.

    Dave Trainor, a Madison firefighter, said he was part of a crew dispatched to the Capitol on a call that someone was trapped in an elevator. Firefighters were denied access at one of the building’s entrances that is being guarded by police.

    Firefighters then had to make their way through a crowd of protesters outside the building and drive their 100-foot ladder truck to the other side of the Capitol to get inside.

    As it turned out, a police officer was trapped in an elevator. But at the time of the call, firefighters did not know if there was a medical emergency, Trainor said.

    “We lost crucial time on a call we didn’t know anything about,” he said.

    Among protesters at the Capitol have been firefighters in their gear. But Trainor said he did not believe police officers would have mistaken the crew for protesters because they were hauling equipment, carrying radios and had arrived in a firetruck.


  7. AY,

    I provided a link to that story in my post. Still, I think it bears repeating as it is one of the incredible stories coming out of Wisconsin this week.

  8. If Walker really wants to raise money why doesn’t he sell the states interest in the Green Bay Packers? Just wondering….

  9. Sorry teach…. If you wish to remove my posting its fine with me… You the One to go to…..

    Thanks for all of your diligent and valiant efforts…

  10. Elaine,
    Great job as usual. Thanks for the links bringing the Walker saga up-to-date.
    Mike S.,
    Thanks for your spiffy response to Mr.Moar,maor, roam,etal!
    I saw that story about the open records act request and I will be watching for the progress on that legal action. This would be a very obvious example of Walkers lies when he can’t produce the flood of supporting emails!! Of course, moar and others are probably working on that in their spare time.

  11. Raff, can’t you just envision a boiler-room full of Koch-paid temps frantically sending emails to jack up the numbers. Now I don’t know what they would do if somebody started checking time stamps.

  12. From Huffington Post (3/4/2011)
    Scott Walker Down the Rat Hole With the Palace Guard
    By Mary Bottari.

    Legal Chicanery and Petty Politics

    Republican senators had been ramping up the pressure on democrats all week, passing a resolution Wednesday that fines the 14 $100 for every day they are absent. Lawyers point out that the $100 fine is likely also unconstitutional under Wisconsin law. They passed a resolution to allow the senate sergeant at arms to request the assistance of any law enforcement officer in this state to find and return any senator who is absent without leave. The republican senators needed the extra help, since no local law enforcement agency was treating the political brouhaha as a serious police matter. It is likely the Wisconsin’s State Patrol will be suborned into the hunt. The State Patrol is headed by recently appointed, Stephen Fitzgerald, father to both the Senate majority leader Scott Fitzgerald and state Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald.

    The Senate also assigned republican “supervisors” to the staff of he missing senators. For instance, Republican Senator Cowles is assigned to supervise the staff of Democratic Senator Hansen. Many saw this as preparation to fire democratic staff members or the ultimate move to expel democratic senators, which would indeed cause a constitutional crisis, beyond the one precipitated by Walker’s unilateral dictates.

  13. OS,
    Maybe the Koch Heads, I mean Koch Brothers will just pay someone to gerryrig a time stamp system in order to make the artificial emails look real!

  14. Mike Spindell:

    I read that part, and understood what it said. There is more to it than meets the eye.

    “The Court decided that the union involved was immune from prosecution because their violent acts were in pursuit of a legitimate union objective.” That statement alone is ridiculous, so a union has a right to violate the rights of others just because they are engaged in a “legitimate” union objective?

    So why was the Hobbs act used, the attorney that brought it up surely understood the language if it was as simple as you claim?

    The article goes on to say that local jurisdictions can charge them on criminal charges. Are federal charges more substantial?

    There is plenty of insight a lawyer could provide to a layman.

    Either you aren’t a lawyer or you aren’t a very good one.

  15. Public union debate spills into Milwaukee County executive race
    Stone, Abele address budget repair
    By Steve Schultze of the Journal Sentinel

    Union rights issues roiling Madison boiled over onto a candidate forum Friday on the race for who will succeed Gov. Scott Walker as Milwaukee County executive.

    State Rep. Jeff Stone (R-Greendale) said he’d be a different kind of leader than Walker and sought to clarify his vote for Walker’s budget-repair bill, which includes elimination of most public employee collective bargaining.

    Milwaukee philanthropist Chris Abele avoided direct comparisons with Walker. Abele gave an unqualified endorsement of preserving current collective bargaining for public unions, but said he backs requiring all public employees to contribute more to pensions and health care. Abele doesn’t support the exclusions for police and firefighters that Walker carved out.

    “There’s still time to make changes in the bill,” Abele said.

    The candidates face off April 5 for the remaining year of Walker’s county term.

    In contrasting his style with Walker’s, Stone said he’d emphasize a conciliatory rather than confrontational approach with the aim of getting “people to come together around a common good.”

    “I voted for the budget, but I’m not Scott Walker,” said Stone. “I’m Jeff Stone. I have a very different way of managing and doing business.”

  16. “There is plenty of insight a lawyer could provide to a layman.”

    I’m not a lawyer, but know a lot about the law. Any decent lawyer can argue any side of a case. The question devolves on the crux of the issue and my quotation summed that up. However, judging from your past comments, you read and comprehend that which you want to see and believe

  17. Mike Spindell:

    Unlike you and others, I like to look at all sides before I come to a conclusion. Thus my reading of Marx.

    So what is your claim to knowing about the law?

  18. From PressTV
    Quick Facts: WI protests — a timeline

    Protesters in the U.S. state of Wisconsin are still keeping up pressure on authorities over plans that restrict collective bargaining for most government workers in the state.

    For more than two weeks, the protesters occupied the State’s Capitol and marched outside on Tuesday.

    The popular protests prompted Press TV’s U.S. Desk to gather a timeline of the events taking place in Wisconsin since February 11.

    Saturday, March 5, 2011
    Unions and Democratic activists in Wisconsin and Ohio are opening new fronts in their opposition to state bills that would limit public employees’ collective bargaining rights.

    In Wisconsin, committees have registered to target the eight Republican state senators eligible for recall this year, out of 19 Republicans in that chamber.

    State Democrats, liberal group MoveOn.org and the Service Employees International Union are raising money and soliciting help gathering signatures.

    Conservative-backed groups, meanwhile, also have registered to target six of the eight Democratic senators eligible for recall.

    Friday, March 4, 2011
    Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker issues layoff warning notices to unions representing state workers.

  19. Moar, your comment about reading Marx reminds me very much of Otto and Wanda.

    Otto: Apes don’t read philosophy.
    Wanda: Yes they do, Otto. They just don’t understand it.

  20. Otteray Scribe said:

    Raff, can’t you just envision a boiler-room full of Koch-paid temps frantically sending emails to jack up the numbers. Now I don’t know what they would do if somebody started checking time stamps.

    I’m currently writing software to data mine blogs for information. Once I have it up and running, I’m going to be doing much more than checking time stamps (this is an attempt to ferret out false personae and find other useful information) – is there anything that you would like to know about Moar’s posting characteristics?

  21. Frank,

    Thank you for that link, which exposes something I’ve long suspected, but heretofore for which I had no evidence.


    Your link to was informative, especially coming from Forbes Magazine.

  22. The NYT has done a puff piece on David Koch, of the Koch crime family. Seems he tries to buy some love by giving a chunk of change to MIT for cancer research. And he whines that the prank call to Walker is a case of identity theft. As one user pointed out, if they bought a Bentley and charged it to his account, that would be identity theft, unlike a prank call. I am not linking to the NYT, but here is the story on Raw Story. The funniest part of the piece is the comments. Here is my personal favorite which comes from user “John.”:

    “In a way, he is calling Scott Walker a dumb, shithead, loser for even taking the call.

    It’s beginning to look like Mr. Walker is out on his limb by himself.”


    I have news for Davy-boy. You can’t buy either love or respect, no matter how much money you inherit.

  23. “So what is your claim to knowing about the law?”

    Career experience, intelligence, excellent reading comprehension,
    an open mind, logic and a post masters education. I understand it must be perplexing to you, lacking as you do any of these qualities.

  24. Dr. Slarti: I find Moar to actually be rather boring in his sophomoric way; however, I wonder just how many sockpuppet accounts he has. Also would be interesting to know how many blogs have banned him. I figure he would last very few comments on Daily Kos, for example, before trusted users would hide rate him into oblivion.

  25. “And then I come here and everybody treats me like I’m a wonderful fellow, and I say, ‘Well, maybe I’m not so bad after all.'”

    OS from your excellent link. Just shows that with enough money those willing to be your whores come from all levels of society.
    One can see the irony of someone who has contributed mightily to pollution and had considerable benefit from it, donating to cancer research.

  26. Mike Spindell, I think it is funny that this obviously undereducated person comes waltzing into a blog featuring commenters with more terminal degrees per square inch than almost anywhere on the Internet, then accuses the regulars of being ignoramuses and uneducated. Wonders never cease.

  27. “I only sent him one. And he is smart enough to know that Moar and Maor are the same person.”

    Or is it that he is dumb enough?

  28. OS,

    I agree about Moar being boring (and I think his sophomoric manner lends credence to the theory that he is a Koch-slut rather than a Koch-whore…) but I think that blog demographics will be very interesting and I think it will be fun to be able to tag Moar with every stupid statement he’s made here – I’ll let you know what I find (which will be limited to his activity on this site at first).

    Mike S,

    I’m curious as to what you mean by ‘a post masters education’ – is that another way of saying that you were ABD (All But Dissertation)? (Whatever the source of your education, your insights here have clearly demonstrated its quality…)

  29. Slarti,

    A fair question. I have an MSW from Columbia University and then
    five years training and degree from a State Licensed Psychotherapy Institute, The Gestalt Center for Psychotherapy and Training in NYC. I never went for my DSW because frankly I found a lot of Social Work Theory to be a BS attempt to scientifically quantify a field, in a pseudo-scientific manner. We don’t have the need here, but for your own interest check out the history of Social Work and
    its’ Organizations and you’ll find a less than sterling picture, than their publicity suggests. This is true, although many institutions did accomplish some good, but were destructive in other ways.

    To give you a brief idea of the hypocrisy, Columbia (CUSW)which was definitely “a-religious,” when I was there, started offering courses in faith based treatment when Bush II took office. Like
    many other parts of society social work, at least at Columbia, goes where the money is. My interests lay in helping people, not in playing the game.

  30. Mike S., your background is fascinating. I knew Fritz Perls and he influenced my thinking profoundly. Probably the most important thing is keeping it in the here and now, plus a low tolerance for BS.

  31. Maybe this has been brought up and maybe I missed it,but if Walker lays off the workers that he says that he is wouldn’t they able to collect unemployment benefits?

    And if that’s the case then you have what ever the number of people that would be affected sitting home getting paid for doing nothing.I know that’s an option hard working people don’t want to consider but then Walker is really “cutting off his nose to spite his face”

    Just asking.

  32. OS,

    I’m blown away that you knew Fritz personally. I know him only from the videotapes he made and from his writings. Dr. Marilyn
    Rosennes-Barrett, the head of my training institute though was one of his five disciples, when at his lowest ebb he ran a Miami training group, prior to his fame. Marilyn taught a gentler form of Gestalt than Fritz.

    As for me and Gestalt I was the quintessential patient being able to fearlessly expose/examine myself. After five years of my own therapy, my therapist suggested I would make a good therapist. It hit home and within six months I had scored a full tuition scholarship to CUSSW and talked myself into the Gestalt Center, even though I was only then a Masters student. That meant five more years of therapy while I was in training. This marked the beginning of the end of my feckless hippie days.

    I’ve tried to live my life by Gestalt philosophy, but if I was still in practice today I would combine Gestalt with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) which I’ve seen is highly effective. Sorry everyone for the digression, but OS’s knowing Fritz turned me on. Also Slarti’s question about my educational assertions deserved an answer.

  33. Mike S. The last time I saw him was in March 1969. He tried to talk me into joining him in British Columbia where he was starting a training center. The last thing he did was hug me and said, “I love you.” It took me two days to get the smell of cigarette smoke off of me.

    One year later, almost to the day, he was dead. He had just had surgery. He was sitting on the side of the bed when a nurse came in and ordered him to lay back down, it was too soon to get up. He replied, “You can’t tell me what to do.” And with that he fell back and died.

  34. OS,
    That is a scary story about your friend!
    I do believe that if Walker lays off workers, they can file for unemployment. I would also agree that it would be biting his nose to spite his face, but his reasons aren’t really related to finances. He is a power grabber, nothing more.

  35. Frank:

    that was an interesting link about the actors for talk radio. I can tell you they are probably all being used by right wing talk radio due to the fact that most left wing radio shows probably cant afford them because of a lack of advertising due to low ratings.

    Is Air America even on the air any more?

    I imagine they have the actors play liberals since there are so few left, I think all of them have gone to Wisconsin to protest.

  36. OS and Mike S:

    “I do my thing and you do your thing.
    I am not in this world to live up to your expectations,
    And you are not in this world to live up to mine.
    You are you, and I am I, and if by chance we find each other, it’s beautiful.
    If not, it can’t be helped.”


    I hope you can live up to your own advice.

  37. Mike S,

    Thanks – very interesting. As someone who also ‘took the road less traveled’, educationally speaking (10 years at 3 different grad schools – 5 counting multiplicity – over the course of about 15 years – it all seemed to make sense at the time…) I appreciate the value of a unique education like yours. I can empathize with your feelings about a DSW – I have similar feelings about education theory (although they are probably not as strong as yours as I was never ‘in’ education – I just have quite a bit of experience teaching math). I used to have a low opinion of therapy as well (I was young, arrogant, had a chip on my shoulder about ‘hard’ sciences, and didn’t understand the difference between an ‘art’ and a ‘science’…) but that mistaken impression was quickly and effectively corrected when I had the need for therapy myself and found it extremely helpful (without it I never would have gotten my PhD…).


    I agree with you about the irony of Moar calling the posters here ignorant and uneducated – even the people here without advanced degrees (or that haven’t mentioned them) tend towards the erudite. Moar’s comment shows a distinct lack of self-awareness and an inability to judge his own skills relative to other people. Also, I would note that, coincidentally, I was born in March of 1969…😉

  38. Maor,
    You may want to actually look up the ratings for left wing radio. Their ratings are good. The problem is the number of outlets because the corporate bosses don’t want the competition.

  39. “Men fear thought as they fear nothing else on earth — more than ruin — more even than death…. Thought is subversive and revolutionary, destructive and terrible, thought is merciless to privilege, established institutions, and comfortable habit. Thought looks into the pit of hell and is not afraid. Thought is great and swift and free, the light of the world, and the chief glory of man.

    Bertrand Russell (1872 – 1970)”

    I guess if you have a lack of thought then you make comments like this:


    I agree with you about the irony of Moar calling the posters here ignorant and uneducated “

  40. eniobob,

    Are you saying that you believe that Moar is better educated that the others who post here? Or are you saying that I lack original thinking because I agreed with Otteray Scribe?

  41. Herr Doktor Slartibarfast:

    so there is nothing you are ignorant about or undereducated on? You have perfect knowledge? So you are a god? Wow, I am in the presence of gods.

    I humbly supplicate my will to you omniscient beings. To be molded into your vision of humanity.

  42. Rafflaw,

    It’s almost as if Moar is intentionally trying to change the topic. “Disrupting” the conversation if you will.

    If only there was a word for that, maybe something associated with both fishing and bridges.

  43. Moar,

    There are plenty of things I’m ignorant on (I’m sure that I’m ignorant of more than 99% of all human knowledge) – I just don’t feel the need to shamelessly demonstrate that ignorance or parade it as knowledge like you do…

  44. “Are you saying that you believe that Moar is better educated that the others who post here? Or are you saying that I lack original thinking because I agreed with Otteray Scribe?”


    I’m saying that Moar is the illiterate one saying that” the posters here ignorant and uneducated “

    I see that I should have posted that differently.

  45. Gyges,

    The Canadians have a term which I believe is also appropriate here: ‘shit-disturber’…

  46. Herr Doktor Slartibarfast:

    He/she is saying that he [i use he for brevity] doesnt mind what I say because he uses his noggin to determine what is right and wrong. He is an individual and not a group thinker.

    He may not agree with me at all but he isnt afraid of what I have to say because he is sure in his own knowledge and of his ability to comprehend the world.

  47. Moar:

    If you are referring to my comment don’t kid yourself.

    “I’m saying that Moar is the illiterate one saying that” the posters here ignorant and uneducated “

    I see that I should have posted that differently.”

  48. eniobob, thanks for the clarification. That had me scratching my head. Sometimes the brain gets ahead of the fingers and we end up with some odd sentences.

    Hmmmm….I see our troll knows how to use teh Google to look up quotes. Tell ya what Sparky, you might want to look a little deeper. I have a couple of shelves of books totaling a few thousand pages on the subject. Your superficial quote just dangles unsupported without the background to understand what Dr. Perls was talking about. That is the intellectual equivalent of a sixth grader spouting E=MC^2 as an understanding of Einstein.

  49. OS:
    “Sometimes the brain gets ahead of the fingers and we end up with some odd sentences.”

    Tell me about it!!

  50. may I point out that early on I asked a question about a case having to do with unions. I was interested in what the response would be.

    I was called ignorant because a limited explanation was given in the link I posted. In fact I even tried to get someone to respond after that.

    So please, fishing a bridges arent applicable.

    I have responded to topics presented, please go back and look. It seems to me the way this works is that someone you don’t agree with makes a post, then you call them ignorant and when they respond in kind they are labeled trolls. Only because you don’t agree with them and the label is much easier to digest.

  51. .may I point out that early on I asked a question about a case having to do with unions. I was interested in what the response would be.

    I was called ignorant because a limited explanation was given in the link I posted. In fact I even tried to get someone to respond after that.

    So please, fishing a bridges arent applicable.

    I have responded to topics presented, please go back and look. It seems to me the way this works is that someone you don’t agree with makes a post, then you call them ignorant and when they respond in kind they are labeled trolls. Only because you don’t agree with them and the label is much easier to digest.

  52. OS:

    I took it a face value and you are correct I know nothing of gestalt. But the prayer seems pretty straightforward to me.

  53. Moar,

    You seem to be repeating yourself…

    You are not being called ignorant because people don’t understand what you are trying to say or don’t agree with it – you are being called ignorant because people understand (from your comments) that you are talking out of your ass. Your behavior and statements clearly demonstrates your naivety and lack of understanding – and some people here don’t have much tolerance for those that push ignorant and disingenuous propaganda.


    No problem – it was worth the misunderstanding just to see Moar try to crow about it…😉

  54. Herr Doktor:

    I think most of you push ignorant and disingenuous propaganda with a patina of intellectualism that isn’t warranted.

    So we can call it even.

  55. eniobob:

    so you are a group thinker and are unsure of your beliefs and knowledge? I am sorry to hear that.

  56. Moar,

    It’s not really even – the difference is that the empirical evidence is consistent with our viewpoint and not yours.

  57. Many paleoconservatives such as myself, and those like Patrick Buchanan, grew up in union households. We know the direct benefits this brought to our lives. Many like me were and still are blue and pink collar families. Below is the link to his excellent post about how immoral the protesters in Madison are and how they are NOT in keeping with the best traditions of unionism.


    This issue is one about the ethical nature of government workers to collectively bargain with the very people they fund into office with the express purpose of fleecing the public. This has become about theft, not bargaining for better work conditions.

    And, yes, rich people can afford to be fleeced. But it is the working poor and the lower middle class who cannot. These are the people getting hit the hardest. But the greedy union thugs just see the rich folks. They run around screeching from the housetops: rich people have too much money, rich people have too much money! And guess who will ultimately pay for it? Those who earn less than the school teachers. The biggest chunk of my state and local taxes goes to the schools. Enough! They are stealing my money, producing stupid students, AND padding their retirements. It’s criminal and it has got to stop.

    I’ve seen a post (on the other thread) insinuating how Hitler and Mussolini tried to break the unions and thus, ergo: GOPers must be Nazis! That is stupid.

    Susan Sontag wrote:

    Not only is Fascism (and overt military rule) the probable destiny of all Communist societies — especially when their populations are moved to revolt — but Communism is in itself a variant, the most successful variant, of Fascism. Fascism with a human face.

    * Speech, Town Hall, New York City (1982-02-06), reported in “Susan Sontag Provokes Debate on Communism”, The New York Times (1982-02-27), p.27

    And she is correct: Fascism is a result of leftism (collectivism). She is not alone in this understanding. Hayek predicted that socialism would destabilize Europe and it did. It produced fascism and dictatorship because socialism always produces the chaos required for a strongman to rise to power.

    The reason Hitler is called a right-winger is because the left, in possession of the historical narrative through academia and the media which they have controlled for almost a century, has something worse to hide than the so-called right-winger, Adolph Hilter, and his doings. They have to hide their association with Stalin, Mao, Castro, and the other various and sundry mass-murdering collectivists. So they obsess about Hitler, paint him as a child of the right, and downplay their role with the greatest mass murderers of the 20th century.

    Neat trick.

    But the internet will expose this fraud. And the left sees this writing on the walls. And it sees its collectivism by government workers as being challenged. The socialist model is threatened. They want the unlimited right to plunder their neighbor and woe unto any who would stop them. Their socialist schemes are being challenged and they know it. That is why they are revolting Madison.

    Left wingers have to see a Nazi under every bed because they got in bed with something worse than Nazism: Marxism and its siblings: fascism, corporatism, collectivism, and all other forms of brute-force totalitarianism. It is trying to hang onto its power in Madison through the government unions.

    The education monopoly and their corporatist collectivist unions must not win.


  58. I see Tootie is here with the latest chapter in the continuing saga of conservative war on education. And no, I do not miss irony.

    There is a great diary on Daily Kos about the history and background of the conservative view of the purpose of education. It has to do with racism, classism, and a feudal view of the way the world should work. This writer has done a great job of research and presents it in a concise and readable manner.


  59. OS,

    Great link. BTW at some future point I’d love to hear more of your Fritz memories.

    Back to the linked article again, notice the use of “feudal” to describe the conservative views real goal. I believe this is the true agenda. Though few remember it today, William A. Rusher, who with Bill Buckley helped found the National Review, described himself as a Loyalist. Buckley was a little more diplomatic but none the less a Royalist Also

  60. Tootie,

    My has your writing changed. Dropping the persona perchance?

    “I took it a face value and you are correct I know nothing of gestalt. But the prayer seems pretty straightforward to me.”

    Wrong again, but then when has a lack of understanding ever stopped you?

    As I head off for a night of watching HGTV with my lovely wife, I leave you all with this song of the end to your totalitarian aspirations:

  61. Good night all. for most of your delectation another Jimmy Cliff
    song, by the best Texan alive, present company excluded:

  62. Mar 4th, 2011
    Walker’s Budget Slashes Medicaid, While Increasing Funeral Assistance For Destitute Who Die

    “One of the lesser-known assaults on working class people in Walker’s most recent legislative push is his attempt to override federal Medicaid laws to place the state’s subsidized health care system, BadgerCare, under the control of the state’s Health and Human Services office, and then proceed to slash its budget and throw thousands of people off the rolls.

    As In These Times’s Lindsay Beyerstein notes, this new provision in the budget is coupled with another policy which seems darkly ironic when seen alongside these Medicaid cuts. The Walker budget “recommends increasing payments to counties to cover the costs of burying Wisconsinites who die destitute” — one of the few major increases in spending to be found in the document. Indeed, on page 248 of the governor’s Health and Human Services budget, Walker recommends an “increase” in “funeral and cemetery aids”:

    Which means that Walker knows he will be killing people.

  63. Marnie, I wonder if the funeral home lobby was a big contributor to his campaign? This does not pass the smell test. Perhaps someone who knows where to look will scour his list of donors to see if there is a connection between the funeral industry and Walker.

  64. thanks mike

    i haven’t been keeping up with willie much in the past few years. from the sound of that one it may be time to get reaquainted.

  65. RE: Anonymously Yours, March 5, 2011 at 11:10 am

    If Walker really wants to raise money why doesn’t he sell the states interest in the Green Bay Packers? Just wondering….


    What “states interest in the Green Bay Packers”???

    Before citing the “states interest in the Green Bay Packers,” it may be worth ferreting out the actual ownership structure of the Packers…

    Sincerity and accuracy may be uncorrelated.

    Who, besides myself, as a rabble-rouser , who comments here has, as a union member, actually put on a union shirt, carried a form of placard, and walked time and time again around the Wisconsin State Capitol Building for over five hours with other union members?

    I talked with hundreds of other union members and with exactly one “union boss.” One union boss is not enough for me to form a mental pattern of “union bosses,” but the one “union boss” with which I did talk seemed to me to be no less ‘infected’ with “top tier disease” than anyone I else of “the top tier” with whom I have ever talked.

    What did I learn yesterday? One thing, methinks, for sure; those nearly totally uninfected by “top tier disease” may massively outnumber those severely infected by it.

    For the record, I am a member of the Illinois American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Retiree Chapter 31.


    In Order to form a more perfect Union…

  66. I have read this blog for some time and feel honored to join the discussion on an issue I care deeply about. Specifically I would respond to JBH and his characterization of “union boss” ‘s

    I am a retired UAW member who held a minor elected position to finish up my career. In my thirty plus years in the union I never met a “union boss”. There is no such thing! The bosses all work for the corporations. Unions are democratic organizations. We have elected leaders.

    This false characterization “union boss” is but a small drumbeat of the big lie machine. Propaganda by conflation, to diminish the esteem of Union in public opinion. As if these organizations of men with democratic leadership were equivalent in this, to the corporate organizations of capital in which real bosses do the bidding of owners by the authority of ownership. This phrasing is a tiny nugget in the larger anti union propaganda crusade which currently argues that the big bailouts and obscene bonuses among big banks and business are necessary and proper as the whole capitalist system might otherwise fall apart while the union contracts that sustain working families in the American Dream must be broken to save democracy.

    And this “all contracts are contracts, it’s just that our contracts are more contractual than yours” Animal Farm meme is itself just a page in the broader anti Union propaganda campaign portrayal of all that is good in America as the product of business while all the failures big business and again by conflation failures of the national economy are caused by Union (and government regulation).

    Now JBH, your previous comments indicate to me that you are a very skilled, intelligent, if somewhat compulsively rambling, writer. So as a union member you shouldn’t be using your skills to promote such rot. It left, as I read it, just a small whiff in the nose of self-loathing.

  67. The Hitchhiker,

    Welcome aboard. As someone with friends in “boss” positions at both the SEIU and the CWA, I will testify that what you say is true. They represent a truer form of democracy than is currently found in government.

    You would not be the first to find his writing suspect. He also advocates removing the role of the courts in society. A proposition that leads to further tyranny and eventual anarchy.

  68. The Hitchhiker, please let me second Buddha’s comments. I look forward to your analysis of things. As for Dr. H, I simply cannot wade through his turgid writing and incomprehensible logic trails. So, as Buddha said, you are not the first to find his comments suspect. Once you look at what he is really saying, he is an anarchist with regard to the legal system. He should stick to engineering and leave social and legal issues to those who actually know what they are talking about. Anyhow, welcome aboard.

  69. Oh, JBH, just let me just add:

    “Who, besides myself, as a rabble-rouser , who comments here has, as a union member, actually put on a union shirt, carried a form of placard, and walked time and time again around the Wisconsin State Capitol Building for over five hours with other union members?”

    Followed by:

    “I talked with hundreds of other union members and with exactly one “union boss.” One union boss is not enough for me to form a mental pattern of “union bosses,” but the one “union boss” with which I did talk seemed to me to be no less ‘infected’ with “top tier disease” than anyone I else of “the top tier” with whom I have ever talked.”

    Has the same structure and force of argument as the “I’m not saying she’s ugly but…..” joke

    I know there’s a word for this self denying form of phrasing but don’t recall it. Perhaps some others here might help with that.

    And by the way I have walked picket lines for my local and others as both a member/brother and elected leader. I can tell you by a lifetime of experience that while there may actually be atheists in foxholes there are no “union bosses” on labor picket lines. Though that atheist thing is another [propaganda] story.

  70. “Moar 1, March 5, 2011 at 4:48 pm


    so you are a group thinker and are unsure of your beliefs and knowledge? I am sorry to hear that.”

    So since I didn’t agree with you as you thought I had,now I’m a group thinker,LOL!!”

    You put me in mind of someone else:

    “And when you are demonizing your opponents, they fire back, and sometimes they hit the mark and weaken you.”

    The Gov’s mean streak creates enemies
    Published: Sunday, March 06, 2011, 5:30 AM
    Tom Moran/ The Star-Ledger By Tom Moran/ The Star-Ledger


  71. Hitchhiker,

    Welcome indeed. Two pithy, informative comments, nice start. In my younger days I too walked Union Picket lines and as a Shop Steward ran numerous work actions.
    To compare Union leadership, with that of Corporate, or Political entities, is absurd. Corporations are structurally dictatorships. Political entities can be dictatorial and in this day many are. While all Unions have internal politics, for the most part they exist to benefit their members. As we have seen few Corporations
    care about their workforce and many in government today are not responsive to the people they serve.

  72. From Huffington Post
    Local Poll: Wisconsin Wants Compromise
    First Posted: 03/6/11 12:13 AM

    The recent vow by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) that he “can’t compromise” with Democratic legislators on union rights runs sharply counter to preferences of Wisconsinites, according to a new survey of the state sponsored by a conservative think tank.

    The poll, conducted last week and sponsored by the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute (WPRI), finds nearly two-thirds of the state’s adults (65 percent) prefer that Walker “negotiate with Democrats and public employee’s unions in order to find a compromise solution” to the “current conflict over public employee benefits and collective bargaining rights.” A third (33 percent) prefer the alternative, that Walker “stand strong for the plan he has proposed no matter how long the protests go on.”

    WPRI bills itself as “Wisconsin’s Free Market Think Tank” and their web site features articles critical of the union protests and supportive of Walker’s agenda. But Kenneth Goldstein, the University of Wisconsin-Madison political science professor who directed the survey, tells The Huffington Post that he “had control over every aspect of the survey methodology” and applied the “best practices” of the field. The survey used live interviewers and reached respondents over both their landline and mobile telephones, and WPRI has released full results and cross-tabulations for every question asked…

  73. Let’s get real here – “progressives”, if that means anything anymore, need to pick up a GOP cudgel and get to work. We have to embarrass these fuckers using TV ads – that’s the reason George Allen lost, because even the rednecks in VA were embarrassed. We need to go Arkansas Project on their asses and investigate and uncover every kid-toucher and hooker-fucker. This is the GOP, trust me, they’re there. We need to expose every contact they’ve had with sociopaths like the Kochs and beat them to death with it. If we don’t take down the DeMints, Inhofes, and Walkers of the world, we will never get anything done, and the planet will drown. It’s that serious.

  74. Mortimer Snerd Walker knows going in that he will not be elected again. He is burning political bridges right and left. He is the Koch lap dog who will do their dirty work for them at the expense of the working people of his state. Down in Florida, Rick Scott is another one.

    One has to wonder what they have been promised by the Koch crime family and their enablers to be the sacrificial goats for this power grab by the oligarchs?

  75. OS:

    “One has to wonder what they have on** Walker** by the Koch crime family and their enablers to be the sacrificial goats for this power grab by the oligarchs?”

  76. Mrs M:

    To your post”The recent vow by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) that he “can’t compromise” with Democratic legislators on union rights runs sharply counter to preferences of Wisconsinites, according to a new survey of the state sponsored by a conservative think tank.”

    I say the same thing as I said to OS:

    ““One has to wonder what they have on** Walker** by the Koch crime family and their enablers to be the sacrificial goats for this power grab by the oligarchs?”

  77. eniobob,

    When you start digging into the background secrets of a Republican (and some Democrats) it is disconcerting what sometimes floats to the surface. That is what makes Wikileaks so dangerous to them, and why they are going after Private Manning hammer and tongs as well as trying to send Julian Assange away for a long time. When was the last time you heard of a guy being the target of an international manhunt for not using a condom?

  78. I am so proud to read these posts, it warms my heart to see so many in support of the working families of Wisconsin.

    Please keep up the good work on behalf of labor, we need it. The bosses just keep getting richer off our backs while we barely have enough to feed our children with. It is dispicable that most of us are suffering while the Kochs are eating caviar.

    Caviar paid for by our hard work, if they get caviar we should at least get a chicken for our pot. It is only fair that those of us who have little should be taken care of by those who have more. I think we need to target more than just the Kochs, there arent enough really rich people to help us, we need to target the upper middle class as well, they have a nice house and good food on their table. I want some of that as well. They should be forced to help the working man too. The rich and the upper middle class they are the ones that should pay. They take from us poor people.

    They all make money off our backs and I am tired of working 50 hours a week for %35,000 per year while my boss makes about $150,000 per year. It is not fair, he can afford to pay me more. Why should he get to send his children to college and mine have to go to the community college, why should he get to drive a new car while mine is 6 years old?

    I am the one who he hires out for 3 or 4 times what he pays me and I am sick of it.

    Sorry for the rant, this stuff just po’s me.

  79. OS wrote:

    When you start digging into the background secrets of a Republican (and some Democrats) it is disconcerting what sometimes floats to the surface. That is what makes Wikileaks so dangerous to them, and why they are going after Private Manning hammer and tongs as well as trying to send Julian Assange away for a long time. When was the last time you heard of a guy being the target of an international manhunt for not using a condom?


    Yep. Right on the mark… Bull’s eye…

  80. O S & eniobob

    I get the impression that Mr. Walker is not the usual politician and actually believes he’s right and will not compromise in any way. The Kochs chose their man well and his unflinching stick-to-itivness will be his downfall or his rocket. The irony is that that inability to compromise has at the same time brought into the public forum all the things the Kochs would like to keep under the radar.

    Once again, unintended consequences.

    Of course they could have something, but in today’s politics it would probably have come out in the last election.

  81. I found this paragraph particularly interestin from Charles Koch’s letter to the editor at the Wall Street Journal

    “Government spending on business only aggravates the problem. Too many businesses have successfully lobbied for special favors and treatment by seeking mandates for their products, subsidies (in the form of cash payments from the government), and regulations or tariffs to keep more efficient competitors at bay.”


  82. Buckeye:

    Koch is correct, many companies are inefficient and depend on government to support them. Either through direct payments or through special regulations. It has been going on for quite a good long time.

    I know an individual who just received a good deal of money in the form of a low interest loan (less than 3%) from one of the departments to start a business. I don’t think he is going to make it based on his business model. I believe the loan is unsecured or it is inadequately secured.

    This goes on all the time. Ross Perot is a government recipient and many Indians (from India) receive all manner of government aid under the 8a program. These companies receive help that a regular company would not receive.

    And then you know about the defense contracting where they get paid billions of dollars to develop weapon systems that are then canned.

    And there is the entitlement programs that pay people that do not need assistance to sit on their backsides. Mostly white people I might add. The entire system is messed up from the top to the bottom.

    That guy Charlie up above is right. But my take on it is that Charlie and others like him are subsidizing big corporations, the military and lazy people. Get rid of the corporate subsidies and bail-outs, quit wasting money on useless weapons systems, get out of Iraq, Afghanistan, Korea, Germany, Japan and other locations, close down unnecessary bases in the US and get rid of the people on welfare who could and should work and maybe some of that money could be freed up to pay Charlie a better wage.

  83. RE: The Hitchhiker, March 6, 2011 at 9:06 am

    I described my subjective experience of a thirty-second encounter with exactly one “union boss,” and I did not and do not generalize that one brief experience to any other union boss or union boss encounter with any union member.

    There are personality characteristics which lead some people into social leadership settings and there are other personality characteristics which lead some other people away from social leadership settings.

    I described my subjective experience of a thirty-second-or-less encounter, and that brief encounter cannot reasonably be generalized to anything other than to that one single brief encounter.

    During the time I worked at Cook County Children’s Hospital, the Medical Lab Technicians and Medical Technologists became unionized, the Teamsters won the union election. That the Teamsters had collected criminal convictions did not prevent my becoming a Teamster, the Teamster-negotiated contract did, because, though my budget position was that of a Medical Lab Technician and/or Medical Technologist, I was actually hired to do the work of an autistic biomedical engineer, and my reading of the Teamster-negotiated contract informed me that, were I to join the Teamsters, I would automatically and immediately lose my job, because my work did not comply with the Teamsters contract job description(s). Therefore I paid fees equivalent to being a Teamster member (I am profoundly pro-union) while receiving no direct union benefits.

    Autistic people are sometimes treated terribly by those not autistic. For an expert view of this, I suggest reading and understanding Clare Sainsbury, “Martian in the Playground, Second Edition,” A Lucky Ducky Book, Sage Publications, London, 2009.

    I was tired from the long hours of walking around the Wisconsin Capitol Building and did not intend to do a study of hasty over-generalization. One thirty second encounter of two people who never before met is not informative about either person.

    Those who overgeneralize may overgeneralize as an overgeneralized principle?

    Nonetheless, autistic people may be exceptionally prone to being damaged by people who believe autistic people have a brain disability which makes it necessary for other people to make decisions for autistic people.

    It would hardly surprise me were it to be shown that the traditionally bossed have vastly better leadership skills than their traditional bosses have…

    It is my nearly lifelong observation that deeming the symptoms of a problem to be the problem, and palliating the symptoms, quite invariably results in the problem taking on yet another form to be palliated, resulting in yet another form to be palliated, endlessly, until someone actually identifies the actual problem and goes about solving, instead of palliating, it.

    If there is no unresolved law-structure problem why does this “legal theory ” blawg exist?

  84. RE: J. Brian Harris, Ph.D., P.E., March 6, 2011 at 5:32 pm

    I did a Google Advanced Search for, “Teamsters” AND “criminal convictions” and got about 24,600 results in 0.55 seconds.

    Were the Teamsters totally free of criminal convictions, I would have no particular concerns regarding “union bosses.”

  85. To summarize: anti-courts, anti-legalism, anti-union, antisocial, pro-tyranny, pro-anarchy.


    Troll confirmed.

  86. BIL, you gotta stop beating around the bush. Why don’t you come right out and say what you mean? Heh!

  87. R. Pennignton

    Actually, I found the paragraph interesting because of the Koch Industries doing all the things he complains about – and doing them bigger and better than almost anyone else.

    [Koch exploits a number of government programs for profit. For instance, Georgia Pacific, a timber company subsidiary of Koch Industries, uses taxpayer money provided by the U.S. Forestry Service to provide their loggers with taxpayer-funded roads and access to virgin growth forests. “Logging companies such as Georgia-Pacific strip lands bare, destroy vast acreages and pay only a small fee to the federal government in proportion to what they take from the public,” according to the Institute for Public Accuracy. Levine also notes that Koch’s cattle ranching company, Matador Cattle Company, uses a New Deal program to profit off federal land for free.

    – Koch Industries won massive government contracts using their close relationship with the Bush administration. The Bush administration, in a deal even conservatives alleged was a quid pro quo because of Koch’s campaign donations, handed Koch Industries a lucrative contract to supply the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve with 8 million barrels of crude oil. The SPR deal, done initially in 2002, was renewed in 2004 by Bush administration officials. During the occupation of Iraq, Koch won significant contracts to buy Iraqi crude oil.

    – Although Koch campaigned vigorously against health reform — running attack ads, sponsoring anti-health reform Tea Parties, and comparing health reform to the Holocaust — Koch Industries applied for health reform subsidies made possible by the Obama administration.

    – The Koch brothers have claimed that they oppose government intervention in the market, but Koch Industries lobbies aggressively for taxpayer handouts. In Alaska, blogger Andrew Halcro reported that a Koch subsidiary in Fairbanks asked Gov. Sarah Palin’s administration to use taxpayer money to bail out one of their failing refinery.

    – SolveClimate recently reported that Koch Industries will reap huge profits from the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline, which runs from Koch-owned tar sands mining centers in Canada to Koch-owned refineries in Texas. To build the pipeline, politicians throughout the Midwest, many of whom have received large Koch campaign donations, have used eminant domain — government seizures of private land. In Kansas, where Koch-funded officials advise Gov. Sam Brownback (R-KS) and the Republican legislature, the Keystone XL Pipeline is likely to receive a property tax exemption of ten years, a special loophole that will cost Kansas taxpayers about $50 million.

    – Koch Industries has been the recipient of about $85 million in federal government contracts mostly from the Department of Defense. Koch also benefits directly from billions in taxpayer subsidies for oil companies and ethanol production.


  88. R. Pennington sez: “And there is [sic] the entitlement programs that pay people that do not need assistance to sit on their backsides. Mostly white people I might add. The entire system is messed up from the top to the bottom.”

    * * * * * * ** *

    “That guy Charlie up above is right. But my take on it is that Charlie and others like him are subsidizing big corporations, the military and lazy people. Get rid of the corporate subsidies and bail-outs, quit wasting money on useless weapons systems, get out of Iraq, Afghanistan, Korea, Germany, Japan and other locations, close down unnecessary bases in the US and get rid of the people on welfare who could and should work and maybe some of that money could be freed up to pay Charlie a better wage.”


    Where did you come up with the statistic that most of the people getting assistance are white? Or any other color, for that matter? Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. Please provide links to reputable sources of data that support your allegation.

    On the second paragraph, you had me until you started talking about people on welfare. This is one of the oldest strawmen of them all, going back to the late Ronnie Raygun. While there are a few peole getting assistance who could work, dozens are turned away who are in desperate need of assistance. In our state, the initial rejection rate for people applying for SSI Disability benefits is 70%. You want to convince me that three quarters of the people who claim disability do not need it? For one graphic example, I once interviewed a man who had brain cancer. Part of his brain had been removed and he sat in my office drooling on his shirt front. The Reagan appointed disability judge said he could find a job if he looked hard enough. In another instance, the Administrative Law judge (one appointed by Reagan) turned down a man who had Alzheimer’s disease.

    The real problem is lack of funding, because of endless tax breaks to the upper income people.

  89. Buddha Is Laughing 1, March 6, 2011 at 7:08 pm

    To summarize: anti-courts, anti-legalism, anti-union, antisocial, pro-tyranny, pro-anarchy.


    Troll confirmed.


    BiL, I find you entitled to your beliefs, yet I also find you not entitled to impose your beliefs upon me.

    I merely describe what I have observed and learned, always from a personal and subjective “standpoint” — said “standpoint” being that of a bioengineer, and I find that, were I really seeking proof of some “religious teachings,” you would be an excellent means of proof.

    However I seek disproof, not proof. You are amazingly helpful in that way. What I guess you are unable to recognize is my “resisting” your comments, not because I am rigid in my thinking, but because I am so flexible as to be able to find the inconsistencies in your comments by only using intensive and extensive skepticism.

    You are beautiful, really beautiful, in your own way.

    And you are loved, deeply loved; indeed you are.

    I admire your faith in the destructiveness of humanity as the way to save humanity by destroying humanity. The “religion” I find you espousing is not the only “religion” in the world.

  90. I don’t care about your alleged autism. I don’t care about validating or invalidating your person. Your validation of self is your business.

    But since you mentioned “fraud” . . .

    I do care about your antisocial and tyranny promoting ideas. I will be invalidating them and by the same method I’ve used heretofore, namely pointing out the logical fallacies and when you are lying about facts and pointing out when you are being evasive or purposefully obfuscating. Like right now when you are trying to characterize adversarial process as the Big Lie when the true Big Lie is that society cannot exist without legal dispute resolution and that the adversarial court system is the best possible system as it provides for all sides to present their arguments and case before an impartial judge and jury. Far from your assertion that this creates adversity and tyranny, this due process eliminates the violence often inherent in self-help “justice” and provides a check against the tyranny of the strong over the weak. Exposing your lies like the lie that the rule of law is a “religion”. Your assertion that law is a religion is contraindicated by the facts of history and our laws evolving from the Corpus Juris Civilis, the Magna Carte, and English common law tradition of jurisprudence based upon case law and not from some mystical book of complied fairy tales.

    To be perfectly clear.

    If you find this personally insulting and/or invalidating?

    I don’t give a damn.

    Your reactions are your problem.

    Because when I am addressing you and your bad ideas, you are not the object of my message.

  91. I am a real victim. I have been hurt and maligned by so many people its hard to tell them apart. I know in my heart that as much as I am a witness that they will come to find peace in the thing that they call a heart. I am from Sturgeons Bay. It is cold up here this day and I wish it was not this way. I do not have enough money to buy anymore oil for my lamps and they keep me warm to. We are almost out of wood for the coal burner. But that is ok, we will survive. There are a bunch of places where we find wood. Some is real nice. It is a shame that we have to break up some of the stuff. I did find some papers with numbers and one was old and smelled funny. It said something about a Federal Reserve Note redemptive or redeemable for gold. I knew that they were no good as they had 1,000 on them. I know that they were fakes, so we used them to start the wood in the coal burning stove. I found a box of them and they had paper wraps around them. I think I was able to wad up about 30 of them and it got the fire going. It was a shame that they had this really old chair. It was covered in all sorts of decorations. Some of them would not burn, I was unsure somebody said that it was Louis the Fourteenth. I have never heard of him. There was this really big table that he had to clean up we got our deer on it and sliced it up. My momma told me not to do that so I guess I am going to chop it up and burn it soon. It was dark and old. I hope the people next door don’t come home until we move. Can anyone tell me if I should call a doctor. My momma is a little stiff and she has turned blue. She wet herself i was mad at her but she was sleeping hard. I am getting worried about here. Well I cannot call anyone, the phone does not work. Hey, wait, I will be back someone is knocking at the door and there is a lot of noise and red and blue lights are flashing. Will someone call the police for me. I hope my cousin is not bothering you to much. We call him Dr. He is smart and goes to church all of the time.

  92. Awwww. The boo hoo of false consensus. You should learn to mix up your writing style better if you’re going to try that trick.

  93. Do I know you. Are you going to come and save me. If you will I will thank you and never bother you ever again. I am at 815-MOM-7448….

  94. By the way, that number doesn’t track back to Sturgeon Bay, WI.

    It traces back to Hickory Hills, IL.

  95. Otteray Scribe:

    “For one graphic example, I once interviewed a man who had brain cancer. Part of his brain had been removed and he sat in my office drooling on his shirt front.”

    Clearly, the man couldn’t work and the judge was an a$$wipe. I am not talking about the people who sincerely need help, I am talking about the ones who game the system. People game the private disability system as well. I know of one person who got disability and is doing everything she did before and is making a bunch of money from a private company. The only difference is that the private company pays people to spy on the insureds and government doesn’t have the resources to do that.

    check this site out, if you do a search there a good number of references. It does make sense though because there are more whites than blacks in this country.


  96. Buckeye:

    you are right they do, he even says they do in his letter. They are taking advantage of a system of government subsidies.

    If someone was going to let you use their land for a reduced amount of money and it was totally legal would you pass up the opportunity? Or if you needed a loan and you could get a legal one from the government for 2% would you pay 10% or 15% to a bank? I know I wouldn’t, I would take the subsidy if it was available.

    It shouldn’t be available, all the government is doing is robbing guys like you me and Charlie to give money to guys like the Kochs. The big guys make out and you and I are left holding the stick. Maybe we should get some interest for the money government is using to loan and give to big corporations in the form of our tax dollars.

    I am not defending what the Kochs do but they do it because they can, legally with the aid of government. If the government stopped doing it they couldn’t make use of it.

  97. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Tea Party clown David Koch ganging up on working heroes
    Mike Lupica – News

    Monday, March 7th 2011, 4:00 AM

    Now one of the grandstanding governors of the recession, a political chump named Scott Walker, expects everybody to believe that the only way to save the State of Wisconsin, and maybe the whole country, is one union worker at a time.

    Walker comes riding into office in Madison on this huge wave of anti-Obama, anti-government hysteria. He promises that he will create 250,000 jobs and now expects suckers to believe that he would already be doing that if these Democrat-loving unions would get out of his way.

    In a country where it seems that only Bernie Madoff does time after all the white-collar crimes against the economy over the past three years, a country where the high rollers of Wall Street still live high off big bonuses and the old-boy network seems as strong as ever, we are really expected to believe this:

    That it is union workers who are the enemies of the state.

    Walker and all the other state-house phonies like him talk a good game about going after fat cats and corporate contracts and special interests. They just never really do. They would rather act tough with teachers and cops and firemen, who are the backbone of the country that guys like Scott Walker say they want to take back from Barack Obama.


  98. what I find funny is that MOM on the phone corresponds to 666. Maybe A. Actual Victim is the devil since he has the 666 exchange?:)

    that is almost as bad as 1-800-328-7448

  99. @JBH

    Thanks for the response.

    “I did a Google Advanced Search for, “Teamsters” AND “criminal convictions” and got about 24,600 results in 0.55 seconds.

    Were the Teamsters totally free of criminal convictions, I would have no particular concerns regarding “union bosses.””

    More self loathing, much?

    When business large or small are taken over by organized criminals do you similarly conclude that that pre-take over businessman now in the clutches of the mafia as his business is bled dry and perhaps used as a front for further organized crime activity is criminal, anti-American.

    When organized criminals take over unions they do exactly the same thing to the members. First through threats to life and family they get honest leaders to not run for office and pay lie or intimidate to get their slate elected. Once ensconced in positions of authority, they hire their thugs, make sweetheart deals with managements, empty the coffers meant for ongoing operations; Put retirement accounts into investments they control where it will be stolen too, pre-take over members are supplanted by mafia men who are given paychecks without actually working on the real jobs. While the mafia (real) bosses are now able pay their minions through stolen union funds to continue in whatever criminal activities they are actually engaged in with the cover of paychecks that now seem legitimate. At the same time the ones actually working, work harder and longer for less, knowing they better just keep working, and keep their mouths shut if they want to keep their families safe.

    Yes the Teamsters is the greatest and most publicly known example of such a take-over.

    The feds came in and cleaned house there and now the teamsters have their “Teamster’s Union” back.

    I’ll bet you think ACORN was an organized voter fraud outfit too.

    I did a similar search of: “big business” AND “criminal convictions”. I got 34,700 results in .2 seconds.
    But when I searched “big business” AND “crime” I got 7,7000,000 results in .13 seconds.

    Which just goes to show that my computer is faster than yours and not much else.

  100. I had to smile at the Google search results you describe in your reply to Brian, The Hitchhiker. I wrote my full name in teh Google, and added the word “murder.” I got 2,260,000 results in 0.11 seconds. Just goes to show……..something.

  101. “I am not talking about the people who sincerely need help, I am talking about the ones who game the system.”


    While I agree with most of what you say in your posts, you are off the mark when it comes to welfare and SS disability. I worked in the field for 38 (32 years with NYC welfare in their NYCHRA) years and rose from frontline caseworker to Executive. I know about as much about the system as anyone and I can assure you that few “game” the system. That is a myth used by some
    Republicans as a way of focussing the attention of the public against the real “welfare cheats” the Corporations and the Plutocracy. you have ably pointed that part of the equation out.

    SSI disability is as OS described and its’ initial reaction is to disapprove applications, despite their merit. After retiring from a position from a Non-Profit
    due to my own disability I received approval within 5 months, but that was because I did my own application and so highly knowledgeable in providing the needed documentation. It was my professional experience though that many, many legitimately disabled people are denied benefits for unconciously long periods, until to finally
    have their disability reluctantly acknowledged.

    Have you known of instances of people “gaming” the system, I have no doubt you have. However, my view with
    its’ expertise of years of direct work I think trumps anecdotes. The real “welfare queens” in this country are the plutocrats, like the Koch Family, who justify their own entitlements, while sneering at those in need.

  102. Hitchiker:

    that was a good post. My uncle was a teamster as well as my grandfather. They both loved the union, I think they were disapointed when I went white collar. To tell you the truth, I like the union guys better than the stuffed shirts I hang out with.

    They used to tell me some pretty good stories about all the colorful characters they worked with to.

  103. Mike Spindell:

    I defer to superior knowledge.

    Actually the only stories I know of people gaming the system come from private disability insurance and if you can believe it both are medical doctors. Although I do know of a couple of cases of people on welfare that should be working.

    I would figure that out of the number of people receiving government benefits, some would be gaming the system. Although you would be in a far better position to have an idea as to the actual number.

  104. Otteray Scribe:

    “The real problem is lack of funding, because of endless tax breaks to the upper income people.”

    I disagree, I think it is because of all the spending government does on things that are, in the final analysis, non-essential. Like corporate and farm subsidies and defense spending that isn’t really going to true defense.

    In fact if you think about, say, sugar subsidies, the tax payer is paying twice. Once to provide the subsidies to American sugar producers and then again in the form of higher sugar prices because of limited competition. It happens in other industries too.

    So while taxing the more well off will offset some of the burden, it really doesn’t go far enough. Government must reduce spending where it can. Corporate and farm subsidies and non-essential defense spending is a good place to start. At least in my opinion.

    The added benefit is that it starts to pry government and business apart. It is too bad the founders didn’t add a clause about the separation of business and state to the Constitution.

  105. R. Pennington, you will get no argument from me about subsidies, for the most part. Seed money is one thing; if there are grants to help a struggling industry get off to a good start, that’s fine, but I see little or no benefit in keeping buggy whip manufacturers afloat.

    The real secret is going to be an increase in the revenue stream. I am not sure what can be cut on the private side, since the whole infrastructure of the USA is falling into disrepair. When an Interstate bridge falls into the Mississippi River, take it as an early warning that it’s time to take stock of what needs to be fixed. Obviously, there is wasteful spending on projects and services we do not need, and the first thing that comes to mind is Halliburton. But when all is said and done, we cannot keep cutting taxes and expect to maintain essential services. The fiasco in Wisconsin is the most visible tip of the iceberg at the moment. Cut the pay and positions of teachers, first responders and garbage collectors in order to enable further tax breaks for those who can afford to pay taxes is not going to work in the long run.

    I am old enough to remember the high marginal tax rates of the 1950s and 1960s, and during those years we saw an explosion of improvement in the conditions for the middle class while the wealthy still lived quite well, thank you. It was during the reign of St. Ronnie the First that we began to see the deregulation of services and the widening gap between the very wealthy and the rest of us. And the whole package was sold to the American people by an amiable guy with dementia and a psychopathic media genius named Lee Atwater.

  106. TPMDC
    Wisconsin Dems Deny WSJ Report Of Imminent Return
    Eric Kleefeld | March 6, 2011

    Wisconsin state Senate Democrats, who have fled the state in order to block budget quorum on Gov. Scott Walker’s anti-public employee union proposals, are walking back reports in the Wall Street Journal that they plan to return to the state.

    “We are now looking at returning to the state capitol and requiring the senators to take a vote and have them declare who they’re with — the workers or the governor,” Minority Leader Mark Miller told the Journal.

    A return to Wisconsin at this juncture would appear to give the green light for Walker’s legislation to pass — that is, a win for Walker’s efforts to pass legislation when numerous polls show the state disapproving of Walker, and saying he should compromise. However, at this juncture it is unclear just what is going on.

    In response, Miller spokesman Mike Browne released this statement, saying only that they were continuing to negotiate towards an outcome that does not strip the bargaining rights of state workers:

    “It is true that negotiations were dealt a setback since last Thursday when Governor Walker responded to a sincere Democratic compromise offer with a press conference. However, Senate Democrats have continued to reach out to the Governor and Republicans through the weekend.

    Democrats remain hopeful that Governor Walker and legislative Republicans will, in the near future, listen to the overwhelming majority of Wisconsinites who believe they should come to the negotiating table in good faith to reach an agreement that resolves our fiscal issues without taking away worker rights and without hurting programs that help provide health insurance for working families and prescription drugs for seniors.”
    In addition, state Sen. Chris Larson released this statement:

    Sen. Miller’s comments are taken out of context in the Wall Street Journal article just released. Dems will return when collective bargaining is off the table. That could be soon based on the growing public opposition to the bill and the recall efforts against Republicans. Unfortunately, the WSJ fished for the quote they wanted, skipping this key step in logic: we won’t come back until worker’s rights are preserved.State Sen. Jon Erpenbach also told WisPolitics that Democrats are not planning to return. State Sen. Bob Jauch, who has been one of the lead negotiators, also said of Miller’s comments: “I think he’s speaking the truth that at some point – and I don’t know when soon is – at some point we have to say we’ve done all we can.”

  107. R. Pennignton

    I am not defending what the Kochs do but they do it because they can, legally with the aid of government. If the government stopped doing it they couldn’t make use of it.


    It’s only one more step to why the government does it. Very large corporations, like Koch Industries, spend money on campaigns to elect officials who write the laws for exemption from taxes and to allow subsidies, which makes even more money for the corporations, to spend on campaigns. It’s a vicious cycle – or maybe it’s more like an octopus.

    Add in the globalization of corporations and outsourcing of jobs without penalty and you have the full measure of the assault on what used to be a very large middle class. This will continue until the Chinese decide to no longer buy U.S. debt, or we fall under the cost of environmental disasters, or some other calamity like upheaval in the Middle East makes it impossible for that globalization to function.

    Unless we change it all through campaign finance reform.

  108. “I defer to superior knowledge.”


    Please, you don’t have to defer to me on anything about Welfare, etc.. To be honest about it, anybody deferring to me on anything embarasses me. When it comes to the whole concept of welfare though, general attitudes among even intelligent people have been shaped by multiple decades of American propaganda whose purpose has been to demonize the indigent, pit them in opposition to the working/middle classes and thereby make us forget that those really dependent on government largesse are the
    Plutocrats and Corporations. The examples are too numerous to mention.

    It is almost impossible for anyone, no matter their good will, who has not worked in the field of social services to understand. To be honest about it many who do work in the social services field don’t understand it either, having brought their personal prejudices with them to the job.

    This demonization of the newly unemployed, the indigent and of people of color is necessary in order to disguise the game being played. The so-called American Dream is a myth and a meme, whose effect is to make people believe that by hard work and not questioning authority, they too can become rich and respected. While it is true that there are a few who actually have taken that path, that percentage is depressingly small.

    Warren Buffet is perhaps an example, but I don’t know much of his background except from press releases and soft interviews. Bill Gates, however, was born into an upper-middle class family and that certainly made his starting out much easier than the masses. The koch Bros., enough said. Donald Trump inherited a real estate empire in NYC at a time when the prices of NYC properties were skyrocketing. He was such a smart businessman that he’s had to use the bankruptcy court at least three times to pull him out of failures in his management. Yet he is set up by the media as a financial genius and now even thinks he could be president. We’ve already seen the “great success” of G.W. Bush and even his father and Presidential predeccessor, who inherited wealth from his wife and his crooked, Nazi-loving father who served in the senate.

    When I state these things, people tend to think I’m a Communist and/or Socialist, but that is hardly the case.
    I don’t believe that any “isms” are all encompassing solutions to our ills. My sense is that humanity must use methods that ensure freedom, equality, shelter, food, education and clothing. We have the ability to create a paradise on Earth, if only the sociopaths of the world with their will to power, hideous lust and narcissism can be defeated. In ain’t the politics, it’s the society and the genetic inheritance.

    I apologize everyone for the rant, but I find this a stimulating thread.

  109. Mike S.,
    Well said. I don’t consider it a rant. I consider it a memo to the rest of us that our society is controlled by money and money interests. The gap between the rich and the poor is greater now than at any other time in our history. It is a larger gap than in Egypt! At some point, something has to give. I hope the Wisconsin (& Ohio) experiences are the beginning of the middle class’ re-awakening.

  110. Planned Parenthood needs people to show up in Toledo on Tues. 3/8 at 8am at the Office of Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur
    One Maritime Plaza
    Toledo, OH 43604

    To stand against the creepy teabaggers who are planning a demonstration against her for voting to support Planned Parenthood.

    Be there or be square.

  111. From Wisconsin State Journal (3/7/2011)
    Poll: Majority want Walker to negotiate
    By Doug Erickson

    A strong majority of Wisconsin residents want Republican Gov. Scott Walker to negotiate with Democrats and public sector unions to find a compromise in the current budget standoff, according to a new poll by the conservative-leaning Wisconsin Policy Research Institute.

    Sixty-five percent of survey respondents said Walker “should compromise,” while 33 percent said he should “stand strong.”

    While the percentage of people with a somewhat or strongly favorable opinion of Walker has dropped only slightly since last November, from 45 percent to 43 percent, opposition to him has solidified and increased. Fifty-three percent now have a somewhat or strongly unfavorable opinion of him, up from 35 percent in November.

    The poll of 603 Wisconsin residents was conducted between Feb. 27 and March 1, the day Walker gave his biennial budget address. UW-Madison political science professor Ken Goldstein, hired to conduct the poll, said about an equal number of respondents were interviewed each evening, including March 1, and that he did not see a difference in responses night to night.

    Goldstein said he was struck by the intensity of people’s feelings.

    For instance, of the 53 percent with an unfavorable opinion of Walker, the breakdown was 45 percent “strongly disapprove” and 8 percent “somewhat disapprove.” Of the 43 percent who support him, 29 percent “strongly approve,” and 14 percent “somewhat approve.”

    “People in general, and Wisconsinites in particular, usually go more toward the middle on questions,” he said. “They’re going for the extremes on this. Wisconsin residents are polarized.”

  112. From Daily Kos (2/4/2011)
    Wisconsin: Scott Walker continues to deny he’s trying to kill unions
    By Barbara Morrill

    On Thursday, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker publicly claimed that his so-called budget repair bill wasn’t designed to be a union-busting measure:
    “I really didn’t factor that in one way or another.”
    But remember, that’s not what Walker said when he thought he was having a private phone conversation with his billionaire benefactor from Kansas, David Koch, as he described his plan to drop “the bomb”:

    And i stood up and pulled out a picture of Ronald Reagan and said this may seem a little melodramatic, but 30 years ago, Ronald Reagan … had one of the most defining moments of his political career, not just his presidency, when he fired the air traffic controllers. And I said, to me that moment was more important than for just labor relations or even the federal budget, that was the first crack in the Berlin Wall and the fall of communism … in Wisconsin’s history, this is our moment, this is our time to change the course of history … for those who thought I was being melodramatic you now know it was purely putting it in the right context.

    Which is it, Scotty? Your public claim that it wasn’t a factor or your private slobbering about changing the course of history?

  113. From Forbes (3/4/2011)
    Gov. Scott Walker Has Lost The War
    By Rick Ungar

    In what may be the result of one of the great political miscalculations of our time, Scott Walker’s popularity in his home state is fast going down the tubes.

    A Rasmussen poll out today reveals that almost 60% of likely Wisconsin voters now disapprove of their aggressive governor’s performance, with 48% strongly disapproving.

    While these numbers are clearly indicators of a strategy gone horribly wrong, there are some additional findings in the poll that I suspect deserve even greater attention.

    It turns out that the state’s public school teachers are very popular with their fellow Badgers. With 77% of those polled holding a high opinion of their educators, it is not particularly surprising that only 32% among households with children in the public school system approve of the governor’s performance. Sixty-seven percent (67%) disapprove, including 54% who strongly disapprove.

    Can anyone imagine a politician succeeding with numbers like this among people who have kids?

    These numbers should be of great concern not only to Governor Walker but to governors everywhere who were planning to follow down the path of war with state employee unions. You can’t take on the state worker unions without taking on the teachers – and the teachers are more popular than Gov. Walker and his cohorts appear to realize.

  114. Mike S.,

    I know you like Matt Taibbi. Have you read his book “Griftopia: Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids, and the Long Con That Is Breaking America?”

    Here’s an exceprt from on interview with him:

    From A. V. Club
    Interview with Matt Taibbi
    by Gregg LaGambina November 2, 2010

    AVC: There’s an entire chapter in Griftopia devoted to systematically dismantling the character of former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan. It’s called “The Biggest Asshole In The World.” Maybe we should just start with that title.

    MT: [Laughs.] There are three things going on with Greenspan, three reasons why I thought it was worthwhile doing that chapter, and doing it in that way. He had a specific role, as a politician, in the sense that he was one of the primary people pushing deregulation—and a specific kind of deregulation—that ended up being a major factor in the crisis. So there was that. Then there was the second thing, which was his role as the head of the Fed, which basically allowed Wall Street to bail itself out every time it got into a speculative disaster. And then the third thing was, he was really a symbol of the kind of mindset, the ideology, that sort of Ayn Randian belief in complete and total deregulation, and the cult of the producer, and all of that stuff. The superficial pushing of that ideology, on the one hand. On the other hand, the sort of backdoor use of the government as an insurance policy and welfare program for the financial-services industry. Those contradictions were so perfectly symbolized in Greenspan, I just thought he was the ideal way to start out the whole discussion of what Wall Street was all about. He had a specific role as a villain, and he also had a sort of general role as an ideological leader of everything that went wrong.

    AVC: Oh, and you also call him “a lying whore.”

    MT: [Laughs] You keep throwing out all these terrible things that I’ve said back to me. Now I’m beginning to feel bad.

    AVC: You also spend a lot of time criticizing the cult of Ayn Rand and her acolytes. Greenspan was a devotee, heavily influenced by her books, and even spent time socializing with her. You, on the other hand, characterize Rand as “a bloviating, arbitrary, self-important pseudo-intellectual” and call Atlas Shrugged an “incredibly long-winded piece of aristocratic paranoia.” How influential are Rand’s ideas in the financial world, and why is that a problem?

    MT: I think [she] is very influential, even if people aren’t specifically referencing [her books]. I just hear the Randian philosophy constantly when I talk to Wall Street people, this whole excuse that “Everything we do is okay, because we are the producers. We’re the productive members of society. Everybody else is a parasite, therefore what’s good for Goldman Sachs is good for America.” This whole mindset is so deeply ingrained in a lot of people in this particular part of America that I don’t think there is any way you can talk about modern Wall Street without talking about these ideas.

    You know, maybe it’s not Ayn Rand in particular that’s responsible for it, but the ideas that are in her books are incredibly widespread. They’re important in the sense that a lot the things these people do they couldn’t do if they didn’t have some kind of intellectual justification for it. If you’re going to sell $30 million of worthless mortgage-backed securities to some pension fund in Minnesota, and you know that’s going to bankrupt some janitor who’s been saving up his pension his entire life, you can’t do that if you don’t think it all works out well in the end for everybody. This provided the moral cover for people to do that stuff, so that’s why I thought it was worth writing about.

  115. “On Thursday, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker publicly claimed that his so-called budget repair bill wasn’t designed to be a union-busting measure:
    “I really didn’t factor that in one way or another.””

    Liar, liar, pants on fire.

  116. Mike Spindell:

    I agree that earth could and should be a very nice place to live. And I agree that the will to power over others is a significant impediment to that ideal/end.

    It is the cause of corporate subsidies, the politicians in their will to power must use corporate money to obtain their positions. Buckeye mentioned campaign reform but I think it should go further than that. It should be funded by the government out of a fund created by people giving money on their tax returns like we do for the presidential election.

    If the people don’t want to donate then let the people who would govern us put their walking shoes on and get out their soap box and proceed to enthrall us with their acumen in things political. I for one have never seen a person come to my door and ask me for their vote. It would be refreshing to be able to chat up a candidate and see them face to face, to actually take their measure.

    There is a lot of work to be done to put the country back on track to where all can be successful.

  117. If Public Service workers in Wisconsin are anything like the ones in Ohio, and I suspect they are, a great many of them are conservative in their politics and vote Republican. At least they did. Their party has betrayed them and they won’t forget. The Republican Party has done itself some very real and long lasting harm in allowing themselves to be used by the Koch siblings.

    Let’s also take note that Union members are not all public service employees or auto workers or truck drivers. NFL, NBA, and MLB players all have strong player associations (Unions)and resent Union-busting and contribute money to fight it. More importantly in this situation, entertainment people all belong to a Union. These folk are very creative in pushing forward ideas for commercials and YouTube videos and are content to work behind the scenes.

    Yep, Republicans have really stepped into a pile of their own creation.

  118. Blouise,
    you are probably correct that many of the union members who will be hurt if the union busting bills go through vote Republican. I have to ask, What were they thinking? Have they been asleep for the last 10-15 years? Who in their right mind would vote Republican and act surprised that they are attacking unions? Many Republicans have been voting against their own self interest because they believe that we are paying too much taxes and yet they want the wealthy to pay less taxes while everyone else pays more. I just don’t get it.

  119. RE: The Hitchhiker, March 7, 2011 at 8:37 am

    Sorry, I simply have no self-hatred, nor have I hatred of anyone or anything.

    I do study the biophysics of hatred in the context of the contemporary social milieu.

    In studying the biophysics of hatred, I describe my personal experiences in which I find I may have encountered hatred and, in so describing and sharing my personal experiences, associations rather autonomously arise in other people, and some few people end up sharing their encounters with hatred, and I learn from others that way.

    Acorn was a profoundly decent organization doing work of such social value that some “people with power” experienced Acorn as being so intolerably threatening to the socioeconomic status of some “people with power” that some “people with power” used their “power” do destroy Acorn to preserve their “people with power” status.

    Are the Koch Brothers doing anything much different than a sort of parallel to the effective destruction of Acorn in their effort to destroy the trade union movement?

    At the demonstration in Madison last Saturday, I observed the classic error of protest movements, identifying the underlying problem with the people who bring the problem to attention. This is, in social psychology, of the fundamental attribution error, which erroneously assigns situational factors to individual persons (because the factors become manifestly evident in the actions of individual persons?) with the result that ad-homionem attacks divert attention away from the underlying cause onto the surface symptoms of the underlying cause, and often thereby unwittingly strengthen the underlying cause.

    Profoundly autistic people rarely have the sort of work opportunities I had, and I got such opportunities by working in low-level jobs while doing high-level work. Autistic people are even now often as though punished for being autistic.

    I was able to get employment at Cook County Children’s Hospital in the job classification of a Medical Laboratory Technician in 1965, and worked my way up to having the job classification of Medical Technologist after completing my B.S. in Bioengineering in 1970 from the University of Illinois at Chicago Circle. While I was hired to do biomedical engineering from the start, in 1965, my being autistic ruled out my being properly classified in terms of job position for the whole of my employment at Cook County Children’s Hospital, at the Hektoen Institute for Medical Research, and, for a time, at the University of Illinois at the Medical Center, where my position was that of Senior Electronics Technician.

    While a Carleton student, from circa September, 1957 to January, 1961, I did much independent study in the Carleton library, and put far more time and effort into that independent study than into my formal classes.

    By the time I was a Carleton sophomore, I had learned enough of pnysics, biology, sociology and mathematics to have a sense that some sort of biophysics approach to the structure of human society might portend of a resolution of the causes of human war mongering.

    If it is not of the human brain, humans cannot intentionally do it; such was then and such remains, the basis of my biophysical approach to human destructiveness.

    To understand human brain function in situ (in the social sense) has evidently not heretofore been achieved in any useful manner, else some pragmatically attainable means of the resolution of human violence surely would have already been effectively described? I have spoken with a college professor, a physicist, whom I met several years ago, regarding the viability of a biophysics-based approach to improving the legal aspects of the structure of human society, and found only encouragement in return.

    My so stating, while fact, is not evidence of my work, I merely mention it in case that professor, who is free to speak of our conversation, decides to mention it sometime.

    By almost any intelligible model I can yet imagine, what I am doing is, from the social mainstream view, almost certainly of “civil disobedience.” The revised edition of John Rawls, “A Theory of Justice” was not published until after I defended my dissertation, and I have yet to buy it. I do have the original edition (Harvard University Press, 1971):

    From Chapter VI, DUTY AND OBLIGATION, Section 59, The Role of Civil Disobedience, the first paragraph:

    “The third aim of a theory of civil disobedience is to explain its role within a constitutional system and to account for its connection with a democratic polity. As always, I assume that the society in question is one that is nearly just; and this implies that it has some form of democratic government, although serious injustices may nevertheless exist. In such a society, I assume that the principles of justice are for the most part publicly recognized as the fundamental terms of willing cooperation among free and equal persons. By engaging in civil disobedience one intends, then, to address the sense of justice of the majority and to serve fair notice that in one’s sincere and considered opinion the conditions of free cooperation are being violated. We are appealing to others to reconsider, to put themselves in our position, and to recognize that they cannot expect us to acquiesce indefinitely in the terms they impose upon us.”

    Autistic people I have known asked me to learn whether I can ever develop sufficient communication skills as to usefully share with those deemed not autistic what present society is like for those among us who are profoundly autistic.

    I do not allow that autistic people are lesser people than those not autistic, nor that non-autistic people are lesser people than those who are autistic.

    On behalf of those autistic people who have asked me to do as I am now doing, I hereby am serving fair notice on those not autistic that there are, among those who are autistic, increasing numbers of people who cannot be expected to acquiesce indefinitely to the terms we find unconscionable which the non-autistic impose upon us.

    For myself, and I actually speak and write for no one else save on behalf by request, I prefer gentle evolution to violent revolution. Violence, I experience, as subjectively revolting.

    This being a legal theory blawg, I am serving fair notice that I have a legal theory concern which I find to be foundational to any form of viable society based on a non-self-contradictory principle of actual justice.

    I find there to be a significant predicament within the structure of human society, a predicament which is the basis of very nearly every item which begins the threads of this blawg.

    Doing that which creates and enhances the predicament will not resolve the predicament until such enhancement destroys society while destroying the predicament with the predicament itself as the only effective weapon, if the adversarial principle continues to control human society.

    There is an alternative already in use. Autistic people such as myself already live it. We live it because we can find no other way to stay alive in a society in which it is as though being autistic has sometimes been deemed “worse than cancer,” by some non-autistic parents of autistic children.

    If one believes in biological defects (and I decidedly do not so believe), there is a simple question which comes to my mind:

    If biological defects exist and autism is about a biological defect, is it those who are autistic, or those who are not autistic, who have the biological defect?

  120. Dr. Harris:

    “If one believes in biological defects (and I decidedly do not so believe), there is a simple question which comes to my mind:

    If biological defects exist and autism is about a biological defect, is it those who are autistic, or those who are not autistic, who have the biological defect?”

    What about genetic disease? Those are RNA/DNA mutations. We can argue about cause but outcome is a biological defective entity. Some allow for the continuation of the organism, some do not. We could also argue that the ones that don’t cause death are not necessarily defects but only mutations. Some genetic mutations cause beneficial changes that allow the organism to withstand environmental pressure such as viruses or famine.

    Extremely high intelligence may be a form of autism so that would be a beneficial mutation. Autism where the person can only remember phone numbers is not so beneficial. Although 10,000 years ago you would want that guy with you on a far ranging hunt so you could get back to the village or camp. He could remember every leaf on every tree you passed.

  121. Swarthmore,
    interesting link to the Silver article. I am begining to think that Wisconsin may swing much more Democratic if this Walker nonsense continues.

  122. Swarthmore mom,

    Thanks for the link – very informative and I’m really curious to see how things play out in 2012.

  123. RE: R. Pennignton, March 7, 2011 at 3:34 pm

    Dr. Harris:

    “If one believes in biological defects (and I decidedly do not so believe), there is a simple question which comes to my mind:

    If biological defects exist and autism is about a biological defect, is it those who are autistic, or those who are not autistic, who have the biological defect?”

    What about genetic disease? Those are RNA/DNA mutations. We can argue about cause but outcome is a biological defective entity. Some allow for the continuation of the organism, some do not. We could also argue that the ones that don’t cause death are not necessarily defects but only mutations. Some genetic mutations cause beneficial changes that allow the organism to withstand environmental pressure such as viruses or famine.

    My life includes the genetic condition now labeled “Familial Adenomatous Polyposis” (FAP). The last time I checked, the average age of death from FAP, absent sufficient surgical cancer prevention, was about 42 years. I am past 71 and still going. When I was 47, I underwent two surgeries intended to reduce cancer risk from FAP, one generally not recommended yet one my bioengineering background deemed important, an the other deemed essential. The first was a bilateral orchiectomy because my research suggested that testosterone could serve as a significant cancer promoter based on my understanding of my family cancer history, and the other a total colectomy with ileo-rectal anastomosis. My dad and my brother died from the sort of cancer which my cancer preventive efforts have, I hope, thus far kept me from having. I am very familiar with genetic diversity and its proclivity to alter length of individual lives.

    Nonetheless, I do not regard the “FAP” gene to be a genetic defect, nor do I regard any aspect of genetic diversity to be of genetic defect. Without the whole spectrum of genetic diversity, the the biological species homo sapiens sapiens could not exist, so I observe as a bioengineer. To label the diversity which allows humans to exist as being in any way of defect or defective biology is to miss the whole meaning of biological diversity as a facilitator of evolution.

    As with the genetics of sickle cell genetics, what may be of biological disadvantage in one biological environment may be of biological advantage in an environment which has yet to occur. Consider, as an instance of perhaps absurdly wild imagination, that there is some virus not yet evolved which will result in 100$ lethality for everyone not having a form of the FAP gene.

    There still are biologists who, it appears to me, believe that “survival of the fittest” is a meaningful notion regarding evolution. Alas, it is a meaningless tautology, for the fittest individuals are determined by their surviving some environmental change, which they survived by being able to survive it.

    Even a silly tautology can appear to be profoundly significant until its denotation-connotation dance is sufficiently unriddled.

    Extremely high intelligence may be a form of autism so that would be a beneficial mutation. Autism where the person can only remember phone numbers is not so beneficial. Although 10,000 years ago you would want that guy with you on a far ranging hunt so you could get back to the village or camp. He could remember every leaf on every tree you passed.

    If it could ever be actually demonstrated that “intelligence” is anything other than a measure of acculturation, and not a measure of any characteristic or trait of an individual person, then questions regarding intelligence might actually be intelligent. Alas, all the measures of intelligence I have found are measures of the versatility of the fallacy of assuming the consequent… That causes me to wonder whether intelligence actually exists, or whether the notion of intelligence is an artifact of very real human stupidity. I, for one, am likely much too stupid to make any useful sense of such an issue.

    What could be more intelligent than accurately recognizing one’s stupidity?

    In the olden days of early railroading, for lack of sufficient communication, one railroad steam engine would often drive its boiler into the boiler of a facing steam engine with terrible effect.

    It is one thing to do that by unwitting blunder.

    It is another for people to run hateful ideas toward one-another, as is the evident political polity scheme in the United States of America, as though playing chicken with two freight trains approaching one another at maximum speed on single track railroad line. Winner take all by taking the life of winner and all?

    I have no genetic defects. There are no genetic defects. There is genetic diversity, all of it; else there is no humanity at all.

  124. From Think Progress
    If Banks Paid Their Full Taxes, We Could Rehire All 132,000 Teachers Laid Off During The Recession — Twice
    By Zaid Jilani

    Today, hundreds of people from Make Wall Street Pay, one member of a larger Main Street Movement that seeks to defend the American middle class, shut down a Bank of America branch in Washington, D.C. over the bank’s tax dodging. In 2009, the bank used loopholes in the tax code to avoid paying a penny of taxes. The protesters, many of them homeowners who had been abused by the bank’s mortgage policies, were outraged that the nation’s biggest bank was paying less taxes than they were in 2009.

    Last week, National People’s Action and the Public Accountability Initiative, both of whom are organizing the Make Wall Street Pay protests, put out a report, “Big Bank Tax Drain.” The report lays out the costs that average Americans — who are being asked to sacrifice their education, their health, and their pensions — incur from the egregious tax dodging by the big banks.

    In one particularly shocking statistic, the report notes that the six biggest banks in the United States together paid “income tax at an approximate rate of 11″ percent in 2009 and 2010. If they had paid 35 percent, which is the legally mandated rate without loopholes, the federal government would have received “$13 billion in tax revenue” — a sum which would cover the salaries, for two years, of every single one of the 132,000 teachers laid off since the beginning of the economic recession:

    Six banks – Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley together paid income tax at an approximate rate of 11% of their pre-tax US earnings in 2009 and 2010. Had they paid at 35%, what they are legally mandated to pay, the federal government would have received an additional $13 billion in tax revenue. This would cover more than two years of salaries for the 132,000 teacher jobs lost since the economic crisis began in 2008.

  125. Elaine,

    you’re right i love Mike Taibbi, he is the best journalist around. I wasn’t go to buy the book, however, because I knew I’d agree with everything he says and that I’m coming from the same place as him, only decades down the line. You’ve shamed me, however, into firing up my Kindle. Someone this good and so on the money has to have his projects supported

  126. From Channel 3000 (3/7/2011)
    Budget Bill Takes Aim At Contraception Programs
    Birth Control Coverage Could Change Under Walker

    MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin women could soon face a major change in their health care as Gov. Scott Walker’s proposed budget is taking aim at contraceptive programs.

    Women living in the state who currently have birth control covered by insurance could see that change. The governor has proposed repealing the state’s 2009 contraceptive equity law, which requires insurers cover contraceptives.

    Walker’s budget also proposes de-funding programs which provide similar options for low income women.

    Heather Britt said she is one of thousands of women who knows what it’s like to not receive health insurance through her employer and to receive funding assistance for birth control through state and federal programs.

    “I worked part-time,” said Britt. “I would have had to pay for many of those services out of pocket.”

    “To me,” Britt continued, “health care is a right. I’s not a privilege.”

    While Britt finished her degree, she relied on Planned Parenthood for health screenings and birth control. The governor’s proposed budget would change that.

    “This isn’t about finance, this isn’t about the state’s deficit,” argued Lisa Subeck of NARAL Pro-Choice Wisconsin. “This is about the state getting involved in decisions that should be made between a woman and her doctor.”

  127. R. Pennignton,

    There is so far not much we disagree (perhaps even too harsh a term)on. I like the system in Great Britain, government financed, short election period, free air time and a level of debate far superior to ours. That isn’t to say that GB is ideal, but in that respect their system makes greater sense than ours. The main problem though is that there is little chance an electoral sywstem change will come to pass, given the entrenched power, unless we all become smarter in our strategy to overturn the system.

  128. The Hitchhiker:

    Brian suffers from a condition called Logorrhoea. In layman’s terms, verbal diarrhea. We have discovered it takes at least three paragraphs for him to just clear his throat.

  129. Mike S.,

    Wait till you read the second chapter in the book titled “The Biggest A**hole in the Universe.” It’s all about Alan Greenspan.

    I buy all of Taibbi’s books and the Rolling Stone issues that contain articles he’s written.


    Here’s a link to his most recent piece in Rolling Stone:

    Why Isn’t Wall Street in Jail?
    Financial crooks brought down the world’s economy — but the feds are doing more to protect them than to prosecute them

    Over drinks at a bar on a dreary, snowy night in Washington this past month, a former Senate investigator laughed as he polished off his beer.

    “Everything’s fucked up, and nobody goes to jail,” he said. “That’s your whole story right there. Hell, you don’t even have to write the rest of it. Just write that.”

    I put down my notebook. “Just that?”

    “That’s right,” he said, signaling to the waitress for the check. “Everything’s fucked up, and nobody goes to jail. You can end the piece right there.”

    Nobody goes to jail. This is the mantra of the financial-crisis era, one that saw virtually every major bank and financial company on Wall Street embroiled in obscene criminal scandals that impoverished millions and collectively destroyed hundreds of billions, in fact, trillions of dollars of the world’s wealth — and nobody went to jail. Nobody, that is, except Bernie Madoff, a flamboyant and pathological celebrity con artist, whose victims happened to be other rich and famous people.

  130. Embarrassing, indeed:

    Monday, Mar 7, 2011 15:15 ET

    Scott Brown begs for money from David Koch

    By Alex Pareene

    Well, this is embarrassing. At a fancy party for a cancer research institute at MIT last week, Think Progress caught Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown begging for money from billionaire industrialist David Koch. Koch and his brother Charles are the wealthy backers of much of the modern conservative and libertarian movements, and their money helped elect Republicans nationwide in 2010. They have since become the semiofficial bogeymen of the left, because they fit the part of “evil wealthy industrialists buying a pliant government” quite well.

    BROWN: Your support during the election, it meant a ton. It made a difference and I can certainly use it again. Obviously, the –

    KOCH: When are you running for the next term?

    BROWN: ’12.

    KOCH: Oh, okay.

    BROWN: I’m in the cycle right now. We’re already banging away.

    So, yes, this does fit right into the narrative of Republicans being subservient to their billionaire masters, but did that narrative need video evidence? Isn’t every single action they’ve ever taken when they hold power in Washington proof enough?

    Anyway Brown is going to continue being a “moderate” Republican in order to win reelection in Massachusetts but when it counts, these are his most important constituents.


  131. Why Employee Pensions Aren’t Bankrupting States
    Sunday 06 March 2011

    by: Kevin G. Hall | McClatchy Newspapers | Report

    Washington – From state legislatures to Congress to tea party rallies, a vocal backlash is rising against what are perceived as too-generous retirement benefits for state and local government workers. However, that widespread perception doesn’t match reality.

    A close look at state and local pension plans across the nation, and a comparison of them to those in the private sector, reveals a more complicated story. However, the short answer is that there’s simply no evidence that state pensions are the current burden to public finances that their critics claim.

    Pension contributions from state and local employers aren’t blowing up budgets. They amount to just 2.9 percent of state spending, on average, according to the National Association of State Retirement Administrators. The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College puts the figure a bit higher at 3.8 percent.

    Though there’s no direct comparison, state and local pension contributions approximate the burden shouldered by private companies. The nonpartisan Employee Benefit Research Institute estimates that retirement funding for private employers amounts to about 3.5 percent of employee compensation.

    Nor are state and local government pension funds broke. They’re underfunded, in large measure because — like the investments held in 401(k) plans by American private-sector employees — they sunk along with the entire stock market during the Great Recession of 2007-2009. And like 401(k) plans, the investments made by public-sector pension plans are increasingly on firmer footing as the rising tide on Wall Street lifts all boats.
    Boston College researchers project that if the assets in state and local pension plans were frozen tomorrow and there was no more growth in investment returns, there’d still be enough money in most state plans to pay benefits for years to come.

    “On average, with the assets on hand today, plans are able to pay annual benefits at their current level for another 13 years. This assumes, pessimistically, that plans make no future pension contributions and there is no growth in assets,” said Jean-Pierre Aubry, a researcher specializing in state and local pensions for the nonpartisan Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.

    In 2006, when the economy was humming before the financial crisis began, the value of assets in state and local pension funds covered promised benefits for a period of just over 19 years.

    At the bottom of Aubry’s list is Kentucky, which would have enough assets to cover 4.7 years. Other states do much better: North Carolina local government pensions are funded to cover 19 years of promised benefits; Florida’s state plan could cover 17 years; and California’s plans about 15 years.

    “On the whole, the pension system isn’t bankrupting every state in the country,” Aubry said.

    States having the biggest problems with pension obligations tend to be struggling with overall fiscal woes — New Jersey and Illinois in particular. Many states are now wrestling with underfunding because they didn’t contribute enough during boom years.

    Most state and local employees government across the nation have defined-benefit plans that promise employees either a percentage of their final salary during retirement or some fixed amount. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that 91 percent of full-time state and local government workers have access to defined-benefit plans.

    Several states_ including Florida, Georgia, Ohio, Colorado and Washington_ have adopted competing defined-contribution plans, or a hybrid plan that provides government employees both a partial defined benefit in retirement and a supplementary defined-contribution plan.

    Defined-contribution 401(k) plans divert on a tax-deferred basis a portion of pay, generally partially matched by the employer, into an account that invests in stocks and bonds. In 1980, 84 percent of workers at medium and large companies in the U.S. had a defined-benefit plan like those still predominate in the public sector. By last year, just 30 percent of workers in these larger companies were covered under such plans.

    Defenders of the public pension system say anti-government, anti-union elected officials and interest groups have exaggerated the problem to score political points, and that as the economy heals, public pension plans will gain value and prove critics wrong.

    “There’s a window that’s closing as market conditions improve and interest rates rise, the funding of these plans is going to look better than depicted by some,” insisted Keith Brainard, the director of research for the National Association of State Retirement Administrators in Georgetown, Texas.

    Critics of public sector pensions paint the problem with a broad brush.

    “Unionized government workers have tremendous leverage to negotiate their own wages and benefits. They funnel tens of millions of dollars to elect candidates who will sit across from them at the negotiating table,” said Thomas Donohue, the chief executive of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, in a Feb. 24 blog post. “This self-dealing has resulted in ever-increasing wage and benefit packages for unionized government workers that often far outstrip those for comparable private-sector workers.”
    In a Feb. 23 radio interview, Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., called federal stimulus efforts to rescue the economy “essentially a federal bailout of public employee unions.” Nunes described money owed to state pensioners as a crisis “about ready to happen.”

    Except that two out of every three public-sector workers aren’t union members.

    The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in January that 31.1 percent of state public-sector workers were unionized in 2010, compared with 26.8 percent of federal government employees. The highest percentage of unionization, 43.3 percent, was found in local government, where police officers and firefighters work. Teachers can fall into either state systems or local government.
    Ironically, in Wisconsin, where Republican Gov. Scott Walker is trying to weaken public-sector unions and reduce pension benefits, he’s exempted police and firefighters, who are among the most unionized public employees. And Wisconsin’s public-sector pension plan still has enough assets today to cover more than 18 years of benefits.

    The most recent Public Fund Survey by the National Association of State Retirement Administrators showed that, on average, state and local pensions were 78.9 percent funded, with about $688 billion in unfunded promises to pensioners. Critics suggest that the real number is at least $1 trillion or higher, using less-optimistic market assumptions.

    The unfunded liabilities would be a problem if all state and local retirees went into retirement at once, but they won’t. Nor will state governments go out of business and hand underfunded pension plans over to a federal regulator, as happens in the private sector. State and local governments are ongoing enterprises.

    The flow of employees into retirement matches up with population trends in states, with Northeastern states with declining populations, particularly Rhode Island, seeing more stress on their pension systems than Southern and Western states, where there’s been vibrant population growth.

    Another misperception tied to the pension debate is that while the private sector has shed jobs during the economic crisis, state and local government employment has grown — and pensions along with it.

    Since September 2008_ when state and local government employees numbered 19,385,000 and the economic crisis turned severe — the governments’ payrolls shrunk by 407,000, to 18,978,000 this January, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

    When calculating from December 2007_ the month that the National Bureau of Economic Research determined was the start of the Great Recession_ state and local government employment has fallen by 703,000 jobs amid a downturn that cost the nation more than 8 million jobs overall.

    “The down economy has had an effect, and the loss of employment outside the public sector has created a contrast” said Brainard, of the National Association of State Retirement Administrators.
    Also fueling backlash is the perception that state and local workers don’t contribute to their own retirement funds the way private sector workers do.

    Four states have non-contribution public pension plans_ Florida, Utah, Oregon and Connecticut. Missouri until recently had a non-contribution policy for state workers, as did Michigan until 1997. Michigan workers hired before 1997 still don’t pay toward their pensions, and some teachers in Arkansas don’t have to contribute toward theirs. Tennessee doesn’t require contributions from most workers and employees in the state higher education system.

    Those notable exceptions aside, most states require employee contributions. The midpoint for these contributions for all states and the District of Columbia is 5 percent of pay, according to academic and state-level research. That contribution rate climbs to 8 percent for the handful of states whose workers or teachers are prohibited from paying into the federal Social Security program.

    By comparison, private-sector workers shoulder a bit more of the burden.

    In its data for 2010, Fidelity Investments, the largest administrator of private-sector 401(k) retirement plans, showed employee contribution rates in its plans averaged 8.2 percent of pre-tax pay.

    Separately, the Employee Benefits Research Institution estimates that most private-sector employers match up to 50 percent of employee contributions up to the first 6 percent of salary.

    The utility or burden of either type of retirement plan depends on whether the plan is measured by what it delivers to an individual, or by how much it delivers to all workers receiving retirement benefits from their employer.

    “It really comes down to what you are attempting to do,” said Dallas Salisbury, the president of the nonpartisan Employee Benefit Research Institute.

    Viewed through the lens of an employee, defined-benefit plans are more cost-effective at providing a pre-determined level of benefits to an employee. But the shortcoming of these plans is that they reward seniority. For workers with a shorter tenure, they’re far less generous in retirement.

    This fairness issue is one reason why 401(k) plans have grown steadily in prominence since the mid-1980s. From the payroll perspective of an employer, these defined-contribution plans produce at least some retirement income for the greatest number of employees, and the plans can move with employees who change jobs.

    On the Web
    BLS data on unionization
    Research on pensions, budgets
    Projections of pension funding
    How long states can fund their pensions
    Public Fund Survey Scorecard


  132. rafflaw,

    I’m drawing some of my conclusions from my associations over the years with Public Service employees. As a Civil Service Commissioner I came to know almost every single public service employee in my town. I had to know their Union contracts inside out as there are certain measures which can, and other measures which can not be taken through Civil Service when the employee is also covered by a Union contract.

    I have dined with them, played poker with them, gone to funerals with them, attended baptisms with them and regularly, today, go out to lunch with them. I also went down to Columbus with some of them.

    We talk politics all the time and if anyone knows how government wastes money it’s the public service employee who remains through the tenure of many mayors, governors, legislatures, and political appointees who come and go like the wind. The ones I know are fiscally conservative and big on law and order (cops especially)and up till now considered the Republican party as championing the same values. We aren’t talking wild-eyed teabaggers here … we’re talking old-fashioned republicans.

    These people don’t make a ton of money … nothing like the salaries paid to political appointees or elected officials. Also, these people actually perform jobs on a daily basis. They don’t sit in an office schmoozing constituents or seeking contributions to campaign funds or kiss up to editors hoping to get their picture in the paper. These are the clerks who handle engineering tasks, the receptionists who direct citizens to the right department, the cop who catches the thief, the firefighter who puts out the chimney fire, the paramedic who drives the ambulance, the accounting clerk, the guy who resurfaces the streets, the kid who picks up the leaves or mows the lawn at City Hall, the park worker and ranger, the mechanic who keeps the snow plows running,the teacher.

    A great many of them used to call their party Republican but no longer for their party betrayed them big time and misrepresented them big time. They were old fashioned republicans who woke up in January to find that the teabaggers and Corporations had decided to blame them for the failing economy and actively work to ruin them and their families.

    The public service workers who consider themselves Democrats aren’t bothering to say “I told you so” for the situation is dire and all need to work together … but make no mistake … hell hath no fury like ….

  133. Blouise,
    Well said and I hope you are right that these “former” Republicans will look a lot closer at what a candidate claims he or she will do for the middle class in future elections.

  134. Elaine,

    That’s 50 seconds of video that will hopefully end Scott Brown’s Senatorial career – I hope his potential opponents are already working on the commercials…

  135. RE: The Hitchhiker, March 7, 2011 at 5:12 pm

    @ JBH

    Wow! Impressive diatribe.

    I just came off an article on Huff post about people who compulsively feel the need to explain themselves.

    It might be instructive. check it out.


    RE: Otteray Scribe, March 7, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    The Hitchhiker:

    Brian suffers from a condition called Logorrhoea. In layman’s terms, verbal diarrhea. We have discovered it takes at least three paragraphs for him to just clear his throat.


    RE: Anonymously Yours, March 7, 2011 at 6:11 pm


    Now that was funny……


    Three affirming votes in one thread!

    For validating my research method, thanks!

    You have been most helpful.

  136. Otteray Scribe 1, March 7, 2011 at 7:30 pm

    Brian, I have no idea what you are talking about. What’s more, I don’t really care. EOM



    Thanks for confirming your affirming vote.

  137. Here’s a story about a newly elected Republican governor going after unemployment benefits for working people:

    From Think Progress (3/7/2011)
    Florida Gov. Rick Scott and GOP Lawmakers Move to Gut Unemployment Benefits

    This week, Florida lawmakers plan to vote on a bill that would dramatically cut both state and federal unemployment insurance, making the state’s already meager unemployment benefits the most restrictive in the nation. Even while they pursue massive tax breaks for corporations, Republican lawmakers are moving forward on legislation that would shorten state unemployment benefits from the 75-year national standard of 26 weeks to 20 weeks. The proposed change would also reduce federal benefits by thirteen weeks, effectively cutting jobless benefits twice.

    According to the National Employment Law Project, the proposed reforms would leave the state’s one million unemployed workers “with much less economic protection than unemployed workers in any other state in the country.” Gov. Rick Scott (R) has endorsed the House’s bill, telling lawmakers that it advances his goal of limiting eligibility for unemployment benefits.

    Since his corporate-funded inauguration in January, Scott and the Florida GOP have proposed a variety of reforms that “cast jobless workers in Florida as lazy, shiftless drug addicts” and would reduce and undermine unemployment insurance in the Sunshine State.

  138. From TPMDC (3/7/2011)
    Wis. Dems File Ethics Complaint Over Walker’s Comments On ‘Koch’ Call

    Wisconsin Democrats are continuing their fire on Gov. Scott Walker’s infamous phone call with blogger Ian Murphy, who was posing as Republican financier David Koch, in which Walker spoke of his passion for busting the public employee unions. And in their latest move, the Dems have announced that they are filing an ethics complaint with the state’s Government Accountability Board — accusing Walker of serious violations of the law.

    “It [the call] showed Scott Walker as a grandiose plotter who thinks of himself as a national figure in the effort to distort the balance of power between working people and big corporations who seek to transform Wisconsin into a low-wage, low-benefits backwater,” state Dem chairman Mike Tate said on a conference call with reporters on Monday. “But I’ll leave it to you to discuss the political damage it has done to Walker and his corporate masters.

    “What we are here to discuss is the fact that in his phone call, Scott Walker clearly violated campaign finance and ethics laws meant precisely to prevent the kind of shameful activity in which Walker was engaged.”

    The complaint — which was also posted earlier by Greg Sargent — alleges that several violations of the law occurred on the call: That Walker attempted to coordinate third-party campaign spending, when he told “Koch” that there would need to be messaging in support of Republicans in tough districts; That he illegally used state facilities, the phone in his office, to commit said coordination; That he conspired to incite disorderly conduct when he said he had considered planting troublemakers among the protesters; That he misused the Attorney General’s office in seeking advice on ways to trick the Democrats to come back; That he violated labor laws by saying he would use threats of layoffs of state workers in an effort to pass the bill; And that he accepted a trip to California when offered by “Koch.”

    As noted in the complaint, and as Tate pointed out on the call, these various alleged offenses are punishable by large fines and even years in prison.

  139. Otteray Scribe 1, March 7, 2011 at 7:30 pm

    Brian, I have no idea what you are talking about. What’s more, I don’t really care. EOM


    That the “top tier” has as-though no idea what I am writing about, when I am writing what I am writing about, where it is that I am writing about, why I am writing what I am writing about, how I am writing what I am writing about; those “six questions of journalism,” and the replies I have found through such response comments has have and have not come my way, were of my final testing of the Unified Field Theory which is my entire life vocation.

    I have here been testing The Unified Field Theory in terms of its practicable and pragmatic denotation. To date, I have found neither error nor possible error. That hardly indicates that the The Unified Field Theory I have in mind is without terrible error; it may merely indicates my personal limitations as a theoretical and applied research bioengineer.

    What I have been researching are the waking-state dreams of those who dream of themselves as though being the top tier of human society.

    I have long observed that the waking dreams of those who have waking-dreamed themselves into the dream world of being top tier are such as to be shatteringly oppressive to autistic people who are sufficiently similar to me as to recognize the trauma of the dream world of the waking dreams of those who have dreamed up the notion of social stratification as being such that the guidance of intact conscience is insufficient for human society to properly function.

    Yet I find that the waking dreams of those who have dreamed up the notion of their being top tier is the most terrible of all possible daymares. Not nightmares, daymares!

    Daymares are brain biophysical adaptations to brain-shattering abuse; the condition has been named “thwarted freeze discharge” by neurologist Robert Scaer, it has been named “schizophrenic catatonic stupor” by psychologist Nick Cummings, and it has been named “the fundamental error of social reality” by Rev. J. Brian Harris, Ph.D., P.E.

    “Daymare” is not in some of my dictionaries, yet Merriam-Webster gives its first known use as 1737.


    I find the Anglo-Amercian Adversarial System of Law and Jurisprudence to be of the form of a daymare, based on my personal encounters with it, and based on my biophysics-based bioengineering research.

    From Merriam-Webster:

    “Definition of DAYMARE: a nightmarish fantasy experienced while awake

    Every personal encounter I have had with The Anglo-American Adversarial System of Law and Jurisprudence has, for me, personally, been of the form of a nightmarish fantasy which I have experienced while I have been awake.

    I have experienced nothing other than hateful contempt from The Adversarial System, for it is as though to deny even the possibility of my personhood, and has been as though, for me, denying the possibility of my personhood before my life began.

    Yet I do not return “arrows of hate” for such “arrows of hate” as have been shot toward me. I catch all of them and place them in that mythic lake of fire, so the ones I catch can never again be shot at anyone. Yet the arrows of hate being shot vastly exceed the ones I am able to catch, and I come out, asking for others who are able to catch arrows of hate and place them in that mythic lake of fire to join with me.

    I am hardly the first person to catch arrows of hate and place them in that mythic lake of fire, and I am also among many who ask others to join in the work.

    I observe that the central basis of the Adversarial Principle, as the core basis of the Adversarial System, is the making and shooting of arrows of hate.

    I was tutored in the ways of The Law by the late Sidney M. Perlstadt, Esq., an attorney-at-law who told me in great detail of the concerns of his conscience regarding The Adversarial System.

    Watching Professor Turley via television and reading his blawg thread starters, I experienced a concern of conscience very much akin to that of the late Sidney M. Perlstadt.

    I have had no direct communication with Professor Turley, nor do I seek any direct communication. I post comments here as, and only as, Professor Turley’s guest, and only as he allows me to post comments.

    If my posting comments offends Professor Turley, I beseech him to block my ability to post comments. I admire his conscientious efforts directed toward improving law in both principle and action.

    It is my personal and subjective concern of conscience which has led me to comment here. For I have personally and subjectively experienced scathing abuse at the behest of The Adversarial Principle.

    Yet I do not actually develop contempt of the law except as the practice of law coerces and demands of me that I hold in contempt my conscience.

    There are people, many in addition to myself, who have experienced The Adversarial System as though being in despicable contempt of their lives.

    How is a person to have respect for a System of Law and Jurisprudence which acts such as to hold the actual life of the person in despicable contempt?

    I am able to answer that only for myself. I am able to respect a Adversarial System of Law and Jurisprudence which as-though holds my life in despicable contempt because I know and understand that the purpose and function of any and every Adversarial System of Law and Jurisprudence is of the broad path of existence which is of coming to know and understand what is most wisely avoided when such avoidance has become attainable; therefore, I instantly forgive all that as-though disrespects my life and my life work.

    People are waking up from the daymare of The Adversarial System. I know and understand this, and I know and understand this vividly. I was with thousands of people who are waking up this Saturday past, in Madison, Wisconsin.

    The only enemy humanity has ever had, the only enemy humanity can ever have, is the childish belief that humanity can ever have an enemy. Childish beliefs exclude child-like beliefs as child-like beliefs include childish beliefs as beliefs wisely avoided.

    I have accurately described what I have been doing on this blawg, to the limit of my ability with words to communicate.

    I have been psychoanalyzing the daymares of the “top-tier” of human society as best my circumstances have allowed.

    As for The Unified Field Theory, it has been out on the Internet for quite some time, at www(dot)veritalogue(dot)org as follows:

    Verily! Verily! Verily!

    Prepare for the Coming of Amazing Truth!

    As Religion is about that which is important
    to us that we do not yet understand,
    So Science is about that which is important
    to us that we do understand.

    The first time I heard the Keewatin Eskimo
    saying, as I remember it now, it was like this:

    The Wolf and the Caribou are One;
    for the Caribou feeds the Wolf,
    and the Wolf keeps the Caribou strong.

    Religion and Science are One;
    for Religion guides the direction of Science,
    and Science keeps directing Religion toward Truth.

    Affirmational Faith Ministry
    Rev. J. Brian Harris, Ph.D., P.E.

    The creation of this web site is evolving as the evolution of this web site is being created.

    My work is not about myself; my work is like the work of anyone and everyone else, I do that which existence gives to me that I may do.


    The message of existence is without end.

  140. “I am able to answer that only for myself. I am able to respect a Adversarial System of Law and Jurisprudence which as-though holds my life in despicable contempt because I know and understand that the purpose and function of any and every Adversarial System of Law and Jurisprudence is of the broad path of existence which is of coming to know and understand what is most wisely avoided when such avoidance has become attainable; therefore, I instantly forgive all that as-though disrespects my life and my life work.”


    I have no doubt that your experiences with the legal system and its adversarial nature have been horrible. I also fully respect that your autism has been mis-understood by many and that you have suffered for it, which is a reflection of the horrible things that some people do. However, from what I can glean from you, as I’ve said before your writing style obscures your message, you use your particular experiences as an indictment of the entire process.

    While there is more than a little validity in stating that the system is broken and its outcomes suspect, this to me is not because the theory is a failure. Humans come in all shapes and sizes and those of sociopathic bent (it self as wide a spectrum diagnostically as autism) are peculiarly suited to gain power in all systems, be it governmental, or even religious. That they corrupt the intent of a given system, does not mean that the system’s theory is at fault. That blame falls on some of its practitioners.

  141. Elaine,
    Great updates. The Rick Scott one is just part of his “great” ideas for Florida’s budget. He is cutting teachers salaries over $2,000 in order to provide huge corporate tax breaks and a miniscule property tax reduction. He is trying to out crazy Scott Walker.

  142. Warm & fuzzy story! I found this to be very, very cool!

    Wisconsin’s “union bride” tells her story

    A Madison couple managed to work a pro-public worker rally into their busy wedding day. The bride explains why

    By Joan Walsh


    After I wrote about the big Wisconsin rallies mostly ignored by the media on the weekend of Feb. 26, I got a charming photo from a woman who’d spent part of her wedding day, with her husband and wedding party, at that Saturday’s protest against Gov. Scott Walker’s union-busting. I tweeted the photo, and it made the rounds. I wanted to use it with my Wisconsin article Monday, and I asked the woman who sent it if she’d give me a little bit more information about herself, and why she chose to join the rally on her wedding day. When I got her fascinating reply, I couldn’t imagine chopping it into a couple of sentences to identify her, so I asked if I could publish it here, and she agreed. Here it is:


  143. rafflaw,

    Wasn’t that a great story? Brings a smile to my face seeing sanity in such insanity!

  144. S L

    That was a great story. It gives me hope for the country; the more I get involved in things, the more impressed I am with those young people that are also involved and really making a difference. Some parents somewhere are doing something right.

  145. From TPMDC (3/8/2011)
    Walker Releases E-mails From Talks With Key Dems — And Dems Fire Back

    Gov. Scott Walker’s (R-WI) office has now released documents from its negotiations with two of the 14 state Senate Democrats who had left the state in order to block budget quorum — state Sens. Tim Cullen and Bob Jauch — in an effort to demonstrate that he could give up some of his proposals that have been widely derided as union-busting of public employees.

    As the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports, one of the Dem point men is now only slamming Walker for releasing the e-mails:

    Cullen characterized the talks as “discussions” rather than negotiations since he and Jauch weren’t speaking on behalf of other Democrats. Jauch also cautioned that the two sides had never reached a final deal.

    Cullen said he was disappointed Walker released the e-mails.

    “I’ve never seen negotiations be done successfully in public,” he said. “I thought they were bargaining in good faith.”The e-mails show some degree of relaxation in Walker’s more blatant anti-union provisions — though collective bargaining would still be heavily circumscribed from where it has been in Wisconsin:

    • Under the current proposal, unions would need to seek certification elections every year, starting with an election this spring, and achieve over 50% of all eligible voters/workers. In the newly-floated proposal, they would instead only have to seek election every three years, starting within one year of the bill becoming law.

    • Some collective bargaining rights would be restored, relating to workplace safety.

    • Other issues such as classroom size and mandatory overtime would be bargainable — but both labor and management would have to agree to discuss it in order for bargaining to happen.

    • A provision that salary increases would be bargainable — but could not rise above inflation unless subjected to a local referendum — would be removed.


    You can see some emails here:

  146. Have you heard about what is going on in Michigan?

    From The Detroit News (3/9/2011)
    Despite loud union protests, emergency manager bills move forward
    Karen Bouffard / Detroit News Lansing Bureau

    Hundreds of workers crammed the railings that surround the rotunda on four floors under the Capitol dome and loudly chanted and banged the rails to protest the Senate bills — slated for passage today — that would allow emergency financial managers to toss union contracts and oust elected officials in communities and school districts operating at a deficit.

    Chants of “Kill the bill” penetrated the walls of the chamber as majority Republicans defeated more than 20 Democratic amendments to curb the broad powers of emergency financial managers under the legislation. Catcalls from the crowded gallery prompted state Sen. Mark Jansen, R-Gaines Township, to gavel for order and chastise protesters, saying: “There will be no demonstrations” in the chamber.


    The proposed Local Government and School District Fiscal Accountability Act — which would repeal Michigan’s current Public Act 72 that allows for appointing emergency financial managers to straighten out finances — would allow a financial manager to overrule elected officials and dissolve units of government and school districts.

    Watch this segment from Rachel Maddow’s show last night about what Gov. Snyder of Michigan is trying to do in his state.
    GOP Strategy: Disaster Capitalism
    Rachel talks with Naomi Klein, author of “The Shock Doctrine.”

  147. Disaster capitalism? How do you think we came to be where we are? Disaster big government spending/statism. It doesnt have any thing to do with capitalism. More like if you make a dollar you cant spend 3 and hope that you will have money in the bank for later.

  148. From SwM’s link at 8:55am ….”now Walker seems little more than a bystander in his own movement”

    The dude’s lost control which should come as no surprise to anyone.

  149. Herein lies the difference between the teabaggers and everyone else at town hall meetings – legitimate issues vs. foolishness pushed by the GOP:

    Wisconsin Town Hall Gone Wild!

    By Casey Dolan – Tue Mar 8, 2011 5:28 PM EST.Even though we are on the third week of the political standoff in Wisconsin, Democrats across the state are still enraged over Governor Walker’s labor bill that will take away the collective bargaining rights of unions.

    At a town hall meeting last night in Wauwatosa, protesters were so loud and disruptive while State Senator Leah Vukmir was speaking that U.S, Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner decided to adjourn the meeting. When the Congressman announced this, attendees started to yell “shame, shame, shame!” – a chant that we have heard for the past few weeks at the state capitol in Madison.

  150. Swarthmore mom,

    Here’s an article on the same subject that I found earlier this morning:

    Karl Rove, Koch Brothers — on your TV, in your mailbox
    By JOEL CONNELLY (3/7/2011)

    The Crossroads GPS political committee, co-founded by Bush guru Karl Rove, is in my mailbox, on my TV screen and now on my radio at Whidbey Island. But it tells me nothing about who’s putting up money to sway me.

    Crossroads GPS will butt in a lot more next year: GPS and its partner American Crossroads have set out to raise $120 million to defeat President Obama, help Republicans capture the U.S. Senate and keep the House.

    Karl has company. Charles and David Koch, billionaire heads of an oil-and-business conglomerate, plan to give and steer $88 million toward right-wing politicians and conservative causes in 2012. (Kudos to Ken Vogel of Politico for smoking out their plans.)

    A Koch front is already advertising to bolster Wisconsin’s increasingly unpopular Gov. Scott Walter in his bid to deprive public employee unions of collective bargaining rights (and defund a potent Democratic contributor).

  151. I know it…I just knew it….Elaine aka Elsine and Swm are in fact overt operation…. What other code names do you use to secretly communicate while on this site….

  152. Just for curiosity sakes….do you like American style food… Do you still sign your camel to bed…. would you really walk a mile for a camel…….or do you just have camel marathons…..what is you thoughts regarding…Ray Stevens….has your attitude changed since listening to Tarzan…..

    Would you prefer me to address you as Elsine, Elaine, Tootie or Bdaman…. in future dissemination of information favorable to my thoughts and beliefs….I would sue Propaganda but it has such negative connotations since WWII…. Please advise….

  153. Elsine,

    That is sign as opposed to sing…you would not want people to know that you are a secret agent…

  154. Amy Goodman interviewed Naomi Klein on Democracy Now this morning. I’ve included a link to the video and transcript of the program:

    From Democracy Now (3/9/2011)
    Naomi Klein on Anti-Union Bills and Shock Doctrine American-Style: “This is a Frontal Assault on Democracy, It’s a Kind of a Corporate Coup D’Etat”

    Summary: As a wave of anti-union bills are introduced across the country in the wake of Wall Street financial crisis, many analysts are picking up on the theory that award-winning journalist and author Naomi Klein first argued in her 2007 bestselling book, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism. In the book, she reveals how those in power use times of crisis to push through undemocratic and extreme free market economic policies. “The Wisconsin protests are an incredible example of how to resist the shock doctrine,” Klein says.

    AMY GOODMAN: Republican Governor John Kasich, going back to his old haunt. He was a commentator for a long time for Fox and, before that, a conservative congressman.

    NAOMI KLEIN: You know, the reason why this isn’t working and why people are so outraged by it and why they’re in the streets and we’re finally seeing the resistance in this country that we have seen in Europe, with this chant, “We won’t pay for your crisis,” that really started in 2008 in Greece and spread to Italy and France and England—and, you know, the rest of the world has been waiting for the United States to—you know, how much are Americans going to take of this? It seems that Americans were willing to say, you know, “We will pay for your crisis, and would you like a tax break with that?” Right? And finally, they went too far. And so, that resistance is finally happening.

    And this attack on collective bargaining, the reason why people won’t take it is precisely because they understand that this is not shared pain. It is not being shared equally. The people who created the crisis in the first place are not sharing the pain. And the injustice of this response is so blatant. This isn’t just any economic crisis. This tactic has worked. And this is, you know, what I’ve tracked over a 30-year period, that it is really easy to use an economic crisis—people panic, hyperinflation, issues like that. In the ’90s, when Newt Gingrich was Speaker, it was possible for him to argue that the source of the budget crisis really was so-called entitlement programs. You cannot do that in this moment in history because everybody understands that the crisis was created on Wall Street, it was created through speculation and greed, and a decision was made to bail out the bankers with public money and to pass the bill on to the public. And they’re seeing the bonuses back. They’re seeing the outrageous salaries. They’re seeing corporations not paying their taxes. And it’s just too unjust. It’s just so morally outrageous. And then to turn on the television and talk about everybody sharing the pain? I mean, people are just not that stupid. Thankfully.

    AMY GOODMAN: About a thousand people rallied in Michigan—

    NAOMI KLEIN: Yeah.

    AMY GOODMAN:—reminiscent of Wisconsin. Talk about the proposal there.

    NAOMI KLEIN: Well, I just found out about this last night, and like I said, there’s so much going on that these extraordinary measures are just getting lost in the shuffle. But in Michigan, there is a bill that’s already passed the House. It’s on the verge of passing the Senate. And I’ll just read you some excerpts from it. It says that in the case of an economic crisis, that the governor has the authority to authorize the emergency manager—this is somebody who would be appointed—to reject, modify or terminate the terms of an existing contract or collective bargaining agreement, authorize the emergency manager for a municipal government—OK, so we’re not—we’re talking about towns, municipalities across the state—to disincorporate. So, an appointed official with the ability to dissolve an elected body, when they want to.

    AMY GOODMAN: A municipal government.

    NAOMI KLEIN: A municipal government. And it says specifically, “or dissolve the municipal government.” So we’ve seen this happening with school boards, saying, “OK, this is a failing school board. We’re taking over. We’re dissolving it. We’re canceling the contracts.” You know, what this reminds me of is New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, when the teachers were fired en masse and then it became a laboratory for charter schools. You know, people in New Orleans—and you know this, Amy—warned us. They said, “What’s happening to us is going to happen to you.” And I included in the book a quote saying, “Every city has their Lower Ninth Ward.” And what we’re seeing with the pretext of the flood is going to be used with the pretext of an economic crisis. And this is precisely what’s happening. So it starts with the school boards, and then it’s whole towns, whole cities, that could be subject to just being dissolved because there’s an economic crisis breaking collective bargaining agreements. It also specifies that—this bill specifies that an emergency manager can be an individual or a firm. Or a firm. So, the person who would be put in charge of this so-called failing town or municipality could actually be a corporation.

    AMY GOODMAN: Whose government they dissolve, a company takes over.

    NAOMI KLEIN: A company takes over. So, they have created, if this passes, the possibility for privatization of a whole town by fiat. And this is actually a trend in the contracting out of public services, where you do now have whole towns, like Sandy Springs in Georgia, run by private companies. It’s very lucrative. Why not? You start with just the water contract or the electricity contract, but eventually, why not privatize the whole town? So—

    AMY GOODMAN: And what happens then? Where does democracy fit into that picture?

    NAOMI KLEIN: Well, this is an assault on democracy. It’s a frontal assault on democracy. It’s a kind of a corporate coup d’état at the municipal level.

  155. Elaine M,

    Thanks for the Goodman/Klein post!

    I must ask this all important question: Do you need to drink a horrid tasting fluid to bring your evil side, Tootie, out or does she pop up when there’s a full moon??

  156. Stamford Liberal,

    No drinking is required. I just sit and watch FOX News and listen to Pat Roberston and Rush Limbaugh for twenty-four hours without a break!


  157. Sl,

    Elsine is spreading propaganda to her ….her….cult followers….. She is using the internet to probably figure out where all of us are located….. I tell you they have some rather incredible and resourceful folks…

  158. considering collective bargaining is against the tax payer and the money going to pay union employees is tax payer money, I hardly see how they have a right to increase their wages and benefits without tax payer input.

    We don’t have a democracy last time I checked. 51% of the people cannot vote to impoverish the other 49% no matter how badly they may want to.

    Government unions have no right to collective bargaining, it is an infringement on the rights of the tax payers.

  159. Elaine,

    I read The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism shortly after hearing her speak on … I think it was Keith Olbermann several years ago (2007 or 2008?).

    Every once in awhile I take the book off the shelf and reread certain paragraphs just to remind myself of what’s really going on.

  160. I think I belong to too many cults as I’m getting very confused as to who my leader is and what color I’m supposed to wear on Saturdays.

  161. Blouise,

    That should be easy….since you are in a cult….Don’t they all wear black velvet dresses…. Don’t they get really excited when a guy bangs a stick around…. and waves it at you…..

  162. Anonymously Yours
    1, March 9, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    That should be easy….since you are in a cult….Don’t they all wear black velvet dresses…. Don’t they get really excited when a guy bangs a stick around…. and waves it at you…..


    lol … very, very good … once again, you got it!

    Asked you a serious question on Obama Orders … thread

  163. Elaine M,

    “Stamford Liberal,

    No drinking is required. I just sit and watch FOX News and listen to Pat Roberston and Rush Limbaugh for twenty-four hours without a break!”

    Oh! So not only do you have an evil twin, but you’re a gutton for punishment too!


    “what color I’m supposed to wear on Saturdays”


  164. Sl,

    Maybe you did not get the memo…..Since you are in a cult….You are to wear Black Velvet dresses on all days ending in “Y”….

  165. AY,

    “Don’t they all wear black velvet dresses…”

    Boy, are you out of touch! Black velvet dresses? Not a chance! It’s black leather bustiers. Get with the times!!!!!


  166. Dr. y,

    I don’t think many people understand collective bargaining. It’s all about negotiating. Each side usually gives something up to get something else that they want more. Besides, public employees ARE taxpayers.

  167. Elaine,
    Don’t start using facts and reason now! Dr. Y. , using your logic if any public official’s salary is changed then the voters need to have a referendum on that change. So if the representatives vote to lower public employees salaries and benefits, wouldn’t that require a referendum too?

  168. I thought if you were in a cult, you got nekkid at midnight on Saturday and burned incense. Or something. Maybe it was herbs and spices they were burning in those pipes. And dance around a campfire.

  169. I don’t have much time to comment, but I just wanted to say that from my perspective (about 50 miles south-east of King Snyder’s throne in Lansing) the Michigan legislation is FUCKING TERRIFYING! I greatly appreciate all of the information that Elaine and others have compiled here, but if any of you take requests it would be nice to see some news about how Michigan is deposing King Snyder… We’ve got to be able to demand his birth certificate and have him frog marched out of the Capitol or something like that, right? This must be what it feels like when, as soon as you can see straight after someone kicks you in the nuts, someone kicks you in the nuts… harder.

    Seriously, I fear for my beloved state under the yoke of this tyrant.

  170. Elaine M. aka Elsine,

    Not that I want to get in trouble for giving aide and comfort to the enemy….. But were……You ever a school librarian… Just asking…..No particular reason why….

    Blouise will need someone knowledgeable about the Slips….. and the Dewey system….. Someone that is adept at working in the stacks and is familiar with the circulation policy……

    Also….Not to step on toes…..But the proper attire is Blouise’s…

  171. AY,

    “Maybe you did not get the memo…..Since you are in a cult….You are to wear Black Velvet dresses on all days ending in “Y”….”

    Dammit! Now I’m going to have to exchange my jogging suits and sneakers!

  172. Slarti,

    Gov. Snyder has been flying under the radar. Like Naomi Klein, I just heard about what he is trying to do in Michigan last night–thanks to Rachel Maddow.

  173. Elaine,

    I can’t watch Rachel yet – it will upset me too much! I’m glad to have the link here for when I’m ready to watch it though…


    I couldn’t make it to the rally yesterday, but I plan to help as much as I am able (which unfortunately isn’t likely to be all that much right now…).

  174. rafflaw:

    I would say yes to an increase in salary. If it was being lowered I would say no. Lowering positively impacts the tax payer. Or at least one would hope that would be the case.

    Since there are many states that don’t allow collective bargaining as well as the federal government, I see no problem with Wisconsin taking that off the table.

    Employers have the right to determine wages and benefits they will pay to an employee, collective bargaining is extortion. On the flip side, employees have the right to not take the job and/or make the best deal they can in terms of wages and benefits. But the employer is under no obligation to bargain. In a free society people should be able to deal with whom they chose on mutually acceptable terms.

    People have a right to join a union but there is no right to force a private or governmental employer to deal with a union.

  175. when an entire group of people can basically stop the progress of a private company or governmental agency if they do not come to some agreement in their “negotiations”, I would call that extortion. You don’t have to go on strike to disrupt work.

    How would you like negotiating when the deck is stacked in the other persons favor and the result was you paying more money. The only variable being the amount. I would call that extortion.

  176. I have a deal you cant refuse but the amount can be agreeable. Maybe I don’t want that deal at any amount.

  177. Elaine,
    Dr. Y thinks that if Walker wants it, then he must have it.
    Dr. Y,
    They have the right now to collectively bargain and Walker is trying to remove that. Do you realize what it will cost the State of Wisconsin in setting up a referendum for each contract that is renewed or terminated? The cost and the work involved in setting those up would be monumental. Of course, I realize you don’t care about those things because your job is to comply with the wishes of your employer.
    If you have to have an election for any positive increase to the taxpayers, it is only fair that any decreases in salaries and benefits should be brought to a vote as well. I think you and your employers would lose that vote in Wisconsin right now. Are you sure you don’t want to try another strategy?

  178. Dr. y,

    “when an entire group of people can basically stop the progress of a private company or governmental agency if they do not come to some agreement in their “negotiations”, I would call that extortion.”

    I was a member of a teachers’ union. We negotiated our contract through collective bargaining. We never stopped the functioning of our school system…even when we didn’t come to an agreement. BTW, it was against the law for us to strike.

  179. This just in!

    #Wisconsin Republicans make surprise move on union-busting bill
    By Laura Conaway – Wed Mar 9, 2011 6:39 PM EST.

    Potentially big news in Wisconsin just now. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports that Republican Senators have moved Governor Walker’s budget-repair bill to a joint committee. That committee can then rework the bill and send it back to the House and Senate for a vote. From the Journal-Sentinel:

    What changes would be made remains unclear, but Democrats said they had not been consulted on them. They raised concerns that Republicans would take out all the spending in the bill and leave only the changes to collective bargaining.

    To pass spending measures, 20 senators must be present, but Republicans hold just 19 seats. But Republicans would not need any Democrats to be present to pass the collective bargaining changes as a standalone bill.

    That squares with what we’re hearing, too — that Republicans have split Governor Walker’s bill into two parts. They can vote on anything that’s not fiscally related. Since the union-busting is not about the budget, as we’ve been saying throughout the standoff, they could vote on that without the Democrats present.

    A Republican source in Madison tells NBC’s Mike Taibbi that Senate Republicans could vote on the provisions to strip collective bargaining rights as soon as tonight. Mr. Taibbi reports that the source is furious because a compromise with Democrats had nearly been in place. Another report, on WisPolitics, makes it sound like this development happened in a hurry.

    We’ll have much more on the show at 9 PM Eastern.

  180. Two items, Walker is now admitting that the point of breaking the unions is political not econimic:


    And a ‘breaking news’ segment on a talking head show I’m watching has stated that the Wisconsin Senate is going to strip the loss of bargaining rights from the budget bill and vote on it separately, probably tonight; as a stand-alone a quorum is not needed. ???

  181. He,he,he, Elaine, I’d have got that on the blawg first but I had to make my husband repeat what I heard back to me and ask questions just to make sure I heard it correctly. WoW!:-) These Wisconsin sleasebags play hardball. The talk about stripping it from the budget bill and taking it up later was IMO the kiss of death for collective bargaining in Wisconsin but doing it this way is such a naked, political power grab that I have to say I’m surprised they had the guts to do it.

  182. Joe Hill

    by Alfred Hayes

    I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night
    Alive as you or me
    Says I, But Joe, you’re ten years dead
    I never died, says he
    I never died, says he

    In Salt Lake, Joe, says I to him
    Him satnding by my bed
    They framed you on a murder charge
    Says Joe, But I ain’t dead
    Says Joe, But I ain’t dead

    The copper bosses killed you, Joe
    They shot you, Joe, says I
    Takes more than guns to kill a man
    Says Joe, I didn’t die
    Says Joe, I didn’t die

    And standing there as big as life
    And smiling with his eyes
    Joe says, What they forgot to kill
    Went on to organize
    Went on to organize

    Joe Hill ain’t dead, he says to me
    Joe Hill ain’t never died
    Where working men are out on strike
    Joe Hill is at their side
    Joe Hill is at their side

    From San Diego up to Maine
    In every mine and mill
    Where workers strike and organize
    Says he, You’ll find Joe Hill
    Says he, You’ll find Joe Hill

    I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night
    Alive as you or me
    Says I, But Joe, you’re ten years dead
    I never died, says he
    I never died, says he

    Governor Walker may get to sign this vile bill into law, but it will only intensify the efforts like recalling the Senators and eventually the Governor and the repeal of the abhorrent law.

  183. What Dr. Y fails to realize is the basic definition of extortion.

    Extortion is legally defined as “the obtaining of property from another, with his consent, induced by wrongful use of actual or threatened force, violence, or fear, or under color of official right.” 18 U.S.C. S 1951(b)(2). The operative words are “wrongful use”.

    As collective bargaining is a right guaranteed by law, namely the National Labor Relations Act of 1935 which establishes a right to collectively bargain. There is also a legal requirement that these negotiations be conducted in “good faith”. “Good faith” is defined as “[h]onestly and without deception. An agreement might be declared invalid if one of the parties entered with the intention of defrauded the other. The duty of each party to an agreement (and all officers, employees, or agents of each party) to act in a fair and equitable manner toward each other so as to guarantee each party freedom from coercion, intimidation, or threats of coercion or intimidation from the other.”

    Ergo, by definition, good faith negotiations as required by law are prime facie not the equivalent of extortion.

    Any claim that collective bargaining as defined by law is the same thing as extortion as defined by law is a false equivalence. A false equivalence is lie to yourself when you think it and a lie to others when you propagate it in addition to being a logical fallacy (attribution error).

    The text of the Labor Relations Act of 1935 can be found here: http://www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?flash=old&doc=67&page=transcript

  184. (S*)it’s going to get interesting now.

    You’re doing a great job Elaine, I know you’re going to be all over this. I don’t even have to bother watching TV for the next couple of hours, I can just go make supper and check back to this thread. I do love Maddow and I know she’s going to have something to say tonight.

    Thanks for your great work Elaine, you’re a gem.

  185. rafflaw:

    exactly who are my employers? I am a private individual who does not live in Wisconsin or anywhere near voicing an opinion.

    I find it funny that you should think that anyone voicing a difference of opinion must somehow be connected to some nefarious purpose. I don’t agree with the union. I am not a Koch sucker or a Weiner for Walker.

  186. Dr. Y,
    If the label doesn’t fit, I apologize. I made the leap not because of your different opinion, but because of your hard and fast and take I or leave it concept of bargaining. The idea of unions collectively bargaining their salary and benefits is not why Wisconsin has a deficit.

  187. Lottakatz,

    I appreciate everyone posting links to interesting stories on the subject of union busting and collective bargaining. It’s hard keeping up with all the stories about what’s going on in Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Idaho, etc.–in addition to stories about the Right’s war on women, Bradley Manning, military tribunals, Wall Street machinations, the Koch brothers, and on and on and on…

  188. Dr. Y:
    Extortion comes under something called the Hobbs Act [18 U.S.C. § 1951], which is the Federal statute that covers RICO and extortion. If collective bargaining were illegal, the Feds would have been all over it years ago. Simply stated, collective bargaining is NOT extortion.

    Also, since there are laws and statutes governing collective bargaining, how could it be illegal? There is enabling legislation at both the Federal and State level. That enabling legislation precludes and removes any taint of illegality.

    In summary: It is not extortion and neither is it illegal under any law.

  189. The Wisconsin Senate separated the budget part of the bill out so that a 2/3 quorum will not be needed. A simple majority makes a quorum for non-budget items. They just voted 18-1 to eliminate collective bargaining for the targeted public employees. I am so angry I cannot even think straight.

    Kossack Kodiak54 has been there on the scene and just sent a message via his cell phone. He says he will be posting pictures later when he gets home. Fire trucks are driving around the Capitol and the crowd is gathering. It sounds as if it may turn into pitchforks and torches.


  190. Thanks, Elaine. I do not have the TV on right now. I will check it out in a few minutes. This is gonna get a lot uglier before it gets better.

  191. From Think Progress (3/9/2011)
    Koch Industries Employs PR Firm To Airbush Wikipedia, Gets Banned For Unethical ‘Sock Puppets’

    Last year, Koch Industries began employing New Media Strategies (NMS), an Internet PR firm that specializes in “word-of-mouth marketing” for major corporations including Coca-Cola, Burger King, AT&T, Dodge and Ford. It appears that, ever since the NMS contract was inked with Koch, an NMS employee began editing the Wikipedia page for “Charles Koch,” “David Koch,” “Political activities of the Koch family,” and “The Science of Success” (a book written by Charles). Under the moniker of “MBMAdmirer,” NMS employees edited Wikipedia articles to distance the Koch family from the Tea Party movement, to provide baseless comparisons between Koch and conspiracy theories surrounding George Soros, and to generally delete citations to liberal news outlets. After administrators flagged the MBMAdmirer account as a “sock puppet” — one of many fake accounts used to manipulate new media sites — a subsequent sock puppet investigation found that MBMAdmirer is connected to a number of dummy accounts and ones owned by NMS employees like Jeff Taylor.

  192. No wonder they have new security rules. They are afraid of the people. Especially if the people are inclined to go the pitchforks and torches route. It is a sorry state of affairs when elected officials are afraid of their constituents.

    I read a moment ago that some Republican Senators are now trapped in the Capitol building by the angry (and growing) crowd.

  193. Wisconsin republicans are desperate and taking desperate steps. The back-fire should be long and loud. They remind me of the history from the old days of Union busting.

    Remember a few weeks ago when it all started fairly quietly and most wondered what the big deal was? That’s the way big deals start … very quietly.

    The battle is on many fronts but that simply energizes more people at the local level and we all know politics is local. Nobody in Ohio or Michigan or Illinois is going to get too bent out of shape over Wisconsin (some posters have made that point most clearly)if the only place things are happening is Wisconsin, but when those things start happening in Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, etc., it becomes local and greater numbers become involved … you get the drift. Stupid tactics by the Koch siblings and their gang of teabagging republican party hacks. They have united rather than divided.

  194. Alas, I do not indict the whole process, only one little aspect of it, albeit an aspect which has generated a massive plethora of observable symptoms. At the quantum-mechanical level, one way to have a window into what I am about is to investigate the nature of the internal structure of a physical singularity. The words become strange if one believes one is outside a singularity by mistake. The words become strange in a somewhat different way if one mistakenly believes one is outside a singularity.

    The system of law we have is just fine save for one tiny detail, that detail being interpreting the law from an adversarial viewpoint.

    Because writing about what existed before existence existed reads like utter nonsense in connotative terms, and because there is no way to write denotatively, the words do a wild dance, even if the meaning the words are intended to convey is simple and easily understood by a typical 18 month old child. How I know such can be understood by a typical 18 month old child? I have simply asked a bunch of typical children of around 18 months age.

    While there is more than a little validity in stating that the system is broken and its outcomes suspect, this to me is not because the theory is a failure. Humans come in all shapes and sizes and those of sociopathic bent (it self as wide a spectrum diagnostically as autism) are peculiarly suited to gain power in all systems, be it governmental, or even religious. That they corrupt the intent of a given system, does not mean that the system’s theory is at fault. That blame falls on some of its practitioners.



    Thank you for your reply, copied and pasted above this comment. You are the first commentator on this Turley blawg to demonstrate what I observe as being clear evidence of having a useful initial grasp of my central legal theory concern. I am taking far more time to reply than usual because I am editing this comment multiple times, to make it as good as is practical.

    As will be easy to discern, the problem I have with words is severe, for the cacophony of following words is the sad result of a considerable effort on my part, having taken me some four hours or more to bash together, parse, re-arrange, bash again, purge excesses, find too many words left out, and, Good Grief!

    There may be typos I missed, sorry…

    My concern in commenting here is, and is only, of a legal theory concern. My concern is well expressed in the final two sentences of your above-copied and pasted comment of March 8, 2011 at 10:36 am, which I here put in bold face for emphasis, with the key issue also in italics; and with interspersed comments of mine in neither italic nor bold::

    “That they corrupt the intent of a given system, does not mean that the system’s theory is at fault. That blame falls on some of its practitioners.

    The irony I find most profound within my work is that your words, in bold, immediately above this sentence, are very correct at one level of denotation, though the connotation of that same word sequence can be almost anything.

    Theories can be parsed into contrasting levels, and what may be incorrect at a given higher level may be correct at a deeper level.

    The “Theory of Law and Jurisprudence” in use which I find at the deepest level I have been able to reach, is plausibly stated in something like the following form:

    The development of human-made Law and Jurisprudence is a social process, such that the structure and function of Law and of Jurisprudence change as new circumstances arise for which the prior structure and function of Law or Jurisprudence are found to inadequately inform people as to optimal human conduct.

    (I find this to be a principle of such obviously relevant significance as to be embedded in The Constitution of the United States as Article V. There is the Law as written – statutes, regulations, admonishments, and such – or the Law as espoused; and there is the Law as process – interpretation and jurisprudence. For my purposes in making an effort to tell of my legal theory concern in some understandable way, I will call the Law as espoused “The Connotation of Law,” and I will call the Law as in use as “The Denotation of Law,” and shall write then in the rest of this comment in capitalized form as though they are proper names.)

    Were The Connotation of Law totally perfected, no additions or changes in The Connotation of Law would be necessary because The Connotation of Law would properly cover every possible situation for the entire future, and there would be neither need for or use of legislatures or legislation?

    (Methinks we are not there yet.).

    Were the Denotation of Law totally perfected, no changes or additions in the Denotation of Law would be necessary for the entire future, The Law would be known and understood accurately by everyone, and there would be neither need of or use for judicial process?

    (Methinks we are not there yet.)

    (As for, my “writing style obscures” my “message,” I take mild exception, given what I understand my message to actually be in practice. My message is, I am doing field research regarding the values espoused and the values in use of the “top tier” people of “American”– as in United States of America – society, doing so without my using deception in the process. I use language as best I am able as an autistic person, with the purpose of eliciting, as accurately is is feasible, the core values of the folks of the “top tier.” I am absolutely not engaged in any form of effort to persuade anyone to believe as I believe, and am using my beliefs as directly written as I find achievable to stir those who can be stirred into sharing with me and the general public their objections to my work. For that purpose, my “obscure message writing” appears to me to be working quite satisfactorily. I regard it as being very abusive and unethical for me to use the Turley Blawg to promote my notions for my personal and/or scientific reasons. When I have gathered sufficient data, I expect to publish my work on my own Internet sites and to put demonstrations on YouTube, so that my work can be evaluated and criticized by the jury of my peers, the ordinary folks who never, much like me, will ever be “top tier” in the sense of the top tier folks who appear to me to plausibly constitute the main aggregation of those who regularly comment here. My work is, to borrow from a title used by Aaron Copland, a variation on the theme of a “Fanfare for the Common Person.” Were it my purpose to persuade anyone who reads this Turley blawg to believe as I believe, I would never even think of writing as I have here been writing. It is the apparent obscurity of my way of communicating, as in the sort of writing which I have here been doing, which I have, over many years, observed allows people to most effectively share their issues about my work with me.)

    (As for your sentence, in your comment to which I am responding, to wit, “While there is more than a little validity in stating that the system is broken and its outcomes suspect, this is to me not because the theory is a failure,” I do not find the theory (of the Adversarial System) to be a failure; rather, I find it to be a profound success of the form of learning about something that it may be wise eventually to learn to avoid.)

    (As for your sentence, also in your comment to which I am responding, to wit, “That blame falls on some if its practitioners,” the findings of my research indicate to me that blame and shame are adaptive biophysical-neurological responses to the brain trauma of “believing in guilt.” The matter of guilt, blame, shame, and such draws my attention to the matter of attribution theory in social psychology. I have in hand an older social psychology text, Deaux, Dane, & Wrightsman, Social Psychology in the ’90s, 6th Edition,” Brooks Cole Publishing, 1993.

    From Deaux, et al, pages 106-8: “Overestimating dispositional causes. If it seems as though correspondence inference theory has a decided dispositional bent, you are correct. That emphasis stems from the fact that the theory was developed to explain how people make attributions about others: among people from Western cultures, the way attributions about others are made does, in fact, have a decided dispositional bent. Jones and Harris (1967), for example, demonstrated that students who knew that an essay author had been assigned to take a particular position nevertheless made inferences about the author’s attitudes from the essay content. In recognition of its pervasiveness, the tendency to emphasize dispositional causes for the behavior of others has been called the fundamental attribution bias (Fiske & Taylor, 1984; Ross & Fletcher, 1985).”

    “How pervasive is the fundamental attribution bias? According to David Gilbert (1989), it is as automatic as initial categorization in the impression formation process: We cannot avoid making a dispositional attribution; we can only attempt to amend it after we have made it.”

    Contrary to the view expressed in Deaux, et al, I never make dispositional attributions, all my attributions are situational, because I observe that all possible components and all possible aspects which can ever be assigned to the process of dispositional attribution are perfectly and entirely situational, and therefore, all of dispositional attribution is purely situational in form and function. That is of a dramatic paradigm shift, methinks.

    Continuing from Deaux, et al, “Although there appears to be a consistency across a wide variety of cultures in terms of the content and structure of values (Schwartz & Biolsky, 1990), evidence also exists that cultures may vary in the extent to which they place importance on certain values. For example, in a cross-cultural study comparing Americans with Indians, Joan Miller (1984) found that as American children grew older (and perhaps internalized the value of accountability), they increasingly referred to internal dispositions in their explanations of outcomes. Hindu children of India, in contrast, tended to base their explanations on situational context. Thus, the fundamental attribution bias may be fundamental only in Western culture.”

    While a textbook that is 18 years old may seem like a ridiculously obsolete reference, I am a member of the Association for Psychological Science and I receive their current journals, and I have yet to come upon any more recent information which would call into serious question what I have here quoted from Deaux, et al.

    However, I only form and use situational attributions, for I have never yet come upon even one single dispositional attribution which I found to be truthful. My value(s) system is plausibly about 95 percent of Eastern culture in form and function and about 5 percent of Western culture in form and function. DISPOSITIONAL ATTRIBUTION ALWAYS CONSTITUTES A CATASTROPHICALLY MASSIVE VIOLATION OF MY CONSCIENCE!)

    Were it actually true that the Adversarial System is invariably recognized as the best possible system for achieving justice, why is the French Inquisitorial System, in use in some continental European countries also known as the non-adversarial system? Why is are the bankruptcy courts in the U.S. non-adversarial?

    (Perhaps it would be useful for folks who hold that the Adversarial System is the only way to carefully study Charles Sampford, “Educating Lawyers for a Less Adversarial System,” Federation Press, 1999. There is more than one view to be found in the world, not only the view of the Anglo-American Adversarial System.)

    Thus, the theory of Law which I espouse and which I use in my own life is based on a collection of rather simple observations, among which may be found:

    1. Without any structure of Law, intolerable, destructive, selfish chaos tends to dominate humanity.
    2. No system of Law now in use appears to be perfectly complete and without internal contradiction.
    3. As new situations arise, new Law is generated to deal with new situations not adequately resolved with prior Law.
    4. Any Law made for a particular situation and written in general form may be applied to a situation not anticipated when the Law was made.
    5. No observation can be made which is without error, therefore eyewitness testimony always contains error.
    6. Scientific psychology is only near the beginning of its undertaking the scientific study of Law, as may be demonstrated by the February 2011 issue of Current Directions in Psychological Science, Volume 20, Number 1, “Special Issue on Psychology and Law,” Association for Psychological Science.( My membership copy came in the mail this Saturday past.)
    7. To know something for which the learning opportunity has yet to happen is impossible. To understand something for which the opportunity to have done it has yet to happen is impossible; as understanding is the form of procedural learning which has only happened after the learning procedure is completed.
    8. Any system of law enforcement in which the enforcement of a law in a new situation is based on prior situations (precedent) which differ from the new situation may be prone to error to the extent of the difference between the precedent situation(s) and the new situation.
    9. My research presents a new situation for the Law, for Jurisprudence, and for Justice which it appears to me is without precedent; therefore it is outside the realm of law based on precedent. Without precedent? In checking with cultural anthropologists regarding societies in which shame is not a social organizing principle, no cultural anthropologist I asked could tell me of a single such society. Imperial Japan, during World War II was a relatively modern shame society. However, I find that shame is an adaptive response to the neurological-biophysical delusion of guilt as a form of dispositional attribution error. This sort of error pervades society, even in cultures in which law and justice is non-adversarial.
    10. In exploring quantum-mechanical principles, the model which best fits the data I have collected has it that the Adversarial Principle is foundational to the nature of existence; the concern I have is not about the Adversarial Principle, which I find impossible to eradicate from existence, but is rather about the interpretation(s) of the Adversarial Principle to human conduct when error is an aspect of such conduct.
    11. The reason the words keep getting messed up in my working to explain my research is simply that the languages now in use were developed in such ways as to block from conscious awareness that which is the core of my research.
    12. When I put my work in words which enhance denotative awareness, along with that awareness comes remembering of the trauma of the infant-child transition and I find people assigning to me, through projection, the discomfort of their infant-child transition.
    13. As I never went through the infant-child transition, I am unashamed of being unique, being different, having made any and every mistake I ever made and am incapable of being guilty or feeling guilt as anything other than an insane form of delusion. What, then, keeps me from being anti-social in terms of how I treat people in my immediate presence? Just one thing, a conscience which is uncorrupted by deception and/or dishonesty. Thus, I describe my work, in terms of its denotation (or process) using the best connotative words I can find, and it is obvious that I am absolutely and totally lying because it is impossible for anyone who is as I say I am to exist. Only, people who have gone through the infant-child transition interpret the words I find I can use in ways that, when reflected back to me in paraphrase, have meaning much of the form of opposite to my intended meaning, and this happens regardless of the word sequences I use, EXCEPT when I talk with very autistic people, who tend, as I observe, to understand me very well.
    14. Wars continue. Yet I will not start a conventional war, I will not participate in a conventional war, and I will do whatever I am able to do to bring about an end to human warfare and human war mongering by sharing with whosoever it is possible my understanding of those aspects of socialization which I find lead to people being unable to avoid human wars.

    Again the rambling happens because the language I am able to use in writing this is as though made to rule out my writing anything useful.

    If, as I find true, blame is a form of cultural fiction, then there is no actual blame to fall on anyone because blame itself is a form of attribution bias or attribution error in form and function. And the theory is not at fault, the difficulty, not itself a fault, is simply that human society has yet to evolve sufficiently for attribution bias to become sufficiently well understood as to allow its being wisely set aside.

    And the words remain a dreadful mess…

  195. Brian, this is breaking news and we are trying to have a serious discussion. Please do not disrupt this thread with your interminable and unreadable ramblings. Thank you.

  196. RE: J. Brian Harris, Ph.D., P.E., March 9, 2011 at 8:27 pm

    I wrote the above mentioned post in WordPerfect and did a copy and paste and a few html tags strayed. Oh, well; or, Oh, not well. Pity.

  197. OS,
    Thanks for the crowd video!
    Wisconsin is just the beginning. You are right that the Republicans have miscalculated the public mood.

  198. Brian,

    You say blame is a cultural fiction and yet you blame the courts for creating adversity and tyranny (wrongly) when it is truly simply human interactions, bad laws and unequal enforcement that create adversity and tyranny.

    Hypocritical, logically fallacious and mistaken as to cause and effect all in one fell swoop.

    And it only took you 1200 words of blather to accomplish your feat of antisocial trollery!

  199. OS,

    I have Jacked this thread….and I maintain Seniority Jacker… So if you can’t do better about moving the trolls on…you might be replaced as the centurion….and made to Dress in the velvet Dress that Elsine in not wearing as she has opted for a Leather Bustier…

  200. Elaine M, OS, Lotta, et al:

    Just got back home after meeting with a client – THANK YOU FOR THE UPDATES!

    And, I echo OS in that this is going to get really ugly before it gets better.

  201. Slarti,

    I have it on Good Authority that the Democrats are doing the best that they can with what they have to work with…. The assault is on the dollars that are spend on benefits…

  202. Friends,

    I’ve come to believe that we are in a war and I feel the call to pledge my life, my fortune, and my sacred honor to the cause that I believe in. It’s every solider’s duty to give no less than their very best and I yearn to live up to this ideal. I am not the sort of soldier who holds the bridge or fights in the trenches nor the sort of leader who rallies the troops to give more than they thought possible nor the sort who outthinks his opponent to seize victory against impossible odds – that is not where my talent lies. As worthy as all of those roles are, they aren’t, I know in my heart, the best way I can fight. I hope to be one of the guys in the white coats who go into the desert for years with a bunch of their friends until, in a flash of light, the war ends and the world changes… or maybe I’m the kind of guy who, after endless hours hunched over their calculations and data, breaks a code and turns the tide. I need to find out if this is the case and the only way I can do that is by trying my best. The problem is that that doesn’t require enthusiastic participation in important arguments which I care deeply about – it requires dispassionate focus and intense thought (and a lot of stunningly boring groundwork to lay the foundations…). I’m a passionate man, and I am far too empathetic and care about these issues too deeply to not be moved by news such as has been reported on this thread and I cannot do the work that I am attempting in such a state. Though I’ve loved the time I’ve spent on this blog and the friends I’ve made, and the arguments that I’ve had and the things that I have learned have sharpened and focused my ideas on a wide range of topics and taught me an enormous amount (all of which, unfortunately, was unrelated to the topic of excessive sentence length… ;-)), I don’t seem to be able to participate half way in these discussions (even following the conversation moves my emotions more than I can afford) and that makes this blog a luxury that I can no longer afford. So, unfortunately, I must withdraw from this field of battle and my many fine comrades here – I just wanted all of you to know that even though I will no longer have your backs, I’m still doing my best to ‘fight the good fight’ in my own way…

  203. BIL: You are a better man than I. You apparently read at least part of Brian’s narcissistic navel-lint gazing. He has not gotten the message that no one gives a rat’s ass about his self-absorbed logorrhea.

  204. Elaine, given the new developments and the fact this now has so many [270] comments, maybe it is time for a new dairy on the Wisconsin electile dysfunction.

  205. Otteray Scribe 1, March 9, 2011 at 8:54 pm

    Elaine, given the new developments and the fact this now has so many [270] comments, maybe it is time for a new “dairy” on the Wisconsin electile dysfunction.


  206. Slarti, I have enjoyed your posts and your support. It has been a tough year on here for us democrats. We get attacked constantly from the anti-Obama and anti-democrat people whether they be on the right or the left. Everything we predicted that would happen in the fall has happened but to a more extreme degree than I could have imagined. Good luck and I hope you come back.

  207. Slarti,

    Maintain your focus on that which you must do. Your spirit will still be with us and we will acknowledge its presence.

    This will be a very long battle. But preparations are well under way. Walker can’t be legally recalled until Nov. and others in different states have different dates when recall can be brought. There is ample time left for you to contribute.

  208. OS,

    Remember the rules….I before A as in Paid and laid….no correct that….its I before E except as in Neighbor and Whey….or is that Weigh………That’s it….do you need help with There, Their and They’re and …..

    Ask Elaine….

  209. AY: Stuff like that effects my affect, except in cases where we need to effectuate an affective effect.

  210. Slarti….
    I agree with AY & Swarthmore Mom…..I don’t post often, but I look forward to reading posts from the regulars on here, yourself included!

  211. Slarti,

    I echo the sentiments of others here – good luck to you and don’t be a complete stranger😉

  212. Kind of an aside but… Howard Fineman (a man I consider a conservative but seemingly has the reputation for being a left-leaning commentator) is on the O’Donnall show and his first analysis of the ‘big picture’ is this- not by any means verbatim but essentially correct:

    This move in Wisconsin is in major part a provocation of the left at a national level to sway the swing states. That the response in and to Wisconsin by the standard Democratic players, the unions, the students, politicians possibly including the President etc., can’t be typical or it won’t play with voters in the swing states. That the left needs to act like adults in response to this provocation.

    Now I don’t know exactly what he’s saying, it’s a pretty nebulous and specifics-lacking statement. It sounds to me like at worst he’s saying ‘sit down and shut up’ and at best ‘make whatever legal challenge you think will work but don’t go beyond that’.

    It’s disturbing to me that someone presented as a left-of-center commentator is providing little more than a shrug to this situation. It is also consistent with a political truism that national Democrats need not worry about any of their base not voting for them, only how something may play to swing voters.

    There’s something fundamentally wrong with that. People are having their careers shredded by fiat (and illegal maneuvers) and the first left-of-center commentator I see on TV is saying that they should stifle themselves in the greater interest of national Democratic politics. He is saying to me that at the national political level the Democrats would just as soon reign over a wasteland and the affected citizens should work for that end. That’s wrong, just wrong. Both parties should be afraid as their default. I hope the citizens of Wisconsin or simply the affected citizens that make up the Democratic base therein, give them cause for fear.

  213. Dr. Slarti: Let me echo what everyone else said. Thank you for your great ideas and please make this TTFN and not GBCW.

  214. Swarthmore mom,

    I’m not dropping off the face of the Earth, I’m just giving up following the news on a daily basis… If Tootie starts pushing cintelligent designist nonsense just send up the bat signal and I will descend upon her like the fist of god. If Bob gets his truther on again just give me the high sign and I will smite him like the Chicxulub impactor. If Bdaman starts denying climate change… throw him out in the yard until the Buddha gets bored – I’ve got better things to do (Bdaman, if you’re out there – GET THE DAMNED C-PAP!). If Tony C gets out of line again – you don’t need me to handle him… Besides, I’m probably good for at least a couple more pithy posts tonight…😉

    By the way, if anyone wishes to email me, I can be reached at (first name)@(last name).net – personal communication is always worth my time. I’ll let anyone who drops me a line know what I’m up to from time to time…

    Kevin Kesseler

  215. Otteray Scribe,

    This definitely is NOT GBCW, but it’s probably not TTFN either – think of it more like ‘I have not yet begun to fight’. This is one of those big decisions – made in an instant with no apparent cause – that nonetheless engenders a crystal certainty that it was the right choice. It may be that this is just a midlife crisis (having just turned 42😉 I’m at the right age for it…) but to me it seems like a chance – maybe my last – to live my life as I say I want to.

  216. Swarthmore mom
    1, March 9, 2011 at 8:58 pm
    Slarti, I have enjoyed your posts and your support. It has been a tough year on here for us democrats. We get attacked constantly from the anti-Obama and anti-democrat people whether they be on the right or the left. Everything we predicted that would happen in the fall has happened but to a more extreme degree than I could have imagined. Good luck and I hope you come back.


    Keep a sense of humor about it all …. remember the lectures we received on the “goodness” of the teabaggers … they (lectures) were funny then and the fact that they’ve ceased to be and replaced by “Yea, the people are fighting back!” is equally humorous.

    Look at Walker’s situation … he’s threatened the livelihood of thousands of people only to find his own in jeopardy … he couldn’t even get a unanimous vote on his own bill from his own beleaguered fellows. That’s pretty damn funny.

    Our boots are on the ground … no reason not to chant a humorous cadence as we march. I don’t know but I’ve been told; Scott Walker’s heart is freezer cold; …..

  217. Well damn Slarti, damn! I’m gonna’ miss your postings. Yea, yea, wish you well etc. but damn! I’m gonna’ miss your postings.

  218. “If Bob gets his truther on again just give me the high sign and I will smite him like the Chicxulub impactor.”

    Really? After that insufferable piece of self-eulogizing you just posted out of fear and indecision? That last post of yours proved my point I’ve been making about people who react in fear whenever a discrepancy demands more analysis than their current world view affords.

    Buddha gets it:

    Buddha Is Laughing 1, March 9, 2011 at 12:08 pm


    I have been thinking about your e-mail and I think it all comes back to ego defense. And to be clear, I don’t mean coping strategies either, but rather the range of behaviors as defined by Dr. George Vaillant. He grouped ego defenses into four categories. The behaviors in question, however, seem to primarily fall into the categories he labeled as pathological and neurotic. From the pathological category, I’ve seen almost the full spectrum of behaviors – denial, distortion, splitting and extreme projection – but from the neurotic category the primary behaviors I’ve seen on the left is rationalization and intellectualization. This is to distinguish it from the primary neurotic reactions I’ve noticed from the right, namely displacement. This should come as no surprise though, Bob. We were all raised to believe in the “American Dream” of liberty and justice for all. When those put in positions of power and responsibility not only abuse said power but compound the injury by rubbing it in our collective faces presents us with some ugly truths. 1) Either we’re as bad as they are for allowing them to remain in power and unpunished or 2) we’re all suffering from the tyranny of evil men and the Dream is a lie. These are merely my layman’s observations though and I would welcome Mr. Spindell’s take on the subject.

  219. But who will maintain the fjords! Good gravy, man, think of the fjords!

    On a more serious note, we’ll stay in contact outside the Professor’s salon. Of that I have no doubt. In re fighting the good fight, I would only like to say this:

    You are both a gentleman and a scholar, Kevin.

    It is an honor to have served with you.

    Until our paths cross again, may fortune smile upon you and your aim be true.

  220. Slarti, Newsbreaks are a good thing. Dr. Weil recommends them from time to time. I need to take that advice myself as one can get overwhelmed. Blouise, I was told repeatedly to make friends with my “tea party” neighbors. You and Elaine stepped up and supported me. Elaine knew that Eric Ericson was not a good guy and that impressed me.

  221. Note Well:

    “When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.” — Hunter S. Thompson

    That is to say, they don’t run and hide, give up or play dead.

  222. Lotta,

    Although I didn’t see him, from your description I would suggest that the reaction has been much greater than anticipated and that many here-to-fore republicans are taking part and the conservative left of center guy missed the boat early on and is pretending an insight he lacks. Ego masturbation ….

  223. Bob,Esq.
    1, March 9, 2011 at 9:55 pm
    Note Well:

    “When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.” — Hunter S. Thompson

    That is to say, they don’t run and hide, give up or play dead.


    Nope, for their entire self image is on the line … ex: Kent State Massacre

  224. Buddha Is Laughing 1, March 9, 2011 at 8:36 pm


    You say blame is a cultural fiction and yet you blame the courts for creating adversity and tyranny (wrongly) when it is truly simply human interactions, bad laws and unequal enforcement that create adversity and tyranny.

    Hypocritical, logically fallacious and mistaken as to cause and effect all in one fell swoop.

    And it only took you 1200 words of blather to accomplish your feat of antisocial trollery!



    No, I do not blame the courts, nor do I blame ancient history, nor do I blame “The Big Bang,” nor do I blame what banged to make The Big Bang, nor do I blame what came before existence existed. I simply do not blame because, at the level of the biophysics of neurology, blame is an artifact of trauma.

    Telling me that I blame does not tell me that I blame, because I do not blame.

    I do describe situational factors, and situational factors are never to blame or to be blamed because they are inanimate and are outside everyone’s locus of control.

    I am working away at putting together the visual demonstrations which will allow people who are confused regarding denotation and connotation a chance to make sense of the structure of communication, without the sort of “challenging” mathematics which is required to do communication theory problems with enough accuracy that the Internet can function, as one example.

    I am not about to be bullied by name-calling. I mastered dealing with that childish tactic on the way home on the third day of kindergarten, in 1944.

    I go at my pace, at the rate which I find most useful.

    The more epithets that come toward me, the better I understand the phenomenon of socialization trauma, so, I welcome all the help you send my way.

    When I am ready, I will put out what I know to the people who can use it, the sort of rank and file folks who have temporarily been as though disenfranchised in Wisconsin.

    The worse the top tier makes it for folks like me, the greater the incentive for folks like me to work to form that more perfect union which will inform the top tier people that they might learn to do something that is actually helpful instead of merely being egotistically gratifying and otherwise dastardly.

    Top Tier? We is got youse outnumbered! And the time is near, to conquer our fear, and treat you top tier people with the sort of kindness and decency which, with respect to us bottom tier folks, is surely hateful anathema to you?

    Funny thing… What I am doing in my little way to repair “the defect” in the structure of human society is working far better than I had ever guessed it would. Retaliation is a defeating process, indeed it is. As with that spoon, when Neo first went to see the Oracle, there is no defect.

  225. Otteray Scribe,

    This definitely is NOT GBCW, but it’s probably not TTFN either – think of it more like ‘I have not yet begun to fight’. This is one of those big decisions – made in an instant with no apparent cause – that nonetheless engenders a crystal certainty that it was the right choice. It may be that this is just a midlife crisis (having just turned 42😉 I’m at the right age for it…) but to me it seems like a chance – maybe my last – to live my life as I say I want to.


    Drop me a line again, just to be sure – I might visit from time to time, but I doubt I’ll ever really come back… this feels like moving on, not taking a vacation.


    Wherever you see a fractal, I’ll be there…😉



    Stamford Liberal,

    We didn’t overlap long, but I always liked what you had to say.

    Swarthmore mom,

    In my first calculus class (senior year with Mr. Steidle – the man who taught me much about being a B-I-G big brain…), there was a friend of mine (Ed – he was almost as good as me in math and a much better student…) who was going to Swarthmore. Every Monday morning Mr. Steidle would announce the score of the weekend’s football game with the premise being that if Swarthmore won, they concentrated too much on sports instead of academics and Ed couldn’t go there. Of course, Swarthmore piled up enough losses throughout the course of the year to be an appropriate destination for Ed, but that’s what I always think of when I see your name. Here’s to hoping Swarthmore keeps piling up those losses! 😉

    p.s. Another friend who went to Swarthmore ended up being a member of their nationally ranked croquet team – no idea what that means…

    C eh!,

    Always good to see you, too – anytime you’d like to continue our email discussion would be fine by me…



    The Road goes ever on and on
    Down from the door where it began.
    Now far ahead the Road has gone,
    And I must follow, if I can,
    Pursuing it with eager feet,
    Until it joins some larger way
    Where many paths and errands meet.
    And whither then? I cannot say.

  226. Raff, I think it is amusing that the protesters who got inside the regular way opened unattended doors to let the crowd in. The state troopers were overwhelmed and gave up trying to stem the tide. (Insert evil laugh here)

  227. Slarts,
    Collegiate croquet?? Your goodbye reminds me of a college era toast: If you ever get a chance to do it to it, do it to it because you may never get a chance to do it to it again! As long as we could say that correctly we could keep on drinking!

  228. Slarti, rafflaw…..

    I can see playing croquet…..you hits the ball….You can lean on the mallet…..for balance……take that swing….drink a beer…toke one for the gipper….drink some beer….lean on the mallet…finish the beer…. Throw the bottle in the air….take a swing at it with the mallet…..loose the grip of the handle….hit the team player in the head…fight breaks out….people get pissed off….start picking up the balls and tossing them……game over…..

    That seems like it has happen before some place not to far away but in a distant galaxy….called Austin…

  229. Brian,

    Blame is not an effect of trauma. Blame is an assessment of cause and effect. Blame is a function of logic. Causal analysis based upon observation and evidence that is at the heart of both legal systems analysis, systems analysis in general and science. Like the cause of your receiving epithets. You acting like an antisocial obfuscating propaganda troll is to blame for you getting treated like an antisocial obfuscating propaganda troll. As to “socialization trauma”? Not suffering fools gladly isn’t improper socialization or a result of trauma. It’s the result of having a very low bullshit tolerance and a complete disrespect for liars. If that offends you or compels you to think I’ve had some sort of trauma, well, that would just be another example of your stupidity in action, Mr. Courts Cause Tyranny.

  230. Slarti: “Wherever you see a fractal, I’ll be there…”
    Nice, and thread appropriate. Very nice. Damn! I’m gonna’ miss your postings. :-)

    I’m going to see your Tolkien and raise you a Keen: Either way it’s all good.)

    “The stars were high above them and the moon was in the east
    The sun was settin’ on them when they reached Miami Beach
    They got a hotel by the water and a quart of Bombay gin
    The road goes on forever and the party never ends”

  231. Slarti, I think they replaced the croquet team with the rugby team. I do miss visiting that school as she graduated last spring.

  232. Bob,

    I disagree with you but let it go, man – it was just a parting joke… Liked the HST quote – it’s been weird here for a while now – I’ve been going up M-31 towards the Lelanau Peninsula for about a hour since the acid kicked in and I’m trying to keep the wheel steady in the hilly terrain as I turn my head to let my 300 pound Irish lawyer feed me hits of Maui Wowie from a steamroller. It wouldn’t be such a big deal if it weren’t for the clove cigarettes I’ve been chain smoking, the two nostrils of butyl I’ve just done, and the hash cookies I’ve been munching on for the whole damn trip but at least the opium from last night is starting to wear off and the fucking bats have gone away. And I am taking my weirdness professional no matter what you think of it. You always have misjudged me badly…

    here’s a quote for you:

    Time flies like an arrow

    Fruit flies like a banana.

  233. BIL: Great observations about the blame game and relationship to those with a low tolerance for BS. Abraham Maslow, in his studies of the most mentally healthy people, found that the self-actualized persons he studied had an unusually low tolerance for those who wasted their time, tried to BS them or engaged in selfish behavior.

    On the other hand, Dr. Stanton Samenow, in his studies of persons with antisocial (e.g, psychopathic) personalities, found those people to have a strong tendency to obsess with blaming others for their own misfortunes and lack of success in life. The usual scenario is that the sociopath acts like an ass, gets caught and is treated like the ass he/she is, but it is the fault of those who caught him that he is a failure.

  234. Buddha,

    I’ll miss you most of all, Scarecrow…

    One lives to be of service. And remember, whatever the fjords do, they’re doing it right now…

    Why do they call them fingers, they never fing… Oh, there they go.


    At Michgan State we were hardcore – as long as you could lift your beer you could keep on drinking…


    Just make sure you’ve got a bottle in your satchel with your towel in case you’re flying around and the party that never ends hits you in the small of the back…


    Personally, I avoid Austin like the 3rd circle of hell, but if you’re ever back in the mitten, look me up…

  235. Buddha Is Laughing 1, March 9, 2011 at 10:26 pm


    Blame is not an effect of trauma.



    While I would guess that you know about the connotation of blame with respect to trauma, I work at the level of denotation, also known as the level of direct observation.

    I have ordered 80 sheets of colored paper, black, brown, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet, gray, and white, which colors correspond in sequence to the numerals 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 in the Radio Manufacturers Association color code as used for resistors, capacitors, and inductors, starting in the 1930s. I plan make a theatrical prop similar to one I used in demonstrating the relationship of connotation with denotation in college classes where I was a guest presenter many times.

    Slow and steady is said to win the race, if there were a race to win. Slow and steady I go, anyway.

    In my work guilt is a delusion grounded in erroneous dispositional attribution and shame is the affective response to the delusion and blame is the projection of shame onto whatever object is suitably convenient. While it appears to me that you work within the realm of connotation quite exclusively, though I am only guessing about this, my life is lived where words are merely tools for such communication at distance as words allow and where reality is most accurately understood at the level of denotation, where words cannot enter.

    Imagine “having a word on the tip of the tongue,” such that you have a sense of the meaning for which the word is, perhaps only temporarily, inaccessible. Now imagine that your whole life is lived in that state of mind in which there are no words and are only meanings for which words cannot be found until the meaning forms a complete thought, then imagine that you have so much practice finding words that words often appear so fast after the meaning is complete that those who do not understand what it is to be profoundly autistic in a the way of my form of language-delay autism are likely to think about me if their ability to use words is so formidable as to rule out in their minds anything other than my being some sort of terrible person?

    Alas, I am actually a person who is neither more nor less unique than is anything else, because everything of existence is actually unique when taken in complete form.

    I am now guessing that, in the world of your mental model, someone like me cannot possibly exist. I do exist, and therefore I surmise that, within your world mental model, I am perhaps an intolerable anomaly.

    In my world, you are as ordinary a person as I am.

  236. Brian,

    I think you have been asked to just get to the point….Come early, come often…it is getting rather taxing to read your posts…I have learned to just skim them….If you are trying to make a point tell it in 15 words or less… People like me have short attention spans…..

    Just words of friendly advice…Please…

  237. From Huffington Post (3/10/2011)
    Labor Vows To Step Up Recall Effort Against Wisconsin GOP, Challenge Anti-Union Bill In Court
    By Amanda Terkel

    WASHINGTON — Dealt a major setback Wednesday night in a high-stakes battle over union rights in Wisconsin, labor leaders nevertheless insisted that they would emerge from the three-week long saga energized and eager to continue fighting.

    Hours after Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wis.) and his Republican allies in the state Senate took nearly everyone by surprise and pushed through a stand-alone bill stripping public employees of their collective bargaining rights, labor officials pledged to ramp up efforts to recall Republicans and challenge the legislation in court.

    Only shortly before the vote took place, local news outlets reported that Republicans were splitting Walker’s budget repair bill into two. While the Senate requires a quorum of 3/5 of its members to vote on fiscal statutes, just a majority is needed for other matters. Therefore, Senate Republicans broke off the most controversial portions — including a proposal to strip away the collective bargaining rights of public employees — into a separate piece of legislation that could be passed without Senate Democrats, who were still out of state.

    Labor officials quickly lambasted Republicans, calling what they did the “nuclear option.” Last month, Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R) had said he would not pass any portions of the budget repair bill without Democrats’ participation.

    “Senate Republicans have exercised the nuclear option to ram through their bill attacking Wisconsin’s working families in the dark of night,” said Wisconsin AFL-CIO President Phil Neuenfeldt in a statement. “Walker and the Republicans acted in violation of state open meetings laws, and tonight’s events have demonstrated they will do or say anything to pass their extreme agenda that attacks Wisconsin’s working families.”

    Neuenfeldt’s comment that the GOP may have violated state laws hints at a possible court challenge should the legislation be passed by both legislative chambers and signed by the governor. Later in his statement, Neuenfeldt also said that what Republicans did “is beyond reprehensible and possibly criminal.”

    A clearer indication came from Madison Teachers Inc. (MTI), the union representing public school teachers in the city.

    “Given the abhorrent and illegal action taken by the Senate tonight, MTI has received many calls as to whether those represented by MTI will be at work tomorrow, but rather engage in political action,” read a statement from MTI Executive Director John Matthews. “MTI advises those it represents to report to work tomorrow. The Senate’s improper and illegal action will be challenged in court.”

    One refrain in labor leaders’ reactions on Wednesday was that Walker has been lying to the public. For weeks, the governor and Republicans have been insisting that removing collective bargaining rights is all about fiscal issues — a necessary step to fix the state’s economic condition. But by passing it without Democrats, unions are saying this shows that Walker has been disingenuous all along.

    “Tonight, Scott Walker made it crystal clear to the people of Wisconsin — and the entire nation — the extent he will go to in order to pay back billionaires such as the Koch Brothers and bad actor corporations that want to destroy the middle class,” said SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry. “This legislative gimmick proves Walker’s attack on the middle class was never about balancing the budget; it was always about stripping workers of a voice and rewarding the cronies who helped finance his campaign.”

  238. From Huffington Post (3/10/2011)
    Howard Fineman and Robert Reich Discuss Wisconsin Anti-Union Bill Passage On MSNBC’s ‘The Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell’ (VIDEO)

    The Huffington Post’s Senior Political Editor Howard Fineman appeared Wednesday night on MSNBC’s ‘The Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell’ to discuss the anti-union bill just passed by the Wisconsin State Senate.

    “This story is no longer, if it ever was, really about Wisconsin. It’s about the power of unions and the Republicans’ effort to destroy them, if they can, politically,” said Fineman.

    Fineman also explained that the national Republican leadership wants “the students, and the unions, and the Democrats to take the bait of this provocation and overreact in a way that will sell poorly in swing states in 2012.” He concluded that Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is “doing what the real leaders of the Republican party want done.”

  239. From Huffington Post (3/10/2011)
    Scott Walker Email Release: Wisconsin Governor Accused Of ‘Selectively’ Leaking Emails To Make Him Seem Moderate

    WASHINGTON — Union officials in Wisconsin are accusing Gov. Scott Walker of selectively leaking emails in an effort to come off as more compromising than he has been in the debate over his sharply contested budget bill.

    On Tuesday, the governor’s office made public several exchanges it had with AWOL Senate Democrats seeking to find a bit of common ground in an anti-collective bargaining measure included in the budget proposal.

    The exchanges presented Walker in a far more moderate light than recent press coverage — which had focused largely on his refusal to even sit at the bargaining table with union leaders. It also revealed, for the first time, the contours of a possible resolution to the current stand off: one that would no longer restrict bargaining rights to rates of inflation, or prevent unions from bargaining over mandatory overtime, performance bonuses, or hazardous duty pay.

    Labor leaders weren’t impressed, either with the legislative compromise or the new, softer version of Walker.

    “Scott Walker is literally being sued by multiple Wisconsin media outlets for failing to release emails related to the budget repair bill, yet he’s willing to selectively leak emails he believes create the illusion he’s willing to make concessions,” said Rick Badger, Executive Director of a local AFSCME affiliate. “If Scott Walker really wants to negotiate, he should name a time and place and sit down with Democratic Senators. This deal is not going to be struck through stunts involving leaked emails and press conferences.”

    A request for comment from Walker’s office was not immediately returned but the notion that both he and his aides would put out information that suited their short-term political interests is neither shocking nor novel. It was telling, after all, that Walker’s office sent around those same emails to other news outlets (some of whom, presumably, didn’t make the request) shortly after releasing them to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

  240. From Think Progress (3/9/2011)
    WI Senate GOP Leader Admits On-Air That His Goal Is To Defund Labor Unions, Hurt Obama’s Reelection Chances
    By Lee Fang

    A prank call from a man purporting to be petrochemical billionaire David Koch to Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) a few weeks ago revealed that Walker had crafted his “budget repair” bill in a bid to crush the labor unions. The revelation was at odds with the GOP’s public argument, that removing collective bargaining rights has something to do with the state’s budget deficit.

    In an interview with Fox News’ Megyn Kelly moments ago, State Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-WI), one of Walker’s closest allies in the legislature, confirmed the true political motive of Walker’s anti-union push. Fitzgerald explained that “this battle” is about eliminating unions so that “the money is not there” for the labor movement. Specifically, he said that the destruction of unions will make it “much more difficult” for President Obama to win reelection in Wisconsin:

    FITZGERALD: Well if they flip the state senate, which is obviously their goal with eight recalls going on right now, they can take control of the labor unions. If we win this battle, and the money is not there under the auspices of the unions, certainly what you’re going to find is President Obama is going to have a much difficult, much more difficult time getting elected and winning the state of Wisconsin.

  241. So here I am at 2:13am, unable to sleep and knowing there are about 150 comments, unread in my E Mail. It was with sadness that I came across Kevin’s (Slarti) E Mail detailing his hiatus from these parts. I’m sorry that you need to go because I’ve truly enjoyed your submissions, humor and erudition. However, I do think I understand your reasoning and have faith that you will continue to fight the good fight. I’ll miss your presence personally.


  242. Wisconsin: Walker statement on successful union busting
    by Barbara Morrill
    Daily Kos

    Governor Scott Walker has issued a statement on tonight’s successful stripping of collective bargaining rights for public employees by his Republican Senate:

    In order to move the state forward, I applaud the legislature’s action today to stand up to the status quo and take a step in the right direction to balance the budget and reform government.

    Really, Gov. Walker? If this new bill removed all fiscal elements so it could be crammed through

  243. Mike S.,

    Good evening/good morning???

    It’s a good thing I read your post. I scrolled back up and found Slarti’s goodbye. I’ll miss having him contributing to our discussions on various and sundry topics too.

  244. Hey Mike! (you too, Elaine – great job with covering the Koch brothers and their trio of lickspittle governors!)

    It’s still a couple of hours until my bedtime, so I haven’t quite gone away yet… Thanks for the kind words – I’ve greatly enjoyed your insights as well. I’ll definitely keep fighting – I think you would agree that what I’m trying now is the right thing for me to do. Since we could all probably use a little bucking up after the events today in Wisconsin, here is the most inspirational speech I have personally witnessed – on my birthday in 1993 – (#2 was Coach K talking to Krzyzewskiville the night before the Carolina game – the first time I painted my face…). This is Jimmy Valvano giving a speech upon receiving an eponymous award at the first ESPY awards show in New York about a month before his death. I especially like the part about his first coaching job…

    He says that if you laugh, you cry, and you think in a day, then it is a good day… Today has been a good day.

  245. If Bdaman starts denying climate change… throw him out in the yard until the Buddha gets bored – I’ve got better things to do (Bdaman, if you’re out there – GET THE DAMNED C-PAP!).

    Kev,still around, still slammed. I’m like you, I have better things to do.

    I’ve been bustin my ass as of late and I mean humpin it. It feels good. Also Trying to keep up with mom, now down to 83 lbs and a grapefruit size cyst/tumor on her right kidney. Replaced 30 feet of sewer line at her house and just finished grading as the front was about to kick through. See my latest update. It’s Tornado Season for us now.

    Blouise it’s changing back to our turn again. The SE has been hammered twice in the last week. We lit candles last night for the first time in 2011. You can see the first sign of the season change towards Tropical Season in the Atlantic so I hope you will be following along as I track the Atlantic.

    Kev it’s not that I don’t believe in Climate Change, it’s changing all the time. I just don’t accept the reason you suggest for the change.

    Take Care everybody.

    Off to school we go it’s off to school we go. High ho a merry o it’s off to school we go:)

  246. Slartibartfast:


    I’ll miss you most of all, Scarecrow…”

    You finally said something that makes sense.

    Scarecrow: “If I only had a brain…”

  247. Idaho passes Republican bill to curb union rights
    By Mary Wisniewski Mary Wisniewski – Wed Mar 9

    CHICAGO (Reuters) – The Idaho state legislature approved a bill on Tuesday to strip public school teachers of many of their collective bargaining rights while protesters in six states rallied against Republican efforts to curb union power.

    The Idaho bill, which excludes issues like class size and workloads from negotiations for the state’s 12,000 unionized teachers, was given final approval by the Republican-led House and is expected to be signed by Republican Governor Butch Otter.

    The bill also eliminates teacher tenure, limits the duration of teacher labor contracts to one year and removes seniority as a factor in determining the order of layoffs.

    Idaho is one of several U.S. states to take up Republican plans for sweeping restrictions on public sector unions in what has become a growing national debate over labor union power.

    Republicans say the proposals are needed to rescue recession-battered budgets from deficits, but Democrats and union supporters say they are an attack on organized labor that could linger as an issue into the 2012 presidential elections.

  248. Here’s some interesting information about an organization called the American Legislative Exchange Council for you:

    From Huffington Post (3/7/2011)
    ALEC: The Behind the Scenes Player in the States’ Fight Against the Middle Class

    It is no coincidence that Republican legislators and governors — not just in Wisconsin, but in Ohio, Indiana, Iowa, Tennessee and many other states — are rushing to pass laws to undermine the collective bargaining rights of both public sector and private sector unions and pass budgets to drastically cut funding for education and other services that serve the broad middle class. It is part of a concerted corporate-funded campaign to continue shifting power and wealth from middle class majority to the richest 1%.

    It includes conservative think tanks, lobbying organizations, corporate campaign cash, and corporate-funded astroturf organizations. While the Koch Brothers are poster boys for this campaign, it goes far beyond the Koch Brothers and includes some of the largest corporations headquartered in America from the energy sector to health care to telecommunications.

    One of the most influential organization which connects state legislators with corporate money and corporate think tanks to influence pro-corporate, anti-union state legislation is the secretive American Legislative Exchange Council, often known as ALEC. Funded by some of the largest corporations based in the United States, ALEC takes the policy ideas of corporate-friendly think tanks, turns them into hundreds of “model legislation” bills undermining unions, blocking environmental protections, opposing health care reform, and supporting the tobacco and private prison industries.

    ALEC then sponsors junkets, such as one recently ” target=”_hplink”>reported by the Arizona Republic, which bring together state legislators (and often their families) with corporate executives and lobbyists to participate in meetings where participants endorse ALEC’s model legislation, share meals, enjoy cocktail parties and booze, and often play golf and engage in other recreational activities. Although this sounds an awful lot like lobbying, somehow ALEC is able to skirt the legal label of a lobbying organization and keep its tax status which allows corporate contributions to be tax deductible.

    Not surprisingly, ALEC has been active in sponsoring legislation to rein in the influence of unions at the state level, both public sector unions through banning collective bargaining and private sector unions through “right to work” (i.e. right to freeload) legislation. ALEC has been successful in passing hundreds of state laws based exactly or closely on its model legislation. The American Prospect labeled ALEC “The Most Powerful lobby you’ve never heard of.”

    So what is ALEC, who funds it, how does it get hundreds of corporate-friendly bills passed in state legislatures throughout the country, and why is it a key player — perhaps THE key player — in efforts by Republican Governors and legislatures in numerous states to bust unions?

    The vice president of the environmental group, Defenders of Wildlife, which issued a critical report on ALEC along with the National Resources Defense Council called ALEC a “Trojan Horse” that allows “corporate America to exercise significant influence over state legislation in almost every statehouse in the country”.

    ALEC has two kind of members:

    1. State legislators who pay $50 per year in dues and in exchange get junkets to luxury resorts, free or heavily subsidized vacations for their families, and other fringe benefits including free child-care and medical tests, Broadway shows, and dinners at expensive restaurants. ALEC’s membership includes 2,400 state legislators, which is over 30% of all state lawmakers in the country.

    2. Over 300 corporate sponsors who pay up to $50,000 per year in dues plus up to $5,000 to sit on industry-specific task forces in their areas of interest such as energy, healthcare, telecommunications and taxes. The task forces write and approve the model legislation that conforms to the business interests of their corporate members. Tax records indicate that corporations collectively pay as much as $6 million a year. The corporate executives and their lobbyists then get substantial face time with the state legislators at ALEC’s retreats and other events.

    According to its website, the corporate funders currently on ALEC’s Private Enterprise board include Koch Industries, Altria, Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKlein, Pfizer, Reynolds American Inc. (the parent company of cigarette maker R.J. Reynolds), Energy Future Holdings, Peabody Energy, PhRMA, AT&T, UPS, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., and State Farm Insurance.

    Wisconsin Gov. Walker claims to have campaigned on taking away the collective bargaining rights of public works. But while he did campaign on having state employees pay more for their health insurance and their pensions, he suspiciously didn’t make his proposals to take away collective bargaining rights until after the election. Rather, after the election, according to Wisconsin’s Capitol Times, Walker and Wisconsin Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald jetted off to an ALEC conference where they met with Governors from states where labor rights are weak such as Mississippi’s Haley Barbour and Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal. Commenting on the ALEC session on right-to-work legislation and other anti-union legislation, Fitzgerald commented that “he was surprised how much momentum there was around that discussion.” In the infamous prank phone call in which Gov. Walker believed he was talking to David Koch, Walker bragged of being in daily contact with other Governors proposing anti-union legislation.

    ALEC’s finger prints are all over the current anti-union legislation being proposed not only in Wisconsin, but in Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Tennessee, Oklahoma, and numerous other states.

    Along with corporate-funded think tanks, corporate PACS, and astroturf organizations like the Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity, ALEC is a key link in the chain of corporate-funded organizations trying to break the back of unions in states throughout the country

  249. Had an email from my friend that works for AFSCME. She was rallying in Wisconsin. She has worked for 39 years telling people how important their vote is. The tea party was a device to get “ordinary Americans” to vote republican. The Romney type billionaire image was not working so well for them. Hope to get to talk to my friend today.

  250. From Campus Progress
    Conservative Corporate Advocacy Group ALEC Behind Voter Disenfranchisement Efforts
    Posted by Tobin Van Ostern
    March 8th, 2011

    The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a conservative organization linked to corporate and right-wing donors, including the billionaire Koch brothers, has drafted and distributed model legislation, obtained by Campus Progress, that appears to be the inspiration for bills proposed by state legislators this year and promoted by Tea Party activists, bills that would limit access of young people to vote.

    ALEC describes itself as a “nonpartisan membership association for conservative state lawmakers who shared a common belief in limited government, free markets, federalism, and individual liberty.”

    In Wisconsin, where public attention now is focused on Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) efforts to undermine the rights of workers to engage in collective bargaining, there is another piece of proposed legislation that could have a substantial negative impact on the state’s young and minority voters. Conservative representatives in the state have proposed a law, backed by Walker, that would ban students from using in-state university- or college-issued IDs for proof-of-residency when voting. If this legislation became law, it would become one of the strictest voter registration laws in the country and would provide significant logistical and financial barriers for a variety of groups, including student and minority voters.**

    Meanwhile, as Campus Progress reported last month, in New Hampshire, state House Speaker William O’Brien (R- Hillsborough 4) says that proposed election legislation will “tighten up the definition of a New Hampshire resident.” O’Brien claims that college towns experience hundreds of same-day voter registrations and that those are the ballots of people who “are kids voting liberal, voting their feelings, with no life experience.”

    Unfortunately, the examples in Wisconsin and New Hampshire are not isolated incidents. They are part of a disturbing trend of states with new conservative majorities that are attempting to pass laws that would disenfranchise student and minority voters. Some of the legislation is strikingly similar to model legislation drafted by ALEC [PDF].

    Rather than seeking to persuade young voters on the issues, these conservatives are aiming to restrict access to voting through draconian measures. Their efforts are raising the ire of College Democrats and College Republicans alike. The president of the College Republicans at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, Richard Sunderland, tells Campus Progress that the GOP should focus on bringing “younger students into the fold as Republicans, as opposed to this, which seems like more of an attack.”

    Sunderland adds that while he is a Republican, “The way I see the lines here, is we are students and first and foremost. As students, this is attacking our right to vote.”

  251. More on ALEC:

    The big political player you’ve never heard of
    The American Legislative Exchange Council is quietly having an enormous influence on how state laws are made.
    By Tory Newmyer
    Posted by Fortune Editors
    January 10, 2011 5:00 am

    Opponents of President Obama’s health care overhaul landed a chin shot last month when a federal judge found the law’s requirement that citizens buy health insurance unconstitutional. Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli argued that there was a conflict between a state law that made it illegal to force people to buy coverage and the new federal law.

    But the Virginia law itself wasn’t thought up in the Old Dominion. Rather, it was the product of a 2008 huddle in Washington. Conservative state legislators from across the country, along with industry lobbyists, hashed out the bill at the annual gathering of a little-known group called the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC. The organization, founded in 1973 and funded mostly by corporations and conservative foundations, exists to bring business-friendly state lawmakers together with lobbyists for corporations, including AT&T (T), Exxon Mobil (XOM), Wal-Mart (WMT), and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ). It drafts model bills related to its goals of free markets and limited government. Issues that ALEC has influenced include Arizona’s anti-immigration law, tort reform in Mississippi, and the opposition to Net neutrality.

    Despite the intimate involvement of lobbyists, ALEC officials insist the organization is not a lobbying group, since it doesn’t follow lawmakers to try to advance their bills. Instead, ALEC is a charity, a status it justifies because of its educational mission. The designation allows the group to collect tax-deductible contributions, and it eases lawmaker travel to ALEC events. Says Edwin Bender of the National Institute on Money in State Politics: “Corporations can implement their agendas very effectively using ALEC.”

    In the 2009 legislative session, by ALEC’s reckoning, state lawmakers introduced 826 bills the group conceived — 115 of which made it into law. That’s quite a record, and it’s going to get stronger. One overlooked aspect of the Republican resurgence has been its revolution at the state level. The GOP picked up more than 700 seats in state legislatures and now controls 25 of those bodies outright, from 14 before November.

    While ALEC is officially nonpartisan, the outcome is clearly a boon; attendance at its December policy summit was the highest in a decade. “Voters want less government spending, less government involvement, and economic growth,” says Louisiana state representative Noble Ellington, ALEC’s national chairman.

    ALEC is already plotting how to make the most of its new leverage, starting with the Environmental Protection Agency’s plans to regulate greenhouse gases. Among ALEC’s approaches is a resolution pressuring Congress to block new rules. “It’s pay to play, and they’re not shy,” said Adam Schafer of the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators.

  252. On the subject of what’s going on in Michigan:

    From Daily Kos
    Tue Mar 08, 2011
    Gov Rick Snyder Sellout? Prefabricated Corporate Michigan (Government) Courtesy of Koch & ALEC Excl.
    by Hector Solon

    Michigan Governor Rick Snyder and the Snyder Team/Policy are about to become the first totally irrelevant ‘Republican’ Administration in Michigan history. Armed and on the march with prewritten policy and legislation from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and other think-tanks, the Michigan Republican Majorities in both the Michigan Senate and Michigan House of Representatives are steamrolling a right wing agenda – Michigan “Government in a Box”.

    Using imported ‘model legislation’ Michigan Legislators have already put up a long list of bills built by special interest led teams outside of Michigan. The goal: complete rewrite of Michigan’s government and policies designed over decades by conservative, right wing / corporate interests to suit their agenda and profits, not the needs of Michigan citizens.

    ANALYSIS: Will CEO Rick Snyder just be another rubber stamp signature on scripted ALEC Laws? How many Smoking Guns have been found in Michigan Legislation so far?

  253. Ben Masel is a Wisconsin attorney and Democratic candidate for the Senate. Ben writes that the first few National Guard troops in uniform have arrived at the Capitol. Local police and the Sheriff’s department are not assisting Scott Walker in his effort to empty the building. There are apparently not enough state troopers that can (or are willing) to do the job. I have not seen this story anywhere else, but Ben says the National Guard is apparently in the process of being mobilized. He observes that Obama can stop this in its tracks, because as Commander in Chief he can order them to return to their barracks with the stroke of his pen.

    If Ben Masel is right on the Guard being on scene, then the ball is in Obama’s court.

    Here is Ben’s brief note, just published:


  254. In what Reuters is calling “a confrontation with unions that could be the biggest since then President Ronald Reagan fired striking air traffic controllers nearly 30 years ago,” the Wisconsin Senate approved a scaled-down version of Governor Scott Walker’s (R) budget-repair bill last night that would rein in government union collective bargaining powers. After securing approval from three widely respected nonpartisan agencies—the Legislative Fiscal Bureau, the Legislative Council, and the Legislative Reference Bureau—Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald removed the appropriations measures from Walker’s budget, thus eliminating the need for any of the 14 truant Democratic Senators to be present for the vote. The State Assembly will take up the new version of the bill at 11 a.m. today, and if it passes, Walker will have achieved a significant victory for taxpayers everywhere.

    The courage of the Wisconsin Senate conservatives cannot be understated. Before the vote, lawmakers were threatened with death and physical violence. After the vote, thousands of protesters stormed into the capitol building, ignoring announcements from police that the building was closed. Once inside, and at great risk to the public welfare, activists handcuffed some doors to the capitol shut. When security escorted the Senators to another building, a Democrat tipped off the mob, which then surrounded their cars and tried to break their windows as Senators returned home.

    Senate Democrats, who are still hiding in Illinois, are now claiming that the majority’s committee meeting that broke up the budget-repair bill violated Wisconsin’s Open Meetings Law. But the Open Meeting Compliance Guide clearly states that when there is “good cause,” only two hours’ notice is required. The Senate majority did provide the two hours’ notice. If the Senate Democrats’ 19-day refusal to show up for work wasn’t “good cause” enough, certainly minimizing the opportunity for union mob violence is.
    The passion coming from liberal activists is understandable only if one believes in their apocalyptic rhetoric. Democratic Senator Timothy Cullen said the bill will “destroy public unions.” And Senator Chris Larson has said, “collective bargaining is a civil right” that if removed will “kill the middle class.” This is all false. First of all, since unions care more about seniority than good government, public-sector unions kill middle-class jobs; they do not protect them. Second, collective bargaining is not a right. And finally, Walker’s bill will in no way “destroy public unions.” Government unions are still perfectly free to practice their First Amendment rights to freedom of association, and in fact still retain more bargaining power than all unionized federal employees. They only difference is that now they will have to actively recruit members instead of forcing government employees to join them, and they will have to collect their own dues instead of getting the state government to take them directly out of workers’ paychecks. And there are many more benefits as well. Governor Walker writes in today’s Wall Street Journal:

    When Gov. Mitch Daniels repealed collective bargaining in Indiana six years ago, it helped government become more efficient and responsive. The average pay for Indiana state employees has actually increased, and high-performing employees are rewarded with pay increases or bonuses when they do something exceptional.

    Passing our budget-repair bill will help put similar reforms into place in Wisconsin. This will be good for the Badger State’s hard-working taxpayers. It will also be good for state and local government employees who overwhelmingly want to do their jobs well.

    Even in good economic times, the case for government subsidies for radio stations, cowboy poetry, and union dues is very weak. But in a time of fiscal crisis, all of these subsidies are patently absurd. Taxpayers throughout the country should be inspired by Walker’s stand for common sense. We need more leadership like this in every state capitol and here in Washington.

    *Heritage recently produced a two-minute video explaining government collective bargaining. Click here to watch.

    Quick Hits:

    •According to Gallup, of seven possible ways to balance their own states’ budgets, Americans are most likely to favor cutting back on state programs (65 percent) and reducing the number of state workers (62 percent).
    •The head of National Public Radio quit yesterday after an NPR executive was caught on tape disparaging the Tea Party and admitting NPR would be better off without government funding.
    •House Speaker John Boehner (R–OH) announced Wednesday that the House will defend the Defense of Marriage Act in court.
    •Americans expect gas prices to rise to $4.36 a gallon this year, and more than one in four foresee prices rising to or exceeding $5 per gallon.
    •According to a new Ipsos poll, the proportion of people who believe the United States is on the wrong track is 64 percent, a two-year low.

  255. From TPMDC
    Report: Major DC Lobby Firm Throwing Fundraiser For Wisconsin GOP Leaders
    Evan McMorris-Santoro | March 9, 2011

    On the heels of their 18-1, Democratic Senator-free vote to roll back collective bargaining rights for thousands of state workers, Republican leaders of the Wisconsin state Senate will head to a high-price fundraiser in their honor in DC.

    According to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel key players in the Wisconsin GOP will gather at the downtown DC headquarters of lobbying firm BGR Group March 16 for an event that donors “are asked to give at least $1,000 to the state Republican Party’s federal account” to attend.

    It takes $1,000 to get you in the door, but “sponsors” are asked to pony up $2,500 and “hosts” 5,000.

    Some of the names on the list of elected Wisconsin Republicans scheduled to attend, according to the Journal Sentinel:

    Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald of Juneau; Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald of Horicon; Rep. Scott Suder of Abbotsford; Sen. Glenn Grothman of West Bend; and Joint Finance Committee co-chairmen, Sen. Alberta Darling of River Hills and Rep. Robin Vos of Burlington. … All five Republican congressmen and U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson are listed as invited guests.

  256. I see we haz troll. Good morning troll “Maury” and whatever other sockpuppet names you are using. It is early in the morning for you to be out with your Koch talking points. Now that you have put in your token appearance, send the Koch crime family a bill for your efforts and go back to your mommy’s basement. There are some grownups here having a discussion.

  257. Otteray Scribe:

    I dont work for the Kochs or any political organization.

    Just a concerned citizen who thinks Scott Walker is correct.

    Why is it that when there are 2 sides to an issue the left always thinks they are on the right side? When most of the time they are on the side of big government and limited rights. And they always call it “democracy” when they really mean mob rule and wiping their arses with our Constitution.

  258. Bda,

    “Blouise it’s changing back to our turn again. The SE has been hammered twice in the last week. We lit candles last night for the first time in 2011. You can see the first sign of the season change towards Tropical Season in the Atlantic so I hope you will be following along as I track the Atlantic.”


    We’re going to have a mess up here tonight and tomorrow, god only knows what it’s going to do to anon nurse who has been snowed in for weeks and weeks. eniobob has a lot of water swishing around his state too.

    Sorry to hear of the tumor … your poor mom

    Hope you took care of the sleep problem as Slarti reminded you

  259. From TPMDC
    Some Republicans Oppose Anti-Unionization Measure Creeping Through Congress
    Brian Beutler | March 10, 2011

    The most high-profile fights between conservatives and unions have played out in Wisconsin and other states across the country. But another one is brewing at the federal level, where Republicans are trying to change the law to make it harder for aviation and rail workers to unionize. But several Republicans have broken ranks with their party, and labor activists see them as an opportunity.

    The FAA reauthorization bill winding its way through the House would re-establish old rules, which say that if a worker doesn’t vote in a unionization election, their heads will still be counted as “no” votes.

    As Sam Stein and Laura Bassett have reported, union groups are fighting this provision on the Hill, but thus far anti-labor forces are prevailing. An amendment that would have stripped this provision, written by Jerry Costello (D-IL), failed by one vote in the transportation committee.

    The margin was so thin because three Republicans — Tim Johnson (R-IL), Candice Miller (R-MI), and Frank LoBiondo (R-NY) — voted with the Democrats on that amendment. If they and other Republicans team with Democrats, they’ll have opportunities down the line to strike the anti-union language.

  260. Good morning trolls …”our” constitution? … dead give-away … it’s “the” constitution … never mind

  261. From TPMDC
    Both Sides Assail New Anti-Union Ad From Rove-Linked Group
    Evan McMorris-Santoro | March 10, 2011

    The big spending group founded by Karl Rove has succeeded in uniting unions and fiscal hawks — in criticism of the group’s new TV ad.

    On Wednesday, Crossroads GPS launched a nationwide TV ad attacking the relationship between unions and Democratic politicians.

    By the end of the day they had succeeded in putting the National Teacher’s Association and the anti-public sector union libertarian think-tank Cato on the same page: the ad, both said, is at best a stretch and at worse untrue. Crossroads disputes the claims and stands by its commercial.

    Featured prominently in the ad is a study conducted by Cato, published back in March of 2010. As cited in the Crossroads GPS ad, the study suggests unions (and their supporters in the Democratic party) are out to “protect a system that pays unionized government workers 42% more than non-union workers.”

    There’s only one problem. The author of the study says that’s not what his findings were at all.

    “The ad misrepresents the gap between union and non-union government workers,” Cato Tax Policies Studies Director Chris Edwards told Greg Sargent. “And it appears to misrepresent the 42% statistic as if it were between government and private workers.”

    As Sargent writes, the Cato study is “generally critical of public sector unions.” But Edwards laid out the ways in which he says the Crossroads ad misuses his findings:

    [T]he ad’s claim distorts his data in two key ways. The ad says that unionized government workers get paid 42 percent more than non-unionized workers in general, a charge that seems intended to turn non-unionized workers of all kinds against unionized public employees…In fact, Edwards points out, Cato’s study compared unionized government workers only with non-unionized government workers, not with non-union workers overall, and found the first group doing better. In other words, even if the study’s overall thrust is critical of public unions, Cato’s actual finding on wages would be likely to persuade workers that unions are a good thing — if you’re unionized, you make more than those in the same sector who are not unionized.

  262. Maury: your talking points are published verbatim all over the internet. They are not original thoughts but regurgitated talking points. It is very hard to hide from Dr. Google and anti-plagiarism software.

    And the Heritage Foundation is another front organization for the uber-rich. Do not lecture me about the constitution being used for toilet paper after the events of the last week.

    If I may quote one of the greatest military geniuses of all time, Isoroku_Yamamoto: “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.”

  263. Otteray Scribe:

    Just because 51% vote to take the wealth of the other 49% doesn’t make it right nor is it democracy. I suggest you actually read what our Founders wrote instead of parroting Michael Moore on Rachel Maddow’s show.

  264. Maury,

    Why is it when your party claims rights for the people they go away…when they claim to be not the tax and spend liberals the national debt goes up as well as the lawful debt ceiling…..why is it when Ronnie claimed to reduce the size of the federal employees…some were renamed…and private contractors actually employed them and the real numbers working for the government went up…..Why are civilian employees on a base a good ideal….oh yeah numbers…that’s it… that goes into a different account and paid for differently….why are use fees a good ideal…why should people have to pay to use the free library….are pay toilets a good thing….

    I worked for the Finance Division of the government at the time that Ronnie was claiming national reductions….yes it is true there were some….but the word trillion came up in spending during the Ronnie years…..look at deficit spending and see which party was the best or worst….W has out done them all and some consider him a financial benefit to them…..well the trickle down just don’t work…for most..

  265. I never said those were my thoughts, they are from the Heritage Foundation. The video is from them as well.

    In fact it says Heritage at the bottom of the page.

    But hey, I am glad to see you can use google. Good for you.

  266. Anonymous:

    Well I cannot say I am a fan of Ronnie, he wasn’t exactly my ideal. And the current crop of republicans, at least the ones with seniority don’t seem to be making out too well either.

    They are as bad as the left. Bush was a closet liberal as far as I am concerned.

  267. Seeing Peter King and his hearings on Muslims,listening to all the talk about Libya and what we should or should not do.
    Listening to the cheering when Eygpts citizens were demonstrating in the streets and the other countrys in the area reacting to their own situations.

    Seeing Congressman Keith Ellison (Minn)just give an impassioned speech regarding Kings hearings,watching the reaction of the people of Wisconsin reacting to Governor Walker and his republican controlled legislature.

    And this NPR,I don’t know what to call it the right is so appalled with this gentelman giving “his own personal opinion”about things as he sees them.
    Its getting really crazy,and scarey.

  268. Maury,

    You have to be fucking kidding me…You are getting ready for The March 31st Party aren’t you….Bush may have been a closet liberal but he was a sock puppet for the people that used him….the Damage is written in History and he will be credited for the abuse….Well, I am pleased that someone from the GOP dissed Ronnie…first I have heard of it…maybe there is hope for you…

  269. ” The president of the College Republicans at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, Richard Sunderland, tells Campus Progress that the GOP should focus on bringing “younger students into the fold as Republicans, as opposed to this, which seems like more of an attack.”

    Sunderland adds that while he is a Republican, “The way I see the lines here, is we are students and first and foremost. As students, this is attacking our right to vote.””

    Ah, out of the mouth of babes.

    Since the GOP and its Corporate Masters cannot clearly state a message outside of “Government Bad”, it resorts to deception, lies and fraud. It’s the only way it can win.

  270. Maury,

    Don’t you have a program showcasing trailer park trash to get ready for?

    How’s Connie doing? Still gainfully unemployed?

  271. Maybe I should say at the present you just appear to be a Koch Sucker…..Do they feed you supper…

  272. Swarthmore mom
    1, March 10, 2011 at 10:49 am
    eniobob, We are living in a very polarized country.


    Have you noticed that it’s only polarized when the overly-wealthy aren’t getting unquestioned loyalty from the masses?

  273. Re: Elaine’s post at 11:25am,

    You gotta love the League and misusing their name is a huge misstep for they are an NGO widely respected by people from all walks of life across the globe.

  274. RE: Otteray Scribe, March 9, 2011 at 8:30 pm

    Brian, this is breaking news and we are trying to have a serious discussion. Please do not disrupt this thread with your interminable and unreadable ramblings. Thank you.


    Anonymously Yours 1, March 9, 2011 at 11:28 pm


    I think you have been asked to just get to the point….Come early, come often…it is getting rather taxing to read your posts…I have learned to just skim them….If you are trying to make a point tell it in 15 words or less… People like me have short attention spans…..

    Just words of friendly advice…Please…


    A mental model:

    Connotation is about points; my work is not connotative.

    Denotation is about process, my work is denotative.

    Therefore, I have no point to which I can ever get. However:

    Deception, as a biophysical neurlogical phenomenon has one particular, curious feature:

    Deception, by its intrinsic nature, deceives those who are deceived into the deception that deception is not deception. This is the self-reference conundrum inextricable from deception itself.

    The alternative to the Way of Deception and its Denial of itself and the Way of Affirmation, is the Way of Affirmation and its validation of itself and All Else, including Deception.

    As for that supposed “Big Bang,” what banged and why?

    My grasp of quantum mechanical cosmology informs me that the two disparate components of The Adversarial Principle were what banged as the “branes” which collided with one another.

    One “brane” was the quantum-mechanical probability that existence did not exist.

    The other “brane” was the quantum mechanical probability that non existence existed, and therefore, in one way or another, existence could not not exist.

    The Big Bang was The Adversarial Principle itself, coming into actual existence!

    The process of existence is so simple that it is easily overlooked for we are embedded within the process of existence.

    Existence has three “components,” on if which has two aspects.

    The first component is all that has not yet happened, with one aspect being that which has not happened yet may happen and the other aspect that which has not happened and cannot ever happen because of its being impossible to actualize.

    The second component is that which is happening now, in this moment of the evolution of existence.

    The third component is all that has already happened.

    Those three components comprise the totality of all possible existence, from before the beginning of existence until after the end of existence, and end which, for existence, is impossible.

    The universe began ex-nihilo, with nothingness as all that was and was not. The Big Bang of the absence of existence with the impossibility of the absence of existence led to the quantum mechanical dance of probability patterns readily recognized by almost anyone who has really studied the plausible meaning of quantum mechanics in sufficient depth and detail.

    What is plausibly is the form of more than infinite nothingness to the infinite power to the infinite power, infinitely many “times”? Sufficiently more than infinite nothingness cannot fail to become something? How much time would there have been before the beginning of time, had time existed before its time?

    People make mistakes because people are always doing something never exactly, in every detail, done before. Early in the evolution of existence, it may seem as though the bad things that come from making mistakes should have been avoided, though no actual process has ever yet been demonstrated whereby this could actually become possible.

    From the neurological biophysical view of my bioengineering work, the only difference between “learning” and “making mistakes” is whether the result is deemed desirable or deemed undesirable.

    This generates a conflict of the form, if it is made unduly difficult for people to learn what wisely to avoid doing, what is wisely avoided becomes far more likely, because learning of is wisely avoided is made difficult to nearly impossible.

    Thus, punishing people for learning what is wisely avoided generates more of what is wisely avoided, not less.

    Punishment has the traditional definition of adversarial due process and has a contrasting scientific psychology definition within the instrumental conditioning (also called operant conditioning or instrumental learning) school.

    Within instrumental conditioning, punishment is what reduces the future likelihood of an undesirable behavior. It is the behavior which is punished and not the person who brings an undesirable behavior into conscious awareness.

    If hurtful actions are an undesirable behavior, then doing hurtful things in response to hurtful things only increases the happening of hurtful things, and therefore, conventional adversarial due process punishment actually reinforces that which it “deceptively pretends” to punish. This has been well-understood by many in the field of scientific psychology for decades by now. To the best of my understanding, no one has ever found a way to approach invalidating this instrumental conditioning principle.

    A plausible beginning for the study of instrumental conditioning may be the 1898 doctoral dissertation of E. L. Thorndike, which I believe was published as “Animal intelligence: An experimental study of the associative processes in animals,” Psychological Monographs 2 (Whole No. 8) — said reference being found on page A88 in Henry Gleitman, “Psychology, Third Edition,” W. W. Norton, 1991.

    For well over a century, the people of scientific psychology and neurology have worked away, whittling down the barriers of human ignorance and superstition, the better to achieve an accurate sense of selfhood for the members of the human species. That work continues, as I surmise it will for the remainder of forever and beyond.

    The more we as-though proceed into the future, the more we are able to learn and understand of the significance and meaning of the past. Impetus as an intrinsic property of a moving body has been replaced by Newtonian Mechanics and that augmented by relativistic mechanics, and the origins of existence may have become possible, finally, to model in such a way as to help the Profession of Law become a profession in which no one will ever again be as though condemned to be in contempt of Law for having experienced as-though-shattering-contempt by the due process of Adversarial Jurisprudence.

    In 2008, I bought a 49 cc. Yamaha C3 moped, the better to learn about scofflaws and to save dollars in running simple errands to Sturgeon Bay and Green Bay, Wisconsin. The C3 will do 35 miles per hour on a level straight-away, and I found that, having calibrated the speedometer with a Garmin GPS unit, if I rode at quite exactly the speed limit on a hill with a double yellow line, people would pass me, going well over the speed limit in conditions of terrible possible head-on-collision danger.

    Having found this, to me, atrocious scofflaw conduct, I bought a used Yamaha Morphous 250 cc. scooter, which is Interstate-legal, having a top, “governor-controlled” speed of just over 70 miles per hour. I set about riding the Morphous (which has a digital speedometer which, checked against that GPS unit, is within half a mile per hour if the tires are optimally inflated, and I found that my traveling at quite exactly the speed limit seemed to provoke many drivers to much exceed the speed limit, passing me on the rising side of hills with double yellow lines, in ways so astonishingly dangerous in my view that I practiced safely running the Morphous into ditches while not taking a spill, in case that would be my final recourse for bodily survival.

    Something is making people test the law all the way to death, drunk driving, and worse. What is it? It is not the fault of the people. I have stopped a few and talked with them.

    My guess is that what is making more and more people into scofflaws is simply people finding it impossible to be truly law-abiding and living according to, “If I can get away with it, it is okay.”

    What else would explain what Bernie Madoff did and what else would explain why so very many people helped him do it?

    Faulting a person for a condition which preceded the Big Bang is simply deceptive and dishonest and cruel, and mongers war.

    If, through the mechanism of unwitting and innocent deception, we, as a society, do that which cause the predicament against which we rail with abject fury, why on earth or elsewhere would we not get ever more of that against which we vehemently protest while endlessly, and by innocent blunder, keep adding to the difficulty we seek to avert?

    Methinks, for the whole of human history and far before the beginning of human history, existence has blundered onto a path of self-destruction, except that existence cannot destroy itself because, were it to do so, there would be nothing to keep those “branes” from colliding again, and again, and again, until existence evolves enough to solve the enigma of itself.

    Methinks existence has solve its self-enigma, and is working to share with humanity the solution now in hand.

    The times, they are a changin’. As always.

  275. RE: J. Brian Harris, Ph.D., P.E., March 10, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    Oh, the wonders of the correcting of errors I do not make. Html outsmarted me again:

    (Whole No. 8)

    is supposed to read:

    Opening-parenthesis Whole No. numeral-eight closing-parenthesis.

    Funny how a smiley showed up against my intent. Lots happens in my life contrary to my intent, such my being massively misunderstood regarding the intended meaning of my writing here on this blawg, and the seeming certainty among some blawgers that their understanding (misunderstanding” of my words is my intended meaning.

    It is actually my view that there are not yet nearly enough “laws,” not too many of them, and the lack of sufficient laws results in the use of precedent laws which do not properly fit the situation to which they are applied, thereby generating the scofflaw effect.

    I have the remedy, as best I can tell, if ever anyone will bother to check it out without first rejecting it.

  276. “Have you noticed that it’s only polarized when the overly-wealthy aren’t getting unquestioned loyalty from the masses?”


    Bullseye! As usual.

  277. RE: J. Brian Harris, Ph.D., P.E., March 10, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    Errors are unrelenting?


    was intended to read:


  278. Mike Spindell,

    Speaking of bullseyes … could your new heart withstand a hunt for Bigfoot in New Hampshire? I’m thinking of leading an expedition onto New Hampshire’s Mount Monadnock. We’ll have campfires and everything ….

  279. J. Brian Harris, Ph.D., P.E. 1, March 10, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    Perhaps I can now do that “fifteen words or less”:

    The impossible does not happen.


    I don’t know if you are thinking you are cute and funny..well you are not….

    But you are correct in the sense that “YOU ARE IMPOSSIBLE” I wonder if you don’t get the needed attention at home and you seek it here by posting troll stuff….Thereby Jacking the thread…

  280. Blouise,

    Thank you for the invite, NH is spectacular and the search a noble one. My heart could stand it and in my hippie days I camped all over the US. Once I found the love of my life, however, lo those 30 years ago, I have not gone camping, much less done any serious hiking. She has long been not the camping type and to my disgruntlement my two daughters have followed in her footsteps.

    However, truth be told, though I have all the camping skills (light a fire from scratch, forage for firewood, split it with an axe, know my way around a forest, a good location sense, etc.) as a City boy born and bred when I would camp it would be with a queen size 4 inch foam mattress, Thermos Pop Tent and all the other handy-dandy Coleman equipment. So as fun as it sounds, I will have to take a pass.

    Let me leave you though with one tip from and old camper, AKA
    The Old Tripper, take nose plugs along because I’ve heard Bigfoot is rather pungent.😉

  281. “You finally said something that makes sense.”


    Another comment showing off your lack of class, intelligence and amazing immaturity for one young as yourself. Your link was merely a projection of your own longings onto to someone who does have a brain, class, maturity and empathy.

  282. “The impossible does not happen.”


    A response in four words.

    Amazingly self-involved tripe.

  283. Mike,

    That was one of the best construct chains that I have seen…. I just thought it was I that was tiring of the self deceived one…

  284. Otteray Scribe:

    “If I may quote one of the greatest military geniuses of all time, Isoroku_Yamamoto: “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.””

    Considering there is no real evidence he said that and considering the left are nothing but vicious little chiuauas, I don’t think we have much to worry about. Oh, didn’t he out-maneuver the gang of 14? Yes I believe he did and he gave them every opportunity to engage.

    You should have quoted an American Admiral.

    Quotes from Admiral Bull Halsey:

    “Hit hard, hit fast, hit often!”

    “[Admiral Nelson’s counsel] guided me time and again. On the eve of the critical battle of Santa Cruz, in which the Japanese ships outnumbered ours more than two to one, I sent my task force commanders this dispatch: ATTACK REPEAT ATTACK. They did attack, heroically, and when the battle was done, the enemy turned away.All problems, personal, national, or combat, become smaller if you don’t dodge them, but confront them. Touch a thistle timidly, and it pricks you; grasp it boldly, and its spines crumble. Carry the battle to the enemy! Lay your ship alongside his!”

    “I never trust a fighting man who doesn’t smoke or drink.”

    “There are no great men. Just great challenges which ordinary men, out of necessity, are forced by circumstance to meet.”

    Walker grasped it boldly and good for him.

  285. Maury,

    Walker definitely grasped what his puppet masters wanted him to do. He’s a smart boy! Give him a pat on the head and a big campaign contribution.

    Walker hit the public workers of Wisconsin hard, fast, and often. So that’s what a governor’s supposed to do?????

  286. Elaine,
    Great update links, as usual. I have come to the conclusion that we must be doing something right if we keep getting newly named posters who want to repeat the Fox News talking points. I think the Walkerites just might have a legal problem when they held their meeting in violation of the Wisconsin Open Meetings Act.
    I think it was Elaine who gave an update about several of the Wisconsin State Senators were leaving to go to DC for a fundraiser. I wonder if it is possible for the Dems to call the Senate into session while they are in DC and do a revote on the union busting bill?

  287. AY,

    I am so there. I really do read each and every comment and I am tired of Brian’s excessive verbiage, lack of coherent construction
    and tendency to make everything about him. It wastes my time to glean the one, or two nuggets he is capable of expressing

  288. Mike Spindell,

    Well … you called my bluff. In the good old days I could sleep on the ground and wake with no ill-effects but now … well, I like to think as I aged I grew into princesshood (The Princess and the Pea)and have become so very refined and delicate.

    So … for the moment it’s only memories of a morning campfire, fresh brewed coffee, and fresh caught fish sizzling in the skillet.

    A couple years ago I asked my husband if we should buy one of those teardrop trailers and hook it up to the hitch on my truck and take a couple of weeks in the Adirondacks. He laughed uproariously for 5 minutes and then said, “NO!”

  289. Maury,

    “Walker grasped it boldly and good for him.”

    Well, since the Koch Bros were boldy waiving it in his face, he didn’t have a choice in the matter. I think his wife might think differently if it was actually “good” for him. I suggest he clean his chin before he goes home tonight.

    Walkerites such as yourself can crow over this fraud; you can pat yourselves on the backs that Walker was a “strong” leader (while hiding behind the skirts of the Koch Bros) but be sure, there will be hell to pay. As I am very fond of saying:

    Karma is a bitch. This time, she’s in the form of the middle class and unions that the manly Walker chose to pick on. And, you know what they say about a woman scorned …

  290. “Considering there is no real evidence he said that and considering the left are nothing but vicious little chiuauas”

    “Well I cannot say I am a fan of Ronnie, he wasn’t exactly my ideal. And the current crop of republicans, at least the ones with seniority don’t seem to be making out too well either.
    They are as bad as the left. Bush was a closet liberal as far as I am concerned.”

    “I never said those were my thoughts, they are from the Heritage Foundation. The video is from them as well.”


    You can try but you can’t have it both ways. When you post Heritage Foundation propaganda and then pretend to disclaim your
    support of it and even claim that two Republican Icons weren’t
    your cup of tea, disingenuous is too mild a term for your lying.
    There is of course the possibility that you are unaware of the dichotomy inherent in your comments, but I must take the simpler explanation that you are merely a lying troll. That of course gives the benefit of the doubt as to whether you are really as ignorant, stupid and un-American as your messages, by presuming a modicum of intelligence in your posts.

  291. rafflaw,

    ” … update about several of the Wisconsin State Senators were leaving to go to DC for a fundraiser. I wonder if it is possible for the Dems to call the Senate into session while they are in DC and do a revote on the union busting bill?”


    There ya go … good job … now a couple of the republican Koch parasites will have to stay home and miss the party … love it!!

  292. There are certain men who born into wealth never develop beyond the parasitic stage. They are always looking for new hosts upon which to feed for that is all they have been taught to do … it is all their lives has ever been or ever will be.

    Thus spawning the basis for all my camel jokes:

    ” … Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

    But I digress …..

  293. Mike Spindell 1, March 10, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    “The impossible does not happen.”


    A response in four words.

    Amazingly self-involved tripe.


    Care with self-imago projection may have merit.

    Objectivity terminates deception.

    “The impossible does not happen,” is five words, not four!

    People make mistakes. Thereby, people learn what best to avoid.

    Autism is, to me, a condition in which the self is an object of study, such that accurately distinguishing self from not-self may yet become practicable.

  294. This makes sense to me and is perhaps the beginning of the strategy I’ve been looking for:


  295. Brian, have you considered starting your own blog? Then you could engage in all the navel gazing you want without hijacking serious discussions with irrelevant, self-absorbed ramblings. Think about it. Blogging web sites such as Blogger are free of charge.

  296. I have said this before I know that a lot of these people we see in Wisconsin,Michigan,Indiana etc,protesting the union fiasco are tea party people not realizing that they were going to get shafted,I wish they would put on a certain color t-shirt or something cause I know they are out there.

  297. RE: Otteray Scribe, March 10, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    Brian, have you considered starting your own blog? Then you could engage in all the navel gazing you want without hijacking serious discussions with irrelevant, self-absorbed ramblings. Think about it. Blogging web sites such as Blogger are free of charge.


    I will be putting my work on my own sites, already in place and waiting, as soon as I have adequately completed the research phase I have here been accomplishing.

    My only purpose here has been to inquire into the nature of a biophysical principle of my doctorate by connecting in the only way I have yet found viable, with enough “top tier” people to get a useful sense of their beliefs regarding the findings of my doctoral and post-doctoral work.

    I have repeatedly indicated, as best my word skills have permitted, that my purpose her is not to persuade but to study beliefs of those who live as though they have entitlement to make decisions for the lowest level trash of human society, of which I am evidently a prime example?

    I do my work in accord with my grasp of the ethics of human subject research as appropriate for a Registered Professional Engineer doing the sort of bioengineering research which is the essence of my vocation.

    Whereas there may be some here who deem my concerns as expressed in my comments on this Turley blawg as being irrelevant and self-absorbed, I take stark and vehement — yet non-violent — exception to any and every such notion, doing so as a scientist and engineer.

    What in the world are most of the stories that initiate the threads of this blawg about? Methinks I may actually know and understand that; whereas the comments of others suggest to me the possibility that almost no one else really does…

    At such time as Professor Turley requests that I cease and desist in commenting here, I shall promptly do so, without objection.

    Until then, I plan to continue to work on the legal theory question first vividly posed to me by Sidney M. Perlstadt, Esq., circa 1968.

    What I am doing here I do in accord with a very strong concern shared with me by Atty. Perlstadt. Born in Warsaw, he had relatives in Poland, who were murdered in the death camps during World War II. Those murders grieved him to the limit of the depth of his soul.

    It is for the sake of, “niemal wieder, vergesse nicht,” (never again, never forget) that I do the work which I do.

  298. From TPMDC
    Walker: Union Bill’s Changes ‘Are Indeed Fiscal’ (VIDEO)
    Eric Kleefeld | March 10, 2011

    Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) spoke to the press on Thursday morning, at a heated moment when the Capitol was under lockdown amid protests over the impending passage of his anti-public employee union proposals. Walker himself used the language of class in his discussion of the bill’s benefits — and also touted what he said was the bill’s clear fiscal impact.

    “Ultimately what you saw in the bill that passed last night in the state Senate, and will shortly be debated and voted on in the state Assembly, a measure that’s really about reform. It’s about giving local governments the reform – and state government as well — the reforms they need to make government work better, to make government work for the people of this state and in each of our communities.

    “Along with that, it also gives the tools not only to improve government for the people of this state, particularly the middle-class taxpayers of this state, but it ultimately allows us the tools at both the state and the local level to balance our budgets, and to balance our budgets not just now but into the future. This is ultimately about a commitment to the future, so our children don’t face even more dire consequences than what we face today. That’s what this bill is all about.”

    Later, Walker discussed the surprise maneuver launched by Republicans Wednesday night, in which the original budget repair bill was broken apart to allow for the passage of Walker’s anti-union provisions on their own. The original budget repair bill had required a three-fifths quorum before heading to a vote — a quorum that was successfully blocked by Senate Democrats having left the state. But on Wednesday the Republicans put the anti-union provisions into another bill – and quickly passed it without the need for a three-fifths quorum.

    “We followed the law, and yet it allows us to move forward with these reforms — which are indeed fiscal,” said Walker. “They’re not in conflict with that requirement for a quorum, but they are indeed fiscal. They give a fiscal benefit to the state, for the remainder of the year it’ll allow us to save 30m, which allows us to save 1500 jobs, and for the next two years thereafter in the next budget it gives us the equivalent of $300 million worth of savings, which allows us to save 5-6,000 jobs.”

  299. Mike Spindell:

    You can try but you can’t have it both ways. When you post Heritage Foundation propaganda and then pretend to disclaim your
    support of it and even claim that two Republican Icons weren’t
    your cup of tea, disingenuous is too mild a term for your lyin.”

    How do you know? I can agree with the Heritage Foundation on some things and not others. Reagan was wrong on some issues. And the Heritage Foundation is a propaganda organ because it doesn’t spout left wing bull shit. Do I have that right?

    What we see in Wisconsin is a bunch of entitled government workers with the backing of 60’s radicals. You think that is ultimately going to fly in middle America? Come on and get a brain. This is about cash and it isn’t about Koch cash, its about union cash and the very real blow union campaign contributions just took. I really love those dipsticks banging drums and singing about the glory days.

    And I am un-American because I think someone who is in a union shouldn’t have to be to get a job? WTF.

  300. Oo! Oo!! Me! I can answer!! YES!

    Can you say “Governor Russ Feingold”?

    By Steve Kornacki
    AP/Morry Gash

    Russ FeingoldThe question isn’t really if Scott Walker and his fellow Wisconsin Republicans will suffer fallout from their surprise maneuver Wednesday night. It’s how severe the fallout will be.

    Walker and the state’s Republican senators, as you’ve surely heard by now, decoupled their proposal to strip public workers of their collective bargaining rights from a budget bill, allowing them to push it through the upper chamber with the entire Democratic caucus still holed up across state lines in Illinois. The GOP-controlled Assembly will presumably pass the bill today and Walker will then sign it.

    Politically, this represents a wholly reckless move. Wisconsin’s state government has been paralyzed for weeks because of the collective bargaining impasse, and in that time public opinion swung sharply against Walker and his plan. All of the noise generated by the Democrats’ resistance seemed to have convinced a majority that Walker’s plan is out of the mainstream. That these same voters will now hear that Walker and the GOP resorted to an extraordinary measure to jam it through will only harden this assessment — and, potentially, make GOP legislators and the governor himself vulnerable to recall efforts.

    The recall campaign will first target the handful of Republican senators who have already been in office for a year and are therefore eligible to be recalled. Petitions are already circulating in their districts. Walker himself is insulated through next January, when his first full year in office will be complete. Only then will his opponents be able to take out petitions to recall him. But that hasn’t stopped more than a few Democrats from promoting their dream recall candidate: Russ Feingold, the former three-term senator who was flushed from office in last fall’s anti-Democratic tide.

    Feingold has played a visible role in the fight against Walker’s plan, and issued a statement after last night’s Senate vote that seemed to endorse the recall push. As I’ve written before, the breadth of Feingold’s popularity in his state was something national observers tended to overstate. He never broke 55 percent in any of his three winning campaigns. But when it comes to the Democratic base, his appeal is deep and abiding. And in the right climate — in other words, the current climate in Wisconsin — he’s certainly capable of winning a general election as the Democratic nominee.

    He wouldn’t be the first defeated senator to stage a quick comeback as a gubernatorial candidate. Lincoln Chafee, ousted by Rhode Islanders in 2006, just won that state’s governorship as an independent last fall. Lowell Weicker, vanquished by Joe Lieberman in 1988, pulled off the same feat in Connecticut two years later. Feingold shares a quirky maverick streak with both of those men. It’s not that hard to see him following in their footsteps.

    But will he get a chance next year? That’s harder to see, mainly because Wisconsin appears to have one of the more onerous recall procedures when it comes to governors: Petitioners would need to gather signatures equivalent to 25 percent of the total number of votes cast in the previous statewide election, and they’d have only 60 days to do it. By contrast, California (where Gov. Gray Davis was successfully recalled in 2003) requires signatures equivalent to only 12 percent of the votes cast in the previous election, with a 160-day window.

    It also remains to be seen how long the anger will last in Wisconsin. I’m reminded of the example of Jim Florio, the New Jersey governor who set off an unprecedented tax revolt in the summer of 1990 and saw his approval rating slip to 15 percent in some surveys. It took a while, but eventually his numbers climbed back up to nearly 50 percent — high enough that he came within a fraction of a point of winning reelection in 1993 (and that it was considered an upset that he fell short). Walker’s numbers may nose-dive now, but let’s see where he’s sitting a year from now — and how big the issue still is to Wisconsin voters. The signature requirement seems very high.

    Of course, even if talk of recalling Walker never amounts to much, there’ll still be 2014, when his term will expire anyway. Feingold would presumably be just as viable an option for Democrats then as he is now.

    Steve Kornacki is Salon’s news editor. Reach him by email at SKornacki@salon.com and follow him on Twitter @SteveKornacki More: Steve Kornacki


  301. Maury sez: “And the Heritage Foundation is a propaganda organ because it doesn’t spout left wing bull shit. Do I have that right?”


    No, Sparky, it is a propaganda organ because it spouts right wing bullshit. You can spread flower petals on it, but underneath it still stinks.

  302. Mr. Povitch,

    “What we see in Wisconsin is a bunch of entitled government workers with the backing of 60′s radicals.”

    I’d get your eyes checked because this comment shows you are f**king blind.

  303. The Wisconsin union fight goes nuclear

    Gov. Scott Walker pulls a power move and gets his bill passed. Now things are going to get interesting

    By Andrew Leonard
    AP/John Hart

    Opponents of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s budget repair bill demonstrate outside the senate parlor at the Wisconsin State Capitol Building as legislators inside voted to move forward on an amended version of the controversial bill. If Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker was looking for a way to galvanize opposition to his plan to crush public sector unions to an even more fevered, out-of-control, raucous pitch than we have witnessed over the last month, it’s safe to say he found it. After claiming for weeks that it was essential to strip government workers of collective bargaining rights in order to help balance the budget, Wisconsin Republicans pulled a neat legislative trick on Wednesday night: By defining the collective bargaining rules as non-budgetary in nature they were able to go ahead and pass their stripped down bill.

    Let’s repeat that: Wisconsin Republicans stripped the “fiscal” elements of a “budget repair” bill in order to pass it. If that sounds like a contradiction-in-terms to you, you’re not wrong.

    But such is the prerogative of power. When you have majorities in the legislature and control of the executive, you get to do what you want. It’s impossible to avoid analogizing what just happened in Wisconsin with the healthcare reform drama that played out at the federal level. Despite mounting evidence that the effort to pass healthcare reform was inspiring a strong conservative backlash that portended major political consequences, the Obama administration and a Democratic Congress used every legislative maneuver available to them to pass the bill.

    And they have been paying the price ever since. Judging by the early reaction to the power move in Wisconsin, it seems likely that Walker and his state legislative allies will also be in for some prolonged fierce weather. Protesters who had been showing some signs of burnout immediately stormed the state Capitol. And with polling in Wisconsin indicating a significant majority disapproved of Walker’s agenda, it seems likely that efforts to recall state Senate Republicans will get a big boost.

    Of course, on another level, the analogy is completely ridiculous. The White House and congressional Democrats pushed through a bill that expands healthcare for Americans and is the first significant attempt in decades by either party to reduce the relentless rise of healthcare costs in America. Comparing that with a brazen attempt to crush a political opponent while using a bogus budget-balancing rationale is dubious, at best.

    But, of course, partisans will disagree on this point. Conservatives are no doubt cheering the resolve of Wisconsin Republicans right now, just as many liberals cheered the passage of healthcare reform, even as they warily eyed the polling numbers. If you’ve got a majority, you might as well use it. What else would be the point?

    What comes next? FireDogLake’s David Dayen does a great job gaming out the immediate future. Of particular interest is a state Supreme Court election in just three weeks that could change the balance of power on the court. Since there are certain to be legal challenges to both the substance of the new bill and the manner it which it was passed, that election will undoubtedly be hotly contested.

    But the beauty of this whole struggle is that ultimately, lawyers and judges won’t make the final call. The people will decide. The Democratic state senators who fled Wisconsin and created the space for popular opposition to Walker’s bill to flourish took a big risk. They broke the normal rules of politics, and there was no certainty that the public would ratify their decision. They could have just been dismissed as sore losers. And they still might be. But we’ll see — the momentum for recall elections for both Democratic and Republican state senators seems unstoppable. Gov. Walker pulled a power move on Wednesday, but the people still get to choose who wins in the end.

    Andrew Leonard is a staff writer at Salon. On Twitter, @koxinga21. More: Andrew Leonard


  304. Maury:

    “What we see in Wisconsin is a bunch of entitled government workers with the backing of 60′s radicals.”


    Wild radicals indeed those cops, firefighters, kindergarten teachers, and bus drivers. I saw them on the picket lines all the time in the 60’s but, curiously, they were most always on the other side. Bottom line is that the Governor is union busting by using and benefiting from unlawful tactics that usurp the rule of law and the democratic process. There’s a building on E. Capitol Street in Madison where they handle that sort of thing and those black robed guardians aren’t swayed by emotional demagogues or temporal concerns about budgets. They take a longer view of the orderly process of government and the rights of the minority to due process. Legislative chicanery rarely rules the day, and, even if and when it does, there’s a rather large court that meets the second Tuesday after the first Monday in most Novembers to reconsider the matter. There’s no appeal from them.

  305. Mespo,
    Well said! The Courts may put a damper on the way the bill was passed, but the people are already on the move to cure Wisconsin of the Walker habit!!

  306. Mespo727272:

    So how is what he did illegal? From what I hear it was perfectly within his right to sever the collective bargaining from fiscal reform.

    I would like to understand why he cant. As far as notice to the 14 democratic senators, they were asked over and over again to come back and sit down and talk it over. Seems to me obstruction of the rule of law is going on but it isn’t on the part of the governor.

    But bring on the recall vote, Wisconsin is liberal so it really inst going to mean much nationally or even in Ohio. At best it means a bunch of union bosses told the rank and file they better step in time or else. So we will see if this thing has legs or is just a tadpole in a mud puddle.

  307. From The Nation
    ‘Shame!’ Legislators Approve Wisconsin Governor’s Anti-Worker Agenda
    By John Nichols
    March 10, 2011

    Wisconsin State Senator Bob Jauch, a senior Democrat, says that what he is witnessing feels like “a coup.”

    Marty Beil, the head of the AFSCME Council 24, the state’s largest public employee union, said Wisconsin had been turned into “a banana republic.”

    And thousands of Wisconsinites, men and women, adults and their children, public employees and private-sector workers, have poured into the state Capitol in Madison, shouting: “Shame! Shame! Shame!”

    There were 7,000 people outside the Capitol at some points during night, and thousands inside.

    At the close of one of the most remarkable days in American political history, a state once regarded as among the most enlightened and progressive in the nation finds itself ruled by rogue Republican operatives whose disregard for rules – and the popular will – is so extreme that the longest serving legislator in the nation, Wisconsin State Senator Fred Risser, a Madison Democrat, says: “They have not just bent the law. They have broken it.”

    Risser is right. After weeks of intense debate inside and outside the Capitol, and at a point when most Wisconsinites thought a compromise was in the offering, Republican legislative leaders suddenly announced that they would pass the most draconian components of Governor Scott Walker’s budget repair bill – including a move to strip public employees of their collective bargaining rights.

    They could not do so passing the bill as Walker proposed it. Because Walker’s measure was a budget bill, that would have required a quorum and no quorum could be achieved because of the absence of 14 Democratic senators – who fled to Illinois in order to establish a negotiating position to change the bill.

    So the Republican stripped out the supposedly “non-economic” components of the bill, including the assault on collective bargaining, and passed them in a form that did not require the quorum.

    They did so without hearings, without debate and without following the state’s open meetings laws.

    They did so in less than two hours, without even notifying key Democrats.

    They did so over the objections of Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca, a Kenosha Democrat, who repeatedly explained to members of the legislative Conference Committee that moved the bill to passage: “Mr. Chairman, this is a violation of law.”

    Barca’s point was well taken.

    But the Republicans did not listen, or care. They literally walked out of the meeting as they spoke.

    Minutes later, the Senate passed the bill by an 18-1 margin. No Democrats were present and only state Sen. Dale Schultz, R-Richland Center, voted “no.”

    It was a disgraceful spectacle, and it is all but certain to be repeated Thursday in the state Assembly – even as Barca and his Democratic colleagues prepared for one final fight for workers rights and the rule of law.

  308. “And I am un-American because I think someone who is in a union shouldn’t have to be to get a job? WTF.”

    You’re un-American because you support a feudalistic system engendered by plutocrats. The Constitution creates
    the US as a Republic, but you choose to back autocrats.
    the Plutocrats who run this country are attempting to turn us into a third world nation and you are too ignorant to see it.

    I am tired of people like you who believe that by being on the side of the Right makes them patriots, when in reality the side they play on is anti-American values and always has been. You wouldn’t know that of course because your understanding of history comes directly from the propaganda of your masters.

  309. Union Myths

    By Thomas Sowell

    The biggest myth about labor unions is that unions are for the workers. Unions are for unions, just as corporations are for corporations and politicians are for politicians.

    Nothing shows the utter cynicism of the unions and the politicians who do their bidding like the so-called “Employee Free Choice Act” that the Obama administration tried to push through Congress. Employees’ free choice as to whether or not to join a union is precisely what that legislation would destroy.

    Workers already have a free choice in secret-ballot elections conducted under existing laws. As more and more workers in the private sector have voted to reject having a union represent them, the unions’ answer has been to take away secret-ballot elections.

    Under the “Employee Free Choice Act,” unions would not have to win in secret-ballot elections in order to represent the workers. Instead, union representatives could simply collect signatures from the workers until they had a majority.

    Why do we have secret ballots in the first place, whether in elections for unions or elections for government officials? To prevent intimidation and allow people to vote how they want to, without fear of retaliation.

    This is a crucial right that unions want to take away from workers. The actions of union mobs in Wisconsin, Ohio and elsewhere give us a free home demonstration of how little they respect the rights of those who disagree with them and how much they rely on harassment and threats to get what they want.

    It takes world-class chutzpah to call circumventing secret ballots the “Employee Free Choice Act.” To unions, workers are just the raw material used to create union power, just as iron ore is the raw material used by U.S. Steel and bauxite is the raw material used by the Aluminum Company of America.

    The most fundamental fact about labor unions is that they do not create any wealth. They are one of a growing number of institutions which specialize in siphoning off wealth created by others, whether those others are businesses or the taxpayers.

    There are limits to how long unions can siphon off money from businesses, without facing serious economic repercussions.

    The most famous labor union leader, the legendary John L. Lewis, head of the United Mine Workers from 1920 to 1960, secured rising wages and job benefits for the coal miners, far beyond what they could have gotten out of a free market based on supply and demand.

    But there is no free lunch.

    An economist at the University of Chicago called John L. Lewis “the world’s greatest oil salesman.”

    His strikes that interrupted the supply of coal, as well as the resulting wage increases that raised its price, caused many individuals and businesses to switch from using coal to using oil, leading to reduced employment of coal miners. The higher wage rates also led coal companies to replace many miners with machines.

    The net result was a huge decline in employment in the coal mining industry, leaving many mining towns virtually ghost towns by the 1960s. There is no free lunch.

    Similar things happened in the unionized steel industry and in the unionized automobile industry. At one time, U.S. Steel was the largest steel producer in the world and General Motors the largest automobile manufacturer. No more. Their unions were riding high in their heyday, but they too discovered that there is no free lunch, as their members lost jobs by the hundreds of thousands.

    Workers have also learned that there is no free lunch, which is why they have, over the years, increasingly voted against being represented by unions in secret ballot elections.

    One set of workers, however, remained largely immune to such repercussions. These are government workers represented by public sector unions.

    While oil could replace coal, while U.S. Steel dropped from number one in the world to number ten, and Toyota could replace General Motors as the world’s leading producer of cars, government is a monopoly. Nobody is likely to replace the federal or state bureaucracies, no matter how much money the unions drain from the taxpayers.

    That is why government unions continue to thrive while private sector unions decline. Taxpayers provide their free lunch.

    So maybe there is another reason why a good number of jobs went overseas.

  310. Maury,

    Lmao – Sowell! Hell, why don’t you post something from Charles Krauthammer and call it a day.

    I think you’re better suited to stay over at clownhall.com

  311. Maury,
    Your statements and your quotes from Mr. Sowell are all wet. You and he are trying rewrite history. The auto and steel industries didn’t lose jobs because of unions. The auto companies got out worked by Toyota and others due to quality issues. Once the industry realized the quality issues, they have competed on a much better basis. The design of the cars and the engineering of the cars are not union jobs. Talk to Manaagement about those problems. You can also talk to Washington who made it economically beneficial for corporations to move jobs overseas. They have actually given them tax incentives to do that. The Steel industry also didn’t lose jobs because of unions. The trade policy of so-called free markets did that damage as Japan and others were able to dump cheap steel in the United STates. The unions that you fib about are the reason there is middle class in this country. They are the reason you have a 40 hour work week. But, I am wasting my time because all you want to do is to repeat the spin that the Koch Brothers like to spew. Of course, you ignore that the Republicans in the Wisconsin Senate have admitted that this whole process was a power play and had nothing to do with union labor or its costs.

  312. Here’s, in my view, the politically effective and the true argument. They make more than you do, right, these public sector employees.”
    — The Daily Caller’s Tucker Carlson, 3/09/11


    “Wisconsin public employees earn 4.8% less in total compensation per hour than comparable full-time employees in Wisconsin’s private sector.”
    — The Economic Policy Institute, 2/10/11


    Gotta love the Rabid and Ridiculous Right’s truthiness …

  313. From the link posted by Mike Spindell at 2:27p:

    “The war the Right is waging is based on the Darwinian/Malthusian based fear that there isn’t enough in the world for everyone. As a result, the Right is organized around the aim of making sure that only those who are just like them “make it”. And the rest of us be damned.”

    Now read some of Maury(other names at other times) and you will see this fear clearly. Terms such as “our” constitution, “Bush was a closet liberal”, or the famous teabagging chant “take back “our” country coupled with Maury’s very real fear that only Union members get good jobs point clearly to that which was quoted from the article.

    Make no mistake … these people are indeed thieves in the night and their next big target will be Social Security and Medicare. That’s not an overstatement. If they can’t get it legally by following the law they will get it any other way they can. Walker and his 18 republicans proved that.

  314. Video of police forcibly removing protesters from the Capitol building. This was about 4:30 this afternoon.

  315. Blouise,
    We need to shine big bright lights on these Thieves at every opportunity. The Wisconsin Dems have to work to keep the issue alive in peoples eyes and the video that OS provided will do just that.

  316. I would like for one of you very smart people to please explain to me why the unions are protesting in Wisconsin when there are no collective bargaining rights for federal employees? Shouldnt we also storm congress and the White House?

    So how come the hypocrisy? Shouldnt we be marching for federal employees to have collective bargaining as well?

    Why didnt FDR, Kennedy, Johnson, Carter, Clinton and other democrats try and get collective bargaining for federal employees? Seems like a double standard to me.

  317. Troll,

    “I would like for one of you very smart people to please explain to me why the unions are protesting in Wisconsin when there are no collective bargaining rights for federal employees?”

    Strong Civil Service at the Federal Level (Civil Service Reform Act 1978) … you are a FOX News nincompoop … stop wasting the smart peoples’ time … get an education … better yet, get a job!

    “Shouldnt we also storm congress and the White House?” … YOU AREN’T ONE OF THE WE … YOU BELONG TO THEM … PLEASE, DON”T BREED

  318. Maury,

    People decided to join unions because they wanted to fight collectively for better and safer working conditions, for better pay, for equal treatment, for a forty-hour work week, for paid vacations, etc. Some employers treat their employees fairly, pay them well, treat them with respect. Their employees may decide that they don’t need to unionize.

    What the Wisconsin governor and legislators have shown is that they aren’t really concerned about the best interests of their state’s public employees and that they have little respect for them. They have also shown themselves to be liars. Walker and his henchmen are perfect examples of why public employees in Wisconsin feel that they must have the right to unionize and to bargain collectively.

  319. Elaine M,

    “People decided to join unions because they wanted to fight collectively for better and safer working conditions, for better pay, for equal treatment, for a forty-hour work week, for paid vacations, etc. Some employers treat their employees fairly, pay them well, treat them with respect. Their employees may decide that they don’t need to unionize.”

    If it weren’t for unions, Maury wouldn’t be enjoying some of the perks he gets with employment. Well, if he’s working or decides to work, that is …

    Paid vacations, paid sick days, 40 hour/5 day work weeks … you know, the stuff people like Maury think just happened because employers decided to do so out of the goodness of their hearts …

  320. I was polite … it was a request … a public service request … a plea for the betterment of mankind … a hope …

  321. I wrote this earlier, and it bears repeating. The quote attributed to Admiral Yamamoto following his tactically brilliant attack on Pearl Harbor. Yamamoto had studied in the USA, and had some understanding of the size and strength of this country. He was a good military man in that he followed the orders of his superiors even if he thought they were wrong. He understood it was possible to achieve a tactical victory in a battle but lose the strategic war. He reportedly said, “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.”

    In a later conversation with some of his contemporaries, he also is quoted as saying, “Gentlemen, we have just kicked a rabid dog.” This was not meant as an insult, but a metaphor for the danger of kicking a terrible creature.

    For Scott Walker, another comment attributed to Yamamoto may also be prescient. He was aware of the risk of winning a short term victory, but in the process, give up any chance of winning in the long run: “I can run wild (in the Pacific Ocean) for six months. After that, I have no expectation of success.”

    While the good Admiral may not have said these things in exactly this way, the truth of these alleged comments is not diminished. They may have won the battle this week, but if history is any instructor, they will lose the war in the coming weeks and months.

  322. Blouise:

    “The Union households have left the Republican Party for good.”


    Highlights from the 2010 data:

    –The union membership rate for public sector workers (36.2 percent) was
    substantially higher than the rate for private sector workers (6.9 percent).
    (See table 3.)

    –Workers in education, training, and library occupations had the highest
    unionization rate at 37.1 percent. (See table 3.)

    –Black workers were more likely to be union members than were white, Asian,
    or Hispanic workers. (See table 1.)

    –Among states, New York had the highest union membership rate (24.2 percent)
    and North Carolina had the lowest rate (3.2 percent). (See table 5.)

    Big f***ing deal. Most union people vote for democrats anyway. And apparently most work for government. So we now have 2 classes of citizens those that work for government and those who pay for those who work for government. I dont really think you know what you are talking about. But when did that never stops the left.

    Wisconsin is not a good model for the rest of the nation. But keep on dreaming.


    All you 6.9% private union workers ought to start thinking about where your tax dollars are going, big fat government pensions and your union dues are going to union bosses trying to elect democrats who are trying to increease government union membership so you can pay more tax dollars so some government worker can laugh at you when they retire at 50 and you work until you are 65 or even 70 so you can afford to retire.

  323. Stamford Liberal,

    It all goes to show how so many of these folks like Maury haven’t learned American history well. Maybe if they had, they’d understand why unions were/are necessary. Because of unions, workers today enjoy a better quality of life. It does appear that some Americans would prefer a return to feudalism. Go figure.

    Who cares about miners with black lung disease or workers with other job-related diseases? Who cares about improving mine safety? Who cares if people have no paid vacations?

    BTW, those are rhetorical questions.

  324. lunch hour, bereavement time, holidays, furthering education allowance, overtime pay, bathrooms (honest to god … in some businesses providing toilets for workers was an issue on the bargaining table), uniforms

    Hey, maybe the troll has a part-time job working in a non-union shop that doesn’t have a toilet which is why he’s so full of ….

  325. Maury,
    Once again your claims are not supported by reality. The pensions in Wisconsin for public employees are not big or fat. The public pension plan in Wisconsin is one of the best in the country. Finally, we are paying the lowest federal taxes in years. Even with unions.

  326. Thanks, raff. I am a tactician by inclination and training. I consult with attorneys on tactics. I love trying to get inside the minds of those who would do wrong or harm others and use their own strengths against them. I admire people like Yamamoto, Rommel, Montgomery and Eisenhower. My old flight instructor was a P-38 pilot who talked with me for hours about tactics. I love this stuff. I would love to help you prepare a cross examination of some of our trolls. By the time we were finished, they would need a change of underwear.

  327. ““The war the Right is waging is based on the Darwinian/Malthusian based fear that there isn’t enough in the world for everyone. As a result, the Right is organized around the aim of making sure that only those who are just like them “make it”. And the rest of us be damned.””

    The left is who believes this, we on the right believe the pie is ever expanding if the government would get out of the way of the private sector and let it grow as it would and could.

    Who ever believes the right thinks the pie is static is stupid or worse than stupid. Capitalism creates wealth, the left wants to stifle wealth creation. They are too worried that someone may have more than someone else.

    Bill Gates doesn’t take food out of my mouth.

  328. Maury,

    Maybe more private sector workers should unionize.

    I got news for you Maury–I had a good amount of my salary deducted for my pension. It’s too bad that the crooks on Wall Street lost billions of dollars of public workers’ pension funds. Maybe you should be criticizing the Wall Street geniuses for the near financial meltdown of our financial system. My tax dollars went to bail out billionaires–and then they turned around and used my tax dollars to lobby Congress so it wouldn’t pass a financial reform bill with any teeth in it!

  329. Maury,
    You are making stuff up….again. The left has no problem with capitalism. They have problem with out of control industries who use government services, but do not pay any Federal taxes.

  330. Maury,

    My mother belong to a union, and just retired after 38 years of service to the State of Connecticut. She EARNED her pension. Anyone (ie, you) who thinks that public employees are living a life of luxury is full of shit because there is ample evidence that shows public employees make LESS than those in the private sector.

    All you have managed to do is show how incredibly ignorant you are about unions. You know nothing. You are nothing more than a dope who gobbles up thed bullshit propoganda that the Rabid and Ridiculous Right rams down your throat.

    And I say this with all due respect – Go f**k yourself.

  331. Troll,

    “All you 6.9% private union workers ought to start thinking about where your tax dollars are going, big fat government pensions and your union dues are going to union bosses trying to elect democrats who are trying to increease government union membership so you can pay more tax dollars so some government worker can laugh at you when they retire at 50 and you work until you are 65 or even 70 so you can afford to retire.”

    Unions are democratic institutions meaning officials of the union are elected to office by the rank and file … just ask the NFL, NBA, and MBL players who all belong to unions … and policy is determined by the rank and file. My good lord, your ignorance is total isn’t it?

    As to retirement … you’re not going to have much of one if you don’t start actually working … Union or no union, you’re not going to get anywhere until you leave mom’s basement and get a job. You can do it … take a deep breath … borrow some money from dad … get on a bus and start putting in applications. Work is good for you!

  332. Elaine M.
    1, March 10, 2011 at 8:58 pm
    Stamford Liberal,

    It all goes to show how so many of these folks like Maury haven’t learned American history well. Maybe if they had, they’d understand why unions were/are necessary. Because of unions, workers today enjoy a better quality of life. It does appear that some Americans would prefer a return to feudalism. Go figure.

    Who cares about miners with black lung disease or workers with other job-related diseases? Who cares about improving mine safety? Who cares if people have no paid vacations?

    BTW, those are rhetorical questions.


    It is disgusting how the glorious GOP has demonized hard working people in order to appease their corporate masters. They should be ashamed, but they have no shame. People like Maury think all the perks that come with being gainfully employed just miraculously happened. Just like racism in the South wasn’t “all that bad.”

    LOL – I suspected the questions were rhetorical … but I bet Maury doesn’t get that.

  333. “Maybe you should be criticizing the Wall Street geniuses for the near financial meltdown of our financial system. My tax dollars went to bail out billionaires–and then they turned around and used my tax dollars to lobby Congress so it wouldn’t pass a financial reform bill with any teeth in it!”

    If it was up to me I would have sent them to jail along with Greenspan and Paulson. What happened was due to leftist economic theory, not Austrian economic theory but nice try at shifting the blame from statism to free markets.

  334. rafflaw:

    I wish on the fork tail devil. I do have about six hundred hours in the “poor man’s P-38.” AKA, the Cessna 337 Skymaster–also known as the O-2.

    I was asked by some crew members of the Commemorative Air Force’s B-24 Liberator if I would be interested in coming on board as one of the flight engineers. Tempted to get checked out, but not enough hours in the day or days in the week to do it. I had to take a pass and it left a hole in my heart. A great old bird.

  335. “If it was up to me I would have sent them to jail along with Greenspan and Paulson. What happened was due to leftist economic theory, not Austrian economic theory but nice try at shifting the blame from statism to free markets.” (Troll)

    No dear … The Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act (GLB), also known as the Financial Services Modernization Act … that is what did it and
    Gramm–Leach–Bliley were all three republicans … Gramm retired weeks before his term ended to become … wait for it … wait for it … Vice Chairman of the Investment Banking division of the bank UBS. Yes, he left the senate to work for a company he helped deregulate. Gramm has since called the American public a “nation of whiners” …. moron

  336. Troll,

    Your people brought the financial market to its knees … your people belong in jail … why haven;t you put them there?

  337. Enough with trolls … can’t accept responsibility for anything and always making problems for others.

    There’s a good book calling my name … good night

  338. Maury,
    I think you have forgotten that the recession officially started in December,2007. I think you have forgotten who started two wars totally off the budget. I think you have forgotten the two tax give aways to the rich that Bush and a Republican Congress presented to their base. You must have forgotten those facts, right?

  339. Maury,

    Much of the blame goes to deregulation, credit default swaps, CDOs, derivatives that few people understood, garbage mortgages that were chopped up and bundled as securities with AAA ratings. Brooksley Born gave warning about what could happen to the financial system when she was head of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission for a time during the Clinton presidency–but Greenspan, Summers, and Rubin made sure her voice was silenced.

  340. From Think Progress (3/10/2011)
    Busting The Conservative Myth: Public Sector Pay Has Declined As A Percentage Of State Budgets

    The rationale that several Republican governors are using to justify their attempts to strip public employees of their collective bargaining rights is that the state can’t afford growing pay and benefits for public employees. “Our state cannot grow if our people are weighed down paying for a larger and larger government — a government that pays its workers unsustainable benefits that are out of line with the private sector,” said Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI). “If you were paying attention, the problems here that are created on the state budget — sure we have a deficit problem that was helped by the economic downturn, but what we also have are benefits and costs that are out of control,” claimed Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ)

    These Republican governors would have you believe that growing public sector pay has outstripped that of the private sector and crippled their states’ finances. The first claim, as many independent analyses have found, is simply not true. Public workers, once you control for education and look at comparable jobs, make less than their private sector counterparts.

    As for the second claim, CAP’s David Madland and Nick Bunker found that over the last 20 years, far from spiraling out of control, public employee costs have fallen as a percentage of state budgets:

    We find that in fiscal year 2009, the most recent year where data are available, average state spending on compensation as a share of total expenditures was 19.6 percent, below the 1992–2009 average of 20.7 percent…If state government employee compensation had suddenly overwhelmed state budgets, then a jump in compensation as a share of total expenditures would be apparent. Instead, the trend is relatively flat and declined over time. In 1992, compensation averaged 23 percent of total expenditures. That figure was 19.6 percent in 2009.

  341. no, my people did not bring the financial sector to it’s knees. you regulated market schmucks did that.

    Federal reserve rates kept artificially low did that. Clinton capping CEO salaries did that. The list goes on and on and on.

    Barney Frank and Chris Dodd did that. Market hating democrats and republicans did that.

  342. Maury,

    We can agree about Alan Greenspan and federal reserve rates being kept low for too long a time. I, too, am no fan of Chris Dodd. I have mixed feelings about Frank.

    I agree with Blouise about the Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act (GLB). Another contributing factor to the meltdown was the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act.

  343. Maury, or Moar, or Roam or whatever sockpuppet persona you want to go by. Your comments are getting further and further from anything resembling reality. I would say there are medications for that; however, instead of being delusional I think you are either a stupid dupe or you are deliberately lying. Which is it, Sport?

  344. Otteray,

    Maury doesn’t care what schmucks like us have to say. He’s got his free market talking points to spout.

    BTW, do you know who “Maury’s people” are?

  345. Maury,
    As usual your facts are wrong. The bill that Clinton signed did not cap the salaries. It capped at One Million dollars. The amount that could be deductible for the company. Did that reduce total compensation? No. The companies merely paid the execs bonuses in stock form. Try again.

  346. Elaine: I have no idea who “his people” are. If I were a cynic, I would say they are the Koch crime family. But I am not a cynic [choke, cough, choke…….]. Sorry ’bout that. I could not help it. Now I am going to go to Hell. Pray for me.

  347. Raff, when you engage in dialogue with a crazy person, you tend to have some cognitive slippage, It sometimes is strangely contagious. I have a friend who is both a psychiatrist and lawyer. He says when he is interviewing a client and starts getting a headache, he realizes it is the word salad logic that he is trying to follow, unsuccessfully.

  348. From Think Progress (3/2/2011)
    FLASHBACK: Reagan Granted California’s Local Government Workers Collective Bargaining Rights

    Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) — who has fashioned himself as a kingmaker amogst Republicans — said during a radio interview yesterday that government workers should never be allowed to collectively bargain. “It’s a bigger issue than people think, and it’s something that I’m going to work a lot on, because I really don’t think that collective bargaining has any place in representative government,” DeMint said.

    DeMint has also opined that he is looking for someone who is “a combination of Ronald Reagan and Winston Churchill” to be the GOP’s 2012 presidential nominee. So it might surprise DeMint to know that it was his cherished Gipper who granted California’s municipal and county employees the right to collectively bargain in 1968 by signing the Meyers Milias Brown Act. In fact, former Washington Post reporter Lou Cannon, who wrote several books on Reagan, explained that Reagan’s approach to organized labor differed drastically from that of the current-day GOP:

    Cannon agreed that Reagan’s relationship with labor was complicated but noted it was very different than today’s Republican approach. “He didn’t like the fact that the unions always supported the Democrats, but it wasn’t a hostile relationship,” Cannon said. “I never heard Reagan, in all the interviews, say those ‘damn unions.’”

    In fact, Cannon notes that Reagan “was always very proud of the fact he got working class support,” estimating that Reagan garnered as much as one-third of union households.

  349. Otteray Scribe

    Ben Masel is a Wisconsin attorney and Democratic candidate for the Senate. Ben writes that the first few National Guard troops in uniform have arrived at the Capitol. … He observes that Obama can stop this in its tracks, because as Commander in Chief he can order them to return to their barracks with the stroke of his pen.

    If Ben Masel is right on the Guard being on scene, then the ball is in Obama’s court.

    It’s not up to Obama. This conflict first arose regarding the National Guard in Louisiana during Karrina, Bush wanted to mobilize the Guard but Landrieu wouldn’t give the OK fearing that national and local goals regarding rescue and use would be at odds. Thereafter the law was changed to give the president the power to unilaterally mobilize and control the Guard. Governer’s didn’t like that and a year later it was changed again to limit the President’s control of the Guard.

    The state of the law now is that there must be a “Congressionally sanctioned national emergency or war” for the President or SecDef to come into the equasion. Until then (unless there are other laws or decisions that modify the meaning of the language) the Guard still belongs to the Governor regarding a declared state of emergency at the local(state) level.

    Please correct me if I’m wrong, I welcome additional info.

    From Wikipedia:

    The John Warner Defense Authorization Act of 2007 Pub.L. 109-364
    Federal law was changed in section 1076 so that the Governor of a state is no longer the sole commander in chief of their state’s National Guard during emergencies within the state. The President of the United States will now be able to take total control of a state’s National Guard units without the governor’s consent.[14] In a letter to Congress all 50 governors opposed the increase in power of the president over the National Guard.[15]

    The National Defense Authorization Act 2008 Pub.L. 110-181
    Repeals provisions in section 1076 in Pub.L. 109-364 but still enables the President to call up the National Guard of the United States for active federal military service during Congressionally sanctioned national emergency or war. Places the National Guard Bureau directly under the Department of Defense as a joint activity. Promoted the Chief of the National Guard Bureau from a three-star to a four-star general.

  350. Read a really good book tonight then decided to see how the Troll responded to truth:

    “no, my people did not bring the financial sector to it’s knees. you regulated market schmucks did that.” (Troll)

    … ah, poor baby can’t face the truth, can’t accept responsibility, can’t handle reality, can’t even the manage the job of being a Troll … gets another big fat “F” to add to his collection.

    By the way … there are many Unions established in companies owned by Koch Industries … interesting that the siblings have Unions in their own house.

  351. Thanks Lottakatz. I figured that as a local attorney, Ben would know. I must admit I have not kept up with the requirements and limitations on mobilization of NG troops. However, it looks as if the point is moot. The troops in uniform that were spotted may have not been the point of the spear, but just some of the NG people stopping by and their purpose and intent misinterpreted.

    It looks as if Walker did not have to call the guard to do his dirty work–the state troopers forcibly removed the crowed. See the video I posted above showing troopers dragging [but not arresting] the protesters.

    I do think that although Walker has already far overreached, even he knows that if he mobilizes the Guard, it would escalate the situation far beyond anything he could manage. If you remember, Orval Faubus in Arkansas tried to use the NG to defy a Federal court order back in 1957. Keep in mind that in the current situation, Walker could be in the same position of trying to use the troops to defy the court order to keep the Capitol open to visitors. I do not know how that would play out. As a non-lawyer, I am wondering what are the options open to the President if a governor tried to use the NG to defy a Federal court order?

  352. As I recall from the civil rights struggles the President can send in the Federal Marshals and actual troops. I ‘spose that now an armed drone sent right up the Governor’s butt is technologically possible but low on the list of practical options.

    But seriously, You ask an interesting question. During the stand-off in Little Rock President Eisenhower Federalized the entire state National Guard and told them to sit on their hands while he sent in elements of the 101st Airborne to protect the students.

    Below is an interesting site and I followed most of the citations listed and I’m wondering if President Eisenhower overstepped his bounds or Congress declared an emergency in Arkansas’ refusal to honor Brown v Board of Education. The history of the National Guard in law is pretty consistent that while the President is the Commander in Chief it’s Congress that has to declare an emergency to federalize the NG.

    For a state government to say ‘No, we’re not going to comply with the law of the land and will use the militia at our disposal to resist implementing the law’ is pretty heavy, treasonous in fact. By the time it happened the NG had been made part of the U S Army but still acted under the ‘Congress declares’ requirement. I wonder what the story is, did Congress declare a national emergency in the face of Arkansas’ virtual treason?


  353. It is my best guess for now that what is happening in terms of politics and political policy in the United States of America may happen to be the civil rights movement which transcends all prior civil rights movements.

    I lived and worked in the inner city of Chicago during the early part of the civil rights movement during the 1960s. I had asked the minister of the West Side Christian Parish to go to Selma, if there was room on the bus. People of higher status, however, filled the bus, and I watched on TV.

    In the back of my mind, in commenting here, was the faint hint of a wisp of the possibility of solving a sequence of murders, murders committed as though in the name of the law, for there is more than one law.

    While I allow that a clear majority of those who proclaim their being “Christian” will likely deem me not at all “Christian” because I do not believe in Christianity, the murder which has intrigued me for most of my life is the murder by law of one purported “Jesus of Nazareth.”

    If that is too serious or fictional or ancient or irrelevant, the murder of Fred Hampton will do for me about as well.

    In the hope of solving a “murder by law mystery,” I began commenting here as it became clearer and clearer to me that the impending 2008 fall election(s) were intensely reminding me of my Chicago inner city years.

    I can no longer find that my research has not finally unriddled a long string of civil rights worker murders. How about James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner?

    Because my biophysics-grounded bioengineering research informs me that people are inescapably innocent, the enigma of my research has been focused on the possibility of to accurately identifying the murderer of Jesus of Nazareth, James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwerner, Joan of Arc, Giles Corey, and a few billion more people.

    I have a hunch, next to be tested, that you kind folks have pointed out to me the real murderer.

    Matthew 18:14, KJV: “Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.”

    There is law such that no one and no thing is above the law.

    Such law is the law of death.

    There is Law such that everyone and everything is above the Law.

    Such Law is the Law of Life.

    Those who here have commented have been very helpful. Thanks.

    How many points can dance on the point of a pointless pin?

    There just may happen to be something more useful to do than the making of points and/or the scoring of points.

    My work is pointless. Thanks for telling me that!

    It has been my intended purpose to learn to do pointless work.

    La Kayim!

  354. First of all most Wall Street big wigs are liberal.
    Greenspan manipulated interest rates.
    Bush was responsible for an increase in social welfare spending.

    I am not a republican but like free markets (Austrian School). Both liberals and conservatives have never seen an entitlement program or spending increase they didnt like.

    The bubble was caused by the Federal Reserve keeping interest rates low and by banks and the federal government encouraging loans to people who could not afford them all in the name of fairness.

    If you would read more than just Paul Krugmans column you might have a little more understanding of what actually happened.

    I am not against private sector unions nor collective bargaining in the private sector and I doubt the Kochs are either, seeing as how they are libertarians. Unlike you people, they probably believe in freedom. The only freedom you want is for everyone to be able to have sex with mules. But economic freedom? No way you can allow that, dont want people to have too much freedom. They might realize they dont need the government to help them and then where would progressives/socialists be? No where, a few bitter clingers reliving their days of glory.

    I imagine none of you reads anything about economics but Paul Krugman. I know you dont like Thomas Sowell and you probably dont like Walter Williams. To help you out here is the link to one of his books “Liberty and The Tyranny of Socialism”


    and a link to a book called “The Tyranny of Socialism” by Yves Guyot. It was written in 1893 and you peope are still doing the same things with the same results.


  355. Will some one find some work for Pat Buchannan,this guy the more he talks the more he needs to shut up.

    “Governor Walker has won” Really ?

    He has won what Pat?

  356. Maury,

    I’m not the left–I’m one individual. BTW, what do you think about that Reagan quote? I happen to find it amusing that the right’s biggest political hero believed in collective bargaining–or said/showed he did when it was convenient for him politically.

  357. Elaine M:

    I am all for unions and collective bargaining as long as it is done in the private sector.

    I used to be a big Reagan fan but the older I get and the more I learn, well he isnt exactly as freedom loving as I thought he was. Amiable and photogenic, certainly. Defender of individual liberty? Not that much.

    But he started out as a progressive, so I guess old habits are hard to break.

  358. Elaine M:

    the left is just as monolithic as the right or as libertarians or as any political or religious ideology. There may be some minor/subtle differences but for the most part we are all guilty of “herd” thinking. And we all think our particular ideology and outlook is so “fresh” and new.

    The only difference is that I know economic collectivism doesn’t work because of the empirical evidence of the last 150-200 years. Progressives think it just hasn’t been done right yet. That is not the problem, it just simply doesn’t work and no amount of hope is going to make it so.

    The world would be a whole lot better off if progressives just give it up and stop wishing. Stick to gay marriage, abortion, legalizing drugs and racism. You all are good at protecting people’s civil/social rights (And god only knows that a good many right wingers want to usurp those freedoms). Protecting economic freedom? Not so much.

  359. Elaine,

    Seeing how well you’ve kept an eye on the ‘pre-union busting’ activities in Wisconsin, might I suggest you start a new thread regarding the legal challenges to follow?

    I’m guessing that we’ll begin to see some creative legal theories popping up in this weekend’s papers.

    Remember, “When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.”

    And the workers who got screwed in Wisconsin can’t afford off the rack thinking by ‘Semi-pro’ attorneys.

    Stay in your own movie,


    P.S. If there were a ‘Rachel Maddow Award’ for keeping track of this story on this blog, you would have more than earned it.

  360. Yes, Elaine should receive the award and this will be a continuing story into the 2012 elections. Breaking the unions under the guise of balancing the budgets is the republican theme. They have money on their side. Rove has raised 120 million to take down Obama and the Senate. He doesn’t have a candidate yet but he is hoping for union buster Mitch Daniels to run. We will have to make it up with union money and feet on the ground.

  361. Maury,

    I don’t hold any particular ideology. I believe that workers should be treated with dignity and respect and should be giving a living wage. I’m anti-war. I believe in programs like Social Security and Medicare.

    The dire financial problems that our state and federal governments are now faced with were not caused by public workers. Two wars and the Wall Street bailout have certainly helped to drain the US treasury. Huge corporations that pay little or no taxes have added to the problem. Jobs that pay well have been outsourced to other countries. Add in foreclosures and the great drop in property values. There are many contributing factors to the fiscal problems we must now address–and the Republicans choose to cast blame on public sector workers and the elderly who receive Social Security and Medicare benefits. Shame on them!

  362. Bob & Swarthmore mom,

    I think it’s important to keep track of what’s going on in states other than Wisconsin too–states like Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania. What’s happening in Wisconsin is just the tip of the iceberg. I believe there’s a concerted effort on the part of some rich industrialists, right-wing groups, and the Republican party to eliminate unions and collective bargaining for workers in this country.

  363. Mrs M:

    To your points,in the street they like to say ” I feel you” when making a point in a conversation,I think Michael Moore qualifies for that honor here.

    Rachel Maddow: Michael Moore w/ Handcuffs for Wall St. “This Is Class War; These Protest Do Matter”

    MSNBC The RACHEL MADDOW Show – 9 March 2011: Michael Moore Interviewed.

    MOORE: “This is war, this is a class war that’s been leveled against the working people of this country… The fact that they think they can get away with this… What happened three years ago in 2008… they realized that they could get away with murder. They realized that they could literally loot the treasury, they could play with people’s pension funds on Wall Street, they could destroy the economy, they could essentially do what they could to eliminate the middle class, and there would be no response from the people. There would be no revolt. People would just take it. And people just took it.”


  364. Elaine,

    I agree; although I agree more with an observation Rachel Maddow has been making all week. It’s not just about busting unions; it’s about destroying one of the last major campaign contributors to the democratic party. With unions out of the picture and Citizens United giving corporations license to act as robber barons, seems to me the last line of defense, other than a public swing to the left and the left acquiring the spine to act without seeking permission or approval from the right, is some weird/creative legal argumentation.



  365. I saw Mortimer Snerd Walker on the TV machine this morning. He was talking earnestly about the benefits of busting the unions would bring. Like making it easier to fire teachers. Although he did not use those exact words, his meaning was crystal clear. I could only stand a couple of minutes of lying, so had to turn it off. Felt afterward as if I needed some industrial strength brain bleach.

  366. I’m thinking the left’s best shot is to enlist the creative contingent (a/k/a the Hollywood liberals) to bombard the right with some incredibly shaming campaign ads and short films and documentaries.

  367. Please forgive me if I already posted the following. I’m having a hard time keeping track of all the “Wisconsin” stories.

    Wisconsin GOPers To Huddle With Corporate Lobbyists In DC After Worker Rights Vote
    Evan McMorris-Santoro | March 10, 2011

    More details on the upcoming fundraiser for members of the Wisconsin state Senate GOP in the headquarters of a prominent DC lobbying firm are coming to light.

    In short, when members of the state Senate caucus that just voted to strip state workers of their collective bargaining rights gather in the downtown DC offices of a lobbying firm founded in part by Haley Barbour, they’ll be among friends.

    The BGR Group, the lobbying firm Barbour helped to found in 1991, has long been known for its ties to the GOP. Among its executives are Bob Wood, a former aide to Tommy Thompson, the Republican governor of Wisconsin for 14 years. And on BGR’s past client list is a large energy company – and that’s raising eyebrows with watchdog groups.

    On Thursday, the Public Campaign Action Fund, a nonprofit advocate for campaign finance reform, pointed out that WE Energies, an energy utility based in Milwaukee, has spent more than $300,000 on lobbying with BGR since 2009.

    Executives with the company gave more than $10,000 to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) 2010 campaign. And WE Energies’ ties to the Republican state Senate caucus run even deeper than that: Heather Leibham, who has worked for the company in state regulatory advocacy, is the wife of state Sen. Joe Liebham (R), who cast his vote against collective bargaining rights this week along with 17 of his Republican colleagues.

    Somewhat lost in all the labor-based controversy surrounding Walker’s budget plan has been controversial language in the budget that critics have said could mean a big payday for energy companies in Wisconsin. TPM’s reporting has suggested those fears may be unfounded.

    Regardless, Republicans may be stepping on to a political landmine when they arrive at the ritzy offices of one of DC’s most powerful lobbying firms next week.

    Watchdogs say the BGR fundraiser — which requires attendees to drop at least $1,000 on the state GOP to get in the door — is another in a long string of examples of optical fails by Walker and the supporters of his budget since the controversy began.

    “This fundraiser is far more a celebration and reward to the Wisconsin Republican delegation for its leadership in attacking labor unions and turning back union rights,” Craig Holman of Public Citizen told TPM. “It accurately reflects that the battle of Wisconsin is in fact a highly-funded campaign orchestrated by national political players. Its origins and support span from the Koch strategy conference held in Rancho Mirage to the lobbyist fundraising event held in DC.”

    The Republican state Senators are scheduled to land at BGR headquarters on Wednesday.

  368. Elaine M:

    a simple google search shows that, at or a little bit above, 50% of the federal budget is the amount spent on social entitlement programs. Defense is 17%.

    While I don’t think the budget is going to be balanced on the backs of federal/state workers, I do think it is a good first step in trying to balance budgets. Wisconsin and other states have large pension liabilities they are trying to get under control. They cannot do it if collective bargaining is in place. Current union concessions are only good for 1 year, big deal.

  369. fUNY how Moore failed to mention that the congress was far left after the 2006 elections.

    Man he is good at revisionist history, but then so was the Old Soviet Union.

  370. maury, maury, maury….

    Misery likes company…..The crap you are spewing is priceless….entitlement programs…..Yes….let them take a hit…The people that actually receive any benefit out of this are the employers…..google up Peckam industries….They sell products to the Auto Manufacture…. while taking deductions for hiring the people that you complain…. also they pay these people a training wage….as soon as they work 4 months they are let go and transferred to another company owned by the owner of peckam….slimy people they are….

  371. Funny how Maury still thinks that the oft repeated talking point that curtailing collective bargaining rights will help balance the budget is somehow a fact. Tsk, tsk. Talking points do not a fact make.

    It’s also pretty damned amusing that Maury conveniently forgets that the unions offered – several times – to make concessions but Walker, like the petulent and obstinate child he is, dismissed them all. And, that this somehow makes this madness the unions fault when if the child Walker had at least sat down and negotiated with the unions, this whole mess could probably have been avoided.

    But no, in Maury’s universe, up is down, right is wrong and the rich are the poor, oppressed people.

  372. Maury,
    The facts are important. The Wisconsin pension plan is one of the strongest in the country. Wisconsin was not in a deficit until Walker pushed through tax breaks for corporations. And you are forgetting thast this union bashing was not for the purpose you are claiming. State Senator Fitgerald already admitted that it was all about making it tougher for Obama to carry Wisconsin. The sad part is that the Teapublicans have actually helped the Democrats and Obama with their obvious and admitted power play!

  373. “fUNY how Moore failed to mention that the congress was far left after the 2006 elections.
    Man he is good at revisionist history, but then so was the Old Soviet Union.”

    There are other comments from me but first let’s look at Maury’s game to see his disingenuousness: Congress was “far left” after 2006 only when a know-nothing, like Maury denotes it as such. His “far left” is right of center by any knowing construction. “Far Leftists” would be socialists and Bernie Sanders is perhaps the only socialist in Congress. Maury’s “far left” is used as an epithet rather than a rational explanation, because from any political science perspective it is simply not true.

    His use of an epithet would be akin to saying almost all Republicans are fascists. A nasty statement out of line with reality, but then that’s Maury’s game. One can see this in likening Moore’s beliefs to revisionist history “like the Soviet Union.” So he throws in another jab by implying Michael Moore is a communist, which he isn’t.

    That is the game you’ve got going Maury, but you’re very clumsy and obvious in your technique.

  374. Maury,

    I believe military/defense spending is closer to 22%–about the same as for Social Security. But…don’t forget that the great majority of working people pay into Social Security. That’s why they are “entitled” to Social Security payments when they are retired.

  375. “a simple google search shows that, at or a little bit above, 50% of the federal budget is the amount spent on social entitlement programs. Defense is 17%.”

    The key word in the above is “simple” because that 50% includes in its definition of “entitlement program” Social Security as the major expense. Social Security is NOT an entitlement program, even though many “experts” and political fools denote it as such. Social Security is provided for by direct taxation. That for most people who are in the cutoff range is equivalent or greater than the income tax they pay. Had social security been put in a “lock box” instead of mingled with Federal funds there would be no problem. It is currently running at about $120 million surplus, but that surplus goes into mingled funds and is thus used for other expenses. Even without a current fix social security is good until 2035.

    However, SS has become a regressive tax in that the burden is not equally shared. Because of the cutoff point, about $100,000,
    those making below that figure are paying a higher share of combined taxes, than those with the higher salaries. If the cutoff point were raised, any problems would disappear. Therefore the real question is do our wealthier citizens pay their fair share of taxes and the answer is no.

  376. “The only difference is that I know economic collectivism doesn’t work because of the empirical evidence of the last 150-200 years.”

    Well we know it didn’t work in Russia and China, perhaps one could add Cuba to that equation. Your problem is that both countries were communist, not socialist, or mixed socialist/capitalist. The evidence shows that in countries that have had mixed economies, things have gone pretty well for the majority of the people. Knowledge of history would also show that countries where a plutocratic oligarchy exists: Saudi Arabia, NAZI Germany, Fascist Italy, pre-war Japan, to name a few these countries did not fare well since the majority of people were poor and the majority of the wealth flowed to the top.

    You and many even erudite people believe in the incredible myth known as a “Free Market. These people and yourself are holding that up as a shining example of the way to run the world. The problem is that the “Free Market” is merely an untested theory
    because there never has been one in humankind’s history. Even the man who coined the term, Adam Smith, did not believe in a “Free Market” as defined by you and your ilk.

    The purpose of business is profit, which I have no problem with. However, an entity maximizes their profit by getting a larger market share and from its perspective ultimately controlling it.
    At the point that happens the market is no longer free. The purpose of government is therefore to regulate the marketplace, thereby ensuring that the market is fair. People, like yourself, who espouse a free market disdain government regulation and if one were to adopt their perspective, shortly free markets wouldn’t exist.

    As an analogy: If everyone in a Texas Hold Em” Tournament could start out with all the money they wanted, those with the most
    would generally win. ^The tournament is kept fair by those who run it by having everyone start out equally. I use poker for my analogy because poker is really a game of who has the money.

    Right now, without sound regulation, as currently exists in the Banking Field, we have no free market and so the prices are not set by one’s ability to produce, but by one’s ability to manipulate the freedom out of the market.

  377. Mike,

    Two things:

    Tangential, to your point, is the fact that the Free Market mythology is based on a misunderstanding of economics. A competitive free market is the most efficient at allocating resources. The problem is that people skip that first modifier. Not all Free markets are competitive.

    The second is completely off topic:

    You were right about Iain M Banks. His Culture novels are fantastic and Transition is astoundingly good. Also, if you like Jack Vance, there’s a great anthology of short stories written in honor of him called Songs of the Dying Earth. It’s a bit long,I had to read it interspersed with two novels, it was just too much Vance to do in one sitting. Luckily, that’s no problem with short story collections.

  378. I’m not going to confuse the ramblings of the latest Troll with the actual plans being enacted by the republicans within several of the states they took last November.

    The republican agenda is the same in each of the states but the strategy is carefully worked to meet the realities within each state.

    Wisconsin got away from them and they were forced to come from behind the curtain of “budget” to reveal the reality of the plan which is defunding the Democratic Party by stopping the auto-deductions of Union dues from public service employees’pay checks. That’s the whole plan in a nutshell.

    Republicans have a huge problem looming … the younger generation isn’t interested in their abortion issue. They don’t react positively to their homophobia issue. They are, on the whole, far less racist than their parents or grandparents and they support the equality of women in the work force.

    Okay, that’s problem number one. Problem number two for the Republicans is the sheer number of young, educated women within the workforce and holding or on track to hold executive positions in business. Also the number of women in professions like medicine and the law have greatly increased. These women are not sympathetic to traditional Republican values like abortion, big religion, gay marriage etc.

    Problem number 3 is the growing number of registered black and latino voters and the growing number of educated black and latinos within business. Once again, these voters are far less supportive of Republican values, though the older ones can be caught up in the abortion and gay issue.

    Had Republicans stuck with the old “conservative” values … responsible spending, smaller government etc. they would be better positioned to appeal to the younger voter. But they didn’t and the problem is huge for them and the future of the Republican Party.

    What we are seeing now is a short term solution … it is foolish in that it has driven many loyal republican union members from the fold and increased the Republican Party’s reliance on mentalities so aptly displayed by our Trolls.

    The battle is joined and democrats are very busy taking advantage of the weaknesses of the republicans. In Wisconsin Walker was forced to come out from behind his curtain of “budget” responsibility and reveal the bare-knuckle reality of his position … defunding the democrats.

    Each state will now enjoy its own special set of strategy … punch and counter-punch. Recalls will be on every ballot and we are going to see what Bob,Esq aptly calls ” … some creative legal theories popping up in this weekend’s papers.”

    Lawyers are working hard. Everybody else needs to do the same.

  379. What I find most interesting about this particular time is the manner in which the democrats have identified and personified the enemy in the form of specific governors and put the Koch face on corporations.

    The republicans have not been able to do the same because the democrats have not allowed any one leader to jump out and claim attention. The republicans are stuck with groups to vilify (Unions, teachers, receptionists, firemen, etc) but no one person to fix in the public’s mind.

    The democrats have made “working families” and “the middle class” and “women” their identified groups under republican attack.

    It’s fascinating and shows me democrats were fully prepared for this republican war.

  380. Mike Spindell:

    “So he throws in another jab by implying Michael Moore is a communist, which he isn’t.”

    Spouting what he was spouting on Maddow’s show, he is a communist in all but name.

  381. “Had social security been put in a “lock box” instead of mingled with Federal funds there would be no problem.”

    that is exactly what should have happened. Didnt Johnson pull it out?

  382. Blouise,
    I am not so sure that the Dems were ready for this latest Teapublican assault, but they reacted well. If we can get President Obama to use his bully pulpit, the Dems can make evern more hay on this issue.I agree with your review of the problems that the Republicans have created. The real test for the Dems will be to keep these different demogrphics energized and to get them to the polls in 2012.
    Mike S. and Elaine,
    Maury has a consitent problem with the facts which are probably related to where he is getting the misguided information.

  383. Maury,
    Your information is incorrect to level of being intentionally misleading. The Lock Box was discussed in the 2004 elections when Bush and the Supreme Court stole the election from Gore. Al Gore was the one suggesting a lock box so that the Republicans wouldn’t steal from it. Mr. Bush did not agree, but he didn’t have to. He had the Supreme court and vote fraud in florida to put him over the top.

  384. “The problem is that the “Free Market” is merely an untested theory because there never has been one in humankind’s history.”

    The time in our history when we had as close to a free market as has ever been was the time when we saw the greatest expansion of our economy.

    I think it safe to extrapolate that a totally free market would provide for quite a high standard of living for everyone.

    We can also say that most socialist countries have a standard of living commensurate with the level of market freedom they allow.

  385. Maury,

    Are you in a safe place…..is there anyone you can call… Do you feel at this time like hurting yourself….How about others….Please tell me what state you are in….The voices that you hear….are they telling you things…. Please call someone maybe they need to start you on a regimen of medicine to assist in your well being….it is ok that you are not like other folks…it is good to be different…really….but sometime differences can be bad unless regulated….

  386. Maury,
    You can believe whatever you want, but History does not support your claim. We have not had an unregulated market place in this country in my life time and we have had some great economic times during my 59 plus years. Right now the markets are somewhat regulated and Wall Street has been going crazy for the last year or so. I think the people in Sweden might have a problem with your claim that Socialism will hold back the standard of living.

  387. “As an analogy: If everyone in a Texas Hold Em” Tournament could start out with all the money they wanted, those with the most
    would generally win. ^The tournament is kept fair by those who run it by having everyone start out equally. I use poker for my analogy because poker is really a game of who has the money.”

    Well that is not a very good analogy at all. If you look back to the period after the civil war (where we had as close to a free market as was possible) there are numerous examples of fabulous fortunes being created from literally nothing but hard work and an idea. J.C. Penny, Woolworths, Standard Oil, US Steel, and many others. The “Robber Barons” created fabulous wealth and most were born poor as church mice.

    Creating wealth is not gambling, it is sustained mental and physical effort over many decades, most people do not want to pay the price or have the dedication necessary to do it. You don’t know the first thing about what it takes. The fact that you would use Texas Holdum as an analogy tells me all I need to know.

  388. “You were right about Iain M Banks’


    I know and given that he’s been writing for a while, and quite popular in GB, how did it take us so long. I’m only about 6 months ahead of you in his discovery. I like Vance, but I’m not into short stories. I like something that takes me time to read. In the British vein though I also Recommend Richard K. Morgan and charles Stross. My son-in-law, who is an SF fan and shares his kindle account with me has also fallen for Banks and so I’ve got mucho reading ahead.

    Re: Your first point about Free Markets is that what these Bozo’s don’t get with their bandying about terms they don’t understand is that the idea is good, but the execution and tendency to game whichever market, destroys the benefits. That is why governments and regulation are needed. Rand’s biggest stupidity in the world she imagined in Atlas Shrugged, is to imagine that her Alpha heroes weren’t going to run everything a few years after they took power.

  389. rafflaw,

    Disciplined reaction is not a Democatic Party strong suit … democrats usually react all over the place with everyone trying to grab the microphone at once and get his/her face on camera.

    Not this time and that tells me plans were set and everyone had been given his/her marching orders. Discipline yourself … don’t give the republicans a target with a face, their target is the people … force them to stay on target.

    I know people like to bash the Party … I certainly have done so … but not this time … so far they have managed quite well and refrained from shooting themselves in the foot.

    And they have managed to give every republican failing a face … really, it has been quite well done.

  390. “Spouting what he was spouting on Maddow’s show, he is a communist in all but name.”

    Unlike you Maury, I have known real communists and I know their beliefs from the many arguments I’ve had with them. Michael Moore isn’t close to being a communist, but you can’t understand that because you don’t really know what a communist is, or believes.

  391. “that is exactly what should have happened. Didnt Johnson pull it out?”

    See Maury you should learn your history before you write, as hard as that may be for you. The hardest blow against the lock box was struck by Ronnie the puppet, with help from pseudo-Democratic Senator Pat Moynihan.
    Ronnie and Pat also raised SS taxes under the myth they were saving the system. You can’t argue this stuff with any integrity, if you simply are ignorant of the facts.

  392. ” The “Robber Barons” created fabulous wealth and most were born poor as church mice.”

    Maury seems to ignore that those who created the wealth didn’t share it – in terms of living wages and benefits – with the people who did the backbreaking work for them once the wealth creators created their wealth, ie: the employee’s.

    There’s nothing wrong with creating wealth but when you continue to create wealth while throwing the workers mere scraps who work their butts off for the wealth creators, it no longer is an employer/employee relationship, but a lord and serf relationship.

  393. Mike,

    No, Rand’s biggest stupidity was using someone from an industry so dependent on the government to be the protagonist on a book about self reliance. That or the sonic gun.

  394. ‘The time in our history when we had as close to a free market as has ever been was the time when we saw the greatest expansion of our economy.”


    You can’t make an argument that holds up even a little, if you don’t know the facts. The greatest expansion of the US economy came in the 50’s when the highest tax rate was 90% and corporations and the market was tightly controlled by the Federal Government, under the
    Ultra-Liberal (at least to those unknowing like you)Dwight David Eisenhower.

  395. “The “Robber Barons” created fabulous wealth and most were born poor as church mice.
    Creating wealth is not gambling, it is sustained mental and physical effort over many decades, most people do not want to pay the price or have the dedication necessary to do it.”


    Why do you think they were called “Robber Barons.”
    The Oil, Railroad, Steel and Shipping Tycoons bought the government and received special favors that increased their wealth. Have you heard of the Railroad Right of Way and the fact that the train wasn’t the most profitable part of what they got, it was the land. They are pertinent to our discussion because all the industry’s you name, save perhaps the Woolworth’s, received protection from their bought government against the organization of labor. Read a little history, why don’t you, then maybe you can discuss this on a serious level. I can counter every one of your arguments from personal knowledge rather than current research and I’m nowhere near as sharp as I used to be. Its’ just that I loved history, but in studying it didn’t just concentrate on justifying my own beliefs. Most of us here could argue your position better than you and we don’t believe in it.

  396. Mike,

    I always assumed all the inventions that played a part in the story were stolen from him or Wells.

    Let’s not forget her tendency to go pretty far out of her way to justify her characters cheating on their spouses.

  397. Gyges,

    Let’s face it, she was a hack and personally a serial adulterer. Her books were fairy tales with irrational plots. Look at the Fountainhead where a newspaper’s Architecture Critic, brings the powerful publisher to his knees, by fomenting massive public boycott. Really?

  398. Troll,

    In 1962 John Kennedy finally negotiated an end to West Virginia coal miners being paid in “script” and forced to live in “company house” and shop at the “company store”. Kennedy’s negotiations were with AT&T concerning the Syncom 2 (a geosynchronous communication satellite) that AT&T wanted to launch through NASA. AT&T in order to get permission from Kennedy to ponyback onto the NASA launch, agreed to use their influence with the Coal Company owners to put an end to the exploitation of the coal miners. They did so and Kennedy gave them permission to launch.

    In 1963 the Coal Mining Robber Barons were finally defeated … visit the Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine in Beckley, West Virginia … they’ll tell you all about it.


  399. one wonders, after reading a portion of this thesis, how many Towns met the same fate at the hands of the UMWA?


    As Thomas Sowell wrote above, unions made oil and natural gas very attractive for the production of electricity and heat. It seems they also killed more than a few towns in West Virginia.

    Apparently Blousie has a one track mind-Benevolent Unions.

  400. Mike Spindell:

    I have read a little history. And yes there were companies that depended on government support and favors. But there were also companies that did not. You are making a blanket statement and you are incorrect. Not all businesses of the time relied on governement subsidies and favors.