Unless you have spent the last few weeks on Mars, or simply have no interest in the fact that democracy in the United States in under attack from extreme right-wing interests in many states, then you probably have heard something about the anti-democratic events unfolding in Wisconsin. Right-wing governor, Scott Walker, in office less than a year, is attempting to completely abolish the collective bargaining rights of Wisconsin’s public workers, including teachers. The anti-union measures were part of a larger budget bill being considered by the Wisconsin Legislature.
In response to Walker’s efforts, the state’s 14 Democratic lawmakers fled to neighboring Illinois, thereby defeating the Legislature’s quorum. Last night, however, the Republic majority voted to separate the issue of workers’ rights from the larger budget bill. By invoking this rare procedural move, the Republicans, effectively, gave to themselves the right to proceed with a smaller quorum than was required to consider a budget bill.
More significantly, the vote took place without any public debate, which Wisconsin Democrats argue violates the state’s “open meeting laws.” For those of you interested in the specific issue of “open meeting laws” and “freedom of information” in the United States, a good starting point in your research would be this excellent Wikipedia article.
This morning, in response to the events, Governor Walker issued an interesting statement, saying in part: “We cannot balance a budget on a hope and a prayer…”
What an interesting statement. When Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords nearly lost her life to a gunman’s bullet, right-wing radicals in this country – coming to the defense of Sarah Palin and the NRA‘s pro-gun stance – told us we should simply “pray” for a solution rather than look for secular solutions like gun control. Prayer, apparently, was all we needed to magically undo the tragic – and avoidable – events that befell Giffords and others.
Now, another right-wing extremist, Gov. Walker, tells us that prayer is not enough to simply correct a balance sheet. How convenient! Of course, he is correct. Prayer won’t do the trick. Unfortunately, what he isn’t mentioning is that he and his cronies all across the Nation refuse to ask the wealthiest among us to pay their fair share.
When are the People going to wake up? If you are really hungry – even starving – what do you do? You go to where the food is, be it a grocery store or a restaurant. You don’t go to the dry cleaner down the street and ask them to give you food. You don’t go to your kids’ third grade teacher and make her quench your thirst. You go to where the food is!
Why do we not insist that our leaders to where the money is – the banks, the lending houses, the defense contractors, international mega-corps.? What are we waiting for? An Act of God?!?!?
Maybe we should just pray that the rich will pony up the funds on their own. How’s that been working out so far?
- Wisconsin Republicans have Stripped Collective Bargaining Without the Democrats (democraticsocialistrepublic.wordpress.com)
- Wisconsin Passes Anti-Collective Bargaining Bill (outsidethebeltway.com)
- Wisconsin Senate strips state workers of union rights (capitolhillblue.com)