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Member since: Thu Apr 29, 2010, 02:31 PM
Number of posts: 53,475

Journal Archives

"Serious patriots" define "normal".

Wisconsin: Veterans were arrested. Journalists were arrested. Elected officials were arrested.

Good article on the Court's decision to poke Scott Walker in the eye.


Scott Walker is finally intimidated by the rule of law

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker likes to claim he is “unintimidated.” That’s the title of the upcoming book he plans to use to jump-start his presidential campaign. There is no question that Walker knows something about intimidation. But it is comic to suggest that he is the one who had been pressured. Walker has, from the beginning of his governorship, sought to intimidate Wisconsinites who seek to exercise their rights. But now he has been forced to back down. Though he resisted every step of the way, the governor has finally been forced to respect his oath of office.


The U.S. Constitution was amended at the behest of its essential author, James Madison, to include specific protections of the right to assemble and to petition the government for the redress of grievances. The Wisconsin Constitution goes further still, declaring: "The right of the people peaceably to assemble, to consult for the common good, and to petition the government, or any department thereof, shall never be abridged.” These are core concepts for Wisconsinites, and for all Americans.

Yet Walker did not just abandon his commitment to the constitutions of his state and nation; he assaulted the basic underpinnings of those documents with the full force of his administration. From the early days of his governorship, Walker has sought to prevent dissenters from assembling and petitioning for the redress of grievances — aggressively moving at one turn after another to abridge the right of the people peaceably to assemble, to consult for the common good, and to petition the government.


Last week, in response to a federal lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin and attorney A. Steven Porter on behalf of Michael Kissick, an assistant professor in the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health, the Walker administration abandoned the most draconian of its assaults on First Amendment protections.

This quote is from Judge Conley's decision:

"The Capitol rotunda is closer to an out-of-doors, traditional public forum in that it is a capacious gathering space with a unique history as a place for government and public discourse, which admits for (indeed was designed for) a certain level of disturbance that would not be proper in a typical state office building or even a typical state capitol."

More here: http://www.democraticunderground.com/10849248

Labor History Essay Contest for Wisconsin Students

from my email ...


The Wisconsin Labor History Society announces its High School Essay Contest for the 2013-2014 School Year! All Wisconsin high school students (grades 9-12) are eligible to participate. Students are urged to interview family members, neighbors, friends or others for their stories about work and unions. Win cash prizes up to $500 for essays of about 750 words on the topic:

"Unions have been important to my family and my community because . . ."

First place, second place, third place and up to five honorable mention cash prizes will be awarded. Read winning essay from 2012-13 contest! Go to: http://wisconsinlaborhistory.org/contests/high-school-essays

Rules: Essays should be approximately 750 words in length. They will be judged on understanding, evidence of original research, writing style and significance. Essays must be typed, double-spaced, on white paper. Two copies must be submitted (One may be a photocopy.) Please be sure to provide the following information on the cover sheet: Your name, address, home telephone number, your grade in school, name and address of your school, and, if you were encouraged or assisted by a teacher, the teacher's name. (Also, list your family's union membership, if applicable.) If you have any questions, contact: Harvey J. Kaye (920-465-2355 or kayeh@uwgb.edu). Submissions must be postmarked Feb. 14, 2014 or before.

Send completed essays to:

Prof. Harvey J. Kaye
Center for History and Social Change
University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, Green Bay WI 54311

Congratulations to Chantel Givens of Chippewa Falls Senior High School for her First Place Winner in the 2012-2013 Essay Contest! Below is her top prize essay.

"Unions have been important to my family and my community because ... "

Freezing toes, fingers, and nose. My parents have donuts and coffee in hand and cappuccino for my sister and me. It's 5:30 am and we are boarding the bus. Madison here we come!

Justin Givens is my dad, who was a part of AFSCME since January 3, 1999. My dad started working as a Correctional Officer at Green Bay Correctional Institution. He worked there for 5 years; we then moved to Chippewa Falls, WI. When my family moved to Chippewa Falls, my dad started working at Stanley Correctional Institution where he worked for seven years as a Correctional Officer and became President of his local. My dad then transferred to Chippewa Valley Correctional Treatment Facility, where he was also president of his local. After being there two years, he stepped down from being the president of his local, from being a member of the union, and from state service. My dad never imagined after being a part of the union for 14 years that he would be searching for another job. He said being a member of the union gave the workers a collective voice and showed him that working conditions were best when everyone had a stake in it. On June 29, 2011 Governor Scott Walker proposed a bill and a lot of things changed for those who were a part of the union. When he passed Act 10, many state employees were in panic, fear, and depression. He took away union members' collective bargaining rights. Collective bargaining rights are negotiations set between an employer and a group of employees that cover wages, working hours, training, health and safety, and overtime.

All families should care about the union because the union provided people their weekends, gave people their fair wages and helped end child labor laws. My family was really affected by this bill that was passed. Not only did my dad face struggles but so did my family. Safety issues were a concern for my dad every day when he went to work and even at home making sure our lives were safe as well. He had a stress related heart condition soon after the Bill was passed because it was so hard on him; knowing everything he and others worked for was gone. All of his effort that he put into being a member of the union no longer meant anything. My family was affected by it substantially because my dad had to miss out on mine and my sister's sporting events. He had to miss out on our family hobbies, holidays, and wasn't home much to spend quality time with us. He put his heart and soul and almost all spare time into being extremely active in the statewide union and political movement.

Being active in the union applied to more than just my dad, but also my step mom, sister, and I put a lot of time into supporting the union. Each and every one of us knew the importance of what he was fighting for. We attended many union functions together. My whole family took off of work and school and went to Madison to "voice our opinion." I wasn't quite sure what to expect and neither was my sister! A group of people who were also a part of the union took four buses to the capital. I know my dad helped organize and fill these buses daily. When we arrived there was no time for waiting. We all got right off that bus with pride and ambition, marching into the capitol to prove a point. By going on that bus trip to Madison, I learned so much about what was happening around me and how it was affecting members of the union. By the end of the day I felt proud of what I did and knew it was worth it. I also participated in my schools "walk out" shortly after the Bill was announced. After being in Madison, I had learned more about what I was "walking out" for. I wasn't doing it to skip class. I was doing it to prove a point and stand up for what I believe in. I was supporting not only my dad but ALL union members.

Since I was born I've been affected by the union because my dad has been a part of one my whole life. After talking to my dad even while writing this essay, I've learned a lot about what he has been a part of and how it has affected him and his career.

From standing in the cold voicing my opinion at the capitol, to walking out of class with pride, I realized I was doing what I had been taught at the kitchen table. I was being a union activist.

Spread the word and encourage high school students you know to get working on an essay today!

In Solidarity,

Phil Neuenfeldt, President

Stephanie Bloomingdale, Secretary-Teasurer

Wisconsin: Mary Burke - Wolf in sheep's clothing

Cog Dis takes on Burke's top political advisor, Tonya Bjork.


I have written lately about Mary Burke's top political advisor - Tonya Bjork. I covered her initially into her being knee deep in the Caucus scandal, secondly being a major player with Wisconsin Hospital PAC who has given thousands of dollars to Scott Walker.


Just some more context, before we move on(H/T one of our readers). Wisconsin Hospitals PAC, of which Tanya Bjork was a major player and fundraiser for, gave approximately 80% of their donations to the red team. Would you belong to an organizations that so directly conflicts with your values? I would not.

Today we are going to cover her day job. Owner, with her husband/partner Scott Tyre, of a LOBBYING firm called Capitol Navigators. Here is Tanya's husband at a typical day of work:


Nothing says progressive champion like sending $500 to Robin Vos! Let's be real, CapitolNavigators has made lots of money suppressing and squashing progressive legislation and helping get the current extreme right wing legislation passed. Hey, whatever makes you a buck. Its a tough economy out there(thanks in part to the legislation you lobby).

If Mary Burke wants to run for Governor of Wisconsin that's her right. But she has a lot of baggage that suggests she's not the progressive candidate our State needs.

After the shutdown debacle, the tea party's approval rating is 23 percent.

In other words, it's the first time the tea party has ever been supported by a minority. ~ Jay Leno

The next American Revolution is scheduled for November 4, 2014. Be there or be square.

Invite your friends too. This one is going to be big.

Wis: Mary Burke-charter school backer, votes against teachers, makes 'no promises', backed by DPW

Mary Burke has announced her candidacy for Governor, but do her values align with those of the Democratic base?


There's Nothing About Mary

It was seen that Burke donated $2.5 million for a charter school that never even opened its doors.

It was seen that she spent $120,000 for a seat on a school board, more than ten times her opponent, who is a union man. While in her very expensive school board seat, she voted against the teachers.


The reporter pressed her on Act 10, to which she gave a response that was notable for its unresponsiveness:

Burke said this week that she does support collective bargaining for public workers, but she stopped short of saying she would change the law to give it back to them.

Do we really want to back Ms. Burke, especially knowing we have a more progressive candidate available?


People complain Obamacare is confusing? As opposed to the current mess?


Anthem says they pay 70% for non-participating providers, but actually pay closer to 20%, because they decided a California ob-gyn doctor should only charge $90 for a new patient comprehensive exam. Their response to a complaint: "The amount is determined according to the non-participating provider section in your Evidence Disclosure Form from March 1, 2013, on page 131...."


(regarding that page 131... wonder how many pages are in the form?)

A Class Act

Dennis Eckersley on the 25th anniversary of the Kirk Gibson HR:

"It was a great moment for the game, just not a great moment for me. There's so many great things that have happened to me since that time, if that's the only thing I have to live with for the rest of my life, I'm cool with it."

Thanks to http://www.leftcoastsportsbabe.com

US Army Terrorist List: Al Qaeda, Earth First ....

Dissent is now equal to terror...


A U.S. Army training manual that instructs troops how to recognize terrorist organizations includes environmental groups like Earth First!, and lists the Animal Liberation Front alongside al-Qaeda.

The declassified manual was created by the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, which says “This handbook is designed to specifically provide trainers, leaders and soldiers a ‘hip pocket’ reference to identify all the known logos used by insurgents, terrorists, paramilitary and other militant groups worldwide.”

Among the listings are a page on “Environmental Terrorists,” with images of Earth First! t-shirts and patches, and “animal liberation” t-shirts that have been sold by national non-profits since the 1990s.


What’s especially troubling about a guide like this is that it is created “to assist units in identifying groups by their logos found in videos, magazines, newspapers, graffiti and other types of media.” In other words, it’s meant to be a cipher for decoding First Amendment activity that might be created by “terrorists.”

How they missed The Raging Grannies I'll never know.
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