HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Scuba » Journal


Profile Information

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

Journal Archives

The General Electric University: Not Wisconsin’s Brightest Idea


How can a public university sustain its public mission when state funding dwindles to nothing? It’s not just an idle question. By 2059, based on current national trends, average state fiscal support for higher education will reach zero.

State aid to public universities has declined 40 percent over the past three decades. And in response to the recent economic downturns, state governments have only deepened the cuts. For the second biennial budget in a row, Governor Scott Walker has cut funds for the University of Wisconsin, where I work—this time by nearly $33 million for the next two years.


Nearly two-thirds of corporations in Wisconsin pay zero dollars in income taxes—and the number is rising. Over the next four years, the corporate income tax rate will drop from 7.9 percent to 0.4 percent, thanks to Walker’s recent tax cuts. Some corporations—such as Immelt’s General Electric—earn high profits, pay nothing in income taxes, and earn state tax credits. In 2008, the state gave up $254 million in corporate tax breaks to all corporations—while GE earned $17.4 billion in profits nationally. The company, which employs 6,500 people in Wisconsin, paid $0 Wisconsin corporate income tax from 2000 to 2008. GE is notorious for dodging federal taxes, too, and its unionized employees are fighting a wave of plant closings. What a role model for public universities to emulate!

Corporations turn to the university to prepare their workers and to innovate their products—but they decline to fund the public system they depend on. And neither university nor state administrators are demanding fair tax policies that would yield enough money to keep UW going. Instead, they are restructuring the university to fit corporate needs even more closely.

China’s Young Workers Fight Back at Foxconn


“There will never be strikes in my company,” Foxconn CEO Guo Taiming once proclaimed. But just last month, 1,800 workers struck at two Foxconn factories in China—following the example of other Foxconn workers in Taiyuan and Chengdu last year.

Foxconn produces cell phones and other products for Apple and others, and owns property worth $6 billion. It has 1.2 million workers and is the largest sweatshop of ill repute in China. The company drew international headlines when 18 young workers attempted suicide in 2010.


At the same time, 1,500 workers of Pulihua in Foshan City, next to Shenzhen, were also on strike. This company also belongs to Foxconn. Workers occupied the hall of the main building and stood against the police till 6 p.m., because management had said the factory would be moved away and all workers would be fired.

Pulihua workers had already stopped work twice this year, first on March 28 and again on June 6. They were not satisfied with the severance pay offered, and management promised to compensate them. The July strike was over the closing date, with workers fearing the company might flee without paying them.

But here in America, the strike tactic has been demonized into oblivion. It's time to change that.

Don’t 'Lean' on Me, Hospital Workers Say


Today’s hospitals are as committed to running lean as any factory. Highly paid consultants scrutinize hospital processes, measuring “metrics” such as staff-hours-per-patient-day. Who could oppose improving quality or eliminating waste? “But they’re not talking about efficiency in how we provide care,” said DeAnn McEwen, a nursing practice specialist with the California Nurses Association. “It’s really about profits.”

In health care, 50 to 60 percent of operating expense is labor. So there is constant pressure to reduce staff. “What it boils down to,” said John Borsos, secretary-treasurer of the National Union of Healthcare Workers, “is coming up with a way of dumping more work on people.”


What can the union do? First is to educate members to see through management’s hype—what labor educator Charley Richardson called the “tricks and traps” designed to lull you into believing you and management have the same concerns at heart. These include joint brainstorming, win-win rhetoric, and trust exercises.

One strategy is to try to get your people onto the lean team—but they probably won’t be picked, and it’s a “slippery slope,” Sheridan-Gonzalez said. Union members on joint committees should treat every meeting as if it were a bargaining session, with two opposing sides. They can say, “We don’t accept your framing. We see this as a potential for harm,” McEwen recommends.

Paul Ryan Doesn't Really Want Your Opinion


On Paul Ryan's "prosperitypac" page he guides you to a poll where he welcomes you and wants to capture your contact info. Then he wants you to tell him "what should Congress focus on", with the following choices ONLY:

* Balance the Budget

* Repeal and Replace Obamacare

* Tax Reform

* Strengthen National Security

* Entitlement Reform

* Cutting Spending

* Combat Poverty

* Immigration Reform

Notice what is missing? JOBS! No where in his priorities does he off you that choice! Everything is cut or spend!


Paul Ryan(R-Wall St.)wants to hear from you - as long as you tell him what he wants to hear!

Help! How long do my roasted potatoes need?

I'll be cooking up a porketta later today, and want to serve some roasted potatoes with it. I plan on cutting them into chunks approximately two inches square, putting them in a covered baking dish with some olive oil and popping them in the 350 degree oven at just the right time.

How long will they need? Any other advice?

How Can We Keep from Singing


How Can We Keep from Singing

For two and a half years singers have been meeting at the Wisconsin Capitol rotunda to sing songs of protest against the Scott Walker administration and the slew of conservative legislation that has passed with the right-wing control of the Capitol and all branches of government. For about the same amount of time–because I cannot get there during the noon hour most days–I have been going almost every day after work during the week and whenever I can get there on the weekends to sing four verses of “We Shall Overcome”. Lately my friend Ryan Wherley has been showing up sometime after 5:00 to sing until the building closes at 6:00. Sometimes he sings by himself, sometimes others join him. I’ve joined him a couple times, though I will not sing with him when he breaks into “How Can I Keep From Singing” because it is too perfect. His voice rises to the top of the dome and echoes back down like a chorus of angels singing a lullaby to the people of the state. It is incredible.

Today I sang after work, but had something else going on at 6:00, so I decided to wait around and see if Ryan would be there to sing. When I came back into the building I saw him up on the first floor with two other friends. As I looked up they started to sing “We Shall Overcome”. I went up the stairs to join them in song. What better, more joyous way to speak our concerns? What more peaceful avenue of protest could there possibly be? Who could resent the beauty of song as a way to say, “I love my state and I’m sorry about what is happening to it, and I must sing truth to power?” Well, as anyone in Wisconsin knows the conservatives in charge of the madhouse that is now our Capitol despise it. In the last two weeks there have been about 200 arrests of people for singing, from an octogenarian couple to a 16-year old boy, from young women to old men, from rich to poor, well-dressed to shabby, clean-shaven to bearded, good singers and bad, and everything in between, a microcosm of the farmers, merchants, miners, businesspersons, and others who make up this great state.

When I sing by myself I do not face arrest, because one is less than a group of twenty, the number Capitol police have erroneously and unconstitutionally determined constitutes an unlawful assembly. When Ryan and a couple others show up there are no arrests because two, three, or four are still less than twenty. You might sense if the right person is on duty that they would love to get the handcuffs out, but they cannot, at least for now. So there is none of the tension, stress, and absurd antics of the Capitol police late in the day, and there are generally few people there to hear the lyrics drifting through the marble halls and settling like dust on the empty desks of legislators who don’t want to hear anything that contradicts their conservative notion of the world.

Today the place was fairly full. There were several couples and small groups wandering around, a large group of people being led on what appeared to be a private tour, a couple families, a few straggling employees, and one cop who looked like the last thing he wanted to hear was any kind of protest, even in song. When I sing I never know how people will react. Sometimes they applaud, sometimes they give thumbs down, most of the time they pretend I’m not there because it’s easier to ignore the protest than to engage and find out what the issue might be. Today the four of us who sang late in the day had several incredibly different reactions to our singing.

Apartment to let. Includes lighted balcony.

Wisconsin: Now they're arresting elected officials, Raging Grannies and 14 year old kids


Day 12 of Mass Arrests for Singing in Wisconsin’s Capitol Building

Today August 15, 2013 is the 12th day of mass arrests of singers in Wisconsin’s Capitol Building where over 200 citations have been given out since July 24th, primarily for assembling without a permit.

Isthmus reported that today a Madison alder was arrested and Greg Gelembiuk observed that only an average of 20 participants were involved throughout the day’s singing on the rotunda floor. Several Raging Grannies were arrested and word has it that a 14-year-old and 16-year-old were also arrested.

A number of Madison alders ventured to the State Capitol on Thursday to show support for the Solidarity Sing Along. Ald. Mark Clear, a former president of the Common Council, was arrested for participating in the event.

“An officer walked up to me and said I was participating in an illegal event and told me to immediately disperse,” said Clear, who was reached by phone. “I politely declined.” Clear said he was finishing a rendition of “This Land is Your Land.”

Barbra Streisland falls on hard times

I got an email from Barbra today, asking me for $3. My, how the mighty have fallen.


The President and the Senate are trying to pass legislation to improve the lives of most Americans, but the obstructionist Republicans in the House are trying to stop any economic and social progress.

The American public has been watching the House Republicans and their approval rating is an abysmal 16 percent.

We cannot let the right wing roll back more than thirty years of social progress on women's rights, minority rights, and LGBT rights. Each of us needs to take action.

Let's stop them together:

Chip in $3 or more to win a Democratic House for President Obama today.


Barbra Streisand

Why does anyone think we care that they got a job or that their cat died?

Because we do. We're a community, and we care about each other. That's part of what makes us liberals.
Go to Page: « Prev 1 ... 243 244 245 246 247 248 249 250 251 252 Next »