Lovely Ladies Luncheon League

September 8, 2012

Backward in Wisconsin

Filed under: Odds & Ends,Politics and Tea — LLLhost @ 7:42 pm
Tags: , ,

2012 The Year Wisconsin Lost Her Way Forward…. 

Rally in WIsconsin   Family at the rally

It’s been some time since my last post. I felt I needed an opportunity to let out a tiny cry from a broken hearted, though not broken spirit. It’s hard not to be angry. To not know how to channel all of the emotion. This was, and still is, a difficult year for Wisconsin. Everything just turned upside down. What seems sane and rational is so far removed from the radical right.

This is what I know for sure. We came together—peacefully and hopefully. Intelligent and reasonable people joined as an alternative to extreme viewpoints that threatened the heart of the middle class American life in the heart of the Midwest. And we were vilified for it. The Media made us out to be “Madison” radicals or violent union thugs when really it was ordinary people from all across Wisconsin. Mothers, fathers, children, police officers, firefighters, teachers, nurses librarians, colleagues and friends. Young and old alike. Not perfect but mostly polite and extremely civilized. Despite what media or politicians may have said, there were few thugs, just hardworking people from every walk of live who love this state and are fighting to keep it a special place to live.

There was no violence. Only songs and discourse.
Day After Day. Peaceful. The combined voices of ordinary people.

It wasn’t just about unions. (although Collective bargaining gave us 5 day work weeks, 8 hour days, child labor laws, along with wages & benefits that families could actually survive on.  People fought and died before for those opportunities)

It wasn’t about willingness to compromise or paying more for healthcare. (we had already given every things asked of us to help share the burden and then some)

It was, and is, about a better way of life. What kind of  future we want for the young and old.

Trickle down economics rarely works. It would be incredible if it could but history has proven it does not work—time after time.

For all those private companies that appreciate their employees, kudos to you but the ugly side of capitalism is profit over people. Companies use up communities and resources and then leave to maximize profits. Families and communities are left behind, and I for one find that un-American. Capitalism isn’t the problem. It works when a strong middle class has purchasing power. When people can climb toward a middle class life.

But we have become a self-centered society. Success is measured by instant gratification and personal reward. It’s the “survival of the fittest” attitude and human greed. Waste. Fast food, short-cuts to success at the expense of others. Funny thing though,  many of the “fittest” are positioned by circumstance, not hard work. Yet those who have to work two or three jobs to get by, who can never catch a break are considered “less than” or even “lazy” because they cannot seem to provide for their families? I know life isn’t fair but part of government is to make sure that there is some level of  checks and balance so that you really can work hard and get ahead.

Teachers care about the quality of education, teaching to a student not a test, yet we begrudge them a decent wages and benefits when they hold the future of our children in their classrooms! Shame on us.

We only have one planet, one state we call home—Wisconsin. When we destroy our environment, the quailty of our groundwater, strip our natural resources bare, and destroy our wetlands to create jobs when there are other options…shame on us.

Many advances have come from public funding. Opportunities that put people to work in times of great economic distress. Hoover Dam, National Parks, overseas highways, bridges….roads, public transit, food safety, clean water—imagine how much we would have to pay in a privatized world for clean water if it were controlled by corporations?

In science, governmental research laboratories have given us computers (the space program), internet (DARPA), Teflon (the space program), GPS (the space program), cell phones (DARPA), microwave ovens (World War II radar), flat screen monitors (DARPA developed LCD’s), knowledge of earthquakes and volcanoes (USGS), solar panels (the space program), weather forecasting (Dept. of Agriculture), satellite television, and hand held video cameras (both from space).

Public works and public employees work for all of us. Shame on all of us for undervaluing their service and for using them when it suits you and forgetting the reasons we all need them. Shame on us for punishing those who give uw so much.

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QUOTES: Food for thought

Religion

“Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law.
-Thomas Jefferson, letter to Dr. Thomas Cooper, February 10, 1814

“In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own.
-Thomas Jefferson, letter to Horatio G. Spafford, March 17, 1814

Knowledge and Education

“And say, finally, whether peace is best preserved by giving energy to the government or information to the people. This last is the most certain and the most legitimate engine of government. Educate and inform the whole mass of the people. Enable them to see that it is their interest to preserve peace and order, and they will preserve them. And it requires no very high degree of education to convince them of this. They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty.” 
-Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 1787. (Forrest version) ME 6:392

Instead of an aristocracy of wealth, of more harm and danger than benefit to society, to make an opening for the aristocracy of virtue and talent, which nature has wisely provided for the direction of the interests of society and scattered with equal hand through all its conditions, was deemed essential to a well-ordered republic.”
-Thomas Jefferson: Autobiography, 1821. MW 1:54

If the children are untaught, their ignorance and vices will in future life cost us much dearer in their consequences than it would have done in their correction by a good education.
-Thomas Jefferson to Joseph C. Cabell, 1818. FE 10:99

I feel… an ardent desire to see knowledge so disseminated through the mass of mankind that it may, at length, reach even the extremes of society: beggars and kings.
-Thomas Jefferson: Reply to American Philosophical Society, 1808.

I was bold in the pursuit of knowledge, never fearing to follow truth and reason to whatever results they led, and bearding every authority which stood in their way.
-Thomas Jefferson to Thomas Cooper, 1814. ME 14:85

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