Could what be the beginning of the end of our democracy??
"Renaissance Thinking About the Issues of Our Day"
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker told the media yesterday and again this morning that he is unwilling to compromise on his so-called “budget repair” proposal that limits state workers’ collective bargaining rights – essentially destroying their union. In response, the state capital in Madison has been the scene of a weeklong protest against Governor Walker and Republican state lawmakers. 14 Democratic state Senators who fled Wisconsin to prevent the bill from being passed have now reportedly raised more than $280,000 from 11,000 donors all around the country to fight for the cause.
And it appears that public opinion of Governor Walker could be slipping. According to a new poll released by the AFL-CIO – Walker’s job approval rating has slipped to just 41%. Today – Republicans in the state senate will resume legislative business with or without the democrats. State senate rules require a quorum of 20 senators present to vote on fiscal legislation like Walker’s budget bill – but only 17 senators are required to vote for all other matters. Since there are 19 Republicans in the senate – they have a quorum to conduct business without the minority present.
And there are talks that Walker’s bill may be repackaged as non-fiscal legislation and passed this week with only the Republicans present and voting. One overlooked part of Walker’s bill that could get passed solely by Republicans allows the state to sell off heating, cooling, and power plans to private companies. Guess who would benefit most from that? The Koch brothers who own several power companies in the state! The same guys who gave Walker more than $40,000 in political contributions, affiliated with the groups who laundered over $3 million through the Republican Governor's association to get Walker elected, and spent god knows how much bussing in Tea Partiers over the weekend to confront union protestors. Talk about a quid pro quo.
If Governor Walker succeeds in dismantling the unions in Wisconsin – then this could be the beginning of the end for our democracy and the rise of one-party rule in America. If you can get unions out of the way – then just the billionaires and transnational corporations are left to run politics in America. As the Middle East ascends in democracy – America descends into kleptocracy.
Could what be the beginning of the end of our democracy??
REPUBLICANS ARE SOCIAL DARWINISTS -- they believe the government should help the rich live long and prosper! THE government should let the rich exploit the working classes until they die from hard work and exhaustion!! AND should let the poor die off from starvation and disease because they will never amount to anything and are a drain on society!!!
""Social Darwinism is a belief, popular in the late Victorian era in England, America, and elsewhere, which states that the strongest or fittest should survive and flourish in society, while the weak and unfit should be allowed to die. The theory was chiefly expounded by Herbert Spencer (1820-1903), whose ethical philosophies always held an elitist view and later received a boost from the application of Darwinian ideas such as adaptation and natural selection.
According to Darwin's evolutionary theory, nature is a "kill-or-be-killed" system. Those that cannot keep up are either left behind or cut off. The strong survive, and those best suited to survival will out-live the weak.
The seeds of Social Darwinism were actually planted before the publication of Darwin's "The Origin of Species"(though of course the name didn't originate until after). Herbert Spencer, the father of Social Darwinism as an ethical theory, was thinking in terms of elitist, "might makes right" sorts of views long before Darwin published his theory. The concept of adaptation allowed Spencer to claim that the rich and powerful were better adapted to the social and economic climate of the time, and the concept of natural selection allowed him to argue that it was natural, normal, and proper for the strong to thrive at the expense of the weak. Whether it be humans, races, or the state, Spencer's thoughts were clear: "If they are sufficiently complete to live, they do live, and it is well they should live. If they are not sufficiently complete to live, they die, and it is best they die." In its simplest form, Social Darwinism follows the theory of "the strong survive," even in human issues.It is the application of the theory of natural selection to social, political, and economic issues. According to Social Darwinism, those with economic, physical, and technological strength flourish and those without are destined for extinction. This theory was used to promote the idea that the white European race was superior to others, and therefore, destined to rule over them.
Social Darwinism was used to justify numerous exploits which we classify as of dubious moral value today. Colonialism was seen as natural and inevitable; people saw natives as being weaker and more unfit to survive, and therefore felt justified in seizing land and resources. Finally, it gave the ethical nod to brutal colonial governments who used oppressive tactics against their subjects.
At the time that Spencer began to promote Social Darwinism, the technology, economy, and government of the "White European" was advanced in comparison to that of other cultures. Looking at this apparent advantage, as well as the economic and military structures, some argued that natural selection was playing out, and that the race more suited to survival was winning. Some even extended this philosophy into a micro-economic issue, claiming that social welfare programs that helped the poor and disadvantaged were contrary to nature itself. Those who reject any and all forms of charity or governmental welfare often use arguments rooted in Social Darwinism.
Social Darwinism has been used to justify eugenics programs aimed at weeding "undesirable" genes from the population; such programs were sometimes accompanied by sterilization laws directed against "unfit" individuals. The American eugenics movement was relatively popular between about 1910-1930, during which 24 states passed sterilization laws and Congress passed a law restricting immigration from certain areas deemed to be unfit. Social Darwinist ideas, though in different forms, were also applied by the Nazi party in Germany to justify their eugenics programs. With the development of the notion of eugenics — not only could you prevail over the unfit by making war on them, but you could improve the breed by applying "enlightened" notions of selection and genetics.
At its worst, the implications of Social Darwinism were used as scientific justification for the Holocaust. The Nazis claimed that the murder of Jews in World War II was an example of cleaning out inferior genetics. This view embraced the assumption that the strong were superior, and thus ordained to prevail. Social Darwinism applied to military action as well; the argument went that the strongest military would win, and would therefore be the most fit. Casualties on the losing side, of course, were written off as the natural result of their unfit status. Thus, if two countries were to make war on each other, the victor was biologically superior to the loser. It was therefore right and proper for that victor to subjugate or even eliminate the inferior opponent. Not only was survival of the fittest natural, but it was also morally correct. Indeed, some extreme Social Darwinists argued that it was morally incorrect to assist those weaker than oneself, since that would be promoting the survival and possible reproduction of someone who was fundamentally unfit.
Walker cut off Internet
Thom characterized Gov. Walker as being like Mubarak for cutting off Internet access. Forget Mubarak, I'd say he's like Ahmadinejad.
Have you seen this:
I am not hearing anything about this anywhere...
you are doing a great job, we follow you on FSTV and listen to am950 in Mpls, MN
I predict that this will be the end of Scott Walker. He is an embarrasment to the State of Wisconsin. His blatant attacks on the working people of the state will cause him to resign or to be recalled from office. There is no excuse for his bad behavior. If the public cannot succeed in defeating him, then the nation as a Republic is doomed. I hope that labor movements all over the world will contribute to his demise. His attack on working people is beyond imagination. Those who care about democracy cannot stand to suffer a man like Walker in political power.
He is not acting to help the people of Wisconsin. If he succeeds in his plan what he is doing is punishing the people who serve the public. Who would want to work for the government as a teacher, firefighter, or public service officer if they are treated like slaves? These plans, if they were to be effected, would make Wisconsin a second class state. Who would want to live in such an environment.
Philip Henderson, ethical magician
What is stopping the peoples of Wisconsin from circulating a petition to impeach this "so called" governor? It's obvious he doesn't have the best interests of the people in mind, especially considering he got his state into this concocted financial crisis, and apparently doesn't have the brains and/or will to just admit it and reverse the policies.
Jefferson saw capitalism coming and warned against the unrestrained rise of industry and wealth. That is a fact.
He saw the farmer as the ideal of getting value out of your labor. All farmers basically work the same amount and get the same sustenance for their effort. It is the basic standard to measure where freedom actually begins because, above and beyond that basic standard, a person is free to pursue any other form of happiness with additional hard work. Without that standard they are not truly free nor can they persue happiness. When Jefferson spoke of "self sufficiency" he spoke of the farmer getting that consistant value out of his labor, not the guy working for wages.
Jefferson saw citizens being stuck as wage laborers coming and he warned against it. He saw the fluid value of wages as the way that the elites would eventually, once again, take control over people's rights, and liberty. You are less likely to stand up for your own rights or other people's rights if it will effect your ability to provide for yourself. The farmer does not face this threat, he can always use his labor to survive happily so he can then protest or fight. But with wages and the control over them, Jefferson saw a clear path right back to the aristocracy and financial tyranny that they fought to crush and replace in their own day.
Right now the minimum wage is about half as much money as a person needs in society to provide basic sustenance and security for themselves. Right now health care coverage (which protects our health but also protects us from financial ruin) costs AT LEAST as much as the other major expenses in a persons life: transportation and a home. Some say the government is protecting wages and workers with it's labor laws but I suggest that the laws themselves are not enough. They must be laws that work.
When people talk about Jefferson's ideas of freedom, liberty, and limited government, they must be forced to realize that, economically, Jefferson was a socialist. He thought banks and the businesses that rose up around them were more dangerous than standing armies. He saw large collections of wealth as dangerous to democracy and individual liberty. He wanted progressive taxation to discourage large accumulations of wealth and the "transfer of that wealth downward in a benevolant way" He was not against manufacturing but he insisted that any economic system that replaced that farmers value of basic labor for a basic standard of living was dangerous. He felt that a nation of citizens that became dependent on earning wages opened up all kinds of opportunities for corruption and tyranny:
"Such a situation, Jefferson feared, would leave the American people vulnerable to political subjugation and economic manipulation."
This is why we have unions. We may not admit it, but unions are the fulfillment of Jefferson's view that the people must rise up in a common defense against tyranny. It is the "wage earners economic militia" Make no mistake, Jefferson saw aristocracy, manufacturers and banks as potential tyrants who needed to be watched very closely or they would oppress people.
If labor regulations by the powers that be fail to live up to the costs of living free, then the people who wish to live free are obligated to protect themselves by abolishing and/or changing those standards that oppress them.
Unfortunately, I think democracy is already gone, and this is a symptom. For all the good work that is being done by progressives, we are far out-funded by the Koch brothers and really have no voice. Mainstream media is monopolized, as well, so there is no way to inform the general public. Wisconsin's Democratic senators are heros that will be sacrificed. Even Obama has not stood with them. I have a shred of hope that Americans could wake up, but it will probably take extreme poverty of the masses to motivate the populace.
One thing to thank gov walker for is waking up America and the American worker to the fact that they are under attack - literally! On 14 Feb when I heard this lowlife gov brag that he would call his National Guard on his own people, I knew at that moment that this was no ordinary American but a incipient despot! The American people are finally awake to fact to what the repugs are really about - destroying the Democratic Party and breaking the backs of the Unions. Objective - ONE PARTY RULE!
Well true Americans will not let that happen. Unions created the middle class in this country. They fought to create the middle class, and some died for their effort. The majority of Americans today enjoy the rights and benefits that Unions fought for since the turn of the 20th Century. American Workers made the American middle class.
And thank those 14 Democratic Senators from Wisconsin! I have NOT seen this sort of bravery from ANY Democrat in 30 years! I have donated to ActBlue to provide monetary support to these brave Politicians. The rest of America should follow their lead and basically yell from their rooftops - ENOUGH!
loismason That was Yesterday! I for one will not take this laying down. So will millions of other Americans. We no longer can depend on our leaders to protect us. It was organized labor that created the middle class in this country, not our leaders. If not for the Unions, we'd all still be indentured serfs working for less than $1.00 an hour and 80 hour week, if at all!
And those 14 Senators from Wisconsin - TRUE HEROES! Wish we'd all be so brave! See any other politician doing this? NOT! They are all too busy trying to protect their careers!
This I will predict with certainty - gov walker will be recalled once his 1 year is up! And so will a lot other repug senators and representatives from Wisconsin! You can only stomp on people so much and so many times; now we fight back!
Do what unions do best and declare an all out national puplic employee's strike, F-em shut down the country for a week or two... FRANCE ? does that ring a bell, Then centrist Obama would have to get involved.
IN fact I said that on here just a couple days ago.
HOWEVER - just now as I am typing and rethinking it - it would just give the anti-union people that much more ammo against the unions - they would consider the union strikers - terrorists.
Hang in there Governor, Democracy works.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
Despite the fact that Barack Obama carried Wisconsin by 14
points in 2008, the 2010 election was a bloodbath for Wisconsin Democrats.
Scott Walker was elected Governor by with a 52% majority; the state Senate went
from 18 Democrats to 14, and 15 Republicans to 19; the Assembly went from 50
Democrats to 38, Republicans, from 45 to 60.
Now a handful of Union members are trying to overturn the Government
voted in by the majority of Wisconsin Citizens in a legal election. Democracy
Works, and Wisconsin is leading the way.
Just a little know fact to union members: Richard Trumka increased his yearly salary by nearly $74,000—from $165,000 to $238,975— in the last four years. That amounts to a 44 percent salary increase. In addition, Trumka will also get an AFL-CIO pension equal to 60 percent of his top pay.
Richard is the head of the AFL-CIO. How is it that he is representing the middle class worker? So, millions of union dues go to fund political campaigns and to make the union leaders wealthy. Why do union workers stand for this?
bicyclingjroad wrote 2 hours 21 min ago
Good luck with this one! Walker lied to get elected! Now he is facing a 65% electorate that is telling him to leave collective bargaining alone. Come this Dec walker will be re-called by that same electorate that elected him.
Stating that you will balance the budget and create new jobs is one thing - wanting to destroy the middle class and instating a one party rule is another.
This is nothing but far right and fox noise gibberish. And you are doing nothing but repeating the nonsense - or maybe just getting paid for it!
kcee wrote 1 hour 26 min ago
The Koch Brothers make Billions. Why is it that these billionaires are funding gov walker and right wing politicians to eliminate Unions? And why do they still want tax breaks? And why did gov walker give 160 Million in tax breaks to the rich in Wisconsin and now wants the middle class to pay Wisconsin’s debt?
And you worry about a Union leader increasing his wages by 74,000 in four years? What about corporate leaders taking home $100 Million? Or $200 Million?
Secret - WE are not ALL Stupid!! This post of yours is either totally off the wall or you may be getting a lot of $$$ to post it!
It is definitely the beginning of the end of Gov. Walker, not democracy. He has awakened the sleeping giant. There are real moves on the part of many to initiate recalls against the eight Republican state senators who have been on office for more than one year. We're practicing for January 2012 when Walker and the others will also be eligible for recall. You would not believe the energy here in Wisconsin right now. Over the weekend the governor was picketed in Neillsville, WI, the county seat of my strongly Republican county. Wow! Democracy can be FUN, not just work. (And check out the brave Democrats in Indiana, many of whom are taking refuge in Illinois. Maybe they can caucus with the Dems from Wisconsin and get something positive accomplished.) This is definitely the beginning, not the end, of a real Democracy movement.
Why not impeach? Because that would leave his lieutenant governor in place... and she is pretty scary, too. What we want is to recall him as soon as we can in 2012 and to recall the eight Republican state senators NOW who have been in office for more than one year. That should do the trick.
Our democracy is already threatened and the Supreme Court is one of the biggest threats. Weakening and/or eliminating unions is just one battlefield in the attack on the working and middle classes. The corporatization of America and The Second Gilded Age are bipartisan efforts. It's good to see some Dems speak out in favor of unions, but, the party as a whole, seems to be throwing the unions under the bus. There is much more money controlled by the large corporations than in the unions and the Dems want their share. The regressives in both parties are taking us back to The Middle Ages. Instead of bringing other nations up to our standards, we are bringing our standards down to other nations. We need democracy, not corporatocracy.
The Knife is drawn. The line forms on the right, when MAC Heat is back in town. There are no parties, no Republicans nor Democrats. It is now only right or wrong, light or dark, living or dead. Those who still have a soul must choose carefully, for the soul that sinneth, it shall die.
Yes, this very likely will spell the end of democracy in america. The republicons have fox news to serve the message to the drones. It is so powerful a brainwashing that unfortunatly it cannot be broken.
Here is what I am attempting to do to break the fox drone mindmeld:
1. If the drone brings up something about "tax breaks" to "create jobs", I point out that we've lost millions (I believe 22 million) in the last 11 years. It doesn't work. Why keep doing it. They don't have a response to that. The politely shut up, or keep waffling, or change the subject.
2. I tell people to watch what happens to that physical plant at the UW. Here is what will happen - adolph walker will remove that from the current financial one so that he can proceed with "selling it". He will then give it away for pennies on the doller. He will then give out huge tax breaks to corporations (way more than what he took in when he "sold" the physical plant. The UW system will go into debt, and then he'll tell all the state employees to take another $1,000 per month to pay for it, and the UW will go from a world class institution to that of a small private school with no funds. It will happen if this is allowed to go through. It will be devastating, and absolutely none of this needs to happen. Unfortunately, if this does happen, will be way too late. By the time the drones snap out of it, it will be way too late.
Thom, yesterday some right wing tool called into your show and implied that there were signs with Walker with a Nazi moustache, etc. That Is patently UNTRUE!! there are NO SCH posters! WI teachers and public employees are far more educated and sophisticated to lower themselves to such tea-party tactics. Their signs are much more clever such as "Gov Walker, does your wife know you are screwing teachers?" "tea party signs spell-checked for free" "No longer a Republican." Also, protesters are so conscientiousness that when I raised objection to being kept Out of the ASSEMBLY room, I was shooshed for fear Faux News would be "all over it" if there was ANY uproar.
People who are for the union busting in Wisconsin say Walker is not a dictator as he isn't doing this alone; he is working within the sytem with the legislature. Seriously, folks? He is having the Rep. Senators in lock step with him; he is threatening to lay off hundreds and thousands of public employees if the dems don't bow down to this bill; he is refusing to even talk about it with his own party senators, let alone any negotiation with workers or union officials. Then they even stopped a website inside the state capitol that was to let protesters know what is happening. Sounds like dictator to me.
Our 14 senators are our heros. Keep up the good fight out of state and we will keep up the good fight instate. I'm retired law enforcement and will go out every day to protest, no matter how long it takes.
We need to remove this dictator as soon as legally possible. Even if we do it as soon as we can, Wisconsin will have an uphill battle to regain some of what we are losing every day.
Here is what we need to do: We need to organize. It is great that we got all this support. However, if this fizzles, we lose. You and all the listeners knows what will follow.
We need to set up campaigns to recall these republican senators. That's what fox is telling the drones, and they'll attempt to do it insomuch as to actually get recall elections going - why? funding, organizations, and the drone machine. We - we have little or none of that.
One other comment to tell the drones - I had heard on some fox talk show some host saying "walker won with the democratic process, therefore, he needs to stay and have a chance"....... My response - so did hitler. I can't wait to tell a droid that one and see them either sit in silence, attempt to weakly argue or revise history, or change the subject.
If Scott Walker and his cronies win I think this is the beginning of the end of America as we know it. Even if they lose this battle they are not going to give up trying to subjugate the people. When it does happen I wonder if these fascists have thought out their strategy for controlling the most heavily armed civilian population in the world. And Thom is dead wrong if he thinks the military will obey an order to bomb a major city if a full scale revolt was happening. I think everyone in this country is waiting for the spark that will set off a full scale revolt against the government. We all know that they have gone too far with their 'enabling acts', oh i mean patriot acts and stealing all of the countries wealth and telling us to tighten our belts and blaming us for this crisis. The Wisconsin ordeal and yes even the rage of the astroturf teabaggers has been simmering since Bush seized power in his bloodless coup.
@ bicyclingjroad #13
"Now a handful of Union members are trying to overturn the Government"
Uh. . . last estimate I heard 25% of the Wisconsin electorate is a union member. I would say 5-10% more are friends and supporters of that union member. So you're talking about 30-35% of the voters in Wisconsin, not "a handful of union members." On top of that there seems to be a substantial majority of Wisconsnites polled that think the governor and the Republicans are full of crap.
"Democracy Works, and Wisconsin is leading the way."
OMG. Democracy works. Just find a mid term election where the only people who show up are an angry minority, pour millions into electing a Governor and flipping the ledgeslature and POOF, "Democracy works". . now you can do anything you want and everyone should just shut up.
That's not exactly how it works. Remember the fillibuster? Ever wonder why they require a quorum to get laws passed? Ever heard of rules to protect a minority? Ever heard of the first ammendment? Peaceful assembly to redress grievences?
If Michelle Bachman were speaking at this union rally she would be saying "Jefferson told us a little rebellion now and then is a good thing" and everyone on Fox would be cheering.
Welcome to democracy.
Exactly right! I was going to say the same thing until I read your comment. With all of the corporate elite raking in millions of bucks, all the while shipping our jobs overseas, KCEE thinks he/she has made a real dig on a union leader making a few hundred thousand? And it is worth repeating "If not for the Unions, we'd all still be indentured serfs working for less than $1.00 an hour and 80 hour week, if at all!". I think we should probably replace all of those rich criminal heads of corporations, especially the banks, with public officials making a whole lot less and governed by the people rather than a few wealthy greedsters interested only on their personal profits. We need to take this opportunity of world-wide rebellion against greedy and heartless mammons, the gods of greed and avarice, to rebuild and strengthen those institutions, like unions, that make life better for most of us.
It seems to me that you are inconsistent in your opinion about the Supreme Court. You don't like it to be passing laws that are opposed to the democratic consensus, except where you agree with them, suchg as Roe vs Wade and same-sex marriage. I believe that Roe vs Wade has been a disaster for the country, and the political revolution it brought about is the real cause of the discourtesy that we are now urged to disavow.
Before Row vs Wade, the evangelical wing of Christianity was non-political and did not vote, but in response to Roe vs Wade, they started to oranize politically, and their political voice is not like any other. It should be remembered that the Supreme Court and judges in the higher courts that they are usually recruited from all are graduated from a small handful of elite schools that the very rich endowed and continue to endow so that their children don't have to rub shoulders with the hoi poloi, which includes the Evangelicals. How long has it been since a Supreme Court justice has come from a state university, let alone a denominational college? They don't understand the evangelicals, or the lower classes in general, even when they are ostensibly sympathetic to their economic position.
After Roe vs Wade, when the evangelicals began to organize politically, they went to the Democrats, and the Democrats said in effect, "e will look after your economic interests, but in turn you have to yield to us control of the social aganda through our power to select judges." but it was the social agenda that they cared about. So they went to the Republicans, who said, in effect. "If you will accept our economic position we will at least try to give you judges who will take seriously your position on social issues." Which is why the Republicans became so strong.
As for me, I am a small D democrat and believe if the people speak decisively on an issue, the Supreme Court has no moral or constitutional right to overrule them--whatever it is. But the Democrats insist on putting in judges who will enact their social agenda--which they could never get enacted democratically. So what choice to I have. No matter how foolish I think the Republican economic agenda is, I think it is temporary. But if we allow the Democrats to put in judges who will enact the left's social agenda, that becomes permanent. And I'm simply not willing to take the chance..
"But if we allow the Democrats to put in judges who will enact the left's social agenda, that becomes permanent. And I'm simply not willing to take the chance."
Really! So a Dictatorship - One Party Rule - Oligarchy - Plutocracy - Fascist nation is the answer!
The "Left's Social Agenda" happens to be the best policy for the greatest number. That is THE POINT of a Democratic Constitutional government. You do not create laws that favor the minorities but laws that protect them. When the minorities become the power brokers and dictate their beliefs and agendas to the Majorities that is what you call dictatorships.
That is also why we have a separation of State and Church in this country. To keep the minority religions from each others throats! I assume that you have a religion. I also assume that you think it is the TRUE religion. I also assume that ALL other religions are the WRONG religions. And I also assume that if you had the power to do so you would eliminate and destroy all those other religions. That is a fact. And also a fact is that you would try to make that the official religion. With drastic consequences!
As long as we have a Constitution in this country, WE, the people, will live in harmony. Eliminate it and we will quickly be at each others throat in a heartbeat. A fact of history and a fact of life we should all be mindfully aware of.