Thursday, February 17, 2011


The news from Wisconsin today has me trembling. It's all I can do to not jump in the car and drive to Madison and join the protests.

Huge crowd of people packing the Wisconsin State Capitol rotunda
From the Twitter feed of brentghode, this photo by Tom Lynn of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

What is the country coming to? Repeal the right to collectively bargain for anything but wages? So teachers wouldn't be able to bargain on their working conditions? Snow plow drivers wouldn't be able to bargain on their hours? Benefits rates or required payments for benefits could be set at will by the state, in effect cutting salaries?

And the National Guard might be called out, with a strike by prison guards mentioned as a scenario where that could happen, but not as the only instance?

Did the governor even ask the unions to sit down at the table and discuss like adults? No. He just moved to preemptively abolish their collective action.

The only hope I see in all this is that people will be so outraged that it might end in backlash against this retrograde agenda.


Another story that had me trembling in outrage this week:

Don Shelby (of all people!) writing on MinnPost about the loony guy heading the Minnesota House committee that deals with climate change issues. Oh. My. God. A few choice quotes from this person who was elected in my state:

"It is the height of hubris to think we could [do anything to destroy the planet]."

"God is not capricious. He's given us a creation that is dynamically stable. We are not going to run out of anything."


This story didn't make me tremble, but I hope lots of people would see it, so here's my plug for Steve Berg (also on MinnPost) pondering why Americans seem to be so unbothered by our rapidly increasing income inequality.

I've written before about the Gini Coefficient and the fact that Americans generally prefer a more equal system, and I share Berg's consternation. The comments that follow his post illustrate (in a civil way, considering they are blog comments) the great divide between people in our country.


I haven't had time to read most of my daily papers this week. Imagine the outrages I have avoided.

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