Saturday, February 19, 2011

Setting Our (Alt)House in Order

(Photo: Ann Althouse)

(By American Zen's Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari Goldstein.)

Can you feel the intoxicating whiff of anarchy and open rebellion in the air? It's OK to admit it. The prospect of chaos is exciting to most of us, we who find it a little harder each morning to get out of bed and face a world locked up in its own stupidity and mean-spiritedness.

On January 28th, I wrote,
The world is indeed changing and not necessarily for the worst. I see the Tunisian, Egyptian and Yemenese protesters, I remember the protesters in Iran, Mexico and Kenya and I see hope that the eternal flame of the human demand of freedom is far from extinguished. In the meantime, I wait and wonder when the day will come when the United States finally gets meaningfully involved in a worldwide cause that's even larger than national corporate interests.

Well, it can't be said that public union workers in Wisconsin are getting "meaningfully involved in a worldwide cause". Their focus is necessarily parochial. But it's a start. Or, as Tobin Harshaw asks in today's NY Times, is this "Cairo in the Midwest?"

Indeed, it seems as if Wisconsin is tearing itself apart in masochistic self-recrimination for voting out a liberal stalwart like Russ Feingold while voting in a right wing lunatic like Scott Walker as their new Governor. Personally, I can't understand the sticker shock. It's not as if Republican vampires such as Walker and Chris Christie, who's leading his own war against teachers in New Jersey, got elected by wooing public unions. And, as the old Watergate-era political saw goes, "follow the money" if you want an idea of what these lunatics will do once they take their greasy paws off the Bible. But don't believe me: Listen to what Andy Kroll of MoJo says:
Walker's plan to eviscerate collective bargaining rights for public employees is right out of the Koch brothers' playbook. Koch-backed groups like Americans for Prosperity, the Cato Institute, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and the Reason Foundation have long taken a very antagonistic view toward public-sector unions. Several of these groups have urged the eradication of these unions. The Kochs also invited (PDF) Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, an anti-union outfit, to a June 2010 confab in Aspen, Colorado; Mix said in a recent interview that he supports Governor Walker's collective-bargaining bill. In Wisconsin, this conservative, anti-union view is being placed into action by lawmakers in sync with the deep-pocketed donors who helped them obtain power. (Walker also opposes the state's Clean Energy Job Act, which would compel the state to increase its use of alternative energy.) At this moment—even with the Wisconsin uprising unresolved—the Koch brothers' investment in Walker appears to be paying off.

Inexplicably popular Republican gargoyles such as Ann Althouse, a Wisconsin native, have already swooped down on the protesters and gleefully painted them with the wide liberal hypocrite brush simply because they were protesting the draconian policies of their new right wing governor. Althouse's main piece of evidence for this shocking revelation of hypocrisy stems from a couple of ill-advised yet not altogether inaccurate Hitler signs at the protests. One would think that Althouse, technically a law professor, would have a little sympathy for her fellow educators and their concerns about having their collective bargaining rights arbitrarily stripped from them in a rash wave of "emergency legislation."

Althouse apparently never thought to ask any of the protesters in Wisconsin if they were Republican voters and just assumed they were all pot-smoking Feingold lapdogs. But then again, this is the same Ann Althouse who'd achieved fame by hallucinating the word "nigger" in a child's pajamas in a Hillary Clinton campaign ad and speculated that Jose Padilla was made to wear goggles so he wouldn't blink coded messages to his cohorts in al Qaida. (Why this neolithically stupid, stupid woman continues to get massive linkage in the NY Times, the Daily Dish and elsewhere is a mystery that perhaps only fellow space and oxygen thief Sarah Palin can answer.)

Serfing USA

"Do not remember that I steered us into the iceberg. But here's an anchor since we're using all the life preservers."

The Republican Two Step consists of taking one step back, then another one waaay back into the Middle Ages, especially as regards public and private unions. The conservative agenda is as transparent as the slime they leave in their wake: To wreck the economy then take away an organized and united voice, hence collective bargaining, and to pay these people what they think they deserve, which is peanuts. This Irwin Allen-style legislation has, of course, a veneer of fiscal responsibility, the one eerily repeated by the Obama administration: Shared Sacrifice.

But the shared sacrifice called for by Kennedy in his inaugural and the shared sacrifice called for by Obama, and all the Republicans who've also nodded and winked to Wall St., the Koch Brothers and Goldman Sachs, are two entirely different things. Ronald Reagan just wanted America to go back to the 50's, minus the 90% tax rate. The Young Guns of the GOP, led by Christie, Walker, et. al. want to do better than that: They want to set America back to the 20's and beyond, to a time when there were no unions, no child labor laws, no woman's suffrage, a bygone day and age typified by duels and public executions. In short, the Republican agenda is to weaken this country by outsourcing as many jobs as possible, leaving behind a workforce of latter-day serfs with no say as to workplace safety, wages, job security, health care, pensions or any negotiation powers whatsoever. If that sounds like an oversimplification, then take a look around you and then tell me what the logical outcome, the nth degree would be were all this disaster economics to get more than a toe-hold in this country.

The mainstream media, typically, get it wrong when covering the riots in Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, Yemen, Libya, Bahrain, etc. The one thing it consistently gets wrong by omission is telling us not only why so many countries in northern Africa and the Middle East are erupting but in drawing a necessary corollary:

The rioters and protesters, who are invariably referred to by the MSM as "anti-government" as if they're wild-eyed, simple-minded, bomb-throwing anarchists with no interest in democracy, are rioting for reasons other than a thirst for a democratic process. They're also rioting over scare jobs, scarce money, scarce necessities such as food and clean, potable drinking water.

We're not at the point where we start rioting over food and clean water but where the people of Tunisia and Egypt are now is where right wing nation killers like Walker and Christie want to put us. You want to look at our future under Republican governance, look no further than the theocratic police states of the third world of North Africa and the Middle East, a Third World that has an even smaller middle class than us, in which the poor live practically side by side with royalty and oligarchs like Mubarak.

So if we're going to protest with our long-lost, estranged brothers and sisters in north Africa and the Middle East, I'd say better now than later, before we, too, are reduced to throwing rocks and desperately hoping for the best. We still have a long way to go since we bundle up and stave off the cold with hot cups of Vanilla Chai from the corner Dunkin' Donuts and get back home before the next American Idol. But it's a start.


  1. I've been keeping an eye an the ALthouse shit fer blog also. Funny, she only implies her right wing support with snarky, passive aggressive swipes at the protesters. What she does not do is openly take a side, all the while being an obvious teabagger. True moral cowardice.

  2. "You want to look at our future under Republican governance, look no further than the theocratic police states of the third world of North Africa and the Middle East"

    What a steaming pile of thoughtless rhetoric. You should get out more.

  3. Mr. Backward: Typical right wing response. I guess you didn't click on the links. The blue, underlined words aren't put there to complement the black background. Sometimes, they actually contain information and help provide context.

  4. I don't agree with her, but please, don't call Althouse stupid. Comparing her to Palin is a stretch--I've had her for a professor, and while she's completely loopy in her teaching style, she's also brilliant. When it comes to Constitutional Law, there are few who know it as well as Ann Althouse.

  5. Sorry but the proof's in the pudding. Who else but an idiot like Althouse would imagine seeing "nigger" in a child's pajamas and theorize that Jose Padilla would send coded blinked messages to al Qaida? That bespeaks a certain kind of stupidity that tragically transcends mere "loopiness."

  6. I don't care what happens, fuckhead, but I will not be ruled by the left. You assholes are on the decline, enjoy your last gasps.

  7. "On the decline"? Who owns the WH? Who owns the Senate? I'd hardly call that a decline, sport. Besides, nobody on our side wants to rule anyone, which is more than I can say about your right wing zealots who shout down, censor, threaten and, in many, many documented cases, kill those who don't agree with you.

  8. I am quite in favor of public executions, and plenty of them.

  9. What you describe is the SEIU.

    Your a liar, like most of the professional left, to borrow a phrase from Obongo's former propagandist Gibbs.

    The difference is they get paid to do so, you are what is known as a useful idiot.

  10. Obongo? Gee, that wasn't racist at all.

    Better to be a useful idiot than a useless one like Althouse.

    And it's spelled "Y-o-u-r-e". It's a contraction, kind of like the contractions you and Althouse and your ilk get between your jug ears when you deliver a stillborn thought.

  11. Yup, Obongo. I don't give a flying fuck what you think, nobody else does, either.

    Nobody changes anyones mind, dickwad.

    Posting at your little piece of the internet is just because I like to tell the left they suck. I am sure you hear it everyday.

    I am jonesin' for Walker to hold fast and bust these criminals.

    I have arranged to pay such a pittance in property tax, it's hardly noticeable, so I don't really have a dog in this fight.

    But, I am still pissed for getting the shaft in the past. Screw 'em, Governor.

  12. Oh yeah, the left got it's ass kicked across the country. The only reason the left still has the WH is 'cause he wasn't up.

    How many total seats in statehouses and governorships lost to the right? 500 was it?

    Hang tight, the job will get finished in 2012.

  13. Gee, I seem to recall hearing a different tune when you racist fucks got your pasty white asses handed back to you back in '06 and especially in '08, to the good ole days when the GOP had shriveled down to a regional rump minority party.

    You guys have got to understand that there's a world o' difference between people voting for you and voting against the other party. Let's not forget the Titanic School of Economic Thought that got us into this mess in the first place. It was the Republican Party, the Party that produced "Deficits Don't Matter" Dick Cheney. If it wasn't for Republican policies, including that of deregulation, then the disaster economics that are looking better and better today wouldn't be "necessary."

    And, if you don't have a dog in the fight, then shut the fuck up and stop calling public union employees "criminals" just for demanding that their collective bargaining power not be compromised. We all have a dog in the fight if our police, firefighter and other public service unions are forced to make cutbacks in services. And that goes for Wisconsin, New Jersey and everywhere that unions are being threatened by corporately-backed right wing nutjobs like Walker.

  14. LoL, funny how things change, huh?

    Now that the dems have had a few years to demonstrate what assholes they are, the country is done with them, except for morons in Massachusetts.

    These public unions ARE criminal, because they exchange votes and support for higher wages and cadillac healthcare and unsustainable pensions.

    Yeah, they get the laws passed by people that OWE them, to make it legal, but everyone knows it is a crooked deal.

    They are tied up with the dems as surely as thieves are tied up with their fence -the relationship is the same.

    And I don't care at all about the Republicans; they are only useful because they oppose the commie leftist democrats...we could use a few more parties, as far as I am concerned.

    These punks could be replaced tomorrow, for half the wages they are getting...and that may be what happens.

  15. Timothy DannenhofferFebruary 19, 2011 at 5:50 PM

    Hey moron chickenshit anonymous -

    NONE of this would be a problem if we taxed the rich the way they were before Reagan.

    YOU may like working for Walmart wages so that people like the Waltons - the Walmart owners you MORON - can be worth like 40 Billion each - but not everyone does.

    Your MORON conservatives will get their way and they'll come after YOU and you'll be FUCKED or they will piss too many people off and ignite this place -

    EITHER WAY - you're a fucking loser.

  16. Fuckhead Timmy - Suck it, pissboy. I don't give a shit what you think, libby. AMF.

  17. Analnonymous, you're an easy one to read. A lifelong bootlicker who has never possessed the balls to stand up for yourself. Someone who, in a pathetic effort to justify their abject existence, is reduced to making derogatory comments about their superiors.

    While your actions do, at times, succeed in irritating us. We always, after the proper reflection, come to understand that you are not to be hated, but pitied.

    In all probability, you will of course deny this truth and respond with another of your witless comments. But in spite of that, you can rest assured, we hear your cry for recognition and you have our continued pity.

  18. Actually, my tea-stained friend, all of New England made a clean sweep and kicked your fat, pasty asses during the '10 midterms. Maybe there's something in the water in the Quabbin reservoir that makes us immune to the effects of tea and Koolaid.

    Still, it must be an object of pride that your chosen party can once again rise to momentary prominence without the aid of a single workable solution or idea besides "Keep your gubmint hands off my Medicare!" and "Show us the birth certificate!". Bravo.

  19. Ah, all the faggot lib boys are in fine fettle, lol.

    Look, here is what is going to happen: the criminal deals between the dems and the unions are going to be dismantled to some degree, because that is what the people want, as they indicated in November.

    I understand that you fuckheads don't like democracy when it doesn't serve your commie purpose, but it sure looks like some states are going to smack the progressive agenda back.

    And it's about time.

    If Walker is able to get this through and it spreads to other states like Ohio, the dems money machine is going to be impaired for 2012.

    Why the state would ever agree to collecting union dues for the union is an example of the criminal relationship between dems and unions.

    How many dem senators are up in 2012? 23, was it?.

  20. Oh and TD....take a sweet suck, tough guy.

  21. Anal, Anal, Anal, you poor thing. We know you can't help yourself, so don't worry you still have our pity.

  22. More Republican homophobia and right wing talking points.

    Look, Walker won by 5 points. That's hardly what I call a mandate. The people who voted for that lunatic Governor of yours, like you, don't have a dog in the fight. If they were public union workers, they obviously wouldn'tve voted for him. So stop saying it's what the people wanted. It's what a misinformed, marginal majority wanted.

    The firemen and policemen, whose unions wouldn't be affected by the bill, are supporting the public workers in Madison. They were tasked with going after the state Democrats when they left the state house and took their quorum with them and the police refused.

    Your tea bagger governor just made himself a lame duck one termer.


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