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Politics, Re-Spun: How the Occupy Movement is Enriching People’s Lives

Imagine an eco-community of micro-homes designed as a first step out of homelessness.

Housing, easy to get into, if people care. Occupy Madison in Wisconsin has come up with an innovative first step of a solution [see below].

These 96 square foot homes are no long term solution, at all. But if you’re . . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: How the Occupy Movement is Enriching People’s Lives

Alberta Diary: Has Alberta pioneered an unlegislated ban on collective bargaining?

“Post-secondary collective bargaining,” Alberta style. Advanced Education Minister Thomas Lukaszuk and a post-secondary employer negotiator rig the deck, foreground, while a faculty association negotiators ponder what’s just happened. Actual Alberta bargaining teams may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: The real Mr. Lukaszuk, former advanced ed minister Steve Khan.

As is well known, . . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Has Alberta pioneered an unlegislated ban on collective bargaining?

RedBedHead: Joy At Republican Humiliation Shouldn’t Make Us Forget The Choices Sucked

I was in a bar/restaurant near my house on election night, trying to get some work done and watching the results come in. At first it seemed like a nail-biter (though I was convinced that it would be a fairly easy sweep for Obama) and people were texting and Facebooking their fear that Romney the . . . → Read More: RedBedHead: Joy At Republican Humiliation Shouldn’t Make Us Forget The Choices Sucked

Alberta Diary: Advice to Alison Redford: Own fair and reasonable, and leave the comedy riffs about Danielle Smith to us bloggers

Yuck! Alberta Opposition Leader Danielle Smith learns about veterinary medicine at the source. Or was this the lesson on Wisconsin’s “grassroots democracy”? Whatever. After that, she had cheese in Wisconsin. Below: Alberta Premier Alison Redford.

I recall hearing somewhere the image experts have come to the conclusion that “if you own fair and . . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Advice to Alison Redford: Own fair and reasonable, and leave the comedy riffs about Danielle Smith to us bloggers

DeSmogBlog: What To Expect When You’re Electing: Representative Paul Ryan

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With the selection of Wisconsin Republican Representative Paul Ryan has his running mate, Mitt Romney has effectively pushed his campaign into the climate change denying fringe. While Romney hasn’t been considered a friend of the environment since he began running for national office, his tendency towards flip-flopping made some of . . . → Read More: DeSmogBlog: What To Expect When You’re Electing: Representative Paul Ryan

DeSmogBlog: Was Scott Walker Chosen to Headline Heartland Institute Gala Due to His Bradley Foundation Ties?

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Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker will keynote the Heartland Institute's 28th Anniversary Benefit Dinner this evening at Navy Pier in Chicago, IL. 

Walker recently won the Kochtopus-funded Americans for Prosperity George Washington Award. Now, two months after his recall election steamrolling of Democrat Tom Barrett, the climate change denying group famous . . . → Read More: DeSmogBlog: Was Scott Walker Chosen to Headline Heartland Institute Gala Due to His Bradley Foundation Ties?

DeSmogBlog: Wisconsin v. Yoder Redux? MN Amish Citizens Revolt Against Frac Sand Mining

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"History," the old adage goes, "repeats itself." And this is precisely the reason why we learn it.

read more

DeSmogBlog: Sand Land: Frac Sand Mining in Western Wisconsin – Video Report by DeSmogBlog

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The rush to drill for unconventional gas, enabled by a process popularly known as "fracking," or hydraulic fracturing, has brought with it much collateral damage. Close observers know about contaminated water, earthquakes, and climate change impacts of the shale gas boom, but few look at the entire life cycle of . . . → Read More: DeSmogBlog: Sand Land: Frac Sand Mining in Western Wisconsin – Video Report by DeSmogBlog

Left Over: Ugh, Wisconsin…any Lessons Learned Here at Home?

I just read that 35% of Wisconsin union members voted for Walker; anyone who thinks that union members here in Canada wouldn’t do the same sot of thing (if they bothered to vote at all, another discussion, I know) doesn’t know union members very well…as a retired union activist who knows full well that even . . . → Read More: Left Over: Ugh, Wisconsin…any Lessons Learned Here at Home?

Art Threat: A doc that makes you want to occupy – We Are Wisconsin at Hot Docs 2012

Yesterday we caught three political docs at Hot Docs, and before I race off to The Law In These Parts, here is the first of many more micro-reviews.

We Are Wisconsin, directed by Aimee Williams, is the first film I’ve seen at the festival that champions activism and calls on the audience to join . . . → Read More: Art Threat: A doc that makes you want to occupy – We Are Wisconsin at Hot Docs 2012

The Disaffected Lib: The Perilous Road Ahead for Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker

Scott Walker’s day of judgment is coming.   Wisconsin’s Government Accountability Board has set June 5th for the special recall election of Walker and five other GOP pols also recalled.

Walker has gone to astonishing lengths to derail the recall and the recall election.  So far he’s struck out every time.

Walker, it seems, is a . . . → Read More: The Disaffected Lib: The Perilous Road Ahead for Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker

DeSmogBlog: ALEC Climate Change Denial Model Bill Passes in Tennessee

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The month of March has seen unprecedented heat and temperatures. A rational thinking, scientifically-grounded individual could only posit, "Well, hmm, I bet climate change has something to do with the fact that in Madison, WI, it is 80 degrees in mid-March. Sometimes it's 60 or 70 degrees colder than this!"

While . . . → Read More: DeSmogBlog: ALEC Climate Change Denial Model Bill Passes in Tennessee

Scott Walker gets mic checked!

From the estimable Brad Blog, I find this video from a speech by Wisconsin governor Scott Walker at a Chicago engagement both amusing and important. We need more of this. Cross Posted at Let Freedom Rain . . . → Read More: Scott Walker gets mic checked!

Scott Walker gets mic checked!

From the estimable Brad Blog, I find this video from a speech by Wisconsin governor Scott Walker at a Chicago engagement both amusing and important. We need more of this. . . . → Read More: Scott Walker gets mic checked!

DeSmogBlog: New Lake Michigan Coal Ash Spill Raises Old Concerns

coal ash spill.jpg On Monday, a bluff surrounding a Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based power plant collapsed, sending a cascade of debris and coal ash waste from the power plant into Lake Michigan. No in… . . . → Read More: DeSmogBlog: New Lake Michigan Coal Ash Spill Raises Old Concerns

Bill Longstaff: Busting the union-busting bills

Anti-union legislation has been all the rage in the U.S. following last November’s election of a number of right-wing governors. Most notorious is Wisconsin’s Scott Walker, infamous for his polarizing union law that strips most public employees of thei… . . . → Read More: Bill Longstaff: Busting the union-busting bills

Blunt Objects: Six Republicans to be Recalled in Wisconsin

Getting away from Dippers, Khadir, and the National Question for a moment, we switch gears to Wisconsin, where you may remember there was a big protest over an anti-union bill, and now-successful recall initiatives (unlike those in BC) which will pave … . . . → Read More: Blunt Objects: Six Republicans to be Recalled in Wisconsin

PoliTeching: New Video Campaign Against WI Gov. Walker’s Supporter – Koch Brothers

Support for campaign against Wisconsin’s governor Scott Walker is increasing after he forced a bill that would remove worker’s bargaining rights. It was seen as an attempt to eliminate worker’s union. Following that, campaigns were launched against the governor’s supporters and campaign contributors, such as Koch Brothers and M&I bank. Wisconsin have similar campaign contribution […] . . . → Read More: PoliTeching: New Video Campaign Against WI Gov. Walker’s Supporter – Koch Brothers

Seeing Red in the Southwest: Tea Party Tyrants

a little coverage for my American friends and worth considering for Canadians……..The elite are delighted with the Wisconsin situation. They rub their hands together gleefully as the last vestiges of the middle class start to tear each other apart. … . . . → Read More: Seeing Red in the Southwest: Tea Party Tyrants

Seeing Red in the Southwest: Tea Party Tyrants

a little coverage for my American friends and worth considering for Canadians……..The elite are delighted with the Wisconsin situation. They rub their hands together gleefully as the last vestiges of the middle class start to tear each other apart. They urge on the vicious comments against the public service sector.For decades the elite have resisted . . . → Read More: Seeing Red in the Southwest: Tea Party Tyrants

punditman: 10 Ways Scott Walker Is Selling Out His Constituents to Corporations

Peacenik read this list of stuff the GOP is doing in Wisconsin and Peacenik realized that there is no common ground. All 10 of these GOP actions are insane. You cannot convince Peacenik otherwise. And Peacenik is certain that you cannot convince Scott Walker that his actions are crazy. Clean drinking water is too much of a burden on who? So in the misguided belief that only in taking actions like the 10 listed here, can the economy be cured and employment return, the GOP is taking society back to a time that is forgotten. Back to the dark ages. What would you do if you lived in Wisconsin. In Ontario, what would you do if the government passed a law that created the likelihood that the Walkerton tragedy would replay itself? Peacenik is not even sure that the regulation of drinking water in Ontario is adequate after Walkerton. What do you do when the government turns its back on the people and acts like there is no common good? Watch Wisconsin. The future is there.

Walker’s assault on public employees is only one part of a larger political program that aims to give corporations free reign in the state.

As the standoff between the Main Street Movement and Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) continues for the twelfth day, much of the media coverage — and anger — from both sides has focused on Walker’s efforts to strip Wisconsin public workers of their right to collective bargaining. But Walker’s assault on public employees is only one part of a larger political program that aims to give corporations free reign in the state while dismantling the healthcare programs, environmental regulations, and good government laws that protect Wisconsin’s middle and working class. These lesser known proposals in the 144-page bill reveal how radical Walker’s plan actually is:

1. ELIMINATING MEDICAID: The Budget Repair Bill includes a little-known provision that would put complete control of the state’s Medicaid program, known as BadgerCare, in the hands of the state’s ultra-conservative Health and Human Services Secretary Dennis Smith. Smith would have the authority to “to override state Medicaid laws as [he] sees fit and institute sweeping changes” including reducing benefits and limiting eligibility. Ironically, during the 1990s it was Republicans, especially former Gov. and Bush HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson, who helped develop BadgerCare into one of the country’s most innovative and generous Medicaid programs. A decade later, a new generation of radical Republicans is hoping to destroy one of Wisconsin’s “success stories.”

Read on…

. . . → Read More: punditman: 10 Ways Scott Walker Is Selling Out His Constituents to Corporations

punditman: 10 Ways Scott Walker Is Selling Out His Constituents to Corporations

Peacenik read this list of stuff the GOP is doing in Wisconsin and Peacenik realized that there is no common ground. All 10 of these GOP actions are insane. You cannot convince Peacenik otherwise. And Peacenik is certain that you cannot convince Scott Walker that his actions are crazy. Clean drinking water is too much . . . → Read More: punditman: 10 Ways Scott Walker Is Selling Out His Constituents to Corporations

punditman: Chomsky: Only a Massive Uprising Will Change Our Politics

Are there enough progressives to stage a mass uprising in the U.S.A? Wisconsin seems to be the test. And in Wisconsin a majority of the citizens apparently elected a Republican/Tea Party dominated legislature. The eviseration of the labour movement in Wisconsin, and in your state or province might just be done democratically. That one percent of the U.S. that controls over 99 percent of the wealth, seems to have convinced the 99 percent that that is a normal and just state of affairs. Is this the last gasp of the labour movement in the U.S. (and soon in Canada), or is it the beginning of a re-birth. Peacenik is not feeling good about what is going down in Wisconsin. Editorials about Tea Party over-reach are not going to get it done. This is the pitch fork moment. But wait, who is on Dancing with The Stars. And did J-Lo really cry on American Idol this week. Is Charlie Sheen finished? Will Lindsay go to jail?

Chomsky: “What has to be done is what’s happening in Madison, or Tahrir Square. If there’s mass popular opposition, any political leader is going to have to respond.

NOAM CHOMSKY: We were talking about unions before. Union busting is criminal activity by the government, because they’re saying, “You can go ahead and do it; we’re not going to apply the laws,” effectively. And the COINTELPRO, which you mentioned, is actually the worst systematic and extended violation of basic civil rights by the federal government. It maybe compares with Wilson’s Red Scare. But COINTELPRO went on from the late ’50 right through all of the ’60s; it finally ended, at least theoretically ended, when the courts terminated it in the early ’70s. And it was serious.

It started, as is everything, going after the Communist Party, then the Puerto Rican Independence Party. Then it extended—the women’s movement, the New Left, but particularly black nationalists. And it ended up—didn’t end up, but one of the events was a straight Gestapo-style assassination of two black organizers, Fred Hampton and Mark Clark, literally. The FBI set up the assassination. The Chicago police actually carried it out, broke into the apartment at 4:00 in the morning and murdered them. Fake information that came from the FBI about arms stores and so on. There was almost nothing about it. In fact, the information about this, remarkably, was released at about the same time as Watergate. I mean, as compared with this, Watergate was a tea party. There was nothing, you know?

Read on…

. . . → Read More: punditman: Chomsky: Only a Massive Uprising Will Change Our Politics

punditman: Chomsky: Only a Massive Uprising Will Change Our Politics

Are there enough progressives to stage a mass uprising in the U.S.A? Wisconsin seems to be the test. And in Wisconsin a majority of the citizens apparently elected a Republican/Tea Party dominated legislature. The eviseration of the labour movement in Wisconsin, and in your state or province might just be done democratically. That one percent . . . → Read More: punditman: Chomsky: Only a Massive Uprising Will Change Our Politics

punditman: Wisconsin’s Political Crisis Is A Good Deal More Serious Than Its Fiscal Crisis

Peacenik thinks that if public sector collective bargaining can be destroyed in Wisconsin, then public sector collective bargaining can be destroyed anywhere in North America, including Canada. There are lots of movies about the development of unions in North America. Watch one. It was a tough battle. And now after years of having the right . . . → Read More: punditman: Wisconsin’s Political Crisis Is A Good Deal More Serious Than Its Fiscal Crisis