Friday, March 11, 2011

Let's name what this really is - racism and plutocracy

Okay, let's start with Jon Stewart's 'Moment of Zen' from last night's show:

That's for starters. Be careful who you claim to emulate - can come back to bite you. If Ronald Reagan is your hero, gov, how' bout you quote this? Guess you prefer what he did to PATCO. Sad history, really. Still reverbates.

So let's move on to this article from the Journal Sentinel local section today:

Bus system, county services threatened

If you want to destroy the city of Milwaukee, if you want to erode it's life, send it further into poverty, this is certainly the path to take - and Walker and the Fitzgerald brothers certainly do seem to want to do that.

The times are too urgent to try to avoid the blunt reality of what is going on here. 82% of kids in Milwaukee's public schools live in poverty. They are also overwhelmingly African-American kids.

Another way to accelerate the city's demise - get rid of residency rules for cops, firefighters, and teachers, also on the Walker/Fitzgerald legislative wish-list. This one got a big boost from Republican State Senator Leah Vukmir whose district includes Wauwatosa, the suburb where Walker lives (the one in which I also grew up, so I know of what I write here). As city life deteriorates amidst poverty and gutting of public services, losing more of the middle class to the suburbs will cost the city more in its tax base and a considerable constituency with a stake in the city's welfare.

The urgency of the times means naming this for what it is.  Here's a big part of that story:

From this article in the morning paper:  "...for the first time in the city of Milwaukee, blacks now outnumber whites, and minorities outnumber whites by roughly 2 to 1."
This is my hometown, friends. I know it really, really well. I grew up on Joe McCarthy and Martin Luther King being a scary communist and, when a mixed family dared look at a house for sale across the alley (man from the short-lived nation of Biafra, wife US Caucasian Montessori school teacher, kids beautifully brown), neighbors whispering in the backyards about what they could do to stop them from buying it. (They failed, and for a long time my Mother was one of the few on the block who talked to them).

I know it well. White flight has been going on in my town for a very long time.

And as life in the city deteriorates, what commitment will middle class folks have to rebuild hope in this community?

Let's name it for what it is: the father of the Koch brothers, that would be Fred, was on the governing board of the far, far, far, anti-communist fascist, anti-democratic John Birch Society. Frank Rich described the Koch family background in a column last year. Even if you are not a Rich fan, his facts are, well, facts.

Read more. Learn more - because we must if we are to save our democracy, not just here in Wisconsin, but in our nation. These guys are trying to buy it and bend it to their will. I try not to be extreme.  On the other hand, check out this blog post by a journalist in Florida:

Why is Scott Walker prepared to abandon the state's public schools? Okay, he's being bankrolled in part by the Koch brothers, and as we reported earlier, once he was inaugurated, Koch Industries opened a lobbying office in downtown Madison.  Now read this, from the link above to a blog called, The Reid Report:

When David Koch ran to the right of Reagan as vice president on the 1980 Libertarian ticket (it polled 1 percent), his campaign called for the abolition not just of Social Security, federal regulatory agencies and welfare but also of the F.B.I., the C.I.A., and public schools — in other words, any government enterprise that would either inhibit his business profits or increase his taxes. 
Where does the Walker/Fitzgerald agenda come from? Follow the research on the Koch brothers.

For those who don't know what the John Birch Society is, check out this link. You will learn here that the Society opposes income taxes and wants to repeal civil rights legislation (in case you still aren't sure what this is really about).  I am sad to say that the Society's home is in my state, home of both Joe McCarthy and progressive populist, Fighting Bob Lafollette. That is our cultural bifurcation - been there a long, long time.

We used to be slightly more civil about it - but it always seethed under the surface. The Kochs, Scott Walker and the Fitzgerald brothers are now trying to rule this state. And, friends, that is why the stakes here are so high.

As we just witnessed in the past 48 hours, they will use whatever means they think they can get away with to do to this state what they want to do. They are banking on our becoming riven, demoralized, frustrated, violent - they will try as they can to discredit us. We have only one weapon that can defeat this kind of power grab -

...democracy, our government taken back by the people - of them and for them. This will take great maturity and strength, a refusal to fall for their propaganda, trying to set private sector workers against public, unemployed v. employed, the poor against one another - as they continue to enrich themselves at our expense.

I have a proposal for balancing our budget, keeping government services at a high level, maintaining an experienced public work force, and supporting creation of jobs in local communities for local communities - tax these people who want to steal our state from us - tax them exorbitantly.  And if that means they decide to leave, wave good bye.

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