Category Archives: The Wisconsin Revolution

Let’s Get Some Things Straight (Purple Rayne)

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PictureFact…Divide and Conquer. Workin’ better than ever. They press a few buttons and watch the little people do their work for them. It was a brilliant tactic with labor issues and now it is effective with the Mary Burke take-down  They are sitting back, eating their Vossy popcorn and laughing at the spectacle they have created. 

Instead of looking toward an ultimate common goal, instead of embracing differences, instead of having some patience and open minds – we have turned the guns onto ourselves. And if we don’t get our shit together, once that trigger is pulled, we will see another four years of irreversible TEA Party damage. 

Fact…There will be primaries. Please stop wetting yourselves. As you can see HERE, there are already several registered candidates for the 2014 Governor’s race. 

Can we PLEASE stop this moaning and demand for a primary? There WILL be a primary.

Fact…You can vote for whomever you like. If I hear one more time that the DPW or Progressive’s United or EMILY’s List or Joe Friggin Shmoe on Facebook is forcing you to vote for a particular candidate – I AM GOING TO SCREAM. No one is forcing you to do anything. Nothing is being shoved anywhere. This complaint is reminiscent of the irrational tantrums of a toddler.

Okay, so let’s put it this way: a lot of people watch The Walking Dead. People talk about it everywhere you go. There are memes all over Facebook and it often trends on Twitter. People like it. People talk about it. Let’s say you do not watch it. Therefore you have no interest in those tweets or memes. Are you going to spend your day bitching because other people like something you do not? If you do not eat meat, are you going to demand that restaurants take it off their menus?

You don’t like it? Don’t watch it. Don’t eat it. Don’t vote for it. Quit acting like such a goddamn victim.

See the rest of the story HERE

 

Tanya Bjork: More to Know (from Purple Rayne)

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PictureIn the past of couple of weeks, Tanya Bjork, current advisor for the Burke for Governor campaign, has come under fire from typically Progressive-friendly bloggers and the Facebook peanut gallery. While the right and responsibility to critique and question certainly plays a role not only in journalism, but also in democracy – I have to admit I am quite disheartened by the way this woman has been torn apart in such a public way. 

Tanya has worked tirelessly for over 20 years promoting Progressive causes. Not only has her work been thrown into the battlefield, so has her personal life. From her marriage to ethics – she has been exposed by a one-sided publicly visual microscope. And I thought it was time to open the lens and give another side to the story.

See the rest of the story HERE

 

My New Site: Purple Rayne

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Purple RayneI have been blogging for about 8 years and writing since I can remember. I am not formally trained but it is a passion of mine and it provides a cathartic release. I initially wrote about personal topics. But I became increasingly interested and involved in the political world. I would write about everything and anything on my site Ramblings of a Neurotic Housewife.

Since I started writing more about political issues, I decided it was time to start a site devoted to those topics. I will still have the other blog to ramble on about everything else. But this will be my new home for politics and social subjects. 

In 2011, I started getting heavily involved on local politics during the Wisconsin Recall effort. Soon after, I joined the Democratic Party of Racine County. I have been Secretary for DPRC for over a year and have recently been named Events Chair. 

For a long time, I refused to call myself a Democrat. I resented the forced two party system and want to claim my independence from that kind of structure. I learned after a while that the term “Democrat” was not a bad word and it is what you make it. 

I don’t have to agree with all other Dems. Progressives are free-thinking, we don’t typically follow blindly. If I disagree with an elected Dem, I will say so. I am not in a cult and I still have that rebellious girl inside. But I could see that my beliefs and principles followed Democratic values. I could see that these are the people I want to help elect. I could see that, like it or not, this is the playing field and Democrats work for the issues I care about. 

I have been called a liberal and a socialist. And quite frankly, I do not take offense to that. If being compassionate, rational, benevolent, logical, helpful and kind makes me those things – then I will surely embrace those attempted insults.

In the past few years, we have watched as the right move further and further to the fringe. And with an endless bankroll and media loyalty, they have been able to take over in a way that is terrifying. And this is happening tenfold in our beloved Wisconsin. Because of the right moving so far to the extreme, it is my desire to lasso the center and make sure it does not move with them. 

What used to be “liberal” causes (gay rights, healthcare, women’s rights, etc) are now mainstream. And this is why I think we are succeeding at redefining the center. If we can maintain common sense and basic human rights as the far right wing begins to fall off their cliff of greed – then let us be purple. We will take this new shade and make it our own. We will not give up on the people and their ability to simply know what is right. 

They will not take our center. The purple will be our’s. 

I hope you enjoy my new site, Purple Rayne.

Dear Progressives: Please Excuse My Rant

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My Progressive peeps are restless. Many of them are angry. Many bitter. And many may just get Scott Walker and friends re-elected in 2014. This makes me fearful and sad and most of all, frustrated. I write this as I cringe because I know it will piss off some people I sincerely like and respect. But I just cannot hold my tongue.

I understand where some of this animosity is coming from – right or wrong. I get the internal hatred of a forced two-party system. I see the need so many have to stick with their activist roots and fight against the power – on either side.

Do you think I agree with everything our state party decides? Do you think I am lock step in every word coming out of POTUS’ mouth? Do you think I am a blind follower? I am not. But I am also not living in unicorn, rainbow, lala-land either. We. Must. Get. REAL.

In 2010, our country and state were turned inside out and it revealed the ugly gross guts and gore of individuals, politicians and ideals. The TEA Party took over the Republican Party and turned the game into a fucking bloodbath. The goal lines were changed, the rule books – out the window and the players turned the fans into pissed off mobs.

The good news? Their stamina is fading. The TEA Party is finding it more difficult to live amongst moderates and people with common sense and half a brain. There is descent on the other side and soon the extremists will begin to lose steam. And why is this? Because most people are closer to the middle than living on the fringe. And guess what, people…this is true for both sides.

We as Progressives need to realize and remember that people are elected by the masses. Because of that, candidates must appeal to the masses – even (and especially) when the masses are ill-informed, uneducated and un-involved. Most people do not watch WisEye. Most people cannot even tell you who their Representatives and Senators are – not to mention the confusion with redistricting.

You can bitch about the state party, Mike Tate and other party leaders all you want. You can stomp your feet and throw tantrums. But that will not get these fuckers out of office. This will not protect our land, our rights, our safety.

It would be glorious if we lived in world where money didn’t matter. Where elections were not purchased. Where we agreed 100% with even one legislator. And yes, it would be great if third, fourth or fifth parties could offer viable candidates. But 99% of the time, that just ain’t gonna happen. Not now. We are just not that politically evolved. And we will never be while we are busy fighting for basic rights and reasonable laws.

The next couple years are so heartbreakingly crucial. The fight we jump into cannot be against one another. We don’t have the time. We don’t have the money. We don’t have enough of an educated public. I am truly sorry about that. But that is the truth.

We are looking at matters of life and death, guys. Healthcare, hunger…our basic needs and rights are being stripped moment by moment. And we have ONE year to start making changes that are so very necessary. This is not the time for egocentric bullshit. This is not the time to whine. We have to play the game how it is set up in order to be able to stay on the field so that we CAN move forward and make the changes some of you are demanding in the future.

I am not saying you have to be a good soldier and nod your head and mindlessly follow and agree with everything the Democrats say and do. That is what makes us different from them. What I am saying is that while fires are being started in our own camps – we are losing the chance to put out the fire that will soon burn down our entire state.

You’re still pissed about the recall? Get over it. You hate the DPW leadership? Work with your local party to make change from within. You want to start a new party and change the landscape? Do NOT do it at the expense of all of us by losing the next election.

No. The state party probably won’t be excited to help some lunatic, fringe candidate who doesn’t have a chance in hell at winning. Resources are limited and waste is stupid. Your candidate has a criminal record? Well, sorry. But how do you expect the party to throw money and support in front of a moving truck? We need candidates who can win. Period. Does that seem unfair? Sure as shit it does. But those are the facts, Jack.

Candidates are elected by the majority. And as right as I know you believe yourself to be (and perhaps you really are), that simply doesn’t change the fact that people vote by what their TVs tell them. They vote for candidates who take good pictures, who speak well, who seem like every day people. They vote for intelligence and experience. If dedication and integrity were all that was needed to win elections, we wouldn’t be where we are right now. And right now we NEED to win in 2014. Got it?

(Be angry with me if you wish. But this truly was written out of passion, concern and love.)

Hey Wanggaard, Rip the Band-aid Off Already – Patch

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Senator Mark Miller was recently quoted as saying, “Senator-elect Lehman won by more than 800 votes. It is time for Senator Wanggaard to concede and let the voters of the 21st Senate District have the Senator they chose. Any attempt to delay with court cases is irresponsible and a waste of time and money, not to mention a denial of democracy.”

I could not agree more.

As most of you probably know, John Lehman won the recall election on June 5, won (again) once the canvass was complete and yet again when the recount commenced on Monday. I think it is time to stop beating a dead elephant.

Wanggaard and posse are claiming voter fraud and dragging Racine through the mud as they do it. Lehman said they are “insulting” Racine and that is exactly what they are doing.

According to Wanggaard’s attorney, Jonathan Strasburg, Fidel Castro would blush at our election procedures. Really? Does this kind of hyperbole really still work on people?? Strasburg is basically claiming that Racine is filled with incompetent idiots and that our poll workers, city administration and processes are either inept or maniacal.

It has been claimed that there is suspicion in regards to unorganized poll books, torn ballot bags and loss of signatures. The assertion that anything more than simple human error – which is prevalent in every election; this one just happened to be examined with a fine toothed comb – is ridiculous and yes, insulting.

I sat on a hard plastic chair for hours at City Hall the day after the election. I was there to oversee the changing of the torn ballot bags. In each occurrence, the Chief Inspector was called down to sign and witness the contents (still in the mostly sealed old bags) being placed into a second sealed bag. It couldn’t have been more on the up-and-up.

There were no instances of even the possibility of ballot tampering. Not to mention, the totals were already recorded by the machines – ballot tampering at that point would have certainly not been worth the risk, not mention pointless.

And there is indeed a risk. Republicans would like us to believe that the Voter ID Law would swoop in with a cape and a sword and defend the people from rampant fraud. You see, voter fraud, with or without the voter ID law carries some pretty hard core penalties. I find it impossible to believe that the Democratic Party would or could wrangle up enough mustache-twisting conspirators to pose as poll workers all day just to mess with a few ballots and risk federal felony charges. And LIBERALS are too Hollywood??

I was also present when these Inspectors were made to go to the courthouse last week to be interrogated by Strasburg. I will not be surprised if they never choose to work any future elections. Their integrity and intelligence were being questioned in front of a room filled with people, cameras and recorders. I was repulsed.

Do I even need to go into all the complaints made by poll workers against GOP advocates? Need I mention out-of-state observers starting trouble with voters in an already hectic situation? Should we talk about the harassment of union and democratic supporters while they were merely attempting to LEGALLY vote?

Some of you may claim that we were cowbell ringing crybabies for losing in 2010. Some of you may state that the recall elections (some of which, by the way, were also initiated by the GOP) were an exorbitant waste of time and money. Some of you have said that the voters spoke and we should have just accepted that. Well, I will lend you my cowbell (kidding, I never had one). If you want to protest, protest. If you want to recall, recall. But just like I still have to call Scott Walker “Governor” – you now have to call John Lehman “Senator.”

Throwing out red herrings, using this election process as a means to advertise the Voter ID agenda and crying wolf in order to delay is only prolonging the inevitable and wasting the time and energy of a lot of people. Telling Wisconsin that Racine has incompetent election procedures and making us look inadequate while no real evidence has been established doesn’t seem like a great way to win back voters. And besides, it’s just bad form.

Wanggaard said he was going to spend a few days reviewing and speaking to his supporters and family before deciding on which step to take next. Well, Van, I hope the fireworks sparked some reason within you and that you have finally decided to concede. It is time. And peeling off this bandage so slowly is only pluckin’ out those ‘lil hairs, sir. Rip off the bandage and let’s be done with it already.

 

http://mountpleasant.patch.com/groups/opinion/p/just-rip-off-the-band-aid-already

 

Looking for a New Pair of Shoes – Patch

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Well this is it, people. My last commentary before the recall. Heck, maybe you will all get lucky and never see the word ‘recall’ in my column again. (Hearty chuckle) Okay, sorry, probably not the very LAST time… But soon enough I can try to inch my way back to humor and non-political pieces and won’t THAT be refreshing?

SO…what can I say after 18 months of life changing, eye opening revelations, disappointments, experiences and triumphs? about how and when I became involved in the recall process. I have shared my experiences with becoming a more involved citizen and my evolution into a more active member of society instead of merely a lazy complainer.

I have attended rallies, protests, fundraisers, debates…all events which were off my radar before February of 2011. In the past month, I have volunteered more hours than I have in my entire life. And while I am tired, a bit more stressed and see my family a little less – I know it is all more than worth it.

Soon we will all be free of the political calls, mailings, and incessant television commercials. Soon we slowly start discussing things which have nothing to do with budgets or bills or banging drums. Soon we will link arms and sing around the campfire with gooey feelings of utter respect, forgiveness and compassion. Right? RIGHT?? Sorry, my inner naive child tends to rear her fantasy-like ideals when she is lacking sleep.

I admit though, I often wonder how we can truly repair the damage which has been cast upon our state and the people within. Can we mend the fences which have been torn down and start dismantling ones which have been erected? Will those friends we lost on Facebook pop back into our scope? Will family dinners be less combative? Will online commenters (cough, cough) return to a space of civility?

So what’s next – what will happen after Tuesday?

Fast forward to current day….

Confused? I started writing this piece shortly before the election. I had become so entrenched with volunteering for the campaigns that I simply never finished writing. And clearly, it has taken me some time to get back into the swing of things as I muddle through my emotions.

Not only did I take a writing break, many things took a backseat in the recent past. My house was a little messier. And I had stopped my exercise routine; yet somehow still managed to lose 6 pounds…I guess I forgot to eat too.

I met so many wonderful people. Gobs of them. I can’t believe these people have existed in my geographical area all this time and I hadn’t left the house enough to notice! I learned so much about the political psychology and processes. I have learned how critical volunteering truly is to elections. And I have learned that some things are worth losing for. (Yes, I still shudder at the thought of losing…hell, I AM human!!)

Have I noticed a change in anything in the last 10 days? Are people being kinder, gentler, and more respectful? Nah. At least I don’t think so. Perhaps I need to give it more time…let the storm settle a while longer.

Being in Racine lends itself to a unique perspective from the rest of the state right now. While many of us are sad that our recall efforts were not quite successful in the gubernatorial race…we sure had an important win with John Lehman.

I organized the election night party (food, drinks, decorations and what not) at “Lehman Headquarters”. I was able to stay away from TVs and the news most of the night because I was so incredibly busy. But as the night began to die down and after Barrett conceded…it was time for a seat, a cry and some potato chips.  Most were ready to throw in the towel. But my gut kept reminding me, “Hey, this isn’t over for John…just you wait.” And I repeated that to a few others with a nervous smile.

Well, low and behold…late in the night (or early in the morning I should say)…some familiar faces emerged from a back room with toothy grins and tired eyes. We did it. We friggin’ did it. Seven hundred some votes (now, eight hundred something)…Racine prevailed.

I returned home after everyone was sleeping to find a homemade condolence card from my daughter lying on my pillow. And the next day she proudly informed me, “Lehman won, though, Mom!” That is when I realized how it really was all worth it. We have one more person to stand up for us, for my kids, for our community. We have a great group of people in Racine who work ENDLESSLY to help the right people get elected. We have lived experiences many out there will never know. Worth it. Worth it. Worth it.

As I begin to step back in those shoes I used to wear every day, I am noticing they don’t fit quite so right anymore. I have changed. My expectations have changed. And I am pretty sure my future has changed. I think I will be in need of a new pair of shoes…

 

http://mountpleasant.patch.com/groups/opinion/p/looking-for-a-new-pair-of-shoes

 

Vote for Lehman – The Only Choice – Patch

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There isn’t much mystery in for whom I will be voting on June 5th in the Senate Race… And being so – HOLY COW – amazingly close to Election Day, I would be remiss to pass up this opportunity to lay out my motivations and reasoning for choosing John Lehman and why I think you should do the same. (P.S. It has nothing to do with being cool just like me…that is merely an added benefit.)

As you can see in one of the photos with this piece – I have been a John Lehman supporter for quite a long time.  And his loss in the last election was a painful one. However, we have dusted off and Van Wanggaard generously provided us with more ammunition (ironically) and inspiration to get this thing done.

Let’s just go over a couple bullet points, shall we?

Divided We Still Stand…in Heels – John Lehman co-authored a bill in 2009 which created an easier path for women to seek justice when discriminated against in the workplace. As it stands today, women in Wisconsin typically get paid 77.8 cents to the dollar what men earn. And while there is a federal bill to act as protection for this purpose; the law repealed by Republicans (Van Wanggaard being the final vote) made justice more attainable by using circuit court instead of federal court. The federal path is much more costly and difficult. And really, we have to ask ourselves, why repeal a bill which was doing no harm or costing any money? Aside from more divisive strategies, there was no reason to waste legislative time on repealing the Pay Equity Bill.

Creepy, Van, Just Creepy – Well, this is a recent development that even the biggest pessimists may not have anticipated. Perhaps you have yet to hear about a recent mailing delivered to the voters in Lehman’s district.  Some may call the mailing racist as it depicts the unfortunately popularized (by the Trayvon Martin case) hoodie scene. Most would have to agree that is pure fear mongering. And whether people are saying it or not, the ad is nothing more than a disgusting attempt at using dishonest distraction. I realize Wanggaard’s campaign didn’t flip the switch on this ad. However, he was given several opportunities in the press and at the debates to disavow the material – he chose, instead, to support it. Classy.

Hello? Is There Anyone Listening? – One of John’s greatest assets is his incomparable accessibility. I mean, the guy publishes his home phone number on his campaign literature! We, as constituents, so often feel ignored by those hired to serve US. Van ignored many voters in late 2011 and early 2012. Letters, phone calls…even showing up to his office may have gotten you some Starksy and Hutch action. He simply did not want to make himself available to those with questions and concerns. When John says he is there for us, he really means it. When Van says it, “us” really means big donors and corporate interests.

That’s Not MY Job – I don’t think anyone can deny that one of the most evident causes for the loss of American jobs is the fact they are being shipped overseas. John Lehman did his part in attempting to stop those policies with his authoring of The American Jobs Act. Yet the pursuit by Wanggaard and his ilk to attract hopeful employers is with promises of deregulation, legislative paybacks and selling off our own backyards. Van often pats himself of the back for this smokescreen they are touting as “job creation.”  But I have to ask…how many of these jobs for which they are boasting were actually due to the President’s stimulus package or even on the schedule prior to the new administration? How many are actual living wage jobs? How many are seasonal or temporary?

Star Tech – Yep, there has been a lot of back patting lately (how’s that shoulder, Van?) He loves to speak about his authoring a Tech Ed High School Diploma Bill. But I have heard from several different reliable sources that RUSD and Gateway were already working on a similar program (without the need for legislation) before Van went along with party lines and voted to cut funding to Gateway by 33 percent and public education by billions. After that, the planning for the program ceased and Van was able to gallop in on his horse with flowing cape and take all the credit for this idea himself. Superhero? I think not.

A Mind is a Terrible Thing to…Defund – Last, but certainly not least, is the stark contrast in how Lehman and Wanggaard approach education. Lehman, as a parent and former teacher, values the concept of public schools and what they do to build our communities. Wanggaard has shown us that his priorities are different as he has given $2.3 billion in tax breaks to corporations and the very wealthy. Van recently stated in his debates that contrary to popular belief, RUSD was doing swimmingly. Yea, sure…if you are swimming in the Hudson.

He brags that because of tools (ugh) the budget provided, RUSD actually has four additional teachers this year. This tidbit of info has been naggin’ at me. Four additional teachers? Well, it led me to wonder, how many more special needs students this year? How many aids and assistants were let go? How many full time teachers had hours cut down to part time? I know that almost 100 Educational Assistants were let go. This is a huge blow to the classrooms where they are needed most. And I know that Special Needs teachers are being overwhelmed. But by all means, Van, send the money to private schools that can pick and choose their students, not be held accountable by comparable testing and have educators who are not necessarily qualified. Sorry, but your “four more teachers” really doesn’t make up for all of that.

Do our community a huge service and please vote for John Lehman on June 5.

 

http://mountpleasant.patch.com/groups/opinion/p/vote-for-lehman-it-only-makes-sense

 

The Final Recall Lap – Patch

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We can hold onto our hopes. We can work our dialing fingers to the bone. We can donate the last few dollars left over from our meager paychecks. And we can anxiously wait to cast our ballots.

However, the crystal ball is cloudy. The cards are laid out, but not speaking. The tea leaves are not settling on the bottom of the cup. And not one single person in this state can definitively predict the outcome of the June 5 recall election.

Polls only tell us so much. In fact, they say very little. The numbers from the primary cannot be counted as foreshadowing because we simply do not know who voted for whom or why. Perhaps many Democrats stayed home because they simply couldn’t decide. Maybe too many people were confused about the fake candidates. There was so much cross-over voting, you’d have to be a wizard to know the true motives of each voter on May 8.

The next 26 days are absolutely crucial and the words and actions we speak and take need to be done so carefully.

Stop the bickering!! Solidarity is a must right now. So you didn’t back Barrett in the primary…get over it! While none of us enjoy the “anyone but…” scenario – this isn’t a matter of the least worst. Barrett is a good man and solid choice to get us out of this war zone (I will talk more about that in coming weeks). And Mahlon Mitchell is a fresh face who will also help pick up the pieces. These men are not difficult to support and if you are still pooping your pants because Falk or LaFollette didn’t win – wipe your butt and move on. We have less than four weeks to get people out of their beds of apathy, get their heads out of the sand and get their fannies to the polls. There is no time for the divisive belly aching.

According to the Milwaukee Journal, Walker acquired more votes in this primary than any gubernatorial candidate in 60 years. It is no secret that Republicans – especially now with their Tea Party excitability – vote in every single election. They will brave the cold Wisconsin blizzards to vote for a single circuit court judge.  We cannot ignore or deny this fact while we prepare for the recall election. While they may not be attending rallies or banging drums – they are just as energized to vote for their Messiah Walker as we are to vote him out.

The thing is, if you bothered to read this article – you are likely prepared to vote. If you are reading this, your mind has probably been made up for quite some time. If you are reading this, you already know where you stand and why it is important to you. It is the people who are still living in marshmallow land who need to be made aware. It is those who think their vote doesn’t matter who need to be contacted. It is those who think politics do not affect them who need to be educated.

Badgercare has been slashed and is surely facing greater cuts.Public education is being gutted like a fish ready to fryJob loss in Wisconsin is higher than in any other stateGround work is being laid to allow for lethal pollution. The most personal rights of women are regressing back to the days of chastity belts and poodle skirts. We simply cannot bear another two years with this leadership at hand. Change needs to be made now before more harm has been done to the people of our state.

Our laws are being written by corporate billionaires and our legislators are puppets looking out only for their personal greed, power and future benefits. And my critics will say that the left has their puppet masters as well. And perhaps that is true. But before this Tea Party takeover…these new armies of extremist politicians…people were not being hurt the way they are now. And the future did not warrant such fear.

I would love to see money absent from all politics one day. Complete campaign and tax reform. No loopholes or lobbyists. But right now we are fighting more immediate challenges. Right now, we need to eliminate the reverse Robin Hood policies taking over our state. And right now we need to wake people up and point them in the right direction and that direction is to the polls on June 5.

 

 

http://mountpleasant.patch.com/groups/opinion/p/the-final-recall-lap#comments_list

Teacher Thugs: Who Needs ‘Em – Patch

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In Chicago, 29,000 teachers were on strike because their corrupt union told them to. This is just another example of the sheer selfishness of these teachers. As they head back to the classroom, I hope they live in fear of losing their over-paid, over-rated jobs for good.

One of the complaints from the teachers in Illinois is the lack of air conditioning in the schools. Oh come on. What a bunch of babies. Kids have been producing in sweat shops for decades and you’re telling me they cannot read and write in a crowded room that’s 90 degrees? Please. Most of those public school kids are so fat they could probably stand to sweat out a few Twinkies anyway.

And don’t get me started on the 16% pay increase over a four year period. Sure. Maybe the cost of living in Chicago is higher than a skyscraper on stilts. Maybe many of the teachers spend as much as $5,000 a year to supply their students with the basics. But an average of $74,000 a year for salary?? With that kind of money, they probably spend their entire lazy-filled summers on their yachts and taking trips to Morocco and Italy.

How dare these teachers ask for a higher wage just because they’ll be working longer hours? Sure, I get double pay when I work overtime in the private sector. But maybe they should have chosen a better profession. And all this talk about grading papers all night. Please. How difficult can it be to write the letter “F” over and over?

These thugs are complaining about having only one nurse to every 3 schools. Why should taxpayers have to pay for nurses to take care of kids who aren’t ours anyway? They are schools, not hospitals and anyone should be able to put on a bandage.

Teachers and their supporters are worried about the privatization of schools – leaving public schools in the dust. I say go ahead!! This is one industry that has the opportunity to make CEOs and stockholders a whole heck of a lot of cashola. Let these kids do double duty as students and commodities – what’s the harm in that? Public services never did nothin’ for nobody. Those damn fire fighters are lazy wimps. Those police officers do nothing but eat donuts. And those parks? Who needs them? They are just a mecca for good for nothin’ homeless people anyway.

Oh! And they don’t like the idea of being evaluated by standardized tests? What are they so afraid of? Standardized tests rock. Corporate synergy (not sure what that is really, but I heard it on Fox) has made it easy for high-profiting corporations to bank on these tests. And we all know that when profit is a motivator, the best interests of the masses will remain a priority. And so what if some of these corporations are in bed with other corporations that will benefit greatly if public schools fail and privatization becomes the mainstream. Again…money = good. Teachers = bad.

They say it has been proven that these tests consistently reflect family wealth, physical health and neighborhood quality differences rather than school effectiveness. Well maybe that is just another way of thinning out the herd. Unhealthy kids in bad neighborhoods can work harder if they really want to and if they can’t – that is clearly the teacher’s fault. Get rid of those ineffective teachers and leave those dumber kids at the bottom where nature intended.

I have heard educators complain about the heavy police presence in schools, too many metal detectors taking up space and time and causing a distraction. I agree. Get rid of them all. After all, students should be armed. It IS their constitutional right to protect themselves. Maybe all these school shootings could finally turn into a fair fight. And in the bad schools, let them just kill each other off…less for society to worry about.

I say fire all these teachers. We can easily find a ton of jobless people on the street to teach our kids. I don’t care if they do not have the proper training or education. Anyone can do it. Hell, even my 14-year-old niece babysits. How hard can it be to sit at a desk all day, spout off about how NObama is such a great President and throw some liberal propaganda at the kids for them to read. Sure, countries like Finland have the highest scoring students and their teachers happen to be the most educated. But this is AMERICA! If you think Finland is so great – then move to Asia.

Lazy, greedy thugs. They were probably just striking to get a few extra days off from work. I think it is obvious what needs to happen. We need a war against teachers, unions and all public employees. Not only because war is cool and we can blow crap up, but also because these people are sucking money away from the people who REALLY need it…like Koch Industries, Exxon Mobile and JP Morgan. Because remember…they are people, too.

**Today’s sarcasm was brought to you with thanks to all those insightful, open-minded, compassionate commenters, bloggers and editorial writers on Patch, Journal Times and all over the internet.

 

http://mountpleasant.patch.com/groups/opinion/p/teacher-thugs-who-needs-them

Kohl-Riggs for Governor? (Patch)

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UPDATE: It has been brought to my attention that I have made an error in my original commentary. It seems that one can indeed vote for a Democratic Senator candidate while voting for a Republican Governor candidate. Please see below:

http://gab.wi.gov/node/2324

“The primary ballot and voting equipment will need to be prepared to treat each of the recall offices separately. This election will not be set-up like a normal partisan primary. Only candidates within a party that faces opposition will show up on the primary ballot. Candidates within a party that does not have opposition will not appear on the primary ballot. Additionally, Independent candidates will not appear on the primary ballot. Ballots and voting equipment will not have a party preference, as this primary will allow a voter to vote for only one candidate for each office, regardless of partisan affiliation. For example, a voter can vote for a Republican Governor candidate, and a Democratic Lt. Governor candidate. Although all offices will appear on one ballot, each office is separate and there are no partisan restrictions.”

Original: Late night talk show hosts and the like sure had a lot of fun with the recent collection of who-ha’s during this Republican primary race. I mean, really, it was like choosing between Muppet characters. But liberals, progressives, democrats – however described – have little room to laugh.

Right now, in Wisconsin, the chief goal is to unseat Walker. And I am not convinced that the final list of opponents will be able to accomplish this crucial task.

Many people stood outside in the blistering cold, in soaking downpours and opened themselves up to much aggression in order to gather signatures to force this gubernatorial recall. To think that all of that effort will be in vain – it’s like a kick in the neck.

But wait. In the spirit of all the ridicudonk game play which has taken over Wisconsin politics, an interesting situation has arisen. A 23-year-old man named Arthur Kohl-Riggs has thrown his cowbell into the ring and is running as a Republican on the primary ballot against Walker. While many may question or criticize his motivations, it is a clever way to oust the Governor before the recall election even begins.

While it may not be popular to admit, there are many of us who are less than electrified about any particular Democratic/Independent candidate. I, for one, want to be sure that I am voting for the candidate who will beat Walker in that June recall election. Voting for Kohl-Riggs may just be the solution to our political pickle.

Problem is: voters who have senate recalls would be giving up that vote. I couldn’t vote for Kohl-Riggs AND Lehman, for example. BUT there are many disctricts in Wisconsin which are not having senate recalls. How many of those voters will vote for fake Repubilcans?

I would like to say how disappointed I am in Russ Feingold. Two years. He couldn’t give us TWO YEARS?? With him on the ticket, I have no doubt that he would have knocked Walker on his fanny. Wisconsin needed him for this race. But I suppose we turned our backs on him not long ago and he has wiped his hands clean of our ungrateful apathy. Oh well, so much for high hopes.

I don’t have strong opinions about any of the , really. And that is exactly the problem. None of these people have the excitability we need to get people to the polls and vote out this devastating Governor.

There are a couple people in the running whom I honestly think would make decent candidates. But that is not the issue. Sadly, right now, it isn’t about who is the best person for the job, it is about who can get elected. Shocking? Sad? Pathetic? Perhaps. But true. In a couple of years we can put more energy into getting the very best person in; but right now, we need to focus on getting the very worst out.

There are many things about Vinehout that I think make her appealing. The independent Trivedi also has a few intriguing qualities. And I did vote for Barrett in the last gubernatorial election. But I do not have a comfortable confidence that any of these candidates will win against Walker – and the stakes are simply too high.

We live in an environment of misinformation, hostility and polarization. I am sorry to say that I just do not know what the majority of the public will do. I never expected the results we had when Walker was elected. Will individuals be choosing our next Governor or will corporations and unions have complete control?

Many people are questioning the legality or even the morality of “fake” Democrats running in the recall races. I had little doubt that Mielke, who was running as a democrat against Wanggaard, was indeed a fake and that . In the past year, there has been so much…how to put this nicely…tomfoolery in our state politics that it all seems like some reality show game of strategy. I am no longer surprised by anything.

I have often complained about our rules for primary elections. I feel that we should be able to vote for both Democrat and Republican candidates (eventually, I would love to be rid of the whole two party system all together). And in the past, there were times I felt my vote would be better used voting for a candidate I didn’t necessarily want to see in office.

At first it felt wrong voting that way, but then I realized our rules force us to choose and half the time we are voting for the least of the worst anyway. So, because of that, I have a feeling there will be a lot of liberal “Republicans” voting on May 8.

Original story HERE