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Evidently the GTAC company goons did not bother to apply or take the required tests to qualify as licensed guards in Wisconsin.

Hiring unlicensed para-military out of state guards?  Perhaps Gov. Walker could have spared some of his army of Gestapo hanging out in Madison?

According to reports in the Duluth News Tribune and Wisconsin Public Radio:

Company and state officials confirmed Wednesday that Arizona-based Bulletproof Securities is not registered in the state and the guards have been asked to “stand down” until a state permit is approved.
Not only a police state ... we are living in a corporate police state.
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Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 09:15 AM PST

Racist Thanksgiving Football

by geojumper

Several weeks after Obama's sweeping victory many of us were trying to avoid politics (gloating that is) at  thanksgiving family gatherings. I was sitting in a crowded small living room watching the Redskins play the Cowboys. Among the audience were avid right wingers as well as a couple of recent Wisconsin Uprising veterans.  

One politically active octogenarian loudly proclaims:

"I am not a fan of either team but I hope the Redskins lose.  That Griffin (quarterback) is a damned nigger with an attitude, all those (niggers) have one."
There is no doubt he was referring to the president and expressing bitter resentment about Romney's loss.  In fairness to this individual I have seen him interact with many people including people of color and he has only acted with respectful deference in every instance. He also would have voted against Obama if he were white.

My purpose in sharing this is to shed light and argue against many who claim racism is a thing of the past.  And to ask: How did other family gatherings react to the elections? Poll past the fold.

Poll

Over Thanksgiving My Family:

45%59 votes
8%11 votes
1%2 votes
3%4 votes
41%55 votes

| 131 votes | Vote | Results

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Lesson of Wisconsin Vote for Obama and Baldwin? GOP Leader: “Election Reform”

On Wisconsin Public Radio Monday morning Glenn Grothman, Republican State Senator, West Bend; Assistant Majority Leader-elect was interviewed on the Joy Cardin Show.  No transcripts were available and the Senator's phone cut in and out a little but I can relate quite accurately the nature of his answers.  For those wanting a first hand listen the audio archive can be heard here: Link to Joy Cardin

Just when I was asking myself how the state could possibly turn further towards the dark side Grothman answered the question.  Joy asked him “what message do you think the voters were sending? “  “Well we will have to do something about election reform, but I think they were sending that they were uninformed, either Republicans didn't explain how they were different ... or the people may just want to live kind of like serfs.”  

More low-lights and his thoughts on election reform past the ellipsis:

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According to the Institute for Wisconsin's Future Governor Walker's slash and burn approach to economics is bleeding Wisconsin's job market dry.  Economist Jack Norman presented the group's findings on the Joy Cardin show on Wisconsin Public Radio. The show can be listened to by following the previous link.

Sorry for the short diary, I searched DKos for a mention of this report and came up dry.   The study shows a strong negative divergence of Wisconsin's economy from the national ecomomy.  Looks pretty simple, take money from workers who spend almost all of it locally just to survive, give it to the rich who squirrel it away and the economy goes to hell.  

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A letter carrier I know has been explaining the status of the Postal Service over the past year. She made some pointed comments indicating that the USPS had overpaid some 75  billions of dollars into their retirement fund and would be in the black if the Feds properly credited the service's account.  I searched and found a lack of focus on this topic on this blog. However I did find this report (2010 Inspector General's Report) which substantiates my friend's claim.

Looking back at artificially created emergencies such as the GOP debt limit scam and Governor Walker's Wisconsin corporate tax break / public pay cut switcheroo I wondered if the USPS is the intended victim of a similar ploy.  What I found was more like well intentioned but inadequate attempts at reform creating a crisis which has allowed many in the GOP to claim the public mail is failing and needs to be dismantled.

More Below Fold:
 

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Updated: Links to New Contract Language Added

The School District of Maple in Northern Wisconsin has dictated terms to its employees.  These changes are in addition to the 8-20 percent loss in take home wages caused by the pending changes to state controlled benefits. Losses vary because the less you earn the greater the percent impact of the state changes.

Major Changes:

No Tenure – No Seniority – No Negotiating with Unions – No Maternity Leave – No Child Rearing Leave - No Rights to Transfer Within District – No Grievance Procedures (write a letter to your principal) – Reduced and Modified Sick Leave – No Step or Lane Changes (Raises). All things previously part of the district's contract with staff.

Note that federal laws about employee rights do not apply to state and local employees and unless Wisconsin law specifies all of these issues are local.  Wisconsin has no real provisions to protect its employees or allow them grievance, except appeal to an administrator appointed by Walker.  The newly appointed administrator is a well known anti-labor lawyer.

Gregg Lundberg, the district administrator, is said to be the architect of these policies.  He is reputed to ride herd over a weak school Board.  Employees are predictably hurt, angry and disgruntled.  Lundberg previously had sent pink slips to every employee allowing him to pick and choose which to hire back when Walker's policies become law.  

Other changes in the proposed “Contract” for next year include eliminating the definition of the school day, with the hours of work apparently whatever administration determines.  Teachers can also be required to substitute during their preparation period, previously required only during defined emergencies.

It is clear Walker and his gang had no intention of maintaining the quality of public education available to Wisconsin's children.  Now it is clear that some local officials are eager to use the impending laws to put teachers and education back to the days of school marms having little or no say in their work.

Disclosure: I pay taxes on property in the Maple district although I do not live and therefore cannot vote there.  I don't think my property is about to appreciate in value owing to the quality of the local schools. Suppose my taxes might not increase … even though I believe in paying for good services and government.

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Public Schools are About Providing Opportunity, Not Guaranteeing Success

Opportunity is only valuable to those motivated to exploit it and worthless to those who are not.  You can argue that great teachers will motivate any student ... and call me politically incorrect in placing the burden on the student. But just as every student cannot be above average, every teacher, by definition, cannot be better than average.

My sons attended a public school in SE Wisconsin that had many poor and disadvantaged students.  Much was wrong about the place.  Some students failed while some lost hope and fell through the cracks despite the work of a mostly motivated staff. I taught science and coached at the school and got to see firsthand the failures and the happy endings which ensued.

A culture existed amongst many of the students which discounted the value of learning and bought into drugs and violence.  In short it was similar to many of our nation's inner-city schools.  

Much was right with the place.  Hard working curious students guided by excellent teachers earned diplomas and went onto university and advanced degrees.  Excellent orchestras, bands and choirs gave meaning and direction to students' lives. A full variety of athletics and arts were available to every student, regardless of wealth or status.

Why did my sons and many classmates end up as upper tier professionals in the country even though they attended a so-called "ghetto-school". Why did many of their class-mates fail to live up to their potential while given the same opportunity to learn?  I don't know.  Perhaps because their mother ceaselessly read to them and nurtured their curiosity. But I do know that every single student that attended their school had the opportunity – if they had the mindset and motivation.

Certainly the tides and currents are flowing against many of our students as they try to swim upstream.  That they do not find education important or relevant cannot be described as mere personal failure but as rooted in culture, social policy and family life.  We need to put young people into positions where they can see the necessity of education and the potential within themselves.

We are attempting to change the way we educate in a mechanical way.  Perhaps tinkering under the hood will help somewhat.  But it will not do much good until we address the real problem in American education.  Convincing students (and parents) that learning is not a game but life and death serious stuff.

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Mon Apr 18, 2011 at 08:29 PM PDT

If I were Prosser ...

by geojumper

If I were Prosser I would demand a recount of at least Waukesha County.  Why?
To be proven the rightfully elected candidate.  Why would I settle for a situation that would leave my legitimacy in doubt? Why would I settle for the slightest stain on my stellar (okay, even he won't believe that) reputation.  Think of the alternatives: justification rather than an asterisk*. (*almost beat by JKlop, Possibly benefited from vote tampering).  

My Prosser speech:  "In the public interest of the citizens of FitzWalkerstan I demand that the results of the election be verified to the satisfaction of the G.A.B. and my opponents' supporters. There is nothing I cherish more than democracy and democratic principles.  The doubt and distrust surrounding my election cannot stand.  I believe a recount will prove I was rightfully elected, the citizens deserve no less."

My apologies to whoever coined "Fitzwalkerstan", but I love that expression.  

Unless there is a full accounting there will always be a taint hanging over this and several previous elections. Trust but verify - Hate to quote the gipper.  We cheeseheads need and deserve confidence in our elections, instead of reasons to doubt.

Poll

Why Wouldn't I (Prosser) Demand a Recount?

17%5 votes
17%5 votes
46%13 votes
17%5 votes

| 28 votes | Vote | Results

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I spent most of today involved with a Wisconsin public budget hearing of the 16 member Joint Finance Committee.  The meeting was held in Superior, a port at the western tip of Lake Superior.  I missed a few speakers but listened to almost all of the citizens who were given 2 minutes each to express themselves.  The meeting was held in such a time and place that it was difficult for working people to attend.

Several hundred testified. Almost all in opposition to Walker's draconian cuts to services for people from cradle to grave in our state. Some had individual bones to pick with specific cuts and changes. Only two who testified were in full support of the budget and a few more liked specific budget items, such as money for promoting tourism.  

If you have lots of extra time you can watch or listen Here

A sociology professor at the local UW system campus testified against the budget and evidently struck a nerve of Senator Glenn Grothman.  Professor Marshall Johnson completed his testimony and began melting back into the crowd, Grothman left his spot on the stage and sought Professor Johnson out. The Senator demanded his name and information about his position with the University.  

This from a senator who had previously appeared disinterested, playing on his iphone, reading and chatting much of the day.  The only signs of real political life from Grothman before this point was when he was introduced and announced that his reason for attending was to hear citizens' ideas for more budget cuts ... he was evidently disappointed as none were offered during the day.

Marshall is a citizen and was testifying as such, not in any capacity as a university employee. It was inappropriate of Senator Grothman to harass a private citizen who was expressing himself in a public forum.  Since Grothman has referred to protesters in Madison as "smelly" perhaps he was moving in for an intimate whiff.  I wonder which politician might be demanding which professor's emails next?

Discuss

Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 09:12 PM PDT

Wisconsin Activist Groundswell

by geojumper

There is an energy and drive present in small town Wisconsin that eclipses that present in any campaign in memory.  More local activists marching, making hand painted highway signs,  calling and being covered by local media than in most presidential campaigns.  All self-funded and locally directed.  In our town of 26,000 (Superior) we are well on the way to calling and mailing every union member or democratic leaning individual we can identify.  All to send Walker a message.

Even though we are one of the bluest areas of the state this effort dwarfs the 2008 and 2010 election in several ways. Today we phoned from a side room at a local pizza place.  Pizza bought by Peggy, a local government worker, Phones bought by passing the hat at the last group meeting. This will be repeated most nights between now and election day, the 5th.  All for a non-partisan race to defeat a Walker leaning judge.

Of the people we contacted many knew who to support for State Supreme (Kloppenburg) and said they were highly motivated to vote.  Others just had to hear that her opponent was in Walker's camp and were convinced they needed to get out and vote.  All of this to support a candidate that is not "one of us" just clearly pledging to be independent, honest, fair, and not one of "them".  Much better response than when calling for Gov and Senator in 2010 when liberals were lacking motivation.

On my way to the call bank I drove past the busiest intersection in town and several large banners held by about 30 pro-Kloppenburg demonstrators.  Members of another sub-committee who are planning action nearly each night between now and the ultimate recall a year from now.  

Almost wish we had a local Repub to recall.  But I suspect that Walker's good buddy on the Supreme Court (David Prosser) who is on record as saying he intends to compliment the Gov. while on the bench is in for an electoral trip to oblivion.

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Sun Mar 13, 2011 at 09:36 AM PDT

Walker Not Welcome in Washburn, WI

by geojumper

Protest Video

Sunday Governor Walker attended a GOP fundraiser in Washburn, WI. population 2200.  The protest crowd more than doubled the towns population (well over 2000 in attendance).  State reps Janet Bewley and Nick Milroy spoke to the crowd before we marched to the "Steak Pit" along the shores of Chequamegon Bay on Lake Superior.

What is so important about this action?  It shows that nowadays the Gov. cannot go to a remote & sparsely populated area of the state without mass protest erupting.  Even in freezing blustery weather.  Even if he shows up late and the crowd is stuck outside freezing for hours.  Even after his bill is signed and we are supposed to have melted into the background and become neutered non-players.  

The people of WI will not easily accept turning the clock back on human rights, turning our backs on having good social services, and especially giving up on having top rate public education.

Public workers in WI are down but not out.  Governor Walker and the Tea Bag folks are temporarily on top .... but the story is only in the first few chapters.  Still time for a somewhat satisfactory ending.

Poll

What actions will stop Walker's Play for the 2012 Gop Hero Award?

32%69 votes
0%1 votes
50%108 votes
7%15 votes
7%15 votes
1%4 votes

| 214 votes | Vote | Results

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