Sunday Reads, It ain’t easy…Posted: February 20, 2011 Filed under: collective bargaining, Environment, Foreign Affairs, just because, morning reads, Water | Tags: charlie chaplin, film, internet, journalism, water shortages, Wisconsin protests 95 Comments
…being Wisconsin cheezy. Yes, its Sunday Morning and Minx here with your morning reads.
First off, if you missed Boston Boomers post late last night, go read it now…she has posted “some links to the important events that have taken place today in the many ongoing protests.”
If you are a Wisconsin Teacher you are having one hell of a time right now. It has been difficult watching these hard working public sector/state employees getting trashed on the news. The way these journalist and media celebrities talk, you would think these people are just like Marie Antoinette. Living the high life while the private sector folks work and pay for everything…leave out the fact that if the real rich Marie Antoinettes out there weren’t getting all those damn tax cuts…things would be a hell of a lot better for everyone.
Doctors are throwing their support behind the teachers. You may have already seen this:
Wisconsin Doctors Tell Teachers: Call in Sick to Continue Protests – ABC News
Also from ABC News:
Largest Protest yet Fails to Sway Wis. Lawmakers – ABC News
And over at Huffpo, is this another “Beer Summit?” As one of the supporters of Walker’s bill states: “Beer is something we can all agree on.” Madison Puts The Civility Back Into Discourse
The slogans they had chanted had highlighted the stark differences that separated them.
“Kill the bill!” cried the opponents of Republican Governor Scott Walker’s proposal to cut the pay and benefits of unionized public workers and sharply reduce their collective bargaining rights. “Pass the bill!” supporters of the proposal shouted back.
But aside from a few outsiders — like AFL-CIO chief Rich Trumka here to back opponents of the measure, and Andrew Breitbart, the conservative provocateur who appeared at the Tea Party-backed rally to support Walker — the people on hand were from Wisconsin itself and these neighbors were remarkably civil despite their sharp disagreements.
Wisconsonites are united, even in times like this, by many things, including a love of University of Wisconsin, Madison, athletics and the program’s strutting mascot Bucky the Badger; a devotion to the Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers NFL football team; and, of course, a love of beer, brought to the state by its German settlers and honed by brewers whose names are part of American history: Pabst, Schlitz, Miller and Blatz.
So when the opposing rallies ended here on Saturday, many of the demonstrators retired to the numerous bars in the Capitol’s shadow, like The Old Fashioned Tavern & Restaurant, with its 50 beers on tap — all from Wisconsin — and another 100 in bottles, 99 of them from the Badger state. The one other, from neighboring Minnesota, is listed under imports.
Over pints of Evil Doppleganger Double Mai Bock and Lost Lake Pilsner, knots of demonstrators debated the questions that have galvanized union employees across the country and brought the business of the state legislature to a standstill. Is Walker’s proposal part of the Republican’s effort to put the state’s finances in order, a repudiation of the state’s long history of progressive politics, or the latest example of that tradition?
Wisconsin HS Student schools Greta over Walker’s radical assault on Unions and even proposes raising taxes on the rich | Crooks and Liars
Middleton High school student Jacob Fiskel joins in the protests and explains to Greta van Susteren why it’s important that teachers and public workers do what they have to, even if they stay at home if they don’t want to lose their right to collective bargaining because of Gov. Walker’s outrageous proposal to try and destroy unions. He’s gone as far as reading the National Guard against them. I found it interesting that when Greta asked Jacob what the state should do to fix the budget problem, Jacob called out the rich. Now that’s shared sacrifice.
Greta: In terms of your state, do you have some suggestions on how to deal with your budget crisis?
Fiskel; Yes I do. I think we should really consider raising taxes on the rich. I know the argument is that it’s going to hurt small businesses, but with this plan you’re taking spending money away from teachers and public workers and small businesses are going to lose millions of dollars. But if we can raises taxes on the rich we can afford it and we can start to pay for our budget problems. Earlier Gov. Walker has already cut a hundred million dollars of corporate taxes and that’s one of the reasons why we’re in this mess.
Greta: What do you think is going to happen with those Senators in Illinois? DO you think they should stay in Il. or come back to Madison to vote on this?
Fiskel: I think they should do whatever is necessary for them to be able to talk with Gov. Walker and the Republicans to make sure that our demands are met and to make sure that the public workers of Wisconsin get the respect that they deserve?
Greta was not aggressive with Jacob and let him speak his mind. He even said that the actions Walker is taking would affect the quality of teachers and education on the whole state. Doesn’t Jacob make much more sense than let’s say, Rep. Paul Ryan?
Yes, this kid is smart and articulate…look how quick he is with answers.
Dakinikat has been covering Wisconsin so if you have not read her post, please check them out:
Death by Propaganda « Sky Dancing
And now for the Propaganda « Sky Dancing
On Wisconsin! (Breaking News) « Sky Dancing
Okay, one thing that seemed to come out of the Egyptian rising was just how impressive the reports from field journalist and reporters were. Much more impressive than their counterparts reporting from comfy news studios. Did you wonder what the affect of zero internet service had on these reporters during the revolt? What effect has the internet had on journalism? | Technology | The Observer
For Peter Beaumont, this newspaper’s foreign affairs editor, the revolution in Egypt revealed more than the power of the people in triumphing over repressive regimes; on a personal level, he discovered something new about his working practices.
Beaumont trained as a journalist in the days before the world wide web, but, like most of his profession, he has integrated new technologies into his news-gathering techniques as they’ve emerged. Covering the events in Cairo during the internet blackout in Egypt was like taking a step back in time.
“We went back to what we used to do: write up the story on the computer, go to the business centre, print it out and dictate it over the phone,” he says. “We didn’t have to worry about what was on the internet; we just had to worry about what we were seeing. It was absolutely liberating.”
Minx’s Missing Link: This article came out just last night, but it seems so interesting that I thought many readers would like to scan it over. Not to mention that cool picture of a camel swigging back a bottle of water. That is one talented camelid.
What does the Arab world do when its water runs out? | Environment | The Observer
Poverty, repression, decades of injustice and mass unemployment have all been cited as causes of the political convulsions in the Middle East and north Africa these last weeks. But a less recognised reason for the turmoil in Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Yemen, Jordan and now Iran has been rising food prices, directly linked to a growing regional water crisis.
The diverse states that make up the Arab world, stretching from the Atlantic coast to Iraq, have some of the world’s greatest oil reserves, but this disguises the fact that they mostly occupy hyper-arid places. Rivers are few, water demand is increasing as populations grow, underground reserves are shrinking and nearly all depend on imported staple foods that are now trading at record prices. [Guardian]
Easy Like Sunday Morning Link:
Was Charlie Chaplin a Gypsy? | Film | The Guardian
In a bomb-proof concrete vault beneath one of the more moneyed stretches of Switzerland lies something better than bullion. Here, behind blast doors and security screens, are stored the remains of one of the greatest figures of the 20th century. You might wonder what more there is to know about Charles Spencer Chaplin. Born in London in 1889; survivor of a tough workhouse childhood; the embodiment of screen comedy; fugitive from J Edgar Hoover; the presiding genius of The Kid and The Gold Rush and The Great Dictator. His signature character, the Little Tramp, was once so fiercely present in the global consciousness that commentators studied its effects like a branch of epidemiology. In 1915, “Chaplinitis” was identified as a global affliction. On 12 November 1916, a bizarre outbreak of mass hysteria produced 800 simultaneous sightings of Chaplin across America.
Though the virus is less contagious today, Chaplin’s face is still one of the most widely recognised images on the planet. And yet, in that Montruex vault, there is a wealth of material that has barely been touched. There are letters that evoke his bitter estrangement from America in the 1950s. There are reel-to-reel recordings of him improvising at the piano (“I’m so depressed,” he trills, groping his way towards a tune that rings right). A cache of press cuttings details the British Army’s banning of the Chaplin moustache from the trenches of the first world war. Other clippings indicate that, in the early 1930s, he considered returning to his homeland and entering politics. [Guardian]
Give the rest of the article a read, it goes on to discuss the possible re-writing of The Tramp’s family history.
So what are you reading today? Anything positive? Don’t know about you, but I need a jolt of humanity about now.