Solidarity Wisconsin

Remember When The Firefighters Entered Wisconsin’s State Capital? I Miss That Hope.

Solidarity WisconsinI was nervous about the Wisconsin recall of Governor Walker. Recalls are rarely successful although the fact that it got to the point of a recall election is pretty amazing even if the outcome wasn’t what I had wanted. (I would have had the protests work well enough to curb the legislation to rework unions rather than a recall or removing collective bargaining.)

Remember all the hope when the firefighters came into the Wisconsin State Capital Rotunda?
(video here if you can’t see it)

I wish the protests had been enough even though unions aren’t perfect, they improve workers conditions and pay and in many sectors help companies to be more productive (source) (in other sectors they seem to have no effect on productivity (source)). Of course, unions are more expensive for companies (doing right by our workers isn’t cheap and all sources agree on this one).

I am pro-worker-safety including reasonable hours, wages and vacation. I’m not as pro-pensions, and I think tenure could be reworked. I do not think striping unions of their bargaining rights is the answer — blaming unions for state budget problems is short-sighted and untrue — but I fear that will be one of the outcomes of the recall.

And while the $31 million dollars spent to keep Walker in office is an extraordinary and horrifying result of the Citizen United decision, I also think that people still voted Walker in and to stay. I continue to hope that money isn’t enough to sway an election no matter how much I’d like to blame it. The lack of education and facts must play a larger role. I have to believe that if people had a place to read the research and the facts, everything would not need to be so right and wrong, black and white, us and them. We could find better solutions no matter how much money flows against democracy.

I want more website based on facts with cited sources and research rather than opinion pieces. I want less 30 second sound bytes and more people reading articles and comparing notes to their and their neighbors lives. Knowledge is the only way to combat the millions being pumped into local, state and national elections by the 1% on both sides. We have to believe in education and compromise and hope or there will be no freedom for any of us.

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LateEnoughStopPIPASOPA button

Late Enough Blackout: Stop SOPA and PIPA Because The Internet Should Be Open And Ours

LateEnoughStopPIPASOPA button

Most people think that because I’m a liberal, I like big government. Not true. I like my government limited; it’s just that my limits are in different places.

While I think the government should provide basic, quality healthcare for all our citizens, I don’t think that government should regulate my relationship between my doctor and I. This includes birth, birth control, abortion, surgery, palliative care, pain management and vaccines. In fact, the current government regulations in place between doctors and patients that I do support are because private health insurance companies were trying to screw over their customers and most have monopolies or are employment based so it’s tough to just leave.

While I think the government should protect us against discrimination, I do not think the government should interfere with some relationships and marriages and not others. In fact, I wonder why we have any government privileges when it comes to marriage. I know anthropologically, family units create a more stable society, but if that is the reason we reward people with special privileges for getting married, the government should be all over gay marriage. MORE MARRIAGE FOR ALL! I’d be happier having marriage as a religious ceremony and maybe a contractual agreement for any child and financial issues rather than letting only one segment of the population get married and having many bills to make sure it stays that way.

After my body and my bedroom, I would like the government to mind its own business when it comes to the Internet.  Two bills, SOPA (HR3261, Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (S968, Protect IP Act), have made their way through the House and Senate, respectively. The details on how these would affect websites and start-up companies as well as not even solve the problem of piracy is outlined here and extensively detailed here.

Or watch this video.

This is why I have joined thousands of other websites including Reddit and Wikipedia in blacking out my site for 12 hours on January 18th, 2011.  Because while Late Enough may not have cursing, it does have a voice. A voice that could be silenced if either of these bills pass.

How you can help:

  • SOPA was aside for now (although could be taken up by the House again at any time), but PIPA is set for hearings on January 22nd. You can write your senators at this link: americancensorship.org. You can also find details there on how your website can join the blackout today.
  • It also doesn’t hurt to let you Representative know that you aren’t a SOPA fan either just in case they start looking at the bill again. UPDATED: SOPA will probably be taken up again in February. You can find your House of Representative’s information at house.gov and use any of the talking points of this post or the links above.
  • I also put protests up on my Twitter and Facebook profile pictures because they have both chosen not to participate in the blackout. You can add a banner to your avatar too by clicking here: blackoutsopa.org

See you tomorrow.

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