Alarm!: “Right-to-Work” passes in Wisconsin

Bad news. Rogue Governor Scott Walker’s pernicious “Right-Work” bil passed the the Wisconsin state senate this evening. It now goes to the state assembly. If it passes that body Walker will actually get a chance to sign it. This cannot be allowed to happen.

The attack on unions must be stopped now, in its tracks. “Right to Work” is a phony euphemism for the right to have less bargaining power and the right to earn less. Studies have shown this. Unions rise wages. they embody the principle of “united we stand, divided we fall.” The strength of numbers gives workers greater bargaining power. This is not to say that workers are not capable of negotiating on the own behalf. They certainly are if they have equal power and information, but management is much more powerful and informed than any one individual. The power of a union levels the playing field. Unions exert this power on behalf of all workers, even those who are not members. 

Unions must be able to exert this power to fight the erosion of incomes and worker protections. Many in business and in the right wing are trying to take us back to the days before the New Deal, the days of the first gilded age, the days of Charles a Dickens. Many of conservatives admire President William McKinley, who was in the pocket of the trusts. This is truly horrifying. Somehow, sanity must be restored. 

KXL PIPELINE VETOED!

AllPolitics reports that President Obama has just vetoed the KXL Pipeline authorization bill that was passed by both branches of the Republican-controlled congress. The news was delivered in the form of a message read on the floor of the Senate. 

This is a big victory, but it is likely temporary. The Republican leadership in both houses will likely move to pass the bill again and possibly poison the well like the did with the Homeland Security Department funding bill by attached revocation of the president’s executive orders on immigration. We must be vigilant and prepared to fight again.

Juan Thompson: Did the US Prison Boom Lead to the Crime Drop? New Study Says No

A study by the Brennan Center for Justice shows that incarceration does not make people safer. It is past time for sentencing reform and the dismantling of the prison/industrial complex.

Rise Up Times

 There is no evidence that locking more people up makes America safer

Featured photo - Did the US Prison Boom Lead to the Crime Drop? New Study Says No
Louisiana — a state whose motto is Union,  Justice and Confidence — is known for many things. The Bayou State is the birthplace of jazz, Creole, and Cajun food, and New Orleans is the site of the country’s largest annual Mardi Gras Carnival. But as the Times-Picayunefound in a major series years ago, Louisiana is also “the world’s prison capital,”  with an incarceration rate that is “nearly five times Iran’s, 13 times China’s and 20 times Germany’s.”

Last week, a new study from the Brennan Center for Justice reaffirmed Louisiana’s grim status as the world’s leading jailer. “Louisiana incarcerates 1 in 75 adults, that’s twice the national average [496 people per 100,000] and the highest in the world,” said the Brennan Center’s Lauren-Brooke Eisen. But the crux of the study was…

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Limbaugh fading into eventual obscurity.

Rush Limbaugh’s rating have been falling. He has been eating static due to the successful efforts of the people leading the boycott against him. Recently, even the right-wing Wall Street Journal confirmed this   http://www.democraticunderground.com/10026186309 .

This is a very positive development, one we very much need considering the current dominance of money in elections and the Republican takeover of the United States Senate. If we keep up the effort, we cause Limbaugh and his corrupting influence to be kicked off the air. This, following the canceling of Glen Beck’s show would be a further step in the right direction. The next step would be to stop the lies of FOX News, not that one can truthfully call it news.

Studies have recently shown that FOX “News” had an impact on the 2000 and 2004 elections, increasing the Republican vote in both cases. This increase might well have swung these elections. MSNBC has countered and neutralized some of this effect, but the studies show its impact is less than that of FOX. More has still to be done to counter and our pressure on FOX.

Further, other talk-radio wind bags than Limbaugh are spreading bile. Some are funded by Rich conservative donors. For example, Laura Ingraham and other talk-radio hotheads funded by the Koch Brothers were instrumental in taking down House Majority Whip Eric Cantor in his Republican primary. Perhaps it is time to regulate donations to broadcasters as well as candidates. After the right to free speech does not mean the right to be given sponsorship money or donations for that speech. Also, the right of the rich to spend unlimited money to speak or fund speech takes freedom from everyone else.

https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/senate-resolution/66

Great News! Senate Resolution 66, which designates Febrauary 12, the date of the birth of Charles Darwin in 1909, as “Darwin Day” was introduced on Wednesday. This honor is overdue. Darwin had more impact than any other scientist except perhaps Einstein. No one is more deserving of a holiday. It is time  that we recognize scientists the way we recognize politicians and one explorer (Columbus). Science is, after all, the truest form of exploration.

S Res 66 also recognizes “the importance of science to the betterment of humanity”, according to congress.gov. Bravo! It is about time that science received more respect in this era of anti-intellectualism.

Joel Buchanan

Black History Month started on Sunday. We will start by talking about the integration of Gainesville High School by three African-American students in 1964. ( How chilling it is that the chocolate denied admission to Afican-Americans up until only twelve years before I started there)The most notable of that legendary trio was Joeal Buchanan who sadly passed away last May at the young age of 65. http://www.gainesville.com/article/20140528/articles/140529565

http://dept.sfcollege.edu/stuorg/bsu/FEB2004/joelbuchanan.html

http://www.jou.ufl.edu/pubs/onb/F03/alegendinhisowntime.htm

Buchanan is a legend both for integrating Gainesville High School despite being spat upon and for chronicling the the history of the local African-African American community before the Civil Rights Movement and recmarording interviews with those lived during that time. He eventually worked for the University of Florida.

In 2002 he was inducted into the Martin Luther King Junior Commission of Florida hall of fame, and last month that group honored him posthumously on the day after the celebration of King’s birthday. http://www.gainesville.com/article/20150114/GUARDIAN/150119831 In my opinion he was the most distinguished graduate of GHS.

Here is a podcast from the University of Florida Library’s Oral History Project with Joel Buchanan talking about the integration of Gainesville High School. http://ufdc.ufl.edu/IR00001196/00001

GOP Attacking Affordable Care Act Again!

The Republican-led U.S. House has voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act, aka “Obamacare” yet again. The problem is that this time the Senate is also controlled by Republicans and is likely to follow suits if Democrats do not find a way to filibuster repeal. Therefore, we must act now. Here is a petition telling the “GOP” that “Obamacare” is here to stay: http://my.democrats.org/page/s/tell-the-gop-obamacare-is-here-to-stay?

keycode=28428e6602ea1ffcbed4a144be41bf667258740310dc7774fc0159288346bce0&firstname=Mark&lastname=Battiste&email=mark.a.battiste%40my.sfcollege.edu&zip=32607&utm_medium=email&utm_source=obama&utm_content=15&utm_campaign=em_20150203_dnc_f&source=em_20150203_dnc_f

Demand and end to these shenanigans!

 

Here are as some other important petitions:

Declare your support for vaccines – https://www.readyforhillary.com/Vaccines-Work?ms=E.20150203.D.SUPPORT_PETITION_SIGNON&utm_medium=em&utm_source=e.20150203.d&utm_campaign=20150203_E_support_petition_signon

Do not take the gnatcatcher of the Endangered Species List: https://secure.audubon.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=1827&autologin=true&utm_source=action&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=2015-02-03-cagnatcatcher-alert