Monday, March 7, 2011
Thursday, February 24, 2011
Stop Walker's sleight of hand
My older son did magic shows as a kid. He learned early on that the key to fooling the audience was a steady stream of patter and something to draw their attention so that they wouldn't notice the trick unfolding before their eyes.
I was reminded of his sleight-of-hand routine when a small group of tea party supporters approached me in Madison on Saturday, the sixth day of protests at the Capitol. They pointed to my sign: "Stop the Attack on Wisconsin Families."
"Are you one of those freeloaders?" one guy asked. The others started chanting: "Freeloader, Freeloader." They were filled with rage.
I hastened to assure them that I'd never been an executive at Goldman Sachs or Lehman Brothers or any of those Wall Street firms that crashed the economy and then took TARP money to pay big bonuses. "I never lobbied the government to get rid of regulations on financial institutions," I said.
Turns out that wasn't what they were angry about. They were up in arms (not, I was glad to see, literally) about public employees.
Gov. Scott Walker hopes Wisconsin voters will forget about the people who caused the economic crisis - the big banks and a host of other reckless CEOs. Instead, the governor would have us believe that nurses, home health aides and teachers are the villains.
As a Wisconsin taxpayer, I'm not buying it.
The governor and his wealthy corporate backers say public employees are the "haves" and demand they share the burdens inflicted upon other Wisconsin workers, naming those at Harley-Davidson and Mercury Marine.
The Institute for Wisconsin's Future has reported that Mercury Marine of Fond du Lac had profits of $1.1 billion from 2000-'07. During that time, it paid nothing in corporate income taxes to our state. The New York Times highlighted Harley last summer as one of the companies finding "surging profits in deeper cuts." As the article pointed out, the benefits of those profits "are mostly going to shareholders instead of the broader economy."
Workers at Harley and Mercury Marine - who were told how lucky they were to have a job at all - had to accept huge cuts not because their employers were in danger of going under but because those highly paid execs wanted to keep more money for themselves.
It seems clear the CEOs on Wall Street and at Wisconsin corporations who are sitting on record profits while cutting jobs here, shipping jobs overseas and paying out record bonuses to their executives are the ones who should be the target of the budget-repair bill.
Not the woman who teaches severely disabled teens. Not the school librarian whose job was eliminated in the most recent Milwaukee Public Schools cutbacks. Not the technicians who test the blood of every newborn in the state and already are struggling after several rounds of wage freezes and furlough days.
Teachers, nurses and home health care providers aren't close to being the "haves." They're hardworking people who have organized and bargained to make sure they have a voice in their working conditions. They've struggled to ensure that employment is a way out of poverty, not another form of poverty.
For illusionists like Walker, here's the trick: State politicians give tax incentives and other breaks to large corporations that gouge their workers. The politicians then use the sacrifice of those workers as a sledgehammer to blame budget shortfalls on public employees who are in unions. Workers and the unions take the fall, making big corporations and their politicians even more powerful.
The losers? The middle class. Small businesses whose customers have less to spend. The unemployed whose need for a job is being trumped by politics. Wisconsin families who will be the ones to feel the real-world impacts of rollbacks in family leave, health care and education.
But the governor and his supporters have underestimated the Wisconsin people. Matching misery is a trick we cannot afford and will not tolerate.
Ellen Bravo is executive director of Family Values @ Work Consortium, a network of 15 state coalitions working for policies that value families.
Sunday, February 20, 2011
Sunday, January 30, 2011
Saturday, January 1, 2011
THIS IS YOUR LIFE. DO WHAT YOU LOVE AND DO IT OFTEN. IF YOU DON'T LIKE SOMETHING, CHANGE IT. IF YOU DON'T LIKE YOUR JOB, QUIT. IF YOU DON'T HAVE ENOUGH TIME, STOP WATCHING TV. IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR THE LOVE OF YOUR LIFE, STOP; THEY WILL BE WAITING FOR YOU WHEN YOU START DOING THINGS YOU LOVE. STOP OVER ANALYZING, ALL EMOTIONS ARE BEAUTIFUL. WHEN YOU EAT, APPRECIATE EVERY LAST BITE. LIFE IS SIMPLE. OPEN YOUR MIND, ARMS AND HEART TO NEW THINGS AND PEOPLE, WE ARE UNITED IN OUR DIFFERENCES. ASK THE NEXT PERSON YOU SEE WHAT THIER PASSION IS, AND SHARE YOUR INSPIRING DREAM WITH THEM. TRAVEL OFTEN; GETTING LOST WILL HELP YOU FIND YOURSELF. SOME OPPORTUNITIES ONLY COME ONCE, SEIZE THEM. LIFE IS ABOUT THE PEOPLE YOU MEET AND THE THINGS YOU CREATE WITH THEM. SO GO OUT AND START CREATING. LIVE YOUR DREAM AND WEAR YOUR PASSION. LIFE IS SHORT.
//THE HOLSTEE MANIFESTO - 2009\\
Sunday, December 26, 2010
I have been looking for jeans like this for years and am a bit crazed to find them before Jan. 1st (when I enter the no fashion purchases for a year experiment). Its been a challenge to find well made, high waisters in the land of jeggings and low rises. I also happen to be looking for denim with minimal washing, no embroidery or crystals, mid-weight and minimal stretch.
The other things I have been panicked to purchase but haven't actually purchased yet are socks, tights, lingerie, and shirts/blouses. Thus far I have only purchased those super cute (hopefully not man repellent) lace up corset no. 6 clogs for spring summer and I want some cute cotton socks to wear as option two, in addition to red toes (to potentially counter act the man repellentness).
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
So work slowed up and for the first time in 10 months, I left the office early to meet Tara St. James at a Stoll seminar on Life Cycle Analysis (much to my surprise, not the cradle to cradle kind, more the trend kind?) and was free to play around 5:30! Tara stepped in as, Cruise Director and activity no. 1 was a Wear Your Love party thrown by founders Anna Schori and Sofia Hedstrom.
way of reminding people to value and cherish their clothes. With various collaborators we host Wear Your Love parties in the US and Europe where we invite guests to tell us their personal memories attached to their inherited coats, party dresses and band t-shirts. In the romantic light of our photo boot we document the love. If you can’t make it to our next party we hope you can share your love by sending in your story and a picture to us. Wear Your Love – respect your clothes by remembering their story.In the first decade of the 21st century we have consumed clothes like fast food, stuffing our groaning wardrobes like sartorial gluttons, but with every trendy new garment that ended up hanging unused in the closet we lost some clothing common sense.