Wisconsin: a Speech for the Ages. {Share this one}

Via Waylon Lewis
on Feb 20, 2011
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Respect for one another! That’s not how we do it! Democracy is slow and messy! Listen to the People!

Please do share—it’s not so much a partisan speech, either side could have given it at differnt points—it’s a guttural cry for democracy, in all its noble messiness. ~ Waylon

Click here for the 101 on the 411 (what’s up in Wisconsin).

Share this one up, people, and as I did cry Whooop! at the end if you’re feelin’ it. Gaddamn, sing it:


Click here for video, video not embedding.


Republicans are working overtime to push the controversial collective-bargaining-stripping “budget repair bill” through without the Democrats, even going so far as to begin voting before the State Assembly was scheduled to meet.

Rep Gordon Hintz (D-Oshkosh) took to the floor of the State Capitol to call the GOP on their shady tactics with a galvanizing speech for the ages.


About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now elephantjournal.com & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, is now available.


20 Responses to “Wisconsin: a Speech for the Ages. {Share this one}”

  1. elephantjournal says:

    Well, good call, but then you need to report that Walker just cut 140 mill or whatev in taxes for the rich…same gap he's now trying to take out of the working class. ~ Waylon

  2. Thanks for posting this Waylon–righteous, right-on, and inspiring.

  3. CarolHorton says:

    YES. Great to see the passion, horrible to see the cause. And Wisconsin has such a proud progressive tradition. Really disturbing . . . thanks for posting.

  4. TamingAuthor says:

    So the guy rants about not being consulted and deliberating but then runs off to an out-of-state hotel so that he does not have to deliberate and vote? So where's the respect in that? He rants on about a DC operation supporting the Governor but fails to mention Obama and his Organizing for America putting together the protest and interfering with state business? Seems like he is either a huge hypocrite or simply crazy.

    The Governor did not give tax cuts to the rich. He made an effort to draw businesses away from Illinois, which is going on a spend and tax craze and losing business. If the Governor is successful it will mean increased tax revenues for Wisconsin, not lowered taxes. And it is revenue that makes it possible to pay for services. Without that revenue one ends up being unable to pay the bills. Like California where I live, a state that has been raped by outrageous deals with public sector unions.

    The Governor has proposed what Obama claims he wants — basic fairness. State employees should earn what people in the private sector earn, they should contribute the same amount toward their pensions, and they should contribute the same amount to their health care. The Governor, along with other governors, were voted in by the public to stop the conflict-of-interest deals between unions and the Democratic Party. Enough corruption. Enough with bankrupting the nation and the states.

    Try to resist falling for the crass left wing propaganda put out by radicals determined to destroy this nation, led by chief organizer Obama. Demand fair negotiations. Honesty and fairness in government. And demand this hack politician return from his hotel in Illinois to do his state's business, like an ethical elected representative should do.

  5. amy annis says:

    You made the comment "try to resisit falling for the crass left wing propaganda put out by radicals" and then back up your statements with a post written by extreme right winged conservatives. I'm not expecting you to get it.

    I continue to maintain that Democracy means (and will be maintained) if both sides have equal representation. The people of Wisconsin just want to have their voices heard and the peaceful protests of the 70,000 plus is just another example of truly classy they are.

  6. Joe Sparks says:

    The word 'democracy" is used with many different meanings. In this oppressive society it is often a pretentious cover-up for the dictation of policies for everybody by an oppressive miniorty. Go Wisconsin!

  7. TamingAuthor says:

    So let's listen to that mean, oppressive governor who is dictating the ruin of all those poor, humble union leaders… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nP7tIRQGhjE

  8. TamingAuthor says:

    Here are the people, showing great camaraderie in the cold, who represent the other point of view. In a best of all possible worlds, the leadership of both sides would sit down and begin to hammer out "a way forward." We have the know how to do that…if we can get past the need for "organizing" that relies on division and unrest. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pzw53fKSJLk&fe

  9. Joe Sparks says:

    It may be true that "right" in a political sense is irrational, but it by no means follows that "left" is necessarily rational. The numerous movements and theories that call themselves "left" and "revolutionary" abound in rigidities and can by no means be accepted as workable guides. Fresh, intelligent thinking is required.

  10. TamingAuthor says:

    Review of the wonderful film (Waiting for Superman) that addresses education and the effect of unions. When you get done with this film, you will not be protesting on behalf of the teacher's unions, that is for sure. http://blog.americancatholic.org/2011/02/21/waiti

  11. amy annis says:

    I find your choice of sources so interesting. You probably already know this but the Catholic bishop Listeki was one of our first WI leaders to speak in favor of our teachers rights. You will appreciate this information :http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/02/20/947475/-Faith-Perspective-on-Labor-and-Budget-in-Wisconsin-

    In addition I love that you encourage us to watch "Waiting for Superman" which is indeed an excellent documentary (created and directed by Davis Guggenheim, a card carrying union member). He maintains in all of his interviews (check you tube) that while he encourages unions to rethink some of their practices….. he supports them.

    And once again, our state time and time again shows academic leadership in Wisonsin (scores don't lie) blowing a major hole in your theory that unions negatively impact schools. At least we can be sure that theory does not apply in our state. I just hope that our teachers will continue to feel the love and know that WI will stand up for them in this fight.

    Thank you teachers!

  12. TamingAuthor says:

    Here's the story in Detroit when they did not handle the problem in a timely fashion: http://detnews.com/article/20110221/SCHOOLS/10221

  13. TamingAuthor says:

    Not only is Davis a union member but I am as well. (Probably the same union.) That is not the issue.

    The issue is public sector unions that have stacked the deck and violated conflict of interest principles. No one has a problem with the union remaining in existence, that is not the issue. The issue is forced dues used for political purposes, and fairness in the contract so that public sector workers contribute in a manner that mirrors the private sector. The issue is budget shortfall and the need for public sector unions to get real about the problem.

    Asking public sector workers to match the pension and health contributions of the private sector is fair. Shame on those who distort the issue and work to continue political pay offs for special advantages. Shame on the Democrats for leaving the state rather than dealing with the issues.

    The Catholic Bishops are correct to speak in favor of rights for teachers. No one disputes that idea. The problem occurs when those rights become privileges that hurt the rights of others. Then one has to come to the table to correct the imbalance. For way too long the Democrats (and many Republicans) have created a false picture of reality for the public. They have overspent and have brought states and the nation to the brink of collapse.

    I find it difficult to believe Elephant readers are unable to research this situation. The time to end the propaganda of endless money to be doled out is here. Sentimentality without reason leads to ruin.

  14. Joe Sparks says:

    The labor unions are and will remain the basic organizations of the wage-workers. To win the labor union members to a liberation policy, to recover the labor union leadership posts from employers' agents and the criminal elements who have smuggled into many of them, is, in some ways, the most crucial organizational job facing the liberation forces. There can be no avoidance of, or substitute for, doing this. Liberation cannot hope to succeed without them. It certainly can succeed with them.

  15. calico says:

    you do realize though that the unions have already said they would agree to the changes in their benefits, they just don't want to lose their collective bargaining rights and walker wouldn't have any of that. that kind of makes that point irrelevant in your comment. i find it difficult to believe that you are unable to research this situation…

  16. Stephen Johnson says:

    Agreed, state employees should make what people in the private sector earn. They don't in Wisconsin. Even with generous benefits, they make 4.8 percent less than our private sector peers. (Economic Policy Institute) The discrepancy goes up as education level goes up. You are also mistaken about the tax cuts pushed through in an "emergency session." The "emergency" was to trigger the need for this bogus "budget repair bill." Corruption between unions and the Democratic Party? Are you serious? Do you know who financed the Walker campaign? Yep, the Koch brothers.

  17. mike schrader says:

    I love Rep Hintz! He reminds me of someone who would stand up to the "popular" kids who picked anyone they could!