The Evil in Wisconsin

Tonight I was reading the readers’ comments attached to the New York Times article about the sick act the Republican party pulled off in Wisconsin, and I found myself hitting the recommend button on any post that said, “this is war.” I don’t know yet how that manifests itself. I’m not the kind who gets enthusiastic about wars—of any kind. But it’s clear that something needs to be done. The Republican party is evil. While it will destroy itself eventually—that’s a real universal law—it’s doing far too much harm to the common good right now to just stand by and wait. For starters, I sent some money to the Wisconsin Democratic party to help them in their recall efforts.

There are readers of this blog who dislike it it when I use the word “evil.” But it is the correct word. I’m leaving tomorrow morning for a speaking gig in Pasadena. When I get back I’m going to start work on a post dealing with my thoughts on evil.

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11 Responses to “The Evil in Wisconsin”

  1. Kathy Says:

    Dear Mark,

    Evil is real. I battle evil on a daily basis in my work. I recommend Scott Peck’s book: People of the Lie. Evil is an every day, common, and clever manifestation. I don’t waste a lot of time being concerned about this, I simply attempt to recognize its presence and deal accordingly….from my perspective, it has to do with balance of the universal truths…perhaps we continue to fight the good and righteous fight….

  2. Karen Says:

    My son worked as a weaver in a textile plant in Georgia in the 1990’s. Georgia, of course, is a “right to work” state, meaning no unions. That plant had an 8 year “safety” record. I doubt even a business doing nothing but pushing paper could boast 8 years with no one getting injured. Obviously, it was a lie; workers were always getting injured, as did my son. He was told to file for disability rather than workers’ comp, even though his injury was work-related. With my urging, he applied for the workers’ comp because it would pay for the surgery he needed on both his knees, plus physical therapy (and besides, he was injured on the job!).

    But it wasn’t just the company’s management that pressured him to file a fraudulent disability claim, he also got flack from fellow employees, who didn’t want “their safety record” ruined. The fact that they were harming themselves by going along with what was only good for the company didn’t seem to enter their heads. They also were (are) vehemently opposed to unions. My son didn’t return to that job. Today, he is back in California and a very happy member of a union.

    I hope what is happening around the country will get people to examine their knee-jerk reactions to unions. Maybe they will, but they are just as likely to follow the pronouncements of Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck and continue their march over the cliff.

  3. Jude Bratman Says:

    Mark, god bless you! I just found your blog and this post is the first thing I read. You could not be more correct about the evil that is the leadership of the Republican party. They operate with lies and fear to motivate their base to vote against the bases own interest. I am a lawyer and I fight large corporations everyday and I see close up and personal the dirty tricks and deceit that is business as usual for this group. Thank you for being here.

  4. suzy Says:

    Yes, EVIL is alive & well. I deal with it everyday in my job. It runs the gamut from my sabotaging, back-stabbing, credit stealing co-workers, to the lying clients & on to my greedy, racist, homophobic, xenophobic Republican boss who believes that he will go to heaven if he listens daily to a half hour tape from a fundamentalist christian cult.

  5. JB Says:

    Mark,
    It was truly a pleasure to be able to meet you at your speaking gig in (South) Pasadena. It was very cool to hear you read a short excerpt from your new work, Street Song. The character in the story, who sat with you, was far from evil. What you said is so true: that we can not put people in boxes. From that little teaser, I can tell we’re in for another good read.

    • markbittner Says:

      I enjoyed meeting you as well. I wish we’d had more time to talk. I enjoyed the gig. I used to do those so often that I finally got exhausted. They stopped being enjoyable. At one point I was feeling so wasted that I was literally seeing double. But everything about this one was right. The gig was well-handled by the organizer, Steve Fjelsted; I liked the town; I liked where they put me up, Bissell House; and the experience was fresh for me again. I’ll want to get back out on the road with Street Song, but with the collapse of the world of independent bookstores it’s going to take some creative thinking to find a way to do it.

  6. Nan Says:

    I live in Madison and I’m an office worker for local government. My department serves people with disabilities. It is heart-breaking. Our union has a 3 year contract so we may have jobs of some sort or we may not, but these reprehensible bastards intend to shut us down and privatize services. This is the sort of thing the main stream media does not cover, of course, since they are owned by big money. Many people with disabilities will be back in institutions, unregulated this time, only now they know what it is like to be included in their communities. My friends would rather die than go back, I know I would. I would rather die than watch it happen. When I am at the capitol with the crowds I want to tear those smug Republicans apart limb from limb, and I mean that absolutely literally. I am 62 years old. If you were to pass me on the street you might assume I am a sweet old grandmother. This is not reading about evil and theorizing about it.

  7. Tracy G Says:

    The situation in Michigan is arguably even worse.

    In the interest of balance, here’s another article describing the “emergency managers” bill which has been passed by both the House and the Senate and is expected to soon be signed into law. This second article provides more insight into the twisted mindset behind the legislation, including quotes which describe it as “generally positive for bond buyers,” for example. And then about halfway through, there’s this chilling paragraph describing what it’s really about:

    “The new law would allow emergency managers to terminate labor contracts, strip local ordinances, hold millage elections, dissolve a government with the governor’s approval, and merge school districts.” (Emphasis added.)

    The law gives the governor the power to dissolve entire cities and school districts. That’s quite the breathtaking power grab.

  8. Margaret Says:

    Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has proven himself to be, if you’ll pardon my language, a lying snake. During his campaign, he didn’t say a mumbling word about collective bargaining or union-busting. Most who voted for him did not know what they were getting. Many of his former supporters are now marching at the Capitol, shoulder to shoulder and in solidarity with those who have always opposed him.

    And the union-busting isn’t the worst of it. A 1992 video exists of Scott Walker defending David Duke’s ideas as “not extreme.” Walker did admit that Duke’s history as a Grand Wizard of the KKK was somewhat awkward.

    If an agnostic can pray, then Please God, let me live to see the day when Scott Walker leaves office (early) as the most universally despised Wisconsin politician since McCarthy.

  9. Diane Says:

    Corporations are mandated by law to make as much money as possible. If it weren’t for checks on their ability to do that, they’d naturally do as much evil as possible. Whatever it took. Now that corporations have control of the government, we’re going to get to see what they will do. I hope that people wake up soon enough to reverse things, but I fear it is already too late.

  10. Mike Lombardo Says:

    Yes Mark, many Republicans are evil, especially those on the far right who can only be described as self righteous Fascists who believe, sincerely or otherwise, that they are on a mission from God. But, this isn’t Nazi Germany and the reckoning will surely come. My only hope is that we stop them before there is too much needless suffering.

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