Thursday, June 16, 2011

Alas, We're Not in Athens...

Recent Protest in Athens
According to witnesses, more than 40,000 people mobilized in Athens to protest austerity measures that raise taxes, cut salaries, slashed pensions and put health benefits out of reach. Their current unemployment rate is over 16%. Police hid behind steel barricades and used tear gas to try and disperse the angry citizenry.

Here, judges were at work on both sides of the struggle. Justice James Ware struck down the ridiculous and fallacious notion that he should have recused himself from the proposition 8 decision due solely  to the fact he is a gay man in a long-term relationship. Ware is an African-American who immediately recognized the civil rights implications of this type of "reasoning."

However, in Wisconsin the state Supreme Court ruled that Judge Maryann Sumi overstepped her authority by throwing out the late night, Republicans only vote for governor Scott Walker's bill stripping workers of collective bargaining rights. As it now stands public workers, except for police and firefighters, will undergo pay cuts that average about 8% of their salaries. The unions are putting together a lawsuit based on the fact that the bill illegally discriminates between classes of employees for the soul purpose of political payback.

This war against workers is not only destructive to working people but to the entire American economy. Robert Reich's article "Why the Republican War on Workers Undermines the American Economy," lays it all out there. Keep up the good work R.R.!