Thursday, February 24, 2011

Pink Slips, Pills, War on Women

Walker has now begun sending out as many as 6,000 layoff notices to public sector employees in Wisconsin. Even Lisa Fitzgerald, the wife of republican and state senate majority leader Scott Fitzgerald has gotten one. This is a familiar strategy to try to scare folks into compliance. Just last year on March 5, 2010 the then mayor of San Francisco, Gavin Newsom sent out more than 15,000 pink slips to city workers threatening us with termination.

In 1994, every employee of the San Francisco Chronicle and the San Francisco Newspaper Agency went out on strike. We were tired of working without a contract and going without cost of living raises for so long. After about one week of walking the picket lines, management sent out certified letters to all employees that said we would lose our jobs if we didn't come back to work. Luckily, when I answered my door, my porch was covered with strike/picket signs. The postman said he had a certified letter for some of this name, mine, but it was clear that she wasn't home to sign for it. "Yes," I replied, "she is gone and no-one knows when she'll return." I experienced so many acts of solidarity during that brief, 11 day, strike. BART employees gave us free rides, truckers brought us big boxes of burgers, it felt like a huge extended community.

Well, there seems to be a double dip in the housing crisis. Prices are still falling and new home sales are diving faster than a cormorant on cocaine, Obama's loan modification program has not functioned very well due to lack of cooperation from the banks, gas, food and the prices in general keep rising. Now, the media keeps telling us the recession is over, thinking if they repeat it often enough we will start to believe it.

And, if that's not enough salt rubbed in our wounds, yesterday I saw a televised ad for a new anti-depressant. The commercial begins something like...are you having money troubles, family problems?...Well, ain't that a kick in the head, sell us medication to take while you rob and rape us! This brings me to the GOP's new war on women. Their prescription for returning women to a subordinate class: make abortion illegal, change the definition of rape, and in Iowa and South Dakota there are bill being presented todecriminalize the murder of doctors in clinics that give women access to abortion. So much for all their talk about "right to life."