Where I live, the entire country (and even outside the country) knows what's going on in my backyard. I live in southern Wisconsin, just a mere 25 minute drive from the state capital of Madison. If you've been living under a rock, or if you're outside the country and have no idea what I'm talking about, the governor of Wisconsin just forced through a bill that strips collective bargaining rights from state/public workers' unions. That's not all that's in the bill but that seems to be the portion that bothers people the most. There are changes to state medicaid and Badger Care (health care), as well as other attacks on public workers including other monetary concessions. This was proposed all in the name of balancing the budget. That's actually how they ("they" being the Republican party) got the bill forced through. The bill passed the Assembly the first time and went to the Senate. The governor and Senate Republicans refused to even discuss changes to the bill, forcing the 14 Democratic Senators to flee the state and hole up in Illinois for almost a month. The reason they left had to do with the amount of Senators needed to vote. They needed 20 Senators present for a quorum to vote on fiscal matters. Without the Democratic Senators, they only had 19...see the logic?
A lot of other drama went on during the next three weeks. A blogger calling the governor claiming to be one of the Koch brothers (multi-billionaire oil tycoons from Texas that heavily funded the governor's campaign)...claims that he was willing to negotiate (he wasn't - he just wanted the Democrats to come back so they could force a vote through)...and finally, last week, changes to the bill to make it "non-fiscal" so a quorum wouldn't be required for a vote. That's how they got the bill passed. They took out all the fiscal matters so unions were still stripped of collective bargaining, and many other things. It, of course, passed the Senate (one of the Republicans turned on his party - he listened to his constituents) and went back to the Assembly (where it passed, also, but some of the Republicans again turned on their party) and has been signed by the governor.
So, collective bargaining was not a fiscal issue. That's how the bill got passed.
But.........this morning, I was watching one of the local news stations and they had the governor on. He said outright that collective bargaining was a fiscal issue.
Doesn't that make that vote illegal? Hmmmmm..........
Now, I will say that I'm more of a Democrat than anything. Don't get me wrong, I have some Republican and Socialist views...I believe in "an eye for an eye," if you will, and health care for everyone, among other random things. I am not a huge fan of unions. While I think they help protect the good ones, I think they also protect ones that shouldn't be protected. In the case of teachers, I think they protect good teachers but they also protect teachers that should be fired or are just biding their time until retirement. Unfortunately, there is no clear-cut way to decide if a teacher is "good" or not. It's obvious to any teacher (or anyone with a brain) that basing teacher performance on the standardized test scores of their students won't work. Teachers and schools cannot be responsible for outside reasons that may alter student test scores. I know that the entire 10th grade Wisconsin tests (I can't think of their name right now) in Janesville had to be thrown out a few years ago because the kids heard that if they did badly, their teachers would get fired. They had to throw out the entire batch of tests because of how badly the kids did on purpose. Anyway...unions. I think they protect some that shouldn't be protected. I like them because they give voice to everyone, particularly when it comes to wages and working conditions. I would also like to be given the choice of whether or not I'm a part of the union. Right now, teachers are not given a choice. Others may be but teachers, generally, are not.
So, what to do, what to do.......
In other random events in my world, Little Man has been growing like a damn weed. He was 15 lbs., 8 oz., 25.25" long, and had a head circumference of 16" at his 4-month appointment this past Wednesday. He's been cleared to eat solid food. We've also heard about the genetic test...well, most of it. Based on the blood test to check the protein levels, he's completely asymptomatic. He has no symptoms at all...not even close. The DNA test tells a different story. Based on the DNA, he has the disorder. However, there was an anomaly on the DNA that they've never seen with this disorder. The doctors don't know if it is compensating for the disorder or if it's just there or if it has nothing to do with the disorder. They're going to test both my husband and I next...both for the disorder and the anomaly. We're still waiting on the skin biopsy. It still looks like he doesn't have the disorder...but we won't know for sure until the skin biopsy comes back. The doctor wants me to make sure he eats every 4 hours. I'm sorry...but he sleeps through the night and there is no way I'm waking him up to eat if he's asleep. Besides, I need my sleep, too!
Other than that...the Knit-In is coming up this weekend in Madison. Oh, and I'm teaching myself to crochet. I tried a long time ago to crochet...I didn't do very well. I could take the biggest hook I could find and my stitches would still come out tiny-tiny. I think I've figured out how to deal with the tension because it's going much easier this time.
Anyway, no pictures today...sorry. Maybe next time.