Friday, February 18, 2011

Checking In: Wisconsin and Personal Matters

Good morning.

The horrible cold snap has blown over, yet the plumbers that serve Deming are still busy fixing the pipes that burst all around town. We had an underground leak in our back yard this week and it took days to get someone out here. This hard-working man dug around and dug around and ended up capping a leaky water line that no one could identify. So far everything here seems to be working as normal, and none of the neighbors have complained about losing water service.

The run of Crime and Punishment in Las Cruces finished last weekend, and all week Sarah and I have been rehearsing music for a local variety show. School is also busy, and in addition to all of that there are arrangements to be made around the arrival of our second child, due in the next few weeks. Somewhere in this mess I am also going to Santa Fe for a couple of days to teach theatre workshops for school teachers.


It is cheering to read about working people flexing their muscle in Wisconsin. It appears that this governor they have up there is full of it. He is attempting to rush through painful austerity measures in order to pay for expensive tax cuts he gave to the business class, and a bunch of non-fiscal attacks on the working class such as eliminating the basic right of public sector workers to organize and bargain. In other words, union busting. He exempted something like three unions (don't have it in front of me but three come to mind) who had contributed to his election campaign. The other unions are out.

Is Wisconsin in such terrible shape fiscally? Not according to the state's own non-partisan fiscal bureau, which says that the state is projected to be running a surplus in the near future, and the current budget shortfall happens to resemble the figure created by the governor's unnecessary tax cuts for businesses.

When someone mentions the existence of class warfare in the United States, they are often accused of creating it themselves. Nonsense. We have a very organized, highly funded, strongly unified wealthy class in the United States that is using politics to secure its own interests, and legislation like what we saw in Wisconsin this week is what that looks like. For a change, working people pushed back. The schools had to close for two days, and we'll see about today, because teachers en masse joined the tens of thousands of people who massed at the legislature in Madison. This is how it should be. This is what is required. Being uncomfortable, and making things shut down.

In order to block this budget from certain passage, the Democratic lawmakers from that state boarded a bus and fled Wisconsin -- rumor has it they are hiding out in Illinois -- so the state police could not arrest them and compel them to participate in this assault on the people of Wisconsin. This is the choice left to them. In the United States of America, this happens.

A Good Blog

Lately, blogger Nathan Thompson has been on a roll over at Dangerous Harvests. Do pay a visit and look at some of his recent posts. He addresses the latest sad controversy in the realm of American Zen, some of his trademark bareboned reflections on his Zen practice, and also some posts about yoga practice and culture as he has been training to teach yoga himself.

Coming Soon

For a few minutes a day, I get to read what I want to read, and recently I've been going slowly through Iain Bruce's detailed critique of Venezuela under Hugo Chavez, The Real Venezuela. It is deep in the details of policy and its impact on the lives of ordinary Venezuelans, not so much about the larger-than-life figure of Chavez. Reflections on that will follow here.

Have a wonderful weekend, and if you're local, why not come out the Depot Theatre Saturday night or Sunday afternoon? Our show has some laughs and some terrific music. There are some impressive musicians living out here, and for a while this month there was nothing to do but stay indoors and practice. Enjoy the results.

[Photo: Putting the little one to bed after Wednesday night Zen practice.]


quid said...

Your show sounds wonderful. Hope it was a good's sounds like you are very busy. I'm laughing because your word verification is "quids"!!!

I'm so overly passionate about Wisconsin that I haven't posted yet. Too damn emotionally involved. Hopefully, I'll post early this week.


Rich Streitfeld said...

Thanks for staying politically as well as spiritually involved. Good luck on second child . While you teach theatre I shall be "performing" on a cable show....