Friday, August 22, 2008

Do I hear an echo?

I had a recent encounter with Michelle Litjens, former Winnebago County Republican Chair and now Vice Chair of the Wisconsin Republican 6th Congressional District. Let me begin by saying, she is a very nice person and I admire anyone who puts into action what they believe. Unfortunately, some of those things she believes are misguided and just wrong thinking.

For example, she was talking about how she just loves her health savings account (HSA) and fervently believes that we should "let the market work" with respect to health insurance. I don't know about letting the market work--isn't that how we got into such a mess now? It's all well and good that she and her husband have the money to put into an HSA. Not everyone does. Some people are just scraping by and making it from paycheck to paycheck. She proceeded to denigrate the "Healthy Wisconsin" plan that is endorsed by the AFL-CIO in Wisconsin. (Read about the Healthy Wisconsin plan here: )

She made it sound like it would be a handout of health care to everyone--she apparently didn't read the fine print or is just echoing the Republican legislator point of view. She then went to to give personal reflections on her advice to some of her tenants (she and her husband run a home rental business) who have no health insurance. She has guided them to go and apply for Badger Care. Now, excuse me for pointing this out, but if we are painting the proposed health care reform system as a bad thing and a government handout(which it really isn't), then why would you in the next breath guide people to another health care program that is, at least in the Republican mind as best as I can figure it out, a government handout program. I don't get it.

I'm trying to understand what Republicans want with respect to health care. Michelle is a proponent of personal responsibility, some tenets which I actually agree with. She carries the idea a little too far for me and a lot of others. Are Republicans truly following the call of their churches with respect to the idea of caring for the poor? Last week in our church bulletin, there was an interesting insert on "Faithful Citizenship". I hope Michelle and other Republicans at church read this thoroughly. I know I did. I also went to the website for the Catholic church to read more about it:
In the website, the document with the title of "Forming consciences for faithful citizenship" tells the reader multiple times in many different ways that everyone should have the right to health care, that it is our moral responsibility to make sure that everyone does. If we "let the market work" as the Republicans echo, will everyone have health care or will only the wealthiest amongst us end up with health care?


Thursday, August 21, 2008

A little history....

From the DC AFL-CIO This week in Labor History (scroll down)
During the Great Depression, the Seattle Library Board announces it will fire married women if their husbands have jobs and can support them. Nine are fired; 14 others keep their positions by submitting affidavits and swearing to the fact that their husbands earned less than $100 a month (8/23/1932)

Monday, August 18, 2008

Good read---especially for Library folks

Perusing the AFSCME Library update today, I found the following:

Anatomy of the 88-Day Vancouver Library Strike Last Year
Library Journal Insider
July 28, 2008

So, what was it like during the lengthy strike last year against the Vancouver Public Library, BC? An Indomitable Spirit: The Eight Hundred of CUPE 391," (PDF) by Anita Galanopoulos et al., first appeared in the Winter 2007/2008 issue of Progressive Librarian. LJ covered the strike off and on, and the local news media did so as well, but these reflections by workers on strategy, solidarity, pay equity, and professional commitment are worth a read.

I read a bit of this and was especially amused at the paragraph about the Knit Picketers, Knitting in Solidarity. LC1 and I would have definitely fit in with this group.

I guess this is a great way to come out of the warm, fuzzy knitting world we've been hiding in, stay tuned for some summer updates, Labor Day, and of course, the Chicks always interesting viewpoints on politics and the upcoming elections