Monday, March 12, 2012

The Proprietorial Mindset Of Fitzwalkerstan

Like most Wisconsinites, the events of the past 15 months has set me aback, both financially and emotionally. As the unbelievably horrific events have unfolded, I have tried and tried to understand why and how people  could do this to other people. I have wondered what in the world could possess Scott Walker and Republicans in the state legislature to do the things they have done.

It's been all too obvious that their purported goals of creating jobs, improving the state's economy, lowering taxes and whatnot is so much hooey.  All of their actions have done anything but those stated goals.  So why are they doing what they are doing?

 A lot of people will banter about the terms greed and avarice, but they don't explain much more than the centralization of wealth that these malefactors have done.  Some have understandably accused the Republicans of being misogynistic, but again, that only explains one part of their misdeeds.  All the terms I've heard thrown about fit, but were not quite sufficient.

Then I was reminded of the old idiom of "What's yours is mine and what's mine is mine."  While it still doesn't cover everything, it does cover a lot.  The ruling class of Fitzwalkerstan has a proprietorial mindset in which they believe that everything belongs to them, or at least it should.

There have been three events, two recent and one that has gone on since the beginning of Fitzwalkerstan, which exemplify this very well.

What's yours is mine

The "bomb" that Scott Walker dropped on Wisconsin a year ago, the union busting law known as Act 10, is a prime example of the the proprietorial mindset.  Walker's lame excuse was that it gave the "tools" to governments, both state and local, to supposedly deal with the unconscionable cuts he was about to dole out with his cuts to school funding and shared revenue.

The common claim is that the legacy costs of pensions and health care were becoming unsustainable.  But was it?

Sadly, Walker was successfully able to portray public sector workers as the "haves" while the rest of the state were the "have nots."  But now that he has slashed the salaries of public sector workers - with the notable exception of his cronies who were each given tens of thousands of dollars in raises - we are all have nots.  The state's economy, which was actually starting to rebound before he took over, has been in a death spiral under his reign.  And projections for the future of our economy is bleak.

However, the public sector workers weren't even to blame for the mess he made. They had already been paying for their benefits in full.

On top of that, the pension system is fully funded.  There is no crisis to divert, except for allowing people like Walker in office, who only trash the economy.

And while health care costs are already exorbitantly high and  shooting up at astronomical rates, don't blame the public sector workers.  They don't control health care costs  Look more at the CEOs and board members of medical groups and insurance companies who are walking away with tens and even hundreds of millions of dollars each year.

All of Walker's manipulations were for two main goals.  One, to give workers a pay cut and give that money to his corporate friends and campaign donors.  The other was to give him an excuse to raid the pension fund - and don't think for one hot second that he's not drooling at the thought of getting his hands on that money - and again to give that money away to those who have given him so much already, like the Koch Brothers.

What's in the mine is mine

Another example of this proprietorial mindset is the recent imbroglio regarding Gogebic Taconite and the mining law changes the Republicans wanted to pass.

It was not, as the proponents of these changes claim, a simple streamlining of the permitting process.  It also included several exemptions to environmental laws that are in place to protect the waterways and wetlands from toxic pollution.  Gogebic Taconite, which Scott Fitzgerald recently admitted wrote the proposed law, wanted to get at the iron ore without having to cut into their profit margin with such pesky costs.

In fact, it has also come out that the company probably would not have been interested in opening up the mine anytime soon, due to the plunging value of iron ore.

And considering the mining business is doing pretty well in Wisconsin, at least according to their own association, it wasn't really going to destroy the mining industry in the state, so there's no need to go buy a new state flag, unless of course you wanted wanted one of those spiffy union flags. (As a point of interest, it was noted a few years ago that one of the best places to work was a mining company in Wisconsin that actually took care of its workers.  Rather a polar opposite of what Walker and friends are trying to do.)

Proving that they were never interested in doing environmentally-safe mining, or any mining in the near future, Gogebic Taconite went stomping off back to Florida, taking their bags of lucre with them.  Coincidentally, it is that last part - the leaving lucre - which has Walker and the Republicans pulling their hair and gnashing their teeth and hurling all sorts of curses and invective at Senator Dale Schultz and Democratic Senators.

In other words, even though the iron ore is an asset that belongs to the people of Wisconsin, Republicans were willing to give it away for next to nothing, just because some Florida-based company wanted it and had some love to spread around to the politicians who could make it happen.  It had nothing to do with jobs and if some people got sick or even died from the toxic pollution, well, meh, it's the price of being open for business.

What's yours is mine and you are mine

Perhaps the most egregious example of all is the maleficent actions taken by Walker and his Republican cohorts is the attack on women and the attempts to take away their rights, not only as women, but as humans.

First it was the defunding of Planned Parenthood.  Really, why would women need life-saving screenings anyway, right?  The right will literally scream murder and yell about the abortions services, which is just a small fraction of what they do.  But their holier-than-thou rantings are so much poppycock.  If they truly believed in the sanctity of life, they wouldn't abandon the child as soon as it was born.

Then it was the move to kill equal pay protection laws.  Why should women make the same pay for the same job? They're women!

Then we have Senator Glenn Grothman, who has never had a thought he thought was too stupid to utter, blaming single mothers for child abuse.  Just the sheer idiocy that could produce such a ridiculous and irresponsible left me speechless.  What in hell was he thinking?  Why not just say the act of giving birth leads to child abuse too?  I mean, is he really that sexually frustrated that he has to lash out at all the women who's had sex and none of it with him?

But just when I thought Grothman was the leader in stupidity, along comes Representative Pridemore.  This clown (no offense to clowns) thinks that women should stay in abusive relationships! How utterly clueless can a person be?!  Someone call the coroner, I think we can conclusively rule that Pridemore is brain dead.  Pridemore goes on to beat himself with the stupid stick by saying that women should stay with their abusive partners because the children need discipline and it's the man's job to be the disciplinarian.  (Yes, by now I'm spitting in rage!)

What this worm needs to understand is that if the ass is beating his wife/girlfriend, he's probably going to be beating the kids too!  And even if the father isn't abusing the child directly, being exposed to his parents' abusive relationship is just as damaging to the child's psyche as being abused directly.  This can lead to mental health issues (it can actually cause brain damage in a forming brain) and behavioral problems.

What he is suggesting would be akin to lighting the couch on fire to keep the couch from burning.

Obviously, the reasons behind all of these extraordinarily boorish moves can't all be explained by money or a purported believe in the sanctity of life.

What it does show is that they perceive women as something less than human and thus not deserving of the same consideration.  While the right is chock full of misogynists and sexist buttheads who objectify women and see them only as a means to meet their physical needs, it's actually a sign of considering them as property and not as people.  It might go back to the days where they thought women should only be barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen.  It might be just their own insecurity and subsequent need to bully someone they think is weaker.

I have news for them.  These are our wives, our sisters, our daughters, our girlfriends and our friends, who they are trying to control.  They are not chattel for them to push around and control.  They are as free as the rest of us to make their own decisions, especially in regards to what happens to their bodies.

In summary, too many people in positions of power in Fitzwalkerstan see our property as theirs for the taking, our natural assets as their own ticket to more money and the women of Wisconsin has so many possessions, as if they were pets and not people.

They act as if they feel, mistakenly so, that they have the right to these things and people just because they want them. If they haven't learned yet from the past year, the people are no longer intimidated by their titles or their personal wealth and that they don't own us or the state.

The People do understand these things and the People are reclaiming their state now.  And may we never let people like these regain control again.


  1. Pridemore is also the sick mother who wants to repeal the puppy mill bill. Google him, he looks like a pedophile.

  2. Well said, Chris. Thank you for the work you do. I already knew plenty of Grothman so the bill came as no surprise, but I hadn't heard Pridemore's comments before. To encourage women to stay in abusive relationships is beyond comprehension. It makes me wonder about the quality of his personal relationships.

  3. Pridemore also wanted to introduce an Arizona style "papers please" law to Wisconsin.

  4. Pridemore received three speeding tickets in four months in 2010 and was then busted for driving while his license was suspended in 2011. He's quite the law and order man. Hey Pridemore, show us your papers!

  5. Where did Pridemore say women should stay in abusive relationships? I didn't see it in the link you posted.

  6. Anon @ 0832:
    In the 6th paragraph: "...Don Pridemore, told TODAY'S TMJ4 he thinks even in abusive relationships, there are other options than divorce".

  7. I think the term you're looking for is power. The greed and avarice we're seeing is about power, because, as every good hyper-capitalist knows, money is power. The misogyny is about power, too, the power to be king in their own private kingdoms. These folks are aging two-year-olds, who don't want to share their toys or be told what to do by anybody. Like a two-year-old, their favorite word is "NO!", shouted repeatedly and at the top of their lungs. Unfortunately, they managed together themselves elected to public office, and only now are theiy hoisting their true colors and displaying their toddler-like psychological state. Everything has to go their way, or they'll throw a temper-tantrum. They want things to be the way they imagine them to be, and they are more thn willing to steamroller over anyone in their way. They want the power to impose their own view of the world onto everyone else, at all levels of living, right down to what people think and feel. That's the only way they'll be safe - when everybody is just like them. So, the foundation for the desire for power is fear, fear of everything different from them.

  8. So Walker wants to take the pension fund and give it to the Koch brothers? Well at least I got a laugh out of this.
    You should write fiction novels, that way reality wouldnt get in the way so often

  9. Walker wants to turn the pension fund over the Wall Street banksters who will bleed it dry through excessive fees and probably load it up with crap securities they can't sell anyone else. In return, Governor Hair-In-A-Can would reap massive campaign donations (the Thompson model)-- at least that was the dream, but the Senate recalls and old John Doe will put the kibosh on that.

  10. On a state and national scale, it is now quite apparent that Republicans in general do not regard Democratic Party officeholders as "legitimate," insofar as they are not members of the Republican Party. The GOP is now an authoritarian, semi-criminal enterprise that is really only interested in cementing its own power. That end now justifies all GOP means. Trouble is, besides rewarding their pals, punishing their opponents, and throwing US military might around, they haven't a clue how to govern in a complex, technologically challenging era.

  11. I am a divorced single mother who left a because of abuse. I raise my three gifted, talented and well-behaved children with support from my extended family and my community. I am not on welfare (although being a teacher I have been accused as such). Had I stayed in my marriage, my children would have suffered the residual effects of second generation abuse and have been abused themselves. Sometimes divorce is the way to break the cycle. You can't always fix the damage from abuse -- ask my ex-husband.

  12. Other options? Like death? I would be dead if I did not get a divorce and I still worry he will find a reason to finish what he started while we were married. I really wanted to have kids but if I was going to be a responsible mother, I could not bring children into an abusive relationship. He definitely thought of me as property. It frightens me people like Mr Grothmam are running our country.