Friday, February 25, 2011

A Smorgasbord of Dysfunction

Wisconsin has been known in the rest of the country for one particular foodstuff: cheese.

Now it is not so much one homogeneous block of curdled milk product (whether hole-y, or bleu, or moldy), so much as it is a veritable cornucopia of public dysfunction.

A buffet of buffonery, if you will.

The dust-up caused by Governor Scott Walker's attempt to reign in public spending has revealed in one place, at one time, the virtual inanity of thought in no less then four (4) separate spheres: State legislature, unions, public education, and the media.

Democrat legislators fled the State to avoid giving Republicans -- who hold the majority after recent elections -- the ability to vote on legislation that the Democrats don't like. They have, in effect, blocked the democratic process, while at the same time they and their supporters in the streets claim to be promoting the democratic process.

Unions representing public employees are encouraging the defeat of Gov. Brown's collective-bargaining restrictions, asserting that they are interested in "working people" -- working people who, with salary and benefits, reportedly earn over $100,000 per year on the public dole.

Teachers claiming to do nothing but labor "for the children" are calling in "sick" -- complete with faked doctor excuses -- to join street protests and State capitol sit-ins, apparently unaware that the act of abandoning the classroom to argue for salary and union power is not quite consistent with an interest in kids' learning.

The media, reporting on the kerfuffle, describes the event as "Cairo coming to Madison" (if your teacher was 'sick' that day in your Government class, Madison is the capitol of Wisconsin). Really?

This would be quite amusing, if it did not spell such trouble for public life. It seems that integrity and honesty are in short supply, while greed and self-interest are abundant.

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