Thursday, August 18, 2011

Goverment and Legislation combined part 3 of 4

Government    definition     'moral conduct or behavior'   'area organized as a political unit'    'the continuous exercise of authority'    'the machinery through which an agency exercises authority'

Legislation     definition      'laws created and/or used by a governing body'    'to make public policy'

Thank you once again to the good folks who compile the dictionary.  Talk about having a love for words and language, I would be bored to tears.  Still it wouldn't be as bad as sitting through another session of the Joint Committee on Finance, that was unbearable.

"We must ensure that Wisconsin's government lives up to Wisconsin's value's-hard work, sense of community, concern for others and commitment to educating future generations."
from the Wisconsin state Blue Book 2007 - 2008

So is legislation being currently used for the purpose that it was intended in Wisconsin?  To answer that I feel we should look to the related yet different question:  Is the government of the state of Wisconsin functioning as it was designed to be?  To the second question the answer is unequivocally NO.

Our state constitution, modeled largely upon the framework of our nations constitution and related articles (bill or rights, etc.) states that our government is of, by and for the people.  This implicitly would mean that the will and collective good of all citizens should be the one and only true focus of government.
And thus, legislation is not being pursued for the sake of its intended purpose.  And that brings about the question of why our legislative process (represented by the senate and assembly) and our government in this state (executive branch being Scotty Walker) are not acting in the best interest of the states citizens.  And how did this change occur and why, as well as along what time lines.

I was thinking about this earlier today as I joined in the solidarity singalong.  The question of constitutional rights has arisen again in regard to free speech at the capitol.  I thought the courts had settled this long ago but once again we are somehow in contention on these issues.  Yesterday the folks of the Capitol Police and Security began to try (not very whole hearted) to enforce upon the singers, the stipulation that they could not carry signs or raise their voice in song from the second floor of the rotunda.
I was pretty darned surprised by this.  It had been previously established that no municipality or state could over-ride the American constitution when it comes to free speech and right to assemble.  Yet here it was again, and right when the police and protesters were all getting along so well again.  As it turns out this was not the result of officers being asked to enforce non-existent laws against the community, but rather some of the old guard of the department expressing their displeasure for the capitol not returning to status quo soon enough for them.
They used to have the quietest, most peaceful job I would imagine of any Wisconsin law enforcement office.  To protect the Capitol building and those that work within it.  The building which basically all citizens of the state revered and treated as sacred.  Rare was a vocal outburst, let alone any physical action initiated by a group or individual requiring that action be taken by the officers.
In other words they had nice and quiet jobs, they're good people and good for them.  It has been stated by some of the old guard that if the most minor possible infringement of law, code or policy could be directed towards the singers or those who are associated with the singers in the officers eyes, then they may have an excuse to relocate the daily event elsewhere.  And thus they would have a nice quiet building to patrol once again.  This position was backed up with the reasoning that even though all negativity (from a strictly legal, criminal definition) occurring in the capitol recently has come from the far right, it could be avoided entirely by ending the event.
This is circular reasoning and I will not even try to defend it.  Especially when it stands in opposition to the constitutional rights of the citizens of this fine state.  I may have to remind the officers that when they took the oath of office and decided to carry lethal weapons and be granted the authority to use them, that they may eventually be involved in a situation that would lead to the disturbance of the peace and quiet they had become accustomed to in Madison.
What I realized I was being presented with was a rather useful metaphor here regarding legislation and government by, for and of the people.  We had a large group, the hundreds of regular and rotating solidarity singers legally and peacefully occupying their time and taking part in democracy.  On the other hand we had a smaller group, the folks of Capitol P & S, who felt they could override the law and the will of the people, in the pursuit of their own personal desires.
In all fairness to the women and men of Chief Tubb's force I do not envy them their job right now, nor do I blame them for wanting a return to normalcy.  So now we have two factions disagreeing with each other over what constitutes 'the will of the people.'  At this point a normal, healthy and functioning government should be able to step in and remedy the disagreement in a timely manner.
And here I will have to leave off until tomorrow readers, solidarity until part 4 of 4.

On Wisconsin!    FORWARD!!!!

1 comment:

kks said...

One hour out of the day isn't hurting anybody! Keep calm and sing along!!
In solidarity...
Chief was a bit testy today....I think they need to join in the does a body good!
See you next week....gotta do that thing called work...for the state! Whose state? Our state!