Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task. ~William James

Monday, March 14, 2011

Done for the Week: Still Marching

We're still at it in Wisconsin.  Week 5 and counting.  And anticipating counting for a long time to come.

This past week saw our legislature ram through a "non-fiscal" version of our Governor's proposed budget "repair" bill, which will have devastating impacts and multitudinous ripples throughout our state. Effects will officially begin to be felt as soon as our State's Secretary of State can be forced to publish it in the state's newspaper of record.  Already unprecedented numbers of public employees are rushing to retire before the law takes effect, seeking to abandon the sinking ship.  Lawsuits and investigations are multiplying, as every avenue is tried to block this package of measures, which will effectively neuter collective bargaining by state employees, cripple if not finish off public unions, undercut the Democratic party in this key state, put health care for the uninsured and medically underserved under the control of the executive branch of state government, and allow no-bid contracts for sale or lease of state-owned power plants by state administrators--among other distressing effects.

The process of passage of this bill was not a pretty sight.  It featured a Governor-orchestrated sneak attack which substituted a bill stripped of the fiscal items that would require a quorum--that quorum made impossible by the absence of 14 Democratic Senators.  In less than two hours, the bill had been announced, shoved through an abbreviated conference committee section over the vociferous objections of the Assembly minority leader, and passed by the Senate, too late to hit the evening news.  The Senate had voted unanimously not to print or read the bill before voting on it.  Only one Republican senator voted against it.  After it was passed, these trigger-happy Senators were escorted by police from the capitol building. 

The next day, the Assembly voted on the bill, in a similarly harried fashion.  Some Democratic representatives had to use windows to get into the building in order to vote, after being refused entrance by police attempting to keep people out.  Debate was cut short.  As it turned out, the no-bid contract feature was back in the Assembly version, having been omitted from the Senate version (who knew?  who could have found out, given the lack of a printed bill?).  This item was particularly abhorrent to those who were wise to the cronyism involved, and the fact that Koch industries already had job ads out for positions running these soon-to-be sold off state assets.

Needless to say, actions continue at fever pitch.

I keep hearing that we're going to be trading in our rally signs for clipboards, hitting the streets in recall efforts and focusing on key elections coming up on April 5.  And I keep answering the phone, and receiving calls to action in ongoing rallies. 

I continue to try to tend to my own life, with variable success. 

Done for the Week:  Mar. 7-Mar. 13
  1. Continued off-season race training, still challenged by state of political chaos in Wisconsin; biked once (supplemented by lots of walking in demonstrations)
  2. Finished The Return Journey, by Maeve Binchy
  3. Gave significant volunteer support to transitioning nonprofit; major I.T. contribution 
  4. Gave 1-1/2 days to facilitating interviews for organizer position
  5. Worked my two part-time jobs
  6. Published 5 blog posts
  7. Meditated 4 times
  8. Got my husband to the gym with me once
  9. Attended meeting of committee to hire new organizer, and convened subcommittee to finalize interview questions
  10. Had a movie date with my husband; saw The Adjustment Bureau
  11. Watched our 2 teams play 2 basketball games, with my son and my husband
  12. Attended 5 rallies, 4 locally and 1 in Madison--including two "homecoming" events for Fab 14 Senators; rubbed elbows with Jesse Jackson and Susan Sarandon
  13. Played several games of chess with my son--lost all
  14. Attended 1 yoga class
  15. Had long breakfast with friend
  16. Spent way too much time online, following unprecedented political events in my state, "working" Facebook, Twitter, and political sites, and updating my organization's website daily to reflect minute-by-minute scheduling 
  17. Took one daytime nap, and got to bed "early" twice
Again, I'm going to say that rest and recreation--in red, above--were the most important items of business this past week.  A friend of mine remarked when I met up with her in Madison on Saturday, describing her reaction on opening her empty refrigerator, "You can't fight a war on an empty stomach."  And I can't stay in the battle without adequate sleep, and occasional refreshing diversion.

And again, I had a hard time keeping meditation in my sights, though my focus goal for the week was "to meditate daily, no matter what." 

Next week's focus goal--for the third, "charmed" time, I hope--will be to meditate daily, no matter what.

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