Just wanted to leave a last note as we wash away this extraordinary year. When I started 2011, I wasn't in a good place politically, as the election of Scott Walker and other deceptive, foolish Tea Baggers had led me to wonder if there was any point in doing things the way I thought was proper. It didn't seem like having good values and working hard was paying off, not in the corporate world, not at the ballot box, and not in everyday life. It seemed like indifference and lies were trumping decency, fact, and doing the right thing.
Then Scott Walker "dropped the bomb" in February, and the despair turned to anger. And when I saw tens of thousands of my fellow Wisconsinites take to the streets with the same emotion, I realized that all was not lost- that decency and respect and doing the right thing still mattered deeply to more people than just a handful that I was fortunate to know personally. I have full confidence that 2011 will be shown to be the year that millions of people finally GOT IT, where they realized that most of our elected officials do not have our best interests at heart, and that it's going to take direct action to drive these moneychangers from the temple. And that direct action means more protests, recalls if necessary, and puncturing the bubble that far too many of the media and middle America want to rest in.
You saw this reflected in this blog. I'd only written occasional items in the first 3 years this had been in existence, mostly casual economics-related stuff or sports items or general silliness that I'd come across. But I found an outlet for all the anger and bullshit and undiscussed realities that needed to be let out into the open. I noticed how the media was failing to report was obvious to anyone who was in Madison in February and March of 2011- that there was an out-of-state corporate takeover of Wisconsin and Wisconsin's values being attempted, and despite the media's "false equvialency" game of lies and spin, that reality was on one side, and Scott Walker/ Koch/ ALEC was on the other. And that something had to be said and done to break through the noise.
I also knew how to read and figure state and local budgets, and figured this space could be used to allow people to separate the fact from the bullshit as to whether Wisconsin was truly "broke", and if these rash meaures were actually needed. I figured out very quickly that the state was far from broke, and having the archives for these posts have frequently led to future posts as the WisGOPs continue to think that the average citizen will have the convenient amnesia that our media seems to have (or wants to have in exchange for access). I realized I could use this space to alert others to what was really happening in our state and nationwide, let them find the same information I knew, and have them become educated in the budgetary and rhetorical games these guys were trying to play (like when I knew in March that Walker was lying about laying off state employees because the numbers didn't add up) My goal at the time was to not only let people know I thought something was bullshit, but to have them DISCOVER AND SEE WHY it was bullshit, and then encourage them to use that knowledge to act, and pass those facts onto others.
But this blog changed when I woke up on the 4th of July, used my knowledge of K-12 policies and the state budget, and exposed the lies the Walker boys were making about Kaukauna schools. 2 days later, I checked back into this space, and saw that instead of the usual 15 or 20 hits, there were more like 400. And it turned out that Greg Sargent of the Washington Post had discovered my story and shot it nationwide. It's still by far my most-hit post, at nearly 2,000 pageviews as I write this.
And maybe the Kaukauna incident has now allowed this blog to take on a life of its own. I almost feel a need to say something every day or two, or whenever the latest lie or instance of corruption or policy failure comes out of Wallker's administration (which seems to be about every day or two these days). And the 2 or 3 people that have stumbled upon this place have now become 10 or 20 or 30, they're passing along the words that I have, and are adding their own knowledge, allowing us to write abook of reality in Wisconsin to counter the fallacies in Walker World. And they're teaching me a lot more with their great work. Since the media won't do the job, it becomes our job in the Cheddarsphere to drive these bastards out, and because we know the facts and have the outlets such as Twitter, Facebook and these blogs, WE WILL DRIVE THE BASTARDS OUT. Sure, it won't be easy, but it's a whole lot more doable when the facts tend to fall on your side. In 2012, I may be busy with other parts of my life, but I'll still be on this site quite a bit, doing what I can to bring what I see and know to the rest of you, and thanking you for helping me know more too.
And for Governor Walker, and the WisGOPs and your corporate puppetmasters, I have one final message, courtesy of Sting, Andy Summers, and Stewart Copeland. As an extra bonus, maybe this'll bring the tune back to you in the way Sting originally intended it to mean.
That's right, we'll be watching you. Happy New Year to all who read this, and let's make some history.