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Monday, September 11, 2006

Madison, Wisconsin Raked the Lawn with Neo-Fascist Chinese Goods 

I've talked about Madison, Wisconsin before (in a post in which some people characterized Howard Dean as a reactionary).

So Bean heard from Jessalyn and linked to spaceref.com which reproduced the contents of a PDF from the City of Madison web site.

City of Madison Legislative File Number 04419 (version 1) Proclaiming Pluto as Madison's ninth planet.


Proclaiming Pluto as Madison's ninth planet.


WHEREAS, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) has recently declared that Pluto is no longer a planet of our solar system and is instead part of a new category of planets that they intend to name "dwarf" planets; and

WHEREAS, one of the reasons for this demotion is that Pluto is small, which they call being a "dwarf," suggesting the IAU does not tolerate diversity; and

WHEREAS, Pluto's orbit intersects the orbit of Neptune and is somewhat elliptical, which also is being used as a reason for disqualifying it as a planet, suggesting that the IAU really does not tolerate planets pursuing different lifestyles; and

WHEREAS, there are two other astronomical bodies - UB313 and Ceres - that could also qualify for planetary status were we to be consistent with declaring Pluto a planet; and

WHEREAS, while UB313 has been nicknamed Xena after a noted television character very popular with the lesbian and gay community, the IAU has resisted making this name official, again suggesting a level of intolerance; and

WHEREAS, "plutocracy" means the reign of wealth or the wealthy; and

WHEREAS, the Mayor has expressed concerns that, should this resolution pass, Madison might be perceived as a plutocracy;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the City of Madison declares that Pluto is its ninth planet.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the City supports Pluto and values its dwarf status.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the City supports planets that take a different path, such as Ceres and Xena.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the City requests Neptune modify its orbit to assist Pluto in qualifying for planetary status and that Neptune declare this to be a reasonable astronomical accommodation.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the city urges the IAU to adopt an Inclusionary Astronomy rule giving planets that might be small, have elliptical orbits and exist with differences equal status to the other planets.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the City declares it is not in any way favoring a plutocracy.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the City believes that Inclusionary Astronomy is also a way to counter any suggestion that this resolution endorses plutocracy.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the City requests the International Astronomical Union to reconsider its decision, to grant Ceres and UB313 planetary status, and to give UB313 the name Xena as a gesture of inclusiveness.

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the City invites any representatives of Pluto (should any exist) to an upcoming Common Council meeting where they will receive the keys to the city, passes to the Goodman Pool, an honorary membership in the Chamber of Commerce (to ensure that the folks on Pluto realize how business-friendly Madison really, REALLY is) and, finally, an autographed CD from the Dixie Chicks.

Fiscal Note

No expenditure required.

But they probably adopted this resolution because they didn't want to goof up the Madison Planet Stroll.

Our solar system is huge by our human standards and miniscule in terms of our galaxy and beyond. This site is a virtual planet stroll designed for the downtown section of the City of Madison in south central Wisconsin. Madison is the capitol city of Wisconsin and also home to the main campus of The University of Wisconsin system. The administration building of the university (Bascom Hall) sits atop Bascom Hill where one has a fairly uninterrupted view of downtown Madison to the east all the way to the State Capitol Building. A nearly straight 1.5-km path connects these two prominent buildings, and mainly falls along State Street; one of our City's focal regions for dining, entertainment, and shopping. This pedestrian path is perfectly suited for the construction of a 4,000,000,000 to 1 scale model of our solar system with the Sun sitting on top of Bascom Hill and Pluto resting at the steps of the State Capitol. This site is available so that anyone can take the stroll using their computer and still obtain a fairly true feeling for the enormous distances that are covered between the planets compared to their relatively minute proportional sizes.

So I guess that Madison is out of this world. Even if there are two Wal Marts within the city limits. Heh heh.

Speaking of which, here's an update to a previous story:

Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, in his first-ever veto, blocked a city ordinance that increased the minimum-wage for ``big-box'' retailers and threatened local expansion plans by companies such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

``I understand and share a desire to ensure that everyone who works in the city of Chicago earns a decent wage,'' Daley wrote in a letter to the council today. ``But I do not believe that this ordinance, well intentioned as it may be, would achieve that end.''

An override of the veto would require a two-thirds vote, or 34 of the council's 50 members. The bill passed 35-14 on July 26. The council is next meeting Wednesday....

I'll reiterate what I said on July 26:

In other words, a very selective law which only targets a few firms....If your company has less than $1 billion in sales, and if you build 89,000 square foot stores, then you can pay much lower wages (in the case of Illinois, $6.50 an hour). What is the rationale to have different living wages depending upon the size of your employer?...

They [the City Council members] don't care about living wages; they care about sticking it to evil Wal Mart. If they truly cared about living wages, then the minimum wage in Chicago would be set to $10 an hour for everybody. Why don't they do that?

I said some more in a MySpace post in August:

The reason that these big retailers got big - and the reason that any company becomes big - is because of a laser-like concentration on cost-cutting. When a company decides that it's more economical to ship goods from China rather than produce them domestically, what makes you think that they are going to purposely locate their business in a high wage area?

I keep on coming back to the fact that this proposal only applies to businesses with more than $90,000 square feet and more than $1 billiion in annual sales. This bill has nothing to do with living wages; it has to do with targeting so-called evil businesses.

How would the proponents react if Daley asked for the bill to apply to all businesses within Chicago? Would the proponents praise Daley for promoting living wages in Chicago? I doubt it.

Well, I figured it would easy to find someone calling Daley (The Younger) a fascist. Unlike Jim Bakker, I was right:

Neo-Fascist Mayor Embraces Big Brother Camera Plan for Chicago
Tuesday, January 31 2006 @ 10:34 AM PST
Contributed by: Admin
Views: 330
Mayor Daley on Monday embraced a radical plan to require every licensed Chicago business open more than 12 hours a day to install indoor and outdoor cameras.

Whoops, he wasn't called a fascist. He was called a neo-fascist. I guess that makes all the difference in the world.

I hope that when the Pluto delegation arrives in Madison, Wisconsin, they don't send any neo-fascist members.

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

My husband was born in Madison. This explains a lot. =)
I visited there last summer, but my experience was probably atypical. Eating the Wisconsin bratwurst dinner at a Holiday Inn by the freeway is not exactly partaking of all that Madison has to offer.

One of my MySpace friends went to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, but she grew up elsewhere in Wisconsin and left afterwards. Now she's in Berlin.
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