Worley Dervish

Pro-USPS (married to a postal worker), pro-Wisconsin (live in Madison), pro-cat (owned by one), pro-labor, pro-migrant, progressive patriot, gordita, folkie, sing-along goddess, verbivore, Latina de corazón.

Ungerrymander Us!

WI cows-1

In Wisconsin, as in other states, democracy is being gerrymandered to death, and now is the time for us to put pressure on the Wisconsin legislature to put an end to partisan redistricting. In 2012, Republicans won just 46 percent of the votes cast in Wisconsin Assembly races, whereas Democrats won 53 percent. And yet more »

Who’s Unintimidated? A Tale of Two Books

Walker afraid of singers-1

I participate as often as I can in the Solidarity Sing Along, which has been singing songs of protest at the Wisconsin State Capitol every weekday from noon to 1 since March 11, 2011 (toward the end of that little uprising we had going on at the time). And many of you are no doubt more »

What’s So Bad about the Forced Ultrasound Bill?

My body, my choice

I came across an interesting comment last week in response to my post about the shameful aborted debate in the Wisconsin State Senate on June 13. The commenter, whom I commend for having gone to the trouble of actually reading the forced ultrasound bill (SB206), asked what was so horrible about it. The perplexed commenter more »

WI GOP to WI Women: Sit Down and Shut Up

5 Jean photo by moi

Along with many others, I was shocked by what transpired in the Wisconsin State Senate last Wednesday. The clearly unhinged State Senate President Mike Ellis abruptly cut off debate about a very controversial—and not-especially-popular—ultrasound bill that had been introduced on June 4 and had had only one public hearing less than two days later. Senator more »


Ellis unhinged-2

The Wisconsin State Senate today passed a bill requiring that Wisconsin women seeking an abortion undergo a medically unnecessary ultrasound procedure, after which the physician must give an account of the number of “unborn children” present, the characteristics, dimensions, and location in the womb. Because, of course, women are too ignorant to know “what they’re more »

The Destruction of the U.S. Postal Service Is Quietly Being Delivered to Madison

cut, gut

Shhh… There’s a Meeting… The U.S. Postal Service recently announced it was doing an “Area Mail Processing” study to evaluate transfer of some mail-processing operations from Madison to Milwaukee. In other words, the USPS is planning to drastically reduce the size of the processing operation here in Madison, resulting in the loss of first-class mail more »

A Good Marriage Takes a Village

Carolyn's window

Truth be told, I have never been all that fond of weddings. In fact, in my disgust with their usual sexist buttressing of patriarchy, in my more cynical moments I have been known to refer to them as “Babes on Parade.” When Tom and I were living together outside of the bonds of matrimony, oh-so-many more »

This Bright, Shining Moment

ZZZZZ Zinn direct action

So here in Wisconsin this week we won some and we lost some. Seems like the stuff we won was pretty big, but the stuff we lost isn’t exactly small potatoes either. Thanks in large part to gerrymandering, both branches of the state legislature are once again under Republican control, although I hear tell that more »

Let’s Talk about FEMA

earth flag

Mitt Romney doesn’t want to talk about FEMA anymore. Of course, he doesn’t. What he wants to do is very unpopular, especially at times like this, because it would benefit only a very, very few. He wants to downsize FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) and outsource it, make those ever-more-frequent weather disasters into another more »

The Greater of Two Evils


Endorsements for candidates in posts here do not represent the opinions of all regular contributors, blue cheddar, or the blog’s many guest writers. Some good folks on the left of the political spectrum, many of whom I respect very much, dismiss the notion of voting for the lesser of two evils. Certainly doing so can more »

Why We Sing

June 5

As an ever-more-deeply-invested participant in the Solidarity Sing Along, I’ve been thinking lately about why we sing, why we’ve chosen this particular form of expression. Just what’s going on here? Why do we keep coming back? What exactly are we accomplishing? I don’t think of what we do as protest, because it’s so much more more »

Shall Never Be Abridged


On Sunday, the Wisconsin State Journal featured an article by Nico Savidge with the headline “Tighter rules for Capitol protests not unlike many other states’.” On seeing this headline, my first reaction naturally was “Oh, well then, that makes it okay.” Not. The headline in Monday’s Pierce County Herald (Ellsworth, Wisconsin) read “Protesters at the more »

“What Were You Arrested For, Kid?”

2012-09-19 SSA Photo by Leslie Amsterdam

I shake my head every time I think of Wisconsin Capitol Police Chief Erwin’s heavy-handed crackdown on the singing citizens in the Capitol. Before Erwin began arbitrarily handing out citations, we were a small, stalwart, ragtag bunch. I couldn’t make it every weekday, so for a while I came once a week; then when my more »

Thank you, Chief Erwin!


Thanks to Chief Erwin and his saber rattling, more than two hundred sign-wielding singers showed up today to sing in the People’s House. As we have often done, we began by reading Article 1, Section 4, of the Wisconsin state constitution: State Rep. Chris Taylor showed up and told us that she met with Chief more »

Paying the Price for Free Speech

Solidarity Sing Along blue fist

I have half-joked for decades that one of the items on my bucket list is to be arrested for civil disobedience. The civil rights movement and the anti-war protests happened while I was safely ensconced in junior high and high school. I got to college in time to see one lone streaker torpedo across campus. more »

Fired Up! Reclaim Women’s Equality Day

not your body not your decision

Update: Rally at 4:30pm Monday, not at 1pm, as previously announced! I don’t know about you but I’ve had enough. I’ve had enough of the venomous anti-woman agenda of the Republican party, the leadership of which is more concerned about proving to the right-wing extremists controlling their party that they’re really as anti-abortion as it’s more »

Reclaiming the Commons


Advertisements insidiously worm their way into our hearts and minds despite our best efforts to tune them out (which is why Tom and I don’t watch TV anymore). They must be accomplishing something, or advertisers wouldn’t shell out the big bucks for them, would they? But isn’t there some kind of saturation point? Aren’t we more »

Driving Out Darkness

OLB Practice Peace

The shootings Sunday in a Sikh gurdwara in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, have affected me very much as they have affected others. I am sad, shocked, stricken. Coming so soon on the heels of the shootings in Aurora, Colorado, it’s hard not to feel that hate and violence have gained the upper hand. About the same more »

Resistance Is Essential


Three weeks have gone by, and finally I’ve figured out what I think. I know, I know. I’m slow to process such things. There were many who would gladly have digested the experience for me, but I resisted. This was big. Huge even. I had to figure it out for myself, even if it took more »

Ferraro, Compas, and June 5, 2012


In 1984, Geraldine Ferraro was the first female vice-presidential candidate in U.S. history. I think she was the first female political candidate to register on my radar. I was twenty-eight years old. I was a long way from being the political junkie that I have become. I didn’t yet identify myself as a feminist. At more »

Dear Wisconsin Recall Fighters

WI Recall Vote as if

Dear Wisconsin Recall Fighters, I swear to God you are the coolest, most awesome people on earth, and I count myself incredibly privileged and honored to be among you. Despite formidable and even vicious opposition, you have more than risen to the challenge. You have consistently refused take Walker’s “no” for an answer. You marched more »