Sly's coming back on February 4.

For those outside of Madison or Wisconsin, Sly is a 30 year radio veteran and supporter of working people and collective bargaining.  He had a talk show on WTDY in Madison during morning drive time and was well known for giving anti-worker, coin-operated politicians hell.  Despite that, Republicans like Glenn (the slob) Grothman and even Scott Walker (during his campaign in 2010) would be guests on his show.  Conservative callers were welcome and often bumped to the front of the line to put in their 2 cents worth before their arguments were destroyed by Sly.

John Nichols was a regular guest every day at 8 AM and his show was partly sponsored by AFSCME.

John (Sly) Sylvester was out there during the protests and recalls and has remained active supporting and promoting worker rights.  He travelled to Bainport (Freeport, Illinois) and other places to support workers in their struggles for safer working conditions, decent pay, and adequate benefits and to stop the rising tide of job outsourcing.

His voice was silenced the day after Thanksgiving when WTDY started playing Christmas music and fired not only Sly, but their entire news department.  This month, WTDY became the (unnecessary) THIRD sports only radio station in the relatively small city of Madison.

There have been petitions and phone calls and incredible amounts of activity to get him on the progressive radio station in Madison, The MIC, which features a local progressive program for an hour each evening.  Even though I don't hear the MIC in Milwaukee, I can stream the station.  And I called.  And I wrote.  And I signed the petitions.

While I could never hear his show live here in Milwaukee, Sly provided free podcasts on his web site and they were always something I looked forward to every day.  From interviews with politicians to segments with labor leaders or simply information on what was happening in Madison and in our state, it was the best source of information in a state filled with RW radio, corporate-owned television stations and corporate controlled newspapers.

About a week ago, the podcasts came down and each day a new word would appear;  a clue to a mystery that would be revealed in the Assembly Parlor at our State Capitol on Monday, Feb. 4.  Monday came and Sly announced:

He's back!

Not only back, but on a powerful FM station that is still locally owned.  The signal reaches a huge portion of southern Wisconsin as well as parts of Iowa and northern Illinois.  Sadly, it doesn't reach Milwaukee, however the station will be offering live streaming of Slys new show which will be broadcast during evening drive time from 3 PM - 6:30 PM.

Good news for workers, worker activists and the rest of us.

Bad news for Scott Walker and the rest of those coin operated politicians who serve their donors with vigor at the expense of the rest of us.


MORE!  Oppression News.

Scott Walkers State of the State address will happen today.  And just in time, our again Republican dominated State Senate passed new rules for visitors in their public gallery which mirror the tyranical rules that the massively Republican dominated State Assembly adopted last week.

In the unlikely event that the Senate is again evenly split between both political parties, Republicans will retain the ability to run a key committee, according to new rules senators adopted Tuesday on a party-line vote.

Majority Republicans also tightened rules so members of the public who display signs from the galleries or disrupt Senate sessions could be removed from the chamber for 24 hours or longer. Citizens who violate the rules three times could be banned from the Senate for the remainder of the two-year session.

"Where is it written that you can only petition our government three times?" asked Sen. Kathleen Vinehout (D-Alma). "I don't think you'll find it in the Constitution."

These rules are in addition to the rules passed by Republicans last year that ban recording devices, cameras, signs and clothing with messaging on them.  This year they also prohibit hats.  That's right, hats are now banned.  The penalties are quite harsh for any violation - the third "offense" gets a person banned for 2 years.

Of course, draconian rules are needed by tyrants who oppress the people more and more.   When people object, dictators clamp down.  Hard.

Walker, of course, wants to give his State of the State address without being called a liar as he has been during his last one.  And the Senate, of course, doesn't want photos or videos of their extremism (or of Glenn Grothman picking his nose during their session).  In fact, they don't want the sun to shine at all lest even more people become aware of what they're doing.

And the Capitol Police, under the command of Walker lackey Chief Erwin, will have to gather in force to prevent pesky non-Republicans from entering the Capitol (maybe even - gasp - singing) while Der Fuhrer Walker is speaking so they've cordoned off a lot of the access points to what we have always called The Peoples House.

Life isn't good in FitzWalkerStan.


MORE MORE  Redistricting.

Redistricting  is still not off the table as the groups that sued over the severly gerrymandered maps are working to obtain another court order to examine computers that Republicans used in their secret, Republican-only, off-site, private rewrite of our legislative districts.  During the last court order, they discovered multiple documents that should have been disclosed to them, but weren't.  They hope to discover more evidence of wrongdoing that might enable correction to our districts by the courts.

As things stand now, despite a much larger vote for Democrats across the state, the gerrymander enabled Republicans to control most of our State Legislature and a large portion of our Congressional delegation.



Most of the Republican Voter ID Law was struck down by the courts last year, however, Wisconsin Republican Attorney General JD Van Hollen again asked the Republican dominated State Supreme Court to hear an appeal.  Perhaps due to the upcoming election of RW Supreme Court Justice Roggensack, they again said "no" to the appeal.

Several candidates have stepped up and announced their candidacy to replace her and provide better balance to our court.


Originally posted to Puddytat on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 01:02 PM PST.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions, Badger State Progressive, Madison Kossacks, Friends of Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow, and ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement.

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