If you're enjoying the day off, don't forget to thank a union worker. Again, the main questions shouldn't be, "Why do public employees have such great benefits" but "Why doesn't everybody have such basic benefits?"
All politics today, sorry.
In relation to an earlier post John Scalzi did, he follows up with some ruminations of what to do about the dickheads (ie. trolls). You may have noticed my linkee-poo headline for that one that talked about girding for the Great Troll Wars of 2012. I wasn't kidding. I expect this political season to be especially hot. Cracks are forming around the walls shoring up the worldviews of many people right about now. This coming election will have a subtle undercurrent of "Whah! Mom!" or "See, We Were Right!" just like the most hazardous animal is one that is wounded, so to is the person who's worldview is about to shatter. The wall coming down is fearful (for many reasons), and they'll fight like hell to keep it in place. And they'll be shored up by the astro-turf foundations. (Yes, I know, John is talking about ignoring them and letting the moderators deal with them, and it looks like I'm saying the opposite, it's because my definition of a troll is much looser than his.)
If you can't win elections on your ideas, steal it by controlling the votes. Yes, conservative who rail about "voter fraud" are actually just upset that they weren't the permanent majority, and now that the Tea Party helped them get back in power, they're doing everything they can to remain there.
"Some liberal writers have opined that the different socio-economic perspectives separating the 'business' wing of the GOP and the religious right make it an unstable coalition that could crack. I am not so sure. There is no fundamental disagreement on which direction the two factions want to take the country… The plutocrats would drag us back to the Gilded Age, the theocrats to the Salem witch trials." It's a long read, but pretty much lays out the entire case of modern conservative politics.
I was recently asked how I could be Democratic, how I could leave the Republican Party. (from the same article linked above) "I left because I was appalled at the headlong rush of Republicans… to embrace policies that are deeply damaging to this country's future… And, in truth, I left as an act of rational self-interest. Having gutted private-sector pensions and health benefits as a result of their embrace of outsourcing, union busting and 'shareholder value,' the GOP now thinks it is only fair that public-sector workers give up their pensions and benefits, too. Hence the intensification of the GOP's decades-long campaign of scorn against government workers. Under the circumstances, it is simply safer to be a current retiree rather than a prospective one." While I said it was the rise of the social conservatives, who are really neither, that would have been an even more accurate answer. (Grokked from Jay Lake)