Saturday, February 26, 2011

Unions - Good or Bad?

Been There-Done That
Having been a member in the Teamsters for four years and member of the National Education Association 12 years, and serving two years as local union Vice President, I do have some experience with unions. I was a card-carrying member of the local teacher's union for over 12 years. This gave me a deep insight to unions and how they operate.

The Ugly Truth
Unions are not what they seem. In the beginning union movements were good. Unions were definitely on the side of the workers. But over time this has changed. Now they are about POWER. Unions now (especially public employee unions like teacher's unions), are corrupted and are unnecessary. They often do not represent the best interest of their members. Quite the opposite.

For example, our local had to defend a teacher who clearly should have been fired. But because of the union contract, it made firing him almost an impossible task because he had tenure. The bad part was that WE had to defend him!

He won his case and the school district had to continue employing him. However, they got creative and made him a "permanent Substitute Teacher" giving him no particular school assignment. Consequently, he was notified each day to go to a different school. This lasted about three months until he made a "deal" with the school Superintendent. If the school district would write him a great letter of recommendation, he would terminate his employment and go elsewhere. They did and he was gone to reek havoc in the unsuspecting new school district.

A True Monopoly
Public Employee unions are a real monopoly. Here's why: The union collects dues which are mandatory. They spend YOUR money any way they want. You have NO VOICE in how they spend your dues. Next, they tell union members how to vote, use scare tactics, and threaten members into getting them to comply with THEIR wishes.

Then comes the true insult; Union leadership gives millions of dollars (nationally) to political candidates and politicians who support unions. After being elected, these politicians pay-back the unions by negotiating sweetheart contracts for the public employee unions. It one big circle of self-gratification and corruption. One hand feeds the other. Voters and taxpayers have no say in the whole arrangement.

This is the story being played-out in Wisconsin. Unions and politicians feeding one another on a grand scale. The voters got mad, and wanted government to clean up their act. Now that they are, the unions are agitating members with lies, threats, and God knows what else. Unions are organizing these protests everywhere they can agitate workers into fear of job loss. This isn't too hard in these times of recession.

We need to support these changes being proposed in Wisconsin. Unions have out-lived their purpose. Government employees should not be unionized - especially the TSA! There's too much corruption and clearly, local governments cannot afford to pay for these outrageous contracts.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Guest Article - The Real Picture

Rubicon: A river in Wisconsin

By Charles Krauthammer - syndicated columnist.

"The magnificent turmoil now gripping statehouses in Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana and soon others marks an epic political moment. The nation faces a fiscal crisis of historic proportions and, remarkably, our muddled, gridlocked, allegedly broken politics have yielded singular clarity.

At the federal level, President Obama's budget makes clear that Democrats are determined to do nothing about the debt crisis, while House Republicans have announced that beyond their proposed cuts in discretionary spending, their April budget will actually propose real entitlement reform. Simultaneously, in Wisconsin and other states, Republican governors are taking on unsustainable, fiscally ruinous pension and health-care obligations, while Democrats are full-throated in support of the public-employee unions crying, "Hell, no."

A choice, not an echo: Democrats desperately defending the status quo; Republicans charging the barricades.

Wisconsin is the epicenter. It began with economic issues. When Gov. Scott Walker proposed that state workers contribute more to their pension and health-care benefits, he started a revolution. Teachers called in sick. Schools closed. Demonstrators massed at the capitol. Democratic senators fled the state to paralyze the Legislature.

Unfortunately for them, that telegenic faux-Cairo scene drew national attention to the dispute - and to the sweetheart deals the public-sector unions had negotiated for themselves for years. They were contributing a fifth of a penny on a dollar of wages to their pensions and one-fourth what private-sector workers pay for health insurance.

The unions quickly understood that the more than 85 percent of Wisconsin not part of this privileged special-interest group would not take kindly to "public servants" resisting adjustments that still leave them paying less for benefits than private-sector workers. They immediately capitulated and claimed they were only protesting the other part of the bill, the part about collective-bargaining rights.

Indeed. Walker understands that a one-time giveback means little. The state's financial straits - a $3.6 billion budget shortfall over the next two years - did not come out of nowhere. They came largely from a half-century-long power imbalance between the unions and the politicians with whom they collectively bargain.

In the private sector, the capitalist knows that when he negotiates with the union, if he gives away the store, he loses his shirt. In the public sector, the politicians who approve any deal have none of their own money at stake. On the contrary, the more favorably they dispose of union demands, the more likely they are to be the beneficiary of union largess in the next election. It's the perfect cozy setup.

To redress these perverse incentives that benefit both negotiating parties at the expense of the taxpayer, Walker's bill would restrict future government-union negotiations to wages only. Excluded from negotiations would be benefits, the more easily hidden sweeteners that come due long after the politicians who negotiated them are gone. The bill would also require that unions be recertified every year and that dues be voluntary.

Recognizing this threat to union power, the Democratic Party is pouring money and fury into the fight. Fewer than 7 percent of private-sector workers are unionized. The Democrats' strength lies in government workers, who now constitute a majority of union members and provide massive support to the party. For them, Wisconsin represents a dangerous contagion.

Hence the import of the current moment - its blinding clarity. Here stand the Democrats, avatars of reactionary liberalism, desperately trying to hang on to the gains of their glory years - from unsustainable federal entitlements for the elderly enacted when life expectancy was 62 to the massive promissory notes issued to government unions when state coffers were full and no one was looking.

Obama's Democrats have become the party of no. Real cuts to the federal budget? No. Entitlement reform? No. Tax reform? No. Breaking the corrupt and fiscally unsustainable symbiosis between public-sector unions and state governments? Hell, no.

We have heard everyone - from Obama's own debt commission to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff - call the looming debt a mortal threat to the nation. We have watched Greece self-immolate. We can see the future. The only question has been: When will the country finally rouse itself?

Amazingly, the answer is: now. Led by famously progressive Wisconsin - Scott Walker at the state level and Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan at the congressional level - a new generation of Republicans has looked at the debt and is crossing the Rubicon. Recklessly principled, they are putting the question to the nation: Are we a serious people?"

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Wisconsin Bullies

I Quit, I'm Going Home
If you elected someone to a state office, you would automatically expect them to show up for work. However, the Democrats in the Wisconsin state Senate are NOT showing up for work. In fact, they have left the state for the past 8 days. However, they are still being paid - even though they are skipping work. Is this even fair? Would you be paid for skipping work for 8 days?

The DEM Senators are doing so because they cannot play by the rules. It's just like when you were a kid and one guy gets mad and says "I'm taking my bat and going home" leaving the rest of the kids without the implement to continue the game. Wisconsin's DEM Senators are doing exactly the same thing. They are running away from reality and won't face up to their responsibilities to the people who elected them to office. They are still trying to bully their way even after voters gave them a strong message last November.

Ask these questions: Who's paying for their food and lodging? Are they getting financial support? From who? How much? Are the unions involved? To what extent?

Voters elected a GOP governor and GOP majority in state government because they wanted a more responsible government to balance the budget. Now the DEMs are upset about "the new boss in town" and won't play the game because they cannot get their way any longer.

Voters Deserve Better
However, this isn't a game. The voters in Wisconsin should be disgusted with the DEMs who have run away from their elected responsibilities. The DEMs won't play any more because if they show up for work, there will be a vote on cutting budgets and they are now in the minority. Too Bad! This is still America the last time we looked. Stop trying to make it something else!

If the runaway Senators continue to opt-out, then the voters should help them opt-out of their elected positions. They should begin recalls on those who have shunned their public responsibilities.

Governments work with rules. If you can't play by the rules, then get out of government!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Guest Article - Instigator - Not Leader

Barack Hussein Alinsky
by Patrick J. Buchanan

"As a large and furious demonstration was under way outside and inside the Capitol in Madison last week, Barack Obama invited in a TV camera crew from Milwaukee and proceeded to fan the flames.

Dropping the mask of The Great Compromiser, Obama reverted to his role as South Chicago community organizer, charging Gov. Scott Walker and the Wisconsin legislature with an "assault on unions."

As the late Saul Alinsky admonished in his "Rules for Radicals," "the community organizer ... must first rub raw the resentments of the people; fan the latent hostilities to the point of overt expression."

After Obama goaded the demonstrators, the protests swelled. All 14 Democratic state senators fled to Illinois to paralyze the upper chamber by denying it a quorum. Teachers went on strike, left kids in the classroom and came to Madison. Schools shut down.

Jesse Jackson arrived. The White House political machine went into overdrive to sustain the crowds in Madison and other capitals and use street pressure to break governments seeking to peel back the pay, perks, privileges and power of public employee unions that are the taxpayer-subsidized armies of the Democratic Party.

Marin County millionairess Nancy Pelosi, doing a poor imitation of Emma Goldman, announced, "I stand in solidarity with the Wisconsin workers fighting for their rights, especially for all the students and young people leading the charge."

Is this not the same lady who called Tea Partiers "un-American" for "drowning out opposing views"? Is not drowning out opposing views exactly what those scores of thousands are doing in Madison, banging drums inside the state Capitol?

Some carried signs comparing Walker to Hitler, Mussolini and Mubarak. One had a placard with the face of Walker in the cross hairs of a rifle sight. Major media seemed uninterested. These signs didn't comport with their script.

In related street action, protesters, outraged over Congress' oversight of the D.C. budget, showed up at John Boehner's residence on Capitol Hill to abuse the speaker at his home.

And so the great battle of this generation is engaged.

Between now and 2013, the states are facing a total budget shortfall of $175 billion. To solve it, they are taking separate paths.

Illinois voted to raise taxes by two-thirds and borrow $12 billion more, $8.5 billion of it to pay overdue bills. The Republican minority fought this approach, but was outvoted and accepted defeat.

Wisconsin, however, where Republicans captured both houses and the governor's office in November, and which is facing a deficit of $3.6 billion over the next two years, has chosen to cut spending.

Walker and the legislature want to require state employees, except police, firemen and troopers, to contribute half of their future pension benefits and up to 12.6 percent of health care premiums.

Wisconsin state workers and teachers enjoy the most generous benefits of state employees anywhere in America. According to the MacIver Institute, the average teacher in the Milwaukee public schools earns $100,000 a year -- $56,000 in pay, $44,000 in benefits -- and enjoys job security.

More controversially, Walker would end collective bargaining for benefits while retaining it for salaries and wage hikes up to annual inflation. This would ease the burden on local governments and school districts faced with the same budget crisis but less able to stand up to large and powerful government unions.

Other new governors like John Kasich of Ohio are looking at the Wisconsin approach to save their states from bankruptcy. They, too, are now facing massive street protests instigated by Obama and orchestrated by his agents operating out of the DNC.

The Battle of Madison, where Obama, Pelosi, the AFL-CIO, Jackson, the teachers unions and the Alinskyite left are refusing to accept the results of the 2010 election and taking to the streets to break state governments, is shaping up as the first engagement in the Battle for America. What will be decided?

Can the states, with new governments elected by the people, roll back government to prevent a default? Or will the states be forced by street protests, work stoppages by legislators, and strikes by state employees and teachers to betray the people who elected them? Will they be forced to raise taxes ad infinitum to feed the government's insatiable appetite for tax dollars?

In short, does democracy work anymore in America? [my emphasis]

What Obama has done will come back to haunt him. He has encouraged if not incited an angry and alienated left that lost the country in a free election to overturn the results of that election by street protests and invasions of state capitols.

As the huge antiwar demonstrations in the 1960s broke the presidency of Lyndon Johnson and sought to break the presidency of Richard Nixon, Obama and his cohorts are out to break Wisconsin.

One hopes the people of Wisconsin will stand up to this extortion being carried on with the blessing of their own president."

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Lame Stream Hypocrites

See Anything Wrong?
You don't have to be a political analyst to see and understand that the Lame Stream media isn't reporting the facts any longer. If it doesn't fit into their political agenda, they ignore the facts like they don't exist. They are tilted so far to the political left, that they no longer can be trusted to report ANYTHING accurately.

Wisconsin Protesters
Here's' the perfect example. The protesters in Wisconsin. Have you seen the signs that they are carrying? Hitler, and Nazi references are common. Union members chanting hate speech and NEVER get mentioned on the evening news. It's disgusting, but never gets ANY coverage. Why? Because the Lame Stream media supports their efforts. They have taken sides and can't be objective any longer.

What would the media report if these were conservatives out protesting? The Lame Stream media would be blasting them for it. You can count on it.

Action To Take
Are you getting sick and tired of this lack of truthfulness in the "news"? Isn't it time to take a REAL stand? It's easy, simply stop watching the networks that do these things. Stop buying the newspapers that don't report the facts. Get you news and information for outside sources. Don't trust the established Lame Streamers any longer.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Weekly Polls

The Rasmussen Reports is an independent electronic publishing firm that specializes in public opinion polling. Here are some current results on some main issues:

Presidential Tracking Poll
This tracks how the President is doing by those surveyed.
  • Strongly Approve... 23%
  • Strongly Disapprove... 41%
  • Approval Index... -18
Presidential Approval Index
This chart is from

Job Approval Rating

  • 56% of voters say want to repeal ObamaCare!
  • 67% Say that states should be able to enforce immigration laws if the Fed will not!
  • 28% of voters say that there are too many Federal holidays.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Guest Article - Union Fascism

Union Fascism on Full Display in Wisconsin
By Rich Trzupek - Front Page magazine.

"The hypocrisy of the American left is on full display in the heart of America, as the teachers’ union in Wisconsin continues to show how it will use any tactic, no matter how reprehensible, to try and get its way. Threats, intimidation, violent imagery and inflammatory rhetoric – all of the sorts of tactics that the left and the mainstream media routinely accuse conservatives of using – are on full display in Madison. But, rather than condemning such behavior, left wing champions from Barack Obama to Michael Moore are falling over themselves to show solidarity with the teachers’ union.

Protesters carried signs likening Wisconsin governor Scott Walker to Adolf Hitler and Hosni Mubarak. One protester carried a placard that posed the question “why do Republicans hate people?” while others likened Walker’s budget cutting efforts to rape. He was called a dictator by some and an image of the governor was overlaid with crosshairs by at least one protestor. A rent-a-mob marched on the governor’s home. None of this behavior seems to bother leaders on the left, no more than the same kind of extremist rhetoric and actions concerned them when the left directed it towards George W. Bush for the better part of eight years.

Wisconsin state senator Randy Hopper, a Republican, told National Review that he and his colleagues have been receiving threats of a physically violent nature, and that law enforcement has stepped in to protect the homes and businesses of Republican legislators in the Dairy State. And how does the President of the United States react to all this? Barack Obama, after all, called for more civil and respectful political debate in America just a few short weeks ago. Here’s what the President had to say in an interview with Milwaukee’s WTMJ:

Some of what I’ve heard coming out of Wisconsin, where you’re just making it harder for public employees to collectively bargain, generally seems like more of an assault on unions. I think it’s very important for us to understand that public employees, they’re our neighbors, they’re our friends.

Leftist hero Michael Moore was less circumspect, tweeting: “Madison is the new Cairo! Wisconsin teachers, nurses, firefighters — shut the state down! All of working America is with u!” Like the Madison teachers who are effectively engaged in an illegal strike, Obama, Moore and all of the rest of the left don’t understand what’s happening in Wisconsin any better than they grasp what previously happened in New Jersey. It’s not about education, it’s not about collective bargaining and it’s not about freedom and democracy. It’s about the future of America, it’s about unsustainable debt and it’s about making sure that our children have the same kind of opportunities that we were blessed with.

Wisconsin voters rejected the teachers unions’ agenda when they elected a Republican governor and gave the GOP a majority in both houses of the legislature. Walker promised that he would fix the state’s budget mess and, clearly, there is no way that he could do that without addressing teacher pensions and health care plans. Soon after he was sworn into office, he asked teachers to contribute more of their paycheck to cover their pensions and to insurance costs. The teachers’ union, used to getting its way in every particular, demonized Walker and his plan. Had the union accepted the governor’s proposal then, it’s very unlikely that Walker would have felt the need to drop the other shoe. But, as was the case in New Jersey, the Wisconsin teachers union has been able to make legislators dance to their tune for so long that even losing an election in one of the most left-leaning states in the Midwest didn’t make them wonder if they weren’t quite as powerful as they used to be.

New Jersey governor Chris Christie showed the way. Christie’s brilliance was that he stayed on point: he made sure that his constituents knew that he wasn’t anti-teacher, but that he was rather working to reign in a bloated, arrogant and out of control union. Driving that wedge in between teachers and union leaders made all the difference, because most of the public is sympathetic to teachers and the work they do, but a growing segment of the populace is waking up to the role that government employee unions have played in creating the fiscal crisis we find ourselves in. Like Christie, Walker went for the jugular after the union blew off his original proposal. Now, entirely belatedly, the union says that it’s OK with increased employee contributions, but taking away mandatory union membership and mandatory union dues is just too much.

Walker’s proposal appears to have the votes to pass both chambers in Wisconsin, which explains why all fourteen Democratic Senators in the state are effectively in hiding. At least one Democrat has to show up for the Wisconsin State Senate to field a quorum and to thus be able to pass the bill. To prevent passage, the state’s Democrat Senators decided that a leave of absence was in order. “It’s kind of unbelievable that they’re elected to do a job and they wouldn’t show up to do it,” Republican state Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald told Fox News.

The possibility that there could be a federal government shutdown if Republicans play hard-ball with the budget enrages many of the left. Yet, here we have duly elected representatives of the people of Wisconsin refusing to do the job that they were elected to do and are paid to do, and nobody on the left seems to care. That’s another bit of evidence to add to the hypocrisy file, demonstrating once again that the left operates with one puritanical set of standards that apply to those of us who disagree with them, but are perfectly willing to toss those standards out of the window when a pet cause of theirs is involved."