Groupthink

I found this funny: “New Tone”– http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vY5T1Pdiols

Funniest Editorial Cartoon in Years:

Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel

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Crimethink is the Newspeak word for thoughtcrime (thoughts that are unorthodox, or are outside the official government platform), as well as the verb meaning “to commit thoughtcrime”. Goodthink, which is approved by the Party, is the opposite of crimethink.

Groupthink is a type of thought within a deeply cohesive in-group whose members try to minimize conflict and reach consensus without critically testing, analyzing, and evaluating ideas.

To make groupthink testable, Irving Janis devised eight symptoms indicative of groupthink (1977).

  1. Illusions of invulnerability creating excessive optimism and encouraging risk taking.
  2. Rationalizing warnings that might challenge the group’s assumptions.
  3. Unquestioned belief in the morality of the group, causing members to ignore the consequences of their actions.
  4. Stereotyping those who are opposed to the group as weak, evil, biased, spiteful, impotent, or stupid.
  5. Direct pressure to conform placed on any member who questions the group, couched in terms of “disloyalty”.
  6. Self-censorship of ideas that deviate from the apparent group consensus.
  7. Illusions of unanimity among group members, silence is viewed as agreement.
  8. Mind guards — self-appointed members who shield the group from dissenting information.

The 2009 law that requires Wisconsin teachers to teach labor union and collective bargaining history to the state’s kids is seen by union bosses in the state as a means to promote their cause, frame labor’s message in a favorable light and increase membership.

Political propaganda as “education”, gee Liberals never do that!!! 😦

Self-serving Ideology as “education”, Liberals never do that! 😦

I’m sure it will be “fair” and “balanced”. 😦

When The Daily Caller reported that the state passed such a law in December 2009, it wasn’t clear that union organizers planned to utilize it to further their agenda. Newly uncovered information from an April 2010 conference, the Wisconsin Labor History Society, a pro-union group that pushed the new law through the all-Democrat state government in 2009, shows the state’s labor organizers and union bosses do indeed plan to use the controversial new law as a propaganda tool.

“I believe we are in the midst of an irrepressible labor conflict that has pitted the haves versus the have-nots,” said University of Wisconsin, Green Bay, history professor Andrew Kersten at the conference. “As Warren Buffett has said recently, ‘There is a class war, alright, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s waging it, and we’re winning.’ It’s not merely the money or the political power they crave, they seek to transform the way we think and act on a daily basis.”

At the conference meant to help teachers prepare new curricula to comply with the new AB 172 law, Kersten went on to say that teaching union history and “the struggles of working men and women and of unionists is vital to maintaining a healthy democracy.” In his speech, Kersten also attacked President Barack Obama for not focusing on labor unions in his 2010 State of the Union address, for not getting card-check legislation passed and for failing to get controversial former union lawyer Craig Becker appointed to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

The history professor, who was supposed to be helping teachers prepare new classroom materials, also took a shot at then newly elected Sen. Scott Brown, Massachusetts Republican, for being the deciding vote against Becker on the NLRB.

“The reason why he rushed to take his seat in Washington, D.C., was not to block Obama’s medical and health insurance reforms, but to stop the appointment of Obama’s NLRB nomination, Craig Becker, the union lawyer and associate general counsel for the Service Employees International Union,” Kersten said.

Union bosses at the conference included the state’s National Education Association (NEA) director, Hedy Eischeid, the state’s AFL-CIO president, David Newby and the president of Wisconsin’s American Federation of Teachers (AFT), Bryan Kennedy.

AFT is a union for those in higher education, so Kennedy talked about how he’d teach teachers to teach about unions. “I recognize that there is an important and special role that I have as a university educator to educate future teachers on how to educate young people about labor union history,” Kennedy said. “As educators, many of us are aware that the first exposure many teachers had to unions is when they graduated, took their first job and were told they were a member of the teachers union. If they didn’t grow up in a union household, what does that mean?”

Eischeid said it’s better to teach teachers about unions before they develop their curriculum, and wants to “connect it to them personally.”

“Many of our own folks don’t really even understand what labor has done for them. I think it really has to start with our members,” she said.

Newby said this is a battle everyone in Wisconsin has to fight, not just teachers, parents and students.

“We have got to convince both teachers and the citizens of the state that teaching labor history is appropriate and, in fact, is necessary, if students are to understand the history of this state and of this nation,” Newby said. “And, that’s really an assignment for all of us, whether you’re involved in this particular project of labor history in the schools or not. And, all of us need to be talking to our neighbors, our co-workers, our family and our friends to get them talking about it as well, particularly those that have kids.”

The AFL-CIO also provided textbooks on the subject for every high school library, according to Richard Grobschmidt, the state’s assistant superintendent at the Department of Public Instruction.

The union bosses and academics who spoke at the conference knew, too, that they’d have to defend the new law in the near future.

“Now that we have a law, we must defend it, tooth and nail, for our opponents won’t rest,” Kersten said, while railing on conservatism. “They’re angry about the changes in American politics and have, as you’ve noticed no doubt, tripped up many meaningful reforms in the state and across the nation. It may not be long before they begin to target our own new law, as they have so many others.” (DC)

Yeah, the other side of the argument is very,very evil!! 🙂

It must be destroyed. That’s the new tone. 🙂

Why should liberals want to change the public educational system when it is turning out the product they have been striving for years to produce?

Check out these real news headlines from the past several weeks and months about the state of U.S. public education across the country:

  • “U.S. teachers tell U.N. sex is a ‘spectrum’ – advocate mandatory classes to free students from ‘religion'”
  • “Principal orders Ten Commandments yanked from school lockers”
  • “Teens ask for more sex ed, greater condom availability”
  • “State university defines Christians as ‘oppressors'”
  • “Why Catholic schools score better than public schools”
  • “Teachers take charge to save ailing public schools”
  • “Schools’ mandatory Arabic classes create firestorm”
  • “District taking money, but censoring Christians?”
  • “No opting out of pro-gay school propaganda”
  • “District pays up for slamming student’s rosary”
  • “Judge cites homeschoolers for violating U.N. mandate – Police interrogate parents, confiscate their curriculum”
  • “Some say schools giving Muslims special treatment”

On Dec. 27, 1820, Thomas Jefferson wrote about his vision for the University of Virginia (chartered in 1819), “This institution will be based on the illimitable freedom of the human mind. For here we are not afraid to follow the truth wherever it may lead, nor to tolerate any error as long as reason is left free to combat it.”

But what should happen 200 years later when our public schools and universities avoid the testing of truths? Or suppress alternate opinions because they are unpopular or politically incorrect? Or no longer tolerate opinions now considered errors or obsolete by the elite? What happens when sociopolitical agendas or scientific paradigms dominate academic views to the exclusion of a minority even being mentioned?

What happens when the political and public educational pendulum swings from concern for the tyranny of sectarianism in Jefferson’s day to secularism in ours? What happens when U.S. public schools become progressive indoctrination camps?

You get Today. You get the Public Sector Unions. You get the NEA and the AFT.

You get crap on a stick that cost an average of $10,000 per student and they can’t even read the f*cking diploma at the end of 16 years!

But they can be great mush heads for the Socialist Democrats!! 🙂

Polling firm of Luntz Research,notes that the 57 percent of faculty members represented in our most esteemed universities are Democrats (only 3 percent Republican) and 64 percent identify themselves as liberal (only 6 percent conservative). Moreover, 71 percent of them disagree that “news coverage of political and social issues reflects a liberal bias in the news media.” And the No. 1 answer they gave to the question, “Who has been the best president in the past 40 years?” was Bill Clinton (only 4 percent said Ronald Reagan).

This is why it is no surprise that the two largest teachers unions, the NEA and AFT, are the largest campaign contributors in the nation (giving more than the Teamsters, NRA or any other organization), and that 90 percent of their contributions fund Democratic candidates. In doing so, do we think such funding is going to balance traditional and conservative values in public schools?

Is this present, restrictive and one-sided educational environment that which Thomas Jefferson and other founders intended for the future generations of America? Absolutely not! Rather than encourage free thinking, the U.S. academic system has turned Jefferson’s plans for open education into our culture’s system of indoctrination. (Chuck Norris)
And that works for Liberals. Gotta get them young, before they figure out they’ve been had.
And better yet, control the Mainstream Media so they never have to find out!!
🙂
Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez
Political Cartoons by Henry Payne

Astroturf & Notes From The Left

Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell

Doctors in white coats are standing outside the Wisconsin capitol in Madison, giving away fake doctor’s notes the way shirts are given out at basketball games. They’re a disgrace to our profession.

The news not only offends my professional pride and code of ethics, it also strikes me as a violation of their license to practice medicine.

The Wisconsin State Medical Examining Board of the Department of Regulation and Licensing should suspend these doctors for violating their Hippocratic Oath as well as their professional responsibility.

The 12.6 percent share of health-insurance costs that the new Wisconsin bill asks for from public employees is paltry by comparison to the 50 percent or more that many private employers now ask.

But if the doctors at the University of Wisconsin and the Medical College of Wisconsin who are writing these notes are so concerned about teachers and other employees being able to afford their health care, I’d suggest that these doctors (if they really are so altruistic) provide care to these public servants for free.

Are these disgraces to the profession unaware that the state of Wisconsin (as well as other states) is going bankrupt — even before ObamaCare forces huge new Medicaid costs on them?

The Wisconsin fake-note writers might also note that federal anti-trust law forbids physicians from engaging in collective bargaining or work stoppages. This law serves a purpose — it protects the American public from greed. The health of our patients would be threatened if we could go on strike, just as the education of the students of these protesting teachers is at stake here.

These doctors should value their medical degree more, before they lose the chance to use it to see actual patients.

Dr. Marc K. Siegel is a practicing internist in New York and a Fox News medical contributor. (NY Post)

Liberals don’t care. The law doesn’t apply to them.

But you know the Left is worried because now THEY HAVE A POLL to use as a Talking Point!!

It was conducted by the AFL-CIO, a Union. Guess what it said?

The Voters are with the protesters and hate Gov. Walker!!

I know, you’re shocked that a leftist poll done by a Union would side with the Union. It’s just so amazingly coincidental.

BTW:Average Salary In Wisconsin: $46,390
Salary raise last year: 4.7%
Salary raise over 10 years: 21.5%

The Daily Caller has broken out the salaries and benefits of teachers who have publicly entered the debate by commenting to the press.

Wisconsin’s 2010 Teacher of the Year, Leah Lechleiter-Luke of Mauston High School, told CNN the budget changes would force her to look for additional part-time work.

“When people say that public sector employees live high off the hog, I’d like to share that for 13 of my 19-year teaching career I have held a part-time job either in the summer or teaching night class at the local technical college,” Lechleiter-Luke told CNN. “In addition to tightening the belt even more and crossing our fingers that nothing breaks, I will need to find part-time work again.”

Lechleiter-Luke makes $54,928 in base salary and $32,213 in “fringe benefits,” which include health insurance, life insurance and retirement pay. (which she currently doesn’t pay for at all!)

Brad Lutes and his wife, Heather Lutes, told MSNBC’s Ed Schultz that Walker’s budget would hit them twice as hard.

“Having to explain to an 8- and 10-year old that the governor of your state basically wants to take money away from dad and mom? It’s just really, really frustrating,” Brad Lutes told Schultz.

He makes $49,412 in base salary with $27,987 in fringe benefits and his wife makes $50,240 with $9,413 in benefits. That’s $137,052 annually between the two of them.

ASTROTURF SALES SKYROCKET IN MADISON

The Community Agitater-In-Chief, Barack Obama, has sent his minions onto the battlefield to crush the State of Wisconsin’s government with his own apparatchiks and his narcissistic Union thugs.

All in the name of the children, and freedom of speech, of course. 🙂

So the teachers get fake doctor’s notes so they don’t have to show up and do their job and mobs of the Agitators minions shout down anyone who disagrees with them.

They have hateful, uncivil discourse and immature signs but don’t you dare call it hateful, uncivil, and immature because liberals are never hateful,uncivil or immature. 🙂  Just ask them.

And of course, they are geniuses and superior to everyone, especially YOU.

“The unions are the people who brought us a weekend. If we don’t do this now, our children will not have a weekend!” —One Protestor yelled out!

So the 88% of you who aren’t in a Union, you need bow down and kiss the ass of every Union member because they have brought you weekends!! Hallelujah!!

So why does anyone work on “the weekend” because the Unions brought it to you? Must be greedy capitalist pigs!

“We need to make sure that as loud as the voices are in the capital, we don’t let them overpower the voices of the tax payers I was elected to represent. We are willing to take this as long as it takes, because in the end, we are doing the right thing, and for us, we have to do this.”

There is so much wrong with how liberals go about attempting to exercise power. Teachers leave their work to hang out at the capitol to try to harangue the duly elected government? The schools they are supposed to be working in are closed down, the kids no longer having a place to go and their parents now responsible to stay home with them or find some other arrangement?

The Democrats that are supposed to be a functioning part of the government decided to leave the state they are supposed to be helping to govern and hid in Illinois to prevent the government from being able to move forward legislatively, making themselves a tyranny of the minority. In addition, the ‘protesters’ are now going to the home of the governor and scaring his family. These are the same tactics the union thugs did with the AIG execs.

A CNN reporter asked one of the protesters:

“You talk about coming to the table.. the governor coming to the table. Do you think it was the right tactic for the Democratic senators not to come to the table.”

At which point the CNN reporter was shouted down with

“United we stand. UNITED WE STAND. UNITED WE STAND…”

Nice answer. And these folks are teaching our kids? These people are an embarressment. The people of Wisconsin are being threatened by a thuggish political state.  (WThe)

Funny, That was the slogan of Ross Perot in the 1990’s, but that was evil. 🙂

American Fedn of State, County & Municipal Employees: $43,337,565 in political contributions in the last 12 years 98% Democrat.

National Education Assn: $32,021,910 93% Democrat.

American Federation of Teachers:  $28,731,591 98%-Democrat

Over a $100 million in 12 years!!

That’s a lot of dues. AFSCME was founded in Wisconsin.

So is it any wonder that the Community Agitator-in Chief would be very swift and decisive to save his own apparatchiks but dither like a person with Alzheimer’s on the Middle East?

No. But the left will use it for their own spin…

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN: All right, one quick last question. When you make the reference to Egypt, you aren’t saying that the conditions that the Wisconsin teachers are teaching under with this new — new bill or without it is remotely like Egypt, or are you?

STATE SEN. LENA TAYLOR, D-WIS: No, what I’m saying in particular, Greta, is that in Egypt, if you look, after they overthrew their ruler, they had some specific rallies and protests, and one of the ones that they had was on workers’ rights. How ironic is that, right?

Sen. Taylor also said: I have to do what I have to do so that the people of Wisconsin can have an opportunity to be heard and that this bill is not rammed so rapidly that they have no idea what’s going on.

My immediate reaction to this was then Speaker Queen Pelosi’s: As the business community and more public polling shows opposition to ObamaCare, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) tells us, “[W]e have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of the controversy.”

But the Senate Democrats in Wisconsin are hiding out in Illinois (undoubtedly being paid by the Unions, George Soros, or the DNC) because they haven’t got the balls to face the democratic process when they aren’t the majority.

So enter the Astroturf:

We now know that Organizing for America (O.F.A) (Obama’s 2008 election campaign tactical team) and the Democrat Party have been hard at work supporting this protest. Ben Smith wrote this on February 17:

O.f.A Wisconsin’s field efforts include filling buses and building turnout for the rallies this week in Madison, organizing 15 rapid response phone banks urging supporters to call their state legislators, and working on planning and producing rallies, a Democratic Party official in Washington said.

And so I ask, who are the “Astroturf activists” now? Those people on the streets are not there as citizens, but as members of a powerful interest group, gathered to petition government for special treatment, with the DNC and Organizing for America coordinating the events on the ground from their offices in Washington DC.

The Astroturf activists on the streets of Madison may think they are helping their cause, but the American people are watching. And they are judging–judging them and those officials we elected to serve taxpayer rather than union interests.

America’s Organizer in Chief, President Obama, weighed in on the issue last week, calling Governor Walker’s actions an “assault on the unions.” You bet they are. And if the Democrats get this issue wrong like they got ObamaCare wrong, they’ll be hearing from the American people once again in 2012.

And this time, it just might cost them the U.S. Senate and the White House. (DC)

Michelle Malkin: Welcome to the reckoning. We have met the fiscal apocalypse, and it is smack dab in the middle of the heartland.

As Wisconsin goes, so goes the nation. Let us pray it does not go the way of the decrepit welfare states of the European Union.

The lowdown: State government workers in the Badger State pay piddling amounts for generous taxpayer-subsidized health benefits.

Faced with a $3.6 billion budget hole and a state constitutional ban on running a deficit, new GOP Gov. Scott Walker wants public unions to pony up a little more.

He has proposed raising the public employee share of health insurance premiums from less than 5% to 12.4%. He is also pushing for state workers to cover half of their pension contributions.

To spare taxpayers the soaring costs of byzantine union-negotiated work rules, he would rein in Big Labor’s collective bargaining power to cover only wages unless approved at the ballot box.

As the free-market MacIver Institute in Wisconsin points out, the benefits concessions Walker is asking public union workers to make would still maintain their health insurance contribution rates at the second-lowest among Midwest states for family coverage.

Moreover, a new analysis by benefits think tank HCTrends shows that the new rate “would also be less than the employee contributions required at 85 percent of large Milwaukee-area employers.”

Obama Speaks Up

This modest call for shared sacrifice has triggered the wrath of the White House-Big Labor-Michael Moore axis. On Thursday, President Obama lamented the “assault on unions.”

AFL-CIO and Service Employees International Union bosses dubbed Walker the “Mubarak of the Midwest,” while their minions toted posters of Walker’s face superimposed on Hitler’s.

Moore goaded thousands of striking union protesters to “shut down” the “new Cairo” while the state’s Democratic legislators bailed on floor debate over the union reform package.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan spurned the opportunity to condemn thousands of Wisconsin public school teachers for lying about being “sick” and shutting down at least eight school districts across the state to attend Capitol protests (many of whom dragged their students on a social justice field trip with them).

Instead, Duncan defended teachers for “doing probably the most important work in society.” Only striking government teachers could win federal praise for not doing their jobs.

Yes, the so-called progressives truly believe that bringing American union workers into the 21st century in line with the rest of the work force is tantamount to dictatorship.

Yes, the so-called progressives truly believe that by walking off their jobs and out of their classrooms, they are “putting children first.”

If ever there was proof that public unions no longer work in the public interest, this is it.

Big Labor dragoons workers into exclusive representation agreements, forces them to pay compulsory dues that fatten Democratic political coffers and then has the chutzpah to cast itself as an Egyptian-style “freedom” and “human rights” movement.

Meanwhile, union leaders elsewhere are quietly forcing their low-wage members to share the sacrifice in order to preserve teetering health funds.

In New York state, Skidmore College campus janitors, dining service workers and other maintenance employees received late notice from the SEIU that 4.15% of their gross earnings will now be deducted from their paychecks to cover the cost of the health plan provided through the behemoth 1199 SEIU Greater New York Benefit Fund. (If the name sounds familiar, it’s because this is one of several privileged SEIU affiliates that has received an ObamaCare waiver.)

These workers are forced to join the union in order to preserve their jobs, and unlike non-union workers, they are locked into a single health plan.

The SEIU has now decreed that they must pay new fees to include spouses on their plans and has hiked employee co-pays for doctor visits and prescription drugs.

What’s necessary for New York union workers is necessary for Wisconsin union workers — and for the rest of the protected union-worker class in bankrupt and near-bankrupt states across America.

The “persuasion of power” so ruthlessly and recklessly exercised by the SEIU and its thuggish allies must be broken by the moral courage of fiscal discipline.

It’s now or never.

The Top Ten ways to know if you’re in a Public Sector Union By Rod Pennington

10.) You take a week off to protest in Wisconsin and your office runs better.

9.) On a snow day when they say “non-essential” people should stay home you know who they mean.

8.) You get paid twice as much as a private sector person doing the same job but make up the difference by doing half as much work.

7.) It takes longer to fire you than the average killer spends on death row.

6.) The worse you do your job, the more your boss avoids you. (and the more raises you get)

5.) You think the French are working themselves to death.

4.) You know by having a copy of the Holy Koran on your desk your job is 100% safe.

3.) You spend more time at protest marches than at church.

2.) You have a Democratic congressman’s lips permanently attached to your butt.

1.) You pay more in union dues than you do for your healthcare insurance.

“The ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed the world is ruled by little else. Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influence, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist.” — John Maynard Keynes

The particular defunct economist who most dominates the minds of the Obama administration and the Democratic Party is Keynes himself.

But…shhhh..that’s a secret….so pass a note to the one next to you.

Don’t worry, the teacher will not catch you, she is too busy protesting to keep her greed to actually be in the classroom teaching.

MORE “CIVIL” DISCOURSE From Wisconsin Union Protesters:

Doubtful that any of the left-wing media is covering much of this.

One of many profane protest signs at the Madison, WI ‘sick out’ protest… great education for the students who were brought by their teachers.

And we end as it began, with Astroturf:

This sign cracks me up — it was obviously not grass-roots but professionally mass-produced, likely by the DNC or the unions: “Fox News will lie about this.”

Gee, I think we know who needs that new Center for Civility in Public Discourse that The University of Arizona just opened.

Or would that end up being an episode of A&E’s “Intervention”? 🙂

 

Whine & Cheese Monday

I have been in a news blackout for the weekend. My annual trek to Gallifrey One, the largest “Doctor Who” convention on this continent. A record breaking 2,100 people showed to share their love and appreciation of the world’s longest running Sci-Fi show that will turn 48 late this year.

So now back to the sad reality…

Political Cartoons by Steve Kelley

WISCONSIN DEMS: WE’RE ON THE LAM UNTIL WALKER TALKS

Aka he gives in and capitulates to the Liberals demands. Thats spirit of “compromise”, “bi-partisanship” and “civility” is alive in Madison, WI.

The headline and following picture are on the front page of the Huffington Post, you know the liberal bastion that just joined with AOL making Arianna Huffington a very rich person in a very capitalistic deal… 🙂

Funny last time I saw signs similar to this the protesters were called “astroturf”, “stupid”, “morons”, “idiots”, violent”, “domestic terrorists”…Oh sorry that was people protesting the Liberals! 🙂

This was considered “offensive” by the Huffington Post in 2009 (Look it up):

How dare they use Children! EVIL!
How many children can you spot in the first picture on the front page of today’s Huffington Post. 🙂

Just remember, Do as I say, Not as I do. – The Liberal Creed!  🙂

The Wisconsin Senate I understand is still childishly hiding out in Illinois, probably on the taxpayers dime!

And the Liberals are happy!

These are “good” Protesters. Tea Party protesters are EVIL!

Wisconsin Republicans to move all the furniture around while Dems are hiding in Illinois — If Wisconsin’s Democratic state senators thought they pulled a fast one by booking it for Illinois rather than allowing their Republican colleagues to rescind the collective bargaining privileges of public servants, they thought wrong. While twenty senators are required for a quorum on fiscal issues, and there are only 19 Republicans, “a simple majority of 17 members constitutes a quorum for other bills in the 33-seat state senate.” When Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker calls the Senate into session this week, “there is a whole legislative agenda that Republicans in the senate and assembly can start acting on that only requires simple majorities” Walker told National Review Online. “If [Dems] want to do their jobs, and have a say, they better show up.” (DC)

The Liberal View (from the San Jose Sentinel): MADISON, Wis. — To end a high-stakes stalemate over union rights that has captured the nation’s attention, a handful of Republican lawmakers in Wisconsin might have to stand up to their new governor.

There’s that spirit of “compromise” and “Bi-partisanship”. You will have to compromise YOUR principles. YOU will have to give in to OUR demands.

The very thought of they, the Liberals, having to compromise is so ludicrous they can’t even fathom it.

Protesters who crowded inside the Capitol for a sixth day Sunday had a similar message. They hung a banner in the Capitol reading “Wisconsin needs 3 cou(R)ageous Senators,” referring to the number of Republicans needed to join with Democrats to block the bill.

That’s why I say “bi-partisanship” and “compromise” are Liberal buzzwords for agree with me, shut up, and sit down and don’t do that again!

As for “civility”: Same thing.  You are being uncivil when you do as Liberal asks or you ask THEM to do something for you. You are their servants, not the other way around.

Wisconsin State Senator Mark Miller Calls Governor Scott Walker’s Budget Tactics ‘Insulting,’ Asks for ‘Respect’.

In other, shut up!, sit down, and don’t you dare do that again, young man!

“We hope that the governor will respect the workers of Wisconsin and maintain the long standing tradition of sitting down and negotiating issues, sit down and treat people like human beings, like the human beings that provided such valuable public services and that’s our goal,” he said.

Ohhh! So now The Governor’s an evil  inhuman monster!! And he should be talked to like a child who had knocked over the family’s priceless  crystal vase!

Next thing you know they’ll ask for a “time out” in the corner next. That is if they ever come back to Wisconsin and don’t just hide out like cowards in Illinois.

And then you go for the Talking Points: <<Drum roll please>>

“We had a much bigger deficit at the end of the Bush recession that hit our state and every state like a thunderclap. It was a $6.6 billion deficit and we solved that deficit and employees stepped up,” Miller told me. (ABC)

Oh course the huge budget deficit left by the Democrat Governor and the Democrat legislature is BUSH’s FAULT!!!

<<rimshot>>

So predictable….

What the Democrats don’t like isn’t dictatorship, it is democracy. That is why the Democrats in the Wisconsin Senate fled the state en masse–they prevented a quorum, so that a vote they were going to lose couldn’t take place. Once again, it is democracy they are trying to frustrate, not dictatorship.

Dictatorship are much easier for Liberals to fathom because then everyone has no choice but to do whatever they say, no matter how balmy and narcissistic it is.

With state budgets collapsing around the nation, an increasingly bright spotlight has been focused on the activities of many public sector unions, perhaps none more so than the teachers unions. Since most of the news is rather alarming to say the least, here at Hot Air we feel obliged to bring you a true feel-good story of union activity to brighten your winter days.

The story focuses on Central Falls school in Rhode Island, an educational institute in such a sorry state of affairs that their drop-out rates were staggering and many students didn’t even log enough classroom time to receive a grade. Last year, in an apparent sign of throwing up their hands in despair, the school board took the drastic measure of firing all 88 of Central Falls’ teachers.

Now, I already know what you’re thinking here. “But Jazz, what about those poor, unemployed teachers? Couldn’t anyone do anything to help them?”

Fear not! In charged the Rhode Island Federation of Teachers, who not only got all of their jobs back… they landed them a raise. And all of this is taking place in a community which wouldn’t even qualify as “working class” by most standards. The average wages in the Central Falls region are very low.

So in this town where the average income is $22,000 the average teacher is now making $76,000. What are the community members paying for?

James Parisi: The highest paid teachers are making about $76,000, which frankly I don’t think is enough for the committed professionals that are in that school district.

CNN: You had a 93% fail rate. That’s undeniable.

JP: And you think that’s caused by teacher’s actions?

CNN: Absolutely.

JP: I don’t think the teachers are responsible.

Oh course not!…sing it with me….IT WAS GEORGE W BUSH’s FAULT!!!!!!!! 🙂

Frank Flynn, president of the Rhode Island Federation of Teachers, said he called Chafee Tuesday morning and asked him to help “move this school forward, because the students of Central Falls deserve nothing less.”

Ever notice how Liberals always want to look to the future or “move forward” (or “lean forward if you’re MSDNC) when people want to talk about their screw ups but they are obsessed with the past when they are talking about those who oppose them!

And how did that work out? Not so well, apparently, as 93% of the students are still failing to meet minimum standards in math and reading, with large numbers once again not even receiving a grade of any sort.

The teacher’s aren’t taking all of this unwanted attention lying down, though. This fall they staged a “sick out” in protest of the increasing demands for improved performance. Also, American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten visited the area to demand that everyone “stop playing the blame game,” and focus on the real needs of the students. (These needs apparently don’t include new, better teachers in the opinion of Ms. Weingarten.)

So there you have it. The feel good story of the week. See? And you thought the unions weren’t out there doing anything productive. (Hot Air)

Why is failure, year after year, not only tolerated but welcomed at the administrative level?

Why?

Because Liberals are never wrong, that’s why. At least they think so.

And you can’t prove them wrong, because they never are.

Just ask them. 🙂

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

Political Cartoons by Chip Bok

Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson

Political Cartoons by Nate Beeler

I Want Your Money

The Fraternal Order of Police in Camden New Jersey proved without a shadow of a doubt, public union willingness to toss fellow officers to the dogs. In a 300-1 vote, the union rejected an offer that that would have saved 100 jobs. That offer called for three days a month of unpaid furloughs for patrol officers for six months, then one furlough day in each of the following 12 months.

Please consider Camden police union rejects concession deal that could bring back 100 laid-off officers.
Altogether, more than 15 percent of Camden’s municipal workers, including 68 firefighters and about 100 civilians, were laid off as the city tries to fill a huge budget gap brought on by rising costs, decreased tax revenues and diminished aid from the state.
But screw that, we just want the money and even more jobs is not enough for this Union.
CalPERS (the California Public Employee Retirement System) and CalSTRS (the California State Teachers Retirement System).  CalPERS has over 9,000 employees receiving $100k or more in pensions; CalSTRS has over 3,000.
And they can retire at 50. and take ANOTHER JOB!

Lines are being drawn and the fight to reduce overly generous pay and benefits to government employees at the federal, state, and local level is underway. Not too surprisingly, public employee unions are gearing up, rallying government employees, and exerting pressure to maintain the generous pay and benefits that has loaded government with unsustainable debt. Public employee unions are, even now, pressing the Obama Administration for additional benefits and power.

President Obama, either unwilling, or perhaps unable, to bring long-overdue accountability to powerful public employee unions, has instead issued guidance requiring greater Union representation and input into federal agency decision making. Obama’s decision will likely embolden union bosses to think they can escape accountability and an honest review of benefits, salary, and pensions of government employees.

Perhaps it is time to send a different message. President Obama, like many Americans, is probably unaware that the federal government actually subsidizes federal government employee union operations. In fact, the federal government provides unions with free office space, pays for union member time and picks up travel and per diem costs. These “perks” represent a tax that has never been approved by American taxpayers–perks which operate at a level below the radar of Congress and well below the radar of the IRS. These hidden “perks” provided to government employee unions cost American taxpayers millions of dollars annually.

According to official data, federal employees currently spend some 2.9 million official work hours, at government expense, engaging in collective bargaining and union activities, representing a taxpayer cost of approximately $120 million. But the taxpayer costs and subsidizes to public employee unions is much higher than the official report because government does not account for all the expenses related to union activity.

Federal government unions are, in essence, running a business within the federal government. As we begin the debate over the proper role (if any) unions should have in government, one step Americans should all be able to agree upon is that taxpayer money should not be used to subsidize union activities.

Many Americans may be unaware that unions exist in every federal agency. In fact, most agencies have several unions competing for employee participation and funding which means that federal agencies are subsidizing the costs for several unions at the same time!

These federal agency union representatives have a large presence in Washington, DC, the seat of the federal government. But, most federal locations throughout the United States also have a union representative. So, for example, in a city, such as Kansas City, where the federal complex houses multiple government agencies, there will be multiple federal union representatives, from each federal union, within each federal agency, all at the same building location.

Why is this important?

Federal government union representatives are actually federal employees. They hold GS ranks and civil service status, and actually have federal jobs that they were employed to perform. Their union duties are, supposedly, performed over and above the requirements of their regular day job. However, because of the pernicious and growing power of federal unions, oftentimes, union duties often are performed in lieu of their job. Paid time off from regular government duties is allowed, in most federal agencies, for the union representative to solicit federal employees (i.e. market services), to attend union meetings (i.e. work for an entity other than their government employer) or travel to have “face time” with their union bosses in DC. All at taxpayer expense.

In addition, union representatives often request and are provided with office space that is more expansive than is warranted by their GS rank or than their federal job duties require. The cost of this additional square footage is also paid for by the American taxpayer, and is paid for at each federal agency, for each federal union representative, for each federal union. Federal government union representatives total thousands of federal employees, all billing their time, travel and per diem, for non-government related work, to the American taxpayer.

Perhaps an even bigger problem is that the federal government union representatives sometimes seem to operate under the mistaken belief that they were hired by the government to work for the union—and that union work is more important than the federal job they were hired to perform.

Unions seem, at best, indifferent to the performance of government and are exclusively concerned with pay and benefits of union workers. Therein lies another irony for the American taxpayer. Unions are organized to negotiate against employers, but, since the federal government is the employer, and since the American people pay for the federal government, then, technically, federal government employee unions might be construed as organizing against the American people.

It is time to bring some accountability to public employee unions. A good first step would be for Congress to get a grip on the proliferation of benefits for unions in the federal government, whose activities are an additional burden on federal taxpayers. Congress should change federal policies on payment of travel, per diem and office space for federal government union employees.

Better yet, perhaps President Obama should take the lead.

But he won’t. He’s too much of a kool-aid drinking Union guy, plus the Democrats are beholden to them like no other group.

The next closest influence are Trial Lawyers, and guess where they fit in – Health Care.

Gee, what a coincidence!

That memo being (in part):

Federal managers should seek employee input before major decisions are made, not after solutions are developed, according to a memo from Obama administration officials.

In a meeting on Wednesday with federal management and labor representatives, Office of Personnel Management Director John Berry and Office of Management and Budget Deputy Director for Management Jeff Zients reminded agency leaders to improve dialogue with employees by involving them before making final decisions. Managers should engage unions early in decision-making processes, as outlined in President Obama’s December 2009 executive order, said the memo.

Executive Order 13522 creates labor-management partnerships governmentwide and on the agency level. The order also requires the National Council on Federal Labor-Management Relations to launch pilot programs that will test bargaining over issues not normally negotiable by law in a small group of agencies and directs management to include pre-decisional involvement “in all workplace matters to the fullest extent practicable.” (Government executive.com)

In other words, Unions should be consulted before management makes any decisions. Making them, in effect, Managers.

Do you get that level of input at your job?

I know I don’t.

But Unions are special. They are the protected class in Liberal ideology.

They fight against the evil Corporations!

And they are killing us all.

“Ultimately, the goal is to allow employees, through their elected labor representatives, to have meaningful input, which results in better quality decision-making, more support for decisions, and timelier implementation,” the memo stated.

If you kiss our butt we won’t go on strike or we won’t work to destroy you. Sounds rather Mafia like doesn’t it?

The union idea of civil discourse is to protest outside opponents’ private homes. Now union supporters are targeting a developer , with fliers showing a bull’s-eye and his home address. Cue the chirping crickets. That will be the soundtrack for mainstream media reaction to the latest example of thuggery perpetrated by Wal-Mart opponents who are not happy that the non-union retailer wants to build a Wal-Mart-anchored development on the site of an abandoned Chevy dealership in Washington, D.C. The development would employ up to 1,200 people in a city with 10.2% unemployment.

A group calling itself Wal-Mart Free DC is organizing a protest, not at one of the proposed sites or at Wal-Mart headquarters, but at the private home of the developer. A flier produced by the group gives his name and home address and invites protesters to assemble on his front lawn. Oh, yes: There’s a smiley face centered on some cross hairs on the flier.

The group claims no formal union affiliation, yet prominently displayed on the group’s website are links to sites such as WalMartWatch funded by Service Employees International Union and United Commercial and Food Workers International Union. Certainly they are employing the thuggish tactics used before by the purple shirts of SEIU.

Last May, a frightened teenager was trapped inside his home as a mob of about 500 bussed in by SEIU demonstrated and chanted on his front lawn in an effort to intimidate his father, a deputy general counsel with Bank of America. Fortune magazine’s Nina Easton was a neighbor and provided the account of a story that might otherwise have received little notice.

As Easton reported, some 14 bus loads of people organized by the SEIU and a Chicago outfit called National Political Action descended on her neighbor’s home, armed with bullhorns, shouting about greedy banks and home foreclosures. After the mob was done, the buses took them to the nearby residence of a J.P. Morgan Chase executive.

Asked by Easton about the rationale behind such protests, SEIU representative Steven Leerner said:

“People in powerful corporations seem to think they can insulate themselves from the damage they are doing.”

So the union feels entitled to target — yes, we said target — them in their private homes.

The group that gathered at the developer’s home Thursday night was smaller and less-organized, but its purpose was equally clear — to intimidate those who would oppose it with the oldest threat in the book: “We know where you live.”

Wal-Mart is America’s largest employer outside of unionized government. (IBD)

And Unions want and need your money and your job to pay for their own, after all.

They are vastly more important that you.

They are warrior for the Cause.

American Federation of Teachers’ President Randi Weingarten has been doing her best to make sure Big Labor has a say in education reform. She wants to drive the train. The National Education Association, on the other hand, is taking the tact of putting dynamite under the tracks. While Weingarten says all the right things and uses all the necessary poll-tested phrases, she really wants to maintain the status quo. No tenure reform. No need to judge teachers by any measure other than seniority.

But in an interview with Newsweek, she made this curious statement, in response to Bill Gates saying, “We need to measure what they do, and then have incentives for the other teachers to learn those things:”

“Football teams do this all the time,” Weingarten responded. “They look at the tape after every game. Sometimes they do it during the game. They’re constantly deconstructing what is working and what isn’t working. And they’re jettisoning what isn’t working and building up on what is working, and doing it in a teamlike approach.”

That’s correct – they do. It’s too bad that public education does not operate more like the NFL.

Here’s an idea. Let’s have the NEA and AFT become the owners of a new NFL franchise. For a lack of a better name, we’ll call the new team the Thugs.

Players on the Thugs’ roster would receive tenure after two years, like they do in New York City Public Schools. They can play on the Thugs as long as they’d like, regardless of their skill level. And players would be judged not for their ability to score touchdowns or sack quarterbacks, but the number of years they’ve been in the NFL.

Over time, the Thugs’ roster would be filled with 50- and 60-year old players, raking in the big bucks while losing game after game.

Does anyone believe that the hypothetical Thugs, with their incredible job security, would be competitive with the teams that compensate players based on their performance and frequently alter their rosters to maintain an edge?

It would be wonderful if public education would operate more like the NFL, where you get paid for results and released for incompetence. Maybe then American K-12 students would receive the instruction they truly deserve.

Do what benefits you the most and proclaim to be doing it “for the children” is the fastest way to the Barf Bag for me folks.

But Unions don’t work that way. They just protect the incompetent and insulate themselves from any accountability for anything.

Oh, and they want ALL your Money. They deserve it. After all, they are special. 🙂

Political Cartoon

Education- Liberal Style

As a person who once studied to be a Teacher, I have a degree in Education but it doesn’t mean anything. That’s a story for another day though.

I found this article in the NY Post: You gotta see it to believe it. Pure “touchy-feely” Liberalism in action.

Heroin For Dummies!

City flier ‘smacks’ of lunacy

By BRAD HAMILTON Last Updated: 3:01 PM, January 4, 2010

Here’s the latest smack on taxpayers.

The city spent $32,000 on 70,000 fliers that tell you how to shoot heroin, complete with detailed tips on prepping the dope and injecting it into your arm.

The Health Department handout has outraged New York’s top drug prosecutors and abuse experts.

“It’s basically step-by- step instruction on how to inject a poison,” said John Gilbride, who heads the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New York office.

“It’s sick,” said City Council member Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Queens)

“Foolish,” said Columbia University drug researcher and treatment expert Dr. Herbert Kleber.

ALL IN VEIN: This page from a city-distributed pamphlet--at a cost to taxpayers of $32,000--gives addicts the ins and outs of how to shoot up.

ALL IN VEIN: This page from a city-distributed pamphlet–at a cost to taxpayers of $32,000–gives addicts the ins and outs of how to shoot up.

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The 16-page pamphlet features seven comics-like illustrations and offers dope fiends such useful advice as “Warm your body (jump up and down) to show your veins,” and “Find the vein before you try to inject.”

It even encourages addicts to keep jabbing if their needles miss the mark.

“If you don’t ‘register,’ pull out and try again,” it says.

The brochure sends the wrong message about the dangers of the drug, experts said.

“It concerns me that the city would produce a how-to on using drugs,” Gilbride said. “Heroin is extremely potent. You may only get the chance to use it once. To suggest there is a method of using that alleviates the dangers, that’s very disturbing.”

Vallone, who chairs the council’s public safety committee, vowed to shut down the distribution of the pamphlet.

“This is a tremendous misuse of city funds, and I’m going to see what I can do to stop it. It sends a message to our youth: give it a try,” he fumed.

Gilbride and city drug czar Bridget Brennan noted that the manual does have some sound advice. It stresses the importance of kicking the habit, seeking professional help and not sharing needles.

But it also spells out how junkies should ready their fix and the best ways to shoot it — a bad idea when more New York teens than ever are trying heroin, they said.

“What we do not want to do is suggest that there’s anything safe about shooting up narcotics,” said Brennan, the city’s special narcotics prosecutor. “No matter how many times you wash your hands or how clean the needle is, it’s still poison that you’re putting in your veins.”

The guidebook, called “Take Charge, Take Care,” has sections on overdosing, testing for HIV and hepatitis — and how to “prepare drugs carefully” and “how to take care of your veins.”

Kleber, a psychiatry professor, said the brochure could help save lives but that it was “foolish” for the city to include tips on how to shoot up.

The Health Department defended its brochure, saying it was helpful and necessary, and has been distributed only to addicts or those at risk of becoming abusers.

“Our goal is to promote health and save lives with this information,” said Daliah Heller, assistant commissioner for the Bureau of Alcohol and Drug Use Prevention, Care and Treatment.

Asked why the handout tells people how to shoot up, Heller said, “From a health perspective, there is a less harmful way to inject yourself.”

The flier fails to identify the city agency as its creator and distributor, and mentions only a group called LifeNet and the city’s 311 help line as call-in resources to addicts.

LifeNet is run by the nonprofit Mental Health Association of New York City, which is heavily funded by the city.

“It’s certainly not ours,” said association spokeswoman Beth Garcia.

*****************

Then there’s “Race to the Top” that I recently found out about. It’s a 4.35 Billion  grant to states that implement reform to education.

Quoting the President, the report continued: “‘We’re putting over $4 billion on the table, four billion with a “B,” one of the largest investments that the federal government has ever made in education reform,’ he said. ‘But we’re not just handing it out to states because they want it. We’re not just handing it out based on population. It’s not just going through the usual political formulas. We’re challenging states to compete for it.’”

Problem is, Teachers don’t want to go along with it.

Why?

It threatens them.

Screw the kids.

As most Unions feel.

Then we have the unions whose leadership is concerned with their constituencies solely. As Al Shenker of the A.F.T (American Federation Teachers)once noted “when students start paying dues I’ll be as interested in them as my teachers.” Hence competition of any kind among teachers, such as merit pay, is anathema.  Unless the NEA’s grip on public education is broken, competition, genuine competition, cannot be implemented. Moreover, how can this administration, already beholden to the teachers’ union for financial support, challenge the NEA?(Human Events)

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger called a special session of the Legislature in August to bring California in line with the requirements outlined by the Race to the Top. But the changes have been mired in politics, with Assembly Democrats supporting limited changes backed by the teacher’s union and others. The governor threatened to veto an earlier bill by the Assembly that he said omitted the open-enrollment rule, and negotiations dragged on through December.(SFGATE)

Education Week, the weekly journal, reported Dec. 30 that Florida’s top union official used a newspaper ad to discourage local affiliates from signing Race to the Top agreements.

“We are going to be concerned about the rights of employees so that they can’t be arbitrarily and capriciously hung out to dry because some kids in their class didn’t do well on CSAP,” the state tests, Fallin said. “No one will ever want those poor kids.” State Bill News- Colorado

“Basing pay on how well students fill in multiple-choice bubbles will undermine school reform – not advance it,” wrote Camille Zombro, head of San Diego Unified School District’s teachers’ union, in a San Diego Union-Tribune Sept. 18 editorial. “Students are more than one test score, and so are educators.”

Tying student success to teacher performance is forbidden territory for most teachers’ unions. Keeping the two separated is almost as sacrosanct as seniority rights and tenure. (SDNN)

In large part, this is the case because the culture forces deviancy down. This is America’s accelerated dream of egalitarianism in which the bottom quartile moves slightly upward and the top quartile moves down creating a compression at the mean.

And Legislation has to be passed by Jan 19th to qualify for the carrot on the stick.

This couldn’t have anything to do with Obama’s “State of Union” speech now could it?? 🙂

And then there are the parents.

The school district or the state get’s tough on test scores. But then the first run of scores come out and kids fail.

“my kid is not a dummy” they scream! and they rant and rave against the school. They may even sue.

So the test gets watered down due to no political backbone.

And suddenly everyone is passing again and the “new test” is as crap as the “old test”.

The Race to the Top program is yet another federal scheme to bribe taxpayers with their own money. Unfortunately, state governments eager to receive handouts from Washington prefer to beg at the federal table for scraps rather than try to raise necessary monies directly. Nevertheless, the United States will not achieve educational excellence by having Washington spend more money. If merely shoveling out dollars did the job, the country would be well-nigh full of geniuses — considering that the federal government has splurged almost $2 trillion on federal education programs since 1965. (New American)

And it’s biggest opponents are one of the Democrats’ biggest supporters, Teacher’s Unions.

Isn’t politics educational. 🙂