Archive for February, 2011

WISCONSIN PROTESTS; KOCH BROTHERS, GOV. WALKER, LABOR UNIONS, AND DEMOCRACY

Sunday, February 27th, 2011

During these Wisconsin Protests, I have posted every chance I had to support the teachers and other protestors in Wisconsin. I know about teachers, I am one! I know about labor and management and I have been on both sides. To me, a collective bargaining agreement is about what is as fair and equitable as possible and not totally satisfying to either side; it is a compromise that both can live with or it is not a good agreement. In Wisconsin, Gov. Walker would eliminate collective bargaining for teachers; I think teachers deserve the dignity and a voice in their profession and conditions of employment; Gov. Walker does not!

In writing all of my posts to support the protesters, who I believe represent Labor and the Middle Class in America, my posts have been questioned. Here are some questions and my answers; I like my stance. My posts and my answers to questions about them are based on my education and experience. I would like to share my response with you and feel free to criticize.

Question: “Labor leaders”. They’re nothing but mafiosos. Absolutely corrupt. Look at Andrew Stern.

Answer: Your perspective is outrageous! Have you ever compared corruption in Labor Unions to the corruption in banks and corporations who got America into this current depression? Stern is guilty only of being Jewish and a Labor Leader; Ken Lay of Enron, on the other hand, was a damn criminal. Sterns helped working people who were under paid, under employed, and chattel for Corporate America; Ken Lay screwed his employees out of their livelihood and pensions. As a human being, you are like Corporate America, you have no conscience or compassion; you are like a paper copy of humanity and incapable of compassion.

Corporations are simply legal entities and paper entities; Corporate America is incapable of being conscientious, compassionate, or patriotic; they were not created by God they were incorporated by government. The Wisconsin protests are about people, the middle class, US Constitutional Rights, and Human Rights. Labor Unions are the only voice that the working man of Middle Class America has.

In this current Bush Depression, the government bailed out failing Corporate America and now the Republicans would eliminate collective bargaining and the Middle Class. Unions are the only voice that Labor has in America; Corporate America has the power of wealth and everything in America can be and is bought, including Gov. Walker and Congress. Labor is desperate and protesting in that desperation.

At one time, I was a labor leader in a public school teachers’ union and I was not corrupt nor Mafioso; I am not even Italian.

Queston: forced membership in unions to achieve a public sector job is hardly democracy. nice try though

Answer: No one is forced to join a union. In union shops, if an employee does not want to join the union or has religious objections to a union they simply pay a fee to the union that is equal to union dues for the privilege of having the Union represent their interests; very simply, if the employee accepts the benefits of the union they should financially support it and that sir is capitalism. You pay for what you get; employers do not give products or services free, either. Of course the Taft-Hartley Act of 1948 eliminated capitalism for labor unions in some States; unions and Corporate America are equal but Corporate America is more equal than unions. Get a life!

By the way, joining the union does not get you a job in the public sector; it is Civil Service.

FAILURE OF PUBLIC SCHOOLS IS A FIGMENT OF THE IMAGINATION OF THE JOHN BIRCH SOCIETY AND THEIR REPUBLICAN PARTY

Saturday, February 26th, 2011

Neither teachers nor their unions are to blame for failure of public schools? Public schools are going to hell only in the minds of the John Birch Society who opposes democracy (democracy is mob rule) and public schools (public schools are socialism). The John Birch Society has taken control of the Republican party; both are making a concerted effort to destroy public schools and democracy. Wisconsin is the beginning.

Complaints about the failure of public schools, teachers, and teachers’ unions come from the opponents of public schools. Public schools were supported by our Constitutional forefathers in the Northwest Ordinance of 1785; they believed that public schools are essential for enlightening the electorate in a democracy. The John Birch Society and their Republican Party want to privatize public schools and replace American democracy with an oligarchy.  The Republicans seem to be able to convince some other voters  who are innocent of their purpose, that public schools are failing and teacher are the villains.  Today, the argument is that the government is broke and public schools that are failing anyway,  have to go.  It is ludicrous to say that teachers unions and collective bargaining are the cause of government’s budget deficits; they are not!

Nothing is structurally wrong with public schools; students are taught and succeeding in life. However, public schools are the most expensive cost to taxpayers; consequently they suffer most during depression. However just as in the past, teachers continue to teach and students learn in spite of lower teacher salaries and smaller budgets. Teachers are loyal to their profession and their government. Opponents of public education claim schools are failing, only as an excuse for eliminating them.

Unfortunately, there have always been some bad schools, some bad teachers, and some poor schools. But in general, students are learning and succeeding today, if they have the support of their parents, the people, and their governing entity.

Opponents of public schools, like Gov. Walker and Speaker Boehner are to blame for the myth that public schools going to hell.  It is simply a truism that teachers without a union have no voice governance of the public schools!  Teachers unions are not responsible for America’s current economic disaster.

Graduates of public schools are the future of the American democratic Republic.

ANTI-UNION HYSTERIA IN WISCONSIN & AMERICA; THE UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN FIGHT SONG!

Friday, February 25th, 2011

The University of Wisconsin athletic teams has a famous and rousting “fight song”, On Wisconsin, that is well known because most high schools use the tune for their own fight song parody.

Now that today Wisconsin has an oligarchic governor who would emasculate public school teachers and teachers labor unions, Wisconsin people and all Americans desperately need to awakened to historic fact.

I propose new words to the fight song, On Wisconsin. The words are not mine they are from an equally inspiring poem that grew out of World War 2 and the Nazi regime from a church pastor, Martin Niemoller. Bear with me, this is dark political satire, but it is extremely serious and I just needed your full attention.

First They Came… – Pastor Martin Niemoller

First the Nazis came for the communists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.

Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me.

MY PERSONAL STORY ABOUT LABOR UNIONS AND WISCONSIN; IT AIN’T PRETTY!

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

I used to respect Republicans; not anymore. So my last post was, What is a Republican? Who the Hell Are These People? I am starting to get personal and primitive but that is what I am.

One of my relatives is a Republican Right Wing-Nut, which is OK with me because you cannot choose relatives. But this relative condemned me and my blog about stupid Republicans, by email.

This blog, written here, is personal and my reply to the relative; my language reverts to my street education from my youth in Decatur Illinois from the “Wrong-Side-of-the-Tracks” and don’t read this if you know you won’t like it and are not interested; I am disturbed and it ain’t pretty.

A little background, I have been a life long teacher with a Labor background; I have been a factory worker, office worker, store clerk, public school teacher, union organizer, college professor, and college dean. Also, I have lived and worked in Illinois, Connecticut, Wisconsin, and California. During this time, I have been called a lot of other names.

Here is my email reply to my relative:

. . . . .

Let me tell you Cousin that I do know of what I speak and wonder what the hell you know; have you ever belonged to a union, have you ever studied the history of the labor movement in America, and have you ever been at the mercy of an employer?  Have you ever had to live it?

If it would not be for unions and the labor movement, workers today would be working 6 days a week and 12 hours a day with no benefit, like my father and grandfather; they would be fired, not retired, when they got old.

All workers today enjoy the benefits of unions even if they are non union and many of them are, just like you anti-union.  I was a teacher and a union organizer and I know that all teachers accepted the benefits the union earned for them by the union but non-union teachers refused to pay union dues; I consider those people despicable and when they had problems, they would then come to the union for help and want to join and the union helped them.

I learned at an early age what a scab was; my father was a part of the Railroad strike of 1922.  I never forgot that I was my father’s son.

I never forgot where I fit into American society.  I was a university professor at Marquette University in Milwaukee Wisconsin for 3 years and I had an earned doctorate degree.  Socially, I was a laborer working for wages and had no rights of collective bargaining or a union; I negotiated on my own for my annual salary and my dean told me what I could and I couldn’t do despite “academic freedom“. It was the Dean’s way or the Highway; so, I took a job with more pay back in San Diego.  So I do know about Wisconsin; I know a lot about Wisconsin and teachers in Wisconsin, God bless them

I was an organizer for the teachers’ union in San Diego and put my ass on the line.  I was blackballed in California for it, among other things.

When I was young I worked in the factory while I was going to college.  The union protected my rights.

What the hell do you know about Labor Unions, Cousin?  I heard you whine about your insurance company dropping you and at the same time condemn President Obama for trying to assure that you are covered by medical insurance.  I don’t like that but as a teacher I have worked with ignorant people like you and have had pity for people like you; that is what teachers do, then try to enlighten the ignorant people but respect them as human beings.  But, you, Cousin, have become a threat to the American democratic Republic and humanity.  I am being brutally honest with you, as a teacher must be.

You have the nerve to condemn Democrats for refusing to agree with President Bush’s torturing other human beings, invading and killing innocent women and children in the own sovereign country for selfish greedy reasons and no legitimate purpose, for spying on American citizens without a warrant, for waging undeclared wars in violation of International Law, and for starting a world wide religious war against 1.6 billion Muslims?   I can’t respect that, Cousin!

You have the nerve to say of me, “watch what you speak before you know the entire story or you look silly.”  For the sake of truth and compassion I am totally willing to look silly to you, Cousin.

Let me assure you Cousin that I have a clear conscience and I sleep well at night and I am confident that I am a good person in my eyes and in God’s eyes; God tells me so.  Therefore I feel that I have the perfect right to say, Fuck you Cousin, I don’t need your approval and you can stick it up your ass.  Sorry, but I learned that kind of talk on the streets of Decatur with the kids of working men and women who would be in deep shit if it were not for their Labor Union and they, like my dad, risked it all to make a better life for me because of Labor Unions.

Luvya Cuz,
Dickie

WHAT IS A REPUBLICAN? WHO THE HELL ARE THESE PEOPLE?

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

I Don’t know about the rest of you, but I am sick of these damn Republicans wrapping themselves in the flag on election day and screaming, “America’ is the greatest!”

Then when the Democrats want to do something productive, the Republicans say the good old USA is incompetent and incapable of providing the best possible Universal Health Insurance, Enron does it better.  What in the world?

When the Republicans are asked to do something positive for their America, the Republicans tell us that the wondrous American nation is too poor to do anything for their own people who are unemployed and hurting; America is broke and Wisconsin is broke!  What?

When a State like Wisconsin gives business a cut in taxes so large the State goes in debt, the Republicans tell teachers that they don’t have enough money to pay teachers’ salaries so the government will have to take away teachers’ right to bargain collectively because the government overpays them.  What the?

Republicans have Americans scared to death that a Muslims is going to get them, Republicans spend billions of dollars killing Muslims in their own Muslim country to get the Muslim’s oil, and then they tell America’s children that the great USA can no loner afford to provide Sesame Street for kids on Saturday mornings.  Huh?

When these stupid Republicans actually win an election, I assume it has to be voting fraud, because I just can’t believe that there are that many Americans stupid enough to vote for Republicans.

The wonderful American democratic Republic  of my youth has become an asylum in my old age.

God help America.   Please!

WISCONSIN REPUBLICANS’ PROPOSED STATUTE IS WRONG, UNJUSTIFIED, AND UNCONSTITUTIONAL

Sunday, February 20th, 2011

First and foremost, Teachers’ Unions and Collective Bargaining are not responsible for Wisconsin’s budget deficit because neither unions nor collective bargaining are a cost to the State; eliminating Teachers Unions and collective bargaining will not bring any additional money into the State’s coffers.

The State or local school district providing health benefits for teachers and contributing to Teachers’ Pensions are not gifts to teachers, those costs are part of the teachers’ salaries and competent employers prefer providing untaxed benefits to giving employees higher raises.  Providing benefits are to the employers’ advantage because it saves them money; if the employees were required to pay for these benefits out of pocket, employees would require much higher salaries to provide the same benefits because the employees would have to pay Federal Income Tax on the money spent on benefits. If the Republican bill was passed, it would increase the cost of education in Wisconsin. All other employers are aware that paying for benefits lowers the cost of labor; the statute proposed by the Wisconsin Republican Governor and legislature goes contrary to intelligent economic labor relations practice.

If teachers are denied the right to unionize and bargain collectively by statute, it would deny teachers, as a class or workers, rights that all other workers are allowed; to deny rights to teachers without justification would be a violation of teachers’ equal rights and protection under the law and would be a violation of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution.

Based on the facts, the statute proposed by the Wisconsin Republicans cannot be justified. To deprive teachers the right to unionize and bargain collectively would appear to be only punitive and make teachers, as a class of worker, appear to be greedy, unpatriotic, and corrupt.  Wisconsin Republicans are guilty of demeaning public school teachers.  In counter-protests, the opposition to the teacher protesters jeered and defamed the teacher protesters based on accusations made by the Republican Governor and Legislature.

In this case, the teachers are absolutely justified in mounting protests against the proposed statute of the Republicans; teacher have a right to protect teachers’ Civil Rights, their very honor, and the honor of the teaching profession.

What in the world is the purpose of the Wisconsin Republican Party in this fiasco; what are the Wisconsin Republicans trying to do?

REPUBICAN 2011 BUDGET TOWARD THE AMERICAN FEUDAL SYSTEM

Sunday, February 20th, 2011

“After an all-night session, House Republicans early Saturday morning passed legislation that would slash $60 billion in government spending between now and the end of September, setting up a showdown with President Barack Obama, who has vowed to veto the measure.

“The cuts, which were passed without a single Democratic vote, are aimed primarily at domestic social spending but also have policy goals — going after the Environmental Protection Agency, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/19/house-budget-cuts_n_825405.html

The question to ask Republican Representatives is this, did they cut oil subsidies, tobacco subsidies, farm subsidies for corporate farms, or corporate welfare? No!  The new Republican Budget is not a budget to serve the people of America, it is a budget to serve the wealthy and eliminate the middle class.

Speaker Boehner has publicly stated he wants to eliminate labor unions and collective bargaining, which is the only power of the working man’s, Middle Class America; the Republican agenda would eliminate America’s Middle Class.

The John Birch Society believes America was never intended to be a democracy and they officially and publicly oppose democracy as “mob rule” in their words. It is obvious that the John Birch Society, the Koch Brothers, and Murdoch’s Fox News have taken over the Republican Party; Speaker Boehner and the Republican Party, with the help of the politicized Republican 5 member majority of the US Supreme Court and their Citizens United Decision, would reduce the American democratic Republic to a feudal system plutocracy reminiscent of the Middle Ages.

If Americans want a democratic America of the people, by the people and for the people with liberty and justice for all, they will have to fight a New American Revolution against the current Republican Party.

Only a new American Revolution will restore the Constitutional American democratic Republic. Americans will have to ‘rise up and cast off thier chains’!

Wisconsin is a beginning.

WHO IN AMERICA CAN BE A REPUBLICAN?

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

How do Republicans even exist. Republicans oppose health insurance coverage for contraception and abortion, and they approve insurance coverage for Viagra? Republicans propose to eliminate Public Broadcasting (PBS). Holy crap, who are these idiots, called Republicans?

Addendum:

Latest stroke of Republican genius: 

Public Policy Polling Survey: Majority of GOP Voters Think Obama Wasn’t Born in US

The controversy over President Barack Obama’s birthplace won’t end, even though the state of Hawaii has posted his certificate of live birth. A new survey by Public Policy Polling shows that 51 percent of percent of Republican voters believe Obama was born outside the United States.

From Direct, San Diego County Democratic Party Newsletter: http://direct.sddem.org

THE EGYPTIAN REVOLUTION

Sunday, February 13th, 2011

Today, Egyptian revolutionaries, through the use of peaceful protests, forced the Egyptian dictator Mubarak to vacate the Presidency of the Egyptian government; for the present, the day to day operation and control of the nation will be the responsibility of a committee, or temporary junta of the Egyptian Army until democratic elections can take place. The final results of the Egyptian Revolution have yet to be determined.

The Egyptian revolution intrigued me; I followed it closely from the beginning. I could not help but compare it to the 1776 American Revolution; the American Revolution was at a different time and under different circumstances but there is definitely similarity in purpose. Personally, I identified with those protestors in Egypt; there have been times in recent years when I have felt that my government was not listening to me, that I was disenfranchised in democratic America.

In the 2000 Presidential elections and the US Supreme Court stopped the counting of votes of a democratic election in Florida, I felt disenfranchised and my interests not being served by my government; for the first time in my life, my American President was not elected in a democratic election, those Florida votes were never counted. Why didn’t Americans rise up in protest?

Again in 2001 and 2003, I could not understand why Americans did not rise up and protest their government’s wars of aggression, because America invaded the sovereign nations of Afghanistan and Iraq despite neither nation being a threat to the USA nor responsible for the September 11, 2001 bin Laden terrorist atrocity on New York and the Pentagon.

Therefore, I could not help but admire and respect the Egyptian revolutionaries that I saw every day, protesting their lack of a voice in their own government.

As I followed the news today, watching various American politicians, American TV and newspaper commentators, and American and other foreign diplomats speculate where the Egyptian upheaval will go from this point; they all spoke with great authority and disagreed with one another, and with me. My conclusion was that these pundits obviously did not really understand popular revolution for the democratic right to participate in their nation’s affairs or even what the word democracy really meant.

I heard media with a national forum speak of democracy and freedom in a context that defied the very meaning of those sacred words, in my own estimation.

And, of course, America’s political crazies told their nationally syndicated listeners all kind of ridiculous garbage. Glen Beck of obnoxious Fox News reported: “The protests in Egypt are being orchestrated by an alliance of Communists and Islamic fundamentalists who seek to overthrow capitalism and make a new world order.”

Watching the various elements of leadership in the Egyptian Revolution interviewed, I was duly impressed; they all spoke with confidence and resolve about what they wanted their Egypt to be, where they wanted their Egypt to go, and most important of all, what they intended their Egypt to ultimately look like in the future based on the role they played in the revolution and their personal purpose. Further, the revolutionaries were hesitant to say their battle was now won; but they expressed resolve in ultimately establishing some semblance of real democracy in Egypt.

But the Egyptians seem to know about democracy; they knew that democracy is more than just elections. And the Egyptians seem to know that there is a great difference between freedom and liberty. In a real democracy, all citizens can vote and a majority rules; but the minority is protected from the tyranny of the majority by liberty and liberty is restricted freedom, freedom that does not infringe upon the freedom of others.

President Obama speaking on the Egyptian Revolution said, “The people of Egypt have spoken, the voices have been heard and Egypt will never be the same,”

“Egyptians have inspired us. They have done so by putting the lie to the idea that justice is best gained through violence. For in Egypt, it was the moral force of non-violence, not terrorism, not mindless killing, but non-violence, moral force that bent the arc of history toward justice once more.”

Of course the Egyptian Revolution was not entirely bloodless; over three hundred protestors were killed by the hated police in the early days of the protests. But the protestors did not turn back and soon there were just too many protestors for the dreaded police to kill them all. When the Army was called in to restore order, the Egyptian soldiers refused to attack their own people whom they were pledged to protect.

I have often pondered what America’s own soldiers would do if they were called out to quell protests for democracy by their own American people. Unfortunately, my memory recalls American soldiers firing on and killing American college students who were protesting President Nixon’s invasion of Cambodia, on the Kent State University campus, during the 1970 Kent State Massacre.

Indeed, the Egyptian Revolution is an event of inspiration to be admired globally. God bless Egyptian revolutionaries and God Bless the American democratic Republic.

AMERICANS’ LOVE OF WAR AND AGGRESSION

Friday, February 11th, 2011

America has become a war, gun, aggressive society because of recent Presidents Lyndon Johnson and the two President’s Bush; all three Presidents, for different reasons, lacked the popular support of the American people and went to war to rally the American people behind them.

It is typical for unpopular leaders to go to war to inspire the support of the people for them. Hitler did that too, (for example but not comparison of ideology).

Between WWI and WWII America stood for World Peace and was respected by other nations for it; however currently, America has become an aggressive nation and is presently hated by most other nations around the world because America is considered an aggressor.

The present wars were actually started by the First Bush defiling Muslim Saudi Holy Land by putting a military base there, which was bin Laden’s incentive for 911; after 911, Bush II then invaded Afghanista­n and Iraq in retaliation, despite neither sovereign nation having anything to do with bin Laden (a Saudi) attacking America.

The Vietnam War of LBJ and the two Holy Oil Wars of the Bush father and son were unnecessar­y. To the rest of the world, America is an aggressor bully and a Super Power using that power to the economic advantage of Corporate America (see Project for the New American Century).

America seems to compare every other national issue to war, in the eras of LBJ and the 2 Bush: War on Poverty, War on Drugs, and War on Terror. War is inspiring to Americans, America glorifies it. The Wars on Poverty, Drugs, & Terror are not actually wars; war is confined to military conflict between two sovereign nations.

There is technically, no such thing as a War Against Terror; The War Against Terror is strictly a figment of President George W. Bush’s imagination.