The Left’s Assault on Democracy in Wisconsin

Matthew Vadum is an award-winning investigative reporter and the author of the book, "Subversion Inc.: How Obama’s ACORN Red Shirts Are Still Terrorizing and Ripping Off American Taxpayers."


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Left-wing lawmakers have gone into hiding and union goons have been doing all they can to shut down the state capitol and prevent the legislature from conducting business. These are tactics one might expect to see from the Italian squadristi or German Sturmabteilung, both of which used physical coercion and intimidation to halt the democratic process.

To the disappointment of anarchists everywhere, Walker has responded not with water cannons or truncheons, but by calmly making his case to the public and trying to negotiate with the unions.

So, of course he’s a dirty Fascist in the eyes of leftists who have to demonize the governor in order to keep the donations pouring in. Pro-labor demonstrators in Madison have embraced the “Fascism” meme like mother’s milk.

Political science professor Bob Fitrakis says what the left is doing in Wisconsin is “ultimately about preventing the United States from becoming a full-on fascist state” and “about saving the last shreds of American democracy.” He then plays the Hitler card lamenting that “[t]he first Germans Hitler put in concentration camps were neither Jews nor gypsies – they were trade unionists.”

It’s trite, tedious, high school debating tournament level stuff.

Ironically, Fitrakis is using a version of the Big Lie, a rhetorical technique embraced by history’s most infamous Fascist. (As a political scientist presumably he knows this.)

The professor’s lie is so bold and outrageous that he’s gambling Americans won’t dare to question it, as if there were a straight line between labor law reform in Wisconsin and the ovens of Auschwitz.

So far it looks like Americans aren’t falling for it, and in an ominous sign, a bellwether of progressive thinking also isn’t falling for it.

In a rare moment of candor Time magazine’s Joe Klein, usually a reliable member of the leftist echo chamber, points an accusing finger at his own side:

Revolutions are everywhere–in the Middle East, in the middle west. But there is a difference: in the Middle East, the protesters are marching for democracy; in the Midwest, they’re protesting against it. I mean, isn’t it, well, a bit ironic that the protesters in Madison, blocking the state senate chamber, are chanting “Freedom, Democracy, Union” while trying to prevent a vote? Isn’t it ironic that the Democratic Senators have fled the democratic process? Isn’t it interesting that some of those who–rightly–protest the assorted Republican efforts to stymie majority rule in the U.S. Senate are celebrating the Democratic efforts to stymie the same in the Wisconsin Senate?

Will Big Labor’s rent-a-mobs in Madison now start burning Klein in effigy? It may depend on how much George Soros offers them.

Matthew Vadum is a journalist in Washington, D.C. His book on ACORN and its infiltration of the Obama administration will be published in mid-2011.

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  • Chezwick_Mac

    This is ground-zero of the budget battles. The entire nation is watching. If Walker wins, his tactics will be duplicated in other states and fiscal sanity may pull us back from the brink. If he loses, the left and the unions will be emboldened to use the mob nationwide to get what they can't get at the ballot box.

    • mikey123

      WELL SAID!

  • Amused

    I find it MORE than coincidental , that States with REPUBLICAN Governors …Indianna , Michigan , Ohio and Wisconsin are attacking the school system and teachers unions as their "coin of the realm " reaction and FIX , for their state's budget shortfalls . No coincidence indeed thyat nationally , teachers have supported Democrats . And in all of vthose states not just pay but collective bargaining rioghts are being attacked , abnd the teachers are being blamed for the fiscal position those states have found themselves in . Union busting is and always has been part of Republican ideology .

    • davarino

      amusing

    • USMCSniper

      The Right to Work principle–the guiding concept of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation–affirms the right of every American to work for a living without being compelled to belong to a union. Compulsory unionism in any form–"union," "closed," or "agency" shop–is a contradiction of the Right to Work principle and the fundamental human right that the principle represents. The National Right to Work Committee advocates that every individual must have the right, but must not be compelled, to join a labor union. The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation assists employees who are victimized because of their assertion of that principle. Imagine that!!!!

      • orangeandblue

        Yes, just imagine that! How unpleasant do you think the teachers that I referred to would be made in the workplace if they shunned the NEA? Any ideas?

    • Supreme_Galooty

      Union busting is exactly what is called for when it comes to the NEA and its various cohorts. American teachers are harming their charges – our children. They are not only exceedingly poor in the performance of their duties – teaching – they are doing actual, lasting harm. And you are a prime example of this.

      I admire the Republicans for their clear vision. The Democrats have become the party of totalitarian coercion, and they are not to be trusted with the reigns of power.

      • Jim_C

        "American teachers are harming their charges – our children. They are not only exceedingly poor in the performance of their duties – teaching – they are doing actual, lasting harm."

        See, this is the kind of wildly ignorant blanket statement that makes me think you may not know shizz from shinola. Somehow, people think that because they attended school, they know what teaching is. Not too many other professions get that sort of scorn–but then there are very few professions that literally deal with everyone in the general public (hint: that's part of the problem).

        You can have a beef with the unions, or with the concept of public education. Saying "American teachers are harming our kids" is not just stupid–it's ignorant.

        • Supreme_Galooty

          Sorry. It is anything BUT ignorant. It is informed. There are numerous studies out there documenting the actual HARM. The longer a child is kept in the clutches of our public schools, the more significant the HARM.

          In order to find those studies you will have to drill down, since they will NOT be widely acclaimed by our state-run media. I do not have ready references for you, but they are out there. I guarantee it.

          • Jim_C

            Galoots, there is a big difference between blaming a "one-size fits all" system, processing vast amounts of the general public, in which spineless administrators pad their pensions behind "do not disturb" signs; and blaming the individual charged with mentoring your kid through 4th grade. Your generalization against these individuals does not and would not pass any logical muster.

            Look at many public and private schools. The curriculum and teaching "talent" can often be essentially the same. The difference? Private school tuition alone weeds out some kids; public schools can't weed out anyone. Private schools can discipline kids far more efficiently. And the biggest difference: Private school parents are more involved.

            Private school teachers go to the same schools as their counterparts. They're often paid less than their public school counterparts, but the tradeoff is that private school teachers have more control over their classes, far more adminstrative and parental support, less bureaucracy, are less subject to barmy academic trends.

            Sorry–blaming teachers is simply a mark of ignorance.

    • Gary from Jersey

      Grammar, syntax, punctuation and spelling errors. Yep, another badly educated liberal reactionary.

      • Supreme_Galooty

        You are more right than you might imagine. According to Richard Mitchell in his marvelous little book, "Less Than Words Can Say," the written word is a direct reflection of the mind. If the prose is sloppy, riddled with errors, awkward, etc., so is the mind of the composer. The same is not necessarily true of the spoken word which is an entirely different animal.

    • GJ in PA

      And you seem to be the grand example of how poorly teachers perform these jobs for which they are paid exhorbitantly!

    • Fiddler

      Sorry AMUSED, but there is a conflict of interest here. Democrat legislators and Unions are joined at the hip — inseperable. They cannot be objective. Facts don't matter children's future doesn't matter. All that matters is their goodies. They need to carry the load just like their private sector counterparts do.

      Time to become part of the SOLUTION instead of remaining part of the PROBLEM. Like the terms PROGRESSIVE and CHANGE? Here is where it really counts. Put up or shut up.

  • Pierce

    Hurrah. It's about time we stood up to the left-wingers. Gov. Walker, don't back down!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Amused

    As for the first two posts ? "the left using the mob " …..I guess that's the best from Dumb & Dumber …..grow up fellas . The States in trouble , are in trouble due to loss of revenue , and THAT loss of revenue can be directly linked to 8 years of Republican Administration in the White House which nearly wrecked the US economy . In the case of Wusconsin , prior obligations , judicial rulings on fund raiding , projected Medicaid payments and Walkers tax cuts , are the main reasons for the "alleged projected deficit ".

    • Chezwick_Mac

      Sorry. The problem is Democratic politicians in bed with the unions…elected with union money and support…then signing sweetheart deals that exempt the unions from paying their fair share of pension and health-care costs and transferring that responsibility to the tax-payer. THAT is what is bankrupting the states!

    • orangeandblue

      This original commented was deleted by error!
      @Amused…face it, unions long ago outlived their usefulness. The unions of today are political machines that use union dues to elect politicians who will do their bidding. I wonder just how many union members object to their money to elect people who do not represent their views. I have heard so many teachers say that they don't support the National Educational Association political machine but they have to pay dues in order to work.

      - – -

      • Jim_C

        I also don't think much of unions these days though historically I appreciate their role in growing the middle class in this country. Amused is right on the money in the sense that this is not really a matter of fiscal responsibility but political payback, with the presidential election of 2012 in sight. Take away the political pull of the unions and you've eliminated a huge democratic contributor.

      • Steve

        Yes, I was one of those teachers in Los Angeles back in the 80s. I resented UTLA stealing money directly from my check each month and then sending it to support leftist and gay rights causes. There was absolutely nothing I could do about it. Well, what I could do was move to a "Right-to work" state, such as the Great State of Texas, and I have been happy ever since.
        In the mid 80s I went out on strike in L.A. and did not feel good about it. As we were picketing the district offices downtown the rationale was, "We're standing up for the CHILDREN." I didn't buy it then, even as a young teacher, and it has grown even more ludicrous each time I hear it. We were out there to get what we could for ourselves. No one had a second thought of the delinquents we were charged to oversee and possibly teach each day. Coming from the underpaid private school sector, I was happy with my wages and benefits. It was a gravy train. Something happened one day while walking the picket line with a union rep and colleague, a car drove by and the driver shouted, "You guys don't do bad for only working 9 months out of the year." I realized he was right. We put in 185 days a year, and we get paid well for it. Just like most salaried positions we do put in many unpaid hours, but overall the pay and schedule are not bad. Do the math and figure 12 months working with two weeks off for vacation, just like any other salaried job. WOW, teachers ARE paid well, they just don't work as many days as other "professionals" do. The "teachers are underpaid" thinking is bogus and should always be challenged. You must compare "apples with apples."

    • Steve

      Libs always blame the economic problems on Bush. Don't forget who was running the Congress. From a lib point of view you must give Bush credit for not vetoing budget busting legislation from Reid/Pelosi. Sure Bush took us into an expensive war, but the libs could easily have cut off the funding. Don't forget the names of Dodd and Frank and our sub-prime problems leading to the economic meltdown.

      • Jim_C

        Well, Bush presided over it with a Republican congress for a long period; if the shoe were on the other foot…? Don't forget the names Gramm-Leach, either (under Clinton).

        I blame us, the American public, for looking the other way while times were good. Any serious person would see the collusion of both parties in the meltdown. But as for Bush's war, that's one I'm pretty sure history isn't going to look too kindly upon.

    • Wild Bill

      Amused, how long are you liberal liars ("liberal liars" — sorry for the redundancy) going to continue to blame GWB for our current economic woes? The economy was nearly wrecked more by democrats like Barney Frank forcing banks and lending institutions to give home loans to people who couldn't afford them and didn't deserve them, than anything GWB ever did. The housing debacle had a cascade effect that was as much at fault for the economy spiraling out of control as anything. Get a clue. Democrats, and their fetish for big government control of our lives are what's ruining this country. And this public sector union situation in Wisconsin is another prime example of that. Thank God for heroes like Scott Walker!

      • Amused

        As long as the problems he and his cronies created persist …gee you have any Hard Questions ? Walkers simply following the Republican Agenda , which all workingmen know ….ingratiate big buisinress and screw the wage earner . Just wait and see whether Walker wins or loses this stalemate , how much the average citizen of Wisconsin's situation improves .Lets see how many jobs are created through Walkers "tax cuts " .You can cut taxes all you like , without jobs there is no revenue for state coffers , but big buisiness appreciates what Walker and his lot are doing for them , they will contribute to campaign coffers , grow fat , and return as little as possible in the way of benefiting the Statres they are operating in .

        • liberty

          The cuts were for employers to hire new people, and they were a measure enacted to help Wisconsin compete with other states in bringing jobs in. The so called cost or lost revenue is based on a hypothetical if the jobs came regardless of the tax cuts or not. Money is not a zero sum game no matter how much the left wishes it so.

        • Fiddler

          Socialism doesn't GROW anything. The tricks and tactics are merely a shell game of red ink. Better to GROW the PIE rather than invent trendy, fine-sounding ways of slicing (READ REDISTRIBTING) up a smaller one. That is merely a means of pandering to voters. Actually it is really ingenious if your goal is to "level the playingfield" and destroy superpower status. If you are the president, you get re-elected and all the rest of us assuage our "national guilt".

    • http://blog.yintercept.com yintercept

      Let's see, Bush won the promise that he would move the Republican party left. Which he did as was seen by massive increases in social spending and new social programs.

      During the last half of the Bush Administration (when the recession occurred) the entire world was swing dramatically leftward. This includes the Democratic Party taking both the House and Senate.

      Yes, the Democratic Party controlled the US government before the recession.

      The crash occurred when it was obvious to all that the left would win a super majority and presidency.

      Assuming that companies invest according to expected future earnings, then the fact that the recession occurred during a dramatic swing to the left, then one would conclude that it was the ascendancy of the left that caused the recession.

    • Fiddler

      George W Bush (from an economic standpoint) is a cautionary tale about trying to make nice with Democrats by becoming Democrat-lite. It is cosying up to Ted (Chappaquiddik) Kennedy and the fence-jumper McCain. It is the naive hope that the leftist press will somehow look kindly upon the "compromising" Republican. Remember which branch of government holds the purse strings! Conservative politicians need to chuck fine-sounding slogans like "compassionate-conservatism" and just grow a steel spine, thumbing their noses at the likes of Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann, and doing what the know may not lay well MoveOn.org or HuffingtonPost, but will be fiscally wise. GO Governor Walker!!!

  • davarino

    Those of us who arent in the unions are right there with you union members. We will fight to pay more and more taxes so you can have a much better job than the rest of us poor scmucks. No, really, you deserve to get more and more and we will fight right along side you to protect your right to get more and more……..from us.

    Thanks for continuing the struggle. Maybe all the rest of us can get a government union job some day.

  • Satori_In_TO

    Unions were – at one time – instrumental in establishing the American Republic. But that time is over, and unions now stand for the exact opposite of what fueled their genesis.

    • http://twitter.com/vadum Matthew Vadum

      "Unions were – at one time – instrumental in establishing the American Republic."

      They were? I don't mean to be sarcastic but I'm not following you. You mean various guilds or maybe Freemasons supported the Revolution?

      • trickyblain

        Minimum wage, the 40 hour workweek, worker safety, food safety, child labor laws, etc. are all products of unions. It can be argued that establishing the republic is a process, not a signgular event. And the items listed above all helped the rise of the US as the world's economic powerhouse in the 20th century.

        • http://twitter.com/vadum Matthew Vadum

          I didn't ask you, trickyblain, to provide spin and I am familiar with labor's line in which it takes credit for all things good in America. So let's skip the propaganda, shall we?

          If you're out there, Satori_In_TO, what do you mean when you write, "Unions were – at one time – instrumental in establishing the American Republic"?

          • trickyblain

            If we were to skip the propaganda, this Website would cease to exist. Last I checked, this is a public board and I can answer any post I want, little jackass.

            What I wrote about unions are facts. Here's another one: you are not a "journalist." You are a blogger who has written a couple articles for Horowitz, who allows you to do so because you don't charge him anything.

          • http://twitter.com/vadum Matthew Vadum

            Nothing little about me, trickyblain. And I am actually a real-life journalist.

          • trickyblain

            Wow! I googled you in disbelief that anyone would pay you to write, but sure enough you seem to something of a paid blogger/yapper. Journalist? Not so much.

            Did you ever embarass yourself on the Daily Show. I mean, how on earth could you allow yourself to be humiliated like that?

            But wow, it was really funny. As was a bunch of other stuff I saw on this slow work day. I'm talking first rate untintentional comedy!

            And, dude, you're pretty little. Everything's relative (see, I'm a lib!), but if you are judging by "modern male" and not "a flea," you're kind of tiny.

            Thanks, Matthew, for the laughs today. You're the best.

        • Supreme_Galooty

          The unions CLAIM to be responsible for the various things you mention. I would suggest that those things would have come to pass WITHOUT the unions and in much better form to boot.

          The minimum wage is a total DISASTER for everyone EXCEPT union members. The MW has the "beneficial" effect of artificially raising union wages while at the same time keeping unskilled, marginal labour out of the workforce. Shame on the unions for that.

          • trickyblain

            They may or they may not have occured without unions. It's difficult to envision a senario in which it would have happened without unions or gov't action (which also would raise the ire of so-called conservatives). But the fact remains that they occured because of unions. Now the gov't has taken on these roles and unions appear to have outlived thier usefulness.

  • Amused

    Besides that , if " Everyone " must do their fair share to bring the budget down in Wisconsin , then tell me …WHO else has been "asked " ??? There are State Employees that are NOT union members …..politicians and their aides , provisional employees of which there are thousands that come in with each new administration , State contractors in bids , Have they been "asked " or as in the case of State Employees COMMANDED to cut pay and benefits ? Haven't heard a thing yet on State Pork ….have you ? Sooner or later Walkers Republican agenda of "payback " to big buisiness for their campaign contibutions state and nationwide , and union busting will become evident , just as attacking the teachers and state employee unions will prove , that will not save Wisconsin from it's alleged fiscal crisis .

  • Steve Chavez

    UNIONS=MARXIST MAFIAS! The Communist Party USA is drooling for blood! Their front groups, who have "Planted the Seeds" for three decades, have brainwashed millions of university students who then become the leaders of local movements with all sorts of good-sounding names. Even David Horowitz's "Discover the Networks," an amazing site that organizes, and exposes, these fronts, is overwhelmed by the thousands of groups but what is not known, is that is a tactic taught to them by the Soviet KGB! Example: One person has a group of ten. He orders those ten to start their own group and to sign up in each other's group. Now you have ten groups with ten members each who then sponsor a meeting with ten groups! WHO IS THAT "ONE" IN WISCONSIN? WHO ARE THE "TEN?" ALL WILL BE DIRECTLY, AND INDIRECTLY, CONNECTED TO THE COMMUNIST PARTY USA! THEY WANT CIVIL WAR! The Tea Party showed up and police were there to keep the protesters apart. DID YOU NOTICE WHICH WAY THE POLICE WERE FACING, MEANING WHO THEY WERE THERE TO PROTECT? GO TO PWW.ORG AND SEE THE MARXIST MAFIA IN ACTION AND YOU'LL SEE THEIR DIRECT TIES TO THE WHITE HOUSE!

    • Amused

      Off your meds again Chavez ? Go put on your Bircher tin foil cap .

      • Amused

        Funny , that "civil war " , suggestions that guns be brought to town hall meetings , threats that guns may need to be used , all have come from the Teeebaggers . Wanna play "turnaround " Chavez ? YOU are the one screaming Civil War . Oh and please show these Mafia Marxist ties that you allege . Which way the police were facing ? LOL…..normal logistics oh paranoid one , your teebaggers were outnumbered 10 to 1 , and went there with explicit orders from their "leader" Mark Williams , to make inflammatory statements .

  • Supreme_Galooty

    Arising out of the chaos in Wisconsin for all with eyes to see, and for all with ears to hear is the true face of the Democrat party cabal. They are no longer a party of the "Little Guy" – (if they ever were.) They are the party of big, dominant, totalitarian government controlled by the elitist ruling class. And THEY are that ruling class (and all too many Republicans as well.)

    While I hold no brief for the Republican party, it too has evolved and is no longer just the party of business and moneyed interests. It has totally supplanted the Democrat party as the party of the "little guy." Examples of this are all too numerous for the comfort of those pesky leftists.

  • cmaxnavy

    Unions confuse privilege with individual constitutional rights. The teachers and other union members (thugs) are the movement's 'useful idiots.' They are the outcome of a decades long effort to create a participation trophy society! Everyone can be a winner regardless of merit! Such a society promotes the type of arrogance that makes Trupka's job easy! Welcome to our Orwellian State!

  • JosephWiess

    What do you expect from the children that call themselves democrat legislators and those who call themselves union bosses. They don't care about students, children, women, or anything else, other than the state benefits that they coerced the government into providing. Of course the democrats are hiding, the unions bought them, and people always accuse republicans of being big business.
    The fact that Chomsky wants a bloodbath in the streets should be just the reason to declare him a terrorist and put him in jail.
    If I were Walker, or the school districts, I'd fire all the teachers that are the demonstrations and hire new teachers. Then, at least, maybe, our education system would finally work.

  • Alberto

    Amused is a dirty communist paid hack and a filthy homosexual jew.

    • Supreme_Galooty

      Alberto, you may well be right. I don't have that kind of knowledge, but if I did I would hesitate say so.

    • Amused

      Very good Alberto , atleast you have the nerve to spew your sewage in public . I am neither , but your assumption kinda sums up the mentality presenting itself here , so make your fist and spit it out . Funny the moderators didn't catch your nasty anti-semitic remark , but you do have a half-coward in agreement with you in Supreme_Galooty. Tell me Alberto ….who's paying you ?

      • Steeloak

        First comment you've made here that I can agree with you on. However, you do talk like a communist. As far as your sexuality or religion – who cares, not relavent here. I know Jewish & Gay conservatives, as well as well as straight, Christian Liberal Democrats.

      • Steeloak

        First comment you've made here that I can agree with you on. However, you do talk like a communist. As far as your sexuality or religion – who cares, not relavent here. I know Jewish & Gay conservatives, as well as well as straight, Christian Liberal Democrats.

    • gelford

      I see the words "dirty" and "filthy" here. Sounds like you don't like "Amused". I'm Jewish, conservative, and I've been told I'm "gay" (which I'm not) and filthy – which I was for a while. Lets keep out the anti-Semitism, shall we? Its a delusion.

    • stephen

      i am glad that fpm lets you vent your frustrations in a most honest fashion. i am pretty sure that most of the readers agree with you. dirty and filthy and homosexual is what jews were called in germany so they made soap out them. how quickly a lot of you forget.

  • Wesley69

    This is a battle the Left can not lose. They will bring in all their professional agitators and thugs to harass, intimidate, create chaos to the point that the Governor has to crack down on them as the Leftist cameras roll.

    What is happening in Wisconsin is NOT as assault on the unions. It IS an assault on democracy, trying to undo the November election.

    Once these anti-Democrats return, the Governor's bills need to be passed. But another needs to be brought up. It is the Right to work law. It would allow workers to have a choice as to whether they will join a union or not. Talk about weakening the union, this will do it and it IS an assault on organized labor.

    • Jim_C

      You may be right. The pendulum has been swinging away from the unions for 30+ years–maybe it can only swing back, now?

      The results will be purely political–in other words, who gets to frame it? If you look at it as a matter of "fiscal responsibility," the governor loses, because he has obviously chosen a calculated political target rather than made a prudent budgetary decision.

      However: the bonehead equation of "working people" with union workers rings mighty hollow with unemployment like we have; and these "Hitler" signs automatically make carriers look like total idiots, by definition. Crying over loss of benefits while still holding a job just doesn't play.

      So it will be a question of Who over-reaches?

      • Wesley69

        Jim_C, as long as the Governor keeps his cool and lauds the protestors, saying this is America, people have a right to petition and assembly, he is doing good. As long as he says, he will listen to the protestors, but let them know he was elected to do a job in a particular way, he will come out on top.

        Once Jesse Jackson and other professional agitators came to Madison, the fight takes on a desperate tone. The protestors NEED the big wigs. If Al Sharpton comes, its all over.

        If I were the Governor, I would ask the legislature to pass a Right to work law . It would allow workers to have a choice as to whether they will join a union or not. Talk about weakening the union, this will do it and it IS an assault on organized labor.

        • Jim_C

          Just listening to liberal talk radio over lunch: it seems we are trying to use this as a primer in Why Unions Still Matter. I actually heard one contributor call the union people "the downtrodden." A lot of silly talk. So that desperate tone is already there.

          Paul Krugman wrote an excellent (and relatively balanced) piece on what this is really about; his support for the union, however, rested on the fairly thin justification that unions are one of the few special interest groups still looking out for the middle class.

          I agree with Krugman in the sense that we are experiencing an unprecedented plutocratic takeover of our government that will make people's current concerns about loss of individual liberties now look positively quaint. (In fact, I believe this is what the TEA party is incoherently angry about, as well).

          But arguing for unions on the basis of "What else do we have?" is pretty thin gruel, I must admit.

          • Wesley69

            I agreed with you Jim_C. I was part of a union because it gave me some protection against crazy parents and administrators. As a former teacher, I do understand that unions have a role. But they must know when to bend. When they start this "Workers of the World Unite" crap, this is when they lose me totally. I have experienced unions in New York. These are some heavy-handed unions. In those northern states, Right to work laws need to be passed to get state budgets under control. One thing teachers may be paid less, but they usually have paid health insurance and a pension. Not too bad in times like these.

          • Jim_C

            Well, it's good to hear from one with experience.

    • Supreme_Galooty

      It is already too late for them. The unions lost this battle late last week. Their greed on display was palpable, and previously apathetic or otherwise disinterested people all around the country have seen it with their own eyes. As this battle progresses from State to State, the intensity of the union-led protests will diminish up to the point where they realize that they are gasping their last. At that point there will be a Grand Finale. The unions have finally collectively bargained themselves out of a job.

  • Steve

    I began my teaching career in Los Angeles back in the 80s. I resented UTLA stealing money directly from my check each month and then sending it to support leftist and gay rights causes. There was absolutely nothing I could do about it. Well, what I could do was move to a "Right-to work" state, such as the Great State of Texas, and I have been happy ever since.
    In the mid 80s I went out on strike in L.A. and did not feel good about it. As we were picketing the district offices downtown the rationale was, "We're standing up for the CHILDREN." I didn't buy it then, even as a young teacher, and it has grown even more ludicrous each time I hear it. We were out there to get what we could for ourselves. No one had a second thought of the delinquents we were charged to oversee and possibly teach each day. Coming from the underpaid private school sector, I was happy with my wages and benefits. It was a gravy train. Something happened one day while walking the picket line with a union rep and colleague, a car drove by and the driver shouted, "You guys don't do bad for only working 9 months out of the year." I realized he was right. We put in 185 days a year, and we get paid well for it. Just like most salaried positions we do put in many unpaid hours, but overall the pay and schedule are not bad. Do the math and figure 12 months working with two weeks off for vacation, just like any other salaried job. WOW, teachers ARE paid well, they just don't work as many days as other "professionals" do. The "teachers are underpaid" thinking is bogus and should always be challenged. You must compare "apples with apples."

  • BLJ

    These union activists are all scum in my book. They worship at the altar of Lenin and Marx. They know that if they get beat in Wisconsin the gig is up.

    I am also sick of that phony Jesse Jackson. Here is a guy who tried to glom on to the dead body of MLK and has been lining his pockets ever since. He is as much of a man of the cloth as Rosie O'Donnell is a swimsuit model.

  • Supreme_Galooty

    Marx was all for the "workers" of the world, at least on paper. In reality his ideological followers – Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, Mao, Ho, Pol Pot, et alia, are conservatively estimated to have murdered 135 million of those "workers."

    I mention this in the context of this discussion because it has always been a very fine line that American unions had to tread in order to properly represent Labour without throwing in with the Communists. There is no doubt that many communists infiltrated the labor movement, and now their efforts are coming to the fore. The problem is that even after 85 years of indoctrination in the public schools, Americans are not collectivists. At their core, most Americans are "cowboys" who detest rules, regulations, and inhibiting governance. After all, a "governor" is a device that you install on a vehicle to keep it from going over a predetermined speed.

  • trickyblain

    Does the author have any backing for his "$89,000 average" claim (for nonuniversity teachers)? That is, other than linking to another hack blog?

  • Supreme_Galooty

    I have done this exercise years ago in the 1980's, and the condition of the American "educational" establishment was deplorable. It has shown not one iota of improvement since then – quite the contrary. There is abundant data available to butress my position, but

    I have neither the time nor the desire to participate in YOUR remedial schooling. Find out for yourself.

    • trickyblain

      I'm not arguing about the condition of the edu system. I'm telling you that the facts do not back your assertion that the more time a person spends in school, the worse off they are. You're quite wrong about that — no need to research, the facts speak for themselves. More school = over a million dollars more over a lifetime and a greatly reduced chance of committing crime.

      • Supreme_Galooty

        Apples and cigars. American schooling damages the ability of the student to THINK. They might come out of the other end of the sausage factory less inclined to commit criminal acts; they might earn more money; they might enjoy a better lifestyle; but their ability to THINK has been severely comprimised.

        Again, the studies have been done and they bear me out. I no longer have the references, but that does not mean that those studies no longer exist. Find out for yourself.

  • alexander

    Niiice: I have to pay for their salaries and benefits…..about TWO to FOUR times larger than mine….And my gove forces me to do so….. Am I in N. Korea??

    • Amused

      Quit your job at Burger King , get a college degree and you'll make two or four times what you're making now Alexander .Yea and you gotta pay their salaries , just like the Librarians , Garbage men , Cops , Firemen and your own county administrators ….thats called LIFE . Dont wanna pay any taxes ? Then Maybe you should consider a one way ticket to N. Korea .

  • Amused

    Alberto , I do have a solution to your obvious problem ….something your parents should bhave done a long time ago ………a bar of soap in your mouth .

  • Eric agyeman-Duah

    Taking some benefits from people is the same as taxing them, people have to be smart enough that both Dem and Rep are the same, Rep are smarter that the Dem when it come to politics because they really mess more things up and blame it on Dem.Rep kept on being elected, and we Americans expect different result. The Rep are static and do not see how quick things are changing. The Rep do not care about jobs because they do not have any new ideas about this current world. The Rep still live in the 80s which is Reagan era, well we are in the 20th century. Inorder for a business to be extablished, they need to borrow money from the bank, if creating jobs is cuttring debts, then i will expect the Rep to shut the the Government and then see how important Government is. This is my coment and i yeild.

  • Amused

    LOL…yea , Reagan the Conservative "Legend " –

    Both Reagan and Bush Jr. could not ultimately make good on their promises. Unemployment soared to 10.8 percent under Reagan's watch. It later fell dramatically to 5.4 percent, but at a high price: The Federal deficit, $42.6 billion at the time Reagan took office, nearly tripled to $115.4 billion by the time he left. At its peak in 1986, the deficit hit $210.9 billion, an almost five-fold increase. Just as Reagan had promised to promote employment, he had also said that tax cuts would reduce the deficit.

    …and that's because Reagan "grew government " rather than reducing it ….so whats new Republicans ? Got any more new delusions ?

    • liberty

      The Democrat house pronounced Reagan's budget D.O.A due to the fact it cut social spending. Furthermore, Reagan increased the overall worth of the Republic as well as transitioned the military from a personal based unit to one based on technology. Finally,
      As for the budget deficit, Reagan left it around 3 percent of GDP — almost exactly where he inherited it in spite of the budgets passed not being adjusted for the drop in inflation.

  • Amused

    Hey Alberto , did you get that bar of soap yet for your nasty anti-semitic mouth and remark ?

  • tagalog

    The sign in the picture says "Hitler abolished unions." I don't know about Hitler, but Lenin and Stalin, those Bolshevik champions who fought a revolution for the industrial worker, also abolished unions.

    Skilled laborers, communists all, dedicated to the workers' revolutionary state, came to the USSR on Stalin's invitation. They helped industrialize the USSR, then when they were done, Stalin put them all in the Gulag.

    After the Second World War, when the soldiers of the Red Army who had been POWs in German POW camps came back home to the USSR, some of them disembarked from trains in Leningrad (St. Petersburg) underneath a huge banner that said "The Motherland Welcomes Her Heroes." They were then formed into marching order and marched across town, where they entered another railroad station and embarked for the gulag to serve their 8ers and tenners for having spent time in the countries of anti-socialist elements.

    • http://www.chick.com Raymond

      Tagalog? You must be from the Philippines.
      I spent 2 1/2 years there. Wonderful place.

      • tagalog

        Sorry, I'm U.S.-born and bred. The ID "tagalog" was just the first thing that came to mind when I first registered here. My dad spent some time in the Philippines. He was a witness to the final destruction by the Japanese of Manila. He said it was horrible.

  • http://www.chick.com Raymond

    This morning a coalition of Muslim leaders warned the United States that if military action against Muslim countries continues, they intend to cut off America 's supply of 7-11 Managers and Motel 6 Managers.

    If this action does not yield sufficient results, cab drivers will be next, followed by DELL, AT&T, Norton, and AOL customer service reps.

    Finally, if all else fails, they have threatened to not send us any more candidates for president either.

    It's gonna get ugly, people!

    • Amused

      dont wory Raymond , as long as we farm out work overseas [by American Companies] , as long as we allow big buisiness to buy cotton from Egypt , let our clothes be manufactured by slave labor Chinese, Indonesians and Malaysians [ FOR CHEAP ] ,let illegal undocumented aliens pick our fruit and vegetable crops ,YEA , things are gonna get ugly when your tax ret6urns are checked by someone in Calcutta , and your doctor sends your xrays to be read in Mumbai , the least of YOUR worries will be candidates …lol…atleast we can VOTE on them .

  • Amused

    Well this aint the USSR , it's Wisconsin . As for the Hitler sign , I seen'em used by both parties to decry the other . Both being imbecilic . Lenin ,Stalin are long dead . Bolsheviks are on the scrap heaps of history…..So what's your point ?

  • Amused

    However tonite as we speak , WORKING PEOPLE in 12 States are beginning to see their Republican Governors true agenda for what it is , a full frontal assault on unions and collective bargaining . Cops , Fireman , Teachers , State Workers , in all those states are ramping up the protests , because they see that fiscal concessions are not what their Governors want , they want to abolish workers rights .Walker is pleading his case on tv tonight. He aint gonna win , he's gonna have to compromise .He will not turn back the clocks on collective bargaining .

    • Supreme_Galooty

      I can see that you are a flippin' idiot and you have no life other than prowling. I'm curious what your screen name is at Huff Po or Kos. Are you a "conservative" there?

      I'm also mildly curious when embarrassment will overtake your bravado. In the meantime how about you just take a hike?

  • CapitalSpirit

    One of two things will be finished once Madison settles down: progressivism, or America.

    If the mob tactics end up working, then elections will no longer matter: civic affairs, henceforth, will simply be decided by whichever mob caterwauls the loudest, regardless of actual electoral outcomes. If it gets to that point, America as we know it is over.

    However, I believe Governor Walker and the Wisconsin GOP will eventually prevail. The key word is "eventually." This standoff will likely drag on for weeks, perhaps months, and I have to fear that blood will ultimately be shed at some point before it's over. However, if Governor Walker's plan ultimately passes, the Left will be crippled, perhaps irrevocably. How so?

    Breaking the cycle of Democrats raising taxes so that they can grow government and hire more civil "servants" who will then turn around and keep Democrats in power so that they can raise taxes so that they can grow government, and so on, is a structural threat to the Democratic Party.

    Go over to http://www.opensecrets.org and check out their Heavy Hitters list–the full list. Each heavy hitter is rated on how reliable it is for one side: fairly even, leans, strong, or solid. The first "solid" GOP listing is the Club For Growth…all the way down at #78. There are some lean GOP and strong GOP listings ahead of that, but the first solid GOP Heavy Hitter is all the way down at 78. The second such is at 88, and the third solid GOP listing is all the way down at 114; the fourth is at 118. Meanwhile, there are four Solid Democratic organizations in the top ten alone.

    The #3 name on the list is AFSCME–a public sector union, which has donated over 43 MILLION dollars from 1989 to 2010, 98% of it to Democrats. That money is coming from public employees, who are getting paid with your tax dollars. That is 43 MILLION taxpayer dollars that have been spent to keep Democrats in power.

    Look at that Heavy Hitters list–STUDY it–and notice how many Solid Democrat listings there have words like "Union", "Assn," "United," and "Federation" in their names. The Left knows that it cannot survive without the union gravy train feeding its war chest.

    But the extended snit that organized labor is throwing in Madison could very well backfire, and spectacularly. Non-union and unemployed workers are probably not going to be very sympathetic to unionized teachers with overly cushy benefits packages paid for with taxpayer money.

    And if a recent Rasmussen survey is any indication, the majority of independents are siding with Governor Walker. One other sentence in there which should give the Left pause: "Voters aren’t thrilled with the idea of letting states declare bankruptcy, but they're more supportive if told government employees might have their pensions reduced in the process."

    The longer this spectacle continues, the more Democrats stand to lose with independents. Fugitive legislators; unseemly mobs; heavy-handed involvement from Washington; and all so that unionized teachers can continue to enjoy lavish benefits on the backs of people who make less than they do–is that REALLY what the Democratic Party stands for? If that perception takes hold, independents will likely have none of it, and 2012 could very well turn out to be the end of the world…for progressivism.

    • trickyblain

      Well written, well sourced post(s).

      Yet ultimately wrong. You use the adjectives "cushy" and even "lavish" to describe benefits for teachers. Such opulence includes health care, some pay after retirement!

      I can't begin to imagine the adjectives/adverbs you would use to describe the taxpayer-funded benefits given to executives who bet the nation's economy into the toilet. Really, really, really ultra-lavish-to-the-point-of-absurdity?

      Calling teachers "unseemly mobs" for expecting what they signed up for, and calling for the end of progress won't get you far in ANY election. Let alone 2012.

      • Jim_C

        Great point about the execs.

        I have to say, my only beef with anyone here, really, is with the reflexive demonization of teachers, themselves. Complaints about the unions are generally correct; complaints about the educational system are at least legit. But there are not only a lot of teachers who deserve our thanks for the job they do, there are a lot of teachers who know the score and would agree with this stuff.

  • Maria

    You are wrong. Ideas of Marx, Lenin, Stalin, Mao'zge Dung…are living. Look at Venezuela, Nicaragua, etc. Their leaders used the same ideas to be elected and then…then you see dictatorship, despotism, lack of freedom. There is a big difference on fundamental basis for two parties. Republicans are for capitalism with its plus and minus but there is no better system is invented than capitalism. Today's Democrates are for socialism, for wealth redestibution. It is tactic which used bolsheviks. If you think that US is exeption in this point, you are wrong. Freedom is not free and complacency can bring us to socialism or even islamization. Example how prosper country can be destroy for 10+ years is Zimbabve. It was South Rodesia which fed half of Africa. "Progressive" world was against aparteid and for democracy. African Mugabe was elected as a President in 80th. He is still in power, he is still President. Unemployment rate is 80-90%, inflation in 2009 was 10000%, starvation, death of population, etc. Idea was great (democracy) but as always it brought horror.
    Just read very honest open eyes book Jamie Glazov"United in hate". History has a pattern to be repeated especially where people forgot history lessons.

  • CapitalSpirit

    Teachers in Wisconsin are about on par with other workers in the state: the average teacher makes a shade less than the median for the state. But their benefits package, the bulk of which is taxpayer-funded, is indeed lavish, when compared to the private sector. When your retirement is funded by the taxpayers, and you don't have to contribute all that much yourself, that's a much better deal than you're going to get in most of the private sector. Thus the backlash, which is even starting to include some non-government unions at this point, as per The New York Times.

    Wisconsin's median household income went from $52,094 in 2008 to $49,993 in 2009. The people of Wisconsin are losing ground economically. Meanwhile, teachers' salaries went UP by 2.91% from 2008 to 2009, while the rest of the state was going the other way. And yet, when asked to contribute more to THEIR OWN BENEFITS, even at a lower rate than the private sector average, when their salaries are going up as the rest of the state goes down, and all of a sudden it's time to protest in the streets.

    Laying aside my choice of individual adjectives–have you really nothing better to dispute than my choice of words?– my point is that the pay and benefits, combined, are better than what is available to most private sector workers in Wisconsin. Teachers are almost impossible to fire, and they're making more when the rest of the state is making less. And private sector workers are paying taxes to support them, when they are making more (pay and benefits) than the taxpayers are. AND they now are collectively pitching one epic snit when the state has to inform them that they need to pitch in now, because the state has effectively run out of other people's money.

    As for my "unseemly mobs" argument, I have to wonder why you think this mob scene is anything less. Illegal sickouts? Getting fraudulent doctor notes, a possible violation of medical ethics? Taking their students with them to protest, which could be construed by some as kidnapping? And all so they can keep their standard of living going up while the rest of the state tightens its belt? AND when two-thirds of the state's 8th graders are not proficient in reading as it is? That's not unseemly?

    unseemly, adj. Not seemly; not in keeping with established standards of taste or proper form; unbecoming or indecorous in appearance, speech, conduct, etc. (h/t Dictionary.com)

    You HAVE seen some of the signs in the crowd and some of the behavior that's been caught on tape in this bad 60's rerun, I trust?

    The backlash from this is only getting started. The Left has badly–and almost amateurishly–overplayed its hand here. I stand by my remarks.

  • http://gbsadler.blogspot.com/ Gregory Sadler

    Here's my take on who really is and who really isn't supporting democracy in the Wisconsin controversy: http://gbsadler.blogspot.com/2011/02/this-is-what

  • publius

    The problem with the public unions is that they can help elect their employer, (the politicians) who then reward them. The politicians don't pay the public unions out of their own pocket, they pay the unions out of yours.

    • Jim_C

      That realy isn't that much different than a lot of special interest groups. We'll pay, eventually, whether it is public worker paycheck, private contract, tax break, "cleanup," etc….

  • Amused

    The problem with anti-union people [ big buisiness] is that they can help elect their enablers, [the politicians]who then reward them . The politicians dont pay big buisiness out of their pockets , they pay out of yours .

    Ironic isn't it ?

    • publius

      There is a large public union membership (almost the entire government bureaucracy) and they have direct stakes in being paid out of the public treasury. They pay mandatory dues to their unions. This is your tax money, and it goes to persuade politicians to increase benefits and salaries for these people.
      In other words, the incentives are bad.
      If you are a union member at a car company, you know that if you press for unreasonable benefits, your car company will go bankrupt (unless the government bails it out). But if are a union member working for the government, you can chant "tax the rich", if your benefits show signs of being cut.
      As to your point, I"m against corporate welfare, and subsidies for various corporations etc. But I haven't seen any politician run on the platform "lets get rid of unions". On the other hand, politicians can legitimately run on the platform of letting workers decide whether or not to pay to the local union, or whether to belong to a union at all.

  • Amused

    lol….the republican governors know who have and will keep their campaign coffers filled .
    But it seems working people in 12 states now have figured ot the equatyion and the agenda :
    Republican= Anti-workers rights / Democrats = Pro-workers rights .
    This is no new revelation , it always been this way , it's been glossed over by raising emotional issues and false accusation that the uneducated will suck-up , like unions are communist / leftist/ marxists — out to destroy America ….and the Tea Party are simply loudmouthed hacks comprised of all stripes and slanderand fear mongers .

  • Amused

    I live in the South , where for years Unions were kept out of the textile manufacturing buisiness . Everything from shirts , fabrics , rugs , etc .WERE produced in NON-UNION -RIGHT to WORK States -N.Carolina , S.Carolina , Florida , Georgis , Alabama , Mississippi.
    WHERE ARE THOSE FACTORIES NOW ?????
    After all BIG BUISINESS GOT IT'S WAY , HAD THE POLITICIANS IN THEIR POCKETS , HAD A BIG SAY IN LABOR LEGISLATION IN THOSE STATES …to keep things their way .

    WHERE ARE THOSE FACTORIES NOW ???WHO IS MAKING THE CLOTHES YOU WEAR ? WHERE IS ALOT OF THE COTTON COMING FROM ???
    WHERE ARE THE JOBS ???

    Al;l of your phony arguments fall flat on their face , it's all B.S. propagated by Republicans , and some Democrats . The vegetables thta come from ther south …are they any cheaper ??? With cheap as you can get migrant workers doing the harvesting ?

    Who are you guys kidding ?

    • publius

      So are you saying that if the jobs had been unionized they would have been saved?

    • tagalog

      You might want to refer to the Agricultural Adjustment Act, which is still the law in the U.S., for the answer to your question as to why vegetables produced by cheap labor are not cheaper. In the realm of farm produce, market-driven pricing doesn't occur.

  • Amused

    Aint it funny , that when the loons of the Tea party , shout down town meetings , [protesting what the majority voted for ] and hold demonstratrions and protests with the usual nazi/hitler connotations , coming to those meetings , some with sidearms strapped to their legs , suggesting " the second amendment may have to be used " , to change things THEIR WAY , you folks say that's allright ….but to those working people protesting the attempt to abolish collective bargaining , you call them leftist mobs ….what a bunch of hypocrites .

  • Amused

    Surprise ! Surprise ! :
    One of the provisions that hasn’t gotten much notice in Scott Walker’s union-busting bill would give Walker unilateral power to sell off public utilities in Wisconsin in no-bid contracts — a provision that would directly benefit one of Walker’s major campaign contributors, Koch Brothers Industries.

    lol…..true republican ideology in action . Maybe ALL Wisconsin's people will actually read Walkers Bill and learn he's gonna screw them all on the altar of Big Buisiness .

  • Amused

    Anybody remember what happened to Wyoming in the 80's ? I doubt most of you are old enough to remember .

    lol…."earnest investigation " ..a lost art .

  • Texasron

    Amused seems to be losing it. Trying to justify unions is causing him to act insane.

    • sneed5

      TEXASRON, I agree! Amused's frothing at the mouth has clouded my computer screen!!! He sure needs to be closely vetted before being sold a gun!!

    • Amused

      Yea , I guess "losing it " means I have the ability to read , and be actually cognizant of what's going on . Well your boys in Indianna just backed down , more firemern and cops are realizing that the Republiucan Governors want MORE than pay cuts and higher pension contributions , they are waging a war on behalf of big buisiness to abolish collective bargaining and workers rights ….giving the Big Buisiness campaign Contributors , their money's worth ….but the American People aint buying it . Walker will soon back down to a compromise . And collective bargaining in the 12 states presently involved will remain intact , even though republicans would like to turn back the clocks. Ain t gonna happen chump .
      BTW , DO YOU remember what happened to Wyoming ? How every citizen there got screwed ? I doubt it ….come back when you know what you're talking about.

  • Amused

    On Saturday night, when Mother Jones staffers tweeted a report that riot police might soon sweep demonstrators out of the Wisconsin capitol building—something that didn't end up happening—one Twitter user sent out a chilling public response: "Use live ammunition."

    From my own Twitter account, I confronted the user, JCCentCom. He tweeted back that the demonstrators were "political enemies" and "thugs" who were "physically threatening legally elected officials." In response to such behavior, he said, "You're damned right I advocate deadly force." He later called me a "typical leftist," adding, "liberals hate police."

    Only later did we realize that JCCentCom was a deputy attorney general for the state of Indiana.- staffer for Mother Jones

    I guess the connotations to marxists/communists / nazis and the rest of the republican propaganda vitriol , can be turned around …guys like this are what you are really all about .

  • Amused

    Look WHO is REALLY assaulting Democracy ! But AMERICANS ain't being fooled , they're not dupes as the republicans figured they'd be . LOL…THEY CAN READ /AND THINK .

    And as the bumper stickers say …lol…"If you can read this ,thank a teacher "

  • http://google.com Mariam Hargest

    Hey may I reference some of the content from this site if I provide a link back to your site?