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Old 02-20-2011, 02:21 PM   #61
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My mother is an elementary school teacher in Wisconsin. Her school district was one that closed due to teacher absences, and yes, she was in Madison on Thursday.

The facts that are lost within the piles of rhetoric are that these teachers' benefits were bargained, and they were bargained for a reason. What was that reason? During the Tommy Thompson years, pay freezes were enacted, and in order to compromise, the unions agreed to the pension and benefits packages that Wisconsin teachers have today, rather than continue to receive pay increases (which still would have been less than private sector growth at the time, by the way).

In addition, WEAC has already agreed to the increases in pay into pensions and in benefits packages. And, contrary to the 6% figure cited in the media, many teachers pay a much higher percentage for their health benefits. For example, my mother's contract has them paying 20% of a $24,000 health insurance package. Regardless, these figures were negotiated and bargained over. They didn't just appear out of nowhere or without compromise on both sides.

Then, add in the fact that Wisconsin had a surplus when Walker took office and he blew it by donating to special interests and giving out tax cuts, and the "budget" argument gets blown out of the water. This isn't about money. This is about union busting and taking away workers' rights.
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Old 02-20-2011, 03:03 PM   #62
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Angela, thanks for your kind remarks. I have to remind myself day after day that things will get better. They have to.

As for the "hatred" remarks, well, I was being a bit melodramatic. But there is a lack of understanding and concern among some pundits and bloggers on the right. I'm more on the liberal side, but I have been known to read right-wing blogs and websites to get another perspective. Many people who write for these blogs don't show a whole lot of compassion and support towards people like me.

Anyway, back to WI. As many of you know, the Tea Party descended on Madison yesterday to show support for Gov. Walker and the bill. I can recall two quotes. One recent college grad said something about he had to be frugal and so should public workers. Eesh! Yes, public workers are living high on the hog. They drink Cristal and drive Porsches. Give me a break. Most people I know are very frugal.

Another tea party member claimed that if these people are doing good jobs then they don't need a union. WTF? I've been in the workplace my entire life, and I've seen plenty of work places without unions throw talented, hard-working and valuable employees under the bus while rewarding bad employees.

Well, here is some interesting food for thought about what's going on in WI.
12 Things You Need to Know About the Uprising in Wisconsin | AlterNet
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Old 02-20-2011, 03:44 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by onebloodonelife View Post
My mother is an elementary school teacher in Wisconsin. Her school district was one that closed due to teacher absences, and yes, she was in Madison on Thursday.

The facts that are lost within the piles of rhetoric are that these teachers' benefits were bargained, and they were bargained for a reason. What was that reason? During the Tommy Thompson years, pay freezes were enacted, and in order to compromise, the unions agreed to the pension and benefits packages that Wisconsin teachers have today, rather than continue to receive pay increases (which still would have been less than private sector growth at the time, by the way).

In addition, WEAC has already agreed to the increases in pay into pensions and in benefits packages. And, contrary to the 6% figure cited in the media, many teachers pay a much higher percentage for their health benefits. For example, my mother's contract has them paying 20% of a $24,000 health insurance package. Regardless, these figures were negotiated and bargained over. They didn't just appear out of nowhere or without compromise on both sides.

Then, add in the fact that Wisconsin had a surplus when Walker took office and he blew it by donating to special interests and giving out tax cuts, and the "budget" argument gets blown out of the water. This isn't about money. This is about union busting and taking away workers' rights.

Give my heartfelt thanks to your mother. I wish every American worker understood the battle at hand as we do.
They just don't get it. The whole surplus thing is totally lost on the media too. Not once have I heard anyone mention this fact.

I have much compassion for you and your situation. I don't know anybody who isn't impacted by the financial crisis these days, but all I can say is thank God for family.
I wish you and yours the best! And if nothing else at least we can come here and vent!
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Old 02-20-2011, 03:47 PM   #64
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Angela, thanks for your kind remarks. I have to remind myself day after day that things will get better. They have to.

As for the "hatred" remarks, well, I was being a bit melodramatic. But there is a lack of understanding and concern among some pundits and bloggers on the right. I'm more on the liberal side, but I have been known to read right-wing blogs and websites to get another perspective. Many people who write for these blogs don't show a whole lot of compassion and support towards people like me.

Anyway, back to WI. As many of you know, the Tea Party descended on Madison yesterday to show support for Gov. Walker and the bill. I can recall two quotes. One recent college grad said something about he had to be frugal and so should public workers. Eesh! Yes, public workers are living high on the hog. They drink Cristal and drive Porsches. Give me a break. Most people I know are very frugal.

Another tea party member claimed that if these people are doing good jobs then they don't need a union. WTF? I've been in the workplace my entire life, and I've seen plenty of work places without unions throw talented, hard-working and valuable employees under the bus while rewarding bad employees.

Well, here is some interesting food for thought about what's going on in WI.
12 Things You Need to Know About the Uprising in Wisconsin | AlterNet

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Old 02-20-2011, 03:51 PM   #65
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Angela, thanks for your kind remarks. I have to remind myself day after day that things will get better. They have to.
You're welcome. They do. Somehow, someway, they do .

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Originally Posted by Golightly Grrl View Post
As for the "hatred" remarks, well, I was being a bit melodramatic. But there is a lack of understanding and concern among some pundits and bloggers on the right. I'm more on the liberal side, but I have been known to read right-wing blogs and websites to get another perspective. Many people who write for these blogs don't show a whole lot of compassion and support towards people like me.
Ahhh, yeah, there are a few out there, sadly.

But there are also some out there who aren't so cold, so hopefully you come across more of them in your searches down the line. I think it's good you're willing to check out the other side's perspective, though, even if it isn't always what you want to hear. I wish more people would do that (and I could point out the irony in you listening to the very people who wouldn't bother to understand you, but...yeah ).

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Anyway, back to WI. As many of you know, the Tea Party descended on Madison yesterday to show support for Gov. Walker and the bill. I can recall two quotes. One recent college grad said something about he had to be frugal and so should public workers. Eesh! Yes, public workers are living high on the hog. They drink Cristal and drive Porsches. Give me a break. Most people I know are very frugal.
Same here. Trust me, nobody I know is rolling in dough. There are some people I know who are doing better than others, who are living more comfortably, but even then, they're still definitely working-class, they're not sitting in mansions with the finest champagne and Rolls Royces in the driveway or whatever.

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Another tea party member claimed that if these people are doing good jobs then they don't need a union. WTF? I've been in the workplace my entire life, and I've seen plenty of work places without unions throw talented, hard-working and valuable employees under the bus while rewarding bad employees.
Yeah, I'd like that member to come talk to everyone who's found that to be patently untrue. I guarantee you your last sentence there was true for my parents.

I just don't understand this line of thinking. I truly don't.

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Well, here is some interesting food for thought about what's going on in WI.
12 Things You Need to Know About the Uprising in Wisconsin | AlterNet
Interesting link. That last paragraph in particular jumped out at me.

Angela
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Old 02-20-2011, 04:18 PM   #66
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I found some more great tweets of the feed from Wisconsin:

"Pizza joints in Madison taking calls from across US to deliver to protesters"

"People in Egypt are buying WI protesters pizza. I love it! "

"It's funny how quickly the Tea Party has switched to seeing ordinary people as the oppressors and government as the solution."

"Law Enforcement Association Official Regrets Walker Endorsement | AFL-CIO NOW BLOG "

"This sign should hit home for @govwalker http://twitpic.com/41y659 "

"Nothing Terrifies the Top 1% Percent More Than the Thought of the 99% Majority Fighting Back."

Oh hell to the ya!
They are soooo afraid. This is the final straw and the sleeping apathetic American worker is waking from his/her slumber.
I saw a comment by Jack Welch ( the former GE CEO known as the Grandfather of outsourcing) say that this protest was a disgusting display and they should be ashamed of themselves. Now THAT is funny!
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Old 02-20-2011, 04:24 PM   #67
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"It's funny how quickly the Tea Party has switched to seeing ordinary people as the oppressors and government as the solution."
...that is rather funny, yes.

Like we've been saying, the Republican victory last November is now forcing them, as well as the Tea Party (though some would argue they're one and the same, but...), to figure out where their loyalties truly lie. They've essentially painted themselves into a corner.

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I saw a comment by Jack Welch ( the former GE CEO known as the Grandfather of outsourcing) say that this protest was a disgusting display and they should be ashamed of themselves. Now THAT is funny!
Yeah, how dare Americans get mad that their jobs are being sent overseas and messed around with!

...wait...

(And then they have the gall to complain when people wind up on unemployment and welfare. Well, you know, if you hadn't taken away their jobs...)

Angela
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Old 02-20-2011, 04:30 PM   #68
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"Pizza joints in Madison taking calls from across US to deliver to protesters"

"People in Egypt are buying WI protesters pizza. I love it! "
Don't forget to call the Great Dane Brew Pub and send some Growlers of beer over, too.

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Old 02-20-2011, 04:33 PM   #69
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...that is rather funny, yes.

Like we've been saying, the Republican victory last November is now forcing them, as well as the Tea Party (though some would argue they're one and the same, but...), to figure out where their loyalties truly lie. They've essentially painted themselves into a corner.



Yeah, how dare Americans get mad that their jobs are being sent overseas and messed around with!

...wait...

(And then they have the gall to complain when people wind up on unemployment and welfare. Well, you know, if you hadn't taken away their jobs...)

Angela
It's crazy isn't it? Thank God the majority of us can see through this BS and pile of lies they are throwing around.
The rest watch and believe the lies being tossed about and made up in the right wing media.
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Old 02-20-2011, 04:36 PM   #70
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Don't forget to call the Great Dane Brew Pub and send some Growlers of beer over, too.

That sounds good!
Did you see that sign at the protest,

"We don't drink tea in Wisconsin we drink beer!"
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Old 02-20-2011, 05:02 PM   #71
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That sounds good!
Did you see that sign at the protest,

"We don't drink tea in Wisconsin we drink beer!"
Someone just posted on FB that The Great Dane Pub supported the Tavern League which I guess supported Walker.

So go somewhere else and buy beer from good progressives!

ETA:
The WI Tavern League endorsed Russ Feingold as well as Walker, so they are a bunch of business whores.
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Old 02-20-2011, 05:37 PM   #72
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There was a collection of YouTube clips compiled in response to a representative calling the protests "riots," and one of the scenes included was cops handing out brats and water to protestors at the capitol.
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Old 02-20-2011, 07:45 PM   #73
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Whoa. I'm certainly not the former and I'd like to think I'm not the latter, either. Feel free to elaborate. I'd love to know how you reached either of those conclusions based on what I posted.
I apologise for the personal comment. But I absolutely cannot understand how someone from the middle class, which I assume you are, is favouring the union busters.


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It's stuff like this that makes me lose faith that we'll ever fix our debt. If people get so upset over such minuscule cutbacks, imagine the pushback when the necessary addressing of entitlements comes. These people don't care about the debt. They care about them.
Show me your posts warning about the element of the debt that was created by the wars and the massive expansion in the Military Industrial Complex during the Bush years . I've been warning about the deficit for what, five or six years now. Where were you in 2005/2006/2007? The way I see it, you only got on your high horse about the deficit when your guy was no longer in office. Oh, there's a lot to criticize about Obama, I'll give you that. Unfortunately, the Tea Party criticisms usually almost entirely miss the point. Obama has continued with the drain on tax-payer resources represented by the GWOT, why isn't the Tea Party complaining about that? He has failed to deliver on his campaign promises to withdraw the troops. He is a proven liar and a sleazy Chicago lawyer, the modern day equivalent of Boss Croker types. We have seen this movie before. There is fertile, vote winning ground in attacking Obama, believe you me, but the approach taken by mainstream conservatives so far is so wrong-headed that I don't know where to start. If you lot are not careful, you'll end with handing him a certain victory in 2012. And maybe, and I know this sounds mad, but maybe that is what the controllers behind the Tea Party are actually planning. Think about it, put the chosen figureheads of the opposition forward as so extreme (e.g., Beck) that middle of the types don't want to be associated with them. Who does that benefit? It actually benefits Obama, when you think about it. Elections are won in the middle ground battlefield, as Clinton showed and proved. Most Americans simply dislike fanaticism and extremism, and your guy, Beck, he's a fucking lunatic by any reasonable measure.

Anyway, in summary, Republicans aren't in a position to lecture Democrats about the debt and for me, and I have reservations about excessive union power, but on balance I am on the side of the Wisconsin protestors because they're standing up to the corporatists. They're saying to the oligarchy, you can only push so far before you get a pushback.
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Old 02-20-2011, 07:48 PM   #74
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Republicans aren't in a position to lecture Democrats about the debt.

Thank you!
(especially as someone who is in a position to vote for neither).
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Old 02-20-2011, 08:02 PM   #75
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These people don't care about the debt. They care about them.
The GOP doesn't care about the debt; they care about the panic that the debt causes (as long as Democrats are in power).
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