Monthly Archives: September 2013

Death Of A Teacher’s Union


I absolutely love Love LOVE this turn of events:

The union representing Kenosha teachers has been decertified and may not bargain base wages with the district.

Because unions are limited in what they can do even if they are certified, the new status of Kenosha’s teachers union — just like the decertification of many other teachers unions in the state that did not or could not pursue the steps necessary to maintain certification in the new era of Act 10 — may be a moral blow more than anything else.

Teachers in Milwaukee and Janesville met the state’s Aug. 30 deadline to apply for recertification, a state agency representative says. Peter Davis, general counsel for the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission, said the Milwaukee and Janesville districts will hold recertification votes in November.

To continue as the recognized bargaining unit in the district, 51% of the union’s eligible membership must vote in favor of recertification, according to the controversial Act 10 legislation passed in 2011.

With contracts that were in place through the end of June, teachers in the three large southeastern Wisconsin districts were protected the longest from the new legislation, which limits collective bargaining, requires unions to hold annual votes to be recognized as official entities, and mandates that teachers and other public employees pay more out-of-pocket for their health care and retirement costs.

Christina Brey, speaking for the Wisconsin Education Association Council, downplayed recertification, calling it just another hoop for local unions to jump through.

Unions can exist without certification, but they cannot bargain for limited base-wage increases with the district. And there are fees involved with chasing recertification.

“It seems like the majority of our affiliates in the state aren’t seeking recertification, so I don’t think the KEA is an outlier or unique in this,” Brey said.

It’s long past time that we recognize that unions across America are nothing more than power grabs and democrat fundraising machines.

Good riddance.

Playing With Toy Guns On Private Property – GUILTY!

Nanny State

You have *got* to be kidding me:

Two seventh-grade students in Virginia Beach, Va., were handed long-term suspensions Tuesday that will last until the end of the school year for playing with an airsoft gun in one of their front yards while waiting for the school bus.

We have become France.

State Of Occupy Wall Street – Raleigh Style

Occupy RaleighThought I’d slum it tonight and wander through the Occu-camp.

Not surprising.  They Gone.

Policy or philosophy differences aside, the effectiveness of the Tea Party compared to the efforts of a bunch of vagrant criminals.  One group is shaping national legislation, the other is “taking too long to respond.”

Thigs Reach Their Logical Conclusion

TwitterThe other day the fellas at Poison Your Mind posted on shenanigans Romney supporters partook of to influence a form of social media:

Of course some genius for Romney did this:

“A new academic paper digging into presidential betting in the final weeks of the 2012 election finds that a single trader lost between $4 million and $7 million placing a flurry of Intrade bets on Mitt Romney — perhaps to make the Republican nominee’s chance of victory appear brighter,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“The anonymous trader placed 1.2 million pro-Romney contracts, some of which were actually in the form of bets against a Barack Obama victory. The most plausible reason for the betting, the authors conclude, is that ‘this trader could have been attempting to manipulate beliefs about the odds of victory in an attempt to boost fundraising, campaign morale, and turnout.’”

A fascinating story to be sure.  On one hand, $1.2 million is just some sum of money spent to convince people to vote one way or another.  It’s hard to distinguish between that and spending money on TV ads.  The other hand?  It’s chumpy.  There’s something about placing that bet that violates “man law”.

But whatever.  The mark of a desperate man only indicates a desperate man.

But is Romney alone in his “deception”?

Among influential U.S. political tweeters, President Barack Obama is the undisputed king of the fake followers. A MailOnline analysis ranks his sizable Twitter following as the most deceptive total among the 21 most influential accounts run by American politicians: More than 19.5 million of his 36.9 million Twitter followers are accounts that don’t correspond to real people.

The four phoniest accounts in the sample, which included Democratic and Republican Party leaders in Washington, D.C., were those belonging to President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, first lady Michelle Obama and the White House communications shop.

Of the president’s 36.9 million Twitter followers, an astonishing 53 per cent – or 19.5 million – are fake accounts, according to a search engine at the Internet research vendor Just 20 per cent of Obama’s Twitter buddies are real people who are active users.

Read the whole article, politicians of all kinds, from both sides of the aisle, are shown to have significant Twitter followers.  Obama isn’t alone.  However, it just goes to show that when a metric matters, people will maximize that metric.

I hate people.

ObamaCare: The Price Of A Policy

There has been much joy and excitement over the recently released report declaring that policies are coming in lower than projected:

The report also gives an overview of pricing and the number of coverage options across the nation.  It finds that the average premium nationally for the second lowest cost silver plan will be $328 before tax credits, or 16 percent below projections based off of Congressional Budget Office estimates.

Now, to be sure, had the report come out and reported that the premiums were going to be 16 percent above, HHS would be hammered, so a 16 percent below expectation is positive news.  But in truth, this report is only comparing what the policies will cost compared to what people THOUGHT they would cost.  It mentions nothing without being able to compare costs to existing costs.

AEI makes the point very well:

In short, HHS is not saying that people will be paying lower premiums on the exchanges than they’re paying now. HHS is just saying that people will be paying less than HHS thought people would be paying. They’re trying to sell this as good news—people will not have to spend as much as HHS originally thought they would. However, when determining what’s affordable, what really matters is what people think they should be spending.

When we’re trying to figure out if the new premium estimates will be affordable for people, then, we can’t just set a federal standard—which is how the Affordable Care Act defines affordability. We should compare what people (to a large extent, in this case, the uninsured) think they should pay and what HHS says they’ll be paying.

I think that the administration knows that this roll out is going to go very poorly and this report is nothing but an attempt to spin some good news.

On Hate And War

HateHere in North Carolina the republican party has a super majority as well as the governor’s mansion.  In fact, even when the governor has felt that the party has gone too far, he’s vetoed a bill.  Or two.

And still the senate and house override the veto.

What we here from the left is the very predictable frustration of living under a super majority rule.  And, in only some cases, I can resonate with them.  After all, if it wasn’t for super majority, the Obamacare fiasco wouldn’t be taking place as we speak.

However, when it comes to policy differences, it really bothers me that people here in North Carolina, and across the country to be honest, take the position that just because I might disagree with specific legislation than “the democrat” that:

– I “hate” the poor.

– I am waging “war” on the poor.

And you can substitute any group or element of society and get the same message.  Think education, women, children, minorities, elderly or any other group that can tug on heart strings.

And now that I think of it, it doesn’t just bother me, it insults me.  I have a firm belief that each of us has amoral responsibility to care for our fellow man.  That society is strengthened on the idea that should one of us stumble, those of us capable will carry the burden.

However, the morality in that action comes from the voluntary aspect of it.  The very act of sacrificing for the common good is the notion that the sacrifice is free and voluntary.

So when I say that I support programs that reach out to the most vulnerable folks in society, I am NOT speaking of programs that force one person to contribute to what I feel is my version of the best good.

That is:

I find it noble and of morality to contribute to my neighbors relief.  I find no such nobility or morality in forcing you to do the same.

So enough of this “War on Puppies” or “Conservatives Hate Kittens”.  Air your concerns in the public square and take what comes.


Approval Rating – About Right

I think that Boehner has done more work across the aisles than Reid has done.  The minority leaders are largely behind the scenes.  But it doesn’t surprise me that Reid has the worst approval while all four of them are negative:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) holds the lowest net approval rating among House and Senate leadership — but others are not far behind.

According to a Gallup poll released Friday, Reid’s approval rating is 33 percent with 53 percent disapproving of his job performance, leaving him with a net rating of negative 20 percent.

Speaker John Boehner (Ohio), who leads the Republican majority in the House, holds a net approval rating of negative 17 percent, with 37 percent of people approving while 54 percent disapprove.

Both minority leaders in the House and Senate hold a net approval rating of negative 12 percent.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has a 35 percent approval rating, while 37 percent disapprove of him. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has the approval of 39 percent of people, but 51 percent disapprove.

Global Population

Global Population

One of the worries that we face is the fact that the world population is going to surpass our ability to sustain ourselves.  For example, the UN calculates the population growth like this:


Some nations slow, others reverse but the population of the world continues to rise through 2,100.

However, new analysis by Deutsche Bank sees it different:


A take away from the AEI report is that as these nations age they are going to struggle with the social programs set up for the aging populations.

Tea Party – Occupy Wall Street

Say what you will about the Tea Party and their tactics in the House over the debate surrounding the Debt Ceiling and raising it.

There is absolutely no doubt that the Tea Party has been wildly more successful in their ambitions to change politics than the Occupy Wall Street hippies ever thought they could hope for.

There hasn’t been a serious OWS story in a year, there are no Occupy candidates running for office and not one that holds office.

Given that success, which movement do you think more accurately represents most American’s desires – the Tea Party or Occupy Wall Street?

Voting With Their Feet

Vote WIth Feet

Interesting data showing how American’s vote with their feet.