February 26, 2011

Inside the Wisconsin Capitol building, at the protest today.

In the rotunda, viewed with the fisheye lens (which feels at home in a round space):

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The police presence was strong:

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A man with a press pass sits on the ornate stone floor and works on his Power Book:

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(Enlarge.)

"We Can't Lose" says a badly-drawn hand giving the peace sign:

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Enlarge to read more signs — "Moms Can Tell You Are Lying," etc.

A man in saggy pants and a Teamsters jacket talks to an hipsterish guy near a sign that says "Get Out of Your EGO, And into Your Heart, Walker Causes GAS, And it's Time to FART":

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Signs are laid out on the floor, and a woman sidles along viewing them as if they were a museum display:

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93 comments:

rick said...

Can't tell from the photos. Is the crowd dissipating?

Quayle said...

And yet the multitude of signs and message are so easily swept aside by two simple arguments:

1. There isn't any money;

2. Unions only work because of threats and intimidation of willing non-union workers, and are therefore fundamentally immoral.

Steven said...

"We Can't Lose"?

Ahem.

"Yes We Can."

Henry said...

One you didn't post has a funny sign:

"Thank you Illinois for sheltering our Democratic Senators"

Kind of subversive, that one is. If you were an ambivalent protester, you might write that one up to make your side look small in a totally deniable way.

Or you could just be a naif.

murgatroyd666 said...

These signs convince me that we will be in good hands if we simply turn the governance of this country over to the enlightened Progressives among us. The brilliance of their arguments has persuaded me of the rightness of their cause. They deserve to rule us, because they are so much smarter and more advanced in morality than we peasants are with our false consciousness.

Lem said...

Moms Can Tell You Are Lying..

Moms can tell when we are broke too.

former law student said...

Neutrality — cruel and kind — from Wisconsin — where everything's happening.

To me, neutrality would include an occasional criticism of the Republican/union busting side. Perhaps a review of Walker's campaign advertising, looking for the promise of stripping away the rights of unions?

Or does neutrality mean something different north of Kenosha? My volumes of the D.A.R.E. have yet to reach Ne.

GMay said...

Well, you folks do have a beautiful capitol building up there. If I ever get back to Wisconsin, I'd love to pay a visit.

It's a shame some of your residents don't take more pride in it.

Ann Althouse said...

"Can't tell from the photos. Is the crowd dissipating?"

The crowd is being controlled. I believe there is a cordon maneuver going on in which rooms and halls are being gradually closed off as the protesters are limited to a smaller and smaller central space. They were making people line up to enter, so most people were outdoors. As a result, the crowd inside was smaller, but the crowd outside was huge, the largest yet. It is Saturday, and many people came into town on buses.

Wrella said...

In the last photo there are some books propped up under the balustrade. Does the gray one just to the left of the woman have Teddy Roosevelt on the cover? That would just be too rich.

GMay said...

former law student says: "To me, neutrality would include an occasional criticism of the Republican/union busting side. Perhaps a review of Walker's campaign advertising, looking for the promise of stripping away the rights of unions?"

That's because to you there is no difference between public and private sector unions.

Of course there is a fundamental difference, but don't let that stop you from regurgitating the "union busting" narrative.

Ann Althouse said...

"Well, you folks do have a beautiful capitol building up there. If I ever get back to Wisconsin, I'd love to pay a visit. It's a shame some of your residents don't take more pride in it."

Do note the use of blue tape for the signs. This is to avoid leaving any residue. They were being scrupulous about that.

Also, there is no bad smell and no litter or garbage lying around.

There's a lot of junk, but it's their stuff that they are currently using.

GMay said...

I can appreciate the use of trying to make a minimal impact with the tape, however I was referring to the 'vertical litter' that creates an eyesore in a beautiful building.

The fact that the interior is so visually appealing only amplifies the effect of the vertical litter.

former law student said...

Of course there is a fundamental difference, but don't let that stop you from regurgitating the "union busting" narrative.

Nice deflection.

Corre∫pondence Committee said...

fls: I regard this whole thing as a grotesque, hyperbolic tantrum by the left - but I'm fair-minded, so I will give you points for skipping the vague, shadowy "Koch brothers" reference in your post.

GMay said...

fls quipped: "Nice deflection."

Deflection? Not accepting the premise of your whining is deflection?

Nice try.

edutcher said...

Supposedly, this was the largest demonstration in the country today, but they had to bus in people from other states to do it.

Jason said...

Lefties were all over twitter today bitching that their protests got no TV time.

Perhaps that should be a sign: your 15 minutes are up. The media and everyone else nationwide has seen for themselves: its just a circus sideshow.

I will thank the protesters for one thing: they turned Walker into a national GOP star.

Michael K said...

Someone might ask Kubler-Ross, if she is still alive, which stage of mourning this is for the welfare state. Unions know that their day is passing as the industrial age is passing.

Knowledge workers don't need unions although there are inequities. Laying off senior engineers for new HiB visa engineers. However, there is nothing that unions can do about that as we see how they screwed up public education.

Anne said...

"Well, you folks do have a beautiful capitol building up there. If I ever get back to Wisconsin, I'd love to pay a visit. It's a shame some of your residents don't take more pride in it."

It just breaks my heart to see what they have done to this magnificent structure. I wrote a letter to the Capitol Police today asking them to enforce the rules. To remove all the paraphernalia on the walls and restore the grandeur of our building.

This is disrespectful, they have had more than enough time to make their point, it is time to let the citizens of this state make up our own minds. And return our house to the citizens.

daubiere said...

"Do note the use of blue tape for the signs. This is to avoid leaving any residue. They were being scrupulous about that."

It depends on the blue tape and on the surface to which it is applied. Assuming it's 3M ScotchBlue brand Painter’s Tape for Multi-Surfaces, it has a removal time of only 14 days. That is, if left on surfaces for that amount of time or longer, it will transfer adhesive to the surface. Also, marble and other types of stone have different surface structures and may be more apt to trap adhesive residues than something like painted wallboard.

Marble is much more delicate than it looks.

Maguro said...

To me, neutrality would include an occasional criticism of the Republican/union busting side. Perhaps a review of Walker's campaign advertising, looking for the promise of stripping away the rights of unions?

This is one of the funnier anti-Walker whinges around. What planet do you live on that politicians always tell you everything they're going to do in their campaign ads?

Barack Obama did not campaign on the promise of imposing the individual mandate. On the contrary, he attacked Hillary Clinton for supporting it during the primaries.

Pat Quinn definitely didn't campaign for governor of Illinois on the promise of raising income taxes by two thirds. He wouldn't have won if he had.

But that stuff is OK because they're Democrats and "They won", right?

shiloh said...

To me, neutrality would include an occasional criticism of the Republican/union busting side.
~~~~~


AA is fair and balanced, much like foxnews as Scott Walker is the second comin' of Reagan or some such nonsense ...

Quayle said...

Union Busting - yes, and so what.

I heard one union hag saying she had a right to negotiate as a collective.

Answer: well, if so, then surely the person paying your salary has a right to fire you as a collective.

And here is where a union's basic rotten nature is unveiled - they then have to resort to threats and violence against the new workers that are willing to take their place.

There is nothing wrong with "union busting."

vnjagvet said...

Has anyone seen even one person in the throng expressing the desire to pay more state or federal taxes to relieve Wisconsin's fiscal crisis?

The taxpayer need not counter-demonstrate. A quiet letter of support to the legislators holding out for fiscal sanity will do.

Linda said...

I am a social workr in a prison in Wisconsin. I am in the AFSCME union. None of you posting here has any idea of the importance of a union in such a working environment. Unions protect workers from bullies in the work place. We can't be ordered to work longer hours. We can't be fired because a manager or administrator doesn't like us. People seem to think state employees do not work. I am already doing the job of 2 positions. I rarely take a break and I have a 1/2 hour lunch. Non-union workers in state service benefit from the rules created by the union as well as wages. They also can pay into the Wisconsin Retirement Fund just like union members and retire with the same money as a union worker.
I pray that the Wisconsin 14 remain in Illinois. Union workers understand leaving the state is the highest good they can do for state and municipal employees, department of workforce development employees, driver's licensing employees, sanitation workers, EMT, police dispatchers, snow plow operator's and many other numerous workers.
As I marched through the Rotunda with the union the police told us they are on our side.
In Walker's infamous phone call he told David Koch he would lure the senators back on pretext of negotiation and then the senators could quickly vote and pass the budget repair bill. Do yourself a favor and listen to the phone call on the internet. You will be shocked. Saying that he entertained putting agitators in the crowd to stir up trouble and possible violence for the protestor. What kind of Governor does that to his people? A Goveneror is suppose to be for both sides; for everyone. He sounds like Gaddafy.
Why did Walker have in this budget repair bill that he can sell our state utilities on a no-bid contract and in private without discussion and most certainly to the Koch Brothers. If you think they are high now, privitizing our state utilities (our power plants) prices will go up as they choose.
Why is Walker talking to David Koch as though he David is his boss. Perhaps because Koch Industries gave $54,000 to his campaign, then $65,000 and then 3.4million to pay for negative TV ads.
If Wisconsinites knew about his plans, I feel certain they would not have voted for him.
Educate yourself and read about Koch Brother Industries and their terrible pollution violations of water and air and then make an informed decision.
Also google the Wisconsin Budget Repair Bill and ready it. You might find yourself thinking differently. If the Unions had not protest the Bill would have passed and you would never have known of the disasters to be wrought by Walker until the happened. It is not about bargaining rigts it is about your rights as well cloacked under the scapegoat of the union.

Birkel said...

former law student:
To borrow and rework a famous quote:
Union busting will happen when the government runs out of other peoples' money.

What is it about a budget that is unsustainable do Leftists simply refuse to understand?

former law student said...

Deflection? Not accepting the premise of your whining is deflection?

Have you looked at the boxed line under the title of the blog lately?

What does "neutrality" mean in your world?

former law student said...

My submission for the blog subhead:

What are those dreadful people doing to our beautiful Capitol?

Rob said...

Linda, you are right- no one here posting "has any idea of the importance of a union in such a working environment". In fact, I have been personally ordered by the Koch brothers to wear blinders at all times so as to not have any knowledge of the world. I merely read my marching orders each morning and then to out to do their bidding.

If not for your union, I am sure you would be doing the work of three jobs for half the pay.

Irene said...

Linda, you lost me at "He sounds like Gaddafy."

Take a trip to Tripoli. See what it's like to be target practice for a Libyian Top Gun.

(State worker willing to carry my fair share of the burden.)

Chip Ahoy said...

Shit, it's like all the signs inside and around the Madisoncapitol all at once in a single post. I did not think it was possible, and yet, there it is in one long string. Such splendid received wisdom. Is that said all in one breath? I'm going to have to up my game with this whole free-association, suck-the-oxygen-out-of-the-room thing.

Chip S. said...

None of you posting here has any idea of the importance of a union in such a working environment.

Fine. Then start a prison-social-workers' union, because your situation is unique and as incomprehensible to the DMV and sanitation workers as it is to the rest of us.

Otherwise, stop claiming that the uniqueness of your situation gives you a Third Eye. The air of moral superiority wafting out of the capitol is nauseous.

Real American said...

I hope Walker makes the garbage pick up their garbage. tools.

A. Friendly said...

Love that fisheye!

Youngblood said...

Linda wrote:

"A Goveneror is suppose to be for both sides; for everyone."

But she also wrote:

"I pray that the Wisconsin 14 remain in Illinois. Union workers understand leaving the state is the highest good they can do for [unionized public sector workers]."

Linda, I see what you did there!

Youngblood said...

And Linda wrote this too:

"He sounds like Gaddafy."

No, he doesn't. Not at all.

Seriously, comparing Governor Walker to unelected dictators is fucking stupid. He is nothing like Gaddafi, or Hitler, or any other dictator. Saying so just makes you look like a dumbass and a drama queen.

Linda said...

That beautiful building is the people's house and they are using it. It is still beautiful and even more so with the people respectfully using it. Go stand in the Capitol with the protestors. The energy is awesome and the building is full of love and respect.

Linda said...

The Madison Fiscal Office said we are not broke. Walker forgave billions of dollars in past taxes to corporations, one being a subsidiary of Koch brothers called Invista out of Green Bay, WI. He also took $140 million of the people's money and paid special interst. Then he came up with this Budget Repair Bill that we were broke and went after the Unions and collective bargaining. He went after union workers when he was an administrator in Milwaukee which backfired on him. It made him look very foolish and so he went after them again when he became governor.
This time he has pretended the State is broke, but it is backfiring again and now he even looks more foolish.
He got elected on overwhelming the tv airwaves with ads of lies. Unfortunately when the people are told lies long enough and often enough, as you know, people believe them.

Linda said...

What does neutrality mean to you? I have not deflected or whinned. I am simply stating facts.

Andrea said...

He sounds like Gaddafy.

You (and the other people who say things comparing Walker to genocidal dictators) sound profoundly unserious. Do you even know what Hitler, Ghaddafi, Pol Pot, etc DID? FFS. I can't be bothered to listen to anyone who even ironically says things like that (which, it should be noted, was utterly unironic in your case, which makes it worse); it is just stupid beyond words-- and makes me think they and their cause are as well.

You'd think teachers (among others) would know better, but apparently not.

I have no dog at all in this fight, and in fact I started off mostly pro-labor, but the things I have seen and read from the pro-labor camp over the last couple of weeks have been fairly disgusting.

Jay said...

We can't be ordered to work longer hours. We can't be fired because a manager or administrator doesn't like us.

I guess I'm supposed to have sympathy for you poor little babies?

Welcome to adulthood.

Jay said...

This time he has pretended the State is broke

The state of Wisconsin is facing a budget deficit.

There is no disputing this fact.

Jay said...

The energy is awesome and the building is full of love and respect.

Is that when they call Walker Hitler, or like you, compare him to a dictator?

Your incoherent drivel reinforces Walker's premise.

Jay said...

First,
the building is full of love and respect.

Then,
He sounds like Gaddafy.

Of course it is Gadaffi and you can't see the irony, you dippy broad.

Don't Tread 2012 said...

@Linda

"That beautiful building is the people's house and they are using it. It is still beautiful and even more so with the people respectfully using it. Go stand in the Capitol with the protestors. The energy is awesome and the building is full of love and respect."

Really? Love? Respect? For whom? War veterans? Other leftists?

It may be the 'people's house', unfortunately the left is under the impression its theirs alone.

What we have witnessed here is the unambiguous worship of big government, a sight all too familiar these days. As the left continues to struggle to remain latched to the great public teat, those not on board with the whole dependence thing are cautiously optimistic.

I welcome the coming of 4pm today, when the adults enforce the curfew and let the stragglers know its time to get on with it.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Is all that stuff taped to the walls really intended to be read? I've been assuming it's there because the building is full of people who never really feel comfortable in a building that doesn't resemble an elementary school.

GMay said...

fls asked: "Have you looked at the boxed line under the title of the blog lately?

What does "neutrality" mean in your world?"


I can tell you what it doesn't mean - a childish requirement to criticize one side because the other is behaving childishly.

Your whining may have been effective with your parents, but you presumably occupy the adult world now.

Class factotum said...

Has anyone seen even one person in the throng expressing the desire to pay more state or federal taxes to relieve Wisconsin's fiscal crisis?

They want other people to pay more taxes.

damikesc said...

Linda,

Social workers, as a rule, are useless as is.

Linda, laws are already in place against bullying and firing non-union public employees is nearly impossible as is, so these "benefits"...which, mind you, don't help your bosses (the people making LESS than you on average who pay your salary) one bit and won't endear you to them...are laughable.

You're filling two positions? Then, clearly, one is superfluous.

Nobody can force you to work OT, so that fear is also silly. Few want workers to work OT since it costs more. Do you have a clue how the world works?

Linda, I hope your union is busted completely and most of your co-workers are dismissed. I hope the fleebaggers have their staffs fired since they are unneeded as well.

That the cops are "on your side" is reason enough to abolish public unions. Cops should be on the side of the law alone. If they cannot, they should be fired en masse.

You have lost the fight. Badly. Now, you are just being children. Tell me why conservatives shouldn't pull this stunt any time legislation that we oppose comes up.

The only good union is a busted one.

Class factotum said...

We can't be ordered to work longer hours. We can't be fired because a manager or administrator doesn't like us. People seem to think state employees do not work. I am already doing the job of 2 positions. I rarely take a break and I have a 1/2 hour lunch.

You mean like everyone who is not in a union? Not that I was ever ordered to work longer hours, but I had deadlines that had to be met. I ate lunch at my desk while I worked. And I had no civil service protections, which would give you what you want as far as workplace bully protection.

Bless your heart, you do an important and difficult job. But we can't afford the extra benefits you guys get any more.

GMay said...

Linda incredulously claimed: "The Madison Fiscal Office said we are not broke."

I was going to go back and re-read your posts but I happened to glance at this line and I wondered if you're either too gullible or dishonest to be taken seriously.

Given that you think:

1) A debtor has the power to forgive his own debt

2) A subversion of democracy (the Illinois 14) is just peachy in a republic, and

3) A duly elected governor of a U.S. state legally exercising his power is comparable to a dictator who murders his own people...

Confirms my suspicion that you aren't a serious person or that you're incapable of thinking rationally.

damikesc said...

GMay, even Politifact has shot that idiotic "there is no deficit" line down.

Paul Zrimsek said...

As a civil servant I can appreciate exactly where Linda is coming from. I feel sure that none of you would oppose public-sector unions if only you realized how convenient they are for ***--->ME<---***.

Anne said...

I am still waiting to see any evidence of the claims that Walker had a budget surplus and spent it on his friends. Really if all you can do is spout off the union lies, without impunity, you are in more trouble than a three-legged cat in a room full of rocking chairs. The Walker phone call, which you claim to be so damning is nothing, and you know it. Once again throwing your trash in the conservatives faces doesn't make you right. Your smoking gun is a play pistol, you think it scares us, but it is nothing but smoke and mirror.
I really wish you would take the advise of one of your favorite Presidents JFK. He asked us to consider "ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country." So what have you done for this country recently? Oh, and marching in a protest for a bunch of spoiled rotten union employees who have no respect for the sanctity of the Capitol building doesn't count. Anyone with a two-year old will tell you this is just a large temper tantrum, and there will be no peace unless it is outlasted. We will not give in to your temper tantrum.

Linda said...

Sorry Jay, I am 63 years old. Go apply for a job in a prison or in a school or in a hospital and work for a year or 10 and then post your experience.

GMay said...

"...even Politifact has shot that idiotic "there is no deficit" line down."

Really? Sheesh, when you've lost Politifact...

Linda said...

Go to the Capitol and talk and listen to the voice of democracy. It is amazing and wonderful.

Linda said...

As a 63 year old mother with 5 sons and Bachalor of Science in Education and Masters of Social Work, I would like to know what kind of civil servant you are Paul?

former law student said...

I can tell you what it doesn't mean - a childish requirement to criticize one side because the other is behaving childishly.

GMay, translated: I'm sure Althouse would criticize Republicans if they ever did anything worthy of criticism.

DanK said...

Linda,

I encourage you to talk and listen to someone you know who is not in a union job. I'm not talking about CEOs. Maybe someone you know has worked at a bank or a dentist's office for 15 or 20 years. You will find that even without union membership, people can work reasonable hours and not be bullied on the job.

The real world is not such a scary place.

Paul Zrimsek said...

what kind of civil servant you are Paul?

The Federal kind (FAA). Where, incidentally, the unions manage to keep going even though no one is required to pay dues to them as a condition of employment.

At least we can agree that the voice of democracy is amazing and wonderful. I was still grinning when I got up the morning of Nov. 3.

GMay said...

"Go to the Capitol and talk and listen to the voice of democracy. It is amazing and wonderful."

Yes it is, too bad elected Democrats don't understand democracy. Apparently, neither do you.

(But the undergraduate platitudes that fly in the face of reality are cute.)

GMay said...

FLS translated: I have trouble comprehending the simplest of points.

former law student said...

It would be easier to comprehend GMay if he presented a coherent, logical counterargument.

Just sayin'

GMay said...

Since concepts like "flawed premises" are foreign to you FLS, I think it's safe to say you should refrain from using words you obviously fail to understand, let alone concepts you fail to show a basic grasp of on a daily basis here at Althouse (i.e. logic, coherence, argument.)

What's your premise FLS? Perhaps you should clue the Professor in on what exact criticisms you would like to see, rather than offering up the churlish mom's-just-not-being-fair non-argument that you floated out there.

Hell FLS, I attacked your premise and the only thing you can offer up is more whining.

Jay said...

Linda said...

Sorry Jay, I am 63 years old. Go apply for a job in a prison or in a school or in a hospital and work for a year or 10 and then post your experience.


Huh?

My "experience" includes building up a small company, working nights and weekends, and hiring good people helping them build careers.

All without whining about how difficult it is.

All without sucking from the public for my "pension"

All without having taxpayers fund my health insurance.

Linda said...

Thanks Dan,
I appreciate your thought and yes I understand the real world is not a such a scary place. I have also worked in "the real world" at jobs not in a union, as a secretay and at a non-union factory and as a Center Manager for Head Start. I went back to university at age 32 as a mother with 5 children and received Cum Laude a BS in Education and then back for a graduate degree my MSW. I took a job in a prison as it was the only social worker job around me where I live in a very very rual town in NW Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Dept of Corrections does not make a pay difference for a social worker or a masters of social work as employers often do in other "real world jobs". I drive 49 miles each way to work. I knew nothing of working in a prison. My job prior was working for Head Start. I only new I would be paid more for my position starting at $17.00 an hour (remember I have to pay for student loans for both of my degrees)versus working for head start at $12.50 an hour. Not a big difference in pay after 8 years of education, is it?

When you work in a large prison with 1500 employees and the prison administration treats the professional staff like inmates and sometimes treats the inmate better than the professional staff, you definitely come to appreciate a union in place to come to the table literally and write down what is said by both sides; meaning perhaps superintendent against the social worker or officer or maintenance supervisor for perceived rules violations. Or the secretary or nurse or social worker or officer or unit supervisor may bring a grievance of perceived rule violation against the captain, superintendent or warden to the table. If the employee is bringing the grievance or the employer is bringing the grievance to the table both have representation. Then there is an outside person not speaking just listening and writing what is said by both sides. It gets talked about and decided upon by the next level up and then a decision is rendered for all to abide by. It does not always come down on the side of the worker and disciplinary measures are progressive for both sides.

As you may or may not know, with such a large workforce of 1500 to 2000 employees in one place, quite often pesonalities collide. In a smaller work environment of 15 or 20 workers more or less, the person in power usually has the decision at that point to fire or keep the employee without the employee having a possibility to defend themselves. The Manager or Director takes the side of those they like or those they "trust" against the emloyee and the employee is history. It does not work that way for a union employee. You have someone there at the table so the employer must listen to both sides. That is the difference.

Also note with the state employee health insurance providing for 300,000 employees, the negoiated cost with the provider is much lower than for an employer with only 15 or 20 or 7 employees. That was why it was suggested other employers join the state health insurance group. It is not that the union is cheating or that public employees are cheating.
And for the pension, members have been paying into the plan for 45 years and it has grown and multiplied and is worth over $79.8Billion in assets. (It also lost $11 billion in the crash). No wonder Mr Walker wants it.


As an after thought why would any person in their right mind want to allow the governor to sell our state utilities (our power plants) on a no-bid contract and without a public discussion. How are your utility rates now? Do you consider them too high? What do you think would happen to those rates if the state sells our state utilities to a private vendor? Do you think your utility bills will go down? Right

damikesc said...

Linda, that you made enough to support five kids in spite of a useless degree in a rather useless field is something you should thank taxpayers for...not condemn them for not giving you more and more goodies.

Linda said...

We decided as a union to pay our dues through our check. Do I disagreed, absolutely not. What the union does for its members is priceless.

Linda said...

It is curious why everyone on this blog is so derogatory and ugly.

Linda said...

Agreed.

deborah said...

Linda,

We can't be ordered to work longer hours. We can't be fired because a manager or administrator doesn't like us.

The problem is you can't fire people performing very badly.

As far as Walker giving tax breaks/forgiveness, to businesses, there's a reality out there of a bad economy coupled with a global economy to deal with. Things have to be restructured.

Five sons!? Great day, my hat's off to you. Sounds like fun, though.

Jay said...

What the union does for its members is priceless.

Yes, the union is getting you benefits not available to a large majority of the working population.

Guess what?

The party's over, tootse...

Linda said...

You are whining Jay, big time. You are also assuming that neither my family or I are not doing the same as you with building up a small company and hiring good people to build careers. My husband is a building contractor, albeit out of work at present through no fault of his own.

Also you do not know what you are talking about when you talk about the "pension" or funding of my health care by the taxpayer; which does neither.

The public pension fund has been in place for 45 years and funded by a deduction from my paycheck just like my union dues. The WRS has grown and multiplied like any other fund and is now worth $79.8 Billion dollars and lost $11 Billion in the crash. Is it any wonder that Tommy Thompson and now Scott Walker is trying to raid it?

As far as health insurance taxpayers are not funding my health insurance. It is deducted from my paycheck every month just like my pension and my union dues. As an employer you should know that you do not get lower health insurance policy costs when the employee pool is smaller. That was why the offer was suggested for employers to join the state health insurance fund. When you have 300,000 employees to negotiate a policy rate for, it is undoubtely going to be a lower rate.

Looking at my pay stubb now I have health insurance, life insurance, vision care, dental care, deferred comp, spouse and dependent life insurance, retirement, union dues, federal withholding, state withholding, social security, and medicare all deducted from my pay check every month. I do not "suck anything from the taxpayer.

Linda said...

Gmay you have a very poor attitude and you do need a "time out" like any good mother knows.

What premise did you attack?
And what whinning did I do?

You are seriously flawed and very negative on top of that.

You are a professor of what? How to be negative and nasty hidden behind a blog.

Jay said...

As far as health insurance taxpayers are not funding my health insurance. It is deducted from my paycheck every month

Huh?

Your paycheck comes from the taxpayers.

Linda said...

Why would my degree as a teacher and as a social worker be useless in a useless field. Protecting people like you from criminals is useless? Teaching people like you to be able to read and debate is useless. I suppose you believe people like my son a Marine who has fought in both Iraq and Afghanistan protecting you is also useless?
Perhaps you are one of those working in finance or mortgages or banking that committed crimes against the taxpayer, but didn't get caught.

Linda said...

Jay, Jay, Jay, you are resorting to nastiness when your argument didn't work.

You need to read your history of th labor movement. You parents and grandparents and teachers would likely be ashamed of you.

Start a union where you work? Oh the employer won't allow it you say. I wonder why the employer won't allow it? Perhaps you should read up on why employers do not want unions in their work place.

GMay said...

Linda diagnosed: "Gmay you have a very poor attitude and you do need a "time out" like any good mother knows.

What premise did you attack?
And what whinning did I do?

You are seriously flawed and very negative on top of that.

You are a professor of what? How to be negative and nasty hidden behind a blog."


Are you capable of responding to the points I've raised, or not?

Making a generalization about my so-called "negativity" or character based on the fact that I've drawn negative conclusions is a wee bit of a fallacy. Your armchair psychological diagnosis is neither accurate, nor desired.

Try addressing my conclusions instead of your imaginings about my character.

Now, if you would like to make generalizations about character, allow me the same courtesy of indulging:

You're remarkably self-absorbed for a woman of your age. Your decision making ability is highly suspect given the your choice of education. Given the amount of money you spent on that education and the fact that you're dissatisfied over your income shows that you lack the ability to self-correct.

Your penchant for either lying about the facts of Wisconsin's debt, or your inability to objectively seek out the facts of a situation that you deem critical to your self-interests smacks of poor judgement.

Since you're unable to determine what premise I attacked in FLS's non-argument, that leads me to believe the questionable education track you chose didn't do much for you.

Given all of the above, I've determined that you have no personal experience with being a good mother and that your children have succeeded/will succeed in spite of you.

Now, would you like to address the actual arguments, ot do you want to keep with the crappy character assessments?

Jay said...

Linda said...

Jay, Jay, Jay, you are resorting to nastiness when your argument didn't work.


Actually, I'm pointing out facts.

Your health insurance, retirement and income are all borne by the taxpayers (Wisconsin covers almost all the cost of government pensions and 94 percent of government workers’ health-care premiums.).

Realizing you don't want to speak to this, you're trying to change the subject.

Jay said...

Perhaps you should read up on why employers do not want unions in their work place.

It is quite clear why:
Wages are kept artificially high. Under-performing works can not be removed.

Why don't you take a trip to Detroit and see the wonders of unions combined with Democratic rule.

It is a fantastic place, I assure you.

Linda said...

I do have to give you a good mark for the statement that sometimes you can't fire people performing badly. I have known some poor teachers but there are probably more poor financial advisors and bankers out there than poor teacher and hey they got away with billions.

As far as the bad economy global or local, put the fault where it belongs Deb, and start with George W and Wall Street not at the feet of the public worker. Why are things being restructured? I believe that problem started in the 8 years prior to President Obama taking office.

As far as 5 sons, it has been a lot of fun and a lot of hard yet loving work for my husband and I! And now 1 is a Marine that is protecting your right to disagree, 1 owns his own computer business, 1 works at IBM Treasury in Singapore, 1 works for Technicolor as a movie animator and 1 is a teacher trying to find work in WI. Since no jobs are available here he is on his way to Maylasia in 2 weeks to take a teaching position there.

We get together every year now to establish family bond. We camp, we kayak or we ski and snowboard, my husband and I organic garden, we all work and pay our taxes and yes I work as a prison social worker protecting you from criminals.

Linda said...

Do you not want criminals put into prison Jay? The courts and law enforcement can not be privatized and neither should prisons.

I would suggest you go work in a prison for awhile; apply for a correctional officer's job and then say "huh"

Linda said...

I think your comments are all about you Gmay.
I have not read anything in this triad from you other than negativity and nastiness and your own lack of understanding.
I have been addressing the actual argument which is unions are necessary to many working environments. Perhaps if there was one in yours, you and your co-workers (?) would be better off judging from your words.

That being said, what is your actual argument?

PS... I'm taking a break. I've been sitting at my computer defending since 7 am without a break; I'm going snowshoeing Gmay! I wish you could join me for a conversation

GMay said...

Linda said: "I think your comments are all about you Gmay.
I have not read anything in this triad from you other than negativity and nastiness and your own lack of understanding."


This is coming from someone who resorted to psychological e-diagnoses and equated Walker to Qadaffi. This is not indicative of someone who is interested in rational discussion and - in the case you really believe the comparison is somehow valid - capable of rational thought. Pointing this out doesn't mean *I'm* the negative one.

After such nonsense, you should really refrain from commenting on the understanding of others.
You're the one saying you're fine with the subversion of democracy (fleebaggers), or that nonexistent rights are being violated here, the demonstrably false assertion that WI isn't out of money, and that the duly elected governor of a state is acting like a murderous dictator. When called on this all, I realize the feeling may be unpleasant, but that's not my fault.

I'm not calling you names or attacking your character, I'm pointing out poor arguments and explaining why they're poor.

"I have been addressing the actual argument which is unions are necessary to many working environments."

No, you have merely asserted that unions are necessary to many working environments. Others have correctly dismantled your assertion and you haven't really offered a defense. But what you're ignoring (among many other counterpoints) is the rather significant distinction between public and private sector unions.

This is FLS's problem as well.

A proper understanding of organized labor and its history in the United States would put public sector unions and their pitfalls into perspective. You see, a mistake you're consistently making is assuming people with whom you disagree have no knowledge of unions and their history.

"That being said, what is your actual argument?"

Actually I wasn't making one, I was addressing a few of the points you made. My argument, were I making it, is that public sector unions aren't only unnecessary, but anti-democratic, anti-taxpayer, and therefore in conflict with the public interest.

Contrary to your assertions, taxpayers who aren't a part of any public sector union are contributing to your salary and your benefits. Instead of taking this up with elected representatives who represent those taxpayers, you're a part of a group that lobbies elected representatives on your behalf without involving the taxpayers who are funding you both directly and indirectly.

To take it a step further, those same unions, recipients of taxpayer dollars, are funneling money into political campaigns that only represent (by the looks of WI) less than half of the electorate. This is a blatant conflict of interest.

I'll stop here for now.

As far as your break, I hope you enjoy it. I'd also enjoy conversation with you, but I'll admit to being a wuss when it comes to cold weather. I spent 20 years being stationed in the hottest places the Marines had to offer for a reason.

deborah said...

Part 1

Linda,

I do have to give you a good mark for the statement that sometimes you can't fire people performing badly. I have known some poor teachers but there are probably more poor financial advisors and bankers out there than poor teacher and hey they got away with billions.

Those are two separate issues. (There must be a logical fallacy name for that.) One is private sector, the other public. One is national in scope, the other state centric. But both do involve lobbying to obtain results.

As far as Wisconsin I got curious and googled the economy:

"In 2008 Wisconsin’s gross state product was $240.4 billion, making it 21st among U.S. states.[54] The per capita personal income was $35,239 in 2008. The economy of Wisconsin is driven by manufacturing, agriculture, and health care. Although manufacturing accounts for a far greater part of the state's income than farming, Wisconsin is often perceived as a farming state.

As of June 2010, the states unemployment rate is 7.9% (seasonally adjusted)[55]

In October 2010, the largest employers in Wisconsin were:

1.Wal-Mart
2.University of Wisconsin–Madison
3.Milwaukee Public Schools
4.U.S. Postal Service
5.Wisconsin Department of Corrections
6.Menards
7.Marshfield Clinic
8.Aurora Health Care
9.City of Milwaukee
10.Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs[56]
[edit] AgricultureWisconsin is second to California in overall production of milk and butter, and third in per-capita milk production, behind Idaho and Vermont, and produces about 1/4 of America's butter and cheese,[57][58] though it leads the nation in cheese production.[59] Wisconsin ranks first nationally in the production of corn for silage, cranberries, ginseng, and snap beans for processing. Wisconsin is also a leading producer of oats, potatoes, carrots, tart cherries, maple syrup, and sweet corn for processing. The importance of the state's agricultural production was exemplified by the depiction of a Holstein cow, an ear of corn, and a wheel of cheese for Wisconsin's 50 State Quarters design.

A large part of the state's manufacturing sector includes commercial food processing, including well-known brands such as Oscar Mayer, Tombstone frozen pizza, Johnsonville brats, and Usinger's sausage. Kraft Foods alone employs over 5,000 people in the state. Milwaukee is a major producer of beer and was formerly headquarters for Miller Brewing Company, the nation's second-largest brewer, until it merged with Coors Brewing Company. Formerly, Schlitz, Blatz, and Pabst were cornerstone breweries in Milwaukee.

[edit] Manufacturing Wisconsin is home to a very large and diversified manufacturing economy, with special focus on transportation and capital equipment. Major Wisconsin companies in these categories include the Kohler Company, Mercury Marine, Rockwell Automation, Johnson Controls, Seagrave Fire Apparatus, Pierce Manufacturing (fire apparatus), Briggs & Stratton, Miller Electric, Milwaukee Electric Tool Company, Bucyrus International, Joy Global Inc., The Manitowoc Company, Modine Manufacturing Company, Super Steel Products Corp., Ladish Co., Oshkosh Truck, and Harley-Davidson.

Consumer goods Wisconsin is a major producer of paper, packaging, and other consumer goods. Major consumer products companies based in the state include SC Johnson & Co., and Diversey Inc., Wisconsin also ranks first nationwide in the production of paper products; the lower Fox River from Lake Winnebago to Green Bay has 24 paper mills along its 39 miles (63 km) stretch.

The development and manufacture of health care devices and software is a growing sector of the state's economy with key players such as GE Healthcare, Epic Systems, and TomoTherapy.

deborah said...

Part 2

Tourism Tourism is also a major industry in Wisconsin – the state's third largest, according to the Department of Tourism. This is attributed to the many resorts in northern Wisconsin and the family attractions in the Wisconsin Dells area, which attract nearly 3 million visitors per year.[citation needed] Tourist destinations such as the House on the Rock near Spring Green and Circus World Museum in Baraboo also draw thousands of visitors annually, and festivals such as Summerfest and the EAA Oshkosh Airshow draw international attention, along with hundreds of thousands of visitors.

Given the large number of lakes and rivers in the state, water recreation is very popular.

The distinctive Door Peninsula, which extends off the eastern coast of the state, contains one of the state's tourist destinations, Door County. Door County is a popular destination for boaters because of the large number of natural harbors, bays and ports on the Green Bay and Lake Michigan side of the peninsula that forms the county. The area draws hundreds of thousands of visitors yearly to its quaint villages, seasonal cherry picking, and fish boils.

Film industryOn January 1, 2008, a new tax incentive for the film industry came into effect. The first major production to take advantage of the tax incentive was Michael Mann's Public Enemies. While the producers spent $18 million dollars on the film, it was reported that most of that went to out-of-state workers and for out-of-state services; Wisconsin taxpayers had provided $4.6 million in subsidies, and derived only $5 million in revenues from the film's making."

Of the top ten employers, at least six of them are public sector. The average salary in Wisconsin is 35k. How does this work out in the distribution of benefits to public employees? I don't know all the ins and outs, just asking.

As far as the bad economy global or local, put the fault where it belongs Deb, and start with George W and Wall Street not at the feet of the public worker. Why are things being restructured? I believe that problem started in the 8 years prior to President Obama taking office.

I think things began when Man first picked up a rock and said 'hmmm, what can I do with this?' Globalization is pretty much a gimme, unless you want a command economy.

Congrats on such a nice family.

Linda said...

I'm sure that you understand the comparison of W to G. as phone call with David Koch our governor entertained the idea of bringing in agitators to disrupt and bring violence into a peaceful protest; violence to his Wisconsin taxpayers, his people. Granted he didn't. He must have thought that if a agitator was arrested and admitted Walker (administration or lackey) hired them it would not look good at all.

The difference between public and pivate union is the right to strike. In the prison system it is illegal to strike. We do not strike. We protest and we have the right to grieve poor working conditions, poor treatment by any staff and the right to a non-hostile work environment.

The no strike clause is only contractual and our union AFSCME "American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees" (prison employees, police and firemen and others). Teachers have their own union.

Without a union or contract, you can not be bound to a clause that states it is illegal to strike.

To address that Walker will bring in the National Guard to take over the job for 23,000+ prison employees. The business of prison will come to an immediate halt. Prisoner lawsuits through legions of attorneys will begin suing DOC/WI for prisoner rights; their right to transfer to another prison, their right to free surgery, medical and dental attention, which many in the real world do not have "rights too", their right to a balanced meal or missing being served a meal, to use utilities for laundry, to use computers , telephones, exercise equipment, education, or religious service. They have more rights than the taxpayer and to many staff and yet they are criminals incarcerated for horrendous and heinous crimes.

Guards, social workers, psyh, maintenance,kitchen & medical staff brave horrible things. Inmates throw shit, piss & puke and staff are raped and killed.

As a Marine thank you for your service.

Linda said...

Sorry I wrote that statement wrong. I said, I have known some poor teachers but there are probably more poor financial advisors and bankers out there than poor teacher and hey they got away with billions. I meant to say, I have heard of "bad" teachers (meaning in performance) but I have never met one. There are probably more "bad" financial advisors and bankers than teachers. Yet they were given millions in bonuses or stole billions from the taxpayer without any uproar from citizens and yet teachers are only protesting to keep their bargaining rights.

You know teachers are not paid very well and people tend to call them glorified babysitters. So let's take a good wage for a babysitter at $3.00 and hour X 8 hours a day. So they are paid $24 a day X 5 days a week - $120 a week X 4 weeks in a month and we get $480 a month. Now that is for 1 child so lets mutiply that by 30 children a day. ( remember the law in wisconsin is 6 children to 1 adult).
Back to the numbers: $480 a month X 30 is $14,400 a month X 10 months because the school year has been extended and we get a total salary of $144,000 a year or 10 months. Unfortunately teachers are not paid that (thank goodness). So if we move their pay down to $1.00 an hour per student / 30 for 10 months we get $48,000 a year. And don't forget all the extra hours for field trips, prom, sporting events and what ever else they do.

Why does this cause more out cry than bankers stealing millions and billions?

Linda said...

I'm sure that you understand the comparison of W to G. as phone call with David Koch our governor entertained the idea of bringing in agitators to disrupt and bring violence into a peaceful protest; violence to his Wisconsin taxpayers, his people. Granted he didn't. He must have thought that if a agitator was arrested and admitted Walker (administration or lackey) hired them it would not look good at all.

The difference between public and pivate union is the right to strike. In the prison system it is illegal to strike. We do not strike. We protest and we have the right to grieve poor working conditions, poor treatment by any staff and the right to a non-hostile work environment.

The no strike clause is only contractual and our union AFSCME "American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees" (prison employees, police and firemen and others). Teachers have their own union.

Without a union or contract, you can not be bound to a clause that states it is illegal to strike.

To address that Walker will bring in the National Guard to take over the job for 23,000+ prison employees. The business of prison will come to an immediate halt. Prisoner lawsuits through legions of attorneys will begin suing DOC/WI for prisoner rights; their right to transfer to another prison, their right to free surgery, medical and dental attention, which many in the real world do not have "rights too", their right to a balanced meal or missing being served a meal, to use utilities for laundry, to use computers , telephones, exercise equipment, education, or religious service. They have more rights than the taxpayer and to many staff and yet they are criminals incarcerated for horrendous and heinous crimes.

Guards, social workers, psyh, maintenance,kitchen & medical staff brave horrible things. Inmates throw shit, piss & puke and staff are raped and killed.

As a Marine thank you for your service.

GMay said...

Linda,

Thank you for at least taking the time to respond.

The babysitter argument is a poor one. As no one is seriously suggesting that compensation packages be based on a comment that is intended as an insult toward poor teachers, your argument is essentially a strawman. I thought the same thing when I saw that argument posted on another website.

And no, the difference between public employee unions is not only the ban on striking. The difference is what I outlined earlier which, among a few other counterarguments I raised, you have chosen to ignore. A wise call on your part.

Why is there more outcry about the teachers instead of the financial industry? Well, accepting the premise of someone who has apparently been living under a rock for the past 3 years and has missed an ociean of outcry directed at Wall Street from the President on down, the reason there's so much outcry about Public Sector Unions is because it involves taxpayer money (to the extent Bush and Obama bailouts are not considered) without proper democratic representation.

It's really very simple, yet I find it instructive you continue to ignore this fundamental difference and to bring up non-sequiturs like Bush and the financial industry.

Focus.

deborah said...

Linda,

There are probably more "bad" financial advisors and bankers than teachers. Yet they were given millions in bonuses or stole billions from the taxpayer without any uproar from citizens and yet teachers are only protesting to keep their bargaining rights.

There was a national meltdown over the financial crisis, and nothing compared to the Wisconsin coverage. Yes, it was dispicably criminal that the bankers continued to receive bonuses on top of being bailed out by the taxpayers.

On the other hand, their was an attempt at fairness with home owners being given help with mortages, I think. Many could just walk away if their house was not worth what they were eventually going to pay on it.

But that's national. Because the feds screwed up does not mean that Wisconsin should do the same. As I said, I don't understand it all. But if there is a true budget shortfall and teachers are getting too good a benefit package (for 180 days' of work) and business is in need of stimulation due to a global economy...I DON'T KNOW...lol.

The way I understand it, they will still be able to bargain their salaries (what they'll accept), but not their benefits (what they'll be granted). But you are saying that the benefits round out the pay to a livable amount. Do you have a good link for pay+benefits?

Also, does Wisconsin have a 30-1 student-teacher ratio?

Finally, in one of the threads today, someone said that federal civil servant are unionized, but don't have the right to strike and membership is optional and not withheld from the paycheck.