First of all, I'd like to apologize to my five readers and many, many tormentors for my lack of blogging lately. My work schedule has drasticaly changed and is not exactly conducive for keeping a blog, except for today.
If I would have had the time to blog, I would have written about these topics in a more timely manner:
- The fact that Mitt Romney's Bain Capital is a majority owner of Clear Channel, which owns most of the conservative "News" radio stations across the country, including our very own 620 WTMJ... making it safe to say that Charlie Sykes is Mitt's b#itch!
- Republicans blocked a Veterans Jobs Bill to help vets find employment in public work projects and as police officers and firefighters. Only five Republican Senators put voted for the bill, while the rest put partisan politics before the interest of our 9/11 veterans. See story here.
- Paul Ryan was heavily booed by a crowd of AARP seniors as he told them he was going to get rid of "Obama Care". See the video here
- The fact that Mitt Romney's now infamous comments about the "47%" were wrong in soooooo many ways... forget the fact that they were insulting to half of Americans - how about the fact that the 47% he was refering to is his base. That's right, people who rely on the government most tend to vote Republican - go figure! Eight out of the nine poorest state, the states with the highest percentage of people "mooching" off the government vote GOP almost all the time. And the most disturbing fact is that some of those 47% who mooch and don't pay Federal Income taxes are seniors collecting social security and active military personnel. See story here.
- While you are allowed to carry a gun into the chamber if you are an elected official, you cannot carry a sign or take pictures or video in the Capitol building in Madison, or you will be ticketed, arrested or bullied at home or your workplace. That's right, the new Madison Capital Police Chief wants us to have to request a permit from the government to express our constitutional right to show our grievence with THAT same government - a bit counter-intuitive don't you think? See this B.S. here.
But I had no time write about those topics for the last two weeks, leaving me with the most recent topic to make my blood boil: The NFL strike and that crappy call by the replacement referees.
I played football in high school and a little beyond, I have coached football, I have been a part of a union and I have taught school, so I know a little something about what I am about to say here...
The refs blew the call - a few times, and the owners are greedier than the refs, who were willing to put an incomplete, not ready for prime time product on the field and into the market instead of letting the unions guys keep their current pensions and receive a salary increase.
Yeah, the refs only work six months out of the year, earn $100,000+ and almost all have other jobs as well, but as we have all learned since that fateful game against Seattle Monday night, like it or not, the refs are an integral part of the game and deserve a larger peice of the pie that the owners (and players) are trying to gobble up all for themselves.
The morning after the game I was listening to 620 WTMJ (I just made a bitter face) and every dude who called into the show was saying that the greedy owners just need to bite the bullet and give the refs what they want because the replacements sucked and that the games weren't watching anymore and the current situation was making a mockery of the NFL.
Nobody, not one person said that the refs should be outright fired, that the owners were correct in staying strong, that a pension should be replaced with a crappy 401K. Even Governor Walker, who admitted to who he thought was David Koche that he kept a baseball bat in his office for union bashing, suggested that the owners give the union refs what they wanted to a better product could be on the football field.
This is the same governor and the same right-wingers who REALLY feel that unions should die a quick, painful death (at their hands). Walker's buddy Fitzgerald admitted that Act 10 was all about union-busting and breaking up the Democratic strategy that comes from that section of workers.
I don't know a single Republican who believes in unions, apparently except for the unions who represent millionaire athletes and the guys who are dressed in zebra stripes who throw little yellow flags at them.
That's right - conservatives, and apparently the majority of Wisconsinites hold more importance in entertainment than the proper education of our children. They would rather see a well-officiated game of football for three hours per week while they throw back a few cold ones and pound down a bag of chips than see their own children educated by properly-paid professional teachers with a little bit of respect and a decent retirement package.
You guys called for the teachers who called in sick to protest in Madison to be fired... you called for the doctors who wrote their excuses to be fired... you probably called for the striking teachers in Chicago to be fired, or hung, and you probably were ecstatic back in the 80's when your idol (and ex-union President) Ronald Reagan fired all of the striking airline pilots... But you NEVER called for the striking referees to be fired!
Hypocrites!!! The refs only work three hours a week right, six months a year, right? (wrong). Teachers only work 7 hours a day, eight months a year, right? (wrong). The refs are greedy for wanting a pension instead of a 401K right? Teachers are greedy for wanting a pension plan instead of a 401K right? The refs are greedy because they want a raise because they feel they are under-appreciated and the owners don't the value of what they bring to the game, right? The teachers are greedy because they want job security and the right to have a voice in the workplace because they are important to society, right? (forget raises).
We learned our lesson about bringing in scabs to do the job of well-trained professionals by watching (and cursing) as the Seahawks stole a game from our beloved Packers by being on the right end of a bad call. But we have not yet learned our lesson about replacing well-trained professional educators with lesser-qualified teachers who will work for less pay and benefits and no say in the system in which they are ultimately responsible for.
If you look at the data, Wisconsin is doing great in our public education system, out-doing most of the nation in graduation rates and ACT scores - yet we punish them by reducing salaries and taking away pensions and their voices... Sounds pretty unfair to me.
Now we have districts like New Berlin and Racine looking at firing every teacher and rehiring them at $35,000, no matter education level or experience they have. We had teachers retire in droves because they felt so disgusted and disrespected. We have a Governor who would rather balance the budget on the backs of teachers than millionaires, who would dismantle teacher unions, but not firefighter or police unions, causing virtual wars within family homes. (I know plenty of teachers married to cops and firemen - imagine those arguments).
And we have a Governor who said that it was more important to give each home-owner a $29 tax break this year than to give the teacher who is with their child 180 days per year a little bit of respect and a voice in the education system. And we have a Governor who is willing to let less-qualified teachers teach in the charter school system with funding he ripped off from the public school system.
Walker is happy that the NFL owners came to an agreement with the union refs in order to put out a good quality piece of entertainment, yet he refused to sit down and talk with the union teachers in order to help put out a good quality educational product for the children... What A Total Hypocrite!
I love football too Scotty, but unlike you, I actually played the GAME. And yes, it is just a game... Our education on the other hand is NO game - Now stop playing around and return the system to the professionals and let ACT 10 die a quick, painless death in the courts and let the teachers have a voice in curriculum and testing and text book adoption instead of leaving that to non-teaching professionals who just happened to make it to the school board.