Friday, February 25, 2011

Rallying tomorrow to save the American dream

We've gotten a number of calls about a rally tomorrow at Los Angeles City Hall to support the union workers in Wisconsin.

This rally is one of many scheduled for Saturday in front of every statehouse and in every major city, all planned by

Information about the L.A. rally is here; a search page to find rallies elsewhere across the U. S. is here.


Robert St. Pierre said...

It's time to take a stand people. Stand in unity with our union brothers and sisters now and help empower all of us. One day, they may come and support us at our time of need.


First they came for the communists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.

Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me.

- Martin Niemöller (1892–1984

Anonymous said...

Really? It's a budget crisis created by cheese-loving public servants. And by the looks of them, they do love their cheese.

Not The Holocaust. Kay?

Anonymous said...

They are not my union brothers because my union doesn't ask tax payers to pay our bills.

Correction: Our union doesn't capitalize on crooked politicians who give away money that isn't theirs to placate ridiculous demands of a union that funds their re election campaigns.

The issue is twofold:
-We can't afford these public sector unions anymore.
-They do not perform and are absent of accountability.

Mike said...

It's not about the money, it's about union busting.

Anonymous said...

First - Its crazy to compare this to what happened with the Holocaust.

Secondly - Wisconsin is trying to save itself something a lot of other states should be doing when comes to that particular public unions cost savings situation.

Anonymous said... is a vile organization funded by George Soros. That alone loses this rally my support.

Anonymous said...

Trade unions and public sector unions are not the same thing - government employees were never subjected to the harsh working conditions that made trade unions necessary. For the life of me I can't ever remember learning about the Great Paper Clip Cave-in that took the lives of many government employees back in school. Go out and march, snarl traffic, carry signs stating that those who want to reign in unfunded pension plans are selfish, evil, hate mongers. Go on, be angry, snarl at the camera, scream your slogans - it will have the same affect as when the undocumented workers rallied in Los Angeles while proudly waving a Mexican flag.

Your protests feed the flames of anti-public sector union sentiment.

Steven Kaplan said...

Wrong again Anon ..

This *is* a direct affront to collective bargaining, public sector or not. This blog has posts I've authored that describe the war that's being waged on the ideas and principles of unions. What is happening in Wisconsin is another battle in that war. The more the American public stands against it, the stronger that public's rights remain.

Thanks to commenter Mike who shared this link. I second the recommendation for its reading.

Anonymous said...

I finally looked into George Soros to see what the fuss is all about. He seems pretty straight up to me.

But the Koch brothers? (who finance the tea party) Their father taught them to be anti communist AFTER his business deals with JOSEPH STALIN fell through.

Anonymous said...

Trade unions and public sector unions are not the same thing - government employees were never subjected to the harsh working conditions that made trade unions necessary.

Tell that one to police and firefighters who risk their lives every day they're on the job. Or garbagemen who run into hazardous materials when picking up our trash. Or teachers who work insane hours after class, long after the students have gone home.

Unionized public workers face working conditions at least as harsh as those experienced by unionized animators.

Anonymous said...

The Wisconsin unions conceded on the budget issues from the start. Walker's conversation with "Koch" made it clear this is about busting the union to burnish his Tea Party cred.

Remember how Citizens United was fair because labor unions would have the same voice as corporations? I guess the corporations didn't like that.

Robert St. Pierre said...


Since you don't know me from Adam, I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt regarding to your assumption with respect to the quote I posted. Had you paid close attention, you would have realized it was a quote by Mr. Martin Niemöller, and it was the subtext that I was intent on illustrating.

It was intended to reference the dangers of our social complacency and the apathy that we, as a people and a nation, have seemed to have capitulated to.

Anyone who has succumbed to distortions and rhetoric of the right, believing that he unions are to blame for our economic woes are sadly misguided.

The economic ditch we've been forcefully driven into can be directly attributed to the arrogance and overt negligence of our political/corporate elitists.
The Wall street heist, the housing market scandal, the trillion dollars we were coerced into paying into the unjust, illegal wars, and the fact that the richest 1% don't even come close to paying their fair share in taxes, are the overwhelming catalysts that have plummeted our local, state and national economies, into the fiscal state we're in today. Compounding the problem, our corrupt political and judicial appointees have conspired against us, allowing the fascist corporations to outsource millions of jobs (and lost local, state and federal revenue) overseas.

Meanwhile, in the midst of our financial cutbacks, CEO's, Corporate execs, and big corporations still draw record profits and lavish themselves with lucrative salary increases, lavish bonuses, further tax incentives and taxpayer subsidies.

It's both incorrect and ignorant to suggest Unions are breaking the back of the economy, in light of he insatiable corruption running unchecked at the top.

The corporate and political elite are using a divide and concur tactic against the working class. They'll have you believe that it's your neighbor that's bleeding the system dry. The rich want you to begrudge your brothers and sisters so as you don't shift your eyes back toward them, the real cause of our problems.

I'm happy for any good salary a worker can get for themselves, union or non union. I say all people should be entitled to work toward a salary that provides them with a good and decent life.

My grievances lay squarely on the corrupt politicians and corporate elitists that will stop at nothing to acquire the entire pie for themselves, feeling content, even charitable at having the remaining 99% of the citizenry grapple for the crumbs.

Understand the history of the labor movement and you'll understand that unions were forged out of intense corporate oppression, horrific conditions and violence perpetrated upon the working class. Left to the corporate agenda, they'd deregulate us into third world conditions, all in the name of profit.

Anonymous said...

" Or teachers who work insane hours after class, long after the students have gone home."


wow. thats funny.

Anonymous said...

“It is impossible to bargain collectively with the government.”
-Franklin Delano Roosevelt

This president who proved to be the greatest friend to private sector unions elaborated on the subject:

“Meticulous attention, should be paid to the special relations and obligations of public servants to the public itself and to the Government….The process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service. A strike of public employees manifests nothing less than an intent on their part to obstruct the operations of government until their demands are satisfied. Such action looking toward the paralysis of government by those who have sworn to support it is unthinkable and intolerable.”

Anonymous said...

George Soros wants to turn the US into a socialist regime. Period. And he uses his big buckaroos to help make that happen.

Which of course is why he's not one of the rich the Democrats point their soiled fingers at to blame for our crippled economy...

Anonymous said...

People who are deluded into seeing 'socialists' everywhere are too willing to adopt fascist techniques to battle the enemy they imagine.

Look in the mirror. You're part of the problem, not part of the solution.

Anonymous said...

I will not cross a private sector picket line.
But when it comes to the public sector, sorry. It is taxpayer supported unions that want to keep their lush lifestyle on our backs.
And its not just their lifestyle, its their fat pensions, health care and all that time off.
If government service and education has actually improved by all the pay and benefit increases they got, then maybe. Otherwise, no.

Anonymous said...

Anon. 2/25, 11:24PM:

Do you actually know any teachers? Or were you the kind who blew spitballs at them when they were at the chalkboard and had their backs turned to you?

Anonymous said...

I grew up with my mother raising our family of 4 on a public sector union job. 'Lush' is not a word that anyone would have ever used for the lifestyle. She made decent money, but the pressure was intense. If she was even 5 minutes late 3 times in a year, she was gone. Two bad supervisor write-ups and she was gone. Meantime her job was vital to public safety, and someone with her level of responsibility in the private sector would have been making about 30% more.

The fantasies some of you have about the 'extravagant' benefits of public sector work boggle my mind.

Anonymous said...

None of your excuses matter.

We pay lots of money to public sector unions, and they can't make it work. Tough luck. There isn't anymore money. Thats it. People in the private secotr don't have the amenities government unions have and we're supposed to pay MORE taxes during this recession for your cadillac health care plans??!!?

Nope. Sorry.

The heads of these unions lost tons of money on bad investments and spend tons more on paying for politicians political campaigns. Hundreds of millions of dollars. If you want more money for your pensions, then look in the mirror. Don't start trying to rip it off from people who work more hours than you do, work harder than you do, and can actually get fired for bad performance(in stark contrast to teacher's union members).

We don't have any more money for you.

Anonymous said...

You really don't have a freaking clue what you're talking about. I'm sorry that your life is so miserable that you can't get a decent job with decent benefits.

By the way, I work in the private sector. And I have it better than my parents, who worked in the public sector and military. Sorry your skills aren't as competitive. Please don't get too jealous and start trying to come after what I've earned in your race to the bottom.

Anonymous said...

I think it's hilarious the complaining here, yet the government has sold us out to the corporations to the point where we're essentially in a feudal system where the corporations and banks are the kings and the rest of us are serfs.

And half these comments are all pissy about regular people wanting to keep a middle class standard of living. Not living large like the top 4% of the country(who hold the overwhelming majority of the country's wealth now), just living.

EVERYONE who isn't a bigshot bank or corporation executive should be damn pissed about what's going on in this country, with the dismantling of the middle class and all. But no, you'd rather point fingers at each other instead of where the problem lies. Good going.

Anonymous said...

'm union with great benefits my friend. But I can still be let go.


And neither do you. Next time you try to appropriate teachers union members with those in the private sector, maybe you should write down the definition of tenure(and that they get it after just 24 months of work) and keep it in your wallet so you won't get called out. I mean seriously, you're singing a sad song for people who have positions guaranteed to them after two years of work??

You don't know what the hell you are talking about.

And you can't accept the reality: there is no more money for these unions. No one is going to vote for more taxes to support them. We he highest taxes in the nation coupled with the highest sales tax and it STILL isn't enough?

There is something wrong here - and its the unions.

Anonymous said...

Wisconsin teachers are paid an average salary of $51,000. Annualized to account for their 180-day work year, that’s $68,000, and that is in addition to their very fine benefits, pensions, and job security. The median household income — that is, total household income, including households with two or more earners — was $49,993 in 2009 in Wisconsin.

Therefore, after adjusting for the different work years — and not including teachers’ unusually generous benefits — a typical single Wisconsin teacher earns 36 percent more than the typical Wisconsin home.

Tell me again why I'm supposed to feel so sorry for them? Because their health care plan doesn't pay for Viagra?

Get bent. You lost.

Anonymous said...

Big Unions fund Big Government. The union slices off two per cent of the workers’ pay and sluices it to the Democratic Party, which uses it to grow government, which also grows unions, which thereby grows the number of two-per-cent contributions, which thereby grows the Democratic Party, which thereby grows government… Repeat until bankruptcy. Or bailout.

Anonymous said...

Big Unions fund Big Government.

Ding ding ding ding! We have a winner! Most ignorant comment of the week! Congratulations! The Republican Party and the Chamber of Commerce will be sending you your gift basket in the mail. Thanks for playing.

Anonymous said...

Whether you like the public sector unions or not, as a union member you need to understand one thing. This is not about renegotiating pensions or anything. This is about putting an end to collective bargaining and that effects all of us. If they can stop public sector unions from having collective bargaining it will allow them to put an end to private sector collective bargaining.
Do you really think Republicans care how much money is pissed away and how big a deficit the government runs on? If you do then you need to stop listening to their bankrupt rhetoric and look at their actions.
They are all about making things more comfortable for BIG business and getting their personal kickbacks and donations.
When has it ever been any other way?
I'm not completely exonerating the DEems, but on this issue they are on the right side. Our side.

Anonymous said...

"If they can stop public sector unions from having collective bargaining it will allow them to put an end to private sector collective bargaining."

They already put and end to that. Where have you been the last 30 years. Give me a friggin' break. Private unions have failed on their own merit. It's not 1950 anymore. Please join this millennium. Unions are not offering the middle class any viable long term solutions to lost productivity in the states. That's why they have failed. Global corporations laugh their asses off at collective bargaining law.

Anonymous said...

The Koch brothers America, where banks get bailed out and unions get busted.

Anonymous said...

If you have time to comment on this blog, you are a common citizen. If you're defending union busting, you are a tool of the right wing. Tell your mom and dad to refuse social security and go without medicare, drive them onto the ice, and wait for your turn to do the same.

Animator said...

Yet one MORE thing the rightwing is wrong about. Seriously, can't you guys ever get an issue correct? Or are you going to continue defending creationism, too?

The rightwingers, after making careful distinctions about "public unions" vs. "private unions," then reveal their total mendacity by admitting they don't like ANY unions.

Just admit it up front, rightwingers. You hate unions, period. You hate collective bargaining for workers. You fundamentally disagree with the whole concept. Just be up front about it, instead of hiding behind false distinctions.

There's NOTHING that teachers, firemen, cops, etc. do that should preclude them from collective bargaining. Frankly, what they do is much more important than most private sector jobs, including (I'll admit it) making cartoons.

Anonymous said...

Actually there is plenty that government unions do that warrant them to be dissolved entirely.

Many of the outrageous tactics they have been using are listed above, but one o fmy favorite is "double dipping" where union members retire and get a full pension, and then go back to work for the government on a contract basis. So they have the same job, and the same responsibility and two paychecks!
And we pick up the tab!

You think that could happen with a private union? Are you joking me? They are milking the bureaucracy.

But you people supporting these unions bozos keep ignoring the elephant in the room:

Thats it. Scream until you are blue in the face. Wave your signs. Call people names. Make yourself look like a complete idiot. Because the only way that the pension and perks can be paid off here in CA is if there is a massive tax hike in the most heavily taxed state of the union during a recession. That has to be approved by voters - because we live in an F**king democracy. Remember?

Buh-bye public sector unions. Wave bye bye.

Anonymous said...

No one told the california pension fund to put their money in shaky investments at Lehman Brothers.

I didn't lose their money, they did. I have as much sympathy for them as I do for your average hedge fund manager.

Anonymous said...

The public pension benefit increases passed in 1999 via SB 400, which offered retroactive benefit increases to government workers, were supposed to cost $650 million in 2010.
(based on CalPERS’s assessment of its “superior return on system assets.”)

The actual costs of SB 400 to taxpayers: $3.1 billion this fiscal year

...$3.5 billion next year.

^there is no money or tax increase that will cover that.

Anonymous said...

most of the people posting anon here are paid by right wing political orgs to say these things.

they're not interested in having a conversation about facts, it's about propaganda.

Anonymous said...

Yes, you figured the big global conspiracy out. I get paid $.05/word to call you an idiot. And I get to work from home!

Anonymous said...

have to admit, thats pretty funny.

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