Annual Rituals

Ah, Spring.  Birds are chirping, flowers are blooming, allergy sufferers are sneezing.  Also, in another cycle of nature for this time of year, the local newspapers are piling on scary stories about the teachers’ union vs. the school district, where the outcome this time will certainly be massive teacher layoffs, horrific student deprivation in a barren campus wasteland, and the end of life on Earth as we know it.

I’m looking forward to summer as much as anyone, but I have to admit, this nauseating dog and pony show is enough to make a guy pine for November again.

It’s getting to be as predictable as Superbowl ads where GM hires some celebrity to tell us that Detroit is “making a comeback.”

Irresponsible NLV Police Union Billboards

I support the police.  I and my family have written letters of support to local law enforcement before, I’ve had letters in the newspaper showing support for them, and I’ve written about it here more than once.  When negative publicity comes to the police, I give them the benefit of the doubt. 

That’s why the North Las Vegas Police Union’s new billboard campaign upsets me so much.  It’s illogical, cheap, and incendiary–the opposite of how they usually operate.

The billboards, put up all around town this week, say things like, “Due to recent police layoffs we can no longer guarantee your safety.”  The union is trying to get the public to call in to the city council and voice outrage over budget cuts.  Read the union’s web site for this campaign here.

These billboards, and the web site, raise some difficult questions:

  • You can no longer guarantee our safety?  When did you ever?  Is such a thing possible in a free country? 
  • Your web site lists scary crime statistics in our city–are these the result of a recent spike, or are they the normal pattern for North Las Vegas?  If the latter (which it is), how do you explain your failure to live up to the previous guarantee of safety that you’ve implied?
  • Aren’t signs like this basically an advertisement to criminals that they’re more likely to get away with crime, so we can expect more crime to be committed?  If crime does go up, how can you know that it is due to the cuts in staff, and not your public campaign telling criminals that you expect crime to go up? 
  • If crime does not go up, and if the police department successfully repels any attempted increases in crime in North Las Vegas, will this union apologize to the city council and, indeed, to the city of North Las Vegas for using such underhanded scare tactics?

Honestly, in the long run, I can’t see these signs gaining the local police department much support.  It’s things like this that turn people off from unions.

Young Abraham Lincoln Gets an Education

As everyone knows, Abraham Lincoln was a very well educated young man.  He became exceptionally fluent in literature and history early in childhood.  This was due to the amount of tax dollars the government spent on public education.  Federal programs, also, allowed computer technology, multicultural activities, and paid teacher trainings to bless young Lincoln with the massive support structure necessary for anyone to learn anything.  Thank goodness there weren’t any budget cuts to threaten the funding for Lincoln’s many years in elementary school!  Otherwise, he may not have become such a great leader, and we may never have won World War II! 

Next week: How Joining a Union Made Socrates a Better Teacher


Note: for the satire challenged, the truth is that Lincoln, like many great people of years past, had very little formal schooling at all, and educated himself by reading serious classics on his own.  Without taxpayer-funded schools or unions!   This joke was inspired by this post.

Executive Unions

Here’s how we could make Atlas Shrugged really happen: if the workers of America get to unionize so they can push around the leaders, why don’t the leaders unionize and (pardon the pun) show the employees who’s boss?

Every executive, manager, business owner, innovator, and inventor in the country could join this national union, and when they are treated unfairly by their employees, who pitch a hissy fit any time their entitlements are questioned, the Executive Union could go on strike and–presto!–Atlas Shrugged.

The Executive Union could even negotiate their own set of entitlements–things that their hourly laborers will have to honor on pain of being penalized. For example, workers might have to exercise and diet outside of work to remain in peak working condition.

How could such requirements be equal to what unions make employers do now? Although most laborers work for an hourly wage, clocking in and punching out, so that their job is just a concern eight hours a day, innovators, managers, and owners are “on the clock” 24/7. For many, their job is their life.

Thus, if employee unions get to picket during their work shifts, shouldn’t employer unions get to make requirements–and picket their employees–during their private lives? Bosses could interrupt games, parties, and bar-b-ques to give their employees a taste of their own medicine.

<irony> Of course, it wouldn’t be fair to coerce someone into making personal sacrifices for the convenience of someone else, would it? </irony>

The Hypocrisy of Bleeding Heart Teachers

I’m talking to you, Wisconsin.

I bet the union thugs shutting down learning in Wisconsin, taking students out of school for political reasons the kids don’t even understand and sabotaging the process of education, are the same teachers who usually claim to “love” their students, being extra kind to them and making sure that class is fun. 

I’ve known tons of teachers like this. They look at their work as a “calling.”  They likely embrace all the latest watered-down edu-fads sponsored by the experts, and look down their noses at the cynical conservative teachers who are just here to do an important job and do it right. 

The thing is, teachers who revel in the warm, fuzzy side of the profession are rarely the selfless shepherds of youth they want you to think they are.  They’re in love with an image of themselves as the cherished, inspiring heroes of society. 

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