Middle East

"Delirious Joy in the Center of Bahrain"

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Nicholas Kristof reports from Bahrain:

There's delirious joy in the center of Bahrain right now. People power has prevailed, at least temporarily, over a regime that repeatedly used deadly force to try to crush a democracy movement. Pro-democracy protesters have retaken the Pearl Roundabout—the local version of Tahrir Square—from the government. On a spot where blood was shed several days ago there are now vast throngs kissing the earth, chanting slogans, cheering, honking and celebrating. People handed me flowers and the most common quotation I heard was: "It's unbelievable!"

When protesters announced that they were going to try to march on the Pearl Roundabout this afternoon, I had a terrible feeling. King Hamad of Bahrain has repeatedly shown he is willing to use brutal force to crush protesters, including live fire just yesterday on unarmed, peaceful protesters who were given no warning. I worried the same thing would happen today. I felt sick as I saw the first group cross into the circle.

But, perhaps on orders of the crown prince, the army troops had been withdrawn, and the police were more restrained today. Police fired many rounds of tear gas on the south side of the roundabout to keep protesters away, but that didn't work and the police eventually fled. People began pouring into the roundabout from every direction, some even bringing their children and celebrating with an almost indescribable joy. It's amazing to see a spot that was the site of such tragedy a few days ago become a center of jubilation right now. It's like a huge party. I asked one businessman, Yasser, how he was feeling, and he stretched out his arms and screamed: "GREAT!!!!"

Quite a contrast with the situation yesterday. For those who missed it—and have the stomach for it—here is the infamous footage of the regime's thugs shooting peaceful marchers:

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  1. I hope there won’t be transitional military-rule in Bahrain anytime soon.

  2. Some would allow the king to remain in a largely figurehead role…

    That, I don’t understand. After the previous encounter at Pearl, I would figure they would want his head to roll.

    1. I’ve never understood the whole “Oh, I get it, it was terribly wrong for monarchs to rule us. But hey, let’s keep them around and pamper them as figureheads!”

      1. “Protecting the Queen’s safety is a task that is gladly accepted by Police Squad. No matter how silly the idea of having a queen might be to us, as Americans, we must be gracious and considerate hosts.”

      2. We need them for pomp. I need my gourmet dogfood too.

      3. It must be time for the monthly “I agree with MNG” comment”.

        Though I’m still not used to it.

        1. It must be time for the monthly “I agree with MNG” comment”.

          Though I’m still not used to it.

          There was a book about this, I think it was called “Are you there Government, It’s me, MNG.” Or something along those lines.

          1. Before I had read lower down in the thread that stupid question ole minge put forth -“Egypt/Tunisia good, Wisconsin bad-RIGHT RETHUGLICANS?”- I wanted to get the fact that I agree with him about the stupidity of keeping a Monarchy around as some sort of national trophy.

            But I did want post this video –

            DRAMATIC VIDEO Bahraini security forces attacking peaceful pro-democracy demonstrators

            -to show everyone how the jackboot was being stomped in Bahrain. Growing a democracy from a Dictatorship/Monarchy is always messy.

            The nations in the Middle East who are experiencing these growing pains will be no exception.

            1. -to show everyone how the jackboot was being stomped in Bahrain. Growing a democracy from a Dictatorship/Monarchy is always messy.

              Very true. Ironic that the military is now in control of Egypt, and government will determine if democracy will indeed flourish.

              1. I’ve read in a few places that the people in Bahrain are specifically calling for a secular state, but how much of that is true depends on your skepticism of international media, which to me is substantial.

                What’s funny to watch is the hypocrisy of liberals who chastised and mocked Bush when he said that Freedom and democracy was possible for those stuck under these jackboots in the middle east if we supported them, and now they are all -“SOLIDARITY BROTHER! POWER TO THE PEOPLE!”

                Here’s something the WSJ pointed out this morning-

                A New Freedom Agenda How the Obama Administration can catch up to the Arab world.

                …..We suggest dusting off a copy George W. Bush’s second inaugural address.

                That speech, widely derided at the time as unrealistic and over-reaching if not outright utopian, had as its signature argument the line that “it is the policy of the United States to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world.”

                But Mr. Bush also made an important distinction between “the rulers of outlaw regimes”?think of Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad or North Korea’s Kim Jong Il?and “the leaders of governments with long habits of control.” Toward the former, Mr. Bush warned, citing Lincoln, that their days were numbered. Toward the latter, he advised: “To serve your people you must learn to trust them. Start on this journey of progress and justice, and America will walk at your side.
                Wherever he is now, Hosni Mubarak might well be wondering whether he wouldn’t have been wiser to take Mr. Bush’s advice, rather than doing everything he could to spurn and belittle the freedom agenda. Ditto for Tunisia’s deposed dictator, Jordan’s nervous king, Yemen’s and Algeria’s reviled presidents and perhaps also the dangerously out-of-touch House of Saud. As for Bahraini King Hamad ibn Isa Al Khalifa and the rest of his ruling family, they may soon rue the day they lost whatever legitimate claims they had on their little kingdom by choosing repression over reform. “

                1. “What’s funny to watch is the hypocrisy of liberals who chastised and mocked Bush when he said that Freedom and democracy was possible for those stuck under these jackboots in the middle east if we supported them”

                  Maybe that’s because they understood that the U.S. government was too busy supporting the jackboot wearers to concern itself with those seeking freedom?

                  1. I don’t remember liberals saying freedom was impossible for people of the Middle East, but that trying to import it via war was a stupid idea.

                    1. I dunno if they were liberals or conservatives, but I have heard, over the years, from several people that Arabs are not capable of living in a democracy. They liked tyranny was the claim.

                    2. I’m not going to say that there’s a direct line with no ambiguities between Bush’s policies and this, bit I fully expect it to be treated as Reagan was concerning the USSR and Iron Curtain: policies mocked and/or opposed, their goals derided as “never gonna happen”, followed by “all that would have just happened anyway”

                    3. I fully expect it to be treated as Reagan was concerning the USSR and Iron Curtain

                      Except Reagan wasn’t giving military aid to the USSR during his administration.

                      The difference is that there was a plausible explanation as to how Reagan’s policies accelerated the fall of the USSR. I haven’t seen any plausible explanation of how Bush’s policies caused the fall of Mubarak.

                    4. Some critics on the right (like those found writing in The American Conservative) during the war argued that democracy was something that took centuries of accumulating tradition to exist and that importing it was therefore folly. While one could see events in Egypt as contrary one could argue events in Iraq provide some support for that view…

    2. Folks, Jefferson et al. were once in a universe theoreticians on the evils of monarchs. If the monarch is just a figurehead, then I think progress has occurred.

      1. He became monarchist and dictatorial as soon as he expanded his cleaners and moved to the East Side.

        1. Yeah, having his own son removed and replaced was pretty brutal.

  3. There are shams and shams; there are frauds and frauds, but the transparentest of all is the sceptered one. We see monarchs meet and go through solemn ceremonies, farces, with straight countenances; but it is not possible to imagine them meeting in private and not laughing in each other’s faces.
    – Mark Twain

    1. The more I learn about Twain the more I think he was the man.

    2. I’m wearing clothes, I’m wearing clothes. See?

  4. You dhimmis just want can’t wait to live in a caliphate. I bet you fantasize about being like Lara Logan in the crowd.

    1. the ree tard is strong in this one opie juans

      1. There IS a lot to be said for Sharia law.

  5. intense state & DoD pressure behind the scenes no doupt. otherwise the bodies would just keep piling-up.

  6. Good. Next up, Wisconsin.

    Let’s see if Reason will cover a victory of the people over government oppression in a place that the Koches have economic interests in continuing said oppression.

    1. Unions and the Muslim Brotherhood go hand in hand. The Kenyan sends his thugs on a Haj to Madison.

      1. There won’t be a MSM word about outsiders showing up in Madison to protest until they start covering the Tea Party arrivals. At least Reason mentioned the Obama thugs getting bussed in. Obama is for busing.

        1. Well at least until there is a high speed rail line to bring the protesters in.

      2. notice ur back tard ism doesnt even merit wiping-up

        1. We promise it will get violent.

    2. The Super Koch Bros. have an economic interest in the rising cost of supporting Wisconsin public servants?

      1. * “Super Koch Brothers.” Boy, I hope I invented that.

        1. “Super Koch Brothers.” Boy, I hope I invented that.

          I believe the proper term is “Super Koch Wonder Twins”.

      2. If the state fulfills its obligation to give its workers a fair wage now and a modicum of comfort in their dotage, that might mean the Koches taxes going up. We all know how they react to that.

        1. A fair wage? You mean they will be getting a pay cut? Cool.

          1. yea everyone can see how teachers, firefighters, police, & street workers live soo high on the hog.

            1. yea everyone can see how teachers, firefighters, police, & street workers live soo high on the hog.

              In your state, they actually can.

              I mean, really. How could anyone consider a state that has only 11,522 teachers making at least $90k per year to be overpaying their teachers?

        2. They make twice the average private sector wage you cocksucking bastard. But that is okay. Hitch your political wagon to thse people. Good luck with spending your political capital on riots by people bitching that they have to pay 5% of their retirement in an era will most people have lost theirs. This is going to be the end of you and your whole sorry fucking movement.

          1. He sounds more like a cuckold, but they can be cocksucking bastards too.

            1. sometimes you gotta prep the bull

          2. That’s because the government doesn’t run any McDonald’s or chicken processing plants. Nearly all the jobs the government provides demand high skills. If you do an apples-oranges comparison the wage difference virtually disappears.

            1. I resent the notion that being a McDonald’s employee doesn’t demand high skills. If you turn your back to the fryer, it’s gonna burn your butt!

            2. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

            3. It doesn’t take skills to teach first graders or sit in a cop car eating donuts.

              Union members = cocksuckers.

              1. Actually, it does take skills to actually teach the first-graders. Unfortunately, thanks to NCLB and the standardized testing culture which now exists in our public school system, teaching is no longer necessary. Most of the year is spent preparing kids for tests which no more prepare them for their future than would spending 7 hours a day banging their heads against a wall.

                As far as the cop thing, you are absolutely right. Unfortunately, however, it takes marksmanship to shoot very small dogs and some athletic ability to repeatedly kick someone in the head who is constantly trying to evade the boots. I’m not even gonna get into the level of skill required to drive an armored personnel carrier or tank.

                BTW, when did the term “Peace Officer” quietly get replaced with “Law Enforcement Officer,” and where the fuck was the media when it happened?

                1. “BTW, when did the term “Peace Officer” quietly get replaced with “Law Enforcement Officer,” and where the fuck was the media when it happened?”

                  Well, at least it’s more honest.

            4. The TSA, DMV, US Postal Service, US Forestry Service, and every government bureaucrat sitting in every useless agency of every useless department thanks you for fighting the good fight for them.

              Seriously though, [citation needed].

            5. Yes, let’s compare the public school teachers to the private school teachers here in Wisconsin and see how their comp and benefits match up.

              1. Let’s check on results as well.

            6. “Nearly all the jobs the government provides demand high skills.”

              Thanks, Hobie. That was the funniest thing I’ve read in a week.

            7. Nearly all the jobs the government provides demand high skills.

              Damn, that’s gotta be a sock. Only Tony would make the argument that “THIRD-TIER STATE CLERKS POSITIONS ARE THE LYNCHPIN OF SOCIETY AND UTTER CHAOS WILL REIGN IF THEY ARE RELEASED!”

          3. I always wonder if John is a teen-ager or has alzheimers. John, in 1968 noone would have seen Reagan winning, in 1988 noone would have seen Obama winning. If you think any movement is dead you have a lifetime of disappointmens ahead of you…

            1. No some things die. Conservatives as the were in 1928 died. After FDR got through with them there were not any of them left. And the ones who came after, even though they called themselves such, were a different species.

              There are not any monarchists anymore. No one believes in slavery. No one is a know nothing. Some movements and political ideologies do go away. And big government big labor liberalism that charactarized the second half of the 20th Century is going to die over the next ten to twenty years.

              1. Around 1992 people in England used to think there might not ever be a Labor government again…In 2002 they thought there might never be a Tory government again. I bet in during Bush I’s term John thought big government liberalism was dead. About ten years later he was railing about Socialist President Obama…

            2. In your own lifetime you have seen Southern racial supremacy die as a political force. Political ideologies do die. You are just too stupid and lack the imagination to see it.

              1. John, don’t argue facts against ideology. You will never win.

                1. It’s funny to watch partisans praise each other. Here sloopy points to John’s prediction of the future as facts.

                  1. 1928, 1968 and 1988 are the future?

                    And it’s pretty rich , you calling someone “partisan.” If there’s another person on here that is more likely to blindly follow their party than you, I’ve yet to see him or her.

                    I’d almost rather have a conversation about fathers with rectal than attempt a legitimate political conversation with you. Either way, the results are pretty predictable: Rectal is happy that her dead dad is fucking her and you’re happy that big brother is fucking you.

                    1. I bet I could guess your position on a hundred political issues and you could not guess mine over 50% on the same. You’re the predictable hack dude.

                      And for the record while John mentioned 1928 (saying 1928 conservatism is long dead-funny considering Reagan’s hanging Silent Cal’s portrait in the WH) it was only I that mentioned 1968 and 1988, and as examples proving John’s prediction goofy. Way to go there Mr. Details! did some partisanship get in the way of your reasoning there?

                    2. I bet I could guess your position on a hundred political issues and you could not guess mine over 50% on the same. You’re the predictable hack dude.

                      Being predictable doesn’t make you a hack; it may just be the sign of a consistent political philosophy.

                      The obverse statement is also true.

                    3. If there’s another person on here that is more likely to blindly follow their party than you, I’ve yet to see him or her.

                      That would be Max or Tony

        3. “If the state fulfills its obligation to give its workers a fair wage now and a modicum of comfort in their dotage, that might mean the Koches taxes going up.”

          Do they live in Wisconsin?

    3. You mean when the tax payers defeat the corrupt and oppressive government employee unions?

      1. Yeah, sure, “oppressive.” Those government employee unions, they have mind control powers over government officials…

        1. No they just have a ton of political clout they use to enrich themselves.

          1. Like corporations?

            If only there were a law to limit this ton of political clout unions and corporations have…

            1. Wouldn’t they just corrupt whoever was in charge of enforcing the law?

              What we need is for the government to be made accountable for its failures — not the people, but those that have been delegated power.

            2. The unions are big business, friend and they’re going out like a dinosaur …

            3. Like corporations?

              If only there were a law to limit this ton of political clout unions and corporations have..

              How about limiting the power of government? Neither corporations or public parasites would be able to rent-seek if there wasn’t any funds being coerced.

              Oh, coercion. In dipshit MNG’s world, the money coerced for government employees in the form of taxes has the same moral position as the money a corporation earns through free exchange.

              Science H. Logic, MNG, why do you hate human Liberty so much? Cowardice? Do you fear that if you do not have someone else to blame for you own actions you will be exposed as worthless? As long as their is the warm embrace of the Nanny State you can always say “but they didn’t pass a law protecting me” when you act the imbecile?

              1. ” the money coerced for government employees in the form of taxes has the same moral position as the money a corporation earns through free exchange.”

                The claim is that unions use their political influence to rent seek. Corporations do the same (you seem to admit as much in your first line and then lost your train of thought in the second part of your post).

                “why do you hate human Liberty so much”

                Dude, you’re the authoritarian, not me. You’re vision of ‘liberty’ is the reverse of one mocked by Anatole France-the poor and the rich are equally free to sleep under bridges…

                1. That doesn’t make him authoritarian.

                  I’m not an anarchist so I don’t have a problem with all taxation, just the idea of taxing the money I earn to be able to feed my family.

        2. Those government employee unions, they have mind control powers over government officials…

          Campaign contributions from the union coffers often has a very profound effect on the minds of government officials, who, not coincidentally determine pay, benefits and work conditions. All at the expense of the taxpayers.

          1. Campaign contributions from the corporate coffers often has a very profound effect on the minds of government officials, who, not coincidentally determine the conditions of government contracts with corporations. All at the expense of the taxpayers.

            This is fun, like fish in the proverbial barrel!

            1. I can choose which corporations which to support or not. Government has not left me such an option. However smug you wish to be, does not change the fact that public sector union membership is mandated and the taxpayer has no direct say so over the amount of compensation received either during or, more importantly, after service has been completed.

              1. “public sector union membership is mandated”

                WTF? You were forced to join a public sector union? Was that as part of your snipe hunt?

                “the taxpayer has no direct say so over the amount of compensation received”

                Other than periodic elections where they get to absolutely pick the officials with the final say?

                1. “public sector union membership is mandated”

                  Can’t speak for Wisconsin, but my wife was a unionized state worker in Ohio for a while. While it isn’t mandatory that you join, you have to pay the union regardless (although not quite as much). Since most people don’t like paying the union money without even getting any benefits, there’s strong incentive to just go ahead and join, unless you’re really opposed to them (but then, you probably wouldn’t be working that job anyway).

                  “Campaign contributions from the corporate coffers often has a very profound effect on the minds of government officials, who, not coincidentally determine the conditions of government contracts with corporations.”

                  While there’s still a lot of corruption in that regard, there’s been a shift toward rules about open bidding and so on, precisely to limit the capacity of corruptible public officials to enrich their cronies.

                  It would be… very interesting if several of the major unions had to offer competitive bids to the government to supply labor for various departments, and could be legally sanctioned for collusion like any other industry. That might actually make pubsec unions tolerable.

                  1. “While it isn’t mandatory that you join, you have to pay the union regardless”

                    1. You don’t have to work for an industry that is unionized

                    2. Of course you have to pay for the representation the union engages in for you. As you note, you need not pay membership dues.

                    1. 1. You don’t have to work for an industry that is unionized

                      This 100% true. However, when the public sector workers, paid by
                      taxpayers, engage in bargaining for benefits and pensions when the taxpayers have no direct say so over such compensation schemes, it becomes that “unfair playing field” that is so decried by progressive minded people.

                      2. Of course you have to pay for the representation the union engages in for you. As you note, you need not pay membership dues.

                      And if I don’t want the representation? Perhaps I may wish to see how well they perform first before joining. Nowhere did “cynical” say that not paying any thing for the union was permissible. He said “you just don’t have to pay as much.” That is de facto membership.

                2. “Other than periodic elections where they get to absolutely pick the officials with the final say?”

                  So, I don’t see the problem. Wisconsin elected some people, and this is what they’re doing. Why are we mad then?

                  1. And by “we”, I mean those protesting against the cuts and, I guess, you.

                  2. The protests are I guess to let those elected know the proposals are opposed. People do this all the time (ever heard of this thing called the Tea Party?).

                    BTW-I’m not opposed to the idea of cuts. From what I’ve read many of the protesters realize cuts are going to have to happen. They oppose taking away bargaining.

                    1. It won’t be taken away, it will be limited.

                      Tea Party? You don’t say. And how was this Tea Party portrayed when it protested?

            2. Seriously, you are trying to equate the two? Government employees dumping huge sums into the campaign of the people who sit across the table from them at a collective bargaining negotiation (or threaten to withhold funding if the right promises aren’t made) is the same as corporate lobbying, which has always been tightly controlled, at least until Citizens United?

              I’m sorry, but that calls for a Pelosi, “Are you serious? Are you serious?” response.

              1. Looks like someone doesn’t realize the law in Citizens applied to unions and corporations…But why let ignorance of what you are talking about get in the way of yelling really loud?

            3. It’s time to defund the unions. Get a few million Tea Partiers to stop paying taxes until a Constitutional amendment banning public sector unions is passed.

            4. Good of you.

              Then you agree with libertarians that government should be shrunk as much as possible so that as little money as possible is extracted by taxpayers through coercion.
              Which means that both corporate welfare (i.e. private sector welfare) and public sector welfare are finished.

              Or were you just exercising the tu quoque fallacy by pretending you have a problem with both while actually only having a problem with one of them?

            5. Please name a corporation that can single-handedly shut down public schools across a state and flood the state capital with thousands of sympathizers when 70%+ of the population opposes their position.

              1. In response to Tulpa, I can name one corporation:

                It would be the state-sanctioned monopoly that provides electricity for a state. If they shut a plant down because someone tried to open a new power plant and compete with them, I believe the result would be the same.

                1. It would be the state-sanctioned monopoly that provides electricity for a state. If they shut a plant down because someone tried to open a new power plant and compete with them, I believe the result would be the same.

                  Therein lies the rub: Government would not permit the competition in the first place, since energy is regulated by government in the first place.

                  1. Therein lies the rub: Government would not permit the competition in the first place, since energy is regulated by government in the first place.

                    And, in that tightly-regulated pseudo-industry, most workers are unionized. Of course, without competition, they can simply overcharge to compensate for overpaying their employees. Everybody wins (except the consumer/taxpayer)!!!

                2. Maybe in the West or in Texas, but in the Eastern U.S. everything is interconnected, so outside of a few places with more restrictions on transmission (e.g. Florida), the company that actually brings electricity to the homes would be unaffected by a single plant trip.

              2. Many companies have as many employees as many unions. AFSCME has 1.6 million members, Wal-Mart has 2.1 million employees and millions of stockholders.

                1. Many companies have as many employees as many unions.

                  Yeah, Walmart is going to order their employees to march on the capital. Sure.

            6. So because corporate donations help corrupt the political process, it’s okay for unions of government employees to do the same? At least corporations are providing goods and services people actually want. Since government employees operate outside the free market it’s difficult to determine the real value of their jobs or if they are creating any wealth at all.

              You might can get away with demonizing the evil capitalists for exploiting their workers but how far do you think you will get blaming the taxpayers for not paying enough to support the salaries and benefits of government employees? Salaries and benefits that are far better than what most in the private sector get.

              I know this makes me a hypocrite since I consider myself a libertarian, but I actually work for the state government in NC. The reason being that none of the jobs I can find in the private sector will pay as well. I feel guilty about it but it’s hard to walk away from a job that will pay better and has insanely awesome benefits than any other job I qualify for.

              So yeah, when the cuts come, I’m not going to be out in the streets holding signs about how unfair it is I might have to pay 20 dollars a month for my health insurance or wait a few more years for a raise.

              1. ^^THIS^^ x100

              2. ” At least corporations are providing goods and services people actually want”

                Election after election people indicate they actually want the services public employees want.

                1. Election after election people indicate they actually want the services public employees want.

                  Yes, it indicates that they want those services. Those services are currently priced at ludicrous rip-off rates due to public sector employees being ridiculously overpaid. This is hidden by the fact that there is no competition with public sector unions.

                  Mention “school vouchers” and watch a progressive’s head explode.

                  1. Baked

                    My head doesn’t explode at the metnion of school vouchers. I oppose most voucher proposals because

                    1. Most don’t provide enough funds to help those who need it the most switch schools so it becomes a “help the better off opt for private school” scheme

                    2. Most voucher money tends to go to religious schools and you get my taxpayers funding those schools, a 1st Amendment mess

                    1. 1. Most don’t provide enough funds to help those who need it the most switch schools so it becomes a “help the better off opt for private school” scheme

                      Yes, it would be terrible to restrict poorer people from other options besides the state monopoly on education. It has worked so well for DC. WI public schools have a 68% graduation rate. 41% of the dropouts are minority children. Obviously those excellent benefits the teachers are fighting for has been an excellent investment.

                      2. Most voucher money tends to go to religious schools and you get my taxpayers funding those schools, a 1st Amendment mess

                      But it’s for the children. If parochial schools are such an anathema, how did the Jesuits produce such God-fearing, conservative leaders like Jerry Brown?

                    2. “2. Most voucher money tends to go to religious schools and you get my taxpayers funding those schools, a 1st Amendment mess”

                      Not really a mess. Fund the 4/5ths of of the cost/classes that are not obviously religious in nature. In any case, the first amendment prevents congress from passing a law concerning establishment of religion. It does not prevent a taxpayer from getting back what is essentially his own (godamn motherfucking…) money and sending his child to a school of his choosing vs that of the government. No specific religion is being established by act of government. But I understand that won’t make the atheist anti-religion extremists happy. Nothing ever does. Think of this as like giving public money to NPR, Planned Parenthood, or the police department. In the case of NPR, you can claim to be only funding the high quality non-partisan stuff they produce. For PP, we are only covering condoms, not abortions. In the case of the police department, no federal funds are spent on bullets for shooting your grandmother by mistake – that’s a separate fund entirely…

                2. Election after election people indicate they actually want the services public employees want.

                  So long as someone else is paying for those services, that is.

                  1. Most voters pay taxes, I bet they realize these services are paid for with these taxes.

                    1. Most voters pay taxes, I bet they realize these services are paid for with these taxes.

                      Citation please. Unless you are referring to sales taxes, then what you say is true. Income taxes, not so much.

                    2. Most voters pay taxes, I bet they realize these services are paid for with these taxes.

                      1. The vast majority of taxes is paid by a small minority of voters.

                      2. Voters also constistently vote against tax increases.

                3. Election after election people indicate they actually want the services public employees want.

                  Collectivist bullshit and you know it. This is the same as saying that because a majority of people choose Wal-Mart, forcing everyone to choose it at the point of a gun is everyone “choosing”.

                  While you remain oblivious to obvious facts, most of us do not. You act as if you are ignorant of the difference between voting and choosing between which corporation which with you will do business. If I choose Wal-Mart, this forces you to do exactly nothing. You can still spend more elsewhere. Indeed, I can choose Wal-Mart for each item that I purchase, and reject it at any time also.

                  How does this relate to voting? In the ass-hat collectivist world, winning a majority of the vote is the same as everyone “choosing”. Please don’t pretend to be such a retard. There is no way that you could operate a computer and still believe something so incredibly, obviously absurd.

                  1. You are the one missing the point. Unions and corporations engage in business with the government which is funded by taxpayers. Should the former be able to bargain with the government and hold them to contracts? I say yes. You seem to say no. Or no for unions and yes for corporations. And only yes for corporations that support the GOP I guess…

                    1. First off, companies aren’t allowed to collectively bargain with the government. Secondly, most corporations aren’t completely dependent on the government for their income (unlike pubsec unions). I’m sure you can see that there is at least a slight conflict of interest between the two (you know, with their employers being the same people they elect to office)

                4. Election after election people indicate they actually want the services public employees want.

                  Well, no. Some people vote for some of those services, with the result that everybody has to pay for a ton of services that none of them, individually, want. Virtually nobody votes for every single service that the State provides.

                  Compare and contrast to the service provided by corporations.

                  1. You’re missing the analogy. It’s not that corporations=government, it’s that corporations that contract with government=unions that contract with government. In both cases the contracting entities expend political influence to get fatter contracts.

                    1. Yeah but only one entity is actually employed by the people giving them their paychecks.

                    2. If you’re looking for supporters of rent-seeking corporations with govt contracts, you’re looking in the wrong place. Unlike most unions, most corporations don’t fall into that category. In any case, no one here disputes the authority of the govt to terminate contracts with anyone on a whim.

                    3. You’re missing the analogy. It’s not that corporations=government, it’s that corporations that contract with government=unions that contract with government. In both cases the contracting entities expend political influence to get fatter contracts.

                      Well then I guess you’d have no problem if every single government function was open for bidding. I mean, if the unions are really the same as corporations then they’d relish the competition, right?

                      Now, go get your shine box.

        3. Without the union thugs carrying out the orders the government officials would have no power. The low level clerk, in the DMV office, who enables the politician is just as evil as the politician himself.

    4. @Hobie:
      You’re right. Reason will not be writing articles about the things mentioned in the article on Reason.com under which you just posted this comment stating that they would not be writing.

      1. Have the writers of this comment been sacked?

  7. Someone was posting on here as

    Christfag nonpracticing

    the other day. That is the best handle ever.

  8. Pity, you know, there’s still as of yet little if any evidence to suggest the liberals are leading this protest movement. Kristof’s traditional toolish-ness notwithstanding.

    1. So what is your sollution? Shoot them? If you are not going to sign up for the “kill any Islamic radical wherever you find them” program, then you are going to have to live with said radicals occasionally attracting followers and occasionally have some legitimate political power.

      If you are not going to kill them, you have to let them discredit themselves and people figure out on their own radicalism is a bad idea. You can’t force it.

      1. They don’t figure it out til 30 years later.

      2. That isn’t as solution either. That’s a bunch of rhetorical/leading questions.

        1. The correct (non)answer is that neither of us should pretend we have a clear and satisfying solution for a situation where you have friendly and (relatively) benign monarchies facing a revolt by unknown elements in a region hardly known for popular wisdom and enlightenment. But that would require humility as to what we do and do not know.

  9. Apparently the peaceful nature of the Madison protests has been threatened by new arrivals:

    About 200 spent the night at the Capitol, and on Saturday morning, many walked around wearing signs declaring the protest peaceful. Several said they were concerned that the four days of violence-free protests would be disrupted Saturday when buses of tea party activists arrived.

    Sue Anderson, 44, of Prairie Du Sac said she had been at the Capitol for three of the four days of protests was prepared to insert herself between people if a fight started.

    “They know better,” she said. “I don’t know much about the tea party, but I know this group is pretty mellow.”

    1. She is targeting the tea party in case anything erupts. Good to know.

      1. Well, the Tea Part does have a long history of violence.

        At what point do those on the left have to stop acting as if there is any truth to that statement?

  10. pay 4 view – fat teabaggers vs firefighters & police. pass the popcorn

    1. Have you seen many cops you delusional retard?

      In addition, the Tea Party crowd is likely to be better armed and better shots.

    2. Seeing as fat teabaggers on a whole have hurt or even killed a lot less innocent people than the police have (ask Radley Balko), it’s not difficult where my sympathies would be.

  11. I just want to make sure I get the meme down right.

    Disruptive protest in Egypt and Baharin good, disruptive protest in Wisconsin bad, right?

    1. The Wisconsin protests are more similar to recent marches in France and the UK than Egypt and Bahrain. But yes, I support the public employee unions’ right to free speech and free assembly.

      1. I don’t doubt you hold that principle Jesse, I was tweaking the Hit and Runpublicans around here.

        1. You aren’t tweaking anybody.

          You are defending incompetent and corrupt people from being fired.

      2. I hope you don’t support the right to shut down schools by calling in sick.

        You know, in violation of PROMISES to work when healthy. Got that MNG?

        1. But it’s for the children. It takes a fire to burn a village to save it for the children. There’s a lot of red herring in that barrel MNG. I hope you are a good shot.

    2. Disruptive protest in Egypt and Baharin good, disruptive protest in Wisconsin bad, right?

      The former is a protest against the crushing economic and political status quo; the latter is a protest for the crushing economic and political status quo. That should clear your head.

      1. Oh, I see, one is about the right things and the other is about the wrong things!

        1. If “right” == “free to succeed or fail” and “wrong” == “insulation from success or failure”, then you are correct in your conclusion.

          1. Er, yeah, I can remember those Egyptian protests with their “we want to end the insulation of success and failure” slogans

            1. Snark aside, that is precisely why Mubarak was ousted. They wished to chart their destinies independent of government. Public sector unions have willingly given up such autonomy, except to vote themselves more money, independent of market value, to ensure the source of their livelihood (government) survives and flourishes.

              1. That’s odd, MNG doesn’t seem to have a response to this comment.

                It’s quite a bit of deliberate mental contortion to conflate a protest against the status quo with one that absolutely supports it.

                1. That’s odd, MNG doesn’t seem to have a response to this comment.

                  The truth hurts. DNS = 1, MNG =0

        2. I guess I missed the part where the Wisconsin government is arresting and torturing and imprisoning political disidents.

          Just shut up MNG. No one is buying anything you are saying. And you have gone full retard on this.

          1. In any debate it takes John about 5 posts to tell the person to shut up, that everyone agrees with him, and then insults them. He’s done it with Epi, with fluffy, with me. He argues like a 3 year old.

            I’ll answer your “just shut up” by quoting an eloquent stateswoman you admire “I will not sit down and shut up”

            1. Perhaps this says more about you and those others than it does about you. Because I’m also to tell you to SHUT THE FUCK UP YOU FUCKTOOL.

              1. It probably says a lot about authoritarian conservatives. They like to surround themselves with the like-minded and cannot stand any dissent. Even reading or coming across dissent makes them childishly angry. They want “one true way for one true people.”

                1. Well, we’ve found the straw man. Now where’s that tin one….

                2. You might try a different site if you’re looking for supporters of authoritarianism.

        3. Of course! Do you support all disruptive protests, regardless of their purposes? If white supremacists had nonviolently disrupted Obama’s inauguration, for instance, would you have hailed that as a wonderful expression of democracy?

          1. Don’t waste your time Tulpa. We need to stop feeding the troll. MNG has just turned into Joe Boyle here. He will defend the indefensible here no matter how stupid and infuiating it is. When Joe Klein admits these people are morons, you really don’t have much of a leg to stand on.

            http://pajamasmedia.com/tatler…..ransplant/

            1. The Republicans won. In a democracy, there are consequences to elections and no one, not even the public employees unions, are exempt from that. There are no guarantees that labor contracts, including contracts governing the most basic rights of unions, can’t be renegotiated, or terminated for that matter. We hold elections to decide those basic parameters.

              Joe Klein huh?

            2. MNG has just turned into Joe Boyle here

              no matter how much you pray at night, joe’s not coming back to you john. let your love go.

              1. I know that my joe from Lowell liveth!

                Brad P. says:
                February 18, 2011 at 8:03 am

                Rallies like this didn’t stop the Iraq War.

                So liberal rallies after public sector workers are made to contribute to their retirement plans in much the same way I do and lost some collective bargaining rights (even though they still have more privileges than almost every private sector), and the rallies are comparable to those that occurred before and during the unjust killing of tens of thousands of Iraqis?

                We’re blowing up two nations, even the “good guys” in our government sell out every reform to corporations, the fundamental rights of millions of immigrants are being threatened, the President is targeting American citizens for arrest and killing without the slightest of due process.

                But the real liberal outrage comes at a marginal loss of benefits that is supported by 80% of the state.

                joe from Lowell says:
                February 18, 2011 at 5:45 pm

                Yes, a political rally for a cause you support and a political rally for a cause you oppose are both political rallies.

                Since I’m feeling generous, I won’t even charge you for that totally not obvious observation.

                Part of a becoming a grown-up is realizing that politics works the same way for the people you consider the good guys, and the people you consider the bad guys.

                Oh, but I forgot ? you’re a libertarian. What do you care about becoming a grown-up, politically?

                1. This man joe is a pompous imbecile.

          2. Actually John has said he would press criminal charges against any disruptive protest while I tend to not support that. And yeah, if white supremacists had nonviolently disrupted the inauguration I would have advocated removing them but not pressing charges.

            1. MNG, what you seem to miss in these exchanges is the loose concurrence of the H&R commentariat that completely dispels your “Hit and Runpublicans” smear.

              Mainly, most of us are extremely tired of the ‘large con’, whether it be that of the SoCons, the Left, the KKK, Corporate Cronyism, PubSec Unions or any other group whose organization and survival strangely coincide with pushing an indefensible ideal that always includes coercion.

              The defenders of such movements all have two things in common.

              1) They cannot defend their ideology on its own merits. It must appeal to “the poor”, “the word of God”, “everybody knows”, “The System”, “Case Law” etc.

              2) The defenders of said ideology are dependent on that system for their livelihood, be it related to monetary wealth or political and social power.

              When you set out to defend any of these groups, don’t expect some sort of deference to your position unless you can avoid parroting said groups’ talking points, usually delivered like a molotov cocktail, followed by a retreat and disappearance. That is not argumentation, and others are correct for lashing out.

              You are probably the most ‘honest’ lefty here, in that you will actually answer many of the comments directed at you. I’ve seen you treated well when you you have a point.

              It’s not an accident.

    3. Yes, I also think that the vile regime of Walker, whose family has ruled Wisconsin with an iron fist for decades, should be dismantled and replaced with a system where rulers are chosen by votes.

      If there was any Egypt-style revolt, it was the one that ousted the Democrats from power — these protesters are more like angry Mubarak fans that miss the patronage and privilege his family gave him and want them back. Hey, their former patrons even fled the state — how appropriate.

    4. There is a distinction, MNG, between disruptive protests aimed at authoritarian dictatorships,

      and disruptive protests aimed at legitimate democracies.

      Especially when one set of protests is by those oppressed by the State, and the other is by those benefitting from the State.

  12. I would love to see the real “exploited” people protest and refuse to do their part for the state. I mean, what kind of impact would it make if everyone who was overtaxed for the sake of public employee benefits decided to call in sick and flood the state capital?

    I wonder what kind of response these protesters can expect when it becomes common knowledge that their average compensation is just over $100k per year? How will it go over when Wisconsinites (sp?) realize 1 out of every 7 tax dollars goes to teachers salaries and another 1 out of 7 goes to their benefits and legacy costs?

    These are the same assholes who gloated after the 2008 election with their “elections have consequences. We won.” bullshit. Now that the shoe is on the other foot, the democratic process isn’t so meaningful to them. Of course, we all knew it was never important to them in the first place.

  13. their average compensation is just over $100k per year

    Citation?

    1. Salary plus benefits. That number looks about right without bothering to dig into to it.

      1. I’ve yet to see an apples to apples comparison that shows much of a disparity between private and public employees. Even were there one public employees trade away some things (ability to rapidly advance) for others (security).

        1. Public unions have rock solid security and gold plated benefits. Their salaries are now equal to or higher than the private sector “to ensure we can compete and get good people”.

          Public service used to mean lifetime security instead of high compensation. Now it means both. Even though private sector compensation is stagnant or even going backward (as progressives are fond of telling me), public union compensation keeps getting better and better.

          1. In a province on that planet. He is disconnected from reality.

        2. Where else do people expect to retire after 20 years?

          That alone makes the argument (forget the higher pay, benefits, and job security).

          1. The military? With common sense exceptions for our troops….

            1. Last time I checked they aren’t unionized and can’t go on strike.

              The military will always be a little different by its nature. Still, I’d like to cut it by 1/3 to 2/3 over the near future.

            2. You also didn’t address the point.

              No one expects to retire after 20 years in the private sector.

              Government employees now get the following: better salary, better benefits, job security, 20 year generous pensions.

              They get to pick one or two of those. The days of all are gone.

        3. For the first time in history, the average annual compensation for a teacher in the Milwaukee Public School system will exceed $100,000.

          That staggering figure was revealed last night at a meeting of the MPS School Board.

          The average salary for an MPS teacher is $56,500. When fringe benefits are factored in, the annual compensation will be $100,005 in 2011

          http://maciverinstitute.com/20…..-100kyear/

          http://www.payscale.com/resear…..sin/Salary

          This is private sector compensation

          Salary Data (?
          XAll compensation data shown are the gross median (50th percentile). Many factors can affect pay. To get the full picture, take the PayScale survey.
          ) $0 $25K $50K $75K
          Retail Store Manager $37,711
          General / Operations Manager $55,617
          Registered Nurse (RN) $50,316
          Project Manager, Construction $59,357
          Project Manager, Information Technology (IT) $70,194
          Mechanical Engineer $58,190
          Human Resources (HR) Manager $53,941

          Those jobs are all college degree jobs and require comparable education to being a teacher. In terms of base salary, the average, not average not highest, paid teacher would be above almost every one of those jobs. But teachers also get near complete job security, can retire with a large percentage of their salary after just a few decades of service and have to put hardly anything into their pensions. They are wildly over paid.

          Fuck MNG, even Joe Klein thinks this is stupid.

          Look MNG, you are the only poster too fucking stupid to use google. You are just willfully ignorant on nearly every topic. I doubt I am the only one who has grown tired of wasting my time point out facts that a chimp with google could have found in response to your idiotic demands for citiation.

          The internet is there use it you fucking moron.

          1. Education is a Mickey Mouse degree. Everybody in academia knows it.

            1. I was being generous. It is a lot easier to get an education degree than an IT or a construction management one.

              1. Yeah, but you guys in IT and Construction Management get tenured way before teachers do, right? And your fully-taxpayer-funded retirement plan dwarfs that of teachers, right? Any your 9 month work year is shorter than the teachers, right? And you get to negotiate your pay with the people you helped elect, right? And the people who pay you are able to confiscate income of others to pay your salaries, right?

                Oh, all those points are invalid? Help me make your argument, minge, hobie hanson and OhioOrrin. I’ve got you started. It should be easy to argue now, right?

                1. vhat sayin sie?

                2. Yes, but it’s not “$100,000” $100,000.

                  1. but it is rape nonetheless. We have bloody assholes to prove it.

                3. Don’t forget the seven hour work days.

          2. Again, are you comparing jobs with equivalent credentials (teachers often have a Masters degree or higher) and in the same area (cities are usually more expensive to live in and have higher incomes)? The MPS teacher makes considerably less than the IT project manager and about the same as the construction project manager. That sounds about right to me…

            1. That sounds about right to me…

              Why?

              And let’s face it, a Masters in Education is a hell of a lot easier to get than a BA in Information Technology, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering or Construction Management.

              Of course, those are technical professions that require a high level of proficiency in specialized areas to get through the 300-400 levels. With Education, you can pretty well get your masters by taking 15-16 hrs a semester for 6 years. Oh, and learning 7th grade history in college so you can teach 7th grade history is no great achievement.

              “Those who can, Do. Those who can’t, Teach” is an expression for a reason.

              1. “a Masters in Education is a hell of a lot easier to get than a BA in Information Technology, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering or Construction Management.”

                How do you figure that?

            2. An IT person does not have tenure or near the retirement teachers do. On the one hand you claim that teachers take less base salaries in return for benefits. Then when shown they don’t take less salary, you ignore the benefits and say “that is about right”. You are incapable of having an honest discussion about anything are you?

              1. “On the one hand you claim that teachers take less base salaries in return for benefits.”

                Where do I say that? Are you arguing with the voices in your head again?

                1. “Where do I say that? Are you arguing with the voices in your head again?”

                  If you don’t say that, you have just ceded the argument. You admit here that they do in fact get high benefits and job security. You admit above that their base salaries are equal to those in the private sector. Comparable salaries plus greater benefits means they are over paid.

                  Sometimes your dishonesty backfires. I assumed you were claiming their base salaries were lower above because you have to to make an honest arguement. I forgot, you are never honest about anything.

                  Game set and match.

                  1. Talk about “bait and switch!”

                    John: You say they take less salary for more benefits.

                    MNG: I never said that. WTF are you talking about?

                    John: OK, maybe you never said that, but that proves I win!

                    1. MNG|2.19.11 @ 2:48PM|#
                      I’ve yet to see an apples to apples comparison that shows much of a disparity between private and public employees. Even were there one public employees trade away some things (ability to rapidly advance) for others (security).

                      This is about as close as you get to saying what John is inferring. It may not be word for word but you did create the premise.

    2. So if we google “average compensation wisconsin teachers” we see a bunch of links indicating average teacher salary is $48K to $52K (liberal sites go low, conservative sites go high). This excludes benefits which are wildly out of synch with mine as an engineer for a fortune 500 (way higher than mine if you can’t figure that out). Add in administrators which are going to run higher than a cohort that includes newbie teachers, and you’re going to see average total compensation in the very high 5 figures if not making it into the low six figures.

    3. “Stop leeching, start teaching!”

      1. Need to find other work.

  14. At one time I would have doubted something like this could happen in the US but after 8 years of Bush and now 2 of Obama I don’t think this type of action would be confined to those Allah-awful regimes in the middle east.

  15. That video is a great argument for the 2nd Amendment.

    When the government shoots at you, shoot back.

    1. When the government shoots at you, shoot back.

      Unfortunate for the government: I don’t use rubber bullets.

      1. I’m pretty sure that was live fire.

  16. Seriously, what are the people in the Middle East and northern Africa for? All I get is that they are for “freedom from the regimes,” which really only states what they are against.

    I understand the desire for freedom from oppression, but without a plan in place, I fear the entire region could easily fall under the influence of religiously intolerant imams that will lead them into a different kind of oppression. Regardless of how that will affect the US, which would be considerably, I really feel for these people because they have never known what liberty entails, especially regarding the tolerance of others’ liberty when it doesn’t infringe on their own.

    Even money says the great Caliphate is going to come out of this, it’s just a matter of how big it is.

  17. How the fuck did this thread turn into a shitslinging party about the Wisconsin Governor vs. Teachers Union thing?

    1. How the fuck did this thread turn into a shitslinging party about the Wisconsin Governor vs. Teachers Union thing?

      Ask that asshole Hobie Hanson. It’s like the black hole that is him, minge and OhioOral sucked us into their trap.

      At least it wasn’t another rectal/helle fuckfest.

      1. I did not have anal relations with that woman.

        Rather.

        1. Only cause you came all over my ass before you could stick it in.

          Preemie.

          1. FFS, if you are going to steal my handle and website send me the fucking link.

            1. Is it trademarked-or is the cuntpickle public domain

  18. Sorry Timon, but there’s so much outrageous shit going on in that story and no new threads to talk about it on. Such as:

    Doctors from numerous hospitals set up a station near the Capitol to provide notes covering public employees’ absences. Family physician Lou Sanner, 59, of Madison, said he had given out hundreds of notes. Many of the people he spoke with seemed to be suffering from stress, he said.

    “What employers have a right to know is if the patient was assessed by a duly licensed physician about time off of work,” Sanner said. “Employers don’t have a right to know the nature of that conversation or the nature of that illness. So it’s as valid as every other work note that I’ve written for the last 30 years.”

    1. So whenever you feel stressed out, you can call Dr. Sanner’s office (Google “lou sanner md madison” to get the number, which I will not post here due to H&R policy) to see what he thinks. I have a feeling I’m going to feel stressed about every five minutes next week.

      1. If he’s as liberal with his prescription pad as he is with his doctor’s notes… someone call Mary Beth Buchanan!

    2. “So it’s as valid as every other work note that I’ve written for the last 30 years.”

      Right. Your mother must be very proud.

      1. I don’t think that defense is quite as convincing as he thinks it is.

        1. It’s not. That way lies the way to malpractice. Giving such advice and assessment is not consistent with accepted medical practice and would be subject to “curbside diagnosis.” Literally.

          1. Do you consider doctors treating large numbers of injured people in quick succession after a natural disaster to be malpractice?

            But this was a manmade, political disaster and there were a lot of very stressed people around. How can you expect a doctor to stay away and withhold care from those in need?

            1. Fuck you hobbie

            2. Care? He’s writing notes. Are they magic words? Is he a wizard?

              Anyone healthy enough to protest in the freezing rain is healthy enough to show up for work. He’s assisting fraud, and if prison is too much of a punishment, then he should at least lose his medical license.

              1. I’m a doctor – and an employer – and believe me, if I lost my entire workforce and my business were threatened because of this sort of practice, I’d be looking into fraud/malpractice/deregistration proceedings with haste.

  19. Why did minge cross the road?

    1. Because he knows how to follow orders.

  20. That’s what government is all about, right there.

    -jcr

  21. Dueling Statistics on Public Employee Compensation

    http://voices.washingtonpost.c…..ics_a.html

    Focusing only on Wisconsin, the Times chart shows that among workers without a bachelor’s degree, state workers are, indeed, better paid than private-sector workers – the figures are $37,000 annually for state workers, $33,250 for private-sector workers.

    However, among workers with a bachelor’s degree, private-sector workers earn more than state workers — $57,113 for private-sector workers, $51,921 for public-sector workers.

    Wisconsin state workers have a median wage of $45,691, 22 percent more than the median wage earned by workers in the private sector. But these figures, which do not include benefits, can be deceptive because the state workforce is much better educated than the private-sector workforce. In Wisconsin, more than 60 percent of state workers have at least a bachelor’s degree, compared with just over 20 percent in the private sector, according to census data. College-educated workers on the state payroll in fact earn a median wage that is 9 percent less than that of their peers in the private sector.

    1. It’s not the fucking salary that is out of whack MNG and you know that. It’s about the outrageous benefits; the near complete immunity from being fired; and the general sense of entitlement displayed by public unions.

      I have absolutely no problem paying six figures to a quality teacher with 25 years of experience so long as that teacher works for a private school under an at-will contract and goes through individual performance review like every other fucking professional.

      1. It is the MNG bait and switch. When you mention benefits he says “I never said they had lower benefits”. When you mention salary he points to bogus base salary comparison that don’t include benefits.

        People need to stop wasting their time responding to him. He is worse than Joe Boyle. He refuses to make an honest argument or admit any fact he doesn’t like no matter how honest. At some point we have to stop getting trolled by him.

        1. I rarely respond to MNG and I usually scroll the past the MNG/John tiffs that happen with regularity 😉

          1. I need to stop responding to him. My name gets piled in with his. And unlike him, I will make an honest argument and agree with you when you have a point.

            1. I’ve wondered why you do it; you may need to find some 12 step program.

              1. I will bet John is an attorney. Attorneys are genetically pre-disposed to argue hell or highwater to win.

                1. You win a Kewpie doll

        2. “It is the MNG bait and switch. When you mention benefits he says “I never said they had lower benefits”. When you mention salary he points to bogus base salary comparison that don’t include benefits.”

          How can there be so much error in so few sentences? First, nice of you to admit that when you accused me of saying that teachers take lower salaries for higher benefits above you were talking out of your ass. Second, since you later concede I never said that then where is the “bait and switch” other than from you?

          The issue is total compensation. That is benefits + salary. Now I’ve posted stats showing that for educated workers public employee salaries are lower than their private sector counter-parts. Interestingly it is kinnath (@ 2:51) that points to salaries.

          All along I’ve said (see @ 8:16 above) that the issue is comparability. If you want to show public sector workers make more then you have to have private and public sector workers with equal educational backgrounds and in the same markets (geographical areas). You also have to see that public workers make trade-offs (as everyone here admits a public workplace does not allow for quick rises).

          No one here has made the slightest attempt to answer that criticism, it’s just “OMG you are dishonest and no one likes you!” I would think a more telling measure of dishonesty is not to answer the critique I’ve put foward…

          1. This is me starting my 12 step program to just ignore you.

            1. And you had to post to me that you were ignoring me? You’re like Steve Buscemi’s character in Fargo.

              Total fucking silence, yeah, two can play at that game.

              1. Don’t worry, he can’t quit you.

                1. This is sadder than Love Story. Who gets to fuck Farrah’s corpse?

                  1. I guess your dead father can, once you dismount.

                    1. WTF have I ever done to you?

                    2. Are you seriously asking that question? If so, you’re crazier than I thought.

                      C’mon, rectal. You come on here, blogwhore, contribute nothing of substance, annoy the piss out of us and infect almost every thread with nonsensical gibberish.

                      Hell, we all make the occasional stupid remark or crude comment. It’s part of the fun of unregulated commenting. You, on the other hand, are an insufferable asshole that contributes zero–ZERO–to legitimate topics that most of us on here care about. You would be doing us all a favor if you stuck a loaded gun in your mouth and pulled the trigger. There aren’t many people I can say that about. Even Chony gives us a laugh. You are simply a waste of space.

          2. MNG: “You also have to see that public workers make trade-offs (as everyone here admits a public workplace does not allow for quick rises).”

            WTF do you mean about public employees not getting quick rises? Before the recession state employees in NC were guaranteed raises every year.

    2. I actually did some back of the envelope calculations related to this when critiquing an bullshit EPI study (http://www.epi.org/publications/entry/6785/) that claimed WI public employees were undercompensated by 4.8%, but got that result by only considering years of education and years of experience, not field (ie it counts someone with an MFA in creative writing doing clerical work as a day job for 5 years while trying to sell a novel the same as someone with a masters in engineering who has been promoted to a team lead position in the same time frame). In other studies it has been shown that not including occupation as a control variable results in significantly overstating the degree to which public sector wages lag private sector, which is why EPI based their calculations on it.

      My critique of the study which finds that WI public sector works probably make around 4% more than private sector when benefits are considered is below:

      “The study is seriously flawed in a way that skews it towards overstating the gap between public and private sector wages to a degree that it is likely that the exact opposite of it’s conclusion is true. It doesn’t compare people doing similar jobs, but rather people with the same level of education and experience without regard to the field they are in or whether the degree is necessary to do the job. Since not all degrees are equally valuable (for example, the highest compensation tends to be for engineering and computer science in the 4 year category, but this study does nothing to differentiate them from low paying degrees like Music or Theology) or utilized, it is important to make distinctions based on occupation. I can’t find a study that does occupation to occupation comparisons for WI employees, but occupation to occupation comparisons of federal employees and other municipalities show greater compensation for government employees with comparable jobs while studies using the same method as the EPI study show lesser compensation. It’s curious that occupation was ignored in this study – it is available in the data set that it’s based on. The studies that don’t control for it seem to be put out by think tanks that have an ideological interest in downplaying the size of public sector compensation (EPI derives 25% of it’s funding directly from unions, and probably more indirectly through intermediary organizations); the BLS and articles in academic journals generally do control for it when making state/local/federal/private comparisons.

      The one study I can find that compares the results of controlling for occupation vs not controlling for occupation shows that when occupation controls are introduced, the wage gap shrinks from 11-12% to 4-6.5% for state and local employees nationally in 2008 (http://www.nirsonline.org/storage/nirs/documents/final_out_of_balance_report_april_2010.pdf). The above figures do not include benefits – when the fact that wages account for 67% of total compensation for state and local employees but 71% of compensation for private sector employees in the same study, state and local total compensation would end up being approximately 99-102% of private compensation.

      The EPI study reports for Wisconsin that the wage gap without controlling for occupation is 10.7%, smaller than the national one found in the study cited above – if controlling for occupation has a similar effect in WI as the rest of the country, then we could expect the wage gap with occupation controls to be around 5%. Performing the same calculation as above but using the compensated wage gap estimate of 5% and the wages to total benefit ratios provided in the EPI study, the total public sector employee compensation while controlling for occupation can be estimated to be 96-108% of that of private sector employees, with it more likely to be at the top of the rage, since the top represents the average for small companies and the bottom for large companies, and small companies employ more of the workforce (63% of Wisconsin private sector employees work at companies with less than 100 employees according to the EPI study).
      So, it is very likely a better designed study would show that public sector compensation exceeds private sector compensation for comparable jobs in WI, probably by approximately the same amount as EPI claims public sector employees are compensated less.”

  22. But these figures, which do not include benefits

    Therein lies the problem. Benefits are a form of income.

    the state workforce is much better educated than the private-sector workforce. In Wisconsin, more than 60 percent of state workers have at least a bachelor’s degree, compared with just over 20 percent in the private sector, according to census data. College-educated workers on the state payroll in fact earn a median wage that is 9 percent less than that of their peers in the private sector.

    A breakdown of what those valuable bachelor’s degrees would prove most illuminating. Perhaps they are in areas that are not marketable anywhere else, besides government service. Not to mention that job security that the productive sector does not offer. If college-educated == smarter, then perhaps they should try to enter the productive workforce and earn more money.

    1. The funny thing is, they could easily have computed the differences in benefits as well, but chose not to.

      Unfortunately, in the real world, half of statistics is hiding the truth.

      1. The funny thing is, they could easily have computed the differences in benefits as well, but chose not to.

        Yes, they sure could have, but that might have impinged on the narrative. I would also like to see a comparative analysis of benefits compensation of public sector workers v. productive sector workers. Last thing I would wish to know is comparative wealth holdings of public sector workers v. productive sector workers, including those vilified “millionaires and billionaires”. I would suspect that with all these factors, that public sector workers are not nearly as bad off as they purport. This also doesn’t include such peripheral benefits as discounts on goods and services for professional teaching affiliation membership, donations and grants both public and private, and the near dictatorial power they have indoctrinating children with politically correct dogma.

        This also includes police officers as well, as I tend to regard them as principals with a badge: they’re next.

        Firefighters, while emotionally are regarded as the most trusted of public servants, are a bit different; they don’t have the type of authority or power inherent in teaching or law enforcement. They are also the most easily privatized, which is why even they engage in scare tactics: “If they cut our funding, you house will burn down!” Similar to the same scare tactics employed by teachers and police officers: “If you don’t fund us, your kids will be even more stupid, turn to a life of crime, and the miscreant will break into your house and rape you!”

        Unfortunately, in the real world, half of statistics is hiding the truth.

        All too true, and a practice which knows no ideological bent.

  23. One thing that baffles me is why the US Marshal Service isn’t doing its job and hunting down the fugitives who fled across state lines.

    1. I am not sure the fugitives in question (and I am assuming you are referring to the absconded WI state senators) are technically criminals. Don’t they have to be declared wanted criminals with an APB for the US Marshals to act? I do know Gov. Walker had the WI state police searching for them, but could IL be forced to extradite known fugitives? I don’t think Gov. Quinn will be in any hurry to do so.

    2. Sounds like a job for Teabagger Batman. Tell your friend Scott Hitler to light the Teabag Signal.

      1. STFU asshole.

  24. I just want to say happy presidents day to all the private sector employees enjoying the day off today. Hope both of you have a good time fishing or whatever you’re doing today.

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