Government Spending

Wisconsin Protests: Myths vs. Facts

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Some sharp video via the Heritage Foundation and Freethink Media (a project by Reason vet videographer Dan Hayes), who were on the scene during the recent hullabaloo in the Badger State. Includes lots of interviews with protesters, counter-protesters, politicos (including Gov. Scott Walker).

Well worth watching, whatever side you're rooting for.

NEXT: Reasoners on The Freedom Watch With Da Judge: Nick Gillespie Talks Down Presidents on Their Very Special Day

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  1. Well worth watching, whatever side you’re rooting for.

    As long as it is the good side.

    1. Wooh! Go Status Quo!

    2. Just like Libya! Except for the violence and murder! But more cheese!

  2. Excuse notes from docs at protests draw scrutiny

    One of the doctors was Lou Sanner, 59, who practices family medicine at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. Sanner said he gave out hundreds of notes and that many protesters with whom he spoke seemed to be suffering from stress.

    “Some people think it’s a nod-and-a-wink thing but it’s not,” he told The Associated Press on Sunday. “One of the biggest stresses in life is the threat of loss of income, loss of job, loss of health insurance. People have actually been getting ill from this, or they can’t sleep.”

    The poor, poor babies!

    Sanner said his intent in signing notes was to perform a public service. He said that’s why he and his colleagues were stunned when they returned home Saturday night to find their e-mail inboxes filled with profane messages saying the doctors should be ashamed and should go to jail.

    The doctors also got swamped by hostile phone calls and Facebook messages from across the U.S., he said.

    “We’re not political activists. We were surprised at the nationwide organized vitriol that has come our way so quickly,” he said. “Apparently we hit a nerve. I’ve been a doctor for 30 years. I kind of missed when politics got this viral, this national.”

    Really, Dr. Sanner? Have you heard of the word fraud?

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories…..4225.shtml

    1. Sounds like a problem for the medical board…

      1. Is the medical board something like a police department’s review of cops?

        1. Looks like the University of Wisconsin is going to be doing some reviewing as well.

    2. “”We’re not political activists.”

      Bull. Fucking. Shit.

      1. what’s wrong is right…
        oh, and fuzzy bunnies and rainbows to all, film at 11:00!

    3. Id ya don’t like it you can always use the crappy licensing board…

      http://drl.wi.gov/category.asp…..16&locid=0

    4. It’s good to know that I’ve changed the world. Or at least made it a little more unpleasant for a lying douchebag.

    5. Helping people defraud the government, too. That’s a big no-no. I wonder if there will be a thorough audit of his Medicare/Medicaid billing now, not to mention his prescriptions.

    6. many protesters with whom he spoke seemed to be suffering from stress.

      Seems the teachers are just fine with the stress that comes from teaching kids that don’t want to be there though.

      These untermensch should be allowed anywhere near schoolchildren if their health is that poor.

      1. shouldN’T

    7. Yes, the poor dears were so stressed out that they just couldn’t go to the classroom. They needed to go unwind at a nice, quiet, 120 decibel protest rally where they could be paid by the taxpayer while they shout at the taxpayer to pay them more.

    8. Can I get one of those all purpose notes?

    9. Ever hear of Doctor/Patient Privilege – BITCH!

  3. Chris Edwards from Cato was on NPR today. He agreed with the AFL-CIO economist also on that it is not that teachers make too much but that the pensions are broke. I guess John will accuse him of being dishonest…

    It’s funny all the arguing over whether they are overpaid relative to private sector employees. It’s so hard to compare apples to apples here, I’ve yet to see convincing evidence. But what’s funny is that it is not necessary, in my very first post offering an opinion on this subject last week I said the unions will have to accept cuts in benefits as the states are broke. I’m against taking away the bargaining rights (and especially this petty taking away of teachers but not police bargaining rights), but cuts are a reality.

    1. Wouldn’t it be a great world if the teachers unions are broken up here, and then when Democrats inevitably regain power in Wisconsin, instead of reinstating the teachers unions they go to break up the police unions as revenge? Ah, a man can dream…

      1. It is interesting the the FTC never thinks of breaking up unions that have a monopoly over a specific profession. Isn’t it. They “break up” big monopolistic companies but never big monopolistic unions.

        1. I thought they mostly allowed things to get bigger, but extracted corporatist concessions in exchange. Or did I miss something?

          1. From Shermer:
            1) If you charge more than your competitor, you’re “gouging”.
            2) If you charge less than your competitor, you’re “dumping”.
            3) If you charge the same as your competitor, you’re “colluding”.
            4) If you have no competitors, you’re a “monopoly”.
            So if there’s money available, it can be extorted.

            1. I like that — I couldn’t find the original in the googles — where is that from?

              1. Michael Shermer: “Mind of the Market”. Highly recommended.

            2. That’s great.

    2. Re: MNG,

      Chris Edwards from Cato was on NPR today. He agreed with the AFL-CIO economist also on that it is not that teachers make too much but that the pensions are broke. I guess John will accuse him of being dishonest…

      Nah, he’s not being dishonest, he’s just missing the point – when it comes to MY FUCKING MONEY, public thieves are 100% overpaid.

      I’m against taking away the bargaining rights (and especially this petty taking away of teachers but not police bargaining rights), but cuts are a reality.

      It’s not bargaining rights which are being abridged, MNG. It’s the right to exclusivity, i.e. the right to keep the taxpayers’ hostage.

      If I were an employer, I would certainly say workers have a right to collectively bargain for their salaries (not that it would be better for anybody, as underperforming employees would be riding the cocktails of the good performers), but I certainly retain the right to tell them to go fuck themselves, as it is my right to freely assemble (meaning, I am free to get together with whoever I fucking wish, thank you very much.) In the US and after the Wagner Act, that right was abridged despite the Constitution and the 1st Amendment protection to freedom of association.

      1. Not in Right to Work states.

        1. I live in a right to work state. I don’t have to join our union, but they still have the right to bargain for me. I have to abide by whatever terms they agree to, and I am not free to seek out a separate deal. In the event my employer breaches the contract, the union will not provide assistance unless I am a dues-paying member. At least I don’t have to pay dues and see them squandered on lobbying.

          1. I used to live in a right to work state. The (large, multi-national) construction company I worked for would only hire through the unions. Once you got hired on you could quit the union, but good luck ever getting hired again if you got laid off.

        2. Try getting a job in a “right to work” state as a public teacher without joining the union. The dues are automatically taken from your check and you can either accept it or quit. This was certainly my experience in Minnesota.

          1. Do you have that backwards? I thought “right to work” means you can’t be forced to pay union dues. My liberal parents always complain about how North Carolina is a “right to work” state and so their teacher’s union doesn’t have any real power.

            1. nekoxgirl|2.21.11 @ 5:08PM|#
              “Do you have that backwards?”
              It is backwards, but the point is valid.

              1. Completely agree. I’m happy living in a right to work state.

          2. The Wisconsin bill ends the practice of union dues being paid through payroll deductions and requires an annual vote to re-certify the union. We’ll see how many vote ‘yes’ after writing a check to Richard Trumka every month.

          3. Lots of right-to-work states don’t have Teacher unions. My mother-in-law is in North Carolina and would love to join a teacher’s union. They don’t really have one in the sense that we think of unions. Their state’s arm of the NEA has no power whatsoever.

            1. “Their state’s arm of the NEA has no power whatsoever.”

              And this is a good thing!

      2. underperforming employees would be riding the cocktails of the good performers

        And they’re drunk, too!

    3. Are you sure there wasn’t a delineation being made between defined pensions and salary? Because that is definitely a nuance that an economist would make and public policy wonk would miss.

    4. “I guess John will accuse him of being dishonest…”

      Are you a perpetual asshole in other venues as well? I mean really, MNG. It makes you look like such a self-important prick.

      1. Love makes you do crazy things.

    5. Nobody is taking away bargaining rights. The teachers are perfectly within their rights to associate with others and attempt to collectively bargain. The state is just saying that the state itself will not collectively bargain, or will limit any that they do There is no “right” to force an employer to bargain collectively.

      1. MNG may get this, but Neu is *really* having problems.

        1. oh irony your name is sevo

    6. Another thing a lot of people miss is that there is tremendous variation in teacher pay between states and between districts within states. Some teachers certainly are overpaid and some are probably underpaid. In any case, Edwards is right, the important point is that what is there costs too much and shit ain’t free.

    7. If teachers are dumb enough to join a union, I guess they deserve it. They should have no right to compel others to join the union as a condition of the job, nor should they have anything other than “at will” employment.

    8. MNG: Here is a study about private vs public pay in Wisconsin. It concludes that teachers are paid about 5% less than other professionals, once you factor everthing else is. This is arguably a fair price to pay for the relative job security.

      Interestingly, there is some evidence that public workers with less education (read, cops and fire fighters) ARE probably overpaid. They also constitute most of the egregious pension-spiking that the media reports. But since they are not reliable Democrats, Walker isn’t going after them.

        1. “The Economic Policy Institute, a nonprofit Washington D.C. think tank, was created in 1986 to broaden the discussion about economic policy to include the interests of low- and middle-income workers. Today, with global competition expanding, wage inequality rising, and the methods and nature of work changing in fundamental ways, it is as crucial as ever that people who work for a living have a voice in the economic discourse.”

          Yep, there’s an impartial source.

          1. “Nonpartisan but progressive”…. my fucking ass.

            1. They’ll support the policies of any progressive party.

          2. Got better data, Sevo? Any criticisms of the analysis?

            I didn’t think so.

            I’ve read a number of studies on this matter. The general conclusion? Some public sector workers are overpaid, others aren’t, depending on your assumptions and who you are looking at. The higher the workers’ education, the less likely they are to be overpaid vs people with similar educations in the private sector. In general, the pay differences are small, regardless of direction.

            Refute me if you can.

            When you guys at regurgitate the crap CATO feeds you, I least have the balls and brains to point out what is wrong with it. You, apparently, lack both.

            1. Chad, simplified:

              Non-union workers are inferior.

            2. Pay is one component. They also get benefits, retirement, and job security far in excess of the private sector.

              Government employees should get one or two of those; the days of all four are numbered.

              Not to mention the large amount of them who do very little actual work. Amount paid for work actually done and the numbers would be shocking.

              1. All of this is accounted for in the study Chad cites.

                1. I’m not going to open up a pdf right now, but they took job security into account?

                  How was that done?

                  1. Open up the pdf. They don’t quantify job security, but the discussion gives a fair amount of credence to the idea that public sector employees make a trade-off between slightly lower wages and better job security. They do crunch the numbers on the differences in that regard, iirc. They also discuss the rates of defined benefits packages and the like. EPI put out the study to support their agenda…but the are smart enough to use real data and reasonable methods to make their arguments.

            3. Chad|2.21.11 @ 7:57PM|#
              “Got better data, Sevo?”
              Yes, I do, bozo:
              “Federal workers earning double their private counterparts”
              http://www.usatoday.com/money/…..0_ST_N.htm

              “Any criticisms of the analysis?”
              Yes, I do, bozo (from the “study”):
              “Comparisons controlling for education, experience, organizational size, gender, race, ethnicity, and disability reveal that?.”
              Reveal that it took a whole lot of cherry-picking to find the data they (and you, bozo) wanted.

            4. “Refute me if you can.”
              Just did, jackass.

              1. “”Refute me if you can.”
                Just did, jackass.”

                The study you cited was a simplistic analysis that does not control for much of anything. Much like the “statistic” that women earn $0.71 on the dollar compared to men, it is complete bullshit.

                I think Vermont Gun Owner has a better point. Teachers tend to disproportionately come from the bottom of the college pool, and yes, their degrees are often a joke. But this, like job security, is difficult to quantify. The study I cited concluded a pay deficit for teachers, but it is small and probably fair given these two unquantifiable factors.

            5. Who in the public sector has similar education to a Master’s in teaching? Or are you saying a MS in Chemical Engineering is a ‘similar’ education level to a MA in Special Education?

              1. Don’t forget that many government employees get stipends for education.

                Not to mention a significant number of them who do their studying while supposedly working at their job.

              2. My father is a professor. I’ve lived in the academic world all of my life. It is an accepted truism of life on campus that at any university the ‘college of education’ houses the stupidest professors, the dumbest students, and the easiest course material.

                Make of that what you will.

              3. Someone with a Master’s in Education who is teaching at a private school.

        2. The Economic Policy Institute opposes social security privatization and free trade agreements such as NAFTA; it was founded in 1986 by journalist Robert Kuttner,

          Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich,
          http://www.discoverthenetworks…..indid=2023

          and economist Lester Thurow a member of Democratic Socialists of America.

        3. I’ll post the same thing I did down below:

          Sorry. I was wrong. It could also be more, too. I notice you didn’t mention that.

          The EPI? You mean the institute that suggested we could have wiped out poverty in 1985:

          http://www.stateofworkingameri…..les/view/8

          The EPI? The “non-partisan” think tank that is “recognized as national leaders on breakthrough liberal economic policies”?

          I’m not going to lie. I only skimmed after reading this:

          “Even public
          and private teaching differ significantly. Public schools
          accept all students, while private schools are sometimes
          highly selective and may exclude or remove poor performing,
          special needs, or disruptive students.”

          We can’t compare similar jobs because they deal with different people. Sounds smart.

          I’ll add that most of our public schools have “para-professionals” that help deal with these special needs kids. In fact, I’ve seen a one to one ratio of para-professionals to special needs students at our kids’ school.

      1. Comparison between WI and VA, one has collective bargaining (closed shop monopoly WI) and one doesn’t (VA). Guess which one has far fewer budget issues?

        http://www.cato-at-liberty.org…..or-unions/

      2. Instead of comparing teachers to say, Architects and Engineers, maybe they should be compared to, I’m just spit balling here, other teachers?

        1. Private school teachers are paid much, much less than public school teachers, and private school teachers are also much better teachers.

          1. I went to a private K-8 school that had about 15 students in my class. When we graduated high school we were 10 of the top 20 out of 260.

      3. once you factor everthing else [in].

        There it is – the thumb on the scale.

    9. On the Cato site today, Edwards is advocating removing all collective bargaining rights from state employees.

      http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=12799

    10. I’m against taking away the bargaining rights (and especially this petty taking away of teachers but not police bargaining rights), but cuts are a reality.

      No one here has argued that public employees should be forbidden from bargaining collectively.

      What I oppose are laws requiring employers to bargain with unions.

  4. “From cities across the Middle East where they are protesting for democracy, we now take you to Madison, Wisconsin, where they are protesting against democracy.”

  5. Hey, at least they’re not restricting themselves to dogmatic responses. /sarc

    “It really is like pre-Nazi Germany”
    “I don’t want Walmart corporations and Disney corporations teaching our children”
    “It’s not about money; it’s about rights”

    The parroting is especially evident when it features the group of 3 women with the blonde girl on the left mouthing almost word-for-word what the louder dark haired girl on the right is saying.

    1. “I don’t want Walmart corporations and Disney corporations teaching our children”

      And I don’t want her doing it.

      1. Exactly what I was thinking as I watched.

      2. I’m fine with Wal Mart and Disney corporations teaching “our”(I demand a paternity test proving I have anything to do with any of them) children so long as I can take my money and choose to send my kids to be taught by one of their competitors instead.

        It’s pretty pompous of these teachers to complain about being stripped of their collective bargaining rights(they haven’t been) while they fight to keep individual from bargaining with his own dollar.

        1. That’s just the way of the Collective Sector.

        2. Don’t you mean while they fight tooth and nail to keep taxpayers from having any semblance of school choice?

    2. “It really is like pre-Nazi Germany”

      That was my favorite quote. If John Stewart weights in on this, I hope he picks up on that one.

      1. Probably from a history teacher.

      2. I’ve been listening to the idiot Left comparing everyone they dislike to Nazi Germany for a while now, and one quote always springs to mind;

        “If you accuse somebody of being a Nazi, and you are not dead one minute later, you have been refuted.”

        BTW, does anyone have a source for this?

    3. “I don’t want Walmart corporations and Disney corporations teaching our children”

      Why not? Maybe they can teach them how to function in a capitalistic society and generate a profit for themselves.

      1. Thank you. Pick any successful corporation out of a hat and, provided people were allowed to compare shop rather than have their money taken in the form of taxes, they would be able to produce much better schools for much cheaper than these idiots.

      2. at least with Disney it would be in search of excellence, instead of mo’ money…

  6. Walker Holds His Ground

    “We are looking at legal options to compel the senators to come back,” Walker says. “They have no endgame. They don’t know what they are doing. They got caught up in the hysteria and decided to run, but that’s not how this works. You have got to be in the arena.”

    Bringing up hot-button legislation while the Democrats are gone is another arrow in Walker’s quiver. Though the Wisconsin constitution requires three-fifths of the senate to be present to pass fiscal legislation, a simple majority of 17 members constitutes a quorum for other bills in the 33-seat state senate. So the 19 GOP senators who remain in Madison can pass any number of bills while their Democratic colleagues are on the lam, and Republicans are a majority in the assembly, too. “They can hold off, but there is a whole legislative agenda that Republicans in the senate and assembly can start acting on that only requires simple majorities,” Walker warns. “If they want to do their jobs, and have a say, they better show up.”

    Directly from the page of “Democracy In Action: How To Shove Things Down Their Throats” by Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/…..bert-costa

    1. Would it count as “fiscal legislation” to pass a bill docking legislator’s pay $500 for every day they miss? Or how about if legislator do not show up for three consecutive days of a session, their offices are used for housing the homeless?

    2. Does this, “…a simple majority of 17 members constitutes a quorum for other bills in the 33-seat state senate…” include bills and regulations governing the WI State Senate’s internal rules? If so, then why haven’t they re-written those internal rules to account for almost half of their chamber running away from the job?

      Of course, every state’s had a decade to change their parliamentary rules to account for shit like this, ever since those assholes in Texas pulled this garbage during the redistricting fight. So I don’t have much sympathy for WI.

    3. Wisconsin doesn’t allow concealed carry. Might be a good place to start.

  7. Godwin alert at 0:00. Drink!

  8. How did we miss this?

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…..22088.html

    1. We didn’t. John posted it some time ago.

        1. guess i should be glad i don’t know what an Eames chair is…

    2. The worst/best advice was the part about having a baby to attract a husband. Yeah, because that’s what every man wants. To be with a women that’s too involved in child care duties to pay him any attention whlile helping to take care of some other guy’s kid.

      1. +10000000000000

  9. Nick, thanks for posting this. I tried to find the numbers for teacher compensation in WI last week, but couldn’t come up with reliable numbers. I think those numbers have a lot to do with the debate.

    One question… Can anyone explain the “stripping teachers of their right to bargain” issue? I thought the bill removed the right to bargain for anything other than salary. If that’s the case, I’d think that would be necessary to prevent teachers from renegotiating with another administration, and getting WI back in the same mess in the future.

    1. They cannot collectively bargain for benefits. Salaries will increase with CPI. Anything beyond that will require a referendum. They can bargain for whatever else they want, afaik.

      Unions would need to recertify every year.

      1. Salaries will increase with CPI? Wrong. That is the *maximum* under this bill. It can and will be less some year. And of course, CPI almost always lags private sector wage growth, which means perpetual pay cuts relative to their private-sector peers.

        Btw, here is some solid data on public vs private compensation in Wisconsin. If you have either the balls or brains to refute it, let me know.

        http://epi.3cdn.net/9e237c5609…..6b9hn1.pdf

        1. Chad|2.21.11 @ 8:01PM|#
          “Salaries will increase with CPI? Wrong. That is the *maximum* under this bill. It can and will be less some year.”
          Good.

          “CPI almost always lags private sector wage growth, which means perpetual pay cuts relative to their private-sector peers.”
          Good.

          “Btw, here is some solid data on public vs private compensation in Wisconsin. If you have either the balls or brains to refute it, let me know.”
          Correction; here’s some cherry-picked data to support my lies.
          See above, brain- and ball-less.

        2. I love that your definition of cuts is when something doesn’t grow fast enough. So by your reasoning, I took a 2% pay cut last year since I didn’t get a raise.

        3. Sorry. I was wrong. It could also be more, too. I notice you didn’t mention that.

          The EPI? You mean the institute that suggested we could have wiped out poverty 1985:

          http://www.stateofworkingameri…..les/view/8

          The EPI? The “non-partisan” think tank that is “recognized as national leaders on breakthrough liberal economic policies”?

          I’m not going to lie. I only skimmed after reading this:

          “Even public
          and private teaching differ significantly. Public schools
          accept all students, while private schools are sometimes
          highly selective and may exclude or remove poor performing,
          special needs, or disruptive students.”

          We can’t similar jobs because they deal with different people. Sounds smart.

          1. We can’t compare…

            Always use preview. Always use preview. Always use pre…

          2. “wiped out poverty ‘in’ 1985.”

            Jesus! I need help.

    2. Average MPS Teacher Compensation Tops $100k/year

      [Milwaukee, Wisconsin] MacIver News Service ? For the first time in history, the average annual compensation for a teacher in the Milwaukee Public School system will exceed $100,000.

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

      1. quit being average & try the median

        1. OhioOrrin|2.21.11 @ 1:48PM|#
          “quit being average & try the median”

          Got data? Put up or shut up.

        2. Since you believe that will prove your point, would you mind directing us to a link? We can only base our factual arguments upon what is available. Thanks.

          1. no & neither does pip since the avg is useless in any pop this size.

            1. the inaccuracy is epic.

            2. OhioOrrin|2.21.11 @ 2:26PM|#
              “..the avg is useless in any pop this size.”

              Bullshit.
              You mean it doesn’t match what you wish.

              1. no moron. i dont know how it “matches” & that’s not my point. in a pop the size of the WI teachers, the median is a way better indicator. simple 8th grade math.

                1. OhioOrrin|2.21.11 @ 3:37PM|#
                  “no moron. i dont know how it “matches” & that’s not my point. in a pop the size of the WI teachers, the median is a way better indicator”

                  No asshole. You don’t like the data so you’ll claim it’s not good enough.

                2. OhioOrrin, use some common sense. The difference between the average and the median here is not going to be much. The range of teacher pay in a state is relatively narrow. It’s not like, say, the self-employed, where some make hundreds of times what others make, and thus the average and median would be distinctly different.

                3. Knowing a little 8th grade math myself, I cannot resist: Care to explain how a large population makes median a better center statistic than mean?

                  Or, did you mean to state that the distribution of total compensation for WI teachers is left skewed, or leveraged by outlier clusters, or otherwise inappropriate for nearly-normal modeling, and then back that up with data?

                  1. Actually smaller populations are worse to use the mean with, not larger populations. Outliers have a larger effect on the mean with smaller populations.

            3. 1) Population size has nothing to do with average vs mean since. The relative sizes of averages and means are entirely determined by the shape of the distribution.

              2) Teacher compensation is in a relatively tight band due to wages being based primarily on experience, so there are less likely to be high outliers, which normally are what drives average income to exceed median income in other fields.

              3) Like compensation, layoffs are also based on experience. This does have an impact on the median vs average by thinning out the low end “tail” of the distribution, making the median likely to be higher.

              4) Average cost is the more important factor when considering the budget implications of compensation, since average * population size = total.

              So, OhioOrin, you’re wrong about the one actual statement you make, and the statistic you desire is less relevant and fairly likely to be higher than the average.

              1. “So, OhioOrin, you’re wrong about the one actual statement you make, and the statistic you desire is less relevant and fairly likely to be higher than the average.”

                Give him some time! There’s bound to be another straw he can grasp at.

            4. For teacher salaries the mean and median should be close. Those differ when you have long tails, as with CEO income.

            5. Average means a lot to the state and taxpayers, because that’s what they are paying.

        3. OhioOrrin’s life partners are all manufactured by the Kleenex Corporation.

          1. Don’t forget, Orrin uses our products too!

            1. My pages are stuck together.

        4. From the article:
          “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.”

          So, that’s the public record of the school-board meeting. $56500 in take home pretty much demolishes the “poor teacher” deal.

          1. Hot, cleansing, fire.

            1. Add in the fact that teachers get summers off, weekends off, every single holiday, random other days with no teaching, etc. and that salary counts a lot more.

              1. If you’re going to say teachers only work 9 months, then you also have to admit that many teachers work more than 40 hours a week when school is in session. Does anyone have stats on exactly how many hours teachers work per year and what that hourly rate would be? It seems more accurate than simply treating them as salaried employees who get paid to do a job, no matter how long it takes. After all, a teachers job is never “done”…

          2. Taking $56,500 – 33% in taxes, and averaging that out over the 9 months a year public school teachers actually work (as was stated, they get Summers off), they end up NETTING about 4 grand a month. You’re exactly right to say these are not “poor teachers”.

  10. It seems to me anyone healthy enough to go to a protest is healthy enough to go to work. A medical “excuse” obtained at the protest should be automatically denied.

    To the extent UW medical residents are involved in this, they are creating enormous problems for the UW. If they have enough of a patient encounter to generate a diagnosis for a medical excuse, they have a doctor-patient relationship. Period, full stop. That means HIPAA compliance (which I guarantee is not in evidence), medical records requirements, etc. ad infinitum.

    There is also the malpractice issue – if one of these residents misses a diagnosis, in what was, after all, enough of an exam to yield a diagnosis that they cannot go to work, they (and the UW) will be responsible.

    And there are residency program issues. Residents are not supposed to work without supervision. Did anyone supervise them? If so, who, and how? Residents also enjoy new working hours limits, which include moonlighting time. Is the UW tracking their time at the Capitol? Are they cutting their schedules elsewhere? The accrediting agencies are ruthless, and these clowns at a minimum will get the UW audited, and may well cost it accreditation.

    1. I’ll go you one further – if (like in CA) UW medical faculty are paid salaries by the School of Medicine (and are thus public employees), and said faculty are signing phony excuse notes for other public employees, how is that action not an illegal gift of public funds?

    2. It really burns my ass that these teachers can blatantly get away with breaking the law day after day, and the people and elected officials in the state apparently have no recourse to do anything about it because they have some pinko judge on their side. How long can they be allowed to get away with this crap?

      1. If I were a school administrator in Wisconsin, I would phone each teacher who called in sick at home, and when they fail to pick up, leave them a voice-mail to inform them they are fired for calling in sick and then going out to a protest.

    3. It seems to me anyone healthy enough to go to a protest is healthy enough to go to work.

      Especially one being held outdoors in the dead of winter in a state not all that far from Canada.

  11. Wisconsin Libertarian Party stance:

    http://lpwi.com/index.php/medi…..than-force

    1. “Favoring persuasion over force, the LPWI takes issue with the unilateral, ham-handed approach used by Governor Walker to deal with a bi-partisan problem of long standing. Forbidding local governments to negotiate in good faith with unions in a manner that is respectful and acceptable to both parties, he is overstepping his mandate. It shows no respect for the rights of individuals to deny them the opportunity to negotiate salaries, benefits and working conditions, individually or with in association with others in unions.”

      That sounds awfully reasonable.

      1. Favoring persuasion over force, the LPWI

        Because thousands of people screaming, waving signs with cross-hairs over the governor’s face, and camping out at the homes of various politicos is all about persuasion.

        1. thousands of people screaming, waving signs is why you didn’t work yesterday.

          just saying.

          1. thousands of people screaming, waving signs is why you didn’t work yesterday.

            And hundreds of thousands of people did work Sunday, all of their own free will. Given that wage and hours laws interfere in the rights of consenting adults to agree to a mutually advantageous work schedule and remuneration, how does that strike you as a good thing?

          2. horchata|2.21.11 @ 2:14PM|#
            “thousands of people screaming, waving signs is why you didn’t work yesterday.”

            Found that in the hiring hall, did you? Good thing; that bullshit won’t get an audience anywhere else.

          3. Actually thousands of years of judeochristian tradition related to the sabbath being a day of rest is why (some) people don’t work on Sun.

            1. But the Jews had a really serious labor union. Like, kill anyone that decided to work on the rest-day serious.

              1. Shomer fucking shabbos.

          4. Clearly you haven’t been to some of the finer restaurants and retail outlets in your area.

          5. FUCK YOU COCKSUCKER! I worked Sunday, because I’m my own boss. If more people were not tiny balled wonders most of these “labor issues” would be non-existent.

      2. Except SB11 doesn’t prevent local governments to negotiate with unions. SB11 requires a referendum when the requested wage increase exceeds the CPI. There’s nothing more democratic than allowing the the community to vote on wage increases for public servants.

        1. You might even call it “collective bargaining”.

      3. Nice selective quoting, BTW. You forgot “Furthermore, we deplore contract abuses by public union workers as a means to protest usurpation of their rights to negotiated contracts.”

        1. What’s just a *little* lying to a lefty?

        2. Furthermore, we deplore contract abuses by public union workers as a means to protest usurpation of their rights to negotiated contracts.

          That makes the previous deep throating of the teachers unions OK? They support the teachers in what is going on, but give a disclaimer about something they know won’t ever happen to make themselves “Libertarian”?

          What a worthless organization. When the question of public schools come up, shouldn’t the anti-coercion principle apply first to the poor suckers who have to pay for it? Fuck the WLP.

    2. Damn the LP sucks. They are good for nothing.

  12. People have actually been getting ill from this, or they can’t sleep.”

    There’s nothing like standing around in the freezing rain yelling your head off to keep yourself in the pink.

  13. Not that I support medical licensing, but shouldn’t a physician who knowingly issues a false medical diagnosis lose his or her license?

    1. Don’t they write those notes on prescription pads? I know falsifying prescriptions is a big no no and you can lose your DEA number for doing it.

    2. Obviously they should, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the law says so. However, due to doctor-patient privilege, it would be tough to prove that the work excuse is fraudulent.

      1. Are they doing it in public as in on the street.

      2. Just require that the patient bring a bank/credit card statement and a payment receipt from the doctor in this case.

        1. That wouldn’t work for those of us who have insurance. I also wouldn’t want to discriminate against poor people who go to free mobile clinics.

      3. However, due to doctor-patient privilege, it would be tough to prove that the work excuse is fraudulent.

        Not really. An employer is free to deny a medical excuse without some validation from the doctor. If the patient refuses to authorize the release of validating records, well, that’s the employee’s choice.

        1. LOL, I can see a superintendent sending a request for the validation of 100+ teachers and all the accompanying paper work.

          That would be awesome.

        2. Most legitimate work excuses have no validating records independent from the doctor’s word. If you are dealing with a dishonest doctor there really isn’t a check against him or her.

          Plus I’m sure there’s something in the current CBA restricting supervisors’ ability to probe into medical excuses anyway.

  14. From what I can gather, only one or two of the Repub Senators are getting wobbly.

    There are also rumors that the Repubs will reopen the Senate to pass other bills which don’t need a supermajority for a quorum, and may add the bits about union representation, etc., to one of those bills.

    Fingers crossed!

    1. Such trickery is only okay when the Team Blue does it to pass crap like healthcare.

    2. Ironic, since I’ve heard Democrats insisting that the bargaining stuff is not of a fiscal nature (their intent being — it’s irrelevant to the negotiations and only about union busting).

    3. The state senate majority leader says they’re not voting on the union issues until the Dems come back.

  15. I’ll try again.

    reply to this
    P Brooks|2.20.11 @ 1:08PM|#

    compared with otherwise similar private sector workers

    Until somebody can provide me a comparison based on marginal value added, I will steadfastly refuse to concede any shred of credibility to these studies.

    It’s entirely possible that the teachers are not paid “too much” as individuals; I still want somebody to make a compelling case for the marginal value of each teacher.

    After that, you can show me why seniority trumps merit.

    1. And I’ll repeat:
      Cut salaries and benes 25%.
      If the jobs are still over-subscribed, cut another 25%.
      Continue until the government has to advertise for workers, raise 5%.
      We’ll quickly find out what the market rate is for those jobs.

      1. Yes, yes, yes! I hate these discussions of “value”. They have no meaning.

        The only thing that has meaning is the market-clearing price of a commodity.

        1. Good teachers are, sadly, far from a commodity.

          1. CTD|2.21.11 @ 4:14PM|#
            “Good teachers are, sadly, far from a commodity.”

            Uh, are you sure you know what the word means?

    2. I have been skeptical of the value added of the modern teacher since I was a kid and read a Heinlein essay on his father’s education. He found a collection of his father’s school test, essays and textbooks. His father graduated from the eighth grade just before the turn of the century. However, that last year of class consisted of second year Latin, calculus, and European history that would be considered college level in our times. Likely more sophisticated, as the text weren’t shifty ideological tripe. I made the rough estimate that aside from the advanced placement math and biology classes, there was likely twelve weeks of material spread out over the course of ten months in the average class I took. The public school I came out of won more college scholarships than any other school in the state the year I graduated so it wasn’t like it was a sub-par school, nor would I call the majority of my teachers incompetent. They were as much a product of the dysfunction (relative to previous standards) as propagators of it.

      1. I am no great fan of public school teachers BUT when making this historical comparison it is important to remember that when Heinlein’s father graduated from highschool that was not the expected outcome for every public school student. Somewhere along the line we decided that every child should graduate from highschool, no matter how little scholarly talent he or she might have. If you want to return to highschools that teach a genuinely scholarly curriculum, then you have to relieve them of the responsibility for teaching students with no scholarly impulses.

        And before you do THAT, you need to kill dead the idea that everybody needs and should have a College degree.

        Good luck.

  16. There are also rumors that the Repubs will reopen the Senate to pass other bills which don’t need a supermajority for a quorum

    What would Chris Matthews say, do you suppose, if the Wisconsin Republicans availed themselves of this opportunity to pass a “Shall Issue” concealed carry law?

    Yee haw! Good times.

    1. I am looking for the bill that requires wearing a “I love the Koch Brothers” T-shirt.

  17. I support the ability of Wisconsin teachers to put as much of their salary into a 403(b) as they like.

  18. Sure they have a right to bargain collectively. You and the guys in the next few cubicles want to approach the boss about raises for all four of you, that’s fine. On the other hand, the boss can refuse to bargain with you as a group, and that’s his right too.
    There is no “denial of rights” going on here as the unions would have you believe. This is a phony issue. It’s merely each side trying to get the other to contract away some implementation of its rights in an employment situation. We all do it every time we accept a job and agree to show up at work at a certain time. It would be equally fair to say, then, that the unions are trying to deny their employers’ (the people of Wisconsin) their rights.

  19. There’s a reason their pension and health costs are lower. The private sector alternatives, to which you are comparing them, are shit. 401Ks are shit. Healthcare is shit. Pensions are not a handout, they are deferred payment for work done. The Republican free market zealot of a governor, who CUT CORPORATE TAX RATES, WHICH CREATED THE DEFICIT, is asking public employees to sacrifice to pay down the deficit. Spin it anyway you want. Tack on lame moral arguments. A Republican governor is asking constituents who mostly didn’t vote for him to take an 8%+ pay cut. How would you guys like it if a Democrat asked that of you?

    Public employees maintain union membership at around the level private sector employees did when unions were at their strongest. Which is to say, public sector workers are the last bastion of the ever-disappearing middle class. So, of course, the Republicans want to do away with their rights. Partly out of deference to their oligarchic policy goals, partly because unions help Democrats get elected.

    Remember how Citizens United was excused as fair because, well, unions can spend money just like corporations, therefore it’s not partisan at all! Okay, so now it’s time to destroy the unions!

    1. Please don’t feed the troll.

      1. Can I feed him my cum?

        1. 0721

      2. i like the part about “constituents who mostly didn’t vote for him”…

    2. Hey look. Tony is here.

    3. A Republican governor is asking constituents who mostly didn’t vote for him to take an 8%+ pay cut. How would you guys like it if a Democrat asked that of you?

      Elections have consequences, schmuckface. This is precisely what Walker was elected by the people of Wisconsin to do.

      To quote former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelsoi: “We won. You lost.”

      1. I seriously doubt Walker was elected with a mandate to cut middle class salaries to pay for corporate tax cuts.

        1. Re: Tony,

          I seriously doubt Walker was elected with a mandate to cut middle class salaries to pay for corporate tax cuts.

          Public employees are not middle class, they’re thieves. When they start working for their own money (instead of someone else’s taken by force) then you may call them “middle class” or whatever. RIGHT NOW, they’re nothing more than thieves, all of them.

          1. Go tell a cop or firefighter that to his face, asshole. Just to add a bit of irony, why don’t you tell that to him when he’s coming to rescue your ass from a fire or burglar.

            1. Wow, you know, I never thought of it like that. They probably do think of themselves as heroes defending us from the scourge of evil dogs. And if they think so of themselves, it must be the objective truth.

            2. “Just to add a bit of irony, why don’t you tell that to him when he’s coming to rescue your ass from a fire or burglar.”

              I have had far more money stollen from me by the government than I have ever had stollen from me by a theif who was not in the employ of the government. As for firefighters? I have nothing but respect for firefighters. Their job is entirely benevolent. They save lives and put out fires. What is more – many of them are volunteers!

            3. Re: Tony,

              Go tell a cop or firefighter that to his face, asshole.

              And then what?

              Just to add a bit of irony, why don’t you tell that to him when he’s coming to rescue your ass from a fire or burglar.

              I already have my escape plan, insurance and my two good friends: Smith, and Wesson. Fuck you, leeches.

              1. Tony sort of has a point, though, and Gov. Walker agrees, to the extent that police and firemen are exempt from all this.

                1. Maybe Police. Fire fighters should be private.

                2. “Tony sort of has a point, though”

                  And that would be?

              2. I already have my escape plan, insurance and my two good friends: Smith, and Wesson.

                In the modern world, we replace the utter darwinian hellhole you seem to favor with a more dignified alternative, which is really just a form of insurance. You pay for police and fire protection with the assumption that you may need it. Since crime and fire are social problems (meaning they spread if not mitigated), it makes sense to have everyone buy in. I don’t see the subtraction of freedom here. I see a huge increase in freedom over the alternative you’re offering, where everyone is secure in their persons and effects through Rambo fantasies.

                1. “we replace”

                  Do you have a mouse in your pocket? Who is this “we”

                  “with a more dignified alternative, which is really just a form of insurance.”

                  That he did not consent to. You have given us the sales pitch for your brand of insurance. We do not want it. Will you toss me in a cage if I don’t buy it? Is that your more dignified alternative?

              3. I already have my escape plan, insurance and my two good friends: Smith, and Wesson. Fuck you, leeches.

                Ha ha. Look at the sad, tiny-cocked loser cuddle his gun and call it civics.

                Ha ha.

              1. Xenocles,

                Old Mexican was not actually making that fallacy. He was not threatening Tony or any other commenter here with violence. He was stating that his “Smith and Wesson” was protection against theft. His argument was that because he has a Smith and Wesson he does not need the services of police officers. You can disagree with him if you want, but his argument does not meet the criteria for the fallacy in your link.

                1. Well poor people are icky, that’s objective fact.

                  1. Tony|2.21.11 @ 5:45PM|#
                    “Well poor people are icky, that’s objective fact.”

                    Tony’s a brain-dead ignoramus. That’s an objective fact.

                2. @PIRS:
                  Damn it all, I’ve been flying all day and couldn’t reply. That was to Tony, not OM.

              2. Don’t expect Tony to understand that concept.

            4. Go tell a cop or firefighter that to his face, asshole.

              Like the cops who shot Amadou Diallo?

              Or arrested Timothy Cole?

          2. so old mex says our military are thieves since they’re public sector employees too.

            1. Re: OhioOrrin,

              so old mex says our military are thieves since they’re public sector employees too.

              Yes. Next question?

              1. He really is one dumb fucker, ain’t he, OM?

              2. so old mex believes our military are thieves & due process is NOT a civil liberty & may be dispensed with. better use a net under that tightrope.

                1. Re: OhioOrrin,

                  so old mex believes our military are thieves & due process is NOT a civil liberty & may be dispensed with.

                  Leave it to a dishonest statist fuck (but I repeat myself…) to jump from: “old mex [sic] believes our military are thieves” to “& due process is NOT a civil liberty”

                  By the way, “due process” is not a civil liberty, it is a procedure.

                  1. YOU said “yes” the military are thieves upthread at 1:55pm. and ur dismissal of due process was in response to teacher re-instatement when an administrator failed to follow due process. these are YOUR words. need a safety net?…from china lol

                    1. OhioOrrin|2.21.11 @ 3:42PM|#
                      “….lol….”

                      Sure sign of, well,…………

                    2. Teacher reinstatement != due process dipshit. It is not a legal process as outlined in the constitution. BUt you can go ahead and make up whatever you want.

            2. You can call OM a lot of things, but inconsistent is not one of them.

        2. Tony|2.21.11 @ 1:31PM|#
          “I seriously doubt Walker was elected with a mandate to cut middle class salaries to pay for corporate tax cuts.”

          Your opinion isn’t worth shit.

          1. Umm, he pretty much ran on exactly what’s he trying to do here.

            And he won. So I would say he has as much of a mandate as any politician.

            1. Well poor people are icky, that’s objective fact.

              1. Tony|2.21.11 @ 5:47PM|#
                “Well poor people are icky, that’s objective fact.”

                Tony’s a brain-dead ignoramus. That’s an objective fact.

        3. He had told us what he was planning to do. The unions knew some tough shit was coming way before he was elected.

        4. Tony: “I seriously doubt Walker was elected with a mandate to cut middle class salaries to pay for corporate tax cuts.”

          He was elected by the majority of the state of Wisconsin to cut the salary and benefits of public employees. Salaries and benefits that are paid by the taxpayers who are having to sacrifice during the recession for the benefit of public employees.

          One man’s corporate tax cut is another man’s job. To give the unions what they want, people in the private sector will have to go without raises, benefits and/or employment through tax increases to pay for the salaries and benefits of public employees.

          Why are basic economics so hard for liberals to grasp?

          1. The unicorns and rainbows make it hard to concentrate.

      2. Didn’t the democrats essentially do something like this with their healthcare bill? Not to mention I have to pay FICA, which I never voted on, SS, also something I never voted on.

    4. Go suck a diseased cock, Tony.

    5. Re: Tony,

      There’s a reason their pension and health costs are lower. The private sector alternatives, to which you are comparing them, are shit.

      Well, that’s it then! Nothing to do with the fact that they’re being covered by other people’s money.

      Pensions are not a handout, they are deferred payment for work done.

      That’s not true. You have no idea of what you’re talking about. Those pensions ARE a handout, as a working concept: If the employee puts NOT ONE PENNY towards it, then it IS an entitlement. Work rendered is compensated by a salary, not by a pension.

      The Republican free market zealot of a governor, who CUT CORPORATE TAX RATES, WHICH CREATED THE DEFICIT[…]

      Hey, dimwit, here’s a little secret: SPENDING MORE than what you receive is what creates deficits.

      is asking public employees to sacrifice to pay down the deficit.

      Oh, you’re breaking my achy breaky heart!

      A Republican governor is asking constituents who mostly didn’t vote for him to take an 8%+ pay cut.

      This comming from the great champion of “fuck you” democracy: Tony.

      1. If the employee puts NOT ONE PENNY towards it, then it IS an entitlement. Work rendered is compensated by a salary, not by a pension.

        Yeah and a pension is deferred salary. They get their salary from taxpayers. Frame it however you want, it still amounts to a pay cut. (Which they’re willing to accept, by the way.)

        Pensions allowed people to retire with dignity. The first generation of 401K people are retiring. Guess what? They can’t afford to live.

        Hey, dimwit, here’s a little secret: SPENDING MORE than what you receive is what creates deficits.

        Arithmetic seems to elude you. Let me retype your sentence with different capitalization, and maybe you can understand addition and subtraction:

        Spending more than what you RECEIVE is what creates deficits.

        1. “Pensions allowed people to retire with dignity.”

          Good. You pay them the amount required to buy that “dignity”.

          1. Or society could value not having retired people starve in the streets. Too much of an imposition on you and your entitled teenage brat worldview?

            1. Re: Tony,

              Or society could value not having retired people starve in the streets.

              Leave it to Tony to construe government as “society.”

            2. Tony|2.21.11 @ 1:44PM|#
              “…Too much of an imposition on you and your entitled teenage brat worldview?”

              Why don’t you try an “arguement” that wouldn’t embarrass your first grade teacher.

            3. If you are starving in the streets, it is your individual responsibility to find something to eat, or find work that will pay you so you can buy something to eat.

              Food and shelter are not rights, they are goods which are to be exchanged via a free market.

              Also, retirement is not a right. As a concept, it should be phased out, because it comes from a time where most work was physical labor intensive, where you were unable to actually do the work after a certain age, unlike the jobs available in a modern economy.

              In the modern economy, if you reach old age and are still stuck in a job where physical/manual labor is required, you messed up and made some mistakes somewhere along the line, and now need to suffer the consequences of said bad decisions.

              1. Food and shelter are not rights

                They are rights if we decide they are.

                Also, retirement is not a right. As a concept, it should be phased out, because it comes from a time where most work was physical labor intensive, where you were unable to actually do the work after a certain age, unlike the jobs available in a modern economy.

                And people are also living much longer, and often those years are ones in which people are physically unable to work.

                In the modern economy, if you reach old age and are still stuck in a job where physical/manual labor is required, you messed up and made some mistakes somewhere along the line, and now need to suffer the consequences of said bad decisions.

                I don’t think starvation and early death should be punishments for the “crime” of not making good choices decades ago, but I have a sliver of moral decency. Besides, our safety net for the elderly is one that people pay into their whole working lives. It’s fair and creates a better society.

                You guys consistently fail to acknowledge that the more people you make hungry by your draconian, darwinian policies, the more likely those people will rise up and create an even more socialistic society. Assuming you don’t also want to take away their democratic rights as well, an idea which many here have expressed sympathy for.

                1. Tony|2.21.11 @ 2:59PM|#
                  “Food and shelter are not rights

                  They are rights if we decide they are.”
                  …….
                  I’ve just now decided I have a right to your paycheck; where can I pick it up?

                  1. I’ve just now decided I have a right to your paycheck; where can I pick it up?

                    Get the requisite democratic majority to agree with you, and you can have it.

                    1. Tony|2.21.11 @ 3:25PM|#
                      “Get the requisite democratic majority to agree with you, and you can have it.”

                      So you admit you are just fine with mob rule. Not surprising.

                    2. Tony, when democratic majorities agree to remove rights, does that stop them from being rights? I.e. is this populism an actual belief of yours, or just a rationalization?

                    3. Tony, when democratic majorities agree to remove rights, does that stop them from being rights? I.e. is this populism an actual belief of yours, or just a rationalization?

                      Ask him if it applies to same-sex “marriage”.

                2. Then stop using the word rights. You don’t believe in rights. A right that has to be granted by other people is not a right. If anything a govenrment decides to give people is a right, then the word has no meaning. Just admit that you don’t believe that any such thing as rights exist and stop re-defining words. I am so fucking sick of people who say “rights” when they mean “privileges” or “entitlements”.

                3. No rights come from a government or a society deciding these are rights. Rights are natural things you are born with. You are born and develop an ability to speak, you then have a right to speech and to express yourself. You have a body and hands, you then have a right to produce whatever you want with your property (your body). You observe that there are other people in the world, you then have a right to freely associate with those people if they choose to freely associate with you.

                  These do not come down from the all-powerful government, these come from the fact that we are human, and we are living.

                  If you had a sliver of moral decency, you would allow people to learn from their mistakes, rather than confiscate the wealth of others to soften their fall, so the idiots go and do the same thing over and over again, because big daddy gov’t is going to take care of them no matter what stupid decisions they make throughout their lives.

                  And the social security safety net you speak of, is a Ponzi scheme, people’s money is spent before they ever are allowed to access it, if people want to retire, then they should be responsible for saving for their own retirement.

                4. If you’re going to put “crime” in scare quotes, you should do the same for “punishment”, because both are equally absurd in that context. Not feeding yourself is not a crime and starvation is not a punishment unless you’re being religious or poetic, in any case you should be consistent. There is causation but nobody set up rules and nobody is enforcing them.

                5. Tony,

                  Food and shelter are not rights.
                  If someone else is required to provide a good or service to you, it isn’t a right. There is nothing wrong with wanting everybody to have enough food to eat or a place to live but it won’t happen because a government decrees these things to be rights.

                  Rights can not be separated from the individual. Rights existed outside of society or a government. Life, liberty, and property are rights because they don’t require anyone else. Once you start pretending goods and services are rights, you began to take away the rights of the people who are providing things like food or shelter.

                6. “I don’t think starvation and early death should be punishments for the “crime” of not making good choices decades ago”

                  I agree, Tony. Thank Atheizmo we don’t have libertarian policies in action in this country. Otherwise, some people might not live a long, natural life. Also, some people might become mal-nourished.
                  Or, God forbid, some people might be robbed and murdered in their own houses.

                7. They are rights if we decide they are.

                  Who is this “we”?

                  By the way, the “we” in Oklahoma declared that same-sex marriage is not a right, so I guess you agree.

                  You guys consistently fail to acknowledge that the more people you make hungry by your draconian, darwinian policies, the more likely those people will rise up and create an even more socialistic society.

                  And how will they rise up?

                8. They are rights if we decide they are.

                  *barf*

                  *barf*

                  *baaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrfffffffffffff*

                9. “Food and shelter are not rights
                  They are rights if we decide they are”

                  God, or nature, would disagree with you.

                  “And people are also living much longer, and often those years are ones in which people are physically unable to work.”
                  Remember that Jack Lalanne fellow? Lifting weights and doing crazy stuff till the day he died? Having the human body waste away isn’t natural, it comes from poor choices. Outside of serious disease or accidents there is no reason you cannot be active until the say you leave this earth.

                  “You guys consistently fail to acknowledge that the more people you make hungry by your draconian, darwinian policies, the more likely those people will rise up and create an even more socialistic society. Assuming you don’t also want to take away their democratic rights as well, an idea which many here have expressed sympathy for.”

                  America survived for almost 200 years without any sort of government policies. Underwent the cost splendid economic growth ever seen. And whoever said our policies are draconian? It isn’t like we are preventing individuals from receiving charity, I donate money to charities and my local church for that very reason. The thing is, I choose were my charity gets to go, rather than have the government steal it from me. And if government charity is such a panacea, then why is Africa in even worse condition after billions upon billions of dollars in government charity? Because governments are incompetent at best.

            4. “entitled teenage brat worldview”

              This is coming from someone with the worldview that constist of “stay out of my bedroom, but pay for my healthcare, education, housing, etc”. Liberalism is stance for stance what teenagers believe.

              1. Where do people get that from anyway? How is the worldview where you are supposed to take care of yourself and respect the rights of others the immature one?

                1. @Enyap

            5. Or society could value not having retired people starve in the streets. Too much of an imposition on you and your entitled teenage brat worldview?

              Then don’t spend so fucking much when you are working and save more. It sounds to me like the entitled teenage brat worldview is “give me what I want to live on” and the adult worldview is “save what you want to live on.”

              1. Night, you can toss out daddy-knows-best moral injunctions all you want, the fact is that there will be an increase in people starving on the streets if we take away social safety nets. You can attribute it to moral turpitude if you like, it’s still a fact, and the question of whether society should do something about it will remain.

                1. Tony|2.21.11 @ 3:24PM|#
                  “Night, you can toss out daddy-knows-best moral [bullshit squared].

                  Shut up and sit down.

                2. No, if you take away social safety nets(and the wealth robbing that comes with them), than those who actually produce and create wealth, will be able to afford to be charitable, and provide to those who are in a real and genuine need of assistance, by freely associating with those people and doing what you can to help them, rather than being coerced into helping people who in most cases are more than able to help themselves.

                  Read. More. Bastiat.
                  Legal plunder is still plunder.

                3. “…there will be an increase in people starving on the streets if we take away social safety nets.”

                  Maybe. Maybe they would get jobs and maybe those who couldn’t would get by on family/friends/charity. Either way, most of the people who would be at risk of dying in the streets without safety nets are a product those safety nets. And the more safety nets you put in place, the more people will answer the call to validate their existence by discovering that they NEEED them.

                4. “it’s still a fact”

                  I don’t think I have ever seen anyone starving in the streets anywhere in America, although I have seen people overdosing in the streets. No one is going to starve in the street unless they choose to.

                  Homo.

                5. Starving in the streets is hyperbole. It doesn’t happen in free countries unless someone purposely does it, for instance, abusive parents starving their kid in a closet.

                6. Night, you can toss out daddy-knows-best moral injunctions all you want, the fact is that there will be an increase in people starving on the streets if we take away social safety nets.

                  And what did they do to deserve a social safety net?

                7. Night, you can toss out daddy-knows-best moral injunctions all you want

                  Considering your whole philosophy boils down to FUCK YOU DAD, it’s entirely appropriate.

            6. Cause there were soooo many old people dying in the street during the 80’s and 90’s.

              1. Well poor people are icky, that’s objective fact.

                1. Tony|2.21.11 @ 5:48PM|#
                  “Well poor people are icky, that’s objective fact.”

                  Tony’s a brain-dead ignoramus. That’s an objective fact.

                  1. Worst chat-room ever.

                2. Wow, what an original response.

        2. Re: Tony,

          Yeah and a pension is deferred salary.

          It’s not a deferred salary. Normal people SAVE (as in “savings”) for their future. A pension is what you take from your pool of savings, but before you can draw from that pool, you have to PUT IN INTO THE POOL. Unionized thieves are not doing that.

          They get their salary from taxpayers.

          I did not say anything different.

          Frame it however you want, it still amounts to a pay cut. (Which they’re willing to accept, by the way.)

          Of course it’s a paycut. I have not said anything else. That’s not my argument. My argument is that they deserve ZERO. Thieves deserve nothing.

          Pensions allowed people to retire with dignity.

          You’re begging the question.

          The first generation of 401K people are retiring. Guess what? They can’t afford to live.

          Cry me a river. How is that my problem?

          Arithmetic seems to elude you.

          Economics, finance and common sense seems to elude you.

          Spending more than what you RECEIVE is what creates deficits.

          Oh, and irony seems to elude you as well, as you stated the very same thing I did. The above statement is the same as mine.

          1. My argument is that they deserve ZERO. Thieves deserve nothing.

            Then you’re a small-minded zealot who believes in fantasy worlds. Either talk about reality, in which there will always be a government, or go away.

            1. Tony|2.21.11 @ 1:59PM|#
              “I don’t like you!”

              Good, that makes it mutual.

            2. Re: Tony,

              Then you’re a small-minded zealot who believes in fantasy worlds. Either talk about reality, in which there will always be a government, or go away.

              There will always be bad people, Tony, yet you don’t expect anybody to not talk against evil acts? Get real.

              1. I am perfectly capable of making hundreds of posts without once mentally masturbating about a fantasy future world that will never exist.

                1. Tony|2.21.11 @ 3:00PM|#
                  “I am perfectly capable of making hundreds of posts without once mentally masturbating about a fantasy future world that will never exist.

                  All the evidence is to the contrary.

                  1. Well poor people are icky, that’s objective fact.

        3. People would be able to save for retirement if it wasn’t for inflation destroying the value of their savings. Of course that’s a whole different issue involving the federal reserve. If you can’t grasp why public unions might be bad than fiat currency is going to be way beyond you.

          1. People would be able to save for retirement if it wasn’t for inflation destroying the value of their savings.

            Which is why people would put their money in assets which rise with inflation.

    6. Feel free to try to destroy the corporations in retaliation. I doubt you’ll get much support from the DNC, insofar as they are owned by corporate America (although not to the same debilitating extent that they are owned by public sector union America).

    7. Stop it, Tony. You’re making the Republicans sound like a party that I could vote for again.

      1. I tend to think that that just might be the point.

    8. Pensions are not a handout, they are deferred payment for work done.

      Deferred payments are not financially sustainable. The reason? Governments and corporations and unions are no smarter or better at saving for the long term than individuals. They are just as likely to be tempted to blow the money on some goodies today, and not have it when the time comes for retirement.

      This is the problem with social security. It is the problem with defined benefit pensions.

      Over and over we have seen how when a company goes into decline, the pension fund gets raided. Unions even go along with this, lending money from the pension fund to keep the company going. Everyone thinks that the next five year plan will make the company the dominanat player again.

      Politicians are too tempted to spend the money coming in for short term political benefit than to save it for the pension fund.

      401(k) aren’t shit, they are the ONLY guarentee that your retirement money won’t just be arbitrarily cut off when the company goes bankrupt or the government changes the law. Having money personally in your name gives you PROPERTY RIGHTS over it. You OWN your 401(k) in a way that you do not own money held in a defined benefit pension plan fund. You have personal control over it, and it cannot be arbitrarily seized. Unions all over the country are now discovering that property rights are a good thing. Pension plans are not really deferred compensation, they are just a way of employers pretending to pay you. That promise, as we see, is easily broken.

      The only way to guarentee your retirement security is to control it yourself. Get the money NOW, save it yourself, and nobody else can touch it.

      Unless, of course, they devalue the currency. That’s another neat trick.

      1. +1

        The incentives for underfunding pensions are strong and the results of doing so can be seen everywhere from GM to the state goverment of California.

      2. Fuck 401ks. Income tax laws shouldn’t be written to encourage or discourage any particular form of savings. Income tax should be a flat rate no matter what one does with their income, I can figure out how to save money or invest on my own.

        1. The best option is to take extra money NOW and save it yourself, maybe invest in a mutual fund.

          But 401(k)’s are still much superior to pension plans.

          An yone who doesn’t realize this is a complete tool.

          You don’t get any of the benefit of a pension plan until you’ve worked for a certain number of years for the same company. If you leave before you are vested you get NOTHING of the “deferred payment”. Essentially, the system is set up to FORCE you to work for the same company for your entire life. And then, the pension fund is not legally yours, so the company, or the union leaders, can change their mind about what they want to do with it. Raid it to save the company, or reduce your benefits. And you can’t do anything about it.

          401(k)’s on the other hand, are legally in your name. The company can’t touch the money unless you invest it in company stock. And you take the balance with you if you change jobs. I currently have 2 401(k) funds from different corpoations plus a bunch of money in an Ameritrade account.

      3. Shit my 401K went up 30% in the past year. Sure is nice to have control over things.

    9. Tell us about “icky poor people again”, Tony.

      1. You are aware that was a joke?

        1. Tony|2.21.11 @ 5:49PM|#
          Well poor people are icky, that’s objective fact.”

          Tony’s a brain-dead ignoramus. That’s an objective fact.

        2. A joke that was not. Douchebag you are.

        3. Yeah. Sure it was.

          1. Recall what you said when I mentioned being a low-income earner, Tony… you chastised me, essentially, for not earning enough and – though you did not say as much – I can surmise that you consider me to be unpatriotic for not being on welfare.

            1. I just wonder why you don’t choose a political philosophy that allows you to receive help. It’s perfectly possible to be an intellectually and morally fulfilled liberal, you know.

              1. Again, you bring morality into a place it does not belong. Either we separate church and state, or we don’t.

                Besides, I don’t want “help”, seeing as it comes from the pockets of total strangers.

                1. FIFY in all fairness talking about morality has nothing to do with the separation of church and state. Morality is not just the purview of those who are religious. Too many individuals use that line of argument out of context, this is one of them.

                  1. That being said Tony the reason why we choose this political philosophy is because it is closer to nature. You are entitled to say that you can live an intellectually and morally fulfilling life as a progressive, they aren’t really liberals in the true sense of the world, I would disagree.

    10. What is the rational economic basis for corporate taxation? How can corporations be taxed, yet cannot vote? How is a government better equipped to allocate the profits of a corporation better than the shareholders or owners of the corporation itself?

      1. What is the rational economic basis for corporate taxation? How can corporations be taxed, yet cannot vote? How is a government better equipped to allocate the profits of a corporation better than the shareholders or owners of the corporation itself?

        Think of it as rent in exchange for the privilege of doing business.

        There is a reason why feudal barons had the right to a share of the profits of the farmers and merchants who operated in their fiefdoms.

    11. The Republican free market zealot of a governor, who CUT CORPORATE TAX RATES, WHICH CREATED THE DEFICIT, is asking public employees to sacrifice to pay down the deficit.

      Scott Walker took office this year.

      He did not create the deficit.

  20. who CUT CORPORATE TAX RATES, WHICH CREATED THE DEFICIT

    How does the stimulus money factor into that equation? You know, the stimulus money which the states papered over their budget shortfalls with.

    1. You mean that kept state budgets afloat, kept people employed, and kept their economies from going off a cliff? Yeah, that went away. You’d think that would mean corporate tax breaks would be off the table, but nope. We have to pay for those, along with deficits, by taking even more from the middle class. Freedom!!!

      1. Re: Tony,

        You’d think that would mean corporate tax breaks would be off the table, but nope. We have to pay for those, along with deficits, by taking even more from the middle class.

        A nitwit who believes tax rate cuts create deficits and that unionized thieves are “Da Middle Class.”

        World, meet: Tony.

        1. OM it is simply a fact that, for example, the Bush tax cuts are one of the single largest contributors to the national budget imbalance.

          I’m a nitwit, and you can’t even acknowledge that taking away revenue means there’s less revenue?

          1. Re: Tony,

            OM it is simply a fact that, for example, the Bush tax cuts are one of the single largest contributors to the national budget imbalance.

            Oh, sure, and gravity is the single largest contributor to planes falling from the sky – great conclusion, Sherlock!

            If you SPEND more than you TAKE IN, you have a DEFICIT – ergo, it is the SPENDING that causes DEFICITS, not INCOME.

            I’m a nitwit, and you can’t even acknowledge that taking away revenue means there’s less revenue?

            Sure, the same way robbing less means less loot. IT’S NOT THE GOVERNMENT’S MONEY, asshole. Letting people keep more of their hard-earned cash is a moral principle: “Thou Shall Not Steal.”

            If you know you’re going to receive less income, you adjust your SPENDING: That is what you have under your control, the spending! ASk your mommy.

            1. If you SPEND more than you TAKE IN, you have a DEFICIT – ergo, it is the SPENDING that causes DEFICITS, not INCOME.

              Spoken like a true Republican think tank shill. Do you actually believe this crap? It’s just fucking addition and subtraction. First grade stuff. A deficit can be caused either by too much spending or not enough income, which amounts to the same thing. Why can’t you grasp this? Because you think taxes should always go down, and you don’t want to admit that raising them means more revenue?

              Sure, the same way robbing less means less loot. IT’S NOT THE GOVERNMENT’S MONEY

              Way to change the subject, King of All Logic.

              If you know you’re going to receive less income, you adjust your SPENDING: That is what you have under your control, the spending! ASk your mommy.

              But government has this amazing ability to raise revenues by increasing taxes. Tax rates are not set by God. We decide what we want to buy, and then we raise the revenue to pay for it. That’s being responsible. Accepting the rates that whatever Republican fucktard who came before decided them to be and then cutting spending willy-nilly to conform to them is not.

              1. Re: Tony,

                Spoken like a true Republican think tank shill. Do you actually believe this crap?

                I don’t have to believe anything, Tony: It’s economics, here and everywhere.

                It’s just fucking addition and subtraction. First grade stuff. A deficit can be caused either by too much spending or not enough income, which amounts to the same thing.

                Sure, and planes falling from the sky may be because the ground gets closer very fast. Simple arithmatic.

                The CONCEPT of DEFICIT means SPENDING more than you RECEIVE. That’s it. What you can control is SPENDING.

                Because you think taxes should always go down, and you don’t want to admit that raising them means more revenue?

                Raising taxes = more revenue?

                Bwa ha ha ha ha!

                But government has this amazing ability to raise revenues by increasing taxes.

                Sure, and thieves can raise revenue by robbing more victims – AND?

                Tax rates are not set by God. We decide what we want to buy, and then we raise the revenue to pay for it.

                What’s with this “we” business, Kimo Sabe? “We” didn’t do anything of the sort.

                1. Sure, and thieves can raise revenue by robbing more victims – AND?

                  Okay this is what I’m talking about. You are changing the subject to your stupid nonsense about how taxes are theft when you don’t want to acknowledge a simple fact that you don’t like: that is, the other half of the budget equation for governments.

                  1. Re: Tony,

                    Okay this is what I’m talking about. You are changing the subject[…]

                    No, I’m not. I am comparing one evil act with another. The fact that YOU don’t think government is acting immorally when “raising” (i.e. stealing) taxes is a totally different thing.

                    to your stupid nonsense about how taxes are theft when you don’t want to acknowledge a simple fact that you don’t like: that is, the other half of the budget equation for governments.

                    Really, Tony – do you expect me to accept an evil act as solution to a financial problem? The shortfall is the goverment’s problem, not the taxpayer. If government cannot increase revenue by other means besides theft, then government should have NO business raising revenue AT ALL.

                    Taxation IS theft – it is the forcefull taking of property that does not belong to you.

              2. Tony I respect the hell out of you for trying but you’re truly jousting at windmills here.

                If someone tells you this…

                If you SPEND more than you TAKE IN, you have a DEFICIT – ergo, it is the SPENDING that causes DEFICITS, not INCOME.

                then it’s best just to shake your head and walk away.

                This is a great place to find out what the crazies are thinking, but there’s no way you’re changing any of their minds.

                1. Tony I respect the hell out of you

                  You should do stand up.

                2. This is a great place to find out what the crazies are thinking, but there’s no way you’re changing any of their minds.

                  I just like the irony of advocating for political pragmatism in a way that’s an exercise in futility.

                  1. Tony|2.21.11 @ 3:11PM|#
                    “This is a great place to find out what the crazies are thinking,…”

                    And Tony shows up to prove it.

                  2. “I just like the irony of advocating for political pragmatism in a way that’s an exercise in futility.”

                    You read this off the fridge door after you shook up the magnetic letters?
                    Or was it from one of those ‘magic’ 8-balls?

                    1. Pragmatic futility is the best kind!

                3. “then it’s best just to shake your head and walk away.”
                  Those darn facts are just so nasty, right bozo?

                4. Re: Horchata,

                  If someone tells you this…

                  then it’s best just to shake your head and walk away.

                  …. Instead of giving good, cogent arguments. Simply scurry off, like Horchata here would do.

                  By the way, Horchata, the one thing you have control of is your spending. If you project to spend $100.00 and your income is $70.00, then you have a $30.00 deficit but not because of your INCOME: it’s because of your SPENDING projection. You either adjust your spending (like any normal human being) or you borrow money, or you rob a bank. But don’t simply agree with halfwit there (Tony) because you look even MORE the fool that him.

                5. Jesus tap dancing Christ you are dumb. This is basic fucking math here. If I, as a person, know that my monthly paycheck is $3000 and I go and spend $4000, my spending created the $1000 deficit, not my income.

                  Now, I have two options: 1. I only spend up to $3000 in a given month, or 2. I look for a second job (or raise taxes if you are the government). The fucking difference is that if I get a second job, my income increases by whatever that paycheck is. When the government raises taxes, they can raise them as high as they want but the collected data shows that the maximum they’ve pulled in over the last 70 years is about 20%. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Income_tax_in_the_United_States)

                  Now I don’t disagree with all taxes (value taxes, sales taxes) but fuck you and Tony and Orrin if you think you have a right to the money I earn to feed my family.

                6. Horchata: “If you SPEND more than you TAKE IN, you have a DEFICIT – ergo, it is the SPENDING that causes DEFICITS, not INCOME.”

                  Moral issues of taxes aside, it is much easier to balance a budget by cutting spending than by raising taxes. Past a certain point, raising taxes doesn’t bring in anymore income.

                  If taxes are too high, the private sector will contract, and so there will be less things to tax. Considering we’ve just went through a massive contraction of the private sector (i.e. a recession) it would be a very bad idea to raise taxes. Raising taxes would likely lead to more contracting, which will create an even larger deficit as there will be less tax money available.

                  1. Past a certain point, raising taxes doesn’t bring in anymore income.

                    You know who else admitted the same thing?

                7. horchata|2.21.11 @ 2:11PM|#

                  “If someone tells you this…

                  If you SPEND more than you TAKE IN, you have a DEFICIT – ergo, it is the SPENDING that causes DEFICITS, not INCOME.

                  then it’s best just to shake your head and walk away.

                  This is a great place to find out what the crazies are thinking, but there’s no way you’re changing any of their minds.”

                  Shaking your head at what?

                  I make 100 bucks. I spend 100 bucks. deficit, balanace, or surplus?

                  Then, I make 90 bucks. I spend 100 bucks. Deficit, balance, or surplus?

                  Then, I make 50 dollars. I spend 40 dollars. Deficit, balance, or surplus?

          2. OM it is simply a fact that, for example, the Bush tax cuts are one of the single largest contributors to the national budget imbalance.

            How much were revenues on January 19, 2009 as compared to January 20, 2001?

            1. Just from my cursory google search, it appears that 2001 revenue was a little over 2T and 2010 was about 2.1T

        2. “World, meet: Tony.”

          Naah.
          Tony, meet: reality.

      2. “You mean that kept state budgets afloat, kept people employed, and kept their economies from going off a cliff?”

        I think you meant to say increase the deficit, lessened the buying power of every dollar in circulation, created an addiction to Federal funds by this state, and pushed the economy closer to the edge of the cliff.

      3. You mean that kept state budgets afloat”,
        This is true

        “kept people employed, and kept their economies from going off a cliff?”
        Actual economic data shows otherwise. The only people who benefited from the stimulus were governments and public employees.

        Yeah, that went away. You’d think that would mean corporate tax breaks would be off the table, but nope. We have to pay for those, along with deficits, by taking even more from the middle class. Freedom!!!:

        This is largely just empty rhetoric. Here are some facts

        1) We have the largest corporate tax rate out of all the developed nations outside of Japan. Funny thing though, many very large corporations, ones that are buddy buddy with the feds often pay much less or nothing at all. Smaller corporations do not get this benefit. Are you aware that CANADA of all places has lowered their tax rate, that bastion of socialism in America? Obama should pay attention to that.

  21. I support the ability of Wisconsin teachers to put as much of their salary into a 403(b) as they like.

    I want to see them demonstrate their confidence in the future of their state by investing exclusively in Wisconsin state and municipal bonds.

    1. 403(b)’s can be used to do that.

  22. A Republican governor is asking constituents who mostly didn’t vote for him to take an 8%+ pay cut. How would you guys like it if a Democrat asked that of you?

    The Illinois Democrat governor/legislature I didn’t vote for is “asking” me to pay a 66% higher state income tax rate.

    No, I don’t like it.

    What the hell is your point?

    1. SOCIAL CONTRAKT!!!!1!!!!

    2. The Illinois Democrat governor/legislature I didn’t vote for is “asking” me to pay a 66% higher state income tax rate.

      No, I don’t like it.

      What the hell is your point?

      “IOKIYAD!”

  23. It’s funny how people can’t seem to avoid the black hole of strawman obfuscation that the Chony’s of the world add to all of these threads.

    I’m not perfect, and sometimes I fall for it too, but these people are so disingenuous and they constantly move the goal post that it’s impossible to debate a specific point.

    You say “Walker got elected to face down the powerful Teachers Union and force them to pay more for there benefits” and Tony would say “Walker is trying to cut middle class salaries to pay for corporate tax cuts.”

    It’s a dumb game and get mad at myself when I play it.

    1. force them to pay more for [their] benefits

      How is that numerically different from asking for a pay cut? They get their pay from taxpayers.

      1. It makes it harder to cheat comparisons with the private sector by glossing over their awesome benefits and only comparing wages. If they could attack the job security angle, it would be even better.

        1. We should be investing in making the private sector more like the public sector when it comes to pay, benefits, and rights, not the other way around.

          1. I like what you have written here and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

            1. no prob just google – the coming islamic caliphate, their commie union buddies & the bellydancer.

            2. Us too!

          2. Hardly. Benefits are a one size all policy that ensures that workers performing the same job are treated unequally — healthy people get less benefit from company health plans than sickly people, men get less benefit than women from maternity leave, people who have genetic diseases that will kill them by age 50 get jack shit from pensions and so on. By dropping benefits to nothing but increasing salary, people would be compensated equally — at the end of the day, it comes down to whether you think people should be paid based on what they need, or based on the value they are providing the people in government service labor.

            Job security is even worse, because it keeps people mismatched with the jobs that suit them and degrades the quality of service provided. If you actually value the services that government provides (rather than merely valuing the money laundering operation of public worker pay -> pubsec union dues -> DNC coffers), giving government the capacity to promote based on merit rather than seniority and to terminate the worst workers would seem to be essential. There’s no pro-social argument for overly strong protections against termination, and most of the “due process” crap is not to ensure that good workers get a fair hearing, but to ensure that the termination process is so onerous and unforgiving to the firer that it isn’t worthwhile to fire employees.

            Unions don’t stand for the average worker, they stand for the worst worker — for example, the teachers that stuck with their students and their jobs should be rewarded, to the extent the state can afford it. The ones that abandoned their students for the prospect of $$$$ should be unceremoniously shitcanned, fired for cause.

            1. Tony and Co. don’t like it when someone like you lays out a fully cogent argument. It just shows how out of their league they are.

              They would much rather get into a spitting match with Old Mexican or someone who disects an argument line by line and only offers up non-sequiturs or a few one liners as a response.

            2. “people who have genetic diseases that will kill them by age 50 get jack shit from pensions”

              ++

              I just don’t understand how liberals and their fucking bleeding hearts don’t get this point.

            3. cynical 2:13 (rather than merely valuing the money laundering operation of public worker pay -> pubsec union dues -> DNC coffers)

              This is really the big picture, and it explains the participation of the DNC, President and his .orgs.

              I’m actually surprised they didn’t think about the possible negatives of drawing this much attention to it.

          3. Tony|2.21.11 @ 1:50PM|#
            We should be investing in making the private sector more like the public sector when it comes to pay, benefits, and rights, not the other way around.

            Holy shit – the stupidity, it BURNNSSS…

          4. We got that, it’s called GM.

            1. and the agriculture sector plus university R&D

              1. ^?
                Lost my brain-dead decoder ring.

          5. “We should be investing in making the private sector more like the public sector when it comes to pay, benefits, and rights, not the other way around.”

            Why? So then private businesses can go belly-up like the government has, then there are more unemployed and less tax revenue for the gov’t to disperse, so they tax more businesses at a higher rate, then they go belly-up, and eventually the only “business” you have is government.

            All hail our new political overlords, masters of all employment, production, and property.

            1. Businesses benefit from having a large customer base with lots of disposable income, a goal individual firms won’t attempt to meet on their own.

              1. Re: Tony,

                Businesses benefit from having a large customer base with lots of disposable income, a goal individual firms won’t attempt to meet on their own.

                Actually, businesses benefit from producing products people want and are willing to pay, never mind the “lots of disposable income.”

                Your lack of knowledge of economics is so sweet, so quaint…

                1. You don’t even acknowledge that macroeconomics exists OM.

                  1. Tony|2.21.11 @ 3:34PM|#
                    “You don’t even acknowledge that macroeconomics exists OM.”

                    Uh, I’ll bet you were hoping that meant something.

                  2. Re: Tony,

                    You don’t even acknowledge that macroeconomics exists OM.

                    Just like I don’t acknowledge that macroevolution exists, Tony. There’s economics and there’s evolution, no “macro” or “micro”. Both terms serve as nothing more than obfuscations.

                    1. There’s economics and there’s evolution, no “macro” or “micro”. Both terms serve as nothing more than obfuscations.

                      Or, “size doesn’t matter.”

                      AAAAAAHAHAHAHAAHA

              2. If you own the printing press everyone can have high salaries and high benefits! No more poor people! And there’s no catch (your mileage may vary though)!

          6. Tony|2.21.11 @ 1:50PM|#
            “We should be investing in making the private sector more like the public sector…”

            You bet! I got your $10K lap-top ‘puter right here!

          7. governments don’t invest, they spend. Investing is taking money which you have and giving it to a company to make money give you back your principal and then some interest. Governments don’t do that, they don’t even have any money, they don’t earn any money. They take it from us now, in taxes, or later, through inflation and debt accrual.

      2. And according to the election, the taxpayers are damn tired of paying them.

        1. So they want to instead pay roughly the same amount to Republican special interests? I don’t think so.

          1. Tony|2.21.11 @ 1:51PM|#
            “Brand new lie I made up.”

            1. Tony|2.18.11 @ 7:15PM|#

              Well poor people are icky, that’s objective fact.

              1. Tony|2.21.11 @ 5:49PM|#
                Well poor people are icky, that’s objective fact.”

                Tony’s a brain-dead ignoramus. That’s an objective fact.

          2. Can you name one or two?

            1. Tony never provides citations or links for his made-up bullshit.

              1. Tony|2.21.11 @ 3:13PM|#
                “See below.”

                Bullshit.
                You cut and pasted from an anonymous site, liar.

              2. Right – a cut and paste from an opinion piece that talks about cuts that don’t take effect until the 2011-2013 budget. So my point stands.

    2. but these people are so disingenuous and they constantly move the goal post that it’s impossible to debate a specific point.

      That’s called “passive-aggressive”. joe was an expert at it.

    3. Sometimes I think “Tony” is a Reason staffer, or someone else like-minded, that is posting the standard team blue arguments to make others practice their debate and logic abilities.

      Either that or is a very sad man in search of a purpose.

      1. I’ve actually thought the same thing! Like maybe one day all the trolls will come out of the closet and it was like some sort of test to make us super libertarians.

        I just don’t get the trolls. If they want to blog, why would they come here? Daily Kos would welcome them with open arms. Still, I enjoy arguing with them sometime…I probably should get better hobbies.

      2. I’ve thought the same, as continuously losing arguments and running away destroys whatever position you hold.

        If it weren’t for the myriad of confused people I know in real life, I’d consider him a complete fabrication.

        Or maybe someone with a financial stake in the big government process.

      3. Maybe he just prefers to argue with people that will make an effort to argue back rather than calling him a communist faggot or saying “preach it!” without further elaboration.

        You can call it trolling, but I think trolls are usually looking to elicit an emotional response, not an intellectual one.

        Don’t get me wrong, he definitely does delve into trolling at times, and spending as much time as he does debating Hysterical Libertarian on this article is a case in point; but sometimes he does try to respond to all comers, and with arguments rather than snark. Compare and contrast with, say, Max or the blogwhore, who barely ever say anything on topic in the first place.

        But I do get annoyed with people who seem to suggest that making mainstream left or right viewpoints here is “trolling”, as it seems to suggests that the very act of disagreement is an act of bad faith, or at least that they’re responsible for the commentariat’s inability to tolerate differences of opinion without correcting them. Trolling suggests a provocation, and provocation requires intent; sometimes the problem is the provokee being oversensitive.

  24. by taking even more from the middle class

    Where I come from, “middle class” not same as “union wage ape”.

  25. For your edification on this thread:
    https://reason.com/blog/2011/02…..nt_2146310

    Neu Mejican|2.20.11 @ 11:46PM|#
    “…The right to collective bargaining is a direct exercise of the freedom of association….”

    I’m still waiting to hear if the bowling lane owner should be required by law to negotiate prices with my bowling club. Neu seems to be stumbling over that question.

    1. Hey sevo…are you talking about me while I am gone again?

      And making shit up still.
      Impressive stamina.

  26. So it doesn’t bother anyone that Walker himself created the debt “crisis” with $140 million in special interest giveaways, for which he is now asking other interests (the ones that don’t vote Republican, namely) to pay for?

    Do you excuse this behavior because you agree with his policy goals of busting up unions?

    1. Re: Tony,

      So it doesn’t bother anyone that Walker himself created the debt “crisis” with $140 million in special interest giveaways, for which he is now asking other interests (the ones that don’t vote Republican, namely) to pay for?

      You mean tax cuts are giveaways? Wow, that means when a thief does not take all my money, he’s actualy giving me money!

      Do you excuse this behavior because you agree with his policy goals of busting up unions?

      It’s not an either/or thing, Tony. Busting unions is a good in itself, like busting a kidnapping gang.

      1. The giveaways:

        “? $25 million for an economic development fund for job creation that still has $73 million due to a lack of job creation. Walker is creating a $25 million hole which will not create or retain jobs.

        “? $48 million for private health savings accounts, which primarily benefit the wealthy. A study from the federal Governmental Accountability Office showed the average adjusted gross income of HSA participants was $139,000 and nearly half of HSA participants reported withdrawing nothing from their HSA, evidence that it is serving as a tax shelter for wealthy participants.

        “? $67 million for a tax shift plan, so ill-conceived that at best the benefit provided to ‘job creators’ would be less than a dollar a day per new job, and may be as little as 30 cents a day.”

        Most of this is spending.

        1. Why don’t you give us a link to that cut and paste?
          Afraid we’ll find the amounts have nothing to do with “spending”?

          1. It’s an editorial from a progressive news paper in wisconsin:

            http://host.madison.com/ct/new…..aaaf6.html

            the bullet points themselves seem to originate from One Wisconsin Now, though I can’t find it on their site.

            1. So it’s simply propaganda? Thought so; Tony has nothing other than propaganda to support his claims.

              1. The editorializing is from some progressive source. The giveaways are fact, though.

                1. Tony|2.21.11 @ 3:41PM|#
                  “…The giveaways are fact, though.”

                  ‘Cause Tony says so!
                  Uh, I’ll bet the second grade was a couple of the best years of your life.

          2. Why don’t you give us a link to that cut and paste?

            Probably because it wouldn’t help his argument if you saw that Walker’s cuts and other policies don’t take effect until the 2011-2013 budget.

            http://www.politifact.com/wisc…..udget-sur/

        2. “and nearly half of HSA participants reported withdrawing nothing from their HSA, ”

          Could this be because HSAs are a fairly new development, and people start consuming more healthcare dollars as they get older? Expecting that people will consume their HSA savings on a year to year basis is ridiculous.

          1. Right. The whole point is that they won’t.

    2. “Do you excuse this behavior because you agree with his policy goals of busting up unions?”

      This is the problem with the political process. It creates competing groups of thieves. I oppose theft entirely. This is why I am an anarcho-capitalist. I am not a “conservative” whatever that term has come to mean in this day-and-age.

      1. What’s gonna prevent theft in an anarcho-capitalist society? Your personal arsenal? (Until someone with a bigger arsenal comes along)

        1. “What’s gonna prevent theft in an anarcho-capitalist society? Your personal arsenal? (Until someone with a bigger arsenal comes along)”

          Most ancaps do not imagine something like a utopia where nothing bad ever happens. We just think it will be better than the status quo. What prevents theft now? What do you call taxation except theft? If I stole money from you and then donated most of that money to my favorite charity [keeping 10% for myself] what would you call this?

          1. If I stole money from you and then donated most of that money to my favorite charity [keeping 10% for myself] what would you call this?

            SOCIAL CONTRAKT!!!111!

          2. What prevents theft now are a taxpayer-funded police force, courts, and jails, not to mention the laws against theft themselves.

            Taxation is not theft. It is the fee you pay in order to maintain the government that you benefit from having. You are a thief if you refuse to pay taxes, because you still benefit. In a democracy you give your implicit consent to taxation, so it’s not theft.

            1. Re: Tony,

              Taxation is not theft.

              Yes, it is: The forceful taking of property that does not belong to you.

              It is the fee you pay in order to maintain the government that you benefit from having.

              Gangs running protection rackets will also say their fee is to pay for a benefit you receive. That means nothing.

              You are a thief if you refuse to pay taxes, because you still benefit.

              You’re begging the question, Tony. You assume the benefit in order to argue for the benefit you pay for!

              In a democracy you give your implicit [???] consent to taxation, so it’s not theft.

              How can one give their “implicit” consent? If a woman is gang raped after everybody votes, does that mean she gave her consent?

              1. Yes, it is: The forceful taking of property that does not belong to you.

                “Belong to you” begs the question. If it’s appropriated as a tax, it by definition doesn’t belong to you, it belongs to the government.

                How do you have a definition of theft without government anyway? I can say pink poodles are an abomination and should be exterminated, but without the force of law it’s just my opinion, no more valid than yours with respect to theft.

                How can one give their “implicit” consent?

                Simple. Go to a restaurant. Nobody makes you sign a contract saying you’re going to pay after the meal. You consent to it implicitly. You consent to being governed (and thus paying taxes) implicitly by being born in a country and having citizenship bestowed upon you via the custodianship of your parents and the rules for citizenship. You are free to renounce that citizenship. If you don’t, your consent remains.

                1. OM I forget, were you born a citizen of the US or were you naturalized? It would be brilliant if it were the latter, because then your consent would be explicit!

                  1. “OM I forget, were you born a citizen of the US or were you naturalized? It would be brilliant if it were the latter, because then your consent would be explicit!”

                    This is irrelevant. He has no choice but to live somewhere on Planet Earth. Even the open seas and the continent of Antarctica are “governed” by treties.

                    1. This is irrelevant. He has no choice but to live somewhere on Planet Earth. Even the open seas and the continent of Antarctica are “governed” by treties.

                      Who said anyone was entitled to their own personal duchy? It’s a limited planet. Is that something adults should whine about?

                      You have more of a choice in countries to live in than you do a lot of types of products in the marketplace, which is supposed to be good enough for anyone. You don’t get to complain that you’re being denied a fundamental right because there isn’t a flying car out there for you.

                    2. “Who said anyone was entitled to their own personal duchy? It’s a limited planet.”

                      If there were no countries, we could all have our own kingdoms.

                      “You have more of a choice in countries to live in than you do a lot of types of products in the marketplace, which is supposed to be good enough for anyone.”

                      [Citation needed]

                      “You don’t get to complain that you’re being denied a fundamental right because there isn’t a flying car out there for you.”

                      Actually, I have complained about that very thing. The reason we DON’T have flying cars is because of the FAA and equivalent departments in other countries.

                2. “”Belong to you” begs the question. If it’s appropriated as a tax, it by definition doesn’t belong to you, it belongs to the government.”
                  You do not see the absurdity here? Read this sentence : “”Belong to you” begs the question. If it’s appropriated by theft, it by definition doesn’t belong to you, it belongs to the person who stole it from you.” Get it?
                  “How do you have a definition of theft without government anyway?”
                  Natural law. All animals use the concept of property rights. The ants living in my garden truly believe they “own” their hive. From their perspective, they do. They can defend it from other ants.
                  “You are free to renounce that citizenship. If you don’t, your consent remains.”
                  Even if I were to renounce my citizenship the tyrants in DC and Tallahassee would still claim the right to take some of my justly acquired property. Renouncing my citizenship would also make international travel even more difficult ? this is why I have not done so. Some libertarians have done this very thing. They still have their property stolen from them by governments.

                  1. sorry about the spacing problem above. I hope it is obvious who’s words are who’s

                  2. Natural law. All animals use the concept of property rights. The ants living in my garden truly believe they “own” their hive. From their perspective, they do. They can defend it from other ants.

                    That’s silly. They only own the hive as long as a predator doesn’t come along and destroys it. They can protest all they want about amorphous “natural rights” but the force of nature acting against them probably won’t be convinced.

                    1. That’s silly. They can live in their own home as long as eminant domain doesn’t come along and destroy it. They can protest all they want about amorphous “natural rights” but the force of government acting against them probably won’t be convinced.

                3. Re: Tony,

                  “Belong to you” begs the question. If it’s appropriated as a tax, it by definition doesn’t belong to you, it belongs to the government.

                  Are you seriously arguing this, Tony? You accuse me of “begging the question” when giving a defintion, and then you go ahead and give THAT question-begging retort?

                  “It belongs to government because it was taxed, and it was taxed because it belongs to government, and it belongs to government because it was taxed, and ….”

                  How do you have a definition of theft without government anyway?

                  That’s the stupidest thing I have ever read. I have a definition for a chair that does not involve government – does that make my definition of a chair wrong?

                  I can say pink poodles are an abomination and should be exterminated

                  That’s not a definition, that’s a conclusion.

                  but without the force of law it’s just my opinion, no more valid than yours with respect to theft.

                  Which tells me you cannot differentiate between “concepts”, “defintion”, “opinion” or “law.”

                  Simple. Go to a restaurant. Nobody makes you sign a contract saying you’re going to pay after the meal.

                  No, and not paying for it may only end up meaning I will not be welcomed there again. There’s a huge difference between giving my consent to pay for a meal I was SERVED by my REQUEST, quite another to have my money taken by force and then giving me some sort of “service” I did not request or wanted in return. One is called “voluntary exchange”, the other is called “Fraud”, “Theft”.

                  You consent to being governed (and thus paying taxes) implicitly by being born in a country

                  Ah, I see: intrauterine consent, or consent by infusion.

                  You are free to renounce that citizenship. If you don’t, your consent remains.

                  Sure, the “put out or get out” routine that date rapists use as well.

                  1. That’s the stupidest thing I have ever read. I have a definition for a chair that does not involve government – does that make my definition of a chair wrong?

                    The concept of theft or stealing only makes sense in the presence of laws against stealing. You are only entitled to ownership of your stuff because a government exists to prevent others from taking it. Protesting about your natural rights won’t be very convincing to someone who thinks he’s entitled to it and has a bigger gun than you.

                    1. “The concept of theft or stealing only makes sense in the presence of laws against stealing. You are only entitled to ownership of your stuff because a government exists to prevent others from taking it. Protesting about your natural rights won’t be very convincing to someone who thinks he’s entitled to it and has a bigger gun than you.”

                      Are you entitled to breath only because the government grants you this right?

                4. Tony|2.21.11 @ 3:44PM|#
                  How do you have a definition of theft without government anyway?

                  Is Chonyuth actually arguing that words would not have definitions without government? Seriously? I know that Al Gore invented the internet, but this is the first time I’ve ever heard that government invented language.

                  1. Words that relate to legal claims and crimes require government to define them. This is pretty basic. You can say something is theft but without a legal framework defining what that means, I have just as much a claim to your stuff as you do.

                    1. “Words that relate to legal claims and crimes require government to define them. This is pretty basic. You can say something is theft but without a legal framework defining what that means, I have just as much a claim to your stuff as you do.”

                      Theft exists whether or not government does just as ketchup exists whether or not government does. Yes, there *is* a legal definition of ketchup. But that does not mean that the word “ketchup” would cease to have meaning if government disapeared.

            2. A man should not voluntarily pay taxes to governments either directly or indirectly; nor should he accept money collected by taxes either as salary or as pension or as a reward; nor should he make use of governmental institutions supported by taxes, since they are collected by violence from the people.

            3. “What prevents theft now are a taxpayer-funded police force, courts, and jails, not to mention the laws against theft themselves.”

              And yet, strangely enough, theft still occurs. Theft is still perpetrated both by the government and by persons not in the employ of the government.

              “It is the fee you pay in order to maintain the government that you benefit from having.”
              How is this different from the Mafia providing “protection services”.

              “In a democracy you give your implicit consent to taxation, so it’s not theft.”

              How, exactly does someone “implicitly consent”? Does a woman “implicitly consent” to rape if she prefers the rape to being killed by the knife against her throat?

              1. And yet, strangely enough, theft still occurs. Theft is still perpetrated both by the government and by persons not in the employ of the government.

                Yeah theft still occurs. You think it would diminish without the threat of police response?

                Furthermore, does the concept of theft even make sense in the absence of laws (and the force behind the laws) defining it?

                How is this different from the Mafia providing “protection services”.

                Because it’s legitimate. Taking your logic to its conclusion, you want a society in which the only people doing any enforcing ARE mafiosi.

                How, exactly does someone “implicitly consent”?

                By not renouncing his citizenship and fleeing the jurisdiction in which the laws are in force.

                1. “Yeah theft still occurs. You think it would diminish without the threat of police response?”

                  Yes, because people would not be prosecuted for defending their property.

                  “Furthermore, does the concept of theft even make sense in the absence of laws (and the force behind the laws) defining it?”

                  Yes, see my comments about Natural Law and the ants in my garden.

                  “Because it’s legitimate.”
                  How is it legitimate?

                  “Taking your logic to its conclusion, you want a society in which the only people doing any enforcing ARE mafiosi.”

                  Is a private security firm [that has the actual consent of the customer] the same as the Mafia?

                  “By not renouncing his citizenship and fleeing the jurisdiction in which the laws are in force.”

                  Does a woman who prefers rape to the knife against her throat imply consent? Why or why not?

                2. “Yeah theft still occurs. You think it would diminish without the threat of police response?”

                  Yes, because people are more concerned with their property than the police are, so they would take steps to secure it.

                  I have had my car broken into many times, file a report, and nothing is ever found. Police don’t give a shit, and are usually nothing much more than form fillers. Now, if we didn’t have the police to fall back on, and if they gov’t didn’t take so much of my money, I could hire some guards to protect my belongings.

            4. What prevents theft now are a taxpayer-funded police force, courts, and jails, not to mention the laws against theft themselves.

              I’ve never seen a policeman prevent theft. I’ve given statements to the police AFTER my property was stolen (and never recovered). Big difference.

              1. Good point. I have had the same experience.

                1. Think there’d be more or less theft in the absence of police? (Not to mention laws against theft!)

                  1. Spluh!

                    Do you think there would be more or less murders in the absence of the death penalty? (Not to mention laws against murder!)

                  2. “Think there’d be more or less theft in the absence of police? (Not to mention laws against theft!)”

                    Yes. I think we ought to pass laws against hurricanes! Then there would be fewer hurricanes!

                    1. Who’s winning?

        2. Re: Tony,

          What’s gonna prevent theft in an anarcho-capitalist society? Your personal arsenal? (Until someone with a bigger arsenal comes along)

          Well, that already happens – the government is the one with the bigger arsenal.
          So how does your objection mesh with the supposed social purpose of government?

          1. In the end, it’s all might-makes-right. The key is to have an entity that exists with your consent powerful enough to prevent other forces that you don’t consent to from assaulting you.

            1. Re: Tony,

              In the end, it’s all might-makes-right. The key is to have an entity that exists with your consent powerful enough to prevent other forces that you don’t consent to from assaulting you.

              And you think that entity has to be government? You say that because you lack imagination. If shoes were provided sorely by government, you would think the shoe world needs government.

              And in the end, might is a matter of perspective. Someone having the biggest guns is not necessarily going to prevail, as Egypt, Libya and the others are showing us.

              1. Well it’s not about guns per se as much as it is about power. People, acting collectively, can have more power than an entity with lots of guns. If those protesters want to keep whatever freedoms they gain, I bet you they’re gonna want to set up a government, though.

                1. Tony|2.21.11 @ 5:07PM|#
                  “Well it’s not about guns per se as much as it is about power. People, acting collectively, can have more power than an entity with lots of guns.”

                  Only when those with the guns refuse to follow government edicts.
                  See:
                  Tienanmen Square, 1989
                  Eastern Europe, 1989.

    3. Walker didn’t create the unfunded pension liabilities. Which are a lot more than $140 million.

    4. You mean, those tax cuts that don’t kick in until the next budget cycle? Um, how can they be contributing to problems today when they’re not even in operation today?

      1. They’re not just talking about current deficits. And what do collective bargaining rights have to do with budget problems?

        1. Re: Tony,

          And what do collective bargaining rights have to do with budget problems?

          At the very best, nothing. Which is irrelevant, the government giveth and the government taketh. “Collective bargaining rights” exist by government fiat, not as a matter of natural rights.

          1. Hahaha. Says you. All rights exist by government fiat. Every one.

            1. I know you can’t possibly believe that.

              1. Why not? Where else do they exist except as codified protections? The same place as the soul and leprechauns?

                1. Tony|2.21.11 @ 5:16PM|#
                  “…All rights exist by government fiat. Every one.”

                  The truly evil depths of a fucktard statist.
                  You are beyond despicable.

                  1. It’s possible to even be a libertarian and not believe in magic, you know. Well maybe.

                    1. Tony, you’re an idiot, statist twat.

        2. collective bargaining rights

          Ugh. Just stop it. There’s nothing preordained about this particular collective-bargaining scenario. It’s happenstance. Arbitrary. It’s not some absolute principle, spanning the eons. Hell, public unionism is less than half a century old. It’s a historical quirk. Maybe it’ll last, maybe it won’t. But it has nothing to do with “rights.”

          The elementary school teachers in the 1950 schoolroom of your parents, or maybe grandparents — were they immorally oppressed? Were they downtrodden because they didn’t happen to have the mandated-collective-bargaining clause that some Wisconsin teachers happen to have in 2011?

          1. “The elementary school teachers in the 1950 schoolroom of your parents, or maybe grandparents — were they immorally oppressed? Were they downtrodden because they didn’t happen to have the mandated-collective-bargaining clause that some Wisconsin teachers happen to have in 2011?’

            Then there is the inverse of this, today’s teachers. They were following the line of thinking when deciding what job market to enter “What job can a take and get awesome benefits, pretty good salary, summers off, no required overtime (or overtime at all), and basically be immune from getting fired for sucking at my job. I know, I’ll be a public school teacher!!”

    5. Yep. We were well on our way to a great budget:

      http://www.ccnmagazine.com/fea…..uture.html

      This (from the above link) will blow your mind, Tony:
      “Governor Doyle supports an increase in capital gains taxes, a tax increase for the upper one percent of earners in Wisconsin and the repeal of tax breaks to support companies who keep jobs in the United States.”

      Outsourcing!1!11!!!! A Democrat taking jobs out of the mouths of children…or something.

      http://www.jsonline.com/news/s…..75069.html

    6. Tony! At least argue with the right information. $140 is chump change & at least makes some attempt to help the people of Wisconsin – though in the end I’m against it because it’s gimmicky spending.

      The budget is forecast to be $3.5 Billion out of a $35.4 billion in 2 years. You’re going to need a lot more money even if you manage to end Walker’s boondoogles, and you’re going to need it soon. One figure I heard was that 70% of the Wisconsin state budget is compensation. If you think that they can balance the budget without touching compensation, you’re a fool.

      What they need to do is get the teachers off the government tit in the first place. We need a voucher system like Sweden has. Teachers will be able to negotiate their salaries with their real customers – parents.

      Finally, I’m all about the unions’ right to bargain. However, I think they need to lose the monopoly power (competing unions anybody?) and employers should have the option to not deal with a union at all.

    7. Everything I’ve read over the past few months implies that Wisconsin is facing a budget deficit over the 2011-2012 budget of $2.2 billion, although I’ve also seen that the figure got adjusted upwards to $3.6b just in time for Walker’s inauguration.

      This new “Walker’s $140m ‘giveaway’ caused the deficit crisis” line sounds like phony talking points to me.

    8. If a deficit is created by letting those who earn money keep more of what they earned, I have no problem with it.

      OTOH, if a deficit is created by deciding to give shit away to those who have not earned it, we have a problem.

    9. “for which he is now asking other interests (the ones that don’t vote Republican, namely) to pay for”

      Are you suggesting that we move to a system where Republicans pay for Republican spending, and Democrats pay for Democrat spending?

      Are independents and libertarians exempt? Because if so, I think your idea is all kinds of awesome. No taxation without representation indeed.

    10. You do know he just got elected, right?

  27. I’m sick of the unions, if you work for the government you’re working for ME, the taxpayer. That makes me your BOSS, and if you want a raise or better benefits than what I got, I should get to decide through referendums and elections.

    WHAT IS SHARIAH LAW?
    http://libertarians4freedom.bl…..h-law.html

    1. ok boss hogg

      1. OhioOrrin|2.21.11 @ 2:39PM|#
        “ok boss hogg”

        OK, stupid shit.

        1. It’s hard to tell who’s stupider in that case. Let them settle it with a duel.

      2. Tell me, do you like unions or are you just being a contrarian asshole? I know some people disagree with me for fun.

        http://libertarians4freedom.blogspot.com/

        1. So the choices are either to like unions or disagree with you? Given those premises, I can deduce that the ignorant, knee-jerk, email forward shit you regurgitated above was meant to convey the thought, “I dislike unions!” and I didn’t even have to read it! Logic is fun!

          Although it’s possible that your challenge was grumpy redneck banter, and did not accurately reflect the content of your previous post. In which case, I regret reading your second post, too.

          Whatever you said–on what level does that sound like an idea that anyone intelligent would want to spend time discussing? Is it something about the word LIBERTARIANS in your frequently-posted URL that is supposed to make us have so much sympathy (pity?) for you that we praise your trite mutterings and gloss over the idiocy? It’s not working, being an angry and antisocial conservative does not make one a libertarian, you have no worthwhile comments to make, and go away.

          Once you’ve figured out what a libertarian is, come back here without the blogwhoring and with a different handle that’s not contaminated with all the stupid you’ve been spewing these past few weeks.

  28. Weak effort.
    Someone should address the issue of why public sector unions collective bargaining rights are a problem.

    I don’t think anyone disagrees with the pension or benefit cuts.

    But when the unions supporters speak about limits on their collective bargaining rights, they are conflating several issues.

    In addition to limiting collective bragiaining to wages, the bill ends automatic deductions of union dues from paychecks and requires annual votes from membership to continue the union. These issues need to be addressed separately.

    I don’t see the justification of automatically deducing union dues from state worker paychecks, and someone should really highlight that fact that this is one of the “collective bargaining rights” they claim to be defending.

    The other issues – I think you could easily undercut them by making a few concessions. Allow the union to negotiate on benefits, but subject that to a popular vote as well.

    The problem with public sector unions is that they can vote themselves benefits. They are organized not just as a union with respect to management, but as a political action committee. Unlike private sector unions, they don’t have to consider the impact of their demands on a private company, since the “consumers” of their product don’t have any choice about paying for it. The only way they get a choice is by voting, so it makes sense to allow voters to have a say in public sector compensation.

    The video doesn’t really make any of those points, though.

    1. You beat me by one minute Hazel. You were posting as I was typing. Great minds think alike.

    2. First the unions, then the jews. . . . .

      There is no room for rational discourse at this point.

    3. They are organized not just as a union with respect to management, but as a political action committee.

      So? If it’s okay for corporations to organize and influence policy, it should be okay for any group of people with interests. It’s curious how you guys attack the ones with the most precarious policy influencing powers, yet stay silent on the ones who’ve been doing all the influencing.

      1. Hey, Tony, are corporations extracting money from people coercively (i.e., as the unions do from their members)?

        1. Union membership is voluntary. Where it’s not, I have a problem with that.

          But then you guys are always telling everyone that if they don’t like how a particular firm operates, they can go someplace else. Why doesn’t that apply to those with union membership?

          And corporations get plenty of other people’s money in the form of subsidies.

          1. Because in most cases, the unions hold a monopoly on public education.

            The teachers who refuse to join the unions work on a year-to-year contract, which forces them to put their best efforts forward every year in order to maintain their job security. Union members become tenured and therefore don’t have to do jackshit in order to maintain job security. Nice justice being promoted there Tony.

            Paying union dues in order to have job security is no different than a storeowner paying protection money to dirty cops or the local gang.

          2. How is the choice to pay 85% of dues or 100% of dues a choice?

          3. So then you would agree with the part of Walker’s bill that would eliminate automatic mandatory deduction of union dues from state worker’s paychecks?

          4. Union membership is voluntary.

            Bwaahahahah!

      2. “If it’s okay for corporations to organize and influence policy, it should be okay for any group of people with interests.”

        I must have missed the law that requires government to negotiate prices with a business consortium.
        Or Tony’s just proving to be an ignoramus again.
        Probably the latter.

      3. I don’t think she’s attacking their ability to engage in politics, she suggesting that the government’s capacity to hand out favors as a result of their politicking should be restricted, thus reducing their interesting in politics.

        Corporations have already been affected in this regard by open bidding rules, though more could be done to curtail favoritism. But there isn’t even this minimal protection for the general welfare when it comes to labor.

      4. Most corporations are not explicitly paid by the government. So they can’t vote themselves benefits. You know the libertarian stance on corporate welfare.

        If a corporation is a government contractor, however, it is the same situation as with public sector unions. I would support limiting the ability of government contractors from influencing legislation to win themselves benefits. I personally like the idea of a law that says if you make political contributions, you can’t get government benefits, and vice versa.

      5. Who here has said it’s okay for corporations to organize and influence policy? Also, corporations don’t work for the government like pubsec workers do.

  29. It is not the collective bargaining that has got the unions riled up. It is not even the pay cut. It is the provision that stops the state from collecting mandatory union dues from paychecks that have the unions angry. If the unions have to collect their own dues and people are free not to join or not to pay if they don’t want to, the unions and by extension the Democratic Party, which recieves a huge share of its funding from them, will lose huge amounts of money.

    Don’t buy into the myth that unions give a shit about their employees. They don’t. The union would cave on every one of Walker’s demands as long as they kept the state as their mandatory dues collector.

    1. Hazel Meade|2.21.11 @ 2:03PM|#
      “Weak effort.
      Someone should address the issue of why public sector unions collective bargaining rights are a problem.”

      Let’s cut to our super-slow-mo replay:
      Notice the money taken from the taxpayer right there. Next, you can see it handed by the “representative” to the union members after “negotiations”. Finally, keep a close eye; see it landing right back in the pocket of that “representative”?
      Great work by our camera and production crew!

      1. Easy enough. Elected officials have a fiduciary responsibility. Any bargaining they do that does not meet the revenue stream, or places a financial burden on his successors is a dereliction of his duty. It is impossible to engage in collective bargaining and at the same time meet that fiduciary responsibility; therefore, there is no place for public employee unions as legitimate representatives of public servant interest.

    2. I went to one of my wife’s friends place for a party last Christmas. And I spent a couple of hours listening to a couple of nice guys bitching about their jobs and their union — not sure which they hated more.

      One of the great stories was from a couple of years ago when the boss told the union they would be fired across-the-board if they didn’t end a strike. The union rep told the union local they couldn’t win, so they should accept the contract offer and return to work. The union local narrowly voted to accept the contract and did return to work. Two weeks later the union rep accepted a management position and started driving a new cadillac to work.

      The union exists to take care of the union. Union members are just pawns.

      1. Yup. And ironically enough, it is even worse in states that don’t have right to work. If you are in a right to work state, the union has to protect you. If you are fired, there is no gaurentee that the guy who replaces you will join the union. So unions in right to work states do a lot to protect individual employees because they have to. But in a closed shop state, the union knows the next guy will be forced to pay dues. And thus they really don’t give a shit about whether any individual worker is fired or treated unfairly.

        Remember, it is all about the dues.

        1. How is the 12-step program working out for you today?

          1. Quite well. 😉

            1. Excellent.

        2. From the John Fund WSJ article over the weekend-

          “Ending dues deductions breaks the political cycle in which government collects dues, gives them to the unions, who then use the dues to back their favorite candidates and also lobby for bigger government and more pay and benefits,” Mr. Siegel told me. After New York City’s Transport Workers Union lost the right to automatic dues collection in 2007 following an illegal strike, its income fell by more than 35% as many members stopped ponying up. New York City ended the dues collection ban after 18 months.

          Myron Lieberman, a former Minnesota public school teacher who became a contract negotiator for the American Federation of Teachers, says that since the 1960s collective bargaining has so “greatly increased the political influence of unions” that they block the sorts of necessary change that other elements of society have had to accept.

    3. and dues collection is usually a quid pro quo back to mgmt for something in their interest. funny how bargining works

      1. Then there shouldn’t be a problem with the state of Wisconsin taking their quid back should there?

        1. I realize it’s going to take a long time to quit the habit of snorting raw mng on a daily basis, but you’re going to have to lay off the substitutes as well if you really want to break the habit 😉

          1. Just consider Tony and OhioOrrin as kind of a mehtedone program.

            1. I think it was an old Woody Alan movie showing random people talking directly to the camera — I use to be a herion addict; now I’m a Methadone addict.

        2. no there wouldnt be john…as part of a negoiated settlement.

      2. Re: OhioOrrin,

        and dues collection is usually a quid pro quo back to mgmt for something in their interest. funny how bargining works

        Dues collecting under threat of strike is not a quid pro quo, anymore than making a hostage decide which other hostage gets shot is a quid pro quo for the hostage.

        1. no union strikes over dues collection moron. and no responsible mgmt refuses this minor issue when they get something minor in return. simple

          1. Re: OhioOrrin,

            no union strikes over dues collection moron.

            Really, OO? Have you thought what would happen if unions collected the dues directly?

            and no responsible mgmt refuses this minor issue when they get something minor in return. simple

            “No true Scotsman….”

          2. OhioOrrin|2.21.11 @ 3:48PM|#
            “no union strikes over dues collection moron.”

            ura stupid shit.

  30. I finally watched the video. Someone needs to kick those teachers in the cunt.

    1. I would, but apparently Hitler’s coming to do that for me.

  31. I cant help but wonder if the American Sheeple will ever prout balls and take back what was once theirs??

    http://www.being-anon.tk

  32. Not trying to start a fight here, don’t want to start a fight here, but I do have a couple of questions.

    1) Annual teacher’s salary, is that the mean, or the medium? Over here, in California, teachers start off around 40 to 50K, stay around 60K for a number of years, and don’t start reaching 80K until about 20 years in teaching. Like any job with tenure, but no automatic retirement age, the amount of teachers at the end of their careers is what spiking it towards to $78,000.

    2) Several posters here, and in the video have noted that the state of Wis is broke. So would the state then potentially restore some of the benefits if and when the state is in a better financial state?

    3) According to http://www.morganquitno.com/edrank.htm
    Wis. is ranked 8th according to their methodology on ranking states based on education data. The Latest year is 2006, so it is outdated, but on some level, it would suggest that on the whole, Wis. teachers are doing their jobs compared to other states.

    4) Shouldn’t this be a local issue? Unless there is something I’m missing, (and it might just be obvious such as the pension system is state wide, duh), aren’t teachers contracted with the local school district?

    Again, not trying to troll or start a fight. Just had some questions, thanks.

    1. “1) Annual teacher’s salary, is that the mean, or the medium? Over here, in California, teachers start off around 40 to 50K, stay around 60K for a number of years,”
      Please add in benes, including some rough number for the fact that you can be a total screw-up and never have to worry about being fired.

      “2) Several posters here, and in the video have noted that the state of Wis is broke. So would the state then potentially restore some of the benefits if and when the state is in a better financial state?”
      Why would you break the budget again, repeating the same mistake?

      “3)…but on some level, it would suggest that on the whole, Wis. teachers are doing their jobs compared to other states.”
      Which is irrelevant.

      “4) Shouldn’t this be a local issue?”
      If it is state law that forces the collective bargaining, then it’s a state issue.

      1. And that salary is for 180 days work. I know I know, they work real though, and sometimes late, unlike the rest of us.

        1. You bet! Why sometimes they have to grade tests until 6PM!

          1. That’s far more strenuous than handling toxic chemicals in the research laboratory till 1am. Of course, when I was doing that I was waddling into work at 10am.

    2. http://www.jsonline.com/watchd…..34649.html

      The state mandates whether or not public employees can collectively bargain.

      P.S. it’s mean, median, mode, not medium (and that’s not grammar nazing case god knows I fuck up more than anyone)

      1. Yes, you’re right. That’s an oops right there.

        And I’m beginning to see the issue more clearly.

        Another question then, concerning Gov. Walker’s proposal to put wages above COLA to a vote, does it say it would be a local municipality vote, or a state vote?

        1. He wants to remove the collective bargaining for benefits of public employees of the state.

        2. And most intellegent =/= good education. migration, a disproportionate number of colleges, and any number of variables would skew such an assumption.

          1. I should say most intelligent state… and spell intelligent correctly.

    3. it would suggest that on the whole, Wis. teachers are doing their jobs compared to other states.

      Which doesn’t address the issue of whether they are overpaid, or whether their collective bargaining rights should be limited, at all.

      Shouldn’t this be a local issue?

      The collective bargaining process is managed according to state (and federal) law. Also, mandatory withholding of union dues, for example, was passed into law in Wisconsin in, I believe, 2009.

      So would the state then potentially restore some of the benefits if and when the state is in a better financial state?

      No benefits are being taken away; the employee’s contribution is being moved up to either the average (pension) or half the average (health insurance).

      Nothing prevents the localities from providing richer benefits (if approved by referendum) or the state and localities from cutting employee contributions later, if they want.

      1. I think the “doing the jobs” point was addressing the fact that a frequent criticism of unions is that they let shitty teachers keep their jobs, a criticism that certainly seems to be true in DC and NYC.

        However, in Wisconsin, it looks like most of the teachers are doing a good job and if the union is helping the bad ones keep jobs, it isn’t doing it enough to hurt the education.

  33. But government has this amazing ability to raise revenues by increasing taxes.

    This is Idiot Hall of Fame material.

    1. This is Idiot Hall of Fame material.

      I think that Tony’s been in the idiot hall of fame for some time, now. In fact, the idiots have retired his jersey.

      1. “In fact, the idiots have retired his jersey.”

        Actually, it was a slingshot:

        Ted S.

        February.21.2011 at 6:40 pm

        I like to argue for the right to keep 99% of the fruits of one’s labor out of the hands of the state. It makes the correct people’s heads go all asplodey.

  • Someone should address the issue of why public sector unions collective bargaining rights are a problem.

    Exclusivity.

    Next question?

  • Well worth watching, whatever side you’re rooting for.

    I’m sure the “Koch-Breitbart plot to crush our nation’s most vulnerable black working children” side will really appreciate it.

  • ‘It’s just like the beginning of Nazi Germany’ – or whatever that douche bag lady “teacher” said. (Am I the only one who thought they were pretty inarticulate for alleged educators?)

    Anyway, Godwin bitch really needs to research her fucking history a wee bit better.

    1. This is what happens when the History Channel is primary source material for history education. People start conflating Nazi Germany with bigfoot, UFOs, and Nostradamus’ prognostications.

    2. I know. I must have missed all of the ceded territory, demilitarization, reparations of war debts, disarmament, hyperinflation, and Socialist/Marxist rioting that actually happened in Weimar Germany.

      Damn you, Bush, you sneaky, sneaky, Texan!

  • Re: Tony,

    Taxation is not theft.

    Yes, it is: The forceful taking of property that does not belong to you.

    It is the fee you pay in order to maintain the government that you benefit from having.

    Gangs running protection rackets will also say their fee is to pay for a benefit you receive. That means nothing.

    You are a thief if you refuse to pay taxes, because you still benefit.

    You’re begging the question, Tony. You assume the benefit in order to argue for the benefit you pay for!

    In a democracy you give your implicit [???] consent to taxation, so it’s not theft.

    How can one give their “implicit” consent? If a woman is gang raped after everybody votes, does that mean she gave her consent?

  • Re: Horchata,

    If someone tells you this…

    then it’s best just to shake your head and walk away.

    …. Instead of giving good, cogent arguments. Simply scurry off, like Horchata here would do.

    By the way, Horchata, the one thing you have control of is your spending. If you project to spend $100.00 and your income is $70.00, then you have a $30.00 deficit but not because of your INCOME: it’s because of your SPENDING projection. You either adjust your spending (like any normal human being) or you borrow money, or you rob a bank. But don’t simply agree with halfwit there (Tony) because you look even MORE the fool that him.

    1. Governments don’t, and aren’t supposed to, act like individual people on a fixed budget.

      How would you have handled WWII? Say nope, we can’t raise any revenue, that’s EVIL THEFT, we just have to let Hitler win, cuz we can’t afford it.

      1. Individual people on a fixed budget can still go into debt to pay for temporary expenses.

        They just don’t run continuous deficits on the argument that they are “investing in themselves”, or that by spending lots of money they will stimulate demand for products that they will then be hired to produce.

        1. Governments should balance their budgets in good times. Tell that to Republicans, who seem to only be budget hawks when they’re out of power.

          1. Or Democrats, who seem to think that any time is a good time to spend more money.

            1. It’s a one-way ratchet. You can’t let people keep more of their money when there’s a government budget deficit because that will supposedly increase the deficit. But when there’s a surplus, you can’t let people keep more of their money because Big Government needs it for new social schemes.

              1. Right. When the money is flowing in well, it’s way too easy to spend it instead of save it or lower taxes. There’s always some pet project to fund, and when the economy is good voters are less likely to press for tax cuts anyway.

          2. Governments should balance their budgets in good times. Tell that to Republicans, who seem to only be budget hawks when they’re out of power.

            So then the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq justify increasing federal spending?

            1. Generally one raises taxes when one wants to fight an expensive war.

              1. “Generally one raises taxes when one wants to fight an expensive war.”

                Tony, do you want more wars or fewer?

      2. Governments don’t, and aren’t supposed to, act like individual people on a fixed budget.

        Oh yes they are! States have balanced budget amendments for a reason. (hint: no printing press for money). Hamilton was prescient for making sure the states could not coin money.

        How would you have handled WWII? Say nope, we can’t raise any revenue, that’s EVIL THEFT, we just have to let Hitler win, cuz we can’t afford it.

        You have heard of war bonds? People also made sacrifices by being coerced into rationing.

      3. Re: Tony,

        Governments don’t, and aren’t supposed to, act like individual people on a fixed budget.

        Really? Why not? And I haven’t said, ever, “fixed budget.” I have argued that in case income decreases, one adjusts his or her budget, because it is SPENDING the only thing under your total control.

        How would you have handled WWII?

        Love these red herrings – anyway, I wouldn’t have handle it at all. It would have been just another European war if the US continued to trade with all parties.

        Say nope, we can’t raise any revenue, that’s EVIL THEFT, we just have to let Hitler win, cuz we can’t afford it.

        I don’t know now if that would really have been worse than letting Stalin win…

        1. I have argued that in case income decreases, one adjusts his or her budget, because it is SPENDING the only thing under your total control.

          Taxation isn’t under control of the government?

          I just think you should start with deciding what you want to buy, then raise the revenues to pay for it. If you just can’t afford it no matter how much revenue you raise, that’s one thing, but this is one of the wealthiest countries on earth, so where that wealth goes is a matter of policy.

          It would have been just another European war if the US continued to trade with all parties.

          Okay… so forget WWII. Imagine a hypothetical invasion of the US that presents an imminent threat to its sovereignty and to your livelihood. Can we raise taxes then?

          1. “Imagine a hypothetical invasion of the US that presents an imminent threat to its sovereignty and to your livelihood.”

            Or we could imagine a sky full of unicorns.

          2. “Taxation isn’t under control of the government?”
            ———-

            You say “taxation” and imply that this is the same as “tax revenue” (which is the other side of the equation), but really in the way you’re using it doesn’t it mean “tax rates”?

      4. How would you have handled WWII? Say nope, we can’t raise any revenue, that’s EVIL THEFT, we just have to let Hitler win, cuz we can’t afford it.

        False choice much, Tony?

      5. Well, for one, I wouldn’t have relied on the government of Wisconsin to fund the war.

  • same anti-union frothing as the foamed-up wingnuts at any socon site. libertarian exceptionalism indeed hahaha

    1. “hahaha”

      Yes, well, it’s hard to argue with such insight.

  • Today, in 1848, Karl Marx and Fredrich Engels published the Communist Manifesto.

    The teachers in Wisconsin are just celebrating.

  • Implicit contract! Biggest load of bullshit ever spouted. Can you show me a copy of the implicit contract, that gov’t can imprison me for not upholding?

      1. That old piece of paper doesn’t mean what you think it means.

        It is the OPPOSITE of the contract you assume exists.

        Try reading it as the authors meant it to be read.

        1. It’s a set of rules for how government should operate, ratified by the democratic process. It’s the definition of a social contract. (Not that it’s the only aspect of ours.)

      2. You can’t handle the truth. No direct tax…citizen of the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof…study the UCC, 1701, Tony, and the whole Constitution, every word of it. By switching our lawful currency with fiat currency, we’re using commercial paper, and can now be governed as if we had no inalienable, common law rights. Greatest scam ever perpetrated. Ask the Amish why they’re outside the system.

        1. What about the 16th Amendment?

          1. Re: Tony,

            What about the 16th Amendment?

            What about it?

      3. The government is in breach. What now?

  • Re: Tony,

    “Belong to you” begs the question. If it’s appropriated as a tax, it by definition doesn’t belong to you, it belongs to the government.

    Are you seriously arguing this, Tony? You accuse me of “begging the question” when giving a defintion, and then you go ahead and give THAT question-begging retort?

    “It belongs to government because it was taxed, and it was taxed because it belongs to government, and it belongs to government because it was taxed, and ….”

    How do you have a definition of theft without government anyway?

    That’s the stupidest thing I have ever read. I have a definition for a chair that does not involve government – does that make my definition of a chair wrong?

    I can say pink poodles are an abomination and should be exterminated

    That’s not a definition, that’s a conclusion.

    but without the force of law it’s just my opinion, no more valid than yours with respect to theft.

    Which tells me you cannot differentiate between “concepts”, “defintion”, “opinion” or “law.”

    Simple. Go to a restaurant. Nobody makes you sign a contract saying you’re going to pay after the meal.

    No, and not paying for it may only end up meaning I will not be welcomed there again. There’s a huge difference between giving my consent to pay for a meal I was SERVED by my REQUEST, quite another to have my money taken by force and then giving me some sort of “service” I did not request or wanted in return. One is called “voluntary exchange”, the other is called “Fraud”, “Theft”.

    You consent to being governed (and thus paying taxes) implicitly by being born in a country

    Ah, I see: intrauterine consent, or consent by infusion.

    You are free to renounce that citizenship. If you don’t, your consent remains.

    Sure, the “put out or get out” routine that date rapists use as well.

    1. You are free to renounce that citizenship. If you don’t, your consent remains.

      I hereby renounce my citizenship with the United States, and declare my intention to continue living at my residence in Hawaii.

      OK, I’ve withdrawn my consent above. Think the various levels of government won’t continue stealing taxes from me without my consent, and throwing me in a cage if I resist this theft?

      1. Since you’re still in the system, you have to go by its rules for renunciation.

        You can find ours here.

        1. Tony, you’re such an ignorant fool: The US government still goes after your wealth EVEN if you renounced your citizenship.

          1. True, but that’s because you’re taking up space on its territory and still benefiting from its services. Renouncing your citizenship doesn’t turn your property over to you as sovereign.

            1. My house is not the government’s territory, and you’re begging the question describing what they do to me as “services”.

              Let’s try, for the sake of argument, imagining that all governments everywhere were Mafia-like organizations. By your logic, by being born in a certain place, I’ve “consented” to being ruled over by the local mafia, and that if I don’t like how they treat me, I must go somewhere else and be ruled by some other mafiosa, or apply to the local Mafia for permission to not be ruled by them, according to rules for withdrawal of consent that the local Mafia have drawn up.

              Under those circumstances, would you still insist that I have in any meaningful way consented to Mafia rule if I neither move elsewhere or refuse to sign their form?

              1. Well some have argued that the legitimacy of a social contract is achieved by the absence of effective rebellion against it. But in general legitimacy is presumed to come from consent of the governed.

                1. Re: Tony,

                  Well some have argued that the legitimacy of a social contract is achieved by the absence of effective rebellion against it.

                  “But, honest your Honor, she consented: I mean, she did not fight off my lascivious advances! So it wasn’t rape!”

                  1. I was not unresponsive.

                2. And you are argued that the default condition is consent of the governed, despite no one explicitly making any such consent, thus making legitimacy the default unless people kick up a fuss by throwing a revolution or some such.

                  That is, you are bootstrapping to a presumption of legitimacy such that any government anywhere that isn’t about to be overthrown could be considered legitimate.

                  1. prole,

                    Okay let’s get down to cold reality. A government’s actual legitimacy is a product of its ability to stay intact. Its moral legitimacy is what comes from democracy. But some have argued, and I may even believe this, that social contract is a convenient fiction. Democratic consent in a society with 300 million people must be partly an illusion. But we do the best we can, and anarchy is not a viable alternative.

                    1. “Its moral legitimacy is what comes from democracy.”

                      So if there were a referendum on whether all redheads should be executed for the good of society [the initiaters of the referendum believe they are the children of Satan] and 52% of the population of people who bothered to vote pulled to “yes” lever, would this be “moral”? It IS, after all, democracy.

                    2. Sigh. I said it wasn’t perfect. You need to explain how we protect minority rights if the rights are only theoretical. If you have a problem with consent of the governed then I’d love to hear your alternative that does such a better job protecting rights.

                    3. Tony|2.21.11 @ 7:11PM|#
                      “Sigh. I said it wasn’t perfect.”

                      That’s beside the point that you advocate government coercion for anything *you* think is “right”.
                      Beyond despicable.

                    4. “You need to explain how we protect minority rights if the rights are only theoretical.”

                      Who said they were only theoretical?

                      “If you have a problem with consent of the governed then I’d love to hear your alternative that does such a better job protecting rights.”

                      The job of protecting rights would be a service performed by people offering their services on the open marketplace. Don’t like the job your current service is doing? Hire someone else.

      2. One wonders why you guys can’t just argue for certain policy changes on the grounds that they would be better, rather than retreating to this wacky philosophical stance. Almost as if you don’t have full faith in your policy preferences. Almost as if you’re letting your wacky dogma dictate what your policy positions are.

        1. Which United States do you live in? There are several definitions in Black’s Law Dictionary. The devil is in the details.

        2. Re: Tony,

          One wonders why you guys can’t just argue for certain policy changes on the grounds that they would be better, rather than retreating to this wacky philosophical stance.

          Your sense of wonder is meaningless to me.

          There’s nothing wacky about the ethics of freedom. I could ask you why espouse ideas that make you a slave, but then there are people that prefer the sense of cozy security that slavery delivers, to the unnerving vicissitudes of a free world.

          Almost as if you don’t have full faith in your policy preferences.

          Since I don’t subscribe to any policy (as such would require coercion, aggression), I find your conclusion off the mark and risible.

          1. You’ve said nothing, and you typically say nothing, but “I believe in freedom, and you believe in slavery.” Forget advocating for policy changes in the real world you inhabit, you are pretty much just throwing out slogans.

            1. “You’ve said nothing, and you typically say nothing, but “I believe in freedom, and you believe in slavery.” Forget advocating for policy changes in the real world you inhabit, you are pretty much just throwing out slogans.”

              Interesting you bring up this analogy. During the time that chattel slavery was legal in the United States there were two kinds of people advocating reform. There were people who advocated for better treatment of slaves but did not actually advocate for the abolition of slavery itself. Then there were the people, like Lysander Spooner and Henry David Thoreau who advocated for a complete end of chattel slavery. Which group of people do you have more respect for?

              1. Really good question actually. Of course it’s easy to say slavery should be abolished, but getting it done took the bloodiest war on American soil. In retrospect there wasn’t a single good option. And I’m well aware that my pragmatism can be flawed if it misjudges the viabity of bigger change than I might advocate.

                1. Well at least you can admit that your adherence to pragmatism isn’t always a good thing. I respect you for that (no snark).

                2. “Of course it’s easy to say slavery should be abolished, but getting it done took the bloodiest war on American soil.”

                  I here this claim quite often, that it “took a civil war” to end slavery. I once believed this myself. But I never here an explaination as to why the USA is the only nation in the Western World that only ended slavery after a bloody civil war. Why didn’t it take civil war to end slavery in Brazil or the United Kingdom (which had control over Canada at the time)?

        3. Well…someone has to be principled.

        4. Almost as if you’re letting your wacky dogma dictate what your policy positions are.

          This can’t be real. It can’t.

    2. If you’re rich enough, you cannot skirt tax obligations that the IRS says you have just by renouncing your citizenship (i.e., if they determine your renouncement was just for the purpose of [future?] “tax evasion”).

      1. “renouncement”? Did I write that? Seriously?!

        “renouncement” => “renunciation”

  • Tony|2.21.11 @ 3:24PM|#

    Night, you can toss out daddy-knows-best moral injunctions all you want, the fact is that there will be an increase in people starving on the streets if we take away social safety nets. You can attribute it to moral turpitude if you like, it’s still a fact

    That’s not a fact at all. That is an opinion. North Korea alleges to have an extremely comprehensive social security net, with the outcome of actual mass starvation of millions.

    Your unproven assertion is that government confiscation of wealth at the point of a gun, and redistribution of that wealth, will result in better outcomes than free people engaging in voluntary exchanges with no compulsion involved.

    My take on it is that greater freedom of PROCESS will create so much wealth that basically no one will starve, while your take on it is that elite trying to create better RESULTS will not create counterproductive outcomes different than the intentions of those elites.

    Still think your assertion is a rock-solid, undeniable fact in the face of massive evidence (North Korea, East Germany, Cuba) to the contrary?

    1. North Korea alleges to have an extremely comprehensive social security net, with the outcome of actual mass starvation of millions.

      They’re lying. It’s not really instructive to go to the world’s worst totalitarian dictatorship for comparison.

      Your unproven assertion is that government confiscation of wealth at the point of a gun, and redistribution of that wealth, will result in better outcomes than free people engaging in voluntary exchanges with no compulsion involved.

      Well nothing can ever be totally proven, but there’s plenty of evidence that modern government increases well-being, since the most prosperous people the world has ever known exist under them, and every example of weak or nonexistent governments is a miserable hellhole.

      My take on it is that greater freedom of PROCESS will create so much wealth that basically no one will starve

      Not only is that too just an opinion, it’s one with absolutely no supporting evidence.

      1. Re: Tony,

        They’re lying.

        Oh, no, they’re not lying. The fact that they have NO WEALTH to steal to pay for it is something else entirely.

        It’s not really instructive to go to the world’s worst totalitarian dictatorship for comparison.

        Despite the fact they follow the same prescription you argued? Sure.

        “When in doubt, rely on Special Pleading.”
        Old Statist Proverb.

        Well nothing can ever be totally proven, but there’s plenty of evidence that modern government increases well-being

        Evidence? “Modern” government?

        since the most prosperous people the world has ever known exist under them, and every example of weak or nonexistent governments is a miserable hellhole.

        You mean North Korea and Cuba have examples of weak, non-existing government?

        How about Venezuela? Or Myanmar?

        1. I never said that any old government will do. Granted, government is probably better than no government, since anarchy is the least palatable option imaginable, but that would be little comfort to a North Korean.

          Once you acknowledge the utility of government, something most human beings did many centuries ago, then you can get to the project of making a good government.

          1. “then you can get to the project of making a good government.”

            Which, of course, is exactly what the “protesters” are trying to prevent.

          2. Once If you acknowledge the utility of government despite ample evidence of the perverse effects of government coercion, something most human beings did many centuries ago, much as many centuries ago most human beings thought monarchy was the best social arrangement possible, with ample incentives like beheading of dissenters for people to conform to that outlook, then you can get to the project of making a good government trying to create ever larger amounts of government coercion in place of voluntary exchanges, and hoping your good intention will result in good outcomes despite ample evidence to the contrary.

            Fixed.

      2. Well nothing can ever be totally proven, but there’s plenty of evidence that modern government increases well-being, since the most prosperous people the world has ever known exist under them, and every example of weak or nonexistent governments is a miserable hellhole.

        The Articles of Confederation led to a weak government. Was that a “hellhole”? The U.S. Constitution created a somewhat stronger, but still quite weak, government, that stayed weak until the early 1900s. Is it your contention that the U.S. during that century-plus was a “hellhole”? And, if you rank the current governments throughout the world from weakest to strongest, you’ll find that countries like the U.S. with relatively weak governments are overall quite prosperous, and countries with really strong governments like North Korea and Cuba are hellholes, and countries in between these extremes tending to fall in the middle. Now, shouldn’t that really strong correlation between weakness of government and prosperity and happiness lead one to believe that an even weaker government than we have now, say the government prior to the Progessive era, would lead to even more prosperity and happiness?

        1. The entire purpose of the constitution was to create a strong national government. I don’t buy the premise that it created a weak one. It was capable of fighting and winning a civil war, after all, and as far as government coercion goes, I can’t think of anything much worse than conscription in the armed forces.

          And, if you rank the current governments throughout the world from weakest to strongest, you’ll find that countries like the U.S. with relatively weak governments are overall quite prosperous, and countries with really strong governments like North Korea and Cuba are hellholes, and countries in between these extremes tending to fall in the middle.

          The US does not have a weak central government. You may want it to, but if it already has one, what are you complaining about? There are plenty of states with strong welfare programs that are better than the US on most meaningful metrics. Nobody’s talking about the virtues of dictatorships. Those governments may be strong, but they’re not democratically accountable.

          1. The entire purpose of the constitution was to create a strong national government. I don’t buy the premise that it created a weak one. It was capable of fighting and winning a civil war, after all, and as far as government coercion goes, I can’t think of anything much worse than conscription in the armed forces.

            Wow. Just wow.

            OK, debunk one idiotic assertion at a time, Jim:

            The entire purpose of the constitution was to create a strong national government.

            Perhaps you could quote the section of the Constitution that makes that assertion? I’m guessing that section will not be THESE assertions of a very weak federal government: “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people. The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

            I don’t buy the premise that it created a weak one.

            How much of the GDP in the late 1700s was consumed by the federal government? What percentage of the workforce was employed by the federal government? If the current federal government was reduced to that size, and the amendment to the Constitution allowing for a federal income tax was repealed, would you say it was a strong or a weak government?

            It was capable of fighting and winning a civil war, after all

            The civil war was waged by Lincoln by denying the Constitutional principle that this was a voluntary association among states, and that states could withdraw from that association.

            Lincoln violated numerous Constitutional principles in waging that civil war.

            The ability to win a civil war is not evidence of the strongness or weakness of a government. The American Revolution was fought and won by the side that was virtually in a state of anarchy, and lost by one of the most powerful states of its time.

            The Vietnam War was won by a much smaller and weaker country.

            The Soviet Union was driven out of Afghanistan by a much smaller and weaker conglomeration of warlords.

            and as far as government coercion goes, I can’t think of anything much worse than conscription in the armed forces.

            The Civil War was won by the North, which employed conscription in the armed forces, despite such conscription not being an enumerated power of the federal government.

            1. Perhaps you could quote the section of the Constitution that makes that assertion? I’m guessing that section will not be THESE assertions of a very weak federal government: [Tenth Amendment]

              The 10th is a limitation on the federal government in that it clarifies that it is limited to enumerated powers, but the REAL questions is what those powers entail. The 10th has been understood to be a truism or clarification, so what matters are all those other clauses that do grant power to the federal government. And we can debate whether case law has interpreted those clauses correctly, but to date it has acknowledged fairly robust powers.

              If the current federal government was reduced to that size

              It goes without saying that the federal government was smaller in those days. I suspect, though, that local governments (even informal ones) were comparatively stronger, befitting a pre-industrial society. I happen to think it’s a good thing that national government has gotten bigger as modernity has progressed. It’s done so by necessity, and if case law had determined that this was all unconstitutional, I’d say the constitution was flawed and needed replacing. Thankfully, that’s not the case.

              The civil war was waged by Lincoln by denying the Constitutional principle that this was a voluntary association among states, and that states could withdraw from that association.

              The civil war pretty much decided this issue, and subsequent court cases have determined that states don’t, in fact, have this right.

              1. The Constitution doesn’t mean whatever the hell 5+ SCOTUS justices claim it means.

                The Civil War demonstrated that the federal government was willing to use force to keep states from seceding. It didn’t demonstrate that that force was constitutional. Court cases siding with the feds on this issue also don’t prove constitutionality.

                1. Actually that’s exactly what it means. You have a better alternative? The infallible holy word of… whom exactly?

                  1. The document itself? In English?

            2. The civil war was waged by Lincoln by denying the Constitutional principle that this was a voluntary association among states, and that states could withdraw from that association.

              Lincoln violated numerous Constitutional principles in waging that civil war.

              The shelling of Fort Sumter created a casus belli to justify the counter-invasion.

          2. The authors created a stronger national government, which was still intended to be one of very limited, specifically enumerated powers. As Madison put it, “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite.”

            Do you need help finding more explanation of what that means? I’d be happy to bring up more context that even specifically refers to powers that were considered beyond those limits but which have since been usurped anyway. But you’ve got to meet us halfway here: start by showing some indication that you’ve read and understood the above.

            1. I understand it, but I also understand that there still are powers granted to the federal government, some of which have broad scope in reality, like it or not. Cry about the whole of modern society being a violation of the constitution all you want, but that’s not determined by you, it’s determined by the courts, and mostly they disagree with you.

              In the end, who cares? Arguing a policy based on a made-up interpretation of the constitution is a flimsy defense.

              The interesting question to me is what limitations should exist on state and local governments? About half the states today have bigger populations than the entire US did at its founding. Shouldn’t it matter how those societies are governed? Shouldn’t they also have limited governments? Seems to me, the only real restriction on local government abuses is the fact that they have to abide by the same civil liberties protections as the federal government, via incorporation.

              1. Where by “made-up” you mean “made-up by the Constitution’s authors”, right? Because your phrase seems to imply that the idea of enumerated powers was something I made up, but doing that right after I proved otherwise would be almost insanely dishonest. You should either clarify or apologize.

                This also brings up an additional version of my beliefs-vs-rationalizations question to you above: is this [precedent is more important than accuracy] theory of yours also applicable to protections that you don’t disagree with? Unwarranted wiretapping, “who cares”? Imprisoning flag-burners will leave them with nothing but “a flimsy defense” just as soon as the courts get packed a little better? Indefinite detention without trial is just a “policy” to argue now?

                You do finally bring up an interesting question, but surely you’ve already thought of a few of the interesting answers? Despite your praise of majority rule above, I would bet that you have never cast the deciding vote in an election. Do you think you’ll ever be able to, for the rest of your life? Most people have noticed this, which is why abstention is often more popular than any of the candidates. “Voting with your feet” isn’t great, but at least (except where centralization makes it impossible) it’s always an option.

                Plus, as you allude to with the population discussion, voting with your ballot can be much more effective when your vote is among a population small enough for that ballot to have an effect. Or, it would if people were still voting based on examining those local elections without distractions from the Big Issues. I’ve never cast a ballot without both Democrats and Republicans on it, but ask nearly everyone who claims to be “interested in politics” and I’m either endangering our National Security with that Democratic County Clerk or threatening women’s rights via that Republican Ag Commissioner.

      3. “Not only is that too just an opinion, it’s one with absolutely no supporting evidence.”

        Since this has been proven to be the case in places like USA, India, and others, you must be confused about teh term “no supporting evidence”

  • The University of Wisconsin medical school is investigating reports that its
    physicians handed out fake medical excuses to union teachers who were planning to call out sick this week.

    http://biggovernment.com/publi…..ick-notes/

    The Atlantic talked with the head of Wisconsin’s Center for Bioethics:

    After viewing the videos at my request last night, Dr. Arthur Derse called me up exclaiming, “Holy mackerel! It’s much worse than it looked in the paper. I’m stunned, absolutely stunned.” Dr. Derse is the Director of Center for Bioethics and Medical Humanities a the Medical College of Wisconsin. “When all’s said and done, it’s really the profession of medicine that has the black eye in this case,” he says.

    There is no question these doctors are masking political opinion in the white coat of the medical profession, Dr. Derse believes. “The videos are pretty damning.”

    It’s sad, but what puzzles me most is how in the world three of the four physicians I can identify from these videos and other media reports are faculty members of UW’s Family Medicine department, and one is a senior resident in that same department. It’s a good training program, committed to providing sorely-needed primary care doctors to the state of Wisconsin. It teaches professionalism, and its faculty are supposed to model integrity. What were they thinking?

    They’ve managed to belittle a public trust between physicians, employers and patients. A doctor’s sick note is a serious document. It represents an employer’s desire to verify through a respected, independent, medically qualified third party the fact of an illness and the true need for convalescence. In the videos now circulating online, we witness multiple members of a noted family medicine department trash one of the well-recognized rights and privileges of their profession, with little forethought as to the consequences.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/nat…..ers/71500/

    1. “It teaches professionalism,…”

      Except, on evidence, it doesn’t.

      1. Just because students don’t learn something doesn’t mean it wasn’t taught.

        Fuck, I should put that on my next syllabus.

    2. “When all’s said and done, it’s really the profession of medicine that has the black eye in this case,” he says.

      Note the clever diversion of blame from the individuals who engaged in wrong-doing to a nebulous collective.

      Nice try, doc.

  • Except that everyone has agreed to all the pension and healthcare changes….
    You’re missing the debate Nick

    1. No, everyone has claimed that they agree with them to sound more reasonable.

  • Doctors are pretty much the loudest profession involved in political activism.

    1. Between my doctor and my lawyer, the lawyer is way way ahead!

  • I am getting bored answering Tony’s boring and creepy comments. I’m done for today. Read y’all tomorrow.

    1. By all means please stop. I’m getting tired of every debate turning into a debate on fundamentals. It’s like trying to decide on a medical procedure by questioning whether doctors should exist.

      1. You can’t even get a metaphor right.

        1. “You can’t even get a metaphor right.”

          He moves the magnetic letters around on the fridge door until it seems to say something.
          As far as he knows, that’s what “knowledge” is.

        2. I think you mean simile.

          1. I think you mean simile.

            Correct. A simile is the comparison of two things using “like” or “as”.

            1. It’s not simile you’re looking for, it’s pun. Doctor is being used ironically.

              1. “…[T]rying to decide…” is the noun phrase here. Since a simile is the comparison of two things (nouns, in this case the noun phrase), simile indeed correct.

                1. “is” indeed correct. Egg on my face. (grins)

          2. “I think you mean simile.”
            How could anyone tell?

            1. You’re that chewing tobacco guy on YouTube aren’t you?

              1. Tony|2.21.11 @ 8:21PM|#
                “You’re that chewing tobacco guy on YouTube aren’t you?”

                And you’re the spittoon the guy is spiting into, aren’t you?

      2. You constantly steer these debates in precisely this direction. There are several examples of you doing this in this thread alone. You seem to take enjoyment in people repeating themselves.

        You sometimes start out with an interesting premise or counterpoint. But it’s your militant inability to differentiate what sounds good with the reality of basic economics, human nature, and history that causes you to get brutally beaten down whenever you decide to pop up around these parts.

      3. It’s kind of likely that fundamentals will be brought up in a debate between people who hold diametrically opposed visions of the nature of man, and thus radically opposed visions of whether freedom is brought about by equality of process or equality of outcomes.

        I’m reading Thomas Sowell’s “A Conflict of Visions”, which outlines why you stick so insistently to your worldview despite being cudgeled with evidence of the wrongness of those views over and over again.

        1. I think many libertarians go for fundamentals so quickly because they are at heart market fundamentalists. I’ve spent years on H&R and one thing that is hard to find here is a “moderate” libertarian. The writers are good examples of moderate libertarians, they tend to favor liberty but step back from the precipice of advocating inhumane absurdities such as that minimum wage laws are more egregious than letting someone die, but an amazing number of commenters here are absolute fundamentalists in the sense that they have a simply stated set of principles that they try to shoehorn all of reality into. It makes me think that libertarianism just is extremism (not the oh noes extremism the MSM bitches about btw), that a “moderate” libertarian is a liberal or a conservative. Libertarians seem to go full throttle towards purity awful fast…

          1. Making teachers pay for their retirement = inhumane absurdity

            Making states pay Irish and Greek level interest as they speed towards bankruptcy = humane absurdity

          2. Yep, all those “moderates” are the reason WI and other states are in the fixes they are.

          3. they tend to favor liberty but step back from the precipice of advocating inhumane absurdities such as that minimum wage laws are more egregious than letting someone die

            Please name a commenter who has said it’s OK to let people die. Minimum wage laws are a pretty poor example anyway since their existence is more likely to cause someone to die than their absence.

            an amazing number of commenters here are absolute fundamentalists in the sense that they have a simply stated set of principles that they try to shoehorn all of reality into.

            How else does one decide which positions to support without applying their principles? You purport not to be a partisan hack, which would require you not to just support whatever the Dems support, so I’m curious how you decide which positions to support without resorting to “shoehorning” principles.

            1. Tulpa

              During the Obamacare debates I had many an argument with folks over whether it would be worse to violently take medecine and give it to a dying person or to not do so and let the person die. Recently we had the example of whether one should threaten a switch operator into throwing a switch that would change tracks and save a life.

              The specific reference was to robc who once told me that if he could push a button which would inflict a minimum wage law on one employer but if he failed to push the button the earth would explode he would not push the button.

              Yeah, that’s what I thought.

              As to your second question I think what you do is realize no political philosophy is going to have all the answers, or even all of the most important ones.

              1. Tell me MNG, if you were faced with a choice between raping a child or having the world blow up, which would you choose? Hard cases make bad law, but contrived hypotheticals make even worse law. Fact is, the minimum wage doesn’t prevent the world from blowing up.

                I only vaguely remember that “fat guy on the trolley tracks” story, but IIRC various commenters found serious flaws in that hypothetical too.

                The stealing medicine hypothetical is more plausible, but the devil’s in the details. There are extremely limited circumstances under which I’d say it’s OK to steal medicine to save a life, but never in a way that requires physically harming someone else. The fact that such “exceptions” are quickly exploited and expanded by scoundrels to serve their own dishonest purposes understandably makes some libertarians reluctant to allow such exceptions.

                1. The problem is not with me because I’m not the fundamentalist, I can see the value and horror in both choices. But many commenters here simply declare that only coercion is bad therefore these cases are not as tough as they seem. I’m reminded of two lines, one from Pat Buchanan’s book where he says “for liberals discrimination is the worst thing in the world, sure it’s bad, but the WORST thing in the world?” and Cicero’s “Let justice be done though the heavens fall!”

                  I mean, look at yourself here. If you have some lifesaving medecine, and there is a fellow human being dying who will be saved by such medecine, and you are standing over him going “oh, no, I’ll not give it to you, I want to use it to wash my feet tonight” and I could take it from you by punching you one in the noggin, then this is not even complex. Punching people in the noggin and taking stuff is bad, but someone dying is MUCH worse. The choice is clear, yet you yourself struggle with it (I’d say it’s OK to steal medicine to save a life, but never in a way that requires physically harming someone else)

                  Let justice be done though the heavens fall indeed…

                  1. I’m aware of how over the top my hypo is btw, but that is actually my point. Only a fundamentalist would struggle with such an absurd hypothetical…

                    1. Only a fundamentalist would struggle with such an absurd hypothetical…

                      If being extremely leery of any endorsement of coercion makes me a fundamentalist, so be it. Since you have few qualms about coercing people in order to bring about your conveniently vague “greater good” I wouldn’t expect you to have trouble with that hypothetical.

                      I notice you didn’t answer the question about raping to save the world.

                  2. MNG|2.21.11 @ 7:26PM|#
                    “The problem is not with me because I’m not the fundamentalist,…”

                    That halo looks, well, like it’s about ready drop around your neck and strangle you.

                  3. The problem is that things become extremely murky when you start making exceptions, and there are plenty of people who want to get a free ride on the productivity of others, something the free market is supposed to prevent. In abstract logic, the slippery slope is a fallacy; but in human affairs, it is an iron law.

                    When the exception is based on mushy emotional stuff with no hard-and-fast lines drawn, it’s inevitable that it will expand, since there are usually plenty of other emotionally unpleasant scenarios close to the one the exception is designed to prevent. For instance, what if the person lying on the ground will survive but be paralyzed if not given the medicine? What if he or she will just lose a limb? What if the person will just become sterile? What if they will just develop a permanent, unsightly rash on their face? I personally would give my own medicine to someone in any of these situations, and consider anyone who would not to be a scumsucking waste of oxygen, but that doesn’t by itself justify coercion.

                  4. I mean, look at yourself here. If you have some lifesaving medecine, and there is a fellow human being dying who will be saved by such medecine, and you are standing over him going “oh, no, I’ll not give it to you, I want to use it to wash my feet tonight” and I could take it from you by punching you one in the noggin, then this is not even complex

                    I’m sure it’s maddening when people won’t play that game. It robs you of the lever you can use to give force to other, real life false assumptions. If somebody says, sure, they would take that medicine by force to save somebody, then you’ll follow by saying that since Obamacare will also save lives, shouldn’t we force people to support it? And now you have your lever, that gives your argument, based on an assumption, more force.

                    In spite of what he might say here, you never know – even a stalwart like OM might very well, when it came to it, punch some unsharing asshole to save the life of another person. The problem is, the odds of that happening are almost zero, while Obamacare and other indignities will continually be thrust upon us.

              2. As to your second question I think what you do is realize no political philosophy is going to have all the answers, or even all of the most important ones.

                Ah, but where do you get answers when they are needed? Ear-tickling bits of relativist wisdom won’t help you do that, so there must be some other method you use.

              3. During the Obamacare debates I had many an argument with folks over whether it would be worse to violently take medecine and give it to a dying person or to not do so and let the person die. Recently we had the example of whether one should threaten a switch operator into throwing a switch that would change tracks and save a life.

                For the medicine, one has to calculate the remaining life expectancy. Does it really make sense to do this for an octogenarian as opposed to an infant?

                As for the train switch dilemna, just throw the switch at the exact time the rail car reaches the junction, which will cause it to derail.

          4. I think it’s probably more of a gravitational effect — that is, Mainstream Left and Mainstream Right have enough pull that a lot of loosely orbiting libertarians get drawn into those camps. Planet Libertopia only gets the the hardcore.

          5. …one thing that is hard to find here is a “moderate” libertarian.

            Being moderately libertarian is about like being moderately pregnant.

  • Just in regards to the last thing that teacher in the video said?

    If I had kids, I think I’d rather they were educated by private school run by Wal*Mart or Disney–rather than a public employees union?!

    That’s a no-brainer…

    Oh, and by the way, as I recall?

    Hitler may have gotten rid of the independent unions, but you know how he did it?

    He gave them seats on the board of every major corporation in Germany!

    Even today, with corporations big enough to matter, half the board of directors for every corporation is elected by the shareholders, and the other half is elected by the union!

    Hitler made it that way because he didn’t want any strikes interfering with his manufacturing tanks and airplanes for the Wehrmacht…

    So, it’s also misleading to say Hitler outlawed independent unions–he may have outlawed them, but that was only he gave them all seats on the Board of Directors.

    In that respect, these teachers unions are a little bit like the Nazis. …they don’t just want to strike–they want to override the legitimate government of Wisconsin and dictate policy.

    1. [citation needed]

      I mean that seriously, not just rhetorically – if Wikipedia is to be believed, then codetermination in Germany is governed by a 1976 law based on 1951 precedent… and if my fuzzy recall of history is to be believed, this is all years after Hitler died and one or more decades after he outlawed trade unions.

      Hitler’s replacement for trade unions was a centralized “German Labor Front”, no?

      1. I don’t have a citation handy, but wages were determined centrally during the Third Reich, just like they are in German trade unions now.

        The plan may have been modified and expanded since the Third Reich, and it may have been based on precedents from 1951. Fact is that Hitler had all the trade unions and their employers marching to the same drum–much like what we see today. The way things were in 1951 wasn’t a far shot from the way they were during the Third Reich.

        Their system isn’t like the Anglo-American model, and Hitler’s actions are the reason why.

        …and the public employee union bastards who are trying to smear the governor of Wisconsin as a Nazi–even while they try to dictate policy to the people of Wisconsin. …in total subversion of the legitimately elected Wisconsin government?

        That’s a maneuver any gutter Nazi thug during Hitler’s rise to power would have applauded wholeheartedly.

  • “they want to override the legitimate government of Wisconsin and dictate policy.”

    ^^THIS^^

  • This political cartoon says it all:

    http://global.nationalreview.c…..2111_A.jpg

    1. Holy smoke, a Henry Payne cartoon that is witty and thoughtful. And it isn’t even Friday morning yet.

      1. the only reason why it’s good is because the textual references are absolutely necessary and as minimal as possible.

  • Live here in Madison . . . really tempted to go to the protests in my Halloween costume . . . an 8 ft tall cock n’ balls.

    1. Is that in internet feet?

  • WTF?!?!

    Why is everyone so interested in this story?

    Why so many comments?

    1. Libertarians hate rent-seekers.

      1. Yeah, that’s why you regularly get 400+ comments about corporate welfare…

        Governments make some pretty terrible bargains with contractors too, not just state employees…But strangely we are not given story after story with 300+ comments about government contractors as our new Overclass…

        1. I’m sure we would if say, on a Farm Bill post some douchebag farmers and USDA bureaucrats showed up arguing we’d all starve to death if agriculture wasn’t heavily subsidized and centrally planned.

        2. MNG|2.21.11 @ 5:51PM|#
          “Yeah, that’s why you regularly get 400+ comments about corporate welfare…”

          Waah, waah, waah, nobody’s griping about some other subject!

        3. There are far more state employees with terrible contracts than contractors. In any case, I’m pretty sure if Lockheed Martin flooded the US Capitol with protesters and their bought-and-paid-for representatives went into hiding to illegally stall a vote on a bill downsizing their defense contracts, there would be a lot of comments on that too.

          1. Is the relevant number the number of state employees with contracts vs. the number of contractors with contracts or the total amounts the state chucks into each? Besides, you’d have to count the employees of each contractor…

            1. “Besides, you’d have to count the employees of each contractor…”

              Like you’d have to count the family members and pets of the union thugs? Sorta like that?

        4. Welcome to the internet: here, to get any kind of loud argument, you actually have to have people arguing. If an “I think murder is bad” post went up it’d get 4 comments, at least unless/until someone came up with a plausible pro-murder troll persona. That doesn’t mean people here don’t hate murder, it means the opposite.

          And while there are more pro-corporate-welfare folks out there than pro-murder, I suspect they all do their productive arguing in lobbyist offices and they do their fun arguing at strip clubs. Who wants to interrupt such a busy schedule just to risk making their employer look stupid on a weblog?

        5. We also regularly get 0 posts after 12:30 on a weekday.

        6. “Yeah, that’s why you regularly get 400+ comments about corporate welfare…”

          When’s the last time you saw about a huge government showdown and fucktons of protesting over corporate welfare?

          This is interesting because there’s a lot of drama — politicians fleeing the state, medical fraud, comparisons to Egypt, schools shut down, Hitler invocations (j/k, every U.S. official that someone dislikes is Hitler, except when he’s Mao or Stalin).

          1. When’s the last time you saw about a huge government showdown and fucktons of protesting over corporate welfare?

            About two years ago during the bailout controversy.

            1. True enough. And plenty of big comment threads to go along with it.

              1. But be honest, nothing gets you quite as worked up as poor people getting a pittance in financial help.

                1. Damn it Tony, you know that these workers aren’t poor.

                  1. Damn it Tony, you know that these workers aren’t poor.

                    Indeed he does.

                    But why should he let honesty get in the way?

        7. Corporate welfare story comments:

          Libertarian – Corporate welfare is bad.

          MNG – I agree.

          Hence much less than 400 comments

    2. Why so many comments?
      The paid Kochtopus minions took the day off to make offerings at the shrines of Holy Presidents. So all of us who WORK for a living were forced to comment in this lone thread.

      1. The Kochtopus isn’t paying me. 🙁

    3. “Why so many comments?”
      Probably for the same reason the Governors of other states are watching this like hawks.
      So far, this looks to be the prototype of what’s gonna happen as other states hit the budget wall over the exact same hand-outs.

    4. Why so many comments?

      Go ask the union supporters who are freaking out over this. It makes me laugh, though, because it means they know the parasitic fuckers’ time is numbered.

      What I don’t get is why they care so much. “The end of the middle class”? Are you FUCKING KIDDING me?

    5. because it’s a fucking monday holiday and reason hasn’t put anything else up. Idle fingers are the devil’s playthings.

  • I’m going to take the liberty of kicking an idea while it’s down. I’d love to have Lindsey Brink, Will Wilkinson, or some other “Liberaltarian” tool tell us why working with Liberals-who really like us, they do!- is a great idea and anybody who disagrees is a mouth breathing Neanderthal.

    1. Well, the liberaltarians at thevolunteer.ca aren’t very convincing.

      1. What they lack in logic they compensate for in sophistry and pretension.

        1. Nothing but a bunch of goddamn Red Tories 🙂
          They’re pathetic.

    2. If I could get an in with Ms Howley by pledging to work with liberals, I might put my principles in the round file too. Luckily I’m far too ugly and misshapen to have a shot, so my integrity isn’t threatened.

      1. Tulpa, don’t put yourself down. I’m sure that to a fat chick, you’re almost OK. Maybe even not terrible.

        1. I knew I could count on you to pick me up…but I swore off hoggin when the last one demanded to be on top and nearly broke my thighs while misinterpreting my screams of pain.

          1. One of my co-workers recently introduced us to a southern term I had never heard before: swamp donkey.

            Just as a warning, that link has some pretty severe misogyny in the definitions. Wait, that’s not a warning for you, that’s an enticement!

            1. I’m not a misogynist in general; I only disrespect the women who are willing to associate with me.

              1. I think this is something even MNG and John can agree to.

              2. Of course; how could you be a misogynist when that number is so small?

  • Here is the text of teh bill in question

    http://legis.wisconsin.gov/JR1SB-11.pdf

    It seems to do the following:
    1. Allow for collective bargaining over wages, but in a limited fashion
    2. Disallow bargaining for anything else
    3. The above provisions apply to state and local agencies
    4. Union representation must be tested yearly, and if re-certification fails a one year period with no representation follows
    5. Dues cannot be taken automatically out of salaries
    6. Workers can elect not to pay dues and remain a part of a collective bargainin unit
    7. CBA’s cannot extend past a year

    Looking at that my points are:

    1. Many here claim to support the idea that the most local government should make most decisions, why not here?

    2. Why not allow bargaining for non-monetary issues (like safety or certain work rules)?

    3. I don’t like number 6, if a person is covered under a collective agreement they should at least have to pay representation costs, otherwise it’s the free ride of a lifetime.

    1. “1. Many here claim to support the idea that the most local government should make most decisions, why not here?”

      Because it’s state funds that pay for the costs, not local funds.

    2. “1. Many here claim to support the idea that the most local government should make most decisions, why not here?”

      Uh, it’s a state law that *requires* governments to negotiate with unions.
      ……..
      “2. Why not allow bargaining for non-monetary issues (like safety or certain work rules)?”

      You get what you can.
      ……..
      “3. I don’t like number 6,…”

      A guess:
      The unions wouldn’t accept individual negotiations. Somebody who was really good might get more money.

    3. 1. Many here claim to support the idea that the most local government should make most decisions, why not here?

      Then I guess there was no reason for Obama to have stuck his nose into the situation, was there?

  • one thing that is hard to find here is a “moderate” libertarian.

    If your principles consist of something other than “What’s in it for me?” compromise is not your default option.

    Political “moderates” who really don’t give a shit about anything other than re-election are only too happy to join a bipartisan consensus to kick the can down the road.

  • It’s also possible libertarians feel compelled to define their principles in response to stupid emotional attacks.

    “Why do you hate the children?”

    I don’t hate children; I hate people who use arguments are based on emotion and obfuscation.

    1. No, it comes from shoehorning all decisions into one moral principle, using “no physical coercion” as the single criteria with which to judge things. To paraphrase Pat Buchanan, sure physical coercion is bad, but the WORST thing in the world? Certainly not in all situations…

    2. No, it comes from shoehorning all decisions into one moral principle, using “no physical coercion” as the single criteria with which to judge things. To paraphrase Pat Buchanan, sure physical coercion is bad, but the WORST thing in the world? Certainly not in all situations…

      1. MNG|2.21.11 @ 7:33PM|#
        “No, it comes from shoehorning all decisions into one moral principle, using “no physical coercion””

        Yep, sticking to ‘no violence’ is a really bad idea. To those who prefer the alternative.

        1. But you can’t or won’t explain how that is supposed to work in a world where not everyone will agree with you. If everyone agreed with me about everything the world would be great too.

          1. Tony|2.21.11 @ 7:56PM|#
            “But you can’t or won’t explain how that is supposed to work in a world where not everyone will agree with you.”
            Imagine my surprise that I haven’t got all the answers!

            “If everyone agreed with me about everything the world would be great too.”
            No, it would be about as bad as I could possibly imagine.

          2. Considering your liberal response to people who disagree with you is to call them names and try to shut them out of the political process by illegal means, you don’t have much ground to stand on.

            Indeed, one of the main features of libertarianism is that it allows people who disagree on many topics to peacefully coexist. You want to fund midnight basketball? Great, go door to door and ask for donations. You want to teach kids to abstain from sex? Go ahead and set up a school devoted to that and convince parents to send their kids there.

            The wrinkles only come when people want to pursue their societal goals using other people’s money.

            1. Which is where you reach a paradox. In order to prevent others from going against your rules, you need police funded with other peoples money.

              1. You truly are twisted and evil.

              2. A paradox is something that seems contradictory but actually isn’t upon close inspection, so yes, that is a paradox.

              3. Other people’s money? You mean other people who consider those rules to also be theirs?

              4. Which is where you reach a paradox. In order to prevent others from going against your rules, you need police funded with other peoples money.

                So you’re arguing that it is impossible to have private security forces, that the only way to have a police power is through the state?

                Seriously?

                When 2/3 of the security forces in the U.S. ARE private, you deny that that reality is even possible?

                1. Without legitimacy granted by the state for private security to use force then all you have is a society that will inexorably descend into an autocracy of whoever has the biggest security force. If your security is a product of what you can afford, then you have an intolerable oligarchical situation.

                  1. Without legitimacy granted by the state for private security to use force then all you have is a society that will inexorably descend into an autocracy of whoever has the biggest security force.

                    Without commenting on the moronic assumption that multiple security forces would inevitably be drawn together into some sort of super security force, can we at least note that your “worst case scenario” for a free society is indeed the society we have right now?

                2. Private security forces don’t do remotely the same job as police do. They patrol very small areas looking for very narrow varieties of crime, and ultimately pass off anyone they catch to police.

                  1. Private security forces do the same thing as regular police do — some private security forces are more specialized than some police are in geographic extent and in laws they enforce, but so what? Security guards in a Wal-Mart are enforcing the exact same laws against theft as police outside of that Wal-Mart, and, unlike the police outside the Wal-Mart, are not compelling innocent bystanders to pay for their support via threat of state-sanctioned violence.

                    And, they hand off criminals to the regular police because the state has a monopoly of force, and requires them to do so. That certainly does not mean it is impossible for a private security force, if they were allowed to do so by law, to enforce laws on an equal footing with government-run police forces.

      2. If you have multiple criteria they are inevitably going to come into conflict, and then you have to decide which criterion is more important. If your importance decisions are transitive (ie, you don’t have A more important than B more important than C more important than A) then you’re going to wind up with a single supreme criterion anyway.

        Of course, most people who purport to be “nuanced” in their policy preferences simply don’t attempt to treat these decisions rationally, rather they follow whatever their crowd seems to favor or whatever is in their own personal interest.

  • Punching people in the noggin and taking stuff is bad, but someone dying is MUCH worse.

    I’m going to have to have a name for that “someone” before I can make the call.

    If the President needed a liver transplant, should he be able to bump your daughter out of line?

    1. Did you fail to understand the analogy? It’s not is the Prez’s life more important than a daughters, it’s is it worse to punch the Prez than to let a girl die?

      1. If a person is having a food allergy reaction on the sidewalk in front of you, is it OK to punch a nearby peanut allergy sufferer to get his epi-pin, even though he might need it himself soon? Not so clear cut now, is it… and it’s much more likely that a person who doesn’t want to give up their own medicine does so because they themselves need it, rather than just because they’re a callous jerk.

        1. These hypotheticals should always start out like this: “Imagine you are omniscient, and a person has a food allergy reaction on the sidewalk in front of you…”

  • This is what happens on holidays.
    Worst. Thread. Ever.

    1. “Worst. Thread. Ever.”

      Well, leave.

      1. Oh, that’s what spussy troll does. He/she just hems and haws and spussies around and leaks water and oil all over the place about how much you’re boring him/her and how much better everything was when he/she was a vital member of the Hit and Run comment squad, which is now being goddamn ruined (RUINED! Did that guy just call it a “squad”?) by all these crazy, hot-headed, caustic individualists who actually read — and had heard of — the magazine before 9/11.

        Because I’m guessing that’s what cosmospussy has really been getting at the past few days.

        And I could be wrong, and that would be fine.

        1. You’ve given it way too much thought. But clearly I’ve touched a nerve.

    2. Bored troll is bored.

  • “Paraphrasing” a moron like Pat Buchanan isn’t going to help your argument.

  • It’s not is the Prez’s life more important than a daughters, it’s is it worse to punch the Prez than to let a girl die?

    I wasn’t aware you had some sort of intellectual property stranglehold on absurd hypothetical dilemmas.

    1. I’m struggling to think of something that would be worse than punching the president.

      1. Dammit!

        …would not be worse…

  • Why not allow bargaining for non-monetary issues (like safety or certain work rules)?

    “Non-monetary” you say?

    Nice try. Those “safety” rules translate into less work/ more pay.
    Surprise!

  • http://rortybomb.wordpress.com…..household/

    Someone out there thinks a single teacher should make more than the average household income in Wisconsin because they all have degrees.

    1. Yeah, and Chad drug up a “study” from a lefty outfit that claims the union workers are underpaid “after we control for…………”
      IOWs, after they find a way to cherry-pick some irrelevant data.
      It’s ‘way up-thread.

    2. If you can’t handle engineering you get a mathematics degree.
      If you can’t handle mathematics you get an economics degree.
      If you can’t handle economics you get a political science degree.
      If you can’t handle political science you either get a teaching degree*.

      *The only reason scholarship athletes get communications degrees instead of teaching degrees is because the athletes do not have time to do the semester in a classroom.

      Teachers are barely a step up from high-school graduates.

      1. I would say that getting a mathematics doesn’t mean you can’t handle engineering. It may mean you can’t handle money.

  • Tony|2.21.11 @ 5:00PM|#
    Hahaha. Says you. All rights exist by government fiat. Every one.
    ————————-

    Hey Tony,
    If you’re still reading this thread, I just wanted to say this to you after reading this above quote.

    If you had been a citizen of the Soviet Union, or of Mao’s China, or any of the other filthy totalitarian regimes that have littered history, you would not have been a person who suffered in silence as you saw your neighbors tortured and executed. You would have been one of the ones pulling the trigger/swinging the machete/putting the noose around the neck. You truly are twisted and evil.

    1. “You truly are twisted and evil.”
      Couldn’t agree more.
      The filthy sleazebag justifies *any* government coercion and them claims some horrible excuse for moral superiority.
      Beyond despicable.

    2. The only and I mean only claim I’m making with that statement is that I don’t believe in magic. You tell me where rights come from.

      1. Tony|2.21.11 @ 8:26PM|#
        “The only and I mean only claim I’m making with that statement is that I don’t believe in magic. You tell me where rights come from.”{

        Shut up sleazebag.

      2. “The only and I mean only claim I’m making with that statement is that I don’t believe in magic. You tell me where rights come from.”

        They’re a social adaptation.

        Don’t you believe in evolution?

        Why do you think we beat the Imperial Japanese and the Nazis?

        If there was any doubt about that after World War II, there wasn’t any after the Cold War.

        Why do you think we beat the USSR?

        It’s because our culture featured individual rights prominently–and all theirs didn’t.

        That’s why they’re all on the ash bin of history. Civil rights are way better than the authoritarian Nazis. …everybody from Tunis to Cairo knows that.

        Property rights are way better than the Communism… Even the CCP knows that!

        1. No argument from me that civil rights are good and objectively so. That was not, however, a freedom bomb that destroyed Hiroshima.

          1. Tony|2.21.11 @ 10:19PM|#
            “…That was not, however, a freedom bomb that destroyed Hiroshima.”

            Yes, it was, you sleazy bastard. Millions of Japanese are alive today because of that bomb.
            If the Allies had invaded Japan, there would be no Japanese today.
            Not only are you a sleazy, miserable fuck, you’re a total ignoramus regarding history.

            1. If the answer to the question what’s the best option here is a nuclear bomb, then right and wrong are kind of beside the point, don’t you think? But congratulations for finding a utilitarian calculus. In a nuclear bomb.

              1. Tony|2.21.11 @ 11:22PM|#
                “If the answer to the question what’s the best option here is a nuclear bomb, then right and wrong are kind of beside the point, don’t you think?”

                No, sleazebag, right/wrong is exactly the question that was posed and answered.
                The nuclear weapons were (and are) right, not wrong. They produced that most wondrous of military aims: They accomplished the aims at the absolute least loss of life on either side.
                Is that clear?

                1. So what there’s no ethical ambiguity on the matter of the use of the most destructive weapons ever created?

                  1. Tony|2.21.11 @ 11:52PM|#
                    “So what there’s no ethical ambiguity on the matter of the use of the most destructive weapons ever created?”

                    Go learn to read, asshole.

              2. “But congratulations for finding a utilitarian calculus.”

                Congratulations, asshole, for trying to find some fig leaf that covers your sleazy ethics.

              3. Don’t discount the contribution of Jewish refugees to the existence and success of the Manhattan Project.

                The Manhattan Project wasn’t about fear of Imperial Japan developing an atomic bomb before we did. It was about fear that the Nazis were already ahead of us. The alarm was raised by Jewish refugee physicists, and their contributions to the success of the project were hardly insignificant…

                Which means Hitler was a dumbass for ignoring the individual rights of Jews–even from just a strategic standpoint.

                Moreover, we didn’t beat the Nazis with an atomic bomb. We beat them because our capitalist economy, predicated on private property rights, outproduced the German economy by a long shot. Furthermore, their human rights record created a nightmare scenario for them almost everywhere they invaded.

                Disregarding the rights of the locals was stupid, and the Imperial Japanese made the same stupid mistakes as the Nazis in Manchuria–and everywhere else they invaded too! Everywhere they invaded they disregarded the locals human rights, and it tied them down everywhere they went.

                Oh, and we may have forced Imperial Japan to surrender with Nagasaki, but we won that war with our economy too. Our economy outproduced the Japanese; the only question at the time we dropped the big one on Hiroshima was whether we would invade their homeland or whether we could make them surrender.

                Again, we weren’t all about protecting people’s rights back then either–we held thousands of people of German, Italian and Japanese ancestry in internment camps during the war. Doing that certainly didn’t help us any, and it probably hurt us. …it didn’t hurt us as bad as hurt the Japanese because while we weren’t perfect on human rights–Imperial Japan and the Nazis made a freaking virtue of violating people’s civil rights. …and that collectivism destroyed them.

                All we had to do was feature rights more prominently in our culture than they did, and it was our cultural respect for rights–both property in terms of the economy and civil in terms of fighting for the rights of people who had been invaded–that made the difference in defeating Imperial Japan and the Nazis.

                Just like it won us the Cold War too.

                And you’re attacking the very concept of rights–as if believing in them is like believing in magic–that’s disgraceful. Insisting on rights is what make us who we are–from the Revolutionary War to the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s.

                And anybody who attacks the very concept of individual rights either doesn’t give a rip about the people in the underclass, or they’ve been so heavily indoctrinated, that they aren’t worth listening to.

                The only proper role on the left is defending the minority’s civil rights. If you haven’t noticed, being in the minority in a Democracy sucks…and arguing that believing in individual rights is like believing in magic is disgraceful.

                1. “Which means Hitler was a dumbass for ignoring the individual rights of Jews–even from just a strategic standpoint.”

                  It’s far worse than that: Hitler spent large portions of the Nazi-controlled wealth to kill those who had no chance of killing Nazis rather than spending it on those who did.
                  Sadly, it took millions of lives to resolve it, but WWII was an economic event more than anything else, like the Cold War. And there is no doubt that Tony hasn’t an inkling.

                  1. I know Progressives get all bent out of shape when people compare them to Hitler or Stalin too, but here’s a progressive who’s trying to convince people that their individual rights are a figment of their imagination–that believing in their rights is like believing in magic?!

                    That’s morally reprehensible. Trying to convince people that their rights don’t really exist is just…morally reprehensible.

                    AND, we’re not supposed to compare them to Hitler or Stalin why?

                    1. It has nothing to do with morals, it’s just fact. There is no such thing as magic. It’s not that I don’t believe in rights, I just believe they are creations of human beings.

                      It’s bizarre how you guys, lovers of freedom as you are, insist that rights are absolute and a part of nature, and then go on to deny the existence of as many rights as possible.

                    2. Natural Law doesn’t depend on a deity!

                      A lot of everyday people may have conceived of it as such, but nobody believes in a Sinai moment when natural rights were handed to Locke or Jefferson.

                      Natural rights just hold that our rights are inherent rather than given by government.

                      It’s the idea that black people had all the same rights they do now during Jim Crow–it’s just that the government wasn’t protecting them!

                      Do you think the people of Libya have a right to protest Muammar Gaddafi?!

                      If you do, then you believe in natural rights–’cause the government of Libya sure as hell doesn’t say the people of Libya have a right to protest.

                      Again, that’s something else Communists, Nazis and Progressives all believe in–they all think that our rights don’t exist unless the government says they do…

                      …and it’s morally reprehensible.

                    3. But you have to know that that’s just a convenient fiction. If rights are innate, where are they found, and how come nobody enjoyed them for most of human history, until democratic political philosophers came about to assert them? Rights that aren’t protected aren’t rights at all, they are figments of your imagination.

                    4. “If rights are innate, where are they found, and how come nobody enjoyed them for most of human history, until democratic political philosophers came about to assert them?”

                      Rights have existed since at least the Code of Hammurabi, which was written to protect people’s rights.

                      It even protected the rights of slaves.

                      As long as murder and theft have been against the law, there have been rights protected by government.

                      You’ve fallen victim to some really bad PR somewhere.

                    5. You’re correct Ken, but you’re conceding my point.

                    6. What’s your point?!

                      That governments have always lagged in protecting people’s rights?

                      If you’re saying that government is an essential ingredient in protecting our rights, that hardly flies in the face of libertarianism, you know?!

                      The idea that the only legitimate function of government is in protecting our rights–that’s like the first chapter in Libertarianism 101.

                      And saying that our rights don’t exist apart from the government defies everything we’ve seen happen in North Africa over the last three weeks–if that’s what you’re saying?!

                      Segregation wasn’t over until black people in the South started demanding equal rights–I can’t think of if ever happening the other way around.

                      I don’t every remember the government giving the people rights when the people didn’t already think they had them. …and you going around trying to convince people otherwise–that they don’t have any rights apart from government?

                      Is morally indefensible.

                  2. It’s far worse than that: Hitler spent large portions of the Nazi-controlled wealth to kill those who had no chance of killing Nazis rather than spending it on those who did.

                    If I remember correctly, trains bound for Auschwitz had priority over trains carrying weapons, ammunition, and materiel to the troops.

      3. Good people using their weapons wisely.

      4. Tony|2.21.11 @ 8:26PM|#
        The only and I mean only claim I’m making with that statement is that I don’t believe in magic. You tell me where rights come from.
        ————————–

        No, that is NOT the only claim you are making with that statement. The claim you are making with that statement is that any rights people have are arbitrarily given to them by the government. As governments/votes change, these “rights” can be given or taken away freely. Which, at the end of the day, means there really are no rights at all, just the arbitrary rules by government. The implications of your line of thinking has led to the slaughter of millions.

        Let me be clear, again. You are a fucking monster, and would have been executing with a dull, mindless smile on your sick face. The very fact you can live with yourself is proof enough of what a horrible sick fuck you are.

        1. “You are a fucking monster,”

          And you are quite possibly too kind to this despicable asshole.

        2. It’s not arbitrary. There are things that increase human well- being and things that reduce it. But you and nobody else has answered the question where do rights come from. You want to pretend to be morally superior simply by evading the issue. Yes rights can be taken away. That’s true regardless. How do you propose securing them? Wishing real hard?

          1. Tony|2.21.11 @ 11:26PM|#
            “It’s not arbitrary.”

            Yes it is arbitrary. And cruel And sleazy. And murderous.
            You ignore the result of what you propose so you can claim some false moral superiority.
            You are the ignorant, self-righteous, basis of millions of deaths.
            I hope your goddamn halo strangles you.

            1. Results are what matter to me. Not appealing to the truly arbitrary: a mystical origin of rights that are whatever you claim they are (not collective bargaining, I gather). Still waiting for an answer to the question I posed.

              1. Tony|2.21.11 @ 11:57PM|#
                “Results are what matter to me.”

                So millions of deaths are what you find valuable?
                Go away, asshole.

                1. “the question I posed.”

                  Oops, missed the rabbit pulled out of the hat:
                  It’s called “the Constitution”.

              2. Still waiting for an answer to the question I posed.

                Hell, I’m still waiting for you to show how we can mathematically support the society you want given current economic realities. As I recall, you chickened out on that quite some time ago, so don’t go claiming that “results matter” when you can’t even provide a realistic framework.

              3. “Results are what matter to me.”

                How do you evaluate the relative goodness or badness of any result without reference to some grading standard rooted, if you go back far enough, in something pulled out of the air?

                There’s no reason, other than intuitive morality, for life to be good or pain to be bad or any other thing. Morality is biological adaptation, at least at its root.

              4. “Results are what matter to me. Not appealing to the truly arbitrary: a mystical origin of rights that are whatever you claim they are (not collective bargaining, I gather). Still waiting for an answer to the question I posed.”

                Like every other aspect of our culture, they’re a social adaptation.

                …and your attempt to persuade people that their rights don’t exist is morally indefensible.

                1. Seriously, if you’re gonba go around trying to convince people that their rights don’t exist, then why not just be a Nazi or a communist?

                  1. I guess it’s a perfect example of somebody wanting to believe in something so bad, he ends up going over the edge…

                    I care so much about the rights of the downtrodden, I’m gonna go out and try to convince them that their rights don’t exist?!

                    Up, up, over the edge and away…!

                    You confused little superhero.

                  2. Seriously, if you’re gonba go around trying to convince people that their rights don’t exist, then why not just be a Nazi or a communist?

                    Except I never said rights don’t exist. I said natural rights don’t exist. I believe in many more rights than you guys do. I just believe they are creations of human beings rather than a deity.

                    1. “Except I never said rights don’t exist. I said natural rights don’t exist. I believe in many more rights than you guys do. I just believe they are creations of human beings rather than a deity.”

                      Natural rights aren’t contingent on a deity–it just means their inherent…

                      If you’re gonna try to convince us that the people of Libya don’t have any rights unless their government says they have rights–then again, I’m gonna say that’s morally bankrupt.

                      If you think the people of Libya have an inherent right to protest the vicious dictator who oppresses them, then you believe in natural rights.

                      Your insistence that natural rights only exist if there’s a deity is unsupportable! Bogus argument…

                      …and going around trying to convince people that they don’t have any rights unless the government says so–puts you in the same company as the Jim Crow South, the Nazis and the Communists.

                      Can’t say it looks good on you. It’s morally reprehensible.

                    2. If you’re gonna try to convince us that the people of Libya don’t have any rights unless their government says they have rights–then again, I’m gonna say that’s morally bankrupt.

                      I would posit that they should have rights, based on an understanding of the practical and moral value of rights as western civilization has developed them, but they only actually have them if they are free to enjoy them.

                      It is unacceptably mystical to say that all humans are born with certain rights inherently. The concept didn’t even exist until relatively recently in human existence. They are inventions–wonderful inventions yes–but still inventions of human beings. That doesn’t diminish them in any way. In fact, it makes us more free to add to them. Because all I see are libertarians asserting that rights are innate, then lecturing everyone about just exactly what those rights are, and how we can’t add to them (like right to healthcare, etc.). I believe in more rights, hence more freedom, than you do, and I don’t need any mystical underpinning in order to do so.

                    3. You’re saying because there was a time when people didn’t believe in rights, that they don’t really exist now?

                      Microprocessors haven’t always existed either–but I believe in them. Don’t you?

                      Regardless, rights have existed and been recognized for as long as civilization. As long as there have been judges and crime–as long as stealing and murder have been crimes and there have been judges to punish people for them, there have been rights. …and the more prominently any culture has featured the inherent rights of individuals, the better off they’ve been. As long as murder has been wrong because it violates the inherent right of the victim to his own life, there have been individual rights.

                      I personally think natural rights and social contract work together like supply and demand, with supply coming from our governments and demand coming what we ourselves claim our rights to be.

                      There is no excuse, however, for trying to convince anybody that that their inherent, natural rights, rights they get just for being alive, don’t exist. Seriously, that’s what Progressives, Nazis and Communists all have in common–they try to convince people that their inherent rights don’t exist because those rights get in the way of whatever it is they’re trying to do.

                      But that logic bites us all in the ass eventually. The civil rights movement in the ’60s wasn’t about trying to convince people that their rights didn’t exist–when people thought rights didn’t exist, that was what gave us Jim Crow.

                      You’re throwing some mighty big babys out with all that bathwater–and for no good reason I can see.

                      Why? Why do you want to convince people that they don’t have any inherent rights?! What do you hope to achieve by that? Support for some stupid president in the next election?!

                      I see no good reason for what you’re doing. What you’re doing is evil.

                    4. You can’t add a right to healthcare because it requires the use of another human beings brains and talent.

                      Also, for a government to take away or deny people their right to protest and free speech, they had to have those rights to begin with (hence “natural”).

                    5. You can’t add a right to healthcare because it requires the use of another human beings brains and talent.

                      But every modern country has done just that. They’ve decided that universal access to healtcare creates more well-being in the world than what is taken away in taxes to pay for it.

                      All rights require “the use of another human being’s brains and talent” because in order for people to actually have them, you need a government to secure them. All freedoms of conscience (speech and religion) require is being left alone, but the right to own property isn’t so clear. You need police and courts to protect your claim to your property. One could even argue that the right to be mobile requires transportation infrastructure. At least, government facilitates the right.

                      So to repeat, I believe in rights, in fact I believe in more of them than you do. I just don’t hate government so I’m capable of formulating a material theory of rights without appealing to mysticism, as you are still doing.

            2. You are the ignorant, self-righteous, basis of millions of deaths.
              I hope your goddamn halo strangles you.

              First time I read a Hit and Run thread by starting with the most recent comments. Might just have to start at the beginning to see what led up to this brutal yet enjoyable blasting.

              1. Tony: Read my writings asshole (if you can).

                1. I have. Like all political philosophies, yours is incomplete and flawed in many ways, though certainly brilliant.

    3. Given Tony is gay, likely he’d wind up dead right off the bat.

      1. I don’t know about that; every authoritarian regime needs palace prostitutes, and considering the number of tyrants with homosexual tendencies he might be set.

        1. That’s something I never considered.

  • In order to prevent others from going against your rules, you need police funded with other peoples money.

    And of course, you do not believe there should be anyone or anything not subject to your rules.

    This is much more depraved than fucking chickens while high on STP in the median of a busy interstate highway.

    1. DO NOT MENTION HE WHO MUST NOT BE NAMED!

    2. This is much more depraved than fucking chickens while high on STP in the median of a busy interstate highway.

      I got a thing about chickens.

  • Just ’cause:
    Chad|2.21.11 @ 7:57PM|#
    “Got better data, Sevo?”
    Yes, I do, bozo:
    “Federal workers earning double their private counterparts”
    http://www.usatoday.com/money/…..0_ST_N.htm

    “Any criticisms of the analysis?”
    Yes, I do, bozo (from the “study”):
    “Comparisons controlling for education, experience, organizational size, gender, race, ethnicity, and disability reveal that?.”
    Reveal that it took a whole lot of cherry-picking to find the data they (and you, bozo) wanted.
    …….
    And as to whether anyone ‘has the balls to refute’ you, well, go suck Tony’s balls, asshole. You deserve each other.

    1. You keep citing data about federal employees in a discussion of state workers.

      Talk about cherry picking.

      And, of course, someone who confuses “cherry picking” with statistical methods probably isn’t qualified to evaluate the validity of the study.

      1. Neu Mejican|2.21.11 @ 11:41PM|#
        “You keep citing data about federal employees in a discussion of state workers.”

        And you keep suggesting there’s a difference. Except there’s no data to say so beyond that crap Chad offered.
        You really are a slow learner, aren’t you?

        1. You don’t think there is a difference between state and federal employees for the purposes of discussing state employee salaries?

          OK.

          1. Neu Mejican|2.22.11 @ 12:15AM|#
            “You don’t think there is a difference between state and federal employees for the purposes of discussing state employee salaries?
            OK.”

            Maybe. Prove it.

            1. Prove what? That federal salaries are not the same thing as state salaries? What would constitute proof of this tautology for ya?

      2. BTW, for the edification of the folks on this thread, please explain how:
        Freedom of association = coerced negotiation.
        I’m sure everyone would like a laugh.

        1. BTW, for the edification of the folks on this thread, please explain how:
          Freedom of association = coerced negotiation.

          I can’t explain that formulation. It seems to be one that only you are able to understand as you are the only one that has claimed it in our discussions.

          1. Neu Mejican|2.22.11 @ 12:14AM
            “BTW, for the edification of the folks on this thread, please explain how:
            Freedom of association = coerced negotiation.
            Says Neu: I can’t explain that formulation. It seems to be one that only you are able to understand as you are the only one that has claimed it in our discussions.”

            Fucking liar:
            “Neu Mejican|2.20.11 @ 10:09PM|#
            “…Collective bargaining flows from individuals freedom to form associations with others for purposes of their choosing.”
            Or do we get some ‘well, I sorta meant…’

            1. Wow. You are thick huh?

              1. Important point here being, of course that

                “collective bargaining” does not equal “coerced negotiation” in the sense that “coerced” = “by law” which is the formulation you used earlier. Now that we have covered that for, let’s say, the 12th time…I’ll let you ramble some more.

            2. Collective bargaining is a a voluntary negotiation that takes two willing parties. The people of Wisconsin, through the democratic process, have withdrawn their consent.I thought prog/libs held DEMOCRACY as the highest virtue?

              1. The people of Wisconsin, through the democratic process, have withdrawn their consent.

                Well, some of the people have. It seems to me that this is really just a matter of the governor either seeking out and getting some political theatre…or that he’s not too savvy about how to use his political capital to get reforms passed.

                1. SIV,

                  And to be fair to the democratic process…the decision is still being made. The people of WI are debating whether or not they will withdraw their consent.

                  1. Seriously Neu? The majority of the people’s representatives have already decided, and the electoral losers have prevented that decision from being effected, by blatantly illegal means (unlike the filibuster).

                    Sheesh, it’s like a liberal hack convention in here. How come shrike hasn’t shown up yet?

                2. Well, some of the people have.

                  Bwwwwaaahahaaahahahaaa! How quickly we forget the social contract that binds us to the decision of the electoral majority whether we vote for that majority or not, eh Neu?

                3. And of course, the process by which the current CBAs were approved was several levels removed from the consent of the people; they were negotiated by appointees of appointees of officials elected by a majority of voters. If that extremely indirect process constitutes “consent” in any meaningful sense of the word, then surely what has already happened since November constitutes a withdrawal of consent.

                  1. Until the bill has passed, the process is still being played out. Once that decision is made…I am all for the social contract binding WI to the final decision of the elected representatives of the people. The bill hasn’t passed yet (last time I checked).

                    (p.s., I think I support, in spirit at least, the governor’s basic goals…)

  • Keep that bitch away from anyone under eighteen. holy shit is she dumb.

  • Off-topic, but relevant to Balko-ish Reason stuff in general: Update on Ciavarella case. (He was the juvie judge taking kickbacks from private detention facilities to impose overly harsh sentences on kids, with tragic consequences — pretty sure it was covered here).

  • Tulpa|2.22.11 @ 12:38AM|#

    Private security forces don’t do remotely the same job as police do. They patrol very small areas looking for very narrow varieties of crime,

    I will readily stipulate that security guards are tightly focused on preventing theft within the walls of their particular Wal-Mart and are paid only by their employer, and almost never participate in shooting dogs during SWAT-style raids of houses suspecting of containing a few ounces of marijuana while being financed by taxes seized under the threat of imprisonment for dissenters to this government theft.

    I consider that to be more of a feature than a bug.

    1. That feature, however, does make it seem inappropriate to say they are doing equivalent jobs for the purposes of comparing compensation.

  • Ha ha. Liberty’s alleged pals, in their despicable rejection of the freedom to collectively bargain, managed to overlook the whole point of Walker’s provocation.

    Nobody noticed what Wisconsin’s budget fight is actually about: the GOP’s mass privatization of the state’s utilities.

    Bottom of page 23 of the governor’s budget:

    http://tinyurl.com/4hcelez

    SECTION 44. 16.896 of the statutes is created to read:
    16.896 Sale or contractual operation of state?owned heating, cooling,
    and power plants. (1) Notwithstanding ss. 13.48 (14) (am) and 16.705 (1), the

    department may sell any state?owned heating, cooling, and power plant or may

    contract with a private entity for the operation of any such plant, with or without

    solicitation of bids, for any amount that the department determines to be in the best

    interest of the state.

    This fight Walker and the GOP started isn’t about collective bargaining – he will almost certainly back down on that in exchange for passing the rest of the budget as is – clearing the way for the buyers.

    The most likely buyers? The same as Walker’s leading campaign contributor:

    Koch.

    http://www.kochind.com/factsSh…..Facts.aspx

    So please, glibertards: do not let this episode proving the horror of the free market for political results interrupt your eternal work on your knees under the boardroom table, slurping away on tumescent corporate members. And don’t forget to blame the government for the result either, you fucking choads.

    1. Georgia-Pacific companies have six facilities in the state that manufacture consumer tissue, towel and wiper products, corrugated packaging, and hardboard. In addition, the company has offices and a research center in the state.

      Wow. A company that still has manufacturing plants in the US. Who’da thunk it?

    2. Hey Orel. Fuck you if you don’t see the inherent conflict of interest of people having the ability to collectively bargain with the very people they elect. And please explain WHY the government HAS to be in charge of any utilities.

      Also, corporations rent seeking IS NOT a fucking free market you stupid cunt stain.

      1. And please explain WHY the government HAS to be in charge of any utilities.

        As soon as you explain why Koch, which paid nothing for the building of the plants in question, should get ownership of the public’s property and the related revenues… on a no-bid basis.

        Here’s a hint: your answer will require that you remove the corporate cock from your mouth for 5-10 seconds. Until you do, I won’t bother teaching you anything about public ownership.

        1. You’re a statist fuck and I’m the one with a cock in my mouth?

          I never once said that a no-bid basis was a good thing. Nevermind that in my above post I bitch about corporate rent seeking.

          And still you have not answered why power plants HAVE to be the public’s property. (Here’s a hint, they don’t as exemplified by Texas.)

    3. Gosh, you’re right — it would be a travesty for the governor to have anything short of an open auction for those plants.

      1. Gosh, you’re right — it would be a travesty for the governor to have anything short of an open auction for those plants.

        Ha ha. You lose. The bill reads without bids, but you typed “open auction.”

        So you’re either a) illiterate or b) a sucker of corporate cock.

        To cover both eventualities, I’ll just call you “libertarian”.

        Ha ha.

        1. Ha ha. You lose. The bill reads with, or without bids .

          1. Ha ha. you think something that reads “without bids” doesn’t read “without bids”.

            Ha ha.

  • DRIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Tony|2.21.11 @ 11:57PM|#
    Results are what matter to me. Not appealing to the truly arbitrary: a mystical origin of rights that are whatever you claim they are…
    ————————–

    Spoken like a true mass murdering, meat grinding fuck. Results are the only thing that matter, no matter how high the stack of dead bodies, no matter how large the river of blood, no matter how putrid the stench of rotting flesh gets.

    You continue to prove my point that you would have gladly been an agent of the state, who killed men, women, and children just because they had different viewpoints than the state sanctioned one. You really are a sickening animal.

    And the highly ironic thing, the thing that would be funny had not your philosophy given the world tens of millions of people slaughtered for political dissent, is that results don’t really matter to you. You claim that results are the only thing that matters to you, but that’s far from the truth. You, much like all those other totalitarian monsters, close your eyes at the “results” your wicked, collectivist philosophy produces. You close your eyes at the death, at the poverty, at the hunger, that your train of thought leads to, all in the name of collectivism, and the destruction of individual rights.

    If results truly mattered to you, you would have abandoned your discredited, decayed, outdated, wicked philosophy years ago. But results don’t matter to you.

    Again, in every sense of the phrase, go fuck yourself.

    1. What are you on about? I believe in one core principle: maximizing human well-being. And no, I don’t mean sacrificing people for the good of the many. The “results” I speak of are whatever increases human well-being. I do not share a philosophy with fascists in any way. If anything I believed led to suffering in any way, I would be the first to say I was wrong.

      On the other hand, what’s wrong with libertarianism is that it doesn’t admit that possibility it could be wrong, because it’s just a set of simplistic first principles meant to apply to every situation on earth. Therefore, it’s most likely seriously wrong. So the vast misery that ensues from your core beliefs, i.e., that people have a right to be dealt whatever hand nature gives them but don’t have a right to have a government that protects them. Unless they are wealthy interests, corporate welfare something you DO constantly gloss over, being that the entire libertarian establishment exists to promote it (in the name of freedom).

      You I would never go so far as to claim you willfully advocate for huge amounts of human misery, you’re just too ignorant to realize that’s what you’re doing, and you’re distracted by a big shiny neon sign that says “freedom,” as if the word itself were enough for you.

      1. No, you don’t believe in maximizing human well being, not in the slightest. I’m sorry to have to shock you with the cold truth.

        Anyone who believes that rights stem from the government, and therefore can be taken away at any time, on a whim, does not believe in human well being. You believe in only one thing, oppression of people in favor of a central state because it satisfies some warped worldview of yours. You could care less about human well being.

        Libertarianism is simply about respecting individual human rights, political/civil/economic. That’s it, period. And yet you have a problem with this, and state this philosophy is wrong. You continually show your outright contempt for the individual, and your slavish worship to your religion, the state.

        Again, you are a sick fuck that would have sent people to gas chambers in germany, would have prevented food deliveries to and confiscated food from the people in the Ukraine, would have entered cities to slaughter intellectuals with machetes in cambodia, would have put a gun up to a political rival’s head and pulled the trigger in la cabana prison in cuba, and would have locked entire villages in train cars and listened to them scream for days as they died of thirst and starvation for nothing more than being a village that did not support the utopian statist dream in the former Yugoslavia. Of this I have no doubt of your sickness.

        That is you Tony. You may not believe it, because you are sitting here on the internet merely advocating for the state, and talking about how there are no rights other than the ones given by the state. But that’s you, you motherfucker. And not only that, you would not have been unhappy about it. You would have had a fucking shit eating grin on your face as you watched people that only wanted to be left alone, wither and die, all because they opposed your grand vision of supreme statehood.

        Again, fuck you and your wicked philosophy Tony. Fuck it right in the ear.

        1. Anyone who believes that rights stem from the government, and therefore can be taken away at any time, on a whim

          Rights can be taken away on a whim no matter where they come from! You still refuse to answer my question: where do you think they come from, and how are they secured without a government? Your having pure thoughts on the issue doesn’t change a damn thing.

          Again, you are a sick fuck that would have sent people to gas chambers in germany, would have prevented food deliveries to and confiscated food from the people in the Ukraine, would have entered cities to slaughter intellectuals with machetes in cambodia, would have put a gun up to a political rival’s head and pulled the trigger in la cabana prison in cuba, and would have locked entire villages in train cars and listened to them scream for days as they died of thirst and starvation for nothing more than being a village that did not support the utopian statist dream in the former Yugoslavia.

          Jesus. No, I wouldn’t. I promise. Acknowledging the fact that there is no such thing as magic is not the same as endorsing every evil on earth. I really hope you get the medication you need.

          Answer the fucking question, or admit that I’m right. Where do rights come from?

          1. Rights originate with the individual. They precede government. A government can only exist when the people it governs believe it is protecting these individual rights. This is the basis of liberal democracy.

          2. Deny all you wish.

            Just slap a russian accent on you, and one can easily imagine the version of you in a bad cold war flick, telling the victim who is screaming about his rights being violated: “the state decides what rights you have,” before pulling the trigger.

        2. Ha ha. Glibertarians who can’t answer the simple question of where rights come from equate the question with genocide.

          Imagine being so childishly dramatic and preoccupied with justifications to cuddle a gun.

          I realize shouldn’t make fun of the severely mentally Rothbarded, but come on.

          1. Better a mental rothbardian than a demented marxist.

            You can have a little of Tony’s go fuck yourself too, so you don’t feel left out.

            1. You can have a little of Tony’s go fuck yourself too, so you don’t feel left out.

              Well, at least you managed to post something that didn’t show the world what kind of violent fantasies occupy your thoughts. That’s progress!

              1. Too bad you and Tony both show the world what kind of violence is possible with the political fantasies you crave.

                (Oh, and by the way, all of those examples I used aren’t fantasies, the holodomor is not fantasy, the great leap forward is not fantasy, political murder at la cabana is not fantasy, the chetnik slaughter in yugoslavia is not fantasy, the cambodian killing fields is not fantasy…You may wish they were, as it shows what terrible results stem from worship of the state, and pretending that humans have no rights other than what the state graciously dishes out, but sadly for your philosophy, all those horrors were all too real.)

                1. Still haven’t answered the question, you’re just throwing out cheap accusations based on the fabricated premise that you’re superior because you haven’t thought about the question hard enough.

                  So I can only assume you’re sorry for calling us Nazis and that we’re right not to believe in magic.

                  1. Tony,
                    Inherent rights aren’t “magic.” Principles aren’t “magic.” The fact that you have to wonder what the argument is for natural rights, when many pages have been written, from people much smarter than me, from Locke to Alan Dershowitz, just shows that the education system has failed you badly. The question you ask doesn’t get a quick answer. But as sure as you or are stand here, our rights stem from ourselves as rational individuals. Not magic, but reality, existence itself.

                    But the consequences of your thought process are clear. The government can decide tonight to slay you where you type, and you’d have no rights violated because the government hands out rights, and takes them away, according to your sick mind. Political dissidents slaughtered over the world haven’t had rights violated, because their governments did the slaughtering, so obviously those people had no rights, as the government chose not to extend the right to free speech, or to life. Slavery must not have been a bad thing, and no rights were violated, as it was government sanctioned, and the government said that certain people had no rights, and darn it, according to Tony, government is the one deciding, so those people must not have any rights! Why’d we bother fighting the civil war? Slavery didn’t violated any rights! Again, you continue to prove my point about how you would not only be an executioner, but would gladly and willingly take up the mantle.

                    Your ignorance of how our very government was founded betrays your stance, how the constitution protects rights, it doesn’t grant them. How the first amendment doesn’t give a right to free speech, but protects that right. How the 9th amendment mentions rights the people have not mentioned by the government.

                    But in the end, what does it matter, for, according to you, the government can decide that from tomorrow on, Tony can not utter one word about politics under penalty of death, and nobody should complain about you losing your right, because the government dispenses and takes away rights like a monarch.

                    The only question left to decide is what nickname you should have…..maybe the butcher of hit and run?

                    1. Ha ha. Look at the glibertarian chump pretend that the existence of individual rights is somehow unrelated to the protection of those rights.

                      Ha ha. Look at him hilariously claim, as if we do not have millennia of history telling us otherwise, that rights are more, not less easily taken away when protected by government so empowered by consent of the rightholder.

                      Ha ha. Look at the funny person pretend that a hellhole of armed social Darwinism doesn’t lie at the end of his retarded ethos. Watch him suggest that such a thing is preferable to government by consent.

                      Ha ha. Watch him pretend that victims of despotism were represented and gave consent like we do. Ha ha.

                      http://tinyurl.com/48kjyoo

                    2. Hi Orel!
                      Are you back from looking up those historical atrocities? Or do you still think they’re some sort of figment of my violent imagination?

                      Let me know if there are any other events in history I can teach you about.

                      Dope.

                    3. I repeat:

                      Ha ha. Watch him pretend that victims of despotism were represented and gave consent like we do. Ha ha.

                    4. Well I take that as confirmation that you didn’t have a fucking clue about some major historical events, and tried to attribute them as violent fantasy instead of the real life actions taken against people.

                      Not surprising to want to gloss over the actual slaughter of people due to your lovely statist philosophy. But yeah, go ahead and cry about the “pretend” society and how awful it would be. I mean, it’s not like we’ve actually had example after example of nations who ignore individual rights slaughtering people like animals. Yeah, let’s make fun of a pretend society, and imagine it’s crimes. That’s all you’ve got, pretend and fantasy. Oh, and countless bloodshed, you’ve got that going for you too.

                      But yeah, keep on pretending that my philosophy espouses anarchy. I don’t blame you. It’s much easier to argue against your own dumb arguments than ones actually made!

                      Ha ha, fantasy indeed.

                    5. I repeat:

                      Ha ha. Look at him hilariously claim, as if we do not have millennia of history telling us otherwise, that rights are more, not less easily taken away when protected by government so empowered by consent of the rightholder.

                    6. Orel,
                      You know what I particularly like? You hold up the fact that we have representative government, unlike the victims in all of those terrible cases I brought up, but yet you somehow conveniently ignore the fact that our representative government was formed by founders who believed in natural rights which they explicitly stated. And the victims in all those cases were slaughtered by scumbags like you and Tony who believed those people killed had no rights, only those the state decided to give to them.

                      Again, you two prove my argument.

                      Keep going though, you’re really doing well.

                    7. I repeat, again:

                      Ha ha. Look at him hilariously claim, as if we do not have millennia of history telling us otherwise, that rights are more, not less easily taken away when protected by government so empowered by consent of the rightholder.

                      History 1, Your Delusional Toy Politics 0

                    8. According to you, it is just a coincidence that the representative government you continue to mention exists where the founders happened to believe in, and modeled government after, natural rights. It’s also a coincidence to you that millions were killed in places where people thought like you and Tony, that people have no rights other than what the government chooses to dole out.

                      You’re such a fucking moron that you’re trying to use an example of a nation built on the concept of natural rights for the argument that there are no natural rights.

                      I don’t blame you for lashing out emotionally like this though. It’s not every day we learn a truly awful thing about ourselves. I mean, you probably sit there and think how ridiculous it is of me to try and associate you with these historical murders. Everyone thinks that. Nobody thinks they have it in themselves to do these terrible things. People think “oh, I’d never do that,” or “how could those people do such a thing.” Well, sadly, history has shown that people, many people, are capable of terrible things. When I look at 2 people, one that believes that all individuals have inalienable rights, and the other person believes that rights are only a gift by government, and can be given or taken away at government’s leisure, my bet on the sick sadistic fuck is going to be on the statist, every time.

                      So go fuck yourself, yet again, dope.

                      Your delusional warped politics 75,000,000+ (body count)

                    9. I repeat, again:

                      Ha ha. Look at him hilariously claim, as if we do not have millennia of history telling us otherwise, that rights are more, not less easily taken away when protected by government so empowered by consent of the rightholder.

                      Places where I deny the existence of natural rights: 0

                      Places where your repeated appeals to mass murder apply to those represented and granting of consent: 0

                      Times you have shown that government empowered by consent produces historically less, not more, freedom: 0

                      Degree to which you have countered any of the things I have said: 0.0%

                      Proof offered of my desire to kill people: none.

                      Proof offered of my “statism”: none.

                      Uses by yourself of explicit violence in your argument’s framing: several.

                      Resultant best-case suggestion of your mindset: juvenile.

                      Resultant worst-case suggestion of your mindset: sociopathic.

                      Inevitable conclusion: Ha ha.

                    10. We can play this game all day.

                      Have you countered any of the things I’ve said? I’m still waiting for you to acknowledge your idiocy in claiming my examples were “violent fantasy” instead of what they actually were, references to history. You still appear to be painfully unaware of some of histories most prominent, and painful chapters, and attempt to cast them off as mere fantasy. And you’re trying to claim a millennia of history, when you don’t even know the last one hundred years?

                      I do like your argument that it’s less easier to take rights away when government has the consent of the governed. So essentially: “Your rights are protected, b/c it’s just so hard to take them away! Not that we don’t have the power, it’s just kind of hard to do it!” And you want to claim I’m juvenile? That’s the thought process of a child. Instead of a principle that rights are not granted by the government, to suggest don’t worry, it’s just harder to take them away if you have the consent of the governed (never mind that consent of the governed usually means consent of the majority, so the minority should feel really good and secure in their rights I guess huh?)

                      Orel’s dope factor increasing, getting stronger….

                    11. Holy shit balls you are stupid Orel.

                      The existence of individual rights IS unrelated to the protection of those rights. If two people are born on a deserted island, they still have those individual rights, even though there is no government to protect them from each other.

                    12. on a deserted island

                      Ha ha. Leave your preferred world out of this. Stick to where we are, not where your agonizing, retarded thought experiments dwell, okay?

                  2. If a group of people get together and write a document, a constitution if you will, that enumerates rights (that all humans have by virtue of being born) and then says that the government being formed is to always protect these rights and never abridge them, the people ARE NOT SAYING THE GOVERNMENT IS THE GIVER OF RIGHTS. THOSE RIGHTS EXIST WITH OR WITHOUT THE GOVERNMENT!!!

                    1. !!!

                      Ha ha. Look at the glibertarian getting all red in the face.

                      Find where I said government is the source of rights. You can’t. Ha ha.

                      Find where you admit that government by consent acts to protect rights, as is proven by millennia of history. You can’t. Ha ha.

                      No wonder you’re screaming: reality is not exactly your pal today.

                      Ha ha.

      2. what’s wrong with libertarianism is that it doesn’t admit that possibility it could be wrong

        Cheap, Unintentional Irony: “It’s not just for breakfast anymore!”

  • There are a few interesting things I noticed.

    The captions are interesting in their ability to mislead, not by what they say (nothing was untrue) but by what they don’t say.

    1) Teachers work 180 school days. True. But the implication is that 180 school days is ALL they work and the number is presented without context. Those 180 days are often 10-12 hour days including lesson planning, corrections, and assessment. And those are just the school days – they often work on weekends and before and after the school year as well. If Wisconsin teachers are representative of what I’ve seen elsewhere, they work the equivalent of 240 days. Which is about what most non-teachers work.

    2) Wisconsin has a $134m budget deficit. True. However upon taking office Gov. Walker and the legislature passed a tax relief package that added $117m to the deficit in lost tax receipts. It would be more honest to say the Gov. has prioritized tax relief for the state and intends to pay for it via benefits cuts for unions.

    3) The percentage contribution to pensions and healthcare is a nearly meaningless number. All that number affects is how total compensation is automatically increased due to cost of living, and the primary locus of that increase is in healthcare. By shifting the contribution burden to employees, the net effect on total compensation is declining wages as salaries remain stagnant.

    4) States have underfunded their pension plans across the nation, and now that reality has caught up to their shell game, they want to cut those plans. It would have been better the promises had never been made than that public employees counted on those promises only to have them evaporate.

    5) The democratic legislators and unions have agreed to the increased compensation proposals but not the collective bargaining proposal. The governor has refused to alter the bill. If it were all about the money, the unions and dems have agreed to give him the money. But it’s not about the money, it’s about union-busting. If you want to bust unions, just be honest about it. Wait, what am I thinking, these are politicians we’re talking about here.

    1. Corn,
      I’m not going to go through all your drivel, as I can point out with just one example why you’re an idiot.

      You say the tax relief that the republicans passed “added” to the deficit. If you had bothered to actually look this up, you’ll notice that the tax plan doesn’t go into effect until after this year, and is not counted for the deficit this year.

      Please don’t come here only to spout incorrect Rachel Maddow talking points.

    2. Those 180 days are often 10-12 hour days including lesson planning, corrections, and assessment. And those are just the school days – they often work on weekends and before and after the school year as well. If Wisconsin teachers are representative of what I’ve seen elsewhere, they work the equivalent of 240 days. Which is about what most non-teachers work.
      Bullshit. I used to be a teacher, and that is just plain bullshit. Teaching was an enjoyable job, but after a year I decided I would rather enter the private sector where my pay and advancement would depend on my ability rather than be locked into seniority.

  • Never have so few written so much for so long for so little.

  • “I really do not Walmart corporations or Disney corporations teaching the children of the United States”

    Tickle me, Elmo.

  • Pre-Nazi Germany? What an absolutely obscene and moronic thing to say…

  • Given that Heritage Foundation’s mission is “to formulate and promote conservative public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense.” I would trust it as far as I could throw it regarding Wisconsin’s problems right now (which is that banks bought triple A ratings for crap investments and then sold them to the pension fund managers, and have never been held responsible for the fraudulent representation — All possible because of the repeal/neutering of financial regulations put in place because a ‘Free Market’ can only exist when human beings aren’t involved.

    {rant = off}

  • I enjoy reading about the Kochs Nazi past. Those two boys are going down just like that governor.

    http://unknownjournal.wordpress.com/2010/10/06/?-report-the-kochs-their-nazi-past-american-oil-the-foundation-of-republican-ideology/

    1. Everyone you disagree with is a NAZI …

  • I am a long time reader and liberterian. The Wisconsin bill is not just about unions. There are many other issues? Why are the Unions taking for front to the Bill?

  • The liberal sockcuckers took it in the arse last night. Here’s to offing the Dems in their recall, and picking those two seats back up.

  • Please to post comments

    Comments are closed.