Tag Archives: Unions

Cops Demoted For…Being Republican???

Six Long Island, NY policemen have filed suit against their commissioner. They claim to have been demoted, lost overtime and had shift changes following support their support of Republican candidates.  The officers stated that they first went to their union for help but were told this was the price of playing politics in New York.

Read the full article at the New York Post.

 

Image Courtesy Free Digital Photos

The Face of the United States “Forward”

Obama's slogan

President Obama takes offense when the word Socialism is used to describe his policies, but lately even the liberal media is giving ‘some’ focus to the president and his policies. As the contrast continues between President Obama’s slogan “Forward” and the same term used in Vorwärts written by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels which was later used in Communist and Socialist propaganda the dissemination of the U.S. is a slow, but very real event. One doesn’t have to go far to realize this. Take any of the names from the Muslim Brotherhood, who are part of the President’s staff, or his past, and watch a U-tube video, or research their backgrounds.  We are not only living with the treat of Islam, Jihad – which is the installation of Shari’a Law, (www.conservativedailynews.com/didyouknow )  we are also moving toward Socialism.

How many people know the depth of Karl Marx or attempted to read his Manifest der Kommunistischen Partei (Communist Manifesto)? But more importantly is the knowledge and understanding of Marxism, and how it relates to what is truly at stake in this country. The progressive movement, socialism, or the move to dismantle the Constitution, along with other key factors, are what is really at stake here.  So who is Karl Marx anyway and why should I care?

Brief History of Karl Marx 

In short Karl Marx (May 5, 1818 – March 14, 1883) was a man of many thoughts, but mainly known for being the author of Manifest der Kommunistischen Partei (The Communist Manifesto 1848) and the movements most important book, Das Kapital. The ideologies of Marx form the basis of thought found in Marxism.

Karl was the oldest surviving son of nine children. His father was a lawyer devoted to Kant and Voltaire. Both his parents were Jewish, but prior to the birth of Karl his father converted and was baptized in the Evangelical Established Church. Karl was baptized at the age of seven. He was an educated man who was influenced by liberal teachers, radical social policies of the Enlightenment, and by discrimination of the times which was probably what really enticed him to look for social change. In college Marx was introduced to the philosophy of Hegel where he became involved with the Young Hegelians. “At first he felt a repugnance toward Hegel’s doctrines; when Marx fell sick it was partially, as he wrote his father, “from intense vexation at having to make an idol of a view I detested.” The Hegelian pressure in the revolutionary student culture was powerful, however, Marx joined a society called the Doctor Club, whose members were intensely involved in the new literary and philosophical movement. Their chief figure was Bruno Bauer, a young lecturer in theology, who was developing the idea that the Christian Gospels were a record not of history but of human fantasies arising from emotional needs and that Jesus had not been a historical person. Marx enrolled in a course of lectures given by Bauer on the prophet Isaiah. Bauer taught that a new social catastrophe “more tremendous” than that of the advent of Christianity was in the making. The Young Hegelians began moving rapidly toward atheism and also talked vaguely of political action.  The Prussian government, fearful of the subversion latent in the Young Hegelians, soon undertook to drive them from the universities. Bauer was dismissed from his post in 1839. Marx’s “most intimate friend” of this period, Adolph Rutenberg, an older journalist who had served a prison sentence for his political radicalism, pressed for a deeper social involvement. By 1841 the Young Hegelians had become left republicans.” http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/367265/Karl-Marx

Later, after Marx received his degree he became engaged and married Jenny von Westphalen, the two moved to Paris which was the center of socialist thought and ideals of communism. There, Marx first became a revolutionary and a communist and began to associate with communist societies of French and German workingmen. Their ideas were, in his view, “utterly crude and unintelligent,” but their character moved him: “The brotherhood of man is no mere phrase with them, but a fact of life, and the nobility of man shines upon us from their work-hardened bodies,” he wrote in his so-called “Ökonomisch-philosophische Manuskripte aus dem Jahre 1844” (written in 1844;Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844 [1959]). (These manuscripts were not published for some 100 years, but they are influential because they show the humanist background to Marx’s later historical and economic theories.) http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/367265/Karl-Marx

As time progressed Marx became more engulfed in Communism and the ideals of the left. The significance of his writings found in the Communist Manifesto, et.al., are an important part of history. They represent an interesting contrast to what is happening in the United States and the Constitution of the United States. It is critical for people to find their own interpretations and look for their own answers when trying to make decisions relevant to what is the best interest of the United States and her citizens. Karl Marx, like most people today, became fed up with the issues relevant to his time, but choosing the wrong path can ultimately lead to the demise of fundamental expectations. In the Communist Manifesto he describes what is necessary to destroy a free enterprise system (Ten Planks) and replace it with a communist socialist state. The ten tenants (Planks) of Communism are strikingly similar to that of the American counterparts. The dissemination of our own Constitution appears to be in the works.

Marxism in a Nutshell

According to Karl Marx, three phases are necessary in order to convert a society to communism:

1. The total destruction of any existing system

2. Wealth must be collectivized by a leader who emerges to take control of the populous choices of education, religion, employment, and private property ownership

3. Utopia is then achieved by government control

Marx describes the existence of these 10 essential tenets:

1. A centralized banking system

2. Government controlled education

3. Government controlled labor

4. Government ownership of transportation and communication

5. Government ownership of agriculture and factories

6. Abolition of private property ownership

7. Private property right confiscation

8. Heavy income tax

9, Elimination of the right of inheritance

10. Regional governmental planning

Communist leaders also recognized the need to discourage albeit abolish religion. Religion is seen as antithetical and dangerous.

The 10 Planks of Marxism:

1. Abolition of private property in land and application of all rents of land to public purpose.

The 5th Amendment clearly states the government cannot take a persons property for public use without giving them just compensation. This is known as the “Takings” Clause, because it gives the government the right to “take” property. But the 5th Amendment Eminent Domain Clause in the Bill of Rights states: “…nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.” The lines become somewhat ambiguous when the government has the power to determine what is “just.” The land is meant to be used for public good or necessity such as highways, libraries, schools, and so on. Government officials have consistantly abused their powers as seen in cases listed below. You can also read more: http://www.revolutionary-war-and-beyond.com/eminent-domain-clause.html#ixzz1uEh0mWLt

Some Eminent Domain Cases:

Penn Central v. New York City (1978) 

Dolan v. City of Tigard (1994)

Lucas v. South Carolina Coastal Com’n. (1992)

Tahoe Preservation Council v Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (2002)

Kelo v City of New London (2005)

2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.

This one really speaks for itself. The lack of understanding here regarding corporate taxes and this administrations propaganda to push the American people under the pretext that the “rich can pay more“ is at core of this tenant. The United States has the highest taxes on corporations than any other country in the world including Japan.  Large Corporations are not expanding,  they are leaving the U.S., and small businesses are going bankrupt. This is by far one of the greatest tenants of Communism whereby the rich will stay rich and everyone else will subside equally at the mercy of the government. These outrageous corporate taxes will continue to drain the American Economy while reducing corporate growth, salary increases, and job creation.

3. Abolition of all rights of inheritance.

For Karl Marx this particular tenant was put in place so no single person would ever have a right to property, whether real or personal under any kind probate law — there would be no inheritance. In the United States Americans call it the “Death Tax” which the name alone should speak for itself. The argument American’s should hold to, other than the fact that the taxes are not going to the states, is that the property is being taxed twice once when the person is alive and purchased it, and then again with inheritance tax when the person dies, which is clearly unethical, unlawful, and unjust by any standards.

4. Confiscation of the property of all Immigrants and rebels. 

This particular issue pertains to Janet Napolitano’s Homeland Security’s scrutiny of what they refer to as “homegrown militias.” A keynote case involved Michigan Militia who acted in the name of Hutaree.  They were accused of conspiring to overthrow the government, planning to assassinate a police officer, and attempting to incite an uprising against the Federal government by bringingg explosives to the officers funeral. The attack at the funeral never happened, yet Eric Holder felt inclined to raid the Hutaree outposts, and confiscate its members’ guns. In March 2012 the serious charges against the group were dismissed – a shocking slap in the face of the Federal government. The presiding judge concluded “hatred of the government did not amount to conspiracy to overthrow it.” To read more about that case go to: http://dig.abclocal.go.com/wls/documents/Hutaree-evidence.pdf

The second amendment is slowly but surely being taken away enabling government to tighten its grip over its citizens. It is one of the main events that occurred by the Soviets. Disarming its citizens allowed the Soviets the ability to maintain absolute power over its people.  In the United States this happens under the disguise of: government seizures, tax liens, Public law 99-570 (1986), Executive order 11490- sections 1205, 2002 which gives private land to the Department of Urban Development,  the imprisonment of ‘terrorists’ and those who speak out or write against the government (1997 Crime/Terrorist Bill), or the IRS confiscation of property without due process.  Asset forfeiture laws are used by DEA, IRS, ATF, and so on.  Another example: on March 7, 2012 the ACLJ Defends Tea Party Groups From IRS Assault. To read about this go to: http://aclj.org/free-speech-2/aclj-defends-tea-party-groups-from-irs-assault  It is important to recognize how the government is becoming more and more like “Big Brother,” it continues to grow in wealth and power while the American people and their rights become antiquated relics of the past.

5. Centralization of credit in the hands of the state, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly.

Americans call it the Federal Reserve which is a privately-owned credit/debt system allowed by the Federal Reserve act of 1913. The Federal Reserve sets the nations monetary policy, controls the American economy, guides interest rates, and controls inflation. The way the reserve is continually printing money devalues our currency, hence the cost of goods and services rise.  All local banks are members of the Federal system, and are regulated by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) another privately-owned corporation.

6. Centralization of the means of communications and transportation in the hands of the State.

Americans call it the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Department of Transportation (DOT) mandated through the ICC act of 1887, the Commissions Act of 1934, The Interstate Commerce Commission established in 1938, The Federal Aviation Administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Executive orders 11490, 10999, as well as State mandated driver’s licenses and Department of Transportation regulations. You may recognize some of these things such as Amtrak which is a government owned entity, the Interstate Hwy System, Federal Aviation Authority to name a few. The railroad went from privately owned to government owned.  Amtrak is the ONLY passenger train/rail in the country and it is owned by the Federal government.

7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the state, the bringing into cultivation of waste lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.

Again, too many to list here, but we can begin with all the bailouts for the auto industry beginning with GM. But other aspects could be found under The Desert Entry Act and The Department of Agriculture, Department of Commerce and Labor, Department of Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, Bureau of Mines, National Park Service, and the IRS control of business through corporate regulations.

8. Equal liability of all to labor. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.

Clearly the power of Labor Unions, the fact the President receives substantial amounts of money from Unions, Unions ( along with Soros) financing of Occupy Wall Street groups, and their unrelenting presence in the workplace all represent the 8th tenant. There is the Department of Labor, Woman in the workplace since the 1920’s, the 19th amendment of the U.S. Constitution, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, assorted Socialist Unions, affirmative action, the Federal Public Works Program and of course Executive order 11000. Again, so much of this has been in the news with the WI elections and other state issues where the President attempts to use his powers to overstep and mandate all aspects of the American people.

9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries, gradual abolition of the distinction between town and country, by a more equitable distribution of population over the country.

One of the largest government owned power companies is the Tennessee Valley Authority (http://www.tva.gov/ ) which clearly defines socialism at its finest. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also supports the idea of socialism by forcing business to comply with more stringent restrictions in the form of cap and trade and by mandating the purchase of carbon credits.

10. Free education for all children in public schools.

Ah the public education system, I could go on for decades here, but one example would be when the government decides what a child needs over the parent, for example what children should eat, (Michelle Obama). Another would be tenure with teachers. It is ridiculous how these teachers cannot be fired. Let’s not forget how the government has removed any form of Christianity (Christmas Vacation now Winter break etc), altered the Pledge of Allegiance, while turning a blind eye to teaching about Islam, as well as moral issues disguised under the word “tolerance.”

Union Pressures Obama to Reconsider Ill-Conceived Anti-Coal Regulations

On March 16th, Teamsters Rail Conference president Dennis Pierce wrote a letter to President Obama asking him to reconsider the job-killing regulations that he pushed his EPA to write on the use of coal.

The ill-considered, tough new rules on coal use could potentially impact one out of every five Teamsters Rail Conference members and as Pierce said ” it is not likely that new business generated on our nation’s railroads will ever make up for the loss of coal.”

The EPA had announced that up to 40% of the nations coal plants did not meet its tough new standards. Instead of granting energy producers more time to comply with the regulation, the regulatory body took a tough stance forcing electricity generators to announce the shuttering of their plants as they could not meet the rules in the time given.

Pierce also mentioned in his letter that in these tough times, America needs more jobs, not less – a fact not well understood by the current administration as it seeks to achieve Obama’s self-stated goal of making electricity rates “skyrocket”.

Pierce asked the administration to support the petitions for reconsideration of the new source emission limits that will be filed with the EPA. “We also ask you to include coal in your ‘all of the above’ plan for America’s energy future so that a balanced energy policy can be maintained,” he said.

As President Obama is relying heavily on Union backing for his re-election bid, the pressure coming from the Rail Conference may be well-timed. The White House has today announced that Obama will sign an executive order to grant permits to the lower half of the XL pipeline – perhaps this latest salvo from the unions will grant electricity producers a similar reprieve.

Proving the Slippery Slope

“It’s a slippery slope” – yeah .. that one. What if instead of a cliche, it were proved to exist – that slope of slip?

The Obama administration is still working out their strategy against the 1st amendment – more specifically the freedom of religion. They first tried to force Catholic churches, schools and facilities to pay for “contraceptive services”. That would first include birth control pills – but could easily be expanded to force the church to pay for plan B pills and even abortions. All of these are in direct opposition to the church’s teachings.

While Obama has pretended to back off the contraception ruling by allowing churches an exemption, he would still force their insurance companies to pay for services that the church is against. How is that more-aligned to the religious beliefs of the Catholic faithful? Anyone that believes Obama has given in or negotiated is believing the hype instead of analyzing the situation. He has simply found the spot at the top of the slippery slope that most Americans would accept.

Pre-born babies aren’t the only targets of the most oppressive regime in American history – now Obama is after the highly successful teachers at charter schools in an attempt to kill these non-union, non-NEA and very successful competitors to the failing schools system that the President firmly supports.

If we let Obama beat down the best teachers who have been attracted to a  better system of education and we let him suppress the beliefs of a large swath of Americans – who is to blame?

These are the issues that we must consider in the ballot box. These are the issues that every American must remind their members of Congress that they are upset with.

If you have not written your member of Congress about either – you are letting the government into increasingly personal parts of your life. Perhaps contraception of charter schools aren’t a big issue for you, but if you don’t fight this, it will not be long until the government goes after that which you hold dear. This is the line that must be held – the line at the edge of a very slippery slope indeed.

here’s how you find your member of Congres:

Just enter your zip code and email, call, write, protest.

Obama’s IRS to Target Charter Schools?

The last two weeks have been filled with stories of the Obama administration’s attack on religious organizations by forcing them to perform and/or pay for activities that are in direct opposition to their core beliefs. Now, it appears that the Obama administration is  targeting charter schools.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is challenging whether charter school teachers (typically non-unionized and unaffiliated with the NEA) should be eligible for state retirement plans – the same plans they have been contributing to for years.

Charter schools are public schools, but they work outside the typical NEA and union framework. They do receive taxpayer money, but there are some differences that the IRS is targeting. If the IRS is successful, it could force teachers into lower-performing traditional public schools over the new-era charter platform.

The Washintgon Times reported:

The proposed change would establish five criteria for determining eligibility in state retirement plans, the most troublesome of which, from the point of view of whether charter school teachers could participate, is a provision stating that “the governing officers either are appointed by state officials or publicly elected.” Another condition is that a government body must be responsible for all the debt a participating institution accumulates.

First, having a government official responsible for debt is the worst possible scenario an American tax payer can imagine. The inability of centralized government to manage tax payer funds has been documented over… and over… and over .. and.. well you get the point.

Second, the Internal Revenue Service is under President Obama by way of the department of the Treasury run by Mr. Timothy Geithner – yeah.. that guy. Geithner has been recently concerned over whether or not he would have a job should Barack Obama get re-elected and suddenly .. a new ruling more in-line with teacher’s unions than with the desires of American families.

Charter schools are steadily proving more effective than traditional schools by a wide margin. So much so that parents are having to put their kids into lotteries to hopefully gain entrance into the better schools.

Charter schools concentrate their funds on education. Some don’t offer bus service or spend money on extravagances such as cafeterias or theaters and the staff that must work those areas. That means more money for teachers and more time in the classroom.

The NEA is firmly against charter schools as are public sector unions. Both serve as special interest groups and lobby the administration – it would appear that special interests are more important than the will of the individual and  families – much like Obama’s recent oppressive attack on religious organizations in his attempt to get free contraception for all.

Charter schools are a mixed government and free-market alternative. They consistently out-perform full-public managed institutions and the big-government education groups are working to destroy them. Parents that have used them must organize against this overstep of government and special interest in order to preserve better choices for their children’s education.

Is General Motors Truly Back on Top of Auto World?

General Motors Corporation recently laid claim to being the world’s largest automaker, as headlined in The Detroit News  last month.  “General Motors Co. says it sold more than 9 million cars and trucks worldwide last year — a 7.6 percent increase that allowed the company to reclaim the title of world’s largest automaker.” After GM posted it’s profits and sales figures boasting of reclaiming to be the world’s largest automaker, German manufacturer Volkswagon released a statement saying that when trucks are added into the equation, that Volkswagon, not GM took over the title as largest automaker in the world.  Also of note is the fact that the massive earthquake and subsequent tsunami that struck Japan last march disrupted Toyota’s manufacturing and distribution systems, and after Toyota was back up to speed, flooding in Thailand forced key parts suppliers to suspend shipments, opening the door for other manufacturers to overtake Toyota’s title of world’s top automaker that it had held since overtaking GM in 2008.

Motor Trend published Volkswagon’s claims as follows: (emphasis added)

Now Volkswagen is disputing the claims and suggesting that it bested GM last  year. According to Automotive News, Volkswagen’s 8.16-million figure  doesn’t include sales from commercial  truck divisions MAN and Scania. Once those figures are added, it will  significantly bolster VW’s annual sales tally.

On top of that, GM’s sales figure was padded with about one million sales by  Chinese automakers SAIC Motor Corp. and Wuling Motors Co. — companies with which  GM has joint ventures, but in which the American company does not have a  controlling stake. If those sales were excluded and VW’s truck figures added,  Volkswagen would probably steal the global sales crown from GM.

2011 Automotive Company U.S. sales  fast facts:

GM- U.S. sales rose by 13% over 2010 numbers,  while Volkswagon’s U.S. sales rose by 23.3%.  Chrysler sales rose by 26%, and Ford’s sales rose by 11% over 2010. Imports BMW and Merceces Benz were also up 13%,  according to KHSLTV.

GM’s Chevy volt sales took a nosedive from  previously reported anemic sales due to the reports of the car exploding in a fireball during testing. GM sold 7700 Volts in 2011 and only 603 volts were sold in Jan. 2012. This was well short of stated goals of 10,000 in 2011 and has forced GM to walk back there stated goal of selling 45,000 Volts in 2012.

Due to under-performing GM stock prices, the U.S. taxpayer is currently estimated to be on the hook for almost $24 billion dollars in losses.

GM Avoids Paying Taxes on Profits thanks to Obama and Geitner adding illegal exemptions into TARP deal. Pay-to-Play 101.

GM to date has not mentioned the total of $45 billion dollars in tax write-offs given to them in the Obama/Geitner TARP deal. The Harvard Law School Forum  published the following little-know facts  about GM’s deal:

New GM has the factories, offices, designs and some of the workers that Old GM had. It also acquired some $18 billion worth of its NOLs (the losses themselves were $45 billion). It could not use them to reduce its corporate income tax liability immediately – it earned no income against which to apply them. But in 2010 New GM did finally turn a profit. Presumably, it will now start using its NOL’s (net operating losses) to avoid its corporate tax. (emphasis added)

The problem lies within certain “notices” written by the Treasury where GM/U.S. Treasury will not have to abide by  tax laws that other companies who sell stock do.

To solve this problem, the Treasury issued a series of “Notices.” The Sec. 382 rules, it declared, simply did not apply to itself. When it sold its shares in New GM, its buyers might increase their ownership stake by 50 percentage points, but they would not trigger the Sec. 382 limits. The tax code offered no exception for government-owned shares, and the Treasury did not purport to find one. Instead, it just declared that the law did not apply. Treasury issued several similar “Notices” for AIG and Citigroup. Through the TARP transactions, both of these firms experienced ownership changes over 50%. By law, they lost their NOLs. By “Notice,” the Treasury announced that it would let them keep the losses. (that allows GM and the Obama-supporting UAW, to avoid paying approx. $45 billion dollars in taxes.)

In an article titled  Can the Treasury Exempt its Own Companies from Tax? The $45 Billion GM NOL Carryforward, the author of the above-linked report worked with Eric B.Rasmussan to expose just how the U.S. Treasury and the Obama administration illegally gave the GM Unions tax exempt status as the GM bailout moved forward: (emphasis added for clarity)

 We do not address the wisdom of the bailouts. Neither do we ask whether giving a multi-billion-dollar tax break to an automobile or financial company makes sense. Instead, we focus on the propriety of the Treasury’s manufacturing a tax break. We find two aspects of the transaction especially troubling:

  • a. The GM Notice transfers a large amount of money to one of the largest contributors to the administration’s party, the UAW. The UAW was merely an unsecured creditor to GM – yet through the reorganization it emerged with a much larger equity stake than its interest warranted. Through this Notice, the government now transferred vast sums of money to it.

 

  • b. The GM Notice hides the real cost of the TARP bailout. Involving as it does very complex provisions of the corporate tax code, the Notice escapes virtually all public scrutiny. Yet at root it cuts the firm’s future taxable income by $45 billion. The true total cost of the TARP transactions does not involve only the direct outlay; it also includes the $45 billion in future income that the Treasury freed from tax.

Finally the report further states that in order to avoid public outcry about the huge transfer of cash to the Obama-supporting UAW, they did it through a legally unauthorized exemption.

Had the administration given such a large amount of cash to the UAW, the public would have complained massively. The administration gave it through a legally unauthorized Sec. 382 exemption, and no one noticed.

We conclude the article by exploring procedural reforms Congress might adopt to prevent a recurrence of what happened with GM. We urge it to give legislators standing to contest in court any tax benefits that the Treasury provides.

Understanding these truths about how the Obama administration and the Treasury have transferred billions of taxpayer dollars to the crony-capitalists at GM and the UAW also debunks the rosy picture the media is painting about GM’s current boasting of a planned $10 billion dollars in profits in 2012. The stock held by the U.S. Treasury, bought and paid for with tax dollars is currently worth about half of what it needs to be to break even and recuperate the bailout cash. When Obama and the Liberal Democrats preach about evil corporations and successful business owners not paying their fair share of taxes today, they somehow refuse to mention GM and their $45 billion-dollar tax  exemption gift that was given to them as a down-payment for the United Auto Workers reelect Obama 2012 campaign.

Footnotes: Do Americans want four more years of  these types of taxpayer abuse and Liberal crony-capitalism? Barack Obama claims to have saved a million autoworker jobs while refusing to discuss how much it cost the taxpayer in real-time total dollars. While Obama-supporting Union workers at GM rake in record salaries and benefits, along with huge bonuses, the rest of America is stuck dealing with skyrocketing energy prices and an overall massive increase in the cost of everyday necessities, while the average wage increase for 2011 was a measly 1.9%, according to this BLS report.  Unemployment is still  stubbornly high , and now the Obama-led Democrats want to hand out another extension of  an already record high time limit of federal U/E benefits at taxpayer expense. America is being systemically collapsed under the weight of trillions of dollars in debt, and now we will soon see Obama and company raise the debt limit another trillion-plus dollars. The big news last week was that GM is the “largest” automaker in the world, (which is debunked here) and the “new GM success” is being used to promote Obama’s reelection. Had Ford Motor Company got a $45 billion-dollar tax exemption, ( like GM)  their profits would in fact, surpass GM’s 2011 earnings by tens of billions od dollars.  It is about time the American people demand an end to big corporations such as GM being allowed to steal billions of taxpayer dollars in order to give them to reelect Obama cronies and assorted union bed-pals. That starts with defeating Barack Obama in 2012.

School Rocked by Sex Abuse Scandal Closes as Third Teacher Implicated

Image courtesy of KTLA in Los Angeles

A third teacher has been implicated in the sex scandal that just keeps on going at Miramonte Elementary School in Los Angeles County.  Two teachers have already been arrested on charges of lewd conduct with children.  Mark Berdnt is accused of 23 lewd acts on minors, including blindfolding his students and feeding them his own semen while photographing each encounter.  Martin Bernard Springer was also a Miramonte teacher was arrested earlier in the week for lewd conduct with minors as well.  Now it seem a third teacher was involved in these disturbing acts.  Although the name has not been released, a representative for 5 of the victims says this third teacher was female who shared a door with Berdnt’s classroom.  This teacher allegedly funneled students from her classroom to Berdnt’s classroom, and investigators are currently looking into whether she did the same for Springer.  They are also exploring a link between Springer and Berdnt – they may have been very close friends and aided each other in their misconduct.

Miramonte Elementary is currently closed until Thursday.  Los Angeles School Superintendent John Deasy has announced that the entire staff at the school will be replaced from the top down in order to avoid “any more surprises” and re-build trust among parents.

All well in good, but this problem goes deeper than just a few bad apples.  Current union rules make it nearly impossible to fire bad teachers.  Both of the accused men have been racking up complaints of sexual misconduct against their own students for decades, but each one was brushed under the rug and students were transferred rather than fire the teacher. On top of that, California law makes each of these wackos eligible to receive their full pensions until the day they die, regardless of any criminal convictions – even if those convictions are for molesting or raping their own students. This problem goes deeper than one school. Its time to be honest about what the unions have wrought on our children.

 

crossposted at kiradavis.net

Second Teacher Arrested as Public School Sex Abuse Scandal Unfolds in L.A.

Martin Bernard Springer is second teacher arrested for sex abuse at Miramonte Elementary School

Last week I reported to you the disturbing case of Mark Berdnt, a teacher at Miramonte Elementary School in Los Angeles County. Berndt was arrested on 23 counts of lewd acts on children – acts that included blindfolding his students and feeding them his own semen. To add insult to injury, under California law, Berndt is eligible to retire early and collect his $4000/month pension for the rest of his life, regardless of any criminal conviction.

In a stunning twist of events a second teacher from the same elementary school- Martin Bernard Springer- has been arrested on child molestation charges stemming from revelations made last week that fondled at least two students in his classroom.  Ironically, one of the students who came forth with the allegations had also been a student in Berndt’s class back in 2008. She was transferred to Springer’s class after her parents complained about Berndt.  The student, who was 7-years-old at the time came home with pictures of her and another girl standing against a wall and being fed cookies with a “light liquid” on them. The school dismissed the claims and transferred the girl to Springer’s class.

Today, many parents have chosen to keep their children out of the school and are organizing a protest to express their frustration with the school board for keeping them in the dark for so long.  The school will be closed until this Wednesday at least while an investigation is being conducted. The Los Angeles Unified School District will hold a meeting on Monday night to talk with concerned parents.  They’ll meet earlier in the day to decided whether or not to fire Springer in the wake of the allegations.

Let’s try to be fair here: it’s entirely possible that parents and students are understandably sensitive right now about this whole situation.  It could be that Springer is simply a victim of these enhanced sensitivities right now.  Child abuse is a very serious charge and thus I am leery about jumping on the bandwagon to convict this man in the court of public opinion before there is more solid proof (unlike his colleague, who thoughtfully provided photographic evidence of his depravity). However, if these allegations prove to be true, its time for Los Angeles County, districts and unions across the country to admit that there is a serious problem in our public school: one of oversight, education and staffing.  The Catholic church has been excoriated over revelations that they have ignored and/or covered up serious sex abuse for decades.  The same thing is happening right under our noses in our own schools, yet criticism of a system that allows such behavior to flourish is squashed or labeled as “hate” and “ignorance”.  Worse still, you have a choice to attend a Catholic church or not. But for too many children across the country they have absolutely no choice in what school they attend. They have to roll the dice and just hope that they don’t end up under the tutelage of someone like Berndt and his ilk.

If Springer is fired, just like his colleague Berndt he will still be eligible to receive his full pension until the day he dies under California law. Is it still “all about the children”, union? Really?

You can navigate to KTLA out of Los Angeles to get the full scoop and videos on both stories.

UPDATE: KABC 790 Talk Radio out of Los Angeles is reporting that a third teacher will be arrested soon in connection with these two cases.  Reportedly the teacher is a female who acted as a sort of “pimp” for Berdnt and possibly Springer. Conservative Daily News will post updates as we receive them.

The Motor City Plunges Off the Greek-Style Debt Cliff

Detroit, Michigan has long been known as the motor city due to it’s being the home of the big-three auto-makers ever since the first mass-produced automobiles rolled off the assembly line of Ford Motor Company.  As the population of America increased and the demand for more automobiles skyrocketed, along with it came massive doses of wealth and prosperity for the Motor City and it’s home state of Michigan.

Fast forward to the year 2012, and we see the city of Detroit facing Greece-style austerity measures due to a $200-$300-$400 million dollar hole in it’s operating budget. (Depending on who’s numbers you believe)  Government services have been slashed, workers laid off and now we see that Detroit May Close Half of it’s Schools. “According to the Detroit News, Detroit Public Schools considered filing for bankruptcy in 2009 but declined.  In the past year alone, debt in the district has increased by more than $100 million, brought on by a ‘mix of revenue declines in property taxes, reduced state aid, declining enrollment and an unplanned staffing surge’ this past fall.” That was almost exactly a year ago, and apparently the Detroit Labor Unions are still bankrupting the Motor City today.   Add to that past crop of debt-caused austerity measures, the current reports that the State of Michigan will be forced to appoint another emergency manager with broad powers to cut spending” if city employee unions and the bureaucrats do not reach a deal on major concessions proving that Detroit’s debt problems can no longer be ignored.  How can a school system that is millions of dollars in debt, while facing declining enrollment and revenues, justify the above-mentioned “unplanned staffing surge”?  UNIONS.

Mike Shedlock sums  up the situation as follows, regarding the supposed deals to save Detroit announced by Detroit Mayor Dave Bing:

Deal Reached?
Mayor Bing is taking his script straight from Greece where a deal has been “close” for days, weeks, and now months.

What’s Best for Detroit?
The best thing for Detroit would be if there is no deal, or the state rejects the deal.
Unions are the problem and the solution is to get rid of them entirely. That will not happen under Bing, but it could happen in a state takeover.
Bing is not interested in what’s best for Detroit taxpayers nor is he interested is what’s best for Detroit school children where shockingly only 25% graduate high schools. Rather, Bing is out to save as much of the status quo as he can, including his own job of course.

Collective Bargaining has Morally and Fiscally Bankrupted Detroit Schools.

In the ultimate example of Mayor Bing proving to be nothing more than a big spending and tax increase [Democrat] denier of reality, last week Bing began firing 1000 of the city’s 11,300 public employees, has proposed a 10% cut in payments to vendors, and wants to double the 1% tax on corporations.  He proposes all of this while largely remaining silent about the real culprit that is driving the Motor City off of the debt cliff: Public Unions lavish salaries, pensions and benefits packages.

NOTE:  The Detroit Public School System is controlled by a Big Labor Union, resulting in over half of Detroit’s adults being deemed illiterate.

Update: Detroit makes top 10 list of America’s most miserable cities. (again)

 

Rick Santorum, the Romney alternative to Romney

Rick Santorum, after a 2nd place showing in Iowa, has been recently hailed as the “conservative alternative to Mitt Romney”. Conservative in what sense though? Conservative because he’s religious and seems to live the model good Christian life? Conservative because he’s a super military hawk? Conservative because he’s socially conservative? The one area he’s not conservative is in the domestic size of government sense. Conservative seems to mean many different things now a days, not all of which limit federal powers, leave people alone, oppose collectivism and spend less money.

While claiming to be a firm supporter of the 10th Amendment, the amendment which Thomas Jefferson said kept the federal government small, Santorum stated, “the idea that the only things that the states are prevented from doing are only things specifically established in the Constitution is wrong.” Perhaps he supports a different 10th Amendment than the one most actual conservatives hail. In 2005 Santorum wrote a “conservative answer” to Hillary Clinton’s It Takes a Village, which advocated for more government involvement in people’s lives. It Takes a Family: Conservatism and the Common Good plays to most conservatives’ desire and love of family values, but its assertion to take action for the “common good” should give lovers of liberty some pause. The General Welfare Clause of the Constitution is often hailed by liberals as justification for their big government programs. And just like liberals, Santorum advocates for government based solutions in his book including, but not limited to: national service (forced conscription), publicly financed trust funds for children, incentives for community investments, and economic literacy programs for every school in the country. Santorum’s support for federal education isn’t particularly shocking given his vote for President Bush’s “No Child Left Behind Act”.

In 2006, Rick Santorum showed his true colors while promoting his book on NPR. Santorum told the host, “One of the criticisms I make is to what I refer to as more of a libertarianish right. You know, the left has gone so far left and the right in some respects has gone so far right that they touch each other. They come around in the circle. This whole idea of personal autonomy, well I don’t think most conservatives hold that point of view. Some do. They have this idea that people should be left alone, be able to do whatever they want to do, government should keep our taxes down and keep our regulations low, that we shouldn’t get involved in the bedroom, we shouldn’t get involved in cultural issues. You know, people should do whatever they want. Well, that is not how traditional conservatives view the world and I think most conservatives understand that individuals can’t go it alone.” Its safe to say that Rick Santorum probably doesn’t think too much of Ayn Rand or her masterpieces: The Fountainhead or Atlas Shrugged.

Now, I’m not one who cares about the earmark issue too much as it is constitutionally permissible and because its the Congress’ duty to allocate funds, but I do admit that it can and often does “corrupt the process”. For those who do care, Santorum was a huge ear-marker in his days in the House and Senate, and not just for his own district. Santorum voted to fund the notorious “Bridge to Nowhere”. Since being out of office, Red State points out that Santorum now opposes earmarks. But as the conservative economic organization The Club for Growth, points out: Santorum is someone who does try to have it both ways, “He voted NO on raising the minimum wage in 1995 and 2005. But on the same day he voted NO in 2005, he sponsored an amendment that would increase the minimum wage, which he later boasted about to skeptical voters in a 2006 campaign brochure he released called ’50 Things You Didn’t Know About Rick Santorum.’” I’ll add one thing you should know about Santorum is his support for Bush’s agenda domestic and abroad, including the dreaded and expensive, Medicare Part D.

Perhaps most unpopular here in South Carolina is Rick Santorum’s support of labor unions. Now, one may dismiss it as electoral pragmatism based on his former home state, just like earmarks could be, but given our battle with the NLRB; perhaps we are rightfully now less forgiving. Santorum opposed the National Right to Work Act, voted against NAFTA and some other free trade proposals, and has supported tariffs, such as on steel, to help unions avoid competition. Also in the interest of helping unions avoid competition, Santorum repeatedly voted to protect unions with his continuous support of the Davis-Bacon Act. Speaking of protectionism, Santorum has also supported farm subsidies in the past. Now to give Santorum credit, he doesn’t use the tired expression “level the playing field” which is a noble goal, but also an overused cliché. The reason he clamor for the “leveling of the playing field” economically is because his jobs plan openly favors manufacturing by giving them all sorts of special breaks. I don’t want to come off as unsympathetic to the manufacturing industries’s plight, I am, and do want it to come back, but I don’t want other industries to have to pay the manufacturing’s industries’ “fair share” for them. On a similar, un-capitalistic note, Santorum also voted for the Sarbanes-Oxley financial regulation bill, which kills start ups and harms existing businesses.

If this is conservative, than I sure as hell am not a conservative. Barry Goldwater’s nickname was “Mr. Conservative”. Oh, how the definition has been forgotten over the years. Santorum’s record is abysmal. Liberals would call me a right wing extremist based on my view of government, they would hear the legislation I want and immediately break down and cry. Upon meeting and conversing with a Michele Bachmann campaign staffer, I made him argue for bigger government. Not that I like either of them, for what should be obvious reasons, but there’s no way Romney could’ve been much worse than Santorum. In fact, Santorum even supported an individual mandate. Proof of this may be found in a local Pennsylvania Newspaper which described Santorum and a rival Republican’s healthcare proposal with, “Santorum and Watkins would require individuals to buy health insurance rather than forcing employers to pay for employee benefits.” Because both are big government Republicans, I won’t be voting for them… but if I had to pick between them, I’d chose Romney, hands down. Romney, while not a small government candidate, would do less harm to conservatism because no one views Romney as a conservative. Everyone calls him a moderate, and rightfully so. If Romney further grows government, the conservative brand isn’t on the hook. What I cannot sit by and watch is a big government Republican in Santorum, be called a conservative and grow government just like his fellow “compassionate conservative”, President Bush did. As you can see the term conservative is on the ropes; from Robert Taft and Barry Goldwater’s constitutionally limited government views to Rick Santorum’s family values based big government nanny state. This is a term we really cannot afford to lose. Please don’t help kill the brand and the label.

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