Roundup

Best. Pro-life ad. Ever. Don’t worry, it isn’t graphic.  But if you think the message is harsh, the reality is a million times worse.  Make it viral, please!  HT: Jill Stanek

 

“Only they’re not bunnies.” Priceless.  Hey, if they were bunnies, it would be illegal already.

Ask your Congressional representatives to de-fund PP now.  It isn’t just the abortions, it is the serial hiding of statutory rape and sex crimes.  Don’t listen to the fear-mongering about the other services they provide.  There are many places that can provide those that don’t commit the atrocities that PP does.

Barely twenty-four hours after her inauguration as America’s first woman chief executive, President Sarah Palin announced today that Attorney General Mark Levin has been instructed to stop defending Roe v. Wade and abortion in a wave of fresh lawsuits filed in federal courts around the country.

~Jeffrey Lord, American Spectator, February 24

From Jill Stanek’s quote of the day.  Those cheering Obama’s refusal to do his job and support the Defense of Marriage Act have no idea what precedent it sets.

Wisc. and Ind. Democrats: Union Cash Driving Democrats to Run and Hide

By far unions are the largest donors that Democrats have all up and down the line from local and state to federal. Unions spent over 50 million dollars on Barack Obama’s campaign back in 2008 and they spent another 50 million for the 2010 midterm elections.

Most specifically public employee unions are Democrats biggest supporters.In the last week of the 2010 election, for instance, the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) spent over a million dollars to help elect Democrats. The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) spent almost $400,000.

So when these Democrats run away and try to hide in a neighboring state it is because their biggest donors are demanding that they “do something.” And since Democrats in these states have lost all power due to the will of the voters, they feel that their last ability to stop legislation that hurts donor’s interests is to shut down government.

There is no parallel for this in the actions of Republicans who have spent decades as powerless onlookers in state government. No blocks of Republicans have run away like cowards to nearby states to avoid doing their jobs. Republicans have been essentially powerless in the face of unions since World War II yet in that almost 80-year span where Democrats have been in the pocket of Big Labor no blocks of Republicans have wallowed in such childish petulance. Republicans continued to go to work in their state capitols despite being virtually powerless to affect unions.

The insidiousness of media bias — Democrats, Media Keep ‘Birther’ Story Alive

The nagging issue of “Birthers” raises a chicken/egg question: It is an issue that lingers of its own accord, or does it linger because the media won’t let it go away?

Republicans appearing on cable to talk about important issues of the day — unemployment, the national debt, Egypt, Wisconsin, etc. — can bet the “Birther” question will come up. And there appears to be nothing a Republican can do to satisfy an interviewer on this question. It is not enough to state a belief in the president’s Christianity, or that one takes the president at his word. In question after question, interviewers call on Republicans to condemn, repeatedly, rumors they neither believe nor spread; then they condemn the condemnation for not being condemnatory enough.

And so the issue keeps coming up. It’s self-perpetuating. Twice in the past week, George Stephanopoulos has asked Republican guests on Good Morning America about it. David Gregory routinely does the same on Meet the Press.

I saw this comment that was trying to refute John’s excellent response to a HuffPo fluff piece by a false teacher promoting pro-gay theology:

Christians loudly opposing homosexuality are being really interrested in the personal sins of others, are they not? Or is it only a few particular sins, that they happen to be blameless for themselves? So, the question arises, are they doing what their religion demands of them? Wether christians should be good and forgiving people or should they be on the lookout for their “neighbours sins”? Is it really what Jesus demanded of them? If that is a part of being a christian, I am especially happy I am not one. It must be a burden to try and watch for ones fellow man, for him not to “sin” in his bedroom…

My response to the commenter:

Go check your history.  Was pro-gay theology the dominate view of the church for 2,000 and then these awful conservatives came along to try and change it?  Did both Christian and non-Christian cultures always celebrate (oxymoronic) “same-sex marriage” and then conservative Christians decided to change that?

Of course not.  The apostate pro-gay theologians brought it up and part of their playbook is acting like we’re the ones obsessed with it.

And when one of the logical consequences of making sexual preferences into civil rights is that young children will be forced to learn that these perversions are “normal,”  that is definitely worth fighting.

Lara Logan, Islam and Women’s Rights – Why the media silence on the Islamic gang-rapes?  Too scared to mention it?  Doesn’t fit in the the PC-memes?  Why aren’t the feminists going insane over this?  More from the Wintery Knight about the Koran’s teachings on this.

Roxanne On that whole “teachers work long hours during the school year” thing — Nice.

All Teachers Unions Must Fall, Not Just Wisconsin’s – just read it all.  Great overview of how awful they are and why they should be illegal.

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35 thoughts on “Roundup

  1. Funny – I also linked to Stanek’s bunnies.

    I have been often accused of singling out just the one sin, that us Christians don’t worry about divorce and adultery, yada, yada, yada.

    My point has been that we care about all sins, and yes divorce most of the time is for unbiblical reasons. However, the only sinful practice that has people demanding sanction is homosexuality! How many adulterers or divorced people, or even pedophiles, go around demanding government sanction for their behavior, and punishment for those who don’t want to be forced to recognize it as legitimate?

  2. I’ve read several comments about this teacher’s union thing, but one fact I haven’t seen brought out is this:

    If you take the average teacher’s annual salary, and divide it by the actual number of hours they work, their average hourly wage computes out to be higher than a doctor or lawyer’s wages.

    Almost everyone says teachers are underpaid for the work they do, and that might be true of some teachers. But, many of them do a horrible job. I read that in Wisconsin, the graduation rate is under 50%.

    The difference between teachers who are paid these exorbitant salaries and doctors and lawyers is this:

    If doctors and lawyers continually do horrible jobs, they lose business and along with that, money, and sometimes they even lose their licenses to practice.

    No matter how bad a job a teacher does, not only do they get to keep their jobs under-educating our children, but they get raises! And, unlike doctors and lawyers, teachers are paid by the taxpayers, so they have no responsibility or incentives to do a better job of teaching.

    • I pretty much agree with you Mark and you raise valid points, but – I just wanted to point out that unlike doctors and lawyers, teachers bring work home with them (the actual hours they work is not limited to when they are in the classroom, or even the building). My parents were both teachers – my mother in special ed; father in high school (history), and they had TONS of job-related homework. They both put in well in excess of 50 hours per week, between lesson plans and grading papers, all of which was done after the close of the “work day” and on weekends. My father had to work a second job to send us to college, too.

      However, for all the kvetching I heard from them growing up about “teachers are the most under-paid professionals there are” blah blah blah…I have NO IDEA what their salaries were — they never told us!! LOL! And now, in their retirement, they travel around the world on these expensive vacations. So something tells me we weren’t as bad off as they made it seem. :)

      Now my kids are in public schools, and I couldn’t agree with you more — performance as a teacher has nothing to do with job security or raises. I cringe when I see the spelling and grammatical errors in notes/memos that come home from my kids’ teachers…or I talk to some of them, and am shocked at the lack of general knowledge a few of the younger ones seem to have. Some seem oblivious to the fact they are teaching revisionist history, too. I TRULY believe we should get rid of teachers’ unions once and for all, and have higher standards for our educators.

    • As Michael Graham pointed out the other day, you are twenty times as likely to be laid off or downsized in the private sector than in the public sector.

      What is that job security worth? Can we put a dollar value on it and add it to their salaries?

      What about the inherent part of job insecurity – the fact that you do your best every single day because if you don’t, you can’t put food on the table? A teacher who has been in for ten years isn’t going anywhere – she has tenure and a system that means that teachers who have 1-9 years of experience get laid off first. Let me know how many teachers really bring their A game every day.

  3. Regarding “Roxanne On that whole “teachers work long hours during the school year” thing — Nice.”

    I have to call foul. Claiming that teachers “do not work nearly as long hours as people do in the private sector,” simply shows a lack of knowledge.

    I would argue that Roxanne should “work at least one year in the (public) sector” so she can see what it’s really like.

    I’m not trying to say teachers are underpaid. There are lots of jobs that are underpaid. They agreed to work for that salary. But don’t go around saying they don’t measure up to private industry.

    A lot of the things teachers’ unions do are wrong, but it doesn’t need to be the cause for slamming teachers.

  4. Roxanne’s article is too much of a loaded argument. I’ve worked in both the private sector employee and various businesses and as a private school teacher for over 6 years. I know what its like to pour in 50-60 hour work weeks in the private sector and I know what its like to do it as a teacher. They are strikingly similar and I’m not complaining about it. Its called work for a reason.

    In my experience, the people making claims about teachers have never taught and frankly, I’m tired of people informing me of how much I do or do not work. They simply don’t know the answer to that question.

    • Tom: you missed the point of my blog post. It was a very narrow argument. Here is a typical conversation with a teacher:
      Teacher: We make so little money!
      Private-sector employee: your benefits are great.
      Teacher: Still, we make so little!
      Private-sector employee: You get summers off, vacations off, and three-day weekends. I get two weeks of vacation, Christmas, New Year’s, and three “flex holidays”. And no paid sick leave.
      Teacher: But during the school year, we work hard! We have grading and everything else! We work more than 40 hours a week?

      Roxeanne: guess what? If your butts were in the private sector, you would be… drumroll.. working more than forty hours a week, every week, no summers off.

      Roxeanne’s minor point: if you have kids, having summers off and school vacations off saves you a boatload of money. Private-sector employees put their kids in summer camp, expensive daycare, or hire babysitters. There’s a lot of money that you’re NOT spending by being a teacher.

      But hey, if I need to pile on, I will: MOST teachers (not all, for those who had bad stats teachers in high school, just most, the average, the typical) teacher is not very bright. It is a fact that public-school teachers have the lowest GRE scores of any professional group who takes that test.

      So you’re not going to cure cancer if you’re in the private sector, you’re working 195 days a year, and during those days, you work no longer than any professional private-sector employee.., and you’re crying because making the salary that exceeds the average household isn’t good enough for you? Give me a break.

      • Sorry for the multiple comments in a row, Neil, but a very quick explanation of that chart: the people who take the GRE are those who are going into graduate school for something that is not to be a doctor, a nurse, a lawyer, or a businessman (MBA). So when “medicine” comes in fourth to last, no doctor or nurse is factored into that: it’s medical technicians.

      • Roxanne,
        There are lots of jobs that that pay well. Go get one of those jobs. I’m perplexed as to why you don’t become a teacher since it pays so well with so many benefits, etc. Why are you staying in the private sector then?

        My statement still stands: “In my experience, the people making claims about teachers have never taught and frankly, I’m tired of people informing me of how much I do or do not work. They simply don’t know the answer to that question.”

      • Tom said “I’m perplexed as to why you don’t become a teacher since it pays so well with so many benefits, etc. Why are you staying in the private sector then?”

        Can we “like” a comment as we do on Facebook?

      • Because I refuse to join a union and be a moocher. Since I’m in Massachusetts, I would have to join a teacher’s union. My salary would have to go to people who lobby for politics that I detest. I would not be eligible for merit pay.

        If I were in a right-to-work state, I would happily be a high school teacher (for at least a few years). But I’m not joining a government employee’s union and contributing to the problem.

        Oh, and Tom? There’s plenty of high-paying jobs out there? Not for young lawyers – the legal economy has been described as “stable – but stable at the worst level it’s been in over 30 years.” (Citing a partner at one of the biggest firms in America.) Government’s thriving, though! Line up, moochers, take a number, buy a nice house in Fairfax County. Unemployment is way down in Washington, DC! Public sector workers now make more than private sector workers – throw away your morals, leech off what little energy is left, and feed at the trough!

        Oh, how I love moochers. “Hey, you’re pointing out that some people don’t have it as bad as they say they do. So if you’re not joining them, you’re a total hypocrite!” It’s almost like the, “You can’t complain about abortion unless you’re wiling to adopt every baby out there” logic. [smirk]

      • Roxanne,
        You are a really cranky person. Seriously, go get some sleep or something. And if you even attempted to read what I wrote in the above comments you would have noticed that I work in private education not public education. So, slowly climb off your high horse and wipe the smirk off your face.

        I’m not a moocher. I don’t belong to a union. I don’t make a salary that exceeds other private sector jobs. I’m not complaining. I don’t get benefits that exceed other private sector jobs. In fact, quite the opposite. So, once again, stop telling me how much I do or don’t work because you just don’t know.

        I love know-it-alls: “Hey, you’re pointing out that I don’t know everything and I don’t like it. I’m going to keep insisting that I know it all anyways and throw in some smirks to prove it.”

      • Well if you’re not a public employee union teacher, then the complaints here about teachers’ unions don’t apply to you, do they? I won’t speak of anyone else, but I can easily distinguish between public and private teachers. Frankly, as a private teacher, I would think that you’d be on the side of those opposing the public teacher unions and groups like NEA for their shenanigans. Are you?

      • In SC, private school teachers have lower certification requirements and are generally paid less than their public counterparts. A lot of college graduates who can’t get into public schools go the private route until they can get a job or get certified.

      • I’m perplexed as to why you don’t become a teacher since it pays so well with so many benefits, etc. Why are you staying in the private sector then?

        Cute sound bite, but it fails when you peel back the layers.

        1. I don’t want to teach.
        2. Teachers make more than average people in many cases. I’m not average.
        3. I’m not afraid of competition. It is way more invigorating working around people at the top of their game. Obviously, there are many unqualified people in business (Dilbert is a long running strip for a reason) and there are many good people who are teachers. But on average I’d take the private sector any day when choosing up teams.

      • Neil,
        For the love of doughnuts, I don’t work in public education. I work in private education and there is no tenure, no unions, and much smaller benefits. I’m not making cute sound bites. I’m challenging Roxanne’s claims that teachers have it easy.

        Stop being so condescending.

      • Neil,

        Second time this week I’ve had some pro-union person throw that at me. “You don’t get to have an opinion unless you’re a teacher, too!” – really, all that it amounts to.

        Apparently, my big crime was to a) point out that teachers don’t have it as bad as they claim, and b) stick by that.

        It’s hysterical to watch people start insulting me, rather than offering evidence to the contrary. “Teachers work HARD!” is about all we get in return for graphs, tables, and pointing out that the private sector is hardly a bastion of 9-5. Oh, and they throw insults at me, because, obviously, if I’m meeannn!!!, then I’m wrong.

        By the way, look for the blog posts on this.

      • “Second time this week I’ve had some pro-union person throw that at me.”

        Roxeanne, that’s got to be the funniest thing I’ve heard all week. If only you actually knew me (or simply read my comments closely), you wouldn’t say such outlandish things as “pro-union”.

        I don’t belong to a union (never have). I don’t support unions (never have). I don’t have tenure (never have). I don’t have a guaranteed contract year after year (never have). I don’t have cushy benefits (never have). And once again, I’m not complaining about it. In the above statements (or anywhere else for that matter), where do you conclude that I am pro-union?

        And please point me to where exactly I insulted you.

        Once again, the people making claims about teachers have never taught and frankly, I’m tired of people informing me of how much I do or do not work. They simply don’t know the answer to that question.

      • Tom, if you’re not in a union, then you’re in one of ten states; the other forty, plus DC, require union membership to teach.

        Once again, the people making claims about teachers have never taught and frankly, I’m tired of people informing me of how much I do or do not work.

        1. I have taught… just not in public schools for money. (I’ve volunteered in them for years doing after-school science programmes, both competitive and non-competitive. I’ve tutored and run my own tutoring business. I’ve taught and still do teach for a big test prep company.)

        2. Then, if you’re such a fabulous teacher, Tom… follow the first rule of teaching: show, don’t tell. Well, heck, even telling us what you work would be an improvement, rather than mocking people who are just pointing out the obvious.

        So, Tom, how many hours do you work a year at your teaching job? Please factor in anything required for your job (e.g. prep work, parent-teacher conferences, grading), and list continuing education separately, and note whether or not you will get a salary bump for it.

  5. Final thought on this debacle: Neil, see my latest. It was rather fun to look up what people with a master’s degree make (on the average), as well as some of the different professions that require exams and licensure. Dare I say that it was… educational? ;)

    • Roxeanne,

      “Tom, if you’re not in a union, then you’re in one of ten states; the other forty, plus DC, require union membership to teach.”

      I’m not in a union (and never have been) because I’m involved in private Christian school education. Ever heard of it? Why have you been overlooking that in nearly every post I’ve made? Did you seriously not see that I teach in private education? Or were you just too consumed with being right that you didn’t notice it? I simply cannot believe the way you are treating me. It’s almost as if you’re not reading my comments but simply looking for a key phrase to explode upon.

      “1. I have taught… just not in public schools for money. (I’ve volunteered in them for years doing after-school science programmes, both competitive and non-competitive. I’ve tutored and run my own tutoring business. I’ve taught and still do teach for a big test prep company.)”

      Sorry, it’s not the same thing. Not even close to the same thing. On the other hand, I have taught full time and worked in the private sector in various jobs full time. Between the two of us, who has the better vantage point of how much I work? You seem to think you know but you don’t.

      “2. Then, if you’re such a fabulous teacher, Tom… follow the first rule of teaching: show, don’t tell. Well, heck, even telling us what you work would be an improvement, rather than mocking people who are just pointing out the obvious.”

      First, where did I mock you? Weren’t you calling me a mooch before? Which I’ve demonstrated to be untrue but you’ve not acknowledged that and you probably won’t. Second, why are you being so belligerent and mocking by using the phrase “fabulous teacher”? What is your problem?

      “So, Tom, how many hours do you work a year at your teaching job? Please factor in anything required for your job (e.g. prep work, parent-teacher conferences, grading), and list continuing education separately, and note whether or not you will get a salary bump for it.”

      It’s frankly none of your business and you either won’t be pleased or won’t believe me anyways. But, I would love to prove you wrong so here goes:

      During the school year, I work easily 60 hours a week. This includes conferences, grading, coaching, everything. During the summer, I write curriculum for my school and develop online courses. It ranges from anywhere between 40-50 hours a week. I hold a masters degree but I am also currently working on another masters degree in Educational Leadership and I’m paying for it completely on my own. I receive no financial help from my school or any other sources. Will I get a bump from my school when I finish it? Ummm, yeah I’ll get a small bump which won’t be distinguishable from a salary wage increase to keep up with inflation. That’s no joke either. I’m getting the degree because it is making me a better teacher. And as for my current salary, again it’s none of your business, but if the average salary for a teacher is in the 40’s, let’s just say my salary ain’t even close to that! And benefits? Ha, I don’t get any benefits. I buy my own health insurance. And once again, I’m not complaining about it (and never have in this whole discussion). I like what I do.

      So stop being so belligerent. You’re wrong about me.

      • Once again, Tom, I don’t think you represent the typcial teacher situation toward which this outcry is addressed. It is aimed toward the public sector.

        I have never taught school. I have worked in schools servicing equipment, done so for years and have overheard man conversations, been involved in some of them, and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard, “I don’t get paid for that.” regarding things that I thought were not such big deals. (This is notable for the fact that I’ve always considered that, short of having a clearly listed set of duties in a contract, one is not a “clerk” or a “secretary” or a “technician”, one is an employee and subject to whatever needs the employer feels one is capable of fulfilling.) In these schools, I know for certain that beyond whatever classes one teaches, other acts, such as coaching or mentoring clubs usually provides extra money.

        In any case, as I was beginning to digress, the complaints of teachers who are part of these massive public sector unions, are those which strike the rest of us as whining. I work well over forty hours. I get time and a half, but I have to work it and I don’t get summers off. My annual pay is based on a full 12 month cycle, not a shortened school year cycle that provides a couple extra months to increase one’s income if one so chooses, or simply take those months off because the pay IS so good.

        The bottom line is the whining is unjustified for the typical public sector teacher for that which is now asked of them. What’s more, their demands increase the burdens of the state who must find ways to squeeze the rest of us or risk strikes and other whiney actions while their union leaders hold our kids hostage until the demands are met. In this economy, this cannot continue and we’re sick of it.

      • During the school year, I work easily 60 hours a week. This includes conferences, grading, coaching, everything. During the summer, I write curriculum for my school and develop online courses.

        You get paid for the latter two, correct?

        I’ll take you at your word, but here’s why you’re still missing the point:

        60 hours a week during the school year (which is about 36 weeks long) = 2400 hours. Assume an extra couple of hundred for the summer, for which you are not compensated. Let’s say you’re at 2700 hours for the year – taking you at your word.

        If you worked 50 weeks a year (standard private-sector) and worked 54 hours a week (i.e. about 8 to 6, no lunch, plus a few long hours here and there), it would be the exact same thing. Fifty-four hours a week in the private professional sector is a bit low.

        That is, of course, assuming that you truly work 12 hour days every day, every week, for an entire school year (a dubious proposition, especially since most schools give the teachers at least two hours of prep time every day.

        Further, look online at the stats. Here are the average teachers’ salaries by state.

        Again, Tom, if you aren’t receiving benefits, then you’re in the tiny minority. Again, forty of fifty states have mandatory collective bargaining for teachers. Again, only five outlaw teachers’ unions entirely. So before you say that I’m belligerent (or throw other insults), understand the full picture. Act like someone worthy of teaching students critical thinking skills, for heaven’s sake.

      • Part II:

        I’m not in a union (and never have been) because I’m involved in private Christian school education.

        Then you’re getting your panties in a gigantic twist over our complaints about teachers’ unions because……???????????

        Here’s my question, Tom: If you were a public school teacher, and you were paid $52,000 a year, plus amazing benefits, and got extra compensation for your masters’ (above and beyond your small COL salary increase), would you feel adequately compensated for the hours, effort, and education that you put in?

        If so, ENOUGH. If not, then explain why. Either way, saying that I don’t get to complain about unionised public school teachers because a non-union, non-public school teacher has it differently is utter intellectually dishonest hackery.

    • I have a little experience in this area of discussion, having taught in both public and private schools some years ago. At the time I felt teachers were underpaid for what they do, today perhaps not so much, but then as now the big money sink for the school was all the administrative personal that were on the payroll, along with the counseling staff. The school district administration was a beast of a political entity, slow to respond and poorly supportive of the teachers. Most of us teachers worked second jobs in the summer.

      As to public schools versus private, the certification that the public schools required were a joke. I learned nothing of much use getting certified, except how to cross the t’s and dot the i’s to stay above the union minimal competency requirements. There were really good teachers that I worked with, and some that were embarrassingly unmotivated to do a good job with their class. I couldn’t figure them out, but their they were. I never found any like that in the private schools I taught at. Chemistry was my major in college, and that and the things inside me were the things that I brought to the classrooms: Chemistry, Physical Science, Algebra I and a little Biology. There were some really great teachers at the private schools I worked at. They knew their stuff and had a passion to teach the kids, but no, they were not certified through the state college system. I shed a bitter tear.

      It’s all just my personal experience, but there it is.

    • Oh, and as to the administrations of the private schools? Lean. Very lean. That was the most striking difference. There were very few people at the private schools that did not actually teach.

      • Hi Nicholas — thanks for visiting and commenting.

        And I think you are onto something regarding the administrations. I think that is where a huge portion of the waste is in public schools.

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