Tagged: Unions

Why Rob Ford Is Still Popular

Letters at the National Post tell us all we need to know about the continued popularity of Toronto’s drunk, crack smoking mayor.

I would vote for Rob Ford because the left-wing council of airheads believe they have a right to spend our money with no accountability so we have rent a bikes that will cost all of us millions so a few Yuppies can use them. A guy on coke is still better than the union-loving jerk he replaced.

The Canadians get it. When will we?

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Jerry Brown: Union Buster

Days after the end of a strike by Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) workers that caused massive headaches for the region, California Governor Jerry Brown put a stop to a strike by Amalgamated Transit Union Local 192 that was scheduled for Thursday.

The move Tuesday came less than two days before 1,600 drivers and mechanics were to walk off their jobs in protest over rising health care costs, wages and other issues. The strike would have affected about 181,000 riders in Alameda and Contra Costa counties.

Two points to make about this. First, Jerry Brown will be long gone by the time riders can take the Edmund G Brown Memorial High Speed Rail from Palmdale to Tehachapi, so he’ll never have to deal with what happens when the rail workers decide to walk off the job. If California’s rosy predictions for the future of this project are even remotely realistic, what will happen when all of those people who the Rail Authority project will commute from Fresno to Bakersfield are suddenly stranded and have no way to get to work? Even if the High Speed Rail works as it was sold to us, it still has a built-in failure thanks to Jerry Brown unionizing state workers all those years ago.

Second, columnist Mike Royko coined the name Governor Moonbeam in the 1970s, and it wasn’t a term of endearment. In 1979, the Dead Kennedys released the song “California Über Alles,” which imagined a scenario in which Jerry Brown sent the people of California to hippie death camps. The Overton Window has shifted so far on Democratic Party policies that Jerry Brown is now a moderate Democrat.

Texas anyone?

LA Times: Union Goons Steal Millions from Ratepayers

The L.A. Times actually reported this, so I can’t say anything mean about them for at least two hours.

The Joint Training Institute and the Joint Safety Institute, controlled by [Department of Water and Power] managers and union leaders, have received up to $4 million per year since their creation more than a decade ago after a contentious round of job cutbacks at one of the nation’s largest municipal utilities.

Nearly all of the nonprofits’ money comes from DWP ratepayers, records show. About $1 million per year has been used to pay the salaries of a handful of administrators, according to the limited records the utility has provided to The Times under the California Public Records Act.

If you’re in L.A. and wondering why your electricity bill keeps going up, rest assured that your money is being spent “to promote ‘communication, mutual trust and respect’ between DWP managers and the electrical workers’ union.” And if you’re asking yourself “Isn’t that what a union is for?” well, shut up.

What do you suppose the odds are that the IRS is going to investigate a multimillion dollar tax-exempt slush fund that’s just been blown open in a major American newspaper? I mean, if they’re so damn anal-retentive that minor Tea Party groups with a few thousand bucks in the bank get the full on strip search, then surely a massive scam by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers that was bought and paid for by just about anyone in L.A. who uses electricity deserves a little scrutiny. Lois Lerner, white courtesy phone.

Oh, and apparently the DWP is also threatening a strike. They should have been a little chastened when their sock monkey Wendy Greuel went down in flames to Eric Garcetti, but they’re not a particularly bright crowd.

Update: If this ain’t your cup of tea, Regular Right Guy has a Brigitte Bardot post up for some retro Rule 5 goodness.

Washington Post Names Teacher of the Year

Neal Erickson

Neal Erickson

The next time a group of teachers starts stamping their feet for more money, I have a suggestion so revolutionary that it might rival the Theory of Relativity.

Teachers, stop banging your students.

I know, it’s controversial and the unions will fight it tooth and nail, but I think that this is an idea that even the public will like, and they might even gladly accept the higher taxes in exchange for teachers keeping their hands off of the kids. See, teachers are compensated decently enough, and they have great benefits and pensions. They also work about nine months out of the year, and raise your hand if you wouldn’t like that sort of schedule. In light of all this, the average person looks at the whole sex-with-students thing and sees another perk that everyone else doesn’t have. It’s about fairness.

There’s a second part to this, though, and it might be difficult for some teachers to adhere to it. When another teacher gets caught having the now forbidden sex with one of his or her students, don’t defend that teacher. Because when you defend said teacher, the public will be all, “Oh, well of course you would say that. You just don’t want to stop doinking your students.” Seriously, it just doesn’t look good.

Update: Thanks to RS McCain and Regular Right Guy for the linkage. Link to Ace fixed.

L.A. City Council Pulls a Rahm Emmanuel

The beauty of living in a place like Los Angeles, as opposed to, say, Caracas or Havana, is that one gets to see the clownish buffoonery inherent in authoritarian populism before it gets really ugly. In L.A., a 66% graduation rate might be considered a triumph, and there may be a website devoted to the city’s potholes, but rest assured: The L.A. City Council cares enough about residents to punish the evil Charles and David Koch if they acquire the L.A. Times. (Via Hot Air)

Three Los Angeles City Council members — including a candidate for mayor — asked their colleagues Tuesday to consider pulling city pension money from the investment firms that own the Los Angeles Times if they sell the publication to buyers who do not support “professional and objective journalism.”

[…]

Councilman Bill Rosendahl, who called for the council to act, said he was motivated by recent news reports that billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch are among those interested in buying the newspapers. The Kochs in recent national elections have provided major financial support to libertarian candidates and causes.

Aside from Rosendahl, by the way, the other two Council Members who signed on to this are Eric Garcetti, who is running for mayor, and Dennis Zine, who is running for controller. Keep this in mind if you live in L.A.

First of all, I don’t think that the Koch brothers are going to buy Tribune, but if they do and the city tries to go through with this, the lawsuit could be the first ongoing story at the new L.A. Times.  Because just as California will never learn what to do right from Texas, and as the United States will never look to Greece as a cautionary example, Los Angeles will never learn from the cities that bullied Chik-fil-A and wound up looking stupid.

Second, it’s really too bad that this deal probably won’t happen, because a right-leaning newspaper would be great for L.A. (Sure, we have the Daily News, but no one reads that outside of the Valley.) L.A. already has a great liberal paper. It’s called the L.A. Weekly, and not only does it actually cover the kinds of stories about local corruption that the Times doesn’t cover, it’s free. We really don’t need a paper that has been trying for years  to overcome its inferiority complex toward the New York Times by trying to be a national news outlet. We have problems right here at home.

Also, because I exist, I know that there are conservatives in L.A., and being a conservative in L.A. takes work. It’s easy to be a liberal here without ever cracking the L.A. Times. Probably 70% of your neighbors voted for Barack Obama and Jerry Brown, and initially approved of that stupid high speed rail before it became obvious that the whole thing would never be built.

What I’m getting at is that most liberals in L.A. don’t appreciate the L.A. Times as it is, but libertarians and conservatives would surely appreciate a right-of-center L.A. Times. Any readership lost among the combover crowd would be made up by the minority who cancelled their subscriptions years ago. The octogenarian liberals who hold onto their subscriptions after the Kochs buy the thing could find a new energy in writing nasty letters to the editor, and we’d finally have some damn debate in this cesspool of a town.

And that’s what is scary to creeps like Garcetti, Rosendahl and Zine. Anything that’s good for Los Angeles is bad for them. A mainstream paper that actually bothers to report on what the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers is doing at the Department of Water and Power, or what the United Teachers of Los Angeles are not doing in schools, and the ways that these organizations have their hands up the City Council’s collective ass – well, that has to have a few people worried.

Jerry Brown and the Evils of the Firemen First Principle

This is the seed of something larger that I’m thinking about.

From Mickey Kaus:

Charles Peters’ “Fireman First Principle”–outlined in this 1976 article–holds that a clever bureaucrat, faced with a budget reduction, will threaten to cut not the least essential services but the most essential (in order to provoke public outrage that results in the budget reduction getting cancelled)[.]

When Jerry Brown wanted to raise taxes last year (he claimed Proposition 30 was a tax on the evil 1%, but everyone’s sales tax went up,) he enlisted various unions representing those government employees that people generally like: Cops, teachers, firefighters. Because if you don’t vote for this thing, every single one of these people will be laid off, the result of which will be that the illiterate burglars who murder you will set your house on fire and no one will put it out. (To be fair, Scwarzenegger tried this as well, but he failed.)

Notice how Jerry Brown never held some press conference flanked by DMV workers, threatening that the lady at the DMV who treated you like a leper might not get a raise this year if you don’t give the governor more money. No, it’s always a pending disaster.

Well, what happens when the Firemen First Principle stops working? After all, a threat is only as good as the credibility of the person making it. Well, eventually you have to make things painful for the public. Like, I don’t know, letting a few prisoners out early. Because, really, they weren’t convicted of violent crime or anything. (They plea bargained that down.) Remember, prison realignment passed before Prop 30 did.

What really bothers me –  and I’m going to have to work more on explaining this – is that I get the feeling that we’re starting to see various governments beginning to make good on all of these Firemen First style threats – upping the ante when the public calls their bluff, to overuse a poker metaphor. Like I said, this is something I want to explore further and will in the coming days.