Thursday, September 29, 2005
What is very interesting to note is that the California School Boards Association opposes 74, and they are the collection of districts that would supposedly benefit from 74. Makes you wonder if Arnold has any integrity at all.
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
Monday, September 26, 2005
I listened with great interest this morning to your interview with the proponents of Proposition 75. I think a few comments of clarification should be made (please note that I am a conservative Catholic Republican and a member of the California Teachers Association):
1) "Agency Fee" teachers - these teachers are those who opt not to join the union in their district that is recognized for collective bargaining. These teachers pay a fee for the purposes of supporting the collective bargaining process that results in a contract. They do not receive any liability insurance as they do not pay for it. They also do not contribute to any political funds used by the union. The relatively recent change in the law on this issue came about in response to the "free-rider" problem in that some people enjoyed the benefits of collective bargaining without paying for it. I happen to think that mandatory agency fees should be abolished, but that is not at issue in Proposition 75.
2) I cannot speak for other unions, but the CTA Membership Enrollment Form has a specific and clear section that allows one to opt out of having part of a member's dues go to the political fund. Said money is redirected to the General Fund which can be tapped for other issues related to employment but not politics. Now, one can argue as to whether or not those funds should be refunded to the member who opts out or given to a charity of their choice, but, once again, that is not the primary focus of Proposition 75.
The CTA membership form is quite clear on the issue of political funds. Any CTA member that claims otherwise should not be a teacher. I selected to opt of the CTA/ABC political fund when I joined. Any teacher may do so when he or she joins or may change their position by simply resubmitting the simple form and shading the correct bubble on the form. I do not know if the forms of other unions are as clear, but the issue that is supposedly being corrected by Proposition 75 is a non-issue for the CTA.
Matthew J. McKinley
Friday, September 23, 2005
"The federal government is unfit to exercise minor police and local government, and will inevitably blunder when it attempts it... However human the ends sought and the motive, it is, in fact, a course of instruction preparing our government to be despotic and familiarizing the people to a stretch of authority which can never be other that dangerous to liberty."
He was right when speaking about Union troops in the South after the Civil War and his logic is appropriate when considering first and long term response to Katrina and, possibly, Rita.
Thursday, September 22, 2005
FDR - The Real Enemy of the Environment
However, some organizations are a bit stealth when it comes to their ties to objectionable organizations, and The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation is one of them.
I picked up a brochure for that organization's "Race for the Cure" that is to be held on Sunday, September 25 and recalled seeing a piece at Roman Catholic Blog linking that organization to Planned Parenthood.
The oddest supporter of this race is FM radio channel 95.9, "The Fish," which I thought was a solidly Christian (and anti-abortion) station. The entire list can be found at the Komen website. One has to think that many of these organizations are clueless about Komen's link to Planned Parenthood. I hesitate to advocate a boycott, but I do think that Catholic organizations that sell script should drop any companies found on that list.
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
For the latest dust-up, click here.
Monday, September 19, 2005
You are The Cap'n!
Some men are born great, some achieve greatness and some slit the throats of any man that stands between them and the mantle of power. You never met a man you couldn't eviscerate. Not that mindless violence is the only avenue open to you - but why take an avenue when you have complete freeway access? You are the definitive Man of Action. You are James Bond in a blousy shirt and drawstring-fly pants. Your swash was buckled long ago and you have never been so sure of anything in your life as in your ability to bend everyone to your will. You will call anyone out and cut off their head if they show any sign of taking you on or backing down. You cannot be saddled with tedious underlings, but if one of your lieutenants shows an overly developed sense of ambition he may find more suitable accommodations in Davy Jones' locker. That is, of course, IF you notice him. You tend to be self absorbed - a weakness that may keep you from seeing enemies where they are and imagining them where they are not.
What's Yer Inner Pirate?
brought to you by The Official Talk Like A Pirate Web Site. Arrrrr!
Sunday, September 18, 2005
September 17 is Constitution Day, and if you didn't know it, well, the Federal government wants to make sure that your kids do if they attend a public school that receives any federal monies. So the powers that be in Congress passed a law mandating that such schools teach about the U. S. Constitution on September 17 (or the Friday before or the Monday after when it falls on a weekend).
I taught about the theory of federalism (power sharing between the national and state governments). Then I taught about Patrick Henry and other anti-Federalists who warned that the national government would continue to grow and steal power from the states. Then I taught about the history of the Second Amendment and the need for a militia to prevent a government from being tyrannical.
Then I reminded the students that the federal government dictating to local public schools was a violation of the principle of federalism.
BTW - three of the first four days of school were dedicated to the Revolution and Constitution two weeks ago. We simply do not need any more mandated days from the feds. It is time to put Congress in its place in addition to abolishing the Department of Education.
Somewhere, Patrick Henry is telling James Madison, "I told you so!"
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
Right vs. Good?
However, as to what is right and proper, and ultimately what is good in the long run will be for all state and city officials to know what their disaster plan actually is and to follow it which appears to not have been the case in New Orleans. The interesting thing is that not much has been reported about federal response in other areas hit (like Mississippi and Alabama). I am not using this to claim that the federal governments response in these areas was right or proper. But I do hope that, good or bad, that the response in these areas is evaluated as well as the response in N.O.
More later if I have time!
Tuesday, September 13, 2005
Given President Reagan's firm policy of promoting states' rights and his admiration for the Tocquevillean notion of local government, I think he probaly would not have done much differently. On the p.r. side, he may have shipped V.P. Bush off to Baton Rouge on Monday night to "coordinate" things between the Federal and state governments.
FEMA has been a generally succesful entity, and much of that success can be attributed to how well local officials of both parties (Dem. and Rep.) have worked with it in the face of other disasters. It is becoming more and more apparent that the new Confederacy of Dunces (Mayor Nagin and Gov. Blanco) were underprepared and overwhelmed. The mayor doesn't seem too bright as can be seen in this quote found in yesterday's Financial Times: "My biggest mistake was to believe that, in the country of America that can move fleets of aircraft across the globe, the cavalry would come in two to three days, and it did not come." Obviously, the mayor has no clue how long it takes to move military equipment, supplies and manpower.
Bush bashers should check out the timeline of events and other stories at Right Wing Nut House. (note: RWNH is harsher on Bush than I am.)
Sunday, September 11, 2005
To whom it may concern:
I just returned from shopping at your store located at 1200 N. Central Avenue, Glendale, CA where I was verbally attacked by checker "Karen B." who commented on my WWRD (What would Reagan do) in an attempt to lambast President Bush. My attempt to explain federalism and shared powers only elicited an inane, evasive and emotional response from said person.
I suggest that you do not employ people who cannot refrain from verbally abusing customers. As a high school teacher of history and government it is my job to be fair and balanced while, for the most part, keeping my opinions to myself. I would think you would want your employees to do the same unless vebally provoked by a customer (which did not happen in this case).
I will no longer shop at Ralphs. With a Von's and a Whole Foods located nearby, I have convenient alternatives to your store.
Very truly yours,
Matthew J. McKinley
Wednesday, September 07, 2005
Southern Poverty Law Center
Mark Potek, editor, writes in his leading article about "undocumented immigrants." This categorization of those who are breaking the sovereign and reasonable laws of the United States of America indicates that Mr. Potek has little use for the rule of law. Potek focuses on one strange story involving Patrick Haab to condemn all of those who are attempting to protect the borders from the invasion from the south - an invasion that has been documented and shows that illegal drugs, criminals, and, perhaps even terrorists, are crossing our southern border virtually unfettered.
The next time you read about one of these "undocumented immigrants" killing, raping, stealing etc... just remember that Mr. Potok and his ilk really don't care about the rights of the citizens of the United States of America.