Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Libya, the ME revolts, and US national hubris...

... and we keep on keeping on with our master plan to indelibly mark our legacy as both the embodiment of national hubris and a living/acting picture of the definition of stupidity; repeating ourselves - in this case in three separate invasions at the same time (Woo-hoo!) - and expecting different results.

Many, mostly our president's supporters along with the NeoCon bunch (What a team!), sadly do not seem to understand or want to acknowledge the issues that ignoring the Constitution brings -- our executive branch is effectively choosing to invade a supposedly sovereign country who has not attacked us.

These ME revolts are civil wars, not genocides (or unprovoked invasions), and we have no way of knowing which party's interests coincide with US interests, let alone who the good guys are, if any...

This will come to no good. Fast.

In modern warfare "No troops on the ground" is no excuse, alibi, or a measure of invasion. A foreign "civil war" is not our war.

124 Tomahawk missiles, totaling $71 million in cost IS an invasion. That's not counting the cost of delivery and mop-up.

We will pay for this in many, probably painful, ways.

We should not reckon ourselves the judge and jury over the legitimacy of other nation's governments, ESPECIALLY when it is NOT clear that we have national interests at stake, or even WHICH SIDE best represents any national interests...

If we don't choose to intervene in human rights tragedies and ethic cleansing, what gives us the right to ignore our Constitution and do the bidding of the EU?

This goes for Afghanistan and Iraq, obviously, also...

How would you like it if another country decided that this government is illegitimate, and lobbed missiles at us? Would you care if the UN or EU agreed with them? I would hope not.

This is a bunch of convoluted BS, partly manufactured by our historical meddling in the ME, by our weird position in being the guts behind any EU initiative, and used by a president who is supposedly against the expansion of the executive branch power, to see just how far he can take his own executive powers.

Our sympathy for almost any country's revolt against a ruling class results in a reactive "world cop" mentality, and in giving our leaders too much authority and the rope to hang ourselves... BUT, the reality is that if we can't intervene in places like Rwanda, then we have absolutely no business protecting EU oil interests -- and couching it in fake humanitarianism... All while our young men and women pay the price.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

SB-5 "Merit Assessment" for teachers...

"Merit assessment" of teachers opens up whole new horizons for abuse of power.

What about the incompetent principal or dean or school VP who holds a grudge for being continually proven wrong, and now has the power to do something about it?

You've heard of the term "teacher's pet", I am sure... Well, get ready for "principal's pet", "dean's pet", and "VP's pet", etc...

You think you just got rid of incompetent teachers, but all you did was open the door for favoritism.

Say goodbye to professionalism and collegiality.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

More on Public Workers, job protection, etc...

You are hearing a lot of Public vs. Private salary comparisons. Broad comparisons are not accurate, because the private sector has so many more minimum wage working poor... That's where the "conservatives" are lying to you. Where the "liberals" are lying to you is on benefit packages - things that are not included in their salary comparisons.

Anyway... from my POV, amounts of salaries are not the issue -- IF the job is being done effectively.

Leaving the teacher unions aside and not even addressing that (there is such a huge disparity between the salary-benefit packages of Elementary/High School, career colleges and university systems) - what about the protections that public employees have, compared to those of us in the private sector? How do you control and evaluate job performance? How long does it take to rid the system of "dead wood" and "slackers"? Are our government’s offices tightly run operations, or full of salaries that just take up budget room and don't contribute to public service?

If my employer doesn't like the way I do my job - if I'm not effective and productive - then I'm gone - immediately. This doesn't seem to be the case with public employees.

My employer does not need a reason to get rid of me. Unless there is age, sex or religious discrimination involved, I am SOL.

And if we don't please our customers, we are out of bizness...

We - all of us - seem to be paying more for gubmint (look at the increases in local income and property taxes) and getting less return all the time.

There should be a way to keep collective bargaining, but still streamline and effectively downsize gubmint to look more like the private sector.

Many of us in the private sector feel that we are paying for things we don't receive. Top that out with those protections that most of us do not have, and you have a LOT of resentment...

On the other hand, I don't see how you can take someone's right to strike (or to quit their job) away... What happens if mass amounts of safety providers strike? Does the gubmint send "Brown Shirts" to their houses and force them back to work? Fine them twice their salaries and then put them in debtor's prision? If I'm reading the bill, with all the attendant provisons correctly, those things could happen. Sound's like Europe in the 30's...

Looks to me like the sponsors of SB-5 are counting on no strong reactions - what happens if they are wrong?