Friday, February 25, 2011

Is This How You Think The United States of America Should Behave?

I was considering posting this as my Facebook Status today, but I really am not sure I want to go there.

I’m going to get un-friended by some folks, but I hope you read this first.  I was taken aback by something a lifelong educator that I know and like said to me recently, and I hope this makes those that I love and respect (and those that I just love) take stock of your thoughts. 

It started as a simple “some administrators are idiots, too, so with all the talk about firing the bad teachers, what about firing the bad administrators?” talk.  Inside, I thought “well, that’s a general truth in life, right, that some managers aren’t very good and can hire and fire anyway?” I taught for almost 9 years, and have seen that everywhere I’ve worked when I wasn’t teaching, too.  Do a web search for “bad boss” for Pete’s sake, stories are legendary. But I digress.

What disturbed me came next: he got an email that said something about it being time to “get a little bloody.” Now, if you pay attention, you know that this was recently stated (and probably inspired) by Congressman Michael Capuano in Massachusetts (who now “regrets his choice of words”), but for my friend, I thought he was being metaphorical about the situation here in Ohio until he followed it up with “these right-wingers think they’re the only ones with guns, and they’re wrong.”

This is a complicated issue, and my FB status is no place for debating specifics, I think. I have stopped doing anything other than “liking” posts that I like, for the most part, so I won’t engage in it. However, let’s fly at 30,000 feet, as they say, and ask the philosophical questions, shall we?

Is this how you think America should work? Is this what you expect from an educated person and an educator? Is this how you think The United States of America should behave? I understand that people will react strongly if they feel their livelihood is being threatened and I understand that these were promises made, the pensions and retirement benefits, but still, the threat of violence over this? Going to protest at the homes of people with disagree with?

Another lifelong educator I know threw in "why blame the state's financial woes on the the teachers? Why not look to Wall Street?" and then included the Republicans. I don't have the heart to tell her, because I like her very much, that the number one recipients of Wall Street donations are Democrats, according to CBS and 
the Puffington Host (I can't believe I'm linking to them). Businesses give to the party in power, usually, so it fluctuates, but this Republicans=Wall Street is a myth that I am so tired of. How many Goldman Sachs people work for the current Administration? Even the NY Times has weighed in.

The upshot is that the Union Leaders have screwed the members for years, in collusion with the politicians that have kicked this can down the road, making unsustainable deals. The difference here is that it's our tax dollars footing the bill. A former CEO of GM famously said that he didn't run a car company, he ran a pension and benefit company that sells cars to pay for it. The 90% of workers in this country who aren't in a union are footing the bill for this mess.

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