Thursday, February 4, 2016

Why My Family & Friends in NH Should Vote for Ted Cruz

Novelty, charisma, bombast: these characteristics make for star-power in the sound-bite media culture that Donald Trump has spent years mastering.  My initial reaction to Trump's entry into the 2016 presidential race was excitement.  I have to admit that the thought of having a business man in the Executive position in our government is very attractive.  And when Trump says things like, "We'll hire the best people to run these agencies," etc., I look of the mucky mess we currently put up with in our government offices and I experience a spark of hope.  It's been so LONG since I've had that spark of hope and Obama has made so many extra-Constitutional, regulation-heavy decisions that it feels GOOD to have that spark of hope.  Read my last Blog post; I have divorced myself from the Executive branch of my government, and it was an emotional divorce!  My empathy toward Trump voters is real; but we Conservatives must not vote for Donald Trump.

I did not come to this decision lightly.  I enjoyed being a Trump voter, however fleeting.  The heady days of Reagan returned to my soul and I remembered the excitement that voting for a charismatic leader engendered.  We could have Ronald Reagan, or something like a Ronald Reagan victory again!  So, here I was thinking that life was looking up from my political perspective and BAM, I received a reality check in one sound bite (which seems appropriate).  In a televised interview, an msnbc reporter asked Mr. Trump what Conservatism meant to him.  Easy, right?  Small government, adherence to a political system of small r republicanism by following the Constitution, free market capitalism as the vehicle to bring prosperity to all people, god-given rights, etc.  You probably have some idea of why you're a conservative, right?  Well, I'm telling you right now that your answer would have been better than Donald Trump's answer was.  He was obviously thrown...shaken by the most basic question that a reporter can ask a politician!  Hell, the only part of his answer that made any sense at all was his mentioning conservation of the environment (which we as Conservatives often forget to talk about).  It was bunk, pure and simple.  He had no idea why he's a "Conservative."  He has probably since been educated, or at least, I hope they've educated him; but it's too late.  I already know that Trump is not a Conservative...not really.

I would probably have voted for him anyway, because I want to win!  I want to crush those little socialist idiots into dust, period.  But it kept bothering me.  I've read both of these men's books.  Donald Trump's books have always been interesting and fun, but I had to make myself read Ted Cruz's book.  By page 2, I was already enjoying the narrative.  Not only does his family's history provide for good reading, but he writes extremely well, never leaving the reader to slog through boring sentences.  Every chapter in his book was interesting, pertinent, and told a story.  He's an open book, to those who read his tome.  Donald has a very different style.  He's not going to let you into his innermost thoughts; you are an observer and a pretty lowly one at that and certainly one that has a lot to learn, in his opinion.

It was a combination of writing style, the Conservative question, and a conversation I was having in my mind with my late step-father, Bob, who would reside solidly on the side of Ted Cruz.  He would tell me that consistency means something in politics; that it's not a popularity contest, in fact, Reagan was a hated man, an intractable dumb cowboy ex-governor/actor who would destroy the world with one press of the red button; that we have watched Ted Cruz buck the establishment every step of the way.  He was elected by the grass roots voters of Texas who sent their donations in small denominations to a campaign waged against an establishment billionaire incumbent.  Cruz told the folks who sent in their checks $25 at a time that he would fight for Constitutional rights, strong borders, and the invasive, abusive, intrusive behemoth, Obamacare, which he said he would fight with his heart and sole to repeal.  We have a Senator here in Montana, Steve Daines, who promised the same thing.  He did not deliver.  The ONLY politician who has delivered any of what he said he was going to deliver is Ted Cruz.  Go look at his rating on Conservative Review.com; he is one of a few Senators with an A rating.  My Senator Daines, who ran as a Tea Party Conservative has a D.  That's what you get when the grass roots gets swept aside.

So, this is the time to elect the one person in this race who is in politics because the people supported him, one vote, one check and one conversation at a time.  He did what he said he was going to do: he fought against Obamacare, he fought against "Immigration Reform" that we all KNEW was a bad idea (supported strongly by Marco Rubio...but don't get me started on him...he should NOT be President, but I think that's obvious), and, most importantly, he stood up to the establishment leadership of the Republican Party who, if you remember...think about it, it will make your blood boil...made deals with President Obama that increased our government debt by about a Trillion, and passed crucial legislation for the green energy folks (resulting in the loss of 800 coal jobs just the other day), among a thousand other things that grew our government, yet again.  Cruz told McConnell he was a liar and McConnell doesn't like him anymore, therefore nobody likes him anymore?  No, McConnell (who is one of this world's biggest idiots) doesn't like him because Cruz called him on the carpet; that's who doesn't like him any more.

Finally, Donald Trump is a Twitter-addict who thinks that he can use star-power to win an election instead of a good old fashioned political ground-game.  His stream-of-consciousness tweeting has clearly shown his childish tendencies.  Honestly, his sons should hide his phone.  Or worse, maybe it's not him!  No, I think it is; only the Don would say stuff like that and then proceed forward as if everything were just great.  After destroying Ben Carson by going on and on about the knife incident in an interview and many town hall gatherings, saying what a psychopath Ben used to be and how that never goes away and how we couldn't trust him because he might be like a pedophile (yep, remember that one?).  That's why Ben's numbers in Iowa tanked!  So, I had to laugh when there was Trump, being interviewed about the Iowa caucuses saying that Ben was such a great guy and so respected, how could Cruz do something so awful to tweet that Ben was not headed to NH (a tweet that was true in content, though should have been fact-checked); but the hubris that Trump has makes me wary.  He is a chameleon of the highest order.

Ted may not have the most handsome appearance.  I know he doesn't have the appeal of Reagan or the rugged good looks that we think we need in a leader, but he will be a great President.  He will lead with honesty, integrity, and he will take a careful look before leaping in foreign conflicts (where Rubio is more of a leaper).   He will tear into whichever candidate the Demoncrats put up against us, and he will always act in a Constitutionally consistent manner.  This means state's rights, Lefties.  He will leave important social issues up to the states to solve.  It's an important distinction.  And, frankly, I'm not sure Trump really gets that part of the whole "Conservative" thing.  In fact, I think Donald is lately come to the Conservative political philosophy, and would, therefore, prefer to hire him to build the wall instead of hiring him to run the executive branch of our government in a Constitutionally consistent manner.  We need Ted Cruz and I hope that you will overlook the lack of charisma, the strangeness of his looks, to the character of the man who should be the next President of the United States of America.

Just a note of remembrance and thanks to a man who influenced me and taught me what I know and love about Conservatism.  Thanks, Bob!






Tuesday, January 5, 2016

It is Time to Ignore Obama

Yeah, I get it.  Somehow the Liberals have convinced you that gun rights don't matter a wit.  After all, I'm sure that a background check would have saved the grade school kids at Sandy Hook and the movie theater attendees in Colorado.  No?  You disagree that a background check would have saved lives?  Huh.

It's not rocket science, folks, it's common sense.  We have the right in this country to bear arms.  That doesn't mean that you can equate a right of ownership to yelling "Fire!" in a crowded theater like Obama just did to justify his lawlessness.  That, on it's face, is ridiculous.  First and foremost, the real life example is not to compare it to our 1st Amendment right to free speech.  The real life example is to say that we can't all own nuclear weapons; that's the comparison, because the 2nd Amendment is a right stemming from our natural rights discussed clearly in the Declaration of Independence.  It is a right that we have as a populace to own our own protection AGAINST OUR GOVERNMENT.

But Barack Obama and his idiotic Attorney General Lynch (which is not an accepted name on the Left) sat in front of the fawning Praetorian guard media and the sycophant Sheeple today and gave us the most psychotic Liberal tripe I have yet heard from this one-time adjunct instructor (NOT a full professor of ANYTHING...least of all the Constitution of the United States of America) followed by even less intelligible gibberish from Ms Lynch.  My God people, we're talking about your RIGHTS here and you are fully willing to hand them OVER.

Hell, just give up now, hand the ruling class the power and live your lives knowing that you are safe in the bosom of Socialism and all your needs will be met by the government and it's brilliant political elite.  Give them everything now, because they WILL take it.  There is not ONE example of Socialism that works for a population of 300 million.  That is why the Socialists ended up killing 60 million Orthodox Christians and Pol Pot killed over 4 million of his own, the list is long and the facts are overwhelming to the point where the Sheeple aren't able to process the evil that it takes to kill giant swathes of the populace; the political elite  don't want to be challenged and they are willing to kill in order to protect themselves.  I know, I know, that will never happen in the US, never.  We're going to be a Democratic Socialist country where it actually does work.  The people who have grown up in the safety of a society created by capitalism and under girded with Christianity are blissfully ignorant avoiding the lessons of history at their peril.

It will start with the psychiatrists hired by our government who will come into our lives recommended by the state and they will throw dissenters in psych wards.  There will be news of reporters and right-wing "loons" who needed to be hospitalized; I bet if you look hard enough, it's already happened.  I wonder what ever happened to the guy who made a stupid video used as the excuse for Benghazi by an evil Secretary of State.  We have enough Conservatives in this country to bring attention to these things, but will the Sheeple listen?

I believe in free markets, Liberty, our Constitution, and the ideas on which this country was founded; and I believe in these things so strongly that I am willing to defend them with my life.  I would prefer that my life not be spent in a psych ward, but I am willing to say the things that will eventually make me unpopular in the power structure.  I will also have to have my gun rights taken from me against my will.  I am willing to defy what I believe is an extra-constitutional executive order that is clearly made by an individual intent on changing the structure of our founding.  In essence, Mr. Obama can kiss my Lilly White Ass.  And if he wants to push it, I'm willing to push back.

I believe this administration has over-stepped its bounds.  It is time for Obama to be ignored.  We can start with the FACT that Obama just let two criminals who were convicted of gun crimes and sentenced to appropriate sentences out of jail because, well, I'm still trying to figure that one out.  Apparently, the explanation is that we have too many people in jail.  Well, stop letting people into the country!  So, while he seeks to curtail our Constitutional Rights on one hand, he lets criminals out of jail who have abused those rights on the other.  I believe something here violates his oath of office to protect me and my family (in addition to the release of 5 lieutenants in ISIS in trade for a "prisoner" of war who is now being tried for treason); due to these and myriad number of extra-Constitutional acts of Utopian Socialism, BO is no longer my President.  I no longer recognize a President of the United States.

You know, I felt scattered in organizing my thoughts for this Blog.  I don't usually.  I usually have very organized thoughts and a very clear road to expressing those thoughts.  But today was different.  I've never experienced such a feeling as I did today: that given the blatant actions by this President and his cadre of Socialists, that I am no longer attached to a branch of my government.  I no longer believe that this Administration believes in my Constitution.  I do believe they are trying to overthrow my beautiful country and it is difficult to write about.  There are so many blatant examples of treasonous behavior that it takes ones breath away.  I understand now the crushing defeat the Solzhenitsyn felt when he had to leave his country.  Even upon his return, he knew that though there had been progress, his country was now under the jackboot of another power, the power of the globalist mobsters and political elite.  Communism is now considered quaint, but "democratic socialism" is all the rage.  The struggle continues.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Home for Rent Blog Address

Hello to those interested in our rental properties. To see pictures of our 2-level home on 7337 Tumbleweed Dr. please visit http://www.lblakenelsonrental.blogspot.com. You can google map the address and see that it is located 2.2 miles up Miller Creek Rd. close to the Wal Mart on 93, Safeway, Applebee's, etc. You can e-mail us at bizwiz64@gmail.com or rackem@hot-shot.com. Thanks! Linlee

http://www.lblakenelsonrental.blogspot.com [cut & paste into your browser]

Monday, April 18, 2011

Why Should We Care About AAA Ratings?

Really, why should we care about deficits at all?  Michael Moore has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that we, as a country, are not poor!  Of course, the Heritage Foundation has proved that if we took all the profits (not 60%, we're talking 100%) from all the organizations, highly-paid movie stars and athletes, advertising revenues and oil companies, and every penny of every dollar of profit earned within the US of A, we would be able to pay for ONE YEAR of our expenditures in the budget as proposed by the Obama administration.  And lest you think I'm giving the Bush administration a pass, I'm not.  I didn't like the trillions of dollars Republicans spent anymore than I like it now, when the Democrats are spending it.  In case you were wondering...that's what the Tea Party is all about.  We're not about "bagging" the middle class (I'm not sure what that means or even if we have a middle class anymore), as one liberal friend characterizes it, instead, we're about not spending our children's, children's tax dollars during our lifetimes.  It's so pathetically simple, I sometimes have to stifle a small scream.

OK, let me put it in the simplest possible terms:  Michael Moore is wrooooong!  We are no longer a rich country.  There are some rich folks living here, I'll give on that point.  But we are no longer a rich country because we have spent ourselves into oblivion.  And it's not because I hate old people, the homeless, the jobless, or the black/mexican/vietnamese, or poor white trash with 7 kids who have to take TANF; nope, don't hate them, don't even have sour thoughts about them.  I do, however, believe that 12 million illegal immigrants crossing into our country and sucking on the teat of the American tax payer is, well, sucky!  Do liberals really believe that illegal immigration is OK?  Really?  I can't get my head around that one, and I probably never will, so I guess we'll have to agree to disagree and hope like hell that the folks who pay taxes continue to outnumber those who don't.

Without getting into the fact that the top 10% of Americans pay almost 70% of our total revenues, I want to address why we should all be concerned about AAA ratings from S&P and whatever other credit rating agency decides on a whim (and with some confusing and often wrong numbers) that they are going to downgrade our bonds.  "Why should I care," you say?  I get up everyday, fill my car with $4.00/gallon gasoline, take my kid to softball and pay my bills (well, some of them), what does a bond rating have to do with my life?  I mean, we're America, right?  Who wouldn't buy our bonds?  Well, lots of people, now.  Treasuries are at around 3.7% if you buy a 10-year note, right now.  That means that if you put your money into US Treasuries, you won't even make the cost of inflation back on your money.

OK, so investors don't buy Treasury bonds.  Somebody has to buy Treasuries though, because, (and this is the part where I tie the last part of my little essay into the first part) we could not possibly tax our way out of our current problem!  We have to borrow, borrow, borrow!  So, why would China stop buying our bonds? We are, after all, the US of A; we're a great bet!  Ask George Soros, he knows.  He's been working on how to crash our dollar and make himself another gazillion dollars for quite some time now.  Don't believe me?  Look it up, that's what he does!  ANYway, without the ability to borrow money, where would our congressmen be?  What would get cut?  You can guess, can't you?  Everything but Social Security and Medicare.  Yes, even defense spending would be a dead goner.  So, with all that in mind, why should you care?  Oh, yeah, I already answered that question!  In case you missed it, we must have good credit because without a AAA rating, we won't be able to borrow any more money as a country, and if we can't do that, we've already proven, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that we cannot possibly live within our means.

Well, we could tax the rich, I suppose, and their taxes have gone down, as the news so loudly bleated today, but we may want to consider that route very carefully; they're the only ones paying taxes; if we take it all away, they may decide that their hard work is not appreciated here in the country of borrow-and-spend, and they might pack their bags and go elsewhere.  There was probably a pretty good reason for dropping those rates, (after all, when the rich get done paying 17%, the states & localities don't give them nearly the break the Feds do), perhaps it was that other countries offer better tax incentives to job creators?  Hmmm.   

They may even decide that creating and running big companies is too much of a pain to deal with for no return (you've heard of return on investment, right?), so they'll pull out their money, stick it in Treasury bonds (well, probably not) and retire to some country that is capable of hiding all their cash.  The numbers don't lie, there isn't enough money to tax the rich so that we can spend trillions of dollars each year and with bond ratings tanking, money will dry up.  The Fed (Fracking Erudite Demons) would then be forced to raise interest rates in order to generate "interest" in our luxurious social service economy (this is called inflation).  Without inflation, the only investors still buying Treasuries will be the people and companies from socialist countries who want to put their money in a free republic.  Will we still look like a free Republic in the next 20 years?  You tell me!  Socialists know what socialism looks like, and they will recognize income redistribution.  So, you should care very much about ratings and bonds and borrowing and spending.  It's not all about CARing about your fellow man, it's about survival; and we are nowhere near the fittest in this Age of Unreason.

LBlakeNelson
Tea Party Enthusiast

Monday, March 21, 2011

Economic Policy from a Conservative Entrepreneur

Do lower taxes mean higher incomes? Do higher taxes mean more federal revenue?  I just finished reading several debates about the economics of "Republican" politics.  The first debate tore asunder Bush's campaign promise of 2000 that said that lower taxes will result in higher incomes in 2000.  After I got done reading Mr. Cates arguments, which were well-supported and showed, without a doubt really, that lower taxes did not translate into higher incomes, I thought, well, why would they?  Just because GW promised this during a campaign does not mean that American conservatives were persuaded by this argument or even that they cared.  What conservatives believe has little to do with increases in income.  We believe that our government should spend what they take in (which, I believe, had they done would have left us in a better financial position today) and that increased taxes will not make everyone happier.  In fact, we're convinced that increasing taxes is going to result in increases in spending and with that spending, wasting.  And if we follow all of this to its logical conclusion, given that it has now been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that between 2000 and 2008, this country's inhabitant's income did not increase, but decreased significantly, it should then be posited that raising taxes will increase incomes significantly (OK, maybe not significantly, but it always sounds so erudite to say "significantly"). 

OK, I don't have any big studies that I want to go and track down, after all, this is a blog that I do in my spare time and since I do not take unemployment or AFDC or food stamps (as I probably could), I need my spare time to work on my consulting projects.  ANYway, lets look at the opposite of the disproven political promise by our dyslexic president: More taxes will lead to higher incomes.  OK, OK, maybe the "opposite" isn't what the author of the debate would support either, but lets have a little fun with it. 

Let's say that we tax me and my family 60% of our income.  Well, would that be after the deductions for our house, 2% of medical expenses over and above the total of our itemized deductions, and any other things that I can dredge up out of the tax code?  Oh, and I suppose I'd better go back and figure out how many of the things on that fun K-1 schedule I get to take off any income I would be claiming; there are all sorts of mysterious deductions there.  I'm not sure what all of them are, but I remember some of the more reasonable ones like charitable donations and something called 179 recapture.  Oh, but that was an add-in, never mind, it's all becoming a muddle and I'm getting further and further from my point.  Well, no, I've arrived at my point!  Yes, there it is.  Our tax code so completely screws with our AGI, how can we possibly truly understand what policies are effective?  I can tell you absolutely that I don't want a flat tax, but that's only because I love all my deductions!  What kind of terrible tax rate would I have if I didn't have my deductions!

I guess I just made a great argument for a reasonable flat tax, sigh.  Let's pull it together folks, remember that campaign slogans do not make good tax policy and we must fight to put our economy back in the game by simplifying our tax code, spending less than we take in in revenue and stop outsourcing jobs to countries that do not allow their people the same freedoms that we have.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Well-Defined Rolls in Leadership

Though I've not done any serious research on the subject of roll definition as it affects leadership, I have read many books and articles in which the authors expound on the benefits of defining rolls in management and the affect of this definition on a manager's performance. I suggest that roll definition is vital to a leader's success as much as to the success of the generic "manager," and I'm sure there are numerous academic articles to back this up. My experience in observing the outcome of poor roll definition comes from my own work on a team where my roll was unclear and poorly defined and where the outcome of the project was important to the executive suite. I don't like to place blame elsewhere; in fact, I usually pick my own work apart ruthlessly. But in preparing for projects that will be scrutinized at the highest levels, managers must take great care to examine the power they have been given to achieve those objectives. Managers may believe that they have been given the power to achieve certain things when, in fact, they have not.

I encountered my first problems, in my example, when the "staff member," a worker bee who was basically running the whole show, came to me to regarding verbiage to use in marketing materials that, by definition, were counter to the (also poorly) defined mission.  Another manager who obviously thought the project was under her jurisdiction had given her these instrutions. It was clear after this encounter that the other manager had the support of the executive suite, but what was I doing there? Was I just another "staff" member who would coordinate with current staff? If so, it was an egregious misuse of my skills. I was not as alert as I should have been at that point to the problems that this would cause me. With a manager of my caliber caught between the manager with real power and a belligerent staff member, I should have seen that I was the perfect patsy. The power manager didn't have to blame, and therefore alienate, the worker bee, she had me there to take the heat! In this case, I should have kept my opinions to myself, done only as I was told and exited the scene as gracefully as possible. Instead, I believed that I could "help" the project by floating my ideas with the mistaken notion that they would be taken seriously. To this day, there is no evidence, beyond my own brutal self-evaluation, to suggest that I did not perform well on the project. I did request a review of my performance from the executive suite which I never received. Well, live and learn folks, that's what it's all about. But why concern myself with that now? Who cares?

I do. Not only do I care that I was put into an impossible situation doomed to failure, but I also care because there is a job now available, for which I am uniquely qualified and may not get because there were some "concerns" about my performance on the aforementioned project of doom. The manager who would like to hire me for this position understands that I am probably the best person for this job, but I fear that I did not play the political game well enough to protect myself at a time when I should have recognized the trap. Naturally, it is important to learn from this experience, and I will; but I feel a sense of loss and I have written this blog to offer support to those good managers who now find themselves in positions of responsibility with no concordant power. My advice? Play the game. Do what is absolutely necessary and no more, offer no opinions other than those that agree with the top rung and extricate yourself as soon as you possibly can! The worker bee will be blamed for any problems (though I am sure that you will still present an excellent target which means it would benefit you to help the worker bee succeed), the power manager will get any acclaim, and you will escape, if not unscathed, at least without the hint of the "dark side"clinging to your good name. And if ever you have to work for the one who put you in this position to begin with? Forget the past, make sure your roll is well-defined (with the necessary concordant power), and believe, as I do, that if given a chance, you will succeed and be recognized in due time.

I don't think executives plan to torture those they hire in these types of situations; in fact, they're probably the victims of circumstance themselves, but there is much you can do to repair those relationships (and your good name) by believing in and achieving your own success.

Friday, February 25, 2011

The Principles of Collective Bargaining

Why are we not arguing about the principles behind the collective bargaining issues we face in this country?  As someone who has studied human resources, manufacturing and entrepreneurship, I have a few thoughts.  These thoughts get down to the heart of the issue and if we know our hearts, we might not have these problems.  A couple of questions:

If I am employed as a public servant, do I have the right to walk away from the bargaining table if I don't feel that my employer is being as generous as morally possible?  Can you take the word morally out of the previous sentence and have a situation where both people believe that each party has the other's good measure at heart?  My employer is the public, so I have to rely on its representatives to understand what is morally and financially possible. Because of this, there should indeed be standards.  I believe they should be enforced between the parties with a possible mediator or several mediators used if possible. This is the definition of binding arbitration, and although it is not always the answer, it's a darn site better than the monopoly of a union with un-checked power.

I've always found it interesting that the unions believed that they must compel membership in order to enforce the morality of the public.  So far, and I've done a few searches, read a few articles, I have yet to see a valid defense of compelling union membership.  Why would a union not be voluntary?  I was incensed that I had to pay union dues at the University of Montana, because I don't believe the union at U of M represents my ideas politically.  At the university, we have the right to ask the union to donate the money on our behalf.  I felt I would be donating on behalf of an organization I do not support politically.  No-win, no-win situation; not my favorite. 

The other side of this argument is a straw man: why should I benefit from the actions of the union on my behalf?  Frankly, I am not opposed to sitting down with my employer and negotiating my own salary and benefits, who knows, I might do better than the union leaders.  In fact, I know I could do better.  I do believe that unions serve a purpose, but in the case of the public unions, I do not, unless membership is voluntary.  As a public employee, you should be prepared to be paid what your community can afford to pay you.  Binding arbitration in this case is warranted.  Why do public service unions want mandatory union membership?  I'll tell you why...power.  The power of the unions to exert influence over politicians who see voting blocks and stumble over themselves trying to ingratiate themselves.  It's sad and pathetic, and it's our political system, but those unions should not include those who do not believe in the union agenda.

I don't know a single person who would pay teachers less than they thought was morally and financially possible.  I don't believe that the money paid to teachers is the main problem, but it is one that should be handled with efficiency; one I think that should be run privately, but that's another argument for another time.

I also believe that there are statistics to bear out that more money does not equal satisfactory performance.  WI spends more per student than any other state in the union.  I think it's significant enough proof that 2/3 of their 8th graders not being proficient in reading is not due to money paid to teachers.  Top of the line teachers should earn $80,000 to $100,000 per year, but that depends on the area.  We might even want to pay teachers more than we have...usually the public is in favor of fair pay; again, not the issue. In Missoula, I would think that something a little less, $80,000 [for those with a master's degree] would be the top end of my scale here (even though housing prices were once quite high here, housing is selling for 12% less now).  This is all subjective, of course, and therefore standards should apply. 

Housing price pressure, by the way, will directly affect the budget of the states a year and a half from now.  Have we taken that into consideration?    Here in Montana we have the right to appropriate the money from other resource-rich counties to pay for our teachers.   Lucky us.  Other states, like WI must rely on taxes, big ones.  They have the 5th highest property tax burden in the country in the paper industry, anyway.  What is fair?  I think, again, binding arbitration might not be pretty, or politically powerful, but it would do the job.  The rest of the folks could then simply re-up their membership in the Democratic Party to satisfy their political urges.

Teachers have a great reputation and they are not helping it by striking in WI. Instead, the political organizations that have come out of the woodwork are doing what they do best, agitating.  They don't care about the teachers, not really.  In fact, I would go so far as to say that the union leadership doesn't care about the teachers either.  Just read some of the harrowing cases that have come before the Right-to-Work organization and you can get a feel for how the unions abuse not only membership dues, but the members themselves.  True, no organization is perfect, even union organizations, but we sure treat them like they are.  They are the untouchables, the ones whom we cannot insult lest we bring the wrath of God down upon our conservative selves. 

I think it is time to take a hard look at these unions and I hope that some of that effort will come from inside, from those who are not satisfied with their membership and wish that they could just go back to work.  Where are you?  Come on in, the water's fine, a little warm, but you'll get used to it.  I sure wouldn't want to be in their position, it's hard to buck your union, but when you start the process of questioning mandatory membership, their arguments break down.  After all, what is wrong with voluntary union membership?  Ask the question!  It's the heart of the matter.