The High Cost of Terminating Public Sector Union Members

When a Parkersburg, West Virginia school bus driver was fired for using her cell phone to text while driving, the Wood County Board of Education did the right thing in firing her. Although admitting she often texted while driving her route, she felt she deserved another chance. Placing the lives of dozens of children entrusted to her care and endangering the public at large, incredibly was not enough for one board member who agreed with her and voted to keep her seated at the wheel of her school bus. Perhaps he was thinking of the expense to taxpayers in defending termination of most public employees.

This public employee will be afforded the opportunity to appeal her termination at taxpayers’ expense; as were the drunken school bus drivers near Chicago and Cincinnati. One driver was allowed by her supervisor to finish the delivery of 50 children, when he claimed federal law prevented him from stopping the driver. The other driver crashed his bus, luckily after dropping off school band members. All of these actions are reckless, irresponsible, and dangerous. Most reasonable people would conclude that swift action is required to protect children and the rest of society.

These are only microcosms of public employees being afforded extraordinary favors at American taxpayers’ expense after doing inexcusable harm or placing children or the public at risk. They then have the unmitigated temerity to justify their employment because they are public servants and deserve special rights.

However, most Americans are unaware that the rules for removing public employees from the roles of the employed are substantially different and much more ‘civilized’ (liberal) than in the somewhat more primitive Wild West private-sector in the real world. There is an angry sea of lawyers, panels, boards, committees, politicians, and union representatives to navigate. Additionally, the always vigilant bureaucratic government officials wait in the shadows, justifying their bloated existence by wasting more money.

Taxpayers are always “afforded the opportunity” to pay for defending common sense. Common sense that disappeared in a puff of political smoke along with rational thought when public employees and politicians married to form the unholy alliance known as public service unions. These unions led to the current corruption and financial ruin we see in the local, state, and federal governments. Even uber-progressive, Franklin Roosevelt, understood the disastrous consequences of allowing public employees to unionize and bargain with the government.

Consider the expenditure of taxpayers’ dollars in the following:

·         In 2003 Charleston West Virginia, a Kanawha County schools maintenance worker came into a board meeting with several buckets of gasoline, and an AK-47 hidden in a trash bag. After dousing two people with the gas, he went for the gun. During a struggle, the gun went off and a bullet hit a Capital High School teacher in the stomach. It took months and thousands of dollars to fire this individual.

·         Nearly 700 of New York City school teachers charged with various offenses are still being paid their full salaries to do nothing. Many of the teachers sit around and surf the Internet or play Scrabble, or whatever else they choose to do. They still get summer vacation, weekends and holidays off, throughout the school year. These teachers collect their full salaries of $70,000 and up and the city Department of Education estimates this costs the taxpayers $65 million a year. The department blames union rules, saying, their union’s contract makes it next to impossible to fire them.

·         Buffalo, New York taxpayers have paid millions of dollars to teachers not to teach. Twelve teachers have collected $2.25 million in salary while under suspension and waiting for disciplinary hearings and that amount doesn’t include the costs for substitutes and the hearings themselves. The average wait for those hearings is three years.

One teacher suspended for over four years collected close to a quarter of a million dollars during that time. Another sentenced by the court in the death of her Daughter was suspended by the Buffalo School System – with pay – as required by law, and then began the arduous process that took more than 14 months to fire her. Cost to taxpayers: close to $200,000. That amount doesn’t include the costs for substitutes and the hearings themselves.

 ·         The Los Angeles Unified School District paid a teacher $68,000 per year for seven years, plus benefits. His job? Do nothing.

The teacher’s workday began at the same time as regular classes, gets 30 minutes for lunch, and ends when the bell tolls at his old school. He takes off all breaks, school vacations and holidays, as commanded by a district agreement with the teacher’s union. He is to be given no work by the district or show up at school.

The school board voted to fire him for allegedly harassing teenage students and colleagues. He has never missed a paycheck and the district has spent more than $2 million on him in salary and legal costs.

When space became short, he continued this daily routine at home. About 160 teachers and other staff sit idly in buildings scattered about the district, awaiting allegations of misconduct to be resolved.

These people are accused, among other things, of sexual contact with students, harassment, and theft or drug possession. Nearly all are leeches on the backs of taxpayers. All told, they collect about $10 million in salaries per year — even as the school district contemplates widespread layoffs because of financial shortfalls.

Public unions liberate money from their members (and some from non-members) to grease the palms of politicians in a quid pro quo arrangement that obligates politicians to vote in the unions’ interests for money and benefits to maintain the money and support. These cozy arrangements and backroom feasts leave out one important element; the bill-paying taxpayers are never invited to the banquet table. Rather, they’re handed the check by these back-slapping cohorts with a dismissive, “Here, take care of this, Bub!”

When unions took over the capitol in Wisconsin, destroying public property, threatening officials with violence if their payoffs got cut, they bore a striking resemblance to gangsters running a protection racket. Their message was clear; pay up or we’ll be back to break something more important.

In addition to money and benefits that far surpass that of private-sector workers; public sector unions (especially teachers’ unions) exhibit an entitlement attitude that borders upon delusional behavior; devoid of rational thought. They receive treatment like tenure, unrealistic work rules, and job security exceeding anything in the private sector. To terminate public employees, even for what reasonable people would consider obvious, is a daunting undertaking. We see budget-busting, expensive ordeals, for any public treasury when action is taken against any wayward union member.

However, the truly despicable tragedy of what public sector unions and politicians have wrought upon society,  is the tarnish and shame these radical unions have created upon the millions of conscientious teachers, firemen, policemen, and other public sector employees who strive to do their jobs and serve the public in a time-honored, and exemplary manner. They too, are victims of the shrill voices of insanity echoing throughout our land by the dangerous Marxist union leaders. 

Jim Mullen

http://freedomforusnow.com

http://www.examiner.com/x-54993-Parkersburg-Conservative-Examiner

Sources:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2344743/posts

http://www.wgrz.com/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=70260&catid=13

http://albanysinsanity.wnymedia.net/blogs/2009/09/21/buffalo-teachers-paid-not-to-teach/

The Tomb of the Unknown

The Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia, is also known as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, although it has never been officially named.Sentinels salute the Tomb of the Unknown, Courtesy: Arlington National Cemetery

The Unknown of World War I

On Memorial Day, 1921, four unknowns were exhumed from four World War I American cemeteries in France. U.S. Army Sgt. Edward F. Younger, who was wounded in combat, highly decorated for valor and received the Distinguished Service Medal in “The Great War, the war to end all wars,” selected the Unknown Soldier of World War I from four identical caskets at the city hall in Chalons-sur-Marne, France, Oct. 24, 1921. Sgt. Younger selected the unknown by placing a spray of white roses on one of the caskets. The chosen unknown soldier was transported to the United States aboard the USS Olympia. Those remaining were interred in the Meuse Argonne Cemetery, France.

The Unknown Soldier lay in state in the Capitol Rotunda from his arrival in the United States until Armistice Day, 1921. On Nov. 11, 1921, President Warren G. Harding officiated at the interment ceremonies at the Memorial Amphitheater at Arlington National Cemetery.

The Unknown of World War II and Korea

The World War II Unknown was selected from remains exhumed from cemeteries in Europe, Africa, Hawaii and the Philippines. Two unknowns from World War II, one from the European Theater and one from the Pacific Theater, were placed in identical caskets and taken aboard the USS Canberra, a guided-missile cruiser resting off the Virginia capes.

The Unknown of Vietnam

The Unknown service member from the Vietnam War was designated by Medal of Honor recipient U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Allan Jay Kellogg Jr. during a ceremony at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, May 17, 1984.

Many Vietnam veterans, as well as President and Mrs. Ronald Reagan visited the Vietnam Unknown in the U.S. Capitol. An Army caisson carried the Vietnam Unknown from the Capitol to the Memorial Amphitheater at Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day, May 28, 1984. President Reagan presided over the funeral, and presented the Medal of Honor to the Vietnam Unknown.

The president also acted as next of kin by accepting the interment flag at the end of the ceremony.

Information and images courtesy of Arlington National Cemetery.

 

The Sentinel’s Creed 

My dedication to this sacred duty
is total and whole-hearted.
In the responsibility bestowed on me
never will I falter.
And with dignity and perseverance
my standard will remain perfection.
Through the years of diligence and praise
and the discomfort of the elements,
I will walk my tour in humble reverence
to the best of my ability.
It is he who commands the respect I protect,
his bravery that made us so proud.
Surrounded by well meaning crowds by day,
alone in the thoughtful peace of night,
this soldier will in honored glory rest
under my eternal vigilance.
“The Sentinel’s Creed are the 99 words we live by. The words bring vast emotions to the surface when spoken by a Sentinel. We tend to stand a little taller, back a little straighter and our head just a little higher. These words capture the true meaning of why we are Tomb Guards. When ever a Tomb Guard salutes a commissioned officer, they always say in a loud voice:

 

“Line Six, Sir!”

This Memorial Day, The Bold Pursuit salutes our fallen heroes and those who currently serve our country at home and abroad.

The Price of Freedom, the Cost of War

by Robert Arvay 

A few years ago, I had just left the military, gone back to school and found a job at the university I attended. One of the people I worked with was a young lady who had gone to college straight out of high school. She must have been about around 20 years old or so. While working, we would occasionally banter about things, just small talk to pass the time. Then one day she mentioned that she was on a veteran’s scholarship. Foolishly, I asked if she had been in the military. No. Not exactly. But her father had been killed in the Viet Nam war when she was still an infant. She had no memory of him.

I offered condolences, which she accepted without emotion. She had never known any other life than to be fatherless. While seeing her friends and classmates fathers and mothers attend school functions, she had only her mother. Many children who had only mothers had divorced fathers who would keep as close as they could. But this young lady had no one to call her “princess.”

It was in that moment that I more fully realized the actual price of freedom, and the terrible cost of war. Yes, of course, the men who die in war are true heroes, they make the ultimate sacrifice, and forfeit all their tomorrows so that we can enjoy our todays in freedom. The price they pay is incalculable.

But sometimes we forget the widows, the orphans, the grieving parents, the loved ones from whom the fallen warrior is taken; they suffer, too, and their sacrifice is also incalculable. These victims of war wear no uniform, and when they die, no regimental unit number marks their graves. Even if the widow remarries, however worthy the new husband, there must, surely, always be a corner of grief in her heart.

The price of freedom is beyond measure, and the cost of war is paid both in blood and in tears. Something that expensive must never, ever be treated lightly. You are free and you are obliged to remain free, to stand firm in your freedom and to defend it at the very first sign that someone intends to take it from you, or from anyone whose freedom was bought so precious.

Near the end of the movie, “Saving Private Ryan,” Tom Hanks, playing the dying Captain Miller commands Private Ryan, whose life he has saved, “James… earn this. Earn it.” The movie concludes with the aging veteran Ryan, asking his wife “Have I led a good life? Am I a good man?”

Enjoy the fruits of freedom, while never forgetting that the tree of liberty is nourished with the blood of patriots.

“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” Thomas Jefferson

“Protecting Our Children at the Cost of Truth”

“America assassinated Osama Bin Laden, Grandpa!”  I had not seen my 14-year-old grandson for a couple of months, so we were spending time catching up on things together.  “Did you hear they accused him of destroying those World Trade Centers when it was the American government who blew them up all along?” 

Stopped me dead in my tracks.  “Who told you all this?”

“American friends I made on Facebook.  Everyone knows they found C4 in the ashes of those buildings. It was the government that did it all right!”

Now, this boy is a proud member of the Canadian Army Cadet Corps.  A fair-to-middling student and smarter than some … So, I had to think how the heck it was he was brought to believe this lie? I saw the replay of 9/11 over and over again on the television after first hearing about it over the radio. I was at work and I have to admit that we first thought it was another George Orwell story taking place.  Someone was surely pulling our legs about what was going on in New York. I called my wife and asked her to turn the television set on. When she started crying, I knew it was real.

Perhaps the worst day in all of my 68 years on earth was 9/11.  My grandson was four at the time. Too young to be bothered by the horror and needed to be protected from it. We who experienced it and were old enough would never forget, but in protecting our young, we buried the truth. We buried the fact that North America, after being warned countless of times, had left itself open to the worst terrorist attack in our history.

When it happened in America, no one bled as much along with your country than Canadians did.

We were the first to offer help. Instantly sending every resource we had available to us within hours and, of course, it was not enough. We grieved along with the families who lost their loved ones that day and cried with all of America as the horror continued to engrave itself in our hearts and our minds forever.  

Forever for us, that is. We went the proverbial extra mile to protect those who would be too young to have the horror of it replaying in their minds. So my grandson now believes it was all nothing more than a conspiracy theory carried out by the American government and that Osama Bin Laden was not responsible for what took place.

At least he did. I spent the next four hours sitting with my grandson tossing back Cokes (which I hate) and telling him my version of what took place that day. Trying to have him see via my memories that it was real, that there are bad people on this earth who hate our North American life and will go to any lengths to try and destroy us. That America being hit is a wound in the heart of Canada as well. That Osama Bin Laden deserved to die and there are others just as twisted and evil in heart as him who also deserve the same fate.  

That a lot of people of many nationalities went to work that day or boarded a plane and never went home again – all because of a hate for us that has no boundaries, little reason and based on a very Holy book … a book that is not about hate, but about love and peace.  A book corrupted by the likes of Osama Bin Laden.

I told him that people who have little education are often held hostage by the little that they do know and often that it based on their religious teachings. Because they are uneducated they do not have the ability to challenge that which they have no knowledge of. So they believe with their whole heart that which is preached to them and it is often not truth.

I told him about all the times we here in North America have reacted to problems around the world. Especially America, which has the ability to respond to a crisis better than any country on earth and always does. I shared with my grandson how proud this old Canadian has always been to share a border with our American cousins and how we keep our freedoms because of America and in spite of the terrorists.

I spoke to him about the fact he knew I have never killed anyone in my whole life.  When I was a boy of about fourteen I was visiting my Uncle up north who had a sawed off shot gun! Real exciting to hold it and when I was challenged to pull the trigger, I sure did! What kid wouldn’t!  Almost blew my skinny arse right through the outside that day! First and last time I ever held a gun! But I made it clear to Simon that I would pick a gun up and shoot the likes of Bin Laden without a thought. He knew I meant it. I knew right then I did as well.

We did not talk about just 9/11, but about events that had taken place before and since that someone needs to be accountable for. I told him that our way of life is not perfect. Our countries have not been perfect but, man himself is flawed. No such thing as perfection in anything in life. It is supposed to be a lesson and Bin Laden must have missed school the day the taught it is a real bad idea to pick on the United States. That if you hit them at home, you hit all of North America and the free world … that there will be no rest until you pay for what you did. Bin Laden and those who followed him are pretty dumb in my mind. But those who believe he did not mastermind and finance 9/11 fall into the same dumb boat.

We also talked about my fear for the strength of the American Republic should Obama get another four years in office. Simon was wise enough to know it was the policies of President George Bush and the dogged determination of the American Military that got Bin Laden. No credit to Obama.  

“He knew where he was last August, Grandpa, and it took him all that time to give the Seals a go? What kind of leadership is that?” he asked. Lack of leadership, indeed. 

I represented to him that I think Americans were looking for a new direction and the hope and change mantra played well in the minds of a lot of people. They just never stopped to think that experience mattered. Love for one’s country matters. Pride in a nation – matters. They forgot for a second. Just li
ke I did to remember what it was that allowed the bad things to happen in the past. They forgot to remember what it is that makes a country proud and strong and free. God knows it took us many years to remember it here in Canada but now that we a conservative majority government maybe we can get off our socialist path and back on the road to personal freedom.

We talked for a long time about a lot of things. I told him when I was his age I used to deliver newspapers. My parents were poor and my family large so the income was appreciated. I met an old couple whose name I no longer recall but used to do a lot of odd jobs for. They were Holocaust survivors and all of their family had been lost in WWII. Somehow, they made it all the way to Canada and there I was in 1955 making friends with a couple who really knew what hell was. My grandson asked me what the Holocaust was and after a bit of conversation admitted he had learned a ‘bit’ about it in school – but not a lot.  

Simon called me a few days later. This time he had done some real research into 9/11 and had facts instead of fiction. He phoned to tell me he was going to be doing a presentation to his grade 9 class and to his Cadet Corps because he knew a “lot of my friends believe what I did, Grandpa, and we need to know the truth.”  He also told me he is taking a larger look at the Holocaust and wants to learn what the truth behind everything really is.

The truth indeed! Protecting our children at the cost of truth is what ends up with the Holocaust being misrepresented and now those same people are trying to smother the truth about 9/11. Educating our children with truth makes them warriors that are stronger than the purveyor of lies. We must protect them – but make sure when they are old enough to arm them with truth. 

Only in doing so are the facts remembered and in that way do we honour all of those who died.  

Just a view from your Northern Neighbour,
Cam Vallee

 

The War of 2012 … The Beginning

Noel Alcoba, Political Cartoonist to The Bold Pursuit

We are delighted to announce that Noel Alcoba has joined The Bold Pursuit as our official Political Cartoonist. Noel entertains and informs a large following of fans on Facebook with edgy and topical cartoons. The Bold Pursuit welcomes Noel as a regular weekly contributor to our website. Please visit Noel’s website, RighthandedCartoons.com, for more information about Noel and his work. 

An American Citizen’s Personal “Apology Tour”…

I am a private, unknown, middle class, American citizen. I would like to apologize to the State of Israel and the Jewish people for the President of the United States … Barack Hussein Obama.
 

I am ashamed of the speech that he gave on this the 19th day of May, 2011, where he proposed on the world stage that Israel return to pre-1967 national boundaries.

I didn’t vote for him, as in my research during the 2008 Primary, I determined that he was, at the least, sympathetic to the Muslims and NOT sympathetic to Israel. This was easy to ascertain based on his associations.

I am apologizing that despite the best efforts of those who saw him for what he was, and is, we were not able to convince those who did vote for him, not to.

I am apologizing for the extreme Far Left media in America that makes it appear that my whole country is against Israel. This is far from the truth. The Far Left media represents a minority opinion in America. They just have the loudest voice.

I would also like to apologize to Britain, Honduras, the Green Movement in Iran, and any other nation or truly Democratic movement that has been injured or insulted by the misguided, Far Left, Anti-Capitalist, Anti-Semitic, or racist policies of the President of the United States … Barack Hussein Obama.

I am truly sorry that he represents my country, and I promise to do everything in my power, within the confines of the Constitution of the United States, to remove him from the Presidency at the end of his first term.

I stand with Israel.

Thank You,
                                                                                                             

Bruce O’H
USA

Newt Gingrich — The GOP Fault Line

by Robert Arvay

The Republican Party is divided.  There are actually now TWO Republican Parties, loosely united under one brand name, and loosely united by a common enemy, the Democrats.
 
But that supposed unity is fragile.  
 
Newt Gingrich demonstrated that the other day in his denunciation of Paul Ryan’s alternative to Obama-Care.  And even though Newt apologized, there is little doubt that a very great many old guard Republicans agree with him that we should “go easy” (my words, not Newt’s) in opposing Obama’s ruinous policies.
 
Newt’s rejection of Paul Ryan’s plan is a warning signal.  In order to understand how deep the division is in the Republican Party, let’s go back a few months to the election in New York congressional district 23.  
 
In that election, the Republican Bosses nominated Dede Scozzofava, a liberal Republican who was the favorite of the old guard Republicans, and also the favorite of Newt Gingrich, who publicly supported her.  
 
Scozzofava was opposed not only by a Democrat, but also by a Conservative Party candidate who was vastly more popular among the voters than was Scozzofava.  The stupidity of the Republican Party bosses, and of Gingrich, was revealed when Scozzofava threw her minority support to the DEMOCRAT, who then won the general election.  Scozzofava defined what we mean by the pejorative term, RINO, Republican In Name Only.
 
After that fiasco, Newt Gingrich admitted his obvious mistake.  But did he truly learn from it?  It seems not.  His opposition to the Ryan plan is almost a repeat of his thinking in the NY23 blunder.  Once again, Gingrich is running away from taking a strong, principled conservative stand, in favor of what he THINKS is a smart strategy on technical political grounds.
 
Newt THINKS that strong conservative principles cannot win elections.  Worse yet, he thinks that the republic can survive without embracing those strong conservative principles.  It can’t.  The Democrats have inflicted more damage on the nation than can be repaired by any RINO bandaid.  We may not yet need radical surgery, but even so, we must— we absolutely must— go cold turkey on our national addiction to deficit spending and reckless borrowing.  Half measures will no longer suffice.
 
But there are dangers to going cold turkey.
 
The danger is that it may result in a divided Republican party.  The risk involved in that, is that it can split the national vote into a 30-30-40 victory for the Democrats.  Even though the Republican vote would be 30+30 for a 60 point majority, the 40 percent vote for the Democrats would give them the electoral landslide, the Congress, and the White House.
 
That is a serious risk, but also, it is a risk that we MUST take.  Because, if the Republican Party caves in on principle, if it supports the ruinous policies of the left, then not only does the ship of state sink, but it sinks in a way that is blamed on the Republicans, leaving no hope that in a future election, the nation will turn to conservatives for help.  Why would they?
 
Republicans must repudiate Gingrich-ism.  We must reject RINO-ism.  Compromise on technique is sometimes necessary to accomplish a principled goal.  But once we compromise on the goal itself, we are doomed to failure.  There can be no retreat from principle, if we are to survive as a nation.
 
The republic has but one viable alternative, both to the ruinous policies of Obama, and to those who would seek to “make nice” with him.  And that alternative is to stand strong, to move forward with resolve.  Only two prominent Republicans at present seem adequate to fit that bill, and both of them are women.
 
If the Republican national convention does not nominate a Palin/Bachmann ticket for the White House, then the Republican Party might as well rename itself, the Almost Democrat Party.  
 
Newt Gingrich, in a backhanded way, has done us a favor.  He has drawn the line.  Now it is up to us to decide on which side of it to stand. 

Uncertain Times for Israel

 

The Arabs have threatened a new Infantada against Israel; the so called “Arab Spring” is creating more uncertainty, and instability for Israel and her citizens; President Obama is due to give a major speech this week on Middle East Policy, and fears are he will further weaken Israel’s position, and may create more problems for her with his distorted view of the region. 

Meanwhile, anti-semitism is alive and growing in Europe, and the USA. The Dutch call for an outright end to Israel, the British who have never been warm, further turn a cold shoulder. In Germany, Demanjuk convicted of assisting in the murder of 23,000 mostly Jews, is given only five years for his crimes, and is out pending appeal. In the USA, Ron Paul and others who say they support Israel, yet work to leave her naked before her enemies, are trying to strip Israel of the means to defend herself. 

There is as great of evil being practiced against Israel, and Jews, in the World, as at anytime in history. The only times worse, were the 1930s and 40s in Europe, and during the Inquisition. 

Over the next week, we will be following events closely as PM Netanyahu comes to the USA, meets with Obama, attends the AIPAC conference, and addresses a Joint Session of Congress. If you are interested in Israel, and her future, and care what happens to The Apple of Gd’s Eye, then please join us on our Facebook page (link below). 

If you can’t join us on the site, then join us in praying for Israel, as we lift our eyes to Gd, and proclaim: “Blessed are you Adonai, our Creator, who separates between the Holy and the Profane. May Israel always enjoy the shelter of Your Grace, and her leaders the counsel of Your Wisdom. Protect Israel from those who wish to destroy Her. Vanquish her enemies in such a manner, all who see will know, Israel is yours, and she serves you. Bestow on her leaders the knowlege of the wise path, and grant her peace. We humble ourselves before You, but as a Nation are confident in Your Grace, and Your protection now, and evermore. Blessed are You HaShem, who loves and protects Israel, and Blesses those who come to her Aid.” 

Bob Schneider

Link the the Group: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1964190874421&set=a.1408234535860.120527.1532340632&type=1&theater#!/group.php?gid=102344213144492 


Reprinted with Permission

For over three decades, Bob has worked in American Politics. Having served three Presidents, and working with numerous Senators and Congressmen on Contentious public policy issues, has given Bob an insider’s perspective on current events. He gives his opinions freely, and often wrapped in humor.  His pages are not for the timid or shy. As with his clients (I’ve fired many, he is quick to say) you get his opinion direct, and without question about where he stands. Welcome to his page, and don’t be shy, tell us what you really feel, only do it with respect!