They’ve Got To Be Carefully Taught

The editors of the San Francisco Chronicle take note of a video posted on the site of the web site of the California Federation of Teachers:

The upshot of the video is that greedy rich people should be blamed for everything because their love of money trumps any concern for the rest of us. Apparently the federation thought its mallet-to-the-head tone throughout was too subtle some folks – so it included a scene of a fat cat urinating on working people.

Hypocrisy, anyone? It accused the rich of buying elections: “They spent so much money on politics, they elected people who like what they liked” – translated as tax cuts for them and less spending on schools and roads. Never mind that teacher unions are far and away the biggest contributor to California campaigns and that their return on investment in 2012 included defeat of a measure (SB1530) to streamline the process for firing teachers in cases involving sex, drugs or violence against students.

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/opinion/editorials/article/Crass-warfare-by-teachers-organization-4095004.php#ixzz2EHcXPfmw

File this under the Department of the Pot Calling the Kettle Black.

22 comments… add one

  • jan

    This CA Federation of Teacher’s cartoon-video is the epitome of crap being put out by the left. It’s complete audacity and string of political exaggerations lies somewhere between pathetic and dangerous, as it incites nothing but disingenuous class warfare emotions — a political gimmick created to provoke the populace to call their representatives, demanding that the rich get their just desserts of tax hikes.

    A similar ploy was deployed during the presidential campaign in the ‘Life of Julia’ cartoon, meant to appeal to the dependent women voters (Obama’s War on Women piecemeal strategy), reminding them how much they needed government help … so vote for Obama.

    It’s become nothing but naked propaganda from the social progressives. Ironically, in this latest stick-it-to-the-rich release they depict the rich as ‘fat cats,’ while it is oftentimes the poor who comprise the obese segment of society. They talk about all the money the rich have to ‘buy’ their elections, while it was Obama who had more money at his disposal for a massive negative ad campaign against his opponent — some of which was said to be from obscured overseas donors like China. This cartoon also asserts that all the media has been bought up by the rich in order to mesmerize consumers to their way of thinking. This is so far from reality, that it’s laughable, being that most major media outlets, news stations such as ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC, CNN etc., and magazine/newspapers, are under the firm ideological grasp of the left. Just look who was invited to the WH for a personal and non-transparent media meeting with the prez the other day. Only the much maligned Fox network (who wasn’t invited) and radio have streams of conservative dialogues and diligent investigative reporting about such murky, potentially Obama-damaging occurrences as Benghazi — a story that has been either sidestepped or dismissed by the MSM-owned democratic media.

    As a side-note: cartoon renderings, like the one highlighted here to besmirch the rich, are frequently the same tool used by Communist regimes to hyperventilate and enlarge their opponents’ persona, character, beliefs and actions —> Soviet propaganda against USA posters. Like-minded people oftentimes are attracted to the same tactics.

  • I’m sorry, but one of the main reasons California is in such a mess is precisely because of the greedy of these teachers.

    F*ck them. I have absolutely no sympathy for them, they disgust me.

  • jan

    Steve Verdon’s comments —–> I totally agree, especially with the language used.

  • jan

    Just to follow up with how the MSM is owned more by the left than the right: here is an analysis of how they depict taxing the rich versus spending cuts, brought to you by the Media Research Center — a more right of center organization.

    ABC World News with Diane Sawyer continues to tout the Obama Administration’s spin that tax hikes on the wealthy are the only solution to the looming “fiscal cliff” catastrophe.

    According to an analysis from the Media Research Center’s Business and Media Institute, in the three weeks following President Obama’s re-election, World News devoted more than 10 minutes 18 seconds to talk of tax hikes and just 35 seconds to spending cuts (a 17-1 margin).

    NBC Nightly News discussed taxes more than twice as often as spending (4 minutes 23 seconds to 1 minute 47 seconds.), while CBS Evening News gave tax hikes only three more minutes of coverage (14 minutes 5 seconds to 10 minutes 12 seconds).

    However, more than a third of CBS’s spending cut coverage total comes from one story detailing the horrific downside of spending cuts.

    But ABC was by far the worst offender, refusing to even entertain spending cuts as a viable solution to the Obama Administration’s crushing budget deficits.

    This, frankly is how most of the news is presented to the people — from a very limited and politically molded perspective.

  • michael reynolds

    Yeah, that’s why the world is screwed up: teachers.

    The video is simplistic, and yet not simplistic enough to express the brainwashed simplicity of Jan and Verdon.

    Teachers! They did it! Get em!

  • michael reynolds

    This Gurkha-Pinkerton-House Negro instinct is fascinating to me. Jan and Steve V are attacking middle class people — like themselves. Why? To save me and people like me money.

    You are attacking middle class people who teach your children math — not in order to benefit yourselves — but to make me richer.

    WTF is going on inside your brains? Make Reynolds richer, kill a teacher! Jesus people.

    And the fact that I’m not asking you to do that, and that a whole lot of higher income people are also not asking you to make us richer, but you just insist on trashing working people? It’s beyond politics into some kind of mental problem.

  • Just to be clear the full extent of my bemusement over the video is what I wrote in the post: it’s ironic for a teachers’ union to complain about large donations as corrupting when they’re among the largest contributors to and influencers of political campaigns.

  • Michael,

    Pull your head out of your fourth point of contact. I didn’t say anything of the sort. But if you actually look into the budget problems here in California then it becomes fairly obvious that one of the biggest factors are public employee pensions.

    In other words, don’t blame me for your own ignorance.

    LA Times Article

    SACRAMENTO — Even by the most ambitious forecasts, the plan Gov. Jerry Brown and fellow Democrats are championing to contain government worker pensions in California could leave state taxpayers awash in debt to public employees.

    The governor’s plan, announced Tuesday, is unlikely to save cities on the brink of bankruptcy. The relief his proposal would provide to the strained state budget is modest.

    This Gurkha-Pinkerton-House Negro instinct is fascinating to me. Jan and Steve V are attacking middle class people — like themselves. Why? To save me and people like me money.

    Right, you think they can pay for that just by taxing the rich? Sorry, the problems are quite severe and would need tax increases beyond what you think. And part of the problem is that it was so stupid to begin with. Defined benefits programs are not sustainable, which is why private firms don’t use them. But due to political rent seeking CA (and other states) are still hobbled with them.

    You are such an ignorant fool Michael. I’ve heard you are a good writer…stick to that.

  • jan

    Michael

    I’ve never had the ‘groupie’ disease — either for celebrities, or elevated professions like 1st responders such as military men, teachers, or nurses (supposedly the most trusted in polls recently taken). IMO, having fame or a respected job, does not automatically give people a longer leash in the behavior or actions exhibited. Teachers therefore are not sacrosanct, in my world, in deserving passes on criticism or rebukes just because of their time-honored positions. Nor, does that necessarily anoint you as the human ashtray, called forth to collect the disgruntled calls for more taxes, simply because you are a successful and rich writer.

    Basically, I hate this class warfare that is being propagated by you and your ilk, and am not going to fall into the enticement vat being stirred of coveting what you don’t have and taking it from others because the political climate is ripe to do so. When a job is especially well done, that is when I become effusive and will go the extra 9 yards to back that person up. Two people that come to mind were a former trash man and mailman. Both were long-term on our route, and both took their jobs seriously and graciously. I’ve taken flowers to one in the ER, and we’ve gone to bat over another’s job status.

    So, if a teacher excels in their profession, moving their students to higher levels of achievement, then I will applaud them and support them and their efforts. Throughout our son’s K-12 schooling I volunteered in classrooms, donated tons of books, orchestrated book fairs and readathons, financed science murals and climbing walls — for the benefit of students and the efforts of good teachers. However, we have lots of bad teachers along with good ones. And, to put them into some kind of untouchable category, does nothing to improve or advance our educational system.

    For instance, in Louisiana, Gov. Jindal formed an alliance with fellow dems to push a school reform bill consisting of school choice and vouchers. It was instantly challenged by the teacher’s union in court, and they won. Mind you, it was not the students who benefited, because they lost a chance at a better, upgraded education. It was the teacher’s union who have a stranglehold over reforming what has become a terrible educational system in the US. So, don’t act like the teachers have nothing to answer for, because they do. It’s the same for the medical profession when you have physicians without ethics or compassion, or the nurse who has the bedside manner of an uncaring robot.

  • michael reynolds

    Steve:

    I’m well aware of the pension issues here in CA having just walked into a voting booth and cut my own throat with something called Prop 30.

    But this state and this country are not in trouble because of teachers, or at least not teachers alone. It wasn’t teachers handing out 300,000 dollar mortgages to farm workers in Bakersfield making 20,000 a year. It wasn’t school librarians relabeling bundles of toxic loans as Grade A Prime Beef. The administrators aren’t pushing down the wages for retail workers and restaurant workers so that people working 40 hours a week are still poor.

    There is a lot of blame to go around. Let’s not forget Howard Jarvis and Prop 13 that allowed people to buy homes without paying the taxes necessary to support their community. And the brilliant citizens of this state who decided it would be a great idea to lock up shoplifters for 50 years of their lives.

    I notice that while cops and firemen often have very similar issues with salary and pensions, we never talk about them. Why? Because they aren’t Democratic voters. Teachers are targeted as scapegoats not just because they’ve got sweet deals but because they’re Democrats. A lot of people have had their snouts in the trough here and a lot of them are very rich people. You want to think about how much more affordable housing might be if rich folks in Malibu and La Jolla and Tiburon didn’t use zoning laws to slam the door in the faces of working people? You think there might be fewer broke-ass, desperate people if the rich in this state took a lower profit margin and paid a living wage, or (god forbid!) let a working class person live within 5 miles of them?

    I do not believe teachers are overpaid. Are their retirement deals too sweet? Yes. Should we have not operated on the assumption that the population would just keep growing forever, pumping ever more money into the treasury? Yeah, that would have been great. But making teachers the whipping boy is bullshit. There are a whole lot of guilty people in the Golden State — people who wanted too much and people who were not willing to pay for what they took. Rich, middle class, working class and poor.

    It would be great if we had a rational state where we operated on rational assumptions. I just paid this goddamned state $45,000. And I just moved here in July of 2010, so this isn’t even my mess. I was in Illinois (fucking up Dave’s state – you’re welcome!) and North Carolina and Italy while these idiots were making this mess. I’m not happy about that, believe me, but trying to pin this cock-up on teachers smacks of scapegoating, and scapegoating with a partisan coloration.

  • michael reynolds

    Jan:

    Vouchers are utter and complete bullshit. They’re the crapola the Conservative Entertainment Complex pawns off on people like you as a cure-all. They should be sold on late night TV. They’re snake oil.

    One of my kids is now in a public school. (But of course it’s a Tamalpais School District school so it might as well be private.) Before that both my kids were in a very good private school. You know why they were good schools? Was it superior teachers? No. Emphatically no. They were better schools because they kept out the poor kids. If they had let in the poor kids they’d have been as lousy as any other school. That’s why my son’s public high school is good: it’s nothing but rich kids.

    Do you honestly think people who have their kids in expensive private schools want the rif-raff coming in with vouchers? I mean, why not just hand out vouchers to the country club while you’re at it?

    If you have a voucher system here’s what happens: the good private schools will just jack up their rates until they price out the voucher parents. Meanwhile a bunch of nitwits and religious nuts will suddenly decide they’re schoolmasters and form “schools” to vacuum up as many voucher kids as they can and maximize profits by keeping teacher salaries (and quality) low.

    Net result? Good private schools will remain exclusive (that’s their real raison d’etre) and a bunch of hucksters will turn into voucher-queens. Nothing will improve. As is ALWAYS the case when someone offers a quick and easy cure-all. The purpose of vouchers is subsidize religious nuts and destroy a Democratic voting bloc. The people pushing it don’t give a damn about education.

  • Andy

    I actually watched the video and I have to say it’s one of the dumbest, most intellectually insulting pieces of propaganda I’ve watched in a long time.

  • michael reynolds

    I thought it was pretty effective. Not Hollywood quality, but certainly more honest and intellectually challenging than the average hour of Hannity.

  • michael reynolds

    Jan:

    Look at it this way: vouchers to Stanford. Suddenly everyone can get into Stanford. Yay! Right?

    Um, no. Because Stanford isn’t Stanford unless it’s exclusive.

    So that fantasy Sidwell Friends education that will be available to one and all if only we had school vouchers? Not happening. There is not an infinite number of Sidwell Friends schools. So what you’d be getting is most likely even lousier schools than you have now. No Stanford, no Sidwell, you get Billy Bob’s Brand New Jesus On a Dinosaur School. That’s vouchers.

  • jan

    Michael,

    I don’t even know where to start…

    All I will say, though, is that your POV about almost anything seems to first pass through a cerebral filter, emotionally-colored by economic status, ethnicity, and basically ‘people groupings.’ No one seems to stand alone, with only the ‘content of their character,’ what MLK emphasized, their work ethic, or societal contributions, as to the measurement of worth or value a person may have in addressing issues of our time. It’s all about their skin color, their involvement in either the private or public sector, gender, the amount of their bank account, and most important of all, what political party they are affiliated with.

    The school reform that you rail against is not about you, me, or even protecting the sanctity of a teacher’s livelihood . It’s about elevating academic standards, creating a better and more interesting educational environment, adjusting teaching techniques to the myriad of learning patterns students have, and the knowledge gleaned applicable to help kids navigate adulthood successfully, adapting well to the rigors of this century’s challenges. Kids currently, though, are dropping out of high school like crazy. And, even the ones making it through 12th grade are under-performing in skills that should have already been acquired in their mandatory education cycle.

    Teacher unions have become obstacles to education, not facilitators. They support their members, period, whether they are good, bad or indifferent in their teaching performance. And, every time, a reform comes out, a bill offering a new way to jump-start education, the unions denounce it and try to take it down, because competition might just force public education to clean up it’s act, or else receive less funding. That’s what this whole issue is all about — money for the unions, not good education for the kids.

    I would recommend you see two movies: Waiting for Superman and Won’t Back Down, just to look at the other side of the argument, hopefully without so much pre-formed and/or political bias.

  • Because Stanford isn’t Stanford unless it’s exclusive.

    One of the reasons I’m skeptical of the entire “education is the key, etc.” trope. I think it’s rather “being in the 30% of the population that has the gifts to be in the professional class”. So, what do you do with the other 70% of the people?

    My solution is to create more jobs that the people we have can actually do. That has several aspects including stopping the currency manipulation that artificially depresses U. S. exports and increases U. S. imports which goes well beyond China and, yes, probably government jobs programs.

    Unfortunately, the education trope has been embraced by the Clinton, Bush, and Obama administrations and has the support of a powerful lobby (which gets us back to the subject matter of the post).

  • TastyBits

    @michael reynolds

    Vouchers will not work, but not for the reasons you cite. The top one or two school will be able to raise tuition, but the vast majority will not. Schools cost a lot of money to run, and private schools compete for students who can pay the tuition. Raising tuition is not an option for them, and most of the private schools will accept vouchers for the money. Actually, the tuition is only a down payment on the total costs, and vouchers will somehow need to account for these costs.

    Vouchers will benefit the middle income children more than the poor children. Unless school bus service is provided, it will be difficult for many parents to get their children to school. Additional fees, uniforms, books, supplies, lunch, etc. are usually the parents responsibility at private schools, and these will be more barriers for the poor.

    Private schools will quickly begin to have the same problems as the public schools, but you are correct about new schools being created for the voucher money.

  • steve

    I thought the video was dumb too. They could have just stuck to the numbers and made a better case. Where Michael is correct, is that police and fire unions are almost always the ones getting the most outlandish contracts, but only the teachers get singled out. That is solely because of where they donate. Their pensions are a problem, but a lot of that is politicians not funding them. Much more popular to underfund them and hand out tax cuts. Looking at CA from afar, it looks like its problems are much broader than its teachers.

    As to Dave’s point, I think there is a bit of a difference between a 100,000 member union donating a million dollars and four rich guys donating the same. It is also possible still, I believe, for the wealthy to more effectively hide their donations through PACs.

    Steve

  • steve

    “. So, what do you do with the other 70% of the people?

    My solution is to create more jobs that the people we have can actually do. ”

    Most of what they do can be done more cheaply elsewhere. The jobs need to change and/or we need to make it possible to survive on wages that are closer to those in the rest of the world.

    Steve

  • TastyBits

    @michael reynolds

    … or (god forbid!) let a working class person live within 5 miles of them?

    I am glad you noticed, but I have not seen any attempts to fix it. Rich liberals want to use the government to mandate everything except what affects them. There should be a mandatory amount of lower and middle housing required in every community. At least one or two of the houses in your neighborhood should be set aside for section 8 housing.

    … It wasn’t teachers handing out 300,000 dollar mortgages to farm workers in Bakersfield making 20,000 a year. It wasn’t school librarians relabeling bundles of toxic loans as Grade A Prime Beef. …

    I am in total agreement with you. The Wall Street scumbags and the regulators protecting them are the problem. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is a dirtbag, and he has been protecting the Wall Street scumbags and their bonuses. You may want to rail against the person who appointed him.


    … a great idea to lock up shoplifters for 50 years of their lives.

    I would also include the drug laws.

  • Most of what they do can be done more cheaply elsewhere. The jobs need to change and/or we need to make it possible to survive on wages that are closer to those in the rest of the world.

    I think you’re underestimating the role of currency manipulation. American workers remain more productive than workers in China, India, or the Philippines. They don’t have to be as poorly paid as workers in China, etc. to remain competitive because they produce more. Currency manipulation makes Chinese goods more attractive and U. S. goods less attractive.

    As to your latter point, I agree. A good portion of that is outlandishly high U. S. medical costs. Other components include zoning that forces poor people to live far from where there are jobs for them (and pushes up rents in places where they can live) and floor prices for agricultural products above the market clearing price.

    Other issues: immigration policies that disproportionately injure those with the lowest skills, regulations that reduce the number of “brown jobs” available.

  • But this state and this country are not in trouble because of teachers, or at least not teachers alone. It wasn’t teachers handing out 300,000 dollar mortgages to farm workers in Bakersfield making 20,000 a year. It wasn’t school librarians relabeling bundles of toxic loans as Grade A Prime Beef. The administrators aren’t pushing down the wages for retail workers and restaurant workers so that people working 40 hours a week are still poor.

    We had a budget problem well before the recent financial meltdown and the Great Recession. Much like we have had a huge problem with health care spending growth. Yes, the recent economic woes make these things more obvious/immediate.

    There is a lot of blame to go around. Let’s not forget Howard Jarvis and Prop 13 that allowed people to buy homes without paying the taxes necessary to support their community.

    You mean the proposition that allowed home owners to keep from selling their homes to pay their taxes? Please. The problem wasn’t prop 13, but the spending side. If spending grew at inflation + population growth we wouldn’t be posting right now.

    I notice that while cops and firemen often have very similar issues with salary and pensions, we never talk about them. Why?

    Because the OP was on teachers, but if it makes you happy it is cops, firemen, teachers and public employees in general.

    Because they aren’t Democratic voters. Teachers are targeted as scapegoats not just because they’ve got sweet deals but because they’re Democrats.

    Okay Kreskin you can STFU again.

    I do not believe teachers are overpaid. Are their retirement deals too sweet? Yes.

    Derp….then they are overpaid, duh. Really, STFU. When Dave posts about novels and writing and publishing…you might want to consider posting. Until then a good bit of advice is not too. You can turn a good insult out, but in terms of solid thinking, analysis and just plain logic…you shouldn’t venture into that part of the pool.

    I’m not happy about that, believe me, but trying to pin this cock-up on teachers smacks of scapegoating, and scapegoating with a partisan coloration.

    You are a f*cking idiot. The opening post is about teachers, I made my comment given that context, you retard. But the pension problem is due to all public employees. They are all grossly over paid when looked at from a total compensation view.

    Really, don’t be so stupid. Educate your self a bit more.

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