July 1, 2011

Curbing Unions Grows Services

When the Governor of Wisconsin signed legislation that eliminated collective bargaining for certain classes of public employees, you'd think that the State had just ground their children into hamburger and consigned the rest of them to concentration camps. Now, there is a different story finally coming to light.
From the Wisconsin Examiner:

The Kaukauna School District, in the Fox River Valley of Wisconsin near Appleton, has about 4,200 students and about 400 employees. It has struggled in recent times and this year faced a deficit of $400,000. But after the law went into effect, at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, school officials put in place new policies they estimate will turn that $400,000 deficit into a $1.5 million surplus. And it's all because of the very provisions that union leaders predicted would be disastrous.

In the past, teachers and other staff at Kaukauna were required to pay 10 percent of the cost of their health insurance coverage and none of their pension costs. Now, they'll pay 12.6 percent of the cost of their coverage (still well below rates in much of the private sector) and also contribute 5.8 percent of salary to their pensions. The changes will save the school board an estimated $1.2 million this year, according to board President Todd Arnoldussen.

There are also other benefits to this action...

Then there are work rules. "In the collective bargaining agreement, high school teachers only had to teach five periods a day, out of seven," says Arnoldussen. "Now, they're going to teach six." In addition, the collective bargaining agreement specified that teachers had to be in the school 37 1/2 hours a week. Now, it will be 40 hours.

The changes mean Kaukauna can reduce the size of its classes -- from 31 students to 26 students in high school and from 26 students to 23 students in elementary school. In addition, there will be more teacher time for one-on-one sessions with troubled students. Those changes would not have been possible without the much-maligned changes in collective bargaining.

Teachers' salaries will stay "relatively the same," Arnoldussen says, except for higher pension and health care payments. (The top salary is around $80,000 per year, with about $35,000 in additional benefits, for 184 days of work per year -- summers off.) Finally, the money saved will be used to hire a few more teachers and institute merit pay

June 29, 2011

John Lennon: I'll Take The Money

Some new revelations are coming out about John Lennon's personal views on life. They are not what we would expect. From BigHollywood:
When it was pointed out that a Beatles reunion could possibly raise $200 million for a poverty-stricken country in South America, Lennon had no time for it. “You know, America has poured billions into places like that. It doesn’t mean a damn thing. After they’ve eaten that meal, then what? It lasts for only a day. After the $200,000,000 is gone, then what? It goes round and round in circles.”

[..]“You can pour money in forever. After Peru, then Harlem, then Britain. There is no one concert. We would have to dedicate the rest of our lives to one world concert tour, and I’m not ready for it.”
Even back in the sixties Lennon knew about Black Holes, at least the economic kind. But what is really telling were his views on wealth shortly before his death. He sounds more like Trump than Gandhi.

I worked for money and I wanted to be rich. So what the hell—if that’s a paradox, then I’m a socialist. But I am not anything. What I used to be is guilty about money. … Because I thought money was equated with sin. I don’t know. I think I got over it, because I either have to put up or shut up, you know. If I’m going to be a monk with nothing, do it. Otherwise, if I am going to try and make money, make it.

Money itself isn’t the root of all evil.
Look for millions of aging hippies to be standing in lines outside the door to their shrinks offices with their heads exploding.

Imagine no possessions? mheh

June 28, 2011

A Double-Ought Blizzard

I can't wait for this to show up in the hands of narco-terrorists.
If you think AK-47's are bad, watch.

Camp town ladies sing this song
Deer Slug, Deer Slug...

h/t to Charlie

June 26, 2011

A Little Graduation Present

Jessica's parents told her that her USMC brother would not return from Afghanistan in time to make it to her graduation at Cal Poly.

They lied.
Better have a hanky ready.