Verizon Wireless is one of the nation’s most popular wireless providers, serving 42 million customers. But did you know the company is also one of the most anti-union?
A federal Administrative Law Judge recently found that Verizon Wireless illegally disciplined a pro-union worker and interfered with employees’ rights to form or support a union. And Verizon Wireless workers say the company used “scare tactics” and intimidation to prevent employees from joining unions.
Tell Verizon Wireless to Stop Interfering With Employees Who Want To Form Unions
How far has Verizon Wireless gone to kill any effort by its workers to have a union to improve their workplace?
* The company has prohibited workers from talking about the union on their own time.
* Verizon Wireless forced its employees to do its dirty work—a federal investigation revealed a company rule requiring employees to report all union activity at their worksite, as part of the company’s national “Emergency Procedures.”
* And in an action reminiscent of Wal-Mart’s closure of a Quebec store when its employees formed a union, Verizon Wireless shut down a call center after its employees moved closer to getting their union!
Whether you’re a customer of Verizon Wireless or not—you know this behavior is shameful and the company needs to be called out for it. Please tell the company it can do better.
Begin Training Here:
at 4/11/2007 Posted by Andy Rand
The inevitable result of lazier faire economics!
BBC News Link:
Ashok says he has been weaving since he was nine. He sits working for 12 hours every day, seven days a week. He gets just one day off each month.
He is a bonded labourer, what is also known as a debt slave.
When Ashok's mother died, his father left home. The boy was abandoned with his grandmother. Desperate for money she took £12 ($25) from a loom owner and, in return, sold the boy's freedom.
Ashok is now bonded, forced to do this one job. He is not free to leave unless the debt is repaid. And he is paid just 15p (30 US cents) a day, so there is little hope he will ever do that.
Traded like a commodity
Ashok's boss, Muthu Pereumal, can sell the boy to another employer, trade him like a commodity.
at 4/11/2007 Posted by Andy Rand
Pamela Matson, a 1971 graduate of Hudson High School and current Dean of Earth Sciences at Stanford University, took part in an amicus curiae brief supporting the plaintiff in historic U.S. Supreme Court decision on carbon dioxide emissions and climate change.
In the case, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, et al. v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, several states sued the EPA for failure to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from motor vehicles as required by the Clean Air Act.
On April 3, the US Supreme Court decided in favor of Massachusetts, et al.
"This ruling is a victory for climate science," said UA ecologist Scott Saleska, the scientist who organized the scientists' collaboration on the brief. "EPA ignored what is perhaps the most important finding in climate science in the last decade, which is that the rise of global temperature and the anthropogenic increase in atmospheric CO2 are causally linked.
"The opening paragraph of the Court majority opinion cited that specific scientific finding."
Democrats weigh in on Bush Administration’s decision to end what most called a monumentally successful program that helped Wisconsin’s senior citizens.
Burnett County Sentinel Editor
MADISON-Senior Citizens across Wisconsin have been waiting to hear the fate of SeniorCare, "a monumentally successful program in Wisconsin that provides roughly 103,000 low-income seniors with better drug coverage at a lower cost than the federal government's prescription drug program, "Medicare Part D," as Sen. Herb Kohl of Wisconsin called it.
But the news was all bad last Wednesday as Wisconsin seniors found out when the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) decided to terminate SeniorCare. Immediately a cry went out from politicians across the state attacking the President George Bush administration for failing senior citizens.
"This decision, made hastily only days after the Special Committee on Aging held a hearing to urge the preservation of SeniorCare, will bring the program to an end on June 30, 2007," said Sen. Kohl.
He added, "This is a short-sighted decision by the Administration to kill a successful program that saves money and simplifies healthcare for seniors.
"During our Aging Committee hearing last week we provided plenty of evidence that SeniorCare offers superior prescription drug coverage to that of Medicare Part D, costs taxpayers less, and seniors in Wisconsin widely prefer to keep it," said Kohl.
Read more@ Burnett County Sentinel.
"The only group to speak against public financing of campaigns and greater disclosure of spending by outside groups was the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce."
by Karen Lincoln Michel
MADISON — Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson testified Tuesday that judges must appear "impartial and nonpartisan" during their election campaigns, and said she supports public financing of state Supreme Court races.
Abrahamson told a state Senate panel on campaign finance reform that she was speaking for herself and not the high court when she said public financing would allow candidates to avoid problems inherent in raising money in judicial campaigns.
"We should try to ensure that campaign financing does not undermine the public trust and confidence in our judiciary and system of government," said Abrahamson. "In our country, judges must decide cases fairly, impartially, and according to the facts and the law."
Read more@ Green Bay Press Gazette.
By Lavelle E. Neal III and Mike Kaszuba, Star Tribune
Last update: March 21, 2007 – 8:20 AM
"Twins officials said Tuesday that the team is ready to move forward with the new stadium in Minneapolis because it appears Hennepin County will be able to execute condemnation plans to acquire the ballpark site."
"Land Partners II, a limited liability partnership, owns the land on which the stadium is to be built, and Texas-based Hines Interests has an option on the property."
"Under condemnation proceedings, a government entity can take land for a public purpose provided it pays fair-market value."
"If the condemnation process plays out, Bell said the price would be set by a three-person court panel. The decision can be appealed, but he said it would not delay plans further."
"Bell would not say whether the Twins would make up the difference in what the county has offered to buy the land -- $13.35 million -- and the final price that would be determined through condemnation. "I'm not going to discuss that," he said."
So where is the public purpose?
Last I heard the Twins are a private entity. They will own the Ball Park. But taxpayers are buying it for a billionaire. (Carl Pohlad)
The land owners don't want to sell, but will be forced to.
If there ever was an abuse of government power this qualifies. Robberhood. Steal from the rich
and give to the richer!
at 4/10/2007 Posted by Andy Rand
Presidential candidates offer few specifics so far on K-12 policy proposals.
By Alyson Klein
Republican education policy advisers and advocates are divided over where Congress and the next presidential administration should take federal K-12 policy: Some applaud the 5-year-old No Child Left Behind Act for holding states accountable for student achievement, while others are put off by the major expansion of the federal role in education.
Read more @ Education Week.
With last week's elections involving nine out of 21 referendums that didn't pass it seems to be good timing that Governor Jim Doyle has proposed to give schools a break. Its through Doyle's Rural Schools Initiative in which he plans to address declining enrollment numbers as well as lift low revenue districts.
Thorp High School Principal Jim Montgomery says if any of the proposals pass they would play a huge part in school districts. The proposal calls for an additional $600 more per student for each school over two years and Montgomery says that is big money for any district.
“Its not just $600. Its $600 for each student and our districts roughly 600 students and $600 per student so you're looking at about $360,000 which is quite a bit of money,” said Montgomery.
Right now, Montgomery says there is about $8,500 in revenue per student. With the increase it'll be nearly $9,100--dollars that will help schools dealing with declining enrollment numbers. That is another proposal Doyle hopes to tackle through the proposal “If you have a decline we're going to not count that decline. We are going to let you use your complete total enrollment from the year before,” said Carla Vigue a Doyle spokesperson.
Those enrollment numbers are actually the three year average prior to the current school year. Through the state revenue system, the state uses enrollment numbers to determine the amount of aid each district receives. Other parts of the proposal include increasing funding for special education and transportation for rural schools. Vigue says technically these changes would have an impact on all schools not just rural schools.
Story source: WEAU TV.
By BRUCE SPEIGHT
Each April, Wisconsinites have an opportunity to reflect about taxes. Some use the occasion to decry bureaucrats in Madison. Others object that public structures like schools, roads and health inspections need more public funds than they receive. Whatever the perspective, tax day tends to elicit frustration and finger-pointing.
But people from across the political spectrum can agree on some common principles: Taxes and public spending should be transparent and accountable and should provide a level playing field for business. To further these basic principles, we can start with three common-sense reforms that are already under way in other states.
Read more @ Journal Sentinel Online.
A recent study on the impact of software on test scores fails to capture the profound impact technology is having on education .
by Ron Kind
In our increasingly global marketplace, how to effectively prepare our kids to compete in a 21st-century economy is the crucial question facing education in America.
The tools we use to do this are currently at the center of debate. The U.S. Education Dept. recently released a study that found educational software has no measurable impact on student achievement. Judging by scores on standardized tests, there were no statistically significant differences between students who used reading and math software and those who didn't, according to the research. The finding raises the question whether this nation should only invest in tools whose effectiveness can be measured through test scores.
The answer to that question should be no. This study attempts to show the ineffectiveness of educational technology. Instead it simply reveals the Bush Administration's tunnel vision on the uses and value of it.
The benefits education technology offers students go beyond merely passing core-curricular tests. With it, students are gaining the technology skills and knowledge they will need to compete in the 21st-century economy. While ensuring that our students are proficient in reading, math, and science is critical to their academic and employment futures, their ability to use technology tools, mine the resources of the Internet, and collaborate virtually with peers around the world are skills that high-paying employers seek as well.
Read more @ Business Week.
"The standing army is only an arm of the standing government. The government itself, which is only the mode which the people have chosen to execute their will, is equally liable to be abused and perverted before the people can act through it. Witness the present Mexican war, the work of comparatively a few individuals using the standing government as their tool; for, in the outset, the people would not have consented to this measure."
Henry David Thoreau
by David Wolin
at 4/10/2007 Posted by Kitty
at 4/10/2007 Posted by Kitty
We believe the people who have their lives in order are responsible for making this country into the greatest nation in the world -- not the capitalists."
R. E. Leaf
St. Paul Pioneer Press
Letter to the Editor 04/09/07
Italia Federici, who co-founded the group with former Interior Secretary Gale Norton and conservative GOP activist Grover Norquist, was told by the Justice Department she faces up to five charges in the influence-peddling scandal that has produced convictions against one lawmaker, two senior Bush administration officials and several congressional aides.
at 4/09/2007 Posted by Andy Rand
When asked, in terms of government types, which "ism" or "ocracy" does he prefer, Cato wrote: "No 'ism' and no 'ocracy'. I advocate a Republic, which is what the Constitution initially created (it no longer exists), where there is no dominant factor (there is a democratic factor, yes, but it is offset by 'aristocratic', meritocratic, 'monarchic' factors and the like.) It is rule by law not by men (democracy)."
His comment reminded me of the following article I ran across in a copy of the American Enterprise magazine in the library at WITC in New Richmond. This magazine is published by the American Enterprise Institute. The American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research (AEI) is an extremely influential, pro-business right-wing think tank founded in 1943 by Lewis H. Brown. It promotes the advancement of free enterprise capitalism, and succeeds in placing its people in influential governmental positions. It is the center base for many neoconservatives.
I believe the article give useful insight into Cato's perspective. The article, by Christopher DeMuth, is titled "Unlimited Government." DeMuth provides his view of how our government has shifted away from small government and evolved into the expanding big government model we see today.
It was typical summertime in Washington last July—temperature in the 90s, humidity in the 80s—yet the living was anything but easy. President Bush announced on prime-time television his nomination of Judge John Roberts to the Supreme Court, and Congress and the entire capital city sprang briskly into action. The next morning, senators appeared before throngs of reporters to pronounce on the nominee’s qualifications, pundits and interest-group spokespeople hit the TV studios with their spins and admonitions, and lobbyists buzzed about the implications for their favorite legislative causes. By dinnertime the first responders had laid down the parameters for the confirmation battle to come, and the nation had begun to take the measure of the young jurist.
Thus began another national debate over the contemporary meaning of our Constitution—conducted over the airwaves and Internet and in the op-ed pages, culminating in Senate hearings in September where Judge Roberts was lectured and quizzed on Supreme Court case law by senators reciting from cue cards. But in many ways it was the sheer alacrity of the initial response rather than the substance of the ensuing legal arguments that said the most about current Constitutional practice. For the highly orchestrated announcement and responses took place during a season when, for much of American history and by deliberate design, Congress and the White House would have been closed for business and Washington deserted.
Thomas Jefferson played the pivotal role in choosing the site for our national capital, and selected what was essentially a malarial swamp. He had been in Paris when the Constitution was drafted, and he was not much impressed by its parchment provisions for limited government. So—anticipating the old dictum that “no man’s life, liberty, or property is safe while the legislature is in session”—Jefferson added a climatologic backstop. Long, miserable summers were to serve as a natural deterrent to the growth of our national apparatus.
A Baldwin dairy producer has been appointed to serve on Governor Jim Doyle's Global Warming Task Force. John Vrieze, owner of Baldwin and Emerald Dairies, and president of the Dairy Business Association, will serve on the panel with other key leaders to examine the challenges global warming poses for Wisconsin's economic and environmental health.
The task force will analyze solutions to global warming, based on local and national research, in order to generate a state-wide plan of action to present to the Governor that will reduce Wisconsin's contribution to global warming.
"With our vast agricultural and forestry resources, our strong research institutions, and our strong manufacturing base, I want the Midwest to become the Saudi Arabia of renewable energy-with Wisconsin at the forefront," Governor Doyle said.
DBA Director Laurie Fischer says it is important to the state's dairy industry to have a seat at the table on the task force because of the impact the group's decisions could have on area farmers.
Source: Wisconsin Ag Connection .
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Think of "no" as a conversation starter. The discussion's over in New Richmond, near the Twin Cities, where voters agreed to borrow $93 million for new schools. Same in Mukwonago, where voters let the school district overrun its revenue caps by around $9 million: The deals closed. In Brookfield and Elm Grove, it's negotiation time. Jon Wolff, a leading critic of borrowing $108 million for one heck of a renovation on two high schools, said he was called by district leaders Wednesday morning. They're asking for help in finding a more palatable plan.
Read more @ Journal Sentinel Online.
“President Bush is supporting Arnold but a lot of Republicans are not, because he is actually quite liberal. Karl Rove said if his father wasn't a Nazi, he wouldn't have any credibility with conservatives at all.”
at 4/09/2007 Posted by EastWing
Ron Kind co-chairs the bipartisan group working for sportsmen and 2nd Amendment rights
The trophy for the largest bipartisan caucus with members from both chambers goes to the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus, which has 287 members -- 229 in the House, 58 in the Senate. The caucus has four co-chairs: Republicans Paul Ryan (Wis.) and Steve Pearce (N.M.), and Democrats Ron Kind (Wis.) and Dan Boren (Okla.).
The caucus works on behalf of hunters, advocating for access to hunting sites, concerns related to the Second Amendment, and measures to support wildlife. It has a brother in the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus Foundation, which has sponsored events to bring together hunting advocates on and off Capitol Hill and is financially supported by hunting-related organizations and companies.
One of those annual events is the congressional "Shoot Out," a gathering in Virginia in which Republicans and Democrats compete at blasting clay pigeons. In 2006, Republicans won with the closest score in the event's 12-year history. Rep. Robin Hayes (R-N.C.) won the "Congressional Top Gun" by hitting 63 of 75 pigeons. Caucus officials are evaluating whether the event can continue this year in the wake of new House ethics rules.
The Caucus is effective because its members check their party hat at the door and know that when they stand in support of an issue it is for the good of wildlife, natural resources, hunting and fishing.
The active leadership of the CSC includes a Democrat and Republican chair and vice chair in the House and the Senate. Having chairs and vice chairs not only distributes the workload, but allows more members to become familiar with the Caucus and how to best operate it.
Read more on the Congression Sportmen's Foundation.
"Break the shackles of the teachers unions and give parents an opportunity to pick the best schools for their children. That's where No Child Left Behind has to be strengthened."
MANCHESTER, New Hampshire – Republican Presidential candidate Tommy Thompson this week promoted school choice as the "salvation of education" during a visit to first-primary state New Hampshire.
The former Wisconsin governor and federal health and human services secretary said in an interview he would use federal block grants to encourage states to implement education voucher systems, charter schools and other forms of school choice. He would also use block grants for special education funds.
Democrats say the No Child Left Behind Law stifles creativity, forces rote, test-based learning. Thompson said, "If they're learning, what's wrong with that?"
Regarding school choice, Thompson said, "Break the shackles of the teachers unions and give parents an opportunity to pick the best schools for their children. That's where No Child Left Behind has to be strengthened."
By JOHN DISTASO
Read more @ Manchester Union Leader.
Then-GOP Presidential candidate Governor George W. Bush:
According to the Houston Chronicle:
“Bush, in Austin, criticized President Clinton’s administration for not doing enough to enunciate a goal for the Kosovo military action and indicated the bombing campaign might not be a tough enough response. ‘Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the president to explain to us what the exit strategy is,’ Bush said.”
[Houston Chronicle, 4/9/99]
at 4/08/2007 Posted by JPN
Business boosters disagree, but it's possible to get to the truth
by Jack Norman
WMC’s goals are straightforward: to reduce the size of state and local government, and thus reduce taxes. It’s an ideological position more than an economic one.
As residents scramble to complete their taxes by this year’s deadline, April 17, there are two contrasting messages coming from Wisconsin’s corporate community on the subject of taxes and economic prosperity.
One of those messages dominates political discussion. It’s easy to state, easy to understand, and easy to put on bumper stickers: Cut My Taxes.
Its chief proponent is Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC), the Madison-based big-business lobby that for years has focused its legislative agenda on plaintive appeals for a reduced tax burden.
WMC spends more money lobbying legislators than any other group in Wisconsin. It supplements its lobbying with a steady supply of press releases, op-ed offerings and campaign support for anti-tax politicians.
The power of this message can be seen in WMC’s push against the 2006 reelection of state Sen. Bob Jauch (D-Poplar) in northwestern Wisconsin. Large, pinkish billboards appeared in northern forests, declaring in stark letters: “Sen. Bob Jauch: Higher Taxes! Fewer Jobs!” (P.S. Jauch won.)
The alternative view is rarely heard inside the state. Its key proponent is Forward Wisconsin, a public-private group that woos out-of-state businesses to locate here.
Read more @ The Isthmus.
WASHINGTON - In putting together the House's war spending bill, Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey gave false information to fellow Democrats, yelled at anti-war protesters and slammed The Washington Post.
''I didn't come here to win any charm-school award,'' the cantankerous Wisconsin Democrat said in an interview.
His social skills aside, analysts and lawmakers credit Obey for pushing the $124 billion spending bill through the House last month on a 218-212 vote. House and Senate negotiators will craft a final bill, which faces a near-certain White House veto.
''David Obey is a very, very bright guy with a very, very short fuse,'' said Rutgers University political science professor Ross Baker. ''Given the factionalism within the Democratic caucus in the House, I think he handled it very skillfully. He has a reputation for not suffering fools lightly, and he had to suffer a number of fools.''
Read more @ GM Today.
By MITCH MAERSCH - GM Today Staff
Tuesday’s election, with some of the most gargantuan referenda in state history on the ballot, caught the eye of the West Bend School District.
The district is developing what will be on its November referendum, which could be in the $100 million range.
Of Tuesday’s three biggies - New Richmond’s $92.85 million, Franklin’s $76.99 million and Elmbrook’s $108.8 million - two failed.
Only little New Richmond, a district with fewer than 2,700 students - passed its monster with 2,370 yes votes to 1,818 no (57 to 43 percent).
Read more @ GM Today.