Politics (formerly Election 2012)

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Re: Election 2012

Postby Klaudandus » Mon Oct 22, 2012 6:58 am

As for education. The Texas Education system is broken as you guys have no idea.

The state is cutting funds to Education in general, The TEA is held hostage by a group of right-wing people that pretty much consider science an anathema, so the curriculum is all fubar. Talking about curriculum, CSCOPE is a broken curriculum system to begin with -- we have math teachers that cry that they cannot teach math if their ceiling mounted projector, in part because that's what CSCOPE tells them to use to teach the class.

Every time I hear a teacher complain they cannot teach something because their laptop is broken or because their ceiling projector is broken I have to repress the urge to kill the on the spot.

My mother taught math for 40 years without using a projector. Heck, my mom taught trigonometry using the trigonometric tables, at middle school level, through the time she was a middle school teacher. Oh yeah, you could not use calculators in her class until the last two months or so of the school year, after you knew how to do all the operations by hand.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Klaudandus » Mon Oct 22, 2012 7:00 am

Have you thought that maybe union people actually volunteered willingly to help the Obama campaign? I would if I could...
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Fridmarr » Mon Oct 22, 2012 7:38 am

Klaudandus wrote:Have you thought that maybe union people actually volunteered willingly to help the Obama campaign? I would if I could...

Of course and I'm willing to bet that most people who volunteer actually want to, but that doesn't mean its not incentivized either. Did it ever occur to you that these employees might want to know who their CEO feels is in the best interest of the company that pays them? I know that I'd like to know that, not that it would change my vote at all, but I'd be interested in knowing.

I think it's a bit unethical either way, but how about at least a little bit of objectivity and fairness in this thread. If you're going to complain about a tactic at least complain a little bit about the group that uses it, by far, more effectively.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Klaudandus » Mon Oct 22, 2012 7:48 am

And I get your point.

But from what I've been involved in the union, I've never seen the union threat its members regarding whom they're supposed to vote for, and these CEOs kind of are (well, the guy at the timeshares resorts did pretty much threat them -- you know, the whole, I'll fire you all and I'll just retire to the Bahamas)
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Fridmarr » Mon Oct 22, 2012 8:06 am

Meh that's just parsing words. Technically he didn't threaten them or tell them who they "have" to vote for and he shouldn't be able to find out that information anyhow.

One could argue that he did nothing different than "endorsing" a candidate. He certainly didn't take money from his employees to contribute to a campaign. I have seen first hand though where unions have told their members who it was in their best interest to vote for which seems pretty equivalent to what these dudes are doing.

I probably don't disagree with you about curiculum stuff (not that I know the specifics of that plan, but I'll take your word for it), but that's one of the prices you pay when you choose to let government control something.  If the government makes a poor choice, you're stuck with it.  That's one of the attractions of charter/privates schools, but of course that system needs to be implemented properly (oversight) or it suffers some of the same problems too.

My daughter's school is always crying for more money, yet every freaking classroom is equipped with state of the art computers, a digital whiteboard, and projector systems that make even fortune 500 meeting rooms jealous.  My daughter's school doesn't have a single chalk board...that's just weird to me.  Granted all of that equipment could have all been donated, schools are frequently dealing with "pots" of money, it's not a good system overall and can make things seem a bit misleading.  That said, I have no complaints about the quality of the education she is receiving at her public school.


alright...back to work for me...
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Brekkie » Mon Oct 22, 2012 8:23 am

To me, the difference is this:

Unions are by and large a group of peers. They are a bunch of workers. While no doubt there's a good bit of echo-chamber group-think when it comes to politics (which naturally happens everywhere that you get a tight-knit group of fairly homogenous people), there's really no way dissent can be punished.

Say a union member says "no, I'm not volunteering for that campaign, and no I'm not going to vote for him/her", what is the union going to do?
-They can't expel people from the union in backlash, like an employer could conduct massive layoffs.
-They can't get pay or benefits cut, because that affects everyone in the union, whereas an employer could cut pay or benefits in backlash and justify it through hand-wavey "operating costs due to the results of the election", and it wouldn't affect the employer.

It's even hard to complain about unions contributing funds to campaigns, when CEOs contribute VASTLY larger sums of COMPANY MONEY in campaign contributions and lobbying.

Ultimately, both systems are vaguely unethical, and it can only be to the detriment of our democracy to start some kind of arms race in that regard, justifying each new escalation with "well, the other side is doing it".
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Shoju » Mon Oct 22, 2012 8:34 am

There was a similar situation (though not quite the same) that happened in Ohio.

Ohio Miners forced to attend Romney Rally unpaid

CEO of Mining Company wrote:"Our managers communicated to our workforce that the attendance at the Romney event was mandatory, but no one was forced to attend,"


And on the whole "Money Spent in the Military" discussion that happened a few pages ago, I can tell you stories that would make you facepalm for eternity about how terrible the spending is allocated.

I will just say, that if the Military only bought and paid for an item once, we could more than likely reduce spending by a more than negligible amount. Part of what my company does is purchasing military surplus, from the government at auction. More often than you would ever believe, this surplus ends up back int he governments hand. So they bought it. Took a loss when they sold it to me, and then bought it back from someone else that I sold it to. It's mind numbingly stupid.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Malthrax » Mon Oct 22, 2012 8:39 am

Shoju wrote:I will just say, that if the Military only bought and paid for an item once, we could more than likely reduce spending by a more than negligible amount. Part of what my company does is purchasing military surplus, from the government at auction. More often than you would ever believe, this surplus ends up back int he governments hand. So they bought it. Took a loss when they sold it to me, and then bought it back from someone else that I sold it to. It's mind numbingly stupid.


And we want to cede control over health care to this same group of yahoos. :lol:
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Shoju » Mon Oct 22, 2012 8:44 am

Malthrax wrote:
Shoju wrote:I will just say, that if the Military only bought and paid for an item once, we could more than likely reduce spending by a more than negligible amount. Part of what my company does is purchasing military surplus, from the government at auction. More often than you would ever believe, this surplus ends up back int he governments hand. So they bought it. Took a loss when they sold it to me, and then bought it back from someone else that I sold it to. It's mind numbingly stupid.


And we want to cede control over health care to this same group of yahoos. :lol:


Better than leaving it to the vultures IMO.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Klaudandus » Mon Oct 22, 2012 8:44 am

I had told Shoju before, no one has ever accused a bureaucrat of being competent...

Doesn't mean it cannot be done.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Fridmarr » Mon Oct 22, 2012 8:56 am

That's not correct Brekkie. Various trade unions (longshoreman being among the more notorious) often work as a mandatory third party contractor, and often times work comes in to the union hall and they dole it out. They can have every bit as much influence as a boss, and technically the workers have a direct relationship only with the union not the vendors. Other unions have ranks and certification levels that they control, they can absolutely blackball someone or kick them out of the union. Typically that's reserved for bad workers, but it is a power at their disposal. There's also a balance issue, unless there is a declared state of emergency in WA, all gov't work must go through a union shop if one exists for that trade, so if you've been kicked out...have fun finding work.

That's not how it works everywhere, but then we aren't talking about more than a handful of bosses here either.

I think the complaint about money is more than fair. A corporation donating money is donating their profits. They earned it and it's theirs to do with what they want. Unions in non right to work states force employees to pay dues whether the employee joins the union or not. That money is confiscated and used for whatever the union wants, even though the employees don't want to join. It is often a laborious exercise just to opt out of joining (denying access argument anyone?) and folks have been continually harrassed when they do. Then there was the whole "card check" legislation attempt. In any event, considering that as merely a group of peers, is a bit misleading.

I remember when the state employees here unionized many didn't want to join, but they were compelled too when they found out that they would actually get raises faster than their "at will" brethern. There is plenty of undo influence potential there.


EDIT: Also interesting reading on that spending... it's not so cut and dry between unions and corporations and on top of that corporate money is much more equally spread across parties. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142 ... 50026.html
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Re: Election 2012

Postby aureon » Mon Oct 22, 2012 9:16 am

The main thing is: et tu quoque is a logical fallacy.
"Dems do it too" \ "Reps do it too" are not valid arguments.
Also, boasting 400k volunteers from 11M is not really that bad, if you take the usual 50% nonvoters 25% left 25% right split. It's about one dem in 10 deciding to do that. In addition, was probably statistical noise. Not to mention that Unions are democratic environments, with elected officials (at least they are in Europe?), while companies are not. Elected official endorsing is different from authoritarian endorsing.

dems do not have absolute high ground, but have some moral high ground.

The absurd thing there, is that unions should not endorse Obama (since he's not pro-labor, but neutral at best), and companies should not endorse Romney (since he's not pro-business, but pro-bosses)
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Fridmarr » Mon Oct 22, 2012 9:25 am

My comments have been quite clear. I'm not claiming the republicans are less guilty, but we had post after post railing against this practice by the republicans, and I'm just pointing out that that is a terribly unfair argument because the democrats have a very long and rich history of doing this too. My posts are an attempt to stop the hypocrisy, that is all.

Also, Dems have zero moral high ground On this issue, zero.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby aureon » Mon Oct 22, 2012 9:49 am

Fridmarr wrote:My comments have been quite clear. I'm not claiming the republicans are less guilty, but we had post after post railing against this practice by the republicans, and I'm just pointing out that that is a terribly unfair argument because the democrats have a very long and rich history of doing this too. My posts are an attempt to stop the hypocrisy, that is all.

Also, Dems have zero moral high ground On this issue, zero.

You're more than right to point this out, because context is everything: But the two things shouldn't be equalized.
This is not a general trend of Republicans being criticized, but the single action of the single bosses somehow claiming that Obama is in any way or shape a problem for their business. If this is the case, and their definition of "problem" is not "Those pesky environmental laws, it's not like we're the most polluting nation in the world! (No, but excluding ridiculously small states, per head you are)" (And i doubt software companies have problems with that) they're making false claims for political gain.
In ignorance or not, that's hardly criticism-proof.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Fridmarr » Mon Oct 22, 2012 9:59 am

Well you'll get no argument from me that their claim is probably full of shit but again that's true on both sides.
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