The lessons of Madison

Over the past few decades, a familiar mantra of those trying to expand government via the avenue of new programs and bureaucracies was the catchphrase, “it’s for the children.” Wisconsin unions may use that claim as well, but many little darlings and their parents were adversely affected by the labor strife in Madison when area school districts closed because teachers called in “sick.” Teachers played the role even to the point of receiving phony doctor’s excuses for stress-induced illnesses onsite.

But before we embark on a discussion of the lessons being taught by these Wisconsin events we need to review our own annals.

(continued at The Patriot Post…)

Madison: the shape of things to come

I’ve written for┬áThe┬áPatriot Post for a number of years, but they invited me recently to contribute to their commentary page.

Last May we saw violent political riots in Greece and last week a February of discontent began in Madison, Wisconsin. While the issues at the heart of the Wisconsin protest aren’t exactly identical to the austerity measures dictated to the Greek government as a condition of accepting a continent-wide financial bailout, they’re still all about spending money the government doesn’t have.

The Madison protest arose from a GOP bill which would both curtail the negotiable items in labor contracts and bring to heel the ability of public sector unions to continually collect dues by removing “closed shop” provisions for certain employees and mandating annual authorization elections — those provisions strike (no pun intended) at the heart of the Big Labor political machine. To stall the inevitable passage Democrats in the Wisconsin Senate took advantage of a rules loophole and left the state, leaving their Republican counterparts fuming but powerless to take action on the law. Considering these Democrats have been offered sanctuary by religious leaders in adjacent states, they could be gone awhile.

(continued at the Patriot Post…)