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> Rod Paige Blasts Teachers' Union
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MDF3530 
  Posted: 24-Feb-2004, 09:12 PM
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Today, the US Department of Education Secretary Rod Paige called the National Education Association, the largest teachers' union in the country, a "terrorist organization". Yep, when I think of terrorist organizations, I think of al Quaeda, Hamas, Black September, and the NEA in that order. Please. I'm the son of two retired teachers, so I find that offensive. Here's the article from the Associated Press:

QUOTE
Secretary of Education Calls Teachers? Union ?A Terrorist Organization?

By ROBERT TANNER
WASHINGTON (AP) - Education Secretary Rod Paige called the nation's largest teachers union a "terrorist organization" during a private White House meeting with governors on Monday.

Democratic and Republican governors confirmed Paige's remarks about the National Education Association.

"These were the words, 'The NEA is a terrorist organization,'" said Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle of Wisconsin.

"He was making a joke, probably not a very good one," said Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania. "Of course he immediately divorced the NEA from ordinary teachers, who he said he supports."

"I don't think the NEA is a terrorist organization," said Rendell, who has butted heads with the group as well. "They're not a terrorist organization any more than the National Business Organization is a terrorist organization.

Neither the Education Department nor NEA had an immediate comment on Paige's comments. Both indicated that statements were forthcoming.

Education has been a top issue for governors, who have sought more flexibility from the administration on President Bush's "No Child Left Behind" law, which seeks to improve school performance in part by allowing parents to move their children from poorly performing schools.

Democrats have said Bush has failed to fully fund the law, giving the states greater burdens but not the resources to handle them.

Missouri Gov. Bob Holden, a Democrat, said Paige's remarks startled the governors, who met for nearly two hours with Bush and several Cabinet officials.

"He is, I guess, very concerned about anybody that questions what the president is doing," Holden said.

"He was implying that the NEA has not been one of the organizations that has been working with the administration to try to solve 'No Child Left Behind,'" he said.

Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas, a Republican, said of Paige's comments: "Somebody asked him about the NEA's role and he offered his perspective on it."

Gov. Jennifer Granholm of Michigan, a Democrat, said the comments were made in the context of "we can't be supportive of the status quo and they're the status quo. But whatever the context, it is inappropriate - I know he wasn't calling teachers terrorists - but to ever suggest that the organization they belong to was a terrorist organization is uncalled for."

When Bush welcomed the governors at the State Dining Room during brief public comments, he told them that rising political tensions of an election year won't stop him from working closely with them.

"I fully understand it's going to be the year of the sharp elbow and the quick tongue," Bush said. "But surely we can shuffle that aside sometimes and focus on our people."

"We'll continue to work hard to help you. Because by helping our governors, we really help our people," he said.

Bush spent much of the first half of his opening comments on foreign policy and the war on terrorism, defending his decision to go war in Iraq and thanking the governors for their work on homeland security.

"The most important job of anyone in public office is to protect the people of our country," he said.

Bush also defended his domestic policies, telling the governors that he strongly believed in his education law and that the tax cuts he championed were helping spur the economy.

The governors are in Washington for four days of discussions at the annual meeting of the National Governors Association, though the usual effort to build consensus was marked by partisan politics that Democrats said couldn't be avoided.

Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack, chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, said he planned to confront Bush on White House predictions of 2.6 million new jobs this year. Bush spokesmen already have backed off those numbers.

"If the president's not going to fight for jobs, governors will, Democratic governors will," Vilsack said. "We're on the front line of that fight every day, and we see the consequences of having lost three million jobs.


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Mailagnas maqqas Dunaidonas 
Posted: 24-Feb-2004, 09:16 PM
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This really shouldn't be a surprise coming from anyone in Bush's cabinet. I suspect they consider any labor union to be a terrorist organization. The Bush regime is no friend of any working person. Give them sufficient time, and they'll make it clear to everyone the extent to which they have given the corporate bosses free rein to do as they wish, at everyone else's expense.


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maisky 
Posted: 24-Feb-2004, 09:46 PM
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I think the fellow has done the public a big favor, by expressing the Bush regeim's attitude in public....It will motivate ALL of the teachers, many that used to be Bush supporters to stand against him. DOWN WITH THE TYRANT!!!
Ooops, I got carried away.....


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birddog20002001 
Posted: 25-Feb-2004, 10:22 AM
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I am actually a fan of the unions and my family has supported them for years, My Grandfather was head of the union at a refinerery in Texas for years. I was going to get a job at Verizon a few years ago, they were on strike and the first thing my uncle asked was "would I be a scab" No I wouldn't. The union has done more to provide safety in hazardous jobs, and just compensation to hard workers. But my Grandfather would tell me of how some people would make rediculous demands of the company throught the union. It is like cutting off the head of the Goose that lays the golden egg. After he retired TCR was sold to a Japaneese company and broken up. TCR officialy said it was because of their inability to meet the demands of the union (Also the payoff wasn't to bad of the execs)

Now I feel that Government employees are in a different category than civilians. The Army can't form a union, throwing up their card and saying "Nope not going to invade ______ until after I have had my lunch." Soldiers are fundamental to national security. Teachers are more so in my opinion. They form the front line that provides for the future soldiers, politicans and citizens. That said I belive that the governments should without prejudice find just compensation to GOOD teachers and in my opinion the unions can prevent the "weeding out" of bad teachers just to show solidarity. That is against the best wishes of all involved including the NEA. The comparison the Ed Sec made was just wrong and Paige is an ass just the same.

Bush just ammended his "No Child Left Behind" policy so does that make it "Some Children Left Behind?"


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Shamalama 
Posted: 25-Feb-2004, 11:28 AM
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Ach, I'm going to stay away from this one. I'm very anti-union, including the NEA. I work for a 70,000-employee non-union company, and no unions were part of the reason I joined them.

I am a common worker, but not a union worker. My bosses have never treated me in any other way but professional. In 15 years I have never needed the aid of a union contract. And if ever my company starts mistreating me I'm simply going to quit, not cry/whine and threaten to strike.

I have worked for union companies, and I've seen the unions destroy good companies in my industry. My brother-in-law and father-in-law are both union workers. This is one topic that is NOT discussed over dinner. It's just a difference in philosophy.

I do not like the word "terrorist" being used so flippantly. It should be reserved for those people that use fear and kill innocent people. The NEA simply wastes young minds.

Public education is a taxpayer-funded baby-sitting service. Public colleges are frequently socialist indoctrination centers. You can never be too liberal, but conservatives are unholy threats.

It is up to me to shape my children's minds, and there's much to do after 12 years in public education. I do not rely on the NEA product.


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birddog20002001 
Posted: 25-Feb-2004, 02:10 PM
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Yes it is wrong to make teachers the babysitters and only ones responsible for the upbringing of children but after I got out of the Army I took a quick job at Hardee's making breakfast just to give me money while I looked for a "Real" job well the real job was with one of the 500 largest Engineering companies in the US they didn't have union though. I was with them for about 2.5 years. When I got hired I took A PAY CUT from a FAST FOOD JOB that I was at for two months. Then they often wanted me minamum 12-15 hrs a day plus 45 minute commute each way, I missed a few elections, my grandparent's 50th anniversary party and countless holidays in that short time. Plus I was constantly working in unsafe conditions on isolated mountain sides, while the Engineers were allowed to purschase voting stock at their own discression (non-public co) and recieved nonvoting stock in the esop while nonengineers were only given nonvoting stock so we couldn't change the path of the company. I live in Asheville NC primarily a vacation spot with no real industry last month no fever than 5 factories announced they were going to lay off min. 100 employees each and relocate to other NAFTA countries so there isn't alot of ability to just leave the company and find another job. I have had friends from the mtns. of West Virginia come here and say damn you people need help. Unions can do good.
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maisky 
Posted: 25-Feb-2004, 02:34 PM
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A federal regeim change would do good......
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tsargent62 
Posted: 25-Feb-2004, 03:09 PM
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QUOTE (maisky @ Feb 25 2004, 02:34 PM)
"A federal regeim change would do good......"
"by expressing the Bush regeim's attitude"

Can they teach Maisky how to spell "regime"? wink.gif


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maisky 
Posted: 25-Feb-2004, 03:11 PM
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Sorry, Engineering I can do, spelling I can't. biggrin.gif
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tsargent62 
Posted: 25-Feb-2004, 03:16 PM
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I would have liked to see this forum when Clinton was going through "Pantygate". How many of you liberals were attacking him?

Yes, Rod Paige made an aggregious mistake. But that's what it was: a mistake. It doesn't help, at least in this thread, that he was Bush appointee. How many of us have made public comments we wish we hadn't. I understand that he's a public figure, so his mistakes tend to reverberate much more loudly than ours. But don't presume that because one of Bush's cabinet secretarys made a bad public comment that the President is anti-labor. That's a bit of a knee-jerk reaction, don't you think?
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Mailagnas maqqas Dunaidonas 
Posted: 25-Feb-2004, 03:56 PM
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I'm no fan of unions (and likely would have changed jobs had my workplace unionized as it came within 1 vote of doing several years ago), but am hard-pressed to think President Bush is not anti-Union. The CWA, AFL-CIO, certainly seems to think he is anti-union. See CWA, AFL-CIO statement.
I don't think he is so much anti-worker as pro-corporate boss; although there may be no practical difference. By giving the bosses free rein to exploit workers, he is creating fertile ground for union expansion. Time will tell.
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MDF3530 
  Posted: 25-Feb-2004, 06:02 PM
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QUOTE (tsargent62 @ Feb 25 2004, 02:16 PM)
But don't presume that because one of Bush's cabinet secretarys made a bad public comment that the President is anti-labor. That's a bit of a knee-jerk reaction, don't you think?

I am not presuming. Bush is anti-union. When he was governor of Texas, the state employees were working without a contract for 15 months under his tenure. He only agreed to go to the bargaining table when his presidential aspirations were known.
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Irish Stepper 
Posted: 27-Feb-2004, 11:16 AM
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Personally, I don't like unions either. I work for MCI which is non-union, and I have plenty of dealings with union companies like AT&T and Verizon, since they are a part of our contract. I find that there few people in those companies that are willing to go above and beyond for customer satisfaction. We can have customers without any service, and in need of assistance from AT&T or Verizon, and we end up hitting a brick wall after hours, because they're NOT going to do any work after quitting time. Usually this wouldn't be a big deal, except my customer is the Dept of Defense, and we end up with soldiers out in the field and no way of communicating. I guess that's the reason why MCI ratings have gone UP for good customer service, while other Union companies have continued to go down hill. And we managed to do that even while in the middle of bankruptcy.


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Shamalama 
Posted: 27-Feb-2004, 12:17 PM
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I work for Delta Air Lines, and I remember when Eastern Airlines was having labor union problems.

The line mechanics (the ones that work on airplanes while they're at the terminal, not in the hangar) started playing hardball with management. One mechanic would turn a screw and remove a plate, then wait on another mechanic to show up and move some wires that were behind the plate, and then wait on another to look at the hydraulic lines behind the wires. In a legal and practical sense one mechanic could have, and was qualified to, do the entire job themself. This game could take an hour, and the passengers waited, and flights were cancelled.

Then another mechanic would "accidently" bump into a wing while driving ground equipment. That takes the aircraft out of service, and another flight in cancelled. But nothing could be done because he was a mechanic and not an equipment driver, and therefore not responsible.

Eastern was a good airline. Today it's simply a memory.

And always remember that labor unions are #8 out of Karl Marx's ten necessary steps to be taken to destroy a free enterprise society, as written in "The Communist Manifesto". When I see a union goon, I see a communist wannabe. "I don't give a rat's rump about the other employees, the company, or the overall industry - all I care about is me and how much my fat hands can grab."

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(yep, a bit too much caffeine this morning - no more Starbucks)


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