Monday, March 14, 2011

News and Marching Orders from the NEA; Obama Fails to March [Also Fails to Lead]; Justice Dept. Demands Those with Failing Grades to Become Police Officers; Iran Uses Child Soldiers; Federal Bill Proposed to Deny Forced Unionization of Workers; Michigan May Approve Bill for "Emergency Managers" of Failing Cities

[This Week's News, from the National Education Association, condemns all efforts to rein in the out-of-bounds power of unions, ending with a thumbs down for the following people:]

Representative Darrell Issa (R-CA), Chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, who held a mark-up and passed out of Committee a bill to renew and expand the District of Columbia private school voucher program.  Chairman Issa supports funneling $60 million to private schools through ineffective vouchers while at the same time supporting deep cuts to proven programs like Title I and Head Start that serve students with the greatest needs.  

 Representative Virginia Foxx (R-NC), who at a hearing in the House Education and Workforce Committee this week asserted that federal education programs have “achieved nothing” and questioned the necessity for a federal Department of Education
Finance Yahoo writes: "If American workers are being denied their right to organize and collectively bargain when I'm in the White House, I'll put on a comfortable pair of shoes myself," Obama said at a speech in 2007. "I'll walk on that picket line with you as president of the United States of America because workers deserve to know that somebody is standing in their corner."
Rose Ann DeMoro, executive director of National Nurses United, the nation's largest nurses union, called Obama "largely a bystander" in the debate over collective bargaining. "I think we're feeling a sense of betrayal from him and not liking it much," she said. [I wonder if Obama imagined that this kind of picketing would lead to civil disobedience, hateful rhetoric, promises of boycotts of businesses who don't publicly support them, and substantial death threats.  Obama is proud of his prowess at "Community Organizing", and these are the results of Organizing for America and SEIU's "organizing".  He is good at organizing and promising, and terrible at leadership.  Perhaps he is refusing to lead because any revolution which occurs because of all this will simply give him permission to form his formerly promised "Civilian Security Force", just as large and just as well equipped as our military, said he.]
DAYTON — The Dayton Police Department is lowering its testing standards for recruits.
It’s a move required by the U.S. Department of Justice after it says not enough African-Americans passed the exam.
Dayton is in desperate need of officers to replace dozens of retirees. The hiring process was postponed for months because the D.O.J. rejected the original scores provided by the Dayton Civil Service Board, which administers the test.
Under the previous requirements, candidates had to get a 66% on part one of the exam and a 72% on part two.
The D.O.J. approved new scoring policy only requires potential police officers to get a 58% and a 63%. That’s the equivalent of an ‘F’ and a ‘D’.
“It becomes a safety issue for the people of our community,” said Dayton Fraternal Order of Police President, Randy Beane. “It becomes a safety issue to have an incompetent officer next to you in a life and death situation.”
“The NAACP does not support individuals failing a test and then having the opportunity to be gainfully employed,” agreed Dayton NAACP President Derrick Foward.
The UK Guardian writes: Iran's Islamic regime is using "child soldiers" to suppress anti-government demonstrations, a tactic that could breach international law forbidding the use of underage combatants, human rights activists have told the Observer.
The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran says troops aged between 14 and 16 have been armed with batons, clubs and air guns and ordered to attack demonstrators who have tried to gather in Tehran. The youths – apparently recruited from rural areas – are being deployed in regular riot police roles and comprise up to one-third of the total force, according to witnesses.
Fox News reports: A group of conservative U.S. senators has introduced a bill to restrict unions from forcing workers to join and pay dues as a condition of employment
The move on Capitol Hill comes as several states consider what's known as "right-to-work" legislation -- proposals that have met stiff resistance. Indiana Republicans recently shelved their right-to-work bill after it sparked protests at the capital and after Democrats fled the state to block it, mimicking the tactic used by Wisconsin lawmakers holding up Gov. Scott Walker's anti-union proposal. 
But GOP senators in Washington said national legislation is needed to stop the "strong-arm political tactics" they claim labor bosses are using to compel new employees into joining their ranks. They introduced the National Right to Work Act Tuesday. 
[Will any of these politicians point out that not having to join a union, and not having dues taken directly from their paychecks will actually give members MORE take-home pay, not less?  I didn't think so.]
Read more:
CBS News reports: Michigan lawmakers are on the verge of approving a bill that would enable the governor to appoint "emergency managers" -- officials with unilateral power to make sweeping changes to cities facing financial troubles.
Under the legislation, the Michigan Messenger reports, the governor could declare a "financial emergency" in towns or school districts. He could then appoint a manager to fire local elected officials, break contracts, seize and sell assets, eliminate services - and even eliminate whole cities or school districts without any public input.
The measure passed in the state Senate this week; the House passed its own version earlier. The two versions of the bill are expected to be reconciled next week, and Republican Gov. Rick Snyder has said he will sign the bill the bill into law.
Democrats and their allies are decrying the legislation as a power grab and say it's part of a wider effort taking place in several states, such as Wisconsin, to weaken labor unions.

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