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Rage Against The Machine's Tom Morello Calls Madison, WI "The Next Cairo"

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In case you haven't heard what's going on in Madison, Wisconsin, tens of thousands of protesters have been marching on the state capital, battling a state bill that would cut union employees' pensions and health care benefits.

Without getting the national coverage it deserves, protestors have turned to other outlets, including reaching out to Rage Against The Machine's Tom Morello, who's been a huge supporter of union rights.

When fans took to his Facebook page, writing such things as, "Hey Tom, could you please come to Madison? As I'm sure you're aware, Scott Walker is trying essentially to de-unionize," Tom decided to headline a concert in support of the protests scheduled for Monday.

Tom said:

"I really think that the future of the rights of working people in this country is not going to be decided in the courts. It's not going to be decided in Congress or radio talk shows. The future of rights of working people in this country will be the fight on the streets of Madison, Wisconsin. Madison is the next Cairo."

Wow. Those are some powerful words. We hope that the people of Madison are victorious in their battle of keeping their rights to pensions and benefits!

Power to the people!

[Image via WENN.]

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121 comments to “Rage Against The Machine's Tom Morello Calls Madison, WI "The Next Cairo"”

More comments: [1] 2 »



  1. 1

    By having them pay a little more for their healthcare and pensions (which is still less than what most people pay, I might add), it will help to significantly drop Wisconsin's state debt.

    People are jumping on the "I hate WI's governor" bandwagon without looking at the facts and only reading things like, "Governor wants to de-unionize" or "Governor to cut pension and healthcare benefits".



  2. 2

    Thanks for bringing light on this important moment in our history. People forget or don't really know how hard Unions had to fight in this country early on and how important it is for working people everywhere. I personally was helped greatly by my nursing union at one point in my life. I come from a Teacher's Union family and learned over many years how hard they have had to fight to be able to provide all of us with good education. I now have many government clients I provide Ergonomic Consulting to as a Nurse Ergonomist and I can vouch for how hard working government employees are and how they are not overpaid nor have excessive benefits! What is going to happen to the economy if all these people loose jobs too or have substantial less money to live on? I don't think they will be supporting the local economies like they do now. Hope more people will "wake up" and see what hard right Republicans are really all about. These cuts they are proposing are not even the budget problem either, and are instead a small % of the total annual budget (I think I heard around 12% but don't quote me).



  3. 3

    Perez, do you know ANYTHING about Unions and their effect on the national and (especially) local and state economies ? You've never lived in the midwest, so it's IMPOSSIBLE for you to truly grasp this. Please, it's not as simple as "power to the people, let them keep their pensions and jobs". Either display that you're educated on the topic, or put a lid on it



  4. 4

    What a load of crap you are peddling here. These are PUBLIC employee unions, not all Unions. And they are being asked to pay some of their own pensions and health insurance- like the rest of the country does. And as has been stated- at a lower rate than the rest of the country- much less than I pay for mine. Taxpayers shouldn't have to foot this entire bill when the state is going into the red. This isn't Cairo. This is what the Governor was elected saying he would do- and people are shocked he is keeping his word.



  5. 5

    The issue isn't the pensions and healthcare costs. Its about the unions' collective bargaining rights.



  6. 6

    The unions are unwilling to make even relatively minor concessions for the good of the state. Everywhere the unions are strong the industries and states are broke. Look what they did to Detroit and the auto industry. Support unions if you want to force more business to China. Strong union states like New York, Illinois, and California are all broke and the jobs are gone.



  7. 7

    They are not losing their benefits or their health care. They are going to be required to pay more for them. I don't know what they are so up in arms about it. Didn't we just pass a healthcare bill that will cover them? It has do with the UNIONS. Nothing else but this.



  8. 8

    listen, I live here in Madison and I totally support taking down Walker and fighting against his plan to dismantle unions–BUT it is nothing like Cairo here! These comparison have got to stop, they're ridiculous



  9. 9

    perez, you're being ignorant. don't get political. you are an influence to impressionable readers, and as an influence, its your responsibility to have all the facts and not just blindly advocate for something you dont fully understand. readers, get all the information first and then make the decision FOR YOURSELVES.



  10. 10

    The healthcare and pension issue isn't what's really on the table. What they're protesting is the right to bargain. The governor is trying to eliminate union rights to bargain agreements, which is vital for teachers in particular as it's their only voice with administration when it comes to resources and such. As a teacher, please understand it's not about healthcare and pensions at the end of the day. It's that the governor wants to silence our voice and our right to express our voice with administrative bodies.



  11. 11

    perez (and tom)…please stay out of politics and supporting (or protesting) subject matter i doubt you have had time to educate yourself about. saying wisconsin is the next cairo is ignorant and baseless. the bill will require workers to pay 50% of their pension and slightly more insurance costs, while allowing them to bargain for salary increases equal to the CPI. public employees still have it better than most in the public sector (do YOU get a fully funded pension?!). but seriously, perez, don't jump on a bandwagon you know nothing about.



  12. 12

    Please get the story straight before publishing- Walker isn't trying to cut their pensions or healthcare- he is simply making them pay a percentage of their paycheck for these things that everyone else has had to pay for all along. The bill is trying to take away their bargaining rights, not their healthcare or pensions.



  13. 13

    The pension and union system is not sustainable; why should you and I have to contribute to our retirement yet union folk are not required to do so? This means they are making more because they work for the city, state or county - paid for by you and I, our taxes!! How is it fair that you and I have to plan for our retirement while government workers do not to the same degree. If the pension system continues in the current construct there will be no government money left in a few decades. Look at the facts and the numbers before jumping on the union bandwagon, there is a systemic problem with the pension system. Rock stars and actors are hardly union experts. I am not anti union, I am anti gracy train.



  14. 14

    Thank you for bringing such an important issue to light! I love that my city has gone global for such a good cause! This bill isn't just about cutting benefits and salaries anymore. Walker's proposed bill would eliminate collective bargaining rights on everything except for salaries. He is essentially aiming to eliminate the voice of middle class wisconsin. We need to stick together to make sure that Walker knows he can't just silence thousands of people. We aren't just going to go away. We have voices. And we are going to be listened to.



  15. 15

    Why doesn't the Rage against the machine and all of the other Hollywood die hard liberals stand up for the common working person like myself who is nonunion who has to pay for all of the union worker's benefits????? There is no one willing to help pay for our benefits and our retirement funds. It is about time that these people with very cushy life long union jobs get real and see what life is like for the average Joe!!!!!!!

  16. uyeah says – reply to this


    16

    Mario, if that's you writing, you are so ignorant it's pathetic. You have the mind of a second grader. You know nothing about what you talk about.The US is so full of stupid liberals with their causes that are destroying the nation. Those public employees could never make that much money on the outside. Greedy selfish idiots. The Democrats are ruining this country. I nerve heard of that singer, or whatever he is. why should anyone care what he thinks? when Cairo is taking over by radical muslims, he'll be happy about that too! Probably thinks they're good guys, freedom fighters!

  17. uyeah says – reply to this


    17

    You make is sound like their pensions are going to go away. Typical liberal exaggeration to the point of lying. Is that a communist star he's got on his hat?



  18. 18

    Not getting the coverage it deserves? It has been on every big national morning program along with the nightly news. The whole issue is over being able to collective bargin over wages and things like that. They know they will have to make concessions just like everyone else. However, our new govenor has only been in office a month and isn't starting off his term in a good way. He doesn't want to compromise at all he wants to end all unions. He admitted on tv he didn't want to include the fire and police because it was cause utter chaos. This isn't Cairo by any means. Americans have the right to peacefully assemble and protest. We have a democracy. If you don't let your voice be heard by voting you don't have to the right to complain. I am part of the union but not a teacher. I don't get any sick days or a raise for that matter. This is going to hurt the people of Wisconsin rather than help. This country was built stong with unions. Harley here in Wisconsin took pay cuts with their union so don't tell me people aren't willing to compromise for the greater good.



  19. 19

    Comparing the union workers in the states to repressed citizens in what really amounts to a third world country is childish and makes the person making such comparission ill informed and lacking a greater understanding of the social, economic and moral values of those protester in the Middle East vs. fat bloated Americans who are pissing and moaning about paying into their health insurance plan. Bitches please. Some people in this country haven't a clue as to what it's like to live in other parts of the world even with the internet and a 24 hour real time news cycle. The has been from Rage is himself a bloated greedy person who lives far far better then what's left of his fan base. He made his wealth off of others labor and then has the fucking balls to call out a broke government for asking union workers to kick in for their health care.



  20. 20

    "The next Cairo"??? Are you fucking kidding me????? They protested against a fucking DICTATOR that ruled their country for 30 years!!! Fucking typical Americans and your ignorant world views!!!



  21. 21

    Get your facts straight Perez… They are being asked to contribute a mere 12% towards their health care and put towards their retirement. Most people have to pay upwards of 65%, and pay into their IRA OR have been laid off, with no benefits available, no health care that's reasonable, and no jobs available. Teachers are quickly becoming over-payed, and who suffers? The tax payers. So with unemployment at an all time high, where the hell is this money supposed to come from? Can't squeeze blood from a stone.



  22. 22

    your situation is not at all analogous to be being denied your right to collectively bargain. You had that right and still have that right. I fail to see the connection. Unions saved our ass during the Great Recession. They voted for their own pay decreases and slashed their own benefits. They came up with part of the capital to save GM and Chrysler. State employees aren't even being given a chance to do so. That's literally unprecedented (at least since the industrial revolution).



  23. 23

    People wanting to contribute little to nothing for their retirement or health care and live well on the backs of taxpayers in their retirement are nothing compared to the people of Cairo who were forced to live in poverty and who had to risk death to obtain freedom.

  24. zil26 says – reply to this


    24

    Re: Klynn86 – typical non-american thinking that we all have the same opinion. shut the fuck up.



  25. 25

    Students will be even more harmed when we can't attract and retain the most talented individuals to the teaching profession. They're already paid almost nothing (and they too have student loans to pay off). School budgets aren't sufficient to cover classroom needs, so most of them use their own salaries to purchase supplemental materials and supplies. They have to continue taking college courses to stay licensed (and they pay for those out-of-pocket). To suggest that teachers have it easy as some do is absurd. I would have LOVED to teach, but I certainly couldn't afford it. Let's be real here - teachers bust their ass, and they're tired of being scapegoated because there are budget shortfalls because revenue is historically low (both because of the Great Recession and because of historically low tax rates).



  26. 26

    Power to those of us who don't want to live on the public employee plantation. Working our buts off to pay taxes and scrimping what we can to put into a 401K so public employees can have a fat pension with annual benefits for life.

    Yes, power to those of us who then don't want to be bullied by union thugs called out by their democrat party overlords to bully everyone else to give them what they want.



  27. 27

    just stick to the celebrity gossip please…or research before you post.



  28. 28

    I always love it how these rich liberal elite celebrities always want to comment on political issues they know nothing about, nor would they ever really put themselves in the situation for which they are claiming to "fight for". AS IF this douche knows anything about unions, the state and national economic crisis, collective bargaining… celeb liberals the greatest hypocrites ALWAYS.



  29. 29

    The Unions and the Democrats will destroy this country. Union dues equal Democratic donations. Gingrich/Bachmann 2012



  30. 30

    The unions have ALREADY agreed to compromise, to chip in, and to pay more for the pensions and health care. THAT IS NOT THE ISSUE. The issue is the rights of workers to form unions and more specifically, to collectively bargain for their working conditions. This is a war on the middle class - scratch that - on the lower middle class - the working class. If it was truly about the budget, as Gov. Walker claims, he would compromise. If it was truly about the budget, what about asking the richest 2% to pay their fair share of taxes. Did you know 2/3rds of corporations in WI PAY NO TAXES??? This is about Walker's corporate backers and their preference to not have to listen to their employees. This is about Union Busting. This is about rights. It is not about money. The working people of Wisconsin know how to make sacrifices. But they will not lay down and be stripped of their rights that this state has fought so hard to guarantee!



  31. 31

    The Gov. should fire them all like Reagan did back in the 80's to the Air Traffic Controllers. They are public employees and are breaking the law by doing all of this. They want to protest, do it after school or on the weekends. Don't tell me these teachers aren't being greedy. They don't even work as hard as they used to. When I was growing up ONE teacher and would teach the class and take care of everything. When I went to meet my daughter's teacher she asked for parents to volunteer during the day to help out in class, and to grade papers at school and at home. I was thinking, what does she do? It's ridiculous.



  32. 32

    Hey, if he fires them then there'll be 10,000 job openings in Wisconsin!!!



  33. 33

    Re: bossladywi103 – Your comment"Students will be even more harmed when we can't attract and retain the most talented individuals to the teaching profession. " is sooooo laughable! There are so many bad teachers in the system do to tenure that our students are already suffering! Give me a break! The whole pay structure for teachers requires restructuring. Good teachers should be rewarded with high salaries and poor teachers should be terminated regardless of years of service. Teachers should pay into a 401 K program like the private sector with matching.



  34. 34

    As usual, the anti-union people here don't know what they are talking about and are weak on the facts. The first fact they should know is that the public employee unions in Wisconsin have agreed to drastic cuts in their wages and benefits. However, the governor is going for a bill that would strip them of the right be collective bargaining, in other words, the gov. wants to ban unions for public workers and he's not willing to compromise. That's why the public workers are protesting and that's why all decent working people are supporting them.



  35. 35

    This is about corporations screwing over the American Worker. Period.



  36. 36

    Re: bossladywi103 – I also come from a family full of teachers who are retired now and they have done quite well and are enjoying retirement, so I am having a difficult time feeling your pain!



  37. 37

    Last week, Justin Bieber was my "hero of the week" for supporting single-payer national health insurance. This week Tom Morello is my "hero of the week!" Not only is Tom supporting the right of working people to have unions to protect ourselves from evil right-wing governors who would strip us of the right to collective bargaining, but Tom also supports single-payer national health insurance. As most Canadians attest, we Americans would be far better off with national health insurance, not the private insurance that Obama and the Republicans support.



  38. 38

    The real fight here is not about health care costs and benefits that public unions have fought for in the last 50 years. The real issue is with the way hard working middle class families and voters are being treated by our new governor who is acting like a dictator. He and his small group of cronies are refusing to come to the table to negotiate. There are emotions and untruths being fueled by the FOX network that add to the negative way people are reacting to what is happening in our great state. Power to the people. What's disgusting? Union busting! This is not what democracy looks like!!



  39. 39

    I have some close ties to people in Madison, so I've been hearing about this since it started. I definitely feel for those people and get why they're upset. But this RATM guy saying this is the next Cairo makes him look incredibly unintelligent. People in Egypt snapped after 30 years of government oppression. The situation in Wisconsin hardly has any similarities to what's been going on in Egypt. I don't exactly know everything about this bill, though I don't agree with what I've heard about it. But it's incredibly ignorant to compare it to a revolution that was 30 years in the making in an oppressed middle eastern country. Celebrities need to educate themselves before making such bold statements



  40. 40

    Unions care nothing about society or its future. They just want to greedily get as much as they can, even if it means cutting jobs and destroying the state.

    Unions have become what they originally were created to fight against. Greedy, rich people that live high on the hog at the expense of everyone else.



  41. 41

    Re: eemeeleea

    Now its about he American "worker" screwing the taxpayer. Unions have become waht they hated most



  42. 42

    The WI state government is about to make the kind of mistake that will bring it down. Stripping collective bargaining rights to public employees is the kind of tactic that may play well in the polls among bloodthirsty plebs, but may backfire in a huge way, especially when people realize that the budget cuts to education came after the governor signed into law tax cuts to big business that took a $100 million budget surplus and turned it into a $150 million deficit. Don't be fooled - many of these teachers could well quit and turn to private opportunities, that will mean out-of-pocket tuition for parents looking for a decent education for their kids. How quickly do you think those openings in public schools will be filled?



  43. 43

    well done, everyone. these comments were the most intelligent and informative ones i've ever read on this site. helped me understand the issues better so thanks!

  44. Shaun says – reply to this


    44

    Perz we dont need you or this asshhole inciting things even more. i think everyone understands the important role that unions have played in this country. they also understand that there is a lot of corruption. yes workers should have a voice but unions go too far. they protect ineffective abusive teachers, they put them in rubber rooms for years where they do nothing but sit 8 hours a day while collecting their full salary. they make it so difficult to get rid of these teachers its incredible. the unions must clean up their act, they must compromise, they must hold their own accountable.



  45. 45

    Perez, you are SUCH AN IDIOT when it comes to politics! You say stuff that isn't anywhere near true because you've read it on some other idiot's blog somewhere. No one is losing their pension and benefits in Wisconsin–they're simply being asked to pitch in and pay for a small portion of it themselves in order to help fill the state's $3 billion budget gap. It's a perfectly reasonable action that the state's unions–afraid of losing their power–oppose so they're trying to paint it as some "power vs. the people" thing which is simply preposterous. Oh my god, you are soooo stupid. It makes me want to stop reading your blog, which has been a guilty pleasure.

  46. Xenu says – reply to this


    46

    First of all the labor movement is not was it was 100 years ago. Now the president of the AFL-CIO flies around in a private jet to strikes just so He can get in front of a camera and "show his support".

    Labor is just a ATM for the Democrat party, just like the Evangelical mega churches are for the GOP. Tom Morelo does not know what He is talking about, he just has enough knowledge to be and act radical that that is it.

    I am not going to trust that comes out of his mouth let alone Justin Beiber's views on any social or political issue. They are just parroting someone else's bullshit.

  47. bunck says – reply to this


    47

    To the people who have said that the unions have made the concessions are right but they only did it with what is basically a gun to their heads, you'll do anything in that situation and not really change how you do business. Just last December they tried to get the lame duck legislature to pass a bill that would have made it so that they wouldn't have had to give up anything and Scott Walker wouldn't be able to change anything, they didn't want to make any kind of sacrifice, all they ever do is take take take no matter the situation and threaten a government shutdown if they don't get their way. The unions are going to do to the states what they did to GM.



  48. 48

    I just love union-busters. Unions have got to get eradicated like the cancer they are on the contents of taxpayers' wallets. Do you know how many police officers in the city of Toronto make over 100k/year ? 1000+ !! Same goes for subway ticket collectors, bus drivers, etc, etc. If automakers can go bankrupt and squash unions, governments should be able to do the exact same thing, and clean up house and start over. Screw those union scum.



  49. 49

    Tom Morello must be a retard. He wants to compare Wisconsin with Egypt ?!? He should try comparing Wisconsin with Greece, or Ireland, maybe even the UK. The IMF basically kicked the unions' collective arses in Greece to the fucking curb. The unions protested and rioted until they were blue in the face, but they still had to suck up the cutbacks. When the IMF steps in, it'll be the same thing. They'll FORCE various levels of government across America to just shut the fuck up and cut, cut, cut.



  50. 50

    i must say that people who think that teachers are getting too much money or are living on some sort of governmental plantation is highly misinformed. they deserve to be paid every penny they earn for putting up with the bs they have to. people who think that the only way for wisconsin to cut it's budget is to effectively give teachers a paycut AND nullify their negotiating rights within their unions needs to wake the f*** up! and i can only laugh at the commentary of the people here who honestly think that those working in other positions do the same amount of actual work (including the social significance of the work) as teachers! they do not seem to realize that when the government wants to take away unions' rights to bargain for pay and overall better working conditions, this is the beginning of living in oh…say… china!



  51. 51

    I am a TA in a union at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. I live one block from the state capitol. I can tell you right now that most WI state employees are not overpaid and work very hard. They pay taxes just like everyone else AND the money they earn goes back into the economy when they spend it at WI businesses! A couple of union leaders tried to make concessions to Governor Walker, saying that they would be willing to pay more for health care and contribute more to pensions as long as Walker doesn't take away collective bargaining rights. WALKER SAID NO. He won't compromise. Wake up - this isn't just about the budget.



  52. 52

    Wow Perez.. looks like you were just schooled AGAIN in politics!! The unions have NO credibility these days cause the bosses just use the workers to get them more and more money. When the unions agree to throw out the crappy teachers then we'll talk…This country is so far down the list when it comes to other countries in education we are a joke!!



  53. 53

    also, people must come to the realization that policeman, teachers, nurses, etc. actually DESERVE more money than automakers, mcdonalds workers, secretaries, etc., as their contribution affects societies on a MUCH grander scale (more than those who do not do these jobs could possible fathom).



  54. 54

    I wonder if the Rage against the machine realizes that one of their inspirational leaders Che Guevera of Cuba killed thousands of innocent people in the name of Communism for Cuba. Is that what Tom and his Rage twits want for Wisconsin?? Young impressionable students had better wake up and realize what this character represents. Check out the "Rages" website and you will see Che Guevera's picture front and center on the top border. Better yet go to a library or do some internet searches and do some research on Che Guevera! I personally always thought freedom was a good thing and I really was never into killing people who had opposing views;but I guess Tommy and union thugs think otherwise!!!!



  55. 55

    Of course W. state Gov. is gonna scapegoat the American people/unions for the budget shortfall, did yah honestly think they would take the blame? and not only that its all fraudulent debt owed to the private Federal Reserve that prints that money with no reserve to back it, so in other words,they found a way to turn paper in to gold.



  56. 56

    Good God this guy is an IDIOT! First he said years ago that he hates corporations while his record company is one and now this. WI is broke! No more money!! You seriously cannot expect the tax payers who are paid in many cases far less to keep flipping the bill. If these selfish teachers pay just a little more in their benefits they all keep their job. They're are far too selfish for that and would rather taxes be paid in an economic downturn rather than make a small sacrifice. If they get what they want then there will be massive layoffs because the state of WI (like all states) have no more money for entitlements. So unless this dip shit commie wants to volunteer his millions instead of the tax payers of WI he needs to shut the fuck up. If these selfish idiots don't like the fact they can't collective bargain then get a fucking job in the private sector.



  57. 57

    Unions are bankrupting this country!



  58. 58

    I like the mix of pop culture/politics that Perez has going on - anyway, it's his site, so he's gonna post about what interests him. Whether one agrees, disagrees, whatever, with his particular take, these issues aren't going away and either already effect you or will. The fight is ON, and has been, in varying degrees, for dwindling resources everywhere. But, sometimes, I just wanna read about Lady Gaga, et al because I need a break from reality!



  59. 59

    Re: JulesGules – - Yes the state workers do not put more into their health benefits and pensions as private sector workers do, BUT state workers also make thousands of dollars less than their private sector counterparts. I have a parent that used to work in the private sector and swtiched to work for the state. She is making 10,000 less than she did in exchange for good health care. Private sectors also have a choice in how much they want to put into their 401 k. My mom has no control over how much she wants to put into her benefits. They are now stripping her salary 15% between April and July, and 12% in the next year.

    Walker should have taken our surplus money and instead of giving it to buisnesses that supported him in the election… wait and pay off our debt then try to build from there. Why are the state workers being punished for his mistake?



  60. 60

    they want to take awway the unions bargaining right too, it's not just about the benefits.



  61. 61

    This is the issue I see within this.

    Private sector workers make more money typically than their public sector counterparts. My mom worked in both the public and private sectors. She is now a state employee making 10,000 less a year in exchange for good health benefits. Now that she is forced to put money into her benefits which is a 12% pay cut, she is the same as private sectors but still making LESS money. State employees began taking cuts a few years back with furlough days but at least that was a gradual 3%, now Walker is disrespectfully trying to cram this through so fast that between April to July she will have a 15% cut in her income, and 12% in the upcoming fiscal year.

    Walker had a surplus of money when he first came into office but chose to give enormous tax breaks on companies that supported him in the election. Instead of holding off and using that money to pay off the debt right away, he gave it away. Why should the state employees be responsible for his lack of financial management?

    Private businesses need to be aware that when all of this hits state employees, their businesses will also suffer because those workers will be trying to save money as much as possible. This will affect EVERYONE.



  62. 62

    Re: scooterlinds22 – Private sector making more than public may have been true 30 years ago but public sector salaries far eclipse salaries of private sector in today's market. I have friends who are private school teachers and public school teachers and the public school teachers salaries are much higher than the private sector school salaries. The private schools I referenced are also feeders to Notre Dame,Harvard and Stanford so these aren't substandard private schools. What I also find interesting is that the $/student ratio is less for the private verses public schools. The private sector seems to producing better results than the public schools.



  63. 63

    If the state employees don't like what they are being paid, let them find a new job in the private sector. That will be a major wake-up call.



  64. 64

    is it deregulation with the telecoms? years back in lacrosse wisconsin i saw a weekend night race riot, it's not really rioting



  65. 65

    This battle of wits is no longer about pensions and health benefits. As a teacher and a union member, I have no concessions about paying more, but that doesnt matter because I was never given the option thanks to Scott Walker. In schools, we call what he is doing BULLYING! Now, the fight is really about our children and their future that we the teachers and union workers are fighting for. (and contradicting what others are saying about 70,000 protesters, we all have vacations days to use as we wish!) With this bill passing you will see a DECLINE in the quality of education because class sizes will double in sage schools, tier two intervention to support the already struggling behaviors of our youth will no longer be available, nor will the title I to support to supplement educators so positions like VICE PRINCIPLES/dean of students who are paid for by title I are out. Gone. With unions gone to support the quality of education we will soon be swimming with the likes of the states who are #49, #50 in testing. Please note for all those supporting the removal of collective bargaining… five states that do not have collective bargaining for educators have 5 of the lowest ACT/SAT scores (South Carolina =50th, North Carolina = 49th, Georgia = 48th, Texas = 47th, Virginia = 44th)…. Wisconsin with collective bargaining to protect the quality of education for students and teachers is NUMBER 2!



  66. 66

    People all over the world are the ones with the power. We as the people have the power to over throw governments and fight for what is right. I think the people in madison are a loud voice and need to be heard. they can't stop the people, this is what this country was founded on 'power of the people'.



  67. 67

    Re: JulesGules – He hasn't just asked them to pay a bit more for healthcare and pensions (if that were the case many of us would be on his side). He is proposing laws that eliminate collective bargaining rights for all state employees (with the exception of police and firefighters). People are reading things like the "Governor wants to de-unionize" because that's exactly what he's trying to do.



  68. 68

    Typical left wing fairy tale. Part of the problem is the poor design of these pensions, and the fact that everyone feels entitled to a pay raise every 6 months. Until the economy recovers enough for tax revenue to go up, these greedy unions need to quite yelling "Me, me, me!" Unions are going to be the downfall of America.



  69. 69

    Re: hepDesigns – The average teacher salary in Wisconsin is $46,390 with a starting salary of just over $25,000. That's hardly "overpaid." It's more like a reasonable, middle-class salary for a professional career requiring a considerable amount of education. Don't bash the unions simply because they support the party that doesn't advocate for their destruction.



  70. 70

    Re: eddyc33 – Which people are you talking about?? The union people with cushy life long jobs or the people who work in the private sector that have to pay for the cradle to grave benefits for the union people.



  71. 71

    I love reading all the negative talk about unions on here. What a bunch of hypocrites.

    I suppose all of you, if offered a union job which guaranteed you a good salary and good benefits would turn it down, because it wasn't good for the country. Right???

    I have found that often, people who complain about unions are those who couldn't get INTO a union.



  72. 72

    Public workers have already said they WILL pay more. It isn't about the money to them, it's about their rights: to collectively bargain and have a say in decisions that are made!

    PASS ALONG THAT MESSAGE! People are getting the wrong idea about this.



  73. 73

    Re: zil26 – I'm pretty sure I was talking about Perez and the idiot who the quote came from, no need to take everything so personally!



  74. 74

    Re: Lilygirl27 – Actually my mother worked for a company that was union and the company went out of business and moved the jobs overseas. My father was a blue collar worker who fought against the unions and guess what-his company is still in business today but his competitors that went union had to close shop. In case you haven't noticed,we are in a global economy and companies to be able to compete globally.

  75. Tasos says – reply to this


    75

    The Governor appealed to State unionized employees to negotiate in good faith now, or possibly face loss of THOUSANDS of jobs and Bankruptcy, later. In other words, they were asked to be as reasonable as the citizens, who pay their salaries, are when they are advised that their employer is having problems and is struggling to avoid Bankruptcy and closure, and they must pitch in to help their employer survive through hard times. Because of being advised of the same, WI State employees are having shjt fits about kicking in a few bucks extra and making concessions, alleging untrue things and calling those they oppose horrible, ugly names. Rather than face the crisis, State legislators fled the State to avoid the duty the swore to do! WI State employees earn more on average than the majority of people on average in WI, who pay taxes. Since when did public servants become elite royalty who are above negotiation and sacrifice?!

    It is sad and low that our President chose to interfere with WI State business, rather than encourage constructive dialogue. He panders for political gain, yet when freedom marchers were slaughtered in Iran, he was timid about supporting them, barely a peep. Panders for votes; manipulates union people, inspires greater divide and more strife, when Americans need to unite; Obama.



  76. 76

    Re: yumba1 – I agree.



  77. 77

    Re: Klynn86 – IT WAS A FUCKING CELEBRITY WHO SAID IT YOU FUCKING TWAT, NOT RANDOM AMERICANS. GO FUCK YOURSELF WITH YOUR ANTI-AMERICAN SENTIMENT. I HOPE YOU FUCKING DIE SLOW.



  78. 78

    Tom Morello needs to shut the fuck up. He just sounds like a retard. Anyone who's not working class in this country can go fly a kite with their stupid opinions because they have no idea what it's like to roll up their god damn sleeves and sweat all the way through work. Celebrities are pathetic and should really shut up about shit they don't understand. Unions are a drain on this economy and they're extremely corrupt.



  79. 79

    Re: PerezSux54 – Very well said.



  80. 80

    OH PLEEEEEEASE! These government workers are spoiled brats. The people elected the new gov. for a reason. Clean up these ridiculous unions! They are killing the working man. I live in Madison and my husband and I work full time. We pay 3 times the amount they do for health, can't even touch their pension, have two weeks for vacation, not the 6 weeks they have, work on many of the holidays they have off. Then they have the affront to put their hand out and expect us to pay their way. Screw them! Let them work like the rest of us. Public servant my ass! Spoiled shit heads is more like it.



  81. 81

    That's what happens when stupid middle class people vote for a Republican.
    And why doesn't good ole Gov. cut the unions that fed him his money? Or better yet his own pension, health benefits and salary??????
    Sick to death of this disease on American middle class known as Republicans and Tea party. Nothing but ignorant hate mongers who cut off their nose to spite their face.
    Let the South leave and take all the teabaggers and Repukes and go back to the dark ages you so desperatley want. You crazy Right Wing Taliban idiots.



  82. 82

    This Governor I forgot to say in previous post was handed a SURPLUS of which has never before been seen by WI when the exiting Dem. Gov. left office and in the space of a few mos. caused this HUGE DEFICIT, how is that? Same thing Bush did when Clinton left him w/a surplus.
    Republicans are a disease on American society…except for their rich buddies.

  83. Zip says – reply to this


    83

    If it weren't for unions, we'd all be working for slave wages, and if people don't watch it, there will be a return to that, where you will not have a living wage, and no medical coverage, no dental, and all other benefits will be taken away from you, including your pensions. Time for a 'national strike' to be called by all unions, against all states that support taking-away union benefits. We should be making executive golden parachute packages illegal, and limit corporation execs to 1 percent of stock royalties from any companies they are involved in, as well, we should limit their yearly pay, again, to only 1 percent of the profit that a company makes. That would stop all the mass lay-offs of blue collar workers at companies, once, and for all–and the greater health of a company, and its survival, would matter to all involved, at the top–as corporations have become nothing but legalized pyramid schemes and ponzi schemes. Revolution in America!!! If our government refuses to protect us, it is time for regime change, here!!!! Fuck the Middle East, we are the next Egypt!!!!

  84. Zip says – reply to this


    84

    @OhBigDeal: The Governor of Wisconsin took (stole) all of the state's surplus money, and used it to hire his own political and business cronies, when he was seated in office, and that is were the money went, according to official public records. As such, there needs to be a serious criminal investigation launched by grand juries…into this, at the federal, and state, levels–as it appears to be a mass conspiracy to commit financial fraud for purposes of profiteering.



  85. 85

    Yeah, we pay less than the rest of the people out there in the public who are going totally broke paying their insurance benefits, but we are at the forefront of medical risks–teachers, nurses, fireman–should we be without health care, or maybe we should just spend ALL of our MODERATE incomes on Health Care premiums. The vast majority of Americans are without insurance all together because employers and government feel abs. no obligation to keep their citizens safe and healthy. On the contrary, the govt. is largely on the side of big insurance co.'s to keep raising already sky high premiums such that MOST people can't and don't afford insurance. IF this bill passes, it'll be the first step towards ending unions and the China-ization of the work force here–cheap labor, long hours, no standards, and no insurance. Plus, that still won't be enough for repubs or big business, they'll still be shipping jobs overseas where there are even LESS standards. You're the one who should be more informed, and the face that you read this site, comment on it, then blast the blogger is a lesson for all of us in irony and hypocrisy. You should get down on your knees and thank god for Unions, otherwise you'd have no standards or human right concerns at any of the jobs you've ever worked.



  86. 86

    Hey Jules, don't be naive, de-unionizing is EXACTLY what this governor has in mind so that he can set a precedent for all the other states with Unions and it will be the first step in chipping away the power they have FOR THEIR WORKERS–the friggin people! We're not talking Lawyer Unions, or Hedge Fund Unions, Anesthesiologist Unions, Celebretante Unions–these are Blue collar middle income jobs for people who are on the front lines with the public for disease and danger (hello teachers, firemen, electricians, police, etc). They are public servants, many of whom pay absorbatant student loans necessary for those middle income govt. jobs, and would't make enough to afford insurance premiums on their own. Do you have insurance? I'm 41 years old and I'm among 20% of my proffessional and college educated friends who have insurance. A couple of those from the same demo are on medicare or some other govt. subsidized healthcare, but many of them can't afford insurance. We should expand Unions, not break them, so that all those in the work force get humane 'benefits' like being able to go to a Dr when you're sick or dying.



  87. 87

    Hey Jules, don't be naive, de-unionizing is EXACTLY what this governor has in mind so that he can set a precedent for all the other states with Unions and it will be the first step in chipping away the power they have FOR THEIR WORKERS–the friggin people! We're not talking Lawyer Unions, or Hedge Fund Unions, Anesthesiologist Unions, Celebretante Unions–these are Blue collar middle income jobs for people who are on the front lines with the public for disease and danger (hello teachers, firemen, electricians, police, etc). They are public servants, many of whom pay absorbitant student loans necessary for those middle income govt. jobs, and would't make enough to afford insurance premiums on their own. Do you have insurance? I'm 41 years old and I'm among 20% of my proffessional and college educated friends who have insurance. A couple of those from the same demo are on medicare or some other govt. subsidized healthcare, but many of them can't afford insurance. We should expand Unions, not break them, so that all those in the work force get humane 'benefits' like being able to go to a Dr when you're sick or dying.



  88. 88

    Unions are evil. Ask anyone in the rust belt how they fared with their unions. The bloated and corrupt union "leaders" bled steel mill owners DRY. Look at the USPS, who can't fire shitty letter carriers because the unions PROTECT them. You, Perez, are a moron, and shouldn't be allowed to post on what you clearly don't understand (which is just about everything). Unions = self-entitlement mentality. Fuck the unions.



  89. 89

    This is such BULL SHIT.
    I live in Wisconsin and was at the protests in Madison on Saturday, and these people protesting are absolutely disgusting. I yelled "Go Walker!" (the state's governor) and I had a 40 YEAR OLD MAN (I am a 23 year old woman, 5'2, 120 lbs.) turn around and say to me "You better shut your fucking mouth little girl before you say something you REALLY regret." I had another person straight up bitch slap me and run away. There are DOCTORS up there writing sick notes for the people who called into work to protest. There have been so many teacher's calling in sick this week that Milwaukee, Madison, Racine and Dodge counties had all had to shut down their ENTIRE SCHOOL DISTRICTS. If these people are so for protesting, they wouldn't give a shit if they got a doctor's note or not. People these days are little bitches.
    The bill asks that state workers pay the national AVERAGE for their insurance and pensions. I sit here and get to keep $-19 a week out of my paycheck (again, I am in debt just for surviving). I live in a basement apartment, no car, no cell phone, no landline, food is a privilege not a necessity, and I'm typing on my 7 year old laptop I bought in high school and am piggy backing off the business next door's wifi. I absolutely do not live beyond my means, and I end up in debt every week.
    You tell me why this isn't fair. You tell me why it's asking too much of the state employees. You won't even post this because it states the TRUTH.



  90. 90

    Workers have already agreed to contribute more of their incomes toward their pensions and healthcare. The part that is making people angry is that Walker won't negotiate on the collective bargaining issue. To say that the unions are unwilling to make any concessions is ignorant. Walker is the one who is unwilling to make concessions. I live in Wisconsin– everyone here can feel the hardship of our budget problems. But eliminating the bargaining power of unions (all public unions but the police, firefighters and state troopers who, by the way, are the only unions that supported Walker in the election) is not the way to solve them.



  91. 91

    Also, collective bargaining isn't a right, it's a privilege. All these people that feel entitled to it need a reality check. PRIVILEGE NOT RIGHT.



  92. 92

    Who does he think will pay for these "rights"? I'm already paying a fortune for my own family. Don't these people realize they could negotiate Healthcare cheaper, by not paying avg $5000 a year to Union bosses?



  93. 93

    What an IDIOT! The US already has a democratic process. Doesn't mean you get what you want 100% of the time!



  94. 94

    What's really amazing is that on Sat. close to 70,000 people representing both sides of the issue were at the Capitol Square and there were ZERO arrests. Democracay in action.



  95. 95

    Unions were, and are, important. Without them large employers tend to treat their workers horribly and pay them very little for it (see the industrial revolution). That said, Unions can get out of control (see GM- there is a reason so many of their jobs went overseas). I'm sure WI is hurting economically. If they have to pay more for their benefits (like most people do), then so be it. I'd rather see the money put into the schools directly. There has to be a balance between Unions and employers. The problem is neither side likes to compromise.



  96. 96

    If you let them take away your rights bit by bit, pretty soon there will be nothing left. Just because these are "small" changes (according to the rich fuckers in charge) doesn't mean more aren't going to follow. Stop them now!! Stop them before they continue on to other states and countries. Show the world that we won't accept the stick they're trying to shove up our asses. As a unionized employee, I think it's disgusting what they're trying to do. Where does it stop????? That's the question. If you let them poke a hole in your cup, pretty soon there won't be anything left inside it.



  97. 97

    Fighting and protesting is for low life bottom feeders. You want change here in America? Vote.



  98. 98

    Re: JulesGules – Actually, if you all would check your facts, what the state workers are protesting is a part of the bill that would strip public employee unions of the right to collective bargaining, essentially union busting at a state level. They actually were willing to negotiate down their wages and benefits and scott walker was not interested. He is only interested in not having unions anymore. Try reading a reputable newspaper instead of listening only to Fox News. And I am paying a great deal of attention since I am moving to Madison in a few weeks.



  99. 99

    i don't know how many of you posting actually LIVE in madison, let alone wisconsin - however i do and have for my entire 24 years. if you have not lived here or worked for a union you couldn't possibly understand how this affects our state. it's easy to make a comment when it doesn't affect you whatsoever…

    this bill is not just about union workers griping about increases in benefit costs - i personally know MANY union/public workers and none of them are complaining about their costs of these benefits increasing - this is about taking away all of the rights that union workers have. why disrupt a group of workers who have been peaceful for nearly 50 years? this is not the only way to cut the state's spending budget and certainly not the only way to save money. this is the first of many nightmarish rights to be taken away in the future by this governor. walker has not done anything to cut ridiculous costs when it comes to the wealthy or corporations. he hasn't been in office for two months yet and he is all ready starting to take MORE away from the middle class. this is just the beginning of worse things to come.



  100. 100

    certainly, it is everyone's own choice to be employed where they are - nobody is forcing them to be a public worker. nobody forces all of our teachers to take positions they do - making 30k per year, working 12+ days a week (their work days do NOT end at 3 pm when the school bell rings, nor do they have "three months off" each year) - they do it because they are passionate about having a crucial role in our childrens' lives. if this bill passes, yes, they will be paying more for their benefits, but in the future every aspect of their contracts and bargaining options will be stripped from them as well. this will result in unhappiness in the work place, and most of them won't stand for it. in order to make ends' meat, i wouldn't be surprised if some of them had to take on employment at another job instead of doing something they are truly passionate about. this will result in less teachers in the classroom - a higher student-to-teacher ratio and we all know what that means - less attention to be paid to your child.

    this is just an example of how teachers will be affected- lets not forget about nurses, construction workers, sanitation workers, etc…

    what do YOU non-union supporters do for a living? probably something that you are somewhat skilled at - you certainly couldn't be successful in any of these positions.

    here's to wisconsin's union workers and supporters,

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