Gov. Walker defies the will of the people and signs anti-union bill into law

by Ben Hoffman

MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has officially taken away nearly all collective bargaining rights from the vast majority of the state’s public employees.

Walker signed the bill to do so privately Friday morning, but he has scheduled a signing ceremony at 3 p.m. at the state Capitol.

Source

WASHINGTON – A new Rasmussen poll found Thursday that a clear majority of Wisconsin voters oppose Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) efforts to strip collective bargaining rights for public employee unions.

Fifty-two percent said they oppose weakening collective bargaining rights, while 39 percent were in favor of it.

Recent surveys by the New York Times/CBS, Wall Street Journal/NBC, Pew, and Gallup all found majority or plurality support across the country for maintaining the collective bargaining rights of unionized state workers.

Source

Fascism has come to Wisconsin.

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23 Comments to “Gov. Walker defies the will of the people and signs anti-union bill into law”

  1. I’m sorry, but I don’t see a link. Perhaps you can clarify.

    How is getting rid of something that fewer than 7% of private sector employees and no federal government employees have, fascism?

    • No, the real question is: why do YOU hate the middle class? Why do you hate America?

      • Nice.

        Instant ad hominem to support a blanket assertion.

        You still didn’t answer my question.

      • That’s not an ad hominem. Do you even know what that means?

        But what Walker is doing is fascism. First of all, he’s defying the will of the people. Autocratic rule is an element of fascism. Fascists are authoritarian rulers and people like you are authoritarian followers. Fascism is also known as corporatism. Walker is doing what’s in corporate interests rather than what’s in the best interest of the people. Fascism is an extreme right-wing ideology that apposes democracy and liberalism. It also embraces militarism. Walker threatened to call out the national guard to suppress the strikers.

        Need any more evidence?

  2. “That’s not an ad hominem. Do you even know what that means?”

    It is ad hominem. You accussed me of hating the middle class and hating America. You are attacking me personally rather then addressing the argument. Are you sure YOU know what ad hominem means?

    “Fascists are authoritarian rulers and people like you are authoritarian followers.”

    Again, ad hominem. You don’t even know me, how can you possibly assess whether I am an “authoritarian follower”? Rachel Maddow also has plenty of authoritarian followers who fail to think for themselves. Does that make them Fascists? By your definition it does.

    “But what Walker is doing is fascism. First of all, he’s defying the will of the people.”

    We live in a republic, not a direct democracy. The people elected Walker as their representative and he is doing what he thinks is best for his state. Direct democracies are inherently unstable for a number of reasons, particularly because once the mob realizes it can vote itself money from the treasury, the system collapses.

    Taking away a “right” that 93% of people in the private sector and most in the federal government do not have, helps him reduce the public union’s ability to vote itself money from the treasury and thereby makes it easier for him to close his budget gap.

    Unions today are an anachronism that has long since achieved its purpose and now stands in the way of progress.

    A right is a right only if it is available to everyone. Collective bargaining fails to meet this test.

    “Walker is doing what’s in corporate interests rather than what’s in the best interest of the people.”

    Having a solvent state is in the best interest of the people. Gold-plated health plans and pensions for life are only good for public employees and are provided at the expense of everyone else.

    “It also embraces militarism. Walker threatened to call out the national guard to suppress the strikers.”

    So every time a President calls in the National Guard that makes him a fascist? Does this make President Eisenhower a fascist because he called in the National Guard to escort African American students to school in Little Rock, Arkansas?

    You are equating Governor Walker’s actions to a movement that resulted in the deaths of 50 million people. Is that fair? Is that reasonable?

    Before you reply and call me a misogynistic, jingoistic, bloodthirsty imperialist, remember your own words:

    “All comments are welcome except for those that contain personal insults with no valid arguments. Also, if you make a comment not supported by facts, you may receive an unpleasant retort.”

    • [It is ad hominem. You accussed me of hating the middle class and hating America. You are attacking me personally rather then addressing the argument. Are you sure YOU know what ad hominem means?]

      I didn’t accuse you of anything. I simply asked you a question. An ad hominem is an effort to discredit the holder of an opinion by disparaging his or her character. While I didn’t insult you personally as you claim, a personal insult is not an ad hominem. If I were to discount your argument because of something like bad grammar or misspelling, or anything that demeans your credibility, that would be.

      [Rachel Maddow also has plenty of authoritarian followers who fail to think for themselves. Does that make them Fascists? By your definition it does.]

      Being an authoritarian follower doesn’t make one a fascist. Authoritarian leaders can be left or right-wing, but there are far more right-wing authoritarian followers than left-wing. That fact has been well documented. Fascist leaders are authoritarian by nature, but that’s just one element of fascism.

      More later…

  3. “why do YOU hate the middle class? Why do you hate America?”

    These questions presume that I both hate the middle class and hate America. They have nothing to do with the argument, but attack my character. Had you said, “do you hate the middle class?” or “do you hate America,” your argument would stand on terra firma, but that is not what you said.

    If I said, “Why do you hate veterans?” it would be a personal attack unless you clearly stated, “I hate veterans.” You didn’t, so it does not help me advance my argument by seeking to discredit you in this way.

    “Being an authoritarian follower doesn’t make one a fascist. Authoritarian leaders can be left or right-wing”

    This is a far point. I agree.

    “but there are far more right-wing authoritarian followers than left-wing. That fact has been well documented.”

    Really? The Chinese preside over 1 billion people many of whom are followers of left-wing authoritarian leaders. I’ll give you Hitler’s Germany, Mussolini’s Italy, and Tojo’s Japan, but their populations still do not come close to China’s nor the Soviet Union at any time before its collapse.

    You may try to quote some social psychologist’s study, but I will not accept it because this particular field is besotted with widespread liberal bias.

    I know, my claim seems silly, but here is an interesting article that supports this theory: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/08/science/08tier.html

    The bottom line is that people on both sides have valid concerns and arguments. Labeling the actions of one person as fascist just because you disagree with them, when they have a reasonable basis for pursuing a particular action, serves no one. It makes one no better than tea party activists who called President Obama a socialist for introducing healthcare reform.

    There are serious issues of moral hazard involved in the way public sector unions use mandated union dues to elect politicians to provide even more unfunded benefits to union members. This system is unsustainable and needs to change.

    • [Really? The Chinese preside over 1 billion people many of whom are followers of left-wing authoritarian leaders. ]

      They don’t have any choice.

      [I know, my claim seems silly, but here is an interesting article that supports this theory: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/08/science/08tier.html%5D

      Now THAT is an ad hominem. You seek to discredit any study about authoritarianism simply because the vast majority of social psychologists are liberals. The vast majority of scientists are also liberals. Does that mean that science has a liberal bias? Some conservatives would say “yes,” especially the ones who want “intelligent design” taught as science. There are such things as facts and truth in this world, like it or not.

      [There are serious issues of moral hazard involved in the way public sector unions use mandated union dues to elect politicians to provide even more unfunded benefits to union members. This system is unsustainable and needs to change.]

      That’s one way to look at it. Another way would be to create a system where everyone had those benefits.

  4. “Now THAT is an ad hominem. You seek to discredit any study about authoritarianism simply because the vast majority of social psychologists are liberals. The vast majority of scientists are also liberals.”

    Ben, this is a very fair point. I should have explained why this claim is relevant, rather than simply throwing it out there. Making the claim without explaining its relevance can certainly be constued as ad hominem. I think this is the first instance in our exchanges where I can be fairly accused of ad hominem (I have tried to avoid it, but slipped on technical grounds). I will man up and admit it. That said, you employ this logical fallacy frequently, but never take responsibility for it. I would appreciate a similar admission.

    Here is a better explanation about why this contention is an important one that should nullify the claim it is ad hominem. The reason the majority of social scientists being liberal is relevant, is that studies with liberal bias in that field are more likely to get published. Additionally, conservatives who care about their careers in that field are less likely to publish papers that go against that field’s consensus.

    That said, it would be unfair to completely dismiss any research from the field without looking at it first.

    “That’s one way to look at it. Another way would be to create a system where everyone had those benefits.”

    The Romans tried this “bread and circus” strategy millennia ago and it was a major factor in their civilization’s collapse.

    • [I will man up and admit it. That said, you employ this logical fallacy frequently, but never take responsibility for it.]

      What exactly was my logical fallacy?

      [The reason the majority of social scientists being liberal is relevant, is that studies with liberal bias in that field are more likely to get published. Additionally, conservatives who care about their careers in that field are less likely to publish papers that go against that field’s consensus.]

      Boy, talk about a couple of logical fallacies. Do you have any evidence those things are true? Using that logic, all science is biased because the vast majority of scientists are liberals.

      Have you ever thought of why most scientists are liberals? Could it be that people who place a high value on science tend to be liberal and that’s why more people who become scientists are liberals?

      [The Romans tried this “bread and circus” strategy millennia ago and it was a major factor in their civilization’s collapse.]

      I believe a “bread and circus” strategy is exactly what conservatives are using to destroy our country. Giving everybody a tax cut when we’re running huge deficits isn’t helping our country at all. It’s just superficial appeasement to the myopic when their main goal is the destruction of the middle class in favor of a plutocratic governance.

  5. “What exactly was my logical fallacy?”

    Ad hominem.

    “Boy, talk about a couple of logical fallacies. Do you have any evidence those things are true? Using that logic, all science is biased because the vast majority of scientists are liberals.”

    Here is my evidence: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/08/science/08tier.html

    I was speaking specifically about social science, not all science. By the way, how do you know that “the vast majority” of scientists are liberals? Prove it.

    “[T]heir main goal is the destruction of the middle class in favor of a plutocratic governance.”

    Seriously? Are you listening to yourself? Does any of this really make any sense? Prove it.

    This argument sounds more like a conspiracy theory.

    “Giving everybody a tax cut when we’re running huge deficits isn’t helping our country at all.”

    Neither is runaway spending.

    I agree that giving everybody a tax cut is not helping our country.

    I think the fundamental problem is that conservatives refuse to cut taxes while liberals want the state to provide everything for people without any consideration of cost. Both sides are wrong and both sides need to compromise. But neither side does because they are each too busy shouting at each other and engaging in ad hominem attack.

    • [“What exactly was my logical fallacy?”

      Ad hominem.]

      You accuse me of using logical fallacies in my argument, but when I ask you what they were, you claim that’s an ad hominem? I say you’re a liar.

      [Here is my evidence: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/08/science/08tier.html%5D

      That’s just one person’s opinion with no real research to back it up.

      By the way, how do you know that “the vast majority” of scientists are liberals? Prove it.

      Most scientists identify as Democrats (55%), while 32% identify as independents and just 6% say they are Republicans. When the leanings of independents are considered, fully 81% identify as Democrats or lean to the Democratic Party, compared with 12% who either identify as Republicans or lean toward the GOP.

      Source

  6. “You accuse me of using logical fallacies in my argument, but when I ask you what they were, you claim that’s an ad hominem? I say you’re a liar.”

    You misread what I was saying. I should have been more clear. The logical fallacy that you commit frequently is ad hominem. You employed ad hominem when you asked my why I hated the middle class and America (Tangentially, I have to thank you for those accusations because they, in part, inspired me to create this satire: http://reflectionsofarationalrepublican.com/2011/03/13/the-vast-right-wing-conspiracy/).

    You also just employed ad hominem when you just called me a liar.

    You failed to prove that the “vast majority” of scientists are liberals because the crux of your argument assumes that all Democrats are liberals. This is simply not true. The basis of comparison is not Democrats, but liberals. According to a 2010 Gallup poll, only 21% of American Adults identified themselves as liberal or very liberal (See http://www.gallup.com/poll/145271/Conservatives-Continue-Outnumber-Moderates-2010.aspx). In contrast as of 2008, 36% of voters identified themselves as Democrats (See http://pewresearch.org/pubs/773/fewer-voters-identify-as-republicans).

    I am not arguing that you are wrong (I frankly don’t know whether you are right or wrong), but I am arguing that you have yet to prove your contention.

    “That’s just one person’s opinion with no real research to back it up.”

    Really? According to the same article, there are 4 other people who have done research on the topic and independently came up with similar conclusions. Nice try.

    “The politics of the professoriate has been studied by the economists Christopher Cardiff and Daniel Klein and the sociologists Neil Gross and Solon Simmons. They’ve independently found that Democrats typically outnumber Republicans at elite universities by at least six to one among the general faculty, and by higher ratios in the humanities and social sciences. In a 2007 study of both elite and non-elite universities, Dr. Gross and Dr. Simmons reported that nearly 80 percent of psychology professors are Democrats, outnumbering Republicans by nearly 12 to 1.”

    I rest my case.

    • So you’re advocating for affirmative action for the psychology industry? We already have that in science with all reports in the media about global climate change now being “balanced” by the few scientists who disagree. Everything is political to conservatives, including science.

      • “So you’re advocating for affirmative action for the psychology industry? We already have that in science with all reports in the media about global climate change now being “balanced” by the few scientists who disagree. Everything is political to conservatives, including science.”

        No, I’m not advocating affirmative action in psychology, I am merely pointing out self-selection bias exists in the social science community. That is all.

      • The fact is, far more Democrats go into the field of psychology than Republicans. Therefore, it’s only natural that there are more Democratic psychology professors than Republicans. That doesn’t indicate any bias. It’s just the way things are. The field of psychology requires compassion, and conservatives generally are not real big on compassion.

  7. Cry me a River, Ben.
    As for “defying the will of of the people” I got 1 word for you…
    OBAMACARE

    • Nope, little sheep. Once again you’re lying. The majority approves of the health reform bill. While they may want it improved upon, only a small percentage want it repealed. What the Republicans are doing is defying the will of the people.

      • “The fact is, far more Democrats go into the field of psychology than Republicans. Therefore, it’s only natural that there are more Democratic psychology professors than Republicans. That doesn’t indicate any bias.”

        No it does not, but it does mean that the psychology community will be more likely to produce works that reflect the biases of that community and more likely to dismiss works that go against those biases.

        As an example, take a look at the response to the book,The Bell Curve. Some have claimed that it is doubtful whether any book in the entire history of psychology has been so extensively criticized as The Bell Curve (I can’t confirm or deny the veracity of this claim).

      • Ah, yes, The Bell Curve… I read that back in the early 1990s when I was still a conservative. I actually presented some of the data from that book in a political science class I was taking as an elective (I was a computer science major). While the arguments in the book seemed well reasoned, when I tried to duplicate the findings, guess what? I couldn’t do it because the data was selectively chosen to fit the analysis. In other words, the book is full of statistical lies.

        So, it’s not a bias on the part of the psychology community. It was the author who showed bias is his research, and the book has been rightfully criticized because of that. That’s the problem with science, though. Real science is based on facts, whereas conservative science is based on emotion and what they wish the facts were.

        You believe the analysis in the book because it fits your agenda. That’s the same reason right-wingers believe what they see and hear on Fox “news.” It fits their world view and it doesn’t matter if it’s not based on reality. It’s what they want to hear and they believe what they want to believe, facts be damned.

  8. My point was not that I agreed with the findings of the book. I haven’t read it in years and have not independently verified it. My only point was that because it worked against the left’s agenda, it was subjected to far more intense criticism and effort to discredit it than any other book in that field.

    Second, it is unfair to connote a social science with a hard science. In social science, politics can distort outcomes because one can bend statistics to get almost any result one wants, particularly in areas like human behavior where there are an almost infinite number of variables that affect outcomes.

    There are lies, damned lies, and statistics.

    Physics, on the other hand, has far less to do with politics, and more with hard data. I suspect you will be thinking about suggesting that many on the right do not believe in global warming as an example. But, I actually think the data suggests that the earth is warming, the only area where I think there should be debate is whether humans are primarily responsible for it. I have mixed feelings on this, but I will not dispute the science, because it is science.

    “I read that back in the early 1990s when I was still a conservative. I actually presented some of the data from that book in a political science class I was taking as an elective (I was a computer science major).”

    Wow. Most people start out as liberals and become conservatives in their old age. It looks like you took the reverse path. Nothing wrong with this, just curious what triggered the switch.

    Computer science. Good for you! 😉

    I doubled majored in electoral engineering and history, but the Army, in its infinite wisdom, decided to put me on a tank. Ahh, government bureaucracy….

    • [My only point was that because it worked against the left’s agenda, it was subjected to far more intense criticism and effort to discredit it than any other book in that field.]

      No, all science should be scrutinized. The scrutiny revealed an extreme conservative bias in the information presented in The Bell Curve. That’s not an indication of liberal bias; that’s an attempt at infiltrating the field with conservative bias. But that’s what has become the argument in today’s political climate: all facts need to be balanced by a right-wing spin on the facts or they’re showing a “liberal bias.”

      [Most people start out as liberals and become conservatives in their old age.]

      I don’t think there’s any evidence that supports that statement in this day and age. And I still consider myself to be an Eisenhower conservative in some ways, but Eisenhower would be considered a liberal today. So would Goldwater. My views haven’t really changed very much since I was a kid. It’s just that the political landscape has shifted so far to the right that it put moderates to the left of center.

      [I doubled majored in electoral engineering]

      Electoral engineering? Was that a Freudian slip? 🙂

      • “No, all science should be scrutinized.”

        I totally agree, but pouring every resource in the field with the intention to debunk something rather than get to the truth is wrong. I see nothing wrong with presenting both sides of every argument, even if the other side of the argument is “stupid.” For instance, if someone presents on evolution, a creationist should be interviewed. The creationist may be nuts, but at least they will have a chance to hang themselves rather than the media passing judgment on them without giving them a chance to speak up for themselves. This is why I love Michael Moore so much. I say let him speak all he wants because every time he opens his mouth, he exposes the dangers and ignorance of the far far left. For the same reason, I shudder everytime I hear Sarah Palin speak.

        “I don’t think there’s any evidence that supports that statement in this day and age.”

        That’s fair. It’s just an old saying.

        “Electoral engineering? Was that a Freudian slip?”

        Good catch. I guess I’ve been talking politics for far too long 😉

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