Teachers Unions Give Big To Liberal Political Causes
So what does the American Ireland Fund, the Rev. Al Sharpton, and the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network have in common?
Well, all have received some of the more than $330 million that America's two largest Teachers Unions spent in the past five years on outside liberal causes, political campaigns, and lobbying.
The contributions-totaling more than $200 million from the National Education Association and more than $130 million from the American Federation of Teachers - were disclosed in annual reports that Unions are required to file with the Labor Department.
These reports detail their spending on political activities and advocacy work, as well as separate political-action-committee filings.
Some of the spending that the two Teachers Unions identified to the Labor Department as "political and lobbying" activities from fiscal 2007 through fiscal 2011 went to election consultants, voter mobilization and advertising.
Included are millions of dollars that went to liberal Political Action Committees (PACs) that donate almost exclusively to Democrat candidates and committees.
They also give millions of dollars to dozens of other organizations that promote a range of issues including Abortion Rights groups, minority civil rights groups, and liberal think tanks producing pro-Union policies.
Some of the contributions provide indirect political benefit to the Unions, by fostering allies among liberal groups. This has helped give teachers widespread political clout on Capitol Hill and in statehouses.
Million dollar donations have made Teachers Unions nearly indispensable to the Democrat Party. The Democrats in Washington reward the Teachers Unions by making laws making it mandatory for teachers to belong to the Unions.
And in the end, the Democrats in Washington fill their pockets with Union money, the Teachers Union Presidents make five times what their members make, and the teacher who is in the Union gets a notice in the mail that her Union Dues are going up because of "expenses".
It's all a ripoff for the teachers, even the ones who are for it taking place but see it as a necessary way of life!
Average Teacher $44,000 a year, while top Teacher Union Bosses make nearly $500,000 a year! Why the disparity?
Randi Weingarten, who is the president of the American Federation of Teachers, and Dennis Van Roekel, who is president of the National Education Association's, both earn nearly $500,000 each.
While teachers across the country face pay freezes and possible layoffs, but heads of the two biggest Teachers Unions had their pay jump 20% last year - to nearly half a Million Dollars each.
American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten's pay jumped to $407,323 between 2010 and 2011. Factor in stipends and other paid expenses and Weingarten took in $493,859 for 2011.
The National Education Association, Dennis Van Roekel, got a raise to $362,644. Factor in stipends and other paid expenses and Van Roekel $460,060 for 2011.
In the Obama age of liberal greed, the big salaries of these two Union presidents has drawn criticism from many teachers and their advocates in the U.S. - where the average nationwide salary for teachers is a only $44,000 a year.
Contrast that with the nearly 600 staffers at the NEA (National Education Association) and AFT (American Federation of Teachers) who are raking in hug six-figure salaries and teachers around the country appear very justified to be unhappy with the situation.
Association of American Educators Executive Director Gary Beckner says, "In terms of salaries, union executives rake in nearly 10 times the average household income and far more than any teacher. Are teachers or anyone in the private sector experiencing those increases in times of financial hardship?"
The answer is no! But then again, that doesn't seem to bother the Unions who have seen their membership drop - yet their Union salaries go up!
"The Union bigwigs are well-insulated from the paycheck-to-paycheck lives of most school-teachers," said Tracie Happel, a elementary school teacher in Lacrosse, Wisconsin, who has spoken out in the past against the practices of the Teachers Unions.
"It’s always about the Union. It's never about the teachers or students," Happel said. "When you’re a teacher, you know you will not always be able to have the money for renovations on a house or go away on vacation, but it’s a tough pill to swallow when you can't do those things when the people who are supposed to represent us get paid more and more every year."
Happel added that while she is safe for now, many of her colleagues in worse situations. "They are finding it hard to pay their bills. They are having trouble with basic monthly bills."
"Last year, I and the other two AFT officers, as well as all management took a voluntary pay freeze," Weingarten, president of AFT said in a statement.
"We did so because no one knows better than we do the economic distress our members are experiencing. Unlike in the corporate sector, all of my salary, benefits and expenses are fully disclosed," Weingarten said.
But who is she trying to full? She knows as well as anyone that the Union boards vote their own pay-raises! The whole idea of taking a so-called "all management took a voluntary pay freeze" is laughable when you consider that Weingarten's pay alone jumped to $407,323 between 2010 and 2011. Factor in stipends and other paid expenses and Weingarten took in $493,859 for 2011.
Where do you see those sorts of raises in the private sector? Nowhere but the corrupt!
John Ellsworth, a teacher in the Michigan's Grand Ledge Public Schools, told the Mackinac Center, a Michigan-based think tank, that teachers deserve the best advocates Union dues can buy.
He said in an email, "Public education is vital for the preservation and growth of our nation and its economy. Leaders of the national Teachers' Union try to rally people behind this truth. I wish we had people serving in government who recognized the importance of public education, but instead children and teachers need their own advocates since politicians abandon public education so readily."
"Children and teachers"? Since when do the Teacher Union fat cats represent the children? And besides, if they are really being altruistic and working on behalf of the teachers unselfishly - then why take so much money?
That's just Bullshit! And yes, not everyone agrees with teachers like John Ellsworth of the Michigan's Grand Ledge Public Schools.
Tony Amorose, a History Teacher with the Dearborn School District in Michigan, said no one begrudges Union officials fair salaries. But, as he said, the steep increases are out of step with what the rank and file see.
After 21 years of teaching, he earns $74,000 a year. He said he gets by just fine, but worries about the pay younger and less experienced teachers get.
"It would be nice if the unions held the line a bit in a show of solidarity," said Amorose, who is now campaigning for state office to change the greed he sees going on. "I don’t mind paying dues, but I don’t see them going down with my compensation. They keep going up. I find it a bit frustrating that they would give themselves such significant salary and compensation increases."
Michael Van Beek, Mackinac's director of education policy said the problem isn't necessarily high pay for Union leaders, it's the way they get it.
"These compensation levels are not based on market demand," Van Beek said. "This pay largely relies upon monopolistic collective bargaining privileges these unions enjoy, which forces school employees to financially support them. This is why transparency of these Unions is so important."
The same sort of promised transparency that, like that which the Obama administration promised, are just a lot of empty words.
The significant raises of the two Union leaders salaries came at a time when the saw memberships dwindling.
"They [the unions] want us to be seen as laborers and not professionals," said Kristi LaCroix, an English Teacher from Kenosha, Wisconsin, who added that the Unions did not want to use Gov. Scott Walker’s controversial reform plan because it gave teachers the choice to be represented by a union which would give them the ability to avoid paying mandatory dues.
"They want us to be seen as laborers and not professionals. I get nothing for my dues except them going to keeping ineffective teachers employed and treated like a servant.”
Teachers like Kristi LaCroix give everyone hope. She sees what is taking place, is speaking up, and isn't afraid of the retaliation of the Unions.
Good for her!
Border Patrol Stations Closing
The Obama administration is moving to shut down nine Border Patrol stations across four states.
That's right! Close them down!
Sure this has had a sort of political backlash from local law enforcement, members of Congress, and Border Patrol agents themselves, but the Obama administration doesn't care about such things.
And honestly, I know the report said that "Critics of the move warn the closures will undercut efforts to intercept drug and human traffickers in well-traveled corridors north of the U.S.-Mexico border. Though the affected stations are scattered throughout northern and central Texas, and three other states, the coverage areas still see plenty of illegal immigrant activity. One soon-to-be-shuttered station in Amarillo, Texas, is right in the middle of the I-40 corridor; another in Riverside, California outside of Los Angeles."
But are these essential stations, and are these agents needed somewhere else?
Well, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection says it's closing the stations in order to reassign agents to high-priority areas closer to the border.
"These deactivations are consistent with the strategic goal of securing America's borders, and our objective of increasing and sustaining the certainty of arrest of those trying to enter our country illegally," CBP spokesman Bill Brooks said in a statement. "By redeploying and reallocating resources at or near the border, CBP will maximize the effectiveness of its enforcement mandate and align our investments with our mission."
But wait! At least one Border Patrol supervisor in Texas has called on local officers to "voice your concerns" to elected officials, warning that the "deactivation" will remove agents from the Texas Panhandle, among other places.
Several members of Congress have asked Border Patrol Chief Michael Fisher to reconsider the plan. And local officials are getting worried about what will happen once the Border Patrol leaves town, since they rely on those federal officials to assist in making immigration arrests.
To me, I can't help but think that that is what this is all about: having less federal officials to assist in making immigration arrests. And yes, I really believe that it can have an impact on law enforcement officers attempting to enforce immigration laws.
The feds might not be able to control State laws or their law enforcement programs, but if it conflicts with Obama's immigration policy - especially before the November election when he needs every illegal vote he can get - then I can't help but wonder if the Obama White House is doing this to purposely hamper immigration arrests.
"It could impact us tremendously since we've only got two agents up here now for 26 counties," said Potter County Sheriff Brian Thomas to Fox News.
Potter County, in the Texas Panhandle, would be affected by the planned closure of the Amarillo station.
Thomas said that while his area is far from the border, it's still a major "corridor" for illegal immigrants - and he said his office depends on Border Patrol to respond to their calls.
"I can't hold a carload of people out there on I-40 for eight hours while somebody comes from El Paso," he said. "I mean, that's just crazy."
Border Patrol's resident agent in charge in Amarillo expressed similar worries, in a recent memo to local law enforcement alerting them to the planned closure. The official, Robert Green, warned that the "entire complement" of two agents would be reassigned from Amarillo to somewhere closer to the border.
He said "there is no active plan" right now for Immigration and Customs Enforcement to fill the void on assisting local officials with stops.
Empathizing with local officials, he wrote: "As a former deputy I found myself on the other end of the radio hoping to contact USBP to assist me with a vehicle full of undocumented foreign nationals on the side of the road."
And in an unusual plea, he urged the recipients of his memo to contact elected officials about the change. "I would encourage you, if you have found USBP assistance valuable in the past, to contact your political representatives and voice your concerns," Green wrote.
The letter was first posted online by the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. Thomas confirmed to Fox News that he received it. Bob Dane, communications director with the Federation for American Immigration Reform, also said he's confirmed the letter's authenticity with ICE.
CBP later acknowledged the memo, but said in its statement that Green was expressing his "personal opinion."
Lawmakers have started to get involved. Republican Rep. Mac Thornberry, who represents Amarillo, joined two other Texas lawmakers whose districts would be affected in asking the Border Patrol chief to "reconsider the proposal."
A letter sent Tuesday to Fisher warned the plan would "leave our area vulnerable." They noted that the Amarillo and Lubbock stations alone, two of those affected, accounted for 638 apprehensions of illegal immigrants just this year.
FAIR also blasted the Obama administration for the plans.
"It's part of the systematic dismantling of both border and interior enforcement," Dane told Fox News. "It complements the non-enforcement policy of this administration."
He warned that local officials in those areas will have a hard time summoning far-away Border Patrol agents to assist, and said the tone of Green's memo was a "not-so-subtle shout-out" that the agency feels "outmanned, outgunned ... by their own government."
Opponents of the plan say the changes are part of a pattern for the Obama White House.
The administration recently announced it would stop deporting young illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children and have not committed a serious crime. And after the Supreme Court upheld one plank of Arizona's controversial immigration enforcement law last month, federal officials said ICE would be selective in responding to calls about immigration status - prioritizing cases that meet certain criteria, like whether the suspect is wanted for a felony.
Rep. Randy Neugebauer, R-Texas, who signed the Thornberry letter, also voiced concern about the latest announcement on station closings in a written statement.
"The Department of Homeland Security hasn't demonstrated that sending additional resources to the border will be a more efficient use of resources than maintaining a presence further north," Neugebauer said.
"I'd like to see numbers that reassure me that this strategy change won't ultimately result in fewer arrests."
UN Arms Treaty!
Last year when I wrote about this, I was called all sorts of things including a liar!
Well, for you folks that wrote me saying there is no such thing as a United Nations small arms treaty, listen up!
A treaty being hammered out this month at the United Nations - with Iran playing a key role - could expose the records of America's gun owners to foreign governments - and, critics warn, eventually make the Second Amendment of our Constitution null and void!
This week, we Americans will find out what sort of government we have in Washington. This week, Secretary of State Clinton will either sign it or not - and only then will we find out our future.
Talks in New York at the UN are going on throughout July on the final wording of the so-called Arms Trade Treaty, which supporters such as Amnesty International.
Critics, including the National Rifle Association’s Wayne LaPierre, warn the UN Treaty would mark a major step toward the eventual erosion of the U.S. Constitution's Second Amendment gun-ownership rights.
Americans "just don’t want the UN to be acting as a global nanny with a global permission slip stating whether they can own a gun or not," LaPierre said.
"It cheapens our rights as American citizens, and weakens our sovereignty," he warned in an exclusive interview with Fox News from the halls of the UN negotiating chambers.
While the treaty’s details are still under discussion, the document could straitjacket U.S. foreign policy to the point where Washington could be restricted from helping arm friends such as Taiwan and Israel, said Greg Suchan, Deputy Assistant Secretary in the State Department’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs from 2000 to 2007.
Suchan also highlighted ongoing concern that the treaty may end up giving foreigners access to U.S. gun-ownership records.
On that score, LaPierre, who serves as NRA executive vice president, warns that the “UN’s refusal” to remove civilian firearms and ammunition from the scope of the treaty amounts to a declaration that only governments should be gun owners.
But he revealed he was set Wednesday to tell the UN gathering that 58 U.S. senators had signed a letter saying that they would refuse to ratify any treaty that includes controls over civilian guns or ammunition.
Ratification by two-thirds of the Senate is necessary before an international treaty negotiated by the executive branch can become U.S. law. But the treaty could still go into effect elsewhere once 65 countries ratify it. Such a development could change the pattern of world arms transfers and reduce the U.S. share, which stands at about 40 percent of up to $60 billion in global deals.
The Bush administration opposed a 2006 UN General Assembly resolution launching the treaty process, but President Obama decided the U.S. would take part on condition the final agreement be reached by consensus -- thereby giving any of the 193 participating states an effective veto.
The safeguard is insufficient for opponents of the U.S. participation, not least because UN talks invariably involve compromise.
“The administration swears they have a whole bunch of red lines, and they will block consensus if anyone crosses them,” said Suchan, now a government relations consultant as senior associate with the Commonwealth Consulting Corporation in Arlington, Va.
“But the dynamics of international negotiations are that once you get 90 percent of what you seek, you say, ‘Maybe there is a way we can finesse the final 10 percent.’”
A clause permitting arms transfers solely between UN member states would allow UN member China to object to U.S. arms sales to Taiwan, a non-UN member that China considers to be a renegade province.
This would be a huge problem for the U.S. at a time when Beijing is engaged in an unprecedented arms buildup.
Another fear is that Arab or other states critical of Israel may use any treaty language on human rights standards to argue against U.S. arms transfers to the Israeli government – much in the same way they currently use the UN Human Rights Council to repeatedly condemn Israel.
Suchan said U.S. arms trade law is seen as the global “gold standard” for regulating arms transfers, but doubted many countries would be willing to raise the bar that high. Instead, the treaty that emerges is expected to set a lower global standard – which Suchan said would have the effect of reducing Washington’s ability to press for voluntary arms embargoes against rogue states.
“We might want to urge a country to not sell arms to a state whose government is particularly odious,” Suchan explained.
“But that government could then ask whether the sale is prohibited under the Arms Trade Treaty – and if it is not, they would argue they are meeting the international standard.”
U.S. gun lobby concern focuses on the emphasis the treaty places on governmental – as opposed to individual – rights to guns, LaPierre explained.
“They’re trying to impose a UN policy that gives guns to the governments – but the UN doesn’t in turn make moral judgments as to whether these governments are good or bad,” he said.
“If you’re the government, you get the guns, if you’re a civilian, you don’t. But this will just end up helping evil governments and tyrants.”
For LaPierre, the emphasis he sees at the UN on governmental rights reflects what he believes is a wider international tradition that contrasts with the historical American emphasis on individual rights.
“The UN view is that governments – not individual citizens – ought to protect people,” he said, signaling that this principle permeates the draft that negotiators are currently working with.
LaPierre says the treaty that is likely to emerge will have the effect of squeezing individual gun owners in the United States and elsewhere by imposing on them an onerous collection of regulations.
“If they get this through, then what comes along is the institutionalizing of the whole gun control-ban movement within the bureaucracy of UN – with a permanent funding mechanism that we [in America] will be mainly paying for,” he said.
“The world’s worst human rights abusers will end up voting for this, while the Obama administration has not drawn a line in the sand like the previous administration did.
Instead, it is trying to be a part of this train wreck because they think they can somehow finesse it. But, to me, there is no finessing the individual freedoms of American citizens.”
Historically Accurate - Democrats and Slavery
The picture below was sent to me. As horrible as it and it's caption is, it is historically accurate. It is historically correct.
It is a fact of history that Democrats protected the institution of slavery to the point of Civil War.
In 1860, Democrats adopted a pro-slavery platform and nominated John C. Breckinridge in an election campaign that would be won by Abraham Lincoln and the newly formed "anti-slavery" Republican Party .
After the Civil War, most white Southerners opposed Reconstruction and the Republican Party's support of black civil and political rights.
Republicans started "The Freeman's Bureau." It was established by Congress on 3rd March, 1865. The bureau was designed to protect the interests of former slaves.
This included helping them to find new employment and to improve educational and health facilities. In the year that followed the bureau spent $17,000,000 establishing 4,000 schools, 100 hospitals and providing homes and food for former slaves. Democrats fought against the Freeman's Bureau and instead worked to derail black Civil Rights.
There were even former Confederate Soldiers, all Democrats, who returned home to start the Klu Klux Klan to terrorize blacks and Republicans in the South. Terrorism plagued the South, and the targets were former slaves, blacks who fought for the Union, and Republicans - many were murdered.
The Democratic Party identified itself as the "white man's party" and demonized the Republican Party as being "Negro dominated," even though whites were in control.
Determined to re-capture the South, Democrats "redeemed" state after state - sometimes peacefully, other times by fraud and violence.
By 1877, when Reconstruction was officially over, the Democratic Party controlled every Southern state.
One of the consequences of the Democratic victories in the South was that many Southern Congressmen and Senators were almost automatically re-elected every election. Due to the importance of seniority in the U.S. Congress, Southerners were able to control most of the committees in both houses of Congress and kill any Civil Rights legislation.
Under Democrat control, the South remained segregated until the 1960s when Republicans finally got their way and put through Civil Rights Acts.
The Civil Rights Acts were fought over and filibustered and voted against by Democrats in what was then a Congress controlled by the Democratic Party.
It is a fact that 18 Democratic Senators led by Richard Russell (Democrat -GA) launched a filibuster to prevent its passage. Said Russell: "We will resist to the bitter end any measure or any movement which would have a tendency to bring about social equality and intermingling and amalgamation of the races in our (Southern) states."
On the morning of June 10, 1964, Senator Robert Byrd (Democrat -W.Va.) who was a top official and recruiter for the Klu Klux Klan and obstructionist to the groundbreaking 1964 Civil Rights Act - completed a filibustering address that he had begun 14 hours and 13 minutes earlier opposing the legislation.
Bryd never apologized for his role or membership in the Klan.
President Lyndon Johnson could not rally his own party to vote for it.
Fact is that Republicans fought for it, Democrats fought against it!
Today, in an effort to rewrite history and pull a hoax on the American people, Democrats take every opportunity call Republicans "Racists" and "Bigots" - yet as the picture's caption says, "Democrats Have Fought To Keep It!"
The Democrat party can try to paint their party as the great Civil Rights advocate of black Americans - but that is a lie. History says it is.
Story by Tom Correa