Let me clear up my position on the union issue:

Collective bargaining is fundamentally a First Amendment issue: the right of a group of citizens to assemble and to petition their government for a redress of their grievances. It doesn’t matter if the group of people are getting a government paycheck or not, the constitution applies to everyone, and making exceptions because you don’t like how they are using their constitutional rights is exactly what tyrants do. (See the anti gun groups, the TSA, PATRIOT act, DUI checkpoints, etc.)

I do think that states should be a ‘right to work’ state, in that no one should be REQUIRED by law to join a union in order to have a job. Implicit in the First Amendment’s protection of my right to assemble and speak freely is my right NOT to assemble and speak. As a non-union employee who works in a union fire department, that right is important to me.

I also think that it should be illegal for a public employees’ union to strike or stage a “sick out” in order to force the government to bow to their demands. Anyone who refuses to report for work should rightly be fired.

So where would unions get their power? Through the constitutional exercise of their rights to speak, redress grievance, and vote: just like any other citizen. To say, as Sofa has done in comments:

So they [Unions-ed] are organized against the people.

Is to state that the government employees, the union members, are not people who are endowed with rights under the Constitution. It doesn’t matter that the people voted to “do something about that” as my First Amendment right to speak, assemble, and petition my government are no more up for a vote than my right to keep and bear arms, or my right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures.

That means the Constitution doesn’t grant any government the power to tell workers that they cannot collectively bargain.

Don’t like it? Change the Constitution. Until then, I will do what I have done since I swore an oath at the age of eighteen years: defend that Constitution against ALL enemies, foreign and domestic.

Categories: Uncategorized


Bob S. · February 25, 2011 at 8:31 pm


Can the military unionize?

They have a 1st Amendment right to assemble and petition their government, don't they?

The problem that I have is that the employees of the government want extra provisions to organize and petition the government.

You – as a government employee – have available every form of redress that I have.

You can sue as an individual.
You can sue as a group.

You can lobby as an individual.
You can lobby as a group.

But that isn't enough.

You want an additional layer of representation.

Again I'll ask where does it stop?

Do you not agree that most supervisors and managers come from the field of union employees?
(Talking only about public employee unions here).

Do most School principles start out as Teachers or are they hired in from another career field?

How about Police Chiefs and Fire Chiefs?

Most of the are union members.
So the very people who are 'the public representatives to the union'are current or former members of the union.


as my First Amendment right to speak, assemble, and petition my government are no more up for a vote than my right to keep and bear arms, or my right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures.

What I see the public employee unions as is Extra Legal protection.

Not only do you want to be 'free from unreasonable searches and seizures' you want to have a layer of protection — an agreement with government you work for — that mandates additional steps be taken.

Can your locker be searched without a union rep there?

Can you be disciplined without a union rep there at your request?

Can the city discuss your pay raise or as has happened with me, loss of pay without a union rep being there?


What makes public employees different enough to warrant that extra layer?

Bob S. · February 25, 2011 at 10:09 pm

Article 1 Section 7

To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

Sounds like authority to deny collective bargaining by the employees of the federal government, right?

Divemedic · February 26, 2011 at 6:21 pm

Gotcha. You feel that the First Amendment applies only to those who have things to say that you happen to agree with. Point made.

Remember that I am protected from the government by the Constitution. It doesn't matter that the government is my employer, I still have that protection.

The fact that your private employer isn't required to grant you that same protection has precisely nothing to do with it. The First Amend. doesn't protect you from a private employer.

This is why I cannot support the Republicans- they are the same as the Democrats, they just choose to use the Government to favor a different demographic, but the result is the same.

I guess the problem that the repubs have is that the unions aren't paying them enough in campaign contributions.

sofa · February 26, 2011 at 11:45 pm

When they were speaking- There was no problem.

But now they are using force to occupy the State capital.
They are creating havoc for the citizens by shutting down the schools.
They are deliberately causing great expense to the people of the state, in an effort to extort what they want.

When they were speaking- there was no problem.
Now they are acting, and acting in a way to cause damage to the people of the State.
So the people of the State can either give in, or charge the unions with responsibility for their actions.

The union needs to re-imburse the State. Their leaders should be jailed, and the members fired.

Are the Teachers irresponsible Children, or Adults who are hoping they never are held responsible?

Again- When they were speaking, there was no problem.
When the Union took ACTIONS and started using force to extort their demands—That's when speech ended and criminality began.

Fine them, jail them.

OR – – –
If there is no punishment for creating havoc and great expense to the community…
If shutting down a government and extorting money goes unpunished…
– Then don't be shocked if you start to see much more of that. Be careful what you ask for.

sofa · February 26, 2011 at 11:49 pm

The beautiful thing is- We are all speaking freely, and agreeing to disagree, and resorting to reason.
And everyone here seems to care about one another's opinions and is trying to 'win others' over to their side. It's debate, and it's wonderful to challenge ourselves.

But once the union took over buildings and started their extortion campaign; then their behavior became criminal.

Divemedic · February 27, 2011 at 12:52 am

Remember that the legislature is voting to prevent the union from collectively bargaining. This is not a law against strikes, or pensions, not even to cut pay. It is a law that is designed to silence the employees and their advocacy group.

When the government is voting to take away your right to speak, what else is left? If your state legislature was voting on a measure to confiscate all privately owned firearms, how far would you go to protest that?

There are those that would resist such a law with force. Why should free speech be any less important?

sofa · February 27, 2011 at 1:17 am

I'm not convinced that 'public sector employee union collective bargaining' is speech.

Because when they were speaking, there was no problem.

The problem occurred when 'bargaining' became actions resembling extortion.

And here's a question: If they are 'bargaining', then can the state say "NO" to the bargain? Or is it "an offer you can't refuse" kind of thing?

What if the State wanted the employees to pay a bit more of their own health care? What if the State demanded it, in order to keep employing those employees; because otherwise it would have to start firing teachers because there is no money (and Wisconsin cannot print money, yet)? What if the 'bargain' of keeping jobs in exchange for picking up some of their own health care insurance seemed reasonable to the voters of the State, but not the Union?

What if the State was broke, and the recent election was about budgetary discipline and regning in costs? Should eleted officials bargain away election results? Should they bargain away fiscal reality?

I'm not convinced that 'an offer you cannot refuse' is really speech. It still sounds like extortion.

But then I grew up in inner city Chicago and am very familiar with unions, and how they work, and how they bargain. We left, and so have many other businesses left. Look at union membership nationwide- It is in decline. Businesses fail when the unions start to bargain.

Ask the shareholders of GM if bargaining is speech or theft!


I wish we were sharing some beers, or arguing over a pool table.

Just sayin'

Divemedic · February 27, 2011 at 2:08 am

I will answer:

1 If the legislature says no, the union has the same recourse as any other lobbying group: get enough citizens to side with you, and vote the bums out. That is how we are supposed to do things. Passing laws to prevent the union from speaking is what I have a problem with. By eliminating collective bargaining, the legislature is the one here that is making "the offer you can't refuse." Remember, they are the ones using force to back up their edicts.

2 "Should eleted officials bargain away election results?"

So when the dems won in 08, the republicans should have shut up? Obama should have had his agenda pass? Or do election results only matter when your side wins?

3 Don't forget- the government is using men with guns to enforce the law. All I am advocating for is that the unions have a voice. What is the union threatening if they don't get their way? If the union doesn't get a deal that they like, are they free to quit working? Isn't that their right? Or do you propose that the police force them to work at gunpoint? Because we both know if the state doesn't get its way, they send in men with guns to force the matter.

That is truly an offer you can't refuse.

sofa · February 27, 2011 at 4:19 am

"Passing laws to prevent the union from speaking is what I have a problem with"

How is anyone preventing the union from speaking? They can do everything that the rest of us can do. They just want more special powers than the rest of us.

Regarding 2008 election: Are you saying GOP should have stormed the Capital? Should they have disrupted the country, and taken actions to increase costs to the nation? Are you saying they did? I guess I missed that.
(The difference between 'speech' and 'disruptive and expensive action'.)

Regarding force: The PoPo i Wisconsin are letting them occupy buildings. The rest of us couldn't get away with that. It is the Unions that are flexing their muscle and busing in out of state demonstrators; again raising the cost to the people of Wisconsin. It's how extortion works.

And if the Union doesn't get what they want? Like a spoiled little girl, they will pout. They have the right to speech- Just not the right to wreak economic havoc on the rest of the state.

Divemedic · February 27, 2011 at 11:09 am

see my latest post for some answers, but I will answer your election question with one of my own:

The Republicans fillibustered the Democrats during many of the Congressional proceedings on Obama's agenda. You argue that the legislative body should not ignore election results. Since the Democrats won a large number of Congressional seats and the Executive in 2008, was it also wrong for the Republicans to ignore the election results?

Or, as I claim, is delaying the votes a valid exercise of free speech?

sofa · February 28, 2011 at 4:12 am

The examples are quite different.

Elected representatives conforming to rules of the legislative body.

Mob swarm with union state police refusing to evict union teachers, all attempting to go outside the rules of the legislative body.

sofa · February 28, 2011 at 5:11 am

Cops loyal to union rather than to the law, or to the citizens who pay their salaries.

Teachers and cops with loyalies against the people.

That's why government employees must be prevented from unionizing. They place themsleves and their union against the will of the people and against the state.

They're loyalty is no longer to the people. Simple.

Divemedic · February 28, 2011 at 3:41 pm

What makes you think that cops and teachers are not a part of the people?

sofa · February 28, 2011 at 11:13 pm

When they insist that some animals are more equal than others.

They declared their separationd more better than teh rest of us.

I listened to what they are saying.

Divemedic · March 1, 2011 at 4:22 am

So again, you have just ignored the Constitution because you do not agree with what the person is saying. How is that different than the anti-gunners ignoring the parts that they do not like?

sofa · March 6, 2011 at 8:30 pm

"ignored the Constitution" ?? where ??

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