Is this the carrot or the stick?

The Milwaukee City Council voted to block a 1.5% raise  from City employees who choose to exercise their right to live outside the City of Milwaukee.

From The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (emphasis added):

By an overwhelming vote, the Milwaukee Common Council approved a new ordinance on Tuesday that, in effect, renders many city employee ineligible for a pay boost if they move outside of the City of Milwaukee.


The ordinance does not affect elected officials or employees represented by the Milwaukee Police Supervisors’ Association, the Milwaukee Police Association or the Milwaukee Professional Firefighters Association Local 215.


In the most recent city payroll, there were 4,106 general city workers, a number that doesn’t include police and fire employees.


Ald. Bob Donovan was not present when the vote was taken. He later reappeared at the meeting and asked that his vote be recorded as a “no” vote. That request was recognized and the final vote was 14-1.


Mayor Tom Barrett said he would sign the measure. He said that his staff discussed the idea internally before consulting with members of the Common Council and labor unions.

This ordinance was born out of the recent state law signed by Governor Walker that did away with residency requirements.  The City of Milwaukee, along with other municipalities, required all employes to live within city limits.  The logic behind the requirement was that it kept the employees living in the communities in which they worked, and contributed to the tax base of the local government.

Barrett’s opposition to the law doing away with such requirements is rooted in his unjustifiable fear that City employees will flee in droves, driving down property values and ruining the city.  Ooooookkkkkaaaaayyyyyy.

It’s illogical.  Buying and selling a house is not something that’s done at the snap of a finger.  Will some employees move out of Milwaukee?  Perhaps, but not tomorrow and not in the mass exodus Barrett is fearing.  But there’s something else, something very disappointing and — frankly — un-mayoral in Barrett’s attitude.

Barrett is basically saying that he doesn’t believe in the City of Milwaukee.  He’s saying that the City is such an undesirable place to live that — if we didn’t force City employees to reside there — only the dregs of society would inhabit Milwaukee.

What a ringing endorsement from the man who’s job function is to promote, love, and praise the city he governs.

The solution, of course, to Barrett’s fears is to make Milwaukee a desirable place to live.  We have tremendous cultural activities, a glorious lakefront, access to some of the most beautiful topography in the nation within reasonable driving distance, a deep history.  What we need is a lower, fairer tax base and a government that welcomes and supports businesses (*cough* Palermo’s Pizza *cough*) and makes it easy to work and live here (through fewer city codes, business permit hoops to jump through, etc.).  

If Mayor Barrett made Milwaukee a place people wanted to live, instead of a place where he had to force people to live, maybe he wouldn’t be so concerned about the law lifting the residency requirements.  That Barrett seems downright panicked should say something to his constituents and the people of Milwaukee.  Since Milwaukee is one of the biggest cities in the state and gets a lot of aid from the state, it should also make all of Wisconsin a little…concerned.

Another way that Barrett could encourage employees to stay is through incentives.  By offering City employees who reside in city limits a reason to stay — the 1.5% raise is a good example — they encourage employees to reconsider a move to the suburbs.  This I have no problem with.  When an employer wants to compete for good employees, the employer should offer incentives to attract and retain good employees.

But even that’s something he and the Common Council manage to screw up.  Go back and read the highlighted portion of The Journal Sentinel article quoted above.  The newly passed ordinance exempts elected officialsamong a few other groups.  So it’s going to be perfectly legal for Tom Barrett or any member of the Common Council to move out of the City and still get their raises…but not the average worker.  

Does Barrett (and the Common Council) not see how petty and vindictive — and hypocritical — this is?  Do they not see that, by exempting themselves, they confirm Barrett’s own expressed fears about those who support the tax base fleeing (because, let’s be honest, the Mayor and the members of the Common Council make way more than a majority of the City employees they’ve just whipped with this stick).  They’ve also clearly defined that they are above this law, but the rest of the City’s employees are being held hostage in Milwaukee…some might argue in violation of state law.

This is the same thing progressive liberals like Barrett do all the time.  They actively work against school choice…then send their kids to private schools.  They demand residency rules…then exempt themselves while taking the raise they’re denying other employees.  They work to take away our guns, but keep their armed security guards. 

I fully expect this will lead to another lawsuit, on top of any suits the City may face in violating state law by continuing the residency rule.  But, of course, the money for such suits doesn’t come from the pockets of Barrett or the Common Council…it comes from the pockets of the taxpayers of Milwaukee.  The ones they’re so desperate to have stay in the city.

If that’s not the definition of poor governance, I don’t know what is.



The only acceptable right

I have long argued that progressives do not care for the Bill of Rights or the Constitution.  They claim some of its provisions — like the Second Amendment — are “outdated” and have gone from calling the Constitution a “living, breathing” document to dismissing it as antiquated in its entirety.

Instead, I believe that progressives believe in one supreme “right” and all other “rights” are contingent on whether or not they aid in the expression of that supreme right.  Namely, that we have a right to sex — with whomever or whatever — whenever or wherever, without criticism, cost, or consequence.  This is why they support abortion on demand (because pregnancy and a baby is a consequence of sex) and the forcing of religious affiliated organizations, groups, businesses and persons to fund contraception, sterilization, and abortion (the First Amendment be damned!).

Don’t believe me?  Now there’s this, via the Washington Times  (emphasis added):

Ramping up their fight to overturn a ban dating back to 1985 and the emergence of the AIDS crisis, gay-rights organizers are preparing an unprecedented “national gay blood drive” Friday to urge the federal government to change its donation policy and allow some openly gay and bisexual men to give blood.

None of the thousands of men expected to show up to blood donation centers is likely to be allowed to donate, but gay-rights activists are eager to show that the ban prevents countless units of healthy blood from being accepted into the blood banks.

On Friday, gay and bisexual men will have specific locations in more than 50 cities to offer to give blood.


They are expected to go first to an HIV testing unit — some of which will be parked near the blood donation center — and get rapid-response HIV testing, which is performed with an oral swab. Within 30 minutes, each man will receive his results. Those with negative HIV tests will attempt to donate their blood.


“As each donor is rejected, their test result will be collected, compiled, and delivered to the FDA — visually conveying to them on a national level how much blood the gay community could contribute to the blood supply should they lift their current policy,” Mr. Yezak said on the website


A fact sheet released at the end of June by the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) warns that HIV rates, already at epidemic proportions, are continuing to climb steadily among men who have sex with men (MSM).

“Gay and bisexual men remain at the epicenter of the HIV/AIDS epidemic,” says Jonathan Mermin, the director of the CDC’s division of HIV/AIDS prevention.


The CDC notes that while homosexual men make up only a very small percentage of the male population (4%), MSM account for over three-quarters of all new HIV infections, and nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of all new infections in 2010 (29,800).


“Men who have sex with men remain the group most heavily affected by HIV in the United States,” the fact sheet states.

US News reports that if HIV infections among men who have sex with men (MSM) continue to rise at the current rates, more than half of college-aged homosexual men will have HIV by the age of 50.


More than half of homosexual men will have HIV by the age of 50, which means the already small percentage of men who are gay (4%, as cited above) will be cut in half to 2% of gay men as potential donors.  And this is going to provide “countless units of blood” to donation centers?

Additionally, the CDC also recommends that one get tested for HIV/AIDS three to six months after their last sexual encounter.  The rapid results tests these men plan to take may provide a false negative report.

But we’re not supposed to put the health of those who need blood donations above a political agenda?

No, apparently not.

The inability to donate blood is a consequence of engaging in homosexual behavior.  But since sexual behavior cannot have consequences, according to progressives, we should have to risk our health and chance getting HIV/AIDS so 2% of men can feel affirmed in being able to donate blood.

From “Safe, legal, rare” to “Abort! Abort! Abort!”

The pro-abortion crowd is upset at Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker signing into law a bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks (five months gestation).  The Journal-Sentinel reports (emphasis mine):

Gov. Scott Walker signed a bill Friday requiring doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges, and abortion clinics responded by immediately suing state officials over the measure.

The law — signed Friday by Walker in a private ceremony — would cut the number of clinics offering abortions in Wisconsin from four to two, and one of the remaining clinics will have to dramatically cut the number of abortions it provides, according to the operators of the clinics. The law is to take effect Monday.


“When women don’t have access to safe, legal abortions, there are health consequences and women die,” said Teri Huyck, president and chief executive officer of Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin.

So, apparently to Ms. Huyck of Planned Parenthood, “safe” abortions don’t include ones where the doctor has admitting privileges to hospitals.  In other words, these doctors wouldn’t be allowed to work in hospitals, so poor is their performance, hence the lack of admitting privileges.

The bill also requires women get an ultrasound prior to an abortion.  This has always been an issue of contention for the pro-abortion crowd simply because women often change their minds after seeing their unborn child living and moving in the womb.  And if, you trust women to make the decision about abortion, as the pro-abortion crowd says it does…why are they so mortally afraid of giving women all of the pertinent information related to pregnancy?  You know, like fetal development and fetal pain?

Ultrasounds and scientific advancements — both in the medical field and in devices in general — have been the worst enemy of the pro-abortion movement.  They have shown the world that an unborn child isn’t a clump of cells or some tissue, but a living human being capable of doing remarkable things in utero.  So now the pro-abortion movement has to minimize the scientific evidence and facts in favor of emotionalism and rhetoric.  Rhetoric including the tired, “Women will DIE!” line.

You know where women died?  Kermit Gosnell’s butcher shop abortuary in Pennsylvania.  Gosnell was convicted of and sentenced to life for “aborting” newborn babies and manslaughter in the death of at least one woman (not to mention the maiming and mistreatment of other women…mostly minority).  Gosnell ran a legal abortion clinic in PA, one that wasn’t regulated because the governor of that state (a Republican) feared a “he’s against women’s choice!” backlash from the pro-abortion crowd.  Gosnell’s clinic was filthy, shoddily run and dangerously staffed.  And the pro-abortion crowd was less upset that it existed than they were about it being exposed.  So much for “safe”…

There is no reason for abortion.  None whatsoever.  Even when people say, “What about the life of a mother?” there is no pregnancy-related illness that is cured by direct abortion.  In cases of rape and incest?  Those abortions make up less than 2% of all abortions — which would fit the idea of “rare” if that’s what the pro-abortion crowd really wanted.

But it isn’t.

As the lawsuits over this bill, and the protests over something similar in TX (where the pro-abortion crowd classily chanted “Hail Satan!”) show it’s really not about “safe” and it’s certainly not about “rare.”  It’s about free abortion on demand and, as they insist, without apology.  But, of course, you have to pay for it.  It’s none of your business whether or not a woman has an abortion, they’ll tell you, but 100% of your financial responsibility…because women are strong and independent and can make their own decisions regarding their body*…except when it comes to footing the bill.

It’s not a popular sentiment, but my solution to “I don’t want a baby” is simple.  Don’t. Have. Sex.  If you aren’t willing to accept responsibility for the individual your recreational activities create, keep it in your pants.  If you must get your jollies, there are personal massagers and even Planned Parenthood’s website gives tips on how to pleasure without vaginal intercourse.  And if you get pregnant?  Put the baby up for adoption.  Then you aren’t responsible for the baby anymore.


SCOTUS, DOMA and Prop 8

I won’t go into all the details of the rulings today.  I believe they are a nod to federalism; overturning DOMA but sending Prop 8 back to the state (unfortunately for the voters of California, the 9th Circuit Court overturned their will) but there are some questions.

Allahpundit at Hot Air asks a good one here.

According to my husband, there is a lot of doom and gloom in the Catholic/Christian blogosphere and concern (not entirely unjustified) about what this means for religious liberty in the United States.

This fight is not over.  The ruling did not explicitly create a right to gay marriage and it did not overturn laws prohibiting gay marriage in states where such laws are on the books (like Wisconsin).  If you look at the demographics of Prop 8 you’ll note that it got something like 52% of the vote in California and Obama carried that state with 61% of the vote.  These are not, contrary to what liberals tell you, votes passed by bigoted blue haired lily white octogenarians carrying Bibles and Rosary beads.  People who voted Democratic (and Obama won Wisconsin, too) in past elections voted for the traditional definition of marriage.

I do not believe it’s a lost cause.

But the first thing that should be done now is that Republicans in state legislatures across the country should pass clear and concise laws protecting freedom of speech, religious conscience and the First Amendment.  They should make it explicitly clear that no church, group, or individual will be forced to acknowledge or otherwise partake in a gay marriage — including florists, bakers, photographers, hall owners, etc.

Let’s send a very clear message: if you’ve the right to marry, we’ve the right to politely decline being forced to approve your union in any way, shape or form.  It’s called equal protection under the First Amendment.

College age Obama voters about to learn

…that “free” and “affordable” health care is certainly not free and definitely not affordable.

From Forbes, the cheery news that college insurance plans will cost over 1000% (and that’s not a typo) more:

At the State University of New York in Plattsburgh, she writes, the 2011-2012 school-year premium was $440 per student. Next year’s plan will cost between $1,300 and $1,600.

Lenoir-Rhyne University in Hickory, N.C. paid $245 per student per year for 2011-2012. Next year, they’ll have to pay $2,507 to meet the law’s requirements. The University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Wash. paid even less last year—$165 a year—but will have to pay between $1,500 and $2,000 next year: more than twelve times their current insurance costs.

What’s the Obama administration’s response to this carnage? Effectively it’s this: that people should pay more for insurance, because it’s for their own good. The costlier, more comprehensive plans offer more protection, and people should be forced to buy that extra protection, even if they think it exceeds their own needs.

Perfect example of the progressive nanny state: we know what’s best for you and you’ll agree with us. Costs and consequences be damned.

And, of course, like the impending environmental regulations Obama is going to ram down our throats the purpose of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) was never to make health care better or more affordable.  It was to make it outrageously expensive, requiring massive subsidies to people, and — when the shit hits the fan, cost wise — have politicians bitch and moan about how awful it is that insurance prices have skyrocketed.  Then they can propose a government-based solution that will, as usual, give them more power and cost us our liberties and our money.

But the youth voted for Obama in droves.  They must face the consequences of their actions.  They were warned by many of us that this was going to be a disaster, so let that disaster happen and the chips fall where they may.

Stupid editorial of the day

From the New York Times, a call to make companies pay blood money for gun violence.

Let’s also make anyone who manufactures anything that someone could use in a violent or life-threatening way pay blood money when their products harm or take a life.

You ever bother to read all of the warnings that come with, say, a new hair dryer?  You know, the ones that warn you not to try to dry your hair while in the shower or bathtub lest you be electrocuted?

Yeah, those all exist because somewhere, some idiot either tried to blow dry her hair in the shower and became a crispy critter or a group of lawyers and other bean counters got together and brainstormed a list of cover-your-ass product warnings to avoid a lawsuit.

I don’t know how to make this any more clear, but I’ll try again and I’ll use small words:

Guns and gun makers don’t cause gun violence.  Violent criminal thugs cause gun violence.

This is as asinine as calling for a “hurt feelings tax” on, say, entities like The New York Times when someone uses words that make someone else feel bad.  Or, of course, we could list the more obvious organizations that should be charged blood money for the harm their products cause:

  • Car manufacturers.  After all, more people die in car accidents than by mass shootings.
  • Food makers, restaurants, and farmers.  Their products are responsible for obesity and, therefore, early death.
  • Alcohol producers.  People drink and alcohol causes alcoholism and drunk driving and abuse.
  • Knife makers.  Knives kill people, too.  We cannot let Ginsu get away with these atrocities anymore.

Shall I continue?

Of course, the thing missing here is this:  our culture can never, ever, ever blame the shooter for violence.  It’s always the fault of the gun.  Or the movie.  Or the bullying.  Or whatever politically correct cause the media can blame it on.  It just happens to be guns right now because, since Sandy Hook, the left has been itching for gun control and has lost massively at the polls and in Congress.