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  • Frankiarmz
    started a topic The People Have Spoken!

    The People Have Spoken!

    Gov. Walker has won the recall vote and I think it sends a clear message that the voters did not want a return to the past. I don't think the economy of that state or the country can be repaired and sustained by belt tightening, but until this plan is proven otherwise it will be the accepted fix.
    I still think we need to make what we consume and all the rest I've been ranting about, so let's see what the future holds. I wonder if President Obama still thinks he has done a great job for the people? Frank

  • CWSmith
    replied
    Re: The People Have Spoken!

    I recall once reading that "teachers" and the "educational system" is probably one of the few areas where the average citizen feels he can have direct interaction and effect through thier vote. With that feeling, it is the "school budget" that we often take out our frustrations with "the government". Whether that is entirely true, I don't really know. But I do think there is some reaction in this manner.

    Here, we are in a consolodated school district and as such, about the only vote we get is the final budget number with a "yeah or nay". We of course get to vote for our school board members. But like with any election, the candidates do not always run or appear to be what they will be after their election. What we don't get to vote on is the particulars of raises, maintenance, property actions like what gets maintained, closed, or built. Those all get lumped into the "budget" as line items and we don't get to pick and choose. WE can only trust that those who we have elected to the board have their eyes open and understand both the needs and the affordabilities of the community. And it is these issues which we most often find disappointing.

    I remember well the conflict we had with our son when he announced that he wanted to run. It was like a "WTF" moment within the family. "Are you really sure you want to put up with all that grief?", was my immediate response. And at first that is exactly what it was. The Suprintendant called us, a couple of teachers called us, neighbors called us... and one pompous jerk "Executive" beligerantly confronted us at a public forum where the new candidate were introduced.

    Some of the calls were happy ones, but most were about the lack of control that we had in allowing our son to behave in this manner. The Suprintendant, was concerned that "the kid" was going to promise everybody a raise... we invited him to the house and together we talked about "responsibility". (After that I think he too was a fan.)

    The "teachers" had thier concerns, probably out of some "conflict of interest"... but they knew our kid, "he was the little guy who came into Kindergarten with a 6th-grade reading level and almost everything after that was almost as equally astounding, at least through grade school. By highschool, they knew him as a good kid, but one who'd just as soon go for the laugh, rather than the "High Honor Role". Our whole "management-style" had been built around "respect", "responsibility", and that "learning" was fun. The target we wanted for him was "Honor Roll", but the responsibility that we demanded of him was to be the kid that he was, at whatever age, and to have fun, but be responsible. (Like you only get to be 16 once... but don't be stupid, it's good to live to be older too!)

    It was the Corning Executive that openly and disrespectfully confronted us about "controlling our kid"! That did it for my wife and I. After that, our son had our most enthusiastic support. He and his friends raised money, went door to door, and he went on the local radio talk shows, and attended the town meetings. A real highlight was when a couple members of the "Triad" (those executives who were school board members and serving their employer's interest) questioned our son's maturity and sense, and the local surgeon (also a member) stood up for him most eloquently. I think we all knew at that point that our son had cinched the election. He was one of five elected board members, two new and three re-elected. Two candidates, both incumbants lost thier seats (that "exec" was one of those).

    A very proud moment for me, was at the first school board meeting when one of the senior board members (an "executive" who had been re-elected several times), indignantly addressed MY kid by his first name, demanding that if he wanted any interaction from him, then he expected to be addressed as "MR." Our son's response was a respectful, "Sir, we sit at this table not because of our age, but because of those who voted for us. By my calculation, I received significantly more votes than you. I see no reason why either of us should demand a title; after all, we are equally here to serve our community."

    And with that, everything seemed to be settled and to my knowledge the "age issue" never came up again. Even when our son was attending Cornell, he still made the trip back to every meeting and he always managed to handle the responsibilities of his position. He didn't run for a second term, as by that time, his career took him away from the area.

    I think the point is that everywhere we look, we will find differences. I'm quite conservative normally, I think. But I also have quite liberal views too. I don't like to see people taken advantage of, but I also don't like it when people take advantage in thier laziness and lack of ambition. We all need to strive for better and we all need to work and contribute. Nobody, should live for free and get hand-outs just because they think they are "disadvantaged". Every person, can make some kind of contribution.

    I don't like it when power and money turns to greed, and those that are down are treated as less. Those on top seem to be as much leeches as those on the bottom. They just seem to be able to dress it up better. I often wonder why we can't "walk in the other guy's shoes" for a bit, see the problems and see that nothing in this world is absolutely "black and white". There's a lot of good people and too many bad people and unfortunately too many that have found it easier to point fingers, assign labels, and dig in thier heals without listening or even wanting to consider an opposing view. Worst part of all of it though is when an element uses thier power (collectively or otherwise) to garner an unfair advantage over the other, and too often at the cost to the other.

    And I too get caught up in this,

    CWS
    Last edited by CWSmith; 06-10-2012, 06:50 PM.

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  • Pipestone Kid
    replied
    Re: The People Have Spoken!

    CWS--Good post. You pointed out the good and the bad. I, too, have witnessed both, but I have yet to hear of someone who has come up with a better system. We all know what some of the working conditions were before unions and we all know of both the betterments and the pitfalls. Regretfully, some union leaders have been corrupt, but so has management. Do I have to say Enron for example? Or should I say Congress!! I contend that those who nock unions, teachers, and public workers in general are reaping the benefits of their services, but because they were not part of it, some don't even realize it. You mentioned tenure--yes, some hide behind it, but the only reason they get away with it is they have an administrator who isn't doing his/her job! Tenure does NOT guarantee you your job. It only insures that you have to be fired for just cause--not at the whim of some administrator or board member.

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  • NHMaster3015
    replied
    Re: The People Have Spoken!

    Kudo's to your boy, you should be proud. A good deal of what is wrong with any public school system is that people just don't want to get involved and unless you get involved you only know part of the story

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  • CWSmith
    replied
    Re: The People Have Spoken!

    Originally posted by Pipestone Kid View Post
    I can't help but notice that most of the posters who complain about unions, teachers, public service workers etc. have never belonged to any of those groups. Cws hit the nail on the head when he said that everything is lumped together. I don't know what the school situation is like in New York, so I won't comment on it--but I can tell you that in the midwest rural areas, teaching and their salaries are not what I am reading here. The average teacher spends 50 to 60 hours a week in their job and is called on to assist in every project that goes on in the community because " they are civil servants" Don't mention the fact that Joe Schmoo is next door neighbor to the chair of the school board and if his little Susie doesn't get an "A" on her report card the teacher is called to the board meeting to defend the grade Susie received. (which was probably more than she earned)Oh, by the way CWS around here if you bother to go to the school board meetings, you do have a say in how the money is spent. Bottom line is before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. ( If nothing else, you will be a mile ahead of them and have their shoes! )

    For the record: Yes, I've gone to a lot of school board meetings! IMHO, that attendance was an important part of being a parent of a student; and, I may add, that we took our child to as many of those meetings as possible. As a matter of fact, our son was one of the youngest elected school board members in the state of New York! In his "Senior" year, he ran for a primary 3-year seat against one of the top Corning Executives who had sat on that school board for a couple of terms, and he "unseated" him, winning more votes than three other winning candidates. During his service, he never missed a single meeting or an assignment as an elected official. While he voted for many proposals, he also staunchly supported action that curtailed some significantly wasteful proposals too. But, he also promoted and support initiatives that he thought would best serve the community and the future of our school district.

    Problem of course in our area is that what doesn't pass in the budget, gets rewritten and resubmitted over and over and over again, until the largest employer in the area gets their way. This has even gone to the point where the State has had to step in to block such dominance on at least one occasion.

    And yes, some teachers put in very long hours. Many, if not all of these teachers are absolutely loved by the student body and often held in great respect by both the students and the community. But there are far more who just put in thier hours and go home. They rarely inspire, and perform only to the prospectus criteria, and volunteer for nothing. Like many things, those teachers get paid equally with the best. "Tenure" too often becomes their shield. But still, in that district, the few teachers that I lived near seemed to be paid quite well, and their retirement is well above most of the "working-class" community that they serve.

    I'm NOT opposed to "unions" in the least. Some of my best friends are in unions as are many of my relatives. My Dad was a union member! But "unions", while doing good for a great many, can also be quite corrupt and they can be very restricting. My plant was a union plant, and not only did they have to put up with the shenanigans of our narrow-sighted management, but they also had to contend with thier own. While some "leadership" looked out for the guys, some of it appeared to do more harm than good and there was far too much unfairness, "if you weren't buddies with".

    So, I can't tell you that my opinion is based on my membership in a union... I can tell you that I've seen both sides of the union situation and I've stood up for union rights against my management and also taken some of the worker's concerns to union reps too. When our shop union did a couple of walk-outs, my wife and I were steady contributors to thier food pantry and when the weather was nasty, I was the only guy who went out and put a grill into my garage and provided coffee, food, and heat to the guys picketing that foundry entrance. That support, didn't do me any good with my employer either... but it was the right thing to do, it wasn't about the issues for me, it was about a bunch of guys I know who were standing out in the winter weather for something they believed in and for something they had a Right to do.

    I fully support a person's right to negotiate, but I'm against any group of people taking such advantage that thier benefits and pay provide them better than the taxpayers that they are supposed to be serving. This "I teach" so I'm better than you, is just so much self-serving hype. I taught too, both as a volunteer and on and industrial level, and I've faced classrooms full of adult union members who not only don't want to be in that class, but can be pretty beligerant about it. In the face of that you may want to run, but I've also found that if you understand not only what you are teaching, but also that your class can be shown it can be beneficial, then you will succeed and the vast majority will willingly join in.

    I've had teachers that I absolutely disliked, I was pretty boared and my performance in high school was barely passeable. But I had a handful of teachers which recognized my shortcomings and who took an interest. That turned me around significantly and made a tremendous impact on my life. For that reason, I have great admiration for the profession, but I also know that such teachers are by no means in the majority. And for that, I think the "union" does not particularly do all teachers a favor. It protects those who need to be shuffled and restrains those who might excell otherwise. That of course is just my opinion, but it is an opinion that has formed over lifetime of observation and interaction.

    CWS

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  • Flux
    replied
    Re: The People Have Spoken!

    I think we all can agree something has to change.
    Last edited by Flux; 06-10-2012, 12:03 AM.

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  • Pipestone Kid
    replied
    Re: The People Have Spoken!

    Originally posted by MR.FUDD View Post
    No the big problem is the waste of taxpayer funds by the Depts. of Education adminastrators. I will give (2) examples I could give many more. (1) the head of IT for Balt. City schools just spent $250,000.00 renovating his office. I could build you a nice house for that. (2) the driver for the Supt.of Balt. City schools makes $92,000.00 a year plus bennys. The school systems Admin. waste the money they are intrusted with then say they need more & the ones who end up paying are the Students, Teachers, Support staff & the Taxpayers. NH of those 5 out of 7 teachers who leave how many were driven out by poor supervisors. I do know a little about what goes on in our educational systems my father is a part-time college professor, my GF is a school teacher & I have (2) cousins that work in maintenance. While we are at it does anyone know about the way teachers are made to teach math these days ? They don't teach it the way we learned & no it is not a better way.

    Frank one of your questions is how do we increase our of quality of life. How about cut taxes about 50% of what you make goes to the Government. Make the Government do their job with less it can done if it is better managed ( yes I like to dream). If people have more to spend most will spend more thus creating more jobs, but the government wants your money to create non-revenue producing jobs. President Obama has stated we need to create more government jobs to bring the unemployment rate down. By the way what does it take to get fired from a Government job? Look we can all rant all we want, but nothing is going to change, because the politicians of both parties don't want to solve the problem. They just want to keep their job, bennies & the perks that go with it.
    Watch what happening in Europe it will be coming here next.
    Mr. Fudd, I don't know if Maryland is the same as Minnesota, but here if a Superintendent wanted to remodel his office, the Board of Ed. (local) would have to approve it. These (board) are local people elected by their peers to govern the school. I agree that example should not happen, but where does the blame really lie? By the way, around here Supers do not have drivers.

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  • NHMaster3015
    replied
    Re: The People Have Spoken!

    Look, there is corruption in every facet of business whether its government sponsored or private sector. I can't and won't defend those things that are indefensible nor should anyone with integrity and conscious but I am tired of having to defend what teachers do and how much they should or should not get paid to do it so once again, you guys all put down a number. What are you willing to pay a dedicated, professional and highly skilled teacher? and those that don't fit the catagory should be doing something else for a living, I will not defend their lack of commitment either.

    Math MrFudd...ahh yes math. Here's my theory. About 40 years ago someone came up with the notion that learning by rote (i.e. flash cards etc) was not a good way to learn. Undoubtedly some child psychologist discovered that children learn best by doing and seeing, so in an attempt to revitalize the curriculum they decided to scrap the old flash card method and teach the theory behind math. The problem with that is 1st graders are not ready for theory. When Mrs. Johnson puts 5 apples on the desk and asks the kids "how many apples" most kids will see the apples as single items that must be added so out come the fingers. One, two three and so forth. Great! they have learned to count which is a valuable thing to do and the basis for all math but at some point they need to see the whole rather than the parts. In order to progress rapidly in math certain relationships need to be committed to memory as is when you see the number 4 and the number 8 the sums are all right in your head at your disposal, instantly. 12 if we are adding 4 if subtracting 24 for multiplication and two if dividing. These need to be automatic responses to numeric stimulus. An example would be the automatic snap of your neck in the direction of a pretty girl. It occurs without thinking. (well, unless you are gay in which case it would be a guy) Those basic functions need to be automatic in order to progress. What happens though is too many kids never progress past the "counting" stage and when they are moved on to algebra they stumble because unlike the students that "got it" they not only have to decipher the new formulas and how to apply them; they are still counting too which puts them at a distinct disadvantage and behind the others in the class. Teachers, not knowing how to handle the lack of basic skills do the best they can and move them on to algebra 2, geometry etc. We are now beginning to realize that the shortcomings in math go all the way back to grade school. Unfortunately as kids get older that basic rote skill is harder to teach.

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  • Frankiarmz
    replied
    Re: The People Have Spoken!

    Originally posted by MR.FUDD View Post
    No the big problem is the waste of taxpayer funds by the Depts. of Education adminastrators. I will give (2) examples I could give many more. (1) the head of IT for Balt. City schools just spent $250,000.00 renovating his office. I could build you a nice house for that. (2) the driver for the Supt.of Balt. City schools makes $92,000.00 a year plus bennys. The school systems Admin. waste the money they are intrusted with then say they need more & the ones who end up paying are the Students, Teachers, Support staff & the Taxpayers. NH of those 5 out of 7 teachers who leave how many were driven out by poor supervisors. I do know a little about what goes on in our educational systems my father is a part-time college professor, my GF is a school teacher & I have (2) cousins that work in maintenance. While we are at it does anyone know about the way teachers are made to teach math these days ? They don't teach it the way we learned & no it is not a better way.

    Frank one of your questions is how do we increase our of quality of life. How about cut taxes about 50% of what you make goes to the Government. Make the Government do their job with less it can done if it is better managed ( yes I like to dream). If people have more to spend most will spend more thus creating more jobs, but the government wants your money to create non-revenue producing jobs. President Obama has stated we need to create more government jobs to bring the unemployment rate down. By the way what does it take to get fired from a Government job? Look we can all rant all we want, but nothing is going to change, because the politicians of both parties don't want to solve the problem. They just want to keep their job, bennies & the perks that go with it.
    Watch what happening in Europe it will be coming here next.
    Mr. Fudd, I agree with your post, and fear you are right about our future. I as a Union supporter understand it is impossible to sustain the salaries, and benefits of many of these public workers in this failing economy, but why don't more people see beyond this reality ? Increasing government jobs or using taxpayer money to pay for projects that temporarily employ folks accomplishes nothing to fix unemployment long term! The misuse of gov't funds and fruad must stop, but will it? I am very disappointed fellow Forum members fail to see the importance of teachers and go beyond that to post critisims they would not want used to describe their professions or trades.
    I am upset by the unsustainable pensions and some other contract negotiated benefits some Unions folks receive, and while I feel that must be addressed, I see nothing being done about what I think are bigger, more critical problems facing America.

    I hope Romney gets elected because President Obama has done nothing to improve our serious situations. I don't want any America President to fail, I don't want America to fail. I certainly want our teachers to be held in high regard because our youth, our future is entrusted to them. How can any rational, thinking man not see that fact, and be oblivious to their plight?
    Last edited by Frankiarmz; 06-09-2012, 01:52 PM.

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  • MR.FUDD
    replied
    Re: The People Have Spoken!

    Originally posted by NHMaster3015 View Post
    The big problem with public education would be the public's ignorance of what we do.
    No the big problem is the waste of taxpayer funds by the Depts. of Education adminastrators. I will give (2) examples I could give many more. (1) the head of IT for Balt. City schools just spent $250,000.00 renovating his office. I could build you a nice house for that. (2) the driver for the Supt.of Balt. City schools makes $92,000.00 a year plus bennys. The school systems Admin. waste the money they are intrusted with then say they need more & the ones who end up paying are the Students, Teachers, Support staff & the Taxpayers. NH of those 5 out of 7 teachers who leave how many were driven out by poor supervisors. I do know a little about what goes on in our educational systems my father is a part-time college professor, my GF is a school teacher & I have (2) cousins that work in maintenance. While we are at it does anyone know about the way teachers are made to teach math these days ? They don't teach it the way we learned & no it is not a better way.

    Frank one of your questions is how do we increase our of quality of life. How about cut taxes about 50% of what you make goes to the Government. Make the Government do their job with less it can done if it is better managed ( yes I like to dream). If people have more to spend most will spend more thus creating more jobs, but the government wants your money to create non-revenue producing jobs. President Obama has stated we need to create more government jobs to bring the unemployment rate down. By the way what does it take to get fired from a Government job? Look we can all rant all we want, but nothing is going to change, because the politicians of both parties don't want to solve the problem. They just want to keep their job, bennies & the perks that go with it.
    Watch what happening in Europe it will be coming here next.

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  • NHMaster3015
    replied
    Re: The People Have Spoken!

    Dave, when was the last time you went down to your local high school and observed for the day? or talked with teachers, administrators, guidance councilors about the daily goings on? I'm betting probably never which is what probably 90% of folks with kids in public schools do. Or, find your state DOE web site and research what is going on these days, again, probably never. It's hard to take the words of folks that only know half the story seriously. So many unwarranted and untrue statements are made about teachers and public school systems. I'd wager that most of us know more about your kids than you do. We typically spend a whole lot more time with them than parents do, especially when they reach high school.. If I had a dollar for every time a parent has found out from a teacher or administrator their kid was smoking or selling weed I'd be a whole lot richer.

    I would like to think that the successes I have had teaching the past 5 years are because I am an exceptional teacher but I know that's just not true. For every bad teacher (and I admit there are some) there are two dozen or more exceptional teachers and I know that because I am there every day. I see what other teachers are doing and I talk with them daily and the passion that I see on a daily basis is amazing.
    Last edited by NHMaster3015; 06-09-2012, 12:09 PM.

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  • BadgerDave
    replied
    Re: The People Have Spoken!

    Originally posted by NHMaster3015 View Post
    ...............The big problem with public education would be the public's ignorance of what we do.
    Now that is one fine example of disrespectfully talking down to the taxpayer! C'mon NH you know that isn't true at all. Oh wait, I forgot, everything is fine in the private sector, right, oops I mean left.

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  • NHMaster3015
    replied
    Re: The People Have Spoken!

    Originally posted by Flux View Post
    So who was the one that held a gun to your head to become a teacher? That sounded more like a sob story then anything else, and it makes one wonder why you do it in the first place. If you truly love and care about the kids, then it shouldn't matter what you're being paid because you're doing it cause you love it. If it's truly that bad...then quit and get into a career which pays you more money
    .

    Nobody held a gun to my head. Teaching is a choice like any other job. Do you work for nothing? I suspect that like most folks you expect to be well compensated for the work you do. But that's different right, because you don't get paid by taxpayer money?

    I wonder if we should pay people working at McDonald's $40.00 an hr cause they have to deal with people coming in drunk, high on weed, and just flat out disrespectful because they were not raised right. Heck...I say we pay them $50.00 an hour and add a bonus on top of it to have to put up with nonsense like that.
    People that work at McDonalds or most places for that matter are not responsible nor liable for the patrons. Understand that teachers are liable for their students safety and well being and can be fired or sued if a child is hurt, molested or even emotionally damaged. Teachers also need to have a 4 year bachelors degree and take very specific courses on child development and psychology. In short, most of us deal with more "clients" that social workers and psychologists and we do it for way less pay.

    It's also common knowledge that most tech teachers have off setting incomes like yourself (you with your plumbing business), tech teachers don't make any where near a regular teacher would...at least it's like that in my state. You're making the national average for being a tech teacher...so I don't see the problem there.
    36 years I ran my company before making the decision to give something back to the trade. Offsetting? Just how do you get to offsetting? unless you got an inheritance. You seem to be of the opinion that people in the public sector have no right to make money.
    We are loosing our machine shop teacher this year. He's a young guy. Just 27. He's been here for 5 years and makes 26 thousand a year. He's moving on to the private sector to head up their educational department at 3 times the salary. How can we compete with that? So now we need to hire someone else that is qualified. Where in hell are we going to find someone that knows CNC and basic machining, can teach CNC and basic machining and do it for 25 thousand a year? So a program that graduated and employed a whole lot of kids in the past 5 years will probably close and those kids will not be there to fill those machining positions but the Pakistanis and Indians sure as hell will. You get what you pay for and nothing is black and white.

    Who's responsible in your state (or any state) to chart the progress of these kids in the class room? When these kids take state tests, those scores go to the state, and that is where they determine if they are measuring up in the class room or not. It's not a matter of an opinion, but facts that these kids can't read or write if they can't pass the basic skills test. So who's fault is that if they can't pass the basic skills test...the parents or teachers?
    The D.O.E. is and does. Math, reading and writing skills are steadily improving nation wide. And yes, parents play a huge part in the failure. Students who's parents take an active role in their child's education score much much higher than those that do not and unfortunately, most parents do not. You really have no idea what you are talking about here and sound like a sycophant for Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh who only ever give you a very small part of the story. Those guys are in business to create controversy which creates revenues which makes them money.

    For 9 months worth of work, I and the majority would say they have a nice gig going, and paid accordingly with a nice salary and killer benefits. For every teacher you say is doing classes,workshops etc..in the summer hours, I will show you a teacher who is on vacation, lounging around the house, drinking beer, and having a good time.
    Again, you have no freeking clue what you are talking about. We are closed as of Thursday next week. Five days after that I take and am responsible for, 6 students to Kansas city for the Skills competition. The week after I get back I am at U.N.H. for 5 weeks taking workshops and seminars for certification and in between I start teaching adult ed classes and remediation classes. That's not unusual. Most of us do similar. All in all I will get a little over two weeks to myself most summers. Oh yea, and on top of that at night and in my free time I get to rewrite all my course competencies, assessments and rubrics for 4 courses.

    The big problem with public education would be the public's ignorance of what we do.

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  • Flux
    replied
    Re: The People Have Spoken!

    Originally posted by BadgerDave View Post
    BTW, I don't think FLUX was being disrespectful at all. A difference of opinion is not disrespectful as long it is presented in a civil manner, which I think FLUX did.
    Correct...I didn't mean no disrespect to NH or any other Union member...just stating things how I see it and sparring a little bit.

    I can't fault any state that is trying to get their budget in order, and the Public Unions are the one who are going to feel the brunt of it because of false hope coming from the Union halls.

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  • Flux
    replied
    Re: The People Have Spoken!

    Originally posted by Frankiarmz View Post
    Wow Flux, you are one disrespectful guy! You want compare the pay and benefits afforded to teachers to McDonalds employees? You insult college graduates entrusted with educating our children when you should be thanking God such people exist! I won't use similar behavior to attack your profession because I was taught better. Your mind ain't right in my opinion. Frank!
    Yea Frank....sometimes I can't help myself and the tough things need to be said. If you wish to spin it that way...be my guess, but don't forget college graduates also work at McDonalds. I can't give thanks to people who are forcing seniors out of their homes because they can't afford the property taxes anymore...how American is that Frank? I'm glad to see you condone those type of practices, but that's to be expected because you were brain washed to think that way from your Union Official.


    I deal with criminals,drunks, people high on weed,pedophiles, murders, etc in my trade, and I'm not on here crying the blues because I made a "choice" to pursue that career. I know what it pays and I'm fine with it, as I bought a brand new house, have money in my pocket, and living the American dream.

    If you want a real example of being disrespectful, look no further than what we saw in Wisconsin displayed by the Public Unions...it was down right criminal what they did there.

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