Your Government knows best

My wife and I joined our local community center this week. Usually I take walks in our local park. However, the incidents of dogs running loose has increased. Monday, two dogs were running loose and one growled at me as I walked past.  Last year I was charged by another dog.  I am armed but I’d rather avoid situations where I may need a weapon.

As we approached the entrance of the community center, I saw a sign that said No Firearms Allowed. Geez, another Come Rob Me zone. Inside kids were running around. There’s a summer “camp” at the center.  I looked around. No guard. Nothing to safeguard the kids if someone entered with bad intentions than a few teenaged summer employees—muscles against a 9mm or whatever is the current gang favorite.

My wife likes the place. She doesn’t like hot weather, or rather I’m more tolerant of heat than she. Anyway, we joined.  I have the choice of being able to defend myself if in need and walk in the park…with the dogs. Or walk in the air conditioned community center, unarmed and defenseless if ever the need arose.

Some choice.  I wonder what the legal liability of the city would be if some incident did occur and a child was kidnapped or injured because there was no one with a weapon on the premises?

Gun-Free Zone

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Public sector unions are in the news again, this time in Illinois.  The teachers in Chicago want a raise, a 30% raise when the average teacher salary is $71,000 a year.

Lindsey Burke, June 12, 2012 at 3:00 pm

It takes a lot of nerve to ask for a 30 percent pay raise. You’d better be sure you had a banner year. Yet in Chicago, where just 15 percent of fourth graders are proficient in reading (and just 56 percent of students graduate), the teachers union is set to strike if the district does not agree to a 30 percent increase in teachers’ salaries.

The average teacher in Chicago Public Schools—a district facing a $700 million deficit—makes $71,000 per year before benefits are included. If the district meets union demands and rewards teachers with the requested salary increase, education employees will receive compensation north of $92,000 per year.

According to the Illinois Policy Institute, the average annual income of a family in Chicago is $47,000 per year. If implemented, the 30 percent raise will mean that in nine months, a single teacher in the Chicago Public School system will take home nearly double what the average family in the city earns in a year.

According to the union, 91 percent of its members voted for the ability to strike. That vote gives the union the ability to walk out of public school classrooms as children return to school this fall.

The union argues that Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D) wants to extend the school day, and that the requested salary increase would compensate them for extending the school day from 5.5 hours—among the nation’s shortest school days—to 7.5 hours. Chicago Public Schools states that under the extended school day:

On average teachers will provide 5.5 hours of instruction (an increase of 54 minutes), receive a 45-minute duty-free lunch and 60-minute prep period and supervise the passing period. They will also be required to be on-site for 10 minutes before and after school.

While the union bemoans the longer school day and is demanding a hefty pay raise as a result, taxpayers will be left holding the bill for a 30 percent salary increase and wondering whether $92,000 is appropriate compensation for public school employees.

Thirty percent raise!!!

The last time I received a raise was in 2003. We had a choice, no raise and keep our jobs or demand a raise and sweat layoffs.  We chose to keep our jobs.  That was the last raise I received.

Now, in the depths of a depression a public service union demands—demands! a thirty percent raise! And they’ve voted to strike if they don’t get their demands met.

I see this as a great opportunity for the taxpayers in Illinois.  The state is already heavily in debt and near bankruptcy. I see this as an opportunity to save the state some money.  Fire all the strikers. Hire some recent grads needing a job. I’ll bet they’d accept much less than that $71,000 average. Streamline the administration. How many non-teachers are really needed? I’d bet the Godfather, Rahm Emmanuel, would jump on this opportunity to save his bankrupt city some hard-earned tax dollars.

Who knows, the new teachers may even teach the kids something useful like reading, writing, spelling and grammar with some math thrown in.  Imagine, a school district whose primary interest was teaching instead of feathering their own nest.  What a concept!