David Thompson


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March 14, 2011



As when activist doctors invoked the virtue of "public service" while handing out fake sick notes to absentee teachers, thereby leaving the taxpayer with a multimillion-dollar bill for work not done.

The ends (convenently) justify the means.


Ann Althouse has lots of Wisconsin coverage.


Brian Micklethwait

That "nuff said" thing really gets on my nerves. It's like the idiot in question thinks that he, he, has finally settled the argument, which can now cease, with him winning it.

The proof that it really gets on my nerves is that it still gets on my nerves when everything that precedes it is something I agree with.



“It’s like the idiot in question thinks that he, he, has finally settled the argument, which can now cease, with him winning it.”

Based on the reports and footage I’ve seen, what strikes me is how the most vehement protestors rarely engaged with the actual stated motives and grievances of their opponents. There was, though, lots of rumbling about Walker and Republicans being evil, “hating teachers” and acting out of “spite.” (Over at Harry’s Place, Gene posted at least four items on the subject, referring to the “open contempt and hatred” for unions while avoiding the stated reasons for disaffection, which he dismissed out of hand as “random talking points from rightwing blogs” that were, conveniently, “off-topic.”) But setting aside the serious budgetary issues, there are other concerns, not least regarding the role of the taxpayer and conflicts of interest. Against whom are public sector unions unionised – the taxpayer? (As Walker put it, “You essentially have taxpayers’ money being used to lobby for spending more of taxpayers’ money.”)


Maybe this reveals more about my TV-viewing habits than I would like, but when I heard that 'Scott Walker doesn't have a college degree' remark, I immediately flashed to a 'Spongebob Squarepants' episode where Plankton -- a malign microorganism who persists in trying to steal the secret formula for the Krabby Patty -- is foiled (again) and shouts, 'You can't do that to me! I went to college!'


What fascinates me about this whole issue is how it has become a subject of intense concern to people who don't live in Wisconsin, aren't teachers or government employees, and (needless to say) know almost nothing about what's going on.

The Democrats have succeeded in making this a tribal loyalty issue -- you MUST support the corrupt union bosses of Wisconsin or you're not a True Liberal and therefore become a Bad Person.


As far as unions and Democrats goes, here's a story that warmed the cockles of my heart this morning:




I suppose part of the interest is in the expectation of similar protests and tactics closer to home. Here, cuts to public spending (or cuts in the overall growth of public spending) are being met with similar rhetoric and similar accusations of fiendish intent. Needless to say, several pundits at the Guardian have denied there’s any sustainability problem to address and have instead banged on about “real agendas” and “class war.” We already have “activists” whose favoured protest tactics include intimidating the public with flashmobs in shops. According to one Guardian contributor, this is “a perfectly justifiable form of protest.”

Because, hey, mobs in shops couldn’t possibly get out of hand.

Ted S., Catskills, NY


Speaking of inversion in a completely different context, I came across this article about bansturbating doctors in New Zealand who want to limit access to alcohol:


In the longer audio version of the report you can hear one of the MPs point out the doctors' hypocrisy as not only do several of them drink, they buy their booze in supermarkets, and the doctors getting all pissy about having their hypocrisy pointed out to them:


Because, you see, they're drinking the acceptable kind of alcohol, not horrid alcopops, or the NZ equivalent of Miller beer.

(We had roughly the same thing in the US with the hysteria over caffeine in alcohol with Four Loko, but nobody having a problem with Irish coffee.)

That having been said, it's fun to hear the doctors splutter, even though I normally hate it when legislators interrupt people like that.



The giveaway line being, “I’m not incapable of making decisions…”

Chris S.

Heh, the big joke is the Doctors are notorious boozers. The line we would hear in med school was that the definition of an alcoholic was "someone who drinks more than you."


"Walker doesn’t HAVE a college degree. ‘Nuff said. "

Got somethin' against autodidacts, pal?


"If we had just kept the top marginal rate at 92 percent like it was in 1953 we could still pay for cowboy poetry readings!"

Andrew Zalotocky

"drumming, chanting, human chains, sit-ins, sleep-ins, teach-ins, and teach-outs"

No wonder the unions are in trouble. They've forgotten the giant puppets. Everybody knows that a protest can't possibly succeed without giant puppets.


Well they didn't have giant puppets but they did have a group of people dressed up like dairy cows...


... Udderly hilarious!!!


According to Fox News the teachers who handed in fake sick notes will be suspended. 1000 of them tried it on.


"1000 of them tried it on"

Always setting a good example for the kids.



Heh, the big joke is the Doctors are notorious boozers. The line we would hear in med school was that the definition of an alcoholic was "someone who drinks more than you."

In my med school it was someone who drank half as much as their G.P. but it may simply be a matter of definition rather than fact of course....

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