Attacks on Freedom

John Stossel’s uses examples to make the point that we are losing our freedom.  “Something’s happened to America, and it isn’t good. It’s become easier to get into trouble. We’ve become a nation of a million rules. Not the kind of bottom-up rules that people generate through voluntary associations. Those are fine. I mean imposed, top-down rules formed in the brains of meddling bureaucrats who think they know better than we how to manage our lives.”  Here are some of his examples:

  • 5 year old boys suspended from kindergarten for three days when one said “Boom! I have a bazooka, and I want to shoot you.”
  • 12 year old arrested and handcuffed for eating a french fry in the D.C. Metrorail station.
  • University finds a student guilty of racial harassment for reading “Notre Dame Versus the Klan: How the Fighting Irish Defeated the Ku Klux Klan”
  • a grandmother is arrested for refusing to trim her hedges
  • high school student arrested and charged with a felony when school officials saw a common kitchen butter knife on the floor of her car.

Arizona Teachers Union Suing State Because It Wants To Decide on Spending Rather than the Legislators Elected by the People

The Arizona Education Association sued the Arizona Legislature and Governor Jan Brewer again because it believes that the AEA should determine how Arizona should spend money on education rather than the Arizona legislature.  Last year the AEA sued the State of Arizona by filing a complaint directly with the Arizona Supreme Court, but the court threw the case out.  Once again, believing it is special, the AEA filed its lawsuit with the Arizona Supreme Court rather than first filing it in the Superior Court, which is where the little people file lawsuits. A press release on the AEA’s website says:

policy changes made in the 3rd special session of the Arizona State Legislature aimed at teachers and other school employees.  The policy changes allow arbitrary reductions in salary, prohibit seniority as a criterion for reduction in force, eliminate deadlines for issuing contracts, and limit employee rights to engage in professional association activities.

It’s just another battle in the never-ending war over who will run public schools, the teachers or somebody else?  The AEA is particularly bent out of shape because of a new Arizona law that “prohibit

[s] seniority as a criterion for reduction in force” as it likes to say.  Translation:  the AEA does not want teachers judged or paid on the basis of merit.  The Goldwater Institute said this about this new law and the novel concept embodied in it:

Under the new law, the balance of power has shifted.  Now, teacher quality takes precedence over teacher seniority.  What a concept. Inadequate teachers must now show improvement within 60 days of being informed of their sub-par performance.  Gone is the 85 day (17 weeks or 4 months) improvement plan that used to be in place.  Now, under-performing teachers can have their pay reduced without affecting the pay of better teachers. (We needed a law for this?)

That last statement deserves repeating.  We needed a law for this? Unfortunately the answer is yes.  The teachers’ union is adamantly opposed to anything that rates or rewards teachers based on teaching ability and success in the classroom.  If Arizona is going to have an education system that works, i.e., that educates its children, the teachers and the teachers’ unions cannot control the system.  Let’s not let the Arizona teachers remake Arizona education into the models of the New York City schools or the Los Angeles Unified School District.  For more about the nightmares these systems have become see:

See the Goldwater Institute‘s “Union trying to bully Legislators into changing law” and a story in the Arizona Republic: “Arizona law changes way teachers contract with districts” and the Arizona Free Enterprise Club’s “Because Policy Matters.”

John Stossel on the Food Police

Government know-it-alls, aka the “Food Police” want to tell you want you can and cannot eat.  Our founding fathers fought and died so that Americans could be free, but now totalitarians in and out of government want to control our lives in every way possible.

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