Bullies in the Schoolhouse

By R. Claire Friend

There has been a great deal of public attention on the problem of bullying in our public schools. Issues such as possible causes as well as appropriate administrative and legal remedies have been hotly debated across the country by educators, parents and politicians with varying responses.

The focus heretofore has been limited to students. This narrow perspective misses the most egregious culprits: union bullies. They are the focus of this article.

Teachers are compelled as a condition of employment to join the teachers’ unions and pay an annual membership assessment of about one thousand dollars. The monies are used to fund collective bargaining, liability insurance and political causes and candidates that reinforce the union’s power and influence.

In California, these have amounted to massive sums to defeat ballot initiatives inimical to the teachers’ union’s stranglehold on education. In general elections, the contributions have funded the campaigns of strongly liberal Democrat candidates as well as abortion rights and gay marriage. This liberal bias is not reflective of the union membership which tends to be conservative, according to a Gallup Poll.

Most teachers enter the profession because of a devotion to the education of young minds. They have the best interests of students as their foremost priority. Unions, in contrast, operate out of self-interest. Their top priority is the maintenance of union power, not the welfare of the teachers or students.

Unions strongly oppose any threats to that power such as ballot initiatives in support of school vouchers, charter schools, opportunity scholarships or Education Savings Accounts and will marshal vast sums of money to quash them. Although all of this was funded by forced union dues, teachers who dare to speak out against the union’s political positions are subject to intimidation, so most remain silent.

The California Teachers Union spent $32Million to defeat Proposition 75, the measure which would have required members to consent to their dues being used for political purposes. Of the $50Million unions used to defeat Proposition 32, more than $20Million came from the annual dues paid to the CTA by its 325,000 members.

It is the forced support of radical organizations such as ACORN, People for the American Way, Media Matters, Planned Parenthood and the ACLU which support abortion and gay marriage and beliefs that prompted Rebecca Friedrichs, a 27-year veteran elementary school teacher in Orange County, and nine colleagues to file a lawsuit against the CTA and its parent, the 3.5 million-member National Education Association for violating their rights of free speech and free association.

The lawsuit is currently before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, having been punted by Judge Josephine Staton in a lower court in Santa Ana. Friedrichs is hopeful that the case will be forwarded to the United States Supreme Court later this year where it may get a favorable ruling.

The legal arguments have interesting precedents. In most organizations, membership is on a voluntary basis. In unions, that is not the case. Tremendous pressure is applied to employees to become members. The level of intimidation and censure becomes difficult to resist.

Public employees in the federal were barred from organizing prior to an executive order by President John F. Kennedy. In California, it was Ronald Reagan who granted that right to state employees and Jerry Brown, to teachers.

Non-members are required to pay union dues because they benefit from the unions’ collective bargaining efforts. This was clarified in a 1977 ruling by the Supreme Court, Abood v. Detroit Board of Education that precludes the funds being used for ideological or political purposes. This flies in the face of reality. The National Education Association is the largest single contributor to the Democrat party, its state and federal candidates and its causes.

The July 2014 Supreme Court ruling in Harris v.  Quinn opened the door to the merit of the  Friedrichs et al. complaint. They ruled that it was unconstitutional to require non-union Illinois home health care workers to pay union dues.

Justice Samuel Alito added that “no person in the country may be compelled to subsidize speech by a third party that he or she does not wish to support.” His implicit meaning that public employee unions are inherently political organizations suggests that SCOTUS will look favorably on the ten complainants.

There is now a zero tolerance policy toward bullying in public schools. That should be extended to the biggest bully of all. We wish the diminutive Mrs. Friedrichs well in her lawsuit against the union colossus.

R. Claire Friend is a Lincoln Club member. As with all blog posts on this site, the views expressed here are those of the author and not necessarily those of the Club.

Hillsdale College: Constitution 101, The Theory of The Declaration and Constitution

The Theory of the Declaration and the Constitution
Thomas G. West

The principles of the Declaration of Independence constitute the soul of the American Founding and form the moral basis of government in the United States. The Declaration is a clear and concise statement of the principles that drove the American Revolution, and served as the basis for the Americans’ appeal from British rights or law to the natural law.

The first principle of the Declaration is equality, which means no one is by nature the ruler of another. Equality gives rise to natural rights, which are inherent and inalienable, and include life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, property, and religion. To secure these rights, human beings consent to leave the state of nature and form a government, which protects our rights through such means as national defense, criminal laws, civil laws, and minimal support for the poor.

The right to consent requires the unanimous agreement of the individuals forming the government to give up some natural liberty in return for the security of rights, which is the government‘s sole purpose. The majority rules in everyday politics, and consent is maintained through elections. Should a government become unjust, violating rather than protecting rights, the people may exercise their right to revolution.

A government founded on the basis of these principles secures and fosters a republican way of life that brings about peace, justice, safety, and happiness.

To view the video and signup for this lecture series, click HERE

America’s Ambitionless Generation?

By  on February 18, 2014

In colonial times, men and women were equal when it came to work. Both had chores and responsibilities from dawn to dusk. Women not only did housework, they milked cows, fed the pigs and chickens and helped tend the crops.

Life was hard in colonial times. It made little difference whether the family lived in a small town or in a farmhouse miles from the nearest neighbor. There was no such thing as women’s work when it came to basic survival needs. Everyone shared the load. Families couldn’t afford slackers on a hand to mouth existence.

 

VIEW THE FULL ARTICLE ON CALIFORNIA PUBLIC POLICY CENTER’S WEBSITE HERE.

 

Annual Holiday Party Recap- Lifetime Achievement Award

On December 10th, we held our annual Holiday Party at the beautiful Shady Canyon Golf Club. Our members and their guests enjoyed delicious food, drinks, and great conversation. View photos from the event by clicking HERE. If you would like to order a print photo, please contact Lincoln Club intern, Kelsea at (949) 272-2965 or kelsea@lincolnclub.org

We would like to highlight the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award, Herb Nootbaar. Herb is a man of great character and we are proud to call him a Lincoln Club member.

Screen shot 2014-01-03 at 9.41.44 AMLincoln Club member Buck Johns presented the award. Here are his words about the distinguished Herb Nootbaar:

“Herb was born in 1908 … 1908! Let’s put this in context:

  • Orville & Wilbur flew at Kitty Hawk, 3 years earlier
  • WWI was declared 6 years later 1914. Incredibly, Herb was 33 in 1941,
  • Roosevelt was President – “Teddy” not FDR!
  • 46 States, Oklahoma still a territory
  • Mother’s Day first observed
  • Ford’s first Model “T” rolled off the assembly line
  • Roosevelt’s Great White Fleet was sailing the globe
  • Boy Scout Movement just started
  • King Leopold just transferred Congo to Belgium
  • Pu Yi becomes last emperor of China, age 2
  • Born that year were: Edward R. Murrow, Jimmy Stewart, Buddy Ebsen
  • Republican William Howard Taft defeated democrat William Jennis Bryan

Herb came west from Chicago with his folks in 1919… Went to work at age 11! …… with a cement company building sidewalks in Eagle Rock, driving the cement truck, which added 15 cents per hour to his wages! Driving the cement truck? “Herb, how in the world did you get a Driver’s License at 11? “ “Hell Buck, there were no driver’s license at that time… there were no cars!” Herb has spent his professional career in agribusiness… heading up the west coast operations for Ralston Purina… Declining the presidency as his bride said “no” to St. Louis!

Attended… his first USC football game in 1927. Season ticket holder since ’29. A reminder, it wasn’t until 5 years later, 1932, that the Coliseum hosted its first Olympics! He’s the longest tenured USC season ticket holder by far. Endowed the USC Baseball Hall of Fame, complex. Remarkably, his great grand son, Nigel Nootbaar, is there now on scholarship. In 2012, he and Nigel each made ceremonial pitches at the dedication of the facility. Also Nigel’s brother, a phenomenal QB now at El Segundo, just signed w/ the Trojans!

Herb & Elinor are very significant benefactors and close friends of President and Nancy Reagan. The Air Force 1 exhibit at the Presidential Library was primarily endowed by them. Nancy told Herb, “Ronnie & I have often been called a ’love story’, but the best ‘love story’ is you & Elinor…”

They endowed the Herb & Elinor Nootbaar Institute of Law, Religion & Ethics at Pepperdine with $10 million. You lawyers can check with your spouses on the importance of “religion” and “ethics” when lawyering! 

Elinor and Herb have helped to endow some three dozen charities… Contributing tens of millions. He commented to me today, at the end of each year, he and Elinor would look at what they had “accumulated”, and set aside enough to carry them another year. then donate the rest! “And by golly, that has worked out pretty damn good!”

3 years now without Elinor – together over 4 decades. Never a disagreement. Herb, we all knew Elinor…. was she that persuasive? “Yep!”

Some of us remember that big back and neck brace he showed up wearing at our Lincoln Club Christmas party some 20 years ago. “Herb, did you get in another fight?” “Nope, was fixing my roof and fell off… Elinor is not happy with me!” He was 90 then.

“Buck, when introducing me, the fewer words, the more truthful!”

38 years ago, he joined the O.C. Lincoln Club. We have honored two other distinguished individuals with Lifetime Achievement Awards. Tonight we honor one of Orange County’s and America’s legendary giants, our treasured 105-year young great friend, Herb Nootbaar!!!”

 

Herb Nootbaar accepted the award with gratitude. Here are his words:

Screen shot 2014-01-03 at 9.52.26 AM“Many of you knew and joined me in sharing the beauty and the graciousness of my late wife Elinor White Nootbaar. 

A few years ago, the World Affairs Council advised me that at a dinner party they would honor me for my service to the council and its activities. 

I came home and shared with Eleanor the fact that I would be called upon to acknowledge the honor, and told her I didn’t know what would be appropriate for me to say. In her usual calm and thoughtful way, she told me to thank the council and the officers, and to thank those members of the family and friends present, and then SIT DOWN.

I did as she suggested. My being brief was so surprising and effective, that I got an arousing acceptance applause. 

So, with that experience today to call upon, I hereby express my sincere gratitude and thanks for your acceptance of my few words. And I will SIT DOWN. Bless you Elinor for that excellent advice.”

 

The Real Tragedy Of Newtown, Aurora, Virginia Tech. Tucson and Columbine

The continuing drumbeat of the political assault on the Second Amendment suggests a disturbing increase in the direction of government authority. It should make every free American citizen quake in his boots. The stated goals repeatedly parroted by Joe Biden and Dianne Feinstein to the media and the public almost on a daily basis are disingenuous and false.

In 1997, following several massacres in Australia like those at Newtown and Columbine, the government issued a ban on firearms. It systematically confiscated and destroyed guns and rifles in the hands of private citizen. Within a short time, robberies, assaults and homicides escalated against people made defenseless by government fiat. Those citizens who defended themselves against the intruders with knives and clubs found themselves arrested and jailed.

In the United Kingdom, a massacre in a school gymnasium in Dunblane in 1996 resulted in a kneejerk reactive gun ban. The firearms of the ordinary law-abiding citizenry were confiscated and an immediate increase in violent crime occurred. To date, there has been no decrease in violent crime and no reevaluation by the government of its mistaken policies in either country.

The most egregious and frightening example of the motive and outcome of banning firearms was in Weimar Germany. Hitler banned the private use of firearms then systematically slaughtered more than seven million helpless citizens.

David Kopel notes that it was the British ban of firearms and gunpowder in 1774on the colonies and their confiscation the following year that precipitated the American Revolution. General Gage arrogantly marched his troops into Boston discovered to his chagrin that the American colonists disagreed.

The Founding Fathers wisely understood the importance of guns in the hands of private citizens as their only means to defend themselves against tyranny. Their memories fresh with Britain’s attempt to usurp their sovereignty, the Founding Fathers drafted the Second Amendment was drafted as the guarantor of Liberty for all future generations of Americans.

Mental health has been an abysmal failure in identifying the potential mass murderer and educating the public about the nature and limits of psychiatric treatment. Freud clearly stated in his writings almost one hundred years ago that not everyone can be a patient and not everyone can be treated. That is as true in America today as it was in Vienna in the late 1800’s.

Psychiatrists need to relearn a needed skill set that will better enable their diagnostic antennae to distinguish between normal, neurotic, asocial and evil. They are vastly different. Danger should be as easily recognizable to the skilled clinician as it is to our animal cousins.

Organized mental health needs to explain to the public in PLAIN ENGLISH that psychotherapy does not fix people. It gives people tools, and sometimes tablets, to ease symptoms and to better understand themselves. No more, no less.

Moreover, the mental health establishment must separate its own private ambitions for power and more funds for research from its greater responsibility to the public. Professional organizations such as the American Psychiatric Association have the responsibility to alert the public that there is no treatment for the asocial psychopath who is consumed with anger and hates humanity.

Young men like Adam Lanza, Jared Loughner, James Holmes, Seng-Hui Cho, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold are savages that walk among the unsuspecting civilized populace. They need to be identified, apprehended and isolated. They are examples of normal human psychosocial development run amok for a myriad of reasons. It is naïve and dangerous to think any of them might have benefitted from rehabilitation and remediation. Their hearts and minds are immune to all human goodness, much less therapeutic insight.

What to do with the mass killers? Veterinary medicine offers one option. Vicious animals are routinely euthanized. The human equivalent is capital punishment. It should be used just as routinely without guilt or ambivalence. It may be the most humane treatment we can offer them.

The banning of firearms would be the height of insanity. As Wayne Lapierre succinctly put it, the best way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.

America is perhaps the most decent nation in the world. We have, however, a unique history. As befits our Christian heritage, we are tolerant and slow to react. When we do, however, we have vanquished monarchs and tyrants.

Liberal politicians need to understand the defense of Liberty is in the American DNA. King George learned the hard way not to take away our guarantors of personal liberty. We’ve done it once. We can do it again!

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