Tuesday, February 22, 2011

400-408 – Jennifer Walsh, professor of political science at APU (, weighs in on the popular uprisings in the Middle East, the phenomenon of "Islamic Socialism," and the union uprisings in Wisconsin and elsewhere.

• Next Wednesday, March 2, 2011, is the Common Day of Learning at APU Felix Event Center, it's free and open to the public and starts at 900am, with the keynote by Dr. J. Budziszewski at 1100am.  For more info, go to

413-423 – Jennifer Walsh,

• Steven Mufson (Washington Post, 2/20/2011) Federal, state and local debt hits post-WWII levels.

My Summary – Our national, state, and local debt in 2011 is at the same level as 1946, but the circumstances are almost polar opposites.  In 1946, we were experiencing fast economic growth, today we're stagnant.  Then, we had a young labor force, our's is aging rapidly today.  Then, we had the best manufacturing in the world, today we've fallen behind Europe and Asia.  Then, there was a huge demand for consumer goods, today it's tepid.  Then, people were saving their money, today we're in hock up to our eyeballs.  Add to this our growing entitlement debacle, and the outlook is bleak.  Many people think the only way out of this is rapid inflation that will reduce the value of our current debt – but of course, it will also reduce the value of your investments too.  The inflation rate in 1947 was 14%, in 2010 it was 1.2%.

428-437 – Jennifer Walsh,

• Kevin D. Williamson (NRO, 2/20/2011) 50 Wisconsins.

My Summary – In 1983, 20% of the American workforce was in a union.  In 2010, that fell to 11.9%.  The idea that Big Business and Big Labor are roughly the Republican and Democratic parties is no longer true.  There is no Big Business sector that supports Republicans as lopsidedly as Big Labor supports the Democrats.  In the 2008 elections that gave us Speaker Pelosi, Leader Reid and President Obama, the top recipients in each of these business sectors were all Democrats, not Republicans:  Wall Street, Software, Mortgage Bankers, Bankers, Real Estate, and Private Equity Firms.  And as for Big Labor, unions support Democrats over Republicans at a ration of 220-to-1.  Today, Wall Street and Big Labor are on the same side.

• Steven Malanga (WSJ, 2/22/2011) The Showdown Over Public Union Power: At last, politicians and voters are fighting back against the most potent lobby for government spending and ever-higher taxes. Mr. Malanga is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and the author of "Shakedown: The Continuing Conspiracy Against the American Taxpayer."

[Last paragraph] – // If Gov. Walker succeeds in Wisconsin, it's likely that other reformers will follow his lead and explore ways to restrict public-sector unions' use of members' dues. Tax advocates in California, for instance, have proposed an initiative that would require a government union to gain the approval of individual members in order to divert dues into political campaigns. Such measures would give opponents around the country a new playbook to follow in countering the rich resources and deep influence of public unions over taxes and spending.

443-452 – Jennifer Walsh,

"A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship…The average age of the world's greatest civilizations from the beginning of history, has been about 200 years.  During those 200 years, those nations always progressed through the following sequence:  from bondage to spiritual faith;  from spiritual faith to great courage;  from courage to liberty;  from liberty to abundance; from abundance to complacency; from complacency to apathy; from apathy to dependence; and then from dependence back into bondage," – popularly attributed to Alexander Tyler in 1787.

458-508 – Clay Schmit, professor of preaching at Fuller Seminary, knew Scott Adam well (

• Fox News (2/22/2011) Four Americans Killed on Yacht Hijacked by Somali Pirates.

My Summary – Scott and Jean Adam, along with Phyllis Mackay and Bob Riggle, were murdered yesterday aboard their yacht The Quest by Somali pirates.  The Adams are members of the Marina del Rey Yacht Club, and since Scott's retirement in 2004, have been distributing Bibles to schools and churches in remote villages around the world, including the Fiji Islands, Alaska, New Zealand, Central America and French Polynesia (  Somali pirates currently hold 30 ships and more than 660 hostages.

512-523 – Clay Schmit,

523Todd Brooks, the Home Loan Specialist and owner of Three Reasons Financial at 877-900-TODD that's 877-900-8633.

528-539 – If you could retire tomorrow, how would you want to serve the Lord?  We marvel at those who willingly put themselves in harm's way for the Gospel, could you do that?  Have you done that?  Would you want to deliver Bibles like they were doing?  In the business world, we say, "learn how to get paid for doing what you love."  In ministry it should be the same principle: how to turn your passion into a ministry?

544-554 – Calls

554 – Robert Micone & Bill O'Connor "The Money Guys" from Applied Financial Planning at 866-SEEK-COUNSEL, (866-733-5268,

• Our "FREE KKLA Growing Your Wealth Summit" is coming up Saturday, March 5th, at the Crowne Plaza Anaheim on Harbor Blvd from 900am to 1230pm.  The "Money Guys" from Applied Financial Planning are the Title Sponsors again, and joining them will be:  Biola University talking about Charitable Giving, William Jordan talking about Fixed Annuities, Real Financial talking about FHA Loans, and Attorney's Woodard & William talking about Trust & Probate.  It's free, but seating is limited, so pre-register at

558-608 – Calls

612-623 – Calls.  George called and shared that he just wrote a book on turning your passion into a ministry, it's on the website

628-639 – Calls

644-656 – Calls.  Dalphina called and shared about her work with Lighthouse Medical Missions to Africa.

•• Andrew McCarthy (NRO, 2/22/2011) Who Attacked Lara Logan, and Why? The answer is obvious — but nobody talks about it.

• Fox News (2/22/2011) Earthquake in New Zealand Kills at Least 65, Traps More.

• Andrew Biggs (NRO, 2/22/2011) Social Security's No Afterthought: The long term matters less when the short term is sufficient to do you in.

• Peter Wehner (Commentary, 2/21/2011) Civility and Double Standards.

• Christian Schneider (NRO Corner, 2/22/2011) Of Course It's about the Money.

Late on Friday, the leader of Wisconsin's largest public-employee union offered Republican governor Scott Walker a deal: His members would start contributing to their own pensions and accept increased health-insurance premiums, as long as Walker withdrew his plan to weaken collective bargaining for government employees.

"We are prepared to implement the financial concessions proposed to help bring our state's budget into balance, but we will not be denied our God-given right to join a real union. . . . We will not — I repeat we will not — be denied our rights to collectively bargain," Beil said on February 18. Wisconsin was the first state in the U.S. to allow collective bargaining for public employees in 1959 (when, apparently, God deemed it a right.)

// Walker has attempted to change that framework, allowing government workers to opt out of paying union dues — which, he has said, he thinks may offset the increased health and pension contributions he's asking of employees.

And it is this provision that has the unions most up in arms. They know that, given the option, many of their members would choose not to write out a check for union dues. This, in turn, would strangle their election spending, leaving them scrambling for funds and, consequently, influence.

But it's not strictly about the dues. Unions have consistently used their clout to negotiate contract items that have no direct, quantifiable cost to taxpayers but end up benefiting their members financially.

For instance, in the mid-1970s, the Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) agreed to begin paying health-care benefits even after employees retired. This was done in lieu of larger pay increases; it appeared not to have any immediate cost. Yet new accounting rules passed just two years ago have shown that MPS will soon have an unfunded liability of $4.9 billion — more than four times the district's entire annual budget. If MPS were to make the annual required contribution to pay down the liability, it would eat up nearly 20 percent of their total budget — for teachers who no longer even teach.

// The list goes on. Wisconsin's teacher-licensure program, which is controlled almost entirely by the unions, strictly limits the number of educators that can compete for public teaching jobs. Teacher tenure, often granted after only three years on the job, makes it virtually impossible to fire a bad teacher. Through its mass opposition to private-school choice programs, the teachers' union has thwarted competition, thereby protecting its members' jobs — even in districts like MPS, which boasts some of the worst African-American reading and math scores in the nation. //