January 18th, 2009

RI thing

Lesson #854: How *not* to balance a state budget

Snippets from coverage on Boston.com:
A budget plan that Governor Don Carcieri submitted this month to close a massive deficit includes a provision making it illegal for teachers to protest during contract negotiations by performing strictly to the terms of their contracts, for example, by refusing to host after-school clubs or chaperone school dances.

It raises a legal question: Can people be fined for strictly doing their jobs? Carcieri's administration believes the answer is yes.

Besides prohibiting teachers from striking, Carcieri's proposal would ban teachers from conducting deliberate work slowdowns or doing the bare minimum required under their contracts, commonly called working to rule. Violators would be fined two days' pay.</p>

First, how can you punish an employee for "just" doing their job?
This reminds me of the "flair" Joanna is supposed to wear for her job in the movie Office Space... The work requirement was 15... but the boss passive-aggressively advised her that she was less of an employee because she only wore the "bare minimum"...  ("You know what, Stan, if you want me to wear 37 pieces of flair, like your pretty boy over there, Brian, why don't you just make the minimum 37 pieces of flair?")

Second, I think teachers are already over-worked, under-paid and under-appreciated.  I can't think of many teachers who are doin' it for the money.  In my experience teachers are there for the kids...

Rhode Islanders - What do you think?  You can let Carcieri know - here.

We are the ones...

Twittering the We Are One celebration

14:47 Watching "We Are One" on HBO... Bruce Springsteen just finished.

14:49 JFK: "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country." 

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14:59 Jon Bon Jovi & Bettye Lavette: It's been a long time coming... but I know change is gonna come... #

15:06 Tom Hanks: "We cannot escape history" The Lincoln Portrait, by Aaron Copland - tinyurl.com/6cwjaj #

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15:15 Joe Biden: "Work is more than a paycheck. It's about dignity, it's about respect." (Hi Joe!) #

15:20 John Mellencamp: "Ain't that America, for you & me..." (There's a woman signing on the side of the choir. Fabulous!) #

15:23 Queen Latifah: "We are celebrating the ongoing journey of America to BE America..." #

15:25 Footage of Marian Anderson singing My Country Tis of Thee. Josh Groban & Heather Headley: "From every mountainside, let freedom ring..." #

15:28 George Lopez: "Anyone here from out of town? Well, you're all home now." #

15:28 Kal Penn: "America's greatness comes from being made up of so many diff strands." #

15:32 Herbie Hancock, Will.i.am & Sheryl Crow: "One Love, One Heart, Let's get together and feel alright." #

15:34 Tiger Woods: "We honor the men and women in uniform... for every person in uniform there are families waiting for them to come home safely." #

15:38 US Naval Academy Glee Club & Renee Fleming... (wow, she's quite a soprano) #

15:40 Jack Black & Rosario Dawson: "Theordore Roosevelt's legacy... establishing national parks..." "Leave it as it is, you cannot improve it..." #

15:42 Garth Brooks: "Bye bye Miss American pie... Drove my Chevy to the levy but the levy was dry..." #

15:44 Garth Brooks: "You make me wanna shout!" #

15:47 Garth: "When the last thing we notice is the color of skin... When the skies and the oceans are clean again, we shall be free!"#

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15:57 Samuel L Jackson: "MLK did not live to see his dream fulfilled, yet his life remains a beacon for the world." #

16:00 U2: "In this spot, 46 years ago, Dr. King had a dream. On Tuesday, that dream is fulfilled." #

16:02 U2: Singing Pride (In the Name of Love) - written about MLK, Jr. #

16:03 U2: Early morning, April 4, shot rings out in the Memphis sky, "Free at last"; they took your life, they could not take your Pride. #

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16:13 Barack Obama: "Despite the enormity of the task ahead, I stand here today as hopeful as ever..." #

16:14 Obama: "What gives me the greatest hope of all... is you... because you believe what America CAN BE... & b/c you want to help us get there." #

16:16 Obama: "You proved once more that those who love this country can change it." #

16:20 Pete Seeger & son: "This land is your land... this land is my land... This land was made for you and me." Everybody!! #

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