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WI Capitol Blocks Pro-Union Web Site 377

ISoldat53 writes "State government workers are unable to connect to a pro-union web site,, from the wifi at the state capitol." Someone probably should let Hillary Clinton know.
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WI Capitol Blocks Pro-Union Web Site

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  • Re:Yawn (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jeff4747 ( 256583 ) on Wednesday February 23, 2011 @10:23AM (#35289744)

    That would make sense if it was never accessible. The complaints are that it was accessible until yesterday.

  • by DRJlaw ( 946416 ) on Wednesday February 23, 2011 @10:41AM (#35289910)

    You're supposed to be working. Not doing political stuff. While it's a dick move, I rather doubt it's a first amendment violation or the end of the world (as is suggested by TFA).

    "If you are in the Capitol attempting to access the internet from a free wifi connection labeled "guest," you cannot access the site Post []

    What if you're not at work, but rather exercising your right to petition your government on your own time? Although the whitelisting issue has discussed in other comments, your assumption that this situation only involed people "at work" so that the blocking of "political stuff" was perfectly OK is deeply flawed. Guest internet access may not be a right, but censoring political content on a government sponsored guest network would still be a first amendment violation.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 23, 2011 @11:43AM (#35290544)

    Do you understand what you are arguing?

    You are saying that the government has a right to censor a service paid for by taxes.

    This same logic would allow Democrat controlled states to censor Republican websites on taxpayer funded wifi services. It would also allow the government to censor books in libraries and schools since "You can get access to the 'speech' and the government doesn't care, but they aren't going to provide it too you."

  • by Hutz ( 900771 ) on Wednesday February 23, 2011 @11:58AM (#35290690)
    It's a site set-up to support protesters. It is illegal to use government resources for organizing - so no it is not part of your work.

    But on a realism note, unrated sites are blocked by content filters - then you program them to allow the traffic when someone asks or the site gets rated.

    AND -- the first amendment does not include a right to Free wi-fi. They didn't censor the site - they just didn't give free access to it.
  • by 228e2 ( 934443 ) on Wednesday February 23, 2011 @01:25PM (#35291512)
    I dont care to cite websites, as people have told you to look at the very own you mentioned, but i'll add this.

    As an employee of a TLA in the DC area, I can assure you that I make about 20k less than if I worked for a contractor. My roommate who works for SAIC, who is 2 years younger, with 3 years less experience and no masters confirms this with his paycheck. His benefits suck compared to mine, and I get a lot more leave and flexibility, but there is a reason I am renting a room in a 25 year old's condo. They make the money, govies dont.
  • by khallow ( 566160 ) on Wednesday February 23, 2011 @02:41PM (#35292296)

    but the union have agreed to give him absolutely everything he wants in terms of pay and benefit cuts.

    The unions have yet to agree to reduce their power to negotiate. So they haven't given him "absolutely everything" he wants in terms of pay and benefit cuts. He's not just looking for budget cuts this fiscal year, but the long term fiscal health of Wisconsin as well. Public unions are incompatible with that.

    The main problem is regulatory capture. The government officials who supposedly negotiate terms with the public union can instead become owned by them. In return, public unions can funnel considerable sums of money to the politicians they own. For example, the mayor of Madison, Wisconsin has abandoned [] any pretense of representing the people of Madison.

    âoeWe are marching together in unity,â Cieslewicz said. âoeThis shows what can happen when the executive and the legislative branches of government work together with both union and non-union employees to protect their rights and benefits. This is the tradition of collective bargaining in Wisconsin.â

    Where did the tradition of representative government go?

    As long as public unions can maintain this cozy relationship with public officials, you'll have a dynamic to increase the flow of public funds to public unions and their members at the expense of the public. In the private world, this is balanced by the different interests of the business owners and the fact that the business goes bankrupt if the union demands too much.

    I have yet to hear of an alternative aside from removing public unions from being able to negotiate terms of employment, that can permanently break this dynamic.

  • by Jane Q. Public ( 1010737 ) on Wednesday February 23, 2011 @02:57PM (#35292494)
    Whether taxpayer-funded employees are allowed to collectively bargain has little bearing on the generally-recognized right of common citizens to collectively bargain. Keep in mind that the purpose of unions is to protect workers from abusive employers. What that means is that if you are a taxpayer, public employees' unions are designed to protect those workers from YOU! Not that you are abusive... but YOU are the employer. Never forget that.

    Just ask yourselves: as citizen employers, are you abusive? I won't pretend to speak for most of you but where I live government employees, both state and local, tend to be overpaid and underworked... and enjoy benefit packages that are truly lavish when compared to similar jobs in the private sector. And that is Not A Good Thing.

    I strongly urge anybody who feels strongly about this issue to watch the recent documentary "Waiting for Superman". It is available on DVD at most movie rental outlets. It documents the good and the bad of New York's educational system. And it shows -- beyond any reasonable doubt -- that the single biggest PROBLEM with education in New York is the teacher's union. Seriously. If you are not already familiar with their system, I guarantee that you will be appalled when you watch this documentary.

    This is not a "labor vs. employer" situation. This is a "taxpayer-funded labor vs. the citizens" situation. If you aren't looking at it in that light, you might very easily get it wrong.

Q: How many IBM CPU's does it take to execute a job? A: Four; three to hold it down, and one to rip its head off.