You believe we’re broke. I believe we live in one of the wealthiest nations on earth.
You believe public employees don’t deserve good health and retirement benefits. I believe everyone deserves good health and retirement benefits.
You believe it’s okay to silence your opponents. I believe everyone’s voice should be heard.
You believe might makes right. I believe a bully is a bully, whether he’s an angry kid on a playground or an angry man in a suit.
You believe government should be vilified, belittled and shackled. I believe government is the only institution in the world in which we can all share and participate equally.
You believe in every man for himself. I believe we are better and stronger when we work together.
You believe “we can’t…” I believe “We can. We must. We will!”
And so, in this time and place, I plant my flag and make my statement. With all the fervor and strength I can muster I tell you now, 


There is room in this world for honest disagreements. There is room for differing policy views and different world views. But there is no place in this state, in this world, for the behavior you have chosen. There is no place for those who would trample the rights of anyone, be they in the minority or the majority. There is no place for those who would hide from the voice of the people behind armed authority . There is no place for those who would serve the interests of wealthy corporations ahead of the poor or disadvantaged. There is no place for those who would say “We have nothing to discuss.”

I did not ask for this fight. But you have brought it to my home, so fight I will. I will not allow you to create the ugly, selfish, hateful world of your vision. We are better human beings than that. While your world view insists that self-interest is the way forward, my world view rests on the power of community.

The new day starts now. We are going to clean house. Your power derives solely from the consent of the governed, and we no longer consent to be treated as your subjects. Your experiment is over…


Dennis Deery
March 11, 2011

PDF version of You Cannot Have My State

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License You have the right to copy, distribute and remix this work. An attribution for source is appreciated, but NOT necessary.
Comments (74)




  1. This is very timely. Yesterday, after a learning session at the Senior Center regarding cuts in Wisconsin Senior Care, the chair of the local Republican party said he was sorry people would be hurt, but we just don’t have the money. Of course we do. We just need to spend it in accordance with our values. You can’t have life, liberty and the ability to pursue happiness if you have inadequate education and healthcare. Put our money where are values are.

    Comment by Diane — April 5, 2011 @ 5:26 pm




  2. Union-funded lawmakers take money from taxpayers and give it the government unions, who kick some of it back to union-funded lawmakers; pub. sector unions (the only one Republicans are always attacking) take tax-payer’s money to elect Dems into office. Do you not see the FUNDAMENTAL conflict of interest here?

    Of the top 10 sources of political contributions since 1989, according to the five are unions. Of the top 20 sources of 2010 campaign funds, 10 are unions.

    And before you respond with the straw-man argument saying they’re just canceling out all the evil corporations who donate to Republicans, that is one big LIE that has gone on for much, MUCH too long. Take a look at the all time donors the past 20 years (I really do hope you do), they donate MORE to Dems.

    Education spending has grown exponentially over the past few decades. And to what effect? A horrible, unusable pub. edu. system. Do teachers live like kings? No. But many of them do live very wealthy and certainly ZERO aret hurting for food or shelter. Again–Republicans simply seek to destroy the inherent, autocratic conflict of interest in pub. sector unions. Nobody…NOBODY has the right to bankrupt my future, my kids’ future and their kids’ future. And please do not flag this post as offensive, there has not been one shred or iota of offensive material.

    I’d love to become a teacher. I’d LOVE to retire by 55 with a 90% pension ’till I die, and I just did the taxes for one comm. college teacher making $120 K (don’t forget, college teachers work maybe 20 hrs a WEEK, 6 mos. a year, and it makes me cringe knowing they’re the ones on their soapboxes screaming “eff the rich!”).

    Unfortunately, with my ideological stance (no more extreme than the things students hear every..single.. minute in the classroom) I have a better shot at making the NBA than being accepted into that club. I would use the race and gender-cards (what is it, 90% female now?), but I’m part of the group that absolutely despises such lies.

    Comment by AKOC — April 5, 2011 @ 5:53 pm




    • AKOC — absolutely brilliant , I could not agree more .

      Comment by Beau Payne — April 6, 2011 @ 3:30 am




    • What planet are you living on? I’ve been to 3 colleges and know countless teachers, and I’ve NEVER met one who worked only 20 hours a week except for substitute teachers. If you add up the mandatory classroom time fro primary/secondary education, this is clearly true. Also, just because they are not in the classroom doesn’t mean they aren’t working- teachers have to grade all that work too, not just teach it. And yes, it really is that hard to be a fair grader, trust me.

      Also, where did you attend school that it was only half the year? Summer is only 3 months long, or has that changed I wasn’t notified?

      Besides, why would you criticize unions for giving more money to the political party that supports them more? They aren’t suicidal!

      Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to attack you. I actually agree with your point about the educational system in this country- it is VERY broken. And yes, much of the fault may lie with teacher’s unions. But it takes a lot to ruin an entire institution, it’s not only their fault.

      Since it’s illegal to discriminately hire based upon ideology (thanks to liberals, I might point out), why do you think this would prevent you from becoming a teacher? True, more liberals than conservatives reach the education levels necessary to hold a teaching job, but it wasn’t too long ago that there was a shortage of teachers, at least in my state. Of course with conservatives trying to cut jobs instead of tax corporations/the rich it might be a bit harder to get hired as a teacher now, but that’s really your own fault now, isn’t it?

      Comment by Katrina — April 6, 2011 @ 9:48 am




    • AKOC says: Do teachers live like kings? No. But many of them do live very wealthy and certainly ZERO aret hurting for food or shelter.

      Really? News to me! My mother-in-law is a retired teacher. She was in the top tier in her district. She gets <3k a month in pension. Do the math. 36k a year. Before taxes. And for the first 15 or so years of her career, she had to A) care for a terminally ill husband B) care for her young child and C) take in boarders to make ends meet. And she currently does NOT live in the lap of luxury that you righties fantasize that she does. Know who does? The Koch brothers and the rest of the top 2% wealthy people who would LOVE for you to keep believing that the RICH are the OPPRESSED and the teachers, cops, fire fighters and nurses are the oppressors. That's a crock and 98% of Americans know this. You can't have my state.

      Comment by Amy Etkind — April 6, 2011 @ 4:45 pm




    • Maybe, AKOC, you should volunteer in a classroom for a day. Actually, you wouldn’t last that long.

      Comment by Amy Etkind — April 6, 2011 @ 4:47 pm




    • Hello, why do you think the right is attacking unions, they want to get rid of any and all competition. This is a direct attack on the democrocy of this country, Wake up!

      Comment by LW — April 6, 2011 @ 5:14 pm




    • Maybe your Republican friends will take your view into consideration as they take an axe to your security net…Social Security and Medicare. You too could have been a teacher if you had gone to college with this major and pay scale in mind. You too could have been disrespected, vilified and blamed for the deficit instead of Bush’s unpaid war.

      Comment by carolinahalfback — April 6, 2011 @ 10:51 pm




    • silly silly silly….how many unions are there? How many corporations are there? Nuf said

      Comment by schatsie — April 6, 2011 @ 11:46 pm




    • Corporate-funded lawmakers take money from taxpayers and give it the corporations, who kick some of it back to corporate-funded lawmakers; Corporations (the only ones liberals are always attacking) take tax-payer’s money to elect GOPs into office. Do you not see the FUNDAMENTAL conflict of interest here?

      Wow, look at that. It works both ways. Hmmmm…people use their money to support the candidate that will help them most, and the candidate then helps them…sounds like a horrible system to me as well. If you’d like an alternative where all candidates are equally-funded, and lobbying is outlawed, show me where to sign.

      As a college instructor myself, I’m at a loss for where you have gotten the notion that college classrooms are filled with ideological propaganda. In fact, they’re usually filled with people trying to (*gasp*) teach the subject the class is centered around. In fact, most of the ideological drivel I’ve experienced in college courses has come from extreme right-wing professors who rant about politics for an hour, then complain about the state of education, then blame their “liberal” colleagues (all of whom have spent their class periods trying to teach the subject).

      There is a pervasive cultural myth in our society that academia is hostile to right-wing viewpoints. The only thing I’ve seen academia hostile to is bad scholarship, fallacious thinking, and unfounded conclusions. Perhaps–and this is just a shot in the dark–there is a connection here?

      As for the college teachers you’re doing taxes for, you might want to think again before changing your line of work. I don’t deny that $120k/year is well paid–but there are a few clarifications that need to be made. First, the average professor works approximately 55-60 hours per week, with maybe a month or two off in a year. It is true that they may only spend 15 hours teaching class in a given week, but their required duties also include participating in departmental meetings, planning classes, grading papers, holding office hours, doing research, writing and publishing papers, attending conferences, and giving presentations at conferences, just to name a few. Add to this the fact that a PhD goes to school longer than an M.D, and that during this 5-10 year period they live below the poverty level and generally accrue $100k+ in student loan debt. Now add that most of them start around $35k, and never see a salary anywhere near $75k, let alone $120k. Add the fact that competition for jobs is so fierce that a single job opening will frequently have 100+ qualified candidates apply, and that people have even been known to work for FREE for a year or more, just to get their foot in the door. Oh yeah, and also add that they have a 6-year probationary period before the job is even considered “theirs”, during which time they can be summarily dismissed for no reason stronger than “we just don’t really think you fit in here”.

      As to your claim that “NOBODY has the right to bankrupt my future, my kids’ future and their kids’ future,” I’m afraid that’s simply not true–people have the right to vote Republican if they wish.

      Comment by 8876590 — April 7, 2011 @ 7:43 am




    • First of all, you didn’t check out that Open Secrets site very closely. You missed the PACS, the 527’s, and one other tab on that site (which just went down for maintenance). So if someone gave you that link, you need to distrust that source a bit.. They are biased and only want you to see what they want you to see. Check things out for yourself and don’t take things at face value.

      Unless a teacher has a “very wealthy” spouse or a trust fund, nobody is getting filthy rich on teaching. The average teacher’s salary is something around 50 to 60K, perhaps that is even high. Pensions average about 24K a year, and unless the teacher has worked enough in the private sector to qualify for social security, he/she just gets the teacher’s pension. The whole public education system is not horrible and unusable. Public schools teach more and more kids each year who are not prepared for school, and the schools must attempt to make up the deficits. Many, many kids each year are “saved” due to a caring teacher who took an interest in them. I know many of those teachers, and I know how hard they work and how much they care. I taught in the public schools once upon a time…. Back when public school teachers were lucky to make 7 or 8K, and many left for private industry if they could find a job. Most had to take second jobs because the pay was so poor. Thank heavens for the unions… teachers can actually live a middle class life these days.

      Your grandkids’ future will be much more bankrupted if they don’t have decent teachers who can pay their bills.

      You’d love to become a teacher? You probably couldn’t do the job. Most who think teaching is easy can’t. I’ve managed fixed-fee computer development projects and I’ve taught school. Guess which one was more difficult?

      I do have some friends who are retiring now, but most of them are over 55. You have to work a certain number of years, etc. etc., and many people who took time off to have kids or who got into teaching after doing something else aren’t retiring at 55. And I don’t know where you got the “retiring with 90% pay”. That’s the exception.

      About that community college teacher: Most post-secondary teachers do not make that much. The median secondary teacher made 58K in 2008. And if you are in front of a class 20 hours a week, you more than likely have other obligations, such as meeting with students, preparation, and research or writing. I doubt if few full-time faculty work fewer than 35-40 hours a week.

      So.. stop feeling sorry for yourself, and stop drinking the right-wing Koolaid. Investigate things for yourself. The union people and the teachers are not your enemy. They are working hard to keep dignity in the lives of working people everywhere.

      Comment by Middle Molly — April 7, 2011 @ 8:19 am




    • AKOCH- The main truth you told in your post was your reference to your ideological stance. Said ideology invariably twists facts and tells outright lies about those that they wish to destroy, and you have done both here.

      Comment by Angry Workingman — April 15, 2011 @ 6:47 pm




  3. oops…I mean “our” in my comment

    Comment by Diane — April 5, 2011 @ 10:03 pm




  4. They will have to walk over my dead body….I’ll fight the Republicans all the way!!

    Comment by Marcia Van Lenten — April 6, 2011 @ 2:42 am




  5. Excellent! I could not of said it better.

    Comment by Brenda Esselman — April 6, 2011 @ 4:30 pm




RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *