Egyptian orders a pizza for the Wisconsin demonstrators

Ian's, a pizzeria near the Wisconsin state capitol that is sympathetic to the demonstrators, has been facilitating the process of supporters around the world who want to send pizza to the protest. They've fielded an order from Egypt -- now that's solidarity.
The blackboard behind the counter lists the "countries donating" as "Korea, Finland, New Zealand, Egypt, Denmark, Australia, US, Canada, Germany, China, England, Netherlands, Turkey, Switzerland, Italy" and has the abbreviations for all 50 states listed below, with donating states circled.
From Cairo to Madison, some pizza (Thanks, Nextnik, via Submitterator!)

(Image: Untitled | Flickr - Photo Sharing!, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from wrestlingentropy's photostream)

67

  1. I thought was a joke… like Egypt making fun of the dolts in WI who have jobs and whining … but if this is serious… i dont know…people are either retarded or misinformed

    the comparison is missing a few reality doses

  2. This Egyptian pizza order may have something to do with Al Jazeera finally covering the protests in Wisconsin.

  3. Wait…is that *marshmallow* on a pizza?

    I’m not sure if it’s the Chicago or the NYC part of me that is going into an apoplectic fit.

  4. this is great!! i saw that sign with countries yesterday and wondered when egypt would be added to that.

    but please, get a better picture! smores pizza? that’s disgusting and i think it’s insulting to the fine pizza from Ians. this has an international audience. don’t let them think that wisconsin pizza is that gross (won’t someone think about the cheese!!!??!)

  5. The Wisc demonstrators, and those support this no-budge approach, are going to ruin it for other teachers unions.

    Their pay is very high, their performance is poor (1 in 3 eighth graders read at an 8th grade level there), and their state is broke.

    1. “The Wisc demonstrators, and those support this no-budge approach, are going to ruin it for other teachers unions.

      Their pay is very high, their performance is poor (1 in 3 eighth graders read at an 8th grade level there), and their state is broke.”

      So, wait, what you’re saying is that because their teachers’ performance is allegedly poor the majority of public employee unions should lose most of their collective bargaining rights?

      At least that was the issue i thought is the primary reason for the protests.

      i’m not really seeing the logic there.

      (Don’t have my login info with me so i’m posting anonymously.)

    2. You are wrong on three counts

      1. The state employee unions are willing to accept the concessions towards health care and pensions, as long their collective bargaining rights are preserved. Governor Walker has refused to consider negotiations

      2. The starting pay for wisconsin teachers is 25K 49th in the nation, with the average salary being 46K hardly a high paycheck

      3. Wisconsin has some of the best performing schools in the country, the exception being in Milwaukee which coincidentally has had a long running voucher program.

      Wisconsin is broke though, that still doesn’t justify Walker’s ham-handed tactics

    3. I’ve seen metrics claiming that Wis teachers are bad and ones that say they’re good. I suppose there are a lot of mitigating factors such as demographics.

      As for pay rates, I’d say that higher pay is at least somewhat counteracted by not being able to fire bad teachers (unless they break a law).

      Some rabble rouser should found a competing teacher’s union and sue the government for discrimination. That’d be fun.

      Back on topic to the article, claiming solidarity with middle-east protesters might backfire. I mean, these aren’t really comparable situations.

    4. The Wisc demonstrators, and those support this no-budge approach, are going to ruin it for other teachers unions.

      If they lose the right to collective bargaining then teachers unions don’t matter anyway.

    5. If you don’t like the performance you can buy for 46,000, you won’t like it at 42,000. You get what you pay for.

      Also Ian’s Steak and Fries pizza is hands down the best pizza ever.

      There is no debate on either point above.

      1. Perhaps high pay rates attract bad teachers who are only in it for the money?

        Just kidding, although the U.S. seems to have disproven the correlation between per-student spending and academic performance.

        I’d guess that the ability to reward good teachers and punish bad ones would have a bigger impact, but teachers unions are vehemently opposed to that.

        1. Actually, Teachers Unions has very little problem with getting rid of bad teachers. However, most of the processes for determining who is a bad teacher and who is not are highly flawed. THAT is why the teachers unions have resisted them.

          Here in Milwaukee, MPS has NO support from the community. Our city expects these teachers to teach 30+ kids, overcome apathetic parents and turn average kids into above average students. When the teachers can’t work miracles, they get all the blame. Teaching is a difficult and thankless job and what’s the worst part is everyone wants to tell you what a terrible job you’re doing at it.

        2. “Perhaps high pay rates attract bad teachers who are only in it for the money?”

          Seriously? You think school teachers get high pay? In any state? NO ONE MAKES MONEY TEACHING SCHOOL.

          Those who are in it for the money can be found on Wall Street. And that’s where the blame for bankrupt states lies. Not in the paychecks of low-paid state employees.

    6. So, they should give up their right to collective bargaining? Please, don’t fall for the right wing frame job. This is not about the money. This is about Union Busting and politics, not serious budget issues.

    7. Wisconsin’s SAT performance is second highest in the nation, so the performance of Wisconsin teachers cannot be described as “poor” by any measure. And far from “not budging,” the unions are willing to agree to this round of pay cuts.

      The only thing they’re “not budging” on is having their collective bargaining rights terminated. Please, get informed before you spout this crap.

    1. I think you’d better check your facts.

      Students taking the SAT in Wisconsin are #2 in the nation. The five states that have outlawed collective bargaining rank between #44 and #50. Interesting, isn’t it?

      Teacher’s Unions should not only be doing what Wisconsin is, they should be figuring out why students in that state are going to get into better colleges.

  6. could we please stop with the false equivalences between WI and Egypt? as absurd, wrong and outright stupid as Walker’s plans are, he is the democratically elected governor from a recent election that did not draw any notable claims regarding electoral fraud, voter intimidation or lack of competition. one might judge the WI voters who cast a vote for him with a somewhat negative eye, but he was voted into power legally, fairly and justly.

    The situation in Egypt, in Tunisia, in Yemen, in Libya has nothing in common with WI except that people are out protesting about something they are upset about. I’m all for solidarity, but to suggest that there’s something in common about these situations does a tremendous disservice to what the protestors in the middle east and northern africa are actually doing. It might make for good writing copy to compare the elected governor of WI to Mubarak, and it might even be that Walker would actually enjoy having the kind of power that Mubarak had, but it is, at this time, an utterly false comparison.

    I hope that the good folks in Madison enjoy the pizza!

    1. Obviously it is a false equivalence if you directly compare a governor elected in the US with someone like Mubarak; although I haven’t really seen anyone arguing that point. But there is a commonality, and it really is as simple as “people are sick of getting screwed by the rich and powerful who dominate society”. Regardless of whether the American electoral process legitimizes Walker’s power, Wisconsin is getting screwed and people are sick of it.

      1. Regardless of whether the American electoral process legitimizes Walker’s power

        its not regardless … the american (or in this case, wisconsin) electoral process is the only reason why Walker has any power at all over the things he is trying to control. his power is not legitimized by this process, it is created by it, as it should be.

        you might want to insist that if it wasn’t for Walker, it would have been some other right wing ingrate trying to do the same thing. at which point, i think you either have to fall back on one of three options:

        1) the classic (and boring and not necessarily untrue) marxist notion of “false consciousness” on the part of the the WI voting population

        2) stupidity on the part of a majority of the WI voting population

        3) Walker (and the rest of the right wing) lied

        I’m not familiar enough with his election campaign to know if (3) is a clear winner, though its entirely believable.

        People are not sick and tired enough – they repeatedly vote for people who come from a party and a movement with a clear history of screwing people like them. Frank’s “What’s the matter with Kansas?” explores some reasons for this (at excessive length).

        I’m just not willing to equate the anger at the outcome of a bunch of your (sort of) neighbours continually voting right wing lying greedy scum into office with the anger felt by people in the middle east. You might feel like the rich and powerful are screwing you or others over here in the US, and I don’t think you’re wrong. But the nature of what being “screwed over” means here and there are so qualitatively different that I just don’t think its useful or respectful to link them.

        1. A demonstration is a demonstration, though.

          Egypt and Wisconsin have the form of their protests in common – if not their scale nor subject, nor their usefulness nor justice, nor their participants nor language in common.

          But yet Egypt and Wisconsin and Yemen and Bahrain and Tunisia and Algeria and Libya share a common form: masses of people gathering peacefully in public spaces as a way to make their feelings and thoughts known with respect to their governance; and then staying physically in place for days or weeks or months on end.

          That these protests/demonstrations are happening contemporaneously only adds to the feeling that they ARE somehow – if obscurely – in some way connected.

          1. Nor ought the Phillippine revolution that knocked Marcos out of powern be forgotten, still less the infamous events of Tien An Mien Square in China, nor the more recent “red shirt” mass protests/demos in Thailand – for they all showed this similar form too.

            But only the form: for all politics are still local, even in this so-called “internet age”!

    2. The funny thing about the US is that elections don’t install dictators. Walker might wish to ponder that fact on his way to his all-but-certain loss in the all-but-certain upcoming recall election.

  7. Haiti Reporters of Port-au-Prince was proud to buy a pizza for our brothers and sisters demonstrating for bargaining rights! Yeow!!!!

    1. Indeed, it’s a vast right-wing conspiracy to force some fiscal responsibility on our state governments. If only we had been warned that some people felt this way during the last election!

      If certain groups or policies can’t survive a reasonably balanced budget then perhaps it’s time they were brought back in line with reality.

      It’s not like affected states can’t raise taxes to cover the shortfall anyway. It’s a well known fact that raising taxes on the rich has zero effect on the economy.

      1. Fortunately, Wisconsin in its wisdom has provided for a situation in which an elected official exceeds their remit: the Recall process, which is now well under way for this Governor.

        As to how this Governor himself, by his own actions since taking Office, has purposefully brought on this phony “crisis requiring his immediate action” solely in order to break the unions, and give away State assets for far below their true value to his campaign’s financial backers, see the other posts by Wisconsin locals, in other threads.

          1. Rayonic: the man doesn’t have the support of the people any longer; the polls show that Gov walker will be out of Office after the recall.

            http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/documents/2011/02/afl-cio-wisc-polling-memo.php?page=1

            And what’s this? The Government of Wisconsin has cut off internet access for the protesters? How unlike Egypt!

            http://www.cnn.com/2011/US/02/22/wisconsin.budget/index.html

            Perhaps Walker like may American authoritarian politicians, it seems, actually rather liked Mubarak and were sorry he had to go. Birds of a feather.

      2. Judging from the American evidence generated over the past few decades, lowering taxes on the rich OTOH leads directly to disaster, for anybody not rich already.

      3. If certain groups or policies can’t survive a reasonably balanced budget then perhaps it’s time they were brought back in line with reality.

        Sadly, I don’t think anyone has discussed lowering the governor’s salary. It’s not just the commoners you’re talking about, right?

  8. Am I the only one who thinks it’s terribly disingenuous to compare protesting Egyptians with these people in WI?

    1. No, but it’s not. This is the same in nature – ordinary people taking a stand against arbitrary government – just not nearly to the same degree.

  9. Try reading two words beyond that sentence. The part that says “just kidding”, if I recall.

    You raise an excellent point, though: Teachers aren’t in it for the money. Good teachers especially not. Thus teacher compensation can be lowered as long as any open position still gets many qualified applicants. Part of their compensation is feeling like they’ve made a difference in young people’s lives.

    The government’s job isn’t to make its employees happy. It’s to accomplish certain essential tasks. If some people need to be made happy with their jobs then so be it, but that’s not a goal in and of itself.

    1. Thus teacher compensation can be lowered as long as any open position still gets many qualified applicants.

      Which always happens less when you lower the compensation, and has already done so. It’s just people who’ve already put in the investment it takes to become a teacher tend to stick with it, and only years later do you get to witness how many qualified people you’re turning away.

      A government’s responsibility is to the people it represents. Contrary to what your business teacher may have told you, employees are part of those people.

      1. I don’t recall teaching salaries going down much, but college costs really have skyrocketed. Fix the latter and perhaps they could live just as well on a lower wage.

        Employees are part of the citizenry, but just a part of it. They don’t deserve special treatment just because they work for the powers that be.

        1. Employees are part of the citizenry, but just a part of it. They don’t deserve special treatment just because they work for the powers that be.

          These employees aren’t asking for special treatment. They’re asking to retain the same collective bargaining rights enjoyed by the private sector, not to mention the police and firefighters who supported the governor’s campaign.

          1. A private company can’t refuse to negotiate on benefits? They could, and the union could still strike until they change their minds (potentially).

            Seems to be a similar situation — but since this is the government, what would normally be company policy is passed as law. Unions can still pressure the government to change these laws. In fact, I heard some protests are going on right now!

            Private sector unions actually face one additional hardship that their public sector counterparts don’t have to deal with: the prospect of the company becoming uncompetitive and going out of business. Historically, governments haven’t had to worry about such mundane concerns as competition or efficiency or profitability.

            Come to think of it, public sector jobs don’t tend to get outsourced either.

          2. Seems to be a similar situation — but since this is the government, what would normally be company policy is passed as law. Unions can still pressure the government to change these laws. In fact, I heard some protests are going on right now!

            So, whether the protests succeed or not, this wouldn’t be a case of public employees getting special treatment. So what were you talking about when you brought it up in #22?

          3. So, whether the protests succeed or not, this wouldn’t be a case of public employees getting special treatment. So what were you talking about when you brought it up in #22?

            Special treatment in regards to the notion that the government is never allowed to change its employment policies. Many people think these changes are somehow illegal to even bring up.

            Special treatment because this particular employer faces no market pressures. It’ll never go out of business, no matter how generous it is.

            Special treatment in how easy it is to game the system. Political donations, etc.

            Not to mention monopoly power. These are vital public services. If Ford’s workers go on strike, who cares? Ford’s management mostly. Public employees going on strike is like holding the population hostage. It can even be dangerous if it’s the police or firefighters. That’s a lot of leverage.

            I’m sure there’s other aspects I’m missing, but the biggest proof is the fact that huge public debts and large unfunded outlays were run up for years before we even started talking about changing the system. That’s an absurd amount of momentum.

          4. Teachers: to important to let walk off the job, yet not important enough to negotiate with their union. Right.

        2. Salary is relative to cost of living. I’ve seen people complain when teachers receive promised raises that are below the rate of inflation, but in truth, that’s just getting less of a cut. From all I’ve heard, it sounds like there is no great danger of Wisconsin teachers getting overpaid, and this is one of those less-cut situations too.

    2. …teacher compensation can be lowered as long as any open position still gets many qualified applicants.

      As with any position, the required “qualifications” tend to go down as the applicant pool shrinks. One reason inner city schools often have worse teachers is that fewer teachers want to work there and they have to take what they can get.

      1. Good point about qualifications. My suggestion requires some integrity and common sense on the part of bureaucrats — keeping some hiring standards while intelligently adjusting offer price.

        Sounds kind of naive when I think about it that way.

    3. “If some people need to be made happy with their jobs then so be it, but that’s not a goal in and of itself.”

      A happy worker is an efficient and motivated worker.

      1. That’s what I was driving at. It’s extremely important, for example, for policemen to be satisfied with their pay and working conditions — lest they turn to corrupt practices to gain some extra money.

        That’s a far cry from raising their wages because their union donated heavily to your election campaign.

  10. “I thought was a joke… like Egypt making fun of the dolts in WI who have jobs and whining … but if this is serious… i dont know…people are either retarded or misinformed

    the comparison is missing a few reality doses”

    That would be a relevant objection to someone who claimed that the two cases are exactly the same. But no one is doing that. Workers are expressing their SOLIDARITY for other workers, recognizing that they are all standing up for the same long term goals. Solidarity is an expression of equality. Someone even worse of can be solidaric to other less burdened elsewhere. It sounds like you have completely confused solidarity with pity.

  11. No one is complaining about collective bargaining. It are the laws that make collective bargaining more or less appealing that are being fought over. Frankly, I would be pretty happy to see laws that make public sectors collective bargaining harder.

    You are talking about employees that 1) have a state granted monopoly 2) can’t go out of business 3) take my freaking money for their services regardless of whether or not I want to pay. Hell, the pay isn’t even the part that concerns me all that much. It is the hiring and firing that bothers me to no end. All the pension concessions in the world doesn’t change that the fact that my boss can fire my ass if I am a bad employee, but it takes an act of child rape to kick a bad teach out of the system. Unions whine like it is simply unthinkable that there could be a way to judge the worthiness of a teacher, yet some how the rest of the nation has found ways to turn jobs with fuzzy success indicators and do it.

    In voucher systems (not just education), I would be all for letting the unions do what they want. After all, if I don’t like it, I can just give my tax money to someone else. When you are talking about a government imposed monopoly funded out of my pocket, screw their collective bargaining rights. What about my right to refuse paying for shoddy services?

  12. Of course the situation in Wisconsin isn’t anywhere near as serious as that in Egypt or other Arab nations, but it’s still serious, and this show of global solidarity warms my heart.

  13. The state was expected to have a $10M surplus this year.

    What happened? Well, the new governor and state congress passed $150M worth of tax cuts for Walmart and a few other anational corporations.

    That’s where the budget deficit came from.

    It’s public record but Walmart buys ads on TV stations and school teachers and firemen don’t so the idiot box won’t report it.

  14. hey…Waklker wants to slash health spending in Wisconsin too, by over a billion dollars: guess who loses out?
    granny and the kids – the poorest of the poor: they will have to pay for those “emergency” private investment bank billionaire bail-outs by the Fed Gov: the Governor wouldn’t want to un-balance the books. That’s why his friends will soon own the power supply for the State of Wisconsin….

  15. Oooh link for the Medicare slashing by Walker:

    http://lacrossetribune.com/news/local/article_503ea83c-3e44-11e0-bd46-001cc4c03286.html

    But now to raise taxes, unlike cutting benfits,you’ll need a 2/3 majority vote – simply levying a tax is now to be as difficult as changing the Constitution.

    Way to run a democratic Government.

    But your health benefits and children’s education may be slashed by the stroke of a pen, and a 51-49 vote.

    Because the USSC says money = speech: too bad they did not notice that then, no money = no speech.

  16. I got a slice of Ian’s mac and cheese pizza while protesting Saturday. Thank you anonymous pizza-buyers!

  17. I think the arrogance is refusing to see how similar the situations in the Mideast and the us are. Unemployment rates are the same in the us as they were in Egypt before the revolution. Further, while the us is more wealthy than Egypt, we have much greater income disparity. The unions of Egypt striking were a deciding factor for their revolution, egyptians are not glib like Americans about the power and necessity of unions. Any democratic process can enshrine someone who lies on the campaign trail, we can argue most. The WI protest organizers website was shut down and a deputy attorney general remarked live ammo should be used on the WI protesters. Are the situations identical? No but I think we need to take our freedoms more seriously than “it could never happen here so lol”

Comments are closed.