Stop the Madness Now! The G-Rated Version

Last week we presented this hilarious dialog between a distraught taxpayer and a union firefighter, which became an instant hit across the country.  While the clip had no problem making it onto the workstations of public agencies far and wide, we also had many requests for a G-Rated version.

Despite our concern that self-censorship may inhibit the fine directorial talents of our anonymous Oliver Stone, he was happy to oblige:

Of course, most will probably prefer the original profanity-laced version here: Stop the Madness Now!

60 Replies to “Stop the Madness Now! The G-Rated Version”

  1. Could you detail for us the amount of time you’ve spent working as a firefighter?

    Or is your knowledge of the job an idiot blog you read somewhere?

  2. Actually the knowledge comes from a brief history lesson. Prior to unions gaining a strangle hold on California government. Fire fighters were compensated much closer to the median wage. They also did not receive anywhere near as big a pension. Funny thing is that it was never a problem finding people to do the job.

    Now particularly in the last decade the wages and pension have gotten completely out of line with those who employee the fire fighters (taxpayers). Therefore I need not have any idea what a fire fighter does to come to my conclusion.

  3. Sorry, hit the “Submit” comment button too quickly.

    Should all occupations be based upon median wage? Or just firefighters?

  4. Of course as a taxpayer I would be happy if they did not try to extort more money and bankrupt our communities.

    As for public employees, yes their salaries should be much closer to the median wage than they are. The reasoning is that there are no incentives for politicians to contain costs like there are in the private sector, and it is those same taxpayer paying the bill. Why is that so hard for you to understand. This is a recent phenomena. Fire Fighter pay today has noting to do with merit, it is simply a result of bribery and extortion.

    I when I say extortion. I mean the scare tactics used when budgets get cut or they won’t be getting a raise. I never here the union or politicians talking about cutting the pay and maintain staffing. That is what should be done, although a strong argument could be made that the staffing levels are too high now based on some of the union contracts criteria.

    1. So you view collective bargaining as extortion?

      Nice that you resort to namecalling.

      I can name any number of professions in the public sector that have numerous more applicants than openings and pay waaayyyy above the median.

      You claim to have insight into proper staffing levels. Based on what knowledge?

      And wow, you state the taxpayer is paying the bill for firefighter pay. A master of the obvious. None of us had any idea until now [/sarcasm].

      Your comparison to the private sector is a non-sequituir. The two have significantly different functions in our society.

      1. What scares you is an evaporating revenue stream and an angry public. Get used to it. The gravy days are over. Too bad the old slackers will profit at the expense of the young.

  5. I was beginning to get that feeling. When you feel like your gravy train is being threatened, it is hard to think rationally. I also note that he made no argument. All he did was try to rationalize. Very typical.

  6. I will be reposting the original, classic version Monday morning bright and early. Several thousand people have already enjoyed it on our site.

  7. 72% of the nation’s firefighters are VOLUNTEERS. THOSE are my heroes. Not our overpaid, overpensioned union firefighters.

    This largely accurate video reflects our union firefighter situation in California, which is probably as bad as it gets for taxpayers across the nation. I suspect similar situations exist in many other states — normally in the mid-sized to large cities.

    1. I’ve actually bothered to look into this fact. Like all the other idiots on this board you put up a fact that on its surface sounds full of platitudes.

      Yes, 72% of the nations cities are protected by volunteers. The flip side to that is that most of those cities have populations less than 2,500. And…..the real kicker for you. 80% of the nation’s population is protected by professionals. Until dirt has the ability to call 911 this statistic is pretty meaningless.

  8. Most CA local firemen pay little or NOTHING for their pension — their employer (the taxpayer) pays most or all the cost.

    But that’s not all. When the employer pays the employee’s part of the pension contribution, that gift usually counts as additional SALARY — and salary is the basis off which the pension is calculated.

    Normally a retiring 30 CA ff gets 90% of their highest pay (3% per year times 30 years times highest pay). The “normal ff contribution is 9% of pay. So a such a 30 year retiring ff will get not 90% of highest pay, but rather 98.1% of highest pay.

  9. Example of the 98.1% pension: A CA firefighter (or cop) normally owes 9% of pay each year as a pension contribution. Say a 30 year ff retires with a $100,000 salary. That’s “normally” a $90K pension. But since the taxpayer paid the 9%, the salary is considered to be $109,000. 90% of 109K is $98,1000.

    Ahhh, but that’s not all. Included above the base “salary” are as many as two dozen other extras for things like paramedic certification, shift deferential, bilingual, etc. etc. Hence most 30 year ff’s and cops retire with a pension LARGER than their base salary — and retire as early as age 50.

    The funny part is that most ff’s don’t live in the city that pays their salaries (because they infrequently commute to work, they can live much further away). Moreover, when they retire, they often take their opulent pensions and depart their high tax state — the very taxes they lobbied so hard to put in place for their own benefit.

    1. this coming from a guy who receives a taxpayer funded pension (fully COLAed! unlike CALPERS)
      which he never paid a dime into….

      hmm… I respect your service but pardon
      my skepticism. Note also how many military
      servicemembers and retirees live in Texas and Florida…the pot calls the kettle what?

    1. Again, RR, the irony is killer.

      The Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard are
      so inundated with prospective recruits
      right now, they’re averaging a 2 year wait!
      Are you saying that their employer
      (a.k.a. taxpayers) should cut their wages
      and pension? You have been hanging
      around Joe too long.

      1. When I signed in 1968, we had the Vietnam war rolling. People were not lined up to join. Quite the contrary — we had a draft because we underpaid our military.

        Moreover, a comparison of the dangers and hardships of military service with that of firefighters is beyond ludicrous.

        Finally, I retired as a Commander in the Navy Reserves. I was active only four years, but in training and on call for an additional 22 years. Care to guess how big my pension is? Any ff out there want to trade pension paychecks? How about DOUBLE my paycheck for yours? Okay, how about TRIPLE my paycheck for yours? Quadruple? Quintuple? Come on — got to be some ff suckers out there.

        1. So what? Why should the taxpayer pay for your pension? It’s an unfunded liability.

          And more importantly, unless you were drafted, you volunteered.

          Don’t blame others for your life’s choices.

          In case you haven’t noticed the critics of ff’s want to do away with all defined benefit pension plans because of their burden to local government. Let’s start with yours since it is directly funded out of the general fund. There is no trust fund paying for it. You should’ve been in a defined contribution plan.

          You point out the hardships of military service. That is your perspective. I know many military personnel that never left the CONUS during their time. One of my ROTC buddies never left the time zone during his career. To state your experience is typical is absolutely ludicrous. If 99% of military personnel saw actual combat you might have a point. But the reality is that many never fire a weapon after basic.

  10. Can’t help myself. I just have to comment. I totally agree with Richard. Any person with an ounce of common sense would understand that any job that literally thousands apply for (for a few positions) is paying too much. Those who work in the public sector are clueless about the reality of us who work in the real world. In the private sector, companies can now hire at lower wages because of more people applying for those jobs. That will never happen to fire fighters. I accept that reality but am extremely offended when fire fighters complain. SAME WITH TEACHERS! Please don’t complain about your job.

  11. That’s neat that you agree with Richard (and probably the person who posted this). So they should sit back and let these idiots bloggers constantly attack their profession and the individuals who do these jobs that are needed. These idiots lump all these hard working good people into a category to fit their delusional fantasy that all teachers, fireman and police are the enemy. I wonder if they are raising their children with that mindset? I think these professions should be “extremely offended” by these idiot bloggers. I think teachers, fireman and police do work in the real world dealing with real problems that these idiots will never grasp. Not complaining about my job and I only read and respond here for my entertainment.

    1. “These idiots lump all these hard working good people into a category to fit their delusional fantasy”

      Ha! Thanks for showing us how to lump everyone together into a category – hard working!

  12. Gilligan, it is not about hating them. It is about their union’s bankrupting our communities. It is about their union’s constant scream for more taxes. That is what this is about.

    1. Then why are these idiots consistantly attacking the individual workers (lumping them into one category)? There has to be a better way than what method they’re using. Most people in these professions are good people.

        1. Sippy the Kool-aid drinker keep pretending that you’re the only person that has the answers (maybe not even the answers but real good at name calling) Keep bashing everyone that disagrees with you and believing everything that you post or read on this crappy website which has no credibility at all. Take a survey, most residents have no clue about this shithole website and the ones that do realize it’s another good old boy site for Nelson, Norby, Whitaker, Thompson, Sebourn and any of their other friends running for any office. See you at the headquarters that everyone is sharing like a commune!

          1. Aw, poor little butterfly.

            If you don’t like the bashing quit asking for it. And don’t keep coming back for more.

    1. RR-

      Do you have any idea what you are talking about?

      I am finding it very hard to believe that you were
      in the service. What if I said I could love the
      Navy Supply Corps just as much for half the
      salary and a fourth the pension? Would you
      give back 75% of your taxpayer funded

      Volunteerism is a wonderful thing, but c’mon…

      Do you plan to use your position as chairman
      of a “tax fighters” alliance to close down the
      Coast Guard and let the Coast Guard Auxiliary
      take over?

      How about we just totally disband the Air Force
      and let the Civil Air Patrol Volunteers take over?

        1. ha ha…

          you’re trying very hard to hide the fact that the
          military really has a better compensation
          and retirement system than the FD.

          Don’t worry. I support good compensation for
          the military. I know exactly how much your
          pension is. I’d trade everything I’ve got for
          an O-5’s pension, an O-4’s pension,
          or even an O-3E’s pension.
          Fully COLA’ed + healthcare. C’mon.
          Let’s trade.

          Who’s the tough guy, now?

          Stop wasting everyone’s time.
          It is clear to me now that you really
          are a hypocrite. Send the check back
          to the taxpayers before you say
          another word about cutting pensions.

          1. We can each claim to be tougher than the other, but there’s one way to prove who has the courage to back his assertions. Which one of us uses our REAL name??? Hmmm???

            OF COURSE you blithely claim that you’ll trade pensions with me. But you won’t reveal who you are! Talk about a meaningless offer!!!

            Just to be clear — I’m a retired O5 (Commander/Lt Colonel) with about 26 years total service (first two as enlisted) as started in a previous email.

            Assuming you have at least 20 years as a professional union local (as opposed to state) CA ff, I hereby offer to trade my pension for yours. Straight up.

            Now, to prove just how tough you are, reveal yourself — name and contact info and let’s begin serious discussions of the exchange.

            I’m a public figure in San Diego, so my contact info is easy to discover. Let’s do this!

            Or are you just “big hat, no cattle”?

  13. We all know that Jo-Jo has all the intellect and reasoning power of your average slumlord (whom are well represented on this board).

    Jo-Jo has no argument other than to call names, and hurl insults and slurs.

    I actually have respect for someone like Richard Rider who at least has a reasonable argument and presents it as such. Jo-Jo and others could learn something about how to effectively comment rather than the half-wits that the 4F naysayers.

    Oh well, people who come here for insightful political commentary would be better served tuning into Cartoon Network. I think Jo-Jo has a show on that channel.

    1. Well Adams, you dont come here for the commentary but you cetainly keep coming back. In fact, after checking this site a few times a week for quite a while, you appear to be one of the more loyal readers. What motivates you to keep coming back?

  14. Well said, TRJA. That’s some funny shit. Now we’ll have to read a post from Jo-Jo about how you and I need to pass remedial English and have only 6 JC units, blah, blah, blah or some other insult that he repeatedly throws out.

  15. BTW–Any comparison of Fullerton CC candidates of how much public employee pension they have/will receive? You’ve given us snippets, but no overall comparison.

  16. Well, Hollis, do you only go to sites where everyone agrees with your point of view?

    And without me (and several others) you would have your ranting stories with 4 comments.

    Or the riveting journalism about the shape of street signs, the path of sidewalks, or brick veneer.

  17. Because someone worked for years, and earns a pension automatically invalidates any contribution they can make by serving?

    How about bloggers that inherit all their wealth from their parents but think they’re entrepreneurs? Should we invalidate any contribution to the community?

    So you think Norby shouldn’t be in office then, right? He’s sharing office space with you, so it should be easy to let him know.

    Your site should be it’s probably available.

  18. Yes, I agree that we have benefits that I never dreamed of when I got into this career. We are paid for “potential”, or what could happen. Not many in the private sector or law enforcement get paid for sleeping, but not many also get woken up multiple times a shift to perform at a doctor, rescue engineer, chemist, or hydraulics technician level. The interrupted sleep is what eventually kills most firefighters only three years into their retirement–well that and all the accumulated carcinogens we are exposed to during our career. I joined, sincerely, ’cause I am a good “problem solver” (which is what firefighters do best) and like to help people–honorable when I got hired (and I worked hard to get hired), but now the unions and their lapdog administrations, politicians and bureaucrats have turned this into a “gold plated” occupation (remember when most firefighters HAD to have second jobs to make it?…I do). The worst thing is having to pay the union for political action that supports the money-grubbing…ARRRGH! I really hate that. I started late in life, so I’ll never reach even 75% of my salary, and THAT is why I am moving out of CA as soon as possible. That and the politicians can’t seem to stop the liberal program funding, or pass a RESPONSIBLE budget ON TIME, or about a dozen other problems this state can’t seem to solve. Where to go? Yes, a much lower taxed state is where I am going, for the good of my family. We have no reason to be called “heroes”, we are just doing a job that we chose.

    1. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASSSSSE keep repeating this WONDERFUL canard that most ff’s die within 3 years of retirement. No single comment better combines the ff’s arrogant sense of entitlement with their STUNNING ignorance of the risks of their own profession.

      Maybe I’m being unfair — you may not believe this early death nonsense, and are simply lying for dollars. If I were a betting man, I’d go with this probability.

      But only you know for sure.

      BTW, CalPERS calculates that the average life expectancy of a ff is a bit over age 82 — the same as the rest of the CalPERS employees. Go figure.

  19. “The interrupted sleep is what eventually kills most firefighters only three years into their retirement–well that and all the accumulated carcinogens we are exposed to during our career.”

    Nevemind that CalPERS has already debunked the ‘die early’ myth entirely, now you’re saying that *most* firefighters die within 3 years of retirement? All that effort to sound reasonable and now you go and do that. Silly.

  20. Richard Rider, Chairman San Diego Tax Fighters :
    We can each claim to be tougher than the other, but there’s one way to prove who has the courage to back his assertions. Which one of us uses our REAL name??? Hmmm???
    OF COURSE you blithely claim that you’ll trade pensions with me. But you won’t reveal who you are! Talk about a meaningless offer!!!
    Just to be clear — I’m a retired O5 (Commander/Lt Colonel) with about 26 years total service (first two as enlisted) as started in a previous email.
    Assuming you have at least 20 years as a professional union local (as opposed to state) CA ff, I hereby offer to trade my pension for yours. Straight up.
    Now, to prove just how tough you are, reveal yourself — name and contact info and let’s begin serious discussions of the exchange.
    I’m a public figure in San Diego, so my contact info is easy to discover. Let’s do this!
    Or are you just “big hat, no cattle”?


    Stop clowning around. You do not have
    26 years of service. You likely got your standard
    50-60 pts/yr during your reserve duty and thus
    only have 8 years of service for retirement
    purposes and thus collect about 1/3 of a
    O-5’s pension. (Which is still a pretty good
    sum of money). Don’t you understand,
    though, how hypocritical you are?

    You say comparing public safety to the military
    is ludicrous? C’mon. There are
    tens of thousands of police and FF’s in the
    military who receive pay and benefits far
    superior to their civilian counterparts.

    You are biting the hand that feeds you
    when you attack pensions.

    And for the record, I WILL gladly trade for a
    TRUE 26 year O-5’s pension.

    Respond back when you get one.

  21. AS proof you are properly paid, you present the following silly argument:


    “You say comparing public safety to the military
    is ludicrous? C’mon. There are
    tens of thousands of police and FF’s in the
    military who receive pay and benefits far
    superior to their civilian counterparts.”


    At least 8 things wrong with that assertion:

    1. Military police and ff can and sometimes do face FAR greater dangers and tougher living conditions than you do. They have to be ready to go into battle in time of war — to fight an armed foe. I don’t think that’s part of your job description.

    2. All military personnel in their careers sometime deploy for months at a time. How long are you gone from YOUR family? 24 hours? 48 hours? Maybe a week a year when the brush fires come?

    3. For many years in their career, military police/ff make significantly less than union ff’s. An E-5 sergeant with 10 years seniority makes $36K a year base pay. Even with the BAS, BAQ and other pay thrown in, his pay is probably $60K or less — WITH NO PAID OVERTIME! But a union ff’s pay usually exceeds that after 2 years — PLUS overtime.

    4. A military person is expected to move his or her family several times in the course of their career. How often do you have to relocate YOUR family??

    5. ” Pay and benefits FAR superior”??? I don’t think so.

    6. You cleverly leave off the military RESPONSIBILITY factor. Because many military leave after one tour, the career military are given far more management responsibility than union ffs. A 10 year military E-5 ff is probably in charge of the truck — what y’all laughingly call a “fire captain.” And a union fire captain makes at least $20K more than a union ff — sometimes a LOT more.

    7. If you get fed up, or afraid, or want to go to work for a new employer — you can quit. A military person faces courts martial for such an act if done before then end of their multi-year obligation.

    8. Most people who go into military ff work do so to help them get a civilian (union) ff job. If the military ff pay and benefits are “far superior” as you claim, how come we don’t see you union ff’s quitting your jobs and signing up in the military as a ff instead?

    1. Your points are so full of hyperbole and “canard”
      (good word you use, your taxpayer funded university education serves you well) that they are almost not worth responding to, but just in case
      someone else reads this, let’s clear somethings up
      with a point by point response.

      1) and 2) The vast majority of military FF’s
      spend the vast majority of their time preparing
      for and responding to calls on base just like
      their civilian counterparts. please see
      article below. They work 24 hour shifts like
      the civvies and drive home in their pickup
      trucks just like the civvies you and your bunch
      make fun of.

      3) The median age of an E-5 is only 25 years old!
      pretty hard to have 10 years of service at 25 years.
      The typical 10 year guy is frequently higher than an E-5. Whatever his or her yrs of service, the avg E-5 with dependent’s total comp is estimated at 111k. I think they deserve it. Perhaps you don’t?
      (Congressional Budget Office numbers)

      4) Yes, they do have to relocate their family. I do not deny that. But their wages remain essentially
      the same. Thus, when they are relocated stateside
      (as most relocations are) they will likely relocate
      to an area cheaper than CA and their standard
      of living will actually rise.

      5) I’ve already stated the 25 year old E-5’s comp
      package. There are pay grade’s much, much
      higher, too, aren’t there, RR? you should know.
      I further call being able to retire 13-18 years earlier than a CA FF with a fully COLAed pension
      (which CA FF’s do not get) and a better pension
      multiplier than CA FF’s get (yes it actually is
      better, RR, think before you respond)
      to be superior benefits.

      6) Responsibility: A big AF base has 10,000 people, most of whom are highly trained and know what to do to help in an emergency. A big CA city has 500,000 people the vast majority of whom not only can not help during an emergency, but will actually create a major hindrance to emergency operations.

      7) A military FF can leave CA at the end of his
      contract when he’s had enough of silly, hypocritical
      tax fighters (notice the ribbing the FF’s get from other servicemembers, too, mentioned in the
      USAF article below) and go anywhere in the Federal
      gov’t and to just about any state or county job
      in the country and have his time count. The
      furthest a CA FF can likely transfer and have
      his time count is to the other side of the state
      where he will likely stilll have to listen to the
      unappreciative likes of you.

      8) Point 7 partly answers this question. Many
      military FF’s stay in the military, too. Many union
      FF’s find the best of both worlds is to keep
      their civvie job and become (or stay) a FF in
      the military reserves. Sound familiar?

      I’d let it go, RR, if you could just admit your
      pension receiving hyprocrisy and ease up, sir…

      What gives?

  22. Mr. Rider,

    Thought I would comment on your response of CA FF. While I am not here to try and change your mind, I wanted to give my 2 cents.

    “Now, to prove just how tough you are, reveal yourself.”

    What, is this grade school? Mr. Rider, the blessing, and curse, of the internet is the fact that we can be anonymous. Providing you a name and contact info would not help your cause. Your mind is made up
    when it comes to FF pensions, so drop this “reveal yourself” garbage.

    I will throw CA FF under the bus when it comes to the life expectancy issue. A few minutes of research would have shown them that CalPers in fact has debunked that myth. My best guess is the CA FF is doing nothing more than quoting what they have heard for years.

    And I am willing to bet that it was true that FFs had a short life expectancy after they retired many years ago. Lack of breathing apparatus, Klaxon alarms waking you in the middle of the night, non-existence employee health programs, and many other factors did in fact contribute to a FFs early death after retiring. Things are a little different today. FFs use breathing apparatus, Klaxons have been changed out to a less stress-inducing alerting system, and more FFs are in better health than in the past.

    I will not waste your time and try to justify FF pay, benefits, or retirement. That argument usually falls on deaf ears. Seems when most FFs try to explain why they are compensated for the job they have to do, they are usually told, “Well, if you don’t like it, there are
    plenty of people willing to take your job at much less pay.” True. There are many people “willing”, but how many of them are “qualified”?

    An announcement for openings at a fire department can bring hundreds, sometimes thousands of potential candidates. All willing, but how many qualified?

    It has been my experience that most people love FFs. They are approached and thanked constantly for the job they do. It seems the only time people will bash them is online from the comfort of their own homes. Back to that anonymous thing. I actually read a comment once from a person stating there was no need for a fire department because their homeowner’s insurance would pay should their home burn down. Why pay taxes and homeowner’s at the same time? Obviously that person is an idiot, but it does show some of the odd thinking out there about FFs.

    Nothing any FF or citizen could say will ever change your mind about their pay or benefits. You are a crusader. Now, I am sure you love FFs, but you want to see them compensated appropriately. I get that.
    But how much? What is a good wage, what are good benefits, and what is a good retirement plan? Nobody seems to be able to put a price on what they do.

    I do have a question for you. You joined the Navy in 1968. What did you do? You state that you are a Vietnam veteran. Were you in combat on the ground? Corpsman, Seabee, PT Boat? You weren’t attached to
    the supply corps in Vietnam were you? Here is where I am going with this. If you were in actual combat in Vietnam, then by all means declare yourself a veteran, but if you were not in combat (gun in hand running through the jungle), then save the Vietnam veteran label for those that did.

    As I said earlier, you are a crusader. I too hate paying high and ridiculous taxes. But maybe you can focus your attention on some real leeches of the system supported by our taxes.

    Russian immigrant in the US for a short time who is receiving tax-funded medical care, and who is attempting to get SSI. This person has never worked a day in the US, and they are attempting to get SSI? While SSI does not require a person to have worked to
    receive it, doesn’t that seem wrong?

    How about a person receiving Section 8 housing, and then stating that they don’t care what it costs because others have to pay for it. What? That other person is you and I.

    People on food stamps buying Subway sandwiches and pizza? Doesn’t that seem wrong also?

    I could go on, but won’t As I said, you are a crusader. There are a lot of ways to save the tax-payer money. Start looking into some of the abuse of the feel-good social programs that we pour lots of our tax money into. Spend some time with those that must interact with the abusers of the system. Once you have seen what is happening to
    your tax dollars, and how people are abusing it above and beyond any FF pay or retirement, I guarantee you will have a new cause.

  23. RR-

    Let’s deal with reality here, not what you
    imagine reality to be from the recliner in
    you get to relax in as a taxpayer funded

    Here is an entry on a US Air Force official
    website describing a day in the life
    of a military FF.

    He works a 24 hr shift. He does online
    schoolwork on duty, he cooks on duty,
    trains on duty, watches movies on duty
    and (egads) works out on duty just like
    the FF’s you and your cronies on this page
    mock. He responds to fire and medical
    emergencies on base.

    The airman mentioned is an E-5. This pay
    grade has a median age of 25 years old. Military FF’s E-5’s like him currently receive an average compensation package worth 111k from the taxpayer. (Congressional Budget Office numbers, not mine)

    He is then eligible to retire as early as
    age 37, almost a generation younger than
    CALPERS 50 or 55.

    Does he face deployments? yes, they are
    possible, I do not deny that. However,
    you and I both know that he will likely the
    overwhelming part of his career stateside.

    Guess what? I think he is entitled to his
    compensation. You clearly do not.

    Tax fighter that you are RR, I am sure you will do something about this injustice to the taxpayer. Please cc us all on the email you plan to send to the Air Force Chief of Staff
    informing him that his 25 year old E-5 firefighters are overpaid at 111K total comp, but please be prepared to justify how you feel that Commanders in the Navy Supply Corps
    are justified in receiving their 230k compensation package. (CBO numbers,
    RR, the data doesn’t lie).

    Thanks for all you do, RR.

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