Tuesday wrap

Stern-SEIU protesters gag another oppressive employer ... In a statement issued on Friday, Burger King Corporation said the company "believes unions serve a purpose in some workplaces and a number of its guests, vendors and franchisees have positive union membership experiences. BKC is not anti-union. BKC and its franchisees serve a diverse consumer base and, therefore, aim to remain neutral on political issues." Burger King's statement Friday stands in marked contrast to the company's lobbying record. From 2006 through 2008 Burger King spent $319,648 on lobbying, including lobbying against the Employee Free Choice Act, a measure that would ensure workers the freedom to choose to form a union without employer interference or intimidation. Burger King has also helped fund efforts to oppose the bill through its involvement in the National Retail Federation, one of the organizations behind an anti-employee free choice group called the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace. "America needs companies like Burger King to help rebuild our middle class and our economy instead of keeping fast-food workers stuck in poverty while CEOs make millions," said SEIU President Andy Stern. "We'll be looking for Burger King to quickly get out of any and all anti-worker lobbying so its actions start living up to its words." (allamericanpatriots.com)

Corrupt P2P seniority system governs socialist states ... The political question of the day is, “Which came first the chicken or the egg or the vote or the money?” The never-ending cycle of buying votes by handing out money has a new poster child in Hugo Chávez. He eliminated the term limits which gives unrestricted power and creates the economic cycle of buying elections forever. It is the slow cancer that destroys capitalism and cost liberty just as Jefferson foretold 200 years ago. Our forefathers knew this principle because it was common sense. Not until FDR came along did we have to intervene and shut it off. His term ushered in socialism that has continued to this day by Congress who does not have limits on themselves for anything. (bdtonline.com)

Barack for life? ... Roosevelt ended up being a president for life in his time. Regarding your Monday editorial about “presidential leadership,” there was a heavy dose of what I believe was unintended irony. George Washington didn’t want to be king, so he relinquished his power after two terms according to what he believed was in accordance with the laws established by the people. And then you bring up Franklin D. Roosevelt as a comparison? I guess FDR didn’t give a whit about the rules and boundaries of the presidency that George Washington established. As it turned out he was president for life, right up there with Hugo Chávez. (delawareonline.com)

Obama: Stop me before the next Continuing Resolution, Bailout, Stimulus, whatever ... President Obama and his advisers sounded an alarm Monday on the ballooning $1.3 trillion federal deficit, saying that it would get worse and offering tough talk with a promise the administration will cut the deficit in half by reverting to pay-as-you-go rules. "The pay-go approach is based on a very simple concept. You don't spend what you don't have. So if we want to spend, we'll need to find somewhere else to cut," the president said at the White House Fiscal Responsibility Summit. "This is the rule that families across this country follow every single day, and there's no reason why their government shouldn't do the same." (washingtontimes.com)

Anti-Porkulists embarrass New Progs ... Something is in the air. It's the smell of roasted pork. President Obama heralded the signing of the trillion-dollar "stimulus" bill in Denver and promoted his massive mortgage entitlement expansion in Mesa, Ariz., at tightly controlled campaign events. But outside the Secret Service perimeters, a raucous grass-roots rebellion against Beltway spending binges has caught fire. The new Boston Tea Party is here, baby, and it is doused in barbecue sauce. The first revolt took place on Presidents Day in Smurf-blue Seattle, where mom-blogger Keli Carender hastily organized a downtown demonstration to oppose what they called the "stimulus rip-off." A motley band of nearly 100 protesters - moms and their kids, college students, libertarians, taxpayer groups, Republican activists - raised their voices and dined on pulled pork (donated by yours truly). They assailed both the substance of the overstuffed stimulus package and the short-circuited, nontransparent process by which it was passed. Some wore pig noses. Others waved Old Glory and "Don't Tread on Me" flags. Their handmade signs read: "Say No to Generational Theft"; "Obama'$ Porkulu$ Wear$ Lip$tick"; and "I don't want to pay for the SwindleUs! I'm only 10 years old!" The event was peaceful, save for an unhinged city-dweller who showed his tolerance by barging onto the speakers' stage and giving a Nazi salute. The anti-pork activists turned out in Denver, too. On Tuesday, while Mr. Obama cocooned himself at the city's Museum of Nature and Science for the stimulus signing, a crowd of nearly 300 gathered on the Capitol steps on their lunch hour to flame-broil the spending bill and feast on roasted pig (also donated by yours truly). On Wednesday in Mesa, Ariz., local conservative talk station KFYI spearheaded a third large protest to welcome Barack Obama as he unveiled a $100 billion to $200 billion program to bail out banks and beleaguered borrowers having trouble paying their mortgages. The entitlement theme played well last week in Florida, where Mr. Obama played Santa Claus to enraptured supporters shamelessly seeking government presents. But nearly 500 protesters in Mesa came to reject the savior-based economy with signs mocking gimme-mania. Their posters jeered: "Give me Pelosi's Plane"; "Annual Passes to Disneyland"; "Fund Bikini Wax Now"; "Stimulate the Economy: Give Me a Tummy Tuck"; "Free Beer for My Horses." And my favorite: "Give me liberty or at least a big-screen TV." Plans are under way for anti-stimulus-palooza protests in Overland Park, Kan., Nashville and New York - home of smug Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer. Mr. Schumer's derisive comment on the Senate floor about the "chattering classes" who oppose reckless spending has not been forgotten or forgiven. The insult spurred central Kentucky talk show host Leland Conway to organize a pork-rind drive. Angry taxpayers bombarded the senator's office with 1,500 bags of cracklins. (washingtontimes.com)

Job-Killing, Anti-Social Justice Act Hailed by Obama ... "I will make it the law of the land when I'm president of the United States," he told a labor federation meeting in April 2008. The issue became a major selling point during his speeches before union audiences. Union supporters contend the act would protect a worker's right to freely choose to join a union, yet only a private vote protects workers and allows them to express their true views. Being required to publicly sign a card negates an employee's right to confidentiality and leaves him or her vulnerable to threats and intimidation. Card checks fail to accurately gauge workers' desire to join a union. The EFCA would require the National Labor Relations Board to certify a union after a majority of workers signed union cards and would put an end to organizing elections. Under a card check, if organizers collect cards from a majority of workers, all workers must join the union without an opportunity to cast a vote. The EFCA would also require companies and newly certified unions to enter binding arbitration if they cannot reach an agreement on an initial contract after 90 days of negotiations. The arbitrator's ruling cannot be appealed, and the contract would last for two years. Abolishing private ballots deprives workers of a fundamental democratic right and leaves them more vulnerable to pressure than ever before. The Employee Freedom of Choice Act is exactly the opposite of what it is titled. (herald-dispatch.com)

We know where you live: Intruders threaten local jobs, peace ... Two years ago, the sewing workers at Tama Manufacturing picketed, wanting more than the $18 per hour average salary. Tama has now closed the doors; it was one of the last of the needle trade businesses to still operate in the Lehigh Valley. Those same workers now will be lucky to find a job at K-Mart, paying $9 an hour.Perhaps nothing more symbolizes the disconnect between people and reality than The Employee Free Choice Act. At a time when every American manufacturer is struggling to justify continuing production, unions will be able to organize without respecting the workers' right to a private vote. The "card check" procedure will allow unions to form by collecting a simple majority of signed cards. A union had a full time presence in Allentown for over 10 years trying to organize Cedarbrook, the county nursing home, which the workers rejected by vote time and time again. (County Executive) Donny "Union" Cunningham allowed a card check immediately upon assuming office, opening the back door for the unwanted intruder. If they asked you to sign, you would say, "Where's the pen?" (mcall.com)

Can states repel corrupt P2P D.C. organizers? ... The way to kill the bad idea is by shifting the fight to grassroots America. We can place language in state constitutions that protects secret ballots both in public elections and when workers decide whether to unionize. Already organized in 10 states, Save Our Secret Ballots (SOS) leads the effort to put this before state voters in 2010. Americans cherish the right to a secret ballot and want it protected. Now they can make it so. Crafted by respected constitutional scholar Clint Bolick at The Goldwater Institute, SOS Ballot’s proposal reads: "The right of individuals to vote by secret ballot is fundamental. Where state or federal law requires elections for public office or public votes on initiatives or referenda, or designations or authorizations of employee representation, the right of individuals to vote by secret ballot shall be guaranteed." As Bolick writes, “Given the important state interests in protecting the secret ballot and freedom of association, the proposed state constitutional provisions should prevail in a clash with federal law,” since workers would retain the right to unionize, in intimidation-free voting booths. The secret ballot is a hallmark of civil rights, allowing all of us to vote without fear or reprisal. America’s courts have consistently ruled that the best way to avoid coerced elections is a secret ballot, not a pledge card signup. The United States has fought for such free elections around the world, most recently in Iraq. Former presidential nominee and Senator George McGovern (D, SD), appealed to his former colleagues to defeat EFCA, writing: “There are many documented cases where workers have been pressured, harassed, tricked and intimidated into signing cards that have led to mandatory payment of dues. . . .Under EFCA, workers could lose the freedom to express their will in private, the right to make a decision without anyone peering over their shoulder, free from fear of reprisal.” McGovern’s warning is being ignored. States and citizens can unite against an out-of-control Congress by using state constitutions to protect the cherished right to a secret ballot. (dcexaminer.com)

Scheming, scamming union organizers exposed ... In reality unions will never call for elections with cards signed by a minority of workers. In fact, organizers are generally instructed to collect cards from 60 to 70 percent of workers in a company before going to the polls. Unions openly state that they do not go to an election without a supermajority of cards: International Brotherhood of Teamsters: “The general policy of the Airline Division is to file for a representation election only after receiving a 65 percent card return from the eligible voters in a group.” New England Nurses Association: “Have 70– 75 percent of members sign cards; if unable to reach this goal, review plan.” Service Employees International Union (SEIU): “The rule of thumb in the SEIU is that it's unwise to file for an election when fewer than 70 percent of the workforce has signed interest cards.” Current law allows for workers to have a federally supervised election with secret ballots whenever there is a dispute over union affiliation. This confidentiality would no longer be available should the “card check bill” become law, since union bosses would be in control of the process and would know who signed and did not sign. That’s when the intimidation and the coercion begins. (dcexaminer.com)

Oppressive non-union hotels reject card-check ... The union representing most hotel workers in San Francisco is attempting to put economic pressure on two non-union hotels that have not agreed to accommodate an organizing effort. Local 2 of Unite Here is asking consumers to boycott the Hyatt at Fisherman's Wharf at 555 North Point St. and Le Meridien at 333 Battery St. Local 2 President Mike Casey said management at the two hotels has refused to allow the union to try to organize the workers via a "card check," by which union representation would be authorized if a majority approve it. Hyatt said in a statement that it believes employees should vote on union representation in a secret-ballot election overseen by the National Labor Relations Board. Bob LaCasse, general manager of Le Meridien, said he, too, would welcome an election and called card check "an unreliable process." Local 2 plans a rally on the issue today at 4 p.m. at Justin Herman Plaza, followed by a march to Le Meridien. (sfgate.com)

Sour unionists expected workers to lay down for slaughter ... Nobody wants to say it on the record, but the buzz is we won’t get the Employee Free Choice Act in its current form. President Obama says he’s pro-EFCA but wants unions to “accommodate” the other side—despite labor’s $450 million and countless hours of volunteer work devoted to electing him. Employers aren’t interested in compromise, spending $50 million just on anti-EFCA ads last fall in states where Senate seats were up for grabs, and vowing to spend tens of millions more. (labornotes.org)

Balanoff at it again: Jumbo union buys Rahmbo's replacement ... Just days after State Rep. Sara Feigenholtz announced she was going to loan her campaign $100,000, the Service Employees International Union has said it will spend a quarter of a million dollars on television commercials for her. "I just heard," Feigenholtz said at a candidates' forum on the North Side Monday night. "It's really going to help me get my message out." In fund-raising, Feigenholtz already led the 12 Democrats seeking to replace U.S. Rep. Rahm Emanuel in the March 3 primary election. (suntimes.com)

Shut Up, It's a Crisis: Making Illinois P2P union-only by regulating free speech ... The "pay-to-play" political scandals linked to former Govs. George Ryan and Rod Blagojevich show why Illinois needs stricter campaign-finance laws, members of a new ethics panel were told on Monday. Meeting at the University of Illinois at Springfield, the Illinois Reform Commission heard several suggestions on how to fix the state’s campaign-finance system. They included imposing limits on the size of campaign contributions and requiring political campaign committees to file detailed reports more frequently. The commission didn't decide anything Monday. It will convene again March 5 in Chicago, and Chairman Patrick Collins said he expects the panel to decide on its recommendations soon afterward. "This is a time like no other, and we have to think big and bold," Collins said. (galesburg.com)

Obama's qualified Leftist in Labor ... Faced with the greatest economic downturn in decades, Barack Obama opted to put a far-Left ideologue in charge of labor-employer relations by nominating Hilda Solis his choice for Labor Secretary. Leftists swooned at the nomination. Solis has received significant support from such far-leftists as Nation magazine, Mother Jones, AlterNet, and the openly Socialist publication In These Times (which called her a “great choice for Labor”). Just how left-wing is her record? Consider this: In June 1996 Solis dispatched an individual named Antonio Aguilar to represent her and to serve as a presenter at a major Communist Party USA event. Likewise in June 2008, she sent a caseworker from her East Los Angeles office, Elana Henry, to represent her at a workers’ rights forum organized by the Socialist International, which bills itself as “the worldwide organization of social democratic, socialist, and labor parties.” (americandaily.com)

Labor-state lawmakers protect forced-unionism again ... The Montana House on Monday narrowly refused to yank a right-to-work bill from the speaker's desk and assign it to a committee. The motion's failure effectively kills the second of two right-to-work bills before the 2009 Legislature. A similar Senate bill was killed earlier. Right-to-work laws prohibit an employer and a union from signing a contract that requires the workers to join a union. Labor unions strongly oppose right-to-work laws, while some business groups support them. All of Montana's immediate neighboring states have right-to-work laws, but this state has defeated bills for several decades, regardless of which party controls the Legislature and governor. (missoulian.com)

Unions lock-in against decertification ... A Mechanicsburg UPS Freight employee has filed unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board, a federal body that enforced labor law. The charges, filed by UPS Freight employee Jeff Weibley, allege that the Teamsters Local Union 776 illegally organized the freight union and should not have monopoly bargaining privileges with the freight company. Teamsters Local 776 held a card check election with the Mechanicsburg UPS Freight employees after a majority voted against organizing through another union in April 2008. Will Collins, a spokesman for the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation representing Weibley, said the group is challenging the validity of the Teamsters cards collected in the election "because card check drives have a reputation of being inconclusive and not very reliable," he said. Workers typically have the option of issuing a "snap decertification election" to challenge card check elections. However, the Mechanicsburg UPS Freight had already held a decertification election to turn down the first union that tried to organize, the Association of Parcel Workers of America, in April. Under the law, companies cannot hold more than one decertification election in a 12-month period. (pennlive.com)

ACORN worker gets wrist-slap for B&E ... Just days after Acorn made quite the statement by breaking into a foreclosed home to reclaim it for the former owner, activist Louis Beverly and friends had nothing to say as he walked out of central booking Monday afternoon. Beverly is charged with destruction of property and fourth degree burglary for what acorn calls its homesteading or home staying campaign. "Essentially [it is] a trespassing charge. This is for the activity on the 20th for breaking and entering on 301 Ellsworth avenue. [He turned himself in?] Yes sir without incident," said Baltimore City Police’s Anthony Guglielmi. But Acorn cannot promise there won't be more incidents. (abc2news.com)

Roseanne Barr plays Norma Rae, joins union-backed, Porkulus-fed fraud group ... Participating at the rally was comic, writer, producer, actress, and, unbeknownst to me, political activist Roseanne Barr. Below is my interview with the ACORN supporter. Kathleen Wells: Roseanne, how did we get here? How are American citizens, all across this nation, facing unprecedented levels of home foreclosures? Who is at fault and why is this happening? Roseanne Barr: The people at the top are to blame for their rapacious and unregulated greed. Poor people rot in jail for doing far less damage than corporate criminals at the top who are coddled after committing more far-reaching offenses. KW: Tell us, how did you get involved with ACORN. What were some specific campaigns that you have been involved with and how do you see your role going forward? RB: I was introduced to ACORN while I was on the road with Michael Moore during the 2004 presidential campaign. We met with Acorn chapters in Florida, Iowa and a few other cities. My boyfriend Johnny, me and Michael Moore's whole crew helped to drive old people from the inner city to the polls in Cleveland, Ohio on a snowy, cold election day during the second election that was stolen by Bush and Cheney. I instantly recognized the women in acorn as being the same kind of women I had been in collectives with in my younger years in Denver, Colorado. I have always been a labor activist, as was my father and his father. Even the Roseanne show was a sit-com about American Labor. (huffingtonpost.com)

International Collectivism

End of a Free-Market Model

Teachers abandon failed strike ... Zimbabwe's teachers have agreed to end a strike that emptied classrooms for a year, after the government promised to review salaries and appealed for 458 million dollars' aid for schools, according to officials. Schoolteachers have been on strike since early last year to demand payment in foreign currency to cope with Zimbabwe's stunning hyperinflation that has left the local dollar worthless. They only returned to work for brief periods during that time. (google.com)
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