3/21/09

Saturday wrap

Organized Labor Progs: National Socialists ... Labor unions aim to prevent competition with their over-priced union labor, either from within the United States or from abroad. That was the intent of one of the principal political platform planks in Hitler's National Socialist German Workers Party (Nazis). Many people, even conservatives, will be much offended by the characterization of labor unions as Nazis. In this case the characterization is meant, not as an indiscriminate pejorative of the sort that liberal-progressive-socialists ignorantly apply to anyone whom they dislike. It is used here as a reference to a fundamental tenet of Adolph Hitler's National Socialist German Workers Party: the aim to insulate German workers and farmers from foreign competition. The overarching idea was to foster German self-sufficiency as a reaction against World War I reparations and as a way to restore German economic prosperity. Ultimately it became a launching platform for imperial aggression to acquire land, resources, and slave labor from neighboring nations to fortify national self-sufficiency. With the same motives, American labor unions oppose trade agreements that encourage world free trade, because cheaper, high-quality imports threaten the unions' Federally supported powers to extort above-market wages and benefits. Nazi, by the way, is simply the short name for Hitler's National Socialist German Workers Party. The party slogan was " The Common Good Outranks Private Profit," and the aims proclaimed for the German political state were essentially the same as those promised by Franklin Roosevelt in his first inaugural address of April 1933. (rightsidenews.com)


Union bigs elated with Obama Perestroika ... So far, so good, union leaders say in assessing President Barack Obama’s performance in his first two months in office. Obama “has been an incredibly strong advocate for working families in this country,” said Anna Burger, head of Change to Win. “You hear members of Congress not being as big and bold as he is. In this economic crisis facing our country, this is the time for big and bold action.” Thea Lee, policy director of the AFL-CIO labor confederation, pointed to Obama signing into law a bill making it easier for workers to file suit in cases of alleged sex discrimination, and a bill to expand taxpayer-provided medical insurance for children of low-income families. “Pretty high marks for the Obama administration, given the depths of the economic crisis they face,” Lee said. Bill Samuel, the director of governmental affairs at the AFL-CIO, said Obama has repeatedly voiced his support for the misnamed Employee Free Choice Act since his election. “That’s what we want him to do and that’s what he’s done,” said Samuel. “Other members of the administration, I have no doubt, are talking to the congressional leadership and helping to put the votes together to pass this bill. I have no criticism at all of what the administration is doing.(msnbc.msn.com)

Related video: Obama wants your loyalty pledge



United States of America (b. 1776, d. 2009) ... "I once said, - "Whether you like it or not, history is on our side. We will bury you," - and I got into trouble with it. Of course we will not bury you with a shovel. Your own working class will bury you." - Soviet Leader Nikita Khrushchev. Thomas Jefferson correctly warned against "democracy" as a form of self-governance, properly defining it as "nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine." Marx's proletariat, the working class, organized by trade unions and trained to vote themselves gifts from the public trough, replacing the representative republic with a pure democracy via rewritten history and ideologically redefined words, will rule by simple majority mob, forcing its will upon the minority, the American taxpayer. Once fully indoctrinated in entitlement mentality and taught to vote themselves access to the public trough, the proletariat could be counted upon to use their democratic power to install socialism, - (in Marxist theory) the stage following capitalism in the transition of a society to communism, characterized by the imperfect implementation of collectivist principles. And so it is, a brief 233 years after the birth of the greatest free nation ever known to mankind. (rightsidenews.com)


Starbucks, Costco, Whole Foods prep Card-Check sell-out ... The folks at National Right to Work, of all people, are worried that, "[as] early as next Tuesday, corporate executives with the bulk retailer Costco, the grocery store chain Whole Foods, Inc. and the coffee giant Starbucks appear ready to endorse a so-called "compromise version" of Big Labor's top legislative priority, the Card Check Forced Unionism Bill (H.R. 1409, S. 560)." I've been hearing rumblings of a compromise for a while now, but this is the first time specific companies have been identified. I am told that the compromise essentially opens the elections and arrays the thresholds for victory. For example: singing cards in public would require a 70% yes vote in order to form the union. Secret ballot elections would require 50% of the vote. And if the company was able to get the acquiescence of at least 30% of the workers, they'd have the right to organize the company in the future. An AFL-CIO spokesperson declined to comment, and representatives for the major business lobbies in town did not immediately respond to e-mails. My guess is that most of labor would be OK with this, and that that the companies who caved will suddenly get a lot of negotiating power. The Administration would like nothing more than to settle EFCA amicably, something that heretofore been impossible. Mark Mix, president of National Right To Work Committee, said that "these huge companies are apparently willing to sell out hundreds of thousands of small ones under the guise of making some phony and misguided compromise with Big Labor." (theatlantic.com)


Exposed: Card-Check hypocrisy ... "Since when is the secret ballot a basic tenet of democracy?" Teamsters president Jimmy Hoffa recently demanded. He callously dismissed this cornerstone of American self-government that helped emancipated slaves vote after the Civil War and has decided presidential elections since Grover Cleveland beat Benjamin Harrison in 1892. Hoffa and other union bosses, egged on by Democrats from Capitol Hill to the White House, display world-class hypocrisy, violate international labor standards, and contradict their own sales pitch as they desperately promote “card-check” legislation to drive secret ballots from union-authorization elections. Big Labor’s hostility to secret ballots violates planetary benchmarks. The Geneva-based, U.N.-affiliated International Labor Office sets global labor standards. It recognizes secret ballots as a worldwide norm for protecting workers’ rights. Its 2006 guidebook Freedom of Association: Digest of decisions and principles of the Freedom of Association Committee of the Governing Body of the ILO states: “The existence of legislation which is designed to promote democratic principles within trade union organizations is acceptable. Secret and direct voting is certainly a democratic process and cannot be criticized as such.” In cases of strike votes, the ILO also praises conditions “with the workers enjoying the safeguard of a secret ballot.” While American labor pushes workers’ rights below U.N. guidelines, as F. Vincent Vernuccio recently noted in the Washington Times, Mexico’s Supreme Court in 2008 unanimously endorsed secret ballots in union-representation elections. Mexico’s National Association of Democratic Lawyers calls the secret ballot “an essential element for respecting workers’ rights and for the democratization of unions and the country itself.” Big Labor and its Democratic allies have pressed secret ballots in Mexico while pummeling them here. “Why can’t Mexican workers have the right to secret-ballot elections to vote for any union?” then-UAW president Stephen Yokich asked Mexico’s former president Vicente Fox in July 2001. The UAW, naturally, would deny American workers this precise right. “We are writing to encourage you to use the secret ballot in all union recognition elections,” 16 House Democrats argued in an August 2001 letter to Mexican authorities. “The secret ballot is absolutely necessary in order to ensure that workers are not intimidated into voting for a union that they might not otherwise choose.” The signers of this letter who are still in Congress back card-check, including EFCA’s sponsor, Rep. George Miller (D-CA). (nationalreview.com)


Obamunists employ Alinsky's Cloward/Piven strategy ... The current economic crisis our nation faces can be traced back to a series of congressional actions that forced banks to give risky home mortgage loans to low-income individuals. But, the seeds of the current economic crisis – and the socialist solutions being proposed by Obamunists – goes back much further. The radical left (which President Obama was part of as a community organizer in Chicago), devised a strategy back in 1966 to bring about orchestrated crises to be used to socialize our nation. In 1966, two socialist professors at Columbia University named Richard Andrew Cloward and Frances Fox Piven published an article in The Nation that outlined how to manufacturer crises for socialist objectives. Cloward and Piven were inspired by Marxist organizer Saul Alinsky, who used community organizing in Chicago to bring about social change. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was mentored by Alinsky and learned political tactics from him. Barack Hussein Obama worked for Alinsky-created groups in Chicago. He also learned Alinsky tactics. Cloward and Piven proposed overloading the welfare system in order to create an economic crisis that would ultimately destroy our capitalist system. They first targeted the welfare system and used the services of black activist George Wiley and his National Welfare Reform Organization (NWRO) to create economic chaos. New York City was targeted in the mid-1970s. This tactic drove the city into bankruptcy in 1975. Another group that used Cloward/Piven’s socialist tactics is ACORN, a group that Obama represented in Chicago. ACORN has engaged in voter fraud and has pressured banks into giving risky loans. Their goal has been two-fold: Overload the voter registration with fraudulent applications and undermine the banking system. As attorney for ACORN, Obama helped put pressure on the federal government under Clinton to greatly expand the unsafe loans being handed out to low-income people. (canadafreepress.com)

Bonus links:
Summary of Saul Alinsky's 'Rules for Radicals'
• More Saul Alinsky stories: here
'Rules for Radicals' at amazon.com


Biden's SEIU lobbyist arrested




Obama taps aide to corrupt SEIU official ... T. Michael Kerr, Nominee for Assistant Secretary for Administration and Management, Department of Labor. T. Michael Kerr is currently Assistant to Secretary-Treasurer Anna Burger at the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) in charge of finance and administration. In the early seventies he moved to Washington to do political and legislative work for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). During the Carter Administration he served in the White House Office of Consumer Affairs and the Legislative Office of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). He then returned to political and legislative work at AFSCME. (nationaljournal.com)


SEIU breaks up a marriage ... The months-long tug of war within UNITE HERE continued in March when UNITE-controlled regional councils voted to leave the union. UNITE leaders embraced a partnership with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), and signaled they would form a new union, Workers United, to compete for members in HERE’s hotel and gaming jurisdictions—while snatching as many members as possible on the way out. HERE leaders failed to stop the regional board votes in court, which they say are unrepresentative and violate the union’s constitution. At a mid-March executive board meeting, HERE allies vowed to recover ownership of the boards’ property and funds, and moved to slap lawsuits on officials who used union funds in the secession attempt. UNITE and HERE merged in 2004, but their clashes over control of resources and organizing strategy are reaching a fever pitch. (labornotes.org)


Candidates snub SEIU over worker-choice ... GOP gubernatorial nominee Robert F. McDonnell and his running mate, Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling (R), announced today they will not fill out the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) questionnaire because, they say, the organization wants to undermine Virginia's right-to-work law. "The SEIU's opposition to Virginia's Right to Work law and their advocacy for Card Check puts them on the wrong side of the best interests of both Virginia's workers and employers," McDonnell said. "I will not answer a questionnaire from a group that is openly hostile to secret ballot elections and free choice as to whether to join a union when a worker gets a job." The SEIU uses its questionnaire, which is due today, to help it determine which candidates it should back in this year's state races. The SEIU traditionally supports Democratic candidates, but by ignoring the questionnaire McDonnell and Bolling are sending another signal they plan campaign this fall on a platform of preventing unions from gaining a larger foothold in Virginia. (washingtonpost.com)


Romney rips Obama over Card-Check ... And if Obama had any thought of asking for Mitt Romney to join his team, he needn't bother. "I don't imagine my name, however, is mentioned in the White House, other than as a butt of jokes or other attacks," Romney said. "But again, I'm not -- I don't have any interest in participating in the administration. I feel like Judd Gregg did, which is President Obama, during the campaign moved, you know, very strongly to the center of the political spectrum. But as a president, with everything from card check now, cap and trade programs and his health care plan and his mortgage bailout plan and AIG, all of these things combined, he is far away from where I stand. And I, therefore, would not be part of that administration." (boston.com)


Rogue Congress ignores U.S. Constitution ... So with little argument and a 300-plus majority, Congress yesterday voted to tax bonuses given by companies (read "A.I.G.") funded under TARP at 90%, thus recovering the multi-million dollar awards to anyone in these companies earning over half a million bucks in regular income. The fact that this was targeted at TARP recipients in general was an attempt to generalize the law... and not make it, as it clearly is, a focused punishment of a particular company. Essentially, this is what is referred to as a Writ or Bill of Attainder, and which is specifically banned in the Constitution. A bill of Attainder is legislative act that singles out an individual or group for punishment without a trial. Article I, Section 9, paragraph 3 specifically states: "No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law will be passed." (capitolhillblue.com)


Obama's union-backed fraud group smacked-down ... An organization accused of political bias and voter fraud during last year's presidential election has signed up to help find volunteers to conduct the 2010 U.S. census, and U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby says that would politicize a nonpolitical government function. Shelby, R-Tuscaloosa, wrote a letter today to President Barack Obama protesting a recent announcement that the Association of Community Reform Organizations Now, better known as ACORN, has signed on as a Census Bureau partner to find volunteers for the next nationwide census. Shelby said the Democratic-leaning organization can't be trusted to be part of a nonpolitical government count of the people. "To keep the census nonpartisan, we cannot allow a biased, politically active organization taking any type of official role in the process, let alone recruitment," Shelby said in his letter to the president. "By over counting here, under counting there, manipulation could take place solely for political gain." (al.com)


Homeless exploited: Shame on Carpenters Union ... Meanwhile, union organizers are hiring homeless and needy people to erect banners at various businesses that have hired Hannagan's company for construction work, according to the World investigation. Youngdahl said it is common for the union to hire people to display banners and to give out handbills. "The majority of the bannerers are homeless and needy people, but we believe this is one way to highlight the issues," Youngdahl said. "The carpenters are working, so what are you going to do? Not raise the issues? We talked about this, and we realized that it was a dual purpose of putting people to work and raising awareness of the issues." During the past two years, the union has employed about 200 individuals served by the Iron Gate program housed at Trinity Episcopal Church, said Wiley Lee, a spokesman for the carpenter's union. "You have to understand that we hired these individuals, and they are union employees," Lee said. "They pay taxes and contribute to the economy. Many have gone on to full-time jobs." When asked if the homeless workers earn union pay and benefits, Lee said the workers are temporary employees without a benefits package because of their status. They earn $10 an hour and work between 20 and 30 hours a week. (tulsaworld.com)


Labor-state strikers struggle ... The strike had been launched to protest, among other concessions, wage cuts of up to 26 percent demanded by Brynwood Partners, the private equity firm that purchased Stella D’oro from Kraft Foods, Inc. in 2006. Declaring Brynwood’s terms unacceptable, the workers set up a 24-hour picket line outside the factory gates at 237th Street and Broadway that by their own account better resembled a neighborhood party than a scene of dissent. “We used to barbecue every night for the people,” says Stella D’oro employee Mike Filippou. But as weeks on the picket line turned into months, the Stella D’oro strikers began to realize that they had underestimated Brynwood’s unyieldingness. “In the summer, we didn’t know better,” Filippou concedes. “We wasted a lot of time.” The stakes abruptly became apparent when, a month into the strike, the bottom fell out of the U.S. economy and nationwide unemployment soared. As longtime Stella D’oro employee Emelia Dorsu puts it, “Right now you can’t even find a job.” But far from cowed by the odds they face, after seven months on the picket line, the Stella D’oro strikers have mounted an energetic campaign that has been boosted by outside support. In the process, they have emerged as representatives of a larger struggle escalating between labor and management as the economy continues to spiral downward. (indypendent.org)


News Union takes dues hit in Memphis ... The union representing the editorial staff of The Commercial Appeal of Memphis says the newspaper has laid off 19 newsroom employees, including its editorial cartoonist. Mark Watson, local president of The Newspaper Guild in Memphis, said Friday that The Commercial Appeal laid off a total of 27 employees represented by the union. Watson was among those let go. The newsroom layoffs included eight reporters, three photographers, three copy editors and Bill Day, the newspaper's sole editorial cartoonist. (editorandpublisher.com)


International Collectivism

Socialists brew trouble for communist Venezuelan leader ... Venezuela’s avowedly leftist President Hugo Chávez could find himself becoming the object of unwanted attention at an upcoming meeting of the International Socialists if a delegation from the opposition gets its way. Opposition representatives intend to submit a document accusing Chávez of violent and anti-democratic conduct and violating the constitution at a regional summit of the International Socialists in Guatemala on March 23 and 24. Parties backing the move include Acción Democrática (AD) and Movement Towards Socialism (MAS), both of which are founding members of the organization, and the social democratic party, Podemos, a “fraternal” member. Also backing the document is Un Nuevo Tiempo, the party centered on besieged Maracaibo Mayopr Manuel Rosales, along with Alianza Bravo Pueblo, which was founded by Caracas Metropolitan Mayor Antonio Ledezma. He, too, has been a target of harassment by government sympathizers, apparently in cohorts with the National Guard, since being elected mayor at last November’s regional elections. Reports reaching Caracas Thursday said that workers at Maracaibo port had staged a protest against the state takeover. A spokesman claimed that the takeover was no more than government caprice. There were also once again stirrings of unrest in the state health and education sectors. Medical staff at the Central Hospital in San Cristóbal, capital of Táchira, declared a strike. They said they would only attend to emergencies until there was an explanation as to why a promised bonus had not been paid. In Caracas, teachers announced that they would go on a national strike starting on Wednesday next week in support of their demand for a pay rise. They are also pressing the government for guarantees to the right to work and job security. (laht.com)


Venezuelans protesters take to the streets against Hugo Chávez ... A move to arrest a prominent opposition leader sent thousands of anti-government protesters into the streets of the country’s second-largest city Friday, accusing President Hugo Chávez of launching a new attack against his critics. The protest came after a prosecutor called for the arrest of Mayor Manuel Rosales, a Chávez opponent who has been accused of corruption. (newsok.com)
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