3/6/09

Friday wrap

Socialists in power: Ignorant or Malevolent? ... This new, young, vibrant president keeps talking like a pallbearer. He uses terms like catastrophic and unprecedented. As if we're supposed to be scared into prosperity, or at least into passing another bailout for Detroit. He tells us we're facing economic conditions unknown since the Great Depression, or maybe the Beginning of Time: "We begin this year and this administration in the midst of an unprecedented crisis that calls for unprecedented action." Unprecedented? In history? That's all history is: precedents. We may choose to rely on the wrong ones, but precedents we've got. Take your pick: The stock market crash of 1987, aka Black Monday. The Reagan Recession of 1981-82. The Roosevelt Recession of 1937. The Panics of 1907 or 1893 or even 1873. Or the long-running bust that followed in Andrew Jackson's wake in 1837. Pick your collapse. And your remedy. There's a full menu to choose from just in the history of the New Deal, both the early and later. This president seems to pick one from List A and two from List B every day, whether they go together or not. One day he's going to spend $787 billion to stimulate the economy, or at least political patronage, and the next he's going to balance the budget. Eventually. Like the man who's going to go on a diet as soon as he gets his weight under control. (dailypress.com)


Alinsky cited in 'mass manipulation' scheme ... I was very curious when President Obama held a "Fiscal Responsibility Summit" less than a week after signing a budget-busting Stimulus Bill. Obama asked summit participants to break up into groups and to report back in a few hours with recommendations. The groups submitted their inputs but the results of the recommendations would come a few days later. Expecting serious responses within this short time period made the process suspicious. The very next day the House of Representatives passed a $410 billion pork-laden spending bill that contained 8,878 earmarks. Either Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi didn't get the word about "fiscal responsibility" or Obama was speaking with a forked tongue. After reviewing the inputs from the previously mentioned "Fiscal Responsibility Summit," Obama submitted his $3.55 trillion budget for fiscal year 2010. This was done under the guise of "A New Era of Fiscal Responsibility." Obama promised to reduce the deficit and eliminate earmarks. But neither of those things happened. Saying one thing and doing another is common with politicians but this is so blatant I wonder how long it will fool the people. Manipulating small groups of people is common, but now we are seeing manipulation on a nationwide scale. Where would someone learn the techniques for such mass manipulation? Knowing that Obama had spent considerable time as a "community organizer" in the home town of Saul Alinsky, I was suspicious that the Delphi/Alinsky techniques to manipulate groups of people were being used. I am aware of these techniques because I have used these techniques and have been in groups where they were used. (intellectualconservative.com)

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


The audacity of anti-business payback to Organized Labor ... "[Union leaders] broke ranks and chose to endorse me . . . [it] proved critical to my campaign. So I owe those unions." Barack Obama, The Audacity of Hope. President Barack Obama owes America's unions and, apparently, he has no shame in admitting it. They secured his 2005 Senate victory and invested $300 million to promote him as their choice for president. Now that he's in the White House, it's payback time. That's why one of his current priorities is to pass the Employee Free Choice Act, a bill that has nothing to do with the free choice of employees and everything to do with making union leaders richer and more powerful. Once approved, this bill will deny workers the right to a secret ballot vote when deciding if they want to unionize their workplace. (calgaryherald.com)


Private peep show: Veep wows AFL-CIO bigs at luxury Miami resort ... Biden: Thank you very much. (Applause.) Hey, thanks for the welcome. You make it believable. (Laughter.) I tell you what, it’s like visiting Jimmy Williams in Philadelphia. (Laughter.) Hey, it’s good to be — at least in my best comfort zone, man. The best place for me to be my whole career is surrounded by organized labor. And I know how to say “union.” (Applause.) And old joke, Mr. President, you know, you go home with them that brung you to the dance. Well, you all brought me to the dance a long time ago. And it’s time we start dancing, man. It’s time we start dancing. We got a shot here, folks. We got a shot like we haven’t had for the last 30 years. And shame on us, shame on us if we squander it. I don’t think we will. With your help, I’m absolutely convinced that over the next couple years we will make a better, brighter and stronger America. And you’ll be the reason. Thank you very much. (features.csmonitor.com)


Scholars define scope of Job Killer Act ... According to a new study released on March 5 by noted economist Dr. Anne Layne-Farrar, the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA)—also known as card check legislation—would negatively impact the landscape of the U.S. economy, increasing unemployment and stifling job growth for all Americans. According to the study, An Empirical Assessment of the Employee Free Choice Act: The Economic Implications, an increase in 1.5 million union members in one year would lead to the loss of 600,000 jobs by the following year. Jobs losses directly attributed to the passage of card check legislation would be equal to the entire population of Boston or seventy-five percent of San Francisco. Dr. Layne-Farrar also found that although workers organized under card check will typically receive higher pay than their unrepresented counterparts, the review of the economic literature reveals that these increased costs must be offset by decreases in other areas which go beyond wages and benefits. An Empirical Assessment of the Employee Free Choice Act: The Economic Implications, was funded by the Alliance to Save Main Street Jobs, which is a coalition of numerous business groups including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The author, Dr. Anne Layne-Farrar, is an economist from the non-partisan firm LECG consulting. This study complements a recent report authored by renowned legal scholar Richard A. Epstein titled the Case Against the Employee Free Choice Act. (finchannel.com)


No vote, no cards: Actual 'cards' go missing from Card-Check scheme ... It appears that many people fighting EFCA are missing a small but extremely important point regarding the hallucinogenically-named Employee Free Choice Act that many of us have not focused on until now. For the last two years, the proponents of the secret-ballot process (opposing EFCA) have argued that union "card check" subjects employees to union trickery, manipulation and deception. This, of course, is true. However, what many have missed is the point that under the so-called "card-check" provision of EFCA, unions do not necessarily need to get bonafide union authorization cards signed in order to get a "showing of interest" from a majority of workers. Yes, cards are the normal procedure. However, the "showing of interest" can be a signature on any piece of paper (like a sign-in sheet at a meeting). In fact, by reading the text of EFCA below, you will note the phrase "valid authorizations" NOT "valid authorization cards." Why is this important? Because under EFCA (as written) a union doesn't need to get a majority of signatures on union authorization cards--it can get a majority of signatures from any properly-worded piece of paper. As written, EFCA does NOT specify that a union must get signed union authorization cards, but mere "authorizations" which means it could be any signature on any piece of paper….even a piece of toilet paper if it's properly worded! (employerreport.com)


Age of Obama: 'Free Choice' really means 'Union-Only' ... But what really bugs me about the commercial is that it fails to mention one important thing, which is that the cleverly misnamed Employee Free Choice Act would actually take away workers' right to choose whether to form a union. How? By preventing them from casting secret ballots in union representation elections and forcing them to use a very public process called "card check" instead. Here in Missouri, the legislature just introduced House Joint Resolution 31 which calls for protecting the secret ballot in our Missouri constitution. This is important because card check would give union bosses the power to organize a workplace simply by "persuading" a majority of workers to sign a card. This card-check petitioning would take place outside the workplace -- in front of union organizers and other employees who support the union. The pressure would be incredible. Employees would be subject to intimidation, misinformation and other union tactics that would ultimately pressure them into signing cards. The unions may call it the Employee Free Choice Act, but in practice, it would be the Employee Forced Choice Act. (news-leader.com)


SEIU lobbies for paid sick days - sick or not - to boost workplace productivity ... Fifteen states have introduced paid sick days legislation to ensure that workers are able to regain their health without losing pay, or even worse, their jobs. These are based on model policies that have already passed in San Francisco, CA, Milwaukee, WI and Washington, DC. During fragile economic times, workers are too often forced to choose between their health, or the health of their kids, and maintaining a paycheck. Paid sick days legislation helps families avoid that tradeoff, while increasing workplace productivity by ensuring that workers don’t have to work while sick, thereby decreasing the spread of disease to coworkers. (progressivestates.org)


P2P danger: Arson threats spike when IAFF thugs don't get what they want ... Evanston firefighters' endorsements of mayoral and aldermanic candidates isn't a new phenomenon. The local union, in fact, has been backing favored candidates more than 20 years. Mayoral candidate Stuart Opdycke caused a stir toward the end of a forum Sunday, questioning Alderman Elizabeth B. Tisdahl about accepting the endorsement and support from Evanston Firefighters Local 742, the local fire union. Opdycke said he told firefighters he could not accept such backing -- which includes off-duty firefighters passing out campaign literature, helping to put up yard signs and handing out literature on Election Day, among other efforts -- feeling it could pose a conflict of interest were he to be elected and then find himself seated at the bargaining table negotiating a $25 million contract. He wondered whether, in fact, Tisdahl was courting a local version of "pay to play," by accepting such backing. (pioneerlocal.com)


Fascistic Dems prep Free Speech crack-down ... Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told CNSNews.com on Thursday that she supports an amendment to a Senate bill that would force the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to “take actions to encourage and promote diversity in communication media ownership and to ensure that broadcast station licenses are used in the public interest.” The amendment’s language is viewed by many media experts as a means to regulate conservative talk radio, particularly popular programs such as the Rush Limbaugh Show and the Sean Hannity Show, among many others. (cnsnews.com)


Violent, militant Teamster strikers earn TRO ... Dover Chemical Corp. and representatives of its striking union are discussing issues involved in the company filing a request for a temporary restraining order against pickets at the facility. The company’s motion seeking a temporary restraining order and subsequent preliminary injunction named General Truck Drivers and Helpers Union Local 92 of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and several union leaders. The motion states that the defendants “have engaged in serious misconduct, including shouting profanity and throwing rocks at trucks attempting to enter plaintiff’s premises.” The motion claims at least one truck was damaged, and that county sheriff deputies were called several times since the strike began Feb. 1 after the former contract expired. “Additionally, the defendants have illegally ignited fireworks on the picket line on multiple occasions with the purpose or effect of intimidating plaintiff, its employees and third parties,” the motion continued. Nails also reportedly were spread underneath some delivery trucks and in the driveway of a company manager. (timesreporter.com)


Labor-state wants Gag Rule on oppressive employers ... Business leaders fear that a pro-labor bill in the Legislature could push Boeing to start looking to other states to build jets. Labor took center stage last fall after the second Machinists strike against Boeing in just three years. Now in Olympia, labor is pushing for something called the Worker Privacy Act. “What it's telling employers is that they can't force mandatory meetings when they're talking about politics, religion, charitable giving or unions organizing,” said Rich Bender, Washington Labor Council. (king5.com)


Radical 'One-Way' unionism turns U.S. into Hotel California ... Anxious to accomplish the bulk of his radical agenda as quickly as possible, regardless of what it appears to be doing to investor confidence, President Barack Obama offered his most supportive comments to date Tuesday for the hopes of organized labor to unionize the American workplace through "card check." Officially known by the considerably cynical moniker "Employee Free Choice Act," the idea is to effectively get rid of secret-ballot elections to determine whether a majority of workers in any given workplace want to be represented by a union. Instead, the idea is that a couple of union members would be able to corner a third worker in the break room, out in parking lot, even in an evening visit at home, "requesting" that he sign a unionization card. The secrecy of the polling place would be gone. Once cards equal to half the joint's employees plus one were turned in to management -- presto! -- theirs would be a union shop. Interestingly, employers would not be allowed to collect signed cards from workers expressing a wish not to join a union, delivering those cards to federal referees to prove their majority support in the same manner. Nor could a union be dissolved simply through card check. Nope. One-way street. And the union could work for years, collecting signatures off the job site, without even advising management. The firm's owners would thus be deprived of any meaningful opportunity to explain the potential disadvantages to unionization. (lvrj.com)


SEIU organizers disturb labor peace ... As a Childcare Center Provider for over 16 years with 6 employees, I have seen many changes in our industry. I was thrilled when Governor Gregiore created the Department of Early Learning. It validated childcare providers as professionals worthy of recognition for our handwork, community contribution and dedication. I am disappointed that SEIU has taken over Family Home Providers and is trying to do the same to Centers. I'm strongly opposed to this as are approximately 500 other Centers. Recently it has come to my attention that SEIU has started a campaign against DEL, touting their ability to have DEL employees fired. SEIU has also posted a "complaint form" on their website for providers to complain about DEL. (snohomishtimes.com)


Worthless left-wing News Union spills red ink ... The McClatchy Co., which owns 49.5 percent of The Seattle Times Co., has again cut the value of its share of the Seattle newspaper company -- this time to nothing. Because of The Seattle Times Co's. "comprehensive loss related to its retirement plan liabilities" in 2008, McClatchy's investment was zero as of Dec. 28, McClatchy said in its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. McClatchy, based in Sacramento, Calif., shares ownership of The Times Co. with the Blethen family of the Seattle area. McClatchy said that it would not record income or losses from The Seattle Times on its books until The Seattle Times makes some profit in the future. McClatchy adds, "Accordingly, no significant income or losses are expected to be recorded from this investment in 2009." Meanwhile, The Seattle Times is trying to cut costs wherever it can. The newspaper has asked its unions to cut wages and benefits by 12 percent over the next two years to stave off having to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, according to the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Guild. (seattlepi.nwsource.com)


Porkulus Three remembered ... DeMint and other conservatives had hoped to peel off the three to support a filibuster in defense of the right to a secret ballot in organizing elections. Republicans nervously wonder what the Porkulus Three in their own caucus will do on Card Check. If the entire Republican caucus held, the three Democrats wouldn’t be needed to stop Card Check, but as we saw on Porkulus, Specter, Snowe, and Collins aren’t reliable when it comes to stopping big-government legislation. They need the three Democrats in order to counter the potential loss of the Porkulus Three. You know what to do: * Mary Landrieu (D-LA): 202-224-5824 * Blanche Lincoln (D-AR): 202-224-4843 * Mark Pryor (D-AR): 202-224-2353. And why not call the Porkulus Three as well? * Susan Collins: 202-224-2523 * Olympia Snowe: 202-224-5344 * Arlen Specter: 202-224-4254. Remember to be polite; the people that answer the phones are not political partisans but just working folk. (hotair.com)


Making sense of U.S. politics ... As it stands now, small businesses already are near the breaking point, trying to cope with the crippling credit crunch, skyrocketing healthcare costs and often paralyzing uncertainty of this economic recession. All the while, organized labor is spending hundreds of millions of dollars in political campaigns. Small business owners certainly do not need the additional challenges that would be brought upon them by card check. With all the massive challenges facing this nation today, including a rising unemployment rate, are members of Congress so out of touch with the interests of workers, that bringing dramatic and unwanted conflict to the American workplace would constitute their top legislative priority? (newarkadvocate.com)


Not all Dems favor 'no-vote' unionism... Opponents of the act call it “Orwellian” because it would eliminate “free choice” by doing away with secret ballot elections for union organizing. Doing away with the privacy of the voting booth, they say, invites intimidation and “thuggery.” “As a longtime friend of labor unions, I must raise my voice against pending legislation I see as a disturbing and undemocratic overreach not in the interest of either management or labor,” McGovern said in August. “I am sad to say it runs counter to ideals that were once at the core of the labor movement. Instead of providing a voice for the unheard, EFCA risks silencing those who would speak.” Sharpton, who also supports unions generally, noted on his radio show in December that the right to vote by secret ballot was one of the freedoms central to the Civil Rights struggle. “Why wouldn’t those of us who support workers being protected, why would we not want their privacy protected,” he said. “I mean why would we want them opened up to this kind of possible coercion?” (newpittsburghcourieronline.com)


Left-wing News Union drags down Chronicle ... KTVU has learned the San Francisco Chronicle is about to layoff about 150 employees. The newspapers owners say the Chronicle is losing about a million dollars a week and it needs to make cuts or could be shut down. The newspaper's financial troubles stem from a decline in circulation and a drop in advertising revenue. Chronicle employees met with their union officials on Thursday to hear what the company is proposing in terms of cuts. "They're concerned about the loss of their jobs, they're concerned about the loss of the newspaper," says Michael Cabantuan, president of the California Media Workers Guild, "and they're worried about the fact that if they lose their job they might not be able to find another job in journalism." Union officials say the company has offered fewer layoffs if the union will agree to allow the newspaper to lay off people without regard to seniority. (ktvu.com)


Embezzling gov't unionist gets the Big House ... AN NHS worker who stole £23,000 from fellow union members has been jailed. Mark Taylor, of Avondale Road, Gelli, pleaded guilty to 12 theft charges and was sentenced to 10 months. A Unison spokesman said the 45-year-old might have avoided custody if only he had admitted his embezzlement earlier on. At Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court, Judge John Curran heard Taylor worked as a store manager at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital in Llantrisant and was also a branch secretary for the Pontypridd and Rhondda branch of public service union Unison. While there, he pocketed subscription payments from his fellow members. Trina Coomber, the union convenor for Cwm Taf NHS Trust’s south district, said: "Mr Taylor used his position of trust within Unison to, essentially, steal from hard-working members." (walesonline.co.uk)


International Collectivism

Venezuela offers global template for anti-capitalist renewal ... What is taking place in Venezuela on a daily basis is nothing more nothing less, than the disappearance in geometric progression of individual rights, of public freedoms and, in the field of economy, what refers to free enterprise. On his permanent television programs, Venezuelans have to see and hear Hugo Chávez speak violently, often more than threatening, against those who advocate political freedom and, especially in recent months, against those who want to defend free enterprise. With absolute disdain for individual rights, rather, for human rights, facing television cameras and the subordinates who surround his table, Lt. Col. Hugo Chávez orders his ministers, by name, to proceed and take over properties ordering them to have no qualms whatsoever and not to give any explanations as if trying to defend themselves from those who accuse them of arbitrariness. Chávez tells them specifically that they should extend no special considerations and gives them express orders, including not following what a law or the constitution specifies. One thing is to read the news about these abuses in the newspapers and another, very serious, is to hear him and see him on television screens saying categorically, with gestures emphasizing his orders, everything about confiscations or nationalizations. This is done to put fear in the people of Venezuela and, of course, to accelerate the socialist revolutionary process that he is imposing. (diariolasamericas.com)


Latin socialists plot anti-capitalist strategies ... Venezuela's President Hugo Chávez will pay official visits to Argentina and Brazil on April 22nd and May 26th, respectively, said the head of state on Wednesday. Chávez said that he will travel to Buenos Aires on April 22nd to meet with his Argentine counterpart Cristina Kirchner. On May 26th, he is planning to join his Brazilian counterpart Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in the state of Bahía, AFP reported. "Cristina has invited me to visit her for further enhancing the bilateral agenda," Chávez said during a cabinet meeting. The Venezuelan leader said that the meeting with Lula has been scheduled as part of the quarterly talks agreed by both governments. "Buenos Aires-Caracas and Brasilia-Caracas are two centers with geopolitical importance that we must keep strengthening," said the Venezuelan president during his participation in the cabinet meeting that was broadcasted by the public television system. (english.eluniversal.com)


Trotskyite Lula OK'd as Chávez envoy ... Venezuela´s President Hugo Chávez said on Thursday that he has given the green light to his Brazilian counterpart Luis Ignacio "Lula" da Silva to talk with US President Barack Obama about Venezuela. During a military event related to the transfer of power at the Strategic Operation Command of the Bolivarian Armed Forces (FANB), Chávez said that President Lula had told him that he was interested in talking with President Obama about the case of Venezuela. Chávez said that President Lula is to visit the United States as the result of an invitation made by the US government. Lula will hold a meeting with Obama, and it is likely that they will talk about Venezuela. Chávez commented that he gave Lula his blessing to talk with Obama as appropriate about Venezuela. "I have told him (Lula) though that I do not have a great hope that this (US) government is going to change." (english.eluniversal.com)


Stalin rehabbed by Russian Communists ... Russian Communists on Thursday marked the 56th anniversary of Joseph Stalin's death amid a new controversy over the shelving of the Russian translation of a major new book about the Soviet dictator. British historian Orlando Figes claimed this week that his Russian publishers have scrapped the translation of his book "The Whisperers: Private Life in Stalin's Russia" on the orders of the Kremlin. Rights activists in Russia have in recent years sounded alarm over mounting official acclaim for the wartime Soviet leader, who is blamed by historians for the deaths of millions of people in forced collectivisation and terror. (google.com)

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