Thursday wrap

Charter school teachers picket v. oppressive union ... Unionized teachers from the Charter School for Applied Technologies in Tonawanda picketed the local headquarters of New York State United Teachers in a protest of the union’s opposition to increased charter school funding. The teachers have been unionized since the school was opened eight years ago. “We are looking for NYSUT to take a more proactive approach to representing us and other charter schools,” said teacher Christine Twarozek. I’ve often wondered why teacher union tactics (work-to-rule, informational picketing, rallies, stunts like wearing black or pink or bandaids, et al.) seem to be exclusive to them. (eiaonline.com)

Why the MEA is known as the Michigan Mafia ... The question of whether public school districts can deduct money from teacher paychecks for the political arm of the Michigan Education Association has reached the Michigan Supreme Court, according to a report at Legal Newsline. The court has not yet agreed to hear the case, but will hear limited oral arguments from the MEA and the Michigan Secretary of State. The original case was brought by the MEA, which has collective bargaining agreements with school districts that require the districts to administer a payroll deduction plan for contributions to the MEA political action committee, Newsline reported. An Ingham County judge said such contract provisions did not violate state law, according to Newsline, as long as the political action committee or union pays for school districts' added expenses in advance. But the state Court of Appeals later ruled that government resources cannot be used to make political contributions even if the school district is paid in advance, the report said. (examiner.com)

Trouble in Andy Stern's SEIU Paradise ... In early March the Service Employees (SEIU) announced plans to lay off 75 organizers and other field staff represented by the International’s staff union, the Union of Union Representatives (UUR). The “reorganization” is another step in the increasing centralization of SEIU. All non-senior organizers, nearly a third of our unit, were targeted. The announcement came less than a month before our contract was set to expire on March 31. SEIU has tried to justify the layoffs by citing the “Justice for All” program, passed at the 2008 convention, which shifted more responsibility for organizing on International campaigns to the locals. SEIU has said that members voted for “Justice for All” knowing it would result in layoffs, but we have yet to speak with an SEIU member or delegate who was aware of this. Many suspect the layoffs actually arise from SEIU’s financial precariousness (labornotes.org)

We're all Alinskyites now ... "The most significant part of Barack Obama’s education was not at Columbia University or Harvard Law School, but the years he spent being trained in the Saul Alinsky system for community organizing and then practicing what he learned.” (Eagleforum.org) All practicing leftists have been influenced by Saul Alinsky, author of Rules for Radicals; the essential primer for all good America hating radicals. Written by the great granddaddy of all community organizers, Alinsky’s book lays out the tactics to be employed in creating a revolution. When I was growing up in Chicago in the 1960’s, these folks were known as “paid agitators”, a far more accurate description of what they do. Community organizers were carpet baggers who blew into town for the express purpose of whipping the locals into frenzy over some grievance, real or imagined. This type of “organizing” is not to be compared with legitimate, local grass roots organizations that get together to put pressure on local officials to bring about a change for the better. Alinsky style organizers are not concerned members of the community who pressure city hall into putting in a new stoplight. For the Alinskyite, the actual issue is of no consequence. The organizer doesn’t care about the community. The agenda is to gin up a revolt which gives the organizer power. As Alinsky put it: “You want to cause fear, confusion and retreat in the enemy, i.e. the Haves.” (canadafreepress.com)

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

SEIU honcho: Turn the clock back to 1935, end private balloting in union elections ... Stern: Well, I think no matter what we do we're going to maintain secret ballot, because I think there's always going to be an election process. The question is whether we're going to go back to where we were in 1935, when workers had two choices: If a majority of them wanted to start bargaining right away they signed a card, and if 30% wanted to have an election, they had an election. The question is, can we restore that in some 21st century way, for the sake of discussion. I think you can. I think Sen. Feinstein had a bunch of ideas about mailing in cards by the individual, not by giving the card to the union. (latimes.com)

Leftwing tree-killer pimps Karl Marx ... In its Sunday, May 17, edition, the Dallas Morning News ran a full-page color spread extolling Karl Marx for his economic abilities. A careful reading of the article by Canadian political economist Leo Pavitch shows that, probably for the first time ever, there are no caveats nor reservations. In the past, Marx might have been acknowledged, but whatever good might have been said of him was always buried beneath a landslide of condemnations! (pww.org)

Obama's costly U.S. job freeze smacked down by Clintonista ... President Barack Obama vowed this month to create employment at home by ending tax incentives for U.S. companies such as Caterpillar Inc., General Electric Co. and Microsoft Corp. that “ship jobs overseas.” A $190 billion measure Obama proposed this month will create few, if any, jobs, according to economists, businesses and some of the president’s supporters. Ending the three offshore tax-avoidance techniques may even have a negative effect by slowing expansion to new markets that helps boost domestic output, some experts said. “It’s sort of a red herring,” said Eric Toder, a fiscal policy expert at the Washington-based Urban Institute and a former Treasury tax official under President Bill Clinton. Toder said while Obama’s proposals will “close loopholes that erode the corporate tax base,” they aren’t “going to have any effect on employment in the U.S.” (bloomberg.com)

AFL-CIO picks, freezes, isolates, polarizes opponents ... The AFL-CIO is using the Memorial Day recess to ramp up its push for the Employee Free Choice Act, and the events scheduled, many of them candlelight vigils, target key moderate Dems and Repubs: Sens. Evan Bayh (D-IN); Arlen Specter (D-PA); Mary Landrieu (D-LA); Blanche Lincoln (D-AR); Olympia Snowe (R-ME); Susan Collins (R-ME); and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK). In addition to more than a dozen candlelight vigils, the group vows to hold economic community roundtables, phone banking parties and deliver personal letters to offices of members of Congress. In total, working families will participate in more than 200 events, write 25K handwritten letters, and make 40K calls to ask Congress to pass the bill. (hotlineoncall.nationaljournal.com)

Illinois crafts a better democracy, curbing dissent ... Senate Democrats moved Wednesday to cap campaign contributions in response to ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich's corruption scandal, but a leading government watchdog group dismissed the effort as a means to preserve the Legislature as a "club for incumbents." Contribution limits have been front and center in Springfield since a panel appointed by Gov. Quinn and headed by former federal prosecutor Patrick Collins argued for strict caps in response to the pay-to-play scandals that drove Blagojevich from office. The caps proposed by Sen. Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) would limit individual contributions to candidates at $5,000 a year, while labor unions and corporations could donate more than $10,000 a year per candidate. Admittedly, Harmon said that step might not have discouraged Blagojevich and his minions from allegedly exchanging government business for contributions. (suntimes.com)

Unions use FEC to terrorize oppressive corporations ... The Federal Election Commission said Tuesday it closed an inquiry into whether Wal-Mart Stores Inc. illegally pressured workers to vote against Democrats in last year's elections, citing insufficient evidence. A coalition of organized-labor groups asked the commission to investigate Wal-Mart after a Wall Street Journal article in August detailed how the discounter had suggested to employees in mandatory meetings that they shouldn't vote for Democrats, including then-Sen. Barack Obama in his bid for the presidency. Workers who attended the meetings said the company was concerned about Democrats wresting total control of Washington because of fears they would push legislation that would make it easier for employees to unionize. FEC commissioners disclosed that they ultimately saw no cause to further investigate the issue after a preliminary review by the commission's general counsel found no evidence of elections-law violations and recommended no further action. (online.wsj.com)

Union Bullsh*t Watch #7: Hollywood ... We hate to pick on Hollywood stars. They have such…well…pampered lives. Nevertheless, 47 Hollywood stars have put together an on line ad for the delusionally-dubbed Employee Free Choice Act that further perpetuates the lie that the secret-ballot is preserved under EFCA. Now, we realize the readers of LaborUnionReport.com are more discerning than the average reader so we know that, in viewing the video, you won’t succumb to being star struck. However, for those visitors who are not regular LaborUnionReport.com readers, we felt that sharing the actual card-check text of EFCA: ‘(6) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, whenever a petition shall have been filed by an employee or group of employees or any individual or labor organization acting in their behalf alleging that a majority of employees in a unit appropriate for the purposes of collective bargaining wish to be presented by an individual or labor organization for such purposes, the Board shall investigate the petition. If the Board finds that a majority of the employees in a unit appropriate for bargaining has signed valid authorizations designating the individual or labor organization specified in the petition as their bargaining representative and that no other individual or labor organization is currently certified or recognized as the exclusive representative of any of the employees in the unit, the Board shall not direct an election but shall certify the individual or labor organization as the representative described in subsection (a). [emphasis added]' Now, given the above, watch the video below and, at 1:56, you’ll see several Hollywood actors act like EFCA doesn’t eliminate the secret ballot. Sorry, Hollywood, we felt bad (for a moment) putting you on Union Bulls**t Watch, but if you don’t read the actual bill that you’re trying to sell and perpetuate the union lie script, you deserve to be on LaborUnionReport.com’s Union Bulls**t Watch. (laborunionreport.com)

Obamunists curb federal ACORN probe ... House Republican Whip Roy Blunt of Missouri may have prematurely applauded reports that the Federal Bureau of Investigation has opened a criminal investigation into whether the left-wing advocacy group the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, a/k/a ACORN, has violated federal election law by fostering and promoting a national program of voter registration fraud in the 2008 Presidential Election and local races throughout the nation. When the Associated Press reported that the FBI is actively pursuing leads in the investigation of ACORN, many political observers took a “wait and see” position since several roadblocks have been placed by those who are believed to have benefited from ACORN activities. (canadafreepress.com)

ACORN takes down mighty oak of U.S. democracy ... The mighty American oak may soon be pruned down to size. And the "Association of Community Organizers Now" — or ACORN —could accomplish it all. The shift from the seizure of power by violence taught by Comrade Lenin in The Communist Manifesto to the seizure of power by the corruption of elections and the constitution taught by Fidel Castro and the Sao Paulo Forum won't be so hard after all. Founded on the Cloward/Piven Strategy, the goal of ACORN is the destruction of capitalism through the creation of chaos to overwhelm the system. Fresh off the heels of their stunning success in intimidating banks into offering bad loans, and of nearly destroying the welfare system of New York City by flooding the rolls with new recipients, they have moved on to the voting process. In the last election, a dozen states pressed charges against ACORN, citing everything from intimidation tactics to voter fraud and embezzlement. How could anyone forget their clever attempt to submit the entire line up of the Dallas Cowboys as newly registered voters, or their legendary submission of thousands of deceased or imaginary persons in identical handwriting? But bastardizing the election and the census might still not be enough. Leaving no stone unturned, in January Representative Jose Serrano, Democrat from New York, introduced a measure (H.J. Res. 5) to repeal the 22nd Amendment prohibiting a president from serving more than two terms. President Barack Obama...for life?(onenewsnow.com)

SEIU militants smacked down by labor-state legislature ... Responding to a request from legislative leaders, Connecticut's largest union of health care workers said Tuesday that it is withdrawing its notices to strike at eight nursing homes. The three-day walkout was scheduled to begin today. House Speaker Christopher Donovan and Senate President Pro Tem Donald E. Williams Jr. sent a letter to the New England Health Care Employees Union, District 1199, and the state's nursing home association late Monday afternoon in which they asked that the strike notices be withdrawn (newsday.com)

Big house for corrupt labor-Assembly boss ... Former Democratic state assemblyman and labor leader Brian McLaughlin was sentenced Wednesday to 10 years in prison after apologizing for abusing his authority in a multimillion-dollar scheme to enrich himself. "Of course I'm very, very sorry for all my improper conduct and criminal activity," McLaughlin said in federal court in Manhattan. "I make no excuses for it." McLaughlin, 56, served seven terms in the state Assembly before becoming president of the nation's largest municipal labor council. (newsday.com)

Rep. Sanford Bishop placed on Dirty Money Watch ... WHO: Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-Ga.), a co-sponsor of the Employee Free Choice Act (aka Card Check) WHAT: Rep. Bishop received the following dirty money: Communication Workers of America (PAC) $10,000 in 2008 election cycle; $8,500 in 2006 election cycle. Boilermakers Union (PAC) $1,000 in 2008 election cycle. American Federation of Government Employees (PAC) $500 in 2008 election cycle. International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (PAC) $10,000 in 2008 election cycle; $10,000 in 2006 election cycle. Service Employeee International Union (PAC) $2,500 in 2006 election cycle. PMA Group (PAC): $4,500 in 2008 election cycle. WHY IT’S DIRTY: Multiple officers and members of these unions, including division presidents, secretary-treasurers and business managers, have been convicted since 2001 of felonies ranging from embezzlement, falsifying official reports to government, mail fraud and conspiracy. The Communication Workers of America and the American Federation of Government Employees have each had eight convictions, The Service Employees International Union has had nine convictions and The Boilermakers have had 10 members convicted, while the IBEW has had 14 members convicted. The amounts of embezzled funds range from over $5,000 to over $100,000. PMA Group (Paul Magliocchetti and Associates) is primarily a defense lobbying group based in Washington D.C. that was raided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) last year. In total, PMA Group's employees and its political action committee have given current members of Congress $3.4 million since 1989, with 79 percent of that going to Democrats, according to OpenSecrets. WILL BISHOP GIVE IT BACK: Bishop did not respond to The Examiner’s request for comment. THE SCORE: Number of Democrats who have given it back: 0 • Number of Republicans who have given it back: 0 • YOUR TURN: You can reach Rep. Bishop’s Washington D.C. office at 202-225-3631 (washingtonexaminer.com)

Oppressed Workers On Strike Down Under

International Collectivism

Obama empowers Latin communism ... Say you saw Hugo Chávez shaking Barack Obama's hand and you thought the Venezuelan president was a different person. Say you no longer saw him as an arrogant, anti-American socialist dictator but as someone who could be swayed to rule by democratic principles and to act like a civilized human being. Do you still feel that way? If you have been following Venezuelan news lately, you know it was only wishful thinking! In fact, since Chávez met Obama, instead of at least slowing his blatant efforts to turn Venezuela into a Cuba-style socialist dictatorship, Chávez has intensified them. Instead of pretending that he still rules by democratic principles, Chavez has taken off his mask and begun a new campaign to strip Venezuela of its few remaining vestiges of democracy. (reporternews.com)

Ecuador leftist welcomes Chávez ... Ecuadorian ambassador to Venezuela, retired General Rene Vargas, has confirmed that President Hugo Chávez will visit his Ecuadorian counterpart Rafael Correa this weekend to review agreements and commemorate an independence battle. Both nations "have 17 ongoing agreements," including the building in Ecuador of a refinery, which will be "the largest in the Pacific," and some others "which go from the building of a steel and iron industry to a cacao manufacturing plant," Vargas told Radio Nacional de Venezuela (RNV). (vheadline.com)

Students protest v. progressive Latin tyrant ... University students in Venezuela are demanding more state funding for public universities after the government of President Hugo Chávez reduced funding by 6 percent. About 3,000 students chanted anti-Chávez slogans as they marched Wednesday toward Venezuela's education ministry, where they discussed their concerns with Higher Education Minister Luis Acuna. Acuna said public universities should be more careful about how they spend their budgets. He claims state funding was reduced as part of a broader initiative to cut overall government spending by 6.7 percent. University students have led numerous protests in recent years against Chávez's efforts to centralize power while weakening his political opponents. (etaiwannews.com)

Chávez seizes more property from oppressive corporations ... Venezuela's state oil company is seizing control of 35 oil contractors under a new law, President Hugo Chávez's government said Wednesday. The takeovers will affect dozens of local companies that provide transport and other services to Venezuela's state oil company on western Lake Maracaibo _ including Alloys CA, Brucciani & Paltrinieri CA, and Flag Instalaciones SA. The order took effect upon its publication in the Official Gazette issued Wednesday. Also named is SIMCO consortium, which injects water into oil fields to improve recovery. Houston-based Wood Group, which is a 49.5 percent partner in the consortium, has said state-run Petroleos de Venezuela SA, or PDVSA, took over its operations earlier this year after the company submitted a default notice over nonpayment and other disputes. Wood Group's parent company, John Wood Group PLC, is based in Aberdeen, Scotland. PDVSA has recently clashed with foreign and domestic oil contractors, accumulating billions in debts as it renegotiates contracts to reduce costs by 40 percent. The company says some of those contracts were overvalued based on last year's record-high oil prices. The largely pro-Chavez National Assembly approved a law earlier this month that paves the way for such takeovers. PDVSA has since taken control of 39 companies on Lake Maracaibo and two gas compression facilities in eastern Venezuela belonging to Williams Companies Inc., based in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Wednesday's order says authorities will evaluate the companies affected to determine whether it's in PDVSA's interest to maintain control of their operations. (etaiwannews.com)

Venezuela: All roads lead to Chávez ... This newspaper should have commented editorially at once on Sunday’s disgraceful incidents marring the celebration of the 61st anniversary of Israel but we wanted to let the dust settle in order to clarify the outrage better — instead the plot has thickened with more arrests yesterday, the discovery of a firearm cache and a trail possibly stretching as far as Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez. In any case it is not necessary to ascertain whether Sunday’s assailants should be most accurately labelled as Revolutionary Action Front (FAR), Quebracho, Teresa Rodríguez or whatever before condemning anti-Semitism. The handful of leftist goons protesting “Israeli genocide” on Sunday define themselves as anti-Zionist but the extremely thin line between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism (if indeed it exists at all) is far more often crossed than not and it certainly was this time. (buenosairesherald.com)
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