Category Archives: Labor

Ohio Diary #14: Ohio Takes Its Revenge

Last night Ohio screamed out loud not just to Republicans here, but all over the country.  It was a defeat for the Republican whores who wanted to line their pockets on the backs of the middle-class.  For almost a year now, Kasich thought he was in control.  So much so that he lied about Issue 2 [SB5].  He blamed the budget deficit on working people.  They are greedy, selfish, and lazy people.  Like all Republicans, they refuse to take any blame for the troubles.

This was not in truth an issue of Democrats versus Republicans.  It was about what was right and what was wrong. Public workers should not be the scapegoats for economic problems.  This defeat is stunning in the regard that even Republicans were against it.  69% voted against, and they weren’t all Democrats.  Kasich still didn’t listen.  He lied to his own party.  He did not do it alone.  He had help from his pimps, the Republican National Committee and the Columbus Dispatch.  They both told the same lies over and over again.  Kasich like all Republican governors and legislators became appeasers.

An appeaser is one who feeds the crocodile hoping he will be the last man eaten.  Winston Churchill

The Republican National Committee, Republican fascist, racist governors and legislators thought they spoke for the people, bestowing rights on them they already had.  They want to exclude all of us and deny us our rights and freedoms, while at the same time saying they are giving them to us.

The arrogance of these Republicans.  They tried to steal from the working man.  They will continue to do so unless we stop as we did in Ohio.  They want to cut Medicare and Medicaid.  They call the “entitlements“.  Entitlements my left foot.  I paid into it as did my employer.  The government does not just give it me.  I paid into it.  It is my money and I want it.  They make it sound as if it is a gift given to the people from government.  It is not!!!!  I am not to blame for their borrowing money from me.  I am not responsible for the government not paying that money back.  The money is mine and I intend to get as much as I paid into it back.

The fact is that Issue 2 here was a fight by Republicans against so-called “entitlements”.  Real people pay into pensions, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.  They worked for it and paid for it, and are owed it.  Not as a gift but as a right.  Think of the interest owed on the load from social security and medicare?  I paid for it and I want my money.

Today Ohio gave America hope.  If you fight you can win.  If you are right you can win.  It is a mighty day for the poor and oppressed.

 

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Ohio Diary #11: The Columbus Dispatch’s Fake News: Kasich Wants To Negotiate SB 5

First you must never trust your local newspaper or TV channel.  They will only tell you one side of the story, or as in the Columbus Dispatch story; just make it up.

I must tell you that there was a time, a very long time ago, that the Columbus Dispatch was an excellent newspaper.  They printed the facts and told it from both points of view.  Now, it seems that their political bias is more important.

All this past week, the Dispatch has been running a story of how regrettable and unfortunate it is that labor won’t sit down and try to work out a comprise on
Senate Bill 5.  Senate Bill 5 is the anti-union, anti-collective bargaining bill that has been passed, and signed by the Governor.  It is has yet to be implemented because it is to be on the November ballot to repealed.  It is a story designed to present Kasich as willing to compromise but labor as unbending and unyielding.  It is a fake.

Here is what the Dispatch Editorial said:

On Sunday, a Dispatch editorial called for proponents and opponents of Senate Bill 5 to reach a compromise that would require public employees to pay more for their health care and pensions but would strip away the bill’s provisions that aren’t related to controlling government costs.

Yesterday, sources told Dispatch reporters that informal discussions between two people affiliated with the defense of Senate Bill 5 and representatives from the Ohio Education Association and the AFL-CIO took place about six weeks ago, but labor backed away.

On Sunday the Dispatch’s editorial page said the offer came from Governor Kasich, but the news division subtly backed away and said it was two people affiliated with the defense of Senate Bill 5.  They weren’t from the Governor’s office after all.  It explains why labor wouldn’t consider talking to them.  Who were these two people negotiating?  How did the editorial board seem to know about this so-called deal before the newsroom? It is very simple…because the Dispatch essentially was one of the people representing pro-SB 5 interests at the meeting.  Mike Curtin, former Vice-Chairman of the Dispatch Printing Company and Curt Steiner, former OSU lobbyist, former Voinovich chief-of-staff pushed the “We Are Ohio” campaign on the possibility of working out a deal with Kasich to avoid having to have a referendum issue.

What could they promise to the unions?  They have no authority to negotiate a deal that requires the involvement of the GOP legislature and Kasich.  It was an attempt to make the unions and the “We Are Ohio” campaign look unreasonable.  It was an imaginary story.  All in the minds of Curtin and Steiner.

But guess what?  Kasich played along.  He held an alleged” negotiation meeting yesterday, and  no one showed up.   There sat Kasich and his aides, all of three people, and no one came.  Taking his lead from the Dispatch, he assailed the unions for refusing to negotiate a deal on SB 5.

In a letter from We Are Ohio to the Governor, they simply stated that they would not negotiate until the bill in its current form was repealed.  They urged the Governor to call the legislature back and repeal the law.

This is a publicity stunt on Kasich’s part.  He is trouble, polls show him in the toilet and sinking fast.  He has seen what has gone on in Wisconsin and is afraid as he should be.  He is a beggar.  He had a chance to meet with the unions in February, when the bill was being debated.  Kasich outright refused to meet with unions six months ago.  Kasich has said: “I’ve listened. I’ve heard. I’ve made a decision.” That was the end of it.  Until now that is.

Kasich is now the ludicrous spectacle that he deserves to be.  He was negotiating with himself.  He had help though.

Kasich’s arrogance shows through with this blatant attempt to attack unions and weaken support for the Democratic party.  He did not do this by himself. He had partisan support of members of the house and senate. They are equally responsible for being sheep and blindly following their leader down the path to destruction.

Back to the Columbus Dispatch.  The Dispatch tried to broker a deal on SB 5. Then the Dispatch follows up the editorial advocating for someone to try to attempt a deal with a news story that such an attempt as advocated by the Dispatch was tried, but labor walked away.  Not one time did they state that one of the most influential figures at the Dispatch just happens to be behind the effort to broker a deal and then the editorial lecturing labor to make such a deal.  It was all lies.  You might even call it yellow journalism.

Not since William Randolph Hearst and now Rupert Murdoch has a media outlet been more interested in making the news than reporting it.  It is more than just a story about a medial outlet having a political bias in its coverage of a story.  This is simply about a media outlet becoming the story.

This is  about a media outlet that lies about its role in creating the news and, in so doing, failing to disclose relevant evidence that puts that story in its proper context.

The truth is simple:  There was no offer from Governor Kasich.  There was an attempt by powerful people, Mike Curtin and Curt Steiner to try and avoid an issue that could cause lasting damage to the Republican Party in Ohio.  And when they, who had absolutely nothing to offer in the deal, didn’t get two labor leaders to immediately leap at the chance to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, they let loose the Dispatch on them.

The Dispatch just isn’t in the sewer for John Kasich.  On Sunday and all this week, they said they actually represent him in official government matters.

Newspapers were supposed to be truth tellers.  They were supposed to inform the people. They were supposed to be unbiased.  Those days are gone.

Now, they hack your tweets, listen to your phone messages, and make up news.

Shame on them.  Shame on us.

 

A special thanks to Plunderbund for part of this story.

 

 


Ohio Diary #9: John Boehner Had A Choice: His Job or His Country

He couldn’t decided and did nothing.  Being the coward and gutless wonder that he is, what else would you expect.  John Boehner and House Republicans truly believe that controlling one chamber of the Congress should get them everything they want.  So what happens?  A member of the chamber of the Congress, the Senate, rescued John Boehner from having to put his speakership on the line.  It is stunning.  I never thought that I would ever sing the praises of Senator Mitch McConnell, but today I just can’t help myself.

Why?  McConnell had the good sense to finally tell the truth.  Something that Boehner is just incapable of doing.  His job and position is just so more important. McConnell gave Boehner a parachute, as MSNBC called it.  It provides an escape for the Speaker, since he can’t seem to decide or figure out which pledge to ask his members to break – the 1-to-1 ratio of deficit reduction to debt ceiling raise or not raising taxes.  The grand bargain that Republicans promised in 2010 is not quite DEAD. He just couldn’t stand up and court a rebellion against his leadership or push the country toward default on its debt.

Boehner remained conspicuously silent.  He looked in the mirror and saw Gingrich in 1995.  Two government shutdowns that he hoped would win huge  and deep spending cuts – and not tax increases from a Democratic President.  They were trying to do the same thing now.  Remember, the Republicans held the majority of both chamber of Congress.  They committed political suicide them and they are about to do it again.

There was a time, a very long time ago, when I might have felt bad for Crying John, if he and his grand old party had not shamelessly fueled the Tea Party and kissed their ring to win power.  The House Republican Tea Party is endangering Crying John.

The House Republican Tea Party talk about the people, how they care so much for them.  The truth is, the only time they really care about the people is when they look down to see who they are stepping on.   Republicans in the House have tied their future to the Tea Party.  They are about to hang themselves and call it murder.

Crying John  should have a good cry.  Or maybe he need a new light bulb, an energy-efficient light bulb. Oh wait.  Boehner is against light bulb tyranny.

John Boehner is not good at his job.  A leader with no one to lead.  He should be afraid.  I can hear “Happy Trails To You.”


Illegal Immigrants Leave Georgia: Unemployed Now Will Have Jobs: Criminals That Is

This might almost be funny if it wasn’t so pathetic.  In their eagerness to create jobs in Georgia, they neglected to consider that these are the same jobs that legal Americans, us good white people, would never take.  It is beneath us.

Now, a month after signing House Bill 87, the bill designed to drive illegal immigrants our of George, these good Georgia Republicans seem stunned to discover the HB 87 is, to put it bluntly, driving a lot of illegal immigrants out of Georgia.  There is now a manpower shortage in Georgia.  State farmers now have no choice but to leave millions and millions of dollars worth of onions, blueberries, and other crops unharvested and rotting in their fields.  These good Republicans now are running for cover, they are horrified at the harm they have done to Georgia’s largest industry.

On May 13 Gov. Nathan Deal, don’t you just love his name…Deal, signed the bill into law.  Cameras running, smiling faces and proud as a peacock at what he and his fellow wingnuts had just accomplished.  Two week later, with farmers screaming a frightened Deal was forced to hastily request an investigation into the impact of the law he had just signed.  Apparently, all this had come as a real surprise to him.  The result of this report was not surprising for anyone with a brain.  The law left Georgia farms 11,000 workers short of what is needed to operate.  Deal is now trying to keep more farmers from losing crops and their farms.

Gov. Deal’s solution:  he proposes that farmers try to hire 2,000 unemployed criminal probationers estimated to live in southwest Georgia.  Hire criminals.  A match made in heaven.  Unemployment is high and he wants to hire criminals.  Well, the farmers could start with him and his Republican partners in crime.  But would he work for an average of $8.00 an hour, without benefits or workers compensation.  This is what happens when ideology trumps rationality, which is always the case with Republicans.

Remember when McCain said that Americans wouldn’t take $50/hour to pick lettuce?  Well, I would.  I think he is wrong.  Still, a job is a job. This has always been the problem with so-called illegal immigrants.  We need them to harvest our food, clean our homes, babysit our children and do all those jobs we just won’t do, and them complain about them.  Say they are stealing our jobs.  Keeping American citizens from jobs.  There is a website: fairchanceatjobs.com that runs television ads promoting the stoppage of illegal and legal immigration until all unemployed Americans are working again.  Well, here is their chance.  Will it happen?  Not in this lifetime.

How to get out of this?  Farmers could solve the manpower shortage by offering higher wages, but that would drive up their operating costs and put them at a severe price disadvantage against competitors in states without tough immigration laws. It means higher food prices for all of us.  Good going Republicans.

Republicans will pretend that it is the small farmer that just can’t afford the wages for legal labor, but it is the corporate, mega-farms that depend on cheap labor to increase CEO pay and shareholder dividends that keeps wages low.  Anyway, they have to have bribe, no-no not bribe, campaign contribution money to keep from payer higher taxes.

The pain is real.  People are losing their crops, and their farms.  The small-town business that supply those farms with goods and services are going so suffer also.  The very people, small business owners, that Republicans promised the American Dream to.

Deal pledge to find”viable and law-abiding solutions” to the problem that he helped create appear naively unrealistic.  Again, if those solutions really existed, they should have been put in place before the bill ever became law, because this impact was entirely predictable and in truth intended.

Republicans forgot the old line:  Be careful what you wish for.  They now are going to reap what they have surely sown, even if the farmers can’t.


Ohio Diary #7: Labor in Ohio Slapped Around Again

It was announced on Friday by Reuters that the great golf foursome was complete for Obama-Boehner golf game.  Vice President Biden will join Obama, and John Boehner will have Gov. John  Kasich.

One would think that the point of this outing was to get somewhere on some of the big issues facing the country.  Say the budge deal or the debt-ceiling.  But nooooo.

Obama should have said no to Boehner when he said he was going to invite Kasich.  What could he be thinking?  Obama’s people should have said no.  How could they every think that this would be a good idea.  To tell people that this is just going to be a friendly game of golf, and that issues would not be discussed borders on insanity.  Kasich has nothing to offer to the conversation.  His approval rating is pitiful.  The fact that Kasich is despised by every single union member in Ohio regardless of party membership in Ohio will hurt Obama in 2012.

Why give Kasich the national stage?  Why make him a star?  Here is a man that is braking unions, destroying education, sending tax dollars for Charter Schools to Turkey, who say they can’t find qualified teachers for their schools in Ohio, is one huge giant slap in the face for labor and all of us who worked for Obama in Ohio.

It is a big win for Kasich, who will proclaim that he gave advice to Obama on how he, Kasich, balanced the budget in Ohio on the backs of unions, teachers, the poor, and gave money to the rich.  He just can’t lose.  Obama on the other hand will come out looking like an idiot.  How can you condemn SB 5, and turn around and act as if it doesn’t matter what has happened to unions and education?

Obama’s people need to get their act together again.  They are in the big time now, and they need to remember how to use their power to do politics and win.  In 2010 the unions sat aside, stayed home, and then Gov. Strickland lost.  Ohio is important.  If Obama isn’t careful, the same thing will happen to him.

The so-called rabble is mad and this could send them over the edge.  Go OHIO!!!!!!!


John Boehner: The Devil In A Not So Cheap Suit

The past few days, I have been thinking of words that begin with the letter L: lunatic, loser, liar, lowlife.  Then those words didn’t seem adequate.  So I began to think of words that began with the letter M: madness, murder, miscreant, moron.  Those words were about right for Boehner.

Most Americans didn’t even know who John Boehner is.  He was and is a relatively generic character.  Just someone you would see every now in and then in the news.  We saw him cry and weep for the American people when the Republicans took control of the House.  We believed him when he said that jobs come first.  It was a great P.R. ploy and an improvement from that last time the Government shut down with Gingrich in control.  Image was a problem then.  Boehner has no image except that of the devil.  He played the game beautifully.  He knew the best way to keep his fellow Republicans from throwing him off the reservation was to extend the negotiations as long as possible, making it look like he was hell-bent on confrontation with Obama as they were, and to hope that influential conservatives would eventually give him cover to cut a deal.  He got help from the Democrats.  They were gutless.  But Boehner was the devil.

What do you think the Devil is going to look like if he’s around? Nobody is going to be taken in if he has a long, red, pointy tail. No. I’m semi-serious here. He will look attractive and he will be nice and helpful and he will get a job where he influences a great God-fearing nation and he will never do an evil thing…he will just bit by bit lower standards where they are important. Just coax along flash over substance…Just a tiny bit. And he will talk about all of us really being salesmen.  From Broadcast News.

That is just what he did.  He talked and talked saying nothing.  He attacked women, homeless veterans, education, the earth, and every possible thing that would help the American people.  He smiled and then he cried. He was so good, that he got the Democrats to just about give him everything the Republicans and the Tea Party wanted.  He was in a tough spot. He kept putting off his own party because he couldn’t risk intraparty mutiny.  He and many other House Republicans fear the Tea Party.  So he couldn’t sell out.  He was willing to sell us out, but could not lose his position as Speaker.  To him the choice was obvious.  Money and power.  The Devils work.  He was slick.  He told the Democrats yes, and the went back to the GOP and said there was no deal on the budget.  They cheered him.  Then he got help.  The equally evil Karl Rove made a statement that Republicans risked helping Obama’s image as a tough-minded leader if they pushed for a shutdown.  Even Bachman it was better to make a deal.  The Devil had done his work; on his own party, the Democrats and us.

This cartoon says it all.  The Devil in the not so cheap suit paid for by taxpayers $$.  Time for a job evaluation and cut in pay.  The Devil made him do it.  The joke is on us.


Check out Blueprint for Victory: Republican Strategy for Breaking Unions

Check out Blueprint for Victory After Checking this out and view their web page, throw the trash out!!!!

What the Republican National Committee has authorized is Union busting and do what you will in the name of people.  And I do mean anything.

Consider this:  In Ohio The House passes tax break for oil, in spite of the pleadings of other industry groups. So you have to ask, How much do House GOP members love the petroleum industry?  So much so that they ignored the pleadings of several other industry groups opposed to a new tax break included in the transportation budget, which was passed by the Ohio House of Representatives today.  An amendment to remove the tax benefit and earmark the proceeds of the tax to public transit was defeated along party lines.

The letter signed by the Ohio Manufacturers’ Association, the Ohio Society of  CPA’s, the Ohio State Medical Association, and the Chemistry  Technology Council pleaded with House Speaker Batchelder to resist any attempts by special interests trying to get their product or service exempted from the Commercial Activity Tax [CAT].

They wrote:  As original proponents of the tax reform package in 2005, we have worked tirelessly to reiterate to lawmakers the importance of maintaining a broad-based tax code, with the lowest possible tax rate.

I can only say congratulations to the petroleum dealers.  There money was well spent. Their campaign donations paid off.

Consider this:  Foundry.org in an article this morning, the headline of which reads:  Government Unions Actually Campaign for Higher Taxes.  You must remember this is The RNC’s best friend.  Neoconservatives and the religious right.  Another article that the Foundry recommended:  Taxpayers Win in Wisconsin. This is the Wall Street Journal, owned by Rupert Murdock, the great unbiased newspaper and corporation in the entire world.  If I watched FOXnews, I would now be in intensive care.  Anyway, the article begins as follows:

Congratulations to Wisconsin Republicans, who held together this week to pass their government union reforms despite unprecedented acting out by Democrats and their union allies. Three weeks ago we described this battle as a foretaste of Greece come to America, but maybe there’s hope for taxpayers after all.

The good news is that Governor Scott Walkers’ reforms have been worth the fight on the policy merits.  The conventional media wisdom is that Mr Walker “overreached” by proposing limits on the ability of government unions to bargain collectively for benefits.

That neoconservatives and the religious right would compare the State of Wisconsin to a sovereign country Greece is ludicrous.  Backward Bachman tried to make the same analogy a few weeks ago and was laughed out of the room.  What the taxpayers won in Wisconsin is lower wages, higher cost for health benefits and disrespect.  But they voted for him and now they discovered that they along with other states that elected Republicans, were all lied to.  Just read the article at http://www.wjs.com.  Then throw out the trash.

Consider this:  Michigan bills to rein in Local Government.  What it really means is that they can dissolve local governments.  They can just fire anyone at will.  All for the greater good  The law expands state power over fiscally stressed local governments and gives emergency managers broader authority, including the ability to terminate labor contracts.  Under the law whole cities or school districts could be eliminated without any public participation or oversight and amendments designed to provide minimal safeguards and public involvement were voted down. According to the law, the governor will be able to declare “financial emergency” in towns or school districts and appoint someone to fire local elected officials, break contracts, seize and sell assets, and eliminate services.  Do we see a pattern here?  Eliminate unions.  Limit Democrats. They are manipulating concerns about budget difficulties to consolidate power by undermining unions.  It amounts to a takeover by the right-wing and it is an assault on democracy. What values, or the lack thereof, will guide these persons or firms as they work to balance budgets? How will a manager decide whether to sell off an ice rink or a library?  There is no real training, but you don’t really need education or training when all you want to do is fire everyone.

Their blueprint looks terrific, graphics are wonderful, they even talk a good game.  Still as you visit their website one of the most obvious, blatant signs is the donate now, help stop Obama and his union bosses.  The Blueprint for Victory is just a good Powerpoint presentation while their real purpose is union busting and convincing you to help them.

What Wisconsin has done is being copied in Ohio, Indiana and other states.  They may have won the battle in Wisconsin, but they will lose the war  They want to make you believe that the monopoly power of government unions can be broken.  They call it a rare victory for TAXPAYERS.

 

 

 

 

 


Ohio Diary #4: Ohio Republicans Reliving Their Anti-Union Past

No employer or labor organization shall deny or abridge the right to work by requiring membership or non-membership in, or payment or non-payment of money in, a labor organization as a condition of employment or continued employment in this state.  All agreements in conflict with this section are, to the extent of such conflict, unlawful and of no effect in this state.

Official Ohio Ballot Language, Issue No. 2, November 1958

These were the simple words on the Ohio ballot in 1958 that set off one of the most dividing political battles in all of Ohio history. After millions of dollars, a huge voter registration drive, and the onslaught of modern campaign techniques, “Right-to-Work” in Ohio was defeated by nearly one million votes, which at the time was one of the worst defeats for a ballot issue in Ohio’s history.  In that same election, C. William O’Neill, the golden boy who had been Speaker of the House and a three term attorney general before he was forty, also went down in a resounding defeat.  The Republican party lost everything that year.

Now, it seems that the republicans are determined to go down that path once again.  And once again it will result in abject failure, and total loss for the Republican party in Ohio.  They have pulled out all the stops and dirty tricks to pass S.B. 5 the anti-union bill.  They pulled not one but 2 senators from committees, who were opposed to the bill and replaced them with two who were in favor.  It must be remembered that these were republican senators opposed to the bill.  Done 30 minutes prior to the vote.  But as Ohio progressive blog Plunderbund states, Senate President Tom Niehaus [R] may have violated Senate rules by making the last-minute move:

Senate Rule 19 suggests the President of the Senate can change the makeup of a Committee, at will, but only by first issuing a Message [parliamentary term of art] that changes the membership. On the day of the vote, Niehaus issued no such message. He may issue one during the floor session, but that’s after the fact. There’s probably a parliamentary scramble to figure out if Niehaus’ replacement of Seitz complies with the Rules of the Senate.

It just gets stranger and stranger.  Now it seems that Senator Karen Gilmore may have been promised a chairmanship for her vote.  She was against the bill and publicly said so.  And then she changed her vote.  All republicans state that there have been no irregularities in regards to S.B. 5.

Republicans are trying to pass this legislation by April, so if there is a referendum, it will on the ballot in 2011 and not 2011.  There will be a referendum.  The machinery has already begun to move.  God bless Ohio law.  It has already been suggested by Ohio state representatives, that their consideration of this bill will take much longer.  Eventually, this will be in the hands of the people, where it belongs.  Just like 1958.

A large voter turnout in a general election is the Republicans’ worst nightmare.  The Republicans have screwed themselves, and as in 1958, they will be crushed in 2011 and 2012.  Turnout won’t be an issue. in fact, it will be a benefit. Turnout in off-year elections like 2011 will make it far easier for union voters, who will come out in huge numbers for this issue alone, to outweight the Republican voters who bother to come out.  Republicans forget there are Republicans that are union members, teachers, firefighters and police officers.  Their job and family’s well-being will also be put in jeopardy.

People will not forget what the Republican party has done, not just in Ohio but nationwide. If you don’t believe me, then check out the Republican National Committees web page.  There primary platform is to rid American of unions.

Republicans have awakened a sleeping dog, the Democrats.  At long last Democrats have begun to fight.


The Fate of Freedom In America: It Is Being Determined Now

I wrote in an earlier post that if you ignore your rights, you will lose them.  There was a time we believed in something, a cause bigger than ourselves, and we were willing to fight for that cause.  The cause was us, the American people.

We have all watched and listened to the protesters in Wisconsin, Ohio and other states.  Protests that have renewed and reawakened the feeling that at long last we have found our principles, convictions and willingness to stand up and fight for our rights.  It is encouraging.  Unions have been portrayed by the Republicans as one of the main obstacles to structural reforms needed to save our economy.  The neocons, Republicans and the Teabaggers have told us that the unions are in fact the source of all our problems.  We should know that is false. The financial crisis was not brought on by the unions.  Government spending is not primarily driven by union wages. If anything, unions are the one thing that have prevented this disaster from being worse than it might have been – they have pushed for extended unemployment benefits, and more stimulus spending and the like.   They have succeeded in making us afraid.

Fear –  whether it is fear of darkness, mice, aliens, death, terrorism or any other fear is the core of the human condition, prompt us to do things or not do things. It comes as no surprise that this powerful motivator has found use in politics, as an instrument to influence, and sometimes to directly manipulate public behavior. Government has often stoked fear to scare us to embrace decisions and policies that we might otherwise reject.  They have used fear since 9/11.  Fear has convinced us that we don’t have any power, and in convincing us of that, we enhance the power of those who are wielding power over us.  Our fear has finally translated into political action.

What is happening in Wisconsin and other states goes beyond collective bargaining.  They threaten everything we hold dear.  Until now, we have allowed them to continue to try to restrict or take away our rights.  We have allowed them to believe that what they want is what we want.  We put them in office on lies they told us. Lies we wanted to hear. The Pledge to America.  Which America?  The America of the political elites whose only interest is power, or the America that promises a better America and fights and works for that cause.  Save us from the ‘saviors’.

Make no mistake, we have only ourselves to blame.  And not just now, but for the last decade.  We bought into the idea that they knew what was best for us, and we let them have their way.  The fear that they have created in us has finally bound us in a common purpose.  It is now the vision of the common good that is uniting us.  That is what these protests have ignited in all of us, the common good.  Something to fight for, remembering that we are the government.

The time has come to make the fear mongers afraid.  We have to remind them that we also know the Constitution, that we believe in it, and that we will fight for our rights.  We have continue to tell the truth to power.  We need to  protest not just for unions, but freedom of the press [which is no longer free], religion and most importantly freedom of speech.

We are the independent press and we must do the work of the press, who have forgotten their mission, which is to tell the truth.  We must continue to encourage the American people to fight and to take back their government.

How I do miss the old days.

 


Unions Fail Their Members: Toothless Giants

In many parts of the world, organized labor is a force to be reckoned with in the streets and at the polls.  Not in the US.  Union leaders spend more time campaigning for candidates than defending worker’s rights.

The AFL-CIO embraced President Barack Obama and they celebrated Labor Day together, a scene unimaginable for the majority of union leaders and members of Europe. The closeness of major US labor union to the Democratic Party has co-opted many of them into ineffectiveness.

The protests in Wisconsin and Ohio and soon in other states are blatant examples of a toothless union.  These protests are grassroot events, not officially sanctioned by the labor unions.  In fact, labor unions are asking their members to return to work, rather than defend their rights long fought for.  The truth is if you want something different that what has been going on these past 30 years, then you have to move in a different direction rather than rolling with the dominant part.  Unions will more or less turn out the votes, give major donations but aren’t able to demand things they want.  Their members are left out in the cold.

Now the American worker is in the street. The biggest crises with unions in American now is the inability to organize workers because labor laws make it easy to fire or penalize workers for unionizing. Unions must be detached from politicians, yet be involved in policy to represent their workers.  Unions no longer fight for their workers.

Unions are dead as an influential force in workers rights. They have outlived their usefulness, or just simply lost their way.  Unions collect dues, spend $50 million of it dues and deploy 150,000 workers to support Obama with the hope that politicians will deliver workers rights.  Workers say that unions have failed to deliver on their promises, but in truth the unions never promised them anything.  Politicians did.  Now union members in the unenviable position of defending their rights.

Only now is the Obama administration beginning to send statements that they are in agreement with union members protecting in Wisconsin and Ohio.  But it begs the question….Are they doing this because they truly believe or simply appeasing the union membership to retain their votes in 2012?

We can all argue that state governments are making every effort to bust unions?  It is true.  This is a time for leaders of Labor unions need to join the fight with their workers.  Fight for the rights they have now, and future improvements. Union membership has been declining for years, because people understand union leadership hold workers rights as a sideshow.

Grassroots movement is showing the future of the labor movement in two ways: One is the importance of fighting on the basis of workplace issues and making sure that people at the grassroots, the rank and file level, have a voice in those unions. Second: the importance of social unions, social movement unionism, one that sees not just the interests of workers at a particular workplace as the only thing that unions should defend, but realizing the ties and connections that bring together the interests not only of the workplace.

Wisconsin and Ohio may be our “Egypt.”  If it true, that would mean clean out the Union Leadership house.  Unions of the past are dead.  It is up to the membership to fight.  They probably will lose, but they must fight.

Protests and civil disobedience is a healthy sign in this country, but to win, we must take our government back.