And So I Go: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Archive for the ‘Breaking the Collective Bargaining Union holds on states’ Category

Workers unions were once very necessary to get workers and their families a chance at a decent living. It was bad, very bad indeed for workers before the labor unions came into their own and gained some power during the 1930’s and 1940’s. My entire family were union people. But before he did in 1969 my Daddy told me that the unions had gone too far in their demands and would eventually kill themselves off. I believe this is happening now and it saddens me to see it. At the same time the illogical and greedy demands of these unions thru their Mafia bosses are hurting businesses and the public.

In my father’s case the incident the convinced him was in his words “a dammed stupid workplace rules’. Dad was a mechanic at Olin-Matheson Aluminum. One day a machine broke down and Dad was called in to fix it. He had to slip a piece of 2×4 under the machine to lift it up enough for him to replace the broken part. No big deal and the job would be done in less than 10 minutes allowing the machine to operate and all the workers on that machine to get back to production. But Dad was stopped by the union representative and told he couldn’t put that piece of wood under that machine, that was a carpenters job. So they had to call for a carpenter while everyone stood around doing nothing. The carpenter came decided what had to be done and then had to go get a block of wood ( this because as a carpenter he could not use the block of wood Dad carried in his tool box!). Altogether the machine was down for over an hour and losing the company money every minute of that time. All because the unions and union work rules had stopped using common sense and make unreasonable demands.

This week we saw the Hostess Company go bankrupt and close its doors and again much of it due to stupid union rules that made it difficult to continue to make a profit as a company altho they were selling their products well. The company could not however raise their prices enough to cover all the costs related to their union workers demands. It was the Baker’s Union that finally held out and forced the company’s bankruptcy but they were merely the last straw in a long list of stupidities. One stupidity was that Twinkies and Wonder Bread could not be transported in the same truck. Both were Hostess brands and both went to the same outlets but union rules stated that they could not be transported together. Then after arriving at the store the driver of the delivery truck could not unload the truck! As a result of all this the Hostess Company after 80+ years in business went bankrupt and 18,000 (that’s eighteen thousand) people lost their jobs, benefits and pensions!

Over this holiday we have seen on the news were the Service Employees International Union (The infamous SEIU run by Mafia boss and frequent visitor to the White House Trumpka makes well over $300,000 a year in union dues paid salary) were out in the purple t-shirts interrupting the free flow of traffic at airports across the country. They also intend to storm WalMart Stores across the country on Black Friday altho WalMart employees have repeatedly voted down union membership in a free and open secret ballot election. If the employees wanted the union it was a secret ballot and the employer would have no idea who had voted for the union so no one needed to be afraid of losing their jobs! Now of course with Obama in the White House another 4 years I have no doubt that the “bosses” will unionize WalMart because they will probably get the so-called Card Check ballot thru which means no secret ballot but merely having as few as a few dozen employees sign a card saying they want a union and the union will be in.

Then there are the Public Employees Unions! Even a die hard liberal like Franklin D. Roosevelt would not allow government employees to unionize. But President John F. Kennedy with a Presidential Order approved and allowed the public sector employees to unionize and our trouble as tax payers began. It was never ever a law passed by Congress and now Congress can stop it all by passing a law rescinding the Presidential Order but like the cities and states Congress has for these past 50 years continued to buy the government employees votes. And since Obama is the union president nothing is likely to change except to get worse!

 

Public or government workers are not like workers in the private sector.  Governments don’t go bankrupt and lay off workers so those who have government jobs are pretty secure.    Private companies must make a profit with the product they produce or they cant’t pay their workers.  governments simply raise taxes on the tax payers!  Private companies when negotiating with their workers have an incentive (profits) for keeping the benefits and wages reasonable in order to keep their company from going bankrupt.  Government workers negotiate with politicians who don’t care and just want to buy the employees vote.    Government workers voted for Obama overwhelmingly—-like the greedy sons don’t have kids who will have to pay for this extravagance!

We have all heard of California and New York and Illinois and cities all over the country that are going bankrupt because of employee pensions and benefits. These huge pensions and benefits have been given to the government workers by politicians who are simply buying the votes. Some states are pushing back on the public sector unions and there have been some wins for the tax payers. We all remember the teachers in Wisconsin invading and almost trashing the capitol building while Governor Walker and the Republicans fought thru legislation to stop collective bargaining which was bankrupting the state. (You may remember the Democrats legislators left the state rather than vote or allow a quorum so the Republicans could vote) You may also recall that the unions finally got thru a recall election on Governor Walker but he won that election with even more votes than he had gotten when first elected!

Anyhow, I have said my piece and now  Heritage has some thoughts and some facts about unions that you may find interesting and useful because as I said previously we should be prepared for more and more thuggery from the unions now that their president has another 4 years in office. BB

 

Should We Pay Government Employees More?

Federal employees—who work on average a month less than private-sector workers and get paid more—are lobbying for higher pay.

Government unions know that Congress is looking for ways to nip and tuck the federal budget, and they’re counting on being left out of the deal.

“The Federal-Postal Coalition—a group representing more than two dozen federal employee unions—pleaded with Congress on Monday to spare their members in any deal related to the ‘fiscal cliff,’” Government Executive reports.

Government unions went all out to re-elect the President—the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) spent more than any other outside group on Obama’s campaign. While only about seven out of 100 private-sector workers are unionized, in government, that number rises to 36 out of 100.

Now they’re complaining that they don’t get paid enough.

Federal employees and Members of Congress are working under a two-year “pay freeze,” though “individual employees still remain eligible for raises if they receive promotions, step increases or performance awards,” explains Government Executive.

Of course, these are employees who are paid by the taxpayers. So their compensation deserves every measure of scrutiny. Unfortunately, faulty comparisons to the private sector have been muddying the waters—something Heritage’s Jason Richwine and the American Enterprise Institute’s Andrew G. Biggs have been working to correct.

When Richwine and Biggs wrote in The Washington Post November 18 that government unions were using bogus numbers to push for raises, a firestorm of reader comments erupted. As of this morning, there were 2,480 comments on the piece.

One of the main issues: “The Federal Salary Council, an advisory body of academics and leaders of public employee unions, suggested last month that federal workers are underpaid by an average of 35 percent relative to nonfederal employees.”

What’s behind the huge gap the council is claiming? For starters, a huge omission: benefits packages. Richwine and Biggs note:

First, the pay agent doesn’t consider fringe benefits, even though benefits for federal workers are famously generous. In addition to a 401(k)-type pension with a handsome employer match, federal workers receive a traditional defined-benefit pension—for which they contribute less than 1 percent of salary—as well as retiree health coverage. A Congressional Budget Office study published in January found that the federal retirement package was 2.7 times more generous than what is paid by large private-sector firms. Federal workers also receive more paid vacation and sick days.

According to their own reporting, government employees work fewer hours than private-sector employees. To measure this in the fairest way possible, the American Time Use Survey allows workers to record all of their time, including any hours spent working from home or outside normal business hours. Using this data, Richwine found that government employees worked about one month less per year than private-sector workers.

And not only do they work less, they get paid more.

A January 2012 report by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) showed that federal government employees receive substantially higher compensation than similarly skilled workers in the private sector. The report’s methodology and conclusions were broadly similar to previous studies from both The Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute. Richwine, Biggs, and Heritage’s James Sherk concluded:

Federal compensation should be scaled back and reallocated to reward the most productive federal workers. The government should replace the seniority system with performance pay, paying higher salaries to good workers without guaranteeing raises for mediocre performers.

Government unions worked hard to re-elect President Obama, and now they’re expecting a payout at the expense of taxpayers. Any suggestion that their pay is below market levels is completely false.

>>> Watch Jason Richwine and Andrew Biggs discussing federal pay in yesterday’s Google Hangout on The Foundry.

Is the Soros-Sponsored ‘Agenda 21’ a Hidden Plan for World Government? (Yes, Only it Is Not Hidden) | The Blaze.

I have blogged in the past on this United Nations plan to strip the United States of it’s wealth and  give it to poorer countries.  It’s Obama’s plan!  His “spreading the wealth around” world wide agenda.  I don’t think there are many Americans who have not gotten the idea finally that  Obama cares more for almost any nation except the United States.  He was clear about his agenda and his interests long before he was elected but no enough of us were listening.  One question?  If you planned to rob the riches family in the neighborhood what is the best way of going about it?  GETTING INSIDE THE HOUSE AS A TRUSTED GUEST OR EMPLOYEE OF COURSE!  And that is what Obama was able to do.  And we are seeing this being played out right now as he and his cohorts use the unions to accomplish his plans.  The  National Labor Relations  Board-union vs.Boeing building a plant  in South Carolina is a blatant step in this direction.  I will bet anyone that no such action would have taken place if Boeing had chosen to move out of the United States!  The EPA Environmental Protection Agency is another of Obama’s instruments; the United States can not drill in our waters but our tax dollars are being given to Mexico and Brazil to drill in the Gulf of Mexico.  BB

Read this article carefully because We the People have to know the plan in order to save ourselves.  Also be sure and listen to the videos and go to the sites suggested.  Spread the word so that others know how to turn the tide on these thieves.  BB

Is the Soros-Sponsored ‘Agenda 21’ a Hidden Plan for World Government? (Yes, Only it Is Not Hidden)

What is Agenda 21?  If you do not know about it, you should.

Agenda 21 is a two-decade old, grand plan for global ’Sustainable Development,’ brought to you from the United Nations. George H.W. Bush (and 177 other world leaders) agreed to it back in 1992, and in 1995, Bill Clinton signed Executive Order #12858, creating a Presidential Council on ‘Sustainable Development.’ This effectively pushed the UN plan into America’s large, churning government machine without the need for any review or discussion by Congress or the American people.

‘Sustainable Development’ sounds like a nice idea, right?  It sounds nice, until you scratch the surface and find that Agenda 21 and Sustainable Development are really cloaked plans to impose the tenets of Social Justice/Socialism on the world.

At risk from Agenda 21;

  • Private Property ownership
  • Single-Family homes
  • Private car ownership and individual travel choices
  • Privately owned farms

The Agenda 21 plan openly targets private property.  For over thirty-five years the UN has made their stance very clear on the issue of individuals owning land;

Land cannot be treated as an ordinary asset, controlled by individuals and subject to the pressures and inefficiencies of the market. Private land ownership is also a principal instrument of accumulation and concentration of wealth and therefore contributes to social injustice; if unchecked, it may become a major obstacle in the planning and implementation of development schemes. The provision of decent dwellings and healthy conditions for the people can only be achieved if land is used in the interest of society as a whole.

Click here to find out more!

Source: United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat I),Vancouver, BC, May 31 – June 11, 1976. Preamble to Agenda Item 10 of the Conference Report.

There are two more, very good reasons to be wary of Agenda 21 and the International Council of Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) that supports it: George Soros and the United Nations. Soros money has been tracked to funding parts of ICLEI ;

In 1997, George Soros’s Open Society gave ICLEI a $2,147,415 grant to support its Local Agenda 21 Project

As regards the UN, that organization‘s problems with America’s appreciation of freedom and self-determination is one that needs no explanation.

Currently in California, Agenda 21 is working to implement plans to create plans for sustainable management of ‘open spaces.‘ The definition of what is to be considered an ’open space’ has sparked some heated exchanges between those directing the planning meetings and citizens who want private property rights to be respected and protected. (The East Bay Tea Party video featuring a Liberal Democrat arguing against ICLEI can be seen at the end of this article.)

This type of global plan could not be implemented without a large and well-funded group pushing through its priorities. For that, Agenda 21 has the International Council of Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI). And ICLEI is deeply entrenched in America;

ICLEI USA was launched in 1995 and has grown from a handful of local governments participating in a pilot project to a solid network of more than 600 cities, towns and counties actively striving to achieve tangible reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and create more sustainable communities. ICLEI USA is the domestic leader on climate protection and adaptation, and sustainable development at the local government level.

Over six hundred cities,towns and counties in America are members of ICLEI? Do you support your local government agreeing to rules and regulations set up by a UN-based organization that wants private property transferred to government control? If you would like to see if your community is a member of ICLEI, you can visit their website.

Austin, Texas is one city that seems to have fallen for the ICLEI/Agenda 21 and was heavily consuming the ‘Communitariasm’ Kool-aid. A local group called Texans For Accountable Government saw what was happening and attempted to stop the Austin City Council from adopting some Agenda 21-friendly initiatives. One of TAG’s members, John Bush, delivered a succinct presentation on ICLEI and Agenda 21 that was virtually ignored. Watch his short argument against the proposed local law immediately followed by the lopsided vote adopting the plan.

In the world of business Agenda 21 is not a free market friend, preferring PPPs or Private Public Partnerships where the government decides which companies will receive tax breaks and are allowed to stay in business. In light of this realization, the cozy relationship between the current administration and GE (a company that paid no tax in 2010) should raise eyebrows. And the WH efforts to tell Boeing in which state they can operate seems to further bolster the belief that Agenda 21 ideals are already making headway in America.

The seeds for Agenda 21 were planted back in 1987 when the writings of Gro Harlem Brundtland (a woman who at the time was Vice President of the World Socialist Party) caught the eye of the UN.  Dr. Brundtland wrote a report for the UN called, ‘Our Common Future’ eventually got into the business of environmentalism as a tool to control all the people of the world and establish a global government. The growth of ICLEI and the framework being put in place by supporters of Agenda 21 appear to be bringing Dr. Brundtland’s ideas closer to reality

In recent months, citizen groups across the country have organized and become involved in the removal of towns and cities from membership in ICLEI. The Roanoke, VA Tea Party is holding a rally this week in an effort to have ICLEI removed from their local government.

For a better understanding of Agenda 21 and ICLEI we suggest: The American Policy Center offers a one-page primer on Agenda 21.

From the Bay Area Tea Party we offer a long-form video covering Agenda 21;

The featured speaker at the Tea Party meeting, Rosa Koire, is a liberal Democrat who understands that Agenda 21 will destroy America as we know it. Rosa’s website, DemocratsAgainstAgenda21.com is also worth a visit.

» Kids Win: Colorado School Board Sets Students and Families Free with Voucher Program – Big Government.

YES!  There are still some intelligent men and women in politics in this country.  They won’t be found in Washington because except for a very small handful of newly elected Congress men in 2010 there simply isn’t a brain left in our federal government.  If we are to save ourselves and our nation and our very way of life it will have to be at the grass roots.  That is, if we have the time to do this. ( I heard on FOXNEWS this morning that Obama is planning to share our nuclear missile technology with Russia.)

 

We have turned our children over to what this School Board member in the video calls ‘special interests groups” but I am not so charitable because I call the leaders of our schools who are allowing the brain washing and dumbing down of education evil criminals.  After viewing the first videos please make sure to see the last one where the School Board is actually threatened by a union backed newly form group of  “mother, fathers, sisters, brothers, neighbors.” only concerned with the good of the children and absolutely nothing to do with union dues or tenure of incompetents.    BB

Kids Win: Colorado School Board Sets Students and Families Free with Voucher Program

by Kyle Olson

It’s not every day you will see a governmental body, in this case a school board, create competition for itself.  But that’s precisely what the Douglas County, Colorado school board did.

It created a unique, if not unprecedented, voucher program, allowing tax dollars to follow Douglas County students to the school of their choice.

Every single school system in America should adopt this model.  Sadly, parents who need school choice the most tend to live in troubled urban school districts that fight to keep children trapped within geographic boundaries.

But in Douglas County, leaders understand students have a right to the education of their choice, even if it is not within the public system.

John Carson, president of the school board, said recently at a National School Choice Week event celebrating the move: “We all realize that we’ve made two big mistakes in public education.  There’s no choice – or limited choice – there’s not enough competition, and we’ve ceded so much of our children’s education to special interest groups.  And that needs to end.”

Bravo.  If only we had more governmental leaders like Carson, just imagine the improved impression that Americans would have of public education today.

See EAGtv’s coverage of the program here.

Dr. Elizabeth Carson, the district superintendentm said, “We know when we match students to opportunities to learn that are most appropriate for their strengths and interests, we know that they’re going to be more successful.

“ And when we try to do this sort of batch processing model where we take all of these children according to their date of birth and put them through a process – a one-size-fits-all process – we know there are going to be fewer successes.  We want to make sure that parents have the ultimate choice in making sure that their child is matched with their learning environment.”

Parents and community leaders should demand that every single school district follow in the footsteps of Douglas County and be willing to let kids off the assembly line so they can find the school that best fits their needs.

The changes didn’t come easy and there is a big fight ahead to change teachers pay to excellence based and get rid of the dead wood tenured unionist  baloney.  BB

If you want to see more of what went on with the School Board’s decision to make parents responsible for and in charge of their children’s education check out the  other videos. BB

» Gov. Scott Walker Fights Republicans, Unions in Mission to Expand School Choice – Big Government.

Governor Scott Walker like Cristie of New Jersey is another governor to watch and hopefully learn from.  Walker is a fighter like Christie but lacks the new Jersey in your face attitude.  In fact, he is a gentleman at all times; a gentleman who stands firm for his beliefs.   He battled the teachers unions over their contracts and  so- called “right” to bargain (read that riot and strike and clutter up state buildings while calling in sick from their jobs).  With that issue working it’s way thru the courts he has now taken on the teachers unions and failing public schools over the  school choice issue.  He will win I have no doubt.

Is he perhaps the “sleeper” Republican who will come out for the Presidential run at the last minute?  Pair him up with Bachmann and I think we have a winning team.   Both are fighters who will stand firm for their beliefs but both are  professionals in their dealing with opponents regardless of what they are subjected to.  BB

Gov. Scott Walker Fights Republicans, Unions in Mission to Expand School Choice

by Kyle Olson

School choice is on the move in Wisconsin, at least in

Milwaukee County.

The state Assembly has approved a bill that will increase the number of voucher students in Milwaukee, and increase the number of private schools they can choose from.

But an idea recently suggested by Gov. Scott Walker, to spread voucher opportunities beyond Milwaukee to Green Bay, Racine and Beloit, received a cool reception from Senate President Mike Ellis, as well as several other Republicans.

Ellis also questioned a reform, embedded in the governor’s budget proposal, that would lift income restrictions from voucher programs so all families would be eligible to participate.

That leads me to wonder if some Republicans, once committed to the concept of public school reform, have lost their nerve in the face of obnoxious union rallies and recall efforts.

I also wonder if Walker might have received a more positive response if he had targeted the entire state for voucher eligibility, in the same manner as Indiana. Only expanding to three cities may not sit well with legislators from areas that would not benefit.

School choice is best for all families and students. Every child is unique, and parents are best equipped to choose a school that fits their needs.

The state of Wisconsin provides a certain amount of money for every K-12 student in the state. What’s wrong with letting parents spend that money at the school of their choice?

Walker sought to build momentum for school choice expansion with his keynote address to the National Policy Summit of the American Federation for Children in Washington, D.C. last week.

He focused on the idea that all students have the right to equal access to a quality education.

“Every kid, no matter where they live, no matter what their background, no matter what their parents do for a living … deserves the opportunity to have a great education because they each have limitless potential,” Walker told his audience.

“We have 100,000 kids that we serve in the city of Milwaukee. Roughly 20,000 go to choice schools but that means that 80 percent of our families are looking at some other option and the majority of which are (using) public schools … many of which fail to live up to the standard we expect for each and every child in that community and in our state.

“We fail as a country, we fail as a nation, we fail as a society if any of our kids slip through the cracks. We have to make sure every single one of them have the same opportunities we’d want for our children and grandchildren.”

Walker referred to studies that show Milwaukee children in the voucher program are 17 times more likely to graduate from high school than their counterparts in Milwaukee public schools.

“If you look at the kids who come into the Milwaukee parental choice program, they more often than not come in (with lower learning levels) than kids in the Milwaukee public school system. But in the end, one of the most important outcomes is that they’re 17 percent more likely to graduate by the time they’re done.

“One of our greatest challenges is keeping kids in the system all the way to graduation … It used to be that just graduating was enough to get a job, but these days you’ve got to have a two-year or four-year post-secondary education component just to get a job in our society. If you’re not making it through graduation you’re going to be another statistic.”

Wisconsin Education Association Council, the state’s largest teachers’ union, is trying to recall several Republican senators from office and destroy the GOP majority in the chamber.

The union’s president, Mary Bell told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that research “does not support broadening choice.”

I believe the only research that matters is the research conducted by the parents of every individual student in Wisconsin and America.

If they find a school that fits their child’s needs – be it public, public charter, private or religious – they should have a right to use their share of state money to enroll their child in that school.

Somehow our society has been blinded into thinking that government-run schools have an exclusive right to K-12 students. State constitutions mandate that governments provide an education to every student in their jurisdiction. That does not mean those students have to attend government-run schools.

By providing the means for students to finance an education, the state has met its constitutional responsibility. At that point the state should step aside and let parents decide where that education will take place.

As far as I can tell, the only reason for enforcing geographic school boundaries is to provide a guaranteed clientele, and guaranteed jobs, for unionized teachers. That’s not a very good reason to keep any kid trapped in any school that’s not meeting his or her needs.

Scott Walker seems to understand that.  The union doesn’t and it’s unrealistic for us to hope otherwise.  Will legislative Republicans?

Leaders should be going bold in their attempts to save children from failing public schools.  This is not the time to be pussyfooting around, making sure the adults aren’t offended by reforms that put the interests of children first.

A+ For School Choice

by Rebekah Rast

Upon learning that average per pupil spending in the public education system is $9,000, recent Rasmussen poll takers overwhelming stated their dissatisfaction with the return on their investment.

It’s hard to blame them.  Per pupil spending on education has tripled since the 1960s and increased 138 percent since 1985, but test scores and academic achievements remain stagnant and unchanged.

Noticing this trend, taxpayers and parents have found other options—an alternative to the status quo.  Americans are used to variety and choice and thought the education system should offer nothing less.

“In our society choice is something we’ve all been used to,” says Jeff Sands, senior manager of school development for Northeastern and Central California for the California Charter Schools Association.  “Now you can find schools that fit your needs and styles.”

The charter school movement has grown to 4,600 schools serving more than 1.4 million students nationally.

Charter schools have been a welcomed change for taxpayers, parents, students and those states and local governments who have adopted them.

What makes charter school different than public schools?

For one, it gives parents more options of where to send their child.  Also, charter schools have more freedom from the many regulations of public schools.  Charter schools allow students and teachers more authority to make decisions.  Instead of being accountable to rules and regulations like public schools are, charter schools are focused on the students and academic achievement and upholding their charter.  (One big reason for Charter Schools being free from all the rules and regulations is the lack of administration pencil pushers who make up all this nonsense in order to justify their jobs!   Every school system in the country could cut their administration staff by 50% and never miss them! BB)

“Charter schools are much more flexible in their spending and methods,” Sands says.  “They can go with longer days and weekends.  You could have a school with a strong focus on languages or arts or agriculture.  You can use methods and interactions where the main focus is not on the results, but the results happen anyways.”

If charter schools are such a welcomed change, then why are 10 states still opposed and fight against letting them in?

When parents do not have a choice of where to send their child to school, they can become stuck in a union-run, public school monopoly that has no incentive to better itself.  The only group that benefits from this design is the teachers unions.

“About 95 percent of charter schools are non-union,” says Mike Antonucci, director of the Education Intelligence Agency (EIA).  This causes a lot of opposition from teachers unions.

“Unions lose members,” says Antonucci, whenever a new charter schools opens.  “Every teacher in a charter school means one less union member and unions want more money.  This can put a dent in union’s bottom line.”

Sands agrees and adds, “Charter schools have lots of resistance from unions and school boards.

Despite the strong opposition from unions and school boards, many charters are doing very well and opening new schools each year.

Since California approved a charter school law in 1992, it has seen a steady increase of new charters opening.  Sands says last year more than 100 new charter schools opened their doors to new students and teachers.

As new charter schools open around the country providing new opportunities for students and parents, teachers also benefit from school choice.

“As testing becomes so core to school districts, teachers end up having to all teach the same thing at the same time—the whole objective is good scores,” states Sands.  “This puts undue pressure on educators and removes them from the decision-making, professionalism of teaching.  It is becoming very scripted.”

Charter schools give teachers opportunities to think outside the box, try new learning techniques and cater to children’s individual needs and wants.  It would seem that this kind of freedom would be a welcome change for an educator—especially at a time when states are forced to trim their budgets often cutting programs and pulling funds from school districts.

If a charter does not live up to expectation or meet its requirements, then like all businesses, the charter would cease to exist.  “Offering the best products and customer interaction is at the core of any charter school,” Sands comments.  “Many of them understand that they are a nonprofit and have to do smart business.”

Charter schools face more responsibility and accountability than the public counterparts, but they also offer much greater opportunity.

In a free-market, choice fuels competition and produces quality and distinctive products.  A growing dissatisfaction with public schools does not mean all public schools are bad and that all parents and students are ready to up and leave for a charter school.  It means there is a need for choice and competition.

“Charters are not intended to replace public schools, they apply pressure and competition,” Sands concludes.  “The objective is not to privatize education but to compete to make all schools better.”

“Anarchist” Idiocy | Cato @ Liberty.

I have been watching Europe closely the past few years as the governments try to wean their pampered people off of welfare.  A welfare the governments actually rather forced on the people in  the beginning  in the politicians avid search for power and more power.  Now the “spreading of the wealth around” (Obama) has had it’s ultimate end: the end of all wealth, or NOTHING left to spread around!  Or, as Margaret Thatcher the former Prime Minister of Great Britain once warmed : “The trouble with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.”!  The citizens of these European countries of course gave up their  souls for these safety net social programs and now have little left within themselves to again take control of their own lives.  They need Nanny State to think and act for them from cradle to grave.  The irony is the citizens are now fighting against the very hand that has fed them all these decades. The people who have become dependent on “other people’s money” are now morally and emotionally lacking the will to rely upon themselves for their livelihoods.  They also find themselves lacking a  morally acceptable argument for continuing to steal from other people’s labor so they have become  mobs rioting in the streets.  It reminds me of stories my mother tells of weaning me.  It was the habit of some in the dark ages to nurse their children well into the child’s second year of life so I was not weaned until I was 18 months old.  Naturally since I had become so dependent on “mother’s milk” long past the time when  I was able to survive well on my own  I protested long and hard and very loud against having the easy food supply removed.  If my mother had stopped nursing me when I was able to  survive well on nourishment taken from the regular food supplied me then the trauma would not have been nearly as violent to me or her when she did finally stop nursing me.  So this is the  case with the “children ” of Europe today.   Will it be Americans a couple generations from now after the Democrats and Obama have sucked up our souls for power and depleted our ability to survive well on our own?   I pray not. BB

Anarchist” Idiocy

Posted by David Boaz

The Washington Post splashes a story about “anarchists” in Greece across the front page today. The print headline is “Into the arms of anarchy,” and a photo-essay online is titled “In Greece, austerity kindles the flames of anarchy.” And what do these anarchists demand? Well, reporter Anthony Faiola doesn’t find out much about what they’re for, but they seem to be against, you know, what the establishment is doing, man:

The protests are an emblem of social discontent spreading across Europe in response to a new age of austerity. At a time when the United States is just beginning to consider deep spending cuts, countries such as Greece are coping with a fallout that has extended well beyond ordinary civil disobedience.

Perhaps most alarming, analysts here say, has been the resurgence of an anarchist movement, one with a long history in Europe. While militants have been disrupting life in Greece for years, authorities say that anger against the government has now given rise to dozens of new “amateur anarchist” groups.

Faiola does acknowledge that the term is used pretty loosely:

The anarchist movement in Europe has a long, storied past, embracing an anti-establishment universe influenced by a broad range of thinkers from French politician and philosopher Pierre-Joseph Proudhon to Karl Marx to Oscar Wilde.

So that’s, let’s see, a self-styled anarchist who was anti-state and anti-private property, the father of totalitarianism, and a witty playwright jailed for his homosexuality.

Defined narrowly, the movement includes groups of urban guerillas, radical youths and militant unionists. More broadly, it encompasses everything from punk rock to WikiLeaks.

And what are these various disgruntled groups opposed to?

The rolling back of social safety nets in Europe began more than a year ago, as countries from Britain to France to Greece moved to cut social benefits and slash public payrolls, to address mounting public debt. At least in the short term, the cuts have held back economic growth and job creation, exacerbating the social pain.

And Greece is not the only place in which segments of society are pushing back.

So these “anarchists” object that the state might cut back on its income transfers and payrolls. That is, they object to the state reducing its size, scope, and power. Odd anarchists, as George Will told the crowd at the 2010 Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty dinner:

It leads to the streets of Athens, where we had what the media described as “anti-government mobs.” Anti-government mobs composed almost entirely of government employees going berserk about threats to their entitlements!

Lots of talk in the Post article about anarchists:

“They are taking everything away from us,” [19-year-old law student Nikolas] Ganiaris said. “What will happen when I finish law school? Will I only find a job making copies in a shop? Will I then need to work until I’m 70 before I retire? Will I only get a few hundred euros as pension? What future have I got now?”  (I see this argument for keeping his dole from “other people’s” work and effort as pathetic!  I sincerely hope you do too.  BB)

A radical minority is energizing the anarchist movement, a loose network of anti-establishment groups….

Since then, experts say, the economic crisis has helped the movement thrive, with anarchists positioning themselves as society’s new avengers. Long a den of anarchists, the graffiti-blanketed Exarchia neighborhood is alive anew with dissent. Nihilist youths are patrolling the local park, preventing police from entering and blocking authorities from building a parking lot on the site. On one evening at a local cafe, an anarchist group was broadcasting anti-government messages via a clandestine radio station using a laptop and a few young recruits.

The last vignette in the story is about 20-year-old Nikos Galanos, who has joined the anarchist movement in anger over his mother’s losing her government job and his father’s being the victim of a 15 percent salary cut in his own government job.

“I don’t support violence for violence’s sake, but violence is a response to the violence the government is committing against society,” Galanos said. He later added, “It is now hard for any of us to see a future here. I feel it’s my duty to fight against the system.”  (People who are on the dole never seem to understand the simple fact:  there is NO MORE MONEY.  Have you noticed this?  In fact they don’t even allow the thought of just where the money comes from to support them.  Remember the flap over “Obama money”  where the mobs were lining up for their share?  BB)

In fact, the government has been committing violence against society for decades, by taxing people, overregulating business, and spending money it didn’t have. No wonder youth unemployment is 35 percent. And what is the actual “system” that Mr. Galanos wants to fight? Greek journalist Takis Michas described it at a Cato Forum:

In Greece, the fundamental principle that has been dictating economic and political development since the creation of the Greek state in the 19th century is political clientelism.

This is a system in which political support is provided in exchange for benefits.

In this situation, rent-seeking — the attempt by various groups and individuals to influence the location of political benefits — becomes paramount. The origins of political clientelism can be traced back to the origins of the Greek state in the 1830s. As a left-wing political historian puts it, “The fundamental structure of Greece has never been civil society. Ever since the middle of the 19th century, nothing could be done in Greece without its necessarily passing through the machinery of the state.”…

The largest part of public expenditure was directed, not to public works or infrastructure, but to the wages of public service workers and civil servants….

What makes the case of Greece interesting is that Greece can be said, in a certain sense, to provide the perfect realization of the left’s vision of putting people above markets.

Greek politicians have always placed people (their clients) above markets, with results we can all see today.

Real anarchists, of either the anarcho-capitalist or mutualist variety,  might have something useful to say to Greeks in their current predicament. But disgruntled young people, lashing out at the end of an unsustainable welfare state, are not anarchists in any serious sense. They’re just angry children not ready to deal with reality. But reality has a way of happening whether you’re ready to deal with it or not.

National Curriculum Battle Joined | Cato @ Liberty.

The Progressives are pushing hard for their take over of our schools and our children’s minds.   Education of children is rightly a  parents  duty and right.  This is why education MUST BE LOCAL!  When the Texas Text Book Selection committee outed the Progressives in determining what  content  would be in Texas text books it was a loud and clear call for the Progressives to become more aggressive (read this: underhanded!). (You may want to look this battle up because the video was a fun watch as the Progressives finally just left the meeting.)

The following article gives background on what is happening now and some push back.    Be sure to read carefully the Related Articles also.  these are your kids and our future.  Please don’t allow them to be lot any more than they have already been compromised and brain-washed.   It is up to ALL parents to demand the right to choose the schools their children attend and not to be herded into what the bureaucracy either national or local dictates to us.   School choice and vouchers are the answer to a free and good education.  BB

National Curriculum Battle Joined

Posted by Neal McCluskey

Remember several weeks ago, when the Albert Shanker Institute released a manifesto calling for the creation of detailed curriculum guides to go with the national standards and tests being pushed and pulled through the back doors of states across the country? Apparently, that was the last straw for a lot of education analysts and policymakers, especially folks like Williamson Evers of the Hoover Institution (and Bush II Education Department); one-time Fordham Institute state-standards evaluator Sandra Stotsky; and Foundation for Education Choice senior fellow Greg Forster. Those three, along with a few others, organized a counter-manifesto being released today, a 100-plus signatory reply which, according to the group’s press release, declares that:

  • These efforts are against federal law and undermine the constitutional balance between national and state authority.
  • The evidence doesn’t show a need for national curriculum or a national test for all students.
  • U.S. Department of Education is basing its initiative on inadequate content standards.
  • There is no research-based consensus on what is the best curricular approach to each subject.
  • There is not even consensus on whether a single “best curricular approach” for all students exists.

These points certainly sum up many of the major problems with the national standards drive, a drive that has been shrouded in half-truths about “voluntary” standards adoption; shorthand pleas for federal coercion; and what appears to be a camel’s-nose-under-the-tent strategy to ultimately impose a detailed, de facto federal curriculum. There is more to the problem than the summary points above cover — for instance, the Constitution gives the federal government no authority whatsoever to meddle in school curricula — but for a consensus-driven document, this new and desperately needed cannon blast against national standards is very welcome.

For a great explanation of why the anti-manifesto ringleaders did what they did, check out Greg Forster’s entry on the Witherspoon Institute’s blog. He hits lots of important points — especially that nationalizing curricula is a surefire way to fuel all-encompassing social strife — and I would quibble with only one thing:

My own view is that the root of the problem is the government monopoly on schools. Governmental monopolization of the education of children guarantees that all our religious and moral differences will be constantly politicized. School choice, in addition to delivering better academic performance, seems to me to be the only way to end the scorpions-in-a-bottle cultural dynamic and create space for shared citizenship across diverse religious and moral views.

But that’s an argument for another day.

Here’s where I think Greg is incorrect: Choice is not an argument for another day. It is the argument for this day.

Until all parents have real, full choice they will have no option but to demand that higher levels of government force intractable lower levels to provide good education. It won’t work thanks to concentrated benefits and diffuse costs all levels of government are dominated by teachers’ unions and administrators’ associations that will never let tough accountability and high standards rein – but it is all that parents can do absent the ability to take their children, and tax dollars, somewhere else. That means choice is essential right now, because it is the only way to take power away from special-interest dominated government and give it to the people the schools are supposed to serve. In other words, it is the only option that will actually work, obliterating the special-interest hammerlock, imposing accountability to customers, and when coupled with freedom for educators unleashing competition, specialization, innovation, and constant upward pressure on standards. In other words, it will do all those things that national standardizers emptily and illogically promise that their reform will do, and much, much more.

imf-bombshell-age-america-end-marketwatch: Personal Finance News from Yahoo! Finance.

Please read this article very carefully.  As long as America dominates in the world  there will be a spirit of freedom for the people as a guiding light thru out the world.  Even in countries that are dominated by dictators the belief is alive in the hearts of it’s people of freedom such as is alive in America.  If China dominates the world  things will be very, very different!  And it is a fact that he who controls the purse strings (the economy) controls ALL.  BB

IMF Bombshell: Age of America Nears End

by Brett Arends
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
MarketWatch

This column has been updated to include a reaction from the IMF.

The International Monetary Fund has just dropped a bombshell, and nobody noticed.

For the first time, the international organization has set a date for the moment when the “Age of America” will end and the U.S. economy will be overtaken by that of China.

And it’s a lot closer than you may think.

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According to the latest IMF official forecasts, China’s economy will surpass that of America in real terms in 2016 — just five years from now.

Put that in your calendar.

It provides a painful context for the budget wrangling taking place in Washington right now. It raises enormous questions about what the international security system is going to look like in just a handful of years. And it casts a deepening cloud over both the U.S. dollar and the giant Treasury market, which have been propped up for decades by their privileged status as the liabilities of the world’s hegemonic power.  (This is the most important paragraph in this article.  Especially that of the “international security system”.  Who has hai9na backed in the United Nations?  Iran!   and they have allowed their ward North Korea to run amok testing the American will to protect South Korea.  So far they have pulled North Korean pit bull back from all out war but the testing of the waters has been only a taste of what China will do when they dominate the world economy.  BB)

According to the IMF forecast, which was quietly posted on the Fund’s website just two weeks ago, whoever is elected U.S. president next year — Obama? Mitt Romney? Donald Trump? — will be the last to preside over the world’s largest economy.

Most people aren’t prepared for this. They aren’t even aware it’s that close. Listen to experts of various stripes, and they will tell you this moment is decades away. The most bearish will put the figure in the mid-2020s.

But they’re miscounting. They’re only comparing the gross domestic products of the two countries using current exchange rates.

That’s a largely meaningless comparison in real terms. Exchange rates change quickly. And China’s exchange rates are phony. China artificially undervalues its currency, the renminbi, through massive intervention in the markets.  (This has been the reason for the enormous trade imbalance with china.  It has also been the reason manufacturing has exploded in china.  Look around the next time you go to a store and see how many products are made in China.  In fact, just look around your own home!  BB)

The Comparison That Really Matters

In addition to comparing the two countries based on exchange rates, the IMF analysis also looked to the true, real-terms picture of the economies using “purchasing power parities.” That compares what people earn and spend in real terms in their domestic economies.

Under PPP, the Chinese economy will expand from $11.2 trillion this year to $19 trillion in 2016. Meanwhile the size of the U.S. economy will rise from $15.2 trillion to $18.8 trillion. That would take America’s share of the world output down to 17.7%, the lowest in modern times. China’s would reach 18%, and rising.

Just 10 years ago, the U.S. economy was three times the size of China’s.

Naturally, all forecasts are fallible. Time and chance happen to them all. The actual date when China surpasses the U.S. might come even earlier than the IMF predicts, or somewhat later. If the great Chinese juggernaut blows a tire, as a growing number fear it might, it could even delay things by several years. But the outcome is scarcely in doubt.

This is more than a statistical story. It is the end of the Age of America. As a bond strategist in Europe told me two weeks ago, “We are witnessing the end of America’s economic hegemony.”

We have lived in a world dominated by the U.S. for so long that there is no longer anyone alive who remembers anything else. America overtook Great Britain as the world’s leading economic power in the 1890s and never looked back.

And both those countries live under very similar rules of constitutional government, respect for civil liberties and the rights of property. China has none of those. The Age of China will feel very different.  (This is the second most important paragraph in this article and the one you my Friends must take heed of if you want your children to live in freedom.  Not just as “well off” as you and your parents but in FREEDOM. BB)

Victor Cha, senior adviser on Asian affairs at Washington’s Center for Strategic and International Studies, told me China’s neighbors in Asia are already waking up to the dangers. “The region is overwhelmingly looking to the U.S. in a way that it hasn’t done in the past,” he said. “They see the U.S. as a counterweight to China. They also see American hegemony over the last half-century as fairly benign. In China they see the rise of an economic power that is not benevolent, that can be predatory. They don’t see it as a benign hegemony.”

The rise of China, and the relative decline of America, is the biggest story of our time. You can see its implications everywhere, from shuttered factories in the Midwest to soaring costs of oil and other commodities. Last fall, when I attended a conference in London about agricultural investment, I was struck by the number of people there who told stories about Chinese interests snapping up farmland and foodstuff supplies — from South America to China and elsewhere.  (It is a fact that China now owns more land and factories and rights to mineral deposits than we Americans would tolerate, but it was done without the benefit of our government allowing it!   Remember the flap when a Muslim country was taking over our port security and how we Americans yelled forcing our government to reconsider?  Well nothing was said or done while China bought up American real estate and land!  BB)

This is the result of decades during which China has successfully pursued economic policies aimed at national expansion and power, while the U.S. has embraced either free trade or, for want of a better term, economic appeasement.  (Now we have a President who is a Master Appeaser!  BB)

“There are two systems in collision,” said Ralph Gomory, research professor at NYU’s Stern business school. “They have a state-guided form of capitalism, and we have a much freer former of capitalism.” What we have seen, he said, is “a massive shift in capability from the U.S. to China. What we have done is traded jobs for profit. The jobs have moved to China. The capability erodes in the U.S. and grows in China. That’s very destructive. That is a big reason why the U.S. is becoming more and more polarized between a small, very rich class and an eroding middle class. The people who get the profits are very different from the people who lost the wages.”  (The unions and the union demands on companies have been largely responsible for this shift of  production from the United States.  Many would disagree with me but companies and investors are interested in profit.  I as an investor am interested in profit.  Business (companies) is NOT our social conscience!  and shouldn’t be. Fairness and honesty are enough to demand from business/companies!   Unions demanded far more from business/companies until the companies could no longer compete in the world and make a profit in America.  So they either closed their doors altogether or moved to a place where they could run their business and make a profit.  They went to other countries.  Or, China opened companies to make the products that they then sold to Americans!    Note:  this has been happening on a smaller scale with companies/business leaving California and going to Texas.  This story has been on the news so much lately. 

Another example of what unions do to shut down companies/business is now taking place with Boeing being taken to the woodshed by the Obamanites control of the NLRB National Labor Relations Board.

All of this is destroying our economy while China is on the rise and poised for domination.  BB)

The next chapter of the story is just beginning.

U.S. Spending Spree Won’t Work

What the rise of China means for defense, and international affairs, has barely been touched on. The U.S. is now spending gigantic sums — from a beleaguered economy — to try to maintain its place in the sun.  (And guess what?  China has been cooperative enough to lend us the money to  do this.  BB)

It’s a lesson we could learn more cheaply from the sad story of the British, Spanish and other empires. It doesn’t work. You can’t stay on top if your economy doesn’t.

Equally to the point, here is what this means economically, and for investors.

Some years ago I was having lunch with the smartest investor I know, London-based hedge-fund manager Crispin Odey. He made the argument that markets are reasonably efficient, most of the time, at setting prices. Where they are most likely to fail, though, is in correctly anticipating and pricing big, revolutionary, “paradigm” shifts — whether a rise of disruptive technologies or revolutionary changes in geopolitics. We are living through one now.

The U.S. Treasury market continues to operate on the assumption that it will always remain the global benchmark of money. Business schools still teach students, for example, that the interest rate on the 10-year Treasury bond is the “risk-free rate” on money. And so it has been for more than a century. But that’s all based on the Age of America.

No wonder so many have been buying gold. If the U.S. dollar ceases to be the world’s sole reserve currency, what will be? The euro would be fine if it acts like the old deutschemark. If it’s just the Greek drachma in drag … not so much.

The last time the world’s dominant hegemon lost its ability to run things singlehandedly was early in the past century. That’s when the U.S. and Germany surpassed Great Britain. It didn’t turn out well.  (Remember the wars of the 20th century!  Look closely at who started the wars and why: Germany and Japan.  Each trying to expand it’s power in the world, or to take over other countries and in this way overtake the dominance of the United States.  The United States was able to rise up and overcome these two states and keep the place of dominance and thuis continue the seeking of a world of democracy and freedom and free enterprise.  BB)

Updated With IMF Reaction

The International Monetary Fund has responded to my article.

In a statement sent to MarketWatch, the IMF confirmed the report, but challenged my interpretation of the data. Comparing the U.S. and Chinese economies using “purchase-power-parity,” it argued, “is not the most appropriate measure… because PPP price levels are influenced by nontraded services, which are more relevant domestically than globally.”

The IMF added that it prefers to compare economies using market exchange rates, and that under this comparison the U.S. “is currently 130% bigger than China, and will still be 70% larger by 2016.”

My take?

The IMF is entitled to make its case. But its argument raises more questions than it answers.

First, no one measure is perfect. Everybody knows that.

But that’s also true of the GDP figures themselves. Hurricane Katrina, for example, added to the U.S. GDP, because it stimulated a lot of economic activity — like providing emergency relief, and rebuilding homes. Is there anyone who seriously thinks Katrina was a net positive for the United States? All statistics need caveats.

Second, comparing economies using simple exchange rates, as the IMF suggests, raises huge problems.

Currency markets fluctuate. They represent international money flows, not real output.

The U.S. dollar has fallen nearly 10% against the euro so far this year. Does anyone suggest that the real size of the U.S. economy has shrunk by 10% in comparison with Europe over that period? The idea is absurd.

China actively suppresses the renminbi on the currency markets through massive dollar purchases. As a result the renminbi is deeply undervalued on the foreign-exchange markets. Just comparing the economies on their exchange rates misses that altogether.

Purchasing power parity is not a perfect measure. None exists. But it measures the output of economies in terms of real goods and services, not just paper money. That’s why it’s widely used to compare economies. The IMF publishes PPP data. So does the OECD. Many economists rely on them.

Brett Arends is a senior columnist for MarketWatch and a personal-finance columnist for The Wall Street Journal.

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  • This video reminded me of the home child care workers who were forced to join the union and pay dues totally against their will.  These people are thugs and any union members who follow their bosses lead in the actions they back are thugs too.

Now the international union  is planning to attack Boeing Air Craft for building a plant in South Carolina a Right to Work State (meaning a person is not forced to join a union in order to get a job! as is the case in union states such as California)  he reason the union thugs give for going after Boeing is because they build a new plant in South Carolina “deliberately” instead of building another one in California.    There were no jobs lost in the Boeing Plant in California because of this move!  The California plant is going strong with no plans to shut it down or move it!   So, this is just an example of union thuggery and by going after a big outfit like Boeing the union bosses hope to warn other companies from moving to Right to Work states.  THIS EFFORT IS BEING LEAD AND ENCOURAGED BY THE NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD.  OBAMA RECENTLY APPOINTED A FORMER UNION BOSS TO THE NLRB !

We the People have got to be vigilant and watch these underhanded tactics.  It is especially important that decent union members who are indeed the majority begin to recognize what their bosses are doing and demand changes from within.  BB)

» Former SEIU Official Appointed by Obama to Investigate Union Corruption, Cuts Number of Investigators – Big Government.

This story just keeps getting more and more like Chicago Mafia thuggery.   Read what is happening now to Boeing Air Craft below now that Obama has his players stacked knee deep in the Labor Department. BB

Talk about the Fox in the Hen House  I would have to say our dear President and  Foxy himself  learned well from that  children’s story.  Why can’t Congress or someone or something stop this man from these nefarious actions?   Any other President in our history would have been impeached by this time if they had pulled off the destructive moves Obama has pulled off.

Now his appointment of John Lund former and current  Labor Union boss  to oversee union corruption!  Can you believe?  Union members are NOT, I repeat: NOT  the focus of their union bosses.  Their union dues are merely providing the money to give these destroyers of our nation the money to carry on.   The shouting ugly mobs that the unions bring out on every occasion are funded by the forced payment of dues by workers  if they are to get and keep their jobs.  We the People must stand up against this corruption.

States one by one are attacking and winning the battle against the unions hold over state treasuries, but our federal government because of Obama is over run with thugs and thieves.  BB

Former SEIU Official Appointed by Obama to Investigate Union Corruption, Cuts Number of Investigators

by Don Loos

Has President Barack Obama been deceiving America, with his Ethics Executive Order 13490?  It certainly appears that the actions of the Obama Administration are far from his recent statement that he has “put into place the toughest ethics laws of any Administration in history [pause] in history.” A host of Obama’s appointments call into question the President’s commitment to his own Ethics Order.  Appointments such as U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Sec. Hilda Solis, DOL Deputy Solicitor Deborah Greenfield, and NLRB Board member Craig Becker undermine Obama’s claim of “toughest ethics.”

Now, the National Right To Work Committee introduces John Lund,  Obama’s “overseer” of union financial reporting and disclosure at DOL’s Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS).  This Obama appointee is a former director of the now-defunct Pacific Northwest Labor College,  a former SEIU union employee , a fomer IUOE union employee, and former director of the University of Wisconsin School for Workers.   Lund’s appointment means that he is now in charge of investigating financial mismanagement and irregularities by the very labor union officials he has trained for decades. (click to view the NRTW shocking handout on Lund)

Big Labor Payback Job One for Obama

Even though Obama campaigned on transparency and a focus on ethics, cronies at DOL focused on eliminating basic financial union disclosure and union officials’ conflict-of-interest disclosures requirements.

At DOL, John Lund cut the number of labor union investigators, rescinded disclosure of union officer benefits, eliminated financial reporting for unions like the Wisconsin Education Association Council, and eliminated conflict-of-interest reporting for thousands of union officials.  Each of these actions benefits Big Labor Bosses, but undercuts those forced to pay union dues and fees as a condition of employment.

John Lund Conflicts-of-Interest

The Obama Ethics Executive Order requires appointees to pledge that they will refrain from involvement in matters involving their former employer or clients.  The AFL-CIO and other unions are former clients of John Lund , and these unions remain clients of his former and current employer, the University of Wisconsin School for Workers (Lund is currently on unpaid leave while at DOL).  The Wisconsin School for Workers’ primary mission is to train union officials; the very officials that Lund now purportedly investigates for corruption.

The following highlights are but a few that The National Right To Work Committee has unearthed to illustrate Lund’s conflicts-of-interest:

  • On 29 April 2008, Lund made formal comments against DOL’s Form T-1 Disclosure Report.  As OLMS Director, Lund rescinded the Form T-1 disclosure report on 1 December 2010, and simultaneously rescinded reporting by NEA “intermediate bodies” like the Wisconsin Education Association Council.
  • In 2008, Fund provided training at the IUOE FALL NORTH/CENTRAL STATES CONFERENCE advice on “Selecting and Researching Organizing Targets.”  Lund has recently chosen to ignore the 2007 LM-30 conflict-of-interest disclosure reports and proposes to rescind these reports as well to redefine the statutory term “Employer” by regulation, in an effort to eliminate disclosure of union organizing activities and employer-paid union time. In fact, when Lund wrote a 2005 piece about LM-30, a union stewards published an “Advisory regarding Labor Dept. LM-30” that included Lund’s 2005 LM-30 article.  Now, Lund has proposed changes to LM-30 that will eliminate most stewards from having to report any conflict-of-interests or use the LM-30 form.
  • Without regard to appearances, OLMS Director Lund continues to take time to provide training for his Big Labor friends.  On 2010 January 25, Lund flew, at government expense, to Seattle, WA, to provide the AFL-CIO’s Washington Labor Council members with a personal overview of his recent reporting rescissions.  To the right is an image of the union headlining John Lund’s 3-hour presentation. At the Jan. 25 workshop, Lund will discuss the new regulations, the common reporting mistakes unions make and how to correct them, and answer your specific questions to ensure your LM reports are accurate.[i] OLMS maintains a District Office in Seattle, and its staff would have routinely provided this compliance assistance, rather than OLMS Director John Lund going out of his way to create this personal conflict-of-interest.
  • Among many examples illustrating Lund’s close ties to the AFL-CIO, this Australian description of Lund in 2007 stands out, “For the last four years, he has worked closely with the AFL-CIO on financial accountability and transparency issues.”  In fact, AFL-CIO General Counsel Jon Hiatt quoted a John Lund burden estimate for the 2003 LM-2 changes.  His and other AFL-CIO expert projections of burden were found to be grossly exaggerated like Dr. Ruth Ruttenberg’s who estimated the LM-2 changes would cost unions $1.3 billion to file.

But, now that Lund is in charge of OLMS, the AFL-CIO’s exaggerations are taken seriously at DOL, despite their past record of demonstrably false expert calculations and comments.

To borrow a phrase from Obama supporter and ACORN founder Wade Rathke regarding NLRB appointee Craig Becker, “Here’s a big win no matter how you shake and bake it,” John Lund being appointed to oversee internal union corruption

Behind the Obama Labor Board’s Bashing of Boeing is a Case Full of Irony and Union Failure

by LaborUnionReport On Wednesday, when President Obama’s union-controlled National Labor Relations Board issued a complaint against the Boeing Company for making a sound business decision to “dual source” its 787 production, it was another blatant example of a government agency run amok. However, while most of the nuts and bolts behind the dispute were detailed here, there are several other, more intricate details behind the NLRB’s legally tenuous prosecution of Boeing that are deserving of closer examination—most notably, the union’s own culpability behind the decision.

A Union With a Bone to Pick.

Even before the decision was made by Boeing to locate the second assembly line in South Carolina, Boeing’s union (the International Association of Machinists) had a problem in South Carolina. Namely, workers at the facility hadvoted the Machinists’ union out shortly after Boeing bought the facility in 2009 from Vought Aircraft because of workers believedthe union poorly represented them.

What brought the workers to the point of decertifying the union an interesting story that is both part irony and part poor representation by the union.

In 2007, after having been narrowly voted in to represent the employees of Vought Aircraft in North Charleston, SC, the Machinists’ union (IAM) was still in the midst of negotiating its first contract when the union struck Boeing for two months in Puget Sound in 2008. Since Vought was one of Boeing’s suppliers, the union’s Washington strike forced Vought to temporarily close the South Carolina plant and lay off the employees.

After nearly a year of negotiations, as the one year anniversary approached, there were reportedly rumors that there was a decertification effort under way. However, either sensing that it may be decertified or realizing its potential membership base was going to be significantly cut back, the union engineered a contract to lock employees in evenbefore the company had presented its final offer:

Some employees have expressed concern that they didn’t know a vote was being taken and that only a small fraction of those in the collective bargaining unit might have participated. Those concerns came up at a meeting last night at the union hall, according to a worker who was there. (The Unions have now approved a law whereby they can have a vote with as few as 5 people present!  BB)

Dallas-based Vought was also taken by surprise that its workers voted to ratify an agreement with the Machinists union, the company said in a statement released Thursday.

Vought spokeswoman Lynne Warne said Vought was not privy to information about the number of workers who participated in the vote.

Despite the fact that additional bargaining sessions were scheduled and final proposals had not been exchanged, Vought officials were advised by the IAM (Machinists union) that union members had ratified Vought’s proposals at an emergency meeting called by the union on Nov. 7,” the company said.

Touting that an “overwhelming” 92% of the members voted to accept the contract, it soon became apparent that the 92% the union claimed was really12 out of 13 people who actually showed up at the union’s meeting and voted (out of nearly 200 affected). What was worse than the back-door deal the Machinists rammed through was the fact thatit was also a bad deal, according to employees:

“We got screwed,” said newly laid-off assembly mechanic Jay Fleckenstein on Thursday night as he worked his second job delivering pizza.

[snip]

And mechanic Pam DeGarmo said the 1.5 percent annual wage hike won’t even cover the union dues and inflation.

It’s a horrible contract,” said DeGarmo. “I didn’t gain anything. It’s going to cost me money.

Several months later, in July 2009, Boeing announced it was buying the South Carolina facility from Vought. By the end of July, with the facility purchased, the employees in South Carolinafiled to decertify the union.

Meanwhile, in Puget Sound, Boeing had already begun seeking to obtain a longer contract with the Machinists union. In early July, Boeing told Washington State politicians that it was seeking a longer contract with the union

Members of the state’s congressional delegation said Tuesday that Boeing is laying down an ultimatum to its biggest union: Unless a long-term agreement barring strikes by the Machinists is reached by this fall, Boeing will build a second production line for the 787 someplace outside Washington.

The whole thing comes down to, can they get a long-term agreement with the union, with a no-strike clause,” influential U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Bremerton, said in an interview Tuesday. “That’s what ultimately has to happen here in the next two or three or four months — or they are going to go elsewhere.

“I think if they get this agreement, they would stay.”

In a separate interview, Gov. Chris Gregoire said Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Scott Carson told her recently the company is seeking a long-term no-strike agreement with the Machinists union.

Carson also said Boeing will likely make its decision on the location of a second 787 production line this fall, though Gregoire said he did not specifically link the two elements as an ultimatum.

In late October 2009, Boeing, unable to get an agreement with the union,announcedthat it would locate its second assembly line in South Carolina.

“We’re taking prudent steps to protect the interests of our customers as we introduce the 787-9 and ramp up overall production to 10 twin-aisle 787 jets per month,” said Albaugh.

“While we welcome the development of this expanded capability at Boeing Charleston, the Puget Sound region is the headquarters of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. Everett will continue to design and produce airplanes, including the 787, and there is tremendous opportunity for our current and future products here,” Albaugh emphasized. “We remain committed to Puget Sound.”  (NO. repeat: NO! employees were laid off or fired at the Washington Boeing plant.  So how did Boeing hurt any employees at this plant as the NLRB National Labor Relations Board is trying to imply? BB)

In March, 2010, the Machinists filed charges against Boeing claiming the company’s move was in retaliation for the 2008 strike. At the time, the Seattle Times noted:

The IAM struck Boeing for two months in fall 2008, the fourth strike in a decade. Early the following year, Boeing Chief Executive Jim McNerney told Washington’s congressional delegation the repeated strikes were a major problem and the company would seek another location for its second 787 assembly line unless the union agreed to a long-term no-strike clause.

We were entirely transparent with the IAM,” [Boeing spokeman Tim] Healy said. “We needed an agreement that would allow us to meet our customer commitments.”

The complaint was filed with the NLRB in March. That same month, Jim Albaugh, the chief executive of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said in a Seattle Times interview that “the overriding factor (in choosing South Carolina) was not the business climate. And it was not the wages we are paying today … It was that we can’t afford to have a work stoppage every three years.”

Is that an illegal reprisal, punishing a past strike? Or is it a legitimate strategic choice, avoiding future strikes?

“Our decision has everything to do with being a reliable supplier and is not a reprisal for the past,” said Boeing’s Healy.

The NLRB, in thecomplaint publishedon Wednesday, believes that, rather than Boeing making a legitimate strategic choice (as many other companies have) Boeing’s actions were “in retaliation for past strike activity and to chill future strike activity by its union employees.”  (Moving and building an entirely new plant is a very expensive endeavor and I can hardly credit that companies do this for frivolous reason like revenge!   And remember the Washington plant was not closed and NO employees lost their jobs!   BB)

Unfortunately for the IAM, if it were not for its poor representation in South Carolina, where the union had existed before getting kicked out, it could have had Boeing members in both Washington as well as South Carolina and the NLRB fight would never have had to take place.

This is an ongoing story that is only going to get bigger and uglier as the union, all unions, try to take over the country.  If the unions were truly the people or even representing the workers then  I would be willing to believe their existence is a good thing.  But the union are and have been the Mafia in America for a long time.  The Mafia early on found the unions were a large and legal way to extort money from people so they took over the running of these organizations.  It’s all about POWER and MONEY and to hell with any little old worker type person except for their FORCED  pay check extracted union dues.

Do your homework on the history of unions.  they are always started because of a worthy need but then very quickly become worse for the worker than the need that caused them.  BB

Wisconsin Fight Goes to Court – Robert Costa – National Review Online.

The fight goes on in Wisconsin and it is important to all of us because it shows just how far the Left will go to force it’s way on We the people.  There are simply no limits on the dirt and thuggery the Left will use.  I am not against using the court system to right what one sees as a wrong so I am not speaking here of the challenge to the newly passed law in the courts, but I am very much opposed to the  behind the scene thuggery that is going on and has been going on all the way thru this Wisconsin fight for democracy.    And believe that is what is it all about:  will democracy and the democratic system of government win out or will the lawless mobs rule in America?

I am posting the  entire article here because what has happened and is happening now in Wisconsin needs to be understood  as it is sure to be repeated over and over again in every state that opposed  the lawless communist/socialist  union leadership. BB

Wisconsin Fight Goes to Court

And Walker’s big win could ride on a single judicial election.

Listen to the Audio Version

As the dust settles in Madison, Wisconsin Republicans face a troubling coda: Gov. Scott Walker’s budget-repair bill is being tripped up in the courts. Union heavies smell blood. And the unruly parade of lefty activists and hulking Teamsters that occupied the state capitol for weeks is back for a bruising final round.

On paper, at issue is whether senate Republicans violated the state’s open-meeting laws. In mid-March, after a three-week stalemate, GOP lawmakers hustled Walker’s bill to the floor. The senate clerk approved the maneuver. But 14 Democratic state senators, on the lam in Illinois, howled in absentia. So did their comrades in Dane County government, who quickly filed suit. A sympathetic county judge put the brakes on implementation.

The Walker administration, appalled, immediately urged a state appeals court to strike down the circuit court’s ruling. But the appellate panel threw up its hands last week and kicked the bill to the state supreme court. Meanwhile, the nonpartisan state legislative bureau, following protocol, published the bill on Friday, sending Democrats into a tizzy.

With fresh legal questions being raised daily, the bill’s status is as murky as a Charlie Sheen tweet. But the tedious tangle over quorum rules and publication guidelines is merely a proxy for enraged progressives. The governor has beaten them at the polls and in the legislature. To topple his signature law, they need a black-robed coup.

Pressure is mounting on the seven-member high court to weigh in. If they do, the bill risks being overturned. For the moment, judicial conservatives hold a 4–3 edge. But that could flip come April 5, when incumbent justice David Prosser, a former GOP legislator, battles JoAnne Kloppenburg, an environmental lawyer and veteran state attorney, for a ten-year term.

The Prosser–Kloppenburg bout has political implications beyond the fate of Walker’s bill. Numerous GOP state senators are facing recalls, and Walker himself could face one next year. If Prosser falls, it will be a heavy blow to Republicans, especially for the backbenchers who stood with Walker, many of whom had hoped to emerge from the fiery budget debate with their careers intact. State lawmakers will also soon redraw legislative districts based upon updated Census data. Republicans control both chambers and the governor’s office, making liberal challenges to reapportionment decisions all the more likely.

“This is for all the marbles,” says Charlie Sykes, a prominent conservative talk-radio host in Milwaukee. “Scott Walker could survive losing the state senate. But it would be devastating if he were to lose in the supreme court. If Prosser loses, almost everything that Walker enacted could be overturned.” The high court, he worries, has a long history of activism, especially when liberals hold the majority.

Prosser, a gruff 68-year-old who has sat on the bench since 1998, has been blindsided by the national spotlight. In February, he coasted in a nonpartisan, multicandidate primary with 55 percent of the vote, more than double that of Kloppenburg, who finished second. Prosser saw a relatively smooth path to victory, especially against a little-known, left-leaning lawyer in a sleepy, springtime skirmish. Besides, Walker, in his second month at the reins, was popular with voters, as were conservatives, who swept the state’s November elections.

Then Madison erupted. Within hours of the primary, Walker began to unveil his budget agenda. The governor and statehouse Republicans went to the mats against the public-sector unions on collective bargaining, not yielding in their stand against unchecked labor power. Democrats, depressed after their poor 2010 showing, suddenly began to show alarming signs of life. Swarms of protesters, huddled like carolers, screamed outside of Walker’s office deep into the night; dreadlocked undergraduates gleefully papered the capitol’s marble halls with anti-Walker messages scrawled onto cardboard posters.

Amidst the melee, the supreme-court race drew scant notice during the first week of rallies, with only a few signs, mostly toted by graybeard professors, urging the throngs to “Vote Kloppenburg.” After the bill was signed by Walker, however, union brass and local Democrat friendlies, bitter and seeking a cause du jour, immediately jumped into the fray.

The buzz did not end at the Dane County border. Voices from the liberal blogosphere, at Firedoglake and the Daily Kos, sat up and started to alert their audiences. Their brethren in Wisconsin began to organize on the ground. Prosser, a tad surprised at the sudden interest, dug in and prepared for the onslaught. “At this point, I do not think that we have the choice as to whether our race is nationalized,” says Brian Nemoir, Prosser’s campaign manager.

Yet Prosser’s ability to respond to the rising interest has been hamstrung. He, along with Kloppenburg, is the recipient of public funds — $300,000 for the general election, to be exact — and both have pledged not to spend a dime more. “Looking back, that was one decision they should not have done,” says one state GOP strategist. “Their ability to respond to charges, and build up a stronger internal organization, has been severely limited.”

But it is a different story for special-interest groups. The Greater Wisconsin Committee, a leftist organizing group with deep union ties, has funneled $3 million into anti-Prosser advertising, taking relentlessly to the airwaves. “They are the Left’s biggest political player in the state,” says Brett Healy, the president of the MacIver Institute, a Wisconsin-based think tank. “They run the ads that no one else wants to run.”

(Understand this People?   Prosser, the Conservative candidate who was winning and the radical Kloppenburg promised not to spend over the state allotted  funds for campaining.  So now the radical union thugs are going after Prosser with their almost unlimited union dues money!  BB)

Indeed. The GWC (The Greater Wisconsin Committee, a leftist organizing group with deep union ties,) is airing ads that tie Prosser to the budget bill. “Prosser equals Walker” is the usual theme. But those political attacks are fluff compared with the group’s latest smear, a dimly-lit, creepy spot that casts Prosser as soft on pedophilia. That ad alleges that Prosser, as a local district attorney three decades ago, failed to properly prosecute a Catholic priest accused of molesting several boys. Prosser, according to those who know him, is said to be furious about the ad, angry with its inaccuracies and how it sullies his name.

At a debate late last week, Prosser, his displeasure barely concealed, urged Kloppenburg to ask the GWC to pull the ad. “It is the worst ad that has ever been run in a judicial campaign,” he asserted. Kloppenburg would not budge. “Like it or not, third parties have a right to run ads of their choosing,” she replied. Prosser fired back: “If some third party ran an ad supporting me and attacking you, and it was despicable, and it was a lie, I would stand up and ask that the ad be pulled,” he argued. “You are not willing to do that, even at the request of the victim in the ad?”

Prosser noted that Troy Merryfield, one of the abuse victims, has spoken out against the clip, and in support of Prosser’s decision to not prosecute at the time.

“I do not appreciate myself or my case being used for political advantage, especially in today’s climate of dirty politics,” Merryfield wrote in a recent statement. “In 1979, as a prosecutor, Prosser made a decision to not file charges against [Rev. John] Feeney due to his concern about the emotional toll that a jury trial would have on my brother and me due to our young age at the time.” Prosser, he added, had his full support.

Regardless, the hit left a mark. Two sources with knowledge of internal GOP polling tell us that Prosser and Kloppenburg are near even, a bad sign for the incumbent. “She has driven his negatives up,” one source says. “It will be hard to drive hers up. Her lack of judicial experience should hurt her, but it also makes her harder to pin down. The question now is: Does the Right have enough resources to counter the Greater Wisconsin Committee’s millions? And even if they do, is it too late? It is going to be touch-and-go for these last few days.”

Brian Nemoir, Prosser’s top aide, reiterates that the campaign will highlight Kloppenburg’s judicial inexperience. Keeping the focus on that, and off Walker, is a must. Her environmental-law record and her associations with leading liberal lights such as Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson, Prosser’s main ideological foe on the court, who once hired Kloppenburg as an intern, will be detailed in campaign material.

Prosser will also make Kloppenburg’s not-so-subtle ties to the anti-Walker movement a constant refrain. This tack, Nemoir says, is crucial in pointing out how Kloppenburg’s campaign is being used by liberal interests to manipulate Wisconsin law.

Nemoir points to a recent meeting with the Capital Times, where Kloppenburg ruminated on the state of Wisconsin politics, as a trouble spot for state attorney. “The events of the last few weeks have put into sharp relief how important the Supreme Court is as a check on overreach in the other branches of government,” Kloppenburg said in conversation with editors.

Overreaching?” Nemoir exclaims. That statement, he argues, is a “wink and nod” to the assembling anti-Walker forces aligning behind her campaign. “You would have to be a complete idiot to think that she is referencing anything else. It is a nod to those who are supporting her.”

Perhaps, but for both candidates, avoiding a dip into the budget-bill swamp is getting tricky. Neither wants to risk recusal. Prosser is also being forced to address the roiling political scene, albeit indirectly. At the Friday debate, he was asked to comment on how courts should address cases dealing with legislative procedure (hint, hint). “You have to look with clear eyes whether some procedure was violated, whether there is a real emergency, what was done,” he said. “I pledge, as I have for the last twelve and a half years, that as a justice, that I will look at these things impartially.”

Prosser’s independent cred increasingly is the backbone of his message, especially as portions of the electorate sour on Walker’s bill and the GOP in general. To bolster his cause, he has enlisted strong bipartisan backing from the political establishment. Two former Badger State governors, Tommy Thompson, a Republican, and Patrick Lucey, a Democrat, serve as his campaign chairmen. Four former Supreme Court justices are in his camp, as are a bevy of district attorneys, sheriffs, and lawmakers. Prosser’s kitchen cabinet has been an asset, says Sheriff David Clarke, Milwaukee’s top law-enforcement official and self-described “Kennedy Democrat.” He says that Prosser may find support from more Democrats — and cops — than most liberal politicos realize. “I have been in law enforcement for 33 years in this county,” he says. “I don’t like activist judges who tend to legislate from the bench.”

Kloppenburg, he sighs, “has tipped her hand that she will be an activist judge by her associations and some of her coded language in the debates.” He wants none of that.

Nevertheless, despite cross-party support, Prosser’s reputation has a few nicks. He is known, friends say, for both his sharp mind and his quick temper. In any other year, Prosser’s prickly nature would be shrugged off, but Kloppenburg’s allies are doing everything they can to make an issue out of Prosser’s past outbursts. Last week, leaked e-mails of Prosser’s calling Chief Justice Abrahamson an expletive and threatening to “destroy” her were published. Prosser attributed the harsh words to heated internal court communications and apologized. He added, in interviews, that though he was wrong to have used salty language, he was participating in the give-and-take of a court known for its activism and dysfunction. State GOP operatives say they are confident that Prosser can overcome any slams against his character. As a former assembly speaker and justice for more than a decade, he will be able to dodge the small punches. “He had so much support before this all started,” chimes Rep. Michelle Litjens, a Republican in the state assembly. “He is seen as a very fair, levelheaded, and balanced individual. People supported him before, and I know they will stick with him.”

Republicans are taking nothing for granted. Mark Jefferson, the executive director of the state GOP, acknowledges that the race has become high-stakes drama. Party leaders, he tells me, will be reaching out to voters via social-media tools, such as Facebook and Twitter, to campaign for Prosser, since they cannot give directly to his campaign per campaign-finance rules.

With the state Republican apparatus mostly sitting on its hands and wallets, the Wisconsin Club for Growth is planning to step in with more than $300,000 to boost Prosser. They did the same for him during the primary, playing a major role in generating early momentum. Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC), a chamber of commerce–type group, will also be instrumental in helping Prosser compete financially with the GWC and its progressive offshoots.

James Buchen, vice president of WMC, says that his organization is prepared to spend millions to lift Prosser’s campaign. “We can’t quite match the $3 million from [the GWC], but we will come very close,” he says. “There is quite of bit of energy on the right — the silent majority, if you will. So this could go either way.”

As the campaign hurtles toward the finish line, “turnout could carry the day,” observes Gary Marx, the executive director of the Judicial Crisis Network. “The Left is making this a blood feud; they are making this about vengeance.”

Any enthusiasm gap, he says, will only be widened, since the April ballot is sparse. “This resembles a special election; it stands alone. Republicans will need to remember the basic blocking and tackling of grassroots politics — mail, phone, and radio.”

According to state-election figures, nonpartisan spring elections usually draw less than 20 percent of the electorate: 18 percent in 2009, 19 percent in 2008, 19 percent in 2007, and 12 percent in 2006. To win, GOP officials say Prosser will need to draw strong numbers from emerging conservative pockets in Waukesha, Washington, Ozaukee, and Racine counties. If voters from these areas don’t show, but liberals pile into voting booths in Dane County and Madison proper, Kloppenburg could cruise to victory.

“Look, this race is not a referendum on the governor or a specific piece of legislation,” Brian Nemoir says. “It has a much broader scope. supreme-court judges are elected to ten-year terms on purpose. Their elections are not intended to be snapshot responses to the current political environment.”

For Team Prosser, and nervous conservatives, that is the hope.


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