The nation’s largest teacher pension fund took the first step Wednesday toward divesting from companies that make guns and high-capacity ammunition magazines that are illegal in California.
State Treasurer Bill Lockyer made a motion to begin the divestment process after pension fund officials determined that the fund invests in the owner of a company that manufactured one of the weapons used in the Connecticut school shooting. The California State Teachers’ Retirement System’s investment committee unanimously approved the motion.
“CalSTRS’ action targets ammunition clips that turn ordinary guns into killing machines, assault weapons and other firearms that pose extreme dangers to public health and safety,” Lockyer said. . . .
Archive for the ‘Unions’ Category
Well, I hate to say I told you so, but…
The very latest from the East Coast/Gulf Coast port strike scene is that the International Longshoremen’s Association has walked out of federal mediation talks. According to Joe Bonney of the Journal of Commerce, “ILA walked out of NY-NJ local contract talks today, objecting to proposed changes. Coastwide bargaining session still on for next week.”
In case you need a refresher, Big Labor is throwing a hissy fit over modernization efforts by industry to reform archaic work practices, corrupt waterfront rackets, and container fees — a 60s-era relic.
While many observers breathed a sigh of relief at the temporary “reprieve” from a crippling strike before the end of 2012, it was nothing more than a p.r move by the union.
Note this: A new report about the economic impact of the week-long West Coast port strike late last year shows that trade volume at the Port of Los Angeles was down 16 percent as a result of the union shutdown.
In the meantime, here’s a look at how just one sector — the meat industry — will be affected by a looming East Coast port shutdown:
USMEF data reveals that a potential ILA strike – the first such strike in 35 years – could wreak havoc in the domestic meat markets. Looking at U.S. beef exports, the greatest potential impact rests with the Port of Houston, which handled nearly 150,000 metric tons of outbound beef in the first three quarters of 2012 – or about 25% of all beef shipped out of the U.S. through an ocean port. Other East Coast and Gulf Coast ports handle smaller volumes of beef, but the cumulative impact would be very significant.
For pork, USMEF said the largest impacted outlet would be the Port of Norfolk, Va., which handled more than 90,000 mt from January through September. Other major outbound ports for U.S. pork that would be affected by a strike include New York, Philadelphia, Houston, Charleston, S.C., Jacksonville, Fla., Wilmington, N.C., Gulfport, Miss., and Savannah, Ga.
Ever since FDR made it his campaign song in 1932 while running for office during the Great Depression, the unofficial anthem of the Democratic Party has been that Tin Pan Alley classic, “Happy Days are Here Again.” But no matter how often the old Victor spun, it would not be until well after Roosevelt’s death that happy days would be here again.
No matter how often the Democratic Party cheats on the American people, it can always break out a new rendition of “Happy Days are Here Again” to win them back. And even if the happy days never seem to actually arrive, the promise of “So long sad times” and “Howdy gay times” where “your troubles and cares are gone” is always a winner.
While the American Democratic Party may not have an official anthem, the British Labour Party does and its anthem, “The Red Flag” would be entirely appropriate for the new Democratic Party that no longer has anything in common with Thomas Jefferson or Andrew Jackson.
It might be awkward to imagine Harry Reid or Joe Manchin trying to make it through verses like, “The people’s flag is deepest red” and the sonorous chorus, “Then raise the scarlet standard high /Within its shade we live and die/Though cowards flinch and traitors sneer/We’ll keep the red flag flying here.”
They would probably look almost as awkward singing it as Labour Party leader Ed Milliband does, but you could easily imagine Barack Obama and Valerie Jarrett belting it out. And that would be only right because while The Red Flag never gets around to mentioning Manchester, despite its popularity there, it does namecheck two cities. “In Moscow’s vaults its hymns were sung/Chicago swells the surging throng.”
These days red flag songs, once mandatory, are confined to all sorts of vaults in Moscow. The new Russian anthem is Putin’s redress of the old Soviet one, with lyrics by the same composer. And the Soviet National Anthem, that secular hymn, has a familiar pedigree going back to the Anthem of the Bolshevik Party in 1938, which took its melody from “Life is better, Life is fun.”
You might be forgiven for thinking that the Bolshevik Party had borrowed its melody from some Moscow musical, but that wasn’t the case. “Life is better, Life is fun” was based on a statement by Stalin: “Life has become better, comrades. Life has become more fun.” The year was 1935 and while it is impossible to know whether Comrade Stalin had decided to crib from the Democratic campaign of 1932, the theme was the same. So long sad times. Happy days were here again.
And just to remind everyone that happy days really were here again, Stalin began another round of brutal purges.
Remember Karen Lewis? She’s Chicago thuggery personified. I introduced you to her last September when she spearheaded the abandonment of 350,000 schoolchildren over merit-based pay, teacher evaluations, and a 16 percent pay raise:
Derision is her specialty. Her tirades at teachers’ confabs are infamous. Don’t feel sorry for her when she moans about Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s bully tactics and trash mouth. Lewis has one of her own.
Well, that trash mouth is baaaaack. Intrepid Kyle Olson of EAGNews.com caught Lewis joking about labor leaders who seriously contemplated killing the rich during the “robber baron” era.
When Lewis appeared at the Illinois Labor History Society’s “Salute to Labor’s Historic Heroes from the History Makers of Today,” she didn’t disappoint the crowd. She threw gasoline onto the fire of class warfare, and even mentioned mob killings of wealthy Americans.
“… Do not think for a minute that the wealthy are ever going to allow you to legislate their riches away from them. Please understand that. However, we are in a moment where the wealth disparity in this country is very reminiscent of the robber baron ages. The labor leaders of that time, though, were ready to kill. They were. They were just – off with their heads. They were seriously talking about that.”
Some in the audience laughed and clapped at her remark.
“I don’t think we’re at that point,” Lewis laughingly replied, without specifying when “that point” might arrive. “And that’s scary to most people. But the key is they think nothing of killing us. They think nothing of putting our people in harm’s way. They think nothing of lethal working conditions.”
She then used schools without air conditioning as an example of “lethal working conditions.”
The true labor leaders of the “robber baron” age would probably roll over in their graves and remind Ms. Lewis that she and her colleagues have it quite good.
Big salaries with an average income in the $70,000 range. Generous benefits and pensions. Limited work days and nine-month work years. What are these people complaining about?
Bloody progressives are never satisfied. Agitation is their be-all and end-all.
After you’ve read this article, Burt hopes you’ll enjoy the bonus article “A Stroll Through My Brain,” which also appears today. -ed
In the same way that whoever is elected president in 2016 will be fortunate because he or she will be compared to Barack Obama, the worst who has ever disgraced the office, 2013 will only need to be better than 2012. And considering that we suffered through 10 months of non-stop electioneering only to re-elect Obama, 2013 should have a pretty easy time of it.
The other tragic events of 2012 involved the massacre of Ambassador Stevens and three other exemplary Americans in Benghazi, and the murder of 27 people in Newtown, CT. Predictably, the administration, with the help of the media, lied about the first, and then used the second in order to promote their endless assault on the 2nd Amendment.
At the risk of sounding like Michael Bloomberg, I don’t see the need for citizens to own automatic or semi-automatic weaponry. But, then, I also don’t see the need for anyone to own a Hummer or for Will Ferrell to continue making movies. But I don’t think my opinion counts for anything in these matters. I also don’t believe that it’s the government’s business what law-abiding citizens own, use or smoke. These puffed-up bureaucrats are constantly yammering about people with guns, while we’re supposed to overlook the fact that all of them are protected by people with guns. Obama, himself, is protected by enough guns to arm Syria’s insurgents.
The other fact is that for all the talk about gun control laws, the places with the strictest — namely Chicago and Washington, D.C. — are the nation’s murder capitals, whereas those places where citizens are allowed, even encouraged, to carry their own firearms are among the safest places to live. None of which comes as any surprise to people who are sane and logical, which naturally rules out politicians and liberals.
Some people insist that nobody should be committed to an asylum until they finally explode violently, but I contend there is a big and easily identifiable difference between youngsters who try to appear slightly eccentric in an attempt to appear at least mildly interesting to members of the opposite sex, and those, like Jared Loughner and Adam Lanza, who are so obviously non compos mentis that they might as well have “Dangerous Lunatic” tattooed across their foreheads.
Until society starts taking insanity seriously and proactively begins hatching its boobies, no gun law is going to make the slightest bit of difference.
All you have to do is look around the world to recognize that it’s not guns that create violence. It’s inevitably young, single males, be they in Gaza, Paris, Athens, Chihuahua or Los Angeles, who are constantly throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails, tipping over cars and setting tires ablaze. So if anyone is really interested in doing away with violence, I suggest keeping the guns and getting rid of the 20-year-olds.
Another issue that calls for my sort of solution is abortion. Ridicule is the answer, not government funding. I mean, just how stupid does someone have to be in 2013 to still be getting unintentionally pregnant?
There is little or no doubt in my mind that unions are evil, the socialist manifestation of a step towards totalitarian government based on traditional Marxist principals and a class warfare agenda. What rational and productive individual could sponsor any powerful entity that appears to be malevolently detrimental society. Rewarding seniority over merit. Maintaining the status quo rather than innovate. Demanding work rules which differentiate and divide singular tasks in order to require more unionized workers. To demand ever increasing wages and benefits without a corresponding increase in efficiency and productivity. Unions and their mismanaged pension programs are the proximate cause of huge municipal and state deficits. Unions corrupt the political process and remove “We the People” from the political process.
So, I was struck by the dangerous absurdity of an article titled “6 Ways to Juice Up the Labor Movement.”
6 Ways to Juice Up the Labor Movement
Some of the smartest organizers and thinkers we know give us their suggestions on how to build a reinvigorated, vibrant labor movement.
- Stephen Lerner, architect of the Justice for Janitors campaign
“It’s time to reinvent the strike—the strike as guerrilla warfare,” says Lerner. The strike is the traditional weapon of organized workers, but employers have gotten pretty good at beating those strikes. But in his work with Justice for Janitors, Lerner learned that bosses weren’t ready for short, quick strikes. “If you look at the strike as a way to make them pay a price for how they treat you, you do short strikes, in and out strikes,” he notes. “
The second thing Lerner suggests is a re-politicization of bargaining. “We need bargaining not to just be about workers but what’s good for the community,” he says, “So that we’re bargaining for broader issues, especially in the public sector. So that it’s not bargaining for the few, it’s bargaining for the many.” Chicago’s teachers, he notes, raised the issue of the city divesting from banks that were foreclosing on people. “We need to make it so that people see that when those workers win, we all win, rather than they’re negotiating for something we don’t have.”
We have seen the deleterious effects of strikes on major industries – where the executives of General Motors would do almost anything to avoid a strike – including accept many of the self-destructive union contracts and work rules which led to the demise as a paragon of capitalism. Now General Motors is a union pension fund with a car company as a funding vehicle (pun intended).
Additionally, we see that unions subvert the capitalist mandate that the corporation’s fiduciary duty is to its shareholders, with community relations being a function of recruiting and retaining good workers. Using corporations as instruments of public policy – as were done with Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and General Motors with their “green electric vehicles that nobody wants” is counterproductive and anti-competitive. Disadvantaging the corporation who now needs to serve multiple and competing masters.
- Jonathan Westin, executive director, New York Communities for Change, organizer of recent fast food strikes
“We believe that the future of the labor movement is really organizing low wage service sector jobs.
It’s hardly a surprise that Obama-the-Spiteful is incapable of letting states legislate without putting in his two cents (which were worth five cents when he took office, by the way) worth of federal intimidation:
Lots of folks scoffed in town when reports surfaced that Democrats had petitioned the President of the United States to insert himself into the unseemly debate over Right to Work. Some asked out loud, doesn’t POTUS have more important things to do than lobby Gov. Rick Snyder on that?
But lobby the president did.
During an exclusive one-hour sit down on WKAR-Public TV, the governor confirms that he and President Barack Obama shared a few minutes in private and the president looked the governor in the eye and said, “He wasn’t pleased with Right to Work,” Mr. Snyder reveals for the first time.
And the governor’s response?
Short, sweet and to the point. “I said thank you for sharing that with me.”
And that was it?
“Pretty much, yeah,” the GOP governor glibly recalls.
Too bad Snyder didn’t reply, “Yeah, well I wasn’t pleased when Obamacare passed either, but we can’t always get what we want.”
Marxist Union tactics to gain media attention: Postal workers continue hunger strike against proposed delivery cuts
Let’s see …
The bloated and inefficient United States Postal Service wants to trim unionized personnel, facilities and deliveries to cope with the real-world situation where most people send messages by e-mail and private carriers such as UPS and FedEx. And as much as I like my local carrier as a person, I do not like the management of USPS. I submitted a suggestion that the USPS become the certificate authority to authenticate all financial transaction documents with a guaranteed time and date stamp. Rejected – not enough people would be employed in a highly technical venture. Another revenue generation opportunity missed.
Postal workers continue hunger strike against proposed delivery cuts
Despite most of Congress leaving town for the holidays, postal workers are continuing a hunger strike protesting legislation to save the United States Postal Service (USPS) through budget cuts. The hunger strike began Tuesday and is expected to end late Saturday, according to The Washington Post.
Six former and current postal workers, part of a group called Communities and Postal Workers United, are calling the strike “six days starving to save six-day delivery.” Their goal is to stop Congress from reducing postal delivery to five days a week.
“We have to be on guard, to raise awareness and pressure the decision-makers as they wrangle back-room deals,” group spokesman Jamie Partridge, a retired letter carrier from Portland, said in a statement. Source: Postal workers continue hunger strike against proposed delivery cuts – The Hill’s Blog Briefing Room
Bottom line …
Let them starve. Do the prudent and sound thing and right-size the Post Office to the realities of a technological world. Consider that Stamps.com (with their free digital scale offer) is far better at serving the needs of individuals and small business than a unionized behemoth that think’s it still lives on the taxpayer’s teat.
It’s not about service – or even personnel – it’s about that massive unfunded union pension liability that inflates the cost of everything beyond the realm of being competitive.
|Enjoy this bonus article from Santa
Burt. Don’t forget to read the second
article, which follows both on the site
and in your email subscription copy.
A lot of conservatives were delighted when Michigan decided to become a right-to-work state. I was one of them, but I wasn’t quite as ecstatic as some. The problem is that by now everyone who isn’t a union boss or one of the dumber members of a private sector union could see the writing on the wall. The unions have been going the way of the dodo for some time now.
It’s not just that private sector unions have been losing members and influence, but that they’ve gone out of favor with the public. We’ve seen their thug-like behavior in Wisconsin and now in Michigan. We’ve seen teachers carrying placards that insist they’re demonstrating on behalf of the kids who are using phony medical excuses to play hooky so that they can make an embarrassing spectacle of themselves in public. It’s worth noting that only 31 % of Michigan’s eighth graders are proficient in math and a mere 28% are up to snuff when it comes to reading.
Perhaps the next time that public school teachers in Michigan or anywhere else decide to do something for the kids, they might try teaching them something besides how to walk in circles while chanting inane slogans..
It’s no secret that right-to-work states have lower unemployment rates than those that allow unions to have a monopoly when it comes to jobs. In their defense, the unions point out that union employees get paid more than other workers. What they neglect to mention is that people don’t rush to build factories or start businesses in those states for that very reason.
These days, thanks to global markets, manufacturers located in, say, New York aren’t just competing with companies in South Carolina or Oklahoma, but with those in China, India and the Philippines. And when you factor in not only salaries, but pensions and health insurance, it’s a wonder that companies located in union states can compete with anyone.
Most of us have gotten fed up with unions using their clout in order to keep teacher/perverts on salary for years, long after they’ve been accused of molesting their young charges. Just recently, the UAW forced Chrysler to re-hire 13 workers who had been captured on video boozing and smoking pot on their lunch breaks. And let us not forget that when southern non-union volunteers came north to help restore electricity for victims of Hurricane Sandy, the union thugs in New Jersey made them turn around and go home.
One of the reasons that Broadway tickets are so pricey is because for decades, New York unions have forced producers of non-musicals to place high-paid musicians on their payrolls.
So the fact that private sector unions are finally getting their teeth kicked in is welcome news in most quarters. The problem is that it does nothing to rein in the public sector unions. Whereas private sector unions have been losing members for years, the federal government has been hiring, on average, 101 new employees every day since Obama took office.
The “right to work” without be forced to give a portion of your earnings to an organization who may use it to promote political or policy positions you abhor should be a fundamental human right – much like your religious right not to support those things which run counter to your religion …
So why is MSNBC’s Chris Hayes claiming racism?
Chris Hayes: “Right to Work” is Racist
Referring to Michigan’s newly obtained right to work status, Chris Hayes of MSNBC wanted to make sure the rest of the panel to whom he was talking and all the listeners understood that right to work legislation has its roots in “southern racism” and racial segregation. He said:
“The phrase is coined by a guy by the name of Vance Muse, who is an oil industry lobbyist in Houston, Texas in the 1930s who is a white supremacist and segregationist, who — that’s what the term was first brought into use, to fight against unions as sites of forced racial integration. The origin of this movement is an origin of the movement of the segregationist white supremacist south against the labor union as a site of forced racial integration.”
First of all, Vance Muse didn’t coin the term “right to work.” In the context of labor unions, the phrase originally appeared in a Labor Day editorial in the Dallas Morning News in 1941. The editorial spoke in favor of a law that would allow employees the freedom to choose whether or not to join a union. The proposed law or amendment would effectively give workers the “right to work” regardless of their membership status in a union. Source:Chris Hayes: “Right to Work” is Racist
Bottom line …
We are losing our freedoms, one law at a time. And any law that denies you the right to work without having the fruits of your labors taken to support causes with which you disagree is not racist, it is anti-American. How many people know that unions walk hand-in-hand with international socialism and communism? How many people know that many union bosses live as lavishly as the private sector bosses they excoriate daily – without producing one penny of tax revenue, without producing any products or services of benefit to the American people and while promoting policies which reward seniority over merit, the status quo over innovation, and complex work rules that demand two people do the work of one? Unions guarantee higher costs and lower productivity. Unions guarantee labor discord as they flex their muscles to demonstrate their power – not to remind members, or the companies that are unionized, but to remind politicians of their power. And how many people know that unions are still infested with organized crime – which is ironic considering it is organized crime infested with organized crime.
In most cases unions are both evil and corrupt.
Remember: it’s about your choice – where you can work and what politicians and political party you can support. It’s about the unions killing entire industries and being the proximate cause of outsourcing. It’s about your freedom.