An Assault on the Union

My Father was a proud Member of the United Mine Workers Union. Both of my brothers spent much of their working lives as members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and for a short time I did too. There may have been a paper somewhere that asked the question, but I do not recall in my short civilian working life of ever being asked to join a union. The dues just started coming out of my check. In a unionized factory, it was understood that you belonged. Only management could survive as “company” men.

In the coal fields of Southern West Virginia, during my youth, picket lines of striking miners were common. Scabs as they were called, non union miners, were often brought in or allowed in to work for the striking union members. It was dangerous, but miners were and still are rugged men. Union or not, they will work to feed their families and face down the danger inside the mine and the danger outside from a picket line riled up by paid union thug agitators. Sadly, men were hurt. Some died. For what?

I have heard knowledgeable people proclaim that the American automobile industry is a United Auto Workers pension and health care plan that make automobiles as a sideline. Not to worry though, your tax dollars purchased GM and now,

General Motors Leaves U.S. Workers by the Wayside as it Accelerates Operations in China

Shanghai GM, set a monthly record of 71,566 vehicles, while total sales for the first nine months of the year rose 40.2% from a year earlier. Guardian UK

The typical union member is someone who is just trying to earn a living. Today’s typical union leader, however, is a communist. A person who is more interested in pushing a political view and buying the services of politicians who will support their aims than they are in focusing on what is good for workers.

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees is now the biggest outside spender of the 2010 elections… Wall Street Journal

In the same WSJ article you can see that the Service Employees International Union and National Education Association are also huge contributors to Democrats. So it is not too surprising when the President of the United States chooses to once again meddle in the affairs of another State Governor by stating this:

“Some of what I’ve heard coming out of Wisconsin, where you’re just making it harder for public employees to collectively bargain generally, seems like more of an assault on unions,” President Obama. – Real Clear Politics

The closest thing we have in the United States to entrenched and functioning communist organizations are unions. Sorry, I could think of no politically correct sugarcoating for that.

Here are the brass tacks placed neatly in one pouch. Study it closely. I suggest that you make a screen capture of this information and keep it for reference before it is sent to cyber heaven or hell as it may be. It provides you with all of the information you need to counter the nonsensical arguments supporting what is happening in Wisconsin and that is only going to spread around our country.

This chart is particularly informative. It shows that the median weekly income for unionized education, training, and library occupations is $1,023. The median income for Federal Government workers represented by unions is $987, for State Government workers it is $917 and for Local Government workers it is $962.

The median income of union members for all private sector workers, those who pay the taxes that pay the wages of the others, is $864, for those only represented by a union it is $855 and for nonunion private sector workers it is $703.

Redistribution of wealth achieved. The people whose primary products are business stifling regulations, bureaucracy, and failing public education systems are doing quite well for themselves compared to the people who pay their salaries.

King Solomon told us that there was a time to be silent and a time to speak. I believe it is time for the majority of Americans who are not union members to have their say.

No Sir. What we are seeing here is not an “assault on unions” it is a long overdue challenge to the union assault on the United States of America.


A fork in the road…

1 Corinthians 13. As this is the time when we choose to invest millions of dollars into objects with which we hope to express love to someone dear to us, I thought that may be a good place to begin. Give it a read and some critical thought. Then come back here and finish.

Can you love a thing like country? Or ideas like a form of government?

I believe one of the many witticisms attributed to Yogi Berra is; when you come to a fork in the road, take it. And we usually do. The problem we often encounter is having the necessary foresight to choose correctly. Whether we headed down the right fork is usually not known to us until we reach the destination. Fortunately for us, we can look around our world and see our likely destination. That is, unless we correct our current course heading.

There is a lot of cheering for democracy these days. Most of the cheerleaders say they want democracy for everyone just like the democracy we have here in the United States of America. That is certainly where we would like to see the countries of the world because free and content nations do not attack one another, but I fear that we have discarded what a true democracy is and that too appears to be what the cheerleaders seek.

True democracy fails. True democracy is mob rule. Our form of government is not true democracy. It is a Constitutional Representative Republic. Abiding by our Constitution protects our freedoms. It protects us from would be dictators. It protects us from ourselves. But, it only protects us if we follow it and make sure our leaders do as well.

Where do you reckon the USA would be today, if we did not try hard to abide by the Constitution given to us by our founders? What if we went down that other fork? Would we be Egypt? Would our separate states resemble the Balkans? Might Washington DC more closely resemble Tehran than it does?

We are in mess today because we have wandered too far down the wrong fork in the road. We have veered down the path toward more government control of our lives and consequently less freedom. We are straying from the way of less government that our founders designed. It is our original direction that propelled us to the forefront of the nations of the world.

We have people who want to lead our country now telling us that we need to forget about social issues and just focus on the fiscal ones and other policy issues. That is a hopelessly ignorant way to look at our country. The founders of our country made it very clear that our Constitutional Republic would only stand if our people remained moral. They are being proved right. Morality these days is in the eyes of the beholder, but our founders and Americans of the time I believe had a little better clarity of thought on the matter.

Forget the obvious social issues that continue to rip at the already threadbare social fabric of our nation and think about what disregarding social issues really means. Does it mean abandoning all of our social values or just those persnickety ones like revulsion of sexual perversion and infanticide? That is what we mean when we talk about “the social issues” is it not? But there is more and if we just forget about all of our “social issues”, what happens to our borders? Our language? Our culture? Our country? Ask the leaders of Germany, France and the United Kingdom about the effects multi-culturalism had on their countries. All of them have been quite frank about it recently. Remember the last time that was viewed as a problem in parts of Europe, most specifically Germany, it did not turn out well for the rest of the world.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. – 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7

In the above quote, replace the word love with the United States of America and read it again. You may not be able to accept that our country meets or has met all of those defining characteristics, but we have fulfilled many of them and are much farther down the road than are most nations.

We will continue fulfill those defining national characteristics as long as we stay on the right fork of the road. If you cannot accept that then there is a very good chance that you are traveling down the fork of the road that leads to the end of the place that once stood as the shining example of freedom and the last great hope of the world’s un-free. And you are probably headed there on an 80 billion dollar bullet train.

Did I wish you a happy valentines day?

© 2011

Groundhog Day

Do you recall the movie, Groundhog Day? In it, a weatherman is in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania to report on their famous groundhog Phil and finds himself reliving the same day over and over. Eventually he discovered that if he changed his behavior a little each day, he could also change what happens.

Since the 1970s or thereabout, here in the United States we have been having our own version of Groundhog Day.

In 1973, I was a poor and newly married young Soldier assigned to the Army’s 7th Transportation Group at fort Eustis, Virginia. We lived where we could afford to, which was in trailer park off Warwick Boulevard in Newport News, Virginia just outside of Fort Eustis. My unit was alerted for deployment to support Israel when they were attacked in October 1973 by Egypt and Syria on Yom Kippur. We never deployed, but as a reward for our intent and for the other aid that we provided Israel, the Arabs decided to not let us have any more of their oil. Gas prices went through the roof. Does that sound too familiar? In those days, I drove a well used 1966 Ford Fairlane 500. We did not buy cars in those days because they were easy on gas. It was good that I had a part time job at the Little Sue convenience store to help pay the bills. Gas station lines grew long and at one point, you could only get gas on odd or even days depending on the last digit of your license plate number and then you might only get 10 gallons. Following the embargo, our politicians swore that they would free us from our OPEC oil cartel stranglehold. We did get the Trans Alaskan pipeline built because of it. After that, not much else happened except that we have steadily increased our dependence on oil provided to us at the whim of Middle Eastern tyrants and at the cartel established price. You see how well political promises work out for us. Since we first swore off OPEC oil in 1973, we have steadily redistributed American wealth to the Middle East where much of it financed and still finances the Islamo-Nazis who want us destroyed.

In 1979, I worked as an Army Reserve Officer Training Corps Instructor at Gannon University in Erie, Pennsylvania. It is a Catholic University with a sidewalk campus in downtown Erie. If you recall in those days, the liberals led by President Carter thought that the people of Iran needed to replace their evil and oppressive Shah with a “democracy” and they believed that the “moderate” religious leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini who Carter described as a “fellow man of religion” was just the man to make that transition. That turned out well for us too. Our contingent of Iranian students at Gannon suddenly found themselves unfunded.

Today’s news reports coming out of Egypt remind me too much of the media cheering for the ouster of the Shah, who for all of his warts was a strong supporter of the United States and the West, and the arrival of Khomeini who President Carter’s U.N. Ambassador Andrew Young referred to as a saint. Saintly he was.

All indications are that the Iranian people are thrilled with living under the oppressive Islamic theocracy brought to them courtesy of the Ayatollah Khomeini and with the aid and support of a naive United States government. Iran’s government is one whose only exports consist of oil and terrorism and who will likely be a future exporter of nuclear war heads. In 2009, Iranian contentment with their government was evidenced by the protestors in the Iranian streets who wanted to rid themselves of that oppressive and destructive regime. At the time, our President said that “given our history” we should not meddle in the internal affairs of Iran. We probably missed our only opportunity to fix what Jimmy Carter broke in 1979.

Contrast the President’s position on Egypt with the position he took on Iran. Protestors in Iran who wanted to free themselves from Islamic tyranny were abandoned while all indications are that those who want to replace a secular government in Egypt with an Islamic one are supported. We pretend that we are helping them achieve democracy while instead we are pushing them directly into the arms of the Muslim Brotherhood who spawned Hamas, Al Qaida, et al. That should work out well for us too – and for Israel.

We have yoked ourselves, primarily through our dependence on them as a source for the energy needs of our country, to a culture that is politically corrupt at its core and is irreconcilably incompatible with Western Civilization. Whether Persian or Arab, their common bond is the destruction of Israel and her once powerful ally, the United States of America. The same way that Ronald Reagan put the Soviet Union out of business if our leaders could find the will, we could also put the Middle East of business. The energy resources of the United States are greater than all that is in the Middle East. If there was a concerted effort to develop and market them, OPEC and the jihadists they fund, would go out of business. Washington’s feckless leadership style will never accomplish that.

Until we have leaders who are committed to changing our national behavior back to one of strength and independence, we will continue to experience Groundhog Day until such time as 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue becomes the new location of the Dome of the Rock. If it is not already.

© 2011

Hu do you think you’re foolin’?

My first trip to Korea was in 1972. I ended up at Camp Red Cloud, which is located in Uijongbu and named for Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Corporal Mitchell Red Cloud Jr. When I was there, Camp Red Cloud was the I Corps headquarters. Now it carries the designation of US Army Garrison (USAG) Red Cloud and is the Headquarters for the US Army’s 2nd Infantry Division (2ID). In 1972, the 2ID headquarters was located at Camp Casey in Tongduchon a few miles north of Uijongbu.

The demilitarized zone (DMZ) that separates North Korea from South Korea is only 34 miles and a few yards from Seoul. Uijongbu is 12 miles north of Seoul. As they say in the Army the BLUF (bottom line up front) is that North Korean artillery has the capability of hitting both of these cities.

In 1972, when I first experienced life in Korea it was still quite rural. Uijongbu was barely 20 years beyond being completely flattened – as in no buildings left standing – during the war. Nowadays, it is difficult to discern where Uijongbu ends and Seoul begins. Since my first trip to the land of the morning calm, Seoul’s population has practically doubled in size nearing 11 million.

Koreans mostly do not live in the countryside these days, they have migrated primarily to the metropolitan areas with the capital city of Seoul by far the largest. You might find it interesting to hear that South Korean farmers hire migrant workers to help with their harvests. I suppose they do the jobs that most Koreans will not do. North Koreans do not have that problem because they have no harvest. They are starving. It is a byproduct of repressive communist dictatorships.

With the artillery attack on the island off the coast of South Korea along with the sinking of a South Korean ship by a North Korean submarine, we have reason for concern. The People’s Democratic Republic of Korea (PDRK) is not predictable and its leadership unstable. Make no mistake however. It is China who pulls the puppet strings of the PDRK. Recently, the Chinese put some troops in North Korea. But, there is nothing to see here so move along.

The Chinese are flouting their new stealth fighter, bragging about their anti-aircraft carrier cruise missiles and they own way too much of our debt. Chairman Hu believes that the dollar should be replaced with China’s yuan as the currency used for international trade. The Russians believe the dollar should be replaced too as do the Iranians and Hugo Chavez. They are a happy little cabal of communist dictators and Islamic fascists.

During the first year of the Obama Administration, [Secretary of Defense] Gates canceled the Air Force’s next-generation bomber and prematurely terminated production of the stealthy F-22 fighter at only half of the service’s stated warfighting requirement.

Gates said at the time that the F-22 was not relevant to counterinsurgency campaigns in Southwest Asia or to the most likely warfighting scenarios the joint force would face in the future. He also noted that Air Force leaders agreed with him on the need to end F-22 production. However, Gates conveniently omitted the fact that he had fired Air Force leaders who opposed termination of the F-22, and that dozens of studies conducted inside and outside the Air Force had found a need for more than the 187 planes he decided to buy (the independent study his office commissioned to make the case for early termination recommended 260 planes, so it was quietly shelved). Gates argued that plans to buy over a thousand smaller F-35 joint strike fighters would meet the nation’s future air-superiority needs, neglecting to mention that the F-35 was designed to operate in tandem with the more lethal F-22. – Forbes

Do you remember how Jimmy Carter abandoned Taiwan? If there is a dust up on the horizon, it will start there and possibly onto the Korean peninsula. The Pentagon is slowly becoming alarmed as China steadily prepares for an eventual war with us.

Our economic strategy is to continue spending so that the Chinese can own more of our debt. Our defense strategy:

“… I will cut tens of billions of dollars in wasteful [defense] spending. I will cut investments in unproven missile defense systems. I will not weaponize space. I will slow our development of future combat systems.

“I will institute an independent defense priorities board to ensure that the Quadrennial Review is not used to justify unnecessary defense spending.

“Third, I will set a goal for a world without nuclear weapons. To seek that goal, I will not develop nuclear weapons; I will seek a global ban on the production of fissile material; and I will negotiate with Russia to take our ICBMs off hair-trigger alert, and to achieve deep cuts in our nuclear arsenal.” – President Obama

Do you remember the Whitehouse Christmas Tree adorned with an ornament of Mao Zedong? The image of a Communist Chinese mass murdering dictator gracing the Christmas tree in America’s house is more than a little disconcerting. Well, to me it is. I do not pretend to speak for anyone else. It should come as no surprise that we honored the current Chinese dictator with a state dinner at the Whitehouse.

At some point, probably not too far down the road the Chinese are going to believe (they may already believe it) that they are as strong militarily as they are economically and then, if allowed, they will push us around even more. We will be slapped in the head as one might do to an apologetic bowing subordinate who did not do as he was told. Maybe the next time the origin of the missile plumes will not be much of a mystery.

© 2011

What do we deserve?

What sort of people are we and what sort of leaders do we deserve?

There are few things that can be called universal truths. I believe one of them is that we create the environment in which we live. Or we tolerate the environment that is forced on us. An extension of that is that we get the leaders we deserve.

It appears that we do not deserve a leaders who are God fearing and of common stock. At least we have not shown that we do. We tend to crucify those types, literally and figuratively. Or we stand passively by why others do it.

No, we demand that intellectual snoots lead us. Ideologues mostly, people with which most of us have little if nothing in common. We fawn over supposedly learned individuals with their ivy league pedigrees. Their images are built up to a level that places them and their conduct, no matter how reprehensible, above honest questioning. Question any facet of their lives and you will be labeled as a certified loon. We cannot get real leaders so will settle for manufactured ones who are measured by the magnitude of the tingles they send up the collective legs of an adoring liberal media and mushy headed college kids.

We do not deserve a leader who has lived a common life, has a commoner’s education obtained from a public school, and who loves God, loves freedom, loves the United States of America and who have also soiled their hands doing common work. Clearly we do not want or deserve a leader who has something in common with most of us. No, given the choice, we generally pick some media fabricated American royalty over Robin Hood.

As Sarah Palin was blamed by the liberal pundits for the mass murder that happened in Arizona, I had to ask myself what this woman has done that deserves such hatred …Ahem…such blood libel. That the punditocracy, not all of it liberal, and other assorted political miscreants have the audacity to even introduce the word vitriol into any discussion about any person other than the bonehead looking back at them from the mirror is astounding to me. Breathtakingly astounding. Don’t you think by now if there were any real skeletons in Mrs. Palin’s closet, that they would not be daily above the fold of the New York Times? Nonsensical fabrications such as this and the many others are proof to anyone with two firing brain cells who the liberals, establishment politicians and the punditocracy who steers them truly fear. Common people.

Politicians who claim to be conservatives will not directly defend Sarah Palin. Why is that? Stupid question. Quick answer. For one, they are spineless and they would never defend a potential political opponent. Worse yet, their fears of the Washington punditocracy and the liberal press are stronger than the courage of their convictions. That is truly sad for our country. I do not believe Mrs. Palin would burn those political bridges, but those weak political bridges with their frail underpinnings will not stand for very long anyway. They will collapse. In tough times, those people will scatter like cockroaches when the light switch is flipped on. They choose to avoid controversy rather confront it.

My perception is that Sarah Palin is not a political minded person. If she was, she would not call death panels what they are and she would not call blood libel what it is. I see her as more like one of my neighbors. Someone who could come to my backyard for a barbeque, bring some moose burgers, and not look down upon me as if she was doing me a favor by gracing my lowly backyard with her royal presence.

Unlike Mrs. Palin, typical politicians hedge their bets. No words come out of their mouths that are not politically motivated, focus group tested, measured for political effect and worked on by speech writers and publicists before they ever appear on a teleprompter. Sarah Palin is clear about what she believes is right and good for the United States. She has no problem putting those beliefs out there without dressing them as something else and not retreating from them. Unfortunately for Mrs. Palin, the beltway elitists cannot handle frankness and clarity and most of them are more than a little insecure in life because of it. That is why she garners their hatred. That is why I do not need the Beltway’s Chuck Krauthammer et al doing my thinking for me.

Unfortunately, many of us do allow others to think for us and that is why America has the leadership it deserves.

Romans 12

© 2011

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