He made the trains run on time and controlled the Unions

image - October 23, 2003

Fascism is recognized to have first been officially developed by Benito Mussolini, who came to power in Italy in 1922. To sum up fascism in one word would be to say "anti-liberalism".

...............Socialism and Democracy. Political doctrines pass; peoples remain. It is to be expected that this century may be that of authority, a century of the "Right," a Fascist century."

Image Source Page: http://marxistleninist.wordpress.com/2010/07/10/glenn-beck-champions-u-s-pro-nazi-text/

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Airlines Favor profit over safety. The Employer Free Choice Act

Untrained Pilots of

the Future?

Pilot Sully says Pilot Pay Cuts Put Passengers in danger. The pilot of Flight 1459 says the industry is driving out experienced pilots. The hero pilot has seen his pay cut and his pension destroyed as a reward for years of dedicated service. When do you think we will hear about Sully getting his huge retention bonus?

The pilot who successfully saved a planeload of passengers using years of skills and training by safely landing in the Hudson River said that pay and benefit cuts are driving experienced pilots from the cockpit.
The US Airways pilot told the aviation subcommittee he has seen a 40 percent cut in his pay at the same time his pension was terminated and handed to the Federal Pension Guaranty Corp where he will get a pension "worth pennies on the dollar" .

Trained Union Pilot on the


The cuts were forced after several airline bankruptcies. Many of the management teams that oversaw the destruction of pay and pensions received huge bonuses as a reward for performance..
The cuts have placed "pilots and their families in an untenable financial situation," Sullenberger said. "I do not know a single, professional airline pilot who wants his or her children to follow in their footsteps."

Copilot Jeffrey B. Skiles said without labor-management reforms "experienced crews in the cockpit will be a thing of the past." Sullenberger said in his always controlled style that without experienced pilots "we will see negative consequences to the flying public." Will the airlines report a 200 mile an hour landing in a pine forest as an "extended delay".

Do you think temp agencies can send in pilots on an as needed basis? How about we take one of the executives that received bonuses for cutting Union pay and benefits and put them alone into the cockpit of a plane, take it off remotely and then kill the engines. If the executive lives then they can keep their life and consider it "pay for performance".
Due to training and skills only gained through years of training Sullenberger landed in the river and all 155 people survived. If only Sully's pay and pension had been so lucky.

The Employer Free Choice Act

There has been a novel suggestion made to solve the problem of Unions that destroy the companies they work for. A program for the complete management of labor resources has been put forward by the National Right to Work for Less organization. A spokesperson said that after the idea was brought up everyone was amazed that it had taken them so long to arrive at this clearly obvious solution.

The new management initiative for complete management of labor resources for the parts of the American auto industry that have been hardest hit by the Union movement will be the first to see the effects of this new plan.

The program is based on a simple premise. Companies that have been hardest hit by Unions will be required to own their workers.

The spokesperson gave examples of how proper labor management has achieved greatness, the pyramids, and the entertainment industry in the days of the emperors, and the growth of the South into a burgeoning supplier for cotton in the early 1800’s. The “Complete Labor Management” program will allow commercial success to extend the free market principles to humans themselves.

Complete management of labor is the fastest, best, solution to investor losses and the pinnacle goal of free-market theory.

While is some ways the program could be mislabeled slavery, it is explained by the supporters as returning to their “roots”. In the past eight years labor relations have been taken in the direction of less conflict by allowing management to make the decisions unfettered by employees or long term commitments to pay benefits or pensions. We need to simply extend and polish these early improvements to labor relations. Much of the rest of the world including Iran has already taken the lead in these areas and now sees almost no Union conflict. America must not fall behind.

A management system where corporations make all the decisions is the only solution for falling dividends. Today, in American factories, employers must wend their way through a thicket of laws controlling wages, safety, and who they can hire. The only worries a corporation should have is if the employee is productive. Employers can not be saddled with the responsibility of an employee’s health or what they live on after their careers are done.

Rules must be set. If an employee is too sick to work, pregnant, or too old to be productive they should be out the door.

By encouraging employees to remain productive by not relying on an employer (or the government) we will be giving every employee true freedom of choice. They will decide their own destinies.

Further examples of the method at work were given, the late 1800’s success of Oil and Rail Roads. Chinese auto companies are rising stars. Chinese auto workers currently earn a dollar an hour. In each of these cases workers have been freed from labor worries, and management allowed to focus solely on the profitability without interference. In each case tremendous returns on investment have grown the corporations. There is a definite pattern and it can be proven that if it is Good for Unions, it is Bad for business. Bad for Unions, Good for business. The complete implementation of this plan is seen as the logical defense against the Employee Free Choice Act.

Some public sentiment still brands the word slavery with some negative connotations so we are re-branding the initiative as the Employer Free Choice Act. We can stress the benefits to the employee and the economy. The employee is freed from choices and conflicts with management. All their time is productive or the company is freed from the employee.The benefits to the economy have been obvious since the building of the pyramids.

This is what free choice is all about. The employee is freed when they only have to follow orders and management is freed when they can make any choice needed for the good of the corporation.

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Monday, February 23, 2009

Warning! Deadly new Virus Alert

Government virus warning!

*** VIRUS ALERT *** "The "Government Virus" has been found to be spreading. Courtesy of a conservative think tank, I interrupt this Blog to bring you a warning. You may think that losing your job, your home, running out of unemployment, and losing your health care are bad things. If you think these things are bad. You are at risk! You may already be a carrier! You need tax cuts!

The virus starts slowly. You start to feel a need to eat every day. You see your kids pants cuffs six inches above their ankles and your grow sad for no reason. Living in your car doesn't feel good any longer. During the final stages you have insatiable cravings to own a home and have a job. The virus has started.

There is only one way to stop the infection. Tax Cuts! Don’t ask for any services from Government. This is how the virus spreads. Whenever possible avoid government immediately. Do not complain about a closed motor vehicle office. Don’t worry about not having State cops or elevator inspectors! Do not complain to your legislators about a lack of service! Learn self control.

Opening the door to the government virus will erase every penny from your wallet, drain your kids college fund and empty your change jar.

Asking for services from the State will reprogram the stripes on your credit and ATM cards, and make deposits to State programs that you don’t support like education even if you don’t have kids. Asking for government services on the web will let the government use subspace field harmonics to scratch any CD's you attempt to play and erase your hard drive.

Contact with government will turn off your refrigerator so all your ice cream melts and your milk curdles, while doubling your electricity bill..
It will program your phone to text the Democratic National Committee with automatic donations.

Government will mix antifreeze into your fish tank and have the DEP fine you for throwing out the dead fish. Government will tax and then drink all your beer.
Government will leave Planned Parenthood booklets on the coffee table when you are expecting company.

Government will allow gays to have special rights which will immediately cause you to get a divorce, beat your spouse, give up on God and hate your kids.

Government will grow your ear hair into a pony tail.
Government will replace your shampoo with Nair and your Nair with Rogaine, all while sending your current boy/girlfriend pictures of any other “friends” you might have along with copies of your hotel bills.
Government changes all the pre-set buttons on your radio to NPR.

Government will give you diseases you can’t spell to sell you government health care. You could be break out in ugly "rationality" spots before you know it.
Government will send copies of your internet browsing history to your wife or husband and your employer….. With pictures.

If Government is not stopped it will it will leave the toilet seat up and leave your hair dryer plugged in next to a full bathtub. Government will let the dog onto the couch.

Government will replace your instant coffee with Latte mix.
Government will replace all your luncheon meat with Spam. It will replace all your Email with Spam.

It will molecularly rearrange your cologne or perfume, causing it to smell like Bill Clinton on a hot day, near an intern. All of your internet favorites will be changed to left wing Blogs.

An experimental cure is being tried but it is too early to judge the results. Some people are taking all their money, finding an unlocked Mercedes and stuffing all the cash in the car as a last ditch effort. Maybe there is hope.

The Government virus is insidious and subtle. It is dangerous and terrifying to behold. It is also a rather interesting shade of blue.

These are just a few signs of infection.

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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Buy a house? Do you want to use Visa or Mastercard?

If you have a Union job you are blamed for the collapse. The talk shows say the only way out is to "break the backs of the Unions". Depressed yet? It gets worse.

Welcome to 2009. You’re out of work, maybe drinking or taking tranquilizers because you may be furloughed, laid off, or foreclosed on. You most likely know someone who is.

You can’t pay your mortgage and you are shamed to look for help. Asking for help will get you labeled a free loader by the right.

Unspoken during the arguments for and against the stimulus package is the fact that we may already be in worst financial collapse in history.

1929 may go down as the first, not the worst great depression.

Credit markets are frozen. The banks are spending our money on bonuses and shareholders. Wall St. has gotten billions to protect profits and they foam at the mouth when the subject of helping homeowners is brought up. “Let ‘em sink!” They made bad choices! The rant is "Why should I help someone that bought more house than they can afford?”

Instead we should ask, why we should help banks that bought more bad assets than they can afford. The right screams mortgage help to homeowners is socialism while they have their hand in our pockets. We keep them in limos and Mansions while losing our homes and our jobs. We pay their losses and we take the blame.

Bad borrower horror stories have made headlines for months, with examples of no income loans given to undocumented workers, and single mothers. The root causes are not discussed. Wall St. shipped our jobs overseas. Oil is at $35.00 a barrel and gas prices are going up. The combination of job loss, stagnant wages, retirement account losses, is killing the middle class, ad in falling home prices, and stir for a drink called toxic assets.

First the Bush Whitehouse helped corporations declare bankruptcy and make retirement funds disappear. They tried to prop up their Ponzi scheme with Social Security. Constant attacks on Unions has lowered the overall wage scale in the US and made employees afraid to speak up. Where is the middle class? They are still here, but their jobs are in China or India or even down the street. being done on an H1B visa. In Maine, State Employees are displaced by contractors costing more than the employee. Real estate tycoons grow rich while State buildings go empty.

So, you have a family of four and you bought a three bedroom with a mortgage you could afford? Wrong! You made a bad choice because you didn’t pay cash or you didn’t save two years of your income as a cushion. Deadbeat!

How bad is it getting? Huge chunks of this country are up for sale because there are no jobs. The pictures of some PA homes on the right speak for themselves. It only took a couple of minutes to find these examples and there are many more in every state. Two or three years ago, these houses would have been on “Flip this house”.The next time you see a lot of these there will be a bulldozer or a fire truck parked on an empty lot. The banks are still making the choice to foreclose and evict rather than deal. Even at these prices there are no buyers. Do these houses look like the McMansions talk shows claim the bad borrowers bought? In Florida you can buy nice homes because retirement incomes were stolen to pay an bonuses and dividends.

I don't want to end on that note. Remember we elected a President with a slogan of "Yes we Can!" and Yes we can get through this. Don't believe the right, most of this country has seen through the theft of tax cuts for the rich and wage cuts for the rest. The stimulus passed. Wait for the hypocrisy to show up. Follow the Republican Governors that are talking about turning down the stimulus money. Watching them grab for all they can get while the Republican members of congress give speeches about how much they did to bring home the package should brighten up some of our days to come.

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Saturday, February 21, 2009

Strong Union Support in Maine

Over at Turnmaineblue Gerald is doing a great job of covering the Employee Free Choice Act and labor isuses. I don't have the time or the skills to do the reporting they do over there and I hope I am only putting up "fair use" parts of the articles. I felt that I had to do this because it is what I would write if I could. Here is the beginning of two articles with links for the rest.
I am going to TurnMaineBlue and by some ad space. It is the least I can do to support his site.

More GOP hogwash about unions

by: Gerald Weinand

Fri Feb 20, 2009 at 12:50:40 PM EST

There is more anti-union hogwash from Republicans, and this time it's Michael Steele, chair of the RNC that gets into the act. (Go to TMB for a link to the RNC's website)
Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Michael Steele today released the following statement concerning the executive order quietly signed by President Barack Obama on Friday ordering the use of union labor for federal construction projects:
Raise your blood pressure and read the rest

PPH editorial repeats the industry

lie about the EFCA

by: Gerald Weinand

Fri Feb 20, 2009 at 08:32:40 AM EST

This morning's Portland Press Herald has this (link at TMB) editorial that repeats the well established lie used by opponents of the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA):
Taking away the right of workers to vote in secret on whether to have a union is fundamentally unfair.

Finish the rest at Turnmaineblue

Click here and send an email. Tell Turnmaineblue to keep up the great work.

I would be glad to be the first person to use my Pay Pal at his site. Ever since Politicker ME became an RSS feed instead of a real site Turnmaineblue has been taking up the slack.



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Friday, February 20, 2009

Fox TV anchor sunk by Mayor Benero

I caught this posted at Firedoglake
If you enjoy seeing a right wing Union hating talking head get his head handed to him. You need to watch Mayor Benero of Lansing Michigan tear this guys head off using passion, anger and logic. Patriotism is not the property of the right wing. Their attempt destroy Unions is a thinly disguised attempt to destroy this country. No matter how little you make, whatever you have will be seen by the right as having been taken from the rightful owners.....business. Following this logic the only way for American business to be competitive is to stop paying wages. I am certain they might give us cots and drinking water on the factory floor but that is all. Chinese auto workers earn one dollar an hour. By Fox News argues that this is what is needed for us to compete.

It is not the communists, or the radical Islamists that are the current clear and present danger. It is the Wall Street moguls paying their way out of failure with your money while awarding themselves bonuses because they think you are stupid. Given the chance they will crush Unions, ship jobs overseas, lower wages, and take away pensions earned over a lifetime. I don't usually wave the flag, patriotism must be personal, but disinfecting these slime molds who would take everything from everyone is not only necessary, it is a duty.

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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Who Do You Want on Your Jury?

State Employees continue to be judged in the press, no on the bottom line. When a politician wants cover, they just fire a few or a lot of State Employees regardless of the real or imagined savings.

Now back to the east coast and what is happening with Unions and State governments in New England.

In New Hampshire SEIU Local 1984 has been in discussion with Gov. John H. Lynch about the 2010-2011 budget.

Gov. Lynch has proposed laying off 250-300 State employees.

SEA in N.H. and MSEA in Maine are trying to show the serious impact these proposals would have on their states.They are both trying to work with, not against the State to find savings.

The State Employees in New Hampshire have committed to working with the Governor and Legislature to seek ways to reduce costs. I hope their Governor and their legislature are not also among the hearing challenged when it comes to working with State employees rather than against them.

New Hampshire estimates the State deficit at $500 million to $1 billion without drastic cuts.

This is where it feels like looking in a mirror. Cut funds for the sick and needy while making some contractors rich.

New Hampshire would:

  • Lay off 250-300 State employees; the largest cuts coming in the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Corrections

  • Cut funding for nearly 400 vacant positions, always a budget tactic and maybe the only sign of government pre-planning (having vacancies to cut) that you can find.
  • Closing the Tobey School. The Tobey School, similar to the soon to be closed Levinson CenterMaine, is an alternative day and residential school for students identified as educationally disabled. Almost exactly like Maine there will be an estimated loss of services for a population of children at risk and a loss of an estimated 50 State jobs.
  • Close the Lakes Region Correctional Facility, causing the loss of 90-95 positions.
  • Unlike Maine, New Hampshire retirees don’t have constitutional protection for their retirees health care and the State wants to change the health insurance premiums for State retirees and shift all retirees onto the active State health plan (estimated savings $10 million), and an estimated $10 million increase for retirees.
  • In what many Union employees might see as a long overdue move the State proposes to offer a different health policy for what we call Confidential State employees, with the same offer made to Union employees.
  • In a move that spells Déjà vu to Mainers there is a proposal to sell the Liquor Commission warehouse, lease the four State Welcome Centers and reorganize and close many liquor stores statewide. The governor in a good move also proposed building new liquor stores in expanding market areas.
  • Close eight District Courts

Facing reality, the Governor also proposed some revenue increases:

  • Increase the tobacco tax by 35 cents
  • Increase the room and meals tax by three-quarters of one percent
  • Increase the cost of registering each vehicle by $10
  • Taxing gambling winnings over $600. They are way behind Maine us there.
  • Changing the toll collection system. Another echo from Maine.

The N.H. Governor didn’t propose any increases to the gasoline tax or broad-based sales or income taxes, but like Governor Baldacci’s proposal to “tax only State Employees” by increasing their cost for health care the proposals place a tax burden onto select groups of public servants.

Some of the N.H. and Maine’s "rainy day funds" are being used to balance the current budgets. These funds were built up in good economic times to be used to help keep us afloat in bad economic times. The State workforce is seen by some as being “built up” and a target to support the State in bad times also. Unfortunately, the Maine State workforce is at the lowest head count in over twenty five years. State Employees as usual are expected to pay a price higher than others in the name of publicity, not fiscal responsibility.

All Union members share many of the same concerns:

  • Bumping rights were one of the most important Union protections ever put into a contract. Those rights come to the fore in tough economic times. We must fight to protect and improve bumping rights. A layoff is one of the most devastating events a person faces. An employee facing a layoff must be given that guarantees management can not cherry pick people to lay off.

  • When looking for savings state employees in Maine have identified possibly hundreds of unreviewed positions filled by private contractors. Many of these outside contractors and consultants cost the State far more than the average State worker's salary. The Governor, agencies, and the legislature must provide better oversight of the thousands of contracts, vendors and services the State pays for that could be done more efficiently and cost-effectively by State workers.

  • We must not forget our brothers and sisters losing their jobs on February 28. No bumping rights after ten, twenty or thirty years of service. They were targeted and had no where to go. Turning the Levinson center over to private hands will not save the State any money and will severely impact if not harm, those dependent on Levinson to care for the State's most at risk children. Do you hire a baby sitter on “the lowest bid” approach?

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Success or Failure?

What is happening around the Unions and around the nation? Are Unions succeeding or failing?

California has a very active membership that attends meetings, goes to rallies, and supports their Union loudly and persistently with the legislature and in the press. They have just finished negotiations during the worst economy California has seen in over seventy years. What did they lose and what did they hold on to? Is this a crystal ball for what is happening in Maine or could we do better or worse?

California SEIU 1000, the states largest employee union negotiated for nine months during the worst economic times in over seventy years. SEIU Local 1000 and the State reached a tentative agreement Saturday night covers 95,000 state employees until June 30, 2010.

The TA will be sent to the union's elected State Bargaining Advisory Council; which serves the same purpose as MSEA-SEIU’s Contract Action Team where if passed it will be put to a vote of all SEIU 1000 members. The agreement must also be approved by the state Legislature and signed by the governor.

SEIU 1000 went in to negotiations during bad times that only worsened while they talked. CaliforniaCalifornia like Maine State employees provide critical services that must be maintained to keep citizens safe and healthy. Like Maine the governator, no matter how powerful just can't say there are no emergencies on specific days. Unlike California Maine has always forced State employees when taking furloughs to rotate them in an attempt to hide from the public the impact on State services. California had the courage even on the State side to move to close offices for furlough days, arguably saving far more money.

When negotiations concluded, there were sacrifices on both sides. The State made concessions they did not want to make and so did the Union.

Major provisions of the Tentative Agreement include: now has a forty billion dollar hole to fill and the governor intended to fill it with State employees. In

  1. Reducing the governor's demand for two unpaid furlough days per month to eight hours monthly. Two days could have forced employees working ten hour days to take ten or twenty hours off a month.
  2. The tentative agreement improved the state's layoff procedures and guarantees layoffs only when departments are eliminated or when facilities or offices are closed.
  3. Two holidays, Lincoln's Birthday and Columbus Day were traded for two personal holidays, which are similar to vacation days. State offices will be open for normal business and employees who work on those days will no longer receive overtime pay.
  4. Overtime costs will also be reduced under this agreement; an employee who uses a sick day cannot receive overtime in the same week until they have worked a full 40 hours. Vacation time continues to count towards the forty hours requirement.
  5. Unlike Maine, SEIU 1000 negotiates health care and in a successful fight against a money grab, the state agreed with Local 1000's proposal to freeze employee contributions for health insurance at 2008 levels though 2010.
  6. The tentative agreement will increase career enhancement options by creating a Joint Labor-Management Trust to continuing education and professional development for Local 1000-represented employees.

Unlike California we are now in talks with the State after the stimulus bill has passed. What effect the money coming to Maine will have is impossible to say at this time, but it can only have a positive influence.
Tune in tomorrow for a close up look at N.H. They compromised on Health Care two years ago. Was it a success?

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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Who needs Big Government?

I found this at the DailyKos. Is smaller government better? Would it give you more money in your pocket? I needed something light today after listening to Olympia Snowe smack down a right wing talk show host on WVOM when he asked her about the stimulus leading to the dreaded Universal Health care. The scary thing is she sounded like someone I could vote for. I need to sit down and take it easy for a while.

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Saturday, February 7, 2009

Will you click for your Health Care?

Click On The Cartoon For A Full Size Version

Negotiations Update

Updated February 7

  • The 16 elected members of Local 1989’s Executive Branch negotiating team—representing four bargaining units—have been working long hours both on the clock and on their own time to bring a comprehensive package of proposals to the table.
  • Many obstacles could make reaching a settlement difficult:
  1. The rapidly deteriorating national economy, a current State deficit of nearly a billion dollars, political attacks on State Employees.
  2. The governor’s demands for cuts in employee health care and extensive layoffs, plus cuts in departmental funding.
  3. A Governor and Legislature unable to compromise over revenue increases and program cuts.

  • This is the storm swirling around your negotiators while they have held worksite meetings, polled members, and held discussions with Local 1989 leaders and activists from all parts of the state. They are using your input and matching it against the darkening picture of the State budget and the governor’s seeming willingness to sacrifice State employees in the name of good publicity and bad fiscal policy. Your negotiators are still developing comprehensive proposals. At this time there is an air of mutual respect at the table and both sides realize the seriousness of the times.

Will the State propose?

  • Furloughs?
  • Decreased protections against layoffs?
  • A loss of Union Protections?
  • Benefit Cuts?

We don’t know what they have in mind yet, and I can not publish what strategies or specific proposals your teams have agreed on. You don’t send your playbook to the other team before the game. Your teams are prepared and have read and discussed every single proposal, coalition and team specific. Every idea, every member has been heard, and now is the time when you can help.

Your Health Care, by law, can not be negotiated. Your Health Care is in the hands of the legislature.

Go to the MSEASEIU web site, read this story on the attacks on our healthcare or click on this link to send an email to the appropriations committee, and tell them that attacking State employee Health care is only a political move and breaks the State’s promise to all of it’s employees.

I have included part of my letter to the appropriations committee, possibly the most powerful decision makers in the State.

Dear Senator Diamond, Representative Cain, and members of the Appropriations Committee:

I have appeared before your committee in the past and offered savings to help the State budget. The suggestions have always fallen on deaf ears. Perhaps my ideas did not have merit, but from the ideas of thousands of State Employees there must be many excellent ideas. If you listen, we will “show you the money”.

As legislators you must judge your course by public input but I beg you not to feed the radical pundits who feel that all State problems could be solved by cutting State employee pay and benefits. Considering the committee you are on, you know better.

Please don’t allow a tax on only one small number of Maine citizens. State employees and their families are your constituents, not a handy distraction to throw the press. The last thing we need is higher health care costs. I am respectfully urging you to oppose the Governor's proposal to shift more health insurance costs onto state workers.

There should be only one health plan for all state workers. That's the Maine way. (If you would tax me, I ask you to share the pain and

We know that savings must be found wherever they are, but the State Employee Health Commission is the best body to decide how to cut if cuts are needed. Please have the State Employee Health Commission decide not the press.

Thank you for your time and consideration on this important matter.

Thomas Maher


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