Sunday, June 05, 2011

I'll end it here. There is no anticipation in looking at a moon several hours old.

My family have been union folks and company people.  We enjoyed the life each provided, though different, no doubt.  If it weren't for strong unions of which we belonged there would not be great management jobs to step into.

Unions are vital to the life of the USA and they have taken a beating in recent years.  It is not good for the USA and its citizens to be proved a weak position for union bargaining.  It is victimization of the Middle Class and the family in the USA to attack and destroy unions. 

Unions can help a company.  The one I belonged to was important to the company it held dear to its existance.  We helped qualify workers for longevity.  We helped expertise and loyalty.  None of that is bad, but, it is certainly under appreciated.

I love my country and I where a UNION label on my life.

Good night.

Obama Could Use Executive Order to Stop Union Busting

I don't know if the President realizes how comprehensive the Wall Street mess has impacted the unions in the USA, but, it has.  There have been government ridicule of the unions in a way that disincentives their virtues and incentivizes company profits.  The outsourcing of American jobs is devastating enough, but, to realize the de-evolution that has resulted in the past two decades and especially the past decade to unions be they public or private puts them on a path to demise.

The President has a wonderful and dedicated Secretary of Labor, but, they both need to concentrate an effort into understanding what has happened to the USA's great unions, the vital role the play in securing the Middle Class and therefore the health of our economy and the global economy.  The USA and its unions are members of a global economy that counts on that economic engine.  If American workers are not earning, then are economy suffers.  They are the greatest engine for economic growth and stability.  If unions are good partners with companies then they deserve a sincere effort by the Labor Department to sto their slide into extinction.

Then off course there are the unionized auto industries that can't seem to get their act together because they are unionized.

So they get loans to pay back to make the unions realize how difficult it is to run a company with a union.  So, the union gives concessions rather than stating the OBVIOUS.  What is the obvious?  That the company didn't listen to them and the consumer when they were pumping out cars while outsourcing jobs and shrinking the new car market.  Those sort of things.  Oddly, though the CEOs never stop to realize they earn more than the UAW could ever hope to collect in dues per year.  That isn't exactly an accurate statement but not far from the truth.

Methodology:  (click here)Compensation rank is based on total compensation for latest fiscal year. Efficiency rank is based on our chief executive's performance/pay score. Ranks are given only to chief executives who have a six-year tenure and six-year compensation history. The most efficient rank is 1 and least efficient is 189.
It it is estimated annual union dues nationally per member is about $377 and the membership as of 2008 dropped below a half of million people.  So, that would put about $18 million in the hands of the UAW from dues alone.  So, other than the $1 per year token salary during tough times (not complaining, it was a real sacrifice, but, stock options remained) the CEOs are pulling down about a full tenth of that amount.

 Membership in the United Auto Workers union has dropped below 500,000, hitting its lowest level since World War Two in a downturn that reflects the wrenching restructuring by U.S. automakers  (click here)

But, the point is that the MAJOR auto companies in the USA are not subsidized, yet they employee important workers to our country's economy.  Congratulations to Chrysler.   We are proud and pleased the company is still within our borders and doing well.

If one notes, the auto industry didn't need loans until Wall Street did.  They didn't abandon the people of this country either.  Wall Street took their enormous checks, dealt the game their way, then abandoned the USA and paid back the money after causing the collapse of a global economy.  GM and Chrysler didn't even come close.

Obama praises inspirational automakers (click title to entry - thank you)

Jim Kuhnhenn

From: AP
June 06, 2011 12:00AM

...As inspiration for a broader recovery, he's citing the American auto industry's resurgence.
"We're a people who don't give up, who do big things, who shape our own destiny," the president said in his weekly radio and Internet address on Saturday.

The message, taped on Friday during Obama's visit to a Chrysler plant in Toledo, Ohio, was hardly different than the remarks he offered to about 350 Chrysler workers....

The industries such as the car companies and airline companies that seek monies to continue to operate only receive loans and not subsidies.  I guess it is bad politics to offer subsidies to a company that flies from JFK to the Carribean frequently.  Oh, well, such is the plight of the companies that hire the Middle Class.

Commodities are most frequently and regularly subsidized. (click title of Wall Street commodity firm and the products they trade)

Oil, gas, agricultural goods such as crops and livestock and sugar plantations in Florida.

Stuff like that.  Other than Southern California I don't know of any farmers that employ union workers.


United Farm Workers fight dwindling membership in California (click here)

April 20, 2011
Gosia Wozniacka
A dozen farmworkers sat in a circle of plastic chairs in a modest living room, listening as a union organizer talked about a bill she said would allow people to organize without fear, rebuild the union and improve conditions in the fields.
The United Farm Workers of America drew national attention when workers led by Cesar Chavez inspired a boycott of table grapes in the 1960s and then forced vineyard owners to sign hundreds of contracts providing better pay and working conditions....

The union in southern California is vital to the well being of these workers.  Workers are exposed to all kinds of chemicals and harsh environment, so it is vital the union protect them, their income and the quality of life.  The children of these workers are also taken care of differently.  If it is decided for whatever reason it is that they are needed in the fields rather than in school, the public school system accommodates that need so the children don't leave school and still receive their education with age appropriate grade advancement.  It works.

...Cesar Chavez (click here) was one of the most important leaders of the 20th Century. His legacy of workers' rights, civil rights, environmental justice, equality for all, peace, non-violence, as well as children and women's rights deserves national recognition. He inspired millions of people across the country of all race and nationalities to engage in social and economic justice for farm workers. His life's work to empower the poor and disenfranchised is a model for all....

Most farm operations throughout the USA are rarely family farms and if they are they are highly dependent on sophisticated equipment costing incredible amounts of money in order to 'make ends meet' for the prices they receive for their products.  The people that farm do not do it for the money, they do it because they love it.  Seriously. 

You what I miss?

The USDA used to publish it.  It was an annual yearbook of the agricultural sector.  A yearbook.  It had all kinds of pictures and observations including that of county fairs and the culture and the people.  I haven't seen one in a very long time.  It was a great publication, libraries used to collect them and put them on their shelves. I don't know if the government simply does not do that anymore for the rest of us that like to appreciate the farm community of our country or if the family farm is such a rarity that there is nothing to put in the annual USDA yearbook. 
Most USA commodities are subsidized by the federal govenment and there is absolutely no reimbursement for wind fall profits when those commodities out perform any imagination. 

Any studies on exactly what USA industries receive subsidies vs loans for repayment? And where do unions fall into that scheme of things?

Louisiana - Oil Field Services Companies (click title to CONTRACT - independent contract - information)

While the oil from "BP's Deepwater Horizon" spewed endlessly off the LOUISIANA Gulf Coast having killed eleven people and caused the injuries of others and destroyed livelihoods along an entire coast line, Bobby Jindal ranted and raved he was doing more for THE SERVICE workers to the oil industry to save American jobs more than anyone else on the planet.

That might have been ture because all everyone wanted to do was to stop the destruction and all Jindal could do was pick up the pieces and be the drama queen rather than a Governor READY for a disaster of this magnitude that could stop the leak in a heart beat by well prepared plans that would have required the oil indsutry to drill mandatory 'relief wells' along with the exploratory well.  WAS THAT IN PLACE AND READY? 

Besides that, what happened to the oil workers that were once unionized under the OCAW?  Where were they now? 

Ready for the disaster to save their own lives in compliance with strict government reglations supervised by COMPETENT inspectors?


So where were they?

Cleaning up beaches that their oil industry was destroying? 


Compensating, through fund drives of their own people, a Gulf Economy for the all the money they made as oil service workers? 


They were screaming and yellling at their Governor in order to 'get back to work' because they were barely making subsistence income as a PRIVATE CONTRACTOR to the oil business.

Oh, is that where they went?  To their share of 'the spoils of war.'  I see.  No more unions, but, lucrative PRIVATE contracts that had to compete for next to nothing compensation, but, after they had sunk all their money into equipment the companies no longer provided, they were cast into poverty through vicious draconian bidding wars.  I'll be darn.  I wonder if any of them ever reflect on what they LOST when they became independent contractors rather than union workers employed by the companies and paid well with all kinds of safety inspections of qualified and competent inspectors with health and life insurance benefits, etc., etc., etc.  Ah, but, this the the USA south where poverty is spiritually demanding and people are grateful for a nickle left over at the end of the week as independent business people.

Funny.  That 'culture' of impoverishment never seemed to lose its grip on the south, huh?  But, what diffferenc does that make when publically paid Governors can scream at the federal government for all their hardship cases.  Who needs insurance when poverty is a breath away seeking rescue from 'the feds?'  Right?  So much for 'autonomous wealth' that scoffs at high government spending.  Anyone ever figure out how much federal monies go into Louisiana that if spent before and differently would never result in tragedy and economic losses?

The oil service workers that were once unionized thought they would become millionaires as soon as they could run their own business.  That's where they went, whether they realize it or not.

Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers International Union

Karen Silkwood was a member of the union.  (click title to a page about her death).  The Atomic Workers became a greater concern when the federal government finally recognized the fact that the industry was not doing enough to protect their employees.

But, it is not the atomic ENERGY sector I am referring to.  Not at all.  As a matter of fact, when the indsutry's feet were held to the fire, they got their act together under the mentoring of the USA government.  Tight controls and regulations, but, the industry does comply.  Something that can't be said for the coal industry. 

It isn't the coal industry either that I am referring to; it is the oil industry which is not unionized anymore. 

The OCAW was formed in 1918 I believe.  It under went many mergers and transformation and today oil is not a part of that union at all.  Today, it represents over 800,000 workers under the name of Paper, Allied-Industrial, Chemical and Energy Workers International Union (PACE).

So what came of the people once unionized under the OCAW? 

Karen Silkwood was murdered.  No one will convince me otherwise.

The greatest hurdle for building a strong and benevolent union was the victimization of oppression. Fear by the workers themselves of loss of income.

The AFL's Union Label Trades Department publicized union made goods, early 1900s

Is there MORALITY in that statement regarding the demand to support union produced goods rather than oppression of human labor?


I defy anyone to say no.

...The AFL and American Exceptionalism (click title to entry - thank you)

By 1914, unions outside the United States had found that broad organization reduced the availability of strike breakers, advanced labor's political goals, and could lead to state intervention on behalf of the unions. The United States was becoming exceptional, the only advanced capitalist country without a strong, united labor movement. The collapse of the Knights of Labor cleared the way for the AFL. Formed in 1881 as the Federation of Trade and Labor Unions, the AFL was organized to uphold the narrow interests of craft workers against the general interests of common laborers in the KOL. In practice, AFL-craft unions were little labor monopolies, able to win concessions because of their control over uncommon skills and because their narrow strategy did not frighten state officials. Many early AFL leaders, notably the AFL's founding president Samuel Gompers and P. J. McGuire of the Carpenters, had been active in radical political movements. But after 1886, they learned to reject political involvements for fear that radicalism might antagonize state officials or employers and provoke repression....

I want to talk about that.  About oppression.  It is definately within the labor of the USA.  How did a once great union end in destruction while people surrendered their lives to oppression?  It happened.  We all witnessed its character and fear.  Recent history and I am not referring to construction unions either.  Made front page political news.  Where?  I know where.  No clues?

Unions bring moral character to work and the pay received for that work. They hold companies accountable and it works.

The history of labor unions is important to appreciate.  The propaganda against them is and has been hideous.  Without unions the human condition would be entenched in poverty.  'Back in the day,' as an example of the post slavery USA south, any form of industrialized company paid its workers poorly, subsistence pay and turned around and charged them for the housing they lived in and the groceries they bought. 

Pay from the company = Payment to the company for food and shelter

Nothing there about medical costs.  Nothing.  Not education either, until education became manditory for all children.

Unions don't come close to sainthood, but, they rank far higher in dignity and respect for the value of human labor than any company does.

Recognize this guy? You know, the guy headed for sainthood. (click title to entry for "Laborem Exercens," one of the writing of Pope John Paul II.)

"Laborem Exercens"
(SEPTEMBER 14, 1981)
VATICAN CITY, DEC 4, 1997 (VIS) - John Paul II wrote the Encyclical "Laborem Exercens" in 1981, on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of Leo XIII's Encyclical "Rerum Novarum" on the question of labor. It was signed on September 14, feast of the Holy Cross.
In it he develops the concept of man's dignity in work, structuring it in four points: the subordination of work to man; the primacy of the worker over the whole of instruments and conditioning that historically constitute the world of labor; the rights of the human person as the determining factor of all socio-economic, technological and productive processes, that must be recognized; and some elements that can help all men identify with Christ through their own work.
The Encyclical has an introduction and four chapters: "Work and Man," "Conflict Between Labor and Capital in the Present Phase of History," "Rights of Workers," and "Elements for a Spirituality of Work."

I'll be darn there is 'spirituality' involved with work. 

A piece of the human condition. 

A moral right to live and stay alive through work. 

Pope John Paul II was an amazing man.  He loved life, the human character and God.  His work within his power as Pope was remarkable.  Pope John Paul II decided it was important to make certain the human being was valued above profit in a way that would define work as a spiritual commodity necessary for life.  Profit is not the only venue of importance for the human capacity for work.  While it is necessary to some degree for sustainability of labor, it is not the only consideration in regard to work and the price paid for it.

Who is the moral authority of labor? The MORAL authority. Most people haven't got a clue.

The government?

Who, exactly, has the MORAL authority over labor and the right of a human being to be given dignity and love for their work.  Not only that but to be appreciated for that labor in a manner that is consistent with a moral society with needs, hopes and goals.

Who it is?

The latest casualty to unionization is the construction industry. It is called 'devolution' of unions.

Unions Lost Members in 2009, as Overall Employment Fell  (click title to entry - thank you)

January 22, 2010 (Union Byte)
By Ben Zipperer

The collapse of the housing bubble and corresponding decrease in private consumption and investment partially reversed small but significant membership gains by the labor movement over 2007 and 2008.

Union membership fell in line with the decline in overall employment in 2009, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ annual union membership report released today. The unionized share of the U.S. workforce dipped to 12.3 percent last year from 12.4 percent in 2008. For the first time ever, union members in the public sector outnumbered those in the private sector.

While the recession eliminated jobs across the private sector, employment fell most rapidly in the relatively unionized construction and manufacturing industries, placing downward pressure on the overall unionization rate....
When the housing bubble popped it took along with it union jobs.  The construction job market was saturated with workers and remains that way.  Cheap labor is everywhere and construction unions are working harder than they ever have to bring down the cost of hiring union workers.  Most of these workers have families to support and had the rug pulled out from under them by George Walker Bush and the majority Republicans.

Why is it there always seems to be 'method' to the madness of Wall Street debacles?  Why is that?  Mismanagement caused this disaster and the morality of it all while it was occurring during the years previous to 2007 never was a concern.  Never once.  I wonder why?

OUR MISSION: (click here) Eliminate the adversarial culture of workers' compensation claim administration; improve the delivery of wage-replacement benefits and the quality of medical care to injured union members; return injured workers to their pre-injury job quickly; reduce the costs of insurance for union contractors thereby increasing their competitiveness.

Through the 1970s and ‘80s, labor and management were unable locally or nationally to reform the workers’ compensation system, resulting in many years of conflict in state legislatures and courts, and rising costs.

In 1995, following a model used in several other states, Minnesota passed legislation allowing for an alternative workers’ compensation system developed through collective bargaining. In 1996, Wilson-McShane Corporation was hired by a labor-management coalition to develop and administer the Union Construction Workers’ Compensation Program....

It's Sunday Night

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"Vulnerable" by Secondhand Serenade

Share with me the blankets that your wrapped in
because its cold outside cold outside its cold outside
share with me the secrets that you kept in
because its cold inside cold inside its cold inside

and your slowly shaking finger tips
show that your scared like me so
let's pretend we're alone
and I know you may be scared
and I know were unprepared
but I don't care

tell me tell me
what makes you think that you are invincible
I can see it in your eyes that you're so sure
please don't tell me that I am the only one that's vulnerable

I was born to tell you I love you
isn't that a song already
I get a B in originality
and it's true I cant go on without you
your smile makes me see clearer
if you could only see in the mirror what I see

and your slowly shaking finger tips
show that your scared like me so
let's pretend we're alone
and I know you may be scared
and I know were unprepared
but I don't care

tell me tell me
what makes you think that you are invincible
I can see it in your eyes that you're so sure
please don't tell me that I am the only one that's vulnerable

slow down girl your not going anywhere
just wait around and see
maybe I am much more you never no what lies ahead
I promise I can be anyone I can be anything
just because you were hurt doesn't mean you shouldn't bleed
I can be anyone anything I promise I can be what you need

tell me tell me
what makes you think that you are invincible
I can see it in your eyes that your so sure
please don't tell me that I am the only one that's vulnerable

I want to talk about unions tonight.

They are a vital part of the American Fabric and needed for a strong Middle Class that contributes in the largest part of the American economy .  I will begin later, but, will use the usual hours of pubication beginning at 8:30 PM.

The NOAA radio has sounded off three times.  Doing it this way may insure no interruptions once I start.

Thank you.

Yemen is a republic by constitution, but, Saleh was more like a dictator.

Aden 1966 - (click title to entry - thank you) Cordon and Search operation by 3 R Anglian on a sector of the Sheikh Othman soukh (market).
Private Nichols on his vehicle participating in the cordon
Photograph courtesy of Brian Harrington Spier

Yemen was a British possession as recently as the 1960s. It became its own soveriegn entity in that decade and due to its Western influence and traditions organized a republic.  All these small Arab countries and some African countries 'give mixed signals' as to what their 'internal composition' consists of.  Yeme;n while it was British; was sovereign to the Indian State of Great Britain.  So, much of what can be seen in this picture in the way of uniforms for its military personnel look to have an Indian influence, that was the 'colony effect' of the West.

If I were to guess where Awlaki was living, it would be among the many islands of Yemen.  He isn't on the mainland, at least I would not expect him to be there.

Yemen already has a history of a constitution that requires a republic government in support of the people of that nation.  Saleh wasn't really conducting the Yemeni govenrment as a republic so much as a military dictatorship and it is why the Egyptian removal of Mubarak was so appealing to the Yemeni people.  As counter intuitive as this may sound, I trust the people to make good choices to establish a BENEVOLENT government.  No doubt the prison doors will swing open wide as there is a transition which will cause chaos and criminality all over again, but, I sincerely believe Yemen's people will come to terms with all that in time.  To say "The West" is a trusted partner is not realistic, but, the current 'non-interference' (ie: Egypt) and 'upholding the dignity' (ie: Libya) of the people is a clear indication The West has changed its ways. 

So.  We'll see.  I realize Saleh is still alive, but, I am not convinced the power structure in Yemen currently is loyal to him.  I believe The West can count on a change in government regardless of Saleh's recovery.

Yemen, chaos, anarchy or coup?

A pro-opposition soldier (click title to entry - thank you) waves a flag reading “A thousand congratulations” as protesters in Sana'a celebrate what they said was the fall of Yemen’s regime after president Ali Abdullah Saleh left the country for medical treatment in Saudi Arabia.

Most likely a coup by assassination attempt.  It has many of the trappings of the Egyptian removal of Mubarak.

BUT, al-Awlaki is there.  There is some possiblity this is a victory for al Qaeda, but, that is not my first resolution in these circumstances.  The USA State Department and military are going to have their hands full in finding out whom has taken control of the entire government, but, for an assassination attempt to get to Saleh as quickly as it did when the Yemen troops were called in from the borders it was an 'insider' that managed to gain control.  Was the 'insider' al Qaeda and Awlaki?  I seriously doubt it.  If I were a Yemeni military commander, with ambitions, I wouldn't put it all on the line for Awlaki, but, more for the possibility of leading the country with the support of the people.

Saleh and the Yemenis in Egypt will have information to detail what occured within the President's attempted assassination.  Certainly anyone near Saleh would know the people involved.  It could be another ISI-like issue which opens up the possibility that it would be anyone, but, I don't think so.  There was too much 'organized' and 'orderly' media providing information to the world for this to be as primative as the internal working of al Qaeda.  I do believe it is a sincere coup by the people.  That is the call of the day.  Freedom and majority rule.  With al Qaeda still interntional criminals any sincerely loyal Yemen citizen, be it military or otherwise, would not seek to hand over this opportunity to global criminals and the risk of invasion similar to Libya.  I think this is all good.  There may even be a media event by al Qaeda to confuse the issue and seek loyalty, but, it will be all propaganda. 

I would not venture the opinion that this is a 'power vacuum' yet.  I don't believe it is.  There has to be attempts by other nations to validate the authority in control of the country and move on that knowledge to bring alliances and potential for hope that will carry loyalty from the people to the new government.  The people need 'order' and not chaos to allow NGOs (Red Cresent) to safely help them to insure their new democracy rather than allow it to fall into chaos and anarchy.  Anarchy will kill them.  They will understand that all too soon if that occurs.

Good luck.