Monday, November 21, 2011

Caveat Lectores on Pied Pipers

11-20-11

Why do the republican candidates for president continue to make such totally ridiculous, stupid, insensitive, race baiting statements that make them totally unacceptable as a serious candidate?

The answer may be all too simple. They are acting as stooges and stalking horses for the real leadership of the republican party. Every time Newt or Sarah or Ron or Rick (2), Michelle or Herman or Jon or even Mitt says something to annoy the democrats and the sensible people of this country, the statement is made with the intention of attracting yet another right wing nut job into the web of ignorance and intolerance the republicans need to win the election.

When the individual speaker no longer is a viable candidate, the right winger will stay and may actually vote for the republican candidate left standing but never for a democrat. I am afraid my hypotheses is that simple, but surely I am not the only one who sees the pattern. I just missed it in the press coverage and endless editorial comment.

Most of these people, with the possible exception of Romney, would quit right now if they were ever threatened with the serious prospect of actually winning the election. They are making money off their supposed “candidacy.” They like the fame and notoriety which makes them money. Their job is to be the stalking horse that attracts attention while the corporate republican money is fueling the fire to eliminate President Obama and any semblance of moderation from the political landscape.

The more outrageous the announcement, the more votes file into the republican side of the equation. The ignorant public reminds me of the myth of lemmings committing suicide by hurling themselves over the cliff. The real problem is that these “candidates” are acting more like the legendary Pied Piper of Hamelin. (An interesting story you might wish to research.)

And oh yes, have a nice Day?

Wjc
Caveat Lectores by Jeff Carnes
Read at your own risk.
11,000 Readers in 633 Cities, 47 States and 28 Countries

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Friday, June 10, 2011

Caveat Lectores on the 8 Ways to Make Things Better

Are You Tired of Being a Scapegoat?

How Did We Get in This Mess? Who Cares?
How Do We Get Out of This Without Losing It All?
The Art of War
P/R or Perish
The 5 P’s of Political Success
Lobby Like You Love It
What to Do to Make Things Worse?
A Short Side Trip into Labor/Management Ethics


Presenter: Jeff Carnes
Former FPF 10th DVP, Florida Labor Attorney
Author: The Survivor’s Guide to a Successful Public Sector Union: Fire/Rescue Edition
Call Jeff Carnes at 813-240-8165
Email: wjcarnes@aol.com

How Did We Get in This Mess? Who Cares?

The reason things have gotten so unpleasant for all public employees are many. Frankly, firefighters have not been attacked as severely as other public employees because you have a more positive public image and better political connections than other groups such as teachers and general blue collar employees. Fire and police are looked at differently but for different reasons.
One good way to figure out how to move into a better place is to recognize:
• Where you are… and
• Why you are there.
There are THREE main reasons why things are bad with some minor reasons thrown in:

1. The economy has tanked. A bad economy has caused a serious decrease in tax revenues. Tax revenues pay for your salaries and benefits. That is not your fault, but you are paying the price, anyway. Do not spend a lot of your time and effort placing blame on others. It happened. Be assured, however, that your enemies will continue to blame a poor economy long after recovery has begun.
2. The political climate deteriorated. Many of you lost your political edge. The Republicans took over; and with pressure from ultra-conservative influences, public employees became the scapegoats to be sacrificed in the name of lowering an already low tax burden.
3. We did not react quickly enough to overcome #1 and #2. When you are up to your ass in alligators, it is too late to drain the swamp. Playing the blame game will accomplish nothing. Look in the mirror.

How Do We Get Out of This Without Losing It All?
• Execute the basics
• Identify the level of purpose: IAFF, FPF, Local
• Plan your work and work the plan
• Control the message to the public
• Keep on message
• Do not attract attention to your issues
• Focus the message on public concerns
• Identify the priorities and prepare for strategic sacrifices
• Learn how to negotiate a strategic retreat (public stance versus private reality)
• Prepare to react but do not react without need
• Diminish the partisan nature of your activities
• Focus on building consensus among members and support from the public



The Art of War (We are at War)

There is great value to the saying, “Keep your friends close but your enemies closer.” The source of this saying is not certain. We know it was spoken by Michael Corleone in the Godfather II, but it is widely attributed to General Sun Tzu. Sun Tzu was an advocate of the principle of winning wars without the savagery of battle. His wisdom can be of use to you both internally and externally. He is also credited with stating:
Thus we may know that there are five essentials for victory:
(1) He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight.
(2) He will win who knows how to handle both superior and inferior forces.
(3) He will win whose army is animated by the same spirit throughout all its ranks.
(4) He will win who, prepared himself, waits to take the enemy unprepared.
(5) He will win who has military capacity and is not interfered with by the sovereign.
Hence the saying: “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”
1. Learn to pick your battles;
2. Learn to put up only enough fight to win the battle;
3. Learn to keep your supporters focused on the same issue; and
4. Learn to prepare for the battle and develop the patience to strike at the opportune time.


P/R or Perish

You cannot exist much less flourish without good Public Relations
Your ability to influence the public is dependent on the attitude they have about you. Public relations and political activism are the background preparation success. A Local’s public relations effort is the back bone for the Local’s political action activities.
Even if a political action effort is temporarily unsuccessful, a local union can and must maintain a positive role in the community through its public relations work so that the local can still get its foot in the door with the politicians and the public to allow the Local’s lobbying effort to succeed.
When times are tough, member morale goes down the toilet and the PR campaigns are just that much harder to keep afloat. You must ramp up the PR campaigns or the opposition will bury you and all the good things your members do for the community.
Your enemies want to make you look like selfish spoiled brats who feed at the public trough and provide no valuable service for your pay or benefits.
You must put a good face in front of the press and the public to counter what your enemies are saying about you.
Politics and Public Relations is what get us in the door so we can share the facts that may have some credibility because of the politics that got us in the door.
In bad times like we see right now, the PR effort is more important than when times are good. The public (politicians and citizens) need to see the faces of those who serve them. The public must attach a face to those they are harming. If you allow it, your enemies will dehumanize and marginalize you so that you are just an expense item in a budget that needs to be cut.


The 5 P’s of Political SuccessPublic Relations
Preparation
Participation
Patience
Persistence


Friendlies, Non-friendlies, Unfriendlies

Know Your Enemies.
Make Them Pay Every Day,
In Every Way.


Educate your members

Educate the public

Educate politicians


Lobby Like You Love It
Lobbying is about Developing Relationships
Political activity and the lobbying that goes with it is all about relationships. Relationships that give you access to the legislators and others who can be convinced of the righteousness of your position.
Providing resources to an elected official in their quest to win an election and remain elected is the most obvious way the relationship begins. By resources we are referring to time, energy, effort and money. Your Local has some of all these resources. You need to figure out how to spread those resources for the best return on investment. Just like in the stock market, there are some winners and losers. However, within the realm of political involvement, the only real and perennial losers are those who do not participate. When one considers either the stock market or political action, it is necessary to go into each for the long haul.
It is a mistake to take the simplistic attitude that you are buying the favor of politicians when you participate although it surely will seem like some of them are openly for sale to the highest bidder. Most elected officials are honest people trying to do the right thing. We may disagree on what is the right thing. That is why you need to build a relationship with your elected officials so you can get access to them.
Access to an elected official is the bedrock of political power.
Most state and federal legislators understand the importance of lobbying. They encourage it, at least from their supporters. They cannot effectively govern without the input of those so-called special interest groups lobbyists represent. They listen to those they trust, respect or fear.
Get this straight and commit it to memory. It goes like this:
Effective political activism leads to relationships with legislators that give you access to put forth your point of view. Friendlies will listen to you. They may not always agree with you, but they will listen. Develop relationships with as many legislators as possible so you will have that access. This is not rocket science.
However, it takes time in addition to money and effort. The lobbying program must be in effect long before the need arises to be successful. Remember about being up to your ass in alligators?
Local elected officials are more sensitive to the public perception of lobbyists than state and federal legislators. Many want to publicly pretend they do not interact with lobbyists or are immune from lobbying efforts. This makes it more difficult to build a relationship with someone you did not support. However, you cannot afford to let them avoid your effort. On any given initiative, each no vote is counted only once so you have nothing to lose by trying all the harder to build relationships and gain access to those who are not naturally your supporters.
In terms of what to do and what not to do, the Do Not’s are probably more important than the Do’s.
Do Not’s:Do not lie to a legislator or even bend the facts. Same for the staff. After they catch the lie, you will never be effective. Trust is the hallmark of the lobbying relationship.
Do not threaten a legislator or staff. People who think they are powerful do not appreciate the common man getting in their face. How can you have a positive relationship with someone who hates your guts?
Do not waste their time. Get to the point and get out of the office. They really are busy. You will only turn them off by re-killing the dead horse.
Do not talk to them only about issues. Legislators, at all levels of government, are still people just like you and me. They appreciate talking about more than what you want them to do. They have families, hobbies, and other interests. Relationship building includes these kinds of things. Professional lobbyists know this. Spend enough time with these people to allow them to feel comfortable with you. This takes a lot of time, but it can be time well spent.
Do not fail to listen to a legislator’s comments and questions on an issue. The only way you can overcome resistance is to understand the source. If the legislator is with you, you need to reinforce the support. Politicians like to talk about what is important to them. Give them the opportunity to make themselves happy.
Do not overwhelm a legislator with too much information. Remember KISS. They really don't have time for all you can give them. Provide them with whatever is really important to them and be ready to supply any other needed information. Be careful about using fire/rescue jargon that means nothing to them.
Do not refer to bills by their numbers alone. Legislators and staff have more than one bill before them. Make sure they know to which piece of legislation you refer.
Do not be inflexible. Compromise is the essence of politics. Would you really rather have nothing if you cannot have it all? Learn lobbying and legislative strategies that might save an issue otherwise destined to die.
Do’s:
Do say “Thanks.” Sometimes it is necessary to say something pleasant even when you do not mean it. Let your members know whom to appreciate so they can say it as well. Lobbying is all about relationships not one time only confrontations.
Do let other members become part of the process. You cannot be everywhere at once. You need a lobbying team that has you as the leader.
Do make sure your lobbying efforts follow the law. For all the reasons that you have seen from others who were caught on the other side of the bleeding edge of illegal activity.
The lobbying effort, on all levels, is the key to legislative success. Political activity and the public relations effort are the basis for the lobbying effort. All of this is part of a process that takes time, resources and continuity. It is your job to do what is necessary to make the effort a success. It is that simple. Denial and avoidance will only result in the eventual demise of the Local’s leadership. Your Local needs your leadership.

Who must be Included in the Lobbying Program
Elected Mayor and City, County, Fire District Legislative Officials within the jurisdiction
• State legislators, House and Senate, within jurisdiction
• Legislative Aids
• City and County Managers, Assistant Managers and staff
• Fire Department Managers and Civilian and Certified Managerial Staff
• Human Resources and Labor Relations Managers and Staff
• Finance Department Managers and staff
• Administrative staff you never even knew existed
• Leaders of other Locals and other unions
• Media sources
• Business and civic leaders
• Other lobbyists


What Do You Need to Know About These People
Everything about them that may help, including but not limited to:
Names, Addresses, Phone Numbers, Email addresses
• Spouses, children, lovers and confidants of all of the above
• Prior education, employment and criminal records
• Favorite restaurants and places where they hang out
• Political, religious and civic affiliations
• Personal interests, hobbies, sports
• Good and bad habits
• Health of legislator and family members

Remember, you and your Local are trying to persuade these people from varying backgrounds with varying goals and objectives to narrow their focus to agree to help you and your members achieve your frequently very different goals and objectives. You must find common ground. One person cannot get along with everybody or be in as many places as are needed all at once. You must have a trained, dedicated and capable team to help you or you will fail. Now go out there and succeed.
What to Do to Make Things Worse?Do nothing, unless nothing is what you should do
• Become offensive
• Whine a lot
• Expect others to care about your problems
• Fight unnecessary public battles
• Expect the legal system to save you


A Short Side Trip into Labor/Management Ethics• Some people think management ethics is an oxymoron; therefore, they think nothing should be considered unethical in their conduct as a labor leader.
• The definition of ethical behavior in business often offered by texts is, “behavior that is consistent with the principles, norms and standards of business practice that have been agreed upon by society.”
• Ethical awareness in ethical decision making is important because once a person becomes aware of certain ethical dimensions of a situation or decision, that person will engage in the ethical judgment processes.
• Types of unethical behavior: Lyin’, Cheatin’, Stealin’
• From an ethical standpoint, a conflict of interest occurs when one’s judgment or objectivity is compromised. The appearance of a conflict of interest occurs when a third party could think that one’s judgment has been compromised.

• AN ADVERSARIAL POSITION IS NOT UNETHICAL JUST BECAUSE YOU DO NOT AGREE WITH IT.

Eight steps to Sound Ethical Decision Making
1. GATHER THE FACTS
2. DEFINE THE ETHICAL ISSUES
3. IDENTIFY THE AFFECTED STAKEHOLDERS
4. IDENTIFY THE CONSEQUENCES
5. IDENTIFY THE OBLIGATIONS
6. CONSIDER YOUR CHARACTER AND INTEGRITY
7. THINK CREATIVELY
8. CHECK YOUR GUT.

• THREE ETHICAL TESTS: KID TEST, POWER TEST, HAPPINESS TEST

IF THE OTHER SIDE FINDS OUT, SUSPECTS OR EVEN WRONGLY CONCLUDES YOU ARE ACTING IN AN UNETHICAL FASHION, YOUR EFFECTIVENESS IS REDUCED TO ZERO.

Relentless Involvement Is More Important Than Winning Elections!!



Jeff’s Money-back Guarantee: If THE SURVIVOR’S GUIDE… is not what your local needs for success, return the book within 30 days and get your money back.
Phone Orders: 813-240-8165
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By mail: Lectores IT 6018 Flora Vista Avenue Tampa, Florida, 33604

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Saturday, May 7, 2011

Caveat Lectores on Labor Union Involvement:

May 7, 2011

Today's installment is from the Introduction to Finding the Forest without Any Trees, the general public employee’s version of The Survivor’s Guide to a Successful Public Sector Union: Fire/Rescue Edition published in 2008.

The original book has been very well received by a relatively small audience. We will release this version soon but we are making it available in serial version to our Caveat Lectores Blog readers now.

During my first sixteen years of involvement with the labor movement, I seldom held elected office in a meaningful way with my home Locals. While the leadership allowed me to work at various positions within Tampa IAFF Local 754 , too many members distrusted me to vote me into a major leadership position. Why they distrusted me was obvious, even to me.

My skills as an external politician were adequate to say the least, but I was arrogant, unforgiving and a terrible internal politician. I openly opposed many of the usual courses of action toward which rank and file members naturally gravitate. In other words, I was a very poor internal politician. It is only the years that have cooled my penchant for speaking when I should listen and learn.

I grudgingly accepted the fact that I was a non-leader. But, I have learned to be an excellent adviser. Read on!

My unacceptable ideas were based on business models learned in a classroom or experienced in business. At 27, when I entered the public sector as a firefighter, I had business experience as well as two degrees in business administration, a rarity in the early 70's fire service. There was a natural tendency among union members and their leaders, for that matter, to distrust anything resembling a management idea; therefore, nearly all my ideas were suspect. At one time, this viewpoint frustrated me.

I did not take the ill-advised things that management would attempt to push into the workplace all that personally. To me, management was just what it was. It was their job to run the workplace and the union’s job to look after the welfare of the members.

My not so original and not necessarily accurate personal opinion was that most of management was either incapable or unwilling to do a good job. Their deficiency just made more work for the union. I was merely trying to figure out how to get what we wanted to the exclusion of really empathizing with the feelings of the members. That was a big mistake.

Some of the ideas that come from management are actually for the good of all, while others are designed to get more while giving less. Let’s face it; we at the union level are looking out for ourselves, just like management and the politicians. They may be greedy and power hungry, but so are we…at least a little. What’s wrong with that?

Today, I recognize the failure of my attempts at leadership as the failure to understand my role as more than a lost soul peering into the forest without any trees. Union leadership is or should be that of an organizer, teacher, administrator, politician, caretaker of the members trust……. There is no priority to this list. All of the functions are equally important.

Cradle to grave service is what the members of any union expect and deserve from their leadership. Allow one branch to wither and the tree in the forest without any trees begins to wither and die as well.

So what makes me write this book?

Well, the book you are reading is something of a sequel to the first book by a similar name. That book, which is widely accepted as authoritative to its target audience, is directed to fire/rescue personnel, but the lessons apply equally well to all public employees. This book has been changed to conform to the needs of general public sector employees. One day there may be an edition for law enforcement and public educators as well. A significant number of my clients are public sector but not fire/rescue oriented. What will work for the firefighters will work for your Local. You only need to vary some of the approaches just a little.
And oh yes, have a nice Day?

Wjc

Caveat Lectores by Jeff Carnes

Read at your own risk.

11,000 Readers in 633 Cities, 47 States and 28 Countries

Lectores Labor Consulting 813-240-8165

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Caveat Lectores on Changes to the Caveat Lectores Blog

5-06-11

Things are changing with Caveat Lectores. Our original intent was to create a blog for the purpose of sharing information with labor leaders and others about how to have a successful union experience. It was to be the public voice of Lectores Labor Consulting.

Somewhere along the way, I started to use the Caveat Lectores Blog as a venue for my political Rants and yarns about the House on Devil’s Neck. Rants are more fun and a better stress reliever than drugs. About a month ago, we stopped writing new Caveat Lectores Blog Rants and the constant inquiries into when we would resume has been underwhelming.

We are returning to the original idea and I will try to control myself. The political Rants and my attempts at comedy writing will be confined to my Facebook pages. I bought a video camera and I will try my hand at videography. BOHICA

And oh yes, have a nice Day?

Wjc

Caveat Lectores by Jeff Carnes

Read at your own risk

0ver 10,000 Readers in 576 Cities, 46 States and 23 Countries

Lectores Labor Consulting 813-240-8165

LectoresIT.com

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Friday, April 1, 2011

Caveat Lectores on Drug Testing Welfare Recipients

4-1-11

“On Thursday, the House Judiciary Committee on a 13-5 vote approved a measure (HB 353) that would deny benefits to recipients of temporary financial assistance for at least one year if they fail a drug test. A second failed test would kick them off the assistance rolls for three years. Food stamp eligibility would not be affected. A Senate bill (SB 556) is awaiting action in that chamber’s budget committee.”

Welfare recipients and drug users do not have a very effective lobby in Tallahassee, but some reason needs to apply here…even to those who may not seem worthy.

I thought the rightwing nutjobs wanted less government intervention…not more. Oh, that’s right; they want government out of the business of regulating business but into the business of regulating personal lives. How silly of me.

I do not hang out regularly with poor people, but there is no reason to think they have fewer problems with alcohol and drugs than many others. Singling them out for denial of basic needs if they have a drug problem does not seem like a good way to get them back on their feet.

I remember a time about 20 years ago when I was in a contract negotiating session when the employer representative decided to throw drug testing on the table to intimidate us. I stood up and railed of course but also challenged everyone at the table to “pee in a cup right now to show our good will.” Strangely, nobody took me up on my challenge. Years later, we both had a good laugh at my antics and agreed I may have been the only person at the table who would have passed the drug test.

Why not stop punishing poor people and do what it takes to help them.

If all the wealth right wing nutjobs are willing to take random drug tests with a forfeit of their wealth as a penalty if they fail, I will do the same.

There must be a god in heaven somewhere who keeps me from being a right wing nutjob.

And oh yes, have a nice Day?
wjc
Caveat Lectores by Jeff Carnes
Read at your own risk. 9400 Readers in 576 Cities, 46 States and 23 Countries

Lectores Labor Consulting 813-240-8165
LectoresIT.com

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Monday, March 28, 2011

Caveat Lectores on the American Dream 3-28-2011

The new American Dream is what is keeping the American Dream from being a reality. Today’s American Dream has changed over the years. There was a time when The American Dream was “a national ethos of the United States in which freedom includes a promise of the possibility of prosperity and success.” In the definition of the American Dream by James Truslow Adams in 1931, "life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement" regardless of social class or circumstances of birth.

The idea of the American Dream has roots in the United States Declaration of Independence which proclaims that "all men are created equal" and that they are "endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights" including "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

All that is fine and good, but somewhere along the way we got the idea that becoming rich was the American Dream. As the middle class developed, more and more people took “the possibility of prosperity and success” to mean they too could be rich with just a little luck and maybe some hard work. Many felt that luck had more to do with wealth than work.

I recently read something that stated most poor people think they are just one good deal away from getting rich. The investment hucksters in the media and internet make it sound like all you will have to do to climb up from the masses is to open an investment account and wait for the wealth to just appear. Since nobody wants to be middle class anymore, we do not care if it is destroyed.

Well here is some news for you. Yes, we do not have legal barriers that will totally preclude you form amassing wealth. Yes, you will probably never be wealthy no matter what you do and the wealthy are working at making sure you never are wealthy. You see wealth is for the wealthy. Not you and me. When we become wealthy or even financially successful, it takes money away from those who are already wealthy. They do not like that.

Donald Trump, the Koch brothers and nearly every other really wealthy person you will ever know about does not want the masses to have great wealth. It will not work. There is a level wealth between us and the wealthy that push back when we try to invade their territory. They are the nouveau riche, the wannabees and the politicians who are the sycophants and lap dogs of the wealthy. They do the dirty work of the wealthy to keep us away from the prize. They now want to marginalize us even more. BOHICA

And oh yes, have a nice Day?

Wjc

Caveat Lectores by Jeff Carnes

Read at your own risk. 10,000 plus readers in 576 Cities, 46 States and 23 Countries

Lectores Labor Consulting 813-240-8165

LectoresIT.com

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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Caveat Lectores on March 26, 2011

Most of the effort going into Caveat Lectores occurs on Saturdays. Monday-Fridays are supposed to be for labor attorney work and teaching at USF. On Saturday mornings, I usually read the papers with E/S along with a cup or three of coffee. When the caffeine kicks in, it is off to the word processor to bang out some syllables for the masses to consume and to relieve my blood pressure.

Sometimes, I get writer’s block and nothing comes out. Other times, the old brain is on overload from all the total bullshit that needs addressing. Today is one of those Saturdays.

I am so angry and frustrated with practically every facet of the world that I call mine I cannot get started. I do not know if it is writer’s block or a meltdown. Maybe it would feel a little better if it were a simple attack of schizophrenia. That can be treated to some extent with drugs and therapy. Drugs, whether legal or not, will not fix the problems we are facing. If I thought they would, I would sink into a drug induced coma until this blows over but that will not happen. The world may blow up but this insanity will not blow over.

WTF has happened is beyond my full comprehension. I am simply not smart enough to grasp it all, and I am kinda smart or so I thought.

This Rant will be broadcast to the whole world but will only examine the craziness in Floriduh. Much of it will translate to other states and countries with only a little bit of extrapolation.

The Floriduh Legislature is in session and nobody is safe except the wealthy. These are not disorganized random acts of legislative terrorism upon the general public. There is a plan. You are watching democracy fail before your very eyes.
• The poor and elderly are taking hits to medical care.
• Teachers and public education are being ravaged.
• Fire and police employees are in danger.
• Public employee unions are targeted for extinction.
• Public pensions are at risk.
• Environmental protection is on the hit list.
• The unemployed will suffer even more.
• All business regulation is under attack.
• More and more public school funds are being sent to private schools.
• Female reproductive rights are in jeopardy.
• Public not for profit hospitals are in trouble.

Let me be a little more specific:

•Most Floriduh state employees will now be required to submit to random drug testing for no reason other than the governor’s perverse curiosity to see what is in their body fluids. Naturally, tax payers will pay a private company to do this. Never mind that this has already been found unconstitutional. I have not seen the Executive Order, but there are a lot of issues this brings up that are not easily addressed in such a blanket mandate. Drug testing is a mandatory subject of bargaining, and Scott has not made that illegal YET.
• The Floriduh House of Representatives voted to make it illegal to deduct voluntary union dues from a public employee’s paycheck. Maybe the Floriduh Senate will recognize this is a mandatory subject of bargaining before enacting an unconstitutional law.
• Last year, former Floriduh Governor Crist vetoed a bill allowing politicians to create new campaign finance accounts within the political parties where they could raise unlimited contributions year-round; even during the legislative session. These “leadership funds” are currently banned in Floriduh, but legislators have been using the political parties to get around the ban. On Thursday, both houses of the republican controlled legislature voted to override Crist’s veto and Floriduh’s politicians now have new and extremely powerful avenues to raise special interest campaign money. BOHICA
• House Bill 7129 called “The Community Planning Act” would essentially “gut” state growth management requirements for cities and counties. It would undercut the rights of citizens to appeal inappropriate local government planning decisions, weaken the ability of local governments to charge developers for the costs of new roads and schools, allow large-scale development without any certainty that conservation lands will be preserved and seriously curtail state review of local plan amendments.

You will notice I avoided any mention of Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, big oil, Obamacare, Darfur, John Boehner, Nancy Pelosi and most of the things I cited in a past Rants such as: Wing Nuts (left and right), Tea Baggers, Right Wing Conservatives, Ku Klux Klan, Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, Moral Majority, Dixiecrats, Racists, Sexists, feminists, Gay Baiters, Ronald Reagan, Barry Goldwater, McCarthyism, Fascism, Marxism, Communism, Socialism, Fundamentalists, Neo-Cons, Supply Side Economics, Trickledown Economics, Social Conservatism, Contract With America, Creationism, Anyone Named Jeb Bush, Rush Limbaugh, Michael Peroutka, Jim Quinn, Dennis Miller, Ben Ferguson, Lars Larson, Sean Hannity, G. Gordon Liddy, Laura Ingraham, Mike Church, Mark Levin, Michael Savage, Larry Elder, Kim Peterson, Neal Boortz, Michael Reagan, Jason Lewis And Ken Hamblin, John Burch Society, Koch brothers, Compassionate Conservatism, Common Sense Conservative, Conservative Talk, Constitution Party, Neo-conservatism, New Right, Old Right, Reactionary, Reagan Doctrine, Tea Party Movement, Traditionalist Conservatism, United States Republican Party, RPOF, Neoconservatism And Paleoconservatism, American Enterprise Institute, The American Spectator , Cato Institute, Chronicles Magazine, City Journal, First Things, Freedom Works, Humanitas, Intercollegiate Studies Institute, Leadership Institute, Modern Age, National Review Policy Review, Project For A New American Century, The American Conservative, The Heritage Foundation, The Weekly Standard, Townhall.Com, Florida League of Cities, War, Hawks and Doves.

If you voted for these right wing nut job tea bagger scoundrels in the Floriduh legislature, you deserve what you are getting, but I did not vote for a one of them and do not deserve the abuse.


If you did not vote at all, you have failed yourself and should have to feel the pain even more. BOHICA

And oh yes, have a nice Day?

Wjc

Caveat Lectores by Jeff Carnes
Read at your own risk. 10,000 plus Readers in 576 Cities, 47 States and 23 Countries

Lectores Labor Consulting 813-240-8165
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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Caveat Lectores on Changes at the Devil’s Neck

3-19-2011

There is so much turmoil out here; the Lector does not know where to start in the effort to solve ALL the problems of the world. Rather than making any real effort to craft a positive impact, I think I will concentrate on the truly important subject of coming attractions at the Devil’s Neck Convention Center.

As you may know, the DNCC has not been a huge financial success, largely because no one has flocked to the DNCC in droves. Apparently, ALL of you feel the DNCC is a spoof on management seminars and retreats. Well, nothing could be further from erroneous.

The DNCC board has decided to change the focus to something a little more somber (profitable).

ANNOUNCING, the April 1, 2011, Grand Opening of Dr. Hooby Boo’s Tea Bagger Asylum (TBA).

Since the State of Florida is intent on privatizing health care for the elderly and poor. We will be positioned just right to take advantage of the windfall for those willing to make promises they cannot keep but at a profit. The pleasant atmosphere and friendly folks at TBA will be a much needed respite for the mentally deranged right wing nutjobs and tea baggers when they begin to see the folly of their quest to destroy government. Tea baggers get old too and very few of them are wealthy.

The new location of TBA is very, very near the former site of the DNCC. A coat of paint and a few landscaping additions and no one will recognize the place. Hell, no one saw it before.

What we need now are investors to complete the process (scam). The state will pay us a daily stipend to keep the tea baggers in quiet solitude (confinement). This cannot lose.

We are also planning an on-site mortuary to take care of the increase in the need for funeral services that will emerge as we deny healthcare to those who cannot pay. Whoever said health care rationing was bad for business is a fool. Dr. Hooby Boo is a mortician.

Call 1-555-UBN-DUPD for more details on how you too can become a zillionaire.

And oh yes, have a nice Day?

Wjc

Caveat Lectores by Jeff Carnes
Read at your own risk. Over 10,000 Readers in 576 Cities, 47 States and 28 Countries

Lectores Labor Consulting 813-240-8165

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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Caveat Lectores on Racing to the Bottom

3-13-2011

A couple of weeks ago the Lector penned a Rant about Gotminegetyourownitis.

That’s the story of retirees who have made their pensions and now look to their younger peers with disdain because they feel secure and are willing to throw others under the bus if they think it will further their security.

Now, we have another element of society who wants to be heard. That faction includes those who do not have something (pensions), and openly want to soothe their envy by taking it away from those who do. These feelings are not new and are understandable. Would it be a better idea to look for ways to move up the ladder rather than try to soothe the pain of deprivation by dragging others down to the bottom rungs?

When the middle class and below attempt to move up the ladder, the uber-wealthy must feel the same way. Here is the difference: The uber-wealthy are devoted to creating a system that makes sure they will be wealthy no matter what happens to the economy. The plutocracy they seek will enable them to make sure to exclude anyone not worthy.

They will make sure they succeed by watching and encouraging what is left of the middle class consume themselves by fighting to get to the bottom of the class system created by the wealth they control.

And oh yes, have a nice Day?

Wjc
Caveat Lectores by Jeff Carnes
Read at your own risk. 10,000+ Readers in 576 Cities, 46 States and 23 Countries

Lectores Labor Consulting 813-240-8165
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Saturday, March 5, 2011

Caveat Lectores on Firefighter Values II

3-5-2011

By far, the most often viewed Rant has been Caveat Lectores on Firefighter Values from March 2010. It is the #1 keyword used to find us on Google. I find that interesting and have not a clue why that term comes up so often in word searches.

Firefighters and all public employees are taking a whipping these days. They are frequently portrayed as lazy, overpaid underachievers who feed at the public trough to the detriment of the tax payer. Yet, they continue to answer the calls for help without question as to why. It is what they do even when the news media and too many right wing sycophant politicians threaten to destroy their future.

Firefighter values are what make them get on the truck in the middle of a snow storm or in a freezing rain to try to get somebody out of trouble usually caused by the one who needs the help.

Firefighter values are what cause them to work a code on a heart attack victim until exhaustion makes them collapse only to be replaced by another.

Firefighter values are why they enter a building with intense heat, smoke and flames around them looking for someone’s child.

Firefighter values are why they work through the tears when that child dies in their arms.

Firefighter values are the real reason why they do not go on strike when the public and the politicians spit in their eyes and call them unworthy of respect or a decent living.

A paycheck is what allows them to live while they follow their firefighter values. Few will do what a firefighter does just because of the money.


The current attempts by the right wing nut jobs to vilify public employees are a shameful effort by those without enough heart and soul to do the jobs they will not do themselves. There is a reason why they call public employees “civil servants.”

Don’t get me wrong, firefighters are not the only worthy servants of the public. All public employees deserve to be able to go to work without being persecuted. I was once a firefighter and am now a public university teacher, labor lawyer and consultant. One day I will admit to being a senior citizen who would like to have something remind me of my years of service than a kick in the teeth. There was never a day I was not proud to be a firefighter.

I willingly gave up my fire service career and pension to do something else I wanted to do. They are trying to take your pension and employment rights away from you.

There is a difference. Do not let them do it.

Know your enemies. Make them pay every day, in every way. Make some noise.
And oh yes, have a nice Day?

Wjc

Caveat Lectores by Jeff Carnes

Read at your own risk. 10,000+ Readers in 576 Cities, 48 States and 43 Countries

Lectores Labor Consulting 813-240-8165
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Caveat Lectores’ Weekend for Tea Baggers at the Devil’s Neck

3-5-2111

In order to show the Lector’s good will and commitment to diversity, Caveat Lectores announces the 1st Annual Tea Bagger Appreciation Weekend Getaway at the Devil’s Neck Convention Center.

I know. I know. It seems like the Lector has a mean spirited contempt for ignorant right wing nutjobs and tea baggers, but that is all just an act to stir the troops into action.

The Lector and the entire Caveat Lectores staff are just a frolicking bunch of good natured, heterosexual, conservative, white, home folks who take ignorance of government and the Constitution with a grain of table salt. We do not want to pay taxes or see our investment earning going to help others any more than the next right wing conservative nutjob.

We thought it would be a good idea to show our good faith by offering use of the Devil’s Neck Convention Center site as a love offering. Caveat Lectores and the DNCC will make no charge for property rental.

We do not want to interfere with the arrangements being made by the Koch brothers for other get togethers so we will wait a few weeks until they have fully done all they can do to interfere with democracy up north in Wisconsin and Ohio. If we offered to hold something in the dead of winter, I fear the sunny Florida weather would interfere with their plans. We will wait until August when the Florida weather will compete less. That way we can be sure that only real tea baggers will attend.

The Lector would like suggestions from the Caveat Lectores readers on what some of the weekend activities should be. Here are a couple ideas I and a few other Lectores supporters thought of right away.

• Political sign making contest to see who can come up with the most inane slogan.
• Cross construction lessons. Good for burning or worship.
• Reading classes for those who actually want to know what is in the Constitution.
• Seminar entitled: R U Smarter Then a Liberal??
• Sarah Palin look-alike contest for the evening entertainment.
• Seminar entitled: How to Ignore and Distort Research and Facts 101.
• Seminar entitled: Ms. Manners’ Class on Disrespectful Disagreement.
• Seminar entitled: Learning to Interfere with Groups Who HELP Others.

In order to assure our inclusive posture to allow anyone to become a Tea Bagger, we are foregoing the traditional "three tooth minimum."

More information to come ASAP or call 1-555-UBN-DUPD.

And oh yes, Have a nice Day?

Wjc
Caveat Lectores by Jeff Carnes
Read at your own risk.

Over 10,000 Readers in 576 Cities, 48 States and 43 Countries

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Monday, February 28, 2011

Caveat Lectores: Labor Quotes

2-28-2011

With all this noise about basic rights and values, I wonder why the right wing nut jobs and tea baggers want to hurt workers? I wonder if it is because they are idiots who have been co-opted by the wealthy? Hmmmm

1. Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if Labor had not first existed. Labor is superior to capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.

2. With all their faults, trade unions have done more for humanity than any other organization of men that ever existed. They have done more for decency, for honesty, for education, for the betterment of the race, for the developing of character in men, than any other association of men.

3. Every advance in this half-century -- Social Security, civil rights, Medicare, aid to education, one after another - came with the support and leadership of American Labor.

4. It is one of the characteristics of a free and democratic nation to have free and independent labor unions.

5. Only a fool would try to deprive working men and working women of their right to join the union of their choice.

6. If capitalism is fair then unionism must be. If men have a right to capitalize their ideas and the resources of their country, then that implies the right of men to capitalize their labor.

7. In our glorious fight for civil rights, we must guard against being fooled by false slogans, as 'right-to-work.' It provides no 'rights' and no 'works.' Its purpose is to destroy labor unions and the freedom of collective bargaining.…

8. If you are making a decent salary in a non-union company, you owe that to the unions. One thing that corporations do not do is give out money out of the goodness of their hearts.

9. If hard work were such a wonderful thing, surely the rich would have kept it all to themselves.

1Abraham Lincoln, 2Clarence Darrow, 3Jimmy Carter, 4Franklin D. Roosevelt, 5Dwight D. Eisenhower, 6Frank Lloyd Wright, 7Martin Luther King, Jr., 8Molly Ivins, 9Lane Kirkland

And oh yes, have a nice Day?

Wjc

Caveat Lectores by Jeff Carnes
Read at your own risk. 9400 Readers in 576 Cities, 46 States and 23 Countries

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Monday, February 21, 2011

Caveat Lectores on Gotminegetyourownitis

2-21-2011

There is a malaise going ‘round that can no longer be ignored.

It is called gotminegetyourownitis.

This disease is particularly prevalent among older workers who have vested in their pension or are already collecting. It comes from the mistaken belief that a benefit you have been granted will never be taken away or even reduced. These unfortunate persons suffer from the delusion that their Social Security and/or pensions are safe just because it is too late to fire them before they begin collecting.

When your former employer decides that the employer no longer wishes to fund the benefit, and the fund does not have enough money to pay perpetually, the employer will send you a letter and inform you that your benefit is being reduced.

They can’t do that you say! Really? They made the rules. They can change the rules and they are trying to do just that.

They can’t do that. I have a contract. Contracts are breached every day. All you have to do is hire a lawyer and in about 10 years a jury made up of people who do not have pensions will decide whether your heirs should get the money.
As you smugly think you are secure from the disaster that threatens the future of active public employees by naively believing nothing can happen to your pension, think again.

How could this happen? Easily. When the current employees and future employees are placed in defined contribution plans, the existing pension funds will begin to dry up when new money is not going onto the funds. If all the funds have to depend on are good investment return years and no employer or employee contributions, they will soon show signs of financial anemia. You will receive less than promised. If it gets bad enough, the plans will be dissolved, and you will get your share of what is left. This ain’t rocket science. It is reality.

How do you combat this?

• You could die soon to avoid the future. That seems a bit harsh, but it is an option. Your spousal beneficiary may or may not approve of that option.
• You can stop supporting right wing causes that support destroying your future. This is a real threat to you. The government taking your guns away so you cannot fight a civil war and making you have an abortion are not worth worrying about. You are too old. Get over it.
• You can lend your years of experience in politics to try to defeat the right wing nutjobs who want to use political opportunism to harm you and your family. You are the ones who fought to get these rights. Now get in the fight to keep them for yourselves and others.

If you are too busy in retirement to help your brothers and sisters as they fight to keep their pensions and collective bargaining rights, you will not be too busy to look for a job after you get the letter telling you the pension check is not coming next month.

And oh yes, have a nice Day?

Wjc

Caveat Lectores by Jeff Carnes

Read at your own risk. 9900 Readers in 576 Cities, 46 States and 23 Countries

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Sunday, February 20, 2011

Caveat Lectores on Your Bright Future in Public Employment

2-20-2011

OK listen up. The Lector is very serious here. No bullshit Ranting from me today.

The rights of public employees are threatened as never before. What is happening in Wisconsin and Ohio and elsewhere is just a starter round of assaults on your rights. The right wing nutjobs and tea baggers are after your right to collectively bargain the terms and conditions of your employment.

I grew up in a small southern textile mill town. My father was a mid-level supervisor in the town’s only industry, textile manufacturing. 70% of the people attached to that town worked in the mill for the man. Literally, everything revolved around the fortunes of that mill. We were generally provided with all the essentials of a comfortable life so long as we were willing to accept what the man unilaterally decided what was essential.

Fortunately, things were going pretty well for the man in the 60’s. My family was not poor in spite of the claims I make about how poor we were. The town was poor however, even though much less poor than many cotton mill towns. It was poor in many ways not revolving around just money.

Unions were never an issue during my formative years because any talk of a union or employee rights would cause immediate termination from employment and banishment from the town. The only game in town for my family was the man’s mill.

Early in my years, I decided that kind of life was not for me even though it seemed safe, secure and comfortable. Upon graduation from high school, the man granted me a college scholarship partly because of my father’s position at the man’s mill and maybe because of my grades and potential. The scholarship was to a lower echelon junior college. My father was not that important at the man’s mill.

Once I left town and began to experience a world not controlled by the man, I saw how really poor I was. I vowed never to return except for family reunions and funerals. Life has been good since I left. As you may have already determined, the town does not miss me. The man’s mill has been torn down after a succession of buyers raped it and foreign imports decimated the industry. The mill’s new owners fought tooth and nail to keep collective bargaining out. A union finally succeeded in forming, but it was too late for the mill and the employees.

My first jobs in the corporate world were largely successful but a real eye opener in how ruthless corporations could be with employees, customers, and anyone who obstructed unfettered profitability. The paternalistic mill seemed mild by comparison. The pay was a lot better but the stakes were much higher and the penalty for lack of blind obedience to the corporate culture very severe if ethical action and job security were a virtue.

I went out on my own and loved it. The rewards were… rewarding, but the economy went south into a recession. I could see my fortunes disappearing and sought another job to support my family. Someone suggested the fire service. Poor pay, long hours at work followed by even longer hours off duty to make enough money to live because the fire service would not provide it. And by the way, after 20-30 years of trying to kill yourself by running into burning buildings, they would let you retire with a pension before you were too old to enjoy the rest of your life. What a deal. I loved my years as a firefighter. Sometimes I question why I ever left, but I did not really leave. I only left the pension behind. My heart is in a firehouse even today.

It was during that time that I learned about public sector union collective bargaining rights. They were just made legal in Florida. My fire department supervisor, originally from Flint, Michigan, encouraged this young and na├»ve rookie firefighter to join the IAFF. When I questioned why I should do this heretofore heretical deed, he said and I quote, “How would you like to go into a burning building knowing your backup hates your guts because you are too cheap to join the union? Now sign the fucking card.” My response was to ask where to sign, and it has been a good ride since.

I found out what it was like to have a say in my work life. Not being a total wage slave produced a good feeling. Yes, I was still dependant on the whim of the public employer but at least I had a seat at the table to discuss the folly of the public employer’s whims.

Now, I practice law after years of working as a firefighter and union supporter. I also teach Labor and Employment Law and Management Ethics at the local and very large university. Truthfully, I do not know exactly why they leave me alone in a room with young minds but they do, and they pay me. Not much money but enough to say I am still a public employee. I love teaching as much as fighting fire and lawyering. I still belong to a union but have no collective bargaining rights and no benefits.

It saddens me past anger to see a misguided citizenry demonizing public employees. The notion that public employees are lazy or over paid is nonsense. It is not new to make light of public service, but the right wing nutjobs and tea baggers have taken it past absurdity. They not only want to destroy government, they want to destroy the lives, careers and futures of the very people who choose to provide the services they demand but do not want to pay for.

Somehow the logic goes like this:

• We are in bad economic times.
• Let’s blame the public employees for the sins of a greedy business and financial world that caused economic meltdown.
• Let’s demonize public employees because they have benefits the private sector lost when we effectively stole their futures.
• Let’s take away their right to be involved in politics and collective bargaining.

That will make everything all better.

The right wingers and tea baggers want to go back to the old days when the Constitution was fresh with signatures of the slave owners who founded this country. No amendments like the Bill of Rights. Just the bare bones raw federal government we had in the 18th century. No regulations to impede corporate profits. No laws that require business and government to bargain over terms of employment. No pensions. No Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid for the elderly and poor. They want to return the government back to the people just like it was in the 1700s.

They are the dupes of the super wealthy who despise the notion that the common working man and woman share in any of the wealth they can steal by operating without rules.

What is going on in Wisconsin and Ohio will soon come to a state capitol near you. BOHICA

Get angry. Make some noise. Identify politicians who want to hurt you and make them know how angry you are. No longer should you just tolerate right wing nut jobs and tea baggers who want to steal from you. Call them out for what they are. Liars and thieves. Vote then out of office. Make them pay for what they are trying to do to you and your family.

And oh yes, have a nice Day?

Wjc

Caveat Lectores by Jeff Carnes
Read at your own risk.

9800 Readers in 576 Cities, 46 States and 23 Countries

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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Caveat Lectores Memo to Union Leadership #1

2-13-2011

It is time to get ugly. We should have gotten ugly early but it is not too late.

Make some noise.

The right wing nut jobs and tea baggers are working hard at taking away the careers and futures of your members. Doing so will endanger the future for the citizens you serve as well. There are a lot of people in each city, township, county, state and in the entire nation who are counting on you.

Stop just defending yourselves and attack them where they live. Are you up to the task?

The Lectores mantra is usually framed in political civility as it should be; however, there is an element of the body politic dedicated to destroying unions and the workers who do the work of this country. The way they have been operating is to use false and at the very least misleading “facts” to anchor the message that public sector workers are lazy, greedy, over paid and under worked. They are scapegoating public sector workers in an even more vengeful way than they attacked private sector workers 20 plus years ago. They subdued the voices of the private sector and have now set their sights on the unions who protect the rights of public employees.

This faction is nothing new, but they are now fully in charge (with the help of the very people they seek to destroy). It is now time to counter attack and disgrace, disarm and marginalize your enemies before they further their political fortunes by stomping you into the dirt.

In Lectores Lobbying School and The Survivor’s Guide to a Successful Public Sector Union, the Lector identifies different species of politicians as:

• Real supporters: These will almost seem like true friends, if they actually exist in political circles. They are tireless supporters of your causes.
• Political allies: These legislators will be on your side unless there is an overriding need to be somewhere else. They will support you but need to get reelected.
• Fence Sitters: Most of your so-called friends reside here. They will be uncommitted on the issues, potentially able to vote either way but not openly against you.
• Uncommitted Opponents: You can count on these legislators voting against your issues, but they are not committed to seeing you destroyed in the process.
• Hard Core Opponents: These legislators will lead your opposition. The only way you will ever make them anything other than what they are is to put them out of office. Discredit their position as extreme to the extent that others may think twice before aligning with them.


It is only recently that public employees and their leaders have had to face the irrational rhetoric of so many uncommitted and hard core opponents. It is now fashionable for right wing politicians and the sycophant media to make open attempts at demonizing, scapegoating and harming public employees. These are the same politicians who took your money and support in the past and have mesmerized your members into supporting their right wing causes. They are aided by a right wing media that purports to report the news but is only spinning the news into right wing conservative propaganda.

You must now attack them as publicly as possible. Make them suffer.
• Call a liar a liar and nothing less. Accept the truth but expose the lies as loudly as possible.
• Call out these people who seek to further destroy the middle class workers’ future in uncompromising terms.
• Call out fellow public employees who support those who seek to destroy them. They are ignorant and need to know the truth in the harshest terms you can muster.
• Stop being nice to anyone who wants to hurt you or your members, the public and themselves. Ignorance and stupidity can no longer be overlooked and even condoned in the name of peaceful coexistence.


Stay tuned…more to come.

And oh yes, have a nice Day?

Wjc
Caveat Lectores by Jeff Carnes
Read at your own risk.
Closing in on 10,000 Readers in 621 Cities, 46 States and 26 Countries

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Saturday, February 12, 2011

Caveat Lectores on Money Rape

February 12, 2011

A recent Daily Show segment accidently identified the core reason for the existence of right wing nut job and tea bagger resistance to democracy.

http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed-february-2-2011/rape-victim-abortion-funding

In this segment, Jon Stewart and correspondent Kristen Schaal discuss the definition of “rape” and how the rePuPlican House of Representatives is trying to redefine rape to eliminate federal funding for all but forcible rape.

In the discussion, they talk about the term “money rape”
She said, "Congress is redefining rape to protect us from the worst kind of rape...Money rape."
Money rape, she said, is "Forcible taking of taxpayers' money to pay for abortions. They have no say in the matter: they just have to lay back and take it while their bank accounts are violated over and over and over again."
Schaal explained: "You'd be surprised how many drugged, underage or mentally handicapped young women have been gaming the system. Sorry, ladies, the free abortion ride is over."

This is an important breakthrough in placing a term on what the right wing conservative nut jobs and tea baggers are really all about.

It’s about the money. We all knew that all along but it is more.

It is all about not having to pay for anything that the right wing nut job conservative and tea bagger does not receive a direct benefit or find appealing. Since they cannot find universal agreement on what to, they just really want to eliminate government.

We now have identified the definitive terminology for democracy. Money Rape.

Majority rule is dangerous. It allows the have nots to benefit from living in a society at the expense of the haves. It allows all citizens to participate in society. This Money Rape must end now.

Maybe we need to repeal democracy to avoid things like universal healthcare, collective bargaining, environmental regulation, public education. Holy shit!!

Maybe the right wing nut job conservatives and tea baggers have the right idea here, after all. Let’s really save some serious geetus by doing away with the armed forces and the police and the fire departments, libraries, roads, sewers and water supply. The list of government services provided for the good of all but at the expense of all is mind boggling. We need to stop the travesty in its tracks ASAP. The right wing nut job conservatives and tea baggers are doing their best to stop the things they do not like.

I had no idea that we could save all that money by just redefining rape to mean forcible rape.

We are headed in a direction at warp speed. Who knows where we will crash land? Or what will be left when we do? Where we go from here is up to us.

And oh yes, have a really nice Day?

Wjc

Caveat Lectores by Jeff Carnes
Read at your own risk. 9400 Readers in 576 Cities, 46 States and 23 Countries

Lectores Labor Consulting 813-240-8165

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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Caveat Lectores on Blaming Giffords for Getting Shot

2-2-11

The Lector will make a lame attempt at civility here…. but not really.

Here is a link to a news article that discusses how a tea bagger leader decided to blame Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords for getting shot. His take on it seems to be that, if she really thought she was at risk, she should have had security. (Remember that Sarah Falin and the tea baggers are up in arms because of the suggestion that their violent rhetoric directed to anyone who disagreed with them could possibly influence someone to do harm to their targets.)

Ok, none of his bullshit makes any sense, and we should write him off as a right wing conservative nut job….

Wait a minute here; there is something very despicable about his assertions. Blaming her requires blaming the others who were slain and injured, as well. They should have known that this could happen, and they decided to go to the parking lot where something like that could have happened. And then it did happen and they share the blame.

JFTDC, maybe he is correct.

Let’s back up here and see the reasonableness of the position he is taking. Tea baggers yearn for times past when things were simpler, less government, less taxes, less regulation, less laws to interfere with their lives. Apparently, they long for a time when it was standard operating procedure to blame a rape victim. Well… that was so unless it was a white woman raped by a black man, then get the rope and get this lynching over with ASAP. What is the difference?

There is none.

Recently, I made something of a personal resolution, at the suggestion of others, to cut the mean spirited comments about right wing conservative nut jobs and tea baggers. I decided to just try to disregard their total ignorance and inanity hoping they would burn themselves out. That resolution occurred before my most recent encounters with right wing conservative nut jobs and tea bagger idiots. They deserve all I can dish out.

And oh yes, have a nice Day?

Wjc

Caveat Lectores by Jeff Carnes

Read at your own risk. 9500 Readers in 576 Cities, 46 States and 23 Countries

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Monday, January 31, 2011

The Public-Sector Squeeze

Monday 31 January 2011

Max Fraad-Wolff and Richard D. Wolff, Truthout:

"A national campaign is now fully launched to make local, public-sector employees pick up a major share of the costs of the economic crisis. Years of rising spending and falling revenue have carved a path of destruction through federal, state and local budgets. Deficits and debts have mounted, eroding taxpayer support for government spending in general and for public employees particularly. In response to deep economic pains in middle-class communities, major efforts are under way, from California to Maine, to balance budgets through major cuts in services, wages, benefits and employment."

Read more

And oh yes, have a nice Day?

Wjc

Caveat Lectores by Jeff Carnes

Read at your own risk. 9400 Readers in 576 Cities, 46 States and 23 Countries

Lectores Labor Consulting 813-240-8165



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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Caveat Lectores on Drop Plans

1-29-11

So there I was attending a largely republican social gathering to honor public safety employees. Things were going well, then this “person” butts into a conversation the Lector was having with a firefighter union leader about the unfair attacks on public sector pensions. This “person”, who I easily identified as a right wing conservative nut job tea bagger type idiot (RWCNJTBTI), flatly stated that public employees who “DROP” were “unethical”, “immoral” and “wrong” to do so.

Things did not go so well after that.

The Lector has actually accomplished some research into DROP plans. Something I doubt this RWCNJTBTI would even consider. Fox News, the Florida League of Cities Newsletter and worse are probably the sources for the ridiculous views of the RWCNJTBTI. (I am not going to waste space describing DROP plans to readers who already know about DROP. It is a non-subject to those who are unaware or disinterested, but the link below provides a pretty good description.)

http://www.allbusiness.com/human-resources/benefits-retirement-benefits/854593-1.html

Facts did not dissuade the RWCNJTBT’s rancor.

Also, the Lector has an alter ego who teaches Business Ethics at a rather large university. I may not be a genuine for real PhD expert academic and philosopher on Business Ethics, but I claim to be and did read at the very least one book on the subject more than once.

For anyone to suggest than an employee is immoral and unethical for taking an opportunity offered by the employer that is perfectly legal is absurd. All the employees are doing is redistributing the way they will collect the money owed to them.

The overly simplified original idea for DROP plans came from management to entice employees to retire early while allowing the employer to plan for transitioning of the retiring employee on a date certain. If things went according to the plan, the employer would save money in a number of ways while the employee would gain the illusion of amassing a large fund of dollars they would otherwise not be able to amass.

These DROP plans were either unilaterally imposed upon non-union employees or bargained into collective bargaining agreements. All went well until the stock market and economy tanked and the “have nots” decided some employees were actually prospering from an idea that came from management. All hell has broken loose in the RWCNJTBT’s attempts to demonize workers for the failures of management. The facts are that many employers did not properly fund the pension plans in good times making it all the more difficult to pay back the underfunded liabilities, but we blame the employees for the misfeasance, nonfeasance and even the malfeasance of management and the politicians who control management. BOHICA

Fortunately for me, I exited the conversation with the RWCNJTBT before saying what should have been said but to my detriment. I do recall saying the day would never come when I would agree an employee was unethical and immoral for following the reasonable and legal rules of the employer. I wanted to say a lot more but E/S, who was unaware of the exchange, pulled on my sleeve and saved me from myself.

And oh yes, have a nice Day?

Wjc

Caveat Lectores by Jeff Carnes

Read at your own risk. 9400 Readers in 576 Cities, 46 States and 23 Countries

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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Caveat Lectores: Abolish Collective Bargaining Now

1-23-2011

The Lector has the answer to the problems with government funding. Abolish collective bargaining. Removing any rights afforded public employees in the past will solve all the financial woes created by a myriad of sources. It is that simple. That is what a Nebraska legislator has suggested. Read all about it right here.

http://www.omaha.com/article/20110115/NEWS01/701159845

JFTDC. Life is so simple to simpletons. I wonder if the numbnutz who suggested this is a right wing nutjob or just an insensitive buffoon completely subjugated to the interests of the wealthy. Or are they the same?

That same news article mentions North Carolina as a shining example of what happens in a state where bargaining is forbidden and employers are free to set terms and conditions of employment unilaterally. I wonder if NC state and local governments are having economic difficulty. HMMMMM. Yes, they are. Maybe unionized public employees did not cause the problems.

Ok, perhaps denying what should be a basic human right will not solve all the problems of government, but I have an even better idea.

Government should refuse to bargain all agreements with vendors and just pay what is financially expedient according to the whims of the day. The tax payers will save a lot of money this way. If no one wants to sell goods and services at the unilaterally determined price, the government can just require the vendor to deliver the goods and services or else.

Why did I not think of that before? BOHICA

And oh yes, have a nice Day?

Wjc
Caveat Lectores by Jeff Carnes
9300 Readers in 576 Cities, 46 States and 23 Countries
Read at your own risk.
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Saturday, January 22, 2011

Caveat Lectores on Grievance Mediation Part 4

1-22-2011

This Blog on grievance mediation contains work by T.W. Young, III and Kevin E. Hyde. Mediation-an offer you can’t refuse? I have fought some really interesting labor arbitrations with Kevin Hyde. He is still practicing labor law in Jacksonville, Florida and is a member of the City Council. This is an excerpt from The Survivor’s Guide to a Successful Labor Union used with permission.

What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Grievance Mediation?

Upside

• Case assessment by neutral third party (if the mediator uses an evaluative technique);
• No restriction on what is said to the mediator;
• Informal process as opposed to arbitration/court system;
• Employer and grievant will get an opportunity to vent;
• Confidentiality;
• Cost: 1/4 cost of arbitration, 1/10 cost of litigation;
• Personal resources: less staff time involved, few or no witnesses, no formal exhibits;
• Time saved: Settlement is frequently immediate
• 30 days or more for an arbitration decision
• 6 months or more for a PERC/NLRB decision
• 1 year or more in civil litigation;
• Parties control the process and the outcome;
• Hearings, arbitrations and trials are not fun and recreational activities. They take a toll on the parties and the relationships;
• Issues may be narrowed even if no settlement is reached;
• Parties may learn from the process and avoid future impasse situations;
• Mediation waives no future rights to continue to arbitration or civil litigation;
Downside
• Most grievances are resolved without mediation;
• Mediation cannot guarantee resolution to the grievance;
• Mediation cannot overcome either party’s desire or need to “win;”
• Mediation requires voluntary agreement to be successful;
• It is successful only to the extent that each party is willing to accommodate the other in those grievances where the available information indicates accommodation is justified;
• Catch-22: mediation’s success depends on the continued existence of arbitration as the next step, but the existence of arbitration as the next step allows the parties to refuse to accept mediation;
• Union may attempt to use mediation to obtain something not available in negotiation;
• Managerial reluctance to voluntarily agree to change;
• Mediation could undermine the union’s support among rank and file on the grounds that the union accepted a settlement that was less than what could have been achieved in arbitration;
• Mediation is not in the self interest of the arbitration advocates and arbitrators;
• It costs one day’s per diem for the mediator and several hours of work by the parties that would not have been necessary had the parties gone directly to arbitration or court.

Grievance mediation will not settle all grievances (86%), but it is a relatively low cost alternative to just automatically pursuing every grievance to arbitration or dropping it. Arbitration is risky and costly, and dropping grievances may save money on the front end only to require a costly defense to a DFR litigation that could end badly and become even more costly.

And oh yes, have a nice Day?

Wjc

Caveat Lectores by Jeff Carnes
9300 Readers in 576 Cities, 46 States and 23 Countries

Read at your own risk.

Lectores Labor Consulting 813-240-8165

LectoresIT.com

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Caveat Lectores on Buzz Words

1-22-2011

This country is infatuated with “buzz words” and talking points created by the right wing conservative pundits and Tea baggers. They are the current vernacular of the day that clue us in on what is going on in the minds of the mindless. Make no mistake the more liberal elements of the country would like to successfully mold public opinion by using their own terms, but they are not as self defining and inflammatory. The right wing is winning the war of propaganda fueled by simple words that anchor the debate on the right wing’s terms even when later proven false.

You will not hear a right winger speak without using such terms as:

Unsustainable public employee pensions, overly generous benefits, greedy public employees, big labor and labor bosses, privatize and out source, fiscal responsibility: Terms used to demonize public employees as if they are the cause of the financial crisis created and sustained by fighting multiple wars and suffering from the greed of Wall Street and the banking industry just to name a few sources of the Great Recession.

Pro business, deregulation, tax revolt, big government liberals, tax and spend liberals: Terms used to make it sound like the only reason the economy is a shambles is because of regulations originally put in place to protect business and consumers from self destruction created by greed and unlimited self interest.

Gay agenda, welfare moms, individual responsibility, socialist agenda, and un American: Terms used to demonize anyone who is not obviously mainstream and conservative.

Government healthcare takeover and death squads took hold in a way that absolutely defies any factual analysis whatsoever.

BOHICA

And oh yes, have a nice Day?

Wjc
Caveat Lectores by Jeff Carnes

9300 Readers in 576 Cities, 46 States and 23 Countries
Read at your own risk.
Lectores Labor Consulting 813-240-8165
LectoresIT.com
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