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

Lectores Labor Consulting 813-240-8165
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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

LectoresIT.com

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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

Lectores Labor Consulting 813-240-8165

LectoresIT.com

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