Wake up America: Another reason not to vote for Barack Obama

From the 31 July 2008 Washington Times:

Legislation that would make it more difficult for workers to hold a private ballot vote in unionization drives, which critics say would lead to harassment and intimidation, has spurred a pitched battle between powerful labor unions supportive of Sen. Barack Obama and big business in the presidential campaign.

Seen by the AFL-CIO as a way to boost union rolls by hundreds of thousands of new members, the hotly-contested bill has become this year’s No. 1 election issue for organized labor. Mr. Obama, the presumptive Democratic nominee, has promised union bosses that the Employee Free Choice Act will become law in 2009 if he wins the presidency in November. [My emphasis, of Orwellian double-speak at its finest. – NPO]

“We’re ready to play offense for organized labor. It’s time we had a president who didn’t choke saying the word ‘union.’ A president who strengthens our unions by letting them do what they do best: organize our workers,” Mr. Obama told the AFL-CIO in Philadelphia on April 2.

“I will make it the law of the land when I’m president of the United States,” Mr. Obama told the labor federation.

Is it any wonder that the attractiveness of organized labor has declined as precipitously as it has when its leaders seek to deny could-be union members the right to vote to organize, or not to, in secret?* Really, only Obama’s support of this draconian policy boggles my mind more than the proposal’s very existence. Notice that Obama makes no claim, as quoted supra, of supporting the working man; rather, he saves his heroism for the unions. He wants “to play offense for organized labor“, rather than for organized laborers**. Accuse me of parsing to the most painfully minute degree; I stand by the importance of the difference here. Barack Obama has more interest, it would seem, in maintaining the financial support of the unions than in protecting the rights of the American working class. Change, indeed.

It is, perhaps, worthy of note that Obama has promised to enact the Freedom of Choice Act, guaranteeing further the “right” to “choose” to abort an unborn child and to enact the Employee Free Choice Act, which, in fact, severely limits the choice the American worker has. Baffling. Even George McGovern, stalwart union supporter, writing in the Wall Street Journal, says no to this egregious legislation, as Paul M. Weyrich notes

From McGovern’s opinion piece:

I worry that there has been too little discussion about EFCA’s true ramifications, and I think much of the congressional support is based on a desire to give our friends among union leaders what they want. But part of being a good steward of democracy means telling our friends “no” when they press for a course that in the long run may weaken labor and disrupt a tried and trusted method for conducting honest elections. [My emphasis, for awesome truth-telling. – NPO]

Reasonable Republican words on the Act, from Congressman John Kline, MN:

It is beyond me how one can possibly claim that a system whereby everyone — your employer, your union organizer, and your co-workers — knows exactly how you vote on the issue of unionization gives an employee free choice. . . . It seems pretty clear to me that the only way to ensure that a worker is free to choose is to ensure that there’s a private ballot, so that no one knows how you voted. I cannot fathom how we were about to sit there today and debate a proposal to take away a worker’s democratic right to vote in a secret-ballot election and call it “Employee Free Choice”.

For what it’s worth, as the article in the Times notes, McCain opposes this act.***

Update: Clive Crook has a good piece on EFCA, unions, and the Democrats. The comment box conversation is worth your time, too.

*For the love of God, I realize that this has come up long after the unions began to lose their luster, so, please, avoid trying to disprove my argument on such grounds. This policy, rather, I believe, is just the newest manifestation of the corruption that plagues organized labor, which perpetuates itself by positing continuously the chimera of a level of economic security that the working man can achieve onlythrough union membership.

**The reader ought not to construe this piece as indicative, at all, of my opinions on voluntary organization.

***The reader ought, of course, not to construe this piece as indicative of my support for or endorsement of Senator McCain.

****I should also note — insist, vehemently, even — that the fact that Wal-Mart and I fall on the same side of this in no way should be construed as being indicative of my support of, approval for, or interest in siding with this most evil bastard mutation of “free-market economics”.


A far worse war criminal-president than George W. Bush could ever hope to be

Sixty-three years ago, to-day, Harry Truman became one of the worst war criminals known to man-kind, authorizing the dropping of an atomic bomb on the innocent people of Hiroshima, despite the helplessness of Japan at that point in the war.

God bless America.

Well, duh!

Pleas for top-down aid to the world’s hungry, about which I have mixed feelings (Yes, I should like to witness the eradication of poverty and hungry; no, I don’t have any particularly affinity for World Bank, not to mention G8.), notwithstanding, Zoellick’s call for “reform of biofuel policies in rich countries, urging them to grow more food to feed the hungry” warms the cockles of my heart.

Speaking on the sidelines of the summit on Hokkaido island, Mr Zoellick said biofuels – transport fuels made from crops – have made a contribution to food price rises. [. . .]

”The US and Europe also need to take action to reduce mandates, subsidies and tariffs benefiting grain and oil seed biofuels that take food off the table for millions,” he said.

That only now has some-one made a fuss of this at such might heights baffles me. Long ago, I, coming from a (formerly) farming family, working in a grocery store at the time, and having many friends who farm, recognized that dedicating our monoculture production more to filling our tanks than our tummies would prove to be disastrous. My friend Eric, a farmer whose family has long benefitted from government intervention in the agri”culture” market, willing concedes that this is bad policy; self-interested, as we all are, he welcomes the increased prices, but he knows that this is bad news. I do, too, and I’m more than happy that my father and grandfather increased their annual rents by some thirty dollars per acre thanks to the ethanol craze. As nice as that is, though, we cannot, as Zoellick acknowledges, continue this asinine policy (or, truth be told, as Wendell Berry has, many times, reminded us, our entire system of monoculture agri-business. This is no place for such digression, though). Perhaps, this time, some-one in power will listen. Beginning to resemble a broken record of some-one as depressing as, say, Joy Division, I again remark that I remain bitterly pessimistic.

All Heller breaks loose.

My timidly confessing to agreement with JA’s comment in response to Jim Manzi notwithstanding, I do believe in the (non-absolute) right to arm oneself appropriately as a matter of personal defense, against both common street thugs and the same sort of government that enforces the USA PATRIOT Act. (Paranoid? Maybe. Only maybe.) This being the case, I’m not perturbed by this unsurprising response:

A powerful pro-gun lobby group in the United States has filed legal challenges to handgun bans in San Francisco and Chicago.

I really enjoy how this issue has set lefty mayor Gavin “Pretty-boy Adulterer” Newsome against at least one gay citizen:

The NRA is joined in the San Francisco suit by a gay man living in a government-owned housing development who says he needs a gun to protect himself from potential hate crimes.

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom said the city would “vigorously fight the NRA” and said the ban was good for public safety.

Stewie Griffin explains, succinctly and unintentionally, why Obama defeated Hillary

“Why, I’d be free from your oppressive gynocracy!”

Is this that elusive reverse racism?

Four Florida men face hate crime charges for allegedly beating an elderly woman and her two disabled friends for not paying a white person fee, police said.

As much as I disdain Red China

I can’t disagree totally with this. Though I contend that our abuses pale in comparison to those of the Reds, we certainly lack a clean record.