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Posts Tagged ‘unions’

Leftist death threats continue

Posted by Richard on April 2, 2011

The liberal talking heads continue to prattle on about the "extremism" of Tea Party members and their lack of "civility," while ignoring union thuggery and a plethora of leftist threats and intimidation.

In Wisconsin, the  teacher who threatened to kill 16 state senators and their families has finally been charged (but still not arrested):

Charges have been filed in an investigation of e-mailed death threats to Republican state Senators last month during the budget-repair debate — but oddly, no arrest has taken place. Prosecutors filed two felony counts and two misdemeanor counts against 26-year-old Katherine Windels of Cross Plains, Wisconsin, but only after the Wisconsin Department of Justice sent the district attorney a sharply-worded memo of its own, wondering why prosecutors hadn’t done anything with the referral. …

Windels claimed to have already constructed bombs. Yet the police investigators (undoubtedly members of a public employee union) to whom she confessed to making the threats a month ago did nothing. 

Gateway Pundit has more about Windels and links to yet more. 

In neighboring Michigan, the Mackinac Center for Public Policy had the temerity to send Freedom of Information Act requests to the labor studies departments of three universities for specific emails related to the collective bargaining issue in Wisconsin and Gov. Scott Walker. After various leftist "news" sources like Talking Points Memo, Rachel Maddow, and the New York Times publicized/criticized the requests, the center received "a deluge of hate mail and calls," including five messages containing death threats or bomb threats.

The center has contacted law enforcement. Good luck with that. I'm sure that, just as in the Wisconsin case, police officers who are members of public employee unions will investigate, discover that the alleged perps are on their side, and do nothing for as long as they can get away with it.

We have a serious problem, folks. The fiscal chickens are coming home to roost all across the country, and the generous pay, pensions, and benefits of public employees have become unsustainable. So we're going to see increasingly angry and confrontational battles in state after state pitting the public employee unions against the private citizens. The problem is that law enforcement, in most places, is in the hands of the public employee unions.

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Governor Walker explains

Posted by Richard on March 10, 2011

In a new Wall Street Journal op-ed column, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker shows that he really knows how to frame the issue:

In 2010, Megan Sampson was named an Outstanding First Year Teacher in Wisconsin. A week later, she got a layoff notice from the Milwaukee Public Schools. Why would one of the best new teachers in the state be one of the first let go? Because her collective-bargaining contract requires staffing decisions to be made based on seniority.

Ms. Sampson got a layoff notice because the union leadership would not accept reasonable changes to their contract. Instead, they hid behind a collective-bargaining agreement that costs the taxpayers $101,091 per year for each teacher, protects a 0% contribution for health-insurance premiums, and forces schools to hire and fire based on seniority and union rules.

My state's budget-repair bill, which passed the Assembly on Feb. 25 and awaits a vote in the Senate, reforms this union-controlled hiring and firing process by allowing school districts to assign staff based on merit and performance. That keeps great teachers like Ms. Sampson in the classroom.

Read the whole thing

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Bravo, Wisconsin Republicans!

Posted by Richard on March 9, 2011

Congrats to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and the Republicans in the State Senate for finally saying, "Enough is enough!" and figuring out a way to curb the public employee unions, despite all the Democrats remaining AWOL. I only wish they'd done this at least a week or ten days ago and spared us some of the crap that's been taking place in Madison.

I for one had seen quite enough of the angry mobs of union demonstrators, the sick leave fraud, Michael Moore's commie rants, the defiling of public property, and the trashing of the capitol grounds (Tea Party members cleaned up after the demonstrators).

The next few days should be interesting — and further clarify just how thuggish these public employee unions are. Tonight, they've taken over the Wisconsin State Capitol and handcuffed shut some of the doors. Apparently, they're going to try to prevent the Assembly from meeting to pass the Senate-passed bill.

Just keep checking in at Althouse for the latest from Anne and Meade. She's promised that more photos and videos are coming.

UPDATE: Meade's first pictures are up. And apparently the (unionized) police allowed the union thugs to take over the State Capitol. Bryan Preston is incensed (HT: Instapundit): 

Remember when ObamaCare passed, and Tea Partiers went nuts, stormed the hill, took over the building and handcuffed themselves inside? Yeah, me neither, because the Tea Partiers are civilized and didn’t do any of that. Wisconsin’s leftist union thugs, not so much.


If the police are being so lax in their security out of political spite, and someone gets hurt, well I don’t want to think about what follows that.

Update: Michael Moore, noted rich union buster who makes his money decrying capitalism to a stupidly receptive leftist audience, declares war. I’m not usually one for playground insults and taunts, but I’ll make an exception in his case.

You want war? Bring it, Lardbutt. You are the biggest talking, good for nothing little piece of Communist filth this country has produced in decades. You suck up to backward brutes and thugs like Castro while you castigate the American engines of the world’s economy. You trash this country and our people and belittle our values every chance you get, you cynical black hole of a human being. The worst words I can think of are too good to use to describe you. You are a buffoon, a hypocrite, and really of no use to civilization whatsoever.

What he said.

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Stand up against union thuggery in Denver on Tuesday

Posted by Richard on February 21, 2011

From Jeff Crank, Director of AFP-Colorado (via email):

We’ve all seen the outrageous attempts to intimidate Governor Scott Walker and members of the Wisconsin legislature by the SEIU, Organizing for America and other left-wing groups which are trying to disrupt the government of Wisconsin from doing its business.

Now the union bosses have decided to export their unrest to other states – including right here in Colorado.  As the SEIU is standing firm with the turmoil taking place in Wisconsin, they have planned nationwide "Union Solidarity Action Rallies" – including one in Denver tomorrow, Tuesday, February 22, 2011.

Freedom groups from all over Colorado are going to stand firm with Governor Scott Walker, free enterprise and balancing our budget for the sake of our children and grandchildren.  I hope you will join me and other freedom fighters on the west sidewalk surrounding the Colorado State Capitol tomorrow at noon to show our support for fiscal sanity.

Please be aware, the SEIU will have a permit for the actual grounds and we will be respectful of this. If you are on the grounds, do not be disruptive or they can have you removed. We will be meeting on the sidewalk on the west side of the Capitol – where we will express our First Amendment rights and cannot be asked to leave.

Bring your signs, your flags, your friends, and your right to free expression.  Let’s show Colorado that we won’t stand for a future burdened by debt and out-of-control spending.

I'm taking the day off on Tuesday, and I'll be there. If you're in the neighborhood and able to do so (maybe just a long lunch?), please join me.

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Stand with Gov. Scott Walker

Posted by Richard on February 21, 2011

Please join me and over 50,000 others in signing Americans for Prosperity's "Stand with Walker" petition. This is the text:

Union dues should be voluntary, and the state should not be in the business of collecting them. Union certification should require a secret ballot. Collective bargaining should not be used to force extravagant pension and health benefits that cripple state budgets.

These common-sense reforms have made the union bosses desperate to disrupt Wisconsin government and overturn an election. They must not be allowed to succeed. In fact, every state should adopt Governor Scott Walker's common sense reforms. 

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A turning point in Wisconsin?

Posted by Richard on February 19, 2011

To indulge in some metaphor-mixing, this nation is fiscally at the precipice and politically at a tipping point. Madison, Wisconsin is, as Herman Cain said, Ground Zero. Someday, we may look back on February 19 as the day that we began to tip away from the precipice.

With only 48 hours' notice, thousands of Wisconsin's hard-working private citizens gathered at the capitol to support Gov. Scott Walker and respond to the angry demands of Wisconsin's public employees (and their supporters bused in by unions, the DNC, and Obama's Organizing for America). They told them, "You work for us. And we can no longer afford the lavish salaries and benefits that you've pressured previous administrations into giving you. It's time to get real."

Watch the video of Herman Cain below. The crowd noise and limitations of the on-camera microphone make it difficult to hear everything that he said, but you can get the gist of it. I hope there's a better recording or that someone with the technical expertise can clean it up. Because I'm thinking that with clearer audio, this could become this year's equivalent of the 2009 Rick Santelli rant that gave birth to the Tea Parties.


[YouTube link]

Money quote: "We the people of the United States of America are not going to let the United States of America become the United States of Europe!"

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Obamacare costs more kids their health care coverage

Posted by Richard on November 30, 2010

Remember "If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan"? Long before Obamacare was passed, almost everyone who examined that promise objectively knew that it wouldn't be kept. Since passage, the falseness of that promise — to be precise, the mendacity, since the President isn't stupid enough to have really believed it when he said it — has become increasingly clear, as more and more people have had their coverage canceled, and more and more organizations have requested waivers from the feds.

The waivers exempt the organizations from onerous and costly new government mandates, allowing them to continue existing health care plans that fail to meet those mandates. In the absence of such waivers, millions more would be left without the health care plan they like and were promised they could keep.

Since the Obama administration clearly prefers a government of men to a government of laws, it's no surprise that who gets a waiver and who doesn't is solely at the discretion of some unelected administration lackeys. And it's no surprise that the list of waiver recipients includes quite a few unions. 

But it seems that a New York SEIU affiliate either forgot to file for a waiver or filed and didn't get it. Or maybe they just decided the new mandates were a good excuse to ditch the coverage for children of their low-wage members:

One of the largest union-administered health-insurance funds in New York is dropping coverage for the children of more than 30,000 low-wage home attendants, union officials said. The union blamed financial problems it said were caused by the state’s health department and new national health-insurance requirements.

The fund is administered by 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, an affiliate of the Service Employees International Union.

The fund informed its members late last month that their dependents will no longer be covered as of Jan. 1, 2011. Currently about 6,000 children are covered by the benefit fund, some until age 23.

The union fund faced a “dramatic shortfall” between what employers contributed to the fund and the premiums charged by its insurance provider, Fidelis Care, according to Mitra Behroozi, executive director of benefit and pension funds for 1199SEIU. The union fund pools contributions from several home-care agencies and then buys insurance from Fidelis.

“In addition, new federal health-care reform legislation requires plans with dependent coverage to expand that coverage up to age 26,” Behroozi wrote in a letter to members Oct. 22. “Our limited resources are already stretched as far as possible, and meeting this new requirement would be financially impossible.”

Behroozi estimated that the fund faced a $15 million shortfall in 2011 and more in the following years for the coverage of workers’ children.

The affected union members are home-care workers, and their health-care costs are said to be comparatively high and growing. So the union had already started dumping those workers from their health care plan before Obamacare passed, cutting enrollment in half over the past three years. And now it's lobbying for the state of New York to pick up more of the tab. Unfortunately for them, the state of New York doesn't seem to have a lot of extra money lying around looking for some deserving union to benefit. 

There's a certain poetic justice to seeing the SEIU, Obamacare's biggest supporters, run afoul of the costly mandates they helped bring about. But the rank-and-file members must be wondering what all those union dues they've been paying have gotten them. Why, it's almost as if all that talk about how the union protects them from exploitation by evil capitalists were a load of crap!

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Breitbart makes fools of Astroturf protesters

Posted by Richard on September 22, 2010

The Other McCain is where I found this great 8-minute video of Andrew Breitbart outside of Right Nation 2010 challenging a group of protesters bused in by the SEIU. So I'll let Stacy introduce it. Enjoy.

My friend Andrew Marcus at Founding Bloggers produced this video, which I found via my friend Jim Hoft at Gateway Pundit. To call Glenn Beck a “coward”? Easy. To claim that Tea Party activists are motivated by “hate”? Easy. But to call Andrew Breitbart a “faggot” while doing these things is to invite yourself to one of the greatest intellectual ass-kickings in history — as guest of honor:

 


[YouTube link]

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The Cartel premiering in multiple cities

Posted by Richard on April 28, 2010

The Cartel, a feature-length documentary about the failures of the public school system and attempts to reform it, is premiering in Boston, Chicago, Minneapolis, San Francisco, Washington DC, Philadelphia, and St. Louis on Friday, April 30, and in Denver on Tuesday, May 4. Special events and speakers are planned in many locations on opening night; go here for city-by-city information.

In Denver, the film will play at the Chez Artiste, 2800 S. Colorado Blvd. The 7 PM May 4 showing will be co-hosted by the Independence Institute and Liberty on the Rocks. Institute President John Caldera will speak briefly before the film, so arrive early. Afterward, Pam Benigno and Ben DeGrow of the Institute's Education Policy Center will take questions and lead discussion. 

The film, which focuses on New Jersey schools, has won numerous awards and lots of critical praise. It sold out its New York premier and screenings across New Jersey. Watch the trailer below, and some clips from the film here


[YouTube link]

The Cartel was made possible by the support of the Moving Picture Institute, which also brought us 2081, among others. Their motto is "Promoting Freedom Through Film." Please join me in supporting their efforts.

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Restoring fiscal sanity in New Jersey

Posted by Richard on February 17, 2010

Newly elected New Jersey Governor Chris Christie addressed the legislature last week on the state's budget crisis, and I finally got around to reading the speech*. Wow. It's a humdinger — refreshingly honest, with no punches pulled and no shying away from the tough decisions. Christie quickly made clear just how dire the state's situation is:

New Jersey is in a state of financial crisis. … For the current fiscal year 2010, which has only four and one-half months left to go, the budget we have inherited has a two billion dollar gap. The budget passed less than eight months ago, in June of last year, contained all of the same worn out tricks of the trade that have become common place in Trenton, that have driven our citizens to anger and frustration and our wonderful state to the edge of bankruptcy.

What do I mean exactly? This year’s budget projected 5.1 % growth in sales tax revenue and flat growth in corporate business tax revenues. In June of 2009, was there anyone in New Jersey, other than in the department of treasury, who actually believed any revenues would grow in 2009-2010? With spiraling unemployment heading over 10%, with a financial system in crisis and with consumers petrified to spend, only Trenton treasury officials could certify that kind of growth. In fact, sales tax revenue is not up 5%, it is down 5.5 %; and corporate business tax revenue is not flat, it is down 8%. Any wonder why we are in such big trouble? Any question why the people don’t trust their government anymore and demanded change in November? Today, we must make a pact with each other to end this reckless conduct with the people’s government. Today, we come to terms with the fact that we cannot spend money on everything we want. Today, the days of Alice in Wonderland budgeting in Trenton end.

Our Constitution requires a balanced budget. Our commitment requires us to begin the next fiscal year with a prudent opening balance. Our conscience and common sense require us to fix the problem in a way that does not raise taxes on the most overtaxed citizens in America. Our love for our children requires that we do not shove today’s problems under the rug only to be discovered again tomorrow. Our sense of decency must require that we stop using tricks that will make next year’s budget problem even worse.

Christie cut spending in 375 state programs — practically everything he could legally cut by executive action — in order to close the $2 billion current-year shortfall. Then he took aim on the years to follow and made it clear that biggest problem is an absurdly generous pension and benefit program for the state's unionized workers: 

I am encouraged by the bi-partisan bills filed in the Senate this week to begin pension and benefit reform. … 

These bills must just mark the beginning, not the end, of our conversation and actions on pension and benefit reform. Because make no mistake about it, pensions and benefits are the major driver of our spending increases at all levels of government—state, county, municipal and school board. … 

Let’s tell our citizens the truth—today—right now—about what failing to do strong reforms costs them.

One state retiree, 49 years old, paid, over the course of his entire career, a total of $124,000 towards his retirement pension and health benefits. What will we pay him? $3.3 million in pension payments over his life and nearly $500,000 for health care benefits — a total of $3.8m on a $120,000 investment. Is that fair?

A retired teacher paid $62,000 towards her pension and nothing, yes nothing, for full family medical, dental and vision coverage over her entire career. What will we pay her? $1.4 million in pension benefits and another $215,000 in health care benefit premiums over her lifetime. Is it “fair” for all of us and our children to have to pay for this excess?

The total unfunded pension and medical benefit costs are $90 billion. We would have to pay $7 billion per year to make them current. We don’t have that money—you know it and I know it. What has been done to our citizens by offering a pension system we cannot afford and health benefits that are 41% more expensive than the average fortune 500 company’s costs is the truly unfair part of this equation.

New Jersey isn't the only state being sunk by public employee unions and the politicians who buy their votes and support with future taxpayers' money. As Doug Ross pointed out, California, New York, Illinois, and Massachusetts, to name just a few, are in the same leaking boat. And those union workers who think they've got it made now are going to end up all wet.

Herb Stein famously said, "If something can't go on forever, it won't." Retirees collecting more than they ever earned while working, 50-year-olds retiring at 90% of their highest salary (indexed for inflation), employee pension and health plan contributions in the single digits (and declining in some places) while unfunded pension liabilities have grown into the trillions — these things simply can't go on forever. Taxes can't be raised high enough to let this continue. Something's going to have to change, and soon. 

In addition to a more balanced mix of employer and employee contributions and an actuarially sound schedule of benefits, I suggest one simple rule change for all government workers (heck, for everyone with a defined-benefit pension plan): Retire after 30 years if you want, but pension payments don't begin until age 65. If you're only 50, go get another job for the next 15 years (that's what many of them do anyway, collecting both a paycheck and a pension, and eventually getting two pensions). 

* In Firefox 3.5, this website doesn't lay out properly, and some of the text is cut off. It's fine in IE 7. Or you can click Print this page, which opens a new window containing the whole speech. Just cancel the Print dialog and start reading (that trick also saves you a lot of clicking, since otherwise the speech spans 9 rather short pages). 

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Compulsory union membership — for the self-employed

Posted by Richard on February 13, 2010

Just when you think you've heard it all, along comes a story like this one from Michigan, via John Stossel:

Michelle Berry runs a day-care business out of her home in Flint, MI. She thought that she owned her own business, but Berry's been told she is now a government employee and union member. It's not voluntary. Suddenly, Berry and 40,000 other Michigan private day-care providers have learned that union dues are being taken out of the child-care subsidies the state sends them. The "union" is a creation of AFSCME, the government workers union, and the United Auto Workers.

So, instead of paying the child care subsidy to the people being subsidized — the qualifying child care consumers — the state pays it directly to their providers. And one day, it just told those providers, "We're taking some of the money you're owed and sending it to the union that we've made you a part of." 

This illustrates one important reason why these liberal statists are so opposed to vouchers or credits, whether for education, child care, or whatever, even though it's simple, direct, and eliminates a lot of overhead and bureaucratic nonsense. It's not just about helping "those in need," as they claim — it's about control. If they send a voucher or subsidy payment directly to "those in need," they can directly control only the consumers they're subsidizing. By inserting the state into the transaction as a middleman, they can control both parties to the transaction. 

Patrick Wright, a lawyer for the Mackinac Center, says the union was forced on the women after a certification election conducted by mail in which only 6,000 day-care providers out of 40,000 voted. Wright told me his clients, like Berry, say they were "shocked" to learn they were suddenly in a union.

They want nothing to do with the union. One of my clients has said, “Look, this is my home, I’m both labor and management here.” They’ve wanted nothing to do with this union and don’t think that it has any purpose besides than to siphon money away from them.

Michigan isn't the only state funding unions this way.

Fourteen states have now enabled home-based day-care providers to be organized into public-employee unions, affecting about 233,000 people.

Mackinac sued Michigan on behalf of the day-care owners, but the case was dismissed. They have appealed. Neither Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm, the Department of Human Services, nor the union would talk to me about this. Last month, Michigan Rep. Justin Amash proposed a law that would end "stealth" unionization of private entrepreneurs.

I'm not surprised that this is happening in Michigan. If it's anti-liberty, anti-business, and anti-growth, the government of Michigan is probably doing it. I'm surprised, though, that 14 other states are pulling this outrageous scam. But I guess if it benefits a public employee's union, plenty of state legislators everywhere will fall all over themselves to support it. They've been bought and paid for by those unions.

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Trying to fix what they don’t understand

Posted by Richard on December 3, 2009

Last week at AEI's Enterprise Blog, Nick Schulz posted about the astonishing curricula vitae of Obama cabinet members:

A friend sends along the following chart from a J.P. Morgan research report. It examines the prior private sector experience of the cabinet officials since 1900 that one might expect a president to turn to in seeking advice about helping the economy. It includes secretaries of State, Commerce, Treasury, Agriculture, Interior, Labor, Transportation, Energy, and Housing & Urban Development, and excludes Postmaster General, Navy, War, Health, Education & Welfare, Veterans Affairs, and Homeland Security—432 cabinet members in all.

Obama cabinet's private sector experience

When one considers that public sector employment has ranged since the 1950s at between 15 percent and 19 percent of the population, the makeup of the current cabinet—over 90 percent of its prior experience was in the public sector—is remarkable.

Remarkable, indeed — especially since cabinet officers who arguably don't need private sector experience (plus the Postmaster General, who arguably does, given the USPS's financial woes) were excluded from the data. But I suppose they're the perfect fit for a president who's proud of having turned his back on productive private-sector work.

These people have neither the experience, nor the temperament, nor the mindset to effectively deal with our current economic woes. They and their union buddies, academic associates, lackeys, and sycophants are exactly the wrong crowd to conduct Thursday's "jobs summit." As Investor's Business Daily observed:

The government, from lawmakers to bureaucrats, does not create jobs. It can move jobs from the private sector to the public through tax-and-spend wealth redistribution policies. But because government spending crowds out private investment, it is not a wealth creator and therefore cannot be a job creator.

Government is often a job killer. Economist Richard Rahn noted during the last Bush presidency that "government spending reduces more jobs in the private sector than it can create in the government sector."

"Countries with large government sectors," such as France and Germany, Rahn said, "tend to have much higher unemployment rates than countries with smaller government sectors."

Economic reality won't matter at the summit, though. What matters are appearances.

The White House wants to make a show of doing something, especially after its policies have done nothing to boost growth or stop the job losses. It would like to erase from public memory the utter failure of the $787 billion stimulus legislation approved just after Barack Obama took office. The administration knows its claim that thousands of jobs have been created or saved by the stimulus is bunk. And it knows the public knows.

But the stench of failed government solutions will remain.

Read the whole thing

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Choice for teachers

Posted by Richard on December 3, 2009

Every year, the teachers unions spend lots of their members' dues money promoting political candidates and causes. Most, but not all, of the money goes to liberal/leftist/socialist candidates. Some of it goes instead to promote liberal/leftist/socialist ballot issues or to lobby for liberal/leftist/socialist legislation.

Not all teachers are happy to see their dues money spent on those things. Here in Colorado (and elsewhere, I'm sure), teachers can choose not to contribute to their union's political activities — but it's an "opt out" process, not "opt in," and it has to be repeated annually. Colorado Education Association (CEA) members have until December 15 to request a $39 refund of what's called the "Every Member Option" political funds, and an additional refund of up to $24 from their local union.

Visit Independent Teachers (a service of the Independence Institute’s Education Policy Center) for specific details on how to claim the refunds in Colorado, as well as other information about teachers union membership, dues, political contributions, etc., from Colorado, other states, and nationally.

As you might expect, the teachers unions don't exactly make it easy for members to learn how and when to claim the refunds. They also don't appreciate anyone else trying to correct that situation. In addition to providing the Independent Teachers website, the Independence Institute also does an annual informational mailing to Colorado's teachers about these refunds. At Ed News Colorado, Ben DeGrow has posted both the Independence Institute's message and the angry response sent out by the Denver Classroom Teachers Association, so you can judge for yourself whether the former is "sinister" and a "misinformation campaign," as charged by the latter.

If you know a Colorado teacher, send them to Independent Teachers for information about the political contributions made with their money and how to obtain the refunds. Teachers from other states can find some useful information and links there, too.

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More union thuggery

Posted by Richard on August 11, 2009

If it's the opponents of socialized medicine who are an angry mob, how come they're the ones who keep getting beaten? Via Gateway Pundit comes news of another assault by a union thug, this time in New Hampshire:

This is how Chicago-style politics are played out:

Obama: "They Bring a Knife…We Bring a Gun"
Obama to His Followers: "Get in Their Faces!"
Obama on ACORN Mobs: "I don't want to quell anger. I think people are right to be angry! I'm angry!"
Obama To His Mercenary Army: “Hit Back Twice As Hard”

A tea party protester was accosted by one of Obama's union thugs today.
He was just following orders.
GraniteGrok reported, Via Free Republic:

One of the Free Staters was accosted by either an SEIU or AFSCME union thug. The story, corroborated by several sources, is that the Free Stater said something that the Union thug did not like and hauled off and spit into his video camera and then kicked him in the groin.

The camera was running so hopefully it will surface soon. I have asked that if anyone knows the Free Stater to see if he would come over and talk with us.

At Confederate Yankee, a report about a union-sponsored health care town hall in North Carolina suggests that maybe the rank and file members aren't as sold on government-run health care as their leaders would like.

But inside the President's town hall meeting, everything was friendly and wonderful. Especially that adorable little girl asking Obama why the people outside had such mean things on their signs — the little girl that was a plant!

UPDATE: Speaking of plants, it looks like the guy with the "Obama as Hitler" poster was a plant, too. Before Rep. John Dingell's town hall meeting, he paraded the poster around for the media, providing "evidence" to back up Pelosi's absurd assertion. After the meeting, he was handing out Dingell flyers.

What are the odds that the swastika at the Georgia congressman's office was planted, too, a la the noose at Columbia University and numerous similarly faked incidents? I'd say they're pretty good.

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Hundreds rallied for Gladney at St. Louis SEIU office

Posted by Richard on August 10, 2009

The St. Louis Tea Party held a rally at the local Service Employees International Union office Saturday protesting the beating and hospitalization of Kenneth Gladney by SEIU goons on Thursday. The Tea Party's Bill Hennessey reported (emphasis added):

Over 300 people gathered in front of SEIU Headquarters on Pershing Saturday to thank Ken Gladney for taking punishment for our freedom.  On Thursday, thugs in SEIU uniforms beat and kicked Gladney.  The thugs hate black men who wander off the liberal plantation to speak their minds.  That hatred put Gladney into a wheelchair.  Unable to speak due to pain, medication, and heat, Gladney’s attorney, David Brown, read from a hand-written statement Gladney had prepared the night before. 

According to witnesses, an African-American man wearing an SEIU uniform approached Gladney Thursday about 8:30 p.m. as Gladney showed his buttons and flags to the wife of a minister.  The SEIU thug said, “Why is a n***** handing out ‘Don’t tread on me’ flags,” before punching Gladney to the ground.  According to video taken at the scene by numerous witnesses, other SEIU thugs joined in to kick and beat Gladney.  “Don’t tread on me,” has become a rallying cry for the Tea Party Movement.

Gladney was at the rally in a wheelchair.  The St. Louis Post-Dispatch has an excellent 3-minute video (top left of page) that includes an interview with Gladney, followed by another black Tea Party member giving a great verbal smackdown to a leftist. 

Rush Limbaugh asked the question today, "Why isn't Kenny Gladney … the new Rodney King?" The answer, of course, is that the mainstream media and the civil rights leadership don't give a rat's ass what happens to a conservative or libertarian black man. 

The contempt and loathing of the left for this man is very much on display at the YouTube video of Saturday's rally, with comments like this: 

TOO FUNNY… This idiot started a fight, got banged up, and guess what… HE HAS NO HEALTH INSURANCE!!!

Right folks- the moron is working to destroy a program that would have given him medical treatment — now he has to take up a collection to pay his medical bills. He's as dumb as the rest of his ignorant friends.

The SEIU guys should've put him out of his misery. 

And this: 

wait until the teamsters get ahold of his ass lmao 

Of course, there are bad people on both sides. According to Jeralyn Merritt (TalkLeft), a "progressive" leader's car was vandalized at the Rep. Perlmutter event Saturday. But while union thugs beating and kicking a man is apparently a source of humor for many on the left, some lout breaking car mirrors evokes outrage.

Merritt wanted to know "What rock did these people crawl out from under?" — implying that such behavior is characteristic of "these people" rather than a rare exception. And at least one of her commenters, cpinva, went stark raving bonkers (and drew no criticism or censure; this comment is rated "topical") (emphasis in original): 

what we have here is a junior version(s) of the infamous bier hall putsch, to be followed by a new kristalnacht against the "others". i suppose at some point, we can expect a right-wing night of the long knives as well.

I mentioned Godwin's Law the other day regarding Pelosi's "They're carrying swastikas" remark. If Godwin's Law were actually enforceable, that comment would have ended all further discussion of the subject at TalkLeft for a very long time.

UPDATE: According to Bill Hennessey, one of the people who was arrested for beating Gladney is an SEIU director, Baptist minister, and (gasp!) community organizer: 

Tea Party researchers have discovered some interesting news on one of the people arrested for beating Ken Gladney.

Elston K. McCowan is a former organizer – now the Public Service Director of SEIU Local 2000 – and board member of the Walbridge Community Education Center, and is a Baptist minister, has been a community organizer for more than 23 years, and now, he is running for Mayor of the City of St. Louis under the Green Party.

McCowan accused the Mayor of setting fire to his van . . . because that’s what big city mayors do in their spare time, I guess.  He also called Slay a racist.  And, on election night, McCowan thanked the family who voted for him.  It was quite touching, actually.

McCowan is not a rank-and-file, card-carrying union guy.  He is a director with SEIU. He IS the union.  He ISSUES the cards.  Andy Stern himself might as well have kicked Gladney.

I guess that means McCowan has Obama's favorite book, Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals, in his library. 

HT: Sweetness & Light

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