Those Pesky Unions!

There are few things that drive top-hatted monopoly men more crazy than a skinny unioner with their demand to enter the middle class, excel at their job, and get paid a fair wage like some greedy fox stealing rabbits out of your own personal hen house.In case you haven’t guessed yet, I am adamantly pro-union. There are some silly things that have demanded, and there are some silly things that are now law, like 15 dollars an hour for fast-food workers.… [Read more]

May Day

Today is May Day, or Labor Day in some nations. Observed on May 1st each year, it is used as both a day of spring celebrations and an opportunity to acknowledge, support and honour workers around the world.

The day is considered one of solidarity during which workers are celebrated — including workers who are in nations that are not their place of birth.… [Read more]

Hot for Teacher…and (Nearly) Striking Out

I like school teachers. I appreciate what teachers tend to contribute in making student communities more vital and engaged. Quality educators are a treasure, the catalyst for curiosity and a generous knowledge conduit. Civility and professional commitment are their personal bywords. Great teaching even welcomes its eccentrics that leaven the educational bread, the inspired oddball that shows the young there is more than one way to do something well.… [Read more]

Mediation Averts East Coast Dock Strike

The Federal Mediation and Reconciliation Service announced today that a feared East Coast strike has been averted for the near term. The International Brotherhood of Longshoremen, representing dock workers, and port shippers have agreed to a 30-day extension of talks over remaining differences between workers and their bosses. Mediators expressed confidence that a lasting labor accord will be reached shortly.… [Read more]

Just Because You Can…

As a high school teacher, I see many types of “authority” figures mostly by way of other teachers and the parents of my students.

Some are paranoid that given an inch, the kids will take a million miles, so they create rules for absolutely everything. If a kid could in some way have a choice about something (taking the stapler from the room for example), there is a posted rule, or a spoken rule, or something.… [Read more]

Local Issues with National Impact

It has been said that politics is a local issue. Given all the attention being paid to this crucial presidential election, it should be remembered that many of the issues affecting us take place on the national level but, as we have seen over the past nearly 4 years of the Obama administration, it is the state-level politicians — the senators and congressmen — who have the ability to support or block efforts that affect the entire nation.… [Read more]

#HugAThug

Yes, that’s what the hashtag said: #HugAThug.

During a check of Facebook and the Twittersphere for information about ‘work’ and organised ‘labour unions’ I came across that hashtag. Given that my search was rather specific and timed in advance of Labor Day, when that particular hashtag popped up it caught my attention.

It took a moment before things began to click; it wasn’t referring to a hip-hop album, it was referring to union workers.… [Read more]

Labor Unions Help Promote Democracy For All

The issue of organized labor unions will likely play a key role in the debates leading up to the November presidential election. The debate began in earnest back in June with the Wisconsin Governor recall vote. Governor Scott Walker’s victory has been seen by some observers as the start of the end for organized labor unions in the United States.… [Read more]

Romney Accuses Obama of Taking Orders From Union Bosses

A couple of months ago at a campaign rally held at Lansing Community College, in Lansing, Michigan, the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, launched a barrage of abuse towards organized labor unions and President Obama by claiming that the President ‘takes his marching orders’ from union bosses that are costing American jobs.

Writing on the progressive blog site ‘Campaign For America’s Future‘ Dave Johnson asked, “Is this guy a Presidential candidate from a major party, or a fringe nut?” then quoted Romney’s now infamous line; “But like many politicians of the … [Read more]

I’m confused.

Every day on the news, I hear about how government employees and overpaid union thugs like teachers, firefighters and police officers are destroying the economy, and things we used to take for granted – like the minimum wage, decent working conditions and benefits – are causing “uncertainty” among the “job creators” – and that all those things, along with all that un-American socialist “entitlement” crap like Social Security, food stamps, school lunches for poor children, Medicare and unemployment insurance should be taken away from the teat-sucking denizens of the “nanny state” in order to make the “job creators” feel secure enough to create a few jobs somewhere other than Mexico, China, India or Bangladesh.… [Read more]

What the Liberal Left Can Learn From Mahatma Gandhi

Ever since I came to the United States, I have always been puzzled with a certain attitude in this country. Why do so many ordinary, god-fearing Republicans in this country oppose measures such as free healthcare for all? What do they mean when they say they are ‘against Obama as a matter principle’?… [Read more]

State of the (Labor) Union

Though unions remain an American fixture, they are in a state of decline. They are very much in the news these days and the stories are often not flattering or encouraging — but, of course, we know that when only one side of a story is presented it means the view may be clouded by the storyteller’s vision.… [Read more]

Hot for Teacher

Would you like to have free elective cosmetic surgery at the taxpayer’s expense? If you do, get a job with the Buffalo Public School system.

Yep, as thousands of teachers across the country find their jobs in jeopardy, Buffalo teachers get free plastic surgery.

How is this possible?

New York State’s broken collective bargaining system, that’s how.… [Read more]

Laugh Now, Cry Later

I read many news sites and it’s becoming all too common to see posts in which people say that the Republicans are “funny”.  I know they’re saying that if the right wing sincerely believes that this current lineup of presidential candidates represents their ‘best in class‘, then they must be kidding and they must be quite high.… [Read more]

I’ll Take My OWS Un-Americanism with Fat-Free Milk and No Sugar

While preparing my morning coffee and instant oatmeal, I overheard a conversation between three twenty-something colleagues of mine. They were discussing Occupy Wall Street outside a conference room that just happened to be named Wall Street. The takeaways from this three-way chat were as follows:

  • I’m not right-wing but I can’t get behind people who hate my country;
  • They don’t even know what the hell they’re bitching about;
  • They’re jealous that we have jobs and they don’t.
[Read more]

A Hungry Mob Is An Angry Mob*

Them belly full but we hungry… A hungry mob is an angry mob

          ~  *Bob Marley, ‘Them Belly Full’

Powerful words – and they’re something that those at the top of the socio-political pyramid should think about.  Personally, I am waiting for the day when those who don’t have ‘a full belly’, i.e., the poor and ever-declining middle-class, finally become truly angry.  … [Read more]

Labor Day is Here…

Labour Day is here.  Actually, I’m in the U.S. and here it is LABOR Day;  no ‘u’ in Labor so I’ve dropped my traditional British spelling).  That’s probably appropriate because the United Kingdom/England doesn’t celebrate Labor Day as a holiday to unite workers and further the cause of the working person.  Hmmm….they need to change that…good jobs are the ultimate riot-prevention tool… [Read more]

Is Anything ‘In The Bag’?

‘It’s in the bag’ is an old expression that means ‘with all due certainty’ or ‘as secure as being in one’s possession’.  That’s an expression that no political party should use when it comes to feeling sure that any vote cast is going to be in their favour.

Let’s face it: the way groups of people vote has been taken for granted for a long time;  that goes for the U.S., the U.K.… [Read more]

All Of These Distractions…

We live in an age of short attention spans.  That has amounted to good news for people like Rudy Giuliani, former Mayor of New York, whose brash rudeness and displays of contempt were forgotten once the events of 9/11 took place.  Short memories and limited recall have worked wonders for elected officials such as David Vitter, Newt Gingrich, Elliot Spitzer and others who have managed to carve out very lucrative careers after finding their names in the news next to the word ‘scandal’.… [Read more]