Thursday, September 29, 2005

A milestone on a rocky road

Hats off to the AFSCME organizers in Las Cruces! I know that sometimes they feel like they're shoveling sand in a windstorm, but here's proof that right can prevail (even in this time of Delay, Enron, and Abramoff).

And shame on New Mexico State University--a state institution unembarassed by the fact that some of their employees are forced to take public assistance on account of low pay. Yet, like many tyrant employers, NMSU seems all too eager to pay "consultants" big bucks to forestall the day when employees finally gain respect and fair treatment.

We have all experienced the age-old egotism of bosses who say to their employees, "When I want your opinion, I'll give it to you."

It's sad when an institution of higher learning must be ordered to sit down with those who are attempting to improve the institution, but you can read about it here.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Time to kick ass (we've already taken names)

Your $5 will put this billboard up in Grover Norquist's neighborhood.

Go here to donate.

Benefit cuts in a time of budget surpluses

The Gov, like our Dear Leader in the White House believes that changing your mind in the face of new evidence somehow demonstrates "weakness" or lack of "will." Now there is a pair of appalling right-wing buzz words.

State workers voice anger on health care cost increases
Billion-dollar surplus in Md. budget renews employees' outrage
Read more - from the Baltimore Sun

Monday, September 12, 2005

Velvet Revolution - US


These are Dog Tags for Jenna Bush, David Wolfowitz, Elizabeth Cheney, and Valerie Rumsfeld. (Click on image to enlarge.)

The ad reads, "Our children have to die so Chicken Hawk children can stay home and get richer? Take back the White House for Americans who know the value of human life. "

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Union Jobs Better? Count the Ways.

From Voice@work:

A new report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) details the difference collective bargaining can make in workers’ lives:

  • Eighty-eight percent of private-sector union workers have access to retirement benefits through their jobs, compared with only 56 percent of nonunion workers.
  • Seventy-three percent of union workers have access to defined-benefit pension plans, compared with 16 percent of nonunion workers.
  • Ninety-two percent of union workers have access to job-based health care benefits, compared with 68 percent of nonunion workers.
  • Seventy-three percent of union workers have access to job-provided dental care, 57 percent have vision care and 87 percent have prescription drug coverage, compared with 43 percent, 26 percent and 61 percent among nonunion workers, respectively.
  • Nonunion workers’ required health insurance premiums were over $1,000 more per year than what union workers had to contribute, on average.
  • Union workers also are more likely than nonunion workers to have access to job-based life insurance (65 percent vs. 50 percent) and short-term disability benefits (67 percent vs. 37 percent).
  • Eighty-seven percent of union members have access to paid holidays and 86 percent had paid vacations, compared with 75 percent and 77 percent of nonunion workers, respectively.
  • Fifty-eight percent of union workers are offered education benefits, compared with 48 percent of nonunion workers.

To download the full report, log on to the Voice@Work PrivateNet website.

Join the Voice@Work network here.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Dude, where's my party?

From our observer on the western shore of the Potomac:

After 9/11, Bush stood on the rubble and took credit for the rescue efforts. Now he's getting criticized for inaction during and after Katrina. Here's the difference between the two situations:

The first responders and rescuers in 9/11 were the firemen and policemen of New York City, a blue bastion that believes in the role of the public sector in ensuring the public welfare. Everyone who died in an official capacity in 9/11 was a union member.

The New Orleans flood was an example of a disaster in the red state Confederate culture. NPR reported this morning that a third of NOLA's police turned in their badges when the storm hit and fled.

Now imagine 9/11 this way--It's reported that two airplanes piloted by Islamic terrorists are headed toward Lower Manhattan. The stock brokers and CEOs leave the WTC and Wall Street for Philly and Albany, leaving the clerical workers and custodial staffs behind. The police and firemen head for the hinterlands, too. The planes crash, the buildings collapse, there are no firemen or police on the scene, Manhattan burns, and looting breaks out across NYC. The NYC public is told to head to Central Park, where they find twenty abandoned hot dog push-carts to feed the masses.

This is evidently what the GOP would prefer, after they have "shrunk government and strangled it in a bathtub."

Why aren't the Dems shouting the lesson that only big government can insure safety and security? Reagan always said government wasn't the solution to the problem, it was the problem. How does that wash with Katrina, or 9/11, for that matter? Where's my party?

- Harry

Friday, September 02, 2005

The "Law" of supply and demand