Archive for the ‘coercion’ Category

For far too long the union movement has been hampered from growing into the large retail sector by the ridiculous reason that their employees don’t want to be in a union. Thanks to the efforts of the unions to support the Employee Free Choice Act, such petty reasons to not form a union will finally be dispensed with.

In our current unfair system, once a sufficient number of employee check card signatures are gathered a period of campaigning begins, during which time the employer is allowed to try to give reasons why a union would be bad for the employees, but is not allowed to make threats or to make bribes. Nor is he allowed to fire union organizers without exceedingly good cause. The union is able to make promises of higher wages or better working conditions. Then a secret ballot election ensues, monitored by the government to ensure it is fair.

The secret ballot is horribly unfair, it allows employer to intimidate the employees even though the employer has no way of knowing who voted which way. Instead we can have the intimidation free union recruiting when Sal the Shiv, Moose, and Knuckles walk up to an employee and say “Youze gonna sign this union card? Youze gonna sign it cause youze don’t want no ‘accidents’ to happen.”

Some contrary types are going to claim they were threatened, from the safety of the anonymity of police protection. They are going to claim that their health or life or family were threatened. We know they’re actually just trying to cause trouble. The only reason they are anonymously reporting that their life was threatened was to ensure that they don’t get served court papers for defamation after they drag the good name of Bruno the Bruiser through the mud. If they really meant what they were saying they’d be proud to say it publicly.

Under the current unfair system, the initial round of union talks require both sides to act in good faith and gives both sides time to prepare for the initial negotiations. If the EFCA passes, a union can organize in secret (and it had better be in secret says Kneecapper Gus) and present its demands as a fully formed union at the negotiation table as the first indication that a union is forming in the first place – and good faith won’t even be demanded of the union. Unions always negotiate in good faith, they never make unrealistic or unreasonable demands.

Resistance to the EFCA shows that employees really don’t know what they want, and need to be told to be in a union even if they mistakenly think that they don’t want to be in one. They just don’t know what is in their own best interests, no matter how much they think they do. Who cares if less people are hired due to higher union wages? They’ll be compensated with welfare that is probably higher than what any non-union employer would pay. It doesn’t matter where people get their money, as long as they get it, so it will all work out. Plus they’ll need those higher welfare payments to afford the higher prices at the now-unionized stores. If they ever wished they could afford expensive items their wish will be granted as the items they shop for will be the expensive items.

Knowing all of that, there is no reason for anyone to oppose the act which gives Unions the free choice of Employees.  And they’d better know there’s no good reason to oppose this if they know what’s good for them.

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Howdy folks! Before I get started, I just wanted to thank Paulie for offering me the opportunity to write here. Every once in a while, I’ve got something worth saying.

The idea behind this post began as I was watching some anime this morning. I spend most of my days writing code, writing documentation such as Internet Drafts for the IETF, writing legal documents, coordinating with other developers on global projects, etc, and the fact is that without stopping to watching an occasional anime episode or take a cigarette break to bust up the monotony every once in a while, I’d probably go stir crazy. One of the themes presented in the episode I was watching was the arrogance of the state. The authoritarian government in this particular show had been proven wrong, publicly, by our protagonist. Of course, they made excuses. They denied it. They did everything but admit wrongdoing. I began comparing and contrasing this to our own authoritarian state, and came to a stark realization: our own authoritarian state doesn’t behave that way all of the time. Sometimes they do, for certain, but at times they instead hang their collective head in shame and promise to do better next time.

Doing better comes at a high cost. In order to do better, it seems, the government feels it must grow, and grow it does. For every blunder the government makes, it grows larger, sometimes by just a bit and sometimes by leaps and bounds. This creates more government to make mistakes. I should take a moment here to point out that I don’t expect them to be perfect. Humans just aren’t, they lack the capacity as much as everyone else does. Anyone who expects perfection from a human simply isn’t being any more fair than someone who expects a dog to speak English after a week of classes. The cycle that I’m pointing to here however is an interesting contrast. It draws attention to other, greater issues. Certainly we’ve come to expect the government to want to grow itself. Centuries of history have taught us all we need to know about greed.

The more interesting fact here to which this drew my attention, however, is how our authoritarian state deals with screw-ups. While authoritarian states of fiction almost never admit wrong-doings, preferring to instead remain bold, bull-headed, and self-righteous, our own has never been afraid to hang its head in shame and then seize the opportunity to grow in size and scope. Consider now, if you will, how the people react to these two different states – the state of fiction, and the state of fact. The state of fiction is not likable. The protagonist is almost certainly opposing its rein of terror upon the hapless citizens, and usually wins in the end, to great cheers of satisfaction. If media can brainwash people, how come these sorts of things aren’t turning people against the oppressive state they live under every day? A part of the answer – perhaps a large one, perhaps only a small one – may be in the way the state of fact reacts to its own blunders. By humanizing itself, behaving in what can only be described as a submissive manner publicly, and making promises to better serve the people, while at the same time praising great heroes and whatnot, I believe people are brainwashed in a whole other direction. Never mind that those in power are working tirelessly behind the scenes to increase their own power and wealth under the auspices of “making sure we have the resources so that this mistake never gets made again!

Is it possible, then, that we should consider the impact on the hearts and minds of the people, of the authoritarian states of fictions against which rebellions are launched and almost invariably succeed? Most of us can point to at least a dozen instances of these in the media. Do they make people more apt to accept our current authoritarian state, and less likely to have rebellious thoughts against it? Do they paint a romanticized view of revolution which people have trouble imposing against the somehow unromantic situations we’re stuck living in today? Could you imagine if the state of fact, the authoritarian state in which we live, behaved just a wee bit differently in how it related to the public at large? History says revolution would happen. The British did, leading to the American Revolution. Certainly, most authoritarian states which have been successfully revolted against, behaved in a different way in terms of public relations than does the one we’re currently living under, despite the fact that there are so many striking similarities in terms of policy and policy application, both foreign and domestic.

Is our government’s incompetence really so?  Or is it potentially a very high degree of competence at growing itself, despite the large number of people who, at least on an abstract level, oppose more government and fewer freedoms?

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Nothing to add to what’s been said about this by others.

Just my attempt to get a threadjacking off IPR and bring it to where it is on subject. That is, here.

If you have thoughts on the question, whether you find this from IPR or elsewhere, please add them in the comments.

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From Liv Films, an editorial about gay marriage, fat marriage, eating lobsters, and more. Mona of Liv Films was the “Ron Paul Girl,” but most of their recent work has been non-political. LMFAO (laughing my fat ass off)….

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Press release posted on the LP Radicals yahoo group. Starchild has had various offices in the San Francisco and California LP, and is one of the spokespeople for this initiative.

The San Francisco Department of Elections announced today that the measure prohibiting city officials from spending money arresting and prosecuting people for prostitution, and mandating equal legal protection for sex workers, has qualified for the November ballot. Of 500 signatures randomly sampled and checked by department personnel, 80 percent were found to be valid. “This is a happy day for San Franciscans who want government to focus on fighting real crimes like homicides and robberies, and are tired of seeing resources wasted in a futile effort to police consensual sex between adults,” said Starchild, a sex worker activist and spokesperson for the campaign. “We’ve cleared the first hurdle.” By the Elections Department’s tally, supporters had turned in 12,745 signatures of registered San Francisco voters on July 7.

The campaign to decriminalize prostitution will hold a kickoff rally and press conference to formally announce the results on Tuesday at 4:00 p.m. in front of the Polk Street entrance of City Hall, with
speakers to likely include Supervisor Jake McGoldrick, who was a signer of the petition to put the measure on the ballot along with two of his board colleagues. “It is way past time that the
recommendations of the Board of Supervisors 1996 Prostitution Task Force were implemented,” said the measure’s proponent, Maxine Doogan. “Criminalizing sex workers has been putting workers at risk of violence and discrimination for far too long.”

The prostitution reform measure joins two other voter-submitted measures on the local Nov. 4 ballot, along with eight measures put on the ballot by the mayor or members of the Board of Supervisors, with many others expected to be added in the next several weeks.

Starchild – (415) 621-7932 / (415) 368-8657 / RealReform@…
Maxine Doogan – (415) 265-3302 / MistressMax@…

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Back in November, I made the following comments at
Loretta Nall Sends Troy King Appropriate Sex Toy

But reasonable people would not include the Alabama legislature, which in is great wisdom passed a law banning dildos, vibrators, and other weapons of mass stimulation.

Not content with the law as it stands, Alabama Attorney General Troy King wants the legislature to make the law even more draconian.

I remember Troy from college. He was always a little weird. He used to write frequent letters to the CW, which described in detail his disgust with homosexuals hooking up in public toilets (well before Larry Craig), a subject he seemed to be intimately familiar with, and exhorted readers to go eat at Cracker Barrel, which at the time was under fire for a policy of discriminating against having gay employees. Troy always seemed just a little too obsessed with homosexual perversion.

Alert readers may remember that Loretta Nall sent Troy King a blow up pig:

My suspicion now seems likely to have been confirmed.

Loretta explains

This is not about being gay. This is about being a hypocrite…of the highest order

There is an official denial of the rumor about Troy King now….so I can say what the rumor is.

According to rumors flying around for the last week Troy King, our
rabidly homophobic
, anti-sex toy, Sunday School teaching, pro-execution Republican Attorney General is GAY! And I don’t mean that as in happy either. I’d bet he is anything but happy right now. In fact, according to two sources he is about to resign. [..]

I have been sitting on this story for about a week. Truth is I am SORE from having to sit on it so long….but not as sore as Troy King is.

Loretta elaborates:

I have some friends in pretty high places in Alabama politics so I called one of them up with the juicy details. They told me they heard a rumor about his sexual orientation some six months ago from a former reporter with a large, credible newspaper in Alabama. I also know that reporter and knew them to be very credible. The rumor at the time was that Troy’s mystery man was his old college roommate who he gave a position to when he took over the AG office in 2004. Supposedly when Troy was out of town so was lover boy.

The story then became that the mystery man was a young man who had just graduated from Troy University and was the Homecoming King(no pun intended) (God that gets confusing…Troy King with the homecoming king who graduated from Troy) and that was who the wife walked in on. Then a few weeks later Troy and his boy toy from Troy were spotted at the YMCA (not kidding) engaging in….ummmm….inappropriate activities. Yeah…at the YMCA…made famous by the Village People. Apparently Troy has no inkling of what it means to be ‘discreet’.

I’m betting they are both true. If Troy King can be a closet gay and Alabama Attorney General at the same time then there exists in this universe the infinite possibility for him to be a promiscuous, closet gay, Alabama Attorney General. But apparently closet and promiscuous don’t go so well together. But, hell, no one is claiming that he’s smart are they?

As far as the significance of this story, Loretta explains:

There are so many things that make this a delicious story. Gay Sex, high ranking elected officials who are rabidly anti-gay in public but turn out to be gay in private, they get caught at the YMCA (of all places), the whole sex toy incident, the ‘below the belt’ legislation that Troy has made a focal point during his time in office, his desire to be the guy who injects death row inmates with deadly chemicals. I bet this is why he objects to DNA testing, ya know? Wonder where all they would find his DNA? It’s really not much different than what Bill Clinton did with Monica Lewenski…except Troy is a Republican and his mystery partner is GAY!! Lordy, does it get any better than this?

Head On Radio Network is one of several sites making video and musical parodies which take advantage of Troy King’s embarrassment.

Another one is found at the myspace page for Mock 5

Alabama Queen

Troy King has refused to comment on the allegations, claiming that his kids would be subject to teasing.

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