Did someone bless irony while I was turned momentarily in another direction? Word ought to get out on this, I think few know of it.
What are the protocols on official blessings these days? Surely some dignitary must have a hand in the thing. Perhaps I'm wrong (by which I mean, romantic) in thinking traditionally here but I'm just not comfortable with it if blessings have gone corporate.
Well personally I think it is unseemly to besmirch the bunny's blessings.
Hmmmm .... now we're slandering 5-year-olds
. Odd twists this politics thing takes.
Big Labor Taking a Beating Leaders within the AFL-CIO (search) are currently brawling over how to reverse organized labor's declining political clout. After spending a reported $45 million on a failed attempt to oust President Bush in 2004, old-guard federation president John Sweeney is up for re-election in July. He and other AFL-CIO executive officers have issued a proposal to boost political spending in order to reclaim the White House and Congress.
Meanwhile, upstart reformers within organized labor are advocating for a renewed focus on organizing workers as a necessary precursor to political power. Five major unions (Labors, Teamsters, United Food and Commercial Workers, Unite Here, and Service Employees International Union) are threatening to leave the AFL-CIO by forming their own coalition focused on organizing.
There is good reason for labor's concern: union membership is in a 50-year tailspin. In 1952, 36 percent of private-sector workers belonged to a union. Today, that figure is less than 8 percent. Unions are failing to organize those entering the workforce, which is perhaps the most important age group for it's future survival. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 4.7 percent of workers between the ages of 16 and 24 belonged to a union in 2004, down from 5.2 percent in 2002.
Unions are so desperate for members they are attempting to organize unique sectors of the workforce such as babysitters and Ivy League student teaching assistants. As a sign of labor's shrinking power, the AFL-CIO is tightening its belt, laying off over 160 employees (about 40 percent of its staff) in May.
(This is GREAT NEWS!!!! It might save us from completely losing US jobs overseas.)
And then Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger called for a special election in California this November.
Did you feel a drop of rain? It's about to pour.
Lew Uhler of the Coalition for Employee Rights may become the common enemy against which labor leaders can rally.
Labor organizations annually dump tens of millions of dollars into state and national politics. Unfortunately, workers often have no say in how the money is to be used. While paycheck protection does not take away a union's right to spend dues on politics, it does something almost as bad in the eyes of union officials: it requires the union to get a member's written permission before using his or her dues for political activity.
The first paycheck protection law was adopted by Washington state in 1992. Since then, five other states have enacted various forms of the law. The measure is based on the common sense idea that no one should be forced to support political causes against his or her will.This worries union officials because they know that workers, when given a choice, overwhelmingly refuse to support union political activity.
After Washington state passed paycheck protection, contributions to the Washington Education Association political committee dropped from over 80 percent of teachers down to 6 percent. Utah adopted paycheck protection in 2001 and now nearly 95 percent of Utah Education Association members refuse to contribute to the union's political fund.
Workers refuse to support their union's politicking because the spending is usually at odds with individual member preferences. For example, although at least 30 percent of California Teachers Association members are Republican, the CTA just approved a $60 per-member dues increase in order to raise $50 million to fight paycheck protection and a Republican governor's education proposals.
This spending discrepancy is consistent with a national trend. The AFL-CIO and affiliate SEIU spent a combined $100 million to mobilize union household voters against President Bush in 2004, but surveys indicate that at least one-third of union voters cast their vote for Bush in the last election.
Forcing a politically diverse workforce to fund organized labor's single-party devotion is fundamentally unfairIt may be time for Big Labor to invest in umbrellas.
Michael Reitz is director of the Labor Policy Center for the Evergreen Freedom Foundation , a public policy research organization based in Washington state, where the nation's first paycheck protection measure was passed in 1992.
High fives, Lash. Yes!!
When the hard working union workers, the Hispanic coalition, the black voting group (if there is any such thing) et al all figure out who is using them and who actually has their best interests at heart, we may see Republican victories all the way into the next millenium.
Here's a bit of history... GOP strategist Ken Blackwell, in a 2001 interview with the Boston Globe, described the RNC moves to pull over the black vote as a "tightly choreographed effort". Quite so. fox, you do two steps stage right and yell 'Fire!'...lash, spin counter-clockwise for eight cycles to cresendo, then hug a black person.
Perhaps some believe this is better than continued servitude on the Democrat Plantation, subject to the ministrations of those who know best what is good for you.
Falling to cliche(s) is the first and most dependable cause of uninteresting writing.
Oh I don't know. I think I prefer cliches that reflect accurate information to the most eloquent prose that is creative writing presented as facts.
Sigh....and the beat goes on. And these folks still don't understand why they aren't appealing to more of the mainstream:
REVEALED: INSIDE A MOVEON SUPREME COURT HOUSE PARTY; TAKE 'BUSH LIAR' T-SHIRTS OFF
Granted. Accuracy of information is important. George's post, of course, contains no information.
So let's try the accurate information route and see what happens.
One of the first organizations to receive a faith-based grant was Pat Robertson's "Operation Rescue". It received this grant while under investigation by the state of Virginia for misusing relief funds to haul equipment for Robertsons for-profit diamond mining firm. Amount received was 1.5 million over three years.
Pat, at the outset of the faith-based initiatives program, worried that the wrong faith groups might receive funding under the program. His term for such groups was "aberrant". Jerry Falwell insisted that Muslims definitely were the wrong types of believers to get funding under the program, saying, "Islam ought to be out the door before they knock."
In March of 2001, John DiIulio, the fellow placed as head of the faith-based initiatives program, gave a speech to the National Association of Evangelicals. He said, "I strongly respect the separation of church and state" and went on to emphasize the need for empirical data on effectiveness of funded programs (# of saved souls wouldn't be quite enough of a measure) and he added, as related to existing mega-dollar church programs already in existence...
"Literally hundreds of millions of dollars raised and spent each year by national para-church organizations seemsd hardly to reach, and only weakly and episodically to benefit, the community-serving urban churches that witness 'truth and action' to the poor every blessed day."
These weren't the right things to say, regardless of their truth and regardless of the speaker's faith and prior service in the community. Within a week, conservative evangelicals (Lou Sheldon of Traditional Values Coalition was a leader here) called for DiIulio's head. A Bush advisor told the Boston Globe "I would not expect there to be a repetition of such remarks." After six months in the post, DiIulio resigned. Jerry Falwell said, "Anyone will be an improvment".
Eugene Rivers, a religious antiviolence organizer from Boston had it differently.
"With John DiIulio's departure, the Bush administration has formally told the brown and black of the inner cities to go to hell."
(edited to add source: book "With God on Their Side" by Esther Kaplan)
DiIulio had made the mistake of believing the Bush administration had actually wanted to work towards helping the poor of the inner cities.
More trouble for the Democrats...
If President Bush nominates a qualified conservative to serve on the Supreme Court, 58% of Likely Voters say that Senate Democrats should vote to confirm that nominee.
Sixty-four percent (64%) of men, and 53% of women, believe Senate Democrats should vote to confirm a qualified conservative nominee.
Of course, the Democrats would be well advised to quietly and responsibly find a way to quickly confirm the nominees. That (think Schumer) is unlikely to happen, plus I have a feeling he'll be competing for center-stage with Kennedy, Biden, Leahy, and...ugh...Durbin.
The proceedings, of course, will be broadcast start to finish and given Rasmussen's polling data, Republican candidates in 2006 could not have hoped for a better opening act to the campaigns ahead.
It is going to be a wonderful
Summer and Fall
It's promises to be exciting.
Soccer! Ping-pong! Gasp!!!
We MUST put an end to this depravity!!!
A critical prerequisite for POW status, by customary international law, the 1907 Hague Regulations, and the 1949 Geneva Conventions, is the wearing of a uniform, or some other badge or device visible at a distance, that clearly distinguishes a combatant from the surrounding civilian population. Individuals who engage in hostilities wearing civilian clothing are unlawful combatants by definition, they do not qualify for the rights and privileges of POWs under the pertinant laws and Conventions. They are, if taken into custody, to be treated humanely. Individuals taken thusly - captured while participating in or aiding hostilities while in civilian dress - can be subject to prosecution and punishment for their hostile actions - even if they have violated no other provisions of the laws of war.
Credible - though heavily disputed - argument may be made that under The Conventions certain conditions - which are not particularly uncharacteristic of active combat featuring mobile troops and/or the defense of occupied enemy territory against active armed resistance - may provide that un-uniformed persons apprehended while actively participating in or aiding that armed resistance may be designated not merely unlawful combatants, but may be considered deserters, spys, saboteurs, or martial capital criminals, subject to summary execution.
I believe, all in all, Gitmo is somewhat less oprobrious and brutal than the gallows.
Just a little tidbit for my friends here...
Sir Ivor Roberts, Britain's Ambassador to Italy, declared last September that the "best recruiting sergeant for al-Qaeda" was none other than the U.S. President, George W. Bush. With the American election entering its final furlongs, he added, "If anyone is ready to celebrate the eventual re-election of Bush, it is al-Qaeda." The remarks, made at an off-the-record conference, were leaked in the Italian press, and Sir Ivor, facing the displeasure of his Foreign Office masters for committing the sin of candor, disowned the comments. But now, as the soot settles in the London Underground, the words hang again in the air.
What's a little SPAM among friends?