Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Will The Truth Set Kay Free?

Per usual, I have been having a disagreement with Kay at Kay's Blue Racine. The difference this time is that our disagreement concerns a matter of fact, not opinion. I contended that the Employee Free Choice Act, which I called the Union Coercion Act, would end the secret ballot for unionization if enough (50%+) pro-union signatures were collected. Kay disagrees.

One of us is wrong. On the line for both of us is the trustworthiness of our news sources. I trusted among others Fox News and the Wall Street Journal. I don't know where she gets her misinformation.

So I went to the text of the legislation, HR 1409 and found:


(a) In General- Section 9(c) of the National Labor Relations Act (29 U.S.C. 159(c)) is amended by adding at the end the following:

`(6) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, whenever a petition shall have been filed by an employee or group of employees or any individual or labor organization acting in their behalf alleging that a majority of employees in a unit appropriate for the purposes of collective bargaining wish to be represented by an individual or labor organization for such purposes, the Board shall investigate the petition. If the Board finds that a majority of the employees in a unit appropriate for bargaining has signed valid authorizations designating the individual or labor organization specified in the petition as their bargaining representative and that no other individual or labor organization is currently certified or recognized as the exclusive representative of any of the employees in the unit, the Board shall not direct an election but shall certify the individual or labor organization as the representative described in subsection (a)

Pretty much a slam dunk for me but I am not sharing this to gloat. OK, maybe a little. It will be interesting to watch Kay's reaction. She has said that secret ballots are un-American etc... and she obviously has been mislead by her sources of news. Will the truth open Kay's eyes or will she dig in her heals and go on the attack to protect her discredited notions/ideology? I'm guessing the latter.


Three illegal immigrant advocates were arrested here in Racine for...... trespassing. I guess we can't call them hypocrites. Read story here.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Fighting the Scourge of Censustractism

I went to the Racine Finance and Personnel Committee meeting tonight as a proposal to change the Racine First program (see previous post) was on the agenda. It was quickly decided to refer the matter to the Public Works committee.

Even so, the committee allowed comment from three proponents of the program, all of whom discussed the merits of the proposal without mentioning racial implications.

Then Mayor Dickert chimed in. He noted that the subject would be discussed in greater detail at the Public Works meeting complete with a presentation etc... But what I found most interesting was the mayors emphasis on getting more minority or women-owned businesses in the city of Racine.

The proposal in question says nothing about race or gender. Rather it is about geography. The stated intent is to get more people from census districts 1-5 to get jobs working on city projects.

My understanding with respect to affirmative action is that its purpose is to combat or mitigate the effects of discrimination. My hope is that before requiring contractors to hire people from census tracts 1-5, the city will document the number of complaints and or convictions stemming from Racine's apparently pervasive problem with geographic discrimination. Just how many licensed electricians have been denied jobs because they live in census tract 4? How many experienced carpenters have been shown the door with a "call us when you've moved to census tract 9, then we'll talk."

You see, I just don't believe anyone in their right mind discriminates against tradespeople because of where they live. But perhaps I am just a bit naive. Still, if the city is going to fight censustractism, (or is it geographism, or addressism?) they should at least have to prove that the problem really exists.

And if there are no examples of such discrimination, as I suspect, then there is no reason to create an ordinance to address a phantom problem.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Racine's Human Wrongs Commission

Racine's misnamed Affirmative Action and Human Right's Commission is recommending that the city "force contractors to hire more residents from the city's poorest neighborhoods for work on city projects", according to this Journal Times article.

The poor neighborhoods in question are census tracks 1-5, an area with chronically high unemployment and a large percentage of black residents. The Racist Action/Human Wrongs Commission is trying to get the city to hire black people but that would be illegal racial discrimination so they are attempting an end run around the law by requiring hires from predominantly black neighborhoods.

Still we have discrimination - against Racine citizens not in census tracks 1-5 - though the RAHWC will play it off as benign, well intentioned discrimination if they even are asked to address the issue.

Racine contractors should at the very least demand "discrimination waivers" from the city such that they are protected from the legal liability when they are sued by a Racine resident victimized because he lives outside census tracks 1-5.

It is too bad that Racine doesn't have a human rights commission that could do something about this proposed discriminatory legislation.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Assuaged Guilt Sale

Allow me a bit of a rant. I just read this commentary/advertisement by Mary Beth Danielson and I would like to share a few thoughts.

Danielson owns a business wherein she sells items produced by poor Guatemalan women. Good for her. That was not a sarcastic "good for her." I mean it.

But I have a few problems with her approach. Though she notes that a young Guatemalan man is able to attend school because of her sales activities, she nonetheless blasts away at banks, investment firms, the rich and the pursuit of profits. Why does she think that only her business ventures are virtuous while more successful business people are vaguely evil?

Danielson has a habit of sharing heart wrenching stories followed by opportunities to purchase her products. This strikes me as a bit manipulative and self serving. Why the Journal Times and now the Racine Post don't charge her for advertising is beyond me.

I have never seen the products that Danielson is selling. I don't know whether they are worth buying or not. But it is rather obvious that there is more than just knit gloves and hats being sold. You also get the Danielson compassion stamp of approval with a side of guilt assuagement. Don't buy it cause you don't need it.

In the interest of full disclosure, I also sell products produced in developing nations. I don't know who is being saved from starvation or a life of prostitution because a family member is working to produce things that I sell in my store. But trade works. It helps all sorts of people without our even realizing it.

Class warfare, on the other hand, is a dangerous and destructive force in our society. Don't buy it.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Representative Government?

I learned a few interesting tidbits about city government yesterday from Alderman Eric Marcus.

#1. There is a committee (name escapes me) with a $10 million budget that does all the buying, selling and rehabbing of properties for the city of Racine. The problem is that there are no elected officials on this committee.

#2. There is no ordinance on the books authorizing the city and the Unified Neighborhood Inspection Team to do what they do. Rather, it was simply put into a recent budget.

Re #1, I don't think city government should be in the property speculation business because they are terrible at it but more importantly because they are competing against the private sector with an unfair advantage.

Re #2, I have railed against UNIT in the past because it deprives citizens of a constitutional right to due process. The city thinks they have found a way around our nuisance of a constitution by reclassifying a fine as an inspection "fee." To discover that the city, with the approval of our aldermen, just stuck this in the budget...

I will have to take a look at my sons social studies text book. I thought I had a pretty good idea about how a bill becomes a law. Now I realize that there is an open process for popular legislation, like resolutions condemning George Bush for torture, and another for less popular measures. We will just stick it in the budget and hope nobody notices. Unreal. And these people claim to be our representatives?

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Imaginary Losses

A debate is underway concerning the federal income tax rate. On January 1st tax rates are scheduled to increase for all taxpayers. Democrats want to keep the current lower rate for those with incomes of $250,000 or less while Republicans want the current lower rate extended for all taxpayers.

"How will you pay for the lost revenue?" asked the interviewer of the Republican politician.

This seemed to me a funny question. How will I pay for having lost the $100,000,000 Powerball lottery?

There really isn't any lost revenue. The tax rate would remain the same. Revenue would increase or decrease a bit based on total economic activity.

A liberal might say that there is a loss of anticipated or hoped for revenue. But can you really lose what you never had to begin with? Apparently liberals think so.

Enough blogging. It is time to lament the losses of my mistress Cindy Crawford and my NBA contract.

Monday, November 01, 2010

The Embarrassed Millions

Tomorrows election is a referendum on President Obama's progressive agenda. Millions of people who voted for Obama will now vote to stop him. It is shaping up to be a historic rebuke of a sitting president.

But where are these millions of voters who are switching sides? Why are there no news stories about them? Media bias I am sure plays a role. But there is more to it than that.

You have all heard of the Nigerian money wiring scams. You probably have gotten an e-mail or two promising you thousands of dollars if you could only help the Nigerian prince get his money to the US. But you didn't fall for it.

If you did, you might be reluctant to come forward. You wouldn't want newspapers writing stories about how you were duped.

I think a similar phenomenon is at play with many Obama supporters. They are embarrassed. They were duped. They would rather not announce that fact to the world.

But announce it they will, silently, tomorrow.