Trivia 2A

The Boston Globe carried a recent article in which it bemoaned the new process of "stripping". This has nothing to do with smoky clubs full of frustrated drunks nor coal mining. Instead, this is the practice of unions stealing sometimes entire workforces away from companies by offering them higher wages and benefits and, sometimes, even forgiving the initiation fees for those who move immediately. What was the response from the non-union construction trade groups? Not a raise in pay or benefits or security, you can rest assured. No, instead a spokesman whined, "We don't think that's a good way to do business." Oh, I suppose hiring scabs to take the jobs of honest workers striking for a living wage and decent benefits or the outright busting of unions or moving those decent paying jobs to third world nations is a "good way to do business"? Sheesh! (1)

For those of you who have already learned all about the WTO by reading about it here, you might be surprised that the WTO has any standards at all for how a nation treats its labor force let alone that the U.S. can seem to follow only one of seven labor standard agreements and isn't even close to being in conformity with that one. The Brussels based International Confederation of Free Trade Unions, at the behest of the World Trade Organization, studied the record in the U.S. for following those agreements. What the report found was that, not only the United States not supporting the meager requirements found in the agreements, but that it is actively continuing to worsen the situation for the labor force in America.

In the report, America was charged with not protecting the rights of workers to organize and strike, to campaign for unionization in non-union shops and, on the contrary, Corporate America has far more legal standing than the workers in that it can fire anyone at any time should the corporation "believe" that the worker is fomenting union sympathies. In fact, according to the report, over one in ten employees who attempt to discuss organizing his or her work place is fired and has no legal recourse under the nation's laws, at least none that have been upheld in the last twenty years.

Other portions of the agreements that the U.S. can't seem to find reason to sign regards child labor, sweatshops, discrimination and forced labor. In as much as Corporate America has found our prison system a wonderful place to recruit extremely low wage and compliant workers, the issue of forced labor is obviously one that Corporate America would rather not address just yet. In fact, the sheer numbers of prisoners forced to work for Corporate America is growing every year as companies see that they can drastically cut their labor costs and fears of unions and even most labor laws by simply "hiring" convicts and laying off their regular employees. (2 & 3)

Workers favoring American union efforts can take small comfort in one fact recently unearthed. While American activists for organized labor fear losing their jobs, union organizers in Columbia face losing their very lives. The newly elected President of Columbia has, for example, simply declared every labor slow down or strike during his tenure as an illegal action and then proceeded to assassinate the leaders of those union actions. In fact, according to a report by the International Labor Organization (ILO), Colombia holds the dubious distinction of being the leader in the number of union activists killed. Additionally, Columbia accounts for over HALF OF ALL murders of world's union activists all over the world each year. What is America's reaction to this slaughter? Obviously, it sends billions and billions of dollars to the nation in foreign aid and in drug interdiction programs and then welcomes the same President responsible for hundreds of unionist deaths to the White House to be honored for his small but deadly part in the War On Americans (and Colombians) Who Use The Wrong Drugs or, now, have the wrong dreams for their futures. As Yakoff Smirnoff once observed, "America! What a country!" (4)

Remember all the talk about the Kyoto Protocols, agreements which, if signed, would have required the signature nations to reduce their CO2 outputs by at least 5% below their 1990 levels? Remember the whining and crying coming from Congress about how only the industrialized nations were being faced with such a decrease but developing nations were allowed far less stringent requirements? Want to know a little secret? The "key" developing nations that had raised such anger from Congress were, indeed, producing an enormous amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. Can you guess, though, who owned or fully finances the vast majority of those plants that were and continue to emit lethal doses of gases into our air? You got it, pilgrim! Nearly 100% of those plants are owned and operated by Corporate American companies who had moved their manufacturing plants into these third world and barely developing nations simply because there were few if any limits on pollution or labor laws or any other obstacles that a few billion dollars in the right hands couldn't make go away. So, what do we then have? We have a government who refuses to sign accords most independent scientists agree are of absolute necessity if we are to continue to survive as a species because nations other than our own are pouring a toxic mixture of filth into the atmosphere but the plants in those nations that are keeping our creepy little representatives in such high dungeon are exactly the same corporations that are the owners of our representatives who moved into those countries because Americans were sick and tired of their pollution! (Pant! Pant!) And around and around we go, folks. (5)

Remember the horrendous shooting last September in the Fort Worth church? Ever wonder what take such an intelligent and thoughtful celebrity as fat old Rush Limbaugh might have had on that event? "Viola! Automatically we've got another mass shooting. The minute Congress gets back and starts work on new gun legislation...guess what? I'm drawing no conclusion. I'm just telling you. It's very, very strange. 'Well, gee, Rush, it sounds very sinister.' It may be. Look. I don't doubt for a minute that Democrats are capable of staging any kind of event order to gain advantage in the causes they support. I've said it before. It's nothing new."

Let's see if I have this straight, now. A deeply disturbed, anti-Christian man walks into a Ft. Worth Baptist church and starts shooting and killing innocent men, women and children. The reason he did this was in order to further the Democrat's agenda of gun control. Does that sound about right as a summary of that quote? I suppose it gives even more credence to my long held, but seldom stated belief, that every time an American flushes their toilet, Rush opens his mouth to pontificate on the day's tragedies. (6)

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