February 27, 2006

Other Foreign Nations Managing Port Terminals

by @ 12:00 am. Filed under Terrorism and War, Unions Destroying America

It is good that Americans now desire that their ports are working with management companies that do not have questionable ties to terrorism. Dubai Ports World would be in familiar company when you look at other government run companies that are managing port terminals in the USA.

For example in Hampton Roads, Virginia there is a who’s-who of suspect nations managing terminals at the port in that town.

Foreign companies abound at Hampton Roads ports (emphasis added)

Besides Maersk, they include Mediterranean Shipping Co., a Swiss-Italian firm; Evergreen Marine Corp. of Taiwan.; China Ocean Shipping Co., the state-owned carrier of the People’s Republic of China; United Arab Shipping Co.; and the National Shipping Co. of Saudi Arabia.

This is just one port in one US city. It’s similar in ports across our nation. I can’t say I feel a level of comfort in this fact and I have no desire to see the number increase.

Of course if it was not for UNIONS more US companies would be better able to manage our sea ports. In the interest of one of America’s most risky points of entry being managed within this nation, it would make sense to disband all port Unions and initiate an effort to have US ports fully managed from within this nation. It has been mentioned that Liberal Democrats suggested that US ports should be managed by groups local to the area the port is in. Similar to how US airports are managed. Honestly I totally agree with the suggestion. All points of entry into a given area should be managed by entities within that town. It would be nice if a private business in each area could do this work, but if no private company can and it must be handled via that area’s local government (using taxpayer dollars) that would be fine with me too. Even if multiple ports were run by a private company within the USA that is based outside of the ports’ town, that would be fine as well. Yes Homeland Security does a good bit of the security at ports and terminal operators do some as well, but American points of entry should be fully managed by America.

Hopefully the current uproar will start a drive towards the goal of port management being run within the USA. This will require getting rid of Unions and hopefully Americans will realize that as well. People are asking “why can’t an American company run our ports?”… Because of the Unions, that’s why. In the interest of America being able to fully manage our sea ports the Unions should be disbanded. Some effort towards the USA managing all entry into the USA needs to be made, or America will continue to be more compromised as a nation.

January 30, 2006

Politicians’ Version of School Choice is Based on Everything Except What Really Matters

by @ 12:18 am. Filed under Education, Nuts on Parade, Unions Destroying America

Here in Georgia the state legislature has been debating an issue that is really a twisted mess. And all of their proposed solutions miss what really matters most. In short the debate is over Cobb County’s rules for deciding who will attend a newly built school. The county’s rules include a race-bait clause, that mentions the racial makeup of a school should not be changed whenever school redistricting is performed. What this would mean is that students near a newly built school would not be able to attend that school because they have the wrong skin tone. They would have to continue going to a school further away from their home in the name of “diversity”. The affected students happen to be White.

Of course in modern times where race neutral things like location are used to determine school redistricting and anyone of any race can live most anywhere, a rule that plays on race is a bad idea. It results in school enrollment being based on race, instead of students being able to attend the school closest to their home. In this particular case Republican House Rules Chairman Earl Ehrhart’s child would probably be attending the new school in the future, if not for being born in the wrong skin tone as some of his neighbors (White). So he proposed a bill to ban Cobb County from being able to use race as a factor. While his efforts are very much self serving I agree with him. Because his efforts will stop a practice that is simply wrong.

When I was in grade school the local government changed school district lines so that I would have to attend a school much further away from my home. All in the name of “diversity”. So I’ve had personal experience in this redrawing of lines because of race. I did not like it then and I still don’t like it as an adult. Even if a few kids are sent to a school that is further away because it is “better” than the school near them, it does nothing for the masses of children still at the school closer by. Educational efforts should involve making schools better, not trying to shuffle a few kids around in the name of “diversity”. It should be parents that have the ability to move their kids if they feel the need.

OK, so now you know why I’m so much against populating schools based on race. And why I agree with the effort to change Cobb County’s rules in this regard. Well you know the race hustlers do not want something to be race neutral. And one particular race hustler jumped up. I consider her a hustler in training, because she’s a young NAACP member and state legislator. She’s not as “seasoned” as some other race hustlers in this state. Democratic State House member Alisha Thomas Morgan declared that changing the rules to not include race would bring back “segregation”. She also made personal attacks towards Chairman Earl Ehrhart. This got her a swift rebuke from House Speaker Glenn Richardson. He had her mic turned off and then informed her that she was violating House rules.

The article linked below has video of the heated exchange:

Race, Redistricting Prompt Bill

Georgia lawmakers have stepped into the fray of the Cobb County School redistricting controversy, passing a bill that would keep race out of the equation.

The bill was proposed following angry response by parents to a plan to redistrict for the new Hillgrove High School. The school is under construction and scheduled to open in August.

The Cobb school system’s proposal would keep some students at McEachern High, even if they live closer to Hillgrove, in order to prevent that school from losing too many white students.

This article from the Atlanta Journal Constipation Constitution has other details.

The bill passed in the House and this week it goes to the State Senate. I expect race hustling nuts like Democratic State Senator Vincent D. Fort might have something stupid to say. (He is loved by the NAACP and ADF, need I say more?)

Now that I’ve gotten that all out of the way, I must say that the entire debate is junk! These legislators should be working on a way for parents across the state to be able to decide where their children attend school. If you watched John Stossel’s 20/20 report called “Stupid in America”, you saw how this effort by legislators to force kids to only be able to attend a single school is terrible for fostering competition in education. It allows some veteran teachers to rest on their laurels and not feel pressed to do their best job. His report did not mention how terrible parents are a major factor in schools being bad, it focused on what schools and officials could do on their end of things. And the report did show a whole lot that schools could do better. The number one issue being school unions. Given Unions make it very hard to get rid of bad employees.

Stupid in America

The longer kids stay in American schools, the worse they do in international competition. They do worse than kids from poorer countries that spend much less money on education, ranking behind not only Belgium but also Poland, the Czech Republic and South Korea.

This should come as no surprise if you remember that public education in the United States is a government monopoly. Don’t like your public school? Tough. The school is terrible? Tough. Your taxes fund that school regardless of whether it’s good or bad. That’s why government monopolies routinely fail their customers. Union-dominated monopolies are even worse.

In New York City, it’s “just about impossible” to fire a bad teacher, says Schools Chancellor Joel Klein. The new union contract offers some relief, but it’s still about 200 pages of bureaucracy. “We tolerate mediocrity,” said Klein, because “people get paid the same, whether they’re outstanding, average or way below average.”

Here’s just one example from New York City: It took years to fire a teacher who sent sexually oriented e-mails to “Cutie 101,” a 16-year-old student. Klein said, “He hasn’t taught, but we have had to pay him, because that’s what’s required under the contract.”

Only after six years of litigation were they able to fire him. In the meantime, they paid the teacher more than $300,000. Klein said he employs dozens of teachers who he’s afraid to let near the kids, so he has them sit in what are called rubber rooms. This year he will spend $20 million dollars to warehouse teachers in five rubber rooms. It’s an alternative to firing them. In the last four years, only two teachers out of 80,000 were fired for incompetence. Klein’s office says the new contract will make it easier to get rid of sex offenders, but it will still be difficult to fire incompetent teachers.

When I confronted Randi Weingarten, president of the United Federation of Teachers, she said, “They [the NYC school board] just don’t want to do the work that’s entailed.” But the “work that’s entailed” is so onerous that most principals just have just given up, or gotten bad teachers to transfer to another school. They even have a name for it: “the dance of the lemons.”

Schools in America need to reflect the competition and choice available in other parts of America’s free market system. As Mr. Stossel’s report showed, it does work.

January 16, 2006

Union bosses in Michigan question Michigan Civil Rights Initiative supporters

by @ 1:32 pm. Filed under Unions Destroying America

It would seem that this would be a violation of Union Members’ privacy, but even if it is not it shows that Unions can carry a great deal of leverage in actions done by Union members. Actions done outside of what would be considered Union activity. The Michigan Civil Rights Initiative is an effort to stop race based preferences in Affirmative Action policies and other hiring efforts. Because hiring based on race is simply unconstitutional. It is a ballot initiative, that has enough signatures to go on the ballot for a vote.

Liberals who support race based preferences have been trying to prevent this initiative from going through the legal process, using literally any means necessary! As part of the Liberal efforts, they have tried to claim that petition organizers lied about the actual intent of the petition.

As Blog Discriminations reports:

More Michigan Fraud: Unions Taking Names And …

MCRI’s “fraud,” allegedly, consisted of its canvassers saying that banning racial preferences was actually a protection of civil rights. Imagine that!

So Liberals feel that the removal of race based preferences in hiring does not protect Civil Rights. I must say, regardless of how MLK Jr. would feel about this, that’s just insane! As if it was bad when Whites discriminated based on race to give other Whites jobs, but when done for other races it is fine 🙄 .

Well Unions are always in the “protection” game. Usually protecting their own existence and have a history of playing on race. In Michigan AFSCME Local 207 and AFSCME Local 2920 realized that the removal of racial preferences does not play into the agenda of their allies in the Democratic Party. So they have joined the fight against the ballot initiative. And they are also pulling out all the stops to assist their Liberal allies. The Union bosses have cross referenced their member lists with petition signers! Then they actually questioned Union members who signed about their actions. Of those questioned by AFSCME Local 207, about 20% (27 in total) of the petition signers have signed affidavits saying they were misled. AFSCME Local 2920 was able to do the same with about a dozen of their members.

This is very disturbing. Because those Union members had no idea that their signature would be used by Union bosses to approach them personally about their actions. To me this is a misuse of a Union membership list. Also, being approached without prior knowledge that Union bosses might spy on them, probably left the questioned Union members feeling pretty intimidated! Although most did not sign an affidavit, it probably scared some of them from ever wanting to do something that might go against the Union again. Not to mention, who knows if others outside of the Union bosses have found out about this. There could be pressure on signers, that trickles down from Union bosses to co-workers that side with the Union.

Zarko Research & Consulting has the full report and audio from the Michigan Civil Rights Commission hearing.

Union Bosses Attack Members Who Signed MCRI

one of the few “new” tidbits of information on the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative signature collection process was revealed by two Union leaders, John Riehl and Michael Mulholland, who jointly testified. They revealed that they are spying on the unrelated (to union mission) political activities of their members, and then (in ZR’s opinion) intimidating them into action.

There needs to be a separate initiative to prevent Unions for misusing their member lists in this fashion. Better still, I would prefer an initiative to abolish the Unions completely. Their time has long past us.

December 28, 2005

Thomas Sowell: In the Right Direction, interview notes

by @ 11:59 am. Filed under Business, Education, The Truth Shall Set you Free!, Unions Destroying America

Thomas SowellFred Barnes was able to get Conservative Thinker Thomas Sowell to do a one on one interview on FoxNews recently. Like Mr. Barnes and other Conservatives, I really enjoy Mr. Sowell’s work. So I’ve made notes from the interview. In my notes I attempt to cover the major topics covered during the interview and Mr. Sowell’s general view on them. There was so much covered that it would be difficult to capture every word. Mr. Sowell brings up so many facts, figures and perfect analogies on the fly that it’s hard to keep up if you’re actually trying to document everything. So I’m hoping I’ve just captured the general points and my notes are in no way a fully detailed report of every single thing covered. But I’ve captured enough that I feel satisfied with sharing my notes here on the blog.

December 24, 2005

Police Union defends officers fired for beating Robert Davis

by @ 12:19 am. Filed under Unions Destroying America

Every bad employee’s best friend, unions. In New Orleans the police union is standing up for the police officers fired for their beating of Robert Davis, that was caught on video tape.

Two officers fired for their role in taped New Orleans beating

Two police officers were fired Wednesday for a beating in the French Quarter shortly after Hurricane Katrina that was videotaped by The Associated Press. A third officer was suspended.

A union official vowed to fight the firings of officers Robert Evangelist and Lance Schilling for their role in the beating of Robert Davis, 64. Officer Stuart Smith was suspended for 120 days.

The police union disagreed with the firings and said it would appeal to the Civil Service Commission.

“This case became highly publicized through the media,” union President Lt. David Benelli said. “In light of the worldwide media frenzy these officers were placed under, it was impossible for them to receive a fair investigation.”

After seeing the video of the beating, police Superintendent Warren Riley called the officers’ actions unacceptable ? comments that Benelli said interfered with their ability to get a fair investigation by the police internal-affairs division.

As usual, when an employer attempts to take corrective action against a bad employee, there runs the Union with lawyers in tow to defend the disciplined (former) employee(s).

Related post:
2 cops fired for beating Robert Davis in New Orleans

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