Volkswagen Employees Have Rejected The United Auto Workers Union

The Detroit Free Press posted an article today about the vote by workers at the Volkswagen plant in Tennessee. The workers voted against the United Auto Workers Union (UAW).

The article reports:

Volkswagen has said it favors the creation of a German-styleworks council,” which gives workers a voice on a variety of product and other decisions. Under U.S. law, a union must represent employees for a company to form a works council.

But Snyder voted against the UAW because, he said, Volkswagen is the best employer he’s ever worked for.

“How is somebody here really supposed to know what a works council is going to be like?” Snyder said. “You can have somebody tell you one thing and somebody tell you another thing. Nobody really knows.”

I think that is a really smart statement. The UAW has played something of a role in the bankruptcy of Detroit. They are not totally responsible, but they are not totally innocent either.  I think this vote represents a realization by the workers that they have been treated fairly by the management of Volkswagen and they do not want to risk their current benefits. Unions have traditionally had a role to play in American industry, but many of the benefits of unionization have been taken over by the government. The government now monitors working conditions, waste disposal, and benefits–all things the unions were originally involved in. Unfortunately the unions have become political organizations with overpaid leadership that lives far above the living standard of union members. They have become no different than the corporations and corporate fat cats they continually criticize.

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Something To Remember The Next Time You Vote

Today’s Washington Examiner posted a story about the affect ObamaCare will have on the cost of health insurance for Americans. The healthcare exchanges under ObamaCare are expected to begin on October 1.

Senator Lamar Alexander released some numbers today showing how ObamaCare will impact the residents of Tennessee.

Senator Alexander’s findings are reported in the article:

— Today, a 27-year-old man in Memphis can buy a plan for as low as $41 a month. On the exchange, the lowest state average is $119 a month — a 190 percent increase.

— Today, a 27-year-old woman in Nashville can also buy a plan for as low as $58 a month. On the exchange, the lowest-priced plan in Nashville is $114 a month — a 97 percent increase. Even with a tax subsidy, that plan is $104 a month, almost twice what she could pay today.

— Today, women in Nashville can choose from 30 insurance plans that cost less than the administration says insurance plans on the exchange will cost, even with the new tax subsidy.

— In Nashville, 105 insurance plans offered today will not be available in the exchange.

Said the Republican senator, “Why should a 27-year-old male in Memphis be forced to pay nearly three times more than what he pays today for health insurance? Why should a young woman in Nashville have to pay twice as much? This isn’t what President Obama promised Tennesseans, but it’s what he’s giving them — higher costs and less choice — that are two of the most urgent reasons Obamacare must be repealed and our health care system fixed.”

There are some states where the cost of insurance will be lower than earlier projections–note that the cost is not lower than current premiums, but lower than earlier projections.

ObamaCare is not ready for prime time. It needs to be delayed, amended, and moved toward a free-market plan. As it is currently formulated, it will fail.

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Following The Letter Of The Rule While Missing The Spirit Of The Rule

On Sunday, Yahoo Sports reported the story of Steven Rhodes, a 24-year-old Marine sergeant who just completed his five years in the Marines. After ending his service in the Marines, Steven contacted Middle Tennessee State’s football coaches to ask for a chance to play on the team.

The article continues:

…They happily accepted the 6’ 3”, 240-pound veteran and have been using him as a tight end and defensive lineman during practice.

Great story, right?

Well, it would be, except Rhodes isn’t eligible to play this season because he took part in an intramural league while in the service. He received no money to play in some extremely disorganized games.

“Man, it was like intramurals for us. There were guys out there anywhere from 18 to 40-something years old,” said Rhodes to Adam Sparks of the Daily News Journal (Murfreesboro, Tenn.). “The games were spread out. We once went six weeks between games.”

Needless to say, the coaches at Middle Tennessee State are appealing the ruling.

The article further reports:

“For a guy to go serve our country, you’d think there would be some compassion and understanding so this guy is not prevented from playing college football,” said Middle Tennessee coach Rick Stockstill. “He’s going to be almost 30 years old when his (eligibility) clock runs out. He needs to be allowed to play right now. Hopefully, they let him.”

Steven Rhodes is being penalized because he spent six years in the Marines. Good grief!

WONDERFUL UPDATE!!!!!

From the Blue Raider Athletics Website:

ATTENTION BLUE RAIDER NATION! Steven Rhodes has been cleared to play this season and for the next 4 years! Thank you for all of your support over the last 36 hours, it’s been a crazy time around here. We look forward to seeing everyone out Aug. 29th for our first game against Western Carolina! BE LOUD. BE PROUD. BE BLUE.

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Fired For Breaking A Rule Before It Was A Rule

As I write this, there is no lawsuit connected to this story. The person who would normally be entitled to file a lawsuit has not indicated that he will do so, although he has not totally ruled it out.

On Thursday, the Daily Caller reported the story about Drew Johnson, formerly one of the editors of the Chattanooga (Tenn.) Times Free Press. Mr. Johnson was fired on Thursday for breaking a rule on Monday–the rule was not put in place until Tuesday. So what was Mr. Johnson’s infraction? Mr. Johnson changed the title on an editorial to read “Take your jobs plan and shove it, Mr. President: Your policies have harmed Chattanooga enough.” This headline appeared on the day President Obama visited Chattanooga to promote his new jobs program.

Despite the headline, the Free Press kept the headline up on its website and received a lot of internet traffic related to the article.

The article at the Daily Caller reports:

However, two days after the editorial had been published he was called in and fired for the piece.

“So I was brought into human resources today and I was told, ‘You’re being fired for violating the policy that you have to have an editor sign off when you make a change to a headline,’” he said. “Well, I said, ‘That’s funny, because that policy wasn’t in place until after I wrote the piece and you guys told me that was the policy on Tuesday. And I wrote the piece on Monday.’”

Mr. Johnson is looking for a new job. Gone are the days when fiery editorials on both sides of the political spectrum graced our newspapers. Unless the media begins to report both sides of the story, we will lose our representative republic. What happened to Drew Johnson is an outrage, but somehow most of the media seems to be unconcerned.

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Memories Of A Horrible Time

This is a rambling article detailing some of my memories of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. There are no links–it is strictly my memories of the events–as I happened to be in Memphis at the time. Hopefully you will enjoy reading it.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King, Jr. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On April 4, 1968, Martin Luther King, Jr., was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee. My husband and I were temporarily stationed in Memphis at that time and were scheduled to return to his home port in Rhode Island the next day. During the time we were stationed there, I worked as a temporary office employee and made use of the city’s public transportation while my husband drove to the Navy base at Millington every day.

The city had been on edge since February due to a garbage strike and the death of some city employees who were taking a break in a garbage truck when the mechanism engaged.  Martin Luther King, Jr., had visited the city in March, speaking to thousands at Mason Temple.

I was working in downtown Memphis on the day that Martin Luther King, Jr., was shot. Things were tense that day–downtown had been declared ‘off limits’ to military personnel. City buses had been surrounded by crowds and ‘rocked.’  I don’t remember whether or not any buses were tipped over. My husband disobeyed the ‘off limits’ order and came into the city to get me because we were afraid that the bus would not be a safe way to get home.

The night of April 4 was even more tense. I don’t remember whether or not there was a curfew in the city, but I suspect there was. The next day we attended graduation ceremonies for the school my husband had been attending and then headed back to Rhode Island to his next duty station. That weekend we were supposed to visit a classmate of my husband who was part of the Presidential helicopter squadron. Needless to say, when Washington, D. C. had riots, we cancelled those plans.

We had a National Guard escort through Nashville, Tennessee, on the way home. The Guard would allow six or seven cars to go through the city with military vehicles ahead and behind the cars. We had bought a car in Memphis and had Tennessee license plates on the car, so I felt as if we blended in a little better than we might have with Rhode Island plates.

After two days of hard driving, we pulled into my husband’s parents’ house right outside of New York City. The next day we went into New York City and heard a story I have never forgotten.

New York Mayor Lindsay carries in his budget

New York Mayor Lindsay carries in his budget (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

During this time, John Lindsay was the Mayor of New York City. I am making no comment regarding the success or failure of his term as Mayor. We went into the city to the recording studio where my husband had worked before joining the Navy and were talking with another employee who was also a pastor in a black church in Harlem. The Pastor told us what had happened in New York City after the shooting of Dr. King. The Pastor explained why New York City had not had the riots that several other American cities had gone through after the news of the assassination broke. When the news of Dr. King’s death came over the wire, Mayor Lindsay immediately called the pastors of the churches in Harlem and asked them to meet him in the street on the edge of Harlem. He went there with his driver, got out his megaphone and said something like ‘If you want to march, I will march with you.’ That march changed the fate of New York City from one of riots to one of relative peace. Leadership matters.

The next day we headed back to our peaceful home in Rhode Island. It was really good to be home.

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America Used To Be A Place Of Sanctuary For The Persecuted

Yesterday the Washington Free Beacon posted a story about Uwe and Hannelore Romeike, German parents who sought to home school their children in Germany. They felt that the curriculum in the public schools was in conflict with their Christian beliefs.

The article reports the challenges they faced in Germany:

German law mandates that children attend a public or state-approved school. The local mayor informed the family that they would face fines and could lose the custody of their children if they did not attend school. The parents also faced potential jail time.

The government fined the family heavily and at one point seized the children to force them to attend school.

In 2008 the Romeike family left Germany and moved to Tennessee. There they sought asylum in the United States. An immigration judge granted it to them, citing a well-founded fear of persecution if they returned to Germany.

Unfortunately, the happy ending did not last–the article reports:

However, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), appealed the ruling to the Board of Immigration Appeals.

The board overturned the original judge’s ruling and ordered the Romeikes deported to Germany. The Romeikes appealed their case to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, where their case will be heard April 23.

At issue is whether the German law constitutes persecution against Christians for their faith, qualifying them for asylum under the Immigration and Nationality Act.

I am having a hard time understanding this. At the same time the Obama Administration seems to be willing to let anyone enter the country illegally and become a citizen, they are closing the door to a family genuinely seeking asylum. America used to be a beacon of freedom in the world.  I fear that we have forgotten our roots.

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So Much For The Voice Of The People

The Tennessean reported yesterday that the Tennessee Democratic Party has said that it will not support Mark Clayton, who won the Tennessee primary to run on the Democrat ticket against Republican Senator Bob Corker. Mr. Clayton received nearly twice as many votes as his closest challenger in Thursday’s seven-candidate primary, The reason the Democrats refuse to support him–they are accusing him of belonging to a ‘known hate group.’

Mr. Clayton is an unpaid vice-president for the group Public Advocate of the United States and occasionally writes for them. The group is pro-life and pro-marriage. I need to say something here. I oppose gay marriage. I think it totally creates confusion in terms of the First Amendment rights of the clergy not to perform the marriages and simply complicates something that does not need to be complicated. I support civil unions. I think a committed gay couple should have all the rights of a married couple. I just don’t want to see a Bible-believing pastor forced to perform a wedding that goes against Biblical teaching. I don’t hate gays. I have no reason to hate gays. Frankly, it isn’t important to me whether or not a person is gay. I am perfectly willing to share my world with any person regardless of what they do in their spare time. Opposing gay marriage is not hate speech, and groups that oppose gay marriage are not hate groups–they simply have an opinion different than the mainstream media and much of the Democrat party. We live in a country where differences of opinion are allowed. Stop calling it hate–it isn’t hate, it’s a belief in something different than what you believe.

Meanwhile, back to the story.

The article reports:

Sean Braisted, a Democratic Party spokesman, left the door open for a possible legal maneuver to try to get Clayton’s name off the Democratic line of the November ballot.

“The only option we are taking off the table in this situation,” he said, “is supporting Mark Clayton.”

The people voted. The Democrat Party did not like the results, so they are looking for a way to undo the vote. That really doesn’t sound like the wishes of the people who voted for Mark Clayton were important to the Democrat Party.

 

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Better Late Than Never

On August 22, 2010, CBN terrorist correspondent Erick Stakelbeck posted a story at CBN about a mega-mosque to be built in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. The town residents were concerned because they were not given proper notification of the building plans in the prescribed manner which would have allowed public debate.

The article reports:

“Within 17 days they had approval to build this mosque, when there are other large congregations here in the community who, some took as much as a year and a half to get the approval to build onto their facilities,” said local activist Laurie Cardoza-Moore, who is president of the pro-Israel group, Proclaiming Justice to the Nations.

As someone who lives in a small town, I can’t image any local government ruling body getting anything done in 17 days–for a construction project that size, you need public hearings, zoning board meetings, and other legalistic-sounding things.

The CBN article also reports:

The County commission is now taking a second look at local residents’ concerns about the mosque project, including the environmental impact and traffic flow that would result.

There are also complaints about an unmarked grave that has appeared on the Islamic Center‘s new property.

“We don’t know anything about the body other than it was wrapped–it’s not in a casket, it’s not embalmed, it’s not in a vault,” said local activist Kevin Fisher.

Mosque officials told us they know who is buried there, but did not give us a name. Mayor Burgess said. “The burial was legal.

But others say it’s further proof that a massive Islamic center is not a good fit in their community.

Today CBN News posted a follow-up article on the mosque.

The article at CBN today states:

The judge threw out a county commission’s ruling approving the construction on the grounds that the public wasn’t properly notified of a planning meeting.

The article reports that construction on the mosque is well underway, and that the builders will have to seek another approval from the county commission.

It is unfortunate that construction on the mosque has already begun, but it also sounds as if there are some serious questions as to whether the builders followed the proper route in getting approval for their project. If Islam were simply another religion, I don’t think there would be a problem, but there is a political and legal aspect of Islam that is incompatible with the U. S. Constitution. Another problem here is the source of the money to finance this project. The majority of mosques in America are financed with money from Saudi Arabia, where the official state religion is radical Wahhabi Islam. Radical Islam is not something we want to import into middle America.

 

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The Wall Street Journal Comments On Gibson Guitar

Gibson Les Paul Invader

Image via Wikipedia

Kimberly Strassel at the Wall Street Journal (unfortunately, subscribers only) posted an opinion piece on the August raid on Gibson Guitar by federal agents. The charges against the guitar company are rather complicated.

Ms. Strassel reports:

The company, after all, is not accused of importing banned wood (say, Brazilian mahogany). The ebony it bought is legal and documented. The issue is whether Gibson ran afoul of a techinical Indian law governing the export of finished wood products. The U. S. government’s interpretation of Indian law suggests the wood Gibson imported wasn’t finished enough. Got that?

This whole episode was a set-up. The idea was to discourage imports. In 2007, the Lacey Act, which was passed in 1900 to stop trade in illegal wild game, was expanded to cover “plant and plant products” and related items.

The article reports on the impact of this change on one company:

Furniture maker Ikea noted that even if it could comply with the change, the “administrative costs and record-deeping requirements” would cause furniture prices to “skyrocket.” The wood chips that go into its particle-board alone could require tracking back and reporting on more than 100 different tree species.

If you want to see an economy grow, this is not the way to grow it. Tennessee Representatives Marsha Blackburn and Jim Cooper are working to give companies some relief from this insanity. This is, unfortunately, another example of run-away government.

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