Saturday, 21 November 2009


Ken Berwitz

Here, courtesy of Michelle Malkin, is a close look at Barack Obama's bosom buddies: the Service Employee International Union (SEIU).  Let's see what they're really about.  The bold print is mine:

The union that hates the Boy Scouts

Last Updated: 5:22 AM, November 21, 2009

Posted: 1:14 AM, November 21, 2009Michelle Malkin


The Boy Scouts' motto is: Be prepared. Who knew it meant preparing to defend themselves against union thuggery? Kids, pay attention: This is a teachable moment for all of you on power, politics and Big Labor's culture of corruption.


At last week's City Council meeting in Allentown, Pa., a top official of the local Service Employees International Union chapter ranted about 17-year-old Scout Kevin Anderson's park-cleanup work. To earn an Eagle Scout badge, Anderson devoted some 200 hours to picking up trash and helping clear a 1,000-foot walking path with fellow members of Boy Scouts Troop 301 of Center Valley.


But SEIU's Nick Balzano gave them hell instead of thanks. He asserted that "there is [sic] to be no volunteers" since his union members were laid off. He then issued a witch-hunt threat: "We'll also be looking into the Cub Scout or Boy Scout who did the trails. We may file another grievance on that."


Citing union rules, he gave the City Council, the Scouts and all potential volunteers an iron ultimatum: "None of them can pick up a hoe. They can't pick up a shovel. They can't plant a flower. They can't clear a bicycle path. They can't do anything. Our people do that."


That's right: Balzano was ready to bludgeon the Boy Scout because his gung-ho volunteerism posed a threat to the SEIU labor monopoly.


The outrageous display of Boss Balzano's union protectionism provoked a national furor. SEIU headquarters in Washington immediately blamed "the disreputable Fox News and other right-wing outlets like Michelle Malkin's accuracy-challenged blog" for the backlash. It also distanced itself from Balzano, denying that he's a top union leader and dismissing his remarks as "unauthorized."


Fact: Labor Department records from 2008 (the most recent filing) show that Balzano is no rogue rank-and-file member: He serves on the SEIU local's executive board and has served as president.


Fact: The union tried to minimize Balzano's grievance threat as "inappropriate." But public-sector unions have rou tinely attacked volunteer workers who threaten their stranglehold.


Last June, union officials in Baraboo, Wis., filed a complaint against volunteer firefighters who built sandbag barricades to protect the city from record flooding. They whined that city Department of Public Works employees should have been called first and demanded overtime pay (for work they didn't do) to compensate them.


Yes, kids, the city was knee-deep in water and the government union got mad that other people scrambled to work together in an emergency to put sand in bags, save homes and help their neighbors.


Public-sector unions aren't about serving the public interest. They're about serving their people, their power and their self-preservation.


In Montpelier, Vt., several years ago, the teachers union went after a superstar educator, Bill Corrow. The students, staff and supervisors at his school loved the social studies teacher. But the Vermont Education Association hated him because he was a volunteer who did not accept payment for his elective course.


Teachers unions are all for parents and schoolchildren volunteering their time to engage in political lobbying and power-expanding initiatives on the union's behalf. But God help the community service-oriented individual with a passion for sharing his knowledge in their classrooms.


In California, union heavies in the Sacramento area sued a nonprofit environmental group for using college-age volunteers on a state-funded project to clean up a canyon and build a community trail. Big Labor dusted off an old law that requires volunteers to be paid prevailing wages for doing the cleanup. The law was finally repealed, but not without a brass-knuckles fight.


SEIU President Andy Stern in Washington speaks for all of Big Labor when he describes his organizing philosophy: "We prefer to use the power of persuasion, but if that doesn't work, we use the persuasion of power." President Obama, who has made national service an administration priority, has been and will continue to be silent about the Big Labor bullies who make public enemies of Scouts with trash bags and hoes.


You see, kids, Obama owes Stern (his most frequent White House visitor) and his union brethren. SEIU alone poured more than $60 million in compulsory membership dues into Obama's campaign and leaned on its workers to "volunteer" to knock on doors, place phone calls and send out mailers for the Democratic Party. No good deed goes unpunished by union bosses -- unless it benefits their political empire.

Let me remind you that Andy Stern has visited the Obama White House more times than any other person (except Michelle, Malia and Sasha - I think).  He appears to be the President's BFF.

And now you have a good idea of what he is and what he does.

This is our fault.  We elected a Chicago machine politician who is unqualified to be President, based on what he told us about himself and what a fawning media beamed out about him.  And we handed him a majority in both houses of congress that virtually insures his power will go unchecked until the next elections in 2010.

Those elections cannot come fast enough.  And that goes double for 2012.


Ken Berwitz

Here, from P.J. Gladnick of, is the latest news on the burgeoning mother of all global warming scandals:

NYT Environmental Writer Confirms Probable Authenticity of Hacked Climate Change Messages

By P.J. Gladnick (Bio | Archive)
November 20, 2009 - 21:39 ET

Let us give New York Times environmental writer Andrew Revkin credit. He is one of the few in the mainstream media reporting on the hacked global warming e-mails story which has gone viral in the blogosphere and was covered in-depth by NewsBusters' Noel Sheppard. If you aren't yet familiar with this brewing scandal then I recommend you get up to speed on this controversy by reading Sheppard's blog post. 

Despite Revkin's commendable willingness to at least cover this controversy, he is still stubbornly clinging to his global warming belief...for now. Perhaps his stubbornness against veering away from the global warming doctrine is more a matter of inertia. After all, he has invested over 10 years of his life in that particular dogma and it is not easy to give it up overnight despite the shocking revelations of the e-mails. Here is Revkin's not very convincing money quote disclaimer:

The documents will undoubtedly raise questions about the quality of research on some specific questions and the actions of some scientists. But the evidence pointing to a growing human contribution to global warming is so broad and deep that the hacked material is unlikely to erode the overall argument.  

That sounds more like the weak hope of a latter day Millerite but the bulk of Revkin's report is actually quite good considering that the implications of this scandal could lead to the shattering of the global warming belief:

The e-mails, attributed to prominent American and British climate researchers, include discussions of scientific data and whether it should be released, exchanges about how best to combat the arguments of skeptics, and casual comments in some cases derisive about specific people known for their skeptical views. Drafts of scientific papers and a photo collage that portrays climate skeptics on an ice floe were also among the hacked data, some of which dates back 13 years. 

In one e-mail exchange, a scientist writes of using a statistical trick in a chart illustrating a recent sharp warming trend. In another, a scientist refers to climate skeptics as idiots.

And another money quote. This time about the impact of these hacked e-mail messages:

Some skeptics asserted Friday that the correspondence revealed an effort to withhold scientific information. This is not a smoking gun, this is a mushroom cloud, said Patrick J. Michaels, a climatologist who has long faulted evidence pointing to human-driven warming and is criticized in the documents.

As Revkin points out, some e-mails display an incredible level of insecurity among the scientists promoting global warming. They sure don't sound very confident in their own data:

Portions of the correspondence portrays the scientists as feeling under siege by the skeptics camp and worried that any stray comment or data glitch could be turned against them.

As to the authenticity of the hacked e-mails, Revkin strongly suggests that they are indeed valid:

Officials at the University of East Anglia confirmed in a statement on Friday that files had been stolen from a university server and that the police had been brought in to investigate the breach. They added, however, that they could not confirm that all the material circulating on the Internet was authentic.

But several scientists and others contacted by the Times confirmed that they were the authors or recipients of specific e-mails included in the file. 

And what will be the impact of these documents on the upcoming climate change meeting in Copenhagen?

The revelations are bound to inflame the public debate as hundreds of negotiators prepare to hammer out an international climate accord at meetings in Copenhagen next month, and at least one scientist speculated that the timing was not coincidental.

Baby steps, Andrew. Correct me if I'm wrong but it sure sounds like Revkin is more shaken by this scandal than he is letting on.  Perhaps he is not yet ready to give up the global warming ghost but the newly released hacked information seems to be loosening his moorings to a widely accepted liberal belief.

Good for the New York Times.  Now, where is everyone else?

And where, in the world, is Al Gore?.


Ken Berwitz

First, a word about using the initials ksm instead of calling this terrorist scumbag by his actual name of khalid sheikh mohammed. 

I would far prefer to use the full name, because the use of initials suggests a level of familiarity, even good will, that I obviously do not feel.  But since just about everyone is using it now, ksm will shortly be the more recognizable way of referring to him.  So I'm sort of stuck.  The bright side, I suppose, is that it takes up less room.  Just as I wish he would (none at all would be nice).

Regarding New York's reaction to the trial being held there?  Here is our first indication, from Rasmussen Research:

 55% in New York Oppose Civilian Terror Trials

Friday, November 20, 2009


Just 35% of New York State voters agree with Attorney General Eric Holders decision to try the confessed mastermind of the 9/11 terror attacks and five other suspected terrorists in a civilian court in New York City rather than before a military tribunal.


A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey in the state finds that 55% are opposed to that decision, which is part of the Obama administrations effort to close the terrorist prison camp at the Guantanamo Naval Base in Cuba.


But 57% are at least somewhat confident that New York City will be safe and secure during the trials of the terrorism suspects. Twenty-three percent (23%) are very confident.


Thirty-eight percent (38%) are not confident that the city will be safe during the trials, with 26% who are not very confident and 12% who are not at all confident.


Nationally, 51% of voters oppose the decision to try the suspected terrorists in a civilian court in New York City.


If these data are accurate, not only are New Yorkers against the imbecilic, still-unexplained decision to try ksm in a civil court in New York, they are even more against it than the overall country.

Regarding New Yorkers' confidence that the city will be safe during the trials, the article is written somewhat confusingly, so let's just look at the numbers:

Very Confident:  23%      Somewhat Confident:  38%      Not Very Confident:  26%      Not at all Confident:  12%

Less than one-quarter of all people interviewed are very confident that the city will be safe.  Every other answer indicates a significant degree of non-confidence. 

Meanwhile, we're still waiting for Attorney General eric holder, and/or his puppeteer in the White House, to explain why this civil trial is taking place at all; why ksm is going to be given a multi-year propaganda forum for our enemies to salivate over and for al qaeda to use for recruitment. 

Don't expect that explanation any time soon.

Zeke ... ... A guilty murderer going free in our Justice System ? Someone who is clearly guilty ? ... ... Like O.J. Simpson ? A defense attorney who got KSM off would be hated by everyone ... except his future clients. That attorney would be the star of the Mega-Guilty set. (11/21/09)


Ken Berwitz

Want to see another example of our rights summarily being taken from us, hugo chavez-style?  Try this one on for size.  It comes to us from the Wall St. Journal:

Obama Union Rules

A federal agency rips up 75 years of labor policy.

The National Mediation Board, which oversees labor relations in the air and rail industry, this month moved to overturn 75 years of labor policy.

The board plans to stack the deck for organized labor in union elections. Under a proposed rule, unions would no longer have to get the approval of a majority of airline workers to achieve certification. Not even close. Instead, a union could win just by getting a majority of the employees who vote. Thus, if only 1,000 of 10,000 flight attendants vote in a union election, and 501 vote for certification, the other 9,499 become unionized.

This radical break with precedent is the handiwork of President Obama's appointees to the three-member board: Harry Hoglander, once president of a pilots union, and Linda Puchala, former president of the Association of Flight Attendants.

The board got a request to adopt the jerry-rigged voting standard from the AFL-CIO in September. Without a hearing or invitation for preliminary views, the Obama duo drafted the AFL-CIO demand and published it in the Federal Register. It's now subject to a 60-day comment period, after which Ms. Puchala and Mr. Hoglander will no doubt vote to inflict it on all the nation's airline and rail carriers.

Since 1934, every National Mediation Boardeven those with Democratic majoritieshas upheld the current rule on grounds that companies governed by the Railway Labor Act are vital to the U.S. economy. The existing rules were designed to reduce strikes by ensuring that a majority of airline and rail employees support union representation. In their rule change, Mr. Hoglander and Ms. Puchala brush aside the many historical and legal barriers to their change, arguing that under "broad statutory authority" they can do what they want.

And that's kind compared to their treatment of the board's Bush-appointed Chairman Liz Dougherty. According to a letter Ms. Dougherty sent Congress, the two Democrats never sought her input or participation in crafting the proposal. Instead, they gave her a "final" version of the rule, said they were sending it in two hours and forbade her from publishing a dissent. They relented later, but only if she removed some of her criticism.

Ms. Dougherty noted such "arbitrary" and "exclusionary" behavior (we'd call it thuggish) has never been the norm at the agency. Her Democratic colleagues' frantic rush to change a 75-year-old rule "gives the impression that the Board has prejudged this issue," and is trying to "influence the outcome of several very large and important representation cases currently pending."

Indeed. The AFL-CIO letter was inspired by Delta's acquisition of Northwest. Northwest was largely unionized but Delta wasn't. The unions are now struggling to win the required new elections, and they want the Mediation Board to manipulate the rules in their favor. It is growing clear that Ms. Puchala and Mr. Hoglander are in on the game. So too, presumably, are the folks who appointed them.

To summarize: 

-If you vote against the union, it counts as a no. 

-If you vote for the union, it counts as a yes. 

-And if you don't vote at all?  That's a yes also.

Is it any wonder unions love Barack Obama?  Is it any wonder that he and SEIU head Andy Stern are so tight? 

We now know how they feel about majority rule when it comes to unions.  How do you feel?  And how do our wonderful "neutral" media (with the WSJ obviously excepted) feel?  Outraged enough to report it as a major story?  To report it at all?

The 2010 elections cannot come fast enough. 

And that goes double for 2012.

free` The 2010 elections cannot come fast enough. And that goes double for 2012. Unfortunately we are going to have the same MSM committing as much fraud as necessary to keep the dems in power. Until we have an unbiased media i am afraid the voters are going to be in the dark just like in 2006 and 2008. (11/21/09)


Ken Berwitz

I wonder how many women who supported ObamaCare are reveling over this latest taste of how their health needs will be addressed.

Excerpted from an article by the Associated Press:

Report: 20-somethings can go 2 years between Paps

By LAURAN NEERGAARD, AP Medical Writer Lauran Neergaard, Ap Medical Writer Fri Nov 20, 12:03 pm ET



First mammograms. Now in an apparent coincidence Pap smears.


New guidelines by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists say most women in their 20s can have a Pap smear every two years instead of annually to catch slow-growing cervical cancer.


The change comes amid a separate debate over when regular mammograms to detect breast cancer should begin, in the 40s or the 50s. The timing of the Pap guidelines is coincidence, said ACOG, which began reviewing its recommendations in late 2007 and published the update Friday in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology.



Republicans sought to connect the mammogram recommendations to the health-care overhaul, contending that such findings are the way that medical rationing starts.


Under the pending legislation, "nothing would prohibit the federal government from deciding if tests, treatments and procedures are too expensive, and therefore, unnecessary," Sens. Jon Kyl of Arizona, the Republican Whip, and Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, a physician, said in a joint statement.

And if that doesn't trouble you, read the following excerpt from John Hull's article in the Trumbull County Conservative Examiner (and then wonder why the articles it references aren't being featured in our major media):

Now the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has issued a report stating women under 30 should have a cervical cancer screening every two years instead of annually and women over thirty should only get tested every three years.

The majority of cervical cancer cases occur in women in midlife. It would then go to reason that women over thirty should increase instances of cervical cancer screening, not decrease it as the study says.

The study also calls for a virtual elimination of pap smears for all women. ACS statistics show "..between 1955 and 1992, the cervical cancer death rate declined by 74%. The main reason for this change was the increased use of the Pap test. This screening procedure can find changes in the cervix before cancer develops. It can also find cervical cancer early -- in its most curable stage. The death rate from cervical cancer continues to decline by nearly 4% each year."

The release of these studies comes at a convenient time for Obamacare advocates. These recommendations of healthcare rationing comes before the bill comes to a final vote so as to relieve the Obamacare program of responsibility for the rationing. The most rational place to begin a program of rationing is with women simply because women live longer than men and, therefore, require more health care.

Women in the United States have a life expectancy of 80.69 years, five years longer than males. At an average cost of $5,711 per year, it costs $28,555 more to provide lifetime healthcare for women than men. There is a reason the bill is called "America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009". The keyword here is affordable, not comprehensive. To become more affordable, services must be cut.

Dr. Howard Smith, a Washington DC physician, associate professor at George Washington University, a consultant for FairCode Associates, a senior associate for Plexus Consulting and contributor to the Examiner, stated "We do not have to sacrifice people to save money and this is precisely what ObamaCare will accomplish."

In his May 16, 2007 article What Cannot Be Said on Television About Health Care in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Ezekiel Emmanuel stated "Increasing costs of Medicaid ... meant cuts in Medicaids discretionary services or, more commonly, in other state services..." What is Medicaid, but state run health insurance, a microcosm of Obamacare. If the government cannot control costs in Medicaid, which serves a limited amount of people, how can we expect them to efficiently run healthcare for the entire population?

Another segment of this same article decried physicians for not rationing stating they "To many, the specialness of health care meant that cost should not be a consideration in care. Ethical physicians
could and should not consider money in deciding what they should do for sick patients. Patients were to receive whatever services they needed, regardless of its cost."

Another article written for the New England Journal of Medicine , What are the potential cost savings from legalizing physician-assisted suicide?(July 16, 1998), Emmanuel and Dr. Kevorkian wannabe Margaret Battin wrote "the cost effectiveness of hastened death is as undeniable as gravity. The earlier a patient dies, the less costly is his or her care." And although Emmanuel has issued statements that he is against euthanasia, he has made just as many statements in favor of rationing and ageism, withholding care from such people as with dementia, downs syndrome, etc.

Denial of medical care to a person who needs it is depraved indifference. US Legal defines depraved indifference as a person whose "conduct [is] 'so wanton, so deficient in a moral sense of concern, so lacking in regard for the life or lives of others, and so blameworthy as to warrant the same criminal liability as that which the law imposes upon a person who intentionally causes a crime. Depraved indifference focuses on the risk created by the defendants conduct, not the injuries actually resulting."

This is far worse than assisted suicide, in which people die because they want to, not because they are denied care.

Do you need me to tell you that the ACOG supports ObamaCare?  I didn't think so.

And keep in mind that this is what they are telling you before the advent of ObamaCare.  This is what they think is safe for you to know before a vote takes place.  Now try and envision what elements of this monstrosity they consider worse, and won't tell you about yet.

To those of you who have supported ObamaCare:  Do you still think it is a good idea?  Are you still sneering at suggestion that there will be "death panels" - i.e. panels which decide how to ration health care and who the winners and losers are?

Oh, one other thing.  Barack Obama's own mother, Ann Dunham, died prematurely, just before the age of 53.  The cause?  Ovarian and uterine cancer -- which might have been prevented or delayed with the right tests and the right care. 

Make of that what you will.

Zeke ... "Logan's Run" is the model for ObamaKare. The movie depicted a society where anyone over 30 was euthanized, in order to rid society of "less productive" members. ... ... Why lration care to sick people ... they aren't much use to society .... kill 'em off BEFORE spending any money on them. (11/21/09)

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