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Workers: No Union; No Voice.

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That the current confrontation in Wisconsin between Republican Governor Scott Walker, the Republican controlled Wisconsin State Legislature, and unionized government workers is now being repeated in a number of other states is a clear indication that it amounts to an organized and concerted effort to break, first the public employee unions, and then those in the private sector. (BTW – This contention is even further supported by Governor Walker’s being “punked” in a phone call he believed was coming from Republican sugar daddy, David Koch, wherein Walker iterates with apparent glee how a number of the other Republican governors are dutifully following his lead.)

Conservatives have, almost monolithically, always hated and opposed unions of any sort. Most consider them to be the scourge of the earth. That sentiment has long been voiced here at BC.

As I’ve noted here and elsewhere, I DO believe that unions have in some instances become too powerful and have abused that power becoming in the process as corrupt as the industries in which their consituents toiled. As with all such things, though, the few bad apples have had the effect of poisoning the entire barrel – at least as regards appearances.

That being said, should this effort succeed, which it well may, the unions’ ability to effectively represent their membership will wane much further than it already has over the past few decades. The conservative response, should that scenario come to pass, would likely be “Hallelujah!”

The loss of effective unions will be a huge blow to workers at almost all levels – whether they are unionized or not. Unions represent the only large, organized voice coming from the left and in support of the working class that have any concerted political or economic power. If unions fail, let the right wingnut oppression begin. This IS class warfare.

Governor Walker’s claims that this is all being done to avoid a fiscal crisis in his state is a strawman argument. His contention that Wisconsin is facing a fiscal meltdown has been challenged by some Democrats, and Walker is being aptly criticized owing to the fact that he is doing this on the heels of providing hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks to corporations and other business interests both inside and outside of the state. This takes his claims beyond the level of overstatement and bounds them up to the plateau of unadulterated lying. Governor Walker is a liar, especially in his claims that this is the ONLY means at his disposal to avoid monetary default.

The unions and the Democrats in the Wisconsin Senate have all accepted (if begrudgingly) the proposed fiscal reforms. What they are holding out against is losing their right to collective bargaining on issues other than cost of living pay increases which is all Walker will allow. Should they lose those bargaining rights, the result would essentially gut the unions and destroy their very reason for being. Again, the Right jumps up and shouts: “Huzzah!” (just for variety’s sake.)

All I can say is: You had better be careful what you wish for. They’ll be coming for you next, Bubba.

B

Read more about it: Wisconsin To Lay Off Thousands

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About Baritone

  • http://viclana.blogspot.com/ Victor Lana

    I’ll never forget reading Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle and, while I know it’s a different world, I still see the need for unions to protect workers.

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    Anyone who believes that the corporate sector would, in the absence of unions, act responsibly regarding their employee’s working conditions, pay and benefits is smoking some heavy stuff. Corporate concerns begin and end with the bottom line. In order to maintain multi-million dollar salaries and bonuses for the upper echelon of management and to keep the share holders smiling, the workers will be the first to take the hits. It wouldn’t be too long before the workplace would once again be a “jungle.”

    B

  • Glenn Contrarian

    What I want to know is, when all the conservatives want SMALL government to stay out of peoples’ lives, why is it that they want to OUTLAW the ability of people to voluntarily join together to negotiate for something they want?

    If two or twenty or twenty thousand people agree that they want to negotiate for something they want, is it not a matter of freedom of speech that they be allowed to do so?

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    One would think so, Glenn.

    B

  • Clavos

    Baritone,

    You say that what Walker is doing “amounts to an organized and concerted effort to break, first the public employee unions, and then those in the private sector.”

    Yet you really provide no solid evidence that this is so, other than some rather broad (and unsubstantiated) invective about evil Republicans (isn’t that a tautology?) and conservatives’ supposed “class warfare.”

    How you can come to the conclusion that Walker’s ultimate goal is to break unions in the private sector is incomprehensible, if for no other reason than that he has neither the authority nor the power to do so, and has clearly stated his goal is simply to bring Wisconsin’s budget back under control. Ah, but I forget that you know somehow that he is lying on this point — again with no evidence presented by you.

    You conclude by saying “What they are holding out against is losing their right to collective bargaining on issues other than cost of living pay increases which is all Walker will allow.” While it’s true that Walker wants to restrict the government employees’ unions license (not “right”) to collective bargaining, his aim is not without precedent from no less than the most prominent Democrat (and defender of the worker) of the twentieth century: Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who was categorically opposed to collective bargaining to the point of striking by federal workers. In a letter to Luther C. Steward, president of the National Federation of Federal Employees, Mr.Roosevelt noted,

    “All Government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service. It has its distinct and insurmountable limitations when applied to public personnel management. The very nature and purposes of Government make it impossible for administrative officials to represent fully or to bind the employer in mutual discussions with Government employee organizations. The employer is the whole people, who speak by means of laws enacted by their representatives in Congress. Accordingly, administrative officials and employees alike are governed and guided, and in many instances restricted, by laws which establish policies, procedures, or rules in personnel matters.”

    “Particularly, I want to emphasize my conviction that militant tactics have no place in the functions of any organization of Government employees. Upon employees in the Federal service rests the obligation to serve the whole people, whose interests and welfare require orderliness and continuity in the conduct of Government activities. This obligation is paramount. Since their own services have to do with the functioning of the Government, a strike of public employees manifests nothing less than an intent on their part to prevent or obstruct the operations of Government until their demands are satisfied. Such action, looking toward the paralysis of Government by those who have sworn to support it, is unthinkable and intolerable. It is, therefore, with a feeling of gratification that I have noted in the constitution of the National Federation of Federal Employees the provision that “under no circumstances shall this Federation engage in or support strikes against the United States Government.” (emphasis added)

    Whereas workers in the private sector have no means by which to bring pressure to bear on their employers to treat them humanely, government workers, who number in the tens of millions nationwide, have the power of the vote to use against their employer, the government.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Again, Clavos, with the exceptions of the military and the various security services (CIA, NSA, etc), is it not a matter of freedom of speech that people should be allowed to band together to negotiate for something they want?

    And how is it that conservatives – who say they want ‘small government’ to stay out of peoples’ lives – would stand so vociferously against such attempts at negotiation?

  • Clavos

    Again, Clavos, with the exceptions of the military and the various security services (CIA, NSA, etc), is it not a matter of freedom of speech that people should be allowed to band together to negotiate for something they want?

    Obviously, from my #5, no, not with the license (it’s not a “right”) to strike, not in the case of government employees. “Band together,” yes. Strike, no.

  • kurt brigliadora

    I would have to say that everyone needs to give a little at the bargaining table, unlike the “pirates” The somali radicals want it all. They have no “reason and fairness” Where is our leadership?

  • Clavos

    I think it’s interesting just how contemptuous of the law “good, honest, law-abiding” Democrats can be when it suits them. In Wisconsin, we’re seeing Democrat teachers abandoning and hurting their students by not showing up for work, Democrat doctors violating their ethics writing phony excuses for those teachers, and to top it off, Democrat legislators violating their oath of office by fleeing out of state and holing up in a motel to illegally thwart the business of the Wisconsin legislature.

    Glenn, let’s not hear any more about how great Dems are compared to the GOP; as I’ve said repeatedly in the past, they’re all clowns and crooks.

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    Gov. Walker pretty much put his foot in his mouth during the “punked” phone call in which he made it clear that he is working in concert with other Rep governors, and that the overarching goal is the final defeat of public sector unions. The fiscal situation simply provides an opportunity to make this move now.

    Perhaps my failure in the article was in not being more specific regarding who is doing what. There are in fact efforts to cripple private sector unions in various legislatures across the country primarily with “right to work” legislation including here in Indiana. While here, that particular bill was shelved – at least partly at the behest of Gov. Daniels, that is likely no more than a temporary delay.

    I believe the fact that public employees have obtained collective bargaining “licenses” (if you prefer) over the past several years makes the argument against them, if not moot, certainly one that has been bandied about by various legislative bodies with the decisions generally going in favor of the workers.

    I don’t believe that the welfare of the public at large is placed in any more significant jeapordy by,say a trash collector’s strike than that of the workers in a large manufacturing plant in a community where the economy is largely dependent upon it. Both can create hardship, but neither would significantly affect national security nor the public welfare. As yet, it should be pointed out, there have been no strikes in Wisconsin nor anywhere else by public employees during this current confrontation that I’m aware of.

    There is, frankly, no reason to believe that without some type of organized representation, public workers would fare any better at the hands of a legislating body or governor than their private sector compatriots would from corporations. It’s neither logical, nor fair to expect millions of public sector workers to be denied the ability to organize in some manner to promote better pay, better working standards, etc. for themselves simply because their “boss” is us. And, keep in mind, public sector workers are citizens who pay taxes as well. Leaving their fate to the whims of the voter is hardly an effective way to protect or represent their interests.

    I made no reference to “evil Republicans.” However, it’s no great revelation that by and large, Republicans are hardly union sympathizers. It is also clear that with the power swing in the House and many statehouses and state legislators, the agenda has also shifted to the right regarding a # of issues beyond public worker unions including much of the right wing social agenda regarding abortion rights, same sex marriage, etc. In effect, the union issue is acting to a degree as a smoke screen. The Indiana House just passed a bill to enact a constitutional ammendment against same sex marriage. The Senate will pass it without a hitch and Gov. Daniels will likely sign it. It will then be up to the voters in Indiana. That’s almost a no brainer here in the bible belt.

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    Clav: RE your #9: Are we to believe that teachers are expected to be totally selfless, that they should abandon all self interest to “honor” their duty to their students? Many of those same students have come out in support of them by joining in the protest. It could be said that the kids are getting a good lesson in civics.

    Both the Wisconsin and Indiana legislators who have fled their respective states claim, and I believe rightl so, that they are properly representing their constituents by their actions. When the opposition makes it clear that there will be no discussion, no debate; that it’s an all or nothing affair, what other options are there?

    Republican Senators in Congress effectively did the same thing by taking advantage of the arcane Senate rules in blocking virtually everything having Democratic support over the previous two years.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    I believe that if govt workers want to collectively bargain then they should do it with the people that pay their salaries. Anything they want in the way of pay raises or benefit increases should be put on a ballot and voted on by the people that pay taxes.
    It just doesn’t seem fair that they’re able to line the pockets of politicians and then go to those same politicians and demand anything. Why wouldn’t the pols give them what they wanted if they know it’s just gonna help line their pockets more?

    And as to the question of whether or not corporations will pay without unions..they seem to in the 22 right to work states!

    I asked this question on another thread and all the union lovers ignored it, so I’ll try it again. Can someone explain to me why the cost of living is so much higher in union states than it is in non-union states?

  • Boeke

    Workers have the right to unionize, and exercise their union power, by the same logic that investors may incorporate and exercise their joint power. There is power in numbers and the lone individual ie easily taken advantage of.

    In fact, corporations have extraordinary privileges not extended to unions, such as liability protection, direct taxpayer subsidies (in fact, Scott Walkers legislation includes direct public subsidies to corporations), the promise of bailouts, etc.

    To create parity between employee unions and the corporations they work for would require a whole raft of new privileges for unions.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    Glenn, let’s not hear any more about how great Dems are compared to the GOP; as I’ve said repeatedly in the past, they’re all clowns and crooks.

    That is what is known as a “false equivalency”. When the Republicans start acting with common sense rather than buying into such idiotic claptrap like birtherism (51% of GOP believe (or are undecided about) the lie), that global warming is a grand conspiratorial lie despite what the VAST majority of scientists say, that unregulated-guns-everywhere-all-the-time is the way to have a peaceful society, that giving billions in government subsidies to Big Oil EVERY year is more important than subsidizing clean and renewable energy…

    …when the GOP starts working with FACTS rather than fear, then we can hold them in equal light with the Dems.

  • Clavos

    Are we to believe that teachers are expected to be totally selfless, that they should abandon all self interest to “honor” their duty to their students?

    As long as they continue to piously proclaim their dedication and love for the job and the students, as most of them do, loudly and publicly, yes.

    Both the Wisconsin and Indiana legislators who have fled their respective states claim, and I believe rightly so, that they are properly representing their constituents by their actions…

    Many (if not most) of their constituents disagree with you.

    Recent studies have shown that government workers’ compensation packages (pay plus benefits) are as much as 30% higher than their private sector counterparts, and governments (especially state governments, Wisconsin included) are going broke — it’s time to rein in the public unions’ power to be more in line with Roosevelt’s concept of the role of public unions (Comment #5). Particularly in the case of the teachers’ unions (primarily the NEA and AFT), whose iron-clad work rules result in absurdities like $100,000 a year teachers who have been found to be unfit for the classroom sitting around all day or assigned to menial make-work tasks because they can’t be fired.

    Government unions have become so strong and grown so fast in recent years that government union workers now outnumber private sector union workers, which has resulted in, as the WSJ notes, the problem that …as union membership has grown in government, so has union clout in pushing politicians (especially but not solely Democrats) for higher wages and benefits. This is why labor chiefs Andy Stern (SEIU) and Rich Trumka (AFL-CIO) could order Democrats to exempt unions from ObamaCare’s tax increase on high-cost health insurance plans. To the extent Democrats have become the party of government, they have become ever more beholden to public unions.

    And it’s our (the taxpayers’) money.

  • Clavos

    And what do we get for our money? Poorly educated kids who fare very badly against other countries’ students. In the recently administered Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) tests, American students ranked in the low to mid twenties (out of a field of 65 nations). Pretty crappy results, but not surprising in a nation where demonstrably inept teachers cannot be fired. A nation where, alone among developed countries, learning a second language is NOT a requirement. A nation where college students have to be taught basic reading and writing skills in college, after they are admitted and arrive on campus.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Ah, and America’s low standing worldwide is ALL because of the unions, huh? It has nothing to do with the lingering effects of the ongoing War on Drugs that has torn the black community apart (remember the 100-1 ratio, where crack users (mostly black) were by law punished 100 times more harshly than (mostly white) chemically-identical-cocaine users?).

    And it has nothing to do with the Religious Right’s war on science, specifically against evolution?

    And it has nothing to do with No Child Left Behind, where already-poorly-funded schools who didn’t meet the standard found their funding cut even further?

    And it has nothing to do with cutting teachers’ pay to the point that 25% of all teachers in TEXAS (that gleaming capital of conservatism) have second jobs so they can support their families? So much for time to grade their students’ homework….

    And you yourself claimed that the statistical FACT that blue states generally have a better level of education than red states has nothing whatsoever with how they are governed – which includes the laws and regulations under which their school systems functions.

    But if the blue states have the wrong idea, that it’s liberal ideology that’s ruining our kids’ education, and that conservative ideals lead to better eduction, then one must ask why it is that red states generally do more POORLY on education?

    I know, I know, you’ll say that that’s just a logical fallacy, that we should ignore the RESULTS because DOGMA is all that really matters.

    Yes, Clavos, it’s ALL the unions’ fault! Time to outlaw the unions, just like Germany did in 1933….

  • Glenn Contrarian

    And Clavos –

    Government unions have become so strong and grown so fast in recent years that government union workers now outnumber private sector union workers

    Um, no. It’s not that the government unions have grown, but that the private unions have SHRUNK to the point that they’re less than a third as numerous as they once were.

  • Baronius

    Clavos is right that Baritone doesn’t even attempt to substantiate his claim that private-sector unions are the ultimate target.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    Okay, keep ignoring my question and I’ll just keep asking it…

    Why is the cost of living so much higher in union states than it is in right to work states?

  • Clavos

    Um, no. It’s not that the government unions have grown, but that the private unions have SHRUNK…

    Actually it’s both, but you won’t agree because I’m attacking your virtuous US government unions…

  • Cannonshop

    #20 Andy, can you provide evidence of this statement? (It isn’t that I don’t believe it, I do-but people may be viewing your question as a “loaded” question based on evidence they are unaware of and, therefore, skeptical of.)

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    Cannonshop – I’m sure I could if I felt like it, but I base my statement from my life experiences. I was born and raised in a union state and my folks still live in Jersey. I’ve lived in CA, MS, NJ, SC, NY and VA and what I know to be a fact is that I can afford a house in SC, MS or VA and not in CA, NJ or NY. And it’s not just the price of the house that would stop me in those union states, but the taxes as well.

  • Doug Hunter

    #23 Andy, shhh. That’s our little secret, a few are in on it and that’s why net migration is from blue to red states. Government red tape makes things expensive, unions make things expensive, taxes make it all more difficult to afford which is why blue states cost of living is higher. I don’t mind em moving to escape, just wonder why they continue to vote liberal democratic when they get here. Do they want to turn this place into what they were escaping from?

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Andy –

    Ah, so you – and Cannonshop – are suggesting that it’s more expensive to live in union states than in non-union states…which tend to be blue vs. red states, right?

    Right.

    And you’re both RIGHT! It IS more expensive to live in blue states! But neither of you are looking at the whole story…and I think both of you would find some very interesting statistics in this article I wrote almost two years ago wherein I provided proof that:

    – red states generally have populations with less health insurance, and blue states have more health insurance.

    – people living in blue states generally have a longer life expectancy.

    – blue states have a generally higher education level.

    – blue states have a generally higher median income level.

    – blue states have a generally LOWER crime rate (so much for the guns-for-everybody-makes-a-peaceful-society argument). This is despite the fact that blue states have a generally higher rate of drug use than red states.

    – the states with the highest murder rate were ALL southern red states…and red states had the highest overall violent crime rate.

    – states without the death penalty (most of which are blue) have a lower murder rate.

    – family-values-supporting red states have a generally higher divorce rate than blue states.

    – and I just now found this little quote: As of 2009, the three states with the lowest ratio of imprisoned to civilian population are Maine (150 per 100,000), Minnesota (189 per 100,000), and New Hampshire (206 per 100,000). The three states with the highest ratio are Louisiana (881 per 100,000), Mississippi (702 per 100,000) and Oklahoma (657 per 100,000). Notice a little red/blue state divergence there? Yes, there is! On the same page, btw, the very first graph shows how the American prison population began skyrocketing beginning in the Reagan administration…to the point that we now have the highest incarceration rate in the world. And YES, you can thank the red states with their MUCH-higher crime and murder rates for this particularly shameful fact!

    – and I just found this list of states by percent living in poverty…and AGAIN you will find the highest percentages in red states, and the lowest percentages in blue states!

    …and this is ALL despite the fact that red states generally receive MORE in federal tax dollars than their people pay out, and blue states generally receive LESS in federal tax dollars than their people pay out!

    In the article you find references to all the hard-and-fast numbers…so what does this mean?

    People living in blue states have a higher cost of living, yes…and we ALSO generally have:

    – healthier, longer-living people with higher education levels and higher wages;
    – fewer people living in poverty;
    – lower crime rates;
    – lower murder and violent crime rates; and
    – lower divorce rates…
    even though we’re effectively subsidizing the red states who don’t pay out as much federal taxes as they pay in!

    But since all this is merely factual and makes clear the fact that conservative political theory and values are NOT as good for the American people as your politicians would have us think, I expect you both to scoff at and scornfully reject the very idea that liberal politics might actually result in a better chance for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness!

  • Doug Hunter

    #25

    Glenn, that’s because breaking it down by state is foolish statistical nonsense. It’s blue urban cores versus the rest of the nation. Blue urban cores that are blighted, corrupt, centers of violent crime, have schools investing more in metal detectors than books, have people driving hours a day just to avoid living there, etc., etc.

    There are alot more differences between Maine and Mississippi than voting. Introduce a tiny bit of diversity into those model northeast democrat states and stick em on the border of a voilent third world country (instead of Canada) for awhile and then we’ll talk.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    So…Doug –

    Exactly how is it, then, that the OVERALL numbers for those states show that – except for the poorest parts of the inner cities where things are bad – the VAST majority of the rest of the blue-state population is so well off that the statewide statistics wind up as they do?

    And WHY is it that crime, violent crime, murder, DIVORCE, income, education, and incarceration levels are so much worse in red states?

    Hm?

    By being so quick to point out the problems of the poorest parts of the inner cities, you’re merely cherry-picking because you are ignoring the vast majority of the blue states that are NOT comprised of ‘the urban core’.

    Man, but y’all do so hate honestly addressing uncomfortable questions when the numbers are so clearly against you….

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    Blaming unions on high cost of living in some states is rather ludicrous. Let’s see, what is main source contributing to the difference in the cost of living between say New York and Mississippi? Unions, of course. What else could it be? Otherwise, those states are virtual mirrors of each other. Sheesh!

  • http://www.RoseDigitalMarketing.com Christopher Rose

    One of the main things that is corrupting urban, suburban and even rural life in the USA is the war on drugs, which is completely failing to achieve its stated purpose whilst directly driving forwards the proliferation and enrichment of the gangs which now control large parts of the country.

    This has to be far more important than fairly pointless arguments about which is the lesser of two evils, the Republicans or the Democrats.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/alan-kurtz/ Alan Kurtz

    … gangs which now control large parts of the country.

    [Personal attack deleted by Comments Editor]

    Sorry to disappoint you, but the United States is not controlled by gangs, unless you count the federal government, which I do not.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/alan-kurtz/ Alan Kurtz

    The anti-American shit that passes for commentary on this site is despicable.

  • Doug Hunter

    #27

    You have your own brain, not everything is explained by democrat=good, republican=evil. Let’s make a list of a few possible reasons off the top of my head why small population, non diverse northerneastern states do well. Hmmm. Won a civil war fought outside it’s borders rather than lost one fought inside it. Have had longer to develop as they were original colonies plus have money and political influence through the capital located in their midst. Border Canada rather than Mexico, have few minorities who fare poorly in these measures (demographics explains poverty, crime, longevity much better than state presidential voting pattern).

    I’d say it’s more fair to compare the Maine’s and Vermont’s of the country to the Utah’s and Kansas’s while if you’re interested in diversity perhaps a comparison of Texas and California would be better.

    That last one would might make a pretty good article. Texas has oil, but California is a shoe in resort destination and controls the Pacific. California has $4K higher income, but at barely $350/month that’s not gonna near make up for the housing cost disparity, or extra tax burdern, etc. There’s alot of migration both ways, but my perception is that more people leav Cali for Texas. (again, I’m always confused as to why they move here to escape burdensome government and taxes and then immediately continue voting for burdensome government and taxes).

  • troll

    #30 Alan…how do you feel about metropolitan police forces?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/alan-kurtz/ Alan Kurtz

    I am reassured every time I see a uniformed police officer, for I know that he or she is on duty, ready to sacrifice his or her life.
    [Personal attack deleted by Comments Editor]

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Baritone –

    Let’s see, what is main source contributing to the difference in the cost of living between say New York and Mississippi? Unions, of course. What else could it be? Otherwise, those states are virtual mirrors of each other.

    Yes! Except for the life expectancy, level of education, crime rate, level of incarceration, and divorce rate, of course….

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/alan-kurtz/ Alan Kurtz

    The only gangs that threaten my liberty are those that censor my comments at Blogcritics.

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    Glenn – You DO realize I was being sarcastic, don’t you?

    B

  • http://www.RoseDigitalMarketing.com Christopher Rose

    Alan, perhaps you could explain this: according to a serious news documentary report broadcast earlier this week, in Chicago there are over 50,000 hardcore heroin addicts spending between $50 and $100 a day to support their addiction. That alone adds up to an annual spend of between $912.5 million and $1.825 billion.

    This industry is run by the gangs, who use this money to buy weapons and run other organised crime such as prostitution.

    When you factor in the growing numbers of casual heroin users and all the other drug use in just that one city alone, the scale of the problem becomes apparent.

    Drugs are cheaper than ever and more readily available than ever, whilst the war on drugs continues to achieve nothing except the criminalisation of America on a massive scale.

    Personally, I consider that to be a more serious issue than trying to take sides between two increasingly homogenous political parties.

    The following are Google search results so anyone who cares to can pick their own data sources:

    How much is spent on illegal drugs each year?

    How much is spent on the war on drugs each year?

    What percentage of the USA is in Jail?

    My words have nothing at all to do with anti-American sentiment, which is not a position I subscribe to.

  • Doug Hunter

    #35

    Life expectancy when broken down by race is almost identical between Mississippi and New York, Mississippi has more blacks who have lower life expectancies overall. In fact, black males have a higher life expectancy in Mississippi than New York according to the census, (although it’s balanced by black females where the reverse is true).

    The old saying about statistic’s lying and liars using statistics is still in full force. Glenn is not that dumb, he knows the flaws in his argument but still repeats them ad nauseum.

    What is your explanation as to why, in the face of all the ‘progressive’ policies and all the increased income and the bigger safety net and the blue state status in New York as opposed to Mississippi that blacks don’t experience any higher of a life expectancy?

    (the actual stats when broken down don’t support your argument at all)

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Doug –

    But you’re missing the point…and deliberately so, I suspect. The conservatives hammer the airwaves day after day after day about how BAD and EVIL and UNAMERICAN liberals are…and you KNOW this even as you complain about how I attack Republicans and defend Democrats!

    But what do the numbers show, hm? WHAT DO THE NUMBERS SHOW, DOUG?

    For the most part, conservative red states have been red for generations – and liberal blue states have been blue states for just as long – so if conservative political ideals are so good, then why don’t the numbers reflect the conservative assurances of economic nirvana? If liberal political ideals are so bad, then why are crime rates (particular violent crime and murder) so much BETTER in blue states?

    You’re giving so many excuses – like blue states “had longer to develop”, as if the 150+ years since Mississippi became a state (and which has ALWAYS been a conservative state) wasn’t long enough! You claim the diversity’s a problem…and I guess you haven’t been to New York or California lately. For that matter, I guess you haven’t noticed the almost totally-white nature of Tea Party and Republican rallies, or the normally multiracial nature or Democratic rallies.

    You even claim it was the Civil War’s fault! Hey – ever been to Japan? Or Europe? The devastation THEY went through eighty years after the end of America’s civil war was FAR worse than anything experienced by the South…and look at them now! Lemme guess – it’s all because of the Marshall Plan, huh? News flash, Doug – as I pointed out, blue states have been subsidizing red states using federal tax dollars for a long, long time!

    So don’t give me your claptrap and your excuse for the FAILURE of red states to keep up with the blue states. If liberal politics and policies are so bad, why are our numbers so much better? If conservative politics and policies are so good, why are your numbers so much worse?

    Because family-values-personal-responsibility-guns-for-everybody conservatism – though it has its benefits – is NOT as good as you think it is, and union-loving-social-safety-net-touch-feely liberalism – which has its own faults – is NOT as bad as you think it is.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/alan-kurtz/ Alan Kurtz

    Christopher Rose (#38), again, sorry to disappoint you! Gangs haven’t controlled Chicago since the days of Al Capone. The city had an election earlier this week in which it freely chose a new mayor. He is not a known gang member nor does he have gang affiliations.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Doug –

    Life expectancy when broken down by race is almost identical between Mississippi and New York, Mississippi has more blacks who have lower life expectancies overall. In fact, black males have a higher life expectancy in Mississippi than New York according to the census, (although it’s balanced by black females where the reverse is true).

    Cherry-pick much?

    You’re picking parts of the puzzle, but you’re ignoring the BIG picture! AGAIN, Doug, address the OVERALL statistics, for it is only in the big picture, only with the overall statistics, that we can see the overall effect!

    If I wanted to cherry-pick as you’re doing, I can do that par excellence. But I choose to use only metrics that show overall success or failure – and that’s by looking at the success or failure of states as whole units, rather than cherry-picking minority situations within those states.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Baritone –

    Yes, I did. I added that because I was fairly certain that some might not understand your sarcasm.

  • http://www.RoseDigitalMarketing.com Christopher Rose

    Alan, do you have any substantive response to the verifiable information I have posted or are you just going to stick to such irrelevancies as in #41?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/alan-kurtz/ Alan Kurtz

    Christopher Rose (#44), my thought process, such as it is, is linear. One thing at a time.

    Accordingly, I’m waiting for you to post verifiable information to substantiate your absurd claim that “gangs now control large parts of the country.”

    Once you do that (and I’m not holding my breath), I’ll address your other absurd claims.

  • Clavos

    Al sez,

    The anti-American shit that passes for commentary on this site is despicable.

    I think its healthy and on point, Al.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    For what it’s worth, gangs – unless they’re in the guise of corporations like those that comprise Big Oil or the quite-multinational “U.S.” Chamber of Commerce – do NOT control large parts of the country.

  • http://www.RoseDigitalMarketing.com Christopher Rose

    If you can’t or won’t see how much power gangs enjoy through such large scale monopoly control of money, weapons, drugs and people and the power that creates, nor follow the links I provided to verify the scale of these problems, I doubt there is anything I can add that will persuade you of the dangers involved, so I think it is time to draw a close to this exchange.

  • Clavos

    And WHY is it that crime, violent crime, murder, DIVORCE, income, education, and incarceration levels are so much worse in red states?

    Easy.

    Because the red states, dominated and run as they are by Nazis masquerading as Republicans (oh wait, Republicans ARE Nazis! Sorry, Glenn, I forgot), are nothing but American concentration camps.

    I’ve finally seen the light Glenn. Thank you, thank you, thank you for guiding me onto the path of Democratic righteousness. Praise the president!

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/alan-kurtz/ Alan Kurtz

    Clavos (#46), of course you would! That’s because you are anti-American.

  • http://www.RoseDigitalMarketing.com Christopher Rose

    Clavos, I am actually pro American, but I am also very concerned about the direction in which the country is going.

    The state is gathering ever more power, such as the efforts of the current administration to pass a law which creates an internet kill switch for “protection” (remind you of anything that has happened in Egypt or Libya recently?)

    Factor in the information I posted above, which such unlikely pairings as Alan Kurtz and Glenn seem to have such difficulty accepting, and other excesses such as the massive increase in security forces in the country in the last ten years, and there has to be cause for concern.

    To my way of thinking, these issues transcend party politics in which, as also noted above, the main players have more in common than divides them.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/alan-kurtz/ Alan Kurtz

    I wish they would create an internet censorship kill switch. Now that would be really useful, especially at BC.

  • http://www.RoseDigitalMarketing.com Christopher Rose

    A good start would be made if you started to demonstrate the ability not to require management of your comments, Alan. By extension, most laws would not be necessary either if people didn’t break them…

    You aren’t stupid, so I am confident you understand the modest limitations our guidelines impose; stay within them and our paths will never need to cross – the choice, as in any comparatively free society, is yours.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    Actually VA is kinda purple. We had a dem gov last time and a rep gov this time, we have 2 dem senators right now and one of them is quitting.

    So I guess what you’re telling me Glenn is that blue states are just smarter than everybody else and since they make more money, they’re required to pay more. that’s about what I got from all your typing.

    But wait! Aren’t the blue states of CA, NY, IL all going broke? But…but…but..they’re all so smart! How could that possibly happen? Oh yeah, they take, take, take from the earners and give, give, give to the deadbeats. Must be all those southerners moving up north with their hands out!

    But you can have NYC and Chicago and Detroit and any other overcrowded, guaranteed to vote dem city in the country. I’ll stay here in the dumbed down south and be happy with my lower cost of living, low crime, low taxes and low amount of liberals.

    But hey, I must be a fucking moron anyway, I live in a red state! [Gratuitous vulgarity deleted by Comments Editor]

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    B-tone – comment 28, then what is it? It’s easy to make fun, but not so easy to answer the question.

  • Clavos

    The state is gathering ever more power, such as the efforts of the current administration to pass a law which creates an internet kill switch for “protection” (remind you of anything that has happened in Egypt or Libya recently?)

    Bingo Chris!

    Yes, I agree that the American state has been growing more repressive for sometime now; further, you’re right when you say it transcends party politics, it does — both parties are tightening their hold on the people, and both are moving precipitously to grow and consolidate government (read their) power.

    Furthermore, I agree with your premise that the drug cartels are America’s Achilles heel. I also think that the only way we will ever successfully deal with this problem is to legalize drugs and control them with laws, thereby putting the cartels out of business by ,means of regulation.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/an roger nowosielski

    @53

    A loaded answer, to turn the phrase on its face, Chris, for it does presuppose someone in charge to be able to say “when the people are ready.”

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    Damn your quick CR!

  • http://www.RoseDigitalMarketing.com Christopher Rose

    Clavos, it worked for booze and it will work for drugs too.

    The scandal is that a “moral” minority are prepared to accept the current situation rather than deal with it. It is a corrosive and corrupting situation that strikes at the very heart of America.

    Roger, no, it doesn’t.

  • http://www.RoseDigitalMarketing.com Christopher Rose

    Andy, fortunately my wife never says that to me.

    ;-)

  • Doug Hunter

    “except for the poorest parts of the inner cities where things are bad ”

    That’s your core constituency. If you break it down by state is shows one thing, if you break it down by county it shows another, if you break it down by individual it shows more still. You’re the one cherrypicking your red state/blue state. If the developed world is your model then the US is bright red by comparison and the most wealthy, most powerful, most innovative, and has contributed disporportionally to global wealth and technology. If I wanted to be live as they do in Canada or Vermont, I’d move to Canada or Vermont. As it is, more people are going the other way, the same as their fleeing blue states to red states, the same as their fleeing your blue urban cores to the suburbs.

    I could care less whether midwest unions thrive or how blue voters in Maine are. I’m against federal, top down approaches. Let the states decide, let the statistics play themselves out, and let people choose how they want to live, not some national winner take all where the feds force everyone into a one size fits all government.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    Ah, you’re funny too!

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/an roger nowosielski

    I’m somewhat heartened that the elements of anarchistic political philosophy are beginning to germinate. However, wouldn’t the State’s legalization of drugs strengthen the hand of the already repressive state?

    Another way of putting it, the cartels, etc., represent some of the fulcrum points of direct opposition to the totalizing tendencies of the State. Eliminating them – and I’m bypassing now the cost-benefit analysis in terms of the greater public good, because such an analysis presupposed the viability of the “public good” concept within the existing framework – would be tantamount to eliminating the opposition to the State’s monopoly.

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    I believe there IS some significant differences between Reps & Dems. Some of those difference are being demonstrated as we speak in Wisconsin and other states. There is, in fact, more of an ideological divide now than perhaps at anytime since the New Deal.

    I don’t disagree with Christopher regarding the proliferation of gangs and their growing influence across the country. And it’s not just large urban areas. Drug use and drug manufacture has spread throughout many small towns and rural areas of the country. Meth labs are regularly being discovered in the boondocks. While certainly, some of those are simply local yokels who, in another time or circumstance might have been distilling moonshine, there have been a # of instances wherein those operations have had ties to larger gangs in places like Indy and Chicago. Indiana is popular with gangs owing to the ease with which one can obtain guns and other weaponry. A number of former Chicago gang members have actually moved to Indy, bringing their operations with them. One gang member being interviewed by the local media rather ironically claimed that he moved here because living conditions were better for he and his family than in Chicago.

    I frankly don’t see how Alan or anyone else can consider this observation as being anti-American. Main stream politics does not appear to have any significant connection to gangs and other elements of the underbelly of our society.

    However, while I understand that the TV series, “The Wire” was fictional, it has been lauded by many as being about as close to reality as any such work has come. The intertwinings of gangs, drugs and politics played out in the wire are growing not only in our urban centers, but, as I noted, throughout the country to one degree or other. Gang power and influence have tentacals reaching well beyond our urban centers.

    Is it our main problem? I can’t say, but it certainly needs more attention than it’s getting, and the supposed “war on drugs” has only served to both embolden gangs and exacerbate the drug problem rather than solving it.

    B

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/alan-kurtz/ Alan Kurtz

    Roger Nowosielski (#57), you’re right. Whether he’s called a dictator or a comments editor, the person in charge always reserves unto himself the decision as to “when the people are ready.” And, somehow, the people are never quite ready, are they? Thus ensuring the “need” for that person to stay in charge.

  • Baronius

    “For the most part, conservative red states have been red for generations – and liberal blue states have been blue states for just as long”

    Nonsense, Glenn, and I’d bet you know it.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/alan-kurtz/ Alan Kurtz

    Baritone (#64), you never quite say it, although you come close. So let me ask you directly. Do you endorse Rose’s claim (#29) that gangs now control large parts of the country?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/an roger nowosielski

    @59

    I’m at a total loss, Chris. What are you referring to? Certainly not my #57.

  • Heloise

    Here’s a link, can someone fix it? Where you can see the salaries of these greedy guts. Two years ago were making 65K salary alone that’s just for teachers. Now it is probably closer to 70K. I can’t believe they don’t pay into health. I’ve not had that benefit in over ten years!

    Heloise

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    Andy’s #55. As has been noted by Glenn and should be obvious to anyone, there are any # of factors which affect the cost of living. The level of unionization of the workforce may enter into it, but it certainly is not the only factor, nor have you or anyone illustrated as to its even being a significant factor.

    But, of course, the REAL issue is the original purpose and need for labor to organize. I know it’s a radical concept, but people other than corporate mucky mucks both want and deserve to live decent and reasonably secure lives. That was not possible before unionization, and likely will be lost without it.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    Yeah, you’re absolutely right. That’s why my father came home with bullet holes in his truck when I was a teen, because he refused to join a union. So don’t tell me how great they are. Asshole teamsters missed his head by about 6 inches!!!!!!!!!

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    And it really is amazing how many people in this country seem to survive without them.

    I read yesterday that only 12 % of the population belong to a union. I guess the other 88 % of us are really sucking hind tit ain’t we?!??!??!

    My asshole’s starting to feel all funny with all this smoke being blown up it!!!

  • Clavos

    people other than corporate mucky mucks both want and deserve to live decent and reasonably secure lives.

    If it had stopped there, Baritone, I would support the unions.

    But it didn’t.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    And there it is again…”it should be obvious to anyone”…in other words, if you don’t see my point of view then you must be an idiot!

    What a bunch of bullshit!

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    Alan’s #64. Not overtly. But gangs both in and outside the US have become much larger, much richer, and far more sophisticated just as the old mafia has turned to its “campaign of quietness” or “pax mafiosi.” There are gangs and/or gang members who own portions of major real estate developments and/or who are involved in a variety of large corporations – at least from an investment standpoint. And, of course, they have become involved in politics, again much as has the old line organized crime syndicates. To believe otherwise is IMO, naive.

    There was an interesting article on this very topic in, I believe, an issue of “The Atlantic” several months ago which laid much of this out. A number of the more powerful urban gangs in the US have developed strong ties with many of the Central and South American drug cartels.

    In HBO’s “The Wire” one of the plot elements focused on how some gang leaders were attempting to rise up beyond the street hustling of drugs into making high dollar investments in real estate developments, and developing contacts with local and state pols. As depicted in the series, there developed a struggle between those factions and the less visionary who prefered to keep things at the street level.

    But the amount of money being taken in by some of these gangs is so huge – virtually all cash; drug dealers generally don’t take plastic – they don’t know what to do with it. Many have taken to opening off shore accounts, just as do their white collar brethren, and again, as with the old mafiosi, they have established essentially legitimate businesses to further launder their stacks of cocaine infused cash.

    The top echelon of many gangs now rarely have any direct involvement with the day to day of the drug trade and other nefarious dealings of the gangs. They have created multi-layered corporate shells, and for all anyone might be able to establish, they are just smart corporate moguls. With money comes power which begets influence which begets more power, yada, yada, yada…

    B

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    Andy, I am tempted to make a comment to you that would likely be taken badly by Mr. Rose. Your #67 doesn’t make sense. Prove me wrong. Show us all, how it is otherwise. Give us the data that illustrates clearly that the power of unions is the main cause of higher cost of living. Just do it, or shut the hell up. It’s my opinion that you’ve got nothing.

    B

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    I make those kinds of comments all the time!
    Since I didn’t make a comment anywhere around comment 67 I don’t have a cvlue what you’re talking about. And you’ve got two chances of shutting me up…

    [Edited]

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    Clav #73. Isn’t it the nature of human beings in general and organizations in particular to take everything they can get?

    Are we really supposed to feel sorry for big corporations because their unions perhaps got the better of them in some negotiations? I understand that many unions – both public and private sector, have over-reached, and that many union rules are maddeningly silly and wasteful. But, doesn’t that pretty much mirror what much of corporate and government management does to their workforce if allowed? It often comes down to tit for tat.

    Look at the probable NFL lockout. You’ve got millionaire players pitted against billionaire owners. It’s really hard to feel sorry for any of them. And, yet, rather than sitting down like adults and working out what could be relatively simple, both sides twist and turn things to the point where none of it seems to make any sense.

    But, what I come back to is that the unions provide the only politically and monitarily powerful voice of the left and/or the working stiff. And I still contend that what the Reps in Wisconsin and elsewhere are attempting to accomplish is the quelling of that voice.

    B

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Baronius –

    “For the most part, conservative red states have been red for generations – and liberal blue states have been blue states for just as long” Nonsense, Glenn, and I’d bet you know it.

    No, that’s not nonsense. The southern red states have been quite red since not long after Reconstruction – they voted largely Democratic (but strongly conservative Democratic (pro-defense, pro-gun, pro-segregation)) until the Civil Rights Act was passed. Then glory be, they all soon began to cast their votes for the Republican Party!

    You see, Baronius, back in the day – even during the 1960’s – our political parties were not as strictly polarized as they are now…BUT the line between conservative Red states and liberal Blue states was quite real. Let me introduce you to the single most important moment in modern American political history, to wit: the Congressional votes for and against the Civil Rights Act.

    The original House version:

    * Southern Democrats: 7-87 (7%-93%)
    * Southern Republicans: 0-10 (0%-100%)
    * Northern Democrats: 145-9 (94%-6%)
    * Northern Republicans: 138-24 (85%-15%)

    The Senate version:

    * Southern Democrats: 1-20 (5%-95%)
    * Southern Republicans: 0-1 (0%-100%)
    * Northern Democrats: 45-1 (98%-2%)
    * Northern Republicans: 27-5 (84%-16%)

    You see, Baronius, it had much to do with where one lived. Today’s red states were strongly against the Civil Rights Act in 1964…and it was that particular moment in American history when conservatives began to identify with one party – the Republicans – and liberals began to identify with the Democrats.

    The point is, Baronius, that the red states were still red in that they were strongly conservative, and blue states were still blue in that they were still liberal…and it was only after the passage of the Civil Rights Act that conservatives and liberals became strictly identified with parties and forced those parties to become polar opposites in policy and dogma.

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    Thank you so much Andy. You have won a voucher for one free lesson at Emily Post’s “Don’t be a Butthead” seminars. Congrats!

    B

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    Oh, and Andy, the “sense” my comment made was in reference to your being obnoxious.

  • Clavos

    B’tone, You ask, in #78:

    Isn’t it the nature of human beings in general and organizations in particular to take everything they can get?

    Of course it is, but personally, I’m opposed to power grabbing, whether it be corporations, unions, or (most egregiously) the effing government.

    I don’t support any of ‘em for that reason, and where I can and to the extent I can, I work to diminish their power as much as possible.

    They’re my windmills…

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/alan-kurtz/ Alan Kurtz

    Baritone (#75): Not overtly? I take it then that you believe gangs now control large parts of the country covertly. Since you seem to rely for much of your knowledge of this topic on HBO’s fictional crime series The Wire, I wonder if you reside in Baltimore? If so, daily life must be a living hell, unless of course you are gang related, as they like to say. Are you?

    If not, I’d suggest moving to a different part of the country. But since those are mostly controlled by gangs, that probably wouldn’t help. Too bad we don’t have any law enforcement agencies in the United States that you could report this situation to. Just imagine if we had something like, say, the FBI, which I understand only has jurisdiction within Canada and cannot operate outside its borders.

  • Clavos

    Most community affairs here in Miami are controlled by a gang, Al.

    The gang of Cubans (and other Latinos, but mostly Cubans) who hold nearly all the elected offices in South Florida.

    And why shouldn’t they? According to the Census Bureau, the current population of Miami-Dade county is about 67 percent Latino, and the Anglo population is about 15 percent, with the rest being other foreigners and American-born AAs. A total of 51 percent of the present population was born in another country.

    Some parts of the metro area are definitely controlled by criminal gangs; most notably Overtown and parts of Hialeah and Medley.

    Most of the condos are controlled by gangs of blue-haired women (I would say ladies, but most of ‘em aren’t).

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/alan-kurtz/ Alan Kurtz

    I think I see the problem now. I was assuming that gang control meant criminal gangs. I didn’t realize it means elected office holders who happen to be Cuban. Yeah, that helps to clarify things, alright.

  • Cannonshop

    Hey, Contrarian? I said I was Inclined to believe Andy’s assertion-but I also asked him to back it up.

    Maybe because I don’t have subordinates to throw under the bus to protect my retirement as you did, I’m inclined to LISTEN as opposed to fanatically supporting a single-partisan stance with cherry-picked data.

    Y’see, there IS a reason cost of living goes up in union states-but not the one Andy thinks. To have PRIVATE SECTOR unions, you have to have JOBS first. First comes industry, THEN unions-industries make money, governments want money, so they raise taxes. even when you exempt food, the more other things you tax, the higher everything costs-merchants and landlords aren’t inclined to eat costs, they pass them on to consumers.

    THAT is basic human nature, those costs, in turn, lower the purchasing power of the individual dollar-because it takes more of those dollars to buy EVERYTHING.

    Unions are supposed to look out for their membership-hence, they’re going to ask/demand higher wages as cost of living increases, because those members are part of that economic formula, they pay those added costs like everyone else does, which in turn raises the bar, which encourages the pols to raise the taxes since tax-money also loses its purchasing power as prices climb.

    but in down at the root, it’s because an economy that is not stagnant, will have a certain measure of inflation. Of course, once an area hits ‘crisis point’ and it costs too much to do business there (think: Detroit), the business leaves-but the taxes don’t, and neither do the other elements that rose in influence when times were good (like powerful unions).

    Michigan used to be a powerful economic engine, it still has most of the things you would need to MAKE a powerful economic engine-but the price of doing business there isn’t scaled to rationally doing business there, ergo, it’s in decline in spite of numerous ports, easy access to raw materials, good infrastructure (albeit crumbling now) to support manufacturing and the rest.

    Other rust-belt areas have a similar problem-the “Political” infrastructure isn’t scaled to encourage redevelopment or restoration, or even to maintain what remains, it’s scaled to a time when money was easy and times were good.

    The Union “problem” isn’t UNIONS, it’s Pournelles Bureaucratic Law- the “Unions” in many cases are more interested in preserving “The Union” than they are in representing their members’ best interests.
    Maintaining the structure to maintain the structure, instead of fulfilling the obligation to their members and their core mission-this includes the knee-jerk partisan support of candidates based on party affiliation rather than actual policy of the candidate.

    In MY view (and lots fo people don’t share it), Public Employee unions (civil servant unions) are pernicious because they epitomize this effect, and because their existence threatens private sector workers while burdening them with the costs of those public sector unions. That is MY opinion, I won’t go so far as to make-believe it to be ‘Revealed wisdom’.

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    Alan – I won’t go any further with this as your comments are non-sensical.

    I noted a reference to The Atlantic article which I could look up, but won’t as your position doesn’t deserve serious consideration.

    Yes, there are “gangs” both legal and illegal when it comes down to it.

    But you chose to look at the US only with rose colored glasses in the belief that it can do no wrong. My country right or yada, yada, yada…

    I believe I laid out a pretty cogent argument which you dispel with silliness.

    Enough.

    B

  • Doug Hunter

    #79

    That was a major coup for the democrats even if they didn’t realize it at the time. Before that Republicans had ‘liberal’ free market capitalism coupled with a mix of social views. Somehow liberal economics has been unhappily married with conservative bible thumpers, it seems it should be the other way around. Looking back, to the early 60’s Republican strongholds were exactly the states you’re holding up as models.

    Now, you can’t have a conversation about sensible economics without someone bringing up gays or race when really there’s little connection.

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    Clav,

    I understand your feelings and your position, but given the circumstances, there really has to be some measure of balance. Should the Reps in Wisconsin and elsewhere succeed, what balance there is will be tilted significantly away from the unions and, consequently, the middle class. The middle class is dying in this country.

    I consider myself to be pretty much middle class. I’ve been a real estate appraiser for nearly 25 years. We appraisers are currently involved in a struggle between ourselves, what amounts to middlemen known as appraisal management companies and the mortgage lenders. We will likely lose because there is no balance. There are relatively few of us and we have no real organization. We are pretty much all a bunch of loners.

    I make less per appraisal now than I did 10 years ago, and owing to new requirements each appraisal takes as much as 2 to 3 times longer to complete. You don’t see this kind of erosion amongst realtors, mainly because they carry much more political clout than we do. There are far more of them and they are more effectively represented by the NAR and local Boards of Realtors. There are currently 2 notable national professional appraisal organizations, but neither of them have chosen to take up the gauntlet of representing the interests of their respective memberships. Rather, they act as little more than a conduit through which to deliver the bad news of the day.

    Again, like it or not, the only way the system can work even with nominal fairness for all is if there is a balance of power. The Reps are bent on eliminating it.

    B

  • http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/author/danmiller/ Dan(Miller)

    Public school teachers and other government employees need a voice. I wonder what a voice representing those of them who are interesting in teaching and doing their jobs might say.

    Dan(Miller)

  • Baronius

    Glenn –

    “For the most part, conservative red states have been red for generations – and liberal blue states have been blue states for just as long”

    “Red”, ironically, means Republican, and “blue” means Democratic. So your statement is wrong, as you yourself point out in your history of the South. But it’s wrong even beyond that. Demographic trends and national politics affect state party loyalty all the time. You could say that every state was blue under FDR, and everyone was red during the Reagan years. Shifts of Mormon and Mexican populations have changed the politics of the Four Corners states and Nevada over the years; Arizona has also been influenced by retirees, as has Florida, which was additionally impacted by Cuban immigration. California is in a constant flux. Any list of red and blue states is valid for maybe a 20-year period, but no more than that.

  • Clavos

    I was assuming that gang control meant criminal gangs. I didn’t realize it means elected office holders who happen to be Cuban.

    I was talking about criminal gangs, Al. In Miami, some of them are elected officials, and some are civil “servants,” just like in Latin America, where I was born and raised.

    You do know that Miami rivals most Latin American countries in the level of corruption which exists here, don’t you? No? Well, maybe you should learn a little more before you run your mouth.

    From a CBS report, published in December:

    The grand jury also reported that Florida leads the country in the number of federally convicted public officials from 1998-2007.

    Since 2000, Florida’s three federal United States Attorney’s Office districts had more public corruption convictions than any other state’s combined district totals.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/alan-kurtz/ Alan Kurtz

    Say, this is odd. The article to which you linked reports that among “a host of elected officials accused of breaking the public’s trust through corrupt acts” are Josephus Eggelletion, Diana Wasserman-Rubin, and Beverly Gallagher. Umm, correct me if I’m wrong, but those don’t appear to be Cuban names.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    C-shop

    Maybe because I don’t have subordinates to throw under the bus to protect my retirement as you did,

    1. The complainant wasn’t my subordinate.

    2. The complainant had no PROOF other than her word.

    You CANNOT indict someone on a he-said/she-said basis with no other proof.

    When you know what the hell you’re talking about, come back and let me know. But that ain’t gonna happen, ’cause you weren’t there, and you don’t know.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Baronius –

    Show me when conservative states became liberal, and when liberal states became conservative.

  • Doug Hunter

    #93

    The party affiliation is more consistent than the race.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/alan-kurtz/ Alan Kurtz

    Another oddity from the same report: “Florida leads the country in the number of federally convicted public officials from 1998-2007.”

    If gangs are in control of large parts of the country, as Rose alleges above, or at least large parts of Florida, as Clavos contends, how has the U.S. Department of Justice managed to convict so many corrupt public officials? Somebody ought to tell Justice that the gangs, not the government, run things in this country.

  • Baronius

    Glenn – Pretty clever. I actually spent a couple of minutes trying to think of how to answer that question, until I realized how absurd it is. It falls in line with your Red/Blue Zoroastrianism. The fact is, trends change over time. Even the meaning of “liberal” and “conservative” have changed to include things they never used to. How could people not change over time?

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    As Rachel Maddow has pointed out recently:

    In the 1950s, about 35% of all workers belonged to unions. [Now it’s 7%. The percentage of govt workers in unions has stayed steady in the high 30s for decades.]

    Eisenhower’s 1956 GOP platform contained a strong pro-union plank. Try to imagine that today.

    Unions, and especially government-employee unions, are practically the only large-dollar contributors to the Dems now. The Koch-funded and/or Rove-founded organizations like Americans for Prosperity and Crossroads, along with the US Chamber of Commerce, make up all the rest of the list of big contributors, and they are almost entirely Republican.

    That’s why the public unions are important, and why Scott Walker and his ilk want to emasculate them.

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    handy – Exactly!

    B

  • Heloise

    Hey critics, st Louis sings the depopulation blues. Read how the city has lost another 30K folks. It has become a welfare state. And 30 years ago no one would dare go to east st louis which is in IL I think but close to st louis. They look like south India or something. So we sure as hell don’t need the likes of that Greek beech telling us what’s bad here. It is hitting whites more witness the rust belt but inner cities here have always paralled the third world.

    I don’t have the link but it was out on drudge report today.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Baronius –

    Even the meaning of “liberal” and “conservative” have changed to include things they never used to.

    Have they now?

    I can see the point you’re probably trying to make e.g. Lincoln was a liberal for wanting to free the slaves when any conservative politician today would want to do the same.

    But I don’t think you saw my point from which I’ve never deviated: conservatives want to maintain the status quo (whatever that may be at the moment), or to return to the “good ol’ days” (whenever those days might have been)…

    …whereas liberals want change, improvement from the status quo, and believe that the “good ol’ days” weren’t as good as some would have us believe.

    Regardless of what conservatives and liberals may have stood for two hundred years ago, and regardless of what they stand for today, the two definitions above hold true.

    And it doesn’t stop there. Very few people are 100% conservative or 100% liberal. The bell curve distribution applies, and is skewed only by seismic shifts in public opinion as America was to the left in the 1960’s, and as America was to the right during the Reagan – and early Dubya – years.

    And back to the original point about blue (liberal) and red (conservative) states. They’ve changed but little…but in the grand sweep of American history, ALL states have moved significantly to the left! Witness the changes in our national attitude towards race, heritage, religion, disabilities, social injustice and inequality – all these were the results of the liberal causes of their day! And – barring nationwide or worldwide catastrophe – this trend will continue for the foreseeable future. Sure, there will be bumps and dips along the way, fits and starts, scandals and tragedies…but the trend will continue towards a better America.

    That’s what helps me sleep at night.

  • Clavos

    …how has the U.S. Department of Justice managed to convict so many corrupt public officials?

    Because it needs doing, and that’s what they trained for and are paid to do?

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    Because it needs doing, and that’s what they trained for and are paid to do?

    Waitaminnit! Weren’t you the one saying that people who work for the government can’t do anything right?

  • Clavos

    Yes I am. They are the exception that proves the rule. Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

    Once in a while, the military does something right too.

    But the postal service? Congress? The White House? DOE?

    Bwhahahahaha!!

  • Cannonshop

    actually, Glenn, I indict you on what YOU said you said. That’s plenty sufficient unless you were lying at the time you said it.

    YOU said you participated in a cover-up, as a senior NCO tasked with a specific role, YOU stated that you violated a lawful order, YOU claimed to be doing so to protect your Retirement.

    As a SENIOR non-commissioned officer, tasked to be a first-responder in a sexual assault case, unless the victim out-ranked you, you have the same duty to her, that you would have to any member of your Department-and you abandoned that duty, by your own claim of doing so, for the motive of personal gain.

    YOU said you did this, not someone else. Senior Enlisted, through their conduct, set the example for the lower enlisted, this goes for standards from professional conduct of their duty, to personal ethics-the NCO’s I served with and under influenced me in ways I still haven’t fully appreciated some fifteen years after getting out of the service. IF you did, what you said you did, while holding the position you held, you likely have lowered the ethical standards of generations of former armed services personnel who had the misfortune of working with and for you over the period of your career-and no doubt your influence, if what you claimed was true, was the truth, has probably screwed up the career and futures of tens to hundereds of your former subordinates and colleagues.

    It makes you a man beneath contempt, if it is true, and a liar if it isn’t.

    (if the comments editor doesn’t chop the above, well, that is his business. Let’s get back to the actual TOPIC…)

    #97: If you catch a rat in your kitchen, you probably have hundereds in the walls and other places in your home. I suspect corruption works a lot on the same principle-the JD doesn’t HAVE to be that effective, just ‘effective enough’ to justify their budgets.

  • Baronius

    Liberals are on the cutting edge? Trains, centralized government, eugenics, unions…pretty much every idea that dominated the late 1800’s to early 1900’s. In the words of Dana Vachon, “Obama is suffering from a classic Gen X malady, which is to think that you are modern but to actually be living far in the past”. Republicans are about economic growth and trade, which necessitate looking forward, while the Democrats are the party of redistribution and protectionism, which are fundamentally oriented backward.

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    Eugenics? I’m not sure about that one. I’ll have to consult my phrenologist.

    And the forward thinking conservatives want to ban same sex marriage, ban abortion in any circumstance and throw labor back to the 19th century. They are essentially isolationists still wanting us to exit the UN and they fear and hate science. – Yes, very forward thinking.

    Oh, and yes. Screw the trains, lets just build more and wider highways. Let’s pave the whole damn country. That’d be great for the contractors. And of course we should do away with Federal government entirely so that we can more easily make the states lucrative fiefdoms for aggressive entrepreneurs. Yes! Onward and backward!

    B

  • Clavos

    Oh, and yes. Screw the trains, lets just build more and wider highways. Let’s pave the whole damn country. That’d be great for the contractors. And of course we should do away with Federal government entirely so that we can more easily make the states lucrative fiefdoms for aggressive entrepreneurs.

    Very good, B-tone! We’ll make you a conservative yet!

  • Baronius

    Yes, eugenics. Or haven’t you noticed that we’re ending autism one fetus at a time? And the war on science is being fought by the Democrats. They’re the brains behind the modern school system which is failing students in every subject. They’re the ones who want to regulate the pharmaceutical companies out of business, and want to move us forward to a bone-saws-and-ether national health system. It’s ok; untested Asian herbs are better than Western medicine anyway, right? And have you ever talked to an environmentalist about global warming? That’s not the scientific part of the brain you’re hearing; it’s dogma and Gaia-worship. Liberal panic in the face of sound scientific refutation is responsible for millions of malaria deaths and the abandonment of nuclear power in the US.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    C-shop –

    Again, you don’t know what the hell you’re talking about. You’re taking the snippets of the story that I’ve told – and I’ve told only the barest part of it in order to keep private the identities of those involved – and you’re making frankly wild assumptions based more upon what you don’t know than on what little second-hand information you’ve heard.

    And in the big picture, this is all small potatoes. You’re castigating me for not being a whistleblower over something I couldn’t personally prove and which would have put my family’s future at serious risk…

    …but I’ve told you before that because of the choice I made, I was able to retire and ensure my family had health insurance – which health insurance has saved my life and my wife’s life (twice) since I retired.

    Which leads me to DEMAND that you answer this question, C-shop: When your wife’s menstrual period won’t stop and she’s losing blood, slowly, but fast enough that her body can’t replace it, and she needs two transfusions and a surgery to save her life, if she can’t have that surgery because you have no more medical coverage because you sacrificed your career to be a whistleblower, are you going to tell yourself, your wife, your kids that “Okay, she will probably die because she can’t have the surgery, but at least I blew the whistle on that crime!”

    Maybe you would – but I doubt it. Most men love their families more than that.

    You’re so damned sure that you wouldn’t make the choices I made…but you weren’t the one walking in my shoes. You weren’t the one who’d be risking your family’s future. All you are is someone who’s making Pollyannish sweeping judgments based on ZERO personal knowledge of the case and of the people involved.

    I made a hard choice, and I don’t regret it for a moment.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/an roger nowosielski

    Then why don’t you come clean, Glenn, and tell us the whole story so we can understand?

    Sounds like a good subject for a BC serial.

  • Boeke

    We should encourage unions, rather than discourage them. Unions tend to stabilize the economy by putting limits on management excess and providing better results for workers, thus increasing workers stakes in industry and company welfare.

    In Europe unions have a stronger influence in governmental and company affairs (in Germany half the Board of Directors are elected by company employees) and this has resulted in better benefits, longer vacations, etc. Nobody wants to import the US system. In fact, most Europeans are amazed that the US working environment is so hard on workers.

    Europe, as a consequence, is recovering from the recession faster and with less trauma. A recession that was caused by the ascendancy of US financial methods around the world.

    There’s plenty of wealth available to finance better working conditions. In the USA our productivity has been increasing steadily for decades, but real wages have been falling, even as work weeks lengthen. The excess wealth has been channeled to top executives (and, to a lesser extent, to shareholders) and workers have been shortchanged. In fact, the latest financial fiascos have cost many workers their homes and their jobs, and nothing is in sight to suggest that we’ll ever fix those problems.

    It is only through unions that workers will ever realize some of the benefits of their increased productivity. And it is only by reducing work load on workers that we will ever see full employment again. Without those changes we face an ugly revolutionary future. And it won’t be a Tea Party.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Baronius –

    Yes, liberals are SO anti-science! That’s why the ones who oppose the teaching of evolution are almost exclusively from the Religious RIGHT. That’s why 98% of the world’s climatologists – who are SCIENTISTS and NOT “gaia-worshipers” – keep telling you that seven billion human beings DO have an effect on global warming! That’s why CONSERVATIVES – and not liberals – are so eager to slice-and-dice the budgets for education.

    That’s why 25% of teachers in Texas have to have a second job in order to feed and shelter their families instead of being able to take time to grade their students’ homework.

    And your crack about linking regulation of Big Pharma – yeah, maybe you’re right. Maybe we SHOULD just be JUST LIKE CHINA and Big Pharma be almost completely unregulated and sell whatever the heck they want to! (Ever hear of milk laced with melamine? Ever hear of “plastic rice” being sold as food? Google them!)

    But that’s the big lie that the conservatives have bought into, that regulation is bad, bad, bad.

    Here’s a sociological law for you, and one that will always, always hold true: the greater the population of a society, the greater the need for laws and regulations to hold that society together and to keep it functioning – unless, of course, military force is used to tightly control that society, in which case the society’s function will be greatly hampered.

    This is true in ALL cases, Baronius. I defy you to show me even one example of a large population that didn’t need a lot of regulation to make their society work. It was true in the days of Hammurabi, and it’s true now.

    There’s a reason why only 6% of scientists are Republicans. If it were the liberals who were out to destroy science, then most scientists would be Democrats, now would they? To wit:

    Nine percent of scientists said they were “conservative” while 52 percent described themselves as “liberal,” and 14 percent “very liberal.” The corresponding figures for the general public were 37, 20 and 5 percent.

    Among the general public, moderates and independents ranked higher than any party or ideology. But among scientists, there were considerably more Democrats (55%) than independents (32%) and Republicans (6%) put together. There were also more liberals (52%) than moderates (35%) and conservatives (9%) combined.

    Your Religious RIGHT is making war on science, Baronius. Your global-warming deniers are making war on science. Your politicians who want to eviscerate the education budgets are making war on science. Your fellow conservatives are quite okay with making teachers go out and get second jobs instead of being able to concentrate on their primary careers.

    But you go on and ignore all that, because you’re much more comfortable wrongly accusing liberals of the crimes your side is committing.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Roger –

    No, I cannot do that. If I were to give details of the case, then I am making the information public and – since it did not result in adjudication, it would be a violation of the Privacy Act and there is the very real possibility that someone might see it and be able to discern the identities of those involved.

    I feel it is enough that I stated that I had to make a hard choice, and that I stand by that choice.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/an roger nowosielski

    “Kiss and tell,” Glenn, could make you rich and famous and assure your family’s future. It could result in a book deal and an appearance on Oprah.

    Lots of people do it.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Roger –

    Just because someone can do something doesn’t make it right to do that thing.

    Besides – and here’s probably most people disagree with me – I have strong misgivings about becoming rich. I’ve said before that if someone gave me ten million dollars, I might well refuse it. Why? Because of the effect that having so much money can have on a family. I’m of the opinion that it’s better for the family as a whole if we work and have enough to help each other, but not to have so much that we lose our ability to truly appreciate what we have.

    If I were single w/no kids like Oprah, then having so much money can be a very good thing – but I want my sons to be able to appreciate what they have, and that’s much harder to do when one is rich.

    Someone once said that gratitude is the greatest of all virtues, and the parent of all other virtues. I believe that and I try to live it.

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    Glenn – If you win 10 mil and want to get rid of it, let me know. I’m more than willing to suffer the consequences. :)

  • Clavos

    I’ve said before that if someone gave me ten million dollars, I might well refuse it.

    I believe you.

    And I consider that a stupid stance. (not withstanding your explanation that follows).

    I have several close friends who are multimillionaires; none of them (or their families) have any more problems than anyone else.

    Although the number has probably shrunk somewhat since this report was published, thanks to Obama’s destruction of our economy, the report, published by Market Watch, notes that in 2008, 7.6% of American households, or 8.4 million households (10% of the population) are middle-class millionaires, defined as those with a net worth of between $1 and $10 million. Interestingly, the report also notes that only 14% of this cohort trusts the government. Hmmm.

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    RE: Boeke’s #113. Nicely put.

    As I have noted, unions provide a sort of balance. Sure there are bad unions just as there are bad corporations. There are assholes in unions just as there are assholes in board rooms. There has been since the early inception of unions an ebb and flow; fluctuations in the power paradigm. Obviously, the current efforts on the Right are designed to move that paradigm as far away from the workers as possible. This has become apparent to the Left, and it is not going to happen quietly.

    B

  • Baronius

    Glenn – As already noted on these threads, the across-all-subjects failures in education as well as the US’s booming biomedical sciences demonstrate that the “danger of not teaching evolution” thing is a red herring. So is your claim that Republicans are slashing budgets for education because they’re anti-science. That one’s so wrong I don’t even know where to begin. Republicans aren’t slashing anything; we spend a fortune on education. They talk about eliminating the federal department, which is consistent with their federalism, and allowing for pay incentives, which is consistent with their economic policy. They don’t target science.

  • Clavos

    Nicely put, Baronius…

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/alan-kurtz/ Alan Kurtz

    Glenn Contrarian (#111), when you made your “hard choice” to betray your responsibility as a supervisory NCO, how could you possibly have known that (a) reporting the sexual assault of your subordinate, which was your sworn duty, would have resulted in the loss of your retirement benefits; (b) your wife, years later, would require surgery; and (c) you wouldn’t have been able to afford it without those government bennies you cherished so.

    Why not assume at the time that your retirement benefits would have remained intact, that your wife would stay healthy, or that you or your wife might obtain civilian health insurance that would cover her medical expenses?

    Since you’re obviously adept at rationalization, you must suffer no conscience pangs. But did you ever wonder what happened to the female servicemember you let down?

  • Baronius

    Thanks, Clavos. The whole “anti-science” claim is so absurd. No one would accuse the Republicans of being anti-science unless they were given it as a talking point. And the Democratic Party is institutionally opposed to evidence of any kind! They ignore history, they ignore economics. They can look at a chopped-up baby in a trash bin and deny that a human being died there. And they make up stuff and justify it on the basis of really believing it to be true – as Baritone did with his claim of an assault on private-sector unions, and as pretty much every liberal judge does when reading the Constitution.

    This thread has wiped me out, Clavos. I don’t know how you’ve kept at it so long.

  • Cannonshop

    #111 No, Glenn, I’m castigating you for disobeying a lawful order, an action that puts your benefits at risk, and rationalizing it with false information.

    Either that, or I’m calling you out as a PX Ranger.

    For those unfamiliar with the term, a PX ranger is an individual who misrepresents their military service-usually as a form of self-aggrandizement or to lend additional credibility to their other claims.

    See, Glenn, I don’t actually believe you did it-I don’t think you were actually in for twenty years, or fifteen, or even ten. I certainly don’t believe you made NCO rank, much less passed the boards to get SENIOR non-commissioned officer status-you’re too ignorant of too many required subjects to have achieved that, including both UCMJ and Naval regulations and policies that were in effect when you claim to have been in service, and would have been required study materials for any promotion board above E-4.

    Your story doesn’t hold water, Glenn.

    Among the many flaws in it, conspiracy and false reports, are both felonious behaviour in the United States Military, and since the policy in question came down from SecNav, you’ve also got “Contempt of Officials”-which is ALSO a military felony-and they can (and in the past, have) pull people back in just to subject them to courts-martial after their term in service is done-with attendant penalties including but not limited to loss of all benefits and allowances in addition to jail time.

    A Senior Non Commissioned Officer would have known that.

    He would also know that the standards of evidence in a military courts-martial are much looser than the standards of evidence required in a civilian court. It is MUCH easier to convict in a Courts Martial, and there is no statute of limitations.

    not even on civil charges. YOUR claim involves criminal false reporting, not civil, and includes disobedience of a lawful order-which is another military felony.

    As a Senior NCO, you would know this, almost certainly BETTER than someone who (like me) never got past E-4, and knew it.

    So…if you HAVE Chief’s ranks, I suspect you got them from a surplus store, or the PX.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/an roger nowosielski

    Somewhat melodramatic, Baronius.

  • Clavos

    Wow, Good post, Cannon.

    Wish I’d thought of all that…

    Props, Sir.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/an roger nowosielski

    Still cold, Cannon. Glenn is a Christian, and now you’re accusing him of double offense. The military, besides, is not the most efficient of organizations. People can slip through the cracks.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/an roger nowosielski

    Shall we call it the Peter principle?

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    So, Bar, you don’t believe that right to work legislation is aimed at unions, nor that they have a deliterious affect on them?
    Good for you.

    Do you deny that a great many Reps and cons have a wish list that includes the deep sixing of unions across the board – public or private?

    I’m troubled that this thread has exhausted you so. Perhaps you should get quiet and rest for the remainder of the week-end my good man. You’ve gone and spent all your energy making blanket accusations damning all who oppose you. Frankly, I don’t know how you face each new morning, or make it out of bed with the weight of the liberal world upon your shoulders. Tsk, tsk.

    B

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/an roger nowosielski

    I should be clear that since the people affected have conceded on the monetary aspect of budget demands, Gov. Walker’s push for more is part of the new Republican strategy to bust the unions.

    And what better way to do so than by establishing the precedent with respect to unions governing the federal or state employees?

    In actuality, it’s an attempt to reduce Federal and State workers to the level of those who still are on the unemployment rolls – which comes down to rendering them powerless and dependent. A strategy which I daresay is about to backfire.

  • Clavos

    Government employees, who number in the millions, have one tool that private sector folks don’t: they can vote their bosses out of office.

  • Cannonshop

    Come to think of it, Teachers have to fulfill certain number of classroom hours each year as STUDENTS. This is usually a state requirement.

    Making teachers pay for those classes is a little bit like your car-factory insisting that its mechanics buy their own tools, including wear-items like drill bits and welding rod.

    doesn’t make sense to me. if the state requires it, shouldn’t the State PAY for it??

  • Cannonshop

    #128 Roger, I consider that he accused himself of at least ONE of that ‘double’ offense, and yeah, it’s cold, I’m not a nice person, and have never claimed to be one-I’m a bastard, and I’m good with being a bastard.

    The problem is, like Kerry’s Christmas in Cambodia, his story(Stories?) doesn’t (Don’t?) hold water-there are TOO MANY inconsistencies with known and provable facts about how the Armed Services work for his tale to be more than either a “Sea Story” or outright fabrication, and his arguments in justifying it simply serve to add MORE inconsistencies.

    During the 1990’s, the policy for promotion/retention in the military was “Up or Out”, failure to make retention control points (failure to be promoted in a timely fashion) led to administrative dismissal, while retention STANDARDS were consistently raised simultaneously.

    This was the RIF, and it was begun during the first Bush Administration (1989 to 1993), and continued under the Clinton Administration (1993 to 1999). Sexual Harassment policy between 1988 and 2000 was treated as a priority in ALL the services, as directed from the SecDef on downward.

    Navy Regulations and the UCMJ from the period after 1991 to the present mean that if Contrarian IS telling the truth, he’s an un-indicted felon, which may be why he uses a ‘handle’ and has no traceable elements in his profile, but the odds are better that he is lying.

    This is further illustrated by the StopLoss enacted immediately after the september 11 terrorist attacks-Contrarian claims to have retired on the 10th. There is a 72 hour recall period after your ETS date, during which, under Stoploss, his retirement would have been suspended, were he telling the truth.

    Therefore, my hypothesis is that he is lying-either about his actions, or about his service.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    C-shop –

    I never claimed to be a senior NCO, for that would have been a false statement. I retired as a first class petty officer. If you don’t want to believe it, I can’t make you.

    As far as what a senior NCO might or might not know, if you knew whereof you spoke – and I think Dan (Miller) might back me up on this – standards of evidence in military courts-martial are NOT that much looser than in civilian law. What you’re referring to, perhaps, is the much broader range of offenses for which one can be charged. For instance, ‘conduct unbecoming’ can refer to a whole host of actions that could not be prosecuted at all in the civilian world…

    …but the evidence necessary to prove those charges is still required as it is in the civilian world.

    Or perhaps you were referring to non-judicial punishment where the rules of evidence do not apply.

    Either way, C-shop, military law was never my rating. I was an engineer, a pit snipe who worked with 600 psi and 1200 psi steam plants, with electrohydraulic steering gears and a whole host of lesser hydraulic and steam-powered systems from stem to stern. The fact that I spent some time working with (and later supervising) the shipboard law enforcement was temporary…and something that is not unusual for any twenty-year sailor.

    The admission that you never got past E-4 speaks volumes. I’ve seen many, many junior personnel who were absolutely sure that they knew better than those of higher ranks (I thought the same way once, too)…but the fact that you never got past E-4 tells me that you almost certainly never got to the point where you learned what it was like to be responsible for your subordinates 24/7, on- and off-duty.

    I’m sure that you’re positive that you knew everything that went on in your command or close to it…but when you move up in the command – and particularly when you’re working the law enforcement side – you start finding out things that most of the crew never hear about. You start hearing about senior people doing things that would have junior enlisted being hauled before the CO in a heartbeat. AND you start finding the LIMITS of what you can do, of what you can and can’t bring up to the Legal Officer for prosecution.

    And if you think that you can bring any crime you find out about up for prosecution, I’ve got ONE word to describe you: naive.

    I didn’t make chief because I was a whistleblower concerning asbestos on the USS Camden. I paid dearly for it and went through a year of hell there. Once the year was over with, the command senior chief told me exactly that, that I’d just paid the price for exposing the problem about the asbestos. I couldn’t prove what they did to me, and I couldn’t prove what he’d told me. That’s when I learned the hard way, C-shop, that it doesn’t make a damned bit of difference what you KNOW – the only thing that matters is what you can PROVE.

    So again, C-shop, when you know what the hell you’re talking about, come back and let me know.

  • Cannonshop

    Glenn, I never lied or misrepresented my service, however, your statements read very much as lies-it’s your word that’s in question, and you present only more words without backing documentation as proof of it.

    Your stories contain both the ignorant, and the impractical, severe claims require severe proof, you’ve made them, you provide no proof, we are expected to accept your claims at face-value in spite of stories in which you were unfairly punished for obeying regulations, and let go when you violated a lawful order.

    This is akin to the twenty-four-year-old who took on 50 NVA with a pocketknife, but got bounced after winning for some minor offense. It doesn’t add up. (particularly not in 2011.)

    Second is that “Leadership is Leadership”, show me an NCO ignorant of the regs, and I’ll show you someone who isn’t really an NCO. (you’re expecting anyone to believe that you never had to write a counseling statement, or deal with one of your troops going to captain’s Mast/Article Fifteen?? that you’ve never had to write a counseling statement, discipline a single sailor you were responsible for, or refer anything up the chain of command??)

  • Cannonshop

    Just to be really clear, Glenn-on the Internet, you’re a retired navy chief, I suspect in REALITY I got further in MY military service than you did.

  • http://www.RoseDigitalMarketing.com Christopher Rose

    I neither know nor care much who is right or wrong in this debate but I do know it has become repetitive, so let’s leave it there and move on.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/alan-kurtz/ Alan Kurtz

    I hope the impatient censor (#138) will allow me to state my impression, without citing individual personalities, that military lifers are more concerned with their bennies than with patriotism. They ask not what they can do for their country, but what their country can do for them. It is therefore only natural that military retirees support civilian labor unions. After all, unions serve the vested interests of a protected, overprivileged class equivalent to military retirees.

  • Boeke

    … equivalent to corporate executives, who are the most over-privileged group in America?

    Equivalent to Senators?

    Equivalent to heirs and heiresses who get the benefits of family wealth that gives them a headstart at the jobs race?

    Equivalent to basketball players and football players?

    Let’s face it. We have a jumble of privileges, so you can’t deny daily workers and salary earners a privilege. You can’t single them out for even being able to help themselves by unionising.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    C-shop –

    Am I an “unindicted felon”? Sure. And if you’d go talk to other retired military and ask over a beer or three, most of them will also tell you about felonies that they knew happened, that they didn’t do anything about for this or that reason. If they trust you, then they’ll probably tell you about one or two they got away with themselves.

    That, C-shop, is why, when a career sailor is awarded the GCM – the Good Conduct Medal when it’s awarded every three (used to be four) years of no NJP’s or courts-martial – his shipmates will often joke with him about the medal not being so much for being good, but for not getting caught…and here as in elsewhere, much truth is said in jest.

    As I said, I was a steam plant engineer…and if you show me a Navy steam plant engineer who says he never falsified a reading, I’ll show you a liar. Show me a supply puke with fifteen years or more in the supply system who says he never did stuff under the table to help out a shipmate whose workcenter was in a tight spot, I’ll show you a liar. Show me any career Navy engineer – whether from the pit or the flight deck or anywhere in between who says he never stole tools and/or materials to help out his workcenter, I’ll show you a liar.

    The word “cumshaw” comes to mind – and many an engineer will tell you that he’d have a hell of a time getting the ship underway without it.

    You can rest assured that the vast majority of all this corruption is relatively benign – but not all of it is. I remember one boatswain’s mate first class who decided to take a seabag full of scrap brass off the ship in Singapore – he was going to sell the scrap and get himself something nice. He got caught…but there was never any prosecution. Why? He was a very, very skilled boatswain’s mate. Most of us did notice later that the First Lieutenant was wearing a sizable 22K gold ring with the boatswain’s mate symbol on it. The fact that it was 22K should tell you much if you know as much as you seem to believe. That, and if you think that anybody was going to write up the First Lieutenant, you’re way more naive than I thought.

    I remember many, many times seeing sailors get away with stuff that could have (and often should have) gotten them kicked out…and a few times I was the sailor getting away with said crap. And it all boils down to this: the more senior a sailor, and the more skilled a sailor is in his or her assigned duties, the more likely it is that crimes – and sometimes even serious crimes and felonies – will get swept under the rug either by the chief, the division officer, the department head, or the commanding officer. It’s not YOU or I that makes the decision whether someone is prosecuted – that’s up to the legal officer, XO, or CO. And if you go trying to get a chief or officer prosecuted even though you KNOW there’s insufficient evidence for a conviction (which is precisely the reason I didn’t take it further), then you will not only get slammed for spreading a malicious rumor, but the CPO and officer community will soon find out that you are not to be trusted…and life onboard becomes very, very cold.

    If you go gunning for legal proceedings against a chief or an officer, you’d better make damned sure that all your shit’s in one sock – otherwise, it’s you that’s going to be in a world of hurt for a long, long time.

    Now you go take this particular comment to any retired military – and particularly any retired sailor – and ask him if he thinks I’m full of bovine excrement.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Alan –

    1 – You’ve no idea about why military service is referred to as ‘service’, then.

    2 – Most retired military are strongly conservative and strongly anti-union. I’m very much the exception to the rule…though back in my conservative days, I applauded along with the rest of my shipmates when Reagan fired the air traffic controllers.

    In other words, since your opinion of me is not stellar, you’re assigning your assumptions about me to the rest of the retired military community. That, sir, is a mistake, for as I said, I’m very much the exception to the rule. There’s probably a dozen or so retired Navy men at the local congregation of the Church of which I’m a member – I’m the only liberal among them and I’m given no small amount of grief for that fact.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/an roger nowosielski

    Gathering from the above, the military itself is not a stellar organization, to say the least.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Roger –

    Pick an organization – ANY organization, whether government or commercial or military or religious – and scratch it a bit…and you know what you’ll find? Corruption. Sometimes to a greater degrees, sometimes to a lesser degree, but there is always some level of corruption. Why? Because every one of these organizations are comprised of human beings.

    Whatever organization you cherish the most, you will still find corruption to some level therein. Do you not already know this? I would think that Clavos would readily agree with me on this!

    Most people who spend a career in an organization of any type will see such corruption. Most good men will try to minimize the worst of it but will almost always work with some of it to some extent. That’s why I keep pinging on Dave Nalle when he complains about corruption and wrongdoing among the Democrats…because it’s a matter of degree. I do my best to stick with those who are less corrupt, but there’s always some.

    Does that mean you should write the organization off as a whole, or that you can’t count on that organization when you need it most? Certainly not! But don’t go condemning an organization if there’s some corruption. Instead, condemn those that are wholly corrupt, those to whom human life and liberty mean little or nothing…

    …and if you’re in a position to fight corruption, pick your fights wisely. Choose the battles that you can win…but it is folly to fight a battle that cannot be won. It is this concept that C-shop is not getting, this dearly-bought wisdom for which he is condemning me.

    (sheesh! And people ping me for my lack of cynicism!)

  • Clavos

    I do agree with you, Glenn, and would say, as a military veteran myself (though not a lifer), the US military (in my case, the army), is far less corrupt and much more efficient than most of the rest of the federal agencies.

    In my experience, the most corrupt aspect of the military is the manner in which retired officers (especially those involved in procurement) are able to go to work at the very corporations they dealt with while in the service, and what’s worse, generally wind up dealing with the people who previously were their subordinates! That’s how the government winds up buying $600 hammers, and nobody does anything about this.

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    I was just at Home Depot the other day, and I couldn’t find ANY of thos $600. hammers. Must have been sold out. :)

  • Glenn Contrarian

    And C-shop –

    This is further illustrated by the StopLoss enacted immediately after the september 11 terrorist attacks-Contrarian claims to have retired on the 10th. There is a 72 hour recall period after your ETS date, during which, under Stoploss, his retirement would have been suspended, were he telling the truth.

    My date of retirement was NOT 9/10 – that was the date of my retirement ceremony…and if you knew what you were talking about, you’d know that (1) military retirement ceremonies are almost NEVER held the same day of the actual retirement, and (2) one’s separation from service (whether retirement, transfer to Fleet Reserve, or end of enlistment) comes at the end of the calendar month of the EAOS. FYI, they could have recalled me until the 30th of September, for that was my official date of transfer to the Fleet Reserve – which is what really happens when someone ‘retires’ before the 30-year point. My 30-year point comes this October 1st at which point I will truly be retired from the military instead of being a part of the Fleet Reserve. We Navy retirees call it being ‘retired’…but every one of us knows that until that 30-year point, we’re still (proudly!) part of the Fleet Reserve.

    And ‘Stop-Loss’ was not applied to everyone – if you’ll look around, Stop-Loss (for enlisted) was applied mostly to front-line soldiers and Marines and those in mission-critical assignments. The Navy was affected least by Stop-Loss. I was certainly not mission-critical, and so it was not applied to me, though I was given the choice whether to stay or to go.

    When it comes to “up or out”, that particular phrase refers to the officer corps ONLY. When I retired, the policy was that if an officer failed to be promoted two times in a row, he was out (unless he was given a waiver – and in the military, there’s waivers for damn near everything). For enlisted, there’s something called “high-year tenure”, in which an E-4 can’t serve more than ten years, an E-5 or E-6 can’t serve more than twenty (though E-6’s can in certain situation agree to extend until the 22nd year – this was the option I was given and declined).

    You say that sexual harassment was given “top priority” – and it’s as if you think the president waves a magic wand and voila! everything’s all better. It doesn’t work that way…and you’d know this if you’d spent any real amount of time in a supervisory position in a mixed-gender command.

    Again, C-shop, come back and let me know when you know what the hell you’re talking about.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Roger –

    Read what Clavos said in #145 – that’s the solid truth! And the same goes for retired Navy officers as well.

    I remember a certain very well-liked captain (one of the best under which I served) who kept us pulling into port at Santa Barbara – one of the more reliable rumors was that his plan was to run for mayor of Santa Barbara at some point after he retired, because we all knew that when a carrier pulls into port, that’s always a huge bonus to the local economy.

    After he left the ship, he went to work as a liaison between Rumsfeld and the JCS…and last I saw he was in a high position working for Northrop-Grumman.

    Was he corrupt? Probably, at least to some extent. But he was still a doggone good captain, for the only time I ever made a full overseas deployment where no one died was when he was in command.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/alan-kurtz/ Alan Kurtz

    For lifers, service is all about bennies.

    Here’s the first paragraph from Military.com’s page on retiree pay.

    “The military (active duty) retirement system is arguably the best retirement deal around. Unlike most retirement plans, the Armed Forces offer a pension … with benefits that start the day you retire, no matter how old you are! That means you could start collecting a regular retirement pension as early as 37 years old. What’s more, that pension check can grow with a cost of living adjustment each year.”

    Salute, say Sir Yes Sir to a bunch of assholes for a few years, then stick out your hand and for the rest of your life say, “Gimme, gimme, gimme!”

    Ain’t service grand?

  • Glenn Contrarian

    And one last thing for C-shop –

    I never claimed to have a stellar career – for I certainly didn’t. But if you’ll look at documented cases of those who falsely claimed to have spent a career in the military, every single damned one of them have a whole slew of medals and awards indicating a VERY successful career. If in the future you find yourself having such suspicions about someone, ask him about his medals and awards and if he goes on and on about how his shit didn’t stink and how he was the best thing since sliced bread, THEN is the time that you should bear in mind that he might be lying through his teeth.

  • El Bicho

    “That’s how the government winds up buying $600 hammers, and nobody does anything about this.”

    Do they? Google “the myth of $600 hammers”

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/alan-kurtz/ Alan Kurtz

    So Glenn (#150) is to be admired because he did not have a stellar career! Umm, run that one by me again. I think I missed something.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Alan –

    FYI, if you’ll look back at everything I’ve ever written, you’ll NEVER find me claiming that we’re not given enough bennies! We’ve got the best deal in the country (next to retiring CEO’s, of course), and I know it!

    When you see the deal that we’ve been given, Alan, you can thank Reagan for the most part. Why? Because he was the one who brought us out of the bad old days, who got us out of our post-Vietnam malaise, and made the country proud of its military once more. That in and of itself was a good thing, but all of a sudden, our pay began to skyrocket and everybody began falling all over themselves to see who could support the military the most, and now it’s as if half the country worships the military!

    If you want to hold someone responsible, though, blame the Republican and Democratic politicians who – along with supporting giving us all these benefits – also decided to send us to attack and invade countries that did not pose a clear and present danger to America.

    Just as my fellow liberals were very wrong to condemn Vietnam vets for serving their country, so you would be wrong for condemning us for what the politicians decided to give us.

    Me, I got lucky – REAL lucky – and I bless the day my ex-wife convinced me to reenlist twenty years ago this year….

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Alan –

    Please show me where I said – or even implied – that I was to be admired.

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    You don’t put in “a few years” to earn a military pension. It requires a minimu of 20 years. If you quit at 20 you don’t get as much as if you stay for 30.

    And, as strange as it may seem, at least some of those retirees spent some time being shot at. I doubt that happens a lot at IBM.

    B

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/alan-kurtz/ Alan Kurtz

    And then they spend the rest of their time shooting their mouths off about what tremendous sacrifices they made and how they deserve a parade every year in every town across the land. At least the IBM guys spare us that bullshit.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/alan-kurtz/ Alan Kurtz

    Glenn Contrarian (#154), I’m glad we agree on one thing, then: that you are not to be admired.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    And Alan –

    Did you somehow think that all military retirees had stellar careers? When I say I didn’t have the greatest career, it’s because I’m comparing mine to careers of others that I’ve known.

    But on the other hand, I’ve seen, done, and been many things that most people haven’t. I’ve lived a full, adventurous life beyond the dreams of my youth thanks to the Navy, and I consider it one of the greatest privileges of my life. Ask any military retiree, and he’ll probably tell you the same thing.

    You see, we tend to forget the bad times and remember more the good times, the special times, the experiences we had that can no longer be had by anyone. It truly wasn’t just a job, but an adventure. I shed blood (not in combat), barrels of sweat, and not a few tears along the way, but I wouldn’t change a moment of it…

    …for it was there that I learned that even with all the corruption I’ve written about, there are such things as honor, and courage, and commitment to be found in the military. It was there that I learned the meaning of service…and those of you who think that the military is some kind of cakewalk, well, it’d do you a world of good to spend a tour therein.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/alan-kurtz/ Alan Kurtz

    Baritone (#155), how many IBM pensions are financed, lock stock & barrel, by us taxpayers? Come back when you’ve learned the difference between apples and oranges.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/an roger nowosielski

    @144

    You’ve just lost all moral ground for arguing that Dems are better than Reps, in fact, for making all kinds of valid distinctions, because for you everything is a matter of degree. There can be no such as excellence.

    Pardon me, but if that’s your idea of being practical, you can have it.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/an roger nowosielski

    … no such thing as …

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/alan-kurtz/ Alan Kurtz

    Glenn Contrarian (#158), I would never contend that honor, courage and commitment cannot be found in the military. I suggest only that such qualities are sorely lacking among supervisory NCOs who shirk their sworn duty by refusing to advocate justice in the case of a female junior shipmate who’s been sexually assaulted.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/alan-kurtz/ Alan Kurtz

    And please don’t tell us ever again about your sick wife. You never did address my questions in #123.

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    AK- You’re accusations are full of guano. How many military retirees do you suppose are out there? I doubt that not even 1/10 of 1% are so obnoxious as you contend.

    I tell you what. Why don’t you go run all our various & sundry wars and other military operations, and when you’ve spent 20 or 30 years doing it, just shuffle off quietly shaking your head no, no, no, at the offer of any recompense.

    And this is scratching very tiny itch just as with all the hoopla over earmarks, which is a tempest in a teapot.

    Or, you could just shut the hell up.

    B

  • Cannonshop

    When the IBM guys give up many of their civil rights and all of the control over their time to work 24 hour days for an ungrateful public at wages that don’t line up with minimum wage until they’ve gotten some seniority, for a contract that can be enforced by the POLICE (you can’t quit the Army, you CAN quit IBM) and JAIL TIME…

    maybe…MAYBE there might be some room for comparison.

    When you join the military, (at least, as enlisted) you give up many of your civil rights and become, in effect, property of the united states government. You go where you are sent, you do what you are told, if said government deems you responsible (by way of your chain of command) they may give you some decision power over others in the same position.

    But there are things you can do as a civilian (even a homeless civilian, or a civilian with a really good job) you can’t do in the military. You can quit-whenever you want, without the danger of criminal prosecution for quitting. You can show up in your work-clothes to participate in a political rally, you can pretty much go where you want to, even if it’s dangerous, so long as the place is ‘public’. Soldiers can’t do these things.

    You can publicly call the President, his cabinet, and the congress imbeciles and crooks without the threat of lawful, legal, punishment for doing so. Soldiers and Sailors and Airmen can not do these things while in uniform. There is no OSHA for military personnel, a troop on a 12 hour patrol could be sent out AGAIN if it determined to be needed, and no over-time for working over 40 hours, there are no guaranteed holidays off, and weekends off are rare to nonexistent.

    A medical study showed that in terms of physical wear, one year in the infantry does as much damage as five years in the civilian world working a blue-collar job. That is without someone taking shots at you. That 37 year old retiree you’re citing has more damage to his body than a fifty-seven-year-old construction worker.

    And then, there’s the mental stresses. How well do you function after 48 or 72 hours awake in a crisis, Alan? 24 hours? 36? how many times in a year does what YOU do determine if someone you know (or someone you don’t) lives or dies? How many civilian jobs outside of police or firefighters run a constant where the work must be done NOW, regardless of how tired/broken the crew, or someone dies?

    And that, believe me or not, *(Your choice) is what your IBM guy doesn’t have to deal with.

    How many times a year are your IBM or other civilian employees packed off to parts unknown for six months or longer, with little to no contact with family?

    How often are your civilians stuck in places where they have to keep a situation calm (with little to no police training) and deal with a potentially hostile population, who don’t speak their language, far from anything familiar. (Watching Star Trek in Arabic doesn’t count.) And for reasons that don’t make sense most of the time (What in the fuck were we doing in Somalia? Haiti??) with ‘allies’ we couldn’t count on (Bosnia/Kosovo/etc.).

    They gave us three fucking bullets in Haiti-about enough for the following: 1 warning shot, 1 for the riot, 1 to escape being chopped to pieces alive…and what did we accomplish there? But the politicians send, and when IBM starts asking ITS people to go into those situations, guess who guards THEIR lives, too?

    Flat fact, now, Alan: without the vets, YOU don’t HAVE a civilization. The world is filled with maniacs, psychopaths, and criminals. They will starve you just for the fun of it, kill you for kicks, rape your wife, daughters, and son for a lark, and the world is FILLED with them. The military keeps the larger gangs out. THAT is what you’re paying those retirements for.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/alan-kurtz/ Alan Kurtz

    … just shut the hell up.

    You’re a helluva debater, Baritone (#164). How can I complete with such powers of persuasion and rigorous rationality?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/alan-kurtz/ Alan Kurtz

    Cannonshop (#165), how many of the grunts who actually fight our wars–boots-on-the-ground warriors–are lifers? Warriors make sacrifices; lifers collect bennies.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Alan –

    d please don’t tell us ever again about your sick wife. You never did address my questions in #123.

    What YOU and what every other guy who’s been vocal about this particular matter have not addressed is, what do you do when you KNOW down deep in your gut that there is ZERO chance that there would be any prosecution, and that you KNOW you’d be throwing your career down the toilet and you wouldn’t have accomplished a damn thing!

    What do you do THEN, Alan? Go charging ahead like Don Quixote at a windmill anyway? And throwing your career away in the process?

    I’ve said this again and again and AGAIN – that there was INSUFFICIENT EVIDENCE to prosecute! You CANNOT prosecute on the word of a single witness with no other physical evidence available…

    …and if you were to try to go ahead and process him for prosecution anyway, as you seem to think was what I should have done, you would have found yourself standing in front of the legal officer (if you’re lucky) explaining to him why you decided to process the accusation when you KNEW you had insufficient evidence!

    AND THEN you’d be dealing with the wrath of the accused fellow chiefs. You’d find your career at a standstill with no further hope of advancement.

    And for what? Just so YOU could say you did what you thought was right?

    INSUFFICIENT EVIDENCE! Can you get that particular concept? That you canNOT prosecute on INSUFFICIENT EVIDENCE?

    Or are you going to continue with your self-righteous tirade based on a wealth of utter ignorance not only of the situation itself but of the military as a whole?

    Your turn.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Warriors make sacrifices; lifers collect bennies.

    As I said – a wealth of utter ignorance!

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Errata –


    AND THEN you’d be dealing with the wrath of the accused fellow chiefs

    should read “accused’s fellow chiefs”

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Roger –


    You’ve just lost all moral ground for arguing that Dems are better than Reps, in fact, for making all kinds of valid distinctions, because for you everything is a matter of degree.

    Ah. So in your view the guy who does one or two things wrong is just as bad as the guy who does ten or twenty things wrong? And you believe you should completely reject both of them even though you know that you’re not going to find someone this side of Heaven that’s done nothing wrong?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/alan-kurtz/ Alan Kurtz

    Glenn Contrarian (#168), you repeat yourself endlessly and tediously, and once again have failed to address my questions in #123.

    Have you no sense of shame, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of shame?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/an roger nowosielski

    Morality is nonnegotiable, Glenn. It’s not subject to rationing or slicing like a piece of bacon or order to see who’s got more on their plate.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Alan –

    In answer to your #123, I’m not sure if you realize this, but EVERYONE uses health care sooner or later. I knew if I pushed the report for prosecution – the report chit – that I would lose everything, including any and all health insurance for my wife, my sons, and myself…

    …and I would have lost it for NOTHING, because I KNEW the report chit would have gone NOWHERE.

    NOW that I’ve answered your question, ANSWER MINE – do you really believe that I should have pushed the report chit even though it would have gone absolutely NOWHERE due to INSUFFICIENT EVIDENCE, and I would’ve lost everything as a result?

    In other words, do you really think that prosecutions should be made even though the prosecutor KNOWS the evidence is insufficient?

  • Glenn Contrarian

    and same question for YOU, Roger – do you think that prosecutions should go forward even though the prosecutor KNOWS the evidence is insufficient?

    In this case, it was her word against his with NO other evidence. ZERO, NADA, ZIP. Do you really, truly think that her word alone was sufficient to go forward with prosecution? I look forward to your answer.

    And if you think so, there’s some people that belong to The Innocence Project who’d like to talk to you….

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/alan-kurtz/ Alan Kurtz

    Glenn Contrarian (#174), you were not the prosecutor. You weren’t even a JAG lawyer. As a supervisory NCO, your job was to guide the complaint up the chain of command to those who, unlike you, were qualified to legally evaluate the case. By short-circuiting the process, you threw your shipmate overboard. Please stand and sing three rousing choruses of “Ethics Aweigh!”

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/an roger nowosielski

    Don’t get off point. I’m at #160 & #173.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Alan –

    I never said I was! What I DID say was that it was up to me to process the report chit. When I took it to the Chief Master-at-Arms he calmly said thanks, but that’s insufficient evidence…and said so with the clear implication that I should have known that.

    Now I knew deep in my gut the girl was telling the truth…but I had INSUFFICIENT EVIDENCE. Sure, I could have pushed it. I could have raised hell about it and I could’ve taken it up the chain all the way to the CO…

    …but I had INSUFFICIENT EVIDENCE.

    So, Alan – what is it about INSUFFICIENT EVIDENCE that you do not understand? Instead of you dodging the question again and again and again, I’d really like to hear what you think I SHOULD have done if I could not PROVE my case, oh Great and Wise Alan Kurtz.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Roger –

    Yeah, I got off your topic dealing with Mr. I-don’t-understand-what-insufficient-evidence-means.

    You might not realize it then, Roger, but you’re effectively saying that you reject ALL human organizations – every single doggone one of them! Why? Because every single one is comprised of humans and will have corruption to a larger or smaller degree.

    So start rejecting every organization you’ve ever known…including that of family. Either that, or start choosing which organizations you will support despite knowing that there is at least some corruption therein.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/an roger nowosielski

    Every family is necessarily corrupt, however slightly?

    Anyway, let’s pick it up some other time. You’ve been under enough barrage for one day.

    Later and take care.

  • Clavos

    Do they? Google “the myth of $600 hammers”

    OK, no $600 hammers.

    However, right in this room I have a $2500 wheelchair the government paid $5000 for.

    And in the closet, I have a brand new $150 (government-paid price) walker which they sent, unsolicited, to my wife — a woman who couldn’t walk, and get this — wouldn’t take back! Just as they wouldn’t let me send the wheelchair back and give me the money to buy it myself direct from the manufacturer for half the price.

    It’s why I keep ranting about Medicare fraud.

    I sold (legally) the government-issued hospital bed — to a kid who was going to send it to his father — in Lithuania!! He said it would still be cheaper, shipping and all, than buying one over there. Why didn’t the government ask for it back and re-issue it? And the wheelchair?

    But you’re right, no $600 hammers.

    Quibbler.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Roger –

    Every family is necessarily corrupt, however slightly?

    If the family is comprised of humans, then yes. And you’ll have to reject yourself, too, unless you’re Jesus.

    I guess another way to put it is, “don’t sweat the small stuff”…and the Serenity Prayer applies, too. Instead, sweat the not-so-small stuff that you CAN do something about. You’ll never, ever get rid of all the corruption in an organization – but you CAN endeavor to keep it to a minimum. Just make sure you don’t shoot yourself in the foot while you’re working on it.

  • Cannonshop

    #167 Alan, without the “lifers” as you call them, you lose experience, which puts the troops who are NOT “Lifers” in danger of making the same mistakes…mistakes that get troops killed.

    They also provide continuity, call it ‘culture’, NCO’s especially, provide ethical guidance to their troops, and experience in spotting emotional problems before THOSE kill people too.

    Without memory, the same mistakes are made, or worse.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Alan –

    C-shop’s #183 is true in its entirety…and here’s another bit of advice you’d do well to heed: when two people who strongly oppose each other (like C-shop and myself) both agree 100% on something, you should pay real close attention.

  • Boeke

    They say that Jamie Dymon makes so much money per minute that if he’s walking down the street and a $100 bill falls out of his pocket onto the sidewalk it’s not worth his time to stop and pick it up.

    Of course, he probably would, since it’s his own money. But back in the office he probably skips over many opportunities to save the company $100, or even larger amounts. His time is so valuable that he must prioritize where he puts his attention, and a big part of that priority allocation is relative impact of the issue.

    So if Jamie Dymon chooses not to prioritize the $100 potential scandal he’s doing his job. After all, any executive (or public servant) knows he must guard his position against a pawn attack, where his adversaries swamp his attention with a multitude of small issues in order to sneak a big issue past his attention.

    So Jamie Dymon usually delegates this to a subordinate, and then later he will judge the performance of that subordinate WRT that issue and a bunch of others that will mitigate the $100 issue.

    It doesn’t take a genius to figure all this out. What amazes me is the apparent naivete of Blogcritics commentors, especially WRT their personal attacks on Glenn Contrarian, attacks which I can only attribute to GC having violated some holy shibboleth of the rightist editorial predispositions of Blogcritics.