Today In Labor History

July 1851
Two railroad strikers were shot dead and others injured by the state militia in Portgage, New York.

July 1903
Labor organizer Mary Harris (“Mother”) Jones leads child workers in demanding a 55 hour work week.

I could not find much on the history of labor for 01 July, so my first posts of the month will be the history I found for the month not necessarily happened on the 1st of the month.

Gun Nuts Rejoice!

This was a article on the latest decision by the Supreme Court on the 2nd amendment, written on

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia rests much of the 5-4 majority opinion of the court in D.C. v Heller on the alleged right to have the right to one’s defense of one’s self defense. Supposedly, if one has a gun, one can protect oneself against attackers, intruders and all sorts of evil-doers.

We were struck by two factors–how borderline illiterate so many of the gun-nut bloggers are (not just on this issue, but others as well) and how many expressed macho boasts, such as “you’ll have to pry my gun from my dead, cold hands,” aping the John Wayne-type post of the late National Rifle Association figurehead, Charlton Heston.
If anyone were ever in favor of gun control, knowing such people are out there with guns in their hands is justification enough.
But since our mantra is to be informed, we checked out to the best we could what is known about the success of gun possession in fending off various criminals.
The evidence is sparse, and what there is of that is old, but it puts the lie to the claim that personal possession of a gun is an effective defense.

But since our mantra is to be informed, we checked out to the best we could what is known about the success of gun possession in fending off various criminals.
The evidence is sparse, and what there is of that is old, but it puts the lie to the claim that personal possession of a gun is an effective defense.
Although one would presume that a person who uses a gun successfully to repel an intruder or an attacker would then report the incident to the police, if for no other reason than to seek to put the perpetrator in jail.
A cursory search turned up no research, not even U.S. Justice Department tracts based on voluminous federal, state and local crime reports, that compares the claims of self-defense with police reports of such claims.

Another chant of gun nuts is that if guns are taken away from them, only criminals will have guns. Federal statistics show that 340,000 crimes each year involve the theft of firearms, two-thirds of them during household burglaries. It appears it is legitimate gun owners who are supplying the criminals with guns.

Barak And Bill Go To An Election

Barack Obama and Bill Clinton ended their mutual silent treatment Monday, with the Democratic presidential candidate reaching out and asking his former Democratic nemesis to help him win the White House.

In their first conversation since the end of the heated primary, former President Clinton agreed to campaign for the candidate he portrayed as inexperienced for a presidential run. Obama had said Bill Clinton’s harsh criticisms led him to wonder which Clinton he was running against sometimes.

The 20-minute conversation was the latest step in bringing together the two warring camps. While Hillary Rodham Clinton has been publicly behind Obama, hard feelings remained between the former Democratic president and the candidate hoping to become the next one.

Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs said Obama asked Clinton to campaign with him and on his own.

Obama “has always believed that Bill Clinton is one of this nation’s great leaders and most brilliant minds, and looks forward to seeing him on the campaign trail and receiving his counsel in the months to come,” said Obama spokesman Bill Burton.

Clinton spokesman Matt McKenna said the former president renewed his offer – expressed in a one-sentence statement last week – to do whatever he can to ensure Obama wins the presidency.

“President Clinton continues to be impressed by Senator Obama and the campaign he has run, and looks forward to campaigning for and with him in the months to come,” McKenna said. “The president believes that Senator Obama has been a great inspiration for millions of people around the country and he knows that he will bring the change America needs as our next president.”

Is this a move to assist a politician or a move to assist the American people to a better life?  As an observer of this political system for many years, I personally think it is a move to try and salvage the legacy of a once popular president.

American Manufacturing Is Dying

And few in the media seems to care.  The workers on the other hand are the ones that will pay the orice of this death, not the speculators.

General Electric announced it was selling its 101-year-old appliance division last month. Newspapers around the world proclaimed the death of U.S. manufacturing. “Is it the end of an era? Or is the era already over?” asked the Wall Street Journal. GE is the “ideal coal-mine canary,” according to According to the Asia Times, the announcement was “the death-knell of yet another U.S. manufacturing business, one among so many in U.S. manufacturing’s long and seemingly unstoppable downtrend since 1980.”

U.S. manufacturing has been on a steady decline for a number of years. Yet every time a company makes this kind of announcement, two questions are always raised: Why, and who cares anyway?

One of the main reasons U.S. manufacturing is declining so rapidly is outsourcing. Yet outsourcing is an effect, not the root cause of the problem. Treat the root cause—find the reason it is cheaper to make goods abroad—and then you can solve the problem.

The common causes given for the ramp-up in outsourcing is that more companies are turning to factories overseas to take advantage of lower wages, longer work weeks, reduced regulation, and less stringent environmental standards—all valid reasons. However, inexpensive foreign locales are not the only problem. Many of the problems plaguing industry in America are self-inflicted. has explained this situation very accurately.  The workers are the ones doing ALL of the struggling, fewer jobs are being created, more jobs are being lost, and people are having their lives destroyed in the name of profit.  TThe question to ask the presidential candidates is, where and when will this destruction of the working class stop.  And demand an answer that is forthright and truthful, not some pandering BS just to get their vote.

Con Ed Strike Looms Closer

More on the possibility of a strike on ConEd by the UWUA, the NY Daily News is reporting.

Con Edison says it can keep the power flowing if almost 9,000 union workers walk off the job early Wednesday – but the union says New Yorkers had better get ready.

Managers will not perform routine maintenance or upgrades, Clendenin said, but they will staff control rooms, dispatch centers and service trucks. Half of Con Ed’s managers were formerly union workers and are familiar with the system, he said – and because the company doesn’t operate power plants anymore, it’s better able to handle the distribution of electricity.

The union says Con Ed proposed minimum 0.5% annual raises in a four-year contract, as well as health care cuts, a switch from pensions to a 401(k)-style plan for new employees and a clause to recover workers’ compensation payments from worker pensions. Con Ed has declined to discuss any particular positions.

Negotiations are scheduled to resume at 9 a.m. Tuesday in a state Labor Department office downtown, and the union was preparing a detailed counterproposal Monday.

Was There A Full Moon?

Lieberman is bumping his gums, making misleading statements, I guess trying to feather his bid for the VP spot.  Then BUsh gets out there and thanx all concerned with the GI Bill including McCain, who by the way was opposed to it.  And then there was Wes Clark…..need I say more?

First let me ask, McCain how he likes the Swift Boat Technique?  If everyone is truly sick of the personal attack stuff, then be the bigger man and stop it!  Personally, I think that the points that Clark made are valid points.  Patriotism is a subjective thing and to try and define it for others is just plain arrogant.  The experience thing, unless the candidate was a VP then none of them have had the executive experience to be president.  Wearing a military uniform is not experience, it is however the sign of a military person serving his country.

The point being that NONE of the candidates are telling the truth and the media is just milking the stories for all they are worth.  Everyone seems so afraid to stating the obvious.  That being on welfare or being a POW is NOT a thing of experience to run this country.  Or that being a pilot or a community activist is not presidential experience.

Please people!  If you step in cow crap, call it what it is—CRAP!

Obama And Welfare Reform

Obama’s transformation from opponent to champion of welfare reform is the latest in a series of moves to the center. Since capturing the Democratic nomination, Obama has altered his stances on Social Security taxes, meeting with rogue leaders without preconditions, and the constitutionality of Washington, D.C.’s, sweeping gun ban.

The shift in Obama’s rhetoric on welfare reform has proceeded in stages. When Clinton was poised to sign welfare reform while running for re-election in 1996, Obama called it “disturbing.” A decade later, as an underdog running for president against Clinton’s wife, he spent 2007 avoiding the subject. By the time Obama emerged as the Democratic frontrunner in the spring of 2008, he began leaving the impression that he was for it all along.

When implementation of welfare reform came before the Illinois state senate in 1997, Obama cited a lack of job training, insufficient oversight, and provisions blocking legal immigrants from receiving benefits as his reasons for opposing a federal welfare overhaul imposing work requirements and time limits.

While campaigning for president in 2007, Obama refused on two occasions to say if he would have signed the same welfare-reform bill approved by the husband of his top rival.

By glossing over his early opposition to welfare reform, Obama is stepping closer to the political mainstream. But by undergoing this transformation only once it became politically convenient, Obama’s critics will charge that he puts calculation ahead of conviction.