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Uncommonly Sensible

Keeping the "anal" in analytical... (While trying to remain civilized)

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Sunday, July 24, 2005

It's my Party, and I'll cry if I want to...Part II

CHICAGO (AP) -- The AFL-CIO succumbed to division Sunday, with its largest union deciding to bolt the 50-year-old federation and three others poised to do so in a dispute over how to reverse organized labor's long slide.

"Our differences have become unresolvable," said Anna Burger, chairman of the Change to Win Coalition which is setting itself up to be a rival of the AFL-CIO. "Today will be remembered as a rebirth of union strength in America."

A divided labor movement worries Democratic leaders who rely on the AFL-CIO's money and manpower on Election Day.

In the 2004 campaign, unions ran nearly 260 phone banks and mailed out at least 30 million pieces of political literature in 16 states, mostly on behalf of Democrats.

Experts said the split might deepen labor's woes.

Others said competition might be good for the labor movement.

I've said it before, (in Part I) it's long past time for unions to quit blindly following the Democrat agenda...which isn't what it once was.

Not that the Republican Party is perfect; no human institution can be, but for all its faults, it seems to be the best thing going right now.

I'm a member of several unions, and while I understand the necessity of the political aspects of "the game", I also know that it's futile to back the losing team. By mindlessly "latching onto the coattails" of the Democrat Party, the unions have been doing just that...which is counterproductive.
(Pun intended, of course)

As I also said in Part I, I'd still like to see a viable opposition Party.

Checks and balances are a good thing...

Monday, July 18, 2005

When the wind blows...Part I

PLAYA DEL CARMEN, Mexico (AP) - Hurricane Emily ripped roofs off luxury hotels along Mexico's Mayan Riviera, stranded thousands of tourists and left hundreds of local residents homeless Monday, forcing many to remain in crowded, leaky shelters.

Residents of Yucatan Peninsula resorts, including Playa del Carmen and Tulum, began wading through knee-deep flood waters to assess damage under a light drizzle, as the storm barreled west into the Gulf of Mexico.

OK, it's been too serious hereabouts lately...not that these violent storms are funny, but I think they're an excellent example of "P.C." gone awry.

Since we're all supposed to be "politically correct" nowadays, rather than hurricane or himmicane, why not just cyclone? No gender implied there. Even though conventional wisdom tells us that "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned", since we've been calling alternate storms by male names, why not use the gender neutral term "cyclone"?

Silly? Perhaps. That's my point; for the sake of the "P.C." crowd, the powers-that-be altered (yeah, pun intended) their long-standing policy of giving female names to cyclones.

Seems like just so much "hot air" to me...

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Disorder in The Court?

Chief Justice Rehnquist Hospitalized
AP - WASHINGTON - Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist's latest hospitalization has added more intrigue to the guessing game about his retirement prospects.

There was no indication the news would affect the president's selection of a candidate — or the timing of an announcement — for replacing Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, who announced earlier this month that she was stepping down.

It was fairly universally regarded as inevitable that some new Supreme Court Justices would need to be appointed during this Presidential term, although it may be happening sooner than anticipated.

Sen. Arlen Specter, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, urged Bush to pick someone other than a judge. Groups on both sides are poised to launch expensive lobbying campaigns, but Specter has said he wants them to pull back.

Bush recently had a breakfast meeting with four key senators - Specter, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, Minority Leader Harry Reid and Patrick Leahy, the senior Democrat on the Judiciary Committee - which was part of the White House effort to consult both parties before choosing a nominee. Democrats, who had prodded the White House to talk with them, said they were encouraged by the meeting but asked for more discussions with actual names. Because they believe that Bush may wish to nominate the first Hispanic Justice, Democrats suggested three Hispanic judges.

First Lady Laura Bush has said she hopes that O'Connor, the first woman on the high court, will be followed by another.

President Bush has said that he would consider nominating a woman or someone with no experience as a judge to replace retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.

Now, of course, he may have to nominate candidates for two open spots on the Supreme Court. The Senate has had dual confirmation hearings before and "frankly, it can be done," said Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), a former chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which will hold hearings on President Bush's picks.

The last time there were simultaneous vacancies at the court was 1971. Justices Hugo Black and John Marshall Harlan retired that September, about a week apart. Their successors were Rehnquist, then assistant attorney general in the Nixon administration, and Lewis Powell.

How will this scenario ultimately play out?

Only time will tell...


WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Bush named federal appeals judge John G. Roberts Jr. to fill the first Supreme Court vacancy in a decade on Tuesday, delighting Republicans and unsettling Democrats by picking a young jurist of impeccably conservative credentials.

If confirmed by the Republican-controlled Senate, the 50-year-old Roberts would succeed retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, long a swing vote on a court divided over abortion, affirmative action, states' rights and more.

Bush offered Roberts the job in a lunchtime telephone call, then invited him to the White House for a nationally televised, prime-time announcement. The president said his choice will "strictly apply the Constitution in laws, not legislate from the bench."

Friday, July 08, 2005

It's my Party, and I'll cry if I want to...Part I

AP, WASHINGTON - Organized labor should help politicians who will advance labor's cause rather than simply supporting Democrats, says a union leader pushing for changes in the AFL-CIO.

As a card-carrying member of a number of unions, I have to say it's long past time for them to quit blindly following the Democrat agenda.

Once upon a time, about 40 years ago, the Democrats were for the working class, minorities, women, etc. That was then.

Nowadays, they've been co-opted by a radical left wing agenda that J.F.K. (Kennedy, not Kerry) would scarcely recognize. Not that I idolize him or anything; I'm just citing an example.

Part of the reason the Democrat dogma has become so left of center is because the Republicans have been gravitating away from the rightmost extreme, so in order to be different from them, the Democrats have had to shift their focus as well.

A strong two Party system helps keep things balanced, but as the Democrats continue to lose ground, things have gotten a bit unbalanced. This is not a good thing either, since as the old axiom goes, power corrupts...and absolute power corrupts, absolutely. We're not at that point, yet, but it's also said that the road to HELL is paved with good intentions.

If the Democrats can't get their act together, perhaps it's time for another opposition Party to step in.

Libertarian, anyone?

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