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More Republican 'free speech'

by Dave Konkel [Moderator] / September 14, 2004 1:06 PM PDT
Kerry Hires Ala. Woman Fired for Sticker.

If firing a line wroekr for a bumper sticker isn't illegal, it ought to bne. Of course, she probably has no union to help protect her, as AL is what's euphamistically called a "right to work" (for peanuts!) state.

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!
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Re: More Republican 'free speech'
by Roger NC / September 14, 2004 1:15 PM PDT

You think all Republicans would acutally do that don't you?

Don't know if there is something else to the story or not, but since the article you linked to gave nothing but hearsay I did find this link of what she claims happened.

Lynne Gobbell

RogerNC

click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

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Re: More Republican 'free speech'
by Dave Konkel [Moderator] / September 14, 2004 1:23 PM PDT

Hi, Roger.

Thanks for the link. Do I think all Republicans would do that? No. But there's been enough support here for what was done to the Dixie Chicks, Linda Ronstadt, and tim Robbins for daring to speak out against george Bush and his policies that I believe there's a substantial portion of the Party's right wing that would do this if they could. And that truly frightens me.

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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Re: More Republican 'free speech'
by EdH / September 14, 2004 6:18 PM PDT

Ha! This is the same kind of thing that the left does all the time. It's called "Political Correctness".

The story is very sketchy. What was the woman doing? Maybe she was campaigning for Kerry on the job? Who knows? We can't credit it on this skimpy report.

Maybe we can get Dan Rather on the case. He'll be looking for a job soon.

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Re: More Republican 'free speech'
by Dragon / September 15, 2004 12:35 AM PDT

Obviously the woman thought her bumper sticker was more important than her job -- not that I agreed with the employer.

As for the Dixie Chicks (and etc), well, I think thats apples and oranges. Free speech works both ways, there. The Chicks have a right to make people mad, and the people they make mad have the right to say "Ill never buy your music". Doesnt make much sense to me for an entertainer to make half their listening audience mad at them, nor does it make sense for them to complain about the consequences of their actions.

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(NT) (NT) Well said, Dragon.....I agree
by MarciaB / September 15, 2004 12:44 AM PDT
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Re: More Republican 'free speech'
by Josh K / September 15, 2004 1:12 AM PDT

Where the Dixie Chicks thing crossed the line was when the media owner decreed that "we don't like what they said so we're going to prevent YOU from hearing their music."

The woman felt that her rights and her self-respect were more important than her job. This guy was way over the line. I remember one job I had where we got a newsletter (in '96) telling us not to panic if Clinton got re-elected. That made me pretty angry. I didn't do anything about it, but I sure wanted to write the CEO and assure him that I'd be too busy celebrating to panic.

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Re: More Republican 'free speech'
by Evie / September 15, 2004 1:19 AM PDT

Regarding the Dixie Chicks, the media owner has every right to do this -- it is called a good business decision given the response of a majority of the listeners (customers) that support the business.

As for this bumper sticker thing, I don't agree with what happened, but that is minor compared to the forced assault on my mailbox each month of the AFT newsletter. I pay for that with union dues I must pay to be able to have my job. I personally don't think employers should use that position to advance political opinions to employees. Voluntary PAC contributions in the company's "name" are a different thing all together. I wouldn't have a problem if my University contributed to Kerry by pooling voluntary faculty donations. The unions are anything but transparent with their political spending/involvement. I don't think the Pro-Kerry newsletter I just received is considered "political spending" under the law that allows me to recoup that portion of my dues.

Evie Happy

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Re: More Republican 'free speech'
by Dave Konkel [Moderator] / September 15, 2004 2:51 AM PDT

Dragon, "free speech" means the right to speak your mind without fear of retribution. Anything else is the slippery slope to thought control and totalitarianism -- and your post exemplifies why I fear we're already partway down the road. The point isn't whether she thinks that her politics (or her religion, or her marital status, or her sexual orientation) are worth her job -- the point is that forcing someone to make that choice is immoral and un-democratic. Sadly, it's less frequently un-Armerican.

-- Dave K.
Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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That is BS and shows a lack of understanding...
by Edward ODaniel / September 15, 2004 6:56 AM PDT

of the first Amendment.

The only thing the first Amendment does is ensure that GOVERNMENT cannot make laws that inhibit YOUR ability to make foolish statements.

It doesn't inhibit the right of others to freely mock or ridicule your foolishness nor does it inhibit your ability to retaliate in kind.

It is only this Amendment that allows politicians to lie to their constituents and the general public at large.

It was written at a time when the code duella was still practiced which in itself inhibited unfounded allegations and slanders.

Why can't I say ****, ****, ****, or **********, or even ****** here in the forums? Because the OWNER decided they would not brook it, even though the First Amendment allows me to. CNET is not infringing my free speech they are simply prohibiting it in THEIR DOMAIN!

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code duello -- more complicated than I imagined
by Dragon / September 15, 2004 7:14 AM PDT
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Re: More Republican 'free speech'
by Roger NC / September 15, 2004 1:02 AM PDT

I'm sure you think it's disapportionally Republican, but do you think pressure (of lessor if not equal to this accusation) isn't true of supporters of both sides?

I rememeber what some of the teachers have said in class of mine at different times. I was in a community college though, which meant the practical/technical/working craft classes were generally taught by people that had actually worked in that field (carpenter, electrician, a/c repair, mason, etc) for a period of time before becoming teachers. But the math, English, science teachers were pretty much all straight from university education types.

I had plenty of good ones (and a few not so good) from both camps. But the liberal ones (mostly the straight educator type) frowned just as hard for disagreeing with them as the practical, formerly blue collar working people (more conservative there by a wide margin).

You're believe as a rule conservatives/Republicans are more threatening.

Shrug, all this Politically Correct mess is a (perhaps lessor, perhaps just more subtle) pressure to conform to someone's agenda.

I see different agendas, different means, but both pressuring.

RogerNC

click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

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All I can say about this Roger ...
by Evie / September 15, 2004 1:07 AM PDT

... is that I make a deliberate effort to avoid anything that might even be construed as political on campus. The atmosphere on most campuses these days is very hostile to those that don't lean left.

Evie Happy

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Re: More Republican 'free speech'
by Dragon / September 15, 2004 1:51 AM PDT

Kinda bad when you are at a university, and you have to conform to what the professors [liberal] view is in order to get a decent grade.

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Re: More Republican 'free speech'
by Roger NC / September 15, 2004 1:58 AM PDT

I'd have to speak to a sibling that is a teacher about that to even attempt to answer realistically.

As I said, I was referring to time in a community college, which grew from one of the old "technical schools".

The ones I remember weren't quite that bad, but they did let you know they disapproved. One English teacher I had was a temp, graduate student from the nearby university I believe. We had a paper to write with some guide lines. I chose the Challenger disaster at the time. He actually strongly suggested otherwise, but I did it anyway. When he handed it back, he even mentioned I see you wrote on that even though I thought you shouldn't. However, it didn't seem to have affected his grading, I still did as well as I would have expected.

I had others that were less forthright, but seemed more vindictive, but fortunately most of the classes I took were the testing questions were more objective, less subject to personal influence than an English theme paper: math, physics, electrical/electronic, etc.

Some I bit my tongue on more than once, when they explained their views on things and that within the school they were unquestionably right on interpretation of how to apply rules, etc.

Most were decent though, don't want to leave the wrong impression. A few I disagreed with ofen and hard, and we still managed to maintain a civility and it didn't hurt my grades it seemed.

RogerNC

click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

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Re: More Republican 'free speech'
by Dragon / September 15, 2004 8:03 AM PDT

I also went to a community college, at least for my first two years, followed by a regional college. I also didnt run into too much of what Ive been hearing about in many of the univesities, especially in the Ivy League and in universities like Berkeley.


http://www.thedartmouth.com/article.php?aid=2003102201070

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That's funny, Dave...
by J. Vega / September 14, 2004 1:30 PM PDT

Dave, that's funny, I have worked in more than one "right to work" state, and there were unions there.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't "right to work" mean that a worker is nor required to be in a union to work at a job? I guess that you could say that in D.C. working for the Federal government is "right to work", as there is a union, but can join or not join - a choice of the employee. BTW for part of my employment I was a member of it, and for part of my employment I wasn't.

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Re: That's funny, Dave...
by Dave Konkel [Moderator] / September 14, 2004 11:28 PM PDT
In reply to: That's funny, Dave...

Hi, J.

Yes, the "right to work" outlaws union shops -- which essentially means unions are emasculated. What happens is that the union organizes, gets great benefits that are extended to everyone (usually with a strike), and then membership drops off due to inertia. And new workers, who didnt have to sacrifice, also get the same pay and benefits. Dont get me wrong, unions being too powerful can be a problem, but th pendulum has been swinging against unions for a long time now, and the direct result of that is the failure of pay and benefits to keep up with inflation -- except for upper management, of course...

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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And the Feds do nothing.....
by TONI H / September 15, 2004 12:06 AM PDT

I worked for a company (the same one I mentioned before that had the pyramid retirement plan and stopped making payments to it for the employees when they voted a union in)....that company, after eight months of the union being in the plant, cut a deal with the union (teamsters) behind the employee's backs.

The union agreed to back out of the plant without saying a word....and in order to keep the employees in the dark, the employer kept taking out their dues and health insurance payments from their paychecks, but pocketing the money. He ran the risk that nobody in the plant and that none of their families would need medical coverage for the remaining time that the union contract had to run before it expired....and got lucky.

I not only quit my job as the company Office Manager and bookkeeper (since I was the one making the deductions and signing the payroll checks) over this, but blew the whistle on the owner to the feds and nothing ever came of it. It was disgusting as all hell, but even telling the employees later (after waiting a while to see if the feds were doing anything about it) didn't stop them from still showing up for that job. And they all KNEW that they were PAYING the owner out of their checks every week in order to keep that job.

Most of them were the illiterate, no-skills, day labor (Manpower, etc) who felt they couldn't find another job anyhow and this was better than nothing. I really felt badly for those guys.......

TONI

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Right Dave. We CAN'T support the right to CHOOSE when
by Kiddpeat / September 15, 2004 12:09 AM PDT

we're talking about a major ally of the Democrat Party! Why, the unions might wind up accountable to the workers, and then where would the Dems be when they need the unions?

How would you characterize the teachers who are forced to subsidize views, by the NEA, that they find to be offensive and immoral?

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Re: That's funny, Dave...
by dirtyrich / September 15, 2004 8:20 AM PDT

Wait...let me get this right. Its wrong that a person has the ability to choose to be in a union or not? Thats just ridiculous.
As for the "necessity" for unions and how tough it is on them, I have plenty of stories from my family members (from both management and union sides), recounting how uniosn for the most part protect incapable and/or inadequate workers from being fired. Even my brother, who was the union shop representative, said that in the 4 years of his post he did not represent a single person who did not deserve to be fired. But they filed the right paperwork, made the right complaints, he had to do his job whether or not he liked it, and the employer buckled under union pressure, deciding it wasn't worth it.
I don't mind the concept of unions, I do actually think they can adequately address the needs of the employees, but when the unions are entrenched and force employees to be members, the organization as a whole become corrupt as those in power simply seek to stay in power, and stop representing the employees.

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Re: That's funny, Dave...
by Roger NC / September 15, 2004 8:33 AM PDT
And new workers, who didnt have to sacrifice, also get the same pay and benefits.

And sometimes the unions, dominated by those that have been around a long time, will agree to changes demanded by the company, for everyone hired AFTER that date, while the present work force is grandfathered. That includes more skill demonstration, more crafts worked, even lessor insurance.

Often the company may basically threaten what the present membership has if they don't agree, so you could call it blackmail. But there's not a lot of support sometimes for things that only affect later joiners, esp if most of the membership has half dozen years or less before retirement.

Another interesting thing has been known to happen. For years, retirement benefits may be disregarded by a union chapter in favor of more pay and vacation. Then all of a sudden, quite a few of the union membership is over 55, and the officials are mostly older, even 60. All at once, retirement health insurance for those retiring before 65 becomes paramount negotiations, even to the point of penalizing members under 50 or so, when you figure what is given up for the retirement benefits. Benefits the older majority of membership never was willing to trade anything for till they were almost old enough to collect.

Unions have done good and evil in their history. And they will continue. But the national parent organization has become nothing but a money collecting power structure and political lobbist. It use to be for improving safety and working conditions. Now it's for collecting dues I'm afraid.

/sesig
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(NT) (NT) That's interesting. Dave, what union do you belong to?
by Kiddpeat / September 14, 2004 1:41 PM PDT
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I have been asked ...
by Evie / September 15, 2004 12:06 AM PDT

... to be a faculty representative for the union in the bargaining agreement negotiations with one of the colleges I teach at. Just got my AFT propaganda newsletter in the mail this past week with Kerry, Kerry, Kerry all over it. Wonder what would happen if I took the assignment and showed up wearing my W-04 T-shirt. LOL, now that could be fun!

Evie Happy

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Unions have been the biggest
by TONI H / September 15, 2004 12:24 AM PDT
In reply to: I have been asked ...

downfall of our economy in the last 60 years....I can't imagine my ever being involved in negotiations with those mickey-mouse outfits. They are the largest pyramid scheme ever dreamed up, and they're legal. Makes me sick.

TONI

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Re: Unions have been the biggest
by Evie / September 15, 2004 12:44 AM PDT

Hi Toni,

This is why I declined the offer. You would think the union could at least compensate me for my time. Instead the union will use my dues to fund their propaganda newsletter to clutter my mailbox each month, whether I want to or not.

For all his blustering about Republicans being nasty, I wonder what would be the response if I put that huge Red White and Blue "W" car magnet on my hood and drove it on campus one day. I like my car too much to try that.

Evie Happy

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Agreed, Toni
by MarciaB / September 15, 2004 1:23 AM PDT

IMO, unions outlived their usefulness many, many years ago. They are all now too bureaucratic in their own right to do any real good for the "little guy," which is what it was supposed to be about in the beginning.

Here at the "horse-piddle" where I work, I, myself, am not part of the union. The biggest issue with the union here is with the nurses. There is ALWAYS some sort of negotiation stuff going on with the ONA (Oregon Nurses Association) union group and our administration. I hear alot about the ONA side because my b/f is a nurse. I also hear alot about the admin side of things. It always seems to be a mess - and it always seems to be about money.

--Marcia

.

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Re: Agreed, Toni
by Roger NC / September 15, 2004 1:45 AM PDT
In reply to: Agreed, Toni

I'm in a union, this job is the first one I've had that one was available.

As with anything, there's good and bad. There are a very few in our mill that don't belong to the union pertaining to their craft.

I will give credit for one thing, even if the company basically writes the contract, with a union contract you've got something in writing that can't be changed without notification anyway, and a vote. Of course, the interpretation of what was the intent changes always, the company there is just like the appeals court and our laws.

Unions have done a lot of good, espcially in the beginning of their formation. However, the national organization is too large a political machine, IMO. And individual unions, just like individual companies and/or bosses, have done things way over the line.

It's a pendulem swing of course, just like anything you care to talk about probably. We're in one of the better times, in spite of the problems we have today. There have been better, but there have been a hell of a lot worse too.

Hopefully, as society ages, just like people, it can become more stable and make changes thoughtfully, not wildly on the current fad belief.

RogerNC

click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

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Do you want a couple of...
by Edward ODaniel / September 15, 2004 7:07 AM PDT
In reply to: I have been asked ...
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(NT) (NT) Got a DNS error....couldn't get the page
by TONI H / September 15, 2004 7:25 AM PDT
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Advantages to 'Right to Work' ---
by Dragon / September 15, 2004 12:29 AM PDT
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