The Enemy’s Org Chart

Today’s Providence Journal article on organized labor in the state is must-reading. This passage is particularly telling:

But organized labor also has a strong voice in discussions about over health-care cuts for the poor, reduced benefits for foster children, environmental causes like such as recycling, and even gay marriage.
Rhode Island unions have formed unique partnerships with a host of seemingly unrelated environmental and social advocacy groups. Through this, relatively weak organizations gain a stronger voice in state affairs. And In exchange, labor unions strengthen political alliances, expand their bank of volunteers that help elect pro-labor candidates, and improve their image.

Anybody find it curious that all of labor leaders’ efforts to “improve their image” (their excuse to members for their unrelated activities, no doubt) have a leftward tilt?
ADDENDUM:
I think the heat is embellishing my need for a vacation (or maybe just a full night’s sleep). I’d misread the table on which I commented earlier, so I’ve deleted the chart. There’s still a more subtle point to make, but it’ll have to wait on a bit of yard work.

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John
John
13 years ago

The article just highlights what many have already written here on AR (another case of the Projo newsroom playing catch up once the pressure of reality overcame their ideological blinders). To wit: private sector unionization is dead in RI. The movement is really by and for the public sector unions. And to maintain their power in the face of private sector union decline, they made their deal with the devil, in the form of the progressives. That worked to everyone’s benefit as long as the goose (i.e., the private sector taxpayers) kept laying golden eggs. But, as has happened throughout history, greed killed the goose, and now the system is coming apart under the pressure of inescapable economic reality. The only question left is who will throw whom under the bus. Bob Walsh’s recent proposal is an attempt to carve out revenues from the lottery to ensure the public sector unions — at least those in the system now — get theirs (and make lots of down on their luck Florida — or perhaps Hawaiian — real estate agents happy). Unfortunately, carving these revenues out of the budget will force bigger cuts in social programs. I can’t help but imagine that Karen Malcolm and the progressive crusaders are trying to figure out their own way to play the end game in their best interest (hint: cut state aid to cities and towns to allow full funding of your social programs, and use the Chapter 9 municipal bankruptcy process to stick it to your public sector union “allies”). The only sad part in this is that it may take a progressive victory in this battle before the rank and file union membership either understands what’s been going on, or finds the courage to overcome their long-time individual and collective cowardice when… Read more »

jd
jd
13 years ago

Gotta love George Nee.. today’s labor movement is like a tree alright but not a might oak. It’s more like the old decaying tree out in front of my house, rotted at the core and ready to fall during the next major storm.

George Elbow
George Elbow
13 years ago

Justin,
Have you not learned anything from the Bob Walsh’s of the world?
Don’t let facts and bad trends get in the way of lining the Unions’ pockets at the expense of the Taxpayers. Ignore reality and deal with it another day, say with the sale of some assets.
The bottom line is that there are fewer and fewer Private Sector workers available to support the ever growing Public Sector workers (an unbelievable 1 & 6 workers in RI work for the Public).
This is another example of EVERYTHING Union being UNSUSTAINABLE.
The Bob Walsh’s, the George Nees, etc. who are merely Consumers of the Production of others need to be exposed at every opportunity and driven from the State, as they are intent on destroying it in an effort to “get theirs”.

Bob Walsh
Bob Walsh
13 years ago

Yet “Nee” makes the front page, and Elbow lurks on the blogs, afraid to reveal his or her true name . . .

John
John
13 years ago

Bob,
It is quite telling that the first response of public sector union reps and your progressive allies to anything that hits too close to home is to demand they “have the courage” to post under their real name.
Has it ever occured to you that perhaps too many people posting here have seen just where that leads, in a state that all too often appears to be one vast RICO conspiracy? To pick just one example, do you think there are any public school teachers who would give an extra hard time to the child or children of people who have the temerity to challenge the system in RI? Of course not, right Bob?
Let me put it this way: what you assert reflects a lack of courage I say reflects most people’s observations about the way “hardball” is played in the Ocean State.
Of course, this is also why so many people have simply given up on changing RI and moved elsewhere, taking their talents and taxes with them. But that’s another story.

For bob
For bob
13 years ago

And Bob, maybe some people can’t post their true identity because they are members of one of your closed shop unions and completely disagree with your “leadership” and doesn’t want to deal with being one of the lone voices in the woods and argue with you as himself. It really is possible that some of the very people you think you’re fighting for actually disagree with you.

Greg
Greg
13 years ago

I don’t post my real name or email address simply because I don’t want Pat The Thug to get a wild hair across his ass and hit my name on the local cop’s ‘harass at will’ list.

George Elbow
George Elbow
13 years ago

Bob Walsh, Study your history, you dope. Does the name Richard Suanders mean anything to you? But for ANONYMOUS pamphlets (and postings), our great country would never have been founded. Anonymous commentary is as American as it gets. But then again, Bob Walsh and his fear for the Free Market is as un-American as it gets. Posting comments on websites using fictitious names is in keeping with the very traditions of our founding fathers. Benjamin Franklin (an original signer of both our Deceleration of Independence and our Constitution, among other things), used numerous aliases and pseudonyms during his lifetime when writing letters-to-the-editor and writing books. For example, he wrote numerous letters-to-the-editor in his brother James’ newspaper, the New England Courant, under the anonymous name of ‘Silas Dogood’ (his brother was unaware). Another example is Poor Richard’s Almanac which he wrote using the fictitious name ‘Richard Saunders’. Perhaps Bob when he isn’t thinking of ways to screw the taxpayers has heard of or read this collection of books. Another excellent example is the Federalist Papers that were written (presumably by a couple of slouches named Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay) and signed using the fictitious (i.e. ANONYMOUS) name ‘Publius’. All 85 of the Federalist Papers were published in New York newspapers. Had people concerned themselves with the Bob Walsh’s, these critical opinion papers would not have been published. There are lots of reasons why people don’t use their real name. By using a fictitious name, readers are forced to focus on the ideas & arguments put forth, as opposed to dwelling on who the source of the ideas were and ascribing motives & “agendas” to the ideas & opinions. The other obvious reason is fear of retribution from public officials who have power. In Bob Walsh’s case, people appropriately… Read more »

Mike Cappelli
Mike Cappelli
13 years ago

Hey Bob Walsh,
You ought to take a page from some of the anonymous posters here and use a fake name yourself. That way we couldn’t identify whose mouth your moronic words flow from.
Right now we all know who the idiot is.

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
13 years ago

I have noticed in the 24 years that I live in RI that there is about 1/2 degree of separation in this state.Wtihin 5 minutes of speaking to virtually any stranger it turns out you know someone in common.Using pseudonyms makes sense if revealing your real name could affect your business or members of your family.Or possibly subject you to reribution(I would hope not,but you never know)and harrassment.
i have the luxury of having no kids in school,being retired from the Federal government and getting absolutely NOTHING from the State of RI,and having a wife employed as a part time teacher in a non-union school.There are people I dealt with in my prior career who I have plenty of reason to be concerned about,but I kind of doubt they post on blogs.Since I have been known to make ad hominem attacks,I think it is only fair to identify myself.I will try to refrain from them in the future because they add nothing to the validity of any point I am trying to make.(No promises re:Steven Brown).I actually enjoy meeting people I disagree with in person because the level of debate is enhanced and you get a better idea of who you are really talking to.In a war,you can’t let yourself humanize the other side or you couldn’t do what was necessary,but in this milieu it doesn’t hurt at all.
PS:Charley Bakst is just too easy a target for words 🙂

Mike
Mike
13 years ago

At best, we may see one last round of asset sales, a broadening of the sales tax base, elimination of some credits and a cancellation of the phase in of income/CG tax cuts in an attempt to keep the coalition together through one last budget and election. But we all know that won’t halt the underlying process, and its inevitable consequences.
Posted by John at June 8, 2008 1:15 PM
XXX
Boy, that says it ALL.
Budget is out Thursday. Be prepared to groan.

rhody
rhody
13 years ago

Although Elbow and I come at the issue of blog anonymity from opposite directions, I agree with him.
I don’t need any righties making trouble for me at my job (I have a couple of co-workers who’ve been in that position). And the positions I take here are entirely my own – neither my family nor my employer should have to take responsibility for them (and thank God my father never had to hear anything about a position his son took – as a city department manager who served mayors of both parties, he hated unions as much as anyone here).
BTW, my real name would not mean a thing to anyone here, anyway.

Bob Walsh
Bob Walsh
13 years ago

Hit a nerve, did I? I’ll forego the obvious Nathan Hale joke, with no regrets, but founding fathers you all are not. Unrepentant Tories, perhaps (it was so much easier when we lived under the crown – never had to think for ourselves) or unreconstructed Confederates (sure people can be property.)
Remember the other lessons from nation’s history about false accusations and anonymous attacks as you hide your cowardly identities under your hoods and robes.

Justin Katz
13 years ago

“Hoods and robes”? Bob Walsh, you lowlife. I thought you better intellectually and rhetorically. (Imagine, the head of a labor union, tallying membership and ensuring that all members are measured according to longevity rather than individual merit, accusing others of treating people like property!)
What about me, Bob? I’m out there in the wind. What’s your one-step-above-Crowley jibe my way? I’ve no pretensions to comparison with the historical giants who’ve stood for freedom, but when I look at history’s list of manipulators and power-seekers, it seems your name would fit quite cozily, given talent and luck.

Monique
Monique (@monique-chartier)
Editor
13 years ago

“I don’t need any righties making trouble for me at my job”
You have no idea, Rhody. We ID’ed you long ago and have been surveilling, tracking and recording you ever since. You should see the size of the file we have on you …

jd
jd
13 years ago

“I don’t need any righties making trouble for me at my job”
Didn’t realize that there were so many “righties” at Subway..

Tom W
Tom W
13 years ago

>>Rhode Island unions have formed unique partnerships with a host of seemingly unrelated environmental and social advocacy groups. Through this, relatively weak organizations gain a stronger voice in state affairs. And In exchange, labor unions strengthen political alliances, expand their bank of volunteers that help elect pro-labor candidates, and improve their image.
1) ALL of those groups have one thing in common: they derive their revenues from taxpayers. For them, it is “us” (rent seekers) against “them” (private sector taxpayers).
2) For the public sector unions, the “clients” of those “social service” entities are a revenue source – without those “clients” there wouldn’t be the need for so many unionized “social service agency” employees or public school teachers / school social workers / ESL etc.
So for unions and the welfare industry it is very much in their interest to collaborate – for largely they are one in the same.
The union movement in RI is a public sector union movement, and so it is in its interest to maximize the number of welfare recipients and children (including illegitimate children, anchor babies and such – to the unions children such as these are a greater source of potential revenue than children born of middle-class working people who won’t require social services, ESL, etc.).

Bob Walsh
Bob Walsh
13 years ago

While I disagree with you on many issues, Justin, you put your name behind your words, which I respect. In fact, it is quite interesting to observe you grapple with the many issues discussed here. (I have hope for you yet!)
It is also interesting to observe that any thread that I post on leads to many more responses in general than most of the other topics. Unfortunately, the discussion often quickly devolves into union and/or liberal bashing independent of the topic – probably not expanding the discussion in any meaningful way.
Having used them myself, I don’t actually object to pseudonyms in general, just to those who use them to hide behind cheap shots and hate-filled diatribes. And I don’t even care if folks wish to remain anonymous in general, but if you want to unleash some of the bile that has been sent in my direction, have the integrity to do it to my face, so to speak. (I don’t direct this complaint to Tom W or Citizen Critic, by the way, since they know who I am and vice-versa.)
I took some time off from posting on AR once, and one of your colleagues suggested I come back and visit, which I have clearly done. Maybe a break is in order again. If nothing else, it may help increase civility around here (possibly excepting responses to this post.)

rhody
rhody
13 years ago

Monique, I’m sure you find my file useful, in lieu of sleeping pills. There’s just not much there there.
It’s about as exciting as Russian literature, isn’t it?

Greg
Greg
13 years ago

Maybe I’ll act like a union member, swing by Rt 2 this afternoon, slash your tires and walk around the parking lot with some lie on a sign and hand out flyers about how you eat puppies.

Bob Walsh
Bob Walsh
13 years ago

I expect the State Police will have the right to request AR’s records to track the threat made by Greg and posted June 9, 2008 at 7:41 AM.

Greg
Greg
13 years ago

And you wonder why we don’t post our real names, Bob?

Justin Katz
13 years ago

Greg,
I don’t imagine that there’s anybody who actually needs to be informed of the fact, but it might relieve some difficulties if you would note for the record that your comment was sarcastic hyperbole rather than an actual threat.

Greg
Greg
13 years ago

I would have thought the part about the eating puppies would have driven that point home since Bobby sits down the hall from the a-hole with the duck suit who thinks he’s the master of comedy. Alas, it was lost upon him.

Anthony
Anthony
13 years ago

The name-calling on this particular comment is simply ridiculous.
Message to both George Elbow and Bob Walsh: using phrases like “you dope” or “hoods and robe” do nothing to advance either of your positions.
And as we everyone should be aware after countless news stories, nothing on the Internet is ever truly anonymous.

George Elbow
George Elbow
13 years ago

Bob Walsh,
You are truly a classic …and a dope (sorry Anthony)!
You wrote sarcastically: “it was so much easier when we lived under the crown – never had to think for ourselves)”.
My god, is there a better description of the Union?
Your life’s blood is getting everyone to act in lockstep, to leave the “thinking” to the Stink-tank that is the NEARI.
By definition, a Union member is not one that wants to think for themselves, that is weak & dependent and wants to be taken care of.
Enjoy your time away Bob. But I hate to break it to you that we don’t need you posting to be reminded of how damaging your “ideas” are.
We need only look at the circumstances of our Public Schools …you know, Bob, that place where you practice your “Do it for the Children” routine of “Work to Rule”.

Greg
Greg
13 years ago

Hey Bob.
I heartily invite whatever dirty tricks you union thugs can throw at me after your day of doing research on me. I look forward to the local radio and Sunday morning shows, national talking head shows, and potential television and radio commercials during the local elections here in RI where I simply state “I opposed the unions on a BLOG and there are the lengths they went to to silence me….”
Every action has an opposite reaction. You best be prepared if you decide to show your true teamster scumbag colors. And I carry video/still camera everywhere I go so don’t worry about me not getting the evidence.

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