Union-bashing column lacks supporting statistics
I am unsure of what “a research fellow of labor economics in the Center for Data Analysis at Heritage Foundation” is but after reading James Sherk’s inane diatribe “Unions offer little for workers” ( Baker City Herald Oct 12) it appears to be an impressive-sounding, overly long title meaning anti-unionist. Mr. Sherk tends to cherry pick his supposed facts and make giant sweeping observations with brazen abandon to support his agenda.” Union representation has fallen because most workers see little value in it.” Is it possible that union representation has fallen (if in fact true) through nationwide job losses and a concerted effort to employ part time, minimum wage workers in order to avoid any additional benefits or health care coverage?
“Unions have little ability to raise wages anymore.” Huh! Collective bargaining? Strikes?
Mr. Shreck then acknowledges that a union member may be better paid but “primarily because organizers target higher paying companies.” I would love to see the facts backing up that statement but, alas, he produces none. “The decline in union membership is due to a decline in worker demand for union representation.” Could it be that many migrants, and other underpaid workers (example: Walmart), jobs are put in jeopardy for even talking to a union? How much representation is allowed overseas where our jobs are being shipped? I’m guessing none! Mr. Sherk continues his ramblings with some obscure handpicked stories of union evil doing, even concluding that being a barber has no safety concerns (Really? scissors, razors!) or need of licensing.
Here are just a few things I know about unions and what they have tried to accomplish for all union and non-union workers: A living wage, the weekend, 8-hour work day, a lunchtime, paid overtime, group health care (cheaper and somewhat more affordable), pensions, job safety, child labor and anti-discrimination laws...Lastly I want Mr. Sherk to know that sometime around mid morning, when he is done with his union bashing, he can grab a cup of coffee, take a break, and relax for 10 or 15 minutes — thanks to unions.
We can’t trust Hillary Clinton in an emergency
In her 2008 presidential campaign, then-Senator Hillary Clinton stated that she should become president as she alone had the competency to handle 3 a.m. emergency phone calls. Well, Secretary of State Clinton got such a phone call at 8 p.m. on Sept. 11, 2012: The U. S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, was under attack.
It is still unclear why we had a consulate in Benghazi in the first place. The area is a hotbed of Islamic jihadists and is one of the most dangerous places in the world for Westerners, especially Americans. In the months leading up to the 11th anniversary of 9/11, there were several attacks upon western installations in Benghazi, severe enough that the British withdrew their people. Faced with a deteriorating situation, Ambassador Stephens repeatedly requested security upgrades for his consulate. These were denied.
The U. S. government regarded Benghazi as an acutely dangerous post, yet the consulate’s security apparatus did not meet the minimum standards for such installations. By law, the only person who may wave security protocols is the Secretary of State, which then was Hillary Clinton.
On Sept. 11, wave after wave of Islamists armed with firebombs, rocket propelled grenades and mortars attacked our consulate. Outgunned and overwhelmed, four Americans were murdered, including Ambassador Stephens.
But afterwards, on Sunday talk shows, U. N. Ambassador Susan Rice claimed the Benghazi attacks were a spontaneous reaction to an obscure YouTube video produced by an Egyptian Coptic Christian. That video had indeed been a minor issue in another demonstration a few hours earlier in Egypt, but in Libya, the video was a non-event. Yet the Obama Administration clung to this line for several months, as President Obama had said that al-Qaida had been decimated while the well-organized Benghazi attack said otherwise.
Facing Congressional investigations into Benghazi, Mrs. Clinton famously asked, “What difference does it make?” The Benghazi attack reveals her incompetence in discharging her duties as Secretary of State, and was followed by a massive cover-up. It also showed why we do not want her in the Oval Office receiving those 3 a.m. emergency phone calls.