The Unionized States of America

The Unionized States of America

Ed Lasky
Enemies of America overseas take their measure of an American president from the way he handles his domestic political bargains.

Early in his first term., President Reagan established his image as a strong leader by firing air traffic controllers who broke the law by going on strike. He warned their union, the Professional Air Traffic Controller Union, that he would do so, but also promised to retain any controllers who ignored the picket lines and continued to show up to their jobs.


Despite dire predictions, Reagan and his team were able to field replacements –some military, some managers — and train new controllers. No accidents occurred. The union, led by a radical, failed its members and was eventually decertified. Controllers who were fired often remained unemployed for years (Bill Clinton overturned a ban on their hiring as controllers).


Regan took a strong stand and earned his image — one that proved fruitful to him on the world stage as he confronted a Soviet Union that had run rampant around the world while Jimmy Carter lamented the decline of America. Reagan’s firm stand encouraged businesses and industries to take on unions that were wreaking havoc in America, and reportedly impressed the Soviets with his toughness.


That was then — when Presidents were leaders and not lackeys — and this is now. We have Barack Obama as President. He is showering dollars on the air traffic controllers and sending a message to labor unions: their man is in the White House and will follow their marching orders. What wonderful image.


Christopher Conkey writes in the Wall Street Journal:


Labor is gaining clout inside the Federal Aviation Administration — and hoping to do so elsewhere.
Late last month, the FAA signed a three-year deal with the National Air Traffic Controllers Association valued at $669 million. A new contract for Natca had been a top priority of the Obama administration after years of impasse in negotiations with the union that represents about 20,000 employees.
The deal will elevate the union’s influence on aviation policy and signals a growing role for public-employee unions at other federal agencies. [….]
The FAA says the average annual cash compensation for fully certified controllers will rise to $157,990 in 2012 from $142,101 now. The FAA estimates the average pay for fully certified controllers will rise by at least $14,906 over three years and less-experienced controllers could see an average pay boost of at least $27,358 during the three-year period.
The new contract also contains articles that ensure greater union participation in technical and procedural changes as well as implementation of the new satellite-based air-traffic-control system…


When you realize that lavish government employee benefits typically add 40% or more to cash salaries, the average air traffic controller is earning a substantial multiple of the average American income. Not bad for a job which requires a bachelor’s degree.


The work rules imposed by unions were one of the prime reasons the auto companies went belly-up when they competed against non-unionized foreign auto companies. Now the air traffic controllers will get a huge raise (anyone else in this weak economy seeing raises?) and will have newly granted powers to use work rules to minimize their work load.


Barack Obama: union man, weak leader.

Page Printed from: at October 07, 2009 – 09:16:10 PM EDT

Loveland ski opens Wednesday, A-Basin on Friday–Friday will mark the earliest opening in Arapahoe Basin’s 64-year history

Loveland ski opens Wednesday, A-Basin on Friday

Posted: 10/06/2009 02:56:45 PM MDT

Updated: 10/06/2009 06:52:24 PM MDT


Loveland Ski Area was making snow Tuesday afternoon. (Loveland Ski Area )

And the winner is … Loveland Basin.

Boasting its earliest opening day in 40 years, Loveland officials today announced the area will open for skiing Wednesday. Less than an hour later the folks at Arapahoe Basin congratulated their rivals on the other side of the pass and said their area would open Friday.

Loveland will become the first ski area in North America to open its season at 9 a.m. with $44 lift tickets. Loveland trail crews were able to begin snowmaking operations on Sept. 21.

“We took advantage of the cold temperatures and got an early start making snow this year,” said Eric Johnstone, snowmaking and trail maintenance manager. “Now we can move some equipment to other trails and try to open more terrain as quickly as possible.”

As usual on opening day, Loveland will open Chair 1 with 1,000 vertical feet of terrain on Catwalk, Mambo and Homerun.

Friday will mark the earliest opening in Arapahoe Basin’s 64-year history. The Exhibition chairlift will open at 9 a.m. Friday with skiing on the intermediate High Noon run and six features in the High Divide Terrain Park. There will be no beginner skiing.

Both areas say they have a manmade base of 18 inches.

The year of living eco-sanctimoniously

The year of living eco-sanctimoniously

By Michelle Malkin  •  October 6, 2009 04:58 PM


Do you remember the enviro couple from New York City that swore off toilet paper to save the planet?

I blogged about their “no impact” lifestyle two years ago:

So, they refuse to wipe their two-year-old’s bottom and have sworn off paper to save the trees.

But Daddy will kill how many of those trees selling books bragging about their impact-less lifestyles? (Beavan promises: “…the book will come out some time in 2009 (assuming the world, me and FSG all still exist). It will be printed and produced in some, yet to be determined, sustainable way.”) Uh-huh.

Like Al Gore, these people are beyond parody.

Well, they’ve emerged from their smelly eco-paradise — and are out and about on the p.r. trail, carbon footprint be damned, promoting both dead-tree books and packaged DVDs documenting their lives.

Newsbusters captures the green freak show.

Like I said: Beyond parody.

The Trauma of Obama

The Trauma of Obama

By Robin of Berkeley

A new, conservative friend cracks up when she hears my phone message.  As a therapist, I’m required to state, “If this is a psychiatric emergency, please call 911.”

Roaring with laughter, she says, “Robin, the whole country is having a psychiatric emergency!”


And she’s right, because people running this country are off:  off balance, off-world, off-putting, off their meds.


Gallows humor, a knot in your stomach when Obama speaks, poor sleep.  Your body is telling you that something is wrong. 


Even out here, things are starting to feel spooky. While it’s always weird central in Berkeley, now there’s a malaise in the air.


Yes, there are plenty of people so far into the communist schtick, they would gladly sacrifice their children, their granny, and their life savings for the Left.  


But most liberals still want their houses, jobs, Hondas and iPods.  When they voted for Obama, they weren’t giving a thumbs up for the country to go the way of Ché.


So there’s a strange, foreboding vibe in these parts; that creepy feeling you get when you know there’s bad news ahead.   


Many liberals look dazed and confused because they have no language, no information, no way of understanding what in the world is going on.


Interestingly, there’s this eerie silence about Obama.  You don’t hear a peep about him.  Or course, liberals are still foaming at the mouth about Sarah Palin, tea baggers, birthers, and all things conservative.  


But adulation for Obama: Missing in Action.  A telling sign:  the life size black and white cardboard doll of Obama in a storefront near my office has been taken down.  Where did it go — to the local recycling center with other discarded Obamabilia?


Because I’m a psychotherapist, I’m intrigued by what goes on inside and outside.  People not only suffer because of neurotic minds, but because of what people do to us when they abuse their power.   


The family dramas, problems at work, or dysfunction in D.C. unnerve us.   As Presidential nominee, Michael Dukakis, indelicately put it, “Fish rots from the head down.”


We have people at the highest echelons of our government who may be rotting this nation.  They espouse twisted notions of humanity, like de-evolution and forced sterilization.  They eat, drink, and sleep revenge.


They are throwing much of this country, at least those of us who are paying attention, into a psychiatric emergency — into trauma.


They dominate.  They control.  They terrorize.


They are abusers.


Which is no surprise if you understand where Obama comes from.  He was not schooled in the Martin Luther King, Jr. tradition of unity and nonviolence, as most naive liberals thought.  


Obama was educated in the Malcolm X way, the American political mafiosi:  the Weatherman, Black Panthers, Black nationalists.  


What were these groups’ lesson plans?   “Blue eyed devils,” “Jewish dogs,” “By any means necessary.”


While the media and schools have whitewashed history, these groups were filled to the rafters with gangsters.  Today’s young radicals use sociopaths like Huey P. Newton as their role models, not the beneficent King.


So when Sarah Palin’s life is threatened for speaking the truth, this is the work of thugs.


When Michael Savage is banned in Britain for passionately defending our country, this is persecution.


When citizens receive death threats for deigning to ask a question about health care, this is terror. 


Some people think that Obama is just a harmless sheep in wolf’s clothing because he doesn’t raise his voice.  If his underlings cause mayhem, well, that’s not his fault.


But the best and the brightest of abusers never get their hands dirty. 


Their work is done through a look, a blank stare, a grin, a devilish laugh. They can incite trouble without lifting a finger.


So if you feel uncomfortable, and tense, and scared, this is why.  This is what abusers do. 


They cause terror in us because of something old and something new.  The old:  memories get triggered of past trauma:  our bad tempered parent, or abusive spouse, or bully boss.


The body remembers.  Suddenly you are 6 or l3 or 30 again, and you may respond with the same helplessness and anger and panic. 


But there’s also new trauma, what’s happening right underneath our noses; the never ending assaults on our freedom.


The daily force feeding of leftist ideology designed to control every aspect of our lives.  The health care rationing that threatens our families. The strangling of business through Big Brother intrusions. 


Joining with dictators; yawning when Iran and North Korea threaten; abandoning our allies.  Indoctrinating our children and trying to turn them into the little Benedict Arnold’s.


The trauma of Obama — it’s all around us, it may be in us if we’re having symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder (for instance, nightmares, intrusive images, numbing, physical symptoms, problems sleeping or eating). 


But this isn’t post traumatic, because there is no post here, and that keeps much of the nation in trauma/survival mode:  fight, flight, freeze. 


Fight:  we’re fighting back nonviolently through active participation; 


Flight: we fantasize about fleeing; 


Freeze:  we can become frozen with fear, like a deer in the headlights.


Or a fourth reaction to danger, fawning:  cow towing to Obama by doing his bidding.  A Stockholm Syndrome, where the captive aligns with the abuser in hopes of winning favors. 


There’s a final “F,” the most formidable one, the one taking root and flourishing all across the country:  it’s faith.  Faith in a Higher Power or ourselves or the American system or its people.  


Ordinary citizens rising up, like a phoenix.  This awakening might prove to be Obama’s most enduring legacy. 


The miracle of a soccer mom attending a protest for the very first time;  an elderly man bravely stepping up to the mike at a Town Hall;  strangers forming life long bonds at Tea Parties or online, at sites like American Thinker.  People like me snapping out of the leftist trance.


In time, the Trauma of Obama may be overshadowed by the Mock of Barack:  people speaking up, from Bozeman to Boise to Boston — and refusing to become one of Obama’s hench men or victims.


When I behold the courage and dignity of my fellow citizens, I recall a powerful Buddhist tale: 


The cruelest, most violent Samurai in Japan decides he wants to become enlightened.  He bursts into the home of an esteemed Zen Master and demands that the Master teach him how to become enlightened.


The Zen Master looks deeply into his eyes and says, “No. You are a dirty, vicious Samurai.  I will not teach you.”


Enraged,  the Samurai yanks out his sword and places it right at the Zen Master’s neck.  He hollers, “Do you have any idea who I am?  I am the cruelest Samurai in the world.  I can cut your throat and not blink an eye.”


Without skipping a beat, the Master calmly responds, “Do you have any idea who I am?  I can let you slit my throat and not blink an eye.”


The Samurai falls to his knees, sobbing, overcome by the presence of a man mightier than his sword. 


Those of us who are paying attention know the truth.  With our eyes and hearts and minds wide open, we see them; we’re on to them.


Emboldened by faith and righteous anger, we confront the Powers that Be.


Carrying our children’s future; sheltered by the strong arms of our forbearers; awash with grace; we speak in one thunderous voice. 


We say,


“We know who you are.


“Do you have any idea who we are?” 
            (You may shoot me with your words,


            You may cut me with your eyes,


            You may kill me with your hatefulness,


            But still, like air, I’ll rise.)


            (Maya Angelou)
A frequent AT contributor, Robin is a psychotherapist and a recovering liberal in Berkeley.

Page Printed from: at October 07, 2009 – 09:39:36 AM EDT

Higher taxes in health care bill—-DUHHH

Higher taxes in health care bill

By ERICA WERNER (AP) – 15 hours ago


WASHINGTON — Congressional tax experts say Senate health care legislation would impose $29 billion more in taxes on health care industries than originally thought.

The Joint Committee on Taxation says drug companies, medical device manufacturers and insurers would pay $121 billion over 10 years as a result of taxes in the Senate Finance Committee bill.

That’s compared with $92 billion originally calculated.

The tax experts said the reason for the change is that the companies won’t be able to deduct the fees from their corporate income taxes.

The new numbers come Tuesday as the Finance Committee is preparing to vote on the bill and could bolster GOP arguments that it contains too many new taxes.