Chicago Strike is disruptive, harmful–and illegal

The teachers union strike in Chicago is disrupting kids and their families in Chicago, but did you know that it is also illegal?    In Illinois, teachers are permitted to strike for higher wages but not over policies set by the Chicago Board of Education–which is what this strike about.  Think about that when unionists tell you that there is no harm unionizing critical national security workers because strikes of federal workers are illegal.  As we discuss in Shadowbosses, the head of the PATCO air traffic controllers union said during that illegal strike of federal workers, “the only illegal strike is an unsuccessful one.”

VIDEO: DO LABOR UNIONS THREATEN OUR FREEDOM?

The Alan Colmes Show – Alan talks with author Mallory Factor about his belief that union bosses are robbing American taxpayers.

You Didn’t Build That

If the President’s words are correct, innovation, growth and American exceptionalism are in more trouble than Obama’s campaign.

Does your state favor Big Labor or the Taxpayers?

This helpful map from workplacechoice.org shows you exactly how your state fares compared to other states in terms of being pro-taxpayer or pro-union.

For full details, see: http://workplacechoice.org/state-map/

American Manufacturing: It’s Not Labor Costs

Mark Hemingway at the Weekly Standard points to this piece at Bloomberg on what’s holding back American manufacturing.

It’s not labor costs.

My host, a NASA engineer turned Silicon Valley entrepreneur, has just conducted a fascinating tour of his new clean-energy bench-scale test facility. It’s one of the Valley’s hottest clean-technology startups. And he’s already thinking of going abroad.

“Wages?” I ask.

His dark eyebrows arch as if I were clueless, then he explains the reality of running a fab — an electronics fabrication factory. “Wages have nothing to do with it. The total wage burden in a fab is 10 percent. When I move a fab to Asia, I might lose 10 percent of my product just in theft.”

I’m startled. “So what is it?”

“Everything else. Taxes, infrastructure, workforce training, permits, health care. The last company that proposed a fab on Long Island went to Taiwan because they were told that in a drought their water supply would be in the queue after the golf courses.”

Liberal Fascism and Obama’s Sparta

First, read Jonah Goldberg’s groundbreaking Liberal Fascism.  It will change how you look at political rhetoric.

Now, go over to National Review Online, where  Goldberg takes apart last week’s State of Union.  It’s eye-opening.

He said of the military: “At a time when too many of our institutions have let us down, they exceed all expectations. They’re not consumed with personal ambition. They don’t obsess over their differences. They focus on the mission at hand. They work together. Imagine what we could accomplish if we followed their example. Think about the America within our reach.”

That is disgusting.

What Obama is saying, quite plainly, is that America would be better off if it wasn’t America any longer. He’s making the case not for American exceptionalism, but for Spartan exceptionalism.

It’s far worse than anything George W. Bush, the supposed warmonger, ever said. Bush, the alleged fascist, didn’t want to militarize our free country; he tried to use our military to make militarized countries free.

Indeed, Obama is upending the very point of a military in a free society. We have a military to keep our society free. We do not have a military to teach us the best way to give up our freedom. Our warriors surrender their liberties and risk their lives to protect ours. The promise of American life for Obama is that if we all try our best and work our hardest, we can be like a military unit striving for a single goal. I’ve seen pictures of that from North Korea. No thank you, Mr. President.

Read the whole thing.  (And the book.)

Save Us From the Nannies

Here’s John Stossel on Michelle Obama’s latest ($3.2 billion) plan to ‘reduce “fatty, salty, sugary foods” from public schools and replace them with mouthwatering items like “jicama,” and Rachael Ray’s “turkey tacos.”‘

As Stossel points out:

Sounds swell. Kids stripped of the freedom to make bad choices will have no choice but to shape up.

Of course, that’s an assumption based on feelings and good intentions. It’s not like there’s science behind it.

(It turns out that there’s no correlation between childhood obesity and the food served in public schools.)

A Shameful Attack on Romney

I am sympathetic to Libertarian views, though I don’t consider myself to be one.  Many of the issues that animate the Paul campaign, for example — fealty to the Constitution, limited government, return to fiscal fundamentals, states rights — all appeal to me greatly.  I believe in the ideals of America as a place where individual liberty is God given, and that the government’s power exists only by virtue of the consent of the people.  It’s a vitally important concept that is being undermined by a steady onslaught of left-wing statism, and it must be preserved at all costs.

And how is that best preserved?  At its core, individual liberty is one of economic self-determination.  It is being able to act as an individual in the marketplace of ideas and commerce.  It is being free to make decisions — for good or for ill — on the basis of one’s God-given abilities.  This is the core of liberty: freedom of choice, freedom of action.  Freedom to fail.

Which is why the spurious attacks on Mitt Romney and his tenure at Bain Capital are so damning in my eyes — and which only serve to reinforce how far much of the GOP has strayed from true conservative ideals.  The notion that Paul, Gingrich, Perry and Huntsman would skewer Romney for his work at Bain — where he created wealth for millions of employees and shareholders alike — is something out of the Nancy Pelosi playbook.  How can anyone who claims he is a conservative be critical of the marketplace working as it is designed?  Because people lost their jobs?  Capitalism is a creatively destructive process.  That’s what gives us progress.  If that were not so, we’d all be typing on IBM Selectric typewriters today and not Apple iPads.

I admit to being a fan of Mitt Romney.  Not because he is the most conservative candidate in the field — he is certainly not.  But because he is someone who has taken real risks in life and seen the fruit of his labors lead to phenomenal success.  Is that not a great role model for the value of democratic free markets?  A self-made success?  What could be better?

Our way of life is under attack — and it is a very basic struggle.  Are we going to continue to be a nation of liberty?  Or will we all become wards of the state like in Europe, where liberty is secondary to the collective good?  How can we choose anyone who will attack free market capitalism as our next leader?

Besides, we already have one of those — his name is Barack Obama and he lives at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

We are all Euros, now

President Barack Obama went to the Pentagon this past week, and laid bare his Euro-like vision for America for all to see.

It goes something like this:

  • First, you assume that you have just fought the “war to end all wars”, so you promptly state that the “tide of war is receding” and you proceed to “turn the page” — presumably to a kinder, gentler chapter.
  • Next, you promptly cut defense budgets and spend what you see is a peace “dividend” (made possible, remember, because you have turned that page as the war tides receded).
  • And what do you spend that dividend on?  More social programs, pork barrel projects for public sector unions and other goodies to keep the people dependent and happy.
  • Except eventually you realize that the money isn’t going to last forever.  And when it runs out, all those fat, happy public employees, unions, and others on the dole begin protesting and rioting in the streets, claiming that they aren’t getting their “fair share”.
  • Suddenly you realize that you no longer have an effective military force, but you do have an army of smelly, dirty people inhabiting your public squares.
  • Finally, you realize that only higher taxes can solve this problem, so you institute a vast new Value Added Tax, designed to tax consumption along every step of the supply chain, but hidden deep in the prices of consumer goods and services.
  • The VAT raises vast new gobs of money, which, in the spirit of good government, is promptly spent on even greater social service benefits, payoffs to preferred groups and patrons of those in power.
  • Alas, even the VAT can’t sate the appetite of the people, who have let their ability to provide for themselves whither away, atrophied at the alter of transfer payments from Big Brother.  Who will take care of these poor wretched souls?

Fear not, say the intellectual elite, those who certainly know better than the rest of us. The IMF, the World Bank and, of course, the Chinese stand ready to help us in our time of need.

Oops!

Stupid SOPA… What Could Go Wrong?

Really, what’s a worst-case scenario if we hand the government a “kill switch” for the internet?

Oh… that’s right… something like this:

Here’s a plausible campaign scenario under SOPA. Imagine you are running for Congress in a competitive House district. You give a strong interview to a local morning news show and your campaign posts the clip on your website. When your opponent’s campaign sees the video, it decides to play hardball and sends a notice to your Internet service provider alerting them to what it deems “infringing content.” It doesn’t matter if the content is actually pirated. The ISP has five days to pull down your website and the offending clip or be sued. If you don’t take the video down, even if you believe that the content is protected under fair use, your website goes dark.

There’s more.  (There’s always more.)  So read the whole thing.

(Via Instapundit.)

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