On Unions.

This started out as a comment over at this John Edwards diary, in response to this comment by SPLib.

Edwards: "...ban the hiring of permanent replacement workers."

So, workers should have all the freedom to come and go as they please, but a business cannot choose who to hire and how long they work for them?

If you want to strike, you take the risk of being replaced.

Sure, most people think they are irreplacable at their jobs, but what if everyone KNEW they couldn't be replaced? That sure is a non-motivator for excellence and productivity. Sounds like France.

To understand my comment below, I think you really have to understand my history with unions. I was raised in a coal mining county, everyone mined coal and the sound of Triaxles slowing down with their Jake Break was a constant backdrop to my life, as they flew down our mainstreet about every 10 minutes all day and all night long. The boom was great, the pay was great, everyone had a new car and went on vacations and painted their houses, pools were built, cookouts were common, all the kids had new cleats and baseball gloves each summer. Then, Reagan was elected. Steel moved overseas and with it the need for coal. Soon, even the power plants stopped asking for coal, because they found it cheaper to buy it from China. But, a few die-hard coal companies still existed, and even one or two still exist today as a shadow of their former selves. A company that remained was the one my dad worked for, and one day the Unions came to town. They wanted the workers to hold a vote on whether to allow a union rep on the premises to talk with the workers. The owner called my Dad in, who had worked his way up from a bulldozer operator to be a higher-level foreman. He told him, "Bill, if they vote yes, I'm shuttin' her down. I've got my money, I've got money put away for the kids, and right now we're just breaking even. I can't afford a union."

Planned Outage

No BlueNC for you on Sunday from 3am until 6am:

We were just informed one hour ago from our building management that an emergency maintenance window is scheduled for this Saturday morning, February 24th, at 1AM PST. UPDATE! The building has just changed the window to be 23 hours later.. it is now scheduled for Sunday morning, February 25th, at 12:01AM PST. This maintenance window involves taking our entire building’s power offline for approximately 3 hours. The word from the building:

It was discovered by ABM Engineering during the power monitoring equipment installation, that a Phase C Conductor Cable on UPS #4 has been compromised to the point that immediate action to repair it is necessary or a ground fault will occur to the building systems.

Lt. Governor Perdue Says "No" to Site C

Tim Crowley, communications director for Lt. Gov. Perdue, sent me an email tonight with the Lt. Governor's position on the Navy's OLF plans.

"An OLF shouldn't be forced on a community that doesn't want it. I continue to believe the Navy should find a suitable location for an OLF in our state." Lt. Gov. Beverly Perdue

Lt. Gov. Perdue is the most senior state official to speak out publicly against the Navy's plans to force its way into Washington County. Her statement will be a significant boost to farmers and environmentalists concerned about the destructive impacts an OLF would have on families and communities in northeast North Carolina. People alarmed about the risk to Navy pilots of bird strikes near the Pocosin Wildlife Refuge will also welcome her statement.

Thomas Wright under attack


 
This morning the News & Observer's Under the Dome observes:

that [Jim] Black wants to cooperate with authorities and his doing so could make others "uncomfortable."

Black is motivated to share what he knows and try to avoid prison time, [Kenneth] Bell [Black's attorney] said. Black faces a maximum of 10 years on the corruption charge.

As I sat in both courtrooms while Black pleaded guilty, his voice growing quieter at every response, my heart was hoping that these events would bring closure to a sad era in State politics but my head was telling me otherwise. The evidence presented barely hinted at the evidence "unpresented" or the permutations of lines that were tripped over, if not stepped over, by various legislators and contributors associated with Black.

The Village of Pinehurst Does the Right Thing - Sandhills Open Thread

There are many little towns across North Carolina and the US in need of Economic Development. Almost everyone refers to them as "The wrong side of the tracks" or "The Black Communities". One in particular has suffered this lack right along with the rest, but what makes them different is that their town borders Pinehurst, "The Golf Capital of the World".

Last October we took a "Tour" of both Pinehurst and Jackson Hamlet and were struck by the disparity between the two. Pinehurst, a town filled with retired rich and famous mostly white people. Jackson Hamlet, a town of working class African-Americans, many who have worked in Pinehurst or whose relatives helped build the resort.

Asheville Downwind From Proposed Diesel Power Plant

{Background on this story here}

The amazing Ashevillein has posted this map illustrating the location of the proposed Diesel Power Plant (in red) and the direction of the prevailing winds (black line).

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

This puts pollution from the plant right into booming west Asheville.

Follow below the fold for action.

Illegal Bill Illegal?

A bill filed in the State House threatens to criminalize the normal and legal activities of hundreds of small business owners. House Bill 308 “State Contracts/ Illegal Immigrants” filed by Rep. George Cleveland would mandate participation in a voluntary federal program by everyone who enters into a contract with the State of North Carolina for “construction or repair work or for the purchase of apparatus, supplies, materials, or equipment”.

The Bill would increase the cost of running State Government by burdening businesses entering into State contracts with more red tape and legal liability. It would lead to employment discrimination against legal aliens and promote outsourcing to foreign companies not subject to United States immigration laws. Many small businesses will either shun State Contracts or increase bids to cover costs.

Shuler's first bill

Over at Ex, I was a little more playful with the title given the fact that Sandburg was pretty much a socialist. I've been reading a little Sandburg this winter. Chicago Poems and War Poems.
Here's the post:

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