People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it. Welcome to From On High.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

A Scene Right Out Of The Sopranos

Here's a painful twist in logic. The law currently requires that workers vote for or against unionizing by secret ballot, so as to avoid the possibility of retaliation should his or her vote become known. But someone with the West Virginia Economic Justice Project thinks the vote should be made with union thugs looking over the worker's shoulder. To avoid the possibility of intimidation.

And I think he's serious:
Family unfriendly: American workers are too intimidated to join unions
By Rick Wilson, writing in the Charleston (WV) Gazette

Something strange is happening in the American workplace. The percentage of U.S. workers who belong to unions declined from 12.5 percent to 12 percent last year.

The weird part is that polling data from samples conducted in December 2006 by Peter D. Hart Research Associates indicated that 60 million U.S. workers would join a union if they could.

So what’s keeping people from joining? In a few words, the answer is intimidation, retaliation and threats. (link)
Now keep in mind, the vote to organize, at least until today, is kept strictly confidential.

There is a remedy now being considered by Congress. The Employee Free Choice Act, which has about 230 co-sponsors from both parties in the House, would establish stronger penalties for companies that violate workers’ rights when they seek to organize, provide mediation and arbitration for first-contract disputes, and allow employees to join unions by signing cards authorizing the union to represent them.

Many religious traditions support the right of workers to ...

Note that one little clause; "... by signing cards authorizing the union to represent them." That means the secret ballot would be tossed out in favor of a system whereby a gang of the biggest, most brutish union organizers would hand a poor schmuck a card (a ballot) and a pencil and would "counsel" the frightened worker into voting the proper way. Or have his ass handed to him.

Yeah. That's a lot less intimidating.

And it's soon to be the lawful method of union organizing in a shop near you.

Neato. Another Park.

Here's the underlying premise: If one is good, 362 must be even better:

New Henry County state park resolution passes House
by Bill Wyatt, Martinsville Daily

Delegate Robert Hurt’s House Joint Resolution 709 has unanimously passed the House and is now headed to the Senate.

The resolution requests the Department of Conservation and Recreation to study the feasibility of establishing a state park along the South Mayo and North Mayo Rivers in Henry County. Henry County and the Dan River Basin Association initially made the request to Hurt. Officials believe a state park would increase tourism in the area and help to rebuild the economy of Southside Virginia. (link)
The race is on to see how many parks and forests and trails and scenic roadways and bike paths and tourism centers and fine arts centers and cultural museums and horseback riding trails ... we can squeeze into this tiny strip of once-productive landscape known fondly by residents-in-exile who moved up north because we have been fixated on luring tourists to the area for decades just as our manufacturing base has crumbled and we didn't lift a finger to prevent it as Southside and Southwest Virginia.

Another park. Swell. Volvo lays off 1,000 auto workers over in Dublin and we move to replace the job losses with a couple of hamburger flippers at the McDonald's in Collinsville. Some day.

If only we had as many tourists as we have tourist attractions ...

Only If We Let Them

Whitney Duff, director of the Virginia chapter of Americans for Prosperity, asks the question. I provide the answer:
Pet Projects: So, What Constitutes 'Necessary'?
Whitney Duff, Richmond Times-Dispatch Guest Columnist

Virginia's Constitution stipulates that "No other or greater amount of tax or revenues shall, at any time, be levied than may be required for the necessary expenses of the government, or to pay the indebtedness of the Commonwealth."

Looking at the growth of the state's budget from $35 billion just over a decade ago to over $74 billion today, one has to wonder if anyone knows exactly what makes up the "necessary expenses of the government." Perhaps no one really cares.

The Dismal Swamp Canal Trail, Barns of Rose Hill, Historic Pocahontas, Inc., Roanoke Symphony Orchestra, Loudoun Archaeological Foundation, Louisa Historical Society, Newsome House Museum -- these are just a few of the projects lawmakers have sought to fund with our tax dollars. Then there's the Virginia Museum of Transportation (ironic, perhaps in light of the ongoing transportation debate, but necessary?).

Can our tax dollars subsidize every well-intentioned idea? (link)
Can they? Well, yes. Our legislators have proven that, in spades. Spending money on unnessary projects like those listed above has become commonplace in Richmond.

Can they? Can a kid in a candy store find something to do when the proprietor walks away?

Can they? Yes and until. They work for you, people. They can waste your money as long as you let them. And they'll continue to spend like drunken sailors on weekend shore leave in Manila (and plead hardship when it comes to transportation woes) until you stop them. Or drive them out.

We desperately need to send these our employees a message, clear and unequivocal: NO, YOU CAN NOT.

Paula Gets Her Wish

I'm not much for Italian food but this will make my wife happy:
Olive Garden to open in Christiansburg
Construction is expected to start in late September or early October.
By Angela Manese-Lee, The Roanoke Times

It's coming. After many rumors and even an informal reader survey that named Olive Garden the business readers would most like to land in the New River Valley, it's official: The Italian chain restaurant is coming to Christiansburg.

Olive Garden spokeswoman Mara Frazier said Friday that the company has a contract to bring the eatery and its cheese ravioli, chicken scampi and garlic breadsticks to Christiansburg.

Frazier said Monday the company does not have a specific address for the restaurant yet. But its nearest crossroads are U.S. 460 and Virginia 114. (link)
I've never quite understood the mystique, but the Garden does have its devoted fans. So here's to all you spaghetti lovers out there. Strap on that bib and go crazy.

But He's In The Mainstream

When I read this story, my first thought was: This guy has been reading too many of Virginia's left-wing bloggers:
Sicko: Kill Hill
By Maggie Haberman and Ian Bishop, The New York Post

February 12, 2007 -- A blogger's rant calling for Hillary Rodham Clinton's death - and posted on one of Sen. Barack Obama's campaign Web sites yesterday - came as her security has been being dramatically beefed up, The Post has learned.

The Secret Service was alerted to the twisted item, which was on the Obama blog page for about seven hours before being yanked.

"You're too black for whites and too white for blacks," read the post, which went up at 8:59 a.m. "But please put up a good fight for us - and if you get a chance to shove a pillow over Hillary's face and smother her to death before the primaries, 20 black-eyed virgins will wait on you in paradise." (link)
The genius didn't reveal his identity, but his mindless rant sounds conspicuously similar to that which routinely appears on about a dozen Democrat blogs here in the commonwealth. If I were the feds, I'd start there. And work my way up.