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You Realize, Of Course, That This Means War

The public sector unions in Wisconsin have decided that they need more support in their struggle against the elected Republican majority in government, so they've started a drive to get more backers. And they're using tactics that they likely picked up from the Mafia, reinforcing the age-old ties between labor and organized crime.

They've sent out a letter to a lot of businesses, asking for their support. Nothing wrong with that. But they are explicitly stating that the businesses have no right to remain neutral -- that they either declare their support, or be considered an enemy and the target of an economic boycott.

Were I business owner, my first response would be to immediately declare my opposition to the unions. But that could hurt business, so my second thought struck me as slightly more suitable.

I'd put up the union support sign, framed by a bigger sign saying "POSTED UNDER COERCION." And there would be a note explaining it:

Never before have we taken any sides in any political dispute, and that would remain our policy today but for the threats of the public sector unions. They have declared that those who do not actively support them in their current struggle will be considered and treated as "they enemy," and we simply cannot risk the consequences. Subsequently, we have done what we believe to be the minimum to avoid further union attacks. We are also discussing our legal options on what we consider to be extortion by the public sector unions, and will remove the sign as soon as we are sure we can do so safely. We apologize for our act of cowardice here.

Yeah, strong language. Extortion. Blackmail. Threats.

This is political war. The unions are, to continue the metaphor, are conscripting unwilling troops and forcing them to fight alongside them at bayonet point.

The Wisconsin state government needs to fight back.

Time to decertify the unions. Start with WSEU Council 24. Then move on to the Wisconsin Professional Police Association and the rest of the public safety unions that started this blackmail tactic.

Some things are simply intolerable. And it might seem a bit pedantic, when something is intolerable, you don't tolerate it. You don't turn a blind eye. You put a stop to it.

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Comments (83)

RICO. Time to bust up these... (Below threshold)
TexBob:

RICO. Time to bust up these unions and throw some of them in jail for extortion.

God knows it would be a bri... (Below threshold)
Andrew X:

God knows it would be a brilliant and courageous act to post such a sign, but it's still just talk.

How do you think the Mafia would respond to your public notice that you are doing what they have oh-so-politely requested of you under duress and are exploring legal options?

By your own words, the unions ARE acting like the Mafia, and they HAVE gone to war. Methinks the cute semantics of that notice might very well elude them.

Nice thought, though.

(BTW, why doesn't the WI legislature just bring up the entire bill again, with one rider stating that it is resolved that 'the bill HAS passed, but we run it through the process again just for "clarification" ' or whatever? At least one WI-Dem has said they will not flee the state again no matter what. Why not just pass it through and be done with it?)

Open your eyes. The Cold W... (Below threshold)
BlueNight:

Open your eyes. The Cold War never ended; the forces of International Communism only went underground.

I realized in mid-june 2008 that Senator Obama was a Communist, but I also realized nobody would ever believe me.

Now the Cold War has broken out again, this time in Wisconsin of all places. Stop it there, before the rent-a-mob takes its show on the road.

State employees just got th... (Below threshold)
jim m:

State employees just got their first paychecks without union dues withheld for the first time this week (today or tomorrow) let's see what the temperature is a another week or so when the union stooges figure out the math and whether the union is worth that much money.

My guesses are that their boycott is going to be a huge failure because the millions of dollars that would have gone to the union fat cats and dem politicians will get pumped back into the economy instead.

I don't get it, these lette... (Below threshold)
D-Hoggs:

I don't get it, these letters went out weeks ago. Is this something new?

So I guess people don't hav... (Below threshold)
warchild:

So I guess people don't have the right to refrain from shopping from a business they disapprove of?

Apparently that is coercion. So might I ask you to stop coercing GE or MSNBC or any business you disapprove of.

An economic boycott is a le... (Below threshold)
Anon Y. Mous:

An economic boycott is a legitimate political tool. If I don't like the policies of GM, I can take my business to Ford or Toyota instead. And, if I want to organize like minded people to join me, that's ok too. If we want to go to GM and tell them that as long as they continue to do whatever it is that annoys us, we will not do business with them, we are still engaging in legitimate political and economic activity.

As to what the unions are attempting with their heavy handed boycotts, that too is legitimate. Foolish, but legitimate. I think that all they will accomplish is turning more people away from them, but time will tell.

As to the affected businesses, submitting with protest is not the best policy for them. They would be further ahead to post their signs stating that they refuse to be bowed. Although they will lose some of their business from union members (but probably not all, since all union members are not going to be 100% behind these tactics), they should be hoping to pick up some extra business from sympathetic non-union members who want to show their support for those who are fighting the good fight.

I will NOT shop any damn st... (Below threshold)
Katy Ann Souten:

I will NOT shop any damn store I please. And if I want to send a business a letter saying that I will NOT support a company that supports Walker I'll do that too. YOU sound like some kind of Totalitarian Big Government Monopoly Loving Socialists that want to run my life and tell me what to do. Libertarian Forever! Live free or die! If I don't want to shop somewhere because I don't like their politics I will!!

Yeah, boycotts are not terr... (Below threshold)

Yeah, boycotts are not terrorism, they're boycotts. Just like when right-wing activists declare they're going to boycott a corporation who's actions they don't like - that's absolutely their right too.

If we're going to talk about immoral actions, I certainly think an easier place to start would be how Governor Walker is trying every possible means to ignore the hold placed on his legislation. Legislation which was passed via extra-legal means, and thus was placed on hold by Wisconsin's judicial system.

You have the right to shop ... (Below threshold)
jim m:

You have the right to shop where ever you please. However, how you communicate your intent matters. The unions are sending out inflamatory letters that cross the line of being a threat.

The letters are taking businesses that have no direct issue with either party and forcing them to become political tools. The letters are threatening someone that if they do not speak out on the side of unions that they will be harmed.

It is one thing to send an email to GE or Ford or Gillette saying that you are offended by their sponsorship of some TV show and will not buy their products until they remove their advertizing. It is quite another to threaten a small business by saying that you are at war and if they do not actively support your side then you will declare them as your enemy and act to hurt them.

That is coercion. That is a threat. There is a clear difference between asking someone to desist in their support and telling someone to support you "or else".

You can twist the meaning of fascism all you want but it is the unions and the dems who want a fascist nation. It is the unions and the dems who want to circumvent the ballot box and force their rule on the state of Wisconsin.

The Hope and Changy unicor... (Below threshold)
914:

The Hope and Changy unicorn was correct! Barry is a UNITER!!


heehaeehahaha

I would post their sign wit... (Below threshold)

I would post their sign with minor edits to read:

"We support worker's rights to not be over-taxed in order to pay for overly generous public employee union contracts."

Legislation which was p... (Below threshold)
Sky Captain:

Legislation which was passed via extra-legal means, and thus was placed on hold by Wisconsin's judicial system.

I do not know about the Wisconsin state constitution.
However, I am reasonably sure that a county judge should NOT have jurisdiction over the state legislature. Given the structure of most state constitutions, it would be the state supreme court with that sort of power.

However, I am reas... (Below threshold)
However, I am reasonably sure that a county judge should NOT have jurisdiction over the state legislature. Given the structure of most state constitutions, it would be the state supreme court with that sort of power.

Well, it appears that the Walker administration has concluded things differently, and has decided to step back from the brink and obey the law:

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2011-03-31-wisconsin-union-budget_N.htm

Mind you, it took the judge standing firm and *repeatedly* stating that the situation would otherwise escalate, for Walker to finally do this.

It is one thing to... (Below threshold)
It is one thing to send an email to GE or Ford or Gillette saying that you are offended by their sponsorship of some TV show and will not buy their products until they remove their advertizing. It is quite another to threaten a small business by saying that you are at war and if they do not actively support your side then you will declare them as your enemy and act to hurt them.

No, actually, they're both the same thing.

As long as the only harm that's discussed is loss of business due to shopping elsewhere, that's not only perfectly legal but perfectly moral. And in fact, every American's right.

I think all that's really going on here is that some here don't like unions. It seems pretty clear to me that if this were a group many conservatives approve of, such as say pro-Life activists, this boycott would be considered as American as Apple Pie.

The true irony in that is that unions are the real backbone of the working class in this country, and literally the ONLY group that is truly looking out for the interests of the middle class. Unions are just as American as Apple Pie. But somehow because corporations disagree with them, unions are the enemy.

What extra legal means?... (Below threshold)
Jim m:

What extra legal means?

The non budget items were removed from the bill and offered separately so they could be passed without the need for the larger quorum. The real question is why they bothered putting them in the budget bill to begin with.

No. unions are the enemy be... (Below threshold)
Jim m:

No. unions are the enemy because they set their short term interests above the interests of their members, the community, and employers. Union benefits have destroyed the auto industry adding thousands of dollars to the manufacture of each car even compared to the manufacture of cars in nonunion plants here in the US.

A ind am sorry that you cannot see the difference between being asked to stop a behavior and being forced to start a behavior. The unions want to force people to act where they have no interest. Boycotting an advertiser is an attempt to render their advertising counterproductive. There is a difference even if you are too dim to understand.

So where do you draw the li... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

So where do you draw the line? Union pickets in front of your home? In front of your child's school? What's to stop unions from threatening boycotts if your business doesn't "financially" support your position?

This whole damned thing isn't about "principle" or "workers rights". This is all about THE MONEY.

The extra legal means were:... (Below threshold)

The extra legal means were:

1. to claim items which DO concern and affect the budget - i.e. rights to collectively bargain and forcing workers to contribute more to health pensions - are NOT budgetary, so as to include them in a separate meeting which would not require a quorum.

This done as a plainly transparent workaround to having a quorum, of course. Which is the legal requirement for a law regarding fiscal matters in Wisconsin.

2. to vote on this masquearade in a meeting which legally requires 24 hours advanced notice - without even giving 2 hours notice.

3. when called out on this illegally passed pseudo-law by a judge, to attempt to workaround the judge by publishing the law in **a** newspaper, rather than the official newspaper that would have it officially and legally recognized as a law.

4. when called out on this by the same judge and many other legal experts, attempting to instruct government officials to treat it as a law **anyway**.

All of which makes calling Unions fascist for merely having a boycott, all the more silly in my opinion.

Hypocrisy rises to the surf... (Below threshold)
Woop:

Hypocrisy rises to the surface of the right wing again.

When the unions boycott businesses Mr. Tea calls it " blackmail and extortion"....

But just a few short years ago the right wing declared a boycott of the Dixie Chicks.

There's no difference. A group feels they've been wronged by certain business interests and they throw up a boycott. It's exactly the same - once you discount the typical asshat right wing bullshit.

HYPOCRITES!!!

Democrats and Organized Cri... (Below threshold)
davidt:

Democrats and Organized Crime go together like Democrats and Organized Crime.

And since gthis is war - ge... (Below threshold)
Woop:

And since gthis is war - get on your knees and put your hands behind your head:

A Wisconsin judge on Thursday did what thousands of pro-union protesters and boycotting Democratic lawmakers couldn't, forcing Republican Gov. Scott Walker to halt plans to implement a law that would strip most public workers of their collective bargaining rights and cut their pay.

Dane County Circuit Judge Maryann Sumi, who had issued an order intended to block implementation of the law while she considered a challenge to its legitimacy and warned of sanctions for noncompliance, amended her order Thursday to clarify that the law had not taken effect, as Republican leaders argued it had.

The governor's top aide, Department of Administration Secretary Mike Huebsch, later issued a statement saying Walker would comply with Sumi's order and halt preparations that were under way to begin deducting money from most public workers' paychecks, but that the governor's administration still believes the law took effect after a state office unexpectedly published online.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_wisconsin_budget_unions

No. unions are the... (Below threshold)
No. unions are the enemy because they set their short term interests above the interests of their members, the community, and employers.

How do unions set their interests above the interests of their members? Please explain.

Also realize that union members ARE also in communities - and if a company goes out of business, that benefits no one in the Union.

Union benefits have destroyed the auto industry adding thousands of dollars to the manufacture of each car even compared to the manufacture of cars in nonunion plants here in the US.

No, that's simply not true. Our overseas competitors all have unions too - you realize that, right? The only reason their cost per employee is cheaper, is that most workers in Europe and Japan have **free health care**.

Ford and GM both have unions, with workers making the same wages. GM went under and Ford didn't. Why? Ford made cars people wanted. GM made cars that people didn't want. Unions didn't force GM to make ugly cars that were wrong for the market, sorry.

I'm also sorry that you think the difference between asking and being told matters. It doesn't. I also think you wouldn't see any importance in this difference, if the group was one you approved of. No one seems to care how "polite" pro-life protesters are in their boycotts.

So where do you dr... (Below threshold)
So where do you draw the line?

The line is clear - as long as ANY group of people are talking about where they do business, it is absolutely their right. That's all there is to it.

Whether it's a group we like or dislike, is absolutely irrelevant to this basic right.

What's to stop unions from threatening boycotts if your business doesn't "financially" support your position?

Nothing. Just like there's nothing to stop conservative churches from threatening boycotts of businesses that support abortion rights.

That's freedom. It works for people we don't like as well as people we do.

This whole damned thing isn't about "principle" or "workers rights". This is all about THE MONEY.

It is about both. It is about worker's rights to bargain for how much money they get.

Why is that so evil? Do you believe in the Free Market, or not?

If employers should have the right to try and pay people less - and they should - then why shouldn't employees have the right to try and get paid more?

Why is the freedom to bargain right for employers, but wrong for employees? Please explain that to me.

I agree, they can boycott a... (Below threshold)

I agree, they can boycott all they want ad threaten all the boycotts they want. But business should be equally aware that there are many people who will do not business with anyone displaying a union sign in the window.

I think supporters of public union reform should make that threat explicitly and publicly. If the unions want a boycott war, give them one.

Have another swig woop aeu ... (Below threshold)
914:

Have another swig woop aeu de poop.

Sorry, just read this a lit... (Below threshold)

Sorry, just read this a little closer.

What's to stop unions from threatening boycotts if your business doesn't "financially" support your position?

What's to stop any group from doing that, is laws regarding protection rackets. That's also not what any unions are doing here, of course. At least, as I understand things.

The unions are being unbeli... (Below threshold)
Hank:

The unions are being unbelievably selfish here, which really is not a surprise.
And from what I've read, their strong-arm tactics are not being well received from the business commumity.

A lady that owns a dollar store in Union Grove says: "I'm a new business, and I need to concentrate on issues that won't offend half of my customers," she said Wednesday. "I work 60 hours a week, and I don't get any of the benefits that (union members) get."

An insurance business owner says: "As a business owner, your business needs to remain neutral, and you're not in a position to hop on either side of the fence,"

The owner of a sports store said; "I have every right to keep silent," he added. "It does me no good to put a sign like that in my window."

The issue is not boycotts. The issue is the coercion.

Besides, didn't those on the left side of the aisle take umbrage at the phrase "You're either with us or against us?"

Jim X I cannot believe you ... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Jim X I cannot believe you actually believe the shit you are spewing. Unions at one time did have a need but that time is long, long past. Unions are not the middle class. Union members only make up a small percentage of the middle class. So your baseline is a lie. Which being pro union as you are, comes fairly easy for you.

The means by which the legislature must go about to set a vote is for regular session. They were in special session. Funny how you do not find it wrong that the dem's desserted their posts, paid for by the unions. Again, pro freeloader.

This song and dance about how the unions saved humanity is all just out of propostion bullshit.

If you cannot see the inherent corruption in a public sector union, then my friend, you have a mental defect. ww

"If employers should hav... (Below threshold)
Woop:

"If employers should have the right to try and pay people less - and they should - then why shouldn't employees have the right to try and get paid more?"

Because in a Conservative America businesses have more rights than people.

"If employers should have t... (Below threshold)

"If employers should have the right to try and pay people less - and they should - then why shouldn't employees have the right to try and get paid more?"

Employees do have the right to try to be paid more. But they don't have a right to be paid more.

Jim X I cannot bel... (Below threshold)
Jim X I cannot believe you actually believe the shit you are spewing.

Since it's such shit, please show exactly what I've said is factually wrong. Otherwise, please recognize that what you are spewing is, in fact, at best poopoo.

Unions at one time did have a need but that time is long, long past.

Unless people's right to collectively bargain is removed. Which is what unions are fighting to prevent.

Once people don't have that right, what is to prevent conditions and workers' rights to sliding back towards what they once were?

The only thing to prevent that would also be unions.

Union members only make up a small percentage of the middle class.

It is true that Unions are not 100% of the middle class.
It is also true that nearly 100% of Unions members ARE in the middle class.

So your baseline is a lie. Which being pro union as you are, comes fairly easy for you.

No, you are ignorantly or deliberately misunderstanding the facts. Which being anti-union as you are, is understandable - if you understand and truly care about the facts, please adjust this.

Funny how you do not find it wrong that the dem's desserted their posts, paid for by the unions.

Funny how you misunderstand that what the Democrats did is LEGAL, and what the Walker adminstration and the Wisconsin Republicans attempted to do is NOT.

Again, pro freeloader.

Interesting how you twist logic so that supporting the rights of WORKING PEOPLE makes me "pro freeloader". But that's your right. Just as it's my right to point it out, no matter how angry it makes you.

If you cannot see the inherent corruption in a public sector union, then my friend, you have a mental defect.

If you cannot point out how a Union is more inherently corrupt than any other group of people, including a corporation or a government, then you, my friend, have an illogical position which you are clinging to in opposition to facts.

But please, prove me wrong and show me. That should be quite easy for you, right?

Employees do have ... (Below threshold)
Employees do have the right to try to be paid more. But they don't have a right to be paid more.

OK, agreed!

So unions should have the right to collectively bargain. Whether or not they succeed in their bargaining, is a separate matter.

The unions are bei... (Below threshold)
The unions are being unbelievably selfish here, which really is not a surprise.

Sorry, just not seeing how using legal means to try and keep their rights is "unbelievably selfish".

A lady that owns a dollar store in Union Grove says: "I'm a new business, and I need to concentrate on issues that won't offend half of my customers," she said Wednesday. "I work 60 hours a week, and I don't get any of the benefits that (union members) get."

And?

So how does her not having something, mean unions shouldn't have it either? That's like saying, "I don't have a good car, therefore other people are wrong to try and keep the one they've paid for."

Besides, didn't those on the left side of the aisle take umbrage at the phrase "You're either with us or against us?"

Wouldn't you say that there'sa difference between a leader of a government trying to silence dissent about his policies, and a union doing a boycott?

I would say there is a difference. If you think they're the same, please explain.

The fact is the unions, lik... (Below threshold)
Jim Addison:

The fact is the unions, like the Mafia, have used violence against their opponents - and we're not talking about turn-of-the-last-century Brooklyn, we're talking about Madison, WI this year.

We're talking about SEIU around the country in the last two years.

You can boycott GE and write a letter telling them so. When Jeff Immelt wakes up with a horse's head in his bed, though, a line has been crossed.

Naturally, all the communist commenters are for violence and coercion to take power. They've never been so close as they are now with Comrade Barry in the White House.

Declaring there is VIOLENCE... (Below threshold)
Woop:

Declaring there is VIOLENCE doesn't make it true.

Feel free to itemize "the violence" Go on, make something up. No fair quoting asshat right wing blogging bullshitters - feel free to use Fox News - that should be good for a laugh.

Waiting... laughing.. waiting...

Here, let me help. Here's t... (Below threshold)
Woop:

Here, let me help. Here's the search results from the Fox News website for "wisconsin violence"

http://www.foxnews.com/search-results/search?&q=wisconsin+violence&daterange=2010-04-01,max

NOT A WORD on the Fox News website about union violence in Wisconsin.

Still waiting... laughing louder... and louder...

Jim X, boycotts are fine.<b... (Below threshold)
Hank:

Jim X, boycotts are fine.
It's the signs the unions are demanding businesses display, or else.

That goes above and beyond a boycott.

Yeah, there wasn't any viol... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Yeah, there wasn't any violence. Jim thinks union members are communists though so he's not exactly the type of guy to critically evaluate what Rush Limbaugh beams into his brain on a daily basis.

jim x, you have made some g... (Below threshold)
ke_future:

jim x, you have made some good points about boycotts. however, what the union is doing in wisconsin is not a boycot, it is extortion. plain and simple.

how about this: a church comes to you and says "Place this sign that says "Abortion is Murder" in your store front or we will tell all of our members not to patronize your business" what would be your opinion on that?

and it's possible to support unions in general, but realize that public sector unions are actually a really bad thing. even FDR thought so...

Extortion? Now there's a la... (Below threshold)
Woop:

Extortion? Now there's a laugh.

When the right wing boycotts the Dixie Chicks - no problems.

When unions boycott businesses - then it's VIOLENCE and EXTORTION!!?!?!

Hat, meet Ass.

"So unions should have the ... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"So unions should have the right to collectively bargain."

I believe we started out talking about PUBLIC EMPLOYEE unions.

The yin and yang of private companies and their employees bargaining isn't an issue. The company knuckles under, pays to much, they go broke and the employees join the funempolyment line.

Public Sector employees merely bribe those running the government with their union dues, via 'political contributions'.

There IS a difference. Even Barry "doesn't make a move without first talking to Andy Stern".

What's getting lost in all ... (Below threshold)
Conservachef:

What's getting lost in all this "extortion/boycott" talk is the basic point. The union is contacting businesses who have been neutral in the discussion and "requesting" that they support unions- or face the consequences.

I haven't seen the letter, I'm sure it says wonderful things about the union and how the union is a good organization. However, if you are coercing a neutral party to support you through threats (financial or otherwise) you've gone beyond what I would consider a "boycott."

For the record, boycotting the Dixie Chicks happened after they inserted themselves into a debate and offended a bunch of people. That's completely different from "Hello Mr. Neutral Business Owner. I know you've stayed away from the debate so far, but we want you to support us or else."

Unions are the malignant sp... (Below threshold)
Jay Guevara:

Unions are the malignant spawn born of the mating of the Mafia with the Communist Party.

"OK, agreed!S... (Below threshold)
"OK, agreed!

So unions should have the right to collectively bargain."

Do not put words in my mouth. I said EMPLOYEES have the right to bargain for a salary. If they want to do that as a group that is their choice.

It should also be the right and the choice of the employer to negotiate with that group or not as they see fit.

I believe we start... (Below threshold)
I believe we started out talking about PUBLIC EMPLOYEE unions.

I believe we started talking about UNIONS. I don't see how workers in the public sector are deserving of less rights than those in the private sector.

Public Sector employees merely bribe those running the government with their union dues, via 'political contributions'.

And how exactly is this different from corporations getting tax breaks, and using that money to influence government via 'political contributions'?

Why is it wrong for unions, public OR private, but just fine for corporations? Please explain.

What's getting los... (Below threshold)
What's getting lost in all this "extortion/boycott" talk is the basic point. The union is contacting businesses who have been neutral in the discussion and "requesting" that they support unions- or face the consequences.

And?

I fail to see how asking a business to clarify their position on something or face a boycott, is "extortion".

People have the legal and moral right to boycott ANY business for ANY reason, or even NO reason. Period.

Unions are the mal... (Below threshold)
Unions are the malignant spawn born of the mating of the Mafia with the Communist Party.

Oh yeah. It was totally the unions, the Mafia, and the Communists who caused the shooting of miners, summary termination of people hurt on the job, the institutionalized ripping off of workers via forced purchasing from the Company Store, the Shirtwaist Factory fire, and child labor, etc. etc.

Wow.

Do not put words i... (Below threshold)
Do not put words in my mouth. I said EMPLOYEES have the right to bargain for a salary. If they want to do that as a group that is their choice.

I don't see how that is substantively different from saying unions should be allowed to bargain.

Saying that employees should be free to join a union or not, is a separate matter.

Jim x,I'm not oppo... (Below threshold)
Conservachef:

Jim x,

I'm not opposed to boycotts. Using the threat of one against a neutral party is not the same thing as boycotting an active participant.

I fail to see how asking a business to clarify their position on something or face a boycott, is "extortion".

From Jay Tea's link-
"...asking them to support workers’ rights by putting up a sign in their windows.

If businesses fail to comply, the letter says, “Failure to do so will leave us no choice but (to) do a public boycott of your business."

They aren't asking them to "clarify" anything. They are telling the business (again- a business who has been neutral and has not shown any interest in the debate) to support them or face a boycott. They aren't even giving the business the choice to remain neutral. What do you call that?

They aren't asking... (Below threshold)
They aren't asking them to "clarify" anything. They are telling the business (again- a business who has been neutral and has not shown any interest in the debate) to support them or face a boycott. They aren't even giving the business the choice to remain neutral. What do you call that?

I call that a boycott.

They are saying to businesses that "unless you do x, we will boycott you." It doesn't matter what the x is, as long as the x is perfectly legal. Which it is.

jim x, you ignored... (Below threshold)
ke_future:

jim x,

you ignored my question earlier while answering others. i take it that your answer would show the hyprocracy i was trying to highlight, so you chose not to give one?

i don't like what you're doing, so i'm not going to buy your product = boycott

show active support for our group or your previoulsy neutral business will suffer = extortion

if you really can't see the difference between these two states, then you're either dumb or you are being willfully obtuse. neither one says much in your favor.

Jim x,So in your e... (Below threshold)
Conservachef:

Jim x,

So in your eyes, there is no neutral party? Someone can't say "This isn't my fight, I don't want any part of it?"

If so, I think I understand what you're saying, but I disagree because it is against someone who isn't in the debate. I think that they should be able to remain neutral if they choose. If the businesses wanted to take a public stand on the issue, I have no problem with boycotting or supporting them. But forcing a business to join the battle doesn't sound like a boycott to me.

Forcing the business to do something under a threat isn't the same as a boycott- even if the boycott is the threat being used.

At least, that's my opinion.

if you really can't see ... (Below threshold)
RFA:

if you really can't see the difference between these two states, then you're either dumb or you are being willfully obtuse. neither one says much in your favor.
52. Posted by ke_future | March 31, 2011 6:15 PM |


BINGO!!! You really don't think these mindless tools walk upright and breathe through their noses do you?

"If employers should have t... (Below threshold)
sablegsd:

"If employers should have the right to try and pay people less - and they should - then why shouldn't employees have the right to try and get paid more?"

PUBLIC SECTOR UNIONS SHOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN ALLOWED.

It needs to stop. Who is your union bargaining with? Who ends up paying the tab? The people paying for it get nowhere near what you get and what part of BROKE don't you people understand?

Whats being missed here is ... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

Whats being missed here is that these are PUBLIC unions, whose members are government officials, threatening the citizens who they work for.

If you are a private citizen, you can boycott or threaten to boycott or threaten to threaten businesses all you want. When you agree to become a public employee, you give up that right. Professional ethics and standards dictate that government officials can't act this way.

To you who claim this is "p... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

To you who claim this is "perfectly legitimate": I won't argue the legalities of that, but it's not just simply stating that you have a right to boycott someone. You do have a right to shop where ever you want, but this isn't that simple.

I'd like to see your reaction when someone walks into YOUR business and tells YOU to post a sign in your window showing political support for something you oppose on a personal level or they'll ruin your business.

These thugs - and that's what they are - are crossing a line with this crap.

Wisconsin state law states ... (Below threshold)
Jim m:

Wisconsin state law states that it is a class H felony to coerce someone to act against their will by threatening their business. Pretty straight forward really. The letters threaten the businesses if they fail to act in a way they would not normally do.

Unlike an advertiser, who is engaged in commercial coach spring someone and you day that if they continue to support them you will not shop there, in this case you are taking someone who is an uninvolved bystander and though a threat forcing them to become involved in an issue they did not want to be involved in.

A simple boycott would be legal. A letter saying that the unions will steer business to shops that display their signs would be legal. The threat that they wil harm businesses that refuse to take their side in the argument is illegal.

That should say 'commercial... (Below threshold)
Jim m:

That should say 'commercial speech supporting someone and you say that if they continue to support them you will not shop in their store...' but making an entry from the cell phone still poses it's challenges. Sigh

I once read that "it's not ... (Below threshold)

I once read that "it's not illegal" isn't a defense, but a confession. And Glenn Reynolds likes to quote how what's scandalous isn't what's illegal, but what is legal.

I didn't once touch on the legality of the actions, but their morality -- and I find them absolutely and completely repugnant. Now jim m points to a law that very well might cover it.

Anyone who has been saying "they have a right to do this" wanna taken on the argument "they are right to do this?" Anyone want to present a clear case for the morality of their demands to people who have not chosen to be a part of this whole issue?

Please, not all at once.

J.

Ke_future, I thought the an... (Below threshold)

Ke_future, I thought the answer to your question was clear from my answer. But ok, I'll make it explicit:

how about this: a church comes to you and says "Place this sign that says "Abortion is Murder" in your store front or we will tell all of our members not to patronize your business" what would be your opinion on that?

My opinion of that would be, that is EXACTLY that church's right, and that WOULD NOT be extortion.

So in your eyes, t... (Below threshold)
So in your eyes, there is no neutral party? Someone can't say "This isn't my fight, I don't want any part of it?"

Well, my opinion is essentially that anyone can say anything they want, including telling anyone that they won't patronize their business and will boycott it, for any legal reason.

So it's also definitely someone else's right to say "this isn't my fight, I don't want any part of it." And it's then the right of the person or group to accept that and not boycott, or not accept it and move forward with a boycott.

That's my full opinion on the matter. Boycotting is essentially a free speech issue. Just as the Westboro Baptist Church freaks turn my stomach with their senseless protests, but I wouldn't want to see them denied their free speech - so I think a group's right to boycott is absolutely and ultimately up to them. For any reason, or NO reason.

It needs to stop. ... (Below threshold)
It needs to stop. Who is your union bargaining with? Who ends up paying the tab?

The public sector Unions are bargaining with the same people that the corporations are bargaining with - the government.

So why is it bad for Unions, but fine for corporations?

The people paying for it get nowhere near what you get and what part of BROKE don't you people understand?

Here's the part of broke that I don't understand:

The part where union benefits need to be cut back for budget reasons, but NOT touch tax cuts for the wealthy who don't need it AND subsidies for wealthy corporations who outsource overseas.

Especially since the latter part adds FAR more to deficits than the former does.

Can you explain that part to me?

Especially since the vast majority of economists agree that trickle-down economics doesn't work.

Wisconsin state la... (Below threshold)
Wisconsin state law states that it is a class H felony to coerce someone to act against their will by threatening their business. Pretty straight forward really. The letters threaten the businesses if they fail to act in a way they would not normally do.

Oh, freaking A. That's a different meaning of "threaten" and you know it.

Boycotts are about denying customers.
If the legal definition of "threaten" really was "take customers away from", then by that definition free market competition would also be illegal.

Anyone who has bee... (Below threshold)
Anyone who has been saying "they have a right to do this" wanna taken on the argument "they are right to do this?" Anyone want to present a clear case for the morality of their demands to people who have not chosen to be a part of this whole issue?

Jay Tea, you have been stating that this moves from boycotting - which we can all agree is legal - to extortion, which we can all agree is not.

Hence my points have been towards where I think this view is wrong, and that this is the same legal boycotting we all know and love - when it's something we agree with.

I think Unions are right to do this in a moral sense, because I agree with them. I also think that stores who don't want to are right to refuse them, because that is their right.

My feeling on this is the same as a paraphrase of Thomas Jefferson: "Whether or not I agree with your boycott, I will defend to the death your right to do it in any way you see fit that does not break the law."

Jim X gurgles, "Since i... (Below threshold)
MjM:

Jim X gurgles, "Since it's such shit, please show exactly what I've said is factually wrong.

Piece of cake, since your entire premise is built on a falsehood.

...why workers in the public sector are deserving of less rights .... using legal means to try and keep their rights....Unless people's right to collectively bargain...

Factually wrong.

Please show us where, exactly, the right of collective bargaining is expressed in the United States Constitution.

I suspect you will have a hard time doing so. Indeed, the Wisconsin State Constitution is equally void of such a right.

Factually Correct: Collective bargaining is not a right, it is a privilege granted by legislative law. And like any legislative law it can be modified or rescinded by subsequent legislation.

rights to collectively bargain and forcing workers to contribute more to health pensions - are NOT budgetary,...

This is a revenue shifting, not a budgetary expenditure. Having public union teet suckers pay their fair share means less public funding. What walker is attempting - and will accomplish - is the survival of the citizenry.

2. to vote on this masquearade in a meeting which legally requires 24 hours advanced notice - without even giving 2 hours notice.

Factually incorrect.

Wisconsin's Law: 19.8 (3)Public notice of every meeting of a governmental body shall be given at least 24 hours prior to the commencement of such meeting unless for good cause such notice is impossible or impractical, in which case shorter notice may be given, but in no case may the notice be provided less than 2 hours in advance of the meeting.

Senate Rule 93 (2) A notice of a committee meeting is not required other than posting on the legislative bulletin board, and a bulletin of committee hearings may not be published.

Public notice was posted at 3:45pm on the legislative bulletin board. The conference committee began it's meeting at 6:05pm. Both laws were followed.

What is most interesting is Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca (D-Kenosha) and his initial claim at a press conference that he received notice of the meeting at 4:09pm. Yet the civil complaint filed by Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne is based on a subsequent claim by Barca hat he received notice of the meeting at 4:20pm.

Fishy, wouldn't you say?

In either case, the claim is ridiculous; Barca is claiming he didn't get the email on time.

The true irony in that is that unions are the real backbone of the working class in this country,

According to the BLS, union membership represented 11.9% of the working class in 2010, down from 12.3% in 2009.

More like the little toe of the working class.

MjM gaspoogles,<block... (Below threshold)

MjM gaspoogles,

Please show us where, exactly, the right of collective bargaining is expressed in the United States Constitution.

Sure, my pleasure.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_of_assembly

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_of_association

Freedom of assembly and freedom of association may be used to distinguish between the freedom to assemble in public places and the freedom of joining an association. Freedom of assembly is often used in the context of the right to protest, while freedom of association is used in the context of labor rights and the right to collective bargaining, for example by joining a trade union. Freedom of assembly, as guaranteed in the Canadian Constitution and the Constitution of the United States, is interpreted to mean both the freedom to assemble and the freedom to join an association.

Which of course leaves besides the part of the Constitution stating that any rights not specifically enumerated in the Constitution, DOES NOT mean the rights don't exist; instead, these rights go to the states and not the Federal Government. You know, good ol' Amendments IX and X

http://www.senate.gov/civics/constitution_item/constitution.htm

Any other Constitutional questions I can knock out of the park with a quick trip to The Google?

As for the rest of this,</p... (Below threshold)

As for the rest of this,

This is a revenue shifting, not a budgetary expenditure. Having public union teet suckers pay their fair share means less public funding.

Please explain how "less public funding" is not a budgetary matter.

Note that even if the exact amount in the budget doesn't change, **where** that money is spent is still just as significant. That's why it's called a "budget", you see.

As for "2", let me highlight a section of the law you posted:

Wisconsin's Law: 19.8 (3)Public notice of every meeting of a governmental body shall be given at least 24 hours prior to the commencement of such meeting unless for good cause such notice is impossible or impractical, in which case shorter notice may be given, but in no case may the notice be provided less than 2 hours in advance of the meeting.

Note that "because Democrats won't allow us to form a quorum, so our panties hurt" is not sufficient reason. No other reason was given that I know of; perhaps you know of one?

As for the question of more or less than two hours, the Republicans say it was more, and the Democrats say it was less. Guess what? That means that unless someone can prove otherwise, it goes to court. Sorry, neither party's word is automatically accepted in legal matters. Thank heaven.

All of which means that, while it's in court awaiting a judicial decision, Walker can't make it a law. Which means Walker trying to make it a law while there's a hold on it is ILLEGAL - EVEN IF the judge is wrong in putting a hold on it.

No man is above the law - not even a Governor. Even if it's a governor you may like because he prefers sucking at the Koch brothers' teats.

And as for "backbone of the... (Below threshold)

And as for "backbone of the country", if you're really going to be that literal - note how much of the human body the spine is. Compared the rest of the volume, not that much. Really about the length and width of an average arm.

The rest of the exercise of a spine's percentage of mass compared to the body is left to you.

jim x said: I t... (Below threshold)

jim x said:

I think Unions are right to do this in a moral sense, because I agree with them. I also think that stores who don't want to are right to refuse them, because that is their right.

My feeling on this is the same as a paraphrase of Thomas Jefferson: "Whether or not I agree with your boycott, I will defend to the death your right to do it in any way you see fit that does not break the law."

Shorter jim x: I like the unions. Therefore, whatever they do that's not illegal is moral, and I'm OK with it. Even if it means telling people "no, thanks, I don't want to get involved" that "no, you're the enemy too, and we will punish you for not getting involved on our side."

So, jim x -- are you a union groupie, offering your "services" at no charge, or a union whore, providing services for fees rendered?

J.

Okn - unions should have a ... (Below threshold)
Ryan M.:

Okn - unions should have a 'right' to collectively bargain. . .

. . .if corporations get the same right.

And EVERY SINGLE perk a uni... (Below threshold)
Ryan M.:

And EVERY SINGLE perk a unions gets legally that a single person doesn't get should be stripped. The ONLY advantage a union should have is the economy of scale. All other legal protections for a union should be removed. They are perfectly free to associate and bargain as a group, but they should not have any special rights in doing so.

Jimx, collective bargaining... (Below threshold)
Tim:

Jimx, collective bargaining isn't in the Constitution just because the International Labor Organzation thinks it should be. Someway, somehow, your mad Google-skillz conflated the two. I guess it must be another one of those penumbras. Or was it an emanation?

Shorter Jay Tea:"I... (Below threshold)

Shorter Jay Tea:

"I'm going to misread jim x's response to me at #65 and ignore his reponse to # 61, because I hate unions and they are therefore evil."

Tim, please explain how wha... (Below threshold)

Tim, please explain how what. I posted was inaccurate or wrong.

jim x,i fundamentall... (Below threshold)
ke_future:

jim x,
i fundamentally disagree with you. i think you are clearly wrong, and that you have failed to present a legitimit and compelling arguement in your favor on this issue.

my personal opinion is the the union should be decertified and whoever is behind this extortion should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. (Class H felony anyone?)

From #65

I think Unions are right to do this in a moral sense, because I agree with them.

From this JT got

I like the unions. Therefore, whatever they do that's not illegal is moral, and I'm OK with it.

Could you explain what the actual, functional difference is between these two statements?

Sure, jay tea. Fi... (Below threshold)

Sure, jay tea.

First, its quite a leap to go from me agreeing with ONE thing a Union does, to me agreeing with whatever that ANY UNION does, Ever.


Second, if you look at #61 you will see that I am also fine with a group doing the same thing even if I oppose that group's aims.

But perhaps here is the part we're really stumbling over: whether I think I should have to agree with something in order to think that someone "should" have the right to do it.

I don't.

I think the greatest moral imperative that we have in our society is that everyone is free to group, speak and act in any way they see fit, as ling as they don't do quantifiable and unjust damage to someone else. I think what is legal and illegal tends to be the best way to determine what is and is not quantifiable andunjust damage. It is by no means perfect, but it is the best we have so far. So nearly any and all other moral considerations are less imporant than keeping those freedoms available to everyone. Its always a balance, but I consider it best to err number side of freedom for the greatest possible number.

That's just how I see it.

Arg, typos. Don't blog-com... (Below threshold)

Arg, typos. Don't blog-comment on a droid x, people. Good phones otherwise, but arg.

So, Jim, do you think Trade... (Below threshold)
Ryan M.:

So, Jim, do you think Trade unions should get special, additional rights that other people who group together do NOT get? Do you think that Unions should have the right to be able to FORCE other people to associate with them in order to work in a field?

Jim X squeals, Sure, my... (Below threshold)
MjM:

Jim X squeals, Sure, my pleasure.

Setting aside the doltish use of Wikipedia as your Constitution consultant, you have utterly failed the request.

First, you curiously attempt to claim that the explicitly stated right of free association equates to the legislatively-enacted privileges of collective bargaining, and is thus (by osmosis I suppose)innate to the US Constitution.

Such a notion is demonstrably a false, for as you well know Constitutional rights trump state rights (an laws) yet there are five states that operate without teacher union privileges of collective bargaining.

Now, how can that be?

At the very least, the very simple fact that the Federal Gov'ment itself restricts bargaining privileges for it's employees(more so than Walker's plan)ought to have clued you in to the fact that there is no such thing as a Constitutional bargaining right.

Secondly, whatever your intent was in linking to a WI Senate 1000-line rehash of the US Constitution, it was lost on me.

You simply failed to show any explicit proof whatsoever that the Wisconsin State Constitution contains any explicitly stated "right of collective bargaining".

I suggest you return to the batting cage.

Start on "Slow Softball" and work your way up.

Really? Failed? Here's your... (Below threshold)

Really? Failed? Here's your request:

Please show us where, exactly, the right of collective bargaining is expressed in the United States Constitution

And that's what I did.

Please show, from the nonpartisan source of your choice, how my wikipedia entry is wrong. Please note that "Because it's wikipedia! or "Because I don't like it!" aren't valid objections.

Second, if you don't understand the reason for the link to the Senate page, I'll make it clearer for you:

EVEN IF the right to collective bargaining wasn't expressed in the Constitution by the two sections I linked too, it would still be valid by STATE law due to the amendments I quoted from the Senate page.

Is that clear now?

You might want to start at T-ball.

jim x, have a bit of logic.... (Below threshold)

jim x, have a bit of logic. On the house.

If -- IF -- "collective bargaining" was a Constitutional right, then federal workers would have it. Then it wouldn't be a matter to be granted or denied by state laws.

Ergo, it's a privilege.

J.

jay Tea, come on. Just beca... (Below threshold)

jay Tea, come on. Just because a state tries to deny something, doesn't mean it isn't a right at the Federal level. States try this all the time.

Consider the Jim Crow laws. They effectively denied rights to African Americans at the state level - the SAME rights African Americans had been granted by the Constitution at the Federal level. And this action by the states was ignored by the Federal government for decades.

So you tell me - does that mean African American's civil rights were merely "privileges", because these same rights were denied or obstructed by the states? Obviously not.

From this example, I think you can see that just because Scott Walker is trying to deny unions their rights, doesn't mean that unions don't have those rights. What it does mean is that unions can and should fight Walker's attempts to create them - because to appeal to the Federal government to protect could take a long time, if ever.




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