Thursday, September 19, 2013

Hey, It’s A Free Country!

“Hey, it’s a free country!”  Remember that expression growing up?  Do people still say that today?  I can’t imagine why. 

“Free country” never meant you could do whatever you wanted without consequence.  It never meant everything could be yours for free.  It meant free from tyranny.  It meant free from arbitrary and capricious rule.  It meant free to pursue life, liberty, and happiness.  It meant free to speak your mind, free to trade, and free to associate.  It meant free to do pretty much whatever you wanted, provided you hurt no one else or interfered with their freedoms. 

In short, free country meant that government’s very limited role was to ensure your individual freedom, nothing more and nothing less.  Since 1865 and the thirteenth amendment, that was something we could all be proud of.  It made us unique.  It made us exceptional.  It made us Americans.  It made us great.

But there’s another common expression – “It’s a small world”.  Our free country was always under assault because the idea of a limited government ensuring individual freedom was unique in our small world.  Most governments were designed around collective or autocratic control, not individual freedom.  Eventually those ideas arrived on our shores and began to transform our free country into a “controlled country”. 

I would argue the process is nearly complete.  Consider the following:

Look at the above list:  Housing, Healthcare, Education, Finance.  All crisis areas since our slip from free country status to controlled country status.

But controlling money and finance is only part of the story.  Many areas of control are harder to measure.  How do we quantify an IRS that controls political speech through intimidation?  How do we quantify a President who does the same by intimidating radio hosts and TV networks?  How do we quantify a President who controls the implementation of laws at will?  How do we quantify a Supreme Court that similarly controls the rewriting of laws?  How do we quantify a federal government that almost entirely controls the states, eclipsing all pretence of states rights? 

The truth is, the opposite of a free country is not just a controlled country, it is an un-free country.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Healthcare Gecko III

A misleading piece made a splash today about how Warren Buffet wanted to scrap Obamacare and start over.  Unfortunately, it was old news based on comments he had made in 2010.  In honor of Warren Buffet's call to scrap Obamacare, old news though it is, and in light of the constant refrain from the Left that there are no proposals on the Right to replace it, I offer this practical, logical, cost-free, elegant, and effective solution.  Unfortunately, like so much of what we bloggers do, it is but a fart in a hurricane:

The Healthcare Gecko      (originally posted 11/19/09 - perhaps Mr Buffet read it?)

Here’s a question for you: Why is there no healthcare Gecko? (Of course, Warren Buffet owns GEICO...) Wouldn’t it be great if 15 minutes could save you 15 percent or more on health insurance? For that matter, where is the Progressive girl with the red lipstick selling health policies? Is it possible that this is the real problem?  Is it possible that the reason this is a crisis is that there is no such thing as a true individual market for healthcare? The fact is, only about 5 percent of the insured buy their own health insurance. The other roughly 95 percent get their insurance from the government or their employer. For car insurance the numbers are reversed, and there is no similar crisis in that market!  

First, how is it that we ended up almost entirely removed from our healthcare purchases? The original sin dates back to FDR and WWII when wages were frozen and companies found a loophole by deducting benefits. Like many loopholes, this one grew into the monster it is today, and along the way it carved in stone the expectation that healthcare is someone else’s responsibility. That expectation has led us down a path towards distorted markets, rigid employer-paid insurance, ever increasing government involvement, and skyrocketing costs. Meanwhile, the car insurance market keeps innovating and improving.

Comparisons of car insurance and health insurance are not always appropriate.  President Obama is fond of comparing mandatory car insurance with a mandate for health insurance. I suspect Mr. Obama knows the difference between mandated liability coverage, and a mandate to cover one’s self. These are not comparable. I’m not aware of any state that mandates insuring your car.  State mandates only apply to the liabilities you may incur while harming others.   There are no such liabilities involved in health insurance. 

Some may say healthcare is way more expensive and complicated than car insurance and hence individuals can’t be expected to understand it or afford it. Did you ever try to read your auto policy cover to cover? And while car insurance itself is much cheaper than medical coverage, did you know that individual Americans spend on average four times more on transportation than they do on healthcare? Is your car really four times more important than your health?

Some may say that owning a car is a choice but healthcare is a right. Well if that’s the case, we should amend the constitution because that right is not currently there. Incidentally, It would be the first time since slavery that one person would have the explicit right to compel another to work for his benefit! 

Short of turning doctors into slaves, here’s a way out of this mess led by the healthcare Gecko:  

Step one: Eliminate the tax deduction for all employer paid health insurance.   

Step two: Offset the tax consequences with a reduction in payroll taxes for both the employer and employee. 

That’s all it would take to establish an individual market and begin the healing process.

Here’s how these two simple steps would restore an individual market:   Employers, losing the deductibility of health insurance would be compelled to transfer the policies to their employees, and gross-up their wages accordingly. The result would be marginally higher taxes for both the employer and employee which would then be offset by a commensurate drop in payroll taxes on both sides.  The aggregate change would be completely neutral.

TV commercials would begin running instantly showing piles of cash with googly eyes, cavemen, talking lizards, and girls with red lipstick. Employees would be able to control their own healthcare decisions and take full advantage of their positive lifestyle choices.  Those currently without employer coverage would suddenly have a multitude of offers thrust at them from companies clamoring for their business. They’d also have money available to buy insurance due to lower payroll taxes. 

To be sure, there are issues other than cost that an individual market cannot address.  Suffice it to say that once voters are made the masters of their own healthcare destiny, other issues like long-term pre-existing conditions,  tort reform, and portability will get addressed through subsidies and legislation, or politicians will pay at the polls. Currently, politicians are insulated from these issues;  voters blame their employer or the insurance company they are stuck with, and this suits the politicians just fine.   (I call this the "Healthcare Palestinian Tactic", after the arab countries tactic of keeping palestinians in refugee camps to keep them radicalized, rather than allowing them to assimilate into arab countries.)   

Of course, we would still have a subsidized public option called Medicaid for those unable or unwilling to participate in the individual market. But, as competition lowers costs and increases choice, we would likely end up with a much smaller, effective, and sustainable Medicaid. Wasn’t that one of the original reasons we were told this was a crisis?

Recall how we got here: It was a mistake, a loophole, an unintended consequence of a WWII wage freeze. Knowing that, wouldn’t undoing that mistake be the best place to start?  The polls show that the people instinctively know this. Unfortunately, politicians have a long history of being able to convince enough people that they can get something for free, and because of that, Obamacare is a fait accompli.  (Remember, this was written before Obamacare became law.)

Monday, September 16, 2013

Best Photoshop Ever!

This is just too perfect not to share!  I have no idea who did this, but it made the rounds on Twitter today.  (I even lifted the title from Twitter)

(Update:  I believe this is the guy who did this:  job well done!)

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

About Those International Norms...

Barack Obama says military intervention is justified in Syria in order to enforce “international norms”.  He then argues it is in the US’ direct interest to enforce these norms in order to send the right message to other bad guys.  Finally he says the US’ credibility is on the line because it is important that we “mean what we say”.  I agree with all of these arguments, however Barack Obama does not. 

For the moment let's pretend that all the hypocritical things Barack Obama said before he became President were the innocent musings of an amateur.  Things like:  he would never go to war unless the US was attacked or one was imminent, he would never go to war without the world by our side, he would negotiate with any dictator before starting a war, he would never go to war without congress, Iraq was a "war of choice" and he would never take military action by choice, etc., etc., etc.  Let's separate all that from the context of Syrian intervention and just look at the pure merits of the current arguments.  They still make no sense coming from this commander in chief. 

All we need to do is look back less than a year.  Recall, the Libya operation was based on similar arguments about "international norms" and "meaning what we say":  here was another bad dictator, another case to prevent horrific casualties, another promise it would be a “matter of days”, another “responsibility to protect”.  So off we went, without congress of course, to maintain a UN no-fly zone over Libya.  (Only that was a ruse.  In reality, it was regime change, and that’s what we eventually got after 8 months.)  If that’s where it ended, we could say “mission accomplished”, albeit late and under false pretense.  But that’s not where it ended. 

Any positive message which might have come from following through on our promise to enforce international norms in Libya, and showing that we mean what we say, was squandered in whole on September 11th 2012 in Benghazi.

Is not the murder of an Ambassador against international norms?  Didn’t Obama say he’d “find those responsible and hold them accountable”?  Isn’t it vital to hold them accountable to send a message to others who would do us harm?  Isn’t it important to mean what we say?  We have the murderers on video for God's sake, yet there has been no attempt to bring them to justice!       

It's not like they are hard to find.  CNN had no trouble locating the leader of the attack and interviewed him for hours in a cafĂ© in Benghazi!!!  What message did Obama send by failing to respond to Benghazi, other than jailing a Christian videomaker, critical of Islam, who had nothing to do with the attack?  What message did this send to Assad, Iran, and the other bad guys? 

Barack Obama’s arguments make no sense in the context of his actions in just the last year.  Forget his mind-blowing hypocrisy before that.  It would be a travesty of historical proportions to grant this commander in chief authority to shoot missiles into Syria.  The only thing he is qualified to shoot... is hoops.  

Friday, August 30, 2013

This Is So Convenient! (Xtranormal's Demise)

(updated 4/17/14)
The last time Barack Obama wanted to go to war without congress in support of al Qaeda and others, I made a cartoon video which got nearly a million hits.   The software I used was called Xtranormal, and if you've seen funny cartoons about Quantitative Easing (The Bernank), buying an iPhone, and countless others, you've seen what it can do.  Unfortunately, Xtranormal is no more.  They mysteriously shut their doors on July 31st, 2013.  All you see if you go there now is a big "pause" button: (Now even that's gone!)

Xtranormal was one of the few places where the first amendment could be leveraged with the latest entertainment technology.  It was truly the most powerful democratization of freedom of the press since Gutenberg and the blogosphere.  Xtranormal "blogtooning", as I called it, was a way for any schnook with a computer and some patience to create the kind of engaging entertainment content previously available only to those with a huge budget, manpower, and time.

Xtranormal has said nothing about why it closed down, when it may re-emerge, or what the future holds.  All we can do is speculate.  As for me, I find it disturbing that one of the most powerful and innovative tools ever devised for democratizing free speech is currently unavailable.

I have since learned that Xtranormal ceased operations due to a lack of profitability.  The assets and intellectual property of Xtranormal have been bought, as of April 2014, and there may be a second act after all.  The new owner is at, where you can get the latest news.)    

Since I cannot make a new Xtranormal video about Syria and the mind-blowing hypocrisy which is Obama's MO, here is the one I made about Libya which went viral.  (Just exchange the word Libya with Syria and it should suffice!)

Below that is one I made right before Xtranormal shut down in July 2013, which anticipates a Syria intervention!


Thursday, August 15, 2013

Incompetency In Spades

Now that Reggie Love has revealed that Barack Obama was playing spades during the bin Laden raid, it's time to go back to this video which proves that my labradoodle had more to do with getting bin Laden than your president:  (under 4 mins and well worth the time!)

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Diet Poison?

OK, this is totally anecdotal so take it for what it’s worth, but I believe Diet Coke is poison.  In fact I’d put Diet Coke third, just after crystal meth and crack cocaine as an addictive substance that will age you faster than Amanda Bynes and Lindsay Lohan combined. 

Now, I have not performed any double blind studies.  I have done no real research.  All I can say is I have an uncanny ability to detect who is drinking Diet Coke just by looking at them.  Give me a person’s age, let me look them over, let me know if they are currently addicted to crystal meth or crack cocaine, and I can tell you if they are a Diet Coke head or not. 

It’s really not that hard.  Are they overweight?  Prematurely white haired?  Skin pallid?  Out of shape?  A bit on edge?  Teeth yellow?  Bam – Diet Coke head!  Try it, it works every time if the habit is long term. 

I have no idea what ingredients might do this.  Some would point to aspartame, caffeine, phosphoric acid, or the combination.  I can’t even say Diet Coke is the only culprit.  I know of two men who were best friends and both addicted to Tab (do they still make Tab?).  They lived a thousand miles apart yet both died prematurely of the same form of kidney cancer within months of each other.  Tab is also a Coca-Cola product but differs a bit from Diet Coke.  Apparently it is just as addicting.  Again, totally anecdotal, but this is my experience. 

I do believe it is more than just the caffeine.  I know people who drink Diet Coke at breakfast.  I don’t know anyone who drinks regular Coke at breakfast.  I’m not saying no one does.   Caffeine is de rigueur at breakfast so you would expect people to get it any way they can.  I am just aware of people drinking the diet variety in the AM.  Weird, no? 

This guy in the UK claimed he was addicted to Diet Coke and needed to detox.  There are some who claim Diet Coke addiction contributed to the untimely death of comedian George Carlin.  I have no inside information on that.  All I know is what I see. 

And what I see leads me to believe that Diet Coke is poison.  If you like it, drink it.  That’s your right.  If you can’t stop though, you might want to try crystal meth, crack, or heroin.  At least then you’d qualify for free government treatment!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Another Phony Scandal

The unfolding IRS scandal is chilling, historically so.  As is the Justice Department’s spying on journalists.  But, we are likely only seeing the tip of two icebergs, and there are other entire icebergs.   One such iceberg concerns Barack Obama's use of myriad federal agencies to persecute, bully, and harass corporate symbols of non-union success.  Federal agencies as diverse as The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, The Food and Drug Administration, The National Labor Relations Board, the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, and The FBI, have been thuggishly targeting corporations in support of Obama's big labor union agenda.  President Obama has redefined the “bully pulpit” and marshaled every tentacle of federal power to do his bullying.

Labor unions are Obama’s largest support system.  Unions supplied billions in the last three election cycles, practically all of it to Democrats.  More importantly, unions supplied the boots-on-the-ground and the muscle for Obama’s vaunted ground-game (1). The labor union agenda is Obama’s agenda according to Obama himself (2). The most frequent visitors to the oval office are labor union bosses and labor union lobbyists.  Government is unionized five times more than the private sector: 36% vs 7% and growing rapidly (3).  In essence, when government agents knock down your door, union members are knocking down your door.  When the IRS audits you or demands to know the "content of your prayers", those are union members doing that.  The IRS’s own labor union boss, Colleen Kelly, was at the White House the day before the IRS abuses started.   (This is particularly worth noting in the context of the cases below.)  

These corporate/union bullying cases are similar to the IRS scandal in that government agencies were selectively targeting opponents of Obama’s political agenda.  But, there are significant differences too.  The IRS scandals broke because the targeted parties, non-profits and individuals, made a big stink.  In these corporate cases, the targets are for-profit corporations who will never make a stink.  Unlike individuals and non-profit groups, corporations have a huge incentive to keep quiet when being targeted by their government.  Corporations answer to their shareholders, and shareholders care about one thing only - share value.  Confronting abusive government is never a shareholder priority.  Corporations are also easily painted as villains.  When corporations get unjustly targeted by governments, they usually suck it up, pay their fines, settle the lawsuits, and quietly get back to work.

Moreover, these corporations were occasionally bi-partisan targets.  That’s not surprising; The Code of Laws of the United States runs over 200,000 pages making virtually every corporation, individual, or group in violation of something and probably many things at any given time.  According to author Harvey Silverglate, who wrote a book on the subject, everyone in the US likely commits “Three Felonies A Day” (4).   What makes these corporate cases conspicuous is the over-the-top way they were handled, the timing, and the symbolic existential threat they posed to Obama’s labor union agenda.   Taken one at a time, each case is curious, puzzling; however, taken together and in the light of the IRS cases, the picture becomes clear.

The curious case of Tylenol and Johnson & Johnson: 

In 2011, the FDA took over three J&J/McNeil/Tylenol plants, shut one of them down, recalled a bunch of products, and started a criminal investigation claiming poor quality on several fronts (5). The infractions cited were various:  musty odors, poor quality, bacteria, imperfect doses, and dangerous containers.   Headlines were written, criminal violations alleged, reputations shot, management shuffled, mea culpas issued, fines paid, and tons of money lost to J&J.  How many people did these deficient products kill?  How many were maimed?  In all cases…none.  Yet, to this day, it is difficult to find brand named Tylenol and many other J&J products in a store.

This is not to say J&J products are perfect.  No company, much less a pharmaceutical company, can make that claim.  Every drug has side-effects, is prone to misuse, and has impurities.  But, J&J was severely punished for routine issues.  This all has the distinct air of a witch hunt.  Why the harsh treatment? 

J&J is one of the countries largest pharmaceutical companies and one of its most revered workplaces.  What makes J&J so successful, or any great company for that matter, is its people.  If you want a great company, you need great people.  If you want great people, you need a great workplace.  On that score, J&J consistently gets awards for being one of the best workplaces in the country (6).  One reason J&J is such a great place to work is its founding ideology, and that is precisely why Obama and the unions have singled it out. 

Robert Wood Johnson, a founding member of the company, immortalized J&J’s ideology in 1943 in a document he called “Our Credo” (7).   Line two, paragraph two, of the J&J Credo states:

“Everyone must be considered as an individual.”

This is anathema, inimical, to the concept of a labor union.  A synonym for labor union is “collective bargaining agreement”.  Unions seek to be considered as a collective, not as individuals.  The J&J Credo is a symbolic existential threat to the very idea of labor unions.  Considering J&J’s perch at the top of the prestigious pharmaceutical industry and their reputation as one of the best places to work, it is easy to see how they were a symbolic threat to unions.

The Credo also made J&J vulnerable when the federal government decided to bully them.  The Credo states: 

“…everything we do must be of high quality.”

Barack Obama’s tactical bible, “Rules for Radicals” by Saul Alinsky, teaches:

“Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.”

No company could endure the scrutiny of the FDA when determined to find things like bacteria (which is everywhere), and odors (which are everywhere).  Whole J&J plants have been shuttered for such nebulous infractions.

Today, J&J does employ union workers.  Unionization at J&J runs about 5% compared to 7% for the entire private sector (8).  Public sector unionization is seven times higher averaging 36% (3). Not only was J&J a possible target due to their prominence and Credo, they were also unionized at below average rates.

Side bar:  In the 1980s, seven people died after ingesting cyanide tainted Tylenol.  The case was never solved, but the investigation did narrow the source of the cyanide to the Tylenol distribution network around Chicago.  Chicago in the 1980s would have been the perfect place if a union had wanted to frame a corporate enemy with poisonings and get away with it.  Organized crime and organized labor controlled everything including local law enforcement and politicians.  (Not sure much has changed.)  Moreover, unions in Chicago had control of the packaging and distribution of Tylenol.  Tylenol was shipped from J&J’s plants in bulk containers to independently owned distribution centers where it was put into capsules, then into jars, and finally boxed and shipped to retailers.  The cyanide was introduced somewhere in that union distribution network (9).

One person, James Lewis, was convicted for extortion related to the Tylenol case and is still considered a suspect, but he has never been charged.  Following the murders, J&J took their packaging away from the independent contractors and the unions and began doing it in-house.  Unions may have had nothing to do with those murders, but they did have the means, the motive, and the opportunity.

The curious case of Toyota and unintended acceleration:  

On August 28, 2009, four people were tragically killed in a Lexus with a stuck accelerator.  The tragedy properly led to further inquiry, and at the end of it all:

·   NHTSA had taken several Toyota models off the market (an unprecedented move)
·   Obama’s Transportation Secretary, Ray LaHood, instructed Americans to not drive Toyotas (also unprecedented)
·   Toyota’s top leadership, including President Akio Toyoda, was compelled to testify before congress
·   There were numerous congressional hearings
·   There was a 1.1 billion dollar lawsuit settlement
·   Toyota was ordered to pay about $15 million in fines to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration
·   Millions of cars were ordered recalled
·   Toyota lost its spot as the number one autmaker in the world
·   Billions were lost in value and profit.
·   Toyota’s reputation was seriously damaged.

What caused the unintended acceleration and what was the fix?  In the case of the tragic Lexus accident that triggered it all, it turned out to be errant floor mats installed by a dealer.  No other cause was ever definitively found (10).  Toyota did eventually recall millions of cars and replace some parts, but the whole issue faded with a whimper. 

Unanticipated acceleration is a ubiquitous charge against all automakers.   It is nearly impossible to prove or disprove.  In short, the case against Toyota was a giant witch-hunt which seriously hurt Toyota and helped GM.  Why would the government want to hurt Toyota and help GM? 

Not only is Toyota non-union while its rival GM is unionized, the UAW union owns GM along with the federal government who is the majority shareholder.  That makes Barack Obama the overlord of GM, Toyota’s main competitor.

Consider the following timeline: 

2008 - Union support of Barack Obama helps him win the Presidency of the US
Non-union Toyota surpassed unionized GM as the world’s largest automaker
2009 - GM and Chrysler go bankrupt and get bailed out by the US government, which hands a huge chunk of GM to the UAW union
Toyota is accused of unanticipated acceleration
Toyota cites floor mats and issues warning.
2010 – The ubiquitous complaints persist and the US government insists on recalls
Toyota is forced by the US government to cease selling several models, unprecedented in automotive history.
GM offers $1,000 checks to Toyota owners who switch to GM cars
Toyota sales are flat for the year.
GM sales rise 21% for the year.

But there’s more.  The unions had other reasons to have Toyota in the crosshairs.  While Toyota is non-union, they did have one plant in California that was a joint venture with GM staffed by UAW workers.  The partnership was called NUMMI, New United Motor Manufacturing, Inc.  GM pulled out of that partnership in 2009 after the government take-over.  Obama and the unions apparently had no interest in a partnership with non-union Toyota now that they owned GM.  Toyota was then stuck with UAW workers who had an inherent conflict of interest; while they worked for Toyota, they were also part owners of its largest competitor.  Toyota chose to close the plant and the unions responded with a fatwa:

 "You are going to see an attack on Toyota that is unprecedented." said Rome Aloise, a top Teamsters official.

"We will take this fight to every Toyota dealership in California." Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, said via a videoconference link. "Our message is that Toyota kills American jobs. This comes at a time when Toyota can ill afford another black eye."

"If they close the NUMMI plant, we union people will not buy another Toyota." said Bob King, UAW vice president.

The source of the above quotes is a definitive piece on the subject, “Firestone Revisited: Was Toyota a takedown target in the name of NUMMI?”  by Mandy Nagy (11)

Despite all that and the tsunami in Japan, Toyota recently regained their position as world’s largest automaker surpassing GM in global sales.  Their cars still do not accelerate unexpectedly.

Side bar:  If you were around in the ‘80s when Audi was practically forced out of the US based on a similar charge of unintended acceleration, this may all sound familiar. In the Audi case, like the Toyota case, the whole thing turned out to be nebulous at best, and at worst, a coordinated attempt to take-down Audi complete with a scary "60 Minutes" story.  At the time, Audi of Germany was having unprecedented success in the US with its Audi 5000 model and eating into the lucrative UAW made Cadillac and Lincoln markets.

The curious case of Gibson Guitar Corp: 

On August 2nd, 2011, armed federal agents from The US Fish and Wildlife Service raided Gibson Guitar Corp. in Nashville Tennessee.  They stormed-in like a swat team, frightening workers, shutting down production, and confiscating computers, raw materials, documents.  This was the second time Gibson had been raided since Obama took office, the first having occurred in 2009.  At the time, the reasons given had to do with some alleged violation of an obscure statute having to do with foreign laws and exotic wood.  This made no sense.  Other guitar makers were using the exact same wood, but they weren’t raided.  Why Gibson?

Some suggested Gibson was targeted because CEO and owner, Henry Juskiewicz,  gave donations to Republicans while Martin Guitars, Gibsons rival in the acoustic guitar market, donated to Democrats.  This suggestion has re-emerged in the wake of the IRS scandal, but this also makes no sense.  Lots of CEOs give to Republicans and don’t get raided by armed federal swat teams. 

No, Gibson, like J&J and Toyota, symbolized an existential threat to Obama’s union agenda: Gibson had relocated from a forced-union state to a right-to-work state.

Gibson was founded in Kalamazoo, Michigan, right smack in-between union strongholds Chicago and Detroit.  But, Gibson moved production to Tennessee in the 80’s, fleeing a forced-union state for a right-to-work state.  This is a cardinal sin for Obama and the unions.  Obama has called the right-to-work “the right to work for less money” (12).  Unions hate right-to-work laws because it makes future unionization less likely and less lucrative for them.

Side bar: Gibson’s two major competitors in the domestic-made guitar market, Martin and Fender, both manufacture primarily in forced-union blue states, Pennsylvania and California respectively.  Fender Musical Instruments, Gibson’s rival in the electric guitar market has historical ties to media giant CBS, which owned the company until the mid ‘80s.  (Meanwhile, Michigan became a right-to-work state in 2012, and the conversion did not please Obama or the unions (13).)

The curious case of Boeing:

Another curious case which relates to Gibson is the case of Boeing’s South Carolina plant.  When Boeing tried to relocate some production to right-to-work South Carolina, Obama and his NLRB tried to block Boeing from operating the plant which had already been built at the cost of a billion dollars.  The whole thing was an outrageous and obvious attempt to both intimidate others from relocating to right-to-work states, and blackmail to get Boeing to reach agreement with its machinists union in Washington State.  It likely succeeded on both fronts (14). In light of the Gibson case and the question of motive,  the Boeing case highlights the extent to which Obama will go towards bullying corporations to achieve his ends.

Whenever Barack Obama acts in a puzzling way, it is best to consult his tactical mentor, Saul Alinsky, for therein usually lies the answer: 

“The Radical may resort to the sword but when he does he is not filled with hatred against those individuals whom he attacks. He hates these individuals not as persons but as symbols representing ideas or interests which he believes to be inimical to the welfare of the people.” Saul Alinsky, 1946 (emphasis added)

The unifying theme in all the above cases is that the targets are all “symbols representing ideas or interests” which Obama believes to be inimical to his political agenda.  All four companies are leaders in their industry and they threaten unions in symbolic ways:  J&J because it is so successful and has a Credo to treat employees as individuals, Toyota because it is non-union and is UAW/GM/Obama’s top rival, Gibson because it fled Michigan’s forced-unionism to relocate in a right-to-work state, and Boeing because it was a twofer: leverage for the machinists and a message about right-to-work.  

Unfortunately, these are not the only cases.  Unions have a long history of playing dirty and dangerous when threatened.  What makes all this so remarkable and chilling is that, in Barack Obama, the unions have a new thuggish partner capable and willing to use the full force of the federal government to harass their mutual enemies.   Individually, each case could be dismissed as plausibly due to some overzealous agency, but when taken as a whole, there can be no benefit-of-the-doubt.

(8) According to sources at J&J.  J&J declined to comment on their labor relations or union relations.

This is a repost of "The Next Big Scandal" 5/20/13