Links I Like
“The Man Who
Hated Work and Loved Labor — The Life and Times of Tony Mazzocchi”
This is a fascinating book about a labor leader who has had tremendous
influence on our lives, but whose name is not even known by millions of
Americans. Please read my review.
The Immigration Bill is Dead – Hooray!!
What a rotten piece of legislation! It might well have been called the
“Nice Guys Finish Last” bill, for all of the people who were trying to get
admission to this country the legal way. They were all pushed to the back of the
line by people entering the U.S. illegally and this bill was going to legalize
All in all, I can’t think of anything that was right with it.
- The supporters wanted to provide a “path to citizenship.” There is already such a path – go back to from where you came, make an application
and wait your turn, like everyone else.
- The supporters wanted the law to be family friendly. First, it was the
illegal immigrants themselves who created the any problems that might divide
families. To keep families together,
deport illegal immigrants and their minor dependents. Let them sort it out
when they get back to their own countries. Second, what about the
families who have been here legally for decades or centuries and who built
this nation? They have been working hard get wages up so that they could get
the kind of life they have earned. The illegal immigrants have
snuck in, working for less and undermining the efforts of all of the citizens
who were here before. (Unions have seen this kind of behavior for a very
long time in strike situations. The perpetrators are generally called scabs.)
There were no jobs Americans wouldn’t do.
There were just jobs that some businesses wanted to pay for with starvations wages.
Without the illegals, people and their unions could raise those wages to
something a person could live on.
The liberal politicians supporting the bill were showing their true colors. They had
to choose whether to do something for the working people of this country, or
they could support the businesses who have been breaking the law for years
to get cheap labor. They chose business.
One expected most Republicans to support a pro-business law; that’s part
of their general philosophy. It was heartening to see some of them choose to
do the right thing. President Doofus performed as expected.
- I know the song – the illegals were just trying to make a better life
for themselves. Any pickpocket, car thief or burglar could say the same.
Making a better life for yourself at other people’s expense is not the way
things are supposed to be done in this country, according to its ideals.
That’s why workers, unions and Americans in general have been fighting for
over a century against companies that have adulterated foods, pumped
harmful chemicals into the air and the water, and maintained unsafe work environments,
where people got maimed and killed on the job. Allowing people to continue
sneaking under the fence and undermining the system here that people have
struggled to build would be just the same as scrapping all of the health,
environment and safety laws that we have managed to put in place. For
Democrats and, especially, for union leaders and activists, the problem is
this: how can they expect to hold businesses to the letter of the labor,
wage and hour, safety, health and environmental laws while they themselves
are trying to do an end run around the immigration laws? Do they think businesses
Unions who have catered to illegal immigrants or have otherwise supported
the current situation have made a terrible mistake. It’s one thing for a
union to say that the immigration agents should stay out of any union
organization effort; companies were using them to spirit away union
supporters and take away the chances for a union for the legal residents
involved. The immigration people can sort things out after the vote has been
taken. It’s quite another thing to put into labor union contracts provisions
to protect the jobs of illegal immigrants who get deported, until they can
sneak into the country again, as a union representing janitors has done. (I found out about this while taking a class
at a community college on immigration issues on the job, offered to union
activists. I’m as strong a union supporter as there is, but learning that
- Many of the backers of the bill have acted in a most sleazy fashion. The
prime example is all of those knuckleheads who have called bill opponents
“racists.” Such name calling is always a sign that the name callers have
no good answers to the questions raised by the people they are trying to
insult. If they had good answers, they would state them.
I don’t know if this incident made the national news: here in the Los
Angeles area, just prior to the immigration bill failing, opponents held a rally
in an area called Leimert Park. They went to the trouble of getting a legal
permit for their march and rally in a local park. Bill supporters called a
counter-demonstration and deliberately blocked the route of the legal marchers
so that they couldn’t get to their rally point in the park. Then the LAPD,
to its continuing shame, would not open the path so that the legal marchers
could continue. If the proponents of such piece of legislation must resort to
these kinds of tactics, it says to me that they really don’t have much going
for them except loud voices.
I could go on a lot longer, but that’s enough for now. Congress passed the
laws that are on the books now. It’s time politicians stopped trying to gut them;
they should call for the government to enforce them. It’s the legislators’ job to find the money to get
the job done and let the rest of us get on with our efforts to make the country
a better place.
June 29, 2007