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Text Box: Vol.5,Issue 19
Text Box: September 10, 2012

American Political Commentary

Veritas Veneratio Virtus


I. W. Parkins

Front Page

Text Box:   IN THIS ISSUE– 
Obama’s Lie
The Future of Unions and America
Bias Determines News Play
Observations on my previous commentary on Unions
Comprehensive Health Care

 Links to Articles and Items of Interest

· Amy Payne on “25,000 Teachers Walk Off the Job in Chicago”

· James Sherk research report on “Not Looking for Work: Why Labor Force Participation Has Fallen During the Recession”

· Ann Coulter on “Matthews, on a Few Race Cards of a Full Deck”

· Robert Rector on  “Yes, Obama Gutted Welfare Reform”

· “The Origins and Revival of Constitutional Conservatism: 1912 and 2012” by William A. Schamba from Heritage Foundation Research Reports

· Presidential “Daily Tracking Poll” by Rasmussen 

· Breitbart.com– stories which are not seen in “the media”

· The Drudge Report—website by Matt Drudge


The roots of Socialism, Communism, and Fascism

By Ivan W. Parkins


For President Obama, and those supposedly informed persons and groups that support him with more than blind partisanship: the claim that America’s present administration is “progressive” is a lie.  It’s only major accomplishment is putting millions more Americans on a federal dole, if you can call it an accomplishment.  And it is doing this with money which is mostly borrowed and certainly running out.  (Debt payments, now represent approximately 40% of total revenue and revenue is decreasing). 


What this administration’s “planning” most resembles is that of groups who won control in Italy, Russia, and Germany in the early 1930s.  Here and now, they lack one critical power.  I refer to the armed forces.  This is because America was based upon an idea and the military always pledges fidelity to that idea.  And, it should be noted, that the Liberal-Democrat single voice propaganda control is slipping away from them;  I refer to the domination of the main stream mass media and education.


The essence of America’s economic success and moral greatness has been liberty.  But, only as much liberty as others can share.  It is no accident that the specifics of liberty become more difficult with the growing numbers and variety of persons who live here.


I’ve been around long enough to have admired Franklin Roosevelt in person.  I marched at his third inaugural and voted for him in his last candidacy as President.  Do I still revere him?  Yes!  Do I now believe that he was successful as an economic leader?   Yes, with reservations.  He held America to its united course when elsewhere many nations failed.  Do I believe that he “saved” our economy?  No, I believe that he oversaw major progress in our transformation from a mostly agricultural and rural society to a mostly urban and industrial one.


Favored by two huge ocean frontiers, our economy prospered during WWII, while most other large and advanced economies suffered greatly.  Our economy benefited from a long war; our military from late entry into that one.  Neither of those is likely for us again.  09102012


The media bias in reporting past curtailment of Union campaign spending of members dues

by the Supreme Court.  (Ellis vs. Railway Clerks)

Column  from the Morning Sun, 5/23/84

By Ivan W. Parkins

Unions have collected millions of dollars from non-members in agency shops and have spent much of that money for political purposes, in violation of the rights of non-members. 


Furthermore, the treasuries of the unions which engaged in such unlawful transaction are now liable for damage claims.  Finally, the money available to unions for expenditure in future elections is likely to be significantly reduced.


The above conclusions are my own, but all are implied by the opinion of the United States Supreme Court in ELLIS vs. RAILWAY CLERKS.


Apparently, that opinion was not worthy of much mention as news.  Inasmuch as I am a party to a similar case (Central Michigan University Faculty Association versus Stengren et. al.) and a rather close observer of the news media, I was expecting the announcement of the opinion.  I missed it in the news, and did not learn of it until I received a letter from my lawyer more than two weeks later.


Even then, I could not find the Ellis Case in the Detroit News of April 26.  The Detroit Free Press mentioned it at the end of a story about the Supreme Court’s ruling in a racial bias matter.  The New York Times and Washington Post gave it substantial space in B and C sections respectively.  Only the Wall Street Journal took front page notice and gave substantial coverage to the Ellis opinion.


So much for the little story, let’s go to the big one.  On May 14 a U.S. district court judge ordered the Department of Justice to seek appointment of a special prosecutor to pursue further the question of how certain 1980 Carter campaign documents ended up in the hands of the Reagan organization.  Apparently, that was an important decision.  I heard it mentioned repeatedly on television news programs for the next twenty-four hours.


The next morning, the district judge’s order provided the lead story in the Detroit Free Press, and it received more than twenty column inches of page 2 in the Detroit News.  Even the Wall Street Journal gave it slightly more prominent treatment than it had given to the Ellis case.


Why, was the Carter briefing papers decision such a big story and the opinion in the Ellis case such a small one?  This goes to the heart of criticism of our communications media.  Let me begin my answer by saying that I noted no significant untruths or inaccuracies in the report of any of the media which I examined.


The Ellis decision was subscribed to by all nine members of the highest court of the land.  Justices Brennan and Marshall, the most liberal members, joined in the opinion.  Only Justice Powell made a partial dissent, and he wanted to limit union spending more severely than his colleagues had done.

Concerning the Carter briefing papers, Judge Harold Greene handed down a one-man order in a case where even the jurisdiction of his court is uncertain, and his decision is subject to review at two higher levels.  Certainly it was not the level of finality of the respective court decisions that made the Carter briefing papers matter more significant than the Ellis decision.


Of course, the Carter briefing papers involve likely chicanery and, possibly, some violation of law in a recent presidential election.  But the Ellis case involved actual collections and expenditures in violation of the constitutional rights of numerous Americans.  Furthermore, similar violations have been present in nearly all major elections at every level of government.  And, the amount of money involved, though it is not yet calculated, will certainly total millions of dollars.


Whatever the facts in the briefing papers matter, it is unlikely that they could have affected the outcome of the 1980 presidential election, and that election is now moot.  The kind of unlawful expenditure banned by the Ellis decision may have affected some close elections, and it will continue in 1984 and afterward until publicity and further litigation make the Ellis decision effective.

I think of no reason, other than bias, which prevails among major journalists, why a district court judge’s order regarding the briefing papers was more noteworthy than the unanimous opinion of the Supreme Court in the Ellis case.


On my previous




By Ivan W. Parkins

             Thomas Jefferson’s old argument against state churches was resurrected in our top court as the Ellis case was decided.  It is that to force a person to pay for the promotion some idea in which he does not believe is even worse than denying him the right to speak freely.  How would you feel if the Supreme Court were to hold that your constitutional rights were being violated at a cost to you of several hundred dollars a year?

             Soon after the Ellis case was decided, about a quarter of a century ago, I recovered over one thousand dollars in an out of court settlement.  But, with near silence in the media, plentiful union obstruction, Democrat actions in legislatures and the National Labor Relations Board, etc. the problem remains.  President G.H.W. Bush issued an executive order that employers post notices to employees of their rights in this regard.  One of President Clinton’s first official acts was to have those taken down.

             The immediate applications of the Ellis decision were limited to railways, from which the case had originated.  But, in 1988 a majority, 7-2, of the Supreme Court repeated the essential holding of Ellis in Beck vs. Communication Workers.  (Wikipedia)

             All of the above is essentially historical background.  I was seriously in error regarding the likely effects of a unanimous Supreme Court decision in what appeared to be a case of individual rights.  It quickly became a matter of politics, media neglect, and one over which the National Labor Relations Board had primary jurisdiction.



A reprint from May of 2010

By Ivan W. Parkins


             The past of American labor unions is mixed. No doubt they contributed to the demand for public health, safety and welfare advances of the past.  There is also plentiful evidence of unions being involved in corruption and violence, both as victims and aggressors.  None of that can be undone; nor should it be either emphasized or hidden.

             The future of labor unions is dim; what is mainly at stake is the future of America.  It is no accident that President Obama’s health and tax proposals have run into problems concerning some union people.  Obama has emphasized “soaking the rich,” and by the standards of much of the public (me included), a considerable number of union people are rich.  And many Americans wonder how that can be when they are not entertainment celebrities, corporate executives, bankers, or highly skilled professionals.  Much of that mystery has to do with politics and the financing of politicians

             The industrial history of America provides several examples of major industries that have become especially centralized and profitable; they have also yielded to unions long-term contracts regarding pay and benefits, especially retirement.  But, as competition and new alternatives to their products appeared those industries have struggled or failed to fulfill their contracts with laborers.  That is much of the story with railroads, steel, and automobiles.  Foreign competition has been one factor, but new and better technologies are probably a larger one. In a world characterized by increasing foreign trade and technological advancement, unions are losing ground in most private employment. And,  they seek government’s help in resisting change.

             In the 1980s Smith-Corona became dominant in typewriters and related office machines.  In the 1990s they declared bankruptcy.  The day of computers had dawned.

             When I studied public administration in the late 1940s, the common explanation was that, while government employees usually got more security and fringe benefits, private employment of the same kind usually paid better.  Thanks especially to President Kennedy, we now have more unions among government workers.  And now they get more pay as well as other benefits.  It is a significant part of our financial crisis.

             Now, government and unions, both averse to competition, can make a perfect pair, if most Americans will just be quiet and pay their higher taxes.


 X 2

By Ivan W. Parkins

Comprehensive has two meanings with regard to health care.  The one most often addressed is a comprehensive system of paying for care.  Who pays, and how?  Must all join?  Will terms of payment be sufficient to attract the necessary professional and other care-givers?  Those are the easier questions.


Some of the more difficult questions are what is comprehensive care?  Immediate treatment of serious accidents, and to control communicable diseases would seem to be obvious.  But, who will have how  much authority to authorize cosmetic surgeries?  When , if any, limits should there be for individuals whose habits are the chief cause of their illnesses?  Are sex-changes to be included for all applicants? 


One likely outcome of a single-payer system (nationalized health care) is some reduction of incentive for the care-givers, and consequent shortage of services available.  The actual comprehensiveness of services available to an individual may be determined by waiting lists.  Ten-month lists for maternity services, or a few days for an infected appendix, can solve some problems, and save money too!

I. W. Parkins 3/2008