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St. Louis, MO, United States
What the name sez, Christian, conservative, 2nd amendment supporter. Physician, wife, daughter and loving mother.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

A Tale of Two Managers

I just returned from one of the St. Louis Recess Rallies. I attended the Rally held outside the office of Missouri Congressman Russ Carnahan on the corner of Manchester and Brentwood. This is a busy major intersection with commercial and retail property on all corners. There were media estimates of 2000 people in attendance, with a smattering of Pro-Obamacare supporters represented as well. The crowd occupied the east and west sidewalks of Brentwood and the North corner of Manchester.

Protesters from both camps parked in commercial parking around the area and this is where my story begins.
About 30 minutes into the one hour rally, the manager of the Schnucks store came out and began to ask who the persons were who were responsible for the rally. He maintained that there were no places for his customers to park. Before taking my place with the ralliers, I had gone inside the Schnucks store and bought bottled water and snacks. $10 for an hour of parking is more than generous and represents $10 of commerce that the store would not have had if I had parked elsewhere. Fact is, there were few shoppers in the store when I went in to make my purchases. He was sour and unpleasant to everyone he encountered regardless of their side on the issue. He also asked someone why this intersection was chosen for the "protest." I guess he didn't even realize that Russ Carnahan had an office in the building across the street.

In the same strip mall as the Schnucks store, there are also about 5 or 6 much smaller stores including a Mr. Goodcents Sub Sandwich Shop. They looked out the window of their shop, saw the same full parking lot and the same crowd of people milling around on the sidewalk and instead of lemons, they made lemonade! The manager sent two employees out on the sidewalks with hands full of coupons for a free beverage and chips with the purchase of a half sub sandwich. His employees handed them out to as many people as possible and when they exhausted their supply, they went back to the shop for more and returned with trays of little cut-up assorted sub sandwiches for EVERYONE to enjoy with the hope that perhaps some would come in for a bite when the rally was over!

And, they did....Conservatives are quick to reward the entrepreneurial spirit and a trickle of demonstrators began to steadily make their way to the shop for lunch. We had all talked about where we would go at 1 PM when the rally ended and this made the decision simple and easy! Sub sandwiches, chips and a drink, served by friendly, eager employees who had taken ownership of a situation and turned it into an opportunity.

If the Schnucks manager had any sense or spirit, he could have done the same with something to woo people into the store before, during or after the rally and capitalize on the crowd in front of his establishment. There was a food demonstrator in the store giving out samples of a new Nature Valley Granola snack and coupons for 75 cents off the purchase of one bag when I was in the store shopping. They were yummy and I took advantage of the coupon to buy a bag for myself. He could have sent that lady outside to give out her samples and coupons. He could have sent a cart boy or a clerk outside with a grocery cart full of assorted beverages to sell. He's the manager, he's the boss, he could have done something other than stew.

So hats off to Kyle Gilbertson, manager of Mr. Goodcents Subs and Pastas at 8820 Manchester Road St. Louis, MO 63144. One of his employees also made sure that we knew that Mr. Goodcents also caters and delivers for events and meetings, should we need something in that line and sent me home with a catering menu and price list! These are my kind of young people!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Are You Stimulated Yet??

Since all politics is local, it is time to ask if you are seeing the effects of the stimulus monies doled out 6 months ago. At the time of the stimulus, several state governors elected NOT to accept some of the stimulus money because of the future financial burden that acceptance would create for the state. As I recall, these people, including Sarah Palin, were roundly ridiculed for their stance. The big strings were poo-pooed by proponents of the stimulus. These were the same proponents of Cash for Clunkers, Single Payer health care, bail outs for car companies and all the other Obama proposals that create greater dependance on the government.

As people are beginning to address the impact of the stiumlus bill, it was interesting to read in The St. Louis Business Journal that Missouri will "miss out" on $133 Million for unemployment. Why??? It is because of those big strings.... and I applaud the actions of the Missouri legislature in having the foresight and also the guts to look into the future and effectively say, "Thanks but no thanks."

In May 2009, a bill was passed by the Missouri legislature that extended unemployment benefits to Missourians who lost their jobs due to family issues such as death, illness, spousal abuse, and also extended the duration of benefits to those in training programs from 26 weeks to 52 weeks, with this extension being covered by monies from the Stimulus Bill. This will not happen, however, as the US Department of Labor has determined that this legislation does not qualify for the state to receive $133 M from the Recovery and Reinvestment Act (AKA Porkulus Bill).

The big strings that nixed this enhancement to the Missouri unemployment law are that stimulus funded programs like this MUST CONTINE AFTER THE STIMULUS FUNDING EXPIRES IN 2 YEARS. The Missouri legislature realized that once the funding was gone, the expanded unemployment funding would have to be borne by Missouri taxpayers and businesses.
At the risk of not getting the stimulus monies, the legislators put a provision in the legislation that required that these benefits be renewed next year rather than making them permanent. So, POOF...all gone....typical of the non-stimulating "my way or the highway" position of the Obamacracy.

So Missouri is not very stimulating today in spite of the fact that there are many people in the state who would benefit from the good this stimulus money could do. To date, 71,298 Missourians have filed initial unemployment claims and the state unemployment rate is 9.3%.

Monday, August 10, 2009

I Call BS on You Can Keep Your Own Doctor and Health Plan

This is what is really bubbling under the surface of HR3200, which is the only health care bill we are allowed to discuss (and then only if you agree).

This morning I was going to attend Senator Clarie McCaskill's Listening Tour. I sent my RSVP and received a confirmation notice. I even sent a question that I hoped would be answered. The question was respectful and, I thought, substantive. Over the weekend, we received word that the meeting has been cancelled due to "safety issues". You be the judge of this one!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Saturday, August 8, 2009

SEIU--They even turn on themselves!!!

When your membership is formed of the lowest of the low, it must be very hard to corral those thuggish tendencies, even on your home turf.

Open Letter to SEIU Members and Leaders on the Violence at the Labor Notes Conference
by S.M.A.R.T.
Thursday Apr 17th, 2008 1:48 AM
As SEIU members who attended the Labor Notes conference held on April 11-13, 2008 in Dearborn, Michigan, we denounce the attempts by SEIU International to violently disrupt a fundraising banquet on Saturday, April 12 attended by nearly one thousand labor activists from around the world who gathered to discuss ways to rebuild labor’s power.

Seven busloads of SEIU staff and members (mostly from SEIU Healthcare Michigan and SEIU District 1199 WV/OH/KY) stormed the hotel to disrupt the event, allegedly to protest the scheduled keynote speech by Rose Ann DeMoro, Executive Director of the California Nurses Association. The CNA and SEIU have been engaged in a years-long conflict over organizing jurisdiction. The dispute has resulted in CNA efforts to undermine union elections with SEIU, and accusations that SEIU has sent staff to intimidate and harass CNA leaders in their homes and workplaces.

The violent action taken by some in SEIU on this night only worsened this inter-union dispute, in which workers are the big losers. It succeeded only in alienating many of the labor leaders at the event who did not agree with the CNA’s actions in Ohio and Nevada.

When conference participants (mostly rank-and-filers from unions around the country) tried to stop protesters from disrupting the dinner, the protesters (including some SEIU staff) pushed their way through the crowd by throwing punches and shoving people to the ground. One UAW retiree who had organized strike support for American Axle workers that day was taken to the hospital with a head injury, and others suffered minor injuries. One protester rushed the stage and attempted to speak to the crowd.

Some of us saw an SEIU member, who had collapsed on the ground, being moved onto a stretcher by police and EMTs. On Sunday, SEIU's Michigan health care local posted an obituary for home healthcare member-David Smith. It informed Smith's co-workers that "he passed away....during a rally to give healthcare workers the right to organize in Ohio." It is tragic that a member died at this shameful protest.

This protest action by some in SEIU was an embarrassment to the labor movement. Rose Ann DeMoro had earlier announced she would not attend, a fact well-known by SEIU staff in attendance, some of whom later assisted protesters in their violent attempt at disruption. The action was unsuccessful at disrupting the rest of the conference, and the protester who spoke could not be understood by anyone. Most attendees were left offended and confused, and denounced the violence some protesters used against other rank-and-file workers. In the International SEIU’s Orwellian press release, International Executive Vice-President Mary Kay Henry states:

"Open debate serves an important role as we work to strengthen our movement. The Labor Notes Conference is the right time and place to discuss our differences."

But this action was clearly intended to harass and intimidate workers, not to promote discussion and debate about the future of our movement. In fact, several workshops at the conference encouraged debate and discussion of the very issues of concern within SEIU, including the escalating war between SEIU and CNA. Among the dozens of workshops held were:

Solidarity Under Attack
Running for Union Office
Contract Campaigns and Bargaining Tactics
Organizing Immigrant Workers; Organizing Right-to-Work States
Member-Driven Organizing
Neutrality Agreements and Organizing Deals
Innovative Organizing Strategies: Building Unions from the Bottom Up
Patients’ Rights, Workers’ Rights
Labor Media and New Technology
Democracy is Power

These topics and more were the subject of discussion and debate all weekend at the Labor Notes conference, with full participation by SEIU members and staff. Some SEIU members and staff were disruptive and rude in these discussions, and later participated in the violent attempt to disrupt the fundraising dinner, which honored striking American Axle workers in UAW, the New York Taxi Drivers’ Alliance, United Workers Baltimore, and John Sferazo, an ironworker who helped search for survivors at the World Trade Center.

From our own conversations with SEIU protesters at the conference, we learned that many had no idea they were protesting an international labor activists' conference. Staff appeared to lead the action (sometimes wearing bandannas to hide their identity) with workers following in tow who may or may not have understood what and who they were protesting. The organizers of this action put their own members and other rank-and-file union workers in harms way for an action that was a humiliating failure without any message.

As SEIU members, we believe it was precisely open debate and discussion that were the target of this hostile attack. SEIU International does not want workers learning how to build real power in our shops and in our union. SEU International does not want an open debate about democracy or worker empowerment. The International wants us to know that we become targets when we talk about democracy, worker power, and the future of the labor movement. They will evidently embrace the crudest tactics, using violence to make their point.

SEIU International failed to disrupt the conference, and will fail to silence us as members.

We call on Mary Kay Henry and SEIU International to denounce the use of violence, and specifically denounce the violent actions taken against us and other rank-and-file union workers at the Labor Notes conference on April 12, 2008.

We further call on SEIU International and Executive Vice-President Mary Kay Henry to demonstrate that “open debate serves an important role as we work to strengthen our movement.” An open debate has never been encouraged at an International level in SEIU to discuss these issues, which are critical to our future. If Mary Kay and our International leaders want to demonstrate their credibility, they will entertain exactly such a debate and discussion among our membership at the 2008 Convention.

We also call upon SEIU’s rank and file members to denounce the SEIU International’s use violence and to tell the International Officers of SEIU that we will not tolerate the use of our union dues to attack rank-and-file union members. We are proud to be members of SEIU and call upon our International leadership to put SEIU back on the right path as a growing, dynamic member-driven union.


Brian Cruz
City College of San Francisco
SEIU 2008 International Convention Delegate
SEIU Local 1021

Joe Iosbaker
Chief Steward, University of Illinois – Chicago (UIC)
Executive Board Member
SEIU Local 73

Helen York-Jones
Chief Steward, CPMC Medical Center
SEIU 2008 International Convention Delegate
SEIU UHW-West Executive Board Vice-President
(Boycotted the fundraising banquet portion of the conference to protest CNA’s actions in Ohio and Nevada)

Zev Kvitky
President and Executive Director, SEIU Local 2007
Higher Education Workers-CA
SEIU California State Council

Maya Morris
Steward, Saint Francis Memorial Hospital, CHW
SEIU 2008 International Convention Delegate
SEIU UHW-West Executive Board Vice-President
(Boycotted the fundraising banquet portion of the conference to protest CNA’s actions in Ohio and Nevada)

Randy Evans
Steward, University of Illinois - Chicago (UIC) Medical Center
SEIU Local 73

Resettlement and Internment Camps??

The US Army National Guard has a job posting on Monster.com looking for a Resettlement/Internment specialist. I have asked several people to independently look at the job description and tell me what this specialist will be doing. The following ideas have been proffered: replacement facility for Gitmo, disaster relief facilities over the country, or....a real interment camp for political opponents and dissidents. At first glance the last option prompts a tin foil hat response, however if you look back at the things that Obama has done during his first 200 days, it gives one pause for reflection. One thing is clear, is that Obama has been perfectly clear about what he wanted to do.

Candidate Obama clearly stated that there was a place for a civilian army that rivaled the military.

Janet Napolitano and Homeland Security issued a statement entitled Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment, defining right wing extremists.

* (U) Rightwing extremism in the United States can be broadly divided into those groups, movements, and adherents that are primarily hate-oriented (based on hatred of particular religious, racial or ethnic groups), and those that are mainly antigovernment, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely. It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration.

In the Cash for Clunkers program, when a dealer logs on to cars.gov and checks the box that states agreement with the terms of service, a dialog box opens with a sinister warning that the contents of the computer are now the property of the government....but that is after the box is checked!

The Health Care Reform bill HR3200 allows access to personal financial information in Section 1173A page 58 Lines 5-13 under the guise to being able to, in real time, determine an individual's financial responsibility at the time of service.

Whitehouse.gov has asked for us to provide information about people who are spreading disinformation, ("fishy stuff") and that information, including email addresses and contact information for the sender are retrievable including the content of these emails.

Given the above, why not an internment camp for citizens???

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Play it Again, Sam--Once More With Feeling

Back in October, 2008, before "The One" was ever elected, I published a post that took a position against the TARP Bailout. The TARP failure started the Whack-A-Mole frenzy in throwing money at anything that fails or looks like it is failing. The responsibility for TARP rests with then-President Bush, the Democrat-controlled Congress, and the pusillanimous responses of several Republican dinosaurs, including turncoat Arlen Specter, John McCain and his lapdog Lindsey Graham, and the wussy-sisters Snowe and Collins from the great Northeast. The first salvo of the "Dire-Emergency-Hurry-Up-and-Pass-the-Bill-or-the-World-Will-End" legislation was fired. At that point we were just seeing the tip of the impending iceberg careening toward us and, like the Titanic, there was a great deal of denial that the iceberg was even there.

In that blog post, I hesitantly mentioned the Cloward-Piven Strategy and noted that the climate in the country looked like a prime target for the picking. Now in looking back, I regret that I was not more forceful in calling out our government and not being more willing to look like a whack job in illustrating how we were walking right down the path to socialism. My post was at least 10 days prior to the election but my blog had only been in existence for a couple of months, so I am sure that it was not seen by many people (or maybe no one). Now that my blog is more "mature" I am hoping that more people will see it and perhaps, now that more water has gone under the bridge, it will be clearer to readers that we are in dire straits in this country and every concerned citizen MUST become familiar with the Cloward-Piven Strategy in order to see what has been escalating since November 5, 2008.

The Cloward-Piven Strategy was first put forth in the 1960's and the roots of the strategy have been burrowing for more than 40 years.

First proposed in 1966 and named after sociologists Richard Andrew Cloward and Frances Fox Piven, the "Cloward-Piven Strategy" seeks to hasten the fall of capitalism by overloading the government bureaucracy with a flood of impossible demands, thus pushing society into crisis and economic collapse.

Now the Cloward-Piven vine is rapidly propagating like Kudzu in the south. Wrapping its tentacles and runners everywhere--banks, car companies, mortgages, health care, energy, the census, volunteerism and even our identities--to eventually engulf and destroy everything it touches. In an unprecedented political move, candidate Barack Obama did the unthinkable. He told us EXACTLY what he was going to do and then DID IT. He said that he would involve community organizers in framing his administration, that he would transform the entire country, that we needed a citizen ARMY that is the equivalent of the military, etc. We now have a battalion of Czars who are accountable to no one except the president and who are empowered to oversee all aspects of our lives. These Czars are some of the most left-leaning individuals in our country and they have a clear agenda of destroying capitalism.

No one paid any attention. The lemmings thought that his words were just campaign blather and elected him. Now we must live with buyer's remorse until we can rid ourselves of the cancer that is metastasizing all over our nation.

It is time for EVERY concerned citizen to wake up and smell the coffee before we are covered by political kudzu. The August recess is a prime time for all of us to access our legislators when they return to their districts and must face our wrath. We are being systematically stripped of our freedoms, rights and identity to be "CHANGED" to passive automatons looking to the government for everything. Soon "Give us this day our daily bread" will no longer have a theological perspective.