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Old 02-19-2011, 21:59   #51
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Uhhhh right So let me get this straight.... The unions are the sole reason that there are things like safe work environments, paid vacations, pay that one can live off of, and all the other glorious triumphs of the unions you listed.... Its all because of unions and nothing else. Do I have that right?

Oh, and the increased labor cost that unions have driven up has cost America more jobs than all the politicians combined.... Look what just happened to Winchester in Conn. I guess that was because of a tax break too?
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Old 02-19-2011, 22:24   #52
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Unions led the way for what we take for granted today so the answer to your comment is yes, they were the main force behind what we have today. Winchester did not go out of business because of the unions but because of market conditions and their inability to provide a cheap product for Americans. As long as we Americans demand on cheap products and low prices ala Walmart, then no business paying decent wages will remain solvent. Unions didn't put them out of business, gun owners did, by buying foreign made guns. Blaming unions for their demise is like blaming a gun for a killing. Sounds good but doesn't meet reality. But I suppose that those who are against unions would like to repeal all minimum wage requirements so that employers can pay low wages, offer zero benefits, and fire at will when the whim strikes. Sounds like Walmart to me.
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Old 02-19-2011, 22:39   #53
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My Grandfather always used to say..."I never got a job from a poor man."

You can hate the so-called rich folk (and corporations) all you want, but they provide the majority of Americans with jobs.

I won't lie; I come from a family of small business owners and entrepreneurs. And, I'm an entrepreneur myself. However, we've built our businesses from NOTHING...no trust funds or silver spoons here.

As such, I am always amazed by those who hold opinions about something that they have NO vested interest (or experience) in, other than receiving a paycheck every two weeks.

When someone is actually accountable to making a payroll each pay period, I'll value their opinion. Until then, when it comes to creating jobs, their opinion is sort of like Swiss cheese...full of holes.

How many paychecks do you sign a week?

And, for the record, the last person on my payroll to receive their paycheck is ME. Everyone else gets paid first.
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Old 02-19-2011, 23:29   #54
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Originally Posted by gossman View Post
Unions led the way for what we take for granted today so the answer to your comment is yes, they were the main force behind what we have today. Winchester did not go out of business because of the unions but because of market conditions and their inability to provide a cheap product for Americans. As long as we Americans demand on cheap products and low prices ala Walmart, then no business paying decent wages will remain solvent. Unions didn't put them out of business, gun owners did, by buying foreign made guns. Blaming unions for their demise is like blaming a gun for a killing. Sounds good but doesn't meet reality. But I suppose that those who are against unions would like to repeal all minimum wage requirements so that employers can pay low wages, offer zero benefits, and fire at will when the whim strikes. Sounds like Walmart to me.
Wow! Those are some pretty big rose colored glasses....
I don't give the unions one bit of credit for anything you have listed. Rather I give it to the Republic that embraces capitalism. The USA that is... I won't go so far as saying they have never done good but they outlasted their dinosaur mode 50 years ago when govenment protections were put in place. And no the mob, I mean the unions did not do that, conditions in the market did it. The unions were to busy strong arming their labor for a coupe more bucks...
And your flat wrong about Winchester... They were priced competitively with every other top shelf manufacturer and had a very good market share. No the unions did them in! The union had their labor so high that Winchester could no longer afford to build their rifles at the same price point to stay competitive. So USRAC went to the Unions on several occasions and tried to renegotiate but we all know how that works out... Its a one way street with unions now isn't it! Look what going on in Wisconsin! So USRAC said GOOD-BY! And laid off every worker closed the doors.
When FN entered the picture do you think they were going to reopen that plant with those union workers that caused the demise? Heck no they weren't, they move all operations to SC. The unions killed Winchester in Conn and I for one am sorry to see the storied plant shuttered but happy to know the workers that caused it are out of a job!
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Old 02-20-2011, 00:08   #55
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How the GOP has regressed.
Republican Party Platforms: Republican Party Platform of 1956
That was back when there were still plenty of folks around who actually remembered the "good old days" of the robber barons. Before someone like Glenn Beck could stuff peoples' heads full of nonsense about that era.


It still amazes me what some people will claim about the history of the labor movement in the United States.

For example,
I don't give the unions one bit of credit for anything you have listed. Rather I give it to the Republic that embraces capitalism.
is a staggering distortion of the factual record.


Some sooner, some later, we'll all rue the day blatant historical revisionism and outright amnesia became acceptable common currency in these kinds of discussions.
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Old 02-20-2011, 00:23   #56
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Originally Posted by freesw View Post
How the GOP has regressed.
Republican Party Platforms: Republican Party Platform of 1956
That was back when there were still plenty of folks around who actually remembered the "good old days" of the robber barons. Before someone like Glenn Beck could stuff peoples' heads full of nonsense about that era.


It still amazes me what some people will claim about the history of the labor movement in the United States.

For example,
is a staggering distortion of the factual record.


Some sooner, some later, we'll all rue the day blatant historical revisionism and outright amnesia became acceptable common currency in these kinds of discussions.
That's not historical distortion.... What is a historical distortion is to say that unions have given everything to the American worker it has now.... Not only is that a distortion, its a joke! Only someone trying to protect something would make such a blanket statement...
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Old 02-20-2011, 01:23   #57
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Originally Posted by CZDiesel View Post
What is a historical distortion is to say that unions have given everything to the American worker it has now....
No one claimed that. You posted,
I don't give the unions one bit of credit for anything you have listed.

First you denied unions credit for anything, then when I pointed out to you that is a gross distortion of the record (in fact, completely untrue), you turn around and categorize that as attempting to give them credit for everything. Do you see the illogic in that?
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Old 02-20-2011, 02:01   #58
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Originally Posted by CZDiesel View Post
It sure is interesting to see the union workers point of view here.... Pretty easy to spot too
Arkansas= Right to work state

Japanese auto maker= Don't even know how to spell union. With the paternal employee-employer relationship no one will bring the subject up, we couldn't afford the cut in benefits going from company employees to union contracted.

Unions need an enema too, if they are even around by the end of my career. They want to be an uninvested partner in a business, and pull money from both labor and management and not answer to how it is helping those they "represent". Mostly they keep people on the payroll who don't show up for work. Which also keeps people like me in the building way too many hours. (in the past)
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Old 02-20-2011, 05:09   #59
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Originally Posted by Jsh1284 View Post
Yeah, I've been looking for a good job after geting laid off myself. Thankfully, I do have computer and network certs so I am able to provide for myself adequately. It would sure be nice to find something that would pay a little better, though.

I'd take a manufacturing job again if I could. Good pay, benefits etc. Not to mention I enjoy piddling with things. Putting stuff together, fixing gadgets, and working with my hands really is my meal ticket.

Problem is down here there aren't a lot of factories anymore. It's mostly steel mills and mines as far as labor goes. We do have a Mercedez plant (They make the M-Class) nearby. Everyone is trying to work there though. Best paying labor job in the area. They even have supporting plants that make their parts. Again, though .. hard to acquire.

Guess that's the story of America's workforce right now.
And we need you but there is no way anybody will get hired where I work until things change. Not my opinion they announced it at a team meeting.

Are you willing to relocate and have you looked into the Blue Springs MS. Corolla plant or one of the suppliers there? There is some overlap but IT is usually a salaried job. Our group usually sticks to hard wiring and PLC work in the equipment.
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Old 02-20-2011, 07:27   #60
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The unions had a purpose a long time ago; back before OSHA and federal wage minimums. Back when a company could put any pressure they wanted on workers because there wasn't any federal oversight on safety, wages and conditions. Unions are nothing more than legal extortion of corporations now. Sure you get higher wages and better benefits, and the products you make cost significantly more because of it. What you fail to realize is you don't deserve those higher wages, the only reason you get them is because the unions can legally strong arm the companies, states or whatever employer they choose. The entire wage is overinflated based on their extortion, not what the job is actual worth in real world (non-union) terms.

The unions cause job outsourcing. They interfere with a free market economy, because they upset the overall "choice" that everyone should enjoy under that economic model. If you don't want to work for $10 an hour, go find a better job. If a company can't find anyone to fill the job for $10 an hour, then they will be the one to make the change... The unions toss that balance out because they can extort whatever they want with the threat of total production loss. No wonder manufacturing jobs go overseas.

Not to mention how obviously self serving the unions are. How about the teachers striking in WI. Who benefits there, certainly not the children? Or the Dems fleeing the state because they would lose a vote that would put some limits on the unions. Nice, how about you just take a whiz on entire process of democracy; if you're gonna lose, just run away so nobody can win. Maybe the Republicans at the national level should have used that to keep all of Obama's policies out of law... Every teacher and senator involved should unceremoniously lose their job immediately.
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Old 02-20-2011, 10:25   #61
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"Not to mention how obviously self serving the unions are. How about the teachers striking in WI. Who benefits there, certainly not the children? Or the Dems fleeing the state because they would lose a vote that would put some limits on the unions. Nice, how about you just take a whiz on entire process of democracy; if you're gonna lose, just run away so nobody can win. Maybe the Republicans at the national level should have used that to keep all of Obama's policies out of law... Every teacher and senator involved should unceremoniously lose their job immediately."

Not seeing any strike info yet, Where did you read that? Tend to agree with you about the AWOL lawmakers.
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Old 02-20-2011, 10:43   #62
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Originally Posted by TX expat View Post
The unions had a purpose a long time ago; back before OSHA and federal wage minimums. Back when a company could put any pressure they wanted on workers because there wasn't any federal oversight on safety, wages and conditions.
I don't understand the thinking behind statements such as this. Do you not realize that the very same forces destroying unionism in this country are also at war with OSHA, wage minimums, and federal oversight on safety, wages and conditions? Corporations are inherently organized. How can anyone believe suppressing the right of workers to organize is good for workers? Now union opponents are saying the issue in Wisconsin is about public sector unions, as if any of them didn't also favor the busting of private sector unions that's already been done in most of the US.

Consider carefully what it is you wish for.

... ...
The Americans for Prosperity group, a Tea Party group that is a Koch Brothers front, has put up a website and petition called Stand With Scott Walker. The website attacks all collective bargaining – not just for public employees’ unions. Americans for Prosperity is also organizing a rally tomorrow in Wisconsin to support Gov. Walker.
... ...
Koch Brothers Behind Wisconsin Effort To Kill Public Unions - Rick Ungar - The Policy Page - Forbes
The Final Battle In The War Against Unions Is Underway - Rick Ungar - The Policy Page - Forbes

Those are the very same people who want to do away with OSHA, wage minimums, and federal oversight on safety, wages and conditions.
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Old 02-20-2011, 14:01   #63
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Really? Who's at war with OSHA or the minimum wage? The Koch brothers? Gimmie a break. How about you start pointing out the dangers of George Soros and all the political extremism he financially supports. The Koch brothers are far less likely to tread upon my Constitutional rights than Soros is.

I don't have any problem with workers "organizing", I have a problem with corporations being unable to protect themselves. I have a problem with legalized extortion. Once a union takes hold, there is no accountability on the part of the worker. They can't be fired without a massive amount of documentation; they can even quit showing up for work, en masse, and nobody can be fired or permanently replaced. That's not how a free market works and that's why unions don't work in a free market in today's economy.

The funny thing about pro union people is I've never been able to find one that would personally accept the stranglehold that unions put on corporations. How about your yard boy getting to dictate the terms by which he will work. Let's see how you'd like your yard boy dictating the terms of his yard work, including pay and benefits and you basically won't have any recourse but to give in to enough of his demands to make him happy; because, by law, you can't fire him and you can't just get someone else to do the job. Sure, that sounds really good. I'm sure you'd be happy to practice what you preach.
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Old 02-20-2011, 18:46   #64
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Without the unions wages would be worse than they are now. I hold nothing against the business owner making money nor do I hate rich folk. I do feel that if I put in 20 to 30 years of my time and labor that I do have a vested interest in the company. I worked long and hard hours, most of it on swing and graveyard, for decades, with few of the regular holidays that the majority of workers off. I made due when the owners decided they needed to pinch a few dollars, fixing and repairing machinery that they would have far ahead in the first place to replace the broken parts, doing work with 3 people when the job normally would require 5. I worked along with others to make sure the company remained solvent. In exchange I received good compensation, retirement plan, and fair benefits. I will tell you that as the years went by, their profits increased while every contract we the workers lost something. If you feel it is moral to hold employees hostage while profits go up, feel free, but I do not. Bad companies deserve unions. Good companies treat employees well enough that they wouldn't feel the need to have a collective bargaining agreement, that the employees are something more than chattel. There are enough distortions by the anti-labor crowd to amaze even a cynic like myself, the impasse is too wide and the desire for honest open communication doesn't exist. But I do find it surprising that those who tout the constitution and the rights of Americans are so willing to trample the rights of the working class, to come across as dictators, and to deny the right to have a collective bargaining agreement. It is no wonder that since the attack on the working class 40 years ago, wages have not kept up with inflation and the rise of disparity between corporate incomes and working class is greater than ever, well over 300:1 today. I am glad I am at the end of my working career than at the start.
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Old 02-20-2011, 19:01   #65
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I don't have any problem with workers "organizing", I have a problem with corporations being unable to protect themselves. I have a problem with legalized extortion. Once a union takes hold, there is no accountability on the part of the worker. They can't be fired without a massive amount of documentation; they can even quit showing up for work, en masse, and nobody can be fired or permanently replaced. That's not how a free market works and that's why unions don't work in a free market in today's economy.
A common argument that comes up but is untrue in most cases. The contract does give accountability and makes both sides accountable. Show documentation to fire? What is wrong with that, it protects employees from an abusive employer, from an employer who makes a decision based on non-factual reason. I have seen plenty of union employees lose their jobs for good reasons, well documented reasons. I can find anecdotal evidence to prove either side, but over the long term both the employer and employee are safeguarded from poor decision. And every contract that I have ever been under has a no-strike clause. Strikes happen after the contract expires, not before, and only if they cannot come to an agreement. Funny how we do not hear about lockouts by the employers, who use it for their own purposes, we don't think evil of them. Every contract renewal that I have been a part of in the last 15 years, the employer told us before we ever went to the table what they would sign, and then threatened to lock us out if we didn't sign immediately. So abuse do happen, on both sides. I find it humorous (but not really) how many who have never worked for any length of time in a union are so willing to pass judgment on those who have spent their career in one. All employees benefit from unions, both those who work without a CBA, and those who do. It is because of union wages that the non-union sector has what they have. If all collective bargaining was outlawed today, I guarantee that wages would fall even farther behind than what they are today.
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Old 02-20-2011, 21:04   #66
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Golly, I don't even know where to start...

I could start with your illusion that you have a 'vested interest' in a company simply because you worked there for umpteen years. Umm. Wrong. You are owed a paycheck, not a say in how the place is managed or how profits are spent; buy lots of stock or work in upper management if you want that sort of say. Otherwise, you're there to do a job and that's pretty much it.

Or I could bring up the irony in your "If you feel it is moral to hold employees hostage while profits go up" statement when the unions do exactly that, only they could care less about the balance sheet of the company; their only concern is extorting the maximum amount out of any given situation they can. A great example is what's going on now in Wisconsin. The state is broke. Broke, as in no more cash to pay for stuff broke. Are the unions concerned about the well being of the state and all of it's workers. Yeah, sure they are. To paraphrase your earlier statement; If you feel it is moral to hold school children hostage because you might have to pay as much for health insurance as the rest of working America, feel free, but I do not.

Or I could go directly to your eluding to the "right" to collective bargain and some affront to the Constitution. That's the UN, not the US, that believes collective bargaining is some natural right. The Constitution of the United States of America offers you no right to unionize or collectively bargain. The Constitution does provide Congress with the power to regulate interstate commerce, which is how the National Labor Relations Act, which does give you the right to unionize, came into being. So touting the Constitution and strongly disagreeing with unionization are in no way hypocritical.

Or how about addressing your whole lockout theory with the simple statement that you don't hear about the big bad corporate lockouts because unlike them, the locked out worker is legally free to find other work if they don't like the lockout. No law prevents them from just going to work somewhere else and earning a paycheck. Or just sitting around and collecting unemployment, which you can do in most states. Seriously... Lockouts. Can you name any significant ones at all? The NHL had one... That's all I can come up with and that's hardly an affront to the common man, other than the common man didn't have any good sports to watch while the players were locked out. Most certainly no children went without school or some other major public service suffered a significant disruption due to a lockout.

But I think I'll just say you've obviously never been in an upper management position and had to deal with the vast amount of strife, laziness, lack of work ethic and lack of caring that comes with the unionization of workers. I've had plenty of experience with unions...

Nice touch giving the unions and CBAs the credit for everyone's prosperity and great wages. It's really the capitalist free market that does that, but the pro-union folks like to take credit for it because it's like threatening to push the doomsday button. Get rid of unions and the whole world blows up, everyone will make pennies an hour. No, that's really not how it works, but it's a good soundbite.

I had a friend who, upon leaving the service, moved in with my wife and I temporarily so he could take a mechanic job locally. He left after two months because these unionized workers spent almost half of each day doing absolutely nothing. Not only did they do nothing, but they basically forced him to do nothing as well. He even had 'a talk' from a union rep when he didn't get with their program fast enough. He quit, moved back to his hometown and started his own business. Now that guy really does owe the unions for where he is today, since he wouldn't have gone down that path if he hadn't been so put off with the union and unionized workforce.

On a side note, I'm curious as to why someone, who obviously has so much politically invested on the Democrat platform, would be a moderator for, or even be associated with, something pro-gun? I appreciate your ability to do it, it just seems really unusual to me. Usually people that have more than just a casual interest in firearms, are at the very least, apolitical, not pro-left as you seem to be. Please understand, I'm not being insincere or condescending; I'm genuinely interested how you reconcile your interest in something that goes very much against the dogma of your party with the rest of your political beliefs. And just to be fair, I'm a Constitutionalists and a fiscal conservative, so I have no party affiliation. I will rip into either one when it suits me, although I do admit that I usually find more targets on the left side.
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Old 02-20-2011, 21:58   #67
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Wow, now instead of discussing the thread we have narrowed in on my bonifides, not unusual to say the least. Just was hoping that the discusion would last a little longer without making it personal.
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Old 02-20-2011, 22:08   #68
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Did you not read what I wrote? I said I was genuinely interested, I'm not attacking you. I'm simply interested because I don't meet many individuals who are actively pro-firearm, as you seem to be, and otherwise very oriented towards more left wing beliefs, which you seem to be.

Take offense if you wish, but I think I've make it clear why I was asking and that it was asked in sincerity, not hostility.
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Old 02-20-2011, 22:23   #69
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A-political though a life long member of the Republican party. Honorable discharged USMC. Life member NRA. Firearms instructor. Concealed carry instructor. Early retired (mandatory) from a non-union position, ISPC, Highpower (both Garand & modern firearms), and F-class NRA certified competitor. National Tactical Invitational participant, competed with and against many of top tier instructors, Lethal Force instructor, paid range safety officer for a large suburban firearms training center. 31+ years married (same women). 1 son, a firearms instructor in the south. Eastern Orthodox Christian. Pittsburgh Steeler fan. Longtime member of PerfectUnion. Need more information? I just believe in treating people with integrity and worth. Oh, and a pony tail (I call it urban camo). In a free world, I would not have to justify my reason for being here.
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Old 02-20-2011, 22:39   #70
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First and foremost, thank you for your service to our country.

Secondly, all I was looking for was how you came to terms with supporting the Democrat platform and kept a pro-gun mentality. Sorry if you felt like I was looking for your CV, I was not... I guess I misread into your other posts, as you seemed to be very pro-dem, pro-Obama. My apologies for drawing too many conclusions, but I would have never guessed that you were either apolitical or Republican.

Sorry about your Steelers. I'm not a huge football fan, but I thought they were going to have the comeback win; it would have been an exciting end if they could have pulled it off.
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Old 02-21-2011, 02:38   #71
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Gossman is a Steeler fan......I just don't know who to trust anymore! GO PACK!!!!

BTW I'm still waiting for someone with any strike info. My kid still lives in Shorewood WI. and he didn't know where that came from either.

A last BTW, just because a person doesn't like the current mean sprited Republican party, doesn't make that person a liberal. It's just makes us disgusted, and Bush V.1 still started the whole assualt ban thing with his executive order. Now I'll go to work at my non union job.
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Old 02-21-2011, 08:10   #72
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Originally Posted by p35bhp55 View Post
Gossman is a Steeler fan......I just don't know who to trust anymore! GO PACK!!!!

BTW I'm still waiting for someone with any strike info. My kid still lives in Shorewood WI. and he didn't know where that came from either.

A last BTW, just because a person doesn't like the current mean sprited Republican party, doesn't make that person a liberal. It's just makes us disgusted, and Bush V.1 still started the whole assualt ban thing with his executive order. Now I'll go to work at my non union job.
The current mean spirited Republican party? How exactly are they being mean spirited? By following the general feelings of most middle class Americans? Or would you like to believe that most Americans really don't want someone to step in and start cleaning up the mess that our federal government has made, and continues to make? It's pretty funny that you'd call the Repubs mean spirited when the Dems, who had all the power for two years, were generally more divisive and duplicitous than any Repub administration I can think of...

As to your EO Bush made on the assault ban, please provide a credible source. Perhaps the actual EO would be nice. I've searched through all of 'em and I don't see one.

Executive Orders Disposition Tables Index

I'd like to read it because I don't know of any EO by Bush that had anything to do with assault weapons bans. The GCA of 1968 can easily be labeled as "the start of the assault ban thing" but that was Johnson, a Democrat, although Bush did vote for it as a congressman back in '68, so I guess you can blame him for it if you want...

1n 1989 the BATF redefined what foreign-made semi-auto rifles would be allowed to be imported into this country. GHB didn't stop them from setting the limits that they did, but it was all done under the general powers of the GCA, not any executive order signed by Bush. I'll be the first to agree that Bush did nothing to stop the BATF, and for that, he should receive all the 'credit' he is due.
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Old 02-21-2011, 15:38   #73
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OK, here's your story.

George Bush and the NRA
By Dave Kopel

[Gun World, 1996]

It’s been nearly a year now, since George Bush resigned his NRA membership in a very public huff. As an NRA member myself, I haven’t missed him very much. But the story of George Bush’s relationship with the NRA—a story that the media entirely ignored while praising Bush’s resignation—is worth knowing, because the story shows the dangers that will be faced by gun owners should Republicans take the White House in 1996.

Now George Bush appears to be a nice guy. He served his country bravely during World War II. He would probably make a good neighbor. But in terms of how George Bush carried out his Presidential oath to defend the Constitution, including the Second Amendment, Bush was an absolute disaster.

George Bush’s first major political encounter with the gun issue came when Congress was enacting the Gun Control Act of 1968. Representative Bush was the only Texas Congressperson to vote for the Act, and when doing so, he said that much more needed to be done.

Technically, Bush’s vote wasn’t counted as an anti-gun vote by the National Rifle Association; the NRA agreed to a compromise by which the gun registration provisions would be removed from the bill, and the NRA, while not endorsing the bill, would not count a vote for the bill as an anti-gun vote.

Still, the entire Texas delegation (except for Rep. Bush) and many other legislator recognized the repressive potential of the Gun Control Act. Shortly after passage of the bill, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (apparently given a green light by gun-hating President Richard Nixon), was perpetrating enforcement abuses against innocent citizens at a rate that has never been equaled, not even under the Clinton administration.

In 1972, Representative Bush captured the Republican nomination for Senate in Texas. But Bush was defeated by Democrat Lloyd Bentsen, who heavily stressed his own opposition to gun control, and Bush’s support for it. (Bentsen maintained a very strong pro-gun record in the Senate until 1990).

In 1980, Bush ran for the Presidency. He still liked gun control enough to endorse the idea of a ban on small, inexpensive handguns (so-called “Saturday Night Specials”). Ronald Reagan beat Bush in one primary after another, though, and Bush’s support for gun control and abortion hurt him badly among Republican activists.

As Vice-President, George Bush experienced what he described as a profound “change of heart” about abortion, and turned into a major opponent of abortion rights. He courted abortion opponents intensely, even demagogues like Jerry Falwell. Later, as President, Bush kept the promises he had made about abortion, and vetoed many pro-abortion bills passed by Congress.

On the gun issue, Bush underwent a similar, although shorter-lived conversion.

By the end of the Reagan Presidency, Ronald Reagan’s declining faculties had made him almost irrelevant to the Machiavellian policy-making going on in the White House. Attorney General Edwin Meese—not exactly a libertarian—was getting ready to have the administration endorse Senator Howard Metzenbaum’s bill to ban “plastic handguns.” (There’s no such thing, but the Metzenbaum bill would have outlawed many thousands of small, all-metal handguns, such as derringers, which were claimed to be invisible to airport metal detectors.)

The NRA went to Vice-President Bush, and he succeeded in blocking Meese’s plan. Gun control advocates were furious. Even without administration support, the Metzenbaum bill lost by only two votes in the Senate; had Bush not stopped Meese, the bill almost certainly would have passed.

In early 1988, with the Presidential nominating season about to begin, George Bush reached into his deep pocket, and bought himself a $500 life membership in the National Rifle Association.

After winning the Republican Presidential nomination in 1988, George Bush wrote a public letter to the NRA promising his opposition to waiting periods, gun bans, gun registration, and other forms of gun control.

The NRA gave George Bush more support than it had ever given a Presidential candidate. The NRA dropped over six million dollars in an independent expenditure campaign for Bush, and against Democratic nominee Michael Dukakis. The NRA bought huge amounts of radio time in rural areas detailing Dukakis’s support for gun prohibition. In many areas, NRA “Defend Firearms, Defeat Dukakis” bumper stickers were more numerous than pro-Bush or pro-Dukakis bumper stickers distributed by the political parties.

Dukakis, who had been running even in the polls in Texas, plummeted once word of his anti-gun record got out.

In the end, the NRA campaign was not essential to Bush’s victory, but (as with the Reagan victory in 1980), the NRA’s intensive campaign changed what would have been a reasonably close election into a landslide. Support from pro-gun, normally Democratic voters helped put Bush over the top in close states such as Michigan, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Montana.

But once George Bush became President, this man—who had claimed loyalty and trustworthiness as his prime public virtues—almost immediately began betraying his election promises. The “no new taxes” pledge as least lasted until 1990. But opposition to gun control was abandoned within weeks of the Bush inauguration.

The aptly titled drug “czar” William Bennett—on his first day in office—convinced the Treasury Department to outlaw the import of several models of so-called “assault weapons.” The NRA, attempting to preserve a relationship with the White House, praised the “temporary” import moratorium as providing a cooling-off period for a rational discussion of the “assault weapon” issue.

But a few weeks later, President Bush dramatically expanded the import ban to cover many dozens of additional firearms models. Bush Press Secretary Marlin Fitzwater added that President Bush wished that he had the additional authority to simply outlaw the domestic manufacture of so-called “assault weapons.”

As the New York Times explained, the White House decision to back gun prohibition was based less on deep conviction than the desire to get out in front on what appeared to be a popular issue, after the political setback stemming from the Senate’s rejection of John Tower as Presidential nominee for Secretary of Defense.

In the months that followed, the Republican National Committee and the White House were flooded with mail from outraged gunowners. Eventually, Bush waffled a little bit back towards the pro-gun side. In May of 1989, President Bush made the import ban permanent, and proposed a ban on all magazines holding more than 15 rounds, but he backed away from active support for a ban on any additional guns. Under the Bush proposal, all large-capacity “ammunition feeding devices” currently in private hands would have to be registered with the federal government, under terms similar to the current registration of machine guns.

For the rest of the Bush administration, gun rights advocates were shut out of the White House. Even with President Bush trailing badly in the polls in the late summer of 1992, the Bush administration refused to have anything to do with the gun lobby, or to do even the most minor things to help the interests of gun owners.

Instead, the White House pushed for the magazine ban at every opportunity. The White House offered to sign the Brady Bill and a more comprehensive ban on semiautomatics (including a retroactive registration requirement) if the gun control laws were included in a crime bill that the White House wanted.

All the while, President Bush accelerated the trend begun in the late Reagan administration towards militarizing federal law enforcement and freeing it from Constitutional constraints. “No-knock” break-ins became the routine method of serving search warrants. Wiretapping rates set new records year after year. The use of informants grew rapidly. Law enforcement agencies acquired huge stocks of military equipment. The military became increasingly involved in domestic law enforcement, often under specious pretexts designed to avoid statutory restrictions on use of the military against the American people.

The Bush administration pushed hard for even greater restrictions on freedom. The centerpiece of the Bush crime bill would have allowed courtroom use of illegally seized evidence, if the evidence happened to be a gun. If the police broke into your home for no reason, and, literally, tortured you until you told them where your unregistered gun was hidden, the gun could be used against you in court. Other elements of the Bush crime bill (now included in President Clinton’s proposed Terrorism Bill) included trials with secret evidence for certain legal resident aliens, and destruction of the right of habeas corpus, by which federal courts review whether state or federal prisoners are being illegally held in prison.

The entrapment of Randy Weaver, the killing of Sammy and Sara Weaver, and the subsequent FBI coverup all took place during the Bush administration. So did the investigation of David Koresh, and the planning for the unprovoked tank, helicopter, and grenade assault on the home of the Branch Davidians. President Bush failed miserably to uphold his Presidential oath to ensure that the laws be faithfully executed. To the contrary, the White House for all practical purposes gave a green light to federal law enforcement lawlessness.

Given the Bush administration’s horrible record, the NRA would have been nuts to endorse President Bush for re-election. A second Bush term would have seen a continued White House push for new federal gun controls. And the Bush White House would have treated the NRA with the contempt the NRA would have deserved for supporting a candidate who had gone out of his way to betray his campaign promises.

President Bush would have lost his re-election bid even with gun-owner support. But NRA support on the 1988 level would at least have allowed Bush to keep things close in 1992, rather than suffer a humiliating landslide defeat.

All the above information—including Bush’s understandable anger at the NRA for not endorsing him in 1992—was ignored by the media when reporting Bush’s resignation from the NRA. Instead, Bush was lauded as a solid friend of the Second Amendment who was standing up for principle against the NRA.

In the spring of 1995, the NRA had sent out a fund-raising letter stating that out-of-control rogue federal agents were endangering public safety, and behaving like "jack-booted government thugs." Technically speaking, the letter was incorrect, since a “jackboot” was originally an over-the-knee cavalry boot, or, more generally, “a laceless military boot reaching to the calf.” [Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary (Springfield, Mass.: G. & C. Merriam Co., 1980), p. 612].

But a secondary definition of “jackbooted” is “ruthlessly and violently oppressive.” And under George Bush’s administration, that is exactly what too many rogue federal agents were allowed to become.

"Your broadside against federal agents deeply offends my own sense of decency and honor, and it offends my concept of service to country," Bush wrote NRA President Tom Washington. "It indirectly slanders a wide array of government law enforcement officials, who are out there, day and night, laying their lives on the line for all of us."

Rather than slandering good federal law enforcement officers, the NRA letter amounted to an indirect criticism of Bush himself, for Bush’s failing even to try to control lawless federal law enforcement officers, and for creating the drug “war” climate in which law enforcement violence and brutality became far too common.

Back in 1989, after President Bush had shown that his pro-gun election promises were merely a scrap of paper, grassroots NRA activists in Texas started circulating petitions to have him expelled from the organization. In retrospect, the NRA leadership was wrong in squashing the petition.

If federal law enforcement’s reputation is suffering these days, it’s not because of NRA fund-raising letters; it’s because of George Bush’s failure to uphold his Presidential oath to defend the Constitution

Today, all of the three leading Republican Presidential contenders—Dole, Gramm, and Alexander—mouth pro-gun pieties. But in their careers, they have been just as blind of federal law enforcement violence as was George Bush. Should any of these men be elected President, gun owners and other friends of the Constitution will be in no position to relax
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Old 02-21-2011, 15:42   #74
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Now I would like some news of the "teachers strike" that justifies Gov. Walkers actions.

I'm watching FOX news and while they are all for the Gov.s actions in WI. and now OH. there is still no mention of any strikes.....It just isn't happening TX.
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four more years.....groan.

Last edited by p35bhp55; 02-21-2011 at 17:06. Reason: add info
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Old 02-21-2011, 15:48   #75
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As far as gun control is concerned there is very little real difference between the Two main parties. The Demonrats want to beat and rape us of our rights, while the Repugnants want to slip us a roofie and be gone with them before we wake up.
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