Tuesday, August 30, 2005


As I have made painfully obvious in the last few posts, I do not think that the AMFA should belittle and make verbal attacks against those who are choosing to perform labor outside of a union.

However, I would think that the AMFA SHOULD have a legitimate gripe against the other union members at Northwest who are not honoring their picket lines. After all, it is those employees, and not the non-union workers, who believe that picket lines should not be crossed - yet they are doing it anyway.

To delve further into the question of why there is not much ACTUAL support by the other unions (symbolically supporting the AMFA while crossing their picket lines is a mere token gesture) would take exploring the history of the formation of the AMFA and its conflict with the IAM. Aside from that, it seems intuitive to me that the AMFA should be focusing their ire not at the replacement workers, but at the other unions at Northwest since they supposedly share the same philosophy with regards to organized labor.

Irony and the AMFA

From an AFL-CIO member in the Star-Tribune (registration required):
"I'm proud to be with an AFL-CIO union supporting your strike," (Sandra) Sherman told the crowd. "This is a fight for all working-class people across the country and the world."

The group picketed the Radisson on the University of Minnesota's East Bank campus, chanting "Scab Go Home," in reference to the Northwest replacement mechanics.
No Sandra, YOU are instigating a fight AMONG the working class. No one is disrespecting your RIGHT to stand united as union members. However, the least that the AMFA and its allies can do is respect the choice that the replacement workers have made to perform labor outside of a union.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

The Arrogance of the AMFA

From an AP story via the TwinCities.com (registration required):
The union will continue to focus on getting replacement workers to quit. During the rally, people chanted "scabs go home," referring to the replacement workers Northwest has hired. The union on Tuesday plans to picket a Minneapolis hotel where leaders say many of the replacements are staying.

"For us, this is war," MacFarlane said. Dozens of members wore black T-shirts with an image of a hand holding a gun. "Scab Hunter" was written above and below the image.
First of all, I find it appalling that there does not seem to be some kind of backlash against the sick message being conveyed on these shirts. Is there a call from anywhere in the liberal Twin Cities public (who, by and large, are anti-gun zealots) for these union members to stop putting forth such a message? No concerns by the "progressives" that these people are advocating violence against workers trying to make a living? Not too shocking.

Second, I am surprised at the hypocrisy coming from a group that claims that they are simply "doing what they have to do." The replacement workers are also simply doing what they feel they need to do. The replacement workers have obviously chosen to go the non-union route; thus, no show of "solidarity" with the AMFA should be expected from them. However, the AMFA believes that every worker that is able to perform the same job duties as its members should be unionized and does not respect those who disagree with this point of view.

Apparently it is fine for the members of the AMFA to act solely with their self-interests in mind, but not fine for the men and women that they loathingly refer to as "scabs" to do the same.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

AMFA Strike

It looks more and more like the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association is going to lose their war against Northwest Airlines. The Detroit Free Press has reported that some of the tasks that AMFA members were assigned to will now be assigned to members of the International Association of Machinists - the same union that the AMFA broke away from in the 1990s.

This is a brilliant move by NWA. It appeases the IAM (for the meantime) while earning a few public relations points from people that tend to favor unions on labor issues. More importantly, it is additional leverage against the AMFA. The more Northwest's performance stays as strong as it has been thus far post-strike, the better odds the AMFA can be broken.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Open the floodgates

The NCAA this week cleared Florida State University to use its Seminole nickname in NCAA championship events. It can't be long until Utah, Illinois, and North Dakota jump through this same exception to the rule. The justification for the waiver was FSU's longstanding positive relationship with the Seminole tribe. Warning: Unfair competition and antitrust ahead.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

UCAN'T do that

Two UConn men's players were arrested for stealing laptop computers. Sigh.

UConn is a perennial final four contender. Roughly one quarter of its starters in the past several years have been drafted into the NBA. Yet this prospect is not enough for two members of its backcourt, including Marcus Williams, the starting point guard (I believe). I will resist the temptation to drone on. . . but seriously, laptops?? I suppose though, that when you need cash, you need cash.

On a side note:
"The four laptops, which have a total value of $11,000, have been recovered. "

-Wow. Nice laptops at an average value of $3k apiece. Either they are using the newest Apple. . .or their is a little insurance fraud also going on.

[To his credit, Coach Jim Calhoun did not even entertain fighting for them to play this season. He suspended them from basketball immediately upon hearing the news.]

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Bush Administration Objects to .xxx Domains

The article is found here, via Drudge. I don't quite understand the argument against the creation of this new top-level domain. I would rather have all the pornographers switch over to a domain like that than to pick some clever domain name in .com land that would lure unsuspecting visitors.

As for the fears that such a domain would further legitimize pornography on the internet, does adding a ".xxx" suffix really make pornography much more legitimate than having www.insertvulgarsextermhere.com domain names?

Saturday, August 13, 2005

"best known for playing menacing or psychologically damaged characters"

Christopher Walken for president.

Wow. Hat tip to Jason Geer. I'll use his line: "Needs more presidential cow bell."

Friday, August 12, 2005

NARAL Pulls Roberts Ad

This is old news now (as far as internet life spans are concerned). However, the following is a quote from the president of NARAL about their decision:
"We regret that many people have misconstrued our recent advertisement about Mr. Roberts' record," NARAL President Nancy Keenan said.
To that, all I have to say is that I regret that NARAL misconstrued Judge Roberts' record in their recent advertisement.

Thursday, August 11, 2005


The so-called Bonnie and Clyde from the TN prison escape were apprehended today in Ohio. I wonder if in the coming months an interesting problem will arise when the two are sentenced (in separate trials, one would think). Seemingly, prosecutors are dealing with two cases of equal mens rea.

But in Convict Wyatte's case, he had a prior record. However, his charge will be for felony murder, conspiracy (planning the whole thing), etc. She actually pulled the trigger, killing a prison guard.

I think their mens rea is equally guilty. But it should pose an interesting dilemma, if prosecutors seek the death penalty for one or both. Who is deserving of death in this case? The woman with no prior record who pulled the trigger? Or the violent criminal who presumably planned it?

To prove the charge of felony murder, it is true that prosecutors do *not* have to prove mens rea for the murder, just the underlying felonious act. However, I wonder how much of a role mens rea will play in sentencing. [Well outside this author's expertise]

Women's issue?

This story discusses gender segregation of summer classes at VA Tech for visiting faculty for Saudi Arabia. The King of S.A. in fact paid the University a significant sum to establish the men and women only classes. Here is a quote from a VA Tech Professor's complaint against the school:

"The presence of these segregated classes on campus indicates to me that the university doesn't place a strong enough value on women's rights," Coupey said Wednesday. "This makes me feel that the university holds me in less regard than my male counterparts."

There may be ire-inspiring elements to this move, but I don't see a connection between what was done and the quote above.

[Note: perhaps supporting any facet of the Saudi government is seen as denigrating to women. But from the sounds of the brief Fox News piece, women were included as faculty and likewise separated from men. I don't see the mere establishment of the separate classrooms as being a continuation of any form of denigration. After all, women were not denied the opportunity to equal access by VA Tech or apparently by the King of S.A., who more or less funded this thing.]

Thursday, August 04, 2005

War of the words over Kelo

Readers, yours truly has been doing battle with liberals via the comment board at the VC. The post is here, documenting several comments that intimate Originalists are being unprincipled in their criticisms of Kelo v. City of New London (the takings clause case, you know it). A few commenters say that the Takings Clause of the 5th Amendment doesn't prohibit taking for a non-public use. But we know that is hooey.
There is an argument that the Takings Cl of the 5th says "nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation," instead of "nor shall private property be taken for private use, and only for public use w/out just compensation." Apparently the Framers left out the operative bold phrase. Writings of the Framers taken jointly and severally suggest that they would consider it a tyranny to allow such a "taking" b/c they left out the italicized bit above. I don't think this is drumming up an unenmerated right.

"I go further, and affirm that bills of rights, in the sense and in the extent in which they are contended for, are not only unnecessary in the proposed constitution, but would even be dangerous. They would contain various exceptions to powers which are not granted; and on this very account, would afford a colourable pretext to claim more than were granted. For why declare that things shall not be done which there is no power to do?"
-Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 84

"The Constitution is not an instrument for the Government to restrain the people, but an instrument for the people to restrain the Government."
-Patrick Henry

"When faced with a clash of constitutional principles and a line of cases wholly divorced from the text, history and structure of our founding document, we should not hesitate to resolve the tension in favor of the Constitution's original meaning."
-Thomas, J., dissenting (Kelo)

I get it, legal liberals, you are trying to catch textualists with their pants down. (And I should add that I could spout a much more plethoric list of catchy quotes from the Framers of our Constitution, but I'll err on the side of brevity.) Unlike privacy, contraceptives, internet pornography, and wire fraud we have a picture of what the Founders were trying to do with the last clause of Amend V.