On Being Proper: Why Kos Should Apologize

A thread just appeared on Daily Kos.  I reproduce it in full in the extended entry.

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Immigrants Stand Up Against Right-wing Racism

When you hear rants about illegal immigrants, remember Jose Gutierrez.

In 1995, Jose Gutierrez was a 14-year-old orphan in Guatemala when he decided to do what 700,000 other Guatemalans had done -- enter the United States illegally. Two thousand miles and 14 freight trains later, Gutierrez crossed the border. He was promptly arrested by the Border Patrol. Being a minor and without a family, he was spared deportation and turned over to California's welfare system. He spent the next four years in foster homes, learning English, attending and graduating high school, getting his medical needs taken care of by the public-health system. As the lexicon of neo-flag-wavers would put it, Gutierrez was freeloading on the American taxpayer.

When he turned 18, Gutierrez got himself a green card. He planned to be an architect. Not quite having the means yet, in 2002 he joined the Marines. A year later he found himself shipping off to Kuwait. And in the first hours on the first day of the Iraq invasion, he was killed on the outskirts of Umm Qasr, just inside the Iraqi border. He was the first of 2,322 Americans (so far) to be killed in the war. He is, as the lexicon of neo-flag-wavers likes to say, a hero, a patriot, among America's finest.

There are many problems with the way we are fighting terrorism.  Being insufficiently nasty towards people who seek the American dream, and are willing to sacrifice for it, is not one of them.

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The Immigration Rights March in DC

A couple of observations about the marches today in DC, and then, some bad pictures courtesy of my phone.  It was young, with lots of 20 somethings and 30 somethings.  There were lots of children with families.  The march was pushed heavily by Spanish language media, the internet, word of mouth, AM radio, and churches.  There as almost no 'free mumia' presence, it was mostly normal.  Heavy union presence, and quite multicultural.

There was no Democratic Party presence within the march, little data capture about who was there, and little voter registration going on.  I'm told this is because voter registration happens elsewhere.  I saw no counterprotesters.  All in all, it was a very patriotic march for people who are apparently breaking the law. (Ok, I stole that line from an unnamed union organizer...)

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Unions Deny Secret Ballot Elections to American Workers

American workers deserve Secret Ballot Elections. Ted Kennedy and the Unions give workers no choice. No Secret Ballot Elections is Union and Liberal Democratic Tyranny. Join us in our fight to protect worker's rights from abuse and corruption at the National Alliance for Worker and Employer Rights. http://www.freeworkplace.org

A Case for the Secret Ballot Protection Act - Executive Summary
The Secret Ballot Protection Act (SBPA), introduced in the 108th Congress by Rep. Charlie Norwood, would require government-supervised secret ballot elections to decide whether employees wish to be represented by a union. The aim of the bill is to reverse a recent trend under which unions use leverage, including coercion, to compel employers to recognize unions without giving the employees the benefit of choice by secret ballot.

Current Law. Under existing labor relations law, employees do not have the right to insist on an election by secret ballot to determine if they desire union representation. Instead, whether an election is held is an employer-option: the employer may demand a government-run election but may also agree to recognize a union merely upon the presentation of "authorization cards" signed by a majority of employees in the presence of union organizers or pro-union peers.

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Union Friday

(Part of an ongoing series at my blog, Blog for Cambridge)

Over the last few months, I've taken to tracking developments and strategies in organizing labor unions nationwide.  I'm sharing the most important highlights (as I see them) here on a semi-frequent basis.  My rationale is that union organizing is as important, if not much more so, to the success of the liberal coalition than the actual electoral ups and downs of the Democratic Party.  Democratic success is important, of course; but union organizing increases the long-term capacity of the progressive coalition, both by bringing new people into our movement, and by making those people more wealthy and hence, more able to contribute to the movement.  Add to this is the fact that union organizing is one of our best weapons against unequitable distribution of wealth, and I think you'll agree that union organizing is a very important topic for us to focus on.

With all that said, let's roll some of that beautiful organizing footage, shall we?

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