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The Bolshevik Left and the Labor Goon Thugs, by Ray Zwarich

To all the Really Good Ones, and to all in peril on land or sea:

The essay below is hereby posted into the public domain. It may be re-posted anywhere by anyone. 

The Bolshevik Left and the Labor Goon Thugs.

I am a working person by trade. I made my living as a carpenter. I am now retired from that but still work as a farmer, which includes building barns and coops and such, as well as such soul-tempering tasks as shoveling 400 hens' chickenshit, (literally tons of it). It's 600 lbs a week of feed to haul in, in 50 lb bags. Then you gotta shovel it out after it's been 'processed', and we pick up the eggs in between, wash them off in the sink, and sell them to our friends and neighbors and a couple of local stores and food co-ops.  

[As an aside, do any remember Adam Trask's long deep discussions with his Chinese servant, Lee, (in 'East of Eden', the book, not the movie), over the meaning of the Hebrew word 'Timshel'. Thou salt? Or thou mayest? As part of those discussions Lee talked about the zen dignity to be found in genuine humility. Being a servant was a fruitful path to Honor and Dignity, Lee taught Adam. (It's maybe what little Bobby meant when he talked about Hattie Carrol "emptied the ashtrays on a whole other level").] 

'Work', in this context, is something we do that we do not like doing because it is inherently unpleasant to do it. 

To those in the learned 'professions', 'work' means something far different. It is 'enshrined' as something of great spiritual importance. To a scholar, or a scientist, or an artist, or a business executive, chances seem about even that their 'work' is a higher priority in their lives, in their daily attention, and even in their hearts, than their own families.

To most people who work, however, what 'work' means is that they get up in the morning with the discipline to force themselves to go do something for several hours that is unpleasant to do and therefore they either dislike or hate doing it. And they do that day after day. "The only life I got I'm sellin' a week at a time, five days to The Man and only two days are mine". (old Lou Rawls tune). 

They may sit in a soul-crushing cubicle typing on a keyboard and staring at a screen all day, or they may walk 12-15 miles every shift carrying heavy loads of people's food in a busy restaurant, or items to be shipped from a giant warehouse. Or they may do hard labor in the hot July sun or the cold January wind, with various degrees of physical pain from numerous minor injuries being just a regular part of their daily routine lives. 

It's our human condition. We must strive to stay alive. There is always a 'fare' we must pay. eh?

I was self-employed as a carpenter, (after I had served a short apprenticeship over the brutal Kansas City winter of '71). Last union dues I paid was to the Inland Boatmen's Union in the early 1970s, when I worked as a deckhand for a while on a river tow boat, down the Mississippi, and up the Ohio.

I was steeped in Steinbeck. The Joads coulda' been my neighbors, next farm over. Their oldest boy could already be 'making eyes' at my daughter. I had a dear friend in college, whose family actually lived that story. They traveled to Armona, CA from Arkansas, with all their possessions and children piled in the back of an old truck. I'd never even yet read Steinbeck. "This is like my bible", Betty Blanks said to me, when she handed me 'Grapes of Wrath'. I met a man named RC in Armona once. Betty's distant second cousin twice removed (or something). RC had sure done some traveling. Then I read 'In Dubious Battle'. Yea ... One 'a them 'revelation' things ... Ya know? 

The thing about Stenbeck was that he 'saw' all our faults, all our human foibles, all the demons that can overwhelm us, and he loved us anyway. He loved us with great deep passion. He 'saw' the raw human beasts that all together comprise Humanity. He saw the evil that we do, and the human passions that drive us to do it. But he also saw the beauty in human Love and Family. He saw his own concept of 'god', (Humanity's One Great Soul), in our basic human instinct to form intense emotional bonds with one another.

Steinbeck held to his steadfast faith that Humanity would prevail over the worst in our nature.   

Anyway ... I was never a union man, per se, although I did have periods of time when I had opportunities to work with union people. (My writing appeared in various union newsletters, including a featured piece during a key point in the '86 IFFA Strike, led by the late Art Teolis, (who just died this past summer).  

I'm shocked to read that Mr. Teolis' obituary gives him so little credit for the impact he made among flight attendants. I only met him once, very briefly. He 'carried himself' very well. He was a person who exuded dignity and honor. 

It was at that time, through my acquaintance with IFFA people like Vickie Frankovich and Mary Ellen Miller, through conversations I had with them, that I came to understand the FATAL flaw in the Basic Concept of American Organized Labor. Business Unionism, the running of unions as lucrative businesses by Fat Cat thug-goons who trample over union democracy, to entrench themselves in power, is 'fatal' to the interests of working people.  

PATCO, in 1981, was the hammer blow. Reagan didn't waste any time. He only had eight years, after all. And give the man credit. He got the job done. He empowered the take-over of America by a relative 'handful' of Elites.

With that one hammer blow from Reagan, crushing PATCO, American Labor fell as splayed-limp as a steer just got ball-peened between the eyes with the long-handle. Completely crushing the power of American Labor was CRUCIAL to the Enemy's plan. Immediately after PATCO, the Enemy, the Elites, who already had a well thought out long range plan to take over the nation, began 'marketing' the offshoring of jobs and Trickle Down Economics. 

We're lucky they don't yet have a person like Reagan on the scene now. You can sure bet they're looking for one. He was the absolute master Snake Oil Salesman. Obama must surely have studied him closely, to learn the Snake Oil mavens' oldest trick: "Once you learn to fake sincerity you got it made". (Reagan had actually 'set up' PATCO. He lied to their face to set them up. He had promised to support them during his election campaign. Anyway ... It sure had all the hallmarks of a cunning 'set-up'). 

As his carcass was being dragged away by a mule, feet first across the Arena's hot sand, (on the end of a steel chain, and leaving a red streak to be raked and whisked away), PATCO President Robert Poli said weakly, "I never thought they would be willing to actually endanger public safety". He was sure the frack WRONG!

In the early 80s, (not long after PATCO in '81), I took a 'communiversity' class at UMKC that was taught by an attractive young woman named Cyd, who was a dead ringer for the beautiful young (at that time) Susan Sarandon. She was a corporate paid employee. She was an 'operative' working through the local networks to 'sell' the concept of "offshoring", as inevitable. Her job was to teach us that offshoring was what was about to happen. 

And then it started happening, just as fast as the development of digital technology allowed. 

It was 'communications technology' that allowed offshoring to be possible. The Elites seized total ownership and control of this technology as it was developed and built out, often at public expense. Public ownership, and proper 'licensing', of basic communications technology, is a mission critical objective, if our objective is to build a TRUE Democracy in North America. 

Here's the key question that reveals the fatal flaw of Business Unionism (aka 'the union bid'ness'):

Why was there not an IMMEDIATE General Strike of every union person in the airline industry to support PATCO? Why was the entire edifice of American Organized Labor not poised to strike, if need be?

Well ... The answer is very simple and straightforward. Labor Contracts. That's why. Unions willingly bargained away workers' right to strike. They willingly bargained away Solidarity itself. 

Well ... Why then did Labor Contracts come to be? Couldn't unions 'see' what would happen if every individual union was bound to a no-strike legal obligation? They'd be 'easy pickings'. Just plunk 'em like ducks in a row, and they won't be able to help each other out.

Well ... That's what Business Unionism Labor Executives DID!  

Why was the most basic Foundation Stone of Labor's Power, why was Solidarity itself, so easily bargained away?

The answer to that question is also VERY easy to 'see'. Simple Human Nature. People running unions entrenched themselves in power by running roughshod over union democracy. Unions came to be run by thugs whose own interests often did not coincide with the interests of the union's own 'members'.

Long term no-strike Labor contracts were GOOD for union Fat Cat thugs who took over and ran most ALL the big unions. It's just Human Nature that these people do what is best for them, not what is best for the workers they pretend to represent. To them, workers are just 'dues payers'. Workers are their primary revenue source.

IFFA's Mary Ellen Miller explained this all to me in about 30 seconds or so, in 1986. It would have been 'illegal' for any unions to strike in support of PATCO, because those unions, each and every one, had 'sold' their right to strike in exchange for a set period of time at an agreed wage/benefit package.

Those who ran unions, as bargaining agents for working people, (in exchange for a lucrative percentage 'cut' of total wages paid), signed contracts saying that union officers could be personally fined tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars, and also imprisoned, if their union engaged in a strike during the term of the contract. 

Well ... Looky there, folks .... American Organized Labor had actually, its own SELF, willfully negotiated away its ONLY real power, Solidarity.

Why? Why did they do such an obviously STUPID thing?

Was American Organized Labor just so stupid to be duped into their position of collective impotence? Or were there other factors that affected the motivations of people running unions? Like Power. Greed. Wealth. Lust. Fancy clothes. Fancy restaurant lunches with corporate executives. Mid 6 figure incomes, warm blanket benefits, and generous travel and expense accounts.  

Who wouldn't wanna keep a gig like that? 

Do we not ALL see that it is only Human Nature that people in that position would be motivated to subvert union democracy, to entrench themselves in power, at which point their OWN interests don't merely sharply diverge from union members' best interests, they become willing to bargain away the Common Workers' ONLY real POWER. These people, who so loudly self-promote as 'heroes' of working people, are actually actively working to prevent working people from challenging the general status quo. Business Unions are an entrenched part of the status quo. Any change to the status quo threatens their 'rice bowl'. 

Under the Business Unionism 'business model' of labor unionism, union executives share perhaps as many common interests with the companies as with the workers. How do they collect dues during a strike? How does a strike benefit union executives? Isn't it very obvious why business union executives become willing to bargain away Solidarity itself? And what exactly is the difference between that, bargaining away Solidarity itself, and selling their souls to the Devil? 

In the 1930s, when my own parents were grade school children, American autoworkers occupied and barricaded their factories, and used steel auto parts as 'ammo' in protracted running battles with 'the bulls', (what they called the police and other armed forces that opposed them), with troops in vehicles training heavy machine guns on them, and every cop and county sheriff in the territory with shotguns, and rifles, and a likely BAR here and there, in hand. 

My own parents heard about that on the radio.

Less than 50 years later, when PATCO violated its contract and struck to protect public safety, American Organized Labor had become a 'business'. It was run by highly paid executives in business attire, who were accustomed to socializing with other business executives, over lunches, golf, or just 'doing business' together, often in exotic locales, which tend to be in the south in winter, and vice versa.

By 1981, (and likely long before that, but PATCO was the key moment), these Labor Executives no longer shared the same interests as the workers they represented, any more, or less, than a sports agent, or Hollywood agent has the same interests as an athlete or movie star. 

Unions became lucrative businesses for Labor Executives who crushed union democracy and entrenched themselves in power. Well ... It's no surprise that the people who held those jobs wanted to keep them. 'Union Democracy' became a 'joke' in most all Big Unions.

So ... The Enemy, the Syndicated Elites who rule over our nation, defeated American Organized Labor through cunning alone. No tear gas or billy clubs or vicious dogs or pepper spray or fire hoses were even required. 

American unions have become profitable 'agencies' in the status quo of Corporate America. They purport to represent their 'clients', the workers, to negotiate a Labor Contract that will give away the workers' right to strike in exchange for an additional 74 cents per hour in wage, (while the cost of living (inflation) just went up a buck and a half), and a $3500 medical deductible instead of $5000. 

The UAW GOBs (good bold boys) are doing the perp walk now. Very few Big Unions are even trying to be democratic anymore. First thing to find out about a union, is to look at how much its executives make, relative to how much its 'clients', the workers make. 

In democratic unions, the union president's salary will generally be set as some multiple of either the average workers' wage, or the top tier workers' wage. It will likely be in the range of 1.5 times or so of the top tier wage. 

When the average wage of 'clients' is $14, with virtually ZERO benefits, and the union CEO, ('pastorally' called its "president"), makes almost $300kper, (plus a generous travel and expense budget), are ANY of us so downright stupid that we think that CEO's own self-interest still aligns with that of the 'clients' making $28k with NO benefits?  

SEIU's Andrew Stern, now retired, was a Capone-caliber thug. "You want democracy? I'll show ya yer effin' democracy", Andy CaponyStern said. And he walked up and shot Sal Roselli in the head point blank, in broad daylight, "right in front of everybody" (That's what Idris Elba said to Denzel Washington in American Gangster, "What?"... You gonna shoot me right out here in front of everybody, Frank?". Yup. That's exactly what Frank did). 

Sal Roselli stood at the head of a union that acclaimed him as their leader and champion. If democracy had ANY meaning at ALL in SEIU, Roselli's position was impregnable. And so, in 2009, SEIU CEO Andrew Stern, just walked up and shot Sal Rosselli in the fracking head, point blank, (figuratively speaking, of course). 

As he was dragged across the sand, it's eerie that Sal Roselli said almost EXACTLY the same thing that PATCO's Robert Poli had said. The nurses' primary contract concern was patient safety. Overworked nurses were making mistakes due to fatigue. They wanted simple work rule changes, like scheduling shifts, etc. "I never thought that Stern would actually endanger the safety of hospital patients", Roselli said, after Stern 'trusteed' his SEIU Local. 

In Mr. Poli's case, it was Reagan that was the thug assassin. It was Andrew Stern, doing Labor's 'wet work' himself, who assassinated an elected union official, Sal Rosselli.

Andrew Stern, the Capone Goon Thug that ran SEIU when it won a major market share of the Union Bid'ness, was a very good 'marketer'. The brilliant purple. The fascist-style feting and gala celebrations of the union executives' self-proclaimed heroics. Stern was OPENLY contemptuous of the very idea of 'union democracy', famously calling it "pastoral". And he sure proved his utter contempt for union democracy when he shot an acclaimed elected union local president in the head. (He 'trusteed' the local. Basically he 'fired' the elected president, and sent his own Goons from SEIU Central Command to take over and run the Local).   

I recently read a piece of SEIU-generated propaganda/advertising on a left-wing blog owned by long time prominent Leftist Robert Scheer. The 'piece' was presented as 'content'. It was presented as an 'article'. I had been reading Mr. Scheer's blog intently for several weeks at that time, and had noticed that much of the 'content' on the blog consisted of people advertising their services and/or selling books. 

Many, in fact it seemed like most, of the ScheerPost content providers run incorporated (501c) businesses. They earn a salary for doing what they do, which is to 'appear' places like ScheerPost. Authors promote themselves, of course. They 'appear' places like ScheerPost to sell books, basically, but they would be glad to build other income streams, like appearance and/or speaking fees, etc. (Last time I actually saw Bobby Seale in person he was selling BBQ sauce in Kansas City).

We can only build perspective if we can learn to 'see' the form within the facts. If we see a bunch of jumbled up facts, it can be very difficult to 'see' how they all fit together. They may appear random. They may in fact BE random. But every decent police detective knows that the key to finding the 'perp' is to 'see' the pattern(s) in the facts. 

I am trying VERY hard to understand Robert Scheer's point of view. When he looks at these facts I am relating here, how does he arrive at the conclusion that the American Left should give spiritual support and succor to a Thug Union like SEIU, and/or a Thug Union Goon like Andrew Stern?

Well ... Mr. Scheer's 'logic' appears to be so primitive that it is very easy to see. His 'logical' syllogism appears to be: Immigrants are good. SEIU represents immigrants. Therefore SEIU is good. His strongly held emotions, in favor of immigrants, makes him unable to 'see' that his syllogism's conclusion does not follow from its premises. 

I'd slap down a benjamin against a sawbuck that Robert Scheer doesn't know what carpenters call "jack shit" about American Labor. He may know the hazy outline of the history, at least some of the facts, in the vaguer corners of his 'famous-left-wing-radical' thinking, (these folks do tend toward the 'legends in their own minds' end of the scale), but he has never stopped to "see the pattern in the facts". He's never so much as ever even thought his way through any of this. That's my best-guess explanation of his bizarre behavior.

The concept of union democracy means nothing to him, (my guess is), because the American Left just doesn't really give a shit about American working people, as an entity, as a whole. The American Left has fashioned itself into a blatantly racist entity that ACTIVELY promotes hatred of the largest faction, by FAR, of its own nation's working people, based SOLELY on the color of their skin.

I don't know Robert Scheer. Like the entire rest of the American Left he remains mute. I wrote to him personally to inquire if the SEIU-generated advertisement he ran as 'content' on ScheerPost, was a paid ad? He never responded.  

I don't know Robert Scheer because he keeps himself hidden behind the imagined power of his imagined 'position'. I don't pretend to know this man, but the general posture he presents seems totally blind to his own obvious and overtly blaring bigotry, and even raw racism. 

Are people like Robert Scheer, a man well into his 80s, who I think may have actually heard Mario Savio's speech at Berkeley, simply uninformed?  Can we possibly believe that? 

Or ... As demonstrated so clearly by the simple fallacious syllogism above, are these people's thinking processes themselves just generally this skewered by their emotions? Isn't it the universal trait of belief cults that they come to believe anything they WANT to believe? Their powers of Reason are subjugated to their Desire. 

Anyway ... My comments responding to what appeared to possibly be a paid SEIU ad on ScheerPost, which was presented as 'content', were censored. (I haven't posted them anywhere yet). And Andrew Stern himself, the old retired Union Thug his own real self, weighed in with his comments praising the SEIU generated ad. 

In my comments, I pointed out how the ad copy, (it was a lengthy article documenting in lavish praise all that SEIU has done for immigrant workers), itself cited the fact that 30 years ago LA Janitors made a decent middle class wage, with decent benefits. The ad copy boasted about the last strike of SEIU LA Janitors they led 20 years ago. 

LA Janitors currently earn a bit more than $14/per hour, usually with no benefits. Janitors who work for SEIU, whom SEIU calls "night cleaners", earn a bit more than $14, with ZERO benefits.  

SEIU's CEO, (pastorally called its 'president'), currently makes almost $300kper, with excellent benefits, and a generous expense and travel account. How many people earn between $150k and 276k, employed by SEIU? Janitors employed by SEIU make $29k, with ZERO benefits. It's all right here.  

How much is rent in LA? Could a person earning a janitor's wage actually afford to live in LA? Could a single parent live on that wage? In this obvious SEIU ad on ScheerPost, SEIU was actually BRAGGING that after decades of SEIU's 'help', LA Janitors' lives are MUCH worse off. Much MUCH worse off!

What Robert Scheer, and the American Left in general, clearly don't understand is that a truly democratic union would be responsive to its citizen-members' aspirations and needs, and thus would be APOLOGIZING for the dismal performance that the ScheerPost SEIU 'infomercial' actually had the scheer gall (yea) to BRAG about!

Andrew Stern is a Union Thug. People like him willingly bargain away working people's ONLY power, Solidarity, to benefit/enrich themselves. 

And oh-boy, would I EVER like to meet Andrew Stern at high noon in the Public Square ... LOL ... but these thugs ain't dumb. They don't let anybody speak unless THEY, or one of their errand boys like ole BobClear, have the microphone switch in 'trusted' hands. 

Andrew Stern has long been widely known among union folks who think unions must be democratic as The Anti-Christ of American Labor. He is the 'capone' himself among all these two bit pimp Labor Goon Thugs. 

Hurry! Big Sale! Union Thug Perp Walk still going on NOW! 

The American Left has clutched itself to the very Bosom of the Devil. The American Left fully embraces the Union Bid'ness, and the fascist goon thugs who run it, simply because those people collect union dues from desperate immigrant workers who have taken jobs from American workers, thus lowering wages across the board. SEIU now supports the immigrants, so desperate to work at any wage, who flooded the unskilled and semi-skilled LA labor market, and caused LA Janitors' middle-class wages to fall to poverty level in little more than a single generation. 

It's been years now since I've heard anyone even bothering to promote Union Democracy. Andrew Stern's brazen assassination of a courageous and democratic elected union president had its predictable effect.

As always the American Left's convoluted and blatantly racist Identitarian Politics ideology is consistently in hateful conflict with itself. They censor freedom of speech but pretend to favor democracy. They say they promote democracy in the workplace, but they give their full heartfelt support to Goon Thugs like Andy Stern, in the Union Bid'ness.


R Zwarich
Bent Birch Farm
63 Webber Rd
Brookfield, MA 01506