More of the Same

I had someone ask me what were some of the other letters I wrote to the Warren Tribune’s Letter to the Editor,  criticizing the editor that he did not print. I wanted to move along to another subject but I will further bore you by answering the man who e-mailed me with the above question. I searched my computer files and found two other letters I wrote pointing out the errors of the editor. I know for sure the first one was not published by the editor and I’m pretty sure the second one wasn’t either.

First Letter:

Editor:

On August 9, 2006 the Tribune editor printed, “ Groups are too selective in outrage.”

He stated, “ A terrorist in detention at the United States Guantanamo Bay Cuba, facility has only to grimace and international human rights organization will launch a campaign accusing this country of mistreating prisoners.”

If the editor considers putting suspects in cages, depriving them of sleep, intimidation with dogs, and other tortures that led to many suicides not to mention holding people up to three years without charges “grimacing” I suspect he thinks the Marques De Sade was a mere boy scout.

The editor goes on to say, human rights groups criticized the US over conditions at Guantanamo Bay, but are selective when it comes to criticizing other countries.

The editor stated, “At this writing there has been no international outcry concerning Mohammodia.” Akbar Mohammadi was a student activist who died recently in an Iranian prison.

I guess the editor was so busy creating spin to defend U.S. human rights violations at Guantanamo Bay that he missed the international outcry concerning Mohammadi’s death. You’d think someone in the news business would have noticed outrage by: Amnesty International, Scholars at Risk (with members on over 100 college campuses), Global Voice Online, Human Rights Watch, World Movement for Democracy, the Center of Human Rights Activists, the Liberal Party of Sweden, Medicine Without Borders, the Student Movement Coordination Committee for Democracy in Iran, The Green Party of Iran, and the National Council of Resistance of Iran. Iran’s major rights watchdog group Kanoon-e Modafean Hogooge Bashar put out such an outcry for an investigation to Mohammadi’s death that Iran’s regime has banned them. There have been vigils and gathering by activists such as one in Toronto on August 4th.

Publication as diverse as the Guardian on the left and the National Review on the right have called for an investigation. USINFO a website that is produced and maintained by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Information Programs had this to say on August 2, 2006: “Washington – U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack joined human rights advocates around the world in condemning the death of a jailed Iranian student dissident, Akbar Mohammadi. Mohammadi, who died July 30, 2006.”

Human rights violations are equally as bad to these organizations no matter which country they happen in. The one I suspect who is selective in his outrage is the Tribune’s Editor.

Second Letter:

It came as no surprise on March 8, 2007 to see the Tribune’s editor write a column attacking unions and the Free Choice Act. The Employee Free Choice Act (H.R. 800) would enable working people to bargain for better wages, benefits and working conditions by restoring workers’ freedom to choose for themselves whether to join a union. The Tribunes editor is hoping that Bush will veto the bill. Considering how the Bush administration hates unions and loves seeing U.S. jobs go to China and the Third World I’m positive he will use his veto pen.

The Tribs editor states, his main concern is that workers voting to form a union will not have a secret ballot under the bill. If that’s really the Tribune editor’s main concern then the he has nothing to worry about. That’s because the bill states that, if one-third of workers want to have a secret NLRB election at their workplace, they can still ask the federal government to hold such an election. The Employee Free Choice Act simply gives them another option—majority sign-up.

Academic studies have shown that workers who organize under majority sign-up feel less pressure from co-workers to support the union than workers who organize under the NLRB election process. Workers who vote by majority sign-up also report far less pressure or coercion from management to oppose the union than workers who go through NLRB elections.

The editor mentions that the 1935 NLRB Act makes it illegal for employers to intimidate workers who are trying to form a union. The editor says that enforcing that law solves the problem not enacting the new Free Choice Act. According to a survey of National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) election campaigns in 1998 and 1999 by Cornell University scholar Kate Bronfenbrenner, private-sector employers illegally fired employees for union activity in at least 25 percent of all efforts to join a union. According to the same survey, management forced employees to attend group anti-union presentations in 92 percent of all union campaigns.

As far as the union, it is illegal for anyone to coerce employees to sign a union authorization card. Any person who breaks the law will be subject to penalties under the Employee Free Choice.

The Warren Tribune doesn’t support the Free Choice Act but hundreds of members of Congress of both parties, historians, academics and civil and human rights organizations, most major faith denominations and 69 percent of the American public do.

The weirdest part of the Tribune’s editorial is when they attack Rep. Steve LaTourette for voting for a bill that will benefits working Americans. They say that LaTourette should change his party affiliation from Republican to Democrat to “reflect his true colors.” That speaks volumes about how the Republican Party favors corporations over working people. I have to note that the Tribune never had a problem when former democrat Rep. Trafficant voted along with republicans 60% of the time.

Tommy Bolin Don’t Let Your Mind Post Toastee

Bustin Out for Rosey

If you don’t read the newspaper, you are uninformed; if you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed.

~ Mark Twain

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