Front Page Archives

September 1, 2008,  HAPPY LABOR DAY!


Unfortunately for most of us Americans we’re not too happy this Labor Day.  There are 40 million of us who are officially impoverished -- even though many of us are working.  Another 25 million of us are on the edge of bankruptcy:  just one missed pay check, one adjustable rate mortgage payment, or one unscheduled and uncovered medical procedure away.  The gap between the haves and the have-nots is getting bigger and bigger.  Catholic Charities USA says it’s the biggest since the 1920s.  [Special Note:  Catholic Charities USA is partnering with 19 national faith-based groups to “elevate the issue of poverty in the 2008 elections,” and has called for “A Time of Action” beginning September 10th for “Fighting Poverty with Faith.”  Specifically, CCUSA is asking “citizens of faith”  to contact “local, state, and national candidates about their commitment to the issue of poverty and what they will do to address poverty during their first 100 days in office.”  CCUSA is now the second organization to be listed as one of the “Repairers of the Crack.”  Click on that page to see.]


FDR said prophetically in 1935 that “once political royalists stalked the land, now economic royalists own everything standing.”  We have new work to do.  We have to reclaim our country.   


Bill Moyers notes in his book Moyers on Democracy: “Democracy works when people claim it as their own.”  He reminds us that we have a pay-forward promise to keep:  “It is that the promise of America leaves no one out.  Go now, and tell it on the mountains.  From the rooftops, tell it.  On campus and at the mall, tell it.  Tell it at the synagogue, sanctuary, and mosque,  Tell it where you can, when you can, and while you can  -- to every candidate for office, to every talk-show host and pundit, to corporate executives and schoolchildren,  Tell it -- for America’s sake.”


And the first economic freedom we must reclaim is to no longer be hired by any employer  “at-will.”  Employment-at-will must be destroyed.  Delenda est quaestus ad voluntatem.


Click on “Repairers of the Crack” to hear excerpts of a talk given 45 years and four days ago that addresses these issues.  Allow 20 seconds for the audio to queue up.


September 29, 2008:  Unhappy Day for Capitalism


The U.S. House of Representatives votes 228-205 to reject a $700 billion rescue of Wall Street.  We may be witnessing a biblical prophesy fulfilled:  “He who shuts his ear to the cry of the poor will himself also call and not be heard,”  Proverbs 21:13.


October 3,  2008:  Happy Day for Capitalism


Bailout plan wins!   Final score:  Corporatocracy 700, the Poor O.


October 13, 2008: Happy Day for the Presidential Election


If the messages of Dequav can’t be injected into the U.S. presidential election, why not inject the presidential election into Dequav’s messages?  Click on Advancing the Cause blog and then Message to the General Public.


November 4,  2008:  Election Day


THE day.  This day the government is in your hands.  In fact, the government for a brief moment is your hands.  And by your vote you can correct a very destructive force in our political system:  the overwhelming influence of lobbies and lobbyists.  Barack Obama made a strong appeal to the voters Saturday -- three days before the election -- that he would not permit lobbyists  to be a part of his administration.  Regrettably, they already are.


On October 3rd, Senators Obama and McCain both voted for the financial industry’s heavily lobbied $700 billion Emergency Economic Stabilization Act  -- perhaps the biggest boondoggle in U.S. history.  And the rest of the lobbyists flocked to the legislation like flies to a piece of dead meat, adding  over 400 pages of pork to a simple four-page document originating out of the White House. 


Never have so many been fleeced by so few.  And both front-running candidates have been complicit in the fleecing.  It’s hard to imagine any of the 13 balloted presidential candidates or the at least 66 write-in candidates (including yours truly) who could be more venal than Senators Obama and McCain,  except the various socialists candidates who would love to socialize the financial industry....Oh, didn’t President Bush, the Congress and Senators Obama and McCain already do that?


Among the balloted presidential candidates, Ralph Nader stands out as one who has consistently warned against mixing money and politics.  And he was particularly harsh on the collusion to grease the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act.  If elected to be President, I will appoint Ralph as my Attorney General.  You could elect Ralph to be President and his running mate Matt Gonzalez for Vice President, but then you’ll only get Ralph and Matt.  Elect me and you get both Lee Iacocca and Ralph, plus emancipation from the employment-at-will laws.


If you think I’d appoint only liberals to my cabinet, Lee is not a liberal (as I explained at the Oct. 26th Dequav Press Conference).   I’d appoint Warren Buffett as my Commerce Secretary (Warren has been a traditional Republican till he endorsed Obama this election; I’m not holding it against him) and F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr., -- a very conservative Republican --  as my Secretary of Homeland Security.  No one knows homeland security better than Jim and he voted against the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act.


Since my candidacy is a write-in candidacy you should, if you want to see me elected, print in the  place marked for write-in for President: RON MULVANEY

and for Vice President: LEE IACOCCA.


Thank you for your support.


November 5, 2008


Congratulations to you President-Elect Obama!  You ran a strong and vigorous campaign and beat an American hero without using smear tactics.  Thank you for keeping the campaign on the high road.  Now comes the task of selecting a Cabinet.  May I suggest that you appoint Lee Iacocca as your Secretary of Sate,  Warren Buffet as your Secretary of Commerce, Paul Volcker as your Secretary of the Treasury and F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr., as your Secretary of Homeland Security?


May I also advise that you use an Administrative Rule, which is granted under provisions of the Emergency $700 Billion Economic Stabilization Act, to make null and void all provisions that allow employers the right to hire or retain employees “at-will” and that any banks that the U.S. Treasury invests in must explicitly follow this rule both for themselves and their borrowers.  And furthermore, that banks not lend to companies who have factories or plants overseas who hire or retain employees “at-will,” or which factories or plants would be construed as violating environmental or safety laws at home.


If Lincoln had to get Congressional approval of his Emancipation Proclamation before issuing his “Administrative Rule,”  we’d still have slavery in this country, and you wouldn’t be our President-Elect.


Nov. 27, 2008,  HAPPY THANKSGIVING!


One hundred forty-five years ago, Oct. 3, 1863, to be exact, Abraham Lincoln issued a Thanksgiving Proclamation that followed the Emancipation Proclamation a year earlier.  Here are his unedited words:


“It is the duty of nations as well as of men to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God; to confess their sins and transgressions in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon; and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations are blessed whose God is the Lord.


“We know that by His divine law, nations, like individuals, are subjected to punishments and chastisements in this world.  May we not justly fear that the awful calamity of civil war which now desolates the land may be a punishment inflicted upon us for our presumptuous sins, to the needful end of our national reformation as a whole people?


“We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity; we have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other nation has grown.


“But we have forgotten God.  We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness or our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own.  Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us.


“It has seemed to me fit and proper that God should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people.  I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November as a day of Thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father Who dwells in the heavens.”


(signed) A. Lincoln, Oct. 3, 1863


Dec. 19, 2008, DEQUAV HAD A DREAM!


We have left the full text  of Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Proclamation on our

front page for several reasons.  First, the mass media never publishes it, despite their so-called dedication to the “whole truth” and their fervent opposition to any form of censorship; this is a characteristic flaw of the mass media -- hypocrisy -- and accounts for why you have not seen anything about Dequav, its objectives or its intrusion in the presidential elections  in the mass media since this site was launched in May of this year.  They are the arbitrators of the news, deciding what you shall see on the tube or read in print.  But they can’t control the internet.


Second, we wanted to let Lincoln’s words sink in.  That can’t be done in one day or part of a day; Thanksgiving Day is never fully celebrated since many retail stores open during the holiday precisely because the general public is not thankful for what they have but lusting for more, and they can get it cheaper now. Black Friday would truly be a day of mourning for retailers if the general public were so caught up in appreciating what they had that they continued “appreciating” for the extended weekend!


Third, Lincoln’s words ring true.  AND TODAY DEQUAV HAD A DREAM!

We “the whole American people” ought “to confess (our) sins and transgressions in humble sorrow (and) repentance,”  said Lincoln.  And as John Perkins notes in Confessions of an Economic Hit Man:


“The real story is that we are living a lie,” he states.  “We have created a veneer that hides the fatal cancers beneath the surface.  Those cancers are exposed by the X-rays of our statistics, which disclose the terrifying fact that history’s most powerful  and wealthiest empire has outrageously high rates of suicide, drug abuse, divorce, child molestation, rape, and murder, and that like a malignant cancer, these afflictions spread their tentacles in an ever-widening radius every year,  In our hearts, each of us feels the pain.  We cry out for change.  Yet we slam our fists to our mouths, stifling those cries, and so we go unheard.


“It would be great if we could just blame it all on a conspiracy, but we cannot.  The empire depends on the efficacy of big banks, corporations, and government -- the corporatocracy -- but it is not a conspiracy.  This corporatocracy is ourselves -- we make it happen -- which, of course, is why  most of us find it difficult to stand up and oppose it.  We would rather glimpse conspirators lurking in the shadows, because most of us works for one of those banks, corporations, or governments, or it some way are dependent on them for the goods and services they produce and market.  We cannot bring ourselves to bite the hand of the master who feeds us” (page 256).


And today’s dream (not unlike Dr. Martin Luther King’s over 45 years ago [click on Repairers of the Crack]) was this -- it was so vivid and startling that it woke us at 3  A.M.:  We repented as a nation.


Recently laid off workers rallied to the support and aid of other laid off workers

without concern for themselves and formed master-mind alliances in which no one would quit the alliance until all had successfully found good paying jobs.  One laid off structural engineer gratuitously donated superior blueprints to repair bridges, dams and dikes “just ‘cause they needed it.” 


The Food Pantries were all full, as was Toys for Tots and baskets for

clothing for the poor. There was housing aplenty for the homeless.   Hospitals and health clinics offered their services for free to the unemployed and their families whose insurance ran out.  President Bush fell on the sword for the Republicans and gave American auto makers their sought after loans.  And thousands of Americans at great personal risk  wrote or e-mailed President-Elect Obama requesting that he sign on Jan. 21, 2009,  an Administrative Rule emancipating workers world-wide.


It is no dream that if Lincoln had to get Congressional approval of his Emancipation Proclamation in 1862 before issuing his “Administrative Rule,” we’d still have slavery in this country, and Barack Obama wouldn’t be our President-Elect.


Make Dequav’s dream a reality by e-mailing President-elect Barack Obama at www.change.gov. and tell him to sign into law by Administrative Rule on Jan. 21, 2009,  the Emancipation Proclamation for Workers. 


Wouldn’t it be at least poetic justice for a black man to grant equality for all races world wide in 2009 where a white man granted only some equality for some black people who escaped to the Union side in 1862?



MerryChristmasHanukkahKwanzaNewYear


This holiday season, Christmas Eve to be exact,  Bruce Jeffrey Pardo celebrated by dressing as Santa Claus and armed with four semiautomatic weapons and racing fuel entered his ex-wife’s family’s home in Covina, CA.  When he left, nine family members were murdered, including his ex, and the house was engulfed in flames. Two hours later he killed himself.  Reports say he was distraught by financial problems in making alimony and mortgage payments while struggling to find a new job.  He lost his at-will employment at ITT Electronic Systems in Van Nuys, CA,  in July.


This is not the only carnage caused by employment-at-will.  It’s just the latest.  In 2008, there were many hundreds of unpublicized  ex-workers who took their lives and thousands whose egos were destroyed, making them virtually   unemployable.  Untold numbers of  marriages were wrecked, families destroyed, homelessness increased.  Yes, 2008 was a bad economic year  -- we didn’t find out how bad until the elections were over, but the carnage caused by employment-at-will has continued unabated since the mid 1970s. 


We’ve documented some of this carnage in the last several paragraphs  of our “Personal” page, picking up from Ben Hurly’s story, Charter Baine’s tragedy and ending with Terry Ratzmann’s mass murders.  Don’t think this is not a big enough sample to give a true picture.  You don’t have to drink the whole cup of coffee to know it’s hot; you don’t have to know the full number of bodies to know they’re piled high and deep. Too high.  Too deep. 

The carnage must stop.  Delenda est quaestus ad voluntatem.


There is a window of opportunity until February 12th --  the first month after the Presidential inauguration, and the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birthday.  President Barack Obama needs to sign into law by Administrative Rule the Emancipation Proclamation for Workers. 


The Administrative Rule, which is unequivocally granted under the Economic Stabilization Act of Oct. 3, 2008, and needs no action of Congress,  “would make null and void all provisions that allow employers the right to hire or retain employees ‘at-will’ and that any banks that the U.S. Treasury invests in must explicitly follow this rule both for themselves and their borrowers.  And furthermore, that banks not lend to companies which have factories or plants overseas which hire or retain employees ‘at-will,’ or which factories or plants would be construed as violating environmental or safety laws at home.”


This simple rule would jump start the economy -- and at no cost  -- and prevent unpatriotic companies from further expansion overseas because labor is cheaper or the environment more exploitable.


You may e-mail him at www.whitehouse.gov. but he may never see your e-mail.  Snail mail him at President Barack Obama, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20500.  Make this a New Year’s resolution!


WARNING:   Don’t think this would be a great piece of legislation to be introduced by your favorite Congressman.  You’d be asking him/her to commit political suicide.  And even if he/she would, the legislation would be referred  to committee and die.  If by some miracle the legislation got out of committee, it would draw the animus of thousands of highly paid business lobbyists in Washington and they would kill it.



February 12, 2009: Happy 200th Birthday Abe Lincoln!


“Everlasting in the memory of his countrymen,” is President Lincoln.  Justly honored.  Justly remembered.  Sadly, it  took  a civil war and his assassination to make us appreciate him.  Both events devastated this nation.  But the Union prevailed and a democracy survived.  And slavery was eventually eliminated in the land.  But tyranny was not.


Lincoln often referred  to the “eternal struggle throughout the world”  between democracy and tyranny and how often tyranny had the upper hand.  The tyrant, be he king or master, Lincoln said, proclaims: “you toil and work and earn bread, and I eat it.”  Democracy proclaims, Lincoln said:  “as I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master.”


Toil, labor and work were not intended to satisfy the greed of the tyrant; they were the fruit of the laborer and intended to satisfy him and the rest of the human family.  Employment-at-will was a master’s right over his slaves [click on the Law above and especially Dr. Standler’s site within the link to see this documentation on Master and Servant by Horace C. Wood]. Lincoln would have regarded this “law” as tyrannical.  But this “law” was created twelve years after Lincoln’s assassination, and so Lincoln could never have acted on it.


How ironic, Lincoln’s words at Gettysburg, they nearly trumped all tyrannies -- including employment-at-will:  “The world will little note, nor long remember, what we say here....”  The world has greatly noted, and very long remembered for over 145 years what Lincoln prophesied there:  “This nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom...and that government of the people...by the people...for the people...shall not perish from the earth” because as Lincoln noted at the beginning of the address “a new nation (was) conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” 


President Obama by the stroke of a pen can abolish “employment-at-will” and help fulfill Lincoln’s prophesy.  Urge him to do so.


April 15, 2009 - We’ve Been Tomfooleried!

In a new low of journalism, Fox News featured 9 segments and 40 promos over just two days in advance of the now infamous “liberty”-tea parties on April 15th.  Over a one-week period, 10 in-show promos were given by Fox presenter Sean Hannity, while Neil Cavuto and Glen Beck delivered 5 each.  Cavuto did  7 news segments on the event.  All Fox News shows featured commercials advertising the protests during that time, and they were regularly described as “FNC [Fox News Channel] Tax Day Tea parties” by on air personalities. 


In addition, Fox News contributors were listed as “Tea Party Sponsor[s]” on the website promoting the event, while appearances by Fox personalities were used to promote individual rallies.  Fox News anchor Cody Willard, reporting from one of the protest sites said -- on air -- “Guys, when are we going to wake up and start fighting the fascism that seems to be permeating this country?”


In the so-called “golden days” of journalism -- sometime prior to Fox News --  you could easily tell the difference between publicity and news.  News was something

people tried to keep out of the media, while publicity was something people tried to get  into it.  Now Fox News has uncomplicated life for us.  News is what Fox News tells us it is.


April, 2009 - We’ve Been April Fooled!


The mass media frenzy over AIG bonuses is a fraud.  And the media knows it, but is covering it up.  How quaint.  The mass media which is the supposed enemy of the “cover up” is in bed with one.  Ironically, there will be no firings, no resignations, no apologies.  Not even a “whoops.”  The AIG bonuses firestorm is a creation of the media, by the media and for the media.  And there will be no angst over principle, issues or half-truths -- despite all the grievous turmoil caused.


No digging by a Matt Drudge or some other media watch dog exposed the fraud.  Just a simple letter to the editor in the New York Times. Jake DeSantis’s op-ed letter effectively blew the cover on the fraud.  He was an executive vice president at AIG’s Financial division who was now resigning --  and donating his entire bonus to charity -- because his new boss, Edward M. Liddy, had “failed to stand up for us in the face of untrue accusations from certain members of Congress...and the press over our retention payments” (bold italics added).


Some of the facts the mass media conveniently overlooked:


  1. 1.Liddy was not the only one in AIG working for $1 a year.  So was Jake DeSantis and many of his associates at AIG who agreed to stay on “out of a sense of duty to the company and to the public officials who have come to AIG’s aid.” 

  2. 2.None of the “left behind” were responsible for the credit default swap transactions

    that hamstrung AIG.  The rats had deserted ship -- and “escaped the public 

    outrage.”

  1. 3.The equity and commodities units of AIG Financial were “consistently profitable  -- in most years generating net profits of well over $100 million,” DeSantis said.

  2. 4.After 12 months of 10-14 hours per day dismantling the company for $1 salary,

    AIG management “reassured us many times we would be rewarded in March

   2009” with the promised retention bonuses.

5. The Obama administration clearly knew of the “arrangements,” agreed to them,

     and asked Senator Dodd  to remove language that would prohibit the bonuses

     in the financial aid package to AIG.


Sometimes the mass media misses stories right under its nose.  The tragedies  caused by employment-at-will is a notable example. That story has been around for at least 35 years.  At least those of us who been doing under/unemployment forensics began noticing it about that time.  Unfortunately, we lab technicians just diagnose.  We don’t remedy.  Until last year.  We decided to go public with our lab results on Memorial Day of last year -- fitting, we thought, for honoring war dead. 



Our diagnosis:  Employment-at-will is toxic.  Poison.  Lethal.  It kills.  The print media was the first one alerted.  They passed.  We attempted a dialogue with this medium itself, the internet.   By June, we had created twelve different categories of targeted audiences, and we snail-mailed a formal press release to let the print media know.  They passed again.  The internet itself, we learned, is not the fresh, quick way to publish results and gain attention that it was ten years ago.  There are currently  millions of web sites, all clamoring for attention.  A total of three people responded to ours.  One of the twelve categories of targeted audiences was the mass media itself.  But since no one from the mass media responded -- not even sub rosa -- and since the only one who did respond to this category was an outsider who was critical of the mass media, we eliminated this category.


Inasmuch as last year was an election year, and the mass media was active in coverage, we attempted to interject employment-at-will into state and national elections by asking the media to raise questions about employment-at-will.  They passed again.  Finally, we personified Dequav but entering into the presidential race ourselves as write-in candidates, not entirely over the issue of employment-at-will; as a matter of fact, we were enraged at both front-runner candidates and felt that they were unfit for the office, after their October 3rd vote supporting the $700 billion Wall Street bail out (the so-called “Emergency Economic Stabilization Act”) -- perhaps the biggest boondoggle in U.S. history.  Of course we notified the media again -- even held a news conference.  Predictably, although consistently,  there was no media response.




We believe the forensic evidence we gathered was evidence enough of the toxicity of employment-at-will:  the destroyed lives of Ben Hurly, Charter Baine, Terry Ratzmann and the seven individuals he murdered [click on “Personal” above and read the last 10 paragraphs].  This evidence should have been enough for even a cub reporter to connect the dots.  However, since the presidential elections there’s been a few more “dots” added to the mix:


  1. 1. Dec. 24th, Bruce Jeffrey Pardo,  an unemployed engineer, dressed himself as Santa Claus and killed his ex-wife and eight of her family members in Covina, CA.  He later killed himself.


  1. 2. Mar. 11th,  Michael McLendon, an unemployed metals plant worker, killed 10

    people, including his mother, grandparents, an uncle, an aunt, and three  

    neighbors and two random victims before killing himself in south Alabama.


  1. 3. Mar. 29th, Robert Stewart, an unemployed house painter, killed seven patients

    and a nurse before being wounded by a policeman in a Carthage, NC,  nursing

    home.  Stewart missed killing his estranged wife who was hiding in a bathroom.


  1. 4. Apr. 3rd, Jiverly Wong, an unemployed vacuum plant worker, killed 13 people

    and then himself at a Binghamton, NY, immigration center.


  1. 5. Apr. 4th, Richard Poplawski, an unemployed glass factory worker, killed three  

    police officers before being disabled by police gunfire in Pittsburgh, PA.


Are there enough “dots” now to make a connection?


P.S.  We congratulated President Philip Van Cleave of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, Inc., for his performance on 60 Minutes, Sunday, April 12th.  We think Lesley Stahl was unsuccessful in trying to link several recent deadly shooting sprees (such as the above) with laid-off workers who happened to have guns.  We suggested the NRA should tweak their slogan to read “Guns Don’t Kill People -- Employment-at-Will Does.”



Memorial Day 2009 --  Happy Birthday Dequav!


At this time last year, Dequav was launched on the internet.  It has been a heck of a ride.  What started as a dialogue became an unintended monologue.  We were looking for conversationalists, not converts.  Part  of this change was the result of the national elections, which forced out many issues that were not part of the debates. 


Dequav tried very hard to be part of these debates but with no luck.  Then it tried to jump into the fray (if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em) with a write-in ticket in the presidential race. To be brutally honest, we lost our cool.   We were so enraged at both front-runner candidates after their vote to support the $700 billion Wall Street bail out (the so-called “Emergency Economic Stabilization Act”) -- until that time the biggest boondoggle in U.S. history -- that that’s the real reason for our write-in candidacy in the presidential race. 


Lastly, we sent a congratulatory note to President Obama on his successful bid for office (opponents have an unwritten duty to do that).   We made some suggestions for cabinet appointments and respectfully requested that the first day in office he use an Administrative Rule (under the Emergency $700 Billion Economic Stabilization Act) to make null and void all provisions that allow employers the right to hire or fire employees “at will”; and that any banks that the U.S. Treasury invests in must explicitly follow this rule both for themselves and their borrowers.  And furthermore, that banks not lend to companies who have foreign facilities, factories or plants who hire or fire employees “at-will,” or which units would be construed as violating environmental or safety laws at home.


We cautioned the President-Elect on this occasion plus several others -- both by letter and e-mail --  to take this action immediately and not await an impossible  Congressional approval.   With the President receiving over 40,000 snail mail letters per day and at least 10 times that amount in e-mails, this advice fell through the cracks, although we did receive a curt reply on a printed card from an intern staffer advising that we state our case in an e-mail to the White House (we had already done that twice before). 


Ironically, on this date in 1857 (or one day later),  the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Dred Scott, an African American slave, had “no rights that a white man need respect.”  One hundred fifty two years later, with the exclusion of some very narrowly defined anti-discrimination laws -- all supposed violations of which must be proven -- it might be said that “the at-will employee has no rights that an employer need respect.”  Change this.  Write (snail mail) President Barack Obama, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20500, to immediately implement the above Administrative Rule, aptly called the Emancipation Proclamation for Workers. 

Perhaps if he had implemented the rule as we requested in January, he might have prevented the 5,500 jobs lost at the Chrysler plant in Kenosha, WI,  from going to Mexico because he didn’t want to “micro-manage” Chrysler.  Golly gee, Mr. President, didn’t you campaign on a platform to “micro-manage” American companies from sending American jobs to foreign soil?  And didn’t you already advance $5 billion in TARP money -- taxpayer money -- to Chrysler?    Have you checked out the price tag on this Administrative Rule?  It’s “0” taxpayer dollars!


Happy Independence Days!


July 4, 1776, is the official birth date of the United States.  But every day since should be called “Independence Day” because every day since July 4, 1776, is a hard earned day of independence.  And lest we forget, the Declaration of Independence is the actual birth certificate of the U.S.A.:


“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, “ so begins the second paragraph, “that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness -- That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers form the Consent of the Governed....”


This “Consent” clearly contradicted the “Divine Right of Kings” doctrine which was almost universally accepted at that time: kings ruled because they were chosen by the Creator to do so, and kings were accountable to no one except the Creator. The Declaration listed 32 reasons why King George III [his name is never explicitly given] was unfit to rule, except the one reason that really counted: King George was crazy as a loon.


The doctrine of the Divine Right of Kings was formalized by Jacques-Benigne Bossuet (1627-1704) to legitimatize the reign of his own king, King Louis the XIV of France.  But the Divine Right of Kings has a much longer history than Bossuet’s.  In antiquity, if the king, monarch or pharaoh wasn’t himself a god, then he was certainly appointed by God to rule.  Ironically, God Himself didn’t believe in the Divine Right of Kings. He equated kingship with attempts to usurp HIs relationship with HIs people and warned that any kings would ultimately be tyrants.


In Chapter 8 of the First Book of Samuel the elders of Israel come to Samuel and ask him to appoint a king to rule over them. Samuel is miffed that the people reject Samuel and his heirs to rule over them. Samuel goes to the Lord and asks about the people’s request. The Lord answers:


“Chill out, Samuel, it’s not you they’re dissing. It’s Me. So give the ingrates what they want. But solemnly warn them that it’s the tradition of any king to be a tyrant. He’ll conscript your sons and make them canon fodder to protect his tanks, others he’ll conscript to do his plowing and weeding, and still others he’ll conscript to make weapons of mass destruction. He’ll take your daughters and make them at-will employees to bathe, perfume, beautify and feed his courtesans.


“He’ll steal the best of your produce, flocks and herds and give them to his courtiers and imperial guards. He’ll also confiscate your male and female servants and your best young men and work animals and use them for his work. He’ll tax everything else and you yourselves will be his slaves. Oh, and the people will cry out in pain when they realize what a fix the king they chose put them in. But I won’t lift a finger to help.”


Samuel dutifully reported the words of the Lord to the people. But they didn’t heed the warnings and rationalized: “Even so, there shall be a king over us and we’ll be like the other nations around us. Our king will rule us and lead us in battle....Deal!


Though the king might appear above the Law, he wasn’t. The Divine Rights of Kings didn’t allow him to violate the Torah. In fact, he was to be it’s enforcer. With or without a king, the Lord designed a society for Israel (arguably the world) , that was to be poverty free (Dt. 15:4).  Each family was given property in perpetuity ensuring freedom from poverty.


The property could not be sold, though its crops could be sold for a number of years in advance.  The land was not to be harvested to its edges, nor the fruit of trees picked clean.  The remainder was for the hungry and needy.  Hospitality was to be given to total strangers.  Israelites were encouraged to lend freely to their neighbors without interest, but every seven years debts were canceled and slaves set free.  And when the slaves were set free they were to be given a gift of money for their labor.  Jurisprudence was not to be two-tiered -- one form of justice for the rich and another for the poor.  Justice was to be administered evenly.


Every 50 years (the Year of Jubilee) property was to be restored to its original owners, all debts were again canceled and slaves set free.  And when the slaves were freed they were to be given a gift of money for their labor.  Jurisprudence was not to be two-tiered -- one form of justice for the rich and another for the poor.  Justice was to be administered evenly.


But in the entire history of the 43 kings of Judah and Israel -- and Israel had no “good” kings and Judah had only nine marginally “good” kings -- none of the kings ever called the Jubilee Year even though Leviticus 25 mandated it [Lev 25: 10 is inscribed on the Liberty Bell -- evidently when the Declaration of Independence was signed the colonialists believed that the Jubilee Year had finally arrived].  In short, the Divine Right of Kings has a notoriously tyrannical history.  But not until 1793 when Louis XVI, who was the reigning monarch in France, was executed did the doctrine supposedly disappear.


Or did it?  We still have a Divine Right of Kings legacy left in the United States.  It simply had a name change.  It’s known as the employment-at-will rule.  And we’ll never be completely independent until it’s eliminated.


Addendum:


As the above essay was about to be published, Goldman Sachs reported a $3.44 billion quarterly profit after having repaid the U.S. Treasury the $10 billion TARP money it borrowed.  The Government’s Recovery Program is certainly working for GS!  But why the quick pay back of TARP money?


Critics say the Barack Administration can’t now criticize GS for awarding average pay, bonus and benefit packages of $770,00 to its 29,400 staff.  Staunch defenders, such as former U.S. Treasury Secretary and former GS CEO Henry Paulson, point out that GS earned its keep by successfully trading in state and federal government securities and in savvy commodity trading.  It’s the latter that has come under particular criticism.


Last summer, gasoline prices rose to over $4 a gallon, shutting down American travel plans, bankrupting air lines and auto makers, and increasing world hunger -- whenever the price of oil rises sharply farmers sell their grains, particularly corn, to the oil markets.  Hence, grains, originally destined for the kitchen tables of the poor, disappear.


But there seemed to be no logical reason for the price increases of oil last summer.  Oil supply was up and demand down.  The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission noticed -- one Administration too late -- that oil-futures trading was being abused by commodity market players, forcing oil prices spiraling upwards.  The CFTC says that in the future it will crack down on commodity traders who trade oil-futures contracts for profit without ever taking delivery of the commodity.  Last summer, GS traded every barrel of oil 27 times before delivery!  It made billions of dollars while the world starved.


GS has many defenders, not just the crimsoned-faced Henry Paulson who looked and acted at televised hearings before Congress like a kid caught with his hand in the cooke jar.  One other defender, Robert Barnes in Seeking Alpha, asks how does

GS’s $3.44 billion in profits for the quarter make GS “intrinsically evil”?  Here’s our observation:


     Stealing from the rich to give to the poor  -- that’s Robin Hood.

     Stealing from the rich to give to the rich -- that’s Wall Street.

     Stealing from the poor to give to the rich -- that’s GS.


And, for those who would see, that’s employment-at-will.


September 7, 2009, IT’S LABOR DAY, HOW ROSY!


This is our second Labor Day message  -- the first was last year.  It was a somber message.  We wrote:  “There are 40 million  Americans who are officially impoverished -- even though many of us are working.  Another 25 million of us are on the edge of bankruptcy: just one missed pay check, one adjustable rate mortgage payment, or one unscheduled and uncovered medical procedure away.  The gap between the haves and have-nots is getting bigger and bigger.”


This was written before the worst recession since the Great Depression was official, the home real estate bubble burst and Wall Street collapsed.  Now several million more Americans are impoverished, 6.9 million are not working and at least another 8 million are “looking for work,” according to the federal government.  Officially, the rate of unemployment is 9.7% but is expected to reach 10% by year-end.


An undetermined number of individuals are the so-called “discouraged workers,” the furloughed and those who had their wages or their hours drastically cut.  No one has a clue how many homeless there really are, although a million home foreclosures in 2008 didn’t subtract from their number.  We know from reports from schools that one million school-age children are homeless, and presumably they’re accompanied by at least one parent.  In addition, the U.S. Census Bureau’s annual report on income, released shortly after Labor Day, shows that medium household income has fallen 3.6% from 2007 to 2008 and that 2.5 million people are living in poverty, including 19% of all children under 18.  The really bad news, however, is that Americans are earning less than a decade ago.  There hasn’t been such a loss decade in 40 years of Census tracking. Any growth has gone to the very rich.  The same report showed that the wealthiest one-tenth of 1% earned $2 million more last year than in 1999.


On Labor’s own front, the influence of organized labor is dwindling.  It’s rank and file membership has descended from a high of almost 50% in the 1950s to a low of 12% today.  In fact, the public sector is inflating that figure, since government workers were five times more likely to belong to a union in 2008 than were private sector employees (36.8% vs. 7.6%).  And at almost every juncture where there has been a dispute between management and labor -- but especially in the Congress -- labor has lost.  It has been out-lobbied and out-gunned.  In contrast, excessive executive compensation, which should be an embarrassment even in a booming economy, goes unchecked. CEO’s of seven of the top paid executives were oil or natural gas corporate sultans who received compensation of more than $100 million.  The top paid CEO, however, is not an oil man.  Stephen Schwarzman of the Blackstone Group L.P. (a private equity investment management firm), received compensation of $702.4 million.


Meanwhile, Obama administration officials -- but especially Vice President Biden -- are crowing that the recession has “bottomed out” because of the federal stimulus package.  The Administration was buoyed by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke who said:  “The prospects for a return to [economic] growth in the near term appear good.”  Perhaps he had the oil company executives in mind.  President Obama was so ecstatic with Bernanke’s upbeat report to central bankers across the world that he took a break from his vacation in Martha’s Vineyard to re-nominate Bernanke for a second term -- even though the second term doesn’t begin until February 1.


Is this Labor picture really so rosy?  The Administration has taken to heart the words of Garrison Keillor:  “Sometimes you have to look at reality in the eye, and deny it.”  And the Administration is clearly in denial.  The economy sucks.  There is equal opportunity only on the bottom.  And who are we kidding? Labor isn’t lauded, it’s abused.  We are sorely in need of a level playing field.  Emancipate the worker, Mr. President.  Banish employment-at-will.


Even After Its Coup D’état Wall Street Needs Help


Click here for humorous video.


Wall Street, after accepting its hugh federal bailout, is preparing to award a record $140 billion in bonuses this year to its top executives.  However, a move is afoot to thwart this largess after President Barack Obama’s recent retort: “It does offend our values when executives of big financial firms that are struggling pay themselves huge bonuses even as they rely on extraordinary assistance to stay afloat.”  The Treasury Department is threatening to cut theses bonuses in half.  So please be generous if an appeal is made at your local movie house. 


Oct. 3: 1st Anniversary of Day of Infamy: the Coup D’état


On Oct. 3, 2008, then Senator Obama and Senator McCain both voted for the financial industry’s heavily lobbied $700 billion Emergency Economic Stabilization Act.  Thus, the front-runner presidential candidates led a bi-partisan Congress and a lame duck Republican President to vote in the worst form of socialism, government for and by Wall Street.


This is why recent correspondence from the National Right to Work Committee particularly rankles.  The organization feels threatened by “Big Labor’s” success in introducing a “Card Check” bill in Congress; the “Card Check” would allow union organizers the opportunity to confront management with written documents proving that employees really want a union in the company.  NRWC wants money sent IMMEDIATELY to their headquarters in Springfield, VA.  NRWC will in turn submit our signed petition objecting to “Union Bosses’ power grab” to our U.S. Congressman and two U.S. Senators.  Ironically, the “Card Check” provision was almost immediately removed from the legislation while in committee, which makes NRWC a flat out liar!  Deception seems to be a specialty of NRWC, which no doubt counts for its considerable success.  Even its name should give people a clue of its verbal engineering.  We’ve included a few maps for the readers examination.  Please note there are two differences between Slave States and Right to Work States.  One, there are several more states that NRWC has successfully cowed into becoming Right to Work States.  Two, only Negroes were slaves in the Slave States.


Christmas Message:

Luke 2: 14: Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men and women oppressed by employment-at-will

And to the 27 million American  under and unemployed this Christmas may Santa leave a fat job under your Christmas tree!



Bernanke Confirmation: One Disgrace Piled on Top of  Another


Does anyone in Washington remember who was the architect of the Day of Infamy, Oct 3, 2008?  Or who who it was who ignored ominous signs about sub-prime lending  before it was too late?  Or who it was who testified on Capitol Hill in opposition to a key reform proposal to create a consumer financial protection agency?  Or who it was who claimed the recession over when the Dow hit 10,000  in October 2009?  Or who it was who failed to suggest a single proposal to Congress how the country might reduce the worst unemployment rate since the Great Depression?  It is a disgrace that the only bi-partisan U.S. Senate action in this session of Congress is the confirmation of Ben Bernanke as Chairman of the Federal Reserve.  Where was the filibuster when we really needed it?


Respected New York Times columnist Paul Krugman made the lame assertion that “any good alternative for the position (of Fed Chairman) would face a bruising fight in the Senate.”  The fight should have happened.  Wall Street needed a little bruising.  One good alternative to Bernanke was Paul Volcker.  At 6’7” tall he is a bruiser.  The former Federal Reserve Chairman, who almost single-handedly stopped run-a-way inflation in the 70’s, said in a very public interview with Charlie Rose, that “the president will have to stop pretending that his top financial advisors [e.g., Ben Bernanke] are anything other than shills and lackeys for Wall Street.”  Paul Volcker would have made an excellent Fed Chairman for the second time.



Connecticut Workplace Killings Not Related to Employment-at Will, Massive Starvation Is


The eight mass murders and one suicide in Manchester, Conn., Aug. 3, 2010, were not the result of employment-at-will, as the 56 previously cited cases on Dequav’s welcome pages.  Omar S. Thornton, the  mass murderer at Hartford Distributors, was under union contract and he was caught stealing. Not all mass killings, even at places of employment, are the result of employment-at-will.


As proof that  we aren’t myopic, there were 23 recent mass killings that weren’t the result of employment-at-will at all.  They were the result of food riots in third world countries -- seven in Cameroon alone.  But even these mass killings were dwarfed by the 250 million people who were reduced to starvation in 2008, which triggered the food riots.  Frederick Kaufman in July, 2010, issue of Harper’s Magazine lays the blame to Wall Street commodity brokers,  and the Goldman Sachs Commodity Index in particular.


Though a unique American doctrine, employment-at-will is related to world-wide starvation; it leads to joblessness and poverty.  And poverty can lead to starvation, as the commodity manipulations of Goldman Sachs from 2006-2008 proved.  Employment-at-will, at least has this civility about it: it’s perpetrated on adults.  The Wall Street commodities manipulation starved mostly children.  However, the evil of employment-at-will and massive starvation caused by Wall Street have this in common: hardly anyone notices.



Is It Academic Tenure That Needs

Scrutiny or Employment-at-Will?


We have previously documented that mass murders have been the result of employment-at-will (see below).  There have been at least six incidences in recent years totaling 53 dead,  including the four unemployed assassins who killed themselves along with their victims.  It could be argued that these crazed assassins were not very intelligent people who simply went berserk.  And that may have been the case in four of the six incidences.


We’ve also have had several cases of mass killings on high school and college campuses, but none were related to unemployment.  However, February 12, 2010, that all changed when Amy Bishop, a Harvard-trained neuroscientist, allegedly shot and killed three colleagues on campus after hearing for the second time that she was denied tenure at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.  Undoubtedly, there are university and college presidents, as well as regents and academic department heads, who are rethinking the whole issue of tenure.  It is getting to be more and more expensive to tenure professors and college campuses are offering it less and less to faculty.  For some Ivy League colleges tenure is de facto dead.  And for the rest of colleges campuses the vast majority of faculty who don’t obtain tenure in the allotted six to seven years, it’s the unemployment line or the stimulating part-time work of fast foods or retail clerking.


This is an ignominious end to the brightest and the best of our society who have invested so much of their personal lives in education.  This plight is also the poorest example to the undergraduates who look up to their professors (or ought to).  What’s ironic to us is that all this ensuing scrutiny falls on tenure and not employment-at-will.  The latter is virtually unexamined on campus or anywhere else.  Perhaps now, after Amy Bishop bloodied her own campus, universities and colleges will recognize the authenticity of the question:  Isn’t it employment-at-will that really needs the scrutiny?



Quoted from Archives April 2009:


We believe the forensic evidence we gathered was evidence enough of the toxicity of employment-at-will:  the destroyed lives of Ben Hurly, Charter Baine, Terry Ratzmann and the seven individuals he murdered [click on “Personal” above and read the last 10 paragraphs].  This evidence should have been enough for even a cub reporter to connect the dots.  However, since the presidential elections there’s been a few more “dots” added to the mix:


  1. 1. Dec. 24th, Bruce Jeffrey Pardo,  an unemployed engineer, dressed himself as Santa Claus and killed his ex-wife and eight of her family members in Covina, CA.  He later killed himself.


  1. 2. Mar. 11th,  Michael McLendon, an unemployed metals plant worker, killed 10

    people, including his mother, grandparents, an uncle, an aunt, and three  

    neighbors and two random victims before killing himself in south Alabama.


  1. 3. Mar. 29th, Robert Stewart, an unemployed house painter, killed seven patients

    and a nurse before being wounded by a policeman in a Carthage, NC,  nursing

    home.  Stewart missed killing his estranged wife who was hiding in a bathroom.


  1. 4. Apr. 3rd, Jiverly Wong, an unemployed vacuum plant worker, killed 13 people

    and then himself at a Binghamton, NY, immigration center.


  1. 5. Apr. 4th, Richard Poplawski, an unemployed glass factory worker, killed three  

    police officers before being disabled by police gunfire in Pittsburgh, PA.


Are there enough “dots” now to make a connection?