October 24, 2015

Not News: UAW Considering Plan to Milk the Unemployment System in a GM Strike

The news coming out of Detroit about near-deadline negotiations between the United Auto Workers union and General Motors has been pretty quiet. As the Sunday 11:59 p.m. deadline approaches, the Associated Press only has a four-paragraph blurb indicating that the union wants to get a richer package than it just garnered in negotiations with Fiat Chrysler. A Reuters report goes into detail about GM’s cost structure still being higher than that seen at Toyota’s and Nissan’s U.S. plants by about 15 percent and 31 percent, respectively. The New York Times is only carrying reports from the wires.

One note of substance about the UAW’s strategy covered at Bloomberg News — surely known to others following the industry who are filing bland reports — is that it plans to milk the unemployment insurance system in the event of a protracted strike.

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AP’s Bauder Enlists As An Accomplice to the Cinematic Fraud of ‘Truth’

The press has consumed many barrels of ink and gigs of bandwidth providing free promotion for the eminently misnamed movie Truth, thus far virtually for naught.

On Thursday, the Associated Press’s David Bauder did his part to generate interest by pretending, despite obviously forged documents and a virtually complete lack of anything resembling corroborating evidence, that what Dan Rather and Mary Mapes reported in 2004 about George W. Bush’s Texas Air National Guard service might, as those two miscreants formerly employed by CBS still insist, be accurate.

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Wash Post’s Bump: My Doctor Trumps Hillary’s Doctor in Assessing Her Health

A mini-war broke out yesterday between the Washington Post’s Philip Bump, who would apparently prefer to keep discussions of Hillary Clinton’s health off the table, and Matt Drudge. As would be expected, Drudge won in a rout, while Bump continues to pretend that he didn’t.

Bump, in his disingenuous Friday morning entry at the Post’s all too appropriately named “The Fix” blog, told readers that his own doctor’s opinion concerning Mrs. Clinton’s health should trump Drudge’s. Bump should have known better — maybe he did, and didn’t care, rolling the dice on Drudge ignoring him. The issue isn’t Bump’s doctor, who has never examined Mrs. Clinton, versus Drudge. It’s Bump’s doctor versus a media-published statement made by Mrs. Clinton’s own doctor.

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Saturday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (102415)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:05 am

This open thread is meant for commenters to post on items either briefly noted below (if any) or otherwise not covered at this blog. Rules are here.

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11:45 a.m.: Early Friday, I linked to this item from 2000 about Canada’s Pierre Trudeau in a post about the new, press-driven “Trudeaumania” over his son Justin.

It deserves a few specific excerpts so we fully understand the potential mischief which will ensue if the son follows the path of his father (bolds are mine):

Mr. Trudeau walked among us between 1919 and 2000. He concerned himself with public affairs during the 55 years spanning 1942 and 1997, first as a student and journalist, then as a politician and national leader, and finally as an elder statesman. During those years, the first main domestic argument in Canada was between free enterprise and the interventionist economy, and the second between the unitary and the devolutionary state. Internationally, the main argument was between liberal democracy and totalitarianism.

It’s safe to say that in the first and the third of these arguments, Mr. Trudeau took the wrong side. The jury is still out on the second.

Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms … (was and still is) “the opposite of a liberty-enhancing document.”

… he regarded everyone who disagreed with him as a fool.

Mr. Trudeau embraced Communist despots wherever he could find them. On his four visits to China between 1960 and 1979, he continually played the role of appeaser and apologist, first to Mao Zedong, and later to his heirs. In 1973, he defended Mao’s policies in Canada’s Parliament, oblivious to (or uncaring about) the fact that he was seeking accommodation with a system responsible for the deaths of some 80 million people.

… It’s possible to quantify the economic results of Mr. Trudeau’s legacy of Big Government, as the columnist Eric Margolis did recently. The national debt grew from $11.3-billion in 1968 to $128-billion in 1984. The annual federal deficit went from zero to $25-billion. Ottawa’s spending rose from 30% of Canada’s total economic output to nearly 53%; our dollar plummeted from around US$1.06 in 1970 to 66 cents today. (i.e., in 2000)

… Mr. Trudeau’s promise of unifying the country also came to nothing. Bilingualism didn’t do the trick. Non-traditional immigration and multiculturalism may have changed the face of Canada, but they did little to either unify or imbue it with a new sense of identity. Today, Canada is as much a nation of “two solitudes” as it was in 1945 when Hugh MacLennan used the term for the title of his novel.

If anything, Canadian society is more fragmented than it was before the Trudeau era. Some of the concepts that contributed to Canada’s splintering into hostile, self-seeking xenoliths were inspired by Mr. Trudeau’s ideas, and some evolved as reactions to them, but in either case the result was the same. Multiculturalism, Western alienation, interest-group politics, the gender wars, and aboriginal separatism created only an increasing number of solitudes. In this sense, Mr. Trudeau still walks at night. Even driving a stake through his heart may no longer make a difference. The mini-vampires of his legacy have taken on bloodthirsty lives of their own. His repatriated Constitution has turned a relatively respectable judiciary into a seething army of Frankenstein monsters who lurch around making law without regard to the original purpose of the legislation. By now the country resembles an elaborate survival game, in which hostile tribes of Canadians clamour for the attention of governments and courts to enforce their claims against other Canadians. It’s not a pretty picture …

Steven Harper, for all of the econmoic improvement he engineered during his decade as Prime Minister, failed to take on that “repatriated Constitution” or the multiculturalism which will now likely accelerate Canada’s splintering.

As to Pierre Trudeau’s son, let’s duly note that Justin Trudeau claims to support the Keystone Pipeline. Don’t be at all surprised if he comes up with a reason to flip-flop on that.

Positivity: Pope Francis makes secret stop at new dorms for Rome’s homeless

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Vatician City:

Oct 16, 2015 / 04:42 am

After last night’s synod session Pope Francis didn’t go back to his residence at the St. Martha house as usual, but instead decided to pop by the Vatican’s new dormitory for homeless men.

According to an Oct. 16 communique from the Vatican, the Pope left for the dormitory shortly after the synod’s evening session yesterday closed at 7 p.m., taking off in his Fiat.

Located around the corner from the Vatican on Via dei Penitenzieri, the new shelter is called the “Gift of Mercy” house, and was inaugurated during a private Oct. 7 ceremony with a blessing and Mass with the dorm’s first guests and volunteers in attendance, celebrated by Papal Almoner Archbishop Krajewski.

Furnished by the Papal Office of Charities and donations, the dorm is run by sisters from Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity, and was established with the help of the Jesuits.

Upon his arrival, Pope Francis was greeted by Archbishop Krajewski; the head of the Office of Papal Charities Msgr. Diego Ravelli; the Superior General of the Jesuits Fr. Adolfo Nicolás; Fr. Joachin Barrero, superior of The General Curia Community; three of Mother Theresa’s sisters and some volunteers who manage the new structure.

Francis greeted each of the shelter’s 30 guests individually in the common area before following them to the dormitory, visiting both their beds and other service areas, including, apparently, the laundry room, according to photos from the event. …

Go here for the rest of the story.