Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Another union sues Gregoire over pay raises

As reported here, Gov. Chris Gregoire is facing another lawsuit from notable political supporters over her decision to skip agreed-to raises and benefits for government workers.

Gregoire, a Democrat, was sued Monday by a local branch of the Service Employees International Union 775, which represents about 25,000 home health care workers in Washington state.

The union objects to Gregoire's recently released budget proposal, which didn't include more than $26.8 million in raises, benefits and training money for workers represented by SEIU 775.

Well, isn't that just special. At a time when the State deficit is in the billions, and the global economy is in shreds, the unions still want theirs. Just like the UAW not being willing to give a little to help their own industry (thereby slitting their own throats, eh?), the SEIU is suing their own candidate to try to force the realization of campaign promises made - promises that were made before the global financial crisis, mind you - even though there is no feasible way the State can actually afford this.

While it appears that Gregoire is biting the hand that fed her, it also appears that the union is cutting off their own nose to spite their face.

This should be a fun one to watch. Stay tuned!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

A Soldiers Night Before Christmas

This Christmas, don't forget those who are serving far from home.

H/T The LawDog

Merry Christmas everyone!

Christmas Day is once again upon us, and that means for most, gathering together with family and friends to celebrate, exchanging gifts, feasting at the holiday table, and sharing good times.But what is it that causes us to celebrate? I think the following verses from the Book of Luke, chapter 2, verses 1 - 14 pretty much sums it up:

Luke 2

1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.

2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Remember, whether you believe or not, Jesus is the reason for the season - Merry Christmas, everyone.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Never Forget

Today marks the 67th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor by the Empire of Japan, shortly before 8:00 AM on Sunday, December 7th, 1941. The attack, which brought the US into WWII, resulted in 5 of 8 battleships sunk or sinking, with the other three heavily damaged, and a large majority of the other ships in port also heavily damaged or sunk. American deaths that horrible morning were approximately 2,400 - the true number will never be known. The most devastating loss was the USS Arizona, which took a direct bomb hit to one of it's main gun magazines, immediately sinking the Arizona, and taking 1,177 of her crew.

In the mid-1970's, I had the privilege of serving on a ship home ported in Pearl Harbor, and as I spent time there, I would often walk through the base. As I walked, I could plainly see in some of the structures still remaining from that time, bullet strike marks. From time to time, I would walk up to a structure (either part of the piers or a concrete bunker) and run my hands over those bullet marks, and contemplate what that day must have been like, hearing in my mind the roar of plane engines, the rattle of machine guns firing, the dull booming sounds of bombs exploding, the terrified screams of people as they tried to get away from the inferno, and the determined oaths of those who fought back. As I contemplated all this, I was saddened by the loss of life, angered by the fact that we could be so surprised, and proud that my country had responded as it did, eventually prevailing over the evil of fascism.

Every December 7th at Pearl Harbor, various ceremonies are conducted in remembrance of the attack, including the laying of a wreath from the USS Arizona Memorial, and the lowering of all flags on the base to half-staff. The last December 7th that my ship was in port while I served aboard her (1975), we were tied up in full view of the USS Arizona Memorial. On that particular day, my entire ship's complement was mustered on the main deck in our dress whites, and as the clock struck 0755, over the loudspeaker came the shrill whistle of the bosun's pipe, followed by the order to stand at attention and render honors (salute) as we faced the Memorial. As we stood there at attention, holding our salute, and we watched as the colors were lowered to half-staff on the Memorial, chills ran up and down my spine (and I'm sure not a few other spines as well). Soon enough (all too soon to me now), the bosun's pipe sounded once again, we ended our salute, and headed below to change into our dungaree's to begin our normal daily routine.

Later that day, I again had the opportunity to run my hands over some remaining bullet strike marks, and as I did, I again looked over to the Memorial. As I gazed over there, my heart swelled with pride, and surprising myself by my own actions, I drew myself to attention once again, and saluted. Unknown to me, a full Captain (Colonel in the other services) was walking past as I was saluting, and cleared his throat to get my attention. As I turned to face him, he saluted me, and said something that I will always remember.

He said, "Never forget!", dropped his salute and walked on his way. As he walked away, I responded, "I won't, Sir!".

I have kept that promise.