Talking Points - May 2010

1. Among his numerous moves designed to “change” our nation, President Obama is using the recess appointment tactic to place men like union lawyer Craig Becker on the National Labor Relations Board. Becker supports the disingenuously named “Employee Free Choice Act,” which would actually eliminate free choice by removing the right to a secret ballot from employees deciding whether or not to unionize. Heretofore, each worker’s decision could be made privately without potential recriminations aimed by union officials at those who didn’t support union wishes. The union bosses simply didn’t know who their opponents were. Congress may yet reject the proposed Free Choice Act, but placement of Craig on the NLRB board tilts the labor organization toward greater union domination in an already-depressed job market. Jobs are fewer in America in part because of union demands on America’s productive sector.

2. Any candidate who addresses fundamental issues instead of the usual nit-picking and emphasis on personal matters is always a welcome breath of fresh air. No one can be sure how Florida’s U.S. Senate candidate Marco Rubio will perform if elected, but his willingness to get down to “brass tacks” has many Florida voters, even national pundits, taking notice. During a nationally televised encounter with his opponent for the GOP nomination, Rubio stated, “This campaign is not about you and it’s not about me. It’s about the people watching their country being fundamentally redefined by this administration and this Congress.” That indeed should be the issue in any current political race.

3. Any half-awake American should know that Social Security is a gigantic Ponzi scheme making Bernard Madoff’s well-publicized fraud look like small-time thievery. For all of its 75 years of existence, Social Security has extracted taxes from many and given payments to others. Until now, more funds have always been paid in than have been paid out. But this arrangement (not really comforting when all of the system’s income has always immediately been spent for other purposes) wasn’t expected to be eclipsed until 2016. According to the Congressional Budget Office, however, the date dreaded by government accountants is now this year — 2010. Unemployment and early retirement have contributed to increasing the number of takers and reducing the number who are taxed to pay into the scheme. Social Security, always bankrupt because its “surplus” funds were consumed as soon as received for other government programs, is now admittedly bankrupt.

4. In one more attack on America’s religious-based culture, the Supreme Court has refused to hear a case wherein a group of high school seniors sued after being refused permission to play an instrumental version of “Ave Maria” at their 2006 graduation ceremony. The Henry Jackson High School in Washington’s Snohomish County had a practice of allowing the award-winning woodwind ensemble to choose what to perform on the gala occasion. But a nervous school superintendent, fearing trouble because of possibly violating the nonexistent but legally enshrined constitutional separation of church and state, disallowed the choice. The suit placed by the students went through several legal hoops all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which only recently refused to add it to the high court’s docket. Justice Samuel Alito harshly criticized the school officials for their decision, and he also let it be known that he disagreed with the decision of his colleagues to ignore the travesty.

5. What does a dictator do when someone in his government refuses to enforce his will? He throws such a person in prison. That’s what Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez did after Judge Maria Lourdes Afiuni handed down some rulings that irked him last December. He sent his goons to arrest her and she ended up in a prison where many inmates she had sentenced for murder and drug smuggling reside. Not surprisingly, they have threatened retaliation against her. From the prison cell where she languishes, Judge Afiuni acknowledges, “I’m in this hell because I had the temerity to do my job as a judge in a way that didn’t please Chavez.” Let no one forget that Chavez is the kind of tyrant openly welcomed and saluted at the United Nations.

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