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Veterans Affairs Has 346 Workers Who Do ONLY Union Work

(from Judicial Watch, in part)

An estimated 346 employees in the Department of Veterans Affairs do no actual work for taxpayers. Instead, they spend all of their time doing work on behalf of their union while drawing a federal salary, a practice known as “official time.”That’s according to a report by the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office. But exactly what those VA workers are doing and why so many are doing it is not clear. The VA doesn’t track that, and the GAO report offers no clue.

Rep. Jody Arrington, R-Texas, a member of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, thinks the number on 100 percent official time may be much higher. He also notes that the 346 workers don’t include those who spend most, not all, of their time doing union work.

“The lack of accountability at the VA when it comes to monitoring official time suggests it might be worse,” said Arrington, who has introduced legislation that would require the department to track the use of official time, among other reforms.

Pointing to the waiting list scandals at the department, Arrington said the official time situation is reflective of the “broken culture at the heart of the VA” and adds, “I haven’t heard one good, acceptable reason why the practice has continued.”

The VA was not eager to discuss the matter with the Washington Examiner. After several days of inquiries, it responded with the following statement: “VA believes that the appropriate use of official time can be beneficial and in the public interest as stated in the Federal Service Labor-Relations Statute, which governs how executive branch agencies treat official time. VA takes the position that labor and management have a shared responsibility to ensure that official time is authorized and used appropriately. VA practices are in compliance with the Federal Service Labor-Relations Statute.”

Official time is allowed under the 1978 Civil Service Reform Act. The idea behind it is to ensure that a federal employee who is also a union official won’t be penalized for being away from work if he or she is negotiating a contract or addressing a worker grievance, for example. It is essentially a trade-off for the limitations put on federal unions, such as prohibitions on striking.

At least 700 federal workers do nothing but work on official time, according to the GAO and data obtained from various Freedom of Information Act requests. The VA uses official time far more than any other agency.

“Employees spent approximately 1,057,00 hours on official time for union representation activities … In addition, the data show that 346 employees spent 100 percent of their time on official time,” the GAO found in a January report.

It is possible that even those figures are conservative. The GAO said the said the VA’s poor monitoring meant the data was “inconsistent and not reliable.”

The GAO didn’t know what the employees are doing with all of that time. “We just didn’t get into that in that particular study,” said Cindy Barnes, the GAO’s director of education, workforce and income security issues and author of the report.

Part of the explanation is that the VA is one of the largest federal agencies with 373,000 workers, making it second only to the Pentagon in the sheer size of its workforce. About 250,000 VA workers are covered by collective bargaining agreements, according to the GAO, citing 2012 data. Arrington puts the covered figure at 285,000.

By comparison, the Department of Homeland Security has 240,000 workers and the Department of Commerce has just under 44,000 workers. But those departments get by with proportionately far fewer people working exclusively on official time. DHS has 39, while Commerce has just four.

Another factor is that the VA’s workforce is represented by no less than five unions: The American Federation of Government Employees, the National Association of Government Employees, National Nurses United, the National Federation of Federal Employees and the Service Employees International Union.

National Nurses United representative Irma Westmoreland was the only union official willing to talk about the practice with the Washington Examiner. She is one of five nurses union members who work exclusively on union time at the VA. The union has another nine who spent 80 percent of their time at the VA on official time, she said.

Westmoreland said her work was necessary because nurses can’t simply stop taking care of a patient to do something like address a worker grievance. People such as her do the union work and make it possible for the other nurses to focus on providing care.

“I have to travel across the country working with 23 VA facilities in four time zones,” she said. “The management teams want somebody at 100 percent official time so they don’t have to pull somebody out of care.”

But not everyone at the VA is involved in care. So what are the other 341 exclusive official time workers doing? Westmoreland had no insight.

“I don’t know how the other people do it,” she said.

American Federation of Government Employees President J. David Cox told Arrington’s subcommittee in February that official time involved activities such as “designing and delivering joint training of employees on work-related subjects and introduction of new programs and work methods that are initiated by the agency or by the union.”

He added that “in no way did the [February GAO] report suggest that the use of official time presents problems for the department.” The report sought only to quantify the amount of time used.

Arrington argues that the practice has to change if the VA is ever to be truly reformed. He has sponsored the Veterans, Employees and Taxpayer Protection Act, which would require the VA to track the use of official time. It also would prohibit employees involved with direct patient care from spending more than a quarter of their work hours on union activities and bar any VA employee from spending more than half of their time on official time.

The legislation would effectively put VA employees under right-to-work protection. The VA would be prohibited from agreeing to union contracts that force workers to join or otherwise support a union as a condition of employment.

Westmoreland said she has no trouble with better tracking the use of official time but warns against putting any limitations on its use.

“It makes it very difficult if you cannot have set official time,” she said.  (The Washington Examiner)

Our tax dollars at work?  Hardly.  The most regular visitor to the White House during the last administration was a big union guy.  One hopes this has changed, and that the inappropriate union influence in the federal government has ended.Or, as least, tricked down to STOP!



You Can’t Tell The Players Without A Program!

aka what’s in a name?

One way those adverse to the American Constitutional Republic Way Of Life keep replicating their cause is they keep changing their name!  And adding additional names to the roster.

Not unlike viruses mutating to stay alive.

Remember the Communist Party of Soviet Russia fame?  Well, it became CPUSA here.  Then morphed into fellow travelers.  (The Black Panthers became the NEW Black Panthers, etc.)

(Were the NEW Christy Minstrels significantly different from the original?  Inquiring minds want to know.)  🙂

Communists became Socialists.  Which became Progressives.  Which infected once honorable institutions like the Democratic Party and the NAACP.

And, yes, the Republican Party, as well(!)

As I’ve oft stated here, it’s all about control. 

I used to use the phrase petty power and control, now I’m convinced it’s no longer petty – it’s grand! (and NOT in a good way!)

Brock Townsend brings us this interesting link.   To The Revolutionary Communist Party, USA!

It seems THEY were the folks responsible for printing the protest signs used by the protesters looters criminals present after that Latino dude defended his life against a Black football playing career criminal White guy murdered an innocent Black youth.  (links below)

The Revolutionary Communist Party, USA Printed Ferguson Protest Signs

Via Horace “Sent to me by my friend of 20 years now, Bob Conley who retired from active Marine duty in 1969.  He served from Iran to Vietnam, among others.  He is my idea of a US Serviceman/Veteran, mentally and physically sharp at 84 years.  A prostate cancer survivor.  A Devil Dog if I ever knew one.”

Revolution Banner
Grassroots, my A**!
Bet they are connected to those SEIU union folks that bus people around to protests, as well.
‘Workers of the World, Unite’, and all that c**p.

Death Or Hanging, Part Two

So, which is worse – the constant (and government-approved) encroachment of Islamic folks (some of whom appear to be scofflaws and terrorists!) or the constant encroachment against our civil liberties by our own government?

Must I choose one?  Really?

from Free North Carolina

We Are At War


We are currently in the process of losing our freedoms and effective control over our societies. It is sheer madness to continue Muslim immigration in a situation when militant Muslims are actively waging war against us in our own cities. Western political leaders who promote such policies are guilty of criminal negligence at best. They must be removed from power, and replaced by people who protect the long-term interests of our nations.

 On the morning of March 22, 2016, Belgium was struck by coordinated nail bombings. Two hit Brussels Airport at the check-in counter, before the security screening. Another suicide bomber hit Maalbeek metro station, located not far from prominent EU buildings. The attacks occurred a few days before the Christian Easter celebrations. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (IS or ISIS) claimed responsibility for the attacks. At least 35 people were killed, and many seriously injured. The Muslim terrorists have connections to militant Muslims in many parts of Europe and the Middle East.[1] The authorities faced difficulties in apprehending some of the terrorists partly because they enjoy widespread sympathy and support in certain Muslim communities.

Brussels is not merely the capital of Belgium. It is also the capital of the European Union (EU), and houses the headquarters of the Western defense alliance NATO. It is therefore a symbolic target. The city contains a large Muslim immigrant population. In notorious urban districts such as Molenbeek, radical Muslims have ties to international Jihadist networks. Belgium has produced more Jihadists as a proportion of its population than any other Western European country. On May 24, 2014, a gunman killed four people at the Jewish Museum of Belgium in Brussels.

Following the Brussels bombings, the US State Department warned US citizens of the “potential risks” of traveling to Europe. A statement said terror groups were planning “attacks throughout Europe, targeting sporting events, tourist sites, restaurants and transportation.”[2]

Europe is now becoming more like Israel, facing constant Islamic terror threats in daily life.

And we are becoming more like Britain or Canada, with a side of Russia, as far as RIGHTS are concerned.  Bill of Rights?!  WHAT Bill of Rights?!  And The Supreme Court deciding (through attrition) that union non-members can be forced to pay…

WASHINGTON — Conservatives bent on crippling the power of public employee unions lost their best opportunity in years Tuesday when the Supreme Court deadlocked over a challenge to the fees those unions collect from non-members.

Rather than seeking to reschedule the case for their next term, the justices simply announced they were tied 4-4 — a verdict which leaves intact the decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit upholding the fee collections.  (USA Today)

Say WHAT?!

So Much For That COLT 1911 9mm Some Blogger Wanted!

In the blogosphere, another blogger said COLT announced they were producing a limited run of 9mm 1911s next year.  And he wanted one! (Sorry – I cannot remember who reported this!)

THEN, this made the news…

Papers filed with the SEC indicate they (COLT) lack funds to pay their debt.

(I wonder if they will survive yet again, and be able to produce such things?  Haven’t they had funding/union trouble in the past?)

Sounds like another government contract or bk reorg in their future(?)

IF they can survive in this economy?

Constitution? WHAT Constitution?

“They: The makers of the Constitution: conferred,
as against the government, the right to be let alone
the most comprehensive of rights and
the right most valued by civilized men.”

–  Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis

What the Hell ever happened to this concept?

For the past seventy years (or more) there has been an eating away at the substance that used to be American Culture.  Not just political correctness, multiculturalism and unreasonable inclusion, but who we are as individuals.

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.[1]


The USA Patriot Act, NDAA, FISA, no-knock warrants, cameras on every corner, warrants unnecessary for GPS attachment, sobriety checkpoints, citizenship checkpoints, TSA rifling through personal belongings and groping etc., etc.  And this from an NSA whistleblower:

Perhaps the degree to which you’re being watched is surprising: this former NSA agent says “Everyone in the U.S. is under virtual surveillance.”

They’ve apparently turned it up to 12, and it’s accelerating, he says. Scary stuff.

More from the whistleblower:

“The problem is if they think they are not doing anything that’s wrong, they don’t get to define that. The central government does, the central government defines what is right and wrong and whether or not they target you. So, it’s not up to the individuals. Even if they think they aren’t doing something wrong, if their position on something is against what the administration has, then they could easily become a target.

(emphasis in original post)

We’ve devolved from Norman Rockwell to George Lincoln Rockwell.  Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy, doesn’t it?

h/t Rev. Paul


I just finished a conversation with my Roomie today with regard to this Robert A. Heinlein (PBUH) concept.  There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch.

Someone always pays.

Perhaps if capitalists who ran businesses were painted as helping their employees by providing jobs and benefits (or not), instead of evil rich robber barons praying on the poor, this concept would be more widely accepted.

I recognize in today’s United States, some folks have little choice on where to work or for what wage.  And relocating may not be a viable option.  There are company towns.  This is why unions developed.

But now, unions cost the workers (much as the robber barons did) and cost their employees jobs, or even careers (witness Hostess), while the companies go bankrupt and the union bosses get richer.

And card check deprives the union member of a secret vote, allowing undue influence and/or coercion to influence union votes.

It’s funny how the Internet weaves it’s news so some folks blame management for a business’ demise (by not knuckling-under to union demands), other folks blame the unions (the rank-and-file.  translation:  class warfare).  And some folks blame the union bosses.

And now it’s reported a Mexican baking concern may take over this confection bakery business.  Think of it – no HFCS, no GMO, no unions, cheap labor, jobs for the poor.  And free market/free trade in action.  And El Twinkies return!

Of course, fewer jobs here…

Even Twinkies Can’t Survive this Economy

Wealth Wire reports the following:

(November 15, 2012)  After four days of striking by employees at Hostess, the company has returned with an ultimatum: if enough workers do not resume their positions by 5:00pm EST today, CEO Gregory Rayburn will be forced to liquidate the entire company, leaving the nearly 18,000 employees jobless.

The strike began on Nov. 9, after the company won the right to impose an 8% pay cut on employees in bankruptcy court. Now, the company says, if the strike doesn’t end by the end of the day, they will seek permission from U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Drain to shut down all operations and sell assets.

In other words, even Twinkies can’t survive this economy!

Twinkies, born during the ‘Great’ Depression!  Seriously?

What will the OWS street people live on now?  Doritos?

If you’re a prepper, you might want to stock up on chemically-produced, long shelf life treats now.  Bob H. (of Ezell’s) kept a Twinkie in his desk for eleven years, with the end wrap open to the elements.  No mold = no food value + preservatives.

He eventually disposed of it; didn’t eat it, though.

h/t Allison Crawford

Mighty oaks from little acorns grow

or rather, “Large streams from little fountains flow, Tall oaks from little acorns grow.” – in an essay by D. Everett in The Columbian Orator, 1797.

Remember ACORN?  That ubiquitous band of political rabble-rousers linked to protests, vote stealing, promoting felonies and theft of public monies a couple years back?

They’re BA-ACK!

From Bayou Renaissance Man:

~Be that as it may, the organization as such was effectively shut down in 2010.  However, like the manifold heads of the mythical Hydra, it seems that its members have simply continued their operations under different names.  The poison they represent in the American body politic is still doing its damage.  Cause of Action has uncovered the names of no less than 174 organizations that are offshoots of ACORN or are otherwise continuing its work.

174, that’s all?

It’s worth your while to click over there and go through the list for yourself.  If you find one or more of these organizations at work in your area during the current election campaign, expect problems.

I’ve not taken the time to look into the cesspool, but let me guess.  NONE of these organizations are named The Center for Election Stealing (or some such) and I’ll just bet many are paid for through our tax dollars.  AGAIN!

Go to the link and look for yourself.

Okay, I had to look; a smattering of the names:

Pennsylvania Neighborhoods for Social Justice (PNSJ), Public Services for the Public Good, SEIU Healthcare Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Kansas, MHANY 1999 Housing Development Fund Corporation, Arizona Center for Empowerment…

Do any buzzwords jump out at you?  I’m going to go get ill, now.  It’s like discovering the cancer has returned.

h/t Peter

Look For The Union Label…

When I worked for many major corporations, I was pro-union.  The idea that the bosses could pretty much do as they pleased, and fire you at their pleasure, all the while playing with the labor laws really pi**ed me off.  (AZ is a right-to-work State).    When I worked for M*******, the electronics giant, many of us spoke of unionizing, in spite of not-so-veiled threats from management not to do that, and when I worked for TMCCC, some of us spoke sotto voce about the need for the financial industry to unionize.  We weren’t talking about abusing the system and having 25 hour work weeks @ $155/hour + 7 weeks paid vacation, we just wanted to be treated fair and square.

Now that the current administration keeps waving the union flag, AFL/CIO socialist types visit the White House almost weekly, and SEIU thugs terrorize and threaten honest citizens, I’ve had to reconsider my stance regarding unions.  Certainly, unions were necessary due to the tactics of the robber barons of yore, but now they seem to have developed a life of their own, and political clout.  And they are as abusive to their members as the employers are, if not more so!  How would you like your union dues to go to a candidate your union supports, when you don’t?

Many folks proselytizing the corporations bad/unions good class warfare meme play on the idea that corporations donate to the politicians, making then all evil.  Especially, those evil Koch brothers.

Here are the facts:

Now, I’m no fan of bought influence, regardless of the source.  But, the numbers speak for themselves.

h/t Free North Carolina, A Trainwreck in Maxwell

GEE – and you thought it was YOUR MONEY?

The Smallest Minority writes about all that pesky money hiding in 401(k) accounts.  You know, the money the government wished it had – instead of YOU?

He says:

There have been rumblings about the .gov salivating over the amount of money sitting in 401(k) plans nationwide, and the “nationalization” of those funds because they’re just too risky.  You know, you poor stupid peons just can’t be trusted to invest your own money, the government should do it for you.

This rumor gained some traction when the government of Argentina seized $24 billion in private pension assets in 2008.  Now CNN has given column space to one Yvonne Walker, “president of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1000, which represents 95,000 California state employees.”  It seems Ms. Walker doesn’t think the employees should control their own money, either:  (emphasis Guffaw)
401(k)s are too risky for retirement

Good ol’ SEIU.  Pals with ACORN (or whatever they call themselves this week).  Looking out for your interests!  Because you’re too stupid.

Go to the link and read his whole report.  Sickening.

h/t Kevin Baker

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…