Ranger tale brings up LBJ corruption — Dallas News

By SCOTT K. PARKS
The Dallas Morning News Staff Writer
Published: 28 November 2012 10:21 PM

Texas Ranger Clint Peoples died 20 years ago and left an impressive legacy as one of the most prominent lawmen in Texas history.

Some of the Ranger memorabilia that he once owned goes on sale Dec. 9 at Heritage Auctions in Dallas. How about a gold-plated Thompson submachine gun? A Ranger badge crafted from a Mexican gold coin? Or a matched set of two elegant Smith & Wesson .357 revolvers overlaid with sterling silver flourishes?

Although he acquired some interesting pieces during his career, Peoples is worth remembering more for a mysterious 1961 murder case, one he was never able to solve. It involved the notorious Texas swindler Billie Sol

via Read about LBJ here.

Union movement founded on violence, steeped in corruption

“…let’s take these son-of-a-bitches out ….” — Jimmy Hoffa referring to the Tea Party during a speech at a Labor Day rally.

“A defiant Teamsters President Jimmy Hoffa insisted Tuesday that he would ‘never apologize’ for his heated comments against the tea party movement.”  — Politico.com

Of course Jimmy Hoffa, leader of the Teamsters Union, would refuse to back off of his statement.

This brings up the memories of the violence associated with the union movement.   Even Hoffa’s father went missing and is presumed to be the victim of a mob hit.

This is a brief history of the union movement in the United States.

The union movement got start around 1869.   Railroads, steel, and coal mining employed large numbers of unskilled and skilled laborers.   Workers historically organized along trades.  For example, locomotive engineers organized into their own “brotherhoods”.

The American Federation of Labor (AFL) started as one such union of skilled workers.  The Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) was the opposite.  It organized industries rather than skills and trades.

Unions were benign until radicals gained control.  One of those was Eugene V. Debs, who was once a locomotive driver until 1875.  Then he turned socialist.   Debs engineered the infamous Pullman strike of 1894.  He was not directly involved in the strike against the railroad car manufacturer in Chicago, but he organized an associated strike in the Western U.S.   The president called in troops to restore order.  As a result, Debs, was sent to prison for violating  a court order.

Debs went on to serve another term in prison for sedition.  He formed the Socialist Party and ran for president while sitting in a prison cell.

According to Conservapedia.com, “Debs is best known for tireless campaigning and passionate oratory that made audiences feel guilty for not being more radical; he did not originate any new ideas or policies. Debs believed capitalism, with all its works, was evil, and Socialism, with all its promises, a true panacea.” (read more …)

In 1952, John F. Kennedy initially gained fame in U.S. Congress by launching  “…relentless attacks on corrupt labor leaders, especially Jimmy Hoffa of the Teamsters Union,” according to Conservapedia.com.

Hoffa (the father) was sent to prison for bribery and misuse of union funds.  He was pardoned by President Richard Nixon.   In 1975, Hoffa, who was purported to have ties to the mob, disappeared.

This reporter’s first look at unions was in 1973, when my editor sent me to cover a bus drivers’ strike meeting in San Antonio.   Suddenly, my view of unions changed.   The country was in a fuel and energy crisis.  The union decided to use the squeeze on commuters to ask for a raise.  Ridership had been declining for years.   The bus driver pay raise and subsequent rate hikes only continued the downward spiral of ridership.

San Antonio had a thriving meat-packing industry in the late 1960’s.   The unionization of workers drove the meat packers into more profitable centers such as Omaha, Nebraska.  Meat packing was a large employer in Fort Worth, Texas, too.   All that is left is rubble.

Farrah, a men’s clothing manufacturer, was run out of San Antonio with constant strikes and union activities including violence. (read more …)  Farah eventually moved all of its operations and jobs to Mexico.

I covered many union “events” organized by the a segment of city  workers in San Antonio.  The union leader was a man I can never forget.  His name was Henry Munoz.  They called him The Fox.  I had the experience of standing outside a union hall on the west side of San Antonio listening through the door to The Fox talking to his minions.

Union demands, work rules, and pay demands cause more unemployment
Workers need bailouts after forcing plants to close

In Waco, Texas, the General Tire and Rubber Co. operated an aging tire plant.  The plant was a major employer in Waco for decades.  In 1970’s, the union struck for wage increases.   The company was forced to close the plant, which has stood vacant for more than 30 years.  That section of Waco, the east side, stands as one of the poorest areas of Texas.   One worker I know lost his job at General Tire and moved to Paris, Texas, to work for Campbell Soup Company making soup.

Union racketeering and violence has always been part of the union movement.  Are unions still violent and corrupt?

“Most people don’t know just how many crimes are committed every year through which union officials hurt their own members. The number of reputed and verified crimes is staggering. Nothing illustrates this more clearly than the hundreds of indictments of union officials for violations of the Labor Management and Reporting Disclosure Act. According to the Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS), those crimes include “embezzlement, filing false reports, keeping false records, destruction of records, extortionate picketing and deprivation of rights by violence.” — The Center for Union Facts, unionfacts.com

In the 1970’s I covered the aftermath of violence at an insulation plant in Belton, Texas.  After weeks of an ineffectual efforts to organize workers at the plant, someone firebombed the plant’s administration office.   I drove to the office and talked to the manager who I had interviewed a few weeks earlier.  The windows were smashed and fires had scorched the sides of the building.

The manager, who looked ashen-faced, handed me a prepared press released and refused to comment. I walked across the street and talked to a group of people holding signs.   A leader stepped up and identified himself as being from Detroit.

We chatted casually about the strike and the cause of the strike.  Then I asked if someone in his union was responsible for the firebombs thrown overnight.

“If you put that in the paper, we are going to come after you!” he responded.  He tone and demeanor became very abusive.  The story did run in the paper, and I am still here.

For the most part, the news media has been very kind to unions.   But when the reporters ask the “wrong” questions, that cordiality ends very quickly, I found that day.

If you have any stories of union violence, threats, or intimidation, please respond to this blog.  I would love to hear it.

The liberal wing of the Democratic Party and the union movement have been joined at the hip for the earliest days.  That explains why Barrack Hussein Obama refused to condemn Hoffa’s threatening rhetoric.

Pork Chop Hill and the legacy of the American voter

The MGM cable channel recently released a vintage movie, Pork Chop Hill.

It was released in 1959 and was based on an actual account of the last battle of the Korean War. I remember where I was when I saw it in 1959. It was at a theater in Mexia, Texas. I don’t remember the name of my date.

I was very interested in this motion picture story because the movie was based on a book written by historian and author Brig. Gen. S.L.A. Marshall He was known as SLAM to his friends. I have read every book he wrote.

I first remember Gen. Marshall in an interview he gave to CBS news in 1967 before the Israeli-Arab war. When every political pundit had predicted dire consequences for the outnumber Israelis, Marshall assessed that the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) was a small professional army that could easily handle the Arabs who had overwhelming numbers of poorly trained and poorly motivated men.

He was right! In six days, the IDF was on the banks of the Nile and outside the gates of Damascus. The Arabs asked for peace.

Marshall died in 1977 and left a legacy of controversy that even brews to this day.

He was a journalist who joined the U.S. Army during the Second World War. As a journalist his job was to document the events of WWII. Gen. Marshall went much further, and his findings told us something about ourselves that we really did not want to know, although we knew it all along.

Marshall’s studies revealed that only 20 percent of the soldiers in action ever fired their weapons. He went further and said that that ratio extends into private life, as well.

Whether it is on your job, in church, or political life only 20 percent of the people do 80 percent of the work. In political life, it may be even lower than that!

Economists call it the Pareto Principle. It goes like this:

  1. 80% of your profits come from 20% of your products
  2. 80% of your sales come from 20% of your sales staff!

In wealth, 20% of the people have 80% of the wealth. That’s where the controversy is … if you look at it as a socialist or a communist or a progressive.

Some people strive to be 80 percenters. A friend, who was an accountant, illustrates this principle. He worked for a Central Texas utility company in Killeen. He felt his and his wife’s interests would be best served if he could get a U.S. government Civil Service job which were were handed out like water. The U.S. Army and Department of Defense was the biggest employer in the area.

He finally got his wish and ended up in the Fort Hood accounting office. They gave him a pile of paper work to do. He did it and asked his supervisor for more.

He said his supervisor looked alarmed but gave him more work. This went on for a few days. The supervisor told him he was working too fast. “The principle here was to pace one’s self and always keep a backlog of work on your desk,” the supervisor advised him.

He was a 20 percenter. That working principle was not his style. He went back to civilian work.

As a journalist, I worked every writing beat on my last paper. I was rewarded with a supervisory position. I was the city editor with 10 writers and two photographers to give assignments and supervise. I edited all their copy and advised them where they need to improve. When I found slackers, I had them fired. In rising in my profession, I passed up several other people, who were employed longer than myself. They were resentful. They also did only the minimum amount of work to hold on to their jobs.

I eventually got a degree in computer science and moved on to another career. I went to work for nationwide retailer in their information technology department. My first cube mate had been there for more than four years. We became friends and socialized. In three years, I was his supervisor. Our friendship ended. He saw rewards as something that should be handed out for longevity, not achievement. I saw it the opposite way.

In local elections, such as the city council and school boards perhaps only three to 10 percent of the registered voters even vote. That is far short of the 20/80 rule. Even more dismal is the people who register to vote. Some estimates are that less than 50% of those eligible to register even do so.

My personal theory is that 80 percenters will perform if rewarded, first. For example, the Fox News Channel reported today that Wall Street protesters are being paid to protest. Unions are in my opinion made up of 80 percenters. Unions do give their members incentive to protest, strike, and work for political candidates.

Unions are a disincentive to work harder and innovate. For example, England once boasted the finest automobile industry in the world. The unions through the Labor Party took over the government and the government took over the auto companies. Today, all of the British auto manufacturers are out of business.

Back to Pork Chop Hill

Gregory Peck played the lead character, Lt. Joe Clemons. Capt. Joe Clemons (the same) was advisor on the movie and was named in the credits.

The movie depicts Lt. Clemons pushing his troops up the hill and exhorting them to “use your weapons!” Some soldiers were cooking up excuses to go back to the company aid station. One soldier was wandering around in a daze with no rifle.

The book was an allegory to American life and a study in leadership. Clemons overcame every obstacle and captured the hill. The lieutenant was a leader. He accepted the challenge, and shaped his effort in to meet achieve that objective.

Obama on he other hand is someone who was a product of a entitlement society. From all accounts his academic career was specially shaped for a minority. He spent his time working his way up through 80 percenters. He was elected by 80 percenters.

Now that his policies have failed, his objective is not to achieve but to blame someone. His objective his turned to just get re-elected.

It’s was good thing that this country was conceived and built by 20 percenters.