True Stuff that I Made Up

PLEASE NOTE: The entries which are published at this site are solely my personal and sometimes whimsical musings. For information regarding my political positions and proposals, please visit

Further, this website is devoutly dedicated to all of my friends and associates, both early and late, who have mentored and influenced me. However, being who they are, the majority of them have been late most of the time.

  Also, check out my personal entry at

Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Neo-Lumpenproletariat

There continues to be those who make unsupported and vicious allegations about "hatemongers", who they shrilly claim "spread misinformation, but also incredible lies".
Wouldn't the quality of our political understanding and discourse be so much better if folks of every political persuasion stopped accusing those with contrary views of being "evilmongers", thus fanning even more rabid hatred and intolerance?
Even better, wouldn't it truly be wonderful if folks read, viewed, and otherwise studied political discourse from sources other than just those that appealed to their personal political biases?
As just one example, a person who reads a wide spectrum of news source and political discourse magazines such as the "National Review" (Conservative), "Reason" (Libertarian), and "The Progressive" (Liberal) has a much richer understanding and appreciation of our nation's current events than anyone who becomes a victim of the Neo-Lumpenproletariat mindset.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Another "Field of Dreams"

As we discussed last night, a friend gave me a good tip about a much healthier pasta product for diabetics and also for those who want to reduce their carbohydrates.
It's the "Dreamfields" brand of pasta, which has a 65% lower glycemic index, five carbs, and five grams of fiber.
I picked up some at our local "Martins" supermarket, and it is within the same price range as other brands of pasta, and I really can't tell any difference in its taste.
More information on it is available at 1-800-250-1917 or by visiting
I still almost never eat pasta anymore (or anything else that tastes good), but this is a much better alternative than regular pasta, or, even worse, egg enriched pasta.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Important & True Stuff (that I didn't make up!)

If we had some ham, we could have ham and eggs...if we had any eggs.
Beware the power of stupid people in large groups (Proverbs 13:20)
Choose your friends wisely, because you'll tend to be like them.
Don't ever get mad, except on purpose.
Expand the leadership.
You can't beat a plan with no plan.
Employees need unions to protect them from Management, but who protects employees from their unions? (Westbrook Pegler)
My soul standeth fast in the liberty in which God hath made us free.(Pahoran, 62 B.C. - Book of Mormon: Alma Chapter 61, Verse 9)
Don't treat good guys like you treat bad guys.
It's not over 'till it's over. (Yogi Berra)
Beware those who don't know which side of a duck has the most feathers. (Do you know? Ask me, and I'll enlighten you.)
Don't ever trust anyone until they have stuck with a good cause that was losing.
Nothing moves unless it's pushed. Even so, it's easier to pull a piece of string than to push it.
Don't issue orders, just lead.
Winners aren't perfect. They just keep on trying.
Do not go gently into that good night (Dylan Thomas)
Wopila Tanka! (Thank You, in the Dakota Tribe language)
One good reason is better than lots of little reasons.
The initiative goes to those who are best prepared.
When in trouble, when in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout! ;)
Always return and report.
Morality is a best source of power.
Ask God for help, listen to His counsel, then go out and do it!
The LDS Church's 14th Article of Faith (not really): We believe in meetings-all that now are scheduled. We believe that there yet will be many more great and important meetings. We have endured many meetings and hope to endure all meetings. If there is a meeting, we seek after it.
"There is not one among us in whom a devil does not dwell. At some time, on some point, that devil masters each of us. It is not having been in the dark house, but having left it that counts." (President Theodore Roosevelt)
Repentance is a lifetime process.
Never stop caring about the little guy. It's always all about him.
It's always time for a nap.
It really does take two: someone else & You!
Sans peur et sans reproche.
Nemo me impune lacesuit.
...and good night to you, Mrs. Calabash, wherever you are. (Jimmy Durante)

Friday, October 09, 2009

"...through a glass darkly..." - A Cautionary Tale

Previously, I was First Vice President of the Indiana State Employees Association (ISEA).
Up until that time, ISEA had been a very effective and independent state employee advocate, and had made great strides in gaining Raises, Leave, and Health Care Benefits; plus the elimination of the 2% Club (where employees were forced to make payroll deduction "contributions" to the political party in power).
Our Legal Team representing individual ISEA members in the workplace was top notch.
We were very active in one-on-one meetings at the local level with State Legislators, and were a real political player, especially when you consider that our membership was only around ten percent (10%) of all state employees.
It was about that time that we received affiliation overtures from AFSCME, AFT, UAW, CWA, IBEW, SEIU, NEA and others.
In the beginning, ISEA Board of Directors resisted these suitors, but, as time went on and we were all taken on wine-and-dine trips to Washington D.C. and other places, more and more of the Board members were won over (or bought out).
We decided to narrow it down and thoroughly investigate the choices between the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the American Federation of State County & Municipal Employees (AFSCME), and staying independent.
AFT effectively sweet-talked almost the entire ISEA Board of Directors, basically on the promise from AFT that we would maintain our "autonomy" and be given major additional resources.
The ISEA President and I were the only two that realized that these promises were a travesty, and that, as soon as you turn over your membership list to an outside entity, your "autonomy" is gone.
At the ISEA annual convention where the AFT affiliation was to be voted on by our membership, rumor and smear campaigns were started against the President and myself. We ended up resigning from office, and the AFT lackeys took over ISEA.
Then the Indiana Governor forced a sweetheart "collective begging" system on us, which only allowed us to ratify being screwed by the Administration.
The International Unions were fat and happy with this arrangement, because they had their little "exclusive bargaining" units.
Nevermind little details like lobbying the Legislature or pursuing "real" collective bargaining.
Thereafter, there was year after year of wage freezes or 1-2% of tiny cost of living raises, and a total end to "merit" (longevity) raises, along with reductions in other benefits and staffing.
All of this was dutifully ratified by the "unions".
These same Unions also abandoned efforts to gain more meaningful collective bargaining through the Legislature .... something that might have actually given us some permanent rights ... in a time in history where they might have actually been able to accomplish this.
In conclusion, I list the following "truths" (according to me):

1.If you affiliate with an International Union, there's no such thing as independence or autonomy.
2.The International Unions are more interested in whatever benefits THEM, not YOU.
3.No matter which way you go, you can only rely on YOURSELVES to do the real work.
4.No matter how much money an International Union promises, this will soon end after you affiliate.
5.Collective Bargaining (without meaningful employee rights) isn't.

Roger McNeill in Indiana

P.S.: After ISEA's affiliation, the Indiana State Employees' Appeal Commission (SEAC) was abolished, and our state employees lost access to an employee complaint procedure. We now are considered "Employees at Will" and have no job protection.

To Affiliate or not to Affiliate? That is the MCEA Question!

Sent to MCEA Leaders:
Having been an inside eyewitness to an international union affiliation question conundrum when I was Executive Director of the formerly independent Indiana State Employees Association (ISEA), please allow me to share two major concerns with which Maryland Classified Employees Association (MCEA) leaders and members should grapple on this same issue.
Obviously, any affiliation agreement document should include crystal clear protections for MCEA's independent self-determination.
However, of even more critical importance is the integrity, behavior, and attitude of the prospective affiliation organization.
In any agreement, specific contract language is important.
Nevertheless, it is the behavior, attitude, and integrity of the contractual parties that is the decisive determining factor for a successful and equal partnership.
This isn't a kid's game of bean bag.
The stakes are high, and it would be foolish to expect MCEA's supplicants for affiliation to be anything less than completely determined and machiavellian in their pursuit of bending MCEA's leadership to their own purposes and taking over MCEA's state employee dues deduction privileges.
After all, the allegiance and obligation of MCEA's suitors are to their union employers and not to MCEA's independent membership or Maryland's public and retired public employees.
Cajoling campaign promises and fawning flattery are one thing.
The behavior afterwards of a successful suitor is yet another thing.
Keep in mind that the MCEA President already has appointed an affiliation committee, and "as of this date, several meetings have taken place with different unions" (Source: MCEA President's Report to MCEA's October 12th & 13th Convention Delegates).
For more background on the ISEA affiliation experience in Indiana and an independent perspective on what happened, ask Roger McNeill.
Roger was ISEA Vice President at the time of their affiliation and still is an Indiana state employee.
You may e-mail him at
Yours for job justice and workplace liberty,
Larry D. Kump