Joe Kenehan Center

Wednesday, November 13, 2002
Why Did Boeing Leave Seattle?

When Boeing executives left the Pacific Northwest for Chicago, they muttered excuses about traffic and the “business climate.”

Personally, I think they were all too well aware of the social and human consquences of their plans to drastically cut production in the Puget Sound area. And they didn’t want to have to read stories like this with their morning latte: Laid-Off Boeing Worker Barricades Himself In Home, Is Killed By Police.

Ted Olson, Union Man

In a bizarre twist, the Bush Justice Department took a pro-worker position on a case that could have headed to the Supreme Court, agreeing with the UFCW that organizing more workers helps improve standards for everyone. Therefore, workers who legally refuse to pay their full union dues because of personal ideological dislike of unions can’t use their ideology as an excuse for refusing to support organizing.

Ted Olson argued the point for the Bush Administration, to the bewilderment of the Joe Kenehan Center and to the disgust of certain right-wing groups.

Bush’s efforts to make nice with some unions is causing some grumbling on the right, as indicated by this Washington Times op-ed.

Borders Workers on the Move

Borders Bookstore employees in Minneapolis voted to join the UFCW on October 18, and now employees at a store in Ann Arbor say they want to form a union. The employees are communicating about their campaign with this web site.

New Think Tank Launched

A new player in the battle of ideas: the Commonweal Institute.

Tuesday, November 12, 2002
Better Days, Eh?

Over the weekend the staff of the Joe Kenehan Center tried to get our minds off of the election by fleeing to Canada for a few days.

Long enough to enjoy the excellent Royal British Columbia Museum in Victoria, the even better Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, and a functioning transit system that puts Seattle to shame.

Because voters in Vancouver head to the polls on November 16, I found myself getting sucked into following another election campaign. It looked like things were on a better track up north. A coalition of progressives is poised to turn out a conservative administration that’s held power in Vancouver for about a decade. After returning I stumbled across The Vancouver Scrum, an impressive blog that’s tracking the latest developments in British Columbia politics.

CD Buyer Guide

As long as you ignore the cover of “Desperado” (with an atrocious guest vocal by Don Henley himself), Johnny Cash’s new Rick Rubin-produced album is as strong as the previous three. Even if the album were full of bad Eagles covers, Cash’s gorgeous and haunting version of “Danny Boy” alone would probably cancel those out.