Casey & Obama – DISAGREE!

No, not really on substance. Just on method.

U.S. Sen. Bob Casey says the president’s legislative strategy won’t work.

Casey was one of the first Democrats to endorse Barack Obama, but now he thinks the president’s jobs bill needs to be broken apart, he told KDKA Political Editor Jon Delano.

“I’m afraid if we tried to pass one big bill, I think there’s a lot of skepticism about big pieces of legislation with all kinds of different component parts. We should break this up.”

Casey says Washington is gridlocked with too much politics to allow passage of a single jobs bill as pushed by the president.

“Even without presidential politics, it’s complicated by the politics of Washington. You’ve got too many people here that spend their whole day trying to score political points instead of working together.”

He doesn’t disagree with the material, of course, just the way the President is trying to ram something through the Congress.

Where was he during the Obamacare process?

I’m really surprised the President doesn’t understand the legislative process better. You’d think with 6 years in the Illinois Senate and 3 years in the US Senate, he’d have it down pat.

September 16, 2011 at 11:45 am Comments (0)

Ten Years After 9/11, Ground Zero Shows America’s Weakness

Do we really think that if the attacks had hit China, they wouldn’t have erected bigger and better buildings — in a year?

“We Remember.” “Never Forget.”

These phrases have been bantered about endlessly in the weeks leading up to the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

If only they held the true meaning that so many ascribe to them.

But to quote a line recently overheard: There’s what people want to hear; there’s what people want to believe; there’s everything else; then there’s the truth.

It’s time to cut through the emotion and get to the heart of where America really stands a decade later. Be warned: it’s not a pretty picture.  And through it all, no leader has appeared who can steer the nation back on track and take the bull by the horns to avoid another major attack — and, God forbid, if there is one, lead the nation through it.


The Economy

After spending hundreds of billions on homeland security, and over a trillion more on two wars, is America in a stronger position than it was in 2001? Not even close.  In fact, despite the blood and treasure expended, this nation is in perhaps its most precarious state ever.

Manufacturing jobs have been hemorrhaging at an unprecedented rate, the economy is in shambles with absolutely no recovery in sight, the real rate of inflation is significantly higher than the government admits, and the incomprehensibly large debt has America on the brink of insolvency.  

And most of this can be attributed to one thing: the lack of an energy policy.  Or, more accurately, the abject refusal to institute an energy policy that utilizes America’s vast resources.

The result is complete reliance on foreign oil, especially from hostile Middle Eastern oil nations whose regard for America’s interests resides somewhere between zero and nonexistent. 

Mammoth spikes in gasoline, diesel and jet fuel prices continue to drive up costs, which puts companies out of business, citizens on the unemployment rolls, and keeps bank foreclosure executives very, very busy.

Perhaps most tragic of all, American’s immutable sense of pride and nationalism has taken a hit. 

Once, we possessed a “can-do” pioneering spirit that pervaded all aspects of American life, where “impossible” was not in the American lexicon.  That resolve is what vanquished the Axis Powers in World War II.  It’s what opened up the western United States, ultimately making California alone one of the largest economies in the world.  It’s how we put a man on the moon a mere 66 years after the Wright brothers’ famous 120-foot, 12-second flight. And yes, it’s how, under the leadership of Ronald Wilson Reagan, America won the Cold War — and provided freedom for millions.

Failure to achieve success was the exception.  Now it’s become the norm.

The best example of our malaise of mediocrity? Ground Zero.

The most startling aspect of that hallowed ground isn’t that the Twin Towers, once the sentinels of American free enterprise, are gone, but that NOTHING stands there. Sure, there are reflecting pools and trees, and a shell of a building.  But that’s it.

It’s been ten years!

How is that possible? How can a decade have passed with no real progress? How could we have let the enemy win that important part of the battle?

As a comparison, if the Empire State Building had been attacked during World War II, it would have been rebuilt immediately.  No questions asked, and no moral victories for the enemy.

And to those who naysayers who would argue “it’s a different time,” think again. If the September 11 attacks had felled China’s buildings instead of ours, you can bet the ranch that they would have been resurrected — bigger, better, and bolder — in less than a year. Guaranteed.

Why? Because the Chinese took a chapter out of America’s playbook, and are mastering it to perfection. You know — the same playbook that we seem to have relegated to the dustbin.

Are We Safer?

Given the hundreds of billions allocated for our security, are we really safer?

Despite some advances in communications, intelligence and specific security measures, the ultimate answer is no, for there are two gaping holes in our defenses: the borders are wide open and we refuse to profile.  Both are easily rectifiable, but because political correctness wins the day, Americans are living with a false sense of security.

Borders: What good does securing airports do if al Queda can simply walk across the border from Mexico — with a suitcase nuclear weapon? Incompetent as that organization has proven to be, especially now that bin Laden is dead, they’re not dumb.  If they haven’t already smuggled weapons and terrorist cell members into America via our porous borders (fat chance of that, as intelligence experts concede cells are in place), they soon will.

Despite ample funds to build a wall — a clear deterrent to both illegal invaders and terrorists — neither Party chooses to do so for purely political reasons.  So much for real Homeland Security.

Profiling: Grandmothers continue to receive prisoner-like exams at our nation’s airports, while olive-complexioned individuals from the Middle East stroll by, unquestioned, with smirks on their faces.  Why the free pass? Precisely because they look like Arabs.

America’s lawmakers have caved in to a small element that shouts “racist” anytime profiling is employed, especially in, God forbid, airports. Such practice, they claim, singles out individuals just because they appear “Muslim” or “Arab” and, as a result, these flyers feel offended.  

Get over it.

Profiling is simply a tool for law enforcement to determine who and what may be a threat, based on an ever-increasing array of data. Certain packages may be the hallmark container for a bomb – and they should be checked. A specific type of shoe may be the favored choice of shoe-bombers – so that footwear, and the owner, should be closely examined.

And yes, certain Arab and/or Muslim individuals, based on historical events, and along with appearance characteristics, mannerisms, suspect financial transactions and other patterns of behavior, should be singled out for closer inspection.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with profiling in security sensitive areas. Yes, it’s a form of discrimination. So what? All nineteen highjackers on September 11 were Muslim Arabs. And so was the twentieth, Zacharias Moussaoui. The 1993 World Trade Center bombings were also carried out by people of this ethnic group.  As was the trans-Atlantic shoe bomber, the bombers of the U.S.S. Cole, the Madrid train bombers, and the London subway attackers.

What are we missing? Why are we so scared to profile? What will it take for America to demand policies that actually protect, not appease?

Sadly, probably only another terrorist attack.

This is because our elected leaders are, for the most part, too scared to tackle the issue, even though the majority of Americans support such measures. They are counseled to stay away from “hot-button” topics, instead focusing on 30-second soundbites on irrelevant issues.

To be clear, I am not advocating that random people on the street be detained and interrogated, with no probable cause, just because they “look Arab.” This kind of harassment is contrary to the freedoms our country provides.

But it’s time we stop worrying about people’s feelings and reintroduce some common sense into our security measures.

One thing is for sure: al Queda will not stop. And if we continue to give them openings, they will gladly take them. While it’s not possible to guarantee another attack won’t occur, it will be unconscionable if it does — and if it was preventable.

If we truly want to honor the memory of the 3,000 soul who perished on 9/11, we need to jettison political correctness, enter the real world, and combat threats in a meaningful way.

God help us if we don’t.


An accredited member of the media, Chris Friend is an independent columnist, television commentator, and investigative reporter who operates his own news bureau,

Readers of his column, “Freindly Fire,” hail from six continents, thirty countries and all fifty states. His work has been referenced in numerous publications including The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, foreign newspapers, and in Dick Morris’ recent bestseller “Catastrophe.”

Freind, whose column appears regularly in Philadelphia Magazine and nationally in Newsmax, also serves as a frequent guest commentator on talk radio and state/national television, most notably on FOX Philadelphia. He can be reached at

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September 13, 2011 at 2:17 pm Comment (1)

re: Grandparents Day

I’d love to blame this one on President Zero, but Grandparents Day falls on the first Sunday after Labor day.

September 11, 2011 at 7:36 pm Comment (1)

September 11, 2011–National Grandparent’s Day

Are you freaking kidding me?

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim September 11, 2011, as National Grandparents Day. I call upon all Americans to take the time to honor their own grandparents and those in their community.

I have a better idea. Let’s take some time today to honor the people who died 10 years ago at the hands of Islamic psychopaths. And while we’re at it, let’s honor the history and the values of the nation that was attacked.


September 11, 2011 at 8:15 am Comments (0)

Strange New Respect for Sarah

The New York Times has finally decided to start listening to Sarah Palin, and likes what it hears. Referring to her recent Tea Party speech in Iowa Anand Giridjardas writes:

She made three interlocking points. First, that the United States is now governed by a “permanent political class,” drawn from both parties, that is increasingly cut off from the concerns of regular people. Second, that these Republicans and Democrats have allied with big business to mutual advantage to create what she called “corporate crony capitalism.” Third, that the real political divide in the United States may no longer be between friends and foes of Big Government, but between friends and foes of vast, remote, unaccountable institutions (both public and private).

In supporting her first point, about the permanent political class, she attacked both parties’ tendency to talk of spending cuts while spending more and more; to stoke public anxiety about a credit downgrade, but take a vacation anyway; to arrive in Washington of modest means and then somehow ride the gravy train to fabulous wealth. She observed that 7 of the 10 wealthiest counties in the United States happen to be suburbs of the nation’s capital.

Her second point, about money in politics, helped to explain the first. The permanent class stays in power because it positions itself between two deep troughs: the money spent by the government and the money spent by big companies to secure decisions from government that help them make more money.

“Do you want to know why nothing ever really gets done?” she said, referring to politicians. “It’s because there’s nothing in it for them. They’ve got a lot of mouths to feed — a lot of corporate lobbyists and a lot of special interests that are counting on them to keep the good times and the money rolling along.”


Ms. Palin’s third point was more striking still: in contrast to the sweeping paeans to capitalism and the free market delivered by the Republican presidential candidates whose ranks she has yet to join, she sought to make a distinction between good capitalists and bad ones. The good ones, in her telling, are those small businesses that take risks and sink and swim in the churning market; the bad ones are well-connected megacorporations that live off bailouts, dodge taxes and profit terrifically while creating no jobs.

Strangely, she was saying things that liberals might like, if not for Ms. Palin’s having said them.

He goes on to argue that by embracing some of Sarah’s ideas, Democrats might find a path toward a political breakthrough that would end the current impasse, but even more importantly she us pointing toward a major realignment of American political culture.

Ms. Palin may be hinting at a new political alignment that would pit a vigorous localism against a kind of national-global institutionalism.

On one side would be those Americans who believe in the power of vast, well-developed institutions like Goldman Sachs, the Teamsters Union, General Electric, Google and the U.S. Department of Education to make the world better. On the other side would be people who believe that power, whether public or private, becomes corrupt and unresponsive the more remote and more anonymous it becomes; they would press to live in self-contained, self-governing enclaves that bear the burden of their own prosperity.

Read the whole thing here.

This strange new expression of respect for Sarah is interesting, as much for what it doesn’t say as for what it does. First of all, it is clear that the NYT no longer considers Governor Palin to be an electoral threat and therefore no longer feels the need to demonize her. However, because the Tea Party is still an active force in presidential politics it must be demonized and discredited. For that reason Giridjardas ignores the fact that Sarah was speaking to the Iowa Tea Party and expressing ideas that have long been embraced by most Tea Partiers.

Giridjardas makes an important point in a throwaway line when he notes that the ideas Sarah articulates have been ignored by liberals because they came out of her mouth. So great and all-encompassing is the bigotry of the liberal establishment that they simply ignore any information issuing from conservatives no matter what its applicability or content.

Finally, Giridjardas fails to recognize that Sarah’s main points were truly conservative in the sense that they have long been important elements in American political culture. Similar sentiments animated or contributed significantly to Jeffersonian republicanism, Jacksonian Democracy, a number of secessionist movement including the one that resulted in the Civil War, the Populist crusade of the late Nineteenth Century, Twentieth Century opposition to both the military/industrial complex and the emerging welfare state,  counter culture movements of the mid-twentieth century, and the Reagan revolution as well as today’s Tea Party. She, not her liberal critics, stands squarely in the mainstream of American political culture.


September 9, 2011 at 11:25 am Comments (0)

Marcellus Shale Protestors = Lobbyists For Middle East Oil Barons

And there they were, in all their glory, basking in the attention gained from protesting Marcellus Shale drilling.

Sure, those who were angrily denouncing the gas industry during the Marcellus Shale Coalition Conference in Philadelphia got the attention of the local media. But by far, their biggest cheering section, the folks who were happily paying the closest attention, weren’t even in Pennsylvania.

They’re in the Middle East.

The leaders of those oil nations could not be more thrilled to have such a passionate cadre of protestors, who do everything in their power to ensure the United States remains bent over the foreign oil barrel.  And as an added bonus, American petro dollars are used to fund extremist anti-American programs in those very same Middle Eastern nations, resulting in a new generation of well-funded terrorists.

About the only thing missing is the Middle Eastern oil barons not paying the protestors to be their registered lobbyists, because that’s exactly what they are.


We are witnessing the greatest transfer of wealth in the history of mankind as America needlessly sends trillions to China and the Middle East.  The standard of living in those countries continues to rise, as does their global power, while the United States slowly devolves into a second-world nation with — at least for now — a first-world military.

And here’s the part no one wants to admit but is unequivocally true: it will never again be the way it was, and the American way of life simply cannot improve until the people remove their heads from their derrieres and demand that we utilize our own domestic energy resources.

Absent that, the demise is unstoppable.

A look at any port tells the story: tankers and freighters come to America fully laden, but leave U.S. shores virtually empty. And the reason is simple. We make nothing.  No nation can survive, let alone prosper, if it abandons its manufacturing base. But that is exactly what we did.

Of course, we will never be able to compete with the lowest labor costs in the world. So the only way to offset that is to have the lowest energy costs in the world.  And more than any nation on Earth, America can do that.  How? By utilizing the greatest concentration of energy resources on the planet — a level which dwarfs that of any other nation.

There are vast — almost immeasurable — yet untapped oil reserves off both coasts and in the Gulf of Mexico, in Alaska (especially in the ANWR), under the Rocky Mountains, and in the Bakken Formation in North Dakota.

And that’s just for starters.

America has also been blessed with an overabundance of natural gas, including the Marcellus Shale, which just happens to be the second largest gas deposit in the world. Ironically, many of the gas protestors who describe themselves as “environmentalists” (whatever that means) are opposing the cleanest fuel available.

Natural gas produces virtually no emissions, which not only is good for the environment, but its low price and limitless supply are lessening use of more emission–producing fossil fuels.  It’s a no-brainer.

And since it is less than half the price of gasoline, the wider utilization of natural gas can power the economy in an unprecedented way.  As companies like UPS have realized, lower fuel costs give them a competitive edge, and that means greater commerce and more jobs.

And speaking of jobs, take a look at just one glowing example right here in Pennsylvania of how natural gas can get the economy moving again.  Proctor and Gamble has a substantial manufacturing plant in the state, and as with any such facility, energy costs are always one of the priciest budget items.

Upon discovering natural gas under the plant, the company invested in several gas wells on the property — money that was quickly recouped since their energy bill is now dramatically less.  Businesses in that situation can now take the millions in savings and expand operations, hire more workers at good salaries, and keep its manufacturing doors open in America.

But that’s just the beginning.  It’s all the ancillary effects that result from gas that can jumpstart the economy: homes are built and bought (driving down foreclosures), restaurants thrive, many small businesses no longer face closure, and untold new businesses spring to life.  Estimates are that 100,000 jobs have already been created because of Pennsylvania’s (fledgling) gas industry, and billions in tax revenue have filled municipal and state coffers.

And that is but a mere preview of what’s to come.

Yet the protestors would rather kill all that off, content to keep the status quo of $4 gasoline, rising inflation, and a stagnant economy. Oh, and one more thing: their actions jeopardize the safety of every American by keeping the nation in a state of begging, totally reliant on foreign oil. To say our national security is weakened would be a gross understatement.

Here’s the bottom line. Two plus two always equals four, whether or not one chooses to believe that.  Likewise, black gold and natural gas are the lifeblood of every economy, and that unequivocally will not change for scores of decades, if ever.  Those countries with petroleum resources thrive, while those reliant on rival nations for their energy needs are always at a substantial disadvantage.  It is survival of the fittest, and no amount of fairy-tale fluff will change that fact.

The most ignorant aspect of Shale protestors is that they only harp on the “horrors” of natural gas and oil (most of which are easily debunked myths, but that’s another column), yet offer no alternatives — at least none grounded in the real world.  If they ever do, they will be taken seriously.  But until then, they will be laughed off as extremists trying to achieve a relevance that is simply unattainable.

Solar? Wind? Hydro? Love them all.  And we should continue to utilize them so long as they are cost efficient.  But they do not make even the smallest dent in meeting America’s energy needs. Attempts to argue the contrary are folly.

Nuclear is a different ballgame, and we should be doubling our plants, but in the wake of Japan’s (avoidable) crisis, combined with zero political leadership from either Party in Washington, that’s a pipe dream.

Which brings us back to gas. If not gas and oil, then what?  More reliance from hostile foreign nations while out global competitors gain yet another foothold on America? That’s not a solution. It’s a death sentence.

Natural gas, and the industry itself, are not perfect, but they are most certainly the best option we have to keep our communities safe and prosperous, and our people’s dignity intact.  Criticism for the sake of criticism — with no viable solutions — is simply irresponsible.

Of course, so is cooking one’s meal with propane stoves while protesting a natural gas conference — as some hypocritical protestors actually did.  And that says it all.

It’s high-time the United States of America stops using Chinese as its official language and asking permission from Middle Eastern oil barons.

So come up with something better and get your fracking facts straight, or go pass gas somewhere else. 

An accredited member of the media, Chris Friend is an independent columnist, television commentator, and investigative reporter who operates his own news bureau,

Readers of his column, “Freindly Fire,” hail from six continents, thirty countries and all fifty states. His work has been referenced in numerous publications including The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, foreign newspapers, and in Dick Morris’ recent bestseller “Catastrophe.”

Freind, whose column appears regularly in Philadelphia Magazine and nationally in Newsmax, also serves as a frequent guest commentator on talk radio and state/national television, most notably on FOX Philadelphia.  He can be reached at











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September 8, 2011 at 10:42 am Comment (1)

Dubya Comes to Shanksville

SHANKSVILLE, Pa. (AP) — Former President George W. Bush will speak at this week’s dedication of the Flight 93 National Memorial.

The National Park Service and National Park Foundation announced Tuesday that Bush, who was in office when the plane crashed on Sept. 11, 2001, will join Vice President Joe Biden and Flight 93 family members. Also attending Saturday’s event will be dignitaries including former first lady Laura Bush, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis and Gov. Tom Corbett.

Read the whole thing here.

September 7, 2011 at 1:12 am Comment (1)

Perry Team Challenges Campaign Conventional Wisdom

I knew there was a reason I liked this guy:

“No candidate has ever presided over a political operation so skeptical of basic campaign tools and so committed to using social-science methods to rigorously test them,” former Boston Globe reporter Sasha Issenberg told The New York Times.

Washington political consultants cost too much and deliver too little, Mr. Perry thinks. That’s why some establishment Republicans oppose him, Mr. MacKinnon said. “For a few in the GOP consultant class, they’ll gladly see Perry lose in November just to ensure they are not shut out of a Republican White House.”

This is an exceptionally good indication from where I sit.

Challenge assumptions.  Do what works.  Stop doing crap that doesn’t. Attempt to understand why things happen.

September 6, 2011 at 9:23 pm Comments (0)

Labor Day: Time For Unions To Get Real

Oh the guilt.

For all us unlucky folks who aren’t part of Organized Labor, how can we not feel at least a little conscience-smitten? After all, we are taking full advantage of that end-of-summer holiday honoring “the working class,” aka Labor.

And nowadays, if your goal is to join a union, you would indeed be “lucky” to achieve that, since only 12 percent of the workforce is now unionized, and when you factor out the public-sector workers, that number plummets to 7 percent. Far from the heyday when nearly 40 percent of the nation’s workforce belonged to the union.

It would seem, then, that for the 9 out of 10 Americans who aren’t considered “working people” —which must mean they don’t work — every day is a holiday. So taking advantage of Labor Day just seems like another way to put the screws to the unions. 

But what else is new? Public sector unions have seen their pay scales, benefits, and pensions under constant attack recently from dastardly Republicans trying to stave off bankruptcy.  The nerve!

Think about it. For some teachers’ unions, that might mean giving up paying…absolutely nothing towards their healthcare, such as those in the Neshaminy district, where their Rolls Royce plan, courtesy of taxpayers, costs $27,000, per teacher, per year. How could any taxpayer or elected official be in favor of making teachers pay five or, God forbid, ten percent of that cost? Disregard the fact that for most in the private sector, contributing ten percent towards guaranteed healthcare in a virtually guaranteed job would be a dream, since they pay far more, if having coverage at all.

Far “worse,” some Republicans, in an effort to get their states back in the black, have made it possible for public sector union members to negotiate with their prospective employer individually, with  free market-type incentives allowing for a fair offer — fair for the employee, and fair for the “employer” (the taxpayer).

An offer would be made — salary, healthcare, benefits — and the individual could choose to accept or decline it, just as it’s done in the free market. Accountability and efficiencies would increase, and unmotivated, bureaucratic sloths would be eliminated in favor of those willing to be good stewards of taxpayer money.

Sound simple and fair enough?  It is, and it’s called the elimination of collective bargaining, but union leaders have demonized all who support such a plan, instead fighting to continue a system that is completely broke.

And when it comes to retirement issues, voracious union opposition rears its head at any attempt to replace costly and antiquated pension plans — which are draining government coffers at an exponential rate — with 401k retirement plans for new public sector employees.

So why all the “unfairness” towards the public sector unions?

Because they are such an inviting target, and it’s just — fun to attack them!

Or so many union leaders would have you believe. But the reality is entirely different.

Truth be told, it’s not the GOP that is putting the screws to the unions.  They just happen to be the ones cleaning up the mess, especially in states like Ohio, Indiana and Wisconsin. (Noticeably absent is Pennsylvania, where it’s Business As Usual).

For decades, unions have been reaping the rewards of promises that were ultimately empty and could not possibly be kept. But those Ponzi scheme “pay-me-later” deals, made between corrupt union bosses and gutless politicians (from both Parties) only interested in self-preservation, have now finally come due. It’s time to pay the piper, and kicking the can down the road just isn’t an option anymore. That  “strategy” is a dead end.

Math doesn’t lie. There is simply not enough money to continue paying such high wages and, in many cases, extremely lavish benefits and pensions. 


The way the system was originally intended, joining the public sector was a trade-off: while one wouldn’t make as much money as someone in private industry, he would receive a healthy pension and job security.  But all that changed, in large part because millions in union dues (taxpayer money, no less) were allocated to defeat any politician who dared cross the unions.

Now, many public sector union workers make more than those in the private sector, and their pensions are so extravagant that Wall Street-ers blush with envy.

But with the economy in shambles (and no, we are not headed into “another recession;” we never got out of the first one), tax revenue is down and the pension obligations are simply unaffordable.  The current system is unsustainable, and no argument can be made to the contrary.

Is it right? Don’t public sector union members deserve what they were promised?

Not to be callous with people’s livelihoods, but those questions are irrelevant. If there is not enough money, there is not enough money.  Unlike the feds, states and municipalities can’t print cash, so governments have to cut back and reform everything, including the big-ticket items like labor costs.

If they don’t, the alternative is far worse: bankruptcy.  And yes, municipalities can and are declaring. From Rhode Island to Alabama, the message is simple: agree to cuts, or risk losing everything.

Obviously, it’s not fair.  The rank-and-file union member who worked hard his whole career was promised an unattainable bill of goods by now long-gone hacks who don’t have to answer for their irresponsibility. But as Jack Kennedy once said, anyone who believes in fairness in this world is seriously misinformed.

And before we hear the clamor that unions are being singled out and targeted, look at the private sector, which has experienced even greater losses. Pensions there have been battered too, with some retirees receiving just pennies on the dollar. And private industry job losses are hemorrhaging at a much higher rate than those in the public unions.  That’s not fair, either, but it’s reality. Deal with it.

So what now?

Instead of engaging in a full assault against politicians trying to clean up the mess left by their predecessors — fighting for monies that just aren’t there —, union leaders would do well to realize that the rules of the game have changed, and they are never going back to what they were.

Tone down the hype, stop the personal attacks, and come into the real world.  The new reality is that reforms of the public sector unions are imminent, and not because of political will or the (mistaken) perception that Republicans are anti-Labor, but because there is simply not enough money to fulfill those long-ago promises. There are no other options.

Failure to agree to common sense reforms will only result in a protracted battle that the unions cannot win, virtually guaranteeing an (unnecessary) level of pain and suffering to rank-and-file union members.

Union bosses would do well to remember that their job is to represent the best interests of their members, and it would behoove union members to hold their leaders accountable — something they have not done particularly well over the years.  On three big issues that mattered to the rank and file — defeat of NAFTA, defeat of Most Favored Trading status for China, and stemming job-killing and wage-depressing illegal immigration — the union leaders have batted zero.

Only common sense and a genuine willingness to work together for fair solutions will resolve the difficult situation facing public unions, states, and taxpayers. 

While that will never be a perfect “union,” anything less will result in a Labor Day— with no Labor.
An accredited member of the media, Chris Friend is an independent columnist, television commentator, and investigative reporter who operates his own news bureau,

Readers of his column, “Freindly Fire,” hail from six continents, thirty countries and all fifty states. His work has been referenced in numerous publications including The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, foreign newspapers, and in Dick Morris’ recent bestseller “Catastrophe.”

Freind, whose column appears regularly in Philadelphia Magazine and nationally in Newsmax, also serves as a frequent guest commentator on talk radio and state/national television, most notably on FOX Philadelphia.  He can be reached at



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September 6, 2011 at 3:18 pm Comment (1)

Flight 93

Rare footage of the smoke plume from the crash of Flight 93 on 9/11.




September 6, 2011 at 2:29 pm Comments (0)

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