Thursday, June 08, 2006

One may smile, and smile . . .

While working out the other day, I saw the new national ad put out by UnionFacts[dot]com. (You can view it by going to the website and clicking on "Our Ads." I'm choosing not to link directly.) "Workers" in various work settings sarcastically declare their love for "forced union dues," "union bosses," and other alleged union abuses. The kicker? They're all smiling. Smiling sweetly. So if you aren't really paying attention to what they're saying, if you aren't already inclined to hate unions, you might go away from the visual affect of the smiles aligned with the word "union" to have a more or less positive association with unions.

That's what I like about the ad. That it potentially subverts its own message.

As for the organization sponsoring the ad, more below the fold.

If you go to, you'll be hard pressed to find the name of any person or organization behind this site. On the "about us" page, they claim,

The Center for Union Facts is a non-profit organization supported by foundations, businesses, union members, and the general public. We are dedicated to showing Americans the truth about today's union leadership.

That, combined with the fact that some of their information about unions (including AFT) comes from wikipedia (which I'm not knocking, but seems kind of a curious source for a "fact" finding organization), made me wonder who could possibly be behind this. Happily, the Center for Media and Democracy has already done the hard work of source checking for me. The organization keeps its supporters secret because, they claim,

unions have a long history of targeting anyone who opposes them, whether it be in a threatening way or by lodging campaigns against them.

Um, yeah. And they're making the analogy between unions and police states. Let's see: isn't secrecy a prime strategy of police states?

(And, by the way: what's up with blogger? I've been having trouble logging on, and now the editing template is all screwed up. Here's hoping this actually posts without looking too strange.)

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