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I am now in the third week of my annual February birthday fund-raising drive. The first two weeks were good, but not record-setting.


There are still two weeks left in this campaign however. If you have been a regular reader and a fan of my work and have not yet donated or subscribed, please consider doing so. I take no ads, I keep the website clean from pop-ups and annoying demands (most of the time). Thus, I depend entirely on my readers to support me. Though this means I am sacrificing some income, it also means that I remain entirely independent from outside pressure. By depending solely on donations and subscriptions from my readers, no one can threaten me with censorship. You don't like what I write, you can simply go elsewhere.


You can support me either by giving a one-time contribution or a regular subscription. There are five ways of doing so:


1. Zelle: This is the only internet method that charges no fees. All you have to do is use the Zelle link at your internet bank and give my name and email address (zimmerman at nasw dot org). What you donate is what I get.


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NIH workers vote to form union

What could possibly go wrong? The newest workers at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have now voted overwhelmingly to unionize, thus shifting power from research to workers’ rights.

Hundreds of early-career researchers at the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) have voted overwhelmingly to form a union, nearly completing the official process required to do so. They plan to call on the agency — the world’s largest public funder of biomedical research — to improve pay and working conditions, and to bolster its policies and procedures for dealing with harassment and excessive workloads.

About 98% of the research fellows who participated in the ballot voted on 6 December to form the union, with 1,601 voting in favour and just 36 against. Barring any objections, the result will be certified by the US Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) after five business days, and the union will become the first ever to represent fellows at a federal research agency and the largest union to form in the US government in more than a decade.

Routinely these government unions have been a disaster for both the taxpayer and the work the agency does. The focus becomes pay instead of doing the job. And because it is a government operation, politics always plays a hand. In most cases the government works hand-in-glove with the union. The union donates money to the politician’s campaign coffers, the politician then passes legislation favoring the union or the pay scales.

We have seen this disaster most horribly in our public schools. During and after the Wuhan panic the unions have consistently fought to keep schools closed, pushing remote teaching so that the teachers can stay home, not teach, while still getting paid. Before COVID the unions forced high wages and low standards, which has resulted in kids leaving schools badly educated at great cost.

It should be noted that the existence of these federal government unions began with a presidential executive order by John Kennedy in the early 1960s that a future president has the ability to cancel. One wonders if such a thing might happen in the future.

In the meantime, expect research coming out of the NIH to continue to go downhill.

Genesis cover

On Christmas Eve 1968 three Americans became the first humans to visit another world. What they did to celebrate was unexpected and profound, and will be remembered throughout all human history. Genesis: the Story of Apollo 8, Robert Zimmerman's classic history of humanity's first journey to another world, tells that story, and it is now available as both an ebook and an audiobook, both with a foreword by Valerie Anders and a new introduction by Robert Zimmerman.

The ebook is available everywhere for $5.99 (before discount) at amazon, or direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit. If you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and the author gets a bigger cut much sooner.

The audiobook is also available at all these vendors, and is also free with a 30-day trial membership to Audible.

"Not simply about one mission, [Genesis] is also the history of America's quest for the moon... Zimmerman has done a masterful job of tying disparate events together into a solid account of one of America's greatest human triumphs."--San Antonio Express-News


  • David M. Cook

    Just another giant payoff of the democrats to more federal workers, making them into left-wing operatives who then stomp on citizens‘ rights when they fail to follow the socialist agenda! Also, that socialist “hero” FDR was opposed to public-sector labor unions, which make citizens into the “bad guy” during labor disputes.

  • pzatchok

    The government in all forms has had the largest union for many years now.

    I do not think government workers should get a union. They already get all the benefits unions fought for from outside the government unions.

  • Boobah

    It should be noted that the existence of these federal government unions began with a presidential executive order by John Kennedy in the early 1960s that a future president has the ability to cancel.

    Just like the DREAMers, I’m sure.

    Not arguing that it should work that way, just doubtful that partisan judges would let it go.

  • Ming O'Mongo

    I guess JFK failed to heed FDR’s disdain for the idea of government workers’ unions. Bad idea then, worse idea now.

  • John

    Color me surprised that the NIH needs “to improve pay and working conditions, and to bolster its policies and procedures for dealing with harassment and excessive workloads.”

    Those poor over-worked harassed NIH research fellows.

    I think it’s more likely they know what they said during the pandemic. They know what they did. They know what they sided with. They know what they funded. And they’re worried there may be accountability on the horizon.

  • wayne

    Related Stuff:
    I live in Michigan, in 2012 we became a Right-to-Work State. Our Governor at the time, was a rino, but he managed to get that through. [“Right-To-Work,” = you do not have to join a union to work at a unionized shop, you are covered under any CBA’s, but you aren’t extorted on a weekly basis. And boy do they HATE those people…]
    Fast-forward to March 2023, and our Governor, Field-Marshall Whitmer, who somehow managed to get elected to a 2nd, 4-year term, went full authoritarian (she’s term-limited now) and repealed the Right-To-Work statute. (We now have the dubious distinction of being the first State, in 58 years, to repeal a right to work law.)
    So, starting February 2024, anyone in Michigan who works where a union is operating, must join & pay dues, or be fired.
    “American Dope-Growers Union”
    Look For the Union-Label
    SNL (1975)

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