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Hoffa Offers 500,000 Truckers as 'Eyes and Ears'
| June 21
| Reuters By Steve Holland
Posted on 06/21/2002 12:24:50 PM PDT by mdittmar
Teamsters President James Hoffa said on Friday he would ask the 500,000 truck operators covered by his union to take part in a grass-roots homeland security effort looking for suspicious activity on the roads.
Talking to reporters on the White House driveway, Hoffa said he had pitched the idea to President Bush's director of homeland security, Tom Ridge.
His comments came shortly before an FBI warning that terrorists may use fuel tanker trucks for attacks in the United States -- possibly on fuel depots, Jewish schools or synagogues -- or on U.S. interests overseas.
Hoffa was among a group of union leaders briefed by Ridge on the president's plan for a Department of Homeland Security, a proposal now being debated in Congress.
All came away from the meeting saying they were supportive of the new Cabinet agency.
"The gentlemen who are with me today represent some of the best and finest workers and patriots in America, and we've had the opportunity to spend some time today talking with these leaders of organized labor about the president's new Department of Homeland Security," Ridge said after the meeting.
The Bush administration has been courting the support of traditionally Democratic unions and has won Hoffa's endorsement for oil drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Reserve because of the jobs it would create.
Hoffa said: "I offered the fact that we have 500,000 truck drivers on the road at any one time, and these people can be the eyes and ears of the homeland security office."
He said they communicate by citizens' band radio and could be an important part of a "basic domestic intelligence service where we can see things that are suspicious and make sure they're reported."
Ridge spokesman Gordon Johndroe said there has been an effort to involve the transportation industry, including truckers who might notice things out of the ordinary.
"They know when things are out of place or different from the norm in their daily routines and their jobs, and that can be very beneficial to the war on terrorism," Johndroe said.
Hoffa said the Teamsters would get together with various trucking associations to work out a strategy.
"It's amazing what different type of intelligence they might pick up. And I think it's important that we make sure this information is reported to the appropriate authorities if there's anything suspicious or of danger to our nation," he said.
Michael Sacco, president of the Seafarers International Union, made a similar offer for watching America's seas and ports.
"We want to put an intelligent network around this country and around the world to protect the citizens of the United States, and funnel whatever information we can to whatever agencies, after this department is put in place we have to funnel it to," he said.
TOPICS: Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: Alaska
KEYWORDS: alaska; convoy; election2004; jameshoffa; teamsters
posted on 06/21/2002 12:24:50 PM PDT
Hoffa has a point there. Nothing moving on the road or parked along the road would escape notice by truckers.
Very patriotic, but...in exchange for what
I'm reminded of WWII (which I remember) when the "Mafia" was "given a pass" in the USA ,in exchange for resisting the Fascist government in Italy.
Most truckers are not sensitive enough to PC issues like racial profiling. They would probably get suspicious if they saw 5 Arabs with rocket launchers standing around at the end of an airport runway. No, unless they all agree to listen only to NPR while they drive, this will not be acceptable. No more Rush or Charlie Daniels or even Willie Nelson. Just NPR 24 hours a day mile after mile. Then, and only then, will they have their awareness lifted and senstivitiy enhanced so they can understand the real issues that face America today.
One would hope that Teamsters, and indeed any union members would be patriotic enough to act as "eyes and ears," as, I hope, most of us are doing already.
What's this union goon threatening - that he'll encourage his members not to report suspicious activity that could be terrorism? I think that the average union member is sharp enough to realize that an al-Quaeda nuke won't just kill scabs and Republicans, and understands that a terrorist attack threatens him and his family as well.
To: Blue Screen of Death
I would guess many of the truckers are way ahead of the curve as compared to their union leaders as far as keeping their eyes open and I would also guess that after years of listening to Rush and other conservative talk show hosts many of these same truckers are ahead of their union leadership with regard to conservatism. One of the few over the road truckers I used to know was extremely well informed and very conservative. He might even be a freeper.
posted on 06/21/2002 1:17:42 PM PDT
[[Yeah breaker 1-9, this here's the Rubber Duck,
you got a copy on me Pig Pen, come on.]]
[[Uh, yeah 10-4 Pig Pen, fer sure, fer sure.
By golly, its clean clear to Flagtown, come on.]]
[[Yeah its a big 10-4 there Pig Pen.
Yeah we defiantly got the front door, good buddy.
Mercy sakes alive, looks like we got us a convoy!]]
It was the dark of the moon
on the sixth of June,
in a Kenworth haulin' logs,
cab overpeet with a reefer on,
and a Jemmy haulin' hogs.
We wuz heading for Bear on I 1-0,
'bout a mile out of Shakeytown.
I sez Pig Pen this here's the Rubber Duck,
an' I'm about to put the hammer down.
'Cause we got a little old convoy,
rockin' thru the night.
Yeah we got a little old convoy,
ain't she a beautiful sight?
Come on and join our convoy,
ain't nuthin' gonna git in our way.
We gonna roll this truckin' convoy,
'cross the USA!!!
[[Uh breaker Pig Pen, this here's the Duck,
an, uh, you wanna back off them hogs?
Uh 10-4 'bout five mile or so, 10-Roger.
Them hogs is gettin' INTENSE up here.]]
By the time we got
into Tulsa town,
we had 85 trucks in all.
But theyz a roadblock
up on the clover leaf,
an' them Bears wuz wall to wall.
Yeah, them Smokeys wuz thick
as bugs on a bumper,
they even had a Bear in the air.
I sez, callin' all trucks,
this here's the Duck,
we about to go a huntin' Bear.
[[Uh, you wanna give me a 10-9 on that Pig Pen?
Uh, negatory Pig Pen, you're still too close.
Yeah them hogs is startin to close up my sinuses.
Mercy sakes you'd better back off another ten.]]
Well we rolled up Interstate 44,
like a rocket sled on rails.
We tore up all of our swindle sheets,
and left 'em settin' on the scales.
By the time we hit that Chi town,
them Bears wuz a gettin' smart.
They'd brought up some reinforcements,
from the Illinois National Guard.
There wuz armored cars,
an' tanks an' jeeps,
an' rigs of every size.
Yeah them chicken coops,
wuz fulla Bears,
an' choppers filled the skies.
Well we shot the line, we went for broke,
with a thousand screamin' trucks.
An' eleven long haired Friends O' Jesus,
in a chartreuse microbus.
[[Uh Rubber Duck, this is Sodbuster, come on.]]
[[Yeah 10-4 Sodbuster, listen.
You wanna put that microbus in behind that Suicide Jockey?
Yeah, he's haulin' dynamite an' he needs all the help he can get.]]
Well we laid a strip for the Jersey shore,
prepared to cross the line.
I could see the bridge wuz lined with Bears,
but I didn't have a doggone dime!
I sez Pig Pen, this here's the Rubber Duck,
we just ain't a gonna pay no toll.
So we crashed the gate, doing 98.
I sez let them truckers roll, 10-4!!
[[Uh 10-4 Pig Pen, what's yer 20? OMAHA?!!
Well they oughtta know what to do with those hogs out there, fer sure.
Well mercy sakes good buddy, we gonna back on outta here
so keep the bugs off yer glass and the Bears off yer...tail. 10-4]]
posted on 06/21/2002 1:17:50 PM PDT
Slowly but surely the Teamsters under Hoffa are moving our way. First one step then the next. THIS is good news.
He might even be a freeper.
Or, he might be married to one! ;*)
My husband is on the road too much to actually post here, although I know he'd enjoy it as much as I he's internet...So I do it for the both of us.
And KS-CBoy is right on. While I can't speak for all of them, many OTR drivers have families, wives and children that they want nothing more then to get back home to, safe and sound and in one piece. Doing so requires the upmost attention and vigillance regarding their situations and their surroundings at all times. To compromise that awareness may mean the difference between life and death.
On another note, many of those drivers utilize their CB radios the same way *we* use the WWW. Since I'm still 'new' here, I've not seen it a ton of times, but I have for example, more then once, heard breaking 'news' via radio or TV IRL only to find the issue already being debated/discussed/whatever in almost real time on FR, all the while keeping a step ahead of mainstream media. A good portion of these drivers keep informed, as well as informing others in the same way; using the CB to share first hand accounts, various news heard, ideas and opinions on a particular item.
Thanks for the lift (from the lyrics) good buddy, I wonder if the Rv'ing community would like to join up with the truckers, (Where is the Good Sam Club?)
This makes me have a better image of the unions.
"Teamsters President James Hoffa said on Friday he would ask the 500,000 truck operators covered by his union to take part in a grass-roots homeland security effort looking for suspicious activity on the roads..."
Maybe they will find his dad...
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