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The Week, June 8 NRO - One of Obama’s few genuine non-defense budget cuts is a sharp reduction in funding for the agency that polices “embezzlement from labor organizations, extortionate picketing, deprivation of union members’ rights by force or violence, and fraud in union officer elections.” During the Bush administration, the agency’s budget increased by 50 percent, and it chalked up 929 convictions of corrupt union officials. Yet Obama’s Labor Department appointees say it does not have a big enough workload, so 9 percent of its $45 million budget should go to other agencies. A primary beneficiary will be the bureaucracy that makes sure “that contractors doing business with the Federal government do not discriminate and take affirmative action.” In the Age of Obama, quota enforcers are showered with money, while investigators of fraud, embezzlement, and strong-arming have to beg for spare change. It goes to show, yet again, that the interests of “labor” and the interests of workers are often antithetical.

Day after day, week after week, the lights go out in Venezuela. A recent headline read, “Last anti-Chávez TV station faces probe, shutdown.” At the Summit of the Americas, President Obama called Hugo Chávez his friend (“mi amigo”). Chávez is not the friend of any democrat. We should not let the dying of the light in Venezuela go unnoticed.

Nicholas Winton is a name that ought to be better known. He has been called the British Schindler. As the Nazis were dismembering Czechoslovakia and preparing for mass persecutions, he went to Prague and set up an office there. At the time, he was 29 and a stockbroker’s clerk, nobody special. It was a feat to organize eight trains that brought Jewish children to London — they all needed sponsors, complex paperwork, and funding. In all, Winton saved 667 children, though sometimes the figure is given as 669. The ninth train was due to leave on September 3, 1939, the day war was declared, so it was canceled. The 250 children who would have been on that train were soon murdered. There’s been some recognition. Books have been written about him, and films made. The Queen knighted him and the Czechs proposed him for the Nobel Peace Prize. Winton makes no claims for himself, merely saying, “I just saw what was going on and did what I could to help.” This admirable and modest man has just celebrated his 100th birthday.

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