Tag Archives: Supreme Court

Rank and File Union Membership Post Victories!

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) issued its decision in the matter of Harris v. Quinn. In its decision not to exempt all public workers from paying union dues, it was nevertheless apparent that workers were handed a victory over unions (see Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Challengers to Union Fees, But Avoids Broad Ruling and Workers were Handed a Victory Over Unions). In a 5-4 ruling following political lines, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed that just because home healthcare workers received Medicaid payments they were not employees of a government agency and subject to forced unionism or required to pay dues because of supposed union representation. The irony of this is that many of the home healthcare workers are independent contractors, not state workers, who have been forced to pay forced union dues because of the SEIU’s close political ties to former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich.  It could have been much worse for organized labor if SCOTUS had determined, as it should have, that no public employees should be forced to be part of the union or pay union affiliation/representation fees. Due to the narrow ruling, Big Labor was able to Dodge a Bullet with SCOTUS!

The decision of SCOTUS in Harris v. Quinn will ultimately cost the SEIU an estimated $50 Million in lost revenue. The SEIU recently took a similar hit when the Michigan legislature repealed a law similar to that in question in Harris v. Quinn (see SEIU Shows It Is Not About Employee Free Choice). The SEIU has been reaping large dues payments in states like California, as discussed in It’s All About the Dues Money. This decision will result in a significant drop in dues income, designed to line its pockets and support its political buddies. Make no mistake, this decision will have a profound affect on Big Labor’s ability to support its political allies with funds and foot soldiers in the November 2014 Election.

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Monday’s ruling is only the beginning of a conundrum facing Big Labor. Rank and file members across the country are fed up with Big Labor using their dues payments for political activities with which they disagree. Throughout the month of June, disgruntled SEIU and UAW members in California and Michigan have been on a mission to have “Non Germaine Objector” (NGO) dues removed from the monthly dues being deducted from their paychecks. If successful, these reductions would decrease dues, and subsequently SEIU and UAW revenues by reportedly 35%. Brave members, such as Mariam Noujaim and Lisa Garcia, whose stories are chronicled in The Devil at Our Doorstep, and Brian Pannbecker, a cofounder of Union Conservatives, the organization responsible for the grass roots effort for Michigan become the 24th Right-To-Work State, have led the charge in these highly unionized states. Their efforts are further documented at www.occupyseiu.com and www.unionconservatives.com.

These bold actions, by responsible rank and file members of the SEIU and the UAW, as well as Harris and her band of home healthcare workers, will significantly affect the Big Labor Gasping Dinosaurs and their Symbiotic Relationship that Short Changes Americans! These brave hero’s victories will undoubtedly be evident as Administration and Big Labor Desperation Escalates prior to the 2014 Mid Term Elections.

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SEIU’s Hair on Fire?

Despite continuing actions by the SEIU to press forced unionization through their “hair on fire” approach, statistics recently released show continuing stagnant membership for labor unions (see Labor Union Membership Rate Stays Steady in 2013). For employees across the country this means the SEIU will continue the pressure through their “persuasion of power” (see Desperate SEIU Resurrects The Persuasion of Power). Over the past three decades, the SEIU and its big labor brethren have continued to see membership roles drop, and this has continued to be true in recent years as the economy continues to sour and employees become more informed and resistant to what unions have to offer. The fact that they had a year that showed no decline is hardly a breath of fresh air when big labor is continuing to deal with declining revenues, and the fact they desperately need to curry political favors to advance forced unionism, thereby increasing membership roles and corresponding dues. Make no mistake about it that membership growth and member dues are big labor’s priority, as it is all about the big labor lifestyle and political power membership dues fund!

As a result of the lack of union membership growth, the country continues to experience this Persuasion of Power from the nation’s largest and most radical union (see Communism at the Highest Levels). The SEIU’s Insidious Tentacles continue to spread across this great country into every nook and cranny as it seeks to avoid extinction and promote its socialist/communistic agenda with support from the “Puppet” in the White House. In 2012, the SEIU used its members’ union dues and foot soldiers to elect David Bowen to the Milwaukee County Board. Now they have  “assisted” him in writing a minimum wage proposal that would, according to independent accounting sources, cost the county over $27 million dollars, lose out on an estimated $34.5 million in land sales and $11 million in new tax revenue, and cost more than 8,700 new jobs (see Union-influenced minimum wage law in Wisconsin could squash thousands of jobs and Union helps write living wage ordinance that could cost taxpayers millions). Of course, this is all presented in typical SEIU misinformation fashion as providing people with a “living wage,” when the truth is the bill contains.

The proposal, however, offers contracting firms an exemption from the wage hike, but only if their workers are covered by a collective bargaining agreement between the employer and a bona fide labor union like the SEIU. Obviously this is no more than a corrupt ploy to recapture revenues that have declined significantly over the last several years. According to IRS tax documents, the Milwaukee SEIU reported revenue of $1,878,513 in 2010, $938,478 in 2011 and $780,923 in 2012. This represents a 60 percent loss in annual revenue in just two years.  Clearly, the union has reached a point of desperation. Remember, “desperate people do desperate things” regardless  of the consequences.

In Illinois, the SEIU  has been attempting to force unionize Home Health Care Workers regardless of whether they are interested in the union or not. The law allows the SEIU to organize family members and owners of home health care organizations based on the premise that the people providing care receive reimbursement through Medicaid or Medicare. As they are government-funded programs, the persons are subject to unionization based on President Kennedy’s 1963 Executive Order allowing public employees to be unionized. It is common sense that the government should not be forcing workers into unions.  A current case before the U.S. Supreme Court will  test this theory (see Supreme Court to hear case on forced unionization and Supreme Court ‘sleeper’ case on union dues has big impact on organized labor).

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Finally, with numerous incidents of fraud and embezzlement coming to light, the past month hasn’t been great for the Service Employees. One would think that after SEIU Local 6434 President Tyrone Freeman was just put away for three years, the sticky fingers in the organization would keep their hands in their own pockets…at least for a while. On the contrary, just two months after Freeman’s sentencing, former Local 721 Treasurer Cedric Hughes was indicted for five counts of wire fraud and a count of embezzlement. When questioned about the missing $15,194, Hughes claimed nearly all financial records for the Local’s UUP Chase Account had gone missing. Hughes is the third SEIU official to be charged with embezzling during 2013, proving that an atmosphere of complacency toward corruption is a common thread among SEIU locals.

In other unscrupulous activity, SEIU-UHW’s Myriam Escamilla was caught conducting secret negotiations with an employer, then signing a full contract without even talking to the workers of the facility. Upon being caught, workers forced Escamilla to put the contract to a ballot that was unanimously voted down. Afterward, they decertified SEIU-UHW as their union and joined the National Union of Healthcare Workers. This makes the second time in a month that SEIU-UHW members bailed on their union and voted in the rival NUHW.

Additionally, in California, SEIU is using social media to raise funds for a mural honoring the union, and their claim to have “helped over 200,000 low wage workers, through its “Justice for Janitors” campaign achieve better social and economic standing by campaigning for better wages and healthcare. Conveniently ignoring the fact the SEIU lost, California, SEIU is using social media to raise funds for a mural honoring the union, and their claim to have “helped over 200,000 low wage workers achieve better social and economic standing by campaigning for better wages and healthcare.” Well-known artist Andre Miripolsky is the face of the project, placing a request to raise the $60,000 needed on a “support-an-artist” website service.

These new initiatives and scandals, attacks against Wal-Mart and fast food companies in its “Fight for Fifteen,” combined with the President’s SOTUS agenda, which focused on immigration reform, minimum wage, income inequality and unemployment benefits, conveniently provide the SEIU fodder for increased forced unionization of employees. This only accentuates that America is facing a new year, but the Same Old SEIU and Same Tired Attacks!

“Hair on Fire” is trademarked and held by Barbara Espinosa, and was used with permission.

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Reprised – U.S. Supreme Court: An Opportunity to Protect Fundamental Freedoms

The U.S. Supreme Court failed the American people by dismissing a recent case involving the Neutrality Agreement, but has an opportunity to redeem itself and reign in Obama’s lawlessness by agreeing with the U.S. District Court that Obama’s recess appointees to the NLRB were unconstitutional!  The case was heard yesterday (see SCOTUS begins hearing on recess appointments), and initial impressions are that the U.S. Supreme Court will uphold the District Court’s decision (see Supreme Court Likely to Rein In President’s Recess Appointments Power. This would be a terrible blow to President Obama’s agenda of paybacks and favors to his big labor buddies!

Please read the details on both cases in the previous blog, listed below.

The U. S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear two cases in the next year which will determine whether persons will be protected in their exercise of the fundamental right to either choose whether to engage in union representation or to abstain from such representation, and to make such decision absent intimidation from either the union or their employer via the secret ballot election — the same process we use to elect our local, state and federal government officials. Interestingly, both cases stem from the President’s attempt to provide political payback to his allies in Big Labor through the Rogue NLRB.

In the first case, the U.S. Supreme Court will decide if the President acted unconstitutionally when he made several recess appointments to the agency charged with oversight of labor-management disputes, the National Labor Relations Board. The lower courts,  U.S. District Court of Appeals for the District of , and the U.S. Third Court of Appeals both found the appointments unconstitutional (see Supreme Court to Consider Obama Recess Appointments and Appeals Court Nixed Obama’s Recess Appointments). This case not only has important implications concerning the further shredding of our constitution  by the Obama Administration, but also Obama’s lawlessness in bypassing other branches of our government, and ignoring the tenant of the separation of powers of the branches of government, to further his own socialistic goals by appointing his own radical people without review and agreement by the legislative branch. In the case of the NLRB, his appointees’ seek to reach the Administration’s objective of achieving Card Check through Regulation vs. Legislation! Simply put, the goal is to eliminate employees rights to a secret ballot election and replace it with Card Check as the means for employees to determine if they wish union representation. If you listened to the Administration’s and Big Labor’s rhetoric, what could be more simple and fair? Unfortunately, it is a process of coercion and intimidation as chronicled in The Devil at Our Doorstep. A process aptly named Death by a Thousand Cuts, which forces employers and employees to capitulate and be subjected to the terms of the so called Neutrality Agreement through ruthless Corporate Campaigns! An agreement that is hardly neutral and subjects both the employees and the employer to Big Labor’s Persuasion of Power!

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The first case, however, is just the Tip of the Iceberg. The other involves a question of the validity of Big Labor’s sacred cow, the aforementioned Neutrality Agreement (see BNA – Supreme Court Agrees to Review LMRA Case Invovling Section 302, Neutrality Agreement). To appreciate this case and its relevance, one must understand why this agreement is so important to the Big Labor Gasping Dinosaurs. As documented in previous blogs, unions have been on a steady decline since 1947 when Congress, following more than a decade of union corruption, passed the Taft-Hartley Act. Of the many important provisions of the Act, perhaps none was more so than the guarantee of the secret ballot election which, for all intents and purposes, eliminated Card Check!  Since its peak prior to passage of the Taft-Hartley Act, union membership has dropped from approximately 35-40% of the workforce to a low of 11.3% today. Statistics gathered by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, included a drop of approximately 400,000 members in the last year alone. Big Labor, realizing its imminent demise, understands it must reinstate Card Check to survive and is relying on the President and his Rogue NLRB to allow them to exploit a little known and hidden clause in the Taft-Hartley Act that allows unions and employers to mutually agree to representation through Card Check. Unfortunately, it is very rarely an agreement achieved through mutual consent. It is predominantly achieved by Big Labor through outright intimidation of employers and employees. What is interesting about this particular case is that it has been brought by an employee disgusted with the intimidation and the fact he believes his rights to a secret ballot election and protection of privacy have been violated!

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One thing certain about these cases is that the justices of the Supreme Court will receive a tremendous amount of pressure from the Administration and its Big Labor buddies to overturn the decisions of the lower courts. The Gasping Dinosaurs, already headed toward extinction, understand all to well that if these decisions are upheld it will be the end of Big Labor as we know it in this country (see If ruling goes Against Labor Union, Organizing Could Get Even Harder). Additionally, the President and his party know all to well they need Big Labor’s financial and ground support to continue to win elections, as well as increase their grip on and expand an already oversized government.

Even more frightening for the future of the United States is what could occur if these decisions are overturned. If they are, this President will feel empowered to continue to appoint radical people to high positions, not just in the NLRB, but all areas of government. He will work to implement regulations that will allow the use of coercion and intimidation by the government and its henchmen to erode our rights, move the country towards socialism and potentially perpetuate the President’s Rule by Fiat! If they can eliminate the secret ballot election for union recognition and trample on the constitution to appoint government officials how long will it be before they expand these programs to every corner of the government? Can you imagine no secret ballot elections to determine our government officials and instead all being appointed by the President?  These are landmark cases that, if overturned, could be the ultimate downfall of this great nation!

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Supreme Court Reviews Neutrality Agreements: Big Labor Bosses Will Not Take “No” for an Answer

This past Wednesday, November 13, 2013, the United States Supreme Court heard the initial arguments in the case Unite Here Local 355 vs. Mulhall. The case of Mulhall, a 40-year employee of Mardi Gras in Hollywood, Florida, challenged the use of a Neutrality Agreement by Unite Here to force unionize Mardi Gras employees. A Neutrality Agreement eliminates the preferred standard of use of “secret ballot elections” to determine if employees want union representation, and in its place, institutes the insidious process known as Card Check. The focus of Mulhall is whether a signed Neutrality Agreement was lawfully obtained from Mardi Gras without bribery or extortion by Unite Here, which is prohibited by Section 302 of the Labor Management Relations Act. Unite Here contends the signatures were lawfully obtained, because no money changed hands; however, Mardi Gras and Mulhall believe there were direct benefits or “consideration” received in exchange for the signed agreement.

Unfortunately, after reading the transcripts of the oral arguments made by the attorney for Respondent Mulhall, it appears he has overreached. Perhaps most disappointing, counsel’s arguments did not succinctly and in “plain language” expose the extortion tactics utilized by Unite Here to force Mardi Gras to sign the Neutrality Agreement. These actions resulted in the use of Card Check to force unionize Mardi Gras employees. The attorney appeared to overreach when he suggested that the law bans all pre-recognition agreements whether obtained through mutual agreement or extortion. Additionally, his argument as to whether a benefit was received by the union and/or the employer solely revolved around the union’s support of a gaming license for Mardi Gras. He glossed over the true argument for rescinding the agreement, the use of extortion by the union, which ultimately provided benefits that could be quantified monetarily for both parties. Instad of hitting a home run, his argument resulted in a Mixed Reaction From the Justices. This was a missed opportunity to expose big labor’s ruthless tactics for what they are, coercive forms of extortion from which both parties benefit!

Further, the attorney  missed the opportunity toelaborate on the devastating affects that Corporate Campaigns and Death by a Thousand Cuts strategies imposed by big labor have on an employer. Corporate Campaigns take advantage of a National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) loophole, allowing unions to circumvent the secret ballot election when there is mutual agreement of recognition by the union and the employer. The key word being mutual!  Webster’s Dictionary defines mutual as, “Something shared in common…” — such as mutual respect! The use of Corporate Campaigns against employers, through use of the misnamed “Neutrality Agreement,” to eliminate the secret ballot election is anything but mutual and certainly does not involve respect! In fact, the most striking thing about the Neutrality Agreement is its utter lack of neutrality.  The “agreement” is forced upon employers by big labor threats.  Upon entering the agreement, employers are forced into a “card check” scenario, and in return, receives the agreement of the labor union not to make good on its threats.

Corporate Campaigns, as described in my first book, The Devil at My Doorstep, are designed to financially and psychologically cripple an employer, coercing the employer into capitulating and signing the one-sided Neutrality Agreement. Corporate campaigns are ruthless wars waged against unsuspecting employers by big labor bosses who have decided the employer is a financial target, not because of employee abuses, but rather because of the potential membership dues and big payday for big labor! Corporate campaigns are initiated on the diengenuous premise that the employees have invited them to town. This is rarely true. The unions are often nothing more than Uninvited Interlopers, whose services have not been requested by any employee of the organization.

The preceding recital of the intent of Corporate Campaigns and the resulting benefits for both unions and employers, supplemented by real life stories of such coercion (such as those chronicled in The Devil at Our Doorstep), overwhelmingly proves that extortion and bribery regularly exist within these attacks by big labor. The Supreme Court needs to grasp that Corporate Campaigns are vicious scams designed to “shame” employers into signing the Neutrality Agreement The extreme costs incurred in avoiding such campaigns overwhelmingly prove a benefit for both parties just as it does in the Mulhall case! My company would have saved almost $1 Million dollars in attorney, operational and other associated costs, while the SEIU would have not only saved the costs in prosecuting the campaign against my company, but would have been the beneficiary of dues collected from the forced unionization of thousands of employees in a relatively short period of time.

Employees and employers across the country can only hope the Justices do their due diligence in the Unite Here Local 355 vs. Mulhall case, and outlaw the imposition of the so-called Neutrality Agreement, benefitting both parties through Organizing by Extortion. The  U.S. Supreme Court Has An Opportunity to Protect Fundamental Freedoms and set the future course for true, voluntary union recognition for all employees. Their decision will serve to protect workers like Martin Mulhall, because until they do, big labor bosses will not take no for an answer!

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Right-to-Work States Beware

Right-to-Work states need to take heed of several recent events, which are prime indicators of big labor’s intent to revitalize its sagging membership roles and the administration’s intent to support them. The most recent event was Terry McAuliffe’s victory over Ken Cuccinelli in last weeks Virginia Governor race, where the Unions Poured Millions of Dollars to Support McAuliffe’s Campaign, led by the SEIU’s approximately $540,000, because McAuliffe has “hinted” he would not stand in the way of Right-to-Work (RTW) being overturned in Virginia.

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This is just the Tip of the Iceberg when discussing the Gasping Dinosaurs’ recent assaults on RTW states. In mid September, a Lake County judge in Indiana agreed with a suit filed by the International Union of Operating Engineers and found Indiana’s RTW Law to be Unconstitutional, because it was unfair that unions have to represent employees who do not pay dues. This case will be reviewed by the Indiana Supreme Court in the near future, and most likely be overturned. An easy way to solve this union concern is by Putting “Teeth” in Right-To-Work laws, inserting language that would  eliminate the “Check Off” clauses in collective bargaining agreements. The “Check Off” clause requires employers or government entities to deduct union dues from employees pay checks and send those dues to the union. The unions would simply collect the dues directly from the employees who desire union representation and work only in their behalf. What could be more fair?

Also, in the past couple of months, the UAW has launched a Death by a Thousand Cuts  Corporate Campaign against a Volkswagen Facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee and a Nissan Facility in Canton, Mississippi, both RTW states. The goal is to force management at these plants to sign a Neutrality Agreement, which eliminates the secret ballot election for workers, replacing the process with Card Check. This prevents employees from choosing if they want union representation or not through the secret ballot election, and reverts to the ruthless practice of force unionizing employees against their will!

The current Administration, in need of big labor’s support in the upcoming 2014 Mid-Term Elections, is attempting to “grease the wheels” and make it easy for big labor to execute Corporate Campaigns against employers in RTW states. They have appointed Radical Pro-Labor Department Heads at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and the Department of Labor (DOL), as seen in Labor Department goes on rulemaking spree and OSHA Seeks to Make Big Companies’ Worker-Injury Records Public. The goal is to change regulations, implement new rules and overturn past decisions so that big labor can embark on expansive organizing campaigns in America’s union scarce southern regions, where employment is growing. If successful, this could bring about serious political upheaval in favor of the Administration, as the unions would gain more dues paying members.

Both the Administration and big labor understand that they desperately need more political allies and money to survive, as the U.S. Supreme Court Has An Opportunity to Protect Fundamental Freedoms and potentially deal a death blow to Card Check in the coming months, big labor’s only remaining hope to avoid extinction.

The first case will begin this week, on November 13th, where The Devil at My Doorstep will be utilized as evidence by the law firm Ogletree Deakins, in an amicus brief defending an employee from a company in Florida (RTW state). The company bowed to union pressure by signing a Neutrality Agreement, subjecting its employees to the ruthless union Card Check process. Instead of giving in to the card  process, one employee had the backbone to stand up to the Unite Here union bullies, and contacted the National Right to Work Committee, headed by Mark Mix. The NRTW Committee has been working to defend his rights and is taking his case to the Supreme Court. The second case, involving the Constitutionality of President Obama’s Recess Appointees to the NLRB, will be heard early next year. If upheld, this decision could stop the NLRB’s current march to change regulations that allow for the unfettered use of Corporate Campaigns by big labor to impose Card Check upon unsuspecting employees.

The outcomes of these cases will no doubt determine the future of big labor. In the meantime, with the support of the current Administration, big labor will wage an all out war on RTW laws and RTW states in an effort to increase membership and political power. There is no doubt these states, and RTW across the country, are in the crosshairs of the big labor bosses and the Administration. It is imperative that these states and all Americans defend the Right-to-Work legislation, as it is A Basic American Freedom!

Click HERE to buy a copy of the The Devil at My Doorstep, which will be introduced as evidence to the U.S. Supreme Court later this week.

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November 12, 2013 · 3:14 PM

“The Devil at My Doorstep” Introduced to the Supreme Court

This past Friday my first book, The Devil at My Doorstep, was introduced as evidence in a briefing to the United States Supreme Court in the case of Unite Here Local 355 vs. Mulhall (see pages 29-30). The Devil at My Doorstep’s importance is in chronicling the SEIU’s efforts to utilize tactics known as a Corporate Campaign to force the Company to sign a Neutrality Agreement to circumvent a secret ballot election and, ultimately, to force unionize employees.

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This brief was filed by attorneys at the law firm of Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart on behalf of the Council on Labor Law Equality. The case represents major exposure at a national level to Big Labor for their use of the tactics of “Death by a Thousand Cuts” in their corporate campaign strategies. These strategies are tactics utilized by labor unions against employers (and their employees) every day across this great country, in an effort to force unionize employees. This is being done in a desperate attempt to reverse the Gasping Dinosaurs declining membership roles, in an effort to save them from ultimate extinction. Big Labor is none to happy about this case, nor about the evidence presented in The Devil at My Doorstep and other sources. The AFL-CIO understands how important this case is. While claims in their brief to the Supreme Court are often over-the-top (claims that such a decision would “criminalize arbitration” and “gut” recognitional picketing, for example), the importance of the case is well understood. Indeed, other labor unions, including the Service Employees International Union, are reportedly furious that Unite Here is pursuing this action at the Supreme Court. They understand the dramatic impact an adverse decision could have on their ability to force organize employers and their employees.

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In our case, we were ultimately successful in communicating to the appeals court, the NLRB and to clergy members who initially spoke out against us, as documented in the updated The Devil at Our Doorstep, that the representations and tactics of the union were wrongful.  I cannot help but feel that perhaps the word is out. Perhaps the tide is truly turning. Big Labor and its allies are facing increased scrutiny. President Obama’s radical recess appointments to the Rogue NLRB, who are trying to provide big labor Card Check through Regulation vs. Legislation, were found unconstitutional. NLRB administrative law judges are turning their backs on the general counsel’s tendency to pressure companies through prosecution (see Third Judge in a Month Blasts NLRB General Counsel’s Prosecutorial Conduct). Now, this potentially historic case is before the U.S. Supreme Court, where the court has a real Opportunity to Protect Individual Freedoms!

Big Labor is on its heels. A decision against Big Labor in Unite Here Local 355 vs. Mulhall could very well spell the end for Big Labor’s corrupt Death by a Thousand Cuts coercion tactics and, ultimately, for the Gasping Dinosaurs themselves!

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