Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Civil Disagreement Over Right to Work

Michigan governor Rick Snyder signed a measure yesterday that would make it possible for workers who refuse to join a union to decline to pay dues to the union. This is called Right to Work, and it's vigorously opposed by the unions who see it as both unfair that those who don't contribute to the union still get the benefits negotiated by the union and also as a threat to their political influence.

Heretofore in Michigan and elsewhere a worker who refused to join certain unions still had to pay dues to the union.

Byron York writes on this in The Washington Examiner:
Michigan, home of the nation's heavily unionized auto industry, will become the 24th right-to-work state in the country -- a development that would have been unthinkable just a few years ago.

Republicans say the move would not only give current workers the freedom to choose whether to join a union and pay dues but would, more importantly, bring many, many new jobs to Michigan. Rep. Gov. Rick Snyder, who supports the bill, points out that Indiana enacted (after a long and bitter fight) the same kind of law earlier this year. "We've carefully watched what's gone on in Indiana since they passed similar legislation back in February," Snyder told Fox News' Greta van Susteren last week, "and they've seen a significant increase in the number of companies talking about [bringing] thousands of jobs to their state."

Of course, the move is not just economic. It's political, too. Democrats depend on millions -- actually, billions -- of dollars in support from the forced dues of union members. If that money supply were to dry up, or even just decrease, the Democratic Party would be in serious trouble.

Which is why President Obama just happened to discuss the situation during his campaign-style visit to the Daimler Detroit Diesel Plant in Redford, Mich., on Monday. "These so-called right-to-work laws don't have anything to do with economics -- they have everything to do with politics," Obama said. "What they're really talking about is giving you the right to work for less money."
Meanwhile, outside the capitol building union protestors were engaging Right to Work supporters in a cordial effort to persuade them of the error of their ways. One such beneficiary of the union members' gentle appeals to reason was Fox News' Steven Crowder who was complaining, no doubt insolently, him being a Tea Party sympathizer and all, that the thugs, er, protestors had just pulled down a tent on top of women and children who were caught inside.

When Mr. Crowder failed to come around to their point of view, the protestors decided to employ a different kind of logic, a form of argument with which they're much more comfortable, in an attempt to hammer home to him the facts of the matter.

I need someone to explain to me why it is that when a Tea Partier holds up a sign saying Don't Tread on Me there are universal expressions of revulsion at the implied "violence," but when union thugs bully women and children, spew filth, and physically assault someone who doesn't agree with them no one seems much disturbed by it.

I suppose when the violence is on the left, it's no big deal. Boys will be boys, after all. When rapes, muggings and murders break out at the Occupy encampments, well, we just have to expect unfortunate things to happen when people are thrust into close quarters. When Obama supporters threaten to riot in the streets and burn down their cities if he loses the election, we're told that they're just kidding. But when a Tea Party guy says he's tired of excessive government spending and taxes the media treats him like he's Lee Harvey Oswald.

Why is that?

Honor and Mercy

The New York Post's Maureen Callahan writes a wonderful story about honor in wartime based on the book A Higher Call, by Adam Makos. Callahan's account opens with this:
On Dec. 20, 1943, a young American bomber pilot named Charlie Brown found himself somewhere over Germany, struggling to keep his plane aloft with just one of its four engines still working. They were returning from their first mission as a unit, the successful bombing of a German munitions factory. Of his crew members, one was dead and six wounded, and 2nd Lt. Brown was alone in his cockpit, the three unharmed men tending to the others. Brown’s B-17 had been attacked by 15 German planes and left for dead, and Brown himself had been knocked out in the assault, regaining consciousness in just enough time to pull the plane out of a near-fatal nose dive.

None of that was as shocking as the German pilot now suddenly to his right. Brown thought he was hallucinating. He did that thing you see people do in movies: He closed his eyes and shook his head no. He looked, again, out the co-pilot’s window. Again, the lone German was still there, and now it was worse. He’d flown over to Brown’s left and was frantic: pointing, mouthing things that Brown couldn’t begin to comprehend, making these wild gestures, exaggerating his expressions like a cartoon character.

Brown, already in shock, was freshly shot through with fear. What was this guy up to? He craned his neck and yelled back for his top gunner, screamed at him to get up in his turret and shoot this guy out of the sky. Before Brown’s gunner could squeeze off his first round, the German did something even weirder: He looked Brown in the eye and gave him a salute. Then he peeled away.

What just happened? That question would haunt Brown for more than 40 years, long after he married and left the service and resettled in Miami, long after he had expected the nightmares about the German to stop and just learned to live with them.
There's much more to this story, especially in how it ends. Check it out and watch the video.