When President Bush led the drive to depose Saddam Hussein of Iraq he spoke more broadly of democracy in the Middle East. The media downplayed it (or mocked it). I was inspired by it and imagined with him the wonderful possibilities. Now, though it took longer than I thought, the idea has taken hold in what is now being called the “Arab Spring”. Not that it is at all surprising, but there has been no credit given to Mr. Bush’s vision of democracy in the region. This is just one man’s thank you to Mr. Bush on behalf of millions of non-Americans who should be grateful to the United States, its former president, and its sacrificial veterans for the beautiful opportunity they have been given.
Thank you, veterans and veterans’ families for you sacrifices. It makes me proud that you, on behalf of the United States, have sacrificed not just for the freedom of us at home but for the freedom of peoples all around the world. Though we hear constantly about how the world hates us (through our own media who love to tell this story) the fact is the world would be a much worse place without the United States (meaning you, our veterans).
According to dictionary.com, fascism is “a governmental system led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce, etc., and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and often racism.”
It’s the “forcibly suppressing opposition “ part that is in play here. In Wisconsin, and in Madison, in particular, we’ve been overrun by people who believe individual citizens with whom they have a political difference should be threatened, bullied, intimidated, and economically bludgeoned into silence.
I’m all for an active, even intense, political discourse, but intimidation has no place in a civil society. Win an election; pass legislation you favor. Lose an election; fight passionately legislation you oppose. Threatening businesses whose owners, or even employees, support your opposition has no place in a civil society. It’s wrong. Defacing people’s property, ripping out yard signs. Screaming obscenities. It’s all very wrong.
Honestly, this reminds me of the way warring factions in third-world countries terrorize citizens they perceive as opposition sympathizers. Is that really how we want to settle these matters?
I don’t recall hearing this particular expression lately, but I remember when abortion advocates would shout out, “Keep your laws off of my body”, any time some law was being considered that would restrict abortion in any way. I’m guessing that particular argument has fallen into disuse because it would apply so well to a trend that has been gaining momentum elsewhere in our culture.
Read this, then let’s talk: Food fight
I could have linked to any number of other stories; this one just prompted me to write. It’s been described as the “nanny state” or “big brother”. It’s the idea that government, from school districts to city councils to the United Nations, knows better than the governed how they should lead their lives. Whether on the supposed basis of the common good or on the assumption that they are more enlightened than the rest of us, the stupid French-fry eating masses. These people are legislating behaviors far more broadly and even with more intrusiveness than abortion opponents ever did.
When they were shouting, “Keep your laws off of my body”, they were shouting at people who had an ages old moral opposition to something horrible being done to another human being. Now, not only have the tables turned, but these people are mandating behaviors that involve only one’s self. Is that not an order of magnitude more intrusive? They have determined how we ought to commute, use our own property, even season our own food, and are draping their laws all over our bodies.
Until unions start throwing overboard the deadwood among their members and truly seek the common good (see my earlier post, “Why do unions fight to protect the laziest, unproductive, slobs? Really. I want to know.”), I have concluded I oppose unions altogether. I have seen first-hand, in my own employment how utterly useless skanks are protected by unions. I have repeatedly seen how union work-rules (like socialism in general – but that’s another topic) completely demotivate work for the common good in complete contradiction of the stated objective of achieving the common good. Until that changes, I am anti-union.
On the April 5 ballot in Dane Country, Wisconsin, was a referendum that read, “Should the United States Constitution be amended to establish that regulating political contributions and spending is not equivalent to limiting freedom of speech, by stating that only human beings, not corporations, are entitled to constitutional rights?”
This arose, I have learned, from outrage over a January 21, 2010, US Supreme Court decision (Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission). The court ruled that the government could not restrict corporate spending on independent political advertisements, saying this violated the First Amendment.
The authors of the referendum believe that only human beings, not corporations, are entitled to constitutional rights, and money is not speech, and therefore regulating political contributions and spending is not equivalent to limiting freedom of speech.
Upon reflection, I think I would be OK with this — if unions and non-profit organizations and PACs and everything else that is not a human being is similarly prohibited from making political contributions. I doubt the authors would want those restrictions.
What happens when the receivers outnumber the payers? I really am sorry to have concluded that the American political left is working to obtain and stay in power by making a voting majority dependent upon government and, of course, enshrining in power the political left that granted them the benefits upon which they depend. This is very sad.
I understand, and even support, the philosophy that a union is supposed to fight for the protection and for the benefit of its members. I’m totally OK with that (in the private sector). What I don’t understand, though, is why they interpret that noble mandate to mean they must fight for the worst slugs amongst their membership. It seems to me the collective would be in a far better place, having much more leverage with employers, if they sought the overall power of the membership instead of the protection of individual losers. As a union member I would want my union to have as much power as possible when they enter into negotiations with my employer. And it seems to me that is achieved when the union is most valuable to the employer. And it seems to me that is achieved when each member of the union has attained the greatest possible value to the employer. When a union protects do-nothing jobs and do-nothing people it diminishes the value of the workforce to the employer and, thus, it’s leverage. Seriously, wouldn’t a union be stronger if it looked at things this way?
The unions have managed to portray collective bargaining restrictions as an attack on all working families. It most certainly is not. This whole thing has convinced me that the unions must be stopped now before it is too late, before they co-opt our government entirely, before the sole purpose of government is to support the growth and well-being of unions so unions can spend even more money electing a government that will support the growth and well-being of unions so unions can . . . . .
JoAnne Kloppenburg has filed for a state-paid statewide recount. While I do believe it would be an embarrassment to Wisconsin if she somehow were, after all, the winner, truth is truth and the true winner should win. I only hope she’ll accept the results if she is confirmed to have lost. (If Mr. Prosser turns out to have somehow lost, I hope the same for him.)