Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Great Twinkie Debate

For most of my life I've taken a very skeptical approach to labor unions. I've sided with the "Free Market!" crowd, repeatedly falling victim to their talking points. I thought that labor unions were the reason that manufacturing moved abroad. I thought that labor unions were driving perfectly innocent corporations into the ground.

These days I'm no longer sure what I believe. I'm reasonably confident that there's no such thing as a perfectly innocent corporation, and I recognize that most manufacturing has moved abroad because corporations are more concerned with profit than with manufacturing jobs. That's called greed, and it's deadly.

In the debate over All Things Twinkie, namely the recent demise of Hostess, the "Free Market!" righties all point to the Baker's Union as the reason for the demise of Hostess. I wonder what these folks would say to the article reporting that the Twinkie CEO Admits Company Took Employees Pensions and Put It Toward Executive Pay.

The article shows how Hostess executives profited by the company's demise, and will likely continue to profit from the pensions of the wage slaves.

I'm not ready to join a union anytime soon, but I no longer believe the lie that unions are to blame for so many of our economic woes.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


Ken Connor penned an article for Center for a Just Society titled Free to Choose, in which he discusses the hypocrisy of the left in regards to "choice."

Mr. Connor begins by identifying the recent "right-to-work" legislation passed in Michigan, which predominately Democratic-supporting union members have angrily protested, basically, the right for a worker to choose whether or not to join a union. Okay, so Democrats are not pro-choice when it comes to organized labor. Got it.

What about education?

Surely they should be in favor of a system that allows parents the right to choose the best education for their children. Unfortunately, no. Turns out that Democrats care more about currying favor with the NEA than they do about ensuring access to quality schools for those children most in need of educational opportunity. Take the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program, for example. This program enables inner-city children to use vouchers to escape the District’s failing schools and attend quality institutions like Sidwell Friends, where – incidentally – the Obama daughters go to school. Sadly, however, what’s good for the presidential goose is not so good for the inner city gander: President Obama and his cohorts in Congress have worked to kill this program since he took office. When it comes to education, the President and Democrats prefer to make the decisions for the children of the hoi polloi than allow parents to make the decisions for themselves. Uncle Sam and the teachers’ union have it all under control, thank you very much.
Nope. No choice in education. What about religious liberty?

Do liberals support the freedom to choose how you practice your religion in the health care arena? Again, the answer is no. President Obama and his Secretary of Health and Human Services see nothing wrong with limiting religious and economic liberty in the name of mandated free birth control and abortifacients for all.
So the truth is, the only choice supported by the left is: the choice to kill your baby.

Big Brother feels perfectly justified in telling us how big our drinks can be, what kind of light bulbs we can buy, where we can and can’t smoke a cigarette, etc… Heaven forbid we use the force of law to protect the lives of innocents who can’t make choices for themselves. That would be crossing the line.

Catholic News Rubbish

I just stumbled into CathNewsUSA, a news aggregation site that is, at best, questionably Catholic. On the front page, two articles caught my attention, both of which link back to another site called GlobalPost. From here, the top three articles I found had the following titles.
  • A New Inquisition: The Vatican targets US nuns
  • Bishops investigating US nuns have poor records on sex abuse cases
  • Theologian Hans Küng condemns pope's modern 'Inquisition'
Seriously? Nice objective news source. The first article describes how heretical nuns are being burned at the stake by an evil, all-male hierarchy. The second article, I have to admit, I didn't even read. Isn't the title enough? I'll assume that it describes an evil, all-male hierarchy burning heretical nuns at the stake. The third article in this diverse (not!) collection describes the wonderful, perfect Hans Küng and his regurgitated (and heretical) opinions about an evil, all-male hierarchy burning heretical nuns at the stake.

Thanks be to God for news sources that actually present facts without trying to make me hate my Church in favor of heretical nuns. Thanks be to God also for sites like The Catholic World Report, where most of the authors have actually read the documents of the Second Vatican Council instead of just promoting some vague, undefined "Spirit of Vatican II."

Friday, December 7, 2012

Successful Secession

I'm not a particularly crazed secession nut, but I do sympathize with those who no longer wish to be in these United States. Many reasons exist for which dozens of groups have formed to support the secession of their state from the Union, but frankly I don't think the reasons for secession really matter. If the majority of a state wants out, why is that state prevented from doing so, regardless of justification?

Certainly there are practical issues. Each state must assume some measure of the debt this country has incurred. There are many more details like this that are beyond my scope of understanding. I just believe that we should question the ideology which states that the issue of secession "has been settled by the Civil War." Really?

Brion McClanahan wrote an interesting article for The American Conservative, which really should be read in full. On whether or not the issue of secession has been settled, he writes:

The Union, then, through a declaration of war could attempt to force the seceded States to remain, but even if victorious that would not solve a philosophical issue. War and violence do not and cannot crush the natural right of self-determination. It can muddle the picture and force the vanquished into submission so long as the boot is firmly planted on their collective throats, but a bloody nose and a prostrate people settles nothing.
I've heard the argument that our Pledge of Allegiance contains the word "indivisible," which is evidence for the impossibility of secession. But why is it that many of the people who cite this word "indivisible" are so quick to ignore the words that precede it, namely "under God?" On this, Mr. McClanahan writes:

His “Pledge of Allegiance” analogy is the most absurd argument of the bunch. The modern pledge was written by Francis Bellamy, a socialist minister who wanted to indoctrinate American schoolchildren with a nationalist message, one based on the “great speeches” of Daniel Webster and Abraham Lincoln in relation to the “One Nation which the Civil War was fought to prove.” Sprinkle in some “liberty and justice” from the French Revolution and you have a message that any good leftist nationalist can embrace. The founding generation would not have said such a pledge, if for no other reason that most did not view the United States as a “nation” in the strict sense of the word, a single people.
While secession is a touchy subject and something terribly difficult to fathom for those of us who have grown up with fifty starts on our flag, it's a discussion worth having.

Secession and interposition—nullification—are healthy discussions to have in a federal republic. There mere threat can, and has, spurred the central government to reform. The American people are not ready for secession.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Re-entering the Blogosphere

I've blogged for years. Well, okay, I've blogged once in awhile, for years. Being a self-proclaimed technocrat, I favored hosting my own domain and using more powerful software platforms than what is freely offered by Google/Blogger. But in my blogging, I tried to be what I thought others wanted. Subconsciously I hoped that some segment of the Internet-dwelling world would find me to be quick witted, or unusually astute. My goal, I think, was some sort of glory. My blog personality, like my real personality, was artificial. So I stepped away from blogging for a couple of years to personally grow and heal, and to restore the relationships that matter most to me.

This time around I'm blogging for myself. I'm a generalist. I'm a working-class guy with a lot of different interests, one of which is writing. History is filled with phenomenal masters of prose, and there is much good writing to be found on the Internet today – along with a lot of poorly written poo-poo. Being a generalist, with very little formal education in writing, I'm in the middle of the pack, for sure. But expressing one's thoughts, ideas, emotions, and opinions through the written word (without using phrases such as LOL, j/k, or HAHAHAH!) is becoming a lost art, and while my meager efforts aren't likely to create much change for the world, these efforts are sure to change me.

Clearly this blog is a selfish endeavor, if improving one's ability to communicate is selfish. While I don't endorse selfishness, I do endorse improvement. Writing is a tool of great value to the generalist.