Charlottsville and What is a Law-Abiding Citizen?

In my last blog, I asked what Charlottesville means to you. Today I want to ask you to think about what it means to be a law-abiding citizen. The violent rally in Charlottsville showed that there are multiple issues festering in our society.  Sadly, most of the news is focused on simplifications. If we are going to stick to simplifications, the first question we must ask is:  what is a law-abiding citizen?

When Christopher Cantwell, one of the leaders of the Unite the Right rally, was asked about the tragic death and the many injured people caused by the automobile attack, he said, “a lot more people are going to die before we’re done here.”[1]  Cantwell is an alt-right talk show shock DJ.  During an interview following Charlottesville, he stated he wants “to normalize racism.”[2]  Why would anyone think that is okay?

More importantly: why does he have that much hate? As a country, we need to figure that out. Then we need to find a way to heal that hate or reject it.

Cantwell’s actions rose out of that hate.  According to several sources, he has been charged with illegally pepper-spraying individuals and groups of counter-protestors. When asked about these situations, he stated “I don’t think I did anything wrong, and I’m looking forward to my day in court.”[3]

There are the key words: “I don’t think I did anything wrong.” He believes he acted as a law-abiding citizen; in fact, he made a personal judgment that he had done nothing wrong.

When asked to explain his conduct, Cantwell stated that he believed he was in danger. Under US law, people have the right to protect themselves, but the statutes are very complicated. As one attorney explained it to me, in most cases, a person cannot use more force than necessary to stop an assault. With the addition of “stand your ground” laws, things have gotten even more complex.  I don’t know Virginia laws, and I am not an attorney, but I can review events and determine if they seemed to have been reasonable. In fact, pepper spraying an attacking individual would be an acceptable method of protection. However, spraying an entire group of bystanders would not be self-defense.

Yet, we are faced with Cantwell’s beliefs: he thinks racism is okay. Not only that, he believes it is fine to act violently towards people you hate or individuals who disagree with you. And he does not think his behavior was wrong.

Do you think Cantwell’s statements are those of a law-abiding citizen?

What is a law-abiding citizen? Is it someone that always follows the laws?  What about people who live in an area controlled by terrorists or a despotic dictator?

During WWII, all of the atrocities committed by Nazis were considered legal. Should people have risen up against the Nazi racist euthenics or should they have followed the laws?

We don’t have to like everyone in our country. We don’t have to understand everyone in our country. But as law-abiding citizens, however we define that, we must allow each other the “right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” As citizens of the US and the world, we need to consider these questions and decide what we should do — and what we will do.


— footnotes —

[1].  Matt Stevens “Christopher Cantwell, White Nationalist in Vice Video, Braces for Charges” The New York Times (Aug. 21, 2017) online at (8/21/17).

[2]. Southern Poverty Law Center “Christopher Cantwell” online at (8/21/17).

[3]. Under US law, people have the right to protect themselves, but the statutes are very complicated. As one attorney explained it to me, in most cases, a person cannot use more force than necessary to stop an assault. With the addition of “stand your ground” laws, things have gotten even more complex.  I don’t know Virginia laws, and I am not an attorney. Pepper spraying an attacking individual might be an acceptable method of protection; however, spraying an entire group of bystanders would not be self-defense.


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What Does Charlottesville Mean?

With the horrid events of the rally in Charlottesville, VA and the mystifying and disturbing comments made by the president, I cannot keep silent.  There are many things I could say (and  I won’t get to them all at this time), but some things need to be mentioned.

On August 15, President Trump stated that there were very fine people on both sides of the rally.  Are there two sides in this event?  Racism versus acceptance: are those the sides?

Don’t tell me that the people who marched in the parade at the Unite the Right rally didn’t know they were marching with white supremacists. Really? Do you think I am that dumb?  No one could have missed the flags, shirts, and shields obviously covered with fascist, racist, white supremacist, and white nationalist symbols. They were everywhere. Just supposing they didn’t know what those symbols meant, can we assume they should have asked before joining the parade?

What does Charlottesville mean to you? It should mean a lot. It should represent the need to think about the future. Look past the platitudes offered by those reading the news on your local stations. Consider the real ramifications of the anger shown on August 12.  Do not discount the violence of the protests.  Protests are permitted in the constitution. Do not reject that privilege or allow others to take it away. Realize that hate erupted on that day: hate that fueled the violence.

And as for the crazy act of killing people by driving purposefully into a crowd, that is a conscious performance of violence. It is assault. It is insanity. The horrid brutal act happened as a consequence of dehumanization of other people.  All of us need to look at what that means regardless of personal political views.

Wake up, people! This is your country! Act like it matters. Are you going to allow fanatical intolerant behavior to become common? Please consider the outcome of that. Stop rationalizing intolerance.



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Happy Fourth of July!

Our republic is a contentious child of brilliant men who debated endlessly by mail and in person. It is not a yet “a more perfect union” since it falls short when dealing with many issues. Racism and sexism continue to be contemporary problems. News reports highlight serious issues with interactions between police and minorities. Native American rights continue to be contested by state and federal governments especially when minerals or petroleum are located nearby.

But we will continue to struggle, to debate, to strive and persevere towards that more perfect union. Maybe we will manage to continue to evolve until all the inhabitants of the US have equality and the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” regardless of race, creed, origin or gender.

We must not use apathy or cynicism as an excuse to ignore what is wrong with our country, but rather to use them as warning signs.  We need to realize we have a duty under the constitution to be active in our personal education.  It is not enough to accept new stories blindly or ignore horrid events. We cannot fall back on believing something because we want to believe it.  As US citizens, we are asked to be educated and to participate so that, as Lincoln said, “government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

Happy July 4th!

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Dualism as a Force of Separation

Dualism as a Force of Separation Based on a Comparison of the Philosophies of Descartes and Heidegger

Early in the Twentieth Century, Martin Heidegger[1] analyzed the concepts of previous Western philosophers and rejected their prevailing dualistic worldview. Based on Descartes[2] and similar philosophers, Western civilization had divided the world into the dualistic view that everything was either mind or body. In other words, for centuries, they believed that knowledge had two bases: either thoughts or physicality.[3] This philosophy was called Cartesian Dualism.

Since Cartesian Dualism divided the world into mental things and physical things, [4] it separated mind from body, soul from matter, and spirit from flesh as if they functioned totally separately from each other.[5]  It permitted our society to develop concepts based on simplistic assumptions such as all or none, good or evil, and us or them. In addition, that dualism led to a situation where people could be separated from their experiences in the world.

Incidentally, don’t confuse the dualism of Western civilization with the apparent dualism of Taoism that is commonly expressed by the yin yang symbol. The yin yang of Taoism incorporates an interdependent and independent existence of opposites. The counterparts may be divided into dark and light, male and female, hot and cold, or moon and sun. However, just as the moon and the sun exist in relationship to each other, yin and yang interact. They seem to stand alone but there is that little dot in each that symbolizes  interaction and mutual support. Together they make a complete balanced whole. The yin yang concept does not completely separate the opposites; even though they are independent, the Taoist symbol, and the philosophy behind it, does not detach the mind from the body or yin from yang.

Working from a purely Western European perspective, Heidegger rejected the dualistic worldview. He believed that philosophy must focus on human experiences in the world, and so, he developed some complex and novel explanations to try to explain events.  Heidegger said that people could not be separated from their experiences. In fact, he viewed experience as an important part of existence, but he recognized that there is no analysis of event or things while experiencing them.

For instance, individuals using a hammer do not think about the hammer unless it breaks. That is, to use the hammer, they do not need to think about how many nails it has pounded into wood in the past, and they do not need to know how or where the hammer was manufactured. They are focused on utilizing the hammer, perhaps to build a bookcase. Explanations about how the hammer works are not an important part of the experience. The company that manufactured it is not important unless the hammer breaks and must be replaced.

In the same way, Heidegger considered Being-in-the-world to be an experience. To him, a mental analysis of any object was not considered important; only the usefulness of the object was important. Yet, Being-in-the-world was imperative. That is, the essential thing about life would be actually living our experiences.

It is important that we don’t separate mind from body or spirit from flesh.  But the key is: actually living our lives is of utmost significance. I think we all can agree with that.


— Footnotes —

[1] Martin Heidegger (1889-1976) was a German philosopher; his most famous work is Being and Time.

[2] René Descartes (1596-1650) was a French philosopher, scientist and mathematician; he was (and still is) extremely influential in western philosophy and analytical geometry.

[3] These explanations of Heidegger’s views are mine; any misinterpretations cannot be blamed on the reference material.

[4] I am grateful to Professor John Searle, University of California at Berkley for his succinct online lecture explaining Cartesian Dualism.

[5] Searle, John. Philosophy of Mind, lecture 1. UC-Berkeley Philosophy 132, Spring 2011. (accessed October 15, 2012).


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What is Constitutional Originalism — and Why Should You Care?

Former SCOTUS Justice Antonin Scalia and sitting Justice Clarence Thomas have called themselves constitutional originalists.  New Justice Gorsuch also claims to be one. Constitutional originalism is similar to those Christians that believe in the literal word of the Bible: they both claim to interpret the written words exactly as the writers intended them.  In the case of the US Constitution, that means basing law on the values and connotations of the originators back in 1789 — although most, including Scalia, include the amendments. Regardless of your beliefs about the Bible, Constitutional originalism is bad for our country.

First and most obviously, our country is totally different from that time; we live in a completely changed world. How can we possibly know the beliefs, ideals, and social expectations behind the constitution? We can imagine committee meetings and discussions about specific details; we have written records of some of those assemblies. However, we cannot really understand the ideas behind those words or the concepts and arguments left out of the conference records.

For instance, we all know what “google” means, but no one living in 1791 would have an idea about the definition let alone the significance of being able to google information. Reverse that concept and think about words that they used that we do not.  Now expand that to include concepts, attitudes, and social expectations. We can read about them, but can we truly understand? More famous people than me have written entire books on the fallacies that arise from believing we understand our ancestors and their societies.[1]

In any case, as much as we think we comprehend people from centuries ago, it is unrealistic to believe we do. Supreme Court Justice Brennan agrees.  “It is arrogant,” Brennan said, “to pretend that from our vantage we can gauge accurately the intent of the framers on application of principle to specific, contemporary questions.”[2]

As an originalist, Justice Scalia debated the concept of flogging, that is, whether or not it was cruel and unusual punishment. His views shifted from one year to another. Flogging was acceptable in 1789, but it certainly is not considered civilized now. Obviously, since Scalia could not reconcile flogging as a blameless contemporary punishment, he was not an absolute originalist.  However, during his time on SCOTUS, he set in motion the idea that originalism was acceptable as a basis of legal interpretation or a reason for rejecting modifications.

Although Scalia was flexible in his originalism, Clarence Thomas declares himself to be an absolute originalist. It seems incongruous that he  accepts originalism, and that he bases his rulings on it. In fact, I would love to hear Justice Thomas explain why he defends constitutional originalism. I’ve searched the internet without finding his justification. After all, as an African-American, it is likely that he would not have had citizen rights in 1789. Not until 1865, would the Thirteenth Amendment outlaw slavery. Does he acknowledge that the writers of the Constitution were flawed since they did not prohibit slavery? What about women’s right to vote? That law, the Nineteenth Amendment, was passed in 1920. Obviously, our society has decided that the goal of equality among all people — established as a truth by the Declaration of Independence — is a positive objective.

Third, regardless of its increased status on SCOTUS, constitutional originalism is damaging and dangerous to our country.  Media as diverse as The Daily News, The Washington Post, and The Hill (“published for and about US Congress”) have discussed the problems with constitutional originalism, and they have also noted, in particular, the issues with Gorsuch’s version of it. Many of those arguments focus the need to be able to change the laws to fix injustices in modern society and to handle contemporary situations (such as technology and privacy).

Rather than recounting all of that, let’s look at some of the transformations in our society since the 1700s.  Men of color are no longer legally considered a portion of a man with white skin. People who do not own property have the right to vote, and so do women. Employment is based on minimum wage rates, 8-hour workday, and 5-day work week. Employees have the right to safe working conditions, and their labor entitles people to Unemployment Insurance, Social Security, Medicare, and Worker’s Compensation — all through employee and employer contributions. None of that existed when the constitution was written. Women can buy houses and cars without a male co-signer. The government no longer can jail an individual for marrying a certain person. I’ll stop now even though there are many more positive changes. How can originalism ignore those changes? Certainly, as a country, we recognize that they were good ones. As I said, I’d enjoy hearing Thomas’ reasons for supporting originalism.

Let’s consider the most important idea: the reason we have a constitution.  The US Constitution gives us our basic rights — those freedoms that politicians like to mention in speeches and the military claims to protect.  The Hill published: “there is a big difference between the Constitution and statutes: while statutes are designed to represent the majority’s will, the Constitution — especially the Bill of Rights — is largely designed to protect individual rights against the majority.”[3]

There it is: US Constitution was written to protect individuals, all individuals, regardless of faith or lack of faith, and despite skin color or ancestry — and someday we look forward to that protection extending to everyone regardless of gender too. In the last few centuries, our society has evolved. Certainly our country is a different one than it was in 1776 or 1789. The founders of our country knew that people (and society) would change, and they accepted that idea. Article V of the US Constitution explained the process for proposing and passing amendments to the document.

Consider what Benjamin Franklin said: “I confess that there are several parts of this Constitution which I do not at present approve, but I am not sure I shall never approve them. For having lived long, I have experienced many instances of being obliged by better information, or fuller consideration, to change opinions even on important subjects, which I once thought right, but found to be otherwise.”[4]

The constitution delineates the proper behaviors of both the government and its employees. It sets out the interactions of the three divisions as equal powers in the federal government, and it explains how those divisions should interact with individuals, the states, and other countries. Most importantly, the Constitution provides many important rights; rights we should not be quick to give up. However, constitutional interpretation is fluid: it shifts as our culture matures and develops. Whether you call those interpretations “originalism” or something else, the rulings made by SCOTUS affect each of us.

It is time to read the US Constitution again and remember the protections it offers.


—- footnotes —-

[1]. I refer you to The Symbolism of Evil by Paul Ricoeur.

[2]. Stephen F. Rohde. “The myth that is Neil Gorsuch’s ‘originalism’ (To the Editor)” posted 3/21/17 Los Angeles Times online at (5/30/2017).

[3]  Ken Levy, “Judge Gorsuch’s strict ‘originalism’ puts justice itself at stake” posted 04/07/17 The Hill online at (5/30/2017).

[4] Benjamin Franklin, “Madison Debates: September 17” The Avalon Project (Lillian Goldman Law Library, 2008) online at (bold text added for emphasis) (6/1/2017).

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Ohio Congressman Jim Jordan Fails Civics

Ohio Congressman Jim Jordan Fails Civics

Ohio Congressman Jim Jordan[1] has released advertising for a demonstration he has organized (to support President Trump on May 31). Through that ad he shows that he needs to retake a high school civics class. The ad claims that protest is  a “public temper tantrum.” This ignores or rejects the constitutional right to protest. The US Constitution states: “Congress shall make no law respecting … the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances” [edited only for clarity].[2]

In addition to his desire to reject the constitutional right to assemble, it seems he would like us to lose the right to criticize our government. Remember Freedom of Speech? Once again, the US Constitution gives us the right to complain about our government and the politicians that work in that government. We can legally do that through verbal or written words and through assemblies.

The ad continues with the emotionally-charged statement that “left-wing Democrats” are protesting in an “attempt to undo President Trump’s election.”  Democrats and Republicans should want the same thing: the elected president to do his job legally and properly. And while we are on the topic, why is it okay for a Republican to organize a demonstration but it is wrong for a Democrat to do the same thing?

Jordan will be up for re-election in 2018. Since the congressman is so willing to set aside your constitutional rights, I suggest you find someone else to vote for.


—- footnotes —

[1] Jim (James D) Jordan is the Republican State Congressman for Ohio 4th district first elected in 2007. The 4th district was redrawn in 2013 (was it gerrymandered?) to include Elyria on Lake Erie (although skipping Sandusky and Port Clinton) and moving south and west around and through 14 counties to end in the northwest suburbs of  Columbus.

[2] This is part of the First Amendment. The entire sentence is “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

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What I Learned from Church: Personal Lessons of Interfaith Experiences

Although most people have their own ideas about what the words interfaith and community mean, in broad terms, interfaith relationships stand on an idealized notion that people who believe in similar ideals desire to interact harmoniously. That is, whether they proclaim themselves as mystical, metaphysical, spiritual or religious persons, they would interact amicably in order to reach a common goal. Through these interactions, they would learn about each other and increase understanding of each tradition’s practices.

Regardless of the definition of interfaith that you accept, anybody can learn a great deal from being involved in such a community. The level of education increases when it is a well-functioning interfaith group. Here are a few important things I have learned.

Respect and Consideration

  • Having respect for a person is different from treating others respectfully.
  • Respect has nothing to do with fear or anger. Many people think that they must be feared before they will be given respect. Nothing could be less true.
  • As we interact, respect for an individual grows. Most commonly, it is earned through observation of someone’s appropriate actions or superior character.
  • While it is true that respect is earned, nothing good happens unless we treat each other with respect. In other words, we must begin our interactions with consideration and politeness. No positive communication can happen without courteous and civil interactions.
  • Clearly insults don’t move a group (or two people) towards a goal of empathy and friendship. After all, how can we build positive associations if we demean an individual? Whether we have just met or have known each other for years, rude behavior separates us from developing a friendly relationship. It prevents us from getting to know each other and it stops us from understanding each other.
  • The conversation needs to begin with the fundamental attitude that everyone has a valid point, even those we judge as being on the wrong side. Consequently, if everyone’s view is treated as valid, even if it is a dissenting opinion, people will be more levelheaded and more willing to listen.

In this time of bipartisan polarization, we have forgotten that we learn more when we speak our personal truths and listen to the other individual’s truths. Of course, that means we have to work to discover our own truths. Sure, it is easier to parrot someone else’s opinion — but that’s another topic.  Whether we are Republicans, Democrats or Independents, we need to remember that we are all in this together. We have to learn to listen to each other.  How bad does it have to get before we start to do that?


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Today’s US House Version of Trumpcare Fails the People

The latest version of Trumpcare was passed by the House today with no Democratic support; in addition, 20 Republicans voted against it. The bill gets two issues right but it breaks more things than it fixes.

I’ll mention the positive first. It eliminates tax penalties for those who don’t buy insurance (presumable because they can’t afford it). In addition, it continues the policy of keeping children on their parents’ insurance until they are 26 years old.

However, here are some of the problems.

  1. It erases tax increases on higher-earning people. That means richer people will pay the same amount as poorer people. Will the cost be a reduced amount or too much money for many people? We don’t know.
  2. It cuts the Medicaid program for low-income people. Don’t they need insurance more?
  3. It lets states force Medicaid recipients to work in order to obtain insurance. What happens if the person cannot work or there are no jobs?
  4. It changes the Obamacare subsidies into tax credits. The credits are supposed to increase as consumers get older, but it is a tax credit. That means that people must be able to pay for the insurance for a year before they will receive a tax credit. What happens if they cannot pay the premiums?
  5. States can obtain federal waivers freeing insurers from other Obama coverage requirements.
  6. With a waiver, insurers could charge people with preexisting illnesses far higher rates than healthy customers. By the way, preexisting conditions include: rape, cesarean section birth, postpartum depression, and surviving domestic violence.
  7. With the waiver, insurance companies can increase premiums for older consumers.
  8. With a waiver, there is no limit to the cost of the insurance.
  9. Waivers mean that insurance companies could choose what is covered so that certain benefits would not be covered such as family planning or pregnancy care. Insurers get to pick what services they will provide. So much for your doctor or health care provider determining your treatment.
  10. Back to pre-existing conditions: how does this impact people born with disabilities? Will they be covered at a reasonable price?

The House bill will now go to the Senate. Please call your Senators and write postcards about these problems. We may not be able to stop the Affordable Care Act from being repealed — after all, Republicans have been trying to do that since 2010 — but we can push them to fix some of these problems.

Here is the link to contact information for all US Senators: .

Thank you for acting.




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Finding your Tarot Deck

Perhaps you’ve decided you want to learn tarot, but you have no clue how to begin.  Certainly, the first deck is important because you are training with it, but don’t just buy the Rider-Waite because someone told you that everyone starts with that deck.  Choosing an initial deck is actually a simple process, but it may take some persistence. Although I would argue this should be true of any deck, the first deck you buy should make sense to you on a level beyond that of memorizing the meanings from the enclosed book. You should spontaneously comprehend the archetypes and symbols in the pictures.  After you master one deck, you will be able to more easily overlook the symbols in another set that may not entirely work for you.

Since it is important to find a deck with pictures and symbols you like, look at as many decks as you can.  I suggest looking at certain major arcana cards in particular:  the devil, death and the fool are good indicators of the feel of the deck.  From them you can judge the belief structure on which it was based. There are decks with obvious Christian symbology and those with Pagan concepts, plus there are many based on specific mythological or historical symbology.  Some decks are drawn austerely while others contain very complex symbols from varying metaphysical systems.  There are even decks with artwork consisting entirely of geometric shapes and swirling colors. When choosing your first deck, it comes down to this: do you like the way it looks and feels?

After you have found a deck or two that might work for you, focus on your overall emotional response to each deck.  If you truly use the cards, you will bring the energy of that particular deck into your life. Ask yourself:  do I want this influence in my life?  How does the symbolism fit with my individual opinions and views? If the archetypes don’t match your beliefs, you will soon discover that the deck was a mistake, no matter how beautiful you find the art.

Since you can find a tarot deck in any style or conceivable theme, you are not limited in choices. Take time to consider the deck from an objective viewpoint. Will you be forced to learn a specific metaphysical or esoteric system in order to fully utilize the deck?

For instance, the Tarot of the Sephiroth is steeped in the Kabbalah.  As its name suggests, in order for you to work with the code of the deck, you will need to understand the Kabbalah — and that’s not something you can pick up on a Saturday afternoon. Some decks are even more complex, incorporating several esoteric traditions. One such deck is the Haindl Tarot, which includes symbols taken from the Kabbalah, Runes and I Ching.  Similarly, if you are nervous about nudity, you probably shouldn’t pick the Robin Wood deck. For effective use, other tarot sets require a knowledge of geometry or herbalism.

Many tarot decks are based on a specific culture.  Examples of these are the Minoan Tarot, the Tarot of the Orishas, or the Ancient Egyptian Tarot. When you are drawn to tarot based on a historical civilization, a specific religious tradition, or a mythological system, consider how much you know about that tradition. Do you have a foundation of knowledge about the stories and deities?  Will you need to learn the concepts behind the pictures and research the symbolism?

To help you in your search for the perfect tarot deck, check out this great site online:  It includes all of the popular decks plus numerous hard-to-find ones, and even a few unpublished tarot sets. Sample photographs are displayed for cards in each tarot.



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House bill 785 National “Right to Work” Act

House bill HR 785 National “Right to Work” or More of Is This What You Want Your Government to Do? (Part 3)

There is no summary for HR 785 National Right to Work act, but it is an anti-union bill. If you support unions, you need to contact your representatives to block this bill.

The act claims “to preserve and protect the free choice of individual employees to form, join, or assist labor organizations, or to refrain from such activities.”  However, that is a lie.  In convoluted references to five other laws, it would do the following.

  • Removes the rights of a worker to join unions.
  • Splits workers of the company into those who are and are not members in union,
  • Eliminates protections of certain unfair labor practices.
  • Forbids membership in a union as a requirement of employment.
  • Removes unions from determining necessary qualifications in the building and construction industry and from submitting the names of qualified people for those positions.
  • Specifically cancels membership of railway workers in railway unions.

Based on history, there would be some obvious effects if this bill passed.

First, it strikes down the rights of labor organizations to prevent unfair labor practices such as discrimination in hiring or continued employment. If that doesn’t scare you, it should. I don’t need to tell any minority or disabled employees what that could mean.  In the past, people were refused work due to the color of their skin, the land of their ancestors, and their religion, just to name a few.  Quite a few wars have been fought over these reasons. Refer to the US Civil War for one.

Second, it removes the law that stops employers from disciplining or firing employees who join unions.  By splitting workers into those who belong to a union and those who do not, this bill would set up a prejudicial system for treatment of employees. That should bother you too.

Third, it attempts to break union authority away from specific occupations. For the last century, the qualifications of many journeyman jobs have been determined by a union; this is common in construction, skilled trades, and manual labor positions. People are given the jobs in order according to a list. This bill would remove that method of finding gainful employment. The effect would lower the wages of people who do the work — work that is often dangerous due to weather or other working conditions — and remove incentives for those people to learn their trade, continue learning new skills, just as it would remove incentives for employers to hire the skilled tradesmen at a living wage.  In addition, it could lead to an increase in accidents at construction sites due to untrained workers replacing experienced employees.

The act would remove the requirement of railroad workers to join the railway union. Therefore, they would no longer have a union to make agreements on their behalf, and to resolve or establish working conditions.

Blocking membership in a union as a requirement of employment is a clear attempt to break union power.

Perhaps it is time to remind people of what US unions have done. They did get rid of sweatshops, those were a real thing. Here is a short list of other benefits (of the many that could be listed):

  • 5 day work week — and the weekend!
  • 8 hour work day
  • Occupational safety legislation
  • Family and medical leave act

In the past, states have implemented “right to work” legislation, but it is anything but that. Employees in those states tend to have lower wages and less secure employment. On 2/01/2017 it was referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce for review. Let your representatives know how you feel.



You can read the entire text of the act with links to the associated laws here: .



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