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We the People and Right to Work in Michigan

We the People. It is never too late to speak out for that which we believe.

It is, ultimately, about our values as "We the People." Those values of freedom and liberty are ancient, and many are ensconced in our Constitution. Jefferson called these truths "self-evident" in the Declaration of Independence, and sufficiently important to commit treason against his sovereign king. "And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor."

Theodore Roosevelt said, "We are the government, the government is us." We the People. What is important and dear and what is superfluous and passing? We all know these values, they were taught to us by our parents and grandparents. Decency, honesty, integrity and fairness. As a boy I was told, "never bring shame back unto this house." You don't take advantage of others, just because you can.

Does it shock your conscience that in your state legislative chambers that the chair of the majority party in both the Michigan House and the Michigan Senate refuse to recognize the minority legislators to even speak on a bill - not just right to work, but a myriad of other bills? It should.

Does it shock your notions of fairness and fair play that bills, such as "right to work," are being attached to other bills, so that the five day minimum periods can be avoided, or that appropriations are being attached to bills, such as right to work legislation, to make them "referendum proof?" It should. Does that chicanery jibe with truth, justice, decency and morality? It doesn't. Doesn't it stand to reason that these basic values are what it means to be a citizen of this State, and an American, and what we expect from our lawmakers? Why should you accept it from your own affiliated party, if you would not accept it from the opposition party. Where does it end? Christians are to not only to "have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but (also) reprove them." (Eph. 5:11). Those who do nothing about sin and evil, help the sin and evil to prevail. One who is silent when there are those around him in sin becomes a partaker with them. (Eph. 5:7).

How can elected officials claim to be for Christian (with a capital "C") principles, where they are beholden to the highest bidder, such as gambling industrialists, bankers, waste haulers, landfill operators, and U.P. mining polluters, to name a few. They can't. Furthermore, they don't even pretend to conceal their conflicted interests with those of the public and the common good, and their sworn oaths of office. After holding office for a few years and being termed out, those same legislators go to work for the same insurance and financial industries that they regulated. They accept jobs for $400K - $500K per year. Their "work" as legislators create Billions of dollars in profits for their new employers for decades to come. It's all true, and a matter of public record. Does that bother you? It should.

Does it bother you that the Constitutional Right to a jury trial on civil cases is routinely disregarded in favor of politicized judges deciding the case? It should. Aren't those "stupid jurors" the same citizens that vote and elect the judges? Aren't they our neighbors, aunts, uncles, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, cousins, sons and daughters? They are. We the People. Why can't these jurors, focused 100% on a case in a court of law, able to decide the merits of a case of one of their fellow citizens? They can, but can't because the politicized Judge, often a former insurance defense attorney, dismisses the case. And the insurance companies keep Michigan insurance premiums the highest in the nation, where there is little liability left under the "reformed" law. Billions in profits soon follow. Is that right and just? No, it isn't, unless you are on the inside of the proverbial gravy train. How can we be lead around by the noses to believe and repeat nonsensical talking points?  Remember your values, and the reason why men and women fought and died for them.

As it was in Germany in the 1920 and 1930s, so it is here and now.

When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for the Jews,
I remained silent;
I wasn't a Jew.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.

We the People. It is never too late.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Matt Guarnieri December 09, 2012 at 02:48 AM
The majority of voters elected our legislators to make these decisions and the majority of voters defeated the union power grab that was Proposition 2 and 4. The majority has spoken and the majority believes "right to work" will increase work options for our children without limiting their right to work at union workplaces (a concept as proven by other "right to work" states). The unions will now have to PROVE they are worthy of the dues they collect from workers instead of forcing payment for the right to work at a union organized business. What's wrong with this... prove your worth is the staple of American success stories and a founding principle of this country. Pay up to keep your job is UN-AMERICAN. You babble on about Christian's and Nazi's, this is America not the inquisition or Third Reich. The "right to work" without overreaching unions is as American as you can get, unions after all are a soviet and socialist concept, very UN-AMERICAN, if you ask me. Guess I should have just written my own blog but my opinion is the silent majority and the bullying, loud-mouthed minority needs to stop sounding like they are whining.
Frank Cusumano December 10, 2012 at 08:19 PM
I would advance that what is going on in the Michigan Legislature follows a Stalinist or Reichstag model rather that a Constitutional Democracy. Very efficient. What ever happened to winning consensus in the "marketplace of ideas," (55% polled after the election said they were against RTW) or is that just another talking point, with no real substance in reality or action? What if the shoe were on the other foot? What happen if they win the legislature and governorship back? If you cannot see that the ends don't justify the means, then nothing I say or write matters. I focus on the process, you focus on the result and what gets you there. Any other opinion is "babble." Unlike you, I respect your opinions, your arguments, and reasonable minds can differ. Does your legislators actions respect the minorities' right to debate and contribute to the political dialogue on RTW? Mine does. Ken Goike voted "no" and I respect his principled vote. Thanks Ken. There still are some legislators that mean what they say and say what they mean. Remember "Free Trade will create high paying export jobs" - same people are behind RTW, and "deregulation" - code words for no pollution controls, no worker safety and bankers and Wall Street running the economy.
Reginal Griffin May 26, 2013 at 07:06 PM
I'm a union rep and I wouldn't have a problem with rtw if it was fair. Don't tell me its ok for someone to benefit from the union negotiation contracts for their members who pay dues. Don't tell me I have to represent someone who don't pay dues. If you don't want to be in the union that's ok but you shouldn't be allowed to benefit from it like your a member.

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