Oh Dear…

Only one week in and I’m missing posts! Well, I’ll try to hit two birds with one stone, and keep them both brief.

Wednesday Whine…

I work in a unionized job. I won’t argue whether this is a “good” thing or a “bad” thing (though I will mention that when my dad complained that unions were taking food off his table I replied that MY union was actually putting food ON his table as I buy the groceries – but that’s neither here nor there), because people tend to be married to their viewpoint and one of the quickest way to end a relationship is to argue politics.

What I will argue is the unfairness of lumping all unions together. Opponents of the unions will tell us that collective bargaining is all about money and benefits. Then they’ll point to the NFL player lockout. I would ask that you speak with a local firefighter or police officer and ask them what exactly their unions are bargaining for? More money? Or more people on the job, keeping each other and all of US safe? Speak to a teacher. Are they after big bank? Speaking for the teachers I know, they’re bargaining for smaller class sizes – like 30 kids instead of 40 – for materials, for support when they have more than eight or nine special needs kids in their classes. Do police officers, fire fighters and teachers care about salary and benefits? Of course. Who doesn’t? But the money these union workers are snatching out of the hands of non-union folks isn’t PRIMARILY for salaries and benefits. It’s for safe and tolerable working conditions. I’d ask the people who say unions have served their purposes and are no longer needed to look at the single mom working 40 hours a week at some fast food restaurant with no benefits and still not making enough to feed her kids. Unions are not fundamentally evil or unfair – no INSTITUTION can be fundamentally evil or unfair. And there are just as many non-union workers who make ridiculous amounts of money and have unreasonable benefits as there are union workers. And there are just as many union workers who are struggling and barely getting by as there are “regular folk” out there. Our economy isn’t a victim of the unions; it’s a victim of a flawed political system. How do we fix it? I don’t know. People much smarter than I have been trying and failing for years. What I do know is that turning on our fellow citizens does nothing but make a bad situation worse and divide our country, making it weaker with every acrimonious word.

Sigh…

That takes me to Thursday “Things”. So, I went to one of the Border’s stores that is going out of business and spent an obscene amount of money. But I got so much cool stuff!  For example, I got an awesome Great Gatsby t-shirt like this one:

I also found the coolest young adult take-off’s of classic stories. Romeo & Juliet manga. “Jane”, a retelling of Jane Eyre. I’ve always been a big fan of the bookstore – before Lent I favored Barnes & Noble ONLY because they have Starbucks instead of Seattle’s Best coffee shops – and I hate to see them suffering in the vile economy. I’m thrilled,though, with the haul I made. Over $300 worth of stuff for less than $150. So, support your local bookstore – get out there and BUY SOME BOOKS!

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