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Friday, March 11, 2011


Friday, 8:30 AM.  24 degrees, wind WSW, calm.  The sky is lightly overcast and looks like it will be clear by mid-morning.  My old knees tell me it will be nice weather today and probably tomorrow.
    The Governors’ bill to limit the bargaining rights of public employee unions passed both houses of the assembly and will be signed today.  The angst of the left-wing protesters has been great, as has the damage to the capitol building and the democratic process and the reputation of the State of Wisconsin.  There have been numerous death threats to Republican senators and assemblymen and the governor, and their families. Disgusting. Thuggery abounds, all urged on by Michael Moore and Jesse Jackson.
    Yesterday Joan and I went to the Honda-Toyota dealer in Ashland to see if the key they had mailed us would fit a new Toyota Corolla.  It didn’t.  However, it gave me the opportunity to look around  a bit.  Among the half dozen or so new cars and trucks in the showroom, only one was assembled in Japan.  All the rest were assembled in the US, with mainly North American content.  In actuality they are American automobiles, produced in Ohio, South Carolina and Texas, the later two right-to-work states.  Wisconsin used to be a major auto manufacturing state, as some readers may remember.  Beloit had a big GM plant, and Racine at one time produced the Nash and Jeep, dead now a half century.  the later company also produced Kelvinator appliances, also long gone.
    Milwaukee’s A.O. Smith Company was the largest manufacturer of auto and truck frames, which used to fill acres of storage with frames waiting to be shipped to Detroit and other cities.  All are gone now.
    When I was fifteen or so I worked at Wally and Eddie’s Sinclair Station in West Allis.  One day a very frustrated driver of a new Nash came in complaining of a loud rattle in the car that the dealer couldn’t find.  Could Eddie look for it?  So it was driven around, rocked back and forth and up and down; the rattle seemed to be somewhere in a rear quarter panel.  Up in the air it went, and a thorough search found a various curious thing; a little bottle on a string, up between the gas tank and the fender,   the obvious source of the aggravating rattle.  The bottle was cut loose, and inside was a note, which read, “How long did it take you to find this one?”
    Just a kid, I wondered in astonishment what kind of moron would sabotage his source of livelihood like that?  Sixty years later I have my answer.  The same kind of morons who would vent their anti-business, anti-employer socialist rage in the state capitol, for all the world to see.
    How many jobs will Michael Moore and Jesse Jackson and the union bosses bring to Wisconsin?  How many will they drive away?  Will any businesses, large or small, now risk a new venture in Wisconsin?  I wager none.  They already know where they are welcome; South Carolina and neighboring states, maybe Ohio or Indiana, and most probably Texas.  If they don’t go to China.

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