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Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Wednesday, 8:45 AM.  15 degrees F, wind SW, presently calm at ground level, but with mottled gray atmospheric clouds moving from west to east at a fair rate of speed.  The sun, such as it was, rose a faint pink streak on the southeastern horizon.       
        I am still intrigued with the tundra swan migrations that touch down in Ashland on Chequamegon Bay.  Yesterday when driving into Ashland from the west on Hwy. 2 at 11:00 AM we looked closely and could see only three swans.  While eating lunch in the lakefront park (Ashland does a nice job of clearing its streets and sidewalks and was easy to get around and park one day after the storm) at 1:00 PM we were fortunate enough to see a small flock of six swans fly in from the east.  When we left Ashland at 4:00 PM swans were dotted all over the lower bay off the power plant, perhaps forty or fifty of them.  The shallower water with the emergent vegetation that they eat freezes readily so they were out pretty far in open water and hard to count.
        I am astonished that Michigan, virtual home of the US union movement, has passed right to work legislation.  A lot of people, including even conservative pundits, do not really understand such laws, and explain them only in rudimentary points of fact such as one can refuse to belong to the union in the workplace, and that one need not pay union dues to go to work. I have not heard any explain what I  think is the greatest danger and injustice of mandatory, by law, union membership; that is the threat, if not the actuality, of the union being the sole hiring agent for the employer, and a job applicant having to go to the union hall and pay dues before being sent to the job site.  This used to be very prevalent in construction and stevedore unions (remember Marlon Brando in On The Waterfront?) and leads directly to organized crime controlling not only the union but the work place.  Being required by law or contract to join the union within so many days of being hired is only a little better.
         In any case, the union movement, supported by the Democratic party, is not going to let this go down easily.  There has already been mob takeover of the capitol building and violence on the capitol grounds, and as one Michigan state legislator said, “Blood will be spilled.”

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