... Today, in most of America, unions have it bad. And part of the reason it’s bad is because we no longer know how to organize. Imagine trying to organize workers in your call center or warehouse, or your software gaming firm or your human rights NGO, as they’re doing at Amnesty International. The pressures against you — from worker cynicism and colleagues’ fear of losing their jobs, to personal relations with your boss and superiors, the bills you have to pay, and simple questions like "how do I organize" and "how do I know I won’t be screwed" — not to mention the inevitable appearance of company snitches, provocateurs, and just run-of-the-mill assholes and idiots... I’m not even talking here about your company’s ability to fire you, demote you, abolish your department, slash your pay, pretty much whatever the Hell they want ever since Reagan busted the air traffic controller’s union... This is the lot of American labor organizers in 2012 , except for in a few remaining pockets of America where union power and memory is still strong and tightly woven into the local cultural DNA.
Michigan is one of those places, which is why crushing labor power there would be as inspiring to the rightwing oligarchs who just got creamed at the polls as, say, the rise of the Tea Party was in early 2009. ...
The moves in Michigan shouldn't surprise anyone. Strangle labor. Shut down abortion clinics. Cut the social safety net. It's what the Party of Abraham Lincoln and Dwight Eisenhower (the best American President during my lifetime) now does.
And of course the shooting up of schools and malls continues. (As Will Rogers used to say: "Ah. The season's started early this year.")
And no doubt we'll have more politicians bemoaning the fact that the principal at Sandy Hook Elementary School wasn't packing heat. (Just today a conservative friend shared this:)
Why Israel Doesn't Have Shootings in Schools:
It's a fine photograph, and I would be in favor of doing these things that Israel does, as long as we did Israel's other gun things:
Applicants for a gun owner’s licence in Israel are required to prove genuine reason to possess a firearm, for example, self-defence, hunting and sport
The minimum age for gun ownership in Israel is 27 years and 21 years if served in the military
An applicant for a firearm licence in Israel must pass background checks which consider health, mental and criminal records
In Israel gun owners must re-apply and re-qualify for their firearm licence every 3 years
In Israel, authorities maintain a record of individual civilians licensed to acquire, possess, sell or transfer a firearm or ammunition
A licensed firearm owner in Israel is permitted to possess a limited quantity of ammunition ...
(And there's the small point that Israel, in addition to having teachers who tote rifles, also has universal health coverage.)
But back to reality, American style: Regarding guns, the shootings will continue, and no new legislation will be forthcoming.
And regarding "Right to Work": There will be more push to get rid of pesky labor unions, and unions will push back (with mixed results.) If we're lucky, we'll hang onto Medicare and Social Security and a few other programs the population claims to favor. And if we're not, then we'll eventually be back in the cultural times of Calvin Coolidge, and not liking it much.
Add On: Here's how the the next bit of history target="_blank" about weaponry in America will go:
... We all know how the "national conversation" on guns will happen, with liberals saying there are too many guns, and conservatives yelling that we're politicizing it and also, too, arm the kindergarten teachers and the problems will be solved.
And then nothing will happen, and sadly we'll do it all again.
Ronald Reagan supported the Brady Handgun Law, but that fact has been swallowed up in the dark folds of time. I long ago stopped being actively involved in working for or against gun control legislation. Over and over, it's gone the way Duncan Black describes above. George W. Bush supported a ban on automatic weapons, but when the law lapsed no renewals were forthcoming. Barack Obama's administration has okayed carrying weapons in the national parks.
I mostly don't think much about the issue anymore, since I consider it a waste of time. But then, twenty six-year-olds and several adults are blown away by a deranged person, and you're sort of forced to think about it.