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Public service unions and disunity.

Written By Kenneth Brooks on 09-18-2012 | in Human Relations, Critical Thinking, Economics,

Americans pride themselves a society of free people. More likely, they are docile people unaware of the limits on freedom because they never tested the door of their prison.

The school year began last week. Nevertheless, an estimated 400,000 Chicago students remained at home denied their right to an education by a labor dispute. An estimated 25,000 members of the teachers' union voted to strike for more pay, better-subsidized health care, and improved working conditions. Each day of closure pits the economic interest of union members against the education and economic need of students. No matter the reason, the legal economic extortion by one group of another does not reflect the face of freedom.

The people created various tax-supported institutions-police, fire, and schools -to serve the public's interests and needs. I agree the workers they hired should receive just compensation for their services. However, public employee unions have gained control over public institutions and reset their priorities. Now, public institutions serve the economic interests of unionized public workers first and those of the public second.

We see this changing of priorities in most areas of public service and not only in public schools. Perhaps the conduct of Chicago residents should not shock me. After all, residents in many California cities accepted worse demands from public safety unions. Public safety unions demanded that residents pay more money for fewer police officers and firefighters and agree to accept reduced crime and fire protection for their families.

I do not understand why the public tolerates employee labor relations that hold the people's public services hostage to public employees' pay demands. Many cities paid for the equipment needed for their protection from fire and crime. Nevertheless, it sits idle although they have people willing to complete police and fire duties at pay rates that allow the city to employ enough personnel for full public's safety. Nevertheless, representatives of the public agree to employees' pay and benefit demands. City residents show poor reasoning ability and low self-worth that allow this correctable condition to continue.

Perhaps I make an unwarranted presumption the condition is correctable. The root cause of Americans' socioeconomic problem is the absence of unity and community that troubled American society for centuries.

Free people police themselves and pass their values to the next generation in schools taught by community members. They encourage unity by selecting community members as public service employees. Ideas of unity prevent consideration of an outsider for city manager, school superintendent, or police chief. The specter of public employees living outside a community should show the loss of unity to the least thoughtful resident.

American society asserts the value of diversity over unity as a desirable social characteristic. Residents in the same town or city feel no economic connection to others living in poverty, without health care, or with inadequate protection from crime. They do not care if outsiders run their city, police their community, or teaches their children. Laws that prevent communities from favoring community members over outsiders for public service positions indicate the level of dysfunction in American society. Those laws weaken the bond of unity in communities.

Individuals with different backgrounds live in the same area and share services. Nevertheless, they are not a community unless they share common goals and values. American society corrupted ideas of community to include diverse people living in close proximity without shared values. This is cultural diversity's false concept of community. Society can redefine the word community to mean anything. However, it cannot change the concept of shared values required for true unity. There are barriers that people cannot overcome without unity.

I would expect Americans to appreciate the value of unity over diversity given their love for team sports such as basketball and football. Each athlete brings diverse talents to a team. Nevertheless, diverse talents absent a unifying force or philosophy are more destructive than constructive. I do not know of any professional sports team that won a championship based on ideas of diversity. I do not know of any nation in history that survived based on ideas of diversity over unity.

American society's philosophy of diversity over unity is self-destructive. Adversity, such as economic challenges, easily weakens the bonds of any group that emphasizes members' differences over likenesses. One sees evidence of the destruction in all areas of society and most prominently in public service employee unions' battles with their employers.

Special Foreign alliances threaten the American Republic

Written By Kenneth Brooks on 09-08-2012 | in Political, Human Relations, Critical Thinking, Economics,

I read President Obama's Democrat National Convention speech accepting the Democrat Party's nomination for president. I was doing fine with the speech until this part.

"Around the world, we've strengthened old alliances and forged new coalitions to stop the spread of nuclear weapons. We've reasserted our power across the Pacific and stood up to China on behalf of our workers. From Burma to Libya to South Sudan, we have advanced the rights and dignity of all human beings -- men and women; Christians and Muslims and Jews.

But for all the progress that we've made, challenges remain. Terrorist plots must be disrupted.  Europe's crisis must be contained. Our commitment to Israel's security must not waver, and neither must our pursuit of peace.

Why have we reasserted our power across the Pacific to stand up to China on behalf of American workers, but committed American resources to support the European Union's economic interests? Until the current economic crisis, the European Union strived to insert its monetary unit, the Euro, as the international currency in place of the U.S. dollar. This change would have degraded America's economy status, the value of the dollar and increased costs to American consumers.

So why is China the bad nation and Europe Union in need of protection? Like China, the European Union consists of a much larger population than the United States. Much of the chaos in Africa, Middle East, and Asia stem from centuries of European invasions and colonization. During the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries Britain, France, Germany, Russia, Japan, and even the United States forced treaties on China that reduced much of the area to a colonial status. European colonizers Britain and Portugal only recently returned control of Hong Kong and Macau to the Republic of China in 1997 and 1999.

Colonization destroys the culture and natural socioeconomic and sociopolitical balance of power of an area. Thereafter, areas often experience periods of chaos and autocratic rule as people shift from colonialism to self-rule. Europeans were impartial in their destruction of societies and economies including those of European people and nations.

Historians place European WWI casualties in the range of 37 million- 16 million deaths and 20 million wounded. They place WWII world casualties about 40 million people. Nevertheless, after those wars European nations reasserted authority over colonized African and Asian areas often with the support of the USA. Seven decades later, American leaders try to foist a new form of colonialism on African and Asian people that struggle, often violently, to reestablish natural sociopolitical and socioeconomic institutions free of European and American values. We try this irrational upholding of past European imperialism at the potential destruction of our constitutional republic.

Article IV, Section 4 of the Constitution says, "The United States shall guarantee to every State in the Union a republican form of government, and shall protect each of them against invasion." President Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney guarantee the defense of Israel as if it is the 51st state of the American Republic.

I can understand the commitment to stand by a friend in time of need. Nevertheless, no responsible family leaders give greater prominence for the security and economic welfare of a friend over the welfare of family. The 99 percent of law-abiding people living in low income areas of cities beset by crime would welcome Obama and Romney's assurance of safe neighborhoods for their families. Nevertheless, I did not read concern for them in Obama or Romney speeches.

Republican and Democrat national conventions are part of American cultural ritual for the selection of the national leader for the next four years. However, both political parties felt obliged to include concerns about the defense of Israel during this purely American sociopolitical ritual. All Americans should feel gravely concerned about the deterioration of our constitutional republican values that any foreign nation has this much influence over our government and both presidential candidates.

Rational American's should heed the founders' warnings about permanent foreign alliances.

"It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world... As avenues to foreign influence in innumerable ways, such attachments are particularly alarming to the truly enlightened and independent Patriot. How many opportunities do they afford to tamper with domestic factions, to practise the arts of seduction, to mislead public opinion, to influence or awe the Public Councils. Harmony, liberal intercourse with all nations, are recommended by policy, humanity, and interest. But even our commercial policy should hold an equal and impartial hand; neither seeking nor granting exclusive favors or preferences...constantly keeping in view, that it is folly in one nation to look for disinterested favors from another; that it must pay with a portion of its independence for whatever it may accept under that character; that, by such acceptance, it may place itself in the condition of having given equivalents for nominal favors, and yet of being reproached with ingratitude for not giving more. There can be no greater error than to expect or calculate upon real favors from nation to nation. It is an illusion, which experience must cure, which a just pride ought to discard."

-George Washington's Farewell Address, September 17, 1796

"The United States goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is a well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own. If the United States took up all foreign affairs, it would become entangled in all the wars of interest and intrigue, which assume the colors and usurp the standard of freedom. She might become the dictatress of the world. She would be no longer the ruler of her own soul." -President John Quincy Adams, son of John Adams.

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