Is there nothing global warming can’t do?
Is this how it was for Constantinople in the 15th century, just before the fall? A once-great city rotting behind its walls, large swathes abandoned, shrunken in on itself? A place where dog packs now rule?
As many as 50,000 stray dogs roam the streets and vacant homes of bankrupt Detroit, replacing residents, menacing humans who remain and overwhelming the city’s ability to find them homes or peaceful deaths.
Dens of as many as 20 canines have been found in boarded-up homes in the community of about 700,000 that once pulsed with 1.8 million people. One officer in the Police Department’s skeleton animal-control unit recalled a pack splashing away in a basement that flooded when thieves ripped out water pipes.
“The dogs were having a pool party,” said Lapez Moore, 30. “We went in and fished them out.”
Poverty roils the Motor City and many dogs have been left to fend for themselves, abandoned by owners who are financially stressed or unaware of proper care. Strays have killed pets, bitten mail carriers and clogged the animal shelter, where more than 70 percent are euthanized.
“With these large open expanses with vacant homes, it’s as if you designed a situation that causes dog problems,” said Harry Ward, head of animal control.
The number of strays signals a humanitarian crisis, said Amanda Arrington of the Humane Society of the United States, based in Washington. She heads a program that donated $50,000 each to organizations in Detroit and nine other U.S cities to get pets vaccinated, fed, spayed and neutered.
Arrington said when she visited Detroit in October, “It was almost post-apocalyptic, where there are no businesses, nothing except people in houses and dogs running around.”
“The suffering of animals goes hand in hand with the suffering of people.”
Except I feel more sorry for the dogs than I do for most of the people; the people largely brought this on themselves through their shortsightedness and their tolerance for the corruption of their leaders. The dogs… Well, they’re just doing what they do instinctively, to survive.
The city can no longer afford a decent animal control service, and so some residents actually live in fear of dog packs roaming their neighborhoods. Of course. There are union dues to be paid, after all, and someone has to maintain the UAW’s private golf course.
Welcome to the liberal post-Apocalypse.
(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)
And if they don’t, is the next step leg-breaking? Faced with members oddly deciding to keep their money after Michigan passed a right-to-work law, the leadership of the Michigan Education Association sent a memo to locals telling them to monitor incoming dues and, if it declines, be prepared to take their own members to court:
Steven Cook, president of the Michigan Education Association, circulated an email to local unions officials and staff instructing them to monitor revenue streams in light of the right-to-work laws, which are set to go into effect on March 27, 2013. The law allows workers to opt out of union membership unless they have an existing contract with their employer.
“We will use any legal means at our disposal to collect the dues owed under signed membership forms from any members who withhold dues prior to terminating their membership in August,” Cook wrote.
The tone of the message shocked labor reform activists.
“The level to which the MEA appears to be willing to go after its own members—the same ones whose interest they claim to represent—is amazing,” said Mike Van Beek, director of education policy at the Mackinac Center. “When it comes to their revenue, we know where their priorities stand.”
Yeah, and I bet they play this old BTO song before hitting up reluctant members:
Except, unlike the guy in the alley, the union doesn’t say “please.”
Sadly, these suits seem to have a solid legal footing in Michigan; the MEA has sued before and won. But, given the recent report on declining union membership even in public unions, it looks like a short-lived victory, at best:
The union membership rate fell from 11.8 percent to 11.3 percent of all workers, the lowest level since the 1930s.
Total membership fell by about 400,000 workers to 14.4 million. More than half the loss – about 234,000 – came from government workers including teachers, firefighters and public administrators.
The losses add another blow to a labor movement already stretched thin by fighting efforts in states like Wisconsin, Indiana and Michigan to curb bargaining rights and weaken union clout.
Losses in the public sector are hitting unions particularly hard since that has been one of the few areas where membership was growing over the past two decades. About 51 percent of union members work in government, where until recently, there had been little resistance to union organizing.
That began to change when Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signed a law in 2011 eliminating most union rights for government workers. The state lost about 46,000 union members last year, mostly in the public sector.
Union officials blame losses on the lingering effects of the recession, as well as GOP governors and state lawmakers who have sought to weaken union rights.
Much to the benefit of their states overall, if the results in Wisconsin and Indiana are to be believed.
Meanwhile, like dinosaurs raging at the asteroid about to rock their world, the unions are denying the inevitable: they’re out of date, obsolete. The proof lies in their own “clients'” actions: when given a choice, they prefer to keep their money. They don’t want what the unions are offering. And the more unions resort (revert) to thuggery to keep members and their dues, the more people will make the same choice, when given the power to decide that they should have by right.
(clip art courtesy of Clipart Mojo)
(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)
Forget the rule of law. This is rule by fist:
Jimmy Hoffa, president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, said Tuesday he expects Michigan unions and lawmakers to break out into “civil war” after the state legislature passed right-to-work bills that would weaken unions’ power.
“This is just the first round of a battle that’s going to divide this state. We’re going to have a civil war,” Hoffa said on CNN’s “Newsroom.”
The Republican-controlled state House passed two bills that had already been approved by the GOP-dominated state Senate. Gov. Rick Snyder, also a Republican, is poised to sign the bill, which would allow workers at union-represented employers to forgo paying dues.
As thousands of protestors gathered at the state capitol on Tuesday, Hoffa called the legislation a “tremendous mistake” and “a monumental decision to make” by outgoing lawmakers in a lame duck session.
“What they’re doing is basically betraying democracy,” he told CNN’s Brooke Baldwin. “If there’s any question here, let’s put it on the ballot and let the people of Michigan decide what’s good for Michigan.”
Proponents of the legislation say it gives workers more freedom, while opponents say a less robust union presence will negatively affect workers’ rights. Hoffa also argued that those who don’t pay union dues will be considered “free riders,” as they’re getting the same benefits from union representation without the cost.
Hoffa pointed to Michigan’s recovering auto industry, saying the Wolverine State has bounced back from the recession without being a “right to work” state.
“This is basically a step backward,” he argued.
(CNN via Zero Hedge)
And if anyone knows about thuggery and violence, it’s a Hoffa.
What Jimmy Junior is saying here is, in a nutshell, that the duly-elected representatives of the people of Michigan, acting in accordance with their state’s constitution, have no right to amend the state’s labor laws. Even though there is strong evidence that the people have already spoken. Under the Hoffa theory of democracy, the mob has the vote and the veto, and he who has the biggest, most violent mob wins. The only debate that counts is “me” outshouting “you,” which means I win.
So, shut up or I’ll kill you.
Now, you’d think this attack on constitutionalism, the rule of law, and representative democracy would draw the united condemnation of the state’s legislators, who are sworn to uphold the US and Michigan constitutions.
“There will be blood,” State Representative Douglas Geiss threatened from the floor of the Michigan House of Representatives today as the body debated legislation that would make Michigan the nation’s 24th right to work state.
“I really wish we had not gone here,” Geiss continued. “It is the leadership in this house that has led us here. The same leadership that tried to throw a bomb right on election day, leading to a member switching parties, and came in at the 11th hour with a gotcha bill. For that, I do not see solace, I do not see peace.”
This isn’t democracy or republicanism: it’s mob rule. It’s extortion — “Nice state you have there. Shame if something happened to it.” It’s intimidation, using the threat of violence to impose their will. Now, where have I seen this before?
We know why they’re doing this, of course. It’s not because the union leadership and their Democratic allies are worried about workers’ wages and working conditions: right to work states have been shown to have slightly higher wages and better job choices. And most if not all states have workplace safety and worker’s compensation laws on the books. It’s not as if right-to-work will mean a return to a dime-a-day and child labor. They would still have the right, as every worker should, to form a union and press for collective bargaining. And they still would have the right to withhold their labor should conditions not be satisfactory.
No, what the union bosses and their politician allies are frightened of is the prospect of losing the millions they collected in forced exactions (dues) from their members, money which is then funneled to pliant politicians in the form of campaign contributions and other political spending, in return for laws benefiting the unions at the expense of the taxpayers and regardless of the economic consequences to the state.
They fear the end of their kickback racket.
Whatever the noble origins and ends of trade unionism, we’re seeing now the true face of the corruption that’s overtaken it. Faced with long-term decline, perhaps irreversible if left to the free market, they can only maintain their power in places where law compels membership and tribute.
Threaten that, and they promise blood.
RELATED: What is it with union goons and their hatred for Black small businessmen? First it was Kenneth Gladney, beaten by an SEIU mob in Missouri a few years ago, and now they’ve wrecked the business of Clint Tarver, who ran a hot dog cart outside the state capitol in Lansing. Shouldn’t be surprised I guess; unions have a long history (PDF) of racism. If you want to help Mr. Tarver rebuild his business, click here.
ALSO: Patterico on the Stalinist effort by the online Left to whitewash the violence in Lansing and blame the victim.
(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)
The city that’s been the butt of “urban wasteland” jokes for as long as I can recall may finally be reaching the end, as a state senator proposes disincorporation:
It would no doubt be controversial, but the idea of dissolving the fiscally struggling city of Detroit and absorbing it into Wayne County is being tossed around in Lansing.
WWJ Lansing Bureau Chief Tim Skubick reports some state Republicans are talking about giving the city the option to vote itself into bankruptcy. And mid-Michigan Senator Rick Jones said all options should be considered — including dissolving the city.
Thus we see the fruits of 50-60 years of unrestrained liberal governance –Walter Mead’s “Blue Model”– and the failure to adapt to changing economic environments: collapsing essential services and abandonment.
One wonders if, on hearing the news, someone in the Wayne County government asked “What did we ever do to you??”
via Moe Lane
(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)