THE PUBLIC EYE: Why is California Burning?

Bob Burnett
Friday August 10, 2018 - 01:47:00 PM

In case you missed it, California is beset with an unusual number of intense wildfires; the state is covered by smoke. In response, on August 5th, Donald Trump tweeted: "California wildfires are being magnified & made so much worse by the bad environmental laws..." Hmm, so California "environmentalists" are responsible for the fires? Or is someone else to blame?

Twelve years ago, I wrote "Global Warming? Not in My Back Yard" ( ), pointing out that while most Americans are concerned about global warming (climate change), in general, they don't get excited about it, in particular, until there's evidence at the local level -- because they have a lot of other issues to worry about such as the cost of their healthcare or housing or jobs.

Two years of extreme wildfires has gotten Californians' attention. Waking up each morning worried about air quality -- because of the smoke -- or worse yet, wondering if you will be forced to evacuate, has made everyone in California aware that we have a problem. The issue is what to do about it. -more-

ECLECTIC RANT: Labor Movement Victory in Missouri

Ralph E. Stone
Friday August 10, 2018 - 02:24:00 PM

in a referendum on August 7, 2018, Missouri voters overturned a right-to-work law passed in 2017, giving organized labor a substantial victory. The vote was 64% to 36%. This vote reverses a trend of states passing right-to-work (RTW) laws. Presently, 27 states have such laws.

RTW laws are permitted by Section 14(b) of theTaft-Hartley amendments to the Labor Management Relations Act, 29 U.S.C §141, which permits a state to pass laws that prohibit unions from requiring a worker to pay dues, even when the worker is covered by a union-negotiated collective bargaining agreement.

Thus, workers in RTW states have less incentive to join a union and to pay union dues and, as a result, unions have less clout vis-à-vis corporations. In other words, RTW laws prohibit union contracts at private sector workplaces from requiring employees to pay any dues or other fees to the union. In states without such laws, workers at unionized workplaces generally have to pay such dues or fees. -more-

ON MENTAL ILLNESS: Social Exclusion

Jack Bragen
Friday August 10, 2018 - 02:23:00 PM

People who take antipsychotic medication may be identifiable as "mentally ill" by members of the general public. It seems that the medications affect physical mannerisms, movements, and probably other aspects of our appearance. -more-