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Community Commentary: Attackers vilify unions for wanting a better life

August 09, 2011

It must have been a really slow news day at the Daily Pilot for you to devote almost half a page of pablum with a diatribe titled "Collective bargaining not a bargain for Costa Mesa residents" (Forum, Aug. 5). The author's personal venom against unions, if it was considered worthy of publication, could have been said on a bumper sticker: "I really, really hate unions."

In the mindless chatter that passes for policy discourse in the corporate media, some facts from the not-too-distant past and the inevitable train wreck this nation is heading toward are being ignored.

A century and a half ago, the United States of America was ripped asunder by a treasonous group who was perfectly willing to see this nation destroyed if it could not have its own way.

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It was known as the Confederacy, and it wanted to perpetuate — under the guise of states' rights — the immoral, inhuman and despicable institution of slave labor. It cost the nation way too much in blood and treasure to do what should have been a no-brainer, even after giving allowance for the norms of those times.

The present-day attack on labor in general, and on unions in particular, has parallels with that past. The right to organize is a fundamental right in any democracy; it drives and nurtures a healthy balance between capital and labor.

That right was fought for and obtained through struggles, often very deadly, by generations of brave labor leaders.

It seems that the same immoral, inhuman and despicable forces that once celebrated slavery are on a mission to destroy the rights of working people. In the current debate on what ails our economy, our teachers, firemen, policemen and nurses have all been vilified because of their exercising legitimate rights to organize for a decent and secure livelihood.

The issue of our national debt is being used as a bludgeon against labor, to treat them as expendable commodities and widgets. These reactionary forces are once again perfectly willing to see this nation destroyed, if they cannot have their own way, even though they are in the minority.

They have infiltrated the House of Representatives, the Senate and our justice system. They have wormed their way into state, county and city governments.

And yes, they are sprinkled through our population — misguided, ill-informed and gullible, as is the writer of the Aug. 5 piece

Jamshed H. Dastur

Newport Beach

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