Friday, May 01, 2009

Injustice as Routine

I want to take note here of two outrageous injustices that have occurred within the last few days. One, reported in the main front-page headline of today’s New York Times is that the United Automobile Workers Union and its pension fund is to become the largest stockholder in Chrysler when the firm emerges from bankruptcy. This is the very same union that brought about the collapse of Chrysler in the first place. Its philosophy and policy of grabbing ever more in wages and benefits while doing almost everything possible to prevent the company from earning the wherewithal to pay those wages and benefits made it impossible for the company to survive in the face of competition not subject to such union bloodsucking.

A further aspect of this same injustice is the government’s naked overriding of Chrysler’s contractual obligations to its bondholders in order to place the U.A.W. and its pension fund ahead of more senior debtors in the Chrysler bankruptcy. Those bondholders who stood up for their contractual rights were denounced by President Obama for refusing to make “sacrifices,” i.e., of their contractual rights. Many of them then gave in, fearful no doubt as to how the government might use its vast array of arbitrary powers against them if they refused, e.g., how the IRS would treat their income tax returns, how the EPA, SEC, FTC, et al. would treat their application for permissions of this or that kind.

The second injustice I want to note is that in this age of alleged “diversity,” a young woman, Carrie Prejean—“Miss California”—who apparently was on the verge of being declared “Miss USA,” was denied that title for no other reason than that one of the pageant’s judges did not like her opinion that marriage was a union between a man and a woman. In response to a question asked of the contestants, she had answered, “No offense to anybody out there, but that's how I was raised and that's how I think that it should be between a man and a woman.” The judge, one Perez Hilton, said "I was absolutely shocked and incredibly frustrated in her, and disappointed. That is not the kind of woman I want to be Miss USA.” So, to be Miss USA, a woman must comply with whatever beliefs such a “judge” wishes to impose. As of this writing there doesn’t seem to much anger and outrage over this travesty of justice.

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