Union bosses are their own worst enemy

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

The news that unions lost 400,000 members in 2012 shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone except union officials (“Unions suffer sharp decline in membership”). Their mismanagement of the labor movement has harmed dues-paying members while benefitting themselves.

Labor leaders pushed for a strike at Hostess last year that killed 11,700 union jobs, created unfunded pension plans that are short by $369 billion, weekly seem to get caught with their hands in the union cookie jar treasury and spend billions on political campaigns while their members get laid off. Meanwhile, many of these same leaders make salaries that reach as high as $490,000.

If union officials want to stop shedding members, they should reflect on whether they’re truly serving the union’s needs.

Richard Berman, Executive Director, Center for Union Facts. Washington.

Cartoon misrepresented Episcopal Church move

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

A recent political cartoon suggesting the Diocese of South Carolina be identified with a symbol suggestive of the Confederate battle flag is in poor taste. For years, voices from all corners of our nation have reviled the Stars and Bars for its alleged association with racism. The South Carolina diocese has not seceded from the national church over the issue of slavery, but over its drift from the biblical principles on which it was founded. The cartoonist could have better reflected the disagreement between the Diocese of South Carolina and the Episcopal Church with the former represented by the traditional St. Andrew’s Cross and the latter with the replacement of the field of blue in its upper left quadrant with a rainbow.

Brian N. Regrut. Midlothian.

McEachin pitches political hokum

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

In his column discussing the expansion of Medicaid, Sen. Donald McEachin states, “The federal government is committed to paying 100 percent of the cost of Medicaid expansion in 2014, 2015 and 2016. After that, it will never pay less than 90 percent of the cost. For three years, up to 420,000 currently uninsured Virginians will receive health care at no cost to the commonwealth.”

Just how does that work?

Does the good senator ever ask just how the federal government is going to pull off this Houdini act? Are we no longer part of the U.S., which is $16 trillion in debt?

McEachin’s logic that federal government borrowing and spending can be done without impugning the financial integrity of the 50 states is political hokum at its best.

Larry D. Greene. Montross.

Everyone wants the violence to stop

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

I attended the Public Square on the subject of gun control. I am an old Marine, a life member of the NRA, the Virginia Citizens Defense League, several gun clubs and the International Defense Pistol Association. Although these affiliations may appear to place me on the far right, I am just as much against violence as anyone else and those in my corner are not the problem.

In fact, those on both sides of the issue of gun safety are interested in the same outcome, we just have different means to the end. The issue should be the fight to reduce “people violence.” The word “gun” is as relevant to “violence” as the word “automobile” is to “DUI.” The only part the object plays is the fact that it was used to accomplish the act.

Intoxicated drivers who wish to drive and mentally disturbed persons who look to do harm will come by the means, be it cars or guns, and regardless of laws. Putting more laws and restrictions on the books is like trying to control speeding on I-95 by putting up 100 more speed limit signs. The way to curtail speeding — or any unlawful act — is to enforce the laws that are already in place.

Those who attended the Public Square, regardless of their beliefs, will probably never change their minds on this issue. But as for me, I do not believe for an instant that the government is actually interested in making us safer — that is not its agenda.

Bill Marx Sr. Kenbridge.

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