In the main topic area, I have been ranting on unions lately, and I think I should explain why I have such hatred for unions.
I worked in a number of unions in my years being on this planet. My first foray into the world of legalized extortion came when I worked on a Government contract installing public utilities. To work for the government you had to be in a union. It did not say what union it had to be, so my company chose a different union than the local chapter.
So we got picketed. I remember having a guy standing over me as I was working hooking up a natural gas line and had him screaming at me, all the time he was standing there with a lit cig and endangering my life. We called the police, but was told there was nothing they could do. So for two weeks these guys put not only MY life, but the lives of many other people in danger for their "right" to picket my workplace.
It did not stop there though. We would come in to work and find our equipment dangerously sabotaged. One morning, the lug nuts had been loosened on my work truck, had I not been diligent about inspecting the truck each morning me and my crew could have been killed.
My next round came when I worked in the public school system. They took my monthly dues, no matter if I wanted them to or not. Oh, they game me a choice to not be in the union, but they were going to take my dues anyway. Then, they took those same dues and used them to support government legislation that ultimately led to my job being taken away. There was no defense for me, I was let go unceremoniously and left without the 2 years of dues I paid for nothing.
Unions had a purpose at one point, and they could still have a purpose again, but the unyielding attitude of the people who are members of those unions need to change. The days of the union caring about the workers are over, they are some of the most powerful organizations in the United States and are certainly more powerful than the very CEOs that end up hiring their workers. Something is terribly wrong with that.