Is it “1984” al over again?

February 22, 2014

 Shades of “1984”! Orwell’s novel of the future is with us in spirit even today. Somebody at the FCC (nobody seems to know who) thought it would be a good idea to check out newsrooms in the country to be sure that left-thinking was not left out.

 The media should have been outraged but only Fox thought it serious enough to call their hand on press freedom, press intimidation, in addition to one outspoken FCC commissioner. The Commission quickly backed away but not completely, leaving hanging out there the real possibility of revisiting the idea later.

 I’m thinking how close our society is from complete intimidation by the government, snooping in on the most intimate of details. Now what I’m talking about is taking it to the individual (the NSA has already done this to a considerable extent) and to hush all opposition to government power. A chilling thought.

 There are present ways, however, to squelch free speech and that is by throwing roadblocks to discourage criticism. An example concerns the TVA’s FOIA methods. All TVA has to do is to make the charge for getting documents so expensive, so onerous, as to make it practically impossible for an individual to retrieve such documents.

 In other instances, the media itself makes it cost prohibitive to obtain content from them unless you subscribe or, in one significant case of the Chattanooga Free Press, not even taking comments anymore. Is that a “free press”? Others make it so difficult to interact with the media that only the persistent break through.

 The media in TVA’s territory has “rolled over” and only presents a regurgitation of TVA “news,” according to TVA. One brave Kentucky  legislator has challenged TVA’s transparency of board meetings. That trickle of opposition, hopefully, will turn into a torrent of dissatisfactions with TVA’s operations. 

 I’m rereading “1984” to pick out the immediate analogies to today’s society. Is it time to “hunker down” and wait for better times? I think not; the present oppressiveness needs to be challenged with every fearless ounce of courage we can muster. We can no longer depend on a submissive “free press” to do its constitutionally granted job.

Limited Government  

Unionization 101 – no thanks! On VW’s rejection of the UAW

February 21, 2014


Somewhat wistfully, I have read that Henry Ford and Thomas Edison pitched the purchase/lease of the partially finished Wilson dam and other facilities at Muscle Shoals in 1922 or 1923. Ford stated he wanted to build the “Detroit of the South,” and the South went wild with land speculation.


The only thing holding the deal back, you’d never guess, Nebraska Sen. George W. Norris (R), the so-called savior of the South. In his powerful position in the senate, Norris said he wanted the operation to be run by government, not private enterprise.


Sen. Norris got his way and glommed on to FDR’s (D) plan to governmentize everything in sight. The TVA Act of 1933 was the first thing FDR signed into law to reward Norris the Republican for his support.


Ironically, the VW rejection of the union topped 80 years of government control of the South and it does not bode well for TVA to much longer survive. In another bit of irony, FDR was vehemently opposed to the unionization of public employees (about the only thing that was sensible.) Look at Detroit now and other public entities in deep, deep debt because of union control.


My uncle, a Democrat and former legislator in Alabama, (I loved him dearly,) and I did not see eye-to-eye on unionization primarily from an early experience I had with a labor union. The CWA had some phone installation work in Montgomery and I was hired not really knowing what the union was about. I went to the next union meeting and discovered to my amazement that it did not concern anything about the CWA or its supportive activities but it was a call for felonious acts on company property.


“Who’ll volunteer to cut down telephone poles south of town?” And the calls for malicious action on various other important phone company properties went on until all the “jobs” were filled. Of course, there was the usual call for picketers. I wanted no involvement with that group of anarchists.


Another instance at work dealt with a union member maliciously shorting out a bank of telephone circuits with a long screwdriver (which not could have been done accidentally) and he was summarily fired. But not for long; the union got him reinstated.


Observing the union scene for many years and watching how thugs constantly disrupt business, sub-rosa or out in the open, unions finally drain the substance out of businesses until they go bankrupt, leave the country or stop fighting and close up shop.


FDR was right on one thing, public employees should never be unionized.


Ernest Norsworthy

Limited Government