May 9, 2011

A Poor Comparison to Unions

by Alicia Ni'Tracy

It’s clear to me that Jack Kelly writes with a strong bias against public employee unions and their interests.  I’m not eager to delve here into a discussion about the justness of unions because there’s a lot of dispute in this country about what the right course of action is to deal with our exploitative economic system.  What I am more interested in is the language used by Jack Kelly in his article “Unions on the Ropes,” specifically likening public employee unions and their leaders to Nazis.

Kelly’s exact wording is “Wisconsin is to public employee unions what Stalingrad was to the Nazis – the site of their first major defeat.”  It may even be true that Wisconsin may be a site of major defeat for public employee unions; however, I don’t think that unions are comparable to Nazis because unions aren’t waging genocide or operating concentration camps.

Kelly’s comparison absurdly exaggerates the behavior of unions.  Does Mr. Kelly believe that the behavior of the Nazis was no more drastic, serious and dangerous than the behavior of these unions?

Kelly seems to express a sentiment that the public is oppressed by the use of public funds to pay public employees, some of whom are union members.  That supposed hardship, which he is attributing to union leaders, is in no way comparable to the effects of Nazi actions on members of the public.

Kelly, we are not in concentration camps.  Your comparison of unions to Nazis is ridiculous.

It is foolish to call public employee unions Nazis.

Actually, how about Mr. Kelly stops calling any people Nazis?

– Alicia Bryan

21st Century Woman

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May 9, 2011

Unions Are Not His Cup of Tea

by Nathan Hershey

An author can use her choice of words to create a picture which may please him or her but be considered by a more objective person as bias.  A fine example to demonstrate this is a column in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Sunday, April 24, in which Jack Kelly uses his choice of words to create a picture that suggests criminal behavior by unions.

In his piece, Mr. Kelly chooses to refer to the union leaders as “union bosses.”  Anyone with a grain of sense realizes that the choice of words here is meant to establish a negative view of the union leaders.  Mr. Kelly does not recognize that union leaders are elected by the members of the union and, while not all are ideal leaders, they are the choices of the union members who put them in office by a participatory process.

I don’t know whether Mr. Kelly is a member of a union, but my guess is that unions are anathema to him, perhaps because they generally take positions contrary to his political, economic and social beliefs.  Kelly is less a reporter than a promoter of his personal ideas.  I wonder how many readers of the Post-Gazette find Kelly to be a writer they look forward to reading on a regular basis.

– Nathan Hershey

20th Century Man