Links: Amazon union firings; mixed feelings on Roe v. Wade; independent voters

(Unsplash/Christian Wiediger)

(Unsplash/Christian Wiediger)

by Michael Sean Winters

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If you have not stopped using Amazon, now is the time to do so. The Guardian looks into the decision to fire six managers who were involved in the recent decision by workers at a Staten Island facility to form a union. I stopped using Amazon years ago, and soon realized there are plenty of other sites at which you can find difficult to find books.

We also need to find a different place to snag a coffee. According to The New York Times, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is planning on giving workers a raise — except those who have unionized. Really? And this guy toyed with the idea of running for president as a Democrat in 2020? I am no fan of litmus tests for office, but this is ridiculous. And the good news in the story? 50 stores have voted to unionize!

Also in the Times, opinion writer Tish Harrison Warren writes about the mixed feelings of many of us in the pro-life and whole-life movement in the wake of last week's leak of a draft opinion overturning Roe. v. Wade. She writes:

Most people I talked to expressed cautious optimism and hope but also concern. This was in part because they worried that the court's draft opinion may shift in weeks to come. But more so because those who take a holistic approach to reducing abortion feel that legally restricting abortion, while a win for justice and the voiceless and vulnerable, is not alone enough to create a culture that is holistically pro-life and addresses the needs of both women and unborn children.

I fear that the pro-life court victory puts the cart before the horse, and the backlash will be fierce.

Not sure whether to laugh or cry about this item: In The Washington Post, a report on Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas explaining he is worried that respect for institutions is eroding and that the judiciary is threatened if Americans do not relearn how to "live with outcomes we don't agree with." The justice's wife, Ginni, sent texts to White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows with ideas about how to overturn the results of the 2020 election. Cf. Matthew 7:5.

At the University College of London Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose's blog, Damon Silvers on the significance of Tesla's stock valuation and what that demonstrates about the screwy way many Americans are approaching the challenge of climate change. He writes:

But perhaps most importantly, what is riding on Tesla's ability to make a lot more cars is a theory of how to fight climate change. The idea is that eccentric, power mad geniuses, backed by Wall Street capital, will be able to produce and distribute in a deregulated privatized environment, low carbon technologies at scale, and simultaneously make themselves, and those who invest with them, fantastically rich.

Silvers is exactly right to point to the fact that this is ridiculous but will the political parties — in the U.S. and abroad — spend the next few years fighting culture wars while the planet burns? You betcha!

From the Texas Politics Project at the University of Texas at Austin, a look at some recent polling in the Lone Star State, including data about attitudes towards abortion. The two parties are largely a mirror image of one another, although a plurality of Republicans support allowing abortion in cases of rape, incest or when the mother's life is at risk. The real group to focus on is independents, 42% of whom say a woman should be able to procure an abortion under all circumstances "as a matter of personal choice," compared to only 23% who support making abortion illegal except in cases of rape, incest or threat to the mother's life. Texas does not publish party affiliation data, but analyzing those states that do, the number of independent or unaffiliated voters is always around a fifth to a fourth of all voters. Put differently, if you win the independents, you win the election.

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