The United States of America was created by leaders in the North American English Colonies rising in revolt against their English King who at that time commanded the largest and most lethal army and navy in the world. King George III started his reign as a popular king known for being able to speak to the “common man.”
The American Revolution was started by men of principle who were no longer willing to live under the thumb of a king who failed to recognize their God-given right to freedom and who had abused their nature and stolen their work in the form of taxes levied without their consent.
At the very beginning, the genesis of the American Revolution was a policy dispute that the king decided to solve by sending his army, navy, and Hessian mercenaries to deal with at the point of a bloody bayonet. It was a tax policy dispute wherein the American Colonists argued that they should not pay taxes to a government in which they had no representation.
Does this seem insurmountable — this issue of representation and taxation? Why not throw the Colonials a couple of seats in the House of Commons and maintain the flow of payments to the king, no? But that did not happen.
The storm gathers, growing discontent?
Today we see a growing discontent about the government handling of the Pandemic and the government’s power unleashed on employers to enforce government mandates with the risk of continued employment dangled over employees and large fines enacted against the employers.
Take a second, close your eyes — have we seen this movie before? Does this feel remotely familiar?
1. The American Revolution started over a squabble about tax policy.
2. Currently, we have a government Pandemic policy that companies with 100 or more employees must ensure their employees are vaccinated or the government will impose draconian financial penalties on the companies for the non-work related behavior of their employees and the companies will have to terminate the employment of their employees who do not comply.
Seems like an awkward approach to force employers to enforce a vaccine mandate totally unrelated to the employer-employee relationship. How about a dental flossing mandate?
This policy did not arrive as a law having weathered the legislative process in the US Congress; it came from the desk of the POTUS as a “mandate” not unlike the utterance of a king.
The POTUS/king did not consult with the “several states” and lead them to a solution or negotiate the terms of the mandate — he published his mandate with unappealable regal authority which would have made King George III smile.
3. Unable to obtain redress of grievance with their king, the American Colonials drafted a Declaration of Independence and severed the relationship with their mother country. This did not please the king.
4. This Declaration of Independence vexed King George III and he sent his army, navy, and Hessian mercenaries to put down the revolution, to curb dissent, to punish the perpetrators, and to kill anybody who offered battle. Immediately thereafter we had a shooting war in America.
Which brings us to the issue of Southwest Airlines and its cancellation of more than 2,000 flights over the last few days.
Southwest Airlines — was it an act of civil disobedience?
What really happened at Southwest Airlines? There are different answers to that question depending upon who you ask.
1. We do know that more than 2,000 SW flights were cancelled. That fact is irrefutable.
2. The company leadership — CEO Gary Kelly — attributed the cancellations to “bad weather in Florida and air traffic control issues.”
Gary vehemently denies that there was a mass “sick in” related to the White House Pandemic mandate. He insisted that the Pandemic mandate had “zero” to do with the flight cancellations.
The scuttlebutt at the departure gates was “no pilots to fly the stinking planes.”
3. The President of the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association suggested the “real reason” for the cancellations was “problems reassigning thinly-stretched staff to new flights.”
This explanation, of course, is not the same thing as “bad weather in Florida and air traffic control issues.”
The company, SW Airlines, denies that they put on new flights with insufficient staff.
4. The Federal Aviation Administration that employs the air traffic controllers initially did not offer an explanation, but ultimately came out with a fierce statement:
To be clear: None of the information from Southwest, its pilots union, or the FAA indicates that this weekend’s cancellations were related to vaccine mandates.
This statement was distributed by the most authoritative organ of truth available: Twitter. <<< for some reason this just cracks me up
Later, the FAA illuminated and expanded its response by attributing at least part of the problem to “technical issues” which is, of course, a powerful and wonderfully transparent bit of explanation.
What really happened, Big Red Car?
Well, nobody really knows, but let’s attempt to connect the dots, shall we?
1. Last Friday — day before the mass Southwest Airlines massive flight cancellations — the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association (the pilots’ union) petitioned a Federal Court to block the White House Pandemic mandate.
2. The next day, Southwest Airlines began to experience staffing issues of such magnitude that they had to cancel more than 2,000 flights in the next three days.
What staff component presented the biggest problem? The pilots, more clearly the absence of the pilots, same chaps whose union filed the lawsuit the day before.
3. Some wiseacres will be tempted to suggest the legal action also impacted the weather in Florida and air traffic control staffing — erected some technical issues — but who really knows?
Your Big Red Car is tempted to say that the legal action was backed up by an “informal” protest undertaken simultaneously by the individual SW Airlines pilots, but, as I said, who really knows?
All we know for sure is that more than 2,000 SW Airlines flights were cancelled and that various contradictory explanations were offered, none of which was a protest against the White House Pandemic mandate.
What else happened, Big Red Car?
There were a few other interesting developments.
1. SW Airlines admitted it is having a difficult time obtaining compliance with the White House Pandemic vaccine mandate.
2. SW Airlines has now offered to exempt employees who have valid religious or medical reasons why they want to pass on the vaccine jab.
3. SW Airlines management has made it clear that its staff will follow the White House Pandemic mandate and be vaccinated by 24 November 2021 or face the consequences.
Like King George III, nobody is backing down. What does this portend for the future? For holiday travel? Not good.
Bottom line it, Big Red Car
The country is roiled by a White House Pandemic mandate that imposes enormous financial penalties on employers of more than 100 workers and workers are at jeopardy of loss of their livelihood if they fail to comply with the mandate. This White House Pandemic mandate is being challenged in the courts
In effect, the White House seeks to force the companies to become their henchpersons in the enforcement of what is clearly a highly unpopular mandate — the SW Airlines pilots’ union contests it is unconstitutional.
What is also clear is that the rate of vaccination is lagging across the country when measured by White House expectations and like King George III they are not negotiating any compromise or solution.
Stay tuned. This is going to get very sporty. You really want to see the economy go in the crapper? Kill the air travel industry. We’ve seen that movie.
But, hey, what the Hell do I really know anyway? I’m just a Big Red Car and it’s Wednesday.