Saturday, January 24, 2015

Yard sign riposte, and Antica cabernet

I was wondering when some bright soul would think up a riposte to the yard signs you see around the neighborhood, announcing in red and blue, "Proud Union Home." These cropped up, it seems to me, around the time of the 2012 presidential election, and they seemed to be a way of saying "I vote Democrat" or "Yay Obama" without actually saying so. (Perfectly fine attitudes, why not say so?)

As I drove past I used to idly think what a good riposte would be. "Proud Free Home" perhaps? But that would not be fair, since our neighbors with their union signs are also fellow citizens who are free -- well, as free as any of us. "Proud Right-to-Work Home"? Too much text for a two-foot-by-two-foot placard, and anyway "right to work" has a political definition, a backstory as it's called, that also won't fit. What was needed was some sort of three-word slogan to convey the idea, "We respect your right to put up a union-friendly yard sign, and we are glad that years ago labor unions agitated for things like the 40 hour week and paid sick days, but experience is teaching us that in the long run, unions sink the ship. They demand that businesses try to stay in business while paying money to men who no longer work and to their survivors as well, sometimes for decades. It can't be done. Public sector, government-job unions are even worse. Survivors' paychecks must come from the tax payers, which means that if you in that Proud Union Home are a former schoolteacher perhaps, then I in the home without a yard sign am supporting you. You're welcome."

It did occur to me that a yard sign simply saying "You're Welcome" in red and blue might be pithy enough, but it would also be too cryptic, even if it was placed directly next door to the proud signs in question. And we can't have a square of cardstock big enough to go on musing, "You know, half the reason unions even got their start was through government largesse. The good old Sherman Anti-Trust Act should have included labor unions as 'criminal conspiracies in restraint of trade,' exactly as the evil robber barons' businesses were, but organized labor was specifically exempt from that. And then the Wagner Act imposed federally established labor unions on business, did you know that? (See Hughes and Cain, American Economic History, sixth edition, Chapter 18, 'Big Business and Government Intervention'). It's not all about how solitary and martyred you are." No, TLDNR -- too long, did not read, as the young people text nowadays.

But somebody has thought of something. A yard-sign riposte. Driving around doing errands yesterday, I saw more than one large white square, planted in a bare, wintry garden bed or in front of a picture window, proclaiming: "Blessed Christian Home."

There you go. It does everything the Proud Union Home sign does. It states a fact about a private family, but also in three simple words it arrogates to itself a hundred virtues and an entire heroic past, a backstory, which it seems to deny to all neighbors who haven't got the sign. I would think that many PUH families looking at the BCH signs would pause as they fetched their mail or carried their groceries from the car and say, "But wait a minute. We're blessed, too. And besides ...."

Now there is no reason after all this why you may not have some wine. This time, it's from California. 2009 Antinori Family Estate Antica cabernet sauvignon. Retail, about $35.



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