Though deeply entrenched in the digital world, there remains an enigmatic appeal to holding a book or magazine in our hands and turning pages. This explains why the arrival of the conservative Weekly Standard in the mailbox each week is such a pleasure.
The magazine runs the gamut from serious commentary, analysis of the news to dashes of humor. Today we bring you the humor, which we all so richly deserve after the antics that dominated the news this past week. This selection is from The Scrapbook:
Hero or Goat?
The latest threat to the American workforce has arrived, and it’s on four hooves.
A public-employee union is up in arms over a team of blue-collar billy-goats employed to clear brush on a college campus. The union claims that by using the animals, Western Michigan University is snatching jobs away from union workers. They’re not kidding around, either—the union has filed a grievance against the university. Their complaint is a sort of inversion of Orwell’s Animal Farm motto: Two legs good, four legs ba-a-a-a-ad.
What’s particularly delightful about this conflict is how it pits two key leftist enterprises—public-employee unions and college environmentalists—against one another. After all, the reason Western Michigan University chose goat grazers in the first place was concern for the environment. Eschewing chemicals, the college instead opted for the green solution, hiring a team of 20 goats to clear 10 acres of rough bramble and poison ivy. Last year a trip of 10 goats proved efficient and sustainable, and the current flock is ahead of schedule.
Alas, such environmental considerations weren’t enough to pacify the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. The union was quick to leap to the defense of its members in the face of the ruminant menace.
And just how great is that menace? The Washington Post did the math and found that in one month, one person with a tractor can do the work of 3,600 goats. Even if all 2.5 million goats in the United States were employed, they would only threaten 347 full-time human jobs nationwide.
Small as that number may be (and it’s nothing compared with the threat posed by automated robot goats), it’s not nonexistent, which leaves leftists with a dilemma. It seems to The Scrapbook that there is an obvious compromise that would satisfy all parties: The goats should unionize.