You ever listen to what people say – really listen – and find yourself scratching your head, trying to figure out what on earth they were trying to communicate?

Sometimes they seem to be saying nothing at all, and wasting a whole lot of breath and vocabulary in the process. “What was the point of that comment?” you might ask yourself, realizing that nothing has been elucidated or embellished by it. Or you might wonder why they even bothered to weigh in on the subject if they had nothing to add. It's perplexing.

Even more confusing is when comments seem to contradict the presumed perspectives of the commenters.

Take this quote for example: “If … employees can obtain the services of a union to negotiate and administer a contract without having to pay either union dues or the agency fees, they would – naturally and predictably – be seriously discouraged from joining a union.”

Well, duh. No kidding, eh? Did that statement of the obvious really need to be made? Who is going to pay for something given for free?

But what's more interesting is the underlying idea that there's something wrong with discouraging union membership, the idea that union membership should actually be encouraged.

Coming from a union representative, it would make perfect sense. Coming from a judge, it's disturbing.

Nevertheless, the words above were penned by Kanawha Circuit Judge Jennifer Bailey in her decision to issue a preliminary injunction blocking the implementation of our state's new right-to-work law. 

Last month, the state supreme court reversed her decision, dissolving the injunction and remanding the case back to Kanawha County, in the process provoking a dissent from Justice Robin Davis, who wrote “a corollary right to expect nonunion member free riders to bear their proportionate share of the cost of the union’s collective bargaining activities.”

That “corollary right” exists nowhere but in the mind of Robin “Lear Jet” Davis, who's determined to find a head-scratching rationale for her dissent.

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