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Supreme Court justice
Seen: Washington, DC
not really being a
Last weekend, I was reading a sad
article from the Detroit Free Press.
The story was about Alphonse Maddin, a man who
once worked for the Big Three automakers as a
designer. However, the 2008 recession hit,
causing him to switch careers. He became a
trucker for TransAm, which is based in Kansas.
One night eight years ago, he was hauling a
freight of meat through Illinois when he was
running low on fuel. He called his dispatch
and asked where to fill up. While he was
pulled over, the brakes to his trailer froze.
He called roadside assistance for help and
told him that they would come. So, Maddin
decided to lay down in his bunker. However,
three hours later, he was awaken by his cell
phone going off. It was a family member
checking on him. When he answered the phone,
his body was numb and could barely talk. The
heater to his big rig was broken and the
temperature in his cab was a bone-chilling -14
degrees. Maddin was scared that he was going
to die. He called roadside assistance again
and they told him "just hang in there". He
couldn't take it anymore, so he had no choice
to put matters into his own hands.
Alphonse got out of his cab and unhitched the
disabled trailer, filled with thousands of
dollars of meat. He was able to get his cab to
a gas station where he fueled up and warmed
up. He got back to the trailer where the
brakes where repaired and he was on his way to
make his deliveries. However, bad news was
waiting for him in Kansas.
Three TransAm employees cordoned Maddin to
come to a room, where he was fired. The
company found out that Maddin abandoned his
freight, a cardinal sin in the trucking
industry. Maddin ended up pressing charges
against TransAm under the Surface
Transportation Assistance Act, which prohibits
trucking firms from firing their workers for
refusing to drive an unsafe truck. The case
went in front of several judges over the
years, and last year the 10th Circuit U.S.
Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Maddin 2-1.
The court ordered TransAm to rehire Maddin,
who instead settled for back pay.
Despite having two college degrees, Maddin, 48
is living with family and friends until he can
get back on his feet. However, while doing an
internet search recently, he found out about
the only judge who voted against him in favor
And guess who it is? None other than Supreme
Court nominee Neil Gorsuch.
In his statement regarding Maddin's case,
Gorsuch wrote, "A trucker was stranded on the
side of the road, late at night, in cold
weather, and his trailer brakes were stuck. He
called his company for help and someone there
gave him two options. He could drag the
trailer carrying the company's goods to its
destination, Or he could sit and wait for help
to arrive. The trucker chose None of the
Above, deciding instead to unhook the trailer
and drive his truck to a gas station. In
response, his employer, TransAm, fired him for
disobeying orders and abandoning its trailer
However, in Senate conformation hearings,
Gorsuch claimed that it's his job not to write
the law but rather to enforce it.
So in other words, what Maddin did was illegal
in Gorsuch's opinion and deserved to be fired,
although his only other option was to freeze
to death literally. Nice.
And yet, this asshole wants to chip away at
abortion rights while real live humans suffer.
Folks, this is what happens when Repukes are
in charge. In 2005, I had 400-degree glue
poured on my arm at work. My shop didn't have
a supervisor and nobody told me to go to the
hospital. I ended up dumping a ton of
Neosporan and gauze on my wound. The next day,
my boss looked at my THIRD DEGREE burn and
simply said "oh, I'm sorry," and walked away.
Finally, after two weeks of the burn still
oozing and pussing out, my boss finally told
me to go to the occupational clinic where they
gave me ointment that cleared up the burn.
Twelve years later, My burn is still visible.
Of course, my ex-boss was a pure asshole who
also never gave me a real raise in the 10 1/2
years I busted my ass for him. Then again,
with BusHitler running the show for most of
the years I worked for him and the economy in
the shitter most of the time, I had no real
Now, we have another Repuke in the White House
and he's proving to us all that companies are
more important than people. Of course, he
thinks he's creating jobs - especially by
rebooting the coal industry - but they'll find
a way to get around the law so we all get
screwed while the 1% wins. But once again,
don't look at me because I didn't vote for the
The good news is that the Democrats are
banding together to filibuster Gorsuch's
nomination. Our country cannot afford
leadership that only cares about big business
over us. I cannot wait until next year so we
can start taking Drumpf's power away from him.
I hope the House and Senate have a Democratic
majority in 2018 so we can totally shut his
wealthy ass down.
And in the end, the Alphonse Maddins of the
world will all be happy.
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