Friday, December 29, 2006
So of course, Edwards has made his announcement--he's in.
And I'm seriously thinking about sticking with him this time out. For one thing, he announces in the Lower Ninth Ward, New Orleans. Which says a lot about his intentions of at least talking about the ways that our government screws over poor people.
And whom does he pick to run his campaign? David Bonior. For those of you who've never heard of him, no Congressman (past or present) is more connected to labor and its issues than David Bonior. He is working people. Since he left office, he's been directing American Rights At Work, the union-backed organization dedicated to reforming labor laws and giving back people the right to organize.
And when asked directly about cutting the deficit, or spending on healthcare and education, Edwards doesn't duck, he says that given the choice, the only serious option for America is a serious investment in our healthcare and education. In other words, Edwards is rejecting corporate-Democrat style 'thinking' in favor of a commitment to the middle class and working people.
- They weren't able to keep open the Tyler, Texas plant beyond 2007;
- They suffered a two-tier pay system--that means wage givebacks for new employees only. This is the kiss of death for any union because new guys have to work alongside more senior guys, knowing all the while they'll never reach their pay grade. It kills any sense of solidarity among workers;
- Goodyear initially offered $660 million for an employee retiree health care fund. They ended up settling for $1 billion, but the union wanted double that, so it looks like management got the better end of the deal.
But hey, Goodyear's stock shares went up by 10 cents, so that's good, right?
Thursday, December 21, 2006
No. Seriously. He did it in writing, in a letter to his constituents, no less.
Well, Mr. Ellison has taken the high road in dealing with this piece of poo-poo:
“I’m looking forward to making friends with Representative Goode, or at least getting to know him. I want to let him know that there’s nothing to fear. The fact that there are many different faiths, many different colors and many different cultures in America is a great strength.”Whatta guy. Look, we're going out of town for several days over the holidays. If I post anything, it will be infrequently.
So maybe that wasn't good news after all.
Well how about this? It's totally good news--if your name is Lloyd Blankenfein. He just got a $55 million dollar bonus from Goldman Sachs, which posted some kind of stupid quarterly profit growth. After of course, Goldman Sachs extorted over a billion dollars in tax breaks from NYC, using 9/11 as a billy club to truncheon the tax payers. Stay classy, Goldman Sachs!
Now, about that exploding demand for food at food pantries and homeless centers...I'm sure there's totally no correlation there at all. Nope. Totally unrelated topics.
Now, about that cake...
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Monday, December 18, 2006
Sunday, December 17, 2006
In other news, after a close election, the man who led New York City's transit workers on that illegal strike has been reelected. This AP article claims mixed results for the strike, but the only downsides I can find in the article are the costs of the fines imposed on the strikers and their leadership. Otherwise, they walked away with a solid deal after shutting the city down for days.
Saturday, December 16, 2006
These are not that. They are far superior in terms of funniness-hahaha.
via. I love the jazz hands!
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
the most insightful read on the 2008 Presidential Race I've so far read...and other unnecessarily long titles
Hillary is so so so annoying. Please please please do not nominate Hillary.Yes. And what else should I know about this quadrennial clusterfuck that is American Democracy In Action (TM)? What say you on that young man, Barack Obama?
Further, Obama is a black Yankee who is way smarter than you, more charming than you, nicer than you, better looking than you, and could probably seduce your wife, you daughter, and your mom, in front of you, at Christmas dinner, in five minutes flat. Obama is approximately one pair of assless chaps away from being the Sum of All Cracker Fears, which means you can forget about winning the South at least.Yikes! That's an image. I also think he has seduced my mom*, though it wasn't in front of me. What are your conclusions, Editors?
Edwards isn’t going to win. Goddammit, it’s Hillary, isn’t it? Goddammit.Pretty much sums up how I feel on the subject.
*Just kidding, mom! But really, if it happens, put in a good word for me with the man.
Monday, December 11, 2006
"Encouraged by a Reagan administration in Washington and rising Thatcherism in Europe, these military regimes instituted a savage free-market capitalism, in many cases reversing decades of carefully constructed social welfare reforms. At gunpoint unions were outlawed, labor laws were abolished, universities were stifled, tuition was hiked, national health care and social security programs were privatized and these already unequal societies were rigidly stratified into rich and poor, strong and weak, the favored and the invisible."
"Burying Pinochet this week in itself won’t make this task any easier. In some odd ways it might make even make it more difficult. As long as he was alive, even in a gargoyle state, he was a grotesque reminder of all that has haunted the continent, all that has been left unresolved. Good, let’s bury him now and post an armed guard at his gravesite, making sure he again never rises. And then back to the work of healing what he has wrought."
He came to power in a coup, overthrowing the democratically elected Salvador Allende, a socialist doctor, who was elected by Chileans after years of military oppression. Allende committed suicide with a submachine gun as troops surrounded his presidential palace.
The coup even started on September 11, 1973. How's that for irony?
We'll forever be linked to this blot on humanity, because we aided and abetted his rise and empowered his hostile takeover. We never once reined in his most violent excesses, and, as the quote below reveals, never apologized for our support for this murderous thug:
MOTRON HALPERIN: I think every word of that was argued over for a very long time. There were some of us who thought we owed them a straightforward apology. And there were others who thought it* went as far as it should and there were many others who thought that went much too far. I think it does make clear the US government understands its actions contributed to the disruption of the democratic process.*Halperin is referring to a decision by Bill Clinton to release thousands of documents that shed light on exactly what and how we enabled Pinochet to do. It's not a pretty sight. It's pretty revealing however that significant parts of our government thought that releasing these documents, years after the Cold War was over was 'too much' information for our democracy to sustain.
When people talk about 'missing the Cold War', this is the kind of stuff they miss. They are fools.
Saturday, December 09, 2006
A minor blow-up occurred when he revealed he'd have his picture taken being sworn-in on the Q'uran and not the Bible. Turns out lots of Congressmen don't swear in on the Bible, but the clod who started all the fuss isn't backing down.
Well that's not the only reason he's caused a stir. He blew off a reception with President Bush to go to an AFL-CIO reception instead. And why? I'll let the man speak for himself:
"It was not a close choice; it was easy to make,” Ellison said, adding quickly that he would have attended the reception had there not been a conflict. “The intent was not to disrespect the presidency,” Ellison said. “Would it have been better for me to say ‘screw you’ to the AFL-CIO? To tell the organization that represents people who work so hard in this country every day on low wages with either no insurance, or expensive insurance that they can barely afford, who are sending their kids to die in a war that we don’t know why we're fighting? I’m suppose to tell them no, I’ve got to go hobnob with Mr. Bush? No."But he's not a gloomy naysayer about America. I think this sums up what's to love about this land:
“America is an 'overcomer' nation. Nobody’s born perfect. All we can ever do is overcome. And America overcomes every time … You can talk about how racist, sexist, homophobic and all that America is, but the noblest ideals of this country shine through consistently. What could be better than that?”I like this guy. I'm going to keep my eye on him.
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
Monday, December 04, 2006
Now that first guy just strikes me as a tool, and I'm not surprised he's a business professor from Wake Tech or whatever. The response that if you can't improve conditions in Belize, then it's pointless to try and improve things here is philosophically self-serving and lazy. It's hard to change things, and besides if you do, other things may happen that are also bad is a good reason to never get out of bed and do anything.
Harris Teeter shopper Bob Silver, a business professor at a local community college, said Saturday's protest may be counterproductive.
First, Silver said, the demonstrators' signs urged solidarity with Smithfield workers but didn't specifically call for a boycott of their products. He had to ask to figure out what the demonstrators wanted him to do.
Second, he said, exploitation of workers is a global issue that needs a comprehensive solution to keep corporations from simply moving to less-regulated states or overseas to avoid costly upgrades.
"They're probably just going to drive them [Smithfield] out of the state," Silver said of the union.
But Sonnya Quinn of Raleigh was happy to see the demonstration.
"It certainly is refreshing to me to see people upset about something," said Quinn, a retired journalist who called herself an old liberal. "There's so many injustices in this country that people are just too busy to think about, I guess."
The second woman seems kind of oblivious, but in a friendly and supportive way, so God Bless her, I guess. It's really not that hard to find people who are outraged about the way things are, if you do a bit of searching, like say, anywhere.
And then there's this article in the Wilmington press which actually interviewed the people involved to get their take on it, and we come away with the following perspective from the clergy supporting the workers:
The Rev. Hudson Barksdale, pastor of Gregory United Church of Christ in Wilmington, signed the coalition's original letter of protest to Harris Teeter.It's good to see clergy getting in the act. They've been an enormous boon of support to the workers and are probably the only reason the union is even still in the running in Tar Heel.
"This is not, 'Don't shop at Harris Teeter.' This is not 'Don't buy Smithfield products,'" he said. "We say don't buy products from the Smithfield plant in Tar Heel."
He said it was especially important for pastors to protest because "Christ was about justice, and if we sit idly by when our brothers and sisters are suffering . . . then we are not Christians."
Wal-Mart: Sure, you've worked here twenty years, and we just capped your wages, and cut your hours, and you have no set schedule, and if your child gets sick, that's an unexcused absence, and if that happens four times you get fired. Sure, all of that is true. But you know what?
Wal-Mart: We're going to give you a polo shirt if you stick it out for twenty years, and on top of that, on top of THAT! We're going to give you a 10% discount on one (1) item, on top of the 10% discount you already get.
Worker: And unions are awful, why exactly again?
Friday, December 01, 2006
<----- Note the happy seagulls.
We also did some decorating for Christmas at both of our parents' houses, and I snapped a pic of someone's Santa Collection. It's like a lineup in Law & Order: Christmas Intent.
Also, we got our first snowstorm of the year, canceling a trip to Springfield for me. I got a neat picture of some oddly melted snow on my car today. The snow actually melted away from the car, but didn't fall off.