Manchester Marches for Mike Brown

Folks in the city of Manchester and surrounding areas disgusted with the grand jury verdict have decided to make their voices heard.

 Michael Brown is seen on a tie worn by his father during the funeral

Photo from Reuters news service, mourners at Micheal Brown’s funeral.

 

On Saturday at 1:00 pm people will meet at Veteran’s Park to possibly do a small march and some sharing as well about their thoughts about the murder of Mike Brown and the fact that his murderer has been set free.

Veteran’s Park is located downtown on Elm Street between Central and Merrimack Streets. There will be plenty of parking around on Elm, Central and Merrimack Street.

Bring your friends, bring signs that express your outrage and be ready to express your outrage at this latest injustice against innocent citizens in this country.

For more information please see the Facebook event page at:

Manchester Marches for Mike Brown

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Injustice in Missouri

Paul of Adequately Outraged weighs in briefly on the events in Missouri and tells it very well.

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Injustice in Missouri

Mike Brown was shot dead. The man who pulled the trigger won’t face trial. Darren Wilson collected a small fortune of donations, some from white supremacist organizations. America has now invented crowdfunded murder.
The injustice landed tonight is a continued denial of Michael Brown’s humanity. Regardless of the skirmish that may have initially happened, the odds are that Brown was a good distance from Officer Wilson at the time of the shooting and unarmed. Wilson shot Brown 6 times and the body was left in the street for hours like carrion.
Trayvon Martin, John Crawford, Michael Brown and countless other young black men are tragic statistics of multiple problems’ confluence. Institutional and plantation racisms, police militarization, classism and overall economic inequality all factor into deadly circumstances. These are all causes that can be improved with community outreach and partnership building. The struggle faced by those in regressive areas of the land needs to be aided in all ways possible by allies.

I express solidarity with those protesting the travesty of justice in Ferguson, Missouri. Until Darren Wilson is brought to trial for the murder of Michael Brown, as would occur for any other fatal shooting, there is reason to suspect the system. I’m not worried about the protesters, I’m worried for them.

Good luck brothers and sisters. Keep safe. Hold your rage tight; do not forget it. Remember, though: this is for those we love.

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Whatever Happened to Overtime?

Here’s an excellent article from Politico magazine on another level of the increasingly easy way that the capitalist system is robbing regular people of their earnings.  While the workers who work by the hour feel their wages squeezed and benefits compressed. Wages have only grown about 18% over the last thirty years, see here, here and here].

While there is much focus on raising the minimum wage and its effect on our most impoverished workers, another struggle needs attention; the growing number of people working on salary.  Increasingly salary pay dominates the lower, and middle management business sector.  While traditionally upper management and executive management have allows worked on salary, the higher pay and the bonus package compensated for the increased responsibility and demand on one’s time.  As CEO salaries increase at an alarming rate in comparison to the average worker, salaried workers below them also have felt the squeeze in order to feed the top.  As explained briefly here in an NPR report, it has become common practice for low level management positions to have salary pay that is exempt from overtime rules or other benefits that hourly workers enjoy.  At the same time, most of the workers still earn in the lowest income brackets and do not enjoy the autonomy, high pay, benefits, stock option plans and other perks that the traditional exempt employee enjoys in exchange for giving up overtime compensation.

In other words, the current wage rules have become manipulated as a means for big business to increase their profit margins at the expense of workers.  Unfortunately many young people enter into this work culture unaware of the extent to which they are being duped.  Also, with our current culture of disallowing workers to discuss their pay rates, the shame associated with many low wage workers not wanting to share their pay rates and the fear of retribution if they complain, what would they do anyway?

While this article talks about the options that Obama has for making changes in the rules, the fact is, nothing will change until the people who suffer the hurt get out and demand change.  But nevertheless, its a very good article about the rise in an average worker’s work week, the increased pressure on workers and the lack of any increase in compensation.  Once we understand the problem, in a democracy its our responsibility to do something to fix it.  Its our country, our state, our local government, our lives.  In actuality, big business fears the collective power that would take place if all workers joined together and refused to support a corrupt system with their hard labor and lives.

Whatever Happened to Overtime?

by Nick Hanuer

If you’re in the American middle class—or what’s left of it—here’s how you probably feel. You feel like you’re struggling harder than your parents did, working longer hours than ever before, and yet falling further and further behind. The reason you feel this way is because most of you are—falling further behind, that is. Adjusted for inflation, average salaries have actually dropped since the early 1970s, while hours for full-time workers have steadily climbed.

Meanwhile, a handful of wealthy capitalists like me are growing wealthy beyond our parents’ wildest dreams, in large part because we’re able to take advantage of your misfortune.

So what’s changed since the 1960s and ’70s? Overtime pay, in part. Your parents got a lot of it, and you don’t. And it turns out that fair overtime standards are to the middle class what the minimum wage is to low-income workers: not everything, but an indispensable labor protection that is absolutely essential to creating a broad and thriving middle class. In 1975, more than 65 percent of salaried American workers earned time-and-a-half pay for every hour worked over 40 hours a week. Not because capitalists back then were more generous, but because it was the law. It still is the law, except that the value of the threshold for overtime pay—the salary level at which employers are required to pay overtime—has been allowed to erode to less than the poverty line for a family of four today. Only workers earning an annual income of under $23,660 qualify for mandatory overtime. You know many people like that? Probably not. By 2013, just 11 percent of salaried workers qualified for overtime pay, according to a report published by the Economic Policy Institute. And so business owners like me have been able to make the other 89 percent of you work unlimited overtime hours for no additional pay at all.

Read more at: Whatever Happened to Overtime?

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Labor’s Unsung Heros: Parts 1 and 2

From a brother working on the front lines of the labor struggle in New Jersey, Kevin Boston,

“It’s push or be pushed. The world belongs to the meat-eaters.” -John P. Morris

In society today, we have reached a point at which many people need to live within walking distance from their jobs- that is, if they have one at all. It has become very expensive to travel any distance to and from work: between fuel, maintenance, tolls, insurance, fees… Or bus fare, which is ever-increasing. A cab? Forget it! Jobs these days do not pay enough of a living to cover transportation, much less provide a subsistence for workers and their families. It’s amazing they even get out of bed for a minimum wage of $7.25/hr ($2.13 for servers) with no security, benefits, retirement, or rights whatsoever on the job.

It is beyond me how we have allowed the methodical downslide that has brought us to the point at which we are today; especially when we have been periodically warned well in advance by so many. The corporate-owned lamestream media is of little help, if any. They obediently skirt around the real issues wherever possible. If you have come of age in the last 20 years, you have been trained without being told that you have to accept the new reality: that a good life (like that in which you likely grew up) simply is not available to you. If you haven’t “made it” by now, don’t ever expect to… It’s not happening. I cannot accept that, and neither should you.

Where is the REAL LEADERSHIP in today’s Labor Movement? Certainly, it is not with our so-called “Leaders”… Where is the representation? Where is the fire in the belly? Where is the organizing? How do they continue to allow a select few of entitled blowhards to roll back decades worth of rights and gains for working class folks? Those in the 18-35 age bracket have NEVER known job security, a DECENT wage, or a comfortable standard of living that is even close to that once enjoyed by the previous two generations. They have amassed a large sum of debt in the name of education that presently, they cannot profit from. The interest is going to rise, and the only ones profiting will be the Pigs in the Boardroom in banks, schools, the government, and so on.

Look at the Dow. Look at CEO compensation. Look at advertising budgets. Look at real PIGS in the Boardroom; all of those who have bought and paid for seats in our “representative” government. It’s time to move some dead weight out of the way! If we had real leadership, everyone would be in the streets and on strike by now. The discriminating news junkie can easily filter through all the fluff pieces and front page stories and get down to what really matters: the real news, the truth- the good, the bad, and the ugly. What is ugly is that just out of John Q. Public’s scope of vision is a massive, expensive political agenda designed to wind back time. There is no telling how far back the Chamber of Commerce, Supreme Court, ALEC, Congress, and the rest of the big business lobby intend to take us; through their totally anti-worker agenda- inclusive of a weak job market, weak dollar, stagnant wages, rising personal debt, and an all-out assault against the interests of students, graduates, seniors, women, minorities, the unemployed, the disenfranchised, the homeless, the uninsured, the working class, and voters. Intentionally left off this list was the middle class, because in my opinion, that has all but gone extinct. If you work for a living you are working class. If you used to work for a living you are now poor. What they cannot hit you with through national politics has been taken up by hacks in the states, individually. Notice the heavy concentration of Republican governors dancing to the big business beat like the political puppets they are.

Personally, there is not enough coverage in the news about the assault on workers’ rights. The dismantling and stagnation of the NLRB (National Labor Relations Board) up to this point has been intentional, as was the nearly unnoticed death of EFCA (Employee Free Choice Act). Recent decisions by the courts, judges, and others regarding harassment, bullying, and limits set upon protests only exacerbate an already frustrating situation. To have large corporations such as Walmart fire and/or discipline some 40 striking workers; to have officials from the Teamsters, obviously in bed with employers such as UPS and YRC, pushing contracts that large numbers of members were unwilling to accept… None of this passes the smell test. Forty-seven percent of members of Congress are millionaires, and that begs the question: “Who is representing working people these days?” [Editor’s note: Not to mention the entire dismantling of the rust-belt and the near death of the core of American industry from autos to steel to machining.  Where was Lane Kirkland in the 1980’s? Where is Detroit now? What does working with capitalist bosses gain us?]

No one in the limelight is taking up the cause for working class folks in this country, save for a minute fraction of Congressional representatives and Senators. You won’t find them on the Supreme Court. As much as he talks a good game, we are still waiting for President Obama to don a pair of “comfortable walking shoes” and walk on the picket lines with striking workers. It is likely, however, that he has been advised by his controllers that this is something they forbid him to do. He will attend a rally, but strikes and rallies are far different in meaning. The “Leaders” of “Big Labor”? Most of those are more interested in their “big” paychecks and “big” perks, the fact that they wear a suit to work and negotiate agreements over lobster, shrimp, and wine, rather than representing their union members in earnest.

The main thing to remember is that no matter how upside down everything appears to be, there is nothing out of order here. The system is doing to us exactly what was intended: the choice is whether to allow it. It is entirely clear that working people in this country presently have no identifiable leaders, aside from Occupy Wall Street, Anonymous, and those willing to toss fear and consequences aside to make their point known, [italics added by editor] like the AFT in Chicago, Walmart and fast food workers, and UPS and “Rebuild/No more concessions” Teamsters. These people are self-led, self-directed, and driven by a cause that was nearly dead and anemic for the past 40 years. Welcome to the second phase of the Civil Rights era, as predicted over 20 years ago by Philadelphia Teamsters Leader John P. Morris, “Champion of the Working Man.”

Champion for the Working People

According to the late John P. Morris (1926-2002), a legendary Philadelphia Teamster Leader:

“If some company has to be union-free to exist, then who needs that kind of company?”

“A job that pays less than seven or eight dollars an hour, without any benefits, is not worth saving.” (1983)

There is no mystery at all as to why, if you live on the West Coast, in the South, or are below a certain age, you have never before heard the name Johnny Morris; or that if you have, it has not been in many years and you likely have forgotten about him. Mr. Morris was not at all like other Labor Leaders of modern times. He had the old-school grit, creativity, intelligence, and determination unseen since the very early days of the Labor Movement. Imagine for a moment a clean, honest version of Jimmy Hoffa Senior, and there you would have John Morris. Mr. Morris saw no reason whatsoever to engage in diplomacy when dealing with employers and government officials who would rejoice in seeing unions’ very existence legislated away. Teamsters everywhere, whether they know it or not, benefited greatly from his presence in the leadership structure. Never one to back down from a fight, Morris was quick with a witty line, a four-letter word-laden tirade, his one good fist, his trademark fedora, and was an expert at conducting a powerful, rousing Union sermon… Much of the former and the latter has spurred what have become renowned quotes and legendary stories.

His great organizing abilities and selfless representation of his contemporaries were recognized during his genesis in the Labor Movement: at the age of 29, he was given a new charter for a local Union to run on his own. Nothing big or fancy, and with just the 18 members from the department store he himself organized, the rest he had to build on his own through organizing and strikes- and organize and strike he did. People began to call upon his local for representation. All of the larger companies were already represented by the larger established locals, so that left the smaller businesses- usually with a forgotten, downtrodden, almost defeated workforce toiling under sweatshop conditions and severely in need of representation, a pay raise, some dignity, and health benefits. Many did not even have clean bathrooms available for their use. Those were the workers who had nothing to lose and everything to gain, and they would put it all on the line for their Brotherhood. Morris’ Teamsters in the Philadelphia region became such a powerhouse that he was elected president of the area Joint Council of Teamsters, and he later was able to create the Pennsylvania Conference of Teamsters, a regional Union STRONGHOLD which thrives to this day because of its member-directed power and its sheer numbers alone. Teamsters in the Pennsylvania Conference haven’t forgotten where they came from. Peak membership for the conference was around 140,000.

John Morris wrote a strike manual, the only one of its kind, that is still in use to this day. It was printed at the in-house print shop that he had built at Local 115 for Union publications. He created, ran, and even taught an organizing school that trained hundreds, if not thousands of union member-organizers. Had he been around for it, it is nearly certain that he would have had a food tent and educational seminars present at the Occupy Philadelphia encampment.

September 4, 1983, journalist Lucinda Fleeson wrote for the Philadelphia Inquirer: “In John Morris’s world, the needs of the workingman come first, the city’s economy second. Period. This ferocious devotion to the principles of unionism has made John Morris one of the most popular and powerful labor leaders in Philadelphia. As such- more so perhaps than any other union boss around- Morris embodies the conflicts and contradictions that come with the job of being a modern-day labor leader. A beefy, scrappy Irishman, he is a master of ’30s-style hard-nose tactics. Yet Morris, 57, almost always wears a three-piece suit and is usually accompanied by a retinue of attorneys and college-educated aides. He is a balding, pale-skinned man with a withered right arm, yet he revels in his physical mightiness and exudes undeniable charm. At times, he can be the picture of smiling affability, amusing a visitor with an endless stream of yarns and jokes. Yet he also has a temper, and his face can darken with thunderclouds of outrage in an instant. As secretary-treasurer of Teamsters Local 115, with 2,500 members, and president of the area Joint Council of Teamsters, with 85,000 members, he is the local chief of a union with one of the worst reputations in the nation. But while national Teamsters leaders are regularly sent to jail for one form of labor racketeering or another, John Morris is regarded by the FBI’s Philadelphia labor squad as ‘Mr. Clean.'”

The above appeared in a profile story entitled “The Toughest, Meanest Union Boss in Town.”

Luckily, several copies of that publication have survived all this time, because you will not find a link to the original piece online or in an archive, as far as I am aware. When you google John P. Morris, much of the information and many of the links that you will find, I have searched for and reposted heavily to make his visions of the Labor Movement more prominent and relevant again. However, most curiously, you cannot find any video archived footage of interviews or speeches featuring Morris- and believe me, there were plenty. John Morris was on the Philadelphia news more than any other Union Leader, spokesperson, agent, organizer, or anyone involved in organized labor. If you wanted Labor’s message, you went to John.

If there was some business he could not personally attend to, Morris knew exactly whom to send where and for what purpose. He did not take any flak from any employers, government officials, corrupt Union officials, the Mafia, even school officials both while he was a young man and student and later as the representative of schools’, municipalities’, and private-sector employees. When John Morris made a threat of a labor action, it was known to be taken seriously. Pictures of Morris-led strikes used to line the halls of the Local 115 building on Cottman Avenue in Philadelphia. It is thought that they were placed there so that the employers would walk down the hallway toward the conference room and be forced to look at what could happen to them if they crossed the Teamsters. This became so true that many planned labor actions were settled the day before striking was to take place.

Somebody somewhere in the Teamsters Union knows what has happened to these photographs, as they are not where they rightfully belong- with the Morris family. The true story of how Morris was hated by current Teamsters President James P. Hoffa, and how a scheme of political retribution had been unleashed upon and carried out against his last remaining powerful and ultimate foe- the last force which stood between Teamster democratic strength and unity (Morris), and a complete takeover by the “old guard” style of top-down business unionism espoused by Hoffa and his supporters, the latter of which we suffer under today- has not yet been fully told. After the witch hunt of Morris and his ultimate ouster, the rest fell in line like dominoes. These Hoffa operatives have tried their very best to bury the legacy of “The Last of the Molly Maguires” but they have failed. The real story behind all of that will surface in the very near future; they know what they’ve done and they will pay dearly.

No Labor Leader around today can match the giant that was John Morris. Even though he was respected by state and national politicians alike, the government was scared to death of him. He could not be bought- not by management, not by the mob, and not by the politicians. He was marked to die by the Mafia, but by the grace of God, Morris survived. He created and championed an aggressive and militant union action plan in his repertoire, and one that was widely recognized. Morris had a keen eye for the truth and made predictions about society and the political landscape that have come true, some 20 years since making them and more than 10 years after his death. John Morris saw it all. The quotes, the stories, the predictions, and the proud legacy live on through many hardcore, old school unionists who are not all too impressed by James P. Hoffa, who gained the Teamsters presidency simply through his name recognition and a good bit of help from the federal government. Before becoming the General President of the Teamsters, Hoffa Jr. had to work as an administrative assistant to a Detroit Teamster leader for two years just to earn membership rights to run for the top spot. Hoffa Jr. was elected president of the Teamsters without ever having run a Teamsters local or organizing a union contract.

More Morris Quotes:

“Companies that don’t treat their employees decently don’t deserve to survive.”

“I grew up in the day of the coal and iron cops fighting the unions, and let me tell you, the hate here against unions is like the hate there was 100 years ago. There’s no one who fights for the poor in this city or this country. The haves will never agree with the have-nots. We represent the have-nots. And because the Teamsters are a little tougher to deal with, because we stick up for our members, they try to make us look like the bad guys.”

“Anytime you get into a concerted activity that requires pressure, you got to offend somebody. You got to hurt somebody’s feelings… But I’ve always considered what the right thing to do is. There are certain things that you’ve got to say, there’s right and wrong.”

“The easiest thing to do is accuse us, but you know, an employer doesn’t think twice about hiring his own private army of security guards with dogs and sidearms. It’s an accepted practice. Look- we could take the easy way out. We could let strikebreakers through our picket lines. We could allow anybody to run over our people, and it would soon be well known all over town that Local 115 can’t take it. If we were the kind of union that accepted low wages and no benefits and all the rationalizations, then we would be a general run-of-the-mill union and we wouldn’t be protecting anybody.”

“Working people are not going to get decent pay anymore, (In place of the labor movement), I think there’ll be social unrest. I think there’ll be something like the civil rights movement. It’s my hope it will turn into a third party. Not a labor party. A third party.”

“If you want to organize, you’re going to get arrested.”

“If you let them get away with that, they’re gonna eat your breakfast!”

“We’re not putting up with that!”

 

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Colbert Reveals the Keene “Difference Makers” for What they Are: “Huge Douchebags”

These children are free from the tyranny of Big Government.

These children are free from the tyranny of Big Government. Their early life experiences will probably lead them to positions of great wealth and entrepreneurship.

And apparently the extremist wing of the Free State Project adherents don’t get the joke.  Chris Cantwell, the most recent immigrant to Ian Freeman’s Keene commune (a duplex in the city of Keene) posted last night on his personal blog about his appearance on the show.  Not surprisingly he seems completely unaware that the entire Colbert show consists of satire.  Amazing really considering how they like to think of themselves as masters of the art of propaganda.  One would think that a master of propaganda and messaging and self described masters of the stealth attack using media would know when the jaundiced eye turns on them.

The intro does a wonderful job of making the obvious tie-in between the far right extremist establishment Republicans and the basis of the libertarian ideology; they both make hyperbolic statements about “tyranny”.  Although the origins of the tyranny assumption may vary slightly;  its not lost on most who bother to notice that the evangelical far right and the Tea Party crowd especially felt tyranny sneaking up when a black man took a position of leadership over the country.  The Free Keeners, the more radical end of the Free State Project adherents and capitalist libertarians in general tend more to see all civil infrastructure,  including that in place to protect human rights and safety to be tyranny against capital.

Slight difference only in that the libertarian anarch0-capitalists deserve credit for being honest; they just hate government because they are selfish, greedy psychopaths.  Having a humane and peaceful society requires some sacrifice on everyone’s part, but elitist capitalists tend to have a problem with this and why not? If they don’t need government services they figure, why should they pay taxes for others to have them (you and me that is)? When we work for two cents an hour, they win.  What happens to you is your own business.

Tea Partiers on the other hand,  like to cloak their greed and selfishness in language that pulls on old class divisions, racism and other hatreds.  In the end though, they all push the same agenda; pulling our civilization back a few hundred years so the people get the chance to start the struggle for justice all over again, but this time in a far more controlled and closely watched global environment.

The fact is that those who follow the libertarian agenda of global capitalists but aren’t global capitalists really need to have something to hold onto.  Afterall, you have to have something loose in your head to believe that removing all protections for workers, protections against discrimination, protections against industrial pollution, protections for consumers and so much more would mean that “liberty” would blossom for us all. Most of us can understand that the number who’d enjoy such liberty in such anarchy would be small and probably wouldn’t be us common folks.

So when the far-right libertarians such as the Free State Project followers rear up their ugly heads and commit their antics to the public eye, the temptation to mock their foolishness cannot be overlooked.  Here for your entertainment we have the Colbert report giving a pretty good picture of the bravery and hard work of the “Free Keeners”, none of whom work but support themselves on pixie dust and the generosity of a local trust funder whilst harassing city employees just trying to do their job.

Before you, our intrepid readers venture onto watching this highly entertaining well executed segment, we’d like to draw attention to some note worthy quotes.  Most notable was Chris Cantwell stating what’s obvious to everyone; that open carry is a form of intimidation and a direct effort to suppress speech.  At about 4:12 Cantwell states, “I find that when I carry a gun people are very unlikely to hit me.”  They are also very unlikely to speak up and call you a jerk or even say that your ideas are wrong.  Ironic for people who profess to be all about free speech isn’t it?

This really is a rare confession of the bullying mindset that proffers among the gun-nut crowd.  They do see themselves as armed vigilantes for what they see as right.  In fact Stephen Clark of Portsmouth Patch also highlighted the gun factor among the Free Staters and their antipathy for anything agreed upon by the collective people, including elections and their right to use “force” to turn the tide their way.   Please help yourself here:  Opinion: William Kostric and Me

Also, before we move onto the video, note one other quote from Garett Ean right after Cantwell, who says, “You cannot be free from an idea so there cannot be freedom from Free Keene for people who just live here.”

In other words, all the tax paying, community participating people in Keene who live, work and raise their families there, you “just live here” according to Garett.  Possibly Garett could tell us all exactly what he’s doing in Keene if not in fact just living there in the purest sense of the phrase because as far as anyone has ever been able to tell and actually in accordance with the Free Keene and Free State Project ideology and practice, most of the Free Keeners don’t work and if they do, they do not pay taxes.  So much for the evils of the “nanny state”;  it seems that Keene has become the unfortunate nanny for this bizarre cult of Koch Brothers style libetarianism.

http://thecolbertreport.cc.com/videos/dvppp6/difference-makers—the-free-keene-squad

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Remembering a Martyr for Labor: Joe Hill

Joe Hill

Born Joel Emmanuel Hagglund on October 6, 1879 in Sweden and later known in America as Joe Hill, died on November 19, 1915.

Convicted of murder on no more evidence than that of some eye-witnesses to the murder.

Since our post is late and after his date of death we’ll not tarry any further composing our own essay since many have written extensively already on his life.

We will leave you with inks to his bio from the IWW site and ironically a very good write-up from the AFL-CIO labor history site (Joe hated the AFL-CIO as many other IWW members did as they rightfully felt they compromised union strength by working with capitalists).

Also, wikipedia has an good write-up about his trial as well.

We’ll also leave you with some musical tributes as well, which seems fitting since Joe’s live was committed to using music and the lyric as his means of organizing.

 

I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night,
Alive as you or me
Says I, “But Joe, you’re ten years dead,”
“I never died,” says he
“I never died,” says he
“In Salt Lake, Joe,” says I to him,
Him standing by my bed,
“They framed you on a murder charge,”
Says Joe, “But I ain’t dead,”
Says Joe, “But I ain’t dead.”
“The copper bosses killed you, Joe,
They shot you, Joe,” says I.
“Takes more than guns to kill a man,”
Says Joe, “I didn’t die,”
Says Joe, “I didn’t die.”
And standing there as big as life
And smiling with his eyes
Joe says, “What they forgot to kill
Went on to organize,
Went on to organize.”
“Joe Hill ain’t dead,” he says to me,
“Joe Hill ain’t never died.
Where working men are out on strike
Joe Hill is at their side,
Joe Hill is at their side.”
“From San Diego up to Maine,
In every mine and mill,
Where workers strike and organize,”
Says he, “You’ll find Joe Hill,”
Says he, “You’ll find Joe Hill.”
I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night,
Alive as you or me
Says I, “But Joe, you’re ten years dead,”
“I never died,” says he
“I never died,” says he

*************************************************************

                

            

 Workers of the World Awaken!
by Joe Hill

taken from the site for the International Workers of the World, a still active international labor union for all workers

Break your chains, demand your rights.
All the wealth you make is taken
B y exploiting parasites.
Shall you kneel in deep submission
F rom your cradles to your graves?
Is the height of your ambition
To be good and willing slaves?

Arise, ye prisoners of starvation!
Fight for your own emancipation;
Arise, ye slaves of ev’ry nation, in One Union Grand.
Our little ones for bread are crying;
And millions are from hunger dying;
The end the means is justifying,
‘Tis the final stand.

If the workers take a notion,
They can stop all speeding trains;
Every ship upon the ocean
They can tie with mighty chains;
Every wheel in the creation,
Every mine and every mill,
Fleets and armies of the nation,
Will at their command stand still.

-Chorus-

Join the union, fellow workers,
Men and women, side by side;
We will crush the greedy shirkers
Like a sweeping, surging tide;
For united we are standing,
But divided we will fall;
Let this be our understanding-
“All for one and one for all.”

-Chorus-

Workers of the world, awaken!
Rise in all your splendid might;
Take the wealth that you are making –
It belongs to you by right.
No one for bread will be crying,
We’ll have freedom, love and health,
When the grand red flag is flying
In the Worker’s commonwealth.

-Chorus-

 

 

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Its the Economic Inequality Stupid!

A recent financial investor report issued by non-partisan economists at Standard & Poor’s rating service, concluded that slow US economic growth is directly attributable to income inequality.   This is no left of center political organization and they are not driven by ideology. S&P helps investors make money, so what they say shouldn’t be taken lightly.  Today they warn that income inequality in the US is at its highest levels since the 1920’s and this inequality is dampening US GDP growth  “at a time when the worlds biggest economy is struggling to recover from the Great Recession and the governments need to support an aging population.”  S&P economists are just informing investors of where the US economy is headed.  They go on to say that there isn’t enough demand for goods and services to maintain strong economic growth because the middle class doesn’t have the purchasing power  needed to drive our economy. They warn, that high income inequality can feed on itself, as the wealthy use their resources to influence the political system toward policies that help maintain that advantage, like low tax rates on high incomes, tax avoidance loop holes, subsidies for corporations, and low estate taxes, and under investment in education and infrastructure.
Sound eerily familiar to what’s been going on in the US over the last 3 decades?  Sure does.
Today one political party, the GOP is pushing an ideology of more tax cuts for the rich & corporations, keeping their generous tax loopholes and subsidies, and refusing to revise the outdated tax code. They oppose any efforts for campaign finance reform and getting secret money out of our elections.  Do you ever wonder who is paying for all those misleading commercials?  The GOP also opposes raising the minimum wage, supports privatizing Social Security, supports turning Medicare into a premium support voucher program, while slashing funding for programs that actually help the poor & middle class. They also promise to dismantle the NLRB, it’s part of their war on unions and labor and keeping US wages low.  They are also against efforts to lower interest rates for student loans.  Why would they want to make it harder to get a good education?  S&P concludes that investment in education would add 2.4% annually to our GDP growth over the next 5 years.
Then why would the GOP support spending cuts to education and our crumbling infrastructure, if it would help improve our economy?  So do they really care about it?   Then they have the gall to say ” where are the jobs” then blame the President for slow economic growth caused by the policies they so strongly support.
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Without coming out and saying it, this S&P report clearly points a finger at the flawed GOP policies of trickle down economics, and cuts to education and infrastructure.   Without a doubt, the future of our country’s middle class isn’t a top priority for the GOP.  The just play lip service to their constituents, while catering to the powerful and secret donors that play them like a fiddle, while the American Dream is burning.
The results of the this mid term election guarantees this trend will continue, sadly at your expense.
Dennis Dubois
House candidate for Strafford District 10
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Power to the People: How Ballot Initiatives Can Achieve the Change We Need

Progressive Action NH:

Just linked to us from Paul Brochu, a very dedicated activist and NH IWW leader. Paul proposes that possibly there’s another avenue to getting our work done on key issues on the national level besides relying on career politicians.

ballot initiatives

Originally posted on Adequately Outraged::

By: WP Brochu

The 2014 mid-term elections are officially in the books. Barack Obama’s Democratic party (or so the RNC would have voters believe) took a shellacking on a national level and more ethically suspect politicians have been sent to snuggle up with K Street in January. This next American Congress will continue its dysfunction as the millionaires that are overseeing the operation of a civilization are locked in a perpetual theater of struggle. Fortunately, the continuing momentum of progressive ballot measures in deeply conservative states suggests that the glorified petty popularity contests politics have become can be bypassed with direct mandates from the people.

The grinding machine of traditional electoral and legislative politics has refined itself through years of research and experience in publicity, image manipulation and importance of access to a powerful few. The causes become entwined with the people and whole movements can be stymied through either…

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Random Catch from Facebook

Tomorrow marks the termination of the Tower of London, a remembrance of British troops who served in World War I.  Ceramic poppies were made and planted in honor of each soldier killed in the conflict. While the establishment makes their own remembrance of war, we prefer those who make the deeper observations about war and human assumptions and social systems that support it.

Writing from Core Luminous

The Irony of the image of a bloody moat around a kings safe house and prison, the power protected by the sea of blood, the blood of men and women .. real living people, their lives utterly thrashed in the name of power.

The fact is that we live within a social system of hierarchical power, which is violent, extremely dangerous and at present causing great harms. It’s a similar dynamic to an abuse relationship that has become Institutionalized *(-if a number of people, who share a psychological issue, build a social structure, it will carry and express their psychology within it.)

and then, over time, as the Institutions garner more power, they never let go of it, and in time the Institutions ‘needs’ – to enhance it’s power and status, to run a bigger budget, deal with competition, etc – takes priority and so the cycle continues, to replace human community needs, and the institutional behavior becomes more embedded.

 Writing from Keeb Questions

This is very strange, almost like a river of blood spewing from one of the windows of the Tower of London, a venue of torture and horror. We rarely question the relationship between dependency and deception; in the space between power is able to rise and take hold. Power exists because we are not sovereign. Tyrants, those that pretend to be your friend (your government) and those that don’t (your dictator), exist because we put them there. Don’t say i am fighting to preserve my way of life, that way of life is corrupt. If you want to end war give up being British. Queen, country, all that rot.

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Wherein Cruz Sings for his Supper, Lies to America and Gets Another Corporate Donation

Its always said where there’s smoke there’s fire but in the case of the Republicans, when they start having a hissy over some proposed new rule or regulation its best to take a second look.  In the Hill a piece entitled “Cruz Warns of Obamacare for Internet“.  In typical slavish obedience to his corporate masters, Cruz hammers away hysterically at the last vestiges of reason left in his audience.  The Hill reports Cruz as carrying on, “Net Neutrality’ is Obamacare for the Internet,” Cruz said on Twitter Monday morning. “The Internet should not operate at the speed of government.”

The Hill also adds that, “Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), who is expected to become the chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee next year, added his fear that Obama’s demand “would turn the Internet into a government-regulated utility and stifle our nation’s dynamic and robust Internet sector with rules written nearly 80 years ago for plain old telephone service.”

Yet when one reads further into the story and does a little scoping for the truth what comes up is quite a different story.  Net Neutrality is obviously not a healthcare plan for the intertubes although nearly all of us might need some serious healthcare if we wake up to find our internet dominated by Disney and the History Channel.

The current dispute over the Obama administration’s proposal to reclassify ISP’s as common carriers under Title II  of the Communications Act would allow the federal government to install guidelines to ensure that ISP’s do not attempt to split internet access into a multi-tiered platform.  If this were to happen (which is want the large ISP’s want, large providers able to pay high fees will get high speed access to offer at higher rates to their customers (corporations) while the smaller and less monied providers will be left with slower ISP service.  Most likely the cost will be so high that only large providers with specifically geared marketing content interests will dominate the internet that you and I will see the most of.

On the Free Press blog today is another explanation:

The President Might Have Just Saved the Internet

This piece originally appeared in the Huffington Post.

During his first run for the White House, Barack Obama promised that he would take “a back seat to no one” on Net Neutrality.

Today, the president finally got in the driver’s seat.

Early this morning, President Obama issued a clear and powerful statement of support for real Net Neutrality — one that left no wiggle room or confusion about where he stands.

The short summary for anyone who has been following the debate over Net Neutrality: THIS IS HUGE.

The president’s statement is worth quoting at length:

An open Internet is essential to the American economy, and increasingly to our very way of life. By lowering the cost of launching a new idea, igniting new political movements, and bringing communities closer together, it has been one of the most significant democratizing influences the world has ever known.

‘Net Neutrality’ has been built into the fabric of the Internet since its creation — but it is also a principle that we cannot take for granted. We cannot allow Internet service providers (ISPs) to restrict the best access or to pick winners and losers in the online marketplace for services and ideas. That is why today I am asking the Federal Communications Commission to answer the call of almost 4 million public comments, and implement the strongest possible rules to protect Net Neutrality.

As a result, access to news that covers all interests and most importantly questions the powerful in that society (in America most likely big business and its close ties with government) will not get aired. Content will be tacitly reviewed and any content that might be perceived as too challenging, controversial or digging too deep will not get aired.

Like television today where the costs prohibit an individual or small group to have their own station only those with the funds and able to keep the funds rolling in have stations.  Like television as well the interests will more than likely be commercial to pay the high fees demanded of the large ISP’s and thus content will be geared to market that pays, which will mean gearing content to the lowest common denominator.

The demise of PBS stations have reflected the move most people have made to the internet, but it also reflects the commercial and marketing nature of television; without large funds rolling in the station dries up.  While we won’t get into a conversation about whether the government should have continued to support public broadcasting, the fact that its support has been drastically cut is reflected in its content.  Gone is cutting edge journalism and creative and diverse content. Do we want our internet to become the same dead space that Springsteen once railed about in his song “57 Channels and Nothing on?”;  a dead space of empty advertising and brainless programing?

Even beyond the most basic is the fact that the FCC itself seems to have far too much undue influence by the large ISP companies and cable companies that want to make the internet their private profiteering route.  Suffice it to say, the is far from dead or dormant and people need to pay attention and take action where needed.

Please check out the website below by a group out of Florence, MA, Free-Press and their Save the Internet campaign.

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