Labor Day: Celebrate the 99% and the protections we earnedPosted: September 3, 2012
Because even though I remain angry at Obama, I’ve “fallen in hate” with Mitt Romney. And I’m horrified at the prospect of that creepy Randroid Paul Ryan being one heartbeat away from the highest office. At any rate, I suspect that Ryan will be the true power in a Romney administration. He’ll be the new Dick Cheney — except his brief will be domestic policy, not foreign policy.
I have just been through yet another national disaster. I’ve had more than my share of them. I just finished my FEMA registration for help. My delightful private insurance company got the state to pass a law to raise my deductible from Hurricane Damage to about what they paid me after Katrina which didn’t cover enough as it was. Now, I pay an exorbitant rate and I’m staring down damage with about a $7,000 hurricane deductible. The good hands people have their hands out for my premiums but that’s about it. I get phone calls, visits, and lip service for that. I’m on my own for whatever nature deals me except for the idea in the US that when our citizens are down and out, we help them back up. This is an idea that is nonexistent in today’s Republican Party and in their candidates Governor “I got mine” and Congressman “I got mine and want yours too” and they are both willing to lie to improve their lots in life and diminish ours.
I’m thinking about Labor Day and the things we now have because of the Labor Movement, FDR, LBJ and even (gasp) Richard Nixon, Teddy Roosevelt, and Dwight D. Eisenhower. These were leaders that looked to the needs of the country and the people. Teddy Roosevelt saw our vast national treasures and preserved them for all Americans. Richard Nixon did not deny the impact of pollution on our natural resources or toxins on our hapless workers and families. Eisenhower knew that we needed vast infrastructure to grow our economy and our people. FDR and LBJ knew that if the least among us could not provide for themselves, we needed to give them a hand up and pull them into a growing, educated, and productive, middle class. These are things that the current Republican Dastardly Duo would like to remove from us and have been actively working to remove for us. Their vision for America is an America that works for only them and their select cronies. I will not abide by that.
I’m am thinning out my Facebook friends list rapidly of people I knew around 4 years ago that I thought supported my vision–not the Romney/Ryan vision–because it is also the vision of Bill and Hillary Clinton. I’m all fine with the support of third party candidates but any one that tries to send me propaganda that Romney is a feminist based on hiring a few women years ago back in Massachusetts and therefor deserves my vote can frankly sell their frigging uterus and announce themselves a neutered slave imho. You’re going to be deleted from contact with me on Twitter and Facebook and you’re not going to be very welcome here either. I will not watch everything I care about–our immigrant heritage, our appreciation for the rights of minorities, women, GLBT communities, and others and our heritage of doing right by the least among us–be destroyed by greedy Vulture Capitalists who lie. I don’t care how mad you are at Obama, if you’re encouraging this group of race-baiting, women-hating, middle class destroying, religiously intolerant Republicans then be prepared to axed from my list and be moderated into byte hell here at Sky Dancing. Again, I’m fine with any one that wants to tell me about Jill or Rosanne even though I will argue if you live in some states we should have a frank discussion about Al Gore and Ralph Nader eventually. But, I do not–under any circumstances–want to read any one that tells me that the Romney/Ryan ticket are our friends. I don’t care if you decide to skip the presidential ticket either. Although, again, I’m not sure if I could do that if I lived in a swing state. I am all happy with you criticizing POTUS because on many, many issues, the man deserves criticism.
But, I cannot think of ANY circumstances under which Romney or Ryan are going to be a friend to working people, teachers, firefighters, forest rangers, women, immigrants, gay men, lesbians, transexual and bisexual people, animals, the planet earth, children, or the general welfare of the United States of America.
The new platform — with its call to reshape Medicare to give fixed amounts of money to future beneficiaries so they can buy their own coverage, its tough stance on illegal immigration and its many calls to shrink the size and scope of government — shows just how far rightward the party has shifted in both tone and substance in the decades since it adopted the 1980 platform, which was considered a triumph for conservatives at the time.
Subtitled “We Believe in America,” the platform keeps its focus on the party’s traditional support for low taxes, national security and social conservatism. And it delves into a number of politically charged issues. It calls state court decisions recognizing same-sex marriage “an assault on the foundations of our society,” opposes gun legislation that would limit “the capacity of clips or magazines,” supports the “public display of the Ten Commandments,” calls on the federal government to drop its lawsuits challenging state laws adopted to combat illegal immigration, and salutes the Republican governors and lawmakers who “saved their states from fiscal disaster by reforming their laws governing public employee unions.”
Gov. Bob McDonnell of Virginia, the chairman of the party’s platform committee, described it as “a conservative vision of governance” in his speech at the convention.
There are tons of things in the GOP party platform that are so offensive to me that I cannot believe another human being would consider them anything other than anathema. It includes shit like “we support English as the nation’s official language.” It damns Democrats for “replacing civil engineering with social engineering as it pursues an exclusively urban vision of dense housing and government transit.” Think about this anti-abortion plank which recognizes no dissent and states unequivocally that “the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed.” I have not spent my life as a feminist activist to watch every single thing I’ve worked and fought for burned to the ground.
Is that your vision for our country? If it is, frankly, I do not want to hear from you or know you. Here’s a Bush Republican–Matthew Dowd–talking about today’s Republican ticket. (h/t to RalphB and Joseph Cannon)
I cannot abide with any one who says rescuing people from their flooded-out homes is not the responsibility of our society. I cannot abide with any one that says providing basic social insurance so that the elderly can live their lives out in dignity compared to hoping and praying the money doesn’t run out and the market doesn’t abscond with their retirement savings is just the private sector at work. I do not want our children educated by a bunch of ignorant religious zealots who do not believe in the truth or science. I believe in public education. PERIOD. You can fricking pay for religious indoctrination with your own money. I will gladly pay to preserve our national treasures like Yellowstone, The French Quarter, and other historic and natural places. I do not want them farmed out to the likes of the Koch Brothers as a source of profit to be pillaged, polluted and destroyed. I do not believe you have the right to tell people who to marry and who to love and when life begins. I do not want anything that’s more efficiently put into the public trust turned over to vulture capitalists to leverage, sell, and destroy. I do not want to hear about how evil public workers are because they are willing to take lower pay for good secure pensions, jobs, and benefits. I want every one to have that. If you believe any of that and you can still support Romney and Ryan, you’re a damned fool and I don’t want to hear from you. I don’t want to read you. I don’t want to have anything to do with you. Again, we can disagree completely on the effectiveness or whatever of the Obama administration. I hear you on that. But if you support evil, you’re evil as far as I’m concerned. Go find some hell hole and hang with the other demons.
Meanwhile, I want to raise up the people who did fight for our civilization and who fought to make life better for all of us in this country.
It is essential that there should be organizations of labor. This is an era of organization. Capital organizes and therefore labor must organize. My appeal for organized labor is two-fold; to the outsider and the capitalist I make my appeal to treat the laborer fairly, to recognize the fact that he must organize that there must be such organization, that the laboring man must organize for his own protection, and that it is the duty of the rest of is to help him and not hinder him in organizing
I have always been interested in organizations for labor. I have always felt that it was important that everyone who was a worker join a labor organization, because the ideals of the organized labor movement are high ideals.
They mean that we are not selfish in our desires, that we stand for the good of the group as a whole, and that is something which we in the United States are learning every day must be the attitude of every citizen.
We must all of us come to look upon our citizenship as a trusteeship, something that we exercise in the interests of the whole people.
Only if we cooperate in the battle to make this country a real democracy where the interests of all people are considered, only when each one of us does this will genuine democracy be achieved.
We hope to make the great battle which is before us today a battle of democracy versus a dictatorship.
I could not help thinking as we sang “God Bless America” that you who have seen hardship for so many weeks in your fight to better conditions for everyone involved must sometimes think that things are not as they should be in this country. I am afraid that I agree with you.
I know many parts of the country and there are many that I would like to see changed, and I hope eventually they will be changed.
But in spite of that I hope that we all feel that the mere fact that we can meet together and talk about organization for the worker and democracy in this country is in itself something for which we ought to be extremely thankful.
There are many places where there can be no longer any participation or decision on the part of the people as to what they will or will not do. And so, in spite of everything, we can still sing “God Bless America” and really feel that we are moving forward slowly, sometimes haltingly, but always in the hope and in the interest of the people in the whole country.
“Those who would destroy or further limit the rights of organized labor — those who would cripple collective bargaining or prevent organization of the unorganized — do a disservice to the cause of democracy.
Fifty years or so ago the American Labor Movement was little more than a group of dreamers, and look at it now. From coast to coast, in factories, stores, warehouse and business establishments of all kinds, industrial democracy is at work.
Employees, represented by free and democratic trade unions of their own choosing, participate actively in determining their wages, hours and working conditions. Their living standards are the highest in the world. Their job rights are protected by collective bargaining agreements. They have fringe benefits that were unheard of less than a generation ago.
Our labor unions are not narrow, self-seeking groups. They have raised wages, shortened hours and provided supplemental benefits. Through collective bargaining and grievance procedures, they have brought justice and democracy to the shop floor. But their work goes beyond their own jobs, and even beyond our borders.”
Our unions have fought for aid to education, for better housing, for development of our national resources, and for saving the family-sized farms. They have spoken, not for narrow self-interest, but for the public interest and for the people.”
My daughters likely learned this song in utero because I love it and I sing it so much. This will always be my favorite labor song. Please share yours with us.