Labor Day: Celebrate the 99% and the protections we earned

I’ve joined Joseph Cannon at Cannonfire who is now displaying this sentiment:

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

Teddy Roosevelt in the so-called Bull Moose Speech

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.

 Eleanor Roosevelt Address to the IBEW

“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.”

John F Kennedy

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.


54 Comments on “Labor Day: Celebrate the 99% and the protections we earned”

  1. ecocatwoman says:

    Thanks to you, especially, & the earlier link to today’s post at Crooks & Liars, I put up a new blog post on my personal blog as well:

    I didn’t feel the need to write much opinion because you knocked my socks off, kat. This, IMHO, is your best post yet. THANK YOU.

    • dakinikat says:

      I guess five days of hell puts a fire under me. I still can’t believe he told a woman with a flooded home to just go home and dial up the charities.

      • ecocatwoman says:

        Business genius, they say. Makes one wonder, doesn’t it?

        BTW, the whole Republican “let the charities handle the problems of those in need, instead of government” makes my blood boil. We know it’s not the richest among us who support the types of charities that help drug users, prostitutes, runaways, unmarried pregnant girls/women, the homeless, the unemployed, animal rescue, the environment and so on. It’s the middle class and lower income folks. Well, dismantling the middle class, which seems to be the Republican goal, will also dismantle the charitable safety net as well. F*** us, we’re on our own if those guys get their way.

      • RalphB says:

        He must have meant she should go to her lake home or her home at the shore and phone from there. Homes are like cadillacs or dancing horses, who only has one?

      • bostonboomer says:

        It doesn’t take a “business genius” to raise millions from other rich guys, saddle up a company with debt lay off the workers or cut their pay to minimum wage, take their pensions to give them to your rich investors.

        Romney had connections from his dad, his church, and Harvard and he had the lack of moral values to do whatever it took to screw the little people and hand the profits over to his buddies. He never took any kind of risk either. He was guaranteed from day one that if Bain Capital failed, he would still be just fine.

      • RalphB says:

        Well, here’s a Republican who has no fucking clue what Labor Day is about!

      • bostonboomer says:

        Oh for Pete’s sake! Cantor is moron. Now he wants labor day to be given over to celebrating rich bosses?

      • northwestrain says:

        Some of the stores seem to think today is memorial day — they have big flower displays for the graves (just like they did on Memorial day in May). And Washington is very much a Union State.

        I was predicting that there was going to be a major move to refocus labor day — and damned if I wasn’t right.

        Labor Day — the day to worship the 1% and their nearness to god.

    • Beata says:

      Boston’s branch of The Workmen’s Circle singing “Rise Up in Protest” :

  2. Boo Radly says:

    Smoking rant, Dak!! I’ve eliminated anyone I know who thinks the GOP platform is acceptable. Cut down acid reflux totally. You can’t teach-inform them.

  3. dakinikat says:

    Women Who Love Republicans Who Hate Them

    I know there is no monolithic voting bloc called “women”—femaleness, like maleness, is cross-cut with race, education, class, income, ethnicity, religion, marital status, even geography. I also know we all make allowances for our own side, which usually boils down to forgiving men for sexual shenanigans and insulting “gaffes” (aka blurting out their true feelings) that no woman politician would get away with. But with that fully acknowledged, I still want to say: Women! WTF?! After all the weird, heartless, misogynistic, ignorant things Republican men have said about women and pregnancy and rape over the past month, I’m ashamed for my sex that any woman is still planning to vote for Romney and Ryan.
    nd a lot of them are: 51 percent of white women, to be exact. What’s the matter with them? Do they have Stockholm syndrome? And how about you, women of Virginia—21 percent of whom in a just-issued Public Policy Polling survey say they “strongly” agree that abortion should be banned even in cases of rape and incest? (For women 18 to 29, it’s 32 percent.)

    Ladies, I doubt you read The Nation, but I’m going to say it anyway: The Republican Party is not your friend! It does not respect you or even like you. Rush Limbaugh thinks women who use birth control are sluts and prostitutes. Ann Coulter regrets that women can even vote. Most recently, you may have heard, Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin said it’s “really rare” for women to get pregnant from rape because “if it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” He has said he “misspoke” about “legitimate” rape—he meant “forcible,” another problematic word—and denies believing that women have magic sperm-killing plumbing. But both ideas—that only some rape really counts as rape, and that such rape doesn’t cause pregnancies—have long, inglorious Republican pedigrees.

  4. peregrine says:

    I agree with every word you wrote about these (dis)compassionate conservatives who have endorsed 2 wealthy men to lead a country and to disregard real dire, short- or long-term circumstances. There are Americans who can’t sustain a full-time job because of illness, disability, low intelligence, and/or mind-wrenching poverty. I want the safety-net to remain in tack. I want all government aid to disaster and emergency situations to remain. I want government to stay out of women’s choice to abort a pregnancy. I want a decrease in the defense budget. I want my taxes, which are of a higher percentage than Romney’s, to be spent on education, at all levels from pre-school to college. I want all these campaign pledges to protect the middle class backed up with plans and truthfulness about implementaion. I want the GOP to cease holding this country back.

  5. Pat Johnson says:

    This is by far the best goddamned rant I have ever read as to why voting AGAINST this hateful bag of manure known today as the Repubican Party!

    The most logical and reasonable diatibe against morons who would consider ever, ever voting this extremist radicalism into office and take satisfaction in doing so.

    Brava, dak! I wish I could have said it as well.

    • peregrine says:

      Wall Street and billionare Romney supporters are nearly succeeding in buying this election by using talking points [like it’s your money, poor people should work (regardless of circumstances), all entitlements are a drain on the economy, and Obama-blame] that the GOP hoi polloi can regurgitate. However, the GOP 99% loyalists don’t realize that these business, “money men” work to make money at any cost to line their pockets. The scheme is unAmerican and unconscionable. Their war is against anyone who is not fantastically rich, white, male, hetero, and stupid.

    • ANonOMouse says:

      “This is by far the best goddamned rant I have ever read as to why voting AGAINST this hateful bag of manure known today as the Repubican Party!”

      This is the best goddamned post ever. I have forwarded it to everyone on my email list. I long ago culled the RATFUCKERS and the GOP/Teaparty people from my email list. May they all rest in pieces.

  6. bostonboomer says:

    I love this post! It’s brilliant. I’m glad Joseph Cannon is dumping all the “Romney and Obama are the same” commenters. I’m sick to death of people who once pretended (?) to support Hillary and now are advocating for Rmoney. What kind of sick freak does that?

    Anyone who reads this blog should know enough about Romney and Ryan at this point to see the difference. I started out this election season thinking maybe I’d just vote downticket or maybe third party. Now, I’m voting for Obama come hell or high water. I don’t even care that he’s already going to carry my state. It’s a matter of principle to me to reject those two greedy, selfish, cruel assholes.

    There are plenty of things I’m not happy with about Obama–especially when it comes to human rights issues and support for unions. But I believe he has shown some signs of growth in office and he has the potential to do better in a second term. I have no evidence that Romney will lift a finger for anyone but his own class.

    • RalphB says:

      You stated my own position better than I could have done. My own state will go red this time but I’m still voting for Obama out of principle. The vote is the only voice I have and I need to make it heard, even in a small way.

      • dakinikat says:

        Same here. Romney may win Louisiana but I hope with a smaller margin than McCain did because I will vote Obama just to do this. I just want to register complete rejection of everything today’s Republican party tries to push.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        “You stated my own position better than I could have done. My own state will go red this time but I’m still voting for Obama out of principle”


    • northwestrain says:

      BB I don’t understand how former Hillary supports could turn to Romney. There is absolutely no comparison — Romney may even be a Neanderthal. Romney holds women in contempt — that his his cult belief. Women are no more than baby machines.

      • dakinikat says:

        I can’t believe they are all still so bitter for past history. I’m looking at a bunch of people with a more jaded eye since 2008 but I’m not going to embrace some one who doesn’t represent one of my values just to be angry about politics. There are so many left over bitters. Although, I left the old place because it was getting overrun by tea party republicans. I don’t think any of them were real democrats in any sense of the word. And again, they should just sell their uteri and embrace the slavery if they’ve gone to the Romney/Ryan evil. I can’t believe that you can be so bitter to vote against your own interests. Like I said, I understand ALL positions BUT voting for Romney Ryan. Any one that can embrace that level of lying and evil isn’t worth a blink.

    • janicen says:

      Absofuckinlutely! This is a call to arms. Anyone who thinks the two candidates aren’t different has their heads up their orifices. Any vote cast that is not for Obama is going to be considered a nod to the Christian right. I am in a swing state, but it had not been considered a swing state prior to 2008. I remember voting here from the 1980 presidential election through 1996 and knowing that my vote was wasted. It counts now. Don’t be discouraged, those of you in “solid” states. It can change and the change begins with you.

      I love this post. Big hugs to bostonboomer and dakinikat and all the Sky Dancers. Thanks for keeping it real.

  7. Beata says:

    Excellent post, Dak.

  8. HT says:

    Wow! Brilliant post Kat, and I’m so glad to see it. I’ve watched over the past few years as blogs I used to read regularly were infiltrated, and the former regulars just disappeared, mowed down in the path of those so called “Hillary” supporters who turned on a dime. On the other hand, Little Green footballs, which used to be part of Pjamas media has totally done an about face and is now eschewing the R&R brand of “conservatism”. Strange times we live in.
    As for women being their own worst enemies, yes, yes and yes again.

  9. northwestrain says:

    The extreme hatred of gays by the GOP — in fact this party supports the murder of homosexuals in Uganda — this is unforgivable.

    It has been noted by several pontificators that the GOP didn’t include some sort of war platform. OH but they did — the GOP/religious right’s WAR on Women that was a major part of the GOP platform. Women’s uteri are claimed for the GOP by eminent domain. Women are to become slaves for the GOP.

    I will always remember that the Mormons killed the ERA.

    Way back in the 70s I spent a summer in Europe. Back then in Europe the gay couples could be in the open (in the states the cops were busy playing social police and arresting gays for made up reasons.)

    Students stayed in youth hostels and we generally recognized each other — often traveling from city to city on the same trains.

    My traveling partner and I were saved from rapists by two gay guys we recognized from the youth hostel. It is the damned non gay Swiss guys who were dangerous. Funny thing when the gay couple told us “hey we’re gay” — my friend and I said — “and we are so glad you are”. We then said look at those guys following us — we need help. So our gay escort got us to safety.

    Romney and his church and his party are enemies of women. I realize not all heterosexual males are the enemy — but damn in an emergency like I went through I want a gay guy — two are even better.

    And I’m voting for Jill — because I want to vote for a woman. Thankfully my state is solid blue — and a very strong Union state as well.

    How can women vote for Romney — especially if they realize that the Mormon heaven is for males only — women will continue to be slaves in this male Mormon heaven.

  10. dakinikat says:

    This is pretty funny.

    Gov. Jerry Brown may be a “retread,” but he’s confident he can run circles around New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

    Brown earlier this week dismissed barbs Christie made about Brown to California Republican delegates this week, but now he’s challenging the morbidly obese governor to a series of athletic contests.

    “There’s nothing wrong with being a little retread,” Brown told union members in a Los Angeles speech Thursday. “Not as much hair, I’ve slowed down a little bit, but I have to tell you, I ran three miles in 29 minutes two nights ago.

    “And I hereby challenge Gov. Christie to a three-mile run, a push-up contest and a chin-up contest. And whatever he wants to bet, I have no doubt of the outcome.”

    Christie told the state’s GOP delegates this week that he couldn’t believe California voters elected the then-72-year old former two-time governor over Republican Meg Whitman, the former eBay CEO who now runs Hewlett-Packard.

    “California made a bad choice by going with an old retread,” Christie said. “I’ve gotta tell you, Jerry Brown? Jerry Brown? I mean, he won the New Jersey presidential primary over Jimmy Carter when I was 14 years old.”

    That got Brown’s gander up.

    “Why should I be governor? Why not? I may know a helluva lot more than you,” Brown said. “Because when you were 14, I was passing the farm labor bill. I was passing worker protection in California.”

  11. ANonOMouse says:

    “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.”

    And that’s the truth!!!!!!

  12. ecocatwoman says:

    I doubt this with embed – it’s from the WaPo, A conservative view of the American worker:

  13. ecocatwoman says:

    Sensible, realistic message from Robert Reich:

  14. ANonOMouse says:

    Kat, this is such a great post, I’ve forwarded this along to friends and family.

    During the Chik-fil-a episode a few weeks ago one of my cousins called me upset because of how many facebook friends were supporting Chik-fil-a. She was so upset with the gay-hate coming from the right wingers that she ended up deleting a lot of her facebook friends. Also during that time I received an email from a former work associate who told me that my former boss had forbid the entire office from bringing any products into the office that were sold by supporters of Equality for the LGBTQ community. He literally told the entire office that supporters of L/G marriage would not be tolerated in his business. He’s an old southern baptist boy who hates gays and is anti-choice. The only reason I survived in that environment as long as I did was that my office workers guarded my privacy. He and I got into a few verbal jousting matches concerning women’s rights and gay rights and it was those confrontations that forced me to seek a new job. I knew almost from the beginning that he would fire me if he knew I was gay, just one of the perils of working in a right-to-work state

    How anyone who calls themselves a supporter of choice, gay rights, workers rights, freedom from religion can support R/R is beyond my understanding. Like Ralph, I will cast my redstate vote for OBAMA as a protest against the policies of the GOP/TP and I will wear my rainbow flag shirt when I do it.

    • dakinikat says:

      Thanks. I just can’t believe any one can support an agenda of hate, ignorance and Super Greed. Again telling a woman who had just lost everything and had a completely flooded home to go “home” and call United Way is just about the most ridiculous, uncaring, unrealistic, out of touch ASSHAT thing any one could ever suggest. Everything I saw coming from their hatefest is worth voting against. I hope every single one of them goes down and I don’t care if it’s a Green, a communist or a Martian that takes their office. Plus, the RNC did to Ron Paul supporters exactly what the DNC did to Hillary supporters 4 years ago and I don’t see any of those Romney\Ryan supporting so-called Hillary supporters complaining about that. I am looking forward to hearing Bill’s speech and I guarantee he will not say anything like we need a “real american” to lead the country or do anything to keep gays off the convention floor or tell women their recently fertilized eggs have rights and they don’t.

  15. northwestrain says:

    Headline on Huff Po:

    “Albright: I can’t understand why any woman would want to vote for Mitt.”

    That needs to be a bumper sticker!!

  16. affinis says:

    I agree with you and Joseph on the practicalities. And I’ve experienced the consequences of a full right-wing takeover of government in Wisconsin. We’re now facing the potential for this at a national level. But, at this point, I really, really like Jill Stein. So I might, for the first time, arrange a vote swap
    I’ll vote for Obama (IMO an unmitigated disaster of a Democrat) in Wisconsin (important swing state), with a Dem vote partner (who would otherwise vote for Obama) voting for Jill Stein in a “safe” state.