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Well indeed I remember my grandmother puttering about her Gilchrist garden humming snippets of IWW Wobblie songs of her and m’Gda’s hell-raising days.
Oregon homeboy Erik Loomis over at Lawyers Guns and Money has an interest in the history of labor relations, the timber industry, and political-based poetry of American history, of New Deal Agency Poetry. Here is one of the most famous (infamous?) of IWW (Industrial Workers of the World) ditties.
You’re either with us, or against us.
It’s not a question.
So put down the Ambien, Prozac, Viagra and crotch-shots on Fox Kool-Aid and turn off the television, because Republican President Theodore Roosevelt, in a speech On Why Environmentalism Is A ‘Patriotic Duty’, defined what it was to be a progressive, and why the true nationalists and patriots were progressives, and environmentalists, and you ain’t it:
Of all the questions which can come before this nation, short of the actual preservation of its existence in a great war, there is none which compares in importance with the great central task of leaving this land even a better land for our descendants than it is for us, and training them into a better race to inhabit the land and pass it on. Conservation is a great moral issue for it involves the patriotic duty of insuring the safety and continuance of the nation. …
“I ask nothing of the nation except that it so behave as each farmer here behaves with reference to his own children,” Roosevelt explained in the speech. “That farmer is a poor creature who skins the land and leaves it worthless to his children. The farmer is a good farmer who, having enabled the land to support himself and to provide for the education of his children leaves it to them a little better than he found it himself. I believe the same thing of a nation.”
Roosevelt then immediately pointed out, “Let me add that the health and vitality of our people are at least as well worth conserving as their forests, waters, lands, and minerals, and in this great work the national government must bear a most important part.” And he was blunt about the solution:
There can be no effective control of corporations while their political activity remains. To put an end to it will be neither a short nor an easy task, but it can be done….
It is necessary that laws should be passed to prohibit the use of corporate funds directly or indirectly for political purposes; it is still more necessary that such laws should be thoroughly enforced.
- The “greatest good for the greatest number” applies to the number within the womb of time, compared to which those now alive form but an insignificant fraction. Our duty to the whole, including the unborn generations, bids us restrain an unprincipled present-day minority from wasting the heritage of these unborn generations. The movement for the conservation of wild life and the larger movement for the conservation of all our natural resources are essentially democratic in spirit, purpose, and method.
- If in a given community unchecked popular rule means unlimited waste and destruction of the natural resources — soil, fertility, waterpower, forests, game, wild-life generally — which by right belong as much to subsequent generations as to the present generation, then it is sure proof that the present generation is not yet really fit for self-control, that it is not yet really fit to exercise the high and responsible privilege of a rule which shall be both by the people and for the people. The term “for the people” must always include the people unborn as well as the people now alive, or the democratic ideal is not realized.
- The conservation of natural resources is the fundamental problem. Unless we solve that problem it will avail us little to solve all others.
- The United States at this moment occupies a lamentable position as being perhaps the chief offender among civilized nations in permitting the destruction and pollution of nature. Our whole modern civilization is at fault in the matter. But we in America are probably most at fault … Here in the United States we turn our rivers and streams into sewers and dumping-grounds, we pollute the air, we destroy forests and exterminate fishes, birds and mammals’not to speak of vulgarizing charming landscapes with hideous advertisements.
- To waste, to destroy, our natural resources, to skin and exhaust the land instead of using it so as to increase its usefulness, will result in undermining in the days of our children the very prosperity which we ought by right to hand down to them.
This is what it means to be a progressive in the tradition of Teddy Roosevelt.
The bottom line is it is immoral for one generation to destroy another generation’s vital soil — or its livable climate.
You are an enemy of the American People, enemy of the American Way of Life.
And a clear and present danger to my grand-children’s future.
Fuck us once, shame on you, fuck us twice… President Obama is scheduled to visit Nike’s Oregon headquarters on Friday to promote the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Yes, Nike – an Oregon company that grew to billions by outsourcing jobs to overseas sweatshops, an Oregon company that sets up P.O.-box subsidiaries in tax havens to avoid paying U.S. taxes, an Oregon company that uses threats to extort tax breaks from its “home” state.
Nike isn’t the solution to the problem of stagnant wages in America. Nike is the problem.
It’s true that over the past two years Nike has added 2,000 good-paying professional jobs at its Oregon headquarters, fulfilling the requirements of a controversial tax break it wrangled from the state legislature. That’s good for Nike’s new design, research and marketing employees.
But Nike’s U.S. workers make only a tiny percent of Nike’s products.
In fact, Americans made only 1 percent of the products that generated Nike’s $27.8 billion revenue last year. And Nike is moving ever more of its production abroad. Last year, a third of Nike’s remaining 13,922 American production workers were laid off.
Most of Nike’s products are made by 990,000 workers in low-wage countries whose abysmal working conditions have made Nike a symbol of global sweatshop labor.
YO! Phil, thanks for the little money you’ve spent here. Now get the fuck out.
You’re not welcome here.
Fuck the Ducks.
After an all-night session known as a “vote-a-rama” in the U.S. Senate, the Republican-controlled chamber passed a budget bill early Friday morning that Democrats, all of whom voted against it, decried as a “disaster” for the economy and the American people. Outside critics were quick to assail the budget, which would cut federal spending by $5.1 trillions over ten years, as a preliminary blueprint for dismantling key programs of the nation’s social safety net while immediately gutting other key public services such as education, healthcare, and transportation projects.
The vote was 52-46 after a marathon session lasting until after 3 a.m. The House approved a slightly different version Wednesday night on a similar party-line vote.
Next up are compromise budget talks between the two houses, after which lawmakers will begin writing legislation to translate the non-binding plan into specific proposals that are likely to spark a struggle with President Barack Obama.
The Senate blueprint envisions about $5 trillion in spending cuts, and an overhaul of the tax code as well as repeal of the health care law.
Democratic leaders, according to the New York Times, say the budget likely to emerge from a conference between House and Senate Republicans will be nothing short of a “disaster” for the country.
This GOP budget is fundamentally unfair to the middle class. Americans deserve better.” —Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-Rhode Island)
“The only good that is coming out of this series of votes is that we are getting a good picture of who stands with ordinary Americans and who doesn’t, who is committed to making the economy work for working people and who are beholden to the interests of Wall Street and right-wing ideologues.” As Republicans posture for the 2016 elections, senators will increasingly make themselves sound as if they care about the plight of working people and are prepared to do something about it. But it is important to remember that when they had opportunities to say with their vote that they are prepared to do something concrete to create jobs, ensure women get equal pay, that college is affordable or avert damage from climate change, they turned the other way.—Isaiah Poole, Campaign For America’s Future
Because starvation wages are good enough for millions of hard working Americans.
Citing sources familiar with the situation, representatives of some of the nation’s largest banks—including Citigroup, JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs and Bank of America—have actively considered putting pressure on the Democratic establishment by making a coordinated threat to withold campaign contributions unless the populist rhetoric coming from Sen. Warren and her colleague from Ohio, Sen. Sherrod Brown, is toned down.
You know that old canard about banksters leaping to their deaths on Black Tuesday? It’s just that, a canard, history rewrit by those who can get away with it.
They didn’t jump.
Some people should be shunned: Dozens of climate scientists and environmental groups are calling for museums of science and natural history to “cut all ties” with fossil fuel companies and philanthropists like the Koch brothers.
A letter released on Tuesday asserts that such money is tainted by these donors’ efforts to deny the overwhelming scientific consensus on climate change.
“When some of the biggest contributors to climate change and funders of misinformation on climate science sponsor exhibitions in museums of science and natural history, they undermine public confidence in the validity of the institutions responsible for transmitting scientific knowledge,” the letter states. “This corporate philanthropy comes at too high a cost.”
The letter does not mention specific companies, but it does name David H. Koch, who sits on the boards of the American Museum of Natural History in New York and the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and has given tens of millions of dollars to those institutions.
Koch Industries is a privately held corporation with subsidiaries in energy and other industries. Mr. Koch and his family have funded conservative causes, including scientists and organizations that contest the role of humans in climate change.
These animals are a clear and present danger to the human species’ future.
The Washington Post reports on the very sad plight of a group of millionaires who just aren’t rich enough to garner the attention from politicians that billionaires do:
“They are only going to people who are multi-multi-millionaires and billionaires and raising big money first,” said Neese, who founded a successful employment agency. “Most of the people I talk to are kind of rolling their eyes and saying, ‘You know, we just don’t count anymore.’ ”
It’s the lament of the rich who are not quite rich enough for 2016.
Bundlers who used to carry platinum status have been downgraded, forced to temporarily watch the money race from the sidelines. They’ve been eclipsed by the uber-wealthy, who can dash off a seven-figure check to a super PAC without blinking. Who needs a bundler when you have a billionaire?
Many fundraisers, once treated like royalty because of their extensive donor networks,are left pining for their lost prestige. Can they still have impact in a world where Jeb Bush asks big donors to please not give more than $1 million to his super PAC right now? Will they ever be in the inner circle again?
“A couple presidential elections ago, somebody who had raised, say, $100,000 for a candidate was viewed as a fairly valuable asset,” said Washington lobbyist Kenneth Kies. “Today, that looks like peanuts. People like me are probably looking around saying, ‘How can I do anything that even registers on the Richter scale?’ ”
You may have made ten million dollars founding the most successful business in town since the sawmills, but to these creatures you’re no more important than I.
Only one budget proposal for fiscal year 2016 wisely deals with the real needs of Americans both in the present and the future. That’s the Congressional Progressive Caucus’s budget: The People’s Budget: A Raise for America. Unlike the slash-and-burn Republican budgets proposed in the House and Senate that would, in the words of Bill Scher, turn the federal government into a “shell of its former self,” the People’s Budget takes a New New Deal approach.
It’s not a formula for wild spending. In fact, it’s quite frugal. And it invests in projects designed to improve the well-being of all Americans instead of engaging as the Republican budgets do in giving the one percenters yet another boost.