The Republican vision is clear: "I've got mine, the rest of you are on your own." Republicans say they don't believe in government. Sure they do. They believe in government to help themselves and their powerful friends. After all, Mitt Romney's the guy who said corporations are people.
No, Governor Romney, corporations are not people. People have hearts, they have kids, they get jobs, they get sick, they cry, they dance. They live, they love, and they die. And that matters. That matters because we don't run this country for corporations, we run it for people.--Elizabeth Warren, 2012 Democratic National Convention
Here's a nicely done satirical song about Citizens United from one of the best--if not THE best--musical satirists around today, Roy Zimmerman. Pay him a visit at his web site and "like" him on facebook (he likes you, too).
"Four years ago, the Mitt Romneys of the world nearly destroyed the global economy with their greed, shortsightedness and – most notably – wildly irresponsible use of debt in pursuit of personal profit. The sight was so disgusting that people everywhere were ready to drop an H-bomb on Lower Manhattan and bayonet the survivors. But today that same insane greed ethos, that same belief in the lunatic pursuit of instant borrowed millions – it's dusted itself off, it's had a shave and a shoeshine, and it's back out there running for president."--Matt Taibbi in Rolling Stone
Go read: "Greed and Debt: The True Story of Mitt Romney and Bain Capital" by Matt Taibbi for the full story.
Thievery is what unregulated capitalism is all about.--Robert Sherrill, investigative journalist
History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.- Martin Luther King Jr.
Are you watching the GOP debates? I almost hope one of them wins, just to hear "Hail to the Chief" played on calliope.--Roy Zimmerman, satirist and folk singer
I am glad we are keeping the rich on the top floors awake at night with our racket. They sure as hell keep the working class awake at night with their rackets.—Jesse LaGreca, activist and blogger, in "Occupy Wall Street Crashes Bloomberg Cocktail Party"
Prosecute the bankers, Curb the lobbyists, Overturn Citizens United, Tax the rich, Take Back the country.—Protest sign at Occupy Wall Street
Double standards and situational ethics are the way the hyperpartisan game is played.—John Avlon, The Daily Beast ("Tea Party For The Left?")
Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.—John F. Kennedy
Labor has to get back into the schools, churches, and communities. This is where we started, and this is where we will resurrect the labor movement!
When protecting the systems in a society becomes more important than the people the systems are designed to protect, that society is in great peril.--Dr. Wilmer J. Leon III, Truthout
Compared to me, I guess I'd call Dr. Leon an optimist, based on the above quote (read his entire op ed here).
In my eyes, the warnings of grave peril passed long ago. In my eyes, America extinguished the final remaining spark in its soul at 11:08 pm on Wednesday, September 21, 2011. That's when the state of Georgia and the United States of America purposefully and knowingly executed an innocent man.
We are now officially a nation that knowingly puts innocent people to death at the same time we knowingly allow ghouls and War Criminals to walk free. And you wonder why the people have lost faith in their institutions of government?
We are a nation that actually rewards War Criminals with book deals and punishes the acquitted poor by charging them for the costs of the failed prosecutions (and, in some cases, persecutions). We are a nation which grants rights of personhood to corporations, while stripping rights of personhood from actual people. A nation where a contract with a billionaire is sacrosanct, but a contract with a union is nothing more than toilet paper.
“Equal Justice Under The Law.” That is a great goal. But that goal has not been realized.—Arthur Joseph Goldberg
The specifics of the case of Troy Davis are pretty well known. The prosecution decided upon their patsy and then fit the evidence to the crime. Inconvenient ballistics reports were suppressed. Witnesses coerced. Not a single piece of physical evidence--not one--linked Troy Davis to the crime. Of the 9 eye witnesses in the case, 7 have fully recanted their testimony. The 8th is a man who many believe to be the actual killer. The 9th could not physically have seen what he claims to have seen from the place everyone acknowledges he was. And what, then, is left of the prosecution's case? Reasonable doubt? Hell, there's no longer even a reasonable allegation? There is nothing. We have just executed a man based on nothing. Even members of the original jury have stated that they feel they were hoodwinked and even those who favor the death penalty generally have said that it's use in this case is a grave travesty and a miscarriage of justice.
The Supreme Court could not be bothered to do the right thing in this case. Troy Davis was poor, afterall. What does it matter if he lives or dies? If he is innocent or guilty? If justice is served or it is not? "Don't disturb my dinner for matters of the worthless poor," I can practically hear those 9 fat fucks saying derisively to their clerks. "Don't disturb me for anyone whose income is less than 7 figures." If there is one "positive" to come from all of this, it is that we can be absolutely certain--beyond a reasonable doubt, to borrow a phrase--that the souls of every last member of the Supreme Court are so blackened and covered in the blood of the injustice they have wrought that they will, themselves, be judged by higher powers one day...and found wanting.
This is class warfare. In America, the poor and the ignorant go to jail, while as the late Gil Scott-Heron said, "the rich go to San Clemente."--Dr. Wilmer J. Leon III, Truthout
What has become of America? What is left of her promise to her citizens? To the world?
Lady Justice has been abducted and replaced by the Queen of Hearts--blindfold replaced by a cash register--screaming "Off with their heads" for any one who cannot afford the millionaire entry fee.
America has become a nation of the rich, by the rich and most especially for the rich, and the land of liberty and justice only for those who can afford it.
The problem with unions today is that there aren't enough of them.--Martin Johns, 2011
If it weren't for unions, there would be no middle class.-- "Paul", web commenter on ABC News blog
America is being sold to the lowest bidders, and those whose jobs remain in this country are at the mercy of their employers.--Mary Shaw, writer and activist
With Labor Day upon us, I'm sure the 5 or 6 people who happen by here each month expect a righteous rant on the subject. But I don't have one for you.
This site is all about the quotes to me--keeping the collection alive and available, adding to it. This front page is primarily a pressure valve--a place to let off some excess steam when such a release is required.
Labor Day is a day of reflection for me. Labor Day is a day to remember that people died for fair wages and safe working conditions, that people died for the 8 hour work day. It's a time to be thankful for what we have versus what we would have without unions.
If you think for one second that your existence would be any different than that of the miners killed in Ludlow or the exploited immigrants in Lawrence, Massachusetts had it not been for unions, you're very much mistaken. But don't take my word for it. Now that our government is wholly owned by corporations--now that Republicans are rolling back worker protections such as the Child Labor laws and reneging on hard-earned pensions, now that Republicans are enacting laws forbidding collective bargaining itself, and, most importantly, now that Democrats are letting them and, in some cases, actively working with Republicans in this anti-worker crusade--you only need to stick around for a decade or so more and you'll live to experience it first hand.
And if you doubt that unions are responsible for America's middle class and that only unions can save it, there is a simple graph that proves the point beyond refutation.
The red line represents union membership rates from 1967 to 2009, while the blue line represents the middle class share of the nation's wealth. If you are making a living wage today, you can thank the unions, whether or not you're a member of one. If you are unemployed and/or not making enough to get by, you can thank the Republicans. It's true. Trace any of America's systemic problems back and you'll find their origins in the administration of Ronald Reagan. Of course that was before union bashing became bi-partisan fare. Before a Democratic President helped define "shared sacrifice" as workers sacrificing and the wealthy sharing that loot.
So no righteous rant from me today. Labor Day, for me, is a time of reflection. And, besides, I see no hope for the bottom 98% of Americans in the current political system. It appears things will have to get much much worse before they ever get better. If a righteous rant from me were enough to change any of that, I'm sure I'd never be permitted to make one.
The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist.--Verbal (Kevin Spacey), in the film "The Usual Suspects" (1985)
Here's a fine piece by Judy Perry to help you reflect on the importance of Labor Day.
And here is a video of Woody Guthrie's "Ludlow Massacre". Happy Labor Day.