Gilbert and Near, Woody’s “Pastures of Plenty”

October 20, 2012

Woody Guthrie wrote of freedom . . . when was this written? 1930-something?  [1941, it turns out.]

Ronnie Gilbert and Holly Near combine on one of my favorite arrangements of the song.

[That one disappeared? Try this one; click through if you have to:]

[Maybe this one will work:]

This film must be at least ten years old, maybe more.  The song is more than 60 years old [71 years — from 1941].

It’s still a powerful indictment of corporate greed, heartless and oppressive immigration policies, and it’s a case for a strong labor movement.

Be sure you vote in the November 6 elections.  Sing this song on the way to the polls.

More:


Did taxpayers finance Romney’s wealth?

April 14, 2012

Mitt Romney’s fortune comes mostly from his work at Bain Capital Management.

Capital management?  What is capital management, exactly, you ask?

Prof. Robert Reich explained how private equity firms like Bain make their money, and fortunately MoveOn.org had a camera running when he did, “How exactly did Mitt Romney Get So Obscenely Rich? Robert Reich explains The Magic of Private Equity in 8 Easy Steps”:

Any questions?

Oh, I have one:  Prof. Reich, can you explain how Warren Buffett got so obscenely rich, and tell us the differences in the methods Buffett used, from those Romney used?

I have another question, too, but I’m not sure where to direct it:  Romney says he wants to “help out” the U.S. with his budgeting expertise; to whom does he expect to sell the U.S. government once he’s wrung out all the savings?

More, and Related articles:


No AT&T phone service for three weeks now . . .

October 3, 2009

I saw a story on the earthquakes in Indonesia yesterday that said in one city they had telephone service back in operation in a few hours.

We’ve gone without AT&T telephone service at our home for three weeks now.  Odd that repair service in Indonesia, with an earthquake, is better than repair service in Dallas, with  . . . rain?  Sunshine?  I’ll bet you can call Padang or Pariaman, Indonesia, before you can call our home in Dallas.  I fear that will be the case.

Worse, it’s almost impossible to telephone AT&T or contact them by e-mail — they ask a lot of information entered that most people won’t have handy before they respond at all (I don’t know the three mystery numbers in some odd corner of our phone bill, for example, and I don’t want to go rummaging through the files just to tell the company that their service doesn’t work, especially since I’ve already told them that three times — if I’m calling from a different phone, the bill isn’t even in the building, okay?).

If the customer can’t complain, AT&T doesn’t have any complaints to worry about, right?

“AT&T phone service held hostage, 21 days.”

How many more?  I wonder if they’ll make ransom demands.


“The GOP used to be the party of business”

September 10, 2009

Santayana’s Ghost notes there’s an 1852 Whiggy smell about the Republican Party these days.

Thomas L. Friedman writes at the New York Times:

The G.O.P. used to be the party of business. Well, to compete and win in a globalized world, no one needs the burden of health insurance shifted from business to government more than American business. No one needs immigration reform — so the world’s best brainpower can come here without restrictions — more than American business. No one needs a push for clean-tech — the world’s next great global manufacturing industry — more than American business. Yet the G.O.P. today resists national health care, immigration reform and wants to just drill, baby, drill.

“Globalization has neutered the Republican Party, leaving it to represent not the have-nots of the recession but the have-nots of globalized America, the people who have been left behind either in reality or in their fears,” said Edward Goldberg, a global trade consultant who teaches at Baruch College. “The need to compete in a globalized world has forced the meritocracy, the multinational corporate manager, the eastern financier and the technology entrepreneur to reconsider what the Republican Party has to offer. In principle, they have left the party, leaving behind not a pragmatic coalition but a group of ideological naysayers.”

Drum up some business:

Add to FacebookAdd to NewsvineAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Furl


Congratulations, graduates! You got hired! (Want to think about joining the union?)

May 25, 2009

No more comment necessary.

Tip of the old scrub brush to  . . . ramblings of the last American jedi . . .


Trafficking workers’ bodies for profit

May 27, 2008

If a guy beats someone to death, it’s murder, right?  And so the nation’s labor laws hold an employer liable for the death of a worker when unsafe working conditions caused the death.

But what if the worker doesn’t die?  What if the worker only loses his arms, or legs, or arms and legs?

No death, no crime, U.S. law says. 

What if the employer poisons the worker with cyanide that eats away the worker’s brain

No death, no crime, U.S. law says.

My colleagues and I were shocked to learn that an employer who breaks the nation’s worker-safety laws can be charged with a crime only if a worker dies. Even then, the crime is a lowly Class B misdemeanor, with a maximum sentence of six months in prison. (About 6,000 workers are killed on the job each year, many in cases where the deaths could have been prevented if their employers followed the law.) Employers who maim their workers face, at worst, a maximum civil penalty of $70,000 for each violation.

Read a plea to change the law, in the New York Times, from David H. Uhlmann, a law professor at the University of Michigan.


Religion as science in Texas: Graduate degrees in creationism?

December 14, 2007

The venerable missionary group known as the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) moved its headquarters from California to Dallas a few months ago. Anyone who follows science education in America is familiar with this group, who deny that the Earth can be more than a few thousands of years old, who argue that geology, astronomy, chemistry and biology are all based on faulty premises.

Dallas is a good location for a missionary agency that flies to churches around the U.S. to make pitches for money and preach the gospel of their cult. DFW Airport provides same-day flights to most of the U.S. Airlines are glad to have their business.

Years ago ICR tried to get approval from the State of California to grant graduate degrees in science, because their brand of creationism is not taught in any research university, or any other institution with an ethics code that strives for good information and well-educated graduates. ICR got permission only after setting up their own accrediting organization which winks, blinks and turns a blind eye to what actually goes on in science courses taught there. It is unclear if anyone has kept count, but there appear to be a few people with advanced degrees in science from this group, perhaps teaching in the public schools, or in charter schools, or in odd parochial settings.

With a new home in Texas, ICR needs permission of Texas authorities to grant graduate degrees. Texas Observer reported that the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board put off consideration of the issue until their meeting of January 24 (no action was planned for this meeting, so failure to grant this authority to ICR should not be taken as any sign that the board is opposed to granting it).

Humor aside, this is a major assault on the integrity of education in Texas. For example, here is a statement on college quality from the Higher Education Coordinating Board; do you think ICR’s program contributes in any way, or detracts from these goals?

Enrolling and graduating hundreds of thousands more students is a step in the right direction. But getting a degree in a poor quality program will not give people the competitive edge they need in today’s world economy. Academic rigor and excellence are essential – both at the undergraduate and graduate levels. We also need to attract and support more research in the state for the academic and economic benefits it provides.

Check out the Texas Observer‘s longer post on the issue, and since comments are not enabled there, how about stating here your views on the issue? Comment away.

Tip of the old scrub brush to Texas Citizens for Science.

No, this is not a joke.  Here is the agenda for the meeting this week, in .pdf form.


%d bloggers like this: