Monday, January 16, 2012

All The Power To The Top

It should come as no surprise that when Republicans gain power, as they have in Indiana's and New Hampshire's legislatures, they try to take away make it so that workers have even less say about their work conditions. We have a bad economy, and it's a golden opportunity for them to return to the Gilded Age.

Never mind that more than 285,000 residents are looking for work and that public schools are trying to minimize harm to students from a $300 million, two-year budget cut. Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels and his allies in the state legislature have decided that their No. 1 priority this legislative session is to enact a so-called right-to-work law that research shows will lower the average worker’s wages by $1,500 a year.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Now The Serpent Was More Subtil...

There's truth to the metaphor of politics as professional wrestling. Christopher Hitchens was a heel. He was a bad guy who went out in the public and insulted them and his opponents and he drank too much. He made all us liberals mad, but he was compelling to read because he could put together words wittily.

But there are great dangers to following advice because it is well-written and clever, and ignoring the costly implications. That's one of the lessons of the Book of Genesis. Hitchens used his clever way with words to encourage us to go invade that country, and that invasion opened up floodgates of death and human misery in a land already miserable. Better we had not listened to him.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Who Made That Butterball For You?

Butterball Turkeys get killed, cleaned and wrapped in plastic for you in a small town near the Arkansas River, not far from Fort Smith. Women in their 60s, who have worked all their lives there, get paid $11.40 per hour. That's about $24,000 per year.

It is not easy work. Turkeys need to be stunned and dispatched and gutted. Someone has to cut the oil gland out of the tail. Necks and gizzards and livers have to be cleaned and stuffed into a cavity. During a six-week period that begins in October, the line runs seven days a week to process fresh turkey. It is a period people in town simply refer to as “fresh,” and it is grueling.

“It’s a long battle when we’re working fresh, but I at least got some bills paid and Christmas money,” Mrs. Farmer said. “I just sit there and hum and sing and talk to my friend Willie. We get through it together.”


Joshua Freeman, 34, recently lost a race for mayor. He is in the bar business, in part because turkey farming did not pay enough. His father got out of the business after 15 years, he said, because Butterball kept requiring improvements just as the family got close to paying everything off and realizing profits.

“It was like working for the company store,” Mr. Freeman said. “You could never get ahead.”

via New York Times

if the NYT blocks your view, just go into the URL box, and delete everything after the ".html" and hit enter.

hat tip to Arkansas Blog

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Historical Image of the Day

George Whitfield, preacher of the Great Awakening, Brought the movement to America in 1738.

Monday, June 13, 2011

campaign ads

Via Ezra Klein, you can see a Mitt Romney ad.

And then watch Ronald Reagan's 30-minute ad for his successful 1966 run for Governor of California.

Historical Image of the Day

Back to a place where I have time to do the images again.

This week's set will be on American religion.

Methodist camp meeting, 1839

Thursday, June 02, 2011

No Coasting in 2012

Dave Brockington is right to be worried about Obama in 2012.
Unemployment is bad. And it is downright terrible among those who do not have college educations. These voters tend to vote Democratic. Plus, the Republicans who have taken over the key state of Florida are suppressing the very votes Obama needs to win. Ohio is moving to suppress the youth vote, too.

Moreover, when people lose their homes due to foreclosure, that can create confusion about their voting addresses--which is another opening for Republicans to contest the eligibility of people to cast ballots.

Citizens United has burst a dam for money to buy nasty campaign ads, that will drag him down.

There needs to be a serious effort by every progressive-leaning person to reach out to everyone, to have conversations over coffee, at the watercooler, at the lunch truck convince other voters that Obama shares their values and needs their vote.
Oh, yeah, same goes for the progressive candidates running in primaries for Congress.

More needs to happen that just that--but at the very least, progressives need to get Obama to win.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011


Starting today, I will be doing a lot of my blogging at Lawyers, Guns, and Money. This site will still remain active. For one, I am keeping the historical images over here. And other things as well. But a lot of my more substantive posts will be at LGM.