Wolraich: Obama at the Gates of... Gates
Dr. C: In Praise of Writing Binges
Maiello: Gatsby Doesn't Grate
There are others here who could write this post a lot better than I could. If I had the elementary technical skills to do so I'd paste in one of the iconic photographs of African American citizens being "pacified" or whatever Bull Connor thought he was doing with those fire hoses and police dogs. If I were a cartoonist I'd figure out a way to substitute in for the folks on the receiving end of those assaults on their dignity and humanity any of the many subgroups of middle-class, or once middle-class, and poor fellow citizens who are getting hammered--impersonally, usually, but no less mercilessly or cruelly on that account--in our day.
Here's the link to today's WSJ editorial, "Taxpayers Win in Wisconsin": http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704823004576192483295290652.html?mod=googlenews_wsj
The Stephen Moore Club for Growth, "Plutocracy Oligarchy Capitalism Great, Democracy Not So Much" view of the world, in all its glory.
For you young 'uns out there, link to some basic info on Bull Connor: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bull_Connor
Time for a Solidarity Summer in this country. In which the labor movement extends open arms to interested individuals from all social classes, especially those not traditionally represented by unions, and all Americans of good will from whatever walk of life, to spend some concentrated time this summer learning how to organize a workplace. And in which plans are made in advance for whatever material support can be given to all of the individuals who will try to do this and will be fired by private sector employers as a minor cost of doing business, which is the reality in this country now. All of which needs to be documented and publicized so that the broader public hopefully can come to see why we need changes in the labor laws in this country.
This resurgent labor movement will need to include a broader swath of Americans who heretofore have not seen labor unions as something they might want or even need. To appeal to many more professional and technical workers it will need to be primarily about facilitating collaboration between workers and management on improving the product or service offered so as to enhance its quality and viability, but also about confrontation where necessary, where employers are seeking to treat workers unfairly. Collaboration where possible, confrontation where necessary. That's what the research shows about what these folks tend to want. There are unions that walk that line successfully now. It can be done. It requires extremely skilled union leadership. Which can be developed if it can be financed. George Soros, or some enlightened very, very wealthy person, where are you?
I blind emailed Amy Dean, who I don't know, yesterday. She has a union background but a broader experience base on top of that. (her latest book is A New New Deal, if you want to get an idea of how she thinks about the current situation.) I asked her to write a HuffPo piece calling for a Labor Summer. (but on second thought I prefer "Solidarity Summer" as a name.) Just freakin' do it was my message, in different words. No one from On High is going to tell the "correct" individual to step up (even though King did share an experience where after one of the numerous death threats he prayed to God and God told him to rise up, to stand up. And maybe he interpreted that experience as a prompt for him to step forward and try to lead.) No one or no entity told Martin Luther King, Jr. to step up in the ways he did. He turned out to be the right person at the right time.
Amy's book was blurbed positively by Trumka, with words to the effect that today's labor movement cannot be the same as the labor movement of days gone by if it is to be effective. Who knows if Trumka even saw, let alone wrote, the blurb, but I'm sure he knows Amy Dean. I hope the two of them, and a small number of other really sharp and savvy people will talk amongst themselves about how to pull this off. Now. While the moment presents itself. Trying to organize something like this by this summer will be incredibly difficult to pull off, even if financing does miraculously become available.