Welcome to May. Back in the day "May Day" was a big deal. Nope, not for "May Baskets" but for organized labor. It started on May 1, 1886 when 300,000 workers across the U.S. walked off the job in a show of worker solidarity. It was an organized shutdown. Since then business leaders and politicians have done everything they can to throttle unions. And, it has worked. That's why the middle class has not seen wages increase since the early 1970's. But the wealthy? Welcome to Sunday Morning Coffee...opinion coming to you each Sunday for...years.
Keeping You Poor & Stupid
That, my friends, is the goal of the GOP. Do everything you can to keep people in the dark. Cut funding for education or, better yet, tell local school districts what they can and can not teach. Then pass law after law that makes it more difficult to organize a union. Unions that will work on behalf of middle class families for wages and benefits. What you get is throngs of people who are feeling left out but don't have the wisdom to figure out what has happened to them so they just pray for "crumbs from the table" of their masters. It's a really sick society.
I've Got Mine...Screw You
When you live in a society that is "me centric" that is what you get. Oh sure, folks will go to their local house of worship, get some entertainment and maybe even a slice of religion. But then they go back about their business without heading the words of their faith to care for the poor the down trodden. the widow the orphan. "Nah, I got mine, screw you! Lift yourself up by your own bootstraps!" Trouble is many simply don't have...boots.
Millions of Americans would join a union if they could. Research says some 60 million workers are out there waiting. But over the years policymakers, lobbyists and CEOs have stopped at nothing to keep worker power at bay. They weakened the National Labor Relations Act. They attacked collective bargaining rights. It's a disgrace for the American worker.
But, at long last, we have within our sight the ability to turn things around with the passage of the PRO Act. Protecting the Right to Organize would hold employers accountable and institute civil penalties for violations of the law, including back pay and damages.
As my friend Charlie Wishman from the AFL/CIO wrote, "The PRO Act would put the decision of whether or not to form a union back where it belongs—in the hands of workers, free from employer interference." I'm in...you?
Building Back Better
The speech on Wednesday evening by President Biden was a master stroke. It was transformational. I have friends on the "Left" who cringed at the thought of listening to Joe as he, in their words, "...would try to sooth us with more of the same middle of the road Pablum". What they got surprised and amazed. The president tied every single issue from climate change to removing lead pipes to...JOBS. In his words, "Good paying union jobs...".
Joe Biden, speaking to the people and not the politicians, scored major points. It wasn't about hand-outs but it was about offering hope and, yes, jobs. Good paying jobs that would usher in a new era of American prosperity for the working families of this nation. Best of all even the rank and file among Republicans approve. So the best the GOP could do was call it "over-reach" and "socialism". And then trot out Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) who couldn't tell the truth and started out his rebuttal with the words, "Joe Biden seems like a good man..." Seems like? Tim, you couldn't even give this most compassionate of presidents that? He went on to say that Republicans are working hard to make sure Americans can vote even as they gut voting rights in nearly every state. It was all...lies. Even the "Christian talk" fell flat. Weary...
Last week Gov. Kim Reynolds (R-IA), who is working day and night to become more Alabama than Alabama, said Iowa didn't need the $95 million that was to be used for testing and contact tracing among schools because, "Our students are just fine and we're back in school full time." What an idiot. What is difficult to believe is that the press fails to pin her to the wall. As new variants show up and appear to be more contagious to young people this governor simply looks the other way and lies. One has to wonder if she's not back on the bottle. Awful...simply awful.
Meanwhile Those "Trans-People"
Also last week Reynolds said she expects a "Transgender Bill" on her desk before the session ends. What she is saying is that, just like Arkansas, she would make it a state crime for a trans-person to participate in sports according to his/her self gender identification. Expect the lemmings under the Golden Dome to act with haste even though their daily cash payments ended last week. Gotta do whatever we can to protect the Iowa way of life. And, all of this goes on while the Iowa Business Council, the Iowa Association of Business and Industry begs for more people to come to Iowa because they need workers. Good luck. (Image - Brian Duffy)
It's been a tough week. Our little Tinker has been going downhill for a couple of weeks. Over the past two months we've tried everything from traditional vet care to acupuncture to water therapy, to physical therapy to adding more calories to her diet, more vitamins...but nothing worked. So we made the decision to end her suffering. Thursday was awful and, to be truthful, I wasn't able to do much in the way of "work". Friday was better but the sadness remains. Those of you who have gone through that know exactly what I'm saying. We go into becoming a "pet parent" with the full knowledge it is not a "forever" deal. And, that sucks. So very grateful to the staff at Avondale Pet Hospital for all they did and their kindness this past week. When you see your vet shed a tear...
It was a remarkable day. Last week I put on a pair of "real" pants complete with a belt and "real" shoes. It was such a momentous event that Georgie did a double take and asked if she could take a photo. The photo also shows something that I swore I would never do and that is to wear brown/tan shoes with blue pants. While I still think it is unholy in the true sense of the 1975 book, "Dress for Success" by John T. Malloy I caved.
I shouldn't have because it was a dark omen. I went to Von Maur, dressed like a real person, and learned that they no longer carry Agua di Geo men's cologne. It seems Lancôme pulled their products from many department stores. (Pandemic, no doubt) Then it was on to Principal Park to pick up my Iowa Cubs "Season Opener" shirt. But the merch place was closed. So, dressed in blue and tan, I went 0 for 2. It's a sign...
Thanks for reading...have a great Sunday!