The Important and Insignificant

The Important and Insignificant
By Jennifer Kiley

Important
Insignificant
Makers of distinctions
Determining the rankings
Powering up corruption

It’s time for…phasing out ‘Better then’
It’s time for…being inclusive
It’s time for…shutting out no one
It’s time for…representing everyone

Protect the environment
Homes for the homeless
Food for the starving
Wisdom for the ignorant
Empower the different

© jk 2016

[this is a growing power]
[and a growing poem]
[hope to add new verses]
[including the chorus]
[on Off the Rails – Track 451]

Which Side Are You On? – Pete Seeger

[You will also find this posted on Expats Post on the 4th January 2016]

Sanity in a Crazy World….

Sometimes the violence and anger swirling around us grow to the point we feel overwhelmed. Will it ever stop? Will those professing to follow the non-violence of Christ, ever read the words attributed to him? Will they truly follow?

As I’ve said here before, I am not a religious person, but I am a non-violent one. I do believe there is a better way for the human race than guns and war and hatred. That is how I try to live my small, private life.

Joan Baez, a hero of mine from way back, lives such beliefs on a far more public stage and with far more grace than I can imagine, In our troubled times, her actions, whether today or six years ago, are examples to us all. For that – and her divine music – I am forever in her debt.441899-d1cfaeb8-fea0-11e2-9cff-2014e57d9885

Read on:

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/08/13/765667/-Joan-Baez-diffuses-right-wing-protest-at-Idaho-concert

 

 

Bread and Roses…

Labor Day –

Summer winds down. The nights grow a little longer and brisker, the air fills with the sweet scent of golden rod and apple. Labor Day is upon us. Over potato salad and various grilled goodies, we take a day to commemorate the long history of labor and unions in this country. In theory.

The reality is, the powers-that-be don’t really want us to think about labor on Labor Day. They especially don’t want us to think about the great impact unions have had on the people of this nation.

Couple that with the fact that people like Scott Walker and his Koch brother overlords are trying to roll all Union progress back to the Stone Age and Labor Day is one massive disconnect in the American psyche.

Today, there are generations of young people buying into the Unions-as-boogey-men-of-the-middle-class BS spewed by the GOP. (Especially the NEA – republican “family values” don’t extend to making sure children are well educated by properly trained and paid teachers.) It’s Fox and talk radio and the big lie told again and again, louder and louder, until it sticks.

Where is the truth to combat the falsehood? Sometimes it lies in art.

I am a fan of films, old and new; the good ones can be great teachers. I particularly enjoy the Turner Classic Movie Channel. TCM has a penchant for holiday theme marathons – weekends of war films for Memorial Day and Veterans Day are annual fare – so I was eager to see what they had planned for today in honor of Labor Day.

There was nothing. No Norma Rae

norma-rae-1979-07-g

or Matewan;

matewan-poster

no On the Waterfront

ON THE WATERFRONT, Marlon Brando, 1954

 or The Molly Maguires.

North Country,

northcountrypic

Silkwood, 9 to 5, With These Hands, Brassed Off, Kinki Boots, Bread & Roses, Roger and Me, El Norte,

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American Dream, The Efficiency Expert (to name but a few). Not even Grapes of Wrath or How Green Was My Valley. Nada. I even checked Netflix and other streaming stations. Aside from a few Criterion Collection gems, labor films are rarer than hen’s teeth lost under a blue moon.

You would think there never was a labor movement in this country. And that is just the way the right wing wants it.

This morning my inbox was flooded with e-mails from Walmart – yes, I’m sorry to say limited resources and options do drive me to Walmart on occasion – announcing a big sale (of course) “in honor of your hard work.”

How about providing a living wage – $15/hour is a start – and proper benefits “in honor of your hard work?” How about supporting unions and collective bargaining “in honor of your hard work?”

No, they wouldn’t do that. Instead they want you to sweeten their bottom line with your hard-earned wages. Because, hey, the Walton family labor, too, and they deserve the fruits of those labors.

The George Baileys of the world are struggling to survive, but that’s just the way it is in an increasingly Mr. Potter world. The rich can never be rich enough. And that’s ok, because one day the 1% will deign to trickle down on the rest of us and we’ll be so very grateful they saved us from those nasty unions.

When it comes to workers and the Labor movement in this country, the cognitive dissonance clangs so hard it shakes your teeth loose. And it’s killing us: the working poor, the middle class, and soon even the 1%.

Bernie Sanders reminded us today,

“Against overwhelming odds, the men and women of the labor movement changed society for the better. If you’ve ever enjoyed a paid vacation, a sick day, or a pension, they are the people to thank.”

And how better thank them than in song. So, raise a beer or lemonade and lift up your voice before it is too late.

labor-day