Saturday, November 13, 2010

We Often Bite the Hand That Feeds Us

This week I showed my cousin my grandfather's (his great grandfather) miner's union card. He told me something I did not know. My grandmother received a small pension from the union as a result of my grandfather's death in an accident in the Pocahantas Mine in West Virginia. It was a small amount, but in 1920 and the years following, it was a lifesaver for a widow with six kids in the N. Georgia mountains.

Ironically, my father and his brothers spewed hatred for unions, as so many southerners have done over the years. My father worked in construction over the eastern part of the country. In many instances his company was working in union territory. He often carried a firearm in order to fight unionization. All of this to "preserve" his pittance of a retirement fund. His company paid low wages and gave the impression to its workers that its profit sharing plan was the best. After 30 years, my father had little to show for his hard work. Yes, it was his choice, but he bought into the idea that so many have today that unionization is bad. It IS bad. Bad for the bottom line for companies, but not so bad for workers.

We owe a great deal to unionization. The minimum wage, eight hour days, vacations, sick leave, pensions and safer workplaces. However, in today's world unionization is still considered a bad name, especially in the South. The Teapublican Party of today rails against unions, against pensions, retirement, government safety regulations, health care provided by businesses (and government) and the minimum wage. Low income workers voted in droves for Teapublicans in the election this month. Teapublicans rail against Social Security and are determined to destroy that lifeline for so many elderly citizens as well.

It is my opinion that, should Teapublicans be successful in destroying Social Security and retirement plans, along with affordable healthcare, and government regulation, unions my very well be destined for a comeback. I would say they are poised for a major resurgence, as American workers suddenly realize what they have lost. Unionization was the result of a long and bitter struggle by workers to improve their lot through collective bargaining. It is a lesson that will once again have to be learned the hard way as voters continue to vote against their own best interests.

Monday, November 8, 2010

GA Voters' Strange Twist

Here in Georgia last week, the voters spoke. But what did they say? There was an item on the ballot to fund more trauma centers, which the state woefully lacks. The funding would have come from an addition ten dollar fee on vehicle adveloram taxes. The voters in this state voted it down. Even in my home country where there were several serious accidents a few weeks before the election requiring victims to be airlifted to Atlanta, 100 miles away. Local voters voted against it. It has been said that, statewide, voters voted against this item, because they didn't trust the money to the politicians, although it was to be put in a designated fund.

Yet, voters in this state voted in a Gubernatorial candidate so corrupt, he was voted one of the 15 most corrupt people in Congress, and that's pretty corrupt. This article outlines much of Gov-elect Deal's sad dealings. At the same time, voters re-elected a Lt. Governor, who was immediately stripped of his powers in the Senate by the Republican leadership. Why? Because of his corrupt dealings with lobbyists, one of which is purported to have been his squeeze. It seems, according to this article the lobbyists were lining up at the Lt. Governor's door instead of the individual Senators. It probably wasn't his corrupt dealings that took away his powers, but he fact that the Senators weren't getting their slice of the lobbyists' money. Nevertheless it confirms what the Lt. Governor's opponent kept trying to point out. The Governor's opponent, of course, did the same.

Here in my home district where the trauma center bill was also voted down, a state representative was re-elected, although he was shown to be infinitely corrupt as well. He and his father, for years have help ministers set up dummy corporations whereby they could steal from their congregations. His father was disbarred in 1996, when they were sued by the FTC for illegally trying to get around the no-call list. They both left a metro Atlanta county to escape their past, coming to our country to continue their misdealings.

So why did the voters turn down a much needed bill but vote to continue corruption in Atlanta? Simple. The candidate were all Republican. In Georgia party trumps corruption. It does so, because Georgia Republican politicians tout their anti-minority, anti-immigration, anti-Obama, anti-poor, and anti-elderly feelings at every opportunity. Georgia Republicans today are Georgia Democrats of the pre-1970's. The parties have flipped. Democrats today are more like Georgia Republicans of the early 20th Century. They are more the party of Lincoln, whereas, Republicans are the party of Lester Maddox, George Wallace, and Eugene Talmadge. Nuff said.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Attack Iran?

Lindsey Graham, of S.C. has given us a glimpse of what will happen, should the GOP triumph in 2012. In a speech in Canada, Graham called for an attack on Iran to remove it's military and nuclear capabilities. He stated that he "hoped" that the people of Iran would take the opportunity to remove the current government. This is kind of like George W. Bush attacking Iraq in the "hopes" that there were WMD. We know how that turned out.

For years Republicans harped on the fact that the United States shouldn't try to be the world's policeman. Now, it is very clear that, should, they regain control of the armed forces, this country could expect to become the policeman of the world with a professional military than could not successfully prosecute two limited conflicts at the same time. Expect such action to be couched in terms of a religious war against Islam, especially by the Tea Bagging arm of the GOP.

Once an attack is made upon Iran, it will be easy for the Republican leadership to move on to conquer the Palestinians for Israel. Israel could then move to settle that territory and keep the Palestinians in servitude. Of course all of this kind of action will simply inflame the Arab world and provide recruits for the extreme elements there, much like Bush's dirty little war in Iraq.
We can expect a major terrorist response in the Middle East as well as a renewed effort to attack the U.S. on its own soil.

The Republicans are itching to regain control of the military to continue to "Christianize" it for their crusade against Islam. This may sound far fetched to some, but many of the extremists teabaggers and fundamentalist politicians have advocated this very thing. Their goal is to turn this country into a fundamentalist Christian state and then launch a war against their declared enemy, Islam in order to spread their brand of Christianity. They already advocate the destruction of public education in order to replace it with government financed Christian education, thus moving a step closer to their goal.

An attack on Iran in the "hopes" that it will turn the people against their government is wishful thinking. Taking an extreme measure such as this with nothing more to go on than "hopes" is terrible foreign policy, but then it is nothing more than what we can expect of today's GOP. They act on impulse and religious fervor and little else. Let's hope that voters in this country wise up before 2012. I think that with Repubs such as Palin, Graham, Boehner, Bachman, Paul and the rest acting up, voters will be clearly ready to vote them out in two years.