Friday, March 25, 2011

Nothing grand about it

So this is what the Grand Ol' Party has come to. From Politico:
Maine’s governor has set his sights on a 36-foot-wide mural of the state’s labor history, which includes images of worker strikes and “Rosie the Riveter.”

Gov. Paul LePage has ordered that the mural, in the lobby of the state Department of Labor’s building in Augusta, be painted over to show business leaders that the state is just as friendly to them as it is to workers.
I am speechless.

* * *

76 comments:

swine said...

Listen, as a Communist refugee having lived in the states now 32 years, this is exactly what the Commies were doing: erasing history literally (see Stalin's awesomely shitty doctored photos of people purged). Only in America the difference is speed: we're slow.

The things I'm seeing being done here, especially in the last 10 years, are very very similar to how the Commies controlled the people. Yes, I am absolutely pointing the finger at both parties. Take it from me. In an ironic twist of fate, my country (Romania) is turning into what the US was, and the US is turning into what Romania was. It's awesome, however, that I can still go back and live in Bucharest without being hassled for tons of money, like the US gov't got from my family to just call us citizens. Fuck it all. They're all parasites man.

swine said...

That should read: "As a refugee FROM Communism..."

Leslie Morgan said...

I'm with Swine on this one. Erasing history is BAD. "That never happened" is a terrible thing to put on people who know god damned well it DID happen. And how dare you screw with my personal memory of things! I need to say I am not usually a dark or pessimistic person, but the U.S. is in such a twist, I don't know if it can be brought into balance. :~{

Bill said...

Hey! Click on the Politico link and look at that mural. It's a crappy looking mural, depressing, and definitely, North Korea looking. It cost $60,000 in 2008. Another waste of taxpayer money. I'd rather see some colorful gang style graffiti

alphadog said...

And as long as we're covering up/rewriting history lets take a crack at rewriting literature that some may find offensive. Like, say, Huck Finn.
WTF
You cannot make something not have happened simply by wishing it away or by rephrasing. To do so is to lie to future generations. A factual portrayal of history, regardless its less savory chapters, is perhaps the greatest gift we can leave.

Leslie Morgan said...

@ Bill ~ Ah! Just like a pop art biography I'm being paid to write. Crappy is in the eye of the beholder. Maybe what you'd rather see, doesn't drive this.

Bill said...

Lesile: Right! It's what the "artist" sees that drives this.

Remember that judge a few years ago, can't remember the state, that had to remove the 10 commandments? Talk about erasing history!

Leslie Morgan said...

@ Bill - NO ~ LEFT! :~} I'm sorry to say the 10 commandments don't mean all that much to me, but I know they were important to many. I am just hideously attached to "hiding". I think hiding/lying/altering is just WRONG. I think that makes trouble on top of trouble.

Bill said...

Let's say you were starting a new widget manufacturing company. Would you advertise for union workers?

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Erin O'Brien said...

There you go, Bill. Enjoy your censorship.

Leslie Morgan said...

Yes, Bill. I'm (almost) sorry to say I would. Even if - as their employer - I had to organize them! This doesn't make me "right" and you "wrong". It's just the way I would do it. Fire in the belly, you know/

VideoDude said...

I knew there would be, at least, on Teapublican who would try to defend this.

Again I ask: What the hell does any of this have to do with jobs? I really can't see a corporation saying: "Thanks for the tax breaks and incentives, but we can't locate our factory here because you have a mural supporting workers and their rights!"

Conservatism has failed, so all they can do is blame everything and everybody else!

Leslie Morgan said...

god bless ViedoDude.

Bill said...

Leslie: The least you can do is capitalize God! LOL!

Leslie Morgan said...

No. Sorry if that offends anyone. I won't. There are reasons, even if only meaningful to me. :~} And I DID take it as LOL. I'm not exclusively uptight! I promise.

VideoDude said...

Why do we need unions? March 25, 1911, remember the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire and the deaths of 146 innocent women and children. How about a mural about that, Gov. LePage?

Vince said...

I knew a grand gal from Kittery. Staunch Republican. But one of the most Aesthetic person I know. This savagery isn't coming from the old guard in that State.

Anonymous said...

I wonder how many people will actually see the mural, more than likely just the people working in the building. Another probably overpriced waste of time and effort to communicate something no one understands. Much ado about nothing. I have more important things to worry about than what the governor of a state that I will never visit does or doesn't do.




James Old Guy

Bill said...

Leslie: No. That doesn't offend me at all. God probably doesn't care either. Out of curiousity though, do you use a big O when writing about the president?

twinklysparkles said...

Keep the info coming, Erin. Why am I still shocked at it?

Leslie Morgan said...

@ Bill ~ No. obama. Mostly, I don't write about him at all. He hasn't aroused enough emotion in me - not once - for me to write about him. But, no. I wouldn't caplitalize. How balanced is that?

@ VideoDude ~ In-the-gut unionist that I am, I've heard much about the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory and have seen the movie. Of COURSE it is tragic, but I've never felt sure it was very unusual for the time, place and technology. Yes, it is a good lesson to us. No, I don't think it was singular. Sorry.

Bill said...

I remember singing this catchy tune:

Look for the union label
When you are buying a coat, dress or blouse.
Remember somewhere our union's sewing
our wages going to feed the kids and run the house,
We work hard but who's complaining.
Thanks to the I.L.G. we're paying our way.
So, always look for the union label,
it says we're able
to make it in the U.S.A.

Leslie Morgan said...

god love Bill! That's a wonderful jingle. Tip o' the hat, Bill.

Bill said...

L: Now just imagine that tune translated into Chinese and accompanied by a ruan.

Al The Retired Army Guy said...

I could care less about the mural.

What I do care about is that they keep producing great lobster up there.

Al
TRAG

Anonymous said...

You're never speechless....

Erin O'Brien said...

My great gram Doubler worked for the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. When I was a little kid she used to beckon me with her forefinger and show me the ILGWU label and tell me to always look for it when I was buying clothes.

Sad, sad, sad.

Al The Retired Army Guy said...

I got hand-me-downs as a kid (that's what happens when you grow up in a family of nine, I guess). I was just glad there were clothes attached to the label, any label.

Al
TRAG

Leslie Morgan said...

Gramps was a member, for many years[decades, I suppose], of the Plasterers Union. When we buried him in 1970, Granny-O was concerned that his wedding ring and his union pin be exhibited.

Bill said...

My gradfather had no use for unions. He owned a venetian blind shop and mowed and cared for several lawns in Albuquerque. In his spare time he helped build a new church. He gave his labor because he didn't have extra money to donate to the building fund.

Erin O'Brien said...

And Alph--the Huck Finn argument is completely irrelevant.

To be sure, I don't want any sanitized Twain, which is why I won't ELECT UNDER MY OWN FREE WILL to purchase a sanitized copy of Huck Finn that was published by a PRIVATELY OWNED publisher.

The original Huck Finn is still widely available.

The situation in Maine is ONE elected official opting to remove ONE ORIGINAL piece of publicly funded artwork that was installed in 2008.

This, people, is what a dictatorship looks like.

The sanitized Huck Finn is simply an option. The removal of the original Judy Taylor mural is pure censorship.

Anonymous said...

The judge in question way up yonder was Roy Moore, an Alabama Supreme Court Justice. His 10 commandments memorial was placed to honor ideology, not history.
I grew up in western Birmingham, AL. Very blue collar area. Prior to the crash of the U.S. Steel industry U.S. Steel was one of the largest employers in the area. Because of the steel workers unions many families had a relatively high standard of living. I grew up with many children of steelworkers who had nice homes, good healthcare, their mom's stayed home. American Dream. My mother inspected tin plate there while the men were away fighting WW II. Not technically a riveter but in the same spirit as Rosie. That area is now as blighted as some of the other decaying industrial cities in America with the attendent problems of poverty, crime, etc. One of the dynamics in the collapse of the industry was dumping of cheap asian steel made by non-union workers. Their working conditions have sometimes been likened to sweatshops. Union contributions to workday life include:
Minimum Wage
8 hour workday
5 day work week
employer provided healthcare
workers compensation
Many of my childhood friends are now loyal Southern Republicans who rage about, among other things, illegal immigration. Yet they become incensed when I suggest you'll never find an undocumented worker in a union shop.
How quickly they forget.
Workers of the world unite, you have nothing to lose but your chains.

RJ

Anonymous said...

And because I suspect someone will point it out a preemptive historical footnote:

The famous final phrase of the Manifesto, “Working Men of All Countries, Unite!”, in the original German is: “Proletarier aller Länder, vereinigt euch!” Thus, a more correct translation would be “Proletarians of all countries, Unite!”

“Workers of the World, Unite. You have nothing to lose but your chains!” is a popularisation of the last three sentences, and is not found in any official translation.

RJ

Bill said...

Perhaps one of the dynamics in the collapse of the industry was the outrageous and inflexible demands of the union.

Bill said...

RJ: I guess Moses didn't get public funding for bringing down the commandments but, historically, they beat the crap out of a 2008 mural. One could argue that the union exists because of a failing ideology.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps one of the dynamics in the collapse of the industry was the outrageous and inflexible demands of the shareholders and boards of directors, none of whom ever scorched their skin while on the clock.

I think I recall Moses saying: "Let my people go and copyright these maxims.
Then, we'll open franchises selling them as unchallengeable truth and make a fucking killing. Anyone that challenges the validity of these maxims we'll imprison or execute."
And the slaves said: "Shit, we're trumped!"

RJ

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah. Forgive the omission. Perhaps the stock exchanges are archaic remnants of a failed ideology.

RJ

Erin O'Brien said...

Why do I feel like RJ gets way more ass than Bill?

Bill said...

Erin: LOL! Because he probably does. But is it Anonymous? And hey, this is Friday night isn't it? Got an appointment for a massage down at Jenni's house of happy endings!

Erin O'Brien said...

Hmm. So true, RJ. Haven't been able to locate those Commandments ever since poor ol' Roy Moore had to take them down on account of that pesky church and state separation thingie.

No worries. Y'all can just follow the Erin Commandment, which economically replaces the lot of those ol' God Squad directives:

Don't be an asshole.

See? It's perfect, really.

Erin O'Brien said...

Re: previous removed comments in this here thread. These were an idiotic ploy courtesy of your humble hostess that was supposed to be a living example of censorship (they were dummy comments I posted myself).

Some might say I've posted a number of dummy comments in this thread that I have unfortunately failed to censor.

I mean, COME ON. How many comments can I leave at my own blog? How much can I OVERUSE ALL CAPS? How many idiotic rhetorical questions can I pose?

VideoDude said...

Leslie,

I never said it was a singular event. Just an example of what America was like before the Unions.

Al, I think you meant to say you couldn't care less. The other way means you care.

Right! The collapse of the manufacturing industry had nothing to do with tax incentives to send jobs over seas. Isn't it interesting that as the Union's influence waned over the past few decades, that factories began to close!

Teapublicans! WHERE ARE THE DAMN JOBS!

Anonymous said...

"The small southern town guarded it's secrets closely. Yet the scandalous behavior of the local widow women threatened to obliterate the thin veneer of respectability it had worked so hard to maintain."

RJ

Erin O'Brien said...

RJ: uncle.

Bill said...

More great news from FL:
TALLAHASSEE -- The Florida House delivered a major blow to public employee unions Friday, approving a bill that would ban automatic dues deduction from a government paycheck and require members to sign off on the use of their dues for political purposes.

Leslie Morgan said...

@ Bill ~ a blight that has existed in other states since (maybe) forever, including your own. That's not news. ;~}

Al the Retired Army Guy said...

@ Video Dude - you're right - I couldn't care less about the mural in Maine. I still care about the lobsters, though.

Al
TRAG

Bill said...

Is there a lobster trappers union? Did they get represented in the mural?

Leslie Morgan said...

If they don't have a union, I'd volunteer to go organize them. My dad lives there. I'd save the union some money on lodging. Paid union staff have an obligation to spend members' dues wisely and conservatively.

Kirk Jusko said...

Is Labor Day next?

Bill said...

On the question of sealed college transcripts; has anyone come up with a reason O hasn't released his?

Bill said...

Kirk: Sure. Why not? Isn't it just a day, after which, it is not fasionable for women to wear white?

Anonymous said...

When you apply for President do they ask for your transcripts? I don't recall the Constitution calling for a college degree.

RJ

Anonymous said...

Oh wait, my mistake, I see where Lincoln freed the slaves* but also said full citizenship for people of color was contingent on them attaining at least an AD.

RJ

*BTW The Emancipation Proclamation freed the slaves only in states in rebellion against the union for all you righties that get teary eyed over your founders magnificence.

Leslie Morgan said...

@ Kirk - Oh, very good, as always.

@ RJ - Well said! Thank you. I'm feeling dull this afternoon, but not unappreciative.

Hal said...

Erin @ 5:12pm:

Funny you mention that pesky separation of church and state, because the new teabagger/GOP majorities have sponsored NINE creationism bills in seven states in the first three months of this year alone.

That is when they have free time from busting unions, redefining rape to make it easier for the gubmint to not pay for abortions, and defunding NPR.

As for unions, I am a proud member of three unions - SAG, AFTRA, and Equity - and my life is DEFINITELY better off for being so, and those of my fellow actors as well. A strong middle class, which unions do much to ensure, is essential to a democratic society. As unions have been weakened in the past 30 years or so, no one should be surprised at the great inequality between have and have not, and both Republicans and Democrats are responsible for this.

I fear before the day I die that America will look like Mexico.

sarahm59 said...

my grandfather was beaten by the pinkertons for organizing. i am proud...

sarahm59 said...

and bill... i am an equal opportunity non-capitalizor.

Bill said...

RJ: You know what happens if you lie on your resume'.

and... the founders were not perfect. But then, who is?

sarahm: I'm pretty sure none of my relatives were Pinkertons.

Anonymous said...

What happens if you lie on your resume' Bill? They call you Christine O'Donnell? Make 'em stop! Make 'em stop!

At what point did I even mention the founders? Or suggest they weren't perfect?

If I was Barack Obama and people talked about me like they have talked about him I wouldn't give 'em my fucking shoe size much less anything that was none of their fucking business.

RJ

Bill said...

RJ: Yep, he must be pissed alright! Maybe that's why he doesn't release anything. but do you think he'd be that petty? You have to admit, though, that it would be interesting to take a look at those trascripts. Remember how they compared Bush's GPA to Kerry's? I think he probably had great grades and I don't question his birth. The mystery is why he doesn't release the documents.

Al The Retired Army Guy said...

What's interesting to me is that a lot of folks portrayed George W. Bush as stupid. Well, one doesn't graduate from the schools he did (even as an "average to poor" student as he admits) if one is stupid, particularly at the time he went to them (disclaimer - there will be folks that will say that his family, his money got him through. Until someone can show me irrefutable evidence to that end, I say bullshit).

Secondly, one doesn't become a pilot if one is stupid - trust me, our military, to include the National Guard is very selective who they take as pilots. Not only do you have to meet the physical criteria, but you have to have an aptitude, to include intelligence. The military (to include the National Guard, as their pilots are trained at active duty flight schools) is very discriminating when it comes to choosing pilots, trust me. At the time Bush flew, he was trained in bomber interception, meaning not only did he have to have the physical/mental skills to do the job, he also had to have good judgment. That he served as a pilot speaks volumes as to his intelligence, physical abilities, and character if my military experience is any judge.

I think Obama is a US citizen. He ran against Hillary Clinton - if anyone can dig up dirt, she can, and during the campaign nothing was mentioned. This more than any other thing leads me to believe that the "birthers" are chasing after phantoms. They should just let it go - to include Donald Trump.

As for his grades, I'd love to see them, as I consider Obama to be a pretty intelligent guy (if not severely lacking in the leadership department). It would be nice to see that assessment confirmed.

Al
TRAG

Anonymous said...

I love the Clinton standard of citizenship. I believe that is what Mike Huckabee has employed. It doesn't matter that a Republican Governor (Linda Lingle) sashayed over to Vital Statistics and said "Hey Homey, you got a birth certificate on BHO?" and Homey said "Aloha, Yep." And she reported her findings publicly.

These issues are red herrings.

While we and the MSM bicker about this crap people of the Gulf Coast are dying from being poisoned by BP and the US of A is becoming a police state.

Enjoy your coffee.

"If an FBI Agent believes some vegan wants to free a bunch of pigs used in experimentation, he can declare it a planned terrorist attack and hold the vegan without Miranda warning."

http://emptywheel.firedoglake.com/2011/03/25/the-abu-zubaydah-standard-in-obamas-miranda-memo/



Ex BP cleanup worker speaks: people are sick and dying in the Gulf

http://bpoil.wordpress.com/

RJ

Contrary Guy said...

so... how is this different from the Taliban shooting artillery at Buddhist statues in Afghan? Tough to blame such redecoration on 'bad feng-shui'.

Erin O'Brien said...

Hal's previous thoughtful comment. Damn spam filter!

Bill said...

Hal: How do you feel about being forced to join a union in order to get work? I consider myself to be middle class and not one union has ever done one thing to enhance my standard of living or make life easier for me or my family. Nor would I ever look to a union to do that. I've worked with the thugish IBEW when I had to hire union labor to work on a building in San Francisco. The union was basically a sales oganization selling people that may or not be good workers.

Anonymous said...

"...not one union has ever done one thing to enhance my standard of living or make life easier for me or my family."- Bill

Are the corners square on your carpentry and masonry work? Do your drains back up? Have you had an electrical fire? Unions run apprentice programs that train novices to do things right. You don't think anyone in your family has EVER benefited from a union Bill? Nonsense.

RJ

VideoDude said...

40 hour work week, Sick Leave, Health Insurance, safe working conditions, paid vacations, etc. All ideas that are a part the working environment. All these things were proposed by the unions.

alphadog said...

RJ and Bill,
I've stated before that I have a great deal of respect for MOST of the trades apprenticeship programs.
But I don't think that union membership guarantees quality. I have had some of the finest plumbers I've ever worked with on a project in Columbus OH, my hat is off to them, they were union. I have also had some of the most sorry ass carpenters I've ever worked with on a project in Machesney Park IL, they were also union.
I'm a carpenter by trade and would be happy to put my skill, knowledge and quality of work up against anyone. I've never been, nor will I ever be, a union member. I will always provide the finest quality of work, I will continue to negotiate my own wage, I will work the hours I choose and I will support the candidate of my choice without help or outside influence.

Bill said...

I learned how to weld in High School. There are plenty of trade schools. I don't need a goon squad negotiating my terms of employment for me. When you think about it; nobody does.

Hal said...

Bill,

I was happy to join all three because I knew for a fact that the money and working conditions are infinitely superior under a union contract than they are without.

Anonymous said...

Why did it just occur to me that no one has made a joke about "Labia and the No-Fly Zone?"
Do I now seem insensitive to human suffering?
Such is the life of a neurotic.

RJ

Bill said...

RJ: Didn't think of that but I did tweet a fake headline: "lesbian opposition take city near Tripoli"