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[photos|politics] In which I go to a political protest

Yesterday [info]tillyjane a/k/a my mom called me up and asked me to go to a protest in support of the Wisconsin public sector unions. I hemmed and hawed about skipping out on my writing time, but decided that the novel would still be there after the opportunity for civic participation had passed. I figure there were about four or five hundred people there once it got going, a mixture of teachers, nurses, trade union guys and political activists. The weather was clear and quite cold, so I did not last through the entire rally.

There are some aspects of the union movement I am uncomfortable with. My father was a U.S. diplomat, so I did not grow up in a household where labor issues were much on anyone’s mind on a daily basis. My first awareness of unions was the Teamster’s strike, back in the mid-seventies, when scabs were being killed. Specifically, a non-union bus driver who ran into a brick-on-a-rope trap at an underpass, if I recall correctly. That and Jimmy Hoffa. My next awareness was a cross-country family trip to a major theme park that arrived after months of planning and weeks of travel and promises to find it closed due to an employee strike. Let’s just say I wasn’t emotionally primed as a child to see unions as a force for good.

At the same time, I like forty-hour work weeks and paid vacations and benefits packages. Those things did not become standards in the American workplace thanks to the Invisible Hand of the market, or to competition between employers. They became standards because of decades of risky and sometimes fatal union activism. Even if you’ve never paid union dues in your life, even if you believe that unions are satanic tools of the socialist Left, if you work for a living, you owe them a great deal. Unions have done far more for you than your employer ever would have left to the magic of market self-regulation and unfettered capital. That’s a perspective that’s utterly lost on most rank and file conservatives today.

I don’t know if this is a Martin Niemoller moment in our society or not, but I went to stand with the Communists and the trade unionists yesterday. What have you done to protect your freedom?

A few photos… Read the rest of this entry »

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[links] Link salad enjoys musical irony supplements

L. E. Modesitt, Jr. with a passing, favorable mention of my novel Green

Odd Cover Songs We’ll Probably Never Get — Hahahah. Andrew Wheeler is hilarious. What about Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds doing “Brand New Key”?

Weird Vintage Ads — From Dark Roasted Blend.

Has Indian inventor REALLY made a Back to the Future style flying car? — Hmm. (Thanks to [info]madwriter.)

How Reporter Vanessa Grigoriadis Was Mommy-Shamed After Biebergate — Interesting stuff about the culture normativism of parenthood.

Northwest US fights against alt-med — A pair of interesting and difficult stories from the Pacific Northwest.

Washington’s Echo Chamber — A long article on American assumptions in the current changing world.

Another Runaway General: Army Deploys Psy-Ops on U.S. Senators — Mmm, classy. (Via [info]ms_daisy_cutter.)

Plutocracy Now: What Wisconsin Is Really About — An analysis of politics and income inequality from the point of view of the (American) left.

Death Penalty for Miscarriages Coming Soon to Georgia? — More compassionate conservatism from America’s thought leaders.

Tennessee bill would jail Shariah followers — Criminalizing religious law. So long as America’s thought leaders are all over that, there’s a bunch of pretty toxic stuff in the Bible that needs addressing, too.

?otD: What oddball cover would you like to see?

Writing time yesterday: 1.5 hours (WRPA only)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 6.75 hours (interrupted)
Weight: 251.2
Currently reading: Dead Iron by Devon Monk

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