Yesterday’s Doonesbury: “Lack of paid sick days for workers causes what? Rich owners.” #FastFoodFwd nailed it.
So did Chris Hayes:
All successful social movements are built and all social progress is built out of multitude of tiny miracles just like we saw in New York City.
A single person… a union of thousands or millions who decide against the odds against great risk with no protection to do something courageous, to speak up for their dignity, to proclaim themselves fully human and that was what the fast food workers did today. That was the message of the signs they carried: I am a man, I am a woman.
And this sign should ring a bell, because it’s a sign we have seen at a major labor strike before. At this labor strike, in the city of Memphis in 1968, these sanitation workers were being paid so little that many of them, even working full time, needed welfare just to feed their families.
Their jobs were not just astonishingly low wage, they were also incredibly dangerous. The strike got started after two workers were killed, crushed in a sanitation truck’s compactor.
Supporting that strike is what Martin Luther King Jr. was doing in Memphis in 1968 when he was assassinated 45 years ago today. He was there to support those sanitation workers in their strike and in their struggle.
This coverage made me tear up. To see people standing up for their rights, risking their jobs, organizing, demanding to be treated with dignity, to be treated as human beings…
Such a minimal request, such a fundamental demand should never have to be made. Treating people equally and with respect is what this country should be all about. And nobody should have to beg for that.
Garry Trudeau is covering an important topic here. So important, in fact, that tonight a representative (likely the director) of the New York Communities for Change will be talking about today’s fast food strike (which could be the largest in the industry’s history) on Chris’s new show All In with Chris Hayes.
Set your DVRs.
Thursday morning, hundreds of fast food workers in New York City walked off the job in what could be the largest strike in the fast food industry’s history. This is the second major labor action in a long-term campaign by fast food employees, the community organizing group New York Communities for Change, and community allies. The first day-long strike came in late November 2012, when the organizing workers first announced themselves to the world and demanded higher wages and union recognition.
The date of this second strike is not a coincidence: April 4 is also the anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination. [...]
Though the fast food strike does not take place in a post-Jim Crow South, it does also reflect the racial stratification of a major American industry. Whereas the striking sanitation workers were African-Americans struggling against racial discrimination, modern people of color are disproportionately employed in low-wage service jobs, such as fast food service.
PLEASE NOTE: As you know, I’m going through a pretty painful medical issue, but nothing life-threatening, so no worries. But it’s keeping me down and also very busy going from doctor to doctor, getting CTscans, blahblah. So, I won’t be here much today. I should be back for the weekend, then off again most of Monday.
But this issue is one that MUST get more attention. Please call your Congress members and share this post.
His full take (Postal Service dying from 1,000 cuts and a GOP stab in the back) is at the link, as is this poll:
Here is today’s L.A. Times letter to the editor, because our voices matter, and this sums things up pretty well:
It’s called the U.S. Postal Service because it is a service, not a corporation. Who decided the Postal Service must be profitable? Do other government agencies, like the Defense Department and the Department of Education, have to turn a profit?
Benjamin Franklin was the first postmaster general, and the Post Office has effectively served the American people for 237 years. But now it is under attack because, gasp, it’s losing money. No wonder: The Republicans in 2006 made postal workers pre-fund their retirement 75 years in advance, making it nearly impossible for the USPS to make a profit.
Let’s be honest: Conservatives want to privatize the Postal Service, home to two of the nation’s largest unions. If Congress insists that the USPS be profitable (and it shouldn’t), then the solution is simple: Raise the price of stamps a few cents.
Of course, the GOP would rather we Americans don’t communicate with each other, because when we do, we discover more about their party.
Now to more fully understand what’s going on, here are two excellent Ed Schultz segments. Last night’s (the second video) included some great insights into how “Real America” will be affected:
Sarah Palin. She called it “Real America.” Look at the 2012 election map. Look at all that red that’s there. That’s “Real America,” isn’t it? That’s Republican territory, or what Republicans like to call Real America. That’s where Republicans are elected year after year.
And it’s the area that’s going to be hit hardest by the restructuring of the post office. A restructuring crisis created by the very Republicans elected in Real America.
Now, while many Americans, ‘ehhh you’ll shrug off the postal service’s decision to suspend Saturday service delivery,’ the consequences, my friends, could be devastating. Not just that we’re going to lose 22,500 jobs that are at stake, but the postal service has already started to close, or drastically reduce hours of operation at 13,000 rural offices across Real America.
Many rural communities that are Republican, that have less than reliable access to the Internet, depend on the post office to send mail to do business and are going to be faced with shorter hours at the post office, meaning business is going to get hurt.
It’s going to be less competitive. Many people think that companies like FedEx and UPS, oh they’ll just come in and fill the gaps. They are wrong. It’s estimated that about 30% of FedEx ground shipments are actually delivered by who? The United States Postal Service. Why? Because it’s cheaper for UPS and FedEx to make the postal service deliver to Real America.
You see, the post office is required by law to provide universal delivery, regardless of geography and regardless of whether or not they’re going to make a profit. It’s a big service for America. This is a rights issue. This is more not so much about convenience, this is about what you in Real America voted for: Tea Party America.
All our previous posts here:
The more things change…
Yeah Ann, you just sit there and tell Whoopi what black people think. Sheesh, you’d think even she wasn’t that stupid. Via Mediaite.
My impassioned 72-year-old friend (Who today turns 75, but who’s counting? Happy Birthday!), who goes by the Twitter name @42bkdodgr, would like to share his feelings about the Republican party. I am more than happy to oblige.
But first, a personal note from 42bkdodgr:
Many of you may wonder why I chose to use the “ 72 year old friend” as the introduction to my Special Comments. I selected the moniker so readers could see that from my age and life experiences I give a different perspective to the issues of today.
FORWARD AND DRAWKCAB
In my 75 years, which I celebrate today, I’ve never seen any president receive the abuse that President Obama has. He has been accused of being born in Kenya, a Muslim, a communist, a socialist, a fascist, unAmerican, not one of us, in addition to other derogatory names and remarks.
When I see a story like this , “Kansas Goes Birther: State Board Considers Removing Obama From Ballot,” it really ticks me off.
These birthers are never satisfied, even when documentation has been presented that clearly establishes President Obama was born in America. It seems like they have no other reason to exist other than to try to question whether President Obama is an American. What a shallow life these people must live.
No matter what evidence is presented, these people have demonstrated by their actions that they have no respect for President Obama or the office he holds.
President Obama has continued a democratic tradition of moving our nation forward and making lives better for Americans by enacting the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, the Affordable Care Act, the Don’t Ask, Don’t Repeal Act of 2010, to name a few.
In my lifetime I have seen:
* Passage of the G.I. Bill in June 1944
* Jackie Robinson, breaking the color line in Major League Baseball in 1947. My nickname ID is in honor of my sports hero.
* In 1954 the Supreme Court of the United States declared state laws establishing separate public schools for black and white students was unconstitutional.
* In the end of the 1940s and the decade of the 1950s, there was a vast economic expansion that led to the growth of the middle class.
* Passage of the Civil RightsAct of 1964
* Passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965
* Medicare established in 1965
Our country was moving forward in addressing its racial issues and medical care for the elderly.
* In 1973 The Supreme Court of the United States in the case of Roe v Wade the court ruled privacy under the due process clause of the 14th Amendment extended to a woman’s decision to have an abortion.
Again another example our country was moving forward on its social issues.
But in the last 30 years we have the middle class being greatly reduced via lower wages, jobs outsourced, attacks on unions, and the loss of their bargaining rights.
And today we are seeing a radical Republican Party trying its best to take our country backward to a time before 1930.
* Republican state legislatures and governors have enacted voter ID laws and voter suppression procedures, that effect the old, poor and minorities that live in large urban areas. They are trying to take away, with their voter suppression laws, the constitutional rights of every American, making it harder for Americans to vote instead of easier.
* Republicans are trying to control the a woman’s right to choose earned under Roe v Wade by adopting laws that require women to have unnecessary medical procedures and waiting periods before a woman may have an abortion.
* Republicans are also trying to re-define the definition of when life begins where such definitions could affect the use of contraceptives by women. The religious right of the Republican Party are trying to impose their religious values on the rest of the nation. As much as they try to deny it, their is a War on Women’s rights, and it has been declared by the Republican Party.
* Gov. Romney and Rep. Ryan are planning to repeal the Affordable Care Act, make Medicare into a voucher system, drastically reduce Medicaid funds, and turn Social Security contributions and retirement accounts over to Wall Street.
When I compare what has happened in my lifetime, I can only come to the conclusion that the American people are better off when the laws and policies of our country are ones that move our nation FORWARD, benefiting all Americans, rather than the policies of the Republican Party whose radical ideas are moving and will move our country DRAWKCAB for the benefit of a few.
Many thanks again for another thorough, relevant piece, @42bkdodgr. You often say what many of us are thinking and feeling, and we thank you for your unique perspective.
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Kuwaiti Citizen Detained at Guantanamo since 2002
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