Monday, September 03, 2018

Happy Labor Day

You remember labor, don't you? That's us, the people who work for a living. Alas, it's traumatic to be a teacher on a day like this. Here we are, having established a rhythm of not working, and we have to re-establish a whole new one. It seems unnatural. For me, it's all about lifestyle. I've gotten into this luxurious habit of sleeping until 6:30 AM. That's gonna change tomorrow.

I haven't used an alarm clock in years, but tomorrow I may have to. As of June I was in the habit of waking ridiculously early, maybe 4 AM. It was the only way I could ever get anything done. I'd usually get to work at least an hour early, which was the only way I could actually do any schoolwork. Even so, people as crazy as I am would come just as early, and sometimes they'd have issues. The thing about us crazy people is we almost always have issues.

I half expect the orange president to get up and declare there is no Labor Day, but rather a corporation day. After all, in our economy, it's corporations that get all the breaks. The GOP tax plan was a huge giveaway to corporations, some of which were already paying nothing or less. Corporations have rights, like they're individuals, and are free to buy politicians like Scott Walker, who target us and make it virtually impossible for us to get ahead.

Of course, things are changing.  Suddenly there's life in the labor movement, and people in some states are getting real traction.

In Missouri, a statewide movement put a referendum on a state right-to-work law on the Primary Day ballot. Not only did voters overwhelmingly overturn the law, but the referendum drew more votes than were cast in the party primaries. Missouri’s unions and labor organizations such as Jobs With Justice led the fight, but in a state where only about 9 percent of the work force is represented by a union, labor had to mobilize plenty of nonunion workers to reject the right to work law. The coalition relied heavily on black and Latino voters, almost certainly benefiting from organizing efforts in the wake of the 2014 Ferguson uprising. 

That's remarkable. It gives me hope on this Labor Day. Of course, that affected only private unions. Public unions have been targeted under Janus, and we don't get a vote on it. Scumbag Janus was bankrolled by corporate interests who don't give a damn about us, and now has a cozy gig at some think tank as a reward. It's a good thing, too, because his former co-workers don't particularly adore him. They threw him a going-away party, but didn't invite him because he's not a union member.

Not only did we not get a vote on Janus, but we didn't even elect the people who pushed it. Consider how many on SCOTUS were appointed by GW and Trump, neither of whom won the popular vote. It's not a huge logical leap to say that the judges they pick are not representative of We, the People. Even as Orange Man's people go down, even as he's an unindicted co-conspirator, even has he withholds 100,000 pages of documents about his SCOTUS pick, his thugs in the Senate are planning to push this through, again bypassing the filibuster with a simple majority.

Even if we dump these scumbags from the Congress and Senate, it will be a long time dealing with the lifetime SCOTUS appointments, probably generations. I'm sorry to be such a bummer on your last day before going back.

I wish you a happy Labor Day anyway. Remember to check your programs very carefully. If you have four preps, if you're in four classrooms, if you got nothing you requested, if you got no C6 you requested, file a grievance. You have only 48 hours to do so. Speak now or forever hold your crappy program. Okay, not forever. But a whole school year with a crappy program is a long time.

Thanks to Harris
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