Why America Needs a New Kind of Labor Movement by Thomas Geoghegan (2 of 2)

only one thing can save us now a new kind of labor movement book jacketOnly One Thing Can Save Us: Why America Needs a New Kind of Labor Movement by Thomas Geoghegan (2 of 2)

Carrying on from part 1 of my commentary about this book, he starts chapter 4 off with the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) strike of 2012.  The author mentions that in his youth he was a “lawyer for the United Mine Workers” so he knew that strikes were risky but “it’s still hard to imagine a labor movement without them.”

I remember reading about the strike but was not aware of any details. I just assumed that they were getting screwed over somehow, because strikes are risky things! And for some reason, Republicans hate teachers, and especially hate tenured teachers. Whenever I hear someone bitch about the luxury lifestyle of “three months vacation” and “high pay” I know I am listening to a Republican.

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Horsemen of the Trumpacoplypse by John Nichols

bright yellow book jacket with a graphic of a cowboy on a galloping horse holding a rifle looking back over his shoulder with the face of Donald Trump added where an original face was onceHorsemen of the Trumpacoplypse: A field guide to the most dangerous people in America by John Nichols (2017)

Dangerous people are controlling and embellishing the wickedness of authoritarian zealots in the United States alternate reality government of 2017 and onward so far in 2018.

I best post this soon, while I have been writing this the people in the administration are leaving the White House by the dozens. The Horsemen mentioned include women and men, outsiders as well as political operatives.

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Why America Needs a New Kind of Labor Movement by Thomas Geoghegan (1 of 2)

only one thing can save us now a new kind of labor movement book jacketLabor has lost all power in the face of the onslaught of “free market” lies put forth by Republicans and Neoliberals alike. No, the “invisible hand of the market” will not save us. It will strangle us, that much is certain. That’s why slavery was invented: rich people didn’t want to have to pay for necessary labor and didn’t want to do shitty jobs themselves.
Similarly, apart from the nonexistence of a truly “free” market out there (buy the little competitors up and kill their business or co-opt for their de facto monopolies) PROFIT MOTIVE will always seek to take from labor. Capitalists do not respect any labor right to the value of labor’s own production; only the “money men” deserve reward for the fact that they had money in the first place (inherited wealth in particular) or earned through exploitation of other people and the environment.
The full title of the book actually is:  Only One Thing Can Save Us: Why America Needs a New Kind of Labor Movement by Thomas Geoghegan (2014).

Continue reading Why America Needs a New Kind of Labor Movement by Thomas Geoghegan (1 of 2)

How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything

book jacket plain white with gold bulletsHow Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything: Tales from the Pentagon by Rosa Brooks (2016)

Considering the United States seemingly has been at war somewhere, declared or not, for my entire life, despite protests in the Sixties to the contrary, this book provides multiple perspectives on the business of perpetual war.

The author worked in prominent Pentagon capacities and provides real intimate details of what it was like to live in that particular bubble.

Those two years were strange, almost surreal in their intensity. For me — a law professor and journalist brought up in a family of left-wing anti-war activists — working for the Pentagon was like conducting anthropological fieldwork in some exotic and unpredictable foreign tribe. (p. 6)

I saw her on Book TV talking about this book and knew that it was going to be special because, as it is described on the cover flap, “it is by turns a memoir, a work of journalism, and a scholarly exploration of history, anthropology, and law.”

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Chris Hedges Speaks the Unspeakable

book jacket of Unspeakable by Chris Hedges on the most forbidden topics in AmericaChris Hedges, one of my favorite authors and thinkers speaks with David Talbot “about the most forbidden topics in America” in this new book series from Hot Press (Conversations). David Talbot is a fellow radical journalist who founded Salon and the Hot Books imprint.

This book, Unspeakable, by Chris Hedges (c 2016) is formatted with Talbot asking him questions and then transcription his replies.

This is not a fun read; he has seen too much death and greed and destruction. I am an idealist, so I guess I still have a spark of hope.

I did put this off for another day to read in full: it is bleak.

[note: this was written in August 2017 and I am not sure I still have that spark of hope. Subsequent events: #GOPTaxScam, the close contest for senator from Alabama where a sexual predator was deemed better than a Democrat, and the Democrats eating their own with the hasty and ill-considered holier-than-thou response to Al Franken’s juvenile sense of humor exceeds my capacity to believe that everything will be alright.]

He mentions the documentary Cowspiracy that I have heard about but could not bear to watch. I cannot bear many things these days, like the fact that:

Animal agriculture is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than all the cars, trucks, trains, ships and planes combined. Livestock, along with their waste and flatulence, account for at least 32,000 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year, or 51 percent of all worldwide greenhouse gas emissions. . . . (p. 139)

He goes on like this citing more statistics, including the stat that my theme reading on water issues already made me aware of: “It takes 1,000 gallons of water to produce a gallon of milk.”

Also, “Crops grown for livestock feed consume 56 percent of the water use in the United States.

Many things take more water than they are worth to produce. Ethanol, as I recall, was a big water waster.


So I’m just going to post this as is without more. It’s December now, and things have only gotten worse and worse. I may not ever feel emotionally strong enough to read this completely. Too much bad in the world.