Undermining Unions

I have just finished reading in the 10/1/17 TPP article by Robert Borosage entitled “When the Parades Are Over, Who Stands With Unions?’

As a retired, 30-year member of a union, I agreed completely with his discussion about the problems faced by unions for so many years.

After reading his article, I was left with one MAJOR question regarding the woeful situations the unions now are facing: Where and when did all these problems arise?

The answer I arrived at, was: 1980, when the “alzheimeric” (criminal?) Ronald Reagan was president and “fired” the members of the Air Controllers Union!

What happened after that? Well ...nothing. What should have happened? A National, All-Union Strike! But what did (we?) do again, nothing. When the Repubs realized how easy it was to knock over a union why couldn’t they knock over all the unions. Which they did, and are still doing.

What would have happened if the National Strike had happened? What would be the status of unions in 2017? Would the jobs that moved to … wherever still be in the US?

Would the auto corporations still have four pay levels? Would union workers have good medical insurance? Would Trump be president? Would we still be in eternal war, allowing corporate profiteering to the max? I guess I had more than one question, but they all stem from RR firing the air traffic controllers. Now I realize that the Republicans began to plot the weakening and demise of the unions before RR, but Ronnie pulled the trigger. (My opinion, anyway.)

Gerald Hovis, Saginaw, Mich.

Let’s Achieve Egalitarian Democracy

For those of us octogenarians who grew up during the mid-’20s and mid-’30s and are referred to as “Depression Era Kids,” we did so enthusiastically reading “The Katzenjammer Kids” comic strip every week in excited anticipation as to what ridiculous, outlandish and extreme proposal/propositions Rollo would make constantly. “Rollo,” like The Donald, was a narcissistic braggart; a blowhard buffoon who was always trying to outwit Hans and Fritz with his often-failed “follies” that typically backfired, and corroborated his idiocy.

So here we are in the 21st century with a leader (?) who possesses the power (unlike the ’20s and ’30s) to literally create world havoc, ruination to civilization and humanity itself. Dictatorial historical individuals and events from Hannibal forward to every maniacal fascist, authoritarian, dictatorial, oligarchic zealot have now produced the likes of Putin and Trump sprouting up throughout the world like poisonous mushrooms while spewing their venomous rhetoric for the ill-informed and desperate seeking purported positive change within a society that has been corrupted and pillaged over the past half century, to society’s detriment.

This devious character came into power under the guise of collusion, and with the character traits of “Rollo the rich kid,” plus thievery substantiated; so it’s urgently incumbent on those seeking to get our democracy back to revolt with concerted voices and votes and defy and deny everything from the Biblical precepts of Genesis, to the generations of patriarchal authority, to our Founders’ assumption of women as “lesser beings,” inclusive of the multitude of cultural constraints, denials and behaviors against the rights and justice for women throughout the world falsely perpetuated to present date (2017).

The pathway back to our democracy and the likes of the Donald J. Trumps of the world need to be countered with the immediate unequivocal demand for gender equity (50% male! 50% female) in all tax-supported entities of governance to nullify misogynistic male character traits of “power and control” with the female character traits of “caring and sharing,” in order to salvage civilization’s humanity, seeking fruition of the Egalitarian Society we were promised, but not yet achieved.

Frank C. Rohrig, Milford, Conn.

Second Amendment Isn’t Suicide Pact

Modifying semi-automatic weapons to fully automatic assault weapons (one-man killing machines) to slaughter innocent civilians. We find this only in America among “civilized” countries!

Read it: The US Constitution wasn’t written by ignorant men who intended unfettered national suicide. The Second Amendment relates to a “well-regulated militia” — something the NRA won’t tell you. Nothing about what transpired in Las Vegas Oct. 1 was “well-regulated.”

The Las Vegas incident is only the tip of a large iceberg. To date in 2017 there have been 273 instances in the US of “mass” shootings (defined as four or more fatalities). Las Vegas represents only 5% of the total “mass” killings so far this year. The total is going up each year — not down.

What happened in Las Vegas won’t stay in Las Vegas if we Americans don’t demand and Congress and the President don’t pass additional common-sense gun legislation. Gun violence in America is an epidemic. Common-sense legislation would complement — not oppose — law enforcement efforts.

Second Amendment! Schmecond Amendment! The gun manufacturing and after-market lobbies only really care about selling more guns and accessories. No amendment is absolute.

And ponder this timing: the Republican Congressional majority plans on passing legislation this October deregulating gun silencers! Talk about insanity!

Enough is enough — again! We are told once again to respect and pray for those who were killed and injured — but do something about it “later.” Well, folks, Congress still hasn’t passed meaningful gun regulation years after Sandy Hook. Now we have Las Vegas.

I’m contacting my federal and state elected officials to give them an earful! Are you?

Pat V. Powers, Utopia, Texas

Now is the Time

After four unusually strong hurricanes (Harvey, Irma, Jose and Maria) ripped through the super-heated Caribbean, causing catastrophic damage, White House spokes-person Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked if the trump administration would reconsider its denial of global warming. “This is not the time to discuss climate change policy,” she answered.

After people in Las Vegas suffered the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history, the White House spokes-puppet was asked if the Trump administration would reconsider its objection to reasonable gun control measures. “This is not the time to discuss gun policy,” she answered.

Perhaps this is the time to discuss election reform. We’ve seen the damage caused by a president who took office despite his opponent winning a majority of the votes. Now is the time to scrap the Electoral College and end tyranny by a minority.

Bruce Joffe, Piedmont, Calif.

Presidential Tirades

The sports world is ablaze and buzzing and aghast at the recent presidential tirades directed at any and all athletes who fall foul of a very narrow and toxic world view. The irony of course is that the president has done more to unite and revive political activism among elite athletes than any individual or event in recent memory if not the whole of US history.

However noteworthy and shocking these blunders are, they pale in comparison, if not in newsprint, to the president’s declaration to the United Nations and the world that he would “totally destroy North Korea.” That the North Koreans have take this threat of total destruction as a declaration of war has scarcely been reported. However there is an even greater concern that apparently hasn’t found traction with the public consciousness. Simply said, we had an elected official threaten to commit epic and unrivaled genocide by unleashing nuclear weapons on a nation of 29 million people. This UN declaration cannot be overlooked, minimized, or discounted.

What should be of paramount and unrivaled concern for every thinking and reasoned American is that the United States currently has a cadre of leaders in power who believe that nuclear war is both viable and winnable. And this belief and conviction, if not challenged and renounced, will lead to global destruction on a scale unimaginable. We are talking about human extinction, the end of civilization, and life-ending planetary destruction.

We are now witnessing an age and era where the talk and thought and planning of first-strike nuclear weapons has become normalized commentary. And that reality should have Americans uniting in collective outrage and anger.

The one clear message and conviction and mandate that may allow mankind to grow and evolve is this-nuclear war is both unwinnable and unthinkable. We have to collectively share this fact and reality and conviction with all elected leaders or we will forfeit the future of our children and all future generations.

Sharing contempt and disbelief over attacks on sports celebrities is understandable and justified. However we would all be wise and prudent to direct our collective energies at those who harbor the evil conviction that nuclear war is winnable and an option when addressing foreign problems. Humanities future rests on our ability to act.

Jim Sawyer, Edmonds, Wash.

Trump Got One Right

In the 8/15/17 TPP paper I read a story by Froma Harrop (“America’s Dumb War Against Trade”), criticizing how Trump scrapped the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal! That was the only good thing Trump did for us. I don’t think he knew it, though. Anyway, Froma obviously does not know how harmful the TPP would have been to the middle class and workers of 12 countries.

Jack Karpinen, Superior, Wis.

Why a Civil War?

Heather Digby Parton (9/15/17 TPP) jeers at Trump’s statement, “People don’t ask that question, but why was there a Civil War? Why could that one not have been worked out?” Yes, why not? Other countries’ politicians worked it out. Except for the USA and Haiti, the world ended slavery without bloodshed.

Charles W. McCutchen, Lake Placid, N.Y.

Blank Look

Rosie Sorenson’s article “What Donald Trump and Republican Men Know About Women” in the 10/1/17 issue reminded me of a Nixon-era book titled “The Wit and Wisdom of Spiro T. Agnew”  which had blank pages.

Gayle Voeller, Carmichael, Calif.

We Owe It

Recent events in Charlottesville, Va., have been an eye opener. President Trump’s unabashed support of the white nationalist/supremacists should be a negative mark on the presidency, yet it will blow over. The pseudo criticism shown by leaders in Congress as well as CEOs of Industries will soon dissipate and Republicans will go back to their agenda of supporting President Trump. It will be our job to ensure leadership in Congress is overturned by exercising our right to vote. We owe this to our ancestors who were enslaved — we owe it to the children of immigrants (and their parents) who will be sent back to the country of their origin after years of staying in the US — we owe it wiping-out the “smirk’” on the president’s face for starving the insurance companies for imploding the Affordable Care Act and, finally, we owe it to Ms Heather Heyers. Can we do it or stay in debt?

G.M. Chandu, Flushing, N.Y.

From The Progressive Populist, November 1, 2017


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