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The best (serious) April Fools’ Day video (seriously!)

“Introducing Anti-Unional, a new, long-lasting anti-worker suppository…”

The anti-union push by the wealthy elites, the corporations and the reichwing politicians who do the bidding of the highest bidders is shameful. As someone raised in a union household, what went down in Tennessee recently made me feel heartsick. Mike Elk’s epic article “The Battle for Chattanooga: Southern Masculinity and the Anti-Union Campaign at Volkswagen” is a must-read if you want to understand the depths these middle-management class-traitor assholes will sink to and the psychological warfare they engaged in vs. the workers. One word for it: Shameful. (This is an important piece of journalism, absolutely worth your time.)

Why not ask the Germans how they feel about union membership? They have a strong economy. They have LOTS of union members. Their unions prevent them from getting screwed over by the oligarchs. They have good wages and can raise their families without struggling. They even get a month or more of vacation. Coincidence? I should think not.

Can’t have that here, now, can we? The wealthy might not like it. Look at this chart, it tells the story of what’s happened in America rather succinctly and as the saying goes, numbers don’t lie.

Utterly brilliant work, this video speaks for itself, so I’m just going to get out of its way:

Ten out of ten CEOs recommend Anti-Unional to their workers!

Time-released effects ensure that the 1% continue to take in a greater share of the nation’s wealth!

Fast-acting formula decimates wages and benefits and a secure retirement!

Certified and approved by Koch Brothers Laboratories.

If you approve of this satire, SHARE IT. So far they’ve only had a handful of views, this needs to go viral stat.


Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Billy Bragg makes surprise visit to union rally in Minnesota
04:32 pm

Class War

Billy Bragg

Activist and singer-songwriter Billy Bragg showed up at the University of Minnesota’s American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees union’s Rally for Affordable & Accessible Healthcare for All this week, spoke about his support for the workers, and played “There is Power in a Union” and “Keep the Faith.” The AFSCME is the union for the university’s clerical, technical and health care workers. The are fighting for a simple sliding-scale health care model, but the university’s administrators – at an institution that is supposedly so very progressive – won’t even discuss it. Bragg happened to be in Minneapolis to play a gig last night at the Cedar, but still took the time to get to the noon rally. 

He was interviewed by Margaret Cho on the Monsters of Talk podcast in May, when he talked about the need for universal health care in the U.S. and Breaking Bad. And some of Cho’s tattoos. Their point is similar to the recent Breaking Bad, Anywhere But America Edition comic strip.

Bragg tweeted this pointed comment at Senator Ted Cruz on Wednesday:

Animated excerpt from Monsters of Talk podcast with Margaret Cho interviewing Billy Bragg:

Posted by Kimberly J. Bright | Leave a comment
Chinese workers hold American factory owner ‘hostage’... sort of
07:13 am

Class War
Current Events

Chip Starnes

Chip Starnes, founder and president of Specialty Medical Supplies, has been “held hostage” since Friday at his own factory in Beijing… kind of. Appearing totally unaccompanied by his “captors,” Starnes talked openly with a reporter through a three-foot high gate. When the reporter asked why Starnes doesn’t just climb over and leave, he replied, “I think I could absolutely do that, but I think that would probably be the wrong impression to give at this point in time.”

Starnes says the dispute is over demands for unmerited pay. He recently laid off 30 workers after moving their jobs to India, and they received severance. He says the 80 employees refusing to let him leave “got jealous” and demanded the same severance, which he insists it would be “business suicide.”

The workers, who were quite happy to talk to the press, say that they haven’t been paid in two months, and that they simply want their wages.

Now, I can’t find much on Starnes, (except that he lives in lovely Parkland, Florida, where the estimated median house value is $873,176), but the minimum wage in Beijing is 1,400 Chinese Yuan, or $227.77 a month. While CBS seems all but assured of his innocence and victimhood, I am, to say the least, skeptical.

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
‘Managing your meat’: Burger King’s homoerotic, Soviet-inspired corporate art confounds and delights
07:28 am

Class War

fast food

Burger King fake union poster
Okay, first of all, let’s get this out of the way: big, burly men declaring that they’re “managing your meat everyday” is quite possibly the best imaginable homoerotic theme for a fast food advertisement. So let’s just have ourselves a giggle. Go ahead. Someone clearly meant for you to laugh, because there is no way that wasn’t intentional.

But moving on…

If you don’t follow labor news (not that it’s easy, since the largest media outlets tend to ignore it), you may not be aware that New York has had a recent upswing in strike activity, particularly among the notoriously difficult to organize service sector.  Since November, coalitions of unions, community organizations, and labor rights groups have been endorsing fast food workers in their fight for a living wage and a union.

Since Burger King is one of the targets of these protests, it was particularly dizzying to see this corporate art decorating the wall of one of their locations in Tribeca, in Lower Manhattan. The aesthetic appeal of a “Stacker’s Union” might’ve seemed “cute” to the marketing execs, a nostalgic reference to a time when unionized industrial labor held the promise of a good life for a working class family. I doubt, however, that any of Burger King’s employees (or the workers who pick their tomatoes) would find it so cute.
fake union logo
It even has a little fake union logo, to represent the fake solidarity of the union workers that don’t actually exist!

What’s even weirder is the style of the art. At first glance, it appears to be referencing the public art of the Work’s Progress Administration, the New Deal program that put so many Americans to work during The Great Depression.
WPA poster
Hmmmm… close, but not quite. However, upon further inspection, this poster is so Soviet-inspired you can practically taste the corn syrup-suffused borscht (made with real beet extract):
Lenin poster

I’m not sure what to make of it, honestly. On the one hand, I find it completely believable that a giant union-busting corporation would intentionally appropriate the title and aesthetics of labor to seem warm and fuzzy. On the other hand, I could also believe they’re all clueless idiots who just hired someone (who is apparently a droll comedic genius) to make them a cool-looking poster.

Marie Antoinette used to dress as a milkmaid for kicks. At the time, the bucolic peasantry was a signifier of idyllic, simple beauty. While it seems absurd to us now, the habit of the powerful to emulate an idealized working class persists today. We see designer jeans for hundreds of dollars, intentionally distressed so as to appear rugged, aged in the nobility of hard work. Folks mount their expensive, high-tech electronics on “rustic” stands. These are microcosms of the tendency, for sure, but Burger King playing “dress-up” with unions isn’t really too far off from Marie A playing dress-up as a farm girl.

Then again, we all know what happened to her.

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
The best protest sign seen at the Chicago Teachers Union strike

If Paul Ryan is the dude that completely misinterprets Rage Against the Machine, we can probably surmise that Rahm Emanuel secretly yearns for post-grunge butt-rock…

If you haven’t heard, 26,000 teachers and staff have gone on strike in Chicago, the first CTU strike in 25 years. While certain idiots seem to think a few days out of school will forever render children feral little beasts, the teachers are fighting lay-offs, school closings, increases in hours, and the measuring of student (and teacher) success by standardized test scores. Oh yeah, and they want fucking air conditioning.

My beloved socialist rag, Jacobin magazine, sets the record straight:

“[Rahm Emanuel] brazenly canceled a contractually-obligated four percent cost of living raise for teachers last year; he pushed hard for a 20 percent longer school day while offering a two percent pay increase (a fight he eventually lost); he has unabashedly denigrated teachers, accusing them of not caring about the well-being of their students. Despite campaigning on promises of reform, he has gone full-steam ahead on the city’s Tax Increment Financing (TIF) system, which diverts huge amounts of tax dollars from public institutions like schools and libraries and funnels them to wealthy corporations.”

With Democrats like these, who needs Republicans?

Even Diane Ravitch, former Assistant Secretary of Education under that Marxist union thug, Comrade George Bush the First, has written extensively on how these sorts of “reforms” hurt children (The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education), only to be ignored by Democrats, and attacked by Republicans.

If you’d like to donate to the strike fund, go to here.

And if you’d like to harass Nightline Host Terry Moran, for being a sanctimonious talking head devoid of journalistic integrity, I suggest you tweet my favorite YouTube video at him!

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Wisconsin GOP: Winning hearts and minds, continued

Mafia -style politics in Madison? This is the text of the email that went out yesterday to Wisconsin Republicans from their Majority Leader, Scott Fitzgerald. Stunning, isn’t it? It’s as if these people have no clue what is about to hit them.

From: Sen.Fitzgerald
Sent: Monday, March 14, 2011 3:52 PM
To: *Legislative Senate Republicans
Subject: Senate Democrat voting privileges in standing committees

Dear Members,

With the return of the Senate Democrats this weekend, questions have arisen regarding Democrat members’ participation in Senate standing committee public hearings and executive sessions.

Please note that all 14 Democrat senators are still in contempt of the Senate. Therefore, when taking roll call votes on amendments and bills during executive sessions, Senate Democrats’ votes will not be reflected in the Records of Committee Proceedings or the Senate Journal. They are free to attend hearings, listen to testimony, debate legislation, introduce amendments, and cast votes to signal their support/opposition, but those votes will not count, and will not be recorded.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact my office.

Thank you,

Scott Fitzgerald
Senate Majority Leader
13th Senate District

Below, Wisconsin Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald discusses his version of democracy(!!), but look what happened when the Wisconsin 14 actually did return. Fitzgerald thinks he can have it both ways. He’s wrong. What an appalling hypocritical scumbag this man is. I will look forward to his recall and hope it’s chock full of juicy Republican schadenfreude, because Republican schadenfreude is the best kind of schadenfreude there is. (And how fucking dumb—and politically tone-deaf—would you have to be to make a statement like this with THAT racket in the background? Fitzgerald only appears slightly less stupid than Sarah Palin did when she pardoned the turkey... and that’s nothin’ to be proud of, pal.)

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Wisconsin union protests larger than any Tea party rally


Via The Raw Story:

Police estimated that more than 100,000 people flooded the streets around the Wisconsin Capitol in Madison Saturday, making the turnout larger than any of the fledgling Tea Party’s rallies. The largest turnout for a Tea Party rally is the estimated crowd of 60,000 to 70,000 people who marked in Washington, D.C. during the group’s September 12, 2009 demonstration.

The 2009 Tea Party rally’s crowd size is also notable for the controversy that surrounded it. ABC News published a piece claiming conservative activists had told them that 1 million to 1.5 million people turned out at the rally, when the corrected number was only a fraction of that size.

Below, an amazing time lapse document of events in Madison. Comprised of 2940 photos of protesters on the square.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
The complexity of America’s class war summed up in a simple joke even a Teabagger could understand


“A public union employee, a tea party activist, and a CEO are sitting at a table with a plate of a dozen cookies in the middle of it.

The CEO takes 11 cookies, turns to the tea partier and says, ‘Watch out for that union guy. He wants a piece of your cookie.’ “

Apparently a lot of people have been updating their Facebook status with this joke today. Maybe you’d like to also?

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Obama should go to Madison and show the American people whose side he’s really on

Kathie Free, a retired Milwaukee public school social worker told Huffington Post:

“He owes it to us. Obama was not put into office just by the big money. He was put into office by millions of poor and middle-class people who walk the neighborhoods, talking to neighbors, getting the votes, and that’s how Obama got in, and he has to start remember how he got in. He’d better start working for the middle class and poor people.”

Well put, Kathie! Damn right he should be there.

Please share and retweet!

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment