Friday, July 28, 2006

Solidarity Forever

I was in someone's kitchen recently and they had an excerpt from Solidarity Forever. I've sang it before and I know I have it on mp3 somewhere, but I was struck again by how great a song it is.

Solidarity Forever

(Tune: John Brown's Body) (by Ralph Chaplin, January 1915 )(9th edition, 1916)

When the Union's inspiration through the workers' blood shall run,
There can be no power greater anywhere beneath the sun.
Yet what force on earth is weaker than the feeble strength of one?
But the Union makes us strong.

Solidarity forever!
Solidarity forever!
Solidarity forever!
For the Union makes us strong.

Is there aught we hold in common with the greedy parasite
Who would lash us into serfdom and would crush us with his might?
Is there anything left to us but to organize and fight?
For the Union makes us strong.


It is we who plowed the prairies; built the cities where they trade;
Dug the mines and built the workshops; endless miles of railroad laid.
Now we stand outcast and starving, 'midst the wonders we have made;
But the Union makes us strong.


All the world that's owned by idle drones is ours and ours alone.
We have laid the wide foundations; built it skyward stone by stone.
It is ours, not to slave in, but to master and to own,
While the Union makes us strong.


They have taken untold millions that they never toiled to earn,
But without our brain and muscle not a single wheel can turn.
We can break their haughty power; gain our freedom when we learn
That the Union makes us strong.


In our hands is placed a power greater than their hoarded gold;
Greater than the might of armies, magnified a thousand-fold.
We can bring to birth a new world from the ashes of the old.
For the Union makes us strong.


Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Gil Scott-Heron sent to jail

Gil Scott-Heron, one of the world's premiere poets and wordsmiths, was sent to prison. History Is A Weapon features both his The Revolution Will Not Be Televised and Black History. Scott-Heron's unfortunate drug ordeals have been known for some time, but now the media has announced that Scott-Heron's HIV status as positive. He has been sent back to prison for violating a plea deal involving a rehab facility; he says that the rehab facility kept him from his needed HIV medication. Suffice to say, our hopes and prayers go out for the man.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Barry Bonds

I'm not a particular fan of Barry Bonds. Nothing personal, I got nothing going for him and he's the one eligible member of the baseball union who isn't a member. Unions are important, even for baseball players, and that seems like a pretty weak choice.
Bonds is not being criticized for that choice, however. He is being criticized for sticking a needle in his arm to beef up his muscles. For this, he is being called a criminal. America has, amid towering mountains of wealth, real gut-wrenching poverty and is engaged in a mutli-front illegal and immoral war for empire. We have a current political system in which criminality competes with slavish devotion to the worst tendencies of modern ultra-predator capitalism in a race to exploit and destroy people all over the world, from San Francisco to South Africa to Saudi Arabia. And then we have Barry Bonds. We have a known history of black American athletes being tossed to the sharks and a popular liberal discourse today that laments the dreams of millions of poor americans, of all colors, imagining that they can only escape their caste through sports or music. And then we have Barry Bonds. When we are examined by our children and their children and their children, these years we live in will be judged as some of the poorest examples of human conduct in all of history. A time when less and less of the people were fooled, but still stood and did nothing. And then we have the public reprimanding of Barry Bonds. I'm not a particular fan of Barry Bonds, but people need to quit focusing on one man and look at the system around him. We have a system that provides incredible amounts of wealth to the official performers, from the pundits to the athletes.
It is silly, when the emperor is running around naked and the greedy lords are ordering the world raped and pillaged, to stomach a show trial for one of the many jesters.

Monday, July 17, 2006

So much in so little space.

Every once in awhile, a cartoonist makes something so good, that I'm just amazed. Ward Sutton has a comic, published in the village voice, that is such a cartoon:

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Kenny Boy

There once was a crook on the right,
Who'd given all of california a fright,
brownouts bought his lexus,
he counted the prez among his exes,
But, friends, Hell Burns A Bit Hotter Tonight!

Burn, Baby, Burn!

We've noticed that most of the country's corporate news sources have taken a somber and moralistic tone in covering kenny boy's massive heart attack. We'd like to add to the litany of critical praise and sad lessons learnt with one simple plea: stick the body on a spit and roast him in the hot Texas sun as an example to all his cronies. How many poor people did he screw with his criminal energy bills? The man lent his jet to Bushie for his first presidential run! I was thinking the other day that when the chief criminal, Kissinger, dies, we're going to make a poster of all the corporate news shills and politicians and their empty words of praise and sorrow and place them square with his crimes. The headline of the poster could be something like "never trust these scum again." Anyway, that is a project for another day. For now, Hell burns a little hotter.

Kenny boy's mash note to Dubya