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Tim McGovern

Lance, you are as always eloquent. I feel especially sad about the GM deal, given that it was based on the 2-tier system of pay grades, setting up plenty more old vs young debates - as you've talked about even w/ Harry Potter movies.

However, I'm also interested in the Union angle vis a vis w/ the latest kerfluffle between Glenn Greenwald (a champion of mine) and the Nation (Mark Ames and Yasha Levine, other, even older champions of mine). Glenn is angry that the TSA (Unionized)'s invasions of privacy of the 'don't touch my junk' style are wrong and a symbol of a creepy, authoritarian style that he has rightfully railed about for (how many) years.

The Nation piece, the authors of which are part of a magazine in Russia which got legally thrown out b/c of their editorials, and were also a part of the Koch Bros investigation a whole year before the mainstream press broke the story (w/o giving credit), argue that it's about unionization. The right wants to break unions, full stop. These stories, a la Rick Santelli, are manufactured in order to continue to force people to submit to full body scanners, which Brendan Calling has alerted me to the Pilots Union got a pass for b/c of all the radiation. So I fear Glenn, who really has a great, long piece about their journalistic integrity on the issue, got all fired up about something that is at cross-purposes w/ the big picture stuff that I think all 3 of em would agree on.

Of course, people like Michael Chertoff are tied into this Homeland Security money, which is, as you've made clear, perhaps the only economy still thriving, and unrighteously so - I'm sure we don't need the porno scanners in Nebraska.

But besides the ole' Halliburton evil/stupid corporate angle, I'm worried that there's this divide betweeen what Mark Ames (head writer fer the Nation piece) calls the 'Libertards' (fake paid Koch bros racists) and the actually sane people protesting these TSA things. The end of the Nation piece is, I believe, too belittling of the real fake security theatre of it (and see Bruce Schneier fer real security, or Jonathan Simon's Governing Through Crime), but Glenn bugged out on the Tea Party aspect of it while ignoring the through line of Union-busting. I don't think the aim of the piece was to dismiss the very real junk issues (regardless of which lobbyist brought it up, and which corporation paid him/her to do so), but to point out how union-busting is the end-all be-all fer the neo-feudalists/indentured servitude fans.

I don't know how to end this, but I feel really, really scared about how the kinda liberal/libertarian wing of the American populace might fracture (not that it's done anything, RIP Russ Feingold) over stuff like this. B/c Unions, which are really just representative democracy fer workers (the management has it obviously already) are getting so poisoned figuratively and rhetorically (I work at a retail store which has an anti-union poster up at the break room, and we had to watch a 2 hour anti-union video just to be sure) that I fear for the future. As people like Ian Welsh have said, in this economy it's the people who bargained for actual pensions, like public sector union people - teachers, firefighters, cops - who are up next to lose, and this young vs old thing will cause a civil war among people who should be standing up to the super duper rich.

I guess what I'm saying is, holy crap where's the hope? The Left/Labor types will be split, thanks in large part to Obama (how's card check goin?), and the crazy Libertards (with all the cash that people like George Soros refuse to create a truly independent left-wing, rational media that you should take a part in with) will pretend to be a dark Populist force. I guess that jobs bill you mentioned earlier will be non-existent, and business tax cuts are on schedule. I know I trust Donahue - yes, not the talk show martyr, but the Chamber of Commerce fella.


The MT Ed. also added: "Driving and Oxycontin don't mix." Perfect.


That's gonna leave a mark.


Tim, I agree with most of what you say, but one of your assertions is incorrect. TSA is not yet unionized. That was one of the arguments Republicans made against the entire Homeland Security organization until Bush decided he liked the idea. The Dems lost when trying to get the workers authorized to join other Federal employee unions.

Then, 10 days ago, the FLRB said the TSA employees will be allowed to vote for or against labor representation.

Bill Hicks

NASCAR with electric humming cars would not work, that's for sure. The very best part of being at a race is the incredible sound, even when muffled as it must be by serious ear protection. The experience is sui generis.

Bill Hicks

Emptywheel at Firedoglake has a good post up on the Nation article mentioned above.

Phoenix Woman

WRT the idea being pushed by those two Nation authors that the Kochtopus/GOP is behind the protests against the RapiScans and that all good liberals should back these machines:

Sorry, but Koch doesn't automatically equal "libertarian". In fact, the very term "Kochtopus" was created by a libertarian to protest the Koch family's efforts to buy up the Libertarian Party, efforts that in view of the Kochs' similar coopting of the Tea Party movement look to be a means to strip it of its secularism and actual libertarianism and herd its members into the GOP: (Note how the ranks of the Kochified TP GOPers are dominated by religio-racist right candidates, most of whom went down in flames earlier this month?)

As for the efforts of the authors to play the victim card against Greenwald rather than admit they screwed up, might I remind them that Glenn Greenwald is forced to live overseas because the US, the country of his birth, won't recognize his marriage?

-- Yes, the Republicans want to use this as a pretext to privatize TSA, yet they don't want to see the RapiScans removed. John Mica gave their game away when he begged people not to take part in National Opt-Out Day:

The whole reason we have the TSA is because Karl Rove saw Joe Lieberman's ideas and turned them to his own ends. Specifically, Rove wanted to create a Federal agency that used the pretext of “national security” to justify being set up outside of normal Federal Civil Service regulations — and to make it impossible for unions to be formed. Once started, TSA and the other Homeland Security agencies were going to be the union-busting trendsetters. But things didn’t work out that way, and the TSA itself is allowed to unionize if it so desires, so of course the Republicans don’t like it any more.

Phoenix Woman

Oh, and yes, what the Republicans are doing is yet another wrinkle in what started out as "the Southern Strategy" -- the alliance between Corporate American and bigots to cut rich people's taxes (and thus the amount of money the government can spend on social programs that might help nonwhites) as a way to hurt black people while hiding under the cloak (or rather, the white sheet) of deficit hawkery and "fiscal prudence".

Lee Atwater gave that game away back in 1981:

''You start out in 1954 by saying, 'Nigger, nigger, nigger.' By 1968 you can't say 'nigger' -- that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states' rights and all that stuff. You're getting so abstract now [that] you're talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you're talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites.

''And subconsciously maybe that is part of it. I'm not saying that. But I'm saying that if it is getting that abstract, and that coded, that we are doing away with the racial problem one way or the other. You follow me -- because obviously sitting around saying, 'We want to cut this,' is much more abstract than even the busing thing, and a hell of a lot more abstract than 'Nigger, nigger.'''


NASCAR with electric humming cars would not work, that's for sure.

What if we tuned them to hum the "Battle Hymn Of The Republic"?


Interesting point about the noise angle. Have you read The Unwanted Sound of Everything We Want by Garrett Keizer? It makes some similar points about noise and its role in American culture.

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