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Tuesday: Airing of Grievances

Did anyone catch this UAW bailout piece on NPR this morning?  Add another data point to the study of the media.  If you stay away from it long enough, the propaganda and spinning smacks you in the face immediately.

In UAW Hopes New Year Brings Better Bailout Deal, the politics of class resentment is alive and well.  I can’t find the transcript but I urge you to listen to it for the comment from one of the negotiators who says that the waitress should be enraged that her taxpayer money has to go to bailout the lives of the average UAW autoworker who makes an inflated salary. Those bankers on Wall Street who took her money to give themselves year end bonuses shouldn’t bother her a bit.

It really is shocking in its audacity.  It appears that all of the efforts of the lameduck Bush administration is going to be focussed on stripping labor of as many protections as it can.  It could be working on mid-east peace or Darfur or something that would redeem it.  But noooOOOOOoooo.  We have the Bushies throwing gobs and gobs of taxpayer money to their friends in the bankrupt finance coummunity without even requesting an IOU.  But lending money to union workers whose prospects are about to turn Michigan into a l AM LEGEND landscape?  Well, they have to follow the ROOLZ.

And what have we learned about people who insist on others following the ROOLZ?

That’s right.  Projection.

155 Responses

  1. But those bankers DESERVE their huge salaries.

    They worked very hard!

  2. but not with their grubby hands.

  3. Of course not – their hands are for grubbing money!

  4. Prediction. As soon as the autoworkers of the big three get wages “commensurate with Toyota etc.” those wages will go down.

  5. This is why I could never, ever be a right-wing ANYTHING. The fact that they’re all b*tching and moaning about the turrible Unions while Lee Raymond and his ilk are stealing billions and billions of their money just makes me throw up my hands in disgust.

    But RD, Bush isn’t JUST limiting himself to union-busting. Don’t forget that he’s trying to screw women to the wall too, with his new HHS rule that I’m sure pro-life Daschle will overturn immediately.

    Bush is an equal-opportunity hater. If it benefits the less fortunate or oppressed in society, he’s agin’ it.

  6. The largest hogs spend the longest and take up the greatest amount of space at the trough. In the eight years of W, the hogs who have fed handsomely at the trough and are brazenly, unabashedly having one last super-sized midnight nosh. Their justification is that there will be more bacon for all of us at the end of the day. Bacon doesn’t come from fat — that is something that 30 years of trickle down economics has never acknowledged.

  7. In 8 short years (some of the looongest ever) we have almost returned to the days of the robber barons.

  8. Prolix – I’ve been trying to go over to my right-wing guilty pleasure site lately, but I can barely stand to read it. They are just nucking futs. Defending Cheney and Bush, saying that Reaganomics on steroids (“voodoo economics”) is right, blaming Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton for the financial crisis – I mean, gee whiz, that’s just dumber than f*cking dirt. If those Presidents did things that the Republicans disagreed with, they had more than ample time and power to change them, n’est-ce pas?

    Meanwhile, they’re already blaming Obama for the financial crisis and he hasn’t even been inaugurated.

    So, it’s fine to blame people who aren’t in office for the meltdown, as long as they’re Democrats; but Bush and the Republicans get an eight-year pass for destroying Clinton’s surplus and hollowing out the government.

    The hypocrisy, it BURNNNNNSSSSSS.

  9. Madamab, I agree wholeheartedly.

    The people who always bray about personal responsibility never takes any.

    Fifty years from now, Bill Clinton will be to blame for drought, famine and every lucking focust on the planet.

  10. You have to get the little people angry and resentful towards the other little people. It’s separate, divide, and control. If the waitresses are resentful towards the auto workers, mission accomplished. It helps to keep people distracted so they don’t blame politicians or executives.

    It’s really sad that we’ve got blue collar workers angry at blue collar workers. We’re now acting like the middle class are a bunch of pampered princesses sucking up bailout money. The “enemy” responsible for all the economic woes of the country is now being portrayed as the auto workers.

  11. Right, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton are responsible for a financial crisis that happened seven and a half years into Bush’s presidency. Oh, and Obama, who hasn’t taken office yet, is responsible too.

    Meanwhile, the people who took office promising to gut the government — or drown it in a bathtub — aren’t responsible for a collapse of the government.

    They weren’t responsble for 9/11, they weren’t responsible for the phantom WMD, they weren’t responsible for Katrina, they’re never responsible for anything.

  12. I have heard so many down here (teh South) screaming bring those auto factories down here. We will bust those unions.

    BMW is about 6 miles down the interstate from me and it did not take them long to Americanize their operation. The average worker earns about $52k a year, but the first year, there are no paid holidays and the second year you get some time off, but if you are out for any reason, you better have a subpoena or a major doctor’s excuse. Then there are the temp employees who earn about $12.00 an hour and there are over a thousand of them and all of them have been laid off for the past 3 months and expecting to be off another 5 months. They get no benefits at all and are usually not considered for permanent employment for at least three years.

    Yeah, bring ’em down here, in the South, we know how to treat workers like $hit.

  13. yttik – And the rightwingers are swallowing it hook, line and sinker.

    They even publish fairy tales about how union-free auto plants are the most awesomest place to work in the world. Sure, sure. Everyone should throw off the shackles of unionization which lead to horrors like a 40-hour work week, an hour lunch break, paid vacations and a competitive salary.

    And of course, all rightwingers are against single-payer health insurance because it will cause capitalism to die, dieeeeee I tells ya! But what’s killing the auto industry is the fact that they have to pay ever-more-expensive health benefits to their workers.

    I just have no patience for people who allow ideology to trump practicality any more. If it works, keep it. If it doesn’t, change it.

    Clearly Reaganomics does not work for anyone but the super-wealthy. It never has. It never will. GET OVER IT, WINGNUTS, and stop shooting yourselves in the foot!!!

    By the way – in possibly good economic news, The Krug is in super-secret discussions with the Obama Administration. Could it be that they will allow an actual liberal into the room with all the Chicago School Friedmanites? Oh please oh please oh please?

    Link

  14. I blame Gordon “greed is good” Gekko

    What was that movie?

    Oh yeah – “Wall Street”

  15. How many times have we heard that people don’t mind policies that favor the rich because they hope to be rich themselves someday. I think it is more likely that they hope to make a decent hourly wage someday….
    The public does not understand that a lot of the benefits we all have are the result of unions pushing for better conditions and benefits for workers. It is no conincidence that as unions have diminished in power, workers are being paid less, losing benefits, etc.
    I realize that some unions abused their power, but that does not compare to the abuses of management. While conservatives are so busy demanding workers cut their pay to match foreign competition, no one is demanding that management do the same. Heaven forbid that liberals take a bold stance on this issue. Our fearless leader is too busy pandering to the fundamentalists to lead the way.

  16. The best trick the GOP ever pulled off was convincing the middle class they had more in common with the rich than with the poor.

  17. TRK – I am just now starting to hear about the auto workers in the South. I always think of the Midwest when I hear about the auto manufacturers. I’m sad that the blight of outsourcing and union-busting has spread to the South as well.

    😦

  18. madamab:

    Didja see I posted a video for you on the last thread?

  19. Speaking of the “little people”, Caroline Kennedy is not about to release her financial statements unless she has been offered the vacancy outright. Apparently in her world, where you are not taken to task for lacking experience, cannot bother to vote, are blessed with “legacy” and simply expect to be “rewarded” based on DNA, and have friends in high places, ordinary requirements do not apply. Playing by the rules is for others who do not reside in that privileged atmosphere.

    This is just another attempt to shove a “candidate” down our throats even is they refuse to answer questions, meet with the press, or explain to the voters just what the hell you stand for. The theme again resounds: to hell with the public, we know what is best. “Little people” be damned.

    Money talks and the “elites” walk.

  20. TRK: My father was a plant manager for Burlington. Burlington was never successfully unionized as they had a secret formula: Pay your employees decently. Also, the standard of living is lower in most of the South, although it coulkd be dropping drastically in Michigan these days.

  21. The only group of people that I can think of having more grubby and greedy hands than the bankers is the federal government.

    Delle

  22. Hint:

    It wasn’t the Festivus one

  23. myiq – That’s why the righties and libertardians adore Ronnie. That trick was his. He made them feel like being selfish helped their fellow Americans.

    Once you’re addicted to feeling morally superior because you care only about yourself, it’s really hard to give up that feeling.

  24. Delle:

    Government isn’t greedy – it spends more than it takes in.

  25. myiq – Can’t really listen at work, no speakers…but thanks for the thought!

    🙂

  26. Under the real Democrats (FDR-HST-JFK-LBJ) and those fake Republicans (Ike, Nixon and Ford) Americans were doing so good they forgot what it was like to be poor.

    Then Ronnie Raygun convinced them that the government that helped them prosper was trying to rob them blind.

  27. “Government isn’t the solution; it’s the problem.” — Ronald Reagan

    Well, we’re finding out different, aren’t we?

  28. Imagine living and working in a “company town” where your employer was also your landlord.

    Then imagine having your wages cut but not your rent.

    “Pullman Strike”

  29. Madamab,

    The Krug link isn’t working. Please and thank you for a new one.

  30. myiq – That about sums it up. I thought we were back to sanity under Bill Clinton, but it turned out to be a temporary and partial respite from the rightwing onslaught against The New Deal.

    If Hillary were being inaugurated, she would know how to keep the VRWC from blaming everything on the Democrats. But since Obama is a Reagan Republican DINO, he will do everything he can to muddy the ideological waters in the next four years – exactly, EXACTLY what we did not need.

    No one will know why this catastrophe happened by the time he is done f*cking everything up even further. No one will remember that Bush cut taxes drastically in a time of war and at the same time, increased domestic spending exponentially, destroying the Clinton surplus. No one will blame free-marketeers from both parties for the deregulation in the banking and mortgage industry that led to the meltdown. Instead, the myth that laissez-faire corporatism is good for America will be allowed to fester in the American consciousness.

    WTYS!!

    I keep forgetting my tag line…

    Don’t blame me: I voted for Hillary

  31. Sorry, Prolix!

    Try this one:

    Link

    Don’t blame me: I voted for Hillary

  32. madamab:

    I voted for McPalin because I figured neither candidate would be able to deal with the mess we’re in.

    But with Obama in office that means the GOP gets another shot before we get a real Democrat back in the White House.

    I don’t share the Krug’s optimism. I don’t see us back in the black in 2 years.

  33. At least the term “Incumbent Self Destruction of Capitalism” is getting tossed around at parties again.

  34. The Repugs convincing people to vote on economic issues when it was against their own economic interests is pretty amazing and Houdiniesque in its misdirection.

    Thanks Madamab.

  35. I was happy to see that two state legislators here in NJ have posted a bill that would not allow the State to do business with our invest in companies who have outsourced work overseas.

    OT – Obama’s flight for his trip to Hawaii on that chartered 767 (widebody – jumbo jet) the same one he used to visit Grandma in Oct – was much more than Palin’s wardrobe – the house he’s staying in is a $9 million home, at a time when he’s asking us to tighten our belts and live “green” and he’s made sure that he is as far away as possible from whatever comes out this week in Illinois.

  36. Madama: We don’t have unions down here for the most part. The funniest story I have ever heard regarding unions and the South happened in the small town I lived most of my life.

    A poultry processing giant purchased a small family-owned plant and had no cheap labor to run it. The story is that they got green cards for employees that worked in the Guatemalan factory and brought them to the states. These workers were much cheaper than the employees that had been employed there for years (or so they thought). Everything went well for about six months, but the guatemalans had heard they were being paid 40% less than the former employees. Six and a half months after they started their employment, they staged a sit-in and brought in union reps. They wound up with a 20% increase over the wages of the original employees.

    Lesson: Don’t think that just because they come from a small third world area, you can screw them.

    Karma is a bitch.

  37. The myth is that unions priced workers out of jobs.

    But the UAW didn’t make the Big Three design crappy gas guzzlers.

  38. NPR interviewed a REAL journalist a few weeks ago, who reported on the auto industry.

    He said auto industry leaders regularly report that their workers earn $70. an hour, the media echos this. However the figure is purposely inaccurate.

    The industry throws in all expenses for benefits paid to retired workers in the per hour pay figure.

    Actually US auto workers average $28. per hour, US employees of foreign auto makers here in the US earn $26.-27. per hour. Foreign auto manufacturers here haven’t operated here long enough to pay retiree benefits.

    Isn’t “take home pay” what should be the operative figure here? The bucks workers actually bring home to support themselves and their families?

    This reporter also stated that most folks don’t realize how noisey and dangerous many of these jobs in the auto industry are.

    Will Obama negate concessions on unions and worker pay auto leaders made to Bush to receive their bailout? How the Hell did democratic leadership manage to hand this issue to Bush to brag about, party of Obama’s “unity” plan??

  39. As usual, the ones who need the help get forgotten. They’re out of the loop, or, course.

    The only ones at the “public trough” are the “elected officials” who the people elect to eat there and the corporate bigwigs who help sweeten the dining experience!!!

    Don’t get me started on public officials. One is the center of focus in the new piece on justice for living things….A LA County Assistant Fire chief…add a special ed teacher and Michael Vicks to the list…and a justice system where delaying tactics can get a case tossed out because of a “speedy-trial” violation…Meanwhile, justice goes by the boards!! Then there is the manipulation of the law and the ingnoring of the law that is actually there….can you think of a few names we know??

    If you’re a dog (or other animal, or a woman) you’ll get this:

    4. The Heart of the Season: A Dog’s Purpose and Justice for Karley and All Who Deserve It

    http://insightanalytical.wordpress.com/2008/12/23/4-the-heart-of-the-season-a-dogs-purpose-and-justice-for-karley-and-all-who-deserve-it/

  40. TRK:

    The workers in the third-world factories aren’t exactly happy to be working for $2 a day either.

    But they are desperate and their neo-colonial governments use troops to keep them in line.

    Just like ours did (Grover Cleveland sent 12,000 troops to break-up the Pullman strike)

  41. TRK – I love it!

    Myiq – the problem now is that Obama and the Dems are going to be blamed for all this mess.

    Obama will totally destroy the Democratic brand, and we won’t get another Dem president for a long time.

    This is what I wanted to avoid by voting McPalin. Plus, I wanted a woman in the White House, and I actually thought McCain might be open to more liberal economic views.

  42. Rick Warren may be an idiot in describing his views on homosexuality but the Pope has just made some pretty stupid statements as well by equating it with global warming. To think that these morons have been issued a platform to spew their medieval thinking is ludicrous!

    Insanity can be found in all forms but when wrapped in “religious principles” it takes on a new meaning. I see open attacks and hatred rising to the surface against the homosexual community as a result of these nimrods spouting nonsense in “the name of God”. It has been sanctioned.

  43. Quick comment, then on to work. Waitresses are usually glad when autoworkers make decent wages, because that means they can afford to go out and eat. And leave generous tips. Not everyone can work at the upscale bistros where Mr. (and sometimes Ms.) Senior Executive deigns to dine.

    That gladness extends to people who sell cars, appliances, electronics, and widgets of all sorts. Working people who have money spend it in their neighborhoods.

    Merry [fill in appropriate holiday] to everyone here!

  44. PJ:

    When the mob gets angry they need scapegoats

    “The reason your wife left you is gay marriage!”

  45. myiq2xu, on December 23rd, 2008 at 9:04 am Said:

    The best trick the GOP ever pulled off was convincing the middle class they had more in common with the rich than with the poor.

    ________________
    AMEN! It actually reminds me of a Jane Austenism: “Nothing amuses me more than the easy manner with which everybody settles the abundance of those who have a great deal less than themselves.”

    I actually had a LARGE AND UNPRODUCTIVE argument with my husband about this issue the other night. The bottom line is that the workers had no say in what kind of crap these people decided to build, or their eff-ed up business model. They just went to work every day and bargained for the best benefits they could get. We don’t reward *that* but we reward the greedy bastards on Wall Street for doing the same thing, at their cushy desk jobs.

    And, as TRK says, its not shocking why these foreign auto companies put their plants where they do.

    The whole BS surrounding the auto bailout has an underlying agenda to kill the union and destroy the labor movement. It makes me sick.

  46. Calypso: Yes, the salary figure includes everything the company pays them, set forth as an hourly wage. It is designed to make you angry and hate unions.

  47. myiq: Yep. And for the record, I was raised Catholic, baptized, confirmed, married, and brought up my children in the same church.

    Without “religion” most people would get along. With it we are doomed forever to continually exercise the right to kill, starve, maim, cheat, pillage, plunder, defile, misinform, and thoroughly dessicate the human race all in the name of “God”. For anyone who thinks otherwise, please study your history books.

  48. Micki:

    They don’t compare union worker pay to executive compensation though, do they?

  49. PJ:

    Gotta disagree – war is older than religion.

  50. I will listen to the Pope when he begins to advocate birth control.

  51. myiq: Of course not. I think as part of the bank bailout that executives should be forced to live on an UAW wage for a year. I’m sure they’d STFU tout suite.

  52. Religion gives “moral authority” to war, oppression, slavery, and other hobbies of humankind.

  53. myiq: You made my point better than I at attempting to define it.

  54. RD, did you receive my email via pumapac?

  55. Plural:

    On the subject of sex, if the Pope isn’t gonna play the game he don’t get to referee.

    (And I hope he ain’t playing the game, if ya know what I mean)

  56. PJ:

    It sounds better if you tell the troops they are on a mission from God when you send them out to rape, loot and pillage.

  57. Calypso – yes, but I believe they are comparing Apples to Apples by saying “this is what we are paying out” to our employees – if in fact they are paying for benefits too – and if they compare it to what Toyota is paying it total.

    No? I would count in everything that the company is laying out per employee for US and foreign companies

  58. Speaking of religion…can I please ask a question?

    I just went to Hillbuzz and I was shocked to see them pushing the Bill O’Reilly “War on Christmas” line.

    Why do people freak out if “Merry Christmas” isn’t broadcast from every speaker in their town from Thanksgiving to New Year’s? What the h*ll is wrong with saying “Happy Holidays?” Must we pretend that everyone in the country is Christian?

    Don’t blame me: I voted for Hillary

  59. Micki – agreed execs should have to live by a comparable wage

  60. Joanelle:

    I would also look at exec vs. worker and worker wages as a percentage of cost as well as percentage of profit.

    Here’s a question – how do companies that are losing billions each year justify huge executive bonuses?

  61. Madam – I have had that same question in the back of my mind for the last couple of weeks – and I’m Catholic – sort of – I just can’t imagine me saying Merry Christmas to my Jewish friends.

  62. Myiq – they can’t

  63. And…how can you justify giving a loser of an exec a bonus. A “bonus” is for a job well done! 👿

  64. madamaB: There is an article in the Christian Science Monitor today about this. The crux of the article is that the issue is inflated and that its not really a problem at all. Bill O’Reilly is just stirring the pot, as usual. The article in CSM also says it depends on where you live, i.e., in S.D., where less than 1 jewish/muslin person per 1000 lives in a city, it is more likely people will say Merry Christmas than Happy Holiday, whereas in “liberal enclaves” people are not offended if someone says Merry Christmas instead of Happy Holidays, etc.

  65. madamab:

    You don’t see them demanding that the stores get rid of their Santas though, do you?

  66. I always get Happy Holidays cards for my friends who don’t celebrate Christmas, and Christmas cards for those who do. Its not rocket science.

  67. madamab, at 9:58 am Said: “What the h*ll is wrong with saying “Happy Holidays?” Must we pretend that everyone in the country is Christian? ”

    My sister got defensive when I said “Happy solstice” to her on Saturday. She responded by saying Merry Christmas.” It wasn’t until I explained that the Solstice was the shortest day and that I celebrated Christmas on the 25th, that she eased up. In fact she was very glad to learn that the days would start to lengthen.

  68. According to the Bible, Jeebus wasn’t born in the winter, otherwise the shepards wouldn’t have been keeping watch over their flocks by night.

    But when the RC church was picking an official bithday for him they decided to use the pagan celebration of the winter solstice, which is the “birth” of the new year.

  69. madamab: Haven’t you been paying attention? This is a “Christian Nation” according to the pundits. Sheeshhhhh!!!

    God just loves the good old USA! Everything we do has His approval! We are on the “right” side of all issues. Sounds like you need a remedial in what all this means. Those athletes who score a touchdown are not pointing upward for nothing!

    “Happy Holidays” is so mundane. O’Reilly has whipped this up into an issue. Forget that this country is considered a melting pot of diversity. According to the pundits, who know everything, the Founding Fathers meant for this to be!

  70. Actually “Happy holidays” is a religious greeting too.

    Holiday = Holy Day

  71. Myiq:…the birth of the new year.

    Yeah, and they couldn’t figure out how to get a guy running around in a red fur trimmed red suit to bring in all that money in the middle of August, so they had to opt for Dec. 😆

  72. myiq – Exactly.

    It’s not that I mind if people say “Merry Christmas” to me, but why do we have to force it down peoples’ throats in our stores and public areas? Can’t we show respect to people who believe differently than Christians do?

    This issue really bothers me. It stems from the idea that Christians are some oppressed minority in America, and that mean ol’ Joooz are trying to prevent them from worshiping the way they want to. It’s just ludicrous. No one cares about what you do as a private matter – it’s the one-sided promotion of one religion over another that I object to, and the militant, victimized attitude these “War on Christmas” phonies take.

    Don’t blame me: I voted for Hillary

  73. Somebody explain to me how “icicles” were formed in Egypt and became part of the creche displays. Snow surrounding the stable in Egypt? Global warming perhaps?

  74. I will consider listening to the Pope when the Pope is a
    third world lesbian.

  75. I think Santa used to run around in bishop’s robes. Doesn’t Santa come from St. Nicholas (feast day Dec. 6th). St. Nick became Sinterlasss (or something like that) in Dutch, and that turned into Santa Claus. I actually learned that sinterklass thing on O’Reilly (sigh) some word nut was telling him the origin. Part of O’Reilly’s “take back Christmas” agenda, I guess.

  76. angelsmith: wow – tough standards – but worthy! 😉

  77. PJ – LOL!

    I also love how Jesus is depicted as a blond-haired, blue-eyed Aryan type so often. Yes, all Jews in the Middle East look like that.

    🙂

    Don’t blame me: I voted for Hillary

  78. PJ:

    Explain the Easter Bunny to me and I’ll explain Middle-Eastern snow to you.

  79. angelasmith – I’ll go for that.

    🙂

    Don’t blame me: I voted for Hillary

  80. Right, and the only way to “celebrate” is to spend, spend, spend, then feel bad when you cannot afford to do so. And I am not exempting myself from this inanity as I do it every year!

    What better way to say “Merry Christmas” than to hand someone an envelope full of lottery tickets!

  81. Jeebus would have looked more like Yasser Arafat than Fabio

  82. So…how does O justify a 767 widebody jumbo jet to get his family to Hawaii and a $9 million house in a time of austerity and “greeness”? 😯

  83. madamab: never underestimate the power of retail. Blame Dickens. Before A Christmas Carol came out, Christmas was low key and Christians didn’t celebrate it as we do now b/c of its pagan connotations.

    And, in Philadelphia at least, the other religions do get represented in the public square. In fact, I believe we have the largest Menorah in American on Independence Mall, caty-corner from the location of the new Jewish American museum.

  84. angelasmith,

    “I will consider listening to the Pope when the Pope is a
    third world lesbian.”

    I’m looking forward to that!

  85. Since they went for a Nazi Pope this time, will the next one be Jewish?

  86. I don’t think we’ve had a Jewish pope since Peter

  87. Joanelle:

    He’s grieving over his grandma!!

  88. hmmm, I guess we all grieve in our own way – perhaps he had to hit something – I noticed the first thing he did when he got there was head to the golf course.:roll:

  89. myiq – Happy Holidays, IMHO, is no longer a religious greeting. Columbus Day is a Holiday, as are Veteran’s Day and Thanksgiving. And people who celebrate the Solstice think of it as a holiday, although it is not religious in nature.

    Don’t blame me: I voted for Hillary

  90. I got a kick out of the “Da Vinci Code” kerfluffle.

    ZOMG! Jeebus a married father?

    Yeah, probably. A respectable Rabbi in his 30’s would have likely been married.

  91. myiq. That’s not fair. Hitler hated Catholics, too. You sound like Bill Mahrer. The Pope had to enroll because membership was required for all 14-year old German boys after December 1939. Did you expect that the Joseph Ratzinger could conscientiously object at 14 and not suffer terrible consequences?

  92. Good point Myiq – how could he have gotten away with not being married in those days?

  93. And did not the word “Christmas” itself come from catholicism as in “Christ’s Mass”? It seems to me that was what was being celebrated back in medieval days anyway.

    Some Fundies might bust a gusset if they knew that. Us Catholics being “idol” worshippers and all.

  94. Micki – We are much more inclusive in NYC too. But then, we are Little Israel!

    Hillbuzz was trying to pretend that NYC was all about Christmas. Guess they missed this:

    World’s Largest Hanukkah Menorah

    Myiq – ROFLMAO!

    Don’t blame me: I voted for Hillary

  95. The bible refers to Jesus as “King of the Jews”. But if you really think long and hard about it, since there were no photographers, beauty parlors, or fat farms in those days, Jesus more than likely looked more like Mel Brooks than William Dafoe.

  96. Yes, I agree that if Jesus existed, he was probably married. We Jooz don’t hold with none of that stuff about how celibacy makes you holy. We are too concerned with being fruitful and multiplying.

    😉

  97. I remember reading an article by a latina woman who grew up attending a Catholic church in a Mexican-American community.

    When she went to college back east she went to Mass at a Irish-Catholic church.

    She said it was practically a different religion.

  98. Winter Solstice celebrations: a.k.a. Christmas, Saturnalia, Yule, the Long Night, etc.

    From Religious Tolerance

    http://www.religioustolerance.org/winter_solstice.htm

  99. madamab: My bad. I thought I saw in local news that Philadelphia had the largest menorah. Its a Menorah-Off.

    🙂

  100. Myiq…”it was practically a different religion”

    I believe it – I still haven’t gotten over moving from Latin to English and all the new stuff and that was about 30 years ago!

  101. Jesus was more than likely another Ralph Nader in his day. He overturned the tables on the money changers and railed against the rich over the poor. He was probably someone like me who was sick to death of not having his trash picked up unless he paid the fee while still expected to pay taxes on the same services.

  102. Thanks, Micki – for using that phrase – where did “my bad” come from and what does it mean?????? What language might it be????

  103. Micki – My menorah is bigger than your menorah!! LOL

    PJ – I truly believe that yarmulkes – the little skull caps Jewish men wear in temple – were created to cover bald spots. So Jesus might have looked like Mel Brooks, but at least he had a stylish chapeau!

    🙂

    Don’t blame me: I voted for Hillary

  104. Joanelle: I think it comes from Generation Y.

    My fave expression from Gen X is “harshing my mellow.”

  105. I think a third world lesbian Pope would be quite refreshing.

    Supposedly there was a woman Pope once. She gave birth in a procession and was promptly stoned to death.
    It was in a film in a women’s studies class I took about 150 years ago.

  106. purplefin: I stand corrected! 1970? Seriously?

  107. madamab: LOLOL!!

  108. Thanks, Purplefinn – I guess I just run in different circles – I actually had never heard it until I heard it in a commercial right before the holidays this year.

  109. If we all lived by the motto “do unto others” all this other stuff would just blow away.

    Am off to make “Christmas cookies” so we will all have something to throw at one another when the Obama discussions become too heated over the holidays.

  110. angelsmith- there were several hundred female bishops put to death in medieval times as well – no woman should have that level of power.

  111. As Chrstianity spread it tended to adopt and “christianize” the local pagan practices and turn existing deities into Christian “saints”

  112. And Joan of Arc, who “heard voices” would today be treated with lithium.

  113. angelasmith – That rings a faint bell with me too.

    Of course the male popes of that time (13th-14th century Italy IIRC), were incredibly corrupt, in bed with the Borgias and other wealthy crime families, and often their sons succeeded them.

    Ah, religions. Like most large institutions, they has such potential to be great and to be awful.

    Sigh.

    Don’t blame me: I voted for Hillary

  114. I thought this was the funniest section of the origin piece:

    ‘My bad’ has gained that unequivocal accolade – imitation. In REM’s 2004 song ‘Leaving New York’ there is this verse, which as you see includes ‘my proud’:

    You might have laughed if I told you
    You might have hidden a frown
    You might have succeeded in changing me
    I might have been turned around
    It’s easier to leave than to be left behind
    Leaving was never my proud
    Leaving New York, never easy
    I saw the light fading out

    The Doonesbury cartoon strip for 14th June 2006 included this:

    “Okay, I’m bitter that I have to support myself! There I said it! My brave.”

  115. “they has?”

    Oy vey. I’ve turned into a lolcat.

    Don’t blame me: I voted for Hillary

  116. speaking of “saints” a Jewish friend of mine emailed me to say our christian rituals don’t work. She said one of her neighbors told her to bury a statue of St. Joseph upside down in her yard when she was trying to sell her house and it would sell quickly.

    It’s been on the market for about two months now without a nibble. So Lorna thinks that stuff is all a bunch of hoooey – I just laughed and told her to get a better realtor

  117. If you stay away from it long enough, the propaganda and spinning smacks you in the face immediately.

    I was just quoting you about this yesterday RD. My sister picked up a paper, after avoiding all MSM for months. She lives in Boston and was greeted with the Favreau piece, honoring his wonderful contribution to American society, and immediately became angry again. I can’t even pass a TV or glimpse a paper without recoiling. I have been virtually MSM free since April-ish–except for carefully selected news links on the internet. Now, when I hear/see anything from the propaganda machine, it is cartoonish and repellent. To think that people are immersed in only that as a “news” source is disheartening. The latest “ab pix” of Obama are a perfect example. The Entertainment Tonight President–at a time of international economic meltdown.

  118. Speaking of internet links…I found a couple this a.m. while cruising around. The first, shows HRC is already hard at work reshaping the State Dept., and the second clearly indicates that I was right in leaving the Catholic Church in my teens.

    Clinton moves to widen role of State Department

    http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/12/23/americas/diplo.php?page=2

    VATICAN CITY: Pope Benedict said Monday that saving humanity from homosexual or transsexual behaviour was just as important as saving the rainforest from destruction.

    The Catholic Church teaches that while homosexuality is not sinful, homosexual acts are. It opposes gay marriage and, in October, a leading Vatican official called homosexuality “a deviation, an irregularity, a wound.”

    http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/12/22/europe/23pope.php

  119. Joanelle: St. Joseph is touch and go. LOL. My friends used him with great benefit during the real estate boom, but he did not work for us in a planter in our condo when the real estate market started to turn.

    Go figure.

  120. I wonder what St. Joseph would have to say about being buried upside down in the ground.

    And I wish Jesus would come back and franchise his name. Have a few rules for the franchisees like
    1) no, you don’t get to use my name to kill people
    2)no, you don’t get to use my name to hate people different than yourselves.

  121. Fif – going to read your links now…

    Don’t blame me: I voted for Hillary

  122. For the better part of two millenia the church was an arm of the government.

    In Europe all the church officials above the local priests were members of aristocratic families. That’s why chess has two bishops.

    The Pope wouldn’t give Henry the VIII a divorce from Catherine of Aragon because she was the daughter of his cousin – Ferdinand of Spain.

  123. St. Joseph is in the yard hangin’ with the gnomies?

  124. Joanelle: I have heard that one too. Years ago when I was going through some real hard times I went to an 8 week devotional to St Jude. It promised that by the end of 8 weeks things would turn around.

    The first night the priest read a letter from a person who claimed that her daughter had indeed been part of a “miracle” cure because she suffered from acne, refused to leave the house, but by the “divine intervention” St. Jude cleared up the problem. The daughter was now able to leave the house and the family was overcome with joy. My first thought: Clearasil.

    The second week another letter was read about a man who had been unsuccessfully job hunting for 18 months but again, St. Jude had interceded and he was now fully employed. My first thought: Job Finders.

    By week 3, after listening to another letter that had absolutely no modicum of commonsense attributable, I realized that I needed to simply change my way of thinking rather than to rely on this form of brainwashing.

    Although I did not complete the 8 weeks, I am more than satisfied that St. Jude was really not into the bigger problems of life but was more into the mundane. Pimples, at least in my world, is not the most gut wrenching problem facing us. But I could be wrong.

  125. Wow, fif – that article about HRC is awesome. I really like how she is beefing up the resources for diplomacy and distancing herself from Obama – and LOL, Robert Gates (whom she dislikes and who dislikes her) and General Jones (who is a supporter) are both supporting her in her efforts! NOW who is the real uniter?

    I sure hope the Senate confirms her and doesn’t pull any cr*p about Bill’s non-existent donor list conflicts. Oh puh-leez. If Obama can get millions of dollars in questionable campaign donations from overseas and from people who don’t even exist, then Bill’s donors are not a problem.

  126. PJ – If St. Jude exists, I agree he should have better things to do than worry about some dude’s pimples.

    However, if minor irritations are His province, perhaps Obama should pray to St. Jude for a smaller pair of man-boobs, or an ear reduction!

    LOL

    Don’t blame me: I voted for Hillary

  127. I have a St. Joseph buried in the back of a money pit I’ve been trying to sell for several years. A friend gave me very specific instructions–buried facing the road, upside down, 2-3 inches down etc. I am so desperate to get rid of that thing, I was willing to try anything.

    Nada. Joseph must be sleeping upside down.

  128. I discovered a cure for acne at age 14 but then I started having eye trouble.

    New thread up!

  129. I may be taking my issues to St Jude to remove that large hemotoma that is beginning to form on my forehead from banging my head against the wall.

    Obama will be taking the oath on Lincoln’s bible. OMG!!! I honestly do not think I can take much more of this muck!

  130. madamab: she’s such a powerhouse. As RD said: she is the “foreign president,” and already acting as such. Heck, that’s why Obama chose her. He certainly doesn’t know how–or want to do any of the actual boring work-stuff. As long as he has plenty of gym time, and gets to stand behind the podium acting all “Presidential” (but don’t ask any tough questions), he’s more than satisfied.

    Re: the donations–I’m sure BO wouldn’t have chosen her, and risked his own embarrassment, if he didn’t have assurances that she would pass through the nominating process without a problem. His team went over those donors with a fine-tooth comb, and didn’t object. Kerry & Lugar have both signed off.

  131. Obama will be taking the oath on Lincoln’s bible. OMG!!! I honestly do not think I can take much more of this muck!

    OMG–He is REALLY REALLY pathetic. Get your own identity already!

  132. There’s nothing in those donor lists.

    That was all BS.

  133. my1…..
    Of course the government spends more than it takes in.
    That’s why we are in a fiscal crises.
    And that’s why the government will demand more and more money from those people who have honestly earned it!
    As I grew up I always learned that taking away from others was stealing!

    Delle

  134. If you can find the movie ” The Molly Maguires” it portrays why unions are needed.
    As far as the waitress story, my husband was a bartender and always said the average working man will leave a decent tip, vice presidents of banks fight over leaving a quarter tip.
    Some of the younger people might want to read about the triangle shirt factory to see why unions are needed.

    WOMEN,MEN WHO SUPPORT THEM AND COUNTRY BEFORE PARTY ALWAYS

    PUMAS,BUBBAS, AND THOSE PEOPLE RULE

  135. helenk: what, are you saying the women didn’t want to be locked into their workroom? /snark

  136. Woohoo!

    Now you understand why I have been outraged and supported the auto bailout riverdaughter. The Big 3 didn’t even get what Bank of America got but somehow I am supposed to be outraged that they have the audacity to make $50,000 a year? Screw them…….I am far more outraged that 1.6 billion went to give the executives of FAILING banks bonuses(Hello? when did we start giving people bonuses for doing a crappy job?)and options and that billions of my dollars are being used so they could buy up competitiors or a stadium(Citigroup) then I will ever be with paying the guy who was promised a decent wage-a decent wage.

  137. Here’s a little something to think on too!

    The stock market was meant to be the equivalent of a scratcher for rich folks. Now though, thanks to the elimination of a traditional pension plan- we can’t afford to let business fail- a la free market- because retirement now depends on those greedy businesses succeeding.

    Unions can be improved don’t get me wrong but they are far better than the insiduous alternative where we all work from cradle to grave, as the robber barons had it before unions came along.

  138. CWaltz–the hard core Repubs who opposed the auto-bailout are probably the same ones who fight tooth and nail to keep the minimum wage low. Why pay our workers here living wages when we can outsource all of our manufacturing to people who don’t demand health care or benefits or retirement or worker’s comp and who will do the work for much, much less than we will.

    The Wall Street executive doesn’t give a rat’s a$$ about any of that b/c s/he has the best health care paid for by their company, they aren’t worried about retirement–in fact many of them aspire to retire at 40 or 50 and go sail yachts or some shit like that, and don’t have to worry about getting hurt on the job.

    Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

  139. Its a bunch of “I’m alright, Jack.” I’m sick of it. You pay people shit wages, don’t require companies to provide or subsidize health care, then you denigrate them for being poor and obese (who can afford Whole Foods?) and tell them to work harder, aspire to more, and then get mad at them when they need help from the system or get sick and can’t work. Its effed up.

  140. Micki- They fixed the stock thing but good. Joe Schmoe now claps his hands when Jack Schlub’s job gets sent overseas because it means a few more pennies in his retirement account. He cheers at the idea of keepijng wages low becauise that’s great(even as he fails to recognize that someone is cheering keeping his wages down). The inability to connect the dots in this country astounds me.

  141. Micki
    I was not sure how many even knew about the triangle shirt factory. It seems a lot of the history of the working class in this country is lost.
    Unions were formed to improve life for workers and now they are treated like the enemy of working people.
    All unions are not wonderful but neither are all businesses.

    WOMEN,MEN WHO SUPPORT THEM AND COUNTRY BEFORE PARTY ALWAYS

    PUMAS,BUBBAS, AND THOSE PEOPLE RULE

  142. And isn’t it interesting how, when it comes to workers it’s a “bailoit” but if it’s about banks and CEOs, it’s a “rescue”?
    This propaganda reminds me of the writing when the transit workers were on strike in NYC. The media was saying we should be angry. We were not.

  143. “bailout” not “bailoit”. Sorry.

  144. edgeoforever
    In 1983 Conrail had to get out of the passenger business. Every railroad from Maryland to Boston except SEPTA in Phila kept operating.
    To this day people in Phila think that in Jan 1983 SEPTA railroad workers were on strike. THEY WERE NOT. SEPTA closed down and one lawyer took them to court and they opened the Paoli line only.
    In March 1983 there was a strike and the commuter trains shut down until a settle ment was made.
    I learned then that the media could not be trusted to tell the truth.

    WOMEN,MEN WHO SUPPORT THEM AND COUNTRY BEFORE PARTY ALWAYS

    PUMAS,BUBBAS, AND THOSE PEOPLE RULE

  145. Well, Philadelphia is a union town and everyone bitches and whines whenever something comes here b/c they have to use union labor. But I’m like, if you want it done right and well, and support the local economy, then STFU. Its not just about how much money the project brings in to retail. Grrrrrr.

    Helenk: I know about the Triangle Shirt Factory b/c when I was little, there was a movie on TV about it and I was fascinated by it. I always remember the scene where the people are identified by their wedding bands. It stayed with me.

  146. Oh, and Norma Rae is one of my fave films. What can I say. I’m a cheese ball.

  147. If the economy keeps going like it is the workers here are going to need unions more than ever.
    Business will use whatever threats they can against workers to keep wages low so they can make a profit.
    If they can keep the workers divided then low wages and bad working conditions will be the norm.

    WOMEN,MEN WHO SUPPORT THEM AND COUNTRY BEFORE PARTY ALWAYS

    PUMAS,BUBBAS, AND THOSE PEOPLE RULE

  148. We all have every right to wish each other a Merry Christmas.

    Christmas day is the celebration of the birth of Christ and it is a Federal Holiday as proclaimed by Pres. U.S. Grant in 1876.

    To those who do not believe in Christ the Saviour, accept him as a teacher, philospher, etc.

    But recognize this federal holiday and allow the rest of us to celebrate it as such!

    Delle

  149. re: to RD on December 23rd, 2008 at 9:54 am, no response, huh. I’ll check this thread after the holiday.
    Merry Christmas and safe travel to all.

  150. RD can’t read The Confluence at work.

  151. ‘Imagine living and working in a “company town” where your employer was also your landlord.’

    That’s called working for the government!

    And their town is growing larger by the bail-out.

    Delle

  152. Let’s keep this in perspective – Southern Republicans want to break the UAW as payback for the seed money and organizing skills provided by the union to the Civil Rights Movement.

    A great read at these links: http://www.medaloffreedom.com/WalterReuther.htm
    and
    http://reuther100.wayne.edu/bio.php?pg=1

  153. Delle,

    The banking community spent 350 billion. Bank of America ALONE got more than 3 companies combined but I am supposed to be outraged by the unions of these three companies? Uh, I don’t think so.

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