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Next Tuesday, May 21,
2019, At 1PM, At Local 7102 Union Hall. LOOKING FORWARD to seeing
YOU there. AGENDA: 1.
Updates on bargaining status: AT&T Legacy, Norkia/Lucent, and
CWA Convention, Las Vegas, July 29-31, 2019 (27th-Retirees) 3.
Next Month (June) Judy Fries will come for a visit. 4.
STOP BIG PHARMA 5.
Varies topic of information (Q&A)
Roberta Summy has
volunteer to provide refreshments at this meeting. We want to Thank Roberta,
we appreciation her thoughtfulness .
UNITED WE STAND Sincerely, Your Officers of RETIREES
Chapter 7102 Robbie Thompson Blythe,
President Loretta Hanson, Vice
President Roberta Summy, Secretary Danita Sapp,
2019 CWA District 7 Conference Agenda
March 31, 2019 - April 2, 2019 2019
District 7 Conference Agenda (208.5 KiB)
Video from Rally at Wells Fargo.
Committee on Better Banks
The chant is "Wells Fargo you can’t hide, we can see your greedy side" The signs say the Wheels are off at Wells Fargo. Photo by Rachelle Long
Bargaining Committee Staff Reps
Valerie Packer Susie McCallister
Jake Williams Lisa Availa
Republicans and Billionaires Really Mean When They Talk About ‘Freedom’
is having a heated debate about the meaning of the wordsocialism.
We’d be better served if, instead, we were debating the meaning offreedom.
last week that fully 156,000 families are on the edge of homelessness
in our small-population state. Every one of those households is now
paying more than 50 percent of its monthly income on rent, and none of
them has any savings; one medical bill, major car repair or job loss,
and they’re on the streets.
socialism may or may not solve their problem, the more pressing issue
we have is an entire political party and a huge sector of the
billionaire class who see homelessness not as a problem, but as a
symptom of a “free” society.
iconic in American culture—probably more so than with any other nation
because they’re so intrinsic to the literature, declarations and
slogans of our nation’s founding.
irony—of the nation founded on the world’s greatest known genocide (the
systematic state murder of tens of millions of Native Americans) and
over three centuries of legalized slavery and a century and a half of
oppression and exploitation of the descendants of those slaves—is
extraordinary. It presses us all to bringtruefreedom
and liberty toallAmericans.
what do those words mean?
you ask the Koch brothers and their buddies—who slap those words on
pretty much everything they do—you’d get a definition that largely has
to do with being “free” from taxation and regulation. And, truth be
told, if you’re morbidly rich, that makes a certain amount of sense,
particularly if your main goal is to get richer and richer, regardless
of your behavior’s impact on working-class people, the environment, or
the ability of government to function.
the other hand, the definition of freedom and liberty that’s been
embraced by so-called “democratic socialist” countries—from Canada to
almost all of Europe to Japan and Australia—you’d hear a definition
that’s closer to that articulated by Franklin D. Roosevelt when he
proposed, in January 1944, a “second
Bill of Rights” to be added to our Constitution.
proposed amendments included therightto
a job, and therightto
be paid enough to live comfortably; therightto
“adequate food and clothing and recreation”; therightto
start a business and run it without worrying about “unfair competition
and domination by monopolies”; theright“of
every family to a decent home”; therightto
“adequate medical care… to achieve and enjoy good health”; therightto
government-based “protection from the economic fears of old age,
sickness, accident, and unemployment”; and theright“to
a good education.”
pointed out that, “All of these rights spell security.”
added, “America’s own rightful place in the world depends in large part
upon how fully these and similar rights have been carried into practice
for our citizens. For unless there is security here at home there
cannot be lasting peace in the world.”
other nations mentioned earlier took President Roosevelt’s advice to
heart. Progressive “social democracy” has kept Europe, Canada, and the
developed nations of the East and South Pacific free of war for almost
a century—a mind-boggling feat when considering the history of the
developed world since the 1500s.
prior to FDR winning the White House in the election of 1932, the
nation had been treated to 12 years of a bizarre Republican
administration that was the model for today’s GOP. In 1920, Warren
Harding won the presidency on a campaign of “more industry in
government, less government in industry”—privatize and deregulate—and a
promise to drop the top tax rate of 91 percent down to 25 percent.
kept both promises, putting the nation into a sugar-high spin called
the Roaring ’20s, where the rich got fabulously rich and working-class
people were being beaten and murdered by industrialists when they tried
to unionize. Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover (the three Republican
presidents from 1920 to 1932) all cheered on the assaults, using
phrases like “the right to work” to describe a union-free nation.
the end, the result of the “horses
and sparrows” economics advocated by Harding (“feed more oats to
the horses and there’ll be more oats in the horse poop to fatten the
sparrows”—that generation’s version of trickle-down economics) was the
Republican Great Depression (yes, they called it that until after World
though Roosevelt was fabulously popular—the only president to be
elected four times—the right-wingers of his day were loud and outspoken
in their protests of what they called “socialist” programs like Social
Security, the right to unionize, and government-guaranteed job programs
including the WPA, REA, CCC, and others.
Klan and American Nazis were assembling by the hundreds of thousands
nationwide—nearly 30,000 inMadison
Square Gardenalone—encouraged by wealthy and
powerful “economic royalists” preaching “freedom” and “liberty.”
Like the Kochs’Freedomworks,
that generation’s huge and well-funded (principally by the DuPonts’
chemical fortune) organization was theLiberty
generation had seen the results of this kind of hard-right “freedom”
rhetoric in Italy, Spain, Japan and Germany, the very nations with
which we were then at war.
of “the grave dangers of ‘rightist reaction’ in this Nation,”Roosevelt
told Americain that same speech that: “[I]f
history were to repeat itself and we were to return to the so-called
‘normalcy’ of the 1920s—then it is certain that even though we shall
have conquered our enemies on the battlefields abroad, we shall have
yielded to the spirit of Fascism here at home.”
right-wingers are still working hard to disassemble FDR’s New Deal—the
GOP budget for 2019 contains massive cuts to Social Security, as well
as to Medicare and Medicaid—we got halfway toward his notion of freedom
and liberty here in the United States:
not free if you’re old and deep in poverty, so we have Social Security
(although the GOP wants to gut it).
not free if you’re hungry, so we have food stamps/SNAP (although the
GOP wants to gut them).
not free if you’re homeless, so we have housing assistance and homeless
shelters (although the GOP fights every effort to help homeless people).
not free if you’re sick and can’t get medical care, so we have
Medicare, Medicaid, and Obamacare (although the GOP wants to gut them
not free if you’re working more than 40 hours a week and still can’t
meet basic expenses, so we have minimum wage laws and the right to
unionize (although the GOP wants to gut both).
not free if you can’t read, so we have free public schools (although
the GOP is actively working to gut them).
not free if you can’t vote, so we’ve passed numerous laws to guarantee
the right to vote (although the GOP is doing everything it can to keep
tens of millions of Americans from voting).
billionaire class and their wholly owned Republican politicians keep
trying to tell us that “freedom” means the government doesn’t provideanyof
the things listed above.
they tell us (as Ron Paulfamously
didin a GOP primary debate years ago) that, if
we’re broke and sick, we’re “free” to die like a feral dog in the
is homelessness, in the minds of the billionaires who own the GOP.
lack of education, no access to health care, poor-paying jobs, and
barriers to voting are all proof of a free society, they tell us, which
is why America’s lowest life expectancy, highest maternal and childhood
death rates, lowest levels of education, and lowest payare
almost all in GOP-controlled states.
the Democratic Party—is engaged in a debate right now about the meaning
It would be a big help for all of us if we were, instead, to have an
honest debate about the meaning of the wordsfreedomandliberty.