July 04, 2015

Verses for the Fourth: God speed the year of jubilee

To celebrate Independence Day this year, how about some verses by radical abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison:

God speed the year of jubilee
The wide world o'er!
When from their galling chains set free,
Th' oppress'd shall vilely bend the knee,
And wear the yoke of tyranny
Like brutes no more.
That year will come, and freedom's reign,
To man his plundered rights again

God speed the day when human blood
Shall cease to flow!
In every clime be understood,
The claims of human brotherhood,
And each return for evil, good,
Not blow for blow;
That day will come all feuds to end,
And change into a faithful friend
Each foe.

God speed the hour, the glorious hour,
When none on earth
Shall exercise a lordly power,
Nor in a tyrant's presence cower;
But to all manhood's stature tower,
By equal birth!
That hour will come, to each, to all,
And from his Prison-house, to thrall
Go forth.

Until that year, day, hour, arrive,
With head, and heart, and hand I'll strive,
To break the rod, and rend the gyve,
The spoiler of his prey deprive --
So witness Heaven!
And never from my chosen post,
Whate'er the peril or the cost,
Be driven.

July 02, 2015

Not my best effort

The latest Front Porch podcast from WV Public Broadcasting is about whether WV should retain its prevailing wage law, which sets basic job standards for public construction projects. This was one of those times when I felt so strongly about an issue that it was hard to talk about it.

Find it here.

July 01, 2015

A vision of the future...not mine

It looks like WV Republicans really want to permanently kill WV's prevailing wage laws. Talk about a sea change; once upon a time, state politicians at least pretended to believe it was a good thing for West Virginians to earn living wages and have a shot at being in the middle class. That's all gone. It's all about doing whatever they can do to cheapen the price of human labor.With any luck, maybe they'll bring back the plantation system.

They seem to be dedicated to the dark vision of George Orwell's 1984: "If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever."

June 30, 2015

We're not in Kansas...yet

The Republican-led WV legislature continues to mull an overhaul of the state's tax system. I just hope the end result won't be a redo of the Kansas tax cut massacre. Fortunately, at least some people are talking sense about state taxes. I just hope somebody listens before too much damage is done.

June 29, 2015

In case you missed it...

...this rather lengthy NY Times article on former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship came out while I was traveling. I agree with Ken Ward at Coal Tattoo that it's a bit odd an article of that length didn't mention the role of federal prosecutor Booth Goodwin.

Speaking of coal, WV's ruling class is celebrating the Supreme Court ruling on the EPA. I'm not sure that this will be enough to bring back a booming economy in southern WV, however.

June 28, 2015

Is it over yet?

The "it" above refers to the obsession by certain people in Congress to dismantle the Affordable Care Act. Last week's Supreme Court decision was a major setback to the dead-enders, but as this NY Times editorial suggests, it's still not over.

Then again, these are some of the same people who would like to also undo the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act, New Deal era legislation like Social Security, and the outcome of the Civil War.