Thursday, December 20, 2007



My grandfather was a socialist who owned his own business and employed a couple dozen workers. He taught me that the labor movement was a crucial component-- if not the crucial component-- of American democracy. Labor unions are the only countervailing force the American people can count on against the greed and avarice of the wealthy who own the media and both political parties-- the Republicans 100% and the Democrats... to a great extent.

Adam from Traveling Light has put together an inspiring and inspired video for the song "One Big Union" by Iowa rockers Red Smear. It's my favorite song and I can't stop listening to it and watching the video:

A few days ago I mentioned how I couldn't quite get my head around the Thai elections (which culminate on Sunday). I'm understanding them better now. In the past I've written about Thailand's now-ousted and exiled corrupt billionaire prime minister Thaksin. His party is no more but the front runner in this week's election, the PPP, is just another version of the same corrupt crew. The primary opposition, the Democratic Party, claims to be battling the forces of entrenched corruption. The PPP-- like Thaksin-- takes a populist stance (while lining the pockets of their supporters) and have great appeal in the less educated countryside-- where most of the voters live.

When I embarked on this trip, all my friends warned me about Burma and their violent military junta. Sunday the PPP will probably win the elections here. They are threatening to re-write the Constitution (again) and the military, which overthrew Thaksin, may well move against them. Damn, do they need one big union here! South Korea too-- where they just elected a corrupt, right-wing vulture capitalist as president.

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