Jack Saturday

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Anti-Job, Pro-Freedom Quotes Of The Week 46 and 47

On Monday, Ford Motor unveiled its turnaround plan, called the Way Forward, which calls for closing 14 plants and eliminating 30,000 jobs in the next six years.

As recently as April, G.M. expected to earn money in 2005. Instead, its loss included a raft of charges connected with a recently announced revamping plan, under which it plans to eliminate 30,000 jobs and close all or parts of a dozen plants through 2008.
G.M. Posts Worst Loss Since 1992
By Micheline Maynard
New York Times

Published: January 27, 2006

In his article, School Should Not Prepare Students for Work, Gerald W. Bracey writes: "We used to make fun of the Soviet Union and its' glorious worker propaganda. But we glorify the concept of work just as propagandistically --just more subtly and more successfully (what we really glorify, of course, is capital). As John Kenneth Galbraith points out in The Culture of Contentment, we hide all jobs under the single rubric of 'work' ignoring that much of 'work' is ugly, hard, demeaning, and dangerous. Surveys have repeatedly found that most jobs are dull and boring with no intrinsic meaning."
School-to-Work, A Corporate Raid on Public Education
By Mary Ellen Cardella

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Anti-Job, Pro-Freedom Quotes Of The Week 44 and 45

The legal and philosophic aspects of obedience are of enormous import, but they say very little about how most people behave in concrete situations. I set up a simple experiment at Yale University to test how much pain an ordinary citizen would inflict on another person simply because he was ordered to by an experimental scientist. Stark authority was pitted against the subjects' [participants'] strongest moral imperatives against hurting others, and, with the subjects' [participants'] ears ringing with the screams of the victims, authority won more often than not. The extreme willingness of adults to go to almost any lengths on the command of an authority constitutes the chief finding of the study and the fact most urgently demanding explanation.
Stanley Milgram

Disobedience is the rarest and most admirable of the virtues.
George Bernard Shaw

Sunday, January 15, 2006

B and B

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Saturday, January 14, 2006

Anti-Job, Pro-Freedom Quote Of The Week 44

The hourly wages of average workers are 11 percent lower than they were back in 1973, adjusted for inflation, despite rising worker productivity. CEO pay, by contrast, has skyrocketed -- up a median 30 percent in 2004 alone in The Corporate Library survey of 2,000 large companies.

Median household income has fallen an unprecedented five years in a row. It would be even lower, if not for increased household work hours. Americans work over 200 hours more a year on average than workers in other rich industrialized nations.

We are breaking records we don't want to break. Record numbers of Americans have no health insurance. The share of national income going to wages and salaries is the lowest since 1929.

Middle-class households are a medical crisis, outsourced job or busted pension away from bankruptcy.

The congressional majority voted the biggest cut in history to the student loan program at a time when college is more important, and more expensive, than ever. Public college tuition has risen even faster than private tuition, jumping 54 percent over the last decade, adjusted for inflation.

Our shortsighted government, beholden to powerful campaign contributors and lobbyists, is cutting rungs from the ladders of upward mobility while cutting taxes for the superwealthy.
Happy New Year, American Dream
ZNet Commentary
January 12, 2006

by Holly Sklar

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Anti-Job, Pro-Freedom Quotes Of The Week 42 and 43

The longer view is even uglier. Job growth in the current period is the worst by far of the four comparable economic upturns since the 1960's: 2.7 percent versus the 7.8 percent tallied in the weakest of those earlier recoveries.
An Anemic Jobs Recovery
New York Times
Published: January 7, 2006

Moreover, mass unemployment that persists for any length of time diminishes the capacity of other institutions to bind and constrain people. ...if the dislocation is widespread, the legitimacy of the social order itself may come to be questioned.
Frances Fox Piven, Richard A. Cloward
Regulating The Poor

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Mr.Irving Layton, 1912-2006

I suspect he said the same to Charon, who was often depicted as a cranky, skinny old man.


Irving Layton

Only he and I were in the lift.

"Do you like what you're doing?" I asked.

The lustreless stare he gave me was
One I've seen on coons crushed but intact
Lying inert on countryside roads;
But his voice burst like a tire: "I don't!"

"Then why not walk out with me - right now?"
We had reached my floor. "I'd desolate
This whole city, yes, massacre each
Man, woman, and child in it before
I'd let them put me into a cage
To run like a monkey up and down.
Come, leave behind you this accursed car.
Let it stand void for all eternity."

He now looked at me mistrustfully
As he opened the door. "Look, mister,"
He said, "You must be one of these men
I hear about with sharp ideas
For changing people's lives and the world.
I've been taught about the likes of you.
Well, no one is changing me, no sir.
I've my job and I'll stick to it, see?"

Not more proud looked young Alexander
In his tent among his Greek captains
The night he overwhelmed Darius,
Or blond Charles when he slew the Polacks,
Or Don Juan after his hundredth lay.

"You sad mutt," I said almost aloud
As he held up his head, offended.
I'd have thrown him a bone had I one.
"Civilization could not endure
A single hour without your trapped soul."
In the next instant he had changed back
Into the affable tool he was.

I strode out of the elevator.
A rush of stale air followed me out
And turning to find what had made it
I saw myself pursued by the shades
Of half-a-score indignant teachers,
Three pallid clergymen dressed in black,
And a vile woman, doubtless his wife
--Or the Medusa, if you prefer myths.

Me and Irving Layton
Instead of political or economic shit, last night I was working through an old cassette of some guy (added in 2011:  the Internet finally revealed to me that the guy was David Whyte, much younger) talking about poetry and reading his own excellent work and that of others—it was a talk also about duendé. I stayed in the oven of my studio later than usual to finish mining this moving tape, and then went out in the January night to air the pie I was, having dropped this wonderful stuff into the deep-dish with all the other stuff I had mined that day. I was pie in the sky! “This stuff is very good for my health,” I acknowledged—both physical and emotional. Other thoughts and references came to mind as I walked the Lansdowne golf course—a little muddy on the east side of the little fir forest.

Irving Layton was dying just then, or had just made that crossing. This morning CBC1 played a clip of Irving in 1978 declaring that poets are physicians to the world, more so than Freud or Jung.

Layton’s poetry was rich, full of sunshine, fire, tears and curses, especially toward bourgeois respectability.

I have a woman friend who grew up in the circles populated by Layton, Cohen etc. Slept with Leonard, who she says was kind, but turned down Layton—she said he was driving her somewhere, and when she turned down his offer he stopped the car and abandoned her there and then—as I recall it was not her home city. That’s gossip.

“The most serious theological question of our time is whether Jesus ever had an erection. And why should that not be discussed, if he was the perfect man, he must have had the perfect erection, right?”
--Irving Layton, 1978

They dance best who dance with desire
Who lifting feet of fire from fire
Weave before they lie down
A red carpet for the sun
- Irving Layton