Jack Saturday

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Anti-Job Pro-Freedom Quote Of The Week 129

A relatively small percentage of people, whom I call the coordinator class, primarily do work that increases their self-confidence and gives them a fair amount of control over their own work lives. The majority of people, the working class, do work that is deadening, disempowering, and sometimes even dangerous - not to mention commonly smashing their self-confidence, and essentially never increasing it.

Yes, being working class is sometimes physically damaging and even dangerous. But working-class work is very nearly always unhealthy for one's soul. Even if being a member of the working class doesn't actually harm you emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and/or intellectually (which is unlikely, as it usually does harm you), it never builds you up in any of these ways.

Why is that? It's not the physical nature of the work, not really. Maybe 20% of it is that. The majority of it is simply the nature of the working-class role itself. You're treated like a tool, in fact worse than a tool, because it's impossible to in any way abuse, say, a hammer. But people can be very much abused, and the working class is - not just routinely, but systematically.

To the capitalists who own the workplaces and the coordinators who run them, it's important never to let the workers be more than they are. They must be chopped down and set against one another at every opportunity, lest control of the workplace be eventually lost to them. This has a horrible effect on workers' psyches. And what does the emotionally abused worker do when she or he goes home? Alcoholism, substance abuse, child abuse, spousal abuse, even abuse of pets - all these issues intersect with issues of workers' rights.
Fundamental Workers' Rights
By Eric Patton
Z-Net Commentary
April 17, 2007

Friday, April 20, 2007

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Anti-Job Pro-Freedom Quote Of The Week 128

Senseless School Violence

I was working at a very large school district (Dallas Independent School District) and I witnessed widespread physical abuse that was not being documented. When I spoke with my administrator I was told to go back where I came from and to mind my own business. Then I started being harassed by the personnel office and other administrators. Fortunately, I was able to contact two attorneys who helped me to file a whistle blower lawsuit which I won. The school district spent well over one half million dollars defending the suit. Last year was the first year that DISD did away with corporal punishment.

Last school year I worked in a small Charter School that was founded by a Baptist Church. I was shocked to witness more physical abuse and reported many incidents. The teachers and administrators and parents quoted bible verses to justify their behavior. I contacted four journalists, two attorneys and Oprah Winfrey Show. Mr. Riak at Project No Spank was sympathetic and encouraging. None of the other contacts responded to me but I let the school know what I had done. I was immediately put on administrative leave and I was not able to get a full time teaching job this year due to the bad references that I had again accumulated.
“S. L. S.”
Alice Miller Website


Thursday, April 12, 2007

Anti-Job Pro-Freedom Quote Of The Week 127

Kurt Vonnegut: Nov 11, 1922-- April 11, 2007
So he goes.

When the United States of America... was less than a century old... a few men demonstrated the folly of the founding fathers in one respect: those sadly recent ancestors had not made it the law of the Utopia that the wealth of each citizen should be limited. This oversight was engendered by a weak-kneed sympathy for those who loved expensive things, and by the feeling that the continent was so vast and valuable, that no thief, no matter how fast he stole, could more than mildly inconvenience anyone. ... Thus did a handful of rapacious citizens come to control all that was worth controlling in America. Thus was the savage and stupid and entirely inappropriate and unnecessary and humorless American class system created. Honest, industrious, peaceful citizens were classed as bloodsuckers, if they asked to be paid a living wage. And they saw that praise was reserved henceforth for those who devised means of getting paid enormously for committing crimes against which no laws had been passed. Thus the American dream turned belly up, turned green, bobbed to the scummy surface of cupidity unlimited, filled with gas, went bang in the noonday sun.
Kurt Vonnegut

Monday, April 09, 2007

Newly Risen

God has nothing to do with routine morality and invariable truth; he [sic] is a joyous god for whom too much is enough and exuberance beauty. A god who gave every Israelite in the desert three times as much manna as he [sic] could possibly eat.
Northrop Frye

Every seed has the promise of thousands of forests. If you look at nature, nature is lavishly, extravagantly, wastefully abundant.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007


King, I think in 1966 or ’67 makes his great anti-Vietnam speech in New York… and he calls the United States the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today. And he is also preparing his poor people’s march in 1968. He’s broadening his scope, not just a black-white issue, but a wide economic issue about the distribution of wealth in the United States. And in 1967 he makes his quote about “we have to have a revolution in political values in this country.”
Jim Di Eugenio

"The solution to poverty is to abolish it directly by a now widely discussed measure: the guaranteed income."
Martin Luther King, Chaos or Community, 1967

Reverend Ralph Abernathy, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference's (SCLC) successor to the slain Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., began the Poor People's Campaign of 1968 with the proclamation that "the poor are no longer divided. We are not going to let the white man put us down anymore. It's not white power, and I'll give you some news, it's not black power, either. It's poor power and we're going to use it.” The Poor People's Campaign (PPC) was a convergence of racial and economic concerns that brought the poor, including those who were black, white, Indian, and Hispanic to live in shantytowns and demonstrate daily in Washington, D.C. from May 14 until June 24, 1968. The PPC was conceived by Dr. Martin Luther King, but, unfortunately, was not led by him. Dr. King was murdered on April 4, 1968 while campaigning with striking garbage workers in Memphis, Tennessee. His death helped to ensure that the Poor People's Campaign would be a failure.
Robert T. Chase

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Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Anti-Job Pro-Freedom Quote Of The Week 126

In his [sic] fear that he’s not going to be allowed to eat because he’d been told, “there’s not enough to go round, therefore you have to prove yourself an exception, you have to earn the right to live.” Now I say, the minute we get over that nonsense, we simply say, because there is enough to go around… we’re going to say “automatically you’re included, you’re going to have just exactly everything you need, go anywhere you want, there’s adequate to do it.” Therefore we’re going to give up all the nonsense about earning a living, and really let the automation get going. That’s what nature is trying to do.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

A Fool At School

The greatest intellectual event of my life occurred early in third grade before I was yanked out of Xavier and deposited back in Monongahela. From time to time a Jesuit brother from St. Vincent’s College would cross the road to give a class at Xavier. The coming of a Jesuit to Xavier was always considered a big-time event even though there was constant tension between the Ursuline ladies and the Jesuit men. One lesson I received at the visiting brother’s hands altered my consciousness forever. By contemporary standards, the class might seem impossibly advanced in concept for third grade, but if you keep in mind the global war that claimed major attention at that moment, then the fact that Brother Michael came to discuss causes of WWI as a prelude to its continuation in WWII is not so far-fetched. After a brief lecture on each combatant and its cultural and historical characteristics, an outline of incitements to conflict was chalked on the board.

"Who will volunteer to face the back of the room and tell us the causes of World War One?"

"I will, Brother Michael," I said. And I did.

"Why did you say what you did?"

"Because that’s what you wrote."

"Do you accept my explanation as correct?"

"Yes, sir." I expected a compliment would soon follow, as it did with our regular teacher.

"Then you must be a fool, Mr. Gatto. I lied to you. Those are not the causes at all." It was like being flattened by a steamroller. I had the sensation of being struck and losing the power of speech. Nothing remotely similar had ever happened to me.

"Listen carefully, Mr. Gatto, and I shall show you the true causes of the war which men of bad character try to hide," and so saying he rapidly erased the board and in swift fashion another list of reasons appeared. As each was written, a short, clear explanation followed in a scholarly tone of voice.

"Now do you see, Mr. Gatto, why you must be careful when you accept the explanation of another? Don’t these new reasons make much more sense?"

"Yes, sir."

"And could you now face the back of the room and repeat what you just learned?"

"I could, sir." And I knew I could because I had a strong memory, but he never gave me that chance.

"Why are you so gullible? Why do you believe my lies? Is it because I wear clothing you associate with men of God? I despair you are so easy to fool. What will happen to you if you let others do your thinking for you?"

You see, like a great magician he had shifted that commonplace school lesson we would have forgotten by the next morning into a formidable challenge to the entire contents of our private minds, raising the important question, Who can we believe? At the age of eight, while public school children were reading stories about talking animals, we had been escorted to the eggshell-thin foundation upon which authoritarian vanity rests and asked to inspect it.

There are many reasons to lie to children, the Jesuit said, and these seem to be good reasons to older men. Some truth you will know by divine intuition, he told us, but for the rest you must learn what tests to apply. Even then be cautious. It is not hard to fool human intelligence.

John Taylor Gatto,