Sunday, September 3

The reason for the season!

Cool! Unions protest at a WalMart!
Oops, nevermind. It's in Canada. Why do they hate America?

Labor Day is more about football than unions, these days. It's Reagan's fault. Bust the unions, turn off anti-trust controls, and you get WalMart, the largest employer in the US of A. Number one!

Wait. I don't wanna leave Reagan yet. Look at this from the Birmingham News website, caught at Between the Links:

Think about it. Ronald Reagan is a conservative value. I guess they mean the undisguised idolatry of Ronnie, not that we don't also worship the idols of The Ten Commandments monument and Taylor Hicks. I mean, he's the true American Idol. After Ronald Reagan.

Mike writes this up and the result is, well, really Reagan, ya know?:

“Jimmy is such a nice young man. He’s polite, generous, and Reaganriffic.” Actually, that’s really catchy. I think we should compile a list of traits that qualifies one as “Reaganriffic.” Or should we change the wording? Maybe Reagalicious? Reagantastic? ...Isn’t it wonderful to live in a place where so many people can list the entire Crimson Tide depth chart, but can’t name even one of our two US senators? It’s Reagantabulous!

That said, I find WalMart as a political topic fascinating.

It's fascinating that the negative story that gets the most play in MSM is not that WalMart is bad for the environment, bad for unions, bad for employees, bad for local economies, bad for all of us. The negative story that gets play is that

WalMart is bad for business.

Barry Lynn has been spreading this gospel from Harper's Magazine to NPR. I don't disagree with it. But the dialogue itself shows just how much we've lost. "Power to the People" (thanks for the reminder, Konagod) is completely meaningless to today's workers. The revolution is over. (By the way, we lost.)

It's also fascinating that the effort to get WalMart to provide health care to their employees is a big lie, by the way. It is admitted by the organizers themselves that their efforts are designed to get WalMart to use its considerable political muscle to petition the federal government for a single-payer system, to force them to admit that they cannot remain "competitive" (against whom?) if they provide healthcare to people who work for them.

Again. Why a single payer insurance plan? The alternative is bad for business.

Finally, it's fascinating that negative news re: WalMart often boils down to negative news for Wall Street, heart and soul of the corporate media universe. Don't ever forget what Sumner Redstone, CEO of CBS's parent company Viacom said in 2004:

"There has been comment upon my contribution to Democrats like Senator Kerry. Senator Kerry is a good man. I've known him for many years. But it happens that I vote for Viacom. Viacom is my life, and I do believe that a Republican administration is better for media companies than a Democratic one."


It really is all about the money, perhaps also because for middle class white America, the primary consumers of mainstream media, those 401K's must continue to go up or else. I mean, when even a liberal rag like The Nation takes note, I gotta wonder:

Some Wall Street analysts think all this bad press, and the ongoing offensive by the unions, may even be depressing Wal-Mart's stock value. Wal-Mart's stock price, over the past year, has fallen 19 percent. During that time, the uncelebrated Sears has seen its stock go up. On Wall Street, Target has also been kicking the Bentonville behemoth's sizable butt.

So the message is, shop at WalMart, invest in Sears? And if you wouldn't be caught dead in either? Oh Dahlink, Isaac Mizrahi is waiting for you over at Tarzhay.

But what if Americans just stopped fucking shopping all the time? Oh, sorry, don't wanna be caught being un-American. Go team! Fight the terrorists!

Buy something.

cross-posted the Reagan stuff over at The Aristocrats.


  1. I used by first vote, back in 1976, to vote for Jimmy Carter. I have never regretted it, because I believe that Jimmy Carter was the last completely decent human being to occupy the White House. I was right to vote for him.

    I used to be convinced that there would never be a president in my lifetime who would be as bad for America and the world as Ronald Reagan. That I was wrong about.

    As for Wal-Mart and shopping and consumerism and all that, remember that it was the Boy King who told us three days or so after 9-11 that the way we could "defeat" the terorists was to all go... shopping.

    That is 21st Century America in a single sentence.

  2. A friend of mine just sent her son off to a college near D.C. - here's what she tells me: "[his
    roommate] brought a shrine to Ronald Reagan, including framed
    photos and a *bronze bust*."

    I've been alternately laughing and tearing my hair about this. Idolatry goes against the ten commandments, it's the very first one... do they keep their heads from exploding?

  3. It was a little freaky seeing the source of the WalMart picture. I grew up just up the street from one of the trustees of the Peterborough Labour Council, and he was in my class from first grade through highschool graduation. When I tried to unionize my own place of work a few years ago, those guys were very supportive. Solidarity!
    Kudos Blue Gal for casting your Google net wide enough to catch this. Though organized labour has declined in Canada in the last couple of decades, it hasn't been as devastated as it has in your country. The corporatists know that unions are one of the last barriers to their complete control of the American and Canadian economies.

  4. "Equal or lesser value?" I can't decide which one to choose.

    Do I want the dead and waxy Reagan or the alive and waxy-eared George.

    Oh, what the hell. I'll take both! You can never have too many asswipes around the house. They're so much more absorbent than regular toilet paper!

  5. Anonymous8:22 PM

    poobah, that was great!

    believe it or not, i'm a combo Reagan - Wal-Mart walking wounded in a very personal way. can't say more due to possible repercussions.

    i've noticed an eerie commonality in the way the Bush Admin and WMT operate however. both use lots of propaganda and manipulation.

  6. Blue Gal, some of my friends and I, we are planning a trip to SoCal to visit the entombment of Jebus' younger brother, Ronnie. We want to make sure that the rock that covers the Hellmouth is big enough to keep him in.

    We also plan various dances, and I offered to buy some beer so we can piss on his grave.

    I cordially invite you to join us.

    Best regards,


  7. Ah, yes. Gotta love Reaganomics. Look what it's done for people -- the average working family in my home state (WV) can't even get insurance, and if it's even offered by their employers, they can't afford the coverage.

    Yeah, but we gotta keep these big companies competitive.

  8. Quaker Dave:

    No one doubts that Carter is a decent human being. However, he was in over his head during his term and surrounded himself with poor leadership. That was his downfall.

    The problem (among many) with Reagan is a case of massive hypocrisy. He wanted to downsize and simplify government but that only ended up with making it easier for big business to get around safeguards and loopholes at the expense of working Americans.

    I agree wholeheartedly that government needs to be streamlined and simplified, but NOT that way.

    From my own job, I know that mergers and massive conglomerates really only benefit the upper echelon and wealthy while complicating the work of most workers.

    I think we owe it to ourselves to bust up big corporations, particularly WalMart.

  9. I never said Carter was a good President. I agree that he was in over his head, that he and surrounded himself with incompetents and buffoons. I said he was (and is) a good man. Maybe TOO good for that job.

    He is also the best ex-president this country has EVER had. He is more of a statesman than the current crop put together. And he's still a good, decent, compassionate, REAL Christian man.

  10. ... don't know where that extra *and* came from there...

  11. quakerdave honey, it's like knitting. You're the only one who notices teh mistakes. Fergit it.

    Tengrain, I accept.

    And Poobaby, you know your comments are getting better than my blog. Watch it.

  12. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  13. Blue Gal,
    As a Teamster who has seen the benefits of organized labor. I refuse to shop Walmart. In Minnesota they got sued and lost because they were making employees punch out for lunch, but work through it and they made employees punch out at the end of their shifts, but stay and "finish" their work. Germany's unions finally threw them out, but in China they finally accepted independent unions. It's sad when one of the worlds largest corporations can't give employees decent benefits. Benefits you and I would provide as a mom and pop business.


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