Friday, August 19, 2011

The Ground We Walk On: A History of The Jackson Miners Union (Post 13)

1886 engraving of the Haymarket Affair
Ending the Strike
By David Roddy

On May 1, 1903, the Amador Dispatch reported that the great Amador gold mine strike had ended. The date of this announcement was frustratingly fitting, as exactly 18 years previously the Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions declared a standard eight-hour workday, prompting mass marches and strikes across the country and culminating into clashes between Chicago protesters and police in what is now known as the “Haymarket Affair.” Workers lost the fight for an eight-hour workday in 1886 in the United States, and the miners of Amador County lost the fight in 1903.

Friday, August 5, 2011

A Brief Glossary of Buzzwords that Terrify the Tea Party (and Why They are Ridiculous)

By David Roddy


Last month, national Tea Partisan in Chief Glenn Beck warned his television audience of a creeping threat to their liberty; a U.N. sustainable action plan ominously named “Agenda 21,” was taking over America:
“Reading through the pages [of Agenda 21], it becomes clear "sustainable development" is just a really nice way of saying "centralized control over all of human life on planet Earth."
[Fox News, Glenn Beck, 6/15/11, from]
Liberal media watchdog speculated that Beck was basing his theory off the wild-eyed rants of conspiracy monger Alex Jones, who has also theorized that FEMA is building concentration camps, the government helped orchestrate the Oklahoma City Bombings to discredit the militia movement, and that the world is controlled by a secret occult cabal. While it does seem Beck has repeatedly poached Jones’ material, and it is certainly tempting to link him to an even crazier conspiracist, I suspect he was simply responding to the previously existing concerns of his audience.

Glenn’s focus on Agenda 21 was news to the beltway media, but for rural politicians and activists, the conspiracy is nothing new. Despite the popular image of the Tea Party as Astroturf paid for by energy and financial corporations, there is a strong agrarian current unacknowledged by the official organs of the movement. In the forgotten corners of rural America, local Tea Parties have begun to fight against what they see to be an assault on United States sovereignty by the United Nations and the liberal elite.

Right-wing populist conspiracism has been a political force in America for well over a century, and the current globalist conspiracy perpetuated by the Tea Party is just the end of a long rope of interwoven imaginary plots that stretches back to the Civil War. The current narrative, while ignoring the blatant antisemitism of its predecessors, still hinges on scapegoating community members as “agents” of negative change, namely “removing people from their land.”

This rural strain of the Tea Party movement believes that the United Nations is secretly taking over America, namely by chipping away private property rights in the name of “sustainable development.” To aid in masking their insidious agenda from an unconscious public, the plotters use “nice and fuzzy” buzzwords in place of language that would reveal their true objectives. For the sake of convenience, below is a list of some of these words, as well as a brief explanation of what the Tea Party thinks they mean and why they are wrong. It is important that we progressives can understand and counter this narrative when it is presented by our tricorne hat attired neighbors at public meetings.