So, it’s been quite a day already. It is very warm & humid & I’m having a hard time breathing, something that I believe is the result of the beta blockers & ace inhibitors that I take. So hot that the Sidekick couldn’t shame me into going fishing. I did, however, drive up to the coffee shop, thinking the air conditioning in the truck would cool me off enough to raise my spirits. It did that, but then I got into a heated conversation with a young man. He is working for our local overly rich man. The rich man, SueHank Martinsen is remodeling a motel & is employing non-union workers. The carpenters local from Duluth came down this week to set up informational pickets at the job site. Anyway, I sat down with the young man & I asked him how “happy” he must be working for SueHank Martinsen? It was a joke, since SueHank had been quoted in the local paper as saying how happy his workers looked. It reminded me of the plantation owner looking out over the cotton fields & commenting how happy the darkies looked. So I asked about the benefits that SueHank offered. The young man said he had no benefits. SueHank had stated in the paper that the workers had the same benefit plan as his management team. So it appears that SueHank was disassembling, to quote Bu$hCo. From there the wife stated that the workers felt like the union members who were picketing wanted their jobs. I explained about informational picketing & that they didn’t want their jobs, they wanted to organize. Well, things quickly went downhill from there. The young man & his wife started complaining about unions & the Democratic Party. Soon the young man & I were nose to nose. I kept telling him of the sacrifices that the early leaders of the union movement had to make, like getting killed. He seemed completely ignorant of that. It was that Green Party (I don’t mean all the Greens) parroting of Nader’s condemnation of unions & Democrats as being corrupt. Well, as a card carrying inactive member of the Teamster’s, I took a bit of offense to that charge & got a little closer to his nose. & he slapped at my head, knocking my hat off. No more swinging was involved, but it is a sad day. It is no surprise to anyone who is breathing that corruption has certainly been a part of the history of both institutions. But where would all of us be if there had been no unions, no early Democratic Party that championed the working class? I am no fan of the centrist Democrats who continue to put their own personal interests above the people, who somehow think that we need to be Republican-lite in order to win elections. But, where, exactly, do we put our energies? The Green Party? Young Socialists? Communist Party? I have voted for people running under the imprimaturs of all three of those parties. While none of the people I voted for won, nor did I think they would win when I voted for them, it was and is important to me, personally, to put my vote where I thought it would do the most good. I have also voted for Democrats, & at least where I live, my vote did back winners, except, of course, Nixon, Nixon, Reagan, Reagan, Bush I, Bu$hCo & Bu$hCo. Now even the winning Dems did/do not always make me happy. My local Democratic State Assemblyman wants me to support centrist Dems, like our Gov, yet wants to throw progressives out of the party! Yeah, that’s the ticket. But I will vote for him again, unless some progressive runs against him. I have never & will never vote for a Republican. The point is, however, that this young man & I are probably on the same side. He needs to work, he has plans & dreams for his & his wife’s future. He has bills to pay. His life is like mine, except I’m a lot older, “own” a house we’re still paying for, “own” two cars we’re still paying for, own a minorly bad heart we’re still paying for, a twenty-one year Harley we’re still paying for, etc. etc. Y’all get the picture. Yet this young man claims he has fought many battles & has had many victories. Good for him. But when you start bragging about your past victories, you are losing the present war. & when you start condemning the institutions that have, in small & large ways, to one degree or another, kept & are keeping this country from falling into fascism, well, all I can say is to hell with the young people who don’t have a clue. Condemn the unions, yet who was out in front of the young man’s worksite explaining the value of union labor? The Greens weren’t there, but the union was. & I know that these union members are Democrats, liberal Democrats. So keep on saying unions are bad, keep on expecting that you will be able to convince SueHank of your exquisite philosophy, but remember, if you can, that it was the union out on the highway & they wanted to organize you.