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March 12th, 2009

02:46 pm - Looking for Irish folks who lived int the U.S. between 1975 and 1995
Hello all
I'm a graduate student in the U.S. writing a paper about recent Irish immigration and I'm looking for folks who emigrated to the U.S. between 1975 and 1995 and would be willing to fill out a quick survey about your experience here. I'm writing about the experiences of the "new Irish" (or whatever you want to call yourselves) relating to the Irish-American community and earlier Irish immigrants.  I'm interested in hearing from folks regardless of where you live now.

This is a very informal survey (and process) and obviously any questions you don't feel like answering you can skip. I'm just looking for some personal experiences to flesh out the dry story I've gotten from newspapers and books.  Please also pass this request on to other folks you know who might be willing to help a stumped american grad student. 

If you are interested please email me at elang@gwmail.gwu.edu and I will email you back the survey.

Thanks for your help.

A bit of background on me so you'll know this is legitimate.

I am an MA student in Museum Studies at George Washington University aiming to become a curator in historical museums after I graduate. The paper I am writing is for a class on Immigration and Ethnicity I am taking at American University to as part of the half of my course that must be taken in an academic field.

My primary area of interest is the North Atlantic world and the interactions between the United States and Canada and other English speaking countries.

I got my undergraduate degree from the Universtity of Massachusetts at Amherst and spent a semester studying at U.C.C.

I was born raised in the Boston area and while not of Irish decent became curious at the impact of the Irish community on the  area.

p.s. sorry about the cross posting.

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September 3rd, 2007

08:59 pm - perhaps of interest here
Commentary on Labor Day over at the Language Log. Or, I should say, commentary on the lack of Labor in acknowledgment of Labor Day.

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April 30th, 2007

02:58 pm - May Day
Tomorrow is May Day. In my book, May Day is International Worker’s Day—but what do you expect from a pinko sympathizer like myself? International Workers' Day is a celebration of the social and economic achievements of the international labor movement, which began with the labor unrest over the fight for an eight-hour work day that culminated with the Haymarket Riots in Chicago in 1886. Ironically, though the act that it commemorates happened here, International Worker’s Day isn’t celebrated by the United States, instead May 1 is officially observed as something called Loyalty Day: a “day set aside for the reaffirmation of loyalty to the United States and for the recognition of the heritage of American freedom,” it says here. Hmph! My shiny red and black arse. Sounds like they’re afraid of commies.

Yes, her hands may be hardened from labor,
And her dress may not be very fine;
But a heart in her bosom is beating
That is true to her class and her kind.
And the grafters in terror are trembling
When her spite and defiance she'll hurl;
For the only and thoroughbred lady
Is the Rebel Girl.

-Joe Hill

Happy May Day, y’all.

I quit my job today.
Current Location: my cage; my cube

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January 10th, 2007

09:45 am - Vote Benn!
Insignificant BBC programme, 'The Politics Show' is currently running a poll to find the greatest living UK politician.

Not the most significant event of your life so far I'm sure, until to realise that this is a straight out fight between lefty and mostly harmless Tony Benn and scourge of the working people, the sinister Margaret Thatcher.

[New York City Independent Media Center]

Benn was somewhat naive, but not an altogether bad guy, as you can gather from his quotes at the Indymedia thread. Please consider voting for him - and more importantly, against Thatcher - here.
Current Mood: blahblah
Current Music: X-Ray Spex, "Oh Bondage! Up Yours!"

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November 18th, 2006

11:35 am - Participation of american unions in election'06
Hello! My name is Maria.
I'm journalist from Russia. I need your help.
Now I'm writing material about win of The Democratic Party on election'06 and support by the American unions of the Democratic Party.
Please, if you know some information, could you help me in my guestion:
1. How trade unions have supported the Party on election in Congress? What ways and means were used?
2. Why the American trade unions traditionally support the Party?
If it probably specify references to interesting materials(blogs) on the Internet, concerning these questions.

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September 29th, 2006

09:08 am - 1972: The Quebec general strike
1972: The Quebec general strike

The story of one of the largest working class rebellions in American history. 300,000 workers participated in North America's largest general strike to that date, radio stations were seized, factories were occupied, and entire towns were brought under workers' control, and it won important gains

"Not since the days of the Industrial Workers of the World, since the days of Joe Hill and the battle for the eight-hour day, has a North American union movement been so dedicated to the tradition of revolutionary syndicalism." - Marcel Pepin (jailed President of the Confederation of National Trade Unions, 1972)

What made the rebellion possible was not only an explosive mix of economic exploitation, national oppression, and government repression, but was also a strong, young, and radicalised rank and file of the Quebec trade union movement.

whole article

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September 6th, 2006

11:47 pm - Saying hello, and a story
Hi, just joined this community. As my journal says, Another ageing Punk Lefty from Australia.

And by way of introduction:

Stories my family told me, Part 1

A story told me by my mother and grandmother always brings home to me the importance of organised labour.

The story is about my great-grandfather worked in a bakery around the turn of the 19th century, when the workers were awarded a legally mandated pay rise. This was probably the Harvester Award of 1907, when Justice Higgins established the Minimum Basic Wage.

The first pay day of the new minimum wage was ending, when the bakery owner addressed his workers.

“Well, men,” he said, “the law says I have to give you this extra money, but you know what you have to do.” As the men filed out the door to go home, the Boss stood by the door with his hand out. And every man, as he walked past, dropped his extra few shillings back in the Boss’ hand.

But my great-grandfather walked up to him, looked him straight in the eye and said, “I’ve got twelve kids at home: I need this money more than you do,” and kept his hand in his pocket.

He lost his job.

The Bosses will never give you justice out of the kindness of their hearts. Organise.
Current Mood: thoughtfulthoughtful
Current Music: Daddy, what's a train? - Utah Phillips

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September 4th, 2006

03:00 am - Happy Labor Day
Some years from now, in an economic refugee relocation “Enterprise Zone,” your kids will ask you, “What did you do in the Class War, Daddy?”

The trick of class war is not to let the victims know they’re under attack. That’s how, little by little, the owners of the planet take away what little we have.

This week, Dupont, the chemical giant, slashed employee pension benefits by two-thirds. Furthermore, new Dupont workers won’t get a guaranteed pension at all — and no health care after retirement. It’s part of Dupont’s new “Die Young” program, I hear. Dupont is not in financial straits. Rather, the slash attack on its workers’ pensions was aimed at adding a crucial three cents a share to company earnings, from $3.11 per share to $3.14.

So Happy Labor Day.

And this week, the government made it official: For the first time since the Labor Department began measuring how the American pie is sliced, those in the top fifth of the wealth scale are now gobbling up over half (50.4%) of our nation’s annual income.

So Happy Labor Day.

We don’t even get to lick the plates. While 15.9% of us don’t have health insurance (a record, Mr. President!), even those of us who have it, don’t have it: we’re spending 36% more per family out of pocket on medical costs since the new regime took power in Washington. If you’ve actually tried to collect from your insurance company, you know what I mean.


So Happy Labor Day.

But if you think I have nothing nice to say about George W. Bush, let me report that the USA now has more millionaires than ever — 7.4 million! And over the past decade, the number of billionaires has more than tripled, 341 of them!

If that doesn’t make you feel like you’re missing out, this should: You, Mr. Median, are earning, after inflation, a little less than you earned when Richard Nixon reigned. Median household income — and most of us are “median” — is down. Way down.

Since the Bush Putsch in 2000, median income has fallen 5.9%.

Mr. Bush and friends are offering us an “ownership” society. But he didn’t mention who already owns it. The richest fifth of America owns 83% of all shares in the stock market. But that’s a bit misleading because most of that, 53% of all the stock, is owned by just one percent of American households.

And what does the Wealthy One Percent want? Answer: more wealth. Where will they get it? As with a tube of toothpaste, they’re squeezing it from the bottom. Median paychecks have gone down by 5.9% during the current regime, but Americans in the bottom fifth have seen their incomes sliced by 20%.

At the other end, CEO pay at the Fortune 500 has bloated by 51% during the first four years of the Bush regime to an average of $8.1 million per annum.

So who’s winning? It’s a crude indicator, but let’s take a peek at the Class War body count.

When Reagan took power in 1980, the One Percent possessed 33% of America’s wealth as measured by capital income. By 2006, the One Percent has swallowed over half of all America’s assets, from sea to shining sea. One hundred fifty million Americans altogether own less than 3% of all private assets.

Yes, American middle-class house values are up, but we’re blowing that gain to stay alive. Edward Wolff, the New York University expert on income, explained to me that, “The middle class is mortgaging itself to death.” As a result of mortgaging our new equity, 60% of all households have seen a decline in net worth.

Is America getting poorer? No, just its people, We the Median. In fact, we are producing an astonishing amount of new wealth in the USA. We are a lean, mean production machine. Output per worker in BushAmerica zoomed by 15% over four years through 2004. Problem is, although worker productivity keeps rising, the producers are getting less and less of it.

The gap between what we produce and what we get is widening like an alligator’s jaw. The more you work, the less you get. It used to be that as the economic pie got bigger, everyone’s slice got bigger too. No more.

The One Percent have swallowed your share before you can get your fork in.


The loot Dupont sucked from its employees’ retirement funds will be put to good use. It will more than cover the cost of the company directors’ decision to hike the pension set aside for CEO Charles Holliday to $2.1 million a year. And that’s fair, I suppose: Holliday’s a winning general in the class war. And shouldn’t the winners of war get the spoils?

Of course, there are killjoys who cling to that Calvinist-Marxist belief that a system forever fattening the richest cannot continue without end. Professor Michael Zweig, Director of the State University of New York’s Center for Study of Working Class Life, put it in culinary terms: “Today’s pig is tomorrow’s bacon.”

[Greg Palast]
Current Mood: sicksocioeconomic Catholicism

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August 29th, 2006

01:11 am - waging a living
i recieved this in my email and thought it was kind of relevant (though accesible only in the U.S.).

National PBS Premiere on P.O.V.
Tuesday, August 29 at 10 p.m.
(check your local listings - because they vary a lot. it airs in detroit on mon. 9/4)
The term "working poor" should be an oxymoron. If you work full time, you should not be poor, but more than 30 million Americans — one in four workers — are stuck in jobs that do not pay the basics for a decent life. "Waging a Living" chronicles the day-to-day battles of four low-wage earners fighting to lift their families out of poverty. Shot over a three-year period in the northeast and California, this observational documentary captures the dreams, frustrations, and accomplishments of a diverse group of people who struggle to live from paycheck to paycheck. By presenting an unvarnished look at the barriers that these workers must overcome to lift their families out of poverty, "Waging a Living" offers a sobering view of the elusive American Dream.

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August 12th, 2006

09:37 am - The Ballad of Joe Hill
Hey there I'd like to organize a screening of The Ballad of Joe Hill here in Chicago as part of a film fest, but finding a copy has been impossible. Anyone have a line on the film?
Current Location: 60657
Current Music: http://www.last.fm/user/sidmuchrock

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