Monday, March 19, 2018

Union Strong, or Individuals Weak

Up until now, I've regaled you with stories of an infant bus operator finding maturity in this job. Surely, my motives were misguided. It was my hope that vast numbers of you would buy my book. It is very poor of me to expect this, to secretly wish my words would give me a bump in pay, the chance of a more prosperous future on the backs of the very people I toil with in this struggle to keep a roof over my head.

This is my confession. It comes with the understanding that to mirror the motives of our financial lords goes against everything I have ever stood for, or believed in. Some say, if you can't beat 'em, perhaps you should join 'em. This however doesn't provide us with the opportunity to grow our souls in an honorable manner. It only allies us with those who have lorded over the common people for millennia. Such behavior does nothing to further the notion of equality and justice, or prosperity, for all who strive to achieve it.

Brothers and sisters, we are poised at the most crucial divide humanity has ever known. We've been fooled into fighting amongst each other while the puppet masters pull our strings and insist we aim our weapons inward, toward our collective selves. It's time to rise up against the tyranny, to insist that a majority rules rather than the slimmest of immoral numbers not get the best of US.

History illustrates many mistakes of the conquered, the most glaring being the ability of a diverse mass of people to force change with unanimous insistence. We're told to argue the points which humans have learned to hold most dear. Religion, certain "rights," race, and the silliest of all, "social standing." It keeps us fighting each other, while the shenanigans of those with the most go largely unchallenged. These string-holders have become so masterful at encouraging our collective internal warfare that we become aligned with the wolves who encircle us, ready to tear our limbs asunder and feast upon whatever spoils we leave them. We devour each other along with those who encouraged it, and are so mad with hatred that we don't see the bloodthirsty beasts encouraging the feeding frenzy.

A few thousand years ago, this battle was less "civilized." The masters pitted man versus man in large amphitheaters. It was entertaining to them to watch us kill each other. The "fans" cheered the disgusting carnage in fear that if they didn't join the blood lust, their masters would feed them to the same fate they witnessed. Today, they use the media, internet, and a religious divide to accomplish their goals. As a result, less than one percent of the world's masses hold a masterful grip on its wealth.

Unions came into true power during the Industrial Revolution of the late 1800s and early 1900s, when workers rose to demand better working conditions and fair wages. They marched into power during the Industrial Revolution, giving rise to the powerful force that would become the Teamsters and others. The union I'm proudly a member of, Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU), was founded in 1892. It quickly won concessions for streetcar workers, who were exposed to weather elements until they won negotiations and their control stations were enclosed. It currently represents nearly 200,000 transit workers in the United States and Canada.

After World War II, unions became even more powerful as they demanded better working conditions for many in the working middle class who performed the tasks which fueled the booming economy. Toward the end of the 20th century, unions came under fire from those who had benefited most from the sweat and blood of front line workers. Greed fueled a massive campaign to discredit unions, and many were convinced to turn away from the only lobby that worked for them. To this day, many in the dwindling middle class believe unions are a negative force that should be abolished. Unfortunately, they are also convinced that those who want them to agree with this have their best interests at heart. It's obvious to anyone who can see forests through the trees, that these powerful bastards don't give a damn about those who fight their battles.

We have a national disaster looming, and it's not any foreign battlefield. We're at war with ourselves, with the very soul of what makes America a wonderful place to live. I look at my brothers and sisters with respect and admiration, for I know the struggles we all face. We differ politically, yet both major parties need to be abandoned. We need to stop fighting what we're expected to fight about, and begin a new battle: that age-old warfare of those who have little versus those who stole the rest.

I care little about religion, but much for our souls. Treat others with dignity, keep all organized religion out of politics, and work together for the common good. It's simple. We've lost the ability to send Mr. Smith to Washington. It's now controlled by corporations and power brokers. The power to self-govern is all but an outdated silly notion. We pledge allegiance to a flag owned by lobbyists and those who pay them.

When I hear of low voter turnouts, it makes me sick. Some say their votes "don't count." When you don't vote, your voice is most assuredly lost. When decent people running for office are beaten by corporatists with deep pockets, we all lose. Our country is full of wonderful people who have the potential to take our country back. However, we're bullied by Big Money into believing this notion is but a fairy tale. Mr. Smith has no chance unless we give it back to him. Supporting the status quo won't do the trick.

Another problem which spells doom for our freedom is the time we spend being spoon-fed "news" that merely supports our stubborn beliefs. Few are willing to challenge the norm... honestly. What we're seeing in today's political circus is a web of misinformation propagated by Russia or China, our own corporate kahunas, and the worldwide power brokers. Choose your poison, and you'll be fed accordingly. Keep religious and political factions fighting, encourage vicious social division; the spoils are eaten whilst we argue with and kill one another. Divide and conquer. There ya go.

So yeah, I wrote a book about what it's like to drive a bus. Big whoop, evidently. The corporate media has largely ignored it because... the voice of the "little guy" is supposed to be ignored. Academia won't likely recognize a largely self-taught writer without an agent and large publishing firm backing him up. I turned to you as my main marketing focus, and a precious few of my loyal readers have purchased and (hopefully) enjoyed it. Sure, I never expected to be on Oprah's reading list, or trumpeted by the NY Times, but a tiny whisper within me asked, "why not?"

Instead of trying to become widely-read, it has become clear that my focus should be to work toward uniting US in an effort to win back the spoils which millions of workers, and those who toiled before we came, have bled and sweated for. It is nobler to shout a worthwhile message to a few and hope it grows into an audible roar, than to sit back and wish it would happen.

I say to you all who read this: do not sit back and let the wheels of a few crush us all into the dust. Fight for the best in all of us. Don't agree with your co-worker on politics or religion? Cast it aside and find what you agree upon. There are common ideals residing within us that genetics endowed us with long ago. We have more to fight for than against. If we allow the rascals to continue their ruinous rule, humans are doomed. We can't seem to help ourselves. I believe, however, that we capable of doing great things, if we can only let loose of what's "expected" and strive for what's "possible."

God only asks that we love one another. Only mankind expects us to hate. Religions were invented by man. If there truly is but one God, there are about eight billion ways of seeing this deity. Love is internal, yet we can share it. Why then must we fight each other, when the opposite is what is expected of us? Think about this when you next cast a ballot... union, local or national elections... see the person's motives who asks your support. Is this person brought to you by Big Money, or do they march door-to-door with truth and honesty on their side?

It's within us to force massive changes toward a common goodness. Otherwise, we're simply pawns in an ancient chess game.

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