It's gonna get way worse.

Cranky Old Man #84 

a frothy mix of leftovers and links

Do we work for them, or do they own us?

Here in Wisconsin, some employees from a conglomerate hospital found higher-paying jobs with a different conglomerate, but when they turned in their notice, their employer took it to court — asked a judge to prevent seven employees from quitting.

Astoundingly, the judge didn't immediately reject the filing. He's considering such an order, so instead of starting their new jobs on Monday, the seven employees will be in court. 

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How the profit motive is killing people and driving nurses out of hospital work 

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The making of the 1960s New Left 

Give yourself an hour to read this lengthy, fascinating, and optimistic article about the flow of politics in the tumultuous '60s, from the lunch counter sit-ins to Students for a Democratic Society, the Port Huron Statement, the free speech movement, Sproul Plaza, and beyond.

Standing together, some true radicals ended a stupid war, outlawed some slivers of racism, and slapped a groggy America in the face — Thanks, we needed that.

Mister, we could use a man like Tom Hayden or Mario Savio again, and especially we could use a few million people standing in solidarity for what's right.

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Sally Ride accomplished what she accomplished, which is more than you know she accomplished, because of Title IX.

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The General Strike no-one is talking about 

This strike began with 34 drivers at Gary Merlino Construction, but now includes over 300 members of Teamsters Local 174 at six different companies in the Seattle area, and is made up of cement mixer drivers, concrete plant workers, mechanics, lab workers, terminal attendants, quality control workers, and yard workers in the concrete and sand industries. “We are calling this a general strike, because it is not limited to one sector of workers, but many—from concrete pourers, drivers, mixers, safety and quality control, and more—covering the entire concrete industry.”

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It's gonna get way worse. 

All kidding aside, the message of that short video is simply true. We are the last people who'll live relatively comfortable, relatively western-civilization lives.

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"Outdated, complicated, and needlessly cruel"

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) has so many rules, and such a tiny income ceiling, it's a system that ensures poverty and worry for disabled Americans.

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At one of my favorite blogs, Voenix Rising, the question was asked: What horrible companies still exist but shouldn't? 

Great question, and this is not the answer you're looking for, sorry, but if we're daydreaming, why not daydream BIG? What horrible companies still exist but shouldn't? EVERY DAMNED ONE OF THEM. Here's a brief list. 

Even fifty years ago most banks and restaurants, grocery stores and cable companies, hospitals and medical clinics, drug stores, hardware stores, butchers, bakers, and candlestick makers were locally-owned, not subsidiaries of multi-national conglomerates, and not franchised operations. You and I live 2,000 miles from each other, and at that distance, any company so enormous that we've both heard of it is a company I suspect shouldn't be allowed to exist. It's a company that's almost certainly sidestepped, bent and broken myriad laws — and purchased whatever laws it didn't break — to become a logo everyone recognizes.

There are exceptions to any rule, sure, but the exceptions we allow should be rare. An enormous company's enormousness should make it subject to scrutiny by anti-trust and other existential investigators. 

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Every Black Mississippi senator walked out as white colleagues voted to ban critical race theory 

Of course, that's what the Republicans want — in perpetuity, and they're working on it.

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Meat Loaf was my softball coach. 

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Meat Loaf sings the national anthem. 

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I prefer solitude to the company of fools, but generally speaking I have no ill will toward the average denizen of our fine but imperiled planet. Sometimes, though, I allow myself to laugh at the misfortune of others:

I lost $400,000, almost everything I had, on a single Robinhood bet.

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Satanic Temple rents space at Ohio public school for "After-School Satan Club," unsurprisingly angers some parents.

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Major League Cricket is coming to California. 

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Imagine a personal heating system that works indoors as well as outdoors, can be taken anywhere, requires little energy, and is independent of any infrastructure. It exists — and is hundreds of years old.

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One-word newscast:

Louie Anderson
Thich Nhat Hanh

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 Mystery links  — Like life itself, there’s no knowing where you’re going:


 Sing along with Doug:
♫♬  I Scare Myself 
Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks

Tip 'o the hat:
All Hat No Cattle • Linden Arden
BoingBoingCaptain Hampockets
Follow Me Here • John the Basket
LiarTownUSAMessy Nessy Chick
National ZeroRan Prieur
Vintage EverydayVoenix Rising

Extra special thanks:
Becky Jo • Name Withheld • Dave S.
and always, Stephanie


Cranky Old Man 

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  1. Doug, thanks for "I Scare Myself" by Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks. This is as close as most North Americans came to hearing Django Reinhardt and his various gypsy-jazz combos. Mr Hicks had a long, distinguished career, which would have been a long, distinguished, lucrative career had people had the decency and taste to stop listening to Michael Jackson and Garth Brooks records.

    In any case, Mr Hicks and his rather large ensemble preserved the gypsy-jazz sounds of Django and blended them gently with the slightly less flowing and more punctuated sounds of Americana, traditional country, blues, orchestral, cool jazz and a touch of Latin jazz. His first hire, interestingly I think, was David LaFlamme, a concert violinist, who went on to play with Janis Joplin, Jerry Garcia, and It's a Beautiful Day. That's David playing soaring violin on "White Bird".

    Mr Hicks died in 2016 and we all lost a background sweetness in the soundtrack to our lives, although few of us noticed. It should have been in the foreground.


    1. One of many performers and artists I'd never heard of. Thanks for nudging me.

      "I Scare Myself" is one of those songs, once hear you want to hear it again, or at least I did, and then twice heard it's in your head all day and into tomorrow.

      Listening to some of his other stuff now, mostly to chase away "I Scare Myself"...

    2. Wow that is a blast from the past. Dan Hicks and Hot Licks was the first concert I ever went to, at a place called Family Dog in San Francisco in 1973 I think. I was grounded but snuck out anyway and got in so much trouble.

    3. America was the first concert I went to, assuming Jesus Rock in the church basement doesn't count. "I've been through the desert on a horse with no name..."

      Family Dog is an awesome name for a theater.


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