The FBI — working on information from an aging reputed mobster — began digging in the waist-high grass of a Detroit-area field Monday in yet another search for the remains of former Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa, according to a law enforcement source with direct knowledge of the investigation.
The information that sparked the latest hunt in the nearly four-decades-long search for Hoffa is “highly credible,” the source said.
Agents were executing a search warrant for a field in Oakland Township, north of Detroit, based in part on information provided by alleged mobster Tony Zerilli.
My sister asked me to watch the PBS special, Slavery by Another Name. I don’t know about you, but I have really have to psych myself up to watch one of these specials. I find them very, very depressing. The show was fascinating, enlightening and damn depressing. In a nutshell, Whites used various methods from the end of reconstruction to 1940 to re-enslave Blacks. Now, I paid attention in high school and college. I don’t remember one lecture on this stuff. I knew that during reconstruction there were several Blacks who were voted into Congress from the deep south. Many Blacks opened businesses and bought land. Then something happened. It all vanished. Basically, a series of laws and statues were passed that said in essense – if you are Black, you ain’t got nothing. Tons of laws were passed that criminalized things that you and I would not think of as crimes – playing dice, walking on railroad tracks, the inability to prove that you are employed at any given moment. Once you were arrested, fines were thrown at you. If you couldn’t pay the fine, you had go to jail. The city or state would then rent your services to local businesses. You became cheap labor, cheap and expendable labor. The Master didn’t own you like in the past. Now, you could be shot by your boss. You were buried and your former boss would go and get another loaner (slave) from the state. Peonage. What the Hell? I had to go look that up. I have never heard the word peonage (the use of laborers bound in servitude because of debt). Cheap Black labor became the engine that pulled the deep south of poverty. At the end of the Civil War, there were four million poor Blacks and four million poor Whites in the south. By 1940, there were eight million Whites living in the middle class and millions of Black Americans were simply out of luck. They didn’t even get a little taste of prosperity for their hard work. I highly recommend Slavery by Another Name, but you might want to take a little something to help steady your nerves before watching. It is a very powerful program. I’m reading the book now. So, you might note that my mood is a little testy!
By ecthompsonmd|2012-03-06T07:14:57-04:00March 6th, 2012|Race|Comments Off on Slavery by Another Name
Over the last 15 years, Republicans have decided that they cannot win at the ballot box. Instead, they’ve decided to defund the Democratic Party. This is a multi-pronged attack on Democrats. One of the efforts to decrease the number of Democrats is to simply make it harder for you and me to register to vote. Look at what’s happening in Florida and other states around the country. Voter ID laws, shortening the length of time for early voting and other tactics are specifically designed to decrease the number of Democrats who go to the polls. Secondly, they’ve decided to attack unions. Unions, for the most part, overwhelmingly vote Democratic. They help organize the Democratic Party. They help get out the vote. So, one way that you can limit the power of unions is by cleverly taking away their power. The power of the union is its ability to bargain for it union members. That is the strength. If you and I go to the boss and say that we deserve better benefits or higher salary, it is easy for the boss to fire us and replace us with somebody else. On the other hand, if a large union goes to management and says the same thing, right now, management needs to bargain with the union in order to avoid a general strike of union workers. Without collective bargaining, unions are dead. If unions die, one of the huge engines of the Democratic Party dies also.
Republicans aren’t stupid. They are hardheaded and ideological and facts almost never penetrate their craniums, but they aren’t stupid.
Watch the video on how Republicans are making it harder to vote all over the country: