Elizabeth Warren on Frances Perkins

“I know for a fact that the change we need in our country is possible — because America’s made big, structural change before.

I’d like to tell you a story of how it’s happened — a story I shared last night in New York City with people like you who are ready to dream big, fight hard, and win.

We were in Washington Square Park. Not because of the arch that was behind me, or the president the square is named for. We weren’t there because of famous arches or famous men. In fact, we weren’t there because of men at all.

We were there because of some hard-working women. Women who, more than a hundred years ago, worked long hours in a brown, ten-story building a block away. Women who worked at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory.

That was the site of one of the worst industrial disasters in American history. 146 workers were killed — mostly women, mostly immigrants — because of dangerous conditions, and because of corruption. Because fat-cat factory owners greased the political system to prevent lifesaving regulations.

A woman named Frances Perkins ran into the street, watching the fire. That day changed her. It changed a lot of people. The next week, women’s trade unions organized a funeral march down Fifth Avenue, and half a million people showed up.

They organized and pushed for change from the outside, and Frances pushed from the inside. She went to Albany ready to fight. She worked to create a commission investigating factory conditions, and then she served as its lead investigator. They got fire safety measures passed. But they didn’t stop there: They rewrote New York’s labor laws from top to bottom to protect workers.

Frances went on to become the first woman in American history to serve in the Cabinet, as President Franklin Roosevelt’s Secretary of Labor. And what did she push for when she got there? Big, structural change.

She used the same model she and her friends had used after the Triangle Fire: She worked the political system relentlessly from the inside, while a sustained movement applied pressure from the outside. As Frances Perkins put it, the Triangle Fire was “the day the New Deal was born.”

So, what did one woman — one very persistent woman — backed up by millions of people across this country get done? Social Security. Unemployment insurance. Abolition of child labor. Minimum wage. The right to join a union. Even the very existence of the weekend. Big, structural change. One woman, and millions of people to back her up.

The tragic story of the Triangle factory fire is a story about power. A story of what happens when the rich and the powerful take control of government and use it to increase their own profits while they stick it to working people.

But what happened in the aftermath of the fire is a different story about power: Our power. About what’s possible when we all fight together as one.”

[above from email sent by Elizabeth Warren 9/17/19 to supporters]


‘War is Hell’

— William T Sherman

I have been trying to think of what our issues are by age bracket. Having done a bit of reading about the generations and how we interact or fail to interact left me thinking about the current mess America is in. I don’t have the perfect answer, in fact my thinking may be so far out of reality it may only be good for causing a discussion about how weird my brain is.

Probably the most important division between my generation and that of the dictator wannabe, Biden and Warren, is that we are steeped in World War II, Korea and Vietnam, with Western Asia (Iraq and Afghanistan) to top it off. We grew up with tales of WWI and II. Many of us with varying degrees of other countries. For instance, my relatives fought the Soviets in Finland 1939 through 1944. Other relatives fought the Germans in WWI and WWII. Other cousins of mine are Vietnam veterans.

We fought the Cold War in many ways. Some of us up close and personal, others taught how to duck and cover. It affects us to this day whether we want to admit it or not.

All of this influences my thinking about global conflict. Harris and Kobluchar are the children of Vietnam era parents. The younger candidates of only the Bush Wars.

All know of the attacks on America that occurred eighteen years ago, the anniversary we just observed (one which the idiot made into his own fantasy world). They understand the global conditions of intertwined commerce. Not the America makes what the world eats and drives commerce fifty and sixty years ago.

In a way I would have preferred to not have a possible Russian agent running our country. I do have the feeling that Putin may not have influence in the strange world that stupid lives in.

How does this influence our preferences of candidates? I think we have poll results which show my generation more than the younger generations. My children are approaching middle aged. My grandchildren are almost of voting age. They only know a world of chaos and hate by the current president. How do we teach them that there used to be more rational representation in the Congress and the White House? I say we teach them starting now by not installing grandmother or grandfather (great-grandmother or great-grandfather) in either institution.


Sunday Jazz

Mary Lou Williams, why do we never hear about the women? A Jazz great that worked along side, playing , composing and arranging music for men whose names roll off of our tongues. Names like Benny Goodman , Duke Ellington, Charley Parker . Maybe she was known to those who are jazz enthusiast but to the ordinary person………?

Any way good for a quiet Sunday morning, enjoy


NPR has done series of articles in the last few weeks, just google – Mary Lou Williams, NPR and they will pop up. at least they did for me.

Her wiki page