RANGER AGAINST WAR: Granfalloons <

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


You load sixteen tons, what do you get
Another day older and deeper in debt
Saint Peter don't you call me 'cause I can't go
I owe my soul to the company store
--Sixteen Tons, Tennessee Ernie Ford

The union has made me wise
To the lies of the company spies
And I don't get fooled by the factory rules
'cause I always read between the lines
--Part of the Union, Strawbs

Call Ranger weak-minded, but he can't resolve an issue which issued from yesterday's post documenting the gallantry of the Marines during the breakout to Haguru-ri ("Fox News").

While the same praise must be extended to our soldiers fighting, suffering and dying in Afghanistan (there is no absence of valor and dedication in either scenario), we are told that the fighting in whichever war was and is necessary to defend freedom and our way of life. But
is it really so?

In December 1950 young Ranger lived in a coal company house, and his father and grandfather worked the mines to provide a subsistence-level existence. Ranger's father mined until the recessions killed the industry. More correctly -- until the Japanese and Germans killed the steel industry (another story.)

All the while, good men were fighting and dying, but it wasn't for America's freedom and prosperity. Those goods passed his house on its road march to the better neighborhoods of America; his family was free to be poor. Coal miners in '50 and '51 were struggling for unionized living wages, but the fighting Marines didn't do a thing to improve their lives.

Americans allow their corporations to bond together (see the insurance and petroleum oligarchies) but are against union organization, against their better interests.
Still, they are never against war, as that would be unpatriotic. How did any American benefit from the sacrifices of those Marines in Korea?

What is different in 2009? Our soldiers follow orders, yet what does this have to do with our daily freedom and security?
We think John Lennon said it best in his classic interview with Dick Cavett: The media works hard to distract us from the un-necessity of war with a multitude of red herrings. As a result of our easy distraction, we are becoming a nation of Granfalloons, missing the import of the vital issues, failing to make the connections.

Contrary to what Obama or any leader says, there is no correlation between the battlefield and freedom. All freedoms are won or lost in our backyards. The Civil War oversaw the emancipation of slaves, but
it was politics, not war, that made the former slaves and miners free men.

The unions helped, too.

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Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

if i were so inclined i could take the "i got mine, so fuck ya'll" position with the health care.

right after i left the service i had some nagging injury stuff happening and i checked out the VA.

the docs and nurses appeared to be doing the very best they could do, without funding, without adequate staff and training.

through my union, i have better than average health care for the rest of my life. having put a daughter through medical school doesn't hurt niether.

thing is, i remember growing up on the rez when we often had to travel hard miles, then wait our turn, just to get seen by a doctor (which usually wasn't a doctor but another grip of missionaries like we had crawling around our schools).

i know the helpless and dismal feeling of knowing that nobody in the entire world gives a flying fuck about whether you live or die. i know the feeling that happens when you realize that they might care about living or dying one way or the other, and they'd prefer that you fucking die.

nobody should have those kind of realizations.


there's a sweet and special feeling of beautiful revenge when i see the schools and clinics that we have funded with our casinos.

thing is, because just about everybody on the rez grew up exactly like me, if a white tourist breaks a leg or an arm they can be treated, for free, in our health care system. if they ski into a tree, we hope it's another fucking congressman. then they can name a freeway after the cocksucker and elect his wife to fill the seat or some shit like that.

a very cool thing that the brule souix spotted tail said after a trip to washington was

the white man knows how to make everything. he can't give things away for shit.

being savages and all we measure wealth on a very different scale.

i'm proud of that.

courage and even gallantry in bullshit wars fought for bogus reasons is still courage and gallantry.

it just doesn't feel as good later on.

Thursday, December 17, 2009 at 1:11:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Underground Carpenter said...

Hi Jim and Lisa,
Great post!
"All freedoms are won or lost in our backyards." Exactly. That's why I'm against having a standing army. When the mightiest military on earth can't even conquer a bunch of cave-dwelling goat herders, just exactly what are we so damn afraid of? That $1 trillion+ military budget could sure buy a lot of medical care.


Thursday, December 17, 2009 at 7:07:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Sven Ortmann said...

"Americans allow their corporations to bond together (see the insurance and petroleum oligarchies) but are against union organization, against their better interests."

It's actually different - and hypocritical.

American governments LOVE free labour union movements spout strong supposrtive rhetoric as long as said unions are undermining socialist governments (Poland early 80's and the like).

Unions are the expression of freedom and a human right in such situations.

Thursday, December 17, 2009 at 9:56:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Terrible said...

Somehow I doubt those in their gilded mansions ask themselves these questions.

Growing up on a dairy farm in the hells of VT in the 60's I can relate to Rangers childhood. After the death of my father in '66 things were pretty tough. Yeah freedoms are won and lost in our backyards and too often only lost. And the real enemies of freedom aren't strangers thousands of miles away fighting for their own freedom but the men in the suits and ties in the gated communities on the other side of town.

Thursday, December 17, 2009 at 10:37:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Terrible said...

errrr I really did mean the HILLS of VT. We may have been poor but I never considered it hell.

Thursday, December 17, 2009 at 10:38:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rogue trader said...

Don't Fear The Reaper

OT - Somebody's been doing their homework and it wasn't the people at DOD.


Thursday, December 17, 2009 at 11:26:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous sheerahkahn said...

Well, herein is the thing we have about war.

We're still throwing rocks at each other, we're still burning each other with fire, and the same old rage burns within the chest to see some hurt dropped on some asshat who thought they could snag the mammoth and run.
The only difference between our sloped shoulder ancestors and us is our rocks are smaller and travel faster, and our fire burns hotter.
Same rage, and same old reasons.

We evolved alright...just not in the area that needed to evolve the most.

As aside to the Drone...wondering when that was going to happen.
Don't need to take over the drone.
Nope, you can glean all the information you want by seeing what your enemy sees.
Can learn a lot about what makes your opponent tick by observing what he finds...interesting.

I should do a miltech post...something to put the fear of the engineers into all of us.

Thursday, December 17, 2009 at 12:10:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rogue trader said...

Red Herrings - So true

From Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy:

Thus the president and the entire executive branch's purpose is not to wield power but to draw attention away from it. But only a handful of people know this fact, and only six of them know who actually wields power.

Thursday, December 17, 2009 at 12:17:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Just saw this and thought I would stop by to see what the topic was today. Greed.

Thursday, December 17, 2009 at 1:18:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous barcalounger said...

I knew things were going to get worse for us working class heroes when Ronald Reagan, who once was the President of the Screen Actors Guild, fired all of the air traffic controllers, thus breaking up their union. This gave the green light to businesses to circumvent unions and to not bargain in good faith.

So, yes, like Sven says, American likes unions. They just don't like them in the USofA.

Thursday, December 17, 2009 at 3:23:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous barcalounger said...

edit: Americans like unions

Thursday, December 17, 2009 at 3:31:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

Rogue trader,

Thanks for the Hitchhiker's Guide quote.


I would love a miltech post from you. I hadn't forgotten an earlier comment you'd made on evolutionary biology as nature's form of biological warfare, which brings some things to my mind ...


That post is quite telling. Walmart -- America's behemoth -- triple charging APO addresses. Shameful.

Thursday, December 17, 2009 at 5:33:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

Oh, Rogue,

Remember, "42" ...

Thursday, December 17, 2009 at 5:34:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Ghost Dansing said...

blue sky mine

My gut is wrenched out it is crunched up and broken
My life that is lived is no more than a token
Who'll strike the flint upon the stone and tell me why?

If I yell out at night there's a reply of blue silence
The screen is no comfort I can't speak my sentence
They blew the lights at heaven's gate and I don't know why

But if I work all day on the blue sky mine
(There'll be food on the table tonight)
Still I walk up and down on the blue sky mine
(There'll be pay in your pocket tonight)

The candy store paupers lie to the shareholders
They're crossing their fingers they pay the truth makers
The balance sheet is breaking up the sky

So I'm caught at the junction still waiting for medicine
The sweat of my brow keeps on feeding the engine
Hope the crumbs in my pocket can keep me for another night

And if you blue sky mining company won't come to my rescue
If the sugar refining company won't save me

Who's gonna save me?

But if I work all day on the blue sky mine
(There'll be food on the table tonight)
And if I walk up and down on the blue sky mine
(There'll be pay in your pocket tonight)

And some have sailed from a distant shore
And the company takes what the company wants
And nothing's as precious
As a hole in the ground

Who's gonna save me?
I pray that sense and reason brings us in
Who's gonna save me?
We've got nothing to fear

In the end the rain comes down
Washes clean the streets of a blue sky mine

by midnight oil

Thursday, December 17, 2009 at 9:11:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


Love Midnight Oil, love that song.

Friday, December 18, 2009 at 1:41:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unions freed the last slaves: the American coalminers and steel workers. Company police, company stores and even company currency aren't that far in the past. Ronald Reagan began a march back to those days when he fired the air traffic controllers.
Books like "Bugdust and Black Damp" and "Meet You in Hell" highlight that.

American industry has always exploited the human resource. And the weaker the resource the more they are exploited. If you aren't educated or armed they'll exploit as long as they can.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009 at 11:10:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Anon,Dec 23,
I grew up in a company house and shopped the company store as a child. We left the mines in 56.
I remember as a young'n the company police carrying Thompson sub-machine guns when their was miner protests etc.. I watched this with my own eyes.
I never saw company script since they really didn't need it , the miners lives were controlled with credit.
Thanks for writing- now get back in the pit.

Thursday, December 24, 2009 at 10:48:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Serving Patriot said...

Jim, Lisa, MB, GD and all,

Just now catching up with some delayed blogging and I have to say that this is one of the best posts I've read in a while. Thanks.

And Merry Christmas.


Midnight Oil is a way underrated band... fantastic lyricists...

Thursday, December 24, 2009 at 5:16:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


A very Merry Christmas to you, too!
Thanks for being a part of our little community.

Thursday, December 24, 2009 at 6:59:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Serving Patriot,
Thanks for being a member of our little under trained and under funded unit.

Saturday, December 26, 2009 at 10:58:00 AM GMT-5  

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