makes you wanna shout

most beautiful tune I’ve heard in a long long time

Power In A Union from JD on Vimeo.

from John Darnielle’s vimeo page:

Everybody knows I don’t generally do the acoustic guitar guy rocking political jams deal but as a former member of SEIU 660 & the California Association of Psychiatric Technicians & a kid who benefitted from great teachers I wanted to spend tonight saying WE ARE ON YOUR SIDE xo jd

my Irish history (with a little help *)

Writing without Hands: A Memoir of Scrapping by in Ye Ould Sod

By M. McCallister O’Malley

It was day three of the Blessed Feast of the Prolonged Consumption and Father O’Hurley had just finished buggering me in the abbey.  I put on the clothes my dear, defeated mother had fashioned me from discarded turnip peels and quickly ran past the abandoned bicycle-spoke repair shop—only to learn that my old, rusted, dear bucket had been sold to help pay for the removal of my wee brother’s cirrhotic liver.

These were tough times for the  McCallister O’Malley clan. A blight had destroyed all the dihydrogen oxide and we had just burned the last of the men in the house to stay warm. Still, we had faith in our ineffectual Protector that He would be merciful and soon smithe the lot of us in our sleep.

Soon after I arrived home my father stumbled in through the broken floor slats, reeking of whiskey and of ‘olde last call’.  “Damn the cursed English!” he yelled at our pet smallpox-ridden blanket before his clubfoot gave out and he crashed face first into the cluthraen.

With my father now dead, it was up to my mother to raise me and my fourteen siblings, which she did by getting a job at the fish guttery; the fish guts were formed, sprayed pink, and packaged as SPAM. Unfortunately, a few hours later while walking back from the fish guttery she was struck from behind, both sides and above from a shipping container of SPAM.  She eventually died from the Spanish Influenza.

Twenty years later I moved to America.

*from Francesco Marciuliano‘s superawesome guide to writing yer unique Irish memoir

here be the template:

I Can’t Find Me Legs: A Tale of Growing Up Poor, Catholic and Eventually Blind in Ireland
By (Your name here)

It was day three of the Blessed Feast of the Prolonged Consumption and Father O’Hurley had just finished (gerund) me in the abbey. I put on the clothes my dear, defeated mother had fashioned me from discarded (vegetable) and quickly ran past the abandoned (town’s sole economic lifeline)—only to learn that my (dearest childhood possession) had been sold to help pay for the removal of my wee brother’s (body part of which there is only one).

These were tough times for the Mc (complete surname) clan. A blight had destroyed all the (chemical element for water), and we had just burned the last of the (choose a gender) in the house to stay warm. Still, we had faith in our (proper noun) that He would be merciful and soon (verb) the lot of us in our sleep.

Soon after I arrived home my father stumbled in through the (entrance other than door), reeking of whiskey and (woman’s name other than “Mom”). “Damn the cursed English!” he yelled at our pet (inanimate object) before his (gimp extremity) gave out and he crashed face first into the (colorful Gaelic phrase for “open cutlery drawer”).

With my father now dead, it was up to my mother to raise me and my (double-digit number) siblings, which she did by getting a job in (imagine the worst job possible for a woman, then imagine it occurring inside an underground factory). Unfortunately, a few hours later while walking back from the prostitute cannery she was struck from behind, both sides and above from (oh hell, you decide). She eventually died from (medical term for “the sniffles”).

Twenty years later I moved to America.

A Letter to Scott Walker from a Wisconsin Teacher

the news media coverage of  Wisconsin has waned somewhat, but not the struggle – Gov. Walker refuses to negotiate, there are still protesters at Madison’ Capitol.

a letter to Gov. Walker from Wisconsin teacher Eric Brehm is making the rounds:  it explains the situation succinctly.  a good read

Would you please, kindly, explain exactly how collective bargaining is a fiscal issue? I fancy myself to be a fairly intelligent person. I have heard it reported in the news that unless the collective bargaining portion of this bill is passed, severe amounts of layoffs will occur in the state. I have heard that figure given as 6,000 jobs. But then again, you’ve reportedly said it was 10,000 jobs. But then again, it’s been reported to be as high as 12,000 jobs. Regardless of the figure, one thing that hasn’t been explained to my satisfaction is exactly how or why allowing a union to bargain collectively will cost so much money or so many jobs. Am I missing something? Isn’t collective bargaining essentially sitting in a room and discussing something, collectively? Is there now a price tag on conversation? How much does the average conversation cost? I feel your office has been eager to provide doomsday scenarios regarding lost jobs, but less than willing to provide actual insight as to why that is the case.

I would welcome an explanation.

so would all of Wisconsin. so would the country. so would I.

via