Monday, September 04, 2006

Pie In The Sky

You can find The New York Times disgusting "let 'em eat cake" Labor Day editorial yourself, if you care to.

Newsday, here and The New York Daily News, here for more traditional takes on this year's Labor Day blues -- if the economy is expanding, why isn't anyone's paycheck keeping up?

Strangely enough, it is the conservative New York Post that reminds its readers that behind Labor Day celebrations lies a long and unusually bloody history. The editiorial focuses on the songs by and about Joe Hill. The Post does not give a full history of the Wobblies -- a labor group way too radical even for the left wingers of their day, let alone these conservative times. However, the Post gives its readers a taste of what the struggles were about, and a way to whet people's appetites for more information.

Here's Wikipedia on Joe Hill .

Joe Hill was an itenerent laborer, a union man, a songwriter, and like many desperate people of that day, a man who believed the system was rigged against people like him. "You'll get pie in the sky when you die" was written by Joe Hill.

Joe Hill was sentenced to death for killing a police officer in Utah on evidence so trumped up that even President Wilson tried to intercede on Joe's behalf. But the Governor of Utah had other ideas.

Amongst Joe Hill's last acts, he wrote a note to the Wobblies leaders, saying:

"Don't waste any time in mourning. Organize."