In January 2011, I wrote a diary about my family's story that got handed down to me about how the Gilded Age/ Robber Baron Era killed my great grandfather and didn't even pay to bury him.
I posted it just after the disasterous 2010 election, after I saw how the meta and individual issues dispirited even folks at DKos, because I was really worried about what the 2010 election could mean.
We are still being standoffish and not being full in? If so, what do you not get yet?
The 1% are GLOBAL now, and just like they don't give a damn about people in Sri Lanka or where ever:
THEY DON'T CARE IF YOU AND YOUR AMERICAN KIDS DIE!Many of you may not have had the benefit of having family stories about what the Guilded Age/ Robber Baron Era was like in real, human terms in the United States was like when the bastards like Romney and his ilk were in control.
Well, here is a re-post of that diary (with newspaper reality from the time), because IMO we are doing the same god-awful thing we did before the dreadful 2010 election.
Here's the repeat diary and story. My plea comes after.
I took my mother her medication, today. She's 87, so I fill up her plastic, daily medication boxes. We almost lost her a year ago, due to getting just one pill wrong on a prescription it turned out she no longer needed, so I am very happy to do this small task for my beloved Mom.
As I filled the boxes, she chatted with me ... before the holiday, she'd had a lovely phone conversation with her only cousin still left alive ... and look what she'd sent in her Christmas card:
The dead man leaves a wife and two children.It was a copy of a micro fiche page from a Philadelphia newspaper from May 2, 1894. The page contained the story about how my great grandfather died, at work, as an engineer for the Southern Electric Light Company.
At 7:45, he noticed that the large eight inch pipe that supplies the big 500 horse power dynamo was vibrating. Thinking he could remedy the trouble, he climbed to the top of the pipe,For those who think we can still afford the luxury of meta-play on this electronic playground, I'd like to share some personal family history and what I'm looking at on this one newspaper page from 1894.
One of the children left orphaned was my grandfather. He grew up to be quite an agitator and was part of the strike that finally brought the UAW to Fords. He died with his union pin in his lapel, but on the day his father died, he was just 2 years old.
... but the vibration was so great that he crawled back to the platform that runs along the the south side of the building. On this at the time were the engineer and the others injured. The pipe runs through the partition and over the top of the boiler. Five minutes after the engineer had crawled down a creaking sound was heard, quickly followed by a loud report. The pipe snapped ... and with all the force of 1000 horsepower means it crashed through the double wainscotting that divided the engine room from the dynamo room ...before they could escape ... the engineer was almost directly in front of the hole made by the force of the steam and inhaled its full force.There were three others who were badly injured, but survived. One is recognized as a hero in the article.
An alarm was sent out ... as soon as the steam was sufficiently cleared away, the prostrate body of [one of the workers] was found in front of the boiler. He had fallen after he'd climbed to the top of the boiler and shut off the steam. His bravery may have cost him his life. The skin was peeled off his face, arms, and breast, and must have been in this condition when he went to turn off the steam. This, in addition to the shock received in the falling, nakes his condition serious.
My great grandfather was not so recognized in print, but the family story has it that his co-worker did live and later visited my great grandmother to tell her that my great grandfather pushed him out of the way of the first, horrific blast of steam, and that's why my great grandfather was in the direct fire of it.
Regardless of whether or not he was a hero, or if it was just a story told to a grieving widow recently immigrated to this country with 2 children under the age of 5 -- he was dead.
But here is what I want ALL of you to hear, know, and hopefully keep in mind:
The Southern Electric Light Company didn't even pay to bury my great grandfather.
Let that sink in.
He was dead. No income coming in at all, so his widow took out a loan with the local undertaker to put him in the ground. And, she took in laundry to keep her 2 orphaned children alive. And, the undertaker collected his 10 cent payment, after mass, every Sunday on the church steps.
There was no Social Security to help keep his orphaned children alive.
There was no disability for the maimed hero.
There was nothing.
Bumpkiss for that immigrant Irish widow and her two kids.
Let me share with you some of the other news in the this one page of this newspaper on that ONE day:
RIOTING RENEWED OUT IN CLEVELANDI actually found a link about that one win with Google, hence the link. :) But lest you think the news of the day on this one page is only about parboiled worker's deaths and the working class being pitted against one another for survival, here is another article about something else to consider:
Police Charge a Mob of Thousands and Several Heads are Broken
Five Hundred Militiamen Under Arms for a Summons
Workman driven from factories by unemployed -- Attempt to hold up a train -- The Mayor puts a stop to Public Gatherings
The trouble began this forenoon when a mob of about 2000 started to raid the factories on the flats and drive from work the men employed therein. The first attack was made on the Variety Iron Works ... a force of seventy-five policemen were called out.
Fight on the Bridge
The rioters proceeded to the Upson Bolt Works where 1500 men were induced to quit work before officers arrived. When the police came upon the scene the men made a stand and hurled bricks and stones at the officers.
Orders were given to charge them with clubs.
Militia Under Arms
This afternoon, Mayor Blec announced that no more rioting would be permitted. He issued a proclamation commanding people not to assemble on the the streets and called upon the Cleveland Grays, the Gaitling Gun Battery and resident companies of the Ohio Guard to assemble their armories and await his call.
And, for some happier news, at least from my perspective.
VICTORY FOR STRIKERS
The Great Northern [Railroad] Men Win Their Right for Restoration of Wages.
Minneapolis, MN - After weeks of idleness the employees of Great Northern Railroad go back to work after having won their fight through the medium of arbitration.
Accused of Extreme Cruelty to Aged Lancaster County PaupersWhich brings me back to my beloved, Mama, at 87 who is living out her life in dignified independence supported in half by Social Security and by the other half by her three daughters (the great granddaughters of that dead man) who got to go through college with grants and student loans at state universities.
Lancaster -- It became known here to-day that the State Board of Charities, at the instance of Governor Pattison, has for some time past been conducting an exhaustive inquiry into the administration of the county almhouse in this city.
Specific charges are made against the matron who is accused of extreme cruelty to some of the aged inmates She is said to have prevented them from recieving food and delicacies sent to them by friend while sick; to have locked them in their rooms, and to have subjected them to such inhumane treatment that several of them have died as the result of it.
So. Here is my BIG question to ALL of you:
What do you think having Mitt Romney as a President might mean for US, and our parents, and our children?
As a teacher, I abhor President Obama's educational policies -- I think they suck!
But, I'm 52. And I was raised with a hatred for and fear of ALL that the Gilded Age/ Robber Baron Era meant. I care about my son and ALL my students' lives going forward.
The Dead Man Leaves a Wife and Two Children.With the looming reality of climate change and a World Robber Baron Era, if you don't get IT YET, I hope this family story may have helped.
It's time for small money bombs, folks! We're loosing against Citizens United.
WHY aren't we doing at least doing planned, HUGE, multi-mini contributions to support our own Occupy and 99% Meme?
Why aren't we giving the media who is increasing disliking the Romney campaign something to say about us as a real grassroots push?
Sigh. Make no mistake about it. YOU are disposable to Romney and his class. Yeah, you.
Not just our immigrants, black youth, homosexuals ... our planet ... ALL OF US are expendable in the name of their greed and profits.
Based on family history and how the multinationals are treating the rest of the worlds' people, I bascially think it is DONATE NOW and GOTV like hell or for many for us and most of our kids it's going to be ...
Here's the donate link... but KOS? Where are the donation bombs?
Update: If you came from this great diary you can go back there with this link.