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Ear to the Ground

A Rough Day for Reactionaries

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Posted on May 16, 2008
Communist Party (Get it?)
porpoiserecords.com

State employees?: California is the only state that allows discrimination based on political affiliation.

In an act that may further infuriate reactionaries across the country, the California Senate voted Thursday to remove membership in the Communist Party as a fireable offense for public employees. The measure now goes to the state Assembly. The Senate vote was held on the same day California’s Supreme Court decided to strike down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, a coincidence conservatives are not likely to miss.


The Guardian:

The California Senate yesterday passed legislation that would delete membership in the Communist party as a reason for firing a public employee, a Cold War-era prohibition intended to root out communists.

Democratic Senator Alan Lowenthal called communism a “failed system,” and said his bill - Senate Bill 1322 - was intended to protect “the constitutional freedoms that we have fought so valiantly for,” including freedom of political affiliation.

California is the only state that allows public employees to be dismissed for membership in a political party.

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By Conservative Yankee, May 19, 2008 at 5:29 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The laws which are supposed to protect folks who expose corporate wrongdoing are woefully inadaquate.

In 1980, I worked for a childcare facility which was abusing the children in their care. This was not primarily physical abuse although there was some of that also, it was emotional abuse. Making bed wetters stand in front of the dinning hall with their wet sheets while the other children filed by. Staff members making fun of children’s speech defects, and calling overweight children “Porky”  The worst incident was a “therapist” (without degree) asking a nine-year-old girl if she “planned to be a whore like her mother” this resulted from an incident on the playground where she hugged a boy. 

I filed the complaint with the state (as required by Maine law) and was fired for “disseminating confidential records” No unemployment insurance, for in Maine the employer is permitted to fire an employee if that worker does not have the employers best interests in mind during the full term of employment.

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By cyrena, May 18, 2008 at 8:08 pm Link to this comment

You hit the bulls-eye here Jaded. The private sector is overwhelmingly draconian and yes…even far more so than any state, aside from those states where they are one and the same. (like Texas).

Same thing happened to me by the way. (speak out - lose job).

But ya know something, it was a blessing in disguise, if only because it opened MY eyes, and forced me to follow through on difficult choices. It was like a personal boot camp for what has come to be far more apparent now, than I could understand at the time. That would be this inverted Facism that Chalmers Johnson has described so well.

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By Conservative Yankee, May 18, 2008 at 5:33 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I hear Franklin speak often, He speaks to Lobbyists:

:The Republic will fail when folks find they can vote themselves money”
He speaks to Homeland Security:

Those who would trade their liberty for a little security deserve neither liberty nor security.”

and he has been telling us the same thing for two centuries:

“A stitch in time saves nine.”

Unfortunately, his counsel has fallen on deaf ears.

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By Jaded Prole, May 18, 2008 at 4:11 am Link to this comment

I’ve never been stopped or harassed for my bumperstickers here in conservative Virginia but I was “let go” from my last job for “speaking out against the war” and have found it difficult to find employment since. Private business is far more draconian than even the worst state and their influence on the latter has lead to the inverted Fascism that Chalmers Johnson describes. No segment of society fears and hates Communism more than business and for good reason.

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By conservative Yankee, May 17, 2008 at 12:15 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I learned my “outside the family” politics from a Fabulous person, the Governor of Massachusetts Francis Sargent a long time ago now.

As you so eloquently point out, I’m an oldster who has not much use for “progress” I’ve seen progress growing up in “The Village” of White Plains. the town planners decided on “urban renewal’ in the late fifties. In fact this piece of “progress” was in actuality “Negro removal” as my African American friends realized when I was still playing tag with them.  Then came the additional “progress” of splitting the town by color and class lines using the vehicle of an interstate highway, Route 287. Now the north end of White Plains wasn’t connected to the city. Hall Avenue (where most black folks lived) was placed in the Eastview district, and my friends no longer went to my school. Then they built Church Street which was almost all black. Unfortunately I was unable (at nine years old) to visit my friends as the powers of progress had built a highway between me and them, which I was forbidden to cross.  The progress of racial divides has never given me “hope”

Then in the late sixties, early Seventies, the town began “busing” folks around to create a false “integration. ” when the old integration had been the real thing. Incidentally, some of these African Americans had lived in White Plains since the Revolutionary war.

Then there were the riots, white flight, Black anger, and strange how this all led to removal of the old colonial era houses, and historical landmarks like the Pink Pony Tavern The Revolutionary war era Baptist Cemetary, and the Oak Tree Inn, in favor of a Ramada, A dry cleaning establishment, a Sears Office tower, and a shitty second-rate shopping mall, where people routinely got raped and robbed in their parking garage.

Now White Plains is a big city. Skyscrapers, world class hotels, and shopping centers with security… folks call this latest step “progress” and from what was in the Seventies/Eighties maybe so…

But we never had to lock our doors, we knew and liked all our neighbors, and at night, we could see the stars.

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By cyrena, May 17, 2008 at 9:29 am Link to this comment

You couldn’t be more correct on this. Texas IS STILL THE MOST DRACONIAN, and not JUST in this regard.

Actually, I wasn’t even aware of this on the California Books, and I was born, raised and educated here. Didn’t leave until I was almost 30 years old, and that was to spend 17 miserable years in..yep, you guessed it. TEXAS!

Talk about living under state terror. I’ve been back home nearly 8 years, and I STILL have the occassional PTSD attack.

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By cyrena, May 17, 2008 at 9:24 am Link to this comment

“...Ben Franklin sat up in his grave for a moment the other day and said"what cowards these new Americans are”...

Dang Thomas…I would have given ANYTHING to see Ben do this. (or nearly). Seems like I’m always a day late and several thousand dollars short.

I’m still glad to know that it happened though, and I agree. They ARE cowards!!

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By cyrena, May 17, 2008 at 9:19 am Link to this comment

The strange traffic citations sound real familiar CY. I used to get them as well, and I didn’t even have any bumper stickers on my car. (of course that was in Texas)

Nor was I the least bit ‘subversive’. Maybe that was the problem. smile

(I never even knew about this thing in California though, and I’m a native of the place…put in a whole bunch of employed hours).

Now that I think about this…it really IS criminal, seeing as all of these State employees were paying STATE Taxes.

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By conservative Yankee, May 17, 2008 at 6:01 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Maine has a law which allows the State to fire employees for “any and all subversive activities,” which include “protesting a declared war” and my bumper sticker (back in the 80’s which read “Gus Hall for President.”

That bumper sticker seemed to get me a bunch of “strange” traffic citations also. One for dirty license plates, a joke which can only be appreciated by a person who has spent in a March in Maine.

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Purple Girl's avatar

By Purple Girl, May 17, 2008 at 3:42 am Link to this comment

It’s about time we realize ‘Our’ two parties have been infiltrated an dcontrolled by far more deadly doctrines than Communism or socialism
We feared these ideologies because they actually felt the Garbage man is as important as a Physician in strong & health society? that everyone has their own box of talents which contributes to our overall national Wellbeing?
And yet we have allowed the Doctrine of GREED. Privildge and Prejudice to contaminate our country of ‘Life Liberty & the pursuit of Happiness’ ‘We the People’ It’s time we ADD Corporationist and Religious Fanatics to the List of ‘fireable’/Undesireable
( Prosecutable) Employment Criteria- they are far more Deadly to our founding Principles then communism could have ever TRIED to be!

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By punkdudeus, May 16, 2008 at 7:11 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

That’s cool!  I always laugh every time i have to sign a “loyalty” oath when I work at my university’s library.

an odd remnant of the cold war that everyone just kinda cringes and laughs about.

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PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, May 16, 2008 at 4:34 pm Link to this comment

One of my favorites:

“Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect every one who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are ruined…. O sir, we should have fine times, indeed, if to punish tyrants, it were only sufficient to assemble the people!”

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By Gfernandez, May 16, 2008 at 3:41 pm Link to this comment

Really it is just a different position on the distribution of wealth and its effects on society? Do u mean to tell me it had no logic?

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By Thomas Billis, May 16, 2008 at 2:56 pm Link to this comment

“Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist party.“Great words spoken by a great American to keep us fearful and spending on the military where the real stealing goes on.Joe McCarthy lives on in the Republican party as it continually rolls out fear when confronted with truth and the American public always goes for it.I guess Patrick Henry if he were alive today would say"give me liberty or give me the patriot act I do not care which as long as death is not in there.“Americans are so afraid of dying that they live in constant fear of living free.A hero dies one death a coward dies a thousand times.

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By Thomas Billis, May 16, 2008 at 2:51 pm Link to this comment

“Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist party.“Great words spoken by a great American to keep us fearful and spending on the military where the real stealing goes on.Joe McCarthy lives on in the Republican party as it continually rolls out fear when confronted with truth and the American public always goes for it.Ben Franklin sat up in his grave for a moment the other day and said"what cowards these new Americans are”.

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By Aegrus, May 16, 2008 at 12:45 pm Link to this comment

The Progressive wing of the Democratic Party has been re-ignited. We’re traveling at a thousand miles an hour, pumped up on adrenaline! Neo-liberalism? Get in the trunk!

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By The Guy, May 16, 2008 at 12:44 pm Link to this comment

Yep, you guessed it.  A communist in Texas can be fired from any government position on the mere suspicion of a supervisor.

The Texas Government Code defines “communist” very broadly, as anyone who wishes to overthrow the “constitutional system” of government and replace it with a communist system (???) ... not simply a member of the communist party as in California. 

The consequences are even more severe.

Texas Government Code § 557.022.  RESTRICTIONS.  “(a)  The name of a communist may not be printed on the ballot for any primary or general election in this state or a political subdivision of this state.
  (b)  A person may not hold a nonelected office or position with the state or any political subdivision of the state if:
      (1)  any of the compensation for the office or position comes from public funds of this state or a political subdivision of this state;  and
      (2)  the employer or superior of the person has reasonable grounds to believe that the person is a communist.”

Just thought I would share that, in case someone got the impression from this article that California was the most draconian in this regard.

Texas is still number one.

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