Saturday, 2 September 2017

The Wobblies

"Wobblies" was the nickname for the first iteration of the radical (I approve!) Trades Union the "Industrial Workers of the World"  (I.W.W.)

The lore is that the name "wobblies" came from a Chinese member who pronounced "W" as "wobbleyou", but that tale could be an example of early 20th Century racism.

But the IWW cheerfully adopted the nickname.

The wobblies has two notable successes, the first in Spokane, WA  (in truth a success for free speech and the right of public assembly, and also a victory which led to the abolition (by law) of the corrupt businesses which offered poor people a job (for a fee), most often for a job which never existed).

The second in the famous Lawrence, MA strike against the oppressive mill owners.

The powers that be - Government and Big Business  - combined to destroy the Wobblies, who were essentially put out of existence in 1917 by the repressive fiat of the so-called progressive President Woodrow Wilson  (n truth he was a rotten racist and segregationist).


I've just finished "The Man Who Never Died - the Life, Times, and Legacy of Joe Hill. American Labor Icon"  (William M. Adler, Bloomsbury 2011). (Joe Hill, is the American name he used, He was born as Joel Hagglund in Sweden in 1879.)

Joe Hill was the great song writer for the Wobblies.  Their marches and demonstrations were empowered by song.

Singing is so powerful.  Think of the early Methodists; of Welsh Rugby supporters singing "Land of my Fathers"; or of Liverpool F.C supporters singing "When you walk through a storm".

Here is one of Joe Hill's most singable offerings sung to the tune of the Christian Hymn "In the sweet bye and bye"

Long-haired preachers come out every night
To tell you what's wrong and what's right
They will answer in voices so sweet:
But when asked how about something to eat You will eat, bye and bye
You'll get pie in the sky when you die.
In that glorious land above the sky Work and pray, live on hay That's a lie
Then they'll tell you when you're on the bum:
And the starvation army they play They sing and they clap and they pray 'Till they get all your coin on the drum
Work and pray, live on hay
You're gonna eat, bye and bye, poor boy In that glorious land above the sky, way up high You'll get pie in the sky when you die Dirty lie
And you will eat, bye and bye,
Holy Rollers and jumpers come out They holler, they jump, Lord, they shout Give your money to Jesus they say He will cure all troubles today
Try to get something good in this life
In that glorious land above the sky, way up high Work and pray, boy, live on hay, You'll get pie in the sky when you die. If you fight hard for children and wife
You'll get pie in the sky when you die
You're a sinner and bad man, they tell When you die you will sure go to hell You will eat, bye and bye In that glorious land above the sky Work and pray, live on hay
When you've learned how to cook and to fry
Workingmen of all countries, unite Side by side we for freedom will fight When this world and its wealth we have gained To the grafters we'll sing this refrain: Well, you will eat, bye and bye
You'll get pie in the sky when you die
Chop some wood, it'll do you good You will eat in the sweet bye and bye Yes you'll eat, bye and bye In that glorious land above the sky, way up high Work and pray, and live on hay
That's a lie....

The book tells his story, but it's also an exhaustive investigation into his trial for murder in Salt Lake City, and execution by firing squad.  Adler asserts. quite convincingly,that it was show trial presided over by a deeply biased Judge, and that Joe Hill was unjustly convicted and executed, simply because he was the song writer for the Wobblies.

Friday, 1 September 2017

Truth in Humour

 Thanks to Rick P 
and Arthur L for 
sharing two of these

Thursday, 31 August 2017


I finished my 36 gym rehab. sessions (by Doctor's prescription) at Health Fit on Wednesday last.

My weight is down, my BMI is down, my tummy measurement is down.

In each case the lower readings  (lower than the day I enrolled 12 weeks ago) are down by just a bit. But I am headed in the right direction.

Now I will must up the good work each day at the Sarasota YMCA gym.


I saw my Cardiologist today, and he is pleased with my progress.


This evening I had a healthy supper with my dear friends Ron and Char.

Health Fit restores my body, Ron and Char restore my soul.

Ron and Char earlier this year with our friend Bob.

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Anne Weston is the naughtiest of my nieces.

My sister Maureen and her husband Bern have one son  (Nick) -  he's a good bloke by any and all standards.

They also have three daughters -  Louise, Emma, and Anne (in birth order).

Louise and Emma would gladly attest (under oath and notarised) that Anne is the naughtiest one.

There is no doubt about it.

Not withstanding the truth I zipped over to the Disney Beach Club Resort to have breakfast with Anne, her husband Stuart, and their daughter Olivia this morning, (The Westons).  They are visiting from the U.K. They are great Disney fans, and come here most years).

Disney Beach Club Retro.

Stuart, Anne and Olivia Weston this morning- August 30th, 2017.  Such good looking people

I was away from my home for about six hours today - just under four hours on the road, (230 mile round trip)  and just over two hours with the Westons,

(I needed to get back to SRQ for my final Health Fit programme).

Despite my teasing about  Anne it was all well worth while. I love her dearly.

( I assisted at the wedding of  of Anne and Stu at St. Phillip & St. James [Pip and Jay] Church in Bristol, U.K - lo many years ago).

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Oh dear, and Ole

Oh dear.

I poured some much needed engine coolant into the engine reservoir of my aging Hyundai today.

In the process I dropped the plastic cap of the reservoir somewhere into the bowels of my car's engine

"Somewhere" . is the operative word.  I can't find it.    So I have created a cap with some heavy duty and much folded aluminum (aluminium) foil.

Wish me luck,  for tomorrow (Aug 30th), early in the morning, I plan to drive to our local hades (!) called "Disney".

There I will enjoy a hearty breakfast with my best beloved niece Anne, her husband Stu, and their excellent  daughter Olivia ("Livy") at the Disney Beach Club Resort

Monday, 28 August 2017

What "The Wars on Drugs" are really about

Scroll down to

listen to the programme which lasts  for less than an hour.

Then learn that it's not really about drugs  

Maybe it is about race?  Listen and learn. PLEASE!

Of course you can spare just one hour. 


Sunday, 27 August 2017

Deluged in SRQ (but we are not Houston)

A weather "system" has stalled in the Gulf of Mexico just off the west coast of S.W. Florida.   As a result SRQ has received more than its fair share of rain in the past three days.

For instance last night (Aug 27/27) a heavy storm with torrential rain and magnificent lightning and thunder set  in at about 7:00 p.m. and ended at 4:30 a.m.

The drainage ditches are full; the Phillippi Creek is just about overflowing; and the retention ponds are filled to the brim.

Below are some pictures of the pond/lake at the south entrance to "The Meadows"  (17th St. and Longmeadow).


Of course this is but a minor inconvenience, especially when set aside the devastation in S.E. Texas, and the flooding in Houston and other places.

I wondered aloud this afternoon as to whether these areas will ever completely recover. Given what happened in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina my best guess is that the majority white populated areas will bounce back in due course, but the majority black populated areas will be at the back of the Queue/ 'Bus when it comes to restoration.