By BASN Wire Services ATLANTA — The sneaker industry has gone...
By Desi Cortez BASN Columnist
Updated: June 11, 2011
DENVER, CO.–The ol’ Ball n’ Chain, my lovely wife, who celebrated a birthday last month, she’s 29 for about the 12th time . . . give-or-take a few candles,, nonetheless we spent an extended weekend in a rustic Bed n Breakfast, the Hacienda Vargas outside of Sante Fe, New Mexico, on ol’ Route 66 . . . the land of Enchantment and as we were returning, driving along Interstate 25 at the base of the Sangre De Cristos – I noticed the Ludlow monument marker exit . . . so I pulled-off to pay my respects to one of the worst labor/aristocrat battles in US history. “Mr Webster n’ Mrs Wikipedia” do the heavy-lifting here; The Ludlow Massacre resulted in the violent deaths of 19 people during an attack by the Colorado National Guard on a make-shift tent colony of 1,200 striking coal miners and their families at Ludlow, Colorado on April 20, 1914. The deaths occurred after a day-long fight between strikers and the Guard. Two women and eleven children were asphyxiated and burned to death. Three union leaders and two strikers were killed by gunfire, along with one child, one passer-by, and one National Guardsman. The Ludlow Massacre remains a watershed moment in American labor relations. It was tragically “the culminating act of perhaps the most violent struggle between corporate power and laboring men in American history”. At the center of the Ludlow conflict - Rockefeller greed. American Aristocrats at play. The NFL strike seems far removed from the high-plains of Colorado, but the league conflict stands as one of the most visible hi-profile contemporary symbolic shoot-outs between labor and management; landlords pitted against the landless . . . the have-every-damn things – pitted against the haves, while we have-not a damn thangs . . .we’re merely spectators . . . whose humble lives will be impacted by the out-come. Most Americans don’t grasp the simplicity of labor issues, i.e., we’re all not just one or two pay-checks from homelessness but also one or two labor battle set-backs away from the Fat-Cats of Wall Street gathering the gumption to start an assault to repeal the 40 hour work-week, the bare-minimum survival wage is always on the cutting-block along with paid vacation and paternity leave.Every aspect of worker respect is on the cutting board. Granted it’s a stretch to equate the NFL players with butchers, bakers, lawn rakers and computer-chip makers, however it’s a no-brainer – the NFL plantation owners do accurately reflect the elitist morals, values and blood-thirsty, cutthroat, profane personal profit at any cost mind-set of corporate America . . . they want much more compensation then their participation and contributions warrant. Its called unchecked, unbalanced . . . unbridled Liaise Fare Capitalism run-a-moke. “The players face immediate, continuing, severe irreparable injury from unlawful conduct orchestrated to force them to re-unionize against their will and make immense financial concessions,” the NFLPA attorneys wrote. “The NFL, by contrast, claims only a temporary loss of leverage by members of a cartel that is no longer entitled to any exemption from the antitrust laws.” “Mrs. Dictionary” once more please; A cartel is a formal (explicit) agreement among competing firms. It is a formal organization of producers and manufacturers that agree to fix prices, marketing, and production.Cartel members may agree on such matters as price fixing, total industry output, market shares, allocation of customers, allocation of territories, bid rigging, establishment of common sales agencies, and the division of profits or combination of these. The aim of such collusion (also called the cartel agreement) is to increase individual members’ profits by reducing competition. Might I cite The Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890, which “outlawed all contracts, combinations and conspiracies that unreasonably restrain interstate and foreign trade. This includes cartel violations, such as price fixing, bid rigging, and customer allocation. Sherman Act violations involving agreements between competitors are usually punishable as federal crimes.” Even the long-haired Barbarian himself, Troy Polamalu of he Pittsburgh Steelers, the Presidents team, representing a Blue Collar city understands the gravity of the situation. It’s unfortunate right now. I think what the players are fighting for is something bigger,” Polamalu said Sunday night. “A lot of people think it’s millionaires versus billionaires and that’s the huge argument. The fact is its people fighting against big business. The big business argument is ‘I got the money and I got the power therefore I can tell you what to do.’ That’s life everywhere. I think this is a time when the football players are standing up and saying, ‘No, no, no, the people have the power.’” Of all the many ills and woes people are plagued with, sexism, racism, or even the eternal ” my God’s penis is bigger than your God’s penis” argument – instead, I’d argue its materialism, greed, classism – human-kinds love-affair with money and power which is at the root of so-much of the evil we do unto each other – as a so-called somewhat civilized people. Of course there’s enough of the American Apple Pie to go around for everyone , but the top 2% to 5% of Americans, the self labeled “investor class,” those who live a leisurely lifestyle, believe they ought pay no taxes, nor should the corporations they work in and own stock shares of pay their fair share to maintain our civilization. And these same elitist burn the midnight oil trying to contrive ways to lower wages, cut benefits and export bread winner gigs to the four corners of the globe where folks are forced to work for peanuts – so they can increase their profits. Without question there’s enough of the 9 billion to go around the NFL – it’s just that the self-anointed royalty on top, who never get their hands dirty – who want to be compensated a ga-zillion times more then all the other participants in the pro-gridiron industry – because they take the financial risk . . . . and if not, they lock everyone out and shut it down. If they could these 31 men would betray the American sportsfans, players, workers, everybody . . . and they’d “export” all the jobs to India or China so they could make mo’ moo-lah. And you know I’m not lying, you know I’m not. I don’t know how risky it is having one of 32 chips in one of the most profitable crap-games in recorded history. And if these bastards ever do fail, like “the Donald” or General Motors , PanAm, United Airlines, these SOBs merely walk away. Their legions of alligator clad lawyers merely file all the appropriate bankruptcy e-papers and these guiltless crumb-snatching low-lifers are like BP Petrol – ready to drill somebody new. Please note; all but a midget’s handful of NFL owners are cutting the salaries of front-office workers pay up to 25%. Now amongst those owners not slashing breadwinners paychecks are the poorest and perhaps most liberal of the NFL owners, an Obama Ambassador and almost unquestionably the tightest NFL team with the purse strings, Mike Brown’s Cincinnati Bengals. The NFL is an elitist country club type cartel composed of a number of greedy you-know-what’s . . . who, if the profit-margin were grand enough . . . they’d put their dear mothers on a Wall Street corner, topless and in a thong . . . too-tight hot pink Daisy Dukes and 6 inch pumps – no different then most American aristocrats. (Sorry for the visual.) Life ain’t nuthin’ but bitches n’ money . . . plastic cards and pussy-cats, right Newt? Believe the words which came out of one of America’s capitalist icon’s lips, Donald Snyder, er’sorry, forgive me, Andrew Carnegie; “God gave this fortune into my hands for safe-keeping. If I paid my workers more than they need to stay alive, they would simply squander it. And what do I say to God when it’s all gone?” America . . . the land of Champagne n’ cheesecake – where money is God, and God is money.