Thursday, May 1, 2008
HAPPY MAY DAY!
On International Workers' Day, we salute West Coast dockworkers protesting the Iraq war. The International Longshore and Warehouse Union said more than 25,000 members in 29 ports stayed off the job today.
“Longshore workers are standing down on the job and standing up for America,” Bob McEllrath, the union’s president, was quoted in the New York Times. “We’re supporting the troops and telling politicians in Washington that it’s time to end the war in Iraq.”
Little Steven Van Zandt sings "I Am a Patriot!"
A great song, a snippet of the lyric was used out of context on the PBS television show "Carrier," a ten part series focusing on the shipmates and their deployment aboard the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier. They only used the first part, "I am a patriot, and I love my country..." Yes, that's part of the song. Here's the rest, along with an incendiary introduction from Little Steven.
Like "Born in the USA," by bandmate Bruce Springsteen, this song was misunderstood by the simple minded. It should be obvious, but it bears repeating that there is more to patriotism than blind obedience and waving flags. You can love your country and still believe in peace and justice, and still speak out against the war, and still oppose a president who after all is not a king but an elected official.