Welcome to Bookmarker!

This is a personal project by @dellsystem. I built this to help me retain information from the books I'm reading.

Source code on GitHub (MIT license).

13

[...] The manager of the Gayety Theater in South Chicago agrees to stop the film and turn on the lights and allow us to speak about immigration rights. I work with others distributing the National Lawyers Guild leaflet and also collect contributions from people in the theater to offset the costs of the campaign.

In support of this effort, the Workers' Rights Center takes an effective educational initiative. A comrade, Noel Ignatiev, has written a pamphlet called "Since When Has Working Been a Crime." It is aimed at black and white workers. The object is to promote class solidarity with Latino workers threatened by La Migra. The pamphlet tells the story of the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 and compares the abduction of escaped slaves in the North to the Migra raids today. It also gives examples of resistance from that time. The point of the pamphlet is that it is in the interest of all workers to participate in the resistance to the 1970s version of the Fugitive Slave Acts. The Workers' Rights Center distributes the pamphlet to workers in the neighborhood.

so cool https://www.marxists.org/history/usa/pubs/sojournertruth/mexicans.pdf

—p.13 1976-1977: You'll Get Used to It (1) by David Ranney 1 year, 4 months ago

[...] The manager of the Gayety Theater in South Chicago agrees to stop the film and turn on the lights and allow us to speak about immigration rights. I work with others distributing the National Lawyers Guild leaflet and also collect contributions from people in the theater to offset the costs of the campaign.

In support of this effort, the Workers' Rights Center takes an effective educational initiative. A comrade, Noel Ignatiev, has written a pamphlet called "Since When Has Working Been a Crime." It is aimed at black and white workers. The object is to promote class solidarity with Latino workers threatened by La Migra. The pamphlet tells the story of the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 and compares the abduction of escaped slaves in the North to the Migra raids today. It also gives examples of resistance from that time. The point of the pamphlet is that it is in the interest of all workers to participate in the resistance to the 1970s version of the Fugitive Slave Acts. The Workers' Rights Center distributes the pamphlet to workers in the neighborhood.

so cool https://www.marxists.org/history/usa/pubs/sojournertruth/mexicans.pdf

—p.13 1976-1977: You'll Get Used to It (1) by David Ranney 1 year, 4 months ago
57

At one point, Maurie comes out with a bunch of flyers. The flyers are urging us to return to work and threatening us if we don't. They also single me out as a "communist member of Progressive Labor Party." I tell the other workers that I am insulted by the Progressive Labor Party accusation. As for the communist part, they can make their own judgment. One of the Mexican workers comes to me and says, "Almost all of us from Mexico are communists, so we are fine with you." The black workers are not at all bothered by the flyer.

We are also visited by a group of Iranian student activists who are trying to depose the Shah of Iran. I had participated in their demonstrations against the Shah, so I know many of them. They march around the factory building with us, and later we get in a group and they explain their struggle in Iran. Lawrence says, "We are with you in this thing. That Shah sounds like a bigger motherfucker than the guy we got to deal with." There are handshakes and fists in the air all around as the students leave. Later some Puerto Rican nationalists come and explain their struggle for Puerto Rican independence. The picket line is becoming a school for a variety of political causes.

during the strike. I LOVE THIS

—p.57 1977-1978: There Ain't No Justice . . . Just Us (15) by David Ranney 1 year, 4 months ago

At one point, Maurie comes out with a bunch of flyers. The flyers are urging us to return to work and threatening us if we don't. They also single me out as a "communist member of Progressive Labor Party." I tell the other workers that I am insulted by the Progressive Labor Party accusation. As for the communist part, they can make their own judgment. One of the Mexican workers comes to me and says, "Almost all of us from Mexico are communists, so we are fine with you." The black workers are not at all bothered by the flyer.

We are also visited by a group of Iranian student activists who are trying to depose the Shah of Iran. I had participated in their demonstrations against the Shah, so I know many of them. They march around the factory building with us, and later we get in a group and they explain their struggle in Iran. Lawrence says, "We are with you in this thing. That Shah sounds like a bigger motherfucker than the guy we got to deal with." There are handshakes and fists in the air all around as the students leave. Later some Puerto Rican nationalists come and explain their struggle for Puerto Rican independence. The picket line is becoming a school for a variety of political causes.

during the strike. I LOVE THIS

—p.57 1977-1978: There Ain't No Justice . . . Just Us (15) by David Ranney 1 year, 4 months ago
64

[...] I can't seem to find Charlie. I finally locate him in a separate room. It is Bil's office. Bill is in the process of getting a degree in physics. The walls are lined with bookshelves full of books. Most of the books relate to physics and math. But there are other science books, as well as Marxist classics and a good collection of fiction. Charles is standing by himself in the middle of the room looking at one of the books. I am struck by the fact that he was perfectly sober - had no alcohol or reefer at the party or before. He is very still but turns slightly as I enter the room. "Man, all these fucking books!"

"He's a physics student."

"I don't even know what physics is."

"I'm not sure I do either, you'll need to ask Bill to explain."

"I can't make any sense of anything in these books." He is quiet for nearly a minute. "You know what, Dave? I sure as shit wish I could read all these books one day."

He is serious as he says this, looking me straight in the eye. But then he begins to snort and shake, ending in his infectious laugh. He slaps me on the back and goes toward the door. Still laughing he says, "Let's get the fuck out of here." I am laughing too but feeling very sad.

this made me cry

—p.64 1977-1978: There Ain't No Justice . . . Just Us (15) by David Ranney 1 year, 4 months ago

[...] I can't seem to find Charlie. I finally locate him in a separate room. It is Bil's office. Bill is in the process of getting a degree in physics. The walls are lined with bookshelves full of books. Most of the books relate to physics and math. But there are other science books, as well as Marxist classics and a good collection of fiction. Charles is standing by himself in the middle of the room looking at one of the books. I am struck by the fact that he was perfectly sober - had no alcohol or reefer at the party or before. He is very still but turns slightly as I enter the room. "Man, all these fucking books!"

"He's a physics student."

"I don't even know what physics is."

"I'm not sure I do either, you'll need to ask Bill to explain."

"I can't make any sense of anything in these books." He is quiet for nearly a minute. "You know what, Dave? I sure as shit wish I could read all these books one day."

He is serious as he says this, looking me straight in the eye. But then he begins to snort and shake, ending in his infectious laugh. He slaps me on the back and goes toward the door. Still laughing he says, "Let's get the fuck out of here." I am laughing too but feeling very sad.

this made me cry

—p.64 1977-1978: There Ain't No Justice . . . Just Us (15) by David Ranney 1 year, 4 months ago
67

The cop [...] says, "This is an illegal blockage! Leave or be arrested!"

Charles steps forward. He stands inches away from the big cop, intruding into his space. He tilts his head up so he can look the cop directly in the eyes. "All we want is a fair vote on the contract." Charles' eyes are piercing, his voice clear. "For us this is about how we are going to feed our babies, man. That's somethin' worth fighting for. Movin' us out of here ain't goin' to be easy."

Charles steps back a half step, then smiles his infectious smile. Cruse looks scared. The cop has softened his threatening stance. The engineer steps between the cop and the Cruse. "No way I'm going to cross this picket."

Cruse stammers and sputters. He turns to the railroad man, shouting once again, "You have to; it's your job!"

The engineer looks at Cruse. "I don't work for you. So go fuck yourself." He turns and begins to walk away, then turns back and smiles at us. "Give us a call when you get this straightened out."

There is stunned silence. Then one of the workers begins to play drums. All of us are cheering and jumping up and down. People are dancing right on the railroad tracks. Cruse appears to be in shock. Charles suddenly grabs me in a bear hug and whispers in my ear, "I ain't never hugged a white man before."

—p.67 1977-1978: There Ain't No Justice . . . Just Us (15) by David Ranney 1 year, 4 months ago

The cop [...] says, "This is an illegal blockage! Leave or be arrested!"

Charles steps forward. He stands inches away from the big cop, intruding into his space. He tilts his head up so he can look the cop directly in the eyes. "All we want is a fair vote on the contract." Charles' eyes are piercing, his voice clear. "For us this is about how we are going to feed our babies, man. That's somethin' worth fighting for. Movin' us out of here ain't goin' to be easy."

Charles steps back a half step, then smiles his infectious smile. Cruse looks scared. The cop has softened his threatening stance. The engineer steps between the cop and the Cruse. "No way I'm going to cross this picket."

Cruse stammers and sputters. He turns to the railroad man, shouting once again, "You have to; it's your job!"

The engineer looks at Cruse. "I don't work for you. So go fuck yourself." He turns and begins to walk away, then turns back and smiles at us. "Give us a call when you get this straightened out."

There is stunned silence. Then one of the workers begins to play drums. All of us are cheering and jumping up and down. People are dancing right on the railroad tracks. Cruse appears to be in shock. Charles suddenly grabs me in a bear hug and whispers in my ear, "I ain't never hugged a white man before."

—p.67 1977-1978: There Ain't No Justice . . . Just Us (15) by David Ranney 1 year, 4 months ago
72

[...] Benn doesn't even look at our notes and puts them aside. We keep the notes coming and Benn gets angry and starts crumpling them up, tossing some on the floor. Benn does not contest any of the company testimony. We begin to disrupt the proceedings. The arbitrator shouts at us that if we persist he will call security and have us ejected from the building. There is further testimony from the company and union. I send Benn a note asking him to put Mason on the stand and ask him if he ever referred to the workers as "niggers." Benn angrily crumples my note and tosses it on the floor.

At this point Lawrence jumps up. "The union attorney is not representing us. He refuses to ask questions we request."

Benn responds, "I'm asking all the questions that are relevant to his case." We disrupt and are threatened again. We walk out. We then start our train ride back to South Chicago in stony silence. John Logan breaks the silence. "If I had known what would happen when all this started I would still have done it. This has been the proudest time in my whole life."

Everyone nods in agreement. I feel like I am about to burst into tears. But suddenly Lawrence begins to laugh. We all look at him like he has gone mad. "There ain't no justice," Lawrence says, "... just us." Everyone smiles the rest of the way home.

the writing could be cleaned up a lot (too spare, too imprecise, too staccato) but this event is amazing

—p.72 1977-1978: There Ain't No Justice . . . Just Us (15) by David Ranney 1 year, 4 months ago

[...] Benn doesn't even look at our notes and puts them aside. We keep the notes coming and Benn gets angry and starts crumpling them up, tossing some on the floor. Benn does not contest any of the company testimony. We begin to disrupt the proceedings. The arbitrator shouts at us that if we persist he will call security and have us ejected from the building. There is further testimony from the company and union. I send Benn a note asking him to put Mason on the stand and ask him if he ever referred to the workers as "niggers." Benn angrily crumples my note and tosses it on the floor.

At this point Lawrence jumps up. "The union attorney is not representing us. He refuses to ask questions we request."

Benn responds, "I'm asking all the questions that are relevant to his case." We disrupt and are threatened again. We walk out. We then start our train ride back to South Chicago in stony silence. John Logan breaks the silence. "If I had known what would happen when all this started I would still have done it. This has been the proudest time in my whole life."

Everyone nods in agreement. I feel like I am about to burst into tears. But suddenly Lawrence begins to laugh. We all look at him like he has gone mad. "There ain't no justice," Lawrence says, "... just us." Everyone smiles the rest of the way home.

the writing could be cleaned up a lot (too spare, too imprecise, too staccato) but this event is amazing

—p.72 1977-1978: There Ain't No Justice . . . Just Us (15) by David Ranney 1 year, 4 months ago
97
  • We consider all of you part of the Solo Cup Family, and we appreciate your work and dedication very much.
  • Anyone who feels they are being treated unfairly should talk to me personally, and I promise to look into it and correct any problems.
  • The union only wants your dues money. They don't care about you or your families like we do. They will force us to use their corrupt insurance scheme instead of what we give you in benefits.
  • They know nothing about making paper cups. Their other members make dolls and toys.
  • Pay and benefits must keep us competitive. Sweetheart Cup is breathing down our neck. The success of this union venture could mean the end of your job.

amazing anti-union memo from the Solo Cup factory owners (John Hulseman)

had a thought: what if a company is in cahoots with their competitor to keep wages low? (aaaah yes exactly what the tech companies did)

—p.97 1979-1980: This Is What We Do! (87) by David Ranney 1 year, 4 months ago
  • We consider all of you part of the Solo Cup Family, and we appreciate your work and dedication very much.
  • Anyone who feels they are being treated unfairly should talk to me personally, and I promise to look into it and correct any problems.
  • The union only wants your dues money. They don't care about you or your families like we do. They will force us to use their corrupt insurance scheme instead of what we give you in benefits.
  • They know nothing about making paper cups. Their other members make dolls and toys.
  • Pay and benefits must keep us competitive. Sweetheart Cup is breathing down our neck. The success of this union venture could mean the end of your job.

amazing anti-union memo from the Solo Cup factory owners (John Hulseman)

had a thought: what if a company is in cahoots with their competitor to keep wages low? (aaaah yes exactly what the tech companies did)

—p.97 1979-1980: This Is What We Do! (87) by David Ranney 1 year, 4 months ago
108

As we finish automating the line, I am feeling bad for the workers who will be laid off. But after a few weeks, I see another dimension of automation. One of the two workers left after layoffs takes the baked boards off the racks and stacks them on pallets. He also stacks the empty racks using a small crane. It is backbreaking work. But worse than that, this man is completely tied to the pace set by the computer. During breaks I can see it is beginning to unnerve him. He sits by himself in the lunchroom smoking a cigarette, looking miserable.

One day he can't seem to keep up. Railcars full of boards are piling up. He has access to a "panic button," which can stop the process in an emergency. When he pushes it, a loud alarm goes off. When that happens men in white shirts emerge from the offices on the balcony. After the alarm goes off a few times a foreman runs over to where the operator is working. "What the hell are you doing?"

"This fucking thing is going too fast. I can't keep up."

"Do your job! If you can't do it there are plenty of people who can. I probably just laid one of them off!"

The operator is covered head to toe with protective clothing and a mask. I can't see his expression, but a few minutes later he presses the panic button again. The foreman is back, on the run. He is shouting, "What the fuck did I tell you?"

Suddenly the operator pulls a knife, grabs the foreman by the shirt. "Next time you yell at me I'll cut your throat!"

Within minutes two security guards grab the man off the line and disarm and handcuff him. They take him to the lunchroom to wait for the police. Workers on the floor look at another, spontaneously begin to shut everything down, and go to the lunchroom. The foreman and a few management people I have never seen before come in and order us all back to work. The union steward, one of my fellow maintenance workers, speaks up.

"The line moves too fast for one guy. He just went nuts. You would too." He turns to the foreman. "Why don't you try a turn at this, Paul?"

im picturing the security guards just standing around, watching this guy doing this backbreaking work, and only intervening now

—p.108 1981-1982: We Aren't Dogs, Cabrón (105) by David Ranney 1 year, 4 months ago

As we finish automating the line, I am feeling bad for the workers who will be laid off. But after a few weeks, I see another dimension of automation. One of the two workers left after layoffs takes the baked boards off the racks and stacks them on pallets. He also stacks the empty racks using a small crane. It is backbreaking work. But worse than that, this man is completely tied to the pace set by the computer. During breaks I can see it is beginning to unnerve him. He sits by himself in the lunchroom smoking a cigarette, looking miserable.

One day he can't seem to keep up. Railcars full of boards are piling up. He has access to a "panic button," which can stop the process in an emergency. When he pushes it, a loud alarm goes off. When that happens men in white shirts emerge from the offices on the balcony. After the alarm goes off a few times a foreman runs over to where the operator is working. "What the hell are you doing?"

"This fucking thing is going too fast. I can't keep up."

"Do your job! If you can't do it there are plenty of people who can. I probably just laid one of them off!"

The operator is covered head to toe with protective clothing and a mask. I can't see his expression, but a few minutes later he presses the panic button again. The foreman is back, on the run. He is shouting, "What the fuck did I tell you?"

Suddenly the operator pulls a knife, grabs the foreman by the shirt. "Next time you yell at me I'll cut your throat!"

Within minutes two security guards grab the man off the line and disarm and handcuff him. They take him to the lunchroom to wait for the police. Workers on the floor look at another, spontaneously begin to shut everything down, and go to the lunchroom. The foreman and a few management people I have never seen before come in and order us all back to work. The union steward, one of my fellow maintenance workers, speaks up.

"The line moves too fast for one guy. He just went nuts. You would too." He turns to the foreman. "Why don't you try a turn at this, Paul?"

im picturing the security guards just standing around, watching this guy doing this backbreaking work, and only intervening now

—p.108 1981-1982: We Aren't Dogs, Cabrón (105) by David Ranney 1 year, 4 months ago
111

We go out to the shop floor. It is still very hot in the oven. Even with heavy gloves we can't touch the steel walls. After a half hour we decide to break for ten minutes to get water. When we get back the foreman and several white shirt guys are standing there. We pick up our tools as the foreman speaks, "What did you think you were doing?"

"Taking a break."

"You'll take a break when I tell you to."

The steward tosses a shovel on the ground. We all walk back toward the lunchroom, as our group leader shouts, "Fix the fucking mess yourself, then you can decide when to take breaks."

There is some whispering among the white shirts and the foreman. Then ... "Okay, okay, just please let us know when you're breaking."

"Will do," our leader says. "We'll get this done a lot quicker if you just leave us alone." We walk back and begin working.

—p.111 1981-1982: We Aren't Dogs, Cabrón (105) by David Ranney 1 year, 4 months ago

We go out to the shop floor. It is still very hot in the oven. Even with heavy gloves we can't touch the steel walls. After a half hour we decide to break for ten minutes to get water. When we get back the foreman and several white shirt guys are standing there. We pick up our tools as the foreman speaks, "What did you think you were doing?"

"Taking a break."

"You'll take a break when I tell you to."

The steward tosses a shovel on the ground. We all walk back toward the lunchroom, as our group leader shouts, "Fix the fucking mess yourself, then you can decide when to take breaks."

There is some whispering among the white shirts and the foreman. Then ... "Okay, okay, just please let us know when you're breaking."

"Will do," our leader says. "We'll get this done a lot quicker if you just leave us alone." We walk back and begin working.

—p.111 1981-1982: We Aren't Dogs, Cabrón (105) by David Ranney 1 year, 4 months ago
126

In my book Global Decisions, Local Collisions, written twenty years after I left factory work and returned to academia, I challenge the notion of permanence.

We create "permanencies" as a way to organize our lives, as the bases on which we live our lives day to day ... But there are times when personal development depends on the ability to break out of the various permanencies we have constructed for ourselves or society has constructed for us.

I explain the process of breaking out of the idea that human nature cannot be changed by drawing on dialectical philosophy. People have within themselves ideas that conflict or contradict existing definitions of human nature. A social struggle or conflict of some sort can unleash a process that seeks to resolve contradictions by smashing the prevailing definitions of human nature, opening the door to radical changes in the way we live and how we organize society.

—p.126 2019: Reflections (119) by David Ranney 1 year, 4 months ago

In my book Global Decisions, Local Collisions, written twenty years after I left factory work and returned to academia, I challenge the notion of permanence.

We create "permanencies" as a way to organize our lives, as the bases on which we live our lives day to day ... But there are times when personal development depends on the ability to break out of the various permanencies we have constructed for ourselves or society has constructed for us.

I explain the process of breaking out of the idea that human nature cannot be changed by drawing on dialectical philosophy. People have within themselves ideas that conflict or contradict existing definitions of human nature. A social struggle or conflict of some sort can unleash a process that seeks to resolve contradictions by smashing the prevailing definitions of human nature, opening the door to radical changes in the way we live and how we organize society.

—p.126 2019: Reflections (119) by David Ranney 1 year, 4 months ago