Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I Hope They Keep It Up!

That's right...I mean the members of the Occupy Wall Street movement and its offshoots not just here in the United States, but all over this planet.

I wholeheartedly support the protesters.

I mean, what would you do if you were coming out of college (and facing a mountain of debt)...only to find the nation's biggest businesses are just not hiring right now?

What would you do if you'd just come back from Iraq or Afghanistan (be it your only tour of duty or your umpteenth), where you'd just gotten through fighting to keep America on the map...and you're ready to get back to civilian life...only to find there's no place left for you in this country's workforce?

The Americans who're coming out of college and are coming back from this country's two long-running, unfunded wars- as well as the Americans who've recently been thrown out of jobs through no fault of their own- have done it all the way they've been told they're supposed to do it. And that goes for the nation's rank-and-file citizens who are lucky to right now hang on to their jobs.

And the thanks they get are supposed to be wages that largely haven't gone up since the day a man who spent 27 years (1937 to 1964) making movies and 13 other years (1953 to 1966) hosting TV shows put his left hand on a Bible and raised his right hand in front of an international TV audience?

And all that time, CEO pay zoomed up anywhere from 240% to 300% since that day in 1981!

I mean, come on! You mean to tell me that when average, everyday people are kicked down- let alone repeatedly over a 30-year period- they're not supposed to rise up and fight back?

When everybody in the United States except the country's three million wealthiest citizens is paying the financial freight, the time is definitely right for the other 304 million Americans to protest.

Not only that...it's time to keep on protesting the nation's income disparity and Wall Street's role in it.

And it'd be great to see the Occupy movement do the same thing to Capitol Hill. After all, this country's legislative branch- especially the Republicans in it- has been just as implicit, getting its marching orders from those financial leaders and only those financial leaders.

I mean, forces such as OWS are more effective when they keep sounding the message (and sounding it repeatedly) that it's long been time for America's wealthiest to step up to the plate and reinvest in this country and in its citizens...rather than acting like traitors and shutting down plant after plant after plant (and opening up plant after plant after plant in countries whose citizens can't afford to BUY the products they're making, because they're paid so doggone little).

Change isn't easy. And it isn't always quick.

Yet if the changes we want don't happen as quickly as it takes to brew a cup of instant coffee, we're not satisfied.

That kind of attitude didn't bring about the big social changes that took place during the 20th Century.

Change isn't easy. And it isn't always quick.

And that's why we've got to keep fighting for the changes we want.

Also: If we can't go out in the streets and march, we can support the people who are able to get out there.

And contrary to what Newton L. Gingrich keeps telling people, the Occupy protesters aren't vagrants in need of a bath.

Regardless of what St. Rush of Cape Girardeau says, those protesters AREN'T human debris.

Don't let Bill O'Reilly con you into believing that OWS and its offshoots are finished. And don't let others tell you the movement doesn't have a clear focus.

That's right...this movement is about to hit its stride.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Whatever Happened to the Piano Lady Gaga Used When She Filmed Her "You and I" Video in Springfield, NE?

Guess what?

That piano is now located at Hollywood Candy, a combination candy store-antique mall located at 1209 Jackson St., Omaha, NE 68102.

Seven days ago, I had the chance to play it (it's a 1905 Schilling upright; the serial number is 47120)...and only after I saw a little boy and a little girl (one after the other) give the upright a try.

The pictures you're about to see below were taken yesterday afternoon...and I can't wait to get at that old Schilling again!

Who knows...maybe the staff at Hollywood Candy will allow the Great Plains Ragtime Society to have a meeting or two there each year (as long as the store's still got the piano Lady Gaga played in a cornfield).

By the way...you can reach Hollywood Candy at 402 346-9746.