Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Concrete and politics
September 6, 2016
My view from the cottage for much of today was concrete workers in low rider jeans that they frequently had to hitch up. But oh my, did they know what they were doing. This was a completely different crew than the ones that laid the forms and rebar.
Concrete was to be delivered at eleven o’clock. They got here a little early, and the concrete was a little late, so they mostly hung around talking. Once the big concrete truck was on the street, they snapped into action. I had worried about that truck and my skinny 1920s driveway. But the truck with that rotating thing that keeps concrete from hardening stayed on the street. The crew had a motorized vehicle with a huge container—one guy would go to the street, get it filled, bring the raw concrete back and dump it. While men smoothed out what he dumped, he went back for another load. When it’s poured the concrete looks really rough and lumpy. But they wet it down and then smooth it, first with large tools and then with small trowels, expertly changing trowels to fit their need, smoothing corners and things I couldn’t see. We can walk on it tomorrow but still not let the dog out, because the fence won’t be repaired until the roofers are through. Meantime I didn’t get a lot done because I was mesmerized watching them work.
I don’t know if these men would be called skilled labor or not, but they certainly knew their job. And each man seemed to have an appointed task. Their work made me think again of the holiday we celebrated yesterday—these are the people Labor Day was created to honor. They work hard for little pay and keep our world running. I have been impressed by the whole concrete process.
On a different note a friend sent me his reflections on Paul Krugman’s essay, “Hillary Clinton Gets Gored.” (http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/05/opinion/hillary-clinton-gets-gored.html?_r=0)
The word gored is a double entendre, for she is receiving from the press much the same treatment Al Gore did in 2000 when he ran against George W. Bush. Krugman’s point was that journalism is neither honest nor proud these days. With few exceptions, the media goes for the sensational story, so Donald Trump gets lots of coverage, and negative accusations about Hillary are not fact-checked but repeated almost gleefully. Read the article—please. It is a sad but honest commentary on our society today.
Hillary is the Republican party’s scapegoat—they have always hatef her and have conducted an orchestrated campaign of lies and innuendoes against her; Trump is the Teflon man to whom nothing sticks—even the charge of rape of a minor (preliminary arguments on that case will be held in NY in a few days). Somehow the rape charge has flown under the new media radar—why? I am puzzled by that.
And I am puzzled by the Republicans who seem willing to throw the country to the winds to hold on to their power and majority. Party apparently comes before country, in a kind of crazy logic I don’t understand. It saddens me. I’m Pollyanna, the idealist.

I inherited my strong liberal tendencies—and belief in the Democratic Party—from my dad, but that’s another story for another post.

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