I was doing manufacturing throughput consulting in the eighties for Ingersoll Engineers. I was on a gig in Peoria, IL with an older man (I did the research and he presented as I looked too young to be an expert) at Caterpillar attempting to help them find out where all the parts went after they stripped them off the base tractors to meet a specific customer order, left them laying where they detached them, and promptly lost them. I guess Master Scheduling to demand was not in vogue then. You could see the history of Caterpillar unfold walking out from the building housing the serpentine belt carrying the E-Class Cats as they built them, and walk back through the old brick and mortar factories building parts, and continue to the corporate headquarters. “My Hometown” always reminded me of Caterpillar and the city of Peoria in which it resided, a city dying as Komatsu challenged Caterpillar with its copied version (parts actually fit from one to another) leaving a decaying infrastructure.
In 1988 Springsteen did a Human Rights Now! tour “on behalf of Amnesty International and it took place over six weeks. Held not to raise funds so much as to increase awareness of both the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on its 40th anniversary and the work of Amnesty International. The shows featured Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Sting, Peter Gabriel, Tracy Chapman, and Youssou N’Dour, plus guest artists from each of the countries where concerts were held.” I was raising a family then
What is going on in North Carolina now (a place I am dissecting and writing a post on and the trash talk coming out of Western Carolina University of the state of the economy) is a step backward in the progression of human rights. It appears the state legislature are making laws and rules which can not be enforced (like who your kids hang out with at school). Samantha Michaels goes on to state this is not something North Carolina Republicans considered when they passed a law to force transgender people to use bathrooms corresponding to the gender listed on their birth certificate. Repubs who love over using the word freedom in everything they claim to have a right to do as guaranteed under the Constitution and will shoot you in the name of their freedom claiming this is their right to do so also as an endangered species, just passed a law regulating who may use what toilets and showers. Don’t mess with my gun and oh-by-the-way your toilet is over there under the sign marked “transgender.” Kind of brings the fifties roaring back to the 21st century, when there was separate but equal facilities (if they exist).
This is more than just a fight over bathroom rights as the new North Carolina law places a large burden upon LGBT citizens of the US and those who just happen to reside in North Carolina. The burden of proof of discrimination has been shifted to them, you know that same burden of proof the Koch Brothers are fighting to have shifted to the Gov? Except the LGBT have committed no alleged crimes other than being human beings and citizens; while the Koch Brothers and their associates do not want to prove their innocence of not knowing their activities caused the pollution on their business sites.
The Boss Bruce Springstein had a few words to say:
As you, my fans, know I’m scheduled to play in Greensboro, North Carolina this Sunday. As we also know, North Carolina has just passed HB2, which the media are referring to as the “bathroom” law. HB2 — known officially as the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act — dictates which bathrooms transgender people are permitted to use. Just as important, the law also attacks the rights of LGBT citizens to sue when their human rights are violated in the workplace. No other group of North Carolinians faces such a burden. To my mind, it’s an attempt by people who cannot stand the progress our country has made in recognizing the human rights of all of our citizens to overturn that progress. Right now, there are many groups, businesses, and individuals in North Carolina working to oppose and overcome these negative developments. Taking all of this into account, I feel that this is a time for me and the band to show solidarity for those freedom fighters. As a result, and with deepest apologies to our dedicated fans in Greensboro, we have canceled our show scheduled for Sunday, April 10th. Some things are more important than a rock show and this fight against prejudice and bigotry — which is happening as I write — is one of them. It is the strongest means I have for raising my voice in opposition to those who continue to push us backwards instead of forwards.
Hat Tip to Nancy Letourneau on her version of “Quick Takes” at The Washington Monthly.
And a thoughtful Friday night to all Bears.