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The Bending Cross

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Michael Bonanno       (Page 1 of 3 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   5 comments

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I'm reading a book entitled The Bending Cross. It's the biography of Eugene V. Debs.

I was a integral part of The Corporatocracy for 25 years. They threw the union out at the Dow Chemical site in Connecticut in 1972 and I was 22, had pretty much given up on college, although I'd completed three semesters, and needed work.

An abusive father "would not let me leave his home" for any reason other than to get married. He said "the door swings one way".

I realize now that I could have told him to pound sand. I was 22 and leaving his home was my choice, not his. Conditioning, however, had frightened me to death and I stayed with him. However, I looked hard for a potential wife and found one.

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A marriage based upon these criteria was destined to fail. It and two of the following three marriages failed miserably. I won't bore you with anymore personal whining. If you're at all interested, you can go to the About Michael page on my web site.

As I mentioned, I took advantage of the misfortune of others to begin what seemed like a rewarding career with The Dow Chemical Company.

An example of the temporary death of my brain was how humorous I thought it was that Dow had a Standard Operating Procedure that directed us technicians to dump contaminated water to the Thames River in Connecticut (yes, the Thames) "until fish began to appear to be disturbed". One can almost see the humor in that statement until one sees the hatred of the earth. It then ceases to be humorous.

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I actually worked my way up to the position of Operations Supervisor for the Latex Plant and served in that capacity in all three production plants, Latex, Styron/Magnum and Styrofoam, at the site.

I, of course, was honored.

I became aware in 1996 that Dow needed to become "more globally competitive" and, as much as I was proud of climbing the ladder from "what's a pump"? to Operations Supervisor, I was equally shocked and awakened when Dow used the excuse of "global competition" to delayer layers of management. Dow got rid of the position of plant Operations Supervisor globally in 1996 and, in 1997, three years before I could technically retire, they delayered me.

I've met so many people who work hard for the American Cancer Foundation once they realize that someone close to them has cancer; so many people who work hard to promote breast cancer research once they know someone close who has contracted breast cancer; so many people who join Mothers Against Drunk Driving once they've lost someone who was killed by a drunk driver; so many people who begin to give to the Arthritis Foundation once they know someone who suffers from arthritis. Count me in on that hypocrisy.

For the greater part of 25 years, I didn't even follow the nightly news. When NAFTA was being debated, I had no idea what it was. None. I had a job to do and didn't have time to waste on "politics". Now that's some unawareness, agreed?

So, this wonderful company who had showered me with bonuses and promotions for 25 years went from the manufacturing business to the mergers and acquisition business and threw people away like so many dirty dish rags.

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I wasn't always like this. When I was 20 years old, I campaigned, during the illegal intrusion into Vietnam, for a priest name Joseph Duffy. He primaried Tom Dodd, father of Chris Dodd, for the Democratic nomination for US Senator. He was not silent and, it appears, he was not part of the majority and he lost.

During those years, I debated such issues as social justice for the Black race and the lies that got us where we were in Vietnam, as well as the absurdity of fighting an unwinnable war.

I wrote a lot of poetry and music decrying the state of the nation at the time.

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Michael Bonanno is an associate editor for OpEdNews.

He is also a published poet, essayist and musician who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Bonanno is a political progressive, not a Democratic Party apologist. He believes it's (more...)

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