Steve Earle Offers "Harlan Man" Charity Single, Benefits Wisconsin Workers

Steve Earle has always been a man of burning convictions and social awareness. From the farmers' plight in "The Rain Came Down," the harsh reality of backwoods moonshine/drug runners of "Copperhead Road" and the hypocracy of lobbyists and politicians "Christmas in Washington," not to mention the lightning rod "John Walker's Blues," he has not been afraid to espouse a power-to-the-people consciousness.


To that end, Earle is making a two-track digital download of "Harlan Man" and "The Mountain" from his 1999 album The Mountain recorded with the Del McCoury Band. All profits will benefit The America Votes Labor Unity Fund via


Boasting the lyric, "I'm a union man, just like my daddy and all my kin/ I took a union stand, no matter what the company said/ I got me two good hands, and just as long as I'm able/ I won't give in," "Harlan Man" inhabits the psyche of a union miner facing the reality of corporate will versus human decency and dignity. "The Mountain" also considers the realm of union miners in a world that would see workers rights dismissed.


"Unions are a fundamental component of Democracy throughout the free world.  All eyes are on Wisconsin," Steve Earle said in a release from his management company.


With many states -- including Wisconsin, Ohio and Indiana -- looking to limit collective bargaining power, break unions and create new dynamics of power for American workers, the Grammy-winning songwriter felt it was important to come forward in a show of solidarity.


The American Votes Labor Fund is dedicated to uniting labor organizations, progressive groups and individuals to fight for workers in the world and in the media. Contributions to them -- and via this single -- are slated to help activist campaigns in 11 states: Florida, Indiana, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Wisconsin.


This fund serves as the fiscal agent of the AFL-CIO State Unity Fund, a special account directed by a broad coalition of national labor organizations dedicated to promoting fair labor-management relations in the private and public sectors as well as defending workers and their unions against state legislation, ballot measures and executive orders aimed at undermining or removing organizing and bargaining rights and unemployment standards.


The digital single is available now via iTunes.

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Tags: AFL-CIO, American, Del, Earle, Fund, Grammy-winning, Harlan Man,, Labor, MOUNATIN, McCoury, More…Steve, THE, The Mountain,, Unity, Votes, Wisconsin, activism, activist, benefit, rights, single, union, unions, workers

Comment by Melinda on March 24, 2011 at 6:24am

My oh my, do you twist the meaning of words. First when I spoke of the $60,000.00 recreational vehicles I was talking about campers not cars(SUV). The point was that the banks did get stuck with property that was NOT an asset and they DIDN't make money on.  It was during the boom times they made the loans and suffered recently when the economy dived. I don't like or appreciate the fact that the government used my tax money to prop them up to keep us out of a long term depression.

"Progressives are manipulators"? Please, stop just listening to Fox news who have to put a negative spin

on everything. I get my news from the newspaper, Time magazine and CNN. I believe in the press keeeping government honest.   I support capitalism wholeheartedly and believe in business  and a good education. The hidden agenda I see are who pays for Fox news? Why is having a corporation or individual pay their fair share "soaking the rich"? Why do they make progressive and liberal negative terms? In this age of instant information no one is hiding anything. We may have a higher standard of poor people but generational poverty is real and schools are asked  to compensate for poor or no parentling no food in the fridge and drug and alcohol issues as well as reading and writing and science.   In addition, it was conservative President Bush who thought that no child left behind was a good idea.

Comment by James West on March 24, 2011 at 9:46am

"Why is having a corporation or individual pay their fair share "soaking the rich"?"


You're assuming that paying 1/3 of your income in taxes is not enough.  That's purely a judgment call; in my opinion, unless your income is outrageous (greater than, say 10 million/year), a third should be fair enough.  I agree with those who say, we don't have a taxing problem, we have a SPENDING problem. 


Anyone who tries to get people to behave in certain ways by lying to them is a manipulator.  And it seems to me that the progressives want people to pay more for energy (and by extension, everything else) based on a big lie (global warming).  You can debate what it is that motivates progressives, but IMO they exhibit an ends-justify-the-means mentality that says it's OK to tell folks anything in order to get them to behave "responsibly".  I'm convinced that the progressive leadership KNOWS that global warming is a hoax, but they promote it anyway because they feel it serves their purposes.  And that's manipulation.


"The hidden agenda I see are who pays for Fox news?"


Let me use an analogy to answer this.  Do you agree that an idea can and should be evaluated on its own merits, without having to know who came up with the idea?  Or can the same idea be either bad or good, depending on who thought of it?  Can't we take what a news organization puts out there as news, and evaluate it without having to know if the owners have a political bent?  In other words, is propaganda any more or less identifiable depending on which side it comes from?  I find it depressing to think that some people can dismiss ALL information coming from a specific source, just because they perceive that SOME of the information might be presented from a perspective other than the center.  I think, for example, Lawrence O'Donnell (who admitted ON AIR that he is a socialist!) spews close to 100% propaganda, but that doesn't mean I think anyone should try to shut him up.


You are right about the alarming lack of parenting skills in today's society.  I bet you can guess where I think it comes from :-)    I would be in favor of my tax dollars going towards parental skills education for new parents, but of course the Feds think the solution is having the state assume parental responsibilities.  AAAGGGHHH!!!  Can't you folks see how the government is doing everything it can to make all of us dependent on it?  And yet SO many people seem to have no desire to be independent and take care of themselves, rather they are perfectly satisfied to focus on what government benefits they have a right to.  Maybe if we valued and focused more on personal responsibility in this country, it would be easier to tell parents that THEY are responsible for their child's behavioral and academic problems, not their teachers.  The local community has the biggest vested interest in insuring that their local schools provide a quality education; if you agree, then why do we need a federal Dept of Education?


"I get my news from the newspaper, Time magazine and CNN."


Your local newspaper may rate well on the objectivity scale, depending on where you live, but I would suggest that Time and CNN are more concerned with shaping your opinions to fit what they believe, than they are with bringing you hard facts to evaulate on your own. Joe Klein (Time) wrote an editorial to the effect of "we shouldn't cut spending while we are in a recession" which makes about as much sense as saying "I'll shut off the gas as soon as we get the fire out".  If he really had our best interests at heart, he would point out that excessive government spending increases the tax burden which reduces disposable income which slows the economy... but no, he's in all likelihood on board with that SEIU guy who wants to "change" the government by collapsing the economy and the stock market.  Fox may be trying to get people to see things as conservatives do, but the CNNs and MSNBCs of the world are promoting a liberal view... why is it OK for one but not the other?  Does being a liberal really mean that you resent the fact that conservatives have the right to free speech too?  I know from personal experience that a lot of liberals (not all, mind you, but a lot, possibly most) have no interest in even being EXPOSED conservative viewpoints;  it's almost as if they think they already know it all and have nothing left to learn in life.  If you try to engage them in debate, they will resort to name calling the moment they feel challenged.  Sometimes I think that being forced to re-evaluate their beliefs is so stressful that they are more comfortable professing their previously-held beliefs even if in their heart of hearts they have their doubts.  I like to debate because 1) I might learn something that challenges my beliefs, or 2) it can reinforce what I already believe i.e. make me MORE sure of why I believe what I believe.


"generational poverty is real"


I admit I had to google "generational poverty definition" :-) and I agree that educational expenses are obscene, but other than that I don't see any entrenched institutional barriers to escaping poverty.  (Unless it is the absolutely TERRIBLE job that most of our public schools do in educating our youth)  If you do, please enlighten me, I want to learn.

Comment by Melinda on March 24, 2011 at 10:14am

I am tired of this. You will always hold to your beliefs even if presented with reasonable examples.

Anyone who thinks climate change (misnomer Global warming) is a hoax when it has been proven by SCIENCE over and over or  doesn't believe that fossil fuels are causing pollution probably believes that evolution never happened, that the bible is the only measure of ethical behavior. Do you think the world is going to end in 2012? Don't answer; I no longer care.

Comment by Michael DesAulniers on March 24, 2011 at 11:01am
He is a bit of an odd duck isn't he
Comment by James West on March 24, 2011 at 11:46am

"Wasting resources on symbolically fighting ever present climate change is no substitute for prudence. Nor is the assumption that the earth’s climate reached a point of perfection in the middle of the twentieth century a sign of intelligence." 


I'm not alone.  But... but... wasn't it supposed to be SETTLED SCIENCE?  Weren't ALL reputable scientists supposed to be in agreement?  Do you really believe that the advocates are trying to save the world, and only the deniers have political agendas?  Puh-leese...


But what reason could scientists possibly have for fabricating man-made climate change? 


You gonna dismiss the above link simply because it's from a conservative web site?  If so, I refer you to my last post.  The only way to be informed is to read EVERYTHING, try to separate the fact from conjecture, assess those raw facts against your personal value system (i.e. evaluate the facts in light of the values that are important to you) and VOILA!  Out pops your OWN PERSONAL OPINION.  I would suggest to you that most scientific studies are funded by organizations that have a vested interest in the outcome, and those studies therefore IMO can be dismissed.  Show me a study whose ONLY reason for existing is to expose the Truth, WHATEVER IT TURNS OUT TO BE, and I'll show you an objective scientist.


Did you really not laugh out loud when they said that the record snowfalls of last winter were caused by man-made climate change?  Why would they have to fudge the figures (email-gate) if they were just looking for the Truth (as opposed to using climate change for political purposes)?


"Don't answer; I no longer care."


Translation:  I'm so heavily invested in my current set of beliefs that I REFUSE to entertain alternative views.


Please accept my apologies if I have created inner doubt in your mind, but I didn't do it out of meanness, I honestly believe a lot of you folks are putting your faith into places where it is being betrayed... and playing into the hands of people who want to end capitalism and promote George Soros' open-border society (i.e. global government).

Comment by Melinda on March 24, 2011 at 11:52am

Believe me I have no doubts whatsoever, certainly not created by you and talking to you is pointless.

"Translation: I'm so heavily invested in my current set of beliefs that I REFUSE to entertain alternative views----right back at you.

Comment by James West on March 24, 2011 at 12:06pm

Melinda, at least I can cite sources for my beliefs, even if you do think those sources are biased.


I would suggest that the only way to sway anyone's opinion is to go beyond stating what you believe, by also expaining WHY you believe it.  And IMO thinking that all liberals are selfless public servants, and all conservatives are evil greedy bastards, just isn't logical or realistic.  I think I said this before, but IMO, conservatives, for whatever reason, think that they can do just fine without government help, and liberals think that anyone who IS in need cannot have their needs fully met WITHOUT government help.  A fundamental difference that isn't based on illogic or unrealism, doesn't insult either side, and leaves open room for legitimate debate.


I will entertain any alternative views you have, but Iwill need to know the WHYs too, not just the WHATs, of what you believe, before I can comment.

Comment by James West on March 24, 2011 at 12:16pm

If you want an idea of what sickening lengths the climate change crowd is willing to go to, to try to force those dumb citizens to go along with them, take a look at this video (it's been scrubbed from the 'net from all other sites except this one), read the apology from the producers, and then tell me if the tactics of the climate changers still makes you feel all warm and fuzzy... 


No pressure huh?  You still proud of the climate change proponents? Their reply: 


They never expected the backlash.  What does that tell you?  Do you REALLY want to identify with these people?


I'm sorry if I'm sounding more and more frustrated... it's just that the abhorrence of something like this is so obvious to me, it's depressing that more people can't see it...


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Created by No Depression Feb 17, 2009 at 9:06pm. Last updated by No Depression Sep 24, 2012.