You are browsing the archive for 2019 September 17.

Avatar of admin

by admin

The 1936 Strike That Brought America’s Most Powerful Automaker to its Knees

September 17, 2019 in History

By Erin Blakemore

Over 136,000 GM workers participated in a sit-down strike in Flint, Michigan.

The General Motors body plant in Flint, Michigan was usually a thankless place, filled with loud sounds and the feverish, dangerous work of turning metal into auto bodies. But in January 1937, the sounds of whistling and conversation filled the air. Instead of toiling over dangerous machinery, workers gambled, wrestled and played ping-pong on the usually busy factory floor. “We made a ball out of it,” recalled Earl Hubbard, a GM worker, in an oral history.

The workers weren’t on vacation: They were on strike. Over 44 days in 1936 and 1937, members of the fledgling United Auto Workers union managed to bring an auto behemoth to its knees in a sit-down strike that became one of the most decisive victories in American labor history. Exhausted by the industry’s dangerous demands and sharpened by the Great Depression, over 100,000 auto workers changed labor history without picketing their plant. Instead of walking out, they simply sat down and refused to leave.

Early in 1935 in Flint, Michigan, the United Auto Workers staged the first successful sit-down, forcing General Motors to come to terms. It was a major victory and the sit-down spread to other areas.

Historically, striking workers had risked their lives on the picket lines. Though unions often formed in response to dangerous working conditions, going on strike exposed workers to the danger of physical violence from hired thugs or police that served as companies’ strong-arms. Unions had long struggled to create unions across industries. Instead, craft unions that organized workers across specialties were the norm.

The automobile industry had long discouraged unions. Workers knew they could lose their jobs for trying to organize, and faced corporate spies who reported any pro-union activity back to management. According to historian Timothy P. Lynch, General Motors invested $1 million in surveillance between 1933 and 1936. For many auto workers, unions simply weren’t worth risking their jobs—pay was relatively good, and when workers were laid off they were often rehired at higher rates once a company’s profits rose.

But then the Great Depression hit in 1929. Car sales collapsed, and the industry’s production levels sagged. Automakers slashed jobs, axing thousands of employees with no regard for seniority. Those who did keep their jobs tolerated abysmal working conditions, afraid to speak up lest they be laid …read more

Source: HISTORY

Avatar of admin

by admin

The Allies Hoped Operation Market Garden Would End WWII. Here's What Went Wrong

September 17, 2019 in History

By Sarah Pruitt

It was a daring and massive offensive into Nazi-occupied Holland that ultimately became a costly failure.

In the weeks following …read more

Source: HISTORY

Avatar of admin

by admin

The US Should Avoid Saudi Arabia and Build Peace in the Middle East

September 17, 2019 in Economics

By Doug Bandow

Doug Bandow

US President Donald Trump appears prepared to go to war for Saudi Arabia, the most tyrannical and aggressive state in the Middle East.

,

Instead of sacrificing American lives and wealth to protect the Saudi royal family, the administration should end its economic assault on Iran and pressure Riyadh to halt its murderous campaign against Yemen. Only then will there be any hope of bringing peace and stability to the Middle East.

Over the weekend the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities suffered significant damage in an attack which halved Riyadh’s oil output, accounting for five percent of global production. Yemeni insurgents claimed responsibility, but the Trump administration blamed Iran—without offering any supporting evidence.

Washington’s claim cannot be taken on faith: a succession of administrations lied to justify intervening in dubious wars, including Vietnam, Kosovo, Kuwait, and Iraq. Former president George W Bush’s shameful deceptions are most recent, but his father’s administration issued a series of false claims after a US naval cruiser shot down a civilian Iranian airliner in Iranian airspace in 1988.

,

,

Even if Tehran was responsible for the oil strike, the US has no cause for war. Saudi Arabia, not America, was attacked. The kingdom is not a treaty ally; US military personnel have not signed up as bodyguards for the Saudi royals. Nor is there a good policy reason to underwrite the defence of a regime which actively promotes extremism, shares virtually no Western values, and routinely undermines American interests.

Higher oil prices are not a good reason for war. The costs of any conflict are likely to run far higher, especially considering the blood to be shed. A wealthy nation such as the US can adapt to higher energy bills.

Washington should always treat military action as a last resort, to be used only in the face of compelling circumstances, which are not evident today. In fact, the importance of Middle Eastern oil has steadily declined. The …read more

Source: OP-EDS

Avatar of admin

by admin

Selling F-16s to Taiwan Is Bad Business

September 17, 2019 in Economics

By A. Trevor Thrall, Jordan Cohen

A. Trevor Thrall and Jordan Cohen

On the surface, the Trump administration’s proposal to sell F-16 fighter jets to Taiwan seems to make sense. It makes money for American companies, helps an ally provide for its own defense, and provides a check on a rising China. But a closer look reveals that it will prolong the trade war, do little to help Taiwan defend itself, and raise the risk of war. And that is a deal the United States can do without.

,

News of the deal surfaced in mid-August, when the State Department notified Congress of its intention to sell 66 of the jets for roughly $8 billion. That followed close on the heels of agreements made in recent months to ship Taiwan 108 M1A2 Abrams tanks and 250 Stinger missiles worth $2.2 billion. The primary justification for these deals is the defense of Taiwan from China, to which the United States committed itself in the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act.

Let’s start with the trade war. Trump started slapping tariffs on Chinese imports to the United States in March 2018, based on his assumption that trade wars were “easy to win.” Unfortunately, Trump has found his counterpart, Xi Jinping, to be a much tougher customer than he expected. Rather than sitting down at the negotiating table, China has responded with its own tariffs.

,

,

The trade war has already cost both countries and the global economy dearly. In the U.S., the bond market has hit its lowest level since 2007 and economic confidence among small U.S. companies fell to the lowest level since November 2012. U.S. factory activity, dependent on Chinese suppliers, also fell for the first time in three years. Things are not better in China, where the yuan has hit an 11-year low and economic growth has fallen to its lowest level in 27 years.

In short, the timing of the arms sales to Taiwan could not be …read more

Source: OP-EDS

Avatar of admin

by admin

Constitution Day 2019: the Hidden Domestic Surveillance Crisis

September 17, 2019 in Economics

By Patrick G. Eddington

Patrick G. Eddington

As we mark the 232nd anniversary of the signing of America’s governing charter in 1787, we have ample evidence that it continues to be violated by the federal officials charged with upholding it.

,

Last month, The Young Turks (TYT) news and talk network obtained the FBI’s 2018-2020 “Consolidated Strategy Guide,” which not only referenced the targeting of so-called “Black Identity Extremists” (BIE’s) but also those designated as engaged in “Anti-Government/Anti-Authority Extremism,” “Abortion Extremism,” or “Animal Rights/Environmental Extremism.” In a House Oversight and Reform subcommittee hearing in June, FBI Counterterrorism Division Director Michael McGarrity had admitted under questioning that the FBI could not cite a single example of a murder that could be linked to any African American activist group, including Black Lives Matter. He also claimed that the Bureau had eliminated the entire category of “Black Identity Extremists” from its lexicon. The document obtained by TYT casts doubt on McGarrity’s claim, particularly given the use of the term “Black Racially Motivated Extremists” (BRME) elsewhere in the Guide.

The Guide does not disclose the precise criteria the FBI uses to label individuals or groups as extremists or alleged threats, but it does discuss in some detail the aggressive “intelligence collection” posture the FBI took against so-called BIE’s. Page 1 of the section on BIE’s contains the following:

,

“The FBIHQ-led Threat Mitigation Strategy IRON FIST was implemented to mitigate the potential threat posed by the BIE movement at the national level. IRON FlST will accomplish this by identifying actionable intelligence to directly support the initiation of FBI investigations and augment current efforts directed against BlEs. IRON FIST is designed to evolve and adapt to the ever-changing threat posed by BlEs, to proactively address this priority domestic terrorism target by focusing FBI operations via enhanced intelligence collection efforts. ln addition, FBIHQ works to develop potential [confidential human sources] CHSs and conduct assessments on the current BIE CHS base. Many BlEs are convicted felons who are prohibited possessors, therefore the FBI will continue to use their prohibited possessor status as a tactic to assist in mitigating the threat for potential violence.”

,

Indeed, this “Threat Mitigation Strategy” …read more

Source: OP-EDS

Avatar of admin

by admin

Constitution Day 2019: the Hidden Domestic Surveillance Crisis

September 17, 2019 in Economics

By Patrick G. Eddington

Patrick G. Eddington

As we mark the 232nd anniversary of the signing of America’s governing charter in 1787, we have ample evidence that it continues to be violated by the federal officials charged with upholding it.

,

Last month, The Young Turks (TYT) news and talk network obtained the FBI’s 2018-2020 “Consolidated Strategy Guide,” which not only referenced the targeting of so-called “Black Identity Extremists” (BIE’s) but also those designated as engaged in “Anti-Government/Anti-Authority Extremism,” “Abortion Extremism,” or “Animal Rights/Environmental Extremism.” In a House Oversight and Reform subcommittee hearing in June, FBI Counterterrorism Division Director Michael McGarrity had admitted under questioning that the FBI could not cite a single example of a murder that could be linked to any African American activist group, including Black Lives Matter. He also claimed that the Bureau had eliminated the entire category of “Black Identity Extremists” from its lexicon. The document obtained by TYT casts doubt on McGarrity’s claim, particularly given the use of the term “Black Racially Motivated Extremists” (BRME) elsewhere in the Guide.

The Guide does not disclose the precise criteria the FBI uses to label individuals or groups as extremists or alleged threats, but it does discuss in some detail the aggressive “intelligence collection” posture the FBI took against so-called BIE’s. Page 1 of the section on BIE’s contains the following:

,

“The FBIHQ-led Threat Mitigation Strategy IRON FIST was implemented to mitigate the potential threat posed by the BIE movement at the national level. IRON FlST will accomplish this by identifying actionable intelligence to directly support the initiation of FBI investigations and augment current efforts directed against BlEs. IRON FIST is designed to evolve and adapt to the ever-changing threat posed by BlEs, to proactively address this priority domestic terrorism target by focusing FBI operations via enhanced intelligence collection efforts. ln addition, FBIHQ works to develop potential [confidential human sources] CHSs and conduct assessments on the current BIE CHS base. Many BlEs are convicted felons who are prohibited possessors, therefore the FBI will continue to use their prohibited possessor status as a tactic to assist in mitigating the threat for potential violence.”

,

Indeed, this “Threat Mitigation Strategy” is a template that the FBI is applying to other groups and individuals designated …read more

Source: OP-EDS