First up, Graham Elwood.
Now let's note how Democratic politicians are selling out railroad workers. Jack Rasmus (COUNTERPUNCH) notes:
Probably the most important US labor event of 2022 has been the 115,000 US railroad workers and their unions attempt to bargain a new contract with the super profitable Railroad companies. As of December 2, 2022, however, that negotiations has not turned out well for the workers. The US government—the Biden administration and Democrat controlled US Congress with the help of virtually all the Republicans—have repeatedly intervened on the side of the management in the negotiations.
Beginning last September, that intervention has ensured that the workers would not be able to strike in order to advance their interests and demands. This past week both the administration and Congress have made a railroad strike illegal by passing legislation to that effect.
The right of workers to strike has been under attack at least since 1947 when Congress passed what was called the ‘Taft-Hartley’ Act that year. That legislation ensured that government and politicians reserved the right to force workers back to work for 90 days in the event contract negotiations failed and a strike was imminent. During a 90 day ‘cooling off’ period, as it was called, government mediators had the opportunity to join the negotiations, try to browbeat the parties to get them to settle, and to make a recommendation as to the terms of a settlement. During the ‘cooling off’ management of course also had 90 more days to prepare to prepare to defeat a strike once the 90 days was up.
Taft-Hartley limited the right to strike in many other ways as well. It prohibited sympathy strikes by unions. That’s where unions go on strike to support workers in other unions already on strike. The 1947 law also required any union about to negotiate, and potentially later to strike, to notify the federal government and give it a ‘heads up’ of the pending bargaining and potential strike. A special government body, the Federal Mediation Service, was established to allow government direct intervention in negotiations thereafter if it so decided. Taft-Hartley also embedded in legislation prior anti-strike court decisions, including a Supreme Court decision prior to 1947 that ruled workers could no longer legally engage in what were successful ‘sit down’ strikes of the 1930s and early 1940s.
The 1947 Taft-Hartley Act and its many anti-Labor provisions was patterned after the earlier anti-union, anti-strike Railway Labor Act in 1926 that specifically targeted railroad workers and their unions. Railroad workers’ right to strike has thus been curtailed and denied even before it was for the rest of the US private sector work force by Taft-Hartley in 1947.
After 1926 and 1947 the right to strike was further curtailed by Congressional legislation and court action. Secondary boycotts (refusal to handle struck goods of another company) were outlawed. Courts would rule that union contract clauses in their agreements giving them the ‘right to strike over grievances’ were null and void if there was a grievance procedure spelled out in the union contract. Picketing at company gates in a strike were limited to just a few to each gate. If workers struck a company to force it to recognize the union and bargain, management could call for a government run union recognition election to end the strike and then drag out the union election process three to nine months in order to give the company time to stockpile inventory and make other preparations. Management could hire permanent replacements when union workers went on strike. Unions could no longer act in solidarity with workers in other unions by refusing to handle the goods shipped by the company and workers on strike (called ‘hot cargo’ prohibition). There are countless other measures limiting and preventing strikes by Congress, state legislatures and the Courts that have become law.
So that's the history of betrayal and here's where we stand right now, from COMMON DREAMS:
U.S. President Joe Biden faces mounting pressure to take executive action to ensure that freight rail workers have paid sick leave, including from an open letter spearheaded by The Lever that's already been signed by over 10,000 people, according to the online news outlet.
Calls for Biden to issue such an order have been stacking up since the U.S. Senate passed a resolution forcing rail workers on the verge of striking to accept a White House-brokered agreement without paid sick days. On Friday, the president signed the measure for which he'd advocated, provoking widespread working-class outrage.
"You have previously stated, unequivocally, that all workers deserve paid sick leave. And yet you have just signed a bill from Congress to force unionized rail workers to go back to work without appropriate paid sick leave," begins the letter to Biden, which began circulating Friday.
Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"
Monday, December 5, 2022. A reporter harms his own story, more questions about the Talibanis, closet case Moqtada declares war on Iraq's LGBTQ community.
About 70 e-mails have come in asking why I'm ignoring the report regarding Twitter and censorship.
First, I've posted several videos about those Tweets. Like this one.
Second, Tweets. Not reporting.
The journliast has made himself a joke and legacy media is mocking him. If you care about the story, you don't set yourself up to be a joke.
He did not report. I've waited for him to come off his manic high, get some sleep and actually report. That still hasn't happened.
Tweeting is not reporting.
I love Cher. She Tweets. Love her singing, love her as a friend, in awe of her acting when she totally commits. But her Tweets?
I have issues, vision issues, yes, but also medical eye issues. I now have to limit the amount of screen time. I do not have time to scroll through over thirty Tweets and try to provide the context that the reporter was too lazy to do.
If he will stop partying and start reporting, I'm happy to note it. But stop pretending that he's reported. He's Tweeted. It's not reporting -- it's not even reading the headlines in a news break.
"An appeal for your patience." Sabby notes he said that online. If you want to break a story on Friday, break it on Friday. Report on Friday.
"Information.'' That's what he said he was posting. And that is what he post. It's not curated. It's not journalism. If he had worked at Twitter you could call it whistle-blowing.
He did an information dump and then he went away. Days later, there's still no report. Sabby in her video rushes to defend him.
I'm not attacking him. But I am making the very obvious point that Tweets are not reporting. This demanded a reporter, this topic, who could go through this information and explain what was going on, examples could be supplied, reporting could be done.
Equally true, if an agreement was made -- and one was with Musk -- then you disclose what the agreement was. That's basic when it comes to ethics.
He has been attacked by the media.
A lot of those attacks? He brought on himself. There are basics and the most basic of all basics? You have a report before you go public. That's how you avoid being scooped. Peter Baker isn't going to go on ABC THIS WEEK and tell viewers, "In a day or two, at THE NEW YORK TIMES, I'll have a great story for you about . . ." He writes the story before he promotes it.
You know who does the opposite way? Liars and whores. Like in 2008. Barack Obama was talking about the rights of unions and how trade deals harmed US employees. Then THE ASSOCIATED PRESS found out and reported that Barack's campaign was telling Canada not to worry, that this was just talk to get votes. That's when John Nichols goes on DEMOCRACY NOW! It turns out, John maintains, it was Hillary, it was all Hillary. St. Barack was innocent and still walked on water and Johnny 5 Cents would be reporting this at THE NATION.
There was no such report because John Nichols was lying. He was trying to provide cover for Barack until interest moved on to another story.
Those are the type of people who brag about stories before they're published.
If you want to be taken seriously -- or your work taken seriously -- you publish it and then you talk about it.
"I sincerely hope that Tara Reade can get some sort of justice," says Sabby Sabs.
Can we f**king focus?
Apparently, we can't.
Yes, Tara Reade came forward. Yes, she told the truth. She's an awful bitch but that doesn't change the fact that she was assaulted. It also doesn't have to do with the Tweets released on Friday.
Had the reporter issued a report, we might be better able to focus.
Instead it's nonsense -- it's ice cream left in the sun, melting with Sabby and others trying to scoop it up in their hands. And doing a lousy job. Why is she bringing in Tara? Well, she and Tara are friends, for one reason. Another bad behind the scenes move. But also because Sabby doesn't understand the information because the reporter didn't do the work required.
Some newbies are going to say 'reporter'? About 18 years ago, as a favor, I was asked not to name the reporter here ever. This was by someone who loves the reporter. I didn't. I haven't. He's popped up in videos but I haven't commented on him until now. When we interviewed Evan Bright ("Evan Bright Puts Big Media To Shame") about his coverage of Stephen Green's trial (March 12, 2006, Abeer Qassim Hamza al-Janabi's parents Fakhriya Taha Muhasen and Qassim Hamza Raheem) and five-year-old sister (Hadeel Qassim Hamza) were taken into the parents' bedroom by US soldier Steven D. Green where they were murdered. Abeer was in the living room with Paul Cortez and James Barker who were gang-raping her. It is one of the most explosive of the War Crimes from the Iraq War.) , Evan brought up the reporter. After that, the big question was do we name the reporter -- due to my promise? Name but no comments are printed but Evan's, was my reply. That way I kept my promise not to discuss the reporter.
What the reporter has now done with Twitter goes to exactly why someone who loves the reporter would worry I would rip him apart. It's not up to standard and I know what's going on when reporting isn't taking place.
I can't evaluate the story or its claims because there is no story. The reporter has failed to file one. It's as though Woodward and Bernstein wrote, "There was a break-in at The Watergate Hotel and President Nixon was behind it. That is all. We're rushing off to snort coke and we'll be back in a few days with more." That's not reporting. Hell, it's not even good gossip.
The reporter needs to do his job which is to file a report. A series of Tweets is not a report.
Some of the criticism the reporter is now facing is of his own creation and could have been avoided if he'd done his job. Instead, he Tweeted on Friday and it's now Monday and we still have no report.
Staying with bad journalism, last week, we called out IRAQ OIL REPORT for its bad fluff piece on Bafel Talabani. From Thursday's snapshot:
Turning to Iraq, we're reminded that 'access journalism' is all about whoring. IRAQI OIL REPORT is an outlet that charges for its mediocre content. Despite charging for its content, it breaks no news, it produces nothing of value. So I generally ignore it.
But they decided to really whore this time. The interview Bafel Talabani with one soft ball question after another and pretend he's answering truthfully. They can't even get to truth in the 396 words of the preamble to the interview.
of words to pretend Bafel's not part of the problem. The issues with
Bafel go beyond he's PUK and the dominant party is KDP (PUK has still
not rebounded from the lies of Jalal and Hero Talabani when they spent
months defrauding the country and pretending that Jalal was healthy
enough to govern as president of Iraq when, in fact, he couldn't speak
and he couldn't move and, per the Constitution, he should have been
removed from office). Bafel can't even get along with other member of
the PUK -- and that includes his failure to get along with his own blood
At the start of November, Amberin Zaman (AL-MONITOR) noted:
The difference today is that not only are the parties at odds with each other, they are also mired in internal rivalries. Lahur Talabany, former co-chair of the PUK who led the Sulaimaniyah region’s intelligence services and the US-trained Counter Terrorism Group, was ousted by his cousins Bafel and Qubad Talabani last summer in a Byzantine power grab. It was the most overt manifestation yet of the intra-family feuds simmering in the Talabani and Barzani dynasties.
If you're still not getting it, check out the latest this morning from REUTERS:
On Oct. 7, shortly after Hawker Abdullah Rasoul set off in an SUV from his home on a leafy street in Erbil, a bomb ripped through the car, killing him and wounding four family members.
Rasoul was an intelligence officer, and a defector.
After nearly two decades with the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), a party dominated by the Talabani family, he moved to Erbil this year and switched sides, three security sources and a Kurdish source told Reuters.
When he was killed, Rasoul, 41, was helping the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), the party ruled by the Barzani family that he had been keeping tabs on for years, the sources said.
The brazen assassination was captured by security cameras and the KDP released a 27-minute video about the killing, pointing the finger of blame firmly at the PUK.
The PUK has strongly denied the accusations, saying they are politically driven, but the killing has triggered a series of incidents that have strained the power-sharing arrangement.
Let's wind down with notorious closet case Moqtada al-Sadr. Moqtada al-Sadr is scum of the earth. He leads a cult and, over the years, the US press has decided to go soft on him and present as a leader (he's not) and a kingmaker (never) instead of as the cheap ass thug he actually is. He's flaunting his true colors again. Daniel Stewart (360 NEWS) notes:
"I vow to confront homosexuality or the LGBTQ community through ethical, peaceful and religious means, against this violation of the innate characteristics on which humanity is built," according to a statement accompanied by his signature and posted on Twitter by his spokesman Salé Mohamed al Iraqi.
The cleric has reiterated his message by calling for the creation of an abolition of the alleged law of homosexuality in Iraq because "it cannot be a door to generalize this affliction".
In reality, homosexuality has been legal in Iraq for 20 years because the country does not have a law explicitly criminalizing it.
However, it does have a regulation prohibiting "immodest acts," probably the one Al Sadr was referring to, which Human Rights Watch has described as a "vague provision that could be used to target minorities."
Poor, dumb and uneducated Moqtada. He can never by a religious leader above 'cleric' because he doesn't have the background and couldn't get it even when he ran off to Iran in 2007. Poor idiot Moqtada.
And, please don't forget, that two years ago, he explained 'the gay' caused other things as well:
And maybe those who've been stupid enough to promote Moqtada over the last three years could wake up to reality?
The following sites updated: