The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire and Ronald Reagan at 100
The US, conservative news media recently celebrated the 100th birthday of Ronald Reagan and told many stories about Reagan's long term affect on America. In the version of America Reagan popularized, which, since Reagan did have a long term affect, you now hear about nightly on Fox News and from people like Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck, America is in danger of being lost, or has been lost; destroyed by Liberals -- Socialists, that is -- who want to take away our freedoms, who want a bigger government that wastes our money, that desires more and more money and is always raising our taxes. These Liberals have bleeding hearts and don't care if dark skinned people swarm the country and get government benefits and don't even work.
The Industrial Workers of the World, the IWW, in response to the predicament of workers in Wisconsin and in other places where the working class is under attack, have prepared a pamphlet that argues for a general strike and is a guide for organizing one.
General strikes, where everybody walks out, not just one union but everybody, are probably the most effective tool workers have. They are certainly the most powerful. The have been used with great effect in the US and elsewhere.
In fact -- although you surely won't hear it reported on Fox News or probably even MSNBC -- it was a general strike by Egyptian trade unions, in the final days of the struggle to topple Egyptian ruler Hosnai Mubarak, that finally led to Mubarak's downfall. As explained in Socialist Alternative:
Don't worry about radiation, President Obama tells us. “Hawaii, Alaska, the U.S. Territories and the U.S. West Coast are not expected to experience any harmful levels of radioactivity,” the White House says, citing estimates by the Nuclear Regulatory Agency.
If you have noticed, reporters have asked representatives of The Nuclear Regulatory Agency for their comments at every step of the way as the disaster in Japan has unfolded. In each instance they have assured us that things wouldn't get any worse, and in each instance they have. Which is not surprising, since the job of the NRA is to protect the financial interests of the radiation industry.
Working class Americans are starting to feel the pain caused by the attack on them begun by Ronald Reagan 30 years ago, but so far they are directing their anger everywhere but at the source of that pain. Let us hope that changes, soon.
Here are some sources of information for what is going on in Iran, where workers are fighting back under conditions we can hardly imagine.
Update: As soon as I posted this entry Reuters reported an explosion at one of Japan's earthquake damaged power plants and published the above picture with the story.
Nuclear Power, Tumors, Oblivion
As radiation continues to escape from power plants in Japan damaged by yesterday's earthquake, as tumors and other kinds of cancers begin to fester in the bodies of people exposed to the escaping radiation, we are once again reminded of the utter, inexplicable stupidity of nuclear power, and of anything having to do with tumor causing, cancer causing, birth defect causing nuclear radiation.
As everyone knows, but conveniently chooses to forget about, the nuclear material that humans refine to use in power plants and in other commercial applications will remain radiative forever, for all practical purposes.
President Barak Obama, in allowing Mexican trucks to operate in the US, has given the US Chamber of Commerce a big, slobbering wet kiss and has accomplished what not even George W Bush could.
The rabidly anti union Chamber, which is the biggest union of them all, and the American Trucking Association (ATA), the union of trucking company owners, were quick to issue statements praising the news that Obama and Mexican President Felipe Calderon had reached agreement on how to facilitate the unleashing of low paid Mexican truckers on the US market, where wages paid to US truck drivers, already on the decline, will surely plummet now.
They are happy because this will mean even more of the fruits of our labor will go into their already bulging pockets.