commented on Sawant Just Says It: Boeing Workers Should Take Over the Factories
Kshama just spoke to The Real News
about exactly this subject!
DESVARIEUX: So, Kshama, this Boeing deal, almost a $9 billion tax break, it was passed by Washington State, but it will affect your constituents. So I know that you follow these issues very closely. Can you just explain the significance of Boeing employees rejecting the offer, especially in light of the proposed tax break?
SAWANT: Yes, absolutely. This is such an important question. I'm glad you, you are talking about this.
So, first of all, we should remember Boeing has got tens of billions of handouts from from the Washington State government for several years now, and this is the only the newest one of them. And as you said, it's almost $9 billion.
And the question is: why should the Boeing workers accept this? You know, the logic is that, well, if you don't, if you don't accept all the cuts in the pension and health care and all the--you know, in the wage freezes, then we're going to move jobs elsewhere. This is nothing short of highway robbery. You know, the Boeing CEO, McNerney, if he was to retire today, he has a retirement plan of of over $275,000 a month. And he's also talked about cutting funding for Social Security.
And how much do Boeing workers get? If you work for 30 years at Boeing, then you are entitled to maybe $2,700 per month. And that is something that the Boeing executives want to destroy by forcing this new contract down the throats of Boeing workers.
And who has facilitated this whole process? It's the Democratic governor of Washington state, Jay Inslee. It's a Democratic dominated House and a strong Democratic caucus in the Senate. Despite all this, the legislature voted overwhelmingly to give this handout to Boeing.
And there is so much to be done in terms of funding transit, education, social services. Every time we talk about that, the governor says there's no money for any of that. But they have $9 billion to shell out to Boeing.
And what does this tell us? You know, the two lessons, take-home lessons from this: one is that you cannot rely on the Democrats to solve these problems. They are going to give the same corporate handouts that the Republicans will. And if Boeing workers really want to fight for their jobs and preserve their wages, then they have to fight against the two-party system and argue for a mass political alternative outside the Democrats and Republicans.
The other thing this shows is the failures of capitalism itself. I mean, the reason Boeing is able to threaten Boeing workers is because there are poorer people in other states in the United States.
So this is a nationwide and global race to the bottom. If we accept their logic of moving jobs, then there is no alternative to this ongoing race to the bottom. It will only get worse, and workers everywhere will get poorer than they are today.
The only alternative to this is to reject that entire race to the bottom. So what we're saying is that if Boeing is going to threaten to take jobs away--and, by the way, they're already cutting jobs. They have been cutting jobs all along. So this is a myth that if they stay here and if we relent on all those conditions that they want to impose on the workers, then they're going to get to keep their jobs. That's a myth. It they've already cut jobs.
But if they insisted on doing this, then that is nothing short of economic terrorism. And the only alternative to that kind of economic terrorism is for Boeing workers to say, okay, we're done. If you feel you CEOs, you want to leave, you can leave. The machines are here, the workers are here. Let's take Boeing into Democratic public ownership. Let's--let us working people run Boeing democratically together. We don't need the CEOs. The CEOs are not the ones that run the machines. It's the machinists who are running the machine. And we can retool the machines to to produce mass transit instead of destructive war machines. That's the solution.
updated the link to his or her website.
commented on Edward Snowden, the NSA Whistleblower, Is Hiding in Hong Kong
Edward Snowden: saving us from the United Stasi of America
By Daniel Ellsberg 6/10/2013
at The Guardian
Snowden's whistleblowing gives us a chance to roll back what is tantamount to an 'executive coup' against the US constitution
In my estimation, there has not been in American history a more important leak than Edward Snowden's release of NSA material – and that definitely includes the Pentagon Papers 40 years ago. Snowden's whistleblowing gives us the possibility to roll back a key part of what has amounted to an "executive coup" against the US constitution.
Since 9/11, there has been, at first secretly but increasingly openly, a revocation of the bill of rights for which this country fought over 200 years ago. In particular, the fourth and fifth amendments of the US constitution, which safeguard citizens from unwarranted intrusion by the government into their private lives, have been virtually suspended.
commented on Edward Snowden, the NSA Whistleblower, Is Hiding in Hong Kong
Here is Glenn Greenwald -- the journalist who reported Edward Snowden's leaked information -- on today's Democracy Now!
GLENN GREENWALD: The primary point that I think needs to be made from all of these stories, and particularly from the very courageous outing, self-outing, of Ed Snowden, is that there is this massive surveillance apparatus that is being gradually constructed in the United States that already has extremely invasive capabilities to monitor and store the communications and other forms of behavior not just of tens of millions Americans, but of hundreds of millions, probably billions of people, around the globe. And it’s one thing to say that we want the United States government to have these capabilities. It’s another thing to allow this to be assembled without any public knowledge, without any public debate, and with no real accountability. And what ultimately drove him forward—and what ultimately is driving our reporting and will continue to drive our reporting—is the need for a light to be shined on what this incredibly consequential world is all about and the impact that it’s having both on our country and our planet.
AMY GOODMAN: And McConnell’s tie to Total Information Awareness? I mean, 10 years ago, the country was up in arms about the possibility that Americans would be spied on, and so it was killed, supposedly, TIA, Total Information Awareness. And McConnell’s link to that?
GLENN GREENWALD: Right. And what’s fascinating about that was that that took place in late 2002, 2003, when it was revealed that the Pentagon was planning this Total Information Awareness program. It was actually being run by John Poindexter, who was the former national security adviser to President Reagan who resigned in disgrace and almost went to prison over the Iran-Contra scandal. And what was amazing about that was that there was great public uproar, as you say, even in the early stages after 9/11, when the public, the media, the Congress were extremely subservient to whatever the government wanted to do, but that was just a bridge too far, even then. And yet, with these revelations, the ones that we published thus far and the ones that we’ll continue to be publishing in the future, what they really illustrate is exactly what you said, which is that they don’t call it Total Information Awareness anymore. That was a little bit too honest of a term. That was probably the main reason why it created such uproar, because it was just too—too nakedly clear what it was intending to accomplish. But what the NSA is doing, not just domestically, but globally, is creating a Total Information Awareness system. The last story that we published, as you said, was a program, a mining—data-mining program called Boundless Informant, Boundless Informant. That is what the NSA is about, is eroding all vestiges of privacy in the world and ensuring that they have full and unfettered monitoring ability to all forms of human behavior. And this is ultimately why he came forward, because he said, in good conscience, he couldn’t allow that to be done in secrecy. If the public wants that to happen, so be it, but we need—they need to be informed that it’s happening and then have a public debate about it.
GLENN GREENWALD: The NSA sucks up into its systems billions and billions of communication activities every week—billions and billions. In fact, the data-mining documents that we published reflected it sucks up 90 billion in a 30-day period, including three billion in the United States. The Washington Post three years ago told us that every single day the NSA collects and stores 1.7 billion emails and telephone calls by and among Americans. Their argument is that we may suck it up, we may store it, we may monitor it, but the law says we can’t actually listen to it or read it if it’s by and between Americans without first going to a FISA court. And what Edward Snowden is telling you is that, although that might be the law, the monitors, the systems at NSA allow full and unfettered access at any time to any one of these analysts to go and listen to whatever it is they want, to read whatever emails they want, to monitor in real time whatever online chats are taking place. And because there’s no oversight, because there’s really no accountability or transparency, there is no check on this abuse. And we know for certain—we should have learned the lesson 35 years ago when the Church Committee documented it, that when human beings are able to spy on other human beings in the dark, abuse, rampant abuse, is inevitable. That was supposed to be why we don’t have spying abilities without accountability any longer. But as Mr. Snowden is documenting to us, that’s exactly what we have, and that’s why it’s so menacing.
commented on Watch SPD Liberally Apply Pepper Spray to Protester Faces
@28 "@25, he grabbed his bike."
That is factually incorrect, Fnarf. Watch the video again.
Here is what what we see in this video:
From 0:05-0:10 we see Ian directing the rest of the crowd to comply with police orders to continue moving up the street. We hear him say, "let's go this way, go this way, go to the sidewalk" while police furiously bellow "MOOOOVE BACK!!". (I was not there, but in this video it sure looks to me that it was the police who were needlessly escalating the tension of the situation.)
The camera pans away for a moment, and then back to Ian. At 0:18 we see Ian facing a police officer and flipping him off while Ian continues to walk backwards in compliance with police orders. (I'm pretty sure flipping the bird is protected free speech.)
In this moment Ian does not appear to have broken any law. He has not "grabbed an officer's bike". He is complying with police orders to move back so he is not obstructing anything.
Yet just a second later one officer snatches at Ian's hand while another officer does indeed empty a load of pepper spray directly into Ian's eyes. Immediately thereafter several other officers unload their pepper spray in the faces of everyone in the vicinity of Ian, all of whom were complying with police orders to move back.
Of course a single 38 second clip is but a momentary glimpse into the activity of the day, but anyone who is using this video to justify police aggression is simply not being objective or honest.
Sometimes I agree with you and sometimes I don't, Fnarf, but in this thread you're picking the wrong side. This May Day coverage is bringing the crypto-fascists out of the woodwork, declaring every last protester an "anarchist", condemning "them" for property damage (come on now, if "they" were all anarchist smashists don't you think we would have seen a hell of a lot more damage then we did?), and crying for the cops to crack as many skulls as possible. Do you share those views?
Also, who is a "angry pink seven-footer"? Ian Finkenbinder is well under six feet tall.