Monday, 17 November 2014

Labor leader walks into police custody to face ridiculous charges

Roger Toussaint, president of the New York City Transit Workers' Union, walked into police custody today, surrendering himself as agreed upon, in Manhattan. The meeting was supposed to take place in Brooklyn, where Toussaint lives, but the police changed the date at the last minute, so the union and several other unions decided to march in solidarity with Toussaint through Brooklyn and into Manhattan, across Brooklyn Bridge.

Toussaint was sentenced, along with two other union leaders, Ed Watt and Darlyne Lawson, for instigating the strike that, according to New York State's Taylor Law, they were not legally allowed to do, due to the fact that they are public employees.

Laws like the Taylor Act are a crime against our republic. Right-thinking men and women of goodwill can agree to disagree on certain feelings as to whether unions are necessary, or whether some unions are meaner or more corrupt than others, but everyone should understand that this is a terrible law. The Taylor Act unfairly inhibits workers in important fields like transportation and sanitation, simply because they work for the city or the state.

Toussaint will have started his march at 1 PM our time, 4 PM in New York City. I don't see any articles yet, but I imagine there will be more coming out soon. Feel free to go to the union's website and send your well wishes. If you can, why not send them a donation? Putting on strikes and winning back all your union members' dues can get expensive, so anything you can spare will go a long way. Jail time can be hard on the families of these leaders as well. Send a kind note and let them know you care.

Let's hear it for the power of the people! Toussaint may be in the clink, but the spirit of the working class lives in all of us. If we get mad enough, and see the attack on labor as what it really is, an attack on liberalism and an attack on the good old fashioned values of hard work for an honest wage, then we can defeat these evil Republicans and push these do-nothing Democrats back onto the side of the people! (I'm talking to you, Senator Cantwell!)

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

National People's Congress

The National People's Congress, abbreviated NPC, is the highest state body and the unicameral legislative house in the People's Republic of China. The National People's Congress is held in the Great Hall of the People, Beijing; with 2,987 members, it is the largest parliament in the world. The NPC gathers each year along with the People's Political Consultative Conference whose members represent various defined groups of society.

NPC and CPPCC together are often called the Lianghui, making important national level political decisions. In theory, the NPC is vested with great lawmaking powers. However, for most of its existence, it has acted as a nearly powerless rubber-stamp legislature, ratifying decisions that have already been made by the Communist Party of China and the country's executive organs. This has long been typical of legislatures in Communist countries.

Since the 1990s, the NPC has become a forum for mediating policy differences between different parts of the Party, the government, and groups of society. However, the BBC still describes the NPC as a rubber-stamp for party decisions. One of its members, Hu Xiaoyan, told the BBC that she has no power to help her constituents. She was quoted as saying, "As a parliamentary representative, I don't have any real power."

Thursday, 10 May 2012


Austrostipa is a genus of grass, with about 70 species.

The genus includes Australasian species formerly included in the genus Stipa, and likely originated in Australia approximately 20 million years ago.

Friday, 14 April 2006

Reports from the Underground - April

In the April issue of Reports from the Underground, we have something about 9/11 as well as the latest Iraq dispatch from Dahr Jamail.
[sorry about the formatting - it came that way by email - I'll clean it up when I have more time]

JFK and 9/11

This piece comes to us from Op-Ed News. It lays out exactly why the Left should care about 9/11, and why they have been reluctant to go there so far.

Dahr Jamail on Sectarian Violence in Iraq
Baghdad Morgue Overflowing Daily

Inter Press Service
Dahr Jamail and Arkan Hamed

*BAGHDAD, Apr 14 (IPS) - As sectarian killings continue to rise in
the central morgue in Baghdad is unable to keep up with the daily
of bodies. *