Under a photo of the three UAW officials posted on the Local 2069 Facebook page, striking workers left several angry comments. “We all told them what we thought of the last TA (tentative agreement) this morning and what we’re expecting,” one worker wrote. Another said, “I think they are just bull-shitting us. The International doesn’t care about us and never has.”
Pointing to the last three contracts the UAW agreed to, another worker posted, “All we really want is what we already had and made concessions so they could SUPPOSEDLY stay in Virginia and keep building trucks, so they wouldn’t move to Mexico. Now they’re making billions and got greedy and want us to keep giving while they keep taking. It’s time for them to give back what we already had.”
The UAW is also continuing to black out any information about the Volvo strike on its website and Facebook page. The executives at the UAW’s misnamed Solidarity House headquarters in Detroit fear if other autoworkers learn about the rebellion of the Volvo workers, they will support it, up to and including joint action to shut down the auto and truck manufacturing industries and overturn decades of UAW-backed concessions.
The terrible impact of four decades of the UAW and other industrial unions’ support for wage-cutting was highlighted by the headline of a Wall Street Journal article earlier this week, which proclaimed, “Wage gains at factories fall behind growth in fast food.”
The strike has been vastly under-reported with WSWS being the only left outlet to provide coverage.
Jonathan Turley covers press lies in an entry today:
I recently discussed how the Inspector General and a federal court have dismissed the widely reported conspiracy theory that the Lafayette Park area was cleared last year to make way for President Donald Trump’s controversial photo op in front of St. John’s Church. I noted that University of Texas Professor Steve Vladeck (who is a CNN contributor) was one of those claiming this theory as an established fact. Vladeck has now responded with a defense that is striking in its sheer mendacity. It is, however, illustrative how false narratives are promulgated in the media and then, when shown to be unsupported, are dismissed or barely acknowledged. What makes this response different is the effort to shift the blame to a Hill reporter, who actually states the opposite of what Vladeck suggested. Indeed, Vladeck achieves a Trifecta of sorts in misrepresenting the Hill column, my column, and his own column.
Many of us criticized Trump’s photo op in front of the church as well as the level of force used to clear the area of Lafayette Park. Yet, media and legal experts like Vladeck went further to claim that former Attorney General Bill Barr cleared the park in order to hold the photo op. There was never evidence to support that factual conclusion. I testified in Congress not long after the clearing of the area and stated that the conspiracy theory was already contradicted by the available evidence. I encouraged Congress to investigate the question and establish the truth of the matter. The issue was not whether it was worthy of investigation but whether it was established as fact.
We recently discussed how the Inspector General report on the Lafayette Park protests and the debunking of this conspiracy theory. Inspector General of the Department of Interior conducted an investigation over the last year and found that the clearing was not done “to allow the President to survey the damage and walk to St. John’s Church.”
This week, federal judge Dabney L. Friedrich has dismissed the lawsuit by the ACLU and Black Lives Matter as based on unsupported and unsubstantiated claims against the federal agencies. What is most striking in the opinion is the utter lack of evidence presented by ACLU, which encouraged the Court to assume a conspiracy to clear the park for the photo op and to deny the right to protest. The court found nothing but pure conjecture. Ironically, the court allowed the lawsuit against the MPD under Mayor Muriel Bowser to continue. The Bowser Administration admitted recently that it used tear gas near the park on that night and that such use was perfectly reasonable— a striking departure from what Bowser has stated publicly.
Read in full to see how the press refuses to take accountability. No wonder the US is so lowly ranked when it comes to citizens who trust their own press:
"TV: Pride?" (Ava and C.I., THE THIRD ESTATE SUNDAY REVIEW):
What we might have applauded decades ago on an episode of PARTY OF FIVE is now woefully behind the times.
We notice that DISNEY is connected to a lot of actors that have problems with being seen as gay.
Take LOVE, VICTOR's Michael Cimino who felt the need to tell the world that it's really, really hard, being gay on TV is really hard. Poor straight boy, some members of his family were upset he was playing a gay character. Golly, imagine how hard he'd have it if he were actually gay.
That's why you don't cast a straight guy to play a
gay man in a story about how it's okay to be gay -- he opens up his
dumb, uninformed mouth to reporters and comes off like an idiot who
doesn't begin to understand what the character he plays actually has to
Or take Anthony Mackie who really needs to dig deep and figure out why he's becoming so homophobic. He's bothered that fans might think Bucky and Sam are attracted to one another in THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER. Even more so, he wants you to know that he's not able to go to a bar with a male friend because people will assume he's gay.
Why? Is he diving under the table at the bar so he can go down on his male friend?
Mackie's confused about exactly who is wondering if he's gay, he might
try looking in the mirror where he'll find the man most obsessed with
Representation isn't really where it should be, let alone where it needs to be. And we're really not at the place where we need to hear how the acceptance of gay people in our society carries with it a hard, difficult stigma for straight people who want to hang out with their own gender.
As June winds down, it's so very sad and telling that we realize, instead of celebrating PRIDE, too many are busy trying to pimp shame.
They really did a tour de force with their latest TV piece.
"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
Friday, June 24, 2021. Today we look at Post-Traumatic Stress, assault and rape in the military, imprisoned Australian Robert Pether and much more.
The signature wounds of the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan for US troops is TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) and PTS (Post-Traumatic Stress). The "D" in PTS has created a stigma as many in the military noted some time ago. Retired General Peter W. Chiarelli is probably the highest ranking member of the military who has spoken about this at length and very wisely. When we refer to it here we refer to it as "PTS" but we don't censor it when others use the "D" with it or if it's an organization with the "D" in the title. This is from the VA's webpage:
Available en Español
PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder) is a mental health problem that some people develop after experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening event, like combat, a natural disaster, a car accident, or sexual assault. During this kind of event, you may not have any control over what's happening, and you may feel very afraid. Anyone who has gone through something like this can develop PTSD.
It's normal to have upsetting memories, feel on edge, or have trouble sleeping after a traumatic event (also called "trauma"). At first, it may be hard to do daily activities you are used to doing, like go to work, go to school, or spend time with people you care about. But most people start to feel better after a few weeks or months. For some people, PTSD symptoms may start later, or they may come and go over time.
If it's been longer than a few months and thoughts and feelings from the trauma are upsetting you or causing problems in your life, you may have PTSD.
How I Knew I Had PTSD
When you have PTSD, the world feels unsafe. You may have upsetting memories, feel on edge, or have trouble sleeping. You may also try to avoid things that remind you of your trauma—even things you used to enjoy.
Who Develops PTSD?
Anyone can develop PTSD at any age. Some factors can increase the chance that someone will have PTSD, many of which are not under that person's control. For example, having a very intense or long-lasting traumatic event or getting injured during the event can make it more likely that a person will develop PTSD. PTSD is also more common after certain types of trauma, like combat and sexual assault.
Personal factors—like previous traumatic exposure, age, and gender—can affect whether or not a person will develop PTSD. What happens after the traumatic event is also important. Stress can make PTSD more likely, while social support can make it less likely.
This is PTS awareness month. The PTSD Foundation of America has released the following videos yesterday.
Staying with the US military, another issue is the assault and harassment. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has long worked on this issue. Tuesday, her office issued the following:
Addressing the release of letters from military leadership opposing reforms to the military justice system, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand issued the following statement:
“The content of these letters is disappointing, but not surprising. From racially integrating the armed forces to enabling women to serve in combat to allowing LGBTQ service members to serve openly, the chain of command has always fought to protect the status quo, just as they are doing here. Their arguments are recycled talking points from the battles for progress in the past and are void of any coherent argument beyond the disingenuous ‘good order and discipline.’ It is time for Congress and the administration to exercise their constitutional oversight duties and professionalize and reform the military justice system to reduce bias, increase efficiency and restore the confidence of our service members.”
Senator Gillibrand’s landmark legislation, the Military Justice Improvement and Increasing Prevention Act, has the support of a bipartisan supermajority consisting of sixty-six senators, including 43 Democrats, 2 Independents, and 21 Republicans. The legislation is being blocked in the Senate by Senators Reed (D-RI) and Inhofe (R-OK), the chair and ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, respectively. Tomorrow, Representative Jackie Speier (D-CA) and a broad bipartisan coalition will introduce the House companion bill.
FORBES filed this report yesterday.
The senator notes that she's been calling for a floor vote for nearly 30 days on her bill. She doesn't note that it's her latest bill. She's been calling for this for some time. There is no justice without it. You would think an attorney would get that. You would think. But I was at the hearing where female veterans watched in shock as then-Senator Claire McCaskill tanked an earlier bill of Kirsten's -- everyone was shocked. The notion that crimes should be dealt with in a court and not by a commanding officer was just too much for Claire's mind.
Rape and assault (and domestic violence) are swept under the rug in the military by refusing to address them openly and with a legal system.
Jack Reed is the new Claire McCaskill. He wants to grand stand on what some in the military leadership want -- no real change -- and stand on the fact that these men -- yes, they are all men -- have experience in combat and blah blah blah.
I'm sorry, Jack, find the one that was raped, find the one that was assaulted, find the one that was beat up by a partner. Find that man, maybe I'll listen to your nonsense.
Jack is a joke and always has been.
While pontificating on the floor, he failed to tell you that these jerks and asses are the same ones who supported a system that most Americans are unaware of. It allowed the survivor to be 'unknown.' Might sound good but in practice, it meant there was no justice and when asked for numbers by the Congress repeatedly, the ones over this program could not provide numbers, would not provide numbers. No man was ever punished for rape under that system. And I'm not talking about the distant past. I'm talking about when Barack Obama was president.
There has been no accountability at all. That's why Kirsten Gillibrand has spent eight years trying to move the current bill forward.
The military leaders opposed to these changes are the same ones who ensure that there is no justice, that the rates of assault and rape continue to climb, that domestic violence isn't even tracked.
They see their role not as helping service members but as ensuring that the crimes are nothing more than statistics that can easily be swept aside.
There has been no effort to address this on the part of Congress. They have failed to provide oversight over and over. They have let the people who are in charge and who have denied justice over and over set the terms.
Rape and assault and domestic abuse are crimes. They need to be dealt with in a court and decided based upon what happened not by some commander who thinks his 'good old boy' didn't mean any harm when he held a woman down and raped her. We have laws, they need to be enforced.
The military was granted a waiver from the law for years and that's just made clear that without turning these issues over to a judicial system, there is no justice.
Change needs to take place now.
Also filed yesterday, this report from CBS EVENING NEWS.
While some in military leadership still oppose the needed reform, on Tuesday, the changes found support from Iraq War veteran and the current Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin:
Yesterday, I received the final recommendations and complete report of the Independent Review Commission on Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment.
I want to thank Lynn Rosenthal for her exceptional leadership of this commission, as well as the talented experts who worked so diligently to support her. The work they produced was informed not only by their own significant experience, but by that of so many members of our military, including sexual assault survivors.
The result is a comprehensive assessment across four lines of effort -- accountability, prevention, climate and culture, and victim care and support -- that recommends creative and evidence-based options. It provides us real opportunities to finally end the scourge of sexual assault and sexual harassment in the military.
In coming days, I will present to President Biden my specific recommendations about the commission’s findings, but I know enough at this point to state the following:
First, we will work with Congress to amend the Uniform Code of Military Justice, removing the prosecution of sexual assaults and related crimes from the military chain of command.
The IRC recommended the inclusion of other special victims’ crimes inside this independent prosecution system, to include domestic violence. I support this as well, given the strong correlation between these sorts of crimes and the prevalence of sexual assault.
Second, solving this problem requires not just greater accountability, which we need, but also changes to our approach on prevention, command climate, and victim services. I am reviewing the full scope of the commission’s recommendations in these areas, but generally they appear strong and well-grounded. I have directed my staff to do a detailed assessment and implementation plan for my review and approval.
Third, the Department will need new resources and authorities necessary to implement the IRC’s recommendations. Those we believe we can implement under existing authorities will be given priority. We will need to work closely with Congress to secure additional authorities and relief where needed. We will most assuredly require additional resources, both in personnel and in funding. But it may take us some time to determine how much and where they are most wisely applied.
Finally, as in all other things, these changes demand leadership. I appreciate the support that the Department’s civilian and military leaders have provided to the commission, and the thoughtfulness with which they have advised me as we develop effective ways to implement the changes we need to eliminate sexual assault and sexual harassment from our ranks.
As I made clear on my first full day in office, this is a leadership issue. And we will lead. Our people depend upon it. They deserve nothing less.
In response to Austin's statement, Gillibrand Tweeted:
Senator Gillibrand spoke with Rachel Martin (NPR's MORNING EDITION) yesterday and explained:
So what we're arguing for is a bright line at all serious crimes. So we would like - and the bill for the last eight years has been advocating for - a bright line drawn at crimes that have a conviction penalty of at least a year or more - so the equivalent of felonies, so serious crimes. So we have been advocating that all serious crimes be taken out of the chain of command and given to trained military prosecutors who are professional and unbiased.
And the reason for this is because in the sexual assault cases, we're just not getting better. We're not convicting more predators. We're not taking enough cases. We're not taking the right cases. And in this issue of racial bias, we see that if you are a Black or brown service member, you are more likely to be punished. And in one of the services, it's up to 2.6 times more likely to be punished if you are a Black service member.
And so the answer to this very tough question is how do you improve the military justice system? And the way we recommend is you take all these serious crimes out of the chain of command and give it to trained prosecutors because commanders aren't lawyers. They're not prosecutors, and they may well have bias. And these are hard cases, and these are cases that deserve a professional person reviewing it properly without bias.
Moving over to Iraq, Australian citizen Robert Pether has apparently been abandoned by his own country which does nothing to object to his imprisonment in Iraq. (The Australian Embassy staff didn't even meet with Pether until May 3rd, 26 days after he was imprisoned.) It's now been over forty days that he's been held in a prison with no charge (they say they are holding him for "questioning"). His appeal for bail was denied on May 11th. He was told by his own government that it was safe to go to Baghdad for a meeting. He showed up at the meeting but there was no meeting. Instead, he was hauled off to an Iraqi prison. He remains there. No trial. Nothing. Imprisoned since April 7th.
This week, Ireland's INDEPENDENT.IE Tweeted:
Australian engineer Robert Pether is losing hope he will be released from the crowded Iraqi jail where he has spent almost 80 days without charge, his wife says.
Pether was arrested 77 days ago after he travelled to Baghdad to try to resolve a dispute between his firm and Iraqi authorities about the construction of the central bank’s new headquarters. Expecting to meet with officials from the Central Bank of Iraq, Pether and a colleague were instead arrested and initially held in isolation.
He is now being held in a 14-foot cell with 22 other inmates and is no closer to understanding what charges he faces, according to his wife, Desree. The case has been shifted to another court, where Pether could be sentenced to three years behind bars.
“For the last two weeks, he has stopped engaging in any conversation about when he’ll get out,” Desree Pether told Guardian Australia.
“Because our eight-year-old daughter has been drawing pictures for him of them at the beach, and them canoeing … I’ve got her focussing on what she wants to do with Daddy on the summer break in Europe. He won’t talk about getting out at all now, he just refuses to engage in it.”
One of Robert’s sons, Flynn, has just turned 18. The stress of the ordeal forced him to miss one of his final exams. He has also put off plans to go to university and study engineering.
Flynn has previously told Guardian Australia what was happening to his father was “downright inhumane” and “criminal”.
Pether is being allowed out of his cell for 20 minutes some days. Otherwise, the inmates push their bunk beds to the back of the room and sit on the floor.
The world needs to be watching and anyone whose job might send them to Iraq needs to be watching. This should be a disgrace for the Iraqi government which supposedly wants more foreign companies operating in Iraq. No trial. No justice. Nearly 80 days imprisoned. All because some corrupt person wants to redo the agreed upon terms of a contract.
Maybe you have time to waste? If so, stream this propaganda from the US Institute for Peace.
Listen to vapid discussion -- with Planning Minister Khalid Najim and Migration and Displacement Minister Evan Jabro -- and grasp how anything of importance has been sealed away from the conversation so that a fact-free infomercial could be made. They left out the 1-800 number but that's about the only thing they left out.
The following sites updated: