Curated Links

First Videos from Labor Notes 2014

Posted in Curated Links on April 10th, 2014 by Noebie – Be the first to comment

Labor Notes 2014 in Chicago was an incredible weekend of inspiration and activism. This was my first Labor Notes, and I hope to make in an annual ritual. Highlights, for me, were the Friday afternoon Chicago Labor history tour (conducted by the ILHS), the Saturday afternoon STOP Staples protest, and (of course) the Friday and Saturday night Folk Music singalongs, spearheaded by members of the Seattle Labor Chorus and Anne Feeney.

How could I forget to mention the incredible and boisterous impromptu singalong in the Crowne Plaza lobby into the wee hours of Sunday morning with young Wobblies and Occupy kids from Portland, Chicago and the Twin Cities?

Labor Notes has the first videos from the conference posted on their site now. I’m looking forward to more.

Need an inspiration fix? Here are a few video highlights for those who couldn’t make it to the record-breaking 2014 Labor Notes Conference—or those already ready to relive it.

See them here: First Videos from the 2014 Labor Notes Conference | Labor Notes.

Our Lives Literally Aren’t Worth 57 Cents to the Corporations

Posted in Curated Links on April 8th, 2014 by Noebie – Be the first to comment

Elizabeth Schulte reports on the toll from corporate negligence at GM.

FIFTY-SEVEN cents. That’s what it would have cost General Motors (GM) to change a faulty part to blame for crashes that have killed at least 13 people.

The calculation comes from a 2005 internal company document obtained by congressional investigators, who provided the evidence for an April 1 congressional hearing on GM.

Read More: Their lives weren’t worth 57 cents to GM |

How We Almost Went To War In Syria

Posted in Curated Links on April 8th, 2014 by Noebie – Be the first to comment

In a report that has been largely ignored or repressed by our corporate media, Pulitzer Prize winner Sy Hersch unravels the truth of those sarin gas attacks against innocent children that almost took us into war in Syria.

A series of chemical weapon attacks in March and April 2013 was investigated over the next few months by a special UN mission to Syria. A person with close knowledge of the UN’s activity in Syria told me that there was evidence linking the Syrian opposition to the first gas attack, on 19 March in Khan Al-Assal, a village near Aleppo. In its final report in December, the mission said that at least 19 civilians and one Syrian soldier were among the fatalities, along with scores of injured. It had no mandate to assign responsibility for the attack, but the person with knowledge of the UN’s activities said: ‘Investigators interviewed the people who were there, including the doctors who treated the victims. It was clear that the rebels used the gas. It did not come out in public because no one wanted to know.’

Read the full article at London Review of BooksSeymour M. Hersh · The Red Line and the Rat Line · LRB 6 April 2014.

A Debate on Torture

Posted in Curated Links on March 30th, 2014 by Noebie – Be the first to comment

Democracy Now hosted a debate this past week between former CIA acting general counsel John Rizzo and human rights attorney Scott Horton.

The debate sheds light on the issue as the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence feuds with the CIA over the declassification of its 6,000-page report on the agency’s secret detention and interrogation programs.

Read the transcript or watch the video here: A Debate on Torture: Legal Architect of CIA Secret Prisons, Rendition vs. Human Rights Attorney | Democracy Now!.

Are Russian Troops Really Massing on the Border With Ukraine?

Posted in Curated Links on March 28th, 2014 by Noebie – Be the first to comment

President Obama today cited a huge massing of Russian troops near the border with Ukraine, implying that they may be preparing to invade. Was he telling the truth?

I’d like to see our Western journalists do a little more digging on statements like this. I do not know whether or not the President was lying, but I don’t believe that our press should simply parrot back what government officials say.

Here’s what RT News is reporting.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement, in which it recalled four probes in March by foreign missions in Russia of regions bordering Ukraine. The ministry said that “even Ukrainian inspectors” agreed that “there were no major military activities being carried out.”

The four international missions included representatives of Latvia, Germany, Switzerland, Finland, Estonia, Belgium, France and Ukraine. None of the missions “found ‘aggressive preparations’ and have not recorded any military activities, aside from the previously declared,” the statement said.

Again, I’m not claiming that the Russian news organizations are any more faithful to the truth, or any less subservient to their government, but they’re citing some information that could easily be verified or debunked. Should we not expect our “free press” to do so?

Read More: West ignores results of int’l missions that found no troop build-up near Ukraine borders – Moscow — RT News.

Remembering the Martyrs: A Social and Picnic

Posted in Curated Links on March 28th, 2014 by Noebie – Be the first to comment

Date: May 4, 2014

Time: 10:30am-3:45pm

Location: Forest Home Cemetery, Haymarket Martyr’s Monument

Join the IWW and many other radical, anti-capitalist, and labor organizations at Forest Home Cemetery to eat, drink, talk, and make new friends and connections. This will be a pot-luck style event so please bring food to share. This event is open to all who are interested and is family friendly.

Learn More: May Day Events 2014

Labor Notes Conference 2014 Schedule

Posted in Curated Links on March 27th, 2014 by Noebie – Be the first to comment

The full schedule of workshops, sessions, and performances for the 2014 Labor Notes Conference April 4-6, Chicago is now available online.

Get it here: Conference 2014 Schedule Now Available Online! | Labor Notes.

If you’ll be attending the conference, I’d love to meet you. Get in touch by email to

Southern Masculinity and the Anti-Union Campaign at VW

Posted in Curated Links on March 14th, 2014 by Noebie – Be the first to comment

Here’s another brilliant piece of reporting from Mike Elk.

During the nearly two years he worked at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tenn., Ed Hunter, 43, spent his days bent over, crawling in and out of cars on the assembly line. He believes the posture slowly destroyed his body and led to an accident he suffered in June 2011. “When I got into the car I felt something go,” he says. “I just lost my foot—I couldn’t feel it.”

When he went to the doctor the next month, Hunter learned that he had ruptured several disks in his back. Despite this, Hunter says, his team leader called him a “pussy” for taking light duty. So Hunter sucked it up and worked through the pain.

Read More: The Battle for Chattanooga: Southern Masculinity and the Anti-Union Campaign at Volkswagen – Working In These Times.

New Leadership in the APWU Ready to Rock

Posted in Curated Links on March 13th, 2014 by Noebie – Be the first to comment

Newly elected APWU President Mark Dimondstein is determined to oppose creeping privatization by the Postal Service.

“If you put post offices in Staples stores and pay the workers $8 or $9 an hour, it’ll lead to closing post offices and a shift to non-union poverty-wage jobs from living-wage union jobs.”

Read More: New postal union leader seeks to halt latest privatization scheme » peoplesworld.

The CIA and the United States Senate

Posted in Curated Links on March 13th, 2014 by Noebie – Be the first to comment

The folks from the ICFI have some good analysis this morning concerning the very public spat between Senator Feinstein and CIA Director Brennan.

Only the direst of circumstances could have compelled the California Democrat to make a public declaration that the CIA “may well have violated the separation-of-powers principle embodied in the United States Constitution,” and also “the Fourth Amendment, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, as well as Executive Order 12333, which prohibits the CIA from conducting domestic searches or surveillance.”

We seem to be witnessing the complete breakdown of democratic rule.

For all the media publicity devoted to the political infighting between the White House and Congress, or the decisions of the Supreme Court, the real power in America is in the hands of an unaccountable, murderous apparatus of violence, provocation and spying that includes the Pentagon, CIA, NSA, FBI and a dozen other such agencies.

Read More: The CIA, the Senate and the breakdown of American democracy – World Socialist Web Site.