Local Stories, Events
Ref. : Civic Events
Ref. : Arts & Education Events
Ref. : Public Service Notices
Books, Films, Arts & Education
07.11 7,000+ Colleges and Universities Declare Climate Emergency and Unveil Three-Point Plan to Combat It [Fox News and Betsy DeVos never talk about this stuff so it must be Bull Shit, right?]
Ref. : Letters to the editor
Health Care & Environment
07.15 Extinction Rebellion protests block traffic in five UK cities [Non-corporate human animals make their annoying bleating sounds...]
07.14 A Glacier the Size of Florida Is Becoming Unstable. It Has Dire Implications for Global Sea Levels [The willfully ignorant needn't read more, Trump]
07.13 'Climate Despair' Is Making People Give Up on Life [Willfully ignorant governments—having fired many of their best scientists—have made themselves too stupid to despair]
07.13 Trump administration to approve pesticide that may harm bees [The worst government money can buy!]
07.10 Plastic Has A Big Carbon Footprint — But That Isn't The Whole Story [Fixing our world begins by educating your consciousness with the best truth from trustworthy news sources—so you'll then insist truly bad things will get fixed. But if instead you are educated by untrustworthy news sources—then your consciousness could be warped to where you are hating and fighting with your best friends. Clue: untrustworthy news sources never seriously report news about the world's most critical emergency—Global warming.]
07.09 Judge reinstates Madrid's low emissions zone [Yeh!]
07.07 How Solar Panels Work (And Why They're Taking Over the World) [Hope they leave space between panels for wild flowers to grow so birds and butterflies can flourish!]
07.04 US produces far more waste and recycles far less of it than other developed countries [As expected—and made worse by Trump—the U.S. is best at being the worst]07.03 Booming LNG industry could be as bad for climate as coal, experts warn
07.03 Caravan of Americans battling diabetes heads to Canada for affordable insulin [3:36 video; Like Central Americans flee for their lives from criminal drug gangs, Americans flee for their lives for affordable pharmaceutical drugs]
06.30 The US military is a bigger polluter than more than 140 countries combined [Could a world-wide moratorium of military activity dramatically slow the climate crises?]
News Media Matters
US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'
07.16 Turnstile teaching [The problem is NOT the color of students skin, as our fake President reflexively thinks. The problem is the lax attitude and deficient funding by government to always do a much better job for a better future.]
07.15 Sanders Accuses Biden of Parroting Pharma and Insurance Industry Script With Attacks on Medicare for All [Like Trump, Biden explains why he's unelectable every day.]
07.15 Trump Takes Pelosi's Side Against AOC and The Squad as Intraparty Fight Over Immigration Continues [Its about much more than immigration, its about the Corporate Dominance—by many of the same companies, even—over both major Political Parties. With too few exceptions, neither party has represented The Public since Nixon generously raised the minimum wage (Part D Medicare and ACA both became Frankenstein legislation due to excessive corporate price-fixing influence), and that has to change!]
07.14 Trump: People like Paul Ryan almost killed the Republican Party [Then it's too bad he didn't stay to finish the job!]
07.13 Trump's POS Labor Secretary, Acosta, Out. POS Number 2, Linked to Abramoff, to Fill Role [A willingness to perform criminal behavior seems the only competency required...]
07.15 Australia 'deeply concerned' about China's treatment of Uighur people [What are the reasons, exactly, that justify harsh imprisonment of a million people?]
07.15 Zuma tells South Africa corruption inquiry he is victim of foreign plot [Unaccountable corrupt governments are so in fashion these days...]
07.14 Warren vows to probe U.S. crimes on immigrants if elected [Can you imagine living in a nation with a working Justice System? How far we've fallen!]
Economics & Corrupt Capitalism
International & Futurism
07.15 Australia now has the highest minimum wage in the world [From 1960 to 2018 – the U.S. has fallen from 1st place to below the tenth place and off the chart]
07.14 At least 24 Yellow Vests lost eyes in violent protests. Now they're more determined than ever [Protests of all kinds will continue until systemic inequality loses political dominance]
07.13 After a Police Shooting, Ethiopian Israelis Seek a ‘Black Lives Matter’ Reckoning [Since so-called modern humans evolved there have been 10,000 generations of people. It is extremely far-fetched to think anyone is racially pure. SO ALL THIS HATE IS INCREDIBLY STUPID.]
07.13 Brazil’s President May Appoint Son, Friend to the Trumps, as Ambassador to U.S. [Friend of the Trumps, so we know they're all brain-dead except about near-term profits. They are clear-cutting the Amazon Rain Forest to feed-then-butcher millions of methane farting cows, over and over. Yep, that's there business plan. So therefore the rest of the world will hopefully plant billions of trees elsewhere to sequester CO2 to offset what the Bolsonaro family and investors are destroying. What's wrong with this picture?]
07.13 Trump’s Cruelty and Mexico’s Duty [Our president is immoral to his core and reacts to things like a child, not understanding that his actions are often crueler than they should be. And that cruelty will never completely be excused or forgotten—the people's hatred of Trump is growing, like the Texan's hatred when President General Santa Anna laid seige to the Alamo, which was Mexico's territory at the time...]
In America, Selfishness and Lack of Solidarity Know No Bounds
Originally published in This Can't Be Happening earlier today, 8 November 2009
As the strike by transit workers in Philadelphia enters its fifth day, it is clear why unions have such a tough time in the United States, where fewer than one in eight workers is covered by a union contract.
Although the average pay of transit workers is just $50,000 a year (that represents take-home pay of less than $35,000 after taxes or less than $3000 a month to live on for a typical family of four), the suburbanites who feel put out because they have to brave huge traffic jams to get to and from work in the city are grousing that the transit workers are greedy for holding out for a slightly-less-than 4% per year pay increase over the three years of their contract.
I just got into a debate at the local YMCA gym with an older guy who probably makes over $100,000 a year and whose children are already grown, who was incensed that the "greedy bus and subway drivers" were asking for a raise at this time "with the economy in such a mess."
But I also noticed, as I drove my son into school this week in the traffic crush, that these same suburbanites are, for the most part, continuing to drive to work one to a car. What a lack of creativity!
In Italy, it's understood that when one group of workers fights for better pay or working conditions, everyone benefits in the end.
My wife, who frequently travels to Rome to do research, has on several occasions landed in that city during one of its frequent transit strikes. She reports that the people of this ancient city take these job actions in stride, getting out their bicycles, taking leisurely walks to school, or simply going on holiday for the duration. People don't get mad at the workers. In Italy, it's understood that when one group of workers fights for better pay or working conditions, everyone benefits in the end.
This fellow I was arguing with about the Philly transit strike, said, "It's not like this is the 1920s or '30s, when unions were really needed because people were being exploited."
"Oh really?" I said. "You don't think the workers at Wal-Mart or in your local supermarket are being exploited?" The truth is that working conditions for American workers have been getting progressively worse in recent years, while pay has actually been falling in real dollars, because union representation has been falling for several decades from a high of over 35% back in the early 1950s. Those unions, like the transit workers union in Philadelphia, which are still fighting the good fight, are really all that stands between ordinary American workers and a truly nightmarish return to a Dickensian era.
Does anyone believe that the type of manager that we have seen pillaging the economy on Wall Street, or stealing jobs and already earned pay from workers at Republic Window & Door in Chicago, is an exception to the rule? Hell no. American managers are congenitally ruthless exploiters of human beings constrained only by unions or their fear of unions, and by the protective legislation, such as minimum wage laws, occupational safety and health laws, etc., which Congress has grudgingly passed because of the pressure from unions and their workers.
We should all be cheering the workers of the Transport Workers Union Local 234 in Philadelphia for their grit and determination in standing up to the management of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority. Their fight is our fight. They like us are struggling to pay rent or mortgage bills, to buy food for their families, and to pay their medical bills.
Workers all around the Philadelphia area should be organizing car-pools, getting their bikes out of the garage, and collectively telling their own bosses to cut them some slack if they're late to work or have to stay home for the day because of the strike.
We should all be writing letters condemning the bias of the local media in Philadelphia, which have as a group focused entirely on the hardship to commuters caused by the strike, and not at all on the issues confronted by the transit workers themselves.
We should also all be writing letters condemning the bias of the local media in Philadelphia, which have as a group focused entirely on the hardship to commuters caused by the strike, and not at all on the issues confronted by the transit workers themselves.
Furthermore, it is not the fault of the SEPTA workers in Philadelphia that bus and subway fares are too high. Nor is it their responsibility to accept low wages to subsidize lower fares. It is the responsibility of the state of Pennsylvania to keep those fares affordable. Mass transit cannot and should not be self-financing. It is a social good. It helps protect the environment by reducing air pollution from cars, reduces wear and tear on roadways, and helps reduce the nation's dependence upon oil imports.
Instead of complaining about the union for calling a strike, we should all be cheering them on. America needs more labor militancy, not less.
About the author: Philadelphia journalist Dave Lindorff is a 34-year veteran, an award-winning journalist, a former New York Times contributor, a graduate of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, a two-time Journalism Fulbright Scholar, and the co-author, with Barbara Olshansky, of a well-regarded book on impeachment, The Case for Impeachment. His work is available at www.thiscantbehappening.net.
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Baltimore News Network, Inc., sponsor of this web site, is a nonprofit organization and does not make political endorsements. The opinions expressed in stories posted on this web site are the authors' own.This story was published on November 8, 2009.