Monday, August 7, 2017

"The same middle class and pseudo-left organizations that would have nothing to do with the unions in the 1960s and 1970s, when the unions still had the allegiance of tens of millions of workers, became the most avid defenders of these organizations when they transformed themselves into an industrial police force. All of these fake “left” organizations, including the International Socialist Organization and the Democratic Socialists of America, insist today that workers bow before the authority of the right-wing, anti-working class trade union apparatuses."  Jerry White

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/08/07/pers-a07.html





1--Hannity on Rosenstein mission creep, unmasking, leaks and Mueller. Worth a look (Video)


2-- Amid high tensions, UN votes for harsh sanctions on North Korea


Unlike previous UN resolutions which were narrowly targeted against Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programs, the latest is broadly aimed at economically crippling the North Korean economy. It imposes outright bans on North Korean exports of coal, iron, lead and seafood which is estimated will slash export income by about $1 billion or a third of the total.....


The Pentagon carried out one show of military force after another—joint live fire exercises with South Korea, including launching missiles into the sea, were followed by despatch of two strategic B1 bombers over the Korean Peninsula. Last Wednesday, the US tested its own intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) over the Pacific—its fourth test launch this year....


At Beijing’s insistence, the UN resolution called for all sides to return to six-party talks involving the US, China, the two Koreas, Japan and Russia. But these negotiations have been effectively dead since US President George W. Bush undermined a 2007 agreement for North Korea to denuclearise by demanding extra inspections and safeguards. The Obama administration never moved for the resumption of the six-party talks sponsored by China.


Last week, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson suggested that the US might be prepared to negotiate with North Korea. “We do not seek a regime change, we do not seek the collapse of the [Pyongyang] regime, we do not seek an accelerated reunification of the peninsula, we do not seek an excuse to send our military north of the 38th parallel [dividing the two Koreas],” he told reporters.


At the same time, Tillerson made unmistakeably clear that talks would be possible only if North Korea was prepared to give up its nuclear weapons. Negotiations, he said, could “only be achieved by denuclearising, giving up their weapons of mass destruction,” and that “only then will we be prepared to engage them in talks.”


3-- Suicide rate among US teenage girls hit all-time high in 2015


A new analysis reveals that the suicide rate among teenage girls in the United States reached a 40-year high in 2015. Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that between 2007 and 2015 the suicide rate among girls aged 15-19 doubled, while it tripled for younger girls, aged 12-14. The analysis was based on government records kept since 1975.


The rate of young women aged 15-19 taking their own lives was recorded at 2.9 in every 100,000 girls in 1975. While this rate increased to 3.7 by 1990, by 2007 it showed a decline, to 2.4. By 2015, however, it had doubled, reaching 5.1....


Behind these figures stand thousands of fractured families struggling to deal with the tragic deaths of their young family members. Teenagers committing suicide are likely to have a history of depression, a previous suicide attempt and a family history of psychiatric disorders. They are frequently suffering from substance abuse.


However, the reasons teenagers take the desperate action of suicide cannot simply be reduced to these very real mental health struggles. Factors driving young people to take their own lives must also be traced to the growing social and economic tensions in 21st century America.


The most obvious catalyst for the uptick in teen suicide between 2007 and 2015 was the global financial crisis that peaked in 2008. Tom Simon, an author of the CDC report, told CNN: “One of the factors that people have talked about as a potential contributor to the trend is the economic downturn that we saw in 2007-2009. As economic problems go up, suicide rates go up.”


4-- UAW debacle at Mississippi Nissan plant

7 August 2017

In the latest debacle for the United Auto Workers (UAW) union, workers at the Nissan plant in Canton, Mississippi voted 63 percent to 37 percent on Friday to reject the UAW’s bid for recognition as the employees’ bargaining agent. This is only the most recent in a string of similar defeats for the UAW, which has failed to win a recognition vote at any major auto factory in the US South, including Volkswagen in Chattanooga, Tennessee in 2014 and Nissan’s Smyrna, Tennessee plant in 1998 and again in 2001.

After seeing the UAW collaborate with the auto corporations for nearly four decades in the shutdown of factories, elimination of jobs and imposition of wage and benefit concessions, workers have drawn definite conclusions. The UAW is despised not only by workers outside the union, but also by the majority of workers still within it. The Nissan workers saw no reason to hand over two-and-a-half hours of their monthly pay in dues payments to a corrupt, right-wing bureaucracy that leeches off the workers it claims to represent.

Incapable of making any appeal to the class unity of workers, the UAW and its supporters, including Bernie Sanders and various Democratic Party politicians, African-American clergy and Hollywood celebrities, cast the Mississippi vote in racial terms, claiming a UAW victory would advance the “civil rights” of the factory’s largely African-American workforce.

The workers did not buy it, and for good reason.The UAW is not identified with any serious struggle. It has spent the latter half of its existence suppressing strikes and working to boost the profits and competitiveness of the US-based auto giants. It long ago extended its nationalist support for American capitalism to embrace the corporatist outlook of labor-management “partnership.” This was summed up in the slogan on t-shirts handed out by the UAW in Mississippi, which read, “Pro-Nissan, Pro-Union.”

The UAW tried to convince the company it would make a bigger profit by utilizing its services than by excluding it. Before the 2014 vote at VW’s Chattanooga plant, the UAW signed a “neutrality agreement” committing it to “maintaining and where possible enhancing the cost advantages and other competitive advantages” Volkswagen enjoyed over its competitors. This meant, in practice, a pay cut for VW workers....

The UAW was built in giant class battles, including the Toledo Auto Lite strike and the Flint sit-down against General Motors, then the world’s largest corporation. Workers defied the National Guard, the police and judges who issued injunctions as fast as the corporations demanded them. The UAW’s rapid growth—from 35,000 to 350,000 between 1937 and 1938—coincided with a wave of mass industrial struggles, which were primarily led by workers inspired by the victory of the Russian working class in the October Revolution of 1917.

The decades-long degeneration of the UAW and its transformation into a direct tool of corporate management had its roots in the anti-socialist witch-hunt and purge of the unions after World War II. On this basis, the UAW and the other recently formed industrial unions were consolidated as pro-capitalist and pro-imperialist organizations, allied with the Democratic Party and opposed to the independent political organization of the working class....

America’s domination of the world economy and its policy of relative class compromise came to an end in the late 1970s. The American ruling class, facing a growing challenge from its European and Asian rivals, shifted to a policy of class warfare. This was initiated under the Democratic administration of Jimmy Carter, which deliberately drove up unemployment by means of high interest rates and oversaw the first Chrysler bailout in 1980, which involved a wave of plant closings and wage cuts. Republican President Ronald Reagan expanded on this policy, initiating a decade of government-backed union-busting with the 1981 firing of 11,000 striking air traffic controllers.

The UAW and the rest of the unions, based on nationalism and the defense of capitalism, had no progressive answer to the globalization of production, which the capitalists used to shift production to cheap labor regions around the world. In the name of boosting the international competitiveness of the Detroit-based auto giants, the UAW abandoned any resistance to the corporate-government onslaught, adopted corporatism as its official doctrine in 1983, and waged a filthy nationalist campaign to blame Japanese and other foreign workers, not the auto bosses, for the assault on American workers...

In return for the UAW becoming an active partner in imposing management’s dictates, the auto executives funneled billions of dollars into joint “training” programs and other labor-management schemes controlled by the UAW bureaucracy, which now had a new source of income independent of the cash flow from its shrinking base of dues-paying members. To overcome legal prohibitions against company-paid unions dating back to the 1930s, Congress had to pass the Labor Management Cooperation Act of 1978...

The same middle class and pseudo-left organizations that would have nothing to do with the unions in the 1960s and 1970s, when the unions still had the allegiance of tens of millions of workers, became the most avid defenders of these organizations when they transformed themselves into an industrial police force. All of these fake “left” organizations, including the International Socialist Organization and the Democratic Socialists of America, insist today that workers bow before the authority of the right-wing, anti-working class trade union apparatuses.

5-- Venezuelan military claims suppression of attempted coup


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