Monday, April 4, 2011

43 Years Ago Today, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Died Fighting For The Rights Of Public Workers

Martin Luther King died fighting for "the dignity of labor" while advocating for the end of racism, poverty and militarism in the United States. The archival footage of Dr. King's speech in support of collective bargaining rights for Memphis sanitation workers eerily echoes the goals of the current Main Street Movement's efforts to push back against the right-wing assault on the middle class.

The drugstore chains that ate America’s suburbs [VIDEO]

This is a funny video that documents a sliver of the unappealing sprawl development that infects much of America today.

This Is What Resistance Looks Like

Chris Hedges concludes that civil disobedience is the only tool left to fight against the corporatist system that exploits and oppresses the public through cutt-throat practices in the pursuit of profits. He will be joining protesters on April 15 in Union Square in front of Bank of America. Watch UK Uncut's "Bail-in" video.

Forget the Tea Party: The left is waking up

Are the people increasingly marginalized by globalization, stagnant wages and the corporatist culture finally coming together to assert their rights for governance in the public interest?

In the Courts of Fitzwalkerstan: April 5 Judicial Election Could Renew Checks & Balances in Wisconsin

There's a big election in Wisconsin tomorrow and its outcome will be a strong indicator of the power of those opposed to the recent spate of a union-busting to effect political change.

Charter Schools, Public Funding, Tax Breaks and Privatization

The charter school movement is embodied in an attack on public school unionized teachers, and seeks to put publicly funded schools in private hands. A Stanford University study shows that 37% of charter schools deliver lower quality education to their students. Should we trust the motives of privatizers when it comes to educating our youth? They're in it for the tax breaks, government guarantees and the chance to make some more money, all with public dollars.

Worker's Rights Are Continually Under Attack

The inexorable push to maximize profits leads most employers to keep wages down and get the most out of their workers. You can call it class struggle or not but the fact is that all workers, whether unionized or not, are under duress. Real wages has stagnated for thirty years and the concentration of wealth has reached obscene levels in this country. Corporations push for laws that weaken and cheapen labor, in addition to favorable tax codes that allow them to pay as little as possible while externalizing the costs of business onto society. This piece provides a dispassionate yet compelling assessment of this ongoing struggle.

Japan's Nuclear Nightmare Is Our's Too

"If the nuclear industry did not have the benefit of inappropriate taxpayer subsidies and the congressional Price Anderson Act, providing government underwriting of insurance and a "Nuclear Exclusion Clause" on every policy, nuclear power would never exist in the U.S."

Union-busting provision in FAA bill prevails in House

A provision in this anti-union bill covering FAA workers alters a National Mediation Board rule that unionization elections be decided by a majority of aviation and rail worker votes. Instead, the law provides that all eligible non-voting members be counted as automatic 'no' votes against the union. This is an outrageous standard that may well be unconstitutional, and Obama has threatened a veto.

Transocean gives safety bonuses despite Gulf spill deaths

Despite an array of reckless time and cost savings decisions that led to the disastrous Deepwater Horizon explosion in the Gulf of Mexico, and the deaths of 11 workers, executives from Transocean awarded themselves safety bonuses for the company's "best year in safety performance." Here's hoping that the DOJ investigation of the massive oil spill pursues criminal charges against those responsible for this horrific human and environmental catastrophe.