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The Propaganda Is Working: Trump Voters Call MS-13 a 'Serious' Threat to the US ? But That's Simply Not True


Trump voters now overwhelmingly believe the peddled notions about this group few of them ever heard of, before this year, and that is a testament to the power of the white nationalist propaganda machine whirring away within the White House walls.


Donald Trump's support is based on racism. And the racism is based on Republican conspiracy theories. And those conspiracy theories are now, thanks to White House propaganda, taking root within his racist, gullible base.

A majority of people who voted for President Donald Trump consider criminal gang MS-13 a threat to the United States, a new poll finds, indicating the Trump administration may be succeeding in inflating the perception of the gang?s national risk.

Specifically, 85 percent of Trump voters call MS-13 a "very" or "somewhat" serious threat to the United States, and roughly half of them are worried MS-13 is going to target them or their families personally, which is a ludicrous, asinine theory based entirely on Trump-peddled propaganda. Before Trump's team settled on "MS-13" as their stand-in for Violent Ethnic People Coming To Get You, it would be a fair bet to say that precious few among Trump's base would even know what MS-13 was. Now half of them are worried that MS-13 is hiding under their floorboards.

To make it clear, yet again, while there is a violent gang called MS-13 and has been for a few decades now, the current incarnation is largely a collection of disconnected teenagers whose lofty ambitions primarily revolve around menacing their schoolmates, not entire U.S. towns. They are not increasing their membership, have no central structure or leadership, have no substantive role in drug or human trafficking, and primarily target young Latinos. Those are their primary victims, not lily white Trump supporters breathlessly flipping through Republican fundraising emails.

Everything else is a hoax. The vision of a paramilitary entity known as "MS-13" capturing and losing American towns, the notion that this violent but scattered group is a meaningful presence on the border in any capacity, and all the rest of it is a hoax crafted by white nationalists in the White House and racist online circles to justify an explicitly racist crackdown on innocent refugees.

For all the hype in the governor?s race, MS-13 has been associated with three murders in Virginia this year, and two of the victims were MS-13 members themselves. To put that into perspective, there were 480 homicides in Virginia in 2016, and nine Virginians died in traffic accidents over Fourth of July weekend alone.

But Trump voters now overwhelmingly believe the peddled notions about this group few of them ever heard of, before this year, and that is a testament to the power of the white nationalist propaganda machine whirring away within the White House walls. It is still not considered decent to demonize non-white Americans in general, or non-white immigrants, but concocting a blatantly racist conspiracy theory about a new non-white menace hiding just beyond your mailbox continues to be the preferred stand-in for those more blatantly white-supremacy-based notions.

To Rep. Steve King (R-IA), immigrants are primarily melon-calved drug mules. To Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), Mexican cartels are possibly working with ISIS to import an infectious disease found only in Africa. To the NRA, Muslims fleeing violence are quite possibly violent extremists themselves. To Donald Trump's White House team, every asylum-seeking child tossed into tent cities with little paperwork and little concern for ever reuniting them with their parents might be, just might be, a wee little gang member come to kill us all.

This willing effort to demonize an entire group based on demonstrably false fearmongering is the sort of thing that gets you put on the Southern Poverty Law Center's list of hate groups. It may be to the point where the White House itself counts as such; their declarations of the inherent criminality of immigrants certainly appears to be meeting that criteria. Trump may not know his left shoe from his right, but his advisers are certainly very aware that "MS-13" does not have even one percent of the power they have been painting it as having in breathless campaign-year announcements. Ditto for all the other Republicans attempting to fundraise off their efforts to frighten their racist base; this has become, unequivocally, one of the go-to propaganda efforts of the Republican Party itself.

Peddling such obvious propaganda should itself render someone unfit for office, but we have fallen a very long way from any imaginary time when we demanded our top national leaders be, at the very least, truthful. Perhaps branding the Republican Party a hate group would jostle some of the beltway?s conscience, however.

 


Source: The Propaganda Is Working: Trump Voters Call MS-13 a 'Serious' Threat to the US ? But That's Simply Not True
2
Inter Press Service - Labour / Immigration, Lot of Myths and Little Reality
« Last post by Inter Press Service on Today at 06:00:51 AM »
Immigration, Lot of Myths and Little Reality

Roberto Savio is founder of IPS Inter Press Service and President Emeritus

The post Immigration, Lot of Myths and Little Reality appeared first on Inter Press Service.


Source: Immigration, Lot of Myths and Little Reality
3
Richard Mellor / A Reflection on West Virginia and Trump
« Last post by Richard Mellor on Yesterday at 06:00:24 PM »
A Reflection on West Virginia and Trump



Richard Mellor
Afscme Local 444, retired

It is interesting to watch this two years in to the Trump nightmare. It is very revealing and also drives home what we always bring up on this blog and what so many leftists and self styled socialist organizations refuse to do do, and that is to point an accusatory finger at the role of the trade union hierarchy in the rise of Trump and his eventual victory.

The part of the world in this video has a long history of trade unionism and working class militancy.  This history is so embedded in the community that it's a badge of honor for anyone that mentions they have a connection to it.

The first old guy who comments is no fool. He says later on in the video that "Politicians are politicians. They make promises and never keep them." I have commented on this too many times to mention with regard to electoral politics, that because the labor hierarchy has failed to offer working people an alternative in the form of an independent working class party, and they have the resources and structure to do that, people like the man I am quoting here and millions of US workers, draw the conclusion that all politics and therefore all politicians are bad. They make promises and never keep them.

But it's not that these politicians are bad in the sense that it's about corruption, character flaws or a personal problem. A political party is not devoid of class interests; it represents the economic interests of a certain class of people. The only political options we as workers have, is to vote for candidates of one of the two capitalist parties that have dominated US political life for 150 years or more and the era of their dominance is coming to an end.

These Democratic and Republican politicians, representing the economic interests of bosses' capitalists, the rich, whatever we wish to call them, can't tell the truth in their election material because who would vote for someone that tells them they are going to cut their social services as dismal as they are? Who would vote for a candidate knowing they will cut their wages and benefits, eliminate their jobs, and make sure the corporations still get all the breaks? The reader knows the answer to that. And they have to do these things because US capitalism is in an acute economic and political crisis. Maintaining it's huge military and bloated state apparatus trying to prevent it from losing global influence to its rivals has put the US in massive debt ($21 trillion or so at this point).  Both parties will shift the cost of this crisis on to the backs of the US working class. Getting rid of Trump may slow it a little bit although that's not guaranteed, it certainly won't stop it.

The dominant feeling among millions of Americans today is that there is nothing that can be done. Nothing will change so they have withdrawn  from the game

But, as we know, there are many people that did vote and many white workers that voted for Trump. 
I have written enough vitriol about Trump that anyone who reads this  blog must know where I stand. I have stated that White workers that voted for Trump hurt their own material interests because ignoring Trump's racism undermines trust and increases division between them and brothers and sisters of color.  Ignoring his misogyny has the same affect, it will strain the unity between working class men and women. We cannot fight back against the capitalist offensive if the working class is divided against itself and voting for Trump is a step in accomplishing that. Trump will not deliver on his promises either, even less so than any politician before him.

But I have also pointed out that aside  form his ideological supporters, the Nazi's KKK and other racist  elements not every white worker that voted for Trump was motivated by  racial hatred. In Mcomb County Michigan which is overwhelmingly white and where Trump thrashed Clinton handily, those very same workers voted twice for Obama, against white candidates.

Like millions across the country, those white workers in Michigan have felt abandoned by the system and by both parties. Their purchasing power has declined, pensions threatened, and prescription drugs  costs have risen. Under both parties workers living standards have been savaged. Barack Obama didn't bail out the auto workers, he bailed out the auto bosses and workers know it. In the video above we see another older retired worker who says he voted  for Obama before Trump. Another older worker doesn't even want to talk  to the Democratic candidate canvassing for a vote,  pointing to the  crisis in the community that has occurred with Democrats in the drivers  seat apparently.

We see in the video a Democrat campaigning who is a former secret service agent and he has nothing significant to say. The woman campaigning with him, a relative perhaps, suggest things would be better if Google or Amazon came and took over the town, "It would be a lot cheaper for them" she adds. One doesn't need a degree in economics to know what that means. How does that inspire anyone?  The woman adds that Google or Amazon, "would be a cool place to work" that's the low level of class consciousness the candidates who claim to be for the working man and woman exhibit. The tech giants and the wasters that run them are understood to be super exploiters by any class conscious worker.

A resident in the video who once had a decent factory job and is now  reduced to collecting aluminum cans agrees that the rich don't start  from "the bottom", they "start at the top and stay there." Simply labeling these people as stupid or just motivated by racism by voting for Trump would be a mistake. I believe I read somewhere that life expectancy in West Virginia for men is equal to Ethiopia

Plenty of middle class professionals and budding entrepreneurs supported Trump hoping to make some financial gains form his policies; I think about 29% of Asians and a significant number of Latino's supported him. There is a strong ideological thread in the US that is adopted by many workers due to the weakening of the labor movement and suppression of labor history, that one has to be smart to make a lot of money as opposed to ruthless and individualistic, barring winning the pottery that is. The woman in the video who says that people that have money come from money is no fool.

While it's fine to be critical of workers, desperate workers that voted for Trump, we have to see the bigger picture and why people act against their own class interests. White workers like some who work in my former workplace that support Trump are a different matter. We were among the true aristocracy of labor, I was fortunate enough to have a great job, a German type job really,  that has given me a good life and fairly stable retirement (so far) and I thank those workers and all who  fought and died in the struggle for trade union rights and the rise of the public sector for giving it to me. Compared to millions of workers around the country we are an exception and voting for Trump on their part is sheer hypocrisy. But my former coworkers are under assault also.

On Obama
I can understand why some black brothers and sisters lose patience with whites folks at times, Trump's racism, his vile comments about immigrants. Why would a decent person vote for him? Isn't it a confirmation that they're all racists really?  How can they just ignore all his hateful persona?  Desperate people do not always make rational decisions unfortunately. Or they place their hope in charlatans.

When I saw that huge rally in Chicago I think it was and it was when Obama was selected as the Democratic candidate for president or won the presidency I can't remember, I saw Jesse Jackson weeping. I am no great fan of Jesse Jackson but those tears were real. What an historic moment given the brutal, violent racist history of this country that we have had a black family in the White House. And Obama is cultured, smart, eloquent, not unlike the cultured British colonialists who ruled India and half of Africa with extreme violence. Trump is the complete opposite, outwardly brutish, rude, stupid.

But one doesn't get to be head of the Harvard law review without being absolutely trusted by the white racist ruling class that runs this country. One certainly doesn't become president either. And one would not be a candidate of a party owned and funded by Wall Street and the billionaires in industry if that person threatened their economic interests.

Obama was good for them, they loved him. He warned them when he bailed out the banks and nationalized whole industries that the time for profits would return, but be patient. On the foreign policy front he escalated the imbecile Bush's drone wars and caused untold suffering and death for millions of people in the third world, overwhelmingly people of color.

But just as white liberals do, some black workers will put this aside, avoid it altogether, or they make excuses for it as having a black president is such an historic achievement it trumps all, no pun intended. We condemn the racists that could not abide a black family in the White House. And when it comes to the persona Obama beats Trump hands down but he is a slick and crafty representative of US imperialism, they loved him. He is the consummate bourgeois politician.

What is obvious to me is that US workers, which is the overwhelming majority of us, are thirsting for a real class alternative, not just a candidate or group that waffles on about socialism as Sanders does, and then supports the warmonger Hilary Clinton, but a party with a real class platform and candidates that make it clear which side of the class divide they are on. The reason race, color, gender, religion, moral issues take such a prominent place in US politics (they are issues we have to address of course) is the absence of the class alternative.

The pathetic Democrats "better deal" is seen for what it is, more of the same.  A huge percentage of Americans support socialism in one form or another. The Democratic Party will not fight for socialism and they will not fight for any significant reforms for working people because US capitalism is in crisis and they are forced to make US workers pay for it. We are in a new epoch.

The heads of organized labor are in the same position. They support capitalism, they worship the market and see no alternative and whenever it goes in to crisis they move to bail it out at the expense of their members' living standards and the material well being of the entire US working class.

The US working class is not as conservative as the mass media, the liberals and the trade union hierarchy would have us believe. Those workers that thought Trump would help them are going to be very angry and sorely disappointed. There is a huge vacuum in this country when it comes to leadership and filling that vacuum will be a confusing and contradictory process, but there is reason to be optimistic.
Source: A Reflection on West Virginia and Trump
4
Trump's New Attack on Lawyer Michael Cohen Was a 'Terrible Idea' That Will Blow Up in President's Face: Trial Attorney


While spending the weekend at his New Jersey golf course, President Trump accused his former attorney, Michael Cohen, of ?perhaps illegal? behavior by recording a conversation with Trump during which the two reportedly discussed a hush money payment.


 

Preeminent attorney Shanin Specter suggested that President Donald Trump?s Saturday morning Twitter attack on his former fixer, Michael Cohen, could blow up in his face.

While spending the weekend at his New Jersey golf course, President Trump accused his former attorney, Michael Cohen, of ?perhaps illegal? behavior by recording a conversation with Trump during which the two reportedly discussed a hush money payment.

?Is there not now a public war between the two?? asked CNN host Michael Smerconish.

?Yes, Mike, there appears to be,? Specter answered. ?This is a very surprising tweet from the president this morning where he suggests his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, committed a crime.?

?The significance of this tape is that it may indicate there was criminal conduct by either President Trump or Michael Cohen or both of them,? Specter explained.

Specter suggested the tape may fall under the crime/fraud exception to the attorney/client privilege.

?Read the tea leaves now, who would have motivation to put this in the public domain?? Smerconish asked.

?Michael Cohen,? Specter immediately answered.

He suggested Cohen?s motivation could be that, ?if he still entertains the thought that the president might pardon him, the putting of this tape in the public domain is a pressure point on the president that he can do the president great damage.?

?It?s extraordinary that the president would suggest that Michael Cohen has committed a crime in relation to the tape recording of this conversation, which, by the way, appears to have occurred in New York State, in which there is one party consent and I?m sure that President Trump knows that,? he argued.

?So not only is suggesting that Cohen committed a crime in recording him, but to accuse his former lawyer, who simply said may have the goods on him of committing the crime is a terrible, terrible idea,? Specter continued.

Watch:

 

 


Source: Trump's New Attack on Lawyer Michael Cohen Was a 'Terrible Idea' That Will Blow Up in President's Face: Trial Attorney
5
AlterNet / Trump Faces New Accusations of Sexual Misconduct with Teenage Models
« Last post by AlterNet on Yesterday at 06:00:31 AM »
Trump Faces New Accusations of Sexual Misconduct with Teenage Models



 
 
 



The accusations are featured in an upcoming BBC documentary.


 

President Donald Trump faces new allegations of sexually predatory behavior towards teenage models in an upcoming documentary from the BBC.

One model described him as a "shark" who engaged in verbal harassment when she was 17.


This is a developing story.






 

Related Stories


Source: Trump Faces New Accusations of Sexual Misconduct with Teenage Models
6
Richard Mellor / Big data, fake news and global growth
« Last post by Richard Mellor on July 21, 2018, 06:00:57 PM »
Big data, fake news and global growth

by Michael Roberts

This week, it was reported that the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits last week was the lowest since 1969!

The official unemployment rate is also near an all-time low.  In  Japan and the UK too, the unemployment rates are near lows and in  Europe, the official rate is heading back to pre-global crash levels.

As I have reported in previous posts,  measures of economic activity from various sources suggest that the  world capitalist economy has been picking up pace in growth since the  near slump of 2015-16.  This is particularly the case for the most  important capitalist economy, the US.

Below is the world composite PMI (purchasing managers index).  This  is a survey globally of the state of economic activity in both  manufacturing and service industries as the corporate executives see  it.  If the measure is above 50, world economic activity is rising.   Currently, the PMI shows a return to trend expansion after the near  contraction of 2015.

Next week we shall get the first estimate of US real GDP growth for  the second quarter of 2018.  It is likely to be strong.  The Atlanta  Federal Reserve has a ?high frequency? forecast measure for each  quarter?s growth and it currently expects the Q2 figure to come in at a  4.5% annual rate.  That means real growth in Q2 would be about 1% point  above Q1.  If that turns out to be right, it means that the US economy  would have motored along at about 3% for the first half of 2018.

No doubt President Trump will make much of this apparent fast  expansion and claim it for his policies of tax cuts for the corporate  sector and the top 10%.  However, as a recent study has shown,  this will be ?fake news?.  The study by some European economists found  that there was no difference between the post-election performance of  the US economy under Trump and a synthetic ?doppelganger? US economy  without Trump, suggesting that there has been no ?Trump effect?. ?The  employment performance of the US economy since the election was no  different from its doppelganger. There is nothing in the data that  indicates an acceleration of employment creation because of President  Trump.?

But the most usable surveys of economic activity in the US do show  that the economy is expanding at a reasonably fast rate (if no faster  than the average of 3.3% since 1945).  Here is a graph that combines  various surveys of economic activity in the US.  Anything above 0 (LHS)  or 50 (RHS) implies that the economy is growing.  The current RHS rate  is close to 60 which implies fast expansion ? certainly compared to 2016  when the measure was below 50, implying contraction and, of course,  much higher compared to the Great Recession when output collapsed.

The other major capitalist economies do not seem to be doing as well  as the US, despite previously optimistic reports.  The EU is growing at  about 1.6% annually, the UK at under 1%, and Japan is actually  contracting.  Nevertheless, global growth is expected to show an  acceleration in 2018 over 2017, when all the emerging economies of  China, India etc are included.

But can we get more frequent and comprehensive measures that could  actually forecast accurately what will happen in future quarters and  years?

The huge eruption of what is called ?big data? from the internet,  social media and other sources in the last ten years has led to a new  industry of forecasting that aims to deliver more frequent and accurate  estimates of future developments, in the same way that weather  forecasting has improved.

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York has refined this big data in its own survey of US economic activity.  And as long ago as 2013, the Bank of England?s economists looked at the use and efficacy of big data.  They looked at indicators for global growth in industrial production  and trade.  They found that sharp changes in various indicators were a  good guide to future production and growth.  However, the problem with  these indicators of future expansion is that they are not that timely,  with data only on a monthly (if you are lucky) but more usually on a  quarterly basis.

The statistical economists have recently looked for more timely data and a Bank of England economist recently published a paper on the best predictors of global growth. The paper found that the daily movement in metals prices was a reasonably accurate measure of global economic activity.  ?Metals prices are highly correlated with world activity? and perform well at predicting world GDP in the near-term.?

In other words, the pace of change in metals prices in this month of  July will give a reasonable estimate of world real GDP growth for July  (and eventually Q3), well ahead of any official data (Q3 world growth is  not going to be available until January 2019).

The Bank of England economists used the S&P metals prices index as their metals prices indicator.

As you can see (circles), the metals index fell sharply during the  Great Recession in real GDP and predicted the subsequent recovery  exactly in mid-2009.  Similarly it predicted the recovery from the  relative slump in 2015.  Remember the actual real GDP figures for most  countries do not become available until up to two quarters later or even  more.  So the metals index becomes a ?high frequency? indicator for  growth.

Copper is the largest constituent of the index and it is a metal used  in just about every important industrial and consumer appliance or  service.  So the copper prices index is also likely to be a good  indicator, in my view.  When I ran the copper price against world GDP  growth, the correlation was very good.

So looking ahead, what do the metals price and copper price indexes  tell us about the current Q3 period and onwards?  I did the trend  measure of the copper price, and it shows that expansion from the trough  of 2015-16 seems to have peaked.  That suggests the global expansion  from 2017 which was above the trend rate has now subsided back to the  trend and may fall below.

The metals price index also suggests that the peak in the current  acceleration of global (and US?) growth ended in June 2018 and the  direction is now downwards in Q3 (the period beginning in July).

So don?t be overwhelmed by the good news stories about US real GDP figures for Q2 2018 next week.
Source: Big data, fake news and global growth
7
Roger Stone Ally 'Manhattan Madam' Kristin Davis Is Reportedly Being Subpoenaed by Mueller



 
 
 



The Russia investigation appears to be zeroing in on Roger Stone.


Kristin Davis, a long-time associate of Roger Stone known as the ?Manhattan Madam,? is being subpoenaed by special counsel Robert Mueller, according to multiple reports.

TMZ first reported the news, and NBC News later confirmed it.

Davis told NBC that she knows nothing about the special counsel?s Russia investigation, though she admitted to having ties to Stone, who was an ally of Trump during the 2016 election.

Other associates of Stone have been subpoenaed by the Mueller team, including Sam Nunberg, who worked on the Trump campaign. Nunberg has said he believes Mueller is going after Stone.

Stone has said he has not yet been interviewed by Mueller, which legal experts believe indicates he is likely a target of the ongoing investigation. Stone has admitted to being in contact during the campaign with Guccifer 2.0, who Mueller?s team revealed to be a false identity for Russian intelligence officers who hacked Democrats? emails and intervened in the 2016 election.

 




 

Related Stories


Source: Roger Stone Ally 'Manhattan Madam' Kristin Davis Is Reportedly Being Subpoenaed by Mueller
8
FFWP Conference Call July 14th. Arizona Teacher's Leader Shares Experiences

Arizona Teachers March Through Phoenix April 2018
This blog, known as Facts For Working People holds weekly conference calls. The most recent one was the second time we have had one of the new leaders of the teachers and educators strikes and movements from West Virginia, Kentucky, Arizona and Puerto Rico, join our calls and share their experiences. This Blog has on a number of occasions posted videos of three of these new leaders and articles from another. We would ask our readers to please check out this material.  Links to these are included below. Also, go to the Puerto Rico label on the right to read more on the huge struggles that have been taking place in Puerto Rico in the aftermath of the hurricane and around education.

Last weekend Rebecca Fligelman Garelli, a leading activist of the Teachers and Educators movement in Arizona joined our conference call and helped us understand the great developments that are taking place in this state. What was made clear is that we are seeing the beginning of a new movement of working people. Arising out of these struggles are new leaders from the rank and file of the movement who are not prepared to accept any longer the refusal of the established leadership to fight back against the bosses' attacks. This is a development of the greatest importance.

 Sister Garelli laid out her and her movements' experience. It was extraordinary. It was inspiring.

When the movement in Arizona began, there were only 20,000 members in the union, a tiny minority of the teachers, and with a trade union leadership that was not prepared to fight, in fact, opposed any attempt to fight in any serious way, and was in a state controlled by the Republican Party. The new leadership in Arizona went on the Internet and reached out to all teachers, union and non-union in public schools and so-called charter schools. Charter schools are the way that the US profit motivated corporations and their capitalist system is moving to privatize education.

Also, a very important step taken by the new leadership that had arisen initially among the teachers was that they called on all workers in education to vote whether they were in a union or not, in a public school or Charter School, canteen workers, cleaners, or grounds people. They got a huge majority vote to take action to defend and expand public education and spending on education.

The Republican state government frightened by these developments approved a measly raise, but only for the teachers. This was prior to the threat of a walk out. The new movement said NO; it was going to take action. Faced with this the Republican state government offered around $60 million.

This new movement through its new leadership drew up 5 demands:

- 20% wage increase for all.
- Return education funding to level of 2008.
- Moratorium on all tax cuts. (The tax cuts were going to the rich and corporations.)
- A different salary structure. Reinstate the steps (years of experience) and lanes (professional growth, i.e. degrees/credits) salary structure
- Competitive wages for all workers in education.

Faced with the new movement's rejection of its offer and its decision to go ahead and act for its five demands, the Republican state government which had been forced to offer a $60  million increase in education spending, suddenly found it could spend $406 million rather than the earlier offer of $60 million. By their action, the teachers and educators increased the offer from $60 million to $406 million. This was, and is, an enormous victory. This shows that resolute action and a mobilized rank and file with a determined leadership can win gains for working people. This new movement must receive the gratitude and the support of all working people.

But if anybody thinks that the increase to $406 million is the end of the matter they must think again. The new movement's demand for a return to the 2008 spending level would mean an increase of around $1.1 billion. So this new movement is fighting on for the other 600 million plus. 151,000 signatures were needed to put this increase of spending back to where it was in 2008 on the ballot in November. The level of support was astounding and the campaign received 270,000 signatures, almost twice the amount needed.

This is now on the ballot in November. The corporation bought and paid for capitalist politicians of both parties, the Republicans and Democrats are not happy. Both have over the years cut education spending and been moving to destroy public education, promote charter schools and privatize, that is, make profit out of education. President Obama, Arne Duncan, Eli Broad and Bill Gates all have worked toward privatizing public education

The new teachers and educators movement in Arizona is now taking the fight on to the electoral front in the coming elections. This movement has created Legislative District (LD) Facebook pages as a platform for educators to discuss candidates. This is the way the new movement in Arizona is approaching the coming elections and taking their battle on to the electoral plane. This is a positive development.

While respecting the decisions this movement makes as it continues to battle on for a better education system, this Blog advocates that the various struggles should run their own candidates out of these struggles. One way to approach that in this situation in Arizona is only to support candidates that pledge to support the five demands. This Blog also stands for the building of a mass party of the working class rooted in the work places and working class communities and rooted in the new democratic union movement which will develop. These teachers and educators movements are the early steps in this direction.

These new movements of workers in education have a number of distinctive features. They are overwhelmingly led by women. This Blog has been continually emphasizing that women have moved in their tens and tens of millions into the paid workforce over the past decades. This Blog has emphasized that today an estimated 50% of factory workers in the world are women. This means a huge strengthening of the working class. This Blog has insisted that the new workers' movement that will develop and that is beginning to develop to take on the corporate capitalist offensive, will have a leadership which involves women as never before. This is shown in these new teachers and educators movements.

Another feature of these new movements is the use of the Internet. In Arizona the new teachers and educators movement has 55,000 people on its Face Book page. In Arizona and all the other movements of the teachers and educators throughout the US, activists are using the Internet in a big way. This is an important step forward.

Another feature of these new movements which is extremely important and positive is that they are working together and very much linked up and linked up not only through through social media. A meeting has been organized for the weeks ahead which will be attended by the elected leaderships of the education workers in all the states where this movement has developed. Its purpose is to discuss coordinated action.

Another feature of this movement which shows its maturity and consciousness is its approach to the existing trade union leadership. These new movements are aware that the existing trade union leadership has shown that they are not prepared to fight; this is true throughout organized labor. As a result these new leaderships are determined to keep the leadership of their struggles in their own hands. But they are not ultra left. They are prepared to relate to and accept any help they can receive from the existing trade union leadership but they are clear on the role that these leaders have played and would play again if they got control of the movement so this new leadership is keeping control of its struggle and forces in its own hands.

In relation to this point we wish to make the following comment. It is related to the various left organizations that exist in the country. The overwhelming major of these, from the largest, the Democratic Socialists of America, through Labor Notes and others, do not openly explain and confront the role of the trade union leadership. That role being to capitulate to the offensive of the corporations, the bosses. Some do it by hiding behind super rrrrevolutionary phraseology and not taking part in the union struggles against the bosses and against the policies of the union leadership, particularly the disastrous Team Concept that argues that bosses and workers have the same interests.

Some do it by taking part in union work but in doing so refuse to take up and explain and oppose the role of the union leadership and their policy of capitulation to the corporations and bosses. This Blog believes this is a very mistaken policy. Here's a few posts from this blog on these issues and please browse through the labels for issues that matter to you.

Those of us who were on Facts For Working People conference call last Saturday 14th July were and are extremely enthusiastic about the participation of the Arizona teachers and educators leader on the conference call and what we learned from this activist. Just as was the situation with the participation of the teachers and educators workers leader from Kentucky on a previous call. And we understand how privileged we are to receive information from and to hear from and learn from these leaders and these new movements. We are now passing on what we have learned and the opinions expressed to all workers and people who read this Blog. We ask our readers to share this as widely as possible. And to organize support for these workers in struggle. contact these new movements, learn from these new movements. A genuine discussion took place on our conference call. An exchange of views and experiences, a genuine dialogue.

One question that was raised in the discussion was where did the movement see the money coming from to meet its demand for a return to the spending level of 2008. The state government are trying to take it from other programs, such as medicare and medicaid or through some sort of vehicle tax. The plan of the state government which represents the corporations and the rich and their capitalist system is that if they have to give some concessions to the education workers they will take it from other workers and in this way they wish to achieve two objectives. One - protect the tax cuts and the welfare they hand out to the corporations and the rich. And two - divide the working class by having other workers blame the teachers and education workers for cutting into programs or raising taxes on other working people.

The leaders of this educators movement, it consciously calls itself that to make sure it includes all workers in education not just teachers, have taken the position that they want what they call a "Dedicated Funding Source" that is, that it has to be spelled out where the money is to come from. And it is not to come from other programs which benefit working people or by taxes on motor vehicles which is what the state government is seeking in an effort to both shield the rich and the corporations and also divide and rule the working class. This is still being struggled over. 

Facts For Working people Blog had heard from activists who follow our Blog in Britain that a major trade union there called Unite has set a Unite Community organizational structure with a very low dues amount and to which anybody who opposes the corporate capitalist attacks on working people and the environment can join. The information about the web site of this trade union community initiative has been put on this Blog and is now being shared directly with the new teachers and educators movements. These movements are very interested in hearing more on this development. This shows the importance not just of linking together the working peoples struggles in the US but also in drawing together and learning from and sharing experiences with the struggles of working people world wide. See a video of Unite?s Community Membership here.


Source: FFWP Conference Call July 14th. Arizona Teacher's Leader Shares Experiences
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AlterNet / Here's Why That ?Clean Swimming Pool? Smell Is Actually Bad for Your Health
« Last post by AlterNet on July 21, 2018, 06:12:03 AM »
Here's Why That ?Clean Swimming Pool? Smell Is Actually Bad for Your Health


The chlorine that is used to kill bacteria and protect the health of swimmers is linked to the creation of toxic chemicals.


 

It?s recently been reported that scientists have managed to create a test to measure how much urine is in a swimming pool. It seems that peeing in the pool has become commonplace, and even high-profile swimmers have admitted to doing it during rigorous training sessions, arguing that the chlorine ?kills it?. Not only is this untrue, but the chemical reaction that occurs between your pee and the chlorine creates a chemical that has been linked to asthma and other respiratory issues.

Nitrogen trichloride, also known as trichloramine, is made when the urea in your pee reacts with chlorine ? the disinfectant widely used in swimming pool water. Nitrogen trichloride is largely made by accident in pools these days, but this compound was originally made for interest in 1812 by Pierre Louis DuLong.

DuLong made the chemical by bubbling chlorine gas through a solution of ammonium chloride. But, despite his success, DuLong?s joy at having made it was probably short-lived ? he hadn?t counted on the fact that it would be explosive ? the chemical exploded without warning and cost him an eye and a finger. It?s extremely sensitive and will explode even under gentle shock or when exposed to sunlight.

Scientists Sir Humphry Davy and Michael Faraday also fell victim to the substance when they repeated DuLong?s work shortly after. An explosion also caused Davy to lose the use of an eye temporarily and Faraday did permanent damage to his fingers.

Luckily for professional swimmers, only pure nitrogen trichloride is explosive, and so the fact that it is mixed with water and other substances in a swimming pool should be reassuring. However, research suggests that nitrogen trichloride, among other products formed when you pee in chlorinated water, such as chloramine and dichloramine, is linked to eye and upper airway irritation.

It?s rather ironic that the chlorine that is used to kill bacteria and protect the health of swimmers, is linked to the creation of toxic chemicals. But also that the aroma that people associate with a clean pool, is actually the stench of nitrogen trichloride and an indicator of plenty of pee.

Occupational Health Hazard

It is a volatile chemical, meaning it easily turns into a gas and hangs around in the air around the pool. One study has shown that people who work in swimming pools or spend a lot of time around them, such as lifeguards, have a higher level of airway issue symptoms in comparison with the general population ? poolside workers showed more frequent work-related upper respiratory issues than administrative staff.

It?s reported that one study found that a public swimming pool of 830,000 litres, can contain as much as 75 litres of urine in the water at one time, which could react to form nitrogen trichloride. This may not sound like a lot, but the toxicity of chemicals is often in the dose and repeated exposure, so even low levels of nitrogen trichloride, will have damaging health effects.

But it isn?t just pee that we should worry about ? the dirt on people?s bodies can consume up to 30% of the chlorine in the water on its own and in athletic swimmers, sweat ? which also contains urea ? can also contribute to the production of nitrogen trichloride.

So what can we do to combat it? Research which models the amounts of nitrogen trichloride in a swimming pool over time has led some researchers to suggest that lowering the levels of chlorine in a pool, while remaining above the legal lower limit, would reduce the amount of chlorine available to react to form the toxic chemical. However, this study was limited to a single pool, so more research is required to establish whether this could be a feasible solution.

Don't pee like a pro

Swimming pools have long encouraged swimmers to take a shower before they swim, but the health implications of not showering are not emphasised enough. It?s not enough to recommend a shower to ?reduce irritants? ? swimmers need to know that these irritants can cause respiratory issues, and not just for them but also the pool staff.

Swimmers should also be encouraged to pee before they get into the pool, something that should extend to elite athletes too ? Michael Phelps might think it?s an accepted part of the sport, but it only gives licence to others if the professionals are doing it ? they need to lead the way in pool hygiene.

The ConversationUnfortunately, the ?swimming pool dye? which changes colour on pee contact seems to be a mere myth in most countries and there do not appear to be any feasible alternatives to chlorine which can disinfect a pool and not expose the staff to some harmful chemicals. So maybe it?s best to keep up the pretence if the prospect of embarrassment means people will actually go to the toilet.

Simon Cotton, Senior Lecturer in Chemistry, University of Birmingham and Laura Finney, PhD Candidate, University of Nottingham

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

 

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Source: Here's Why That ?Clean Swimming Pool? Smell Is Actually Bad for Your Health
10
Richard Mellor / Ocasio Cortez Retreats. DSA Must Act.
« Last post by Richard Mellor on July 20, 2018, 06:00:11 PM »
Ocasio Cortez Retreats. DSA Must Act.

Here's Ocasio Cortez reflecting the pressure she is now coming under from the Democratic Party establishment and also the many Zionist Jews (and Christians) she will have to answer to. She chose to apologize for using the term "occupation" with regard to the Zionist occupation of Palestinian lands and for the term "massacre" in a tweet in reference to Israel's massacre of children back in May.

Using the excuse that she said those things when she was an "activist" and now she is a politician is even worse. She is apologizing to the US bourgeois, the Zionist lobby, the Democratic Party hacks and part of that apology is admitting that in running for office she did what all the establishment politicians do, she lied. She said what people wanted to hear not what she sincerely believed and what she would fight for in order to get the votes and win the position.

This is one of the reasons why Trump gets an echo, why some people support him. She confirms what Trump says, they're all liars, they're all  dishonest when it comes to the average voter. He may be in the same boat but he comes right out there and says it. It is not possible to accept Ms Cortez' implication that she's not very knowledgeable about the Middle East.  The whole Israel/Palestine issue is regularly discussed fodder especially in NYC. It's one of the world's major crisis areas. She ran for Congress and is not familiar with the issue? She was when she wanted people's votes apparently.

I know next to nothing about her base or if there is a base that can pull her back but it's unlikely. Facts For Working People explained in a previous post how while we do not support the Democratic Party or see it as vehicle for change, her election was positive because it would increase the tension between the Democratic Party hacks, the Pelosi, Schumer wing and the increasingly vocal leftish wing, increasing the divisions in that party. It would add impetus to the developing division in the party which would be helpful in ending the two capitalist party monopoly, as it would bring closer the splitting to act party at a time when the republican party is also heading for a split. Cortez winning against Crowley sent shock waves through the establishment and not wanting to lost that corporate money, the likes of Pelsoi and co rushed to confirm that the party is not "socialist". Their fears have probably subsided somewhat with Cortez' comments. What appears to be a rapid capitulation to the establishment is also likely to increase the divisions in the party making the possibility of a split even more likely.

Ocasio Cortez and DSA

Note: I am adding this an hour or two since this was posted. On thinking more about it I understand that Ms Cortez in in the Democratic Socialists Of America. (DSA). If she is, DSA should demand that she retract her capitulation to the Schumer/Pelosi right wing and stand by her original comments about the Zionist "massacre" of children and also her term "occupation" which is what the Israeli occupation is. She used these terms knowingly when she wanted to make sure she addressed the mood and feelings of those that voted for her and understood the situation quite clearly then. She got elected and then, faced with the reality of the pressure from the Democratic Party hacks, the Zionist lobby and Congress, backtracked instead of using this opportunity to wage an open war against the establishment. DSA should give her the opportunity to reverse course or expel her from membership. RM

Ocasio-Cortez hedges criticisms of Israel? ?I may not use the right words?

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Source: Ocasio Cortez Retreats. DSA Must Act.
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