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Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit, MI
Member since: Fri Oct 29, 2004, 12:18 AM
Number of posts: 76,318

Journal Archives

'It can be scary': how corporate America is hitting back against unions

(Guardian UK) Workers at a Trader Joe’s store in Louisville, Kentucky, are now pushing to become the third store at the trendy US supermarket chain to unionize since 2022.

Connor Hovey, a worker and organizer at the Louisville store, said unionizing efforts began as other high-profile union organizing efforts such as at Louisville’s Heine Brothers, a local coffee shop chain, were taking off. Like those workers, the Trader Joe’s organizers sought to address issues stemming from inadequate corporate policies and safety precautions, and how workers have been treated during the Covid-19 pandemic.

But during the organizing drive Hovey claimed opposition from Trader Joe’s management has been intense, resulting in workers filing several unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). “The company has made it very clear that they will do whatever they can to stop this effort in its tracks,” said Hovey.

This sort of intense pushback against unionization is becoming the norm in the US – and it is having an impact. The intense opposition from many major US employers to workers who are trying to unionize is a major factor in the recent decline in labor union density in the US, with the US having among the lowest union densities compared with other industrialized countries.

The decline comes even as the US labor movement experienced a surge in popular support in 2022, with a spike in union election filings, growing support for unions in polls and more work stoppages. ..............(more)


Detroit City Distillery's Paczki Day Vodka is back

(Detroit Metro Times) Detroit City Distillery’s Paczki Day Vodka is exactly what it says it is.

“There are only two ingredients: vodka and paczki,” Detroit City Distillery co-owner Michael Forsyth says in a statement. “There are no artificial ingredients, flavors or sweeteners that you find in mainstream flavored vodka. The goal is to make a true craft spirit that highlights the taste of these perfectly handmade, glazed raspberry paczki from Hamtramck.”

He adds, “It’s like a Paczki Day Party in a bottle.”

To make the limited-edition bottles for Paczki Day, which celebrates Fat Tuesday and the beginning of Lent the Polish way, Detroit City Distillery literally drops fresh paczki into 500-gallon copper pot still with 100% potato vodka, in this case raspberry paczki from Hamtramck’s New Palace Bakery.

“At 88 proof, it’s ultra-smooth, and you can really taste the raspberry and buttery pastry of the paczki,” Forsyth says. ..............(more)


Poll: 78% of Santos' voters want him to resign

Poll: 78% of Santos' voters want him to resign
That number includes 71% of Republicans in his district.

The vast majority of voters in a new poll of embattled New York Republican Rep. George Santos' district want the congressman to resign amid the litany of scandals and revelations he misled voters about his biography.

Seventy-eight percent of voters in the state's 3rd Congressional district want Santos' resignation (including 89% of Democrats, 72% of independents/others and 71% of Republicans), compared to just 13% who do not want him to step down, according to the latest Newsday/Siena College poll.

Santos is viewed unfavorably by 83% of the voters in the district, according to the poll, a view again shared by the majority of people across partisan stripes (just 7% view him favorably).

More than seven-in-ten voters do not believe he can be an effective representative and that it was wrong for Republican leaders to tap him to serve on his committees. ...........(more)


Pelosi's attacker is proud of himself. The GOP emboldened him

Pelosi's attacker is proud of himself. The GOP emboldened him
Of course, the Pelosi suspect feels supported — the GOP is the party of political violence now

Senior Writer

(Salon) David DePape seems proud of himself. On Friday, a judge ordered the release of video footage that appears to show DePape beating Paul Pelosi, the husband of then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, with a hammer after refusing to listen to police orders to drop the weapon. The video is hard to watch, showing the suspect tackling Pelosi to the ground and viciously pounding him with a hammer while the police attempt to pull him off the 82-year-old man. Bizarrely, however, in a phone call to a San Francisco reporter made the same day, DePape's only regret was that the violence wasn't worse.

"Now that you all have seen the body cam footage, I have an important message for everyone in America," DePape told KTVU's Amber Lee of. "You're welcome."

He then apologized that he "didn't get more of them."

Like many of the January 6 insurrectionists who have been arrested, DePape appears to have no interest in backing down from the Donald Trump-fueled conspiracy theories that led to his violence. Instead, the chilling audio hints at a man who feels confident in his false accusations and supported in his belief that the Trumpist agenda must be forced upon America through violence.

DePape appears delusional in many regards, but he is, sadly, right about one thing: His pro-violence views have a lot of support from Republicans, both politicians and voters. While he took it to the next level, DePape was only acting on a correct interpretation of Trump's implicit message: Since Democrats can't be beaten at the ballot box, power must be seized through violence. It's a view that, while they often avoid saying out loud, is widely backed by the rest of the GOP. The party, after all, has gone out of its way to reaffirm support for Trump in the wake of the deadly riot he unleashed on the Capitol two years ago. ...............(more)


Boeing says farewell to 'Queen of the Skies' with last 747 delivery

(CNN) — More than half a century since the original jumbo jet ushered in a glamorous new jet age, helping bringing affordable air travel to millions of passengers, the last-ever Boeing 747 was scheduled to be delivered on Tuesday, marking the start of the final chapter for the much-loved airplane.

In a ceremony that will be broadcast live online at 4 p.m. Eastern Time, the aircraft will be handed over at a ceremony at Boeing's plant in Everett, Washington, to its new owner, US air cargo operator Atlas Air.

While the final 747 won't be carrying paying passengers, its delivery is another milestone for the distinctive double-decker "Queen of the Skies," which revolutionized intercontinental travel while also appearing in James Bond films and even giving piggyback rides to the Space Shuttle.

With the last passenger 747 having entered service more than five years ago, the end of the 747's enduring career now moves even closer, hastened by airlines switching their preferences to smaller and more economical aircraft. ...............(more)


Diver decapitated by great white shark in year's first death

A diver off the coast of Mexico has reportedly been killed by a great white shark in the first such death of 2023.

Website Tracking Sharks reported 53-year-old Manuel Lopez was scuba diving for molluscs in Tobari Bay, in the country's north-west, on January 5 when he was attacked.

The six-metre shark mauled Lopez in front of horrified fishermen nearby, ultimately biting his head off. ......(more)


FTA awards more than $384 million to improve passenger ferry operations

A combined $383.4 million was awarded to 23 ferry projects in 11 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands to support expanding service, improving infrastructure and accelerating the transition to zero-emission fleets. Grants will fund projects, including replacement of old vessels, expand fleets and construction of new terminals and docks.

The federal funding is provided through three Federal Transit Administration (FTA) programs, including:

* $252.4 million awarded to eight projects in four states through the Ferry Service for Rural Communities Program, which provides competitive funding to states for ferry service in rural areas;

* $97.6 million awarded to seven projects in seven states through the Electric or Low-Emitting Ferry Pilot Program that provides competitive funding for electric or low-emitting ferries and charging equipment; and

* $34.4 million to eight projects in six states and the U.S. Virgin Islands through the Passenger Ferry Grant Program that supports capital projects to establish new ferry service and repair and modernize ferry vessels, terminals and facilities and equipment in urbanized areas.

"With these grants, we are improving and expanding ferry service in the communities that rely on waterways the most—often in more rural, remote regions—connecting people to jobs, services, and city centers while cutting climate pollution," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.

Two of the grant programs – Ferry Service for Rural Communities Program and Electric or Low-Emitting Ferry Pilot Program – were established through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The two programs will award up to $2.5 billion in grants through Fiscal Year 2026. ................(more)


'Hostile takeover': the tiny Florida university targeted by Ron DeSantis

‘Hostile takeover’: the tiny Florida university targeted by Ron DeSantis
Governor’s latest shot in his war on woke is the shock appointment of rightwing trustees to progressive New College

(Guardian UK) New College of Florida started making history from the day it opened its doors to its first incoming class of 101 undergraduate students in 1964. It was the first institution of higher education in Florida – which was once part of the slave-owning Confederacy – to pioneer an open admissions policy committing the school not to discriminate based on “race, creed, national origin, or cultural status”.

The founding principles of the college emphasized freedom of inquiry and the eminent historian and philosopher Arnold Toynbee was lured out of retirement to join the fledgling institution’s charter faculty. New College – which became a public institution when it joined Florida’s state university system in 1975 – soon established itself as one of America’s premier liberal arts schools.

Now New College may again be on the verge of making history – but of a very different sort.

Its picturesque seaside campus in the city of Sarasota, Florida, finds itself in the crosshairs of rightwing Republican state governor Ron DeSantis’s latest culture wars crusade, in this instance to destroy its unofficial reputation as a haven for approximately 650 generally progressive-leaning students, about half of whom identify themselves as non-heterosexual.

Widely expected to challenge Donald Trump for the Republican party’s presidential nomination for the 2024 election, DeSantis famously declared “to the woke mob” on the night of his re-election victory last November that “Florida is where woke goes to die.” ...........(more)


University of Michigan Health public websites hit by pro-Russian cyberattack

(Detroit Free Press) University of Michigan Health experienced problems with its public websites Monday as a result of a cyberattack on a vendor, according to a statement from the hospital system.

The problems are among other reports of similar cyberattacks at hospital systems around the United States and in other countries that have agreed to provide tanks to Ukraine, which was invaded by Russia nearly a year ago.

“University of Michigan Health has been experiencing intermittent problems with its public websites as a result of a cyberattack on a third-party vendor we use to host some of our sites. We are working with the third party to mitigate it and expect to have our sites fully functional as soon as possible,” according to the statement from spokeswoman Mary Masson.

“Patients can still access the patient portal via myuofmhealth.org.”

By late afternoon, Masson said the problems were intermittent. ..............(more)


Far-right project that pushed election lies expands mission as Trump ramps up 2024 campaign

(Guardian UK) A far-right project that has helped spread Donald Trump’s false claims about voting fraud in 2020, and misinformation about Covid vaccines, is trying to expand its mission, while facing new criticism from scholars and religious leaders about its incendiary political and Christian nationalist messages.

ReAwaken America, a project of the Oklahoma-based entrepreneur Clay Clark, has hosted numerous revival-style political events across the US after receiving tens of thousands of dollars in initial funds in 2021 from millionaire Patrick Byrne, and become a key vehicle for pushing election denialism and falsehoods about Covid vaccines.

ReAwaken America also boasts close ties to retired Lt Gen Michael Flynn, who in December 2020 met with Trump, Byrne and others at the White House to plot ways to reverse Trump’s election loss. The meeting happened shortly after Trump pardoned Flynn, who was convicted for lying to the FBI about his contacts with the Russian ambassador before serving briefly as Trump’s national security adviser.

Clark’s project also has links to Dr Simone Gold, who served a 60-day jail sentence for illegally entering the Capitol on 6 January and founded America’s Frontline Doctors, an anti-vaccine group that has also touted bogus cures.

“Christian nationalism has deep roots in American history and has gained traction at different points,” said Amanda Tyler, the executive director of the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty. “The ReAwaken America Tour taps into the unholy well of Christian nationalism to sow doubt about the US election system and the safety of Covid vaccines while equating allegiance to Trumpism with allegiance to God.” ..................(more)


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