Friday, November 01, 2019

Does any union stand up for its members?

NPR has an interesting story about Natalie Eve Garrett's new book Eat Joy: Stories & Comfort Food from 31 Celebrated Writers.  The whole book sounds interesting but my favorite part is Garrett stating, "And I like that the book has a lot of short recipes, too. I think sometimes that's what we need most of all. Sometimes, with really complicated recipes, I'm like 'I 100 percent want to eat that but I do not want to make it.' But cooking doesn't all have to be that way. It's OK to have it be easy. Maybe you'll even burn it a little bit, and that's still fine."

"And that's still fine."  Agreed.  Perfect.

There's nothing perfect about the next story.  It leaves me very confused.  Unions (I belong to a nursing union) are supposed to fight for the worker, right?  Apparently not.  Kristina Betinis (WSWS) reports:

On Wednesday night, the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) House of Delegates approved a tentative agreement that betrays all the aspirations of the 24,000 teachers who have been on strike for ten days.
At an evening meeting of the delegates, comprised of teachers from each of the city’s schools, CTU leaders rammed through a deal that teachers did not have time to read or discuss. The CTU called the meeting at 6:00 pm to review the 41-page agreement and hold two votes, one to accept or reject the agreement and one to continue or end the strike and return to work Thursday.
The result of the vote of the delegates, which is composed of teachers closer to the CTU, makes clear that there is enormous opposition to the agreement. The agreement passed by a vote of 364 to 242 against, with four abstentions.
However, the delegates voted not to end the strike. Instead of returning to work on Thursday, teachers will attend a 10 a.m. rally at City Hall to demand Democratic Mayor Lori Lightfoot approve make-up school days for the duration of the strike. If there are no make-up days, it will mean that teachers will lose thousands of dollars in income as a result of the strike.
In response, Lightfoot declared, “I’m not compensating them for days they were out on strike. I’m not going to negotiate.”
The CTU lauded the contract for its “great gains.” In a press conference immediately following the vote, AFT President Randi Weingarten declared, “This TA is not perfect, but we want to close this chapter, and we want the mayor to be with us in closing this chapter.”
These are lies. The tentative agreement is wholly in line with the demands of CPS and Lightfoot, who has declared throughout that there is no money to meet teachers’ demands.

Who's working for whom?

If the union is working for the workers, it certainly does not show.

Okay, two bits of business. First, I have been having trouble for the last few days with my e-mail.  I'm able to get in some times and not at others.  So I am asking you to please e-mail me at I will get the e-mail there and I'm changing it on my profile.  I apologize but when I try to log in, either I get in immediately, or I get a message stating that I'm trying to log in from a different computer and I need to prove that I am not a robot.  Yes, I know the John Mulaney routine about that and it is funny.  Unless it's happening to you.  And sometimes, apparently, I come off like a robot.  Who knew, right?  Second piece of business, please read Ann's "White Chicken Chili" and my apologies because I meant to note it much sooner.

This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for Thursday:

Thursday, October 31, 2019.  Another US service member dies in Iraq as protests continue.

Kyle Rempfer (ARMY TIMES) reports:

 A U.S. soldier supporting the Inherent Resolve coalition in Iraq died Sunday, Pentagon officials announced Wednesday morning.

Sgt. Nathan G. Irish died in a non-combat incident at Camp Taji, sometimes called Camp Cooke, in the Baghdad Governorate.

Ellen Mitchell (THE HILL) adds, "Irish was assigned to the 25th Brigade Support Battalion, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team based in Fort Wainwright, Alaska."

US soldier Sgt. Nathan G. Irish died in Camp Taji 3 days ago in a non-combat incident, as per US DoD.

Jean and I are praying for the Irish family during this difficult time. We are grateful for Nathan's service and will keep those close to him in our thoughts.


Nathan G. Irish was 23 years old -- seven years older than the Iraq War itself.  The ongoing war.  I can remember when a man was traveling around the United States in 2007 and 2008 and insisting that ,if he became president, all US troops would come home.  Speech after speech, he said that.  He did become president, President Barack Obama, and he had two terms in the White House but he left with US troops still in Iraq.  Steve Bullock would like to be president.  He's running for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination currently.  Currently he's the Governor of Montana and he issued this statement:

Lisa and I are heartbroken over the loss of Sgt. Nathan Irish. As a state and nation, we ask our brave soldiers and their families to sacrifice so much to keep our nation and communities safe. We send our condolences to Sgt. Irish’s loved ones during this difficult time. 

MTN NEWS offers this video report.

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, sitting, eyeglasses and outdoor

That photo's from his FACEBOOK page.

Nathan Irish updated his profile picture.
July 15

He noted in August, when he deployed to Iraq:

Getting on the C-130 to head to Iraq and I see “City of Missoula” stenciled on the side, a Montana license plate hanging in the cockpit, and a Montana flag hanging in the cargo bay. Halfway across the world and it feels like I’m 6 hours from home.

He should never have been sent over there.

If Steve Bullock wants to issue condolences and run for president, maybe Bullock should take some time to comment on US troops still in Iraq.  Or does he think the best candidate is the one who has no position on foreign wars?

The cat doesn't have Steve's tongue when it comes to talking about the other candidates.  He's been very vocal when it comes to Joe Biden's potential use of a SuperPac.  He's against that.  He just shrouds in mystery his position on never-ending wars.

On the topic of Joe Biden, Cameron Easley (MORNING CALL) crunches the numbers of various Democratic candidates in a face off with Donald Trump for the 2020 election and finds that Joe Biden has slipped.  Of the top three Cameron looks at -- Joe, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren -- only Elizabeth has increased her percentage since June which leads Easley to note:

But polling suggests that many primary voters are backing Biden because of his perceived general-election strength. Forty percent of Democratic primary voters said in September that they thought Biden has the best chance of beating Trump in 2020, more than twice the share who said the same of any other candidate. To that extent, declining returns in head-to-head matchups against Trump may pose a unique risk to his prospects for securing the nomination.

In Iraq, protests continue.  FRANCE 24 speaks with Feurat Alani (author of THE PERFUME OF IRAQ).

Alissa J. Rubin (NEW YORK TIMES) reports:

Under pressure from a growing number of protesters, Iraq’s prime minister appeared likely Wednesday to step down in the coming days, although exactly when is the subject of negotiations between two powerful Shiite Muslim leaders.
In a letter to one of the men, the cleric Moktada al-Sadr, Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi said he would be willing to resign and call early elections. But Mr. Mahdi insisted that it be done according to the procedures in the Constitution.

That's hilarious.  If the Constitution had been followed, he wouldn't be prime minister.  Your named prime minister designate and from that day you have 30 days to put together a Cabinet.  But it was over six months later before he found a Minister of Interior and a Minster of Defense.  He never should have been prime minister per the Constitution so it's hilarious that now, to save his job, he's saying the Constitution must be followed.

Middle East|MENA this a.m.

Protests: Lebanon, Iraq
Iraq Prez to speak
• US Patrols in NE Syria
• Turkey-Kurds ceasefire collapsing
• UAE withdraws from Aden Yemen
• Egypt-Sudan-Ethiopia meeting in DC 11/6: Dam dispute
• Pentagon releases vid clips from Baghdadi raid

: Iraq’s President Barham Salih to speak shortly amid deadly protests in the country — Iraqi TV.

protesters lose their fear
Mass protests in are continuing despite a vicious crackdown()that has left 231 people dead.


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