Today Kellogg workers remain on strike. IN THESE TIMES notes this as an introduction to an audio interview they have:
Like Frito-Lay, Nabisco, John Deere, and Heaven Hill Distillery, cereal giant Kellogg’s has seen consumer demand skyrocket during the pandemic, reporting profits of $1.25 billion in 2020. To meet this demand, many workers in Kellogg’s plants around the US report pulling 12 to 16-hour shifts seven days a week, leaving little time for anything outside of work beyond sleep. But the creation of a two-tier employment system in 2015 has meant that newer employees in the lower “transitional tier” are earning significantly less than their coworkers for doing the same work. Demanding that the company raise the floor for all of its employees, Kellogg’s plant workers in Nebraska, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee have been on strike since Oct. 5. We talk about the ongoing strike with Dan Osborn, who has worked at the Omaha, Nebraska, plant for 18 years and currently serves as president of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM), Local 50G.
On Oct. 5, 1,400 workers at four Kellogg’s cereal plants went on strike to block the company’s concessionary demands. They are members of Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers (BCTGM), which recently struck Frito Lay and Nabisco. That adds up to strikes at three Fortune 500 companies, involving thousands of workers, by a union with under 65,000 members.
Kellogg’s wants to cut health care benefits, pensions, holiday and vacation pay, cost of living raises and union jobs — and, adding insult to injury, take the union label off cereal boxes. The company wants a two-tier system whereby future workers will pay more for health care and will not collect a pension when they retire.
As the union explains, “A two-tier system is a devious way for employers to slowly, but surely, take power from union members, their contract and their union. The company is trying to divide the workforce by asking the current workforce to sell out the next generation of Kellogg workers.” (bctgm.org) These workers have put in long hours of hard work throughout the pandemic.
That a small union would take on Kellogg’s and two other Fortune 500 companies in a few months’ time is indicative of a new mood of militancy in the working class.
And France 24 notes:
At John Deere, agricultural machinery company, 10,000 workers who are part of the United Auto Workers went on strike for better pay on October 14. And 24,000 healthcare workers at Kaiser Permanente in California and Oregon authorised a strike on October 11, giving their employer 10-days’ notice before they walk off the job in protest of decreased wages for new hires.
Countless other strikes, from taxi drivers to steelworkers, have taken off across the country, with workers demanding better hours, fair pay and benefits. The wave is a rare show of force from unions and workers in the United States, and has been met with widespread support, both on and offline. The hashtag #Striketober was created to help striking workers share their experiences.
This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for Tuesday:
Tuesday, October 19, 2021. We spend the snapshot looking back on War Criminal Colin The Blot Powell who is now thankfully dead.
Noted War Criminal Colin Powell slipped away from this earth. And let's remember that as the good thing that it is. The late journalist Robert Parry (CONSORTIUM NEWS) frequently documented the realities of Colin Powell -- including regarding the My Lai Massacre in Vietnam. Near the end of 2004, Robert Parry observed:
Colin Powell’s admirers – especially in the mainstream press – have struggled for almost two years to explain how and why their hero joined in the exaggerations and deceptions that led the nation into the disastrous war in Iraq. Was he himself deceived by faulty intelligence or was he just acting as the loyal soldier to his commander-in-chief?
But there is another, less flattering explanation that fits with the evidence of Powell’s life story: that the outgoing secretary of state has always been an opportunist who consistently put his career and personal status ahead of America’s best interests.
From his earliest days as a junior officer in Vietnam through his acquiescence to George W. Bush’s Iraq adventure, Colin Powell repeatedly has failed to stand up against actions that were immoral, unethical or reckless. At every turning point, Powell protected his career above all else.
Yet, Powell’s charisma – and the fact that he is a prominent and successful African-American – have protected him from any clear-eyed assessment of his true record. Even when Powell has publicly defended war crimes, such as the shooting of defenseless “military-aged males” in Vietnam, national journalists have preferred to focus on Powell’s sparkling style over his troubling substance.
This infatuation with Powell’s image was perhaps best captured when New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd plunged into mourning after Powell backed away from a flirtation with a presidential candidacy in 1995.
“The graceful, hard male animal who did nothing overtly to dominate us yet dominated us completely, in the exact way we wanted that to happen at this moment, like a fine leopard on the veld, was gone,” Dowd wrote, only slightly tongue-in-cheek. “‘Don’t leave, Colin Powell,’ I could hear myself crying from somewhere inside.” [NYT, Nov. 9, 1995]
As longtime readers of Consortium News know, we always have tried to resist Powell’s personal magnetism. In one of our first investigative projects, Norman Solomon and I examined the real story of Colin Powell.
[To read the full series, start at “Behind Colin Powell’s Legend.”]
I’ve updated the series a couple of times: when Powell failed to protest Bush’s disenfranchisement of thousands of African-Americans during the disputed Florida election in 2000 and when Powell made his over-the-top presentation on Iraq in February 2003. After Powell’s UN speech – while both liberal and conservative commentators swooned over Powell’s WMD case – we entitled our story: “Trust Colin Powell?”
What we found in our investigation of Powell’s legend was not the heroic figure of his press clippings, but the story of an ambitious man with a weak moral compass. He either hid in the reeds when others were standing up for what they knew to be right or he contributed to the wrongdoing (albeit often while wringing his hands and confiding to reporters that he really wasn’t entirely comfortable).
Colin Powell was human filth. If you look around to some of your trusted organizations right now, you'll grasp that they are filth too. Such as? THE PROGRESSIVE. Time to post year another Donald Trump piece yesterday afternoon but not a word about Colin. Despite claiming to be "A voice for peace and social justice since 1909," they can't be bothered calling out Powell today. By the way, they haven't been around since 1909. They make that claim all the time. A precursor to THE PROGRSSIVE existed starting in 1909. It was not THE PROGRESSIVE. We pointed that out when they were celebrating what they called their 100 years. We also pointed out that the huge issue celebrating that lie noted many of the famous writers who had shown up in the magazine over the years but somehow they were strangely silent on the notorious Judith Miller.
THE PROGRSSIVE is a joke -- it's the IN STYLE of the so-called left.
Moving over to those not afraid to weigh in on reality, Sarah Abdallah Tweets:
And she notes that War Criminal Mad Maddie Albright Tweeted that her heart was heavy and -- wait. Mad Maddie has a heart? Who'd she steal it from. Here's Sarah:
Madeleine Albright, who once said the death of 500,000 Iraqi children due to U.S. sanctions was “worth it,” mourns warmonger who lied to the world about WMDs in Iraq, helping launch a war that killed over a million people.
Weep no more, Mad Maddie, Colin will save you a seat . . . in hell.
Patrick Martin (WSWS) notices the effusive bull that's greeted Colin's death:
Much of the Democratic Party adulation focused on Powell’s role as the first African American to rise to the commanding heights of the US military machine. Congressman Jamaal Bowman, a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, tweeted that “as a Black man just trying to figure out the world, Colin Powell was an inspiration” to him.
He did not elaborate on which Colin Powell was his inspiration: General Colin Powell helping rescue Ronald Reagan in the Iran-Contra scandal, or Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Colin Powell overseeing the incineration of Iraqi conscripts in 1991, or Secretary of State Colin Powell justifying the impending US invasion of Iraq in 2003. His speech at the United Nations Security Council, claiming Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction, has gone down in history as a byword for the “big lie.”
There is not a single major instance of US military aggression over four decades in which Colin Powell did not play a significant role. After enlisting in the ROTC (Reserve Officers Training Corps) at City College of New York, Powell entered the U.S. Army as a second lieutenant and was dispatched to Vietnam, first as an “advisor” for a South Vietnamese battalion in 1963, then as an operations officer in a US division in 1968, in the wake of the Tet Offensive.
The adulation, by the way, is why we're covering Powell. I thought we'd get some honesty since he did lie to the UN and since so many columnists and commentators used his UN presentation to say "Case closed" and insist upon war on Iraq. I thought, wrongly (not the first time), that having been made to look like fools by endorsing Colin, they'd want to get honest now.
They can't even be honest about Don't Ask, Don't Tell.
In November 1992, Bill Clinton was elected president of the United States and one of his campaign promises was that he'd end Bill is going to end the ban on openly gay persons serving in the US military. And Colin Powell nearly west himself -- or maybe that was cum and not piss? At any rate, Colin Powell is why this country ended up with the hideous Don't Ask, Don't Tell. And it's very upsetting to see a periodical whose audience is gay men, THE ADVOCATE, try to insist that he had a transformation late in life so let's rally behind Collie.
That piece of s**t destroyed lives as a result of his circumventing a policy of allowing gay persons to serve openly in the US military. From Trudy Ring (ADVOCATE):
When Bill Clinton became president in 1993, promising to lift the ban on lesbian, gay, and bisexual people in the military, Powell was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He opposed lifting the ban (under which many LGB people had been discharged and others served in the closet) and said in testimony to Congress that open service by LGB troops would be “incompatible” with military readiness. In notes from meetings with Clinton at the time, released by the Clinton library in 2014, it was revealed that Powell had said homosexuality would be “a problem” for the military and that parents of service members might be worried about straight and gay troops sharing quarters.
Resistance from the military and many members of Congress led to the compromise of “don’t ask, don’t tell.” The idea was that LGB service members could not come out, but the military would not try to root them out either. It was initially seen as an improvement over the outright ban but didn’t work out that way.
Clinton said in 2010 that he regretted DADT and that Powell, as one of its key supporters, misrepresented how it would work. “Now, when Colin Powell sold me on ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,’ here’s what he said it would be,” Clinton told Katie Couric on CBS News. “Gay service members would never get in trouble for going to gay bars, marching in gay rights parades, as long as they weren’t in uniform. That was what they were promised. That’s a very different ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ than we got.” Indeed, under DADT the military continued to investigate service members’ sexual orientation and discharge them — about 14,000.
Trudes goes on to tell us that, in 2010, he was for repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell.
No, not yea. And how about, you evil scribe, you note the suffering he inflicted continues to this day. About 14,000 discharged? Trudy, if you're not up to the topic you're covering, then just shut the f**k up.
First off, for every discharge, imagine the stress of the ones who managed to slip by. And yet had to continue to worry every year until it was repealed. Then let's talk about what was halted.
If a young gay person or bi person or lesbian had a dream to serve in the military, that dream was destroyed thanks to Colin Powell. Get honest about that.
Most importantly, those discharged under Don't Ask, Don't Tell include many still fighting today -- to this day -- to get the benefits they earned as part of the US forces. So, Trudy, find some click bait online to write about next time because you clearly are not up to doing much more than recaps of DANCING WITH THE STARS.
Last month, Jonathan Franklin (NPR) reported:
Thousands of LGBTQ veterans who were discharged from the military under the "don't ask, don't tell" policy have gained new access to full government benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs.
The announcement, issued Monday on the 10th anniversary of the repeal of don't ask, don't tell, will apply to veterans who were forced from service under the policy and given "other than honorable discharges" due to their sexual orientation, gender identity or HIV status.
The guidance was detailed in a blog post on the VA's website by Kayla Williams, assistant secretary for public affairs in the department's Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs. It provides LGBTQ veterans the opportunity to receive assistance, ranging from mental health care and disability benefits to college money and home loans.
Grasp the years of suffering that some are enduring thanks to Powell. Enduring? No one's been reinstated yet. Grasp that.
Now I'm appalled by THE ADVOCATE -- exactly whom are they advocating for. I'm not surprised by WSWS. As Ava and I noted, they pretty much avoid all LGBTQ issues unless someone's standing before the Supreme Court. Until then, LGBTQ people really don't exist in the eyes of WSWS.
The LGBTQ community suffered because of Colin and his late-life 'transformation' was nothing but him belatedly grasping the shift that had taken place in attitudes years before. He could lead the country into illegal war, he just wouldn't lead it into a better world.
Why does NASA believe they can name the new telescope after a homophobe and not suffer? Because for all their posturing and preening, the media still looks the other way when it comes to homophobia.
Iraqis are not mourning Colin Powell. Many, however, are mourning family, friends and neighbors who died as a direct result of Powell’s lapse of integrity. “He lied, lied and lied,” an Iraqi writer and mother of two told the Associated Press today. “He lied, and we are the ones who got stuck with never-ending wars.” Muntadhar al-Zaidi, the Iraqi journalist who famously threw a shoe at President Bush during a 2008 news conference, tweeted that he was sad that Powell had died without being tried for his war crimes against the Iraqi people.
Colin Powell’s UN address and its phenomenal impact on public opinion were oddly of the moment. Powell seemed like he could be a character on The West Wing, a Bill Clinton–era TV show created by Aaron Sorkin and beloved by many liberals, in which the ethical agonies of the powerful were portrayed with unbounded empathy. The message was supposed to be a reassuring one: Your administration is run by decent people who are trying their best, and when they do terrible things, it’s because they have no choice. Powell’s Hamlet-like anguish extended that halo to the George W. Bush administration, one of the worst in the country’s history.
In his way, Colin Powell was actually worse than Donald Rumsfeld. He made it appear that even the most murderous and indefensible decisions of our elites, however distressing, are reasonable and inevitable, the result of sober deliberation. He made the killing of hundreds of thousands of civilians look justified. He enjoyed the trust of millions, yet he lied. I’m inclined to agree with al-Zaidi: The only sad thing about Colin Powell’s death is that he’ll never be punished for his crimes.
Powell’s other contributions to the world include covering up and participating in war crimes in Vietnam, facilitating atrocities in Central America, and destroying Iraqi civilian infrastructure in the Gulf War. But it’s hard to dispute that his greatest lasting legacy will be his immortal reminder to future generations that there is never, ever a valid reason to trust anything US officials tell us about a government they wish to bring down.
Powell’s contribution to the war effort has been considerable. But as time grinds down the tall spires of artificial insanity that the powerful are continually imposing upon our species, when all is said and done his contribution to the anti-war effort will have been greater.
Be sure to remind everyone of Powell’s sociopathic facilitation of human slaughter often and loudly in the coming hours. Public opinion is the only thing keeping western war criminals from The Hague, after all, and those war criminals are keenly aware of this fact. At times like these, they suddenly become highly invested in making sure that regular people “respect the dead,” not because they respect any human alive or dead, but because they cannot allow the death to become an opportunity to amplify and change public opinion about their egregious murderous crimes.
There is a giant narrative management exercise that will be playing out over the next few days. Be sure to enthusiastically disrupt it with the truth.
AWOL is THE NATION. I thought Katrina would have written something but she didn't. No one has. They've got some articles of substance, along with click bait, but they aren't covering Colin. And this despite the fact that there is such reader interest in a non-corporate media look at Colin that David Corn's May 2, 2001 article on Colin's real record is currently the most read article at the site according to their own top ten.
For millions of Iraqis, Powell will be remembered as the man who presented false intelligence before the United Nations as to the existence and threat of former ruler Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
Powell’s claims that Saddam had links to al-Qaeda and was hiding WMDs helped push forward the momentum for the 2003 invasion of Iraq and the resulting years of chaos and bloodshed that have continued to plague the country to this day.
Kamal Jabir, a politician with the Civil Democratic Alliance and former freedom fighter against Saddam in the 80s and 90s, saw many killed by Saddam’s administration and gave up much of his life to fighting and to exile because of him.
However, he still regards the Iraq war as having been a catastrophe.
“Since 2003, Iraqis suffered a greater deal because American administrations - Republicans and Democrats - insisted on supporting the most corrupt, most dishonest, and most disloyal officials and Islamic extremists to rise to power and ruin Iraq and slaughter Iraqis,” he told Middle East Eye.
He noted that while Powell had a reputation for decency as a politician, he failed to either object to the 2003 war or the “countless deliberate mistakes” made by Coalition Provisional Authority leader Paul Bremer during his rule over the occupied country.
“[Powell] chose to watch the massacres against Iraq and innocent Iraqis and do nothing about it. Iraqis today are busy trying to rescue their country and save tears for their young peaceful protesters, sons and daughters who got killed by the pro-Iranian militias and gangs,” he said.
“Iraqis will not shed tears for Colin Powell.”
MEE also offers this article.
Also offering truth on Colin are Margaret Kimberley and David Swanson in the video below.
And FRED HAMPTON LEFTISTS in the video below.
New content at THIRD:
- Truest statement of the week
- Truest statement of the week II
- A note to our readers
- Editorial: Collie was a War Hawk
- Media: A Little More Conversation
- Jim's Corner
- KINDLE UNLIMITED (Isaiah, Ava and C.I.)
- How Iraq's electoral commission fed mistrust in th...
- Talk World Radio: Margaret Kimberley on Powell, Ob...
- Death of a War Criminal : Roundtable Mondays for O...
- Kurds in Iraq's recent election
- Tweet of the week
- Ann weighs in on NETFLIX
- This edition's playlist