Tuesday, July 24, 2007

July 24, 2007 - No Working Class Solidarity Here Guys!

According to this article in the Washington Post, a carpenter's union local outsourced their picket line to paid local homeless types in order to raise its numbers. Sheesh. Not much working class solidarity here, you guys. Outsourcing your own labor struggle is kinda of a tip-off that you either don't have much support for your actions within your own base or the membership feels itself too good for such tasks. Either way though...

"Although their placards identify the picketers as being with the Mid-Atlantic Regional Council of Carpenters" says the article, "they are not union members. They're hired feet, or, as the union calls them, temporary workers, paid $8 an hour to picket. Many were recruited from homeless shelters or transitional houses. Several have recently been released from prison. Others are between jobs. ‘It's about the cash," said Tina Shaw, 44, who lives in a House of Ruth women's shelter and has walked the line at various sites. 'We're against low wages, but I'm here for the cash.' Carpenters locals across the country are outsourcing their picket lines, hiring the homeless, students, retirees and day laborers to get their message across. Larry Hujo, a spokesman for the Indiana-Kentucky Regional Council of Carpenters, calls it a 'shift in the paradigm' of picketing."

Unions suck in this country. They actually operate more as labor agencies whose sole purpose is fiduciary; that is to say, to get their members the best possible deal on wages, benefits, and working conditions, and give short shrift to the concept of class struggle and labor solidarity. That however should be their main purpose; elevating the condition and power of the working class. And which is how the unions act in Europe and most other places. In America though the political dimension of class struggle has totally escaped the often corrupt and always politically oblivious labor union leadership.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

July 18_2007 - I Think Reformists Are Wrong

I was surprised to read Glen Allport's column on Strike the Root yesterday wherein he lays out all the ways that political parties, special interest groups, ideologues, mercantilists, and the rest of the running dogs of statism, screw up liberal democratic governance, and then goes on to endorse the candidacy of a statist politician in an election in order to "fix" it all! Go figure? The real problem with state governance is the state itself; who runs it and how hardly matters. That has been my conclusion based on my own historical analysis, anyhow. It really surprised me that the STR publisher would post such an article given STR's stated position on such matters.

Reformism is a waste of time. In the end, when the bourgeoisie finally conclude that they can't dominate the political process any longer, they will undoubtedly turn toward fascism to maintain control and retain their privileges. That is what they've always done in the past.

July 18, 2007 - Road Trip!

2007 CrimethInc. Convergence - July 25-29, 2007 Athens, Ohio

From the promo website:
"Last summer’s convergence featured over forty workshops, including urban exploration, traveling for free, the conflict between Israel and Lebanon, Proudhon and mutualist banking, local radical history in Winona, stories from the 2005 G8 protests in Scotland, squatting to own, several self-defense workshops, a reading group for which literature was distributed in advance, a discussion for survivors of sexual abuse, a report on anarchist activity and challenges in Latin America, a conversation about anarchism and spirituality, and a discussion entitled 'Lucy Parsons and Post-Left Anarchy in the 1880s.' In addition, there was a puppet show about mountaintop removal, an anti-authoritarian jug band performed traditional spirituals, and a filmmaker presented a documentary about a Brazilian form of anarchist psychotherapy."

Sounds kinda of interesting and I am planning on attending. It's a short distance from where I am now and it would be good to remind myself that there are more of us out there than the media reports, eh? If anyone reading this has been to a previous convergence or has any other tips, advice or opinions about these kind of events or the CrimethInc. Ex-Workers Collective, please get in touch.

See ya' there!

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Sunday, July 15, 2007

What Happened to FreedomSLUT?

I've seen that unique and useful site get bogged down with commercial spam before sometimes, but the admin doesn't delete it any more, and so it has become kinda useless. You can dig through all the crap postings to find the occasional gem still, but who really wants to, eh? Sad.

Tech Tags:

July 15, 2007 - Agony Vs Agonizing

I've been experiencing some nerve pain in my neck and arms lately, making it hard to type very long or much. And so I haven't been. I seem to be getting better. Shingles, as this condition is called, are a bitch. But I endure.

On the other hand I've been able to catch up on my reading and also spend more time with the kids.

I may take a trip out to the coast soon or maybe even to Costa Rica. If I can't do any useful work, I may as well have some fun.

Any book suggestions? Or fun suggestions?