Saturday, January 28, 2006

Where to Buy Books

It is apparently common knowledge that is, like the other large companies of note in the post 1990s era (i.e. Wal-Mart, Verizon Wireless, Starbucks), extremely anti-union. What is book shopper to do, online or off?

Well, one of the places I've discovered when I visit NYC is called May Day Books located at 155 1st Ave. May Day is an anachist collective operated by unpaid volunteers. May Day has carved out a tiny space within the "Theater for New York City" but as you can see from the picture it is quite cozy. You will find books, zines, music, and videos that you are unlikely to find anywhere else. They even have Zapatista coffee! Check out their web site here:

For online shopping, I just today came across another anarchist collective called AK Press. AK has several locations in the US and England and relationships with some of the top publishers of alternative media. AK describes themselves as:
AK Press is a worker run book publisher and distributor organized around anarchist principles. All decision-making, including which titles we distribute and what we publish, is made collectively. Our goal is to make available radical books and other materials, titles that are published by independent presses, not the corporate giants, titles with which you can make a positive change in the world.
I found their site really easy to use and they had a lot of great books I was looking for but could not find elsewhere. Check them out here:

For a more mainstream but unionized and pro-labor bookseller, there is Powell's. Although they do not carry very much of the alternative press publications, they do carry the majority of the mainstream books and a good selection of academic books you won't find elsewhere. They also have a decent used book selection. Check them out here:

Finally, another great place to browse is Colophon Books in Ithaca, NY. Downtown Ithaca is a book-lovers paradise with seven independent book sellers all more-or-less within walking distance of each other. Unique for an American city, central downtown Ithaca is setup as a walking mall called the Commons, with many great restaurants, shops and, of course, book stores. Colophon is interesting because they specialize in unique and macabre books including out-of-print, small print run and import publications. I picked up some beautiful Arthur Machen titles there printed using traditional methods; the form of the books appropriately echoing the beauty of the writing.

They are located at 205 N Aurora St, and you can check them out here:

Friday, January 27, 2006

Uncle Tom Kofi

"Any group that wishes to participate in the democratic process should ultimately disarm because to carry weapons and participate in a democratic process and sit in parliament, there is a fundamental contradiction and I'm sure they [Hamas] are thinking about that too." - Kofi Annan
I agree 100% Kofi. I hope this means that the UN is going to call for a global ban on weapons for all democratic countries and parties in the world.

Oops, sorry - this rule only applies to sand-niggers or other revolutionaries, tough luck Hamas!

(Thanks to BionicOc for bringing this to my attention)

Monday, January 23, 2006

Starbucks Workers Action!

Sean at gives us a first hand account of the strike picket action against Starbucks in NYC. This is an excerpt from his post quoting the WSJ:
Details of Starbucks' woes at the National Labor Relations Board are also cited in the report. The company is set to stand trial on a wide range of charges including the termination of IWW member and former Starbucks barista Sarah Bender for exercising her right to join a union. Indeed, Starbucks' union-busting approach- high-priced anti-union consultants, propaganda, threats, and retaliation- is very similar to Wal-Mart's.

"The fact that some light has been shed on Starbucks' employment practices is a testament to the power of all the grassroots activists around the world that make up the Starbucks Workers Union community," said Daniel Gross, a barista and IWW organizer. "Never before has such a fundamentally anti-worker company done so well in creating a socially responsible image. With all the facts pointing to Starbucks as a poverty wage employer teeming with uninsured workers, the importance of a strong organization of baristas could not be more clear."

More here...

Lenin On Bolivia

Lenin at wrote an excellent post on Bolivia today. An excerpt follows, but I encourage you to read the whole thing:
Curiously enough, while much was made of Bachelet's victory in Chile introducing the first woman president to the country, comparatively little has been said about the fact that Morales is the first Indian president in Bolivia. It isn't that Bachelet's being a woman is insignificant - it just may be the only significant thing about her victory. Whereas Morales background intersects with the whole variety of reasons why he was elected. In short, this is the first Indian political leader Bolivia has had, in a country with an Indian majority, since Spanish colonialists conquered the area in 1525. It was the Indian population that provided an army of slave labourers to augment the "international help" in exploiting the silver mines. It was the colonial elite that controlled the country even after the colonists had been kicked out in 1809 - and a weak elite it was, too, susceptible to invasion and the loss of territory on all sides. It is fairly safe to say that this elite would have been dispatched a lot more rapidly and properly buried had it not been for US intervention. For although the Nationalist Revolutionary Movement had, following the 1952 revolution in which it ousted much of the old landed oligarchy and expropriated the mines, begun the process of consolidating the rule of the domestic middle class, it did create the conditions in which dual power could subsist. That was terminated by a CIA supported military coup in 1964, which saw Rene Barrientos take power until 1969, during which time miners had their wages cut and were massacred at Catavi. There was a short-lived left-nationalist regime under Gen. J.J. Torres in which workers's self-government was created in a popular assembly, and - yes - that too was supplanted after a mere two years by yet another CIA backed coup in 1971. General Banzer, after seven years of rule, was followed by a succession of military dictators known for their corruption, illicit narco-trafficking, and extraoardinary brutality. Subsequently, a sequence of liberalising governments allowed the country's nationalised assets to be bought off in large chunks by foreign investors - the so-called 'capitalisation' programme. Gen. Banzer won power electorally in 1997, with a mere 22% of the vote, and proceeded to crack down hard on the coca growers whose militancy had dogged previous governments, privatise industry, and renege on his pledge to suspend the privatisation of the oil company. All in accordance with the wishes of Washington. In 2001, he gave way to a former IBM employee, who in turn gave way to another 'technocratic' neoliberal. However, by then the genie was out of the bottle again - in 1998, the World Bank refused to guarantee a loan to finance water services in Cochabamba unless the utility was privatised and the costs passed on to consumers. In 1999, consortium led by Bechtel won the contract, and immediately doubled the price of water, which meant that for many it cost more than food. The World Bank kindly announced that it supported the full-cost pricing and declared that none of its loan could be used to subsidise water for the poor. In 2000, mass strikes and demonstrations broke the government and Bechtel were ordered out.

More here...

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Onward, Christian soldiers!

I just found this old IWW (Industrial Workers of the World) song, made in response to World War I. I'm sure you will all understand why its irony is poetic even 100 years later (Note: I am a Christian, just not one who justifies murder with the Cross):
Christians at War (John F. Kendrick - 1916)

Onward, Christian soldiers! Duty's way is plain;
Slay your [Christian] neighbors, or by them be slain,
Pulpiteers are spouting effervescent swill,
God above is calling you to rob and rape and kill,
All your acts are sanctified by the Lamb on high;
If you love the Holy Ghost, go murder, pray and die.

Onward, Christian soldiers! Rip and tear and smite!
Let the gentle Jesus bless your dynamite.
Splinter skulls with shrapnel, fertilize the sod;
Folks who do not speak your tongue deserve the curse of God.
Smash the doors of every home, pretty maidens seize;
Use your might and sacred right to treat them as you please.

Onward, Christian soldiers! Eat and drink your fill;
Rob with bloody fingers, Christ okays the bill,
Steal the farmers' savings, take their grain and meat;
Even though the children starve, the Savior's bums must eat,
Burn the peasants' cottages, orphans leave bereft;
In Jehovah's holy name, wreak ruin right and left.

Onward, Christian soldiers! Drench the land with gore;
Mercy is a weakness all the gods abhor.
Bayonet the babies, jab the mothers, too;
Hoist the cross of Calvary to hallow all you do.
File your bullets' noses flat, poison every well;
God decrees your enemies must all go plumb to hell.

Onward, Christian soldiers! Blight all that you meet;
Trample human freedom under pious feet.
Praise the Lord whose dollar sign dupes his favored race!
Make the foreign trash respect your bullion brand of grace.
Trust in mock salvation, serve as tyrant's tools;
History will say of you: "That pack of Goddamn fools."

Socialist MP3s

I just stumbled across an interesting site with free downloads of socialist songs (MP3 files) and thought I'd share.

The site is called "Songs of Irish Labour" maintained by Helena Sheehan, a comrade who is a university professor at Dublin City University. Helena covers a wide range of socialist songs and tells her personal story of struggle as a socialist living through the past couple of decades.

Dr. Sheehan also maintains a page specifically about the song "The Red Flag" which can be found here. The Red Flag was written by labor activist Jim Connell 1889 and is a lovely and inspiring song.

What else? She has a bunch of links to other labor song sites, including the following:
  • The Internationale: sound clip
  • Sheffield Socialist Choir (3 sound clips)
  • Union Songs
  • Union Sites
  • Other Music Sites
  • Billy Bragg
  • Tommy Sands
  • Pete Seeger Phil Ochs Labi Siffre
  • Bob Marley Alistair Hulett
  • FoFMbM On The Web
  • Industrial Worker -- Music/Song Songs of the IWW
  • Liberator: The Songbook
  • DSA Songs
  • Ripe for Revolution
  • Folk Music Home Page
  • Artists
  • Mudcat Cafe / Digital Traditions Folksong Database
So, check it out!

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Socialist World Map Project (v2.0)

Based on recent events I have updated the Socialist Map of the Western Hemisphere. I also have decided to show occupied or colonized countries as "grey" on the map since these types of countries are not self-governed and the people have no real representation or political power.

Political events of note:
  • Evo Morales (MAS Party) elected president of Boliva (18 December, 2005)
  • Michelle Bachelet (Socialist Party) elected president of Chile (15 January, 2006)
I have not closely looked at all of the nations in the western hemisphere for electoral changes or other events so if there are corrections please let me know. I will update this map if I come across anything or anyone give me updates.

The map designates countries based on a spectrum defined here (previous version of map) and the research was done using Wikipedia cross-referenced with mainstream news sources and the the CIA World Factbook.

Obviously, my definition of socialist for the purpose of this mapping project does not mean that a given nation is organized as a truly socialist society.

Anyone interested in helping me with the rest of the world please let me know.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Yummy, Linkrolls

OK I admit it - I am hooked on web 2.0 and the social software revolution. I will not deep-dive into that right now because I want to talk specifically about one web 2.0 technology, namely is a social bookmarking tool which allows one to create a bookmark list and add tags to the bookmarks. These bookmarks are saved in a large online database shared by everyone else who uses the tool, and all of the tags and bookmarks are cross-referenced.

Four key advantages include 1) the ability to access your bookmarks from any device, 2) the ability to categorize the bookmarks for easy referencing, 3) the ability to see who else is bookmarking the things you are -and- to share your bookmarks with others, and 4) the ability to publish your bookmarks (e.g. for instance via RSS or linkrolls).

A linkroll in is defined as a list of links (bookmarks) which are associated with a particluar tag, and creating delicious linkrolls is simple!

First you have to have a account and create some bookmarks and tags. Then you simply go to this link and choose some preferences. A code snippet is provide for you to copy-and-paste into your webpage or blog and you are done! Whenever you add more bookmarks to that tag they automagically appear in the linkroll.

On this blog I have two delicious linkrolls on the right hand column, one is associated with my tag "fol" and the other "uncapitalist". I cannot tell you how thrilled I am with this tool and by the way, it is totally free! Needless to say, I am cancelling my account...

Monday, January 16, 2006

A Speech from a Real President

We in the USA have been inflicted with many presidents over the years. We have heard many speeches and learned in school and from the media that American democracy is "of, by and for the people." We learn from our president about "freedom" and the importance of "patriotism" although we are often left not quit sure what those things are. We are subjected to the lunatic gibbering of lunatics on a regular basis when our presidents are asked to engage in intellectual debate. We had a man with Alzheimer, albeit a tragic disease, representing us as our leader and literally worshipped as a national hero (even though he went by the nickname "Dutch," oddly enough). We have a president who refers to the richest 1% of the nation as "his base" with glee while sending the less fortunate to be ground into hamburger overseas (although as presidents go, he is far from unique in this regard, war and kowtowing to capital are national pastimes for American presidents).

So, ever wonder what it would be like to have a real president? One who had convictions he could intelligently elaborate upon? One who took representing "the People" seriously?
"Evo, what do you and the MAS understand by 'socialism,'" I asked him, when I was invited by the Executive Committee of the Bolivian Labor Central (COB). "To live in community and equality," he answered. "Fundamentally, in the peasant communities they have socialism. For example, if we speak of land. I come from the ayllu of the Department of Oruro. Clearly, where I live at this moment, in the East in Chapare, there are no ayllus. It is individual parceling, and there arise very serious problems, because it leads to small holdings, which you don't see in a peasant community where the land is communal."

"Does the socio-economic model of the MAS resemble more that of Lula, Cuba, or Hugo Chávez?" I insisted. "I believe it is something much deeper," he answered. "It is an economic model based on solidarity, reciprocity, community, and consensus. Because, for us, democracy is a consensus. In the community there is consensus, in the trade union there are majorities and minorities.

"Inside this official democracy of Bolivia they do not respect the thought, sentiments, and the sufferings of the national majorities. And within this framework we are seeking a communitarian socialism based on the community. A socialism, let's say, based on reciprocity and solidarity. And beyond that, respecting Mother Earth, the Pacha Mama. It is not possible within that model to convert Mother Earth to merchandise. In Bolivia with the agrarian reform it is better to be a vaccinated cow than a human being. For a vaccinated cow there are 25 hectares and for a human being there is nothing."

Read more here...

Evo Morales, Communitarian Socialism and the Regional Power Block
By Heinz Dieterich
Jan 14, 2006, 18:12

"I am a woman, a Socialist, separated, agnostic, all the sins together"

Chile has elected Socialist Michelle Bachelet as its first woman president. Like many others, Bachelet suffered torture and imprisonment for her political beliefs under US supported state-terrorist Pinochet. F*ck the fascist reactionaries and their culture of fear and death.

Viva la revolution!

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Love the Liberal

Bill over at "Reasons to Be Impossible" reminds us of the problems of the liberal position with the following amusing lyrics. I doubt you'll hear this sung anytime soon at a MoveOn wine-and-cheese meet-and-greet:
I cried when they shot Medgar Evers
Tears ran down my spine
I cried when they shot Mr. Kennedy
As though I'd lost a father of mine
But Malcolm X got what was coming
He got what he asked for this time
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal

I go to civil rights rallies
And I put down the old D.A.R.
I love Harry and Sidney and Sammy
I hope every colored boy becomes a star
But don't talk about revolution
That's going a little bit too far
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal

I cheered when Humphrey was chosen
My faith in the system restored
I'm glad the commies were thrown out
Of the A.F.L. C.I.O. board
I love Puerto Ricans and Negros
As long as they don't move next door
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal

The people of old Mississippi
Should all hang their heads in shame
I can't understand how their minds work
What's the matter don't they watch Les Crane?
But if you ask me to bus my children
I hope the cops take down your name
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal

I read New Republic and Nation
I've learned to take every view
You know, I've memorized Lerner and Golden
I feel like I'm almost a Jew
But when it comes to times like korea
There's no one more red, white and blue
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal

I vote for the democtratic party
They want the U.N. to be strong
I go to all the Pete Seeger concerts
He sure gets me singing those songs
I'll send all the money you ask for
But don't ask me to come on along
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal

Once I was young and impulsive
I wore every conceivable pin
Even went to the socialist meetings
Learned all the old union hymns
But I've grown older and wiser
And that's why I'm turning you in
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal
Lyics by the late, great Phil Ochs (on Amazon here).

Election Rigger Linked to Diebold

The post:
Bob Ney (R-OH, at least for now), involved with Abramoff (who is involved with DeLay, Bush, and countless others including Norquist and Ralph Reed), is now showed to be heavily involved with Diebold, which was involved in Bush's "victory" in Ohio and is now involved in some heavy-duty securities litigation (as a defendant).

Read more at Agitprop.

The good news:
It looks like Ney is going down like a domino for his part in various corrupt schemes.

The bad news:
The federal government is threatening to sue New York state to force the state to "modernize" it's voting machines, despite the widely reported problems with electronic voting machines (see here, here, here and here).

Friday, January 13, 2006

Socialist Governments Lowering Taxes

The irony could not be sweeter:
The Republican-controlled Senate is at least temporarily incapable of extending the 15 tax rate for dividends and capital gains - even though the policy has helped trigger strong growth and job creation. Yet while the United States is mired in the swamp of class warfare economics, socialist governments in Europe continue to lower tax rates.

Read more here...

Chile to Elect Socialist President

More good news from Chile. Nearly an entire continent has gone "red" in a few short years. Next up?

From the Houston Chronicle:
SANTIAGO, CHILE - Chileans will choose a new president Sunday, likely making a woman their leader for the first time and helping to consolidate Latin America's shift to the political left.

Michelle Bachelet, a socialist and the candidate for a coalition that has governed Chile since the end of Augusto Pinochet's 1973-1990 dictatorship, is a strong favorite to win the election on promises to keep the booming economy on track.

Sebastián Piñera, the billionaire leader of a rightist alliance that has been in opposition for 15 years, has seen his support dwindle in the last stretch of the race as he failed to rally big business and impoverished women voters.

"There are no more obstacles in Bachelet's road to La Moneda," sociologist and political commentator Eugenio Tironi said in a newspaper editorial, referring to Chile's presidential headquarters.

If she wins, Bachelet will bolster a leftist tendency in Latin America, where socialist Evo Morales won the presidency in Bolivia last month, joining leftists leading Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Venezuela.

Bachelet, 54, was imprisoned and tortured at the beginning of the dictatorship. She first captured the Chilean imagination when as former victim of Chile's armed forces she became an unlikely defense minister in 2002 under popular President Ricardo Lagos.

Read more here...

Bolivia Elects Socialist President

Evo Morales and the MAS (Movement Towards Socialism) party have come into power in Bolivia.
This is another case of people power achieving what was once thought to be impossible.

A few years ago Bolivia was firmly controlled by right-wing neo-liberals. Extensive privatization was occurring. Petroleum was being pumped out of the country at an incredible pace, while the local population was left with no fuel or sky high prices, and no share of the profits.

International parasites mostly based in the USA and backed by onerous IMF policies, had descended on Bolivia to take over previously state-owned operations. They went so far as to "offer" privatized water and laws had been passed making it illegal for people to collect and drink rainwater (forcing them to pay for this ubiquitous resource).

Their reign is over. With strong ties to Hugo Chavez and the ever increasing momentum of class awareness in South America, we can watch with great expectation for Morales to roll back the reactionary policies of the IMF and pro-business policies of his predecessors.

Political Affairs Magazine reports:
In the 18th December 2005 Bolivian presidential elections Evo Morales received 53% of the vote -- 1,158,431 out of the 2,185,960 votes cast. His Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) defied media predictions that he would obtain only 35% of the vote -- which would have left the Bolivian parliament to decide on who the new president would be.

Podemos, the main right wing, pro-IMF and pro-US party, led by Harvard-trained Jorge Quiroga received 30% of the vote. With the Movimiento Indigena Pachakuti’s (MIPI) vote, the left parties together secured 55% of the vote. When we consider the scandalous exclusion of 1,000,000 voters from the electoral register – people who happen to live mainly in MAS strongholds -- then the defeat of Bolivia’s pro-neoliberal forces takes on an even greater significance. The MAS also did extremely well in the parliamentary elections.

In his election campaign manifesto Morales included measures with wide popular support such as the legalisation of coca leaf production and the nationalisation of the gas industry.

Evo Morales will become the second president of indigenous background in the history of Latin America. (The first was Benito Juarez, in Mexico during the second half of the 19th century). A new page has opened in the history of Bolivia, where the election of Evo Morales to the presidency means that the country’s majority indigenous population (60% of the population) have an historical opportunity of beginning to redress the centuries of exclusion, discrimination, poverty and brutal exploitation to which they have been subjected by the dominant white elite.

Read more here...

Monday, January 09, 2006

People's Power In Nepal

Last night I read an excellent article in the Monthly Review written by Parvati regarding the emerging "new state" driven by the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) or CPN(M). The article describes the goals and challenges of the new state which has suceeded in overturning the reactionary feudalistic state in over 80% of the national territory.

An excerpt:
While communications about the military successes of the People’s War in Nepal have been regularly disseminated, little information has been made available at the international level about the achievements of people’s power in the country. This article aims to rectify this situation somewhat by highlighting the emergence of people’s power side-by-side with the progressive dissolution of the old monarchical state (ruling since 1769), with particular reference to achievements made in the Central Command area, which includes the main base area, Rolpa.
Read more here...

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

The State of Minimum Wage

The New York Times’ States Take Lead in Push to Raise Minimum Wages details (as the headline implies) how the US federal government is behind individual states in increasing minimum wages. The federal minimum wage currently stands at $5.15 an hour, raised in 1997 from $4.75. Here in New York state, the minimum wage just increased to $6.75, and will increase again on January 1, 2007 to $7.15. Washington state enforces the nation’s highest minimum wage at $7.35 per hour (plus the “rate [is] adjusted for inflation”).

Despite the Times’ optimism*, the wage figures really aren’t that sunny. 26 states have a minimum wage that match the federal minimum, 2 states have a minimum wage that are below the federal standard, and 6 states have no minimum wage law at all -– meaning that only 16 states exceed the Federal standards.

Even worse (and now I’m really bursting this “positive left blog” mission) are the minimum wages in "American territories." The Department of Labor states that:
Minimum wage rates in American Samoa are set by a special industry committee [read: corporate lobbyists] appointed by the U.S. Department of Labor, as required by [The Fair Labor Standards Act]. The rates are set for particular industries, not for an employee's particular occupation. The rates are minimum rates; an employer may choose to pay an employee at a rate higher than the rate(s) for its industry [but why would they?].

Wages in American Samoa range from $2.57 per hour to $4.09, depending on the industry. Goods manufactured there can be legally marketed as “Made in the USA” -- it is, after all, a US territory. Similarly, the American Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) has a minimum hourly wage of $3.05.** (Puerto Rico and Guam match the federal minimum wage, while the US Virgin Island fall below it, although the DOL says they match the federal minimum "in practice.")

Now, if you were a money hungry, mega-corporation interested in keeping shareholders while appearing patriotic to the public, would you manufacture your t-shirts in Washington state ($7.35) or American Samoa ($2.68)?

Remember, you’re a corporation and therefore have no soul.

OK, maybe that's a bit harsh. But I’ll wrap things up by quoting the Times' article (emphasis mine):
Opinion polls show wide public support for an increase in the federal minimum wage, which falls far short of the income needed to place a family at the federal poverty level. Even the chairman of Wal-Mart has endorsed an increase, saying that a worker earning the minimum wage cannot afford to shop at his stores. ***

*Following Jayson Blair and Judy Miller, optimism is the one of the few things going for them.

** Or, $3.15, depending on the source.
More on working conditions in CNMI .
Additionally, here's an excerpt from the the cover piece in Islands Business, "The Pacific islands region’s leading current affairs and business magazine published monthly":

Partially independent from the United States, but ultimately completely
dependent on it, the Northern Marianas is an unhappy country. The locals are outnumbered by foreign “guest workers” and suspect Asian businessmen. The garment industry has collapsed and tourism figures dived when Japan Air Lines ended flights to it from Japan, the key tourism market, a few months ago.

The ineffective government is broke and in December could not buy the fuel needed for power stations. Saipan, the main island, was being hit by constant blackouts as power stations were shut down. The government is sueing for US$100 million it claims it is owed by the United States government. The outlook for Northern Marianas? Bleak.

***The chairman further noted that Wal-Mart is running a blue light special on irony.

Monday, January 02, 2006

MTA Strike Update

A recap from The Village Voice:
The final words of the lead [New York Daily] News editorial said it all: "Now, after devastating New York, (the union) has won." That's because besides snaring raises, a day off for MLK, improved healthcare in return for a 1.5 percent premium, and protecting pension benefits, the union won a payback for contributions that older members made to the system during a pervious contract. The checks could run to $14,000 a worker, which ought to cover those members' Taylor Law fines for the strike—and then some.

And as long as we're tallying union victories, don't forget the intangible edge the union has gained in future contract fights by striking during this one. The threat of a strike is one of the chips a union has at the table, and as one subway substation worker told me on the picket line last Thursday, sometimes you have to act on a threat to make it real.

Of course, few victories are total. The TWU will have to deal with its fines and other legal consequences before it is strong enough to wage another strike, and the next contract will expire after the holidays, giving the workers less leverage. Some union members -—worried about the precedent set by the health care payments—- don't think the TWU won at all. And budget watchdogs' worries about pension costs are valid—not because of the specifics of the TWU deal, but because pensions in general are the next great looming policy crisis.

All the same, "irrational" and "dead end" -—like their cousin "thuggish"-- are adjectives that look less and less applicable to the strike as it fades in the rear-view.