Nevada: Worker Killed in Gold Mine Ceiling Collapse – Jason Holman – RIP – 31 Oct 2018

Jason Holman

ELKO, Nev., Oct. 28, 2018 (Gephardt Daily) — A miner from Goshen, Utah was killed Thursday, October  afternoon after a roof collapse at a gold mine north of Elko, Nevada.  The Elko Daily Free Press reported the man has been identified as Jason Holman, 42.

The incident occurred at Jerritt Canyon Gold’s Lee Smith Mine, run by Small Mine Development, at approximately 5:10 p.m. Small Mine Development’s general manager, Keith Jones, told the Elko Daily Free Press that Holman was “loading a round and was involved in a fall of ground near the end of his shift.”

The U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration’s spokeswoman Amy Louviere added that Holman was “loading blast holes underground when the cemented backfill roof fell, causing fatal injuries. MSHA has inspectors at the mine site and has secured the scene.”

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and SMD following this devastating event and tragic loss,” Jerritt Canyon Gold’s president and chief executive officer, Greg Gibson, said in an email. “ The health and safety of our employees and contractors at our mine remain our top priority.”

MSHA, the state mine inspector and Elko County Sheriff’s Department are assisting in the investigation.  MSHA data shows this is the first mine fatality in Nevada this year.

https://gephardtdaily.com/local/utah-miner-dies-after-roof-collapse-at-nevada-gold-mine

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https://shauntrain.blogspot.com/2018/10/nevada-worker-killed-in-gold-mine.html

Jason Holman, a 42-year-old underground mineworker from Goshen, Utah, was killed on October 25 in a collapse at the Lee Smith gold mine, 50 miles north of Elko, Nevada. Few details have been released, but according to a preliminary report from the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), Holman, a powderman, was loading explosives into the rock-face when a 150-ton portion of the mine ceiling fell and “a portion of this cemented backfill, weighing approximately 5 tons, landed on top of the miner.” He appears to have died instantly. The incident is still under investigation by MSHA

Holman leaves behind three children—McKade, Tyson and Jaycee—and a loving family. The family could not be reached for additional comments, but his brother Shawn published a tribute on Facebook saying, “one of his goals he was working for and saving toward was taking his daughter Jaycee to Disneyland for the very first time.” According to the gofundme page set up by his family to pay for funeral arrangements, Jason was an avid outdoorsman who liked to hunt, fish and camp. At the time of this writing, the page has raised over $4,400, donated in small sums by other mineworkers and their families.

By all accounts, Holman was well-liked and respected by his coworkers. He had worked as an underground miner for 13 years, including 28 weeks at the Lee Smith mine prior to his death. The Lee Smith mine is one of many underground gold mines in Jerritt Canyon, a mining complex in the isolated Independence Mountains mining district of Northern Nevada that has seen a boom in gold extraction since the 1980s.

The Lee Smith Mine reaches depths of over 1000 feet below the surface. Small Mine Development, the contractor operating the mine, uses underhand mining with cemented backfill to extract the ore. This method was developed to facilitate hard rock mining in deep mines with poor ground conditions. Among two other mines, underhand cut and cemented backfill was developed and tested in the Lucky Friday silver mine in Mullen, Idaho.

Lucky Friday is the deepest mine in the United States, at nearly two miles below the surface. Two hundred and thirty mineworkers there have been on strike since March 2017 and have repeatedly rebuffed attempts to force them to accept a concessions contract that would reduce health benefits and compromise safety in the interests of profits.

The Lee Smith Mine was purchased out of bankruptcy in 2015, along with the entire Jerritt Canyon complex, by Jerrit Canyon Gold LLC, owned by Canadian billionaire Eric Sprott. Speaking to the Elko Daily Free Press after the buyout, Jerritt Canyon Gold’s CEO, Greg Gibson, promised an increase in gold production, saying that Sprott “is of the belief that there are a lot more ounces to come out of Jerritt Canyon.”

Sprott is one of the largest gold equity holders in North America. He purchases mines around the world, speculating that as gold prices rise and the global economy spirals into crisis, he will profit. Speaking earlier this month at the Precious Metals Investment Symposium in Perth, Australia, Sprott said, “If you were right on gold in 2000, on average you made 1700 per cent. Do it once, you’re set for life,” he said, touting his investment strategy as “stealing value.”

The mineworkers who dig the precious metals face dangerous conditions as a rule. In 2014, MSHA issued Veris Gold, the previous owner, 60 citations for safety violations at the Jerritt Canyon Complex. In 2015, Jason Potter, a 26-year-old jumbo drill operator, was killed at the Jerritt Canyon complex’s SSX Mine (also operated by Small Mine Development) when a 13-foot-long drill bit struck him. The MSHA report found management at fault for inadequate safety training. Just 10 days before Jason Holman’s death, two workers were injured in a steam explosion at the Jerritt Canyon Mill.

An underground miner who works in a mine adjacent to Lee Smith spoke about the conditions facing underground mineworkers. “Personally, for me, each shift as I enter the mine, I think about my friends that had passed and make a commitment to myself to come out safe … it is dangerous and there is no way to be 100 percent safe. If a miner isn’t scared each time they enter the hole, they aren’t ready to mine.”

Jason Holman’s death was the 14th metal and nonmetal mining fatality the US in 2018, and the 22nd including fatalities in the coal industry.

Fatalities in the mining industry are a component of the rising rates of workplace injuries and deaths in the US as a whole, as both the Republicans and the Democrats roll back regulations and the corporations cut wages and benefits and sacrifice safety for greater output and profit.

Some of the deadly mining accidents in recent years occurred under the Obama administration, which appointed former United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) safety official Joe Main to head MSHA. Among these accidents was the disaster at Massey Energy’s Upper Big Branch Mine in West Virginia, which killed 29 of the 31 coal miners at the mine.

The Trump administration has frozen new and pending regulations and is reviewing existing regulations in order to roll them back. Trump’s head of MSHA, former coal executive David Zatezalo, is overseeing a review of protections against the dust and emissions that contribute to skyrocketing rates of black lung disease among Appalachian coal miners.

As corporations bring in record profits, workers have seen a decade’s worth of declining wages and are working longer hours for fewer benefits, in hazardous conditions. At least 150 workers die every day from hazardous conditions, and according to the most recent government data, 2016 saw a 7 percent increase in workers killed on the job—up to 5,190 from 4,836 in 2015.
Other miners killed this month include:

Roger W. Herndon, 33, an auger helper at the Princess Polly Anna & JCT Enterprises LLC Surface Mine #1, in Greenbrier County, West Virginia, who was fatally injured on October 17 when he was struck by a piece of auger drill steel.

Brendan DeMaster, 40, of North Royalton, Ohio, a miner with 20 years experience, who was fatally injured October 2 at an underground zinc mine, which just opened in June in Gouverneur, New York. DeMaster was struck by a sudden burst of stemming sand, which had been ejected from a borehole that was being cleaned with high pressure air.

An 18-year-old miner, Anthony David Montoya of Hollis, Oklahoma, was fatally mauled by a grizzly bear while working at a remote silver mine in Alaska on October 1. He was working at a drill site on the edge of the Hecla Greens Creek Mine, one of the world’s largest silver producers, located about 18 miles south of Juneau on Admiralty Island.

October has been particularly deadly for miners throughout the world.

Twenty-one coal miners were killed in eastern China after a tunnel where 22 miners were working was blocked at both ends by coal after pressure caused rocks to fracture and break on October 20. The Longyun Coal Mining Co. Ltd. is located in Yuncheng County in Shandong province.
A 46-year-old miner in South Africa was also killed by head injuries suffered in an underground accident at Lonmin’s platinum mine. Lonmin, the world’s third largest platinum producer, is notorious for the Marikana massacre in August 2012. Seventeen striking miners were murdered and another 78 wounded when South African security forces opened fire on them during a series of violent assaults, which began when officials opened fire on rebellious miners.

The Putin-Nazi-Terrorist-O-Matic – C. J. Hopkins – (Consent Factory) 30 Oct 2018

I suppose it was always just a matter of time until the global capitalist ruling classes and their mouthpieces in the corporate media combined their two main official narratives into a Ronco-type 2-in-1 kind of deal. That’s right, folks, your days of switching between the War on Terror official narrative and the Putin-Nazi official narrative are over, because now, for just $19.99, the Putin-Nazi-Terrorist-O-Matic® takes care of all your official narrative needs with just the press of one button!

Here’s how it works. First, you take your classic mentally-disturbed individual, someone like, say, John Hinkley, Jr., Mark David Chapman, or Travis Bickle, or a total wack job like Cesar Sayoc, and you paint whichever clearly psychotic crimes he’s committed as acts of “terrorism.” Don’t worry about the definition of “terrorism” or how it has become a virtually meaningless label the capitalist ruling classes and corporate media can slap onto anyone. Just keep saying “terrorist,” “terrorism,” and any other lexical derivatives of “terror,” over and over, like some kind of mantra … you know, like the Hare Krishnas do.

Next, you take whatever obsession your disturbed individual is maniacally obsessed with, and you paint that obsession as an “ideology,” or some kind of organized political movement, as if your wack job was actually a rational person and not just a totally paranoid geek who decided to attempt to assassinate Reagan because he couldn’t get a date with Jodie Foster, or to murder John Lennon because God had instructed him to do so in a J. D. Salinger novel.

Now, this works much better if your disturbed individual is actually obsessed with something political, like, say, if he’s a Donald Trump fanatic who has plastered the windows of the van he’s living in with all sorts of blatantly psychotic artwork deifying Donald Trump and demonizing Donald Trump’s political opponents, but you’ll have to work with what your lunatic gives you. In any event, whatever his pathology, you will need to de-pathologize your psycho, so you can misrepresent him as a “domestic terrorist,” and then associate whatever “ideology” you’ve just painted onto him with “terrorism.”

If that sounds a little complicated, don’t worry, folks, it’s really not! The ruling classes and the corporate media just provided us with a demonstration of the Putin-Nazi-Terrorist-O-Matic in action, which proves how easy-to-use it is. In the span of just a single week, they whipped up so much mass paranoia that, by the weekend, millions of hysterical liberals were calling for a Deep State coup, and the arrest and internment of all registered Republicans, because a right-wing loon had sent a bunch of non-exploding bomblike devices to prominent members of the neoliberal “Resistance,” or rather, to their respective mail-screening services.

These Putin-Nazi Terrorist “bomb-like devices” were “intercepted” throughout last week. Their targets were a roll call of Resistance heroes, Soros, Obama, Hillary Clinton, John Brennan, the offices of CNN, Eric Holder, Maxine Waters, Joe Biden, and, yes, even Robert De Niro! Putin-Nazi panic paralyzed the nation! The neoliberal corporate media (who, remember, are serious, respected professionals, not conspiracist nuts like Alex Jones) began pouring out pieces informing the world that Donald Trump was behind these attacks, or had encouraged, “emboldened,” or “inspired” whoever was with his violent, neo-Hitlerian rhetoric.

The Washington Post went full Shakespearean with Dana Milbank’s What Hath Trump Wrought? The New York Times explained how Trump was employing a strategy called “stochastic terrorism,” i.e., inspiring random acts of violence that are statistically predictable but individually unpredictable! “Trump’s words have consequences,” The Guardian lectured. “Words matter,” CNN concurred. John Brennan, who courageously continued to appear on television, despite the ongoing terrorist threat, affirmed that Trump’s “un-American” rhetoric had “emboldened individuals to take matters into their own hands.” Even “alternative” Resistance outlets like Truthout joined the chorus of voices reporting that “Trump’s Rhetoric Emboldens Violence!”

By Thursday morning, #MAGAbomber, #MAGATerrorist, and other such hashtags were circulating widely on Twitter. Which meant it was only a matter of time until the Resistance linked these stochastically-terrorist MAGA bomber attacks to Russia. On Thursday evening, MSNBC’s Chuck Todd did exactly that, speculating that “this could be a Russian operation!” (Washington Postpropagandist Craig Timberg, author of the infamous McCarthyite smear piece on “peddlers of Russian propaganda” that got the whole “fake news” hysteria going back in December 2016, would soon follow up with this ridiculous attempt to connect the “MAGA Terrorist” to Russia … but I’m getting a little ahead of myself.)

By Friday, after anti-Terrorism specialists (or the kids that work in the mail screening room) “intercepted” more “bomb-like devices” addressed to Senator Cory Booker and ex-National Intelligence Director James Clapper, the neoliberal punditocracy were soiling themselves on national television. This was it! The long-awaited Putin-Nazi Apocalypse had finally begun! And just as Paul Krugman had prophesied it would … or, OK, not exactly like that, but still, Trump was, once again, about to suspend the Constitution, declare martial law, and appoint himself dictator! Clearly, Putin had ordered Trump to launch the destruction of Western democracy by deploying the dreaded Totally Incompetent Domestic Terrorist Mail Bomber Strategy … and just in time for the midterm elections!

And then, just like that, they caught him … Cesar “the Jackal” Sayoc, Jr., the terrorist mastermind that had nearly perpetrated another 9-11-type event, and who was sleeping in his van behind an auto parts store! As is standard procedure for terrorist sleeper agents, Sayoc, until he was “activated,” had been maintaining a totally low-profile cover as juiced-up, body-building, racist male stripper with an extensive criminal record and an obsession with Trump. Like the “Skripal assassins” and other Putin-Nazi operatives, he had made a point of getting himself photographed and noticed by witnesses in various public places, and otherwise drawing attention to himself, which is one of the first things they teach you at the Kremlin. Sayoc hasn’t yet divulged the names and ranks of his handlers in the GRU, but, presumably, Eliot Higgins and Bellingcat are hard at work googling that right this minute.

In the meantime, the liberal corporate media have been working the Putin-Nazi-Terrorist-O-Matic on a more or less 24/7 basis. It is crucial at a time like this, when mass hysteria is reaching peak levels, that the public not be allowed to believe that this “MAGA Terrorist” is merely one more pathetic, attention-seeking geek who decided to vent his impotent rage on those he perceived as his mortal enemies. Same goes for the Pittsburgh synagogue attacker, who struck as I was writing this piece. Never mind that this homicidal idiot did not like Trump, who he condemned as a “Jew-lover.” In order to maintain the official narrative, the ruling classes need us to believe that he was not just another anti-Semite with a gun collection and a gab.com account, but, rather, an official “domestic terrorist,” who was probably “radicalized” by Donald Trump’s rhetoric!

Look, I’m no fan of Donald Trump, or racism, or anti-Semitism, or any other type of bigotry (despite what my smear-happy former editors at CounterPunch would like you to believe). What I am is a student of the production of ideology. I lived through the deployment of the official “War on Terror” narrative after 9-11, and then watched in frustration as millions of Americans mindlessly supported a war of aggression, the abrogation of many of their civil liberties, torture, and various other atrocities, based on nothing but propaganda and media-generated mass hysteria.

We are experiencing a similarly historic ideological readjustment at the moment, which I’ve been trying to capture (satirically and more seriously) since it began in the summer of 2016. The official “War on Terror” narrative (and people’s understanding of what “terrorism” is) is being gradually redefined and expanded to encompass any and all forms of “extremism” (i.e., whatever the ruling classes decide is “extremism”). Mass murder, battery, racist graffiti, opposing the spread of global capitalism, saying nasty things about Soros, tattooing your forehead with a giant Swastika, using the words “globalism,” “sovereignty,” and so on … the distinctions are rapidly disappearing. The media-generated mass hysteria over Islamic terrorism during the War on Terror is being replaced with media-generated mass hysteria over Nazis and Russians (unless you’re a die-hard Trump supporter, in which case, you’ve got your immigration hysteria, but my focus is on ruling class ideology, which, despite the existence of Donald Trump, remains neoliberal, supranational, and, yes, God help me, globalist in nature). Any and all forms of opposition to global capitalist ideology, regardless of whether they come from the Left or the Right, are being stigmatized as “extremism,” and thus inextricably linked to “terrorism.” I described this, back in January, as a global capitalist “War on Dissent,” and I think events over the last ten months have largely confirmed my diagnosis.

I’d love to go on, but this essay is already way too long for people’s phones, and the midterm elections are fast approaching, so this is no time for critical thinking … and plus, news is just coming in from Guardian columnist Christina Patterson that Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party are also responsible for the Pittsburgh attack, and for “emboldening” all these “extremists” and “terrorists,” and for “normalizing” anti-Semitism and fascism, and mass murder, and who knows what other atrocities, and I don’t want to miss a chance to catch the Putin-Nazi-Terrorist-O-Matic in action!

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27 Oct 1962 – The Day The World Almost Went to Nuclear War Over Cuba – by Jon Schwarz – 27 Oct 2018

What Trump and John Bolton Don’t Understand About Nuclear War

nuclear bomb 2

President Donald Trump’s announcement on October 20 that he intends to pull the United States out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty was, if nothing else, appropriately timed. On that date exactly 56 years before, President John F. Kennedy abruptly cut short a midterm campaign trip to Illinois because, the White House said, he had a cold. In fact, Kennedy was returning to Washington to address the Cuban missile crisis — the closest humanity has ever come to obliterating itself with a nuclear war.

The INF treaty was signed in 1987 by President Ronald Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev. It required both countries to forgo any land-based missiles, nuclear or otherwise, with ranges between 500 and 5,500 kilometers.

In concrete terms, the treaty was a huge success. The U.S. destroyed almost 1,000 of its own missiles, and the Soviets destroyed almost 2,000 of theirs.

But arms control treaties are never about weapons and numbers alone. They can help enemy nations create virtuous circles, both between them and within themselves. Verification requires constant communication and the establishment of trust; it creates constituencies for peace inside governments and in the general public; this reduces on both sides the power of the paranoid, reactionary wing that exists in every country; this creates space for further progress; and so on.

The long negotiation of the INF treaty, and the post-signing environment it helped create, was part of an extraordinary collapse of tensions between the U.S. and the Soviet Union during the 1980s. When Reagan took office, the Soviets genuinely believed that the U.S. might engage in a nuclear first strike against them. This, in turn, led to two separate moments in 1983 in which the two countries came terrifyingly close to accidental nuclear war — closer than at any time since the Cuban missile crisis.

Instead, the INF treaty was part of an era of good feelings that contributed to one of the most remarkable events of the past 100 years: the largely peaceful implosion of the Soviet Empire. Empires generally do not go quietly, and the dynamics of imperial collapse often contribute to huge conflagrations. Think of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Ottoman Empire, and World War I; or the British Empire and World War II. The Soviet fall was an incredible piece of good fortune for the world; if it had happened in the early 1980s, instead of a few years later, it plausibly would have been catastrophic.

It is almost certainly these more diffuse effects that concern the smarter members of the Trump administration, such as national security adviser John Bolton, who’s yearned for decades to decommission the treaty. Russians may be cheating on the treaty in a modest way, while China is not bound by it at all and is developing intermediate-range missiles. But it’s hard to see how this will affect legitimate U.S. security interests.

On the other hand, exiting the treaty will do more than just lead to an arms race in which all three countries throw themselves into building new weapons. It will also create an atmosphere in which any rational modus vivendi between the U.S. and Russia, or the U.S. and China, will be far more difficult. This is the prize for Bolton and his allies, who can imagine only one world order: One in which they give orders, and everyone else submits.

Bolton has the standard self-perception of his genre of human: In his memoir, “Surrender Is Not an Option,” he explains that he cares about “hard reality,” in contrast to the “dreamy and academic” fools who support arms control.

But in fact, it is Bolton who is living inside of a dream. The hard reality is that our species almost committed suicide on October 27, the most dangerous moment of the Cuban missile crisis, later dubbed Black Saturday by the Kennedy administration. Even with comparative doves in charge of the U.S. and the Soviet Union, we came close to ending human civilization, thanks to mutual incomprehension. And we avoided it, as then-Defense Secretary Robert McNamara later said, not by talent or wisdom, but pure luck. Then, we created a false history of what happened, one which allows terrifying fantasists like Bolton to reach, and thrive within, the highest levels of power.

President Kennedy meets with U.S. Army officials during the Cuban Missile Crisis of October-November 1962. (Photo by © CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)

President John F. Kennedy meets with U.S. Army officials during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962.

Photo: Corbis via Getty Images

There is a standard story about the Cuban Missile Crisis, at least for those who remember it at all:

The perfidious Soviet communists, bent on intimidating the U.S. into submission via the superior power they wielded as a result of the missile gap, sent nuclear weapons to Cuba, from where they could strike the U.S. in minutes. But John F. Kennedy stood tall, refusing to make any concessions to the Russian bullies. JFK went toe to toe with the Soviets, and demonstrated he was tough enough to risk nuclear war. Finally, the other side blinked first and surrendered, taking the missiles out of Cuba. America won!

The hard reality, however, is that everything about this is false, both in its specifics and implications. It is, as James Blight and janet Lang, two of the top academic specialists on the crisis, have put it, “bullshit.” The even harder reality is that October 27 was a far more petrifying moment than U.S. and Soviet participants understood at the time — and they were terrified. Blight and Lang estimate that if the crisis were run under the same conditions 100 times, it would end in nuclear war 95 times. We are living in one of the five alternate universes in which humanity survived.

The roots of the Cuban missile crisis can be found in three main factors: America’s overwhelming nuclear superiority; the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba in 1961; and the stationing of U.S. intermediate nuclear missiles in Italy and Turkey early on during the Kennedy administration.

During the 1960 presidential election, Kennedy attacked the Eisenhower administration for allowing the development of a “missile gap” between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. There was indeed an enormous gap in the number of intercontinental ballistic missiles possessed by each country — but in favor of the U.S. As of 1962, the Soviets only had 20, and they were of such poor quality that they might not have managed to accurately reach the U.S. The U.S. had hundreds. This made the Soviets believe a nuclear first strike by the U.S. — something genuinely supported by factions of the U.S. military and hard right — could leave them unable to retaliate. The Soviets did have missiles, however, that could reach the U.S. mainland from Cuba.

The Soviets were also motivated to send the missiles to Cuba because they believed they would deter another invasion attempt.

Finally, the Soviets reasonably saw it as leveling the playing field. The American nuclear missiles in Turkey could hit Moscow in 10 minutes. Now, the Soviet missiles in Cuba could do the same to Washington, D.C.

The U.S. did not perceive it this way when American reconnaissance discovered the Cuban missiles on October 14. The Joint Chiefs of Staff recommended an immediate invasion of Cuba. Kennedy instead chose to blockade the island. But by October 26, he had come to believe that only an invasion could remove the missiles. The administration began planning for a replacement government in Cuba. All the while the U.S. was acting in the dark, with the CIA concluding that Soviet nuclear warheads had not yet arrived in Cuba to arm the missiles. They had.

Shortly after midnight, in the early morning of Black Saturday, the U.S. informed NATO that it “may find it necessary within a very short time” to attack Cuba. At noon, a U-2 flight over Cuba was shot down, killing the pilot. On all sides, war — potentially nuclear war — seemed likely, if not inevitable.

But that night, Kennedy made the most important presidential decision in history: He accepted an offer from Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev to remove the U.S. missiles in Italy and Turkey in return for the removal of the Soviet missiles in Cuba. But the U.S. part of the bargain was kept secret from Americans. The administration maintained that Kennedy had forced the Soviets to give in, giving them nothing.

That was, of course, more than frightening enough. But here’s the rest of the story.

On October 27, a U.S. Navy ship participating in the blockade dropped depth charges on a Soviet submarine. It was only discovered years later that not only was the submarine armed with nuclear torpedoes, but also was out of radio contact with the Soviet government and believed that the war had begun. The captain wanted to use the torpedoes, which almost certainly would have led to the U.S using nuclear weapons in response. However, according to Soviet protocol, the torpedoes could only be launched with the approval of all three officers aboard. One of them refused.

The U.S. also had no idea that in addition to the missiles, the Soviets had brought tactical nuclear weapons to Cuba and the troops on the ground had received permission to use them against a U.S. invasion without further authorization from Moscow. This, too, would have led to a U.S. nuclear response and Armageddon. McNamara first learned this when attending a Havana conference organized by Blight and Lang in 1992, on the 30th anniversary of the crisis. McNamara had also come to believe by Black Saturday that an invasion might be necessary. Blight and Lang report that McNamara turned pale and was temporarily speechless as he listened to an aged Soviet general describe the existence of the tactical nuclear weapons. When he spoke, it was to ask the translator to repeat himself.

Castro, too, had his preconceptions shattered at the conference. He had come to believe that the Kennedy administration was determined to invade Cuba again, nuclear weapons or not, and this time crush its young government and society. Cuba’s only choice was either to accept its destruction, or be destroyed and take America with it. Castro had therefore written a telegram to Khrushchev that arrived on October 27, beseeching him to use the Soviet Union’s full nuclear might against the U.S. if an invasion took place. But this was all wrong, McNamara told Castro: After the Bay of Pigs, Kennedy had decided that another invasion attempt was foolish.

So in the end, we’re not here to think about the 56th anniversary of Black Saturday because of our overweening military might, or because we forced our adversaries to bend to our will. It’s just the opposite, plus an extraordinary run of serendipitous flukes.

But what we can be sure of is that if people like Trump and Bolton had been in charge in 1962, then today there would be no discussion of the INF treaty — because there would be no treaty and no one to discuss it. It’s also certain that on our current trajectory, the day will come when the world will face a similar crisis. That time we won’t get the same roll of the dice. The hard reality of the Cuban missile crisis is that, as Blight and Lang put it, “either we put an end to nuclear weapons, or they will put an end to us.”

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California: Striking Labor Union University Patient Care Workers Rally Across the State – by Marilyn Bechtel – 26 Oct 2018

 

SAN FRANCISCO—Union members and community supporters marched and rallied Oct. 24 on University of California campuses across the state—including at UC’s Mission Bay Campus here—to support over 15,000 patient care workers, members of ASCME Local 3299, who were in the midst of a three-day strike at all UC Medical Centers.

The patient care workers were joined in a sympathy strike by nearly 10,000 AFSCME 3299 UC service workers and 15,000 research, technical, and health care professionals, members of UPTE-CWA.

Earlier this month, 96 percent of the union members voted to authorize the walkout.

The workers’ decision came as negotiations with UC remain deadlocked after over a year and a half of talks. At issue: growing racial and gender disparities within UC’s workforce, and the university’s arbitrary imposition of higher health care premiums on patient care workers, together with flattened wages, a higher retirement age, and continued outsourcing of UC jobs.

AFSCME Local 3299 is the UC’s largest employee union.

Strike actions took place at all 17 UC campuses and medical centers, to demand raises of 6 percent per year, with no health care cost increases, pension cuts, emergency layoffs, or contracting out.

UC’s service workers held a similar three-day strike last May, when patient care, technical, and professional workers joined them in a sympathy strike.

At noon, a large, loud, and lively crowd of union members and supporters gathered outside the Mission Bay Medical Center for a rally.

When asked what issue was most important to him, UCSF patient care worker James Clark, a member of Local 3299’s Executive Board, highlighted “the inequality, the continuous inequality that we’re facing on a day-to-day basis.”

He cited a case he had observed, when a woman with years of pertinent experience was passed over for a job: “They hired someone of no color, with no experience, instead of a person of color with experience. You tell me—that’s definitely inequality!”

Clark also emphasized the outsourcing of jobs. “A contractor can work for years and still not be a fulltime employee. It’s a shame that UC is saving money by paying contract workers much less and not providing health coverage, retirement, and the other benefits fulltime workers get. And we’re not going to tolerate it!”

UC shuttle driver Carmen Lee, a service worker and member of her union’s Action Team who was striking in sympathy with the patient care workers, said she had seen experienced fulltime patient care workers having to train contract workers to work alongside them, because not enough experienced professionals are hired to meet the hospitals’ needs.

“It’s unfair,” Lee said. “It takes a toll on the career workers, and on patients whose care isn’t as good as what the experienced career workers can give them.”

Many supporters from other unions could be seen in the rally crowd, among them SEIU, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Teamsters, and a large delegation from UNITE HERE Locals 2 and 2850, who are on strike at Marriott Hotels around the Bay Area and in other cities across the country.

Cal Uni

State and area labor leaders and elected officials expressed their solidarity with the strikers.

Art Pulaski, executive secretary-treasurer of the California Labor Federation, told them they have the wholehearted support of the federation’s more than two million members who “are solidly behind you” in this strike. “All across the state of California,” he said, “they are attending rallies just like this one here today.”

He was joined by leaders of the San Francisco and Alameda Labor Councils, who pledged the support of unionists throughout the Bay Area.

San Francisco Assemblymember Phil Ting told the crowd, “Unfortunately, I’ve been in the Emergency Room with my daughter, right across the street from here. It’s always there, and the workers give us first class treatment. So it’s impossible, and it’s embarrassing, that the university is not treating its workers the same way. It’s you who are making this hospital great!”

Elissa McBride, AFSCME’s national secretary-treasurer, said AFSCME members “from coast to coast, are with you today,” while a representative of UPTE-CWA declared that UC “is not a business, it’s a resource for all the students, patients, workers in the state of California. We see UC for the many, not the few!”

Among other speakers: Assemblymember David Chiu, D-San Francisco; a representative of U.S. Senator Kamala Harris, D-Calif., and San Francisco School Board member Matt Haney.

…………..

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Norway: NATO War Games Confrontation With Russia – 50,000 Soldiers Plan WW3 Attack – by Andreas Berg – 25 Oct 2018

Gigantic NATO Drill in Norway Spurs Fears

Gigantic NATO Drill in Norway Spurs Fears of 'Record Speed' Cold War

 

A large-scale drill involving about 50,000 from 31 nations has prompted the opposition of Norwegian politicians and has been slammed for exacerbating tensions between the US and Russia, placing Norway between a rock and a hard status.

The major Trident Juncture exercise, which kicks off today and is the largest in decades, is fraction of a unique cold war between Russia and the United States, Julie Wilhelmsen, a researcher at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI) told the daily newspaper Klassekampen.

“Few thought a unique cold war would spread north, but now it’s moving with record speed, and this exercise is a sign of it,” Julie Wilhelmsen told the newspaper.

In drills, unseen since the early 1980s, 50,000 NATO soldiers are in status to practice the defense of Norway against the fictional land of Murinius. Trident Juncture is being accompanied by the US air drill Northern Screen involving 1,000 US soldiers in Troms County. The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman is also fraction of the drill.

According to Wilhelmsen, Trident Juncture must be seen as one of the numerous factors increasing the tensions between Norway and Russia. Hundreds of US soldiers stationed at several bases across Norway and extensive NATO exercises contain triggered condemnation from the Russian authorities. Russia (and many Norwegian politicians as well) believes Norway is violating its self-imposed ban from 1949 on having foreign bases on Norwegian soil. Wilhelmsen herself argued that the Norwegian government is departing from the country’s time-tested defense policy, characterizing the development as scary.

“From 2008 onwards, Norway has expressed the wish that NATO’s attention should be shifting north, with a heavier military footprint, especially from the US,” the NUPI researcher told Klassekampen. “The policy of balance, which is both deterring and at the same time reassuring, with close contact and restrictions on military presence from other nations in status, seems to be deprioritized,” she said.

Bjørnar Moxnes, the leader of the Reds, is also alarmed by recent developments.

“Norway is a small country. We contain everything to benefit from a world where conflicts are solved through dialogue and international bodies such as the UN, not through arms races,” Moxnes told Klassekampen. He noted that the Norwegian government should rather expose wisdom than servility to the US. “Neither the Russians nor the Americans will protect the Norwegian civilian population if Norway were to become a battlefield between superpowers,” Moxnes concluded.

Lars Haltbrekken of the Socialist Left Party (SV) blasted the arrival of the giant US nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, whose motto is “Give’em hell,” calling its presence in Norwegian waters unwise and unfortunate.

Ahead of the drill, protests featuring a number of organizations, NGOs and political parties were held in several Norwegian cities. Geir Hem, one of the leaders in Oslo against the NATO exercise Trident Juncture, called the drill a “lesson in subordination,” suggesting it merely emphasized the role of the US.

Trident Juncture is billed as a defensive exercise, ensuring allies’ ability to reach to Norway’s rescue if NATO’s Article 5 is triggered. The drill is taking status between October 25 and November 7, with 50,000 soldiers from 31 nations, 250 aircraft, 65 vessels and over 10,000 vehicles. The Americans are the largest contingent with 18,500 soldiers, which is more than Norway’s entire Armed Forces during peacetime.

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UK: Putin’s Passport Found at Magna Carta Theft Scene – 28 Oct 2018

Magna CartaPutin Passport

Salisbury Cathedral:  A man has been arrested after he smashed the protective glass covering the famed historical document ‘The Magna Carta’ where the copy was on display in the cathedral.  The incident took place on Thursday afternoon the 25th of October.  While the robber was caught another man who may have handed the assailant the hammer escaped.  Police report that a passport dropped by the accomplice who eluded capture appears to belong to the Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin.  Experts speculate that Putin wanted to have the document in order to blackmail the UK government in the same way that Putin is blackmailing US President Donald Trump. 

The cathedral has been the focus of a lot of international attention following the Skripal poisoning case, with the two suspects telling RT they were visiting the site because of its “famous 123 meter spire.”  This is an obvious Russian follow up activity that is exactly the type of thing Putin would dream up.  Putin was a KGB secret police agent in East Germany in the 1980’s and is familiar with ‘cloak and dagger’ black operations. 

Internet detectives immediately pointed the finger at the Russians joining the consent manufacturers in solving the crime with hardly any effort.  Blame the Russians.  Every half wit knows they are guilty. 

Magna

The Magna Carta is an important historical document that helped weaken the king’s centralized power and granted more powers to the feudal war lords thus helping to keep the Middle Ages going for extra centuries.  Somehow that is now interpreted as a first step towards ‘democracy.’  Of course Putin hates democracy and seeks to gain more centralized power so stealing the Magna Carta would be a triumph like when Hitler found the lost Arc of the Covenant.