Tidbits - November 21, 2011
* Re: Media Bits & Bytes (Frank Millspaugh)
* Re: Why the Decline in Unionization Rates (Cyril Robinson)
* Re: J. Edgar: Movie Review (Jack Radey)
* Re: Occupy Movement at the Crossroads - What Next (two views)
* Re: Civil Rights Strategy and the '99%' Movement (Gordon Fitch)
* Re: 'Language Gene' Speeds Learning (Jim)
* Re: Media Bits & Bytes
I find Media Bits & Bytes very informative. Thank you.
* Re: Why the Decline in Unionization Rates?
My experience as an attorney (part of a firm) that
represented the United Packinghouse Workers of America
'UPWA) in the 1930s was that to survive and flourish,
unions need government support because, in a capitalist
economy, it is difficult for unions to survive without
The 1930s was anti-red,; anti-union period where the
government led thru anti-union forces. In addition,
reactionary unions, such as the AFofL took advantage of
this situation and raided UPWA locals. There was also a
change in the industry. Most packing houses left
Chicago going to the southwest, fired their union
workers ,hiring women and nonunion local, mostly
Mexican immigrants.This strategy left a disorganized
work force, putting industry in charge of the
workforce. The union never recovered without support
from the government and attacking conservative unions.
Cyril Robinson, professor emeritus, Southern Illinois
University, Carbondale, Illinois
* Re: J. Edgar: Movie Review
A few notes about J. Edgar Hoover, America's dominant
political force for decades and decades.
1) The most telling scene, not in the movie apparently,
occurred in the office of the US Attorney General, then
occupied by Bobby Kennedy. Hoover, whose FBI was in
theory subordinate to the Justice Dept headed by the
Attorney General, had come to RFK to get permission to
bug Martin Luther King's office, bedroom, hotel rooms,
etc. Kennedy pressed him on the necessity, and Hoover
stated that not only was King a Communist agent, but
that the man "running" him was not only a member of the
CPUSA, but was in fact a colonel in the GRU - Soviet
Military Intelligence. Kennedy, goggle eyed, asked
what proof Hoover had of this silliness. J. Edgar
smiled at his "boss" and said, "I'm sorry, sir, that
information is classified." Of course if Hoover was
authorized to know the source of this information,
obviously the AG was. But in fact he was saying
something quite different. What he was clearly
stating, and RFK understood it as clearly as if it had
been on a neon sign, was, "Mess with me on this one,
Bobby Boy, and I'll leak an article to some small
southern newspaper tomorrow about who your brother is
banging, and of course other press will pick it up from
there." This was standard J. Edgar modus operandi.
RFK, whose picture appears on the walls of so many
African American families along with the other two
members of the trinity (JFK and MLK), meekly submitted.
This is from Taylor Branch's, "The Parting of the
2) Hoover's inability to notice the existence of the
Mafia was not due to his limited vision. It was
because he was, in a business sense, in bed with them.
Not only were mobsters used by the FBI for various
chores, but Hoover was not infrequently spotted at the
track in the company of what are otherwise known as
"organized crime figures" who would pay for his bets.
And who do you think controls the east coast tracks who
could guarantee he always picked winners?
3) His hostility to the Civil Rights movement was
renowned, when Viola Liuzo was gunned down after the
Selma march, Hoover was within hours spreading the word
that she was a junkie who liked to "make out" with
Black men. (Also Parting of the Waters).
4) His bureaucratic sharp elbows were legendary, for
example he was so opposed to the OSS and its chief,
William Donovan, that when an OSS operation was being
conducted to steal Vichy French code books from their
embassy in Washington, Hoover tipped off the DC police
in an attempt to have the OSS folk arrested. At
Donovan's funeral he was busily spreading rumors about
Donovan's sex life (that he was sleeping with his
daughter in law, which was not true).
5) Finally, one of the funniest bits of White House
telephone tape to ever surface is available from the
National Security Archives. When LBJ was running
against Barry Goldwater in 1964, Johnson faced a
possible calamity when his closest aide was arrested in
a YMCA men's room in Washington, soliciting sex.
Hoover was an ally of Johnson's, but Johnson was
terrified that his election was sunk, and would be if
Hoover decided to help push the scandal. Johnson calls
Hoover, and asks him if there is some way to detect a
homosexual. Hoover suggests that sometimes the way
they walk can give you a hint. The message, very loud
between the lines, is, "John, I know about you, and you
know I know. Don't mess with me, or I'll see that its
YOU facing the ugly rumors."
I don't know if the movie mentions it (have to see it),
but of course Hoover was most likely up to his neck in
the assassinations of both King and at least Jack
A real prince of toads that one.
* Re: Occupy Movement at the Crossroads - What Next
So far the occupy movement has gotten people talking. I
attended a workshop this weekend and the academics and
trade unionists talked about it between sessions.
Now that the camps are under siege the next step is to
march on a regular basis and demonstrate over different
issues and bring more people in. This way the movement
can keep making the point about the dysfunctional
maldistribution of wealth and the takeover of
democratic government by lobbyists and politicians who
do the bidding of huge companies, banks and the elite.
The camps were like little villages and amazing and
they may come back in summer, but now new peaceful
tactics and ongoing communication should be tried to
increase support for change.
* Re: Civil Rights Strategy and the '99%' Movement
I think people should stop telling 'Occupy' what to do,
and do it themselves. The Civil Rights movement was
organized very differently from the recent occupations.
Maybe something like that would work in the present
case, maybe not. If you believe in, try it and see.
I'm sure the Occupiers are mostly smart people who can
also make plans. After all, they've done more for the
Left in the last two months than anything we've seen in
many a decade.
I propose a moratorium on Occupy-advice.
* Re: 'Language Gene' Speeds Learning
Unfortunately, in some cases, the 'Language Gene'
became much too strong and made the person(s) Blab Away
Jim 'Yes there can be too much of a good thing.' D.
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