Category: mufnoyhd

War against Syria defines today’s imperialism

first_imgJoe MchahwarThe war against Syria is not just another imperialist adventure. It is not just some pirate ships leaving the port to plunder another nation for a little while. The war against Syria is the defining war in this period of imperialism.The war against Syria is a war led by the U.S., CIA, imperialist proxies and their so-called allies. In some ways the war against Syria has been decades in the making. The imperialist powers have a long history of facilitating and empowering the most reactionary, supremacist ideologies and organizations in the region.Simultaneously the imperialist powers began the arduous process of redrawing the Middle East and Northern Africa on the basis of a secret Sykes-Picot 2.0. [The original Sykes-Picot was a secret 1916 agreement between Great Britain and France (the Russian Empire also agreed to it) that defined mutually agreed spheres of influence and control in Southwestern Asia.] Its aim was to destabilize independent states and halt any force from gaining any semblance of independence. The war against Syria would be impossible without the destruction of Iraq, the continued occupation of Afghanistan and the total devastation of Libya.Many people contend that the goal of this war is so-called regime change.This phrase creates an illusion of one set of interests leaving a state and another set entering. This could not be further from the truth — and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. The aim of imperialism in Syria is the complete liquidation of the Syrian state and Syrian society.After Syrians won their independence from French colonialists [in 1946], they built a pluralistic state on the basis of self-determination and anti-Zionism. If the imperialists have their cake and eat it in Syria, we are looking at the prospect of a global war between the United States and Russia, which will not back down from its support for Syrian self- determination. We are also looking at a situation where most colonized countries are at risk of complete Balkanization [breakup of a region into smaller, often hostile units].Despite Trump’s empty promises, he has no power or intent to step back the U.S. role in Syria. There is no turning back for imperialism in Syria.Thousands of mercenaries, heavy weapons and toxic reactionary ideologies have been funneled into Syria. This is not something you turn on or off like a switch when you come into office. This is something that Syrians are actively resisting; it is up to us to support their resistance by any means necessary.Allow me to be absolutely clear about an important facet of this conflict: The U.S. is not fighting the Islamic State group or al-Qaida in Syria. Supposedly imperialists have been fighting a 15-year war on terrorism; yet this terrorism has become a thousand times stronger, a thousand times more fierce. In many ways these reactionary terrorist groups are direct proxies of the imperialist powers.The imperialists might not have the ability to dictate every action, but they have consistently given their proxies material support and continue to share their aims across the entire region.We must be vigilant of more than just U.S. escalations in Syria. Turkey, NATO’s Middle Eastern nuclear weapons base, has played a large role in the war against Syria. Turkey is tottering down a path of civil war on its own streets while simultaneously furthering its imperial ambitions in Syria and Iraq. It is almost a certainty that Turkey will be utilized to expand the NATO role in Syria, widening the scope of the war.Self-determination for Syrians comes above all else right now. Attacks on the Syrian state and their military allies from the Western anti-war movement accomplish nothing progressive. On the contrary, they support the argument for a stronger role for U.S. imperialism.The cause of Syrian self-determination now extends past the borders of Syria into Europe. Millions of Syrians have been forced into Europe and are living in genocidal conditions among other peoples from the Middle East and Africa. Trump’s victory and the rising ultraright pose an existential threat to Syrians in their homeland and in the streets of Europe.Workers World Party and our allies have always been strong proponents self-determination. We must continue to build and organize around this principle while also consciously challenging the propaganda war being waged against Syria. It is imperative that everyone get organizations and struggles they know involved in the new Hands Off Syria Coalition.The nature of the war against Syria mirrors many imperialist methods of oppression in the West, and these ties can actively be made. Just like the pigs are out here on these streets everyday lynching people of color, reactionary death squads in Syria are committing genocide against Kurds, Christians, Druze, Shia and Sunnis who will not submit! Standing Rock and the movement against war in Syria need to actively build together. Both are fighting a struggle for self-determination against the same enemy!A country that oppresses others will never be free. The only road to peace: U.S. out of the Middle East!FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

Hitch your wagon to Limerick and you will never regret it

first_imgNewsEducationHitch your wagon to Limerick and you will never regret itBy Staff Reporter – September 13, 2018 1926 Print Advertisement Previous articleJazz benefit for Shannon Rowing ClubNext articleBeyond the neon runes Staff Reporter RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR TechPost | Episode 9 | Pay with Google, WAZE – the new Google Maps? and Speak don’t Type! Housing 37 Compulsory Purchase Orders issued as council takes action on derelict sites TAGSeducationInterviewLimerick City and County Limerick social entrepreneurs honoured for their work in response to covid-19 Professor Vincent Cunnane, President of Limerick Institute of Technology.Picture Sean Curtin True Media.Limerick Institute of Technology President Vincent Cunnane talks about passion, pride and the secret sauce of education to Andrew Carey.STANDING in front of 1,700 new entrants to the Limerick Institute of Technology is what Vincent Cunnane describes as the best job in the world.After five sessions addressing the new intake of students in the Millennium Theatre on the Moylish Campus, there might be a slight crackle in the Donegal man’s voice, but there is no sign of any waiver in the passion he has for Limerick.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up The last of the CAO offers have been dispatched and students are now coming to terms with the courses they will be studying for the next three to four years.Addressing this year’s new entrants, Professor Cunnane asked those who set foot on the campus for the first time to give him just two years and the rest will follow.“I feel I have the best job in the world. I have just welcomed these new students on to the campus and we have had five induction sessions for students across a broad variety of sectors.“I am asking them to give me two years of their lives because, as we are in the IOT (Internet of Things) sector, in two years we can give them a level six qualification and I tell them that will change their lives.“Most of the students are enrolled for level eight programmes but we can offer them an alternative if it gets too much for them, there’s an embedded level six programme as well.“That’s the way to go, continuous professional development, access for those who will benefit from it, new apprenticeship opportunities for those who have different skills.”Championing Limerick and working to enhance the positivity of the city and the region is something that comes as second nature to the LIT President.Having seen times go from boom to bust, the Donegal native who has made Limerick his home, says that “the future is exceptionally bright for the city and the region”“I suppose as a former chief executive of Shannon Development, it is lovely for me to see the different parts of the region pulling together again.“The local authorities in Tipperary, Limerick, and Clare coming together and recognising that they have something more than an individual county standing on its own is a significant factor. It means that together we can present this region as the most dynamic, fastest-growing part of the country where we can cater for you, your career, your spouse, your children and your future.”Often credited with being one of the main reasons companies, both foreign and domestic, chose Limerick, the development of a third level education sector that ensures the emergence of a continuous supply of talented graduates remains a key objective for LIT.“What makes Limerick attractive now is that if you hitch your wagon to Limerick, you will never regret that decision.“You hitch your wagon and we will deliver for you because we know where we are going.“We know that the city centre needs improvement and we know what needs to happen and we have a plan for that, so we know what we are about.“We have reorientated ourselves towards the river and addressed the social problems,” he added.The LIT President said that the way the institution has embedded itself into Limerick society has been far more fundamental than it is in other cities.“We are part of a society and we are bringing 25,000 students into a city that has 100,000 people.“Along with our partners in the Shannon Consortium, we want to provide opportunities for all who can benefit from third level education and we want to open up those opportunities for them.”To support this, LIT looks at itself as an access institution. In that way, we get an equitable society and that way we make sure that everyone gets an opportunity to advance.“We are having an impact not only on the talent supply but in research and development, innovation and enterprise and all of that is happening here”.He believes that LIT is also having an impact on the social structure of Limerick, as well as its cultural structure.“We are changing the facade of Limerick and it is all positive. LIT, it could be said, is one of the partners at the heart of that change. Think of what LSAD (Limerick School of Art and Design) is bringing to the arts and culture of this city.“I could go on and on because there is a positive story at every twist and turn.“The ability of Limerick people to have a conversation, the ability for others to listen and the ability for action to be taken make up the secret sauce.“This is apparent in the eight new honours degree programmes and a number of new apprenticeships where overall new entrant student numbers have risen in LIT in what is a falling market.“Student numbers in the country are down but we have seen a year-on-year increase as we continue to develop new options. These have been guided by industry groups because we place a lot of effort and credit to our industry, business and cultural interaction as they are identifying gaps for us in the market.“That is one of the key things we do in stakeholder engagement and through that, we learn what we could be doing better as well as other courses that we could be developing.”center_img WhatsApp Twitter Facebook Is Aer Lingus taking flight from Shannon? Limerick on Covid watch list Email Linkedin Population of Mid West region increased by more than 3,000 in past yearlast_img read more

Court Finds in Favor of MERS

first_img Related Articles Tagged with: MERS MERSCORP Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Share Save The string of legal victories for Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) continued on Monday with the announcement from parent company MERSCORP Holdings that a court in Dallas, Texas, had ruled in MERS’ favor recognizing the company’s right as beneficiary to notice of a lawsuit under both the U.S. and Texas Constitutions.In the case of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. v. Summit Residential Services, Summit Residential Services acquired an interest in a property following an HOA foreclosure sale, and in 2002, the property was encumbered by a deed of trust granted by the borrower to MERS. Summit filed suit seeking clear title to the property, and in the suit it named only the original lender identified in the MERS deed of trust.MERS was not provided with notice of the action, nor was it named in the action. Summary judgment was granted to Summit which extinguished the MERS lien in April 2014, and MERS promptly filed its own lawsuit seeking to reinstate its lien. In its suit, MERS contended that it could not be deprived of its protected property without an opportunity to be heard under due process guaranteed by both the U.S. and Texas Constitutions.The Dallas County District Court, 101st Judicial District, agreed with MERS and entered a Final Judgment vacating Summit’s judgment and reinstating MERS’ lien on the property.“This judgment confirms that MERS is a necessary party to any lawsuit affecting property interests when MERS is the mortgagee or beneficiary of record. As such, MERS has a constitutionally protected right entitling MERS to notice of the lawsuit,” said MERSCORP Holdings VP for Corporate Communications, Janis Smith. “MERS will vigorously defend its constitutional and statutory right to notice.”MERS won a number of court decisions just since the second half of 2015 in cases that challenged its right to act as mortgagee. In late September, MERS won decisions in Montana, Georgia, New York, Kentucky, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, and Texas. In January, MERS won its first decision of 2016 in the New Hampshire State Supreme Court. MERS MERSCORP Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems 2016-02-08 Brian Honea Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago  Print This Post The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Previous: OCC Recaps Proposals for Regulatory Relief Next: DS News Webcast: Tuesday 2/9/2016 Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago February 8, 2016 2,559 Views in Daily Dose, Featured, Newscenter_img About Author: Brian Honea Court Finds in Favor of MERS The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Home / Daily Dose / Court Finds in Favor of MERS Sign up for DS News Daily Brian Honea’s writing and editing career spans nearly two decades across many forms of media. He served as sports editor for two suburban newspaper chains in the DFW area and has freelanced for such publications as the Yahoo! Contributor Network, Dallas Home Improvement magazine, and the Dallas Morning News. He has written four non-fiction sports books, the latest of which, The Life of Coach Chuck Curtis, was published by the TCU Press in December 2014. A lifelong Texan, Brian received his master’s degree from Amberton University in Garland. Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Subscribelast_img read more

‘Trial Court Also Passed Equally Well Reasoned Order’ : Supreme Court Issues Notice On Thwaha Fasal’s Plea Challenging Bail Cancellation In UAPA Case

first_imgTop Stories’Trial Court Also Passed Equally Well Reasoned Order’ : Supreme Court Issues Notice On Thwaha Fasal’s Plea Challenging Bail Cancellation In UAPA Case LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK9 April 2021 12:52 AMShare This – xThe Supreme Court on Friday issued notice on the special leave petition filed by Kerala youth Thwaha Fasal, booked under the UAPA for alleged Maoist links, challenging the Kerala High Court’s judgment which set aside the bail granted to him by the trial court.A bench comprising Justices Navin Sinha and Ajay Rastogi issued notice returnable within three weeks after hearing Senior Advocate V…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginThe Supreme Court on Friday issued notice on the special leave petition filed by Kerala youth Thwaha Fasal, booked under the UAPA for alleged Maoist links, challenging the Kerala High Court’s judgment which set aside the bail granted to him by the trial court.A bench comprising Justices Navin Sinha and Ajay Rastogi issued notice returnable within three weeks after hearing Senior Advocate V Giri, who appeared for Thwaha Fasal.During the brief admission hearing, the bench orally remarked that the “trial court has also passed an equally well reasoned order”.The bench also noted that the High Court has not cancelled the bail of the first accused in the case, Allan Shuhaib.”What prima facie impresses us to issue notice is that first accused has been granted bail and the trial court has passed a detailed order”, Justice Navin Sinha orally said. Therefore, the matter requires to be heard in detail, the judge added.Senior Advocate Giri submitted before the bench that the petitioner was a student of journalism, who was in custody since November 1, 2019 till he was granted bail by the Special NIA court in September last year. After the High Court set aside the trial court’s order in Janaury, he surrendered.Additional Solicitor General SV Raju, appearing for the National Investigation Agency, submitted that the first accused in the case was granted bail only on medical grounds.”That order is also wrong. I have advised them to challenge it too”, the ASG said.Arguments in the Special Leave PetiitonIn the special leave petition filed in the Supreme Court, Fasal has stated that the High Court failed to note that “mere possession of Maoist literature is not a criminal offence”.”Mere possession of documents of banned organization along with other books of current political and social issues, to the most, only indicating a learning process from the side of the petitioner especially he was a journalism student”, the plea states.It is stated that in addition to the books published by CPI(Maoists), articles and pamphlets on various topics ranging from, books by Rosa Luxumberg, articles on the demolished Maradu apartment buildings, were also confiscated from him. The 25-year old points out that none of the materials allegedly seized from him are neither banned nor exhorting or supporting terrorism. It was on January 4 that a division bench comprising Justices A Hariprasad and K Haripal set aside the Special NIA Court’s order which granted bail to Thwaha Fasal and co-accused Allan Shuhaib. The Special Court, in its order delivered in September last year, had observed that no prima facie case was made out against the accused so as to attract Section 43D(5) of the Unwalful Activities Prevention Act as regards grant of bail. The Special Court observed that the case materials, at the most, suggested that the accused had Maoist leanings but had not indulged in any overt violence or incitement to violence.The HC observed that the trial court went into a “thread-bare analysis” of the documents on record as if in a trial’ and observed that the documents seized from the accused were “highly inflammable and volatile”.Though the High Court set aside the Special Court’s order, it allowed co-accused Allan Shuhaib to continue on bail, having regard to his young age and special medical conditions related to mental depression. As regards Fasal, the Court noted that the materials seized from him were more serious. The HC also placed special emphasis on the allegation that Fasal had uttered pro-Maoist slogans at the time of his arrest, which the Court termed “blameworthy”.The High Court had also observed that the documents seized from the accused were “highly inflammable and volatile”.In the special leave petition, it is argued that the trial court had only undertaken a preliminary exercise to examine if a prima facie case was made out to bar the grant of bail under Section 43D(5) of the UAPA. In fact, it is the High Court, the petitioner contends, which went into a detailed re-appreciation of the materials on record to substitute the views of the Special Court.Further, it is argued that the High Court was not justified in observing that the principle “bail is the rule, jail is the exception” is not applicable in UAPA cases. The petitioner refers to the recent Supreme Court judgment in Union of India v. K.A. Najeeb, where bail was granted in a UAPA case taking note of prolonged detention, to argue that the High Court’s approach was erroneous.The petition highlights that even the National Investigation Agency(NIA) has no case that the accused is a member of Maoist organization, as Section 20 of UAPA was dropped from the chargesheet. Reference is made to the Supreme Court precedents such as Arup Bhuyan to state that mere passive membership in a banned organization, without any overt violent activities, cannot be regarded as an offence.The petitioner also challenges the High Court’s findings that seizure of banners seeking independence of Jammu and Kashmir reflected secessionist ideology of the accused. It is said that the banners were made in the context of the abrogation of the special status of J&K under Article 370″It is submitted that the contents of the banner and documents were not illegal rather justifiable to excise right of dissent to government policy in democratic way without resorting violence”, the SLP says.”The Special Court order reflected humanist compassion and a sense of reality.The Special Court was able to understood that the accused as two young man who may have flirted with extremist ideas out oftheir disenchantment at the failure of the existing system to remedy social injustice”, the petition drawn by Advocates CC Anopp and PS Syamkuttan and filed through Judy James AoR stated.Also, referring to Balwant Singh case, it is argued that mere raising of slogans of banned organizations, without any overt criminal act, cannot be an offence.Fasal, along with law student Allan Shuhaib, were arrested by Kerala Police in November 2019, for alleged links with Maoist groups. Later, the case was taken over by the NIA.In September last year, nearly ten months after custody, the NIA Court granted them bail observing that the National Investigation Agency failed to establish a prima facie case under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), 1967, against the accused.The NIA Court observed that the notices, pamphlets, banners, etc., seized from the accused related to “burning social and political issues” such as calling for implementation of Gadgil Committee report for the protection of western ghats, condemnation of encounter killings of Maoists, protests against police atrocities, abrogation of J&K special status, etc. The programmes and activities projected by the prosecution were public protests related to current issues, the court noted.”Right to protest is a constitutionally guaranteed right. It is well settled that “Government established by law” has to be distinguished from persons for the time being engaged in carrying on the administration. A protest against policies and decisions of the government, even if it is wrong a wrong cause, cannot be termed as sedition or an intentional act to support cession or secession”, the NIA court had observed.The NIA Court further noted the mere possession of books on Communist ideology, Maoism, class struggle, etc., does not prove anything adverse against the accused.Though the High Court reversed the finding of the Special Court that no prima facie case under UAPA existed, it allowed Allan Shuhaib to continue on bail, having regard to his young age, special medical condition. The High Court placed particular emphasis on the allegation that Thwaha had uttered pro-Maoist slogans, which it court termed “blameworthy”.Subscribe to LiveLaw, enjoy Ad free version and other unlimited features, just INR 599 Click here to Subscribe. All payment options available.loading….Next Storylast_img read more

Assistant Professor – History (Early American Revolutionary War Era) – (FAC001496)

first_imgThe Department of History at the University of Houston invitesapplications for a tenure-track assistant professorship in EarlyAmerican /Revolutionary War era history. Although all researchareas will be seriously considered, candidates who have researchinterests that intersect with Atlantic, colonial, imperial, andNative American history are especially encouraged to apply.Teaching responsibilities include the U.S. survey, and appropriateupper division and graduate courses in colonial Americanhistory.The department particularly seeks a candidate with at least fiveyears full-time experience teaching introductory survey courses inAmerican history to a large racially and ethnically diverse studentbody. Additionally, the ideal candidate will have multiple years ofexperience mentoring graduate students and administering a graduateprogram in History. Finally, experience with online teaching is aplus. The standard teaching load is two courses per semester.The successful candidate will join a strong cohort of Americanistsdedicated to excellence in teaching and scholarship in such areasincluding environmental, and urban development, borderlands, raceand ethnicity, gender, women and family, political, war, revolutionand diplomacy, and health, medicine and technology.Candidates should have completed the Ph.D. by July 2021, and shouldhave a professional dedication to teaching and executing an activeresearch agenda. We welcome candidates whose experience inteaching, research and service has prepared them to contribute toour commitment to diversity and excellence. Contributing todepartmental programs, service and governance are expected.Complete applications should include a letter of introduction, CV,a writing sample, and the names and contact information for threereferences. Please direct all inquiries to Dr. Sarah Fishman [email protected] . Applicantsare to apply at the faculty employment link by October 28th. The Universityof Houston is responsive to the needs of dual career couples.The University of Houston is an Equal Opportunity/ AffirmativeAction employer and is strongly and actively committed to diversitywithin its community. Women, minorities, veterans, and persons withdisabilities are encouraged to apply. Additionally, the Universityprohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of sexualorientation, gender identity or gender expression.Qualifications :Candidates should have completed their Ph.D. in History by July2021.Notes to Applicant: Offical transcripts are required for afaculty appointment and will be requested upon selection of thefinal candidate. All positions at the University of Houston aresecurity sensitive and will require a criminal history check.last_img read more

Dysfunction And Infighting Cripple Labor Agency

first_img ‘This Is Like When Yugoslavia Broke Up.’By IAN KULLGREN and ANDREW HANNAIt’s hardly new for politicians to wrangle over the National Labor Relations Board. This time, though, partisan warfare has penetrated the agency itself.A federal agency that regulates labor unions is engaged in something close to civil war as political appointees, career bureaucrats and its inspector general battle one another.The agency is the National Labor Relations Board, created in 1935 to promote collective bargaining and adjudicate disputes between businesses and workers. An independent agency insulated — in theory — from partisan politics, the NLRB under President Donald Trump is consumed to the point of paralysis by fights over personnel policies, ethics rules and legal decisions that stem from ancient political disagreements over the proper balance of power between employers and workers.The in-fighting is bad news for workers who seek the NLRB’s help to organize unions and increase corporate accountability for labor law violations — and also, paradoxically, bad news for employers who want to fight unionization and limit corporate liability by reversing pro-labor rulings issued under the Obama NLRB.“This is like when Yugoslavia broke up,” said one employment lobbyist who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “You’re fighting over things that happened 10,000 years ago — you killed my ancestor so I’m going to kill you.”At the center of the controversy, which has pitted civil servants against political appointees, conservatives against liberals and, on occasion, conservatives against other conservatives, are Peter Robb, the NLRB’s bare-knuckled general counsel, and board member William Emanuel, a controversial Trump appointee with deep ties to business.Robb outraged the NLRB’s career staff in January by proposing a restructuring that would demote regional directors, whom the business lobby considers too pro-union. That prompted revolt from the NLRB’s employee unions. “Peter Robb is considering measures to ‘streamline’ the NLRB that will only make it harder to remedy federal labor law violations,” read a flyer that three New York union locals distributed at an event Robb attended in February.Nearly 400 NLRB employees followed up March 15 in a letter sent to members of Congress that said Robb’s changes “strike us as unlikely to generate cost savings for the agency. What they do seem likely to achieve is the frustration of our efforts to provide members of the public with high quality, thorough investigation.”The second and more elaborate NLRB controversy concerns Emanuel’s decision not to recuse himself in December from Hy-Brand Industrial Contractors, a pro-business ruling in which the NLRB’s inspector general later concluded Emanuel had a conflict of interest. After the inspector general issued his report, the NLRB vacated the ruling.The two storylines crossed this month when Robb issued a legal opinion that said he “does not agree with the conclusions reached in the IG report,” and accused three NLRB members of breaking the law. Robb faulted the members — including the Republican chairman — for vacating Hy-Brand without consulting Emanuel, and urged the board to reinstate Hy-Brand. It’s highly unusual for an NLRB general counsel to criticize the board’s judgment so harshly. The White House, signaling apparent agreement with Robb, replaced NLRB Chairman Marvin Kaplan last week with the just-confirmed board member John Ring. (Kaplan will remain as board member.)Meanwhile, the NLRB’s inspector general, David Berry, is investigating a second NLRB member, Mark Pearce, who is one of the board’s two Democrats. (By law, two of the NLRB’s five board members are chosen by whichever party does not occupy the White House.) Berry is following on a complaint filed by the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a conservative nonprofit, based on a Wall Street Journal editorial that accused Pearce of alerting in advance attendees at an American Bar Association meeting in Puerto Rico that Hy-Brand would be vacated. Pearce did not answer a request for comment.Berry, in turn, stands accused by the National Right To Work Legal Defense Foundation, the legal arm of the anti-union National Right To Work Committee, of disclosing confidential board deliberations improperly in his report on Emanuel, and in a follow-up report issued one month later. The right-to-work group asked an umbrella group, the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency, to investigate. Berry did not answer a request for comment.“It’s sort of like ‘Game of Thrones,’” said Roger King, a friend of Emanuel’s and senior labor and employment counsel for the HR Policy Association.Or maybe three-dimensional chess. The National Right to Work Committee is a natural ally to Emanuel, but, remarkably, it’s come to regard Emanuel as a problem that must not be replicated in future NLRB nominations, lest pro-labor Democrats gain an upper hand through additional recusals.In its March newsletter, the group revealed that the Trump administration ignored its advice “not to choose … another management attorney who would have to recuse himself or herself potentially from vast numbers of cases involving clients of the attorney’s former employer.” That advice, the newsletter complained, “went unheeded” when Trump nominated Ring, a partner at the management-side law firm Morgan, Lewis and Bockius, “whose client list is even longer than Littler Mendelson’s.” The Senate confirmed Ring last week.“For the next year and a half,” warned National Right To Work Committee vice president Matthew Leen in the newsletter, “two of the three NLRB members who aren’t profoundly biased in favor of forced unionism may have to recuse themselves from multiple cases.”In effect, Leen was saying that the Trump administration was so blatantly anti-labor that it may be unable to fulfill its anti-labor objectives.It’s hardly new for politicians to wrangle over the NLRB. In 2012, the board made headlines when President Barack Obama tested the limits of his executive power by bypassing Congress and granting three recess appointments to the NLRB even though the Senate was technically in session. Obama ended up losing in the Supreme Court.This time, though, partisan warfare has penetrated the agency itself.General counsel Robb sent senior agency staffers reeling after he announced in a Jan. 11 conference call that he wanted to consolidate the agency’s 26 field offices into larger “districts” overseen by officials hand-picked by him. Under Robb’s plan, regional directors would lose their classification as members of the Senior Executive Service — the civil service’s highest rank — and be replaced by a new layer of officials who’d be answerable to Robb.The title “general counsel” makes Robb sound like a lawyer for NLRB management, but in fact, it’s arguably the agency’s most powerful position. The NLRB general counsel is the agency’s gatekeeper, a sort of prosecutor who brings cases before the board. The vast majority of NLRB cases are processed at the NLRB’s 26 field offices and never reach the board. The field offices are staffed by career officials who don’t typically agree with the pro-management outlook of Robb, to whom they report.In a letter to Robb shortly after the January conference call, the regional directors called his proposed changes “very major” and complained that they hadn’t “heard an explanation of the benefits to be gained.” They also warned that enacting such changes might prompt senior directors and managers to retire en masse — a clear shot across the bow.In reply, another official from the general counsel’s office proposed by email additional restrictions on the decision-making power of regional officials, such as requiring all cases go through headquarters for initial review.Robb declined to comment for this story and, according to a source familiar with his thinking, is upset that the controversy spilled into public view.Marshall Babson, a former Democrat appointee to the NLRB, said that Robb’s proposed changes risk making the NLRB less efficient. “If you’re talking about injecting another level of review, that could slow things down,” he said.Jennifer Abruzzo, who was acting general counsel before Robb, agreed. “I think that’s a mistake,” she said. “I think the regional directors know what they’re doing.”Shifting rationales for the changes have intensified the career staff’s suspicions about Robb’s motives. At the March ABA meeting in Puerto Rico, Robb’s deputy John Kyle said they were intended to bring the agency in line with the White House’s proposed 9 percent budget cut for the agency. But the $1.3 trillion spending bill signed into law last month by President Donald Trump, H.R. 1625 (115), rejected that cut and maintained funding at current levels.“It certainly undercuts the general counsel’s rationale for restructuring,” said Karen Cook, president of the NLRB Professional Association. “He will try to move forward with his plan, though, on the basis that he expects a severe cut to the 2019 budget.“The budget picture grew more complex Tuesday when the White House budget office alerted NLRB that the agency should spend only $264 million of the $274 million it received in the spending bill, a 3.6 percent reduction. Such a rescission, were it to become permanent, would require congressional approval under the 1974 Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act.“I am unaware of a single instance in the past wherein the White House or OMB subjected the NLRB to the budget rescission process,” said Marshall Babson, a former board member.Fevered though the Robb Revolt is, it hasn’t yet engulfed members of the board itself. The same can’t be said about the controversy surrounding Emanuel and his participation in the December Hy-Brand decision.Hy-Brand narrowed the circumstances under which a business could be classified as a so-called joint employer, jointly liable for labor violations committed by its contractors or franchisees. It reversed an earlier ruling in Browning-Ferris Industries, a 2016 decision by the Obama NLRB that broadened the circumstances under which a business could be classified a joint employer. Fast-food chains like McDonald’s were outraged by Browning-Ferris because it put them on the hook for maltreatment of employees over whom they didn’t necessarily maintain direct control.Story Continued BelowHy-Brand was rushed out along with several other pro-management decisions shortly before a Republican NLRB member’s term was about to end in December, leaving the board deadlocked, 2-2. The overturning of Browning-Ferristook many by surprise, because Hy-Brand wasn’t a case that had much to do with the joint-employer issue.“It was a rush to judgment,” said Wilma Liebman, a Democratic board member under Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Obama.One week after the Hy-Brand ruling, congressional Democrats accused the NLRB of loading the dice by allowing Emanuel to participate. Emanuel’s former law firm, Littler Mendelson, had represented a party in Browning-Ferris, noted a Dec. 21 letter to Emanuel from Senate HELP Committee ranking member Patty Murray (D-Wash.), House Education and the Workforce Committee ranking member Bobby Scott (D-Va.) and others. In the letter, the six Democrats posed several questions to Emanuel about his participation in Hy-Brand.In his response, first reported by ProPublica, Emanuel said he wasn’t aware at the time of the ruling that his firm had been involved in Browning-Ferris, noting Littler’s very long client list. Unfortunately for Emanuel, he’d already noted his firm’s participation in Browning-Ferris on a questionnaire submitted during his confirmation hearing. Emanuel scrambled to revise his response, but the damage was done, and inspector general Berry opened an investigation. The first report, issued Feb. 9, was scathing, finding “a serious and flagrant problem and/or deficiency in the board’s administration of its deliberative process.” Emanuel, Berry concluded, should have recused himself from the decision to overturn the Obama-era standard.The NLRB’s other three board members, including Trump-nominated chairman Marvin Kaplan, were persuaded by Berry’s reasoning and vacated Hy-Brand, waiting to act until after Emanuel departed for the ABA conference in Puerto Rico. Emanuel was stunned when a fellow attendee pulled up the ruling on a cellphone, according to a source who was present at the conference.“You should have seen the look on his face,” this person said. “He had no knowledge of it in advance. He was totally floored.”Emanuel, who declined to comment for this story, hired Zuckerman Spaeder, a prominent white-collar law firm that previously represented former International Monetary Fund Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn.Emanuel’s defenders insist he did nothing wrong because his firm wasn’t directly involved in Hy-Brand. Zuckerman Spaeder Chairman Dwight Bostwick argued in a letter to Berry that he’d evaluated Emanuel under an unusually strict standard that “has the potential to bedevil and frustrate this agency for years to come” and “‘weaponize’ the ethics rules for purposes of improperly excluding presidential appointees from doing the jobs they were sworn to do.”Bostwick also wrote that one month after the Hy-Brand decision, the NLRB’s designated ethics official told Emanuel that she didn’t believe Emanuel should have been required to recuse himself in that case. According to the letter, Emanuel asked for that opinion in writing, but the request was denied at the OIG’s request.Emanuel’s allies have cried foul, noting that former Democratic NLRB member Craig Becker participated in cases involving local chapters of the Service Employees International Union despite having previously been counsel to SEIU. In that instance, Berry raised no red flags. Becker declined to comment on the record.The conflict-of-interest charge is “based on a house of cards and not a very strong one at that,” said King, the attorney with the HR Policy Association. “We see a long-term game plan to destabilize and undermine the NLRB.”In his second inspector general report on Emanuel, issued March 20, Berry concluded that Emanuel violated the Trump administration’s ethics pledge, which states: “I will not for a period for two years from the date of my appointment participate in any particular matter involving specific parties that is directly and substantially related to my former employer or former clients.” But in his letter to Berry, Bostwick said he “respectfully disagree[d] … with the determination the member Emanuel violated his presidential ethics pledge.”Berry acquitted Emanuel of the most serious charge: lying to Congress about whether he was aware of a possible conflict of interest. But that did little to cool Congress’ fury. After Berry issued the report, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) called on Emanuel to resign, saying he “no longer has the credibility” to serve.CORRECTION: Due to an editing error, an earlier version of this story misstated a proposed reduction to the NLRB budget. Also, an earlier version of this story misstated the new NLRB Chairman’s first name and the name of the HR Policy Association. FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailShare Missing out on the latest scoops? Sign up for POLITICO Playbook and get the latest news, every morning — in your inbox.last_img read more

Southern Professional Hockey League’s Louisiana IceGators Suspend Operations For 2016-2017 Season

first_imgThe Louisiana IceGators’ General Manager Louis Dumont has announced that the team will suspend operations for the 2016-2017 season.because  of Arena renovations will begin at the end of this month at the Cajundome and will run through the end of November,” stated GM Louis Dumont. “Available dates during the month of December are also limited. With the Southern Professional Hockey League’s 2016-2017 season beginning in October a feasible schedule is simply not available at this time.”Dumont also added, “Countless hours have been spent between myself, the owners, IceGators staff and Cajundome management looking at different scenarios on how we can make this season happen. At this time suspending operations for this season is the best route to take.”FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

Dear Member

first_imgOn 23 February 1987, I attended a wonderful Centenary Dinner at the Guild Hall, City of London, to celebrate the forming of our National Association of Master Bakers. In 1887, in the minutes of the Birmingham Master Bakers’ Association, these modest and formal words were written: “It was duly moved by Mr Fletcher and seconded by Mr Godfree, that it is desirable to form a National Association of Master Bakers.” The author of these minutes can have had little idea of the result of this motion. Over the 124 years since the Association was formed on 23 February 1887, it has brought strength, support, assistance and fellowship to thousands of craft bakers throughout the land.Without doubt, the forging together of many local trade associations of bakers, helped secure the future for many businesses, which today are thriving and important elements in the community. While many of the old trades and crafts have all but disappeared, the Master Baker has adapted and survived.Thomas Fletcher was a far-sighted man and the objects of the Association he did so much to found, which are as relevant today as they were 124 years ago, are a testimony to his vision:”to concentrate and bind together the influence, experience and power of the members for the protection and promotion of the interest of the baking trade in all its branches”.I wouldn’t wish to add anything to this, because it is as relevant today as it was nearly 125 years ago when first spoken.Our celebrations are well under way for another spectacular dinner to celebrate our 125th anniversary. I look forward to seeing as many of our members at this grand event as I did 25 years ago maybe, even some grandchildren!Look for details in the coming weeks and be sure to book early to avoid disappointment.Gilllast_img read more

Dairy bill would stabilize milk prices

first_imgWith the Ethan Allen Farm as a backdrop, US Senators Bernie Sanders and Patrick Leahy today unveiled legislation to stabilize dairy prices and preserve the family farms that have been a fixture of Vermont culture for centuries.Sanders (I-Vt.) introduced The Dairy Market Stabilization Act. The bill was cosponsored by Leahy (D-Vt.), the senior member of the Senate Agriculture Committee. Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), who serves in Senate leadership, also is an original cosponsor of the measure.“Too many farms that have been in the same family for generations already have been forced out of business,” Sanders said at the dairy farm where John and Joyce Belter and their son Todd manage a herd of 450 Holsteins. “This is a crisis not only for our farmers and the communities that depend on them, but for consumers who demand fresh, locally-produced foods for their families.”Leahy said, “Dairy farms are vital to scores of communities and to our economy.  For decades it has been easy to take for granted the locally produced fresh milk that generations of Americans have brought to their dinner tables.  But farmers are being driven out of business by cost and price fluctuations that rarely go their way.  This quandary has long been one of the most difficult issues in American agriculture.  Farmers, their communities and dairy consumers would all be better served in the long run with a modest amount of stability.  The Dairy Market Stabilization Act would put us on the path to long term reform to help ensure the survival of our dairy industry here in Vermont and across the country.”The Vermont senators were joined at the press conference by state Agriculture Secretary Roger Allbee. The outdated system used to price milk needs fundamental reform, he said. “I want to applaud the work of Sens. Sanders and Leahy and the delegation for this legislation,” Allbee said. “This measure will be a message that reform of U.S. dairy policy is badly needed and will move forward.”Over the last 20 years, dairy industry boom and bust cycles saw the price per hundredweight soar to $19.30 in 2004 before crashing to $11.90 in 2006.  Prices recovered in 2007 to $21.80 before plummeting to $11.30 in 2009.  The sudden price drops devastated Vermont dairy farmers, who need about $18 per hundredweight to break even.  There are 11.6 gallons in a hundredweight, the unit commonly used to measure milk.Without a dramatic change, the number of dairy farms in Vermont could soon drop below 1,000. The state today has only half as many farms as there were in 1995. With prices today mired below what it costs to produce milk, as many as 200 dairy farms, one-fifth of Vermont’s remaining farms, could be forced to close by the end of this year.Under the legislation, the U.S. Department of Agriculture working with dairy farmers on a producer board would set a rate for how much farmers could boost production over the same quarter the year before. There would be an assessment on farmers that exceed the growth rate while farmers that maintained stable production would qualify for USDA payments. The growth management initiative would end after three years unless farmers vote to continue it, so a majority of dairy farmers, not the government, will decide whether or not the program is working.Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) cosponsored a companion bill in the House. “Price volatility within the dairy industry has caused tremendous hardship for Vermont’s hardworking dairy farmers. While short-term relief measures have been helpful, it is clear that only a long-term strategy aimed at stabilizing prices will return dairy farmers to prosperity,” he said. “This legislation puts farmers in the driver’s seat, allowing them to make the decisions necessary to protect their livelihood.”Unlike other proposals to fix the dairy industry, the legislation is backed by both farmers and industry groups across the country. These include Addison County Young Farmers, California Dairy Campaign, Dairy Farmers Working Together, Farmers Union Producers Association, Georgia Milk Producers, Hoard’s Dairyman Magazine, Lanco-Pennland Quality Milk Producers, Milk Producers Council, National Farmers Union, Oregon Dairy Farmers Association, Pennsylvania Holstein Association, Vermont Holstein Association, and Washington State Dairy Federation.Source: Leahy and Sanders. SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt., July 12, 2010last_img read more

Aging Athletes: 50 is the New 30

first_imgOn November 6, 2004, then 44-year-old Keith Sprinkle of Asheville, N.C., pulled his skirt tight over the cockpit of his kayak and slid into the frigid waters of the Green River Narrows, his hometown run. Were it not for the line of kayakers waiting for their number to be called, and the crowd of spectators downstream eagerly anticipating the carnage at Gorilla, this Saturday could have passed for any other weekend, except that this was the Green Race, and Sprinkle, who had just started paddling three years prior, had never raced the Narrows before.“I thought if I could just finish the race at all, even if I’m the slowest person, I’d still have something to be proud of,” Sprinkle says.Sprinkle finished all right, and while his run wasn’t particularly fast or smooth (“It took me nearly 10 minutes and I got chundered from top to bottom,” he says), he was one of the few kayakers in the hand paddling class and the oldest competitor to even race that year.“I was very proud, but much to my surprise, [the other racers] more or less made fun of me,” Sprinkle says. “It pissed me off. They were 24 and thinking they were something cool but they don’t know how hard it was being 44.”Sprinkle channeled that negative energy into paddling harder, faster, more frequently. A professional fly fishing guide by trade, Sprinkle spent practically every waking moment on the water. After a long day at work, he’d head to the Ledges on the French Broad and practice attainments. He started to incorporate weight lifting and cardio into his weekday activities, all the while racking up as many race runs on the Narrows as his body could handle.Two years later, in 2006, Sprinkle was back at the Green Race. With two former hand paddling champions half his age as competition, Sprinkle was nervous—after all, they were in newer, longer boats, while Sprinkle was still sporting a short boat. Still, his determination to prove a point, to his fellow racers and himself, overrode his inhibitions. He won the hand paddling class, and would continue to win that division and set new records at the Green for the next five years.It’s easy to label Sprinkle as a mutant of athletic tenacity that goes above and beyond the willpower of most athletes, regardless of age—in addition to his six-year record-setting champion streak at the Green, Sprinkle’s also set the hand paddling record at other races like the Lord of the Fork and the downriver race on the Nantahala. Just last year, at the age of 57, Sprinkle won the hand paddling class at the Ocoee River Race and placed second in the same division at the Green Race.But Sprinkle’s late blooming success as a competitive kayaker mirrors an evolving trend in the world of adventure sports that proves older athletes can still bring the heat well into their 50s and beyond.“I pretty much hated running all my life,” says 69-year-old ultrarunner Doug Blackford. “I always thought it was a rather stupid sport,” that is, until Blackford started running at the ripe age of 50 to help his 14-year-old son prepare for cross country season. “We’d only run two miles and I’d about throw up but it wasn’t like I was overweight. I’d been active all my life.”Doug BlackfordBlackford started with 5Ks, then 10Ks and 15Ks, slowly building his strength and endurance. Three years later, he was at the starting line to his first ever ultramarathon, the Mount Mitchell Challenge.“It was pouring down rain, thundering, lightning. We were ankle deep in water and slush. It was nasty as hell,” he says, but he finished anyway.To date, Blackford’s completed more than 60 ultras, including three 100-milers (one of which he ran in 2016 a week after his 70th birthday) and 15 Mount Mitchell Challenge finishes, as well as a host of other adventure runs like the double crossing of the Grand Canyon.Blackford’s not necessarily stomping the younger competition, though he’s ranked twice in the top 10 overall at the Iron Mountain 50 Miler. What sets Blackford’s running apart has less to do with speed and more about resiliency. The man simply won’t stop running, even in the face of a much more daunting challenge—beating prostate cancer. Despite undergoing radiation treatments for the first two months of the year, Blackford was still logging big miles on the trail nearly every day, including a 30-mile thru run of the Art Loeb Trail.“It’s been a terrible inconvenience, if you can call cancer that,” he says. “I think running has helped me through. My main mantra is just to enjoy it and don’t worry about the pace or the speed or anything. There are a lot of races where I’m the oldest person there, but I’m not anywhere near last, so I take pride in that.”Clark Jackson running to victory at XTERRA Worlds in 2016.Clark Jackson, 60, of Charlottesville, Va., can relate to that. Last year, Jackson won his age division at the Paul Mitchell XTERRA Trail Run World Championship Half Marathon in Hawaii. Not long after returning from world’s, Jackson was diagnosed with stage one prostate cancer, but that isn’t stopping him. Like Blackford, Jackson started running again after a 50-year-old health checkup-gone-bad.“I was overweight and out of shape and [my doctor] wanted to start putting me on a bunch of medicine,” says Jackson. “I said, ‘Doc, give me six months.’”His plan? Pick up right where he left off from his college days of running and become the XTERRA Trail Run World Champion. Starting from ground zero, Jackson tacked on the miles, one at a time, and succeeded. In 2011, he won the North Carolina XTERRA Regional Championship. In 2013, he won Virginia and North Carolina’s XTERRA Regional Championship. And in 2014, he again won Virginia’s XTERRA Regional Championship.“When you’re running before, you take everything for granted,” he says, “but you appreciate it more when you’re older.”Those words ring particularly true to Alice Vernon of Morgantown, W.Va. Vernon, 57, runs Whitetail Bicycles with her husband. In her 30s, she was one of the top female endurance mountain bikers in the region, placing first at a number of 24-hour races in both the team and solo divisions.Her racing started to wane when life got in the way—she’s a mother of two now-grown children, a retired nurse, and a survivor of cancer. Now, Vernon is as active as ever. In April 2016, Vernon won the Big Bear Lake XC Classic sport division. The year before that, Vernon finished the High Cascades 100-mile endurance mountain bike race in Bend, Oregon. Amid all of that, she and her husband have completed multiple bike touring trips across Switzerland, New Zealand, and Washington state. This year, Vernon plans on competing in the Pisgah Stage Race in North Carolina and the USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Championships at Snowshoe Mountain, W.Va. Her key to staying fit is a far cry from her tactics as a 30-something-year-old.“I used to feel like I could go off the couch and race myself into shape and just go do it out of sheer will but not now,” she says. “I used to feel like I could out-suffer people, but I don’t like to suffer like I used to.”Still, Vernon’s on the bike at least 10 hours a week, on top of hot yoga and spin classes a few days per week. Above all else, though, she says just getting outdoors, be it on a bike or a set of telemark skis, has always been, and will continue to be, her secret to success.“When you’re tired and you don’t feel like going out, if you make yourself go and just take a walk, you feel better,” she says. “Exercise in general keeps you young at heart.”“Don’t stop believing,” adds Keith Sprinkle. “You’re never too old.”last_img read more