Hellraisers Journal: Baldwin-Felts Gunthugs Use Death Special to March Miners to Trinidad Jail

You ought to be out raising hell. This is the fighting age. Put on your fighting clothes.
-Mother Jones

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Friday October 16, 1903
Chicago, Illinois - John Mitchell Speaks at Conference of the National Civic Federation

John Mitchell, National President of the United Mine Workers of America, spoke at yesterday's afternoon session of the Chicago Conference of the National Civic Federation. Mr. Mitchell spoke on the subject of the "union shop:"

By a refusal to work with non-union men labor organizations occasionally excite grave criticism from press and public. To refuse to work with non-union men is to no greater and to no less extent compulsion than for a life or fire insurance company to refuse certain classes of risks, for a church to refuse membership to certain classes of people, or for any association whatsoever to set conditions under which it will have dealings with certain persons. The compulsion exerted by unions whether toward non-unionists or employers must be judged upon its merits and must not be decried merely because it is compulsion.

The majority of non-unionists are not malicious, only at the worst stupid and pathetic. However, there is one group of non-unionists, the professional strike breakers, but little removed from the criminal classes. I do not mean to say that every strike breaker is a criminal.

Some of these professional strike breakers are former unionist, men who have been dishonorably discharged from the union, cashiered for conduct unbecoming a unionist, if not actually dismissed for defalcations or other offenses against the law. Others have never been in a union and have never been contaminated or defiled by work. With the progress of trade unions and their growth in strength there will probably be a lessening in the intensity of feeling against the non-unionist, but no lessening in the policy of exclusion.

In conclusion I believe that trade unions have a legal and moral right to exclude non-unionists, but that this right should be exercised with the utmost care, and only after persuasion has been tried and has failed.

The National Civic Federation is an organization comprised of representatives from both the wage earners and the capitalist. They meet together in an effort to solve industrial conflicts and improve relationships between the two classes. This Federation is much decried as class collaborationist by the Socialist Party of America, and by such unions as the Western Federation of Miners and the American Labor Union.

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Economic Populist: The Gerrymander & Wave Election Floodplains

Last week (8 Oct), Sam Wang at the Princeton Election Consortium Blog reported on some interesting findings on partisan swings in gerrymandered Republican districts:

Representatives who benefited from the great partisan gerrymander of 2010 were given enough of an advantage to get into office narrowly. In a district designed to give Republicans a narrow advantage, Republican loyalists are likely to be spread thinly, with the balance of the needed votes being drawn from independents. Some of these independents might be more prone to anger about the current situation. These polls suggest that Republicans in those states might be particularly ripe targets for pressure.

 
The 12 districts plotted in white are FL-02, FL-10, FL-13, MI-01, MI-07, MI-11, OH-06, OH-14, PA-07, PA-08, VA-02, and WI-07.

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Hellraisers Journal: UMW National Secretary Wilson, "The Negro is always to be given a fair show."

You ought to be out raising hell. This is the fighting age. Put on your fighting clothes.
-Mother Jones

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Thursday October 15, 1903
Indianapolis, Indiana - U. M. W. Secretary Wilson speaks out against discrimination.

The Huntington Herald of Indiana printed this article yesterday, reproduced here in full:


Protest of Negroes, Members of the U. M. W.,
That White Miners are Drawing the Color Line.

Indianapolis, Oct. 14-Information has come to the national officers of the United Mine Workers of dissatisfaction among negro miners in the southern part of Indian, who allege that there has been discrimination against them. Three negroes at Linton have begun a movement to seek redress against the alleged disfavor in which they are held, and have presented their case to the officials of their organization at Terre Haute.

Negro Has a Right to a Fair Show

Secretary Wilson, of the United Mine Workers, said in speaking of it: "I do not know what the outcome of their meeting will be, but I know that it is not the purpose of the United Mine Workers to discriminate against the labor of any man in the organization. Our organization expressly prohibits discrimination against any on account of race, color or creed, and the negro is always to be given a fair show with the white man."

African American Coal Miners

These are fine words from the National Secretary of the miners' union, William B. Wilson, and we are sure that he means them sincerely. We will also point out that the United Mine Workers of America is a leader among unions in attempting to end discrimination across the color line. But we would hope that these words will lead to positive and long lasting action to end the shameful practice of white miners drawing the color line against their brothers within this great union. Real and lasting Solidarity is what is needed if the United Mine Workers expects to have the strength needed to take on the powerful coal companies.

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Hellraisers Journal: Coeur D' Alene scabs arrive in Victor, Colorado, on morning train.

You ought to be out raising hell. This is the fighting age. Put on your fighting clothes.
-Mother Jones

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Wednesday October 14, 1903
Victor, Colorado -Scabs arrive on morning train from Coeur D' Alene, Idaho


Ed Boyce
First President of the
Western Federation of Miners

Scabs shipped in from Coeur D' Alene arrived on the morning train today, and were met at the station by a large crowd. We feel justified in calling them scabs since, no doubt, word of the strike has reached Coeur D' Alene by this time. These scabs betray the memory of their two brothers who were shot down by mine guards on June 11, 1892 during the strike of that year. No miner from Coeur D' Alene could be so ill informed as not to know that it was that strike which led directly to founding of the Western Federation of Miners.

Over 600 suffered arrest and confinement in the filthy bullpen. Thirteen, including Ed Boyce, former W. F. of M. President, were imprisoned in the Ada County Jail in Boise. It was there that this great industrial union was conceived. The W. F. of M. was founded in Butte, Montana, in May of 1893. Every western miner knows this history. Therefore, we will say it again, these new arrivals are scabs of the worst sort. Traitors plain and simple.

In other news from Denver, Governor Peabody has ordered the reduction of the military force in the Cripple Creek District. There are at present 775 officers and men on duty in the strike zone, and that number will soon be reduced to 500.

Brigadier General Chase has been formally charged and placed under arrest in Denver. His court-martial is pending. The Governor is expected to release the General soon while he awaits the trial. Several others have also been charged and placed under arrest.

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Gender Prison: Colorado transsexual woman denied breast cancer screening by Planned Parenthood

It has been more than a decade since Jennifer Blair underwent gender confirmation surgery. Like most transsexual women Jennifer takes a daily maintenance dose of estradiol, a synthetic estrogen drug.

That dose also does put me at an elevated risk for a variety of tumors, including breast cancer.

--Blair

Blair began to notice an unusual breast growth, so she went to Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains in Denver for a mammogram paid for by the Women's Wellness Connection. That's a state-run program which offers free cancer screenings for women living on low incomes.

I don't have any health insurance.

--Blair

Jennifer seemed to meet all the requirements, but she was still denied a screening…because she was born male.

I was shocked. I was hurt.

--Blair

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Economic Populist: Nuts & Bolts for Premium Notes

I recently discussed an alternative to Consol Bonds

Now, I was addressing a proposal by Matt Lavine at Bloomberg, and as a result, the explanation was not necessarily the simplest possible explanation. So here, I'm looking at just my proposed 10 year 100% coupon note, and going through the nuts and bolts.

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Hellraisers Journal: Mother Jones Remembers Virden Martyrs at Union Miners' Cemetery in Mt Olive

You ought to be out raising hell. This is the fighting age. Put on your fighting clothes.
-Mother Jones

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Tuesday October 13, 1903
Mt Olive, Illinois - Mother Jones speaks at at Union Miners' Cemetery

Mother Jones gave a speech yesterday at the Union Miners' Cemetery in Mt. Olive, Illinois. She was one of the featured speakers along with Ben Hanford, of the Typographical union, at a memorial service for miners massacred at Virden on October 12, 1898. Mother spoke in support of the Union Miner's Cemetery which was established in 1899. Four of the fourteen Virden Martyrs were from the town of Mt. Olive. Those four were originally buried in the town cemetery, but the owner of that land disliked the mass ceremonies held there each year. Therefore, the bodies of our fallen brothers were moved to the Union Miners' Cemetery in 1899 when an acre of land was purchased for that purpose. More land was acquired in 1902.

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Sunday Train: eBikes & Green Austerity

About a week ago, the following story caught my eye:

For the first time on record, bicycles have outsold cars in Spain.

 
Higher taxes on fuel and on new cars have prompted cash-strapped Spaniards to opt for two wheels instead of four. Last year, 780,000 bicycles were sold in the country — compared to 700,000 cars. That's due to a 4 percent jump in bike sales, and a 30 percent drop in sales of new cars.

And this is not primarily about a wave of government policies promoting cycling, or an outbreak of climate activism among the young ... its the result of the crisis. As this NPR story concludes:

"We are learning every day, about the crisis. Maybe it's not changing the things that we thought at the beginning would change — the politicians, the banks, that kind of things. But it's changing our minds," says Juan Salenas, another cyclist at the Bici Crítica rally. "We spend less. We try to live with [what we have, and be] more happy. And we try to keep what we have, because maybe we will lose it tomorrow."

Spain is experiencing a shift in which both conventional and eBike sales are increasing, but as The Economist reports, in Germany, France and the Netherlands, where transport cycling culture is more entrenched, the shift is within bicycle sales:

In the Netherlands one bicycle in six sold is an e-bike. In Germany the cycle industry expects electric-bike sales to grow by 13% this year, to 430,000 (the most sold in any European country), and to account for 15% of the market before long. In France sales of traditional bicycles fell by 9% in 2012 while those of e-bikes grew by 15%.

 
E-bikes are catching on as people move to cities and add concern about pollution and parking to worry over petrol prices and global warming. Frank Jamerson, who produces the Electric Bikes Worldwide Reports, estimates sales at around 34m this year and perhaps 40m in 2015. China buys most of them and makes even more, with European sales of 1.5m in second place.

So, as events in DC have unraveled to the point were the outcome that the Democrats are fighting for is to fund the government at austerity "sequester" levels, this Sunday Train looks at Electric Bikes.

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Hellraisers Journal: As the coal operators ship in machine guns, Colorado miners prepare for attack.

You ought to be out raising hell. This is the fighting age. Put on your fighting clothes.
-Mother Jones

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Monday October 12, 1903
From the International Socialist Review: "The Legal Fiction of Equality."

In a long article for this month's Review, Comrade Clarence Meily writes about the capitalistic courts and the struggle of the working class for true democracy, industrial democracy. We quote only a small section here to focus on what the employers are fond of calling "assumed risk." Meily begins the article with a quote from Judge Gray:

"There are no classes In America. I hate the name!" Judge George Gray, quoted in the "Outlook" of July 4, 1903.

Meily then goes on to discuss "assumed risk," which leaves the employer free of legal responsibility when employees are killed or injured on the job, concluding:

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Economic Populist: Premium Bonds Would Disarm Default Threat

Just as the GOP Shutdown was getting underway, 2 October, Matt Levine at Bloomberg was calling on the administration to Mint the Premium Bonds!.

The creepy trick that has swept the nation* is the platinum coin option, in which Treasury mints a $1 trillion platinum coin, deposits it at the Fed, and suddenly has an extra $1 trillion of money to spend without incurring any debt (and, thus, without breaching the debt ceiling). This is a good trick as tricks go, and it's been extensively advocated by Josh Barro, Paul Krugman, Matt Yglesias, Joe Weisenthal, basically every economics blogger really. I am unaware of any good arguments that the platinum coin wouldn't work, but it does have the problem that it is really really really really obviously a trick. I mean, it's a trillion dollar coin, come on. So it's sort of sub-optimal symbolically, and would make people really mad. It's a crisis-enhancer, although with the benefit of avoiding immediate default.

So there is an alternative that Matt Levine is putting forth:

Instead of just rolling those Treasuries -- paying them off at 100 cents on the dollar by issuing new Treasuries at 100 cents on the dollar -- it should pay them off at 100 cents on the dollar by issuing new Treasuries at 275 cents on the dollar and using the extra money to pay its bills. The 10-year yield today is around 2.6 percent, so you could sell a 10-year with a 23 percent coupon for 275 cents on the dollar.**** The 30-year is about 3.9 percent, so a 14 percent coupon should get you there. Etc. Math here.

Now, given my previous writing on Fixed Interest Payment Consol Bonds ... would this work too?

Yes, in a functional sense, of course it would. Its a similar, though not identical, answer, but it goes through the same loophole. Premium bonds are, by law, counted on their face value. So any bond with a face value substantially below its issue price that is used to roll over maturing long term bonds would "roll back" the debt ceiling count.

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