Why Does Meatpacking Have Such Bad Working Conditions?

As coronavirus outbreak hotspots, the focus has been on the awful conditions and low wages in meatpacking plants even before the pandemic. The work is largely done by immigrant and underprivileged workers with few other job opportunities and the gospel is that it is doomed to be bad. Conditions are familiar to anyone who read Upton Sinclair’s muckraking novel The Jungle, but after WWII unionization, closely aligned with the civil rights movement, brought wages and working conditions considerably uphill, in line with other blue collar industries. However, in the 1960’s, in a shift made possible by transporting meat in refrigerated trucks instead of trains, the industry began moving to more rural areas, undercutting the unions’ militant urban powerbase. Meanwhile, new production techniques reduced the skill required of slaughterhouse workers, and recruitment of Latin American immigrants ensued in the 1990s and 2000s. Thus, working on the killing floor became a death sentence. 


The case for taking UFOs seriously


It’s not exactly clear what the recently released Pentagon UFO videos show, but Alexander Wendt, professor of international relations at Ohio State University, thinks “the odds [of their extraterrestrial origins] are high enough that we should be investigating it. It’s as simple as that.” (Later in the interview he gives his estimate of the odds as 51-49!)

‘It’s possible they’ve been here all along. And that’s something that I’ve been thinking about lately, which is a bit unsettling. Because it means it’s their planet and not ours. They could just be intergalactic tourists. Maybe they’re looking for certain minerals. It could just be scientific curiosity. It could be that they’re extracting our DNA. I mean, who knows? I have no idea. All I know is that if they are here, they seem to be peaceful…’

He argues that there is a taboo about studying UFOs because their reality calls into question the modern state’s reliance on an anthropocentric worldview. (He admits that this does not address the reluctance of the private sector and non-state actors.) 

‘…[I]f ETs were discovered, it would be the most important event in human history. If it became known, it could be a very dangerous event in the sense that we might see a collapse of state authority. We might see chaos. The possibility of contact with a civilization that has vastly more knowledge than we do is exciting and terrifying and unpredictable. My feeling is that if they’re here, they’re almost certainly peaceful, because if they were not peaceful they would have wiped us out a long time ago. They can probably do it very quickly. So my assumption is they don’t mean any harm… Sure, it’s possible they’re on a surveillance mission. But people have been reporting UFOs for at least 80 years, and that’s a really, really long surveillance mission. And also, why would they want to conquer us? That’s like us conquering ants…But it’s still the case that society could implode or destabilize as a result of colliding with ETs…’

Wendt attempts to explain the perhaps curious fact that the ETs have neither remained completely clandestine nor openly revealed themselves and “landed on the White House lawn”. Whatever the answer is, he concludes: ‘… I guess I will say this: Montezuma could’ve prepared a lot better for Cortes than he did, had he only known Cortes was coming.’

— Via Vox

White House suppresses CDC guide to reopening America without killing everyone

‘The Trump administration has blocked the Centers for Disease Control from releasing a detailed guide on to how to reopen public spaces. The 17-page report was titled “Guidance for Implementing the Opening Up America Again Framework” and was intended to help business, churches, schools and local governments recover from the coronavirus pandemic without endangering public health.

No reason was given for suppressing the document, which was leaked to and summarized by the AP, but Trump and Republican allies have stated that reopening the economy must be done quickly, even if it results in many more deaths….’

— Via Boing Boing