Texas residents are still freezing, without energy. Workers strike for $ 15 minimum wage Dutch court briefly strikes COVID curfew. The Pentagon is relocated to China.
Texas residents are still freezing, without energy
There has been no shortage of pointing fingers on major disruptions in Texas following the storms of recent records. At one point Monday, more than 4 million Texans were without power and had no way to heat their homes amid falling temperatures. About 3 million are still without power and have little certainty that they will be back soon.
The power grid in some cities seems to be stuck due to increased demands on the system. Some in the state have died in home fires or from carbon monoxide poisoning after taking desperate and unsafe measures to warm themselves. Residents outside the major cities also felt that despite calls to conserve energy, downtown skylines glowed while their neighborhoods were in darkness.
Over increased energy demands, the state also suffered catastrophic power generation failures. State Republicans, including Gov. Greg Abbott, rushed to blame failures on renewables, such as frozen wind turbines. But wind energy accounts for only 10% of state energy production, and only 10% of frozen turbines. The overwhelming culprit was Natural gas and coal suppliers in Texas, which provide most of the state energy. Power plants suffered failures of instruments and other components, which further reduced power supplies when the state needed them most.
Fast food workers strike for $ 15 minimum wage
Yesterday, fast food workers in 15 cities went on strike to demand an increase in the minimum wage. The current federal minimum wage is $ 7.25 an hour and has not increased since 2009.
Taiwanna Milligan, a McDonalds worker in Charleston, SC, earns $ 8.75 an hour after working in a restaurant for eight years. Milligan had this to say in a recent issue:
We hear you there applauding the essential workers. We see the great show you do thanking us. But to be honest, this has not translated into changes for my life. We were living on a razor’s edge long before the Covid-19 hit South Carolina. And we were still living in it.
Milligan’s feelings sum up the frustrations of millions of Americans who have been trying to make a living for years before anyone heard of COVID-19. Workers are on strike to demand that Congress include a provision in the upcoming COVID incentive to raise the federal minimum wage to $ 15 an hour. Despite voice support from many Democrats, the move could be lost in the Democrat-led Senate because of two people: Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Senator Kyrsten Cinema (D-AZ). Both Democrats have a side history with Republicans and have ruled out $ 15 minimum wage support.
Dutch court briefly strikes COVID curfew
The Dutch group of citizens Viruswaarheid (Truth of the Virus) has been for weeks leading mass protests against the COVID curfew at 21:00. Viruswaarheid sued to close the curfew, claiming the government mistakenly used its emergency powers to summon him. The group won a brief victory yesterday when a court struck the curfew, ruling that it should be lifted immediately.
The decision took the Dutch interim government by surprise. The government asked the court to reinstate the curfew pending an appeal Friday. A higher court reinstated the curfew minutes before it took effect. The Dutch parliament is currently working on drafting new laws to support the stalemate, but this may have to wait until after next month’s elections.
Several other European nations have imposed police bans to curb the movement. Spain, Italy and Greece have all evening hours at 21:00 (with a curfew at 18:00 in Greece on weekends). France has not created a blockade, but has imposed a daily curfew at 18:00.
The Pentagon is rethinking its decision to oppose China
In recent years, China has pulled its military muscles in an effort to dominate the Asian sphere. The movement for this has accelerated in the last year as the pandemic destroys the coffers and resources of neighboring countries. Recent aggressions include flights to the disputed state of Taiwan, land incursions into India, and increased maritime activity in the disputed waters of the South China Sea.
This increasingly militaristic stance has led China into a growing conflict with both its neighbors and the US. The Biden and Pentagon administrations are now looking at ways to counter China without abandoning existing fronts in the Middle East. Efforts are complicated by an incentive to reduce the Pentagon’s extremely bloated budget, as well as internal moral crises within the military, including racism, growing extremism, and sexual harassment scandals. New strategies will need to take into account advances in surveillance and robotics technology and global threats such as pandemics and climate change.
The smaller the better
One of the strategies the Pentagon is considering is moving away from permanent bases to create a more mobile, less costly, and less predictable military presence. More mobile forces also avoid the political and security traps of large bases that provide valid and static military objectives for attackers.
The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, recently gave his opinion that, the younger the better, the better in the future. A small force that is almost invisible and undetectable, that is in a constant state of motion and is widely dispersed, which would be a surviving force. “You will not achieve any goal if you are dead.”
Tags: China, COVID-19, curfew, international news, labor force, minimum wage, national news, natural gas, Netherlands, New Albany MS, northeast Mississippi news, Pentagon, power outages, President Joe Biden, renewable energy, Texas, US news, world news
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