Top Stories of the Day...
Violence engendered by the rich and powerful and responses from the poor and powerless are embedded in the system of structural violence.
By Harry Targ
May 1, 2013"Establishing causal connections between “variables” and violence is a form of mystification. The reality of this world is that of grotesque inequalities in wealth, power, respect for humankind and the environment, a world awash in instrumentalities of death, and a global culture that celebrates it. Recent reports from the World Bank and the World Economic Forum (of all places) document the continuing and growing inequalities in wealth and income on a worldwide basis.
Could it be a surprise that seemingly indiscriminate acts of violence occur all across the globe? Only a humane global movement for fundamental change can radically transform the world we live in but movements of protest can make constructive changes along the way."
-- Harry Targ, Facebook, April 23, 2013
Each violent tragedy in the United States brings an outpouring of wrenching and “expert” analyses of what was behind the acts that led to so much pain and suffering. Most of the soul-searching about tragedies from Arizona, to Colorado, to Connecticut, to Boston is about domestic events (the repeated killings of Iraqis, Afghan peoples, Pakistanis, Yemenis and others generate much less empathy).
Explanations usually involve deranged “others,” usually poor “others,” “others” of color, and “others with fundamentalist religious beliefs.” Their crimes are described as perpetrated against victims who are the “normal” people.
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NEWS AND VIEWS
'I wouldn’t say there’s a huge onslaught of manufacturing returning from offshore,' says Leo W. Gerard, international president of United Steelworkers, the nation’s largest manufacturing union. 'It now appears to be more of a constant trickle.' From David Moberg's article in In These Times
Climate ChangeThe ‘Green New Deal’ at Work: Wind Produces Almost Twice as Much Power as Nuclear in California
California ranks second in the U.S. in the amount of employment associated with the wind industry, with more than 7,000 jobs, the [American Wind Energy Association] said. Nationally, wind energy production grew 28% in the U.S. last year in what AWEA describes as the industry’s best year to date. From and article by John Upton in Grist.org
North KoreaUS Must Talk, Not Threaten North Korea
Statement from the CCDS Peace and Solidarity Committee:
Sixty years after an armistice ended the fighting in the Korean War, the situation remains tense, abnormal and dangerous on the Korean peninsula. Any military conflict in Korea carries the risk of broadening into a catastrophic war as the US, China, Japan and Russia all have strategic interests in the area. Another major Korean war would mean large increases in US military spending and more austerity and repression at home, as well as great destruction and loss of life....
Racism - Equal Justice
Coalition demands that Eric Holder drop persecution of Asata Shakur and go after police and vigilantes who terrorize African American and Latino communities
May 10, 2013 In a letter sent to U. S. Attorney Eric H. Holder, a coalition of community organizations and civil rights activists have demanded that the Department of Justice remove Asata Shakur from its list of terrorists and allow her to return home as a free woman. The letter also demands that Holder start prosecuting vigilantes, police officers and their leaders who engage in and condone murders, torture, and other crimes, in violation of U. S. law. ( read entire statement)
ElectionsStrategic Thinking and the U.S. Six-Party System
—Sun Tzu, The Art of War
By Carl Davidson
Successful strategic thinking starts with gaining knowledge, particular gaining adequate knowledge of the big picture, of all the political and economic forces involved (Earth) and what they are thinking, about themselves and others, at any given time. (Heaven). It’s not a one-shot deal. Since both Heaven and Earth are always changing, strategic thinking must always be kept up to date, reassessed and revised.
To make a political assessment of the forces commanded by the U.S. bourgeoisie and its subaltern allies and strata, it helps to make an examination of Congress, the White House and other Beltway institutions, as well as voting trends and others political and cultural among the masses. And to get an accurate estimation, we must often tear away, set aside or bracket misleading labels and frames, as well as assess varying economic resources and voting results. We want to illuminate an intentionally obfuscated landscape, like when a flash of lightning at night does away with shadows and renders the landscape in sharp relief.
The primary conventional wisdom we want to dissect here is that the U.S. has a two-party system. First, the nature of political parties in the US today is rather unique; they are not parties in any European parliamentary sense, where members are bound to a program or platform with some degree of discipline, and mass party organizations exist at the base. ...(Click title for more)
In Oregon, a separate measure, giving state sponsorship of a comprehensive study on universal healthcare financing, makes its way through the Committee on Ways & Means.
By Christopher David Gray for the Lund Report
May 15, 2013 — Wes Brain was uninsured last winter when a tonsillectomy showed signs of throat cancer. He qualified for the high-risk Oregon Medical Insurance Pool, which the state has administered through Regence BlueCross BlueShield.
But gaining access to that insurance soon proved a big obstacle for the Ashland resident, when Regence erroneously told him he hadn’t submitted his driver’s license.
“Denial and delay, denial and delay are the way these insurance companies work. They make money this way,” Brain vented to the House Health Committee on Tuesday. He had previously lost his daughter after a nine-year struggle with leukemia while contending with insurance companies over access to necessary healthcare services....(Click title for more)
WORKERS AND VETERANS ARRESTED AT THE NORTH CAROLINA GENERAL ASSEMBLY!
May 13th, 2013 - In this third week of protests, 49 citizens - including workers, veterans, clergy, professors, students, labor activists and the Chair of the Durham County Board of Elections - are arrested at the North Carolina General Assembly for protesting regressive legislation.