Archive for the ‘Government’ Category
Posted by Jack Stephens on January 10, 2009
Raw Dawg Buffalo blogs:
I was optimistic that Obama meant what he said, and would do accordingly. But I am slowly becoming disillusioned. He spoke of change, and not having the “good old boy” network of “Washington Insiders” in his administration – yet he does. I won’t even get on the usual talk of tax reduction, war ending and other stuff that all democrats and republicans chant like some Taoist mantra.
Posted in Black Issues, Government, Institutionalized Racism, People of Color | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on December 5, 2008
This Friday I’m heading to Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn for the premiere screening of Some Place Like Home: The Fight Against Gentrification in Downtown Brooklyn, a documentary by Families United for Racial and Economic Equality. FUREE, a community organization lead by and comprised primarily of low-income women of color, has been rallying the community in a fight against the rampant development that’s going down in Downtown Brooklyn and the surrounding area. While developers, big business, and politicians alike claim they are only trying to improve the community, the development is being conducted with little care or concern for the residents and small business owners who are already there. Some Place Like Home documents the struggle of FUREE, the neighborhoods’ residents, and small businesses against the forces that are trying to push and bulldoze them out. Check out the trailer below.
Posted in Class, Gentrification, Government, Institutionalized Racism, Organizing, People of Color, White Supremacy, Women of Color | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on December 2, 2008
Apurva, a blogger from India, writes:
In the midst of all this, we had Mr Advani talking about the need for stricter laws to control terrorism. If that is his solution, I wonder in which India he lives in. Stricter laws have never been a deterrent for crime anywhere in the world and least of all in India. If that were the case, dowry deaths would be non-existent by this time. Untouchability would have been a thing of the past. His unimaginative and primitive mind can only think of draconian laws that will inevitably be used to harass the minorities and the powerless. As John Oliver says in the above video, “when you’re a bankrupt ideology pursuing a bankrupt strategy, the only move you’ve got is the dick one.”
Posted in Government, International, Law, Terrorism | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on October 18, 2008
Jeff Chang blogs:
I was stomping around the house, scaring the kids, yelling at the radio and the television, and generally not digesting my dinner.
McCain argued last night that he has “repudiated every time someone has been out of line.” But he continues to allow his VP nominee—someone CNN’s Leslie Sanchez once said was “a vice president for the rest of us”—to insinuate Obama is not like the rest of us. He continues to flog non-stories about ACORN, a federation of community organizations working for poor people led by a woman of color, and Bill Ayers, a former Weather Underground radical who now is a respected voice in education.
Posted in Contemporary Racism, Government | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on October 13, 2008
Markets, if not an expression of aspirations implicit in human nature, are supposedly indispensable to any happy human prospect. Free market ideology has it that markets are the most efficient delivery system for goods; that competition will drive innovation and flexibility; that consumer-led demand will ensure that people get what they want (within their means); and that waged labour will incentivize hard work and thus produce growth. This fabular conception advises the most rudimentary assumptions of policymakers (who then go on to violate their own assumptions in practise) and a great majority of the intelligentsia. And, within its own terms, it has a certain allure. It is not obviously utopian, and doesn’t assume basic human goodness. In fact, it states quite bluntly that what humans had often considered the main source of evil, the accumulation of wealth, was the progenerator of unprecedented good. Adam Smith thus famously argued: “It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own self-interest. We address ourselves, not to their humanity but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own neccessities but of their advantages.” Moreover, in the context in which the classical liberal economists were writing, it made a great deal of sense. The absence of that context makes any attempt to apply such precepts to today’s reality absurd.
Posted in Capitalism, Class, Government, History, International, Privatization | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on September 21, 2008
It was Marx who had analyzed the phenomenon of capitalism when it was still nascent- foretelling its demise not so much because it was his wish, but pointing out that that the system is inherently unstable and full of contradictions. The Marxist conception of the State as an expression of class power is again vindicated by the manner in which the federal governments in leading capitalist countries- the US, UK, Japan, Australia and even the puny India- has stepped into the rescue and “buy” back sunk investments. It suits these governments to step out of business activities when it suits the latter, and step in when it suits them too, that is having the cake and eat it too! Noam Chomsky once called the US (that’s true of most capitalist countries) – socialism for the rich.
This of course, is not unprecedented. Again it was Marx (or Engels) who commented in the preface to the second edition of Das Capital, that the crisis of the capitalism system of production (not to say of distribution) is inherent because while production grows in geometrical progression, markets expand only in an arithmetic progression. Since then, the web of conflicts and contractions within the capitalist system has only grown more complex.
Posted in Capitalism, Globalization, Government, International, Marxism | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on September 11, 2008
Miss Kristia, of Doorknockers, blogs:
The most difficult contradiction to face is that even if Obama makes 1.5-2 things better for some people of color in America, we know that he is nothing but a flyer, better-dressed, younger face to the New World Order AKA the same ol’ American Empire that has been running shit for the past several hundred years.
Posted in Capitalism, Government, Imperialism | 1 Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on September 6, 2008
Katrina vanden Heuvel blogs:
We join with you in condemning the arrest and harassment of Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman and members of her crew on the first day of the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota. These arrests were a transparent attempt to intimidate journalists and an assault on our constitution.
Goodman was arrested for simply questioning police about the unlawful detention of producers Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar who were covering street demonstrations in St. Paul. All three were roughly handled.
Posted in Government, Media, Police Brutality | 1 Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on August 26, 2008
So my beef with these guys is not that they make structural critique, it’s that they seem bound to a set of strategies that just haven’t gotten us anywhere. Again, I need to hear about something else besides Affirmative Action and a vague notion of social justice. And then I’d like to see it pitched in such a way that it makes the broader country see their own interest in our interest. That’s not merely crass politics–I actually believe that Jim Crow was ultimately bad for the broader country, not just for black people. I don’t think boom in prisons is a good thing for any American of any color.
Posted in Affirmative Action/Reservations, Black Issues, Contemporary Racism, Government, White Supremacy | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on August 19, 2008
Montreal-North is burning. After the murder of Fredy Villenueva by the Montreal Police (SPVM), and the riots which broke out to express the people’s anger, the community of Montreal-North remains angry. The time has come to organize a social and political offensive against the local elites who are trying to cover up this state of affairs.
Montréal-Nord Republik (Montreal North Republik) is a new voice in the neighbourhood. It intends to put forward another view of the recent events around the death of Fredy Villanueva and the riots which took place in Montreal North. The group also intends to dispute the dominant discourse which is insinuating that the rioters and protesters are just apolitical hooligans. Montréal-Nord Republik hopes to bring together the neighbourhood community along with all the population of Montreal in order to denounce police repression as well as economic, social, cultural and political oppression.
Posted in Class, Government, International, People of Color, Police Brutality, White Supremacy | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on August 12, 2008
I got this e-mail from the blogger Brown Man, check it out:
I’ve heard a constant refrain lately – at work, on TV, on the internet – from some of my black brethren about Barack Obama.
He doesn’t need to “lecture black people” about personal responsibility.
He should be mindful of the tone he uses when he speaks to us.
He’s just saying what racist white people want to hear.
He sacrifices black people to score points with whites and other non-blacks.
I was offended by his criticism of black people.
What gives him the right to call anybody out about anything?
Since he doesn’t have anything good to say about black people he shouldn’t say anything at all.
What do we want from this man?
Over the next five days, the blog Brown Man Thinking Hard presents “What Do We Want?” which will explore some of the issues that underlie this intraracial discord within black America.
Posted in Black Issues, Government | 1 Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on July 22, 2008
Shiraz socialist blogs:
Interesting summary in today’s Zaman of goings on at the congress of the Demokratik Toplum Partisi, the left-Kurdish nationalist coalition in the Turkish parliament which is threatened by closure along with the ruling AK Partisi. It would seem that the party’s “moderates”, led by Ahmet Türk, have the leadership but have gotten it on the basis of an accommodation with more radical factions. It is pleasing to see such unity in the face of potentially devastating attack from the state.
Albeit deeply flawed, the DTP is the nearest thing in national level Turkish politics to a significant left-wing force. It is therefore an entity whose persecution should be of some concern to all progressive and left-wing people in the West who care about Turkey and its future. One would certainly hope that, even where people (wrongly in my view) might support the use of the Constitutional Court against the Islamist-descended AKP, they would at least stand in defence of a party explicitly set up to stand for progressive politics and Kurdish rights.
Posted in Government, International, Law, Leftism | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on July 18, 2008
Aruni Kashyap blogs on the recent repression by the Indian government on the people of India:
Manoj Deka’s brutal murder by Asam police in the name of counter insurgency operation holds multiple shocking implications about current politics in Assam. Manoj Deka was a senior leader of the Communist Party of India, Assam and held the post of the Morigaon district CPI General Secretary.
[Hat Tip: Bhupinder]
Posted in Communism, Government, International, Police Brutality | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on July 6, 2008
Profe, of LatinoLikeMe.com, blogs on democracy, freedom, and labor:
It is through this process of analysis that I make sense of the daily experiences of immigrant labor in this nation. When I say this, I do not only mean undocumented labor. The Southern Poverty Law Center provides a beautifully-detailed report on legal guestworker programs in place in the United States. “Close to Slavery” is a reminder of the brutal ways a government’s protection of the “rights” of an elite group of business interests–in the name of free market capitalism–sacrifices the humanity of hundreds of thousands of others.
Posted in Capitalism, Class, Contemporary Racism, Government, Latina/o Issues, White Supremacy | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on June 21, 2008
JanInSanFran blogs on the recent FISA law passed by the House:
Trusting souls we if we look to Democrats to safeguard liberties. They won’t. At root, they don’t believe that any significant number of their base cares enough to make them uncomfortable when they go along to get along. They trust their white skins and their money ensure their privilege. This seems rather stupid, but one of the features of privilege long-enjoyed is stupidity. An animal without predators ceases to be wary like those poor Galapagos tortoises that stick their necks out to meet humans.
Posted in Corporations, Government, Law | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on June 8, 2008
Haitham blogs about the aftermath of seven students getting their Fulbright scholarships revoked, then reinstated, yet still being stranded in the Gaza Strip:
For the mainstream press, this story “moved quickly” and has now concluded with a positive ending for the Gaza Fulbright seven. But hundreds of other Palestinian students remain stranded inside the Gaza Strip, and the number is expected to rise this summer. According to data from the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), almost 700 Palestinian students are still waiting to leave Gaza in order to pursue studies, and scholarships, abroad. “This number will increase within the next month, after the schools announce their exam results and Gaza students want to move onto universities” says Khalil Shaheen, a senior PCHR researcher. “All of these students are stranded inside the Gaza Strip because of the Israeli siege and closure, and they are being denied their rights to pursue their education, and their futures.”
Posted in Education, Government, International, Occupation | 1 Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on June 4, 2008
Sean Purdy blogs:
Yesterday, the Canadian parliament voted 137-110 to give asylum to U.S. war resisters (known in the mainstream media as “military deserters”) and allow them permanent resident status. Officially, there are an estimated 200 U.S. soldiers who have fled to Canada in opposition to the U.S. invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan but there are probably many more resisters who have not come forward yet.
The Conservative government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper is free to ignore the decision since it was an unbinding motion. He has said as much. However, it is an extremely important victory in the campaign by the anti-war movement in Canada and the U.S. and will certainly put substantial pressure on Harper…
Posted in Government, International, Law, Military | 1 Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on May 28, 2008
Terrance blogs about Memorial Day, his father, and the wars being fought now:
One of the earliest rules I remember learning as a child was how to wake dad up from a nap. Don’t touch him or shake him, I was told. He might be dreaming about being back in Vietnam, or the defensive reflex required to survive there might kick in and the reaction might be violent. So, when it was time to wake him up, we would stand at the door and call to him until he responded, even well into my high school years. Looking back, in think it was a way of not releasing the war inside — the war he carried with him — into our home.
It’s bad enough that we sent men and women overseas to fight a war founded disinformation, in insufficient numbers, and with inadequate equipment. But, when they come home with deep psychological wounds from that war, and we give them less than the treatment they need, Memorial Day celebrations and speeches ring hollow.
Posted in Government, Health Care, War | 1 Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on May 27, 2008
Michael Connery blogs about the protests over Tony Blair’s speech at Yale:
Normally I’m skeptical of student anti-war protests. While throwing a pie in Tom Friedman’s face might be emotionally satisfying on some level, it accomplishes very little in the way of real change. In recent years, students have achieved far greater success on campus when their protests were directed at their college or university. Over the past half decade, student protests have helped establish a living wage for workers at Harvard, many campuses, bowing to student pressure have divested from regimes involved in human rights abuses, and many more campuses have made strides toward becoming carbon neutral thanks to the pressure of students. The same cannot be said of student anti-war efforts.
That may be changing…
Posted in Academia, Government, Organizing, War | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on May 17, 2008
Hossam blogs on the latest of the Mahalla detainees in Egypt. Over the past two years strikes have been cripling the Egyptian regime of Hosni Mubarak; these strikes have been lead by the workers in Mahalla, Egypt, the industrial center for Egypt. Of those strikers and protesters three prominent leaders have been arrested due to their actions during the April 6th strikes. They recently released a letter:
A week has passed on our hunger strike and we are extremely weak. We are appealing to you as the last and only resort for all who have suffered injustice in Egypt.
We would like in the beginning to correct certain information which has reached the press about our (the three of us) having been transferred to the prison hospital as a result of our hunger strike.
The truth is that we are still in prison after the administration refused to call an ambulance to take us to hospital, and as a result of the inability of Karim el-Beheiry and Tareq Amin to stand on their feet – as a result of their extreme weakness. Instead, a “nurse” was summoned to examine Karim, whose condition has seriously deteriorated.
We would like to know the reason why we remain in detention. We will continue the hunger strike until we either die or receive this information.
Kamal El-Fayyoumy, Tareq Amin, Karim El-Beheiry
Detained workers from Mahalla
Borg el-Arab Prison
Wing 22, Cell 5
Posted in Class, Government, International, Organizing, Union Issues | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on May 12, 2008
I’ve recently watched a couple of documentaries about radical movements in the 1960s and 70s:Guerrilla: The Taking of Patty Hearst, The Weather Underground and a narrative film about the Naxalite movement in West Bengal called Calcutta My Love.
Both of the first two films were fascinating but left me feeling irritated at the ludicrousness of it all – especially at the white privilege that protected many of these so-called revolutionaries, whereas members of the Black Panther Party faced a decidedly different fate.
Posted in Government, Institutionalized Racism, Law, Radicalism | 2 Comments »
Posted by Jack Stephens on May 4, 2008
Carol P. Araullo, the chairperson of BAYAN, a large umbrella front of progressive and left-wing organizations in the Philippines, blogs on the food crisis and the culpability of President Gloria Arroyo of the Philippines:
But this time around, we can readily agree that the rice/food crisis is happening worldwide and its immediate causes and historical roots cannot be strictly confined to the specific policies and concrete situations obtaining in particular countries. Indeed, the international agribusiness cartels such as the small clique of corporations that control the world’s fertilizer and pesticide market, the largest seed companies (e.g. Monsanto), the largest grain traders (e.g. Cargill) and the world’s big food processors (e.g. Nestle), their local business partners in third world countries and the homegrown trading cartels (e.g. in rice) have made a killing in the midst of growing hunger, food riots and panic buying by governments and households.
Having said that, we reiterate that the Arroyo regime is not blameless, in fact it must own up to and be held accountable for the neoliberal policies and programs it has perpetuated and even accelerated in implementation that today aggravates the rice crisis.
Posted in Capitalism, Corporations, Globalization, Government, International, Organizing | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on May 3, 2008
The blogger at Lenin’s Tomb posts his thoughts on the latest assembly elections in London:
Anyone who thinks that Labour is about to turn left is kidding themselves. Far more likely is that the government will take a more aggressive stance toward the unions (as it did in 1969, with ‘In Place of Strife’) and make a demonstrative crackdown on immigration (as it did with the Commonwealth Immigrants Act in 1968). Labour doesn’t contain the resources for a regeneration of its battered left, any more than it did when John McDonnell failed to get enough PLP support to even run a campaign against Gordon Brown. The last vaguely leftish credible alternative to Brown was the late Robin Cook, whose standing after his dignified antiwar resignation speech would have made him the obvious candidate. And even he would have struggled. Just because the left-of-Labour vote was poor, just because the Tories have made a decisive recovery, don’t think that we can place our hopes in a New Labour conversion, or that we can avoid continuing to try to build a left-of-Labour alternative. We will be lying to ourselves in quite a dangerous way if we imagine that we can claw back some space by just abandoning the electoral terrain to New Labour. The fact that it is now a more difficult task in the short-term does not mean it can be wished away.
Posted in Government, International | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on May 1, 2008
Barbara at WIMN’s Voics blogs:
The story of thousands of schoolchildren without a library and books should be front-page news. Since when did sending inner-city children to bigger schools become a positive educational step in a city concerned with high dropout rates? The story of established neighborhood schools – with acceptable school rankings – closing their doors for lack of enrollment should be a reason for investigative stories by the media. The community should be outraged, right?
Not in San Antonio. Who’s going to tell this story? Here, one Hearst chain newspaper, the San Antonio Express-News is blitzing its ads on the front page as it seeks even more profits. Corporations, according to Jimenez Reyes, are the real power behind the closing of the six schools in a balance-the-budget bottom-line mentality as the developers seek prime inner-city real estate.
Posted in Contemporary Racism, Education, Government, Media, White Supremacy | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on April 26, 2008
Francis L. Holland blogs about a recent article he read from the Associated Press:
Although whites would have us believe that AIDS could NOT have been started by whites and that the Tuskegee Experiment could never happen again,
BALTIMORE – Scientists using federal grants spread fertilizer made from human and industrial wastes on yards in poor, black neighborhoods to test whether it might protect children from lead poisoning in the soil. Families were assured the sludge was safe and were never told about any harmful ingredients.
It galls me. It galls me that the major news institutions can make federal cases out of Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s prophetic indignation at a nation whose policies undervalue and marginalize whole populaces, and reduce it to the rantings of a mad man, when in our own backyard our own government is conducting more experimentation on its citizens!
[Hat Tip: the field negro]
Posted in Black Issues, Class, Government, Racism, White Supremacy | Leave a Comment »