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Archive | December, 2005

Mickey Z

Which Wolf Will You Feed in 2006?

“Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.” This statement (made by Dubya in September 2001) has been mocked by just about anyone to the left of Genghis Khan, but in 2005, I came to realize how often we all slip into that mentality . . . myself very much included. For […]

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In Search of Metoro: Women, Youth, and Labor in Japan

Only last year, Honda’s humanoid robot, Asimo, was learning how to walk. Now, the five-year-old droid is ready to take on simple office work, greet visitors and fetch refreshments. Japan’s third-biggest auto manufacturer introduced Tuesday a second-generation Asimo that can also push a cart weighing up to 22 pounds, and walk straight, sideways or backwards […]

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Clinton Jencks

Clinton Jencks, Legendary Labor Organizer, Dies

Clinton Jencks, from Salt of the Earth Legendary labor organizer Clinton Jencks, who led mineworkers in New Mexico in a strike depicted in the classic movie Salt of the Earth, died Dec. 15 in San Diego of natural causes.  He was 87. An international representative of the Amalgamated Bayard District Union of Mine, Mill, and […]

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Michael Hureaux Perez

Hymn for a Brave New World

  When the polar bears are drowning and the salmon cross the street And late summer’s on the non-existent breeze; When the yellow clouds are frowning and the snow is always sleet And there’s only five of what were Seven Seas; When it’s ninety in December at the Arctic Circle’s edge And the birds are […]

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What’s Ahead in 2006 on the Political Action Front?

It won’t be a very happy New Year for working people in 2006 . . . at least until November. For working people, the coming year promises to be loaded with danger on the political action front.  Many political battles remain unfinished from 2005, with President Bush and his Republican Congressional majority determined to continue […]

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New York Post: You Rats

What I Learned from the NYC Transit Strike

Watching the New York City transit strike from my perch in upstate New York was both exhilarating and frustrating.  I felt a swell of pride as the TWU 100 members struck, refusing to “sell out the unborn.”  Finally a union took a stand against this nefarious tactic that so many unions had resorted to. At […]

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La Grande Illusion

The Architecture of Dreamworld 3: Going Postal

Michael Steinberg, “The Architecture of Dreamworld 1: Like a Sex Machine” (31 October 2005); “The Architecture of Dreamworld 2: The Disarming Reflex” (17 November 2005) Hollywood has been declining for all of its history. The experts were writing off the medium in 1918. Audiences were probably grumbling that they no longer made films the way […]

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John D. Evans

Sleepless Night

They thought I was asleep That night they took my brother away No dream I could keep With tears flooding my face He said I could be redeemed Showed me how change takes place Gave me a reason to believe That love forgives mistakes And they thought I was asleep When they took him away […]

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Bowling Alley

  Michael D. Yates, “Revelation” (29 October 2005); and “Mobilization” (13 November 2005) It was a mid-Sunday afternoon in late Winter.  We had just finished our match, and I was disappointed with my poor performance.  For some reason I could not prevent my left wrist from turning over when I released my bowling bowl, and […]

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A Children’s Song for Our Times

Santa came riding a tank Riding a tank came he With cannon guns and beating drums With soldiers, jeeps and marching feet Santa came riding a tank Riding a tank came he Who brings gifts on a tank? What gifts do tanks bring? Ask the children  of Iraq They know And now so do we […]

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Michael Perelman

The Social Meaning of Pensions

MANUFACTURING DISCONTENT: The Trap of Individualism in Corporate Society by Michael PerelmanBUY THIS BOOK Pensions offer a wonderful example of the perverse phenomenon of the corporate sector winning support by taking actions that harm individuals.  Between 1979 and 1997, the share of employees with defined benefit plans — i.e., plans that promise a specific level […]

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Valentin de Boulogne, Christ Driving the Money Changers out of the Temple, c. 1618

Did Jesus Accept Poverty?

Figuring out new ways to remind ordinary people of the nature and logic of power in this world has — rightly so — become a topic of greatly heightened concern on the left.  Events continue to show us the disastrous results of losing so many of our natural allies to the spreading quicksand of religious […]

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Mangal Pandey

Mangal Pandey: The Rising: Articulating the Nation?

Aarti Wani, “A Dream and a Nightmare” (30 August 2005); and “Three Films and a Nation” (22 October 2005) Ketan Mehta‘s Mangal Pandey: The Rising was four years in the making before it was released this August with the hype normal to any mainstream Hindi cinema.  Barring a few exceptions, the film received good reviews […]

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Seattle Votes for a Right to Health Care

Measure No. 1, as it appeared on the ballot: Advisory ballot measure No. 1 concerns the right to health care. If approved, the measure would advise the mayor and the city council that every person in the US should have an equal right to quality health care, and that Congress should implement that right.  The […]

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We Are TWU

Beyond Nickels and Dimes: Transit Strike Is Our Strike

It was just last week, at a party in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, when I railed drunk that the chance of a strike was “zero.”  I ranted about the sell-out union leaderships and their habits of business unionism. I joked about Transit Workers Union Local 100 leader Roger Toussaint and the sorry path that even earnest […]

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