Archive | April, 2008

  • Consumerism: Curses and Causes

    US consumerism — citizens driven excessively to buy goods and services and accumulate consumable wealth — is cursed almost everywhere.  Many environmentalists blame it for global warming.  Critics of the current economic disasters often point to home-buying gluttony as the cause.  Many see consumerism behind the borrowing that makes the US the world’s greatest debtor […]

  • Appeal to Observe One Year Anniversary of Dr. Binayak Sen’s Unjust Detention

    On May 13th/14th, 2008, Dr. Binayak Sen, an activist with a lifelong commitment to the issues of community health and human rights, will complete his first year of unjust imprisonment at the Raipur Central jail in Chhattisgarh.  Organizations across the globe will be holding events on the evening of May 13th, 2008 to mark the […]

  • An Aside: Emergency Rooms as Sacred Space

      Emergency Rooms are sacred.  Every last one of them. They belong to my list of sacred spaces: The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Yosemite Valley, Mt. Shasta, Angkor Wat, The Ganges River, Jerusalem, the Vatican, Machu Pichu, the Black Hills, the energy vortexes of Sedona, Stonehenge, those Mounds in Missouri, the Solar Compound, all […]

  • A Socialist Built My House

    That’s what my grandmother told me while we were waiting             at the doctor’s office. The socialist, my great-grandfather, built with his bare hands the house              I have lived in my entire life. I was taken aback was not expecting this kind of history              from my own family. For days I pressed my […]

  • NYC Marijuana Possession Arrests Skyrocket, Illustrate NYPD Racial Bias, New Report Shows

      April 29, 2008 — The NYPD arrested and jailed nearly 400,000 people for possessing small amounts of marijuana between 1997 and 2007, a tenfold increase in marijuana arrests over the previous decade and a figure marked by startling racial and gender disparities, according to a report released Tuesday at the New York Civil Liberties […]

  • China Still a Small Player in Africa

    “What I find a bit reprehensible is the tendency of certain Western voices to . . . raising concerns about China’s attempt to get into the African market because it is a bit hypocritical for Western states to be concerned about how China is approaching Africa when they have had centuries of relations with Africa, […]

  • Right-wing Revolt Threatens Bolivia

    “Bolivia is on the verge of exploding,” Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez warned on April 21. Speaking on the eve of an extraordinary summit of the Bolivarian Alternative of the Americas (ALBA — the alliance made of Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua, Bolivia, and Dominica) that was partly called to discuss the situation in Bolivia, Chavez stated the […]

  • Hillary Clinton: A Threat to World Peace

    The shameful exposition by the American presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton of her genocidal intentions towards Iranians was tragic proof of the dehumanizing impact of warmongering on an elite Western mind.  It is said that humanity is the first casualty of war, and this has been made starkly clear, not only by the murderous boasting of […]

  • Making a Killing from Hunger: We Need to Overturn Food Policy, Now!

    For some time now the rising cost of food all over the world has taken households, governments and the media by storm.  The price of wheat has gone up by 130% over the last year.1 Rice has doubled in price in Asia in the first three months of 2008 alone,2 and just last week it […]

  • Unionizing UC Davis Workers: Community-Labor Support Key

    After a sustained campaign in which police arrested two dozen non-violent protesters in downtown Davis, California, Sodexho food-service workers at UC Davis have won recognition as university employees.  The recent decision means that 200 career workers and 450 student workers will gain higher wages and better benefits as labor union members on the UC payroll.  […]

  • Oil Windfall Sparks Rights Fight in Iran

    From a distance, partisan politics in Iran may appear to turn on international challenges or internal discriminations only.  But a third contentious split that reaches the highest levels is about the size of the government financed largely by oil exports.  At its core, the dispute over whether public sector payroll, subsidies, and social programs deserve […]

  • The Capitalist Workday, the Socialist Workday

    As May Day approaches, there are four things that are worth remembering: For workers, May Day does not celebrate a state holiday or gifts from the state but commemorates the struggle of workers from below. The initial focus of May Day was a struggle for the shorter workday. The struggle for the shorter workday is […]

  • Rebuke Clinton for Threatening to “Totally Obliterate” Iran

      On Tuesday, the same day as the Pennsylvania primary, Senator Hillary Clinton promised to “totally obliterate” Iran should Tehran develop a nuclear weapon and use it against Israel. Her comments, which were aired on Good Morning America, come at a time of increasing tensions between the US and Iran amidst allegations of Iran’s involvement […]

  • Bolivia: What Are We Doing in Haiti?

    La Paz — In recent days the Haitians have gone into the streets to protest against the brutal increase in the cost of food.  The response of the police — with the support of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) — was repression that cost the life of at least five demonstrators and […]

  • Education Entrepreneurs: New Frontiers in Philanthropy

    New Schools Venture Fund has been funding America’s public schools since 1998.  Why?  NSVF “seeks to transform public education by leveraging the power of entrepreneurs to effect change,” its Web site said, by determining “the most powerful levers for impact on public education.” Apparently, raising the tax rate on corporations and the rich to increase […]

  • Embedded with the “Tupamaros”

    Parroquía 23 de Enero, Caracas. It is a Friday night in Caracas, Venezuela.  We are standing in the back of a pickup truck surrounded by dozens of motorcycles, tearing through the streets of Catia, the massive slum area that makes up nearly half the population of the city.  On the motorcycles, revolutionaries young and old, […]

  • The Conspiracy to Divide Bolivia Must Be Denounced

    The process of changes in favor of the Bolivian majority is at risk of being brutally restrained. The rise to power of an Indigenous president with unprecedented support in that country and his programs of popular benefits and recovery of the natural resources have had to face the conspiracies of the oligarchy and United States […]

  • The Future of the Labor Movement? Reflections on the Labor Notes Conference

    See, also, Dave Regan, “Why We Demonstrated in Dearborn,” MRZine, 2 May 2008; and Stephanie Luce, “Rebuilding Labor’s Power: There Are No Shortcuts,” MRZine, 2 May 2008. I had a fantastic time at the Labor Notes conference last weekend, and am eager to build on the new connections I made and campaigns I learned about. […]

  • Playing the Race Card in the 2008 Presidential Election

    It is surely no surprise to readers of MRZine that, in a presidential election race in which an African-American man is not just the front-runner for the Democratic Party nomination, but has a strong chance of winning the White House in November, racism has been front and center.  Four years ago, in his keynote speech […]

  • Climate Crisis — Urgent Action Needed Now!

      The following statement was started by the participants in the Climate Change|Social Change conference.  Anyone who agrees with it is welcome to add their signature, and an updated list of signatories will be issued on a regular basis (contact: <climateconf@greenleft.org.au>.). It is being distributed to environmental, trade union, Indigenous, migrant, religious and community organisations […]