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Archive | April, 2008

Rick Wolff

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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Sub-Saharan Africa and China

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, […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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.  […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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