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Archive | February, 2012

Questioning the Syrian “Casualty List”

“Perception is 100 percent of politics,” the old adage goes.  Say something three, five, seven times, and you start to believe it in the same way you “know” aspirin is good for the heart. Sometimes, though, perception is a dangerous thing.  In the dirty game of politics, it is the perception — not the facts […]

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Iranian Worker

Iran: Workers’ Victory at a Glance

  Bucking the trend, Mahshahr petrochemical workers have shown that it is possible to win a major labor battle even in these times of lockouts, plant closures, and mass layoffs.  Other unionists and labor activists are taking note. On January 9, several thousand contracting workers at Bandar Imam Petrochemical Complex and other nearby facilities in […]

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Honduran Resistance Front Forms Political Party

Honduras’s National Front for Popular Resistance (FNRP) gathered in Tegucigalpa February 11-12 to launch a political party.  The name, “Liberation and Re-foundation Party (Libre),” is timely: Honduras is mired in catastrophe. Its murder rate is the world’s highest.  Political violence, crime, militarization, poverty, malnutrition, drug trafficking, and police corruption are overflowing.  Landowner thugs kill family […]

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Human Rights in the New Libya

Human Rights in the New Libya

Victor Nieto is a cartoonist in Venezuela.  Cf. “A Libyan diplomat who served as ambassador to France for Muammar Gaddafi died from torture within a day of being detained by a militia from Zintan, Human Rights Watch said in a statement on Friday. . . .  On January 26, humanitarian group Medecins Sans Frontieres said […]

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Lenin on Freedom

“But see how quickly the slave of yesterday is straightening his back, how the spark of liberty is gleaming even in his half-dimmed eyes” (Lenin 1905 [1963]: 541). Lenin and freedom — it is perhaps a jarring juxtaposition for many.  Was not Lenin the harbinger of what is occasionally called the most dictatorial and authoritarian […]

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Germany: Presidents Come and Presidents Go

Berlin and its surroundings have had plenty to keep it occupied: an airline strike, a short strike of the bus, streetcar, and subway lines, the euro crisis, and price increases.  Or, on the happier side, warmer weather and the film Berlinale, with visits by many stars and an interesting, international mix of films often by […]

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The Black Freedom Movement and Chris Hedges’ Misuse of History

“We want freedom now, but we’re not going to get it saying ‘We Shall Overcome.’  We’ve got to fight until we overcome.” — Malcolm X “A social movement that only moves people is merely a revolt.  A movement that changes both people and institutions is a revolution.” — Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. On the […]

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Obama Ignores Worsening Climate Crisis

  President Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech on January 25 contained distressing news for opponents of global warming who recognize the need to begin substantially reducing reliance upon carbon-based fossil fuels. “Over the last three years,” Obama said, “we’ve opened millions of new acres for oil and gas exploration.  And tonight, I’m directing […]

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