• Michael D. Yates Visits Troy, New York

    On Monday, November 12, we here in Troy, NY were lucky enough to have Michael Yates visit us on his book tour, his 52nd stop, to be exact. In addition to the talk at Troy’s “Sanctuary for Independent Media,” co-sponsored by the Troy Area Labor Council of the AFL-CIO, Yates gave several interviews on WRPI, […]

  • Trapping Republicans: The New York State Driver’s License Controversy

    City of Troy Rensselaer County New York My county clerk, Frank Merola, has been making a name for himself lately.  Reacting to NY State Governor Eliot Spitzer’s change in the requirements for a NY State Driver’s license, which would drop the need for a social security number, Merola told the press “As long as I […]

  • SICKO and Political Health of Michael Moore

    I saw Michael Moore’s SICKO last week.  By now who doesn’t know that SICKO is a savage and hilarious demolition job on the US health care insurance corporations and their self-serving myths about the national health care systems of countries like Canada and Cuba? But this is not a review of SICKO.  I’ll just say […]

  • The Barn and the McMansion

    My drive to work every day usually includes a little zig and zag “shortcut” through the outer reaches of Bethlehem, New York, a suburb south of Albany.  I like this section of the route, because there is a working farm, there are open fields, a creek, and other pockets of the natural world hanging on […]

  • Adirondack Drive

    It had snowed the night before.  It was a cold spring day, and we were headed up the NY Northway from Troy to Plattsburg for a college interview for my son.  The sun was making fitful attempts to come out from behind the snow clouds. When we passed out of the morning traffic coming down […]

  • Once Again to Washington, DC

    Jane Fonda told the crowd at the January 27, 2007 demonstration in Washington DC that it had been 34 years since she had appeared at an anti-war demonstration, due to the lies told about her by the right wing. It has been almost 38 years since my first DC demonstration, the great outpouring of November […]

  • Execution of Saddam Hussein

    Was it only two days ago that we read the exultant news stories and saw the frenzied TV news coverage of the execution of Saddam Hussein?  I know that I had to turn off CNN in revulsion as the evening progressed. President Bush took time off from his chainsaw assaults on the underbrush of his […]

  • Should We Advocate an Election Boycott in the United States?

    Here in the purported paragon of electoral democracy, the United States of America,  we have now suffered through presidential elections in 2000 and 2004 that were widely regarded as questionable.  I am referring of course to the fiasco’s of Florida in 2000 and Ohio in 2004. Even before the Supreme Court made Bush President by […]

  • “Seeger Sessions”:Springsteen Makes Folk Classics Come Alive

    I was fortunate enough to attend the Bruce Springsteen “Seeger Sessions” concert in Saratoga Springs, New York, Monday. June 19th. The current Springsteen tour is in support of his new album, We Shall Overcome:The Seeger Sessions, inspired by a request to do a Pete Seeger song for a tribute, which morphed, according to Springsteen, into […]

  • The One Cent Solution: A Day Without a Transportation Worker

    Someone left a copy of the May 17 Wall Street Journal on a break table at work.  I picked up a section and flipped through it.  Familiar corporate names popped from the headlines — then, a common thread emerged from the journalist’s prose. Wal-Mart: “The retailer said its second-quarter results could be weighed down by […]

  • Cohoes, New York: A Ghost of a Mill Town

    The city of Cohoes, in upstate New York.  Another former mill town, eking out a living who knows how. Harmony Mills Once, thousands of mill workers streamed in and out of Harmony Mills, its great brick walls looming over the cliff by the Cohoes Falls, where the Mohawk made its final plunge before meeting the […]

  • Albany, New York, 20 March 2006

    On 20 March 2006, the North East Peace and Justice Action Coalition, Bethlehem Neighbors for Peace, and other groups surrounded the Federal Building, to bring the troops home now.  The Albany Times-Union sized up the crowd as 200 people.  High school students from Albany High, college students from SUNY Albany, and at least one military […]

  • Empire against Itself

    “Third-rate men, of course, exist in all countries, but it is only here that they are in full control of the state, and with it of all the national standards.” — H. L. Mencken Hard on the heels of the Cheney hunt for Republican lawyers, we now have the Great DP-World Port Controversy. Democrats like […]

  • A Track Runs through It:Why Railroad Workers and Trackside Communities Should Fight for Jobs and Environmental Justice Together

    The United Transportation Union, which represents railroad conductors and some engineers, reports that negotiations with the railroad corporations had broken down over the issue of crew reduction.  The carriers are demanding the implementation of one-person train crews for many routes on the US freight rail system.  The current standard train crew is two, an engineer […]

  • What Is behind the Bush “Oil Addiction” Remark in the “State of the Union” Speech?

    Much is being made of George W Bush’s road-to-Damascus conversion on the need for alternative energy.  “America is addicted to oil, which is often imported from unstable parts of the world,” Bush said in the annual State of the Union speech given by US Presidents at the beginning of the year. Enthusiasts for renewable energy […]

  • 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 […]

  • Rising Tensions on the Rails

    The threatened New York City Transit strike is just the latest sign of a growing labor-management confrontation across the US railroad system. While the workers of Transit Workers Union 100 battle off attacks on their pensions and health care, Bush Administration hirelings on the Amtrak Board prepare to launch an assault on the national passenger […]

  • Wal-Mart Protest in Brunswick, New York

    Labor and community activists rallied on Saturday, November 19 at the proposed site of a Super Wal-Mart in Brunswick, New York. The site directly abuts a large wetland area that is a nesting and resting ground for geese, ducks and other wildlife. Walmart already has a 100,000 square foot store less than a mile down […]

  • Who Are the North African-Europeans?

    When we arrived at our hotel in Rome at the beginning of the trip to Italy my son and I made last February, we were greeted by young North Africans selling umbrellas, something that became a familiar sight during our visit. I asked one of them if I could take his picture. He complied readily. […]

  • This Time, the Movement Won’t Leave the Streets

    After a hiatus of more than a year, the anti-war movement surged back into the streets on September 24, 2005. Diverted into the cul-de-sac of the Kerry campaign, which saw the fervently anti-war let their equally fervent anti-Bush sentiments overwhelm a rational look at the pro-war Kerry Democrats, “the other super-power” has been re-ignited into […]