Archive | News

  • They Fear and They Kill

    It’s open season on wild turkeys. They harm no one, are decorative feathered dinosaurs.  Tough to eat, so why shoot?  But the season ends. It’s open season on Black youths all year, so long as you have a uniform and a gun.  They are genuinely scared, the cops. Kids of color are going to eat […]

  • Cops, Hooligans, and Neo-Nazis in Germany

    Confrontations with the police in Germany have not been quite the same as in Ferguson and other USA cities.  But some were dramatic enough.  Back in September 2010 mass protests in Stuttgart against a huge underground railroad station at the cost of a prized old building and a central park were hit hard by cops […]

  • “I Have No Real Politics”: Susie Day Talking Trash

      “[S]urviving evil doesn’t make you a good person: Surviving evil and not passing it on does,” writes Susie Day in her recent book Snidelines: Talking Trash to Power.  One possible way to not pass on evil is to laugh about it.  Day, through her comedic ability and shrewd observations reveals (with a giant spotlight) […]

  • Ferguson: The Evils of the Grand Jury System

    Over the last 17 years I have represented dozens and dozens of clients who were subpoenaed to testify as witnesses at state and federal grand juries regarding government investigations.  A grand jury is a secret tribunal where a citizen is forced to answer questions by a prosecutor, often against their will.  Those subpoenaed are not […]

  • The Wobblies in Their Heyday, a Hard-headed History of the IWW

    Eric Chester.  The Wobblies in Their Heyday: The Rise and Destruction of the Industrial Workers of the World during the World War I Era.  Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger, 2014. The Wobblies are back.  Many young radicals find the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) the most congenial available platform on which to stand in trying […]

  • The Spectre of Social Counter-Revolution

    5th Dr. BR Ambedkar Memorial Lecture, Indian Institute of Dalit Studies, New Delhi, September 27, 2014 I I would like to use this occasion to dwell upon a point to which Dr Ambedkar had drawn attention in his closing speech to the Constituent Assembly on November 25, 1949.  In that speech he had underscored a […]

  • Colombian Prisons and Prisoners Mirror Class Struggle

    Prisoners in Colombia have recently gained new visibility.  Prisoner protest actions are one factor.  Another is discussion at the Havana peace talks of prisoners as victims of armed conflict.  November 2014 marks the two-year anniversary of talks between the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the Colombian government. Beginning on October 20, hunger strikes […]

  • Armed Woman Massacres All-Male Harvard Club, NRA Chief Calls for Gun Control

    Harvard University remains shut down one day after a lone woman wielding a Bushmaster .223 semiautomatic rifle broke through security at the university’s elite, men-only Porcellian Club and shot 14 white male students to death. The female — of indeterminate age, race, and sexual attractiveness — was described as wearing a torn leather jacket emblazoned […]

  • Democracy, Hypocrisy, and President Gauck

    In the USA Republicans are jubilant.  Jubilation here in Germany is about an event twenty-five years ago: “We beat those red SOBs!”  But is there not, hidden behind the confetti, helium balloons, and crowing of the victors in both Germany and the USA, an occasional jarring note of anxiety? A man with good reason for […]

  • Dead Labor on a Dead Planet: The Inconvenient Truth of Workers’ Bladders

      “Once labor has been embodied in instruments of production and enters the further process of labor to play its role there, it may be called, following Marx, dead labor [. . .].  The ideal toward which capitalism strives is the domination of dead labor over living labor.” — Harry Braverman1 “[T]here are no jobs […]

  • The Kagame-Power Lobby’s Dishonest Attack on the BBC 2’s Documentary on Rwanda

    On October 1, 2014, a remarkable event occurred in Britain.  The British Broadcasting Corporation’s BBC 2’s This World telecast Rwanda’s Untold Story, a documentary produced by Jane Corbin and John Conroy that offered a critical view of Rwandan President Paul Kagame and of his and the British and U.S. roles in the 1994 mass killings […]

  • Hawaiian Workers Fight Kaiser Pension Takeaway

    Mary Ann Barnes, the newly arrived president of healthcare giant Kaiser Permanente in Hawaii, recently informed hospital workers that the world figure she most admires is the late Mother Teresa — because of “her humanity and selflessness.”  Pictured wearing a lei around her neck, Barnes explained in KP’s employee newsletter that her top management priority […]

  • The Light Brigade: Cuban Doctors Fight Ebola

    The Ebola epidemic . . . whereas most of the world tightens frontier control and essentially flees from the problem, Cuba opens a new chapter of solidarity and faces the danger.  By sending 255 doctors and nurses to West Africa to deal with the latest Ebola outbreak, the heroic island — with few resources except […]

  • 1918

    Looking back at the years of fury and carnage, Colonel Angelo Gatti, staff officer of the Italian Army (Austrian front), wrote in his diary: “This whole war has been a pile of lies.  We came into war because a few men in authority, the dreamers, flung us into it.” No, Gatti, caro mio, those few […]

  • On Taking Risks and Eating Crow

    A long, warm, coatless autumn made some wonder whether climate change might cancel winter this year in a reverse of the canceled summer two centuries ago in a year called “Eighteen Hundred and Froze to Death.”  But no, I now read that the weather will change after all.  Northern blasts may soon be here. Perhaps […]

  • The Origin of Rosa Luxemburg’s Slogan “Socialism or Barbarism”

    I think I have solved a small puzzle in socialist history. Climate & Capitalism‘s tagline, “Ecosocialism or barbarism: There is no third way,” is based on the slogan, “Socialism or Barbarism,” which Rosa Luxemburg raised to such great effect during World War I and the subsequent German revolution, and which has been adopted by many […]

  • Capitalism, Inequality and Globalization: Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-first Century

    I. The Piketty Argument Thomas Piketty’s book Capital in the Twenty-first Century embodies an immense amount of empirical research into the distribution of wealth and income across the population for a number of advanced capitalist countries going back for over two centuries.  In particular Piketty has made extensive use of tax data for the first […]

  • PFLP Calls for Unified Revolutionary Front of Solidarity with the Struggle of People of Kobane against ISIS

    The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine expresses its solidarity with the Kurdish resistance in Kobane struggling to defend themselves and their community from the reactionary armed group, ISIS, whose entry into our region has been facilitated and supported by imperialist powers and their lackeys. Comrade Khaled Barakat said that “All Palestinian and Arab […]

  • Call for Solidarity with Kobanê

      On Monday, October 6th, ISIS forces entered the autonomous Kurdish canton of Kobanê in Western Kurdistan (North Syria) following a siege which began on September 15th.  Defending Kobanê are the skilled but ill-equipped People’s Protection Units (YPG) and Women’s Protection Units (YPJ), who are up against The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), […]

  • Humpty-Dumpty and the Fall of Berlin’s Wall

    “Humpty-Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty-Dumpty had a great fall.” The children’s rhyme and its words Wall and Fall came to mind in connection with commemorations of the fall of the Berlin Wall — actually its opening up.  Is such an allusion frivolous?  Maybe.  For millions, that event twenty-five years ago was marked by genuine, […]