Browse Month

December 2011

SocialistWorker | Egyptian socialists answer the state’s attack

From SocialistWorker.org:

ACCUSATIONS ARE being leveled against the Revolutionary Socialists in certain quarters–chief among them the Ministry of the Interior’s website and a number of satellite television channels, which are showing a clip from a video of a meeting which the Center for Socialist Studies organized recently in the wake of the massacre on Mohammad Mahmoud Street, with the title “What is the road to revolution?”

WSWS | US Congress passes two-month extension of jobless benefits and payroll tax cut

From WSWS.org:

“Under pressure from senior Senate Republicans and sections of the corporate media, Republicans in the House of Representatives on Friday dropped their opposition to a two-month extension of federal jobless benefits and reduced Social Security payroll taxes for employees. After the Senate approved by unanimous consent a slightly altered version of the bipartisan bill on extended benefits and the payroll tax that it had passed on December 18, the House followed suit.”

WSWS | US admits partial blame in deaths of Pakistani soldiers, but defends airstrikes

From WSWS.org:

“In a yet to be released report, the US military has grudgingly conceded its mistakes played a role in the November 25-26 NATO attack that killed 26 Pakistani soldiers stationed in Pakistan’s Mohmand tribal agency. But the Pentagon and Obama administration continue to defend both the violation of Pakistani sovereignty and the deadly airstrikes themselves, claiming that the Pakistani soldiers had previously fired on a US-led special operations force.”

WSWS | PNG crisis eases as Australia hints at military intervention

There should be no doubt that America, and its allies, are indeed imperialist states. If a doctrine of “pre-emptive war” justifies the occupation of Iraq, why not “pre-emptive” military action to maintain “stability” (read: Australia’s conservative government interest) in the South Pacific.

From World Socialist Website:

One of Papua New Guinea’s contending prime ministers, Peter O’Neill, yesterday strengthened his control of the key state institutions—the army and the police—after the Australian government let it be known that it had plans to intervene militarily, if necessary, to resolve a week-long constitutional stand-off.

NPR | There’s No Going Home For Iraqi Squatters

This sounds like the same cycle of poverty that allowed the Taliban to rise to power in Afghanistan; will we have a new set of excuses to occupy Iraq if (when) the current regime falls apart? 

From NPR:

Nadia Karim Hassan says she stayed in her Baghdad neighborhood as long as she could, but by the height of the sectarian war in 2007, too many fellow Shiites were getting killed, and she had to leave the area and move into an abandoned building. 

As American troops prepare to pull out of Iraq, one of the most striking consequences of the war remains unresolved today: the issue of people who were forced out of their homes and still can’t go back. Relief organizations estimate there are some 2 million displaced people inside Iraq.

Socialist Worker | Tactics and the port shutdown

I wondered when Occupy’s actions would move out of public sqaures and into directly confronting the mechanisms of capitalism that working class people depend on — I’m supportive of Occupy, and this kind of push-pull tension in confronting capitalism with direct protest was inevitable. I don’t see easy answers, here; I don’t think there are any.

From Socialist Worker:

In the aftermath of the West Coast Port Shutdown on December 12, a debate over tactics has emerged in the Occupy movement. The discussion centers on the role of port workers and Occupy activists’ relationship to them. 

The December 12 actions were an important step for the Occupy movement, especially in connecting to the struggle of workers against some of the richest and most powerful corporations around. But the future of the movement depends on Occupy activists adopting strategies and tactics that treat workers on the docks–and everywhere else in the economy–as allies and potential supporters, not as opponents.

People’s World | Republican Extremism Goes Too Far

The continued attack on the working class in this country simply amazes me. What is it going to take to get people to see that Republicans are merely pandering to their religious biases, and they do not actually serve their interests?

From People’s World, today:

With double-digit unemployment, losing more manufacturing jobs than any other state and new jobs almost non-existent, the state legislature passed a retroactive 48-month lifetime limit on welfare cash assistance. Almost 40,000 people, the majority children, have been cut off. In addition, unemployment benefits have been cut from 26 week to 20 weeks. Other legislation will cut the amount jobless workers are eligible to collect. 

One of the first acts of Republican Gov. Rick Snyder was to lower the corporate tax rate by almost $2 billion. The loss in revenue was made up by taxing seniors’ pensions, slashing the earned income tax credit for low-income workers and cutting funding of public schools.

People’s World | Marriage equality activists win victory for all families

People’s World:

ORLANDO, FL – At the Dec. 12 meeting of the Orlando City Commission, leaders voted unanimously to pass a Domestic Partner Registry. The City of Orlando registry will be the first of its kind in the Central Florida area, with supporters hoping the registry will soon be adopted by Orange County.

I’m not sure I agree with PW’s headline framing this as a marriage equality win – we’ve got oodles of evidence on the ground that domestic/civil partnership laws aren’t remotely equivalent to marriage, and there’s little reason to think they ever will be – I hope this counts as a win.

No, “separate but equal” never really means equal, but at least this will help show people in Florida that the sky won’t fall if at least some legal recognition for gay couples happens.

Socialist Worker | The Egyptian revolution continues

Also on Socialist Worker:

THE FIRST parliamentary elections of the post-Mubarak era have just been staged against a backdrop of deadly clashes between state security forces and protesters in and around Tahrir Square that left at least 42 people dead and over 3,000 injured. What exactly spurred the recent outbreak of violence and how do you think these surrounding circumstances affect the overall legitimacy of the elections? 

WHAT TRIGGERED the uprising this time are the same conditions that also triggered the January uprising. There isn’t much that has changed over the past months, so the objective conditions for the revolt were there. All we needed was the trigger, something to happen that would basically ignite the whole situation again.

What happens if Egypt doesn’t settle down into yet another essentially puppet regime of the West?

Socialist Worker | Persecuted by the national security state

This morning on SocialistWorker:

AFTER MORE than a year and a half behind bars, Bradley Manning, the 23-year-old U.S. soldier accused of leaking classified information to the muckraking website WikiLeaks, will face a court date on December 16 in Fort Meade, Md. The Article 32 hearing is the military equivalent of a grand jury hearing, where a military judge will determine if there is enough evidence to proceed with a court-martial.

I don’t have much hope that Manning will be treated impartially, given the hysteria around the entire WikiLeaks incident; reports of his having been tortured psychologically bode for a very public kangaroo trial, I think.

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