Tag Archives: slides

For Our Votes to Make a Difference, It’s Time to Try New Tactics

Mark Vorpahl

This article is co-published with Occupy.com. In the 2012 national elections, despite an increase of over 8 million eligible voters from 2008, voter turnout declined from 131 million to 126 million, with 93 million not voting. These figures alone demonstrate a growing disbelief that people have any voice in the two-party political game. In addition, […]

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Income Inequality: An Organic Part of Capitalism

Brad Forrest

On Wednesday, December 4th, President Obama made a speech to the American people castigating the growth of social inequality. Obama called the fight against inequality the “defining challenge of our time.” Brave and heroic words. Even Pope Francis has railed against the dehumanization of the current economic system. In his first “exhortation” the pope said […]

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Fraud in Honduran Elections − An Eyewitness Account

Allan Fisher

As an election observer in Honduras, it is painful and disappointing to hear the U.S. ambassador make a statement on election night praising the transparency and fairness of the election process in Honduras.  In the days before the November 24 election, I was part of a delegation that visited different communities in struggle for social justice. […]

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Ohioans Elect Two Dozen City Councilors on Independent Labor Ticket

Bruce Bostick

This article first appeared in Labor Notes. Union-dense Lorain County, Ohio, is now home to an independent labor slate of two dozen newly elected city councilors—recruited and run by the central labor council there. All labor’s candidates had strong showings last month, and all but two were elected. “This was a step we took reluctantly,” […]

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Are Obama’s Middle East Peace Talks Sincere?

Shamus Cooke

Should we trust Obama to be honest in his peace talks with Iran and Syria? His lightning shift from warmonger to peacemaker surprised everyone, including his closest regional allies — Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey — not to mention the entire U.S. congress, many of whom seem intent on sabotaging the Iran peace talks by […]

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The Super Rich Reinvent U.S. Capitalism

Shamus Cooke

As U.S. corporate profits soar to record highs, food stamps for the neediest were quietly cut. The politicians who are demanding endless cuts to social programs — Democrats and Republicans alike — insist that the U.S. is broke, all the while conveniently ignoring the mountains of tax-free wealth piling up in the pockets of the super […]

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The Time Has Come For $15 Minimum Wage

Mark Vorpahl

A version of this article also appeared on Occupy.com. In one of comedian Chris Rock’s routines, he observes: “You know what that means when someone pays you a minimum wage? You know what your boss is trying to say? ‘Hey, if I could pay you less, I would, but it’s against the law.’” The humor […]

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An Open Letter to Our Brother and Sister Trade Unionists

Emergency Labor Network

Note: unions and community organizations that agree with this Open Letter  are urged to fill out the form on the Labor Fightback Network’s web page. With the lockout of federal workers finally ended and with social programs being restored, attention is now being focused on what will happen next. The divide between the major political […]

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Is Obama Fundamentally Shifting His Middle East Strategy?

Shamus Cooke

The Saudis and Israelis are fuming. Obama’s talks with Iran’s new President Hassan Rouhani point to a possible new direction in U.S.-Middle East policy. Iran is the regional archrival of the Saudis and Israelis, who for decades have shared the mantle as the main U.S. allies in the Middle East. The Arab Spring has — along with […]

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Protest Underscores Continuing Privatization of Oregon Schools

Pete Shaw

This article originally appeared in Portland Occupier. Story and photos by Pete Shaw. The Oregon Business Association (OBA) held its annual Statesman Dinner on October 17 to honor the Statesman of the Year. The event was fraught with anomalies, not least of which was the fact that the award went to Sue Levin, the Executive Director of Stand for Children Oregon. According […]

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Movie Review: Dirty Wars

Brad Forrest

Jeremy Scahill, reporter for such outlets as The Nation and Democracy Now, has come out with the most hard hitting documentary of recent years entitled, “Dirty Wars.” He takes us around the globe from Afghanistan to Yemen and Somalia documenting the crimes of U.S imperialistic foreign policy in tragic detail. The documentary starts off in Gardez, […]

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The Coming Grand Bargain: “We’re All Neoliberals Now”

Shamus Cooke

After the U.S. government shutdown you’d expect Republicans and Democrats to remain at each others’ throats, so different was their vision for the country, or so it appeared. In reality, however, only a bit of the political theater was reserved for “Tea Party” Republicans to invest in their political future by denouncing Obamacare, which they […]

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Labor Needs to Recalibrate and Fight

Ann Robertson and Bill Leumer

While the U.S. media has been obsessed with the in-fighting between Democrats and Republicans, as well as the recent government shutdown and the global/domestic ramifications of a possible government default, little attention has been paid to a looming disaster confronting working people: Obama is again threatening to cut “entitlement” programs, meaning Social Security and Medicare. […]

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The UAW Takes One Step Forward, and One Backward

The UAW Takes One Step Forward, and One Backward By Ann Robertson and Bill Leumer
Ann Robertson and Bill Leumer

Trying to rebound off the ropes, where it has been pummeled for the past several decades, The United Auto Workers (UAW) has launched an aggressive organizing campaign in the South, in line with an AFL-CIO resolution emphasizing organizing there, where unionization rates are weak across the board. As reported in The New York Times, the UAW […]

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Fast Food Workers Win a Union…through Zoolidarity

Shamus Cooke

This article originally appeared in Labor Notes.  Union members have watched in awe as fast food workers struck over the last year, calling for “$15 and a union.” Despite the slogan, however, the prevailing wisdom has been that union recognition isn’t really the goal; that’s too hard against giant employers insulated by a layer of franchises, […]

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Talented Mr. Kerry Backslides on Russian Deal over Syrian Chemicals

Finian Cunningham

This article first appeared in Strategic Culture Foundation Online Journal.  Observers of John F Kerry’s more than 40-year career as a successful politician on Capitol Hill note a consummate chameleonic quality in his wheeling and dealing. This dubious quality has helped him ascend from a callow anti-Vietnam war spokesman in the early 1970s to become […]

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Is Capitalism to Blame for the Syrian War Drive?

Shamus Cooke

Obama’s push for war in Syria seemed so deeply irrational, so crazed, that many people naturally asked, “Why is this happening?” And “who” wants it to happen? Few Americans actually believed that Nobel Peace Prizing winning Obama suddenly wanted to bomb Syria because “Assad gassed his own people” (especially when zero evidence was given to […]

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Labor Leaders, Obamacare, and the Fate of the Unions

Shamus Cooke

A funny thing happened a couple of months ago: labor leaders finally awoke from their coma and realized that Obamacare was not only bad for unions, but for working families in general. Once the biggest salespeople of the bill’s passage, union leaders are suddenly full of rage and “shock” at the realities of Obamacare. The […]

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At the AFL-CIO Convention, Leaders Ask: What Direction for Labor?

Mark Vorpahl

A version of this article also appeared on Occupy.com. The acknowledgment of Labor’s existential crisis and the recognition that something must be done to resolve it is the key issue at the AFL-CIO’s four-day quadrennial convention in Los Angeles. The urgency of the situation has compelled Labor’s top officials to experiment in a search for […]

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The Egyptian Revolution’s Next Barrier

Reza Fiyouzat and Shamus Cooke

When the Egyptian army first began its offensive against the Muslim Brotherhood, many speculated that such an assault would likely be extended to the same revolutionaries who demanded — in massive demonstrations — that President Morsi be evicted from office. There have been several signs that this has already begun, though most notably the government […]

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Obama’s War Grows as Support Shrinks

Shamus Cooke

Some careful listening has exposed the lie that a U.S. attack (war) against Syria would be, as Obama put it, “a shot across the bow,” i.e. a “tiny war.” But even before the first missile is launched the birth of Obama’s baby war began to grow, and when it’s eventually unleashed it will resemble any other fully […]

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What Can We Learn from 25 Years of Jobs with Justice?

Mark Vorpahl

This article was originally published in Labor Notes. It’s no secret that the last 30 years have seen a brutal corporate assault on U.S. workers. Incomes and union membership rates have plummeted, unemployment is soaring, and the two corporate parties have joined forces to go after our previously untouchable historic gains. This class war has […]

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How the U.S. Left is Failing Over Syria

Shamus Cooke

It’s now painfully clear that Obama’s war on Syria is a replay of Bush’s march to war in Iraq, both built on lies. Zero evidence has been put forth that proves the Syrian government used chemical weapons. On the contrary, evidence has been recorded that suggests the U.S.-backed Syrian rebels are responsible for the attack. […]

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The Lie of “Limited” War Against Syria

Shamus Cooke

The rats are jumping ship. Obama’s strongest allies can’t stomach the stench of lies that are the foundation of the war effort against Syria. Even England, whose entire foreign policy is reduced to asking “how high?” when the U.S. says “jump,” opted to stay grounded for Obama’s war drive.  The Arab League, too, having long been […]

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War With Syria and Its Repercussions

War With Syria and Its Repercussions
Shamus Cooke

A U.S. invasion of Syria could be the first war based on a zero evidence currently exists to suggest this). An extra U.S. warship has already been deployed in response. Instead of responsibly waiting for the UN chemical weapons team — which is already in Syria — to investigate the incident, the Obama administration has already stated […]

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Why Mass Marches Still Matter: 2013’s March on Washington

Why Mass Marches Still Matter
Mark Vorpahl

Co-published with Occupy.com. In terms of the numbers it attracted, the August 24, 2013 March on Washington was an inspiring success. The question remains, however, how politically effective was it?  In the March 20th edition of USA Today, during the build-up to the 50th Anniversary of 2013’s March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, Rick Hampson’s article […]

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A Man on a Limb: A Short Analysis of the Current Economic Crisis

A Man on a Limb: A Short Analysis of the Current Economic Crisis
Brad Forrest

The current crisis of the global capitalist system is shaping up to be one of the worst since the Great Depression of the 1930’s. U.S. Gross Domestic Product grew by an anemic 1.8 percent in the first quarter of 2013, and only 0.4 the previous quarter. U.S. capitalists and their political representatives in the Democratic and Republican […]

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A Big Victory For Oregon’s Biggest Union

A Big Victory For Oregon's Biggest Union By Shamus Cooke
Shamus Cooke

After years of painful backsliding, the state workers of Oregon’s largest union, SEIU 503, recently stood firm and scored a big win in their contract negotiations against the state’s anti-union Democratic governor, John Kitzhaber. After again demanding many anti-union concessions, Oregon’s Democratic governor backed down when the union proved organized and ready to wage a […]

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Egypt’s Revolution After the Smoke Clears

Shamus Cooke

In times of crisis people strive for easy answers to complex situations. In Egypt this has resulted in absurdly digestible sound bites, where one side is labeled “good”(the Muslim Brotherhood), the other “bad” (the army), and the revolution as a whole is condemned as an atrocity. But the situation in Egypt is especially contradictory, and untying the […]

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The August 24 March on Washington: Why We Need a New Civil Rights and Labor Movement

Mark Vorpahl

This article is co-published with Occupy.com It could have been left as a relatively small event that would make little impact, but plans for the 50th anniversary of 1963′s March on Washington appear to have taken another course. The Supreme Court’s gutting of the Voting Rights Act and the acquittal of George Zimmerman for the […]

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A Path Forward for Egypt’s Revolution

A Path Forward for Egypt's Revolution Shamus Cooke August 4, 2013
Shamus Cooke

The battle for the future of Egypt is underway, and it’s chaos. There has been violence on both sides of the divide, with the military inflicting the heaviest doses on supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood. The violence combined with any lack of long-term solution could bode poorly for Egypt’s future, but the situation is in extreme flux, […]

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Why No Revolution Exists in Syria

Why No Revolution Exists in Syria
Shamus Cooke

The era of Arab Spring euphoria is long ended, having devolved into doubt, confusion or wholesale rejection. Libya and Syria put an abrupt end to the Arab Spring celebrations, with the current situation in Egypt adding to the frustration. Part of the problem in deciding whether a particular side in these conflicts deserves support or […]

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Snowden and Latin America Expose Washington’s Impotence in a Changing World

Finian Cunningham

This article was originally published on Strategic Culture Foundation. One of America’s genuine heroes, Major General Smedley D Butler revealed in his memoirs the true, abhorrent nature of Washington’s foreign policy. Butler had led countless military operations in Central America and the Caribbean as a US Marines Corp commander in the era of «gunboat diplomacy» […]

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West Losing on All Fronts in Syria

Finian Cunningham

This article originally appeared in Press TV. Not only are the US, Britain and France losing their criminal covert military war for regime change in Syria, these state terrorists are also caving in on the propaganda front. Such a criminal conspiracy was bound to fail sooner or later. Now, its weight of falsehoods and lies […]

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Zimmerman’s Acquittal and the Call for a New Civil Rights Movement

Mark Vorpahl

This article is co-published with Occupy.com. George Zimmerman has been found innocent of both second-degree murder and manslaughter for the killing of Trayvon Martin. In spite of Zimmerman’s history as a neighborhood watchman employing racial profiling; in spite of the fact that he was armed with a gun and Trayvon was not; in spite of the […]

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