Detroit Up For Grabs

Posted in Curated Links on October 23rd, 2014 by Noebie – Be the first to comment

Jerry White of the Social Equality Party describes how Detroit is currently being carved up by the bankers in what will become a model for other American cities in decline.

Detroit, the former auto capital of the world, is in the final stages of a bankruptcy process that has from the start been a conspiracy of the banks against the city’s working class population. Closing arguments in federal bankruptcy court are scheduled to begin next week, a legal formality before the city’s brutal restructuring plan is approved by the judge.

The so-called “Plan of Adjustment” will gut the pensions and health benefits of more than 30,000 current and retired city workers, sanction the sell-off of public assets, and provide a legal fig leaf for the termination of water and other vital services to entire working class neighborhoods.

Last week, some 200 investment bankers from throughout the US gathered at the Center for Venture Capital and Private Equity Finance at the University of Michigan to discuss the business opportunities emerging from the carve-up of Detroit.

Read more: The carve-up of Detroit – World Socialist Web Site.

Stanley Aronowitz on a Post-Political Labor Movement

Posted in Curated Links on October 16th, 2014 by Noebie – Be the first to comment

In These Times has an interview with Stanley Aronowitz on how the labor movement falters and how it might recover.

Post-political means that the union movement may endorse candidates or run its own, but essentially does not rely on electoral politics and public officials—that is, the state—to fulfill its goals. Instead, unions should rely on their own resources, on their own members and on their own imaginations to create conditions to make their members’ lives better, in the way that unions, especially in the early-to-mid-20th century, once established and ran very good, moderate-cost cooperative housing.We’ve been relying for so long on politicians to solve problems that the union membership no longer really relies on its own power. The proper word is really “post-electoral” or “post-state,” and it once had a tremendous resonance among large numbers of workers.

Read the interview: A ‘Post-Political’ Labor Movement – In These Times.

The Spirit of Resistance

Posted in Essays on October 13th, 2014 by Noebie – Be the first to comment

Each year as Columbus Day is observed in the United States, I struggle with how to approach the commemoration. Though I consider myself a dissident and a person who cares about justice, even I am sometimes put off by comments about the holiday which offer little but iconoclasm, hostility and snark.

It seems to me that Columbus Day is an opportunity to do more than that. First, we can take at least a moment to affirm the truth about Christopher Columbus. More exploiter than explorer, more gore monger than governor, his main achievement was to institute an orgy of theft and butchery which would continue through four centuries of genocide. This needs to be acknowledged and proclaimed as fact, simply and directly.

Beyond that, we can honor the spirit of resistance which is still alive today in groups such as Idle No More, and we can support them and join them in their efforts.

We can also spend some time learning about the peoples who were indigenous to North America, and take time to remember and honor those who fought for their own freedom and dignity.

Today, I am reading The Autobiography of Ma-ka-tai-me-she-kia-kiak, or Black Hawk written by the great warrior who perhaps best exemplifies the spirit of Native resistance in the region where I live.

I won’t wait for the government to change the name of the holiday to “Indigenous Peoples Day.” I certainly won’t refer to the holiday as “Black Hawk Day” since, sadly, most of my friends and neighbors would only think it has something to do with a certain ice hockey team from Chicago.

But today I will celebrate Black Hawk – and Crazy Horse, and Sitting Bull – and others who had the courage to fight back. I will mourn those who died on the Trail of Tears, at Wounded Knee, and elsewhere at the hands of my European forebears. I will pray for the will and the way to join the resistance against imperialism, occupation and genocide wherever it exists in our world today.

Such is a fine and fitting commemoration.

From Dublin City to San Diego

Posted in Music, Video on October 13th, 2014 by Noebie – Be the first to comment

David Rovics sings of the Saint Patrick Battalion, in concert at Belfast.

Climate Convergence

Posted in Pictures on September 22nd, 2014 by Noebie – Be the first to comment

Hundreds of thousands marched in New York City this past weekend to demand change.

That Alienation You Feel is Part of the System

Posted in Curated Links on September 13th, 2014 by Noebie – Be the first to comment

Some things that we take for granted as “part of life” don’t necessarily have to be that way.

The Militant has an excerpt from The Marxist Theory of Alienation by Ernest Mandel and George Novack, explaining that alienation is not a natural eternal condition of humanity, but rather a product of social relations under capitalism.

Read the excerpt: The Militant – September 22, 2014 –Capitalist system dehumanizes and alienates workers.

The Deep State

Posted in Curated Links on September 5th, 2014 by Noebie – Be the first to comment

Long time Congressional staffer Mike Lofgren writes about the real rulers of the United States.

Yes, there is another government concealed behind the one that is visible at either end of Pennsylvania Avenue, a hybrid entity of public and private institutions ruling the country according to consistent patterns in season and out, connected to, but only intermittently controlled by, the visible state whose leaders we choose.

Read More: Essay: Anatomy of the Deep State | Blog, Perspectives |

Art Versus Gentrification

Posted in Curated Links, Interviews on September 2nd, 2014 by Noebie – Be the first to comment

Chicago-based artist Amie Sell talks about her work, the censorship of her installation, and the relationship of art, social class and gentrification.

Read the Interview: Art (as Social Organism) vs. Gentrification – Red Wedge Magazine Red Wedge Magazine.

What’s Happening In Ferguson?

Posted in Curated Links on August 12th, 2014 by Noebie – Be the first to comment

Here are a couple of links which yield some perspective on the situation in Ferguson. I’ll post more as I find them.

Why Ferguson burned: Explaining St. Louis area riot to kids, outsiders : Parenting | St. Louis Post Dispatch. – Aisha Sultan

A Missouri city erupts against police murder | Socialist Worker. – Nicole Colson

Things That Caught My Eye – Week of August 4th, 2014

Posted in Curated Links on August 7th, 2014 by Noebie – Be the first to comment

Here are some links to articles that caught my eye this week.

6 Ways Wall Street Is Hosing Chicago Teachers - Matthew Cunningham-Cook unpacks how the country’s biggest investment firms are endangering the Chicago Teachers Pension Fund.

We Need to Fight for Equality – William Spriggs reflects on how the Labor Movement and the Civil Rights Movement must be united.

Catholic Social Teaching and Adjunct Faculty Organizing – John Russo writes about Catholic Universities and the Social Teaching of the Church.

Some Facts That Poverty-Deniers Don’t Want to Hear – Three-quarters of conservative Americans think poor people have it easy. Paul Buchheit shows that they don’t.

Imagine If People Were Paid What Their Work Is Really Worth to Society – Professor Reich imagines.

Films that Debunk Corporate Education Reform – A list of must-see videos from Diane Ravitch’s Blog.

Israel/Palestine FAQ - Who are the Palestinians? Who are the Israelis? Is Folk Singer David Rovics a self-hating Jew? Find out in this FAQ.

Do Palestinians Really Exist? – When he was nine years old, Dean Obeidallah finally learned about his father’s people.