Bulletin N°405



27 April 2009
Grenoble, France

Dear Colleagues and Friends of CEIMSA,
According to the Scottish-German Protestant Philosopher, Emmanuel Kant (1724-1804), "pure reason" is an activity which occurs between our ears in a universe devoid of space and time. The real material world exists outside this universe and is subject to laws which do not apply to the world of "pure reason."

The materialist interpretation of history differs from this idealistic understanding of "two worlds." There is only one interrelated world, according to this philosophy of internal relations; that of matter and energy, which generate information and folds of information that are capable of creating additional information and also capable of destroying information. Defining information as "a difference that makes a difference," we discover around us that the act of destroying information can make a difference. A difference that makes no difference is defined as "noise." There is much of that, also, today. [For a materialist analysis of the first appearance of Ethics in Greek philosophy following the Peloponnesian War (431-404 B.C.), see the first chapter of  "Renegade" Kautsky's book, Ethics and the Materialist Conception of History, 1905.]

The creation of post-cold-war ethics.

The "bi-polar" world of ideological struggle fell with the Berlin Wall in November 1989, and with this collapse the Welfare State, that "great compromise," dissolved into thin air. The tensions between "The Soviet Model" and "The American Model" --between state ownership of the means of production and a planned economy under authoritarian control, and the "free market" economy fed by artificial scarcity and private greed-- simply ceased to exist, and all negotiations were "off the table." Quickly, it was seen how the Russian free enterprise system could pulverize Russian society, privatize public wealth, and maintain political control over a benighted people. This became the inspiration of capitalists everywhere, and the new paradigm of a post-modern political economy was born.

However, the hegemonic system of private ownership of capital precipitated greater inequalities, threatening the balance of both the social and natural environments. Eventually, this crisis has re-energized social class struggles outside traditional institutions, which had been built in the course of 20th-century capitalist development. It is the classic story of new wine in old skins ! [I owe a special thanks to Professor Bertell Ollman, for reminding me of his very stimulating discussion of ethics in "Is there a marxian ethic?", chapter 4 of his classic study, Alienation: Marx's Conception of Man in Capitalist Society (1971,1975).]

The unintended stress from these developments gave rise to a new wrinkle in the collective mind of humankind. From this fold, comes a new expression of Ethics, or information organized in such a way as to avoid annihilation and to promote human fulfillment. This is the unintended collective experience, today. The human being is a creature of needs and purposes. We continue to think about our survival and about a life worth living. Our past, and particularly our recent past, informs our strategies for the future. Our future projects do not appear out of thin air; they are grounded in material experiences, however impoverished they may be at the moment. And the tactics we adopt to fulfill our plans comes also from the material reality of experience. Our new way of thinking is a "necessary adaptation," when seen from the future perfect tense.

The wisdom to be gleaned from our collective experience is simply this: As we change our environment, our environment changes us. [For a discussion of the creation of reflexive thought as "power-relations and relations of knowledge," see Gilles Deleuze's books, The Fold: Leibniz and the Baroque (1992), and Foucault (1988).

The 5 items below include descriptions of events in the present perfect tense, events which inform us that we had better make use of the new fold that the environment has produced in our collective mind before the cost of inaction rises to insupportable levels of mass destruction.

Item A. is an exchange with William Blum, author of several books, including his classic study of U.S. foreign policy since the Second World War, Killing Hope (2003). Here he seeks to clarify a statement by Ralph Nader which he quoted in his April newsletter, Anti-Empire Report and that I commented on in the previous CEIMSA Bulletin #404.

Item B. is communication from UCSD Professor of Art, Fred Lonidier, on the activities of socially engaged U.S. intellectuals and artists along the Mexican boarder. (versions in Spanish and English)

Item C. is an article by cognitive scientist Dr. George Lakoff of The University of California-Berkeley, on the organic effects of right-wing media propaganda on the American brain.

Item D. is an article by Dahr Jamail on "the horrible truth" about the consequences of President Barack Obama's inactions in Iraq.

Item E. is an article, sent to us by Al Burke, in which Rick Rozoff warns of "the militarization of Europe", along with a copy of Al Burk's "Open Letter of the Swedish foreign policy institute".

And finally, we remind readers that the CEIMSA translation into French of Jim Hightower's highly relevant book, Thieves in High Places, Ces truands qui nous gouvernent (2004) in still available in bookstores.

Francis McCollum Feeley
Professor of American Studies
Dircector of Research
Université Stendhal Grenoble 3

from William Blum :
Date: 12 April 2009
Subject: An exchange with the author William Blum to my disagreement with his use of the Ralph Nader quote [see CEIMSA Bulletin #404.]

Hi Francis,

<<The inescapable fact is that wars are fought when it is profitable and are not fought when it is not.>>
This can be misleading.  The US has fought wars and militarily intervened on many occasions when there was no direct profit to be made from their action.  They've done so to discourage third-worlders from flirting with socialism so as not to give other third-worlders bad ideas.  Cuba is a prime example.
<<In place of Chalmers Johnson's concept of  "blowback" and instead of Nader's vision of a "socialist conspiracy" to save capitalism from collapse and from rebellious elements of the population ... ">>
I think you may have misunderstood Nader, and myself.  I don't think he meant it in the way you took it. I certainly didn't.  Behind the current bailout are capitalists using state intervention in the economy, a method usually ascribed to socialists, but that doesn't make the US government socialists of course.  So there's no "socialist conspiracy".  No real socialists are to blame for what's taking place.
Bill Blum

Reply by Francis Feeley:
12 April 2009

Hi Bill,
Thanks for reading my stuff, and it's a great pleasure to hear from you. (I've used "Killing Hope" for many years in my foreign policy courses here in Grenoble.)
Below please find my responses to your comments :

At 03:21 12/04/2009, you wrote:
Hi Francis,
<<The inescapable fact is that wars are fought when it is profitable and are not fought when it is not.>>
This can be misleading.  The US has fought wars and militarily intervened on many occasions when there was no direct profit to be made from their action.  They've done so to discourage third-worlders from flirting with socialism so as not to give other third-worlders bad ideas.  Cuba is a prime example.

True the price of "defending democracy" has been high, but I submit it is also profitable to the U.S. arms industries, etc., etc.... (I take Kolko's position on origins of the Cold War.)

<<In place of Chalmers Johnson's concept of  "blowback" and instead of Nader's vision of a "socialist conspiracy" to save capitalism from collapse and from rebellious elements of the population ... ">>

I think you may have misunderstood Nader, and myself.  I don't think he meant it in the way you took it. I certainly didn't.  Behind the current bailout are capitalists using state intervention in the economy, a method usually ascribed to socialists, but that doesn't make the US government socialists of course.  So there's no "socialist conspiracy".  No real socialists are to blame for what's taking place\

Here in France, many Socialist politicians are disreputable opportunists, with no position on Gaza, authoritarianism in the workplace, the military budget, unemployment, the flight of capital, educational reform., etc . . .  It's a top-down kind of "Socialism" (with a capital "S") that is governed by "self-interest" and equates democratic socialism with fascism. It's also racist. There really is very little socialist leadership today in France. The socialist movement needs to be reinvented. You and Nader (for whom I voted in the last election) are doing a fine job. I'll print your reply in my next CEIMSA Bulletin. Thanks for entering into this conversation, and keep up your good work.

from Fred Lonidier :
Date: 21 April 2009
Subject: Art and Politics Now...

Susan Platt is publishing a book, Art and Politics Now: Cultural Activism in a Time of Crisis

Table of Contents
Overview of Book
A brief historiography of socially engaged art since 1930s
Part I Oppositions: Anti War/Anti Oppression
Introduction to Part I: Theoretical Models Edward Said, Frantz Fanon, Marius Babias, Leon Trotsky, Chantal Mouffe, Ernst Laclau, Nicholas Mirzoeff, Iris Rogoff
   1. Arts of Resistance: Grassroots Protest From Anti Globalization to Global War, Allan Sekula, Pepper Spray Productions, 9/11 Memorials, Collectives for Resistance
   2. Art World Shifts: Exhibitions After 9/11
   3. Artists Resist War and Terror I: Atrocities
             Antoni Tapies, Erdag Aksel Alfredo Jaar, Claudia Bernardi, Sue Coe, Selma Waldman, Fernando Botero, Daniel Heymann,              Trevor Paglen
   4. Artists Resist War and Terror II
           Women and War: Cecilia Alvarez, Deborah Lawrence, Martha Rosler, Coco Fusco The Game of Imperialism: Dominic McGill,            Nancy Worthington
   5. Racism and Civil Rights: Two Exhibitions; Six Artists:
           Tanis S'eilten, Flo Oy Wong, Roger Shimomura, Faith Ringgold, Clarissa Sligh, Kara Walker
Part II Border Crossings: Defying Divisions
Introduction Part II: From Border Binaries to Hybridity Edward Said, Third Text, Nicholas Papastergiadis
  6. Biennial Border Crossings: The Istanbul Biennial, Documenta XI  "Around the World in 80 Days"
   7. Crossing Cultural Borders: Palestine, Israel, Lebanon, Iraq and elsewhere
   8. Cultural Oscillations Asia/United States: Masami Teraoka, Maki Tamura; Cai Guo Qiang, Zhi Lin, Hung Liu; Wenda Gu, Xu Bing; Nilima Sheikh, Shazia Sikander; Shirin Neshat
   9. Borderlands: Gloria Anzaldua/Chicana Art, Judy Baca and SPARC, Border Art Workshop/Taller de Arte Fronterizo, Chantal Akerman, Guillermo Gomez Pena, Border Art in the Museum; Maquiladoras: Fred Lonidier, Ursula Biemann, Celia Munoz
  10. Ecologies: Maya Lin, Jaune Quick to See Smith, Helen and Newton Harrison, etc
As you can see she is including my work in chapter 9, Borderlands.


re: "Support the struggle of Tijuana Maquiladora Workers -- Apoya la  lucha de los y las trabajadoras de la maquila en Tijuana."
Thanks Fred.
I put your "Support the struggle" right into my lecture today about workers organizing with support from artists. I was talking about the Masses
and the Paterson  Strike in t he teens, so it fit right in. None of the students knew what a maquilladora was!
Susan Platt

"Support the Struggle"

Tijuana Maquiladora Workers' Struggle Goes to the Root
Trabajadores y trabajadoras de Tijuana en lucha excavan y llegan a la raíz
(Version en español: ver abajo)

1 @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

Tijuana Maquiladora Workers' Struggle Goes to the Root
They are twenty-six brave Tijuana workers.
First, they stood up to the maquiladora.
Then, they fought the maquiladora's union.
After that, they confronted the corruption of the government's Labor Department.
Now, they are going to the root of the problem and suing the maquiladora, the union and the government.
They demand the payment of their salaries.
But also, they demand fraud charges and jail for all three.
They are carpenters who built furniture for 20 years.
They created bedroom furniture and dining tables that are used today in thousands of California homes.
They are hardly unique in Tijuana.
Many more demand that maquiladoras pay their salaries.
That they don't run away from Tijuana without paying them
After years of sucking their blood and work.
But these carpenters are the first workers in Tijuana
Who demand not only money, but also jail
For the deceitful maquiladora' lawyer
For the corrupt union leader
And for the inept government official who is an accomplice.
The carpenters go to the root.
Now they don't build furniture, but justice.
Would you like to support this battle of David vs. Goliath?
Read the letter of support below.
Sign it, if you please.
Your signature can make the difference.
Use the power of your signature!
Solidarity letter for the Tijuana workers of Muebles Fino Buenos, a maquiladora of Good Companies, Finegood the Company y Holding's Inc. from Carson, California
Sign the letter going to this link: http://www.petitiononline.com/Muebles/petition.html
(Copy the link and paste it in your browser)

Mr. José Guadalupe Osuna Millán
Governor of Baja California
Lic. Rommel Moreno Manjarrez
General Attorney of the State of Baja California
A group of ex-workers of the maquiladora company "Muebles Fino Buenos, SA de CV." of Tijuana have brought suit against the lawyer of the company, Mr. Vladimir Téllez Montaño; the president of the union of the company, Mr. Cesar Soto Agüero; and the president and secretary of the Tijuana Labor and Arbitration Board, (Special Office # 1), Mr. Leonardo Martinez Delgado and Mr. Abel Ulises Monge Angulo. The workers accuse these people of fraud and abuse of authority, request their consignation, and demand the payment the company owns them for work and damages. The workers suit was brought to the court (Agente del Ministerio Público del Fuero Común, Unidad Orgánica de Delitos Patrimoniales) on March 14, 2008. Their case file number is: A.P.3217/08.

According to the workers, the conflict with the company began in 2006. On October 20, the union leader, Mr. Cesar Soto Agüero, declared a strike in the name of the workers against the company. He told the workers the factory would be shut down soon and that a strike was needed in order to force the company to pay the workers their salaries and severance payments. Among the approximately 900 workers of the company, many had been there for over 10 years.
However, the workers explain they learned that the company controlled the union and the strike was just a way to delay the payment of their salaries. The strike went on for more than one year in order to demoralize the workers while the company offered them to give peanuts instead of pay their whole salary. The strategy worked and many workers gave up, but some resisted in spite of threats and aggression by union's thugs.

The company and the union ended the strike on Nov 28, 2007. An agreement was signed by the union on behalf of the workers, but without consulting them. The company gave the workers only about 25% of their salaries. The workers rejected the agreement, but the Labor Board of Arbitration and Conciliation ratified it.
Furious about the agreement, a group of 26 workers decided to fight back. They argue the Mexican Labor Law, Article 33, nullified any agreement in which workers salaries and benefits are not respected. The workers believe the government officials committed a crime. They demand the prosecution of the lawyer of the company, the president of the union, and the president and secretary of the Labor Board who ratified the agreement.
People from the US, Mexico and other countries have united to sign this letter demanding justice for Muebles Fino Buenos ex-workers and requesting that the Mexican law be respected.
Attached in Spanish is the letter of Muebles Fino Buenos workers.
Sign the letter going to this link: http://www.petitiononline.com/Muebles/petition.html
Trabajadores y trabajadoras de Tijuana en lucha excavan y llegan a la raíz
Son veinte y seis aguerridos trabajadores y trabajadoras de Tijuana.
Primero se enfrentaron a la empresa maquiladora.
Luego pelearon contra el sindicato de la empresa.
Luego siguieron contra la corrupción del gobierno: la Secretaría del Trabajo.
Hoy van a la raíz y demandan a la empresa, al sindicato y al gobierno.
Exigen que vayan a la cárcel por fraude.
Demandan que les paguen lo que la empresa les debe.
Son carpinteros y por 20 años construyeron muebles.
Ellos fabricaron miles de recámaras y comedores que hoy se usan en California.
Estos carpinteros no son únicos en Tijuana.
Miles de trabajadores demandan que las maquilas les paguen.
Que no huyan de Tijuana sin pagarles
Después de por años chuparles la sangre.
Pero estos carpinteros parece que son los primeros
Que además del dinero piden cárcel
para el abogado ratero
para el sindicato corrupto
para el funcionario inepto y cómplice
Los carpinteros van a fondo, a la raiz
Ahora no construyen muebles sino justicia
¿Quieres apoyar esta batalla de David contra Goliat?
Revisa la carta de apoyo
Y fírmala, si quieres.
Tu firma puede hacer la diferencia
¡Usa el poder de tu firma!
Carta de solidaridad con los y las trabajadoras de Muebles Fino Buenos de Tijuana
Maquiladora de la compañía Good Companies, Finegood the Company y Holding's Inc. from Carson, California
Firma esta carta usando el link: http://www.petitiononline.com/Muebles/petition.html
 (Copia la direccion y pegala en tu navegador de internet)
Señor José Guadalupe Osuna Millán
Gobernador de Baja California
Lic. Rommel Moreno Manjarrez
Procurador General de Justicia
Estado de Baja California
Un grupo de ex-trabajadores de de la empresa maquiladora  "Muebles Fino Buenos, SA de CV. "de Tijuana han hecho una denuncia penal en contra del abogado de la empresa, Vladimir Téllez Montaño, del secretario general del sindicato de la empresa, Cesar Soto Agüero, así como del presidente y secretario de la Junta Especial Numero Cinco de la Local de Conciliación y Arbitraje en Tijuana, licenciados Leonardo Martinez Delgado y Abel Ulises Monge Angulo. Los trabajadores denuncian fraude y abuso de autoridad y piden la consignación y acción penal contra los acusados así como la reparación del daño hecho a ellos. Esta demanda fue levantada el día 14 de marzo de 2008 ante el Agente del Ministerio Público del Fuero Común, Unidad Orgánica de Delitos Patrimoniales, con el expediente # A.P.3217/08.

De acuerdo con los ex-trabajadores, su conflicto comenzó desde 2006. El día 20 de octubre de 2006, el líder sindical que dice representarlos, Cesar Soto Agüero, declaró una huelga a nombre de los trabajadores y en contra de la compañía. Según el sindicato, la fábrica iba a cerrar y el objetivo de la huelga era forzar a la compañía a pagar adeudos e indemnización. Entre los aproximadamente 900 trabajadores de la empresa, había unos con más de 10 años de antigüedad.

Sin embargo, los trabajadores explican que el sindicato estaba a favor la empresa y que la huelga sólo sirvió para posponer el pago del dinero que la empresa les debía. El sindicato prolongó la huelga para desanimar a los trabajadores mientras la empresa ofrecía pagos muy pequeños. Gracias al sindicato, muchos trabajadores aceptaron las migajas de la empresa. Los que resistieron fueron amenazados y agredidos por golpeadores del sindicato.
La huelga duró 13 meses y se levantó el 28 de noviembre del 2007. Pero el líder firmó un convenio con la empresa sin consultarlos. La empresa les aproximadamente 25% del adeudo real. Los trabajadores rechazaron el acuerdo, pero  la Junta de Conciliación y Arbitraje lo ratificó.
Ante esta burla, un grupo de 26 trabajadores respondieron con una denuncia penal. Ellos explican que el artículo 33 de la Ley Federal del Trabajo declara nulo un convenio en que los salarios y prestaciones no sean respetados. Los trabajadores afirman que funcionarios públicos han cometido un delito de fraude y ahora demandan la consignación abogado de la empresa, del líder sindical y del presidente y secretario de la junta de conciliación que avalaron el convenio.
Los firmantes de esta carta, ciudadanos de México, Estados Unidos y otros países, nos hemos unido para demandar se respete la ley y se haga justicia a los ex-trabajadores de Muebles Fino Buenos.
Se anexa carta en español de los ex-trabajadores de Muebles Fino Buenos
Firma esta carta usando el link: http://www.petitiononline.com/Muebles/petition.html
 (Copia la direccion y pegala en tu navegador de internet)
(Good Companies, Finegood the Company, y Holding's Inc.)
Al pueblo de Tijuana,
Al pueblo de todo México
A los Pueblos del mundo.
Que se entere todo México, somos ex trabajadores y ex trabajadoras de Muebles Fino Bueno, fabrica de muebles de capital estadounidense, de Carlson California, fuimos operadores de máquinas para muebles, perforadoras, taladros, pintadoras, montacargas y cortadoras y algunos supervisores. Nuestra antigüedad, en esa maquila era de 3 a 16 años. Dejamos parte de nuestra vida ahí.
El 6 de octubre del 2006 nos dijeron que nos iban a dar a todo el personal una semana de vacaciones. Aunque nos tocaran más días de vacaciones sólo nos darían y pagarían 8 días, y a los y las que nos les tocaban se las dieron adelantadas y nos la pagaron. Después nos hicieron una reunión donde dieron otra semana de "descanso" y no la pagaron
El 20 de octubre del 2006, estalló una huelga. El sindicato "fantasma" Sindicato de Trabajadores de la Industria, el Comercio, la Maquila, Conexos y Similares "Guadalupe Victoria", de la Confederación Revolucionaria Obrero Campesina (CROC) impuso una huelga a 900 trabajadores de la fábrica Muebles Fino Buenos. El secretario general de ese sindicato fantasma era Cesar Soto Agüero, al que no conocíamos hasta esos días de la huelga, ni pensábamos que era del sindicato, mucho menos trabajador, pensábamos que era licenciado. Este señor hacía juntas cada ocho días y decía que pelearía por nosotros y que las demandas de la huelga eran que nos pagaran el 100% de las prestaciones que marca la ley como la indemnización constitucional de 90 días de salario, más la prima de antigüedad de 12 días por año trabajado, más 20 días por año trabajado, más las prestaciones que nos debían, más los salarios caídos, hasta que se dictara el laudo de la JLCA y nos pagaran el 100%

Nos robaron: Después de más de un año de huelga, nosotros resistimos ataques del sindicato. Nosotros pusimos guardias para cuidar la fábrica, pero Cesar Soto nos envió un montón de gentes del sindicato y a otros malandrines encabezados por él mismo y por su hermano que con gran cinismo nos decían "ratas" y nos acusaban de robar la fábrica que nosotros cuidábamos para el sindicato y la empresa no se metieran ni robaran nada de la fábrica. Por eso no querían nuestras guardias. Por eso los cuestionamos que nos demostraran si éramos "ratas," pero nunca contestaron y en cambio nos agredieron, tumbaron nuestra carpa y se robaron el tanque de gas, la lona y los trastes y nos amenazaron que no nos querían ver a menos de cien metros de la puerta de la fábrica. Pero no caímos en sus provocaciones ni respondimos la agresión, pues era lo que el sindicato quería para que perdiéramos la demanda y metieron a los malandrines a la fábrica. En una ocasión agredieron a golpes a trabajadoras y trabajadores que estábamos de guardia. No nos dejamos y los vecinos salieron a defendernos. Nosotros seguimos las guardias en la banqueta gracias a un vecino que nos defendió, que dijo que podíamos quedarnos en su banqueta, y que enfrentó a los del sindicato: les dijo que él autorizaba que estuviéramos los trabajadores en su banqueta y pedía que ya nos dejaron en paz. Después las organizaciones nos prestaron una carpita y nos apoyaron a hacer presión.

Finalmente, el sindicato de la CROC y la empresa hicieron un arreglo en contra de nosotros. El 28 de noviembre de 2007, Vladimir Téllez, abogado de la empresa, y Cesar Soto, Secretario General del sindicato "fantasma" decidieron poner fin a la huelga y firmaron un convenio donde una vez más se burlaban de los derechos de los y las trabajadoras, pagándonos solamente entre el 23 y el 29 % de lo que realmente correspondía a nuestras indemnizaciones. El convenio que fue ilegalmente avalado por la Junta Local de Conciliación y Arbitraje, cuando se supone que la JLCA tenía que exigir a la empresa y al sindicato que nos pagaran el 100% de lo que marca la ley y no el 23%.
Robo en despoblado: Así nos sentimos con este convenio que nos quieren imponer la empresa Muebles Fino Buenos o Fine Goods, sus representantes, como el ingeniero Eduardo García y el abogado  Vladimir Téllez, el sindicato fantasma autodenominado sindicato de los trabajadores y la JLCA. Todos ellos han caído en el delito de fraude y abuso de autoridad al querer engañarnos con la miseria que nos han dado y del cual no quedamos conformes y por eso seguimos organizados y luchando.
Queremos justicia: que le regresen al Cesar lo que es del Cesar, o sea que nos se pague lo que nos corresponde del convenio original a los trabajadores y trabajadoras de Muebles Fino Buenos y no al fantasma sindical Cesar Soto, a quien no le corresponde nada porque nunca ha sido trabajador de Muebles Fino Buenos y que sólo le ha vendido la protección patronal a los señores  Fine Goods
Que nos paguen lo que nos deben los mendigos, es decir el charro fantasma Cesar Soto, la empresa, su licenciado y la autoridad que violó la ley, pues el gobierno federal,  y la Secretaria de Trabajo y Previsión Social (STPS) es a quien le corresponde vigilar que se cumplan las leyes laborales y constitucionales en nuestro país y en este caso no lo están haciendo. Es por eso que los sindicatos charros fantasmas hacen de las suyas, por falta de vigilancia de la autoridad, pues todo viene desde arriba, hasta el presidente de la republica apoya al empresarial, porque de ahí viene y se quieren aprovechar de que dicen que no sabemos de leyes y nos quieren engañar bien bonito y nosotros estábamos actuando derechamente, pensábamos que era legal lo que decía. Pues de ahí vienen lo de los salarios mínimos, los no aumentos de salarios, la injusticia laboral.
Los tres son un solo cabrón  sindicato,  Junta Local y patrón.
No es verdad que la JLCA y sus autoridades son neutros y que no pueden meterse entre los trabajadores y estos sindicatos fantasmas, pues estos sindicatos ni los conocemos, ni nunca los elegimos como nuestros representantes y no los queremos. Están violando la ley y sus propios convenios; la autoridad laboral tiene que actuar en defensa de la LFT, la constitución y los derechos de los y las trabajadoras.

Esperamos que ahora sí las autoridades sean justas y legales para recuperar nuestro patrimonio que quieren quedárselo entre la empresa Muebles Fino Buenos y el Sindicato fantasma de la CROC.  Pedimos tu apoyo como trabajador, como trabajadora, como organización, como compañeros que somos unos mismos, para que la autoridad actúe legalmente.
Alto a los sindicatos fantasmas, patronales y blancos
La ley debe ser justa, si es que existe
Atentamente, ex trabajadores y ex trabajadoras de Muebles Fino Buenos

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from Truth Out :
Date: 26 April 2009
Subject: Cognitive Science and "the conservative system of thought".

George Lakoff, The San Francisco Chronicle: "You turn the AM on and there's Rush, or Savage, or another of the army of right-wing radio talk show hosts. You may not be listening hard, just working, driving, doing busywork or the laundry. Yet if you listen day after day, year after year, your brain will begin to change. Words, even those heard casually and listened to incidentally, activate frames - structures of ideas that are physically realized in the brain. The more the words are heard, the more the frames are activated in the brain, and stronger their synapses get - until the frames are there permanently. All this is normal. It is how words work. And the right-wing message machine has found a way to take advantage of it - activating, as it were, a conservative system of thought."

George Lakoff | Progressives Lack a Limbaugh-Like Voice

from Dahr Jamail :
Date: 24 April 2009
Subject: MidEast Dispatches: "... The Horrible Truth"

"... The Horrible Truth"
Dahr Jamail

The US occupation of Iraq, which has become the full responsibility of President Barack Obama, is once again a bloodbath. Not that it had ceased to be violent, brutal and chaotic, for not one day has passed since the US invasion of Iraq was launched that hasn't found several Iraqis being senselessly slaughtered. But rather than talking about three Iraqis being killed today, or two dozen, we are again talking about several dozen, and over 100 wounded, as we are seeing recently. Each of these Iraqis have been killed as a direct result of the US occupation of Iraq - their blood splattered on the hands of President Obama, who, during a visit to Baghdad's airport on April 7, praised the US military for their "extraordinary achievement" in Iraq.

On April 23, over 73 Iraqis were killed in two separate suicide attacks. One bomber detonated his explosives in central Baghdad as a group of policemen were distributing relief supplies to Iraqis who had been driven from their homes during the US-fomented sectarian bloodshed of 2006 to mid-2007. Police said that at least 50 people were wounded; at least five children and one woman were among the dead.

A second major suicide bombing occurred that day as well, near Muqdadiya, about 50 miles north of Baghdad. The bomber targeted Iranian pilgrims who were in a restaurant, killing at least 45 and wounding over 60. The Shiite pilgrims were visiting Shia religious sites in Iraq.

The bombings reek of al-Qaeda in Iraq - whose operations were brought to a standstill thanks to both the Iraqi resistance and the al-Sahwa (US-created Sunni militia comprised mostly of former resistance fighters, who were largely abandoned by the US military and are now being attacked by the Iraqi government). The Sahwa have been abandoning their security posts in protest at having not been paid by the Iraqi government for their work, as well as in protest of the ongoing targeting of their leaders by the government. Prime Minister Maliki perceives the Sahwa as a political threat to the existence of his government, so has taken it upon himself to undermine their existence at every turn, as he has from the beginning.

The recent spasms of horrendous violence in Iraq are a direct result of the US abandonment of the Sahwa, and the US reluctance to stop Maliki from his ongoing policies to disenfranchise the group. The Sahwa were able to find al-Qaeda when the US military could not. Now that they are ceasing their security operations across an increasing portion of Iraq, naturally, the ability of al-Qaeda to conduct their operations increases.

Meanwhile, we have the pathetic propaganda from the impotent Maliki government in Baghdad. On the same day of the aforementioned bloodletting, just after the second bombing, Iraqi state television announced that Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, the purported leader of the Islamic State of Iraq, an al-Qaeda-linked group, was captured in eastern Baghdad. Security experts have previously speculated that al-Baghdadi was a character invented by some extremist groups rather than a real person and the US military does not believe there was ever a single al-Qaeda leader with that name.

There will be more attacks like this. They have less to do with the approaching June deadline of US troops to withdraw from cities in Iraq, (aside from Mosul, and any others the US military feels it should not withdraw from), and more to do with the Sahwa being hung out to dry by both the US military and the Iraqi government.

My cynicism is due to the fact that the Maliki government is not ceasing its attacks on the Sahwa, nor is there any indication the US government will force them to do so.

Neither the US military nor the Iraqi military has proven itself capable of finding al-Qaeda, nor of ceasing the attacks. In fact, Agence France-Presse reported on April 22 that the US military is, in fact, continuing to lead 'Iraqi-led' operations. The report reads:

"The [US and Iraqi] troops assembled by torchlight at Camp Falcon for a mission to the farming village of Owessat, which American and Iraq forces believe is being used as a staging ground for bombings in and around the capital. As with nearly every operation in Iraq these days, the Americans insisted that the Iraqis were in charge, leading the fight against Al-Qaeda and other armed groups with US forces cast in a supporting role. But the scene at Camp Falcon told a different story: six years after the invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein, the Americans not only vastly outnumbered the Iraqis, but they were giving orders and providing vital logistical support. Under a security pact signed in November, Iraqi forces are to assume full responsibility for security as US forces withdraw from cities and towns by June 30 and from the country as a whole by the end of 2011. Iraqi and US leaders and commanders have repeatedly said that Iraq's 560,000 police and 260,000 soldiers will be able to maintain security as the Americans pull back and have vowed to adhere to the timeline of the security plan. But on the Owessat operation this month, 600 US troops backed by helicopters were joined by a group of 40 Iraqi soldiers who, over the course of the 21-hour raid, repeatedly took their cues from the Americans."

Many Americans who voted for Barack Obama last November continue to believe he will do the right thing in Iraq. The reality is that, unless forced to do so from below, there will be none of the promised "change" in US foreign policy. Those on the receiving end of US policy in the Middle East, Iraq in particular, know this better than most Americans.

In April 2004, when I was in Fallujah during the first major US military assault on that city, I spoke with Maki al-Nazzal, who was managing a small, makeshift emergency clinic. We spoke while dozens of women and children, most shot by US military snipers, were carried into the clinic.

"For all my life, I believed in American democracy," he told me with an exhausted voice. "For 47 years, I had accepted the illusion of Europe and the United States being good for the world, the carriers of democracy and freedom. Now, I see that it took me 47 years to wake up to the horrible truth. They are not here to bring anything like democracy or freedom."

Maki, who is now a refugee in Amman, Jordan, continued, "Now I see it has all been lies. The Americans don't give a damn about democracy or human rights. They are worse than even Saddam."

I asked him if he minded if I quoted him with his name. "What are they going to do to me that they haven't already done here," he replied.

from Al Burke :
Date: 22 April 2009
Subject: Finland, Sweden & NATO


There is now a PDF version of my open letter to the Swedish foreign policy institute at this web address:


The pressure to drag Finland and Sweden into NATO is building up, as Rick Rozoff has documented in the excellent piece linked below :

End of Scandinavian Neutrality: NATO's Militarization Of Europe
by Rick Rozoff


One of the institutions being employed in the ongoing "opinion building" process is the  Swedish Institute of International Affairs. My open letter above to its board of directors addresses that problem (in case the subject is of any interest to you).

Al Burke