Subject: ON THE CAPITALIST DESTRUCTION OF THEIR FORMER ALLIES, THE CHRISTIAN DEMOCRATS, ALONG WITH THAT OF THEIR TRADITIONAL ADVERSARIES, THE COMMUNISTS, THE SOCIAL DEMOCRATS, ETC.
24 June 2012
Dear Colleagues and Friends of CEIMSA,
In any given population about one third (33 %) of the individuals in it are "assholes" –this is the assessment of Nikos Raptis, Greek Resistance fighter and member of the new international network of local organizers, IOPS. The new international is a collective attempt at self-defense against the “assholes” of the world, specifically those affecting the quality of your life at the local level and beyond.
We must live with the historical fact that a large minority of the European population supported European Fascism as a solution to the economic and political problems of the day, and many of the same families that supported Hitler now support the German-led bank policy of sever austerity measures throughout Europe as the only solution to today’s malaise. In North America, this same politics of debt-slavery exists in the guise of pseudo-Christian rhetoric waging war, as it were, against sin, waste, and disorder. Nikos Raptis is obviously disappointed in the results of the recent elections in Greece and lays the blame at the feet of the active minority of “corporate collaborators,” those who want desperately to be useful instruments for the ASAS, [The US, the Anglo, the Saxon, the Asian, and the Slavic economic elites] who “pull the strings” of these opportunists so that they do the necessary dirty work on their behalf. Who are these puppets? “They are a small army of international ‘nonentities’, Merkel, Barozo, Lagard, Cameron, Monti, Schaeuble, etc. Also, at a lower level, they have Rightist ‘patriots,’ Christian Democrats, Monarchists, and Conservatives of all stripes from the local population who do the field work.” These are the 33%, whom you can be sure are present. Whether they are born this way or they are “manufactured” is of no importance; they are always there.
Eight decades of experience in Greek politics has informed Raptis, and he shares with us what he has learned about right-wing networks, which explains the successful coup d’états inflicted by the CEOs of international finance on nations around the world. It’s breathtaking, paralyzing, unbelievable; until you get it. The 33% will always be there, ready to aid and abet their masters, when the needs arise.
A paranoid fantasy? One more conspiracy theory? Who are these elites and who are their collaborators? What mutual interests do they share that could hold their alliance together? An apparent alternative to this view is expressed by MIT micro-biologist, Jon Kabat-Zinn, who speaks of a healing process that would bring the 33% into contact with humanity and with the essential relatedness of their minds with that of the environment. His “healing/breathing techniques” are widely available in the United States today. [For more information on this viewpoint see Jon Kabat-Zinn: “Mindfulness with Jon Kabat-Zinn ” at : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nwwKbM_vJc&feature=related.]
The social history of Nazi Germany, of course, is publicly available in many forms. No one can really deny that European collaborators with Fascism found common cause, and, for a variety of reasons, they joined in the suicidal project of world conquest. Their motivations differed according to specific cultures: from eliminating the formal existence of atheism and finding access to new converts, to creating new opportunities for greater access to private property and personal wealth, or just to be loyal to old friends, because there was nothing else to believe in . . . . Whatever the reasons, millions of people got sucked into a gamble for short-term gains, willing to risk long-term losses, including their lives and the lives of those they were once able to love. This behavior is not new, and it must be recognized, on pain of extinction . . . .
Wilhelm Reich thought “sexual repression” was responsible for the massive submissiveness of Germans in the 1930s, their lack of independence and the near absence of humanist resistance in Nazi Germany. Later “consumerism” was identified as the key to understanding collaboration with fascist policies of capitalist expansion at home and abroad. More recently, the culprit is found to be the “corporate media,” brainwashing ordinary people to fear critical thought itself, creating dysfunctional minds that instantly become confused when released from the familiar bondage of received ideas.
The hogwash that is showered on our heads each day, for morning till night, and without which we at first feel naked and vulnerable, has a disarming effect. We find that we crave leaders to tell us what to think because our minds have become handicapped through endless injunctions and mind-numbing intimidations. This conditioning begins in the earliest years of our lives, and as our managers change so do the methods of coercion, and the sources of anxiety. We evolve in a sequence of endless conformity, which when looked at from another vantage point appears as a spiral leading toward our collective destruction.
In the 7 items below, CEIMSA readers will be reminded that we are living in an unfriendly environment, where more than ever we need one another to protect ourselves from the 33%, which includes a willing army of thugs, hungry to be commanded by a band of self-appointed elites who wish to establish order in an inherently chaotic political economy. Short of some idealized state of voluntary servitude, their wishes can never come true. The sooner this is understood, the better it will be for everyone . . . .
Item A., from The Real News Network, is an interview with economist Rob Johnson talking about “European adjustments not as the product of some mistake, but a design to break down some of the leftover architecture of the Cold War, i.e. The Christian Democrats.”
Item B., from Reader Supported News, is an article by Lisa Cerda on the moral wasteland cultivated by Monsanto, INC..
Item C., from The Nation, is an article by Max Blumenthal, on financing the pro-Israel lobby and the ideology of Islamophobia.
Item D., sent to us by Fred Lonidier, is the June edition Labor Heritage Newsletter.
Item E. is a short video from Spartacus Education, UKon National Security à la House The Un-American Activities Committee; its cold-war tactics of “hunting down the scapegoat and when you catch him, finding another . . . .”
Item F., from News from the Underground, is an article by an anonymous NYU Professor on “The Hypertrophic Growth of New York University, or short-term investments on guaranteed death plans.”
Item G., from CREDO ACTIOM, a Petition to “Save the Bees”.
And finally, we offer CEIMSA readers an interesting video explaining the bogus alarm of SURPLUS POPULATION, and how it serves to distract us from what is really eating us (which performing artist Bruce Springsteen takes pains to point out to us in the clips below).
Bruce Springsteen - Wrecking Ball (Live at Giants Stadium)
Francis McCollum Feeley
Professor of American Studies
Director of Research
Université Stendhal Grenoble 3
Below is an Internet link to the discussion of the current neo-liberal attack (via financial institutions) on the post-WWII Christian Democratic traditions of Southern Europe. If this “politics of mass impoverishment” is true, then the Christian Democratic Welfare State is the next to go following the deadly debacle of Communism in Eastern Europe and China. Now we are witnessing the debacle of the Welfare State, and ruthless application of the private ownership ethos.
[Interview with Rob Johnson: European adjustments are not the product of a mistake, but a design to break down some of the leftover architecture of the Cold War, which might be called the insurance premium that was paid against conversion to communism.]
Monsanto's history is one steeped with controversial products, deadly consequences, massive cover ups, political slight of hand, and culminates as a modern day plague on humanity, a plague that is about to peak to biblical proportions.
FOCUS | Monsanto: A Modern Day Plague
from The Nation :
Date: 18 June 2012
Subject: The pro-Israel lobby and Islamophobia.
Philanthropist Nina Rosenwald has used her millions to cement the alliance between the pro-Israel lobby and the Islamophobic fringe.
Meet the Sugar Mama of Anti-Muslim Hate
by Max Blumenthal
from Fred Lonidier :
Date: 19 June 2012
Subject: Labor Heritage Newsletter.
Labor Heritage Newsletter
for June 15
Don't forget to register for this years Great Labor Arts Exchange / Camp Solidarity / Conference on Creative Organinzing. Only two weeks to go!
Hello and happy June days! what an amazing spring we're having here in CNY!
This weekend I'll be at the Clearwater Great Hudson River Revival Festival on Sunday, June 17 - first with the Singing Clear benefit CD project at 11am at the Circle of Song. Right after that, I am honored to be lending supporting vocals for Holly Near who will be performing on the Rainbow Stage at noon. There is a great line-up of performers both days, so if you are in the area, please come and come early!
Friday, June 29 me and Some Guys are glad to be back at the Blue Frog Coffee House, Main Street, Cortland 7:30 pm. With a special opening act you won't want to miss!
On July 1 we'll be performing at Brook Farm 2870 West Lake Road, Skaneateles - for a benefit picnic in support of the CEDC (Community Environmental Defense Fund) - protecting the rural landscape of Central New York! Picnic from 1-5pm.
Mama won't allow no hydrofrackin round here!
All for One: A Concert for the Julius Margolin Youth in Labor Scholarship
Anne Feeney / George Mann & Members of the Great LaborArts Exchange
Julius Margolin, who died in 2009 at 93, had been a union and antiwar activist since the 1930s, when he organized for the CIO. He was seen on countless picket lines, in struggles for all peoples and causes, representing IATSE Local 52 in the NYC Central Labor Council and most recently as a folksinger/producer of political and labor CDs. The concert proceeds will go to a scholarship fund in Julius's name to help young unionists attend labor cultural festivals. A night of labor classics and protest music for Julius!
Thursday, June 21 at 7:00 pm
Potluck Dinner / Happy Hour at 6:00 pm
at the Home of Doug Calvin
1825 Hamlin Street NE, Washington, DC
Suggested Admission: $10-$20 sliding scale
No one turned away for lack of funds
ccupy Now! Concert & Performance :: June 24
The concert will feature Joe Hill Awardees & the DC Labor Chorus, Charm City Labor Chorus, and special performances by participants of the Great Labor Arts Exchange, Camp Solidarity, and the Conference on Creative Organizing. Special invited musical and performance guests.
The concert will be emceed by Anne Feeney & Lakeisha Harrison
The Great Labor Arts Exchange Occupella Chorus
A Tribute to Harry Stamper with George Mann
Charm City Labor Chorus with Darryl! Moch
June 24 at 7:00 pm
692 Maritime Boulevard
Linthicum Heights, Maryland
$10.00 suggested donation
Ramiro Gomez creates cardboard workers
Their faces are vague, the color of coffee beans, but before Ramiro Gomez heads out with pliers and wire to install them, he gives each one a name.
There was Guillermina, named for his Aunt Guille, a housekeeper at a casino hotel; Maria Elena, after his mom, a janitor at an elementary school; and Luis, like Uncle Luis, who delivers meat for a carniceria.
For the last eight months, Gomez, an artist from West Hollywood, has made the invisible visible by installing life-size cardboard cutouts of nannies, gardeners, valet workers and housekeepers in Beverly Hills, the Hollywood Hills and other wealthy areas.
read the rest of the story at the LA Times
Jerry Gray, 2010 Joe Hill Award Winner
Jerry has been busy since receiving the Joe Hill Award in 2010.
He's made 30 appearances performing and lecturing about folk, protest and labor music in Toronto and Florida; performed with The Travellers at a Woody Guthrie tribute concert; lectured at KlexKanada; conducted the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in a performance of The Travellers Canadian version of "This Land is Your Land"; sang in support of the Toronto Teachers Union.
This summer Jerry will lead a panel at the Edmonton Folk Festical on Woody Guthrie's 100th birthday and perform with Arlo Guthrie. Labor Day weekend will be spent in Toronto in a concert dedicated to life growing up as a "red diaper baby" in Toronto's Jewish labor community.
Not bad for an 80 year old.
Scrap The Cap
Hey kiddos, let's talk turkey - specifically about those turkeys who want to cut Social Security benefits. What's up with that?
Well, it sure as heck isn't because of the deficit. Social Security's trust fund has a $2.6 trillion surplus right now, which is enough to pay everyone's benefits in full for another 25 years. If anyone tells you Social Security is going broke, they're blowing more smoke than a chimney.
Here's the reality: Social Security would pay full benefits forever - not just to us, but to you, and even your kids (hint, hint) - if millionaires simply paid the same Social Security tax rate as most people. Heck, we could even afford to improve Social Security benefits a bit.
Right now, everyone pays Social Security taxes on the first $110,100 they earn, which means most people pay Social Security taxes on their whole paycheck. But since $110,100 is the cap (unless Congress acts to change it), a whole lot of wealthy people don't pay a dime in Social Security taxes on most of what they make.
Not to get all parental - it's your life - but this is important stuff. Because unless you tell Congress to "Just Scrap the Cap," they could cut Social Security benefits - and we might be movin' in.
Tell Congress no cuts to benefits - Just Scrap The Cap. Take a minute and sign the petition.
Mom and Dad
Peace Play: A Guided Journal for Children Ages 4-12
A Children's Book project in Washington, DC by Mac Cooler-Stith
Peace Play is a colorful and life-affirming guided journal for kids and adults to share, talk over, and engage in entertaining projects that build empathy, the skills of community and moral courage as family values. Peace Play can also serve in the documentation of a child's lifelong Conscientious Objector Status as they grow toward the age of decision.
With accessible lessons written and beautifully illustrated by a mother and her teenage son, kids will travel into their hearts through stories of courage and love from the example of children and young people throughout history and all over the world -- children just like them -- children who, in some lessons are in fact they and the children and adults they already know.
The book will be delivered in fresh monthly installments (as sections to be placed in an included three ring binder) which makes it something to open from the mail slot and do throughout the year. Peace Play has been designed so that one book can serve a family of several children, each of whom can place their work into the binder. Schools, places of worship, and clubs will find Peace Play a useful and fun point of reference in a peace and social justice curriculum. Children will enjoy adding their written responses and projects to their own binder throughout the year, taking it home after a full year of work for their parents to save.
In 2013 workshops on Peace Play will be held to support and introduce institutions in the use of the book.
From the sweet little kite flyers of Gaza, to the courageous children of Birmingham's Kelly Ingram Park, to the old favored story of Ferdinand the Bull, to the young men in World War I -- playing soccer during what came to be known as The Christmas Truce -- to the stories and skills of our neighbors and the voice and new perspective of a new pen pal, and the lessons of nature, of collections, of craft projects: Peace Play is a labor of love.
We're looking forward to seeing what people do with it! Support this unique project by donating via Kickstart.
Camp Solidarity for ages 7 to 17
Camp Solidarity, is an exciting day camp program designed to enrich the lives of young people, with opportunities to develop lasting friendships and explore social justice, human rights, civil rights, and union/labor history and culture through the creative arts to provide relevant youth-centered activities to the children as well as local community members. Camp Solidarity programs can be tailored to fit all age groups.
Under the guidance of talented and compassionate staff, Camp Solidarity offers activities in dance, theater, art, and music. Unlike other experiences, Camp Solidarity also includes unique and powerful explorations of progressive movements in labor, peace, racial justice, and gender equality through films, readings and role-plays.
Full information on Camp Solidarity can be found on the Labor Heritage Foundation web site.
International Ladies Garment Workers Union - Historic recording playback
Presented by Saul Schniderman Š details Š
Organzing & Nuts and Bolts of running a labor/union publication.
Larry Evans, Pittsburgh PA running "The Mill Hunk Herald."
Mike Konopacki, Madison, WI "Wage Slave Weekly World News." [Invited]
Saul Schniderman, Takoma Park, MD "Talkin' Union."
Š details Š
Plenary: Brothers on the Line (Film screening and discussion)
Presented by Sasha Reuther Š details Š
The "Songs of the OCCUPY Movement"
Presented by Hali Hamer and Bobbi Rabinowitz Š details Š
Presented by Diane Wilson Š details Š
Using Social Media to Organize and Push Your Message
Presented by Andrew T. Richards, AFL-CIO Digital Strategies & Jennifer Kaufman, AFL-CIO, Campaigns Department Š details Š
Presented by Tia Imani Hanna Š details Š
Self Determination in the Belly of the Beast:
Popular Education and Lessons from Movement History
Presented by Virginia Leavell, Walda Katz-Fishman & Rebecca Mintz Š details Š
Creating Art for the Movement: Art With A Purpose
Presented by: Tunde Odunlade Š details Š
The creative side of nonviolent direct action: stories from the streets
Presented by Carrie Biggs-Adams, CWA union organizer Š details Š
Labor Songs Workshop
Presented by members of the Charm City Labor Chorus Š details Š
History That Made Songs/Songs That Changed History (a musical workshop)
Presented by Charlie King and Ms. Jaymes Winell Š details Š
Off the Page And On Your Feet: Moving To The Rhythms of Labor Poetry
Presented by Joanne Rocky Delaplaine and Darryl! Moch Š details Š
Writers Workshop Series sponsored by the National Writers Union Moderated by Ann Hoffman, NWU National 1st VP
Storytelling for the Rank & File
Presented by Tim Sheard, veteran nurse-author and National Writers Union organizer; author of the Lenny Moss mysteries. Š details Š
Presented by Sarah Browning, Published Poet; Union& Social Activist Š details Š
Panel: Publishing, Performance and Marketing
Led by Tim Sheard, Sarah Browning, & John Feffer Š details Š
The Pundit: Presentation and Discussion
Presented by John Feffer Š details Š
Life In The Liberated Zone: A Collective Creative-Writing Project
Presented by Juliana Barnet Š details Š
Presented by Jon Robison, Pittsburgh PA Š details Š
*Some workshops and plenaries will be joint sessions with Great Labor Arts Exchange, Conference on Creative Organizing, and/or Camp Solidarity.
Workshop schedule is tentative and subject to changes, additions, or substitutions
Great Labor Arts Exchange
The Great Labor Arts Exchange is a gathering of union and community activists, rank and filers, organizers, cultural workers, artists, labor educators, and youth who use, or support the use of, songs, art, poetry, theater, skits, posters, cartoons, and film to strengthen the labor movement.
You don't need to be an artist or performer to attend or perform!!!
Full information on the conference can be found on the Labor Heritage Foundation web site.
Conference on Creative Organizing
The Conference on Creative Organizing Program is a leadership-training program for union staff, organizers, activists, and rank-and-filers. Participants learn how to think outside the box and approach organizing challenges creatively from a different point of view. They will also develop new skills including how to involve others in songs, chants, skits, game shows, costume, theater, and other creative strategies. Learn to use cultural tools to combat fear, get members involved, attract media attention, integrate contemporary or "pop" culture into organizing strategies, and inject "excitement" into union and political campaigns.
Full information on the Conference on Creative Organizing can be found on the Labor Heritage Foundation web site.
Apply for the Julius Margolin "Youth In Labor" Scholarship Award extended until Monday
This scholarship is open to everyone; the only requirement is that applicants must be under 30 years of age at the time of the festival. Recipients will receive between $250 and $500, based mostly upon travel requirements. Recipients who reside within 50 miles of the festival location will receive sufficient funds to cover registration, transportation and meals for the Great Labor Arts Exchange.
He's not a lawyer and he's not a doctor. He's a janitor, a union delegate, a reluctant detective Š and he's back! Lenny Moss returns for his fifth murder investigation in No Place To Be Sick!
This time the nurses at James Madison Hospital are afraid. Too many of their patients are dying from unexpected cardiac arrests. The nurses fear that a serial killer could be roaming the hospital. But when they share their suspicions with the Director of Nursing, she orders them to keep their mouths shut or they will be fired. So the nurses turn to Lenny Moss for help.
But Lenny has problems of his own. His last murder investigation nearly killed him. The post traumatic stress from a brutal attack has our union champion turning away from his friends, his family and his passion for the fight for justice. Even the threat from a merciless hedge fund CEO to buy the hospital, turn it private and kick out the union hasn't roused Lenny to join the struggle. Feeling beaten and hopeless, he just wants to be left alone to do his job.
Will the murderer keep on killing? Will Lenny turn his back on his friends and family and the union he's devoted his life to serving? Find out in the exciting new Lenny Moss crime novel, No Place To Be Sick. Now available in print and autographed from http://www.timsheard.com/, and available from Amazon.com. Kindle version coming in late June.
Also available for purchase from the Labor Heritage Foundation on-line store.
Celebrating Woody Guthrie Saturday July 14
Remembering Woody Guthrie
A convert of Song and Celebration on the 100th Anniversary of his birth
Featuring the Solidarity Singers of the New Jersey Industrial Union Council and Sharleen Leahey
July 14 at 7:30 pm
Marc's Place Coffe House
Reformed Church of Highland Park
19-21 South Second Avenue, Highland Park, New Jersey
Woody Guthrie Centennial Birthday Bash
New York City
Round robin songfest celebrating Woody Guthrie's 100th birthday. Featured artists include Hillel Arnold, Don Friedman, Beth Kotkin, Joel Landy, Anne Price, Steve Suffet, and Gina Tlamsa.
$10 admission + one drink minimum purchase.
Visit the Birthday Bash web site or Facebook page for more information
The Bowery Poetry Club
New York, NY 10012-2802
Woody Guthrie's 100 Birthday Tribute Concert
Takoma Park, Maryland
The legendary Woody Guthrie was born on July 14, 1912. To celebrate the 100th anniversary of his birth, Joe Uehline has put together a tribute concert for July 14, 2012, with Joe's own band, the U-Liners, and Magpie. The Institute of Mucical Traditions is very happy to be sponsoring the show!
From his early days working in an aluminum mill in Central PA, a fiesty and passionate Joe Uehlein developed a keen interest in Rock & Roll and the Folk and Country sounds of working class music. Joe's broad musical journey began in union halls across the country and led to sharing the stage with countless legendary artists including Pete Seeger, Tom Morello, Steve Earle, Boots Riley, and Lester Chambers. Joe's passion continues as he combines forces with the hard workin', hard drivin' musicians known as The U-Liners. A rare specialty of this group includes songs of hope, peace, justice, the environment, and worker's rights; and come from the band's belief that we can make the world a better place.
Terry Leonino and Greg Artzner began to play music together in Kent, Ohio in September of 1973. They chose the name Magpie for their band, a name which grew in personal significance for them as years went by. Terry was a student in her senior year at Kent State University in the fall of '73, and when she graduated the following spring, she and Greg packed Greg's VW bus and moved to the Washington, DC area. In the years since then, they have traveled and toured extensively, performed in concerts, at folk clubs and festivals around the world, and recorded many times.
Takoma Park Civic Auditorium
7500 Maple Avenue
Takoma Park Maryland
Dissident Arts Festival :: August 17 & 18
Two Stages! Two Days! Two Boroughs!
The 2012 edition of THE FESTIVAL will feature a wide array of artists of conscience ranging from radical jazz musicians to protest singers to experimental artists and everything in between. Featured performers include legends of Free Jazz and World Music KARL BERGER and INGRID SERTSO. Another special feature will be a screening of 'METROPOLIS' with live improvised accompaniment. The Festival is a showcase of cultural workers and serves as a bridge between the arts and the progressive activist community. We feature a great span of just what 'protest' art is: radical avant garde Jazz, topical Song, dissentful Poetry, revolutionary New Music, social justice Film and Theatre, Post-Punk dissidence, World sounds, progressive Cabaret of social change.
Day One: Friday August 17, 8:00 pm - 11:00 pm
17 Frost Theatre of the Arts - 17 Frost Street (between Lorimer and Union Streets), Brooklyn NY www.17frost.com
Radical Songwriters Forum: 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm:
*JACKIE SHEELER, punk-laced topical song & poetry *DONALD JOHNSON, contemporary songs of work, struggle and life *JOE KIDD, protest music by Michigan-based singer-songwriter *FASTER, the experimental side of social parody with soprano sax/voice and avant guitar duo
FILM SCREENING w/LIVE ACCOMPANIMENT 10:00 pm - Midnight:
*The silent sci-fi/social change film classic 'METROPOLIS' with a live improvised score by THE DISSIDENT ARTS ORCHESTRA: John Pietaro (xylophone/percussion/drumkit/musical direction), Javier Hernandez-Miyares (electric guitar/keyboards), Quincy Saul (clarinet), Cheryl Pyle (flute), Rocco John Iacovone (soprano and alto saxophones), Nick Gianni (tenor saxophone and flute), Ben Barson (baritone saxophone), Nicolas Letman-Burtinovic (upright bass).
Day Two: Saturday August 18, 4:00 pm - 11:00 pm
The Brecht Forum - 451 West Street (between Bank and Bethune streets), New York NY
Film Screening And Discussion 4:00 pm - 5:45 pm:
*'CULTURES OF RESISTANCE', plus discussion with the filmmaker
Concert: 6:00 pm - 11:00 pm:
*KARL BERGER & INGRID SERTSO & CO, improvisational world music by the legendary founder of the revolutionary Creative Music Studio!
*UPSURGE! rad jazz and poetry from San Francisco *CHERYL PYLE & NICOLAS LETMAN-BERTINOVIC, free flute and bass + special guests *STEVE BLOOM, activist poetry *CRYSTAL SHIPP, progressive performance art *JENNIE LITT & DAVID ALPHER, radical cabaret *RADIO NOIR, dissident swing and realizations of the works of Brecht & Eisler *RAS MOCHE, the improv of revolution *NICK GIANNI EVOLUTION, free jazz and more
To join THE DISSIDENT ARTS FESTIVAL mailing list write to email@example.com and for more info see:
www.DissidentArts.com and www.facebook.com/pages/THE-DISSIDENT-ARTS-FESTIVAL/116881725023683
Don't forget about these news items ...
TPP = Corporate Power Tool of the 1%
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is being negotiated in secret and the stakes for the 99% couldn't be higher. Go to www.TPP2012.com and click on TAKE ACTION today. Share Public Citizen Global Trade Watch's song parody to the tune of Jackson 5?s ABC with friends and family and encourage them to take action too!
Additional information on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, including a music video, can be found on the Labor Heritage site.
Labor Comics Project
Paul Buhle is in the beginning stages of launching a labor comics project. If you're interested in helping let us know and we'll put you in touch with Paul.
May Day: A Graphic History of Protest
It's never too late to celebrate May Day!
A new graphic novel celebrating our holiday is hot off the presses. May Day: A Graphic History of Protest traces the development of International Workers' Day, May 1st, against the ever-changing economic and political backdrop in Canada and across North America. Recognizing the importance of work and the historical struggles of workers to improve their lives, with a particular focus on the struggles of May 1st, the comic includes the reader as part of this history, and the story concludes that "We are all part of this historical struggle; it's our history and our future."
It's available for purchase from the Union Communcation Services at their on-line store.
Buy one for your local ... buy one for yourself ... buy one for your children
New George Mann CD "Patience in These Times" Released
I woke up this morning feeling blessed.
No, keep reading, this is not one of those scams or requests to send money because I am stranded in a foreign city without wallet, ID, etc.
I have finished the first "wave" of work regarding the release of "Patience in These Times," my new CD, and I am off to Oregon for a week of concerts and rest. This new CD, 13 songs that I have poured my life, money and abilities into, is now available and I am writing to tell you about it and to help explain why I am asking for orders and donations toward it. For the first time in my roughly 15 years of making music "seriously," I am truly working poor (and in debt!). But as I told you, I feel blessedŠ
The spring is coming, the people are waking up, and there is much music to be made.
I am "blessed" to be able to live this life and share the songs, stories and history of people who built this country, and fought for a better world. And I am fortunate to have new songs and a new CD of music to share-fortunate in that the inspiration keeps coming, even as I approach the half-century mark!
New material from David Rovics
Just back from a week in and around Chicago for the NATO protests, David Rovics has produced two things related to these recent endeavors -- a song about the terrorism charges against activists arrested in Chicago during last weekend's NATO protests, and an essay (with pictures!) ruminating over his spring tour of Europe, and a bit on Chicago at the end.
The song (MP3 to stream or download): "Meanwhile in Afghanistan"
The essay: "My Spring Vacation in Europe"
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from Sparticus Education :
Date: 21 June 2012
Subject: Hunting down the scapegoat and when you catch him, finding another . . . .
The Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) was originally established in 1937 under the chairmanship of Martin Dies. The main objective of the HUAC was the investigation of un-American and subversive activities. Soon after his appointment Dies received a telegram from the Ku Klux Klan: "Every true American, and that includes every Klansman, is behind you and your committee in its effort to turn the country back to the honest, freedom-loving, God-fearing American to whom it belongs."
from Mark Crispin Miller:
Date: 23 June 2012
Subject: The Hypertrophic Growth of New York University, or short-term investments on guaranteed death plans.
BY AN N.Y.U. FACULTY MEMBER | I must echo the words of one of my faculty colleagues at New York University, spoken in response to the City Planning Commission’s disappointing but hardly unexpected 12-to-1 vote in favor of the university’s 2031 expansion plan on June 6: “A sad day for our university… for recruitment and retention of our colleagues, for our educational mission, for our students’ financial futures. And what a sad day for Greenwich Village.”
How this faculty member wishes that things at the university that I so love were otherwise — and how I wish that I did not have to write this anonymously, for fear of reprisals from my employer (and landlord).
This is a sad state of affairs indeed and should tell the public something about the erosion of morale, to say nothing of faculty governance and trust, at N.Y.U. under the Sexton administration, extending from the faculty to low- and mid-level administrators to alarmed alumni and, most worrying of all, to our rapidly growing yet increasingly indebted student body.
As of this spring, 34 N.Y.U. departments, divisions and schools and counting have voted in support of individual resolutions staunchly opposing N.Y.U. 2031, in its massive size, density and cost. The departments expressing their lack of confidence in the expansion range from Economics (which includes no fewer than three Nobel Prize winners), Politics, History, Art History, English, Comparative Literature, Classics, French Studies and Music, to Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology, Linguistics, Chemistry and Mathematics.
Entire schools and centers voting against the plan include the Stern Business School (by an overwhelming count of 52 to 3, which should say something about the financial feasibility of the 2.1 million-square-foot, $4 billion-dollar-plus project), the Gallatin School of Individualized Study, the Silver School of Social Work and the Center for Neural Science.
The majority of departmental votes have been unanimous. Meanwhile, a Faculty Senate Council survey this spring determined that 85 percent of voting faculty in N.Y.U.’s oldest school, the College of Arts and Science, were opposed to the plan in its current form. By any measure, this department-by-department expression of faculty opposition to N.Y.U. 2031 is extraordinary.
Nor can one underestimate what a risk faculty are taking, especially those who are untenured, to officially register their disapproval.
While unprecedented, it is not altogether difficult to explain the growing swell of faculty voices, as best expressed by the formation of N.Y.U. FASP (N.Y.U. Faculty Against the Sexton Plan), an organization numbering more than 415 members. The stakes simply cannot be higher, both for the well-being of N.Y.U. and that of the neighborhood within which it has long made its home.
While the wording of every faculty department and center’s resolution is different, the spirit behind each is primarily the same: We, the N.Y.U. faculty, believe that the current administration is endangering the intellectual and fiscal health of the university, in light of the plan’s aggressive scale, largely unjustified academic rationale and lack of any financial transparency behind the expansion.
Invariably, the cost will be shouldered, in large part, by our students — who already constitute the sixth-most-indebted student body in the nation — in the form of ever-climbing tuition costs. As so many recent news articles have shown, there is no more punishing kind of debt than student debt.
The most important distinction to draw is that between the faculty’s commitment to N.Y.U. the academic institution and its educational mission versus N.Y.U. the corporate brand and real estate giant. While many of my colleagues and I feel great devotion for the former, we have nothing but profound concern for the recklessness of the latter, especially in these uncertain economic times.
N.Y.U. 2031, it should be clear, is not the “university’s plan,” unless one believes that the lifeblood of any academic institution is not its students and faculty but its top-level brass. The current development campaign — which seeks to build not only on N.Y.U.’s own property but also to lift longstanding zoning laws with respect to city-owned green strips along Mercer St. — is propelled entirely by the university’s administration and trustees. Never have the faculty been invited to consult, much less collaborate, as active partners in the plan in any real sense.
Virtually the sole source of consistent support for the development plan from any constituency outside the administration comes from the Greenwich Village-Chelsea Chamber of Commerce, which is no doubt elated by the prospect of all sorts of commercial spaces mushrooming around the Washington Square Village courtyard. This courtyard is currently occupied by the green oasis that is the award-winning Sasaki Garden, used and enjoyed not only by the residents of this towers-in-the-park community but the surrounding neighborhood for everything from quiet strolls and lunches to children’s birthday parties.
This very same residential complex and its garden-courtyard, it should be added, recently became eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places by the New York State Historic Preservation Office.
Whether one is an academic or not, any reasonable person who cares about education knows full well that it is not a glut of real estate and taller, bigger dorms that make for a great university. Neither is it the number of flat-screen TV monitors, with flashing images of exotic study-abroad locations in every window. A university is not the sum of its architectural footprints or cash-making global satellite campuses. Higher education is not just another business to be measured in square footage and dollar amounts. A university is not about its buildings; it is about the quality and the commitment of its people.
At the core of the faculty’s concern is the distinction between the necessity for space (and the smart, responsible, creative use of existing space) and the need for a university to insatiably grow to achieve excellence (so as to compete with smaller and leaner, more selective institutions, with more sizeable endowments). Meanwhile, our own greatest asset is our locational endowment — that is to say, a wonderfully vibrant neighborhood that we are about to ruin.
In fact, the defining qualities of a top educational institution are the retention and hiring of superb faculty; a fair but rigorously demanding admissions policy (N.Y.U. currently admits roughly one-third of all applicants, as compared to, say, Columbia’s 10 percent); better faculty-to-student ratios; smaller classes, with more seminars, colloquia and tutorials; and more generous financial aid packages.
Our current development and growth plan, however, is destined to accomplish the opposite: hike tuition even higher than its present rates (by 3.8 percent in 2012-13 alone), squeeze even more undergrads into our already oversubscribed classes and — thanks to the two-decade-long construction zone that will be Washington Square Village and Silver Towers — drive away many of our best colleagues, all the while making the recruitment of new faculty (to replace those who have left) as difficult as possible.
Our students, faculty and alumni demand and deserve better — as does the city of New York, if N.Y.U. continues to envision itself as being in, of and for the Village, as it once was and could be again.
The writer is a “proud but concerned” Villager and N.Y.U. faculty member. His column is run here anonymously because he fears retribution from the administration for speaking out against N.Y.U. 2031.
For more News From Underground, visit http://markcrispinmiller.com
from CREDO Action :
Date: 23 June 2012
Subject: Save the Bees Petition.
Subject: Tell the EPA: Ban the pesticide that's killing bees!
In the next week, the EPA is expected to issue a decision on the pesticide Clothianidin -- which scientists believe is a major factor in the alarming decline in U.S honey bee populations, known as Colony Collapse Disorder.
Since 2006, one third of U.S honey bee populations have been dying off. One third. Every year. That's a terrible rate of species destruction on its own, but it's also a serious threat to our food supply. Honey bees play a crucial role by pollinating 71 of the 100 most common crops, which account for 90% of the world's food supply.
The EPA will be issuing a decision soon. If the agency doesn't act, it won't review Clothianidin again until 2018 -- and by then it could be too late for the bees.
I just signed a petition to the EPA, and I thought you would want to add your name, too.