June 2012, Week 2


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Mon, 11 Jun 2012 22:07:17 -0400
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Readers' Responses and Announcements - June 11, 2012

* Global Trade Union Forum Has Started in Rio
* Re: Two Contributions: Why Would Workers Vote for Walker?;
  Lessons of the Wisconsin Uprising (Laurel MacDowell)
* Re: Not Afraid to Talk About Race (Sandra Blakely)
* Re: Cyberweapons: Bold steps in a digital darkness? (David
* Re: Woodward & Bernstein: Nixon Was Worse Than We Thought
  (Ed Pearl and Anthony Saidy)
* A Special Relationship of Hate? 50 years of the Anglo-
  American Far-Right" - September 13 & 14 conference in
  Northampton, UK


International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC)

Global Trade Union Forum Has Started in Rio

June 11, 2012

Rio de Janeiro

The 3 day Trade Union Assembly organised jointly by the
ITUC and Sustainlabour started today ahead of the
United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development.
Trade unions have been lobbying  world leaders, who
will meet next week to revitalise commitments around
sustainability, employment, social protection and

During the debates, trade unions will call for specific
commitments for green and decent jobs, social
protection and reform of the financial system. "A new
paradigm for development requires concrete government
actions to bring about the Future Workers Want.
Governments need to come to Rio with real commitments
for change, to fundamentally change the trajectory for
sustainable development" said Sharan Burrow, ITUC
General Secretary.

Trade unions from more than 100 countries are gathering
in Rio with 3 key demands. The first concerns Green and
Decent Jobs. This requires a shift in investments which
will ensure decent jobs are created from
environmentally-friendly investments, and millions more
are transformed into sustainable jobs.

The second demand from trade unions is support for the
Social Protection Floor that addresses the most
vulnerable and would ensure that all workers and their
families are protected against the multiple
environmental and economic crises they face.

Thirdly, trade unions are calling for the launch of a
global financial transactions tax that would provide
funds for development and climate change action, as
well as contribute to reform the financial system that
caused the financial crisis in the first place.

Speakers include, among others, Sharan Burrow, ITUC
General Secretary; Bernadette Segol, ETUC General
Secretary; Achim Steiner, United Nations Executive
Director; Helen Clark, head of the United Nations
Development Program and Michelle Bachelet, Executive
Director of UN Women.

For more information:

The ITUC represents 175 million workers in 153
countries and territories and has 308 national

Website: http://www.ituc-csi.org 


* Re: Two Contributions: Why Would Workers Vote for Walker?;
Lessons of the Wisconsin Uprising

Chad Goldberg's analysis is excellent. What most people do
not understand about the labour movement is that
historically it has been a social justice movement as well
as a vehicle for organized workers to improve their
conditions. It also knows how to organize. Both of these
factors make it important to support labour in politics
especially when it is being so beaten down.

As for the Democratic Party, it is too bad it is so
unfocused. I would have thought that the legacy of the Bush
administration - two wars, a tax system overwhelmingly
favouring the wealthy, and packing the Supreme Court with
conservatives - would have wrung alarm bells among
Democrats. Voters need an alternative to the Republican
Party, which regrettably has become so reactionary. The
Democratic Party should be hardheaded, focused, organized
and able to present that alternative. Romney reminds my of a
rich country club type blatantly running to preserve the
privileges of the 1 percent. He is up against a president
who is much smarter, charismatic, and authentic. That in
itself is a choice. If given a chance, with a good group of
Democrats committed to reversing some of the draconian
measures passed by the Republicans and a few by Clinton,
Obama could get America moving again. But he can't do it
unless the Democratic Party gets behind him, with a coherent
program, a well organized bunch of supporters, lots of money
and a commitment to make things better. And as for the race
card some Republicans have used, are Americans living in the
21 century, when most of the world's people are not white,
getting a little bored with the issue of race? Can we not
all move on and deal with the issues of poverty, health and
environment that affect most of us?

There is so much that could be done, very little time, but
the rest of the world is watching. Those who want a strong,
democratic America want to see a progressive government. It
is up to progressive Americans supporting many causes to
unite in that goal.

Laurel MacDowell


* Re: Not Afraid to Talk About Race

African Americans are tired of explaining racism and White
Americans think that it doesn't exist:  an over-generalized
statement but still on point.  I highly recommend that all
Americans watch "Who Do You Think You Are" and "Slavery By
Another Name", chronicling the pervasive patterns and
behaviors of slavery through the 1950's and genealogy
searches of cultural celebrities.

The shock of Whites finding slaveholders in their lineage is
interesting to see unfold across their faces. No one wants
that stigma brought to light because it is always "somebody
elses" family not yours. Or it is "the culture of that time"
that relieves that guilt.

The one question you NEVER hear is "Why aren't more Blacks
rich if they invented or created so much that contributed to
Americas growth and commerce?" ANSWER:  Because the legal
patterns and behaviors of slavery prevented Blacks access to
trademark and copyright applications and the required
capital to complete the application. So White people with
the means to do so filed, and legally so, under their own
names, many doling out a pittance of money to the inventor
for a one-shot payment with no hint to the royalties that
are due but will be received by the White applicants and
their heirs forever. It's called legalized theft. Not only
was history stolen and distorted, but the wealth that was
earned was hijacked, appropriated, diversified and hidden,
and now rediscovered through the very DNA that defines all
of humanity as African.

The poverty, displacement, disadvantage; anger, distrust and
disgust within the African and African American countries
and communities world wide did not end with slavery and
independence. Freedom opened the door to the other
historical atrocities of legalized theft; theft of natural
resources by doctrine and private contract, by treaty, by
appropriation, by technology and so on. The worst theft,
however, is the DENIAL that it took place then and is still
on the record books to this day. The millions of trust funds
today began somewhere, and who can say that it wasn't from
the whiskey Barons in the Caribbean, or from the gold and
diamond mines in Africa, or in the fabric dye slums in
India. Who is to say? Who is going to check and see if the
blame is in their own back pocket?Let White people talk
amongst themselves about racism and why African Americans
can't just "get over it".

Sandra Blakely


* Re: Cyberweapons: Bold steps in a digital darkness?

Much more threatening than the scenarios envisioned in this
article is the threat to civil liberties implied by the use
of cyber weapons when applied to state police action aimed
at our own citizens.  The FLAME virus launched against Iran
can target the communications of individuals targeted for
surveillance by the governments of the U.S. and Israel.  It
can pick up conversations that take place in the privacy of
an office or home.  It does not take much imagination to
foresee how the national government of any country,
including our own, can use such a weapon to target anyone it
deems threatening to its interests or just suspicious
because she/he belongs to a given race or social grouping.
Yet this has been totally ignore in the press, whose silence
is deafening.  I have no doubt that weapons of this kind
will be, or already are being shared with friendly allies
like Colombia and Honduras to carry on their own campaigns
of suppression and espionage. Of course, these weapons are
much easier and cheaper to duplicate, so Russia and China
will have no qualms about using them against the West as
well as against their own dissidents. 

A crucial element in the success of guerrilla and insurgent
groups in their fight for liberation, from Tito to Fidel
Castro has been the ability to operate in friendly
communities in inhospitable terrain.  Cyber weapons will
give government a significant advantage against such
liberation movements, intercepting their communications and
penetrating their home territories with drones.  That is the
strategy being pursued in Afghanistan and Pakistan today.
As these cyber weapons are further perfected and backed with
satellites and cell phone infrastructure, not only terrorist
movements like al qaeda but liberation movements like those
in Syria and Bahrain will become targets. The U.S. has
already laid down the policies that justify "collateral"
civilian victims, so that will be no deterrent.  It is
important that these implications be investigated, publicly
aired, and measures to contain the damage be articulated.

David Arocho


* Re: Woodward & Bernstein: Nixon Was Worse Than We Thought

Many of you will remember Watergate and its fallout, trials
and Nixon's resignation.  But it's lots more, as there is no
way one can read this June 8th Washington Post column by the
guys who broke it 40 years ago, without weighing it against
what's happening here, right now.  So, it's relevant to all
who get this, as background and where things may be headed.
Click it on and Pass it on, and many thanks to Anthony Saidy
for it.

Ed Pearl


From: Anthony Saidy

Never has a more warped individual occupied the White House
(not counting Kissinger). A marked paranoid, minus the

Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward: Nixon was Worse Than we

Bernstein and Woodward 40 years later.
(By Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward)


* A Special Relationship of Hate? 50 years of the Anglo-
American Far-Right"

An International Conference convening at Park Campus, The
University of Northampton, UK
13-14 September 2012

KEYNOTING: Professor Leonard Weinberg, Dr Martin Durham, and
Leonard Zeskin

Radicalism and New Media Research Group

2012 is the 50th anniversary of the `Cotswold Agreement' and
the corresponding establishment of the World Union of
National Socialists under the leadership of the UK's Colin
Jordan and the USA's George Lincoln Rockwell. Since then,
numerous examples of postwar fascist `internationalism' are
demonstrated by the interrelated development of British and
American far-right ideology, culture, aesthetics and
practices - found to represent, in the words of Leonard
Weinberg, a leading scholar on this neglected subject, a
tightly-knit `cultural and political affinity between right-
wing extremist groups on both sides of the Atlantic,
together with an increasing exchange of ideas, perspectives,
forms of organization' and more. Ranging from music and
dress to shared political agendas and strategies, these
`affinities' will be expansively traced in this two-day
international conference, to be hosted by the University of
Northampton's Radicalism and New Media Research Group (
www.radicalism-new-media.org) on 13 and 14 September 2012.


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