September 2011, Week 4


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Sat, 24 Sep 2011 19:05:22 -0400
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Tidbits & Reader Response

September 24, 2011

Michael Moore on Wall Street

Venezuela Hands Out Free Laptops

CCDSLinks - Carl Davidson

New Arab Democratic Trade Union Forum

Re: Sex Segregation in Schools Detrimental to Equality
    Elinor Bowles

Re: Tidbits -- September 23, 2011: capital punishment
    David Arocho


Michael Moore calls for support of Occupy Wall Street
protest, decries execution of Troy Davis




Venezuela Hands Out Thousands of Free Laptops

By Jim Wyss McClatchy Newspapers September 22, 2011

Maracaibo, Venezuela

As Hender Reverol heads to third grade this year, he
will have Venezuela's newest educational tool tucked
beneath his arm: a government-issued laptop.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has vowed to give
every elementary school student - more than 5 million
of them - a free personal computer. If the government
meets that target, Venezuela would join Uruguay as the
only countries in the world to fully embrace the goals
of the so-called one laptop per child program.

Since inaugurating the initiative in 2009, Venezuela
has issued more than 750,000 of the rugged, blue-and-
white laptops called Canaimas. During the current
school year the government expects to deliver at least
900,000 more machines and plans to deploy 3 million by
2012 - putting it at the vanguard of a worldwide
educational movement.

"The Canaimas will keep coming," Chavez told a group of
cheering students last month. "There will not be a
single child without a Canaima."

Read on:



CCDSLinks, the acclaimed weekly E-Letter of Committees
of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism, is now
one year old and celebrating its success. This
multimedia experiment in combining politics and culture
with attractive layout, graphic and video, is growing
steadily. It offers a wider left and progressive
movement a public face for the news and views of vital
issues as seen by CCDS. If you'd like to take a look at
it, go to http://tinyurl.com/ccdslinks and pick an
issue to view. If you want to subscribe, click the
button in the top left column. Since it contains a good
many links, check your spam filters and `allow it', if
you don't see it arrive regularly every Friday.  It's
also very easy to unsubscribe if you would rather not
keep getting it. But we think you'll get hooked on it!

Carl Davidson

A New Arab Democratic Trade Union Forum:

`For freedom, social justice and dignity'

International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) ITUC
OnLine September 16, 2011

A new Arab Democratic Trade Union Forum: For freedom,
social justice and dignity

Brussels/Amman, 16 September 2011 (ITUC OnLine):
Fifteen Arab trade union organizations from 10
countries founded today in Amman, Jordan, a new Forum
to promote the fundamental values of democratic and
independent trade unionism and to increase regional
union solidarity and unity. The founding union
organizations are from Bahrain (GFTU); Egypt (EFITU);
Iraq (GFIW); Kuwait (KTUF); Libya ( FLWF*); Mauritania
(CLTM, CNTM, UTM); Morocco (CDT, CGTM, UMT); Palestine
(PGFTU); Tunisia (UGTT); and Yemen (GFYWTU).

"The transition process to democracy as well as the
revolutionary struggles, which are still ongoing, need
a better contribution from the Arab trade union
movement.  Our priorities are to achieve genuine
democracy and social justice, to ensure dignity for all
in the Arab world," said Tunisian trade unionist
Abdessalem Jerad, who was elected President of the new

Read on:


Re: Sex Segregation in Schools Detrimental to Equality

From Elinor Bowles

Equality for whom!  Black parents and educators must
look out for black children.  Single sex schools for
black boys are proving to produce positive results.
Because of the vast educational problems in the
African-American community, it is necessary to attempt
various experiments to rectify this crushing reality.
Our children are being isolated and destroyed.  We must
not allow ourselves to be diverted by white middle-
class feminists who are concerned only with their own
agenda.   Historically, they have never demonstrated
any knowledge about or concern with issues other than
their own, which are usually narrow and biased.  The
issue is education and social interaction and
distraction--not a feminist agenda.  The boys
themselves have testified that not having girls present
allows them to focus on educational rather than sexual
issues.  Check out "Too Important to Fail," an
important and moving documentary by Tavis Smiley
demonstrating the relevance of single-sex sex education
for black youth.


From David Arocho

RE: tidbits -- September 23, 2011: capital punishment

The case of Troy Davis spotlights some of the most
glaring inequities in American society, but not in the
most useful ways.  If Troy Davis was innocent, it is no
doubt a grave injustice to put him to death.  In any
system of justice there are bound to be mistakes, and
the argument goes that if even one innocent man can be
convicted, then capital punishment should be abolished.
Having lived in a country where it has been abolished,
namely Argentina, I have seen the other side of this
argument.  There a man can murder his wife in the most
gruesome manner - for example, pouring alcohol on her
and setting her ablaze - and be sentenced to fourteen
years in prison, or less.  Place yourself in the shoes
of a mother or father whose daughter has been murdered
in this way and you may want to reconsider the validity
of that old argument for abolishing the death penalty.
Or consider the most recent case reported in the
Argentine media: a nine-year-old girl who was abducted
from near her home, kept prisoner for a week and
strangled to death, then dumped in a plastic bag near
the place of the original abduction, all in order to
get back at her father who cheated the perpetrators of
drug money.  Cases like these are multiplied a thousand
times over in Argentina and other non-capital
punishment countries.  Your life there is not worth
more than a brief interlude in jail for the criminal.
Indeed, this kind of justice only serves as
justification for people to take things into their own
hands and exact their own justice on the criminal.

The Troy Davis case makes a good argument for clemency
and moderation in the application of the law, something
which is sorely lacking in a climate of extremism and
intolerance as we experience in the U.S. today.  But it
does not justify paeans of praise for abolishing the
death penalty.

Another inequity highlighted by the outpouring of
support for Troy Davis is the absurd veneration for the
individual which justifies worldwide support for
freeing one man while the mass killing of thousands of
civilians in Darfour, Afghanistan and Iraq go almost
unchallenged.  This argument that one man's life is
more worthy of defense than the lives of millions is
incomprehensible to me. 

This Camera Fights Fascism: The Photographs of David
Bacon and Francisco Dominguez

de Saisset Museum at Santa Clara University Santa
Clara, CA July 29 - December 4, 2011 and January 14 -
February 5, 2012 Tuesday - Sunday 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Opening Thursday, September 22nd, 6PM

David Bacon and Francisco Dominguez have both followed
in the tradition of Depression-era photographers such
as Dorothea Lange, focusing their cameras on struggle,
dissent, immigrants, and workers. Their photographs
speak to the global character of contemporary
migration. Like the so-called Okies of the Depression,
many of today's migrants have been displaced by
environmental degradation and wider economic forces.

The title of this exhibition refers to a sign that
1930s folk musician Woody Guthrie often had on his
guitar, "This Machine Kills Fascists." These two
photographers build a powerful body of visual evidence
of the continuing struggle of workers, migrants, and
poor people to survive. In this exhibition the
photographers responded to images by Dorothea Lange and
selected photographs from their own work that draw
close connections between the 1930s and today. David
Bacon is a photojournalist who has documented the
movements of farm workers, social protest from Iraq and
Mexico to the U.S., and the migration of people. He is
the author of several books, and many of the images in
this show are from Communities Without Borders, Images
and Words from the World of Migration.

Francisco Dominguez is a photographer and printmaker.
His parents both were farm workers. He documents the
struggles of indigenous, immigrant, and poor people in
black and white photography.

         - Art Hazelwood, Guest Curator

To view the slide show please go to:


This exhibition is taking place at the museum
simultaneously with

"Hobos to Street People:" "Artists' Responses to
Homelessness from the New Deal to the Present" and

"Between Struggle and Hope:  Envisioning a Democratic
Art in the 1930s"

July 29 - December 4, 2011


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