October 27, 2008 • 7:27 am
Even the U.S. military likes to maintain the pretense that it respects national borders. So yesterday’s U.S. helicopter raid that resulted in the killing of eight Syrian civilians is provoking not only outrage but also serious questions from the international community.
Officially, the U.S. military will only say that it is “investigating” the attack on a small farm five miles from the Syrian side of its border with Iraq. But the Los Angeles Times “covered” the story by pre-emptively explaining and defending the attack, and by citing high level military sources who “did not deny that a raid had taken place . . . [and] used language typically employed after raids conducted by secretive special operations forces.” The L.A. Times correspondent also claims that the details of the attack are “sketchy” leaving us to suppose that information about the accuracy of the report or the identity of its victims is somehow difficult to discover, but the AFP news agency was able to obtain details, including statements by victims of the attack and grabs from Syrian TV showing two of the victims. Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: Endless war on terror
October 26, 2008 • 11:21 pm
Okay, so it’s Monday and you’d like some good news to start off your week. Unfortunately for you – and the rest of the world – there is considerable evidence that the global economic freefall has not yet hit bottom. No good news for you! Next!
But think about this for a moment. We live in an economic system where for reasons that no one even claims to be able to fully understand, vast amounts of wealth that have been produced over several years can be erased in no time at all . . . or to put it more precisely:
MSCI’s all-country world stock index hit a five-year low on Friday. In reaching that level it has wiped out in less than a year about 80 percent of the roughly $20 trillion in value gained in the prolonged recovery following the bottom of the internet-stock debacle.
Filed under: Economic crisis
October 24, 2008 • 8:57 am
I should point out that I am not related to the reporter of this story from the Hartford Courant . . . That said, it’s a very good story about an important fight for tenants’ rights in the face of the current wave of foreclosures and evictions. The question is, however, whether we can win this fight by lawsuits alone.
The Housing Crisis
Hartford Tenant Fights To Stay In Home After Foreclosure
By KENNETH R. GOSSELIN
The Hartford Courant
October 24, 2008
Four days after Evelyn Colon paid the September rent for her Hartford apartment, a U.S. marshal knocked on the door.
He handed her a notice that she had to be out in a month.
Fannie Mae, the huge mortgage financier, had foreclosed on her building and was evicting Colon and two other tenants.
Colon is now fighting her eviction in what her attorneys believe is the first court challenge in the country to use a provision deep within the government’s $700 billion bailout legislation to seek protection for renters facing eviction after foreclosure. She will be able to stay in her apartment while the case is litigated.
If successful, tens of thousands of tenants like Colon who have dutifully paid their rent may get a chance to stay in their apartments even if their landlords’ property has been foreclosed on by federal agencies that help fund mortgages.
The case, filed in Housing Court in Hartford, could bring more attention to the plight of renters in the foreclosure mess, many of whom are being kicked out of their homes because their landlords have defaulted on their mortgages. So far, most of the attention has been on trying to keep homeowners in their homes. Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: Economic crisis, Housing rights
October 24, 2008 • 6:57 am
“As of June 30, Connecticut had 16,560 residential mortgages 90 days past due or in foreclosure.” – Hartford Courant
Filed under: Community organizing, Economic crisis
October 23, 2008 • 4:56 pm
Over the years I have heard my share of complaints about the rhetoric that leftists use in newspapers and flyers. When Workers World produced podcasts from its recent public forum titled “Karl Marx was right: capitalism is rotten and doomed” it did occur to me that some people would think it sounded over the top. Not that I think it’s an untrue statement, but I know that some people bristle when leftists actually use words like “capitalism” or refer to Karl Marx being right about just about anything.
But I feel much better today because I saw some headlines in the mainstream media that were far more jarring than anything I’ve seen in the socialist press.
I count this as the most offensive headline of 2008:
“Nation’s Rich Fielding Brunt of Crisis”
Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: Economic crisis
October 23, 2008 • 12:18 am
When the Hartford Public Library hosted a debate on the right wing’s call for a constitutional convention, the newly-formed Connecticut Civil Rights Defense Coalition was there with a lively picket line outside urging people to vote No. It was there that I heard from one of the supporters of the constitutional convention . . . actually we heard from her several times as she passed our picket.
On one of her passes she hollered out the essence of the real Vote Yes agenda: “You can have same sex marriage if the majority vote for it!” Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: Fighting oppression
October 21, 2008 • 1:08 pm
For the audio podcasts, click below:
Karl Marx was right, capitalism is rotten and doomed, part 1
Steve Millies, Workers World writer, speaking at the Workers World Forum, Oct. 17, 2008, NYC.
Karl Marx was right, capitalism is rotten and doomed, part 2
Larry Hales, national leader of FIST, speaking at the Workers World Forum, Oct. 17, 2008, NYC.
Karl Marx was right, capitalism is rotten and doomed, part 3
Sonny Africa, the lead economist for IBON foundation and leader of International League of Peoples, speaking at the Workers World Forum, Oct. 17, 2008, NYC.
Karl Marx was right, capitalism is rotten and doomed, part 4
Larry Holmes, member of the WWP secretariat, speaking at the Workers World Forum, Oct. 17, 2008, NYC.
For video podcasts of each of these talks, clickhere.
Filed under: Economic crisis, Fighting oppression
October 19, 2008 • 11:30 pm
The right wing, and especially the forces that are opposed to same-sex marriage, are pushing for Connecticut residents to vote in favor of a constitutional convention on November 4. Apparently these forces understand that they cannot hope to mount a successful political opposition to overturn the Connecticut Supreme Court’s decision. Instead, they are resorting to a deceit: the claim that a constitutional convention would result in a more “democratic” state government, one that rejects “special interests” by permitting ballot initiatives — letting voters decide important issues by a simple vote at election time. Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: Fighting oppression
October 18, 2008 • 11:41 am
Many commentators – even in the mainstream media – warned in recent days that the rise in rhetoric at McCain/Palin rallies would create an atmosphere for violence and vigilantism. Even so it is shocking to see the emergence of what can only be described as a fascist element on the political right. This is not the re-appearance of a fringe group trotting out their musty old Klan robes or pimply young thugs with a hard-on for Adolph Hitler. This is a threat that progressive people and all people of good will must see clearly and respond to forcefully.
Certainly the clearest warnings come from the last few days’ attacks on the community group ACORN. They come directly on the heels of Republican Party propaganda – some official and from the top, some generated in local McCain/Palin campaign offices — making bizarre and hysterical claims against the group. And the claims really are bizarre: ACORN is either plotting to engage in massive voting fraud, or it is to blame for the economic crisis because of its organizing work to secure equal access to mortgages for the working poor, or it is involved in a conspiracy to destroy America in which the real ringleader is not Barack Obama (he is cast in at least some of these fantasy stories as a mere pawn) but terrorist mastermind Bill Ayers. Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: Community organizing, Economic crisis, Fighting oppression
October 16, 2008 • 11:24 pm
[For extensive coverage of not only the economic crisis but also the growing fightback against foreclosures, evictions and cutbacks, and for razor sharp analysis, click here.]
Call for Oct. 24-27 actions
National Network fights to bail out people, not banks
By LeiLani Dowell
Published Oct 15, 2008 6:24 PM
A national campaign against foreclosures, evictions and budget cuts is picking up steam. Under the umbrella of the Ad Hoc National Network to Stop Foreclosures and Evictions, community activists, trade unionists, students and youth, and anti-war activists have come together to prevent workers from being thrown from their homes, as well as to build a people’s movement demanding money for people’s needs.
In cities like Detroit and Boston, affiliate groups of the Network have successfully blockaded eviction proceedings. In Los Angeles and Detroit, groups are pushing their legislators to enact a moratorium on home foreclosures and evictions, using laws enacted during the Great Depression to justify their claim.
Most recently, the Network is focused on regional days of action from Oct. 24 through 27. The Network’s Web site (www.stopforeclosuresandevictions.org) describes the sense of urgency: “The stock markets are crashing, the world economy is headed into a deep recession or even depression, and the U.S. government and its top bankers, along with their counterparts around the world, are giving what’s going to amount to trillions of dollars to bail out the richest 1 percent of the people while doing nothing to rescue ordinary working and poor people! We must stand up and say no to this injustice! Now is the time to act.” Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: Economic crisis