Run, Karen Run….with Chicago’s working class

September 22, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Discrimination, Society & Economy 


The Chicago Teachers Union marched in the 2014 Mexican Independence Day Parade
Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis
at the 2014 Mexican Independence Day parade in Chicago 

When the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) denounced Chicago’s traditional racism and segregation as “education apartheid” and linked school closings to corporate privatization of schools and real estate speculation, it helped provide a clear narrative that I heard over and over again from Chicagoans at rallies, hearings and meetings all over the city.

Apartheid is a harsh word, but it was accurate and on point.

So when CTU  President Karen Lewis came out in support Fight for $15 and expressed strong opposition to cuts in vital city services that hit hardest at Chicago’s poorest neighborhoods, she helped cement her  reputation as a leader of the working class against racism and class exploitation.

Clarity on race and class is essential for her to win a mayoral election in Chicago. Because what is good for the working class is good for the city as a whole. Read more

The USA’s toxic culture of white wealth

September 16, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Discrimination, Society & Economy, U.S. Politics 

“Despite all evidence to the contrary, blaming black culture for racial inequality remains politically dominant. And not only on the Right.”—–Jonah Birch & Paul Heideman

This morning I read the latest attempt to chip away at the “culture of poverty” mythology that has survived all previous attempts to debunk it. Published in the always interesting Jacobin Magazine, the article “The Poverty of Culture” by Jonah Birch & Paul Heideman got me rethinking my own ideas on the subject.

 photo 8240313e-9b7d-4fe7-a4d6-23c161168cae.jpg
Photo Credit: Jacobin 

So here goes a BobboSphere reaction to the Jacobin article: Read more

The corporate attack on public education: A threat to human survival?

September 5, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Society & Economy 

“The question is whether any civilization can wage relentless war on life without destroying itself, and without losing the right to be called civilized.” ― Rachel Carson

About 70,000 years ago humanity appears to have faced its greatest challenge up to that time. According to genetic studies, the human population, never very numerous, may have dropped to as few as 2000 individuals worldwide. Some scientists link this population loss to the explosion of the Toba super volcano which they believe caused dangerous environmental changes. Others do not. But something took place that nearly wiped our species off the face of the earth.

As a species, we are not blessed with an immortality gene.

Today our much larger human population faces another challenge when it comes to survival of our species. Modern capitalism, with its infinite drive for profit on a finite planet is fueling a massive extinction of life. Some are calling it the 6th great extinction, comparing to five earlier mass extinctions caused by catastrophic climate and environmental changes.

Historically, corporate capitalism, and later it’s close relative, state “communism”(exemplified by Stalinist Russia and Maoist China), have been fueled by burning coal and petroleum products which dangerously alter our atmosphere.

 

East Side Chicago residents & allies protest the piles of petcoke being dumped into the community. The dust blows off the uncovered piles & into people's homes & lungs.
Dangerous piles of petroleum coke stored near a working class neighborhood in Chicago
 

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How Israeli policy helped give rise to Islamicism in Palestine

August 6, 2014 by · Comments Off
Filed under: Global Economy & Politics, U.S. Politics 

Hamas was founded in 1987 with some assistance from Israeli intelligence who tolerated its efforts against the secular Fateh movement. How much help it received is unclear as both sides have an interest in keeping that obscure.

Since that time it has used a variety of tactics including attacks on Israeli civilians and attacks on the Israeli military. It has also engaged in pitched battle for control against Fateh, especially after Fateh failed to recognize the Hamas electoral victory in 2007 and launched attacks against it.

Much of its growing popularity in the Occupied Territories comes not only because it resists Israel’s oppression and Fateh corruption, but because of its extensive social welfare projects in health, education and other public services.

 

 End the siege of Gaza now. Free Palestine!
A Chicago march against the Israeli siege of Gaza Read more

Will Israel have its Mandela moment?

August 5, 2014 by · Comments Off
Filed under: Discrimination, Global Economy & Politics, U.S. Politics 

Israel refuses to grant equal status to the Palestinian Arabs no matter if they resist non-violently, violently or not at all— as there have been periods of relative quiescence. This has been Israeli policy since the mass expulsion of 1948. That never changes. That is why many people call Israel an apartheid state.

Israel can do this because they have the backing of Washington who will kill or allow to be killed a seemingly unlimited number of people to keep the oil flowing.

Will Israel have it “Mandela moment” ? Will  its rulers finally realize that its own unique brand of apartheid is no longer sustainable?  South Africa’s came in 1992. But South Africa is not located next to  strategic oil reserves.

End the siege of Gaza now. Free Palestine! Read more

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