Sunday, July 31, 2016

Jacobin Magazine's "The ABCs of Socialism" available for free

Jacobin Magazine has made their "The ABCs of Socialism" freely available for download as a PDF.

Zika Cases in Puerto Rico Are Skyrocketing

The following excerpts are taken from the NY Times article "Zika Cases in Puerto Rico Are Skyrocketing"

>> SAN JUAN, P.R. — The Zika epidemic that has spread from Brazil to the rest of Latin America is now raging in Puerto Rico — and the island’s response is in chaos.

The war against the Aedes aegypti mosquito carrying the virus is sputtering out in failure. Infections are skyrocketing: Many residents fail to protect themselves against bites because they believe the threat is exaggerated.

Federal and local health officials are feuding, and the governor’s special adviser on Zika has quit in disgust.

[...] Just four cases of infection were confirmed last week in Florida. But in Puerto Rico, officials believe thousands of residents — including up to 50 pregnant women — are infected each day.

[...] Obstetricians ... are quietly urging their infected pregnant patients to have regular ultrasounds and to consider abortion if brain damage turns up.

And damage is turning up.

In an office at the University of Puerto Rico Hospital, the gentle curves of the graph on Dr. Alberto De la Vega’s computer screen trace a horror story. They are the head circumferences of dozens of fetuses whose mothers have been infected with the Zika virus for at least a month ...

[...] “What worries me is not 100 kids with microcephaly,” said Dr. De la Vega, chief of ultrasound diagnosis at the university. “What worries me is a lot of kids affected in some way we cannot determine yet.”
“We may be facing a generation with learning and behavioral disabilities,” he said.

On the scan of a patient who had fled his office fighting back tears, he pointed out three large white spots — clumps of dead cells.

[...] Cases of Zika infection are expected to keep rising through October, and by year’s end, a quarter of the island’s population of 3.5 million will have been exposed...

[...] So, as a last resort, the C.D.C. on July 6 endorsed aerial spraying to eliminate mosquitoes with an insecticide called naled.

[...] Puerto Rico rebelled. Protest marches drew hundreds wearing gas masks and carrying bee puppets. Top radio personalities, already angry over Congress imposing a control board to run the territory’s finances, accused federal officials of “colonialism” and reminded listeners that the military tested Agent Orange on Puerto Rico’s jungles before deploying it in Vietnam.

Medical groups joined the opposition, including the largest, the Puerto Rican College of Physicians and Surgeons ...

[...] On July 21, a local TV station revealed that the C.D.C. had quietly imported naled. The next day, Gov. Alejandro GarcĂ­a Padilla accused the agency of “blackmail” and emphatically killed the idea. The agency apologized, saying it was only trying to be prepared. But it was too late. [...] <<


Israel and U.S. are close to a deal on the biggest military aid package ever

The following excerpts are taken from the Washington Post article "Israel and U.S. are close to a deal on the biggest military aid package ever"

>> A senior Israeli official will arrive in Washington next week for a final round of negotiations involving the largest military aid package the United States has ever given any country and that will last more than a decade after President Obama leaves office.

[...] The Obama administration has said it is prepared to sign a 10-year “memorandum of understanding” that significantly raises the $3.1 billion a year the United States currently grants Israel under an existing agreement that expires in 2018. In addition, Congress has provided additional money for missile defense.

[...] David Makovsky, an analyst at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, said that Israelis are conscious that support for Israel is slipping in some liberal quarters and that a 10-year deal with a liberal president would make it “bulletproof.” [...] <<


Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Down With the U.S. Sponsored Neo-Nazi Coup in Kiev! (Liberation News)

The following is a re-print of a Mar. 5th Liberation News article by Steven Argue originally published at Boston Indymedia:

Photo: Rostislav Vasilko, First Secretary of the Regional Committee of the Communist Party of Ukraine, being beaten. He described from his hospital bed being kidnapped and tortured by neo-Nazis for 12 hours in Mariinsky Park. The fascists stuck needles under his fingernails, beat him severely, bruised him very badly, broke three ribs, and gave him a second degree concussion with a broken skull. They also threatened to kill his wife and children and send his mother to prison. Where were the security forces in a park for twelve hours? Simple, they offer no protection because in Ukraine it is the fascist thugs who run things now.
Down With the U.S. Sponsored Neo-Nazi Coup in Kiev!

For the Rights of Russians and all Other Oppressed Nationalities in Ukraine!

US & EU Imperialist Hands Off Crimea, Ukraine, Belarus, & Russia!

By Steven Argue

On February 22, 2014, a far right movement overthrew the elected government of Ukraine and seized power in Kiev. They did this with major U.S. and European Union sponsorship. Since taking power that movement has abolished the language rights of Hungarian, Romanian, Tatar, and Russian speaking minorities, banned political parties, announced their intention to ban abortion, given neo-Nazis important positions in the new government, and announced their intention to carry out extreme austerity as demanded by the IMF as a condition for membership in the European Union.

In response, the oppressed Russian speaking minority of Crimea have risen up, forming self-defense militias and seized their local government. Many Ukrainian troops have switched sides, turned their weapons over, and pledged their loyalty to the Crimean government as opposed to the U.S. backed coup government in Kiev. Russian President Vladimir Putin estimates the number of Ukrainian troops who have turned over their weapons at 22,000. In other cases, Ukrainian troops are confined to their bases where they are surrounded by armed soldiers.

Saturday, March 01, 2014

The following is shared via Richard Chen with the International Bolshevik Tendency:

"On February 25th, 2014, a United Front rally was held in front of the Korean Consulate in San Francisco in defense of the Korean Rail Workers Union (KRWU).

This is the third demonstration in the last four months. At the last rally (January 17, 2014), the Korean Consulate, working with the US State Department, attempted to disrupt the rally by organizing right-wing Koreans in a counterdemonstration. The right wingers also attempted to disrupt this rally, but this time they were outnumbered and drowned out by union supporters and a contingent of drummers and youth from the Korean and Asian/Pacific Islander communities.