How Much is $100 Million in Budget Cuts?
Also, if you've got another minute, take the time to watch another video by the same guy - this time visualizing the cost of Health Care Reform.
Promoting liberty in New Zealand and beyond
|The 1st Edition of Wasla - The Link Featuring Mohamed Mustafa ElBaradei on the Cover|
The Western nations that think ElBaradei will be a leader they can trust had better hope that ElBaradei can deal with the Islamists in his own backyard better than the ones in Tehran. He seems more like a convenient beard for the Muslim Brotherhood at this point than a charismatic revolutionary leader for democracy and personal liberty. Obama and the EU don’t have many choices here — in fact, they have none at all, really — but ElBaradei is a long shot at best to survive as leader of a free Egypt.
Update (AP): Sounds like the Muslim Brotherhood has decided on its cat’s paw.
The Muslim Brotherhood on Sunday threw its support behind Egyptian opposition figure Mohamed ElBaradei to hold proposed negotiations with the government in order to form a unity government.
Speaking to Al-Jazeera, Muslim Brotherhood official Essam el-Eryan said that “political groups support ElBaradei to negotiation with the regime.”
“This is total bogus that the Muslim Brotherhood are religiously conservative,” he said. “They are no way extremists. They are no way using violence. They are not a majority of the Egyptian people. They will not be more than maybe 20 percent of the Egyptian people.
“You have to include them like, you know, new evangelical, you know, groups in the U.S., like the orthodox Jews in Jerusalem,” ElBaradei said.
He said the Islamists were “not at all” behind the uprising.
|The hidden hand that rocks the Casbah, could rule the Middle East and beyond...|
Socialist Party of Malaysia solidarity statement with the People's Uprising in Egypt, Tunisia and the Middle East
January 29, 2011 -- The Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) would like to express its solidarity with the revolutionary masses in Egypt, as well as in Tunisia and other countries in North Africa and the Middle East, for their courageous struggle against repressive regimes which are mostly backed by US-led imperialist powers.
The flame of anger and people's power is spreading in North Africa and the Middle East, and this has made the ruling regimes in the region tremble in front of the rising of massive revolutionary waves. The Tunisian revolution which sparked off in December 2010 has put an end to the 23-year rule of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, who came to power through a coup d'état...
Besides Tunisia and Egypt, there are also massive waves of protest sweeping across Algeria, Yemen, Jordan and other parts of the Arab world. These people's struggles deserve our solidarity...
All repressive regimes and those who collude with imperialist powers must go. The people of Tunisia and Egypt have shown the way and more nations will follow their footsteps. Like the past revolutions which have brought dramatic change to the world and the ongoing revolutionary struggles in Latin America, the people's revolution in Tunisia and Egypt will continue to inspire people around the world to revive their fighting tradition and stand up against powerful ruling elites who collude with imperialist powers, and to build a better world from below.
Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM, Party of the Labouring Masses), Philippines
January 29, 2011 -- The progressive movement and peoples of the Philippines stands in solidarity with the Egyptian people and the mass movement in the streets in these critical moments in their struggle for the ouster of the dictatorial Mubarak regime.
We also salute the upsurge of the Tunisian peoples in overthrowing the US-backed dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali on January 14, and how their victory has electrified and inspired the people of Egypt and the Middle East, while dictators shake with fear.
Revolutionary flames are sweeping across the Arab world. Yesterday Tunisia removed a barbaric dictator. Today is for Egypt. Tomorrow is for Palestine and all those in the Middle East struggling against dictatorships and exploitation and oppression.
Long live the revival of genuine peoples popular power in the Middle East!
Long live the revolution in the Middle East!
Statement by the Socialist Alliance, Australia
January 29, 2011 -- The Socialist Alliance applauds the courage and tenacity of the Tunisian people, whose protests for democracy and economic and social justice, now in their second month, have ended the 23-year rule of dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.
The Tunisian revolution has inspired ordinary people across the Arab world and protests have broken out in Algeria, Jordan, Yemen and, most dramatically, against the United States-backed dictatorship in Egypt.
The Egyptian and Tunisian uprisings are not just against Western-backed dictators. They are against an unjust global economic system based on the plunder of the human and natural resources of poor countries by Western corporations. The policies of multinational institutions like the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, faithfully implemented by Ben Ali and Hosni Mubarak, create poverty, unemployment and lack of opportunity for ordinary people.
The Socialist Alliance calls for:
- No Western interference in Tunisia. The Tunisian people have shown that it is they, and not the Western empires, who know what democracy means.
- The West to stop propping up the Mubarak dictatorship in Egypt, the second-largest recipient of US military aid in world (after Israel).
- An end to the ongoing Western military occupation of Iraq, and other Western military interference in the Arab world and the neighbouring region, including the occupation of Afghanistan and covert operations in Yemen and Somalia.
January 20, 2011 -- The Labour Party Pakistan expresses its solidarity with the masses for their daring struggle against authoritarian regimes in Middle East, particularly in Egypt, which are mostly backed by US-led imperialist powers. We stand in solidarity with the Egyptian people and the mass movement in the streets in these critical moments in their struggle for the ouster of the domineering Mubarak regime...
Besides Tunisia and Egypt, there are also massive waves of protest sweeping across Algeria, Yemen, Jordan and other parts of the Arab world. These people's struggles deserve our solidarity...
By Socialist Aotearoa (New Zealand)The people of Tunisia and Egypt have shown the way and we believe that more nations will follow their footsteps. Like the past revolutions which have brought dramatic change to the world and the ongoing revolutionary struggles in Latin America, the people's revolution in Tunisia and Egypt will continue to inspire people around the world to revive their fighting tradition and stand up against powerful ruling elites who collude with imperialist powers, and to build a better world from below.
We call on the masses of Pakistan to follow their brothers and sisters of Tunisia and Egypt. We call on the masses of Pakistan to overthrow the present pro-US imperialist capitalist feudal system and to elect a constituent assembly to do away from pro-IMF policies, to separate the state from religion, to dismantle feudalism, end of privatisation and a process of re-nationalisation, to grant right of self-determination to the nations, equal rights to the minorities, an end of all discriminatory laws against women and minorities and to demand an end of imperialist occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan.
January 28, 2011 -- A revolution is unfolding in Egypt and across the world: from Tunisia to Athens, London to Amman people are demanding political freedom and economic justice. The current system of US imperialism, neo-liberal capitalism and constant social crisis is incapable of meeting the peoples demands and as revolt spreads we witness the system come crashing down.
Yet the ruling class will fight furiously to maintain their wealth and power. Armies of secret policemen will attack demonstrators on the streets, global corporations like Vodafone will cut cellphone and internet access to prevent news spreading, diplomats and politicians will urge protesters to be non-violent and listen to their rulers, even after decades of violence and deaf ears by rulers like Mubarak and Ben Ali. If the US thinks that Israel is threatened if the regime in Cairo falls then they might even intervene with force to suppress the Egyptian uprising...Yep -"democracy" is coming to the Middle East folks.
In the face of the brutality of the Egyptian military and the callousness of the US imperialists, we need to urgently organise worldwide protests to show our solidarity with the Egyptian people and to demand that the US end its military support to its puppet dictators and regimes in North Africa and the Middle East. In workplaces, schools, universities, churches and mosques we should spread information about an uprising where Christians told Muslims that they would defend them from the police and where university professors and slum dwellers stand shoulder to shoulder against the regime. As tanks and tear gas fill the streets of Cairo, people across the world must stand in solidarity with the Egyptian people.
The Cairo Conference against U.S. hegemony and war on Iraq and in solidarity with Palestine generally known simply as Cairo Anti-war Conference, is an anti-war and anti-neo-liberalism conference held regularly since 2002 in Cairo, Egypt.The ICAAI co-ordinated the February 15th global day of action against the Iraq war which became the largest day of demonstrations in history involving up to 25 million people in 150 countries.
The Cairo Conference set up the International Campaign Against Aggression on Iraq,
Held on the 17th-19th December, 2002, 400 attended, at the Conrad Hotel on the banks of the Nile...
One out come of the conference was the production of the 'Cairo Declaration', which took a stance against the then looming Iraq war...
The UK Stop the War Coalition, in particular John Rees of the SWP, initiated the signing of the declaration by European lefties, including: Jeremy Corbyn MP, George Galloway MP, Tony Benn, Susan George (Left-wing activist based in France), Bob Crow, Mick Rix (general secretary, train drivers' Aslef union), Julie Christie, George Monbiot, Harold Pinter, Dr Siddiqui (leader, Muslim Parliament of Great Britain), Tommy Sheridan, Dr Ghada Karmi (research fellow, Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter), Tariq Ali.Note presence of George Galloway and well known British Trotskyists, Tommy Sheridan and Tariq Ali.
The conference was followed by a 1,000-strong anti-war demonstration that was surrounded by riot police and armoured cars.
Held 13th and 14th December, 2003, at the Egyptian Journalists' Union headquarters. This had 800 attendees. Conference final declaration available here. Anti-war MP George Galloway, Tony Benn, Salma Yaqoob, and former US attorney-general Ramsey Clark were among the international speakers. Prominent Egyptian campaigners taking part included Nasserist MP Hamdeen Sabahy, Galal Aref, head of the Egyptian Journalists' Union, and Ma'mun al-Hodeiby, leader of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood. Egyptian novelist Sonallah Ibrahim and human rights activist Aida Seif-al-Dawla were among the conference organisers.Note that the Muslim Brotherhood has long been regarded as strongly Marxist in orientation.
The presence of Muslim Brotherhood leader Ma'mun al-Hodeiby brought a large number of Islamist activists into the conference. The Muslim Brotherhood, although officially banned, is by far Egypt's largest opposition organisation. However, some delegates were critical of the Muslim Brotherhood's cooperation with the government in a series of stage-managed anti-war rallies held before the invasion of Iraq.
24-27 March 2005. Political groups, independent activists, and organisations in Egypt were invited to take part in the conference and also to propose their own activities to take place at the same time as the conference.Fourth Conference
Egyptian organisations supported the third conference....20th of March Movement for Change, Egyptian Communist Party, Karama Party, Muslim Brotherhood, Organization of Revolutionary Socialists, Socialist People's Party, Wasat Party.
The fourth conference, under the rubric "International Campaign against US and Zionist Occupation", was held 23-26 March, 2006, on a platform expressed through the slogans "With the Resistance in Palestine and Iraq" and "Against Globalization, Imperialism and Zionism".The Fifth Conference was held between March 29 and April 1 2007.
The conference discussed means of supporting the resistance in Palestine and Iraq, challenged U.S. and Israeli plans to expand their aggression against the region to Syria and/or Iran as well as their plans to liquidate Palestinian and Lebanese resistance organisations, dealt with the issue of supporting the struggle of the peoples of the Arab world for democracy against regimes of the region who collude with aggressors, and called for expanding and developing social struggles against globalisation policies in the Arab region.
They said they would be there, and they were. The 25 January was declared a “Day of Anger” by democratic and socialist forces a week beforehand...Egypt will not be the end of this. Look for increased violence and unrest not just trough the Arab world, but also in Greece, Spain and in France.
For years the resistance to Mubarak’s regime has been on the rise: a democratic movement feeding from the solidarity with the Palestinian Intifada, the protests against the occupation of Iraq, against the attack on Gaza, protests against fraudulent presidential and parliamentary elections; the second part of the 2000s saw a massive wave of strikes that demanded, and often won, economic demands and always called for the ousting of Mubarak. Step by step, workers and the political opposition have been increasing in confidence...
Against the background of the developments in the democratic and workers movement in Egypt in the past years, the Tunisian revolution can be seen as the raising of the curtain on seismic events in the region. The Egyptian protesters are starting off from where the Tunisian revolution left...
Demonstrators in their thousands gathered and marched in all major cities with one goal: ousting Mubarak’s regime. Their slogans included: “Revolution until Victory”, “Revolution in Tunis, Revolution in Egypt”, “Oh Mubarak, Bin Ali is waiting for you in Jeddah.”
The prospect of radical change in the region has never been so close. It might not happen today, but this is definitely the beginning of the end...
In London, demonstrations are being held every day in front of the Egyptian embassy demanding regime change and supporting the protestors in Egypt. Echoing the slogans from the streets of Egypt the protestors outside the Egyptian embassy in London have been chanting: “The people want to bring the regime down”, “Bread, Freedom and Social Justice.” Last night, in front of the embassy, and to the tune of the national anthem, protestors chanted “My homeland, my homeland, You need a revolution, Oh my homeland.”
“I am honored to be selected as the next chairman of PeacePAC. I look forward to working with the experts on the committee’s Board of Directors to endorse and help elect strong, progressive candidates in the 2010 elections.”David Bonior, formerly number 2 Democrat in the U.S Congress, had most recently been working as a member of the Obama Economic Transition Team to reunify America's two rival labor federations, the AFL-CIO and Change to Win.
|Hager (right) with W.C.L. member Ron Smith, circa 1983|
Labels: New Zealand
"The society that puts equality before freedom will end up with neither. The society that puts freedom before equality, will end up with a good measure of both..."From The Blaze
Newly empowered Republican lawmakers are taking their first shots at the United Nations, depicting it as bloated and ineffective as they seek to cut U.S. funding for the world body.Let's hope this is only the first step in completely de-funding this boil on the bum of humanity.
On Tuesday, a House of Representatives panel aired criticisms of the U.N. at a briefing expected to prescribe congressional action.
Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs committee, is seeking cuts and has introduced a bill intended to pressure the United Nations to change the way it operates and to make dues voluntary. She also is promising investigations into possible corruption and mismanagement.
"The dynamics of the modern world under capitalism tend toward the growth of large corporations with semimonopoly positions. That’s my basis for supporting a big government, is to control big corporations."Jerome Grossman, grew up in a "liberal" household, reading The Nation and watching his father supporting supporting several Massachusetts leftist politicians.
By this time he had left the business. When I was twenty-four he gave me the keys, and says, “You run it.” So that’s what he did. So he was known as a capable, effective, well-respected political person. I’m known as the Massachusetts liberal. Not radical––liberal. Although a lot of people think I’m radical––I’m more radical than they think. But my activities have been along those lines.Grossman began his own political activism in the 1950s, working through the "peace movement" of the time, but became dissatisfied with lack of progress.
This in the middle 1950’s. And, of course, everybody was still terrified of McCarthyism, unwilling to do anything that appeared to recognize the existence of the Soviet Union and that they had a right to exist. It was interpreted as being against the Cold War. I was against the Cold War and I wanted it resolved. The reason why I wanted it resolved is so that nuclear weapons ought not to be used. So I became involved in National Committee For A Sane Nuclear Policy and various other organizations that were founded virtually every other year in response to various pressures.
Of course what we were working on then was the nuclear test ban. We're still working on the nuclear test ban to try to complete it. But I was the one who became quite dissatisfied with the fact that we were essentially talking to each other in church basements and academic meetings, middle class, upper class, highly educated people. We weren’t reaching the public.Founded in 1957, the National Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy, became known as SANE and later Peace Action. The organization has been guided by communists and socialists throughout its history. In the early days Communist Party supporters like Abe Bloom and General Hugh B. Hester served alongside Socialist Party types such as James Farmer, Victor Reuther and Norman Thomas.
In the process we built a town-by-town organization all over the state, a structure that remains in place today. A clear result has been the election over recent decades of so many progressive voices to the state's first-rate Congressional delegation, including Michael Harrington, Father Robert Drinan, Gerry Studds, Jim McGovern, Barney Frank, Ed Markey, John Tierney, Michael Capuano and John Kerry.Grossman played a major role in recruiting "peace candidate" Eugene McCarthy in the 1968 presidential campaign.
The Hughes campaign built the strongest statewide peace movement in the country, a movement that changed the face and reputation of Massachusetts politics.
My worry about the Vietnam War was that it could result in a nuclear war between the United States and the Soviet Union or the United States and China. That was my main motivation. We were working in various ways. Then the presidential election of 1968 was looming. I worked with Allard Lowenstein and Curtis Gans to try to find a candidate who would run against Lyndon Johnson for the Democratic nomination on the issue of the Vietnam War. We went to George McGovern and he turned us down. He was Senator then. We went to Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas who was the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and had had very good hearings. He turned us down. We went to Bobby Kennedy and he turned us down. We had nobody.
Then one day in August, 1967––I’ll never forget it–– I got a telephone call out of the blue from this obscure Senator from Minnesota, Eugene J. McCarthy, wanting to talk to me about his running for President. What do you think he said? He asked me all kinds of questions. I said, “You know, I’m thrilled that you called,” I said, “but we have to talk about this.” He says, “Can you come down to Washington tomorrow?” So I went down there the next day. I took with me people from the Mass Pax organization, the fellow who had been the organizer of the grassroots, Chester Hartman, he came with me; Marty Peretz and his wife, Ann Peretz , I took them down because they were the money people...
Well, everybody went crazy. It was a focus, right? And we worked very hard in the campaign. As you know, the prime issue was the Vietnam War. We propelled Bobby Kennedy into the race. Then, of course, Nixon was elected...
We decided that we wanted to elect a member of the House of Representatives who was against the Vietnam War... So we furthered our activities against the Vietnam War by using the most Democratic tactics, by bringing in all of the two thousand anti-Vietnam War activists in the fourth Congressional district; bringing them all into a school for an all-day session and selecting a candidate from people who ran.
I was a candidate, and I was the likely candidate, until I found a Jesuit priest, Father Robert F. Drinan, the Dean of the Boston College Law School... Okay. So when I heard that Drinan, a well known priest, the Dean of the Boston College Law School, might be interested in running, I called him up immediately and said, “I’m dropping my candidacy; I will work for you.” So we nominated him at the caucus, and we elected him. And electing him was part of the process.
While this was going on I got a telephone call from somebody I had never heard of... This fellow calls me up and he says, “You don't know me, but I have a brother who is a natural politician, and he’s over in Vietnam now. He’s coming back. And he wants to run in the caucus that you are organizing.” And I said, “I already have a candidate.” He says, “Yes, but my brother is special.” I said, “Who’s your brother?” He says, “John Kerry.” This was Cameron Kerry who at the time was a junior at Harvard College. He interested me so I said, “Get over here.” He hopped a bus and he came over in his sweater and everything. And we talked. John Kerry did run in that caucus and did very, very well in the caucus. I was hard pressed to beat him. But John Kerry, after he lost, he stood up and he said, “I’m going to respect the wishes of the caucus. I’m not going to run in the primary. I will dedicate the rest of the campaign to working for Father Drinan.” And that’s why I have been a supporter of John Kerry every since.
Son of CPPAX founder Jerome Grossman (one of DSA’s first Debs-Thomas honorees), Steve Grossman has strong labor backing and says he will use this office to leverage progressive issues.Jerome Grossman is also listed on the advisory board of the Democratic Socialists of America-affiliated National Jobs For All Coalition, alongside identified D.S.A. members Elaine Bernard, Noreen Connell, Staughton Lynd, Manning Marable, Lawrence Mishel, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, Juliet Schor, Ruth Sidel, Victor Sidel, Theda Skocpol, Joseph B. Uehlein, Cornel West (Barack Obama's Black Advisory Council 2008), and William Julius Wilson (a panelist with Obama at a D.S.A. sponsored forum in Chicago in 1996).
|Mark Rudd, 1968|
Obama is a very strategic thinker. He knew precisely what it would take to get elected and didn't blow it. He used community organizing methods to mobilize a base consisting of many people who had never voted before or who regularly don't vote....But he also knew that what he said had to basically play to the center to not be run over by the press, the Republicans, scare centrist and cross-over voters away. He made it.
So he has a narrow mandate for change, without any direction specified. What he's doing now is moving on the most popular issues -- the environment, health care, and the economy. He'll be progressive on the environment because that has broad popular support; health care will be extended to children, then made universal, but the medical, pharmaceutical, and insurance corporations will stay in place, perhaps yielding some power; the economic agenda will stress stimulation from the bottom sometimes and handouts to the top at other times. It will be pragmatic...
And I agree with this strategy. Anything else will court sure defeat. Move on the stuff you can to a small but significant extent, gain support and confidence. Leave the military alone because they're way too powerful. For now, until enough momentum is raised. By the second or third year of this recession, when stimulus is needed at the bottom, people may begin to discuss cutting the military budget if security is being increased through diplomacy and application of nascent international law.
Obama plays basketball. I'm not much of an athlete, barely know the game, but one thing I do know is that you have to be able to look like you're doing one thing but do another. That's why all these conservative appointments are important: the strategy is feint to the right, move left. Any other strategy invites sure defeat. It would be stupid to do otherwise in this environment...
Read Obama's first book, "Dreams from My Father." The second section is the story of his three years doing community organizing in Chicago. It's some of the best writing on organizing I've ever seen. That's all it's about, the core of the book. Obama learned many lessons of strategy and patience...
This is no stupid guy... Had any of the stupid Republicans read his books, they never could have said, "We don't know who this guy is." You know every thought he's ever had.Rudd, an unrepentant Marxist to this day, works closely with at three people who have been close to Obama in the recent past - Bill Ayers, Bernardine Dohrn and Carl Davidson.
|Obama and Gaspard, 2010|
Gaspard's move also signals the almost complete acceptance of hard-left and labor union influence in the upper reaches of the Democratic Party. In embracing Gaspard, the D.N.C. has surrendered its "commanding heights" to the Party's almost completely dominant far left.Patrick Gaspard is a great person. He is a key Assistant to President Obama, having served as the Political Director of the White House for the last two years and before that as Political Director to President Obama's campaign. He understands the importance of grassroots politics and team building. He is someone with whom I have worked closely and I look forward to working with him even more closely at the DNC.
Veterans of the left will remember that the 1968 Peace and Freedom Party and the 1980 Citizens Party arose at moments of greater left-wing strength and did not significantly alter the national electoral landscape. Nor has, unfortunately, the New Party, which many DSAers work with in states where “fusion” of third party and major party votes is possible (such as the DSA co-sponsored Working Families Party in N.Y. State).The DSA youth wing's 2004 "Life After Bush" Conference included;
A series of well-attended workshops detailed the nuts-and-bolts of electoral activism, lead by veteran campaigners from trade unions and the NY DSA-affiliated fusion Working Families Party.Speakers at Life after Bush included;