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ctsnowman

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Member since: Wed Jan 5, 2011, 09:33 PM
Number of posts: 1,633

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The Christmas truce

In the fresh light of dawn one hundred years ago today, German and Allied soldiers were dug into their opposing trenches on the Western Front in Belgium and France when they defied their superiors to declare a truce.

In dropping their weapons, they frightened the world’s war makers, providing a glimpse of the power that people without rank and privilege have to determine their own destinies.

It was only the fifth month of what was then known simply as the Great War. Both sides longed for home. The men felt death looming in the trenches where they watched their friends die. The soldiers wielded monstrous weapons: flamethrowers, chlorine and mustard gas, machine guns that could shoot 500 rounds a minute. More than one million lay dead already.

https://www.jacobinmag.com/2014/12/the-christmas-truce/

Global Capitalism: November 2014 Monthly Update

Failing to Deliver: Manufacturing Wages Aren't What They Used to Be

Though nine out of ten Americans perceive blue-collar jobs as "good jobs" and policymakers tout the benefits of expanding the country's manufacturing base, the truth is that factory wages now rank in the bottom half of those for all jobs in the U.S., according to a new study from the National Employment Law Project (NELP).

The report, Manufacturing Low Pay: Declining Wages in the Jobs That Built America’s Middle Class (pdf), reveals that while the manufacturing sector has experienced a rebound in recent years, in fact "the quality of too many of the returning jobs is low and fails to live up to workers’ and the overall public’s expectations."

"Manufacturing jobs are... highly sought after by our federal and state policymakers," write co-authors Catherine Ruckelshaus and Sarah Leberstein, "lauded as 'advanced industries' that generate investments, create a high number of direct and indirect jobs, enhance worker skills, and generate additional economic activity in related industries."

http://www.commondreams.org/news/2014/11/21/failing-deliver-manufacturing-wages-arent-what-they-used-be

Video: Defend the social rights of Detroit workers!

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/11/13/vide-n13.html

Some people may be offended... this is a broadside at the whole system.

First they came for the communists.

And we said nothing because... Stalin.
Then they came for the socialists because... aren't they really just communists?
Then they came for the Liberals because... aren't they just socialists?
Then they came for the unions because... aren't they just greedy socialists?
Now they have come for the well paid workers... because they had gotten rid of all of the above.

Republicans, Obama prepare post-election escalation of war, social attacks

In the wake of Tuesday’s electoral drubbing of the Democratic Party, the victorious Republicans and the Obama White House have begun an elaborate and highly orchestrated political charade. Amid talk of compromise and finding “common ground,” what is being organized in Washington is a gang-up of two right-wing, corporate-controlled parties against the working class.

Incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and President Obama made media appearances only an hour apart Wednesday. Each pledged to collaborate with the other.
The American people “have chosen divided government” for the next two years, McConnell said. “We all have the same goal” of creating jobs and improving the living standards of the American people, Obama reciprocated, pledging to “get stuff done” with the Republicans, who will control both houses of Congress.
McConnell warned Obama not to issue an executive order exempting millions of undocumented workers from deportation, calling it “waving a red flag in front of a bull.” At his press conference, Obama reiterated a previous pledge—already postponed multiple times—to take executive action along those lines. But behind the scenes, talks will begin on an immigration measure along the lines demanded by corporate America to guarantee a secure supply of low-wage, brutally exploited labor.

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/11/06/elec-n06.html

Another Wonder Drug Isn’t So Great Once It Goes Off Patent

Did you or your children use the blockbuster asthma drug Singulair? World sales of Merck’s drug were about $5 billion a year until 2012 when its patent expired and it was the U.S.’s seventh best-selling drug. But last month, data from an FDA committee were presented that acknowledge “safety concerns” about “neuropsychiatric adverse events, including suicide and suicide attempts” with the drug. Singulair was used by almost 9 million patients, many under 16, in less than two years according to FDA data and four deaths are linked to it. Like Vioxx, Fosamax, Paxil and Ambien, now that the patent has run out on Singulair, its dangers are being acknowledged.

Singulair is one of several “asthma controller” drugs that debuted in the last few years that are supposed to be added on to rescue inhalers and inhaled corticosteroids instead of replacing them. In addition to the cost of adding a third drug to two drugs that are already used, Singulair cost almost $200 a month until it went off patent.

http://dissidentvoice.org/2014/11/another-wonder-drug-isnt-so-great-once-it-goes-off-patent/

The Absurd Illusions of a Shining City on a Hill

The average natural born citizen in any country is continuously indoctrinated into the national culture starting about the time they begin understanding the meaning of words. There’s one country in particular where reality is staring the public in the face, but the truth has been grossly distorted for decades by government, and mass media, bias and propaganda. If the citizens would suddenly see the truth, instead of what they’ve been conditioned to believe, they would find themselves in a strange and bizarre foreign land that’s contrary in many ways to their personal beliefs regarding home. For those who experience this sudden revelation, as soon as the truth is realized, it’s likely to provoke a profound and immediate sense of disbelief. Like emergency room personnel making insensitive jokes, laughter at some point becomes a self-defense mechanism for offsetting continuous parades of the absurd realities and outright horrors. This is all happening while the general population takes great pride in having a capitalist-democracy as their social-economic model for the stated purposes of providing equal rights, freedom, justice for all, and an all-inclusive participation in the political system. While in all truth, the capitalist-democracy in question has been corrupted directly by the legislation in place and the collective society’s inability to keep the system working for its stated and intended purposes.

http://dissidentvoice.org/2014/10/the-absurd-illusions-of-a-shining-city-on-a-hill/

Cuban Assistance Programs Disprove the Myth of American Exceptionalism

In the wake of the Ebola outbreak in Africa, President Barack Obama has misrepresented the response of the Empire he leads as another example of American “exceptionalism.” The fantasy that U.S. leaders have drilled into the public is that the United States is the one indispensable nation, and its people are uniquely exceptional, leading the rest of the world in the battle for justice and peace. Obama blusters about the remarkable leadership the United States in providing in its response to the Ebola crisis. Meanwhile Cuba, as usual, has been at the forefront of containing and treating the disease, doing the work the United States claims to be doing without seeking the credit.

http://dissidentvoice.org/2014/10/cuban-assistance-programs-disprove-the-myth-of-american-exceptionalism/#more-55978

A Dictionary Reference to the War on ISIS

2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force

The gift that just keeps on giving.

Bad Guys

Whoever it is that is currently being bombed and shot at by the U.S. and its “partners.”

Barbarians

Those committing war crimes without the use of cruise missiles and drones.

Chemical Weapons

A particularly heinous and savage munition no white phosphorous and napalm-using nation could ever stand to see deployed.

http://dissidentvoice.org/2014/09/a-dictionary-reference-to-the-war-on-isis/
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