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following articles are from the January 1-31, 2018, issue of People's
The so-called "Vancouver Group" Summit on January 16 will
bring together the 14 countries which waged war against Korea in 1950, plus South Korea and Japan
- invited by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and
Canada's Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland,
allegedly to seek "a diplomatic solution to the Korean crisis." The Communist Party of
The North American media has portrayed the Vancouver Group
But the Tillerson-Freeland "good cop-bad
cop" scenario is not a path away from war. Rather, it is a cover for the
ongoing imperialist strategy to bring the people of the DPRK to their knees, by
escalating economic and diplomatic sanctions with the aim of forcing their
government to end to its nuclear programme. Both
approaches are based on the premise that the
We demand: the US must end its provocations, withdraw its massive military forces in South Korea and east Asia, sign a peace agreement, and allow reunification to proceed on the Korean Peninsula according to the right of the Korean people to self-determination and sovereignty free of external threats and provocations. This remains the only road to long-term peace and security.
As the Vancouver Group Summit nears, we call on the labour and democratic movements, and the peace movement in the first place, to say NO to sanctions and war against the DPRK – and YES to peace, peaceful coexistence, mutual security and to global nuclear disarmament, beginning with the arsenals of the United States and NATO.
By Adrien Welsh, Montréal
"Independence and a Convention to arrange details!" Such was the call
of William Lyon McKenzie who, in December 1837, led hundreds of men to take up
arms and initiate the Reformers’ Rebellion, English-Speaking
This meeting was officially aimed to update the programme of the progressive organisation for the upcoming Québec elections next fall. However, the main debate was around the merger of QS with another political party, Option Nationale.
Option Nationale was created by Jean-Martin Aussant, a former trader who made his career – and his money, no doubts about that – in London, before recycling his active life into politics as a Parti Québecois National Assembly member, before resigning because he found it to tepid in the promotion of independence. His newly created party adopted a programme similar to QS on many social aspects, and presented itself as an independentist organisation, stating that ON prioritizes a "regime change" (i.e. independence) over "social transformation".
One could speculate a lot on ON’s real purpose and what actual forces were behind its creation. But its bottom line effect was to split the progressive vote, and contribute to pressure on Québec Solidaire to adopt a more pro-independence stance from the left, which objectively favours the Parti Québécois agenda.
On the national question, Québec Solidaire was also a
sovereigntist party in favour
This position was the fruit of a series of debates in which PCQ’s interventions were decisive. Indeed, when the ancestor of Québec Solidaire, the Union des forces progressistes (UFP) was created, the PCQ’s proposal regarding the new organisation’s position on the national question was that there would be a majority position (in favour of independence) and a minority position not necessarily in favour. Both stances would agree that in any case, independence should be a means to achieve a social programme, rather than a goal in itself. This compromise was eventually adopted, allowing QS to
achieve the unity of the left beyond the national question, a position that one could see as historic in the political landscape of present-day Québec.
From the beginning however, this compromise was constantly attacked. Pressures from a more independentist (and opportunist) fringe of the organisation, to "clarify" the QS position on the outcome of the Constituent Assembly, became more frequent as the party grew, electing three MNAs and hitting 20% in vote intentions.
During the 2016 Congress, a proposal was put on the table to revise the position on the Constituent Assembly, trying to have the delegates accept that its mandate would be closed to any other proposal than independence regarding the national question. The PCQ, along with other voices that included a strong statement by openly independentist and famous trade-unionist Paul Cliche, worked at different levels to convince the membership to maintain the initial position. In the end, delegates rejected the proposal of a closed mandate for the Assembly, reiterating their attachment to the initial goal of the party, unity of the left and progressive forces beyond the national question.
One year later, in May 2017, the leadership of QS tried to force through once again this debate, despite the clear outcome of the previous year’s congress. This time however, the plan was better tailored, presented through the possibility of an anti-austerity/anti-Liberal electoral alliance between the Parti Québécois, Québec Solidaire and Option Nationale. This idea was also rejected by the delegates, but another motion to negotiate the possibility of a merger between Québec Solidaire and Option Nationale was approved.
This proved to be the bombshell that the leadership of QS crafted to sabotage the party’s internal democracy, and bypass the decision of two successive Congresses that clearly reaffirmed the party's founding principles of a Constituent Assembly with an open mandate, and of independence being a tool to achieve social justice, to "move beyond» capitalism". The merger in itself was not the objective, the goal was to change the political line of QS.
Indeed, when the negotiating committee presented its report, it basically asked the membership to adopt a "take it or leave it" proposal. On pretty much all aspects, QS literally capitulated to Option Nationale’s demands – including the one on independence and the necessity to adopt a closed mandate for the Constituent Assembly. To many delegates, who sometimes were not even against the merger in principle, this was comparable to an "omnibus bill". The merger however, was finally approved by over 80% of the delegates.
This new development in Québec Solidaire’s political line is not just a small change, as the leadership tried to present it. It is a significant qualitative change, that will impact not only the politics of the party, but politics in Québec in general. The leadership mobilised tremendous resources to ensure that what was presented as a merger between two “progressive and independentist” forces was adopted by the Congress. Some members were kept away from pre-Congress discussions, and ridings where members were tempted to vote against the merger were visited by famous leaders. As we heard from a young woman’s testimony during the Congress’ sessions, even intimidation was used against strong opponents of the merger.
This marks a fundamental break with the practices of the organisation, but more profoundly, it means that the right-wing has won the battle in Québec Solidaire. These forces are now in a good position to pretend to be a "PQ 2.0", a new version of the Parti Québécois, which it would not oppose on social issues, but on the fact that QS-ON is now the "real" independentist force in Québec, since the actual PQ does not call for independence in the short term.
More importantly, it means that the equation between independence and the left forces, which was a very handy tool for the bourgeoisie, will not be challenged anymore. This idea that progressive people have to first fight for independence and support the PQ in all circumstances led to disaster for Québec’s working class: it even led the labour movement to sign on to the ultra-liberal deficit zero deal proposed by Lucien Bouchard that ended up in massive cutbacks in public services (mainly health and education), adding up to almost $4 billion. In a cruel twist of irony, it was precisely against this concept that Québec Solidaire was formed at the end of the 1990s at the initiative of the PCQ and other left forces, and was starting to be successful at breaking through as an influential force amongst social movements.
However, now that independence is the number one priority of the Constituent Assembly, and the goal in itself of the new formation, and that the social issues are "details" to be arranged by the Assembly, now that the new paradigm is the union of independentist forces rather than the union of progressive forces, we can ask ourselves: will QS-ON continue to challenge with the same strength the PQ’s record in terms of austerity measures and racist projects such as the Charter of Values? Or could it be tempted, in a case where it held the balance of power, to collaborate with the PQ’s orientation against the Liberals or CAQ?
Pierre Fontaine, leader of the PCQ, has said that "a major red line was crossed. By basically imposing independence on the Constituent Assembly, without any previous discussion, this new position closes all possibility to nation-to-nation dialogue with Québec’s Indigenous nations. It also means that QS cannot be the vehicle for a truly democratic solution to the national question, a proposal that would break with the status quo while defending the unity of the working class across the country, instead of its division by promoting independence. This will certainly have an impact on the next electoral campaign, which is likely to be polarised around identitarian politics, and more likely so if QS-ON doesn’t take on the challenge of opposing all islamophobic, xenophobic and racist measures. We shouldn’t forget that Option Nationale is clearly in favour of the ban of religious signs on public servants, including for teachers."
"This is a sad outcome," he adds. "Communists though should take pride in the work the PCQ achieved in UFP and Québec Solidaire over the past 20 years: the creation of a rather strong political force challenging the PQ from the left, organising the campaign of the first Indigenous candidate in a Québec election, etc."
For now, says Fontaine, "it is obvious that our relationship with QS will
have to be debated during our next National Congress to be organised
next spring. It is obvious that we will have to change our policy towards QS-ON
and focus on how to consolidate our basis and strengthen the PCQ. At the same
time, despite the questions we have about the new policies of QS-ON and its role
in Québec’s political landscape – which is in a process of recomposition
– we will still be called to work with QS-ON. After all, it still is much more
to the left than any other parliamentary force in
BC’s Minister for the Environment and Climate Action Strategy, George Heyman, recently announced that the KGHM AJAX mine proposal, located within metres of the southern municipal boundary of Kamloops, has not received approval from the BC government to proceed with what would have been one of the largest open-pit mines in the world ever to be built right next to an urban centre.
Heyman stated that part of the reason the project was rejected was because of the opposition the project faced from local indigenous groups. It’s puzzling to see that Site C would be approved, however, despite an equal level of indigenous opposition. Of course there were notable differences between the two projects, especially where each drew its support and opposition.
Major opponents to
The major proponents did not coalesce into any particular group, but, they didn’t need to.
KGHM, the Poland-based billion-dollar international mining corporation, began hosting arena-sized pro-AJAX rallies and throwing tens of thousands of dollars around the community, slowly building alliances and silence from would-be opponents who were co-opted through KGHM’s “charitable” gifts.
KGHM gained some support, though not official, from the construction community,
some Afton Mine miners (the smaller non-union underground mine also just south
The Chamber of Commerce and the business improvement associations, although
very closely tied, financially and ideologically, to the BC Liberals, didn’t
take any formal position to support
Fast-forward to BC’s provincial election of 2017 where
While the Liberals won both ridings with over 50% support, the Greens and NDP split, almost evenly, the rest of the votes.
Many opponents of AJAX took note that the Green Party didn’t actually oppose AJAX, but, more importantly, many noted that the NDP were taking the same fence-sitting position that the mine’s active and closet proponents had been taking for all these years. The proponents and the NDP candidates said, “Let’s let the Environmental Assessment Process run its course,” despite the EAP’s fundamental flaws and opportunity for political interference in the final decision-making process.
The NDP, prone to the failures of social democracy, were not willing to stand with local activists on a clearly divisive issue that pitted the health and environmental interests of ordinary citizens against the demands of capital to exploit resources at any cost.
The Liberals were clearly in the pocket of the mining industry but could not build a consensus among its local business class to make it worth going one way or the other before the election; opposition from local activists had created many delays in the approval process and there was no way the Liberals could approve AJAX before the election without significant legal and political risk.
The Greens had no desire to interfere with industry’s desires if it meant raising some flags about their ability to shill for the corporate class – even in the face of something as outrageous as AJAX – which drew the ire of the vast majority of Kamloops’ activists - including their own party’s candidates.
Over the summer of 2017 the NDP and Greens agreed to a coalition of sorts with the NDP forming a minority government and the Greens agreeing to support them on confidence votes.
During that summer
But, when we look north to Site C, we see a lot of unanimity among the big and small business classes as well as from some well-paid trades workers in their support for that dam. Opposition is really only seen among locals who are having their land expropriated against their will, indigenous groups, food security advocates and environmentalists.
Premier John Horgan stated that they can’t afford not
to build the dam – that they would lose up to $4 billion if they cancelled it
rather than proceeding. And it was well known that
So, what’s it worth to walk all over your commitment to work towards reconciliation
as John Horgan did during the recent election?
Apparently the $1.3 billion dollar loss of canceling
But the business class is not divided on Site C.
While the NDP has tried to create an arbitrary cost on what is affordable ($1.3 billion), and unaffordable ($4 billion), in terms of canceling a project and subsequently respecting indigenous opposition, what we really see is a pandering to the united business class backing Site C, disguised as a “too costly to not complete” argument, with clear contradictions in its own claims that they will respect indigenous communities and work towards real reconciliation.
Now we can look forward to Site C’s naming contest; I’ll suggest to Horgan we call it the “John A. MacDonald Dam” in recognition of all previous imperialist politicians who walked all over indigenous peoples and lands using the Crown’s so-called right to expropriate for the sake of capital’s demands for economic growth.
the organizer of the
By Sean Burton, December 2017
A privately-owned shipping company in
Oceanex has gone to provincial court arguing the
government subsidies to Marine
Oceanex's actions are an attack on a vital public
Oceanex is framing itself as the victim, and its
propaganda webpage "A Level Playing Field" states that subsidies to
Similar arguments were made in the 1980s by private trucking companies against
the then publically owned Canadian National (CN). When CN was deregulated in
mid-80s in the process that eventually led to its privatization in 1996, CN
immediately began to cut rail services in unprofitable areas. The railway in
Oceanex's efforts have not gone unopposed. The town
are already being asked to tighten the belt and expect less. In the Port aux Basques area alone are many small communities along the coast from Codroy to Rose Blanche, a distance of about one hundred kilometers with Port aux Basques roughly in between, and they depend on the stores in Port aux Basques for most grocery items and other daily necessities. A downturn in the Port would most certainly be negative for those small communities.
Oceanex's actions are in fact a clear demonstration
of the need for transportation in the province and
5) SOLIDARITY, NOT SANCTIONS
People’s Voice Editorial
A world-wide wave of solidarity for the courageous working people of
At the same time, we insist that
The first lie was ludicrous, and no such weapons were ever found following the
imperialist occupation. The second argument essentially states that any number
of civilian deaths related to the sanctions and the war - over a million so far
Now, the western media and Donald Trump are again demanding stronger sanctions
6) THE BEYAK SCANDAL AND BEYOND
People’s Voice Editorial
The eviction of Lynn Beyak from the Conservative Party’s Senate caucus is both long overdue, and totally insufficient. Her expulsion from caucus does nothing to remove her annual salary of $157,000, or to get her kicked out of the Senate before the age of 75.
Sen. Beyak had become a political liability for right-wing Tory leader Andrew Scheer, who was conveniently “shocked” in early January to learn that her website contains a variety of deeply racist “support” messages. These emails back Beyak’s claim that residential schools provided important “benefits” for Indigenous children, in particular education about the Bible and Jesus. Such “education” was a form of genocide, which includes conscious attempts to assimilate Indigenous peoples through destruction of their traditional cultures, languages and spiritual beliefs.
This was well-known long before Stephen Harper appointed Beyak to the Senate as a reward for her efforts on behalf of their party - a move which came after his forced apology to Indigenous peoples for the terrible impact of the residential school system. And despite Scheer’s lame explanations, his office had been contacted repeatedly last year about the racist content on Beyak’s website.
The Conservative party was a key player in establishing the racist Canadian state upon the theft of indigenous territories, using the ideology that this is a “white man’s country.” The Tories to this day include a large number of unrepentant racists in their membership. But it is also a fact that other major parties still treat the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as an “aspirational” document, stubbornly refusing to accept that a truly equal “nation to nation” relationship means fully accepting the terms of the Declaration. Racism in this country is a deeply rooted historical problem, not just a case of a few bad apples like Lynn Beyak.
Just before Christmas, the International Longshore
Workers Union (ILWU) and the BC Civil Liberties Association rallied in
Vancouver against Bill C-23, which replaces the federal "Preclearance
Act" by a new statute based on the Agreement on Land, Rail, Marine, and
Air Transport Preclearance, which expands the preclearance program to other
forms of transportation. As the union and its allies warn, the new rules give
expanded powers to
The ILWU argues that "all processes should comply with Canadian laws, standards, and values. Any sharing of information for foreign agencies must respect the privacy of Canadian workers and travelers."
Here is the union's view on some of the key issues around C-23, which received royal assent in mid-December.
Loss of Canadian Sovereignty: U.S. officials are required to respect Canadian law on Canadian soil, but there is no mechanism in the Bill for enforcing human rights violations, including discrimination, racial profiling or violations of legal rights that fall short of the extreme consequences that would be actionable under the State Immunity Act. Granting new and expanded powers to foreign officials on Canadian soil undermines Canadian sovereignty. The government that is elected and accountable to Canadians loses a degree of control over what occurs, despite the assurances and legal protections in place. These legal protections would also only provide remedial options to pursue, and are therefore only capable of being reactive.
Democracy and Equality: Given the
Civil Liberties: The Bill effectively limits Canadians’ ability to choose to use preclearance services once the traveler has entered the preclearance area. Canadian citizens are exposed to having their decision to withdraw be treated as potentially suspicious, giving rise to the possibility of being questioned, detained, or strip searched.
Reduced Mobility Rights and Disincentive to Travel: One of the main aspects of a human rights violation is the inherent insult to the dignity of the victim. By supporting this Bill, the Canadian government is putting itself in a position where it could be seen as facilitating human rights violations perpetrated on Canadian soil by a foreign State with no meaningful access to any remedy.
The Trump Effect: The fear of abuse or misuse of these powers, given the shift
8) SITE C APPROVAL PUTS CORPORATE PROFITS OVER PEOPLE’S INTERESTS
Statement from the Communist Party of BC, Dec. 12, 2017
The Communist Party of BC (CPBC) believes that the Dec. 11 decision by the provincial government to approve the completion of the Site C dam was a monumental error, and we will support both grassroots resistance and the ongoing legal and political efforts to block this project.
The feeble argument by Premier Horgan – that the decision was a difficult one, forced by circumstances beyond his control – simply does not stand up to close examination. Along with organized resistance by local activists, which brought hundreds and thousands of people to the streets countless times to protest Site C, many members of the NDP government have also long supported the campaign to stop Site C for a wide range of important reasons, including the need to respect the inherent rights of First Nations peoples, the importance of preserving valuableagricultural land and the natural environment, and the combination of inflated projections of future revenues and consistently underestimated construction costs. Moreover, when First Nations communities expressed strong opposition to the NDP’s decision to approve Site C, Premier Horgan simply responded by stating that they are “not the first to disappoint” indigenous peoples. Approving Site C is not solely a “disappointment” to First Nations, but rather reflects the ongoing colonization of indigenous lands, which will now continue being extracted for the profit of big corporations. Stopping Site C is a necessary step towards fighting colonization, which is why our Party stands in solidarity with indigenous nations across the province who have struggled hard to prevent Site C developments.
Essentially, opponents of Site C (including our Party) believe that the government’s decision is a surrender to powerful political pressures from right-wing forces. This decision puts the interests of corporations and the capitalist class over the interests of the majority of people in B.C., particularly indigenous nations and youth, who will lose much more than they will ever gain as a result of environmental damage. As such, the approval of Site C has bitterly disappointed huge numbers of British Columbians, including some NDP supporters, who had hoped that the defeat of Christy Clark’s Liberals made cancellation possible.
Those hopes received an initial blow last summer when the government did not put an immediate moratorium on Site C, allowing the project to proceed as the Liberals had planned, costing huge amounts of taxpayer dollars with the aim of making cancellation unfeasible. Then, the BC Utilities Commission hearings into the project raised hopes again by agreeing to receive input on the wider social and environmental impacts of Site C. The information released during in September and October about the ballooning costs of the project should have been the final, conclusive evidence to scrap Site C. Instead, alarmist warnings about BC Hydro utility rate increases in the event of cancellation became the deciding factor, indicating that the government chose to put the enormous costs of completing this boondoggle onto future generations of British Columbians rather than face short term political heat.
How much this decision will cost the NDP in political terms at the next election remains to be seen, but the government has certainly lost credibility among British Columbians who prioritize Indigenous rights and environmental sustainability. Site C approval has bitterly disappointed advocates of a shift away from the short-sighted policies of profit-driven corporate mega-projects and export of energy and raw materials, towards pro-people strategies such as developing the green energy sector, investing in public transit, expanding social programs, health care and education, and implementing a shorter work week with no loss in take home pay. Those who argue that the government’s decision was necessary to save jobs should be reminded forcefully that the billions of dollars poured into this speculative project would have created far more employment if invested in crucial infrastructure needs and social programs.
The Communist Party of BC urges ongoing resistance to Site C, and a decisive shift away from economic policies based on corporate-driven resource extraction megaprojects. It’s time to put the needs of people and the environment ahead of corporate greed!
PV Vancouver Bureau
Starting January 1, 2018, it is now illegal for employers to pay women less
than men. In
The country, according to the 2017 Global Gender Gap Report, already has the most gender equity of any country. The report examines the gender gap across four dimensions: economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health and survival, and political empowerment.
The United States ranks 49th, just ahead of Kazakhstan but behind Uganda.
American women earn about 73% of what men earn, compared to just 68% in
The legislation was supported by
The United States ranks 96th in political empowerment of women, behind Nepal, Algeria and Pakistan. Women make up just 19 percent of Congress. Canada ranks 20th in overall political empowerment, due mostly to the Trudeau government's gender-equal federal cabinet, but only 56th in terms of the percentage of women in parliament.
The Communist Party of
The US statement is a declaration of war on the Palestinian people, and complete support and endorsement of the Zionist and expansionist policies of the Israeli government, including expansion of the illegal Israeli settlements, the continuing illegal blockade of Gaza, and the imprisonment and torture of Palestinian people fighting to protect their land and national sovereignty.
The US actions have not only ended the peace process, flying in the face of UN
resolutions aimed to find a peaceful political solution, but the US has
declared war on all the progressive peoples and states of the Middle East who
seek peaceful political solutions to complex political problems in the
region. Trump’s actions are an endorsement of Israeli militarism and
aggression against the Palestinians, and others in the
Trump’s actions are a threat to global peace and security, because of his actions in the Middle East, because of his actions and threats to DPRK, to Syria, to Venezuela, to Cuba, and because of his administration’s decisions to abandon the UN and assign itself to the role of the world’s policeman.
This is the road to calamity and global destruction.
We call on the government of Canada, and the UN to clearly and unequivocally condemn this latest US provocation and act of war, and to take immediate action to reaffirm UN Security Council resolutions 242 and 338 calling for the establishment of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as the capital, based on the 1967 boundaries, and guaranteeing the right of return to Palestinians now living abroad, which is the internationally recognized framework for a peaceful political solution.
We further call on the labour and democratic movements in Canada to oppose Trump’s criminal acts of war, to demand their retraction, and to step up the campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, pending the ending of the occupation, the dismantlement of the “security” wall, full equality for Arab Palestinian Israelis and the realization of the rights of refugees including the right to return.
The Communist Party of
- Central Executive Committee,
Communist Party of
One year after the historic Women’s March on Washington signalled the emergence of mass people’s resistance against the far-right, patriarchal agenda of Donald Trump and his fascist supporters, dozens of rallies and actions across the country will be held as part of a 2018 “Women’s March on Canada.” Details of local times and places can be found on Facebook.
Since then, women’s equality issues have remained in the headlines, such as the #MeToo movement, making it clear that men in positions of power will be challenged for their harassing, abusive and violent acts.
The Vision Statement and Guiding Principles of the 2018 Women’s March on
Making the equality of women in Canada the new norm. The work that we do, our vision and values can be explained in a unifying framework called H.E.R.S., which spells out the women’s rights priorities of: Health, Economic Security, Representation, and Safety:
Healthcare is the foundation of women’s well-being and economic stability.
ECONOMIC SECURITY — Women are powerful drivers of economic growth, and their economic empowerment benefits all nations. Women’s March Canada supports the dismantling of economic barriers that obstruct women’s full and equal access to local, national, and global economic systems.
REPRESENTATION — Women
are under-represented globally, adversely affecting our collective health,
safety, and economic security. Women’s March
SAFETY — Every woman has the need and right to feel physically secure, and security for women should be assured through sound legal practices. Women’s March Canada stands behind the principle that women are not to be held accountable for actions that are outside their control — particularly regarding all forms of assault — and that fair legal action must be applied to prevent these crimes.”
GUIDING PRINCIPLES —Women’s rights are human rights, regardless of a woman’s race, ethnicity, religion, immigration status, sexual identity, gender expression, economic status, age or disability. We practice empathy with the intent to learn about the intersecting identities of each other. We will suspend our first judgement and do our best to lead without ego. We follow the principles of Kingian nonviolence...
By Nino Pagliccia
On December 16 the New York Times (NYT) posted online an unusually long article
pretending to show how children in
That is not the
An earlier article in The Guardian refers to an increase in infant mortality
Once the cause of deaths is debunked, hardly anything else can be trusted in
the article, including the photos. Therefore, I will not waste my time trying
to disprove fake news. However, just to provide some perspective, consider
this. According to the CIA World Factbook (I never
thought I would reference the CIA)
If we use a better indicator of a nation’s wellbeing, the Human Development Index, which is a comparative measure of life expectancy, education, and standard of living, the UN Development Program 2016 report ranks Venezuela 71st out of the 188 countries examined. The index ranges from 0 (lowest) to 1 (highest).  In fact, the index for Venezuela was measured at 0.767, higher than the average index for Latin America and the Caribbean at 0.751, and “better than Brazil's 0.754, Peru's 0.740 and Colombia's 0.727 …, and significantly higher than its ranking of 0.677 in 2000, just as President Hugo Chavez came to power and initiated his Bolivarian Revolution.” 
Interestingly, on December 15 another article appeared, not in the NYT but in
the Guardian, not about
I tend to believe this report as being more objective, in part because I have read similar reports before in my capacity as a researcher on Global Health. Let me just quote one sentence from it: “US infant mortality rates in 2013 were the highest in the developed world.”
To all the gullible readers of the NYT I will only ask, why is it a story to spread unproven deaths in a country that admittedly is in “crisis” (caused by the US government), but it is not a real story that 40 million people live in poverty with many children dying in the “world’s richest country”?
We are only left to say, “the
13) “LET RUSSIAN TEAM COMPETE AT PYEONGCHANG WINTER OLYMPICS”
The Communist Party of
A Dec. 20 statement from the Party's Central Executive says, "The CPC gives full support to the ongoing efforts to reach an agreement which would allow Russian athletes to compete in PyeongChang under the flag of their own country.
"We have to note that far from being outside the realm
of politics or untainted by social pressures, the Olympic movement, like many
other high-level international sporting events, has long been the scene of
various forms of political interference, corruption, nepotism, racism, sexism
and attempts to influence competitive results. Hundreds of examples could be
given: the unjust removal of Jim Thorpe's Olympic medals, the ban on female
athletes competing in certain events, the stripping of medals won by Tommie
Smith and John Carlos for their Black Power salute at the 1968 Summer Olympics,
the infamous US-led boycott of the Moscow Summer Olympics in 1980. For most of
its history, the IOC has been dominated by a small clique of royal family
members and wealthy millionaires, often reaching arbitrary and secretive
decisions about which athletes should be allowed to compete and which should be
punished for violations of doping rules or other regulations. Top
"The IOC has no consistent track record in these
matters, leaving its intentions open to question. Given the current political
atmosphere of rampant Russophobia in western Europe
and North America, the ban against the Russian team certainly aligns with the
NATO-US strategy of encircling and isolating
"We also find it strange that the ban has been imposed
"Russian Prime Minister Medvedev, among other leading
public figures in his country, have freely acknowledged that some Russian
sports federations did have problems with doping, including at the
"These measures have already had a positive impact, and
the situation in
"The Olympic movement is intended to provide a venue for peaceful sporting competitions at the highest levels of skill, speed and strength. The Communist Party of Canada calls for an end to the wildly exaggerated attacks against Russia's participation, particularly since that country's sports programs have been improved sharply in recent years, but also because these attacks are clearly motivated at least in part by pro-imperialist political considerations. Let the athletes of all countries which take part in winter sports come to PyeongChang for free and fair competition!"
14) MUSIC NOTES, by Wally Brooker
Spanish Civil War songs for today
Eighty years ago, a bitter civil war was raging in Spain, pitting the forces defending the democratic republic - including 35,000 volunteers of the International Brigades - against the fascist rebel army of General Franco, with military support from Hitler's Germany and Mussolini's Italy. Last month, an album of songs of resistance from that war, For Those Who Came After, was released by Important Records. It features ten famous songs from that noble, but unequal struggle, including Viva
La Quince Brigada, L'Internationale, and Freiheit. They're interpreted
a crack seven-piece ensemble from
movement won a major victory in December when
AFM tackles music streaming giants
Hair, President of the American Federation of Musicians (AFM), has written two
informative articles on the growth of streaming in the music industry, and the
efforts of his union (representing more than 75,000 musicians in the U.S. and
Canada) to defend its members against the negative effects of technological
change. The Record Industry Association of
Thinking about those "Kumbaya moments"
David Newland, whose comments on Stan Rogers's "