One aspect of the recent presidential elections in the United States was the sharp racial divide. Nearly 60% of whites voted for Romney, and the number was higher among white men.Well over 90% of African Americans voted for Obama, and over 70% of Latinos and Asians did likewise.
Issue 41 - February-March 2013
Issue 40 - November-December 2012
San Francisco – When Mitt Romney chose Paul Ryan as his vice presidential running mate, Romney introduced him “as the next President of the United States”. This was of course a slip of the tongue, which Romney corrected. But it was the kind of slip that Freud analysed, one pregnant with meaning.
Issue 37 - December-January 2012
San Francisco – No one predicted the phenomenon that has become known as Occupy Wall Street (OWS), nor could it have been predicted.
Issue 36 - October-November 2011
San Francisco – On September 21, shortly before 11 pm, the state government of Georgia injected poison into the veins of an African American, Troy Davis. The murder was completed at 11:08 pm.
Issue 35 - September 2011
San Francisco – In last month’s article, I wrote about how the Congressional stand-off about raising the US government’s debt ceiling obscured the drive by both Democrats and Republicans to cut drastically the social wage, especially Social Security and Medicare, as well as education and other social programs.
Issue 34 - August 2011
San Francisco – The US mass media are awash with the Congressional wrangle over the “debt crisis”. The Republican Party in the House of Representatives is threatening to refuse to raise the ceiling on how much the government can borrow. The deadline for raising the ceiling is August 2.
Issue 33 - June-July 2011
San Francisco – The assassination of Osama bin Laden by US Special Forces in a unilateral raid into Pakistan is being trumpeted by President Obama and the media. Raucous celebrations of the killing occurred in many cities, and Obama’s poll numbers went up among right-wing Tea Party types.
Issue 32 - May 2011
San Francisco – April 20 was the first anniversary of the explosion in the Gulf of Mexico of a deep ocean oil rig owned by British Petroleum. Eleven workers were killed, and the ensuing massive oil leak over the next months became the greatest ecological disaster in US history.
Issue 31 - April 2011
San Francisco – The largest demonstration against Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s drive to smash public workers’ unions happened soon after he and Republican legislators illegally pushed through legislation that virtually outlaws collective bargaining by these unions.
Issue 30 - March 2011
San Francisco – The Arab upsurge has left Washington reeling, scrambling to maintain its control of the region as best it can. The contradictory statements coming out of the White House, State Department and the US military as the events in Egypt unfolded illustrate the imperialists’ dilemma.
San Francisco – Contagion has spread not only in the Arab world. It has even been seen in the United States, specifically in Wisconsin. The background is the assault by the federal and state governments against public worker unions, part of the ruling class’s drive against the social wage, including cuts in education and other social services.
Issue 29 - February 2011
San Francisco – The US capitalist media are going all out to portray the political assassination of six people in Tucson, Arizona, and the attempted assassination and wounding of 13 others, on January 8, as merely the action of a psychotic individual. But the facts speak otherwise. The assassin, Jared Loughner, planned his attack well in advance.
Issue 28 - November-December 2010
San Francisco – The US government has announced that the Great Recession ended in the northern summer of 2009. What it means is that the contraction of gross domestic product that began in late 2007 stopped, and GDP began to increase slowly.
Issue 27 - October 2010
San Francisco – In a qualitative escalation, the Obama administration has for the first time used the “war on terror” against socialists in the United States. On September 24, the FBI conducted a series of coordinated early-morning raids at homes and offices in Minneapolis, Chicago, Michigan and North Carolina.
Issue 26 - September 2010
San Francisco – Plans by a mainstream Islamic group to build a cultural centre a few blocks from where the former Twin Towers of the World Trade Center stood in New York have suddenly been seized on by right-wing media and politicians to whip up a storm of Islamophobia.
Issue 25 - August 2010
San Francisco – The firing of African American Shirley Sherrod from her job with the Department of Agriculture, where she worked to help the rural poor for decades, has again brought to the fore the oppression of black people.
North Star – A Memoir
By Peter Camejo
Haymarket Books, Chicago, 2010
Issue 24 - July 2010
San Francisco – Two months after the April 20 explosion on a BP-leased Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico triggered the greatest environment disaster from a single incident in US history, the oil keeps gushing. Along the shoreline encompassing the US Gulf states, oil creeps up further and further from the gusher itself.
Issue 23 - June 2010
San Francisco – May 25 – The Obama administration, British Petroleum and the corporate media have worked overtime to minimise information and outright lie about the catastrophic impact of the explosion on BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20.
Issue 22 - May 2010
San Francisco – The “Tea Party” has had a big play in the capitalist media recently, as rallies were held across the country leading up to April 15, the day when income taxes are due. The rallies were organised by a section of the Republican Party establishment, and featured Sarah Palin, the former candidate for vice president.
Issue 21 - April 2010
San Francisco – A March 4 “day of action” brought out tens of thousands against cuts to education in California schools, from kindergarten through to university postgraduate studies.
Issue 20 - March 2010
San Francisco – During the 1980-82 recession, US car corporations were closing factories, reflecting growing international competition and overproduction. One of the plants closed was a large General Motors facility in the city of Fremont, California, part of the San Francisco Bay Area. This factory was reopened in 1984, in a deal between Toyota and GM.
Issue 19 - February 2010
San Francisco – Less than two weeks before the first anniversary of US President Barack Obama’s inauguration, when the catastrophic earthquake hit Haiti, Robert Gates, the US secretary of defence, immediately announced that no food, water or medicines would be delivered until “security” was established. The first order of business was to send in 10,000 US troops.
Issue 18 - December 2009
San Francisco – A militant struggle has erupted in the University of California, which comprises 10 public sector universities located in different cities across the state, with a total of 220,000 students and 170,000 faculty members and general staff. UC students have been hit by a sudden rise in tuition fees of over 30%.
Issue 15 - September 2009
San Francisco – People around the world have seen images on TV of seemingly berserk crowds shouting down Democratic Party members of Congress at “town meetings” called to supposedly discuss health-care insurance reform.
Issue 14 - August 2009
San Francisco – The stock market has rebounded from its March lows, back up to where it was in January. Goldman Sachs reports big profits, as do a few other big banks. “Leading indicators” are up. The danger of a financial collapse appears to be behind us. Some pundits are predicting the end of the recession in the next few months, or early next year.
Issue 13 - July 2009
San Francisco – “What’s good for General Motors is good for America” became a catch phrase in the 1950s. GM was a symbol of US industrial might. Workers at GM, Ford and Chrysler enjoyed some of the best wages and working conditions in the country, and the United Auto Workers was the flagship of the union movement. Now GM is in bankruptcy and the UAW is a shell of its former self.
Issue 12 - June 2009
San Francisco – After releasing memos from lawyers for the Bush administration advocating torture of prisoners swept up in the US wars against Afghanistan and Iraq, US President Barack Obama has ruled out prosecuting the war criminals who ordered the use of torture.
Issue 10 - April 2009
San Fransciso – The huge bonuses – some US$210 million – that insurance giant American International Group (AIG) paid out to its executives from the end of last year through to March sparked a renewed explosion of anger among working people.
Issue 8 - February 2009
[The following are excerpts from a chapter of US socialist Barry Sheppard’s forthcoming second volume of a political memoir of his time as a central leader of the US Socialist Workers Party and earlier of its youth group, the Young Socialist Alliance. The full chapter can be read (in PDF format) at http://www.socialistvoice.ca.
San Fransisco – President Barack Obama has presented his plan to try to turn around the US economy in the context of a rapid and accelerating decline. Official figures for the fourth quarter of last year indicated that US gross domestic product contracted at a 3.8% annual rate.
Issue 7 - December 2008
San Francisco – Many people have high hopes that Barack Obama will led the US in a new direction. What can we say now about his likely course? Obama’s mantra during the election campaign was “change”. Now he is emphasising “continuity” and a seamless transition from the Bush administration. The only change from the current regime is to go back to the Clinton years.
San Francisco – As has been widely noted, the election of an African-American as president of the United States is an historic event. This is true irrespective of the politics and perspectives of Barack Obama. That a black family will occupy the White House, which was built by black slaves, is a powerful symbol.
Issue 6 - November 2008
San Francisco, October 31 – In the final days of the US presidential election campaign, Republican candidate John McCain and his running mate Sarah Palin have repeatedly charged that Democrat candidate Barack Obama is a “socialist”. While this assertion is ridiculous, it does bring the issue of socialism into the mainstream of US political discourse.
Issue 5 - October 2008
San Francisco, September 25 – Today there are spontaneous demonstrations occurring on Wall Street and over 200 other places across the country denouncing the plan to bail out the Wall Street financiers to the tune of US$700 billion. One journalist sent out an email proposing such demonstrations and then support for it exploded on the internet.
Peter Camejo, a Venezuelan-American and life-long revolutionary, died on September 13 in the San Francisco Bay area. The cause was cancer.
Issue 4 - September 2008
San Francisco – The nomination of Barack Obama as the presidential candidate of the Democratic Party is historic. He is the first African American presidential candidate of one of the two major capitalist parties. He may win the election and become the first black president, something inconceivable even only two years ago.