United States

Issue 41 - February-March 2013

By Barry Sheppard

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 40 - November-December 2012

By Barry Sheppard

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 39 - May-July 2012

Reviewed By Doug Lorimer

The Party, The Socialist Workers Party 1960-1988, volume I: The Sixties, A Political Memoir, by Barry Sheppard, Sydney: Resistance Books, 2005, 354 pages including index, with a rich collection of photographs.

Issue 38 - February-April 2012

By Max Lane

It has been more than two months since the Occupy Wall Street actions began in New York. The occupation in Zuccotti Park ended after the New York City government mobilised the police for a middle of the night raid. However, the political activity that it set in motion in the United States has not stopped.

Issue 37 - December-January 2012

By Barry Sheppard

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

By Barry Sheppard

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

By Barry Sheppard

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

By Barry Sheppard

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.

By Jon Lamb

Zack Furness is the author of One Less Car: Bicycling and the politics of automobility (Temple University Press, 2010). He was interviewed via email by Jon Lamb.

Issue 33 - June-July 2011

By Barry Sheppard

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

By Barry Sheppard

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

By Barry Sheppard

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.

US lawyer Leonard Weinglass, who represented Antonio Guerrero (one of the five Cubans incarcerated in US jails) died Wednesday, March 23, in New York after he did not recover from a cancer surgery, cubadebate reported.

Weinglass would have turned 78, since he died on the same day he was born back in 1933.

Issue 30 - March 2011

By Barry Sheppard

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.

By Barry Sheppard

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

By Barry Sheppard

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

By Allen Myers

Official interest rates in the United States have been held almost to zero for nearly two years. In mainstream economic theory, low interest is a “stimulus” measure. The idea is that businesses are more willing to borrow and expand their operations when interest rates are low.

By Barry Sheppard

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.

By John Percy

[This is an abridged and edited version of a talk to the International Conference on Diego Garcia organised by the Mauritian socialist group Lalit October 30-November 2. See the report on the conference].

Issue 27 - October 2010

By Barry Sheppard

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

By Doug Lorimer

Fears that the US economy is sliding into a new recession or into a period of protracted near stagnation have been heightened by new data released at the end of August. Real US gross domestic product (GDP) increased at a sluggish annualised 1.6% rate in the April-June quarter of 2010 after increasing by 3.7% in the first quarter, the US Commerce Department announced on August 27.

By Barry Sheppard

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

By Barry Sheppard

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.

Reviewed by Barry Sheppard

North Star – A Memoir
By Peter Camejo
Haymarket Books, Chicago, 2010

Issue 24 - July 2010

By Barry Sheppard

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.