Saturday, April 29, 2017
Since the election of Donald Trump in 2016, the plight of immigrant communities in the United States has become dire. The new administration has already taken steps to radically increase the speed and scale of deportations while significantly expanding the power of immigration enforcement agencies. In the face of these threats, a large and growing movement of advocates, organizers and local governments are developing strategies to support their immigrant communities. These efforts are building on the longstanding work by local elected officials and advocates to advance policies that include and protect immigrants. Many jurisdictions around the country have passed policies to stop the federal government from co-opting local resources for the enforcement of immigration law— these localities have come to be known as sanctuary cities (or counties). It is clear this exercise of local power will be more vital than ever in the coming months and years. This toolkit is designed to help policymakers, at the local level, who wish to create or further strengthen sanctuary style laws and policies. The policy guidance in this toolkit is directly informed by the important lessons of cities and counties who have lead these efforts to date
Sunday, April 23, 2017
• By Daniel Costa • April 5, 2017
The H-1B program provides temporary, nonimmigrant U.S. work visas for college-educated workers and fashion models from abroad. While no one can deny the importance of attracting skilled, talented workers to the United States, the reality is that the biggest beneficiaries of the H-1B program are outsourcing companies that have hijacked the system—using between one-third to one-half of the visas—to replace thousands of U.S. workers with much-lower-paid H-1B workers while also sending tech jobs abroad. In addition, these outsourcing companies rarely provide H-1B employees with a path to permanent residence and citizenship. Outsourcing companies, however, are not the only abusers of the system: The vast majority of employers that hire H-1B workers pay them wages below the local average for the occupation.
We need to reform the H-1B program to make it:
Major flaws in the H-1B program
Simple reforms can fix the H-1B program and have been proposed in Congress
Quick facts on the H-1B program
Saturday, April 22, 2017
There will be Science and Sustainability marches in Washington DC and various cities around the world on Earth Day, April 22 https://www.marchforscience.com/ and on April 29, 1017 https://peoplesclimate.org/. We hope that some of you will participate and use this opportunity to highlight the achievements that Cuba has achieved in this area. Please see the information that follows from a flyer that we distributed at the NYC Climate march on 9/21/14 and that you may modify as appropriate. We also had a beautiful banner proclaiming:
"Change U.S. Climate Toward Cuba!"
Sustainability in Cuba
According to the World Wildlife Fund's Living Planet report in 2006 Cuba was the only country in the world to have achieved sustainable development(measured as the improvement of the quality of human life while living within the capacity of its ecosystem).
Cuba challenges the unsustainable pattern that presently dominates the world. Its models of sustainable development — especially in areas of food and health — are being replicated throughout Latin America. Cuba also leads the world in hurricane planning and as an island nation is acutely aware and already researching climate change vulnerability of coastal zones.
The U.S. has maintained an economic blockade of Cuba since revolutionary forces led by Fidel Castro successfully ousted Dictator Fulgencio Batista in 1959 and turned the country away from capitalism. The Cuban people have withstood five decades of hostility from the United States.
Cuba's best form of resistance has not just been the assertion of national sovereignty, but also the creation of an alternative model of development that places ecology and humanity at its core. It has become a world leader in ecological, organic and urban agriculture.
Go see for yourself. Demand a lifting of the economic blockade and travel ban (which is still in place) imposed by the U.S. government.
For more information, go to www.NNOC.info
National Network on Cuba
Tuesday, April 18, 2017
US military drills and provocations risk destabilizing the Korean peninsula, North Korea’s ambassador to the United Nations has warned, possibly plunging the region into a nuclear war. Pyongyang also vowed to continue its missile tests whenever it suits the country.
At a press conference in New York on Monday, Kim In Ryong, North Korean ambassador to the UN, accused the United States of disturbing global peace and stability, using “gangster-like logic” and being “hell-bent on dangerous saber rattling in South Korea.”
“The United States introducing in South Korea, on the Korean peninsula, the world’s biggest hotspot, huge nuclear strategic assets, seriously threatening the peace and security of the peninsula and pushing it to the brink of war,” Kim told reporters.
“It has created a dangerous situation in which nuclear war may break out at any moment on the peninsula and pose a serious threat to the world’s peace and security, to say nothing of those in northeast Asia.”
Recently, Pyongyang has been alarmed by the US deployment of the THAAD missile system in South Korea in early March. THAAD, or Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, is a weapon designed to intercept short-and-medium-range ballistic missiles as they begin their descent to their target. Russia and China too have criticized the deployment, with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov describing it as “disproportionate.” Kim also sharply criticized the US and South Korea for staging “aggressive war exercises” on the Korean peninsula, which he said were the root causes of tension in the region.
“The US has to come to its senses and come to the preferred option,” he noted, stressing that DPRK [Democratic People's Republic of Korea] forces are ready to face any threat to the country’s sovereignty.
“If the United States dares opt for a military action," he added, "the DPRK is ready to react to any mode of war desired by the Americans."
During the press conference, Kim also answered questions about North Korea’s recent missile tests, which have raised serious concerns among some of Pyongyang’s neighbors. On April 5, the South Korean military reported a North Korea missile test in Sinpho, South Hamgyong province, after which the Japanese and South Korean governments both held emergency meetings.
"As far as another nuclear test is concerned… it is something that our headquarters decided," Ryong added. "At the time and at the place where our headquarters deemed necessary it will take place."“Our missile test-fire is part of the normal process to go through for implementing the development of the self-defense capability and quality in order to defend our rights to self-existence and to safeguard peace and security in the Korean peninsula,” explained Kim, adding that North Korea’s missiles and nuclear arsenal are purely a response to American hostility, and the DPRK will conduct further tests if necessary.
Earlier Monday, US Vice President Mike Pence visited the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) separating North and South Korea as part of his 10-day trip around the Asia-Pacific region.
There he warned Pyongyang not to test the resolve of President Donald Trump, pointing to the recent US shows of force in Afghanistan and Syria. Earlier this month the US fired 59 Tomahawk missiles at an air base in Syria, ostensibly in retaliation for an alleged chemical weapons attack by government forces, and also dropped a massive device known as the “Mother of all Bombs” on a militant hideout in Afghanistan, killing 92 suspected jihadists.
Monday, April 17, 2017
Jean Luc Melenchon leads an alliance of the French Communist Party and other movements on the left. The movement seems to be gaining ground in the French election campaign which is alarming the Zionist right, hence the article in Canada’s leading right wing tabloid posing as a newspaper, the National Post.http://news.nationalpost.com/news/world/its-not-just-the-far-right-gaining-traction-in-france-against-all-odds-a-communist-soars-in-election-pollsA more reliable read on what is happening is L’Humanite’s English web page. http://www.humaniteinenglish.com/What is happening in France could be significant for politics in Europe and open the path to a more vigorous struggle for peace and against the reactionary EU-NATO alliance.Melenchon seems to be attracting sections of the youth. A careful read would indicate that the alliance is also the most direct response to the Euro-skeptics as represented by Le Pen.The left alliance is calling for withdrawing from NATO and renegotiating France’s membership in the EU. It has a good position on the struggle of the Palestinians. The alliance calls for nationalization of the banks and challenges the autocratic presidential system in France that dates to the De Gaulle era.Sylvia and I were in the GDR in 1968 attending the 150 Anniversary celebrations of the birth of Karl Marx, May 8th 1818 just as the student working class uprising in Paris took place in May 1968. De Gaulle and the military surrounded Paris with tanks out of fear of revolution. There was a revolutionary situation and there was much debate at the time as to why the French Communist Party was unable to lead it to a higher level. http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/protests-mount-in-franceWhat is happening today is a far cry from those days in 1968. However the events unfolding in the French election deserve the close attention of all those who consider peace and socialism as indivisible. The revolutionary traditions of the French people and working class run deep and the anti-fascist heroism of the French Communists in WW2 is well known.The last time I looked and my information may now be out of date, France was the third largest in the amount spent by European monopoly imperialist states on the military after Britain and Germany. France continues to be a powerful nuclear armed imperial power in the post-colonial era with French finance capital heavily involved in neo-colonialist exploitation of Africa and the French military is routinely employed to protect French capital including regime change interventions.A return of the left to French electoral politics is encouraging and will strengthen the militant labour and peace forces.Putin’s Russia appears to be engaged with Malcon,http://globalnews.ca/news/3227855/french-presidential-candidate-taunts-donald-trump-offers-refuge-to-us-scientists-entrepreneurs/ a candidate of a section of monopoly capital in France, who has made some anti-Trump statements and about the importance of renewing the French Russian relationship. That would indicate some joint interests between French and Russian finance capital that will alarm US interests and their EU allies. That is inter-capitalist politics and more evidence of the instability afflicting ruling elites in all of the G7 NATO states.For those of us who consider that what the working class, the overwhelming majority does as primary in capitalist politics, the events unfolding in France bear scrutiny. If the unexpected should happen that Melenchon can make it to the run-off stage of the election it would be as a result of a shift in working class voters and would set European politics on the boil.The leader of the French Trade Union movement appears to be anti-communist which would suggest that the once mighty Communist led French trade union movement is now in the hands of the right wing social democrats and will support Hollande socialists.Right wing social reformism is nothing if not predictable.The CLC supports the NDP, the AFL-CIO supported Hillary Clinton and the French TU supports Hollande. Jeremy Corbyn is being pilloried by the right wing in the Labour Party for condemning the US missile attack on Syria. Bernie Sanders was ousted by the Obama-Clinton cabal with the support of the AFL-CIO.When an avowed left leader comes to the fore in France openly allied with the Communist Party we should look at that situation from a clear eyed working class standpoint.Don Currie Editor FOS
Thursday, April 13, 2017
(Story courtesy of Joseph Jamison, ML Today http:www.mltoday.com)
A professor who challenged the 2013 claims of a chemical attack in Syria is now questioning the Trump administration’s narrative blaming the Assad government for the April 4 attack in the Idlib province town of Khan Shaykhun.On Tuesday, the White House released a declassified intelligence brief accusing Syrian President Bashar Assad of ordering and organizing the attack, in which Syrian planes allegedly dropped chemical ordnance on civilians in the rebel-held town.The report “contains absolutely no evidence that this attack was the result of a munition being dropped from an aircraft,” wrote Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Professor Theodore Postol, who reviewed it and put together a 14-page assessment, which he provided to RT on Wednesday.
Postol was not convinced by such evidence.“Any competent analyst would have had questions about whether the debris in the crater was staged or real,” he wrote. “No competent analyst would miss the fact that the alleged sarin canister was forcefully crushed from above, rather than exploded by a munition within it.”Instead, “the most plausible conclusion is that the sarin was dispensed by an improvised dispersal device made from a 122mm section of rocket tube filled with sarin and capped on both sides.”“We again have a situation where the White House has issued an obviously false, misleading and amateurish intelligence report,” he concluded, recalling the 2013 situation when the Obama administration claimed Assad had used chemical weapons against the rebels in Ghouta, near Damascus.“What the country is now being told by the White House cannot be true,” Postol wrote, “and the fact that this information has been provided in this format raises the most serious questions about the handling of our national security.”On Tuesday, Russian General Staff spokesman Colonel-General Sergey Rudskoy questioned the “authenticity” of media reports concerning the attack. He said that using social media to reconstruct the course of events raised “serious doubts” not only among the Russian military but also “among many respected experts and organizations.”Rudskoy noted that, under the 2013 agreement to give up its chemical weapons, the Syrian government destroyed its stockpiles at 10 sites that were under its control. This was verified by the Organization for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). However, the remaining two facilities were in territory controlled by the rebels, he said, and it remains unclear what happened to the chemicals stored there.