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COLUMN SEVENTY-TWO, JUNE 1, 2002
(Copyright © 2002 The Blacklisted Journalist)
Portside (the left side in nautical parlance) is a
news, discussion and debate service of the Committees
of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism. It
says it aims to provide varied material of interest to people
on the Left.
Heretofore, we were under the impression that Portside is the Internet's voice of the Left. But it turns out to be the Internet's voice of the fundamentalist Far-Left, which, like all fundamentalist organizations, adheres to an orthodoxy and consequently refuses to post dissident or differing opinions from within the Left---such as HATE YOUR GOVERNMENT BUT LOVE YOUR COUNTRY, available to be read in SECTION ONE of COLUMN SEVENTY. Fundamentalists, like fascists, will not tolerate any disagreements or variations from the fundamentalist orthodoxy.
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MORE THAN 2 MILLION AMERICANS ARE BEHIND BARS
The statistics are staggering. The United States incarcerates more people for more offenses than any other country in the free world--five to eight times more citizens per capita than Western European countries. The American prison population increased 500 percent between 1970 and 2000, doubling in the last decade of the century. More than 2 million men and women are locked up in the U.S. today. ##
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SUPREME COURT INJUSTICES RULE AGAINST LABOR UNIONS
CA (4/10/02) -- The recent decision of the Supreme Court in the case of Hoffman
Plastics is not only another instance of class justice, or rather, injustice.
The logic of Chief Justice Rehnquist makes it plain that the court's majority
lives in denial of the social reality millions working people face every day.
court began by making worse an already-bad precedent. In a previous decision in
the Sure-Tan case, millions of undocumented immigrants already lost the right to
be reinstated to their jobs if they were fired for joining a union. Now the
Rehnquist court says they can forget about back pay too, for the time they were
out of work.
decision rewards employers who want to stop union organizing efforts among
immigrant workers -- the very people who've built a decade-long track record of
labor activism, often organizing themselves even when unions showed little
interest. Their bosses can now terminate undocumented workers without fear of
any monetary consequences.
But the court's logic goes further, willfully ignoring social reality. Today one worker in every twenty participating in a union drive gets fired, immigrant and native born alike. Federal labor law may prohibit this, but companies already treat the cost of legal battles, reinstatement and back pay as a cost of doing business. Many consider it cheaper than signing a union contract. ##
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DID BUSH HAVE ADVANCE KNOWLEDGE OF 9/11 ATTACK?
Cynthia McKinney (D-Ga.) is calling for an investigation into whether President
Bush and other government officials had advance notice of terrorist attacks on
Sept. 11 but did nothing to prevent them. She added that "persons close to
this administration are poised to make huge profits off America's new war."
a recent interview with a Berkeley, Calif., radio station, McKinney said:
"We know there were numerous warnings of the events to come on September
11th. . . . What did this administration know and when did it know it, about the
events of September 11th?
else knew, and why did they not warn the innocent people of New York who were
needlessly murdered? . . . What do they have to hide?"
declined to be interviewed yesterday, but she issued a statement saying: "I
am not aware of any evidence showing that President Bush or members of his
administration have personally profited from the attacks of
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VIET VETS AIM ANTI-LAND MINE ADS AT BUSHIES
-- The campaign to ban land mines from the world is spending about $1.5 million
on an ad campaign to get its message across to just a handful of people at the
highest reaches of the Bush administration.
outside Washington have never seen the stark 30-second commercial broadcast
repeatedly on cable TV in the capital area. The spot intercuts scenes of happy
children playing hopscotch with victims of anti-personnel land mines. It urges
President Bush to sign the 1997 Ottawa treaty banning the use, stockpiling,
production and sale of the small, cheap bombs that have cost millions of people
a limb or their lives.
"We're stepping up fast and hard to make sure the people in the White House understand there's a constituency out there for this," said Bobby Muller, president of the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation, which raised the money for the ad. ##
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BUSH LETS BIG BUSINESS MAKE ITS OWN RULES
-- The Bush administration announced Friday that it would issue voluntary
guidelines to reduce the risk of repetitive stress injuries on the job rather
than force employers to take corrective action.
decision, coming after strong lobbying from businesses opposed to mandatory
regulations, will have little effect in California, where workplaces already are
subject to compulsory ergonomic rules. But in most other states, employers will
be encouraged—not required--to protect workers from such risks as carpal
tunnel syndrome, tendinitis and back injuries.
Under the new procedures, which reflect the administration's commitment to voluntary regulation, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration will craft safety guidelines for particular industries and jobs. It will urge companies to adopt them or devise their own plans. ##
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