Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Time For Universal Medicaid In USA?

Instead of simply cutting the Pentagon’s military budget by 90 percent and simply providing free health care for the millions of people in the United States who now lack health insurance by ordering the Department of Health and Human Services to immediately start issuing federal Medicaid cards to all U.S. citizens, the Democratic Obama-Clinton Administration’s complicated health tax scam will only probably provide health insurance cards to the uninsured in exchange for more U.S. worker paycheck tax deductions.

In countries like Russia, the UK, the Netherlands and Cuba, ironically, health care has long been free. According to National Health Insurance, in Russia “personal medical services are available to the entire population at no direct costs,” in the UK “the professional attention of a general practitioner is made available free of charge to everyone” and “no charges are made…for clinical examinations” of teeth, and in the Netherlands “an insured person generally receives free care for any medical services needed” and “dental treatment is also provided free of charge.” In Cuba, according to The Complete Travel Guide To Cuba, “should you become ill from any cause, you will be entitled to the same free health care as Cuban citizens” and “this means hospital and physician services…will be provided at no charge.” (Downtown 10/13/93)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Nader's 1974 Warning On National Health Insurance Revisited

In his July 1974 testimony before the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee, Public Citizen Health Research Group spokesperson Ralph Nader stated the following:

“To take the worst features of what now passes for a health care system in the form of billions of dollars in annual retentions (profits and expenses) for private health insurance companies, billions wasted on unnecessary hospitalizations, inappropriate and useless drugs, and thousands of excess hospital beds—and then to add to this a so-called national health insurance plan which requires low-wage earners to pay far more of their income than the rich through payroll taxes, deductibles and coinsurance—is to perpetuate a fraud on the American public.

“There is no room in taxpayer funded national health insurance for private insurance companies. They have already proved they are far more concerned with their over $5 billion profits and retentions than with providing low-cost comprehensive preventive health care.

“You only have to look over the history of Metropolitan, Prudential, and other health and life insurance companies…to see how little attention is being paid to preventive health care…

“Congress should reject any plan designed to massively subsidize a private corporate insurance system whose primary objectives are increasing their wasteful ways and increasing profits.

“What is needed…is a federally administered publicly accountable financing mechanism with revenues derived from progressive taxing mechanisms.

“This is also an important point. The taxing system to fund these plans should not be regressive. It should be progressive in fact…”

(Downtown 10/13/93)

Monday, July 27, 2009

CIA Intervention In Panama Historically Revisited

The CIA apparently played an important role in both preparing for and carrying out the Pentagon invasion of Panama in 1989 [nearly 20 years ago]. As Eclipse: The Last Days of the CIA by Mark Perry revealed:

“Reagan signed a presidential finding that directed the CIA to provide secret nonlethal assistance to anti-Noriega forces inside Panama. This support included a radio transmitter and funding for a propaganda campaign to be run by opposition figures in the United States and the Canal Zone. The CIA chief of station in Panama was put in charge of disbursing the aid and organizing a credible political alternative to Noriega…

“CIA planning for the Noriega operation went forward in mid-May 1988…

“…Programs were approved at a high-level meeting at the White House in mid-February, when Bush, Baker, GATES, Webster and Stoltz decided to give opposition forces $10 million to help in the upcoming May elections…

“The agency participated fully in Operation Just Cause. It hastily set up a Panama Task Force that worked with a special liaison committee at the Defense Department. The CIA’s jobs were among the most important: to draw up targets, recruit new agents inside Panama, review on-site changes in the PDF order of battle, and debrief Panamanian immigrants on the habits and schedules of Noriega and his assistants. Their operations centered on psychological warfare, to grind away at the PDF in the days and hours leading up to American intervention…In the midst of the battle the CIA was required…to usher the new leaders of the nation through their first day in office…”

(Downtown 1/19/94)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Media Censorship In Post-Allende Chile Revisited

In its 1988 World Report, Information, Freedom and Censorship, the London-based Article 19 human rights organization described the situation in post-Allende Chile during the 1970s and 1980s by stating the following:

“Gen. Augusto Pinochet Ugarte has ruled Chile in conjunction with the commanders of the four armed services since the military coup of 1973. Following the coup, publications sympathetic to the deposed Allende government were forcibly closed, printing equipment was destroyed, and personnel affiliated with the press and media were jailed, deported, `disappeared’ or killed. Radio and television stations were taken over by management appointed by the military so that news and opinion were disseminated in compliance with the wishes of the new regime…

“A leading journalist, Juan Pablo Cardenas, editor of the weekly Analisis, was sentenced after appeal on May 28, 1987 to 18 months night-time imprisonment on charges of slandering the President in a series of articles which had appeared in his magazine the previous year.

“The editor and assistant editor of the weekly Apsi were arrested and jailed in August 1987, and a satirical issue of the magazine was confiscated…

“The Chilean government employs many different methods in punishing the expression of dissenting views. On Nov. 28, 1986, 14,000 copies of the latest book by Gabriel Garcia Marquez were burned on arrival at the port of Valparaiso…”

During the 1980s, the special interests of the Military Mission of the Chilean Pinochet regime were represented in Washington, D.C. by the lobbying firm of Anderson & Pendleton, which also represented the special interests of China Airline Ltd. and the Federation of Japan Tuna Fisheries Cooperative in Washington.

(Downtown 9/1/93)

[Note: Since I’m taking a summer blogging break, I won’t be blogging here again until the end of July. But in the meantime: Keep The Faith!]

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

CIA's September 1973 Chilean Military Coup Revisited

As partially dramatized in the 1980s Costa-Gavras film Missing, about 20,000 Chileans were killed and 30,000 were arrested by the CIA’s Chilean military in the weeks following the September 11, 1973 coup in Chile.

In an essay that appeared in the 1978 book Uncloaking The CIA, titled “The Facts About Chile,” the widow of Chilean President Salvador Allende—Hortensia Bussi de Allende—stated the following:

The chapter concerning CIA and North American imperialist intervention in Chile is by no means closed…Each day we know of new facts that…have been hidden from the North American people…It is necessary that these so-called `secrets' be known…I ask the people of the United States to insist that the…responsibility of the U.S. government for the fascist massacre that exists in Chile be made known and denounced…

“In September [1973], ships from the U.S. Navy arrive in Chilean waters to participate with the Chilean Navy in the joint maneuvers called `Operation Unitas.’

“At the same time, 32 U.S. observation and battle planes land in Mendoza, Argentina; 15 of the planes leave 48 hours after the coup. Simultaneously 150 North Americans described as `specialists in air acrobatics’ arrive in Chile.

“On Sept. 9 [1973], President Nixon is informed about plans for the military coup in Chile.

“On Sept. 11 [1973], the military coup takes place. The Popular Unity government is overthrown; President Allende is murdered and a fascist dictatorship is installed.

“The fact that the U.S. warships from the Unitas maneuvers were standing by ready to help in case they were needed in carrying out the coup is disclosed.

“Another fact is revealed…: namely, that on the day of the coup a WB-575 plane was operated in Chile by Majors V. Ouenes and T. Schull from the U.S. Air Force. The plane was a flying electronic control station, servicing to coordinate the communications of the putschists.

The German magazine, Neue Berliner Illustrierte of Dec. 25, 1973, states that it has a confidential U.S. Army document, taken from a vault at Fort Gulick, Panama, outlining a plan to destroy the Popular Unity government. The U.S. plan revealed in Germany has characteristics very similar to the events of Sept. 11…”

In another essay that appeared in Uncloaking The CIA, titled “The Case of Chile,” Adam Schuesch and Patricia Garrett also described the U.S. role in the Sept. 11, 1973 Chilean military coup:

Evidence published in Argentina suggests that the planes actually used in the precision bombing attack on the presidential palace were U.S. planes using `smart bombs’ and piloted by foreigners. At the same time units of the U.S. Navy were stationed off the major port, Valparaiso, ostensibly to participate in joint naval exercises. In fact, U.S. Navy personnel played a key role in communications coordination during the coup.

“…What is important about the U.S. intervention in Chile is the preparatory phase. Without active U.S. financing, training and supplies, the coup could clearly never have been successful…The U.S. involvement in the overthrow of the democratic government of Chile is a serious warning for United States citizens. The investigations of the CIA have shown that the people behind the Chilean coup have few scruples about similar activities in the U.S. Chile teaches us that it could happen here.”

(Downtown 9/1/93)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

U.S. Media Coverage of CIA's 1973 Chilean Military Coup Revisited

In their book Unreliable Sources: A Guide To Detecting Bias In News Media, Martin Lee and Norman Solomon described how much of the U.S. Big Media reported on what happened in Chile in September 1973:

“Passive phrases and gloss-over euphemisms were invoked by some U.S. reporters in writing about the 1973 military coup in Chile. It was often said that Chilean President Salvador Allende `died’ in the presidential palace, when he was murdered by the armed forces. According to the New York Times, Allende’s policies caused `chaos’ which `brought in the military.’ This obscures the fact that the U.S. government and corporations like ITT were instrumental in fomenting chaos and backing the coup. The notion that `chaos’ prompted the Chilean military to move in and restore order implicitly downplays and neutralizes the brutality of the coup, in which tens of thousands of people were killed, tortured and `disappeared.’

Martin Lee and Norman Solomon also observed that “CIA propaganda planted in the Chilean newspaper El Mercurio played a crucial role in setting the stage for the U.S. engineered coup that overthrew the democratically-elected government led by Salavador Allende" in 1973.

(Downtown 9/1/93)

Monday, July 6, 2009

Remembering Ex-Defense Secretary Robert McNamara's War Crimes

In his 2000 book Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower, William Blum indicated the role that the recently-deceased former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara played in world history, by writing the following:

“…Any number of countries would be justified in issuing a list of Americans barred from entry because of `war crimes’ and `crimes against humanity.’ Such a list might include the following:…Robert McNamara, Secretary of Defense under presidents Kennedy and Johnson, a prime architect of, and major bearer of responsibility for, the slaughter in Indochina, from its early days to its extraordinary escalations; and for the violent suppression of popular movements in Peru…”

In A People’s History of the United States, Howard Zinn also recalled how McNamara lied to the people of the United States about what actually happened in the Gulf of Tonkin in August of 1964:

“In early August 1964, President Johnson used a murky set of events in the Gulf of Tonkin, off the coast of North Vietnam, to launch full-scale war on Vietnam. Johnson and Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara told the American public there was an attack by North Vietnamese torpedo boats on American destroyers. `While on routine patrol in international waters,’ McNamara said, `the U.S. destroyer Maddox underwent an unprovoked attack.’ It later turned out that the Gulf of Tonkin episode was a fake, that the highest American officials had lied to the public—just as they had in the invasion of Cuba under Kennedy. In fact, the CIA had engaged in a secret operation attacking North Vietnamese coastal installations—so if there had been an attack it would not have been `unprovoked.’ It was not a `routine patrol,’ because the Maddox was on a special electronic spying mission. And it was not in international waters but in Vietnamese territorial waters. It turned out that no torpedoes were fired at the Maddox, as McNamara said. Another reported attack on another destroyer, two nights later, which Johnson called `open aggression on the high seas,’ seems also to have been an invention…

“The Tonkin `attack’ brought a congressional resolution, passed unanimously in the House, and with only two dissenting votes in the Senate, giving Johnson the power to take military action as he saw fit in Southeast Asia…

“Immediately after the Tonkin Affair, American warplanes began bombarding North Vietnam. During 1965, over 200,000 American soldiers were sent to South Vietnam, and in 1966, 200,000 more…”

But after it became evident to many U.S. academics that the Democratic Johnson Administration’s policy of escalating the Vietnam War in early 1965 by starting to bomb North Vietnam on a regular basis had failed to achieve a quick victory in Vietnam for the U.S. war machine, Harvard University Graduate School of Public Administration Associate Dean Carl Kaysen visited U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara at the Pentagon. As Power and Promise: The Life and Times of Robert McNamara by Deborah Shapley recalled in 1993:

“McNamara was looking for `fresh’ ideas when he returned from Vietnam in November [1965], and he was handed one in particular—for a technological `barrier’—that would play a major part in his attempt to redirect the war…Carl Kaysen, who had worked in John Kennedy’s White House…recalls visiting McNamara twice in December 1965 in his office.

“It was common for leading university scientists and other experts to work on military problems during war…In Cambridge in 1965, there evolved a `floating crap game,’ Kaysen says, involving a few Harvard and M.I.T. faculty—some with formal Pentagon ties and some without—to brainstorm on ways to resolve the war…Thus the idea arose of the `electronic fence,’ or `barrier.’…

“Perhaps America’s technology could be used to advantage in the jungle after all, Kaysen’s group told McNamara in December. A string of new devices—tiny sensors that detected footfalls, air-dropped mines, remotely guided air and ground fire—could be installed starting on the coast, following the 17th parallel, running inland and continuing straight on across the waist of Laos…

“The plan for the barrier went forward in secret. Scientists in a secret group called the Jason Division of the Institute for Defense Analyses would bring in parallel studies to McNamara by the fall of 1966…”

Former Harvard University Dean Kaysen also stated in the book Jerry Wiesner: Scientist, Statesman, Humanist—Memories and Memoirs:

“In late 1965 and early 1965, Jerry [Wiesner], [MIT Professor] George Kistiakowsky, and I persuaded McNamara to support a summer study in Cambridge with the purpose of finding more effective ways than bombing…”

McNamara then “wrote back to the Cambridge group asking that their summer study examine the feasibility of…night vision devices, defoliation techniques and area-denial weapons,” according to the book The Jasons by Ann Finkbeiner. The same book also noted that:

“To set up their summer study, the Cambridge group called Jack Ruina, who was now president of IDA. `I got a call either from George Kistiakowsky or Jerry Wiesner or one of those guys,’ Ruina said. `Zacharias maybe. So what were they talking? They said, “We would like to have a study on a Vietnam issue and would you be willing to set up a study so it would be an IDA study.”’ IDA, with its academic trustees and its highly placed Defense Department customers, was a natural for the Cambridge group.”

According to The Jasons by Ann Finkbeiner, the Jason East group apparently completed their report during July and early August 1966 that designed “specific types of mines and bombs” and “suggested the aircraft appropriate for dropping, orbiting and striking” and again met at Dana Hall Girls School in Wellesley, Massachusetts on Aug. 15, 1966. Then, on Aug. 30, 1966, “Nierenberg, Deitchman, Kistiakowsky, Ruina, Jerome Wiesner and Jerrold Zacharias met with Robert McNamara and presented their report,” according to the same book.

In their 1987 book Vietnam On Trial: Westmoreland vs. CBS, Bob Brewin and Sydney Shaw also described what happened after the July and August 1966 summer meetings of IDA’s Jason Division:

“the IDA’s Jason division…on August 30, 1966 sent McNamara the results of their `Summer Study,’ which determined that `In the realities of Vietnam…the barrier must be imposed and maintained mainly by air.’

“This report, based on the research of M.Goldberger and W. Nierenberg, put a twentieth-century high-tech spin on the age-old concept of a wall…

“…As the Jasons planned it, the air-supported…barrier would consist of two parts, an anti-foot-traffic barrier and an anti-vehicular barrier, each backed by its own system of sensors and weapons…

“The Jasons…proposed `seeding’ a variety of unique munitions along the [Ho Chih Minh] Trail, lying in wait for an unsuspecting foe. These included `button bomblets,’ aspirin-sized explosives designed more to activiate the sensors when stepped on than to cause casualties. The bomblet was backed up by…irregular-shaped antipersonnel mines…

“Finally, the Jasons proposed that vehicular traffic detected by the sensors should be attacked with SADEYE-BCU26B cluster bombs…”

After receiving and looking over the IDA weapons research report that resulted from the Jason Division’s summer 1966 session of developing new weapons technology for use in Indochina, U.S. Secretary of Defense McNamara “helicoptered in to meet with Jason and the Cambridge Group for the last time” on Sept. 7, 1966 “at Zacharias’ summer home on Cape Cod,” according to The Jasons by Ann Finkbeiner. At this Sept. 7, 1966 meeting between these IDA-linked U.S. university professors, “Deitchman and Kistiakowsky explained the plan to McNamara” and “maps of Southeast Asia were spread out in the living room,” according to the same book.

The Vietnam On Trial: Westmoreland vs. CBS book also revealed what else happened in September 1966:

“The Jasons…pushed for a follow-on contract…They recommended that the Pentagon follow up the `Summer Study’ with a full-time task force…They...noted that IDA, by virtue of its…location and experience, seemed a suitable place to manage this effort.

“McNamara bit. On September 15[1966] he appointed Air Force Lieutenant Alfred Starbird as head of Joint Task Force 728, which would develop the barrier…”

According to The Jasons by Ann Finkbeiner:

“The task force was called the Defense Communications Planning Group, or DCPG…Its adjunct Scientific Advisory Committee included…a reasonable fraction of Jasons: Richard Garwin, Murph Goldberger, Val Fitch, Gordon MacDonald, Henry Kendall, Charles Townes, Bill Nierenberg, Hal Lewis, and probably others; Kistiakowsky was the committee’s chairman. It reported directly to McNamara.”

For secrecy reasons, the “Defense Communications Planning Group’ changed its name on June 13, 1967 to “Illinois City.” For secrecy reasons, it again changed its name in July 1967 to “Dye Marker.” Then, in September 1967, the Pentagon and IDA Jason Division-conceived air-supported sensor barrier project’s code-name was again changed; this time to “Muscle Shoals.” By June 1968, the electronic barrier project code-name had been changed yet another time, to “IGLOO WHITE.”

By 1968, the electronic battlefield technology that IDA’s Jason Division had developed for McNamara’s Vietnam War was being used in South Vietnam in the Battle of Khe Sanh. And, on Sat. Feb. 3, 1968, Columbia University Professor and Director of Columbia’s Watson IBM Labs Richard Garwin “traveled to Vietnam” with Henry Kendall and several other scientists “to check on the operation of the electronic barrier,” according to The Jasons by Ann Finkbeiner. The same book also observed:

“The sensors allowed such accurate detection of the enemy at night, in fog, behind hills, and in the jungle, that attacks on the enemy could be remote—that is, only artillery or air strikes—and would need no soldiers.

“…The electronic barrier turned into the electronic battlefield, the modern method for carrying out nonnuclear warfare, in particular on the urban battlefield…The relay to which the sensor talks is now a UAV, an unmanned aerial vehicle like the Predator or the Global Hawk, used in both Gulf wars and in Afghanistan…The responders are now bombs that are guided by lasers…”

According to a 1972 book by Cornell University’s Air War Study Group, titled The Air War In Indochina:

“The figures show that during the intense phase of the North Vietnam bombing, 100,000 to 200,000 tons of munitions per year were dropped. This bombing inflicted 25,000 to 50,000 casualties per year, 80 percent of whom were civilians…

“Indochina…has…become the laboratory for the evolution of the electronic battlefield…

“For the period from 1965 to April 1971, the estimate of civilian casualties in South Vietnam is 1,050,000 including 325,000 deaths…

“…American scientists and engineers—civilians as well as those working for the Department of Defense—have been deeply involved in the development of the electronic battlefield.”

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Chilean Military's Pentagon & CIA Connection Prior To 1973 Coup

As the Chile: CIA Big Business book noted, “It was General Augusto Pinochet, a military attache’ of the Chilean Embassy in Washington for 10 years that proved to be…the…head of the Junta” after the democratically-elected government of Chilean President Salvador Allende was overthrown in a Chilean military coup on September 11, 1973: and “Pinochet, incidentally, had his training at the U.S. bases in the Panama Canal Zone three times, in 1965, 1968 and even in 1972…” The same book also recalled:

“As early as July 1969, the CIA Santiago Station received a Headquarters go-ahead for a secret program to infiltrate CIA agents into the Armed Forces of Chile. The program lasted for four years, and its principal objective was to get CIA agents into all three branches of the Chilean military, more particularly the command-level officers, general staff officers, retired officers and enlisted men.

“Yet President Nixon’s order of Sept. 15, 1970, for a military coup to be organized caught the Santiago Station unprepared. CIA agents among the Chilean military had not enough influence as yet to push them into staging a coup…”

(Downtown 9/1/93)

Saturday, July 4, 2009

U.S. Media Influence In The Caribbean Historically

In 1990, Far From Paradise: An Introduction to Caribbean Development by James Ferguson noted:

“…Indoctrination is largely the result of the U.S. media…U.S. radio, for instance, can be heard throughout the region, and the Voice of America (famous for its propaganda) spent $50 million during the 1980s on setting up 11 additional transmitters within the area. Television is similarly dominated by the U.S. In 1975, an estimated 82 percent of programs seen on Jamaican television were imported from the U.S. Other Caribbean states had an even more solid diet of U.S.-imported television; Barbados received 97 percent of its programs from this source, and St. Kitts-Nevis 100 percent…

“This media invasion increases U.S. influence throughout the Caribbean. It erodes the cultural independence and separate identity of the various countries in the region and reduces them to passive consumers of news and entertainment provided exclusively by U.S. networks…”

(Downtown 11/23/94)

Friday, July 3, 2009

U.S. Invasion of Panama Revisited

(December 20, 2009 will mark the 20th Anniversary of the 1989 invasion of Panama by 24,000 Pentagon troops).

In The U.S. Invasion of Panama: The Truth Behind Operation `Just Cause,’ an Independent Commission of Inquiry described what happened in Panama during the Pentagon’s 1989 invasion:

“Thousands of Panamanians were killed and wounded during the invasion. The bulk of these casualties were civilians. Estimates of the numbers killed range from over 1,000 to as many as 4,000. A precise figure is hard to arrive at because the U.S. government has carried out a deliberate and systematic cover-up of the numbers killed…

“During the invasion U.S. troops carried out the destruction of the offices of almost every political organization and newspaper known to oppose U.S. policy. The U.S. invasion force destroyed Panama’s National Radio and another radio station, Sistema Radial De Onda Popular. Two television stations, Channel 2 and 5, were also taken over by U.S. troops. The newspaper La Republica, which reported on the extensive death and destruction caused by the invasion, was ransacked and looted by U.S. troops. La Republica publisher Escolastico `Fuelela’ Calvo was arrested and taken by U.S. troops to Fort Clayton…”

The Independent Commission of Inquiry project directors, Gavriella Gemma and Teresa Gutierrez, also noted that as of 1991 there was “not one hearing or congressional investigation into this monstrous event, even though it violated…the U.S. Constitution” and described the role the Big Media played in manipulating U.S. public opinion to support the Pentagon’s invasion of Panama in 1989:

“The media, every television station, every major newspaper participated in a virtual orgy of applause while covering up what was really taking place in Panama. One less experienced anchorman attempting an analysis was summarily shut up while on the air…”

(Downtown 12/21/94)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Male Worker Jobless Rate Under Obama Regime: 10.6 Percent

The official “seasonally adjusted” unemployment rate for male workers in the United States over 16 years-of-age under the Democratic Obama Regime increased from 10.5 percent to 10.6 percent between May 2009 and June 2009, according to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

The official “seasonally adjusted” unemployment rate for white male workers increased from 9 percent to 9.2 percent between May 2009 and June 2009.

For all U.S. workers, the “not seasonally adjusted” jobless rate increased from 9.1 percent to 9.7 percent between May 2009 and June 2009.

The official “not seasonally adjusted” jobless rate for African-American female workers over 20 years-of-age also increased from 11.1 percent to 11.7 percent between May 2009 and June 2009; and the official “not seasonally adjusted” jobless rate for all African-American workers increased from 14.7 percent to 15.3 percent during this same period.

The official “not seasonally adjusted” rate for all African-American male workers over 20 years-of age was still 16.1 percent in June 2009.

The official “not seasonally adjusted” jobless rate for African-American youth between 16 and 19 years-of-age increased from 40.1 percent to 45 percent between May 2009 and June 2009, while the “not seasonally adjusted” unemployment rate for Hispanic or Latino youth was still 30.1 percent during this same period. The official “not seasonally adjusted” jobless rate for white youth between 16 and 19 years-of-age also increased from 21.1 percent to 25 percent between May 2009 and June 2009.

Between May 2009 and June 2009, the official “not seasonally adjusted” jobless rate for Hispanic or Latina women jumped from 10.5 percent to 11.5 percent, while the “not seasonally adjusted” unemployment rate for Asian-American workers jumped from 6.7 percent to 8.2 percent during this same period. The official “seasonally adjusted” unemployment rate for all Hispanic and Latino workers in the United States in June 2009 was 12.2 percent.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ July 2, 2009 press release:

“Nonfarm payroll employment continued to decline in June (-467,000)…Job losses were widespread across the major industry sectors, with large declines occurring in manufacturing, professional and business services, and construction…

“The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) increased by 433,000 over the month to 4.4 million. In June, 3 in 10 unemployed persons were jobless for 27 weeks or more…

“Employment in manufacturing fell by 136,000 over the month…Within the durable goods industry, motor vehicles and parts (-27,000), fabricated metal products (-18,000), computer and electronic products (-16,000), and machinery (-14,000) continued to lose jobs in June.

“In June, employment in construction fell by 79,000, with losses spread throughout the industry…Mining employment fell by 8,000 in June…

“Employment in the professional and business services industry declined by 118,000 in June…Within this sector, employment in temporary help services fell by 38,000 in June…

“Retail trade employment edged down in June (-21,000)…Over the month, job losses continued in automobile dealerships (-9,000). Employment continued to fall in wholesale trade (-16,000).

“In June, financial activities employment continued to decline (-27,000)…In June, employment declined in credit intermediation and related activities (-10,000) and in securities, commodity contracts, and investments (-6,000).

“The information industry lost 21,000 jobs over the month…

“Employment in federal government fell by 49,000 in June, largely due to the layoff of workers temporarily hired to prepare for Census 2010…”

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Review of `William Lloyd Garrison and The Humanitarian Reformers'--Conclusion

(Following book review first appeared in the November 9, 1994 issue of the Lower East Side alternative weekly, Downtown. See below for parts 1, 2, 3 and 4.)

By the 1850s, despite William Lloyd Garrison's continued editorship of the Liberator, “Wendell Phillips, not Garrison, emerged as the real leader of New England abolition” because Garrison’s “continuous emphasis on abolition as a moral crusade—and nothing else—seemed old-fashioned and impractical,” according to Russel Nye’s William Lloyd Garrison and The Humanitarian Reformers book. Most other abolitionists now worked to end slavery by either mobilizing behind the mid-19th century Republican Party or third party groups—or by supporting people like John Brown, who were willing to use violence in defense of freed slaves who were being victimized by the 1850 Fugitive Slave Law. Garrison, himself, however, only supported the end, not the means, of John Brown’s 1859 attack on the Harper’s Ferry arsenal, for example.

Unlike younger abolitionists such as Wendell Phillips, after the goal of legal emancipation was finally achieved during the Civil War, Garrison did not agitate on behalf of either a post-Civil War Reconstruction policy which guaranteed democratic rights and economic freedom for the former slaves in the South or on behalf of labor emancipation in the North; and he stopped publishing and editing the Liberator in 1865.

As an introduction to a 19th-Century abolitionist journalist who has generally been forgotten in recent years, Nye’s book might be a good first choice. And if Hollywood eventually gets around to producing a movie version which shows how Garrison’s newsweekly (for at most 2,500 subscribers) affected U.S. history, Nye’s book would provide good background material. (end of book review)

(Downtown 11/9/94)

`Free Leonard Peltier!'


In Lewisburg, he's in a cage
His human rights, denied each day


They've kept him locked up for so many years
His trial was so unfair
The evidence shows he's innocent
Free Leonard Peltier!

The F.B.I., the Bureau of Lies
They framed him, it's so clear
They sought revenge for A.I.M.'s revolt
Free Leonard Peltier!

A Freedom Fighter who did become
A political prisoner
The media pretends he don't exist
Free Leonard Peltier!

Like Geronimo Pratt and Mumia
His spirit is what they fear
But more revolt is in the air
Free Leonard Peltier!

Hypocrisy now rules the land
Injustice is everywhere
Without protest, they'll let him rot
Free Leonard Peltier!

What kind of men will steal a life
So they can keep all power?
Under their flag they wrap evil
Free Leonard Peltier!

To listen to the "Free Leonard Peltier!" protest folk song, you can go to the music site at the following link:

July 1, 2009 marks the 32nd anniversary of Leonard Peltier's sentencing to two consecutive life terms, after being found guilty of two counts of "first degree murder" on the basis of fabricated evidence and coerced testimony. This protest folk song was written in the 1990s.

Leonard Peltier has served over thirty-two years in prison and is long overdue for parole. But the Democratic Obama Administration, in 2009, has still not released him.