Date   

Re: Dave Zirin: You Can’t Separate Sports and Politics | Alex N. Press | Jacobin

Heath Eddy
 

In the early 1890s there was an attempt at a player-owned baseball league to compete with the then-National League. It fell apart due to ticket price cuts by the NL followed by an economic depression that wiped out the fan base. At the time it was thought that the public couldn't support two professional leagues. It was more about the NL undercutting the Players League. 

Of note, one of the organizers of the Players League was one John Montgomery Ward, who in addition to a fairly productive professional baseball career was also a Columbia University Law School graduate.


The dedicated life and music of Mikis Theodorakis | Ben Lunn | Culture Matters

Kevin Lindemann and Cathy Campo
 


Re: Dave Zirin: You Can’t Separate Sports and Politics | Alex N. Press | Jacobin

wytheholt@...
 

Many bigtime athletes are rockribbed rightwingers.

On September 15, 2021 at 8:57 AM Roger Kulp <leucovorinsaves@...> wrote:

I would argue the DSA is the wrong place to establish sports teams, and music groups, because at its core, the DSA is not a Marxist, or revolutionary, organization. 

Player/activists like Colin Kaepernick will never succeed in the NFL, NBA, or MLB, because of the structure of team ownership in the US. They are basically well paid indentured servants, or slaves, to the franchise owners, who call all the shots. For all their fame and fortune, the players have no more rights than a minimum wage fry cook at Mc Donalds. Perhaps someone who knows this history better than I do could tell me why has there never been a real movement for players to form unions, or to turn teams into player owned cooperatves.

 


US Media Support Tech Regulation—Unless It Comes From China | Julianne Tveten | FAIR

Kevin Lindemann and Cathy Campo
 


9/11 and the ineffable innocence of US empire

Dennis Brasky
 

The media cannot look at the causes of the 9/11 attacks even 20 years later. But Al Qaeda perpetrated the bombings because the U.S. was an occupying military force in Saudi Arabia. A 1998 declaration of war by Osama bin Laden cites two other issues: the "devastation" of Iraq by U.S. sanctions including the alleged deaths of 1 million Iraqis, and the effort by the U.S. to "fragment" Arab nations and leave them as "paper statelets" so as to insure the survival of Israel.

 

https://mondoweiss.net/2021/09/9-11-and-the-ineffable-innocence-of-us-empire/



'NY Times' fearmongers about the Iran nuclear deal, while ignoring Israel's efforts to sabotage it

Dennis Brasky
 

One U.S. publication just covered the stalled Iran nuclear deal talks honestly. Another ran a distorted, fearmongering article. Guess which one was the New York Times?

 

https://mondoweiss.net/2021/09/ny-times-fearmongers-about-the-iran-nuclear-deal-while-ignoring-israels-efforts-to-sabotage-it/



Re: Dave Zirin: You Can’t Separate Sports and Politics | Alex N. Press | Jacobin

Jeffrey Masko <j.alan.masko@...>
 

I saw RB play in Forbes Field and saw him throw a runner at first at Three Rivers, and yes, still have a shirt with his number. I served mass as an altar boy the New Year's day we learned of his death, I think every sermon in Pgh was about him that day so the patron saint isn't far off. A good priest knows his audience. The thing is most folks don't remember 1) how his political side rankled the establishment and some fans. The sportswriters were always quick to label him lazy after his back pain became unbearable and he'd refer to it to explain his performances. Talking about injuries is still considered "weak" in today's locker rooms. Like always, when a black player is doing well, he is celebrated, if not, out comes the n word.

The idea that yes, athletes are workers was often lost on guys working steel mills, and this stance widened in the 70s with the team that field no white players. It is no coincidence that when Mario Lemieux arrived about the same time, the gate for Pirate games fell and the Pens' soared. I make no excuses for the class contradictions displayed by sections of the working-class in this case or others, such as the admiration for owners of the Steelers,  the Rooney's, and their hardline stance in negotiating. I do see this in many ways as ground that the left lets rightwing narratives such as greedy players as opposed to greedy owners play out without combatting.


H-Net Review [H-Africa]: Cserkits on Comolli, 'Boko Haram: Nigeria's Islamist Insurgency'

Andrew Stewart
 



Best regards,
Andrew Stewart

Begin forwarded message:

From: H-Net Staff via H-REVIEW <h-review@...>
Date: September 15, 2021 at 11:20:38 AM EDT
To: h-review@...
Cc: H-Net Staff <revhelp@...>
Subject: H-Net Review [H-Africa]:  Cserkits on Comolli, 'Boko Haram: Nigeria's Islamist Insurgency'
Reply-To: h-review@...

Virginia Comolli.  Boko Haram: Nigeria's Islamist Insurgency.  London
Hurst &amp; Company, 2018.  Maps. 208 pp.  $19.50 (paper), ISBN
978-1-84904-661-9.

Reviewed by Michael Cserkits (University of Vienna)
Published on H-Africa (September, 2021)
Commissioned by Dawne Y. Curry

In her current work about the genesis and development of Boko Haram,
Virginia Comolli presents a comprehensive look at a complex problem
aimed to design lasting ramifications and solutions. Unfortunately,
the book does not provide the latter. The author makes two
assumptions regarding the context: First, and most striking, she
looks at the problem from a designated (but unspoken) securitization
perspective. Second, she assumes a security-development nexus in
Nigeria, with Boko Haram viewed more as a symptom rather than a
cause, which perfectly fits most postcolonial (and neo-imperial)
discourses. She takes her presuppositions for granted. But Comolli
also presents a clear statement regarding her caveats in dealing with
a terroristic group, especially the sensitivity of the topic and the
connected area of anonymity of her informants, at the expense that in
most parts of the book the reader simply has to believe her authority
with no chance to reproduce her conclusions.

Following the introduction, the author turns to the "Just War" aspect
in the struggle against Boko Haram, a fact that would--if stringently
declined--alter the whole setting of securitization. Unfortunately,
the "Just War" aspect is mentioned only once in the book and
therefore irritates the reader more than serves as an alternative
approach in dealing with Boko Haram. Further, in her overview of
Islamic movements in her discussion of western Africa, some of her
conclusions are too simple, like the statement that more radical
elements had been introduced in the area by the Wahhabi influence
from El Hadji Jibril bin Umar. Critique on this explanation was
already issued by Robert Launey in 1992 but was not incorporated by
Comolli, a setback, as Launey's source can be considered valuable for
her research.[1] More obvious is the misinterpretation of a possible
comparison of Sufism and Wahhabism, which are according to
contemporary Islamic theology studies (like Rüdiger Lohlker's _Die
Salafisten: Der Aufstand der Frommen, Saudi-Arabien und der Islam_
[2017]), totally incomparable. On the other hand, the representation
and argumentation line regarding the other, mostly political, roots
and relationships as well as dependencies of Islam in Nigeria are
solid and easy to understand. The first third of the book is
inconsistent in terms of quality. Especially in the political and
historical analyses, thoroughly researched and well-written parts
will capture the reader, alone by the way this information is
presented. But then some swift changes in Comolli's argumentation
lose the essence of the chapters, leaving the "what now?" question
unanswered.

The author--throughout the whole book--misuses the terms
"operational" and "tactical" level, or at least offers the reader no
reasonable explanation of her understanding of the terms. Within the
military, the "operational level" is clearly defined as the level
above the tactical level that organizes and coordinates different
services (land, air, sea, special forces, space, and cyber) and is in
constant cooperation/collaboration with the military-strategic and
tactical level. How far Boko Haram posseses such a level is not
comprehensible. Most of her argumentation comes from two to three
academic sources, with Roman Loimeier, who published an article about
this topic in 2012, being the most often cited on several pages.[2]
This is, in my opinion, the weakest part of the book, as it feels
more like a content summary than original work.

The author does offer a good description of the origins of Boko Haram
but unfortunately leaves us with no meta-theory (for example,
alternative societal models or semi-state-building approaches) and
stays on a pure descriptive level without delving into theoretical
analysis. Therefore, her solid description of the initial drive of
Boko Haram as a semi-social organization and an alternative source of
stability is left untackled. Her statements about suicide bombers as
the method par excellence of an asymmetric thread are not
comprehensibly explained. Suicide bombing is but just one of the many
tools asymmetric warfare has to deal with, beside the fact that on an
abstract level all wars are more or less asymmetric (as the word just
states that one side has significantly less or more power than the
other). The author has fallen into the "asymmetric trap" that most
scholars not familiar with the military and its terminology do. Her
misuse of military terms is clearly seen on page 106 when she labels
RPGs (rocket-propelled grenades) as sophisticated weapons, which they
are not, as their use needs no proper training or knowledge. Such
minor setbacks may not be significant for the academic scholar, but
they make the informed military reader--or those with a background to
judge Comolli's facts in a more proper manner--uncomfortable when
going over well-researched parts of the book and then stumble over
exaggerations that could have been prevented with a little more
digging into the matter.

My overall impression of the book is that it is responsibly
researched and written but the target audience is not the academic
scholar who is looking for new approaches or results but rather the
interested policymaker or non-academic reader who is looking for a
condensed and compressed work about Boko Haram. Her initial stated
goal, to design lasting and comprehensive solutions, is not reached.
She often mentions but does not explain cultural, ethnic, and
religious ties between Cameroon, Chad, Niger, and Nigeria in terms of
Boko Haram's abuses in these given contexts. Her conclusion, that the
military per se is not a good tool to work among civilians, is not
understandable either, as experiences from counterinsurgencies, their
failures, backlashes, and restructuring have been available since the
2004 invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan. To sum up, Comolli has done
thorough research on the policy level and in certain aspects in the
historical field, but her book leaves us with no clear answer or new
approaches in how to deal with Boko Haram. A more specific discussion
with a detailed focus on Nigeria can be found in Edlyne Anugwom's
work, _The Boko Harm Insurgence in Nigeria: Perspectives from Within_
(2019).

Notes

[1]. Robert Launey, _Beyond the Stream: Islam and Society in a West
African Town_ (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1992), 82.

[2]. Roman Loimeier,"Boko Haram: The Development of a Militant
Religious Movement in Nigeria," _Afrika Spectrum_ 47, nos. 2-3
(2012): 137-56.__

Citation: Michael Cserkits. Review of Comolli, Virginia, _Boko Haram:
Nigeria's Islamist Insurgency_. H-Africa, H-Net Reviews. September,
2021.
URL: https://www.h-net.org/reviews/showrev.php?id=56689

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons
Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States
License.



Re: Dave Zirin: You Can’t Separate Sports and Politics | Alex N. Press | Jacobin

Jeffrey Masko <j.alan.masko@...>
 

Dear John,

Thanks for the response, frankly I thought there would be no reply, so I didn’t elaborate. With a generalization, there is bound to be areas where it doesn’t apply, but I stand by my statement with some explanation. Sorry I’m not quick with replies and hate to write more than 200 or 300 words in threads as I normally don’t have the time to read them, so I won’t post them in respect for the time of others.

First of all, there is a wide range of what people think of when they say the “left”.  I thought to use socialists or the radical or hard left, but frankly thought it was too obvious that those segments most often look at sports culture as an opium of the masses. Of course, the opium of the masses is now and has been opium (oxycodone and so on) for a while now. At this point, the Dems are so centralist, I couldn’t call them left in the same sense we used the term in the 70’s when left wasn’t necessarily derogatory in the common parlance. So, I’m not using the term to mean liberals or Dems in general, but those outside electoral politics, so basically the activist left. So, the “hard left” would have been accurate, so I will stick to them but think the argument could be made that the left by any standards do not understand or does not wish to understand worker culture.

This is mostly anecdotal but coming from the working-class boroughs of the West End of Pittsburgh in the 70s gives me a certain insight to both working-class cultures, Pittsburgh's sports culture, and how ideology is created through culture.  I’ve studied enough sports sociology at university to givea bit of insight there as well. I've also played on many teams and my wife played soccer at university, so we know more than the spectator side as well.

Mostly it’s from my experience with various groups over the years that separate politics as something worthwhile to work on, while sports are thought of as mindless entertainment. For instance, members of working groups in Occupy camps being vilified for taking time away to watch sports, or a radical group having ex Black Panthers talk (I’m sorry, I can’t remember the group or the women who were due to speak) on the same night as a Golden State Warrior playoff game; it is actions like these that display a profound ignorance of working-class people and the notion of meeting people where they are.

The fact that Zirin is the only writer, or sports personality, who foregrounds his leftist inclinations should be noted first. Yes, I guess you could use the Frankfurt School top-down model and say the sports business establishment doesn’t promote that sort of journalism and so on, but it happens elsewhere. For instance, take the promotional material associated with St Pauli FC, the corporate ethos embraces its anarcho-punk identity. The closest you come in the states that I know of is the second division football club, The Oakland Roots. Hell, the establishment of the English football pyramid are still taking a knee for racism in distinction to owners in the U.S. I mean the super league breakaway was engineered by Yanks wanting to take their version of sports to Europe!

So secondly the fact that U.S. sports is so widely acknowledged to be working within the military establishment; the anthem sung by military personnel, the flyovers of military jets, already sets the stage for interpreting sports events in this context, yet the push back by athletes in racial justice actions is viewed as “too political” by fans should tell us something (loads of academic sources for this, google scholar or I can provide some from my PhD work). Look at how Celtic FC is known for raising banners supporting Palestinian liberation with the risk of being penalized by UEFA and/or FIFA and tell me you can imagine something like that over here?

I didn’t not mean "understand workers" in some Marxist sense but understand working class culture in the Gramscian sense. You write, “Many of the most famous contributors to Marxist views, have been sports fans. I am aware of some sports players who were Marxists.” I meant Yanks, and more so, since the 70s in particular when the cultural shift to the right/conservatives arguably accelerated? So who did you mean? 

Here you state, “It is recognized that currently most U. S. laborers spend time discussing about sports teams and players and statistics, cultural celebrities lives and about knowing corporate fashion brands and their logos, rather than interest in reading history and economics.”

It is recognized…by who? Most? Is this backed up by numbers or is it your anecdotal evidence? You add this:

“Because they do not themselves value their own power separate, from seeking instead to identify with some sports team and musician AS an important completion of their identity and interests and of "worth" in knowing the statistics of a team/player and the cultural figures lives and the popular arts they contribute to.”

 Not sure I get all of this and not sure packing in music is helpful here, but overall, it smacks of looking down at the working-class folks as foolish and uneducated, like they can’t keep up on their teams AND read economics and history. Why "economics and history" is elevated above other subjects is unknown but reveals your bias more than anything. And even if you’ve grown up and lived your adult life in working-class positions in relation to production and within wc cultures, this comes off as knowing the intimate details or working-class lives and motivation without any scholarly evidence. Hell, you could prolly site Cobb and Sennets’ Hidden Injuries of Class to start with, so I’m not sure where you get these assumptions about the “working-class”.

“Many U. S. labor unions have held sports events and there were socialist organizations, which had sports teams, choral groups, etc. I have been advocating for DSA large branches, to establish both sports teams, music bands and choruses, to use for also outreach and organizing in working class neighborhoods.”

Examples? I’d love to look into them for some work I’m researching and while I applaud your efforts, I wonder how they have been received? But I fear they will go undone or done to “win the working-class masses over” which is doomed to fail if middle-class activists and middle-class org like the DSA try to lead working-class folks. The working class will not follow leadership that does not arise organically from our own communities.


Re: Dave Zirin: You Can’t Separate Sports and Politics | Alex N. Press | Jacobin

John A Imani
 

How Clemente Got the Players’ Union Behind Curt Flood

By Mike Elk

(Focus on Sports/Getty Images)

Today in Pittsburgh, we celebrate Roberto Clemente Day. 

Forty-eight years ago, Clemente, 38, died on New Year’s Eve while on a humanitarian and political mission to Nicaragua to ensure that post-earthquake aid wasn’t being stolen by the U.S.-backed Somoza dictatorship. 

Growing up playing baseball in Pittsburgh, it was drilled into my head by Little League coaches, baseball TV announcers, and teachers that Clemente was a selfless humanitarian who gave his life at the peak of his baseball stardom to help others.

Clemente is, in many ways, the patron saint of Pittsburgh. You can see his face painted on murals and his photo in every sports bar in Pittsburgh. Decades later, his uniform is still the most common uniform seen at Pirates’ games. He is held up as a symbol of the solidarity and compassion present in a union town like Pittsburgh. 

Yet, few rarely talk of Clemente’s politics, as he had hosted Martin Luther King Jr. on his farm in Puerto Rico. Even fewer talk of how Clemente’s union leadership as the National League’s top player representative changed the course of history. 

On December 13, 1969, in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Curt Flood was walking into one of the most important meetings of his life: the executive committee meeting of The Major League Players Association. He was nervous as all hell about what he was about to ask his fellow players to do — back him in a controversial lawsuit. 

Months earlier in October, Flood, a 7-time consecutive Gold Glove-winning center fielder, who helped lead the Cardinals to two World Series victories in the 1960s as team co-captain, was traded away after spending 11 years of his life in St. Louis. Not only was Flood being asked to move away from his family and give up his various business interests in St. Louis, but he was being asked to report to the Philadelphia Phillies, one of the most racist teams in baseball at the time.

Today, a little over fifty years later, veteran players can block trades to certain teams, but in 1969, players weren’t allowed to do so. Players were also barred from seeking free agency by the so-called “reserve clause.” Meaning, team owners could decide to send whoever. 

Flood didn’t want to go to the Philadelphia Phillies, but he needed his union’s support to fight them in court. He needed to hit a home run with his union that day in San Juan, Puerto Rico. 

As expertly recounted in A Well Paid SlaveBarry Synder’s book , many players in the player’s union meeting that day were skeptical of Flood’s decision to sue. Two previous lawsuit attempts — 1949’s Gardella v. Chandler case and the 1953’s Toolson v. New York Yankees case — had both been lost, and lawyers predicted that Flood stood little chance of winning. 

That winter, the player’s union was in the midst of tough contract bargaining with the owners and felt the case would be a distraction. Many players in the fledgling union thought that the union should instead focus on raising players’ wages and improving working conditions, not try to challenge the “reserve clause,” the Mt. Everest of baseball rules.

On the flight down to San Juan, even Flood’s teammate, the Cardinals’ own union player representative shortstop Dal Maxvill, told Flood that he shouldn’t go forward with pitching the player’s union on backing the lawsuit. 

“Why are you doing this to yourself,” Maxvill told Flood on the flight. “Do you know that you are going to be out there like Lone Ranger?” 

The following day, when Flood met with the Player’s union, Flood told them he was going to sue Major League Baseball for infringing on his rights as a worker to be employed by whom he pleased with or without their help. 

Many of the players in the room were skeptical. Tom Haller, the All-Star catcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers and future general manager of the Chicago White Sox, asked Flood bluntly if his decision to challenge his trade to Philadelphia was based on race. 

“I didn’t want it to be just a black thing,” Haller recounted in A Well Paid Slave. “I wanted it to be a baseball thing.” 

There were only two other Black men in the meeting: Reggie Jackson and Roberto Clemente. 

Jackson had just finished his second year in Major League Baseball, and the rookie phenom hadn’t endured the indignities of an 11-year veteran like Flood. Jackson began to question Flood’s decision. At one point, he even mocked Flood, a much better-paid veteran, as the only player who could afford to take on such a legal challenge. 

The mood in the room seemed uncertain whether players would get behind Flood. 

Then, Roberto Clemente, entering his 14th season, stood up and started to argue vehemently on behalf of Flood. Clemente had some experience organizing around racial issues in baseball. The year prior, he helped led an effort to get Major League Baseball to reluctantly agree to delay the start of the season after Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated.  

Clemente recounted how the lack of free agency had forced him, as a Puerto Rican player, to play in a racist city like Pittsburgh, where he faced frequent taunts from fans and journalists instead of a more welcoming environment like New York, which had a large Puerto Rican population. 

According to Clemente, the imbalance and lack of free agency not only cost him the opportunity to play in a less racist environment but, according to his calculations, had cost him $300,000 over the course of his career. 

Clemente repeatedly implored the players to back Flood. When he finished speaking, the barbs at Flood had stopped. As Synder recounts, “...the tone of the meeting soon shifted from whether the players would back Flood to how.” 

Fifty years later, Clemente’s son, Roberto Clemente Jr., told me that his father had specifically arranged the meeting on his home turf in Puerto Rico. 

“As the National League’s player representative, Dad knew how important this meeting was and he wanted to have it there in Puerto Rico,” Clemente Jr. told me last year. 

Today in Pittsburgh, the entire team will wear the number “21” in an effort to get Major League Baseball to retire Clemente’s number as the first Latino superstar, much like the number “42” of Robinson was retired. There will be a ceremony on the field to honor Clemente, and the team is even offering a 2-for-$21 ticket deal to attract fans to the ceremony. 

However, much like Robinson, who, as a retired player, testified at the Supreme Court in 1972 on behalf of Curt Flood, few would mention Clemente’s role in shaking up the labor power dynamics of the game. 

For them, he is simply a saint. A saint that the ballpark organizes charity events around and whose legacy is constantly recounted on sports documentaries that frequently re-run at night on the local channels. He is the best-selling Pirates jersey of all time. 

But for many of us, Clemente is so much more. Clemente was a fighter whose politics continue to inspire us. 

“Clemente really represents the values of a union town like Pittsburgh in so many ways,” says Guillermo Perez, President of the Pittsburgh Labour Council for Latin American Advancement. “And from the Latinx perspective, he set a great example by overcoming so many obstacles, and as I said, never compromising on his sense of identity as an Afro-Puerto Rican from a working class family.” 

After I was fired for union organizing at POLITICO in 2015, I used to keep a copy of Bruce Markusen’s book The Team that Changed Baseball with Roberto Clemente on the cover. I used to look at the photo of Clemente and the horrific racism that he played through during his life. 

When I would question if I had done the right thing in getting fired for union organizing at POLITICO, I would think of Clemente that day getting Curt Flood back and think of what Clemente was often fond of saying: “If you have a chance to accomplish something that will make things better for people coming behind you, and you don’t that, then you are wasting your time on this earth.” 

May Roberto Clemente’s memory always be a blessing to folks willing to stick their necks out when it’s not popular. May we not forget his true legacy. 

Donate to Help Us Continue to Honor Roberto Clemente in Our Labor Reporting

-----------------------------------------------------------------

4a. 
Re: Dave Zirin: You Can’t Separate Sports and Politics | Alex N. Press | Jacobin
From: Roger Kulp
Date: Wed, 15 Sep 2021 05:57:00 PDT

I would argue the DSA is the wrong place to establish sports teams, and music groups, because at its core, the DSA is not a Marxist, or revolutionary, organization. 

Player/activists like Colin Kaepernick will never succeed in the NFL, NBA, or MLB, because of the structure of team ownership in the US. They are basically well paid indentured servants, or slaves, to the franchise owners, who call all the shots. For all their fame and fortune, the players have no more rights than a minimum wage fry cook at Mc Donalds. Perhaps someone who knows this history better than I do could tell me why has there never been a real movement for players to form unions, or to turn teams into player owned cooperatves.

JAI


Re: Dave Zirin: You Can’t Separate Sports and Politics | Alex N. Press | Jacobin

Roger Kulp
 

I would argue the DSA is the wrong place to establish sports teams, and music groups, because at its core, the DSA is not a Marxist, or revolutionary, organization. 

Player/activists like Colin Kaepernick will never succeed in the NFL, NBA, or MLB, because of the structure of team ownership in the US. They are basically well paid indentured servants, or slaves, to the franchise owners, who call all the shots. For all their fame and fortune, the players have no more rights than a minimum wage fry cook at Mc Donalds. Perhaps someone who knows this history better than I do could tell me why has there never been a real movement for players to form unions, or to turn teams into player owned cooperatves.

And no, I don't believe groups like the NFLPA are real unions, in the same sense that actual labor unions are, but that's a different discussion.


Never Forget Victims of the Drone Program

Charles Keener
 


No one from the Obama administration has faced any consequences for the terror of the drone program. Nor have any members of the Trump administration faced consequences for waiving rules of engagement for airstrikes in Afghanistan, resulting in a spike in civilian casualties.
Daniel Hale, however, was sentenced to four years in prison for having the courage to provide the public with information about the drone program and its disregard for civilians. If voices like his were not silenced behind bars, maybe there would be more public outrage, or at least public acknowledgement of the civilian toll of US bombs and drones.

The war on Afghanistan is not over until the drone program has been shut down, the Afghan people have been paid reparations with money taken directly out of the Pentagon’s budget, and prison cells have swapped out whistleblowers for war criminals. Along with this full ending of the war, the United States will need a reckoning with the militaristic culture which made war on Afghanistan at first a popular demand and later a background noise that most Americans could ignore. That militaristic culture is still packed into American entertainment and news commentary, simmering until the next reason for war allows it to boil into another frenzy of xenophobic vengeance.


The vaccine: Misinformation and mandates | Sebastiano Porcu | Communist Party USA

Kevin Lindemann and Cathy Campo
 


“Islamophobia and the Politics of Empire”: Deepa Kumar on How Racism Fueled U.S. Wars Post-9/11

Charles Keener
 

“Islamophobia and the Politics of Empire”: Deepa Kumar on How Racism Fueled U.S. Wars Post-9/11 | Democracy Now!

Twenty years ago today, President George W. Bush visited the National Cathedral in Washington to remember the victims of the September 11th attacks. He vowed to, quote, “answer these attacks and rid the world of evil,” unquote. The U.S. bombing and occupation of Afghanistan would begin less than a month later, beginning 20 years of endless war.
According to the Costs of War Project, the wars launched by the United States following 9/11 have killed an estimated 929,000 people in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen and elsewhere. The true death toll may never be known, but the vast majority of the victims have been Muslim. “Racism is baked into the security logic of the national security state in the U.S., as well as in terms of how it operates abroad,” says Islamophobia scholar Deepa Kumar, a professor of media studies at Rutgers University. “The war on terror was sold to the American public using Orientalist and racist ideas that these societies are backward.” Kumar is the author of “Islamophobia and the Politics of Empire: 20 Years After 9/11,” an updated version of her 2012 book that examined how the war on terror ushered in a new era of anti-Muslim racism.


PNW Carpenters Union Leadership's Disgraceful "Strategy"

John Reimann
 

Introduction: After having had four contract proposals/tentative agreements (TA’s) rejected by the membership, the leadership of the Western Washington Regional Council of Carpenters has been forced to call a strike. This is after the Council representatives argued for months that the union should not demand a higher raise in order to help “recapture market share” – a business term if there ever was one. Now, the Council is doing what it can to ensure that the strike is not very effective. Jason, a carpenter in the area, explains. Oaklandsocialist comments below that.

By Jason B.

I was given the news earlier of the council’s plans for a strike. An apprentice notified us in a group text that they only planned on hitting 4 job sites on Thursday morning for a strike. 1 up north, 2 in Seattle, and 1 down south. When I heard this I was shocked and in disbelief. When this was confirmed after I talked to [another brother] my shock and disbelief turned to anger. I had no faith in our leadership to begin with, but this is nothing short of sabotage....

Read full story here: https://oaklandsocialist.com/2021/09/14/washington-state-carpenters-strike-update/


--
“Science and socialism go hand-in-hand.” Felicity Dowling
Check out:https:http://oaklandsocialist.com also on Facebook


IATSE is gearing up for a possible strike | David Trujillo | People's World

Kevin Lindemann and Cathy Campo
 


Re: Moderators Note I: Lou's Blog

Les Schaffer
 

As I said, Lou and I were reassured by WordPress.com that his blog would remain in perpetuity once his Premium plan runs out next May

If you're suggesting that there ought to be a backup to the WordPress site such a thing I suppose could be done, but Lou never worried about a backup 

Les 


On Tue, Sep 14, 2021, 6:41 PM Roger Kulp <leucovorinsaves@...> wrote:
Has any attempt been made to create a permanent archive of The Unrepentant Marxist?


Re: Dave Zirin: You Can’t Separate Sports and Politics | Alex N. Press | Jacobin

Michael Meeropol
 

I personally think that the example of the MLB Players' Association is a fabulous argument in favor of militant unions.   And I bet with a very brief piece of information about the rate of exploitation in MLB (billions forever for owners --- millions, even tens of millions for a VERY BRIEF time period for players ---) American workers with much lower incomes will recognize that it was SOLIDARITY which got MLB players the high incomes they have now ---- they may be the ONLY Union in history where NOT ONE MEMBER ever crossed a picket line ....

That should be trumpeted to all workers to show the value of unions.

(also, a bit of history -- baseball began as a working class game -- and up until the beginning of free agency, lots of baseball professionals, even stars, had to have winter jobs!)


Re: Moderators Note I: Lou's Blog

Roger Kulp
 

Has any attempt been made to create a permanent archive of The Unrepentant Marxist?


Re: Dave Zirin: You Can’t Separate Sports and Politics | Alex N. Press | Jacobin

John Obrien
 

Jeff,

Myself who grew up on baseball and a avid sport teams fan, believes you are incorrect when you state that one must be a sports fan
to understand workers.   I have known laborers who were not sports fans and understood capitalist exploitation and why too many
try to adapt and accept and fear harm, if they openly challenge the bosses.  Often many due to religious, family, cultural influences.

I also have known non-laborer Marxists, who are sports fans.  Many of the most famous contributors to Marxist views, have been 
sports fans. I am aware of some sports players who were Marxists.

How did you determine that "large segments of the [U. S.] left, don't understand workers in the U. S."?
And your implying that the majority of U. S. leftists, have not been sports fans, how did you arrive at that conclusion?

As a life long U. S. laborer, I understand that many in the U. S., prefer to spend interests in sports and culture, sensing wrongly
that they themselves have no power or control over "politics".  Actually, we know that the opposite is the case with laborers,
collectively organizing and spending effort, can enact their substantial power for a workers government, representing and much
involving them.    

It is recognized that currently most U. S. laborers spend time discussing about sports teams and players and statistics, cultural 
celebrities lives and about knowing corporate fashion brands and their logos, rather than interest in reading history and economics.
Because they do not themselves value their own power separate, from seeking instead to identify with some sports team and musician
AS an important completion of their identity and interests and of "worth" in knowing the statistics of a team/player and the cultural
figures lives and the popular arts they contribute to. 

Many U. S. labor unions have held sports events and there were socialist organizations, that had sports teams, choral groups, etc.
I have been advocating for DSA large branches, to establish both sports teams, music bands and choruses, to use for also outreach
and organizing in working class neighborhoods.    

     
   


From: Jeffrey Masko <j.alan.masko@...>
Sent: Tuesday, September 14, 2021 1:26 PM

 
And you can't understand workers without sports, which is one reason why large segments of the left don't understand workers in the U.S..


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