Four thousand mental health workers at Kaiser Permanente HMO held a five-day strike, once again calling attention to a serious lack of resources to provide timely care.
A Marxist-Humanist analysis of the 40-day strike by the autoworkers at General Motors and its ramifications for the labor struggle in the U.S. and abroad.
At the second gathering of “ConSciences for Humanity,” scientists shared with the Zapatista Indigenous communities their views of “Science in the face of the wall [capitalism].”
Readers’ views on: U.S. Racism on trial, the right’s crocodile tears, creeping fascism, climate change, nuclear alarms, teachers as labor, Pat Hunt Presente! and Judy and Dan presente!
Puerto Rico is devastated by hurricanes, with climate change a factor, and by the administration’s racist malign neglect, atop an existing debt crisis the masses did not create. Real solidarity came from below. .
Readers’ Views: facing far right’s threat; don’t scapegoat; Canadian strike; Transgender troops; women’s liberation; homeless in Los Angeles; defend dissidents; why read N&L.
A participant reports on the actions on April 29, the 25th Anniversary of the 1992 Los Angeles Rebellion, when over 500 Latino, Asian, and Black and white mostly youth marched through the streets starting from Florence and Normandie, where the Rebellion began.
Excluding some people from healthcare, as well as vaccinations and treating infectious diseases, puts even those with health coverage at risk. Battling healthcare exclusions is essential to confronting capitalism’s class rule. .
An in-depth Marxist-Humanist view of the state of the women’s movement in the U.S. and worldwide as it responds to the rising fascism of U.S. President Trump and other world leaders.
An International Women’s Day March in Flint in solidarity with the Selma-to-Montgomery March 52 years ago highlighted Flint residents’ ongoing struggle for civil and human rights.
Readers’ Views on: environmental and social crises; Martin Luther King Day; healthcare crisis, Donald Trump and the election; brutal “justice”; and who reads News & Letters.
Htun Lin’s Workshop Talks column takes up his experience as a refugee from Burma to the U.S. and today’s plight of the Rohingya, who are experiencing ethnic cleansing at the hands of the state and Buddhist nationalists in Burma today.
Reports from the huge Women’s March from participants in Chicago, Ill., Detroit, Mich., Oakland, Calif., Nashville, Tenn., Memphis, Tenn., Los Angeles, Calif., and New York City.
Healthcare worker Htun Lin takes up the relationship between workers in healthcare in the U.S. who are told “not everyone can be saved,” and what is happening in Syria where the Syrian government, Russia and Iran are bombing civilians including–or especially–hospitals and healthcare workers.
A critique of HMO practices that sanction nurses for giving quality care, showing the relation of that practice to what Marx worked out about labor time.
A brief roundup of what women are doing worldwide including: a report to the UN about the appalling status of women in the U.S.; The Cupcake Girls organization that supports sex workers in two U.S. states; and the British group Mumsnet that fights against the gendered marketing of children’s toys, books and clothing.
Economic problems are worsening crazily because of this war, but that is no longer the only major problem in Yemen. There are at least four major problems/risks being horribly worsened as the war continues. They are: famine, epidemics, the expansion of extremist groups, and sectarianism.
The workplace at Amazon.com is making employees physically and mentally ill which is a hallmark of production under capitalism. What happens at Amazon.com is not unusual and can be seen even in areas like healthcare, for example, at Kaiser.
Analysis of the New Democratic Party victory and the election of Rachel Notley as Premier in the May 5 Alberta, Canada, provincial election. It is critically important that we use this time well.
A roundup of actions around disabilities, including the police gunning down of mentally ill Thaddeus McCarroll in St. Louis, MO; a protest against Peter Singer, who called for legalizing killing disabled infants; and how American Airlines forced a woman in crawl onto a plane.
Letters and comments sent in by readers or taken down, to and about the articles in News & Letters or current events.
She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry is a documentary of the women’s liberation movement (WLM) in the U.S., from the late 1960s to the early 1970s. Filmmaker Mary Dore used a wealth of historical news coverage to give a sense of the breadth of organizations and depth of demands in the explosive growth of the WLM. Activists, identified within archival footage—including women like Fran Beal of the Civil Rights Movement’s Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, Lesbian rights activist Karla Jay, and Judith Arcana of the abortion underground organization Jane—gave contemporary interviews interspersed in the film.
Rauner’s $1.5 billion Medicaid cuts will have a devastating impact on those who depend on this program for their healthcare. “Some people will die from these cuts,” a woman at the rally said.
The electoral victory of Greece’s Syriza party was an important first step in resisting austerity imposed on the Greek and European working classes as capitalism’s response to its own intractable crisis. Nothing could be in greater contradiction to the movement that lifted Syriza to prominence than the parliamentary alliance with the racist, theocratic Independent Greeks party.
Working in healthcare has been transformed in a very alienating way. The workplace is drowning in fancy hi-tech machines. Cadres of bureaucrats spend their working hours promoting the product of healthcare with marketing campaigns. The rank and file hear daily admonitions to smile more and are told, “Just be glad you have a job.” Bureaucrats preach “customers come first,” while cutting service and staffing. Hospital and HMO executives are in a race to eliminate labor as much as possible in their “product.”
Stepping across the threshold of this particular Death’s door, I was greeted by the spectacle of ancient and sick prisoners in wheelchairs being rolled silently through the hallways, looking like so many ghosts in some haunted asylum.
I am an inmate at New Folsom State Prison and was personally involved in the statewide hunger strike that started on July 1 in protest of California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitiation’s (CDCR) practices of cruel and unusual punishment.
Namibia documentary “It’s All about Love”; sex-reassignment surgery coverage on Medicare; Laverne Cox.
Healthcare reform took cost-control ideology to a whole new level. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been transformed into its opposite by the HMO industry which sacrifices the lives of patients and workers alike for the sake of fiduciary health.
Readers’ Views from the March-April 2014 issue of News & Letters, part 1.
Cops beat deaf man in Hawthorne, Calif.; Assad’s forces torment man with Down Syndrome in Syria; South Carolina abuses mentally ill prisoners; disabled Chicago woman illegally evicted.
Obamacare responds to a serious problem, yet is a needlessly complex scheme that subsidizes insurance companies and has objectionable features.
On Dec. 1, Aramark Correctional Services will begin running Food Service for the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC), creating another sector of low-wage workers in Michigan. In a state struggling with a high unemployment rate and flooded with low-wage dead-end jobs, 60,000 in the fast-food sector in the metro Detroit area alone, why would the state government choose to add to these statistics?
An overflow crowd at Bluestockings Bookstore in New York City heard Hallie Boas speak on “Come and Take It: How the Fight to Protect Wom¬en’s Healthcare Is Launching a New Wave of Feminism in Texas.”
News & Letters, Vol. 58, No. 3
May – June 2013
Draft for Marxist-Humanist Perspectives, 2013-2014
Capitalism’s violence, masses’ revolt show need for total view
The world today is riven between the creativity of masses in revolt and the violent degeneracy of counter-revolution, whose destructiveness even extends to the revived specter of nuclear war two decades after the collapse [=>]
AT THE CROSSROADS OF HISTORY
When the Green Movement started in Iran over the 2009 election, the so-called leaders were part of the government who were against Ahmadinejad. The growth of the movement of women and youth got so big it became “out of control” by the so-called leaders. The government leaders got scared because [=>]
The March-April 2013 issue of News & Letters is available on the web.
News & Letters, Vol. 58, No. 2
March – April 2013
From India to Egypt to U.S., women fighting for freedom
Two recent events have shown the deep and seemingly intractable worldwide oppression of women and, at the same time, revealed women’s militancy and determination to [=>]
ARCHIVES AS LIVING
I have been following the readings for the 2012-2013 Marxist-Humanist discussions with great enthusiasm. I was especially energized by the “Women as force and reason of revolution” selections. Raya Dunayevskaya’s 1970 piece “The Women’s Liberation Movement as Reason and as Revolutionary Force” was fresh and relevant to today. This is no surprise [=>]
by Suzanne Rose
England—Church of England leaders want doctors to have the right to withhold treatment from disabled newborn babies in “exceptional circumstances,” even though it will “certainly result in death.” The church states that the principle of “justice” inevitably means that the potential cost of long term healthcare and education in the saving of [=>]
For 14 years, Doris Freyre cared for her profoundly disabled daughter in their Tampa, Fla., home. Marie was fed through a feeding tube, and Doris pureed fresh fruits and vegetables for her and made sure her other needs were met. She surrounded Marie with family photos and pictures of angels.
Despite this excellent and loving care, [=>]
A 23-year-old man was denied a heart transplant by the University of Pennsylvania Hospital because of his autism, says his mom, Karen Corby. Paul Corby has autism and a mood disorder. He has a good quality of life and a social network to support him after the surgery. Paul was diagnosed with a deadly heart [=>]
by Htun Lin
The “Great Recession” we’re living in will continue so long as we accept that there is no alternative to capitalism. It is a lie perpetuated by the dominant ideology.
In the past year, the Occupy Movement has given many of us hope that things can change. One idea in the movement is that [=>]
Chicago—On Feb. 23 women’s health advocates gathered at 230 S. Dearborn downtown at 12:45 PM, in front of Senator Richard Durbin’s office to demonstrate support for women’s access to health insurance that covers birth control, regardless of where we work.
The gathering was organized by the Illinois Choice Action Team, the all-volunteer group representing NARAL Pro-Choice [=>]
Deadly breast implants
The 40,000 British women who received defective breast implants at private clinics are being betrayed by their government, which refuses to require the clinics to provide free consultation, removal and replacement. Only about 3,000 women who received the implants under the National Health Service can receive free removal and replacement of the Poly [=>]
Washington, D.C.—As President Obama unveiled his debt plan, which includes reduced spending for Medicare and Medicaid by $580 billion, hundreds [=>]
From the September-October 2011 issue of News & Letters:
- REVOLUTION AND COUNTER-REVOLUTION: ARAB SPRING AS CROSSROADS IN HISTORY
- KARL MARX AND WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE
- REMEMBERING CHRISTINA SANTIAGO
- THELONIOUS MONK
- CANADA AS ‘CONTESTATAIRE’ SOCIETY
- MAN-MADE DISASTERS: NUCLEAR POWER AND WORLD WAR
- LABOR STRUGGLES IN 2011
- WHY WRITE FOR N&L?
- VOICES FROM BEHIND THE BARS
REVOLUTION AND COUNTER-REVOLUTION: ARAB SPRING AS CROSSROADS IN HISTORY
The West supports any revolution where they [=>]
Chicago–The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services on May 1 implemented a five-year pilot program and the state’s first Integrated Care Program for older adults and adults with disabilities eligible for Medicaid but not Medicare.
The program is mandatory, no exceptions. You have to choose between two “medical homes,” Aetna and IlliniCare, and use only [=>]
by Htun Lin
A patient shows up in the emergency room, expecting care, and wanting to be seen by a doctor. But the gulf between the patient’s expectations and the reality of HMO practice is right out of “The Twilight Zone.”
Even before the patient gets to see the doctor, a healthcare worker like me walks in [=>]
From the July-August 2011 issue of News & Letters:
- AS REVOLUTION AND COUNTER-REVOLUTION TAKE WORLD STAGE
- CHINESE ART PROJECT
- HEALTHCARE IN 2011
- NEW RIGHT=OLD LEFT?
- FREEDOM RIDES, 50 YEARS AFTER
- WOMEN’S LIBERATION SPEAKS IN MANY VOICES
- BURMA AND NORTH KOREA
- FIGHTING FOR HUMAN RIGHTS
- VOICES FROM BEHIND THE BARS
AS REVOLUTION AND COUNTER-REVOLUTION TAKE WORLD STAGE
Congratulations on a fine May-June issue. Thanks especially for [=>]
by Htun Lin
When the popular game show Jeopardy featured IBM’s “Watson,” a computer, Watson won against the best human players. For capitalists this was not just entertainment, but serious business–a way to replace masses of workers.
As Christopher Caldwell of the Financial Times put it: “If you get paid to answer questions in a structured context, it is [=>]