UN boosts role of grassroots groups

UNITED NATIONS — The United Nations launched an initiative June 23 that for the first time accords a full, official role to grassroots, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in the deliberations of the UN General Assembly.

Pennsylvanians rally for higher minimum wage

HARRISBURG, Penn. — The Capitol rotunda was packed with hundreds of people from across the Keystone state June 22 as they came to push their legislators to raise the state’s minimum wage, which has remained frozen since 1997.

Remembering Tony Topolski

RUMBLEY, Md. — Tony Topolski was a stubborn man, refusing to slow down even with his painfully disabled knees.

Drug war failure exposed

“Plan Colombia: Cashing in on the drug war failure,” an engrossing documentary by Gerard Ungerman and Audrey Brohy, provides convincing evidence that the U.S. government’s war against drugs has been ineffectual.

Corporate killers

CHICAGO — During the five month implosion that left those on top of Enron corporation — Ken Lay, Jeff Skilling and Andrew Fastow — with a large chunk of money, while those at the bottom of the corporate food chain held zeros — you have to ask, where did the billions come from?

The lowest guys in the room

“Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room,” is an outstanding documentary of the rise and fall of Enron. Enron is a corporation still based in Houston. It collapsed in 2001. The symbiotic relationship between the Bush family and Enron is noted. The merger of corporations and government, which Mussolini called the definition of fascism, is easy to see in this excellent film. I liked the question posed at the beginning: “Was this just the work of a few bad men, or was it the dark side of the American dream?”

Values that divide the working class

We are all shaped and molded, influenced and coerced daily by values that comprise our worldview. The process is so relentless, so subtle yet thorough, that we are often not aware of the values we embrace and internalize. Malcolm X said, “They put your mind right in a bag, and take it wherever they want.”

Intelligent design? Stupid idea!

Creationists are trying to shoehorn fundamentalist Judeo-Christian beliefs into the public schools and universities again. Their plan is to pressure school boards into accepting the teaching of “intelligent design” as an alternative to Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection.

Social Security vs. Bush-privatized insecurity

George W. Bush is attempting to con folks into viewing Social Security as an investment account. On this misinformational basis, he then rails: you can get a higher rate from gambling your Social Security fund as a private investment account on Wall Street!

Is it time to put jobs on the agenda?

This year opened with the Bush administration’s campaign to turn over trillions of dollars in the Social Security fund to Wall Street brokers. It also opened with a movement to save Social Security, based on organized labor but gathering a multitude of other groups.

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