USA/Canada

American democracy at a crossroads?

Published on: Wed, 16/10/2019 - 10:10
Author

Barry Finger

As impeachment inquiries unfold, a nagging question plagues American democracy with renewed urgency: Can Trump in fact be removed from office, either electorally or procedurally?

Lest anyone dismiss such apprehensions as an indulgence in left paranoia, consider this. In the 2016 presidential debate, Trump refused to say whether he would accept defeat. “I’ll keep you in suspense, “ he declared and stoked anticipatory fears in his supporters that the election could be “rigged.”

Along these lines, he has subsequently and routinely made the fact-free assertion that his defeat in the popular vote

Whistle-blowers: the real villains?

Published on: Wed, 16/10/2019 - 09:01
Author

Dale Street

On Monday 7 October, the Morning Star carried another article by Zoltan Zigedy (pen-name of Greg Godels, American blogger and regular contributor to the website “Marxism-Leninism Today – The Electronic Journal of Marxist-Leninist Thought”).

The article first appeared on Godels’ own blog and then on the “Marxism-Leninism Today” website before making it into the pages of the Morning Star.

The headline asks the question: “TelephoneGate: Who Looks Worst?” The strapline give an indication of the answer: “Zoltan Zigedy reports (sic) how the drive to impeach Trump has masked the sinister dealings of

Turkish troops out of Syria!

Published on: Wed, 16/10/2019 - 07:21
Author

Pete Boggs

Since the Turkish invasion of Kurdish-controlled northern Syria started on 9 October, over 160,000 civilians have been displaced, with at least fifty civilian deaths already.

The invasion immediately followed the announcement by Donald Trump that US troops would be withdrawn from northern Syria.

Trump’s “America First” policy is confused and totally inconsistent. Attempts by the White House to portray Trump’s move as a step in disengaging the US from overseas conflicts were shown to be a scam when Trump also announced sending 2,000 soldiers to Saudi Arabia in a move against Iran.

The decision

How debt crushes education

Published on: Wed, 09/10/2019 - 10:31
Author

Natalia Cassidy

For many Americans, choices about higher education come with stark consequences in terms of the levels of debt for students and their families will have to take on.

The UK student debt system appears relatively benign in comparison. The levels of repayment are significantly lower than in the USA, the debt repayment threshold much higher.

In the UK, methods of financing are, for the most part, centralised through the state, whereas in the USA a lot of student debt is to private lenders. University fees in the USA are largely unregulated, and have risen sharply, including at public universities.

The sixties turning dark

Published on: Wed, 09/10/2019 - 09:27
Author

Duncan Morrison

Quentin Tarantino’s latest film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, is his first one not distributed by Harvey Weinstein.

It is a semi-fictionalisation of events around Charles Manson’s Family’s murder of Sharon Tate and her associates in 1969.

The film is well worth seeing and seems to capture the feel of late 60s Los Angeles very well. But it is hard not to consider the film in the light of the numerous allegations of sexual assault and rape made against Weinstein and Tarantino’s failure to act on reports, both from his then partner and from actors in his films, about Weinstein’s behaviour

Trump’s shift puts Rojava at risk

Published on: Wed, 09/10/2019 - 09:14
Author

Pete Boggs

Donald Trump has announced the withdrawal of American troops from Northern Syria, and given effective consent to President Erdoğan’s plan to invade.

This marks a slight shift from Trump’s previous stated position. Back in December he announced that American troops would leave Northern Syria within the medium-term future, but that it was conditional on guarantees from Turkey regarding the safety of the Kurds.

Those guarantees have now ceased to be a consideration, and the United States is perfectly content to leave Rojava to the mercy, or lack thereof, of the Turkish army.

This new announcement

A sticky time for Teflon Don

Published on: Wed, 02/10/2019 - 08:37
Author

Barrie Hardy

Donald Trump is such an obvious crook that he’s been a prime candidate for impeachment from the minute he assumed office.

There has been such a substantial menu of grounds for impeachment that it’s difficult to know what to choose.

Soliciting help from Putin’s secret services to win the election itself? Illegal election payments to porn stars?

Trump’s various businesses benefiting from his presidency? As of last week, there were 30 separate investigations into Trump being conducted by Congressional, Federal or State authorities.

The problem so far has been that none of the accusations have

Bolton gone, danger stays

Published on: Wed, 18/09/2019 - 12:19
Author

Barrie Hardy

The prospect of Donald Trump with his grubby little finger on the nuclear button horrified millions when he was elected.

That fear factor rose still further when he made John Bolton his National Security Adviser in April last year.

Bolton is a dangerous ultra-nationalist who believes that the USA has exclusive power to do anything it wants to advance its geopolitical interests. He sees the principal vehicle for that as war.

A psychopathic warmonger, Bolton was a major mover behind Bush junior’s disastrous invasion of Iraq which unleashed a Pandora’s Box of evil from which the region is still

Letters

Published on: Wed, 18/09/2019 - 11:38

I would like to add a couple of comments to Barrie Hardy’s review “Sweden in the 1930s: a shithole country”.

Barrie mentions the strikes in Adalen in the 1930s. The Swedish director Bo Widerburg made an interesting film featuring these events: Adalen 31 (1969). I haven’t seen it for a long time but if you can find a DVD check it out. Widerburg also directed a film about Joe Hill in 1971.

Barrie mentions the Native American Party, noting that they were “appropriately dubbed the Know Nothings”.
No doubt they were as thick as planks but their name, as far as I am aware, doesn’t originate in their

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