Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Harry Potter Alliance and the Hunger Games

Apparently the release of the second Hunger Games movie has become an occasion for hyper-marketing of cosmetics and fast-food sandwiches. This is, to say the least, ironic, considering the anti-capitalist and anti-militarist themes of the Hunger Games trilogy. The Harry Potter Alliance, a group of fans devoted to working for social justice, has come up with a campaign to resist the hyper-marketing.

This very cool tumblr tells more.

Monday, November 18, 2013

The wisdom of (Norman) Solomon

Norman Solomon's latest post has an interesting analysis of the current crisis of public confidence in "Obamacare." 
Lauding the president’s healthcare plan for its structure of “regulation, mandates, subsidies and competition,” New York Times columnist Paul Krugman wrote in July 2009 that the administration’s fate hung in the balance: “Knock away any of the four main pillars of reform, and the whole thing will collapse—and probably take the Obama presidency down with it.” Such warnings were habitual until Obamacare became law eight months later.

Meanwhile, some progressives were pointing out that—contrary to the right-wing fantasy of a “government takeover of healthcare”—Obama’s Affordable Care Act actually further enthroned for-profit insurance firms atop the system. As I wrote at the time, “The continued dominance of the insurance industry is the key subtext of the healthcare battle that has been raging in Washington. But that dominance is routinely left out of the news media's laser-beam concentration on whether a monumental healthcare law will emerge to save Obama's presidency.”

Today, in terms of healthcare policy, the merits and downsides of Obamacare deserve progressive debate. But at this point there’s no doubt it’s a disaster in political terms—igniting the Mad Hatter Tea Party’s phony populism, heightening prospects for major right-wing electoral gains next year and propagating the rancid notion that the government should stay out of healthcare.
I have always been skeptical about whether the Affordable Care Act would improve U.S. health care. I would like for my skepticism to have been mistaken, but I'm afraid that it wasn't.

Monday, November 11, 2013

In honor of the women of the Puget Sound Women's Peace Camp

For Armistice Day every year, I try to post something in honor of the peacemakers in our world. This year, I'm posting a link to the final edition of the Peace Camp News of the Puget Sound Women's Peace Camp.

For background information about the Puget Sound Women's Peace Camp, you can read their Unity Statement, as reprinted in the July/August 1983 issue of Women's Press, a feminist newspaper in Eugene, Oregon.