Uncommon Thought Journal
Best Sociology Blogs 2013

Imagining Cuba

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FidelCastro87jpg.jpgBy JP Miller.

[In 2013 at age 87. Photograph: Cubadebate/Xinhua Press/Corbis]

When Fidel Castro reached eighty years old in 2006, and was, according to western powers, apparently lying on his death bed, he handed over the Cuban revolutionary government to his brother, Raul. Since the change-over, Cuba has seen no radical diversion from the revolutionary policies developed and employed by the Castro's. However, Raul Castro is now flirting with the US and the rest of the capitalist establishment. Fidel is yet another figure head although a huge one. Over time, encroaching and incremental realities of a global economy and the needs of Cubans who are separated from that economy have produced a more relaxed, state-directed economy. With a local and family owned tourist industry, a world-class medical delivery system, and both small owner and state-run agricultural production, the Cuban economy is two-tiered.  There is one price for the tourist and another, better price, for the locals. And, the push and pull of these two realities have brought benefits that help subsidize social programs such as health care, education, infrastructure reconstruction, and even their state supported baseball teams.

Fighting the Militarized State

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HedgesOBrien.jpgBy Chris Hedges. Originally published at TruthDig.

[Alexa O'Brien speaks to reporters during a news conference on March 29, 2012, in New York. AP/Mary Altaffer]

The Barack Obama administration, determined to thwart the attempt by other plaintiffs and myself to have the courts void a law that permits the military to arrest U.S. citizens, strip them of due process and indefinitely detain them, has filed a detailed brief with the Supreme Court asking the justices to refuse to accept our petition to hear our appeal. We will respond within 10 days.

BartcopTerrenceCoppage.jpgBy Mike Palecek.

[Terry Coppage aka Bartcop from his obituary at Dvorak Uncensored.]

"He asked, "What makes a man a writer?"

"Well," I said, "it's simple.
"You either get it down on paper, or jump off a bridge." ― Charles Bukowski

You never know what you'll do until you do what you do when it's cold.

So I'm sitting in the parking lot in the afternoon.

The Skyline Bowl parking lot.

I was going to kill myself, but then I didn't.

And so now I've got some extra time on my hands.

Like when The Cold War ended and you're thinking, oops, I should have studied ... something.

SoldiersSuicide.jpgBy Dr. Mahboob A. Khawaja

[Image courtesy of RadioFacts.]

Soldiers do not go to fight the unknown enemies on their own. They are indoctrinated and pushed to war paradigm by the political monsters having no knowledge of a war front and who use them as digits and numbers - to compile official statistic, and to support the economy of dehumanization.  Consequently, the fighting soldiers - men of conscience lose unity of the human consciousness - unity of material and spiritual factors of life and balanced characteristic- fair and foul.  It is a tragic conjuncture of inner revolt of human consciousness for a crime that is not part of the human nature and character and not visible to scientifically expert minds - the doctors who simply identify mental health issues of those suspected of syndrome to commit suicide. These are the net causalities of man's insanity against man. The real reasons are hardly mentioned in expert reports. Science and machines cannot comprehend the intricate balance between material and spiritual life and inner consciousness of the self- the human. Politicians who entangle the human beings into warmongering are void of the knowledge of Unity of Human Self - an all embracing sanctity of sacred life created by God.

GeithnerObama.jpgBy Danny Schechter. Republished from Consortium News.

[Timothy Geithner (left), then Treasury Secretary, meeting with President Barack Obama in the Oval Office. (White House photo)]

Okay, I have to admit it, I feel as if my faith in economic justice is being tested with these "stress tests." Truth is, I am becoming more stressed than ever.

The reason: despite all the "regulations" in the Dodd-Frank Financial "reform" and the Volcker Rule and the Fed's "oversight," the banks seems to have free reign to do what they will despite the financial crisis and the pathetic "recovery."


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RussianForeignMinisterLavrov.jpgBy Alevtina Rea.

[Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov calls for negotiation (rt) (AFP Photo / Vasily Maximov)]

Note: Much of the information below was translated by Ms. Rea from www.vz.ru.

Pro-Russian multi-thousand rallies were held on Sunday in parts of the Eastern Ukraine - Lugansk, Kharkiv, Mariupol and Donetsk. There were about two thousand people at a rally in Donetsk. People shouted pro-Russian slogans and held flags of the Russian Federation, St. George's flags and also flags of various pro-Russian public organizations.

EspionageEye.jpgBy Henry A. Giroux, Cyrano's Contributing Editor. Originally published at TruthOut.

[Image: xdadevelopers.]

Under the regime of neoliberalism, especially in the United States, war has become an extension of politics as almost all aspects of society have been transformed into a combat zone. Americans now live in a society in which almost everyone is spied on, considered a potential terrorist, and subject to a mode of state and corporate lawlessness in which the arrogance of power knows no limits. The state of exception has become normalized.  Moreover, as society becomes increasingly militarized and political concessions become relics of a long-abandoned welfare state hollowed out to serve the interest of global markets, the collective sense of ethical imagination and social responsibility toward those who are vulnerable or in need of care is now viewed as a scourge or pathology.

AbbasKerryNetanyahu.jpgBy Ramzy Baroud


As the US-imposed April 29 deadline for a 'framework' agreement between the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority looms, time is also running out for the American administration itself. The Obama administration must now conjure up an escape route to avoid a political crisis if the talks are to fail, as they surely will.

GMOPoison.jpgBy Colin Todhunter from the Centre for Global Research.

The Transatlantic Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA) between the US and EU aims to 'protect' investment and remove 'unnecessary regulatory barriers'. Corporate interests are driving the agenda, the public have been sidelined and unaccountable, pro-free-trade bureaucrats are facilitating the strategy (1). 

There is growing concern that the negotiations could result in the opening of the floodgates for GMOs and shale gas (fracking) in Europe, the threatening of digital and labour rights and the empowering of corporations to legally challenge a wide range of regulations which they dislike.

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June 2013!
Best Sociology Blogs 2013

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