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July 5, 2002 | Issue 413

FRONT AND BACK PAGES

WorldCon
Stop these corporate crooks!
Not long ago, Deborah Day figured that she had a secure job. Now she worries how she'll support her 7-year-old son. Day and 17,000 other WorldCom workers were laid off because WorldCom executives got caught committing a massive bookkeeping fraud.

Don't let Ridge bully the ILWU
Feds threaten dockworkers
Homeland security chief Tom Ridge is making it clear what he means by "security." With the International Longshore and Warehouse Union's contract at ports on the West Coast due to expire, Ridge personally pressured the union not to "disrupt trade."

SPECIAL FEATURES

Bush does the bidding of big business
Assault on the environment
The Toxic Texan has taken an ax to environmental regulations and directed his administration to give every advantage to corporate polluters. Socialist Worker reports on Bush's assault--and talks to Monthly Review coeditor John Bellamy Foster about why capitalism can't solve the environmental crisis.

Executives cooked the books to get rich quick
Crony capitalism American style
"Phony earnings, inflated revenues, conflicted Wall Street analysts, directors asleep at the switch--this isn't just a few bad apples we're talking about here," wrote Joseph Nocera in last week's Fortune. "This, my friends, is a systemic breakdown."

Gunned down by cops
Protesters' deaths shake Argentina
The killing of two demonstrators by police who fired indiscriminately into a protest by unemployed workers last week is sending political shock waves through Argentina.

Frederick Douglass on U.S. "democracy" and "freedom"
What to the slave is the Fourth of July?
Frederick Douglass was born a slave in Maryland in 1818 and escaped in 1838, becoming one of the best-known leaders of the abolitionist movement. As an antidote to flag-waving patriotism of July 4, SW reprints an 1852 speech by Douglass on the subject of American "democracy."

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WHAT WE THINK

The Bush administration lines up behind Sharon's terror
It's right to resist Israel's apartheid
The Palestinian cities of the West Bank aren't so much cities today as large open-air prisons. This is terrorism at its most brutal and systematic. But you'll never hear it described that way by the U.S. media.

One nation under flag-waving hypocrites
A federal appeals court ruling on the Pledge of Allegiance last week sent politicians of every stripe scuttling to sound off in front of the TV cameras.

A slap in the face to the world's poor
Large sums of money have been in the news lately--such as the $3.9 billion accounting fraud by WorldCom. Except in the stories about humanitarian aid for the world's poorest countries.

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NATIONAL NEWS

Conservatives celebrate victory on vouchers
Stealing money from our schools
The U.S. Supreme Court handed conservatives a big present last week when it ruled that a Cleveland school voucher program was constitutional.

U.S. warplanes bomb Afghan wedding
The Pentagon's latest deadly mistake
"There are no Taliban or al-Qaeda or Arabs here. These people were all civilians, women and children." That's what a resident of the village of Abdul Saboor in Afghanistan told BBC News after the U.S. military's latest--and deadliest--blunder.

Judge declares federal executions unconstitutional
Too many innocent people sit on death row. This fact led a New York judge to rule on July 1 that the federal death penalty system is unconstitutional.

A tragic accident exposes U.S. policy
A terrible tragedy on a highway near San Diego last week cast a spotlight on the cruelty of the U.S. government's crackdown on illegal immigrants.

Drug tests for the chess team
The Supreme Court last week okayed random drug tests for any student who participates in "competitive" extracurricular activities.

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COLUMNS

WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON?
Behind Afghanistan's new "democracy"
Throughout Afghanistan's loya jirga, or grand tribal council, held last month, the U.S. media focused attention on the raucous debates between delegates and the smattering of women who took to the microphones to demand women's rights. But closer examination reveals a very different affair.

THE MEANING OF MARXISM
How "natural" are natural disasters?
We Marxists are sometimes rebuked for blaming everything on capitalism. Yet often, if a chain of events is traced back carefully, capitalism is to blame

INSIDE THE SYSTEM
Insider trading--it's a good thing
If Martha Stewart goes to jail, maybe they'll let her make curtains to cover the bars. The queen of "ordered living" seems to have run afoul of the Securities and Exchange Commission these days.

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ON THE PICKET LINE

Bloomberg wants to balance the budget on workers' backs
Support Queens bus drivers
About 2,000 Queens bus drivers and their supporters rallied in front of City Hall last week to press New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg as their strike entered its third week.

Labor in brief
New York City teachers; Wheels Transportation; Village Voice; Building trades; Pearl Paint

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NEWS FROM THE STRUGGLE

News from the struggle
Justice for Palestinians; Protest George W. Bush

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SW READERS SPEAK OUT

Hoffa supporters thrown out for scab operation
Exposing the rot at the top
I'm writing to let your readers know about a recent incident in the International Brotherhood of Teamsters that reveals the deep rot in the highest levels of my union.

"She never gave up hope for the future"
June Jordan, the African American poet, activist and teacher, died from breast cancer on June 14 at the age of 65.

The crack in the Bush facade
Matt Moreles criticized Socialist Worker's coverage of the Bush administration's cover-up of pre-knowledge of the September 11 attacks as a "conspiracy theory" approach to politics (SW, June 21).

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REVIEWS

A PEOPLE'S VACATION GUIDE
The site of John Brown's raid against slavery
The fire of abolition at Harper's Ferry
Harper's Ferry, W. Va., is a gorgeous place for hiking, biking, rafting and kayaking. But the best part of going there is learning about John Brown's raid in 1859, a pivotal event in the fight against slavery.

Teamsters' bitter standoff at Overnite
American Standoff, the story of the Teamsters' ongoing strike against Overnite Transportation, is one of the most pro-union films to air on TV in years.

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