Saturday, November 26, 2005


The ruling class is attempting to use the destruction brought about by Katrina as a smoke screen to hide the real reasons for the continuing deterioration of the people's living standards. Katrina's cost in human suffering is immeasurable--but clearly the politicians aren't worried about that. The cost in material damage is in the neighborhood of 200 billion dollars.

That is a lot of money to take out of an economy. Yet the criminal war against Irag has cost $201,418,920,955 American dollars, as we go to press. The cost is increasing by 1 billion dollar a week. We have to look elsewhere for the reasons behind the economic crisis.

The real reason--and workers know this instinctively--falling value of labor power is cheaper to acquire. And why? Evenually, the price of anything on the market will fall to the value of the amount of socially necessary labor that goes into creating it. It might seem callous to talk about the cost of producing a worker, but the capitalist class calculates it down to the penny. Cut down the amount of necessary labor to produce it, and you ultimately cut the market price. There is not a direct one-to-one relationship, but in the long run this is true. Labor-replacing machinery, robotics, automation, whatever you may call it--it is hitting the world's working class hard and laying the foundations for a revolutionary change in society.

An example of this is that world productivity has risen 70% since 1973, while wages have risen 13%. It is cheaper to produce a worker today.

The electronics that produced robotics also produced a global labor market. With the former Soviet Union, India, and China entering that global market, the global work force has doubled with practically no increase in capital. At the same time, advancing technology is constantly cutting the demand for labor.

The growing labor supply and the lowering of the demand for labor can have only one result--the often referred to race to the bottom. It also means the political strengthening of the political clout of all workers.

The process is deep in the so-called developing countries and is becoming clear in America. For example, last year's wages fell at the fastest rate in 14 years. Employment for young workers in the age bracket of 20 to 24 years old fell from 72.2% to 67.9%. Katrina caused none of this.

The outlines of the developing crisis are clear for all to see. Are we to sink deeper and deeper hoping for some good capitalist to lead us out of this impending crisis?
They're the ones who created it. If we the people do not intervene, it is going to go from bad to worse.

The people of New Oleans must first visualize what kind of a city they want to rebuild before they can fight for it. In a like manner, the people must first visualize what kind of a country they want before they can effectively fight against this looming catastrophe. A competitive economy and private property brought us into this mess--we cannot visualize it getting us out. The alternative is a cooperative society based on public ownship of the giant corporations. The people must visualize it, and then fight like hell for it.

The government cannot hide behind Katrina. That hurricane was terrible. Global capitalism is worse.

Monday, November 21, 2005


All over the world, people are resisting the war machine, confronting dictatorships, corporate globalization and exploitation, and fighting back against cultural and physical genocide. The U.S. wars in Irag and Afghanistan are the tip of the iceberg. The U.S. has military forces, bases, and operations in the Phillppines and over 130 countries around the globe. This empire props up abusive local regimes and protects the interests of multinational corporations. As police killings here in Benton Harbor, the imprisonment of over 2 million, and the deadly government response to hurricane Katrina in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama make clear, struggles are going on inside this country as well.

But as the people rise up, they face repression, torture and imprisonment by those who maintain power over them. As a result,in the U.S. itself and in all the countries trying to free themselves from this system of empire, exploitation, and in some cases as prisoners of war. The oppressors want to keep them locked up to silence their voices.

From the Phillippines to Puerto Rico and Palestine, from Iran to Indonesia and occupied northern Ireland, across Africa, Asia and Latin America, and in the industrial countries of the global north community, organizers, trade unionists, student activists,indigenous and landless peasant spokespeople, and resistance fighters have been the targets of death squads, disappearances, torture, and brutal incarceration.

Here in the U.S. too, a whole new generation of detainees, grand jury resisters, and direct action activists are being locked up. They enter prison alongside the freedom fighters and the resisters of the black Liberation, Chicano-Mexicano, Puerto Rican independence, and American Indian movements who were targeted by the government's COINTELPRO counter-insurgency program of assassination, disruption and imprisonment, and are among the longest-held political prisoners in the world. To abandon these political prisoners would be to sell out and undermine our struggle for peace, justice, liberation, and survival. To fight back against the war machine and the evil empire, we must make the demand to free all political prisoners a central aspect of our
on-going struggle.

December 3, 2005 has been declared an international day of solidarity with political prisoners by BANCO and the International League of Peoples' Struggle. This has been taken up by organizations in the Philippines, Ireland, Turkey, Palestine, and many others countries, including here in the United States. We want all political prisoners free.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Michigan's Shame

Historically, the US has jailed or murdered many
Blacks who have risen to leadership positions and
challenged institutional and government racism. The
list is long.

History is attempting to repeat itself in Berrien
County where Granholm-appointed Judge Butzbaugh is
ordering me to stand trial on the testimony of Brenda
Fox. Ms. Fox is not a credible witness, and an
honorable judge would not let her near a witness
stand. I'm sorry to say she is a crack addict.

During my preliminary examination which would have
received high ratings on Comedy Central (no
exaggeration), Ms. Fox stated that on Feb. 22, '05
(election day), she took ten people to the clerk's
office to vote absentee. The deputy clerk said there
is NO voting at the clerk's office on election day -
and, that absentee voting cannot be done on election

Ms. Fox did these things: stated that I paid these
ten people $5 each to vote, AND signed an affadavit
stating that I never paid anyone to vote....

This is the state of "justice" in the Berrien County
Courthouse. I am being tried for voter fraud (paying
people to vote) and the prosecutors and judges cannot
find a credible witness to substantiate the claim.
Yet, there will be a trial.
No date yet. Incredibly, the way I learned about
Judge Butzbaugh's decision to go to trial was by
reading it in the Herald-Palladium.

For more information, call me anytime, night or day:

Please send very badly needed donations (any amount)
for my legal fees to:

Atty.Tat Parish
1940 Union St.
Benton Harbor, MI 49022

Rev. Edward Pinkney

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Gap between black, white infant mortality grows

Benton Harbor has the highest death rate in the state; health officials plan not to attack problem. Berrien county health department will do nothing to reduce the death rate of black infants.

Benton Harbor has the highest rate of African-American infant deaths in the state. Approximately 85 percent of those deaths occured among babies born to Benton township residents.

At the same time, the county`s death rate of children less than 1 year old declined for whites. The gap between the two has widened since 1995. From 1997-1999, 21.7 of every 1000 African-American babies born in Berrien County died before their first birthday compared to 5.5 of every 1,000 white babies.

We want to create an awareness among health providers of the huge disparity in infant death in Berrien County.

In Berrien County the death rate for children of all races went down to its lowest point in the decade in 1994.

There was a rise in 1995,but the rate for African-American babies went up.

How much is enough? How large does the gap have to be before we act? Why can`t we live in a community where African-American and white babies have an equal opportunity to survive to their first birthdays? In the data I studied, black babies were twice as likely as white babies to weigh less than 5 pounds 9 ounces at birth. Weight defines a low birth weight baby.

Twice as many white mothers as black mothers received adequate parental care, defined by the stage in pregnancy at the first medical visit.

The average age of Afican-American first time mothers was 22.7years; the average age of white first time mother was 26.4 years. However, a very large number of black mothers were teen-agers.

Pinkney calls on health care professionals to analyze information they have on where and when prenatal and infant health services are provided, who provided those services and what is missing from our recipe. Why can`t we live in a community where African-American and white babies have equal opportunity to survive to their first birthdays?