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Police Officers, Public Employers; Private Defenders

In the future, we all work for private corporations.

My name is Patrick Meighan, and I’m a husband, a father, a writer on the Fox animated sitcom “Family Guy”, and a member of the Unitarian Universalist Community Church of Santa Monica.
I was arrested at about 1 a.m. Wednesday morning with 291 other people at Occupy LA. I was sitting in City Hall Park with a pillow, a blanket, and a copy of Thich Nhat Hanh’s “Being Peace” when 1,400 heavily-armed LAPD officers in paramilitary SWAT gear streamed in. I was in a group of about 50 peaceful protestors who sat Indian-style, arms interlocked, around a tent (the symbolic image of the Occupy movement). The LAPD officers encircled us, weapons drawn, while we chanted “We Are Peaceful” and “We Are Nonviolent” and “Join Us.” Read the rest of this story...

You know, it's amazing. Police officers will happily violently beat up any protestor who protests against the dismantling of Public Goods, including them. Maybe the banks pay the cops directly, maybe the cops get a 94million dollar Christmas bonus if they make an old man sit on his knees on the pavement for 7 hours.
Weird to think you'd be willing to stand up for their rights as public defenders to fair pay and union protection and they thank you by locking you up. Maybe they've already been privatized.

Either way, I don't really know. I'm just guessing. It is a frustrating situation though, how TV can say the protestors were violent and thousands of people all across the country who've never even seen the protests will believe the TV.

This is why we need socialism now.


Israeli Military Holding Freedom Waves to Gaza in Custody

Israel detains peace activists to Gaza as if they were nothing more than illegal immigrants
It's like they consider all of Palestine, their land.

Free Palestine Movement

Canadian and Irish ships sailing with Freedom Waves to Gaza have been illegally boarded by the Israeli military in international waters a short while ago.

The Israeli military stated that “Upon arrival of the vessels at the Ashdod port, the activists will be transferred to the custody of the Israel Police and immigration authorities in the Ministry of Interior”.

Freedom Waves to Gaza organizers have been unable to communicate with the ships since soon after the vessels were approached by Israeli warships earlier this afternoon.

The Canadian boat ‘Tahrir’ (Liberation) confirmed that the Israeli navy had contacted them asking for their destination at around 13:00 (Gaza time) to which Ehab Lotayef, an activist on board the ship, replied ‘The conscience of humanity’. When the Israelis again demanded to know the destination of the ship Lotayef replied; ‘The betterment of mankind’. ’

Huwaida Arraf, spokesperson from Freedom Waves to Gaza, said “It’s clear that 27 civilians on two small boats, carrying only medicine, constituted no security threat to the Israeli state, and that the determination to keep them out is only a furtherance of Israel’s policy of collective punishment, a crime against humanity. Despite this Israeli aggression, we will keep coming, wave after wave, by air, sea, and land, to challenge Israel’s illegal policies towards Gaza and all of Palestine. Our movement will not stop or be stopped until Palestine is free.”

The Israeli military reported that the navy has been ordered by IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz to board the ships after “attempts to contact them failed.” The Israeli military has offered to unload the boats’ supplies at Ashdod, Israel.

Anatolia News Agency, Turkey, has reported that the boats were offered the choice to go to Egypt or return.

At 13:00 both ships were around 51 nautical miles from the coast of Gaza in international waters.

Israeli commandos boarded a previous Gaza Freedom Flotilla on 31 May 2010, killing nine Turkish activists and wounding many more.

The Freedom Waves to Gaza initiative is a non-violent, civil society movement to challenge the illegal Israeli blockade of Gaza Earlier this morning, activists aboard both ships were preparing for possible attack by the Israeli navy by training in nonviolent resistance tactics. The two ships, carrying a total of 27 passengers and $30,000 worth of medicine and supplies, set off from Turkey on November 2. 

Please help us continue our work.


Wildfaire in Goldendale WA threatens St. John The Forerunner's Monastery

A wildfire that erupted Wednessday near Satus Pass by Goldendale, WA, which began in grass and brush, covering nearly 2,000 acres, caused the evacuation of some 300 people according to the Department of Natural Resources. The wildfire destroyed some 19 structures including 9 homes and 10 outbuildings. So far no injuries have been reported. Nuns from St. John's, fearing for the safety of their Monastery, ran across hw 97 to fight the blaze with a garden hose along side other fire-fighters and local residence. Some 200 firefighters were combating the blaze, however whether conditions in the region have been hot, dry, windy and, as is typical for that region during the summer months, the humidity is very low. As of Thursday the state of Washington has taken charge of containing the wildfire and has order some 65 engines to combat the blaze.

Miraculously, though the flames crept as far as the Monastery property boarder, the property and the Monastery itself, remain intact.

View photos of the even, here.


The Poor Are Lazy? Denial of The Elites.

Today in political science we established that the reason why poor people are often at a disadvantage in terms of education is because they are lazy. That it doesn't matter whether or not you go to a good school or a bad one, you are either born motivated or your not. If you are born in the ghetto and you want to be a millionaire you'll work hard and make it out.

To prove the theory we talked about a couple people we knew who were broke and make it to college on scholarships. So there you have it...
Someone mentioned that you can't provide help to everybody because that would be socialism.

My head just about exploded.


The First Comprehensive Look at Soviet History From Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Leftmost Few book picks

August 1914 


From Library Journal

This edition of the Nobel laureate's epic novel of Russian history, which was first published in English in 1972 ( LJ 10/15/72), contains all of the text from the original plus additional material written after Solzhenitsyn's exile from the USSR in 1974. "Screen sequences" indicate technical instructions for the shooting of a film.-- MR
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"A grand meditation on history, a masterly re-creation of people and faces caught up in the sweep of time, symbolized by a rolling fiery red wheel. The work is breathtaking in scope . . . Much credit for its power must go to Mr. Willetts's superb translation."--Gary Kern, The New York Times

"It is now clear that [Solzhenitsyn] towers over all his contemporaries, European, American, and Latin American . . . The greatness of Russia is in this novel as it has not been in any work of fiction since the generation of Dostoevski and Tolstoy."--Lionel Abel, The Wall Street Journal

Product Description

In his monumental narrative of the outbreak of the First World War and the ill-fated Russian offensive into East Prussia, Solzhenitsyn has written what Nina Krushcheva, in The Nation, calls "a dramatically new interpretation of Russian history." The assassination of tsarist prime minister Pyotr Stolypin, a crucial event in the years leading up to the Revolution of 1917, is reconstructed from the alienating viewpoints of historical witnesses. The sole voice of reason among the advisers to Tsar Nikolai II, Stolypin died at the hands of the anarchist Mordko Bogrov, and with him perished Russia's last hope for reform. Translated by H.T. Willetts.

August 1914 is the first volume of Solzhenitsyn's epic, The Red Wheel; the second is November 1916. Each of the subsequent volumes will concentrate on another critical moment or "knot," in the history of the Revolution. Translated by H.T. Willetts.

About the Author

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was born in 1918, received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1970, and was expelled from the Soviet Union in 1974. Until 1994, when he returned to Russia, he lived and worked in Vermont, primarily on The Red Wheel.

Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn Classic Soviet-Censored Novel, In the First Circle, Uncensored English Version

Book picks from Leftmost Few,

In the First Circle: The First Uncensored Edition

Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn (Author), Harry Willets (Translator) 

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This first uncensored translation of what many consider Solzhenitsyn's masterpiece shows the Nobel laureate treading deeply into the logic of Soviet Russia's gulag, if not deeply enough into the minds of his characters. A quest to discover the identity of a rogue Russian diplomat serves as Solzhenitsyn's springboard for a tour of Russia's immense gulag system, slipping from prisoner to jailer to anguished wife (and even detouring through a weary Stalin) to briefly examine the lives of more than 60 significant characters. Each short chapter contributes to a vast mosaic of philosophies and moral dilemmas that, taken together, form a panorama of a Russia gripped by Stalinist terror. Unfortunately, none of the characters steps out from the shadow of the political to become a full-fledged individual; the result is an oddly skewed work, a highly journalistic novel that hits the political and material realities of post-WWII Russia, but that subsumes humanity beneath its ideas. It's more valuable as testimony than as literature, thanks largely to Solzhenitsyn's insight into one of the great abominations of the 20th century. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
From Booklist

*Starred Review* Even the title was truncated when The First Circle, an expurgated English translation of Solzhenitsyn’s Soviet-censored masterpiece In the First Circle, was published to acclaim in the West in 1968. Written in the mid-1950s just after Solzhenitsyn’s eight years in the gulag, his nearly fatal bout with cancer, and his sentence to “perpetual” exile in Kazakhstan, this novel of tyranny and transcendence, set in a secret Soviet prison research facility, appears for the first time in full and in sterling English, following the Nobel laureate’s death at age 89 in 2008. In this many-voiced, flashback-rich, philosophical, suspenseful, ironic, and wrenching tale, Solzhenitsyn interleaves the stories of a grand matrix of compelling characters (women are accorded particular compassion) trapped in a maze of toxic lies, torturous absurdities, and stark brutality. It all begins with diplomat Innokenty Volodin’s anonymous phone call to the American embassy. Imprisoned scientists, most notably linguist Lev Rubin and mathematician (and stoic) Gleb Nerzhin, are put to work identifying his recorded voice, the catalyst for a scorching inquiry into free speech, which is but one strand in Solzhenitsyn’s metaphysical interpretation of incarceration. As the resilient and talented prisoners draw strength from books and conversation, Nerzhin decries humankind’s “astounding capacity to forget” both crimes and punishments. Solzhenitsyn has an antidote: this indelible novel of towering artistry, caustic wit, moral clarity, and spiritual fire. --Donna Seaman


“The new edition of Solzhenitsyn’s epic novel, In the First Circle captures better than any other work of fiction the quintessence of communist rule at its Stalinist peak: all-pervasive, paranoid, oppressive, incompetent, lethal. ... The longer text is deeper and darker.” (The Economist )

“The appearance of this new version of Solzhenitsyn’s best novel is an exciting literary event. This is a great and important book, whose qualities are finally fully available to English readers. A fifth longer than the original, it is a vastly better novel.” (Washington Post )

“Solzhenitsyn’s Cold War masterpiece ... a new radically retranslated edition, which is greatly expanded.” (London Times )

Product Description

The thrilling cold war masterwork by the nobel prize winner, published in full for the first time
Moscow, Christmas Eve, 1949.The Soviet secret police intercept a call made to the American embassy by a Russian diplomat who promises to deliver secrets about the nascent Soviet Atomic Bomb program. On that same day, a brilliant mathematician is locked away inside a Moscow prison that houses the country's brightest minds. He and his fellow prisoners are charged with using their abilities to sleuth out the caller's identity, and they must choose whether to aid Joseph Stalin's repressive state—or refuse and accept transfer to the Siberian Gulag camps . . . and almost certain death.
First written between 1955 and 1958, In the First Circle is Solzhenitsyn's fiction masterpiece. In order to pass through Soviet censors, many essential scenes—including nine full chapters—were cut or altered before it was published in a hastily translated English edition in 1968. Now with the help of the author's most trusted translator, Harry T. Willetts, here for the first time is the complete, definitive English edition of Solzhenitsyn's powerful and magnificent classic.

About the Author

After serving as a decorated captain in the Soviet Army during World War II, Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn (1918-2008) was sentenced to prison for eight years for criticizing Stalin and the Soviet government in private letters. Solzhenitsyn vaulted from unknown schoolteacher to internationally famous writer in 1962 with the publication of his novella One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich; he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1968. The writer's increasingly vocal opposition to the regime resulted in another arrest, a charge of treason, and expulsion from the USSR in 1974, the year The Gulag Archipelago, his epic history of the Soviet prison system, first appeared in the West. For eighteen years, he and his family lived in Vermont. In 1994 he returned to Russia. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn died at his home in Moscow in 2008.


Murdoch Media Empire, Will it Fall?

 By John E. Jones

The exposure of Murdoch’s part in capitalist propaganda is not limited to Britain. The Murdoch empire dominates the English speaking countries. While the corruption of the police and politicians that is being exposed is very damaging to the image of the sham democracy that has prevailed; the real damage is to the indoctrination machine.
The phone-hacking scandal tha led to the closure of the News of the World has brought to the surface the real state of things within the British establishment. The rottenness of a regime, that prides itself at being a model of “democracy,” is out in the open for all to see.
What has now been revealed is that a powerful media empire that for years has played a key role in British politics, making and unmaking political leaders, has been buying police officers, using influence with politicians, and all this peppered with out and out criminal activity.
This is not just any ordinary scandal that after a brief airing can be swept under the carpet and hidden again from public view. It is part of a more general crisis of the whole establishment.
Millions of ordinary working people in Britain are angry and disgusted at what has been revealed in the recent period. But, more importantly, the scandal risks destroying the authority of important pillars of the state, key instruments that are used by the ruling class to justify its position in society.
The media is an important weapon in the armoury of the establishment, for it is a means of getting across the views and opinions of the ruling class to the millions of ordinary workers.
This is clear during any important strike. How many times have we seen the media playing down the real numbers at demonstrations and rallies of the labour movement? The March 26 trade union demonstration is a clear example.
However, it is not just the numbers taking part that is lied about. Striking workers are always presented as greedy and unreasonable.
Especially the gutter press, such as the News of the World (NoW), have made it their trade to spread stories about so-called social security scroungers and how the problem is all due to excessive spending on the part of the state on welfare benefits.
All this can have some effect so long as the media is seen to be a source of objective “truth.” This scandal has seriously brought that idea into question.
Under capitalism “democracy” is a system where ordinary basic democratic rights exist, such as the right to vote, to free speech, etc., but where the real power is in the hands of the big corporations, such as Murdoch’s media empire.
Important decisions such as who the capitalist class want to govern the country, what policies they should carry out, and what interests they should defend are not really in the hands of ordinary working people.
We have no powers within this parliamentary system to decide when we should all retire, how many hours a week we should work, how much of our money should be spent on healthcare and education, whether or not to go to war, such as in the case of Iraq, etc., etc.
The problem is that the ruling class consists of a very small group of people. The vast majority of the population works for a living, gets a wage from a boss, whether in a factory, on a building site, in a classroom or at a desk working on a computer.
The interests of this huge majority are diametrically opposed to those of this clique. That is why the credibility of the media, the police and parliament itself is so important, so “central to democracy.” This credibility is required to maintain a grip on the consciousness of millions of working people.
This government has embarked on a savage attack on everything that makes for a minimally civilised existence for working people.
But this already provoked a massive student protest in November last year, followed by the biggest trade union demonstration in the history of Britain on March 26th and June 30th saw huge strike action by teachers, lecturers and civil servants.
That was merely a taste of even bigger things to come. In such a situation the establishment needs all its arsenal in place:
The media to convince the masses that austerity is necessary, the police to attack the workers when the media fails to stop them protesting, and the government and parliament with their authority intact in order to continue pushing forward the austerity measures.


Sadly, the article posted above is entirely wrong in asserting that the authority, or credibility, of the media has been challenged (at least on a large scale, or here in the US even). The fullness of the scandal has not, nor will it ever be fully realized. People in Britain have known for some time now, and America as well, about the corruption in their government in co-operation with their media. The response has been one of total apathy, honestly, it's amazing they're angry over the plight of the poor girl who was murdered.

And if anyone things the Murdoch Empire has been exposed, the answer is yes, and no. Those who oppose his media empire are learning nothing new, and those who adhere to it are eagerly gobbling up the apologies and excuses given.

Fox News and Newscorp have already gone on the attack path, distancing themselves from having anything to do with the, News of The World, scandal. In fact, if anything, they will blame the apparent corruption on Britain's, "far-left" "socialist policies".

Police at Scotland Yard taking bribes? Politicians corrupted with money?
Well that's what you get with socialism.
Trust me, that's what the party line will be, or something like it.
At the very least, Fox News is already arguing that it isn't a very big deal
and that the British public is overreacting.

No, no, no, the only chance of it ever have any impact here in the states is if Fox News did something that widely angered the public to such and extent that the ensuing boycott and loss of viewers causes them to close their doors. But that hasn't happened, and it's extremely doubtful that it ever will.

Fuck Israel, Israel Causes Death of America


News from French and Greek Boat to Gaza Concerning the Israeli Seizure of the French Flotilla

Israel seizes French Flotilla

Press Release
Athens, 19/7/2011
This morning, the French flag ship “Dignité/Al Karama”, carrying 16 passengers -among them the coordinator of the Greek Initiative Vangelis Pissias, and representing the international “Freedom Flotilla II – Stay Human” - started to sail from outside Port Said of Egypt towards the Gaza Strip. The boat gave its last position when in international waters, approximately 50 miles away from Gaza coast. Since 11:00am, while surrounded by 4 Israeli naval ships according to its passengers, every communication has been interrupted. A little while ago, it was reported as confirmed that the vessel was seized.

Israel, once again, appears to play the role of the sheriff in the south-eastern Mediterranean. The disregard of any notion of international law, the mobilization of any legal or illegal means to achieve its objectives -to prevent any attempt of expressing practical international solidarity with Palestine- is a permanent well known tactic. The Greek government acted in such a pro-Israeli way that even Israel wouldn't expect, shamelessly accepting congratulations by the Israeli and US governments, while at the same moment Palestinians in Ramallah heavily disapproved of the Greek President -first time for a Greek politician.

We demand from the Greek government, of course not to condemn the illegal act of its Israeli friends, who once again intervened militarily and beyond any concept of international law, against unarmed citizens in the international waters of SE Mediterranean, but to do, at least, the minimum and fundamentally self-evident: intervene immediately in order to protect -as required by the Constitution-the life and integrity of all on board and -above all- the Greek Vangelis Pissias.

The Greek society will provide the response to the latest Israeli provocative act. The Greek society who -unlike it's government- stands firmly and through time in solidarity to the Palestinian issue and the Palestinian people.

We call for a rally today at Syntagma, Tuesday 19th at 7:00pm

Passenger List for "Dignité / Al Karama"
1. Stéphane Corriveau (Canadian Boat to Gaza)
2. Dror Feiler (Ship to Gaza-Sweden and European Jews for a Just Peace, composer - musician)
3. Hilary Folacci (Sailor)
4. Jérôme Gleizes (European Greens)
5. Jacqueline Le Corre (MD, Collectif 14 Support to the Palestinian people, PCF/french communist party)
6. Jean Claude Lefort (Honorary Member of french Parliament)
7. Jo Leguen (Navigator)
8. Claude Léostic (Spokesperson of Campaign "A French ship to Gaza" - Association France/Palestine /Solidarity -AFPS)
9. Yamin Makri (Collectif 69 Support the Palestinian people)
10. Omeyya Naoufel Seddik (Tunisian Federation for citizenship on both sides- FTCR, political scientist)
11. Dr. Vangelis Pissias (Campaign "Ship to Gaza - Greece", professor at Higher Institute of Technology, Athens)
12. Thomas Sommer - Houdeville (Spokesperson of Campaign "A French ship to Gaza" and "Campagne Civile Internationale Pour la Protection du Peuple Palestinien - CCIPPP", associate researcher at the IFPO - Institut Français du Proche Orient)
13. Yannick Voisin (captain).
Also on board
14. Ayyash Derradji Al Jazeera journalist
15. Stéphane Guida, cameraman for Al Jazeera,
16. Amira Hass (Israeli journalist - Haaretz).

The FPM Team


Free Palestine Movement News July 15, 2011

Via: Free Palestine Movement Newsletter

I had originally intended to call this "A funny thing happened on the way to Gaza," but decided it sounded too flippant. However, the journey has certainly taken unexpected turns, which deserve some reflection on the Law of Unintended Consequences as it relates to the 2011 Gaza Freedom Flotilla.

Our Free Palestine Movement delegation of Ambassador Sam Hart, Dominican Sister Patricia Chaffee, USS Liberty veteran Joe Meadors, American Indian Movement spokesperson William "Jimbo" Simmons, FPM coordinator Deppen Webber and I returned to our homes in the U.S. over the course of the last week. It was an honor to share company with these fine representatives of communities in the U.S., and our voices were heard through numerous interviews, published writings and web postings.

Many people deserve a lot of credit for what went right, and we salute you, the recipients of this newsletter and supporters of the project for the important role you played. Tens of thousands of people were mobilized in dozens of countries to produce a very international undertaking for Palestinian human rights. The contacts and networks created in the year or so of working together will be used to create more and probably bigger projects, just as the contacts from the Gaza Freedom March helped to create the flotillas.

On the face of it, Israel won this round by preventing the boats from leaving Greece. However, it required a major mobilization on their part, which engaged heads of state, government ministers and elected officials in several countries, not the least of which was the United States, itself. As compared to the alternative of a confrontation at sea similar to last year's, it would seem to be an Israeli victory.

However, this is where the unintended consequences begin. First, the very fact that such a high level of mobilization was undertaken raised eyebrows. Why would Israel go to such extreme measures to prevent such an obviously harmless group from sailing to Gaza? What damage could we do?

Second, the heavy-handed techniques applied to the Greek government also did not go unnoticed. The Palestinian issue is very dear to the Greek people, who take pride in their support of Palestinians, and especially in the fact that it was two of their boats that first broke the Gaza blockade in 2008. Ironically, it was George Papandreou himself who made a public show of support for the blockade-busters in 2009 by personally receiving one of them (me) in the run-up to the elections that put him in office. Greeks are deeply embarrassed by their government's complicity with Israel, and angered by Israel's interference in their affairs.

Third, Israel's methods dragged the struggle out over an extended period of time, and continues even now. Last year's encounter, though violent and headline-grabbing, was over quickly. This year's offers new developments on a regular basis, such as the two boats that actually succeeded in leaving Greek ports. (See related story here.)

Finally, this year left the projects with boats still in their possession and a strong motivation to use them. It is not likely that Greece will be able to legally prevent their use indefinitely, so these assets are still at the disposal of the organizers. If a replay of last year's encounter had occurred, Israel would likely have seized the boats and not released them, resulting in a total loss. Now, however, the organizers may reasonably be expected to develop alternate plans.

In fact, alternate plans seem to be spinning as fast as they can be imagined. Two more land convoys are currently on their way, and a million-person non-violent march to Jerusalem is being organized. A challenge by air is still under consideration, though different (and cheaper) than what was previously envisioned. The BDS campaign is gaining rapidly, with the academic and cultural boycott leading the way.

In short, what does not destroy us makes us stronger. These are the methods that abolished slavery, liberated India, Poland and other countries, and ended segregation in the U.S. and apartheid in South Africa. They will continue to be at the disposal of principled and determined people standing up for human rights everywhere.

We thank you for being there with us.

Paul Larudee, for the FPM Team


The cost of our participation in the Flotilla was at least $10,000 per person, more than half of which went toward the purchase of the International Boat that we have not been able to use until now. For most of the Flotilla projects, the cost was even greater.

As of now, we barely have funds for operating costs until the end of August. Our coffers have not been this bare since we first began in 2006. Please help.


Palestinians Protest Over Implementation to Teach Israeli Curriculum in East Jerusalem.

By Jillian Kestler-D'Amours

EAST JERUSALEM — Widespread strikes across Palestinian civil society could be in store for East Jerusalem at the start of the next school year, as the municipality moves ahead with its current plan to implement an Israeli curriculum in Palestinian schools.
“I expect that the beginning of the new school year will not be a normal one. There will be lots of problems. There will be lots of demands, strikes,” Samir Jibril, director of the East Jerusalem Education Bureau told IPS. “All [the Palestinian] institutions are going to stand hand-in-hand against this implementation. Even civil society is demanding to stop this plan by the Israelis.”
In March of this year, the Jerusalem municipality sent a letter to private schools in East Jerusalem that receive allocations from the Israeli authorities. The letter stated that at the start of the 2011-2012 academic year, the schools would be obliged to purchase and only use textbooks prepared by the Jerusalem Education Administration (JEA), a joint body of the municipality and the Israeli Ministry of Education.
These textbooks are already in use in East Jerusalem schools managed by the JEA. According to Jibril, however, Palestinians in East Jerusalem have at all levels rejected the plan to use them in private schools, since it is viewed as being politically motivated.
“The real reason behind all this story of curriculum is actually political. We’re talking about a radical [Israeli] government that is trying to impose its own identity on the Palestinians in East Jerusalem. Knowing that Israel doesn’t recognize Palestinian identity, it is a political reflection rather than [for] any kind of educational or pedagogical [reason],” Jibril said.
The move to introduce the Israeli curriculum came after Israeli parliament member Alex Miller from the far-right Israel Beiteinu Party, who heads the Knesset’s Education Committee, stated during a meeting about unauthorized curricula in the education system that, in East Jerusalem, “the whole curriculum should and must be Israeli.”
After Israel illegally annexed East Jerusalem in 1967, Palestinians in the city followed the Jordanian educational system. Then, shortly after the signing of the Oslo II agreement, schools in East Jerusalem began using the curriculum of the Palestinian Authority.
Today, four different authorities govern the education system in East Jerusalem: the JEA, the Islamic Waqf, the private sector, and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for Palestinian refugees.
According to 2010-2011 statistics provided by the East Jerusalem Education Directorate, the JEA runs 50 schools in East Jerusalem, which are attended by 38,785 students, or 48 percent of the total number of Palestinian students in the city. An additional 22,500 Palestinian students attend 68 different private schools in East Jerusalem.
“They are actually pushing towards implementing the Israeli curricula because this will politically mean that East Jerusalem is not an occupied territory and it is just like the 1948 area, Israeli land,” Jibril said.
“If Israel succeeds in this step, there will be other successive steps, and they will target all the remaining schools,” he added. Israeli authorities have tried to exert added influence in East Jerusalem schools under their control earlier, he said, by willfully omitting certain passages in textbooks and removing the Palestinian logo on book covers, among other measures.


Orthodox and Gay? You're not alone. Graph of search results.

The following is a graph for the search term "orthodox homosexuality". It covers a graph of average search amounts from 2004 to the present day of this post.
Bear in mind, Google's Insights for Search only covers average search popularity. At any given time there are people all over the world searching for all kinds of things. Insights for search monitors search terms that have become particularly popular; more popular than average.


BREAKING: Greek military halts Freedom Flotilla2 in its tracks

Happening now:

Greek military, avowing to stop the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, from leaving port, has placed the US Ship in a military port. Journalist Joseph Dana has said the office of the presidency has said to seize the Canadian boat while in port. Passengers aboard the US Flotilla are demanding to see their consult reps, but so far they haven't been able to.

There is a live press conference happening now, in Athens, for the Freedom Flotilla.


Preparations for protests in Ottawa and Washington DC are being reported.

Rumors are emerging that Israel may be offering to bail Greece out of its current economic woes. If the rumor is true it might explain the new found corporation between the two countries.

Protesters have gathered outside the Greek consulate in NY chanting,"American citizens taken into custody by Greek gov"

An impromptu protest has spontaneously begun on the Greek island of Corfu, against the Greek Government's recent actions to block the Flotilla2.

2 Update:
Flotilla2 activists say they are, "angry and sad" and now having to consider a Plan B.

The Holland Flotilla boat has joined with the American boat on the Island of Corfu to protest.

It appears that both the Greek and Canadian governments have been complicit in taking actions to undermine the Freedom Flotilla2 effort. Meanwhile the American Jewish Committee (AJC) has praised the actions taken by the Greek Gov. "We express our admiration and deeply-felt gratitude for this courageous, principled step by Greece," says Executive Director David Harris of the AJC.
Greece is now pledging to Israel to expand it's police maritime coverage in order to prevent all Flotilla2 boats from leaving its shores. Harris goes on to state his gratitude to Greece for, "...preventing a serious challenge to Israel's legal maritime blockade of Gaza..." and that others should, "...follow Greece's lead in ensuring that the flotilla campaign, a Hamas solidarity movement disguised as a humanitarian enterprise, is no longer able to carry out its provocations."

His comments echo of talking points frequently used by Israeli supporters. Such talking points include identifying Hamas as a terrorist organization, and eluding that the sole purpose of Hamas is to destroy Israel. When the last Freedom Flotilla was attacked by the IDF, one of the talking points issued to Israeli pundits was that the Flotilla might have been carrying concrete, which Hamas, they claimed, would invariably use to build bunkers and military installations to carry out attacks on Israel.

3 Update:
(Photo is of armed Greek coast guard, blocking US Flotilla boat)

It is now confirmed that in return for stopping the Flotilla, Israel helped raise support for the Greek bail-out in the EU. An Israeli official stated to a reporter, "Flotilla organizers didn't understand that today's Greece is nothing like last year's, and they paid for it."


Have The Protests in Greece Been Hijacked By The Establishment?

By Peter Schwarz

It is not easy to report on the “Indignants”, the protesters in Athen’s Syntagma Square. We spent almost an hour trying to find someone responsible who could tell us about the goals and character of the movement; without success.
First, we went to a stand where in big letters above it read “information”. But as it turned out, this was merely providing technical advice on creating and organizing new committees. We were referred to another stand, where in turn we were sent to the press centre of

We thought we had reached our goal, but a woman there told us that nobody had the authority to act or speak on behalf of the movement, not even members of the Steering Committee. The press centre was merely tasked with recording the daily discussions and decisions of the Steering Committee and the “Popular Assembly“ and putting them online.

The composition of the Steering Committee changes daily—once it was 50-strong, another time 500. If we wanted information, we should consult the web site, which also contains many contributions translated into other languages. We could interview individual members of the movement, but these only spoke for themselves, she said.
There was no one willing to provide information about the objectives and purpose of the movement, and take responsibility for this. This game of hide and seek is not a coincidence. It is justified by reference to the principle of “genuine” or “direct democracy”, according to which the people take decisions directly, without the mediation of political representatives or parties. In fact, it serves to hide the real political objectives of the “Indignants.”
Already the so-called “Popular Assembly”, which takes place every evening at nine on Syntagma Square, proves to be a farce on closer inspection. What some of the pseudo-left celebrate as the reincarnation of the Russian Soviets, in fact rather resembles Speakers Corner in London’s Hyde Park. There is an indescribable din. The audience comes and goes. The speakers are drawn by lot. They are given just 30 seconds, and may not identify themselves as representatives of political tendencies.
Under these circumstances, a serious debate over political perspectives is just as impossible as taking a truly representative vote. Such things are unwanted. All those who find themselves accidentally on the square can raise their hands to vote. There are neither elected representatives nor mandated delegates. This offers plenty of opportunities for infiltration and manipulation.
The content of the discussions and votes revolves around organizational issues, such as the form and timing of the next protest action. Alternative models for the settlement of Greece’s state debt or proposals for a new constitution can also be discussed. However, a thought-out political strategy, like politics altogether, is taboo.
Its representatives constantly emphasize the supposedly non-political character of the movement. Asking where are the leaders of the movement produces a stereotyped answer: “There are no leaders, just ordinary people.” But in reality, the movement has a conscious political ideology and perspective. The rejection of politics serves to prevent any discussion of a different perspective—or, more precisely, of a socialist perspective.
Walking over Syntagma Square, anyone with a modicum of political experience soon notices that the organizers of the movement are seasoned politicians. Several reliable sources confirmed to us that they mostly came from the pseudo-left organizations like SYRIZA, ANTARSYA and the tendencies within them, but are concealing their political identity.
Yiannis Bournous, a leading member of Synapsismos, which is allied to the German Left Party, boasted in an interview: “We were the very first party to call upon its members, supporters and sympathisers to join the movement on the squares.”
And Stratos Kersanidis, the press spokesman of SYRIZA, confirmed to us: “We were all surprised by the movement here at Syntagma Square. It was much larger than we had expected. But we immediately gave it our support. We are always there and support this movement.”
The Greek pseudo-left organisations work closely together with SYRIZA and ANTARSYA. Among those groups affiliated to SYRIZA, (in which Synaspismos plays the leading role) was, up until a short while ago, the Greek section of the Committee for a Workers’ International (CWI), which is linked to the SAV in Germany and the Socialist Party in England. Actively involved in ANTARSYA is the Greek section of the International Socialist Tendency (IST) and the Pabloite United Secretariat.
The leaders of these organisations are experienced practitioners of left bourgeois politics. They have their own connections to PASOK and work closely together at an international level. In Germany, their members are represented in the German parliament and meet regularly with representatives of the government and the SPD, who fervently support the newly proposed austerity measures for Greece. In France the Pabloite New Anti-capitalist Party has operated for some time in leading circles of the political establishment. These people are in continual contact with one another by telephone, e-mail and SMS. They appear together at the same international gatherings and write for the same publications.
All sorts of semi-anarchic ideas and democratic illusions are to found amongst the rank-and-file activists assembled at Syntagma Square. Read the rest of this article... >>

Koko demonstrates levels of awareness similar to humans

EU Says it Will "Rescue" Greece in Exchange For €78 Billion in Austerity Measures

By James G. Neuger and Jonathan Stearns

European Union leaders pledged to stabilize the euro-area economy, vowing to stave off a Greek default as long as Prime Minister George Papandreou pushes through a package of budget cuts next week.
“This is not only a green light but also a positive sign for the future of Greece,” Papandreou told reporters after the first session of an EU summit in Brussels late yesterday.
Greece’s next hurdle is to shepherd 78 billion euros ($111 billion) of austerity measures through parliament, after yesterday’s endorsement of the program by experts from the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund. Read the rest of this article... >>

The Bourgeois Dictatorship Grows Increasingly Insecure

Third (Communist) International

1. Faced with the growth of the revolutionary movements in many countries, the bourgeoisie and their agents among the workers are making desperate attempts to find ideological and political arguments in defense of the rule of the exploiters.
Condemnation of dictatorship and defense of democracy are particularly prominent among these arguments. The falsity and hypocrisy of this argument, relentlessly repeated by the capitalist media are obvious to all who refuse to betray the fundamental principles of socialism.
2. Firstly, this argument employs the concepts of ‘democracy in general’ and ‘dictatorship in general’, without posing the question of the class concerned. This non-class or above-class presentation, which supposedly is popular, is an outright travesty of the basic tenet of socialism.
Namely, its theory of class struggle, which socialists who have sided with the bourgeoisie recognize in words but disregard in practice. For in no civilized capitalist country does ‘democracy in general’ exist; all that exists is bourgeois democracy.
And its not a question of ‘dictatorship in general’, but of the dictatorship of the oppressed class, i.e., the proletariat, over its oppressors and exploiters, i.e., the bourgeoisie, in order to overcome the resistance offered by the exploiters in their fight to maintain their domination.
3. History teaches us that no oppressed class ever did, or could, achieve power without going through a period of dictatorship, i.e., the conquest of political power and forcible suppression of the resistance always offered by the exploiters – a resistance that is most desperate, most furious, and that stops at nothing.
The bourgeoisie, whose domination is now defended by the socialists who denounce ‘dictatorship in general’ and extol ‘democracy in general’, won power in the advanced countries through a series of insurrections, civil wars, and the forcible suppression of kings, feudal lords, slaveowners and their attempts at restoration.
In books, pamphlets, congress resolutions and propaganda speeches, socialists everywhere have explained thousands upon millions of times to the people the class nature of these bourgeois revolutions and this bourgeois dictatorship.
That is why the present defense of bourgeois democracy under cover of talk about ‘democracy in general’ and the present howls and shouts against proletarian dictatorship under cover of shouts about ‘dictatorship in general’ are an outright betrayal of socialism.
They are, in fact, desertion to the bourgeoisie, denial of the proletariat’s right to its own, proletarian, revolution, and defense of bourgeois reformism at the very historical juncture when bourgeois reformism throughout the world has collapsed and the war has created a revolutionary situation.
4. In explaining the class nature of bourgeois civilisation, bourgeois democracy and the bourgeois parliamentary system, all socialists have expressed the idea formulated with the greatest scientific precision by Marx and Engels.
The most democratic bourgeois republic is no more than a machine for the suppression of the working class by the bourgeoisie, for the suppression of the working people by a handful of capitalists.
There is not a single revolutionary, not a single Marxist among those now shouting against dictatorship and for democracy who has not sworn and vowed to the workers that he accepts this basic truth of socialism.
But now, when the revolutionary proletariat is in a fighting mood and taking action to destroy this machine of oppression and to establish proletarian dictatorship, these traitors to socialism claim that the bourgeoisie have granted the working people ‘pure democracy’, have abandoned resistance and are prepared to yield to the majority of the working people.
They assert that in a democratic republic there is not, and never has been, any such thing as a state machine for the oppression of labour by capital.


New, Hipster, Earthy,Marketed, Evangelical-Crap Exposed

Folks, the purpose of the Christian life is to acquire the Grace of God, to acquire Theosis. Fully-realized it is nothing less, than to come into constant communion with God's Divine Uncreated Energies. The purpose of Christianity is not nor has it ever been to, market, advertise, sell, capitalize, create cultural shock-value, screen rated R movies, or any of the other new-fangled guitar rocking crap that goes on in Mega-Churches.

If I could deliver, from my small corner of the internet, a message to all those lost congregations and denominations it would be thusly;

For goodness sakes, stop! What are you doing? 1,000 years ago there was one Church and it worshiped one God, until one Roman Pope, decided to change the Nicean Creed without even informing the other Popes. When word got out, he anatomized them, and they anatomized him. Then, 500 years later, The Roman Church found itself in some scandal, yes, and it was an unfortunate business they'd gotten themselves into. But creating a whole new religion, a whole new Jesus, a whole new Church, this was not, nor was it ever, Martin Luther's intention. Martin Luther wanted to return his followers to the Christianity before the 1054AD split. He even wrote to the Patriarch of Antioch seeking acceptance. It was his followers, who decided they'd had enough of tradition (based on the Roman version of it) and decided they'd do away with tradition, the Saints and everything, and go it alone. And the Protestant Church has been nothing more than a political movement ever since.

There, I said it. Protestantism is not a religion beyond the fact that it is merely a protest against the Roman Church and also against Tradition.

Now here you are, sitting at your Starbucks meet, pouring over some verses here and there, nooooo, idea what any of them mean, it seems you've made it your life's mission never to open a single Homily by the Saints which would greatly shed light on the passages you seek answers to. But no, that's too, "traditional ", it's too, old-fashioned, to just ask the Church that decided what books to put into the Bible at the First Council of Nicea, what those books mean. No, no, you are scholars! That's what you need all that Coffee for right? To guide you through all those sleepless nights, pouring over 6-degree connections between some passage and whatever Democratic President we have at the time.

Stop the politics, stop the silly antics. Come back to the Church that wrote the Bible and your understanding will become much easier. You won't have to pour over paradoxes about how can a God Who is Love yet also have hate or Righteous Anger? Well stop the guessing and just ask the Church that wrote it, because that's where you'll find the answer. And then you won't be forced to practice the usual cognitive dissonance to try and explain to yourself that our God is both Loving and hateful, unable to question and unable to explain any of it simply doing more to disillusion your fellow men rather than enlighten them.

By Brett McCracken

‘How can we stop the oil gusher?” may have been the question of the summer for most Americans. Yet for many evangelical pastors and leaders, the leaking well is nothing compared to the threat posed by an ongoing gusher of a different sort:
Young people pouring out of their churches, never to return.
As a 27-year-old evangelical myself, I understand the concern. My peers, many of whom grew up in the church, are losing interest in the Christian establishment.
Recent statistics have shown an increasing exodus of young people from churches, especially after they leave home and live on their own. In a 2007 study, Lifeway Research determined that 70% of young Protestant adults between 18-22 stop attending church regularly.
Statistics like these have created something of a mania in recent years, as baby-boomer evangelical leaders frantically assess what they have done wrong (why didn’t megachurches work to attract youth in the long term?) and scramble to figure out a plan to keep young members engaged in the life of the church.
Increasingly, the “plan” has taken the form of a total image overhaul, where efforts are made to rebrand Christianity as hip, countercultural, relevant. As a result, in the early 2000s, we got something called “the emerging church”—a sort of postmodern stab at an evangelical reform movement. Perhaps because it was too “let’s rethink everything” radical, it fizzled quickly. But the impulse behind it—to rehabilitate Christianity’s image and make it “cool”—remains.
There are various ways that churches attempt to be cool. For some, it means trying to seem more culturally savvy. The pastor quotes Stephen Colbert or references Lady Gaga during his sermon, or a church sponsors a screening of the R-rated “No Country For Old Men.” For others, the emphasis is on looking cool, perhaps by giving the pastor a metrosexual makeover, with skinny jeans and an $80 haircut, or by insisting on trendy eco-friendly paper and helvetica-only fonts on all printed materials. Then there is the option of holding a worship service in a bar or nightclub (as is the case for L.A.’s Mosaic church, whose downtown location meets at a nightspot called Club Mayan).
“Wannabe cool” Christianity also manifests itself as an obsession with being on the technological cutting edge. Churches like Central Christian in Las Vegas and Liquid Church in New Brunswick, N.J., for example, have online church services where people can have a worship experience at an “iCampus.” Many other churches now encourage texting, Twitter and iPhone interaction with the pastor during their services.
But one of the most popular—and arguably most unseemly—methods of making Christianity hip is to make it shocking. What better way to appeal to younger generations than to push the envelope and go where no fundamentalist has gone before?
Sex is a popular shock tactic. Evangelical-authored books like “Sex God” (by Rob Bell) and “Real Sex” (by Lauren Winner) are par for the course these days. At the same time, many churches are finding creative ways to use sex-themed marketing gimmicks to lure people into church.
Oak Leaf Church in Cartersville, Georgia, created a website called to pique the interest of young seekers. Flamingo Road Church in Florida created an online, anonymous confessional (, and had a web series called, which featured a 24/7 webcam showing five weeks in the life of the pastor, Troy Gramling. Then there is Mark Driscoll at Seattle’s Mars Hill Church—who delivers sermons with titles like “Biblical Oral Sex” and “Pleasuring Your Spouse,” and is probably the first and only pastor I have ever heard say the word “vulva” during a sermon.
But are these gimmicks really going to bring young people back to church? Is this what people really come to church for? Maybe sex sermons and indie- rock worship music do help in getting people in the door, and maybe even in winning new converts. But what sort of Christianity are they being converted to?
In his book, “The Courage to Be Protestant,” David Wells writes:
“The born-again, marketing church has calculated that unless it makes deep, serious cultural adaptations, it will go out of business, especially with the younger generations. What it has not considered carefully enough is that it may well be putting itself out of business with God.
“And the further irony,” he adds, “is that the younger generations who are less impressed by whiz-bang technology, who often see through what is slick and glitzy, and who have been on the receiving end of enough marketing to nauseate them, are as likely to walk away from these oh-so-relevant churches as to walk into them.”
If the evangelical Christian leadership thinks that “cool Christianity” is a sustainable path forward, they are severely mistaken. As a twentysomething, I can say with confidence that when it comes to church, we don’t want cool as much as we want real.
If we are interested in Christianity in any sort of serious way, it is not because it’s easy or trendy or popular. It’s because Jesus himself is appealing, and what he says rings true. It’s because the world we inhabit is utterly phony, ephemeral, narcissistic, image-obsessed and sex-drenched—and we want an alternative. It’s not because we want more of the same.


It really bothers me when,

It really bothers me when someone reads the Bible 2 or 3 times and then goes about making themselves into some kind of Biblical expert, here to evangelize the masses to Atheism, and show a Church which has prevailed for 2,000 years, the error of its ways. Like when they go on some tirade about how can the Bible say God is Love and yet speak of His Righteous Anger at the same time, without having bothered to read St. John Chrysostom's perfectly logical explanation (bah, who needs tradition).

Dear Gamefly

Dear Gamefly, people with PC's play video games too. Please stop saying you have the largest video game library, because if you've preemptively excluded the whole PC platform and the PC genres that come with it, then you clearly don't have as many games as you advertise.

There, someone had to say it.


Israel Wants to Tear Down Alaqsa Mosque To Rebuild 3rd Zionist Temple, Temple of Solomon

Zionists plan to build 3rd temple, where Alaqsa Mosque currently stands.

The Temple of Solomon is also known as the, First Temple. It was the Temple in Jerusalem, located on the Temple Mount, or Mount Zion as it is also known, which was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar II after the Siege of Jerusalem in 587 BC. The site where the Temple once stood is now occupied by Alaqsa Mosque. Israel, in their attempt to rebuild the Temple, has been trying endlessly to find ways of removing Alaqsa Mosque from the site. They've been trying to tunnel under it, hoping it will become unstable, weak and collapse.

Free Palestine
 (Translated from Arabic via Google)
Urgent: Palestinian Information Center: development of a scale model of the structure of the alleged at the top of the door pillar on the wall of Jerusalem, Sheikh Kamal Khatib, calling the nation to move soon and the restoration of the Aqsa Mosque and Jerusalem

I picked up lens photojournalist Afif Hanna Amira Thursday (2-6) image of an embodiment of a temple, a newly developed at the gate of Damascus, known as "Damascus Gate" A main doors of the Old City in Jerusalem.

The deployment of the Jerusalem Center for Social and Economic Rights of the stereo image, and said that the subject manner that does not appear visible at this stage, because of the ongoing restoration work, and hidden by the crew of Zionism.

It is noteworthy that the Israeli municipality of Jerusalem, the Antiquities Authority Zionism you several months ago what it calls "the work of restoration and maintenance" of the ancient city wall of Jerusalem.

Seen Jerusalemites suspicion significant of those acts, which are interspersed in the last period changes are not visible on the stone wall, including the removal of stones from it and replace it with another, and the development of forms and figurative-style temple, as was the case in a section of fence near Herod's Gate

Egypt closes boarder with Gaza without warning or reason

Was it too good to be true? Or will Egyptians unite and protest the move?

Free Palestine
(Translated from Arabic via Google)
BREAKING: Egypt shuts down Rafah crossing !
Urgent: Egypt closed the Rafah crossing in a surprise without informing the Palestinian side and, without giving any reasons. and citizens with supporters of Hamas stormed the Egyptian gate of the Rafah crossing in protest against the policy pursued by the administration of prevention in Egypt.

Island: Reuters: Dozens of angry Palestinians storm Rafah crossing gate in Gaza after its closure by Egyptian authorities. Cheers for the citizens and people says wants to end the siege, and the police trying to disperse the demonstrators and onlookers now

UPDATE: The boarder, Rafah Crossing, has been re-opened.
(Translated from Arabic via Google)
Aljazeera : Egypt reopens Rafah crossing
Al Jazeera broadcast an announcement soon now that the Egyptian authorities decided to reopen after being closed for several hours


Ayn Rand, GOP hero, condemns Christianity, Altruism, and love for the, "weak" among us.

Think Progress 

A film adaptation of the 1957 novel Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand, opened this past Friday. The release of the film has coincided with a resurgence of popularity for Rand on the American Right. The trailer for Atlas Shrugged had its world premier at this year's CPAC conference, the Tea Party group FreedomWorks has rolled out a massive campaign to promote the film, and the story's opening line — "Who is John Galt" — has appeared on numerous signs at Tea Party rallies.

At the same time, some of the right's leading political and media lights have heaped praise upon Rand. The author of the Republicans' new budget plan to gut Medicare and Medicaid, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), has said Rand is the reason he entered politics. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) have both declared themselves devotees of her writing. Conservative Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has his law clerks watch the film adaptation of Rand's book The Fountainhead. She's also received accolades from right-wing pundits Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, John Stossel, and Andrew Napolitano.

During her lifetime, Rand advocated "the virtue of selfishness," declared altruism to be "evil," opposed Medicare and all forms of government support for the middle-class and the poor, and condemned Christianity for advocating love and compassion for the less fortunate:

Rand also dismissed the feminist movement as a "false" and "phony" issue, said a female commander in chief would be "unspeakable," characterized Arabs as "almost totally primitive savages," and called government efforts to aid the handicapped and educate "subnormal children" an attempt to "bring everybody to the level of the handicapped."

As for the new Atlas Shrugged film, it made $1.7 million in its first three days in theaters, reasonable but unspectacular numbers for a limited release on 299 screens. But box-office watchers looking to see if the Tea Party represents a discrete market would have been disappointed. The movie grossed just $5,608 per theater over that time period, hardly a sign that groups were buying out theaters or that the movie was a pop culture phenomenon. By contrast, An Inconvenient Truth took in $70,333 per theater during its first five days on screens. That number fell to $17,615 per theater in its second week, but that number is still higher than Atlas Shrugged's more widely-available debut. And Atlas Shrugged's numbers look positively puny next to another culture-war adaptation of a popular book, Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ, which raked in $125,185,971 over its first five days in theaters.


Feminism Has Been Hijacked by The Bourgeois!

by Hester Eisenstein

And, by identifying freedom with paid work, mainstream feminism offered the perfect cover to multinational corporations exploiting women’s labor in free trade zones.
In short, feminism became the language of capitalist modernization.

Feminism Seduced: How Global Elites Use Women's Labor and Ideas to Exploit the World, by Hester Eisenstein weaves a compelling account of how the central ideas of “hegemonic feminism” have legitimized the corporate capitalist assault on the working class in the United States and on small farmers and workers, both urban and rural, in the global South.
In this way, she argues, mainstream feminism has served as unwitting handmaiden to the capitalist class. Situating her analysis of mainstream feminism in a broader context of the economics of capitalist globalization, Eisenstein connects changes in the gender order to the rise of neoliberalism.
By hegemonic feminism, she means that certain liberal feminist ideas have become part of the “commonsense” of U.S. culture. In particular, she argues, the notion that paid work, in itself, represents liberation for women is widely accepted.
Second-wave feminism included a strong tradition of socialist/anarchist feminism, third-world and women of color feminism, as well as radical feminism.
But the dominant ideas of the movement emphasized individual achievement and the possibilities for self-actualization inherent in the competitive, free-for-all marketplace and political system.
Liberal feminism addressed many different issues, but focused overwhelmingly on women’s right to compete with men on equal terms in the labor market.
While purporting to represent all women, mainstream feminism has primarily advanced the interests of women with higher education, so that after forty years of feminist activism, there is now an enormous class divide among women workers.
To understand how and why this has happened, Eisenstein traces the history of feminist ideas and politics in the context of the fundamental restructuring of the global economy and the rise of the neoliberal political order.
Taking globalization as the framework for describing this “sea change” in the world capitalist political economy, Eisenstein identifies deindustrialization, the rise of export processing zones in the global South.
Also, the growth of the service sector, the explosion of the financial sector, and the employers’ offensive against unions as key to the transformation of women’s relation to waged labor.
In the North, globalization entailed a precipitous decline in men’s wages, marking the end of the “family wage” for men who had often provided sole financial support in traditional male breadwinner marriages. At the same time, the rise of the service economy opened up a huge demand for low-wage, female labor.
In the South, the “new enclosure” movement threw women into an expanding labor market. Insofar as mainstream feminism had lauded paid employment for women as a route to escape the oppression of patriarchal marriage, feminism in the United States helped to create a new pool of labor that capitalist employers could use to cut costs.
Women’s willingness to enter the workforce in massive numbers allowed corporations to resist the pressure for wage increases.
And, by identifying freedom with paid work, mainstream feminism offered the perfect cover to multinational corporations exploiting women’s labor in free trade zones.
In short, feminism became the language of capitalist modernization.