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Don Fitz

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From the murder of Berta Cáceres in Honduras to dam disaster in Uttarakhand, India

 

 

By Don Fitz

March 5, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — March 2, 2021, was the five year anniversary of the murder of Berta Cáceres, who opposed the Agua Zarca dam in Honduras. That date was less than one month after the deaths of dozens of people from the Tehri Dam disaster in Uttarakhand, India. The two stories together tell us far more about consequences of the insatiable greed of capitalism for more energy than either narrative does by itself.

Is this revolution truly rinky-dink?

 

 

By Don Fitz

February 5, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — During the late ’60s, when the United States war on Viet Nam was going strong and people were questioning capitalism, I drove from Eugene to Berkeley where my sister was living. I ran into folks who invited me to a discussion about starting a commune. There, everyone talked about dropping out of consumer society and buying land to get away from it all. Asking about how you could confront the horrors around us by separating yourself from society, I got a string of denunciations accusing me of buying into what I claimed to oppose. 

After telling my sister about the experience, she invited a friend over for dinner the next night from a group called the Progressive Labor Party. “Great,” I replied. “I’ve heard of them but really don’t know anything except they are supposed to be serious.”

What does the Esau Revolution despise?

 

 

By Don Fitz

And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint;
And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright.
And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profits shall this birthright do me?
And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob.
Genesis 25: 30-33

December 11, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Despite the bizarre fantasy by Trump supporters that the 2020 presidential election was stolen, there was, in fact, genuine electoral fraud in the US. This fraud was more intense and blatant than any unproven claims of election meddling by Russians, Chinese, Syrians or Iranians. It was an all-out attack on political rights not seen since Joseph McCarthy era. Yet, this time, it was inspired not by Republicans but by Democrats and their liberal allies.

Why medical students get more experience in the US than Cuba, and what this has to do with inequality

 

 

By Don Fitz

November 19, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — During the past 10 years I have written multiple articles documenting how Cuba has better medical practice and education than the US. To be honest, I have known for a long time that there is an area of medical training where medical students in the US get considerably more training than do those who study in Cuba.

This realization came to me when my daughter Rebecca was in her first year of medical school in Havana. When I phoned after she had been there for a few months, she said, “Dad, I am really glad that when I was a girl you gave me a needle and thread to sew up rips in my clothes. In clinic today, we saw someone with his head whacked open by a machete and a medical student was sewing it back together. It was clear that the guy trying to sew the wound did not have experience with a needle and thread and that the guy getting his head patched up could tell. With the sewing I’ve done, I know that I could handle a wound.”

What can we learn from Cuba? Medicare-for-All is a beginning, not the end point

 

 

By Don Fitz

September 7, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — As a coup de grâce to the Bernie Sanders campaign Joe Biden declared that he would veto Medicare-for-All.  This could drive a dedicated health care advocate to relentlessly pursue Med-4-All as a final goal.  However, it is not the final goal.  It should be the first step in a complete transformation of medicine which includes combining community medicine with natural medicine and health-care-for-the-world.

Contrasting Cuban changes in medicine during the last 60 years with the US non-system of medical care gives a clear picture of why changes must be all-encompassing.  The concept of Medicare-for-All is deeply intertwined with attacks on Cuba’s global medical “missions” and the opposite responses to Covid-19 in the two countries.

United States: A statue of Hatuey

 

 

By Don Fitz

July 5, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — If you look at a US $20 bill, you might notice Andrew Jackson nervously watching statues of Columbus and Robert E. Lee coming down and wondering if his face is going to disappear from currency. As Democrats ponder which militarist they wish to glorify in the next round of monuments, it is critical to realize that statues which go up are at least as important as the ones that come down. Perhaps the best nominee for a new statue is Hatuey.

United States: Should New York City’s Wall Street Be Renamed 'Eric Garner St'?

 

 Delmar Blvd. at Sgt. Mike King Dr. Image by David Doonan.

By Don Fitz

July 2, 2020  — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Scenes of sorrow spread across the US. Football teams apologize. Cops march with demonstrators. Democratic Party politicians call for “structural change” in police departments.

Some of these are sincere. Others are crocodile tears shed in hopes that people will be pacified with assurances that turn out to be vague rhetoric devoid of meaning or else empty promises that will never be fulfilled. Yet, there are changes that would cost little, could happen quickly, and be reminders to future generations of what happened in 2020.

Soaring beyond the Green New Deal

 

 

By Don Fitz

May 24, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — When Stan Cox was writing his book, The Green New Deal and Beyond: Ending the Climate Emergency While We Still Can, he scripted these prophetic words: “The oft-predicted national decline in use of fossil fuels is nowhere to be seen, and it is unlikely to occur on its own, at least until the next economic meltdown.” He became one of those few people who dare predict the future; but it was unfortunate for humanity that his prediction came true. Between the time that Cox foresaw the conditions under which fossil fuel usage would go down and his book appeared in print, the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the globe, production crashed in country after country, and CO2 emissions dropped even more than they did during the 2008 financial crisis.

Bayer/Monsanto’s bioimperialism versus Cuba’s biosolidarity

 

 

By Don Fitz

May 14, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Genetically engineered crops are a form of food imperialism. This technology allows mega-corporations like Bayer/Monsanto to patent seeds, lure farmers into buying them with visions of high yields and then destroy the ability of small farmers to survive.

Genetic engineering produces an artificial combination of plant traits that often results in foods with less nutritional value while introducing health problems to animals and humans who eat them. It increases costs of food production, pushing millions of farmers throughout the world into poverty and driving them off their land. 

Agricultural corporations get control of enormous quantities of land in Africa, Latin America and Asia, which they use to control the world’s food supply and reap super-profits from the cheap labor of those who work for them, sometimes people who once owned the same land. These crops can be developed in open-field testing, which allows the novel pollen to contaminate wild relatives of the engineered crops.

Cuba: From AIDS, dengue, and ebola to COVID-19

 

 

 

By Don Fitz

April 18, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Preparing for a pandemic requires understanding that a change in the relationship between people is primary and the production of things is secondary and flows from social factors.  Investors in profit-based medicine cannot comprehend this concept. Nothing could exemplify it more clearly than Cuba’s response to the corona virus (COVID-19).

The US dawdled for months before reacting.  Cuba’s preparation for COVID-19 began on January 1, 1959.  On that day, over sixty years before the pandemic, Cuba laid the foundations for what would become the discovery of novel drugs, bringing patients to the island, and sending medical aid abroad.

Politicians agree: “Any white cop can kill a Black man”

 

 

By Don Fitz

 

September 30, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — In 2017 my Links article, “Any White Cop Can Kill a Black Man at Any Time,” told how St. Louis cop Jason Stockley killed a 24-year-old black man, Anthony Lamar Smith.  Though Stockley claimed he had fired in self defense when Smith pulled a gun on him, evidence showed that he had planted the gun after the killing.  When Stockley was found “not guilty” protests by thousands in St. Louis lasted for months, just as in 2014 when another white cop Darren Wilson killed Michael Brown in neighboring Ferguson.

 

Crises of cops indiscriminately killing black men keep intensifying throughout the area.  In 2018, Stockley sued the City of St. Louis for putting him on trial in a case that could have created a precedent for cops being able to kill without ever being held accountable.  Then, on September 20, 2019, news broke that in 2012, soon after the killing, the Missouri Attorney General’s office had suppressed evidence regarding Stockley’s DNA being found on the gun he claimed belonged to his victim.  This is after months of the St. Louis Police Officers Association (SLPOA) harassing the City’s first black female Circuit Attorney for attempting to defend citizens from racist attacks.

 

What is energy denial?

 

 

By Don Fitz

 

September 22, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — The fiftieth anniversary of the first Earth Day of 1970 will be in 2020.  As environmentalism has gone mainstream during that half a century, it has forgotten its early focus and shifted toward green capitalism.  Nowhere is this more apparent than abandonment of the slogan popular during the early Earth Days: “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.”

 

United States: Other revolving doors

 

 

By Don Fitz

 

July 16, 2018 
 Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — It’s more than doors between the US government and the businesses that they supposedly regulate that go round and round. One of the other swinging doors is between the Democratic and Republican Parties.

 

The birth of the Cuban polyclinic

 

 

By Don Fitz

 

June 29, 2018 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Monthly Review — During the 1960s, Cuban medicine experienced changes as tumultuous as the civil rights and antiwar protests in the United States.1 While activists, workers, and students in western Europe and the United States confronted existing institutions of capitalism and imperialism, Cuba faced the even greater challenge of building a new society.

 

The tasks of Cuban medicine differed sharply between the first and the second halves of the revolution’s first decade. The years 1959–64 aimed at overcoming the crisis of care delivery, as half of the island’s physicians fled. It was during the second half of the decade (1964–69) that Cuba began redesigning medicine as an integrated system. The resulting reconceptualization of health care, which put the area polyclinic at the center of medical care, created a model for poor countries that has changed medicine ever since.

 

United States: Where any white police officer can kill any Black man at any time…

 

 

… And the police officer will not go to jail.

 

By Don Fitz

 

September 23, 2017
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal This is what has sparked protests by thousands of people in St. Louis since September 15.

 

In 2011, St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley fired five to seven shots at Anthony Lamar Smith, killing him. Stockley claimed that Smith was selling drugs, chased him at high speed and shot him to defend himself. The story was briefly reported as another drug deal gone bad and that it was just incidental that the police officer was white and the victim was black.

United States: Attack on St. Louis homeless sneaks under a dark cloud

 

 

By Don Fitz

 

December 31, 2016 –– Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal –– The sub-freezing temperature was dropping. As the snow began to fall, many felt their hands were too cold to hold signs during the December 17 action. Two dozen had answered the Green Party call to picket the mayor of St. Louis for his efforts to close down New Life Evangelistic Center, the city's homeless “shelter-of-last-resort.” They knew things would be much worse for those forced to sleep in the cold if the shelter were shut down. The action was one in a series of efforts to draw attention to the city government's continual onslaught against those with no place to go.

 

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