Connexions Resource Centre
Focus on the United States
Recent & Selected Articles
- This is a small sampling of articles related to education and children in the Connexions Online Library. For more articles, books, films, and other resources, check the Connexions Library Subject Index, especially under topics such as
- Does the United States Still Exist? (March 28, 2016)
To answer the question that is the title, we have to know of what the US consists. Is it an ethnic group, a collection of buildings and resources, a land mass with boundaries, or is it the Constitution? Clearly what differentiates the US from other countries is the US Constitution. The Constitution defines us as a people. Without the Constitution we would be a different country. Therefore, to lose the Constitution is to lose the country.
- The Drone Papers (2015)
The Intercept has obtained a cache of secret documents detailing the inner workings of the U.S. military's assassination program in Afghanistan, Yemen, and Somalia. The documents, provided by a whistleblower, offer an unprecedented glimpse into Obama's drone wars.
- Global Warming's Unacknowledged Threat - The Pentagon (2015)
The Pentagon has admitted to burning 350,000 barrels of oil a day (only 35 countries in the world consume more) but that doesn't include oil burned by contractors and weapons suppliers. It does, however, include providing fuel for more than 28,000 armored vehicles, thousands of helicopters, hundreds of jet fighters and bombers and vast fleets of Navy vessels.
- Democracy rezoned (November 1, 2014)
By employing techniques that take advantage of the extreme polarisation of the US electorate, the Republican Party is able to fix polls.
- Mass Incarceration and Capitalism (April 4, 2014)
On the intersections of race, class, capitalism, and social repression via mass incarceration in the United States.
- Defeat of Reconstruction and the Betrayal of Black Freedom Part One (February 7, 2014)
Reconstruction was a tumultuous, brief and extraordinary period of American history defined by an unprecedented experiment in interracial democracy. It was an era of exceptional developments, all taking place simultaneously and impacting one another.
- Obama's Sinister Crackdown on the Press (August 20, 2013)
David Miranda was placed on such a watch list by the US because of his relationship with Greenwald and was detained and held, without access to a lawyer, for nine hours.
- Americas Descent Into Madness (August 12, 2013)
The mainstream media spins stories that are largely racist, violent, and irresponsible. Anti-public intellectuals promotes a culture of consumerism.
- The US v. Trayvon Martin (July 15, 2013)
Trayvon Martin, an unarmed, teenage pedestrian died and George Zimmerman walked because our entire political and legal foundations were built on an ideology of settler colonialism.
- The American Way of Torture (July 12, 2013)
Torture is now solidly installed in Americas repressive arsenal, vigorously applauded by prominent politicians.
- Edward J. Snowden and the Exposure of Voyeuristic Fascism (June 25, 2013)
Snowden make a difference in the affairs of state in an environment where individuals do not appear to matter.
- Spying by the Numbers (June 20, 2013)
Thanks to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden many more people in the US and world-wide are learning about extensive US government surveillance and spying. There are publicly available numbers which show the reality of these problems are bigger than most think and most of this spying is happening with little or no judicial oversight.
- Capitalist Surveillance State: Everyone's a Target (June 10, 2013)
There is an inherent tendency for the state, which governs on behalf of a minuscule, ruthless class of obscenely wealthy exploiters, to attempt to amass ever greater power to control the population because it hates and fears the working people.
- Surveillance USA (June 7, 2013)
The government is merrily going about its business of keeping tabs on you in virtually every conceivable way.
- Gun Control: Carnage in Context (March 1, 2013)
What "the right to bear arms" means today is murkier in a society which is profoundly unorganized, exceptionally violent, highly racist, and with desperately inadequate care for the mentally ill.
- Voter Suppression Hits Mississippi (March 1, 2013)
Concerns regarding the polarization of voting in Mississippi between classses and actions taken with the apparent goal of suppressing the non-white opposition.
- Deranging America (February 21, 2013)
A question worth asking: Who benefit from a more compulsive, hence more violent, population? Well, if youre pushing eternal warfare, which we are, youll need a pool of nutcases who are willing to shoot anyone for any reason, or none at all, and more deranged oafs at home to go Rah! Rah! over any bombing run or drone hit. Are we going into Mali next? Why not? Where is it, by the way? There has never been a country fighting so many wars without a serious debate about any of them. And if you want people to buy first, think later, to rack up life-wrecking debts to satiate all ephemeral cravings, then you ply them with poison, flickering television and thumping music. You dont want a population capable of deliberating, reflecting, thinking clearly or even listening attentively, much less reading, but one that can be jerked around by any sexy come-on or dumbed down slogan.
- Overthrowing other people's governments: The Master List (February 1, 2013)
Instances of the United States overthrowing, or attempting to overthrow, a foreign government since the Second World War.
- Overwrought Empire (October 9, 2012)
Americans lived in a victory culture for much of the twentieth century. You could say that they experienced an almost 75-year stretch of triumphalism -- think of it as the real American Century -- from World War I to the end of the Cold War, with time off for a destructive stalemate in Korea and a defeat in Vietnam too shocking to absorb or shake off.
- The NYTs Love Letter to Death Squads (May 29, 2012)
It is, I confess, beyond all my imagining that a national leader so deeply immersed in murdering people would trumpet his atrocity so openly, so gleefully - and so deliberately, sending his top aides out to collude in a major story in the nation's leading newspaper, to ensure maximum exposure of his killing spree.
- Air Force Invades the Rocky Mountains (January 16, 2012)
Communities throughout rural America are fighting to stop more Air Force flights overhead. In addition to New Mexico and Colorado, Montana, Wyoming, Oregon, Idaho, North Dakota, South Dakota, Arizona, Kentucky and Maine are some of the other states fighting intrusive low-level flights.
- The Foreclosure-to-Rental Screwjob (January 13, 2012)
The US government is preparing to bail out the banks once again.
- Violence Goes to College (November 22, 2011)
The priorities of the campus are clear. An Assistant Professor earns an annual salary in the low $60,000 range; a Lieutenant in the campus safety department (the man who fired the pepper gas, for instance) brings home $110,000.
- Traite du Savoir-Vivre for the Occupy Wall Street Generations (October 8, 2011)
Once upon a time, twenty thousand people descended on Wall Street, the capitol of capital, occupied it nonviolently, and won exactly what they demanded. This is not a fairy tale. It really happened. This is the story of how it happened.
- Occupy Wall Street vs. Kingian Methods (October 4, 2011)
The students, the labour unions, the working poor, the immigrants, the activists all over the country should come up with the solutions and make the demands. There can be dangerous consequences in organizing efforts when there is no clarity. Its often a matter of life and death.
- Perpetual War (September 7, 2011)
A decade after the attentats of 9/11, the United States and its European allies are trapped in a quagmire. The events of that year were simply used as a pretext to remake the world and to punish those states that did not comply. And today the majority of Euro-American citizens flounder in a moral desert, now unhappy with the wars, now resigned, now propagandized into differentiating what is, in effect, an overarching imperial strategy into good/bad wars.
- Lessons from COINTELPRO (March 12, 2011)
We can best honor those who have been murdered by our government and their agents, not by mourning but by organizing, by building movements that put into practice solidarity across borders that are inclusive in all the important ways - class, gender, race, sexual orientation, language, immigrant status and age - that resist boldly and courageously all forms of inequality and environmental degradation.
- The Domestic War on Protesters (February 11, 2011)
While the US claims to uphold right to demonstrate around the world, there have been countless examples throughout the history of this country of protests being shut down by an overwhelming police presence. In recent years, it has become routine for police departments to use a host of tactics to limit and prevent mass demonstrations. These tactics have included mass arrests of demonstrators, preemptive arrests and trumped up charges against protest organizers.
- A Primer on Immigrant Rights (January 1, 2011)
The struggle for immigrant rights is one of the most important struggles of our time, and it occurs under a working-class banner.
- Obama's Liberty Problem (December 23, 2010)
The proposal to create a special new legal system by Executive Order will threaten the liberty of every single US citizen who is not in Guantanamo because it will damage the due process guarantees which have built up over the years to protect each one of us.
- Predicting Torture (December 22, 2010)
Bradley Manning is charged with leaking classified documents to Wikileaks and faces a court martial. The conditions of his confinement are extreme, and amount to torture.
- US Government Systematically Spying on Citizens (December 7, 2010)
The US government has been systematically violating the privacy rights of U.S. citizens.
- The Borrower and the Billionaire (December 2, 2010)
In this excerpt adapted from The Monster, Michael W. Hudson writes about the nations largest subprime lending empire through the fortunes of its owner and one of its customers.
- Race and Class: What About the Working Poor? (November 1, 2010)
One striking feature of political debate in the country today is that while every commentator, pundit and political observer talks about and focuses on the concerns of the super-rich and the middle class few ever talk about the plight of the disadvantaged, those on food stamps and welfare and particularly the working poor.
- You Are What You Think (September 17, 2010)
America's main international enemy "Islamic radicalism" favors theocracy, curtails civil liberties, embraces torture, represses women, reviles homosexuality, subverts science and education, and reveres force over diplomacy. Markos Moulitsas shows how the American right shares those very same traits. He argues that our domestic jihadists are a greater threat to American democracy than any Islamic terrorist.
- Rampant Racism in the Criminal Justice System (July 26, 2010)
The biggest crime in the U.S. criminal justice system is that it is a race-based institution where African-Americans are directly targeted and punished in a much more aggressive way than white people.
- The 1960 Sit-ins in Context (July 1, 2010)
The Civil Rights Movement that we associate with the 1960s was the culmination of a vast set of social and economic changes. The tradition of Black struggle itself, going back to the very beginnings of slavery in the New World, was also part of the context for the new movement.
- Crisis in the US (June 19, 2010)
The cause of the crisis in the US must be found in the context of the world capitalist economy and not credited to internal causes. These internal causes of course exist but in fact only shape the way this crisis is expressed.
- Bogus, Misdirected and Effective (June 14, 2010)
The Tea Party movement is steeped in misinformation and denial. But it has a lot to teach the left.
- Death in the Desert (April 19, 2010)
This is a NAFTA border. Money moves freely, people with money do too, but the poor are pushed into a dangerous cycle of crossing the desert.
- Blasted in a West Virginia Mine (April 8, 2010)
Conditions in the mines are caused by capitalism. The 25 dead miners in the latest mine disaster in West Virginia are dead because union-busting and the disregard of safety precautions for the sake of speed-up and higher profits.
- How to Light a Prairie Fire (April 2, 2010)
If there's one thing I think many people need to understand, it is this: sustained mass movements rarely happen unless many of the participants believe they might win.
- Black Liberation and the Fight for a Socialist America (March 26, 2010)
From slavery to convict labour, from the chain gang to the assembly line, American capitalism has been built upon the lash-scarred backs of black labour. Any organization that claims a revolutionary perspective for the United States must confront the special oppression of black people and their forced segregation at the bottom of capitalist society and the poisonous racism that divides the working class and cripples its struggles.
- Grinding Down the U.S. Army (December 15, 2009)
Prolonging a stalemated war will only mean more hurt for both Afghans and Americans. The hurt to Afghans will undoubtedly be worse, for their homes are the battlefield, but our own hurt shouldn't be underestimated. More broken bodies and shattered minds. More echoes of the horrifying violence that accompanies war.
- US Workers Starved Into Military Service (October 27, 2009)
Humanity has passed the tipping point - economically, culturally and environmentally. The "consuming and killing" model embraced by Americans as cultural norm is, in reality, a cultural aberration. It is destroying everything and everyone in its wake - including those who are fighting and dying to preserve it.
- A Brief History of Loyal Opposition to War (October 21, 2009)
As Afghanistan erupts with redoubled violence, the author recounts the clutch of soldiers who have refused to serve or repented their service in every American war since the War of 1812.
- Your Money, Or Your Life (October 5, 2009)
Single Payer will save lives, but it also will save money. The exorbitant salaries of Insurance Company CEOs will be eliminated. The profit motive for investors will be eliminated. Administrative costs will be reduced because one single payer will replace a large number of insurance companies - all with different forms, different standards, and different requirements for an endless stream of mind-numbing paper work.
- Iran in Christian Zionist crosshairs (October 1, 2009)
Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's visit to the United Nations has stirred up two leading Christian Zionists, Mike Evans and Joel Rosenberg, to once again open fire on Iran.
- Republicans Have Decided to Call Anything a Democrat Ever Does or Says "Nazi" (October 1, 2009)
The cause du jour for the Republican Party is to make as many rapid-fire comparisons between the Democrats and the Nazis as humanly possible.
- Why Right-Wing Demagogues Are Trying to Peddle Ludicrous Conspiracy Theories (October 1, 2009)
Even before Obama was sworn in as the 44th President, the internet was seething with lurid theories exposing his alleged subversion and treachery.
- Right-Wing Media Send Their Mobs of Crazy Fans to Go After Private Citizens -- Including Kids (September 30, 2009)
The right-wing is igniting the crazies by pushing them to snoop on everyday people.
- United States: The Ultra-Right Pot Boils Over (September 27, 2009)
The appearance of right-wing mobs at town meetings organized by Democratic Party representatives to discuss the proposed health-care reform has set off alarm bells, in particular because of the blind fanaticism of the right-wing protesters and their threats of violence, including armed violence. These outbursts show many features of historic fascist developments and on a scale as yet unseen in the United States.
- What's the Border Fence Good for? Subsidizing Mexican Scrap Metal Entrepreneurs (August 28, 2009)
It was obvious from the very beginning that Bush's push for a border fence was nothing more than a political show to boost Republicans' creds with their base.
- Race and Class in Civil War Mississippi (August 6, 2009)
The poor whites of Mississippi who fought the Confederacy alongside slaves did so because of working class values that they shared with slaves. The fact that poor whites may have believed some racist lies about blacks that constituted the dominant ideas of the day is not nearly as important or significant as the fact that their working class values led them to ally with slaves to fight the racist ruling class. Racism came from the upper class, and anti-racism came from the working class--black and white.
- Food Among the Ruins (August 1, 2009)
Detroit, the country's most depressed metropolis, has zero produce-carrying grocery chains. It also has open land, fertile soil, ample water, and the ingredients to reinvent itself from Motor City to urban farm.
- The White Cop and the Black Professor (July 26, 2009)
Police are trained to act as authoritarian thugs when they are dealing with people who are not obviously of, or loyal to, the very wealthy elite who rule the nation. The police are trained to enforce law and order in an unjust and unequal society, and a big part of doing this requires that they make ordinary people obey them out of fear.
- A Century Later (1998)
The year 1898 was a turning point for the American Republic in terms of boundary and economic establishment. Chomsky moves through the next 100 years during which America increasingly became involved in affairs outside of its borders.
- Convict Labor in America (1998)
Convict labour, like antebellum slavery, was an American way of life, a cultural practice that tied northern capitalists, plantation owners, university-trained social reformers, federal officials and advocates of "good roads" together in a powerful alliance.
- The American Working Class in Historical Persepctive (1973)
A review of Jeremy Brecher's Strike! (See CX6590)
Selected Websites and Organizations
- This is a small sampling of organizations and websites concerned with education and children in the Connexions Directory. For more organizations and websites, check the Connexions Directory Subject Index, especially under topics such as
Books, Films and Periodicals
- This is a small sampling of books related to education and children in the
Connexions Online Library. For more books and other resources, check the Connexions Library
Subject Index, especially under topics such as
- American Taliban
How War, Sex, Sin, and Power Bind Jihadists and the Radical Right
Author: Moulitsas, Markos
America's main international enemy- Islamic radicalism - favors theocracy, curtails civil liberties, embraces torture, represses women, reviles homosexuality, subverts science and education, and reveres force over diplomacy. Markos Moulitsas shows how the American right shares those very same traits. He argues that our domestic jihadists are a greater threat to American democracy than any Islamic terrorist.
- America's Deadliest Export: Democracy
The Truth About US Foreign Policy and Everything Else
Author: Blum, William
Since World War II, the world has believed that US foreign policy means well, and that Americas motives in spreading democracy are honorable, even noble. William Blum, a leading non-mainstream chronicler of American foreign policy, argues that nothing could be further from the truth. Moreover, unless this fallacy is unlearned, and until people understand fully the worldwide suffering American policy has caused, we will never be able to stop the monster.
- Chicago '68
Author: Farber, David
A vivid history of the political and social movements of that turbulent time, when the power structure felt itself threatened by social movements that rejected much of what it stood for.
- Facing West: the Metaphysics of Indian-Hating and Empire Building
Author: Drinnon, Richard
From John Endicott's war on the Niantics and Pequots, to the horrors of the My Lai massacre, Drinnon illustrates how Indian-hating in the Americas became a national pastime, and how that same hate was turned against the native populations of the Phillipines and Southeast Asia.
- False Promises
The Shaping of American Working Class Consciousness
Author: Aronowitz, Stanley
- The I.F. Stone's Weekly Reader
Author: Stone, I.F.
An anthology of 20 years of journalism by independent journalists I.F. Stone.
- I've Got the Light of Freedom: The Organizing Tradition and the Mississippi Freedom Struggle
Author: Payne, Charles M.
A study and history of the legacy of community organizing in Mississippi.
- Killing Hope
U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II
Author: Blum, William
Is the United States a force for democracy? William Blum serves up a forensic overview of U.S. foreign policy spanning sixty years. For those who want the details on the U.S.'s most famous actions (Chile, Cuba, Vietnam, to name a few), and for those who want to learn about lesser-known efforts (France, China, Bolivia, Brazil, for example), this book provides a window on what U.S. foreign policy goals really are. "If you flip over the rock of American foreign policy of the past century, this is what crawls out
suppressing movements for social change
assassinating political leaders
manipulating labor unions
Its not a pretty picture. Its enough to give imperialism a bad name."
- The Labor Wars
Author: Lens, Sidney
A survey of landmark events in the U.S. labour movement.
- Lockdown America
Police and Prisons in the Age of Crisis
Author: Parenti, Christian
Why is criminal justice so central to American politics? Lockdown America not only documents the horrors and absurdities of militarized policing, prisons, a fortified border, and the federalization of the war on crime, it also explains the political and economic history behind the massive crackdown.
- A People's History of the United States
Author: Zinn, Howard
Howard Zinn attempts to present the history of the United States through the perspectives of common people rather than political and economic elites.
- A People's History of the United States
1492 - Present
Author: Zinn, Howard
Zinn's history includes those most ignored by typical American textbook history, including Indians, blacks, women and workers.
- Pretensions to Empire
Notes on the Criminal Folly of the Bush Adminstration
Author: Lapham, Lewis
Latham's hypothesis's is that the Bush administration perverted the democratic legacy of America. He argues that Bush attempted to transform America into a Global empire -- the one superpower that would strike anywhere on the planet and catalogues the mistruths, evasions and deceptions of the administration.
- Rogue State
A Guide to the World's Only Superpower
Author: Blum, William
A mini-encyclopedia of the numerous un-humanitarian acts perpetrated by the United States since the end of the Second World War.
Author: Sale, Kirkpatrick
The rise and development of the Students for a Democratic Society, the organization that became the major expression of the American left in the 1960s -- its passage from student protest to institutional resistance to revolutionary activism, and its ultimate impact on American politics and life.
- The Sixties
Years of Hope, Days of Rage
Author: Gitlin, Todd
One of the best books on the Sixties in the U.S., bringing to life the political and cultural currents, including especially the music, which raged during that decade, and setting them in historical context.
- Slavery by Another Name
The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II
Author: Blackmon, Douglas A.
An account of how African Americans were forcibly enslaved by a corrupt legal system in the southern States, from the end of the Civil War through WWII.
- The Soft Cage
Surveillance in America from Slavery to the War on Terror
Author: Parenti, Christian; Rossetti, Chip (eds.)
Parenti explores the history of American surveillance from colonial times to the present. What this historical evidence clearly reveals is a continuum of the culture of surveillance. The weakest, most disenfranchised and most alienated groups are subjected first, and then the surveillance regime slowly spreads toward the mainstream.
The True History of Mass Insurgence from 1877 to the Present
Author: Brecher, Jeremy
A history-from-below that brings to light strikes as authentic revolutionary movements against the establishments of state, capital, and trade unionism.
- An Unfinished Revolution
Karl Marx and Abraham Lincoln
Author: Blackburn, Robin
A study of Marx's analysis of the American Civil War as a conflict about slavery, not tarrfifs. Marx saw the north as a bourgeois republic, and the south as expansionist.
- What's the Matter with Kansas?
How Conservatives Won the Heart of America
Author: Frank, Thomas
Explores the rise of conservative populism in the United States through the lens of Frank's native state of Kansas. According to his analysis, the political discourse of recent decades has dramatically shifted from the class animus of traditional leftism to one in which "explosive" cultural issues, such as abortion and gay marriage, are used to redirect anger towards "liberal elites."
- 'Worse than Slavery': Parchman Farm and the Ordeal of Jim Crow Justice
Author: Oshinsky, David M.
After the abolition of slavery the white rulers of Mississippi developed a new system for keeping the ex-slaves in line: laws were passed to maintain white supremacy, including the system of convict leasing, a system whereby people could "hire" prisoners for physical labour outside the walls of prison.
Learning from our History
Resources for Activists
The Connexions Calendar - An event calendar for activists.
Media Names & Numbers - A comprehensive directory of Canada's print and broadcast media. (CX5857).
Sources - A directory that enables journalists to find spokespersons of organizations. Organizations that list themselves in Sources signficantly increase their odds of getting called by reporters when they are doing a story of their issues..
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