[Marxism] Marxism Digest, Vol 107, Issue 34

msiddique msiddique at aol.com
Wed Sep 19 12:30:50 MDT 2012




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Today's Topics:

   1.  Masks Come Off for 2 Callers Who Gave WBAI Grief (Louis Proyect)
   2.  Romney and the 47% (robert mckee)
   3.  Self-criticism on Counterpunch and OWS (Louis Proyect)
   4.  A good article on fracking from a crappy newspaper
      (Louis Proyect)
   5.  Ken Loach?s documentary -1984 UK Miners Strike- Which Side
      Are You On (1984). (Louis Proyect)
   6.  Breaking News: First Christian Unit of FSA Forms (Louis Proyect)
   7. Re:  Self-criticism on Counterpunch and OWS (Carl G. Estabrook)
   8. Re:  Pakistan: Three left parties to unite | Links
      International Journal of Socialist Renewal (Manuel Barrera)


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Message: 1
Date: Wed, 19 Sep 2012 10:29:17 -0400
From: Louis Proyect <lnp3 at panix.com>
To: Activists and scholars in Marxist tradition
<marxism at greenhouse.economics.utah.edu>
Subject: [Marxism] Masks Come Off for 2 Callers Who Gave WBAI Grief
Message-ID: <5059D6BD.2000202 at panix.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed

NY Times September 17, 2012, 3:22 pm
Masks Come Off for 2 Callers Who Gave WBAI Grief
By COREY KILGANNON

For decades, the liberal talk radio station WBAI has been hounded by a 
couple of conservatives calling in to taunt program hosts about their 
left-leaning politics and telling them in their thick Brooklyn accents 
to - and this was their stock phrase -- "Go back to Cuba, you commies."

They have called thousands of times, maddening some hosts, including 
"Grandpa" Al Lewis, the activist and actor who played Grandpa on "The 
Munsters" television series.

Mr. Lewis named these callers "The Cuba Boys," but the usual alias they 
used was Johnny from Greenpoint. All anyone really knew about the 
callers was that they were working class New Yorkers who knew the 
station thoroughly, and that they also sent hundreds of postcards over 
the years from various states and foreign countries, including Cuba.

"They have literally changed programming practices at WBAI over the 
years," said John McDonagh, 58, who for 30 years has run Radio Free 
Eireann, an Irish-American talk show at the station, and was perhaps the 
favorite target of the Cuba Boys. "We have hosts here who stopped taking 
calls altogether, because of them."

The mystery ended on Saturday afternoon, as the Cuba Boys - two retired 
New York City fire lieutenants, Girard Owens, 59, and John Sexton, 58 - 
finally visited WBAI-FM (99.5), to be interviewed on the air by Mr. 
McDonagh, a New York City cabdriver from Middle Village, Queens.

A week earlier, Mr. Owens had called Mr. McDonagh to introduce himself 
and to invite Mr. McDonagh to visit the Statue of Liberty with him on 
Sept. 11. Mr. Owens explained that over the past decade he had traveled 
to all 397 national parks, monuments and historic sites in the United 
States, except the statue.

Mr. Owens had rescued civilians from the towers that day, and then had 
spent months working at ground zero. He was recently told by his doctors 
that he had cancer, Stage 4 lymphoma, which was caused by his exposure 
to dust and debris at ground zero, he said.

"The reason I came forward is because I don't have much time left," Mr. 
Owens said in an interview.

Mr. McDonagh said of Mr. Owens, "He told me he didn't want anyone 
calling in to WBAI years from now and wondering what ever happened to 
the Cuba Boys."

Mr. Owens said he began telephoning WBAI in his early teens, calling the 
hosts "commies" if they refused to debate him.

"It wasn't crank calling," he said. "It was phone guerrilla warfare. 
Some of these so-called progressives wouldn't want to hear our side, so 
before they'd hang up, we'd tell them to go to Cuba."

Despite his ideological views, Mr. Owens became a dedicated WBAI 
listener, and donated thousands of dollars to keep the station operating 
because, he said, "I believe in free speech and even though I disagree 
with their politics, I've always used a lot of the information they give 
for travel and health reasons and investing money."

"I went to a lot of communist countries - North Korea, Russia, Cuba, 
China, East Germany," he said. "And I used to call into WBAI - I didn't 
care if I was in the firehouse or listening online in another country - 
and I'd tell them, 'If you can't appreciate how great America is, 
especially New York City, and if you think communism is better, then go 
to one of those countries and I'll pay your fare.' "

Despite his fervent ideology, Mr. Owens wound up making lasting 
friendships in his travels to Cuba and returned more than a dozen times.

In the studio, Mr. McDonagh, along with a fellow host, Sandy Boyer, as 
well as a sound engineer, Eliza Butler, sat alongside Mr. Owens and Mr. 
Sexton and recounted great calls with the Cuba Boys over the years.

There was the time they called in and made Bob Dylan, who was a guest, 
laugh. There were the many calls from their firehouse phone to the 
well-known WBAI host Bob Fass.

With all the radio transmissions and alarms in the background, Mr. Owens 
said, "He must have thought I was in the C.I.A. or F.B.I."

Mr. McDonagh said of the Cuba Boys, "They seemed so normal, they're out 
saving lives, and in their spare time they're torturing WBAI."

"Do you get great joy out of this?" he asked them.

The two men said it was so much fun, they called the station daily.

At this point, the phone was busy with callers and Mr. McDonagh said, 
"If only the switchboard would light up like this when we're looking for 
funds."

Most were longtime callers, like Kevin from Brooklyn, who said, "This is 
almost like finding out who Deep Throat was."

Some were former hosts, like the comedian and author Malachy McCourt, 
who said that part of his preparation for the show was readying himself 
for the Cuba Boys' calls. Before he hung up, he told Mr. Owens and Mr. 
Sexton, "Conservatism is a form of brain damage."

The Cuba Boys seemed perplexed that so many of the callers were so 
friendly and conciliatory.

"They're in a state of shock," said Mr. McDonagh. He took another call 
with a phrase that the Cuba Boys knew well.

"WBAI, you're on the air," he said, as the two Cuba Boys looked at each 
other and smiled.




------------------------------

Message: 2
Date: Wed, 19 Sep 2012 07:42:13 -0700 (PDT)
From: robert mckee <bobmckee99 at yahoo.com>
To: "Marxism at lists.econ.utah.edu" <Marxism at lists.econ.utah.edu>
Subject: [Marxism] Romney and the 47%
Message-ID:
<1348065733.18465.YahooMailNeo at web39304.mail.mud.yahoo.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=utf-8

http://thenextrecession.wordpress.com/2012/09/19/romney-and-the-47/


------------------------------

Message: 3
Date: Wed, 19 Sep 2012 11:12:51 -0400
From: Louis Proyect <lnp3 at panix.com>
To: Activists and scholars in Marxist tradition
<marxism at greenhouse.economics.utah.edu>
Subject: [Marxism] Self-criticism on Counterpunch and OWS
Message-ID: <5059E0F3.103 at panix.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed

Vijay Prashad just pointed out to me that he has written positively on 
OWS all along. I guess I was just irked by Alex's swipe, written just 
before he died as well as a couple of negative articles that appeared 
subsequently.



------------------------------

Message: 4
Date: Wed, 19 Sep 2012 11:38:33 -0400
From: Louis Proyect <lnp3 at panix.com>
To: Activists and scholars in Marxist tradition
<marxism at greenhouse.economics.utah.edu>
Subject: [Marxism] A good article on fracking from a crappy newspaper
Message-ID: <5059E6F9.6010407 at panix.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed

http://www.villagevoice.com/2012-09-19/news/boom-or-doom-fracking-environment/



------------------------------

Message: 5
Date: Wed, 19 Sep 2012 12:58:22 -0400
From: Louis Proyect <lnp3 at panix.com>
To: Activists and scholars in Marxist tradition
<marxism at greenhouse.economics.utah.edu>
Subject: [Marxism] Ken Loach?s documentary -1984 UK Miners Strike-
Which Side Are You On (1984).
Message-ID: <5059F9AE.4090205 at panix.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=windows-1252; format=flowed

http://pulsemedia.org/2012/09/19/36885/

Ken Loach?s documentary about the 1984 UK Miners Strike and the Tory
government?s vicious campaign of violence which finally subdued it. The
film features the miners and their families experiences told through
songs, poems and other art.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=qk18ZY318os




------------------------------

Message: 6
Date: Wed, 19 Sep 2012 13:08:22 -0400
From: Louis Proyect <lnp3 at panix.com>
To: Activists and scholars in Marxist tradition
<marxism at greenhouse.economics.utah.edu>
Subject: [Marxism] Breaking News: First Christian Unit of FSA Forms
Message-ID: <5059FC06.7040900 at panix.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed

http://www.thenorthstar.info/?p=2528



------------------------------

Message: 7
Date: Wed, 19 Sep 2012 12:29:40 -0500
From: "Carl G. Estabrook" <galliher at illinois.edu>
To: Activists and scholars in Marxist tradition
<marxism at greenhouse.economics.utah.edu>
Subject: Re: [Marxism] Self-criticism on Counterpunch and OWS
Message-ID: <3ED74565-EA82-45B4-A8D3-B1E2EC857E77 at illinois.edu>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii

On re-reading, Alex' swipe makes a lot of sense.

Counterpunch has always been good about publishing a range of left views.

Maybe they could have Prashad address the swipe directly?

On Sep 19, 2012, at 10:12 AM, Louis Proyect <lnp3 at panix.com> wrote:
> 
> Vijay Prashad just pointed out to me that he has written positively on OWS all along. I guess I was just irked by Alex's swipe, written just before he died as well as a couple of negative articles that appeared subsequently.




------------------------------

Message: 8
Date: Wed, 19 Sep 2012 12:52:47 -0500
From: Manuel Barrera <mtomas3 at hotmail.com>
To: Marxmail List <marxism at greenhouse.economics.utah.edu>
Subject: Re: [Marxism] Pakistan: Three left parties to unite | Links
International Journal of Socialist Renewal
Message-ID: <BLU002-W23C68C9F2A6EE36F1B3E13F59B0 at phx.gbl>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"

"We do not expect to suddenly emerge as a "third" force in Pakistan politics, because we do not enjoy the kind of patronage of state and non-state powers as the right-wing parties. Yet we do believe that the people of Pakistan want to see new alternatives emerging and we expect that a merger of existing left groups will be a giant step forward in building such an alternative."

What a marvelous development! If only the forces in the imperialist USA could find a way to follow suit.       

------------------------------

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End of Marxism Digest, Vol 107, Issue 34
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