Why the United States did not demonstrate the Bomb’s power, ahead of Hiroshima

by Frank von Hippel and Fumihiko Yoshida

Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists | August 04, 2017

Arthur H. Compton was one of the many past and future Nobel laureates who worked in the secret US nuclear weapons project during World War II. He directed the Metallurgical Laboratory (Met Lab) at the University of Chicago, where refugee Italian Nobelist Enrico Fermi supervised the construction of the first reactor, future Nobelist Eugene Wigner, from Hungary, led the design of the plutonium-production reactors subsequently built at Hanford, Wash., and future Nobelist Glenn Seaborg developed the first chemical process for extracting plutonium from irradiated uranium.

With these tasks completed, some of the scientists at the Met Lab began to consider the implications of nuclear weapons for the future. One of the products of their concern was a memorandum on “Political and Social Problems” written in early June 1945 by a committee of project scientists chaired by the refugee German Nobelist, James Franck. Read More »

Remembering the Gulf of Tonkin, and the Consequences of Wanting to Believe

by JANINE JACKSON

FAIR | August 05, 2017

Remembering the Gulf of Tonkin, and the Consequences of Wanting to Believe

The USS Maddox in the Gulf of Tonkin. (photo: US Navy)

“American Planes Hit North Vietnam After Second Attack on Our Destroyers; Move Taken to Halt New Aggression,” was the Washington Post headline some 53 years ago, on August 5, 1964.

The front page of that day’s New York Times reported: “President Johnson has ordered retaliatory action against gunboats and ‘certain supporting facilities in North Vietnam’ after renewed attacks against American destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin.”

Of course, as historians now acknowledge, there was no “second attack” by North Vietnam—no “renewed attacks against American destroyers.”Read More »

“The history of peoples is not measured by the periods of futile subjugation, but by their moments of rebellion”

by 

Granma | July 26, 2017

Photo: Osmay Pérez

Speech by Gladys Martínez Verdecia, member of the Communist Party of Cuba Central Committee and first secretary of the Party Provincial Committee in Pinar del Río, during the main act commemorating the 64th anniversary of the assaults on the Moncada and Carlos Manuel de Céspedes Garrisons. Pinar del Río, July 26, 2017, Year 59 of the Revolution

(Council of State transcript / GI translation)

Compañero Army General, Raúl Castro Ruz, first secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba Central Committee and President of the Councils of State and Ministers;Read More »

This week in history: U.S. minimum wage rises to $7.25 an hour

People’s World | July 24, 2017

This week in history: U.S. minimum wage rises to $7.25 an hour

About 300 protesters gathered at Coffman Memorial Union on November 29, 2016, calling on the Minneapolis City Council and the University of Minnesota to pass a $15/hour minimum wage for all Minneapolis workers / Fibonacci Blue, via Wikimedia (CC)

On July 24, 2009, the federal U.S. minimum wage rose to $7.25 per hour, up from $6.55.

In the 2010 midterm elections, many voters typically stayed home, and Republicans took control of the House of Representatives. There has not been a wage increase in eight years.

In real terms, that is, in purchasing power, the federal minimum wage peaked near $10.00 per hour in 1968, using 2014 inflation-adjusted dollars. In other words, the American working class has been in a steady economic decline for the last almost 50 years, despite a near doubling of productivity.Read More »

HISTORY: Spain, 1936: Fascists flame civil war

A Journal of People report

Source: http://media.iwm.org.uk/ciim5/16/374/large_000000.jpg

It was July 18, 1936. Fascists flamed a civil war in Spain on this day.

Right-wing Spanish military officers in Spanish Morocco organized a reactionary revolt, which was spread to mainland Spain. The Civil War in Spain was flamed.

Fascist Spanish general Francisco Franco representing reactionary bourgeois interests broadcast a message from the Canary Islands off Africa, calling for all army officers to join the revolt and overthrow the country’s leftist Republican government. Within three days, the rebels captured Morocco, much of northern Spain, and several key cities in the south. Franco flew to Morocco and prepared to bring the Army of Africa over to the mainland.Read More »

How Vast Amounts of Land Have Been Stolen From Black Americans

by Julian Cola

teleSUR | June 30, 2017

Africans were released into the bowels of a wretchedly racist society after having been enslaved for centuries in the United States.

“It was almost as if the earth was opening up and swallowing Black farmers.”

This passage is from Pete Daniel’s book titled “Dispossession: Discrimination Against African American Farmers in the Age of Civil Rights.” It alludes to the untold acres of land seized from Black farmers and rural landowners over the last century.

Though African-American farmers currently comprise less than 2 percent of all farmers in the United States and only 1 percent of rural land is owned by African Americans, that situation was radically different shortly after the Civil War.Read More »

Dreams Of Rebels Past Offer Us Hope As We Approach June 8

by Trish Lavelle

Morning Star | May 20, 2017

WHEN we started planning for Levellers’ Day 2017 back in October, little did we know that we would be holding it in the middle of a general election campaign the likes of which we have not experienced for many decades.

A campaign in which voters are being presented with real radical alternatives.

It is therefore timely that this year we will gather today in Burford with a theme of “movement building.”Read More »

Bose And INA: Rewriting History

by Shamsul Islam

Frontier | Vol. 49, No.39, April 2 – 8, 2017

Subhas Chandra Bose. Source: Internet.

Once a prime national centre of historical research, ICHR has been totally handed over to the RSS pracharaks. It is nobody’s argument that RSS cadres have no right to influence research in Indian history. But as George Orwell in his masterpiece NINETEEN EIGHTY-FOUR (1949) wrote, it should not be left to the whims of a section of the sectarian ruling elite which specializes in daily changing historic records to fit its polarizing propaganda goals of the day. The deliberations at recently concluded 3-day (8-10 February, 2017) national seminar on Subhash Chandra Bose and Indian National Army (INA) organized by ICHR show that even George Orwell and practitioners of post-truth dictum would be embarrassed by reliance on sheer false-hood by the RSS historians and leaders invited for the seminar.Read More »