Barry Healy

The Vatican has attacked the largest group of American nuns for allegedly promoting radical feminism. It appointed a bishop to “reorganise” the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR).

This is in stark contrast to how the church has handled its ongoing sexual abuse scandal among its men.

Oriente Musik

The Yiddish language, developed out of German by Ashkenazi Jews, was the major language of European Jews before the Holocaust. With the development of modern Hebrew in Israel it started to fade.

However, a Yiddish language and cultural revival has been gaining speed, especially since the collapse of Eastern European Stalinist states in the 1990s.  Many Jews are visiting the lands of their forebears and linking up with, for example, surviving klezmer musical traditions.

Which Side Are You On?
Ani DiFranco
Righteous Babe Records

By Barry Healy

Which Side Are You On? is Veteran United States indie folk artist Ani DiFranco’s first CD release in years and her legion of fans will be pleased to hear that she has lost none of her edge.

Rambling in the footsteps of Woody Guthrie, she half sings, half talks through a catalogue of contemporary issues, including human relationships and social oppression.

Why Marx Was Right
By Terry Eagleton
Yale University Press, 2011
272 pp., $32.95

In August, the Wall Street Journal website ran a video of an interview with Nouriel Roubini as its top story under the headline, "Roubini: Marx was Right."

Roubini is a mainstream economist who achieved fame by predicting the 2008 financial collapse, earning himself the nickname "Dr. Doom" among the Wall Street speculators.

In the Crossfire: Adventures of a Vietnamese Revolutionary
By Ngo Van
AK Press, 2011
264 pages, $43.99

Australians know of the Vietnam War from the arrival of Australian troops in 1965 through to their withdrawal in 1973. People in the United States generally date it from the arrival of US advisors through to the inglorious departure of US helicopters in 1975.

However, for the Vietnamese the struggle began long before that, from their colonisation by the French in the 19th Century.

Inside Al-Qaeda and the TalibanM
By Syed Saleem Shahzad
Pluto Press, 2011
260 pp., $39.95

Deadly Waters, The Hidden World of Somalia’s Pirates
By Jan Bahadur
Scribe, 2011
300 pp., $29.95

The Interrogator, A CIA Agent’s True Story
By Glenn Carle
Sribe, 2011
321 pp., $32.95

The Wizard of Lies, Bernie Madoff & the Death of Trust
By Diana B. Henriques
Scribe, 2011
419 pp., $35.00

More corporate managers are psychopaths than the general population, a detailed research project has discovered.

The University of British Columbia study “Corporate Psychopathy: Talking the Walk”, published in Behavioural Sciences and the Law, March/April 2010, looked at professionals who had been spotted as potential management material, the people thought to have the skills that could get them to senior positions.

The huge number of transnational capitalist firms straddling the planet are effectively controlled by a very small group of centrally important players, says a ground-breaking survey conducted by Swiss researchers.

Deploying statistical methods normally used in physics, Stefania Vitali, James B. Glattfelder and Stefano Battiston of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, data-mined information held by business intelligence firm Bureau van Dijk. The data, which included company ownership structures, allowed a new insight into the relationships between 43,060 corporations.

Fremantle in Western Australia is emerging as a key battleground between a Liberal-National state government committed to building freeways at any cost and a community that wants to see better public transport and an expansion of rail freight.

Container movements at Fremantle Port are predicted to double by 2020, yet the percentage being carried to port by train has declined from 17% in 2007 to 11% in this year. It is predicted to dwindle to 8.5% by next year.

Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention
Manning Marable
Penguin, 2011
596 pp. (hb), $49.95

“If you’re not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the oppressed and loving the people doing the oppressing,” African American revolutionary Malcolm X, assassinated in 1965 at the age of 39, once said in a comment on the capitalist media that applies to contemporary reporting on English riots or refugees.

Malcolm, who increasingly saw the link between capitalism and racial oppression in the last years of his life, said: “You can't have capitalism without racism.”


Subscribe to Barry Healy