Armed with a Pen

Views from a worker and student

Memorial Day and the Myth of US Unity

Memorial Day is something we Americans are supposed to take very seriously. Every year, countless civilians enjoying their three-day weekend are inevitably shamed by pundits, especially conservative ones, for forgetting what it’s “really about.” What it’s “really about”, of course, is mourning our brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom or whatever. We’re supposed to believe that it’s not a time for beer and barbecue and it certainly isn’t a time for petty political differences. But what is Memorial Day really about?

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Supreme Court Strips Worker Protections

Should employers be allowed to force employees into behind doors, one-on-one arbitration, or should workers be able to bring their claims into court in class or collective actions? This was the question being asked in one of the most important workers rights cases of the term.

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Remembering John Brown

There are many great figures in the American anti-slavery movement. Most notable abolitionists, people like Harriet Tubman and Nat Turner, were once themselves slaves. Few white men ever shed blood for the freedom of black people. John Brown was one of those few.

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Cuba After Castro: Cuba’s New President and Parliament

The resignation of Raul Castro is, of course, bittersweet for the people of Cuba. Elected president in 2008, Castro has stepped down at age 86 to make way for a new generation of leaders. Cuba has been led by its revolutionary heroes since 1959. The new president, Miguel Díaz-Canel, has big shoes to fill but seems more than able to lead Cuba into modernity.

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Korean Peace Summit: a Meeting 65 Years in the Making

On April 27, Kim Jong-un became the first North Korean leader to cross the border into South Korea since 1953 in a historic peace summit with President Moon Jae-in. The summit was the result of months of talks between the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the Republic of Korea. It was highly organized and choreographed, filled with rich symbolism and history.

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Liberals Need to Get Real on Russiagate

With the utterly unsurprising reelection of Vladimir Putin and the ever plummeting approval rating of alleged Kremlin puppet Donald Trump, Russia has been put in the cross hairs of western politicians and media outlets yet again. Not since the McCarthy era have Americans been so worried about Russians meddling in American affairs. Let’s not mince words, Russiagate is birtherism for liberals. It was ridiculous to suggest that Barack Obama was born in Kenya. It’s ridiculous to suggest that, as Huffington Post columnist Robert Kuttner put it, “Trump literally became president in a Russia-sponsored coup d’etat.”

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