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Gender: Female
Hometown: Wisconsin
Current location: Tejas
Member since: Thu Jan 17, 2008, 01:44 PM
Number of posts: 31,861

About Me

The most violent element in society is ignorance. Emma Goldman

Journal Archives

*** Bernie Supporters - Houston TX tonight 2/25 ***

This came over Facebook just a bit ago. The young man who runs "Brazoria for Bernie" has some plans for tonight. I will not be able to go to this but I can assure you he is an awesome Bernie supporter that I know from the meet up I went to. If you can get over to UH tonight - site of the Republican debate - he is looking for folks. Go and like his page on Facebook or Twitter and send him a message.

From Facebook -

Brazoria for Bernie
11 mins ·
Everybody watch CNN pre-coverage of the GOP debate...I think we will ‪#‎FeelTheBern‬! If you can make it up the UH tonight, come join us...We're gonna make a clear statement tonight! Message us for more details if you can come!

From Twitter -

Brazoria for Bernie ‏@brazoria4bernie 29m29 minutes ago
Tonight at University of Houston! Wear your Bernie shirts and stickers! Come out, grab a sign, and show the world that Texas Feels the Bern!

~ Cross posted in TX group as well

*** Bernie Supporters - Houston TX tonight 2/25 ***

This came over Facebook just a bit ago. The young man who runs "Brazoria for Bernie" has some plans for tonight. I will not be able to go to this but I can assure you he is an awesome Bernie supporter that I know from the meet up I went to. If you can get over to UH tonight - site of the Republican debate - he is looking for folks. Go and like his page on Facebook or Twitter and send him a message.

From Facebook -

Brazoria for Bernie
11 mins ·
Everybody watch CNN pre-coverage of the GOP debate...I think we will ‪#‎FeelTheBern‬! If you can make it up the UH tonight, come join us...We're gonna make a clear statement tonight! Message us for more details if you can come!

From Twitter -

Brazoria for Bernie ‏@brazoria4bernie 29m29 minutes ago
Tonight at University of Houston! Wear your Bernie shirts and stickers! Come out, grab a sign, and show the world that Texas Feels the Bern!

Driving Down Expectations

There’s a perverse form of American exceptionalism circulating around the Clinton camp: just because things work in other countries doesn’t mean they can work here. As Hillary herself put it, “We are not Denmark. I love Denmark, but we are the United States of America.” True enough, but that has no bearing on why single-payer couldn’t work here. The only obstacles are political — elites, which include Hillary and Starr, don’t want it.

The Post-Hope Democrats
The latest attacks on Bernie Sanders reveal that the Democratic Party is intent on driving down expectations.
by Doug Henwood 2-25-16

The Sanders campaign has certainly sharpened the contradictions, hasn’t it? It’s been very clarifying to see Hillary Clinton and her surrogates running against single-payer health care and free college, with intellectual cover coming from Paul Krugman and Vox.

Expectations, having been systematically beaten down for thirty-five years, must be beaten down further, whether it’s Clinton saying that to go to college one needs some “skin in the game,” or Representative John Lewis reminding us that nothing is free in America. A challenge from the left has forced centrist Democrats to reveal themselves as proud capitalist tools.

Latest to step up is Paul Starr, co-founder of the American Prospect. Normally the dull embodiment of tepid liberalism, Starr has unleashed a redbaiting philippic — a frothing one, even, by his standards — aimed at Bernie Sanders.

Sanders is no liberal, Starr reveals — he’s a socialist. He may call himself a democratic socialist to assure us that he’s no Bolshevik — Starr actually says this — but that doesn’t stop Starr from stoking fears of state ownership and central planning. Thankfully the word “gulag” doesn’t appear, but that was probably an oversight ...

Much more here: https://www.jacobinmag.com/2016/02/hillary-clinton-bernie-sanders-single-payer-starr-american-prospect-redbaiting-socialism/

Ireland's Battle for Abortion Rights

Going abroad for an abortion is primarily an option for the more privileged, who have the financial resources and are able—physically and legally—to travel outside of Ireland. <snip> This also leaves the most marginalized and at-risk women—women who are poor, migrants, disabled or minors, unable to access what is often essential healthcare. These women and girls are then forced to have illegal abortions in Ireland, or to continue with unwanted pregnancies.

Ireland’s Battle for Abortion Rights
Sinead Corcoran ▪ February 24, 2016

On a sunny Saturday afternoon last May, thousands gathered in the main square in Dublin Castle and the surrounding streets and pubs awaiting the results of a vote that would determine if Ireland would legalize same-sex marriage. After months of tense public debate, campaigns, counter-campaigns, celebrity endorsements, emotional personal testimonies, and thousands of intimate discussions around kitchen tables across the country, observers within and outside Ireland held their breath for the final tally. When the results were announced, the nation erupted: Ireland had made history by becoming the first nation to legalize same-sex marriage by popular vote.

Although Ireland is today celebrated around the world as a beacon of inclusiveness, equality, and human rights, a serious challenge to this nation’s humanity remains: the Irish constitution continues to ban abortion except in cases when a pregnancy endangers a woman’s life. Will this final stronghold of Catholic morality in Ireland be the next battleground for change?

Twentieth-century Irish society was dominated by the Roman Catholic Church: the sale of contraception without restriction was only possible by 1992; homosexuality was criminalized until 1993, and divorce remained illegal until as late as 1996. The twenty-first century has transformed this island nation, bringing with it not only economic booms and busts, multinational corporations and tech giants, and inward migration by the Irish diaspora and foreigners alike, but also new challenges to the religious and conservative establishment that has long maintained a stranglehold on Irish culture and values. Ireland is changing: the win for marriage equality and the enactment of the Gender Recognition Act in 2015 (which allows trans* people to legally change their gender), are clear evidence of a cultural shift away from the dogma of the church. But one issue that strikes at the heart of Ireland’s Catholic morality remains—the right to abortion ...

Much more here: https://www.dissentmagazine.org/online_articles/abortion-ireland-same-sex-marriage-referendum-election

Dubliners march in memory of Savita Halappanavar, who died of a miscarriage after being denied an abortion, September 29, 2012 (William Murphy / StreetsofDublin.com):

Democrats vs. Democracy

Despite the enthusiasm of his supporters, his success at raising money based on small donations--and even winning more votes than Clinton in the early primary races so far--Bernie Sanders is still operating at a huge disadvantage to Hillary Clinton. No wonder so many people think the political system is rigged.

Lance Selfa, author of The Democrats: A Critical History, explains how the party that claims to represent workers has been set up to make sure they have no power.
February 23, 2016

EARLIER THIS month, Hillary Clinton lost the New Hampshire Democratic presidential primary to Vermont Sen. and self-described socialist Bernie Sanders by a landslide margin.

But when the New Hampshire delegates to the party's nominating convention this summer were tallied up, Clinton and Sanders came away with 15 each.

How could Clinton lose by more than 20 percentage points and still get as many delegates pledged to support her as Sanders? The answer: Most of the Democratic Party "superdelegates" in the state, including Gov. Maggie Hassan and U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen--announced that they are supporting Clinton.

So even though Sanders won almost twice as many delegates as Clinton among those awarded based on the election results, the support of the superdelegates pulled Clinton into a tie in the state where she was trounced at the ballot box ...

More here: http://socialistworker.org/2016/02/23/the-democrats-versus-democracy

I Am Voting for Bernie Sanders Because I am A Feminist

Posted by Rachel Elfenbein on 02.23.16
Democratic Socialists of America

I am voting for Bernie Sanders and I am a feminist. Since my mother first told me as a child about her many struggles to become educated and enter her profession, I have been a feminist. Her struggles and the struggles of the many women who have come before me have inspired my feminist activism and solidarity. It was these early stories and my own experiences of gender-based oppression as a growing young woman that spurred me to become politically educated and involved. The third wave of feminism was instrumental to my political education, as it taught me about how different women experience sexism differently because of the intersection of their gender with their race, class, and sexuality.

Third wave feminism also taught me how feminism is and should be for everyone. Just as racism isn’t only the problem of people of color and its eradication requires white people to change their beliefs and behavior, sexism isn’t just a women’s issue and the end to sexism requires real commitments by men to treat women equally. Sexism is a problem of masculine domination, and its eradication therefore necessarily requires men not to exercise their power and control over women but to ally themselves with the social, political, and economic interests of women. We do feminism a serious disservice if we believe only women can be feminists, as that is tantamount to arguing that women- the victims of gender-based oppression- are responsible for changing their oppressors and ending their own oppression ...

Much more here: http://www.dsausa.org/i_am_voting_for_bernie_feminist_dl

The pro-Hillary talking point today is that

we have an all-male white bubble here at DU. I think that is bullshit.

Someone with some cred on this site needs to put up a demographic poll for Bernie supporters to respond to - needs to offer choices something like this:

male, over 50, white
male, over 50, nonwhite

female, under 50, white
female, under 50, nonwhite

You get the idea. It should probably be in this forum so folks don't screw around with it. We can take the results out to GD : P to show them they are full of it. I think Bernie's team is varied on ages, gender, race, etc.

Occupy the Party

The political question this poses for the left is whether we want to join the battle tearing apart the Democratic Party. Instead of treating the party as some kind of authority with the power to co-opt our message, we need to treat it like any street or park and occupy it. The more we engage, the more damage we can do, at every turn demonstrating the gap between people and practice.

Occupy the Party: the Sanders campaign as a site of struggle
ROAR (authored by: Not An Alternative); February 16, 2016

Bernie Sanders’ campaign to be the Democratic Party’s nominee in the 2016 US presidential election presents the far left in the United States with some hard questions.

For those convinced that the electoral process is a vehicle through which the capitalist class enlists the rest of us in consenting to our own subjection, Sanders’ campaign makes us ask why this time might be different. For those focused on internationalism, anti-imperialism, anti-racism and worker control of the means of production, there seems no principled reason to support Sanders. And for those convinced that only a politics that develops outside the system can change the system, it’s unclear how the campaign is anything but another iteration of the society of the spectacle: enthusiasm is mobilized and directed until redirected onto the next new thing.

< snip >

The hard questions involve how, exactly, the left conceives of political change and what we are willing to do to bring it about. The hard questions involve the relations between principle and practice. The more we uphold left principles, the less likely we are to have the capacity to implement them. Our principles become barriers to their own realization. Conversely, the more we get our hands dirty by engaging in the processes that might bring about significant political change, the less left and less significant these changes are likely to be. We will have had to compromise, water down, rank and involve ourselves with strange bedfellows. The dilemma of left politics is that we appear stuck between beautiful souls and dirty hands ...

more here: https://roarmag.org/essays/occupy-democratic-party-sanders-campaign/

Photo: ... Bernie Sanders for President | by Phil Roeder

History Lessons

Still, the dismal Eisenhower Democrat and former Goldwater Girl Hillary – a moderate and hawkish Republican at leftmost – clings to a stubborn lead over the Franklin Roosevelt-ian Sanders in the polling data. Her victory of Sanders in Nevada two days ago is likely to be the first in a string of victories that will carry her to the nomination with some help from party “super-delegates” (the 20 percent of Democratic Party presidential delegates who are absurdly unelected). How does she do it? Part of the answer is pure and simple deception.

History Lessons: “Ultra-Radical” Reflections on Hillary, Bernie and U.S. Politics

by Paul Street ~ February 22, 2016

No Surprise

In a recent Guardian column arguing that nominal socialist Bernie Sanders’ majority support among Democratic voters below the age of 50 shows that the United States is entering a new progressive politico-ideological phase, the liberal French economist Thomas Piketty notes that “Hillary Clinton… appears today as if she is defending the status quo, just another heiress of the Reagan-Clinton-Obama political regime.”

She appears like that, someone might want to tell Piketty, because she is like that. For Hillary as for her NAFTA-signing husband and Trans Pacific Obama, there’s a useful translation for “a progressive who knows how to get things done”: a corporate neoliberal who manipulates populist and liberal sentiments in dutiful service to the unelected and interrelated dictatorships of money and empire. These “pragmatic” Democrats stand to the right of 1950s U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower, who accepted Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal as an inviolable part of the national, corporate-liberal consensus.

Is it any wonder that a Wall Street Democrat with a long corporatist-“New Democrat” (Republican-lite) track record like Hillary Clinton’s [1] is having a harder time than she expected locking down the Democratic presidential nomination? It shouldn’t be. Not in a time when the big money-sponsored rightward shift of both reigning, dollar-drenched political parties helps usher young adults into a New Gilded Age of rampant economic precarity and hyper-inequality – into a society where the top 1% percent owns more wealth than the bottom 90% and gets pretty much whatever it wants from government and politicians regardless of which party holds the White House and/or Congress.

Is it surprising that Sanders is doing better than the Clintons, the Democratic National Committee, and probably Sanders himself expected he would? It shouldn’t be ...

much more here: http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/02/22/history-lessons-ultra-radical-reflections-on-hillary-bernie-and-u-s-politics/

Brother Malcolm

After his visit to Africa, Malcolm began to argue that the black struggle in the United States was part of an international struggle, one that he connected to the struggle against capitalism and imperialism. He also began to argue in favor of socialism. Referring to the African states, he pointed out, “All of the countries that are emerging today from under the shackles of colonialism are turning towards socialism.”

The Legacy of Malcolm X: Malcolm X died fifty-one years ago today, just as he was moving toward revolutionary ideas that challenged oppression in all its forms.
by Ahmed Shawki

acial segregation was not the law in the postwar North, but it was the reality. In virtually all aspects of life, Northern blacks encountered racism and segregation. Blacks who left the South found themselves forced to live in huge urban ghettos and educate their children in inferior schools. Skilled or professional jobs were reserved for whites. Blacks were constantly subject to white authority, especially police harassment.

Almost a quarter of blacks said they had been mistreated by the police, and 40 percent said they had seen others abused. Any illusions held by Southern blacks about the liberal North were not held by those already living there. And while Northern blacks were inspired by the struggles in the South, their conditions made them receptive to a movement independent of — and quite different from — the one led by Martin Luther King Jr’s Southern Christian Leadership Council.

In the first years of the civil rights struggle, the most significant organizational expression of this new movement was the Nation of Islam. By the late 1950s, the group’s membership reached an estimated one hundred thousand, with Malcolm X as its most prominent member ...

Much more here: https://www.jacobinmag.com/2016/02/malcolm-x-assassination-legacy/

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