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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

The Bernie Bus (this is cool!)

This will fix your Facebook and/or Twitter profile photos:


America Is Flint

Today the continuing poisoning of half a million American children is tolerated partly because the victims often are low-income children of color.

A first step is to restore funding and to improve lead poisoning screening. When a child tests positive, a public health team should be dispatched to find the source and eliminate it.

America Is Flint
Nicholas Kristof FEB. 6, 2016

WE have been rightfully outraged by the lead poisoning of children in Flint, Mich. — an outrage that one health expert called “state-sponsored child abuse.”

< snip >

In Flint, 4.9 percent of children tested for lead turned out to have elevated levels. That’s inexcusable. But in 2014 in New York State outside of New York City, the figure was 6.7 percent. In Pennsylvania, 8.5 percent. On the west side of Detroit, one-fifth of the children tested in 2014 had lead poisoning. In Iowa for 2012, the most recent year available, an astonishing 32 percent of children tested had elevated lead levels. (I calculated most of these numbers from C.D.C. data.)

Across America, 535,000 children ages 1 through 5 suffer lead poisoning, by C.D.C. estimates. “We are indeed all Flint,” says Dr. Philip Landrigan, a professor of preventive medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. “Lead poisoning continues to be a silent epidemic in the United States.”

None of this diminishes the tragedy of Flint, which is particularly horrifying because it was delivered by the government through the municipal water system even as state officials scoffed at the local outcry. In any case, data collection is poor, so we don’t have a good handle on the scale of the problem either in Flint or elsewhere: Take comparisons with a grain of salt. But it’s clear that this lead poisoning is not one city’s catastrophe but a nation’s — and the world’s, since the situation is even worse in some low-income countries ...

Much more here: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/07/opinion/sunday/america-is-flint.html?smid=fb-nytimes&smtyp=cur

Virtual Tie

Bernie Sanders just melted away a 30-point Hillary Clinton lead in a new poll

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) closed a 30-point gap with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to virtually tie her in a new national survey published Friday.

The poll, from Quinnipiac University, found Clinton leading Sanders among national Democratic primary voters, 44% to 42%.

That was a wild swing from a mid-December Quinnipiac poll that found Clinton leading 61% to 30% nationally over Sanders ...

More here: http://www.businessinsider.com/poll-bernie-sanders-hillary-clinton-tie-quinnipiac-2016-2

Fighting the TPP

Workers and youth must build a unified movement throughout Asia and internationally to abolish the capitalist system, with its irrational division of the world into competing nation states, which is the source of war and exploitation.

New Zealand to host signing of Trans-Pacific Partnership
By Tom Peters
4 February 2016

Representatives of 12 countries will meet in New Zealand today for the formal signing of the US-led Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement. The TPP, negotiated in secret over 10 years, will create a US-dominated economic bloc that will dictate terms of investment and trade throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

The deal is the economic front of Washington’s “pivot to Asia” strategy, which aims to isolate China, roll back its economic influence and reduce it to semi-colonial status. In his belligerent January 12 State of the Union address, President Barack Obama declared: “With the TPP, China does not set the rules in that region; we do.”

TPP negotiations have proceeded alongside preparations for war against China, which are now far advanced. The US has systematically built-up its military assets in Asia, strengthened alliances with Japan, Australia and other countries, and staged a series of reckless provocations against China in the South China Sea ...

Rahm Declares War

TBF note: All I can say is if Rauner succeeds into turning the Chicago Public Schools into a bankruptcy-style proceeding you are headed straight into Detroit/Flint territory. I wouldn't drink the water and that's just the start of it.

Meanwhile, Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner, who is out to gut public-sector collective bargaining laws and slash social spending, is pushing legislation that would allow the state to take over CPS in a bankruptcy-style proceeding.

Rahm declares war on Chicago teachers

Chicago teacher Anthony Cappetta and Socialist Worker's Lee Sustar explain how the lines were drawn in the latest battle over public education in the city.
February 3, 2016

FACED WITH the city's threat to lay off 1,000 educators and impose a unilateral 7 percent pay cut, the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) is mobilizing for a February 4 mass rally in the city's financial district in the union's biggest fight since its successful strike of 2012.

Chicago Public Schools (CPS) CEO Forest Claypool made the aggressive move against the teachers after the CTU bargaining team rejected a concessionary contract proposal that would have avoided economic layoffs if the union agreed to bigger pension contributions, higher health care costs and vague contract language around job security.

Claypool--fronting for his boss, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and the city's ruling elite--is trying to create a crisis atmosphere to drive a wedge among union members, and to get parents to blame the teachers' union for the chaos in the classroom that would result from the massive layoffs ...

Much more here: http://socialistworker.org/2016/02/03/rahm-declares-war-on-chicago-teachers

Bernie's Critics

But politics is always contextual, and this is the United States, not Europe or Latin America. It is a country with a deep history of anticommunism, of little memory of an organized left politics, of a sustained, unremitting, three-decade-long attack on the working class. And the fact is that today, after decades of retreat by the Left, Sanders’s campaign has resonated with working people all over the country — not in spite of his embrace of the word “socialism,” but because of it. Ponder that for a minute.

Whether he wins tonight’s Iowa caucuses, Bernie Sanders has provided an opening that we can’t squander.
by Nivedita Majumdar 2-1-16

The unthinkable is happening. A self-proclaimed socialist is not only forging ahead in the Democratic primaries, but could actually win.

Yet even as his popularity rises, even as he raises issues no candidate has brought into the public arena in decades, Bernie Sanders faces attacks from all quarters of the Left. He’s accused of not having radical enough economic proposals, of being oblivious to race, of diminishing the chances of electing a woman president, of not being electable and potentially paving the way for Republican victory, and of threatening social movements by herding progressives into the Democratic Party.

There is no doubt that aspects of this criticism are deserved. Sanders doesn’t offer anything close to a comprehensive solution for the myriad problems facing the poor and oppressed, and some parts of his political agenda are genuinely backward. But when we place his candidacy in the context of the challenges the Left faces, the orientation of his political rivals, and the incredible enthusiasm he has generated in a climate of general defeat, the attacks on him from the Left become harder to justify ...

More here: https://www.jacobinmag.com/2016/02/bernie-sanders-socialist-democratic-primary-working-class/

Sanders dominating Facebook

This is huge because the young adults aren't even on Facebook - they are on Instagram, Snapchat, and Reddit. Older folks are on Facebook.

Here's the story:

Sanders dominating pre-caucus Facebook conversation in Iowa

By Hadas Gold

02/01/16 02:51 PM EST

Sen. Bernie Sanders is dominating the conversation among Iowans on Facebook in the hours leading up to the caucuses, according to data shared by the social networking site.

Sanders has captured 42.4 percent of the conversation among Iowans on Facebook from midnight CST to noon on Monday, Facebook reports. That's more than Donald Trump, who has a 21.7 percent share of the conversation. Next comes Hillary Clinton at 13.1 percent, followed by Ted Cruz, who has 10.7 percent of the conversation.

Yet smaller shares of Facebook users have been talking about Rand Paul (4.7 percent), Ben Carson (2.6 percent), and Marco Rubio (1.9 percent).

Just among the Democratic candidates, Sanders is capturing 73 percent of the conversation compared to Clinton's 25 percent.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/blogs/iowa-caucus-2016-live-updates/2016/02/bernie-sanders-facebook-iowa-218540#ixzz3yxHAt54G

Electable (toon)

“Who cares if he’s not electable? Nobody’s electable anymore.”

The War on Bernie Sanders

To achieve even the distinctly non-revolutionary reforms on his agenda, the millions of Democratic voters drawn to Sanders’s message must overcome the opposition of their own party elites.

No presidential candidate in modern history has performed as well as Sanders and received so little support from the Democratic Party leadership.

The Democratic Party elite has launched a virtually unprecedented attack against Bernie Sanders.
by Matt Karp ~ 2/1/16

Two stark facts have defined the 2016 Democratic primary since the campaign began last spring. The first is the remarkable success of self-proclaimed socialist Bernie Sanders, who appears to be mobilizing far more support from lower-income voters than any other Democratic underdog in a generation.

The second fact, evident since the beginning of the campaign but even more visible in recent weeks, is the fierce determination of the Democratic Party elite to nominate Hillary Clinton.

With both Sanders and Donald Trump surging in the polls, many observers have framed the 2016 race as one that pits insurgent populist campaigns against consolidated party establishments. It’s easy for this kind of insider versus outsider analysis to become sloppy and conspiratorial. In fact, the contours of “the establishment” are often difficult to define, and a closer examination frequently reveals several different elite factions facing off against each other ...

More here: https://www.jacobinmag.com/2016/02/bernie-sanders-democratic-party-primary-president-iowa-caucus-new-hampshire-primary/


Bernie Rocks Iowa City (Photos)

Bernie Rocks Iowa City
January 30, 2016

IOWA CITY, Iowa – A blast-the-rafters concert and rally for nearly 5,000 fired-up Bernie Sanders backers capped a day of campaigning across Iowa on Saturday with just 48 hours to go before Iowa’s first-in-the-nation precinct caucuses kick off the process of picking a Democratic Party presidential nominee.

The concert – Sanders biggest crowd ever in Iowa – featured Vampire Weekend, Foster the People and other musical acts. Before, Sanders spoke to the University of Iowa audience about income and wealth inequality, the planetary crisis of global warming, making public colleges and universities tuition-free and other issues.

A new poll released on Saturday by The Des Moines Register and Bloomberg Politics showed Sanders’ come-from-nowhere candidacy had turned into a too-close-to call contest with Hillary Clinton, once the pundits’ presumptive nominee. The poll showed Clinton and Sanders in a virtual tie, a far cry from her 41-point lead when Sanders began his campaign eight months ago ...

From Bernie's web site: https://berniesanders.com/press-release/bernie-rocks-iowa-city/
From Sanders scores biggest crowd yet: http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/elections/presidential/caucus/2016/01/30/sanders-scores-biggest-crowd-yet-university-iowa/79582812/

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