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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 war-makers demand a blank check

Today in France, the New Anti-capitalist Party says, "Their wars. Our dead."

Danny Katch ~ November 18, 2015

THE MORNING after the deadly attacks in Paris, the Economist took the fact that trains and planes were mostly running on schedule as evidence that the mood among ordinary Parisians was one of "defiant normality." This idea of Western civilization maintaining a stiff upper lip against the barbarians at the gate has become a cliché of the "war on terror." George W. Bush went so far as to advise the American people to keep shopping after the September 11, 2001, attacks, or the terrorists would win.

Of course, people understandably hope for "normality" in the wake of a crisis. I worked in the vicinity of the World Trade Center when the September 11 attacks took place, and in the days afterward, some of my co-workers were relieved to get back to the routines of daily life--and somewhat thankful, since thousands of our neighbors no longer could.

< snip >

In the days after 9/11, the U.S. ruling class feverishly planned wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, expanded government surveillance programs and pushed through the civil liberties-shredding USA PATRIOT Act. This week, the French government escalated its participation in the U.S.-led war on ISIS, declared a three-month state of emergency and began considering a range of drastic changes to the constitution that will weaken basic democratic rights ...

Much more here: http://socialistworker.org/2015/11/18/the-warmakers-demand-a-blank-check

Race, College and Safe Space

The New York Times
Charles M. Blow ~ 11/16/15

However, one must condemn the forces of anti-black oppression just as vociferously as one condemns black people’s responses to those forces, including when those responses extend beyond the boundaries of social acceptability and decorous propriety. Otherwise, one’s qualms are an overture to pacification and the propping up of the status quo. You can’t condemn the unseemly howl and not the lash.

Before there were the Paris terror attacks that changed everything and the second Democratic presidential debate that changed nothing, much of America had been transfixed by the scene playing out on college campuses across the country: black students and their allies demanding an insulation from racial hostility, full inclusion and administrative responsiveness.

There was a part of the debate around those protests that I have not been able to release other than by writing here, one step off the news, but hopefully in step with the history of this moment.

Last week I heard artist Ebony G. Patterson talking about the black body as a “site of contention,” and that phrase stuck with me, because it seemed to be revelatory in its simplicity, and above all, true.

Black bodies are a battlefield: black folks fight to defend them as external forces fight to destroy them; black folks dare to see the beauty in them as external forces condemn and curse them ...

Much more here: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/16/opinion/race-college-and-safe-space.html?&moduleDetail=section-news-1&action=click&contentCollection=Opinion®ion=Footer&module=MoreInSection&version=WhatsNext&contentID=WhatsNext&pgtype=article

Beyond the Wage System

There’s a famous quote that Frederic Jameson, among others, has repeated about how “It’s easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism.” I’d go a step further: it’s easier to imagine the end of capitalism than to imagine the end of work as we know it. Our imagination is so dominated by this one activity that it becomes difficult to imagine having a different relationship to it. Even on the left, there is an all-too-common assumption that we are laboring creatures, and that our dignity is tied up with our waged work.

Beyond the Wage System
Kathi Weeks ▪ November 9, 2015

Here’s my pitch for a universal basic income: it’s the best way I can think of at this juncture to respond to the inadequacies of the wage system. There are two basic inadequacies that I want to cover here: underwork and overwork.

The wage system is supposed to do two things. It’s supposed to be a mechanism for the accumulation of capital and profit, and I think it’s doing a pretty good job at that. But it’s also supposed to be a means for distributing income to the rest of us. And that’s where the problems start.

Here, again, there are two dimensions. Obviously, too many people are left out of the wage system as a mechanism for distributing income. Think about the levels of unemployment, which have always been necessary to the capitalist system as a way of maintaining economic “health.” Today’s “jobless recovery” is perhaps the most obvious sign that the wage system is not working ...

Much more here: https://www.dissentmagazine.org/online_articles/beyond-wage-system-kathi-weeks-universal-basic-income

How Class Kills

A recent study showing rising mortality rates among middle-aged whites drives home the lethality of class inequality.

The story is incomplete, however, without the critical element of class. While the study provides evidence of more acute suffering within the demographic as a whole, the increase in overall mortality was restricted to those with no more than a high school education.

by A. W. Gaffney 11-8-15

Good health — like wealth — does not trickle down the economic ladder. That’s one conclusion that should be drawn from a widely covered paper published this past week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, albeit for reasons that may not be immediately apparent.

The paper — authored by Anne Case and recent Nobel Prize winner Angus Deaton, both of Princeton University — presents an alarming finding: middle-aged white (non-Hispanic) Americans experienced a stunning reversal in mortality trends in the early twentieth-first century, unique among demographic groups. Between 1999 and 2013, this group saw a major — and previously unnoticed — rise in mortality.

The magnitude of this phenomenon becomes clear in the investigators’ conclusion: “The mortality reversal observed in this period bears a resemblance to the mortality decline slowdown in the United States during the height of the AIDS epidemic.”

Much more here: https://www.jacobinmag.com/2015/11/case-deaton-study-death-rate-health-care/

How can we make a "political revolution"? ***Socialist Progressive Group ***

"Today, 85 of the wealthiest people in this world own more wealth than the bottom half of the world's population, over 3 billion people."

Danny Katch 11-4-15

"READY TO start a political revolution?" That's the cheerful call to arms greeting visitors to the presidential campaign home page of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. The Sanders campaign for the Democratic Party nomination started as a long shot last spring, but has snowballed into a credible, if still unlikely, threat to frontrunner Hillary Clinton.

Clinton had been widely viewed as the only serious candidate, not because she's so appealing to voters, but because of her deep connections and support among billionaires, banks and pharmaceutical companies.

Sanders, by contrast, has gained a significant following precisely because so many people are frustrated with a political class that is obviously in the bag for the 1 Percent--epitomized both by corporate Democrats like Clinton and by the various Republican lackeys for the Koch Brothers ...

One lesson we shouldn't take from these situations is that revolution isn't possible. What's needed is a thoroughgoing revolution, more so than Bernie Sanders envisions--one that doesn't just replace the political leaders or even whole regimes carrying out unjust policies, but that replaces the unjust economic system underlying them.

More here: http://socialistworker.org/2015/11/04/how-can-we-make-a-political-revolution

Texas Info - more cities for meetings - Bernie Campaign Staff

The official campaign will be holding several meetings across Texas between November 7th and November 13th. Please be sure to sign up if you're in the area!

Meetings will be held in:

Austin - November 10th, 6:00 PM CT

Brownville - November 12th, 5:30 PM CT

Corpus Christi - November 9th, 5:30 PM CT

Dallas - November 7th, 10:00 AM CT

Fort Worth - November 13th - 5:30 PM CT

Houston - November 8th - 2:00 PM CT

San Antonio - November 11th - 6:00 PM CT
Also, did you know the campaign has opened four offices in Texas?

Office locations are in Austin, Dallas, McAllen / Rio Grande Valley, and San Antonio

Check the events section of Bernie's website for info and organizing swag: https://berniesanders.com/

Awesome graphic from Reddit:

What we're looking at -

Congratulations Comrade Sawant -

City Council District No. 3

Kshama Sawant - 8,197 (52.6%)
Pamela Banks - 7,349 (47.1%)

Houston/Dallas - THIS WEEKEND - Bernie's national campaign staff holding meetings

Here are the times/locations:

Dear TBF,

The revolution starts now!

Bernie's success has been a huge shock to the establishment. Bernie has given us a real shot at taking our country back from the billionaire class. Now the only question is: will we, Bernie's millions of supporters, actually do the work that wins presidential campaigns?

Come answer that question with national campaign staff in person in these cities: Austin, Brownsville, Corpus Christi, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio, and Oklahoma City. (Details below and more cities to come!)

This coming week, we are coming to Texas to talk to you in person about the plan to win and ask you what role you want to play in the victory.

Click the city nearest you below to RSVP:

DALLAS » Saturday, November 7th - Doors Open at 10am
Communications Workers of America (CWA) Hall
1408 N. Washington Avenue
Dallas, TX 75204

HOUSTON » Sunday, November 8th - Doors Open at 2pm
Communications Workers of America (CWA) Hall
1730 Jefferson Street
Houston, TX 77003

For President: Convict No. 9653

On Nov. 2, 1920, Eugene V. Debs received one million votes in the U.S. presidential election while in prison. He was serving a 10 year sentence for his speech in Canton, Ohio against the war. Here is an excerpt from that speech: "And here let me emphasize the fact—and it cannot be repeated too often—that the working class who fight all the battles, the working class who make the supreme sacrifices, the working class who freely shed their blood and furnish the corpses, have never yet had a voice in either declaring war or making peace. It is the ruling class that invariably does both."

From the Zinn Education Project on Facebook (here is their website: http://zinnedproject.org/)
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