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Gender: Female
Hometown: Wisconsin
Current location: Tejas
Member since: Thu Jan 17, 2008, 12:44 PM
Number of posts: 31,861

About Me

The most violent element in society is ignorance. Emma Goldman

Journal Archives

Racial Wealth Gap Persists Despite Degree, Study Says

AUG. 16, 2015

“Prior family wealth is the key,” Mr. Darity explained in an email, noting that it “shapes both income-generating opportunities and the capacity to allow wealth to grow more wealth.”

Even with tuition shooting up, the payoff from a college degree remains strong, lifting lifelong earnings and protecting many graduates like a Teflon coating against the worst effects of economic downturns.

But a new study has found that for black and Hispanic college graduates, that shield is severely cracked, failing to protect them from both short-term crises and longstanding challenges.

“The long-term trend is shockingly clear,” said William R. Emmons, an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis and one of the authors of the report. “White and Asian college grads do much better than their counterparts without college, while college-grad Hispanics and blacks do much worse proportionately.”

A college degree has long been recognized as a great equalizer, a path for minorities to help bridge the economic chasm that separates them from whites. But the report, scheduled to be released on Monday, raises troubling questions about the ability of a college education to narrow the racial and ethnic wealth gap ...

More here: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/17/business/racial-wealth-gap-persists-despite-degree-study-says.html

Julian Bond - Agitate

Remembering Julian Bond -

Shortly after Fidel Castro's rise to power in Cuba, Julian Bond visited that country to witness, first-hand, the effects of Castro's revolution. Decades later, in a 2006 interview, Bond would recall: “I first visited Cuba in the spring of 1959 ... with three college friends.... The truth was we were enchanted by the revolution. Our newspapers had carried stories about President Castro’s triumphant entry into Havana. He and his colleagues were all young, as were we—I was 19—and we found something appealing in their story and their victory. This last trip [in November 2006] simply reinforced my admiration for the Cuban people and the society they are building.”

In 1971 Bond returned to Morehouse College to complete his undergraduate studies, earning a bachelor's degree in English.

Also in 1971, Bond collaborated with Morris Dees to co-found the Southern Poverty Law Center. Bond became the organization's first president, and he continues to sit on its board of directors to this day.

In 1973 Bond was an “initiator” of the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee, forerunner of Democratic Socialists of America (DSA). Other notable initiators included Heather Booth, John Conyers, and Ron Dellums. Bond went on to become a member of DSA.

Shortly after a 1974 pro-communist military coup in Portugal, Bond and more than eighty fellow American leftists sent a cablegram to to the Portugese Armed Forces Movement, Portugese President Francisco da Costa Gomes, and Portugese socialist leader Mario Soares, expressing the hope that “democratic freedoms … will continue to grow in Portugal.” Other signers of that letter included Noam Chomsky, Barbara Ehrenreich, Daniel Ellsburg, Michael Harrington, Herbert Marcuse, and Paul Sweezy.

In the reports from the New York Times and others you will only read about Mr. Bond's establishment activities later in life -

... a former chairman of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, a charismatic figure of the 1960s civil rights movement, a lightning rod of the anti-Vietnam War campaign and a lifelong champion of equal rights for minorities, died on Saturday night, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. He was 75.

But DSA always appreciated his courage and hard work in fighting the inequality he witnessed:

In 1993 the Democratic Socialists of America's Eugene V. Debs/Norman Thomas/Michael Harrington Dinner Committee, named in honor of three prominent American socialists, presented Bond with an award at its annual dinner banquet. The award specifically cited Bond's “lifetime as a leader in the movement for social justice.”

We here in the Socialists Progressives group mourn our comrade, Horace Julian Bond.


Turning the Democratic Party Upside Down

Some nice comments about Bernie in here ... even though I definitely do NOT share their enthusiasm for Joe Biden.

The Rise Of Bernie Sanders Has Turned The Democratic Party Upside Down
By: Jason Easley
Friday, August, 14th, 2015, 12:30 pm

It isn’t a coincidence that as Bernie Sanders is being forced to move to a bigger New Hampshire campaign headquarters due to increasing popularity, Democrats are actively searching for more serious candidates to enter the 2016 field.

The Sanders campaign is so popular in New Hampshire that they have to move to a bigger headquarters. Kurt Ehrenberg, the New Hampshire coordinator for the Sanders campaign, told The Washington Post, “We’re ramping up our campaign. We’re hiring new staff every day. We’re opening new offices. Things are going extremely well….Our volunteers don’t just want to come out and see the candidate. They actually want to work for Bernie because Bernie instills this terrific enthusiasm in them.”

While Sanders continues to grow both organizationally and attendance wise, other Democrats see Hillary Clinton as a vulnerable frontrunner and are worried about what the Sanders rise might mean for November 2016.

Some Democrats are clearly fishing for another established candidate to enter the Democratic race. There was a brief flirtation around Al Gore, but that was quickly squashed. Most of the serious chatter is coming from supporters of Vice President Biden ...

More here: http://www.politicususa.com/2015/08/14/rise-bernie-sanders-turned-democratic-party-upside.html

Slavery Is Theft

Abolitionists gave us the vital idea that some things should not be for sale. by james oakes 8-13-15

The debate over slavery was always, at bottom, a debate about property rights. Abolitionists were revolutionaries for their time, but not socialists: they did not demand the abolition of property as such. But they denied that any person had a legitimate right to hold property in another person.

When abolitionists denounced slavery as “theft,” they had two different kinds of robbery in mind. One was the day-by-day, year-by-year, theft of the fruits of the slave’s labor. But they were also thinking of a different, more fundamental kind of theft. Human beings own themselves, as a natural right, a right of property, abolitionists argued. So when masters claimed slaves as their own they were effectively robbing the slaves of their property in themselves.

< snip >

In and of itself the defense of property does not explain what kind of property is at stake in any particular conflict. The debate over slavery makes this clear. What needs to be explained, if we are to explain the Civil War, is why one particular form of property — slave property — became so disreputable as to warrant destruction.

Every historian knows that abolitionism, somehow, cleared the path for the triumph of wage labor. The struggle over slavery forced its opponents to specify the difference between the illegitimate sale of an entire human being and the “legitimate” sale of one’s labor power. When Frederick Douglass denounced his Baltimore master for robbing him of his weekly wages and when he said that his new life as a free man began the day he received his first honest wage working on the docks of New Bedford, he was dramatizing the difference between slavery and free labor ...

Much more here: https://www.jacobinmag.com/2015/08/slavery-abolition-lincoln-oakes-property/

Hillary Clinton on Cuba: new tactic, same goal

By Gloria La Riva
Aug 04, 2015

In a presidential campaign stop in Miami on July 31, Hillary Clinton called for lifting the U.S. blockade of Cuba, or embargo as some call it.

Clinton said, “The Cuba embargo 
needs to go, once and for all.”

It sounds amazing, coming from a politician who never lost an opportunity to rail against the Cuban Revolution.

Clinton continues to be openly hostile to Cuba’s sovereignty, its independence and socialism.

< snip>

Does she mean the kind of leadership that dragged Mexico’s economy under, with the U.S.-engineered 1994 NAFTA treaty, or more recently the 2009 U.S.-backed military coup in Honduras? “American leadership” in Latin America meant the destruction of hundreds of thousands of lives until countries began to shake off U.S. domination with ALBA and other alliances ...

More here: https://www.liberationnews.org/my-article-ready-to-post/

Gloria La Riva is a labor, community and anti­-war organizer based in San Francisco, Calif., and is the 2016 Presidential Candidate of the Party for Socialism and Liberation. Her running mate is Eugene Puryear, a Washington, D.C.-based activist. Learn more about the candidates, their 10-Point Program and how to get involved in the PSL’s “Vote Socialist in 2016!” campaign at www.VotePSL.org.

People's World on Bernie -

Interesting article on BLM and Bernie in People's World. In fact, very interesting when you consider that Communist Party USA owns People's World - it's their publication. Why on earth would they choose to compare Bernie Sanders to Donald Trump and completely ignore the supposedly popular "front-runner" Hillary Clinton? Honestly, it made me want to vomit. Has Communist Party USA been co-opted by the DNC? I will let you decide -

The left’s challenge: facing institutional and individual racism
by: Joel Wendland
August 12 2015

This is going to sound harsh but for me there is noteworthy parallel (note, I say parallel rather than equivalence) between the phenomenon of Donald Trump's garbage and the support by his followers in the past few days and the reaction of the Bernie Sanders campaign and its supporters to a couple of protests at rallies held to give Sanders a platform for his campaign.

We can learn about the dominant ideological positioning of the Trump campaign, the Republicans generally, and the extremism of the bulk of their vocal primary supporters by the apparent response of many GOP voters to the Megyn Kelly/GOP-FOX debate kerfuffle. The tenor of the backlash to Kelly's strong questions about Trump's sexism (notably not lodged against the nine other sexists on the platform) and other of Trump's critics reveal how obviously, sexism, racism, xenophobia, homophobia, transphobia, and anti-working-class sentiments are at a fever pitch over on the right.

With this in mind, what does the response of Sanders' supporters and his campaign to the events in Seattle this past weekend suggest about what is happening over here on the left? Focused and emotionally intense criticisms that range from denunciations of the protesters' "tactics" to denunciations of one of them as a Palin supporter or as Hillary Clinton plants or whatever is to me revealing of how some of us on the left handle public discomfort addressing racism-our own and the power structure's. Defenses of Sanders' record in the 1960s and making the point that he hired an African American woman in his social media campaign ring hollow, with good reason, for too many people. (They seem to parallel Trump's own claim that he can't be sexist because he likes women CEOs or whatever garbage fell from his bloated yap.)

Here: http://peoplesworld.org/the-left-s-challenge-facing-institutional-and-individual-racism/

Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Seventy years ago, the United States committed one of the most horrific atrocities in military history. Why?
by Jonah Walters ~ 8-9-15

Seventy years ago today, the United States detonated a plutonium implosion-type atomic bomb over the Japanese city of Nagasaki, killing between 40,000 and 80,000 people.

It was only the second time an atomic weapon had been used in warfare. The first time had occurred three days before, when the United States dropped a uranium gun-type atomic bomb on Hiroshima. Between 90,000 and 170,000 people died in that attack.

It was one of the greatest wartime atrocities ever perpetrated. The United States political and military establishment unleashed all the destructive power of the most potent weapons ever created on two civilian populations of little strategic importance. It was a brutal show of force that announced the arrival of the new American superpower and helped establish the stakes of the Cold War.

< snip>

It wasn’t about ending the war. It was about announcing American willingness to use doomsday weapons on civilian populations. In August 1945, President Truman and the American establishment held a gun to the head of the entire world. And that gun remains in place to this day ...

Read here (not that long - a good summary): https://www.jacobinmag.com/2015/08/hiroshima-nagasaki-atomic-bomb-guide-unnecessary/

The Making of the American Police State

How did we end up with millions behind bars and police armed like soldiers?
by Christian Parenti ~ 7/28/15

In other words, among the important things criminal justice does is regulate, absorb, terrorize, and disorganize the poor. At the same time it promulgates politically useful racism. Criminal justice discourse is the racism circus; from courts to reality TV it is the primary ideological site for producing the false consciousness that is American racism.

How did we get here? The numbers are chilling: 2.2 million people behind bars, another 4.7 million on parole or probation. Even small-town cops are armed like soldiers, with a thoroughly militarized southern border.

The common leftist explanation for this is “the prison-industrial complex,” suggesting that the buildup is largely privatized and has been driven by parasitic corporate lobbying. But the facts don’t support an economistic explanation. Private prisons only control 8 percent of prison beds. Nor do for-profit corporations use much prison labor. Nor even are guards’ unions, though strong in a few important states, driving the buildup.

The vast majority of the American police state remains firmly within the public sector. But this does not mean the criminal justice buildup has nothing to do with capitalism. At its heart, the new American repression is very much about the restoration and maintenance of ruling class power.

American society and economy have from the start evolved through forms of racialized violence, but criminal justice was not always so politically central. For the better part of a century after the end of Reconstruction in the 1870s, the national incarceration rate hovered at around 100 to 110 per 100,000. But then, in the early 1970s, the incarceration rate began a precipitous and continual climb upward ...

Much more here: https://www.jacobinmag.com/2015/07/incarceration-capitalism-black-lives-matter/

Layoffs in US for July 2015 (so far) - 16,000

San Diego-based Qualcomm announces 4,700 layoffs
By Josh Varlin
27 July 2015

Qualcomm Incorporated, a San Diego-based semiconductor company heavily involved in the smartphone market, announced 4,700 layoffs and other restructuring measures on July 22. This was in addition to thousands of other US layoffs announced this month, including technology giant Xerox and Mitsubishi Motors.

Qualcomm—which is the largest producer of LTE chips used in smartphones—plans on cutting $1.4 billion in expenses, including about 15 percent of its global workforce.

< snip >

The total announced layoffs in the United States for the month of July so far is approximately 16,000.

Even as jobs are being axed by the thousands, companies are engaging in stock buybacks and other parasitic financial activities. American corporations alone are sitting on about $1.4 trillion in cash, but refuse to productively invest. As a result, US economic growth has largely come to a standstill in the first half of the year, with gross domestic product growing by just .2 percent in the first quarter ...

More here: http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2015/07/27/qual-j27.html
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