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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

Governor Union-buster goes for Washington

Robin Gee and Brian Ward provide a primer on what everyone needs to know about Scott Walker--now a leader of the teeming field of Republican presidential hopefuls.
July 27, 2015

LAST YEAR at the Conservative Political Action Conference--a dog-and-pony show featuring the candidates for the Republican presidential nomination--Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker famously responded to a question about how he would handle the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) by saying, "If I can take on 100,000 protesters, I can do the same across the world."

That's right. Scott Walker compared ISIS to a bunch of union activists in Wisconsin.

On July 13 of this year, Walker, who has led the charge nationally in right-wing attacks on union rights, threw his hat into the Republican primary ring. Walker hopes to take his assault on working people to a higher stage. If he succeeds, Wisconsin gives a glimpse of what the country could expect.

Walker has become a poster boy for the right-wing agenda of gutting public services--which also goes by the name of austerity. Conservatives are taking great pride that Walker has been able to carry out his assault in a state with a long history of progressive politics and a reputation for being a union stronghold ...

More here: http://socialistworker.org/2015/07/27/governor-union-buster-goes-for-washington

Reason #1 to Vote Bernie

Reason #1 to Vote Bernie: Sanders Does 'Better Than Clinton' Against GOP in Swing States

According to a July 22, 2015 Quinippiac University Poll, Hillary Clinton's once overwhelming lead in public opinion has been cut substantially, and it's still a long way to the February 1, 2016 Iowa Caucus. In states that will decide the 2016 presidential election, Quinippiac reports that "Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, runs as well as, or better than Clinton against Rubio, Bush and Walker." According to its latest poll, Quinippiac explains how Clinton's lead has eroded in swing states, while Sanders's surge has spread from Iowa and New Hampshire to other key regions:

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is behind or on the wrong side of a too-close-to-call result in matchups with three leading Republican contenders, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker in Colorado, Iowa and Virginia, according to a Quinnipiac University Swing State Poll released today...

In several matchups in Iowa and Colorado, another Democratic contender, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, runs as well as, or better than Clinton against Rubio, Bush and Walker...


Reimagining the Welfare State

by Jennifer Mittelstadt ~ 7-23-15

In this context New Deal nostalgia is a trap. It deludes us about happier times that were not in fact happy for many Americans. While the New Deal offered an unprecedented safety net for many, its holes allowed at least half of the population to fall through.

Since the creation of the free-market Liberty League by the DuPont brothers in 1936, hostile corporate leaders, financiers, economists, and lawmakers have been bent on destroying Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal welfare state.

Wisconsin workers have seen their right to collective bargaining outlined in the New Deal’s Wagner Act gutted, while public pensions, created during the Great Depression to bolster public employment and ensure long-term economic security, have been attacked from Alaska to Florida. Congress also continues to chip away at the state-sponsored provision of basic needs, recently targeting the food stamp program (originally created under FDR) by proposing that all recipients hold jobs, suffer lifetime limits, and receive lower overall benefits.

To many observers, it appears that the New Deal and its safety net have been shredded. Political scientists and others have argued that the perilous individual economic risk that Americans faced before the New Deal has been foisted back on them as its collective protections have withered. With the shocking growth in economic inequality that has arisen alongside cuts to the New Deal, freedom from want — the keystone of Roosevelt’s “Four Freedoms” — has been chipped away to a pebble. It’s enough to make Americans long for a revival of the politics of the 1930s.

But we should be clear-eyed rather than nostalgic about the demise of the welfare state ....

Much more here: https://www.jacobinmag.com/2015/07/fdr-social-security-gi-bill/

Bernie Sanders’s ‘100% Brooklyn’ Roots Show Beyond His Accent (NYTimes)

Nice article in the NYTimes this afternoon about Bernie's early years in Brooklyn -


Ivor Williams stood on his porch and stared suspiciously at the visitor who was pointing to the attic of his pink and shingled house near Brooklyn College.


Hillary Rodham Clinton may be a former senator from New York who located her campaign headquarters in Brooklyn Heights, but all it takes to know who really represents Brooklyn in the race for the Democratic nomination is for Mr. Sanders to open his mouth and utter a few syllables.

As Mr. Sanders, a senator from Vermont, draws large crowds on the campaign trail and enjoys an unexpected surge, his ur-Brooklyn accent and upbringing in the heavily Jewish neighborhood of Flatbush off Kings Highway have become a particular point of pride for friends, former schoolmates and fellow progressives in the borough where he was born.

“I’m very proud of the fact that he speaks Brooklyn, because he’s not a phony and that shows,” said Marty Alpert, who used to cheer for Mr. Sanders when he was on the track team at James Madison High School, where she now is on the alumni board ...


Police Killings in 2015 so far (by State):

How Many People Police Have Killed in Each State So Far This Year

In 47 out of 50 states, American police officers have killed at least one person so far this year. In some, the number of officer-involved homicides dwarfs numbers from entire countries.

The map below, based on statistics the research collaborative Mapping Police Violence provided to Mic, shows all 605 deaths from police violence in the United States from Jan. 1 through July 10. As is evident, there's a clear correlation between population size and the number of slayings, but certain states still stand out with particularly large numbers.


Sandra and Kindra: Suicides or Something Sinister?

Excellent OP-Ed by Charles M. Blow in the NYTimes this afternoon -

JULY 20, 2015

Although the mantra “Black Lives Matter” was developed by black women, I often worry that in the collective consciousness it carries with it an implicit masculine association, one that renders subordinate or even invisible the very real and concurrent subjugation and suffering of black women, one that assigns to these women a role of supporter and soother and without enough space or liberty to express and advocate for their own.

Last week, the prism shifted a bit, as America and the social justice movement focused on the mysterious cases of two black women who died in police custody.

The first and most prominent was Sandra Bland, a black woman from suburban Chicago who had moved to Texas to take a job at her alma mater, Prairie View A & M University, a historically black school about 50 miles northwest of Houston.

She never started that job. After being arrested following a traffic stop, Bland was found dead in her jail cell. The police say she killed herself. Her family and friends doubt it ...


The Evolution of Dr. King *Socialist Progressives Group Post*

By the end of his life, Martin Luther King Jr was an avowed socialist.
by Lee Sustar ~ 1.19.15 (Lee Sustar is the labor editor for Socialist Worker, where this first appeared)

Virtually every Democratic Party politician, black or white, claims the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

Conveniently forgotten is the fact that in the final years of his life, before his assassination in 1968, King broke with Democratic President Lyndon Johnson over the Vietnam War and the administration’s failure to enforce civil rights legislation in the South. That’s something no Democrats of national stature have been willing to do today.

While the reforms advocated by King for most of his life were mild compared to the demands of the more radical black nationalists, they were nevertheless condemned by the same Democrats who have since tried to turn King into a heroic icon and a symbol of black accommodation to the system.

In order to understand King’s eventual shift to the left, it’s necessary to look at the class struggles that underpinned the civil rights movement and the nature of King’s organization, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) ...

Much more here: https://www.jacobinmag.com/2015/01/martin-luther-king-socialist/

Sanders's integrity and honesty worth more than Clinton's billions

July 08, 2015, 07:30 am
By H.A. Goodman, contributor

While CNN published an article headlined "Poll: Clinton's honesty and trustworthy problem extends to swing states," the former secretary of State's main challenger for the Democratic nomination doesn't have a trust problem with voters. The Boston Globe writes that during a campaign visit to Iowa, a former Marine drove six hours to hear Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) speak and another Iraq War veteran stated, "He's the first politician that I've believed in my life." Sanders is down by only 8 points in New Hampshire, primarily because he's championed progressive causes long before they were popular. The man once stated that he's a "democratic socialist" (very different from the Fox News meaning of socialism), so Americans know that Vermont's junior senator doesn't have a public relations machine vetting his every word.

As a result of his refusal to take a poll-driven and centrist viewpoint on major issues like foreign policy and the economy, Sanders must wage a grass-roots campaign for the White House. NPR reports that his recent total of $15 million came from "250,000 donors making nearly 400,000 contributions of $250 or less." However, Sanders has the trust of the average American, and while Hillary Clinton has amassed $329 million in her career (three of her top five donors are Citigroup, Goldman and JP Morgan), some things can't be purchased with money. The integrity, honesty and bold stances of Sanders might make him a real threat to Clinton’s campaign and he's earned something that billions in campaign fundraising can't buy: the trust of the average American.

In contrast, Clinton has similar positions to Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush on war and Wall Street; previously expressed support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership; previously said she was "inclined" toward the Keystone XL pipeline; and up until 2013, opposed gay marriage, yet is expected to raise $2.5 billion from Democratic supporters. As for her rapport with the average American, Clinton's campaign is running more like a corporation than anything that could be described as "grass-roots." In Orwellian irony, the Clinton campaign recently held business round tables with "everyday" Iowans who also happened to be "selected to attend her events." In addition, her recent Twitter campaign proudly asks, "If you won a dinner with Hillary, what would you ask her?" but doesn't elaborate if Clinton would answer questions about her Iraq War vote, evolution on gay marriage or any other controversial topic. Nonetheless, Clinton is raising hundreds of millions, even though Vice News, the Associated Press and others have sued the State Department for access to her emails as secretary of State (31,830 of which she unilaterally deleted from a private home server without the oversight of a third party).

Sanders, on the other hand, is the antithesis of Clinton. When 72 percent of Americans supported the Iraq War in 2003, Sanders not only voted against the invasion, but foreshadowed its unintended consequences and never allowed intelligence reports to influence his decision-making ...

Much more here: http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/presidential-campaign/247140-sanderss-integrity-and-honesty-worth-more-than

The case for Greece: when it forgave Germany’s debt

LONDON — Forgiving debt, if done right, can get an economy back on its feet.

The International Monetary Fund certainly thinks so, according to a new report in which it argues Greece should get help.

But Germany, another major creditor to Greece, is resisting, even though it knows better than most what debt relief can achieve. After the hell of World War II, the Federal Republic of Germany — commonly known as West Germany — got massive help with its debt from former foes.

Among its creditors then? Greece ...



The referendum on the 5th of July (Greece)

The referendum on the 5th of July and the stance of the KKE (Communist Party of Greece):

As is well-known, the government of the “left” and in essence social-democratic SYRIZA party and of the “rightwing” nationalist party ANEL, in an attempt to manage the complete bankruptcy of its pre-election commitments, announced a referendum for the 5th July 2015, with the only question being whether the citizens agree or not with the proposed agreement, which had been tabled by the EU, IMF and ECB and concerns the continuation of the anti-people measures for a way out from the capitalist crisis, with Greece remaining in the euro.

The coalition government’s officials call on the people to say “no” and make it clear that this “no” in the referendum will be interpreted by the Greek government as approval for its own proposed agreement with the EU, IMF, ECB, which in its 47+8 pages also contains harsh antiworker-antipeople measures, with the aim of increasing the profitability of capital, capitalist “growth” and the country’s remaining in the euro. As the SYRIZA-ANEL government admits, which continues to extol the EU, “our common European home”, the “European achievement”, this proposal of theirs is 90% identical to the proposal of the EU, IMF, ECB and has very little relationship with what SYRIZA had promised before the elections.

Fascist Golden Dawn, together with the parties of the coalition government (SYRIZA-ANEL), took a position in favour of a “no” and it also openly supported the return to a national currency.

On the other side, the rightwing opposition ND, social-democratic PASOK that governed until January 2015, together with POTAMI (in form a party of the centre, in essence a reactionary party) took a position in favour of a “yes” to the barbaric measures of the Troika, which they state will be interpreted as being consent to “staying in the EU at all costs”.

In reality, both answers lead to a yes to the “EU” and capitalist barbarity ...

More here: http://inter.kke.gr/en/articles/The-referendum-on-the-5th-of-July-and-the-stance-of-the-KKE/

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