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Gender: Female
Hometown: Wisconsin
Current location: Tejas
Member since: Thu Jan 17, 2008, 12:44 PM
Number of posts: 31,869

About Me

The most violent element in society is ignorance. Emma Goldman

Journal Archives

Red flags are flying in Rio and Montevideo -

Why the Left Continues to Win in Latin America
Greg Grandin on October 27, 2014 - 10:52 AM ET

Red flags are flying in Rio and Montevideo. Not only did Dilma Rousseff win in Brazil on Sunday but next door in Uruguay, Tabaré Vázquez, the presidential candidate for Frente Amplio—or Broad Front, the political heir to the insurgent Tupamaros of the 1970s—did better than expected in a first-round vote and is predicted to win a November runoff. Vázquez, a former president (Uruguay prohibits consecutive re-election) would follow the beat-up-beetle-driving, pot-, same-sex-marriage-, and abortion-legalizing, flower-growing, three-legged-dog owner, former political prisoner and renunciant incumbent, José Mujica.

In Brazil, Dilma beat back a neoliberal-technocrat challenge. In Uruguay, Vázquez, a medical doctor, will face a more traditional conservative in November, Lacalle Pou, the son of a former right-wing president. Pou’s campaign is notable since it is among the first in Latin America to bet the bank on Richard Nixon–style wedge issues, hoping to use abortion, drugs and crime to take power. Reuters reports this from a Pou supporter: “ ‘So we are killing babies now and the state will sell marijuana,’ said Adriana Herrera, a 68-year-old pensioner. ‘My frustration is not just with the handout policies but also with the laws that have been approved that are terrible for the country.’ ” The nice use of the word pensioner here transports us back to the salad days of the New Right, to Margaret Thatcher’s kitschy shopkeeper authoritarian conservatism. Pou also promises tax cuts. He lost, and early polls expect he will lose the runoff. But he did get a third of the vote.

Hugo Chávez was first elected in Venezuela in 1998, which means we are more than a decade and a half into Latin America’s “left turn.” With these votes in Brazil and Uruguay, along with the recent re-elections of Michelle Bachelet in Chile, Rafael Correa in Ecuador and Evo Morales in Bolivia, the developmentalist social-welfare left—both its “moderate” and “populist” wings—is showing remarkable endurance, having moved on from its first generation of leaders, Chávez, Kirchner in Argentina and Lula in Brazil.

It’s not hard to understand why: economics. Few want to go back to the disastrous neoliberalism of the 1980s and 1990s ...

more here: http://www.thenation.com/blog/186049/why-left-continues-win-latin-america

The Protests in Mexico today -

Anyone familiar with this?


Uploaded on Oct 23, 2014

When tens of thousands of people poured into downtown Mexico City on Wednesday, they came not only to join the ongoing protests about the disappearance of 43 students in the southern state of Guerrero - allegedly at the hands of local police tied to a drug gang. They also demonstrated against the corruption and impunity that many believe allowed the crime to happen. Fusion was on the streets with the protesters and captured three voices - Michel Guadalupe Hernandez Cabrera, a college student, Barrera Mendoza Jimenez, a mother, and Alejandro Solalinde, a priest and leading Mexican human rights activist.

The best way to fight terrorism (meme) -

(Found on Tikkun's facebook page)

From Wendy Davis: Early Voting Starts Today (TX)

** cross posted in state forum **

Just got an email from the Wendy Davis team so I'm posting it right here in GD as well. Texans, take your photo ID and vote TODAY.

From Wendy:

Voting officially starts today.

You can find your early voting location here, or by giving us a call at 1-844-TXVOTES:


Now, get out there and vote as soon as you can -- and forward this email to your family and friends to remind them about early voting, too.

Here we go!

Team Wendy

P.S. If you encounter any issues casting your ballot, or just have a question, call our voter protection hotline at 1-844-TXVOTES

Remembering Casey Owens -

Found this story online today and just thought I should share. This former Marine never quite recovered from his experience with war and succumbed to suicide this week.

Local Iraq war veteran dies of suicide
by Chad Abraham, Aspen Daily News Staff Writer
Friday, October 17, 2014

Aspen resident Casey Owens, a veteran of Iraq who lost his legs in the war, was found dead in his home Wednesday evening after he took his own life.

According to a statement from the Pitkin County Coroner’s Office, Owens died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

Before a 2004 roadside bomb struck his Humvee when he was 22, Owens had had his heart set on being a career Marine, said his friend, Carole Gunther, on Thursday. Owens, who achieved the rank of corporal, was 32.

“He struggled with that for the last several years,” she said ...

More on Casey here: http://www.aspendailynews.com/section/home/164251

Turning Around Detroit

The Assassination of Detroit
by Carlos Salazar 10-14-14
Elites in Detroit say they want to turn around the city. Their plan is to privatize land and funnel more resources to the rich.

“Vacant land and buildings are among Detroit’s most valuable assets for its future.” The statements sounds like a real-estate commercial parody, but it comes from the most widely cited development plan for Detroit, the Detroit Future City Strategic Framework (DFCSF).

How could anybody consider vacant lots and abandoned buildings assets? For years, vacancy, dressed as blight, has been the bogeyman of Detroit. But in the mid-2000s there began to emerge another, pastoral idea of the city. According to this vision, capitalism — and people — had left. Detroit was a non-enforcement zone. All you had to do was move in to the vacant land, start your own urban farm, and use that to build community.

Some began referring to Detroit as a new frontier, with one particularly enthusiastic Craigslist Portland poster encouraging his other Portlandians to come with him on a “Michigan trail.” The Detroit left, for their part, did take this opportunity to expand urban farms and improve food access through locally grown produce.

Unfortunately, as long as capitalism lives somewhere, it’s waiting to move everywhere. In Detroit, and cities like Detroit, the question becomes: how do we make land, and even water, speculative and valuable once again to large investors?

More here: https://www.jacobinmag.com/2014/10/the-assassination-of-detroit/

Happy Day of Indigenous Resistance

While some countries mark the invasion of the Americas by Spain as Colombus Day, or even Race Day (Dia de la Raza), many countries in the region are now instead celebrating indigenous resistance.


Following the proposal of then president of the Ibero-American Union, Faustino Rodriguez San Pedro in 1913, Latin American governments began to pay tribute every October 12 to the “enrichment” that the Spanish mixing with indigenous peoples represented, under the disgraceful name of “Day of Race” - and “Day of Hispanity” in Spain.

However the so-called “discovery” of the Americad caused the worst demographic catastrophe of human history, with around 95 percent of the indigenous population annihilated in the first 130 years of colonization, according to the U.S. Professor of Anthropology Henry Farmer Dobyns – without mentioning the victims from the African continent, with about 60 million people sent to the Americas as slaves, and only 12 percent of them arrived alive.

With indigenous people increasingly demanding their rights in the 1980s, the United Nations declared the year 1992 as the International Day of Indigenous Peoples, ruining thereby the determination of Spain and other countries to call it International Day of America's Discovery ...

Mobile homes: The 'hidden homeless'

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – For four years, the only life Paula Corb and her two daughters have known is the one inside their 2000 Mazda minivan – stopping once in a while for take-out, groceries and gas.

Corb and the girls Alice and Emily are among 214,000 "unsheltered" homeless people in America, meaning they sleep in places not intended for human beings to sleep, like bus stations, abandoned buildings, parks or cars. For them, making a pit stop for gas is the equivalent of paying rent.

"We go on about a four-block radius," Corb explained. "It’s $5 to $10 a day. You see, that’s $70 a week times four. I mean, that’s more than we really have got.”

The vast majority of the country's 71,000 homeless families live in shelters, but almost 10,000 are living life like the Corbs ...

Much more here (what life has become for individuals living in vehicles and how they are forming a community):http://america.aljazeera.com/watch/shows/america-tonight/articles/2014/10/10/mobile-homes-manyhiddenhomelessamericanslivinginvehicles.html

Facebook bus drivers hope to unionize

Facebook bus drivers hope to unionize
by Marisa Taylor @marisahtaylor

The controversy surrounding the shuttle buses that squire hundreds of Bay Area employees of Silicon Valley tech companies like Google and Apple to and from work continued last week.

But this time, the debate isn’t focused on the privileges enjoyed by the workers on those buses, which local protesters have argued are representative of the growing class divide in San Francisco’s Bay Area, on a few occasions physically blocking the shuttles and demanding affordable housing.

Instead, it’s about the bus drivers themselves. Drivers of Facebook shuttle buses are trying to unionize, saying their pay is too low to make ends meet. They also complain that working split shifts, which involve starting around 6 a.m. to take Facebook employees to work and then finishing after 9 p.m. after they’ve taken them back home at night, are inconvenient.

The drivers are seeking help from the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, which wrote a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg last Thursday [PDF] and asked him to intervene on behalf of the drivers, who are contracted by Loop Transportation ...

More here: http://america.aljazeera.com/blogs/scrutineer/2014/10/6/facebook-bus-drivershopetounionize.html

Humans of New York

It's a fantastic facebook page in which folks on the street are asked questions. Often they talk about their significant others, experiences in their lives, etc. Today the topic is economic. I decided to share it here because it is so spot on.

Humans of New York
Monday, October 6 at 9:04am

"If they raise the subway fare one more time, I'm going to explode. I'm making nine dollars an hour. I walk home three hours from work every day to save that $2.50, because that's a half gallon of milk for me and my daughter. And every time they raise the fare, they have a 'hearing.' But they aren't hearing anything. It's a fucking joke. If you go to one of those 'hearings,' every single person stands up and says: 'Don't raise the fare.' Then they raise it anyway. Oh man, it burns me up. 'We need the money,' they say, 'America is hurting.' That's bullshit! If I see one more TV program bragging about multimillion dollar homes I'm gonna scream. How about a fucking TV program that shows me if there is anywhere in this city that I can fucking afford to live anymore. I'm sorry, but it's burning me up."

Humans of New York website: http://www.humansofnewyork.com/

Brandon if you see this - you rock.
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