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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

The War on Migrants

The War on Migrants
by Daniel Gutiérrez
Migrant workers in cities like Tijuana bear the brunt of global capitalism’s assault on labor.

If you wish to see the casualties of global capitalism, you could do worse than Tijuana, Baja California Norte.

Home to hundreds of thousands of migrants who started fleeing southern and central Mexico decades ago, the city has long been populated by displaced workers. But with stepped-up border security and aggressive deportations, forced relocation from the United States has further strained the local labor market.

Far from finding refuge in their native country, migrants are not only thrown into a city of high unemployment and few social services, but are punished and criminalized for their destitution. One can hardly call them citizens, as their precarious work status affords them few protections or rights.

The social abandonment that migrant workers experience in Tijuana is hardly an accident. They bear the brunt of a system that accelerates the flow of capital across borders, then erects walls, flies drones, and installs armed state agents to prevent labor from doing the same ...

Much more here: https://www.jacobinmag.com/2014/09/the-war-on-migrants/

The Protests in Hong Kong -

Hong Kong: Why are the protests happening?

Al Jazeera has compiled this explainer to understand the basic issues of what is happening there now and why
September 29, 2014 1:12PM ET
by Philip J. Victor @philjvic

Ten of thousands of people have taken to the streets of Hong Kong to demand open elections in the semi-autonomous city. China took control of Hong Kong in 1997 after 156 years of British rule and agreed to implement a policy known as “one country, two systems,” which allowed the region to keep control of much of its own affairs through a separate legislature, executive and judiciary. Al Jazeera has compiled this explainer to understand the basic issues of what underlies the historic protests.

Why are there protests?

The demonstrations center around the nomination of candidates for Hong Kong’s first-ever elections to select a chief executive. Earlier this year, China endorsed the 2017 vote, but rejected calls to allow citizens the ability to directly nominate the candidates. China, instead, said that candidates would be picked by a pro-Beijing committee made up of 1,200 members — a decision some pro-democracy commentators said would render the vote “meaningless.” The decision is something protesters view as a violation of the city’s constitution, or “Basic Law,” which says Hong Kong would ultimately get “universal suffrage.”

The protests aren't just political; they're also economic and cultural. Hong Kong has a wealth inequality gap greater than some sub-Saharan African countries, and many feel that government policies are disproportionately benefiting the elite. A more democratic government, activists say, could hold politicians more accountable. Cultural differences also play a role. Recent campaigns against mainland Chinese people, which refer to Hong Kong's northern neighbors as "locusts," have highlighted local anger toward mainland Chinese people for pushing up property values, buying up the region's baby formula and generally being seen as not having acceptable manners.

Who are the protesters?

The pro-democracy activists are diverse group, from high-school aged activists to the elderly. A significant number of the protest leaders are young — one leading voice, Joshua Wong, is only 17 years old. While student demonstrators jump started the protests with a boycott of their classes last week, organizers also include a group called Occupy Central with Love and Peace as well as university professors and a set of pro-democracy lawmakers ...

Much more here: http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2014/9/29/hong-kong-explainer.html

We Need a Global Carbon Tax -

We Need a Global Carbon Tax
by Suresh Naidu ~ 9/21/14

A global carbon tax can both mitigate climate change and radically redistribute wealth.

Despite my suspicions of the neoliberal tenor of the organizers and my post-Occupy reservations about marches without explicit political demands, I’m going to the People’s Climate March this morning.
But if we were mobilizing around just one demand today, we could do worse than a global carbon tax, with revenues redistributed directly back to people through a global universal basic income. The policy is both politically infeasible and economically inferior to more complex and radical policy packages. But it is so blunt, and so revealing of the twin issues of inequality and climate change, that it is still a “useful utopia.”

One of the many things I admire about Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century is that it examines capital and inequality through an international lens. His proposed solution is thus global in scope — the institutions and political alliances needed to make any progress must to operate at the same level as (or higher than) other global regulatory, diplomatic, and public goods arrangements. Wealth inequality across the global population is a problem just as inequality between current and future generations is a problem, one that must be addressed at a transnational level.

I want to make the connection between some of Piketty’s arguments about climate policy and environmental economics concrete, just as people like Naomi Klein and Christian Parenti have linked climate issues to redistribution and inequality ...

Much more here: https://www.jacobinmag.com/2014/09/we-need-a-global-carbon-tax/

War against a foreign country -

Capitalism in Crosshairs

Capitalism in crosshairs as Socialism promoted at opening event of People’s Climate March

Panel member: 'A socialist world that will deliver a high standard of living for all.'

Bill McKibben: Climate change 'is the biggest problem that humans have ever been up against'

Naomi Klein: 'We are dealing with an existential terror'

Sen. Bernie Sanders: 'We all know what Fox TV does not know. Climate change is real.'

New York City – Socialism was praised and promoted to raucous applause by the hundreds in attendance at the People’s Climate March event on September 20, featuring organizer Bill McKibben, author Naomi Klein, socialist Seattle City Council member Kshama Sawant and socialist Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont. Update: Full Video of event available here.

The event, held at the Unitarian Church of All Souls, was titled “THE CLIMATE CRISIS: WHICH WAY OUT.” The event was permeated with socialist literature with the Socialist Alternative newspaper prominently on display.

Literature prevalent at the event.

When Kshama Sawant, a socialist who won a seat on the Seattle City Council, noted she was the first socialist elected in decades, the church erupted in applause.

“A socialist world that will deliver a high standard of living for all,” Sawant said to applause ...

Much more here: http://www.climatedepot.com/2014/09/21/capitalism-in-crosshairs-as-socialism-promoted-at-opening-event-of-people-climate-march/

Russell Brand and Inequality

I thought I'd put this here to add it to my journal. I know it's been posted on DU before but for anyone who hasn't seen it --

Scottish Independence - the communist perspective

Young Communist League calls on Scotland to vote No in referendum
Last Updated: Wednesday, 17 September 2014 Published Date

Young Scottish communists warned yesterday that workers would face a bleak future if the country voted to break away from Britain.

With tomorrow’s referendum too close to call, Young Communist League Scottish organiser Johnnie Hunter said that a vote for the SNP’s idea of independence would split the working class and leave Britain at risk of endless austerity.

“The SNP’s separatism is independence in name only and a trap for the working class,” he said.

“By retaining the pound, far from ridding ourselves of the Tories forever, we hand over monetary policy — and an effective veto over the Scottish government — to a now foreign and most likely Tory government.”

Mr Hunter said that the Young Communist League would continue to fight for a federal Britain — “a Scottish Parliament with powers to intervene economically for public ownership and a British government to redistribute power and wealth.” ...

More here: http://www.scottishcommunists.org.uk/

The Promise of Socialist Feminism

The Promise of Socialist Feminism
by Johanna Brenner ~ 9/18/14

Decades removed from the heady days of feminism’s “second wave” in the United States, it is distressing to acknowledge that the movement’s revolutionary moment is a dim memory, while key aspects of liberal feminism have been incorporated into the ruling class agenda. Liberal feminist ideas have been mobilized to support a range of neoliberal initiatives, including austerity, imperial war, and structural adjustment.

It is undoubtedly important to understand how this occurred. But some recent explanations offered by feminist scholars point us in an unfortunate direction. These writers argue that second-wave feminism, with its overemphasis on legal rights and paid work as a route to equality, unwittingly paved the way for neoliberalism. It is comforting to think that radical feminists had this level of control over the outcome of our struggles. For, were it true, we could now correct our mistakes, change our ideas, and regain our revolutionary footing.

I want to make a different argument: Liberal feminism’s partial incorporation into the neoliberal economic, political, cultural, and social order is better explained by the emergence of a regime of capital accumulation that has fundamentally restructured economies in both the global north and the global south.

< snip >

In addition, the political discourses and organizing strategies of twenty-first century socialist feminism are a resource for a struggling left. People have a sense that the old forms of left politics will not do. In this search for alternatives, socialist feminism has much to offer ...

Much more here: https://www.jacobinmag.com/2014/09/the-promise-of-socialist-feminism/

38 countries which have outlawed corporal punishment -


In the following 38 states, children are protected by law from all corporal punishment (most recent first):

Bolivia (2014)

Brazil (2014)

Malta (2014)

Honduras (2013)

TFYR Macedonia (2013)

South Sudan (2011)

Albania (2010)

Congo, Republic of (2010)

Kenya (2010)

Tunisia (2010)

Poland (2010)

Liechtenstein (2008)

Luxembourg (2008)

Republic of Moldova (2008)

Costa Rica (2008)

Togo (2007)

Spain (2007)

Venezuela (2007)

Uruguay (2007)

Portugal (2007)

New Zealand (2007)

Netherlands (2007)

Greece (2006)

Hungary (2005)

Romania (2004)

Ukraine (2004)

Iceland (2003)

Turkmenistan (2002)

Germany (2000)

Israel (2000)

Bulgaria (2000)

Croatia (1999)

Latvia (1998)

Denmark (1997)

Cyprus (1994)

Austria (1989)

Norway (1987)

Finland (1983)

Sweden (1979)

"The absence of violence in relations with children cannot be limited to a self-imposed obligation nor to a personal style of child-rearing practised by certain people. The absence of violence should be a norm respected by the whole of society, not only because even today too many children are the victims of acts of violence, but because children and their integrity as persons should be always and everywhere respected... Respect for children and violence against them can never go together. If one of the characteristics of a society which thinks of itself as civilised is the absence of violence, there can be no justification for violence against children".
Belgian Commission on sexual exploitation of children, 1997

US wealth gap putting the squeeze on state revenue

Wow - from the AP. Could it be that people in this country are finally deciding they don't want to be ruled by an elite group of billionaires who can live wherever they want? Maybe some folks are finally waking up ....

From Associated Press
September 15, 2014 10:32 AM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — Income inequality is taking a toll on state governments.

The widening gap between the wealthiest Americans and everyone else has been matched by a slowdown in state tax revenue, according to a report being released Monday by Standard & Poor's.

Even as income for the affluent has accelerated, it's barely kept pace with inflation for most other people. That trend can mean a double-whammy for states: The wealthy often manage to shield much of their income from taxes. And they tend to spend a lower percentage of it than others do, thereby limiting sales tax revenue.

As the growth of tax revenue has slowed, states have faced tensions over whether to raise taxes or cut spending to balance their budgets as required by law.

"Rising income inequality is not just a social issue," said Gabriel Petek, the S&P credit analyst who wrote the report. "It presents a very significant set of challenges for the policymakers."

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