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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

Trotsky on Ukraine

The Editors 3 March 2014

Trotsky on ‘The Ukrainian Question’ in Socialist Appeal, 22 April 1939 (via Counterpunch):

The Ukrainian question, which many governments and many “socialists” and even “communists” have tried to forget or to relegate to the deep strongbox of history, has once again been placed on the order of the day and this time with redoubled force…

In the conception of the old Bolshevik party Soviet Ukraine was destined to become a powerful axis around which the other sections of the Ukrainian people would unite. It is indisputable that in the first period of its existence Soviet Ukraine exerted a mighty attractive force, in national respects as well, and aroused to struggle the workers, peasants, and revolutionary intelligentsia of Western Ukraine enslaved by Poland. But during the years of Thermidorian reaction, the position of Soviet Ukraine and together with it the posing of the Ukrainian question as a whole changed sharply. The more profound the hopes aroused, the keener was the disillusionment. The bureaucracy strangled and plundered the people within Great Russia, too. But in the Ukraine matters were further complicated by the massacre of national hopes. Nowhere did restrictions, purges, repressions and in general all forms of bureaucratic hooliganism assume such murderous sweep as they did in the Ukraine in the struggle against the powerful, deeply-rooted longings of the Ukrainian masses for greater freedom and independence ...


The question of the fate of the Ukraine has been posed in its full scope. A clear and definite slogan is necessary that corresponds to the new situation. In my opinion there can be at the present time only one such slogan: A united, free and independent workers’ and peasants’ Soviet Ukraine.

Read the entire article here: http://www.lrb.co.uk/blog/2014/03/03/the-editors/trotsky-on-ukraine/#sthash.wUVCCUs1.dpuf

Ukraine (Socialist Progressives Group)

Bringing this over via a poster named "Comrade" who wrote an interesting post re Ukraine at another forum I frequent. This is beyond the resistance party, departing president, and all of that. He thinks a split may be happening in Ukraine and explains the breakdown.

He posits the following:

1, the Western Ukraine (technically northwestern on the map) is heavily pro-EU/pro-NATO.

2, the southern and eastern regions are heavily pro-Russia.

3, the central area (technically north-central on the map) is probably 50/50.

Around half of the country’s population lives in the south and the east, so most of the country's total population is pro-Russia. However, the problem is that, as far as I know, the Party of Regions and the Communist Party only have combined majorities in the regional governments in the south and east (the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the Donetsk, Kharkov, Lugansk, Zaporozhia, Dnyepropetrovsk, Odessa, Nikolayev, and Kherson oblasts). So when the country breaks up it will probably only be the eastern and southern oblasts that form the new pro-Russia country.

Here is a map of the Ukraine from Wikipedia, the blue areas will likely form a new pro-Russia country and be free from NATO and the EU:

The headlines on CNN this morning:

1. Ukraine's Parliament votes unanimously to remove President Viktor Yanukovych from office.

2. Venezuela's Maduro wants talks with Obama


Coolest mayor in the country - Part II

A lot of folks viewed my initial post about the mayor of San Antonio and his latest sports bet - so I thought I'd update.

This is the Facebook status update from a few days ago:

Mayor Julián Castro (Feb 10):
A couple of months ago, I visited Lanier High School to encourage the students to work hard and aim for college. One of the students in the audience asked if I'd paint my hair yellow if the boys basketball team made it to the playoffs. I said sure. Little did I know. Tonight is the last game of the regular season. Looks like the Voks will make the playoffs, and I'll be going blonde. Glad to celebrate the success of our city's young people. Go Voks!

Here is the update tonight:

Mayor Julián Castro - about an hour ago
I made a promise to a Lanier High School student that if their basketball team made the playoffs, I'd go blonde. So here it is. Looks silly, I know. But, I hope our city's young folks will take two things from this. First, always keep your word. Second, you have an entire community of San Antonians who care about you and will always support your success on the court and in the classroom. Go Voks!

The coolest mayor in the country --

Check out the mayor of San Antonio - who is an avid sports fan (and I really hope the Voks win so we can see him as a blonde!)

Mayor Julián Castro
37 minutes ago
A couple of months ago, I visited Lanier High School to encourage the students to work hard and aim for college. One of the students in the audience asked if I'd paint my hair yellow if the boys basketball team made it to the playoffs. I said sure. Little did I know. Tonight is the last game of the regular season. Looks like the Voks will make the playoffs, and I'll be going blonde. Glad to celebrate the success of our city's young people. Go Voks!

We need more folks like Kenny in this world.

Great story in Houston today --

Houston-area mentor pays delinquent lunch accounts for more than 60 kids
Author: Keith Garvin, Anchor/Reporter, kgarvin@kprc.com
Published On: Feb 04 2014 10:10:05 PM CST Updated On: Feb 05 2014 10:33:15 AM CST

In his 10 years as a mentor and tutor, a local man has always done his best to meet the needs of the students in his life.

That's exactly what Kenny Thompson did Monday when he learned that some children at Houston's Valley Oaks Elementary School who had negative balances on their lunch accounts were receiving different lunches than the other kids: cold cheese sandwiches instead of a full tray of food.

He was spurred to take action after hearing last week that dozens of Utah students, whose accounts were delinquent, had their lunches taken and thrown away.

"I'm like, 'Wow. I know that's probably a situation at my school, and the school my son goes to, and the other schools I mentor at.' So I came in and inquired about it," Thompson said.

He not only inquired about it, Thompson learned that many of the kids were already on reduced lunch. Children whose parents couldn't afford the meals that cost just 40 cents a day. He took $465 of his own money and zeroed out the delinquent accounts of more than 60 kids ...

More here: http://www.click2houston.com/news/houstonarea-mentor-pays-delinquent-lunch-accounts-of-more-than-60-kids/-/1735978/24297388/-/1497csxz/-/index.html

Safe Passage Pete Seeger -

thank you for all that you did

A 137-Mile ‘Cycling Utopia’ Floating Above London’s Rail Lines

I wasn't sure where to post this article - but perhaps this group would be amenable.

From Wired online this morning ...

A 137-Mile ‘Cycling Utopia’ Floating Above London’s Rail Lines
By Damon Lavrinc 01.03.14 6:30 AM

Cars, buses, and rogue pedestrians are all conspiring against cyclists in congested cities, forever running them down, scaring them silly or simply getting in the way. It’s something designer Norman Foster — an avid rider — hopes to alleviate with a dedicated biking highway built above London’s rail lines.

The purely hypothetical but nevertheless amazing SkyCycle would stretch 137 miles in and around the city, accommodating as many as 12,000 riders per hour on a cycling superhighway 50 feet wide. The dream calls for 200 on- and off-ramps which, according to Foster + Partners’ estimates, means nearly 6 million people will live or work within 10 minutes of an entrance. Without all those cars to weave around and lights to stop for, travel times to and from work would be reduced by up to 29 minutes.

“SkyCycle is a lateral approach to finding space in a congested city,” says Foster. “By using the corridors above the suburban railways, we could create a world-class network of safe, car-free cycle routes that are ideally located for commuters.”

Putting aside the cost and difficulty of building a 137-mile highway above a working railroad — a point the folks at Foster + Partners sidestepped entirely — we will note that such a highway would be bike-friendly. The railway lines were built for steam trains, so the grades are minimal; the lines follow the natural contours of the land; and — most importantly — the space above them is underutilized, particularly in industrial areas. And according to the proposal, the elevated bike paths are also cheaper to build compared to traditional roads and tunnels. Not that there’s any space for new asphalt to begin with.

“SkyCycle is an urban cycling solution for London,” says Oli Clark, who brought the idea to Foster over two years ago. “[It's] a cycling utopia, with no buses, no cars and no stress.”

More here ... http://www.wired.com/autopia/2014/01/skycycle/?cid=16576154

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