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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

Bernie Rocks Iowa City (Photos)

Bernie Rocks Iowa City
January 30, 2016

IOWA CITY, Iowa – A blast-the-rafters concert and rally for nearly 5,000 fired-up Bernie Sanders backers capped a day of campaigning across Iowa on Saturday with just 48 hours to go before Iowa’s first-in-the-nation precinct caucuses kick off the process of picking a Democratic Party presidential nominee.

The concert – Sanders biggest crowd ever in Iowa – featured Vampire Weekend, Foster the People and other musical acts. Before, Sanders spoke to the University of Iowa audience about income and wealth inequality, the planetary crisis of global warming, making public colleges and universities tuition-free and other issues.

A new poll released on Saturday by The Des Moines Register and Bloomberg Politics showed Sanders’ come-from-nowhere candidacy had turned into a too-close-to call contest with Hillary Clinton, once the pundits’ presumptive nominee. The poll showed Clinton and Sanders in a virtual tie, a far cry from her 41-point lead when Sanders began his campaign eight months ago ...

From Bernie's web site: https://berniesanders.com/press-release/bernie-rocks-iowa-city/
From Sanders scores biggest crowd yet: http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/elections/presidential/caucus/2016/01/30/sanders-scores-biggest-crowd-yet-university-iowa/79582812/

Rosa Lives

"only through mass revolutionary democratic self-organization of the working class could capitalism be transcended"

Rosa Lives

The revolutionary thought of Rosa Luxemburg continues to inform and inspire anticapitalist movements today.
by Paul Buhle & Alec Hudson ~ 1/29/16

Rosa Luxemburg is an anomaly for the Marxist left. A revolutionary leader whose thought has been embraced by Marxist-Leninists, anarchists, and even anticommunist social democrats, her influence on political thought has increased in the era after the Cold War. Born in Warsaw to a middle-class Jewish family, she rose through the ranks of the burgeoning social-democratic movement in Germany.

After witnessing the 1905–7 revolutionary upheavals in the Russian Empire (which Poland was a part of at the time), she developed a staunchly anti-parliamentarian view of socialism, arguing that only through mass revolutionary democratic self-organization of the working class could capitalism be transcended.

Her revolutionary anti-parliamentarian views led not only to her leaving the German Social Democratic Party to help found the Spartacist League, but to her murder at the hands of right-wing paramilitaries working in the service of the elected Social Democratic government in January 1919.

In death Luxemburg came to be one of the most iconic and revered figures of the European left, a revolutionary whose thought was ahead of her time and which continues to drive movements to abolish capitalism ...

Much more here (mostly drawn from "Red Rosa": https://www.jacobinmag.com/2016/01/rosa-luxemburg-paul-buhle-clr-james-reform-revolution-german-spd/

Dr. Rand Paul on Twitter

This is actually on his page - Jan 25th. Think about it. lolol

Dr. Rand Paul Verified account
Can I get another 100 donors from Twitter tonight? We must defeat Socialism. Contribute $35, $11, or just $2!! http://cash.me/$RandPaul


The Bernie Coalition

In the past month, with Sanders’s strength in Iowa and New Hampshire stubbornly growing, commentators have finally begun to compare Sanders to an actual primary winner — Barack Obama.

In Iowa and New Hampshire, Barack Obama won over high-income liberals. Bernie Sanders’s campaign points in a different direction.
by Matt Karp ~ 1/28/16

As we barrel down the homestretch to the Iowa caucuses, left-wing poll-watchers everywhere should allow themselves a moment to enjoy the sound of professional pundits proven disastrously wrong.

“Hillary Clinton is the most dominant nonincumbent ever,” declared Slate’s John Dickerson, reporting from Iowa one year ago. “Democrats like Gov. Martin O’Malley and Sen. Bernie Sanders are making moves, but few local activists even pretend that they are serious challengers to Clinton.” Harry Enten, adopting the FiveThirtyEight house style of a precocious child reading statistics from the back of a baseball card, concluded last April that Clinton’s “path to the nomination looks easier than anything we’ve ever seen before.” Sanders, on the other hand, was “a self-described socialist” — a sufficient disqualification for Enten to spend less time contemplating his candidacy than the threat posed by Lincoln Chafee.

Now, in the week before voting begins, Sanders finds himself in the unlikely position of early-state frontrunner: polls show him neck-and-neck with Clinton in Iowa and far ahead of her in New Hampshire ...

More here: https://www.jacobinmag.com/2016/01/bernie-sanders-democratic-president-primary-new-hampshire-iowa-caucus/

Sanders’s achievement threatens to transform the internal dynamics within the Democratic Party.

Bernie in Wisconsin:

Any Cubicle (toon)

This is posted on Facebook this morning with the caption "If you could be in any cubicle, which one would it be?". Many comments about which kind of cubicle - the one near the window, the one next to an empty cubicle, etc.

My favorite comment is: "fuck your cubicle".

Bottom Line

There can be no greater indictment of a system and a government devoted to exalting the market as the highest virtue, and to treating citizens as nothing more than abstractions on a balance sheet. Detroit and Flint, taken together, lay bare a brutal fact — Michigan no longer seems to have any need for a large proportion of its children.

Flint’s Bottom Line

The Flint water crisis shows the human toll of running government like a business.
by John Patrick Leary 1-27-16

Of all the horrors that have emerged from the Flint lead-poisoning scandal — and they have only begun to unfold — January 12’s “Lead Testing and Family Fun Night” at Flint’s Freeman Elementary was comparatively minor. The perversely breezy advertising for the event promised a balloon artist, raffles, face painting, and blood tests for the kids. Tellingly, the Facebook event page was filled with anxious posts from parents worried about how much the lead test part of the festivities would cost.

The lead test was free, but the parents’ concern is easy to understand. Flint is one of the poorest cities in Michigan — a state run by Rick Snyder, a former computer executive turned politician. Snyder’s mission is to “reinvent Michigan” in the image of corporate America — a mission that often entails distributing public services to the wealthy on the backs of the poor.

For well over a year, the people of Flint — who pay some of the nation’s highest water rates (water bills rival the cost of rent) — drank and bathed in water that, officials now admit, was contaminated with lead and other toxic chemicals. Snyder has offered apologies but has been quick to blame the Flint water crisis on a failure of infrastructure — “government failed you,” he said, deftly pointing the finger at the same bureaucracies he has always campaigned against.

But the disaster in Flint isn’t a result of bureaucracy. It’s the deadly consequence of treating public goods as private commodities — an increasingly dominant feature of municipal life in America today ...

Much more here: https://www.jacobinmag.com/2016/01/flint-lead-water-crisis-michigan-snyder-emergency-contamination/

Rob Lowe not feeling the Bern -

Ha! Anytime an asshole like this is not happy we are going in the right direction. Any more rich folks want to complain about their taxes being raised??

Here's the story -

It looks like Rob Lowe is getting back into politics.

The one-time Republican senator and former Deputy White House Communications Director (all on TV, of course) got back to debating the important issues while watching the Democratic debate on Monday night.

Lowe took issue with Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders' verbal flair and his stance on taxes:

More here - http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/rob-lowe-bernie-sanders_us_56a7d59ae4b0b87beec64b3c

The Next Refugee Crisis

Left behind amid the deindustrialized post-socialist rustbelt are pools of increasingly unemployed, undereducated youth and frightened pensioners. It’s fertile ground for xenophobic populist reaction.

The Next Refugee Crisis

Climate change will displace millions within decades. But where will they go and how will governments receive them?
by Christian Parenti 1-26-16

Europe’s reaction to the recent influx of refugees does not bode well for the future of liberal democracy in a world where climate change will force far more people to migrate. Across the continent xenophobic, right-wing populist parties are on the rise while even mainstream parties are pushing policies of aggressive policing, surveillance, and militarized borders.

Projecting climate-driven displacement forward with any accuracy is tricky. Estimates of how many people might be on the move, when, and under which emissions scenarios vary widely.

The Stern Review in 2006 cited estimates that climate change, by unleashing rising sea levels, more frequent floods, and more intense droughts, could displace 150 to 200 million people by the middle of the century. A year later, the NGO Christian Aid predicted that, “on current trends, a further 1 billion people will be forced from their homes between now and 2050.” The United Nations Development Programme’s 2007–8 Human Development Report estimated 330 million people will be displaced if there are global temperature increases of 3 to 4°C ...

More here: https://www.jacobinmag.com/2016/01/refugees-europe-merkel-germany-migrants-france-emergency/

Snow Days

And gutting public infrastructure wasn’t the only way that neoliberalism brought out the worst that the winter storms had to offer. It was also the speed-up at work, the shredding of social safety nets, and the fracturing and atomization of communities. All of these factors combined to leave people tired, frustrated, isolated, scared, and cold.

Snow Days Under Socialism
What would winter look like in a world where human needs trumped private profits?
by Owen Hill 1-23-16

Last winter, my home of Portland, Maine was transformed into an eight-week nightmare of parking bans, dangerously low temperatures, and the churning burden of just making it through each day.

It may seem a trivial challenge — lots of snow — but E. J. Graft got it right in a New York Times article titled “Boston’s winter from hell”:

[F]or those of us living here, it’s not a pretty picture. We are being devastated by a slow-motion natural disaster of historic proportions. The disaster is eerily quiet. There are no floating bodies or vistas of destroyed homes. But there’s no denying that this is a catastrophe.

Notably, more than just the snow, it was the storms’ intersection with neoliberalism that made the winter so unbearable. As Dana Mittenbacher pointed out at Socialist Worker, Boston experienced a near-total collapse of public transportation. This collapse was a direct result of decades of underfunding, budget cuts, and free-marketization that left infrastructure weak and vulnerable ...

More here: https://www.jacobinmag.com/2016/01/blizzard-snow-storm-northeast-socialism-capitalism/

Fix Flint NOW

(TBF Note: If this were Grosse Point we would not be having this conversation. And, no, I'm not going to stop talking about it.)

The agency, like the state, cannot restore credibility unless it moves aggressively to repair the damage that Flint residents are living with.

NYTimes Sunday Review | Editorial
Fix Flint’s Water System, Now

The conditions on the ground in Flint still do not seem to have sunk in at the Michigan statehouse. Thousands of residents are still relying on trucked-in water, as if they were in a war-zone refugee camp, while worrying that their children may suffer developmental and other health problems from a water system poisoned by lead. Gov. Rick Snyder has been busy apologizing, but the tiny steps he is taking to repair the damage shrink beside the urgency of the problem.

The challenge now is to replace the corroded pipes or perhaps the whole water system in this city of nearly 100,000 as quickly as it can be done. The cost may reach $1 billion or more, but that cannot stand in the way of moving forward to make the city fit for habitation. No Americans should have to live with poisoned water that is a direct result of the government’s decisions and neglect ...

More here: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/24/opinion/sunday/fix-flints-water-system-now.html?ribbon-ad-idx=5&rref=opinion&module=Ribbon&version=context®ion=Header&action=click&contentCollection=Opinion&pgtype=article

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