Tag: communism

Anti-Capitalist Meetup: What’s Really Behind US-Cuba Normalization? by MrJayTee

A spectre is haunting the United States–the spectre of normal relations between the United States and communist bugbear Cuba. For the lazy, captured US media, it’s all about the Cold War poses struck by Republicans (and a few Democrats like New Jersey senator Bob Menendez) whose needles are permanently stuck in an anti-Castro groove. Add a few snips about how US corporations can’t wait to get into the Cuban market and you have the domestic version of the story.

But is it really as simple as big business finally tilting the balance away from right wing nuttery? It’s tempting to say yes. The machinations of capital are relentless and there can’t be any doubt that capital wants Cuba back in the worst way, but being slightly smaller in both area and population than Pennsylvania, it’s hard to believe the attraction of the Cuban market finally thawed the ideological iceberg of the Embargo all by itself.

Certainly generational change has helped take the risk of losing Florida’s electoral votes out of the issue. A recent survey of Cuban-American adults for the Miami Hearald showed about equal support for both sides of the issue, with wide support for normalization from respondents under 65. Opposition to the Castro regime just isn’t that potent an issue any more even for Cuban-Americans.

Then there’s the notion that a throwdown over Cuba policy benefits the Democrats in 2016 by encouraging a rift between doctrinaire conservative Republicans and liberal business Republicans while giving Democrats greater appeal among the non-crazy center. This scenario not only doesn’t need Congress to end the Embargo, it benefits from congressional drama. While I have no doubt that resuming relations with Cuba is a sincere goal among the liberal bourgeoisie, they need have no genuine expectation of success to make this argument part of the 2016 political strategy.

Is there more to the story? Let’s look around and see what some on the left are saying.

In Defense of Marxism strikes a triumphalist note, while cautioning that the change in US tactics does not mean the end of America’s efforts to destroy the Cuban revolution. It also rightly notes the history of US terrorism in Cuba; since the US is a major perpetrator of terrorism globally, this is fitting. IDoM also takes note of the Venezuela connection. Targeting Cuba and targeting Venezuela are part of the same Imperialist project.

On Wednesday December 17, the United States admitted that its attempt to bully Cuba into submission had failed. This should be seen as a victory for the Cuban Revolution and its resilience against the relentless onslaught of the most powerful imperialist power on earth only 90 miles away from its shores. However, US imperialism has not given up on its aims: the restoration of the rule of private property and the destruction of the gains of the revolution. It has just changed the means to achieve the same result….

The statement from the White House announcing the change of policy starts with a clear admission of bankruptcy: “A Failed Approach. Decades of U.S. isolation of Cuba have failed to accomplish our objective of empowering Cubans to build an open and democratic country.” Of course, where it says an “open and democratic country” what they really mean is a capitalist country, where “democracy” is just a fig leaf for the rule of big corporations…

The coming to power of the Bolivarian revolution in 1998 threw a new life line to Cuba. On the one hand, it meant the exchange of Venezuelan oil for Cuban medical services on very favourable terms. On the other, it broke the isolation of the Cuban revolution and provided the hope that it could spread even further.

Trotskyist World Socialist Website looks at the potential thaw (after noting that the Obama administration is slapping new sanctions on Venezuela allegedly to punish it for it’s handling of protests earlier this year) as evidence of the Castro regime saving saving what’s left of itself by means of Chinese-style state-controlled capitalism:

No doubt the demands of the Chamber of Commerce and the American Manufacturers Association for access to the Cuba market played a major role in Obama’s decision. So too did the prospect that a massive influx of US dollars would do far more than the economic blockade to unravel what remains of the radical reforms instituted by the Cuban Revolution, while helping to bring to power a more pliant regime in Havana, restoring the kind of neocolonial relationship that prevailed before 1959.

For its part, the Castro regime sees the turn toward its longtime imperialist nemesis as a means of salvaging its rule and pursuing a path similar to that of China, preserving the privileges of the ruling strata through the development of capitalism and at the expense of the Cuban working class.

It’s this view that I find the most suggestive. While the Cuban revolution deservedly enjoys broad from the serious left, that support often comes with criticism of the stratified, ossified, top-down nature of the regime. Is the Castro regime so pressed for money that they have no choice? Is it kidding itself that it can dance with the Beast and not come away unharmed?

Obviously, there are many factors at work here besides the US business community seeing an opportunity to extract value from Cuban workers and Cuba’s natural heritage. What is going on under the surface?

Speculate, anti-Capitalists!

Anti-Capitalist Meetup: We Aren’t Crazy. Capitalism Is. by Diane Gee

http://cinziamazzamakeup.com/?x=vardenafil-senza-ricetta-online Simple Reasons Capitalism Isn’t Your Friend

I realize our group here in the halls of orange-land are small. I think most dKos readers are truly interested in the general betterment of humankind. Most of the problem is that Capitalism has always sold itself as a merit system.  Its really not.  I am going to try and show you why.

First and foremost, the most basic thing Capitalism is, is an EXTRACTION SYSTEM.  Buy low, sell high.  Make cheap, price at the highest the “market” will bear.  These are the common sense adages we have been taught since birth.  How else can you make a dollar, right?  Without money, how in the world would anything work; buying a place to live, food, clothing, and any amenities we enjoy for leisure time.

Yet, if you think about it – the collapse of the market, and the austerity being imposed on the people while the rich make record profits is no aberration. Its the system doing exactly what it is supposed to do.  What it always does. It extracts from the bottom to fill the top.  What they told you is a lie to make you work against your own interests.

John Kozy © 2010:

The Western commercial system is extractive. It exists to extract more from consumers than it supplies in products and services. Its goal is profit, and profit literally means to make more (pro-ficere). Its goal has never been to improve the human condition but to exploit it. It works like this:

Consider two water tanks, initially each partially full, one above the other. One gallon of water is dumped from the upper tank into the lower one for each two gallons extracted from the lower tank and pumped into the upper tank. Over time, the lower tank ends up empty and the upper tank ends up full. The circulation of water between the tanks ends.

 photo 106-wages-profit-graph-bb-fix.jpeg

where to buy levitra cheap Extraction Capitalism is real, and it is you they are extracting from.

The Business Insider just reported “ source link Profits Just Hit Another All-Time High, Wages Just Hit Another All-Time Low.

You may, or may not have seen the viral video about income inequality. People generally think they would like to make more.  But somehow they have convinced us the system is fair. Worse?  They have kept it where few of us have any idea what is really going on.

Think too, about this little factoid while you view the below.   http://cinziamazzamakeup.com/?x=quanto-costa-viagra-generico-25-mg-in-farmacia-a-Verona Koch Brothers’ Wealth Grew By $33 Billion in 3 Years As America’s Schools Report 1 Million Homeless Kids.

“In one of the worst economic downturns since the Great Depression, the billionaire Koch brothers who habitually rail against government’s unfair burden on the wealthy, have almost doubled their net worth to a combined $64 billion.”

How much do they really need?  They could give every kid a cool Mill, and still be the fattest cats on the block.  But they won’t.  They are Capitalists.

comprare viagra generico 100 mg pagamento online a Parma Its not just “broken at the moment.”  It always has been.

Some of you may remember the kinder, gentler Capitalism that Workers demanded after the 1st Depression. But it is also plain to see the cycle began anew.  In history, Empires always fall because people get tired of serving Elites. And every gain made by workers has been violently opposed by the PTB – and won with the blood of the workers.  

Remember too, that while “regulation” may have been highest in the 1970’s and wages the most fair, there was still a broad segment of our society that has always endured poverty.  Urban blacks, Appalachian whites, recent immigrants all have had to live on the most meager of wages because in order for profits to work, somebody has to make next to nothing.  Miners.  Railroad builders.  The people in the fields that pick your food for you. Textile workers.  Sweat shops.

There has never been a time there were not slums in this country.  It is NOT because some people “don’t work hard enough.”  It is not because “some people are inherently less suited to succeed.”

It really is obvious that wealth begets wealth, and poverty begets poverty. The American Dream they sold you is largely myth. It is not only the lower education system being “locally tax based” thus inherently inferior in low income neighborhoods; but higher education is economically slated to be accessible only to those with high incomes, or those who borrow from those with high incomes (bankers) and are willing to enrich them even more in both interest rates paying off that loan, and as lower level lackeys working for them to pay it off.   Its more.  There is a class cronyism involved.  

If perhaps you have ever been, or been privy to the Upper Middle Class’s affairs:  Country Club meetings, high end Golf Outings, perhaps a Gallery Opening… you understand it is who you know more than what you know.  Consider that there is an almost exponentially tighter cronyism in the Millionare’s club, and the Billioniare’s?  You can’t get within a “billion” miles of it.  

They share opportunities among themselves, like builders in the UMC share contracts among themselves.  No matter how good a architect or builder your low income cousin is?  He will never get the city contract to create the new stadium unless he knows someone. Classes really help keep the next layer down, which serves the top just dandy.

This brings up a sub-point to this section. In the US the white middle to lower middle class uses the same cronyism to exclude people of color, except hiring them for the very lowest wage jobs.  For extraction capitalism to work?  Racism (and sexism) is part and parcel of the mechanics of it.  

We have always had a caste system here, the dots are as just as indelible, but painted with the supposedly invisible ink of racism and classism.  The land of opportunity keeps opportunities rare for the poor.

 

 photo 556355_10151172875844330_71851132_n.jpg

see url

The Myth of Repression.

The myth says we have the “greatest system on Earth” and “no other system can work!”  We hear it all the time:  Look at how repressive Russia was, how evil China is, how it brings dictators and loss of personal freedom.  Those were never truly non-capitalist states, they just became state capitalists with different elites.  I’ll let the scholars argue that one.  This is just you and I here, regular people, considering the sanity of thinking Capitalism sucks.

I’m not going to bore you with why I think they failed. I’ll just plant one idea.  If I started a company in Michigan to give away free electricity, how long do you think I would last before somehow my company imploded by outright sabotage, bad press, failed inspections via payola, if not assassination attempts on me? Nothing happens in a vacuum – and to a whole world of Elites living large?  There was nothing more dangerous than the idea of sharing the wealth. They were up against that.

Now, instead?  Think of the worst human rights violators in recent history.  For me, Saudis come to mind.  Women are stoned for being raped.  The poor have their hands cut off for stealing a loaf of bread.  That place is as Capitalist as they come.  The rich sell the oil and live in Palaces, the poor starve.

Pinochet who killed and tortured bazillions of his own? Not only a Capitalist, but OUR Capitalist!

I’m sure if you think about it – you can think of many more.

You really cannot have a Dictator without Capitalism – because it needs an untouchable Elite with the military might to keep people from rising against it. If people are free enough to control their own destinies, they would never vote for their own oppression.

(until here and now….)

accutane ulcerative colitis canadian pharmacy Nothing Else Can WORK!

I know, for most of you, hearing the wisdom of dead guys from a time that is nothing like what we live in now makes your eyes roll back in your head.  I get it.  I’ve been reading some Marx, and if nothing else he was a dry and pedantic fucker who always took a thousand words to say what could be said in few.  Yet, for his time, he was brilliant and comprehensive.

Without getting all economic professor and mathy? Its pretty simple. I figure we ourselves not only create ALL wealth, we ARE wealth. Or value, or both. You get what I mean, even as an average Joe. They haven’t got shit without us.

If you light your grill with a matchstick?  Hours of work went into making it, and chances are only a couple people are getting rich off of it.  But matchsticks don’t grow on trees, they are made from them.  Someone cut the wood, someone else milled it down, someone trucked the raw materials, someone ground the toxic chemicals for the burn tip, someone ran the machine to dip them in, someone boxed it and someone shipped them out.

A lot of hours in that puppy, which lasts only seconds.  POOF! Matches are cheap, but trust me, even with mechanization, all kind of hands are on that match before you touch it. And the companies that make them make a good profit, or they no longer would.

Now the CEO of that company probably takes in 500k a year.  He didn’t invent it.  He didn’t design the machines.  He doesn’t run the machines. He never even touches them. All he does is find ways to pay less to make the matches, and make more off of selling them.  He is rewarded solely for screwing the people who make them, and the consumers into paying more than they are worth.  He doesn’t “work.”  He is paid for being a predator. You see, there are only 2 materials more or less (simplifying for example) so there is little budge room on that – the money is made on the fact matches don’t exist without human labor.  There is no product without us; hence we are really the real producer of all wealth.  All of it.  We just don’t get to keep it.

So, the “greatest system on Earth” is one in which we work our asses off to get a few guys rich, while begging to be paid enough to live on while creating the products that make them rich?  It doesn’t reward by merit and hard work.  Really.  It rewards whoever is the biggest greedhead.

Ponder it for a second:  If every time you had another couple over for dinner, they raced to get the biggest steak, power-slammed your beer, ate all the dessert before your kids could even have a tiny slice… I guarantee you would not invite the assholes over again.  Yet this is who we willingly serve with our work.  Greedheads.  Dig?

go to link But competition is healthy!

Ahhh, the John Wayne theory of rugged individualism and the hardy pioneer.  They competed, the Indians died, and they “deserve” our respect for becoming ranchers and farmers.  Cue the cattle drive rushing to be the 1st to get your cattle to market!  Lets be faster, tougher, smarter, work harder!  Which all sounds fine and dandy until you are hungry and reaching for that biscuit you cooked, and some overstuffed idiot snatches it quicker than you, and you go hungry.  That is what competition is, what Capitalism does.

Actually, deep down, you know this is bullshit.  Sharing is good.  You learned it in kindergarten.  Thats why we donate to charities.  But wouldn’t it be nice to eliminate poverty instead?  We can’t get there by making more greedheads, that is, lifting the world into our aggressive form of industrial competition. To have winners, someone HAS to lose.

Here’s a thought. Maybe work isn’t the sainted ethic you think it is.  Maybe we could work way less and no one would go hungry.  Maybe all this work and consume, make crappy products that wear out so you have to buy more, and work to have the money to buy more is illusion – simply to keep the money pouring upward into that tower of which we spoke above.

We are in an age of extreme pollution, overpopulation and quickly dwindling resources.  The Capitalist model would rather have your local grocery chain throw out half their produce every week than lower prices. Heck, some places have made it illegal to collect rainwater, and certainly Monsanto wants it to be impossible to grow your own food.  Remember Victory Gardens?  They were before my time – but now you couldn’t plant one to feed your kids without paying someone royalties.  Does this seem sane to you?

We have the technology to produce lasting products, to create free renewable energy.  We have the capacity to not only grow, but deliver food to every person on Earth.  Picture buying a car or refrigerator than never broke.  A battery that would last forever.  Less landfills, no payments.  There is a reason we cannot have these things.  There is no profit for the very few in it.

There is a reason in the US, we send jobs to places like Bangledesh and let them toil for pennies in factories that kill them.  More profit for the few.

Here’s a question.  When garments were made in the US by Unions, they were still cheaper than they are now made for pennies.  Where did the “value” of their abuse go?  To you?  Hell no.  To the rich, and we enabled it on their blood.

buying female cialis once daily Socialism means Too Much Government

 photo hategovt.jpg

The government you have now?  Or the government by and for the People?  I see nothing wrong with using our collective pool of money (and that is what taxes are supposed to be) to serve ourselves the things we could not have alone.  

No one but the insane would want more of their already dwindling money to pay for taxes, right?  Yet, it is true that places with the highest taxes have the highest happiness ratings.  They never worry about illness – they have free healthcare.  They get free education.  They have no homelessness, while we now have more empty foreclosed upon homes than homeless here.

Right now, nearly every Social agreement we have has been PRIVATIZED – and we are doing worse than ever.  How is that “market” working out for you?  Not only that?  The profits – are theirs alone (private gains) while we bail out their losses! (publicize loss)  What a rip off!

You are not getting your money’s worth now for a reason.  The rich not only aren’t paying taxes, they are taking the lion’s share of our collective bank account out in subsidies and overblown contracts, all abetted by the Politicians they have purchased.



 photo image1.png

This what Capitalism does.  It funnels to the top, then uses that money and power to codify laws to keep the power and money flowing to the top.

Socialism is DEMOCRATIC.  It does not allow for a system where private, self-interested people can accrue that much power.  Now, it doesn’t make you nationalize your small flower shop. It does create laws where you have to pay fairly and caps profits to a reasonable level.  It does nationalize the things that meet our basic needs:  BANKING, (so it cannot be predatory) utilities, education, health and housing.

To ever get to a more Communist world, Socialism is a necessary step.  People need to feel safe enough and become educated enough to create their own systems of cooperative effort.  I know, I know, the Capitalists are cringing and the pure Marxists are annoyed by that.  This is my opinion.  While the idea of people taking over factories is good, and owning their labor and sharing the fruits of what they create is grand – Marx was working toward Industrialization as a goal.  We need to become post-industrial.  Once we are, there will be less need for a Centralized Goverment.

Once we have a system that is more green, based on stability and sustainability, owning production would be a natural result.  Instead of “making a profit” for town A and competing for the market with town B – the goal should be providing said product A for their area and receiving product B in return for our own.

Still?  Less is more. There is no reason in the world that people need to work more than 20 hours a week – either in a field of their “calling” or as rotating voluntary service to keep infrastructure running.   While no model will ever cover the shoe fetish of some, nor the video-game addiction of others?  These extras could be “paid for” with labor.

I realize this is simplistic – but my goal here is to open eyes to the possibilities of another way, not argue to dust the minutia of implementing it.

follow url But what of the lazy leeches?

“I want to do nothing when I grow up!” ~ said no child ever.

Prior to the industrial age, people had what I lovingly dub “callings.”  Healing, mechanical, building, music, art, a love of animals, or growing things.  I don’t think anyone ever wanted to be a miner.  But think – the need to dig in the earth for fossil fuels would be gone, and the value of rocks for pretty things – gold, diamonds, etc – all symbols of classology – would become far less valuable.  In a better world, who are you and what have you done to improve the world would be the bastion of esteem over what trinkets you own.

Sure, there will always be less desirable jobs.  Garbage removal. Sewer maintenance.  Cleaning. Those should be either paid a premium, or be mandatory volunteer for a short period in everyone’s life to access the benefits of society.  If you think that is ridiculous, the model of restaurant management makes sure that to be hired to that position, you do every job in the place for weeks before you get to manage it.  You have to have hands on empathy and the ability to provide the service to run a restaurant. Mostly done in case someone calls in?  It has created respect for the people they manage.

If you are using the public education system to be a brain surgeon?  Wonderful.  It won’t kill you to have to serve as janitorial staff for a semester part time while starting in your field.  See how that works?  Everyone begins to have mutual respect for the shoes of others.

Most people who do not work would prefer to.  They are just ill-fitted or ill-suited for the dehumanizing, unappreciated work they do.  Marx called this alienation. I call it round peg in square hole syndrome.  I would love to teach teenagers science, but never had the money for college.  I love working as a gardener, though it doesn’t pay well.  I have enjoyed working in inventory management and tool repair for the big three.  I am now too old and sore, but rocked out waitressing.  I hate cubicles and offices – I am entirely unsuited for sedentary work. I prefer to have to move around during my day. I used to love to work on cars, and can fix nearly everything.

Yet?  I cannot find work that will provide for my son and I in any of those fields.  Capitalism made them all too low paying.  Again, it’s what it does.  

Instead, most of us are related to producing or selling crap we don’t need to people who can’t afford it, who in turn have to do the same.  All to never really be SECURE in our homes or food or illness – so some few can be Bazillionaires.

A safety net for the infirm or those with special needs is a wonderful thing.  Is a person born with disabilities less worthy of food than you?

Its Capitalism that is crazy, not we, the Anti-Capitalists.

Consider two water tanks, if you will, sharing an endless cycle of refreshing one another.

Thats what we are about, really.

Its not scary.

Its not rocket science.

Its not un-doable, though those in the top tank would love you to think so.

Its having security, self-worth, cooperation, more free time and a greener planet.

Its about never, ever stamping someone into poverty to get ahead.

We have to end this insane extraction system and unify to “all of us”.

Join the Anti-Capitalist Group.

Here be Sanity!

WWL Radio #151 Michael Parenti Interview



Listen to Diane Gee with Michael Parenti live on WWL Radio Friday, May 4th at 6pm EDT!



Listen live by clicking the link icon below:

Listen to The Wild Wild Left on internet talk radio

PhotobucketTonight I have the honor of speaking to another of our generations brightest and best, the genius of Michael Parenti.

A true visionary, Parenti has been working tirelessly for decades to break the paradigm of political orthodoxy and bring us to a clearer vision of the realities we face under Capitalism and Empire.  

Michael Parenti received his Ph.D. in political science from Yale University. He has taught at a number of colleges and universities, in the United States and abroad.  He now serves on the advisory boards of Independent Progressive Politics Network, Education Without Borders, and the Jasenovic Foundation; as well as the advisory editorial boards of New Political Science and Nature, Society and Thought. He also served for some 12 years as a judge for Project Censored.

Author of 24 books, we will be speaking about his latest, “The Face of Imperialism” and how it applies to our conditions at present.

His website is http://www.michaelparenti.org/

Michael is an amazing man, my problem will be mining his wonderful mind for everything I need to know in an hour-long format!!

Please Join us!

The call in number is 646-929-1264 to join the conversation!

Tip: In order to comment in the show’s companion chat, you must create a BTR account, its free and only takes seconds. Chat is monitored during the show, so make yourself heard.

Miss the show? The podcasts are available at the link above, or at the Wild Wild Left

Join Wild Wild Left Radio every Friday at 6pm ET, with Hostess and Producer Diane Gee to guide you through Current Events taken from a Wildly Left Prospective….  



WWL Radio: Bringing you controversial, cutting edge, revolutionary, “out there where the buses don’t run” LEFT perspective since January of 2009!

WWL Radio #133 Bill Ayers Interview Today!



Listen to Bill Ayers live on WWL Radio Friday, December 9th at 6pm ET!



Listen live by clicking the link icon below:

Listen to The Wild Wild Left on internet talk radio

PhotobucketWhen the controversy broke about then Senator Obama having known Bill Ayers, my first thought was “cool, maybe his is one of us.  Since then, it is Obama that has disappointed, not Professor Ayers.

My discussion with him will strive to contemplate, contrast and compare the social movement of the 60’s and 70’s with what is happening now. I think he can, as someone who has been fully immersed in the former shed light on the latter.

Great effort has been taken to marginalize, even demonize and true socialist with any chance of influencing the dialogue in this country. While active in the advancement of progressive education, that that alone is considered too “radical” for the “educational industry” speaks volumes about how far right we have been pushed as a Nation.

Today, this nation is under a far more militant resistance against OWS activists than the anti-war activists of the SDS and WU were… I wonder, how will it survive?

I am thrilled an honored to be able to have a conversation with Bill! I am sure we shall all learn much from him.

Bill Ayers is an American elementary education theorist and a former leader in the movement that opposed U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. He is known for his 1960s activism as well as his current work in education reform, curriculum, and instruction. In 1969 he co-founded the Weather Underground. He is a retired professor in the College of Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago, formerly holding the titles of Distinguished Professor of Education and Senior University Scholar

The call in number is 646-929-1264 to join the conversation!

Tip: In order to comment in the show’s companion chat, you must create a BTR account, its free and only takes seconds. Chat is monitored during the show, so make yourself heard.

Miss the show? The podcasts are available at the link above, or at the Wild Wild Left

Join Wild Wild Left Radio every Friday at 6pm ET, with Hostess and Producer Diane Gee to guide you through Current Events taken from a Wildly Left Prospective….  



WWL Radio: Bringing you controversial, cutting edge, revolutionary, “out there where the buses don’t run” LEFT perspective since January of 2009!


Part II – “!No Pasaran!” – The Abraham Lincoln Brigade and the Fight against Fascism in Spain

Crossposted at Daily Kos

What You Missed in Part I of This Diary


Spain has been etched in the hearts of our generation… and carried around like a terrible wound.  Spain gave us our first taste of defeat, and because of her we discovered with an enduring shock that one can be right and still be defeated, that sheer force can trample the human spirit underfoot, and that there are times when courage goes unrewarded.  Without a doubt, this explains why so many people the world over have experienced the Spanish drama as their own personal tragedy.

Albert Camus, Algerian-French philosopher and author, Source: Honoring Fascism’s Forgotten Fighters. Sketch Source: Existential Primer.

“!No Pasaran!” – The Abraham Lincoln Brigade and the Spanish Civil War, Part I introduces you to the beginnings of the civil war between the Republicans and the Nationalists; a poignant letter written by Abraham Lincoln Brigade (ALB) volunteer Bill Bailey to his mother in New Jersey; the tense political, economic, and social conditions that existed in pre-war Spain; the response by the American government and its insistence upon assuming a neutral position in this conflict; the personal stories of a few Americans caught between economic depression at home and alarming developments on the international level; what eventually motivated them to secretly travel to and fight in Spain; and the ALB volunteers’ battlefield exploits in Spain.

Link to Part I of This Diary

The story continues below the fold…  

“!No Pasaran!” – The Abraham Lincoln Brigade and the Fight against Fascism in Spain, Part I

Crossposted at Daily Kos

Part II of this diary will be posted on Wednesday, July 27th.

In July 1936, the Spanish Army staged a military uprising against the democratically-elected Republican government of Spain, which had been in power for less than six months. The revolt started in the Protectorate of Morocco under the leadership of General Francisco Franco and by the next day, had spread to the mainland. The rebels had badly miscalculated and not anticipated that several army units would side with the government nor expected that the working classes in towns and cities would be quickly mobilized and armed in a popular resistance against the rebellion.  In what would become a dress rehearsal for World War II, the struggle that ensued between Republican and Nationalist forces to determine the future direction of the country would rage on for the next three years.

In 1937, Bill Bailey (a son of Irish immigrants to America) wrote a letter from Spain to his mother in New Jersey.  Unbeknownst to her and defying a travel embargo imposed by his own government, he had secretly traveled to that country to become one of almost 2,800 American volunteers to eventually fight on the Republican side in a brutal war against the defenders of authoritarian conservatism

You see, Mom, there are things that one must do in this life that are a little more than just living.  In Spain there are thousands of mothers like yourself who never had a fair shake in life.  They got together and elected a government that really gave meaning to their life.  But a bunch of bullies decided to crush this wonderful thing.  That’s why I went to Spain, Mom, to help these poor people win this battle, then one day it would be easier for you and the mothers of the future.  Don’t let anyone mislead you by telling you that all this had something to do with Communism.  The Hitlers and Mussolinis of this world are killing Spanish people who don’t know the difference between Communism and rheumatism.  And it’s not to set up some Communist government either.  The only thing the Communists did here was show the people how to fight and try to win what is rightfully theirs.

You should be proud that you have a son whose heart, soul and energy were directed toward helping the poor people of the world get back what was taken from them.  When the horrible conditions of this world are eventually made right, you can look with pride at those who will be here to enjoy it and say, “My son gave his life to help make things better, and for that I am grateful.”

If it will make my departure from the world of the living a little easier for you, just remember this, Mom: I love you dearly and warmly, and there was never a moment when I didn’t feel that way.  

I was always grateful and proud that you were my mom.


Bill Bailey’s letter to his mother explaining why he was fighting in the Spanish Civil War, Photograph Source: Spartacus Educational, U.K.  Sketch Source: GMT Games

“You Are the Un-Americans, and You Ought to be Ashamed of Yourselves”

Crossposted at Daily Kos and The Stars Hollow Gazette

On January 23, 1976, one of the greatest Americans of the twentieth century died a nearly forgotten man in self-imposed seclusion in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  

Over the last three decades or so, you rarely, if ever, hear his name mentioned in the popular media.  Once every few years, you might hear someone on PBS or C-Span remember him fondly and explain as to why he was one of the more important figures of the past century.  In many respects, he had as much moral authority as Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks; he was as politically active as Dick Gregory, Harry Belafonte, John Lewis, and Randall Robinson; and, as befits many men and women motivated by moral considerations, he conducted himself with great dignity.  For much of his life, not surprisingly and not unlike many of his worthy successors, he was marginalized and shunned by the political establishment of his time — until events validated their ‘radical’ beliefs and resurrected their reputations.

Throughout his life, few principled men of his caliber paid as high a price and for as long a period as he did for his political beliefs.

Germans call a Spade a Spade, So…….

Why can’t we!

Reading this sounds pretty damn familiar, 21st century amerika, but not quite as blatant yet, or is it.

Actually they use two very descriptive leads to the story, and they should know, first:

Right-Wing Extremism

Is the lead then we get to the meat.

The Week in Editorial Cartoons – Palin Resolves Nuclear Problem

Crossposted from Daily Kos

THE WEEK IN EDITORIAL CARTOONS

This weekly diary takes a look at the past week’s important news stories from the perspective of our leading editorial cartoonists (including a few foreign ones) with analysis and commentary added in by me.

When evaluating a cartoon, ask yourself these questions:

1. Does a cartoon add to my existing knowledge base and help crystallize my thinking about the issue depicted?

2. Does the cartoonist have any obvious biases that distort reality?

3. Is the cartoonist reflecting prevailing public opinion or trying to shape it?

The answers will help determine the effectiveness of the cartoonist’s message.

:: ::

Hobson’s Choice



Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Dystopia 7: The Rebels

“Yes: death–or renewal! Either the state forever, crushing individual and local life, taking over in all fields of human activity, bringing with it its wars and its domestic struggles for power, its palace revolutions which only replace one tyrant by another, and inevitably at the end of this development there is…death! Or the destruction of the state, and new life starting again in thousands of centers on the principle of the lively initiative of the individual and groups and that of the free agreement. The choice lies with you!”

Peter Kropotkin  

Death to the Bourgeois

There are times I really want to go all S.L.A on the fucking rich and terminally clueless. Not just the AIG assholes and Banker types that are lighting the fires of even their own eventual demise, but the self-absorbed bitches like Madonna and Angelina Jolie-Miller-Shmizu-Thorton-Pitt who think plucking a child or 6 out of poverty and lavishing them with untold fortunes and nannies makes them humanitarian. At least Brangelina actually does some humanitarian work, but still. JOKE. Then there are the yacht club intellectuals and jet set Bonos of the media preaching it down to us, all while comparing the relative value of a French versus a Brazilian celebration of the Easter services. Yeah, that resonates with us poor slobs. NOT! Clueless fuck didn’t even get how that would sound.

I wanna grab a pitchfork and extend the Conneticut AIG Mansion Tour into a Tour of All of them. I wish I wasn’t the queen of non-violence.

I listen as even Congress critters whine about their diminishing 401’s and think to myself they need the Reverse Tour. Make every one of those Washington families live on MY income, with no outside help for a fucking year. You assholes could sell ONE of your fucking houses, boats, or luxury cars and pay my bills for a year.

NONE OF THEM HAVE A GODDAMN MOTHERFUCKING CLUE.

Commie Pinko Me.

I’ve written about Democratic Socialism more than once, citing shining examples of European models that work.

But really, I am a good old communist flower child at heart.

I can look at pictures of glistening cities, pristine example of architecture old and new, filled with lovely dining spots and walk to arts and culture and still be sickened.

I always wonder what their alleys hide, where the people serving the affluent there live like.

Load more