Sunday, December 24, 2017

These Tumutuous Times - Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers

Last night I saw for the first time the 2009 documentary The Most Dangerous Man In America, a made for the American pubic broadcasting system version of the amazing story of Pentagon civilian employee Daniel Ellsberg's release of the top secret history of the Vietnam War that came to be known as the Pentagon Papers and how it kicked off the series of events that culminated in the phenomena called Watergate and the ultimate resignation of US president Richard Nixon, events that rocked the nation just as much if not more than the election of Donald Trump and subsequent events are rocking it now.

Filmmakers Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith are at times a bit overly dramatic and appeal to sentiments that have been stripped away in the age post cynicism when it seems like we're tumbling naked down a rapids, gasping for breath and hoping to make it to a wider, quieter place in the river of life before we go under for good. But it's an accurate recounting, at least as far as it goes, of those tumultuous and at times almost unbelievable times when the country was going through rapid social change and the streets were often filled with rioters or protestors and when social boundaries were being pushed back in every direction.

Although the film doesn't provide much of that context, it certainly spurred memories of of those times for me. For someone who didn't live through that era that context will have to be provided by other means. Movies about those times are generally lacking in that regard. They've generally either ignored or been been dismissive of the Counterculture and the New Left and the revolution they caused in American popular culture that touched almost every aspect of American life. 

In igniting those memories the film was a reminder that change always comes and that positive change is inevitable under the kind of conditions that existed then and exist now when the ruling class is moving in one direction and the working class in another. In the 1970s it sometimes felt like the America you grew up in was being ripped from its moorings. That disgusted many people but thrilled others. Whatever your take on it you weren't always sure where we were headed as a nation. You either hoped, or expected, that it would be someplace better, which is where human nature always, in the end, leads us.

Unfortunately I don't see a way to see this movie for free although there surely must be ways. I see where it can be viewed for as little as $5.00 and it seems likely that it will be re-run again on television.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Creating The Left

In Chile where decades of oligarchy and US interference had demolished the Left they created a new Left and have won a significant share of seats.

This all began with those huge student protests over free education the past few years. The students went on to form a political party and then formed a broad coalition with other small parties with a range of political orientations.

By agreeing on a few broad principles they were able to cooperative politically and by denying both major parties a majority they may have decisive political power beyond their actual numbers.

Once Americans found this kind of strategy made their votes count, maybe even count more, small US parties like the Democratic Socialists of America, the Green Party, Libertarians, etc., would attract many many more members from among the majority of US voters who aren't associated with either major party (independents) and the roughly half of Americans who don't even vote now and even from both parties. The major parties would immediately react, of course, by changing their platforms to reflect the interests of actual Americans instead of the interests of rich stockholder donors a they do now. The US would soon become a much different, much more equal, more just, much better country.

The article linked to is translation from Spanish I think you can get the gist of it.


Monday, December 4, 2017

Generation Z - Step Aside Millennials

Life expectancy is on the decline in the US where the stock markets set new records every week and there's more money in the country than ever before. In infant mortality the US is 29th in the world.

If you look at that infant mortality list it's easy to see why the US is so bad. The countries high on the list all have universal health care.

The reason the US has such an inferior and expensive health system care system compared  the advanced nations of the world is because of the lack of Socialist ideas among the US working class, according to NYU-Bingamton professor emeritus James Petras.

Another way of saying it is that the American working class has never demanded anything more than what they're getting.

Will it ever change?

Socialism has already become poplar among the so-called Millennial generation, and Social Democratic candidates have been wining elections in both liberal and conservative districts all around the country. Millennials know about universal health care and will continue to push for it.

But the generation after the Millennials, being called Generation Z by some, born generally in the mid 1990s to the mid 2000s and mostly in high school now, seems to be somewhat more conservative. They outnumber the Millennials (who outnumber Baby Boomers) and are already 24 percent of the population.

I haven't come across anything that explains why Generation Z is more conservative except for survey data showing them to be more insecure than earlier generations. Generation Z has never lived in peace. War is normal. When they were born the so called war on terror was already in full swing. The 2008 recession and 9/11 are among their earliest and most formative memories.

They remind me somewhat of the kids who grew up in the 1950s. The West was coming out of World War II and their parents told stories about the Depression and rationing but a new world was being created for them by a new technology, television, aka the Boob Tube that became so central to Americans' lives and so influential that it started raising alarms.

It's said the 1950s were a conservative time, but then suddenly all those kids heard about Vietnam and started smoking pot and became the Counterculture of the 1960s that changed America in significant ways, so I'm not ready to count Generation Z out just yet. But be aware. If America is ever to become an equal society they'll have to be convinced that it's possible and as of now they don't think it is.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

In The Beginning

My brother Bob left a great comment on the previous post. If you read that and an article in Slate by Dahlia Lithwick this post will make more sense.

The way these unprecedented times are talked about, the end times are sometimes announced or at least discussed as a possibility. But what really would happen if the basic structure we've known all our lives ceased to hold sway and we became some drastically altered country; Bannon libertarianism or Trumpal authoritarian or we all became serfs or something we haven't seen before?

What would that be like? What would we do?

Dahlia Lithwick is saying it's too late for Mueller to save us. According to her, "It seems as though truth and law are forever losing ground in the footrace against open looting and overt totalitarianism." Because so much crazy shit has become normalized, no one will pay attention to any kind of legal result from the Mueller investigation, she says, and "normal Democrats and Republicans, civil servants, the courts, who we had hoped would stop the Trump train wreck, may not be able to, because they rely on everyone accepting the law, but when the law becomes a moot point they aren't up to it.

Lithwick makes a frighteningly believable case for it except for one detail. It hasn't been the so called normal Democrats and Republicans and civil servants running things all this time but the ruling class, and people who don't carry out their wishes get removed. They won't let Trump mess up America, a golden goose with a lot of flesh left on it.

Or if they do want it messed up, and the rest of the jobs shipped somewhere else, either way, it's them calling the shots and not the government.

They have the power. The government doesn't, and not only that, government can't stop the ruling class. But we can do that. We're the only ones who can do it.

Tax Bills

Imagine if Democrats, when they had the majority, had rammed through progressive legislation and raised taxes on the rich instead of cutting their taxes and cutting social spending for the poor.

Imagine if Democrats instead of spending the last year railing about a non existent Russiagate conspiracy had spent it making fiery speeches about wealth and income inequality and getting people mobilized and in the streets to fight against things like GOP tax cuts.

Instead we have Democrats like the ones we have in New Mexico who work the word "bipartisan" into every news release they put out and are constantly signaling they're going to give up half of what their constituents want before they even sit down at the table.

Imagine if Democrats cut themselves off from Wall Street funding and raised money from small donations like Bernie Sanders easily proved you can do and was doing when he was out-raising the warmongering corporate whore who nobody liked and who went on to lose the election to a used car salesman.

It's easy for Democrats to speak out now about tax giveaways. It costs them nothing and changes nothing and their big money corporate donors know it and will keep giving them the money they give them to keep the working class suppressed.

Democrats won't be on our side until we make them. As long as we keep giving them our votes, our support and our money they'll keep screwing us and tending to their Wall Street owners. It's about power and who has it. The wealthy and the Republicans know how to use theirs to get what they want and we don't.

Getting In The Christmas Spirit

Monday, November 27, 2017

Trump Dividend

Say what you will about Trump, it looks like the war on Syria is ending. To be sure, the US and some of its allies will probably have secret agents running around leading gorilla raids by jihadis they fund, and the military could stage something to make Trump stay in the war like they did with Obama by surreptitiously bombing a Syrian air base. With the Democrats and the whole establishment salivating for war and cold war there will be pressure on him to reverse course, but barring that, it's over.

That's one of two big positives I was expecting out of Trump that were things you'd never see Hillary do. The other was that he'd get a lot more people to be active and radicalized. With a Democrat in office activism ceases. We regress and lose some of our living standard.

The US essentially lost in Syria, says Patrick Lawrence in Salon, and he also thinks the US is being superseded as the top power in the Middle East by Russia in league with Iran and now even Turkey which is considering leaving NATO.

Troll Alert: I have a troll or two and when I write something like this about the Democrats I sometimes hear from them even though they know I don't publish their comments any more. I guess they want me to know what they think. But the way comment work here, when someone leaves a comment I get an email notice and I can see who the comment is from before I even open the email and if it's from a troll or an anonymous commenter I just delete it without opening it. Their comment is still in some Google dungeon somewhere but I never go there unless I hit the wrong button and I just delete all the unpublished comments at once.

Monday, November 13, 2017

2017 Killed By Police Passes 1,000

"Roach stepped out of his home with his shotgun at about 10:50 p.m and walked toward officers, who ordered him to drop it. After he refused, six officers fired at Roach."

Jerry Roach
Jerry Roach of Lakeland, FL, was the 1,000th person killed by police this year, on November 2. In the 11 days since then the total has reached 1,040.

US cops kill more people in a month than British police kill in 25 years. US cops kill 70 times more people than cops in other "first world" countries do.

It's a bit simplistic to say police are looking for excuses to kill people. Police training teaches cops to shoot first, ask questions later. What probably more significant is that we are just a violent people. We have a culture that prioritizes money, where having a lot of it means the law no longer applies to you. All kinds of things are more important to Americans than caring for each other.

We own most of the world's guns and have a military ten times bigger than Russia's and we send it all over the world killing poor people so rich and powerful people can get richer and feel more powerful. Congress just voted to increase the $700 billion military budget by $80 billion per year. It's going to get worse, not better.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Democrats Will Get Away With It

Republicans are working on legislation to give huge tax cuts to corporations and their wealthy shareholders. Democrats are criticizing it by complaining that it doesn't give big enough tax cuts to the "middle class."

So there will be tax cuts and they will cause the budget deficit to swell. Then, when the budget as a whole is being considered, Republicans will insist that congress cut programs like food stamps, Head Start, Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid. While they are insisting they will even blame the deficits on Democrat tax and spend policies.

At that time Democrats will be unable to respond because of what they're doing now -- they aren't saying anything about budget deficits or the vulnerability of the social programs that benefit their constituents.

They will vote for the cuts. You can argue about whether or not they intended to or not and about whether they intentionally screwed working people on behalf of their Wall Street funders.

You can certainly expect them to issue find sounding statements saying how they oppose the cuts to Medicaid, Social Security, etc., and are "fighting hard" to protect our interests, but as they've done in the past and as I've documented here, they will vote with Republicans and seriously harm many millions of working Americans. Democrat voters, who never think to check how their representatives actually vote on legislation and who hear only the fine sounding statements.

This is how it's been working for many years. Democrat voters never catch on. They remain embroiled in fear of Republicans. Their fear is constantly reinforced by Democrat politicians, whose role in the charade is never brought into question. But wealthy Democrat funders know, and that's why they keep Democrat campaign coffers full.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Yesterday's Elections - Democratic Socialism On The March

The University of Chicago chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America posted these lists of DSA members who won elections around the country yesterday. The Socialist winners range from Lee Carter (@carterforva) who was elected to the Virginia state house to Mik Pappas (@MikPappas) who was elected as a district judge in Pennsylvania to Lydia Edwards (@LydiaMEdwards) who was elected to the Boston city council.

These victories contradict the spin being put on the elections by the Democratic Party which points to the high turnout among well educated suburban women as meaning there's no need for economic populism.

"Economic populism" is a derogatory reference to economic justice, i.e. to working people getting a fair share of the wealth their labor creates, which is diametrically opposed to official Democratic Party policy of screwing the working class to keep the Wall Street money flooding into their bloated campaign coffers. 

Some of yesterday's winners ran as Democrats or Independents but they aren't shy about belonging to a Socialist organization such as the DSA, or to Socialist Alternative, the party of Seattle city council member Kshama Suwant, which one belongs to. Like Suwant these new elected officials will bring their values to the job with them and not the values elected officials from the two major parties have been bringing with them.

Just as important, these Socialists will be representing and publicizing working peoples' interests. When working peoples' interests get aired they aren't so easily ignored or slandered by Democrats. Not only that, the general public will once again be able to imagine policies that benefit them being enacted, and the Wall Street beholden Democrats won't be able to manipulate  peoples' expectations. Working people instead will begin to manipulate the Democrats.

Remember that most of the country's DSA chapters were formed in the last year while the DSA was growing from a few thousand members to more than 30,000 at last count.  Membership in DSA and similar organizations will likely soon be in the millions and will overtake and dictate public discourse.

Remember the tea party? Change occurs quickly sometimes. As Vladmir Lenin said: "There are decades where nothing happens and there are weeks where decades happen."

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Fats Domino And Socialism

Fats Domino in 1962
I noted a few posts ago that legendary Fats Domino had died and now Hiram Lee has a really good obit at the World Socialist Web Site that surveys Domino's career and life. It includes links to youtube recordings of the songs it refers to and is a very nice tribute to Fats.


The World Socialist Web Site, WSWS, incidentally, represents one of the remnants of the worldwide Socialist-Communist movement that once had a strong footprint in the US before it was decimated by the legal and extra legal oppression of our federal and state governments and of course by decades of the intense anti Socialist Cold War propaganda that was hammered into Americans' psyches from birth until it became an actual part of American culture and identity.

WSWS has some really bright people writing for the web site though and is one thing I follow pretty closely - many of the articles are recorded and made into a daily podcast.

It's published by the International Committee of the Fourth International, the ICFI, but the ICFI isn't only group to lay claim to the title Fourth International.

The First International, or as it was called upon forming the International Workingmen's Association, which was was founded in 1864 and would eventually be led by Karl Marx, was a vehicle to unite the working class internationally and spread socialist ideas and revolution.

As things were debated such as the pros and cons of the Social Democratic approach to Socialism and whether or not Anarchists groups should be included the First International went through a couple of dissolutions and reconstitutiona so that when the USSR was formed after the 1917 Russian revolution and assumed the leadership of the International, it was called the Third International.

Andre Breton, Diego Rivera, Trotsky in Mexico
 As the USSR then began going down the path that would lead to Stalinism, one of its main leaders, Leon Trotsky, resisted the changes and was expelled from the Communist Party, the Soviet Politboro and the Third International, and was exiled. Trotsky then formed a competing Fourth International, and the Fourth International and Troskyite, or Trotsykist, are more or less synonymous.

You sometimes hear Trotskyists derisively called "Trots." They sometimes can seem doctrinaire -- i.e. theirs is the only true path -- but they are the keepers of what you could call the pure, unadulterated version of communism of Marx, Vladmir Lenin and Trotsky.

As people flood into socialist organizations and learn more about it there will be a lot of discussion about the meaning of Socialism. As things like, what place identity politics will have in it, what place Black Liberation struggles should play in it, are debated, the WSWS will be a valuable tool and reference and a player in those debates.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Inflation And Inflation

On several occasions, I have glibly referred to how it now takes two spouses working to equal the wages of a one-income family of 40 years ago. Unfortunately, that is now an understatement. In fact, Western wages have plummeted so low that a two-income family is now (on average) 15% poorer than a one-income family of 40 years ago.  Jeff Nielson

The US government has changed the way it calculates inflation several times over the last few decades in ways that conceal Americans' declining living standards, says Jeff Nielson, who owns a precious metals trading company and writes about economics for various investor centered publications.

This chart is from an article he wrote in 2012 for The Street.

The gray line at the bottom is our actual wages.

The blue line represents the same wages adjusted for inflation according to the US government's Consumer Price Index, CPI, which is the method they are always changing.

The green line shows the true buying power of the same wages. Nielson came up with the green line by taking one of the various inflation calculating methods the government has used and applying it uniformly to the whole time period.

Nielson didn't use some method he came up with. He just applied one of the government's methods for the entire time.

Democrats, having played a big role in this great downward trend of living standards with their support for economic policies designed to transfer wealth upward, never discuss it. Instead they put out a steady stream of politically sounding chatter about Russia, Trump, North Korea, the environment, Iran, terrorism, you name it, and put it out in a way to make you want to turn your political power over to them and never in  way to make you think that you had some kind of power yourself.

This is our political system, which isn't a democracy but a form of representative republic that was designed to protect a wealthy landowning status quo and ensure that the masses remained politically impotent. The system has been modified in various ways over the years, but always by the status quo and in ways that ensure their interests aren't affected.

Because we have this system the status quo now possesses more wealth than ever, much more, and wages continual wars to make itself even richer. The status quo doesn't wage any wars personally, of course.

Taking the attitude that we should work to reform our system doesn't work. That's how we got into this fix, where our living standard is in decline, our government commits mass murder in multiple far away countries without bothering to ask us or even tell us and the next generation's future is dim.

The only way our political system will change is if we the people decide there's a need to change it and if we can then figure out how to use our tremendous inherent power by acting collectively.

This is what we should be thinking about. If you let yourself be distracted by anything else you're just wasting your time. You're just making things worse.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Kids Raising Kids

Evolution has it that humans reproduce during a limited part of their life span, starting at around 13 when the sex drive shoots up and remains high for a number of years, and societies adopt to this biological imperative by rationalizing it with certain norms, institutions and ways of thinking. The upshot, though, is that kids are always having kids when they're still kids, essentially.

You really don't have a say in the matter so it's no one's fault, it's evolution's fault, but kids having kids is probably one of the reasons the world is as it is. There are other reasons, but some of the other reasons, especially that have to do with the way the world ends up being organized and run by certain kinds of institutions and individuals, also have their origin in the fact that kids raise kids.

What actually are the specific effects of kids having and raising kids? A couple of caveats come to mind. One is that people don't raise kids in a vacuum. They get advice from parents, grandparents, experts and others including people like me who never had kids. But parents and especially the prime caregiver exert the most influence on kids, and those parents are still at right around the juvenile stage of emotional-intellectual development.

Something to consider here is how grandparents treat their grandkids. Grandparents have had time to reflect on how they raised their own kids. They are aware at some level that their children are the result of how they raised them. Grandparents are known for showering grandkids with affection if not "spoiling" them. Is that because grandparents realize how important affection is to a child?

Before you get lost in that big maze of popularized emotionalized psuedo scientific rationalization that we spend our life in, remember that all this, from having kids to helping raise grandkids, we do because of our ego; it's one of many things our ego does to further itself and our image of ourself. There's nothing we do that doesn't have a selfish motive, OK? Including having kids, including helping with the grandkids, including what I'm doing. But what about love? you ask. Do we do nothing for altruistic, unselfish reasons? Well, yes, there is a crazy little thing called love. It's our ego purring to itself and thinking, 'This situation looks good. This situation has benefits for us.' It pleases us to receive and to give love. Specifically, it pleases our ego.

Humans as they've been constructed for the past hundred or so thousand years are what will soon be an unforgotten waystation on evolution's long winding road to perfection will this kids raising kids dynamic ever change? Will the parameters change? Will kids get wisdom sooner? Will people eventually start having children later? Or earlier? Stay tunee. Those things  can change fairly rapidly during times of crises.

We can make a forecast based on what we know and feel, is all, but it's likely to be wrong. One thousand years hence surviving humans will look back at us as we look back at those who came one thousand years before us and marvel at the beliefs and world views we constructed out of the naive and self serving crap we believed we believed.

For all we know the universe could be a watermelon floating somewhere between the kitchen and the dining room table. Most of what goes on in it is far beyond our ability to sense let alone understand. As far as we've figured out so far, we have sense organs that react to a small sliver of the energy types that exist and are around us all the time, and out of just that small sliver of awareness our little imagination has concocted its universe.

Looking at things this way is often called reductionist thinking, where reductionism represents oversimplification; minimizing to the point of obscuring or distorting. It's said to lead to  nihilism, believing in nothing.

It's said so by people who believe in things, of course. But by people who have beliefs, and perhaps fear examining them, and perhaps have an ego that prevents it. Thinking this way can seem dreary, but it can also be thought of as clearing away obstacles to our getting things done. It can be thought of as taking a realistic look at who we are, where we're at, and how change actually happens and why.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Thursday, October 19, 2017


The US mainstream media is busy asking itself what the four US servicemen who died in Niger recently were doing in Niger. Ignorance in our media is rampant. They only have to be slightly more well informed than the general public, so they're pretty ignorant.

The political class has nothing to do but read up on things and order underlings to make reports about things and brief them on things, but I'm pretty sure 99.9 percent of Americans have never heard of Africom. It's one of nine commands -- which are how our military forces around the world are organized geographically: the European Command, Central Command, Pacific Command, Southern Command, etc.

In the media that I read, Africom has been known about since it was created in 2006 and I assume military fanatics also have media outlets that talk about Africom. It was created to counter China, which has been busy forming alliances and making inroads in Africa since it became a wealthy manufacturing nation. China has been building dams, bridges, highways, hospitals, schools, etc., all over Africa. The US used to do foreign relations that way, but now that the political class has adopted Reaganomics, which has practically eliminated taxes for corporations and the wealthy, they no longer do foreign policy that way.

US foreign policy is based on our military might. It's almost exclusively about waging violence and death and destruction upon countries where brown skinned people live. We always have money for the military. Democrats and Republicans cut taxes for the rich and lavish the military and military contractors. Our two New Mexico Democrat senators joined most of their colleagues a few weeks ago in voting for a military budget that swells military spending by $700 billion -- that's right, increases it by that much -- most of which will go to contractors who line the pockets of both parties.

China and the US are interested in Africa, of course, because of those vast deposits of oil that were discovered not too long ago, and Africa generally has amazing mineral wealth -- such as gold, diamonds, and rare minerals that aren't found anywhere else, like tantalite, for example, which is used in smart phones.

Americans, including the media, know nothing of any of this, and you never hear a single word about it from our elected officials, who stand back and watch us whine about Trump and scream at one another about whether people should be forced to stand for the national anthem or not, and then go play tennis and dine and party with each other irrespective of political affiliation.

Incidentally, the Democratic Party's national committee just purged many of its progressive members -- i.e. people who think Democrats should look out for the interests of working people and the poor. This makes sense. I've been reading here and there that Democrats are prepared to start making big cuts to Medicaid. They'll keep their identity politics coalition intact by saving Social Security and Medicare, in some form at least, but as far as Democrats are concerned poor people are expendable, not worth even considering. At least they're not bombing them and destroying their homes, hospitals and schools and killing them by the hundreds of thousands. So far.

Sunday, October 8, 2017


Despite everybody freaking out about what would happen when Trump was elected president, things haven't changed, according to two articles I came across today.

I've been going further, saying we're better off with Trump than Clinton and providing evidence, but for the sake of argument let us go with the words of Michael Dougherty of the mainstream, conservative National Review, who talks about how US foreign policy is the same under Trump and with those of independent journalist Caitlin Johnstone, who talks more about domestic politics.

You can come up with a long list off the top of your head. Our military is still involved in the same seven wars Obama was waging. Wealth and income inequality are getting worse, just as under Obama. Both major political parties are married to big business, the environment is getting worse, and racist cops still execute poor people, especially poor people of color, and get away with it virtually every time, all of which were the case under Obama, and the deep state is still there and our government is still spying in us.

Of course none of these things matter to those Hillary voters who still haven't accepted what happened to them. In their minds the world will end any day if it hasn't already. They think we've become a disgrace to the world, as if our government has suddenly flipped and done a 180 and as if we weren't already a warmongering bully of a nation that under Democrat and Republicans alike sucks the blood out of whatever place and whatever people we decide are too vulnerable to resist out mighty killing machine of a military that sucks more money from our pockets than do the next ten biggest militaries combined -- more than the combined total of Russia plus China plus eight more.

The disillusioned Hillary voters, being blind to the fact that the nation has been just as unequal and just as warmongering under Democrats as Republicans, cannot see and cannot admit that the betrayal of the Democrats make them the worse culprit. We depended on them and they let us down. We did  what we were told. Vote. We voted for Democrats and they sat silent while the Republicans said and did as they pleased.

There's another practical reason we're better off without Hillary. When a Democrat is president all the environmental and social justice groups shut down. The well paid people who run these organizations never say anything against the Liberals who invite them to the big beltway parties and have them out to their yacht on the Potomac, and the working class people who support the high living predators stop giving money because they think the Democrats have their backs when they don't.

But because Hillary lost, people are in the streets in record numbers. Outside groups of all kinds are starting up or growing rapidly, steadily building the power we need to bring about change, which, remember, always comes from outside the political system. We've been being distracted by the political infighting that goes under the guise of party politics. We're not taught and don't know that it wasn't the political system that brought change it was the Labor Movement, the Civil Rights Movement, the Women's Movement, the Black and Brown and Red Power movements, the Environmental Movement. They forced change on the political-corporate system.

Government was set up to prevent significant change, so you can't blame Democrats and Republicans for doing what they were created to do which is to protect the interests of the ruling class. But change is afoot and you see already that Democrats and Republicans alike are changing their tunes. Republicans left Obamacare in place and Democrats are talking about universal health care. They know.

We are the ones who bring about change. Trump tried but he hasn't anywhere near the power the establishment does. But we do, much more, in fact. We, our outside pressure, brought about the New Deal and ended the Depression. We ended the Vietnam War and we made people respect minorities and women and the environment. If you don't know that yet you ought to.

Friday, October 6, 2017

The Race War And Capitalism

A reporter who writes for the snotty toned conservative web site Daily Wire posted a tweet about football player Marcus Peters along with a picture of Peters sitting on a bench. Below is his tweet, followed by a reply by actor/comedian Richie Loco that's been re-tweeted more than 100 times as much as the original tweet.




Under Trump, racism is getting to be where it's not disguised behind code words as much. It's more out in the open. That's where it should be and it's another reason we're better off with Trump than we'd have been with Clinton. For many years Republicans used racism through code words while Democrats, like the Clintons, and the media looked the other way. They call it "dog whistle" politics because they still can't bring themselves to call it racism.

So far no one has really been called out to any degree for this monumental cowardice and complicity in racism on the part of the liberal establishment. On the other hand, Democrats and the media are being called out for their abandonment of the working class to become water boys for Wall Street.

The calling out, and the public's awareness and knowledge, is happening largely through social media, where things that "go viral" are often more widely seen and heard than the official propaganda put out through the media and official government and corporate channels.

But social media now is also spreading Marxism, an analysis that brings to light the interrelations between Capitalism and racism. Connections are being made, and as more people understand them, the role racism plays in furthering Capitalism is becoming better understood.

Besides being a simple and effective way of dividing the working class, racism helps justify a fundamental ideological pillar of Capitalism; that people posses different amounts of wealth because they have different amounts of natural ability.

This article fleshes out these and other connections between racism and Capitalism. A similar and shorter article by economist Richard Wolff also explains why prisons are so full of Black people -- it's how the consequences of making Black people bear the brunt of Capitalism's inequality are managed. All these connections will become better known as Socialism and the Marxist philosophy behind it gain in influence, and that will only bolster the struggle against racism.

These relationships between racism and Capitalism is new to some of these young Socialists and other converts from identity politics, but despite being rancorous at times, the discussions being had are helping educate everyone. Different Socialist and Communist sects have given different weight to the race question, some not enough, so even old Socialists like me are learning a thing or two.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Paul Craig Roberts

Some chilling words from Paul Craig Roberts, a former assistant secretary of the US Treasury and Wall Street Journal associate editor, about the future prospects for the American economy when there's no growth and no wage growth, as the case is now and has been for years. The unemployment rate is officially 4.4 percent. That "tight" of a labor market should be pushing wages up, but so many people have left the labor market -- some say the real unemployment rate could be as high as 20 or 25 percent -- that the upward pressure isn't there.

That explains the lack of wage growth. And of course the economy doesn't grow because of lack of demand. Ours. Not enough spare change to spend to keep the economy moving.

We the people have no say at all in any economic matters. Now the robots are coming to put more people out of work. With few workers paying in, programs like Social Security and Medicare will collapse, the now record wealth and income inequality is going to get ever worse, Roberts says, and the likely end point of the path we're headed down is not pretty.

Our political leaders have no clue as to what they're doing when it comes to the economy, but they've had a hand in getting us to this point by buying into that cockamamie Reaganomics aka Neoliberalism economic model we're under, one of the prime elements of which is that it drives down wages. Roberts has no faith in them because they answer to the ruling oligarchy -- i.e. the ruling class.

We are not without hope, however. Socialist sentiment is on the rise. The people might get it together enough to take control of government, the economy, all of it, and to one way of thinking that would be quite logical. It's a matter of survival.

Will you do your part? Will you support these mainly young people who are joining socialist organizations and parties in droves and who've had it with the establishment? They don't want advice, and they may screw it all up, but their way, whatever it turns out to be, might be the only way. You can weigh in with your knowledge, experience and wisdom and try to help them succeed. We may have no other choice.

Monday, September 25, 2017

JC Whitney

Anyone from my generation who worked on their own car probably knows about the JC Whitney catalog. You could get just about any part for any car — clutches, piston rings, even rebuilt engines -- and at a low price.

And then there were the accessories. Pages and pages of fancy hub caps, pages of car stereos, of car horns, just about any car accessory you could think of and many I'd never imagined. There were no photos in the catalog. Each item had a little pen and ink drawing of the part or accessory and they were a marvel, too.

They'd put out a new catalog several times a year and when I got mine in the mail I'd spend hours going through it and dreaming of how I could gussy up my old hand me down family sedan. My favorite all time accessory was a compact little 45 rpm record player that mounted under the dashboard like a car stereo would, but I never got around to being able to afford one.

JC Whitney was actually the mail order division of an old Chicago parts dealer, Warshawsky and Company. They had a big store on the south side at State St and Archer Ave (an area just south of downtown that's been well gentrified since) where you could walk in and pick up any item they sold in the voluminous catalog. The Warshawsky & Co sign in the picture below used to hang out over the sidewalk.

Sometime after the 60s or 70s Warshawsky moved its operations 100 miles west of Chicago to LaSalle, IL. I hadn't been aware of that and had kind of lost track of them, but then in the late 90s I made a delivery to the place, and the old sign was sitting out back by the loading docks.

I'd first seen the sign in the late 1960s or thereabouts when I rode into Chicago from SW Michigan with my brother Bob, who if I'm not mistaken was picking up the parts to overhaul his VW Beetle. To enter the store you walked right under the big old sign. To me it was a marvel, but then 30 years later to be able to walk up and be close enough to touch it was simply bedazzling. The already ancient technology was a marvel, the bulk and weight of it was a marvel, the work and expertise that went into building a one of a kind, what was to me a masterpiece... It struck me the way one of those old steel bridges or old brick factory buildings do that are as much artistic expressions as utilitarian construction projects. I remember that it seemed like there were a hundred incandescent light bulb sockets in it.

I've always wanted to stop there again out of curiosity to see if the sign still existed but until a recent post retirement trip to Michigan I never did. I had come up from New Mexico and continued north all the way across I-80 to see the eclipse, and after the eclipse angled back down to catch I-80 at Omaha and so went right through La Salle. This time I had time to stop and see if the fabulous sign was still there, and there it was, standing out in front of the new store in a place of honor on big steel girder legs.

This last picture is looking back toward the loading dock driveway. The landing gear, what used to be called the dolly wheels, on that Fedex trailer is down so he's probably doing a drop and hook - drop your empty trailer, probably in a dock door, and find your loaded trailer parked somewhere nearby. In this case out on the street.

LaSalle is in that great Midwestern prairie. Mile upon mile of corn fields interrupted now and then by a soy bean field or small town. 

PS. After I got to Michigan I was helping Mom sort through some old boxes so she could have a garage sale and she held something up and asked if I wanted it. An old JC Whitney catalog. Of course I did!

This one is from the 1980s and is 278 pages long. They're still around -- I bought a cover for my old Chevy pickup last summer from their web site -- but apparently they've gone full internet because I don't even see where you can send for a catalog anymore.

Ask And It Shall Be Given You

It's not too surprising that Germany's anti immigrant nationalist far right fascist leaning party Alternative for Germany (Alt Germany?), which got enough votes this weekend to win seats in parliament for the first time, receives most of its support from what was formerly East Germany. Since re-unification the former East Germans have been relegated to being a source of cheap labor for German industry.

Alternative for Germany marching - AFP photo
The far right has made headway all over Europe, taking over governments in some places, like Belgium, and in the US we hear about President Trump's "core" of prejudiced people and white nationalists. One thing the US and European countries have in common is that they've all adopted Neoliberal economics and its policies that drive down wages, shrink government social services and basically screw workers so rich Capitalists can get richer. And the economic gap between the 1 percent and 99 percent is growing at an increasingly rapid pace.

In America Socialist parties and organizations are growing and repeated polls indicate younger Americans favor Socialism over Capitalism. That's fine as far as I'm concerned, but it's the last thing the US ruling class and its political handmaids wanted to happen.

And while Socialism is regaining its foothold, white supremacists and neo Nazi Trump supporters are marching openly in the streets. The radical poles of the political spectrum are growing larger.

That's what you get when you pursue policies that have kept living standards level for 30 years and then they begin to fall. That's what you get when you abandon workers and unions and cater to Wall Street the way the Democrats did. You get Fascism and Socialism.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

This is Launch Pad Over

These are from a story about what Twitter has come up with for Rocket Man

I have entirely no beef with Kim Jong Un or North Korea. They have done nothing to me. They don't attack and destroy countries all over the world and slaughter hundreds of thousands of people. That would be my country. Kim Jong Un is sane compared to the average US citizen who is emotionally immune to the carnage we commit and sends a constant stream of politicians to Washington to spend our money to send the world's worst killing machine of all time on its never ending rampages.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Drenched In Blood

The US senators who didn't vote for the blood drenched military spending bill that passed 89-8 today:

Corker (R-TN)
Gillibrand (D-NY)
Leahy (D-VT)
Lee (R-UT)
Merkley (D-OR)
Paul (R-KY)
Sanders (I-VT)
Wyden (D-OR)

Both houses have now passed $700 billion annual 2018 warmongering budgets that they fattened by $30 billion over what even deranged President Trump had requested. Defense World has a little story about all the bipartisan crap congress members from both parties padded it with to make it $30 billion more than Trump asked for. Ajamu Baraka remarked:

The US is involved in seven wars and congress wants even more war. As you know the US was already spending more on its military than the next 10 countries combined, providing these same elected officials with permanent excuses for cutting social spending.

Republicans and Hillary supporters are saying we can't afford for everyone to have health care, but they're fine with Americans dying so we can use that money to kill innocent men, women and children all over the world. What a disgusting spectacle the United States must be to the rest of the world.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

We Are The Ninety-Nine Percent

It's the six year anniversary of Occupy Wall Street, which made us aware that we're the 99 percent and against the 1 percent, and just that one little dose of class consciousness has transformed America and altered the political landscape beyond recognition.

Am I giving them too much credit?

It was demonstrated that Occupy changed the discourse in the following election and it's easy to argue that it led to Bernie Sanders, but before I go too far in praising it I think it's better to see Occupy as part of an overall trend that we're still in the middle of.

I can think of two good reasons why Occupy Wall Street was an important development in the current trend, a critical phase in it that has led us to the current political/social moment. First, while it was in operation, it provided the voice for the growing radicalism in the country. It caused it to grow and grow in certain directions. It's become more well organized and is now driving a political swing to the left.

But what allowed Occupy to do that has also caused the turmoil that has led to Trump.

The other reason Occupy was important is that it let people know they don't need the news media and the political parties to tell them what's going on and what to do about it.

They kept saying on the news that Occupy was organized by "social media." I didn't know what that was but eventually found out and signed up for Facebook so I could follow the local Occupy groups and see what they were doing. Social media caught on and millions of people came to use the Occupy Wall Street model and learned to create their own online communities.

This independence of thought and action has allowed the leftward swing to happen and also allowed Trump to happen because working people from the right, the left, young, old, all learned how to make and find online communities and it's left politics in an uproar.

Turmoil is the logical and healthy result of listening to everybody for the first time, but that's what we've needed in this country. A democracy's highest ideal should be that everyone has a voice and deserves to be heard. That's true for just humanity's sake, too.

Listening to everyone means hearing from people you haven't heard from before. You can hear things you don't like. It's up to us to decide what to do about it. We don't need anybody to tell us what's right. We can find our way to that.

We are finding our way, and learning that we the people have some power, which will lead to more confidence and more self sufficiency. We've learned some things because Capitalism and the political system it owns abandoned us and we've had to fend for ourselves, but we're also learning we can run our own lives and run this country. We we have the power. and we know it. We are the 99 percent.


Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Jeezus Effing Christ

This is unbelievable. I had to come in here and sit down. NM Political Report just tweeted out that both our senators, Martin Heinrich and Tom Udall, will sign on as co-sponsors of Bernie's Sanders' Medicare for all bill. Single payer health care.

The article is here.

"Just this week," writes Matthew Reichbach, "Democratic Senators Cory Booker of New Jersey, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island and Jeff Merkley of Oregon announced they support the proposal by Sanders."

Add Heinrich and Udall and that's almost 1/3 of the Democratic senators and in a short period of time.

I won't say my constant criticism of these guys had anything to do with it but I did predict the other day it would happen eventually. Not that it's not pretty apparent that the tide is turning and the Democratic Party as a whole is beginning to shift to the left. I just never thought Heinrich and Udall would move this soon. You can argue, of course, that it will cost them nothing. No other conservative democrat will vote against them for this, and they will pick up a lot of the disaffected Bernie voters. Maybe even a Socialist or two who think even Bernie is too conservative. But these guys are on board pretty early and the weight they carry will make a difference to some of the politicians and media opinion leaders. Good for them. Pretty soon they'll stop backing Reaganomics economic policies and start getting more money into working peoples' pockets like good Democrats should. 

RIP 911

I guess 911 was yesterday -- it makes logical sense since this is 912 -- anyway I just spotted this on Twitter.

An article in Politico by Bill Scher says Hillary Clinton's new book has reignited the "civil war" in the Democratic Party and that the 2016 election is still being fought out. There is indeed a lot of bitterness on both sides between supporters of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders that continues to fester on social media in general and Twitter in particular. (Note: the Democratic Party and the supporters of Clinton and Sanders are two different things. Voters have no say in what goes on in either major political party. Rich donors decide that.)

Some Democratic office holders have begun breaking toward the Bernie side for fear of losing those Bernie voters, according to Scher.

I know that all the people who are being mentioned as potential 2020 presidential candidates have endorsed Sanders' single payer health care bill -- Kamala Harris, Corey Booker, Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand. The more fearful democrats will eventually feel its OK for them to endorse it, too, and the Bernie supporters will win the civil war because they reflect what the majority of Americans want and because they're right.

But so far most Democratic office holders, including every one of New Mexico's, still place Wall Street campaign donations -- i.e. holding onto their fancy titles with their gold plated retirements and health care -- above the lives of the thousands if not millions of Americans who will die for lack of adequate health care, just as these same politicians keep funding and voting for our brutal imperialist policies abroad having no regard for the countries they've been destroying one after another and the millions of people they have killed.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Here They Come

Last week CA Democratic senator Camela Harris signed on as a co-sponsor of Bernie Sanders' "Medicare for all" bill -- i.e. universal health care, single payer, i.e. socialized medicine like every other advanced and some not so advanced nation has  -- and now yesterday Elizabeth Warren senator from of CT did the same. Both are testing the waters for a 2020 run for president and are making this move to capture the "Bernie vote," the multi millions of people who are tired of conservative Democrats and rejected party establishment choice Hillary Clinton in 2016 and either voted for the Social Democrat Sanders during the primary or sat out the election.

The tide is turning. The country is moving to the Left. The growing class consciousness among working people -- that is causing Socialism to be on the rise once again in the country -- will determine what Democrats can get away with just as it did from the 1930s up to the 1980s. Eventually even anti worker, pro corporate Democrats like New Mexico's Martin Heinrich, Michelle Grisham and Ben Lujan will be forced to back single payer and other kinds of pro worker legislation. But don't worry. I'll be here to remind everyone that when we needed them most, Heinrich, Grisham, Lujan, Clinton and the rest of the Democratic Party establishment left us high an dry while they served as handmaidens for Wall Street. Never once did they use the platform and power they were handed to advocate for single payer or anything else that would improve working peoples' living standards. Never did they themselves do anything to raise class consciousness or to even get people mobilized so that they could exert their tremendous inherent power. We won't forget it. It's on the record.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

As The US War Against Syria Winds Down It Wouldn't Be Winding Down Don't Forget Under Hillary

Columnists in leading newspapers are now declaring that Bashar Assad has all but won the war and thwarted US Neocons like Hillary who started that thing and Netanyahu Israelis who set out to bring about another of their famous regime changes in Syria, which, as you recall, when they tried that in Afghanistan and then Iraq and then Libya destroyed every one of them not to mention they criminally slaughtered a million to two million or more civilians.

Caitlin Johnstone, one of the better young writers on the Left,  has a piece in Medium titled Three Reasons Why I'm Still Very, Very Glad Hillary Lost that reminds us of how much better off we are with Trump than we'd have been with Hillary, who had promised to escalate Syria plus ratchett up the New Cold War that she and her fellow Neocons started when she was secretary of state. Johnstone's three reasons are Syria, the New Cold War against Russia and the noxious anti worker Neoliberal TPP, Trans Pacific Partnership trade treaty, which Clinton introduced, pushed for and helped negotiate as secretary of state. Trump killed the TPP soon after taking office, has no interest in antogonizing Russia and is letting Syrian wind down.

I'd add a fourth main reason we're better off with Trump. Eight years of Clinton would have meant eight more years of no activism because activists stay home and watch TV whenever there's a Democratic president. Eight years of Hillary would have meant eight more years of the Democratic Party getting more conservative and suck uppity to Wall Street, while people faced each new round of indignations and tried to adapt to it like the frog who gets used to being in a pot of boiling water. Instead of that Socialism is making a comeback in the United States.

The pamphlet Socialism: Utopian and Scientific written in 1880 by Karl Marx' collaborator Frederich Engles explains the Marxist conception of what Socialism is. This work and one or two others would make for a nice primer on Marxism, I think. It clarifies what is meant by Socialism under Marxism, and it also provides a sense of the central tenet of Marxism ,which is that our particular material world is what creates the reality we know and experience and live in. Remember the old nature-nurture question? Marxism takes the nurture side. Another old question phrases the same thing this way: Are we primarily products of our environment or of our genetic makeup?

Capitalism is what creates our reality for us. Capitalism also creates Socialism, in a manner of speaking. It creates the conditions from which Socialism arises. More simply put: Push people too far and they'll push back.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017


Swamp Overflowing

NM Fishbowl photo
NM Fishbowl, a web based investigative news site that focuses on the University of New Mexico, yesterday published an article about how politics affects nearly every aspect of how the university is run. A teaser from the day before said, "How did the University of New Mexico become such a festering political swamp, which has consumed everything from UNM Hospital to Lobo basketball?"

The article by Daniel Libit is titled "The Petty Politics of Loboland" and begins by talking about the Susana Martinez administration but then goes back through several previous administrations. In other words, it's pretty revealing about how New Mexico politics is run, which is that NM politicians apparently consider the part of state government under their control to be their own private plantation. Going by the many examples cited, a NM politician's reasons for being in office have little to do with serving the public and everything to do with increasing their wealth, power and prestige, plus the related matter of settling grudges.

Even the furthering of personal careers seems to be an afterthought - the key things are the power and the wealth and the score settling, and prestige -- know that I've staked out some territory and settled some scores -- within a small closed world of politicians and political donors the average NM citizen probably knows nothing about.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Workers Day

I often criticize those New Mexico Democrats (Michelle Grisham, Martin Heinrich and Ben Lujan, for example) who have ceased uttering the word "union," but state senator Joe Cervantes from Las Cruces isn't among them. I received the below reproduced email solicitation from him a day or two ago. Cervantes is running for the Democratic nomination for governor. The front runner is presumably US Rep Grisham, who almost never releases a press release in which she doesn't in some way use the term "bipartisan," i.e. gives away half the farm before she even sits down at the bargaining table. Republicans almost never use the word "bipartisan" because a., it's a stupid way to do politics, unless you intend to give away half the farm, and b., if they did their supporters would crucify them, whereas left leaning working class voters went to sleep long ago and demand nothing of their candidates.

Cervantes isn't exactly putting forth radical Communism here and what he says is the least any Democrat worthy of being called a Democrat should be saying, so it's remarkable how far right the Democratic Party has veered.

Friday, August 18, 2017


There are lots of places in the country where the highways are relatively free of traffic and one is the Great Plains. US 160 is a little highway that leaves Dodge City in southwest Kansas in a southwesterly direction and passes through a corner of Colorado ending up at the northeast corner of New Mexico. It's 300 miles of plains farmland transitioning into dryer and dryer rangeland. The few towns are far apart and the last one is Pritchett, CO, where I took the above picture. The last 200 miles you're all alone. The car or pickup that passes every half hour barely puts a ripple in the serenity.

That corner of the Great Plains is pretty much all magnificent to drive through. Before you get to the mountains you begin descending, toward the fault line that runs up and down the east side of the Rockies, such that mile high cities like Denver and Albuquerque that are on the fault line are actually at a lower elevation than the far edge of the Great Plains you're coming out of.

As you come down US 160 you're coming down to the dark, far off Sangre de Christos of northern New Mexico. Sometimes they really appear to be moving further away.

On my last trip through there I had a hundred miles of grassland to go when a couple of bears crossed the road a couple hundred feet ahead. By the time I got up to them they were far back in the junipers and then they were flat out gone as if they never saw a mini pickup before.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Democrats And A Healthy Economy



My brother posted this on Facebook. Note what Perkins says about the importance of maintaining the standard of living for the working class to the maintenance of a healthy economy. They tell us that the US economy is growing. Obama was the first president in our history to never oversee a single year of more than three percent growth. That growth rate has been largely the result of printed money the federal reserve and treasury department have been pumping into the economy to prop up the stock market -- the so-called "quantitative easing" they talk about where the government buys up the bad assets on big banks' books and pays for it with new debt that we pay the interest on -- the gains of which go almost entirely to the one percent.

The new jobs added during the Obama administration and now are almost all part time or "contract" and for both kinds the employer doesn't have to pay for the employees' Workmen's Comp, Social Security or Unemployment Insurance so new workers no longer get those befits. Today's Democrats are promoting this type of economy as needed to make the US "competitive." Which only means that they want us to be down on the level or workers in places like China, Bangladesh, India and Indonesia. Democrats also do no want us to be guaranteed health care and more of us die as a result or if we live lead more miserable and insecure lives, while they do fine and can see a doctor any time they want to.

Democrats policies not only hurt Americans living standards but they hurt the overall economy. Frances Perkins knew this way back then, but these Democrats now know exactly what they're doing. They're intentionally hurting us. Whatever their excuse is, they are intentionally hurting Americans and America, and if you support them, you are, too.

Note; Democrats are now slightly modifying their propaganda output to try to head off the growing anger at them. This is after they've lost the presidency, both houses of congress, the balance on the courts and more than 2/3 of all state governments and governorships. When and if they do co-opt that anger and the growing Socialist sentiment in the country it will be back to business as usual for them. Back to photo ops in front of mountains and at local businesses and back to paying homage to the local Chamber of Commerce with the little private speech followed by the nice free banquet and handshakes all around.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

The Cannibal From The Amazon

Online behemoth Amazon (and now Washington Post) owner Jeff Bezos has become so rich that cabinet members come to his office, but he won't give the people who work for him at low wages in Amazon's warehouses -- where they spend long, hot days being driven hard to keep up with their order fulfillment quotas -- enough hours to qualify for Workmen's Comp, Social Security or health care, which means he doesn't have to pay for those benefits. Like most new jobs being created now, most Amazon workers are part time.

US secretary of defense visits Jeff Bezos this week

Forbes has just done a story about the "China-like wages" Bezos pays, but  the World Socialist Web Site has been covering this for a long time. The WSWS regularly interviews Amazon workers around the country who talk about what it's like to be treated like dogs while they barely get by and in some cases have to sign up for food stamps.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

The North Korean Threat

Cable news presenters giddy with war hysteria are on a 24/7 mission to convince Americans that North Korea poses some kind of threat to them and so prepare them for the US government to wage war against that tiny impoverished nation, which poses no threat to the US whatsoever.

The only consolation is that cable news viewers are enjoying a break from 24/7 Russia-Putin hysteria and the endless repetition of evidence free claims leveled against Putin and Russia. That doesn't mean there's no reason to be concerned however as the US is also in the process of flooding eastern Europe with soldiers and military equipment, a summary of which provocations can be found here.

When I say North Korean threat I mean that in this instance the US media/governing elite is using North Korea as the bogeyman to excuse US global imperialism and its endless and expanding bipartisan Neocon wars. We are the threat.

Congress is doing its part to whip up war hysteria, overwhelmingly passing a bill that imposes new sanctions on North Korea, Russia and Iran. (Vote tallies here and here. The only two senators to vote against the bill were Rand Paul and Bernie Sanders.)

New Mexico's federal delegation all voted for the sanctions and is of course doing its part to bring the world closer to war. When it comes to waging war and spending our money on spying, so-called homeland security and the military, congress acts with bipartisan unity and the two parties are exactly the same.

As to how many Americans have forgotten how the media and political elites lied to them in the lead-ups to the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria and are gullible enough to believe what their government and the media tell them when it comes to war, I can't say.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Class Consciousness Intensifies

While the Democratic Socialists of America are holding their annual convention in Chicago this weekend after passing the 25,000 member mark this week (compared to 8,000 and some a year ago) I came across a recent survey that shows that 37 percent of Americans now favor Socialism over Capitalism. The survey was conducted by the conservative Christian oriented American Culture & Faith Institute.

I've reported before (and often) that in repeated polling majorities of young people favor Socialism over Capitalism. That's startling enough but this latest survey is a real shocker in a country where a few short years ago you couldn't use the word Socialism in a sentence if you wanted to be taken seriously. Socialist was used as an epithet and an invective but the conservatives I interact with on social media these days don't ever mention the fact that my profile says I'm a retired Socialist truck driver.

A huge change has taken place already and things are still in a great deal of flux. The powers that be aren't prepared to counteract it, although the rising tide of anti Capitalist sentiment has led the corporate owned Democratic Party to quickly try to re-brand itself as something other than neocon corporate shills. They're out with a new PR campaign that talks about things like raising the minimum wage to $15 and doing something about the nation's vast and rapidly growing inequality in wealth and income although they don't say what because that might unsettle a few billionaire donors or lead to unreasonable expectations by us. Katrina Vanden Huevel, the editor at The Nation, the voice of the Democratic Party's left wing, has written a column in the Washington Post pointing out the good and bad pointsof the Democrats' scheme. Recall that as late as this fall Hillary Clinton wouldn't endorse a $15 minimum wage. We didn't deserve it. Remember?

Of course no one I know is fooled by this naked attempt to co-opt the increasing anger of the working class, and actual Democrat politicians like the ones we have here in New Mexico aren't talking about improving the lot of their working constituents at all and none of them has ever said anything leads me to think they'd ever endorse any of it. These corporate toadies endless campaign donation solicitations still pump out consultant driven messages that try to pump up fear of President Trump and the Koch Bothers and never say one word that would ever commit any of them to doing anything that might improve the plight of working Americans. The class war is heating up but they've already chosen sides and it's not ours.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Taryl The Lawn Mower Whisperer

Mom's riding mower has been cutting out once in awhile so I went on YouTube where there are many lawn mower repair videos but the first couple minutes of this one rocketed Taryl to the top of my favorite lawn mower repairman list.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Russia and Putin And Trump And Russia And Putin

I hear Democrats talk endlessly about Russia and Putin and how Donald Trump is about to do this or that scary thing

I haven't heard one Democrat talk about:

Fixing Obamacare
Single payer health care, you know, that thing the American people want
The increasing income inequality
The decreasing living standards
Stagnant wages
The lack of good jobs among the newly created ones
The lack of full time jobs among the newly created ones
The lack of jobs with benefits
The hurdles to union organizing that have been erected over the years
The Employee Free Choice Act that would remove some of them but which Democrats themselves have tabled
College students graduating with $25,000 average debt
Public education's lack of money due to tax breaks for the rich (that Democrats voted for)

Meanwhile Democrats continue to provide unwavering backing for a military on a global rampage of destroying countries and killing civilians by the thousands in the seven countries it's bombing and droning in your name.

Monday, July 17, 2017


You don't see much coverage of Venezuela in the corporation owned "mainstream media" but what is there universally supports the illicit efforts by the US government at regime and therefore is necessarily inaccurate.

The US via state department departments like USAID has spent millions of our money organizing and training the Venezuelan "opposition," i.e. the old oligarchy and it's upper middle class beneficiaries and hangers on. This is never mentioned by our mainstream media which often cites the number of people killed during the latest round of violent, US backed opposition street protests but never once mentions that most of them are being killed by opposition protestors, who have made it part of their strategy to destabilizethe country to set supporters of the government on fire and string wire across roads to behead government supporters on motorcycles. Although the oligarchy owns almost all the media in Venezuela and uses it daily to trash the Maduro government, the US media claims that Maduro has cracked down on and controls the media. And on and on.

I can't think of one area in which the US media is so blatantly dishonest, even as regards Russia and before that Cuba and before that the USSR and the pre-Capitalist Commuist China but I can't really explain it. Our media, owned and controlled by corporations, traditionally has seen its role as boosterism for US foreign policy -- a different ethic pertains there versus its domestic coverage -- but in Venezuela it goes far beyond that. If you're interested in knowing what's going on in Venezuela, the web site Venezuela Analysis is good. It supports Venezuela's efforts to implement Socialism but pulls no punches in pointing out the errors of the government. I decided to write this post after seeing an article there about a reliable poll that shows an overwhelming number of Venezuelans, 71 percent, still support the Maduro government. To read the US media you'd think the entire population was in revolt against it.

Trump Chokes On Skittles

The Democratic Party's policy nowadays is that Donald Trump is evil. That's it. They occasionally toss out buzzwords like "income inequality" but never offer any ideas or legislation to address it. Never. It's not that their wall Street funders wouldn't like it, which they wouldn't, it's that Democrats don't believe in addressing income inequality, or those other things they never mention like declining working class living standards, stagnant wages, health care that's slipping toward third world levels, and so on.

Even more ominously the party of war is also realigning itself with the infamous Neocon movement, which actually originated in the Democratic Party as told by Glenn Greenwald in writing about a new think tank that will push anti Russia and anti Iran policies by bringing together some of the main Neocon figures with some of the top Democrats from the Obama Administration and Hillary Clinton campaign.

The Neocon's basic premise is that the US should use its military might to cement US world hegemony and spread US Capitalism through imperialism. They were anti Trump and pro Hillary during the campaign because Trump wasn't a warmonger and Hillary was. I shudder to think where the world would be if Hillary had won. Likely at war with Iran or Russia or both. It might might have started out as the intervention Clinton promised in Syria, or in Crimea and Ukraine which she also promoted, and we might be buying fallout shelters again.

And if Hillary had won Democrats would be trying to stem the rising tide of discontent among its base by re-introducing a bill to raise the minimum wage a token amount, and you can bet your final dollar that there'd be absolutely no effort by Democrats to redistribute wealth back to the millions of people whose labor crated it in the first place but are hurting for lack of it. Democrats don't believe in that any more, especially Democrats from New Mexico.