Friday, August 18, 2017

Abandonó





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 they they were flat out gone as if they never saw a mini pickup before.









Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Democrats And A Healthy Economy

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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

Venezuela

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.





Saturday, July 15, 2017

Young Socialists.2

Among these young Socialists are writers like Caitlin Johnstone and Holly Wood. Johnstone got a lot of people talking this week with an article in which she recommended working with the working class Right to bring down the US government's propaganda wing, the mainstream media. She says the time is ripe and the media is vulnerable and points to the way the mainstream media lost control of the narrative in the 2016 election.


In "The Kids are Socialist Because Capitalism is Dickslapping the Planet" Holly Wood makes the case for dumping Capitalism for its ruthless, deadly, amoral, unthinking logic.

More of their work at Medium. Search by their name and you get their article page.







Friday, July 14, 2017

Pizza And Class Struggle - The Young Socialists


Here's the Twitter page of the Democratic Socialists of America group at Hay High school in Buda, TX.




Their Twitter handle is @HaysSocialists. Here's what they wrote as their tag line:






With 25,000 or so members the Democratic Socialists of America is the largest Socialist organization in the US, but two-thirds of the new members have joined since the election, which conceivably could have ended with a Democratic Socialist as president.

The Socialism of these new members is largely undefined. They don't know that much about Socialism but they do know they don't like Capitalism and they want a more just and equitable system.



The mere fact that the use of the word Socialism in this country has become widespread and people aren't afraid to identify as Socialists, considering that not long ago Socialism was essentially a dirty word, must seem discouraging to the people who had been fantasizing that they had eradicated Socialism, but I don't hear them complaining about it. Although I identify myself on Twitter as a retired Socialist truck driver I even have some Twitter followers who are out and out conservatives and none of the conservatives I interact with on social media hurls epithets at me about my Socialism. They accept the fact and have moved on.

And in the  former Soviet states majorities wish they had Communism back.



Socialist Malala Yousafzai graduated from high school this week in Afghanistan, where attending school almost got her killed. Surviving that murder attempt and standing up to radical Islam makes her a darling of the US media and she spends that social capital on advocating for the education of girls, but she hasn't disavowed or tried to obscure her Socialism in order to further her career as people like Amy Goodman who produces and hosts the Democracy Now program do. In this picture Ms Yousafzai was speaking at a Socialism conference in Pakistan in 2012.






Along with the upsurge in Socialism there's a rejuvenation of ingenious and bold thinking going on. One example is this argument for why the Left needs to arm itself.

The concept dovetails nicely with the story of how protestors beat the cops at last week's big G20 meeting in Hamburg, Germany. The article is written by and for anarchists but applies to the broad Left. A third of all the cops in Germany were in Hamburg to protect the ruling class from the peasantry but the cops had to retreat as the protestors took control of a big part of Hamburg. I saw live TV shots showing a large contingent of protestors roaming the streets breaking windows at will. The cops and shop owners had left.

The matter of who has the upper hand and who doesn't is decided by public consensus which usually changes slowly but can change all in an instant, too. It's agreed upon that the authorities are to be left in charge of things and handed enough power to keep things under control. The protestors reversed the usual dynamic at the point at which the police collectively feared the people. The article explains how it was accomplished and also how this particular incident can be universalized. (Note: Socialism and Anarchism are close ideological cousins. Both are Marxist in analysis but whereas Socialism attempts to seize the power of the state to implement its program Anarchism seeks to eliminate the state and return power directly to the people.)

The actions of a few demonstrated what a fine line there is between them having the upper hand and us having it, and how tenuous their hold on their power is. It's only power we've ceded to them, after all, and we can easily take it back.

Not a cop in sight:


itsgoingdown.org





Thursday, July 13, 2017

Lost Generation II

Is this live or is it Memorex?

https://archive.org/details/Schizoidopshandofgodaugust2013/10+LODI.wav









Lost Generation


Musical creation plays a big role in creating generational identity but then as a generation progresses progressive music eventually comes to be seen as obtrusive noise, even subversive. Without music's subversive influence a default conservatism takes hold almost unawares. And now one of my favorite melodies:














Monday, July 10, 2017

The People Want Single Payer Helthcare But Democrats Won't Allow It To Be Discussed Or Voted On

Democrats steadfastly refuse to  get behind a single payer healthcare system, but that's exactly what people want. They want what every European country has, what Canada has, what Russia and China have. In fact not only do Democrats not promote single payer they actively oppose it including the "Medicare For All" version of universal health care proposed by Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.




If you need more proof Democrats aren't the "party of the people" there are many. Here's a couple: They vote for lower taxes for the rich, they vote for budgets that cut social services, they take huge campaign bribes from the rich, they've adopted Neoliberal economics -- i.e. Reaganomics -- Supply Side Economics, it used to be called.

Now I read that Democrats made a "strategic calculation" to throw health care for people fortunate than they are, Medicaid, under the bus, meaning thousands of people will die. But all of their policies mean more people will die, especially brown skinned people in other countries who've been blown into small pieces in the many ongoing US imperial wars, which Democrats always help promote and always vote to pay for. Party of the people indeed.


The following picture is of some of the people who attended a fancy party in "the Hamptons" hosted by the owner of the presumably liberal Washington Post.



Top left is major Democrat funder George Soros. Top right top US senate Democrat Charles Schumer.


If you're unsure what the Hamptons are that's where the multimillionaire Obamas hang ou when they're not vacationing on Martha's Vineyard or Mali or private billionaire owned islands. 






Friday, July 7, 2017

Which Side Are You On?





The small but rapidly growing Left has more or less coalesced around the idea of using the Trumpcare/Obamacare debate to press the Democratic Party about its stance on single payer healthcare, i.e. universal coverage -- that thing every other developed country in the world has some form of where if you need to see a doctor you can, regardless. It's socialized medicine, actually, just like Social Security is socialized retirement income. To each according to their need, from each according to their means. It's called being humane.

The Left's efforts have meant that random Democrats have been forced to explicitly state they are against single payer health care and forced a lot of working people to face up to the fact that Democrats aren't on their side.

It's up to us to fill in the blanks and point out that today's Democrats, all of them, especially the ones here in New Mexico, don't really care if thousands of their fellow Americans die every year because they can't afford to get checkups and receive the medical help they need. It's up to us to point out that these people die completely needlessly because there's easily 100 times the wealth in the country it would require to see to it that everyone had good health care. It's up to us to say that it's completely unconscionable, disgusting really, that Democrats are more interested in helping people who've managed to accumulate wealth hold on to every penny of it and are more interested in being re-elected, in maintaining whatever power they have left by kowtowing to the big businesses that finance their campaigns. It's up to us to point out that people die because of Democrats.



The man pictured above, by the way, is Dennis Chavez, a US senator from New Mexico from 1935-1962 and before that our representative in the US house. He wrote some of the most important New Deal legislation, the bill creating the Rural Electrification Administration, and voted for the act that established the Social Security Administration. Chavez gained some sway in his more than 30 years in Washington and got New Mexico the big military contracts that we still rely on and that have supported generations of New Mexicans. Dennis Chavez wrote pioneering civil rights legislation that laid out a lot of the legal framework on which the landmark civil rights legislation that would come a few years later was based.

Dennis Chavez knew which side he was on, the side of the people. If Dennis Chavez was a Democrat, these people in office now who call themselves Democrats are something else. If Dennis Chavez was a Democrat these people who go around calling themselves Democrats don't deserve to call themselves that. Not while people are living miserable lives and wasting away with untreated illnesses and dying because of them.







Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Marxist Theory

You won't come across the term "Marxist analysis" very often unless you spend a lot of your time reading radical Leftist literature, but to celebrate Independence Day Jacobin Magazine published a Marxist analysis of the US constitution written in 1990 by Bertell Ollman, who teaches Marxist theory at New York University.

When Marxism is mentioned its usually in terms of Socialism, even though that's just one aspect of Marxism. There are also the theories Marx and Engels laid out in their many writings that established new ways of analyzing many things -- art, music, literature, society, and in this case a historical document.

As you read through it and see what kinds of things it takes into account, how it weighs different aspects of its subject, the assumptions and values it makes use of, you'll notice that although it's pretty "radical" sounding, a lot of it isn't that far different from a lot of what you'd read in mainstream academia. That's because  mainstream academia has been heavily influenced by Marxism -- Marxist theory and Marxist academics. It's just not widely recognized as such.







Thursday, June 22, 2017

New Buffalo

This nice little video of Lake Michigan at New Buffalo, MI, where I grew up, was taken by my brother Bob on Tuesday.




The lake on that day was what I'd call mildly displeased. It can get pretty angry with waves of twenty feet and more that occasionally sink the ships that traverse the Great Lakes -- ocean going ships that come up the St Lawrence River and even the huge ore boats that carry iron from Michigan's Upper Peninsula to the steel mills that line the lake near Chicago.

New Buffalo's population was 1,883 in 2010, according to Wikipedia, where I found this picture of the beach on a sunnier day. It was taken from almost the same place as Bob was standing to shoot his video.



We always said New Buffalo's population was 2,500 so I don't know what's caused the decline. A lot of people have left there like I did. Also, being across the bottom of the lake from Chicago it's a resort town. People from the Chicago area and northern Indiana have summer homes there but 20 or 30 years ago began buying homes in New Buffalo and the surrounding countryside. Perhaps they've displaced some of the permanent residents. "Chicago people" as we called them once owned primarily the houses along or near the lake, which now sell more than one million dollars.

Those big gray rocks in the left part of Bob's video extend from either side of the mouth of the Galien River and form a little manmade harbor. It was built by the US Army Corps of Engineers just before I graduated from NBHS in 1971 and was a big deal.

Before, every year the mouth of the river would fill up with sand washed up by waves until it was only a few feet deep and would have to dredged out so motor boats from the marina that stretches along the river and a couple of the creeks that empty into it could reach the lake.






Sunday, June 11, 2017

Next Blog >> gems



Contd










Why Corbyn Won


"For too long now the rich have got ever richer whilst those struggling have had no hope of improving their lot. That’s just wrong as well. We cannot continue along this path. There is a new movement in Britain demanding social change and the millions who voted for the Labour Party cannot and should not be denied." Jeremy Corbyn



Corbyn campaigned on an explicitly Socialist platform of free college tuition, saving Britian's universal health care system and re-nationalizing industries that had been privatized by Margaret Thatcher and her successor, the architect of "New Labour" -- the UK's Bill Clinton -- Tony Blair.

In America the rich still get richer and the poor poorer and Democrats show zero inclination to do anything about it. Read through their public utterances in the press and on social media and see for yourself that they post absolutely nothing, ever, about wealth and income inequality in the US. It's pathetic. We're going down and they're attending LGBT and green energy photo ops with people who are doing pretty well. A wave of public revulsion over how the Democratic Party has sold out the working class may yet drive it back to its roots, but Neoliberal, Reaganomics Democrats are still in control of all party mechanisms so there's no reason to think it will be any time soon.

In any event, change originates outside the political system and it will require an uprising of the people, and it must be an informed, class conscious people or we'll end up right back where we are now.






Saturday, June 10, 2017

Again Number One In Badness

Atzlan Entrepreneurs Turn Dusty Settlement Into Bustling Business Center

Albuquerque Free Press has a story about our surge to becoming number one in the country in car thefts, but it never once mentions the titans of the industry, Mexicano entrepreneurs who masterminded big, profitable business enterprises, that support thousands of well-paid professional jobs. From CEO to crack car liberator to people spread across an international distribution network to the grandmother who makes a deposit on the other side from time to time. These are bad ass Mexicanos. They made us number one and are due their proper due.












Friday, June 2, 2017

The West West

My house seems like it was designed in such a way that if you stand in the hallway you have a good, clear rifle shot at the front doorway.


Anyone coming into the house from a sun lit outdoors wouldn't see you standing in the shadow and you could get off several rounds before they knew what hit them.

Was the house designed that way? It's the basic tract house of a type built in 1949. Whether you needed that defensive feature in New Mexico in 1949, I don't know. In other ways, however, the house is exactly suited for its environment and its environment shaped how the house was designed and built. It has inch thick concrete walls covered with an insulating fiberboard and then stucco that stay cool practically all day and warm pretty much all night. A slight breeze will ventilate the entire house. Air flowing over the flat roof creates a vacuum on the leeward side windows and the layout of the rooms and opening between them aids in the circulation process. The people who designed and built it knew what they were doing. Would they have also put some thought into making the house easy to defend if need be?

I like to say New Mexico is the last remnant of the wild, wild west. That's a play on the name of the old TV series The Wild, Wild West, but I say it because of the close connection between present day New Mexico and its past, which, after all, represents the real American West that was here centuries before the Anglo west of dime store novels and Hollywood movies got conjured up in creative 20th century minds. 

The actual West of New Mexico's past is carried on in the culture here. The past remains in force in many ways and compared to many places remains relatively undiluted. Much of New Mexico has remained relatively physically isolated. The closest big cities, that might have been the source of other cultural influences, are at least 500 miles in any direction and probably more than a week's travel away before paved roads became common.

Those strong cultural influences may explain why Native and Native Hispanic New Mexico are wild, or untamed you might say, in another sense; people here never submitted and became servile to an outside government. That's also true in parts of the US South, but the prevailing culture here has been in place much longer and is not so much a reaction to the prevailing American culture as it predates it by several centuries.









409.org

I assume everyone has heard by now that the "Paris Climate Accord" President Trump announced he is pulling out of was actually nothing but a publicity stunt engineered by Barak Obama that didn't obligate the United States or any other country to reduce greenhouse gasses by one iota.

Although Obama left office with a reputation as an environmental president, during his tenure the concentration of Co2 and other greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere increased at the same rate it had been increasing before that, and if anything sped up, and a big reason is that every year Obama would go to that climate summit in Paris and make sure the final declaration didn't contain any language that obligated anybody to do anything to reduce greenhouse gasses. They agreed instead that each country would voluntarily come up with their own greenhouse gas and pollution "targets."

The conventional wisdom for why Obama did that is that since he knew he'd be judged by how the economy did while he was in office and not by the amount of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere, he wasn't going to do anything that would hurt the economy such as impose regulations on the business world. That's correct except that Obama did it not so much to help the economy as to make sure he didn't interrupt the flow of campaign cash from Wall Street and big corporations into the accounts of the Democratic Party, the same reason he did everything else, the same reason he never allowed any legislation to be introduced that would increase wages or strengthen unions or in any other way redistribute any wealth back into the accounts of the people whose labor had originally created it. Conservative Democrats like Obama, the Clintons, and the kind we have in New Mexico decided a long time ago that they'd try to cling to power by doing the bidding of the wealthy, and an affluent layer of  feminists, Blacks, gays and other identity politics adherents, instead of serving the interests of the mass of working class Americans.



Note: One of the big environmental groups is 350.org. They want to decrease the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere until it's down to 350 parts per million, or 350 ppm. As of now it's at 409 ppm. Below are two graphs that show how CO2 concentration has increased in recent years and over the long haul.














 

Monday, May 29, 2017

Anything But A Democrat


"There is now a sizable list of election results involving Republican candidates who survived seemingly unsurvivable scandals to win higher office."

"The lesson in almost all of these instances seems to be that enormous numbers of voters would rather elect an openly corrupt or mentally deranged Republican than vote for a Democrat."

Rolling Stone magazine's Matt Taibbi makes this point in a new article with the understated title The Democrats Need A New Message.





Friday, May 26, 2017

How Many Votes Does The Working Class Have?






The thinking on the Left is that the Democratic Party establishment has forgone the notion that the party represents the working class (people who live off paychecks and not investment income or rent) and has made a conscious effort to redefine its base in a way that doesn't include the working class or at least not most of it; namely that the party sees its base as being a multi racial milleau of upper middle class socially liberal professionals (including people who have "made it" and those who hope and expect to "make it") and people who identify with some type of identity politics such as many feminists, Blacks and gays do.

That scenario matches the reality that the Democratic Party has become more business friendly and seeks out and receives more campaign money from "Wall Street" - i.e. big banks, hedge fund managers, corporate CEOs, law firms and the like. I often say today's Democrats are Republicans who are in favor of gay marriage and abortion and ours in New Mexico are prime examples. The never talk about, or put forth legislation to promote, economic equality, better working class pay and benefits, or to remove the formidable barriers to union organizing that have been erected over the years. On economic matters they vote with Republicans and they vote to cut social spending and to hike military spending.

Many radicals and many of the thousands of people flocking to Socialist organizations have sworn off the Democratic Party and will not vote for a Democrat, and there are those whom you might call Bernie Sanders/Elizabeth Warren Democrats, i.e., the party's left wing, who only vote Democratic because they fear Republicans more and would vote for a viable alternative if there was one.

All this raises questions like how many actual votes are in the working class., and would a class based Democratic Party attract many working class Republicans? What if it campaigned on economic issues and let people make up their own minds about abortion, gay marriage, women's rights and civil rights?







Look at the top right pie chart that shows that almost everyone makes $60k or less. These graphics say families that take in $50 to $60,000 per year and less, are, by a wide margin the majority in America.

But what about civil rights, women's rights, gay rights? Those peoples lives matter certainly. They vote, and if you removed them from the graphs above the $50K and under families would probably no longer be a majority by itself.

That's the kind of calculation that has led the Democrats, their consultants and polling firms to where they are, beholden to big business and with living standards for the majority in decline, and unable to win elections like the one last night in Montana and the one Donald Trump won in November.














Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Good News, Love On A Picket Line, Trolls

It's good to be back home in New Mexico after spending time up in Michigan helping Mom out and celebrating her 91st birthday with brothers and sisters, their kids and kids' kids and some close family friends. Below is a picture of Mom, Agnes May (Stull) Conway, with brothers Bob, Bill and Frank behind her and flanked by sisters Jackie Poff and Sandra Mortenson. The pretty brunette next to me is artist Kathy Goldstein of Jackson, MI, a good fiend of the family who I got to come down and surprise Mom.




Hometown New Buffalo is on the lake in the state's southwest corner and was once a big port town. It was named by its founder, Buffalo, New York merchant marine captain Wessell Whittaker, who turned developer in not long after he shipwrecked in 1834 on what is now New Buffalo's beach. The main street, which Whittaker named for himself, ends at Lake Michigan, next to the mouth of a beautiful, lush estuary that winds through the wooded sand dunes where I romped and tromped and sometimes hunted and fished as I went through that process where everything becomes less and less certain that we know of as growing up. 

Properties on and near the lake sell for more than a million dollars. Those are the "Chicago people." The working class of New Buffalo, including some in my family, do the Chicago peoples' carpentry, remodeling, painting and wallpapering, mow their yards, do their plumbing, electrical work and lay their carpeting. While I was home I spent a few days helping Bill paint a house a few miles up the lake in Bridgman.

The picture below is of a little creek that runs through Mom's seven acres, which is across the New York Central passenger tracks from the lake. You might be able to pick out the gravel embankment of the C&O freight switching yard. I grew up to the rumbling of switch engines and the banging of rail cars as they were shunted off to different tracks, but the yard isn't used any more. Michigan has been de-industrialized by Capitalism and its Democrat and Republican handmaids.






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The above picture shows where the estuary I mentioned empties into Lake Michigan at a nice little US Army Corps of Engineers built taxpayer funded harbor. One river bend away from there is the beginning of a lush duneland ecosystem supported by a marsh populated with deer, ducks, geese, herons, foxes, cougars and all kinds of birds and critters.


Photo by Kevin Dooley - flickr.com/photos/pagedooley/




Love On A Picket Line

One of the long conversations I had with Mom during my visit led to her telling the tale of how she and Dad met. I'd never heard before and am very glad to have now. It goes like this: One morning in 1944 she was on her way to work in the office at the big Oliver Farm Equipment company in South Bend, IN, and there was a picket line in front of the plant. Mom did the "foreign billing." Lots of farm equipment was being sold to Cuba.

There was a man  in a suit and tie there who represented the International -- union headquarters in Washington -- and who also operated a steam powered crane in the plant's foundry, my dad, Maurice Conway. She asked him what she should do and he said she should go down to the union hall and have a doughnut and coffee.

What he meant was, 'Don't cross the picket line.' This is something you don't do in union country. My Mom knew about such things. Her family had fled the potato famine that followed the Revolution of 1848 along with millions of other Germans who helped build the American Labor Movement and who spread prairie populism through US farm country, built Grange halls, formed grain and milk cooperatives and burned their crops and dumped their milk on the ground in fights with the big distributors. She went down to the union hall and he came down later, sat across from her, they started chatting, one thing led to another.

The union my Dad was a member of, Mom said, the United Farm Equipment and Metal Workers Of America, would soon be disbanded by the government because it's leaders were Communists, and after that the workers were represented by the United Autoworkers Union.

I searched for more details about that and they weren't readily available, but I did come across a web site that talked about the Farm Equipment union becoming the subject "raids" by the United Auto Workers and the UAW forcing the Farm Equipment union out of some workplaces.

Both stories are in keeping with the history of the major industrial union leaders' collaboration with the US and state governments in their McCarthyite witch hunts for Communists and their suppression of Socialism in the Labor Movement. Most of the big unions at the time conducted well publicized purges of their Communist members. Recall also that the then president of the actor's union, the Screen Actors Guild, Ronald Reagan, was giving the names of friends and colleagues who he suspected of being Communists to the FBI, leading to them being blackballed and usually ending of their careers.



And Not Even A Trot Line Was Thrown Out

A retired male nurse trolls my blog and leaves comments that I delete without even reading because they never vary in tone or content. He concocts arguments against me by saying I said this or that when I never said this or that and is seemingly obsessed with getting his version of what I said into print. At one point he tried commenting anonymously using a John Wayne-like alter ego he slips into now and then.

He wanted Hillary Clinton to be president and like many people simply can't wrap his head around the fact that her and her brand of conservative, corporate friendly Democrat, who completely control the party apparatus,  have been nothing but one big disaster for the American working class, even worse for working people in other countries.

People really do need to get a grip. For all the horror and panic about Donald Trump you hear he's accomplished nothing and his prospects for getting anything accomplished diminish every day and with each gaffe, overreach, tweet and ignorant misstep his bumbling administration takes the opposition to him grows, enabled by massive working class resistance to everything Trump tries to do that affects working peoples' bottom line.

If Hillary Clinton had been elected president, there would be no resistance. Government would be working smoothly and relentlessly on behalf of corporations and the wealthy and no one would even notice because the media would be going about business as usual, willfully oblivious as Clinton and her $250,000 per paid speech Wall Street benefactors further eviscerated American living standards and murdered countless innocent brown skinned people abroad with complete impunity.

No one makes an argument against that. There isn't one. The argument people use is that they can't believe anyone would ever want Donald Trump to be president and not Hillary and they stew in childish anger until they find an object for it that they can lash out at.








Sunday, May 14, 2017

Propaganda As We Like It

Quartz, another new online media outlet that's making a go of it, in the first installment of a series on propaganda, offers a pretty good explanation of how we arrived at this Trump-Brexit-Alternative-Facts world we now live in. (Gideon Lichfield's article starts just below the introduction to the series and it's not that long of an article.)

Lichfield draws on sources like Aldous Huxley's classic Brave New World and the work of the contemporary cognitive linguist George Lakoff to explain why these weird things are happening, and why conservatism is consistently beating liberalism on the electoral battlefield. A lot of it, according to Lakoff, has to do with what liberals and conservatives tend to study in college:

"If you’re a conservative going into politics, there’s a good chance you’ll study cognitive science, that is, how people really think and how to market things by advertising. So they know people think using frames and metaphors and narratives and images and emotions and so on…
Now, if instead you are a progressive…you’ll study political science, law, public policy, economic theory and so on… What you’ll learn in those courses is what is called Enlightenment reason, from 1650, from Descartes. And here’s what that reasoning says:… [I]f we think logically and we all have the same reasoning, if you just tell people the facts, they should reason to the same correct conclusion. And that just isn’t true. And that keeps not being true, and liberals keep making the same mistake year after year after year."


You've no doubt noticed that many writers have been taking a stab at answering the question of "What happened?" Of how we arrived at this Trump-Brexit-Alternative-Facts world we now live in. The series introduction gives what I think is a pretty good short answer:


The standard answer is that many things had gone wrong. The global financial crisis. Jobs lost to globalization and automation. Widening inequality. Terrorist attacks. Refugees. And complacent, technocratic elites who spoke self-assuredly of growth and progress while failing to notice how many people saw little of either.

"Technocratic elites" includes mainstream Democrats, especially the type we have in New Mexico who never talk about the economic reality of the working class and never offer any legislation that would improve it, ever. Don't take my word for it. Go to their social media feeds and their senate and house web sites where you'll find nothing but mindless pablum that delights the hearts of the wealthy. On the state level my representatives don't even put out anything. Nothing. They have no web sites, they send out no newsletters, nothing. Unless you're a political insider or you made a concerted effort to find out, you'd never even know who they were.

Think about that, think about what your elected representative puts out, as you read Litchfield's article about propaganda. And keep in mind that in the end, its on us. If anyone can figure out how to reach the masses, it's us.





Tuesday, May 9, 2017

The Forever Wars

The Taliban again control a large part of Afghanistan 16 years after the US government's invasion and the Trump Administration will soon begin sending more troops there, according to the Wall Street Journal which published this map as part of an article updating the war.








The web site National Priorities has a running tally that puts that particular war's cost to you and me at $771 billion and counting, but free lance journalist Ken Klipperstein says it's $1 trillion. The Taliban have become very rich in the poppy/opium trade and now in an expanding array of enterprises. Mining is their number two income source, the Journal says.

The US has ongoing wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Pakistan. For awhile it looked like Donald Trump might wind down some of this insane imperialism but he's turned over conduct of the wars to the generals including the mad dog he named defense secretary, the US Marine general who's actually called Mad Dog Mathis.

Tom Bacevich has a good article at Tom Dispatch that lists 24 questions the media should be asking but isn't and number one is why doesn't our military, on which we spend multiples of billions more than any other country, ever win anything any more?

Bacevich asks some really excellent questions. Number seven:

7. The war formerly known as the “Global War on Terrorism”: What precisely is Washington’s present strategy for defeating violent jihadism?  What sequence of planned actions or steps is expected to yield success? If no such strategy exists, why is that the case?  How is it that the absence of strategy -- not to mention an agreed upon definition of “success” -- doesn’t even qualify for discussion here?








Friday, May 5, 2017

Protect Yourself From White Collar Crime







The New Inquiry has put together a delightful tool that tracks where white collar crime occurs and eventually will be able to predict where it occurs and by whom -- just like the computerized geographic modeling law enforcement uses for blue collar crime. An accompanying white paper tells how they do it.

At first take it's hard to imagine its usefulness and you might even think they're being tongue in cheek, but it's very serious, and it's usefulness lies primarily in that it gets you to think outside the constraints of your conditioning.

When we think of "crime" we usually think about the crimes the working class is arrested for and convicted of -- blue collar crime. We don't even include white collar crime in our considerations and that's deleterious in a number of ways. One, white collar crime is more costly to society and not just monetarily. For some of its caustic effects check out an insightful article by Glen Greenwald about what he calls elite immunity.

Our dual way of perceiving criminality -- where working class/blue collar crime is one thing and white collar/ruling class is something else-- also serves as a means of social control. When there are two sets of rules, when one class can move the goal posts around arbitrarily so that they're always the winners, we're on some level perpetually trying to gain but never obtaining upper class sanction. And think of the effects it's had on society to have vastly different penalties and consequences for, and law enforcement's prioritizing of, the two commonly used forms of cocaine -- powder, the choice of the ruling class, and crack, used mostly by the working class.

That New Media I'm Always Promoting Sometimes

The New Inquiry is one of a number of refreshing new publications that are filling the void created by the collapse of traditional information gatekeepers -- newspapers, journals, magazines, etc. -- by taking advantage of low cost web publishing and the lack of publishing opportunities for people who have something to say but can't get published, because of the collapse of traditional media, and who, in many cases never would have been published because their views, unlike everything that appears in the mainstream media, haven't received official pre-approval. Several of them are mentioned in a The Guardian article including another I've referred to, the Socialist online magazine Jacobin.






Saturday, April 29, 2017

May Day Comes To America

Monday, May Day, International Workers Day, 1 de Mayo, is the Marxist labor day, the day of celebrating the idea of the working class, and it's always been the biggest holiday of the year in Socialist countries. Here in tightly Capitalist controlled, conservative United States, it's been quietly observed by the small cadre of perennial Leftists and you might have seen a small march here and there, but this year there are going to be more celebrations, parades, protests and calls for general strikes taking place, by far, than in any other year in my lifetime.

May Day 2016 in Havana, Cuba - Workers World photo
May Day actually originated right here in the USA. As the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) web site explains, it was started in the late 1800s by workers who were agitating for things like the eight hour day, the struggles that began the great upsurge of the American Labor Movement that reached its peak in the middle of the 20th Century and brought you the standard of living you enjoy today.

People of Latin American background have celebrated May Day in the US for years without it being visible to the general Anglo public. Many of the May Day posters you'll see this year are in both English and Spanish or in Spanish only, an indication of the fact that, like the previous wave of American labor activity this one is being fueled by immigrants. And now, in the wake of the rapid growth of Socialist and Communist organizations and parties in the US, May Day celebrations are exploding also.

Not all of this May Day's actions are entirely or specifically about labor. This is a reflection of how splintered the American working class has become with the Democratic Party having played the role of co-opting, dividing and diverting working class energy and with the rise of identity politics associated with that, which is why the rise of a Socialist movement, and in opposition to the Democratic Party, is so important.

Marxism has the capacity to unite workers of all ethnicities, genders and nationalities under a common anti Imperialist, pro worker, economic critique of Capitalism, in a struggle that will liberate all workers at once. When that unity comes about the amount of power that movement will have will easily dwarf that of the Capitalist state, which may be able to rely on the loyalty of some of the police, but no American politician living today has the guts to order the mighty US military to attack Americans, even if it's conceivable that members of today's military would obey an order to attack their own mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, spouses and and children. Perhaps in some 1950s type era of blind nationalism, aka patriotism, but not, I don't believe, today. The military is peopled by too many people who don't buy into the founding Pilgrim narrative or who haven't shared in the country's material wealth and who know very well why not.

Following are a few of the posters different groups have made for their May Day actions. Some of these are on the May1.org web site that lists many of the actions taking place around the country and some from Telesur, the CNN (i. e. state propaganda news service) of Venezuela, which seldom misses an opportunity to remind the Gringo Imperialist state of its weaknesses.















































Friday, April 28, 2017

Socialism Is Taking Over The United States Daily Update

Of the Socialist parties and organizations undergoing rapid growth the Democratic Socialists of America is experiencing the most. This is from their social media postings tonight.





Notice that more than half of these new chapters are in the South.






Thursday, April 27, 2017

Socialism Will Save Us Update

Just as Socialists immigrants from Europe and Latin America started the American Labor Movement that gave American workers the buying power that propelled the US economy to its preeminent position in the world, and just as their Socialists ideas created the working class that compelled our inherently conservative political system to enact Social Security, Medicare, Workmens Comp, the WPA, REA, EPA and everything else that's good and progressive about America, Socialism is rising again to save the county from the inevitable consequences of Capitalism.

Over past weeks I've been pointing out examples of Socialism's rising popularity as manifested by the rapid growth of Socialist organizations and parties, even the Communist Part, and we all know about the success of the presidential campaign of Democratic Socialist Bernie Sanders campaign. This week The Nation, the longtime voice of the left wing of the Democratic Party, has an article saying that members of the Democratic Socialists of America have won 12 recent local elections and not only in places like the union town of Rock Island, IL, but also in places like deep red state Georgia. And twelve doesn't sound like much except when you consider that a year ago there was no measurable Socialist movement in this country.



Socialism's rising popularity comes more at the expense of Democrats than Republicans and yet Democrats show no signs of correcting their course or even that they're aware they need to. Just take a look at the just the first few seconds of these two video clips of Bernie Sanders being interviewed alongside Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez. First, Perez passes on an invitation to endorse Medicare for all and then he says that Sanders' calling out of the ruling class, for things like amassing mountains of wealth at the expense of workers, is a "false choice." That is the language of class warfare from above, which is of course what the Neoliberal economic policies Democrats have adapted are all about, but it's hard for me to imagine someone being more blatantly dismissive of worker's interests or policy preferences.




















Sunday, April 23, 2017

Vive La

Today's French elections are being watched much more closely than usual. It's that after Brexit, and Trump, everybody's wondering, now what? What's next? Will we finally  start tracking back toward what we think of in hindsight as normalcy or continue spinning out of control.....

Ah, control of what and of whom? I say let's go.

But anyway, most news accounts refer to what's going on in France in a cursory manner if at all. Diana Johnstone lays out the main issue in Counterpunch and how the candidates relate to it.

Many in the US still can't comprehend what's going on here, or grasp the political sea change that's taken place with the Democrats' utter abandonment of the working class and Republicans becoming the populists with the Tea Party and now the fer-crissakes-Trump. It's easy to be misled by all the references to nazism and racism and all that which gets thrown up by the people in the media who are vainly trying to make sense of it themselves, but who have no reference for any of it and can only reference each other. Perhaps by looking at the French case you can see more readily what's happening here.





Tuesday, April 18, 2017

No Outrage Or Cruise Missile Attacks When US Backed "Rebels" Kill Children

This is a seven minute compilation of video clips from the car bombing in Rashideen, Syria on Friday of a group of buses that were picking up civilians being evacuated from two towns near Aleppo that are surrounded by US backed Sunni "rebels" that killed 155 people, mostly children. In one clip the US backed "rebels" celebrate killing the "Shia pigs" on behalf of God, according to the English translated subtitles.






Multiple witnesses have said the suicide bombers lured children from the waiting buses by passing out bags of potato chips.

The buses were parked in the same place as evacuation buses sent by the Syrian government were parked in December that were also blown up. In that attack the evacuees had not yet arrived and most of the victims were bus drivers. I wrote a blog post about it.

There's been no outpouring of outrage or grief from President Trumo or his daughter Ivanka who reportedly was so upset by an alleged Sarin gas attack she got her father to bomb Syria.

Likewise the US media and political class have expressed no concern for these children's murders. President Trump, citing children that were killed in an alleged Sarin gas attack in Idlib, Syria on April 4, ordered a massive cruise missile attack on a Syrian air base three days later and before any investigation was conducted to determine who carried out the attack, which bore many of the hallmarks of earlier gas attacks carried out by the US backed "rebels" and blamed on the Syrian government by US media and ruling elites. Those gas attacks take place when US support for the "rebels" appears to be waning. Trump's cruise missile attack effectively salvaged his fedgling presidency as the media and congressional Democrats, who have long advocated for war with Syria and its ally Russia, quickly dropped their resistance to Trump and lined up behind him.

Some 36 people were killed in that attack, according to "rebel" connected groups. The Rashideen bombing killed at least 80 children and 155 total. In one of the clips a witness to the bombing voices her support for Syrian president Bashar al Assad. An article I wrote about yesterday that summarizes the situation in the Middle East explains that Assad enjoys widespread support in large part because the US backed "rebels" are much worse. American media and ruling elites call the jihadist militias they back the "moderate rebels" but virtually all are either al Qaeda or Islamic fundamentalists with the same ideology. They install Sharia law in areas they control and have committed multiple atrocities against civilians including beheading children and massacring civilians who were taking advantage of escape corridors set up by agreement between the warring parties. Syria under Assad is a "secular" state meaning people are free to follow the religion of their choice or not follow any.







Monday, April 17, 2017

Today's Radical Reading List



Communist Party USA photo

 Middle East Explained

If you're anything like me you're not Henry Kissinger, Hillary Clinton or a career employee at the state department and you don't quite fully understand what's going on in the Middle East but kind of want to. Well, if you have some spare time on your hands here's your article; Middle East Chaos - Imperialism, Islamic Reaction & Syria's Civil War. It's the equivalent of a day long seminar, I'll venture, and answers the question of how the debacle over there came to be by tracing its roots in Western imperialism, laying out all the actors and what their interests are, explaining the rise of Islamic fundamentalism, and showing how all of it ties together, and in many ways is coming to a crux in Syria.

It's written by an unnamed author at an obscure web site called Bolshevik Tendency but it provides a very comprehensive and understandable history and analysis of the region and from a Marxist viewpoint, which isn't as out of the mainstream as you might have thought.



Likewise Palestine

Palestinian news Agency Ma'an News is publishing a three-part series titled Talking Palestine: What Frame of Analysis? Which Goals and Messages? that addresses the Palestinian question in a systematic and logical way by laying out the different lenses through which the Palestinian question can be viewed; the two most used being the settler colonial framework and the anti-apartheid framework, each of which has advantages and disadvantages and brings different aspects of the problem into focus.

Authors Nadia Hijab and Ingrid Jaradat Glassner of Al Shabaka, a Palestinian think tank, state in Part I, "The lack of consensus on a common framework of analysis to articulate the Palestinian condition prevents the adoption of clear messages to articulate both what has befallen the Palestinians and what we aspire to. It also obstructs the development of effective strategies for achieving these aspirations."

There you go. If everybody took that approach to every problem there wouldn't be many problems. There's a lot more like that at the Al Shabaka web site.

Note: Settler colonialism is a term used by academics to denote a particular type of colonialism in which the newly arrived immigrants want the people who were already there to go away. Basically they get rid of the indigenous population. The US and Israel are examples of settler colonial projects. They made/are making the native population "go away" by way of genocide and/or population transfer. The colonialism most associated with the British Empire and other European colonizers was different in that it entailed using the colonized population to administer the colony.



Periodic Daily Resurgence of Socialism Report

This one comes from the venerable old Communist Party USA in an article published on their web site March 21 titled Trump sparks communist growth surge.

It's a different take. I've been writing about the flood of new members into Socialist organizations and linking to articles that go into why these people are turning away from traditional party politics and toward Socialism, but in this article the author talks to party members about how they are reacting to the upsurge in growth; what they think about the upsurge, what new strategies and plans do they have in mind as a result of it, how they are incorporating these new people into the organization.

I call it the "venerable old Communist Party USA" because of the various Socialist groups that exist today that are directly descended from the old American Communist Party it's the only one that uses the name Communist, and that name has a glorious history and carries a lot of weight. Most of the key players and organizers who founded the American Labor Movement were Communist Party members; this was before the labor movement was co-opted by the Democratic Party and purged of all radicalism. The ones who had faced the hired guns and state militias who killed workers when they went out on strike were Communist Party members. They more than anyone or anything else gave you the standard of living you enjoy today and that many people including, amazingly, many Democrats, think was somehow always there and didn't result from many long hard years of bloody struggle.

And as thanks for giving American workers the purchasing power that propelled the United States economy to the top of the industrialized world, the American Communist Party bore the brunt of the brutal oppression that was waged upon Socialism by the American ruling class via the US government it controls, the media it controls and the many institutions it funds and has sway over. Through all these years that Socialism, and Communism especially, have been used as epithets and thought of as dirty words, the Communist Party USA never changed its name and its members were never ashamed to be Communists.



Note on the difference between Socialism and Communism: The two words are often used interchangeably and in practice it's no problem to do so, but technically, according to Marx and Engels, Socialism is the method, how you get there, and Communism is where you're going, the end state. The Communist state is the worker's state where workers, through the state, own the means of production and make all the decisions in a society that affect their lives, through a democratically governed state. The decisions that now are practically all made by Capitalists.