Saturday, March 4, 2017

Weekend Roundup Or Globetrotting For The Masses

More Democrat Than A Democrat

Bernie Sanders is Vermont's senator but he's in Mississippi this weekend meeting with autoworkers who are trying to organize a Nissan plant but can't get the company to hold an election as law requires.

Danny Glover and the head of the NAACP will be there too but you won't see a nationally known Democrat within 500 miles of the place and there won't be a New Mexico Democrat at the scene of this or any worker's struggle ever. We've got these so called Democrats here who won't even utter the word union and I know because I've been documenting it for years. A couple of of them used to whisper the word union but not any more. They sure as hell use the word bipartisan a lot and vote with Republicans a lot but they never say or do anything that anybody might mistake for trying to improve the incomes and living standards of their working class constituents. These self serving twits already have theirs. They get elected anyway. Why should they care about workers?

A Revolution

Not two weeks ago, 2/21/17, I mentioned the rapid growth of the Democratic Socialists of America, DSA, and quoted a recent Rolling Stone article that put DSA's membership at 15,000. They put on their Twitter feed night before last that they'd just gone over 18,000.

DSA isn't a political party and doesn't run candidates but works to organize people so that they can influence elections including local elections and influence policy. They educate people in ways that raise class consciousness. They engage with politics in the way unions and the tea party or any advocacy group does that wants to retain its independence and maximize its power.

I also mentioned in that post that I've been coming across many African American Socialists on social media. Well there are more than I thought and many of them have thousands of followers, which is the equivalent of a Facebook friend.

It's very critical to have Black, Brown, Asian all kinds of people in the socialist movement but especially Black people at this point in time because they can be a bridge to the to the Black Lives Matter Movement. The membership of that group overlaps that of Black Twitter, which is what they call the whole of Black social media collectively, and in both there's a wide vein of mistrust of White Leftists and of Bernie and resentment of the people who were associated with the Sanders candidacy in particular.

The Cootie Strategy

Republicans hammered Barak Obama for eight solid years so no one can complain about the fact that Democrats are giving a good hammering to Donald Trump. The way they're doing it though by reviving McCarthyism is just idiotic, and caustic. It's pitting working people against each other. It's stupid. It's the Democrats, never ones to be swayed by losing.

Democrats, though, really have nothing else.  Have you heard their alternative vision? No. And they can't hammer Trump for favoring the rich because they do it, too. They can't mobilize the working class in opposition to Trump because they have nothing to say to the working class after they've so callously sold them down the river.

Not only won't the Democrats' new McCarthyism do anything to help the working class, it's juvenile. When I was in the early elementary grades someone would touch you and say "You've got cooties" and you had to hurry up and pass them on to someone else or it was just terrible. There was a girl in my school, Joanie Turley, who everyone said had cooties. No one would play with her or sit next to her on the bus or even touch her. Democrats are acting like if you speak to a Russian you'll get cooties, and now millions of people who didn't care about Russia one way or the other are thinking about Russia the way people used to think about the Soviet Union. It's the same thing Trump's done with Muslims and Mexicans.

The news media is being stupid, too, and unethical, on this Russia/Putin demonization. The Washington Post and New York Times have been leading the way, publishing one fake news story after another that consist entirely of rumor and innuendo.

Michael Tracy at the Young Turks Network lays out the routine in The Basic Formula For Every Shocking Russia/Trump Revelation.

Tierra del Fuego

Have you gotten into exploring the world with Google maps yet? I've been enjoying the hell out if for a couple months now. The camera cars that take the pictures that give you the street view haven't been everywhere yet but they've been in some surprising places. There are some islands along the coast of southern Chile. Being so remote and so far south I assumed they'd be largely uninhabited. I zoomed in on one and noticed it was divided up into rectangles -- fields.

The camera cars have covered quite a bit of the island and I went down to street level and was "cruising" down a country dirt road through well established farmland checking out how they build farmhouses and sheds and fences and gates and every once on awhile you'd pass one of those little school bus waiting shelters like people put up here for their kids to wait for the bus in bad weather.

Then the road went down a hill and you were on a bay. It was low tide and there was a fishing boat sitting in the mud, very picturesque. From there the road went along the bay and through that little village. All of a sudden you're following a woman -- who of course had been walking ahead of the camera car -- and then passing a man who's down on his knees working on a truck. He stopped to watch the camera car go by, and then this woman turned into a gate and stopped and watched it go by, too.

Later I found the Straights of Magellan. There's a ferry crossing and there were semi trucks waiting, and then ten miles south on a paved highway there was a damn truck stop, way down there, south of the Straights of Magellan. I was stunned.

It's actually not as far south as I thought it was. The latitude at those farming islands is the latitude of mid Oregon, and the latitude of the truck stop and the towns at the very end of the continent is the equivalent of being one or two hundred miles above Vancouver, BC. Not even to Alaska. Or it's like Maine up to Newfoundland.

I would have thought there might be a sheep herder down there and not much else but there are good sized towns. I never could figure out what those trucks were hauling. There are some remote stretches but then you'll come to a ranch house or a road that leads over hill and dale and ends up at a lighthouse. There are lighthouses all along the winding straight, which is fairly narrow in places, although a few years ago the US took an aircraft carrier through it accompanied by guide boats that are stationed down there.

About ten years ago, I almost took off for Tierra del Fuego on a motorcycle. I was between jobs and had a little money n the bank.  It's a place that's always fascinated me. I didn't do it, of course. Maybe if I'd been younger. Of course when I was younger I was always broke, but I'd hitchhike, and a motorcycle is really a pretty cheap way to travel. Now, though, there's Google maps. World, here I come.

Quicavi, Chile

Straight of Magellan ferry landing

Tolhuin, Tierra del Fuego Province, Argentina

1 comment:

  1. The Google Earth bit is interesting, especially the street view. My son moved recently and mentioned he was building a garage and wanted me to see where he was placing it. On looking using Google Street and panning the area I saw one of his neighbors with a dog waiting for the dog to finish his business on the yard next to my son's. Forever frozen, blurred face, but identifiable to everyone as the person who lets his dog do his business on their lawns.