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.

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:

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Lost Generation II

Is this live or is it Memorex?

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.