Current location: Tejas
Member since: Thu Jan 17, 2008, 12:44 PM
Number of posts: 30,265
Current location: Tejas
Member since: Thu Jan 17, 2008, 12:44 PM
Number of posts: 30,265
The most violent element in society is ignorance. Emma Goldman
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High court tackles four important cases involving workers, unions
by: Mark Gruenberg
November 20 2015
WASHINGTON (PAI) - From affirmative action to agency fees to whistleblower rights, a spate of worker-oriented cases either wound up before the U.S. Supreme Court in November, or are headed there, with the opposing sides laying out their positions this past month.
And while most of labor focuses on one of the looming conflicts - the agency-fee case Friedrichs vs. California Teachers Association - the others are important, too.
That's because the court, and particularly its five-man Republican-named majority, appears poised to drastically rewrite not just labor law, but working conditions in the U.S.
The class action and worker pay case ...
Details about each of the four cases here: http://peoplesworld.org/high-court-tackles-four-important-cases-involving-workers-unions/
Posted by TBF | Wed Nov 25, 2015, 11:42 AM (0 replies)
It may not be enough, but in my mind it is worth a shot.
Today a great article came up in Jacobin (leftist theory publication which I read regularly) about the rise of Hitler in Germany. It could've gone different ways but we know what ended up happening. This article summarizes the attempts social democrats and some communists made in Germany as the economy failed. Bernie is making the same kind of attempt today (and I'm sure he sees these parallels as well). Let's hope he is more successful.
This is a link to excerpts I've posted in the Socialist Progressives group - http://www.democraticunderground.com/102410448
Posted by TBF | Wed Nov 25, 2015, 09:51 AM (17 replies)
(note from TBF: History repeats itself. Socialists of varying stripes trying to stop the tide in Germany. If you don't understand the rise of Trump and/or similar personalities, this article lays it out)
Hitler Wasn’t Inevitable
The 70th anniversary of the Nuremberg Trials is cause to reflect on the forces that failed to halt Nazism’s rise.
by Marcel Bois ~ 11/25/15
< snipped beginning of article >
The Impact of the 1929 Crisis
Just a few years before Hitler’s takeover in 1933, his National Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP) remained largely irrelevant. It was only after the stock market crash in 1929 that their vote total jumped from eight hundred thousand in 1928 to over six million in 1930 and 37 percent of the vote in 1932, making them the largest party in parliament.
The backdrop for this rapid growth was of course the ongoing economic crisis eating away at the very foundations of global capitalism. The massive slump in investment caused by the 1929 crash led to a 29 percent decline in global industrial production by 1932. Germany’s industry was particularly hard hit, as it was financed by massive foreign (particularly American) loans, which collapsed as soon as lenders withdrew credit.
As firms large and small went bankrupt across the country, considerable sections of the middle classes were thrown into poverty. The peasantry also suffered as food prices dropped, and workers faced wage cuts averaging 30 percent. By 1933, unemployment had gone from 1.3 million in 1929 to roughly 6 million. Only one-third of workers were employed full time ...
Much more here: https://www.jacobinmag.com/2015/11/nuremberg-trials-hitler-goebbels-himmler-german-communist-social-democrats/
(And a final note: Trotsky got it and sure as hell tried: Appealing to KPD members in the pages of the Militant in 1931, Leon Trotsky summarized the German political situation as follows: If you place a ball on top of a pyramid the slightest impact can cause it to roll down either to the left or to the right. That is the situation approaching with every hour in Germany today. There are forces who would like the ball to roll down towards the Right and break the back of the working class. There are forces who would like the ball to remain at the top. That is a utopia. The ball cannot remain at the top of the pyramid. The Communists want the ball to roll down toward the Left and to break the back of capitalism.)
ETA: Borrowed from n2doc's toons:
Posted by TBF | Wed Nov 25, 2015, 09:45 AM (5 replies)
"The doors where closing/time hung by a hair/and that child in the arms of my grandparents./The panic was evident/And everything foretold it ... And then the cold arrived/in the middle of a hurtful glacier, an unbelievable stream of warm water: Everyone said no, and Bolivia said yes."
Refugees: That Time Everyone Said 'No' And Bolivia Said 'Yes'
Updated November 22, 201511:42 AM ET
"The refugee has got to be checked because, unfortunately, among the refugees there are some spies, as has been found in other countries." It could have been said today about the Syrian refugee crisis, but those words belong to President Franklin Roosevelt, in 1940.
Back then, many of those refugees — Jews fleeing Nazism in Europe — turned to South America instead. But one by one, those countries stopped issuing visas to fleeing Jews. It was no surprise: for years Nazi and fascist ideology had incubated deep in South America.
But away from all oceans and high up in the Andes, one small South American country kept its door open — a country that has had its share of economic problems and that even today is considered part of the developing world.
More here: http://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2015/11/22/456694405/refugees-that-time-everyone-said-no-and-bolivia-said-yes
Posted by TBF | Sun Nov 22, 2015, 01:05 PM (1 replies)
Karen Narefsky ▪ November 20, 2015
When people on the left think about solutions to the housing crisis, few of us think about public housing. Faced with the twin problems of overinvestment, leading to gentrification and displacement, and underinvestment, leading to substandard housing and foreclosures, we tend to think about locally based solutions, which makes sense. Many of these problems are caused by the state in collusion with the real estate industry, and it seems impossible to imagine a future in which the government plays a different role. But I’d like to imagine a future in which many of us live in, and thrive in, public housing.
Any discussion of the future of public housing must begin by understanding its origins. Public housing in the United States first emerged in the 1930s as part of the New Deal, when there was an enormous shortage of housing following the Great Depression. The federal government began by making loans to nonprofit corporations to build housing. This program produced very few housing units, due both to the lack of qualified builders and to the inefficiency of channeling public funds through the limited-dividend corporations. As a result, under the Public Works Administration, led by Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes, the government decided to enter the housing business: rather than paying companies to build government-subsidized housing, the state would build and maintain housing through local housing authorities.
< snip >
In its relatively short history, public housing has suffered from rampant corruption in some cities, and from the failure of many local housing authorities to maintain and repair housing projects. But this doesn’t mean public housing is a flawed concept, just as “underperforming” public schools whose students are burdened by poverty don’t serve as proof that public education is a failed endeavor. Public disinvestment is the first step in a now-familiar playbook that leads to privatization ...
More here: https://www.dissentmagazine.org/online_articles/case-for-public-housing-vienna-chicago
Posted by TBF | Sat Nov 21, 2015, 08:54 AM (1 replies)
Booked: A Suitcase Full of Passports
Timothy Shenk ▪ November 19, 2015
Timothy Shenk: One of the statistics in this book that blew my mind is that, by some estimates, there are upwards of 10 million people who are stateless in the world today.* How did that happen?
Atossa Araxia Abrahamian: This statistic is from one of the UN agencies. It’s really hard to get an exact number for obvious reasons. These people are not documented, so governments don’t really have a good grip on how many there are and where they are. It happened in many different ways. Let’s start with the Persian-Gulf countries, because those are the ones I talk about the most in The Cosmopolites. When we talk about the Gulf states we have to remember that they are quite new—they were formed in the past fifty, sixty years at the earliest. These borders were not there before, and many of these countries were British protectorates. When the borders were drawn and these states were formalized as nation-states, a lot of people didn’t sign up to register as citizens early on. Many populations in that region were nomadic, and they thought, “Why should I sign up? This is where I’m from.” But as these states‘ bureaucracies grew, it became more and more important for people to be documented. Many of those people—called the Bidoon in this region, which means “without” in Arabic—have tried to sign up since, but the Gulf States are not always so accommodating. It varies by country and it varies by person. There is a wide perception that the resistance is a form of racism or tribalism, and of these governments being really stingy. When you are an Emirati citizen, you have a house provided for you, you get a stipend, you get cash when you get married. They make Sweden look stingy. But these benefits are paid for with the oil money, and you can hardly call it a social democracy.
Shenk: A social plutocracy?
Abrahamian: Right. And the benefits are largely distributed among a very, very small group of people, who are mostly related to each other. So you can see why it would not be in the state’s interest to include more people in this group.
Much more here: https://www.dissentmagazine.org/blog/booked-atossa-abrahamian-cosmopolites-global-citizen-comoros-passports
Posted by TBF | Fri Nov 20, 2015, 10:06 PM (0 replies)
Nicole Colson reports on the response of the U.S. political elite after the Paris attacks.
November 19, 2015
AMID THE outpouring of grief following the November 13 attacks in Paris, U.S. politicians and the media are, true to form, asking the question they always ask: What can we get out of it? How do we turn a tragedy into an opportunity for narrow-minded political gain? The answer, it turns out, is a hefty dose of xenophobia and racism about the supposed threat if refugees and asylum seekers are allowed to relocate to the U.S.
Never mind that the U.S. has pledged to take a pitifully small number of those risking their lives to escape violence. Some 800,000 refugees and migrants, largely from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, have fled to Europe this year, while according to the New York Times, as of September 2015, the U.S. had accepted just 1,854 Syrian refugees.
< snip >
Those basic facts haven't stopped a wave of Republican politicians from posturing about the threat of terrorism from refugees, particularly from Syria. As of November 18, 29 governors had released statements to that effect. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott was typical. In a letter to Barack Obama, Abbott said his state would refuse to participate "in any program that will result in Syrian refugees--any one of whom could be connected to terrorism--being resettled in Texas." ...
More here - http://socialistworker.org/2015/11/19/the-right-exploits-fear-for-political-gain
Posted by TBF | Fri Nov 20, 2015, 12:43 PM (2 replies)
Remembering the Life and Music of Labor Agitator Joe Hill, Who Was Executed 100 Years Ago TodayDavid Cochran
Joe Hill saw his music as a weapon in the class war, composing songs to be sung on soapboxes, picket lines or in jail. And 100 years ago today, the forces of capital and the state of Utah executed him.
< snip >
Born Joel Hagglund in Sweden, Hill immigrated to the United States in 1902, changing his name to Joseph Hillstrom, which would eventually be shortened to Joe Hill. Working his way across the country, Hill became politicized, eventually joining the Industrial Workers of the World. Popularly known as the Wobblies, the IWW sought to organize those workers more mainstream unions avoided—the unskilled, migrants, immigrants, minorities—in an effort to combine the entire working class into One Big Union.
As a Wobbly, Hill was active in free speech fights in Fresno and San Diego, a strike of railroad construction workers in British Columbia and even fought in the Mexican Revolution.
In 1914, Hill was arrested in Salt Lake City and charged with killing a storekeeper, allegedly in a botched robbery. Despite the flimsy nature of the evidence, Hill was convicted and sentenced to death, with the prosecutor urging conviction as much on the basis of Hill’s IWW membership as any putative evidence of his involvement in the crime. An international amnesty movement pressed for a new trial, but the Utah governor refused and Hill was executed by firing squad on November 19, 1915. In a final message to IWW General Secretary Bill Haywood, Hill urged, “Don’t waste any time in mourning—organize.”
Much more here - http://inthesetimes.com/working/entry/18386/joe-hill-labor-music-execution
Posted by TBF | Thu Nov 19, 2015, 04:30 PM (9 replies)
for Time person of the year!
Who is leading right now?
Posted by TBF | Wed Nov 18, 2015, 01:39 PM (4 replies)