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Gender: Female
Hometown: Wisconsin
Current location: Tejas
Member since: Thu Jan 17, 2008, 01:44 PM
Number of posts: 31,861

About Me

The most violent element in society is ignorance. Emma Goldman

Journal Archives

Socialism in America

The Sanders insurgency, the polling data, and the growing experimentation with a range of alternatives all suggest that we may be on the brink of a new era—an extended and difficult period in which a new economy is slowly forged.

Socialism in America Is Closer Than You Think
Experiments with public ownership are thriving across the country. The challenge is to link them and scale them up.
By Gar Alperovitz
2/11/16 ~ 9:35 am

In 1970, the great liberal economist John Kenneth Galbraith declared that the “Democratic Party must henceforth use the word ‘socialism.’ It describes what is needed.” Like many others, however, Galbraith largely dropped the subject in subsequent years. The response to Bernie Sanders’s insurgent presidential campaign, along with polls showing that large numbers of young people and minorities in America have a positive view of socialism, suggest that this once-forbidden concept may no longer be taboo.

More than 40 percent of Americans under the age of 30 view socialism favorably, according to the most recent YouGov poll. Positive responses among black Americans have ranged between 29 and 41 percent in recent surveys. A 2011 Pew Research Center poll that omitted the “undecided” option found that 49 percent of its young participants viewed socialism favorably.

The most obvious source of this sea change is the failure of traditional approaches to address the nation’s most pressing problems: growing inequality, poverty, economic insecurity, global warming, perpetual war, and the decay and violence visited on black communities. Side by side with the increasing concentration of wealth has been the ever more blatant exploitation of the political power that wealth confers on elites and major corporations, most obviously by the Koch brothers and their right-wing allies.

Widespread dissatisfaction with the status quo creates a climate receptive to sweeping change ...

More here: http://www.thenation.com/article/socialism-in-america-is-closer-than-you-think/

DSA Statement on Steinem

DSA as an organization is actively supporting the Sanders movement

Posted by David Duhalde-Wine on 02.10.16

Gloria Steinem, who supports former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination, recently made controversial statements (or misstatements) in which she suggested that young women who support Bernie Sanders are doing so not out of well-considered political judgment but because they are thinking “‘Where are the boys? The boys are with Bernie.’”

Steinem serves as one of eight Honorary Chairs of Democratic Socialists of America (along with Cornel West, Barbara Ehrenreich, Frances Fox Piven and others) based on her work for DSA in the 1980s and ‘90s and one of its predecessor organizations, Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee. While we appreciate Steinem's pioneering work in the feminist movement and view her as a major figure in the history of feminism, we were very disappointed by her disparaging comments about female Bernie supporters, many of whom are active DSA members. Her views do not reflect those of the DSA leadership.

The National Political Committee of Democratic Socialists of America views Steinem's remarks as demeaning toward the many dedicated female activists (young and old) who are active in the Sanders campaign because they recognize that Senator Sanders' political program supports feminist and democratic aims more so than the platform of Hillary Clinton ...

More here: http://www.dsausa.org/steinemsanders

How Change Happens

Yes, it was Lyndon Johnson who helped pass the civil rights movement’s call for Voting Rights legislation (recently eviscerated by the Supreme Court), but it was the civil rights movement and visionary leaders who made these victories possible.

How Change Happens
by Michael Lerner ~ January 28, 2016

Note: As you know, we at Tikkun do not endorse candidates or political parties. But we do respond to bad arguments and crooked thinking being done during the elections, and use the elections as an opportunity to discuss public issues. In this case, we address one of the more distorted arguments used against Bernie Sanders–that he is too visionary and that a president must be more “realistic.”


The last thing America needs is another “realist” or liberal compromiser as President. You never know what is possible until you fight for what is desirable. The realists are almost always wrong.

The assaults on Bernie Sanders’ presidential candidacy reached new lows in the past week. Unable to effectively challenge the value of his policies, the denizens of the status quo have now focused on his alleged utopianism and his supposedly flawed vision of how change happens. In a later column I’ll explain why I believe that if Bernie doesn’t become our next President it will not be for these reasons, but because he is not utopian enough, stuck as he is in an economistic worldview that doesn’t address fully the way that global capitalism invades and distorts our minds, our relationships, our families, even at times our souls. If he tied this together with his attempts to revive the New Deal, he’d break through the resistance that many people have to his style and elements of his politics that seem stuck in the past. But for the moment, lets focus on these current attacks.

Leading the charge was Paul Krugman’s “How Change Happens” in the New York Times January 22, 2016. Krugman, who I believe has been one of the most significant voices of reason when addressing the horrific environmental and social consequences of the unfettered marketplace, suddenly turns chicken about the changes that are really needed to save the planet from environmental catastrophe and U.S. society from further disintegration. Using the massive credibility he has built up as the best known liberal voice in the establishment media, Krugman makes the argument that when looking at history it turns out that the compromisers have delivered real change while the idealists and utopians have failed. Nothing could be further from the truth ...

Much more here: http://www.tikkun.org/nextgen/how-change-happens

Bernie Sanders Just Made History

TBF Note: Major milestone that means a lot to me -

Bernie Sanders Just Made History As The First Jew To Win A Presidential Primary
He quietly marked a major milestone in American politics.
Sam Levine ~ 2/9/16

When Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) won the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday, he quietly achieved a major milestone in American politics: becoming the first Jew and non-Christian to win a presidential primary of a major political party.

Sanders was raised by Jewish parents and has said he believes in God, but he does not participate in organized religion. Sanders told The Washington Post last month that, to him, believing in God means "all of us are connected, all of life is connected, and that we are all tied together.”

New Hampshire has a small Jewish population, but Rabbi Robin Nafshi of Temple Beth Jacob in Concord told HuffPost's Sam Stein last week that Sanders' popularity has sent a message about Judaism in America.

"It has provided real education to America about the fact that Jews come in all shapes and stripes," Nafshi told HuffPost. "That no, we are not all keeping kosher or observing the Sabbath -- that the way American Jews live our lives is as diverse as any group of people, perhaps even more diverse. I think that's one of the things that has been really quite educational with his candidacy." ...

More here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/bernie-sanders-judaism-primary_us_56ba9c23e4b08ffac1233818

A Democratic Socialist wins NH

Updates: http://www.wmur.com/

Congratulations Senator Sanders!!

How a Democrat Killed Welfare

TBF note: When we talk about "third way" and the "new democrats" that make the party nearly indistinguishable from the republicans, this is specifically what we are talking about and what we seek to change --

The starkest example of the many racist and anti-poor measures directed at African Americans and passed during his administration was the 1996 welfare reform bill, which transformed welfare from an exclusive and unequal cash assistance system that stigmatized its recipients into one that actually criminalized them.

Bill Clinton gutted welfare and criminalized the poor, all while funneling more money into the carceral state.
by Premilla Nadasen ~ 2/9/16

Bill Clinton’s 1992 election was meant to be a turning point in American politics. Liberals breathed a sigh of relief, believing him to be a much-needed break from the Reagan-Bush era of “small government” and social welfare cuts.

But the optimism surrounding Clinton’s election — and favorable assessments of his time in office since — ignore the destruction his administration brought to poor and working people, especially African Americans, and mask not only the continuation but intensification of anti-poor policies. Rather than offering a reprieve from punitive austerity, Clinton took the Reagan-Bush agenda a step further. If his administration was a turning point, it turned us in the wrong direction.

In 1994, Clinton signed the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, the largest crime bill in history, which allocated $10 billion for prison construction, expanded the death penalty, and eliminated federal funding for inmate education. The act intensified police surveillance and racial profiling, and locked up millions for nonviolent offenses such as drug possession. It helped usher in the era of mass incarceration that devastated communities of color (for which Clinton himself has recently apologized) ...

Much more here: https://www.jacobinmag.com/2016/02/welfare-reform-bill-hillary-clinton-tanf-poverty-dlc/

Becoming a Socialist

I discovered that socialists participate in the electoral system, but fight their battles in the workplace and the community, building democratic movements to challenge the status quo.

In Search of Alternatives

How I became a socialist.
by Kate Robinson ~ 2/9/16

< snip intro >

Like many liberals I had always subscribed to a political narrative that rooted the conservatism of US politics — and by extension the problems of society — in the cultural conservatism of the American people. In particular, I assumed that the racism and religious fundamentalism of the poor prevented them from voting in their economic interest. I thought this deep cultural conservatism could only be eradicated, and social justice achieved, by gradually educating the populace. Thus the importance of pop culture and media.

In my understanding of the mechanisms of social change, there was hardly any middle ground between elections and revolutionary violence. I knew that unions existed, but only as groups that advocated higher wages for workers in particular industries, and I thought of social movements as a means for “raising awareness” that would then be channeled back into electoral politics.

But as I read more I became convinced that the most powerful people in the world were not politicians, but capitalists. I realized that ordinary Americans have very little influence over the actions of the government and that the Democratic Party does not actually represent the economic interests of the majority of people — that its leaders aren’t just waiting for more popular support to enact a sweeping progressive agenda ...

Much more here: https://www.jacobinmag.com/2016/02/socialism-liberalism-social-justice-activism-tumblr-fandom/

Clinton's Corporate Feminism

TBF note: I'm with Zoe -

The New York Times quoted the response of Zoe Trimboli, a 23-year-old supporter of Sanders who describes herself as a feminist, on Facebook: "Shame on Gloria Steinem and Madeleine Albright for implying that we as women should be voting for a candidate based solely on gender. I can tell you that shaming me and essentially calling me misinformed and stupid is NOT the way to win my vote."

What Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party leadership don't understand is that people think their vote counts for something--and many of them want to cast a ballot for Bernie Sanders because he is expressing a radical message that speaks to their own beliefs. Even women.

Clinton's corporate feminism falls flat

Elizabeth Schulte ~ February 9, 2016

WHY WOULD any woman not vote for the first woman president of the United States? Obviously, they must be boy crazy.

At least that's what Gloria Steinem seems to think. Appearing on HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher, the feminist icon explained why Bernie Sanders was winning a voting base among young women. Steinem declared that women "get more activist as they grow older. And when you're younger, you think: 'Where are the boys? The boys are with Bernie.'"

Wow. Really?

Steinem had to step back from her remarks later, but the fact that the idea even crossed her mind says a lot about what she--along with the brand of feminism with narrowed concerns around the interests of a minority of women in upper-class positions--think about other women they collectively claim to speak for ...

Much more here: http://socialistworker.org/2016/02/09/clintons-corporate-feminism-falls-flat

The Underground Abortion Railroad

Together, these organizations create a type of underground abortion railroad for women facing life altering events if they can't come up with the money for a standard, safe medical procedure.

With only 10 abortion clinics left in Texas and no government assistance for women looking to have the procedure, a network of small volunteer groups have created a system to help women get abortions—$50 bucks and a bus voucher at a time.

Riding the Rails of the Underground Abortion Railroad from Texas to New Mexico
by Taylor Prewitt
Feb 6, 2016

Four weeks after Isabel, a 22-year-old unemployed student, missed her last period, she tried to induce a miscarriage. Going off a instructions she found on the internet, Isabel took 500 mg of vitamin C once every hour alongside varying amounts of dong quai, black cohosh, and blue cohosh once every four hours, plus the occasional parsley tea, and a handful of organic sprigs of parsley fit snugly near her cervix. It seemed like a long shot but with no savings and no means to come up with an extra $610 to pay for an abortion at the Dallas Planned Parenthood, she kept the herbs and tincture routine for 20 days. When they failed to work, she resorted to working odd jobs, selling her guitar, and donating plasma. Twice a week, throughout the majority of her pregnancy, she lied to the plasma donation center about her condition to secure $40 bucks toward her own personal abortion fund. The process wasn't painful, but it did leave her extra nauseated. By the time Isabel was able to secure the $610 needed for the procedure, too much time had gone by. Her pregnancy had advanced to 19 weeks, pushing to the $2,500 dollar mark.

"I knew that if I couldn't afford to have an abortion in time, I would be forced to continue to be pregnant and to give birth when I never want to do either of those things," she told me over email. "I know I would have wanted to kill myself."

If Isabel lived in Massachusetts or California, she could have enrolled in Medicaid, making her eligible for state funding and making an abortion financially feasible well before the 12 week period when costs begin to increase exponentially. But Isabel lives in Texas. A state where more than 2.4 million women live in poverty and as many live without health insurance, Isabel's experiences are hardly atypical. In addition to legislation that has left just 10 abortion clinics within a 268,820 square mile region, Texas is one of 32 states that does not allow state Medicaid insurance to fund abortion procedures ...

Much more here: https://broadly.vice.com/en_us/article/riding-the-rails-of-the-underground-abortion-railroad-from-texas-to-new-mexico

TEA Fund: http://www.teafund.org/
Lilith Fund: https://www.lilithfund.org/
West Fund: http://www.westfund.org/

Moumita Ahmed

You tell them, sister -

Moumita Ahmed, Millenials for Bernie, taking it to Twitter:

Moumita Ahmed ‏@MouBerningluv 12h12 hours ago

I'm here for the issues
I'm #nothereforboys
I'm #nothereforboys
I'm #nothereforboys
I'm #nothereforboys

Much more here: https://twitter.com/mouberningluv

class-war activist, digital grassroots organizer @peopleforbernie, social arsonist, eco warrior princess. I #feelthebern #bernie2016

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