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TBF's Journal
TBF's Journal
April 23, 2016

Crash and Burn

Capitalist growth has never been green or just. The decoupling studies are poor evidence that it could become either. Why not, as British economist Ann Pettifor has argued, abandon the concept of growth entirely?

You can’t have capitalist growth without environmental destruction
by Kate Aronoff 4-22-16

If climate wonks have a Holy Grail, it’s decoupling rising greenhouse gas emissions from a rising GDP. Paths to economic growth have historically involved digging up and burning massive stores of carbon held in fossil fuels. For centuries, their fumes have produced the energy needed to build factories, plan modern cities, and increase living standards.

Calls to find new paths to prosperity are met by cries from the Right that pit growth against environmental stewardship. Take dirty energy out of the mix, they say, and the chances for a better life for billions crumble.

“We frankly don’t have an option,” United Nations climate chief Christiana Figures recently told journalist Elizabeth Kolbert about decoupling. Growth and falling emissions, she warned, “are absolutely key to being able to feed, house, and educate the two billion more family members who will be joining us.”

Dips in the steady rise of greenhouse gases, tellingly, all stem from economic retraction — from the oil crisis of the 1970s to the fall of the Soviet Union. A study released last summer in Nature found that from 2007–2013 emissions dropped by a full 11 percent. “The economic recession of 2008–9 may have hurt your bank account,” one Los Angeles Times article on the report began, “but new analysis suggests it was good for the planet.” ...

Much more here: https://www.jacobinmag.com/2016/04/fossil-fuels-decoupling-growth-oil-climate/

April 21, 2016


I know I've been in and out lately. Much to do. But I wanted to share this ~ stay strong comrades. #WeDreamBig #StillSanders

April 20, 2016

Remembering Ludlow

TBF note: I find the corollaries between now and 100 years ago mighty interesting.

The New York Times carried an editorial on the events in Colorado, which were not attracting international attention. The Times emphasis was not on the atrocity that had occurred, but on the mistake in tactics that had been made. Its editorial on the Ludlow Massacre began: “Somebody blundered …”

Ludlow Massacre: April 20, 1914

Shortly after Woodrow Wilson took office there began in Colorado one of the most bitter and violent struggles between workers and corporate capital in the history of the country.

This was the Colorado coal strike that began in September 1913 and culminated in the “Ludlow Massacre” of April 1914. Eleven thousand miners in southern Colorado … worked for the Colorado Fuel & Iron Corporation, which was owned by the Rockefeller family. Aroused by the murder of one of their organizers, they went on strike against low pay, dangerous conditions, and feudal domination of their lives in towns completely controlled by the mining companies. …

When the strike began, the miners were immediately evicted from their shacks in the mining towns. Aided by the United Mine Workers Union, they set up tents in the nearby hills and carried on the strike, the picketing, from these tent colonies.
The Ludlow Tent Colony, before the massacre, consisted of about 200 tents.

The gunmen hired by the Rockefeller interests—the Baldwin-Felts Detective Agency—using Gatling guns and rifles, raided the tent colonies. The death list of miners grew, but they hung on, drove back an armored train in a gun battle, fought to keep out strikebreakers. With the miners resisting, refusing to give in, the mines not able to operate, the Colorado governor (referred to by a Rockefeller mine manager as ‘our little cowboy governor’) called out the National Guard, with the Rockefellers supplying the Guard’s wages ...

More here: http://zinnedproject.org/materials/ludlow-massacre/

April 10, 2016

Moving Left

TBF Note: I think the interesting thing about this (besides republicans and democrats both raising children who are turning out to be much more liberal), is that it has happened during a time of increased terrorism and income inequality. The children are working out the causes and coming to their own conclusions. And they are moving left.

It turns out young Republicans are also likely to be to the left of older Republicans, according to a new study from Gary C. Jacobson, a political scientist at the University of California San Diego.

The Coming Left-Wing Majority

More and more young people are rejecting the politics of fear and moving left.
by Corey Robin 4/10/16

So much of liberals’ orientation these past five decades has been shaped by the rise of the Right; by the sense that the United States is really, truly, in its heart of hearts, a center-right country; that the people who elected Nixon, Reagan, and Bush really are the permanent majority.

But a lot of demographic research is showing that this is radically changing among younger voters. Not just in the Democratic Party, where younger voters are moving, galloping, to the left, but also among younger Republican voters, who are far less conservative than their Republican elders ...

More here: https://www.jacobinmag.com/2016/04/america-left-alignment-right-neoliberalism-liberalism/

April 9, 2016

#Resist Capitalism

is trending on Twitter. And I did not start it (although I have been much more active there lately).

This is all due to Bernie and the millennials.

April 9, 2016

Happy Birthday Brother Robeson

To you Beloved Comrade, we make this solemn vow
The fight will go on - the fight will still go on.
Sleep well, Beloved Comrade, our work will just begin.
The fight will go on - till we win - until we win.

Paul Leroy Robeson was an American singer and actor who became involved with the Civil Rights Movement.
Born: April 9, 1898, Princeton, NJ
Died: January 23, 1976, Philadelphia, PA
Quote: As an artist I come to sing, but as a citizen, I will always speak for peace, and no one can silence me in this.

Below is the full text of a tribute by Paul Robeson to Joseph Stalin upon Stalin's death on March 5, 1953.

To You Beloved Comrade
by Paul Robeson

There is no richer store of human experience than the folk tales, folk poems and songs of a people. In many, the heroes are always fully recognizable humans - only larger and more embracing in dimension. So it is with the Russian, Chinese. and the African folk-lore.

In 1937, a highly expectant audience of Moscow citizens - workers, artists, youth, farmers from surrounding towns - crowded the Bolshoy Theater. They awaited a performance by the Uzbek National Theater, headed by the highly gifted Tamara Khanum. The orchestra was a large one with instruments ancient and modern. How exciting would be the blending of the music of the rich culture of Moussorgsky, Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Khrennikov, Gliere - with that of the beautiful music of the Uzbeks, stemming from an old and proud civilization.

Suddenly everyone stood - began to applaud - to cheer - and to smile. The children waved.

In a box to the right - smiling and applauding the audience - as well as the artists on the stage - stood the great Stalin.

I remember the tears began to quietly flow. and I too smiled and waved. Here was clearly a man who seemed to embrace all. So kindly - I can never forget that warm feeling of kindliness and also a feeling of sureness. Here was one who was wise and good - the world and especially the socialist world was fortunate indeed to have his daily guidance. I lifted high my son Pauli to wave to this world leader, and his leader. For Paul, Jr. had entered school in Moscow, in the land of the Soviets ...

More here: http://www.northstarcompass.org/nsc9804/robeson.htm

April 6, 2016

Bernie & American Socialism

“Du host gevunen /du host zikh aleyn gefunen,” the beloved Yiddish poet, Morris Rosenfeld, sang. “You have finally won / You have finally come into your own.”

Bernie Sanders and the History of American Socialism

Bernie Sanders has deep roots in an American socialist tradition that once captivated millions.
by Tony Michels 4/6/16

Evidence suggests that, in the early 1960s, American college students favored pouring beer on their heads and dancing to “Louie Louie” over joining the Young People’s Socialist League (YPSL). But if anybody was likely to join the Socialist Party’s youth auxiliary, it was a brainy child of immigrant Jews, a son of Brooklyn — where Jewish voters had, for decades, cast ballots for socialists and liberals who resembled socialists.

For Bernie Sanders, socialism was something of a birthright.

Sanders began his political career under the tutelage of his older brother, Larry. President of Brooklyn College’s Young Democrats Club, Larry used to take Bernie to Manhattan’s Lower East Side to campaign against an urban renewal project that threatened to displace low-income residents.

It seems fitting that the country’s first serious socialist presidential candidate since the 1930s should have political roots in the Lower East Side — the cradle of New York socialism. Known as Kleindeutschland in the nineteenth century, the area’s German immigrants transplanted Karl Marx’s teachings to American soil and built a sturdy workers movement aligned with the Socialist Labor Party. Little Germany eventually gave way to “The Great Jewish Ghetto,” as more than five hundred thousand Yiddish-speaking immigrants streamed into the area ...

More here: https://www.jacobinmag.com/2016/04/bernie-sanders-young-peoples-socialist-league-new-york/

Socialist Party leader Eugene Debs addressing a 1912 meeting in New York.
April 6, 2016

Objects in the Mirror (Toon)

Thanks Wisconsin

April 5, 2016

Failed Trade Policies

We’ve Had Enough With Failed Trade Policies
04/01/2016 09:06 pm ET | Updated 3 days ago
Mark Ruffalo ~ Oscar-nominated actor, climate change activist

Many pundits were caught off-guard by the transpartisan fury over America’s trade policy rocking the presidential primary season. But it’s no surprise to me. I grew up in a working class family in Kenosha, Wisconsin. So I know why Americans have had enough of shiny promises, job-killing trade deals, and Wall Street bailouts that propel ordinary people into an economic nose dive.

Hard working Americans of all political stripes recognize when the rules have been rigged against them, because they live day-to-day with the results. No doubt revolutionary change is an appealing alternative.

Since the North American Free Trade (NAFTA) and World Trade Organization agreements in the mid-1990s, America has lost more than five million manufacturing jobs net. Millions of service sector jobs also have been offshored.

During the NAFTA era, my home state lost 68,000 manufacturing jobs — one out of seven in the state. Just one example: After Chrysler received billions in a 2009 bailout, it shut its Kenosha Engine facility, cut the last 800 jobs and moved operations to Mexico ...

More here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mark-ruffalo/weve-had-enough-with-failed-trade-policies_b_9596984.html

April 5, 2016

Universal Struggle

Socialism is not Eurocentric because the logic of capital is universal — and so is resistance against it. Cultural specificities may shape some details of capital’s operation differently in the United States and in Bangladesh, in France and in Nicaragua, but they do not alter its fundamental prioritization of profits over people.

A Universal Struggle

Socialism is not Eurocentric because the logic of capital is universal — and so is resistance against it.
by Nivedita Majumdar 4/5/16

Socialism is in the air. It returned to the United States with the 2008 economic crisis, which made capitalism’s exploitative nature clear for a new generation, and unleashed struggles to challenge austerity and staggering income inequality. Activists in a host of movements helped create the environment in which a presidential candidate could talk about socialism on a national stage.

Though he might not be the most radical of figures, Bernie Sanders, who openly identifies as a socialist, is drawing tens of thousands to his campaign, upending everyone’s expectations.

It’s no surprise, then, that the idea of socialism also faces heavy counterattack — and not only from the Right. Within the Left itself, there is suspicion of an ideal many view as single-mindedly focused on economic issues and distant from other everyday sufferings, especially those of black and brown people.

Sanders’s specific evocation of Scandinavian social democracy has elicited criticisms that he endorses a kind of “Nordic exceptionalism” that is hostile to diversity. Such attacks on even the tamest varieties of socialism are nourished, especially on college campuses, by theoretical positions that see Marxism and many of its descendants as hopelessly Eurocentric ...

Much more here: https://www.jacobinmag.com/2016/04/socialism-european-western-global-south/

Profile Information

Gender: Female
Hometown: Wisconsin
Current location: Tejas
Member since: Thu Jan 17, 2008, 01:44 PM
Number of posts: 32,717

About TBF

The most violent element in society is ignorance. Emma Goldman
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