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marmar

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Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit, MI
Member since: Fri Oct 29, 2004, 12:18 AM
Number of posts: 73,003

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May Day's Radical History: What Occupy Is Fighting for This May 1st


AlterNet / By Jacob Remes

May Day's Radical History: What Occupy Is Fighting for This May 1st
Occupy actions planned on May Day are tied to the generations-long movement for the eight-hour day, to immigrant workers, to police brutality and repression of the labor movement.

April 27, 2012 |


American general strikes—or rather, American calls for general strikes, like the one Occupy Los Angeles issued last December that has been endorsed by over 150 general assemblies—are tinged with nostalgia.

The last real general strike in this country, which is to say, the last general strike that shut down a city, was in Oakland, California in 1946—though journalist John Nichols has suggested that what we saw in Madison, Wisconsin last year was a sort of general strike. When we call a general strike, or talk of one, we refer not to a current mode of organizing; we refer back, implicitly or explicitly, to some of the most militant moments in American working-class history. People posting on the Occupy strike blog How I Strike have suggested that next week’s May Day is highly symbolic. As we think about and develop new ways of “general striking,” we also reconnect with a past we've mostly forgotten.

So it makes sense that this year’s call for an Occupy general strike—whatever ends up happening on Tuesday—falls on May 1. May Day is a beautifully American holiday, one created by American workers, crushed by the American government, incubated abroad, and returned to the United States by immigrant workers.

The history of May 1 as a workers’ holiday is intimately tied to the generations-long movement for the eight-hour day, to immigrant workers, to police brutality and repression of the labor movement, and to the long tradition of American anarchism. ............(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.alternet.org/story/155182/may_day%27s_radical_history%3A_what_occupy_is_fighting_for_this_may_1st_/



A porcelain princess with a view



http://failblog.org/



Digby: American Politics is Drowning in Dirty Money, Turning Ordinary People Off


American Politics is Drowning in Dirty Money, Turning Ordinary People Off


People who follow politics often reach the conclusion that average Americans are kind of dopey and don't really understand what's going on. After all, they often hold contradictory views and vote against their self-interest.

But sometimes there's just no denying that being outside the political bubble has its advantages: they see through the bullshit.

An alarming number of Americans report that their concerns about the influence of donors to outside political groups make them less likely to engage in democracy. Communities of color, those with lower incomes, and individuals with less formal education are more likely to disengage due to concerns about how much influence is wielded by Super PAC donors.

Two in three Americans — 65% — say that they trust government less because big donors to Super PACs have more influence than regular voters. Republicans (67%) and Democrats (69%) uniformly agree.

One in four Americans — 26% — say that they are less likely to vote because big donors to Super PACs have so much more influence over elected officials than average Americans.

Less wealthy and less educated Americans were significantly more likely to say they would be less likely to vote because of Super PAC influence: 34% of respondents with no more than a high school education, and 34% of those in households with an annual income less than $35,000, said they would be less likely to vote.

A higher number of African-American and Hispanic voters also stated that the disproportionate influence of Super PAC donors will discourage them from voting: 29% of African Americans and 34% of Hispanics said they were less likely to vote because of Super PAC influence.


I assume that's the plan. .........................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.alternet.org/newsandviews/article/909768/american_politics_is_drowning_in_dirty_money%2C_turning_ordinary_people_off/



How low can they go?: Repug slimebuckets at it again....


House Passes Student Loan Bill That Would Cut Funds From Health Care


The Republican-controlled House of Representatives passed a student loan bill today that would keep interest rates as they currently are while cutting money from the Affordable Care Act. President Obama, though, has vowed to veto the bill due to the provisions concerning the health care bill.

The bill would keep federally subsidized student loan interest rates at 3.4 percent. If a bill to keep student loan rates at 3.4 percent is not passed and signed by Obama, rates would jump up to 6.8 percent July 1.

The looming July 1 deadline, combined with Obama’s campaigning on the issue, has focused attention this week towards the issue of student loans. ...................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.alternet.org/newsandviews/article/909769/house_passes_student_loan_bill_that_would_cut_funds_from_health_care/



Pink Slime and Mad Cow Just the Tip of the Iceberg


from Civil Eats:


Pink Slime and Mad Cow Just the Tip of the Iceberg

April 27th, 2012
By Paula Crossfield


Following on the heels of pink slime, mad cow disease (AKA bovine spongiform encephalopathy—or BSE) is back this week after a California dairy cow destined for a rendering plant that makes pet food was found to have the disease. So far, it looks like the beef industry is playing down the finding, hoping to dodge a loss in sales at home and abroad. The U.S. Department of Agriculture was quick to tell Americans that our food supply is entirely safe.

But the re-emergence of mad cow and the conversation around pink slime has re-opened questions about our food system. It has exposed how food safety falls inevitably through the cracks in a country where over 9 billion animals are being slaughtered per year and budgets for the departments that oversee these processes are being slashed. The incredible media coverage of both issues reflects a growing consumer interest in more transparency in what we’re eating and how it’s being produced.

While this is only the fourth case of mad cow in the U.S. to date, experts argue that finding it this time was a stroke of luck. Of the 34 million cows we slaughter annually in the U.S., 40,000 are being tested by USDA for the disease, down from nearly 500,000 in 2005—about one tenth of one percent.

Some would like the media focus on mad cow to be re-directed to other ongoing and serious food safety issues. Dr. Marion Nestle, professor of nutrition at New York University and author of Safe Food, is among those connecting this finding of mad cow to other unfortunately routine (and in some cases, deadly) food safety issues. “The risk of you getting this disease from eating beef is extremely small,” she said. .................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://civileats.com/2012/04/27/pink-slime-and-mad-cow-just-the-tip-of-the-iceberg/



Occupy May Day 2012





Uploaded by stew3128561 on Jan 14, 2012

Solidarity Forever!

If you are involved in your Local Union, contact your fellow laborers about organizing May Day events or participating in them.

If you are not in a union but involved in your local Occupy, see how your Occupy is joining in local annual May Day festivities.

If you are involved in neither but want to get involved in a Local, I recommend you contact the Industrial Workers of the World at http://www.iww.org/.

Pete Seeger singing L'Internationale.

To learn more about May Day and Labor History, visit http://cwcs.ysu.edu/resources/museums to find a Labor Museum or Exhibit in your area. Labor History is important American History.


May 1 2012 - Let the Reclamation Begin !





Uploaded by stew3128561 on Jan 14, 2012

Solidarity Forever!

If you are involved in your Local Union, contact your fellow laborers about organizing May Day events or participating in them.

If you are not in a union but involved in your local Occupy, see how your Occupy is joining in local annual May Day festivities.

If you are involved in neither but want to get involved in a Local, I recommend you contact the Industrial Workers of the World at http://www.iww.org/.

Pete Seeger singing L'Internationale.

To learn more about May Day and Labor History, visit http://cwcs.ysu.edu/resources/museums to find a Labor Museum or Exhibit in your area. Labor History is important American History.



Bill Moyers/Michael Winship: Joe McCarthy’s Ghost Slithers Again


from Consortium News:



Joe McCarthy’s Ghost Slithers Again
April 27, 2012

Right-wing paranoia knows no bounds, as propagandists stoke dark fantasies about President Obama that revive memories of “black helicopters” from the 1990s. But Tea Party favorite, Rep. Allen West reaches back even further to the days of Joe McCarthy, as Bill Moyers and Michael Winship explain.

By Bill Moyers and Michael Winship


We’ve talked at times about George Orwell’s classic novel 1984, and the amnesia that sets in when we flush events down the memory hole, leaving us at the mercy of only what we know today. Sometimes, though, the past comes back to haunt, like a ghost. It happened recently when we saw Congressman Allen West of Florida on the news.

A Republican and Tea Party favorite, he was asked at a local gathering how many of his fellow members of Congress are “card-carrying Marxists or International Socialists.”

He replied, “I believe there’s about 78 to 81 members of the Democrat Party who are members of the Communist Party. It’s called the Congressional Progressive Caucus.”

By now, little of what Allen West says ever surprises. He has called President Obama “a low-level Socialist agitator,” said anyone with an Obama bumper sticker on their car is “a threat to the gene pool” and told liberals like Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi to “get the hell out of the United States of America.” Apparently, he gets his talking points from Fox News, Rush Limbaugh or the discredited right-wing rocker Ted Nugent. ...............(more)

The complete piece is at: http://consortiumnews.com/2012/04/27/joe-mccarthys-ghost-slithers-again/



A History of the World, BRIC by BRIC: Neoliberal Dragons, Eurasian Wet Dreams, and Robocop Fantasies


from TomDispatch:



A History of the World, BRIC by BRIC
Neoliberal Dragons, Eurasian Wet Dreams, and Robocop Fantasies

By Pepe Escobar


Goldman Sachs -- via economist Jim O’Neill -- invented the concept of a rising new bloc on the planet: BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa). Some cynics couldn’t help calling it the “Bloody Ridiculous Investment Concept.”

Not really. Goldman now expects the BRICS countries to account for almost 40% of global gross domestic product (GDP) by 2050, and to include four of the world’s top five economies.

Soon, in fact, that acronym may have to expand to include Turkey, Indonesia, South Korea and, yes, nuclear Iran: BRIIICTSS? Despite its well-known problems as a nation under economic siege, Iran is also motoring along as part of the N-11, yet another distilled concept. (It stands for the next 11 emerging economies.)

The multitrillion-dollar global question remains: Is the emergence of BRICS a signal that we have truly entered a new multipolar world? ......................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175534/tomgram%3A_pepe_escobar%2C_a_full_spectrum_confrontation_world/#more



Toronto’s Transit City Back in Play


from the Transport Politic blog:


Toronto’s Transit City Back in Play

Yonah Freemark
April 25th, 2012





» Toronto’s regional transportation authority agrees to move forward with a plan for four new light rail routes. Despite opposition from the mayor.


Canada’s largest city may be experiencing the most intense public transportation-related psychodrama in North America. Five years after Mayor David Miller unveiled his Transit City proposal for a citywide network of light rail lines, two years after Ontario government agreed to fund half of them, and one year after a new mayor announced that “Transit City is Dead,” the project finally appears to be moving forward. A unanimous vote by Toronto regional transportation officials today clears the way for C$8.4 billion in new transit investments between now and 2020.

In the process, conservative Mayor Rob Ford, whose antipathy towards alternative transportation modes verged on the truly anti-urban, has lost his influence. It’s an exciting step for a city that has wavered wildly on transportation issues over the past decade, but which is in true need of better public transit.

Before describing the process by which the city endorsed, then rejected, then came back to approving the Transit City plan, the full extent of the 75-kilometer system proposed for the city should be described. At the heart of the network is the Eglinton Crosstown project, which will run east-west 25 kilometers through the center of the city, offering an alternative to the over-capacity Bloor-Danforth Subway; about half of the alignment will be underground, with the other half above surface. Two other routes — along Finch and Sheppard Avenues — will bring surface light rail lines to suburban arterials. And the Scarborough RT, an automated transit service not unlike the Vancouver SkyTrain (though not automated), will be replaced and extended by a new elevated light rail line. Together, the projects will provide relief for a series of neighborhoods with lower densities than the center of the city.



Construction on the Eglinton project is already underway; the other lines will begin in 2014 and 2015, in time for a systemwide completion by 2020. ......................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.thetransportpolitic.com/2012/04/25/torontos-transit-city-back-in-play/



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