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Infoshop News / I?ll Always Remember the 6th o...
Last post by Alternative Media Project - December 19, 2018, 12:58:19 am
I?ll Always Remember the 6th of December

The Greek financial crisis began in 2008. It?s probably what Greece is best known for these days besides its islands. Alexis?s generation has suffered severe austerity measures and poverty. Unemployment is rampant, especially among young people. For a part time job in Greece, you might make 390 euros a month. The standard for decent survival is 600 euros a month. Beyond merely economic factors, many anarchists remain imprisoned who were radicalized from the events in 2008.


The post I?ll Always Remember the 6th of December appeared first on Infoshop News.


Source: I?ll Always Remember the 6th of December
2
Infoshop News / Mike Davis on the Crimes of So...
Last post by Alternative Media Project - December 19, 2018, 12:58:19 am
Mike Davis on the Crimes of Socialism and Capitalism

We?ve heard for decades that socialism has a body count. But how does it compare to capitalism? Mike Davis discusses Stalin, Mao, and the staggering holocausts of capitalism?s nineteenth-century heyday.


The post Mike Davis on the Crimes of Socialism and Capitalism appeared first on Infoshop News.


Source: Mike Davis on the Crimes of Socialism and Capitalism
3
Infoshop News / Welcome to Jinwar, a women-onl...
Last post by Alternative Media Project - December 19, 2018, 12:58:19 am
Welcome to Jinwar, a women-only village in Syria that wants to smash the patriarchy

At the end of a long dusty road in the plains of northern Syria, a young woman with a rifle over her shoulder guards the entrance to the isolated village of Jinwar.


The post Welcome to Jinwar, a women-only village in Syria that wants to smash the patriarchy appeared first on Infoshop News.


Source: Welcome to Jinwar, a women-only village in Syria that wants to smash the patriarchy
4
AlterNet / 'Soulless vampire' Stephen Mil...
Last post by AlterNet - December 19, 2018, 12:58:17 am
'Soulless vampire' Stephen Miller mocked for sporting 'spray-on-hair' during Sunday talk shows: 'The coverup is worse than the crime'


"Maybe he was hoping we would Nazi the difference."


Male pattern baldness is something millions of men struggle with as they age. It?s natural, it happens. While some just go with it and embrace it, others find new ways to cover the loss of hair: baseball hats, implants, hair growth supplements, whatever is happening on Donald Trump?s head and in the case of Donald Trump?s senior racism advisor, Stephen Miller, spray paint. 

Appearing on CBS?s Sunday morning talk show, Face the Nation, Miller debuted a new look and let?s just say whatever racist drivel he was shoveling was completely drowned out by the chatter of whatever was happening on his head.

Exhibit A:

#facethenation Stephen Miller sporting the worst case of spray-on hair I have ever seen.
The glory and horror of HDTV. pic.twitter.com/KqhVfzRPWf

? Futuropolist (@futuropolist) December 16, 2018

As you might imagine, the reaction has been, well, not great for Stephen Miller. For the rest of us, the reaction has been a barrel of laughs. Let?s get to it!

We all have a lot of questions. Apparently he got the message because White House correspondent Katie Rogers provided an interesting update this morning:


Source: 'Soulless vampire' Stephen Miller mocked for sporting 'spray-on-hair' during Sunday talk shows: 'The coverup is worse than the crime'
5
AlterNet / Republicans squash bill to pay...
Last post by AlterNet - December 18, 2018, 01:08:04 pm
Republicans squash bill to pay for Vietnam vets' health care citing deficit woes


Despite passing 382-0 in the House, the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act has been stalled by the GOP.


In June, the House voted 382-0 to pass the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act, which would extend veterans? benefits to the numerous men who served off the coast of Vietnam during the war. Many of these men have had to spend a considerable part of their lives trying to prove that they were exposed to Agent Orange, leading to some, if not most, of their health problems. Since June, the act has been stuck in the Republican-led Senate. Last Monday, Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (NY) attempted to get the unanimous consent of the Senate to pass the bill.

If the Senate can get unanimous consent on a bill, it can move through approval considerably quicker, and this bill is a seeming no-brainer for Democrats and Republicans. There are no ?poison pills? attached to the act, no secret money for food assistance (giving to people who need it money for food is something that can really scare off Republican legislators). The only drawback to asking for a unanimous approval on the Senate floor is that the moment a single senator opposes the bill, the entire unanimous consent enterprise is scuttled. Of course, who would object to extending healthcare benefits to Vietnam veterans? Like, for real? Who? According to the Stars and Stripes, that would be Senator Mike Enzi (WY-R), chairman of the Senate Budget Committee.

?On this bill, many of us have been made aware of the potential cost growth and the budgetary and operational pressures that would happen at the VA,? he said. ?They?re having a lot of problems, anyway.?

He seems to be referring to the problems Trump?s VA has had doing anything right. Of course, Enzi also voted for the deficit-exploding Republican tax cuts for the wealthy.

?There?s clearly more work to do just on figuring out the spending and administration of this and the deficit impacts this bill will have,? Enzi said on the Senate floor.

Yup. The man that ignored the enormous deficit cost estimates the CBO calculated for his tax cuts is suddenly worried about how much paying for care for veterans with terminal illnesses?the result of them going to war for our country. According to the Stars and Stripes, Utah?s Republican Senator Mike Lee, a man who is so full of manure he could cultivate thousands of acres of soil, said he was waiting on ?science,? specifically a study Republicans asked for, after conservative elements in the VA argued that there wasn?t conclusive evidence that these veterans had imbibed the Agent Orange by way of water distillation plants aboard the carriers they rode during the war.

 

Related Stories


Source: Republicans squash bill to pay for Vietnam vets' health care citing deficit woes
6
Inter Press Service - Labour / Tunisia ? the Exception
Last post by Inter Press Service - December 18, 2018, 01:08:03 pm
Tunisia ? the Exception

Eight years have passed since the Arab Spring. In many countries, the uprising was crushed, but in Tunisia democracy gained a foothold. Arbetet Global travelled to the small country town Side Bouzid to find out why. Through the car window, two boys around the age of 10 can be seen pushing a hen to the [...]

The post Tunisia ? the Exception appeared first on Inter Press Service.


Source: Tunisia ? the Exception
7
Infoshop News / As Uprising Spreads Across Glo...
Last post by Alternative Media Project - December 18, 2018, 01:25:40 am
As Uprising Spreads Across Globe, Naomi Klein and Noam Chomsky Among Signers of Open Letter Backing Extinction Rebellion

"The climate crisis is worsening much faster than previously predicted. This desperate situation can't continue."


The post As Uprising Spreads Across Globe, Naomi Klein and Noam Chomsky Among Signers of Open Letter Backing Extinction Rebellion appeared first on Infoshop News.


Source: As Uprising Spreads Across Globe, Naomi Klein and Noam Chomsky Among Signers of Open Letter Backing Extinction Rebellion
8
AlterNet / Fox News' Tucker Carlson dropp...
Last post by AlterNet - December 18, 2018, 01:25:38 am
Fox News' Tucker Carlson dropped by major advertiser after claiming poor immigrants make America 'dirtier'


Tucker Carlson is in hot water with one of his advertisers due to comments he made about immigration last week


Fox News host Tucker Carlson is currently facing a crisis with one of his advertisers due to controversial remarks he made last week about immigration.

The insurance company Pacific Life issued a statement on Friday expressing extreme dissatisfaction with comments made by Carlson about immigration on the previous night's program. In a public statement, Pacific Life explained that "as a company, we strongly disagree with Mr. Carlson's statements. Our customer base and our workforce reflect the diversity of our great nation, something we take great pride in. We will not be advertising on Mr. Carlson's show in the coming weeks as we reevaluate our relationship with his program."

 

 

During a Thursday night episode of his program, Carlson expressed disgust with American immigration policy and argued that liberal talking points were encouraging undocumented immigrants to flood into the country.

"Our leaders demand that you shut up and accept this. We have a moral obligation to admit the world's poor, they tell us, even if it makes our own country poorer, and dirtier, and more divided. Immigration is a form of atonement," Carlson said on his program, according to a transcript by Media Matters. "Previous leaders of our country committed sins -- we must pay for those sins by welcoming an endless chain of migrant caravans. That's the argument they make."

He later added, "What is more predictable is how leaders of the caravan are starting to talk. Suddenly, they sound like community college professors from Long Beach. Entitled, cut off from reality, and highly aggressive. Yesterday a group of leaders of the caravan marched into the U.S. consulate in Mexico, and demanded $50,000 to return to their own countries."

As Carlson facetiously put it, "Huddled masses yearning to breathe free? Nope, cynical shakedown artists who have been watching too much CNN. No surprise there. When rich liberals tell you that America owes you a comfortable life, nobody should be shocked when you believe them."

In a statement, network spokeswoman Carly Shanahan said that "it is a shame that left wing advocacy groups, under the guise of being supposed ?media watchdogs? weaponize social media against companies in an effort to stifle free speech. We continue to stand by and work with our advertisers through these unfortunate and unnecessary distractions."

This isn't the first time that Fox News has dealt with an advertiser problem due to a controversy involving one of its hosts. Laura Ingraham got into trouble earlier this year when she ridiculed Parkland school shooting survivor David Hogg, prompting the student to refer to her as a "bully" and issue a call for advertisers to abandon her show.

 

Related Stories


Source: Fox News' Tucker Carlson dropped by major advertiser after claiming poor immigrants make America 'dirtier'
9
Richard Mellor / Climate Change and South Afric...
Last post by Richard Mellor - December 17, 2018, 03:01:25 pm
Climate Change and South African Industry. A Challenge for Left Forces.

Here is an article from South Africa's Amandla Magazine focusing on the future, anti-capitalism in the aftermath of the end of Apartheid, the Marikana Massacre and the global environmental crisis that is deeply felt in SA, a country so connected to mining. As has been the case here in the US also, the issue of jobs and the environment often clash with union leaders (and rank and file workers fearing job loss) resisting change on that basis.  But that doesn't have to be. Taking over the mining and energy under democratic workers control and management does not have to mean job losses. Workers can keep their jobs as these industries are transformed in to more environmentally friendly production with workers staying employed as the change occurs.  Transportation for example would be transformed from the extremely wasteful and inefficient production of auto's to other forms of mass transit. Such a transformation would have to be part of the general transformation of society globally and world production based on need and not profits and planned accordingly.

Working hours would be drastically shortened. Focusing on consumption driven by the need to release the surplus value trapped within the commodity would end, and the production of use values would become predominant.  Just a thought. RM

Posted on Greg               

Time to Rebuild, Time to Rethink

Amandla Editorial | Amandla Magazine Issue 61/62 | 7 December 2018


In the aftermath of the Marikana massacre and the mass strike of  mineworkers, a great opportunity emerged for regenerating progressive  and left politics. Thousands of rank and file mineworkers transformed  the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) into a  militant, independent, mass mineworkers union. The National Union of  Metalworkers of South Africa, (Numsa) called a special Congress to  regroup the labour movement, independent of the ANC Alliance, and set in  motion a broad socialist movement. After being expelled from the ANC,  Julius Malema and Floyd Shivambu formed the Economic Freedom Fighters  (EFF), as a militant movement to lead the charge for the radical  redistribution of wealth. And just on the heels of these developments  emerged the Fees Must Fall movement, acting as a further catalyst and  detonator of radical change.

These initiatives represented a huge opportunity for renewing radical  politics in South Africa, especially as they were emerging within a  context of intensifying social struggles and deepening class  antagonisms. Each in their own way raised important questions of  perspective, strategy and even tactics or methods of struggle. Most  importantly, taken together, they represented something very  significantly greater than the sum of their parts. They represented the  emergence of an anti-capitalist moment with a real possibility of  building a social-political movement that could fill the vacuum to the  left of the ANC and the exhausted tradition of national liberation  politics.

This moment seemed to be the maturing of an earlier period, marked  also by heightened mass struggles over HIV/AIDS, privatisation,  retrenchments, access to basic services, etc. and the development of new  social movements progressively aligned with the global anti-capitalist /  social justice movement.

The possibility of an alliance of social movements with the labour  movement, sections of the SACP and other left formations, to give  organisational expression to these struggles was sacrificed when this  social anger was channelled into the Zuma project. The 2007 ANC  Congress, which saw Zuma put in power by an alliance of the ANC Youth  League, the SACP and Cosatu, represented a false dawn for new left  politics. It came to represent the toxic rise of crony capitalism,  embedded in a neoliberal state-centred framework. The triumph of a  lumpen bourgeoisie over the state and the ANC. State resources were  liberated to aid the emergence of a predatory elite competing for the  spoils of a stagnating economy with white monopoly capital.

A flash of illumination
It took an event of great significance to recreate the opportunities  of the late 1990s and early 2000s. The mass strike of almost 200,000  mineworkers and the cold-blooded massacre of Lonmin workers in Marikana  gave South Africans the lens to see the callous and toxic dynamic of the  predatory elite?s accumulation path. The political-social impact of the  Marikana massacre is so evocatively and accurately described by Ruth  First, when she wrote about a similar event in our labour history. ?It  was one of those great historic moments,? she wrote after 60,000 black  mineworkers struck for a wage increase of 10 shillings in 1946, ?that in  a flash of illumination educates a nation, reveals what has been  hidden, destroys lies and illusions.?

Marikana, ?in a flash of illumination?, didn?t just educate a nation  into the nature of the Zuma regime. It also provided the food to nurture  a new political moment ? one of popular struggle and anti-capitalist  recomposition.

The moment has gone
Six years later, most of this energy has been dissipated and the left  is more marginal than ever. The EFF?s credibility amongst progressive  forces is collapsing under financial scandals and intolerance and  racialised discourse, especially towards so-called Indians. The Numsa  project of building a movement for socialism has morphed into a narrow  vanguard party initiative and neither Amcu?s narrow syndicalism nor  other parts of the labour movement that split from Cosatu have been able  to construct a dynamic social union oriented labour movement able to  organise the millions of precarious workers.

The anti-capitalist moment has gone. Can it be regenerated? This is  not so easy to answer, especially in a context in which globally there  is a shift to the right. This is a consequence of progressive forces,  when in power, entrenching neoliberalism and extractivism, regardless of  the social and environmental consequences. This is certainly the  experience of Latin America, and in particular Brazil. Does this  experience have lessons for South Africa?

In the immediate term, it is likely that the underwhelming Cyril  Ramaphosa will lead the ANC to electoral victory in the 2019 elections.  It will be an electoral victory won more by default than by belief. The  two main opposition parties have shot themselves in the foot. Scandals  and internal divisions will cost the EFF and DA respectively. The ANC  will win back some voters now that Zuma is gone. The working class will  vote defensively to keep the DA at bay, but not with much illusion in  what the Ramaphosa ? Gordhan ? Mboweni axis represents. The increase in  VAT to 15%, the miserly minimum wage and shallowness of Ramaphosa?s  social dialogue agenda are not lost on the majority of workers and the  poor.

Towards the fire next time
At best, Ramaphosa?s ANC is a case of back to Mbekism but under less  favourable economic circumstances. Conservative economic policies such  as austerity, privatisation and even the weakening of labour regulations  will be widely applied. They will be presented as the only alternative  to attract foreign investment and get the economy working again. Yet,  the combativity of the working class and popular movement will resist  and give rise to new social explosions that will pose the need for  anti-capitalist alternatives.

On this, there is much to be learnt from the Amadiba Crisis  Committee?s struggle against mining in Xolobeni. After 15 years of  struggle, the Pretoria High Court confirmed that communities have the  right to say no to mining and other projects that affect their enjoyment  and control of their land. For this local community and hundreds of  others, mining does not represent a livelihood strategy. They see mining  as entailing the loss of land, cultural alienation, environmental  destruction and a fulltime source of cheap casual labour. The jobs will  be only for a few.

The need for a left alternative is illustrated so dramatically when  we see Chairman Mantashe advance the interests of the corrupt mining  lobby and the Australian corporation, MRC, at the expense of poor  people. For him and his government, mining and extractivism (digging up  our natural resources and exporting them) represent development. This  flies in the face of all the evidence of its social and environmental  impact.

Unfortunately, none of the components that constituted our  anti-capitalist moment are prepared to contemplate an alternative.  Amcu?s president, Joseph Mathunjwa came closest when, in an an oped for  Daily Maverick, he wrote:

?AMCU is a trade union representing mine workers and construction  workers. These workers are embedded in the very industrial processes  that are at the centre of contributing to global warming and other  environmental problems. It is inescapable that, if we are going to move  decisively to a low carbon, less polluting economy, it is going to be at  the cost of coal mining, coal-fired energy plants, coal to liquid gas,  etc. Unless jobs are offered to our members in clean industries, they  would never voluntarily agree to the shutting down of mining and energy  industries. It would be like asking them to commit suicide.?

An alternative to extractivism and the Minerals Energy Complex is of  course not just an economic and social imperative. It is an ecological  necessity in the face of all the evidence on climate change, including  the most recent special report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate  Change (IPCC) Global warming of 1.5°C. There simply is no more time  left to continue spewing out carbon into the atmosphere without dramatic  and quite probably irreversible consequences. There are three articles  in this issue which dig deeper into that.

The left, and not just environmentalists, needs to acknowledge that  an extractivist strategy is simply incompatible with both our  development needs and the imperative to repair the ecological damage of  the legacy of racial patriarchal capitalism. The economic, social and  political crisis that we experience in South Africa, almost 25 years  after Apartheid, is that successive governments have tried to reproduce  the MEC rather than implement a just transition to a wage led low carbon  alternative.

This alternative rests on three pillars: a state-driven mass housing  programme, agrarian reform and low carbon development. Convincing  research shows that millions of jobs lie in socially owned renewable  energy, massive expansion of electrified public transport, protecting  and enhancing our water resources amongst other critical programmes.

We will need to put together a new political block drawn from  organised labour and small and medium-sized enterprises with strong  roots in the local economy, with community-based social movements,  representing landless and mining affected communities, unemployed  sectors of our society, enlightened and radical environmentalists and  the potentially new organic intellectuals of the radicalising student  movement. This will constitute a new anti-capitalist moment, hopefully  drawing lessons from the previous cycle of struggle. 

Source: Climate Change and South African Industry. A Challenge for Left Forces.
10
AlterNet / Here's what Charles Dickens wo...
Last post by AlterNet - December 17, 2018, 03:01:14 pm
Here's what Charles Dickens would write this Christmas if he visited New York City in Trump's America


What side of the Amazon debate do we think Dickens would be on?


It is 176 years since Charles Dickens, the journalist, social reformer and novelist, was horrified by the depth of poverty when he came to visit the Five Points Section, of ?Gangs of New York? fame, in lower Manhattan.

Today, Dickens would find a relatively gentrified but stratified Manhattan, where according to the United Way over a third of the residents live in poverty or struggle week to week. On Staten Island, the non-profit estimates the middle class is barely holding on, with 44 percent of households either in poverty or one unexpected expense away from difficult choices. 

In Brooklyn, it is just over half that are struggling, with 51 percent living below the poverty line or check to check. In Queens it is 57 percent. While in the Bronx almost three quarters of the families struggle to varying degrees to cover shelter and the basics.

New York City?s deepening crisis in affordability manifests itself in the ranks of 63,000 homeless people, including close to 16,000 families with 23,136 children, according to the Coalition For the Homeless.

This Christmas season, just blocks away from what was Five Points, at the Chamber Street Subway Station, the homeless, many of them in bad physical condition, sit for hours seeking sanctuary from the winter cold. One elderly homeless man was reduced to shuffling along, with a plastic bag on one foot so as to keep dry open sores on one foot. Another sat in a wheelchair with his entire upper body covered with a blanket in the midst of the morning rush hour.

According to Dickens biographer Robert McNamara, the British novelist  wrote the ?Christmas Carol? as a ?protest? because he felt ?a strong need to comment on the enormous gap between the rich and poor in Victorian Britain.?

In 21st century New York City, while tens of thousands are without shelter one survey found close to 75,000 apartments are vacant listed as in "seasonal, recreational, or occasional use.?

For years New York City, which is the rookery where Wall Street?s vulture capitalists roost, has drawn billions of dollars of ?hot? money that?s invested in luxury housing for the world?s dictators and global miscreants. 

If Dickens was agitated by the wealth inequality in his own time and place, can you imagine what he might say about both the unprecedented income disparities that exist in America as a whole and in New York particularly?

According to a recent national survey by the Economic Policy Institute,  the average income of the top one percent in the Empire State is  $2,202,489 while the average income for the bottom 99 percent is $49,617.

Research by economists Peter Lindert and Jeffrey Williamson indicates that there?s no historic precedent for America?s rapidly widening income inequality. Indeed, based on their research, the current inequality may eclipse the level that in Victorian England Dickens railed against.

A constant theme throughout Dickens work is his critique of the ?Poor Laws? which had as their goal making the process of getting general welfare and support so onerous and miserable that it would discourage people from applying. 

Be sure Dickens would find a 21st century New York that hates its poor as well. 

Consider the video shot this week of  23 year-old Jazmine Headley, a working mom who had come to a local welfare office to get a day-care voucher for her one year old son so she could go to her job as a cleaner.

Not finding a seat to sit down on, she sat on the floor with her son waiting her turn. That act of ?defiance? got her into a dispute with the security guard which escalated into armed New York City Police Officers arriving on the scene and tearing her one year-old son from her arms and taking her off to jail.

Those charges were dropped by the District Attorney who was horrified by the video that went viral. 

For decades the City of New York let its public housing for more than 400,000 low income residents deteriorate, largely ignoring residents? complaints about toxic mold and lead contamination.

And while both New York State and the Federal government can be faulted for cutting funding, it was the municipality that let the tenants down the worst. Only when the de Blasio administration was caught lying about the lead inspections did the Department of Justice step in and force the city to commit to improving conditions and greater federal oversight.

This is the local socio-economic context that?s missing from the red-hot debate over Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio?s decision to give Amazon almost $3 billion in state and city support.

Not finding a seat to sit down on, she sat on the floor with her son waiting her turn. That act of ?defiance? got her into a dispute with the security guard which escalated into armed New York City Police Officers arriving on the scene and tearing her one year-old son from her arms and taking her off to jail.

Those charges were dropped by the District Attorney who was horrified by the video that went viral. 

For decades the City of New York let its public housing for more than 400,000 low income residents deteriorate, largely ignoring residents? complaints about toxic mold and lead contamination.

And while both New York State and the Federal government can be faulted for cutting funding, it was the municipality that let the tenants down the worst. Only when the de Blasio administration was caught lying about the lead inspections did the Department of Justice step in and force the city to commit to improving conditions and greater federal oversight.

This is the local socio-economic context that?s missing from the red-hot debate over Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio?s decision to give Amazon almost $3 billion in state and city support.

The Governor and the Mayor?s race to satisfy the trillion-dollar corporate behemoth?s greed is reflexive for our post-modern professional political class who spend so much of their energy raising millions to feed what has become a perpetual campaign machine. 

When you have to raise that kind of money, just to get or keep a job, your sense of rational proportionally can?t help but be skewed. You know you have to raise many multiples of what you?ll make in a salary. You got to be a gambler on some level to play in this league of electoral politics.

Their political rhetoric references the poor and the working class; yet politicians' rolodexes are all about cultivating the one percent.

We've been doing this kind of economic development for years and the results are in. The big corporations get bigger and the wealth gets increasingly concentrated to the disadvantage of the 99 percent.

What side of the Amazon debate do we think Dickens would be on?


Source: Here's what Charles Dickens would write this Christmas if he visited New York City in Trump's America
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