Frederick Douglass

"Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did, and it never will. Find out just what people will submit to, and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them..." Frederick Douglass

Friday, March 30, 2012

Successful Fare Strike on New York Subways

Millions mobilize as general strike brings Spain to standstill

Thursday, March 29, 2012

California school board blocks parent takeover bid

A group of activist parents in this impoverished community were thwarted again in their bid to become the first in the nation to seize control of a public school under a controversial "parent trigger" law designed to shake up chronically failing schools. Capping an emotional four-hour meeting, the board of the Adelanto School District in California's Mojave Desert voted 5-0 on Wednesday night to reject a petition invoking a 2010 state law that permits parents to effectively seize control of low-performing schools.

Uganda: the hidden agenda behind "Kony 2012" video

Reports indicate Toulouse gunman was French intelligence asset

Press reports and comments by top intelligence officials suggest that Mohamed Merah, the alleged gunman who killed seven people including three Jewish schoolchildren in a nine-day shooting spree in Toulouse, was a French intelligence asset.

These revelations raise questions about French intelligence’s failure to stop Merah, and whether this failure was dictated by political considerations. The investigation of Merah was led by the Central Directorate of Internal Intelligence (DCRI), run by Bernard Squarcini—a close associate of incumbent President Nicolas Sarkozy. Sarkozy, previously running far behind Socialist Party (PS) candidate François Hollande in next month’s presidential elections, has benefited from massive media coverage after the attacks and now is catching up to Hollande in polls.

If you think this is far-fetched then get a clue. Israeli/Western intelligence (and others) agencies have killed their own nationals countless times.

Egypt's Workers Movement Strikes Back

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Transit Union Endorses Occupy’s National Day of Action for Public Transportation

Not much in the way of specifics here.

The Rise of the Working Class and the Future of the Chinese Revolution

Terrific piece. I haven't read Li's book, but will now. [On the topic of China Rise of the Red Engineers is superb.]

Egypt: Children on Trial|+Independent+news+for+the+world%29

An antisocial move by the Social Security Administration

The agency has created an information vacuum by suspending the mailing of annual statements to about 150 million Americans.

Grab your cheeks and moan like you like it.,0,770123.column

Pension Obligation Bond?

Here we go again.

The bets are being made using an exotic but increasingly popular financial instrument known as a pension obligation bond. Cities, counties and states use the bonds to take out high-interest loans from private investors to plug shortfalls in their employee pension funds.

If the pension funds make smart investments with the borrowed money, the returns can help pay the interest due to borrowers and sometimes even spin off some extra cash to pay pension costs. If they don't, the bonds can create additional costs for taxpayers, put the retirement funds of teachers and firefighters in jeopardy, and, in the worst case scenario, force municipalities into bankruptcy.

Why the fuck shouldn't they do it again? They pissed all over us in '08 and we bent down to lick up the run-off. Why is this happening? Because we let it.

This, by the way, isn't a new scam but part of the old. Everything that's occurred since the Collapse has been utterly predictable.

Solution? Socialism. Capitalism must end; and equality, democracy, and public ownership of industry take its place.,0,5884419.story

Freedom is not class-neutral

Good piece.

It's Mine Baby Mine - The ANC's Debate on the 'Second Transition'

Monday, March 26, 2012

Brief Documentary On The Paris Commune (In French)

Pakistan minister claims 100 women forced to convert to Islam|+Independent+news+for+the+world%29

Malaysia professor wants “Gay cure” group established|+Independent+news+for+the+world%29

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Blogger's Note, March 18, 2012

I will be very busy in the upcoming days and very little if anything will appear here until next week.

Anatomy of the Oil States

Interesting piece.

Socialists and the United Front

Good piece.

A Bit From Ezequiel Adamovsky's Anti-Capitalism

Good introduction for the novice.

Débats et réflexions sur la révolution chinoise – 6 – Retour sur la conception du front uni dans la stratégie maoïste

I've never quite understood the affinity between the French intellect tradition of the middle twentieth century and Maoism, as they seem to be entirely incompatible.

Nevertheless, this was pretty interesting.

Mao note en 1948 que « l’histoire de notre parti montre que des déviations de droite risquaient de se produire lorsque notre parti formait un front uni avec le Guomindang, et que des déviations “de gauche“ risquaient d’apparaître lorsqu’il y avait rupture entre notre parti et le Guomindang » [7]. Durant la guerre sino-japonaise, ce danger de droite ne se manifeste pas seulement quant au degré et à la forme du front uni avec le Guomindang, mais aussi sur le terrain social, dans la base même du PC.

Happy Paris Commune Day!

The best 72 days in history began on this day in 1871. Here's a brief reflection on the topic with some background:

Eternal gratitude to OccupyOakland for christening itself the Oakland Commune, that's the spirit.

AARP Back in Bed With Effort to Cut Social Security and Medicare

Wow, the AARP must be taking lessons from the Democratic Party, that you can afford sell out your putative base if you do the bidding of really big moneyed interests.

In case you missed this saga (it wasn’t one we posted on till now) in June last year, AARP’s board approved supporting Social Security cuts. That followed a multi million dollar ad campaign against the very same stance. They planned to sell the future of old people living off dog food to the membership via a series of town hall meetings.

This is called capitalism.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Army Suicides Up 80 Percent Since Iraq War Start

The Reproduction of Privilege

Instead of serving as a springboard to social mobility as it did for the first decades after World War II, college education today is reinforcing class stratification, with a huge majority of the 24 percent of Americans aged 25 to 29 currently holding a bachelor’s degree coming from families with earnings above the median income.


Beyond Tucson’s Banished Books and Metal Detectors: If Tony Diaz Were Superintendent of Schools

Rahm New Trier Toast crash 2012

Poster O' The Day, March 17, 2012

Quote O' The Day, March 17, 2012

“The secret of happiness is freedom, and the secret of freedom is courage.”


Indian GSE* Not Paying Its Own Workers.

Public Sector Undertaking Bharat Heavy Electrical Limited (BHEL) is 51 per cent owned, as the company puts it, by the President of India. According to India's state Press Information Bureau, BHEL has failed to pay the wages of Indian nationals working at the Kosti thermal power project in Sudan and at another worksite in the Central African Republic.

A reference from the State Government of Odisha was received regarding the non payment of assured wages and non-providence of proper food and shelter to workmen from Odisha who had been deployed to work in Power Plant construction in Sudan.

One more reference was received from the State Government of Odisha regarding the harassment of Oriya workers working in the Kosti Thermal Project, Kosti (Sudan). Another reference was received from the Odisha Government with respect to the grievances of workers at a Central Plant under construction in the Central African Republic. References regarding the exploitation of Migrant Labour of Odisha in South Africa and Lebanon have not been received.

The matter was taken up by the Ministry with the Indian Mission in Khartoum. They have reported on 18-04-2011 that out of 216 workers working with a construction company, Sudan, 198 were sent back by 31-12-2010 and 18 workers agreed to continue and were allowed to work at the site. Similarly, the Indian Mission at Khartoum intimated on 26-09-2011 that 68 workers from Odisha had been repatriated from Kosti Thermal Project, Sudan. Further, with the intervention of Indian Mission, Kinshasa, all the 23 workers from Odisha were repatriated from the Central African Republic.

Information as to who is responsible for this abuse is hard to come by, but the PSU's failure to fulfill its responsibilities to its employees is due in no part to insolvency. From the company's website:

Press Release


BHEL pays all-time high 136 per cent Interim Dividend for fiscal 2011-12

Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) has declared an interim dividend of 136%on the enhanced equity capital post-bonus, for fiscal 2011-12 as against 132.5% paid in the year before. At Rs.6657.5 Million, this is the highest-ever interim dividend in perentage as well as value terms declared by the company so far.

With this, the company has maintained its impeccable track record of earning profits and rewarding investors by paying dividends uninterruptedly for over three decades without a break.

A cheque of Rs.4508.5 Million towards the interim dividend for the year 2011-12 on the equity (67.72%) held by the Government of India, was presented here today to Mr. Praful Patel, Hon’ble Union Minister for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises by Mr. B.P. Rao, Chairman and Managing Director, BHEL, in the presence of Mr. S. Sundareshan, Secretary, Department of Heavy Industries.

Directors on the board of BHEL as well as other senior officials of the Ministry of Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises and BHEL were also present on this occasion.

The growth momentum achieved by BHEL in 2010-11 is likely to be accelerated in the current fiscal. The company has recorded significant growth in its turnover and achieved a quantum jump of 14% in profitability in the first nine months of 2011-12, with its Net Profit (PAT) at Rs.36,602 Million, compared to Rs.32,132 Million in the corresponding period in the year before. With this, BHEL has maintained its track record of earning profits uninterruptedly for four decades without a break.

With an order book position of over Rs.1,465,000 Million, at the end of the third quarter, the company expects to achieve robust growth in 2011-12 and beyond.

BHEL has been committed to the nation’s power development programme and has reaffirmed its commitment to the Indian Power Sector by equipping itself by way of contemporary technology, state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities and skilled technical manpower. The company has established the capability to deliver 15,000 MW per annum and further augmentation to 20,000 MW per annum is underway.

Migrant workers travel thousands of miles across the Indian Ocean to work for a company owned in large part by their own government and what do they find? Harassment and non-payment of wages. Even if we stipulate that BHEL did not intend the outrage and responsibility lies with the Africans, the company is swimming in profit and state-owned, clearly it could redress these grievances and make good its promises to its lowest-payed laborers.

Here we see the all-too-familiar, incestuous embrace of state and capital. According to the Marxist view, the state arises to enforce the will of the ruling minority; it is the barricade behind which capital encamps and issues its directives. But today it is more accurate to see the various national governments as firms themselves, not merely sword and shield but fellow travelers, and in the case of BHEL, literal partners.

Far worse things occur every day on our planet, but in this case the crass nature of modern capital is laid bare for all to see. Even in the best-case scenario, there is no excuse for what happened to these migrant workers: They were betrayed by their own government.

The root of the problem is capitalism. It doesn't matter whom we put in office, even the well-intentioned will be overcome by enveloping forces. Until capital is put to flight, we are all just migrant workers tacking back and forth across the globe in search of freedom and a dignified life, only to come to misery in the end.

*Government Sponsored Enterprise, which is a company wherein a government, usually national, has a majority stake. These are called Public Sector Undertakings in India.

Sex-Deprived Fruit Flies Turn to Alcohol, Perhaps to Fulfill a Physiological Demand for a Reward

You're thinking maybe this is humor, perhaps from The Onion website or something like that?


Nearly 20,000 Teacher Pink Slips Statewide Show Drastic Need for More Education Funding

Friday, March 16, 2012

Some Thoughts On Education, Capitalism, OWS, Unions, And Fascism

[Blogger's note: Save for the title, this was written by Rich Gibson, professor emeritus of San Diego State University, with whom I correspond. As I believe you will agree, his perspective is unique, and his give-no-quarter style is as entertaining as it is confrontational. Much worthwhile stuff can be found at his website, and he can be reached at I heartily commend his education blog to you as well, even if you are not especially interested in pedagogy.

As regular visitors to this blog will note, I don't blow a lot of smoke. There are not many "must read" exhortations and I don't abuse the word "important". But in this case I think what's written below is significant for three reasons: the perspicacity of the exposition, its exigent importance, and the general scarcity of this type of analysis in the popular culture.]

CFT and CTA assets, and NEA's newly-born poster boys on this list, might want to enter this fake fight between the two corrupt school worker unions (see the ad below from CFT).

CFT and CTA/NEA are carrying on a shadow boxing match over whose proposal is a better method to fool school workers into ballot boxes and the interim electoral frenzy that leads up to the vote. NEA will likely put 60 million dollars into the campaign, and hundreds of thousand of volunteer hours--people filtered away from real unionism, school workers and other unionites becoming tools of their own oppression.

Last year, the California Teachers Association spent more than $6 million in their electoral shams, with nearly nothing going on.

The two unions' main problems are (1) locking down support for the demagogue, Obama, and his wars, and bailouts--as well as the NDAA and Arne Duncan's expansion of schools as human munition factories.

(2) The state affiliates have problems, like the shifts to "right to work" laws in states that would radically reduce union tops' dues income (when unionites say "save collective bargaining, they really mean, "save our chance to force people to pay dues---a la Wisconsin, they have always been prepared to give up everything else). The unions were never created by majority state wide citizen votes, but by direct action on the job. But the last thing the union bosses want is a mass of class conscious workers so the last thing they are planning to do is shut down states that pass those laws.

California has a real budget problem that both CTA and CFT address in counterfeit fashion, below.

Third, the union bosses need to create an illusion of local action where there is really no action, like the Moveon scheme to train 100,000 people in "Non-violent" action---as distinct from the direct action that is necessary, mass strikes and general strikes, student strikes, and mutinies in the military. Moveon, a Democratic Party front, like Truthout, also serves as a bodyguard of illusions, preserving capitalism and its shaky empire.

This move is designed to let off steam from those, like in the San Diego EA, who might figure out that the only thing that will save jobs is direct action and civil strife--perhaps matched by some freedom schooling where students learn something other than loyalty and obedience.. SDEA is doing all it can to create a rank and file that believes its leadership is militant, when in fact the leadership works hard to demolish militancy.

The empire's bribe is very powerful. It will likely play out in another vote at the NEA RA, rejecting any discussion of the wars, as the RA has voted in the past, about 99 to 1. That bribe will poison each section, one to three, above. Keep your job. Shut up about the wars. Get paid; bribes that always boomerang over time. Evidence: the patriotic UAW, its members' lives demolished.

School workers are upset, now, about high-stakes testing. Yesterday, NEA boss Dennis Van Roekel said he was shocked by the level of despair on the job--an indicator of how distant his nearly $500,000 a year plus an expense account he can live on, makes him. That anger about testing, however, rose up when the more than obvious next step, merit pay, arrived. Before, the test fury went on for more than a decade with hardly a peep, not a good harbinger for the necessary student/worker solidarity that makes job actions possible.

The ghost dance that is the OWS, feigning leaderless when all kinds of shamans of illusions (Hedges, Moore, Giroux, the vile CPUSA and other sects) consistently leap forward claiming leadership, and faking no ideology when the OWS ideology is pluralism, capital's fave maneuver, largely forgot the wars and is about to be safely stuffed back into the quasi religious world of the election by union staffers, Democrats, and related liberals who, all, pave the way for the broader emergence of fascism as a popular mass movement.

All the structures of fascism are in place:
*the very real promise of perpetual war and war means work--jobs,
*deepening segregation and racism popularized,
*mass color coded incarceration leading to the deprivation of all civil rights when "freed."
*the continued use of black ops prisons that are unknown, and Guantanamo, the torture center we know,
*official mysticism elevated by the election (and Satan, of course, plus Magic Underwear, when are their speeches not glossolalia?),
*the eradication of whatever civil liberties may have existed (NDAA followed the Patriot Act),
*the extension of the spy and surveillance services into every aspect of life,
*the corporate state financial and auto bailouts which socialized loss and continued the capitalization of profits (an irreversible move, like the Afgan invasion, that cut the legs off of the working class youth of the US and underlined the reality of a corporate state),
*the relentless calls for all class unity (Mitt and Obamagogue),
*a military become a praetorian guard, isolated from the citizenry, filling up with Nazis, religious fanatics, and corruption (drug dealing rampant),
*spectacles heaped on spectacles and transparent diversions (Konyi vs the farcical Invisible Children),
*multiple alliances with openly fascist regimes (Kazakhstan, et al) and false praise for other fascists (Putin via Hlllbillary)
*the CIA no longer an intelligence agency but the President's private army with a secret budget,
*a society writhing in the glorification of violence, and its normalcy---and seething with anti-communism from all angles, Gates to the saps running OWS.
*a multi-pronged assault on the working class, hitting those with the least inherited wealth first and worst,
*a powerful propaganda machine matched by opportunistic liberals, fake radicals, and sects who play the organs on their own.

Every effort to reform the system of capital, to buttress its state, its government that serves as an executive committee and armed weapon of the rich, only empowers that government and speeds the emergence of fascism as a popular movement. Every movement that disconnects capitalism, imperialism, and the corporate state from their many social appearances, like high stakes tests, only deepens the oppression of both the people forced into ignorance by those exams, and the opportunistic (if annoyed) people who proctor them. To ignore the role of the corporate, capitalist state is, flatly, to feed it, while its losing wars boom around us. Why participate in the mass hysterical conversion crises that cannot say: capitalism, imperialism, fascism, and revolution?

It isn't pretty. There is no easy way out , but the small time infighting, below, can be funny enough.

A tidbit for doubters

Why do CTA’s leaders oppose taxing millionaires to fund education and essential services?

CFT’s response to falsehoods about the Millionaires Tax
We regret that the California Teachers Association (CTA) leadership has issued a flier filled with misinformation about the Millionaires Tax to its members and the public. This effort to confuse and mislead is a grave disservice to everyone seeking new revenues for schools and services. The flier is factually inaccurate, both about the Millionaires Tax and the governor’s proposal. Here’s the truth about just two falsehoods.
CTA flyer: Unintended Consequences FALSEHOOD #1: In boldface, the CTA flier claims “This is direct text from the Millionaires Tax: "none of the funds can be used to support programs primarily funded by the state.""

THIS IS COMPLETELY UNTRUE. This quote appears nowhere in the initiative, and it runs completely counter to the purpose of the Millionaires Tax, which is to restore funding that has been cut from programs primarily funded by the state. Ask CTA’s leaders where this “quote” came from.

FALSEHOOD #2: The CTA flier claims that the governor’s tax will increase “Prop 98 funding by nearly $5 billion for the 2012-13 budget year.”

THIS IS ALSO UNTRUE. The governor’s own budget projects that his tax will bring in just half of that, $2.5 billion, to Prop. 98 [Governor’s Budget Summary, 2012-1013, p. 136, “the funding levels above reflect a $2.5 billion increase in the Proposition 98 minimum guarantee in 2012-13 assuming passage of the governor’s tax proposal.”].
CTA Leadership Stands with Business Roundtable
The same day that the CTA leadership issued its flier, the California Business Roundtable, representing PG&E, Chevron and other large corporations, came out in opposition to the Millionaires Tax. It stopped short of endorsing Governor Brown’s proposal, however. The reason? According to the Sacramento Bee (March 9), “Roundtable spokesman Kirk Clark said the business group was waiting to see whether Brown would come through with pension reductions as well as changing environmental laws and business regulations to make it easier for firms to operate in California.” The CTA leadership has now aligned itself with the most reactionary forces in California in opposition to the Millionaires Tax. CTA leaders are standing together with the 1%’s business lobby, which is actively working to undermine the hard-earned pension benefits of CTA’s own members, and seeking the destruction of public employee pensions as a quid pro quo for their endorsement of the governor’s tax.

Millionaires Tax: The Solution
The Millionaires Tax will bring in $6 billion to fund schools and services. It will tax only millionaires. It has just come out on top of the seventh straight poll assessing voter preferences for the three competing revenue measures. The newest poll also clearly demonstrates that in a multiple measure ballot scenario, the Millionaires Tax would win. A Public Policy Institute Poll released on March 8 shows the governor’s sales tax and personal income tax increase at just 52% support. Do you want to put all your hopes for new funding on that one measure’s uncertain chances?

At a moment when the students and families of California desperately need new revenues, it is astonishing the CTA leadership would attempt to create a political atmosphere charged with lies and confusion. All organizations that understand the need for revenues should be uniting around the ballot measure most likely to win. Poll after poll shows likely voters want to tax millionaires. President Obama has stated his support for taxing millionaires. CTA leaders, in their zeal for backdoor dealing and politics-as-usual in the service of the 1%, seem determined to poison the well and destroy the best opportunity for their members and the people of California to restore and refund our state.

For more answers to questions about the Millionaires Tax, click here for the “Rhetoric vs Reality” one pager.
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Jesse Hagopian vs. Washington State: Seattle Equality Educators Happy Hour/Live Music Fundraiser

This afternoon and evening, March 16th from 4-7:30 PM, at the Grotto (under the Rendezvous in Belltown) where for ONLY $5, friends of public education and democratic unions will be able to dance, swing, and “shake that thing” for a righteous reason, to help Jesse Hagopian pay the legal bills he incurred by getting arrested for attempting a ‘Citizen’s Arrest’ of the Washington State Legislature for the crime of not fully funding public education.

New York cuts pension benefits for public workers

(Reuters) - New York state lawmakers approved pension reform that will save an estimated $80 billion over 30 years, largely by reducing benefits for newly hired state and local public workers, which union officials Thursday blasted as an attack on the middle class.

This is called capitalism.

Special - U.S. Grand Strategy and Maritime Power

Most of the world’s people, resources, and economic activity are not in the Western Hemisphere, but in the other hemisphere, particularly Eurasia. Consequently, a key element of U.S. national strategy, going back many decades, has been to prevent the emergence of a regional hegemon in one part of Eurasia or another, because such a hegemon could deny the United States access to some of the Eastern Hemisphere’s resources and economic activity.

I guess they don't know they are not supposed to admit this.

Humorous Video O' The Day, March 15, 2012

Is news often just…(pardon us) bullshit? Watch this video and find out.

Egyptian strikers face torture

Arizona Birth Control Bill Allows Employers To Fire Women On The Pill Based On Religious Beliefs

Smithy On Monetary Policy

Don't miss this. Listen to the first and you will be hooked.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Jeffrey Sachs vs. the Facts on Bolivia

He's either incompetent or indifferent to reality, and he's going to head the world bank.

Michael Parenti - No War But the Class War

I adore this man.

2012 The Mayan Word

Interesting documentary.

#RIP Amina , you are not the first nor the last

The Royal prosecutor ruled out that Amina should marry her rapist to hide this scandal !! Ironically the rapist and the family refused first but they agreed in the end in return of not paying a dowry. There was no wedding or anything for the little girl who just celebrated her 16th birthday.
For about 5 months Amina lived in hell at her husband/rapist house , she suffered from ill treatment and constant beating. Amina tried to leave her rapist hubby’s house but her mom used to tell her that she should not leave her hubby’s house !! Amina went to the police beaten asking for help but they told her to ask for the help of the Royal Prosecutor “Who forced her in to that marriage in the first place” and to bring a medical report for her condition. The police did not help thus Amina began to think about plan to grab the people’s attention.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Occupy Education v. the Gates Foundation

The role of anarchists in the Quebec student movement

Nice brief interview.

Oakland police keep track of "anarchists"

Ya don't say!

100 Million+ Indian Workers took United Strike action

Nice round-up.

Quote O' The Day, March 14, 2012

A simple truth is told by the news: A civilized face on a barbaric heart, and that heart is owned by capital. The question of morality or immorality doesn’t arise as capital manufactures its morality or immorality, and it doesn’t matter whether those are acceptable to humanity or not. Appropriation is the standard of its morality.

Farooque Chowdhury

Capital Doesn’t Spare The Disabled

In the UK, Guardian reports: “Some long-term sick and disabled people face being forced to work unpaid for an unlimited amount of time or have their benefits cut under plans being drawn up by the Department for Work and Pensions.” (Feb. 16, 2012) Experts fear this could further harm the sick and disabled persons. The policy could mean that those diagnosed with terminal cancer but have more than six months to live; accident and stroke victims; and those with mental health issues could be compelled to undertake work experience for charities, public bodies and retailers. There will be provision for sanction in case of failure by the disabled “beneficiaries” as “Ministers feel sanctions are an incentive for people to comply with their responsibility.” Already 8,440 disabled persons have faced sanctions during the period Sept. 2010-Aug. 2011 “for offences like missing interview with advisers ‘without good cause’”.

Had enough of capitalism yet?

Malawi "fed up" with Madonna, slams school plans

Aren't we all. I was from the start.

Malawi's government on Tuesday accused Madonna of not consulting over her plans to build 10 new schools in the poor southern African state and said the singer seemed more interested in promoting her global image than helping with education there.

Who did they think she was, Florence Nightingale? Maybe they should have listened to her insipid music.

Pacifica hires union-busting law firm of Jackson Lewis

KPFA’s parent organization, the Pacifica Foundation, has hired Jackson Lewis, a notorious anti-union law firm which the AFL-CIO calls “America’s number one union-buster.” The multimillion-dollar corporate firm specializes in what it calls “preventative practices” — that is, advising managers how to obstruct workers from successfully forming unions and undermining existing unions. “Under its polished veneer lies a for-profit union-buster,” writes the nonprofit American Rights at Work, “one of the oldest and largest” such firms in the nation.

If you are surprised by this then you still don't get it.

The Minnesota Sustainable Energy Scam

I learned from them that a program being sold to the residents of Minnesota as an "environmentally friendly" enterprise actually appears to conceal a major rip-off of the public, where the purchase of land for wind mills is being use as a front to conceal taking control of mineral and water rights. The scam is so bad that the utility monitoring the production of energy has been derelict.

Quote O' The Day, March 14

"Government, in its last analysis, is organized force.

Woodrow Wilson. And he should know.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Struggles intersect at uni occupation in Amsterdam

Nice article.

Monday, March 12, 2012

SA miners have worst TB epidemic in the world

The revenue that SA gold and platinum mines produce has been the ventilator of capitalism for decades now. The money works its way quickly to London where its turns over quickly and is largely responsible in the last few years for keeping the ailing patient known as capitalism alive.

Yet at the same time the workers who produce this wealth die from easily prevented diseases.

This is called capitalism.

The WTF O' The Day, March 12, 2012

A hundred million people on strike in India and we get this guest post at the Financial Times.

Guest post: India needs fewer labour restrictions, not more

The workers’ willingness to speak out to in public should be applauded, but the striking workers are missing the bigger picture by demanding job security rather than job market security.

As critical as I have been of the bourgeoisie, one just has to acknowledge their sense of humor. 100 million missing the bigger picture, I mean that is just hysterical. They have to counter the workers' grievances somehow, but this...

Warren Buffet Odisha Land Grab Update, March 12

Lost track of the situation in the Indian forest of late. What interested me from the start was that the entire enterprise--the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between POSCO and the government, the attempted clearing of the people from the coveted land, the tactics employed--was incontestably illegal. The MoU violated national and regional law, but it went ahead without even so much as a prevaricating lie to justify the project.

Heroically, the people resisted, and persevere.



Dear Shareholders,

We, the villagers of Dhenkia, Nuagaon, and Gobindpur share our concerns and grief with you. Your company POSCO is behaving like a medieval marauder in our villages.

POSCO has influenced the Indian Government, the Odisha Government, and the local police and civilian administration to acquire our lands forcibly and destroy our homes and livelihoods. They have terrorizing our villagers over the last four years.

The local police has slapped false criminal charges against peaceful protestors-men, women and even minor children as young as 12.

Many have been beaten, tortured and jailed.

People can’t live a normal life in our villages; children can’t go to school; patients requiring serious medical attention can’t go to a hospital.

The entire area where POSCO wants to establish a port and steel plant illegally has been garrisoned. Please note that unless the landowners want, under Indian law, lands can’t be forcibly acquired from us. POSCO management knows these Constitutional Rights.

Effectively, your company has declared a war on us. An illegal war in which they are using paid mercenaries to kidnap and torture protesters.

Our struggle will go on. We want to ensure peaceful life and secured livelihoods that our forefathers gave us for our children, and their children.

We are as proud people as you are. We care for our women and children just as you do.

Please don’t support POSCO whose management is behaving like a bunch of criminals. Please withdraw your investments in POSCO.

Thank you.

The people of the villages of Dhenkia, Nuagaon, Gobindpur

Abhay Sahu [From jail]
Narayan Reddy [From Jail]
Prashant Paikray
Shirish Mahapatra

Meanwhile POSCO signs more MoU.

Korean steel producer, POSCO (NYSE:PKX - News) of late has been involved in signing memorandums of understanding with a Chinese carmaker and an African miner with a clear goal of expanding its operations.

The first understanding was reached with Great Wall motor company, which is considered to be China’s third largest automaker in the year 2011, producing upto 0.48 million cars. The company, progressing rapidly with a growth rate of 28% in 2011, aims to produce a million units by the year 2015.

Look out Africa, China.

So far the native resistance hasn't hurt Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway too much.

Warren Buffett bought into POSCO, the largest steel marker in Korea, in 2006. Berkshire paid $768 million for about 4 million shares. The share reduction of POSCO has increased the position Berkshire owns to 5.1% of the company. Regarding POSCO, Buffett said, "It's a great company. And great companies get worth more and more all the time." Indeed, Buffett is sitting on 122% of profit with this investment.

In October of 2007, right at the recent peak of the stock market, Buffett visited Korea and said that the Korean market was modestly cheaper than most markets around the world. He said, “…but I am just looking at price earnings ratios, and you have a flourishing economy here with 50 plus million people that seem to be working very hard. So, ah, I would think that the Korean market would do as well over the next 10 years ... not 10 weeks, 10 months ... but 10 years, as most markets, and perhaps a little better.”

More than three years have passed since he spoke, and the Korean stock market experienced an even worse crash than its U.S. counterpart, losing 70% at its bottom. It has since recovered more dramatically and had similar performance to the U.S. market for the three and half years.

Berkshire is sitting on a 69% profit as of Dec. 31, 2011.

Still it's not enough I guess, Buff' just has to have these people's land because there is never enough profit to suit billionaires like Warren.

Labour Brokers Bad for South African Workers, but Trade Unions Not Much Better

Obviously precarious work, as it is internationally called, is what capital has in mind for us.

April 6th Group: Egypt State Security operating with impunity

Egypt unrest: Court clears 'virginity test' doctor

Arundati Roy On Colonized Imaginations

She has a way of reducing things to their essence without robbing them of their complexity. Or rather she has a way of relating complexity as nuance, I'm not sure which. She's brilliant--save for her wardrobe.

Capitalism - A Ghost Story (4th Anuradha Ghandy Memorial Trust Lecture)

Democracy and Dissent in China and India

India: Dynasty, Corruption And Plunder

Nice piece.

"Mowing The Lawn": On Israel’s Latest Massacre In Gaza And The Lies Behind It

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Massive anti-government protest in Bahrain

The Greek agony

What is publicly presented as the financial markets’ “sacrifice,” a “waiver” by private creditors, giving up over half of the value of their Greek bonds, is in fact a financial gift to the banks.

The debt swap agreed Thursday night by nearly 86 percent of the creditors will not prevent the bankruptcy of the Greek state. It merely postpones it by shifting the cost of such a bankruptcy from the private to the public sector, on which about three-quarters of the Greek debt will fall.

Anecdotes of Mortgage Fraud

In the last couple of weeks I’ve been pushing foreclosure fraud. Well, not pushing the fraud but rather arguing that foreclosure is fraud. It has to be. If a mortgage was registered at MERS, then the chain of title was broken. Broken chains mean the bank cannot foreclose. But that was MERS’s business model, and so most mortgages are “infected”. Still, there’s a lot more to it than that.

“Why we occupied our hospital” – an open letter by a hospital doctor at the workers-run hospital of Kilkis

The occupation of our hospital in Kilkis by its workers began on Monday, February 20. This occupation does not merely concern us, the doctors and the workers at the Hospital of Kilkis. Nor does it only take place in response to the greek National Health System (ESY), which is indeed collapsing.

We are undertaking this struggle because what is under threat today is human rights. And this threat is not even made against one nation, or a bunch of countries, or social groups: it is a threat made against the lower and middle classes in Europe, America, Asia, Africa; across the entire world. Greece’s today is the tomorrow of Portugal, Spain, Italy and the rest of the countries around the world.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Propaganda, Lies and Suppression of Constitutional Rights by the Oakland Mayor’s Office, DA and OPD: Update, Update 2

Hitler's tea tray makes a reich old price

It is good to know that Hitler, capital's greatest creation, is still viable, still generating revenue for his patrons. Well it's as they always say: Fascists sell silverware.

To Break their Haughty Power: 100 Million Strike in India[%20continued%20]&utm_campaign=Against%20the%20Current%2C%20March%202012%3A%20Who%20Are%20the%20Control%20Rods%3Fcontent

Sent to jail for "stealing" school

Hedge funds speculate on Greek default

Ithaca bus drivers speak out against salary cuts

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Didacticide Update, March 4, Canadian Front

A "mediator" appointed and instructed to strip the teachers' contract

Sarah Kay, "B"

Way off topic but I really enjoyed this.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Marx And The Free Market Fraud, Part Two

I usually don't respond to email in this space, but the feedback I got on the original post [linked below] was so diverse and pointed I thought I'd answer it in public fashion.

If you didn't see the original post, follow the link and watch the brief video and read my response.

I am always impressed by the vehemence with which Anarcho-Capitalists defend their gods. My assertion that Mises was not only incorrect in what he was saying, but was in fact lying drew some rather discourteous responses. I am surprised that A-Caps visit my blog, even more surprised when they say they find things here which are objectionable to them. In case it isn't clear: I detest capitalism. I do not believe capitalism can be reformed, it must be abolished. Libertarianism meant anti-capitalism long before the term was usurped by A-Caps, and I use the term in the original and more accurate sense.

Now, to answer the questions and complaints.

In my home I have two books which deal with the history of socialism and Marxism. One is Socialist Thought [volume two being the relevant section], by G. D. H. Cole, and the other is Main Currents of Marxism, by Leszek Kolakowski. The former author is a socialist but not a Marxist, the latter is neither. I consulted both after receiving critical e-mails about the earlier post and they are in agreement, and generally support what I wrote vis-a-vis the Iron Law of Wages.

According to the aforementioned, David Ricardo was the first to suggest that wages tended toward the subsistence level. He did so after reading Malthus, who was also to influence Lasalle. However, Ricardo didn't use the term "Iron Law", nor did elaborate as to the economic mechanism by which this occurs.

According to Cole, a utopian socialist named Karl Johann Rodbertus also expressed the idea of wages always trending downwards towards subsistence levels.

Lasalle postulated that if wages grew beyond the subsistence level then working families would produce more children. Thus would they flood the market with extra labor which would put downward pressure on wages. If wages dropped below subsistence levels, family size would decrease thus creating a shortage of labor which would drive wages up. This is Lasalle's theory, and he coined the term "Iron Law".

Marx disagreed!


Marx held that wages tended...down...because of the inherent contradictions of capitalism---by which he meant...the tendency of capitalism to enlarge production faster than the means of consumption...of the people.

Thus Lasalle argued wages tended down on Malthusian grounds--which is what the Iron Law states, as Mises describes in the video--and Marx believed the origins of this miserable tendency lie in production.


It was clear [to Marx]...that supply and demand could not be measuredd absolutely but only in relation to the whole economic picture, including such matters as boom and slump, the state of world markets, technological progress...and finally the effect of working-class pressure on wages. According to circumstances these factors might...push wages up or down, but in any case it was a gross oversimplfication to reduce the...problem to the birth rate.

Cole also mentioned the "boom and slump" factor which Marx advanced in his opposition to Lasalle's theory.

Marx also enumerated his objections to the Iron Law in his Critique of the Gotha Programme, which I'm quite sure can be found online.

The disagreement between Marx and Lasalle on this point of theory had important practical consequences. With his belief in the Iron Law, Lasalle argued that political action and worker organization was of no use because the lot of the worker could never be improved under capitalism. This led him to denounce trade unions and political action (at least in the conventional sense). He supported instead the idea of inducing the state to fund co-ops with the intent of eventually eliminating capitalism altogether. In pursuit of this end, he contacted Bismarck, and generally supported an alliance with the then still formidable aristocracy against the capitalists saying that the bourgeoisie was the real enemy of the working class. [Please note that I did say Lasalle was something of a schmuck in the original. This is why.]

Marx voiced strong opposition to these ideas. He supported political action and trade unions, in accordance with his different view on wages, and thought that in a conflict between the middle and upper classes, the proletariat should side with the bourgeoisie.

So there you have it. Ludwig von Measles critiques Lasalle's theory after attributing it to Marx, and then derides it on the very same bases as Marx had. One might think this just a garish, oafish mistake, but I don't think so. I don't believe von Measles is that stupid. He's no fool, he's a vulgar propagandist.

Moving along, I was criticized for resisting von Measles insistence that Marx's views on wages were the "at the bottom of his entire criticism of the capitalist system". Well unlike the above discussion, I admit that this is more a matter of opinion than fact. But it is just too much nonsense.

It would seem to me that at the bottom of Marxist thought is dialectical materialism and the labor theory of value. In my humble opinion, his ideas on wages are tangential. But admittedly I am inexpert in matters of economic theory.

I believe I've answered all the issues raised in the angry emails. Please, insults just will not do. If you wish to refute what's written here, you will need to cite something which Marx wrote. Why do I believe Cole and Kolakowski and not Ol' Ludwig? Because it comports with my recollection of Marx' letters to Engels on the topic, and my understanding of his Critique of the Gotha Programme (which I have never read in its entirety). And they quote Marx, unlike Mises who just generalizes about Marx' views but offers no specifics. In any case, you need to produce something which Marx wrote which contradicts C and K, otherwise don't bother.

One last point: It is all well and good to say that Marxism and socialism is inhumane, everyone is entitled to an opinion, even a vapid one like this. But Mises knows that Marx' writings are moralistic, even if the latter would protest such a characterization. Marx' economic theories may be "scientific", but one cannot read him without marveling at the gaudy breadth of his humanity. The first chapter or two of hiis magnus opus, Das Kapital, is economic theory, the rest is his dialectical materialist synopsis of history. Here we see Marx at his best. It is historiography at its best. The text pulses with humanity and decency and moral outrage. I defy anybody to read it and say that Marx is inhumane. Mises knows what he is saying is untrue. It is inhumane to say Marx was inhumane.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Didacticide Update Canadian Front

The Atzmon Defamation League (ADL)

He's having a little fun here, but this essay deals with important points.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

A letter from some friends in Oakland regarding the Jan. 28th events

Great first-hand account.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Seattle Port drivers' struggle goes on

Calvin Borders, a 13-year driver for Seattle Freight and board member of the driver-run Seattle Port Truckers Association (SPTA), talked about how the atmosphere since the strike:

has really changed. The drivers can see the changes when it comes to getting better respect. They are not harassed in the pier or at the rail. The pick operators are actually loading their trucks more safely. While we were in the midst of striking, they got rid of two individuals (at Burlington Northern Santa Fe) because of their discriminatory attitudes towards people of color and their use of the "N" word. They were the main source of creating a lot of chaos for us.

"The Greatest Bank Robbery Ever" with William K. Black

Guns and Butter - February 29, 2012 at 1:00pm

Click to listen (or download)

Thursday, March 1, 2012

BRICS prepares world banking revolution

France’s secret war against the Syrian people

The truth about Greece by Míkis Theodorákis

Theodorakis is an icon in Greece due to his participation in the resistance. Here he writes a terrifically honest assessment.

SB 469 Would Make Civil Disobedience a Felony in Georgia

Poster O' The Day, 1 March

Using King to sell apartheid

This quote even made its way into an excellent exposé of Israel's deadly decades-long relationship with apartheid South Africa, Sasha Polakow-Suransky's The Unspoken Alliance: Israel's Secret Relationship with Apartheid South Africa. In fact, I repeated part of the quote in my own review of the book, much to my regret. Later, I discovered that the King letter was a hoax.

We hear much talk about Gentile attitudes towards Jews, but seldom do we hear about Jewish attitudes towards Gentiles. It took more than chutzpah to forge the MLK letter cited in the article, it took good, ol'-fashioned, sectarian contempt. Zionism is racism.

Didacticide Update, California Front: A show of resistance against education cuts

Indian workers show their power

TENS OF millions of workers took part in a one-day general strike in India on February 28 in the country's largest industrial action since its independence in 1947.

Impressive, but one-day strikes don't accomplish anything. They must strike indefinitely.

Which is easier to say than do.

Saudi FM says committed to supporting Egypt with $3.75 billion

Al-Faisal was quoted by the official Saudi press agency SANA on Tuesday that the Saudi government “did not hesitate to stand by the Egyptian people,” stressing that the Egyptians were “unable to determine economic priorities for internal reasons.”

Now why would a reactionary feudal government in Saudi Arabia support a revolutionary government in Egypt?

Because it isn't revolutionary.|+Independent+news+for+the+world%29

Goodbye, First Amendment: ‘Trespass Bill’ will make protest illegal

Financial Firm Fined for Misleading Investors on Magnetar Bets

Steal billions, get fined five million. Now that's a solid business model!

Carina, incidentally, means "cute" in Italian. So you can't say they don't have a sense of humor.

Just to review: Magnetar, a hedge fund, crafted these CDOs for Deutsch and JPMC (These are the Rothschild and Rockefeller families), and then the banks sold them to their customers, the insipid rich, assuring the latter they were good investments. Then the banks and Magnetar placed wagers that the CDOs would go belly up, which of course they did.

Magnetar has never been charged with wrongdoing, and has always maintained that it did not have a strategy to bet against the housing market.

They may not have had such a policy, but that is precisely what they did! In fact, I believe that Magnetar was created specifically for this purpose, as I have written in other entries in this blog and elsewhere.

What we are witnessing here is the all too familiar incestuous embrace of state and capital, which will exist as long as the state and capital exist.

Had enough yet?

Contre les attaques dont est victime la centrale syndicale Union générale tunisienne du Travail

I get hits daily from Francophone countries so I will post this. It's a story about a state crackdown against a union [UGTT] following a general strike.

Obama to UAW delegates: You make me proud

What an asshole.

Workers Compensation Is Quietly Under Attack in America