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Category Archives: Wage Slavery

Tesla warns that ‘thousands’ of Model 3 reservations holders will go outside of Connecticut to buy without direct sales – Electrek

Posted: February 25, 2017 at 3:13 pm

Tesla warns that 'thousands' of Model 3 reservations holders will go outside of Connecticut to buy without direct sales
So we stop the GOP in Congress. themodfather 18 hours ago. "Jobs" are an arbitrary construct, another word for "wage slavery". That goes for the whole modern post-state-capitalist economy. It's amazing that people are so braindead they cannot grasp

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Tesla warns that ‘thousands’ of Model 3 reservations holders will go outside of Connecticut to buy without direct sales – Electrek

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Washington State Rep Endorsed Slavery When Confronted by Voter – The Pacific Tribune

Posted: February 24, 2017 at 6:20 pm

Welcome to 2017, here our President is a misogynisticandxenophobic, pathological liar, and our state representatives openly endorse slavery. What fun! Washington State Rep. Matt Manweller, whohas been largely outspoken against raising the minimum wage, recently stated that he would be fine with a $0 minimum wage. When confronted by a voter who explained such wages were eliminated by the Civil War, Manweller said, add that to the list of mistakes made during the Civil War. Does this mean he believes the freeing of slaves was a mistake made by our nation during the Civil War?

This story was brought to light by Working Washington who has put out the call to ask Washington State Rep. Manweller what exactly he meant in his email with a local voter.Working Washington is a statewide workers organization that fights to raise wages, improve labor standards, and change the conversation about wealth, inequality, and the value of work, according to their website.

We reached out to Working Washington and a representative of the organization had this to say: Washington voted overwhelmingly in November to raise the minimum wage because its good for workers, good for communities, and good for the economy. We need to move forward to advance labor standards to ensure prosperity for all not turn back the clock to rehash the emancipation proclamation.

Washington State Rep. Manweller has been a huge opponent of raising the minimum wage in Washington State. His Twitter is literally filled with claims that higher minimum wage is dangerous for children, employment, and the economy.

The federal minimum wage was introduced in 1938 during the Great Depression under President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. It was initially set at $0.25 per hour and has been increased by Congress 22 times, most recently in 2009 when it went from $6.55 to $7.25 an hour. Currently, twenty-nine states, plus Washington DC, have a minimum wage higher than the federal minimum wage. Approximately 2,561,000 workers (or 3.3% of the hourly paid working population) earn the federal minimum wage or below.

Proponents of a higher minimum wage state that the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour is too low for anyone to live on stating that a higher minimum wage will help create jobs and grow the economy. They also say that the declining value of the minimum wage is one of the primary causes of wage inequality between low- and middle-income workers. It is believed that a majority of Americans, including a slim majority of self-described conservatives, support increasing the minimum wage.

Opponents say that many businesses cannot afford to pay their workers more, and will be forced to close, lay off workers, or reduce hiring. They say increases in pay have been shown to make it more difficult for low-skilled workers with little or no work experience to find jobs or become upwardly mobile. They believe raising the minimum wage at the federal level does not take into account regional cost-of-living variations where raising the minimum wage could hurt low-income communities in particular.

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Mayor Betsy Hodges says tip credits are bad for women – City Pages

Posted: February 23, 2017 at 1:09 pm

For many months, the city of Minneapolis has been working on a plan to raise the minimum wage for all employees, including tipped employees. Advocates and some council members are eyeing a city-wide minimum set at $15 an hour, a level some detractors say is unsustainable.

That includes many restaurant owners, who insist the hike would be catastrophic, and might just force them out of business.

An off-record source says he ran the numbers for his three small food businesses, hypothetically hiking everyones hourly wage up to $15, and the difference in labor costs approached half a million dollars annually. He said this number didnt account for the inevitable price increases of ingredients and restaurant services he relies on — as those businesses will be trying to cover their own labor cost increases.

He added that between wages and gratuity, his tipped employees already make between $17 and $20 an hour, and says the city ought to leave them alone.Operators like him are pleading with the city to offer a tip credit where tipped employees will earn a lower rate of pay than the across-the-board $15 minimum for other employees.

But Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges, for one, isnt having it. She says based on her own research, tip credits — or tip penalties, as she calls them — are bad for workers, and especially bad for women.

In a lengthy statement Hodges released earlier this week, she says the notion that all tipped employees in Minneapolis are working in high-end restaurants and bars and are making far more than $15 an hour is false. She cited a federal Bureau of Labor Statistics study showing that from 2012 to 2015, the average wage for restaurant servers in the Twin Cities metro came to not much more than $10 an hour, including tips. Only 10 percent of restaurant servers in our region averaged $15 or more an hour with tips.

Moreover, Hodges said, women make up two-thirds of tipped workers. Women who are tipped workers are “three times as likely to live in poverty” as others, she said, and “twice as likely to receive food stamps.” And, she added, research clearly shows “the more women are forced to rely on tips for income, the more likely they are to be sexually harassed.”

Ladies, remember the creepy guy (or guys?) who needed all that extra attention so that hed feel good about leaving that extra tip? Yeah, studies show thats a real thing.

Finally, she added that states with one fair wage for all (including Maine, Michigan, and Missouri) are producing faster job growth, higher sales, and higher tips than the 43 states that have had a tip penalty.

The minimum wage hike is expected to pass, and soon. But Hodges says that it should be done in such a way, and in a timely enough fashion, that businesses can thrive while they absorb it… without also taking away workers’ livelihoods

Read Hodges’ full statement below.

As we continue to debate raising the minimum wage in Minneapolis, and as the City continues to hold listening sessions on the topic across the city, several of which I have attended, I was lucky to listen to a talk today at the Carlson School at the University of Minnesota by the dynamic Saru Jayaraman of the Restaurant Opportunities Center. Her talk left me more persuaded than ever that if the City Council continues forward with an ordinance to raise the minimum wage in Minneapolis, any new minimum wage must continue to be one fair wage. That is, it must not contain a tip penalty that will leave tipped workers falling behind and subject to sexual harassment, nor must it be an unworkable compromise that will expose businesses to new costs and liability, and tipped workers to greater insecurity. Any minimum wage ordinance must also be phased in over a period long enough that our businesses, including restaurants and other sectors that rely on tipped workers, will not be harmed and can continue to thrive while they absorb it. There is ample evidence that a tip penalty is harmful and yet, a minimum-wage proposal that includes a tip penalty is making the rounds of the Minneapolis City Council. A tip penalty, if passed by the City Council, would harm the work were doing in Minneapolis to actually close the income gap between low-wage and other workers and grow an economy that includes everyone. Contrary to some popular perceptions, wages for tipped workers in the restaurant sector are in fact low: so low that nationally, 46 percent of tipped workers rely on federal public benefits. Tipped workers are almost twice as likely to live in poverty than other workers. The stereotype that in Minneapolis, tipped workers all work in high-end bars and fine-dining restaurants and thus make far more than $15 an hour is also false: on the contrary, a federal Bureau of Labor Statistics study that covered the years 201215 showed that in our metro area, the average wage for restaurant servers came to not much more than $10 an hour, including tips. Only 10 percent of restaurant servers in our region averaged $15 or more an hour with tips. Its already the case that the average hourly wage for servers in our region is only a little more than half the average hourly wage for all workers. If we in Minneapolis roll back the existing one fair wage, that gap will widen, not close. In my view, it is not only economically wrong, it is morally wrong: we should not be deciding which workers and which kinds of work are more worthy of raises than others. A tip penalty would also especially penalize women, who make up two-thirds of tipped workers: women who are tipped workers are three times as likely to live in poverty as other workers and twice as likely to receive food stamps. Worse, research clearly shows that the more that women are forced to rely on tips for income, the more likely they are to be sexually harassed. Think about it. I simply cannot countenance a scheme that would actually keep tipped women workers at a lower wage and continue to subject them to sexual harassment. It is unconscionable to me. Some have floated the idea of a compromise tip penalty in Minneapolis that would for the first time create a sub-minimum wage for tipped workers, but require an employer to cover the difference between the sub-minimum wage plus tips and everyone elses minimum wage if the former is smaller than the latter. This compromise would be a logistical nightmare for Minneapolis businesses, as it would add new layers of cost, complexity, and liability to doing business, and would be extremely difficult to comply with. (Indeed, a study by the U.S. Department of Labor of states with a tip penalty found an 84-percent rate of noncompliance with this practice.) Moreover, it would create a perverse incentive for unprincipled businesses to eliminate higher-paid minimum-wage positions and transfer the work to lower-paid, sub-minimum-wage positions, leaving tipped workers even more vulnerable and overworked. This compromise is still a tip penalty. Even if this compromise tip penalty could be shown to work, a tip penalty would still leave behind women who, once again, would not be earning a fair wage for their work, and who would continue to be subject to sexual harassment because they rely on tips just to make ends meet. I find that outcome offensive. Finally, one of the most important arguments against passing a tip penalty in Minneapolis is that it would do violence to our states proud tradition of having one fair wage for all workers, one of only eight states to do so. It would be harmful enough to women and low-income workers in Minneapolis to pass a tip penalty just in our city for the first time. If Republicans in the Legislature were to follow suit by passing a tip penalty statewide on the logic that progressive Minneapolis did it first, it would be devastating to tipped workers in other part of Minnesota most especially women who earn even less than their counterparts in Minneapolis. It is critically important to all Minnesotans that we in Minneapolis maintain our states proud tradition of one wage. We in Minneapolis owe it to low-wage workers across our state, especially women, not to set this bad precedent. At the federal level, our Senators Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar, and Congressman Keith Ellison, are setting a great example by supporting a bill to raise the national minimum wage, phase out the shockingly low federal sub-minimum wage of $2.13 per hour for tipped workers, and transition gradually to one higher, fair national wage for everyone, in every sector and every state. Amy, Al, and Keith have the right idea. It is not widely known that tipping as an institution is rooted in the history of slavery. The notion of tipping is not native to America, but was imported from Europe just as slaves were emancipated. At that time, restaurants and railroads insisted that the now-former slaves who were working in those industries were not worthy of earning a wage, and should subsist on the kindness of customers tips alone. In Europe where tipping began, it was a sign of gratitude for good service; but from the moment tipping came to America, it has been treated as a substitute for a decent, fair, and equitable wage. Now, a movement is gaining steam across the country to redeem this history and join states like Minnesota that have refused to legalize paying some low-wage workers less. Just last November, the people of Maine voted to eliminate their tiered wage, and Michigan and Missouri are currently considering doing the same thing. The reasons are both moral and economic: restaurants and tipped workers in the seven states, including Minnesota, that have had one fair wage for many years are producing faster job growth, higher sales, and higher tips than the 43 remaining states that have had a tip penalty. Moreover, in this time of acute labor shortages, restaurants around the country are voluntarily moving to pay one fair wage because they recognize that it slashes employee turnover and increases sales. If we go forward in Minneapolis with a higher, city-only minimum wage, we owe it to low-income and female workers not only in Minneapolis, but across Minnesota, to enact a wage that is one fair wage with a long enough runway that our workers and businesses can continue to thrive, with no one left behind. As Saru Jayaraman concluded earlier today, It would be a tragedy if Minnesota regresses while other states are going forward. I agree.

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What Chaos? The Trump Steam Roller has it Under Control – AmmoLand Shooting Sports News

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AmmoLand Shooting Sports News
What Chaos? The Trump Steam Roller has it Under Control
AmmoLand Shooting Sports News
The "wage slavery" movement was based on the Josie Wales: The prosecutor and the so called Judge need their asses kicked. Paul Anderson Ed.D.: For the serious competition shooter: I would recommend that you contact both: Hart and Shillen barrel …

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What Chaos? The Trump Steam Roller has it Under Control – AmmoLand Shooting Sports News

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31 Life Lessons After 30 Years – The Good Men Project (blog)

Posted: February 22, 2017 at 4:06 am

Ive learned a few things along this journey called life. Following are in no order the 31 thoughts about life after three decades breath.

#1 Consistency matters.

Today, we have access to more information than we can handle. On one hand, this luxury can provide convenience. However, it can also send us into paralyzation.Since we can learn how to do pretty much anything with a click of a blue link, we get overwhelmed. The result is that we end up doing nothing.

This cuts us off from the lifeblood of incremental progress consistency. With so much info at our disposal, its creepily easy to consume without action.

Consistency matters, we need to act like it.

#2 Happiness isnt a place we arrive.

The pursuit of happiness seems to be a chase run by many. But lets pretend for second that we get there then what?

We set up outposts that temporarily serve as happiness destinations the new car, the promotion, the house, the fancy but the novelty of these collections or achievements soon wear off.Unless intervened, this cycle will run its course till our last breath. Im not one to tell you how to live, but for me, I have to believe there is another way.

I think happiness is cultivated daily by the way we think and act instead of something we arrive at via accolades and achievements.

#3 We are all artists.

Growing up as kids, we all made stuff.But as we entered the walls of academia and soon thereafter sampled wage slavery, our spirit to create things slowly disappeared like the receding ocean tide.

Our crayons get replaced with scantrons. Our imaginations are dulled with deadlines. Our aims become linear.The book we dream of writing never gets written. The car never gets restored. The garden never gets tended.

You walk by an art boutique and always think, I believe my work can be in there, but you instead youre suffocated by the life others have defined for you keeping you from working on your stuff.

Were all artists whether you get paid for your art is another story.

#4 The ability to focus on demanding tasks is priceless.

Our ability to focus on important tasks is becoming more valuable and more rare at the same time. A lot of my work on this blog is aimed at this very concept.

Over the last few years, Ive had to teach myself how to focus as a writer. However, the principles of focus expand beyond the medium of writing. In any vocation, your ability to focus is appreciating in value. Learn how to do it and youll not only be more valuable but youll get your work done in less time too.

Sounds like a win-win right?

#5 You cultivate passion.

Following your passion assumes it already exists it doesnt.

#6 Everyone doesnt have to like you.

This is far easier said than done (at least for me). But, this doesnt mean you make enemies intentionally. Just be unapologetically you and youll have enough of them.

#7 Sometimes you gotta walk through the storm.

While in Miami Beach, I walked out from the gym to a sudden thunderstorm. On my way there, it wasnt raining. When I got out the neighborhood was flooded the water was up to my knees.At first, I had a mild panic come over me. I thought what about my Nike fly knits or iphone?

I wasnt going to take an Uber to go 0.8 miles.

So, after looking straight into the flood zone in pouring rain acting like I could outrun or outwit the storm, I decided to walk nearly a mile in knee-high water (my fly knits are fine and my phone still works).

Sometimes, you gotta walk through the storm in life. Inconvenient? Yes. Uncomfortable? Probably? Life-threatening? Rarely.

#8 Doing hard things is good for us.

The hack nation has claimed its real estate in our lives today. Im all for doing less for the same result. However, this doesnt mean that we dont challenge ourselves with difficult tasks, projects or dreams.

Do you tell stories about the times you accomplished things that didnt require you to stretch or persevere?

Probably not.

Everyone should attempt to get a boat over a mountain at least once in their lifetime.

#9 We all worship something.

The only malleability is found in the choice of what we worship.

#10 Time management is a joke.

Managing time implies we control it. But you and I both know thats impossible. Whether were tirelessly working to finish the project or were binging on Bloodline over the weekend, time takes its course.

We can only manage energy.

#11 Staying in the game is undervalued.

Because life is a test of endurance. There will be times when the academic advice or kosher recommendations will not provide enough horsepower to keep your head above water.During these times do what you must in order to stay in the game. Its something like a lion who is surrounded by a pack of hyenas.

The lion is going to do what it needs to do to survive.

#12 Youre one fifthof the equation.

If youve read any type of self-edification book, blog or resource, youve heard this saying:

You become the average of the 5 people you surround yourself with.

Theres some validity in the statement to be sure. However, you cant forget that youre one fifthof that equation.Part of being able to surround yourself with people that add value to your life is your capacity to add to theirs.

Reading books is the most practical way to invest in yourself so that you can at the very least bring a substantive conversation to the table.

#13 You (and me) dont have to be Instagram famous to have influence.

I really like Instagram (and Facebook and Twitter for that matter) but I find myself getting caught up in the wrong metrics at times. Follower count, retweets and likes cloud my vision and I get off track. I lose sight of the influence I can or could have and worry over metrics that I have little control over.

Its a constant fight for me: Keeping my energy channeled towards creating my best work to influence the people right in front of me instead of looking past them and concerning myself with potential influence.

The irony is that when Im focused on the right stuff, my influence goes deeper. When I get caught up with the wrong metric my influence seems to be shallow, fabricated, and non-penetrating.

Maybe you can relate?

The reality is that you and I both have influence and our lives matter right where we lie. In fact, we probably have more influence on others than we think. Always remember that.

#14 Getting comfortable in the waiting room makes our lives easier.

You can do everything right to get to the doctors office on time, but if they ask you to wait you have no choice but to do that wait.

Life wears a similar coat.

Sometimes well do everything right and yet, our desired timing and reality dont match. The default response is akin to a child who is toldno.But this invisible skill, the ability to wait patiently is painfully overlooked.

If you find a way to wait, the doctor will eventually see you.

#15 Goals are overrated.

Behaviors and systems are way better.

#16 You arent the logo.

Advertisements have come a long way. We often dont even notice that we are being exposed to them. The swoosh on your shoes. The apple on your laptop. The letters on your sweatshirt.

After a while, the family of logos you support becomes your communitya place where you identify. For some, the logos become their identity.

The reality is that you dont need shoes with a swoosh to be a better basketball player. You dont need a recycled shopping bag to buy healthier groceries. You dont need the little red badge on your jeans to dress well.

But what if you had a life of no logos?

Youd have to brand yourself from scratch. Write your own story per se.

Logos arent malicious. But they can invade your well-being and consume the real estate that is yours brand YOU. Youre great how you are, even without the logos.

#17 Value experiences over stuff.

The value of an experience transcends a momentary shot of satisfaction thatstuffcan provide.

For my 32ndbirthday, Charlie (my wife) planned a dinner at The Bazaar a tapas style restaurant located in the SLS Hotel in Miami Beach, FL.

The meal was incredible.But the story and experience is something well never forget.

The place is admittedly a little bougie, so we got dressed up. After we got suited and booted, we took an Uber to the restaurant.The driver had some trouble finding the place and ended up dropping us off at the back of the restaurant. Meaning we had to walk about 100 yards to get to the front. This normally wouldnt have been a big deal. However, on the night of January the 28th, 2017, it was a slight hiccup.

Within 20 seconds of getting out of the car, a downpour of rain blasted us so hard that by the time we ran up to the entrance, we looked like drowned rats.Completely soaked, we walked up to the front desk while the whole place gazed at us with empathy.

The night didnt start off the way we had planned but it ended up being a great night. And, we have story that well never forget.

Experiences carry their value long after they are over.

#18 Embedding intermittent recovery is crucial.

Athletes do this well.

Everyone else seems to be searching for the magic pill that allows them to run through walls 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Building rest into your plan on a daily, weekly and monthly basis allows you to do better work more consistently.

Rest is the ironic ingredient to doing more.

#19 Habits make your life.

I like what Gretchen Rubin says:

What you do everyday is more important than what you do once in a while.

#20 Walking is good.

Long walks are painfully undervalued. Friedrich Nietzsche has an opinion about walking that I agree with:

All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking.

#21 Health needs to be a part of the success equation.

Over the next 10 to 20 years were going to see the largest shift in knowledge and responsibility. The baby boomers will be passing the baton to the millennials.Our health is the vehicle that will allow us to take this journey. Without it, we show up emotionally flatlined.

I dont know about you, but I dont want the next generation of leaders to be operating in a constant state of brain fog and fatigue.

Without your health everything else suffers. This is more than six pack abs this is the quality of your career, relationships, spirituality and everyone else around.

Were depending on you to be healthy we expect you to thrive so you can put your best foot forward and contribute in a way that matters to you.

#22 Be mindful of your settlements.

A settlement is a resolution between disputing parties about a legal case that is agreed upon typically before court action begins.

In other words, you settled for less because you didnt think you could win the case.

We do this in life too.

We have friction between where we are now and where we would like to be. When it feels to difficult or overwhelming, we settle for the easier route.The dangerous part about this situation is that it happens internally. Usually, only you know if youve settled or not. So you can pretend, and nobody will ever know.

In what areas have you settled, but deep down know you shouldnt have done so? The good news is that unlike a legal cases, you can go back and undo your settlements with your personal aims.

#23 Doing less allows you to do more.

Instead of going wide, aim to go deep. This can be applied in your work, art, relationships and edification.

#24 Behavior and environment design offers an advantage.

Distraction isnt the problem.

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31 Life Lessons After 30 Years – The Good Men Project (blog)

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Congress of Progressive Filipino Canadians against fascism: Continuing the culture of resistance –

Posted: February 19, 2017 at 11:09 am

This commentary was issued by the Congress of Progressive Filipino Canadians (CPFC) on February 13. It was originally published on the website of the Ontario-based Magkaisa Centre and on the website of the Philippine Women Centre of BC (which is a member organization of the CPFC).

We are in a crucial moment in history, and to understand how we can advance our organizing efforts as progressive Filipino Canadians, there is a need for a proper analysis of current social, economic, and political developments around the world. Much is happening in the global picture that impacts our national work within Canada, and it is within the global context that we must place our particular realities and immediate struggles. In 2016, we saw the horrendous record-breaking climb of greenhouse gas emission levels, the displacement and deaths of countless war refugees, and the rabid rise of anti-intellectualism, state impunity, fascism, and fascist tendencies. But we have also witnessed the many forms of people’s resistance being waged throughout the world.

In Canada, the Liberal governments promises are crumbling, thus exposing the neoliberal agenda that had been brewing and implemented all along. The implications of fascist America is glaring, with Islamophobic attacks, spurts of neo-Nazi propaganda, and hate crimes surfacing all over Canada. From where we stand, our work in community organizing and building revolutionary consciousness and practice to fight the direct impacts of all these attacks is more necessary than ever.

Since the Liberal Government took power over a year ago, they have made promises to counter Conservative right-wing policies and legislation under the guise of working with communities to consult on issues: from missing and murdered indigenous women, the environment, to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP). Yet their action and policies prove contrary to these humanitarian consultative initiatives, with the approval of pipelines and the hollow lip service and token treatment of the struggles of First Nations and Indigenous communities. Recommendations to the TFWP are steering towards the further privatization of the agricultural and healthcare sectors. For the working class in Canada, this means the continued exploitation of our labour locked to wage slavery, and further insecurity and instability for local and transnational workers alike.

While the election of Trump represents the rise of fascism in the U.S., the overwhelming majority of the white working class chose to abandon the racialized facets of the working class in order to support a racist, homophobic, patriarchal, xenophobic, and Islamophobic presidential candidate in exchange for empty promises of jobs and industry. On the other hand, the ongoing resistance of the Sioux Nation, and by extension all indigenous people on Turtle Island, in halting the construction of the North Dakota Access Pipeline, and the great show of support and solidarity during the Womens March to Washington all over the world are living proof that resistance is not futile. With the reversal of the halting order and the reckless gutting of democratic institutions, we need to remain vigilant and refuse the clawbacks of our hard-won victories.

The death of past revolutionary leaders, most notably Fidel Castro, signifies the passing of a generation of revolutionaries but also signals the ever-growing need to continue developing the next line of revolutionary leaders to help build the path towards socialism. Defining our task at hand and moving forward requires placing ourselves within this context. The current rise to power of far-right regimes around the world, vis–vis sparse but significant victories in the efforts of the Left to decolonize and overturn the viciousness of the profit motive, comes at a time when every opportunity to carry on the revolutionary struggle must be propelled to full potential.

The socio-economic and political accomplishments of the Cuban people under the leadership of the Communist Party are nothing short of remarkable. Despite its lack of resources and the U.S. embargo, the Cuban people were successful in establishing a healthcare system that is truly universal. It has also trained tens of thousands of doctors, and maintains some of the most advanced dermatology departments in the world. Furthermore, Cuba was also able to establish highly effective educational and youth programs, with illiteracy being nearly eradicated and national boxing and performing arts programs that produced world-class athletes and artists. The deployment of Cuban military personnel and medical professionals to Palestine and South Africa to aid in anti-apartheid efforts, as well as Castros open support for the Black Panthers and revolutionary struggles across Latin America, are a testament of the Partys commitment to genuine internationalist solidarity. In fact, it is clear that this commitment continues on with the recent deployment of Cuban-trained doctors to aid in the indigenous resistance at Standing Rock. Cuba’s contributions in upholding the ideals of communism and building socialism continue to inspire revolutionary cultures across the globe to resist and combat imperialism, colonialism, capitalism, racism, patriarchy, homophobia, and all forms of oppression in the name of achieving a classless and truly liberated society.

Despite the overwhelmingly dismal human and environmental catastrophes caused by neoliberal global capitalism and imperialist war and plunder, now is the most hopeful and opportune moment to engage in the various struggles our societies are faced with today. People are growing more critical and are seeking sustainable and long-lasting alternatives to the unconscionable and unjustifiable mass destruction of entire ecological systems and the violent and deadly repression of millions of people borne out of the current world order. Now is the time to build the future, not to be swayed by the moment. Now is the time to create a lasting legacy and put an end to the domination and destructiveness of the capitalist system.

To challenge apathy and erroneous ideas regarding social activism and political organization, we must acknowledge the strength and the victories of the Cuban people, of the indigenous resistance on Turtle Island, of the Black Lives Matter movement, the Palestine solidarity movement, and all progressive struggles past and presently being fought for in Canada and throughout the world. As history has shown, the masses lead the indispensable role of bringing about social transformation and revolutionary change. In the spirit of resistance and peoples solidarity, we the Congress of Progressive Filipino Canadians will continue to espouse revolutionary culture and practice to help build and strengthen the socialist movement in Canada.

Expose and oppose the neoliberal agenda of global capitalism! Down with imperialist war and plunder! Onwards with the struggle for socialism! Long-live international solidarity!

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To make Trump’s America ungovernable, African American struggles are key – Green Left Weekly

Posted: February 18, 2017 at 4:08 am

Trumps America, wrote a leading African American journalist, Charles Blow in the New York Times, January 30, is not America: not todays or tomorrows, but yesterdays.

Trumps America is brutal, perverse, regressive, insular and afraid. There is no hope in it; there is no light in it. It is a vast expanse of darkness and desolation.

There is a lot of disgust toward Trump and his white nationalist strategist Steve Bannon, former executive chairman of Breitbart News, a leading promoter of conspiracy theories and white supremacists.

However, those liberals attempting to label Trump a puppet of Russian President Vladimir Putin are seeking the easy way out, rather than address their own failures or the decline of unions and working-class political influence.

The fact is the Republican Party is now under Trumps control. The official leaders, including House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell, are on board with Trumps America.

They agree that wielding power, especially white power, is how to Make America Great Again. African Americans, Mexicans and Muslims especially, Trump says, make America weak. Many white working people accept this myth.

During the struggle against the white supremacist Apartheid regime in South Africa, the leading anti-apartheid force, the African National Congress (ANC), coined the phrase: make the country ungovernable. The ANC rejected apartheid rule as illegitimate, since it excluded the clear majority of the population from basic rights.

That strategy inside and outside the country worked. Especially with the rise of Black South African workers organising and a powerful mass democratic movement, Apartheids central ally, Washington and especially then-president Ronald Reagan, could not prevent the Black majority from winning political rights.

Fighting back

Since Trumps Electoral College victory, there have been unprecedented protests by a wide cross-section of the country. They include the largest marches ever in Washington, DC and other cities. More than 3 million people marched under the banner National March for Womens Lives.

Native Americans have led the anti-pipeline protests at Standing Rock Reservation, immigration rights activists are defending the undocumented and the Movement for Black Lives (a broad coalition of more than 50 groups, including Black Lives Matter, formed last year) is stepping up resistance to police violence.

Trump is the bombastic figurehead for the ruling super-rich. However, if his bizarre behaviour, inflammatory rhetoric and policies begin to hurt their interests because the majority sees Trumps presidency as illegitimate, it could affect domestic stability and international alliances.

A weathervane historically is the Black population. Resistance by African Americans, as slaves and then as second-class citizens, has stimulated others to fight back. The two greatest struggles in US history were the movements for abolition of slavery and to end Jim Crow segregation last century.

The vanguard role of African Americans in these and other struggles has shaped the country.

My African Americans

Trumps view of Blacks fits his vision of how to make America great again, a view in which social progress has made the country a disaster. He refers to his Black supporters as My African Americans, a condescending comment reflecting his view that Blacks are lesser to himself and other whites.

At the same time, he seeks to use more police terror to put down Black resistance to racism. He has already targeted the largely Black south side of Chicago, speaking of sending more federal forces to the city.

Trump met with Black supporters on the first day of Black History Month. He praised the greatness of African American anti-slavery fighter Frederick Douglass, referring to the 19th century freedom fighter as someone who has done amazing things and is being recognised more and more, I notice as though he were still alive.

He holds the same view of all non-whites. For the first time since Reagan, there is not a single Latino in his cabinet, even though they are the largest minority in the country.

A statement by the White House on National Holocaust Day failed to mention that Jews were targeted by Hitler for extermination. His spokesman said it was by design because other groups were also murdered by the Nazis. But it reflects the anti-Semitism of the alt-right white supremacists.

Racism is about power, as Malcolm X and many radical Black nationalists and militants explained in the 1960s. The Trump administrations agenda is about returning to a pre-civil rights era.

Blacks women especially will likely be in the vanguard of the new resistance. Black women voted most strongly against Trump, gave the largest No vote to Trump, initiated the Movement for Black Lives and were key leaders of the January 21 March for Womens Lives.

Racist history

The historical context is important to grasp why African Americans have historically played a vanguard role in struggles to better society.

After the American War of Independence, a clause in the constitution gave Southern slave states extra votes in the Electoral College by increasing their voting power by adding slaves to the total (three fifths per person). This helped keep the slave states, who feared domination by Northern states, in the union.

Once slavery was abolished, its original purpose should have made it obsolete. But the rulers saw value in preventing citizens from directly electing the president, the most powerful branch of the state.

After the Civil War the issue was: should the freed slaves get the vote? Radical Republicans supported it, but Democrats, including in the North, were against full equality.

For his part, Abraham Lincoln opposed slavery but sought to appease slave holders with compensation.

It took a long time for presidents to open the door of the White House to African Americans. President Teddy Roosevelt (1901-09) was the first president to invite an African American to a White House dinner Booker T. Washington in 1901, shortly after his inauguration. The outcry led him never to do that again.

Franklin D Roosevelt (1933-45) never invited an African American to the White House for meetings or official events. FDRs base included the racist southern DixieCrats; it is noteworthy that his New Deal policies effectively left many African Americans out as he refused to challenge racist laws.

After the 1936 Berlin Olympics, white US athletes were invited to see and meet Roosevelt. No such invitation was made to the African American athletes, such as Jesse Owens who had won four gold medals. Owens commented: The president didn’t even send me a telegram.

Roosevelt also refused to support an anti-lynching bill for the same reason.

Immigration and African Americans

African Americans are, for the most part, not descendants of immigrants. That phrase that the US is a nation of immigrants misses the reality of deep institutional racism and white supremacy.

Barack Obama was an unexpected break from this racist past. Even whites who voted for him hoped that the issue of race and racism would be consigned to historys dust bin. Instead, racism increased in the Obama era. Obamas actual policies were mainstream Democratic and Republican. He did little for African Americans directly.

However, with the rise of Obama, hardcore white supremacists saw the US as a white country undermined by the other. Obamas colour-blind approach to racism did not mollify them.

For a brief period of 10 to 15 years after the end of the Civil War in 1865 (known as the Reconstruction), former slaves won some real freedom and could vote. Many were elected to office.

But a violent counterrevolution arose to end these rights (a period during which the Klu Klux Klan rose as a white supremacist terrorist group). Slavery as a system never returned as it was less efficient and profitable than wage slavery.

Blacks were not paid equal wages. Many white workers falsely believed their situation was better thanks to the super-exploitation of African-American labour.

It took 100 years for Blacks to win back the vote in the post-slavery South. Now, more than 50 years after the vote was won, it is being suppressed again and civil rights are under attack.

Resistance is key

The mass protests show that African Americans, many women and others know that the electoral system is not the solution to institutional discrimination. Trump and his white nationalist advisers seek to use executive orders, the Congress and Supreme Court to impose a new presidential dictatorship, but the public is not ready to give in.

A majority oppose racist and anti-immigrant policies, but sentiment alone cannot stop the right. The ruling class knows that its control of the state depends on public acceptance of the system.

Unjust laws and orders by Trump and his backers must be met by civil disobedience the active, public, conspicuous breech of the law to bring about a change in law or public policy. The civil rights movement in the 1950s and 60s deliberately broke segregation laws to force federal action and fundamental change.

The authoritarian president will always blame those he fears as the enemy. He hits the fake media first, then all critics. The battle to defeat Trumps regime will require the same determination as that of earlier generations.

The goal of opponents should be to make the Trump presidency ungovernable. In such a struggle, revolutionary change is possible.

[Malik Miah is an editor of Against the Current. A longer version will appear in the March/April edition of ATC.]

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To make Trump’s America ungovernable, African American struggles are key – Green Left Weekly

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Point/Counterpoint: On Liberal Capitalism – The Free Weekly

Posted: at 4:08 am

I hope to explain what libertarian capitalism is, and what anarcho-capitalism is. Government has two main aspects extent and purpose. Extent how much violence-power it wields can be gauged by how much a government taxes, spends, incarcerates, and so on. Anarchists, by definition, reject all government violence-power in principle, preferring voluntary cooperation.

Anarchists believe that all the good things that government currently produces, such as courts, police, roads, and education, can be done better and more morally by voluntary society the market. Anarcho-capitalists believe that private property (by entitlement, not decree) is generally the best way to solve the scarcity problem peacefully. This belief makes us capitalist. We favor out-competing government, not violent revolution, and work on projects such as private education (online learning) private money (crypto currency,) private courts, and private police firms. (Would citizens of Ferguson choose a belligerent all-white police patrol in a freed market with competing companies?)

Libertarian capitalists want an economy based on free markets and private property. Free markets, to us, mean no government intervention whatsoever no subsidies, cartelizing regulations, or licensure. We make a clear distinction between market capitalists and crony capitalists. Like our libertarian socialist cohorts, we strongly oppose corporatism, which is collusion between government and favored crony firms. If government is involved, it is not libertarian capitalism.

Anarcho-capitalists are the radicals we want no compulsory government whatsoever. More centrist libertarian capitalists are called minarchists since they want a minimal State limited to courts, police, and national defense. Redistribution and social engineering are not valid functions of government.

Libertarians see mainstream media as offering a false dichotomy between statist socialism and statist capitalism. Free market solutions are off their radar. To mainstream media, a treaty creating a trade cartel is a free trade agreement! Similarly, we are offered the choice between nationalized medicine and fascist medicine, with no mention of the free market alternative. Libertarians want people to consider voluntary alternatives to the government gun.

Some libertarian capitalist positions:

1) Anti-war and anti-imperialist. We oppose military intervention in foreign countries. Minarchists want a defense-only military, or no standing army at all. Anarcho-capitalists would rely for defense on insurance firms, guerrilla warfare, militias, and the lack of incentive to attack peaceful trading partners. Free markets create an automatic constituency for peace.

2) We are against neo-liberalism and other efforts of governments to control, regulate, or capture international trade. Trade should be voluntary, not enforced by governments. We oppose the corporatocracy; States should not be loan sharks to developing nations.

3) We are against corporatism. We think large corporations would mostly disappear in a freed market, lacking the government subsidies that give them advantages and create barriers for competition.

4) Employment is incidental to capitalism. It is fine so long as it is voluntary. We look forward to a time when everyone is an individual entrepreneur, cooperating with other producers as equal traders. (Here we disagree with libertarian socialists. We think employment is okay but sub-optimal; they think it is evil wage slavery.)

5) Anarcho-capitalists want voluntary society to prevail, and take over all (legitimate) functions that the state now does. Anarcho-socialists, our counterparts, concur.

Libertarianism, in essence, is about moving humanity away from the coercive rule of authorities, and toward a society where all activities are voluntary. Libertarian capitalists predict that, in a stateless society, many/most people will opt for some type of private property. Libertarian socialists think that many/most people will opt for some type of collective property. In a stateless society these wouldnt conflict; there is ample scope for experimentation in freedom.

Most libertarians hold a non-aggression ethic that one should not initiate force (violence) against others. Libertarians (as such) are not pacifists; we believe in self-defense, but the initiation of force is criminal. Most people agree with this non-aggression presumption in their personal lives, but statists give government a free pass. E.g. People who would never demand money from their neighbor at gunpoint, think nothing of voting for their government to do just that. Government, to statists, is above human morality. Libertarians, in contrast, hold everyone to the same moral standard.

Abel is a libertarian socialist, so he shares my belief in limited government. When he speaks against capitalism, keep in mind that he defines capitalism as only the statist type, corporatism. In past discussions he didnt address libertarian capitalism at all. But listen to him! Libertarian socialists have a very good critique of statist capitalism. Libertarian capitalists agree with his analysis of capitalism perverted by government. We hate Pinochet and fascism, too. The kind of capitalism libertarian capitalists favor is no-government free market capitalism the separation of economics and State.

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Point/Counterpoint: On Liberal Capitalism – The Free Weekly

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Gene Smith: Hard labor, funny money and Tennessee Ernie Ford – Fayetteville Observer

Posted: at 4:08 am

Laurinburg native David Evans has rightly called me out over an omission from last week’s column, in which I wrote: “Slavery, and the peonage that took its place until World War II, are gone.”

Peonage of the kind that Douglas A. Blackmon described in his searing “Slavery by Another Name” died out about then. That was the kind that enabled a white man – be he planter, industrialist or something else – to point to an able-bodied ex-slave and tell the local constable, “Get me that one.” The victim would be arrested for vagrancy and delivered into unpaid, involuntary servitude for a year or more to cover the “expenses” of the officials who had been paid to arrest and convict him. Beatings were the norm. Many lawfully shanghaied laborers died of violence or sickness before their time was up. Others had their time extended, with little explanation or none.

There has been no end, though, of opportunists eager to exploit people who aren’t positioned to protect themselves. Myriad cases of migrant farmworker abuse have been preserved in state records and exposed in the pages of this newspaper and others.

Folks of David’s vintage and mine well remember Tennessee Ernie Ford’s “Sixteen Tons” (he didn’t write it, but no one else made it a major hit in two genres) and the last line of its refrain, “I owe my soul to the company store.” Credit Ernie’s big bass voice for some of its success, but only some. You didn’t have to be nonwhite or lack a green card to get its drift. There were many thousands of millworkers who could relate to a coal miner whose income was committed to his employer before he even got his hands on it.

Among them were David’s father, grandfather, great-uncles, and great-grandfather. His father put in 46 years as a textile worker with Waverly Mills in East Laurinburg. Today, David can reel off a list of good things that the mill’s owner, McNair Investments, did for East Laurinburg and add, “The mills no longer exist and we are worse off because of that.” But he also remembers how things were back in the day.

Until the major civil rights legislation of the 1960s sent waves of change across the land, his daddy was paid in cash. “He was paid 60 percent American money and 40 percent ‘dookie’ money,” redeemable only at the company store. “It was probably the best provisioned store in Scotland County and it was said that you could get anything from a chaw of Black Maria to a new wedding dress. The prices were high and every time the workers were given a 2 or 3 percent raise the prices went up 3 or 4 percent. The same thing happened for the rent in the houses that were ALL owned by the McNairs.”

Not long after the Civil Rights Act was passed, though, the store and the “dookie money” disappeared and David’s daddy began drawing a paycheck that could be deposited in a bank. Workers who wanted to buy their rental houses were invited to do that. So include white textile workers among the beneficiaries of the movement.

On average, American women earn much less than men doing comparable work. We quarrel about whether a minimum wage higher than $7.25 an hour would be too generous to sustain. And in some undeveloped countries where U.S. manufacturers do business, laborers living on the brink are paid much less and dare not ask for more.

It isn’t over. And justice is not inevitable.


Gene Smith: Hard labor, funny money and Tennessee Ernie Ford – Fayetteville Observer

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President Carter: ‘We must cling to principles that never change’ – Austin American-Statesman

Posted: at 4:08 am

By American-Statesman staff

Editors note: This article was originally published April 8, 2014

President Jimmy Carter said that although much progress has been made on human rights in the United States and around the world, much still needs to be done.

Speaking to LBJ Presidential Library Director Mark Updegrove at the Civil Rights Summit, the 39th president said womens issues including wage disparity, sexual abuse, sexual slavery and racial inequality are issues that still need addressing.

Asked if the country has progressed on race issues as much as he wouldve hoped in the years since hes been president, Carter was blunt.

No, he said. We still have gross disparity on employment, in quality of education, a good many public schools in the South are still segregated.

He also spoke at length about womens issues around the world, including the number of girls strangled at birth by parents seeking boys.

We believe about 40 million people were killed in Second World War. Four times as many baby girls have been killed in this generation by their parents, he said. That creates a shortage of girls that leads to an increase in sexual slavery, including in the United States.

Slavery at this moment is greater than it ever was in the 19th Century, Carter said, quoting state department numbers. Last year 800,000 people were sold across international borders, 80 percent are young girls. Its the worst human rights violation on earth.

In the United States, the problem is glossed over at universities and in the military by officials and commanding officers who dont want their reputations besmirched, Carter said.

Only 4 percent of rapes on college campuses are ever reported to authorities, Carter said. He also quoted a report that said only 300 of the 26,000 cases of sexual assault in the military last year resulted in punishment.

Carter also said American women get paid 23 percent less than men for doing the same type of jobs and working the same number of hours as men.

This is a human rights abuse of the grossest character that needs to be addressed by every American, and we need to set an example for the rest of the world, he said, drawing applause from the crowd.

To combat these problems, Carter said federal funds should be withheld from colleges whose administrators fail to act on sexual assault cases, commanding officers should be removed of any role in bringing forward rape charges, and cities should begin prosecuting brothel owners, pimps and male customers instead of girls.

You only have to arrest several prominent men and the situation would change overnight, he said.

Carter said his greatest concern for America is the unlimited amount of money flowing into campaigns and governments. His greatest concern for the world is the breakdown in international harmony and the abilities of countries to get together to deal with crises before they get to conflict stage.

He also gave a message to young people in the audience who might be looking for ways to create positive change. Citing his presidential inauguration, in which he quoted a high school teacher, Carter said, We must accommodate changing times but cling to principles that never change.

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