Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Wildfires and Legislation

California has been a leader in trying to counter the forces contributing to climate change, from its stringent standards for auto emissions to its mandate that 50 percent of the state’s electricity come from carbon-free sources by 2030. 
Now, with climate concerns magnified by extreme summer temperatures and catastrophic wildfires, lawmakers are considering a move that would go further: a proposal to mandate 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2045. 
The bill’s sponsor, State Senator Kevin de León, says that with the Trump administration’s efforts to bolster electricity generated from fossil fuels, California and other states must chart their own course on energy policy. And, partly owing to recent events, he thinks the bill can pass within three weeks. 
“Because of the fires, because of the extreme drought, because of the anti-environmental edicts coming from this president, there’s a huge ground swell of support,” Mr. de León said of his proposal, designated Senate Bill 100. 

Sunday, August 12, 2018

DSA's Response to Charlottesville

DSA nationally echoes our Charlottesville chapter’s call for solidarity on this anniversary and we urge all of our members to join with organizations working on the ground to stop the Unite the Right rallies planned in Washington and other cities around the country. 
One year ago Heather Heyer was murdered and many others were injured and scared by the vicious right-wing attack in Charlottesville. DSA members from Virginia, Maryland, and DC were among those who went to Charlottesville to confront the right, among many other small groups of members, and individuals. 
We stand with our chapters who took up the call for solidarity last year, inspired by their memories and bravery. 
Since Donald Trump’s election, the fascist movement in our country has grown more bold, drawing energy and support from Trump’s xenophobic comments, but at the core of the Right’s agenda is an old racism. While the South has a special history related to race, we know that racism is rampant throughout the United States and must be confronted everywhere. Racism drives the right, both the alt-right and the 'mainstream' right represented by the GOP in congress. This is no accident. Nixon's Southern strategy has resulted in a GOP populated by racists.
We stand with all people of color, immigrants, and communities attacked by the racist current in our country. 
Whether in the streets, by going door-to-door, organizing in the workplace, or even confronting injustice in the home, on this anniversary we urge our members to heed the last words of legendary labor activist Joe Hill --
“Don’t mourn, organize!”
Maria Svart
DSA National Director
The following statement was originally published by Charlottesville DSA on August 9th, 2018.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Migrant Toddler Dies After ICE Detention

Migrant toddler died after release from ICE detention. ThinkProgress: “The American Immigration Lawyers Association confirmed reports on Wednesday that a migrant child died after being released from an Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention center in Dilley, Texas. ‘AILA has learned that a toddler died soon after release from the Dilley South Texas Family Residential Center,”’ Gregory Z. Chen, director of government relations, said in a statement, according to The Washington Post. ‘We do not have information on the cause of death or information that confirms a connection between medical treatment at STFRC and this death.’ The allegations first surfaced Tuesday evening, when Houston-based immigration lawyer Mana Yegani tweeted that a child died ‘as a result of possible negligent care and a respiratory illness she contracted from one of the other children.'”

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Hundreds of Children Remain Separated From Their Families

Choosing Democracy: Hundreds of Children Remain Separated From Their F...: Getty Images As Reunification Deadline Looms: Hundreds of Families Remain Separated Shortly before today's court-ordered deadli...

Children's Hope: Leisa's 2018 Haiti Journal #1 -- "We Continue to Pack" (July 9)

Dear Friends and Family,

This last Saturday, before our dear Haitian orphanage director faced pure chaos that set the streets ablaze in Haiti, we faced a sweet group of new Children's Hope Team members anxious to leave for Haiti later this month to help however possible. Such contrast, yet such similarity. Desperation driven protests fueled by fear and frustration in Haiti and such inspiring simple dedication to service and solidarity in our preparing team at home. Different sides of the western hemisphere - each side determined to serve justice, support life and aid dignity. 

The streets are on fire in Haiti.

We continue to pack.

The airport is closed. 

We continue to pack.

U.S. Embassy sent our warnings.

We continue to pack.

Please know that by your support we will get into this desperate country, held hostage by IMF imposed taxes and struggling just to get by. We continue to pack. Though this is the first time this year I have sent out a letter asking for support. I keep going to my porch and am welcomed with such simple pleasures as a sack of infant shoes, obstetrical delivery kits, infant clothes and sundresses.

We welcome your continued support, whether it is a text message, email, check to Children's Hope - or a surprise sack of shoes on our doorstep. We continue to go, we continue to need your help.

Peace, always and all ways,

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

The Economy is Booming- And We Can Not Afford it

America Is Booming and Americans Can’t Afford It. We know the good news; we’re experiencing the bad. As everyone has heard, the economy keeps roaring along; the recovery that began in late 2009 is the longest in modern memory; unemployment hovers around 4 percent; the sun rises in the East.
That’s the big picture. Closer to earth, at least here on the East Coast, it’s been raining on us so long we have to take news of the sunrises on faith.
Closer to earth, today’s Wall Street Journal reports, homes sales are declining, the boom notwithstanding. Though economists are predicting that the economy in the quarter just ended will have grown by 4 percent, home sales have declined for five of the past six months when compared to their totals one year ago.
A particular weakness in the home-buying market is millennials, whose rate of homeownership is well below that of previous generations when they were under 35. Apparently, when you saddle millennials with record levels of student debt and strip them of the kind of employment security their elders experienced, they don’t buy houses as their elders once did, either.

U.S. Interferes In Other Nations' Elections

Election interference:
Did Russia attempt to influence the election? Undoubtedly. This is what governments do. The United States interfered in 81 elections from 1945 to 2000, according to professor Dov Levin of Carnegie Mellon University. His statistics do not include the numerous coups we orchestrated in countries such as Greece, Iran, Guatemala and Chile or the disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion in Cuba. We indirectly bankrolled the re-election campaign of Russia’s buffoonish Boris Yeltsin to the tune of $2.5 billion.
Chris Hedges 2018.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Left Democrats Organize

Bernie Sanders

Let me tell you about two different kinds of meetings that took place this past weekend.
On Friday, along with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, I went to Kansas and held rallies with two great progressive candidates who are running for Congress. In Wichita, according to local media reports, more than 4,000 people joined us at a rally with James Thompson.

The rally in Wichita with Bernie, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and James Thompson.
Then in Kansas City, at our rally for Brent Welder, the convention center was so crowded the staff had to remove a wall in the middle while the event was going on to let more people in. These were incredible crowds coming out in more than 100-degree weather to participate in our political revolution. And, yes, this was Kansas where Republicans control almost everything.
There was quite a different event in Columbus, Ohio. Two hundred and fifty wealthy invited Democratic donors and Wall Street insiders came together at a gathering hosted by a real estate billionaire. Why were they there? The headline on an NBC News story tells it all:
"Sanders' wing of the party terrifies moderate Dems. Here's how they plan to stop it. Party members and fundraisers gathered for an invitation-only event to figure out how to counteract the rising progressive movement."
What are they concerned about? That our ideas, such as Medicare for all, tuition-free public colleges and universities, a $15/hr minimum wage and progressive taxation are now mainstream positions.
Make no mistake about it. The gathering in Columbus was not simply a social event. The corporate Democrats are plotting how to defeat progressives the only way they know how — with big money. But you’ve shown that, together, we can overcome their brand of pay-to-play politics.
Brent Welder is one of those candidates the political and financial establishment wants to beat. But if we’re with him, he’s going to win:
The big money interests should be scared. During the past two weekends, I have been traveling across the country and what I’ve seen has been remarkable. This weekend we were in Kansas. The previous weekend I was in Minnesota where we held two rallies for Congressman Keith Ellison who is running for Attorney General there. We packed “First Avenue” in Minneapolis where the crowd heard not only from myself and Keith but an inspiring speech by Ady Barkan. Diagnosed with ALS, Ady has dedicated the remainder of his life to fighting for Medicare for all and other progressive goals. It would be impossible to hear Ady and not be inspired.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

What Is Democratic Socialism ?

Jacobin magazine
Everybody's talking about democratic socialism these days. .... the meteoric rise of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), which is now at 45,000 ...