Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Homelessness and Jails:

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Homelessness, and Jails: The Cult of Vengeance

© by Mark Dempsey

The first rule of the Cult of Vengeance is the same as for Fight Club: Don’t talk about Fight Club. Don’t talk about the Cult of Vengeance either, and certainly never admit you’re a member, perhaps not even to yourself.

The Cult of Vengeance is a seldom-discussed part of our civic religion--the beliefs that bind our society together. It declares that people earn their circumstances. So the wealthy are, by the Cult’s lights, virtuous, while the poor and unfortunate have obviously offended some god, or force of nature and deserve their fate. Punishing them is really just giving them what they deserve. Meanwhile, those wealthy enough to be born on third base deserve to act like they hit a triple.

What can I say? It’s a cult, not science.

The Cult is particularly pernicious when public policy supports it. Sue Frost, my County Supervisor, says she agrees that the plight of the homeless is driven by public policies that include persecuting and evicting them from even the modest shelter they devise in our parks. Yet she recently wrote an editorial condemning the ninth circuit court of appeals for invalidating the County’s anti-camping ordinances. The court concluded the homeless qualify as part of the public entitled to use public spaces like parks.

Let’s grant that Ms. Frost has a tough job, providing public spaces for the entire public--even those whose feces and dirty needles are a health hazard. After conceding that public policy produced homelessness, she defended rousting the homeless out of parks, saying she's a good person despite that. She went on to cite her own charity, her belief in a god, and in the kind of merciful treatment that gives people second, third, and even fourth chances to redeem themselves.

But when it comes to public policy, the best she has to offer is criticism for that court decision. The County has never handled homelessness well, and has added 500 new beds for a homeless population that’s roughly 2,000 people larger this year.

Let’s ignore, for the moment, that Supervisor Sue can’t imagine providing porta-potties, or needle exchanges. Let’s even ignore that the Biblical injunction is not to forgive four times, it’s to forgive “seventy times seven” times, essentially treating people where they are, not where we would like them to be. Clearly she follows a different god.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Talk Politics and 2020 with ...

China Town Rising - Oct 24

Against the backdrop of the Civil Rights Movement of the mid-1960s, a young San Francisco Chinatown resident armed with a 16mm camera and leftover film scraps from a local TV station, turned his lens onto his community. Totaling more than 20,000 feet of film (10 hours), Harry Chuck's exquisite unreleased footage has captured a divided community's struggles for self-determination. Chinatown Rising is a documentary film about the Asian-American Movement from the perspective of the young residents on the front lines of their historic neighborhood in transition. Through publicly challenging the conservative views of their elders, their demonstrations and protests of the 1960s-1980s rattled the once quiet streets during the community’s shift in power. Forty-five years later, in intimate interviews these activists recall their roles and experiences in response to the need for social change.

Tower Theater

Keeping Troops in Syria to Protect Oil Fields - Not lives

President Trump now claims that his “justification” for keeping U.S. troops at the al-Tanf base in southern Syria – where they will be protecting zero Kurdish civilians, who live in northern Syria – is to “protect oil.” This is unconstitutional, because Congress never authorized it. Under Article I of the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution of 1973, the President uses military force in another country after Congress specifically authorizes it.
In response to Trump’s announcement, Senator Bernie Sanders said:
President Trump announced he will keep troops in Syria to protect oil fields. Last I checked, Congress never authorized U.S. forces to be deployed to secure Syria’s economic resources. Putting U.S. forces in harm’s way for this purpose is illegal and unconstitutional.
The Congressional Progressive Caucus said:
Congress has never authorized deploying troops in Syria to protect their oil fields. This is dangerous and unconstitutional.
The International Crisis Group says the base at al-Tanf “has no obvious military purpose.” The Foreign Policy Research Institute says it’s a “dumb waste of resources.”
As we have seen with efforts to end unconstitutional U.S. participation in the Saudi war in Yemen, the first step to stopping Trump from endangering U.S. soldiers at al-Tanf for no reason is to get Members of Congress to say that it’s unconstitutional.  
Urge Members of Congress to say that keeping U.S. troops at al-Tanf is unconstitutional by signing our petition.

Thanks for all you do to help make U.S. foreign policy more just,

Erik Sperling and Sarah Burns
Just Foreign Policy

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Chicago Teachers on Strike

Chicago public school teachers and support staff—on strike since October 17 for smaller class sizes and improved services for students—received a boost Tuesday when they were joined on the picket lines by Democratic presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren.
The Massachusetts senator joined strikers with the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) and SEIU Local 73 outside Oscar DePriest Elementary in the Austin neighborhood on the city’s West Side. “The CTU and SEIU are out on strike for our children. They’re out on strike for working people everywhere,” Warren, who was once a public school teacher herself, told reporters. “I’m here to stand with every one of the people who stand for our children every day.”
Warren’s visit comes as talks between the unions and the city appear to have broken down. On Monday, Mayor Lori Lightfoot wrote an open letter to CTU president Jesse Sharkey, calling on the union to end the strike without a contract as negotiations continue—essentially telling the teachers to surrender their only leverage at the bargaining table.
“We are likely not going to see a quick settlement to the ongoing strike,” Sharkey said at a press conference after receiving the mayor’s letter. “I came in today with raised expectations and hope, but the letter I received today dashed my hope for a quick settlement.”

Monday, October 21, 2019

Kurds to the AMERICAN people

PKK Letter to the American People and President Trump

Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) Foreign Relations Committee
October 18, 2019
ANF News

We are not guilty of terrorism; we are victims of state terrorism. But we are guilty of defending our people”, said the PKK in its letter addressing to the American people and president.

Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) Foreign Relations Committee wrote a letter addressing to the American people and President Donald J. Trump responding to the comparisons made between the Kurdish movement and ISIS amid the genocidal campaign of the Turkish state against the Kurdish people.

The letter reads as follows;

“To the American people and President Donald J. Trump,

We refuse comparisons being made between our movement and the inhumane thugs of ISIS. Our response is as follows: There are more than 40 million Kurds living in the Middle East today. At the end of the First World War, outside powers divided them among four autocratic states: Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey, where our movement began.

For years, the Kurdish people had asked these governments only for the basic democratic rights that you enjoy each day: the right to exist, to speak their own language, to practice their own culture, to participate in politics as free and equal citizens.


Each time, they were brutally subjugated: bombed with advanced weapons, torn from their homes in the middle of the night and disappeared, jailed and tortured, their villages flattened, and their very language and culture banned. Up until we founded the PKK in 1978 to resist the violence of the Turkish state against the Kurdish people, it had already massacred hundreds of thousands of Kurds in the Kurdish regions of Turkey. We don’t have to go too far back in time, in the 90s the Turkish state destroyed 4,000 Kurdish villages and extra-judicially killed 17,000 Kurds.


Turkish leaders believed, like so many tyrants throughout history, that they could crush the basic human desire for a free life with violence and terror. They branded us as terrorists and criminals and spent hundreds of millions of dollars to get other countries like the United States of America to do so too, even as their forces committed unspeakable atrocities in violation of all principles of international law. We signed the Geneva Conventions and asked for peace negotiations on various occasions since 1993, knowing that the war could end the second Kurdish rights were institutionalized. These efforts were ignored.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

AOC, Omar, Endorse Sanders

Ocasio-Cortez and Omar endorse Bernie and the political revolution
In a watershed moment in our movement for economic, environmental, racial, and social justice, Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) member Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and fellow congresswoman Ilhan Omar of Minnesota are endorsing Senator Bernie Sanders for president. DSA member Rashida Tlaib of Michigan is expected to endorse as well.
For decades, Bernie has taken on the wealthy and ruling elite with his call for a political revolution. This call has inspired millions. Since his 2016 presidential campaign, we’ve witnessed the skyrocketing growth of DSA, a surge in the popularity of democratic socialism and policies like Medicare for All, a strike wave of teachers and other workers, and the groundbreaking electoral wins of democratic socialist Reps. Ocasio-Cortez and Tlaib and allies like Rep. Omar.
Only a movement made up of millions fighting for a political revolution can beat Trump next November and take on the existential threat of climate change and historic levels of global inequality.
In last night’s Democratic Party primary debate, Elizabeth Warren quipped that she has “no beef with billionaires.” 
We do.
Like Bernie — who argues that billionaires should not exist — we know that billionaires are rich because the vast majority of society is poor. Billionaires profit by denying us the healthcare we need. Billionaires profit from privatization, which has destroyed public schools across the country and poisoned the water in Flint. Billionaires profit from mass incarceration, detention, and endless wars. Billionaires profit from the fossil fuels causing climate catastrophe. To keep getting richer, billionaires invest their money in elections to make sure that politicians of both parties protect their profits.
All of the Democratic candidates, except for Bernie, claim we can fix capitalism. But capitalism is working just as it is meant to: those who have the wealth, who own the companies and reap the profits, have all the power. Meanwhile, those who work in those companies and produce the things that make profit have almost no say over our lives or our political system. But when workers organize and fight back, we can take power and begin to build a world that puts people over profit. We should have control over our own lives — we deserve a democratic socialist world.
Backed by a diverse, energetic working-class movement and by democratic socialist politicians like Tlaib and Ocasio-Cortez, Bernie Sanders can win the Democratic nomination, beat Donald Trump, and, together, we can transform politics in this country and around the world forever.
Sanders’s political revolution has lasting momentum. After the election, Democratic Socialists of America will continue building this movement and fighting with workers for Medicare for All, a Green New Deal, College for All, Housing for All, to abolish ICE, and for an end to mass incarceration at home and imperialism abroad. We are committed to building a fighting, democratic labor movement from the bottom up, and supporting workers on strike, from GM autoworkers to Chicago public school teachers.
Join DSA, and together we can bring to birth a new world from the ashes of the old.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Young Voters Choosing Democratic Socialism

Why Some Young Voters Are Choosing Democratic Socialism Over the Democratic Party
As the presidential debate comes to Ohio, the students in a local chapter of the Young Democratic Socialists of America are defining their political identity.

In Sacramento also

Thursday, October 10, 2019

AB 32 Signed by Governor Newsom !

See post below for information.

Governor: Sign the Bill. AB 32

Signed !!!!!
Currently awaiting Governor Newsom’s signature or veto by an October 13 deadline, Assembly Bill 32 could make California the first state to ban for-profit immigration detention centers and the fifth, following Illinois, Iowa, New York and Nevada, to bar private companies from running for-profit state prisons.
Assemblyman Rob Bonta (D-Oakland), who authored the bill, argued that private prison firms are accountable to their shareholders, but not to Californians.
“They’re only looking at short-term profit. We’re looking at long-term investment in people,” Bonta said, adding that proportionally, private prisons have more assaults, higher recidivism rates and worse conditions for prison employees than public-sector lockups.
“It’s a no-brainer for me in protecting public health and safety,” Bonta said.
Aseembly Bill 32 passed the assembly on a 65-11 vote, and the senate by 33-6. Seven assembly Republicans and five GOP senators cast yes votes, while Assemblyman James Ramos (D-Highland) crossed party lines to vote no.
More than 60 immigrant and human rights groups, including the California Labor Federation and the Riverside Sheriffs’ Association, support AB 32. Private prison firms the GEO Group and CoreCivic together poured more than $150,000 into lobbying on it but, even though they stand to lose hundreds of millions of dollars if the governor signs the bill, didn’t publicly oppose it.
Call the Governor's Office.  916- 445-2841.  Tell him to sign the bill. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

DSA Statement- Close the Camps

antiracismdsa: DSA Statement- Close the Camps: Donald Trump has used divide-and-conquer tactics to divide the working class from the first days of his campaign. And he’s used that pl...

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

How We Can Beat Trump's Racism in 2020

Choosing Democracy: How We Can Beat Trump's Racism in 2020: A road map to neutralizing the role of racism as a divide-and-conquer political weapon Ian Haney López believes that Trump wants 2020 vo...

Trump is not mentally stable

antiracismdsa: Trump is not mentally stable: By  Michael D. Shear  and  Julie Hirschfeld Davis ·         Oct. 1, 2019 · o     WASHINGTON — The Oval Office meeting th...