Wednesday, January 18, 2017

A racist "Injustice" system is a career opportunity for some.



Richard Mellor

The young person I mention in this video I had known most of his life. After his trial I lost touch with the family and only recently got in touch with them again. His mother passed away and as is usual he was not able to attend the funeral. This is common practice. I was reminded by a relative that he was tried by a "jury of is peers" that,  "Happened to be all white and had to have at least some degree of financial stability, to be able to serve as a juror for a period of time without losing their job." So both racial and class injustice is at play here.

Prisons are not correctional centers and those that work in them are nor correction officers. Prisons and the justice system are merely part of the processes of the warehousing of human beings.

J20 UC Berkeley Walk-Out


Monday, January 16, 2017

A few comments on Politics, history and class.



These are just a few thoughts I have wanted to share and haven't written about due to restrictions. We are always told its not good to discuss politics. But that's a lie. It's crucial to discuss politics. We can come to understand the world if we discuss politics. But it's important to have a class perspective on things. Discuss the world around us with our own class interests and needs front and center. Politics and history are exiting to discuss when we do that. History become exciting then, as opposed to when we talk about the stale drab history of the ruling class and their world. Politics can help us understand where we're at in history, how we got here and where we should be going if we want to survive as a species. It's good stuff.

Workers that follow Facts For Working People and who read our perspective on things regularly please take the time to share your thoughts or views with us by commenting or send us an e mail.  We are not experts but we have lived a life and our lives have been like millions of others, work and survival. We welcome constructive criticism. We are socialists and are committed to building a democratic socialist world. Capitalism cannot be reformed, it cannot solve the catastrophic environmental and social destruction that lies ahead----it is the cause of it. And it is the working class and only the international working class that can change society, no one or group can do it for us.

Also, as we have mentioned previously and in this short video clip. We have what we refer to as a workers' Think Tank. The capitalist class has hundreds of them. We all know that what management at work is doing in their meetings that they have on company time is discussing how to get more out of us. We must do the same with different goals of course.  Some of us have had years of experience as union activists in the workplace as rank and file union activists, not paid bureaucracts. If you want to discuss issues you have dealing with the boss or the struggle to change the union we can discuss these important issues as well.

If you are interested in coming in on our weekly conference calls and also enriching them hopefully, send us an e mail at the address to the right and we'll talk about that.

Martin Luther King on Capitalism, racism and socialism




Remembering Martin Luther King

"You can’t talk about solving the economic problem of the Negro without talking about billions of dollars. You can’t talk about ending the slums without first saying profit must be taken out of slums. You’re really tampering and getting on dangerous ground because you are messing with folk then. You are messing with captains of industry… Now this means that we are treading in difficult water, because it really means that we are saying that something is wrong…with capitalism… There must be a better distribution of wealth and maybe America must move toward a Democratic Socialism." 
 

Martin Luther king 1966

Davos: responsible capitalism

by Michael Roberts

Today, the global political and economic elite meet in Davos Switzerland under the auspices of the World Economic Forum (WEF). 

Every year the WEF has an annual meeting in the super exclusive ski resort of Davos, with the participation of 3,000 politicians, business leaders, economists, entrepreneurs, charity leaders and celebrities.  For example, this year Chinese president Xi Jinping, South Africa’s Jacob Zuma and many of the economic mainstream gurus and banking officials are among the attendees. Xi Jinping will be the first Chinese president to attend Davos and will lead an unprecedented 80-strong delegation of business leaders, economists, academics and journalists.  He will deliver the opening plenary address on Tuesday and use it to defend “cooperation and economic globalisation”.  

US vice-president Joe Biden, China’s two richest men and London mayor Sadiq Khan will travel on private jets to nearby airports before transferring by helicopter to escape the traffic on the approach to the picturesque town. So many jets are expected that the Swiss government has opened up Dübendorf military airfield, an 85-mile helicopter flight away, to accommodate them.  The increase in private jet flights – which each burn as much fuel in one hour as typical use of a car does in a year – comes as the WEF warns that climate change is the second most important global concern.

While the rich elite fly in on their private jets, extra hotel workers are being bussed in to serve the delegates, while packing into five a room in bunk beds.  One of the main themes of Davos will be the rising inequality of income and wealth.  So Davos itself is a microcosm.

At Davos’ super luxury hotel the Belvedere, there will be “specially recruited people just for mixing cocktails”, as well as baristas, cooks, waiters, doormen, chambermaids and receptionists  to host world leaders, business people and celebrities, who this year include pop star Shakira and celebrity chef Jamie Oliver (worth $400m).  Last year, a Silicon Valley tech company was reportedly charged £6,000 for a short meeting with the president of Estonia in a converted luggage room. The hotel has also previously flown in New England lobster and provided special Mexican food for a company that was meeting a Mexican politician.

Britain’s Theresa May will be the only G7 leader to attend this year’s summit as it clashes with Donald Trump’s inauguration as the 45th US president.  Last year, former UK PM David Cameron partied tie-less with Bono, Leonardo DiCaprio and Kevin Spacey, at a lavish party hosted by Jack Ma, the founder of internet group Alibaba and China’s richest man with a $34.5bn (£28.5bn) fortune. Tony Blair also attended the Ma party last year.

Basic membership of the WEF and an entry ticket costs 68,000 Swiss francs (£55,400).  To get access to all areas, corporations must pay to become Strategic Partners of the WEF, costing SFr600,000, which allows a CEO to bring up to four colleagues, or flunkies, along with them. They must still pay SFr18,000 each for tickets. Just 100 companies are able to become Strategic Partners; among them this year are Barclays, BT, BP, Facebook, Google and HSBC. The most exclusive invite in town is to an uber-glamorous party thrown jointly by Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska and British financier Nat Rothschild at the oligarch’s palatial chalet, a 15-minute chauffeur-driven car ride up the mountain from Davos. In previous years, Swiss police have reportedly been called to Deripaska’s home after complaints about the noise of his Cossack band. Deripaska’s parties have “endless streams of the finest champagne, vodka, and Russian caviar amidst dancing Cossacks and beautiful Russian models.”

The official theme of this year’s forum is “responsive and responsible leadership”!  That hints at the concerns of global capitalism’s elite: they need to be ‘responsive’ to the popular reaction to globalisation and the failure of capitalism to deliver prosperity since the end of the Great Recession and they also need to be ‘responsible’ in their policies and actions – a subtle appeal to the newly inaugurated Donald Trump as US president or Erdogan in Turkey, Zuma in South Africa, Putin in Russia and Xi in China.

The WEF has been the standard bearer of the positives from ‘globalisation’, new technology, free markets, ‘Western democracy’ and ‘responsible’ leadership.  Trump and other leaders of global and regional powers now seem to threaten that enterprise.  But Trump is the result of the failure of the WEF project itself i.e. global capitalist ‘progress’.

In my book, The Long Depression, in the final chapter I raised three big challenges for the capitalist mode of production over the next generation: rising inequality and slowing productivity; the rise of the robots and AI; and global warming and climate change.  And these issues are taken up in this year’s WEF report entitled The Global Risks Report.  The WEF report cites five challenges for capitalsim:  1 Rising Income and wealth disparity; 2 Changing climate; 3 Increasing polarization of societies; 4 Rising cyber dependency and 5 Ageing population.

The report points out that while, globally, inequality between countries has been “decreasing at an accelerating pace over the past 30 years”, within countries, since the 1980s the share of income going to the top 1% has increased in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Ireland and Australia (although not in Germany, Japan, France, Sweden, Denmark or the Netherlands).  Actually, as I have shown in recent posts, global inequality (between countries) has only decline because of the huge rise in incomes per head in China.  Excluding, there has been little improvement, with many lower income countries having worsening inequality.  And as the WEF says, the slow pace of economic recovery since 2008 has “intensified local income disparities with a more dramatic impact on many households than aggregate national income data would suggest.”
No automatic alt text available.
The latest measures of inequality of incomes and wealth as presented by Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez, Daniel Zucman and recently deceased Tony Atkinson, are truly shocking, with no sign of any reduction in inequality in the US, in particular.
zucman
Since the global financial crisis the incomes of the top 1% in the US grew by more than 31%, compared with less than 0.5% for the remaining 99% of the population, with 540 million young people across 25 advanced economies facing the prospect of growing up to be poorer than their parents.  And to coincide with Davos, Oxfam, using the data compiled for the annual Credit Suisse wealth report finds that the world’s eight richest individuals have as much wealth as the 3.6bn people who make up the poorest half of the world!
global-wealth
In my blog and , I discuss the reasons for this sharp increase in inequality.  Inequality is a feature of all class societies but under capitalism it will vary according to the balance of power in the class struggle between labour and capital.  The WEF report likes to think that the cause is the differential of skills between those who are better educated and therefore can obtain higher wages.  But research has shown this to be nonsense.  The real disparity comes when capital can usurp a greater proportion of value created in capitalist production.  Increased profitability, lower corporate taxes and booming stock and property markets since the 1980s have shifted up incomes from capital compared to wages, particularly for the top echelons in corporations.

And then there is the impact of ‘capital bias’ in capitalist production that I have referred to before
.  According to the economists Michael Hicks and Srikant Devaraj, 86% of manufacturing job losses in the US between 1997 and 2007 were the result of rising productivity, compared to less than 14% lost because of trade.
us-manuf-emp
“Most assessments suggest that technology’s disruptive effect on labour markets will accelerate across non-manufacturing sectors in the years ahead, as rapid advances in robotics, sensors and machine learning enable capital to replace labour in an expanding range of service-sector job.  A frequently cited 2013 Oxford Martin School study has suggested that 47% of US jobs were at high risk from automation and in 2015, a McKinsey study concluded that 45% of the activities that workers do today could already be automated if companies choose to do so.” (WEF).
Image may contain: text
Technological change is shifting the distribution of income from labour to capital: according to the OECD, up to 80% of the decline in labour’s share of national income between 1990 and 2007 was the result of the impact of technology.  While at a global level, however, many people are being left behind altogether: more than 4 billion people still lack access to the internet, and more than 1.2 billion people are without even electricity.

In my book, I cite the next challenge for capitalism is climate change from global warming.  The WEF report does too.  There are a growing “cluster of interconnected environment-related risks – including extreme weather events, climate change and water crises” .Global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are growing, currently by about 52 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent per year.  Last year was the warmest on the instrumental record according to provisional analysis by the World Meteorological Organisation. It was the first time the global average temperature was 1 degree Celsius or more above the 1880–1999 average.  According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, each of the eight months from January through August 2016 were the warmest those months have been in the whole 137 year record.
CO2
As warming increases, impacts grow. The Arctic sea ice had a record melt in 2016 and the Great Barrier Reef had an unprecedented coral bleaching event, affecting over 700 kilometres of the northern reef. The latest analysis by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates that, on average, 21.5 million people have been displaced by climate- or weather-related events each year since 2008,59 and the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) reports that close to 1 billion people were affected by natural disasters in 2015.

The Emissions Gap Report 2016 from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) shows that even if countries deliver on the commitments – known as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) – that they made in Paris, the world will still warm by 3.0 to 3.2°C. To keep global warming to within 2°C and limit the risk of dangerous climate change, the world will need to reduce emissions by 40% to 70% by 2050 and eliminate them altogether by 2100.

The World Bank forecasts that water stress could cause extreme societal stress in regions such as the Middle East and the Sahel, where the economic impact of water scarcity could put at risk 6% of GDP by 2050. The Bank also forecasts that water availability in cities could decline by as much as two thirds by 2050, as a result of climate change and competition from energy generation and agriculture. The Indian government advised that at least 330 million people were affected by drought in 2016. The confluence of risks around water scarcity, climate change, extreme weather events and involuntary migration remains a potent cocktail and a “risk multiplier”, especially in the world economy’s more fragile environmental and political contexts.

The third big challenge cited by the WEF is restoring global economic growth.  The report points out that permanently diminished growth translates into permanently lower living standards: with 5% annual growth, it takes just 14 years to double a country’s GDP; with 3% growth, it takes 24 years. “If our current stagnation persists, our children and grandchildren might be worse off than their predecessors. Even without today’s technologically driven structural unemployment, the global economy would have to create billions of jobs to accommodate a growing population, which is forecast to reach 9.7 billion by 2050, from 7.4 billion today.”

So the WEF report highlights a whole batch of problems ahead for the stability and success of global capitalism. And what are the answers for a ‘responsive and responsible’ global leadership gathering in Davos?  Capitalism must be preserved, of course, but it will necessary “to reform market capitalism and to restore the compact between business and society.”

But having said that globalisation is failing in its report, the WEF then says that the way forward is really more of the same.  “Free markets and globalization have improved living standards and lifted people out of poverty for decades. But their structural flaws – myopic short-termism, increasing wealth inequality, and cronyism – have fueled the political backlash of recent years, in turn highlighting the need to create permanent structures for balancing economic incentives with social wellbeing.”

Thus the WEF report calls on the rich elite “to be responsive to the demands of the people who have entrusted them to lead, while also providing a vision and a way forward, so that people can imagine a better future.” And how to do this?  “Leaders will have to build a dynamic, inclusive multi-stakeholder global-governance system…the way forward is to make sure that globalization is benefiting everyone.”

Reducing inequality and poverty, boosting productivity and growth through new technology while preserving jobs and raising incomes; reducing gas emissions into the atmosphere to avoid global catastrophes, while preserving and reforming capitalism through global cooperation from Trump in the US, Xi Ping in China, Putin in Russia and Brexit Britain and the European Union.  Hmm…

Saturday, January 14, 2017

In Memory of Julian Silverman

Julian Silverman: 12-5-1936---12-26-2016

A farewell from Roger Silverman.

As we have heard, Julian was a musician of rare talent and originality. But he also had a penetrating insight into so many other fields: politics, history, literature, anthropology, psychology, science, philosophy… He could potentially have been a towering figure in any of them. He was the nearest I have met to a renaissance polymath; or maybe a classical figure, like Terence, a North African slave who became a playwright in the Roman Empire, and who expressed Julian's approach to life more perfectly than anyone else: "nothing human is alien to me". (This was Karl Marx's favourite quotation.)

The tragedy is that he didn’t make his mark in any of these fields. Instead, Julian left little trace behind him except indelible memories. Recently, with his encouragement, I wrote a book which was published; Julian could and should have written twenty. He wrote agitational pamphlets, contributions to online discussion lists and fragments of brilliant theoretical analysis… but he hardly ever finished anything substantial, whether in music or in words. Even his music now risks vanishing without trace, unheard.

What is the explanation? Certainly not laziness! Right up to the very day he entered hospital, he showed an energy which put most of us to shame. For instance, in the last few years he threw himself body and soul into tireless campaigning against local council cuts here in Barnet which he rightly considered barbarous. No, Julian's fatal flaw was his modesty, his self-effacement. It was not that he wavered for an instant in his convictions and his firmness of principle; his political opponents and rivals found him unyielding, not to say utterly infuriating. No, his flaw was a genuine absence of any trace of personal ambition.

Julian never even had a proper job. He worked for a year or two here and there: taught at a South Shields technical college or later at Morley College music classes; played for a year in the Haifa Symphony Orchestra in Israel; taught for a few years in Switzerland; wrote a music review column for a while at Time Out (where he showed enormous pride on one occasion at being quoted in Private Eye's Pseuds' Corner); composed incidental music for amateur drama productions; gave piano lessons at local schools or to private pupils… How can we explain this pitifully peripheral marginal role for someone who had such amazing talent and energy?

The answer is: by the fact that Julian was above all a revolutionary. Not just an agitator or a dissident, but a revolutionary in the most complete and comprehensive possible definition of the word. He had utter honesty, the purest integrity of anyone I have ever known. He was not prepared to compromise with the demands of bureaucratic or corporate employers, and it never occurred to him for an instant to even contemplate doing so. This is a fundamental family trait that we all share (I can give examples for all three of us) - the same characteristic that made our father Sydney Silverman such a rebel and such a tireless campaigner against injustice.

Julian spent his last hundred days or so lying helpless in hospital. At first, despite suffering a complex syndrome of chronic health problems, he remained optimistic, dreaming of plans for future projects and travel. Gradually he came to realise, perhaps before any of the rest of us did, that he was never going to leave hospital alive. On the day of his death, the doctor assured us that he had died peacefully. But that is to overlook his days and weeks of sleepless nights, of unbearable and agonising despair as he contemplated his impending death. On Christmas Day, the day before he died, he told us in a barely perceptible whisper that he couldn’t live like this. It was not a plea for help but a simple statement of the hard brutal fact. I remember one conversation a few weeks earlier in the intensive care ward when for the first time ever he bitterly reproached himself for his failure to make anything of his life. In the end we agreed that, if nothing else, he had been a uniquely interesting and original character, and that that in itself was a rare achievement.

Julian knew how privileged he was to enjoy Erika's constant companionship for almost half a century. He loved his children Anna and David and his grandchildren Louis and Ruben. He also had far more friends than he realised. Condolence messages have flooded in through Facebook and in e-mails and text messages to me from all over Britain, and also from the USA, Ireland, Pakistan, Canada, Sri Lanka, Israel, South Africa, France, Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, and India. His humanity touched everyone he met.

To me, Julian was a brother I grew up with from my earliest childhood memories, my closest political comrade and ally, and my best friend. I would regularly call him up to exchange ideas, opinions and news, knowing that he and I would instinctively share almost uncannily identical attitudes, insights and humorous reactions. There have been several occasions even since his death when I have felt a sudden yearning to have another such conversation with him. I'm going to appreciate all the more now the company of my other brother Paul, and of Rina and Erika and Anna and David and Manu and the rest of the family, as well as of my many political friends and comrades. But I'm going to miss Julian enormously: a unique human being.

Friday, January 13, 2017

An Inaugural Poem.

I have been invited by Dept of Foreign Affairs to read this poem at The White House on St. Patrick's Day. KH
Image not with the original publication. Source

I Am Pleased To Congratulate On Behalf Of The People Of Ireland


Donald J. Duck on his election
as forty fifth, and possibly final,
President of that great entity
traditionally known as the United
States which, admittedly,
by the time he’s finished with it,
will likely be called something else.

In the heat of battle President-elect
Duck has said things
which have left him with bridges to build
with certain people, such as Mexican
transsexuals, and women
who don’t want him,
or anyone politically
associated with him even thinking
about grabbing their
vaginas, or the vaginas of their
friends, mothers-in-law, or
as yet unborn children.

We think today in particular of
Secretary of State Clinton,
though only very briefly,
for eaten parsnips are quickly
digested, and we must move on.
Democracy (and, for that matter,
dictatorship) have their own outcomes.
This being the case, if President-elect
Duck wants to build a crazy golf course
in every front garden on this island,
I will work closely with compliant
urban district councils, sympathetic
journalists, and members of the judiciary
to have the necessary planning
fast-tracked.

And rest assured, every opportunity
that presents itself, either
I or one of my Ministers will be there
to shake his hand,
or any other part of his anatomy
President-elect, Donald J.
Duck, wants shaken.

KEVIN HIGGINS

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Fact-checking the conventional wisdom: 6 economic myths debunked

We reprint this article for our readers interest. It is a Freedom Socialist publication.
December 2016-January 2017 - Volume 37, No. 6
Fact-checking the conventional wisdom
Dennis Sanders
December 2016

 

Before, during, and after this election season, there are several economic myths that the capitalist system and its two party political representatives perpetuate, manipulate, downplay and upsell to justify their existence. We are going to examine, nay, debunk, six of these myths.
1. Immigrants take away “American” jobs.
Whenever the ruling class needs to stoke the fire of division within the working class, a convenient myth is to blame foreign workers for “stealing” jobs.
Actually, immigrants as a whole occupy the same cross-section of jobs that native-born people do in many professions — technology, services and manual labor. There are about 40 million immigrants residing in the United States. Just under half are fully naturalized citizens, 25 percent have some type of residency status, and only 25 percent are undocumented.
But when it comes to the most backbreaking, vulnerable, exploitive, and lowest paid jobs, such as in agriculture and hospitality, undocumented immigrants from the Americas have long been the labor force of choice for U.S. bosses. Capitalists prefer non-union undocumented labor because they can more easily abuse these workers as they see fit, and dispose of them when they need to.
It simply isn’t true that immigrants impact the wages of the native-born. Newer immigrants impact the wages of earlier immigrants, because they are the most “replaceable.” Bosses prefer to replace within the immigrant population, because it costs them less.
2. “Free” trade is good for all.
Trade, the exchange of goods, services, and knowledge between people, is a good thing. Our cultures can be enriched, we can learn other view points, and generally expand our horizons.
The problem is that trade is designed and conducted by the 1 percent, who have only the interest of growing profits, which they can do by finding new markets. No capitalist will say that out loud though!
So big business gets its politicians to glorify the “rule of law” and a “level playing field” and endlessly applaud the “growing” economy.
Here are the facts. Countries belonging to the World Trade Organization (WTO) control 90 percent of world trade and have put into effect 79 trade agreements since 2010. During this time, the global 1 percent has amassed 50 percent of the planet’s wealth and climbing, and the value of trade moving through their tax havens is at an all-time high and climbing. Meanwhile, the wages and benefits of the world’s working class have flat-lined or declined. Trade is “fair” for the capitalists only. And “free” only of corporate taxation. If workers happen to gain temporarily, it‘s a pleasant surprise. But if they don’t, it’s just the “cost of doing business.”
3. The wages of Blacks are recovering since the economic meltdown.
This lie doesn’t work on so many levels. One of which is that no one’s wages are recovering! In fact, nominal hourly wages (which are adjusted for inflation) have grown just 2.6 percent, year over year since the supposed end of the Great Recession of 2007-2009.
As for Blacks specifically, the situation remains literally unchanged. The wage gap between Black and white men narrowed ever so slightly in 2010 and has been creeping back up ever since. The disparity has been at least 20 percent since 1990.
The wage gap between Black women and white men never really declined. In fact, the wage difference between Black women and white men was 34.7 percent in 1990, and it is 34.2 percent today.
This myth that Black America is recovering has absolutely no merit. And neither do the claims of politicians of both parties, particularly the Democrats, who have ruled over 26 years of no wage improvement for Black workers.
4. Women have cracked the glass ceiling.
It is easy to get distracted from reality with female presidential candidates and corporate CEOs making headings daily, enduring incredible sexism, and responding with a remarkable toughness. But this is a tiny percentage of women, and for the vast majority the story is bleak indeed.
Let’s cut straight to the starkest fact. In 1975, women made 59 cents on the dollar compared to men, and in 2015, 79 cents on the dollar. Black women in 2015 made 66 cents on the dollar compared to men! That is, 40 years to gain a pittance.
This is a bitter but predictable fact. We are living under capitalism after all, which depends on racist and sexist bigotry to shovel in the profits.
5. Government/public sector workers make too much money.
The exact opposite is true. The status of public sector workers, at the local, state and federal levels, has been declining for years.
The pay for public school teachers has eroded so badly it is scary. Compared to comparable private sector workers in 1994, there was a 1.8 percent wage gap between the two sectors. Now it is 17 percent!
State and local government jobs generally require more education than comparable positions in the private sector, but government workers make about 10 percent less and often face frozen wages. Benefits make up a larger portion of total compensation for public workers. Significantly, governments are simply shifting more of the cost burden of benefits over to their workforce.
6. Compared to other people of color Asians have it made.
First of all, almost no one in the working class “has it made,” as shown above in the other myths. Asian Americans make up 3.5 percent of the U.S. working class, and have the highest rate of college graduates at 59 percent. There have been recent reports (generating near hysteria from right-wing pundits and academics) that Asian Americans have reached parity with white men. When you look at the myth from an average of all Asian Americans, you get a very simplistic, misleading conclusion. The success of the few well-educated men pulls up the rest of the numbers.
The primary gain for Asian American men has been among professionals in the sciences and in technology. Educated Asian American women still make 79 cents less on the dollar than their male counterparts, and are at parity with educated Black and Latino men compared to white men.
Asian Americans without a full college education fall into the same stagnating or declining economic status as other people of color.
• • •
Capitalism in decline will continue to manufacture giant myths to foster a divided working class. Debunking these lies is a critical job for us all as we build class unity.
Send feedback to FSnews@mindspring.com.
To listen to this and other articles from this issue, click here.

Monday, January 9, 2017

The US Working Class Will Fight Back.



I was somewhat put off by Meryl Streep's contribution at the Golden Globe Awards. All it was really was cheerleading for the Democrats. It is also because the US working class is not on the move that people can feel like there's nothing we can do and that all sorts of other issues dominate, issues that are really meant to distract us from the major economic and political struggles we have to wage against the capitalist offensive.

This doesn't mean there are not all sorts of issues that matter but the most important struggle of all is the battle to rid ourselves of capitalism and the filth that accompanies it. Only then will we be able to build a society, a democratic socialist society that will allow human beings to realize our full potential.

California's big redwood tunnel tree brought down.

I was thinking about the fall of California's big redwood tunnel tree this morning. I was thinking there was more involved than a winter storm. Maybe the winter storm was as powerful as it was because of climate change which is caused by capitalism. Maybe also the tunnel was carved in the tree to attract tourists for profits, again for capitalism. That capitalism is a nasty system. This is what I think anyway. Life on earth as we know it, and all the beautiful things on earth will be destroyed by capitalism unless we destroy capitalism first. Sean O'Torain. Sean.