Thursday, December 27, 2007

Sherry Wolf: Why the Left Should Reject Ron Paul


Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Cynthia McKinney Announces Campaign for Presidency


Friday, December 14, 2007

Tom Tancredo Hired [Undocumented] Laborers to Renovate His McMansion


Vick Behind Bars

Quote from a young woman to Dave on society's current hatred of Michael Vick:
Do you think if people knew how many pets died in Katrina, more people would care what we are going through?


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Hersh: children raped at Abu Ghraib, Pentagon has videos

U.S. Ruling Class PolicySo much for Rumsfeld's 'fraternity pranks.' They all need to be marched out on the Hague.


Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Tariq Ali: Venezuela After the Referendum


Monday, December 03, 2007

The Soldiers Project

Free, Confidential Psychological Counseling for Veterans. Important PTSD resource.


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Fixing MacPorts Lynx Version 2.8.6rel.5_0+ssl colors

This is a minor update to the past write up Fixing MacPorts Lynx Version 2.8.6rel.4 colors

The MacPorts developer have changed most of the paths, so the old method of fixing things broke. I am posting the old and new paths here. It is doubtful the diffs in the original article are still valid, but the items needing change are exactly the same. I figure anyone technical enough to follow the original fixes can figure out what I mean.


is now


Config File

is now





Friday, November 23, 2007

Why is Imus back in the game?


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The Biggest Lie Told To The American People: Ahmadinejad's Alleged Remarks On Israel


Monday, November 12, 2007

Preliminary victory for Lt. Ehren Watada!


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Stalking Horses


Monday, October 22, 2007

The mysteries of wealth creation


Friday, October 05, 2007

Arundhati Roy on nationalism

Nationalism of one kind or another was the cause of most of the genocide of the twentieth century. Flags are bits of colored cloth that governments use first to shrink-wrap people's brains and then as ceremonial shrouds to bury the dead.

--Arundhati Roy


Thursday, October 04, 2007

CFExpressPro+ PCIe ExpressCard to CompactFlash


Friday, September 21, 2007

Rose Schneiderman on Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire

I would be a traitor to these poor burned bodies if I came here to talk good fellowship. We have tried you good people of the public and we have found you wanting. The old Inquisition had its rack and its thumbscrews and its instruments of torture with iron teeth. We know what these things are today; the iron teeth are our necessities, the thumbscrews are the high-powered and swift machinery close to which we must work, and the rack is here in the firetrap structures that will destroy us the minute they catch on fire.

This is not the first time girls have been burned alive in the city. Every week I must learn of the untimely death of one of my sister workers. Every year thousands of us are maimed. The life of men and women is so cheap and property is so sacred. There are so many of us for one job it matters little if 146 of us are burned to death.

We have tried you citizens; we are trying you now, and you have a couple of dollars for the sorrowing mothers, brothers and sisters by way of a charity gift. But every time the workers come out in the only way they know to protest against conditions which are unbearable the strong hand of the law is allowed to press down heavily upon us.

Public officials have only words of warning to us – warning that we must be intensely peaceable, and they have the workhouse just back of all their warnings. The strong hand of the law beats us back, when we rise, into the conditions that make life unbearable.

I can't talk fellowship to you who are gathered here. Too much blood has been spilled. I know from my experience it is up to the working people to save themselves. The only way they can save themselves is by a strong working-class movement.


Sunday, August 26, 2007

Elvira Arellano March Downtown


Friday, August 24, 2007

Iraq War Resisters to Get Boost from Veterans Group


Thursday, August 23, 2007

Calvinist Style

A friend forwarded this to me.
On the website, Thomas Woodrooffe describes Mother Teresa's actions in Calcutta in 1993. She tended intimately to the sick and dying without asking them their religious beliefs or judging them for any behavior that might have played a part in their illness. In contrast, fundamentalist missionaries were roaming Calcutta's streets at the same time, handing out religious propaganda to the diseased and destitute, warning them they'd face eternal damnation if they'd didn't convert to the One True Way. Keep that difference in mind during the coming weeks, Scorpio. You're in a phase of your astrological cycle when you have tremendous power to heal people, fix misaligned energy, and provide the kind of moral leadership that raises everyone's integrity levels. Be like Mother Teresa, not the fundamentalist missionaries.


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Are words dangerous?


Monday, August 20, 2007

Live Tapioca Equinox Acoustic Show

Tapioca EquinoxFriday, September 7, 2007 at 9:00PM

Tapioca Equinox at Tangier
2138 Hillhurst Ave., Los Feliz, CA 90027
Acoustic Room—21 and Over, $10 Opens the Door

Check out some Tapioca Equinox songs on the myspace!


Health Care Rally


Make it legal for my Daddy to come back

Immigrant Rights NowYoung Kayla wasted no time when offered markers and a poster board after informing her we were fresh out of signs. The placard she crafted for the march was more poignant and far more profound than any of ours. It read: "Make it legal for my Daddy to come back with his family please."

Kayla, like some 1,500 other marchers endured 90 degree heat to march on Saturday August 18th. Participants walked along Broadway Street to Los Angeles City Hall in an immigration rights event called by the March 25th Coalition. The event's demands included stop the raids and amnesty now. Many groups participated, including Emergency Response Network members who carried a blue banner inscribed "Alto A Las Redadas" (Stop The Raids). Lively chants accompanied marchers along their route, and speakers addressed the crowd at the end point rally.

Socialist Worker had an opportunity to interview Kayla's mother, Linda, regarding the story behind her daughter's placard.

"My husband was deported five months ago. He lived here for 36 years, he went to school here. We've been married 28 years, and have six children and seven grandchildren. Now that he is gone we are struggling. I just had my phone cut off. I can't pay my bills and one of my daughters is expecting."

Linda's story, like so many others, exposes how current immigration policy and I.C.E. raids break up families. We need to continue protesting and building organizations like the Emergency Response Network to prevent families from being separated.


Monday, August 13, 2007

Roll Back the Reagan Tax Cuts


The Mercenary Revolution


Thursday, August 09, 2007



Tuesday, August 07, 2007

The Great LA Healthcare Rally 2007/08/11@1PM

Saturday, August 11, 2007 @ 1:00PM
First and Spring Streets (L.A. City Hall South)

Demand real universal care for all! Stop insurance profits forever! Held by Labor Task Force for Universal Healthcare, endorsed by the L.A. County Federation of Labor.


Defend Leimert Park from the MinuteKLAN 2007/08/11@11AM

Saturday, August 11, 2007 @ 11:00AM
Martin Luther King Blvd. and Crenshaw Blvd.

Take a stand against racist and anti-immigrant groups trying to sow the seeds of division. Leimert Park residents have a long history of black/brown unity, and refuse to allow the KKK, MMP, SOS, or any other white supremacist ideologies in their neighborhood. We kept Ted Hayes and his gang out of the Park last month, time to do so again!


Monday, August 06, 2007

Even in Minnesota: When Domes Attack


Awesome Labor Victory Readings!

If you haven't read Shaun's UPS article, please do now: When Big Brown was shut down. Afterwards, check out this inspirational piece on the YouTube America's Victory: The 1997 UPS Strike

More importantly, Todd covers a contemporary example of how our most powerful weapon--the strike--remains the most important component in working class struggle.

  1. Locked out by the “Wal-Mart of garbage

  2. Solidarity defeats the garbage bosses


Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The 'Choose Black America' Anti-Immigration Ploy: Is Ted Hayes the New Ward Connerly?


Monday, July 30, 2007

Welcome Home Augustin Aguayo July 27 2007


MS-DOS paternity suit settled

One more lie in the predatory monopolist's revisionist history unveiled.


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Did Tim Donaghy and crew fixed game 3 of Suns-Spurs?

For those of us that found the Phoenix-San Antonio series highly suspect, a preponderance of evidence confirming those suspicions evolves.


Friday, July 20, 2007

Funding the war in order to end the war?


Study shows racial disparities in prison


USS Florikan (ASR 9)

I served the empire when I was a very young man. The bulk of that military service was on the USS Florikan (ASR 9). The above linked site has some good photos, allows registration of when you were aboard, and to see others serving that same period. I recognized two names and left a message for one. The Florikan was a submarine rescue ship, but its primary functions were diving and salvage. Despite Navy divers being the best in the world, I was witness to a fatality, and two divers suffering the 'bends'—one of those cases debilitating. The diver killed in a dive accident had a son just a few years younger than my closest friends and I. His father would bring him aboard when he had weekend duty, and we would hang out with him since our age gap was neglible. Those heady days of being out to sea, the anecdotes, and everything else deserves eventual commitment to prose.

I also have some amazing photographs of the USS Florikan anchored just off Catalina Island. We would then serve as an offshore mooring for subs (they don't have the best anchoring abilities) and then everyone would use our boats for Avalon shore leave. The photographs feature the last commissioned diesel electric submarine lashed to one side and a brand new Los Angeles class nuclear attack boat along our other. I don't remember the names of the subs (it's been decades). I do remember it was poignant for the 'bubble-heads' (submariners), seeing that juxtaposition of old and new. I also have a photo of a good friend named Fernando Alfonso and my self with Diamond Head behind us as we sailed to our new home port in Pearl Harbor from our previous one of San Diego (alternatively 32nd Street and Point Loma). That photo was right after I got my shiny Surface Warfare pin (ESWS). I need to scan those photos, and place them online.

2007-07-24: More Florikan information: USS Florikan (ASR 9) some early history (looks like this link is gone now).

2010-04-12 I finally did get around to scanning and posting photos. Was also happy to see former shipmates making comments here as well.

2011-01-06 Please read the comments to learn about the USS Florikan's current status.

USS Florikan (ASR 9) off Avalon Harbor 1984

USS Florikan (ASR 9) off Avalon Harbor 1984

Alphonso and I off Diamond Head, Oahu, Nov 1985 USS Florikan (ASR 9)\


Monday, July 16, 2007

"Red Hill" Echo Park Film Screening

Echo Park Film Center's Spring 2006 youth documentary project centers on the "Red Hill" era, a time during the 1930s, '40s and '50s when Echo Park was a center of leftist political activity. Learn about your neighborhood's radical past and how this history has continued to affect and influence community activism in the years since! Numerous veteran activists are profiled in this documentary.

Friday July 20 - 6:30 pm
Edendale Library
2011 Sunset Blvd. 90026
Enter parking lot on Alvarado, north of Sunset


Thursday, June 28, 2007

Immigration bill dead in Senate

Although the reactionary white supremacists of the Klan, Minutemen, SOS, CBA, NA, etc. are hailing the defeat of the bill as a victory, we on the principled left see it as a victory too. The Times article mentions phone systems crashing from high volumes of racist calls opposing the bill as being "amnesty." Aside from being dead wrong on its face, any way of seeing a bill that clearly was only about enforcement, militarization of the border, extorting money from poor undocumented peoples, and featuring a self-deportation "touch-back" clause as amnesty is ludicrous.

For us no bill is certainly better than draconian measures congress and Bush have been proposing. The downside is the ongoing inhumane ICE raids continuing to disrupt our communities, families, and lives. While we need to continue fighting back against the raids, we also need to restate the only acceptable approach to this imagined crisis manufactured by the racist, isolationist right wing. Real amnesty for all undocumented peoples! Now, no strings, no questions asked.

Bush, with his hideous legacy of a presidency should for the first time in his life do the right thing -- grant amnesty. Eight years of shameless handouts to the rich, the bare racism of Katrina's aftermath, the untold hundreds of thousands dead from his unconscionable invasions and occupations, the inhuman torture in Abu Gharib and Guantanamo, and so on. The very least Bush could do to put a single check-mark in the column of decency of his otherwise vile presidency is grant amnesty.


Monday, June 25, 2007

Beating Back the Klan

minuteKLANSaturday The Klan, SOS, MMP, F.A.I.R. front group CBA, and other white supremacist groups held a rally and march down Crenshaw Blvd. The theme of their little hate fest was that undocumented workers are somehow lowering standards of living. Ironically, their initial rally was located in front of the Wall-Mart on Crenshaw and MLK. If they wanted the real reason for declining standards of living, they should have looked at the sign behind them. Led by opportunist Ted Hayes, the group of about 60 marched towards Leimert Park with the intention of holding a hate rally and trying to incite brown black division.

Fortunately, neighborhood locals combined with anti-racist activists to thwart their plans. Blocking all access to the Park, those countering the Klan refused to allow a park known for its multi-cultural music and African cultural scene to host a rally of white supremacists. Seeing that opposition to the minuteKlan outnumbered both the supramacists and the riot gear clad police by about 4 to 1, police decided to ask Hayes and his ilk to disperse after several tense hours of standoff.


Friday, June 22, 2007

Friday Cats

Feral KittensThese little kitties were born in March 2007. I didn't get the count of the original litter, but I was happy to see that three lived. The downside is that the feral population is getting too large again.

Technorati Profile


Thursday, June 14, 2007

Iraqi Oil Workers Defy Threats To Win Strike


The Great Oil Robbery


Gouged at the gas pumps, by Geoff Bailey - SW #635

The entire article is excellent. The following quote is from the article:Imperialism: The Highest Stage of Capitalism

As writer Dave Lindorff put it on CounterPunch: "The oil industry has in practice conspired to limit refining capacity, so that companies can keep pushing up the price of gas artificially--only they've done this without ever having to meet in secret and cut a deal, because they all have complete competitive information on each other's inventories, internal pricing and refinery capacity."'

Essentially, this is an example of a cartel in practice that holds monopolistic control of a market. Bourgoise anti-trust law doesn't apply here since these corporations don't conspire. A de facto cartel is a cartel nonetheless. Lenin's monumental work 'Imperialism: The Highest Stage of Capitalism,' is still the best resource for understanding how capital is compelled to monopoly, then cartels and trusts, then imperialism.

Reading Lenin's book then re-reading this Socialist Worker article would provide newer comrades and ISO contacts with a deeper understanding. This article provoked a lot of discussion in our pre-sale meeting for a Los Angeles SW sale. One comrade asked how the Marxist view that capitalism represents an unplanned economy could explain things like cartels. The answer of course is that while individual corporations, or a specific sector of a market engages in planning, that the effects on other parts of the economy or society are not taken into account.

A good example relating to the oil cartel's price gouging is how it raises prices on other items because the increase in transportation costs. Further, consumers have less income to spend on other goods, which in turn can cause a crisis in overproduction, etc.

'Imperialism: The Highest Stage of Capitalism' available at your local ISO branch, Haymarket Books, or online at the Marxist Internet Archive.


Saturday, June 09, 2007

You start with a spark

And it occurred to me that the future of the working class isn’t going to be decided in the halls of Congress--it’s going to be decided in a Vons parking lot, and I’m going to be standing in that parking lot playing that song.

-- Tom Morello


Thursday, May 31, 2007



Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Venezuela’s President Chavez Tells Pope to Apologize to Indigenous Peoples


Friday, May 25, 2007

Friday Feline

Window Sitting Cat


Monday, May 21, 2007

When Does Genocide Purify?


Friday, May 18, 2007

Demonstration Against LAPD May Day Brutality

LAPD May Day Brutality DemonstrationWe demonstrated against the LAPD's vicious May Day attacks on families at MacArthur Park on Thursday May 17, 2007. Although the march and rally were organized by the right wing of the immigrant right's movement, there was still an air of radicalization and people still are not satisfied with the all too quick to conciliation tone.

Outrage at LA cops’ May Day assault by Randy Childs is a great summary of the violence the state is willing to use against its citizens when ruling class hegemony is threatened. The new sanctuary movement in SW is a great article on how ordinary people are fighting back against Washington's racist anti-immigrant tide.


Sweet Friday Felines

Sweet Friday Gatos
The Hermetic Order of the Tapioca Equinox got me back into wanting to do occasional Friday Feline posts again!


Tapioca Equinox now has more friends than me


Thursday, May 10, 2007

Was Wolfowitz mistaken when he told Congress Iraq war would pay for itself, or was it perjury?


Friday, May 04, 2007

May Day March Downtown Los Angeles 2007

May Day Immigrant Rights RallyAlthough the police were edgy with us, we didn't have to suffer the brutal LAPD attacks meted out against the peaceful participants in MacArthur Park. More on that soon.


Don Larsen of the Utah County Republican Party calls illegal immigrants "Satan's minions."

The cited article is a good indication of reactionary republican racist thought, but the comments on GNN under the abstract are a fun read.


Saturday, April 28, 2007

Nativo López on the politicians’ immigration proposals


Wednesday, April 25, 2007

LA immigrant march sends a message

Immigrant Rights RallyI've been forgetting to list articles I write and photo series I post on other sites. I coauthored the above article and Socialist Worker used my photo on the back cover of that issue. April 7 was much bigger than anyone anticipated, which may be a positive sign for what May Day will look like.

The current issue of Socialist Worker has some excellent articles in preparation for May Day.


Error Message (-50) Syncing iPod 5G with iPhoto Solution

I was having this problem and searched on Apple's discussion boards, finding I wasn't alone. The following solved the problem, and is reproduced here since Apple's discussion boards require a login.

The problem was due to escaped unicode characters within the AlbumData.xml file. I first suspected it was the tilde-n combination within many of my photo comments. When using BBEdit to grep them out, I noticed an escape sequence for a unicode character in the search string. Unfortunately, replacing them in the AlbumData.xml file didn't work. On relaunch iPhoto would put the characters back, which meant manually removing a comment sequence from a series of about 120 photos. Finding a script on Apple's site called 'Speak Comments.scpt' and commenting out the lines for speaking the comment (lines 15-18) and adding the following line before them:

set the comment of this_photo to ""

allowed me to remove the problematic comments from just the set of offending photos without having to do them by hand. Upon completion, iTunes recognized iPhoto's libraries and synced them to the 5G iPod without a hitch. Script available from:


Tuesday, April 24, 2007

How Imus' Media Collaborators Almost Rescued Their Chief

Ishmael Reed's piece is the most in-depth exposé of the Imus aftermath.


Bush's Handiwork

Chris Floyd's galleries show the graphic horrors of Bush's crimes committed for his masters, the Bourgeoisie. Iraq, and Abu Ghraib part II.


Iran 'eight years' from operational nuke


Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Fixing MacPorts Lynx Version 2.8.6rel.4 colors

MacPorts (formerly Darwin Ports) provides management for open source projects under OS X. Back in the day we had to download, patch, configure, etc. ourselves. MacPorts handles all this. This is a disadvantage if the patching or configuring isn't to our liking. The recent version of Lynx is such a case. The current release displays garish colors on a black background. I wanted the default colors of previous versions. After playing with configuration files in various MacPorts build stages, I found something that works. It might take fewer steps than outlined here, but I don't want to spend anymore time on this project.

Notes: File modifications require root or su. I have MacPorts installed under a custom prefix. Where I have /Users/Shared a standard MacPorts installation would use /opt/local

Before preceding modify the Portfile for Lynx:

Here is the diff from the modification and default file:

< --with-ssl=${prefix}
> --with-ssl=${prefix} \
> --enable-default-colors \
> --disable-color-style

Run MacPorts patch stage for Lynx. This will fetch, extract, and patch the source.
port -d patch lynx

Locate the Lynx.cfg file within the staged work directory.

Here is the diff from the modification and default file:

< #COLOR:0:black:white
> COLOR:0:black:white
< COLOR:6:brightred:black
> #COLOR:6:brightred:black

Install Lynx. The screen should be the familiar white (or light grey) background with black text.
port -d install lynx


Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Hoops, Not Ho's!

Playing incredible defense to reach the NCAA national championship, Rutgers' Scarlet Knights women's basketball team fell to a formidable Tennessee team headed by all All-American Candace Parker and the all time winningest NCAA Basketball coach Pat Summit.

You would think being the second best team in all the land would bring the Rutgers team the accolades they so deserve. Instead the student-athletes have spent the past weeks dealing with the deplorable racist and sexist remarks of radio personality Don Imus.

"That's some nappy-headed hos there" went an Imus' response to a just as disgusting remark by his executive producer. Imus further went on to say "[a]nd the girls from Tennessee, they all look cute, you know..." Later in misogynistic banter between Imus and his cohorts, the Scarlet Knights were described as looking like an all male NBA team.

Don Imus' despicable comments were immediately called out by civil rights leaders and organizations. The NAACP and others demanded his show be dropped by broadcasters. Such pressure resulted in a feeble apology from the radio personality and a belated two week suspension of Imus' simulcast by CBS and NBC.

Not called out is how the comments about Tennessee's Lady Volunteers were just as offensive. Rather than praising their academic success or athletic prowess, Imus is concerned with them "look[ing] cute." Fitting Imus' and his white male associates' narrow notions of beauty allowed Tennessee's players to escape the racist comments reserved for the Rutgers Team, but still suffer under the oppression of sexism.

It is precisely the double oppression of racism and sexism that women of color suffer every day under capitalism. "This has scarred me for life," said Rutgers' guard Matee Ajavon. "I've dealt with racism before. For it to be in the public eye like this, it will be something I will tell my granddaughter."

This controversy occurs in an atmosphere in which Title IX, which provides for advancement of academic, athletic, and other opportunities for collegiate women, has been under attack by the Bush administration since 2003.

The whole incident is summed up by Rutgers' star center Kia Vaughn: "I'm not a ho, I'm a woman. I'm someone's child. It hurts a lot."

We need to continue fighting for a society where women of color and women as a whole never have to experience racism or sexism of any kind.

PS: a friend sent the following to me on April 13, 2007. Dave is a great guy, and a huge inspiration to me since many leftists eschew sports.
Don Imus and the State of Women's Sports
Memo to Imus: You're Fired


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Terrorist on the loose

Texas courts have granted bail to self-admitted terrorist Luis Posada Carriles. The U.S. must comply with Venezuela's request for extradition, or admit what the world has known all along about the 'war on terror' -- it's a farce.

On a positive note is a recent speech given by Bernardo Alvarez addresses this with customary Venezuelan class.


white supremecy on the airwaves


Tuesday, April 03, 2007

300 vs. Iran (and Herodotus)


Police Harrassment on Skid Row


Monday, April 02, 2007

An end in sight for DRM?

EMI Music launches DRM-free superior sound quality downloads across its entire digital repertoire
Apple Unveils Higher Quality DRM-Free Music on the iTunes Store

Industry executives, the RIAA, European politicians, EU representatives, Redmond, end users, and all those who called Steve Jobs disingenuous in his call for eliminating DRM--what do you say now? Indeed as soon as EMI made the offer, Jobs did exactly what he said he would. Maybe, just maybe, this will begin a trend towards eliminating DRM and other heavy handed schemes for good.


Thursday, March 29, 2007

Stop the anti-immigrant ICE raids


Hate Indoctrination

...Hanging of Osama effigy. Family fun

So goes the last part of an email subject line announcing the United American Committee's planned action for March 31st in Anaheim. Apparently for the reactionary racist UAC, a mock lynching equates to "family fun." Minuteklan and SOS members will join Ted Hayes in their little hate-fest in front of CAIR. Their disgusting press release contains the oxymoronic "Islamofascism" phrase. Of course, racist extremists using that phrase no nothing about fascism, and even less about Islam. Sadly, these ethnocentric, racist, ultra-reactionaries find it fit to bring their children to their ignorant hate demonstrations. That's the "family fun," part. Since hate is a learned behavior, I suppose that is how they create the next generation of white supremacists.


Wednesday, March 28, 2007

stardustyokohama says it's Cherry Blossom Time

photos video


Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Tapioca Equinox

I Ching out -- Tapioca Equinox in the house! Voted new site with most potential.


Monday, March 26, 2007

We're here to stop the fascists and the Nazis


Big Sweet Tooth

A friend of a friend's fun blog. A different friend of a friend's myspace.


The ugly truth about guest-worker programs

Lee Sustar exposes the horrible conditions H-2B workers are forced to endure. Another powerful argument why amnesty and not guest worker programs is the only thing the principled left supports. SPLC also has an excellent report Close to Slavery, further tearing through the 'pasteboard mask' of guest worker programs.


Sunday, March 25, 2007

LA's Vicious War on the Homeless

Counter Punch Screen Shot

My latest story got picked up by Counter Punch. As Rachel Ray would say: "how cool is that?"


Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Meet the Global Ruling Class


Thursday, March 15, 2007

Thomas Jefferson: Crypto Rebel?

From the OpenBSD Crypto Globe T-shirt
Puffy Worldwide

The OpenBSD 'ramblo' munitions blowfish with 'Make Crypto Not Munitions' on the front. Map of the world according to Crypto Laws on the back, with all-american saying from U.S. founding father Ben Franklin. Currently shipping versions of this T-shirt are on a flat Navy blue background. Original versions were made out of a "tie dye" blue material. If you do not understand what the statement being made by this T-shirt, perhaps you should read an article by Wendy McElroy.

Although the article OpenBSD links to is on a reactionary site, and has a fairly right-wing-cum-libertarian slant to it, it does point out how hypocritical the U.S. is when it comes to cryptography and free speech.


Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The Descent of the US; the Rise of Latin America


Clearing out skid row

My first long article in SW. Since I tend to write too academically, I understood the majority of edits. The one edit I think really worked was moving the quote from the SRO resident toward the top of the article. The original essay is Housing the Homeless... Behind Bars.

I have had 12-step speaking engagements at many of the recovery facilities on the nickel, including Harbor Light and the VOA. Watching what is happening to people in the name of gentrification is horrendous. I will be adding links to homeless orginizations like the Institute for the Study of Homelessness and Poverty and PATH to this post soon.


Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Black America Chose

Outlines how reactionary Ted Hayes and his white supremacist backers ran into racial solidarity in Chicago.


Sunday, March 04, 2007

Housing the Homeless... Behind Bars

Los Angeles' Skid row, also known as "the nickel" because of its 5th street centrality, has become a hotbed of one sided class warfare in recent months. Los Angeles has taken a cue from other major cities like New York to gentrify the area under the guise of its latest Safer Cities Initiative (SCI) announced in September 2006. Like all such efforts, SCI is intended to reduce the visibility of homeless people, not address the root causes of homelessness.

SCI followed the Los Angeles City Council's rejection of a settlement between the ACLU with Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Police Chief William J. Bratton to stop enforcing a ban on the homeless sleeping on sidewalks between 9 at night and 6 in the morning. The ACLU offer stemmed from their lawsuit victory in the U.S. Appeals court. The court's decision was arresting homeless for sleeping on the sidewalks in a city with such a low shelter bed to homeless ratio constituted cruel and unusual punishment.

While waiting the outcome of higher court decisions, the City has gone on an all out offensive. Although some funds for increasing services are allocated in the SCI package, they don't come close to addressing the homeless population's needs, nor offset massive cuts in Federal spending on local services. Instead, the majority of the program focuses on law enforcement with LAPD adding 50 officers to its Central Division to target skid row.

The new "enforcement focus" has drastically increased the number of arrests on skid row. A recent police commission report on SCI announced by Central Bureau Chief Cayler Lee Carter cited 5,067 arrests in the Skid Row area, 3,486 of which have felony charges, with about one-third of those arrests for "possession for sales."

Charging people with possession for sales rather than simple possession disqualifies them for consideration under California's Substance Abuse and Crime Prevention Act of 2000 (Proposition 36). Prop. 36 provides certain non-violent adult offenders who use or possess illegal drugs up to one year of drug treatment and six months of after care. Homeless offenders are housed and may receive transitional housing at the completion of their Prop. 36 program. Conviction of possession for sales also means state prison time for the vast majority of skid row residents, most of whom have prior convictions. Several sources indicate the District Attorney's office is no longer negotiating with public defenders on skid row cases, and they are pursuing aggressive strategies to achieve longer sentences.

The vast majority of these sales cases are simply addicts supporting their own habit. When asked by undercover police where to score, they will break off a piece of their own rock. In a street existence dominated by crack cocaine addiction, such behavior is considered a survival tactic rather than drug dealing. Many possession cases of less than $20 worth of drugs have been filed as possession for sales when defendants don't have a pipe for crack or a kit for heroin on them when arrested.

Another part of the enforcement focus is the City's new "stay away plan" which bans drug offense convicts from skid row while on parole or probation. The District Attorney's logic is that this prevents crime. It also prevents these people from obtaining services at the various shelters and NGOs in the vicinity unless they live, work, or are in treatment within the targeted areas. Since the bulk of emergency services serving meals for the homeless are located on skid row, "stay away" is essentially telling these homeless to remain homeless and hungry somewhere else.

Taken together these enforcement policies have had an obvious effect of depleting the skid row homeless population through attrition. Many of those not imprisoned just grow tired of police harassment and move off skid row. A recent Los Angeles Times article outlines the fact that surrounding areas and shelters are noticeably overflowing with homeless populations displaced from downtown. LAPD Central Division's count of homeless camping on skid row for January 15, 2007 was down to 875 persons. Last year at this time the number was 1,345 and in September before the current incarnation of SCI the count was 1,876.

Meanwhile in the midst of SCI enforcement there is little to no evidence of its supposed "enhancement and outreach" components. Jose Egurbide of the City Attorney's Office recently stated at a press conference "officials are currently waiting on funding that Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said he has earmarked to expand the outreach program as well as additional emergency shelter beds and wrap around services." At the rate the city is cleansing skid row's street population through imprisonment or displacement, one might wonder if the delay in those funds is intentional. There are still only 3,400 emergency and transitional beds for between 6,000 to 8,000 estimated downtown area homeless.

These recent attacks on skid row and the homeless follows right on the heels of the recent "patient dumping" scandal in which several health care facilities and hospitals have dropped patients without consent addresses on skid row to fend for themselves.(1) Patient dumping has become so widespread that there is a bill (SB275) in the California State Senate to criminalize the practice.

Not surprisingly downtown business associations and large real estate developers are lauding SCI as a glowing success. With median loft and condominium prices in downtown Los Angeles at $739,000, and a raft new development slated for the city's ninth district, it's no wonder that Councilwoman Jan Perry led the fight against the ACLU settlement and for the enforcement laden Safer Cities Initiative. Many "Socialist Worker" readers will remember Councilwoman Perry, who's district contains most of skid row, as leading efforts to sell developers the South Central Farm.(2)

According to the Institute for the Study of Homelessness and Poverty, approximately 80,000 people are homeless each night in Los Angeles county alone. Within that staggering figure is a disproportionate amount of African Americans and a growing number of single mothers with their children. Also disproportionately represented are veterans. "As many as 27,000 homeless veterans reside in Los Angeles, County" states a 2002 report by State of California Department of Veterans Affairs. The situation is so dire that the report also stated "California should commit to a plan, similar to our nation's Marshall Plan following World War II." If something akin to the Marshall Plan is indicated just for California's homeless veterans, it follows that necessary programs for all the homeless are woefully inadequate and severely underfunded.

Lack of funding is the common theme among all the downtown missions, shelters and other facilities. SRO (Single Room Occupancy Housing Corporation) buys old hotels and apartment buildings to create emergency, transitional, and permanent housing for homeless, formerly homeless and low-income persons. "Socialist Worker" spoke briefly with SRO Executive Director Anita Nelson regarding the conditions on skid row. Not surprisingly, the bulk of the conversation steered toward lack of funding. She said "We just lost 1.5 million in Federal grants, and I may have to lay off over 20 employees--many formerly homeless, as well as reduce the amount of available beds." She mentioned SRO currently has a 700 person waiting list, but unless they secure funding for beds, they can't accommodate the demand. When asked about the impact of Safer Cities Initiative she responded "We are much happier about the increased cleanliness of the area," and that "our residents feel much safer with the increased police presence."

"Socialist Worker" obtained a different view on SCI when interviewing an actual skid row resident in SRO housing. "I became homeless two years ago due to alcohol and drugs. Since then I have seen a lot of changes in the downtown area as large corporations have bought most of the buildings to build lofts," said James Maingot. When asked about the recent increase in police James replied "I've seen more police on the street and they've begun stopping people on the sidewalk handcuffing them. They will search you and if you are clean they will tell you don't return or you will be arrested. It has happened to me and I see this all the time. The police drive by two or three cars at a time. They shine their search lights in your face, they intimidate you, and place fear in the community. I thought the police were to protect and serve the community, not big business. The homeless have been herded like sheep placed in a box."

Widespread homelessness in the world's richest country is a shameful indictment of a system that places profit before human need. That Los Angeles' best response to its homeless crisis is to criminalize, intimidate, and incarcerate its most vulnerable shows why we need to organize and fight for a world with different priorities. We say money for homes, not for war.


Thursday, March 01, 2007

An Open Letter to Jason Whitlock

Another example of why Dave Zirin is the best thing that ever happened to sports writers.


Tuesday, February 27, 2007

'Christian' Nativism

Alexander Zaitchik piece on the SPLC site is a must read.


Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Spilling the Spanish Beans


Friday, February 09, 2007

OpenSSL gets hard-fought revalidation


Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Now The RIAA Wants You To Believe That You Should Be Paying Much, Much More For CDs


Apple calls for dropping DRM entirely

The third alternative is to abolish DRMs entirely. Imagine a world where every online store sells DRM-free music encoded in open licensable formats. In such a world, any player can play music purchased from any store, and any store can sell music which is playable on all players. This is clearly the best alternative for consumers, and Apple would embrace it in a heartbeat. If the big four music companies would license Apple their music without the requirement that it be protected with a DRM, we would switch to selling only DRM-free music on our iTunes store. Every iPod ever made will play this DRM-free music.

This is the real way to deal with this, and unfortunately the sneaky RIAA and Record Industry has escaped the European criticisms for reasons discussed further in Steve's letter.


Monday, February 05, 2007

'No Microsoft here' says WSF organisers

'Microsoft is imperialistic' says open source advocates - 'No Microsoft here' says WSF organisers

By: David Kezio-Musoke and Timothy Kasonde
Article summary:
The World Social Forum (WSF) taking place in Nairobi, Kenya has become a no-go area for Microsoft products.
Microsoft Corporation's products have been locked out of the on-going World Social Forum (WSF) in Nairobi Kenya.

With over 300 computers provided for participants and the press, organizers of the WSF have preferred to provide open source software products and blocked all Microsoft related products for the forum's usage and its related activities.

Participants attending WSF, which for the first time is entirely taking place in an African country say that this was a gesture done as a way of promoting the free social movement at the same time also as a way of fighting Microsoft's 'imperialistic tendencies.'

Activists at the forum also believe that since Microsoft is a corporate brand from the United States of America, a country they believe has intentions of maintaining the status quo of a unipolar world over which it is above international law and the UN, the brand should be locked out.

In its sixth year, the WSF has developed itself as one of the foremost expressions of the struggle of social and political movements on the planet. Open source activists have since joined these movements.

Anoop Sukumaran of the Focus on the Global South, said that, since one has to pay licenses for any kind of Microsoft 's software, the multinational computer technology corporation is in a way controlling the flow of global information instead of releasing it free without any charge.

"Microsoft has no thinking. And the unfortunate thing is that the whole third world including almost all of Africa is being forced to use Microsoft products, through the pretext of these trade treaties like the WIPO and the WTO", Sukumaran says.

"The open source movement is providing Linux, a robust free software. Everybody owns it and it can be shared. And this is what WSF is all about - a free society, a movement fighting for ownership of free resources", he adds.

With an annual revenue of over US$44.28 billion as of July 2006, Microsoft develops, manufactures, licenses, and supports a wide range of software products for computing devices.

Participants from the International South Group Network (ISGN) who are advocating for open source software at the WSF are set to give out over 100 free CDs of the kubuntu brand of the open source software here at the forum as a way of fighting Microsoft.

Open source is a conceivable tool of communication, a weapon to fight for ones own right. Users of open source software are (generally) able to view the source code, alter and re-distribute the software.


Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Greatest hits, in the palm of your hand


Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Class Warfare and the Minimum Wage


Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Rush and the New Racism


How the pro-Migrant Movement Stopped Fascism and How to Finish the Job


Friday, January 05, 2007

Impeaching, Prosecuting Nixon Could Have Elevated the Nation


Thursday, January 04, 2007

Capra classic 'commie propaganda'

The Reg links to a blog article with some interesting comments. The point missed by those making comments is that anything that exposes the brutality of capital, even unintentionally, is deemed subversive by the ruling class and hence the FBI concern. While liberals dismiss Marxism, they are unaware of just how class conscience the bourgeoisie are.