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.

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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