Socialism Never Works


April 4, 1968 to 2019 in one micro-blog

The Great Society and The War Against Poverty were laid to rest in the napalm ashes of the Vietnam War and the Reagan Reaction that came after the malaise of the Carter years. Dr. King died on this day in 1968 while advocating for sanitation workers in Memphis. 15 years later Ronald Reagan signed MLK Day into a national holiday while at the same time The Reagan Adminstration made sure the modest gains of the Poor Peoples Campaign withered in austerity. The 30 million dollars per day burden of killing Vietnamese peasants to save them from communism has become a 30 million dollars per hour Forever War. For Dr. King, the protest against mindless militarism and for economic justice was one and the same. It is not only fitting we remember the lessons of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., it is essential for our future to act upon them.

https://www.poorpeoplescampaign.org/?fbclid=IwAR086uiJmkNPdS5_ri7F7eKw9A1DHxJXlK-A_E84_81qtvbe6-6tHaezmUA


Lift The Ban on Rent Control

It should be noted that when Rep. Rita Mayfield and Rep. Curtis Tarver sided with Republicans and voted no and stopped an effort to Lift The Ban on Rent Control, it wasn’t a vote against a particular form of rent control. It was a vote against any form of rent control anywhere.  It was a vote against democracy supported mostly by  the real estate industry and developers, people who stand to profit from predatory rental agreements and gentrification. 

Once again, we have profits over people. Money speaks for money while low-income people are not organized to protect themselves. With this vote we see the results of that.  It is telling that the victory statement  by the Chicagoland Apartment Association admitted that “affordable workforce housing… is currently lacking in supply, but the concept of rent control would make the goal of providing additional affordable housing less attainable because it would reduce the supply and quality of rental units to select from.” Simply put, the inability to force people out of their homes with sudden extreme rent increases will limit the number of units on the market. People with the least privilege and risk are expected to be left vulnerable so that wealthy and secure people are not inconvenienced in their effort to become wealthier and more secure at the expense of working people forced into homelessness. 

The Democratic party, with a historic super majority in the Illinois general assembly, remains saddled with Koch Brothers/ALEC legislation that was implemented with regressive intent to serve the interests of the powerful and make sure every dollar earned by working families ends up in the company store with IOU notes added. There will always be a well-funded slick argument to support a grand pyramid scheme, but if a Democratic super majority cannot find the political muscle to stand up for people, it’s time to change the name of our party to GOP LITE. 


Rent Party live at Gallery Cabaret

Rent Party live at The Gallery Cabaret on Friday March 22, 2019

Rent Party set list
Rent Party at the Gallery Cabaret – 1. Rent Party 2. Sunglasses in the Rain (2:48) 3. Gates of Hell (5:49) 3. Welcome to Catastrophe (8:13) 4. Red Cells (11:40) 5. Stowaways (14:31)
Rent Party live at The Gallery Cabaret – Twirl Girl

Rent Party live at The Gallery Cabaret – 1. Ain’t Got No 2. Time (3:00) 3. Pie in the Sky (6:00) 4. Chicago (8:20) 5. Hate My Job (12:15) 6. Precious Rhinestone (15:12) 7. Shadow Dancing (17:33)

Five Years of Rent Party

With the addition of Matt and Holly, Heather and Snezana’s feminist folk duo evolved into an electric quartet. When Heather moved onto other projects, Rent Party cranked into more of a garage rock sound. Yesterday, at City News Cafe (4018 N. Clark St.) Heather rejoined her former bandmates to celebrate the entire journey.

I regret that catching the entire show was unplanned and that I did not capture this with my portastudio and my video camera. Seeing the entire evolution of the band is still entertaining on an iphone capture.

Adam and Lisa Facebook Live intro followed by Heather and Snezana (a.k.a. Nana) Rent Party


Rent Party goes electric. The Quartet years.
Rent Party. The band in its current garage formation.

Holly goes back to the sticks on Friday at The Gallery Cabaret 2020 N. Oakley. Chicago, IL. 10:00pm – 2am. Rent Party/Baby No-Name.

https://www.facebook.com/events/697883810613802/


Trump Administration and Mexico attempted to cover-up violations by targeting Journalists and Activists

March 8, 2019

National Lawyers Guild condemns “Operation Secure Line”

Investigation and leaked documents uncovered human rights violations, watch list, and sytematic targeting.

Clear evidence Trump Administration is conspiring against US journalists with a foreign government. Was this secret program the planning phase of another Jamal Khashoggi scenario or just another routine disregard for the First Amendment? Another scandal on the pile.

TIJUANA, Mexico—Leaked US-Mexican government documents revealed both governments are maintaining a secret database targeting at least 59 journalists, activists, and an attorney as part of an intelligence-gathering mission under “Operation Secure Line,” based on their work reporting on and offering humanitarian aid to the recent caravans of migrants fleeing from violence and poverty. The National Lawyers Guild (NLG) condemns this practice as a blatant violation of civil liberties and attempt to intimidate those seeking to provide necessary, legal and legitimate aid to migrants and their families.

An NLG delegation was in Tijuana investigating violations of migrants’ rights by US and Mexican authorities when the documents, titled “San Diego Sector Foreign Operations Branch: Migrant Caravan FY-2019, Suspected Organizers, Coordinators, Instigators and Media,” were uncovered. Prior to the leaked report, the delegation heard stories of hours-long interrogations, harassment, confiscation of electronic devices, and intimidation of activists and lawyers by immigration authorities on both sides of the border related to their humanitarian work, including members of the group Pueblo Sin Fronteras (PSF). Many activists who felt singled out by CBP correctly suspected that they were on a government watch list due to their association with the migrant caravan, especially following the of two journalists and US attorneys with Al Otro Lado who were denied entry into Mexico earlier this month, who were held and faced questioning for up to 10 hours.

“It’s worrisome, but not surprising… I was taken into a concrete
cell for interrogation and they took my phone, scanned all my notebooks, all the papers I brought… It angers me that the government is using taxpayer funds to create a database meant to intimidate people.”

Alex Mensing, a US citizen living in Tijuana who helped coordinate the delegation’s meetings with domestic and international NGOs, as well as Mexican human rights and immigration authorities, chose not to accompany the delegation to San Diego on Wednesday for meetings with the ACLU, Border Angels, and the International Rescue Committee. Mensing has been repeatedly stopped for secondary questioning by US Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) on a clear effort to intimate PSF and other volunteers. “It’s worrisome, but not surprising,” Mensing told Telemundo yesterday. “I was taken into a concrete
cell for interrogation and they took my phone, scanned all my notebooks, all the papers I brought… It angers me that the government is using taxpayer funds to create a database meant to intimidate people.” For the last four months, Mensing has attempted to obtain information directly from CBP about his repeated questioning to no avail.

“We witnessed migrants who had traveled days fleeing violence and persecution, only to be denied their right to claim asylum at the border, in contravention of international law. Instead, they were required to put their name on a handwritten list, then wait indefinitely while trying to find food and shelter, dodging violence and deportation, in hope that their names would be called to start the arduous process that is the US asylum system.”

Pooja Gehi, Executive Director of the NLG and member of the Tijuana delegation, said, “We witnessed migrants who had traveled days fleeing violence and persecution, only to be denied their right to claim asylum at the border, in contravention of international law. Instead, they were required to put their name on a handwritten list, then wait indefinitely while trying to find food and shelter, dodging violence and deportation, in hope that their names would be called to start the arduous process that is the US asylum system.”

It is also important to note that Mexico has previously operationalized their surveillance of activists and journalists through practices such as Pegasus malware, and the leaked list also delegitimizes the Democrats’ offer of a “technological wall” as an acceptable compromise to Trump’s border wall that would be any more lawful or based in human rights principles.

While government surveillance of activists is nothing new, and an issue the NLG has a long history of fighting, we are particularly concerned that binational surveillance of activists will not only deter people from engaging in humanitarian action but will also leave migrants in need of humanitarian and legal support with neither, thereby exacerbating human suffering at the border.

Since last year, NLG lawyers, legal workers, and law students have been on the ground in Tijuana volunteering legal support, training, and observation in coordination with other organizations such as Al Otro Lado. The NLG urges deepened investigation into this report and demands an immediate termination of the illegal practice of targeting activists and journalists.

The National Lawyers Guild, whose membership includes lawyers, legal workers, jailhouse lawyers, and law students, was formed in 1937 as the United States’ first racially-integrated bar association to advocate for the protection of constitutional, human and civil rights.

(Adam’s Note: This blog was mostly extrapolated from a press release by the National Lawyers Guild without any prior approval or consent. The headline and prefaces to the text and the presentation of the text reflect my personal editorial perspective and points of emphasis.)


DSA Elected Officials Support Teacher Power and Working People Everywhere

DSA Elected Officials Support Teacher Power and Working People Everywhere

We pledge to do everything we can to empower teachers in their fight to defend our public schools at home and urge elected officials around the country to support teachers, students, and working people, not the wealthy few.

https://www.dsausa.org/statements/dsa-elected-officials-support-teacher-power-and-working-people-everywhere/


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