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I was having a hard time envisioning Wolfeboro, NH as a "working class town" as described by the NH Dem Party Chair in the link above, but I looked it up and, apparently, the year-long residents only have a median household income in the $40k range.
During the summer, though...well, here's an article about the international elites who have historically vacationed in Wolfeboro...starting with Chiang Kai-shek?!?
(Synergistic weirdiosity: I've been reading about Chiang Kai-shek recently.)
EDIT: No box stores, $5 million homes and a private high school that costs $57k a year? Sounds working class to me.
Finished Jhereg in the wee hours of the morning after some overtime. Have to admit, I was a bit wary of it at first; kinda felt like a mobbed-up gamer novel, like something TSR might have published. But I warmed up to it by the end and am looking forward to reading the next one in a bit.
Got a copy of The Tragedy of the Chinese Revolution from the interlibrary loan system. It's the third edition, revised from the one on the internet, so I am starting over, although it's largely the same, just the author moves a little bit further rightward with each edition. Also, it has a map on the endpapers, which helps a lot.
Anyway, I had this to say in the 5th sentence of page 55 thread:
"I am reading a copy online; had a xeroxed copy a couple decades ago but it's long gone."
Which is why I chortled when I read the following in the Introduction to the Second Edition:
First published in England in 1938, this book has led an eventful life of its own. The plates and surviving copies of the original edition were destroyed in the Nazi bombing of London in 1940. A pirated edition published in Shanghai had a much wider circulation, copies of it turning up in many different parts of the world in later years. In India in 1944 I came across a condensed version circulating in mimeographed form. It has remained in all this time the only detailed, documented account of the original Kuomintang-Communist alliance, and of the way in which Russian-directed policies drove the Chinese Communists and the great masses of Chinese who followed them into a tragic debacle. As such, it has been cited in numerous bibliographies and mentioned in many a footnote, while actual copies of the book became increasingly rare. As events again and again brought reminders of the pertinence of early Kuomintang-Communist relations, it became a much-sought-after work, pursued through advertisements in book journals and by direct inquiries, of which many have reached me through the years. It has not been possible for a long time to meet this demand and I am grateful to the Stanford University Press for making this revised edition available now."
Anyway, I'm also going to start the second Brigadier Gerard collection today.
More breaking local labor news:
I think I read about them declaring bankruptcy earlier in the year.
The plant is the infamous "Seabrook" nuclear power plant that so many leftie activists in the area that are ten to twenty years older than I got arrested trying to prevent being built.
Ironically, we're probably going to have to go protest it being closed.
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
Heh. I was just putzing around on the Jacobin website and I saw an advertisement for the launching of a new, spin-off journal, Catalyst. I follow the link and was delighted to read
"Catalyst is a beautiful print journal published by Jacobin and edited by Robert Brenner and Vivek Chibber."
Random Leftie Article of the Day
The only science writer that I have more than two books by, I had the pleasure and honor of meeting Professor Gould a couple of times in the nineties, usually while getting his endorsement for various anti-racist demonstrations at Harvard.
Yesterday was the Boston Rally for Public Education. Four thousand attendees, according to the Boston Globe but I can't see any more articles this month.
Leftist Bingo-wise, it was nice to see our Progressive Labor Party friends from Worcester, Mr. Comrade was invited to address an ANSWER rally today by the comrades at the Party for Socialism and Liberation, the International Socialist Organization was out in force, as were we, along with the comrades from Solidarity and the Revolutionary Communist Party. Didn't see any of the Democratic Socialists of America comrades, but there were, apparently, two AT&T Mobility picket lines within walking distance of the education rally, so I assume they were there (we went to the one in Nashua before getting on the bus in Lowell).
Anyway, a beautiful's summer day, on Boston Commons, surrounded by hundreds of teachers in summer dresses, rompers, and short shorts? Yeah, that was a pretty good day.
And, last for tonight, another installment of
Tales from the Shopfloor
This actually happened a couple of weeks ago, but I keep forgetting to write it up, so I will now.
There was a union sister whom I had to represent a couple of times, years ago, when I was still a steward. Think I posted about her once, but anyway, she had a history as an amateur stock car racer so, unlike a lot of UPS part-timers, had no anxieties about becoming a driver, so she very quickly went full-time (it's much easier to go full-time if you're willing to drive). I ran into her the other day, while going in, and she told me that she had been bumped off road (seniority stuff) for the summer and was working the twi-mid shift until they put her back on road. "How long have you been here now?" I asked.
[Sigh] "Five glorious, glorious years."
"Oh, come on, you're already full-time, you must be making bank, you're doing alright."
"They've fired me twice."
"Well, I notice you're still here. What'd they fire you for?"
"Well, the first time it was for [makes scare quotes] 'assaulting a customer.'"
"What?!? You gotta tell me that story!"
So, apparently, she had just made a delivery to a construction site and was driving away when a guy yelled out at her "I'll give you ten thousand dollars if you suck my dick!" So she looked for a parking spot, pulled her truck over, got out, went up to him, and punched him in the face.
I laughed, apologized for laughing, asked her what the union said, etc. She talked about the constant low-level sexual harassment that she puts up with, etc., and the long and the short of it was the union talked it down from termination to a five-day suspension.
"So, hold on," I said, "Go back to after you hit the guy in the face, what happened then?"
"Well, all his buddies swarmed around and started yelling."
I assumed they were yelling at her so I was surprised when she said,
"That's probably what saved my job. He was so embarrassed, when the cops showed up he refused to press charges."
"Yeah, they all swarmed around and started yelling 'That's what you get! That's what you get for yelling at women! Hit him again! Hit him again!'"
Anyway, sexual harassment aside, I thought that was a pretty heart-warming story.
So, I was very pleasantly surprised to discover that, in fact, the retail workers at AT&T Mobility at the Pheasant Lane Mall are, in fact, organized into the Communication Workers of America.
We held a picket line in front of the store, in the mall. Air conditioning, food courts, bathrooms, lots and lots of eye candy, from now on I think I am only going to picket lines in malls.
Best parts: a Spanish-speaking grandmother shouting "Huelga!" and pumping her fist in the air; hearing a resounding chorus of "U-nion! U-nion! U-nion!," looking up and seeing four barely pubescent boys on the top level shaking their fists at us (they later came and joined the picket line); four eighth-grade girls doing pretty much the same thing; and, finally, one of the customer reps apparently had some kind of beef with one of the clerks at the Foot Locker across the way, because they kept yelling stuff at each other in Spanish and making various gestures that I didn't recognize.
Kirth Gersen wrote:
Yeah, that's true, but I don't think they think of themselves as fascists. I guess they're pointing to republican (small "r") roots.
Anyway, after a couple of days, Mr. Comrade went rooting through all of the right-wing videos about what they, apparently, are calling "The Battle of Flagstaff Hill" (where we rallied at the base of the Soldiers and Sailors Monument to the Union dead; after they went marching around the city, we dispersed, they returned and then filmed themselves taking the hill making it look like they had driven us off or something). Got a better chance to hear what they were yelling ("Go get a sex change, you communist!" was probably my favorite) and marvelled at how many of them (the Kekistanis) are, apparently, internet trolls who hate SJWs because they ruin their messageboard fun. Or something.
I remember seeing a video of him talking up Corbyn during one of the Labour Party elections.
And, of course, he was a Bernie supporter.
Also, I usually get robocalls from him every Teamster election.
Danny DeVito's pretty awesome.
Well, I'm not certain if there are even any actually striking AT&T workers in the area because the phones in New Hampshire are FairPoint (strike 2015) and Massachusetts is Verizon (strike 2016), but there's a picket line in Nashua and one in Boston (at retail locations, I believe) so that's where we'll be heading at three.
The DSA kids were having a Theory Work Group on Sunday about union organizing in the Granite State, so I sent them a message telling them they should have it at the picket line. An hour later, they had created a %7D]%22%7D]Facebook event page for the strike. I was pretty pleased with myself (they have a bigger mailing list than we do) but then Mr. Comrade was upset. "We should have done that, we should be the ones mobilizing people for picket lines!"
"People's Front of Judea," I replied, thinking of BNW.
Back to Voting Rights from a couple of pages back.
Readers of my Fun-Timey thread might recognize Professor Sue and the awesomely-named Vladimir Saldaña. Fahmina Zaman I've never had reason to mention; she hangs out with our commie crew sometimes, was a Democratic state delegate last year, and, most importantly, takes some of the most titillating cosplay selfies that I have ever seen (the green woman from Guardians of the Galaxy, that one-eyed woman from Futurama, Velma from Scooby-Doo etc., etc.). I don't know any of the others.
Anyway, this has been brewing for a while. No expert myself, but apparently, at-large elections were one of the mechanisms for defending segregation and were one of the verboten forms of political organization in states formerly affected by the Voting Rights Act's special scrutiny.
To be honest, Soundgarden was, along with Stone Temple Pilots, Pearl Jam and Red Hot Chili Peppers, one of the many nineties band teenaged Doodlebug was too snobby for (although I remember digging Badmotorfinger before they blew up), but quickly after being a communist I learned that there were much more important things to be sectarian about.
Anyway, show Chris and Tom Morello did for us three years ago:
[Clenched fist salute]
It really isn't worth answering.
Irontruth [to Guy Humual]: You're judging Obama by his worst actions.
I mean, I remember when Irontruth was hitting Citizen Moonrunner with non sequiturs for a laugh, but...
(Whatever happened to Citizen Moonrunner? Did he get banned again? LazarX, K(e)rensky, all my favorite politrolls are disappearing!)
Over the weekend, the third defendant, Cesar Alex Carrillo, was deported to Mexico on a voluntary departure order which, allegedly, gives him a better chance to get back into the country.
Perhaps you guys were only talking about presidential elections, I'm not sure, but I wanted to post this:
Which is four years old. Since then, I believe, McLaughlin hit the mayoral term limit and was elected to the city council.
I did forget about Left Forum. I haven't been in years (since it was still the Socialist Scholars Conference, actually) and while it is certainly a good time to be had if you're a red, it tends to be about 25% activism, 75% indecipherable arguments between Marxist academics.
Last time I was there, though, I got to meet Al Lewis (Grandpa Munster), which gives an indication of how long it's been since I attended.
State of the Resistance, a Partial Report from Northern New England
It's a Leninist dictum that you can only understand the world to the extent that you intervene into it, but, as I've had occasion to remark, the more active I get the less time I have to follow the news.
On the one hand, the Lowell anti-Trump coalition group has fallen into uselessness. Around the time of the bombing of Syria, we noticed that their main focus was turning to postcard campaigns lining up behind the "blame Russia" contingent; at the same time, most of the elements that we were interested in working with spun off to focus on Sanctuary work (I think we've got up to two churches signed on although there has been, as yet, little ICE activity in Lowell) and/or defense of public education (rally Saturday in Boston).
Meanwhile, the New Hampshire progressive activists, for the most part, down-ticket Democrats who broke ranks to vote Stein have largely returned to the fold and are now focusing on various single-issue campaigns.
On the other hand, May Day featured 1,500 people marching in the streets of downtown Lawrence in defense of undocumented workers who were picked up while applying for green-card status; two of the five, I believe, were later released. And 200 or so lefties showed up to counter a gathering of alt-rightists in Boston. Not much happened, but the alt-right seemed pretty demoralized and humiliated, so it was nice to rob them of a victory the same weekend that Spencer had his torch-burning in Virginia.
Most important, and I guess this doesn't really have anything to do with what's being discussed, is the retreat of Black Lives Matter from street demos. As a glance at the headlines indicates, minorities are still being gunned down in the streets with depressing regularity, but #BLM has, post-Trump, decided to focus on community outreach (e.g., a couple of weekends ago one of their speakers came and addressed the Unitarian congregation in Nashua, NH, without, I couldn't help noticing, mentioning Jeffrey Pendleton). One can certainly make an argument one way or the other about the merits of this decision, but it also makes clear how much BLM's previous tactics relied on a "pressure the Democrats" strategy.
Anyway, I imagine that this will be the next big Resistance confab:
I like that the whole "why doesn't Charlie's wife hand him a nickel instead of a sandwich?!?" conundrum has been baffling listeners since the song was first written.
More trivia: That same race was the last one for Boston's legendary Dem party boss, James Michael "The Rascal King" Curley, and thus, partly the inspiration for Edwin O'Connor's The Last Hurrah which John Ford later turned into a movie with Spencer Tracy and then became the name of various Boston-area eateries, bars, etc., etc.
Never saw the movie, but the book's pretty good, actually.
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
Well, I feel better about it, I guess.
Anarchist article reporting on friction between Proud Boys and Oath Keepers on Saturday and an assessment by some alt-rightist that we "humiliated" them and other admissions of defeat:
But I didn't feel better for long:
Some strange flags at the alt-right confab. Stars and stripes, obviously, the Confederate battle flag, which was a little surprising, it being New England and all, but apparently people were bussed in from all over for this one, a Rising Sun flag, a made up flag for a made up country ("Kekistan") and, oddest of all, a golden eagle on a crimson background with S.P.Q.R. scrawled across the bottom. I was the only one in my bunch of commie nerds who knew what that meant, but I'm still not sure why they had the flag.
All in all, I thought the demo was kinda lame. I mean, if I had known the "anti-fascist mobilization" was just gonna be 200 lefties yelling at 200 rightists who were yelling back, I would probably have stayed home.
Best bit was, early on, before all the rightists and cops had assembled, me and Mr. Comrade were up on the hill and watched a jacked elderly man get into a dust-up with a guy in camo. We were too far away to make them out clearly but I turned to Mr. Comrade and said "Hee hee! I bet that's [Retired Maoist Ironworker who Lives in Lawrence]!" We joked about it a couple of more times, and then, fifteen minutes later, Retired Maoist Ironworker Who Lives in Lawrence came strolling up the hill. "He offered me one of their leaflets, I flipped him off, he told me he was going to put me in an oven, so I said 'Oh yeah?' and then I punched him in the face!"
Further into Jhereg and now I am convinced Brust must have been a gamer. A whole section about how much assassinations and revivification spells cost? How could any non-gamer reader even wrap their head around this book? I don't know.
Anyway, it's fun; can't wait til the proletarian revolution in Teckla.
Meanwhile, I looked in my public library's interlibrary loan system and they have a copy of Tragedy of the Chinese Revolution so I stopped reading it on the house Chromebook and am eagerly awaiting its arrival so I can get up to speed on the events in Wuhan after the Shanghai Massacre.
Oh sorry, I shoulda been able to figure that out. Hee hee!
Just to let you know, even though we only raised $360 of the goal of $1200, Young Gay Autistic Comrade's Sugar Daddy Comrade paid his bill; Mr. Comrade's paying his own way; and High School Student Comrade has reported that she can't go due to she can't skip her last week of classes.
So, the amount raised is sufficient to send Slightly Lumpen Student Comrade and we don't need any more. In case anyone here was thinking of donating, don't.
We've been taking it easy since May Day, getting all the young 'uns to read up on revolutionary integrationism and 1917 in preparation for summer camp, but we're waiting for word from last night's meeting about how the Boston left is going to respond to a fascist provocation down there this weekend.
In between starting to type this and finishing, I received word that fascists showed up at the meeting. Glad we got some unions on board, but the teachers association and the library workers? Couldn't anyone get the commie-led bus drivers union to sign on? Some workers with some muscles?
3 times? were you going for is a charm and got your out instead?
I'm not sure what that means, but I heard that after age 65 you can attend Massachusetts state schools for free, so, assuming I'm still alive in a quarter-century, and assuming our civilization hasn't collapsed (neither of which I feel confident about), I'll finish up then.
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