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Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
Also...half-dozen chapters to go in The Whispering Swarm. Hope to finish it today.
To quote from a Facebook post earlier today:
"Coming in on the end. Enjoying it quite a bit. Was a bit worried, for the past couple of chapters Moorcock has teamed up with Prince Rupert of the Rhine, Claude Duval and the Three Musketeers to rescue Charles Stuart from Cromwell's headsmen. Happily, though,
"Remember the fate of Charles I!"
Later surprise twist reading revealed that the traitor was...well, the traitor was pretty easily guessable, but what wasn't really guessable was that the traitor turned out to be
Farrakhan is a sinister demagogue whose "empowerment" rhetoric and program match that of the Reaganite right, from black businesses to "anti-drug" repression.
--"L.A. Flashpoint U.S.A.: Racist Cop Bonapartism vs. Minorities, Immigrants, Labor" in [i]Black History and the Class Struggle No. 9: Los Angeles Explodes--There Is No Justice in Capitalist America
The Causes of the Civil War edited by Kenneth Stampp. Never read anything of his
The Peculiar Institution was the one I read in sophomore-level American history university courses. Remember it being alright.
Also, re-finished The New Jim Crow and just regularly finished the China book, half-dozen chapters to go in The Whispering Swarm. Hope to finish it today.
La Principessa was upset because her vice-principal reamed her out for not getting her grades in. Then she told me about the following (quoted from Facebook):
"So today I did the lesson I got from [redacted] (it's also available on the Zinn Ed Project site). In it, we're trapped in the classroom forever and I own the machine that makes the only food. They were divided into workers and unemployed. Five minutes after I used the unemployed to drive wages down and brought out the anti-union contract, the class decided to 'stab me to death with a pencil' and take over the means of production. The kid who had the plan got $1 more a day, but otherwise, everything got split evenly.
"I'm proud of the understanding of social unity and concerned about the bloodthirstyness at the same time. They didn't even TRY to imprison me!
"Maybe next year I'll do it BEFORE we read Animal Farm."
Personally, I think it shows that La Principessa is an awesome teacher and instilling her kids with good class instincts.
Was re-reading The New Jim Crow where she points out that, like everything else in America, drug crimes are rather segregated. Blacks sell to blacks and whites sell to whites. I know I usually get mine off of fellow ofays.
Anyway, commie article:
Baltimore: Racist Cop Terror and Capitalist Decay
Read this one yesterday:
--May 13 marks 30 years since the Philadelphia police firebombed the MOVE organization’s Osage Avenue home. Eleven black people, including five children, were burned alive and an entire city block was incinerated. We reprint below excerpts from our article “Philly Inferno: Racist Murder!” (WV No. 380, 31 May 1985), published soon after this atrocity.
The bombing culminated a 12-hour siege by Philly police on the MOVE commune for being a supposed public nuisance. Police water cannons pumped 1,000 gallons of water per minute at the house. Cops then fired over 10,000 rounds of ammunition before dropping a satchel of explosives (provided by the Feds) on the roof, which ignited the firestorm. As they let the fire burn, the police shot at anyone who attempted to flee. The sole adult survivor, Ramona Africa, spent seven years in prison for managing to escape. (For more, see “Let the Fire Burn: A Powerful Documentary on the 1985 Bombing of MOVE,” WV No. 1034, 15 November 2013.)
From the day of the bombing, the Spartacist League has solidarized with MOVE. In contrast, our reformist opponents, while denouncing “excessive” force, rushed to the defense of Wilson Goode, Philly’s first black mayor, who ordered the assault. For example, Workers World Party insisted that Goode was “merely informed” of the massacre and “not a participant in the plans.” For its part, the Socialist Workers Party participated in a liberal coalition that debated whether to censor the “far out” MOVE members at a May 30 demonstration called to protest the bombing. The SL was prepared to commit considerable forces to this event, but when MOVE understandably pulled out, in solidarity we did so as well.
In July 1985, the SL held a public forum in New York City where MOVE supporters spoke and were able to express their outrage and pain. During discussion, a League for the Revolutionary Party (LRP) member denounced us for not polemicizing against MOVE, which would have been obscene, to say the least. The LRP later blamed the MOVE victims for their own massacre, writing: “MOVE’s isolation opened it up for a police siege” (Proletarian Revolution, Summer 1985).
The Partisan Defense Committee—a class-struggle, non-sectarian legal and social defense organization associated with the SL—began providing monthly stipends for Ramona Africa and the MOVE 9, who were imprisoned on frame-up charges of killing a Philly cop during a 1978 cop siege of their Powelton Village home. The PDC continues to provide stipends to the seven MOVE 9 members who remain incarcerated today, two having died behind bars. Free all the MOVE prisoners!
Through the MOVE prisoners, in the late 1980s we learned of Mumia Abu-Jamal, a former Black Panther and award-winning journalist known as the “voice of the voiceless” who exposed the racist cop vendetta against MOVE and was later framed up for the December 1981 killing of a Philly police officer. Mumia spent three decades on death row, and he remains condemned to life in prison without parole. He is now gravely ill (see box). Free Mumia Abu-Jamal now!
We will not forget the May 1985 massacre of MOVE and on this anniversary we continue our fight to sear it into the collective memory of the working class and oppressed.--
Comparing their intro with my posts, I was forced to wonder how differently my life would have been if I hadn't run into the Spartacist League at 16...
Yeah, DuBois was a soft red. I've still got to read Black Reconstruction one of these days.
The leftie book club has decided to speed through the rest of The New Jim Crow (I think everyone in the group has already read it). We were taking suggestions for the next one and I was surprised how many people didn't get it and suggested novels.
Best recommendations thus far were James Baldwin, Notes of a Native Son and bell hooks, Ain't I a Woman?: Black Women and Feminism. Already read the latter, but wouldn't mind reading it with a group.
Did some commie shiznit, too. Met up with some incompetent UFCW organizer to hand out flyers in front of the Wal-Mart, did a paper sale in downtown Lowell, New Jim Crow readers circle. Couldn't make it to the Haitian Independence Day (?, I think) march in Mattapan, but Mr. Comrade organized a half-dozen CAJE-ers to attend as part of the Mass Coalition Against Police Brutality contingent and marched behind Red Steve Kirschbaum's flatbed truck which was decked out in posters of Toussaint L'Ouverture and other leaders of the Haitian Revolution. Mr. Comrade reported that the leftists in that contigent were the only white people in the whole march and people kept coming up to take their picture as some kind of novelty.
Too bad I had to work. :(
"MOVE, this is America!"
My old comrades used to say that it was our duty to sear the memory of the MOVE massacre into the consciousness of the American proletariat. Whether or not the MOVE members were good neighbors or "peaceful, innocent victims" (including the five dead kids?) may be an interesting subject for liberal stooges of the plutocracy to discuss among themselves, but that sort of victim-blaming kinda makes me feel ill.
Saw the headline, thought of a thread, went looking for thread, found thread, discovered thread was about Iran, didn't want to revive that thread, decided it'd be fun to maybe revive THIS thread, hence the post.
If by "the buck stopped at his desk" you mean "he gave the green light" then we are in agreement.
We are also in agreement that Rizzo deserves to burn in hell.
The Powelton Village shoot out was in '78, though. Mumia was convicted in '82. Don't know if that's what you're thinking of or not.
At dawn on that day, with the neighborhood evacuated and 500 police in place, Police Commissioner Gregore J. Sambor grabbed a bullhorn and announced: "MOVE, this is America! You have to abide by the laws of the United States!"
The police had warrants to arrest the adults on weapons charges. Sambor gave them 15 minutes to surrender. They replied through a bullhorn of their own: "You be sure you call your wives and your family, 'cause you ain't coming home!"
Shortly thereafter, a wild gun battle broke out. In the next 90 minutes, police fired 10,000 rounds of ammunition. And teams of officers, working from adjacent homes, used small explosive charges to try to penetrate the headquarters.
The assault failed. There was no Plan B.
As the hours passed, Sambor and Managing Director Leo A. Brooks, a retired Army brigadier general, came up with what Sambor later called, without irony, "the safest and most conservative plan." That was the bomb, the goal to destroy a makeshift bunker atop the house and blast a hole for tear gas.
From the command post, Brooks telephoned Goode and told him of the idea. The mayor was at City Hall; he had not gone to the scene all day. One reason, he wrote in his 1992 autobiography, was that he had been told that "unknown members of my own police force had targeted me for death."
Goode gave his consent, although he said a few days later that he didn't consider the device a bomb or know about any helicopter: "If . . . someone called on the telephone and said to me, 'We're going to drop a bomb on a house,' would I approve that? The answer is no."
I've been meaning to get in touch, Comrade Curtin. My car should (I stress should) be roadworthy soon and, then, yes, I would like to come down and, vulture-like, take all of your books.
Then I will roll around in them, naked, dreaming of singularities and broadswords...
[Rest of the post redacted for common decency]
At the union caucus meeting, I was amused, and other readers of this thread may be as well, to discover that every person there, whether they be a socialist, a liberal or a self-proclaimed "Republican for Bernie Sanders" (bit of a troll that last one) was intimately familiar with the International Socialist Organization (American Cliffites who, IIRC, are no longer affiliated with the Britishiznoid SWP).
In completely other news, Mr. Comrade has been flirting pretty heavily with the Nigerian Princess and it turns out that the latter is a fantasy novel fan. They've been texting each other quotes from Patrick Rothfuss.
Commie nerd love rocks!
I'm not really sure why this article came across my Facebook feed, but it will be my contribution to commentary on the Britishiznoid elections:
As for me, ditched the CAJE meeting and New Jim Crow reader's circle this weekend to do La Principessa's dishes and attend to some of her other (insatiable) needs. Which are important revolutionary tasks, indeed, comrades, but, in addition to that I will be attending a debate between different factions in her union caucus this afternoon. I hope I don't fall asleep (see comment above about attending to her needs--I'm not young anymore, comrades!).
Just clicked onto an NYPD Salary and Benefits page and it appears that they start out the door of Police Academy with a base pay of $44k and go up to $90somethingk within 5.5 years. (By comparison, La Principessa is in the $80k range after 15 years in the school system.)
Not making any larger point, just saying that doesn't strike me as "little pay."
Woops, that spinning badge confused me: both numbers are total compensation, not base pay.
Another woops (better drink some coffee), that doesn't include benefits. Anyway, there's the link.
Grabbag of articles/pages:
A couple of articles/pages that may (or may not) be pertinent to this thread:
Went with Mr. Comrade to drop off signs and fliers at the Nigerian princess's apartment who had organized a contigent of CAJE members and friends to go to a die-in at UMass Lowell this afternoon while Mr. Comrade and I are at work. Realized that this was the first event that our front group was going to without any of our commie branch.
[Beams with paternal pride]
If he'd framed it as "why we should dislike The Wire," I don't think he would have been able to write:
"I’ll even call it the greatest cop show ever, a cop show with insanely brilliant dialogue, indelible performances, and more three-dimensional roles for black actors than 99 percent of what comes out of Hollywood. But all the same—still just a cop show."
Romanova is a surname. "Daughter of Roman" would be "Romanovna."
Recruited an African master's student at UMass. I call her the Nigerian princess behind her back, damn, she's fine. Anyway, she's all into intersectionality and took much umbrage at my assertion that historically and, as far as I know, today, black males have taken the brunt of racist state violence/mass incarceration. I don't know, it's what I picked up from all those black feminist and Maoist articles I was reading. Anyway, Mr. Comrade and I found some articles for her:
Okay, that last one won't work because it's got a proscribed word in the url. http://b@@+$magazine.org/post/gender-and-race-and-police-violence-women-fer guson-michael-brown
Anyway, I'd heard of Boyd, Jones and Bumpurs which is a good third of the cases mentioned in these articles. More reading through them and more cases I've heard of. You all should be more like me.
Synergistic weirdiosity: This article was making the rounds on my Facebook feed yesterday. Tried to link it, but the Paizo site was wonky and I had to go to a wedding:
"The cop who rallies for collective bargaining today will be protecting Goldman Sachs tomorrow."
Class war steampunk novel steam-of-consciousness:
Lowell, MA is an amazing city to stumble through. We were flyering in an area of projects called The Acre. All of the buildings are converted factory barracks from Lowell's mill days. You'll be walking through a courtyard with mothers in hijabs pushing their kids in strollers, kids playing football or what not, and then you'll round a corner and there'll be, for no apparent reason, a free-standing smokestack that reaches up to the sky.
Apparently, it's a great city in which to wander around on acid.
Back to CAJE:
The night before, we met at the anarcho-syndicalist hipster's house to make signs. It was me, Mr. Comrade, the anarcho-syndicalist hipster, an "anarcho-Zionist d!%~" professor, a Lebanese-American working class woman who might be to the left of me and is always inebriated, and a young high school teacher who has just been politicized. The latter was talking with Mr. Comrade about class and workers, etc., when all of a sudden he says, "So, wait a minute. Let's say I'm a worker and I make $20 an hour but the boss makes $100. Doesn't that mean the boss stole $80 from me?" Everyone started laughing and he blushed. "What?" "No, no, it's okay," said Mr. Comrade, "You just figured out the labor theory of value all on your own!"
On the way to the rally, it was me, Mr. Comrade, Lowell carpenter dude, and a different high school teacher in the car. "You know," she says, "Labor has never really been on my radar before" (she has a history in LGBT activism) "but the more I think of it, the more important it seems. And I was thinking, you know what we should really do? We should form one international workers union."
I love my front group!
No, not yet. Have no idea what happened throughout the rest of the country. Considering going down to Boston for today's Baltimore demo but I'm not sure. My car's in the shop and I'm supposed to go to The Black Goblin's wedding tomorrow which I forgot all about.
To be fair, he only told me about it two weeks ago when we were playing D&D and I was, um, memory-impaired. I'm a terrible friend. :(
Our May Day rally was pretty fun. Not much by rally standards for hardened commies (maybe 25 people), but the front group members were STOKED!
Stood in front of the entrance to the Wal-Mart with our "Stand with Baltimore" and "Workers Unite" signs, marched down the street and then went into fast food restaurants handing out leaflets about the right to organize. Kinda anticlimatic as there wasn't even one manager who tried to kick us out of the dozen stores we went through. I'll see if the Carpenter dude made a video yet. Not that it's gonna be that exciting...