January 31, 2012
However, last week Treasurer Wheeler made a statement that sounds like he's changing his tune, saying that his proposed Oregon Investment Act (OIA) "is not a back-door proposal to create a state bank, as some progressives have called for." 
Go here to take action.
To be clear, there ARE some things to like about the Oregon Investment Act. It has language aimed at helping get loans to Oregon small businesses. However, the bill also places a strong focus on incentivizing so-called "venture capital" expansion, going so far as to create tax advantages for venture capital firms should they bring their money to Oregon.
Right now, 66% of all bank deposits in the state are held by just five out-of-state banks. We need to be taking steps aimed at breaking our dependence on Wall Street, not further entrenching Oregon's reliance on out-of-state financial institutions. The OIA doesn't address this fundamental problem.
Go here to take action.
We came close to passing the "virtual" State Bank bill last legislative session and we can't let up now. The Oregon Investment Act provides an opportunity for the Treasurer to renew his support for state investment practices that focus on helping Oregon's small businesses and family farms - but that's certainly not what it emphasizes now.
Let's tell Treasurer Wheeler it's time to bring our money home and put it back to work for Oregon - not Wall Street.
Thanks for all you do,
Oregonians for a State Bank
P.S. Be sure to join us on Wednesday evening at the Salem Public Library for a forum on the grassroots legislative campaign to create a State Bank in Oregon.
1. Portland Tribune: Wheeler plan calls for new state economic development ‘powerhouse’
PCASC Anti-Oppression Training - Class Oppression
6-9pm PCASC Office, 2249 E Burnside, Portland
This workshop will be a chance for us to educate ourselves about the class system and how it divides us on a political and personal level. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org if you can attend!
Direct Action Training for Everyone
11am @ St. Francis, 1131 Southeast Oak Street, Portland
Want to learn how to make Civil Disobedience and Direct Action more fun, safer and more productive? Want to plug-in to the upcoming national call out against ALEC on #F29?
Want to plug-in to the action on February 29th? Want to pull-off more fun and more effective direct action? Come for the whole day, choose your favorite workshop, or just come for the benefit party at the Red and Black! Join us in preparation for the F29 Shut Down The Corporations day of action at the Direct Action Training For Everyone!
Non-violent direct action: This workshop is *highly recommended* for activists wanting to engage in civil disobedience and direct action or those new to these tactics. It will cover history of direct action, affinity groups, action planning, conflict management and fun action role plays.11:30 AM - 4PM (with 1-hour lunch break)
Media for direct action: Learn how to get media to your event, create effective press releases, talk to the media and get your message out to the public. 11:30 AM - 12:30PM
Blockades: Forest defenders and climate justice activists share tools to make actions more effective and activists very difficult to remove, from blocking roads to building entrances to... let your imagination run wild. 12:30PM - 1:30PM
Lunch! (donation suggested) 1:30PM - 2:30PM
Strategic Action Planning: Tools to make our actions more effective and achieve our goals with less burnout. This workshop could change your life. 2:30PM - 4PM
Coffee Break + Affinity Group Meet-up: 4PM - 5PM
American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC): Why is ALEC the target of this day of action? Learn more about the way they control our democracy behind closed doors and how to stop them! 5PM - 5:30PM
Legal Support For Activist/Know Your Rights! Lead by lawyers supporting the Occupy movement, learn the rights you have when engaging with the police and how to support people risking arrest. People considering engaging in or supporting civil disobedience should attend this workshop. 5:30pm - 6PM
Benefit Party at the Red and Black Cafe! We've got Poor Boy's Soul, Henry Hill and more to stomp our feet to and dance the night away... until 10pm. A great way to unwind after an inspiring day of workshops. (donation supporting F29 suggested) 7PM - 10PM
This will be a day of training in beginning to advanced direct action skills aimed at building capacity and relationships for the national day of action on February 29th. While the thrust of the day will be trainings, we cannot build the world we want to live in without building community. So, there will fun socializing and community time throughout the day as well.
January 30, 2012
I would think that the AFL President has been too busy to send out e-mails. He has been busy distancing himself from the most important labor struggle of our era which is shaping up at the Port Of Longview. He has been brushing up on his bureaucrat-eeze to make sure no one would think he is involved in solidarity actions for the ILWU - after all for him it is "merely a jurisdictional dispute". As the conflict was escalating Trumka was heading to Washington to sit in Michelle Obama's "box" for the State Of The Union speech. So I guess he did have time for e-mails.
Bill Onasch has a response:
Is the Era of the One Percent Over?
That was the question asked by AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka in the subject line of a “Dear Bill” e-mail message I received from him the day after the President’s State of the Union Address. He gushed the good news answer in the very first paragraph, “Did you see last night’s State of the Union? It was clear throughout the President’s speech that the era of the 1% is over.” Some Federation members may have missed the televised speech for example, those on picket lines at American Crystal Sugar, Cooper Tire & Rubber, and Fresno County–and undoubtedly appreciated and were relieved to hear this announcement.
Of course, brother Trumka does not make such bold assertions without corroborating evidence. “One big victory—among many—in last night’s speech was President Obama’s announcement of a thorough investigation into the misconduct in the mortgage market that wrecked our economy....Thank President Obama for listening—and urge him to keep it up.” We have heard similar pledges before. So far there are no reports of swarms of GulfStreams carrying the frightened rich to refuge in the Cayman Islands. As we enter Obama’s last year of this term, foreclosures still account for twenty percent of all home sales in the USA. There were, of course, some crooks in the financial sector who played minor supporting roles in triggering the Great Recession. But most of the housing and other bubbles that burst were the result of shenanigans legalized during decades of bipartisan deregulation.The President retained the Fed Chairman upon whose watch the melt down occurred. Chairman Bernanke, who believes public works programs prolonged the Great Depression, is known for the lightest hand on the rudder of all central bank heads. Obama’s Treasury Secretary still shares the same Clubrooms and vacation spots with his “too big to fail” peers who “earned” ten or more-digit bonuses for losing people’s homes and life savings–and Geithner has made clear he is anxious to get back to the private sector. Despite his long experience in financial circles as former AFL secretary-treasurer, Trumka–like every outraged liberal--remains convinced the system is basically good if we’re not victimized by rogue bad guys. They cannot allow themselves to accept the inconvenient truth–this is what capitalism looks like.
But wait, there’s more.“President Obama made it clear that children and our future must be priorities” my leader told me. He then hands off to expert opinion--Randi Weingarten of the AFT. Her joy overfloweth, “Obama also made clear tonight what America’s teachers have long understood: We can’t test our way to a middle class; we must educate our way to a middle class....Respecting public school teachers and providing them with the tools and resources they need to help our children learn and grow are essential to building a strong public education system, competing in a global economy and restoring economic opportunity for all.” When sister Weingarten finally takes her retirement she should consider a second career writing pop fiction. Not since Horace Mann’s fight for Common Schools prevailed in the nineteenth century has public education been under such powerful attack. “Austerity” measures have led to the closings of hundreds of schools, along with firings of tens of thousands of teachers around the country. Adding to the funding crisis, Obama’s “Race to the Top” is promoting privatization in all components of education; has declared war on teacher seniority (tenure); and virtually mandated concessionary renegotiation of a number of teacher union contracts.Back to Trumka: “And Obama demanded investment in good, high-paying jobs—and said he would work to bring manufacturing back to America.”U.S. manufacturing employment peaked in 1979 at about 19.5 million jobs. That has now slumped to about 11.8 million. But over this same period industrial production nearly doubled. Despite the very substantial offshoring of work since NAFTA and the China Trade Agreement, the USA is still an industrial powerhouse. This work is done with far fewer, but much more productive, workers--and mostly at substantially lower real wages. We used to say workers in such dire straits need a union. However, many of them are already paying dues to the AFL or Change to Win.
Global General Strike
IF WE CAN’T LIVE, WE WON’T WORK.
REVOLT FOR A LIFE WORTH LIVING
Courage to Resist is a group of concerned community members, veterans and military families that supports military objectors to illegal war and occupation and the policies of empire. Our People Power strategy weakens the pillars that maintain war and occupation in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere by supporting GI resistance, counter-recruitment and draft resistance, which cuts off the supply of troops. We are autonomous from and independent of any political organization, party or group.
Courage to Resist project director and Bradley Manning Support Network campaign organizer Jeff Paterson will provide multi-media presentations (see Pacific NW schedule below) to include:
---An overview of US v. Bradley Manning
---His report from the Fort Meade courtroom where Bradley had his first court hearing after 18 months of pre-trial confinement
---Updates on the international grassroots campaign
---An opportunity to make a tax-deductible donation to Bradley’s defense fund, which in addition to supporting public education efforts is responsible for 100% of Bradley’s legal expenses
---Introduction to the new Courage to Resist book, About Face: Military Resisters Turn Against War—from Army Lt. Ehren Watada to PFC Bradley Manning, and two dozen other stories. Published by PM Press, September 2011.
Pacific Northwest January & February 2012 events presented by Jeff Paterson:
- Monday, January 30 at 7:00pm - Odd Fellows Hall, 223 Southwest 2nd Street, Sponsored by Veterans for Peace-Corvallis. With musician David Rovics.
- Wednesday, February 1 at 7:30pm - First United Methodist Church, 1376 Olive St. - Sponsored by Community Alliance of Lane County. With musician David Rovics.
- Thursday, February 2 at 7:00pm - First Unitarian Church, SW 12th and Salmon, Buchan Room, Sponsored by the Alliance for Democracy. With musician David Rovics.
- Friday, February 3 at 7pm - Whatcom Peace & Justice Center, 1155 N. State Street, Ste. 300, Sponsored by Veterans for Peace-Bellingham
- Saturday, February 4 at 3pm - Revolution Books, 89 S. Washington Street
- Sunday, February 5 at 3pm - University Temple United Methodist Church, 1415 NE 43rd Street, Sponsored by Veterans for Peace-Seattle
- Monday, February 6 at 3:30pm - South Puget Sound Community College, Bldg 26, Rm 102 Lecture Hall
- Monday, February 6 at 7pm - Coffee Strong Café, 15109 Union Avenue SW
- Tuesday, February 7 at Noon - The Evergreen State College, Lecture Hall 3, Sponsored by SDS and the “Re-Interpreting Liberation” program
Contact Courage to Resist for more information regarding specific events.
For daily updates on the campaign to save Bradley Manning, visit
January 26, 2012
Saturday, March 17th, 2012
First Unitarian Church, Buchan Room
1011 SW 13th Ave, Portland
Tickets are $25. Save the date!
At the same time we are witnessing the most unprecedented assault on women’s reproductive health and rights.
The 2010 elections swept in anti-abortion and anti-contraceptive state legislatures across the country who quickly got to work attacking everything from women’s insurance coverage of abortion to state funding for birth control and cancer screenings.
135 reproductive rights laws were enacted in 36 states, 68 percent of which restrict access to abortion.
Over 86% of counties do not have an abortion service provider, funding for women's health care is increasingly restricted, and several states are seeking to pass "personhood" statutes which would criminalize abortion and even miscarriage.
It seems each state legislature tries to outdo the next with their war on women.
The US House of Representatives attempted to eliminate Title X, the federal program that helps provide reproductive health services to low-income and uninsured Americans. They are attempting to bar Planned Parenthood from receiving federal funding, which is being defunded by some reactionary state legislatures.
And because this is an election year, women's health and reproductive justice are in the spotlight.
All of the Republican presidential candidates are opposed to reproductive and health rights and favor the repeal of Roe vs. Wade and elimination of Title X funding.
This war on women is provoking a big fightback and a commitment to mobilize a massive vote in defense of women’s rights in November.
You can raise your voice today.
Reproductive-rights groups are fighting back with a simple but powerful pro-choice message: Trust women.
We’re joining with scores of organizations in the Trust Women online march. This is a way for us to stand in solidarity, show our numbers, and send a strong message to elected.
Click here to join the march and send your message.
The Trust Women March will deliver your message, along with those of all the other marchers, to Congress and other elected officials to make a difference for women's health and reproductive justice at the national and state level.
Now is the time to speak out.
CPUSA National Board
See related articles below:
“On Roe vs Wade Anniversary, a big win for women from Obama administration” PeoplesWorld.org, Jan. 23, 2012:
"White House stands firm in birth control battle," The Washington Post, January 20, 2012:
*pushed the deadline to fill out the Health Risk Assessment back a month to March 15 and
*agreed to call a special meeting to discuss all of the HEM committee recommendations on Thursday, February 16.
There is still time to sign the petition to suspend the surcharges. If you haven’t had the opportunity to do so already, please click on the following link to add your name:
Suspend HEM Surcharge Petition
As we said in our last email, we have no quarrel with the idea of a health engagement model. Getting people to actively participate in their health should lead to longer and healthier lives and bring down health care costs. However, it’s not clear to the committee that the current HEM model with its punitive surcharges will work and our top recommendation is to suspend the surcharges.
For more details on other recommendations the joint HEM labor management committee made, please see our January 13 email: http://www.seiu503.org/2012/01/pebb-suspend-hem-surcharges/
The PEBB meeting is open to the public so for those who want to attend, the special meeting is scheduled on Thursday, Feb. 16 from 10am – 1pm in the PEBB-OEBB board room at 1225 Ferry St in Salem. We will send a report out afterward to let you know the PEBB board responses to our recommendations.
Keary DeBeck, DOJ, Salem
Sabrina Freewynn, OHA, Portland
Wednesday Martin, DHS, Roseburg
Lois Yoshishige, UofO, Eugene
Shaun Parkman, Alternate, OHA, Portland
Siobhan Martin, Staff Advisor
Disagreements between unions over the pipeline wasn't news, but the fact that Trumka acknowledged them was. It was the first time I've heard Trumka say that unions that were on different sides of the politically sensitive issue - some for, some against. Several AFL-CIO observers also commented that it was the first time they had a president of the labor federation talk about why unions were divided on key issues. (They declined to speak on the record because of the matter's sensitivity.)
Read more here.
January 24, 2012
One of the solutions to start addressing all this disparity is Marriage Equality. However state by state equality won't change these statistics very much. It must be Federal Marriage Equality to make a real difference in our lives. Melissa Boteach who worked with this study explained by the numbers. "A married heterosexual couple with $45,000 in income filing their taxes jointly would get a $50 refund from the federal government. A same sex couple has to file separately and they would owe $2,165 in taxes." She goes on to explain the obvious, "Lesbian couples are especially hard-hit as women continue to make less than men - 78 cents to every dollar. That difference is strongly felt in families where two women are raising children."
But she doesn't continue with looking at the area where there is the most blatant heterosexual privilege, which is in the Social Security system. And unfortunately "Half in Ten" is calling for the passage of Obama's American Jobs Act which includes large cuts to the Medicare Program which will negatively affect all seniors living in poverty.
From The People's Voice.
The Winnipeg branch of the Association of United Ukrainian Canadians (AUUC) cancelled a ceremony to dedicate its Ukrainian Labour Temple as a National Historic Site. The AUUC made the decision 72 hours before the ceremony, once it was clear that Parks Canada had failed to send invitations or answer a letter about its unilateral demand to ban the hall’s choir from singing The Internationale.
The hall was designated a historic site in 2009. AUUC members were looking forward to the ceremony which included placing a plaque on the building. After months of agreement and rehearsing, Parks Canada informed the AUUC on Oct. 9 that it would not allow the choir to sing the working class anthem.
The choir had voted unanimously that during the scheduled time for the song it would remain silent and explain that the song was banned. The reasons for the ban are unknown, and will likely stay that way unless revealed by an access to information request.
January 23, 2012
Marxists and other socialists can have some fun with this article, reading it and debating it and making it popular. The capitalist doubble-speak in the article consists largely of obscuring the determining factor of wages in production and the tendency of the rate of profit to fall over time. There is also an implication of nationalism in the article. Still, the article states most of the facts bluntly and gives them to us straight from the horse's mouth.
His death once again presented an opportunity for them to indulge in wholesale anti-communism, equating all the problems, tensions and difficulties on the Korean peninsula with the nature of the political-social system in North Korea and, by extension, with all those who advocate a socialist alternative to moribund monopoly capitalism around the globe.
RTE [Ireland's state radio and broadcasting company] wheeled out the director of Concern [a Third World aid NGO in Ireland] to give his tuppence-worth and his “extensive” knowledge of North Korea and the famine.
He spoke about seeing three young children badly affected by hunger, and he was sure they would have died a few months after he had seen them. No one asked whether this was a fact or just him surmising that to be the case.
The Irish Times had a number of features by experts of various kinds, parading their opinions as facts, most being superficial, vacuous and shallow, while the anti-communist left rowed in behind the official narrative of how we should all view events in that country.
Yes, the regime in the DPRK poses many questions for those of us who belong to the communist tradition within the working-class movement. How can one rationalise such behaviour as the mass weeping at the passing of the “Dear Leader,” and the serried ranks of army generals so prominent in events? But then again there is no such thing as a blueprint or road map or any one way to transform society or to build socialism. All processes are shaped by objective and subjective factors.
Read more here.
Event Time: 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Location: Corvallis Odd Fellows Hall
223 SW 2ND ST FL 2
CORVALLIS, OR, 97333-4633
2nd floor, to the left
Organization: Veterans for Peace Chapter 132
Description: A public discussion and book signing with Jeff Paterson, project director, Courage to Resist, plus an update on PFC Bradley Manning, the accused Wikileaks whistleblower.
About Face -- a new book by Courage to Resist
Features the voices from the Courage to Resist audio project with exclusive interviews with Noam Chomsky and Daniel Ellsberg discussing the history of GI resistance from the Vietnam War to Bradley Manning and the current WikiLeaks revelations.
“About Face gives us important insights into the consciences of women and men who volunteer for the military but find they cannot obey orders to fight in illegal wars.” — Ann Wright, retired U.S. Army colonel and State Dept. diplomat.
A Corvallis World Forum event.
Sponsored by: Corvallis Odd Fellows & Veterans For Peace, Linus Pauling Chapter 132, Corvallis
FMI: Bart Bolger, VFP Corvalis, email@example.com
January 22, 2012
The New York Times reported recently on what income levels put people in > the top 1% in their cities. Obviously there were wide variations in the > income required to exceed the local 99%, but the national average was $380,000 a year. Read the story at :
Here's how NW cities ranked:
Seattle: $ 408,000
Bremerton: $ 374,000
Bellingham: $ 346,000
Portland: $ 343,000
Spokane: $ 341,000
Salem: $ 316,000
Eugene: $ 301,000
Medford: $ 300,000
Richland: $ 299,000
Tacoma: $ 287,000
Olympia: $ 283,000
Yakima: $ 271,000
January 20, 2012
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear President Obama:
With over 200 present at our monthly meeting on Monday, January 16, delegates to the South Central Federation of Labor heard a very disturbing report about the planned use of U.S. military to intervene on the side of management in a crucial labor dispute in Washington State, and voted unanimously to condemn such intervention.
The International Longshoremen Workers Union is engaged in a crucial struggle at the Port of Longview, Washington, where a multinational company, EGT, is attempting to operate as the West Coast's only non-ILWU facility, despite promising otherwise when it received millions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies to build its grain exporting terminal. Now, as the first ship makes its way to the port to fill up with grain bound for Asia, it is reported that Coast Guard ships and helicopters will be used to escort this ship. Use of our tax dollars and our military to assist such union busting is horrifying.
Mr. President, as Commander in Chief, we call upon you to order the Coast Guard to stand down, to not interfere on the side of management in this labor dispute.
James A. Cavanaugh
c: Rich Trumka, Sen. Kohl, Sen. Johnson, Rep. Baldwin, ILWU
Jim Cavanaugh, President
South Central Federation of Labor
1602 S Park St #228
Madison WI 53715 * (608) 256-5111
January 19, 2012
Monday, January 23, 7 p.m. in the Paulus Lecture Hall at Willamette University's Law School (Room E 201). No charge.
CODIR says that if such actions had taken place on U.S. or British soil they would have been seen as tantamount to a declaration of war. The organization warns that there are elements within the Iranian regime which will see these actions in the same way and may foolishly and disastrously respond accordingly.
Read more here.
Meanwhile, an estimated 20,000 people flooded the streets of Istanbul on Jan. 19, marching in remembrance of the murdered journalist, to protest a recent court ruling that set free many of the murder suspects, and denounced the state of affairs in Turkey. They carried signs that read, “We are all Hrant Dink, we are all Armenian.”
Trial a disappointment
The anniversary of Dink’s death came two days after 19 suspects were acquitted of charges of being members of a terrorist organization that plotted the murder. Another suspect, Yasin Hayal, received a life sentence on charges of instigating the premeditated murder.
The ruling laid out for all to see the corruption of the US Supreme Court and the ruthless goal of the top 1 percent: put a stranglehold on legislative bodies at every level to elect candidates that rubberstamp pro-corporate and rightwing policies.
The anniversary of the Citizens United ruling is a day for the 99 percent to stand up to Wall Street and big money! Take action with millions to undo the damage, including building the movement to amend the Constitution.
Move to Amend is planning a National Day of Protest to Occupy the Courts on January 20 at Federal courthouses in 100 cites. Find a local protest here.
Women Without Men (2010)
Sunday, February 5 | 3 PM
George C. Hoffmann Hall, 1833 SW Eleventh Street
Shirin Neshat’s independent film adaptation of Shahrnush Parsipur’s magic realist novel. The story chronicles the intertwining lives of four Iranian women during the summer of 1953; a cataclysmic moment in Iranian history when an American led, British backed coup d’état brought down the democratically elected Prime Minister, Mohammad Mossadegh, and reinstalled the Shah to power.
The screening will be followed by a discussion with Shahrnush Parsipur, author of the book, Women Without Men.
Reception to follow.
Pearls on the Ocean Floor (2011)
Friday, February 10 | 7 PM
5th Avenue Cinema, 510 SW Hall Street
A thought-provoking, feature-length documentary examining the lives and works of Iranian female artists living and working in and outside the Islamic Republic. This unflinching and incisive study, featuring interviews with art luminaries Shadi Ghadirian, Shirin Neshat, Parastou Forouhar and others, captures the uncertainty of this momentous time in Iran’s history. Speaking with grace and honesty, these brave women express what is seldom seen in the western media: unique individual perspectives regarding issues of identity, gender, and the role that art plays in challenging the traditional stereotypes often associated with women in Iran.
20 Fingers (2004)
Saturday, February 11 | 7 PM
5th Avenue Cinema, 510 SW Hall Street
A film in several episodes with Bijan Daneshmand and Mania Akbari, exposing some of the issues of men and women within the confines of tradition and family life in Iran. Each episode is devoted to various life situations and displays a different form of male/female interaction. The placing of the actors in a moving vehicle or against a moving backdrop signifies the movement of life despite all the obstacles in its way. The film deals with the roots of dependencies, limitations, power struggles and conflict that are the familiar stuff of life of couples in the Middle East.
The Unwanted Woman (2005)
Sunday, February 19 | 3 PM
5th Avenue Cinema, 510 SW Hall Street
A woman trapped in an unhappy marriage, Sima must contend with a husband so insensitive that he makes no effort to hide his various sexual indiscretions. He forces her into an even more uncomfortable situation when he asks his wife to pretend she is related to his current girlfriend in order to avoid trouble from a society that punishes unmarried couples for being together in public.
All screenings are free and open the public
Presented with funding from Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute.
January 18, 2012
Join the national call-in day to
-- President Obama at 202-456-1111 and
-- Attorney General Holder at 202-514-2001
Demand: “Dismiss the charges against Carlos Montes. There is no evidence!”
Contact us and let us know how your calls went: info@stopFBI.net
Chicano antiwar activist Carlos Montes’ next court hearing is Tuesday, January 24. Attorney Jorge Gonzalez will present and argue a legal motion to dismiss all charges on the grounds of insufficient evidence. This hearing will deal with the FBI-instigated Sheriffs raid, arrest, and prosecution of Carlos. Carlos Montes has declared himself “not guilty” on 6 felony charges, dealing with an alleged 42-year old arrest and firearms code violations. Montes’ arrest is part of the FBI attack on 23 other antiwar and solidarity activists.
This paper examines the retirement security of current Oregon retirees and prospects for the retirement security of current workers. By examining the income sources of retirees, we highlight Oregon retirees’ heavy reliance on Social Security income and uncover important, and sometimes dramatic, differences in the reliance on Social Security and retirement funds1 by income, race, and gender. Major findings include the following:
Social Security constitutes nearly half (47.6 percent) of all income for Oregon retirees.
Social Security’s share of income ranges from 26.5 percent for retirees in the top quartile of earners to 85.0 percent for those in the bottom quartile.
Retirement funds account for just 2.2 percent of annual income for retirees in the bottom quartile ($152 on average) but 41.0 percent of income for retirees in the top quartile ($21,511 on average).
White retirees fare better than people of color, and men fare better than women.
Retired Oregonians are less likely than Oregonians overall to live in poverty or extreme poverty, but retired Oregonians are also less likely than Oregonians overall to have incomes at or above 400 percent of the federal poverty level.
This Saturday , we will hold our 14th Annual Statewide Immigrant Action Day in Salem. The day long event will bring together delegations from Portland, Gresham, Cornelius, Hillsboro, Eugene, Springfield, Beaverton, Bend, Redmond, Madras, Sisters, Woodburn, Independence, Dayton, Dallas, Silverton, Lincoln City and St. Helens and Vancouver, Washington.
Immigrant Action Day 2012
Saturday January 21st, 10am- 2pm
Chemeketa Community College Building 2
4000 Lancaster Dr NE
The focus of this year’s Immigrant Action Day will include the following topics:
• Restoring driver’s licenses for all in Oregon
• Stopping local law enforcement collaboration with ICE
• How to get involved with our children’s education
• Making your voice heard in elections
• Equality for all members of our community
Lunch and childcare will be provided to those attending the event.
Please RSVP with Christian Baeff by contacting him at 503-737-7014 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Please also visit our Facebook Event Page by linking here.
Sponsored by the Multicultural Center and the group JUNTOS at Chemeketa Community College, the Salem-Keizer Coalition for Equality and with the support of Voz Hispana and Mujeres Luchadoras Progresistas.
We look forward to seeing you there!
Another poll recently conducted by the Pew Research Center suggests that 31% of people in the U.S. have a positive view of socialism (see article posted on this blog). That would work out to be 96,720,000 people having a positive view of socialism. In certain sectors of the population, this percentage is much higher. Among the 18 to 29 year old age group, 49% had a positive view of socialism. Among African Americans, 55% had a positive view of socialism and among liberal Democrats, 59% had a positive view of socialism.
All these figures add up to the fact that there are a large number of people in the U.S.A. who are open to both communism and socialism. This is truly amazing given the slander and lies hurled at socialists and communists since the horrible days of McCarthyism in the 1950’s. Because of the uninterrupted torrent of abuse from the right wing which has been so well publicized by the mainstream media, most people in this country don’t have a clue as to what are the aims of communists and socialists.
Many people would be shocked to learn that the primary aim of communists is to support working people in their struggle to achieve a better life for themselves. Communists understand that in order for this to happen, the working class must become the ruling class. As long as the ultra-wealthy are the ruling class, the working class will have to struggle for every scrap they get. Communists also understand that only a united working class can achieve the goal of the working class becoming the ruling class. As long as capitalists can divide working people by race, gender, culture, religion and other innumerable wedges that they use so effectively, true democracy of the people cannot happen and the working class will remain the oppressed class.
So, how has the Communist Party of the USA (CPUSA) leadership responded to this rising tide of interest in communism and socialism?
Read more here.
January 17, 2012
Mayor Rahm Emanuel of Chicago is attempting to clamp down on First Amendment rights to march and speak out against the NATO and G8 summits in May 2012.
Emanuel is trying to rush through the City Council on January 18th a vote to greatly restrict the right to protest: raising fines for arrests during protests; making unreasonable demands on protest organizers, such as one marshal for every 100 marchers; a list in advance of all signs and banners in a march; and a list of all equipment for amplification of sound one week before any march. Also he wants permits for any sidewalk protest, which would be a major blow to unions and community groups.
Also, while the city has granted permits for a rally and march on the first day of the May 19th – 21st summits, organizers were told that permits could be revoked by the Secret Service.
We are asking supporters of the march against NATO/G8 to call Mayor Rahm Emmanuel on Tuesday January 17th. (If you live in the City of Chicago, please also call your alderperson as well).
Phone number 312-744-5000
Demand the following:
2) Publicly call on the Secret Service to permit CANG8 to use the permit sites granted by the city.
Then, report your call afterwards by sending an email to email@example.com
On January 12, the City of Chicago granted permits to the Coalition Against NATO/G8 War and Poverty Agenda (CANG8) for a rally and march on May 19. CANG8 is mobilizing against the summits of NATO/G8 occurring in Chicago that weekend. The two summits will be overlapping over 3 days.
CANG8 will continue building broad support for their demands for permits and exposing the NATO and G8 agendas of bankers, generals and heads of state of the wealthiest nations.
CANG8 is planning a family-friendly demonstration to take their message to within sight and sound of the McCormick Place where the summits are scheduled.
On the permit letters to the coalition from the City, a brief waiver statement reads:
Please note that the G8/NATO summits have been designated by the Department of Homeland Security as a Nation Special Security Event, which means the U.S. Secret Service is mandated by Federal law to head the design and implementation of an operational security plan for the summits. In the event the Secret Service designates specific security zones or areas that impact your event location, the Public Building Commission will work with you to find an alternate location for your event.
This threat of the Secret Service intervention is real. It appears the joint city-federal agency overseeing the summits might stop protests from reaching the eyes and ears of the rich and powerful who will be at McCormick Place in May.
In mid December Mayor Emanuel proposed the City Council vote to accept what he called temporary changes to city ordinances to make protests harder to organize and to threaten anyone who speaks up with enormous fines and police repression. In early January, the Mayor flipped the script, apologized for any miss understanding and said the ordinance changes would be permanent.
City council leaders were said to be in the “yes” camp, supporting the mayor, but a continuing pressure campaign that drew in Occupy Chicago, SEIU, the Teachers Union and civil liberties advocates softened their outright support. As reported in the press, on Jan. 12, the mayor’s office witnessed a rebellion by alderpersons who, for the first time, have said “no” to Emanuel.
The city council is scheduled to vote on Emanuel's ordinance changes at its meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 18. Two committees of the city council are scheduled to discuss the changes on Jan. 17. CANG8 is calling for a national call in day to demand Emanuel stop his efforts to deny the right to protest, and locally we are asking allies to call their alderperson to say no to the changes in the ordinances.
January 16, 2012
In a generally sympathetic review of The Dialectical Biologist, and in personal conversation, John Maynard Smith argued that the development of a rigorous, quantitative mathematical systems theory makes dialectics obsolete [footnote to Smith's review]. Engels's awkward "interchange of cause and effect" can be replaced by "feedback" -- the mysterious "transformation of quantity into quality" is now the familiar phase transition or threshold effect. He noted that "even in my most convinced Marxist phase, I could never make much sense of the negation of the negation or the interprenetration of opposites." He could have added that hierarchy theory grasps some of the insights of "integrated levels" or "overdetermination."
Mary Boger, a leader of the New York Marxist school, has been urging me for years not to allow dialectics to be subsumed under system theory. Despite system theory's concern with complexity, interconnection, and process she has argued that it is still fundamentally reductionist and static, and despite the power of its mathematical apparatus it does not deal at all with the richness of dialectical contingency, contradiction, or historicity. Finally, she added that systems-theoretic "interconnection" does not grasp the subtleties of dialectical "mediation."
Here I attempt to systematize my own views as they have evolved in discussions with Mary Boger, Rosario Morales, Richard Lewontin, and other comrades.
... To read in full see either,
Richard Levins, "Dialectics and Systems Theory," Essay Number 17 in Richard Lewontin's and Richard Levins's Biology Under the Influence: Dialectical Essays on Ecology, Agriculture, and Health. Monthly Review Press, New York, 2007, pages 101-124.
or, "in a slightly different form" (Levins's words) in
Richard Levins, "Dialectics and Systems Theory," Science and Society, volume 62, number 3 (Fall 1998), pages 375-399.
One of the disappointments of recent Marxist thought is a neglect of the theory of imperialism. It is not that imperialism is questioned by Marxists; it would be hard to find an advocate who denied its existence or historical significance. Indeed, few Marxists dispute (since the Lenin-Kautsky debate) the fundamental elements of imperialism as outlined by Lenin and presaged by Hobson; but its historical trajectory -- deflected by wars (hot and cold), shifting balances of forces and alliances, and economic upheaval – has received only cursory attention. All acknowledge that the dominant imperial center of power has shifted from Britain before World War I to the USA after the Second World War. Outside of the bizarre pseudo-Marxism popularized in the post-Soviet period (Hardt and Negri’s Empire and theories of the decline of the nation-state and ascendancy of the trans-national corporation, for example), most left-of-center political thinkers would concede that imperialism – especially, as expressed by US imperialism -- is alive and well today. Yet, Marxist studies have yet to provide a full, overarching account of the material forces that have shaped imperialism’s evolution over the last century and a half. We see this failing in the world-wide confusion and tepid resistance to NATO’s Balkan aggressions, the various contrived color “revolutions,” and the wars and interventions in the Middle East and Central Asia.- from Zoltan Zigedy is available at:
As I prepare to speak today at an NAACP rally in front of South Carolina's state capitol, I reflect on how Dr. King risked everything to advance civil and human rights in America.
Despite repeated threats against his life, he spread the message of non-violent civil disobedience against unjust laws throughout the Jim Crow South and our nation as a whole.
His leadership has inspired Americans to win big victories that have moved our nation closer to the long-expressed, but yet-unrealized ideal that our school children repeat every day: we are "one nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all".
Today, one of the greatest victories Dr. King helped win during his lifetime is under withering attack: The Voting Rights Act and the rights it protects – for all Americans to be able to participate in free and fair elections.
South Carolina has become ground zero in this battle that is taking place in state capitols across the nation.
On one side, you have civil rights activists and the U.S. Department of Justice fighting on behalf of thousands upon thousands of voters who would be disenfranchised by laws that introduce the first new financial and literacy-based obstacles to voting since we eliminated the poll tax and voting tests. Fighting on behalf of Americans like the students at South Carolina’s Benedict College, whose student identification cards have been deemed insufficient for use as voter ID. And we are fighting on behalf of senior citizens like Larry Butler, born here in 1926 when blacks often were not issued birth certificates. Now, for the first time in his life, if Mr. Butler wants to vote it will cost him $150 to obtain the documents required by South Carolina's voter suppression law.
On the other side, you have governors like South Carolina's Nikki Haley suing to gut the Voting Rights Act after the Justice Department blocked the state’s discriminatory voter ID law. I am proud to stand alongside Attorney General Eric Holder today in front of the South Carolina State House and recommit to protecting the right to vote.
Read the speech that I will give today in front of the State House, then share with us how you will help uphold voting rights in 2012:
Today, NAACP State Conference presidents who are leading battles to defend voting rights in South Carolina and several other southern states will lead this march.
We march today to defend our right to vote and to defend our nation’s dream of America as a place where everybody works, everybody contributes, and everybody counts.
We march today for good jobs that can support our families, and an education for our children that will pave the way for them to do the same.
We march today to declare our intent to defeat the deeds of any Governor who would deify our great dreamer, but desecrate his dream.
Join us in making Dr. King's dream a reality– again, please take a moment read today’s speech, then share your plan to help us uphold voting rights in 2012.
Benjamin Todd Jealous
President & CEO
The kidnapping of Ahmad Sa'adat on January 15, 2002, was emblematic of the deep damage of the crime of "security cooperation" to the Palestinian people and their national cause. "Security cooperation" has meant nothing but attacks on the Palestinian resistance at the behest of Israel, committed by Palestinian Authority hands. The abduction of Ahmad Sa'adat, and his imprisonment - and that of his comrades - in the PA prison in Jericho, under U.S. and British guard, was a clear example of the PA's status as fundamentally beholden to the interests of Israel, the U.S. and other international powers, at the expense of the Palestinian people and the Palestinian resistance.
The abduction of Ahmad Sa'adat has come to symbolize the thousands of Palestinians who have gone through the jails of the PA because of their loyalty to the Palestinian people, cause and resistance, and the impunity of PA officials - like Tawfiq Tirawi - who continue to find lucrative and influential positions within the Authority despite their shameless acts of betrayal, imprisoning, and abducting Palestinian leaders and activists.
This complicity with Israeli demands for the subjugation and suppression of the Palestinian people led directly to the Israeli assault on Jericho prison in 2006, where Ahmad Sa'adat and his comrades were immobilized in the face of Israeli occupation aggression. Sa'adat had never been charged with a crime throughout his four years in PA prison; his release had been ordered by the PA's highest court. Yet the PA refused to release Sa'adat, respecting the dictates of Israel, the US and Britain above Palestinian legitimacy; it claimed that it "could not guarantee his safety" outside the prison. Yet it simultaneously guaranteed that he and his comrades could not be safe from Israeli aggression, their locations known at all times by Israel and under the watchful eyes of U.S. and British guards, directly in collusion with Israel. (It should be noted that, forewarned of the attack, the U.S. and British guards absented Jericho prison at the request of the Israeli occupation army.)
Since his second kidnapping, from a PA prison to the heart of the occupation's jails, Ahmad Sa'adat has remained a leader of the prisoners' movement. Today, he has spent nearly three full years in isolation at the hands of the occupation. He was an inspiration - and his release from isolation a key demand of the prisoners' hunger strike that galvanized the Palestinian prisoners' movement and the prisoners' cause in October 2011.
Just as Sa'adat's kidnapping is a symbol of the crime of security cooperation, Sa'adat's imprisonment in the hands of the occupation is a symbol of the steadfastness of the nearly 5,000 prisoners inside the jails of the occupation - like his fellow prisoners, resisting isolation, refusing rights violations, and not allowing their will and strength to be broken by the actions of the occupation jailers.
Ten years after the abduction of Ahmad Sa'adat, this anniversary is a reminder that we must continue to organize, act, and demand the freedom of Ahmad Sa'adat and all Palestinian political prisoners, and expose the complicity of the U.S., British, Canadian and other international governments in the enforcement of "security cooperation" and the abuse and mass imprisonment of Palestinian political leaders and activists by the Israeli occupation. While the Quartet pushes the Palestinian Authority to return to bogus negotiations with the occupation (while the occupation continues settlement expansion, ethnic cleansing, land confiscation, home demolitions, isolation, solitary confinement, and mass imprisonment), it is urgent that we form an international popular basis of support for the Palestinian people and their activists and leaders inside the jails of the occupation, rather than those complicit with the occupation at the table of negotiations.
2. Distribute the free downloadable Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa'adat flyer in your community at local events.
3. Write to the International Committee of the Red Cross and other human rights organizations to exercise their responsibilities and act swiftly to demand that prisoners' rights are recognized. Email the ICRC, whose humanitarian mission includes monitoring the conditions of prisoners, at JER_jerusalem@icrc.org, and inform them about the urgent situation of Ahmad Sa'adat. Make it clear that isolation is a human rights violation and a form of torture, and that the ICRC must stand up and play its role to defend prisoners' rights.
4. Email the Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa'adat at firstname.lastname@example.org with announcements, reports and information about your local events, activities and flyer distributions.
WHO IS AHMAD SA'ADAT?
Sa'adat was abducted by Palestinian Authority security forces after engaging in a meeting with PA officials under false pretenses in February 2002, and was held in the Muqata' PA presidential building in Ramallah until April 2002, when in an agreement with Israel, the U.S. and Britain, he and four of his comrades were held in the Palestinian Authority's Jericho prison, under U.S. and British guard.
He remained in the PA jails, without trial or charge, an imprisonment that was internationally condemned, until March 14, 2006, when the prison itself was besieged by the occupation army and he and his comrades were kidnapped. While imprisoned in the PA jail in Jericho, he was elected to the Palestinian Legislative Council. Since that time, he has been held in the prisons of the occupation and continually refused to recognize the illegitimate military courts of the Israeli occupation. He was sentenced to thirty years in prison on December 25, 2008 solely for his political activity, and has spent nearly three years in isolation at the present time.
Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa'adat
The Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa'adat