Democratic Left

September Jobs Report

Economy Still Stagnating; Wealth, Income Gap Still Widening

 By Luiz Diaz-Perez

wh-sept-jobs-2013.jpg 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics issued the September Employment Situation report on Oct. 22. This came 18 days after the scheduled Oct. 4 release because of the 15-day government shutdown. As expected, the September report portrays a stagnant economy, creating jobs barely at a pace commensurate with population growth and far from a rate that would reflect an economy on the road to recovery.

 Nonfarm employment increased by all of 148,000 jobs, a smidge below the 150,000 or so jobs commonly believed to be needed to keep pace with population growth. This rate was half of the 300,000 new jobs that should be created monthly in an economy working its way out of the doldrums. Unchanged was the number of Americans working part time who otherwise desire fulltime work: 7.9 million.

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Obama is not a socialist, but we are! Convention notes

Last week right-wing politics in the Congress forced the nation precariously close to a default on the national debt that could  have produced  a second great economic crisis.  The Democratic Socialists of America view this political corruption and cynicism as an opportunity to organize a New Left -- a powerful political movement left of the Democrats working with labor, workers organizations, immigrant groups and social movements to -- Rebuild a Participatory Democracy in a Multicultural U.S.

Our 2013 Convention in Emeryville, (next to Oakland, California) met  Oct. 25/ 27 to select a new NPC and to set the political direction of DSA for the next two years.   Speakers at the convention included  John Nichols, Tom Hayden, union leaders Jose La Luz and Michael Lighty, immigrant rights activists Catherine Tactaquin and David Bacon,  Joe Schwartz, Maria Svart , Steve Williams and more.

John Nichols was outstanding in his talk to the outreach event on Friday, as was Stephen Williams.  JohnN.jpg

 

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Socialism and Sports

By Lee Levin

The two great loves of my father’s life were the Green Bay Packers and golf.  Every fall Sunday we worshipped at the altar of the Green and Gold.  My brother and I learned, at an early age, that we could only talk during commercials and half time.  Our Sunday routines created my love of armchair sports.  Today, in addition to following pro football, I watch college basketball and football, pro basketball, baseball and tennis.  Too often feminists and leftists dismiss the importance of sports in society and only focus on the machismo culture encouraged by professional/college athletics.  Although that culture is real to an alarming extent, I dare say it is also an elitist attitude that is not conducive to mass organizing and needs to be re-considered.

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DSA Meets in Oakland California

Obama is not a socialist, but we are !

The  nation’s largest  democratic socialist organization meets in Emeryville  Oct. 25/27  to plan for :

Socialism in the Age of Obama.   

The  DSA convention begins with a Bay Area  outreach event -- Building the Next Left -- Rebirth and Renewal,  Friday, October 25, 2013,  Humanist Hall,  390 27th Street, Oakland. The event features writer John Nichols; Catherine Tactaquin, Director of the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights; Steve Williams, Co-founder of POWER ( People Organized to Win Employment Rights); and Maria Svart, National Director of Democratic Socialists of America. 

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The Blackhawks, Masculinity Studies and Socialism

By Judith Kegan Gardiner

As I walked to my Chicago neighborhood grocery store in late June, the streets were filled with people wearing red and black clothing. Crowds in a holiday mood spilled out of bars and partied in the streets.  Many people wore shirts depicting a stereotyped Native American man wearing face paint and feathers, that is, the insignia of the Chicago Blackhawks, which had just won the Stanley Cup trophy of the National Hockey League. Over a million fans reportedly gathered to celebrate the victory.

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DSA Supports BART Strikers

The Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) joins with the broad labor and social justice community in the Bay Area (including Jobs with Justice and the Chinese Progressive Association) in supporting the strikers of the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART).

The Strike has been settled.  See convention information below.

Even after the BART employees, represented by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1021 and Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1555, and BART management were nearing a difficult economic agreement, management insisted that workers sacrifice long established work rules. The union negotiators offered to submit the rules to impartial binding arbitration, but the BART management team, led by a highly paid union busting attorney, refused. This precipitated the strike.

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Manning, Empire, and the Politics of Pathologization

By Brandon Kemp

Chelsea-Manning-She2.jpgDuring the recent sentencing hearing of Chelsea Manning (formerly known as Bradley Manning), U.S. military prosecutor Joe Morrow referred to her role in leaking classified military documents to the public as “crimes that undermine the entire system.” In a sense, Morrow was not too far from the mark. Of course, acts of conscience directed against illegal wars, human atrocities, and official cover-ups are “crimes” only in a deeply criminal capitalist system. But he is right insofar as it’s true that the entire bloodbath that is the imperial spectacle, to say nothing of its gendered underpinnings, has in a sense been put on trial since WikiLeaks and Private Manning’s subsequent decision to out herself as a trans woman, an act of bravery of a different but arguably related kind.

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Rebirth and Renewal and Participatory Democracy in a Multicultural U.S.

Can't attend the full DSA convention? Here are some options for Friday and Saturday nights.

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