I speak about Yom Kippur, the whine about Critical Race Theory and “Woke”-ness, and the need to support all workers organizing.
That’s a pretty vague question. I could do with more time to read books,I’m a serious bibliophile. Also time to focus on my writing projects.
A friend of mine, an old-time Socialist and CIO organizer, told me to nerve never work during a strike; “You don’t scab, you don’t be a strikebreaker.” He was right; to scab is a shameful thing to do.
I get a good nights sleep, and drink coffee, that’s about it.
I speak about the wave of union organizing in this country, the hypocrisy of Republicans towards the police and military, and the necessity of voting.
I don’t have any particular favorite, I enjoy several types of music.
Just about everything. I’m a total news junkie and addicted to reading and learning. The problem is, where do I begin?
It would be empty, too quiet, no fun.
I join friends in a celebration event. If it’s a religious holiday, I join my congregation.
September 11 has a special meaning; it is the date of some of the worst in world tragedies. On September 11, 2002, two jet liners, seized by Al Qaeda terrorists, crashed into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York; another one was captured and crashed into the Pentagon; and another, which the terrorists planned to ram into the Capitol, was recaptured by the passengers and crashed into farmland in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Thousands of innocent people were killed; I remember I was at my job and one of my coworkers told me about the New York crash, and we all huddled around the radio for the latest news. No cause can justify or excuse these crimes. May the souls of those killed continue to rest in peace.
The other tragedy was in September 11, 1973, in Chile; on that day, the Chilean military, on the encouragement of the CIA, violently overthrew the government—the duly elected government, might I add—of Salvador Allende, killing Allende and bring in the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet—whom Allende, earlier in that year, appointed Commander-In-Chief of the Chilean army.
The coup ushered in one of the vicious dictatorships in the world, where dissidents were murdered by Pinochet’s secret police, DINA, with such means as throwing them into the ocean or into the Andes; crushing their bones by driving a car into them; beatings, rapes, and assassinations, such as the bombing of the car driven by Orlando Letelier, an official in the Allende administration who was a leader in the anti-Pinochet resistance. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orlando_Letelier) Another victim of the regime was Victor Jara, the radial theater producer, poet and songwriter, who was tortured and shot, then dumped into a shantytown in Santiago. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/V%C3%ADctor_Jara) They were among the thousands of victims of the Pinochet regime, and their loved ones are still seeking justice for them.
Documents are still being dredged out about OUR OWN government’s role in the coup. (https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2023-08-29/us-releases-chile-coup-documents) Henry Kissenger, then Nixon’s Secretary of State and National Security Advisor, was full of the fear, dominating foreign policy at that time, of COMMUNISM and the belief that any government pointing anywhere to the “left” was a client for the Soviet Union and its schemes of world domination, an enemy that had to be eliminated, no matter how popular it was to its people, no matter how peaceful and non-repressive it was. (https://www.e-ir.info/2016/02/12/us-foreign-policy-and-the-1973-coup-in-chile/) (https://nsarchive.gwu.edu/briefing-book/cold-war-henry-kissinger/2023-05-25/henry-kissingers-documented-legacy) (https://www.npr.org/2023/09/10/1193755188/chile-coup-50-years-pinochet-kissinger-human-rights-allende) Eventually, after the coup, the policy of the Nixon-Kissinger regime went from instigating the coup to helping Pinochet consolidate his power, and they didn’t worry their heads about human rights violations, repression of the arts and media, or torture.
Pinochet and his regime has become the role model for the far-right thug element in THIS country, like the Proud Boys, the Oath Keepers, and other domestic fascist gun-slingers. (https://theintercept.com/2021/02/04/pinochet-far-right-hoppean-snake/) They want to utilize Pinochet’s tactics of repression and torture against anyone in the “left,” whether it be a Maoist or some milquetoast liberal; no one, no matter how nonviolent or pacifist, would be free from being their enemy of THEIR state.
One big thing about the Pinochet regime is how the free-market loving “Libertarian” faction of economic thought fell in love with the regime, with such heavy-hitters as Milton Friedman and Friedrich Hayek praising Pinochet for privatizing public services, eliminating the social-welfare system, and the deregulation of business. These “Libertarians” whine and howl about any state intervention into the economy, no matter how beneficial it would be to the general public—environmental protection, protection of union-organizing drives, Social Security, public health, what have you—as “tyranny,” and to them democracy, the general public voting on the future of the country and participating in its works, would be a terrible despotism, and the only TRUE freedom is the freedom of corporations to pollute the air and water, to overcharge for shoddy products, to put contaminated food on the market, to prevent workers from organizing. Hayek and Friedman, however, were perfectly fine with a violent dictatorship, so long as its opponents were denied their “Liberty.” They would have no role in this “Libertarian” society. All of this is chronicled in Naomi Klein’s book The Shock Doctrine. Here, in all its glory, is Fascism, the repressing of dissidents for the benefit of the financial elite.
This is what awaits us if trump is reelected into the Presidency. The elements for undermining our somewhat rickety democracy are as present in this country as they were in Chile, such as a violent racist-fascist element ready to slaughter its enemies, their allies placed in the state apparatus (the Supreme Court and the House of Representatives) , and its fellow-travelers caught up in a news-and-information bunker with no outside interference. (I say bunker, not bubble, purposely.)
We’ve had our bouts of repression in this country, such as the Red Scares after the World Wars, and the attempts to discourage dissent during the invasion of Iraq. The most nonviolent of peace movements were under surveillance during and after the war, and opponents were treated like Neville-Chamberlin type appeasers. Plus during the length of the Civil Rights Movement, the FBI (I say this with all due respect) had a vast program to surveil and undermine the movement, treating it like “the enemy within,” as was the anti-Viet Nam-war movement. It can happen on a bigger scale if trump is reelected, and make Pinochet look like a wimp in comparison.
No, we MUST NOT and WILL NOT allow this to happen! We WILL organize, and support all other organizing efforts of workers and communities; we WILL educate ourselves on the REAL issues, and it isn’t gas stoves and drag queens; and we WILL get out and vote, and help our friends and neighbors do so as well. That’s how we’ll defeat our homegrown Pinochet wannabes.
Stay safe, stay strong, and stay together! Slava Ukraini! America will be free! Bye!