Showing posts from December, 2012

Mumia Abu-Jamal 'The fiscal cliff? It’s “Blazing Saddles.”

New Mumia Column: “What ‘Fiscal Cliff’?”Posted onDecember 23, 2012byEMAJ [col. writ. 12/11/12] © ’12 Mumia Abu-Jamal
From every TV and radio news broadcast, the words, `fiscal cliff’ are being mentioned, in a tone and frequency of dread and fear. Listeners, viewers and readers can sense the dread and faux fear, but little clarity arises from the dust.
What is the fiscal cliff?
It is a political creation – made by Congress itself, as a self- made rule to force agreement (but really to blackmail political opponents), or else massive cuts will be automatically made in defense, social services and other government programs.
In the Mel Brooks-made cowboy comedy, Blazing Saddles, a Black sheriff moseys into town to the shock and surprise of the white townspeople. When things get ugly, the sheriff (played by actor Cleavon Little (1939-1992), pulls out his Colt. 45 and points it at himself, warning them to get back, or else he’ll shoot.
The fiscal cliff? It’s “Blazing Saddles.”

The Economics of Common Pool Property

(draft article, comment and feedback welcome)
The tragedy of the commons was a concept put forward by a biologist but Garrett Hardin’s underlying assumptions, when he developed it, are drawn quite distinctly from economics.   As Elinor Ostrom, who shared a Nobel Prize in economics for her efforts in challenging the idea of the 'tragedy', noted while Hardin was a biologist, he shared the assumption of most economists that human beings focus on personal gain and found cooperation between each other difficult. She noted that Hardin echoed the logic of the distinguished economist, H. Scott Gordon, who had argued that,‘The fish in the sea are valueless to the fisherman, because there is no assurance that they will be there for him tomorrow if they are left behind today (2009: 522).
While economists claim that their subject is a 'value free' social science, their critics argue that it is based on particular beliefs that may be open to discussion and interpretation.  These are…

Mumia Abu-Jamal on the revolution for Mother Earth

Message for ‘Earth Amplified’ 
[Speech writ. 5/27/12] © ’12 Mumia Abu-Jamal

Ona Move! What is Global Liberation? Is it the election of people that, (we think), thinks like us? Is it the replacement of one system with another one? Is it the imposition of more humanistic economic theories of governance? If we’re honest, we see that it is none of these things; for if global liberation means anything, it means all-encompassing, total –affecting every sphere of our existence.
Who can deny that our politics is deeply corrupted? That the rich –as in the days of the robber barons – own the political class, lock, stock and barrel?
Moreover, the corporate class is plunging Mother Earth into Eco shock--for mere pennies. Remember the massive and obscene oil spills of recent years?
John Africa, the revolutionary Founder of the MOVE Organization, in his booklet, The Judges’ Letter, said: “The courts are the tools of industrial plague, granting big business privilege to poison our earth.”
Man is at war with his Mother …

Statement of SWP Democratic Opposition

FYI I found the SWP on the whole a positive group to work with over the last couple of years, particularly around ecology and climate change.  However I was interested to see this call for democratisation. comments welcome

Statement of SWP Democratic Opposition
Four comrades have been expelled for forming a ‘secret faction’ during the discussions prior to
SWP conference. The expelled members had been legitimately concerned about the handling of
very serious allegations directed at a CC member and the way that this was being handled by the
organisation and had discussed about what this represented and how comrades could ensure the
matter was dealt with properly.
There had been some discussion about whether to declare a faction or not. Some comrades, out of
concern for how these matters had been dealt with previously, were in favour of doing so - but other
comrades were worried that this might be premature or even disloyal. It is for having this discussion
and sharing these concerns that the …

Get down to Combe Haven, trees being cut down need defending (friday 21st december)

Defend the trees at Adams Farm! (Fri 21 Dec)December 21, 2012 by combehavendefenders HELP NEEDED NOW TO DEFEND THE TREES! Early morning reports on the ground suggest contractors are going to attempt to fell trees at Adams Farm (TN33 9AY). This is one of the last remaining areas with significant number of large trees on the route of the road.
Security and police reported at the top of the access track, and we believe the footpath from Crowhurst playing field car park has been closed. Other more imaginative routes in to Adams Farm exist: cross-country, from the Upper Wilting Farm direction, even across the partially flooded valley from the Bexhill end.
Note also a significant pocket of trees at risk located near Decoy Pond, half way between Adams Farm and Upper Wilting Farm. To receive info and action reports throughout the day text 07926 423033.

The Commons in Mongolia

In the early medieval period nomadic herders travelled across huge territories freely however access to land over time, while remaining communal became more formalized and restricted.  Genghis Khan (1162?-1227) granted land to his allies to cement his political and military power.  This allowed a Mongolian nobility to control communal pastureland and they were able to tax herders.  Thus as in England, an essentially feudal system was introduced, with a monarch, granting land to an elite who were rewarded for their loyalty and extracted wealth from the wider population.  The reintroduction of Buddhism in 1586 was another important development.  As in England the church was a major owner of land and an important political and economic power.  The formalization of land rights under the Buddhist authority and the system of patronage established by Genghis Khan accelerated with the Manchu Qing dynasty occupation of Mongolia in 1691.The occupiers drew up a legal code and rigidly divided up …

Understanding the property game

Direct action by UK Uncut has been brilliantly effective at putting the spotlight on tax-evading corporations.
The group's recent occupation of Starbucks branches up and down Britain has embarrassed the company into admitting that it pays virtually no tax and even volunteering a token sum. Of course, the Con-Dems love corporations. Chancellor George Osborne's Autumn Statement included a promise to cut corporation tax even further. So drawing attention to rampant tax avoidance exposes the coalition's disastrous austerity agenda - it's increasingly clear that if large companies paid their tax bills we could halt the cuts and find new ways of meeting our country's needs, such as expanding the NHS, raising pensions and building new homes. Raising taxes from fat-cat firms is important, but there hasn't been much discussion of the deeper cause of economic pain and widening inequality. Politicians, think tanks and the media tend to ignore the issue of property ownersh…

The Wealth of Commons

Derek Wall
International Coordinator of the Green Party of England and Wales, author
The Wealth of Commons
Edited by David Bollier and Silke Helfrich
Levellers Press

The popularity of collective, ecologically-responsible ownership is growing . From Venezuela's creation of 21st century socialism based on communal councils to the late great Professor Elinor Ostrom's Nobel Prize in economics, commons are becoming better known.
This is a superb collection of 73 short essays on the commons, covering very diverse and exciting perspectives. The essay on the connection between the indigenous idea of buen vivar (good living) is especially good. Massimo de Angelis warns how the commons can be co-opted by capitalism and Peter Linebaugh links commons to the work of Marxist historians like the great English ecosocialist E.P. Thompson.
David Bollier had the book printed at his local left and community printers in Amherst, Massachutes and you can order a copy via http://www.wea…

A song for Doha. Climate Song.

Summer Tumblers - Climate Song

"Imagine a world where the leaders of nations should some respect for future generations and couldn't be bought by big corporations, imagine the thinks they would do.

So lift up your voices and never be silenced....:

Save Heatherwood Hospital, march 11.30, saturday 8th December

Save Heatherwood Hospital | Public March | December 8th The Save Heatherwood Hospital campaign is planning a march up Ascot High Street to Heatherwood Hopsital, on Saturday December 8th.  Assemble 11.30am in Car Park 6, at the bottom of Ascot High St, next to the Jaguar showroom. A presentation of a  23,000  signature petitions to senior
Primary Care  Trust  representative, calling for retention of hospital and full services :an historic occasion is planned!

'We hate your children but President Obama loves us'