The Communist Daily

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Cubans celebrate 55 years since overthrow of Batista

Cubans celebrate 55 years since overthrow of Batista.

Cubans celebrate 55 years since

overthrow of Batista

 

Remarkable achievements of socialism

despite blockade

 

JANUARY 2, 2014

On Jan. 1, mass celebrations took place throughout Cuba to mark 55 years since the hated dictator Fulgencio Batista was overthrown on Jan. 1, 1959 and a new dawn arose with the Cuban people in power.

After five years, five months and five days of determined struggle led by revolutionary leader Fidel Castro, the Rebel Army forces began the march westward to Havana from several rebel strongholds, to secure the revolution’s triumph.

Fidel Castro’s rebel column arrived on Jan. 8, and he spoke to thousands of enthusiastic people amassed to hear his historic declaration.

Within days, weeks and months, new revolutionary decrees tore down the oppressive chains of the capitalists — U.S. and Cuban.

One can only imagine the enthusiasm of the Cuban people when more than 2 million acres of U.S.-owned land were turned over to Cuban hands, in the land reform law of May 17, 1959. Or when rents were cut in half in the first weeks, and in the next two years, the Cuban people became outright owners of the housing they occupied.

Cuba became the first country in the western hemisphere to successfully wipe out illiteracy in 1961, in the midst of a U.S.-financed plot to invade the island. Despite the CIA’s terrorist attacks that killed young Cuban literacy volunteers and peasants who backed the land reform, the revolutionary process moved ahead.

Looking at Cuba today, and all the economic, social and political gains that the whole population enjoys, we must remember that it has taken place despite more than 50 years of U.S. genocidal blockade, an armed invasion, and constant counterrevolutionary plots.

In economic terms alone, Cuba has calculated its losses at over $1 trillion dollars due to the blockade. The Obama administration — continuing the policy of every previous president since1959 — has imposed hundreds of millions of dollars in fines on European banks that do business with Cuba. The U.S. government pursues governments around the world to force an illegal compliance with the U.S. blockade.

Achievements of the revolution

Yet, Cuba’s social indices are truly remarkable, and prove that socialism is the only system that meets people’s needs and lays the basis for real equality and development.

Just to mention a few: According to the Cuban government’s declaration of December 13, 2013, “Cuba: The Meaning of Human Rights,” 9,960 young people graduated as medical doctors from 58 countries, at Cuba’s Latin American School of Medicine (ELAM). Think of how many lives they have saved worldwide.

Cuba was the first Latin American territory free of illiteracy in 1961. Its stupendous literacy programs, “Yes, I can,” and “Yes, I can go further,” have brought 7,926,530 people into the light of reading and writing, as of November 2012.

The Haitian people have been virtually abandoned after hundreds of NGOs took advantage of the earthquake and cholera catastrophes. But Cuba’s doctors have provided free medical care since 1998, and almost 75,000 lives were saved post-earthquake by Cuban doctors. Cuba’s internationalism is most notable for its emphasis on other people’s development. 817 Haitians have graduated as doctors in Cuba’s schools, and 324 are now in medical school.

While U.S. students are forced to run up school debts of tens of thousands of dollars, in Cuba nearly 70 percent of Cuban youth age 18 to 23 are in university. And they don’t pay a cent to become educated.

Tonight, Cuban President Raúl Castro spoke in Santiago de Cuba at an outdoor rally to celebrate the Revolution. In his concluding remarks, he said, “The new generations of leaders—who gradually and in an orderly way are assuming the main responsibilities in leading the nation—will never forget that this is the Socialist Revolution of the humble, by the humble and for the humble…”

As he concluded, he repeated Fidel Castro’s words uttered 55 years ago, at almost exactly the same hour, “’The Revolution triumphs with absolutely no compromise with anyone, only with the people, which is the only one to whom the Revolution owes its victory.’” Raúl continued, “Fifty five years later, in this very same place, we can repeat with pride, the Revolution remains the same, with absolutely no compromise with anyone, only with the people!”

The Party for Socialism and Liberation salutes Fidel and Raúl Castro and their comrades who fought alongside them, the Cuban people, the Cuban Communist Party and the country’s mass organizations, for showing what struggle, socialist ideals and internationalism can accomplish, and for proving that another world is possible with socialism.

Content may be reprinted with credit to LiberationNews.org

America’s God: The Almighty Military

This is just a quick post. I’ve taken time from my busy morning to post this because I think that it is VERY important. A woman posted a status on Facebook that criticized the military, and said she didn’t like how military members were always trying to get discounts. For this she has received death threats and online harassment, and she was fired for her comments. Military worshipping Americans erupted in joy at the thought of this poor woman losing her livelihood because she said things they didn’t like. This is the real face of American fascist militarism. There is one particular Facebook page that has harassed her and the comments are filled with hate for this woman who never did them any wrong other than speak her mind about the ridiculous nature of military worship in the US. The name of the Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/ShitmyLPOsays?ref=ts&fref=ts
So how about giving them a taste of their own medicine? Attack the page, fill the comments section of their hateful posts up and support this woman who didn’t deserve to lose her job for speaking her mind. Down with American military worship!! Down with fascist militarism!! Down with the US military!! Down with this suppression of free speech!!

EDIT:
Here’s the news story:
http://www.nbcnews.com/id/53113884/ns/local_news-wichita_ks/t/manhattan-woman-loses-job-over-facebook-post/#.UkTJEIa-2m4
Here are some comments from that shitty FB page so you can see the steaming pile of hate for yourself:

  • Shawn Carlson That’s funny because in my experiences it is not the service members who are really that critical of statements like hers, it’s our spouses, parented, kids, etc. Try telling a wife/husband their deployed spouse isn’t a hero, you’re likely to catch an ass whooping!
    Like · Reply · 10 · 2 hours ago via mobile
  • Donnielle DecadentDiva Clay Freedom of speech does not guarantee freedom from consequences. She choose to voice her opinion and lost her job. Nobody’s fault but her own.
    Like · Reply · 8 · 2 hours ago
  • Byron Montgomery I hate when people negatively talk about the Navy or any other military branch. If you have not served, your opinion is solely based off of what you have heard. You don’t know what we’ve been through and what we’ve sacrificed. The fact that you are allowed to have an opinion is because of the military who defends America’s freedoms. Don’t bite the hand that feeds you! And if you really think you know something and disagree with how things are being ran, go through the appropriate channels to change it. Become a member of congress. Otherwise shut your pie hole!
    Like · Reply · 8 · 3 hours ago via mobile
  • Cat Henry That chick seriously needs help… She don’t think the military deserves appreciation then she needs to get outa the country!
    Like · Reply · 8 · 3 hours ago
  • Joe Huffman I agree the first amendment allows her to post whatever she wants but she also needs to understand that with those post there are always reprecussions, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, she opened the can of worms now she has to deal with it, serves her right
    Like · Reply · 7 · 2 hours ago
  • John Roell Look stop thinking of fb as yours. Its not fb owns it there for its a public place. She made comments that tied her work to them in public that is counter to their stance. So no she has no right to complain she lost her job
    Like · Reply · 7 · 2 hours ago via mobile
  • Ryan Ditto She antagonized this situation. Next time she exercises her freedom of speech she should thank the Sailor, Marine, Airman, and Soldier that gave her that right. I could care less what the welfare baby thinks I do or don’t deserve. Opinions are like assholes.
    Like · Reply · 6 · 3 hours ago via mobile
  • Daniel Gilbert She told those in the military to “get a real job”, she WAS a server at a pub and WAS employed at a movie theater, now she IS unemployed. Maybe she should worry more about herself and her family instead of criticizing those that fight for her right to be stupid
    Like · Reply · 15 · 3 hours ago
  • Jenn Elyse Phillips @soldiers are not heros. Why the hell are you following a navy humor page?
    Like · Reply · 6 · 2 hours ago via mobile
    • Travis Cox I believe he was quoting and calling her an idiot, not furthering the military bashing…atleast that’s how I read it. heh
  • Brandon Douglas Fuck that bitch. I haven’t spent the last 8 years in here for people like her to slander us. Damn right i ask for military discounts, because i’ve earned the right. Just like all of us on here have. It’s called “perks of the job”, i put up with enough bullshit. If someone wants to buy me a drink because i did a 10 1/2 month deployment on the damn boat, i’ll take that drink and say thanks. It’s called respect and she clearly doesn’t have any.
    Like · Reply · 6 · 2 hours ago
  • Amanda Fussell She works for a cinema… how often is she deployed away from her family, friends and country… I think we deserve a little special treatment for that
    Like · Reply · 6 · 3 hours ago
  • Johnathon Aguilar The only thing I ever got was 10% at autozone and a free coke once.
    Like · Reply · 6 · 3 hours ago via mobile
  • Ryan Myers It was funny at first, but now this is sad. She does not deserve this. What good is it for us to be protecting our freedoms…if a lynch mob will do everything they can to shut her up? So what if she doesn’t support the military? She’s one out of how many that do support us?
    Like · Reply · 10 · 3 hours ago
    • 3 Replies · 2 hours ago
  • Breanna Lynd That’s dumb. Maybe she should be out there fighting for our country just to see what they go through, then try and say they get too much. This isn’t a matter of “free speech” it’s a matter of disrespect.
    Like · Reply · 5 · 3 hours ago via mobile
  • Nick Gescey “Well that escalated quickly” Hey, she wanted to be famous, congrats!
    Like · Reply · 4 · 3 hours ago
  • Rose Marie Bogaard And yet many of you are missing the fact that as an employee, you represent the company you work for. The company obviously didn’t agree with how she was representing them, so they discharged her. That’s their right. Why should they continue to pay someone who is damaging business and giving them a bad image?
    Like · Reply · 6 · 2 hours ago via mobile
  • John Roell So this is how I see what happened. She went to her Facebook page and spouted some controversial words. Or let me rephrase it she ran into a packed stadium grabbed the mic and over the 1mc said something controversial and expected no response. Or she expected the masses to agree with her and is now surprised they did not agree. Most places can firmer you if you say things to discrete or bring shame to the company in public. By posting on a public forum (yes your Facebook is not private forum) she brought up her work.(by mentioning a discount her post is associated to her work) they have a right to protect their image by firing her. Now while everyone has a right to free speech you speech is not with out responsibility. Your rights have limits and your rights come with ownership of your choices to exercise them. While death threats and such are a bit over the top. The verbal disagreements posted are others exercising free speech in response to her entrance into public forum. While I feel she should have the right to state her opinion she also has the responsibility to take ownership of the consequences for her words. As long as she isn’t receiving or actually having bodily harm to her happens. I have no sympathy for her, you reap what you sow she is not special.
    Like · Reply · 7 · 2 hours ago via mobile
  • John Wesley Hopkins I always get a kick out it when someone tries to hide behind the 1st amendment after getting fired for saying something incredibly stupid.
    Like · Reply · 4 · 3 hours ago via mobile
  • Jay Clinton Noone has said she couldn’t have freedom of speech. She had better be prepared for the repercussions of using it. That’s all.
    Like · Reply · 13 · 3 hours ago via mobile
  • Katharine Burns Am I the only one here that thinks it’s kind of messed up that her whole life is ruined because she shot her mouth off? Yes it was a stupid thing to say but damn.
    Like · Reply · 5 · 3 hours ago
    • 2 Replies · 2 hours ago
  • Shane O’Neil Freedom of speech, I am happy she had the balls to voice her opinion. As a veteran, I think she is a moron BUT I am happy to see her using her freedom that VETERANS provided. As far as her job, they had every right to fire her. The comments she made could lose business for the company. Sometimes, you have to think before you speak. She obviously forgot that lesson.
    Like · Reply · 6 · 2 hours ago via mobile
  • Cheryl Hoover Maybe she should enlist, since she doesn’t have a job now….she might change her mind about her posts after she spends time as a deck seaman chipping paint!
    Like · Reply · 6 · 3 hours ago via mobile
  • Kim Constantine Feel free to use your first amendment right that I fought for…but don’t be surprised that they’re consequences for them….ya dumb box!
    Like · Reply · 5 · 3 hours ago
  • Thomas Cunningham You know even though many of us disagree like myself with her opinion we did join to protect and defend the constitution and that includes the 1st admendment and freedom of speech whether we agree or disagree. And thats what make this a great country. As far as anyone threatening this womans life and they are active or prior active service that should never be occuring because that is below our standards.
    Like · Reply · 17 · 3 hours ago
  • Richard Fournier Although I think this chick is an idiot, whoever shouted death threats at her went a whole lot lower than she did. Unfortunately you idiots that did so did not represent the military very well whatsoever. You made us all look like a bunch of overreactive psychos.
    Like · Reply · 5 · 2 hours ago via mobile
  • Kia S Whitaker Think twice before you start bashing people in the Military…who do you think is protecting that “Freedom of speech” that you hold so dear to your heart…those before us fighting for your freedom to do so…remember that before you that trash come out of your mouth
    Like · Reply · 5 · 3 hours ago
  • Alex Griffin Annnnnd the floodgates are open… To bad she’s trying to swim upstream.
    Like · Reply · 3 · 3 hours ago
  • Ryan Ditto She got fired for claiming to be the manager while answer phones.
    Like · Reply · 2 · 2 hours ago via mobile
  • Jessica Misty Luevano Lrc HAHA!!!! AINT THAT A BITCH!!! WELL THAT ESCALATED QUICKLY…. LMAO Thank you Carmike Cinema’s
    Like · Reply · 3 · 3 hours ago
  • Mark Nalley She does have the right to free speech. So does everyone else who responded.
    Like · Reply · 3 · 3 hours ago
  • Angela Robbins ^someone take away the trolls first ammendment rights!
    Like · Reply · 2 · about an hour ago via mobile
  • Dane France You can say whatever you want and be protected from the government. That doesn’t mean that your employer can’t fire you for saying it. It also shouldn’t protect you from getting punched in the mouth
    Like · Reply · 4 · 2 hours ago via mobile
  • Jenn Elyse Phillips You know I bet she never got “death threats” from anyone. She’s just an attention whore
    Like · Reply · 3 · 3 hours ago via mobile
    • 2 Replies · 2 hours ago
  • Raymond Thompson I am proud to fight for her right to be a crazy bitch…while enjoying my discounted movie tickets…
    Like · Reply · 4 · 3 hours ago
  • James Vincent O’Brien III You have to have a life before someone can threaten it. Stupid bitch.
    Like · Reply · 5 · 3 hours ago
  • Neil Goldstein Freedom of speech goes both ways…
    Like · Reply · 2 · 3 hours ago
  • Jei Dee Wow…all because of a post on FB . Never the less, she got what she asked for and then some.
    It was a bit too much though, I mean come on, as a military vet I didn’t like what she posted but wouldn’t go as far as to threaten her life. It’s just plain ignorance for anyone to take it to an extreme just because people disagree on what someone else has to say. What the hell is this country coming to?!!!
    Like · Reply · 2 · about an hour ago via mobile
  • John Taylor Soldiers are not heroes. You are a freakin idiot!
    Like · Reply · 3 · about an hour ago via mobile
  • Joe Litz This is absurd, she should not have lost her job over this. Do I disagree? Yeah, sure I do. But this is just as asinine as firing someone because they said they don’t like Obama, or the government, or god damn basketball. Seriously, this is some 1st grader baby bullshit. Just because some civ talked shit about what we do doesn’t make it ok for her to get fired over it.
    Like · Reply · 3 · 2 hours ago
  • Brandon Havard What she said was jacked up, but I do think she should legally have the right to say whatever she wants without financial or legal repercussions. It’s ‘Murica after all. Although that comment would warrant a punch to the face in person, I think she was speaking on behalf of the ignorant tard that she is and not on behalf of the company she works for. Ignorant tards need menial jobs with other ignorant tards to keep them from hurting normal people when they go crazy. If anything, I would take pleasure in making her mop up my spilled Mr Pibb purchased with my military discount while calling me ‘sir’ with a forced smile on her face. /2cents
    Like · Reply · 3 · 3 hours ago
    • 2 Replies · 2 minutes ago
  • Connor Wilson “Thinks she should be able to say whatever she believes on Facebook.” Freedom of Speech is not a free ticket to spout off irresponsibly. It is not Freedom of Responsibility For Your Speech.
    Like · Reply · 1 · 2 hours ago · Edited
  • Carol Laverty I don’t agree with what she said at all but she shouldn’t be getting death threats for it. Two wrongs don’t make a right. But seriously, why doesn’t she make her facebook private????
    Like · Reply · 1 · 3 hours ago · Edited

Victim Culture

I’m sitting here on a Saturday night, bored and browsing the web when I saw something that got me thinking. It was a link to a Huffington Post story in which a motivational speaker talks about choosing to be a “victim or a victor”. So here is the thing that got me thinking, why is it shameful to be a victim? How does being a victor in any way mean that you cannot be a victor as well? We’ll ignore the fact that calling yourself a victor seems a little pretentious. What does it mean to stop being a victim?

Being a victim is something, obviously that we as a society seem to disdain. “Who me, a victim? No, I’m a survivor!” We shout indignantly. “I cannot, will not be a victim.” In the US especially, being a victim means that you are weak. In our Protestant “work ethic” culture, we would deign to allow ourselves the luxury of being weak. Being a victim means that we don’t take responsibility for ourselves. We’re blaming our problems on others. Let’s think about that a little more. Let’s follow that kind of logic to its natural conclusion.

Being a Victim

Are you, or have you ever been a victim? Maybe you were mugged. Maybe you were assaulted. Maybe you were abused as a child, verbally, emotionally, physically, psychologically. It doesn’t matter. In all likelihood there is or was a time in your life when you were a victim of something that shouldn’t have happened. The definition of victim is

“a person harmed, injured, or killed as a result of a crime, accident, or other event or action”.
 Yet if you do a cursory Google search for the term “victim mentality” you get a host of articles by self help gurus claiming that your first problem is being a victim in the first place. (I’m not going to address the real psychological problem of someone thinking nothing is their fault etc. because this is not a blog post about psychology. Do that on your own time.) We can also look to our victim blaming culture. The right wing likes to talk endlessly about the so called victim mentality of the left (they’re usually talking about liberals, not socialists, but they think we’re the same thing anyway so continuing on). How many times on the news has the victim of a horrific crime been blamed by some rich disconnected asshole? “It’s that gay’s fault he was beaten up, he was acting too flaming.” Or something like “Well, I think that it’s sad that woman was raped, but y’know women are always going outside dressing like sluts, so what can you expect.” No, they don’t blame the rapist. They blame the woman, for not walking around in a burlap sack, apparently. They blame the victims all the time. However, the first time someone speaks up about being a victim, the right wing media will tell them to be quiet, and to get over their “victim mentality”.

You see, you should blame yourself that you were raised in violence and poverty. You should blame yourself that you were not educated. You should blame yourself that you aren’t the right color of skin and weren’t given a Anglo-Saxon enough name. It’s the worker’s fault that he works a part time job that doesn’t pay enough. It’s his fault that he doesn’t have a high school diploma. It’s always always always YOUR fault. Everything.

Why should you stop being a victim? Because, a victim requires a perpetrator. The victim of a rape wasn’t violated by a rapist. (I know this is obvious, please bear with me.)  The victim of an assault was an attacker. To deny a victim their victimization, is to deny the crime. It is to deny the actions of the person responsible. It is to erase the rapist’s guilt, his culpability. It goes further than individual crimes the assholes of our world want ignored. Like in the Steubenville case, there are people who don’t want crimes against humanity to be recognized. I have had enough of our culture’s silencing of victims, and I am here to make a statement of solidarity with victims the world over.

I am a Victim
You see, I am a victim. I am a victim of childhood abuse. I am a victim of cult religion that denied me a normal childhood, and normal education, a fact that set me back in my life. I am a victim of capitalism, militarism, homophobia, and a victim of abject poverty. Now, does this mean, as the right wing smug assholes will smirk, that I just let those awful things ruin my life? No, but they have made my life more difficult. I will not deny them however, because denying that I was a victim of bad things means letting off the hook those who did them. That means I ignore other people who are suffering in the same way that I did. Refusing to be a victim, and slapping on myself the ridiculous feel good “victor” bullshit means that I ignore the shit that happened to me. Ignoring victimization, ignoring the victim, is tantamount to ignoring that anything ever happened at all.

We are taught not to be victims. You suck it up, and you move on. In a sense, yes we all move on. However. If I’m the victim of a brutal religion, a brutal capitalist state, a brutal capitalist imperialism, a brutal system of abuse and heartless abject poverty that means that SOMEONE fucking caused those things. There is a REASON all of that happened to me, (and no RW freaks it wasn’t because I deserved it, it wasn’t because chance or any other inane explanation) it was because there are things that need to be changed in our society. There are people who should be held accountable for their crimes. Those who perpetuate cults, the capitalist class, abusive parents. Ignoring the victimization means ignoring the crime altogether and letting the criminal off the hook. They tell you not to be a victim because they don’t want the guilty to be brought to justice.

So, I say be a victim. Let it be known that you’re a victim. We proletarians are all victims of capitalism. We’re victims of a sick and twisted, unequal system of injustice. Some of us are more victimized than others. When you raise your voice and admit to being a victim, when you stand behind the victims of our society you are doing more than patting someone on the back to make them feel better. That’s not what this is all about. This, is about realizing that if we never recognize the victims of this sick society, we can never ever change it. Raising class consciousness means letting people know they are victims of oppression, to undo the many years of brainwashing wherein they were told everything was their own fault. Without seeing the problem for what it is, without noticing the victims, how can we ever stop the crimes.
So dear self-help gurus, instead of telling people to stop being victims, help stop people being victimized. Instead of blaming the victim, blame the criminals. Instead of watching and listening to RW news pundits and talking heads telling the poor and oppressed of the US to stop being victims, it is about goddamn time we stopped the society that is creating so many victims in the first place. So fuck the “stop victim mentality” droning idiots. Maybe it’s about time we started wearing our victim badges proudly, and working for a day when there won’t be so many victims.

Unfathomable, Unacceptable!

Good day readers, I have been busy and away from this blog for a while, but today I was compelled to write about something I saw, thanks to twitter. Before I get started, thanks for following my blog, even when I don’t post for a while. Now on to the topic of the day.

UNTHINKABLE

The Yomiuri Shinbun (Shinbun means newspaper in Japanese) is a right-wing newspaper that is known for its far right stance. However, the latest editorial from that fascist rag takes the cake in terms of insensitivity, historical revisionism, and blatant misogyny. In an editorial on August 2nd titled

“Refute recent moves in U.S. to distort comfort women issue”

the newspaper issued the opinion that Korean-Americans who have set up monuments to the victims of Japan’s war time sex slavery system administered by their armed forces is “distorting” the “comfort women” issue. First the paper ridiculously refers to those trying to honor the memory of those victims as “anti-Japanese” as if to be honest about history and mourn the oppressed is to hate Japan. Of course that doesn’t say much for the moral character of Japan, but leaving that alone for the moment; the newspaper is once again, like many right-wing fascists in Japan have done for decades, is trying to revise history to be one that fits their agenda, and fits with their nationalist myth making. Let’s go through some of these ridiculous claims, and see if they hold any water. Just because I’m fair like that.

They point out that the monument erected in California reads “In memory of more than 200,000 Asian and Dutch women who were removed from their homes…to be coerced into sexual slavery by the Imperial Armed Forces of Japan between 1932 and 1945.” The newspaper refutes this with “The distorted and exaggerated phrases “sexual slavery” and “more than 200,000” are enough to significantly degrade the honor of Japan.”

Let’s examine those two claims. One, they are asserting that the so-called “comfort women” system was not sexual slavery. Is that true? Well, what is the definition of slavery? According to Merriam-Webster online the definition of slavery is:

slav·ery

noun \ˈslā-v(ə-)rē\

1 : drudgerytoil
2: submission to a dominating influence
3
: the state of a person who is a chattel of another
: the practice of slaveholding
Now take that definition and read this testimony of a Korean woman about her servitude:

“[…] it was not out of our own will, we were forced into it. I was beaten until I lost hearing. I was tortured. They didn’t see us as people, but as objects.” –Lee Ok-sun, comfort woman (as cited in Wabnitz, 2007)

Well, that certainly sounds like slavery to me. There is a colossal mountain of historical documentation that shows that these women were forced into sexual slavery in service to the Japanese Imperial Army.  There are journal articles upon newspaper articles upon photos and government papers and reports and on and on and on that verifies the reality of the sexual slavery of these women. Yet apparently the Yomiuri doesn’t let a little history deflect them from “upholding the honor of Japan,” Those honoring the victims of that horrible fascist government aren’t dishonoring Japan, those who built the “comfort women” system of sex slavery are the ones who dishonored Japan. That’s like claiming the witnesses of a murder are more guilty of killing because they reported it. It’s cognitive dissonance on crack.

Ok, so let’s examine the second claim, that being that 200,000 sex slaves is an exaggeration. Let’s turn again to an academic source for that.

“It was not until 1993 that the Japanese government stopped denying its involvement in the creation of comfort stations—establishments that saw the systematic rape, torture, and in some cases murder, of approximately 200 000 so-called comfort women.”
and another
“Comfort women” is the bitterly ironic euphemism for the approximately 200,000 women, mostly Korean (about 90%) that the Japanese Imperial Army tricked or abducted into military brothels, called “comfort stations” and forced into sexual slavery during World War II. Although most of the comfort women were Korean, women from Taiwan, Malaysia, Indonesia, China, the Netherlands, and the Philippines were also forced into this sexual slavery. The comfort women system was a sweeping network that existed throughout Japan and its growing empire in China, Hong Kong, Indochina, the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Borneo, the East Indies, Burma, Thailand, Papua New Guinea, Saipan, Guam, and the Coral Sea Island Islands (Factbox: Disputes, 2007).” ()
Sorry, seems like a pretty established fact. I could pull out hundreds of articles of evidence that shows that the sex slavery system of Imperial Japan was that extensive, but I figure these idiots would ignore the evidence, or just claim that it’s a vast “anti-Japanese” conspiracy like they always do. Un-fucking-believable.
The end the article by claiming there is no evidence for that which the rest of the goddamn world knows there is a mountain of evidence for, and claim that the famous “Kono statement” of 1993 needs to be changed, or redacted. At the same time they try to appear humanitarian by writing “It is true there were actions by the Japanese government in wartime that injured the honor and dignity of many women. If the comfort women issue were to be judged under the standards of human rights awareness that exist today, there would be no chance for Japan to politically win the issue.”
No fucking sir, nice try you weasel fascist fucking ratfink, whoever you are. They were crimes against humanity by the standard of human rights OF THAT ERA, which is why so many of your leaders were hung like the fascist fucking rats they were. You can’t on one hand say that the Japanese government committed atrocities, and on the other hand say that they weren’t that bad of atrocities and so Koreans have no right to be angry about Japan’s continued idiocy, and stubborn historical revisionism.
Dear Japan, stop trying to weasel out of the horrible history of your imperialist expansionism. Stop trying to wiggle out of the responsibility your government still holds for the deaths, tortures, and rapes of millions of people. Stop trying to prop up your bullshit national myth on the backs of the victims of your imperialist fascist aggressions. Take responsibility for your history, and establish a future where no one will ever again be afraid that that horrible history would ever repeat itself. Take a note from Germany, that has to its credit, largely owned up to the sins of the past, and has criminalized the denial of the holocaust, and Nazi symbolism. Those who forget the past, are doomed to repeat it.
SHAME, SHAME, SHAME on Japan, and SHAME on the Yomiuri Shinbun. You are not fit to print advertisements, let alone speak about serious issues. Either stop distorting history, drop your projections, and own up to the past, or just at least do the world a favor, and shut the fuck up.
Postscript
Inb4 “you hate Japan”: I live here, and my wife and children are Japanese citizens.
 Inb4 “What about America”: I have no great love for the fascist US government, and I fully acknowledge the crimes of the US state. No red herrings or diversions allowed here.
Sources:
Durham, Helen, and Bebe Loff. “Japan’s “comfort women”.” The Lancet357.9252 (2001): 302.
Heit, Shannon. “Waging sexual warfare: Case studies of rape warfare used by the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II.” Women’s Studies International Forum. Vol. 32. No. 5. Pergamon, 2009.

TRAITOR

What is a traitor? Well, according to the dictionary 

trai·tor
/ˈtrātər/
Noun
A person who betrays a friend, country, principle, etc.

Oh, ok. It is someone who betrays someone or something. Is being a traitor always a bad thing though? I think the answer to that is an easy no, and here’s why.

Edward Snowden: Traitor

The news in the last couple of weeks has been full of the story of Edward Snowden, a man who has given, not just the NSA, but the whole US and the US State Department a black eye. The internet is exploding with angry democrats, who are foaming at the mouth like rabid dogs just wanting to get their claws on this traitor to the US. Now, the story in detail has been written to death online, so I’ll let you fill yourself in on those details elsewhere, but let’s step back for a minute though and think about what being a traitor to the US really means.

Traitor to the US

I would like to announce, first, that I am absolutely a traitor to the US. 

I am a traitor to the country that was founded on the graves of millions of slaughtered, raped and exploited Native Americans.

I am a traitor to the country that built it’s material wealth on stolen land, with stolen resources and with the stolen labor of untold millions of African slaves, Chinese laborers, and wage slave immigrants.

I am a traitor to the country that is responsible for the violent overthrow of many many legitimate foreign governments, including the Kingdom of Hawaii, Panama, Nicaragua, Vietnam, Iraq, Iran, and too many more to list here.

I am traitor to the government that has committed many many war crimes, from the atomic bombs on Japan to the murder and rape of the Philippine people and again, too many to list here.

I am a traitor to the government that has killed over a hundred thousand innocent people in Iraq, and has destroyed the country of Libya, and is seeking to destroy Syria.

I am a traitor to the country that has since its genesis been engaged in endless war, aggression, and colonialism. 

Yes, I am a PROUD PROUD TRAITOR to the world’s greatest evil, the capitalist imperialist racist exploitation murdering enslaving bombing impoverishing monolithic behemoth that is the United States of America.

See, being a traitor isn’t always a bad thing. When you betray the US, you are choosing loyalty to humanity, to the working class of the world, to the oppressed peoples of the world, to those who have suffered under the brutal boot of the US. 

By being and continuing to be a traitor to the US, I will and forever will remain, loyal to my principles of equality, and first and foremost to the working class, and I’ll never betray that.

 

In the moment

This is, oddly, not a post about politics. I was sitting here at home procrastinating, (one of my favorite activities actually) when I stumbled across a buzzfeed article posted to facebook about how society is doomed. The photos in the post were all people staring into their smartphones, instead of watching and interacting with the life happening around them. Now I am, as many of my followers will no doubt be aware of, a social media fiend. I love facebooking, tweeting, blogging and surfing the web. On my smartphone I have apps and games and news and more news and more apps and more games.

I realized looking at these photos, that I am the one they’re talking about. Sure, technology has brought the world closer together. It has opened the doors of knowledge, made information more accessible. It has challenged governments, held capitalists to account, captured riots, protests and revolutions. However, maybe we stick our heads a little too deeply into the new technological rabbit hole. Around us there are sunrises, sunsets, babies, dogs. children, laughter, music, and we miss so much when we have our heads stuck in our precious electronic devices.

Now, I am not admonishing anyone here but myself really. Not that I’m the only one who does this, but I am submitting a bit of a self-criticism here. When I was a kid (oh god, now I’m going to sound old) we didn’t have the internet, at least not in my house. We didn’t make youtube videos, we went outside and played. We didn’t watch youtube videos, we watched Saturday morning cartoons. Photos were kept in boxes, memories filed away, until the time they would be taken out, and gingerly flipped over, one by one to recall love, birthdays, future dreams now past, family, memories. Maybe with all this technology we’ve forgotten a little bit what the important things are.

Eating, riding the train and sitting at home with my family, I more often than not find myself buried in my phone. Tweeting, reading, posting, playing. Right beside me my children are growing up, the sun is shining, the wind blowing and I’m missing it.

The other day I was riding the train, and like I normally do, I was tweeting and listening to music. I stopped for a moment, and took out my ear buds. I looked up and saw the city rolling by, the green fields of Saitama, Japan, the narrow twisting neighborhood roads leading off into the horizon, children hula-hooping,  dogs running, people going off to work. I heard the sounds of life happening around me, saw the vitality that is humanity. I’m not saying tweeting, facebooking or using your smartphone is bad, but maybe, once in a while, we should try just a little bit more, to live in the moment.

The JCP still red and not dead

Communist Party: Still Red And Not Dead http://www.japansubculture.com/viva-la-revolucion-the-japanese-communist-party-still-red-and-not-dead/#.UbHEgF7zKdo.twitter

Hope

I want to talk to you today about a special four letter word. This world is cynical, it is tired and jaded, snarky and rude. However, this word represents all that is good about humanity. It is inspiration, aspiration, optimism and just not giving up. Hope springs eternal? Or does it?

I remember back to 2008 when everyone was all excited about the election of Obama. Hope and change were on everyone’s lips, like he would be a savior for a dying world. Of course he wasn’t. He turned and hired Goldman Sachs, and firmly tied his lot in with the capitalist class. The financial crisis spread around the globe, and many many lost their homes. Meanwhile we were still fighting two wars overseas for no good reason, and the Koch brothers and Walton families around the world kept laughing all the way to the bank, the bank of course in the process of receiving billions from the US government for their punishment for having royally fucked up. Meanwhile, millions were still losing their homes, their jobs, their hope.

Here we are some 5 years later. Have things gotten better? No, not really. While most of the troops are home from Iraq, that country is still plagued with sectarian violence. Afghanistan has been an abject failure as well, of course. Gitmo stays open, the prisoners in there trying to starve themselves to death in protest of the US’s horrific treatment of men who have never been tried with even one crime, but whom stay in prison still as time rolls on.

Poverty up, jobs still down. They announce with glee that the unemployment rate is down, but conveniently forget all those who have fallen off that list, those who have given up looking for a decent job. People work their fingers to the bone just to survive, and it just isn’t enough. In the richest country on earth, millions go without proper medical care. We keep spreading fake democracy all the while we shit on it at home.

So what is there to hope for? What is there to yearn, look and work for? Things look bleak, it seems like the world will only get worse, not better. However, I’m here to tell you that there is one way, one way that we can throw off despair, that we can change the world.

There is a way we can hope again.

Anger. That’s right. I’m telling you to get angry. Get angry at the fact that the CEO of the company makes millions while you try to survive on a pitiful wage. Get angry at the hundreds of thousands of deaths and the trillions wasted in two unneeded and illegal wars. Get angry at the fact that the Europeans have gutted Africa of her resources. Get mad at the child labor still going on today. Get angry at the fucked up system that has more than 2 million Americans behind bars, mostly for minor drug offenses. Get angry at the fact that  your government doesn’t represent you, but represents those with money. Get angry get angry get angry. I want the whole world to erupt with rage against a fucked up capitalist class that refuses to listen to the cries of the oppressed.

You may wonder what anger has to do with hope. They seem, not well suited for each other, I beg to differ. Anger means that you feel powerless at a system that seeks to crush your soul. Anger means that you realize you are oppressed and poor, unimportant t0 government. Your anger means you’re paying attention. The world has to change, an unchanging world scares me worse than a world that is getting worse. Apathy is a plague. It’s time to stamp that apathy out.

I have hope, hope that the humans on this earth are getting fed up with an unequal, unfair and irresponsible world system. People are tired of greed and corruption. People are tired of  being worried.

Can the world rise up and challenge this system? I do believe it can. However, don’t wait until the next financial crisis to launch a revolution, start now studying, working and waiting. Start organizing. Get involved in a Marxist political party. Fight for equality. Talk to people about what’s wrong with the world. Don’t be afraid of making them angry. Provoke people to thought.

Is revolution possible? No, it is imperative. Can the world working class work together to bring down capitalism? Can they get angry enough to do something about it? I sure hope so.

British Man Burns to Death

Debt has killed another person as news reports have come out telling the story of a Mr. Anthony Breeze, age 36, who being 1,600 GBP in debt set himself on fire after suffering from harassment from loan sharks trying to get him to repay a debt that was out of his control. Press TV reports that he was taken to a hospital where they reported burns over 76% of his body, but the doctors were unable to save him, and he perished. Press TV also reports that payday loans in the UK have interest rates as high as 200%, preying on the poor and desperate, and further ruining their lives. The only way to alleviate this scourge of debt and hopelessness is a complete change, a systemic overhaul, a revolution. Too many have already died under the shackles of debt and capitalism, it is time to build a better world.

Story here: http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/05/15/303708/debt/

The Problem with Human Nature

I’ve heard it a million times if I’ve heard it once. “But Tim, communism doesn’t take human nature into account.”  Today we’re going to discuss this argument, and examine what “human nature” is. Sound like fun? I thought so. Read on.

Human Nature: Is there actually such a thing?

I think that it’s a good rule of thumb to immediately put on your thinking cap and skeptic specs any time you hear the term “human nature”. Why? Because in my experience, and I think that many an academic will agree with me here, is that the term “human nature” used in a polemic is usually for the purpose of falsely claiming the naturalist umm, nature of one’s ideology to benefit one’s own position. For example, the fascists that argued that class structures of high to low, rich and poor was simply a natural occurrence and one that could not be altered. Or racists who argue that there are naturally occurring races, and that naturally, some are more y’know, superior than others. Surely we can see this, right? Surely some countries are poorer than others, right? That should mean some nations are superior to other nations, right? Right?

Wrong. You see, the whole “natural” thing is a complete and utter logical fallacy. Please see the following entry on the Naturalistic fallacy. http://www.logicalfallacies.info/relevance/naturalistic/

Before we get into what human nature even is, if you argue that communist ideology is at odds with “human nature”, you are implying two assertions:  1. Human nature cannot change 2. Human nature is not wrong because it is natural.

Leaving the first alone for a  moment, let’s focus on the second thing. Yeah, that’s the problem. There’s your fallacy fucking up your argument. tsk tsk. Alright, but why? Well, let me put it this way. Human nature is good. Humans have human nature. Ergo all humans are good. Well, what about Hitler, Mussolini, and Timothy McVeigh, they were human, so they must be good, right? And in fact, since what they were doing was only natural, as they were only acting upon their human nature, there’s no way, or hell, even reason to try to stop them, right? WRONG. This is the problem with this kind of thinking. It is a logical fallacy. It is also wrong in the first implied assertion I listed above. Human nature is not one thing. Humans don’t all have one nature. We’re a diverse species of over 7 billion people.

Anthropologists have studied human beings for many years, and if you’ve even taken even one anthropology course in college, you should know that any one-size-fits-all idea of human nature is absolutely bullshit. Do all humans share certain characteristics? Yes. Do we all share the same social, economic, religious and political systems? Fuck no we don’t. If you have primitive communism in one place, advanced capitalism in another, semi-feudal agrarianism in another, how can you say that human nature is uniform? Furthermore, humans have changed their political and economic and social systems many times over the course of human history. You had the republican (actually mostly supported by slaves) system in Rome, the early form of democracy in Greece, you had god kings in such places as Egypt and Japan, while in other countries you had regional war lords jockeying for power and control. You had some pacifist societies, and some societies that were organized along strict military lines, like Sparta. So, what is human nature? Greed? Selfishness? If you claim that greed and cut-throat selfishness are at the core of human civilization, then you have to ignore all the societies that have been pacifist, egalitarian and or communal. In fact, a majority of the world’s cultures lean more towards collectivism than they do towards cut throat individualism.

I could argue that because humans are a social animal, and always have been (argument from antiquity); or I could argue that humans are majority collectivist (argument from popularity) or that humans have been more equal throughout time than unequal, but those are logical fallacies. You see, we are not completely at the mercy of fate. We have brains, we can think, we can reason. We invent things, we invent culture, we invent art and we, yes, invent political and economic systems.  Human nature, whatever it is, and whatever you may think it entails, is not an argument, and never has been an argument against communist ideology.

Marx explained in the Manifesto of the Communist Party that all history is the history of class struggle. He explained how human political, economic, and social systems evolve. If you want to start somewhere, start there, right on this blog. Check it out. And then read more, because if you’re making the argument against communism based on “human nature”, you have no idea what you’re talking about.

“Hitherto, philosophers have sought to understand the world; the point, however, is to change it.”—–Karl Marx

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