04/29/11

Communist Party Predicts Huge May Day Rallies Across America – Left Exploits Immigrants

By: Trevor Loudon
New Zeal

John Wojcik

Communist Party USA labor journalist John Wojcik is predicting huge labor union/immigrant rallies across America on May 1.

The US left wants to legalize millions of illegal immigrants, because they know that the vast majority will vote Democrat. In these times of high unemployment, resentment among many unionized and unionized workers and the unemployed against illegal immigrants is high.

Therefore the left is deliberately trying to bring all these groups into an alliance behind Barack Obama and the Democrats and against the G.O.P.

From today’s Peoples World:

Hundreds of thousands across the nation marching and rallying this May Day will be fusing two of the great struggles of the day – the fight for workers’ rights and the fight for immigrant rights.

The labor movement, rejecting the notion that immigrants are taking jobs away from the native-born, has jumped with both feet into the fight for immigrant rights.

“Workers’ rights and immigrant rights are connected,” said James Parks, a spokesperson for the AFL-CIO. “CEO-backed politicians are targeting all working people – including immigrants – with their corporate-sponsored political agenda and continuing power grab.”

In the wake of the massive and prolonged demonstrations in Wisconsin it is no surprise that almost all the marches and rallies will demand protection for collective bargaining rights.

Rally organizers stress, however, that in addition demonstrators will call for comprehensive immigration reform, starting with passage of the Dream Act. The Dream Act would provide undocumented young people with a route to legal residency through either higher education or service in the military.

“These May Day marches are driven by the same spirit of activism and commitment that drives our brothers and sisters in Wisconsin and every other community that is now fighting back against the attacks on working people,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka.

Trumka is the featured speaker at a rally in Milwaukee that the labor federation expects will draw at least 60,000 people. Unions and their allies will use the rally to boost recall drives now underway against Republican senators who stripped workers of their collective bargaining rights…

“Corporate greed. Working people rallying in the streets. It sounds like Madison, Wisconsin,” said Jorge Ramirez, president of the Chicago Federation of Labor. But it’s actually the scene from Haymarket Square in Chicago. One hundred and twenty-five years later, working people are in the fight of their lives for the right to have a voice at work through collective bargaining.”

The national federation’s secretary-treasurer, Liz Shuler, will address the thousands of Chicago workers expected to gather on May 1 at the site of the Haymarket martyrs’ monument in Forest Park Cemetery.

Executive Vice President Arlene Holt Baker will speak at a mass rally in New York.

March organizers in Boston are connecting their action to the fight for workers’ rights around the world. They expect thousands to demonstrate under their theme of “From Cairo to Wisconsin to Massachusetts, Defend All Workers’ Rights.”

Houston could well see one of its largest workers’ rights demonstrations ever. The Labor Council for Latin American Advancement in that city is joining with the labor and community-backed Houston United for a rally that will also demand both workers’ rights and immigrant rights.

Hector Sanchez, executive director of LCLAA, says the labor movement and immigrant rights struggles complement one another.

“Now is the time to grow up as a nation,” he said, “and we need to stop bullying immigrants. We need a smart policy that is good for all workers, one that will help us recover from one of the worst economic downturns in U.S. history. Immigration reform can be the first step in that direction.”

In many cities the May Day demonstrations will bring union and immigrant rights activists together in support of ongoing local struggles.

To see how the US left cynically exploits immigrants for votes, go here.

04/29/11

The Communist Party Bounces Back

By: Trevor Loudon
New Zeal

As America polarizes between freedom and socialism, the Communist Party USA is growing fast.

Bear in mind that the C.P.U.S.A. is only one of more than a dozen significant Marxist organizations now planning chaos on American streets.

From Illinois Communist Party leader John Bachtell, writing in today’s Peoples World:

John Bachtell

The First Annual Communist Party USA National Conference, held April 16-17, reflected a potential new turning point for the CPUSA and the allied Young Communist League (YCL), its relationship to the working class and key social forces and movements and its growth in size and influence.

CPUSA National Chair Sam Webb noted in his opening remarks the new level of receptivity and respect the party has gained in the labor and other mass movements, the growth in readership of its websites and the growing numbers joining, especially online.

Webb also argued that for the labor and democratic movements to continue to develop to effectively challenge corporate power a much larger left and Communist Party are essential.

Can this turning point be realized? That is the big challenge.

The party and YCL growth is bound with the current labor and people’s upsurge, in what Rev. Jesse Jackson has described a “Martin Luther King or Gandhi moment.”

A number of shifts have been taking place in public opinion, creating a favorable climate for growth of left and progressive movements including the CPUSA and YCL.

There is mounting anger over the brutal economic crisis, the ultra right’s assault on democracy and with the contrast of obscene wealth on Wall Street amid great suffering on Main Street.

Support among Americans for the free market system (aka capitalism) has plummeted in the last year according to a GlobeScan survey.

Meanwhile class and socialist consciousness are growing, evident to anyone involved in the mass upsurge against the right wing. Pew polls show greater receptivity to socialism, especially among the youth (45 percent think socialism is a better system than capitalism) and communism (11 percent of the public thinks it’s a superior moral system to capitalism)

Party activists are grappling with how to effectively respond to this new situation, the new doors opening daily and especially to those joining online.

The party doesn’t yet have the organizational infrastructure to effectively absorb all the new members, especially in areas where no local organization exists. But new forms and methods are emerging, including use of web based tools for mobilization, organization, education and communication directly with the new members and many more who are interested in what the Party says and does.

In short, the challenge remains to build a modern 21st century party of socialism in the United States in this new situation, one fully rooted in the American tradition of democratic struggle and history, capable of applying and elaborating Marxism to the current challenges, able to develop strategic approaches rooted in reality, uniting key class and social forces and millions at the grassroots in sharpening class battle, and elaborating a path to win a democratic and ecologically sustainable U.S. socialism.

And all the while utilizing the most modern means of communication and organization, tools that enhance old fashion shoe leather and grassroots door-to-door work.

The initiative with the most far-reaching impact was launching new websites over the past year and a half. Over 1 million people have visited these websites over the past year, approximately 130,000 each month.

Also, nearly 100,000 readers now visit the allied People’s World website monthly, or 25,000 weekly, many times more than read the final issues of the print edition.

PW editors had set a goal for achieving a base of 5,000 Facebook fans by the end of 2011. Over 8,000 have already signed up. PW articles are regularly posted on numerous labor and progressive websites, and read widely by leaders and activists in many struggles.

In addition to launching the new websites, a Southern Tour was organized, resulting in new party organizations in Kentucky, Tennessee and South Carolina, joining recent organizations in Georgia and North Carolina. The South is a place the party had not seen growth in years.

Two weekend schools held for young people, including new members of the CPUSA and YCL, were held in Los Angeles and New Haven, Conn., where almost 60 youth attended. Other weekend schools are coming up in Chicago, Florida and Texas (where more young have joined the YCL than any other state).

A national call to 1,500 new members on March 19 was an exciting experience. Of those reached, 85 percent wished to renew their membership, including some who had joined two years ago and hadn’t spoken to anyone. Many paid their dues online and registered for sustainers. Regular national calls are being planned.

Typical of many joining the party is a new member from Wisconsin, who wrote, “Being public-sector working family, my sympathies have always been to stand with that portion of society. What really motivated me to sign up are the recent events in my home state. Once my state government began demonstrating the warning signs of fascism, I wanted to get involved. The party represents what I have always personally believed in, and so I would consider it an honor to become a member.”

It appears a new CPUSA is emerging within the old. But to “keep the momentum” going to ensure an actual turn is made in size and mass influence, means a lot of hard work and bold initiative.

Most Americans believe the Communist Party died years ago.

It didn’t. Now its coming back.

04/29/11

The Council Has Spoken!! 04/29/11

From: The Watcher’s Council

The Council has spoken, the results are in and another Watcher’s Council contest is history, carved in stone and immutable.

What happens when Leftist governments lean so heavily on business that they seriously retard economic activity and kill the Golden Goose? This week’s winning essay by Bookworm Room entitled What happens when government (state or federal) is pathologically hostile to business examines that subject in micro and macro. Kafka isn’t even in the running. Here’s a slice:

On the fifth day after quitting, Jane shows up, grabs the paycheck, and again disappears. You breath a sigh of relief, thinking you’re finally done with Jane. If only you knew, the story is just beginning….
A month goes by, and you suddenly get a notice from the California Labor Commissioner telling you that Jane is claiming that you violated California law. Your crime? You did not get Jane’s final paycheck to her within three days of her quitting. Since you had the paycheck ready immediately, and her failure to receive it was solely the result of her own unavailability, you laugh at this charge, thinking you’ve got a slam dunk case.

You show up on the assigned day to argue your case before the Labor Commissioner. The Labor Commissioner announces that the three day rule means the employee must have the money in hand by the end of the third day — regardless of either your efforts to pay her or her lack of effort to receive the money. To punish you, the Labor Commissioner imposes statutory sanctions (or “waiting time penalties”) against you, and insists that you pay Jane an amount 27 times greater than the wages she was actually owed.

Shocked by the unfairness of it all, you hire an attorney, who tells you that you’re right — you complied with your statutory duty, and the Labor Commissioner erred. The attorney tells you that this is indeed a slam dunk case, and that you should appeal it, which means filing an original action in Superior Court. Sounds good to you….

The case goes to trial. Jane is represented by the Labor Commissioner, so this is a freebie for her — the people of the State of California, through their tax dollars, are paying Jane’s attorneys fees. The judge appears confused by the issues and eventually announces what he believes is a Solomonic ruling. He holds that, despite the statute’s clear language — Calif. Labor Code § 202 explicitly imposes on the employer only the burden of having payment ready, not the burden of ensuring that the employee receives payment — you should have gotten the payment directly to Jane. However (and this is where the Solomon part comes in) the judge will halve the sanctions award against you.

While miffed at the fact that you couldn’t get the judge to agree with you entirely, you still leave the Court with a light heart — after all, you got the original award against you cut by 50%, which must be viewed as a clear victory. Au contraire, my innocent California employer.

In 2001 — when these events took place — the attorneys fee statute governing appeals from Labor Commissioner awards imposed attorney fees and costs against a party who appeared before the Court and was “unsuccessful in the appeal.” (That was Calif. Lab. Code § 98.2(c), repealed.) However, as of 2001, two California decisions had held that this facially-neutral language didn’t really mean what it said.

Instead, said the two cases, what that facially neutral language really meant was that, if an employee appealed a Labor Commissioner award and bettered his position by even a penny, he was deemed successful on the appeal, so that the employer would have to pay the employee’s (or, really, the tax funded Labor Commissioner’s) attorneys fees. The contrary, however, was not true. If an employer appealed a Labor Commissioner award and bettered his position by 99.9999%, but not by 100%, he was deemed unsuccessful. He therefore still got to pay the employee’s (or, rather, the Labor Commissioner’s) attorney fees.

What this meant for Jane’s employer was that, even though she managed to better her position on appeal by 50% — she still lost! She still got to pay the Labor Commissioner’s attorneys fees at fair market value.

In our non-Council category, this week’s winner was Barry Rubin’s How the West Is Being Turned into a Version of the Middle East submitted by Joshuapundit, an examination of how political correctness is closing minds and creating Arab-like mentalities when it comes to Israel, Islam, Arabism and freedom here in the West.

Here are the week’s full results:

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week!