Murder on the White River – Chapter 1

CHAPTER ONE

The holiday sale season was starting to warm up even though Thanksgiving was still three weeks off. Christmas decorations were already glittering in store windows. A relentless press of advertising for discounts reflected the jitters of retail managers worrying that the economic doldrums in which the country languished, an economic “slow recovery” – unemployment, hunger, low-wages – causing widespread misery, might impact holiday profits. It was a time when many people pursued inexpensive or free leisure pastimes like walking along the White River.

Julie and Mark were walking along the cement path that ran alongside the White River. It was a cool, blustery, sunny afternoon. Bicyclists and an occasional jogger passed by. To Julie, the bicyclists looked like they were mostly commuters rather than joy riders, focused on getting from here to there. The joggers were going nowhere in particular, the rhythm of their legs and arms, the sweat of the bodies in motion being their own rewards.

For Julie, the day was tinged with the bitter-sweet sadness of distant loss as the absence of her mother, now deceased, was all the more palpable due to the approaching holidays. As Julie wandered along the path, her hand in Mark’s relaxed grip, memories of her mom cooking for her yearly holiday party, the house filled with her mom’s friends, unusual fragrances and colors. Those were some of the best memories Julie had of her mom.

Tugging gently on Mark’s hand, she said “Come, let’s sit here”, pointing out a bench overlooking the bland river-scape. Indianapolis was, at the time, the twelfth largest city in the United States, but it still sported cornfields within the city limits and a plantation attitude rebranded as a “mid-western” work ethic. While parts of the city are breathtakingly beautiful, commensurate with the wealth of the inhabitants, the business district surrounding the the White River where Julie and Mark walked was not one of those glittering neighborhoods.

Julie tugged Mark’s hand in hers. “Let’s sit a minute, OK?”

Mark was hungry and no so much in the mood to sit, but acquiesced to his girlfriend’s insistence. “OK”, he laughed quietly. “For a little while.”

They plopped down on the bench, still hand in hand. In unison they stretched their legs out in front of them, leaned sideways against each other, and sighed. At that moment life felt good.

“I miss my mom the most at this time of year”, Julie said. “As the cold weather comes and the nights get longer, I think of homes with warm lights glowing in their windows. That was not my home, but looking back that is what I think of when I remember my mom. I mean, we were never hungry.”

“Not a real high bar to reach”, Mark suggested. Yet, he squeezed her hand to acknowledge her grief. Then they sat quietly, each feeling a tension between the desire to kiss and the sadness that hung palpable in the air. They therefore did nothing, sitting close to each other while the joggers and bicyclists went their respective ways around them.

They were not sitting on a bench by the Seine in Paris with booksellers sprinkled along the banks. Indianapolis is not a city of intellectual or artistic ferment; it is not the Athens of the Midwest, a title claimed by bothy Madison, Wisconsin and Iowa City, Iowa. Indianapolis exuded the despondent avarice of a middle tier manager aspiring to make it to assistant vice president before retiring. A hospital rose in the distance. A strip of clean cement adorned the river back. A utilitarian bridge crossed the river nearby.

Time dripped through the hourglass of life.

Mark kissed Julie. Julie kissed him back.

“I’m ready to go whenever you are”, Mark let Julie know, starting the process of getting up to move along.

“Yeah, I’m ready too.” Julie’s voice was wistful. Like a lot of her life, it was a wistfulness for places, events, companions that she would never find at home in Marion County, Indianapolis.

She heaved herself up from the bench, taking a few steps closer to the river bank, watching the water flow in the same way she felt the days of her life meander pointlessly along, doing what was necessary without passion or excitement. She pondered the waterway, pondered her life. Mark hung back near the bench waiting for her, ready to leave, but something caught Julie’s eye and she wanted to see what it was. She moved closer to the water.

Then she turned to Mark. “We need to call the police”, she said quietly. “My phone battery is very low. Can I use yours?”

There were tears in her eyes.

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The Amazing JennaMarbles

So JennaMarbles has been my main source of entertainment over the last few weeks.  This is especially odd because her audience demographic is mostly high school girls. I’m a 57 year old guy. What is with that?  I find her funny as hell.  My favorite of her videos is the one that was the first to go viral and, as of today, has over 50 million views: 

How to trick people into thinking you’re good looking

She makes me laugh.  So, a shout out to JennaMarbles, and that is it!

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Show active git branch in bash prompt

I want the current git branch to show in the bash prompt.

This code is based on code provided here and here. I’ve combined aspects from both sites.

First, grab the code from here and copy it to ~/.gitcompletion.sh.

Add the following lines to the bottom of ~/.bshrc:

# Configure colors, if available.
if [ -x /usr/bin/tput ] && tput setaf 1 >&/dev/null; then
c_reset='\[\e[0m\]'
c_user='\[33[1;33m\]'
c_path='\[\e[0;33m\]'
c_git_clean='\[\e[0;36m\]'
c_git_dirty='\[\e[0;35m\]'
else
c_reset=
c_user=
c_path=
c_git_clean=
c_git_dirty=
fi
# Function to assemble the Git part of our prompt.
git_prompt ()
{
if ! git rev-parse --git-dir > /dev/null 2>&1; then
return 0
fi
git_branch=$(__git_ps1 "%s")
if git diff --quiet 2>/dev/null >&2; then
git_color="$c_git_clean"
else
git_color="$c_git_dirty"
fi
echo " [$git_color$git_branch${c_reset}]"
}

export GIT_PS1_SHOWDIRTYSTATE="true"
source ~/.git-completion.sh
PROMPT_COMMAND='PS1="${c_user}\u${c_reset}@${c_user}\h${c_reset}:${c_path}\w${c_reset}$(git_prompt)\$ "'

That will do it. Just “source ~/.bashrc” from the keyboard to make the commands active. The changes will be automatically active in all new terminal windows.

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Comments on Naomi Wolf’s “The Shocking Truth About the Crackdown on Occupy”

Naomi Wolf’s essay on “The Shocking Truth About the Crackdown on Occupy”
brings to our attention some very important issues in the current struggle.

Naomi is hitting the nail on the head when she says:

“…our own national leaders, who likely see their own personal wealth under threat from transparency and reform, are now making war upon us.”

It is not just that our “leaders” see their own personal wealth under attack, but that of the people whose interests they represent and from whom they gain their ill-gotten wealth — not the 1% but the .01%.

I am however not shocked at the attacks, I expected them — which is not to imply I am any less outraged that they occurred.

It is a sad truth that the history of the United States is full of instances of oppression by the rich against workers and the poor. Being shocked about this is to miss the systemic nature of the oppression and think, as Naomi does, that corruption is the main problem. As Naomi says:

“The inflated fees to lawmakers who turn lobbyists are common knowledge, but the notion that congressmen and women are legislating their own companies’ profits is less widely known – and if the books were to be opened, they would surely reveal corruption on a Wall Street spectrum. “

This is true but it is not the main problem, and distracts from the main problem, which is that the capitalist system, by requiring constantly expanding exploitation of workers and resources, strengthens the position of those in our society dedicated to short-term planning focused on quarterly profit goals at the expense of meeting the needs of the great majority of constituents in the society, the 99%, the workers.

Furthermore, the state is not a tool for equitable resolution of conflict, it is a tool that exists to facilitate the oppression of movements exactly like Occupy. Zinn’s “People’s History” documents this from the first days of the new state when the starving in New York (for example) who marched to demand food were imprisoned or forced to “go west” in a conscious planned migration in support of expanding colonial genocide against Native Americans.

I share Naomi’s outrage, and join her and others who stand against the corruption she describes. We are indeed in a now open, now covert, civil war in which we need to correctly identify the enemy (both as a set of mutually supporting classes and as an economic system that is dying around us), and organize to fight for our survival and our priorities as workers. A strong Communist Party based on Marxist/Leninist principles is needed, as well as a strong labor movement that is independent of the Democratic Party, which is a party of the wealthy.

Occupy is correct in condemning the corrupt electoral system in this country. We are beyond primarily electoral struggle to struggle in the streets – for our survival as workers and our families and communities. Read Newt Gingrich or Herman Cain if you don’t think we are struggling for our lives. Even the Democrats are talking about the need to lower workers wages in response to the “debt” crisis. The imposition of austerity measures is a code name for increased exploitation of the working class by the rich. Debt servicing is merely the transfer of workers money to the rich when workers didn’t choose to “invest” in the imperialist wars, increasing globalization of wages to the lowest paid, robotics replacing manual labor on factory lines, and the steady downward pressure on wages that contributed to the “debt” and the systemic crisis of overproduction. Workers can’t buy the products of their own labor.

Socialism is the only real solution to a corrupt and corrupting — dying — capitalist economic / social system that has proven itself unable to meet the needs of the 99% — the vast majority in this country and globally who labor for their survival. Socialism is simply the imposition of a working-class state for a capitalist state.

A key goal: Socialize the wealth — bring the wealth under democratic control.

In unity and struggle,

Eric

http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/441-occupy/8592-the-shocking-truth-about-the-crackdown-on-occupy

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German Communists Answer theses of CPUSA’s Sam Webb

July 20, German Communists Answer theses of CPUSA’s Sam Webb, by Dr. Hans-Peter Brenner writing in the Berlin socialist daily Junge Welt , July 20, 2011
Coping with political defeat, July 20, 2011 by Hans-Peter Brenner

Source: 21stcenturymanifesto

Certain Features of the Historical Development of Marxism is a work of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin. In it he dealt with the consequences of the defeat of the first Russian revolution of 1905. At that time, many party members (including many recently enrolled intellectuals) left the revolutionary party in droves. Soon after that, the farewell to Marxism, which we too experienced in 1989-1991, became the fashion.

As a reflection of this change there occurred profound disintegration, confusion, shaking and swaying of all sorts – in a word, there appeared a very serious internal crisis of Marxism. The resolute defense against this decay, the determined and persistent struggle for the basics of Marxism, again came on the agenda.

That was Lenin’s diagnosis.

It was — and still is — important for us German Communists to examine what conclusions other Communist parties later drew from the defeat of socialism in Europe and the USSR.

First of all, I think about the leadership of the Communist Party of Cuba, which had already adjusted to this disaster before the shameful end of Mikhail Gorbachev who drove to ruin Soviet socialism, his country, and his party. Cuba — the country and the Communist Party – understood this: the harsh “drought” of the Special Period would govern the 1990s and early 2000s. Without its revolutionary, Marxist-Leninist character, the Communist Party of Cuba would have given up its socialist goal.

Self-awareness or Self-doubt?

I recall one Communist leader, prominent but, unfortunately, less noted in Germany , Alvaro Cunhal (1913-2005), the longtime general secretary of the Portuguese Communist Party (PCP). At the time of the fascist Salazar dictatorship, Cunhal’s underground struggle, his inspiring and mobilizing role during and after the 1974 victory of the “Carnation Revolution,” as well as his shrewd leadership, are legendary.

The advance of the socialist stage of the revolutionary upheaval in Portugal was stopped by the united and coordinated actions of U.S. imperialism, NATO, the EU, the main European imperialist states, international social democracy, and domestic reaction.

Thanks to his personal resourcefulness, Cunhal embarked upon a strategic retreat. With a party united by a Marxist-Leninist program, he achieved the preservation of the PCP and its mass influence. He developed its clear profile, which it keeps today, as a revolutionary party of the working class, peasants and other working people.

To this day, his conclusions about the character of a Communist Party at the beginning of the 21st century are well worth reading. In his 2001 work, As Seis de Caracteristicas Fundamentais do Partido Comunista (The Six Basic Features of a Communist Party) Cunhal goes into the internal situation of the Communist movement at the beginning of the 21st century. He writes:

The international Communist movement, and the parties from which it is made up, were subject to profound changes as a the result of the collapse of the USSR and other socialist countries and capitalism’s success in its rivalry with socialism. There were parties who denied their militant past, their class nature, the goal of a socialist society, and revolutionary theory. In some cases, they were transformed into system-integrated parties, and they eventually disappeared from the scene.

In 2011 as well, this finding is relevant and correct.

Features of a Communist Party

The Communist movement as a whole – Cunhal went on – has achieved flexibility in its composition and reached new limits. Admittedly, though there is no model of a Communist Party, nonetheless “six basic features can reveal a Communist party, regardless of whether the party bears that name or another.

Briefly, their traits could include:

1. To be a party completely independent of the interests, ideology, pressure and threats of capitalist forces;

2. To be a party of the working class, the working people, in general, the exploited and oppressed;

3. To be a party with a democratic internal life and a unified central leadership;

4. To be a party which is both internationalist and which defends the interests of its country;

5. To be a party that defines its goal as the building of a society which knows neither exploited nor exploiters, a socialist society;

6. To be the bearer of a revolutionary theory, the theory of Marxism-Leninism, which not only makes the explanation of the world possible, but also shows the way to change it.

In its simplicity and plainness, the last point sounds like it is of little interest, just as the other five points appear to include too little that is new. And yet these “self-evident truths” are not self-evident truths – not even for Communists. But more of that later.

Classics Taken at their Word

Cunhal made available to us the following explanation for his six points. It is cited here, in more detail, because of its uniqueness and distinctiveness:

All the slanderous, punishing, anti-Communist campaigns are lies. Marxism-Leninism is a living, anti-dogmatic, dialectical, creative theory, which is further enriched by practice and by its responses to new situations and phenomena, which is its job. It drives the practice of enrichment and development, dynamically and creatively using the lessons of practice.

Marx in Capital and Marx and Engels in the Communist Manifesto analyzed and defined the basic elements and characteristics of capitalism.

In the second half of the 19th century, however, the development of capitalism underwent an important amendment. Competition led to concentration and monopoly. We owe to Lenin and his work Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism the definition of capitalism at the end of the 19th century. These theoretical developments are of exceptional value. And the value of research and systematization of theoretical knowledge is rated as high.

In a synthesis of extraordinary clarity and rigor, a famous article by Lenin, The Three Sources and Three Component Parts of Marxism explains it. In the philosophy of dialectical materialism, historical materialism is its application to society. Political economy is the analysis and explanation of capitalism and exploitation, and the theory of surplus value is the cornerstone for understanding exploitation. The theory of socialism is the definition of the new society, the abolition of exploitation of man by man.

During the 20th century and the social transformations accompanying it, much new theoretical thinking was added. However, there also was scattered and contradictory thinking which made it difficult to distinguish what is theoretical development and where it is a question of revisionist deviation from principles. Hence the urgent need for debate without preconceptions and without making truths absolute. It’s not about the search for conclusions deemed to be final, but rather the intensification of joint reflection.” Quoted from: http://www.kommunisten.ch

Cunhal is now dead six years. His party, the PCP, however, considers him not an idol on a pedestal, a “historical figure” whose thoughts and ideas slowly but gradually have been forgotten. Today, his theoretical and programmatic conclusions determine the path and self-understanding of the PCP. But, unfortunately, it is quite different elsewhere.

On Slippery Ground

The current example of this is the thinking of the chairman of the CPUSA, Sam Webb. Political Affairs, the theoretical organ of his party, published in February this year under the title: “A Party of Socialism in the 21st Century: What It Looks Like, What It Says, and What It Does.” It has now appeared in German on the news portal of the German Communist Party’s website, http://www.kommunisten.de

Why are Webb’s theses of interest beyond the CPUSA?

For example, why did the Communist Party of Greece (KKE), despite the demands of the controversies and class struggles raging in that country, to which it devotes so much energy and combativeneness, send a really dramatic appeal To the members and cadres of the Communist Party USA! To U.S. militant workers! It was also addressed to all the Communist and Workers’ Parties, “in order to protest against these theses.”

And now, why do German Communists deal with the Webb theses too?

Sam Webb stressed at the beginning of his 29 theses, each different in detail and very different in theoretical significance, that he was on slippery ground. The publisher of the theoretical journal of the CPUSA, Political Affairs, also knew well what he was getting involved with by posting it. The preface that introduces the article makes this clear.

The following article represents only the views of its author. It doesn’t necessarily reflect the official views of any organization or collective…

Apparently, to avoid such criticisms [Editor: criticism of opportunism], Webb emphasized in the introduction that it was a “draft,” an unfinished manuscript, and that “readers will surely note inconsistencies, contradictions, silences and unfinished ideas.”

This is all too ostentatious modesty, and the ensuing fishing for compliments belies the altogether clear and complete implications of the theses.

Communists without Lenin

In the end Sam Webb delivers a very consistent idea, although it is not original. A letter in the German Communist Party weekly Unsere Zeit has already pointed out:

What is so exciting, new and important for us in these theses of Comrade Webb…? I cannot see it. Readers of Marxistische Blaetter already read and evaluated the core of his “Reflections on Socialism” in mid-2008 (In Focus: International Marxism, March 2008). And in our party, since the mid to late 1980s, we have discussed other theories (for example, the reduction of Marxism to a mere method, or the orientation to a “Marxism without Lenin.” Not only did we do this thoroughly, but we developed collective responses crowned with a new party program’. Lothar Geisler, “Theses Not New,” Unsere Zeit, July 1, 2011, p. 12)

In fact, most of the 29 theses do not contain much that is new. Though he writes of merely one in the article mentioned in Marxistische Blaetter from 2008, in its approaches, the quixotic intellectual journey already discernible in 2008 continues, but it now ends as a break with central points of Communist theory — socialism, and the doctrine of the Party. He runs aground on the shoals of a left–pluralist Marxism; or the earlier “Eurocommunism,” or the current democratic socialism of the German Left Party,European Left, respectively.

I mention particularly the rejection of the theory of Marx, Engels and Lenin as a unified, revolutionary theory of the working class.

What is original here is a hitherto less well-known chauvinistic undertone. As noted in his Thesis #2:

As for “Marxism-Leninism,” the term should be retired in favor of simply “Marxism.” For one thing, it has a negative connotation among ordinary Americans, even in left and progressive circles. Depending on whom you ask, it either sounds foreign or dogmatic or undemocratic or all of these together.

Granted, Lenin was no Russian exile finding safety in the U.S., taking out U.S. citizenship, and Americanizing his first or last name – perhaps to Sam Cook or Sam Smith.

But do ordinary Americans deem Karl Marx to be a fellow American?

And does Marxism really sound so terrifically American, that perhaps Sarah Palin herself, the icon of ordinary Americans, understands by Marxism a sweetness and innocence, causing her patriotic sentiment to peal like a church bell?

Webbism?

So the real test awaits Jim and Jane, ordinary Americans.

Shakespeare’s Macbeth comes to my mind, with its sigh, almost a curse:

It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. But the meaning of Webb’s theses is more than noisy fury.

We long-suffering European Communists are quite accustomed to this counterposing of Marx and Lenin, and the elimination of the latter from what is coyly called “Marxism” or – even more subtly – “scientific socialism.”

A Diminished Picture of History

In the early 1980s, the German Communist Party grappled intensively with a forerunner of today’s “Webbism,” the idea of a Western “plural” Marxism, and a Marxism without Leninism. It arose in the study and seminar rooms of the West Berlin professor Wolfgang Fritz Haug.

At the same time, the highly relevant Marxist journal Argument was being published (compare Marxism. Ideology. Politics. Crisis of Marxism, or Crisis of the Argument? Frankfurt am Main, 1984. Editors: Hans Heinz Holz, Thomas Metscher, Joseph Schleifstein, and Robert Steigerwald.)

The second argument pushed by Webb for the amputation of Marxism-Leninism is even less original. And it is no less wrong. Back then it was also formulated by the Haug school. Allegedly, Marxism-Leninism is not “classical Marxism.”

Sam Webb’s allegation of “simplification” of the ideas of Marx, Engels, Lenin and other early Marxists in the form of “Marxism-Leninism” in the Stalin era is simply wrong.

In the Soviet Communist Party and the Communist International, after the death of Lenin and long before the nonsensical enthronement of Stalin as the “one true disciple of Lenin,” acknowledgement began of Lenin as the third classical author of Marxism.

The careful processing, safeguarding and development of Lenin’s theoretical legacy by many CPSU and Comintern theorists is hidden by the Webb theses in a way that ignores history.

The general assertion that “Soviet scientists under Stalin’s leadership systematized and simplified earlier Marxist writing,” not to mention adapting it to the needs of Soviet state ideology, is nothing more than repetition of the old anti-Soviet slogans.

There were, in the course of seventy years of Soviet party history and scientific history, numerous introductions to the academic and theoretical papers of Marx, Engels and Lenin. They were simplifications, just as in any scientific discipline there is simplification in all introductions, compendia, and so forth. They are merely introductions.

In no way was there systematic falsification of the inheritance. Even in the post-socialist era, the collected works of classical authors have still not finally emerged. This does not change the fact that, in a few texts of Lenin, there also was one or another politically motivated “editorial reworking” or omission, although this was justified and made transparent.

It is not true that Marxism-Leninism was — or is — an impoverished,simplified version of the true Marxism.

Certainly there was and is, in every theory and in all science, phases of greater or lesser creativity and development. And undoubtedly there was and will be future phases, just as in any scientific doctrine, in which revolutionary Marxists/Communists do not evaluate promptly new social and/or natural scientific phenomena. Or they do so too late. Or in a way that is only partly correct. In general, it is the nature of science that it moves in a contradictory manner between faster and slower stages of development.

Webb’s more far-reaching conclusion is that even what he designates as his new “Marxism” is only a “scientific method.”

He thinks his altogether limited and schematic scientific-theoretical view surpasses the comprehensive legacy of the three classic founders of Marxism-Leninism.

A “method” which brings to light no apparent content, is worthless. And in the thesis of Sam Webb, the method goes straight to this “new-old” distinction and the rejection of content.

A German Version of Webb?

After the defeat of real socialism, the Left could not fail to weigh its previous relationship with Lenin and Leninism. The PDS [Party of Democratic Socialism] originating in a Marxist-Leninist party did this too. It broke with its Leninist heritage. In May 1990 at a closed meeting of the former PDS Executive Board, Gregor Gysi spoke about the new theoretical basis of his reform-socialism-turned-political-party. In this context, he explained both the departure from Marxism-Leninism and the move to an “ideologically pluralistic” party in which the Communist component would enjoy only a marginal existence, tolerated and allowed.

Thus far the statements by Sam Webb are nothing new. The same applies to his “new” concepts of organizational theory. They are in theory 27 ideas presented to remodel the party structure into an informal communication network, mainly Internet-based, whose members interact with each other primarily via e-mail.

Abolition of the unity principle and the commitment to the party program and decisions amounts to a vote for the open liquidation of the Communist Party.

Reassuring evidence that the huge distances between widely scattered individual U.S. Communists absolutely requires use of modern means of communication, in this context, is not completely convincing.

It’s clear Webb doesn’t mean to modernize the lines of communication. Such modernization, of course, is useful and necessary.

This is about something entirely different: the liquidation of a strong organizational structure, clear criteria for party membership, a common collectively developed program, binding revolutionary strategy and tactics, and in general decisions grounding the party in the working class, in working people, in the revolutionary youth and among oppressed women, in production enterprises and scientific institutions, and in the intelligentsia worn out by capital.

He also thinks joining this structure existing only in cyberspace should be slapdash – “no more difficult than joining other social organizations.” This is a logical consequence of the destruction of a party once in political struggle against the capitalist system – a party consisting of real, like-minded people coordinated with each other. The party is downgraded to a loose, small electoral force primarily concentrating on the support of the election campaigns of the Democratic Party.

Sam Webb has still provided the remnants of a party. “Teams” will be traveling around as “meet and greet” and support groups.

This is nothing more than window dressing.

Does the U.S. workers’ movement need such a party? I doubt it very much. But it has to decide for itself.

In any case, German Communists do not need it. Nor do we need an “open-ended and interesting” discussion of this plea for the end of Marxism-Leninism and the Communist Party.

We have better and more important things to do.

Dr. Hans-Peter Brenner, a psychologist and psychotherapist, is a member of the national leadership of the German Communist Party (Deutsche Kommunistische Partei, DKP) and co-editor of Marxistische Blaetter. This article appeared July 9, 2011 in Junge Welt, a Marxist daily newspaper published in Berlin.

http://www.jungewelt.de/2011/07-09/001.php?sstr=HansPeterBrenner

Translated by Bill Miller
Posted by Andrew Taylor at 9:55 PM
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1 comments:

83cee310-b7a7-11e0-9851-000bcdcb8a73 said…

Hans-Peter Brenner’s paper contains important and serious arguments. a translation therefore is an important contribution to make his ideas known also beyond Germany. Why then this translation starts with an erroneous headline? “Coping with political defeat” is not the topic but rather “Sam Webb’s theses: road to progress or to sellout”. Another example: No, Brenner does not say “The advance of the socialist stage of the revolutionary upheaval in Portugal was stopped by the united and coordinated actions of U.S. imperialism, NATO, …” but rather the contrary “.. the advance of the socialist stage of the revolutionary upheaval in Portugal had to be stopped because of the united and coordinated actions of U.S. imperialism, NATO, ..”. Or “Even in the post-socialist era, the collected works of classical authors have still not finally emerged.” should read: “After all the collected works of the classical authors did not originate in postsocialist times.”. “… in general decisions grounding the party in the working class, ..” should actually be “party .. based upon … binding decisions”. Writing “.. the harsh “drought” of the Special Period would govern the 1990s and early 2000s. Without its revolutionary, Marxist-Leninist character, the Communist Party of Cuba would have given up its socialist goal.” is very much different from Brenner’s “The Cuban leadership knew how to make it through the harsh drought of the “special period” of the ’90s and early 2000s, … without abandoning the revolutionary Marxist-Leninist character of the Communist Party of Cuba and their socialist goals.”.

Too many examples? In this translation there are additional “deviations” contained. Why? Who would be interested in a misleading translation? Helmut Woda, Germany.

http://permanentred.blogspot.com/2011/07/july-20-german-communists-answer-theses.html

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Windows 7 Network Awareness

I was looking around on Slashdot tonight and found the article “Windows 7 Network Awareness: How Windows knows it has an internet connection“. The question that the article answers is: Whenever I connect to a WiFi network which requires in-browser … Continue reading

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Stephanie Valentin / Violin / Song of the Ghetto

Amazing. Evocative of a whole community that I miss without realizing that I was missing it. The community of my grandparents. Abram Shtern – Jewish Melody – continuing the Jewish music theme of the night. And, just because I am … Continue reading

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Listening to Chopin – Valentina Igoshina – Fantasie Impromptu

Today is the start of Cherry Blossom season in Japan, according to National Public Radio this morning. The cherry blossom tree is known for its short yet brilliant blooming season which ends with an inevitable fall to the ground. For … Continue reading

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Encountering Charles Mingus – “Moaning”

This is an amazing piece. Thank you, Charles Mingus. Charles Mingus – “Moaning”

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Who We Are

Gil Scott Heron penned “Winter in America” in 1973, with the release in 1974. He was, and remains, a prophetic voice on the plight of many of us in the United States. Some of the lyrics: And now it’s winter … Continue reading

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