socialism [noun]

Let’s take a look at the word, “socialism,” to see if there’s anything to be scared of here.
socialism [noun] –
a theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole.
 
There’s an emphasis on community, which sounds a lot like your local neighborhood.
 
Have you heard of any businesses or organizations that are organized as coöps?
 
Examples include REICo-Opportunity Natural Foods, Nationwide Mutual Insurance, Land O’Lakes, Dairy Farmers of America, CHS Inc., Associated Wholesale Grocers, Growmark Inc., and Ace Hardware.
Many, many more examples of successful coöperatives exist in other countries.
 
Having read this far, be honest: is there anything I’ve described that makes you quake in your boots with fear?
If not, please read on:
 
Expanding this form of social enterprise in the U.S. would have tremendous benefits, particularly conveying a real sense of ownership to working people and other stakeholders in the community & beyond.
No 5-year plans, no Red Army, no gulags. Just humble working folks sharing a bit more in the wealth & success they produce.
Our U.S. economy ought to be organized to work better & deliver more to men & women who, without fancy titles or advanced degrees, do the lion’s share of the labor that keeps the economic wheels turning every day.
If the capitalistic system has left you feeling deprived of a satisfying work life; earnings that keep you more than a step ahead of bill collectors; access to clean streets, streams, lakes, & air; and a sense that society will be there for you if & when you are ill or infirm — for all those reasons, perhaps we should open our minds to the possibility of something better.
A form of socialism that’s not yet been widely known in the U.S., democratic socialism, just might be the answer. It’s like community-based coöps, but on a somewhat larger scale.
What have we got to lose, other than massive pollution, workplace injuries, & pushy billionaires who never know when to quit?
 
Find out more at:
 

The Republican Show Trial of Donald Trump — Wickersham’s Conscience

From Wikipedia: A show trial is a public trial in which the judicial authorities have already determined the guilt, and/or innocence, of the defendant. The actual trial has as its only goal the presentation of both the accusation and the verdict to the public. There are characteristics of a show trial. Often, witnesses are not […]

via The Republican Show Trial of Donald Trump — Wickersham’s Conscience

Notes on Kavanaugh: Would You Hire This Man?

#PerjuryDisqualifiesBK

Wickersham's Conscience

Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh gives his opening statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday. (Win McNamee/Getty Images) Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh gives his opening statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

A lot of folks don’t seem to understand the purpose of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing on the nomination of Judge Kavanaugh. It’s not a trial. It’s nonsense to talk about “innocent until proven guilty” and “evidence.” Those are terms for a court or administrative law performance. They have little if anything to do with the issue on a judicial nomination.

This is a job interview.

This is a decision whether or not to hire a person to be a justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. Since it’s a lifetime appointment,1 you likely want to exercise a little bit of extra care in the hire decision, but basically it’s a decision whether or not to hire a person.

Most of us have been interviewed for a job. A lot…

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Here’s the Deal: Books Almost Free, No Money Needed

A former colleague of mine, Richard Risemberg, has a couple of worthwhile ebooks out there . . . and, he also happens to be a talented photographer.

Crow Tree Books

The common wisdom is that giving away books gets you reviews that gains you the attention of folks who’ll actually buy books. Maybe this works, or maybe you just give away a lot of books and then starve. I don’t know, but I’m willing to give it a try.

However, the primary avenue for book giveaways is still Amazon, and, as far as I can tell (being no fan of boilerplate, I have not researched the matter profoundly on the Big A’s website), you can’t run a  free book promotion there without listing your book with Amazon Select, and to do that you have to agree not to sell digital versions of your work on any other channel. That means, of course, that the millions of readers who prefer the .epub format are left out in the cold, as are other merchants. Bit of the old restraint of trade, eh…

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R.I.P. Chuck Berry, 1926-2017

Wickersham's Conscience

Chuck Berry, c. 1973 Chuck Berry, c. 1973

The very first concert WC saw in Chicago was Chuck Berry at a small venue – the name of which WC has long since forgotten – on the west side of the Loop, in what was then called the Blues District. Berry was touring in support of his latest album, 1972’s The London Chuck Berry Sessions, which included the unfortunate “My Dig-a-ling,” Berry performed that song twice in his one hour gig.

It was a greatest hits show, with a loose group of local musicians backing him. They were surprisingly ragged at the start of each song. It turned out that was because Berry never told his local backing band the set list, never rehearsed and expected the  musicians to come in on his guitar intro. He did his signature stage hop, a couple of short guitar solos and that was it. Absolutely no patter. The…

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Celebrate National Adoption Day (11/19) with Lee & Low’s Adoption Book List

November 19th is National Adoption Day! And to celebrate, we are highlighting books that help children learn about and reflect on how families come together. The Story I’ll Tell, by Nancy Tupper Ling, illus. by Jessica Lanan A young child asks his mother to tell the story of where he came from. “I might tell…

via Celebrate National Adoption Day with our Adoption Book List — Lee & Low Blog