Pittsburgh Green Left 🌻πŸ₯‘ Profile picture
A Green left perspective on politics & society via socialist, anarchist, green/social ecologist ideas. I advocate #GreenParty but my tweets only speak for me.
12 May
As others have pointed out, before the 100th day in office the excuse was "geez he just got into office, give him time", now after 100 days the excuse is "but what about the midterms, now's not the time".

It's never the right time for Democrats because they they lied to you.
They may pass some token legislation, I don't know. But whatever they do won't be enough, it won't be what Biden and others ran on, and the excuse about midterms will only grow louder toward the end of the year.
In fact they'll tell you they "didn't have enough time" and they totally pinky-swear promise they'll get right to it in 2023 once you re-elect them.
Read 7 tweets
12 May
Why is Israel acting like this? You'd think that people who were genocided by Nazis only a few decades ago would be a little more anti-imperialist and more sympathetic to plights of other cultures. Is this a case of trauma & violence continuing the cycle & creating more violence?
It's well-known for example that abusers were often abused themselves in childhood. Is this some sort of cultural trauma response directed at Palestine?

The violent repressive state in Israel must end. The cycle of violence must be ended. Peace and democracy must be built.
It's important to know that folks want peace in both Israel and Palestine. Much of this is the result of an authoritarian, violent, repressive police state government in Israel that doesn't reflect the people, funded by the US military-industrial complex.
Read 4 tweets
11 May
The mind-boggling amount of candidates for Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas makes me wonder -- why are they running as Democrat/Republican in a primary? Do they just think they "have to" do that to run? I'd think judges especially would love to run an Independent message.
Running as an Independent can help "prove" your commitment to truth and fairness outside of partisanship. And by running as an Independent, you'd have until November to campaign -- months more time to get your name out there! -- instead of next week.
I think most running are Democrats right? You'd have much greater chance winning as an Independent in November running against the 10-15ish primary winners than you do running in a crowded 40ish person primary.
Read 5 tweets
11 May
Saw in a documentary that in early 1900s there was a grassroots movement for the Townsend Plan which would have guaranteed everyone the equivalent of $4000 per month today in retirement (after age 60). FDR seems to have co-opted that idea as social security which gave much less.
Interestingly, the plan came from a person Dr Robert Townsend just publishing brief notes on his idea as a letter to the editor in a local newspaper, but so many people were looking for a way to deal with poverty that it quickly caught on. ssa.gov/history/towns5…
He apparently proposed a 2% sales tax that would be sufficient to ensure everyone got a guaranteed middle class retirement. Townsend groups appeared across the country, holding town meetings, educating locals, and advocating the plan. It became so popular FDR had to react.
Read 18 tweets
30 Mar
The more cops try to explain their violence away as "well that was just my training", the more it opens people's eyes to the cruelty of the system. I don't know how these individual cases will go but I think they're losing the long-term public support the more they push.
Some of my family is fairly conservative and even a few police in my family. As such some of my family was pretty adamant about how tough it is being an officer & the need to support them. Even they are having second thoughts learning what really goes on in jail & court.
When the cops start losing the support of my Republican family members, we know there's a shift going on.

Cops of course could reverse this trend by toning it down even slightly, but much like capitalism, they are compelled to take it to extremes, always.
Read 9 tweets
30 Mar
"enough to power 10 million homes for a year"

There are 350+ million people in the US. This is insufficient given the climate crisis deadline of 2030 that is quickly approaching. A #GreenNewDeal would power *every* home by renewables within 10 years.
Furthermore: the bulk of energy and carbon use is not by homes, but by *industry*. Notice that's left out of the description; Biden doesn't have much of a plan there (other than to keep up fracking).

The #GreenNewDeal would put industry on renewables energy within 10 years too.
"an anticipated $3 trillion package to prioritize green infrastructure"

"set aside $128 million to help speed up deployment of solar technologies"

$100 million for nationwide deployment of solar would be laughable if crisis wasn't so urgent. It needs to be billions per year.
Read 5 tweets
30 Mar
I spoke with my family in other states & they are miles ahead on vaccines, anyone over 18 now can get one easily. They're optimistic returning to normal this summer.

I'm starting to think PA's rush to open restaurants/schools is to hide how bad PA f*cked this up.
All last year, PA was near the bottom of lists in terms of doing proper testing for coronavirus. We're still on some sort of weird expanded phase 1A in PA without any clear idea when it will change.
Makes sense to me: if other states have better distributed vaccines and are beginning to open, PA doesn't want to be exposed for being slow and stay closed while everyone else is open. So PA state leaders decided: whatever, let's just open too! pandemic over!
Read 4 tweets
28 Mar
Lenin, Trotsky, and the Bolsheviks attacked Kronstadt after the previously-allied navy there declared independence in protest of Bolshevik authoritarian crackdowns amid famine & crisis. If you didn't pledge fealty to Lenin and the Communist Party, you were killed.
Folks like Lenin & Trotsky should not be role models for the left. Their twisted form of Marxism relied heavily on authoritarian power and crushing dissent. The anarchists in Russia were the real revolution that overthrew the czar & created democracy prior to Bolshevik takeover.
I get really nervous when I see folks say online to read more Lenin and such (seemingly sincerely, and not merely a "know your enemy" sort of read). Those aren't in general the ideas and history we should be try to emulate or learn from except in learning what NOT to do.
Read 4 tweets
28 Mar
If it isn't specifically a tax on the ruling class's wealth, then it's effectively a tax on the poor. This will hurt struggling folks that rely on rideshare or delivery apps to make an income while asking for nothing from those app's capitalist owners.
The "user pays" principle Buttigieg is talking about is the right-wing doctrine that pretends the poor and wealthy are equals in the market and should each pay the same rate. On the surface this sounds "fair" to libertarians but it hides a MASSIVE power/wealth differential.
So let's talk about roads for a moment here. Buttigieg and conservative Dems want to use "mileage" as the way to set the tax but this is the wrong metric to use in many ways. The vast majority of road infrastructure spending is on *repair*, so you want to know what causes damage.
Read 17 tweets
27 Mar
AOC's defense of Biden & Democrats is a good example of "progressivism" without a clear class & race analysis. "It's privilege to talk about one group continuing to be exploited while another group is slightly better" isn't solidarity, it's justification of continued hierarchy.
Privilege exists, racism exists, sexism exists - all of it can be more subconscious bias than we realize. For sure we all have to put effort into rooting it out of our lives & thinking.

But often the establishment misuses the language of the left to muddy the waters & sow doubt.
I'm not an expert on these issues. I am continuing to read and learn and try to educate myself, to reduce my own biases, and to absorb a greater analysis of the huge machine that is capitalism. But this is exactly why I get very skeptical when those with power tell us to stop.
Read 7 tweets
11 Dec 20
A classic of Green Party history, the "Avocado Declaration" by Peter Camejo. Some describe themselves as "watermelons": "green on outside, red on inside", meant to evoke more of a Marxist attitude.

The Avocado Declaration states we're "green inside & out" marxists.org/archive/camejo…
The Avocado attitude comes from the idea that Green socialism is its own tendency, different from other forms of socialism. Particularly when you look at influences like Murray Bookchin's social ecology, it's easy to see a different praxis than that suggested by Marxist orgs.
Let's look at a few of the most standout parts of the Avocado Declaration and see how much applies to today still. (The original was written in early 2004).
Read 73 tweets
11 Dec 20
This video is of Elizabeth Warren before she became Senator when she wasn't afraid to call out Dem leaders for representing corporations not people.

How much of this story now applies to Warren herself? How many of today's "progressives" will do the same?
It's quite simple -- if you don't have the strength of will and organizing skills to proudly run as an independent, then how are you going to stand up to corporate pressures while in office?

Progressive activists need to be very careful who they are giving their time/money to.
It's no coincidence that the people afraid to declare independent opposition to the system get elected and then start voting for imperialism, massive war budgets, and more, despite all their progressive talk.

If you cave to "I have to run Democrat", what else do you cave to?
Read 7 tweets
8 May 20
I accidentally found myself reading US Green Party history late last night and I didn't realize how deep the tension is between the more liberal Greens & socialist Greens going back to the founding of the party. No wonder some demonize Howie, it's a personal feud at this point.
Howie was basically the leader of the Left Green socialist faction in the party going back to the 1980s, arguing that Greens needed to be a working-class movement. While electoral politics is an element of that strategy, it shouldn't be the only or even major focus, he argued.
So when Howie says he's a party co-founder, he's not wrong. He founded the Left Green Network that was a precursor to a real national party, which became the Greens/Green Party USA, which was basically that leftist/socialist faction in the party.
Read 28 tweets
4 Aug 19
Entirely reasonable given its severity! Importantly, once you look at the causes and solutions to climate, you realize how intertwined everything is. We have to address capitalism, imperialism, racism, & build democracy to effectively deal with pollution & climate long-term.
Climate change isn't a "single issue", that's an establishment talking point. It is the UNIFYING issue, the end result of a combination of a host of other problems. We cannot significantly tackle climate without addressing root causes -- carbon emissions alone aren't enough!
Capitalism causes the climate crisis, because the endless drive for profit means an endless consumption of greater and greater amounts of resources. You cannot have forever growth. Period. Pretending that you can results in the pollution and problems we see today.
Read 50 tweets
28 Nov 18
The Socialist Party was winning elections in early 1900s and proved a strong opponent to the Dems & GOP, especially when combined with unions and strikes. I believe an independent party is needed yet again.
The Socialist Party was on track to become a major party in US politics until many anti-war socialist and union leaders were jailed during the World Wars (in particular, horrible laws like Sedition Act of 1918).
More or less, the final nail in the coffin was FDR's New Deal, which was largely based on demands from the Socialist Party platform. It was a compromise to "save capitalism", in FDR's words -- keep capitalism by creating a social safety net to reduce tensions.
Read 43 tweets