What We Stand For

The Communist Party of Indiana CPUSA struggles for socialism: to better the lives of Indiana's working families, to protect and extend labor's ability to organize, for the needs of women, children, immigrants (documented and undocumented), the disabled, LGBT, and all people who strive for affordable quality health care, housing, and education. We stand against racism in all its forms. We stand for jobs for all. We stand for peace. We support all who struggle world wide for the dignity and self-determination of the majority of their nation's people and against imperialism, occupation, and exploitation for private profit.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

On "After State Monopoly Capitalism?" by Zoltan Zigedy

Zoltan Zigedy provides a review of After State Monopoly Capitalism? that provides a glimpse into how bourgeois economists are recognizing the undeniable relationship between monopoly capital and political power. Quoting Krugman who was in turn summarizing Reich, the relationship between monopoly capital and political power is described very clearly:

Rising wealth at the top buys growing political influence via campaign contributions, lobbying, and the rewards of the revolving door. Political influence in turn is used to rewrite the rules of the game—antitrust laws, deregulation, changes in contract law, union-busting—in a way that reinforces income concentration. The result is a sort of spiral, a vicious circle of oligarchy.

The pervasive exploitation and misery that are permanent features of capitalism as a system benefit a very few globally or in the United States. The resulting inequalities have become so starkly visible that even those who are inclined to want to see capitalism survive have to admit to the systemic challenges that capitalism presents to the great mass of people.

In the conflict between exploiters (monopoly capital) and working people the lines are clearly drawn; this conflict demands resolution through systemic change ending exploitation and beginning to build toward a socialist society.

Friday, December 11, 2015

John Grisham's novel "Gray Mountain"

John Grisham's novel "Gray Mountain" is worth the read. The book is a legal thriller chronicling the conflict between big coal companies in Appalachia and the workers in the coal industry. In a book that comes across as truly passionate on its subject, the author weaves a story of crusading lawyers fighting big business and a legal system that is easily manipulated by those with money. Rather than being an even playing field dedicated to finding justice, the courts are arenas where big business beats workers literally to death with appeals and lies, augmented by corporate goons threatening violence at every turn.

While the resolution of the novel is firmly supportive of working within the system, the actual facts vividly described are a penetrating condemnation of capitalist justice that implicitly asks the question of whether the state apparatus is so one-sided in favor of big money as to be irretrievably corrupt and needing to be dumped through a fundamental change in the power relations between workers and employers.

I recommend this book to anyone looking for a good holiday (or otherwise) read. Its fun, intelligent, moving, and accurate. John Grisham at his best.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Opening of the International Conference of Solidarity with the Palestinian People

Today marks the opening of the International Conference of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. This event was organized by the World Federation of Trade Unionists and the General Union of Palestinian Workers.

The Palestinians have been subject to occupation and genocidal attack for over 75 years now, with the continued support of the United States for the atrocities carried out against these people.

The Communist Party of Indiana CPUSA stands with the people of Palestine and demands an end to the attacks by the Israeli state and by individuals against Palestinians, an end to all seizure of Palestinian lands, and recognition of the dignity of the Palestinian people everywhere including peace, self-determination, restoration of lands, and the right of return.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

New York Police Officer Fatally Shoots [Unarmed] Man After a Car and Foot Chase

The New York Times is reporting here on 8 December 2015 that "New York Police Officer Fatally Shoots Man After a Car and Foot Chase". While the NY Times headline doesn't mention it, the murdered man was unarmed.

A uniformed New York City police officer shot and killed an unarmed man on Tuesday after a car chase that began in the Bronx ended with a foot pursuit and a confrontation in a wooded area of Yonkers just off the Saw Mill River Parkway, the authorities said.

The NY TImes article avoids specifically mentioning the ethnicity or race of the murdered man, but from his name, Miguel Espinal, it is likely he is Hispanic. The Times goes on to list out the details of all the problems this man had, such as prior run-ins with the law, as if they somehow justified the slaughter of another human being at the hands of the police. Mr. Espinal's past is irrelevant to this murder, and the fact that the NY Times and similar media keep insinuating that only "bad people" get murdered by the police is irresponsible and reprehensible.

The Communist Party of Indiana CPUSA stands against the continuing police murder of African American youth and all people of color, working people, and the mentally ill. That these murders continue to be daily occurrences is indicative of the underlying, the real, function the police serve: to terrorize working class communities and all people of color, especially African American youth, in order to keep people from organizing for a society more conducive to human development and meeting humans needs rather than filling the wallets of the rich.

We support all efforts to impose citizen's control over the police, and support all people standing for justice in the cases of people murdered by the police. We further believe the nature of the role police play in our society must change before people can look to them to cherish and protect rather than abuse and murder.

The Communist Party of Indiana CPUSA stands against all murder by the police and demands a full and open investigation into Mr. Espinal's death at the hands of a police officer.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Labor Day Parade in Princeton, IN

This is an invitation to all Single-Payer supporters to join with the California Nurses Association (CNA)/National Nurses Organizing Committee (NNOC) in the 123rd Labor Day Parade in Princeton, Indiana. The parade is part of the Labor Day Celebrations which is one of the oldest in the Nation and is made up of thousands of working men and women and their families from
the Tri-State area. Join with us in exposing thousands to the concept of Single-Payer. If you have a blue Medicare for All t-shirt we encourage you to wear it. Any pro Single-Payer logo is welcome including signs and banners. We will have a trailer for those who need to ride.

Who: All Single-Payer Supporters

What: Labor Day Parade

When: September 7, 2009 Labor Day 9:00 A.M. *Central Standard Time*

Where: Princeton, Indiana which is 25 miles north of Evansville

This parade takes two hours to complete depending where you are in the parade line up. We are unit number 3 which means we will get through the parade route in less time.

The best way to get to the parade staging area is to go to the Gibson County Fairgrounds where the parade will end and park your car and then ride the bus to the staging area. I have attached a map of the Fairgrounds that shows the parking areas in black. You can access the parking areas from either entrance. Buses will run back and forth from these areas to the staging area
until the parade starts. After the parade the buses will again make runs to the down town staging area for those who park near the staging area. The main highway and streets in Princeton will close during the parade so driving into or out of the city is very difficult during the parade. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of getting there early. The ideal
time to catch the bus at the Fairgrounds is 7:30 A.M. Central Standard Time but they will continue to run up until starting time.

In addition to the map of the Fairgrounds I have attached the map of the parade route and the additional parade information. You can also access this information and much more at the web site www.labordayassoc.com. There are food booths at the Fairgrounds.

Web site directions: Go to www.labordayassoc.com and on the left side click on “Celebration 2009”. When this page opens up you will see Parade Map and Parade information. This is the same information that is attached. Check out the pictures of past parades. There are more old pictures being added each year.

Directions to the Gibson County Fairgrounds or parade staging area: Coming from the North on US 41 take the first Princeton exit on the ramp into Princeton. This is the second ramp which you will be going east into Princeton on Broadway/Indiana State Road 64. Do not confuse this with
Interstate 64.You will travel 1.25 miles and turn left on Embry Street. This street goes by both the entrances to the Fairgrounds (this is where you can catch the buses to the staging area). Or you can continue east on Broadway/64 for .4 miles to the staging area. You will go to the Courthouse Square and on the east side is Main Street. Turn right onto Main which is
the staging area. You can also get to the staging area by going to the second Princeton Exit off US 41 which is Main Street. You follow it into the staging area.

Coming from the South on US 41 you can take the first exit for Princeton which is Main Street. Follow it north until you arrive at the Parade staging area. To get to the Fairgrounds go the second Princeton exit and take the first ramp which you will be going East on Broadway/Indiana State Road 64.

Do not confuse this with Interstate 64. Go 1.25 miles to Embry Street and turn left. There is a sign for the Fairgrounds but it is easily overlooked. Embry will take you by both entrances to the Fairgrounds.

You can also come into Princeton from the East on Indiana State Road 64. Do not confuse this with Interstate 64. Coming from the North you can take Indiana State Road 57 South or 231 South. Both of these cross 64. Turn right on to 64 and go west until you come to Princeton. The second stop light is Main Street turn left and you will be in the Parade staging area. If you are
going to the Fairgrounds continue on to Embry Street and turn right and follow the street to the entrances to the grounds.

If you have any questions feel free to call me at 812-215-9848 or email me at gfritz@calnurses.org.

See Hoosiers for a Commonsense Health Plan and Citizens United for Universal Health Care/HCHP Northeast Chapter for more information.

See the Labor Day Association for more parade information.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Top Five Health Care Reform Lies—and How to Fight Back

| PA Editors Blog | August 12, 2009

Lie #1: President Obama wants to euthanize your grandma!!!

The truth: These accusations—of "death panels" and forced euthanasia—are, of course, flatly untrue. As an article from the Associated Press puts it: "No 'death panel' in health care bill." What's the real deal? Reform legislation includes a provision, supported by the AARP, to offer senior citizens access to a professional medical counselor who will provide them with information on preparing a living will and other issues facing older Americans.

Lie #2: Democrats are going to outlaw private insurance and force you into a government plan!!!

The truth: With reform, choices will increase, not decrease. Obama's reform plans will create a health insurance exchange, a one-stop shopping marketplace for affordable, high-quality insurance options. Included in the exchange is the public health insurance option — a nationwide plan with a broad network of providers — that will operate alongside private insurance companies, injecting competition into the market to drive quality up and costs down.

If you're happy with your coverage and doctors, you can keep them. But the new public plan will expand choices to millions of businesses or individuals who choose to opt into it, including many who simply can't afford health care now.

Lie #3: President Obama wants to implement Soviet-style rationing!!!

The truth: Health care reform will expand access to high-quality health insurance, and give individuals, families, and businesses more choices for coverage. Right now, big corporations decide whether to give you coverage, what doctors you get to see, and whether a particular procedure or medicine is covered—that is rationed care. And a big part of reform is to stop that.

Health care reform will do away with some of the most nefarious aspects of this rationing: discrimination for pre-existing conditions, insurers that cancel coverage when you get sick, gender discrimination, and lifetime and yearly limits on coverage. And outside of that, as noted above, reform will increase insurance options, not force anyone into a rationed situation.

Lie #4: Obama is secretly plotting to cut senior citizens' Medicare benefits!!!

The truth: Health care reform plans will not reduce Medicare benefits. Reform includes savings from Medicare that are unrelated to patient care — in fact, the savings comes from cutting billions of dollars in overpayments to insurance companies and eliminating waste, fraud, and abuse.

Lie #5: Obama's health care plan will bankrupt America!!!

The truth: We need health care reform now in order to prevent bankruptcy — to control spiraling costs that affect individuals, families, small businesses, and the American economy.

Right now, we spend more than $2 trillion dollars a year on health care. The average family premium is projected to rise to over $22,000 in the next decade — and each year, nearly a million people face bankruptcy because of medical expenses. Reform, with an affordable, high-quality public option that can spur competition, is necessary to bring down skyrocketing costs. Also, President Obama's reform plans would be fully paid for over 10 years and not add a penny to the deficit.

We're closer to real health care reform than we've ever been—and the next few weeks will decide whether it happens. We need to make sure the truth about health care reform is spread far and wide to combat right wing lies.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Union families show anti-Obama rally 'what real Americans want'

Paul Kaczocha | People's Weekly World | August 6, 2009

WAKARUSA, Ind. – In just a few hours on Aug. 5 the Steelworkers Union organized a bus load and several cars from Gary, Ind., to take the two hour trip to this small sleepy town near Elkhart and in the middle of the Amish area also known for RV and trailer construction.

More than 1,200 people from around the area gathered to support President Barack Obama and health care reform amongst other issues.

In contrast, The Young Republicans organized a smaller effort to protest Obama and health care reform efforts.

Earlier in the week many of these same protesters tried to disrupt a forum on health care with Congressman Pete Visclosky, sponsored by the Democratic Alliance group in Chesterton, Ind. The protesters are mounting “recess rallies” nationwide targeting Democrats and the president.

Obama spoke at the bankrupt and recently-purchased Monaco Coach RV manufacturer while supporters and protesters rallied outside. Unemployment in the area is nearly 20 percent in the state where it has reached 11 percent. Obama announced a $39 million stimulus grant to the company that purchased Monaco to make 400 electric trucks.

Ula Woods a school bus driver from Gary said she came to the rally, “to support Obama and his health care plans.” JC, also of Gary and a SEIU member and custodian, said he came “for health care reform and jobs. I am laid off with 59 others.”

Helen Johnson of South Bend, Ind. said “She came to show Obama that we support his efforts to get health care for all the people that don’t have it.”

Mike Olszanski, a retired steelworker from LaPorte, who was standing amongst the anti-Obama protesters with his sign calling for a single payer solution for health care.

“I’m for socialized medicine, and these people are saying that they don’t want the government to do anything with health care. I’m glad I came to show these young Republicans what real Americans want,” he said.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Portuguese Trade Union Job Safety and Health Seminar Sparks Discussions and Demands

Mike Tolochko | PA Editors Blog | July 30, 2009

Dr. Mariana Alves Pereira from the University of Lusofona located in Lisbon, Portugal sent a strong message to over 75 transportation union leaders that Vibration Acoustical Disease VAD is a problem that requires their immediate attention. She presented study results from over 20 years of research that impressed Seminar participants. This is a relatively new area of research.

This Seminar, organized by the National Federation of Transport and Communication Unions FECTRANS, was led by its coordinator, Amavel Alves. FECTRANS represents subway [metro], railway, bus and truck drivers. Alves opened the Seminar by stating the need for safe and healthier conditions; the need for more studies and research as part of the European Campaign for a safer transportation system.

The main topics of the Seminar, a Seminar that was in part supported by the European Union organizations in charge of transportation, focused on worker fatigue and ergonomics, i.e., musculo-skeletel diseases.

Pereira spoke at length about the growing dangers of Vibro Acoustic Diseases stemming from Low Frequency Noise. She said that many neurological problems which heretofore have been left undiagnosed, now can be labeled and treated.

Manuela Calado an official with the Portuguese government, and related to the European National Agency, reported on efforts by the government to protect workers. But, she said that, it would take the pressure of the trade unions, like FECTRANS, to get these government agencies to do the right thing.

Dr. Frank Goldsmith, former director of Occupational Health for Local 100, Transport Workers Union from New York City, reported on the study of the Health Status of Urban Mass Transit Workers that was conducted a few years ago by Dr. Steven Markowitz of Queens College, City University of New York. The study covered all 60 job titles of the 38,000 bus and subway transit workers employed by the New York City Transit authority.

That groundbreaking report was the first stage of an in-depth study that will be continued in the near future. Problems such as steel dust in the subways, job stress and ergonomic issues for bus operators, and general issues of occupational exposure to carcinogens and respiratory problems were described.

Goldsmith represents the World Federation of Trade Unions at the United Nations.

In an extensive discussion following these reports, the Portuguese union leaders from all part of Portugal, including Lisbon and Porto from the north, reported on their working conditions and the need for continued strong trade union support and demands at the appropriate government agencies. Bus operators, lorry drivers [over the road truck drivers] and subway workers gave example after example of their working conditions and their strategies to protect their members.

Many of them agreed that vibration and noise issues are present in their places of work. The issue of vibration acoustic disease they said was a new one for them, but they were pleased that it was reported and looked forward to taking the appropriate actions.


Anabela Vogado, the occupational health specialist for FECTRANS, in the afternoon session, reported extensively about the increasing pressure to work longer and longer hours per day and week. This has made worker fatigue a major labor issue. She cited European directives in describing the need for trade union actions.

Vogado's report sparked lengthy comments from many of the Seminar participants.

Jose Manuel Oliveria, President of the Railway workers Union [SNTSF] voiced strong support for all the reports and urged quick action.

At the close of the Seminar Alves, himself a subway train operator said that these reports and comments would NOT be put on the shelf. They will be used to develop plans to be brought to the proper officials for action.

The conference was simultaneously translated into both Portuguese and English.

He said that in the current period of economic and financial crisis, all of these issues are all the more important to address. Sitting back and doing nothing is NOT an option.