Cuban International Terrorism? What!?

On Jan. 11th, the New York Times and the AP reported that Trump’s State Department lead by his Secretary of State Mike Pompeo designated Cuba as a U.S. deemed state sponsor of terror. The label was applied to the nation from 1959 to 2015; the time between the Socialist Revolution of the Castro Brothers, Che Guevara, and the countless members of the People’s Socialist Party, and the détente under Barack Obama. In 2015, Pres. Obama took Cuba off the list and renewed diplomatic relations with the Socialist experiment that is Cuba, and Joe Biden is expected to thaw relations even further.

The Socialist Caribbean island-state is designated by Pompeo as a terror-supporting state for three reasons:

  • Cuba has taken in several members of the Colombian National Liberation Army (ELN) and defied extradition requests from the leaders’ home country. Peace talks between the ELN and the Colombian government took place in Havana beginning in December 2015 and lead to the ELN leaders never leaving. The Colombian government wants them to pay for an ELN bombing of a police station in Bogota that took place in 2019. Cuba refuses to send them back because it would violate protocols established between the two groups during peace efforts that were broken off after the bombing.
  • Cuba is the protective home of Joanne D. Chesimard, a.k.a. Assata Shakur. Shakur is a former member of the Black Liberation Army and is still wanted for a killing of a New Jersey state trooper in the 1970’s. Two other fugitives now call Cuba home along with Shakur, and they have never been extradited back to the U.S. for over some 50 years now.
  • Cuba is a strong ally of Venezuela and Nicolas Maduro; the U.S.’s biggest Latin-American boogey man right now (probably the biggest since Fidel Castro.) Despite crippling sanctions on this oil-rich nation of South America, the U.S. government, and most of the media, blame socialist reforms implemented during the time of Pres. Hugo Chavez as the source of every Venezuelan ill. It’s never the sanctions, always the radical left ideology.

The State Department says Cuba has, “…provided support for acts of international terror.” Therefore they join only three other countries on the list: Iran, Syria, and North Korea. (Cuba’s a little out of place, don’t ya think?)

According to a Reuters report, Cuba has already got a cash-strapped economy that shrank 11% in 2020 due to the pandemic, tougher U.S. sanctions, and domestic inefficiencies, according to Economy Minister Alejandro Gil. And the NYT reports, Cuba has began having shortages of both medicine and food, as the article describes,

“…Cubans have been forced to stand in line for hours in the hope of getting their hands on the meager stocks that exist.”

If you go back into the past posts of STL. you will see my obvious sympathy for the nation of Cuba. There are terrible, terrible lies that are spread about Socialist Cuba all over regarding accusations of large executions, brutal forced labor camps, and any and everything Che Guevara related (If you can stomach it, check out this short YouTube clip of Joe Rogan stating on his popular podcast that Guevara was a “mass murderer.”) And most of these lies come from former rich Cubans who were not interested in showing any humanity towards the country’s poor after the Revolution. They all packed their bags, headed north for Florida, and they still cry for their exploitative businesses, like their sugarcane plantations where the peasants did all the work, living in ignorance and filth. This is why Trump won Florida in 2020. “Little Havanna” knew that both Trump’s and Pompeo’s massive egos cannot handle this little island shaking it’s fist at the monolithic United States.

My point, finally, is that it is ridiculous for Cuba to be designated as state sponsor of terror. And second, these sanctions only hurt the people there. The long lines, lack of food, and absence of electricity and cooking fuel in Cuba (and in Venezuela) are a result of sanctions. And now there are new one’s levied by our ruler on his last days in office.

Tell me, have sanctions worked in North Korea, Iran, Iraq under Saddam, Venezuela, or Cuba? No, they have not. They have just hurt the people.

And on a lighter note, check out this comedy sketch about Cuba’s designation as a terror-supporter at the State Dept. from Breakthrough News:

Stop The Wicked Fascists at The Capitol

A year or so ago I read an article that I cannot seem to track down now but it was written by a New York reporter who was originally from one of the Plain States; Iowa, Kansas, maybe Nebraska. And the story revolved around what he realized when visiting his hometown on one occasion. He observed that the Right-wing, God-fearing, “wholesome” people of his home state had something in common that the Left did not: They all believed that people are born inherently bad. But, on the other side, we know the Left believes every human is born good. To illustrate, have ever you noticed how we on the Left try to diagnose people psychologically, or diagnose a culture sociologically, when they go wrong, e.g., when we try to take apart the pasts of young school shooters? What did their parents do to them? What did their classmates do to them? What went wrong? Well, the Right does not think that way. They do not think about it because people are inherently bad and that’s why they do bad things. That’s why religion is so important to conservatives. If we further the above example, these school shooters were born bad, like everyone else, and something like a religious upbringing would have kept them on a better path. Observing a faith’s tenets keeps you in line. This is where the Right gets their criticism of what they call “moral relativism,” i.e., the concept professing that there is no objective right or wrong but just a myriad of social and philosophical variables. It is also such as social scientists, in their studies, portray so-called sacred things: Marriage? social construct. The Law? social construct. General ideas of right and wrong? Social constructs. But this issue of right and wrong is not as complicated as we leftists make it out to be. Sure, there is no God, and there are no objective morals or cultural practices which are inherently “good” out there But as true leftists we do agree that we know how society should work. We do not need to be conflicted about 1 in 8 kids combatting hunger here in my home state of Kentucky. We do not need some “Good Book” to tell us that it is unfair for some to have so much while others have so little. We know how a better society could, and should, be constructed.

My point is that we leftists are milling around questions of right or wrong too much. The invasion of the Capitol Building a few days ago by Trump-ist fascists was an act performed by those who are WRONG. Their so-called “values” of exclusion and oppression, their existence as bootlickers for the 1%, their exclusive religious morals, are WRONG. Not because of some objective truth out there in the universe but because we agree that they are wrong. Our leftist values are simply better. And, therefore, we cannot idly stand by as the fascists invade the Capitol building. We need to make sure that this never happens again. WE ARE THE PEOPLE, not those right-wing extremists who climbed through those shattered windows and up those concrete walls. There IS a right and wrong because we know what is for the best, and those jackasses who mugged for those selfies inside the Rotunda do not.

I’ve read Stalin make this argument before in some interview with a prominent Western journalist. Stalin, although not the most morally inclined person in history, insisted that there are “wicked” people in the world. And, of course, the Western journalist made excuses for these “wicked” people. He gave this excuse or that excuse, or this philosophical thought or that philosophical thought. But Stalin was right. There are wicked people in this world. The men and women who stormed the Capitol building the other day are wicked in their beliefs and I’m tired of the excuses the Left give them. A line must be drawn: The Right or the Left. That symbol of power in D.C. belongs to the socialists, communists, anarchists, the People. We cannot allow Right-wing radicals that kind of power ever again. We must stop them as a movement for they are simply wicked.

5 New STL Propaganda Images!

As promised, the return of the STL Propaganda Image Post of the week! This week has an ACAB theme with these five new ones.

Be back same day next week for more!

Click here!

My Old KY Home: Where Class Plays a Major Role in Student Advantage

The Education Trust, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit, according to a Jan. 9, 2020, article in the Courier-Journal (Louisville), found that here in my Old Kentucky Home black and other minority students are not getting their fair share of seats in gifted programs and advanced courses while in school, in a new national report. Shocking…

The study fingers as the main culprit being “tracking”: students being placed on an advanced path based off of gifted identification in elementary school typically continue on that track through to high school. 

There are multiple reasons why minority students or absent at the beginning of this road toward success, such as,

  • Gifted programs and advanced courses can rely on a teacher or counselor recommendation — often leaving room for bias in decisions. 
  • The screening process itself may also rely on a singular definition of giftedness that was not created with students of color in mind.
  • Students of color often attend schools with fewer resources or high-quality teachers. That can lead to fewer advanced courses, which schools often rely on more experienced educators to teach. 

But the last reason I found most resonant due to the fact that it is found here in Jefferson Co., KY, or the Louisville Area, where I reside, quoted from the C-J article :

Schools with higher rates of poverty or students of color — or both — often had fewer AP classes to begin with. And that means fewer seats for students. 

DuPont Manual, a top-rated magnet school, offers 31 AP classes to its predominantly white students. Ballard, a resides school in the East End, has 30 classes. 

Iroquois High School — which didn’t offer a single AP class 10 years ago — has seven AP courses. It is the smallest offering outside of Fairdale and Western, which offer Cambridge and early college classes, respectfully. 

Socioeconomic status, or SES, is, of course, a major factor in the tracking phenomenon. Along with the above observations minorities have more instances of single-mother households where the mother is the sole bread-winner. This leads to poor moms being at work instead of being at home counseling their children, unlike what happens in more affluent homes.

We are losing the class war in our schools. We must act now.

5 New Images/Graphics for 11/28/2019!

Comrades, Friends, Brothers and Sisters,

Sorry I’m a day late. Here is a link to the new pics over at Google Photos.

Right Here!

5 New Revolutionary Images from STL!

Hello everyone,

This is my Sunday posting of 5 (actually 6 this week) propaganda images/graphics. Use them well and I”ll be returning full bore in 2020. See you Wednesday!

5 (really 6) New Images!

5 New STL Propaganda Images!

Comrades, Friends, Sisters and Brothers,

Here is the addition of today’s five images to the STL Google album for Wednesday, Nov. 20th. I hope you like them and there will be another five (making 15) images to look through this Saturday.

In Solidarity,

STL Image Gallery Right Here!

Short Hiatus

Comrades, with the still recent relaunch of Sparking The Left I hate to inform you that I will be taking a further break from posting new material.

I am training at a new job that is turning out to be much more difficult than I planned (work is violence!). So I cannot work on both at this time.

I’ll be returning on Jan. 1st and I cannot wait until that date.

In Solidarity,

American Childcare System: A National Disgrace

A quick post today:

One of the major obstacles challenging unemployed single parents today who are entering/reentering the American work force is the non affordability of quality childcare. If you are single, or have a stay-at-home spouse, you may not be aware how costly it is for the average American. So here’s 11 statistics from In These Times that put the non affordability of childcare in perspective:

$9,600 – Average annual cost of childcare nationwide, per child, in 2017

55% – People who said childcare costs were a significant financial challenge in 2018

33% – Parents who went into debt to pay for summer childcare in 2018

51% – People living in “childcare deserts” (areas with three times more children than

licensed childcare slots) in 2017

19 – States whose childcare assistance programs had waitlists or frozen intake in 2018

67% – Children who have all available parents working outside the industry home as of 2017

16% – Private-industry employees who had access to paid family leave in 2018

37% – Average portion of annual income that single parents spend on childcare

7% – Recommended portion of annual income to be spent on childcare, according to the Department of Health and Human Services

18.3% – Mothers with children ages 3 and younger working outside the home for a median wage of $10.50 or less in 2016

$23,240 – Median annual income for childcare workers in 2018

10 Reasons We Need Medicare-For-All as a Human Right

An article from In These Times lists 10 stats showing why Medicare-for-All would provide and protect a human right. As you know, healthcare is currently going unaddressed under capitalism.

28,300,000 – People uninsured in the United States in the first quarter of 2018.

530,000 – Estimated number of families who file bankruptcy each year due to medical issues and bills

44% – Americans who didn’t go to a doctor when they were sick or injured because of cost, according

34% – Cancer patients who borrowed money from friends or family to pay for care in 2016

79% – Increased death rate for cancer patients who filed for bankruptcy in 2016

$75,375 – Cost of a heart bypass operation in 2016 in the U.S.

$15,742 – Cost of a heart bypass operation in 2016 in the Netherlands

$1,443 – U.S. per capita spending on pharmaceutical costs in 2016, the highest in the world

840% – Increase in spending for insulin from 2007 to 2017 on Medicare Part D (Medicare’s prescription drug plan)

$5,110,000,000,000 – Estimated 10-year cost savings of the single-payer healthcare system proposed in Sen. Bernie Sanders’ Medicare for All Act

SMASH CAPITALISM NOW!