The Fed Wants You to Be Afraid

By Teka Lark (March 19, 2020)

The central banking system of the United States is the Federal Reserve System aka the Fed. According to Investopedia a central bank acts as the regulatory authority of a country’s monetary policy and is the sole provider and printer of notes and coins in circulation. The Fed is run by the board of governors. The current chairperson of the Fed is Jerome Powell an alumnus of Princeton appointed by Trump in 2018 the vice-chair is Richard Clarida an alumnus of Harvard, also appointed by Trump in 2018.

Do you know why the Feds couldn’t give you a $1.5 trillion? Because their job is to keep you scared and that kind of money would have put your mind at ease.

Why do you need to be afraid?

One of the Feds purposes it to keep unemployment rates low, but for a bondholder this is bad. When unemployment rates become low, then labor costs start to rise, because they have to pay people more to get good employees. You have competition, competition is only for poor people. That would be you, people who think they are middle class.

Another one of the Feds jobs is moderating long term interest rates.

As the unemployment rate drop, interest rates begin to rise. For bondholders, this Is bad, because their interest rates tend to be lower, though their bonds are so large they still make money if the inflation rate rises above their interest rates they lose money. Their profits get eaten with inflation.

As a result, the Feds look for an optimum unemployment rate that is low enough, so you don’t have social unrest, but high enough so the workers are frightened enough that they will work for low pay to have a job.

They call it maximizing employment I call it behavior modification. Maximizing employment means some people will always have to be underemployed and unemployed, to encourage certain behavior and mindset for the employed —for now.

Who are usually the unemployed, underemployed, Ph.D. driving Uber, in urban areas often Black people. Having a visually different, small, marginalized demographic example of what will happen if you get out of line is sadistic genius.

This is why you are thankful to have anything during a pandemic and feel that the government has no obligation to do anything, but make rich people money.

The selfishness here is embedded in our systems and institutions.


Let’s Hear the Trump Phone Call Tapes

By Tom Motko (September 27, 2019)

Perhaps an allegory: In 1971-72, I was part of a mission gathering tactical intelligence in what would become the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam. This was pretty important stuff because the right intercept at the right time could save the lives of other poor suckers like me trying to survive their obligatory year in the shit.

We were getting nice clean tapes of our intercepts and, in one intercept, I’d recognized a code that might have some fairly immediate importance. I highlighted the tape and sent it back most riki-tiki by courier chopper to Bien Hoa.

I had to hop a slick in from the bush about a week later and stopped by the main shop, curious about what the intercept had actually contained. The guys thought it odd I’d highlighted the tape and, when I pulled the transcription, I saw why. The transcribers, Vietnamese soldiers, had indicated the tape was quite garbled and unintelligible. I was outraged. I pulled the tape and went out to the transcription trailer after midnight. The tape was clear and easily transcribed. I was relieved to find it didn’t contain any critical intelligence after all but…what if it had?

I brought the matter to the attention of the NCOIC of the main shop, showing him the two transcriptions side by side. I made a formal complaint. Before I headed back out to the river patrol base, the sergeant let me know my complaint wasn’t going anywhere. He was apologetic, but, “We can’t embarrass our allies.”

Well, this is all to say, I WANT TO HEAR THE TAPES.


When the Klan was Tax Supported in Ohio

By Teka Lark (May 28, 2019)

People say that in Dayton, Ohio that only 9 members of the Ku Klux Klan showed up and that it was a win for US, the community.  But that was no win. According to the Time Magazine article, “9 People Showed Up for a KKK Rally in Dayton, Ohio. They Were Drowned Out by 600 Protestors” by Tara Law, it was stated that 350 police officers showed up.

I would interpret that as 359 people showed up to assert the rights of the Ku Klux Klan and white nationalism. I know it is redundant to say the Ku Klux Klan is white nationalism, but as a country, we are losing historical and institutional memory.  So I’m going to restate that as redundant as it may be for people born before 1980.

The far-right isn’t a fringe group. It is the foundation of this country. It is the 2nd Amendment which exists, so that white nationalism can protect itself against the presence of Africans and Indigenous people. It exists in the prison industrial complex, which overwhelmingly jails the poor of all races and Black and Indigenous people across socioeconomic lines.

It exists in the economics, where white households median net worth is $141,000 and the median net worth for Black, Indigenous, and Latinx households is under $15,000; where the probability of a loan denial is 36.9% higher for black-owned firm in comparison to a white, male owned business counterparts according to the American Economic Association; where all minority groups small businesses faced racial discrimination based upon data from the 1998 and 2003 Survey of Small Business Finances according to the American Economic Association.

The narrative of the far-right rights has a stranglehold on the vast majority of our school’s curriculum and states that this country was discovered by Christopher Columbus instead of stolen from Indigenous people by murdering them and moving them to locations in the coldest and most barren parts of the United States, where nothing grows.

The far-right says we’re a country that is a nation of (European Immigrants) with an asterisk on Chinese immigrants who provided the huge amount of labor needed to build the majority of the Central Pacific’s difficult railroad tracks through the Sierra Nevada mountain. The existence of this railroad created prosperity and opportunity for many white people in the US, opportunities denied to Asian, Indigenous, African, and Latinx people until after the 1960s.

The far-right also minimizes the impact of the enslavement of African people who prior to the inception of this stolen country until 1865 were legally classified as property.

The far-right is the police department who has at every point in US history taken the side of white nationalism, until it was not economically fruitful to do so.

359 people showed up in Dayton to support white nationalism and 350 of them were backed by our tax dollars and our government.


Why Roseanne Feels Like a Loss for Our Side

By Adam Hefty (May 31, 2018)

The hating on Roseanne is deserved. But I’m mainly sad about it. That show’s representation of working-class family life meant something in the late 80s and early 90s. I’m sad for the path she went down (for at least the better part of 6 years if not more), sad for where she ended up, sad that her firing will make her a “martyr for the cause” of working-class Trumpism, and sad that the US will probably be working through residues of working-class Trumpism long after Trump is gone. The Roseanne racist self-destruction flameout feels like a symbol for a whole series of losses.

And yeah, I know that there are 90 bajillion analyses “proving” that well-off voters, not working-class people, are “responsible” for Trump, and also proving that Trumpism is more motivated by racism than economic anxiety. (To the latter, I usually want to scream … well, why such a big resurgence of racism *now*, Einstein?) I avoided diving in deep to that whole discussion, because the discussion itself makes me upset, and I suppose in the back of my mind, part of that is that it still feels like an elitist discussion, even when it is taking place (in very small part) in socialist publications. And then I remember that intellectually, yeah, I am probably 90% an elitist at this point, and when I feel revulsion at elitism, it is probably mostly a dim memory of feeling out of place rather than anything still very real about me. I don’t know that I really understand the theory of the declassed intellectual, but I feel it in some way. I dropped my Kansas drawl, got educated, moved around the country, re-adopted my Kansas drawl, got challenged on my own vestigial bits of cultural conservatism, dropped them in fits and starts over 15 years, flirted briefly with “working-class separatism,” went to grad school in a program that always gets mocked for elitism even though it has been home for a lot of decidedly non-traditional students, decided that that re-adopted Kansas drawl was just an affectation and dropped it again, finally learned how to shop in a fancy California grocery store without having a panic attack, moved around the world, and learned that I can adapt to very different situations. I feel the loss of my own thinking having less and less organic connection to anything as the years go by.

Roseanne Barr is probably in these terms a declassed intellectual too, just one with a lot more money and fame. Those can seriously distort your thinking, if you don’t have some kind of political organization to keep you accountable and you … well, have tendencies towards racism and a really reactionary form of Zionism. (And Trump is just a rich boy who stumbled upon the lazy man’s road to demagoguery.)

And I don’t know, the hope is probably just in other kinds of things, not even necessarily TV shows. Teen Vogue leading the way to the barricades, some podcasts and YouTube series I’ve never bothered with; I hear that there are some decent working-class oriented sitcoms these days, but to be honest, I haven’t bothered with them either, since I’m mainly watching the same prestige dramas as my intellectual friends. It’s probably a rich cultural landscape. Even if you believe in the idea of a cultural front, I don’t know that Roseanne’s transformation into a troll / court jester in the service of reaction would register as such a monumental loss.

And yet, for some of us who grew up in a certain time and saw partial reflections of our struggling, imperfect, sometimes dysfunctional, out of money until the end of the month families in her TV family, it does register as a loss. She may get some airtime on Fox or Alex Jones now, but I doubt she will stick in any of those circles in any influential way. She’s still a loud, brassy woman who doesn’t fit into any of the roles that conservative women are expected to fit into. And I know this train left the station long ago, but darned if she shouldn’t have been trolling for our side.

Opening Space for the Radical Imagination Conference (April 6-8, 2018)

UPDATED:  Anarres Project, along with various labor and social justice groups in Corvallis, Oregon, is proud to host a conference next spring (April 6-8, 2018) on the possibilities for the radical imagination.  We hope you will join us!  Deadline for submissions is January 31, 2018.

Call for Participation

This conference explores formats to address, fabricate and discuss social transformation that challenge the standard model of an academic conference. It invites participants to create a common space for radical imagination and social justice that goes beyond a skill-share for radical organizers. Radical Imagination invites us to engage in a profound critique of what seems obvious (radical = that goes to the roots of something) and to explore alternative ways of living together – producing, loving, shaping spaces and time, inhabiting the land, working, using, struggling. It is an appeal to decolonize social relations and the dominant imaginaries that justify oppression and injustice. Radical Imagination is not just about dreaming alternative futures. It lures us into embodying alternatives in practices, actions, and thinking.

We are a group of professors, students, and community organizers from Oregon State University and the community of Corvallis, OR, who are dedicated to creating, facilitating, and protecting spaces that nurture the power of imagining alternatives. We imagine this conference to be an opportunity for people to begin lasting relationships with one another. To enable this, we will be making food together, dancing, singing, and hosting fun activities throughout the weekend while also holding workshops, presentations, and discussions on using our radical imagination for organizing toward social justice.

Presentation panels, workshops, art interventions, and group discussions may touch on but are not limited to the following topics and actions:

  • Networking techniques

  • Theories, strategies, and ideologies behind social movements

  • Connecting theory and practice

  • Direct Action (thoughts and workshops) (theory and practice?)

  • Practical Skills

  • Anti-Imperialism/Anti-War

  • Autonomous Communities

  • Class

  • Anti-Racism

  • Immigrant Rights

  • Indigenous Rights

  • Globalization and Neoliberalism

  • Gentrification and Housing

  • Labor Movements

  • Art and Visual Culture

  • Radicalism in Academia

  • Religion

  • Radical History

  • The analysis of past movements

  • Use of technology in social movements

  • Anarchist Processes and Models

  • Queer Theory

  • Feminism

  • Wellness and self-care

  • Anti-colonialism/post-colonial theory

  • Radical/social justice education

  • Student and Youth Movements

  • Deep/social ecology

  • Anti-Consumerism/Freeganism

  • Food sovereignty

  • Artivism

  • Poetry

  • Collective living

  • Relational organizing

  • Short Film Walk

  • Alternative transportation

Tabling: During the whole conference, we will have a Mercado of Alternatives. Sign up using the submission form below.

Please submit your proposal for any of the categories by January 31, 2018 using the following form.

For mobile users, please follow this link to the registration form:

The Senate Will Never Pass Trumpcare: Now is the Time to Fight

By Marc Cooper (May 5, 2017)

Time for a little mansplainin’….As I have been saying all along, the Senate will NOT pass anything near the House version of Trumpcare. Never. Indeed, many of the House members who voted yes today also severely disliked the bill.

The reason behind the House approval was simply to “move” the health care bill, any health care bill. First of all, to get it the hell out of the House. And, second, to allow the Senate to act. And many House members knew very well that they were approving a text that would never become law…which is one reason that some of these turds did not even bother to read the revised draft. They know it is fiction and YOU should also know that.

It’s now quite possible the Senate will act. But it will take months. And as it is now clear, the Senate bill will start from scratch and while I have no trust whatsoever in the GOP senators, I am sure they are evil but not insane.

They can do the same political math as you or I can. And when the CBO scoring comes in next week, revealing that MORE than 24 million people would lose their health care, and a huge deficit will be created the House version will become radioactive. There are also a number of Republican senators who absolutely oppose the slashing of medicare as the current program saves their respective states a lot of dough.

So here is what is going to happen:

1) There will be a massive negative reaction to the CBO scoring next week. Something the Senate will not ignore. Especially if the American people mobilize to underscore that affordable and comprehensive health care is a right, not a privilege.

2) Sometime down the road, probably in late summer, the Senate will come up with its own health care plan that, no doubt, will be noxious but will have very little resemblance to the House version.

3) If, and I repeat, IF the GOP can get 50 votes out of its 52 member conference, this Senate Trumpcare version will pass. Then the bill will go to a joint House/Senate conference committee that will have to compromise and agree on one version.

4) But we have two contending forces: the extreme conservatives in the House and Freedom Caucus and the relatively more rational cluster of so-called “moderate” Senators. One side or another is gonna be quite unhappy with the sausage that is produced….if indeed it gets that far.

5) If the congressional conference committee comes up with that hot dog, then it must go back to the House to be approved…. a big unknown given the intransigence of the Freedom Caucus and Little Bitch Paul Ryan.

6) If THAT hurdle is cleared then it goes back to the Senate and must again be approved. Then it becomes law when Trump signs it.

7) That’s a lot of friggin’ hurdles and this is not a high priority on the Repub agenda.

8) It’s impossible to guess what, if anything, the Senate will come up with. But what you can count on is that it will NOT approve a repeal and replacement that contains the worst of what the House did today. I am not pollyannish about the Senate Republicans but they are not going to jump off a radical plank like the House did today.

9) So let’s keep this in perspective and not go nuts.

10) Which brings me to my final point: As crazy as the House Republicans might be, the Democrats are outright pathetic. This notion that they or anybody else is “the resistance” is complete bullshit. And it is an insult to the memory of the real Resistance made up of people who risked life and limb to combat armed Nazi-Fascism. Don’t flatter yourself… wearing a safety pin or holding a placard is a long long way from taking up arms in the anti-Nazi Resistance.

What we need now is not a faux “resistance” but rather a pro-active “alternative.” If there was ever an historic moment to begin putting single payer on the table it is right now. And the Democrats don’t dare support that (or any other real “fixes” to what are the real insufficiencies of Obamacare). Singing bye bye today in the House was a juvenile, feckless act that does nothing to really confront the Republicans.

We now have several months of time to mobilize and bring pressure to bear on the Senate in a targeted and strategic manner that hopefully proposes some real alternatives. Depending on the Republicans to defeat themselves is not enough (no matter how good a job of self destruction the GOP has been conducting).

So eyes on the ball… this is a crucial juncture that will depend exclusively on the ability of civil society to defeat Trumpcare in the Senate. Neither the Democrats nor exaggerated fears will be of much help.

Time to fight.

Marc Cooper is a past contributing Editor to The Nation Magazine.


There Aren’t Any Nice Rich People


By Teka Lark (September 21, 2015)

They have zero loyalty to anyone ­­Black,white, Latino, Asian, Native or biracial.

They don’t care how smart you are.
They don’t care that you went to school.
They don’t care if you follow the Bible or the Torah or the Quran. They don’t care how hard you work.

And if you don’t spend every moment awake and asleep supporting the institution by your work or compliance they don’t care if you are alive or dead.

They are the wealthy. They are the 1% in this country who want to have us all on our knees.


Are you tired?
Are you disgusted?
Are you sick of working for nothing?

Having a job and being homeless, is not having a job. Looking for work for 10 years, is not normal.

That is slavery. That is sharecropping.

According to a June 11 article in the Wall Street Journal, the net worth of the US is $84 trillion.

The stock and mutual funds owned by the richest in this country just in this year alone increased by $487 billion. Real estate’s value increased by $503 billion.

And this is just what the Wall Street Journal is letting us know.  The wealth of the richest in this country is probably worth twenty times that, but yet we can’t get free medical care without a body cavity search.

We can’t have housing not infested with bedbugs without perfect credit. We can’t have perfect credit unless we have a job.
We can’t get a job unless we have perfect credit.

Are you sick of living or are you living sick?
And there is no middle class. There is the temporarily privileged poor and the slumming rich. There is no left in the US.

There is a far­ right and a playground for the rest of us to let off steam and get our wiggles out.

On the playground you ride bicycles, grow organic tomatoes, draw pictures and eat gluten free muffins.

The playground is the left.
You vote for the student body president during nutrition.
Are you a child? Is this is a game to you?
You should not have to fight for your life. That narrative needs to be thrown in the trash.

This is not my grandfather’s left.
The left that fought for the right to have a vacation and a weekend. The right to do nothing.

The right, if you work 40 hours a week to have a home. The right to send your children to college with dignity without having to hold your breath and pray that your child’s loan will have a bit left over after paying for a PUBLIC university tuition to cover such basics as food and books.

The right to have a good retirement.

The right to be able to get hurt and not have to live on the streets.

What do we have now brothers and sisters?

We have a left that wants a cookie for $15.00 an hour.

We have a fight for housing, not for those who have houses, but only WHEN, not if, but WHEN you become homeless.

People are homeless, because housing is too high and wages are too low, but fighting that is not fundable.

We have a left that fights not for wages that you can easily feed a family of four on, but a left that fights for you to have the right to stand in line at a church and beg for food.

This is our left.
This is our “paid for by corporate America” left.

A left paid for by people who will give every kid a computer, but won’t pay their parents a livable wage. A left paid for people who will give one person money to draw a picture, but won’t pay their fair share of taxes.

Corporate America has taken over the narrative of the radical. It has twisted the radical’s mind into thinking, “What is fundable?”’

The rich will never have a grant process to fund change.

You are not the left and you are not radical if you are on your knees begging for change from those who are committing economic terrorism against your brothers and sisters.

Those who no longer want to negotiate with oppression are not the distractions or the agent provocateurs.

Teka Lark​ is a journalist, poet and satirist based in the L.A. suburb of Inglewood. She is the founder of the B​lk Grrrl Book Fair ​and the editor of B​lk Grrrl M​agazine–​w​ and the author of the upcoming book, Q​ueen of Inglewood,​to be published on Punk Hostage Press.

Letter to the White Tourist Who Asked Me For Cocaine

octaBy Octaviano Merecias-Cuevas (July 19, 2015)

I have to walk across the street when I see a female at night walking during the evening; “No I’m not a rapist, I’m just traveling home from a late night at work.” Continue reading “Letter to the White Tourist Who Asked Me For Cocaine”

What We Can Learn From Street Preachers


By Matt Enloe

Friday October 10th, Shawn the Baptist and Keith Darrell visited my campus, Oregon State University. We’re no stranger to the ways of the street preachers, but having them visit is never anything short of an ordeal. Continue reading “What We Can Learn From Street Preachers”