We started a podcast!

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Check out our first episode of the Modern Socialist! Join us as we hear more about the vibrant co-op culture of Milwaukee’s River West neighborhood and explore a neighborhood gem in Savannah, Georgia.

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Health Tips for the Protester on the Go…

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Fighting for your rights and those of your comrades can be hard work. During an average protest you could be on your feet for hours. Depending on what type of direct action you collectively decide to take on, you may find yourself physically in uncomfortable positions. There are weather concerns such as heat, cold, rain and snow. If things get a bit rowdy there is the very real risk of being tear gassed or having a police boot to the head. After everything is said and done, you might need to take some time for a little self care.

Jim Chambers, owner of the East Atlanta Barbell Club created these tips to keep you up on your feet and to fight another day:

1) Get these things into your body: Turmeric, Magnesium, Vitamin C, Glucosamine Chondroitin.
2) Bump up carb intake like crazy during the day, bump up fat intake at night.
3) Take contrast showers (super hot to super cold for 1-2min at a time, back and forth)
4) Ice your ankles, get on a foam roller, get your feet on a tennis ball.
5) Mild yoga poses, if you’re familiar with them.
6) Traction the low back.
7) Sleep when you can. Hard.
8) Drink EXCESSIVE, UNREASONABLE AMOUNTS OF WATER
9) Cannabis at night, for stress, sleep and muscle relaxation.

If you want to get more information about Jim Chambers or the East Atlanta Barbell Club feel free to contact them here or by phone at 470.242.1328.

Take care out there and remember that the arch of history is long but it bends towards justice.

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A Socialist Approach to Dating

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Brandon and I both did our fair share of dating before coming to the (quite correct) conclusion that we are pretty darn good for each other. We were trading tales from our more hedonistic days awhile back and came to the conclusion that dating as a democratic socialist has its own peculiarities (looking for what the heck democratic socialist values are? Try here).

For example, splitting the check. Seems obvious, right? It’s the most fair way to handle the bill. We both had really different experiences with this. Brandon actually had young ladies tell him they had a great time on a first date, but didn’t want to go out again solely because he didn’t pay the whole bill. For me, as a lady, I had more than one gentleman take it as a sign that I didn’t like them and did not want to go out again.

The pervasive nature of a belief system is such that it touches everything you do. With regards to socialism, this often means that you have a relentless awareness of class struggles and inequality (it’s like that Futurama joke, “you watched it! You can’t unwatch it!”) that you just can’t get past. I once found myself on a first date where I was involved in a heated debate with a restaurant owner about paying servers a living wage…. While my date was waiting impatiently to order a bottle of wine across the table from me. He could not understand why I would want to be a part of that, but to me life is all about starting those kinds of conversations. I was accused of being too serious and a pessimist, even though I am by my nature a pretty light-hearted person.

Thinking about all of this made me wonder if I could date someone with really different beliefs from mine… And I think I could, as long as they were reasoned and passionate. Apathy is just not attractive. That said, I am very happy that I found my comrade in Brandon.

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Does America Still Care for Her Less Fortunate??

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 As of December 28th, 2013, 1.5 million Americans lost their emergency benefits. These individuals are considered  part of the long term unemployed underclass, which have been out of work for approximately six months or more. It has been more than a month since their benefits expired and Congress has not  been able act. In light of these facts, I wondered if America at large has forsaken its commitment to those Americans in need.

  Although the Great Recession is technically over, the U.S. job market has seen only modest gains in the years since 2008. During this time many States have decided to balance budget shortfalls on the backs of the unemployed. They have cut the maximum amount of weeks eligible to receive benefits while cutting the amount of aid one would receive weekly. The most infamous offender in this race to the bottom is North Carolina, who slashed the maximum weeks of benefits from 72 to 20. Not to be outdone, Georgia recently limited their unemployment to 18 weeks.

 So what will these long term unemployed individuals do? Well, some will exhaust their savings, others will go into early retirement. There will be a group that will take any position whether they are grossly over qualified for or not. For some of my peers, moving in with their parents might be an option. Is this the social safety net of the future? Is this model ideal for a healthy and socially mobile America? With Congress’ lack of action for the long term unemployed and willingness to cut funding from food stamp programs, is the American populace complicit in their actions? If not, when are people going to rise up?

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An Un-Merry Christmas…

 The end of the year is upon us and Wednesday we will all be exchanging Merry Christmas and Season Greetings (for those of us waging war on Christmas). In this special time let us take time away from our immediate lives to reflect upon those who are less fortunate than we are. These individuals maybe in our families, our friends, or maybe our favorite server or bartender. All of which have someone to love and support and may not have the means to do so. Let’s remember a large part of what our lot in life is largely based on circumstance and we have the compassion to relate to other’s plight. Charles Dickens wrote in the Christmas Carol that we were all “Fellow travelers to the grave”or in other words we are in this together.Regardless of our success or lack their of, we all should work for a just and equitable society.And if you believe it is the responsibility of the individual to make their own live better, then let’s advocate for a living wage for all.

Merry Christmas,

Listen to Bernie Sanders!!

Thank God for Senator Bernie Sanders!!  In times like these America needs a leader with the courage to stand up to the power of corporate interest. When you have an economy with businesses that are too big to fail, it is in the nation’s best interest to bail them out to avert systemic risk. Once this is done, it is only logical to break these institutions into smaller bits to avoid this disaster from happening again. A side effect of breaking up the banks would be more competition and  place pressure to reduce of the cost of lending in the marketplace. Bernie gets this idea.