There was a Socialism conference in Sydney, Australia and WSWS provides you a look at some of the participants:
Ben, a 25-year-old American teacher who travelled from South Korea to attend the conference, said he had decided to make the trip because the world needed “a new direction, a working class direction.” He explained: “We have spent the last 200 years with capitalism and it has sent people into a poor situation, where they lack food, housing, culture and the opportunity to find a decent job.”
Ben said he was working in Korea because he had been unable to find work in the US. “I majored in history, but graduated from college to end up working at a Wal-Mart, a job I had at high school... I talk to friends back home who have had to move cities, just to find work. Others are still living with their parents because they can’t afford to live on their own.”
This experience had shaped his thinking, Ben said. “When people travel to different countries to find work they are met with a nationalist hostility worked up by governments and people in power in order to split the working class. In South Korea there are two different kinds of workers—Korean and immigrant.”
Ben explained that the World Socialist Web Site had been decisive in helping him to “put together more of a world view.” He also welcomed the “enlightening” and democratic atmosphere at the SEP conference, where everyone’s ideas could be heard.
Commenting on an issue raised in the discussion, Ben said the notion of appealing to the bourgeoisie to see reason and embrace socialism was “just not a viable option, or it would have happened a long time ago.” He added: “We have to fight for workers’ rights and for workers’ governments around the world. It is good to see that perspective so alive and well so many years after Leon Trotsky’s assassination.”
I highlighted Ben but there's a lot more and it's a really interesting article so check it out.
And "Check It Out" is a song by John Mellencamp. I did not know that. I knew the song and grew up hearing it a lot but did not know who did the song. It's a really cool song. Elaine has the CD and I was listening and remembering all these songs. I like John Mellencamp as an artist. And as a person, he was smart enough to say, during the primaries, he was supporting both Barack and Hillary. He refused to choose sides. Even when pressured. So good for him.
My favorite John Mellencamp songs is "Pink Houses." My favorite parts are when he does the "little pink houses for you and me" and has this kind of growl, kind of high pitched part. And my other favorite is when the beat slows down and he's singing "And there's people . . ."
After that, I think it's probably "Rain on the Scarecrow." (And Scarecrow is my favorite Mellemcamp album.)
Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"