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Make the Rich Panic - By Chris Hedges

Revolutions take time. They are often begun by one generation and completed by the next. “Those who give the first check to a state are the first overwhelmed in its ruin,” Michel de Montaigne wrote in 1580. “The fruits of public commotion are seldom enjoyed by him who was the first mover; he only beats the water for another’s net.” Revolutions can be crushed by force, as amply demonstrated by history. Or they may be hijacked by individuals such as Vladimir Lenin, Leon Trotsky and Josef Stalin or movements that betray the populace. There are no guarantees that we will move toward a worker’s paradise or socialist utopia—we might move toward the most efficient form of totalitarianism in human history.


But no matter what happens, the chain reaction that leads to revolt has begun. Most people realize that our expectations for a better future have been obliterated, not only those for ourselves but also for our children. This realization has lit the fuse. There is a widespread loss of faith in established systems of power. The will to rule is weakening among the elites, who are entranced by hedonism and decadence. Internal corruption is rampant and transparent. Government is despised.

The nation, like many prerevolutionary societies, is headed into crisis. Lenin identified the components that come together to foster a successful revolt:

The fundamental law of revolution, which has been confirmed by all revolutions, and particularly by all three Russian revolutions in the twentieth century, is as follows: it is not enough for revolution that the exploited and oppressed masses should understand the impossibility of living in the old way and demand changes, what is required for revolution is that the exploiters should not be able to live and rule in the old way. Only when the “lower classes” do not want the old way, and when the “upper classes” cannot carry on in the old way—only then can revolution win.

When I was a foreign correspondent I covered revolts, insurgencies and revolutions, including the guerrilla conflicts in the 1980s in Central America; the civil wars in Algeria, Sudan and Yemen; and the two Palestinian uprisings or intifadas, along with the revolutions in East Germany, Czechoslovakia and Romania and the war in the former Yugoslavia. I have seen that despotic regimes collapse internally. Once the foot soldiers of the elite—the police, the courts, the civil servants, the press, the intellectual class and finally the army—no longer have the will to defend the regime, the regime is finished. When these state organs are ordered to carry out acts of repression—such as clearing people from parks and arresting or even shooting demonstrators—and refuse their orders, the old regime crumbles. The veneer of power appears untouched before a revolution, but the internal rot, unseen by the outside world, steadily hollows out the state edifice. And when dying regimes collapse, they do so with dizzying speed. Upheaval is coming. The people must be prepared. If we are, we will have a chance.


the rest (scary good):

Stop thinking about winners, losers & horse race-Let's build at grass roots & debate what matters

Bernie Sanders really matters: He doesn’t have to win to build a progressive movement
Stop thinking about winners, losers and the dumb horse race.
Let's build at the grass roots and debate what matters


Wouldn’t it be great to put America on a path like the one Vermont took? It could happen, but only if this latest Sanders campaign is as fearless and selfless as the first — and only if progressives see the opportunity and honor it with wise choices. The opportunity is the chance to define an agenda, build a movement and engage the nation in a real debate. A few preliminary thoughts on the choices:


According to a recent article in Vox, the Clinton camp is mulling over the next round of health care reform with an eye toward an alliance with the insurance industry to drive down costs in other areas. It’s a horrible idea, vastly inferior to the public option that Obama proposed in 2008 but then abandoned. I believe that bringing back the public option is the only route to further savings for government and industry and premiums reductions for everyone else. It’s a debate we ought to have and one Sanders can easily force.

Because of Sanders we’re now assured of a very public Democratic debate over the Trans Pacific Partnership. Should Obama’s ISIS authorization request emerge from the shadows we’ll have another over America’s use of military force to advance its interests around the world. Both will present Clinton, along with many others, with hard choices. Because of Sanders all those choices will be harder to finesse.

The great debate is over the economy. For 20 years Clinton has been an apostle of information technology, finance capital and globalization. In the nineties it was called the new economy and everybody was for it. Everybody but Bernie Sanders, that is. As far back as 1983 Sanders was planting the seeds of the new “new economy.”


"Sanders is already beating Clinton on one metric: answering questions from the press."

Pundits are already dismissing Sanders—who has, in the past, described himself as a socialist rather than a Democrat—as a long-shot candidate with little chance of defeating Clinton for the Democrats' 2016 nomination. But Sanders is already beating Clinton on one metric: answering questions from the press.

Earlier this week, National Journal's Zach Cohen counted all of the times Clinton has answered press questions since she announced her presidential campaign on April 12. Cohen counted just seven "answers"—about half of which ignored the actual question. When asked about whether a super-PAC would support her campaign, she said, "I don't know." When she was quizzed about her chances in Iowa, she said "I'm having a great time, can't look forward any more than I am."

Sanders, who needs all the press attention he can get, kicked off his presidential campaign by fielding a barrage of questions from TV news reporters in interviews Wednesday. Over the course of one five-minute exchange with MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell on Wednesday, Sanders answered seven separate questions. The trend continued at Sanders' campaign launch event Thursday morning, when he took six more questions.


If Black People Lived As Long As White People, Election Results Would Be Very Different

If Black People Lived As Long As White People, Election Results Would Be Very Different
—By Samantha Michaels| Fri May 1, 2015 6:15 PM EDT

With the mortality rate for black Americans about 18 percent higher than it is for white Americans, premature black deaths have affected the results of US elections, according to a new study from researchers at the University of Michigan and the University of Oxford.

The study, published in Social Science & Medicine and highlighted on Friday by the UK-based New Scientist, shows how the outcomes of elections between 1970 and 2004—including the presidential race between John Kerry and George W. Bush—might have been affected if there hadn't been such a disparity in the death rate. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 8.5 million black people died during that 35-year period. But if the mortality rates had been comparable, an additional 2.7 million black people would have been alive, and of those, an estimated 1 million would have cast votes in the 2004 election. Bush likely still would have won that race. But some state-level races might have turned out differently: The results would have been reversed in an estimated seven US Senate elections and 11 gubernatorial elections during the 35-year period, the researchers found, assuming that the hypothetical additional voters had cast their ballots in line with actual black voters, who tend to overwhelmingly support Democratic candidates.

And that's before even getting to incarceration. Additional elections potentially would have turned out differently if voting-age black Americans who were previously convicted of felonies had been able to cast a ballot. As New Scientist explains:

Accounting for people disenfranchised by felony convictions would have likely reversed three other senate seats. In at least one state, Missouri, accounting for just excess deaths or felony disenfranchisement would not have been sufficient to reverse the senate election – but both sources of lost votes taken together would have.

While everyone's attention right now is on racial injustice in the context of policing, one of the study's authors, Arline Geronimus, noted that most premature black deaths were linked to chronic health conditions that afflict black people more than white people. "If you're losing a voting population, you're losing the support for the policies that would help that population," she told New Scientist. "As long as there's this huge inequality in health and mortality, there's a diminished voice to speak out against the problem."


This is what "freedom of press" looks like in 2015.

Why are you not in The Media Area?



Please don't use this photo without crediting a young journo who defied orders @Edwinjtorres https://twitter.com/Edwinjtorres/status/594694057001095170


Baltimore Police: "Oh Shit"

While Christie's minions sniggered & congratulated themselves on how clever they were--A Woman Died.

They killed her.



A man and his dog join a die-in on South Grand in St. Louis during march against police violence.


"Looters & thugs"

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