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sabrina 1

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Member since: Sun Mar 30, 2008, 05:51 AM
Number of posts: 51,164

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NYPD Keep up the good work!

Why NYPD Work Slowdown May Not Be Such A Bad Thing

Maybe minority communities will finally get a break from over-policing.



Have the talked themselves into major cuts in that Police Department?

Let's hope so. The taxes saved on their salaries will make up for their other sources of income, unnecessary (their word) arrests and fines.

"Norway Didn't Give in to Islamophobia, nor should France"

Norway Didn't Give in to Islamophobia, nor should France

Three and a half years ago, the far-right Norwegian terrorist Anders Breivik bombed Oslo, and then gunned down dozens of young people on the island of Utřya. His rationalisation for the atrocity was to stop the “Islamisation” of Norway: that the Norwegian left had opened the country’s doors to Muslims and diluted its Christian heritage. But Norway’s response was not retribution, revenge, clampdowns. “Our response is more democracy, more openness, and more humanity,” declared the prime minister Jens Stoltenberg. When Breivik was put on trial, Norway played it by the book. The backlash he surely craved never came.

Here’s how the murderers who despicably gunned down the journalists and cartoonists of Charlie Hebdo do not want us to respond. Vengeance and hatred directed at Muslims as a whole serves Islamic fundamentalists well. They want Muslims to feel hated, targeted and discriminated against, because it increases the potential well of support for their cause. Already, there are multiple reports of attacks in France against mosques, and even a “criminal explosion” in a kebab shop. These are not just disgraceful, hateful acts. Those responsible are sticking to the script of the perpetrators. They are themselves de facto recruiting sergeants for terrorists.

Social media abounds with Islamophobes seizing this atrocity to advance their hatred. Islam as an entire religion is responsible, they cry: it is incompatible with “western values”. They wish to homogenise Muslims, as though Malala and Mo Farah have anything in common with the sectarian murderers of Isis. Most victims of Islamic extremists are of course themselves Muslims: including Ahmed Merabet, the French police officer killed at close range by the terrorists in Paris yesterday.

This is a dangerous moment. Anti-Muslim prejudice is rampant in Europe. The favoured target of Europe’s far-right – like France’s Front National, which currently leads in the opinion polls – is Muslims. France is home to around 5 million Muslims, who disproportionately live in poverty and unemployment, often in ghettoised banlieues. This incident should rightfully horrify, but it will now undoubtedly fuel an already ascendant far-right.


It is totally irresponsible for anyone to blame all Muslims for this terrible act. Feeding the Far Right hatred for Muslims in Europe.

As the article says, already their have been stupid, violent retaliatory acts against innocent Muslims fueled by Islamophobics.

Norway handled it the right way. Not giving the Far Right Terrorist what he had hoped for. And not seeking revenge. I do remember their PM telling the world they would not react with fear. That was such a refreshing thing to hear in our fearful world.

Why is the Word 'Terrorism' reserved only for Muslims?

A terror attack took place at the NAACP offices this week where a bomb was placed outside the building. Fortunately this time, no one was harmed.

The story received little if any coverage until one day after the attack and it was not referred to as an act of Terrorism. By the standards we now use, why was it NOT called an 'Act of Terrorism'?

US Mass Shootings Map

I looked at this map from Mother Jones of mass murders in the US. It covers the period from 1982 - 2012. More have occurred since then.

The killers: More than half of the cases involved school or workplace shootings (12 and 20, respectively); the other 30 cases took place in locations including shopping malls, restaurants, and religious and government buildings. Forty four of the killers were white males. Only one of them was a woman. (See Goleta, Calif., in 2006.) The average age of the killers was 35, though the youngest among them was a mere 11 years old. (See Jonesboro, Ark., in 1998.) A majority were mentally troubled—and many displayed signs of it before setting out to kill. Explore the map for further details—we do not consider it to be all-inclusive, but based on the criteria we used we believe that we've produced the most comprehensive rundown available on this particular type of violence. (Mass shootings represent only a sliver of America's overall gun violence.) For a timeline listing all the cases on the map, including photos of the killers, jump to page 2. For the stories of the 151 shooting rampage victims of 2012, click here, and for all of MoJo's year-long investigation into gun laws and mass shootings, click here.


Looking over the profiles of the killers, a majority of them are White Americans.

I see one Muslim, a few Asians, one African American but the majority are White Americans.

Not one is referred to as Terrorism.

All of them are called 'Mass Shootings'.

Not even when 25 schoolchildren and their teacher were slaughtered in their classroom was the word 'terrorism' even whispered.

Is there some reason for this?

Three clearly deranged criminals murdered 12 people in France.

The killers are presumed to be Muslims.

That horrible act is being called 'Terrorism'.

If the killers were not Muslims, would it be called a Mass Killing?

Something is wrong about this in my opinion.

Hopefully the killers will be caught soon.

GuardianUS ‏@GuardianUS 43m43 minutes ago
Police release names,photos of brothers wanted for #CharlieHebdo attack – rolling report http://trib.al/OfYK0Oi



One of the victims of these murderers was a Muslim Cop:

Jeff Gauvin ‏@JeffersonObama 4h4 hours ago
R.I.P. Ahmed Merabet, a French #Muslim Cop, first victim of #CharlieHebdo attack






People all over the world have come out in support of the victims who were murdered in France. Thousands held Pens in the air as a tribute to the Cartoonists.


RIP to the latest victims of another Mass Killing. We seem to have to say that a lot lately.

The lives of all their loved ones have been changed forever.

FBI Documents Reveal Secret Nationwide Occupy Monitoring

FBI Documents Reveal Secret Nationwide Occupy Monitoring

Just as everyone suspected.



Any discussion of OWS is incomplete without a photo of the armies that were sent out to try to crush them.

FBI documents just obtained by the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF) pursuant to the PCJF’s Freedom of Information Act demands reveal that from its inception, the FBI treated the Occupy movement as a potential criminal and terrorist threat even though the agency acknowledges in documents that organizers explicitly called for peaceful protest and did “not condone the use of violence” at occupy protests.

The PCJF has obtained heavily redacted documents showing that FBI offices and agents around the country were in high gear conducting surveillance against the movement even as early as August 2011, a month prior to the establishment of the OWS encampment in Zuccotti Park and other Occupy actions around the country.

“This production, which we believe is just the tip of the iceberg, is a window into the nationwide scope of the FBI’s surveillance, monitoring, and reporting on peaceful protestors organizing with the Occupy movement,” stated Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, Executive Director of the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF). “These documents show that the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security are treating protests against the corporate and banking structure of America as potential criminal and terrorist activity. These documents also show these federal agencies functioning as a de facto intelligence arm of Wall Street and Corporate America.”

“The documents are heavily redacted, and it is clear from the production that the FBI is withholding far more material. We are filing an appeal challenging this response and demanding full disclosure to the public of the records of this operation,” stated Heather Benno, staff attorney with the PCJF.


The police, working for Wall St. Who would have thought such a thing. Well, except for Bloomberg who did, to give him credit where it is due, tell us the NYPD was 'his army'. And he IS Wall St. He bought himself into Gracie Mansion, changed his party affiliation at twice, maybe three times, just so he could protect the interests of Wall St.

OWS scared them though. He did have to be a bit careful after NYC polls showed over 80% support for OWS's right to be where they were.

I don't know how anyone can support this, even if you don't like a particular group, no citizen of this country should condone these Government tactics no matter who the group may be.

Billionaires for Bush! Beautiful Trouble!

We have been discussing strategies to educate voters whose only sources of information is the Corporate Media, about important issues

Does anyone remember how Billionaires For Bush used Opera Singing, Costumes, Street Theater, Satire and Acting to talk about eg, Healthcare, which they called 'Wealthcare', reform in a fun way??



A not too with it Republican actually thought they were FOR Bush but didn't like the way they were 'making him look bad':

“Shut up! You are not helping the President get re-elected. You are making the Republican Party look like a bunch of out-of-touch elitists! Assholes!”
Email from an exasperated Republican


Which was the point! Lol!

Here's some video of them interrupting an AHIP conference. AHIP was spending 5 million dollars a week trying to kill health care reform. Billionaires for Wealthcare is a grassroots network looking to stop them - with song.



They did lots of stuff like this during the Bush era, 'praising' Bush and Billionaire friends etc.

Since any attempt to get Progressive Dems elected is going to be up against huge amounts of Corporate money, I was wondering about ways to overcome that to some extent, using whatever tools are available to help get the message.

Billionaires for Bush operated in several states during the Health Care debate, (and during the Bush years).

On this site there are suggestions about how to conduct successful campaigns. They use Billionaires for Bush as an example of how to get a message across using all the techniques they used.

Billionaires for Bush: Beautiful Trouble

“Some people call you the elite,” George W. Bush joked to his wealthy funders, “I call you my base.” Whether candidate Bush meant it as a joke or not, the Billionaires for Bush (B4B) campaign used humor, street theater and creative media actions to show the country how true the quip was. Working to expose how the Republican Party serves the interests of the super-rich, the Billionaires also addressed the broader issues of economic inequality and corporate greed.

An early version of the campaign in 2000, “Billionaires for Bush (or Gore),” had spread virally via the internet and mainstream media exposure. It rebranded itself for the 2004 election, taking as its crusade the defeat of Bush. The New York City chapter took the lead, assembling talented volunteers, among them professional designers, media producers, and actors. It then put the campaign pieces in place. A stylish logo swapped the Republican elephant with a piggy bank stuffed with bills. Satirical slogans — “Repeal the First Amendment,” “Free the Forbes 400,” “Corporations are people too” — adorned bumper stickers, buttons, and a slick website, mimicking the look of Bush-Cheney propaganda. A songwriter produced tuneful renditions of what the super-wealthy really think, performed by meticulously rehearsed singers. The members themselves adopted personae, with names and
costumes to match, spoofing iconic versions of the .01 percent: the Monopoly-style robber baron (Phil T. Rich), the dim-witted heiress (Alexis Anna Rolls), the trust-fund fuck-up (Monet Oliver D’Place), and so on.

Soon, the Billionaires could be found talking down to “the little people” at Bush-Cheney campaign events, left-wing rallies, and street corners. They could also be found all over the mainstream media, garnering thousands of hits, including multiple features in the New York Times and on network and cable TV. Even the chant “Watch more Fox News, then you’ll share our right-wing views!” made it to air… on Fox News.

Media coverage was generated by carefully planned hoaxes, such as the appearance, to a throng of adoring billionaires, of a Karl Rove impostor at a GOP fundraiser. Other times, the campaign outsmarted the authorities to attract the media glare, such as when it held a croquet match on Central Park’s “Great Lawn,” from which a half-million anti-Bush demonstrators had been banned by New York’s mayor. The media was smitten by the Billionaires’ glamour and charmed by their say-the-opposite-of-what-you-believe theatrics.


The site has lots of suggestions on how to use various techniques to get a message across.

A few, with links on how to do it:

Make it funny
Brand or be branded
Know your cultural terrain
Do the media's work for them
Enable, don’t command
Delegate
Show, don't tell
Think narratively
Create levels of participation
Balance art and message
Don't dress like a protester
Make the invisible visible

Just thought it might be something that could be used IF we find some candidates who need help fighting the Corporate money that will be used against them.

The Billionaires for Bush managed to get on the Media without having to pay for ads.

Anyhow, just something to think about ...

Third Way Founders Jon Cowen & Jim Kessler tell us: Economic Populism is a Dead End for Democrats

Before we can reform the Democratic Party, it is necessary to identify the problems that need reform.

Primarily the increasing swing to the Right.

That is why people are looking a lot closer at the Third Way who have gained so much power within the Party.

Jon Cowen and Jim Kessler - Economic Populism Is A Dead End For Democrats.

If you ever wondered where the Right Wing talking points against the Left were coming from within the Democratic Party look no further than the Third Way.

Remember as you read these pronouncements from two of the Third Way's founders, that these are the people making policy decisions and choosing candidates for YOU:

If you talk to leading progressives these days, you'll be sure to hear this message: The Democratic Party should embrace the economic populism of New York Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Such economic populism, they argue, should be the guiding star for Democrats heading into 2016. Nothing would be more disastrous for Democrats.


I always wondered about these attacks on FDR's policies coming from members of the Party who should be proud of them, especially considering how popular they are with the American people.

The political problems of liberal populism are bad enough. Worse are the actual policies proposed by left-wing populists. The movement relies on a potent "we can have it all" fantasy that goes something like this: If we force the wealthy to pay higher taxes (there are 300,000 tax filers who earn more than $1 million), close a few corporate tax loopholes, and break up some big banks then—presto!—we can pay for, and even expand, existing entitlements. Meanwhile, we can invest more deeply in K-12 education, infrastructure, health research, clean energy and more.


And there it is again, the derision of Liberals and their "retarded ideas" we expect from Fox News!

And right from influential members of our own Party!

You will probably find a lot of this to be familiar. Does 'you are not living in the 'reality based community' sound familiar eg?

I'm sure as a Liberal you have been attacked with some of these 'talking points'.

'Liberals live in a fantasy world, where they want PONIES and EVERYTHING!'

Well the Third Way is a Think Tank. They come up with ways to manipulate language. But this is supposed to be a 'liberal think tank' who uses these talking points against the Left?

Aren't they supposed to BE Left?

Anyhow, let's keep going, it gets better. They are coming to the lies we've become so familiar with regarding Social Security:

Social Security is exhibit A of this populist political and economic fantasy. A growing cascade of baby boomers will be retiring in the coming years, and the Social Security formula increases their initial benefits faster than inflation. The problem is that since 2010 Social Security payouts to seniors have exceeded payroll taxes collected from workers. This imbalance widens inexorably until it devours the entire Social Security Trust Fund in 2031, according to the Congressional Budget Office. At that point, benefits would have to be slashed by about 23%.

Undeterred by this undebatable solvency crisis, Sen. Warren wants to increase benefits to all seniors, including billionaires, and to pay for them by increasing taxes on working people and their employers. Her approach requires a $750 billion tax hike over the next 10 years that hits mostly Millennials and Gen Xers, plus another $750 billion tax on the businesses that employ them.


There are so many lies contained in those two paragraphs they have outdone Fox News on distortions of the reality of the Social Security Fund, which has more than one source of income, and a two trillion dollar surplus, not to mention, the Baby Boomers (see how they drop that in, just like their Right Wing friends) more than paid for their SS benefits.

And the subtle reference to Warren 'wanting to include Billionaires'. So transparent, seriously, I thought these people were at least smart enough not to try to put this garbage over on actual Democrats.

And they are so frightened that their Wall St backers might have to contribute some taxes to this country.

How ANYONE can believe that the Third Way belongs in the Democratic Party in any kind of policy making capacity, or in the choosing of candidates, is beyond me.

I suggest reading the entire article, it is short. But far more revealing than they thought it would be. '

No surprise they chose Murdoch's Wall St. Journal to publish it in.

I would like to invite them here to this group and try to make those claims.

But they don't mix with the little people, so I doubt we'll ever see that.

They are so scared. Their policies are being rejected, their dreams of the privatization of SS are facing what those dreams always face, see Bush, failure.

And their Wall St backers are no doubt angry at the rise of the new Populism and definitely at Elizabeth Warren for being the voice of the people when it comes to Wall St corruption.

Third Way Think Tank's Battle for Soul of Dem Party Pits Them Against Elizabeth Warren

Cross-posting from Populist Reform of the Democratic Party Group: http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=forum&id=1277

The more exposure the Third Way gets, the less they like it it appears. So long as they were behind the scenes Democrats, while often troubled by their Party's swing to the right, however reluctantly, generally just held their noses and voted for candidates whose Dem credentials, voting records especially, were dubious.

Puzzled by anti-Left rhetoric coming from within their own party, it was inevitable that sooner or later they would find the source.

Desperate to totally discredit the 'Left' its leaders published an article last December declaring war on Elizabeth Warren AND Bill de Blasio in Murdoch owned, The Wall Street Journal. That turned out to be a major mistake, as it turned out.

Third Way Struggles For Soul of Democratic Party Pits Wall Street Backed Think Tank Against Elizabeth Warren



Protesters gathered outside Third Way’s offices in Washington, D.C., in December 2013, asking the group to reveal its funding sources.

Third Way, backed by Wall Street titans, corporate money, and congressional allies, is publicly warning against divisive “soak-the-rich” politics voiced by populist Democrats. Its target: Elizabeth Warren, the Massachusetts senator whose rise to power two years ago helped galvanize Democratic grass roots against Wall Street and pushed the issue of income inequality to the forefront.

........

Third Way ignited a clash in December when its leaders essentially declared war on Warren in a guest column in the editorial pages of The Wall Street Journal, warning Democrats not to follow Warren and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio “over the populist cliff.”

Many on the left were shocked, and angered. Warren’s allies saw Third Way as a proxy — being used by her enemies on Wall Street to scare off the rest of the party.


If ANYONE is still wondering about the anti-Left rhetoric from within the Democratic Party, look no further than this Think Tank. All those talking points aimed at the Left, eg, 'purists', 'concern trolls' etc, come directly from this anti-Left group.

The entire article is worth reading as I can only excerpt a few pertinent paragraphs so that people can understand where the Anti-Elizabeth Warren Rhetoric is coming from.

Though Third Way’s salvo against Warren in The Wall Street Journal became a seminal moment in its fight against Democratic populism, the group is now very sensitive about the topic and will not even discuss why they chose to wage it.

Cowan and Bennett took pains not to utter Warren’s name in several interviews.


Not as easy as it used to be to smear Populists, Liberals, Progressives. They got a huge serving of reality after dominating the discourse mostly AGAINST good Democrats, over the past decade or so.

Their policies are being rejected and a new wave of populism in reaction to those policies, is sweeping the country.

However, I wouldn't count on them not finding ways to undermine people like de Blasio and Warren when it comes to protecting the interests of their group.

And for those who believe the Third Way is a far left 'CT' here are three of the co-founders of the group.



Matt Bennett, Jonathan Cowan, and Jim Kessler, three of the five co-founders of Third Way.



Meantime I hope more elected Dems join Elizabeth Warren in her fight to reign in Wall St before it is too late.

And watch for the talking points, 'she was a Republican etc etc intended to arouse anger in 'populists'.

NOW is what matters. So imo, they can keep their talking points and try for once to directly address what she is saying.

Is she RIGHT about Wall St, or is she WRONG?


That is all that should matter.

List of Third Way Board Members, thanks to Scuba in the comment section:


Third Way, Wall St-Backed, Think Tank's Battle for Soul of Dem Party Pits Them Against Eliz. Warren

The more exposure the Third Way gets, the less they like it it appears. So long as they were behind the scenes Democrats, while often troubled by their Party's swing to the right, however reluctantly, generally just held their noses and voted for candidates whose Dem credentials, voting records especially, were dubious.

Puzzled by anti-Left rhetoric coming from within their own party, it was inevitable that sooner or later they would find the source.

Desperate to totally discredit the 'Left' its leaders published an article last December declaring war on Elizabeth Warren AND Bill de Blasio in Murdoch owned, The Wall Street Journal. That turned out to be a major mistake, as it turned out.

Third Way Struggles For Soul of Democratic Party Pits Wall Street Backed Think Tank Against Elizabeth Warren



Protesters gathered outside Third Way’s offices in Washington, D.C., in December 2013, asking the group to reveal its funding sources.

Third Way, backed by Wall Street titans, corporate money, and congressional allies, is publicly warning against divisive “soak-the-rich” politics voiced by populist Democrats. Its target: Elizabeth Warren, the Massachusetts senator whose rise to power two years ago helped galvanize Democratic grass roots against Wall Street and pushed the issue of income inequality to the forefront.

........

Third Way ignited a clash in December when its leaders essentially declared war on Warren in a guest column in the editorial pages of The Wall Street Journal, warning Democrats not to follow Warren and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio “over the populist cliff.”

Many on the left were shocked, and angered. Warren’s allies saw Third Way as a proxy — being used by her enemies on Wall Street to scare off the rest of the party.


If ANYONE is still wondering about the anti-Left rhetoric from within the Democratic Party, look no further than this Think Tank. All those talking points aimed at the Left, eg, 'purists', 'concern trolls' etc, come directly from this anti-Left group.

The entire article is worth reading as I can only excerpt a few pertinent paragraphs so that people can understand where the Anti-Elizabeth Warren Rhetoric is coming from.

Though Third Way’s salvo against Warren in The Wall Street Journal became a seminal moment in its fight against Democratic populism, the group is now very sensitive about the topic and will not even discuss why they chose to wage it.

Cowan and Bennett took pains not to utter Warren’s name in several interviews.


Not as easy as it used to be to smear Populists, Liberals, Progressives. They got a huge serving of reality after dominating the discourse mostly AGAINST good Democrats, over the past decade or so.

Their policies are being rejected and a new wave of populism in reaction to those policies, is sweeping the country.

However, I wouldn't count on them not finding ways to undermine people like de Blasio and Warren when it comes to protecting the interests of their group.

And for those who believe the Third Way is a far left 'CT' here are three of the co-founders of the group.



Matt Bennett, Jonathan Cowan, and Jim Kessler, three of the five co-founders of Third Way.



Meantime I hope more elected Dems join Elizabeth Warren in her fight to reign in Wall St before it is too late.

And watch for the talking points, 'she was a Republican etc etc intended to arouse anger in 'populists'.

NOW is what matters. So imo, they can keep their talking points and try for once to directly address what she is saying.

Is she RIGHT about Wall St, or is she WRONG?


That is all that should matter.

List of Third Way Board Members, thanks to Scuba in the comment section:


One Member of the NYPD Does Not Turn Back on Fallen Officer or on Mayor de Blasio



Comments on photo can be found here:

https://twitter.com/Olivianuzzi/status/551796126739755009

That took courage!

Dennis Kucinich, populist Democrat, honest and principled. Thank you:




For being one of the few members of Congress who stood up to the Bush administration and publically accused them of torture, back when doing so was practically considered treason.

For opposing the Orwellian Patriot Act, once again when few had the courage to do so.

AND for actually READING IT!

For opposing Bush's illegal and criminal War in Iraq and calling them on their lies, again at a time when it was considered treason to do so.

For all the times you tried to stop the corruption, torture, wars and the lies being told to the American people.

For some memorable moments when you dared to inform the public of what was not meant to be revealed, eg, the clause requiring Iraqis to turn over control of more than 80% of their oil to Global Corporations. For that you were threatened with 'discipline' by your own party.

Proving that Iraq WAS about OIL, despite all the Right Wing denials and claims of Patriotic retribution for 9/11 which as we all know, Iraq had nothing to do with.

And for doing it all for the people during a time when personal tragedy struck your own family more than once.

And so much more ...

And despite all the disappointments for still believing that America will do better.


Dennis Kucinich New Year's Resolutions for America

In 2015 I will observe the 48th anniversary of my public career, which began when I was a 20-year-old candidate for city council. In that time, with the help of many, I have seen miracles occur, outcomes change, new directions taken when people courageously strive to challenge a seemingly unshakeable status quo, on matters both personal and public. I remember well years ago in Cleveland, when a powerful corporate establishment dictated the sale of a city's municipal electric system, yet through a long battle the heroic people of Cleveland, who I was proud to lead as Mayor, regained their rights, and our city's lights.

Today, our nation's government has been taken over by special interest groups and idealogues, who have rapidly distributed our nation's wealth upwards, built a national security state to protect its hold on power and wealth, involved America in destructive, unnecessary wars abroad, ignored the escalating violence at home, and broken the laws of our nation with impunity, while punishing those who expose their unlawfulness.


I hope he's right about miracles happening, because we definitely need them right now.



This is my New Year's vision for our nation:

1. Ensure a full employment economy by reclaiming control of our money system. The US Constitution, in Article I, Section 8, provided Congress with the money power. The monetary system was privatized in 1913 and handed over to private bankers. As a result, we have a debt-based economic system, at the expense of the many, for the profit of a few.

As a Congressman, after years of study, I introduced the NEED Act, which will reclaim our constitutional rights and change monetary policy to ensure full employment, decent wages, housing, healthcare, education, retirement security and a rebuilt infrastructure, without raising taxes. It can be done if we are willing to break the shackles of a falsely constructed economic, social and political reality, which condemns Americans to lives of poverty.

2. Reclaim our right to privacy. In 2001, I voted against the Patriot Act ...because I read it. In 2003, Rep. Ron Paul and I introduced a bill to repeal the Patriot Act, invoking Benjamin Franklin who warned, "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Let 2015 be the moment when we confront the monstrous NSA, its illegal reach into our private lives, its promotion of self-censorship, and demand that Congress legislate to stop the NSA, once and for all, from treading on our 4th Amendment rights.

3. Make America a more peaceful place. On July 11, 2001, two months before 9/11, I was privileged to give language, form and structure to the hopes of the multitude of people who stand for peaceful societies. On that day, with support from across America, I brought forth a landmark bill to create a Department of Peace, to transform our approach to gun violence, gang violence, racial violence, police-community clashes, domestic violence, spousal abuse, child abuse, violence in the schools, and violence against people based on their sexual orientation.

Let us, in these times of increased violence, restore the dream of "Domestic Tranquility" nourished by President Jefferson and others, and reach a new awareness, a new consensus, to rid our nation of the thinking that violence is inevitable, through supporting the effort, now carried forth by Rep. Barbara Lee.

4. Transform America's role in the world; focus on the needs of people here at home. The US has 662 bases in 38 foreign countries and has been involved militarily in over 100 nations. We have become entangled in wars for resources, wars for domination, wars for geo-political advantage, at a cost of trillions of dollars, driving the national debt and endangering the soul of our nation.

"America does not go abroad in search of monsters to destroy," said President John Quincy Adams. Let 2015 be the year that we recreate at home an empire of democracy, a true citadel of freedom, and stop the plotting, the interventions, the wars, and the calamitous reach for world domination. This will require a concerted effort, to demand Congress and President Obama stop funding military build-ups, stop funding nuclear escalation, begin to disestablish the global US military empire and start taking care of things at home. Americans are ready.

My wife, Elizabeth, and I travelled to a dozen American cities recently and met with thousands of citizens who re-defined "National Security" in terms of human security - - jobs, health care, education, retirement security, safe communities and privacy.

5. Establish a US Commission on Truth and Reconciliation. America was led into a war against Iraq, a war which killed over 1 million innocent Iraqis, a war which was based on every manner of deceit. In our name, and with our tax dollars, countless people were either killed, injured or tortured, their homes ruined, the land destroyed. It is time for Americans to know the truth about Iraq and other wars. Let us push Congress and the President to create a US Commission on Truth and Reconciliation.

We must require the highest level of accountability from those who have held the highest positions in our government. Lies which took us into war and established a national security state have separated us from each other, and from the world. Let us reunite in the spirit of truth and justice, seeking the moral high ground and a newer world.

6. Restore our relationship with nature and restore our planet. The Philosopher Thomas Berry wrote that "The Great Work" of our lives ought be restoring our relationship with the natural world. As the global temperatures rise, sea levels climb, we are beset by storm clouds of inaction from the poisonous, paralyzing self-interest of inhumane corporations. Nearly a decade ago, when I ran for President, I proposed a "Global Green New Deal" and a "Works Green Administration".

It is for us to gather the knowledge and resources, the strength and determination, to regenerate the soil, protect the land, purify the air, preserve the water, in a ceremony of personal, civic and political engagement which protects and celebrates the natural world as the precondition of life itself.

We can lessen climate disruption by changing the way we grow our food, and restoring our agricultural lands with regenerative organic (agroecological) practices. In doing so, we acknowledge that our food choices have the greatest single impact on our environment, and on our own health.

Let us face the New Year with the confidence that our ability to bring great change depends on our willingness to expect great things of each other and of ourselves. Our current condition of nationhood begs to be re-joined to the visionary confidence of those who 238 years ago announced the birth of a nation and the empowerment of 'we the people'.

Let us summon great courage, and, through the work of our hands and our hearts, create anew the nation which we most desire, one that is blessed with peace, prosperity and justice.

Happy New Year. Welcome, 2015 !



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