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Member since: Sat Mar 5, 2011, 11:32 AM
Number of posts: 4,204

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To work toward a decent legacy to our children and grandchildren, I offer this as a way to think through a potential shakeup about how we approach traditional, narrative-driven politics.

This video is long, historical in giving context and making comparisons -- but it explains why Bernie Sanders is NOT a socialist. It explains why our problems cannot be solved through corporate party unity and activity.

This video reinforces what we can't admit: that we work within a permanent box of war infrastructure that came to control the civilian command after Kennedy and Vietnam.

Our country's and planet's future is too big, too long in building, too complex to be "fixed" by a presidential election.

The more we realize what pressures we HAVE to put on our permanent fascist war government and economy, the sooner we can get OUR winner to fight toward eliminating all the taxing and spending sickness of believers and perpetrators of American empire' myths. And we have all internalized those myths, to some extent.

Hedges defines the rebel at the 50 minute mark. The rebels defined here are among us. Rebels know that they will not live to see the fruits of their efforts, but they don't rebel for themselves. As Crazy Horse said, " ...out there the spirits may help me. I am making plans for the good of my people." And as state-hanged Ken Saro-Wiwa, who fought against Shell Oil, said, " The environment is man's first right. Without a clean environment man cannot exist to claim other rights be they political, social or economic."

I also highly recommend all DU'ers read Chris Hedges' Wages of Rebellion -- The Moral Imperative of Revolt For the record, I have been a staunch Bernie Sanders supporter since before he declared.

On to the video. Excerpts below the video.

Intro by Andrew Tonkovich: We are treated in public, ladies and gentlemen, like naughty, slightly stupid and obedient children by the elites of our nation and their sycophants, pimps, talking heads and administrators – those salesmen of easy plastic wrapped desires and, yes, a shiny weapon and ammo for every fool or coward or kook who can buy or steal one…the intellect and spirit are shared and worth sharing...

Excerpted speech by Chris Hedges:

Before I begin on the issue of Bernie Sanders – I will not betray the Palestinian people, ever.
Which means that I will not support Bernie Sanders or anyone who does not stand up for the oppressed – all of the oppressed.

I’m tired of selling the Palestinians out. That’s over. If we’re not willing to fight that battle, we’re not gonna fight any battle. He’s an AIPAC windup doll like the rest of them. Look at that Senate vote…

We live in a revolutionary moment…A tiny global oligarchy has amassed obscene wealth while …no mechanisms to institute genuine reform or halt the corporate assault are left within the structures of power, which have surrendered to corporate control.

The citizen has become irrelevant. He or she can participate in heavily choreographed elections…a bankrupt liberal class holding the values it does nothing to defend discredits itself as well as the purported liberal values of a civil democracy as it is swept aside
In this moment of political, economic or natural disaster a sort of crisis will ignite unrest, lead to instability, and see the state carry out draconian forms of repression to maintain order. This is what lies ahead...

...Gulf war 1991, Somalia 1992, Haiti 1994, Bosnia 1995, Serbia and Kosovo in 1999, Afghanistan in 2001, where we have now been fighting for fourteen years, and Iraq in 2003. And we can toss in Yemen, Libya, Pakistan and Syria, along with Israel’s proxy war against the Palestinian people.

...Foreign battle fields are laboratories for the architects of industrial slaughter. They perfect the tools of control and annihilation on the demonized and the destitute. But these tools eventually make their way back to the heart of empire. As the corportists and militarists disembowel our nation, rendering our manufacturing centers boarded up wastelands, and tossing our citizens out into despair, the methods of subjugation, familiar to those on the outer reachers of empire, migrate back to us. Whole sale surveillance, indiscriminate use of lethal force in the streets of our cities against unarmed citizens, a stripping away of civil liberties, a dysfunctional court system, drones, arbitrary arrests, detention and mass encarceration.

“The tyranny empire imposes on others,” as Thucydides reminded us, “ it finally imposes on itself.” Those who kill in our name abroad soon kill in our name at home. Democracy is snuffed out…You cannot be a socialist and an imperialist. As Bernie Sanders has done, support the Obama administration’s wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen and be a socialist. You cannot, as Sanders has done, vote for every military appropriations bill, including every bill in resolution that empowers and sanctions Israel to carry out its slow motion genocide of the Palestinian people and be a socialist.

You cannot laud military contractors, as Sanders has done, because they bring jobs to your state. Sanders may have the rhetoric of inequality down, but he’s a full fledged member of the Democratic caucus which kneels before the war industry and their lobbyists. No grass roots movement will ever be born within the bowels of the Democratic Party establishment. Because none of these elected officials dare challenge any of these weapons systems, no matter how costly or redundant.

And Sanders, like all elected officials, profits from this Faustian pact. The Vermont Democratic Party leadership, in return for his deference, has not supported any candidate to run against Sanders since 1990. Sanders endorses Democratic candidates no matter how much they push neoliberalism down our throats, including Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. And Sanders’ carrying water for the Democrats is the primary obstacle to building a third party in Vermont itself.

Now there’s a reason no establishment politician will say a word about the war industry. Because if you do, you end up like Ralph Nader, tossed into the political wilderness…and it is in the wilderness, I’m afraid, that real socialists must, for the moment, reside. Socialists understand that if we do not dismantle the war industry, nothing – absolutely nothing – will change. Indeed, things will only get worse.

War is a business. Imperial wars seize natural resources on behalf of corporations and ensure the profits of the arms industry…as true in Iraq as our campaigns of genocide against Native Americans…no one is sitting in the board room of General Dynamics hoping for peace in the Middle East. No one in the Pentagon, especially the generals who build their careers by managing wars, prays for a cessation of conflict...

It is not our job to build power. It is our job to build movements to keep power in check.“You get freedom by letting your enemy know that you’ll do anything to get your freedom, then you’ll get it,” Malcolm X said…Integrity and courage are powerful weapons and we have to learn how to use them. We have to stand up for what we believe in. We have to accept the risks and even the ridicule that comes with this stance. We will not prevail any other way.

As a socialist I am not concerned with what is expedient or what is popular. I am concerned with what is right…these ideals are the only ones that will make possible a better world.

If you will not call for an arms embargo, along with a boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel, you are not a socialist. If you will not demand that we dismantle our military establishment which is managing the government’s wholesale surveillance of every citizen, and storing all our personal information in perpetuity in government computer banks, and if you will not abolish the for profit arms industry, you are not a socialist. If you will not call for the prosecution of those leaders including George W. Bush and Barack Obama, who have made in aggressive acts of pre-emptive war…you are not a socialist…

…Socialists do not pick and choose among the oppressed who it is convenient to support…socialists understand that you stand with all of the oppressed or none of the oppressed…

…Our strength lies in our steadfastness and our integrity…we must refuse to cooperate…we must rebel…we must grasp finally that we do not rebel for what it achieves, but for who it allows us to become…rebellion sustains us in an age of darkness. It provides hope and the capacity for love.

And rebellion must become our vocation…"

Whether we take on the charge that we have betrayed future generations or not, I believe that even if we cannot be the rebels of a revolution -- not Bernie's revolution -- we must look for those rebels among us, and support them with our lives, fortunes and our sacred honor. I have to say this publicly so that I will be called to live up to it when the rebels call me.

Nobel Peace Prize Is Awarded to National Dialogue Quartet in Tunisia

Source: New York Times, October 9, 2015

A coalition of labor union leaders, businesspeople, lawyers and human rights activists won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday “for its decisive contribution to the building of a pluralistic democracy in Tunisia in the wake of the Jasmine Revolution of 2011.”

The quartet comprises four organizations: the Tunisian General Labor Union; the Tunisian Confederation of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts; the Tunisian Human Rights League; and the Tunisian Order of Lawyers. But the Norwegian Nobel Committee emphasized that the prize “is awarded to this quartet, not to the four individual organizations as such.

“The Arab Spring originated in Tunisia in 2010 and 2011, but it quickly spread to other countries in North African and the Middle East,” said Kaci Kullmann Five, the chairwoman of the committee, who announced the prize in Oslo. “In many of these countries, the struggle for democracy and human rights has come to a standstill or suffered setbacks. Tunisia, however, has seen a democratic transition based on a vibrant civil society, with demands for respect for basic human rights.

The president of the Human Rights League, Abdessattar Ben Moussa, told the radio station, “It proves that dialogue is the only way to solve a crisis and not weapons.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/10/world/europe/national-dialogue-quartet-tunisia-nobel-peace-prize.html

We may be seeing a model for our own pursuit of "revolution."

Congratulations to the The National Dialogue Quartet.

Bernie Sanders' Floor Speech Against The TPP

This speech was made five months ago. Until we know more of the actual TPP text, it's so far THE best pro-American worker argument about our failed trade agreements in general, along with this newest, biggest one. It certainly should stand beside the TPP Trade ministers' press conference in factual openness and framing of OUR issues, not business issues.

edit: Thanks for the clarification reminder, April.

Jim Jeffries -- Guns Are Not For Protection

"Gun culture" begins with parents. Any law that doesn't restrict parents won't change gun culture.

Just because humans have the reproductive equipment, doesn't mean they're entitled to reproduce, especially when they create gun culture. Yes. PARENTS -- who are not adults -- create gun culture.

Parents all around the world create the image of guns as both toy and protection for kids.



These photos are not overkill. They barely scratch the surface of how we have to change "gun culture." All parents with guns must go to education training on how to teach their children the proper attitude toward, and use of guns, who they are unsafe around, how guns might be used to hunt, and what they must never use guns for. They must earn certificates and own gun insurance in case of theft or accidental shooting.

Every single family in Switzerland must have a gun by law, yet one doesn't see there photos of guns paraded around with children in tow. They don't treat their guns like toys in front of children. If you can come up with a training course that changes gun culture I'll happily support it. Until then, this fucking, stupid country...

Wikileaks: TPP To Be Signed This Week

On September 26, a meeting between negotiators from all 12 nations involved in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will commence in Atlanta, Georgia. The meeting will run through September 30, followed by two days of meetings with trade ministers.

The TPP is not only facing resistance from electronic privacy groups, but from grassroots activists and concerned professionals around the world. On October 1, the group #StopTheTPP Atlanta is planning on hosting protests and rallies outside the building where the negotiations are being held.

More here:

I fear that the goal of Wikileaks to get complete transcript of the trade bill has failed.

In this video, at least Bernie Sanders stands against the entire TPP agreement on behalf of the American people.

I feel sick at heart at our massive helplessness in the face of the global oligarchy. We all should.

Ta-Nehisi Coates on Joe Biden: "Biden cast Democrats as the true party without mercy."

Coates' essay in the latest issue of The Atlantic Monthly quotes Joe Biden in 1994:

Let me define the liberal wing of the Democratic Party. The liberal wing of the Democratic Party is now for 60 new death penalties...the liberal wing of the Democratic Party has 70 enhanced penalties...The liberal wing of the Democratic Party is for 100,000 cops. The liberal wing of the Democratic Party is for 125,000 new state prison cells.

Coates has influence over whether African Americans and other minorities trust this party, and it looks as if he's not particularly trusting either party. His research must be recognized as a valid source of questioning any and all party candidates. Joe Biden is no exception.

Here is where we can find his voting record on crime.


If "today’s Democratic party is female, professional, black and Hispanic," as others in these threads have described, then Joe Biden has some 'splainin' to do about his own words, or eat them. And soon.

Joe Biden will have to answer to Democrats now for his "tough on crime" stance THEN.

Hidden Realities of The War On Drugs: "Kill The Messenger"

Because of our traditional historical narratives, Americans have a hard time handling the truth.

The first to call out governmental crimes and corruptions are usually marginalized in American history. They are side barred "messengers," the first to call out official wrongdoing. Gary Webb, reporter for the San Jose Mercury News, deserves a place among the "firsts" who provide balance to American history.

Webb's story -- of this country's CIA's and military's complicity in cocaine shipping, the mass arrests and encarceration of South Central LA civilians; the CIA's stalking and intimidation of him, the American media's impugning of his ethics -- should be in a chapter devoted to our history of whistleblowers.

We must learn to tell modern American history differently. No more "great man/strong man" framing. No more "enemy" framing or "aren't we wonderful" stories that lull us into "sheltering in place."

An American history of positive "firsts" -- Paine's visions, founders' documents, presidents and innovators -- must be balanced by firsts that reveal ugly truths, as well. Such has been the goal of objective investigative reporting.

This movie -- as the story of one of our first whistle blowers -- reveals one whistleblower's history as a reality check on old American narratives.


Feel The Bern! Produced by Corbet

The Pied piper Bernie Sanders for the middle class,
while the GOP wants to put our interest last,
he’s gon give it to you raw, no hesitation,
with the right ideas to lead this great nation,
no hand outs no special interests groups,
he don’t lie to get votes he’s telling you the truth,
and while the media wants to down play him,
He’s still gonna fight tell em all he ain’t playing,
pushing for higher wages so we all can feed our families,
The only one I know who can conquer this Insanity,
of this wall street bickering, belittling
the poor, dollar bills only thing they’re considering,
when people need health care, kids need school,
when it comes to politics Bernie’s breaking,
no attack ads on the competition needed,
he’s running on the facts and its something that we needed...

Feel the Bern, make em Feel the Bern, all the way to the White House Feel The Bern,
Feel the Bern, make em Feel the Bern, tell the haters on the Right, They can feel the Bern,
Feel the Bern, make em Feel the Bern, all the way to the White House Feel The Bern,
Feel the Bern, make em Feel the Bern, tell the haters on the Right, They can feel the Bern...

You hear them scared shook, “he’s a democratic socialist”,
but they don’t even know what it means they just roll with it,
get over it, check the resume, fighting for civil rights ever since the first day,
while other candidates, still with their handouts,
we do it old school grassroots standout,
cuz this is our time to have our voices heard,
you fat cats had your chance now it’s our turn,
they say he can’t win cuz he’s just too liberal,
way too extreme, too honest, too cynical,
they want another robot politician
the same old rhetoric,
now they’re gonna listen...

Kanye West’s "Yeezus 2020" Campaign Commercial! Do It For The Human Race!

I'm taking a break from the burning intensity of primary issues, to give a shout out to one of my all-time favorite artists.

I'm not being ironic here, either, even if the New Yorker is.

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