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Member since: Sun Sep 30, 2012, 09:51 AM
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Ready for the Final Primaries? - Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sound Of Silence

Oak Flat: Protecting Sacred Places

Spiritualution: Politics and the Sacred - Jane Sanders | Amadon DellErba | Oak Flat

First Nations for Bernie Sanders by 'Deaf People For Bernie Sanders' (use CC)

Naelyn Pike of the San Carlos Apache Tribe in Arizona speaks during a Bernie Rally

Naelyn Pike of the San Carlos Apache Tribe in Arizona speaks on the Oak Flat Land exchange bill during a Bernie Sanders Rally in Tucson, AZ

Sanders Commitments to "Indian Country"

The commitments Sanders has made to “Indian Country” include expanding and protecting tribal rights to jurisdiction.
Democratic candidate for President Bernie Sanders achieved a historic upset at the New Hampshire primaries last week by winning 60 percent of the delegates. However, this margin is nothing compared to the margin he carried in one precinct in Iowa: the Meskwaki Indian Settlement precinct in Tama County. Here on the 8,000 acre homeland of the 1,400 member Sac & Fox Tribe of the Mississippi in Iowa he won 83.3 percent of the votes. Clinton only won 16.7 percent.

So it is no surprise when on Feb. 8 Bernie Sanders’ campaign announced at the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians meeting the creation of a Native American policy committee to develop and guide Sanders’ tribal policy platform. ATNI represents 57 Northwest tribes in a seven-state region. Founded in 1953, the organization provides an opportunity for tribal leaders to work together in the spirit of “inter-tribal unity and cooperation” and to jointly set policy and direction for member tribes. It is regarded as one of the strongest regional Native American organizations in the United States

Nicole Willis, a member of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla, and the former deputy director of First Americans at Obama for America is the new Native American advisor to the campaign.

“In the area of policy, Native America deserves to be courted,” Willis told teleSUR.

She said that the Native American Policy Committee, unique on the campaign trail, will contain a mix of elected officials, experts in Indian policy development and implementation, and regional representatives who will be “delving into rapid, meaningful policy development.”

Masha Mendieta, a national strategist for the Sanders campaign who attended the ATNI meeting, was amazed at the speed at which Sanders acted to expand his message to include the Native American community more fully. “Within 24 hours,” she says, “I knew I was going to ATNI and had these commitments from him. Amazing.”

The main commitments Sanders made to “Indian Country” (as Native Americans often call it) include:

Within 100 days of his presidency Sanders has pledged to convene a climate change summit and to include Native American representation. One of primary issues endangering Native American cultural practices in the 21st century is climate change. For example: climate change greatly endangers the growing of first foods like corn, and the habitats of traditional food sources and the transmission of cultural practices built around them. Sander's opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline will play well with Native voters to whom these projects represent a violation of tribal sovereignty and a grave danger to their homelands. Feelings are so strong on this matter that after the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation to force the Keystone XL pipeline to move forward in 2014, the Rosebud Sioux Tribe called it an “act of war” in a letter to Congress and said the U.S. lawmakers had “signed our death warrants” and vowed to close their lands to the pipeline.

Affirm and expand Native American nations’ gains in the last couple of years. Not just supporting initiatives like Obama’s Generation Indigenous but to secure funding for this programs. “Gen-I” is a program for Native youth that Obama announced at the 2014 White House Tribal Nations Conference to “focus on improving the lives of Native youth by removing the barriers that stand between Native youth and their opportunity to succeed.” Key programs include: education, health and nutrition, juvenile justice, housing, and youth engagement.

Expanding and protecting tribal rights to jurisdiction. Sanders played a key role as the co-sponsor of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013. The bill was controversial and was bitterly opposed by Republicans because it expanded tribal jurisdiction over non-Indians. Due to a series of Supreme Court rulings, Tribes have been stripped of jurisdiction over non-Indians on their lands and this has created a gap in jurisdiction which has led to an epidemic of predation of Native women by non-Indian men. In 2010, the Justice Department released a report which found that Native women were 2 1/2 times more like to be victims of rape and murder than other American women. The report also found that over 70 percent of the perpetrators of these crimes against Native women were white men. In some counties in the United States, the murder rate for Native women was found to be 9 times that of other American women. Further compounding the lack of lack of protection for Native women, the FBI refused to prosecute in 70 percent of the cases. VAWA went into effect in 2015 with a few tribal pilot projects. Sanders plans to fight for further expansion of tribal jurisdiction in the next authorization of the bill. In the present version of the bill, tribal jurisdiction is limited to only Domestic Violence perpetrators.

Continue the White House Tribal Nations Conference (an annual conference Obama began shortly after he took office) and retain a Native American policy advisor as begun under Obama’s administration.

“I was given an opportunity to speak at the General Assembly,” Mendieta said, noting she hadn’t come to the ATNI meeting prepared to speak and found herself addressing the gathered leaders, deeply moved by the testimonials and speeches from tribal representatives she had heard. She says she urged them to take this opportunity to elect somebody “who fundamentally supported change” and to seize a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to shift their relationship with the federal government.”

This content was originally published by teleSUR at the following address:
"http://www.telesurtv.net/english/opinion/Bernie-Sanders-Courts-Native-American-Voters-20160214-0008.html". If you intend to use it, please cite the source and provide a link to the original article. www.teleSURtv.net/english

Bernie Sanders: COMPASSION

"Orwell Rolls in His Grave "

3 Hour Documentary explaining a portion of the information about media censorship, consolidation and propaganda.

THE BIG LIE: Hillary the Pragmatist vs Bernie the Dreamer

The Sanders revolution is not going to be televised and it is not going to be reported in the rest of the mass media either. The revolution is against plutocracy and the plutocracy owns the mass media. Anyone still getting their information from the mass media is missing out on the history being made in an historical political year that rivals any of the past two generations.

Yet patriots should still be prepared to answer plutocratic propaganda that issues from the mass media to pollute the information environment. A month ago its propaganda was that Bernie Sanders was losing, when upon closer analysis of the facts he was clearly winning. This month’s propaganda is that Hillary Clinton is experienced and pragmatic whereas Bernie Sanders is an inexperienced dreamer who will sacrifice the achievable prosaic reform by reaching for impossibly poetic ideals.

It must be said very clearly that this is a complete and total lie, deploying “the big lie” technique of propagandists. It must be called out as such. The most consistent message from Sanders is what he said when he first started exploring a presidential bid and has continued to say down to the last debate when he clearly defined the central issue of the 2016 campaign: “Very little is going to be done to transform our economy and to create the kind of middle class we need unless we end a corrupt campaign finance system which is undermining American democracy.”

If Sanders does not overcome the plutocracy and restore American democracy he is quite clear that “very little” is going to get done by him as president. That is not the talk of an unrealistic dreamer, but of a very honest, clear-eyed, practical politician who knows exactly what the score is.

When applied specifically for reform of the systemically corrupt system which is American politics, the incremental kind of reform that Clinton proposes is actually counterproductive. It makes the system even more corrupt. It takes systemic reform to overcome systemic corruption. Since systemic reform must start from the top, the precise approach to reform of political corruption by the presidential candidates, whether counterproductively incremental or effectively systemic, is key to the future of American democracy. We have had 40 years of diversionary and piecemeal reform proposals as the systemic corruption only grew worse.

Though plutocracy is by far the most important issue, Sanders is not running a one issue campaign. While totally leveling with the people about the limited possibilities for the policy reforms he advocates if the current systemic corruption is not outlawed, he is also informing people about the reforms that he will pursue if democracy is restored.

Sanders is very appropriately campaigning on these other policy issues because they could all be done relatively easily, indeed would already have been done, if the United States were a democracy. A democracy is where majorities get the policies they want that are not inconsistent with democracy itself. Policies like single-payer health care, free state college tuition, and virtually all other of Sanders’ “middle class” economic reforms have majority backing. In a democracy it is not an impractical dream to think that the majority would be able to enact the policies that they want.

Only in a plutocracy is policy that serves the majority a mere impractical dream.
By framing his campaign around a platform of majoritarian policy reforms, Sanders is presenting a far clearer picture of what the country would look like under his presidency if he succeeds in his priority task of overthrowing the plutocracy. This provides a richer and truer explanation of the importance of this single decisive issue than if he had run a single issue campaign, as professor Larry Lessig advised.

The choice is then quite clear. Hillary Clinton and her mass media backers criticizing Sanders as an impractical idealist are clearly assuming that the plutocracy will continue on her watch, as it certainly would. In her plutocracy, as in Obama’s plutocracy, none of Sanders’ policies would be anything but an unattainable ideal, as he himself has consistently indicated. Sanders is focused on, and promises to achieve with the continued support of the people, the overthrow of “the billionaire class” plutocracy. Then adopting what are, in Clinton’s world, “impractical” reforms would actually become a matter of ordinary democratic politics.

The Democratic primary election presents a very easy choice that has nothing to do with pragmatism, dreaming, or more or less experience running the corrupt American system of politics. These are products of propagandists designed to change the subject. The real choice is between someone who is planning on the restoration of democracy and someone who is planning for the perpetuation of plutocracy.

Rob Hager is a public interest litigator who filed an amicus brief in the Montana sequel to Citizens United and has worked as an international consultant on anti-corruption policy and legislation.


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