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senz

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Member since: Fri Jan 1, 2010, 03:15 PM
Number of posts: 11,945

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Again, I agree with everything you say, malokvale77

The country, and the world, have reached a brink that will require either a fairly abrupt about face (return to the FDR vision via Bernie) or an extreme, paradigm-shattering breakthrough of some sort to pull humanity through this potential catastrophe and return us to a safer, more sustainable coexistence with each other and our surroundings.

Our generation tried hard, back in the day, to make the world a better place, but few if any of us could see where it was heading. IMO, a lot of this happened by stealth in the 1980s, 90s, a fundamental economic and power shift with widespread, devastating consequences. What we have of great value is the memory, the experience, of life before it happened. The millennials, who will have to find a way to save themselves and their progeny, don't have our memories, our sense of what went wrong, and that is one of the ways we can offer them guidance and support.

Yes, Hillary shows no intention of dismantling a system which she has happily appropriated for her own benefit and no vision for where we need to go. If Bernie hadn't stepped forward, I strongly believe we would be heading inexorably toward violent confrontation and upheaval.

Our window of opportunity is so narrow -- just a few months -- and the forces on the other side are trying so hard to close it. If they succeed in stopping Bernie, then I hope the movement he sparked will be able to organize itself and continue on a mass scale. Again, they would need whatever help we can give them while we're still around.

As I listened to Bernie's GU speech last night

two thoughts were going through my mind:

1) This man is working his heart out to tell us what we need to know so that we can begin to reclaim America for the people.

He's giving it his all. Don't know how many noticed, but he was not feeling so great yesterday morning. Could have been tired, in pain, coming down w/a cold, whatever. When he sat down for the Q&A, it was obvious, and my heart went out to him. But at the same time, his sheer will, his determination to carry it through, was just as clear. I think Bernie has waited patiently his entire life for this opportunity to talk directly to the American people. He's less interested in persuading us than in instructing us, growing us, preparing us. However, if he's going to win -- if we should be so lucky -- he's going to have to shift a little more into persuasion mode. We have become a dumbed down people. Hillary and the Repubs (sounds like an ultrawhite motown group) know this all too well. I don't think Bernie is capable of pandering, nor of deceiving, but he could tie his message closer to people's personal experiences, feelings, felt concerns, if he wants to reach them. I believe he can do that.

2) His audience cheered wildly at all the truly salient points. They get it. These are America's elite youth, and they get it. As an old boomer who still feels my generation's hopes, dreams, and failures, this gives me even greater hope than I once had "back in the day." Today's world is logarithmically more centralized and inaccessible to the average person. Power and wealth have consolidated, hardened, and entrenched themselves so thoroughly that most of us have little if any voice in the forces that control and delimit our and our children's/grandchildren's life options. Many of the controlling factors (e.g., the TPP) are nearly if not totally invisible to us and do not look for input from us. This, of course, is the death knell of democracy and of the idea of the individual. And it's all happening in a way that many do not even notice. They may "feel" it but they don't "know" it -- and the Corporate Controlled Media bears much responsibility for this fact.

So the fact that younger, educated Americans can see what is happening, and hold values, such as democracy, that make dignified, meaningful, responsible human life possible, could very well be the only hope we have, going forward.

It was a significant speech.

A bought-and-sold "Democrat" cannot be a "hard core liberal."

Sanders' "socialist side" is in keeping with FDR's "socialist" programs that paved the way for a strong economy, a prosperous middle class, and a can-do, optimistic attitude in this country that paved the way for the social and environmental programs of the 60's and 70s -- all of which is GONE now, thanks to the corporate takeover of our government in the 80s, 90s, and 2000s.

FDR paid for these "socialist" programs with a progressive (ascending) tax structure. The chart below shows the top marginal tax rate from 1912 to 2008.



We can do it again, Thinkingabout, if we elect Bernie Sanders to the presidency. Hillary belongs and is beholden to the oligarchy (great wealth and big corporations); she would never do what we need to restore the country. Never.

Think about it.

You may have heard about the political upheavals of the Sixties?

Most Americans in the 1960s weren't as conscious as "the Sixties generation," who were primarily people in their teens and 20s, and not all of them as acutely politically conscious as the activists, mostly college/university students, such as the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) who drafted the Port Huron Statement. Another group gravitated toward "spiritual" pursuits -- Eastern religions, psychedelics, metaphysical stuff, some of which fed in to the New Age phenomenon of the Seventies. Gurus abounded, Tim Leary, Ram Dass, the Maharishi, Stephen Gaskin, etc. The countercultural lifestyle was most notoriously expressed by the hippies, whom the media later transformed into a caricature and a joke, whose motto was "Turn On, Tune In, and Drop Out." Of course the various threads of the counter culture interacted; not too many were all political or all countercultural. The music reflected all of this -- folk music at first, then a thousand explorations ("Dylan went electric!", all of them captivating in their own way, accompanied by psychedelic art posters, and entirely too much to go into here. An incredibly, almost mind-bogglingly, rich time.

But, yes, the whole thing was a reaction to a lopsidedness in American culture, much of which was social, expressed in the extremely straight-laced Fifties, and much went deeper, as the Port Huron Statement shows. Even President Dwight Eisenhower, a former General, had warned the people about the Military Industrial Complex. The earliest stirrings that I was aware of were the wonderful souls who got the Civil Rights struggle off the ground in the late '50s, early 60s. Much courage, much heroism there. And President Kennedy started the Peace Corps, an outlet for youthful idealism and adventure. But I know these struggles go back further in time, like the union movement, worker's rights -- which had its own troubadours like Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, the Weavers. And going back even further in time, we had the anti-slavery movement. And further, the French Revolution, and before that, the American Revolution. But, as we all know, some lopsided versions of leftist political activity produced oppressive communist regimes which, imo, didn't accomplish their ends very well, if at all.

So I don't know where it all started; it probably started after groups of cave men began to dominate and oppress other groups of cave men and women. Maybe I could learn more about our version of this struggle by reading Howard Zinn's "A People's History of the United States," which I own but haven't gotten around to reading yet. But I can tell you that American social conservatives exist in violent reaction to the Sixties, which they absolutely loathe.

This is the generation that produced Bernie Sanders. From what I've read, he wasn't nearly as "wild" as many of our generation, but he was 100% sincere and, unlike so many, didn't eventually sell out. He's pure homegrown American goodness, which is what he needs to express to the country, and I hope he does.

What Reagan did was to flip American society upside down so that corporate entities, and the great wealth that they represent, could gradually seize power and prevail over the American people. Reagan represented a large group of social conservatives, business interests, and capitalist ideologues who were alarmed by the powerful middle class that began to express itself in the Sixties and Seventies (and had been made possible by FDR's social/ economic programs) -- and so planned for years to overturn it. An early artifact of this modern conservative movement is the Powell Memo, in which Lewis Powell, a Supreme Court justice, warned his fellow conservatives in the Chamber of Commerce that they were losing and roused them to action. After Reagan, Clinton and Bush I furthered the conservative agenda while rightwing talk radio (and later, Fox News) kept the public distracted and angry at the wrong people, and then Bush II essentially pushed us over the cliff. Obama, imo, has been trying to hang on to the cliff with one or two fingers, but the situation is truly dire. And I don't think I'm exaggerating. Which is why the 2016 election is so crucial.

So Reagan was the catalyst for the conservative victory that has put America into its current predicament, but the roots go way back. And that's about all I can write at this point because, like all old people, I get tired.

Maybe some of my fellow oldsters could tell you more.

The Clintons ARE oligarchs -- and the data proves it.

From Counterpunch, May of this year:

Mrs. Clintonís presidential campaign is being financed by the same organizations that fund her and her husbandís charitable organization, and that list includes at least 118 individuals and companies that lobbied the State Department when Mrs. Clinton was Secretary of State.

Mrs. Clinton either has, or is expected to raise, upwards of $2 billion dollars to purchase a four-year lease to the White House. She might wish the public to believe that hard-working United States citizens, toiling at the shop or office every day, are scraping together $5.00 and $10.00 donations, all of which, in total, achieves that $2 billion. However, such is not the case. Mrs. Clintonís presidential campaign is being financed by the same organizations that fund her and her husbandís charitable organization, and that list includes at least 118 individuals and companies that lobbied the State Department when Mrs. Clinton was Secretary of State. A look at some of them is more than a little interesting. Because the list is so extensive, we will just show oil companies and defense contractors. This list shows companies in those categories that both donated to the Clinton foundation (along with the amount given), and lobbied the State Department.


Defense Contractors:
  • Boeing: between $1 million and $5 million.
  • Lockheed Martin: between $100,000 and $300,000.

Oil Companies
  • Duke Energy Corporation: between $1 million and $5 million
  • ExxonMobil: between $1 million and $5 million.
  • Chevron: between $500,00 and $1 million
  • Noble Energy: between $200,000 and $500.00.
  • Hess Corporation: between $100,000 and $250,000.

And, as a bonus, the top three contributors:
  • Microsoft/Gates Foundation: at least $26 million
  • Walmart: between $2 million and $11 million.
  • Coca-Cola: between $5million and $10 million.

When looking at this list, Mrs. Clintonís vote in 2002 authorizing Mr. Bush to invade oil-rich Iraq is not terribly surprising.


http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/05/01/hillary-clinton-elitist-imperialist-politician-extraordinaire/

Takes time to trust a new guy. When AAs learn who he is, THEY WILL LOVE HIM, TOO.

Bernie would be the best possible president for African Americans. Even better than dear President Obama, whom I worked to elect and whom I care for very much. But Bernie can do what Barack couldn't, because Bernie is older and more experienced, tougher, focused, and unbelievably courageous. I've loved having President Obama, loved his persistence, heart, and unbroken dignity in the face of widespread racism. He has performed beautifully and made me very proud. I love his family, Michelle, Malia, and Sasha. I've especially enjoyed seeing how his ascendance to the presidency has strengthened and encouraged African Americans -- and also Black people throughout the world. Thank God for this; we needed it, the world needed it.

But Bernie can make a palpable difference for AAs, because his entire focus is on helping Americans who have been left out of all the spoils of our nation's riches. He cares about people who suffer in a corrupt and cold-hearted system. He has given his life to this cause. This is the moment when the hopes, dreams, and needs of people of color will join the dashed hopes and suffering of poor and working class whites to rise up together and take this nation back for those of us who were left out. Brotherhood and sisterhood is possible if we allow it. If we allow it.

We can seize this moment or let it pass. Let's seize it.

Yes, it really is amazing, sabrina. It is very much a sense of "I've been waiting for this"

and finally, finally it is happening. The people of this country have been watching our hopes and dreams, our sense of "something good," slip away for decades, but no one has had whatever it takes to start turning it around. Bernie Sanders, with his simple honesty and integrity, has finally pointed the way. OWS tried valiantly, but what we needed was an unassuming person to articulate the truth of our shared existence, our pain, our hopes, and then outline plain, simple, pragmatic ways we can overcome the vast mistake that nearly ruined our country and begin to return America to a place we all can live in and believe in again.

Yes, this is a special time for all of us. But it's a cliff-hanger to watch how the "big bad boys" might respond. I hope Bernie is ready for that. Or maybe he will be happy to have lit the fuse of a political revolution that will play out in years to come. I guess we'll have to stay tuned and do whatever we can to help it along.

Thanks, Bonobo

I don't think I'm all that but I do know that Bernie Sanders appeals to what is best in me. That itself is a beautiful thing, worth having, worth living out. We have no guarantee he'll make it through the gates of hell to actually achieve the presidency, but his beautiful, noble effort is entirely worth supporting. Whether he makes it or not, I will never regret doing what I can (nowadays it's mostly financial and rhetorical) to help his mission.

I am reminded of an event that opened my eyes many years ago when I was an abandoned teenager staying with an incredible family so unlike my own that it felt like an "Alice in Wonderland" experience. The mother of this family was getting ready to attend an antiwar protest with the American Friends Service Committee. I asked her why she wanted to do that when she knew it wouldn't make any difference. She said that it meant something to her just to be there with them, just to weigh in on something that mattered to her. I had never heard anyone say anything like that before, and it puzzled me greatly. But it's been rattling around my mind ever since.

This is about so much more than any of us -- but acts like this are one of the ways we define ourselves as people.

Sad. Group think is powerful, especially when people have legitimate grievances.

But this looks to me like drawing an arbitrary line in the sand and sticking to it, even when it ultimately hurts you. Bernie is the absolute best bet for AAs. I hate to see them hurt themselves and hope this phenomenon is confined to DU.

I've now seen that DU is a tiny world unto itself where factions grow and harden. I've read DU for years as a political junkie but never looked deeply into the message boards until recently. It would make a GREAT thesis subject for a sociology major, because it's a condensed microcosm of society.

Or maybe some evil genius (I'm sure they exist, think of Karl Rove, Frank Luntz, Newt Gingrich) has managed to deflect black anger from the real racists and turned it against the progressive movement. I hope AAs wake up, see what is happening, and then make it backfire against the cynical perps who seriously don't give a shit about them.

Thanks, BillZBubb.

Bernie weighed the relative merits of a Democratic vs. 3rd Party run.

As a regular listener of the Thom Hartmann show, I have enjoyed one hour a week -- "Brunch with Bernie" -- of Bernie's give-and-take with Thom's listeners for years, learning to like and respect this guy more and more as I got a sense of who he is and how he thinks.

For the past six months or so, Bernie has been considering a presidential run. He openly discussed the pros and cons of running 3rd party or as a Dem (he caucuses with the Dems, votes with them, heads up Dem committees, etc.) His primary reasons, as I understood them, for choosing to run on the Dem ticket were:

1) The Democrats have a nominating organization already set up to facilitate a run. This is much smoother and less expensive than starting from scratch, especially for someone like Bernie who has quietly, steadily worked in the halls of the Congress and Senate alongside the Dems against the Repubs for DECADES, never trying to "be a star," but simply concentrating on representing his constituents without compromising his core democratic values. His votes have always aligned with the progressive side of his Democratic colleagues. He has not amassed big pots of money and fame, necessities for a strong 3rd Party run.

2) Bernie did not want to be a spoiler. He did not want to do what Nader did. Bernie is a realist, and he said he could never forgive himself if his run siphoned off enough votes from a Democrat to open the way for a Republican. Bernie stated that if he loses the nomination, he will throw his support to the winning Democrat. He loves this country, and this country, for him, is the American people. He, better than most, knows what the stakes are and would not put the rest of us at risk.

I was glad that he chose to run in the Democratic primary.

Now as for Mr. Weiner -- how is it possible that someone as experienced and tuned in as Anthony Weiner could be unaware of this? Bernie deliberated openly, not secretively (like some), and his reasons were not only expressed but also obvious to anyone who knows the game. Is Weiner simply doing a favor? Scoring points? Trying to win over certain disaffected parties?

Somehow, Weiner's "confusion" doesn't ring true for me.
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