Electoralism is not Democracy

Democracy does not mean merely that we hold elections. Communists had elections. Election campaigns are not the sum total of democracy. Democracy means the elected government obeys the expressed preferences of the electorate. We don't have that anymore. See [EVIDENCE OF DEMOCRACY FAILURE] below.

The ability of the citizens of the US to affect political change by electoral means ended with the 1980 election, when the CIA intervened in the electoral process (The October Surprise).

For 12 years after that, the former Director of the CIA, Vice President GHW Bush, ran the policy of this country (Reagan was a figurehead), with strong assistance from the then current head of the CIA, William J. Casey. After that, we had eight years of the neoliberal poster boy, Bill Clinton, who did drug deals in Arkansas with Bush's hatchet man, Ollie North. Then, thanks to that boat anchor/traitor, Joe Lieberman, and the Florida election theft, we got Bush Jr - another clueless figurehead, stage managed by the neocons. Finally, we got the well-groomed fraud Obama, who prosecuted whistleblowers mercilessly, while green-lighting drone strikes, coups (Honduras), the destruction of secular Arab regimes (Libya, Syria), and the massive bailout of the bankster crooks.

At each step in this forty year farce, more and more laws, institutions, and traditions of the US were shredded as a Deep State formed from the military intelligence complex and the allied banking and oil industries. To anyone who remembers the US in 1970, it is clear that we are no longer a democracy. The number of lies told and laws that have been ripped up to get at Julian Assange alone should demonstrate that the rule of law, and of the Constitution, are a joke in this country. Electoralism ignores all that history and demands that you focus almost exclusively on whatever election campaign or "gotcha" investigation is now underway. In short, electoralism is camouflage that protects the Deep State.

Electoralism is an ongoing political lobotomy leading to the results described by Santayana. Getting suckers excited about which conman to pick is exactly why the Deep State loves its rigged elections. The longer the campaign season, the more distraction from the hijacking of our government there is.

I would like Bernie supporters to explain how electing Bernie 18 months from now will stop the US from eliminating freedom of speech (i.e., Assange) right now. The essence of electoralism is real issues being set aside for interminable campaigning, and its on display here. I would like them to explain how electing Bernie in 18 months does anything for the ongoing violations of our rights listed in [EVIDENCE...] today. We might not get to 2020 without a major economic disaster or a major war, so why are we playing these stupid electoralism games instead of pressuring our rogue government to stop being criminals?

In case you haven't realized it yet, this essay is my response to WOTB bashing C99p, WayOfTheBern noticed our Bernie debate

An article at CounterPunch summarized electoralism very well:

There are Gates galore....Like the Democrats, (the GOP) have zero concern for the ostensible issues of principle, and infinite enthusiasm for mounting “gotcha” political theater.

Neither party really wants, or knows how, to engage in a sustained, principled debate on substantive political issues
— things like universal-coverage, single-payer health insurance, a job guarantee, a radical reduction of the military budget, an end to imperialist intervention, increasing taxes on the wealthy and lowering them for working people, a break from the “overwhelming” and destructive influence of Zionism, to name a few of the policies the Democratic congressional leadership could have insisted on “investigating” over the last two years...

Instead, both parties’ political campaigns rely on otherizing appeals based on superficial identity politics (white-affirmative on the one hand, POC-affirmative on the other) and, mainly, on bashing the other party for all the problems it ignored or exacerbated, and all the terrible policies it enacted, when it was in power—and for the version of superficial, otherizing identity politics it supposedly based those policies on (the real determinants of class power remaining invisible). What both parties know how and will continue to do is mount hypocritical legalistic and moralistic “investigations” of illegal campaign contributions, support from foreign governments, teenage make-out sessions, personal-space violations, et. al., that they are just “shocked, shocked” about.

It’s Investigation Nation. Fake politics in the simulacrum of a democratic polity. Indeed, someone, of some political perspicuity, might just notice, if only for a flash, that the people who do pretty well politically are often the ones who frankly don’t give a crap about all that. Maybe because they’re talking to people who don’t give a crap about all that. But we wouldn’t want to confuse ourselves thinking on that for too long...

The Democrats’ main goal in all this is not to impeach, or stop the re-election of, Donald Trump; it’s to prevent the nomination and election of Bernie Sanders, or anyone like him.

- Jim Kavanaugh, Investigation Nation: Mueller, Russiagate, and Fake Politics

It should be clear that the narrow "centrist" spectrum of candidates allowed through the filter of the years-long money primary and the corporate media character assassination squads are completely unwilling to challenge the power and warmongering agenda of the CIA and its allies; the MIC, Wall St., the oil companies, KSA, and Israel. Poll after poll demonstrates that the vast majority of voters want to cut military spending, military bases, and military actions. Candidates say they will do that, Trump most recently. Yet, when they get in office, its business as usual. Have I mentioned that's because we are no longer a democracy?

In my last essay, my stance that a choice between two corporatists was no choice at all was derided as "childish". The groupies at WOTB have added "purity troll" to the insults for anyone who steps outside the "acceptable" boundaries of politics.

There are 80 years worth of facts [HISTORICAL BIBLIOGRAPHY] about the capture of our government by intelligence agencies and their gangster/bankster allies. You have to ignore all that history (or denounce it as conspiracy theory) to come to the conclusion that its being "too pure" when you refuse to swallow a cake laced with poison. Of course most of the overworked, dumbed down, propagandized US population isn't aware of that history, so the country has moved beyond ignorance to outright Orwellian thought control. (It takes real thought control to get the public to accept that the US has not always been for sale to the highest bidder.)

If we don't have a democracy, what do we have?

Eric Hobsbawm summary of the failure of democracy in the 1920s-1930s maps perfectly onto today's situation:

The optimal conditions for the triumph of the crazy ultra-Right were
- an old state and its ruling mechanisms which could no longer function;
- a mass of disenchanted, disoriented, discontented citizens who no longer knew where their loyalties lay;
- strong socialist [ today, IdPol] movements threatening or appearing to threaten social revolution, but not actually in a position to achieve it; and
- a move of nationalist resentment against the peace treaties of 1918-1920[today, globalization agreements like NAFTA and TPP]...

What National Socialism certainly achieved was a radical purging of the old Imperial elites and institutional structures...

- Eric Hobsbawm, The Age of Extremes, pp 126-9. (1994)

-----

IMHO, with Trump as President America is in a situation of emergent fascism, aka corporatism. See, again, [EVIDENCE...] at the end, if you are unclear about that. And just like the 1930s-40s era dictatorships, the first order of business is, as Hobsbawm noted, to "purge the old Imperial elites and institutional structures". That's exactly what Trump's "you're fired" fest is doing. For America, what is being purged are the structures of genuine democracy and the rule of law that were here before the neocon/neoliberal Empire of Chaos took over. European nation states are in the same burning boat vis a vis the EU.

As the FAANG roll out their censorship tools (net neutrality eliminated, defunding, delisting, banning, shadow banning, overreaching copyright takedowns), we see the beginnings of "coordination" (German: gleichschaltung). These polices will come as a shock to people used to democracy. The Netherlands under German occupation is a historical example:

The German occupiers implemented a policy of Gleichschaltung (“enforced conformity”), and systematically eliminated non-Nazi organizations. In 1940, the German regime more or less immediately outlawed all Socialist and Communist parties; in 1941, it forbade all parties, except for the Dutch National Socialist party NSB, under Anton Mussert 

Gleichschaltung was an enormous shock to the Dutch, who had traditionally had separate institutions for all main religious groups, particularly Catholic and Protestant, because of decades of pillarisation. The process was opposed by the Catholic Church in the Netherlands, and, in 1941, all Roman Catholics were urged by Dutch bishops to leave associations that had been Nazified.

Life in the Occupied Netherlands

CONCLUSION

Does one hear any viable political candidate laying out this narrative of a failed democracy, run by a murderous intelligence community? Not really. While people may talk about fixing some details in areas like healthcare or retirement or education, none of them will attack the Deep State, the CIA, the secret wars, and the obscene level of "defense" spending head on. That's because all viable politicians have internalized what that corrupt fraud, Chuck Schumer, openly acknowledged:

"You take on the intelligence community — they have six ways from Sunday of getting back at you".

And that is true for AIPAC as well.

So, pardon me, Bernie groupies; but after meekly caving in to having the election stolen from him by the DNC, he went on to embrace Russiagate, to support the illegal sanctions and regime change operations against Venezuela, and now to ignore Julian Assange's illegal arrest. IMHO, Bernie is just the latest cheap suit waiting to fold.

You guys want the genuine left to wear the pretty suit of Bernie to our own execution. I'm sorry to hurt your feelings; but I stopped letting my mother dress me half a century ago.

[EVIDENCE OF DEMOCRACY FAILURE]

* Our domestic politics is completely corrupt
---- We have a completely opaque, easily hackable privatized e-voting system.
---- We have severe gerrymandering that is keeping the GOP in power by fraud.
---- We have massive voter suppression, again keeping the minority vote down.
---- Citizens United allows gangsters like Sheldon Adelson to spend $100M
---- Hillary not indicted for massive security violations, for running pay-to-play foundation.
---- DNC diverted funds and stole primary from Bernie, argued in court it had no duty to be neutral
---- Rep. Omar is crucified for mentioning the overwhelming power of AIPAC, thereby proving it.

* We have instituted a rights-free zone extending 100 miles from the border, which includes 65% of the population. In that zone:
---- You can be indefinitely detained for "suspicion".
---- Your electronics can be confiscated or, if you agree, your private life can be rummaged through for probable cause, instead.

* We allow asset seizures (civil forfeiture)by police.
* We allow Private Prisons that use slave labor. We guarantee them a profit.
* We use the police and the courts as a revenue source, preying on citizens. (Ferguson, MO)
* We do not prosecute, much less ban, predatory/lawbreaking business (Payday loans, Uber, AirBnB)
* We allow NSA total surveillance of every bit on the internet.
* Freedom of speech has been replaced by corporate media Censorship
* We have legalized Government Propaganda against US citizens inside the US
* We have freedom of religion - unless you're a Muslim, in which case you are a potential terrorist.

* We have brought back racism
---- The New Jim Crow
---- The everyday occurance of unjustified police shootings, for which officers are exonerated.
---- Russiagate has degenerated into classic racism - all Russians are evil. We recycle Nazi tropes against them.
---- We applaud and support Israeli slaughter of Palestinian untermensch.

* We Torture People
* We kidnap people and hold them in black sites for torture (Rendition)

* We ignore international law which, when we have signed the treaty, is US law:
---- theft of occupied territory by Israel
---- destruction of right of asylum by Trump

* We wage aggressive war against countries with oil: Libya, Syria, Iran, Venezuela
* We support genocide in Yemen and Neo-nazism in the Ukraine.

[HISTORICAL BIBLIOGRAPHY OF INTEL TAKEOVER]
I have previously partially documented the rise of our garrison state:

Founders of the American Garrison State (1945-1960) - Part 1

Founders of the American Garrison State (1945-1960) - Part 2

Despite the time frame in the titles, this review begins during WW1, and includes the rise of J. Edgar Hoover and his 48 year reign of blackmail and corruption, and the coincident rise of the Mafia. Of course, one of the most heavily censored aspects of our history is the strong connection between CIA covert ops and Mafia drug dealing, Also, the private crooked banks to fund them off books. The CIA learned these financial tricks by cooperating with and using the mob. Also relevant to today's garrison state is the fact that the mob had strong Jewish connections via Meyer Lansky. All these facts have been available since Alfred W. McCoy's seminal work in the early 1970s. And, McCoy is still reporting, although few are listening.

our drug wars create profitable covert netherworlds in which those very drugs flourish and become even more profitable. Indeed, the U.N. once estimated that the transnational traffic, which supplied drugs to 4.2% of the world’s adult population, was a $400 billion industry, the equivalent of 8% of global trade.

- Alfred W. McCoy, Calculating the Damage From a Century of Drug Prohibition

My review includes a little bit of the 1970s in order to include the early neocons - Scoop Jackson's crew of Trotskyites: Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz.

I am working on bringing that narrative up to 2000, but that's not finished. Instead, I invite you to look at the following list for source material.

1940s
- Anthony Summers, Official and Confidential

1950s
- T. J. English, Havana Nocturne
- Gus Russo, Supermob
- Stephen Kinzer, The Brothers
- David Talbot, The Devil's Chessboard

1960s
- James Douglas, JFK and the Unspeakable
- L. Waldron & Thom Hartmann**, Ultimate Sacrifice
- L. Waldron & Thom Hartmann**, Legacy of Secrecy
- Peter Dale Scott, Deep Politics and the Death of JFK
- Anthony Summers, The Arrogance of Power

** Thom Hartmann now supports the Russiagate propaganda.

1970s

- Alfred McCoy, The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia (1972)
- Wikipedia, The Safari Club
- L.B. Honegger (Reagan campaign), October Surprise
- Gary Sick, October Surprise

1980s
- R. T. Naylor, Hot Money & Politics of Debt
- Daniel Hopsicker***, Barry & the Boys
- Terry Reed, Compromised

*** Daniel Hopsicker now supports the Russiagate propaganda.

Overviews
- Tim Weiner, Legacy of Ashes
- Douglas Valentine, The CIA as Organized Crime
- Alfred McCoy, The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade
- Russ Baker, Family of Secrets
- Mike Lofgren, The Deep State
- Mike Lofgren, The Party is Over

Share
up
23 users have voted.

Comments

Raggedy Ann's picture

and good documentation in this essay. You are 100% correct - elections do not equal democracy.

How about it, you BernieBros out there! How is he going to change things 18 months from now? Huh? I know you have superpowers to see into the future. Step right up and answer the question! And the rest of you - how are any of those in the clown show going to change things if they get elected? Huh?

To you, Arendt, I ask - what solution are you offering? I feel as you do - where has our democracy gone? It is clearly documented that there has been an intel takeover of America. Thanks for outlining it so well in the essay. I get it. BUT - WHAT SOLUTION ARE YOU OFFERING?

The only solution I have to this dilemma is revolution. I've said it over and over. I'm as indignant as the next person, but indignation doesn't solve anything without action. Electing folks won't solve it either - it's total takeover and restructuring or it's status quo. There is no other answer.

My $.02 Pleasantry

up
13 users have voted.

"The herd management intent is simply to get you into one of the corrals. Nobody is right, if everybody is wrong.
I am a free range DFH."
NCTim

Lily O Lady's picture

@Raggedy Ann @Raggedy Ann

to reverse this trend. We are surely all doomed.

up
6 users have voted.

"The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

Shahryar's picture

@Raggedy Ann

getting out in the streets with signs does nothing. There does seem to be only one solution and yet look at the opposition! Starting with the local police departments that now look like paramilitary. I can even picture irate rightwingers showing up with their precious guns to help out the police and soldiers....against us, and by "us" I mean a woefully underprepared, virtually unarmed group of lefties.

An actual revolution means dead people and who of us would be willing to step up?

Unfortunately "they" know it.

up
12 users have voted.
Lily O Lady's picture

@Shahryar

disparage seems futile. But at least one would not be around to see things get any worse, so they’d have that going for them.

up
9 users have voted.

"The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

Raggedy Ann's picture

@Shahryar
As Arendt says below, collapse is the way of change. Will it result in chaos? I hope not. Pleasantry

up
7 users have voted.

"The herd management intent is simply to get you into one of the corrals. Nobody is right, if everybody is wrong.
I am a free range DFH."
NCTim

arendt's picture

@Raggedy Ann

To you, Arendt, I ask - what solution are you offering? I feel as you do - where has our democracy gone? It is clearly documented that there has been an intel takeover of America. Thanks for outlining it so well in the essay. I get it. BUT - WHAT SOLUTION ARE YOU OFFERING?

As individuals, as leftists without a power base, there is nothing we can do that will change the trajectory to collapse. We can only hope that collapse comes peacefully, as it did with the USSR. But that is doubtful given the massive warmongering this country is engaged in.

My solution is to hide out. To gather what personal resources I can gather. To get out of the city. To try to be as self-sufficient and off-grid as I can be. To stay in touch with other leftists. Then, when it all goes to hell, as it must, to pop up with a genuine leftist program. But, timing is everything. Pop up too soon, and you will be eliminated by the organized gangs of rightwing authoritarians who will also wait for the collapse to emerge. You have to wait for the authoritarians to make themselves unpopular.

I gotta admit, my solution sucks. But I don't see any leftist movement going anywhere in America until TPTB and their working class useful idiots have totally discredited themselves.

up
13 users have voted.
Raggedy Ann's picture

@arendt
Wait for collapse. It’s been talked about. Is it coming? Sometimes I feel it, then the stock market jacks up.

I feel fortunate. I live in a rural area. We have a large garden and hope to get a greenhouse. We are 85% off the grid. We’ve been preparing for some sort of collapse, now that I think of it.

Shahryar is correct. Revolution won’t happen. We are over-powered. Even in peaceful revolution, we are over-powered.

Collapse. Thanks for your insight.
Pleasantry

up
11 users have voted.

"The herd management intent is simply to get you into one of the corrals. Nobody is right, if everybody is wrong.
I am a free range DFH."
NCTim

Wally's picture

@Raggedy Ann @Raggedy Ann @Raggedy Ann

It's been proven resilient, and it's been saved from itself by political intervention by the likes of FDR.

Bernie is the closest thing we have to FDR and in some ways he's even better. FDR never advocated socialism. Bernie does straight up on FOX News no less:

https://twitter.com/BernieSanders/status/1117924310541328385

up
3 users have voted.
Jen's picture

@Wally
I made the mistake of clicking through and reading the comments on that tweet. I should have known better. That shit is depressing. There's a reason why this is one of the very few websites that I visit anymore.

up
3 users have voted.
Wally's picture

@Jen

I didn't read the comments under that tweet but thanks for calling them to my attention.

Bernie just blasted the centrist thinktank the Center for American Progress for making a concerted effort funded by corporate big bux to do him in. Of course, the many groups otherwise linked to David Brock are going after Bernie in overdrive, too. They have bots and sockpuppets galore. So funny that the Russians get blamed when they couldn't even come close to doing the damage to democracy that these other POS are doing (pardon my French). Nobody ever said this was going to be easy: https://twitter.com/People4Bernie/status/1117931056487751680

(Some day I'll figure out how to insert twitter links. Maybe I have a problem because I'm not a subscriber).

up
3 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@Wally

in one of her replies to you. You don't need to be signed up on Twitter to embed tweets.

up
3 users have voted.

America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

Wally's picture

@snoopydawg

A couple times but thanks.

I'm afraid I don't have the patience or I'm just too much of a dumbass when it comes to the computer.

I'm amazed I figured out how to do youtubes and photos (although the photos often seem too big).

up
1 user has voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@Wally

Click the arrow on the right.
Click embed tweet
IMG_3389_0.PNG

This takes you to this
. IMG_3388_0.PNG

Copy then paste it here

If you get an error message after you hit save then there are some icons in the tweet so delete them and then save.

up
3 users have voted.

America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

Wally's picture

@snoopydawg @snoopydawg

I'll try again tomorrow.

It seems I tried that process, though.

I don't get an error message but the tweet appears as a broken link on the screen after posting.

up
1 user has voted.
Wink's picture

never expected him to
do much of anything
except stop the bleeding.
@Raggedy Ann

And sign Med4All if 'we' (blue team) take the Senate.
That's it.
Anyone expecting more is hallucinating. But stopping the bleeding is Yuuuge.
Yuuuge.

I'm about to go buy a gun.
Something I never thought I'd hear myself say, but it's time.
And damn near too late.
Hopefully an M-16 or equivalent. Whatever the modern day virgin is.
If not, there's always a mini 14 or sumpthin'.
And a .357 mag or 9mm. Prefer the mag. Fire .38 rounds thru that thing and it barely moves, can barely feel it, accurate as hell.
Haven't fired a gun of any kind in over 30 years, but I was 'ExSpurt' in Basic Training,
and 'spect I haven't lost much of that. Like riding a bike. I thought it was one of the easiest things I ever did. They say shooting targets is a helluva lot easier than shooting people. And I suspect they're right. But I won't have any trouble squeezing off a round or two at an Oligarch defender, taker of our liberty.
Time to start building camps too. Sadly, 1775 is near, if it isn't yet here. {sigh}

up
4 users have voted.

the little things you can do are more valuable than the giant things you can't! - @thanatokephaloides. On Twitter @wink1radio. (-2.1) All about building progressive media.

Wally's picture

@Raggedy Ann

And how is this revolution you propose going to come about? And when? Before the 12 year window of opportunity to throw a monkey wrench into the process of catastrophic climate change.

I gotta wonder, too, why doesn't arendt publish his/her work anywhere aside from here? Did you ever stop to think about that? I mean it seems that would be a start to a solution of some kind, no? Recognizing the problem first and going from there? He previously mentioned some kind of petition. I'm waiting to see it but I'm not big on petitions especially ones that wind up getting me more and more junk email.

S/he writes that instead of engaging in electoral politics, we should be:

pressuring our rogue government to stop being criminals

What does that even mean? Where's the necessary critical mass? Doing what?

I don't think there are any simple instant solutions. It's all about struggle. First, you work on developing a critical mass of people. Bernie's done that. NOBODY else has. We have a 12 year window of opportunity to throw a monkey wrench into the gears of approaching catastrophic climate change.

My mantra continues" Bernie now or we're fucked.

Otherwise, istm all we're left with is deep, dark, melancholia.

up
4 users have voted.
Lily O Lady's picture

@Wally

up
2 users have voted.

"The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

Wally's picture

@Lily O Lady

Lots of questions. A sense of desperation. And I'd like to think some good humor.

Dare to struggle, dare to juggle.

up
3 users have voted.
ggersh's picture

your guy loses, it was stolen. All elections do is give
the pol's an excuse for saying amerika is a demockracy

amerika as whatever it was meant to be has collapsed.

https://eand.co/how-american-collapse-resembles-soviet-collapse-94773b44...

What happens if you do try to change the system, though? Well — how exactly are you going to do it? The second way American collapse resembles Soviet collapse is through one party rule. I mean this in a subtle way. It’s true that one party controls most of America’s government — and its society, too — and that party has imploded into the kind of extremism that makes dictators proud. Still, think about the opposition for a moment. What do you notice? They don’t oppose.

The Republicans and Democrats don’t differ very much, do they? The Dems don’t offer any of the following, for example — retirement, healthcare, affordable education, childcare, safety nets, and so on. Instead, both parties seem to believe in more or less the same things — markets as the solution to every problem a society has, populated by greedy, self-interested, profit-maximizing “consumers” on the one side, and corporate “people” on the other. Witness Obamacare — and its legacy of ruin (life expectancy’s falling, my friends.) So the Democrats don’t oppose. Americans are offered a set of false choices — between implosion, the Republican way, or collapse, the Democrat way. Neither of these, though, amounts to progress. The result is the functional equivalent of one-party rule.

up
13 users have voted.

"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." William Casey, CIA Director 1st staff meeting, 1981

“USA will export two things soon, jack and squat. no planes, no cars soon.”

arendt's picture

@ggersh

And, the William Casey quote is dead on!

Umair is fabulous, but he's behind a paywall. But, I do read him whenever he is available for free.

The article you linked to is so clear, so rational, such a perfect historical analogy (which is my stock in trade) that I hang my head in shame. The one thing I would add is that people have described American ideology as "inverted Marxism", where the CEO is worshipped instead of the worker, where the CEO is oppressed instead of the worker.

I encourage everyone to read the article.

up
8 users have voted.
ggersh's picture

@arendt thought it fit in perfectly to what
was on your mind.

It was my first read of the young man, he gets it
and writes well, I think he has some of you in him

And thanks for what you bring

up
5 users have voted.

"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." William Casey, CIA Director 1st staff meeting, 1981

“USA will export two things soon, jack and squat. no planes, no cars soon.”

wendy davis's picture

@ggersh

this was may favorite part of course:

"f you don’t believe me, let me make it a little clearer. Imagine that you’re a vocal supporter of AOC, and you go to apply for jobs. You’ll be turned down by many, especially at large corporations, for your politics, your social media being monitored…and they’ll never tell you why. You’ll wonder and shake your head in frustration. You’ve been blackballed — but you don’t know it. Yet this is the precise equivalent of Russians being unable to find work through the party because they supported the idea that people should be able to open businesses and buy property, instead of living in communal apartments and working at government owned factories. See it yet?"

wow, did he drink the AOC brand koolaid! DSAs! DSAs! if we only discussed more about her Green New Deal! boy, howdy; was i ready for some chuckles.... (sorry to sound...like one of her detractors: but i am. ; )

up
1 user has voted.
Wally's picture

@ggersh

. . . who lived under Soviet domination? If so, I didn't notice any indication of it in the article. Has he read anything by oppositionist leaders, people who were involved in the process that led to the dismantling of the Soviet Union and dissolution of the Soviet bloc? Again, maybe, but there's no indication of that in the essay.

So I'm wondering upon what he bases his comparisons.

up
1 user has voted.
Shahryar's picture

it always does. You know, we get 300 years of darkness then it swings to 5 years of the road to utopia, before sliding back.

There seems to be an unlimited number of villains. Consider the French Revolution with all of that head chopping. No matter how many they guillotined they still had others to fill the void. As soon as the desire to fight dies down they come back to re-assert power.

At least in the 60s and part of the 70s we had the illusion that things were getting better. Sort of. Except for the killing of anyone in or near power who spoke out and who, I believe, intended to change things.

up
14 users have voted.
The Aspie Corner's picture

@Shahryar from far-right to center-right. Meanwhile, actual left-wing folks will still be persona-non-grata in this dictatorship of capital. But that won't stop the rubes from whining about how the far-left 'socialist' 'democrats' want to rape them of everything of value, including their hamburgers. Idiots.

up
6 users have voted.

Modern education is little more than toeing the line for the capitalist pigs.

Shahryar's picture

@The Aspie Corner

to Napoleon.

We have evidence that 99% of the country will accept someone awful. In my "haha" scenario the left becomes more popular, gains steam and people like Chuck Schumer come along to say "I've always been a lefty" and most of those who claim to be "progressive" act excited and say "yay, we've got Schumer on our side now!" Well, no. But they'll believe it and Schumer, or anyone like him, will slide right in there and grab power. Anyone who's, like you say, center-right but who presents himself/herself as a friend of the people.

And then we'll be back where we were. Do I sound pessimistic?

up
11 users have voted.
arendt's picture

@Shahryar

The political landscape is littered with frauds and fakes, all funded from the infinite resources of the Deep State. (I can't decide whom I despise more, Beto or Gay Pete.) There is literally not one of the mainstream politicos that I trust.

up
8 users have voted.
The Aspie Corner's picture

@Shahryar And sadly they seem to be copy and pasting the same loop again and again, hoping for a different result. Or perhaps they're hoping for the same one, since they seem so comfortable with the reality tv presidency.

up
6 users have voted.

Modern education is little more than toeing the line for the capitalist pigs.

arendt's picture

@Shahryar

There is an infinite supply of "white men", and a finite number of human beings.

I begin to agree with John Grey that the hyper-individualism aspect of the Enlightenment has been a disaster.

up
8 users have voted.

How fucking insulting.

up
6 users have voted.
arendt's picture

@JtC

I am sorry that you can put up with 2998 words of indictment of Bernie as a member of a class of political distraction, but you find two words are insulting.

Are you idntifiying yourself as a person who tells defenders of Julian Assange that they are purity trolls? Because that's who I'm referencing when I call them groupies.

Do you have anything to say about the essay, or are you going to just play the outrage card? Do you have anything to say about the mountains of documentation I provided? Or are you just going to be insulted?

Normally, I would reply less unkindly; but merly saying your insulted leaves me with very little nuance to work with, and very little sympahty for your attitude.

up
9 users have voted.

@arendt
in an insulting mood tonight?

up
5 users have voted.

@JtC "Bernie supporters", "Bernie fans", "Bernie die-hards", "Bernie or Busters", might all make the same or similar point as "Bernie groupies". As far as that goes, I have read comments here that if you do not support Bernie, you are gonna die!
Perhaps you need to do an addendum to your faqs.
Having been a groupie myself, for peace, and you said you were, in fact, a shit kicker, we can handle some labeling.
I was once a Bernie Groupie. Proudly so.
I EVOLVED, but completely understand the mindset.
IT IS ALL GOOD.

up
8 users have voted.

@on the cusp
DBAA, Don't Be An Ass, that wont change. The FAQ may though, things do "evolve".

up
4 users have voted.

@JtC you are attempting to head off some cat fight at the pass.
Until you commented, I had not noticed Bernie groupies in the essay.
We are all on edge these past few days.
I do appreciate your position as site administrator, and your immense responsibilities.
All of us here know you are vigilant.
The disagreement is with context and definition.
As I have said before, 11 jurors believe the shooting death was murder, and 1 believes it was self-defense.

up
9 users have voted.

@on the cusp
I do what I consider best for this site. You're welcome to your opinion of my judgement.

Best regards,
Goober

up
3 users have voted.

@JtC it is on this site that You Da Man, and we all appreciate that fact, all appreciate your efforts, or we wouldn't come here, wouldn't support the place.
Would we?
Judgment is how you spell it. Even lawyers add that extra "e".
I have a hearing to determine weather a man walks free, or is subjected to Texas prison for 20 years, possibly Federal prison.
That is my tomorrow.
I might try to sleep and not have nightmares.
Hope everyone on c99 is ok.

up
8 users have voted.
Wally's picture

@JtC

Don't be a dick reeks of Markos and DPus

Thanks for making that adjustment.

up
1 user has voted.
janis b's picture

@on the cusp

at the idea of being considered a ‘groupie’ of anyone, or anything for that matter? It’s a demeaning word that doesn’t apply to the independent thinking people here, and therefore has no valid place, imo.

up
6 users have voted.
Big Al's picture

@janis b @janis b But what if someone here, like me, said Trump groupies, or Hillary groupies? Do people here cringe at that? I know the reaction would not be the same. Hell, Trump and Hillary supporters have been called much worse on here. So if it's accepted with those politicians, because that's what we're talking about is politicians, than why can't it be accepted with all politicians on a non-partisan blog? If people don't think politicians aren't like celebrities now, then they should think again. Just look at AOC. Just look at Trump. Bernie is a celebrity in his own right and believe it, he has groupies. I guess that's part of the difficulty in a non-partisan political blog, particularly one that basically emanated from Bernie supporters. On the one hand, non-partisans are allowed and when you're talking non-partisans, that could include people who are adamantly opposed to electoral politics and the duopoly political parties and their politicians. And on the other hand, you have partisans who support democratic party politicians and the democratic party. And those in between. So that obviously is a tough balance. But unless Bernie is deemed off limits, or Tulsi or whoever, which would make it partisan, what's the difference on a non-partisan blog?

up
10 users have voted.
janis b's picture

@Big Al

that I would not cringe at someone calling a Trump or Hillary supporter a groupie. I also don’t pay their advocates much attention or criticise them. I’d rather ignore them. Whether that’s fair or not I don’t know, I would have to give that question more thought. Here we have a forum to help refine our understanding of a way forward in a more progressive sense, and I’d rather we be more inclusive in that context.

up
8 users have voted.

@janis b I was a Bernie groupie, wore it like a badge of honor.

up
3 users have voted.
janis b's picture

@on the cusp

up
2 users have voted.
Wally's picture

@JtC

Is that the same as strawmen?

up
1 user has voted.

@JtC

...Sanders' issue positions to make his point, as do a few others in this community, these days. (And, I'm not going to sit here defending him, only to be met with bullshit accusations from a playground gang.) If you didn't have a chance to check it out, you really should watch the Fox Town Hall with Bernie, early last night. It was quite powerful; easily one of the most important media gigs he's ever done. (See Mark from Queens' post, currently running near the top of the front page of this joint, for links!) Bernie made a LOT of statements that substantially contradict what Arendt's attributing to him, in this post!

Arendt--like everyone here--and, paraphrasing Pat Moynihan--you're entitled to your own opinions (about Sanders). Not your own "facts."

I had a mid-level media position, at 23 years old, in the national Carter re-election effort (in 1980). Somewhat of a front-row (or second row) seat, as it were. Friends from college who were, practically, relatives and close with--as well as family friends of--both Casey and Bush. Once again, there really is a LOT more nuance to this--when you're sitting up close, if not tangentially participating in this shit--than meets the eye. I was actually introduced to folks like John Rendon, many years before he was a full-fledged CIA pawn. As much as the MIC loves its power, the media thrives on power, even more. They are MUCH more culpable than people give them (dis)credit for.

Regrettably, that's all I have for today. (Too many obligations; too little time.)

up
5 users have voted.

"Freedom is something that dies unless it's used." --Hunter S. Thompson

Wally's picture

@bobswern

. . . whereby something that's presented is not subject to disproof by contrary evidence. What's posed is a hegemonic construct that does not allow for counterhegemonic alternatives.

T. J. Jackson Lears has astutely dealt with this problem in his "The Concept of Cultural Hegemony: Problems and Possibilities" in The American Historical Review Vol. 90, No. 3 (Jun., 1985), pp. 567-593

https://www.jstor.org/stable/1860957?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

up
1 user has voted.
Unabashed Liberal's picture

@bobswern

quote, which I periodically include in my signature line.

It goes like this,

"Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts."

Couldn't agree more.

For this reason, when I read, or hear a policy statement--especially, on Medicare and Social Security--that I 'know' is factually incorrect, it's my intention to correct it as soon as possible.

Dunno, but, it may come as a surprise to some that there are folks (here) who are primarily interested in discussing 'policy.' And, who find the election cycle to be mostly a sideshow, a distraction, and, at times, a flat-out aggravation.

Speaking for myself, it doesn't matter 'which' lawmaker makes an incorrect statement, or, which corporatist Party he/she has sworn allegiance to--I want the unvarnished truth to be spoken.

So, guess I'll continue to correct the record, when warranted, if the facts are documented, and, can reasonably be discerned. In my experience, this is often the case regarding discussions of healthcare. After all, a proposed legislation is the undisputed truth.

The only reason I'm bothering to say this, is because from a couple of your comments, I can't tell if you'd consider a serious policy disagreement--with Bernie, or any politician--to be no more than "bullshit accusations from a playground gang."

Frankly, I hope not.

Mollie

I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive.
~~Gilda Radner, Comedienne

up
5 users have voted.

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
--George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist & Socialist
"We [corporations] are the government!" Actor John Colicos (1978)

@Unabashed Liberal @Unabashed Liberal

...around here that's primarily supported by extremely weak innuendo, nonexistent "facts," unsupported opinion(s), and/or flat out conspiracy theories. On the other hand, there are also significant amounts of well-supported, fact-filled comments and posts here. And, then there are the reference links within some posts at C99P that, simply, do not support the statements/claims linked within them. It's a mixed bag.

But, when folks here respond: "I'll write what I want to write," my attitude is, "Cool! Fine by me!" But, regardless of whether your argument's weak, mixed, or strong, expect lots of feedback! And, if you can't stand the heat, don't play with the matches!

up
3 users have voted.

"Freedom is something that dies unless it's used." --Hunter S. Thompson

Unabashed Liberal's picture

@bobswern @bobswern

when it comes to evaluating the accuracy and veracity of comments and essays posted here. (Of course, that's true at any blogging Community.)

And, it's obvious that we both appreciate Senator Moynihan's quote, right? You brought it up, and, it's periodically incorporated into my signature line. IOW, I think we have pretty much the same goals.

You say,

But, when folks here respond: "I'll write what I want to write," my attitude is, "Cool! Fine by me!" But, regardless of whether your argument's weak, mixed, or strong, expect lots of feedback! And, if you can't stand the heat, don't play with the matches!

Fair enough.

But, I would respectfully ask that you call out folks directly, instead of referring to them as part of "a playground gang, making bullshit accusations."

Please understand how unfair it may seem to some members--or, to me, anyway--to be derisively categorized, or lumped in a Group of people--yet, not be given a clue as to "what your point of contention is."

Speaking for myself, I can, and will gladly, and civilly defend any criticisms directed at me, or my statements regarding social welfare policies.

Hey, you make a very valid point that Everyone who puts out their opinions should expect lots of feedback, and, by extension, be prepared to defend their stances, or comments.

But, that's only possible if they know 'what' you're objecting to, in the first place.

Pleasantry

Hey, have a good one!

Mollie

I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive.
~~Gilda Radner, Comedienne

up
4 users have voted.

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
--George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist & Socialist
"We [corporations] are the government!" Actor John Colicos (1978)

@Unabashed Liberal

...the reality was I was making a general statement. And, the reference of "...a playground gang, making bullshit accusations..." really was NOT directed towards you. It was a statement about a few instances I've witnessed in this community, in general (of late). Otherwise, I thought your comment was pretty decent, actually. My apologies!

up
1 user has voted.

"Freedom is something that dies unless it's used." --Hunter S. Thompson

Unabashed Liberal's picture

@bobswern @bobswern

now might be a good time to mention that my criticism of some (well, actually, most) of the MFA proposals is based upon my view of healthcare policy, period. IOW, it is truly not my intention to attack a lawmaker, personally.

As I mentioned upthread, I really don't object to being asked to explain or defend my stances, since I agree with you that people who publicly express their opinions, should be prepared to defend them.

Thanks for the reply, and clarification.

Have a good one!

Mollie

I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive.
~~Gilda Radner, Comedienne

up
2 users have voted.

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
--George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist & Socialist
"We [corporations] are the government!" Actor John Colicos (1978)

dkmich's picture

@bobswern

I always say if the shoe doesn't fit, don't wear it. I wasn't in this diary until 20 minutes ago, and I have no idea why everyone is taking personal exception to everything? If anyone thinks I'm a groupie or a gang, I don't care. Why is everyone so judgmental and touchy and making a big deal over everything?

up
3 users have voted.

"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

*donate to c99 *like us on Facebook *follow us on Twitter

Big Al's picture

@Unabashed Liberal I was wondering about some specifics regarding "the significant amount of criticism around here that's primarily supported by extremely weak innuendo, nonexistent "facts," unsupported opinion(s), and/or flat out conspiracy theories". Heavens knows we in the playground gang criticizing Bernie, which is really criticism of the democratic party, would like to know some specifics so we'll know the truth about Bernie and the democratic party. Some of us just need to learn.

up
8 users have voted.
Unabashed Liberal's picture

@Big Al @Big Al

to hear that I've been absolved, so, guess I'll let the matter drop. Smile

Of course, you do make a good point, in that very often criticisms are with policy or even with the Party itself (or, it's Leadership)--not intended to smear any particular candidate. Unfortunately, getting that point across is often a difficult feat to accomplish.

Mollie

I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive.
~~Gilda Radner, Comedienne

up
4 users have voted.

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
--George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist & Socialist
"We [corporations] are the government!" Actor John Colicos (1978)

dkmich's picture

@bobswern

If everyone has to research and cite everything they say, forget it. Reminds me of being sat in a corner at dkos for daring to say Obamabot or for criticizing the king of 11th dimensional chess. Bernie deserves to be criticized for some things. If he can’t, welcome to DailyKos 2.0

up
7 users have voted.

"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

*donate to c99 *like us on Facebook *follow us on Twitter

Big Al's picture

Noticed a little of that tonight, electoralism with Bernie on Fox news. A planted studio audience and standard political stump type speeches from Bernie. One thing I noticed relative to the issue of democracy, Bernie said in that Fox news thing that he would like to see one of the highest voter turnouts among industrialized nations in the next election as opposed to one of lowest, which is the norm. Says a couple things to me. It highlights how none of the duopoly politicians, including the progressive democrats, ever talk about how we do not have a democratic political system, i.e., we don't live in a democracy and it's been scientifically proven. None ever support new rules to allow third party equal and full participation or any of a number of things we could change, excepting perhaps the electoral college for the presidency which is all aimed at Trump and the right wing. Mike Gravel is the only one I've seen do that.

Also, what he's really saying, which is what "your vote counts!" has always meant, is he wants people to come out and vote for the democratic party. He sure isn't saying he wants people to vote for Trump. So he wants the highest voter turnout among industrialized nations for the democratic party. Which makes sense, if you're a democratic party politician, but not much sense when most people think about how corrupt the democratic party is as well as the duopoly, and when they understand that our system is FUBAR and no amount of voter turnout will change that, particularly for the duopoly political parties that truly represent the rich.
Sorry if that's off topic.

up
11 users have voted.
Big Al's picture

@Big Al since you're evidently no longer here, I've appreciated your bringing your version of the radical left?, or is it something else now? to the discussions. I say that because I now can't bring myself to be part of that manufactured faction. Those of us fighting for real democracy and against the duopoly are in a tough fight where the opposition has pretty much all the resources and the people are at the height of professional propagandization. I was reading an article tonight about a medical insurance industry whistleblower who relayed some of the actions that industry is taking to fight off medicare for all or better stated, a nationalized health care system which the democrats refuse to identify, ironically something the democratic party and it's progressives are also fighting off by compromising to the Wall Street overlords. It's the same thing with democracy, the ruling elite, via their two political parties and their politicians, and their 95% controlled mass media and all their institutions and foundations have all the power when it comes to the discussion of democracy and NONE of the progressive democratic politicians, or their supporters, will move to that crucial phase needed in our society and on the entire fucking planet. Because now especially, it's always on to the next election and the carrots they'll dangle to the masses to try to get them to participate in their fraud. It can only come from an independent movement of people outside electoralism.

up
8 users have voted.
wendy davis's picture

@Big Al

and given that you've brought up duopoly and (essentially) the pretense of democracy, i'd add that another ingredient arendt hadn't brought up, unless i'd missed it is 'the epic barriers to Third Party candidates and both parties aid and abet that crime, and have for a century, according to bruce dixon. his exposé was laden with the huge numbers of signatures required for third party candidates in many states, and demonstrated in spades this:

And if the Dems have their way…especially Green Party candidates. and that was due to the passage of House Bill 1, for which every single house dem voted Aye.

"The latest legislative tweak aimed at kneecapping the Green Party was buried in the Democrats HR1, a provision that raised the amount Green presidential candidates needed to raise per state to qualify for matching funds from $5000 in small donations from each of 20 states to $25,000 in 20 states was endorsed and voted for by supposed socialist Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez and every other Democrat in the House of Representatives. Curiously none of the so-called progressive Democrats, nobody in the media, in civil rights industrial complex, none of our friends in DSA and certainly not Tulsi Gabbard or even Bernie Sanders have ever bothered to mention this cynical and longstanding piece of voter suppression. These unjust legal barriers to third parties on the ballot are the main reason most US voters don’t get to see Green candidates on the ballot for state legislature, for governor or local offices, or for president.”

Dixon figures the Ds will be able to run on HR1, but in an earlier piece of his i'd stumbled up was this part of the bill, almost reaching the bar of satire to me:

"1.HR 1 Requires that the “intelligence community” produce a yearly report on threats to the US electoral system.

HR 1 directly cites the odious McCarthyite accusations of Prop or Not from two years ago as “congressional findings.” These baseless lies assert that left opposition ion the part of the American people to the two capitalist parties is motivated and manipulated by hostile foreign powers operating in social media, grassroots organizations and other places, and that these are imminent threats to national security, specifically the security of the US electoral process. Black Agenda Report is specifically named, the only black owned and operated entity thus fingered. HR 1 requires the FBI, CIA, the Pentagon, DEA, NSA, Homeland Security and the rest of the so-called “intelligence community” – the same people who told us Saddam Hussein had nukes, that the government has never and will never intercept or record your email and online habits, and now says that “black identity extremists” are out to get us – HR 1 requires those professional perjurers, liars and deceivers to produce a yearly report on their manufactured threats to US electoral systems, specifically including the threats to national security by those who express dissident opinions. This part of HR 1 institutionalizes the notion that the left is an existential and foreign-sponsored threat to the security of the electoral process, and creates bodies to police social media. If they really tried, corporate Democrats in the House and Senate really stand a fair chance at getting the modest number of Republican sign-ons to make this a bipartisan thing, and pass it to President Trump to sign."

best meme of the past few years to me is how the Ds learned to love the CIA, i swear. even 'anonymous' ones. but yeah, there were objections to his use of 'sheep-dogging', in this case tulsi gabbard as anti-war, and while i'm not overly fond of the term myself and use the category at the Café as 'dems as status quo gatekeepers' instead, i do take his meaning, especially in terms of the fact that both parties are The Party of War, its just a matter of degree and...war on whom.

anyway, so far howie hawkins is NOT a viable candidate, but he is anti-imperilaist, anti-war, and an ecosocialist, and mr. wd and i hope to toss a few coins in his kitty soon.

just thought i'd look in. here's howie on julian assange and chelsea manning, not full of fire, but good enough for me.

up
6 users have voted.
Big Al's picture

@wendy davis democracy and third parties is deafening at this point. But that's what they want, to continue this farce of a political system between two political parties that represent the oligarchy/capitalist class that less than half of the country supports combined. Their calls for people to vote are hypocritical as hell when taken in that context. The democratic party is out front with their primary trying to stunt any independent movement of people gathering steam against this duopoly system. That's why Sanders was on Fox, doing his sheepdog thing. It's up to the few of us that oppose this shit to keep the volume up on the duopoly system.

up
7 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@Big Al

Now there's some irony for you huh? Pelosi, Schumer, Pete and others from the DP are meeting and having lavish parties with people from the Hillary's side of the DP to find a way to stop Bernie from winning the nomination. Bernie recently called out CAP and politico for writing articles that bad mouth him, but will he call out Nancy by name and tell her that is unacceptable? Stay tuned.

Source

up
9 users have voted.

America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

Big Al's picture

@snoopydawg you know what happens, and it isn't for most of we the people. I mean look at now, we're a few months into the "new Congress", and what are they doing? All the important issues they're talking about as campaign issues for the 2020 election. What a fucking copout and unfortunately, they get enough people and especially the oligarchy owned media to play along so they can get away with it. Iow, they aren't doing shit about anything during this Congress except positioning for the next election, giving away more wealth to the rich, sanctioning Russia, China and whoever gets in their way, i.e., waging imperialism, and supporting Israel. Then they'll do the same shit again. And in the end, it's never going to be enough with this duopoly system because regardless what Sanders says or anyone, the rich rule and unless the rules are changed in a major way, that's the way it's going to stay. That's why some of us are opposed to these farce elections between the duopoly, because if they aren't ended, we'll always be slaves to the rich.

up
8 users have voted.
wendy davis's picture

@Big Al

methinks, as there is no viable true left any longer in this nation, and for all the obvious reasons. and by true left i mean anti-capitalist (certainly not the DSA reform capitalists), anti-imperialist, as well as anti-nationalist solidarity with global workers' rights. but yep, we gott keep on chuggin' as we're able. but electorally? ye gods and little fishes: of course the legacy parties want to shut out third parties.

i'd had to bingle to discover that the fox news bernie town had been in bethlehem, PA, a steel town, or formerly so. i just wikied: look as though it's being gentrified up the wazoo. i did run into this one yesterday, though:

Bernie Sanders silent on Assange, vocal in promoting nationalism at Michigan rally’, Tom Hall, 15 April 2019 wsws.org (a few snippets)

“World Socialist Web Site reporter Andre Damon, together with this reporter, asked Sanders as he was leaving the suburban Detroit rally venue whether he supported the arrest and imprisonment of Assange and whistleblower Chelsea Manning. We received no reply.

Sanders’ silence demonstrates his support for the rendition of Assange. In the days since the arrest, both the Democrats and Republicans have erupted in celebration. For the entire ruling class, the silencing of Assange has been a top priority. Politicians and military officials have for years called for Assange to be captured and killed in retaliation for his journalistic exposures of the crimes of American imperialism.

In October 2015, Sanders also came out in support of prosecution for whistleblower Edward Snowden, who revealed illegal spying on a massive scale by the American intelligence agencies. “He did break the law, and I think there should be a penalty to that,” Sanders said, adding cynically that his sentence should be “lenient.”

Amit Barua, an IT worker and the Sanders campaign’s precinct organizer for Sterling Heights, said Sanders’ silence “says a lot,” adding, “Sanders isn’t concerned about Assange because he is a part of the government.” He added that he thought the ruling class was afraid of Assange because “they are afraid of what happens when people revolt.”

hand-picked quote for their purposes, of course, he'd written that it was a fairly small turnout, a few hundred, and that he's in support of trump's protectionist and trade measures.

up
5 users have voted.
Big Al's picture

@wendy davis @wendy davis politicians do or say when it comes to their bases. I've seen over and over Bernie supporters say they're thru with Bernie because of this or that, like backing Hillary causing the "demexit". They'll say they're done but all the pied pipers have to do is say a few magic words (infrastructure, higher minimum wage, medicare for all) and the demexit becomes demagain. You can see the same thing with Trump supporters who are constantly getting pissed at Trump for not doing something, but the next day with a new tweet (magic words on immigration, the wall, etc.) combined with fresh reminders of their evil opposition (socialism evil, democrats crooked) and it's all good again. It happened with Obama, Bush, it happens with AOC. It's a funny fucking game. Fortunately less are playing, but still enough to keep the farce alive.

As far as the left, I'm not sure what is the left anymore. The left is depicted by most as including the democratic party and that sure as hell isn't what I would have considered the left previously. But now it's different. It's like the left is the new right and the right is the old left, or something like that. It goes with the war and wall street loving democratic party. Now, I try to just stick with what you believe, what's your opinion on something, that's all that matters, not these labels. So there are those of us that are anti-imperialist, anti-capitalists, etc., but that's not the left, actually it never really was, it's just those of us that are.

up
4 users have voted.
wendy davis's picture

@Big Al

glen ford calls us 'the radical left'. yes, the labels get confounded and over-used, the DSAs are either mislabeled 'socialists', some call the current 'insurgent' elected 'progressives'.

up
3 users have voted.
Big Al's picture

@wendy davis "Sanders’ silent support for the persecution of Assange and his promotion of nationalism arise from his pro-capitalist, pro-imperialist political orientation. These right-wing positions demonstrate that his real aim is not, as he claims, to lead a “political revolution” against the “billionaire class,” but to misdirect, disorient and suppress opposition among workers and young people by channeling it behind the corporate-controlled, pro-war Democratic Party."

That definitely appears to be what he's doing and what he did last time.

Recalls last election cycle when Glen Ford wrote, "Why Bernie Sanders is an Imperialist Pig". Here we go again.

up
3 users have voted.
wendy davis's picture

@Big Al

outtake gems to grab any in particular, but as he'd plucked the magic twanger 'nato'...remember the D team's 'in defense of nato bill' that was spurred by anonymous generals quoted in the NYT whisper campaign that Herr Trump really did mean to withdraw from nato? (hogwash campaign rhetoric as it turned out) that every House D who'd voted...had voted Aye?

the senate introduced a non-binding resolution in summer of 2018: 'Senate votes to support NATO':

"The nonbinding motion, which came as the Senate voted to reconcile its version of the annual defense policy bill with that of the House, expresses the Senate’s support for NATO and calls on negotiators to reaffirm the U.S. commitment to it.

The 97-2 vote in the Senate comes as Trump heads to Brussels. He will also travel to the United Kingdom and meet one-on-one with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki during his trip.

GOP Sens. Rand Paul (Ky.) and Mike Lee (Utah) voted against the measure.

Democratic Sen. Jack Reed (R.I.) proposed the measure, calling the U.S. support for NATO “ironclad.”

is there any more imperialist organization than NATO (and its spawn of the devil Africom)?

up
4 users have voted.
Big Al's picture

@wendy davis there's no other interpretation of that vote. It's not the only one, like with Gabbard voting for illegal sanctions on foreign countries and AOC early in her professional politician career regarding Israel, which hopefully won't be a career. No, there's no more imperialist organization than NATO and support for it is what it is.

up
4 users have voted.
wendy davis's picture

@Big Al

they can't help themselves, although ocasio on cross-fire was pure-D self-satire. i love twitter; i hate twitter. good thing i ain't on twitter. but vying for hypocrisy/hilarity:

up
2 users have voted.
janis b's picture

Over half the eligible population in America don’t vote for president. I think that most of those people don’t vote because they are just trying to survive, and voting requires time, effort and expense which too few people have. Others are young or otherwise disengaged. Therefore those populations haven’t been represented. Wouldn’t it be better if more, if not all people, voted for who they want to represent them? If so many already don’t vote, how does it help for the left to choose not to vote? I guess if you think that it doesn’t matter who is president, including Trump, then why vote. I have very little faith in the system changing in a meaningful enough way in the time that we have, but I certainly don’t want to contribute neglectfully to another Trump win. If Bernie Sanders is the Democrat nominee I will vote. If he chooses Tulsi as his running mate which I think he would, that’s even better.

Yes of course, for our voices to be heard, there needs to be a different system of representation in American politics. At least one more party in government would be of help. Since that is unlikely, I will take the only advantage I have of casting a vote to help defeat Trump if Sanders is his opponent.

up
6 users have voted.
Dawn's Meta's picture

Thanks Arendt for the book list: I have read The Devil's Chessboard. It always amazes me how long some of these political and staff characters are active in our affairs (I was going to government, but we didn't elect most of them.).

Until Gerrymandering, Citizens United, personhood of corporations, restoration of Habeas Corpus and many other strings which need pulling, the elections are for show.

And the actual number counted for the winner, a truly small percentage of the population.

How does the average person of any persuasion acquire truth? A clear difficulty.

up
10 users have voted.

A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit. Allegedly Greek, but more possibly fairly modern quote.

Consider helping by donating using the button in the upper left hand corner. Thank you.

QMS's picture

Thanks for posting Arendt.
Bookmarked.

up
10 users have voted.

Listen to your higher mind.

I'm familiar with about 2/3 of the books, which are worthy of reading, but there are a couple of bogies in there which need calling out. Namely the two doorstop books by L. Waldron/T Hartmann. Factually and logically challenged, with a curious attitude of avoiding pointing the finger of guilt at the CIA, in favor of a dubious, simplistic and illogical Mafia angle.

I think Thom Hartmann, who likely did no heavy lifting in research or writing, was just along to add a fairly well-known liberal name to the effort, the more to give it cred with lefties, and to provide a convenient, ongoing handy media platform for Waldron to talk up his book on TH's various radio/internet shows, where Waldron has appeared many times over the years.

The James Douglass book and the one by David Talbot are much more reality-based and don't suffer from the groaning ventures into illogic that Waldron offers. Also worthy is the deep book from Peter Dale Scott, definitely a deep read.

up
4 users have voted.

IMHO, with Trump as President America is in a situation of emergent fascism, aka corporatism.

Really? Decades of advancing corporatism and you want to lay this at the feet of Trump?

I like your diaries, but it is difficult not to dismiss someone who says something so patently false.

up
6 users have voted.

dfarrah

TheOtherMaven's picture

@dfarrah

Now granted that was lunatic-fringe "thinking", but there may have been a molecule of truth somewhere in that huge mountain of BS....

up
3 users have voted.

There is no justice. There can be no peace.

wendy davis's picture

@dfarrah

lot of definitions of fascism, in so many ways Obomba laid the foundations for a Trump, although arguably there are many ways in which Boss Tweet doubled-down on obomba's fascism.

unitary executive, massive wars on nations whose occupations led to radical muslim groups forming, drone killing his Deck of Cards on Terror Tuesdays, caging would-be immigrants at the southern border, torture, while pretending not to (rendition to black sites are fine if they're short term), rule for Wall Street not main street, his bullshit (untelevised, of course, unlike its alleged progenitor the Pecora commision) 3-day angelides commission post 2008 meltdown...leading to wtf? dodd-frank as the rememedy?

ach, you could add a dozen more examples off the top of your head, i'm sure.

up
7 users have voted.
lotlizard's picture

@wendy davis  
https://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2013/06/this-really-is-big-brother-leak-...
https://www.democraticunderground.com/10023072740

up
5 users have voted.
wendy davis's picture

@lotlizard

i'd forgotten that: 'if you see something...say something! folks who are having personal problems in their lives can become Lone Wolf Terr'ists!'

but you've reminded me of his DEA's: 'Parallel Construction Revealed: How The DEA Is Trained To Launder Classified Surveillance Info', tech dirt, feeb. 2014

"Last summer, Reuters revealed how the NSA and other surveillance organizations would share info with the DEA and other law enforcement agencies, but then tell them to reconstruct the evidence via a process called "parallel construction," so that the surveillance would not then be discussed in court. This is highly questionable, and probably illegal, as a defendant has the right to know all of the evidence being used against him or her, and should also be told how that evidence was gathered, to make sure the collection was legal. But what's being done with parallel construction, is that the intelligence community is able to give "hints" to law enforcement, allowing them to come up with various pretenses for an investigation, avoiding ever having to reveal that the NSA or others used potentially illegal surveillance efforts."

i still have some of those graphics in my media files. thanks, miz lizard.

up
4 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@lotlizard

Check your private messages; I sent you one a few days ago.

Just "nudging" you in case you don't regularly check your PM. Smile

up
4 users have voted.

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

@wendy davis You haven't listed anything that presidents prior to Trump haven't done. Torture? Really? Started with GWB. Cages? Were done during Obama.

Sorry, I don't react with any more panic/consternation now than I did with prior presidents -- and you're talking with someone who thought Reagan should have been impeached.

up
2 users have voted.

dfarrah

wendy davis's picture

@dfarrah

even if i'm failing to take your meaning. we'd been talking of obomba opening the door to a Trump.

up
2 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@dfarrah

It smells of revisionist history.

I doubt Trump cares much about human rights or the Bill of Rights or the rule of law, given that he will get good treatment regardless (a perc of being a 1%-er), but he showed up far too late in the process to blame it on him. He's being used as a sin eater. Classic DC. Actually, the coordinated smear campaign is classic CIA too--or reminiscent of Hoover's FBI.

up
6 users have voted.

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal abound just because they hate Trump on a personal basis.

up
2 users have voted.

dfarrah

Pluto's Republic's picture

@dfarrah

...the idea that Fascism was apparently dropped from a UFO in the midst of the First Industrial Revolution.

It has no history, no doctrine, no author, no creation myth. But at some point in the early twentieth century, every country in the world that had political parties suddenly had a Fascist Party at about the same time, including the US.

Now I have at least two theories (besides the UFO) to explain how Fascism suddenly popped into existence one day. (I'll spare you the details.) I bring this up only to point out that defining Fascism is subjective at best. To me, Fascism looks like a dark green Hefty Lawn Bag that we drag around and toss in every horrible thing we come across from any given period of history. (I threw Daylight Savings in my bag, and Facebook, too.)

up
0 users have voted.

May you come to dwell in an enlightened nation that judges itself by the well-being of its people. At the very least, this is your birthright.