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Member since: Mon Jan 26, 2015, 06:15 PM
Number of posts: 42,057

About Me

bilingual, bipedal homo sapien

Journal Archives

How much will Americans accept before they start acting?

Many Americans will happily accept restrictions on free speech. The vast majority of Americans do not demonstrate anyway, and do not write letters to the editor. Free speech is a theory, a concept to them, something they might have briefly read about in school, and then promptly forgot after the test.

Many Americans will accept that the press is mainly corporate owned. These Americans get their information from FOX. They are far more interested in their reality television, or sports news, than in reality.

Many Americans will accept that the war machine consumes 60% of discretionary spending. They unquestioningly accept the myth that the US war budget is actually defensive in nature. They do not know that the US has thousands of military bases all over the planet, and if they did know, they would rationalize this also as defensive in nature because America is the good guy.

Many Americans will accept that the oil industry is ruining the planet. As long as their gas is relatively cheap they do not care about ruined rivers, ruined landscapes in coal country, and the other ruined land in the many national sacrifice zones. They care about their daily commute, and their ability to go places quickly.

Many Americans accept without question that capitalism is the best economic system in the world. They call themselves capitalists even if they have no savings to rely on. They accept that capitalism is of course better than socialism because they have been taught, or rather indoctrinated, that capitalism=freedom and socialism=rationing. And this indoctrination is not questioned even as income inequality grows every year.

So what will it take? Is it the frog in a pot of water syndrome, where the frog does not jump as long as the heat under the pot is slowly increased?

Is the (D) behind the name more important than the voting record?

We all know that Bernie Sanders is registered as an Independent. We also know that he caucuses with the Democrats. But in the grand scheme of things, is the label more important than the voting record?

In the Senate, Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) voted against the rest of the Democrats more than 25 percent of the time.


So does this make Manchin 75% Democrat and 25% GOP?

By contrast:

Smith points out that Sanders voted with Democrats more consistently than many other Democrats: Ninety-eight percent of the time at the writing of Smith’s article. Sanders’ support for Democrats soon was reflected in their financing of his campaigns.


So does this make Sanders 98% a Democrat and 2% GOP? If so, by the measure of voting record, Sanders is more of a Democrat than a few with the (D) behind their names.

Personally, I think politicians should be judged by how they vote, a clear reflection of supporting a Party's positions, rather than by how they label themselves.

Beyond Protest: What Are We in Favor Of?

From the article:

In 1960, 50% of eligible American voters were registered as Democrats; today, 29% are................
Why.....because, to paraphrase George Costanza, Democrats were trying to put on a show about nothing.  Why? Because they’d abandoned the New Deal and adopted the raw deal.  And you can’t run on a platform that says, "We still love you and all, but we kinda support the Oligarchy too."

Democrats have steadily lost power on the state level. Every non-Presidential election shows a low turnout of voters among those who should be natural Democratic voters.

The irony is, poll after poll shows that a large majority of Americans hold progressive views on an issue-by-issue basis. But there is no one representing progressivism in our political spectrum, except “outsiders.”  The fact that the Democratic Party perceives people like Warren or Sanders – who essentially espouse New Deal policies that dominated the party until the late 70’s—as outside the political mainstream tells us how far right Democrats have drifted.
And it also tells us why they’re losing.

Some of this is framing. The GOP is terrible at governing, but they are great at framing issues. Witness the large number of voters who think that the ACA and Obamacare are different programs.


To Survive, the Democratic Party Needs to Stand Up to Wall Street and Global Corporations

From the article:

With the attention of the nation riveted on the Trump train wreck and on the historic Women’s March, one lesson of this moment is getting lost: The Democratic Party lost an election to one of the most unstable, lewd, and unqualified candidates ever to run for office.

Yes, voter suppression helped, as did media collusion by failing to really examine Trump.

The Democratic Party has fallen short by not taking on the structural causes of this crisis: an economy that favors big corporations and global capitalism. The party also has failed to step up to the climate crisis, which requires a radically different sort of economic recovery, and to the crisis of racial exclusion.
So what to do now?
If the Democratic Party is to retake government, it will need to do more than be the party that isn’t as bad as Trump. It will need to find the courage to stand up for ordinary people, which means standing up to Wall Street and global corporations


I think progressives need to understand Trump voters. No, really.

Progressives need to understand that not all Trump voters are racists.

But they voted for one.

Progressives need to understand that not all Trump voters are Islamophobes.

But they voted for one.

Progressives need to understand that not all Trump voters are rapists.

But they voted for one.

Progressives need to understand that not all Trump voters are serial adulterers.

But they voted for one.

Progressives need to understand that not all Trump voters use bankruptcy as a weapon.

But they voted for one who does.

I know some Trump voters. The ones that I know do not behave like Trump, but in voting for him they rewarded and validated his behavior. So they are equally as guilty.

Feel free to add your own thoughts.

If Donald Trump had a theme song, I would pick:

Can you suggest another?

Teaching Tolerance awards fellowships for slavery education project

From the brief article:

In 2015, a McGraw-Hill Education geography textbook came under fire for describing enslaved Africans as “workers.” Months later, Scholastic Inc. was forced to pull a children’s book depicting slaves as happy and eager to please their owners. Many K-12 educators also are not aware of the dramatic changes in scholarship about slavery published in the last two decades.


Part of the reason that so many Americans are so unaware of their own history is that textbooks are generally written to fit the Texas market for schoolbooks. And given how the GOP is constantly rewriting history, is it any wonder that many Americans, especially conservatives, are so profoundly ignorant of actual US history?

House Democratic Leadership May Lose 2018 Opportunity

From the ending of the article:

Democrats will win if they challenge big agri-corporations who threaten family farms in rural areas like South Dakota, challenge the pharmaceutical industry in areas with aging populations like New Hampshire, challenge big banks in areas with high foreclosures like Nevada, challenge Big Oil in places where clean energy is key to economic growth like New Mexico, and challenge the Big Telecom monopolies that refuse to improve horrible Internet and phone service in communities within every state. And they must go on offense with a vision of high-paying jobs, a strong social safety net, and an economy where workers get a bigger piece of the pie.

Democrats can win back the House in 2018 if the newly-engaged people who are flooding protests and town-hall meetings around the nation feel inspired enough by Democrats to march to the polls. But the people in the streets want to vote for heroes. And heroes fight villains.


A true 50 state strategy that should be embraced by the Democratic Party.

Jason Chaffetz Called Out by Salt Lake City Tribune For Refusing to Investigate Trump

From the article:

In an editorial, the paper called on Chaffetz to “investigate, not emulate, the president” because of false claims Chaffetz made about “ringers” in his town hall audience, all too eerily similar to Trump’s cries of voter fraud for the editors:
“Chaffetz should realize soon, if he hasn’t already, that the president hasn’t just plowed this ground, he has already salted the fields for anyone who may come after. This crew — dubbed the Prevarication Administration by Washington Post columnist Margaret Sullivan — has helped to cure the national media of any hesitation it may have had and to start calling out untruths told by high government officials.”

The GOP is increasingly being put on the spot by actual voters. Rather than attempting to discredit the questioners, the GOP must choose between being a real political party or being a lobbying group.


This is about choice--and more (Article about Planned Parenthood)

From the article:

In hundreds of cities across the country, supporters of women's right to abortion counterprotested against right-wingers who called for a day of action on February 11 to gather at clinics and demand that the federal government defund Planned Parenthood. Here, we republish a speech by Marie Coyle, who was among those protesting in Portland, Maine..............

We know Planned Parenthood provides necessary health services to millions of people every year, and that many rely on their sliding-scale fees. We know that reproductive health care is essential and that people have always needed, and will continue to need, abortions.
If these are the facts, how can Planned Parenthood still be under attack? Why are we still here fighting the same fight?

The answer is that as long as our world is build around profit and greed, instead of human need, we will continue to fight tooth and nail for access to all of our basic needs--including health care.

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