Stein and Baraka offered Green New Deal for peace, people and planet Earth ~OO~

We cannot continue spending trillions killing millions for billionaires in pursuit of corporate empire.

stein3Who is Jill Stein?

Jill Ellen Stein was born May 14, 1950.  She is an American physician, activist and was the Green Party’s nominee as our next President of the United States

What does she stand for? 

jill-stein-750Before the election last November, Dr. Jill Stein held the current record for most votes ever received by a woman candidate for President of the United States in the general election.

She is a mother, an organizer, a physician, and a pioneering environmental-health advocate. She helps lead initiatives to fight environmental racism and injustice, promote healthy communities, strengthen local green economies and revitalize democracy. She has helped us win victories in campaign finance reform, racially-just redistricting, green jobs and the cleanup of incinerators, coal plants, and toxic threats. She was a principal organizer for the Global Climate Convergence for People, Planet and Peace over Profit.


How can Dr. Stein turn the ship of state from war to peace?   

stein-caucus-articleInlineJill received several awards for health and environmental protection including: Clean Water Action’s “Not in Anyone’s Backyard” Award, the Children’s Health Hero” Award, and the Toxic Action Center’s Citizen Award. Jill has appeared as an environmental health expert on the Today Show20/20Fox News, and other programs. She also served on the board of directors for Physicians for Social Responsibility.

She is the co-author of two widely-praised reports,  In Harm’s Way: Toxic Threats to Child Development, published in 2000, and Environmental Threats to Healthy Aging, published in 2009.  The first of these  has been translated into four languages and is used worldwide as a community tool in the fight for health and the environment. The reports connect the dots between human health, social justice, a healthy environment and green economies.

news3-1Jill was born in Chicago and raised in Highland Park, Illinois. She graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College in 1973, and from Harvard Medical School in 1979. She received a Masters Degree from Harvard Medical School and completed 3 BA degrees, in Psychology, Sociology, and Anthropology at Harvard University.
She lives in Lexington with her husband, Richard Rohrer, also a physician. They have two grown sons in medical school and residency training.

Please visit ajamubaraka.com to learn more about Jill’s running mate,

Ajamu Baraka


Here’s the bottom line:

81-kpqrfqzl-_sl1500_

With Trump or Clinton we were  guaranteed 8 more years of 27 or more simultaneous and unprovoked wars of aggression against smaller and less powerful nations who did not attack.

https://thepeaceresource.wordpress.com/2016/07/22/trump-or-clinton-will-sink-all-ships/

We cannot continue spending trillions killing millions for billionaires, munitions firms and profiteers. Economists agree this military madness in pursuit of corporate empire will bankrupt the country and destroy the nation between 2020 and 2030.

We are teetering on the brink.

https://thepeaceresource.wordpress.com/2016/04/15/its-time-to-strike-back-at-the-empire/

Our unprovoked aggression has already bankrupted the nation.

https://thewordsmithcollection.wordpress.com/2016/08/24/america-is-bankrupt/

peace2


Hillary and Donalds’ proposals to continue destroying America with avoidable wars for profit is tantamount to treason.

https://thewordsmithcollection.wordpress.com/2014/05/11/eight-wars-of-aggression/


In 2020, Our New President: Dr. Jill Stein can implement The Green New Deal, shut down the wars and rebuild the nation.  

DSC_0635-copy.14236.widea.0

My Power to the People Plan creates deep system change, moving from the greed and exploitation of corporate capitalism to a human-centered economy that puts people, planet and peace over profit.

It offers direct answers to the economic, social, and ecological crises brought on by both corporate political parties. And it empowers the American people to fix our broken political system and make real the promise of democracy.

This plan will end unemployment and poverty; avert climate catastrophe; build a sustainable, just economy; and recognize the dignity and human rights of everyone in our society and our world. The power to create this new world is not in our hopes, it’s not in our dreams – it’s in our hands.”


peace-conversion-task-force-cartoon-sized-down-adapted-300x235


The Wordsmith Collection: Writing & Creative Arts

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American Cops: Armed & Dangerous

Jamar Clark, 11/15/15 Minneapolis, MN:

Two Minneapolis police officers shot Clark, claiming he “interfered” with emergency responders helping an assault victim. Activists and witnesses maintain that Clark was unarmed and handcuffed when he was shot.

No officers have been charged with a crime for killing Jamar.

68. Samuel Harrell, 4/21/15

(Some police bureaus still do not bother to report murders of citizens.)

DEC 28, 2015 2:59 PM

CREDIT: DYLAN PETROHILOS/THINKPROGRESS

Despite public protests, occupations, direct action, and increased public scrutiny, U.S. police killed more people in 2015 than in 2014. While numbers vary from source to source  — the website killedbypolice.net found police have killed 1,186 people in 2015 (the U.S. government currently does not track how many people are killed in police encounters.)

2014-15policekilling

CREDIT: DYLAN PETROHILOS/THINKPROGRESS

The data from killedbypolice.net show that white people are the largest group of killed by the police. But when taken together, the number of people of color killed by police — Latino, black, Asian, and indigenous people — surpasses the number of whites. As ThinkProgressnoted last year, young black men are 21 times more likely to be killed by cops than young white men, according to a ProPublica analysis. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also compiled data which show that people of color are most likely to be killed by cops overall.

The data also show that California, Texas, and Florida lead the U.S. in terms of deadly police encounters.

above is from: http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2015/12/28/3735190/killed-by-police-2015/



2015policekillingsunarmed.jpeg

Key Findings:

  • Police killed at least 102 unarmed black people in 2015, nearly twice each week. 

  • Nearly 1 in 3 black people killed by police in 2015 were identified as unarmed, though the actual number is likely higher due to underreporting

  • 37% of unarmed people killed by police were black in 2015 despite black people being only 13% of the U.S. population

  • Unarmed black people were killed at 5x the rate of unarmed whites in 2015

  • Only 10 of the 102 cases in 2015 where an unarmed black person was killed by police resulted in officer(s) being charged with a crime, and only 2 of these deaths (Matthew Ajibade and Eric Harris) resulted in convictions of officers involved. Only 1 of 2 officers convicted for their involvement in Matthew Ajibade’s death received jail time. He was sentenced to 1 year in jail and allowed to serve this time exclusively on weekends. Deputy Bates, who killed Eric Harris, was sentenced to 4 years for murdering an unarmed man. This is the only cop who has served time for murders committed by police in 2015. 


The Peaceresource editor’s Note:
I read ALL of these incidents.  Why do we allow this?
If you read these 102 cases of police assault, killings, and flat out murder,
perhaps you will find a reason to stand up and fight back for justice.
We ARE under attack.

peace, Tim Flanagan



Here are the names and stories about the UNARMED PEOPLE of color murdered by police.  

(Ordered by the date the person was killed, starting with the most recent)

Hillary’s crimes cannot be erased…

“In March 2011, Clinton supported the NATO attacks on Libya to aid rebels in their attempts to overthrow Moammar Gadhafi, which … led to Libya becoming the failed state that it is today.”

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton looks on as she speaks during a town hall meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton looks on as she speaks during a town hall meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada August 18, 2015. REUTERS/David Becker – RTX1OPKY

Most people do not hate Hillary, they hate the war machine she endorses and supports.

Clinton, who served in the U.S. Senate from 2001 to 2009 and as Secretary of State from 2009 to 2013, has supported every major recent U.S. war and intervention.
 
a look at her record:
During her time as a senator from New York, Clinton voted in favor of the Patriot Act, a controversial piece of legislation due to concerns about civil liberty violations, including the indefinite detention of immigrants, and the expansion of law enforcement’s power to search homes, businesses, and electronic communications — often without a court order.
6_9_2015_dem-2016-clinton-282www.washingtontimesdot.com01_c0-29-2334-1389_s885x516 Clinton supports the United States’ traditional allies in the Middle East as well, like Saudi Arabia and Israel. She has also penned an opinion piece for the Washington Post, where she expressed her strong admiration for Henry Kissinger.
Clinton, …  supported the post-9/11 invasion of Afghanistan.
 
The New York senator voted in favor of the 2002 Iraq War Resolution. This sent U.S. troops into Iraq, destroyed the country and created the chaos in the region today.
Clinton introduced legislation in 2005 to increase the size of the U.S. Army by 80,000 soldiers due to difficulties the troop force was facing in Iraq.

1246205860wwwdotelmundodot.es_0That same year, she helped to ensure that Manuel Zelaya, the democratically-elected president of Honduras, who was overthrown in a military coup in 2009, would not return to office. …

 

In March 2011, Clinton supported the NATO attacks on Libya to aid rebels in their attempts to overthrow Moammar Gadhafi, which … led to Libya becoming the failed state that it is today.

After becoming Secretary of State in 2009, Clinton supported Obama’s decision to send an additional 21,000 troops into Afghanistan.

http://www.veteranstoday.com/2014/08/12/us-forces-who-have-tortured-or-killed-civilians-in-afghanistan/

10534647_1530074533875241_910113894695067910_n
The secretary then supported greater contact with Free Syrian Army rebels in Syria and wanted to arm them.
Clinton supported Israel’s attacks on Gaza last summer, which killed over 2,300 people and left almost 500,000 displaced.
More recently, she supported a bombing campaign against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)…
When asked about moral scruples, Hillary the hawk’s response was: “What difference, at this point, does it make?”

https://thepeaceresource.wordpress.com/2015/04/19/war-hawk-hillary-hell/


Clinton’s actions as Secretary of state were war crimes. She should be in jail, not the White House. She broke the law, cost us billions and killed millions. Not small potatoes.
Hillary Rodham Clinton
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton ajusts headphones at Echo Moskvy radio station Wednesday morning, Oct. 14, 2009. (AP Photo/ Alexander Zemlianichenko)

“What Hillary Clinton
did to Libya is a crime
on a scale rivaled only
by the crimes of the
Bush administration
in Iraq – and there is
a definite parallel in
the methodology of the criminals.”

Some Curious Things you may not know about Hillary:scaryclinton
Co-sponsored bill to criminalize flag-burning. (Jan 2010)|
Voted YES on loosening restrictions on cell phone wiretapping. (Oct 2001)
Rated only 60% by the ACLU, a mixed civil rights voting record. (Dec 2002)
Longtime advocate of death penalty. (Jan 2008)
Supports “Three Strikes” and more prison. (Aug 1994)
hillarynut
Supports structured inner-city schools, with uniforms.
(May 1996)
Opposes merit pay for individual teachers. (Apr 2000)
Voted YES on funding student testing instead of private tutors. (May 2001)
2001 speech to AIPAC pledges money for Israeli military. (Nov 2007)
Allegedly pro-PLO in 1960; but pro-Israel by 1981. (Jul 2007)
gtr
 Committed to maintaining economic embargo against Cuba. (Dec 2008)
Chief advocate for Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). (Aug 2014)
Defended outsourcing of US jobs to India. (Oct 2005)
Voted YES on “free trade” agreement with Oman. (Jun 2006)
Voted NO on establishing the Senate Office of Public Integrity. (Mar 2006)
Recommended “managed competition”; not single-payer system. (Nov 2003)
tpp1%FactCheck: Yes, in 2006 condoned exceptions on torture. (Oct 2007)
Voted YES on reauthorizing the PATRIOT Act. (Mar 2006)
Voted YES on building a fence along the Mexican border. (Sep 2006)
Hillary began her college career as a conservative Republican. (Aug 1999)
Voted NO on restoring $550M in funding for Amtrak for 2007. (Mar 2006)counterpunchimageofhclinton
Believed, wrongly, that Iran was pursuing nuclear weapon. Global intelligence communities agreed this was not true.
Hillary refused to listen.
(Dec 2007)
She admits “I  got it wrong on 2002 Iraq War vote.”
(Jun 2014)
Called war on terror “Bush’s war” but played an active role. (Nov 2007)
2002: Attacking Iraq “not a good option” but authorized it. (Feb 2004)
hillstyClinton wants to ignore the rule of law and “Don’t demand complete moratorium on Israeli settlement.”
(Jun 2014)
Facts matter. They are simple declarative statements.
Regardless of various political opinions, facts remain
 

 

rest of the storyhttp://original.antiwar.com/justin/2015/02/01/hillarys-war/


manifest_destiny


“People have only as much liberty as they have the intelligence to want and the courage to take…”  ~Emma Goldman


The Wordsmith Collection:
Writing & Creative Artswillie


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The Wordsmith Collection:
Writing & Creative Arts

You can contact us through Square via square@writingresource.org to provide donations to us through Missoula Federal Credit Union.
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Please support Alternative Media and Education

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Thanks for all you do.

Join the Revolution!


The Rise & Fall of American Empire

American foreign policy under Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama, when considered by the non-partisan observer, has a sense of continuity – and escalating and expanding aggressiveness.

886853520046797971If we look at American foreign policy under Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald John Trump…
what strikes the non-partisan observer is a sense of continuity – and an escalating aggressiveness.

President Clinton moved with force into Haiti, Bosnia, and Kosovo, the latter two in support of a Muslim minority that was fighting for independence against Serbia. The result: a permanent US “mission” (under NATO auspices) in both Bosnia and Kosovo, and the establishment of a de facto protectorate in Haiti. He also moved against Iraq, bombing constantly during his two terms in office and maintaining draconian sanctions that killed as many as a half a million Iraqis, mostly children and the aged.

www.doomsteaddiner.netIn the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, President George W. Bush launched two major wars – and a worldwide covert “shadow war” – that represented a Great Leap Forward for the American Empire. We invaded Iraq, and occupied it: we invaded Afghanistan, and set up the conditions for the longest war in our history. The Bush presidency also set the stage for future interventions, ratcheting up tensions with Iran, and extending our reach into the former Soviet republics of Central Asia and the Caucasus, taking on Russia in the bargain.


President Obama took office as the “antiwar” candidate, criticizing the Iraq invasion while advocating an escalation of the “neglected” Afghan front. Iraq, he argued, was a “diversion” away from our central task, which was fighting terrorism (and al-Qaeda) in Afghanistan – and in Pakistan, as well. This last was an important addition to our enemies list, one that went little noticed at the time but has since loomed large in this administration’s sights, as the stealthy but steady expansionism of the frontiers of empire pushes forward.

obageoIn Iraq, and now in Afghanistan, the US announced a “drawdown” – indeed, as far as the former is concerned, we were supposed to be withdrawing entirely. At least that’s what the US-Iraq Status of Forces Agreement, signed by President Bush, stipulated. However, the Americans are trying to get around that by claiming there are still 1,000 al-Qaeda fighters in Iraq. The country “continues to be a fragile situation,” he averred, “and I believe that we should take whatever steps are necessary to make sure that we protect whatever progress we have made there.” Asked about the Iraqi government’s willingness to let the Americans stay, he testified:

“It’s clear to me that Iraq is considering the possibility of making a request for some kind of [troop] presence to remain there,” he said, adding that he had “every confidence that a request like that will be forthcoming.”

police-bad-copsEver since the Obama administration took office, US officials have been pressuring our Iraqi sock-puppets to cave in to US demands for an extended stay, in defiance of the “radical” Shi’ite leader, Muqtada Sadr, and his followers, who have joined the ruling coalition government. The fiercely nationalistic Sadrists are threatening to withdraw from the coalition, and even take up arms, if the deadline for the US withdrawal passes and the Americans are still there. This would serve the administration’s purposes rather neatly, providing a rationale for an extension of the deadline and marginalizing a troublesome figure who stands in the way of our long range plans.

And what, exactly, are those plans?

no3It’s clear that what the US envisions in Iraq is an “independent” state entirely dependent on US aid and military assistance: in short, an American protectorate, garrisoned with a “residual force” of several tens of thousands of “non-combat troops.”

The same holds true for Afghanistan, although the process is not as far along. That’s the purpose of announcing this fake “drawdown.” Look at the Afghan pattern: it’s virtually the same as in Iraq – a “surge,” followed by a “drawdown” to previous levels, with the end result being a garrison of US soldiers left behind to police its newly-integrated province. As Bob Woodward related in Obama’s Wars, then defense secretary Robert Gates – at a dinner for Afghan “President” Hamid Karzai – expressed his regret for going along with George H. W. Bush’s decision to “abandon” Afghanistan, and went on to declare:

poem-truth-casino-inconvenient-truth2“We’re not leaving Afghanistan prematurely,” Gates finally said. “In fact, we’re not ever leaving at all.”

Make no mistake: both Iraq and Afghanistan are provinces in an American empire that has rapidly expanded, since the fall of the Soviet Union, to include much of the Middle East – and, now, parts of North Africa, where the Libyan intervention is the tip of the American spear.

In Libya, to be sure, we are going in with our NATO allies, but this is just a stylistic difference with the previous administration: Bush and the neocons preferred to go it alone, while the present gang flies the flag of “multilateralism.” The result, however, is the same: a conquered province in an ever-expanding global empire, totally dependent on Western aid and support to keep afloat.

cropped-peace-justice1.jpgBack in the cold war era, the US constructed what the late Chalmers Johnson called “an empire of bases,” a series of lily-pads that allowed Washington to project American military power to the four corners of the earth at a moment’s notice. With the implosion of communism, and the end of the US-Soviet global confrontation, the Americans moved rapidly to put flesh on the bare bones of their empire.

In Iraq and Afghanistan, we are making the transition to a more traditional form of imperialism, following the Roman model: setting up protectorates which are allowed to run their own affairs internally – as long as they don’t conflict with US objectives, and permit a contingent of US troops to stand guard over the frontiers of empire.

cropped-ttd.jpgThose frontiers are being pushed ever onward, and this is clearly the goal of the Obama administration in Pakistan – the next American target – as well as Libya. Yet this is also, for Washington’s empire-builders, an era of consolidation, when the military conquests of the previous administration are to be formalized and “legalized.”

At home, too, the empire is being institutionalized, and given a formal structure, as the President defends his supremacy in the foreign policy and military realm – so far successfully. Although the Founders abhorred imperialism, and are no doubt turning in their graves over the ongoing usurpation of Congress’s authority to make war, the White House has blithely gone about its business, ignoring its congressional critics – and this has been the case since the days of Harry Truman, who sent US troops to Korea without consulting the elected representatives of the people.

cropped-dove.gifA few years ago there was a discussion among foreign policy wonks about whether America should ditch its anti-imperialist heritage entirely and become an empire. I had to laugh at this “debate,” for America has been an empire in fact if not in form since the end of World War II, and is now reaching the pinnacle of its power. Which is to say: it’s downhill all the way from this point.

The American empire may be expanding, but the economic foundations on which it rests are in fatal disrepair. As we contemplate our imminent bankruptcy – moral as well as financial –

…The pattern of imperial consolidation – “humanitarian” wars of “liberation,” followed by occupation and the installation of American garrisons in the newly-integrated provinces – is not the inevitable the result of some natural law in the evolution of great nation-states.

Source:  http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2011/06/26/the-rise-and-fall-of-the-american-empire/

 

 1-REVOLUTION The right to rebellion is the right to seek a higher rule… GEORGE ELIOT

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Please support Alternative Media and Education

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Thanks for all you do.

Join the Revolution!

 


 


Portland Police Bureau Calling the Shots

So far, PDX Police Bureau officers have been provided with a license to kill at will, even unarmed citizens, without accountability. This is the signal that various mayors and PDX City Councils have delivered over the last 20 years.

So does Portland Police Bureau policy need to be corrected? Does it ever!

fightbackSo far, PDX Police Bureau officers have been provided with a license to kill at will, even unarmed citizens, without accountability. This is the signal that various mayors and PDX City Councils have delivered over the last 20 years.

One set of laws for us and a whole ‘nuther set of exceptions to laws for the police. This is not how it’s supposed to work.
Accountability matters, and so do human lives.

http://www.ThePortlandAlliance.org/otis

But “Don’t Choke ‘Em, Smoke ‘Em”.. attitudes still exist in both officers on the street and justicepoliceadministration. If the bureau, city council and mayor persist in their machinations, the DOJ may have to step in, restore the rule of law, and start from scratch.

http://www.ThePortlandAlliance.org/keatonotis

Otherwise members of the PDX Police bureau will continue to ignore the law and misuse and abuse citizens. When the people we hire choose to beat-up, target and kill citizens at will…. it is time to lay down the law and fire officers who break the law..

http://www.thePortlandAlliance.org/police


no4


 The murders of Aaron Campbell, Keaton Otis,  and James Chasse, Jr. have never been resolved. None of the officers who broke the law and violated Police Department Procedures have been charged, tried,or prosecuted for these crimes. We, the citizens of Portland, Oregon have paid millions for the crimes committed by PDX police officers, yet none of these officers have been disciplined. They continue to serve in spite of their crimes. The shootings of James Jahar Perez and Kendra James may have been forgotten by some, but we have yet to see accountability or justice.

http://theportlandalliance.org/policeaccountability/

 



ttd
The Wordsmith Collection:
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(editor@writingresource.org or timflanagan@writingresource.org)

Please support Alternative Media and Education

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http://www.ThePeaceresource.wordpress.com
http://www.ThePortlandAlliance.org

and other real news resources…peace5

Together we make a difference. Thanks for all you do.
Join the Revolution!

 

 

Bernie makes promises he cannot keep.

oweug[aBernie Sanders has a very public record, in the congressional record. He votes to support the expansion of empire through wars for profit.

The truth matters.   Even when, for some people, the truth may be too painful to bear.

Bernie has said very clearly that his presidency is based on a platform financed by higher taxes along with dozens of avoidable wars, unnecessary drones, illegal presidential assassinations and an expanding empire with more than 700 offensive military outposts.  Even though this house of cards, spending trillions and killing millions for billionaires and profiteers… cannot stand, Bernie agrees with Clinton, Trump and myriad Republicans that unending wars for profit, against smaller and less powerful nations, is an appropriate American agenda.  This agenda will bankrupt the nation while creating new enemies and making us less secure.  Flogging the dead horse of unending wars is unsustainable.

dran_houseofcardspicturesonwallsdotcomBernie is making promises he cannot keep.

Despite his own claims, Sanders has not been an antiwar leader.  Ever since he won election to the House, he has taken either
equivocal positions on U.S. wars or outright supported them.

https://thepeaceresource.wordpress.com/2016/02/20/bernie-talks-the-socialist-talk-but/

But we can make better choices.

https://thepeaceresource.wordpress.com/2016/01/27/we-have-choices-to-make/

stein123With Dr. Jill Stein and the Green New Deal, we can choose peace, progress and rebuilding a more progressive and productive nation.

Power to the People: A Green New Deal

https://thepeaceresource.wordpress.com/2015/07/14/power-to-the-people/

“The minute we stand up, we are unstoppable. It’s time to forget the lesser evil and fight for the greater good. The clock is ticking. It’s in our hands.” ~Dr. Jill Stein

aa2Too many liberals are willing to ignore the war records of Bernie and Hillary.  These fearful prognosticators embrace a studious ignorance, and subscribe to the “lesser-evil theory” which has been
absolutely debunked.

Spending  trillions on avoidable wars only “trickles down” as debts, coffins, blood or worse.  We have been tricked and trickled on long enough.

https://thewordsmithcollection.wordpress.com/2015/06/17/we-have-been-tricked-trickled-on-and-lied-to/

81-KPqrfqzL._SL1500_Instead of signing on for eight more years of war, we can find the courage to vote our values instead of our fears.  War is too much of a burden to bear. Wars on smaller and less powerful nations are a surrender to the greed of the corporate elite.  Peace is victory.

Fool me once…

“There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.”
― Søren Kierkegaard

https://thepeaceresource.wordpress.com/…/23/fool-me-once/


rodinWhen there is no justice there can be no peace. We must find the courage not to surrender our values. There can be no compromise with the corporate cons. And we don’t have to take it any more.
______________________________

“The revolution has always been in the hands of the young. The young always inherit the revolution.” ~Huey Newton

https://thewordsmithcollection.wordpress.com/2014/12/04/america-is-the-first-country-that-can-actually-have-a-bloodless-revolution-malcolm-x/




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Bernie talks the Socialist talk, but…

“Despite his own claims, Sanders has not been an antiwar leader. Ever since he won election to the House, he has taken either equivocal positions on U.S. wars or outright supported them. ”


 

A Socialist in the Senate?

The Unfortunate Truth about Bernie Sanders
by Ashley Smith
www.dissidentvoice.org
November 15, 2006
First Published in Socialist Worker 

On the surface, the election in Vermont to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Jim Jeffords was a classic battle between capitalists and workers.

politico.com.1.In one corner loomed the Republicans forward Richard Tarrant, a multimillionaire and former CEO of the software company IDX. Nicknamed Richie Rich, he spent nearly $7 million of his own money to create the illusion of popular support, blanketing the state with obnoxiously large campaign signs.

In the other corner thundered Independent Bernard Sanders, known throughout Vermont as simply Bernie. Sanders served four terms as mayor of the Peoples Republic of Burlington during the 1980s, and eight terms after that as Vermonts lone representative in the House of Representatives. He built a reputation for attacking corporate interests, supporting universal health care and defending union jobs.

81-KPqrfqzL._SL1500_Sanders knocked out Richie Rich, winning the vote by a whopping 2-to-1 margin. Everyone — from the British newspaper, the Guardian, to Democracy Nows Amy Goodman — has heralded the election of the first socialist senator in U.S. history, an independent who will stand up to the two mainstream parties, oppose war, roll back corporate power and lead the fight for workers and the oppressed.

While it was fantastic to see Tarrant humiliated, Sanders election to the Senate doesnt represent a radical departure from politics as usual. He may have a portrait of Eugene Debs hanging in his office, but his politics have little in common with that great American socialist.

In the 1980s, as Burlingtons mayor, Sanders mounted a challenge to the Democrats and Republicans, maintaining a consistent anti-imperialist position in solidarity with the Nicaraguan Revolution and trying to implement pro-worker policies.

bernieseattleBut that was long ago. Now Sanders is independent in name only — he in fact supports the Democratic Party.

As his long-time antagonist and now ally, Democratic National Committee Chair Howard Dean, said on the NBCs Meet the Press, He is basically a liberal Democrat, and he is a Democrat at that — he runs as an Independent because he doesnt like the structure and money that gets involved… The bottom line is that Bernie Sanders votes with the Democrats 98 percent of the time. Ironically, thats more often than most Democrats vote with the Democrats.

Sanders voting record is also not so very left wing; one study found that 38 other congressional representatives had a more progressive voting record.

…In the 2006 Senate election, he didnt even really run as an independent. Bernie-SandersThe Democrats cut a deal with Sanders — they wouldnt run a candidate against him, in exchange for him supporting Democrats in other races. The Democrats backed up their word by nominating Sanders in their primary, which he refused to accept to preserve his nominal independence. But Sanders did accept support from national Democrats like Chuck Schumer, Harry Reid, Barack Obama and Barbara Boxer. He also accepted a large donation from Hillary Clintons Political Action Committee, HILLPAC, which featured him as one of its most important candidates.

Sanders in turn backed Democrats against third-party alternatives. In the election to fill his House seat, he and his supporters helped dissuade Progressive Party hopeful David Zuckerman from running, and went on to support the Democrat Peter Welch, who eventually won.

no3Sanders endorsement of the Democrats no doubt helped him build his war chest of about $5 million, over 80 percent of which came from out of state.

To put an exclamation point on his all-but-declared membership in the Democratic Party, Sanders celebrated his election victory, contrary to his tradition of hosting a separate party, with the Democrats. He has promised to caucus with the Democrats in the Senate, and the media thus takes him for granted as part of the new majority in the Senate.

For veteran Sanders watchers, this capitulation to the corporate Democrats and their apparatchiks is nothing new. He has made it one of his missions to agitate against voting for Ralph Nader, the Green Party and, in some cases, Vermonts Progressive Party.

During the 2004 election, Sanders announced on Vermont Public Television, Not only am I going to vote for John Kerry, I am going to run around this country and do everything I can to dissuade people from voting for Ralph Nader… I am going to do everything I can, while I have differences with John Kerry, to make sure that he is elected.

The political consequence of his capitulation to the Democrats has been a long list of unnecessary compromises and outright betrayals that will only mount in the Senate.

iraqigirl-SNOWDespite his own claims, Sanders has not been an antiwar leader. Ever since he won election to the House, he has taken either equivocal positions on U.S. wars or outright supported them. His hawkish positions — especially his decision to support Bill Clintons 1999 Kosovo War — drove one of his key advisers, Jeremy Brecher, to resign from his staff. Brecher wrote in his resignation letter, Is there a moral limit to the military violence you are willing to participate in or support?

So outraged were peace activists over Sanders support of the Kosovo War that they occupied his office in 1999. Sanders had them arrested. Under the Bush regime, Sanders militarism has only grown worse. While he called for alternative approaches to the war on Afghanistan, he failed to join the sole Democrat, Barbara Lee, to vote against Congress resolution that gave George Bush a blank check to launch war on any country he deemed connected to the September 11 attacks.

educsEver since, he has voted for appropriations bills to fund the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, despite their horrific toll on the occupied peoples as well as U.S. soldiers.

Sanders has been critical of the war on Iraq, but he has supported pro-war measures — such as a March 21, 2003, resolution stating, Congress expresses the unequivocal support and appreciation of the nation to the President as Commander-in-Chief for his firm leadership and decisive action in the conduct of military operations in Iraq as part of the ongoing Global War on Terrorism.

He also opposes immediate withdrawal from Iraq, despite the fact that a majority of residents in his home city of Burlington voted for such a position in a town meeting resolution in February 2005.

8c87a-ciaduh…Even more shocking, Sanders scuttled any action on a wave of Bush impeachment resolutions that swept Vermont towns in 2006. Like House Majority Leader-to-be Nancy Pelosi, who has promised not to impeach Bush, Sanders argued that impeachment was impractical, and that activists should put energy into electing Democrats.

Outraged, Dan Dewalt, the organizer of the impeachment resolution campaign in Vermont, said, We think we have quality politicians in Vermont. Were wrong. We have politics as usual in Vermont. Our so-called independent congressman, Bernie Sanders, cant get far enough away from impeachment.

This summer, Sanders voted for House Resolution 921, which gave full support to Israels murderous war on Lebanon. He also voted for HR 4681 that imposed sanctions on the Palestinian Authority with the aim of removing the democratically elected Hamas government.

no4In response, longtime War Resisters League leader, David McReynolds sent a public letter to Sanders, stating, Because of your vote of support for the Israeli actions, I would hope any friends and contacts of mine would not send you funds, nor give you their votes. Indeed, Sanders has consistently defended Israel through it worst crimes against Palestinians and Arabs. Unsurprisingly, some Sanders staffers have also worked with the American Israeli Political Action Committee (AIPAC) — including David Sirota, now a Democratic Party strategist, and Sanders former communications director Joel Barkin.

Finally, in perhaps his worst betrayal yet, Sanders joined a host of liberal Democrats including Barbara Lee and John Conyers to vote for HR 282, the Iran Freedom Support Act — which bears a striking resemblance to the resolutions that set up the framework for the war on Iraq. The act stipulates that the U.S. should impose sanctions on Iran to prevent it from developing weapons of mass destruction and distributing them to aid international terrorism. It also calls for the U.S. to support democratic change in the country, thereby establishing all necessary pretexts for a war on Iran. Democrat Dennis Kucinich voted against the act and denounced it as a stepping stone to war.

warSanders — like many liberal Democrats — rightly calls attention to the plight of workers and the poor in Vermont and across the U.S., demanding reforms to address low wages, lack of health care and the absence of a social safety net. He argues that much of this suffering is the result of U.S. free trade policy. But instead of agitating for internationalist solutions like cross-border unionization, as proposed by the global justice movement against neoliberalism, Sanders argues for protectionist policies and economic nationalism.

Sanders support for the Democrats confounds his position. After all, it was the Democratic Party under Bill Clinton that passed NAFTA, established the WTO, cut the big deals with China and imposed some of the worst IMF structural adjustments programs on developing countries.

Ominously, Sanders economic nationalism has led him to look for allies among Republican right-wingers like Lou Dobbs and Patrick Buchanan, who see China as a rival to U.S. power and are looking for political justification for a new Cold War.

In denouncing Permanent Normalized Trade Relations (PNTR) with China, paineSanders wrote, As the greatest democracy on Earth, we must ask why American companies are turning communist China into the new superpower of the 21st century? While Microsoft is saving a dollar, it is helping undermine our economic and military security by gutting our manufacturing and technological infrastructure, and moving it lock, stock, and barrel to one of our major international rivals.

Sanders defends his alliances with protectionist Republicans. He told the Nation magazine, In the sense that we are trying to develop left-right coalitions, we also trying to redefine American politics. Thus, he appeared on a China-bashing panel organized by the Teamsters Jimmy Hoffa along with Patrick Buchanan in 2000 during a union-sponsored demonstration against PNTR for China.

bradleydibble.authorsxpress.comIn cooperating with right-wing populists, Sanders reinforces American nationalism and its attendant racism toward immigrants. Such ideas are an impediment to workers forging solidarity against both American empire and the corporations divide-and-conquer strategy to drive wages down inside the US and around the globe.

Sanders can boast of a good voting record in defending the rights of the oppressed. He has consistently voted for the rights of women, gays and lesbians, and racial minorities. However, he downplays all these questions in favor of a populist appeal on economic issues. As one Progressive Party activist told the Nation, Sometimes, Bernies biggest critics are on the left. Some social liberals quietly grumble that Sanders maintains too rigid a focus on economic issues.

On some pivotal issues, Sanders does worse than subordinate the demands of dp7the oppressed — he joins in the attack. For example, Sanders claims to oppose the death penalty, but he voted for Bill Clintons 1996 Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, which broadened the scope of the federal death penalty and laid the foundation for Bushs war on terror and attacks on civil liberties.

In 2004, Sanders was put to the test of whether he would stand up against state-sanctioned murder, and he failed. Then-Attorney General John Ashcroft used Clintons act to override Vermont law and force a federal death penalty trial for Donald Fell, who was eventually convicted and sentenced to die. Throughout this trial, Sanders remained on the sidelines. 

Said Nancy Welch of Vermonters Against the Death Penalty,

blm“We repeatedly called on Congressman Sanders to join us in decrying the imposition of a death penalty trial on a state that had abolished capital punishment, said Nancy Welch of Vermonters Against the Death Penalty.
We asked him to participate in a press conference with other political, religious, and labor leaders, but he declined. Even when we directly asked him, on a public radio call-in program, if he would join us in saying Vermont should stay death penalty-free, Bernie wouldn’t take a stand.

Meanwhile, on the issue of immigration, Sanders has joined the Democratic Party in its attacks on immigrant rights. While he voted against the reactionary bill sponsored by Rep. James Sensenbrenner and passed by the House last year, he has supported other anti-immigrant bills.

He has consistently voted to restrict visas for skilled workers — like the L-poem-truth-casino-inconvenient-truth21 Nonimmigrant Reform Act, which he himself cosponsored, arguing that it was wrong for corporations to import workers when they are laying off U.S. employees. He voted for the Goodlatte Amendment to eliminate the visa lottery that distributes 55,000 visas a year to foreign workers on a random basis.

With Bush promising to work with the Democratic majority in Congress to pass anti-immigrant legislation, including more aggressive border enforcement as well as a new guest-worker program, Sanders will be pressed to line up with a lesser-evil attack on some of the most oppressed workers in the country.

Like Al Gores attempt to rehabilitate himself through environmentalism, Sanders has begun to trumpet green issues, especially global warming. But while his voting record is good on this issue, Sanders has long antagonized environmental activists. After getting elected mayor with the slogan Burlingtons Not for Sale, Sanders attempted to cut a deal with developers for hotel construction on the citys waterfront and other projects in its wetlands. Activists built a campaign with the slogan Burlingtons Still Not for Sale that effectively halted the worst development plans.

onemorethingOnce in the House, Sanders made one of his worst environmental decisions. He worked with then-Texas Gov. George Bush to lead the charge for dumping nuclear waste from Vermonts Vernon reactor in Sierra Blanca, an impoverished town inhabited mainly by Chicanos on the border with Mexico.


Sanders positions on energy are also tinged with nationalism. He repeatedly calls for US energy independence from the Middle East, even though most U.S. oil comes from other countries like Venezuela. Such demagogy plays into the widespread anti-Arab racism that surrounds oil politics.

…AS IT was with Howard Dean, it is a bit hard for Vermont leftists to believe the national reaction to Bernie Sanders.

As Vermonts long-time political commentator Peter Freyne noted, He will not leave a party behind him. So what will be his legacy? I dont see a next Bernie on the horizon. I dont see what comes after him. Theres a lot wrapped up in one man, and I dont know where that gets you in the long run.cropped-cropped-peace-justice11

But, in truth, Sanders is leaving a party behind — the Democratic Party.

Whatever his betrayals, Sanders can still give an excellent speech about the evils of corporate power and the barbarity of class inequality, but he does so as a fellow traveler of the corporate Democrats, who he supports even as they move further and further to the right.

…Anything we want from Sanders or the Democrats we will have to fight for. And if we want a genuine socialist alternative, we should follow the lead of Sanders hero, Eugene Debs, who said, The differences between the Republican and Democratic Parties involve no issue, no principle in which the working class have any interest.

resistInstead of capitulating to the corporate parties, Debs spent his life building the Socialist Party and the struggles of the working class and the oppressed for our own self-emancipation.

Ashley Smith is a correspondent for
Socialist Worker. This article first appeared
on the Socialist Worker web site: 
http://socialistworker.org.

Thanks to Alan Maass.

Other Articles by Ashley Smith

* Pigs at the Trough of War  




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