If You Didn’t Read Bernie Sanders’ Op-Ed, You Have Some Homework…

The world is still buzzing and shaking from Britain’s decision to leave the European Union, as leading up the referendum, polls indicated ‘Brexit’ wasn’t going down…Now that it has, corporate talking heads, intellectuals and even your average Joe Sixpack, have been debating and speculating on how this could have happened.

Well, one of the more insightful and compelling responses that’s been offered, came courtesy Mr. Bernie Sanders. Recently the progressive titan wrote an op-ed in the New York Times, which was, well, a must read.

Here is just some of what Sanders had to say:

Surprise, surprise. Workers in Britain, many of whom have seen a decline in their standard of living while the very rich in their country have become much richer, have turned their backs on the European Union and a globalized economy that is failing them and their children.

And it’s not just the British who are suffering. That increasingly globalized economy, established and maintained by the world’s economic elite, is failing people everywhere. Incredibly, the wealthiest 62 people on this planet own as much wealth as the bottom half of the world’s population — around 3.6 billion people. The top 1 percent now owns more wealth than the whole of the bottom 99 percent. The very, very rich enjoy unimaginable luxury while billions of people endure abject poverty, unemployment, and inadequate health care, education, housing and drinking water.

Could this rejection of the current form of the global economy happen in the United States? You bet it could.

During my campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, I’ve visited 46 states. What I saw and heard on too many occasions were painful realities that the political and media establishment fail even to recognize.

In the last 15 years, nearly 60,000 factories in this country have closed, and more than 4.8 million well-paid manufacturing jobs have disappeared. Much of this is related to disastrous trade agreements that encourage corporations to move to low-wage countries.

Again, it’s mandatory reading, so you should head to the Times to finish the editorial. While we can all debate as to whether Britain should have remained in the EU, in its current form, no one should really be that shocked Brexit has taken place.

People are finally realizing the neoliberal shite has hit the fan, and they’re not having it any longer. Focusing this anger and frustration into progressive developments, however, is the task at hand. One which, Mr. Sanders, has been doing a pretty, pretty, good job of doing.

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Housing Affordability’s Becoming WTF Issue in Canada…Finally

For sometime now, non-profit groups, activists and marginalized folks have been screaming for more affordable housing in Canada, and finally, the issue is gaining mainstream traction. A big reason for that is when these aforementioned people started raising the flag two decades ago, neoliberal machinations were only starting to eff over the middle class.

Yes, here we are in 2016, and what a shocker? Uncontrolled and largely untaxed flows of international capital, haven’t flowed into Canada and left us all with spacious and affordable cribs. Where the neoliberal shit’s really hitting the fan is in Vancouver and Toronto, as house prices are absurd, and most people have abandoned the idea of ever owning a home.  As I alluded to before, the first waves of neoliberal austerity helped foster pockets of poverty and social ills so severe (Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside), the UN tossed a WTF? Canada’s way. Earlier this year, the body did so again.

Of course, indie outlets like the Tyee and Rabble.ca, among others, have been reporting and commenting on the affordability crisis for years. But, now that housing affordability is impacting the lives of many more Canadians, and not just, you know, folks looking for a free lunch… even the corporate media’s chucking out daily stories.

The issue has become a big part of the British Columbia NDP’s platform (thumbs up to Mr. John Horgan). PM Justin Trudeau recently attended meetings about the crisis. How about dem’ Christy Clark led Liberals? BC’s ruling folks? They’re leading the charge on this right? Ah, not so much…

So, while we have yet to see any meaningful action yet, thankfully, and finally, more and more people are questioning how did this happen? Why are people who have contributed and bettered their communities, both financially and socially, being priced out of them?  Why aren’t our ‘leaders’ doing something to remedy this? And if they won’t, who will?

Yes, as we’ve seen in Canada, the U.S. and Europe in recent years,  the masses are realizing that they’ve been given the royal shaft by neoliberal economics. Bright, progressive lights, like the Layton, Sanders and Corbyn campaigns have risen as a result. But we’ve also seen frightening manifestations of this anger on the far right. The winds of change are indeed a blowing, and it’s up to us sensible folks to make sure those winds lead to equitable and sustainable change.

 

Bernie Sanders Climbs in California, Let The Sweating Begin at Dem HQ

So, it’s been a few days now since the mainstream / corporate media declared that Hillary Clinton has locked up the Democrat nomination and cruised to a win in California, but hey, was that accurate? Nope.

Now sure, even the biggest Bernie Sanders supporter understands that the likelihood of him winning this thing are very, very slim. But, the important story here is that series of WTF incidents with the voting process continues, and that it’s becoming more and more obvious how desperately pro-status quo interests are trying to gloss over this…Wonder why that might be huh?

In Bernie, you have a candidate who wants to bring serious reform to establishment politics and economics. In Hillary, well, you have the establishment’s number one ally, in terms of current Presidential candidates… Yup, and by no way is that an endorsement of “The Tan”.

Case in point, the Inquisitir recently reported this:

Even though The New York Times declared that Hillary Clinton “secured enough delegates for the Democratic nomination,” and later issued a correction blaming the erroneous statement due to “an editing error,” Hillary Clinton did not actually earn enough delegates to be declared the nominee of the Democratic Party. In fact, contrary to the call by the Associated Press, Clinton also has not actually won California either. There are still millions of ballots that remain uncounted that will indeed be counted as the official canvass progresses, according to the California Secretary of State’s office. As the canvassing got underway, things started to to look up for Bernie Sanders’ supporters.

In Los Angeles County 275,972 Vote-By-Mail, 256,326 Provisional and 24,021 ballots of another form still had to be counted as of Friday afternoon. This totals over 556 thousand ballots in Los Angeles County alone that will be counted, where Clinton’s lead over Sanders is just over 164 thousand votes. Los Angeles County could still go either way.

The votes simply aren’t all accounted for just yet, but they will be.

Please head here to read the rest of the article, as it’s definitely worth a read. After doing so, let the ‘what a fucking joke”-s roll….

 

Robert Reich Hits Homerun in Open Letter to Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders and the political revolution he’s helped build is headed to Washington D.C. and then the Democrat Convention, despite the establishment’s machinations to silence the movement. Yes, while it’s hard these days to not stew in silent anger, and or scream in frustration–in light of recent events–Robert Reich has penned an amazing, tear inducing open letter to the Vermont Senator.

Now, some folks have spun Reich’s letter as sort of a ‘thank-you’, send off, but I didn’t view it that way at all. If anything, I think Reich elected to post it, as a reminder to Bernie and his supporters that his movement is far from over. That no matter what happens in the coming weeks, what Mr. Sanders has started will continue. Even if the Democrat brass continues to back its establishment candidate, and refuses to offer substantive challenges to an unjust status-quo.

If you haven’t read Reich’s unforgettable and moving letter to Bernie yet, you can check it out below.

Dear Bernie:
I don’t know what you’re going to do from here on, and I’m not going to advise you. You’ve earned the right to figure out the next steps for your campaign and the movement you have launched.
But let me tell you this: You’ve already succeeded.
At the start they labeled you a “fringe” candidate – a 74-year-old, political Independent, Jewish, self-described democratic socialist, who stood zero chance against the Democratic political establishment, the mainstream media, and the moneyed interests.
Then you won 22 states.
And in almost every state – even in those you lost — you won vast majorities of voters under 30, including a majority of young women and Latinos. And most voters under 45.
You have helped shape the next generation.
You’ve done it without SuperPACs or big money from corporations, Wall Street, and billionaires. You did it with small contributions from millions of us. You’ve shown it can be done without selling your soul or compromising your conviction.
You’ve also inspired millions to get involved in politics — and to fight the most important and basic of all fights on which all else depends: to reclaim our economy and democracy from the moneyed interests.
Your message – about the necessity of single-payer healthcare, free tuition at public universities, a $15 minimum wage, busting up the biggest Wall Street banks, taxing the financial speculation, expanding Social Security, imposing a tax on carbon, and getting big money out of politics – will shape the progressive agenda from here on.
Your courage in taking on the political establishment has emboldened millions of us to stand up and demand our voices be heard.
Regardless of what you decide to do now, you have ignited a movement that will fight onward. We will fight to put more progressives into the House and Senate. We will fight at the state level. We will organize for the 2020 presidential election.
We will not succumb to cynicism. We are in it for the long haul. We will never give up.
Thank you, Bernie.
Bob

Liza Featherstone Throws Truth at False Narrative Hillary’s Stronger Than Bernie on Women’s Issues

Over the preceding months, many Hillary Clinton supporters, and the Secretary’s far reaching political machine, have attempted to frame her as the only Presidential candidate who’s truly concerned with women and LGBT issues. According to this narrative, her main rival for the Democrat nomination, Bernie Sanders, is just an antiquated, one issue candidate who doesn’t represent the ‘broad coalition’ Hillary does…

Well, folks that have closely followed the career of Sanders, and the social democratic ideals he represent, understand that this narrative couldn’t be farther from the truth. Not only has Sanders fought for substantive change, in terms of empowering women and LBGT people, only his campaign represents a real challenge to the unjust and unequal status quo. After all, when you’re tied to corporate interests that punt socioeconomic rights around the globe on a daily basis, are you really all that progressive? Has Donald Trump been known to rant?

Well, recently Verso published False Choices: The Faux Feminism of Hillary Rodham Clinton, which features essays from prominent feminist writers, who have taken issue with the notion Clinton is a “feminist icon.” The good folks at Alternet recently published an excerpt from the book, which in this case, was authored by Liza Featherstone. Here is some of what the accomplished journalist had to say about Clinton, and Sanders:

Senator Bernie Sanders, the only American politician of national stature who calls himself a socialist, is at the time of this writing still running a visible and popular primary challenge to Clinton. He is better than Clinton not only on economic issues, but also on reproductive choice and gay rights. Yet our liberal chattering classes frame the choice between Sanders and Clinton as a choice between democratic socialism and feminism—and the two are assumed to be incompatible. At a feminist bookstore event in late October 2015, Gloria Steinem repeated her enthusiasm for Clinton and noted pityingly that Sanders was an “old-fashioned socialist.” She liked him for it but added, “He’s not my candidate.” Salon’s Amanda Marcotte did her best to portray Bernie Sanders as the favored candidate of creepy misogynists on Reddit, and dubbed his supporters a “he-man woman haters club,” ignoring the thousands of women showing up at his events around the country and the 44 percent of female New Hampshire Democratic primary voters who intended to vote for him, according to a December 2015 poll (just one percentage point behind his far more famous rival).

 

We thus see in Clinton’s campaign a new, troubling era in which feminism, now a proper media subject, is used rhetorically as a cudgel against any sort of left politics which might actually help the vast majority of women. We saw this recently in the UK as well, with the liberal campaign against democratic socialist Jeremy Corbyn in 2015 denouncing him for being little more than an old white man, even though his female challengers were politically far to his right.

 

Why should socialism and feminism be incompatible? This persistent framing shows how horribly both feminism and the left have failed to make the case that for the vast majority of the world’s women, liberation requires socialism, or something much like it.

 

Not all the contributors to this book support Bernie Sanders in his campaign, and almost surely, each of them would find fault with him, especially on foreign policy. But there is no doubt that most women have more to gain even from Sanders’s watered-down social democracy than from the ruthless neoliberalism that Clinton represents. As they compose the majority of college students, women stand to gain immeasurably from making college tuition debt-free, as Sanders advocates, far more than from the tepid tinkering on the issue in Clinton’s platform. Sanders’s attention to living wages and the creation of decently paying jobs and single payer health care, as well as his focus on economic inequality, has the potential to speak to almost everyone, but women especially, since women make up the majority of low-wage workers and head the majority of households below the poverty line. Gender and economic justice are deeply intertwined, and it is embarrassing how easily Americans get distracted from this fact. Sanders’ platform also has plenty to say on gendered matters like abortion rights and equal pay—he even mentions the storied Equal rights Amendment, subject of a decades-long feminist battle for ratification.

Yes indeedy, and here’s hoping more Hillary boosters, particularly those in California, will see the light before that state’s primary goes down.

We highly recommend reading the entire essay here, and  you can pick up the book by heading to Verso.

Watch TYT’s Cenk Uygur Introduce Bernie Sanders

If you watch “The Young Turks”, then chances are you’re feeling “The Bern”, as the online network are big time supporters of Mr. Bernie Sanders. See, since TYT are funded by their viewers, they’re not beholden to interests who want to keep the neoliberal model in place, which in another time was called feudalism….

Recently TYT found Cenk Uygur introduced Sanders for a rally in Vallejo, California, and outlined why he’s supporting the progressive Senator. You can check it out below.

A Must See: Requiem for the American Dream

If you’re looking for something to watch this weekend, but wish to view something that’s, you know, actually important, then you should watch Requiem for the American DreamIn fact, even if you were planning to take a break from electricity, you should do a 180, and watch it.

Requiem for the American Dream features renowned intellectual, and one of the most important progressive voices in American history, Mr. Noam Chomsky. The Professor details the ongoing battle between democratizing forces–the masses–and the ruling elite. Not only does it include information that every citizen should be aware of, but it’s shot and edited together brilliantly.

Do yourself, and hopefully society a favour, watch the damn movie.

The film is available on Netflix.