Sunday, November 1, 2020

● 1920-2020: Left Right Cycle

What Happened to the U.S.A. ? 


A Very Brief Timeline: 

We only have to go back 100 years, in this very brief timeline, to gain a general understanding of how we ended up here. Continuous corporate-media consumption provides a framing of issues, and worldview, conducive to corporate interests above our own.  …with the lie, that corporate interests are our own.

In the 1920’s, the labor movement had been stifled after suffering a series of devastating losses. Laissez-faire capitalism and fascism were on the rise, crashing the economy by the decade's end.

During the 1930’s, the labor movement was revitalized, and the Democratic Party was transformed. CIO organizing began. Socialists, unions, and communists pushed FDR to implement the New Deal. The 1935 Wagner Act (NLRA: The National Labor Relations Act) guaranteed employees’ rights to organize, collective bargaining, and collective action.

Democrats were progressive on economic issues, but regressive on most social issues. But, that changed over time.

In 1944, FDR proposed a 100% tax on income above the top marginal tax bracket of the time. They ended up with a 94% tax on the top marginal tax bracket. These socialist policies gave us the strongest economy we ever had, and like all great policies, never would've happened without pressure from the Left: workers unions, communists, and socialists.

1945-1975: The Golden Years of Capitalism
Although, it should be called The Golden Years of Socialism, since all economies are mixed, and it was the socialist policies that made the economy great. Of course, greedy capitalists continue to take credit for the achievements of the Left. The Right claims that the strong economy was a result of WWII, but we know that war profiteering only helps (the rich) war profiteers, demonstrated by our policies of endless war. The 1947 Taft–Hartley Act was an assault on the 1935 Wagner Act (NLRA), launching attacks and propaganda, undermining labor, which continue to this day. In 1949, the FCC introduced the Fairness Doctrine, which required broadcasters (in exchange for, otherwise free, licensing) to devote some airtime (with varying viewpoints) to matters of public interest.

Throughout the 1950’s, the top marginal tax rate remained above 90% (1951-1963). Inequality was greatly decreased, and a strong welfare state created a vibrant middle class. Early on, the wealthiest psychopaths (disgruntled Industrialists/Robber Barrons) released a barrage of propaganda, resulting in making 3 generations ignorant on class/economic issues: The Traditionalist and Baby Boomers of the time, and then to their children, Generation X. The first two generations benefitted from the social democratic economy, but then by the mid-70’s, began to destroy it for the rest of us.

In 1956 the FBI’s counter intelligence program, COINTELPRO, began a series of extralegal covert projects, surveilling, infiltrating, disrupting and, discrediting American political organizations.

The Social Democracy of the 1960’s gave way to the Peace and Civil Rights Movements. LBJ and the Civil Rights Acts solidified the Democratic Party’s shift toward being more progressive on social issues. Nixon’s Southern Strategy did the opposite for Republicans. Taxes for the rich were lowered to 77%, and then to 70% for the wealthiest 1%.

On December 4th 1969, as a part of the illegal counter-intelligence program, COINTELPRO, the FBI assassinated Fred Hampton, in cold blood, in his bed, just before dawn. COINTELPRO continues to operate to this day. Peace and equality are always under attack by those who benefit from war (racist violence) and inequality.

The 1970’s: Women’s Rights made great strides. In 1971, Nixon declared a “war on drugs” with the intent of terrorizing and criminalizing those he viewed as his enemies: black people and (the peace movement) hippies. In 1974, Gerald Ford pardoned Richard Nixon for his crimes against America in the Watergate scandal. The top marginal tax rate remained at 70% throughout the decade. Milton Friedman’s economic policies began to take hold. Sharp rises in oil prices, due to OPEC's 35th conference (1973), led to an economic downturn.

Money Entered Politics
to a much greater degree:
  • Buckley v. Valeo (1976) held that limits on campaign contributions are unconstitutional, and that spending money to influence elections is protected speech by the First Amendment.
  • First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti (1978) upheld the rights of corporations to spend money in non-candidate elections (i.e. ballot initiatives and referendums). 
The conservative Supreme Court (Nixon's appointees) voted to deregulate campaign finance, so that the rich can now buy politicians, subverting democracy. Corporations are people, and money is speech. The fossil fuel industry, knowingly set out on a decades-long campaign, to deceive the public about the urgency of climate change, putting the entire world at risk, for their short term profits. Jimmy Carter’s fuel efficiency requirements made for an easy economic recovery during the Reagan Administration.

The 1980’s ushered in Milton Friedman’s destructive economic policies of deregulation, commonly referred to as the Reagan Revolution. The corporate elite and their media were thrilled, and celebrated this transition of flipping the New Deal on its head. Protections against usury were deregulated. Attacks on unions, workers’ rights, and consumer rights increased exponentially. The top marginal tax rate dropped below 70% for the first time since 1935. The fiscal irresponsibility of Reagan, very quickly turned America from the world's leading creditor nation to the world's leading debtor nation. The rich got richer and the poor got poorer. Workers’ wages stagnated, and the middle class gradually began to fall.

In 1987, the Reagan administration eliminated the Fairness Doctrine, giving way to an environment of ever increasing corporate propaganda. The return of Laissez-faire capitalism with Reagan's policies of deregulation also exasperated the S&L crisis, and caused the first crash on Wall Street since 1929. The top marginal tax rate continued to dropped, finally reaching 28% by 1988.

The list of Reagan’s crimes amount to beyond extensive. He supported the apartheid in South Africa, sold weapons to Iran, to support terrorism (by the Contras) in Nicaragua, and his malfeasance in response to the AIDS crisis led to a massive domestic death toll. The only country in the world condemned for international terrorism by the World Court, thanks to the Reagan Administration, is now the United States of America. Among Reagan’s many crimes, not least of which, is putting life on Earth at risk, by expanding the Military Industrial Complex.

Friedmanism (the Reagan Revolution) continued throughout the 1990’s. Bill Clinton’s Third Way officially declared Democrats as being center-left on social issues, while being center-right on economic policy. Running as an economic conservative, depressed the vote on the Left. He only won because Ross Perot divided the vote on the Right, but the corporate media continued to push the narrative that running to the right, is a winning strategy for the Left. As President, Bill Clinton turned his back on workers, deregulated Glass-Steagall, and cut welfare, continuing Friedmanism, Reaganomics, austerity, and the ensued bubble economies.

There's a perception that unions have gotten larger, when they've actually gotten smaller. Local branches used to be huge, while national branches were very tiny, as they would merely serve a tangential connection. The real work, specific to each location, gets done at the local level. Decades of the Right's attacks on unions have decreased the size of local branches, decreasing their ability to be effective. As a result, the surviving national branches grew, simply in order to keep their unions alive.

The "center" (Overton Window) moved further to the Right. No longer the party of workers, nor the party that taxes the rich, the Democratic Party is now (not surprisingly) no longer the dominant party. This is the Neoliberal Era, an era in which the Democratic Party betrays the Left, priming the country for another right-wing victory.

The 2000 election was a disaster. Roger Ailes made the decision to have John Ellis (Bush’s first cousin) call the election for Bush on Fox, election night, and the rest of the corporate media fell in line. Gore won the popular vote. When all the votes were counted, Gore also won Florida, and every independent recount showed Gore won Florida, meaning he won the 2000 election. The Supreme Court threw out the ballots, and the loser took the office of the U.S. Presidency.

Bush was out of D.C. more than 40% of the time, his first year in office. He was basically on vacation up until 9-11. The Republican Party stole the election, left our country open to attack, started an illegal war by attacking a country that never threatened us, instituted a global torture program, and crashed the economy, devastating the world economy by the end of his second term.

Bush failed to keep America safe, left us with the worst economy since the Great Depression, and turned Clinton’s surplus into a 1.2 trillion dollar deficit.

In 2008, Obama ran his campaign as a progressive, and won. The more they called him a socialist, the more he went up in the polls. Unfortunately, he governed like a Republican, or Reagan Democrat. Although, the top marginal tax rate ranges from about 35% to 39%, it’s important to understand that the effective rate (what they actually pay) generally remains at around 0%. The "loopholes" are intentional. Those big campaign donations, from the rich to both parties, are not for nothing. They called him a Keynesian, but his policies and record show otherwise.

Obama extended the Bush Tax Cuts, ramped up deportation at the border, escalated the war in Afghanistan, ended the Iraq War on Bush’s timeline, increased U.S. drone attacks, and renewed the Patriot Act. Merrick Garland was a Republican suggestion. Mitt Romney suggested his healthcare plan, and Obama took it. Obama passed the ACA, a corporate healthcare plan, developed by the Heritage Foundation, a right-wing think tank. The most socialist thing Obama did in office was to implement Mitt Romney's Republican healthcare plan.

Obama broke his promise and didn’t even try for the Public Option, even with majorities in both houses and a sweeping mandate. Instead, he went with the highly unpopular right-wing Individual Mandate, what people hate most about the ACA. Hypocritical Republican indignation over their own plan is endless. Of course, not everything Obama did was objectionable. To his credit, the Iran Deal was arguably one of the best foreign policy achievements by a U.S. president in recent history.

One thing we learned from the Obama years, that he never did, is that we cannot work with Republicans. Obama spent eight years foolishly bending over backwards for Republicans, as they spit in his face every step of the way. The list of Republican policies goes on, and on… Obama was further to the right than Reagan on the economy. But, instead of appreciation from right-wing media, there was outrage. Remember the aggrievement from those hypocritical psychopaths? Republicans only care about power (for the rich), and will destroy the country and the world pursuing it.

2010: More Money in Politics: with more Campaign Finance Deregulation:
  • Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 558 U.S. 310: The Conservative Supreme Court held that the free speech clause of the First Amendment prohibits the government from restricting independent expenditures for political communications by corporations, including nonprofit corporations, labor unions, and other associations.
    Studies show this ruling boosted Republican electoral success.
Obama failed to meet the progressive mandate, which carried him into office. It’s not a coincidence that the most popular policies are still the most socialist policies, implemented by the most progressive administrations: FDR’s Social Security (of the New Deal) & LBJ’s Medicare (of his Great Society). The most popular president in American history was the one who taxed the rich. The Democratic Party was the dominant party when they were the party of working people. But unfortunately, the Democrats learned the wrong lessons from the McGovern (1972) and Mondale (1984). From 1968 to the present, Democrats have been moving further and further to the economic-right, becoming the weaker party. Obama campaigned to the Left and won, but then governed to the Right, and lost over a thousand seats during his terms in Office.

2015: Bernie Sanders ran on the Democratic ticket, becoming the most popular politician holding office, in the U.S., and now the world. Throughout the Primary, the corporate media continued to push the lie, defying all polls, that Hillary was the most electable for the General.

In 2016, the Democratic Party nominated the most hated politician among conservatives, Hillary Rodham Clinton. They pandered to the Right, depressing the vote on the Left, and then lost to Donald Trump, the least popular candidate in recent history.

He lost the popular vote by 3 million, and began his term with no public mandate other than possibly performing a political 180° from his previous positions. Trump United The Right, rallied the racists, relentlessly lied, incited violence, and very predictably provoked an environment of death & destruction.

Trump’s Top 10 Fascist Headlines for his term:
  1. The Wall
  2. Concentration Camps at the border
  3. Kidnapping & family separation
  4. Greatest transfer of wealth to the rich
  5. Weakest response to highest unemployment
  6. Weakest response to worst pandemic
  7. Doubling Covid deaths by spreading lies
  8. Spreading Covid himself
  9. Forced Sterilization
 10. Vows to never stepping down

Trump destroyed Obama’s Iran Deal, increasing tensions, putting America and the world at risk.

After decades of the Left dropping out, Progressives inspired by Bernie made historic victories in 2018. Part of being on the Left is learning how to collaborate and cooperate by building coalitions. Centrists concede all the way to the Right before negotiations even begin. They kowtow to Republicans, and attack the Left. Democratic-Socialists put forward the most popular progressive policies, and fight for them. #DemEXIT is saying, let the corporatists and fascists decide. Although, the response of disengagement is understandable and cathartic, it’s exactly what the rich want. The harsh reality is that 3rd Parties have accomplished little more than nothing in over 40 years, while #BrandNewCongress, #JusticeDemocrats, Bernie, and the #DSA have taken out a dozen corporatists with a dozens Democratic Socialists, in just the last 2 years. Corporate Democrats are beginning to realize they’re on notice from the Left. That’s how you send a message. 💌 

2020: #DefeatFascism or succumb to an increasingly brutal authoritarian regime. Bernie Sanders ran another historic campaign, and lost. The lack of organization on the left was demonstrated clearly when the most popular politician with the most popular policies couldn’t win an election against a guy who barely campaigned. Elizabeth Warren would’ve dropped out when Klobuchar and Buttigieg dropped out, if she was actually part of the left, and if the left was actually organized, in which case #BernieWouldHaveWon.

No one on the Left, who understands electoral politics, would #WalkAway or #DemEXIT, since that leads to a corporatist winning the Primary, and a fascist in the General. What got us here, has a lot to do with the working class (i.e. Left) dropping out. This trend is the opposite of #LesserEvilVoting, which is merely the exact same strategy as voting for the best candidate, who has a chance. When the Left drops out, the Right wins, resulting in #GreaterEvilVoting, not lesser. Disengaging is continuing a losing trend. Strengthening engagement is the reversal of a losing trend. Since 2018, the trend is just beginning to reverse. That’s how we’ve elected over a dozen unbought uncorrupted progressives (inspired by Bernie) to congress. Even if you like center-right economics and you’re not a fascist, you’ll vote Democrat, for now. If you want to keep any civil liberties at all (i.e. freedom), you will vote Democrat. Biden is more left than Trump on every issue. We get better candidates by voting in primaries. Our democracy is under constant threat from the Right. Trump said he will not step down, even if he loses. Only dictators do that. If it’s close, he will steal it. If he gets away with it once, he will keep doing it, ending our democracy. This is our last chance to #VoteHimOut.
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Post by: Kurt Riebel: artist, activist   

Thursday, October 29, 2020

● When The Loser Takes Office...

...No One Wins:
  Another Concise Depiction of The Obvious
…and What You Need To Know To Talk To Progressives and Defeat Fascism
Every election is the most important, we are always told.  It’s easy to become cynical after hearing this so many times.  But, after realizing that economic inequality has been increasing over the past four decades, it actually makes perfect sense.  Elections become more dire as our rights become more precarious.  When economic inequality increases, inequality increases across the board.  And, the only people who benefit are the billionaire psychopaths, who will destroy everything before admitting they’re wrong, or giving up an ounce of power.  We have a choice to make.  We can do nothing, and allow for billionaire supremacy, through the exploitation of humanity and the environment (i.e. everything), or we can organize and fight inequality and injustice, and force the most powerful people in the world to obey the laws of nature and democracy, and stop them from literally burning it all down.  They want you to believe that progressives are destructive, while the corporate establishment is literally heating up the planet for short term profits and a hold on power.  The military industrial complex is already blowing it all up.  Big Energy is already burning it all down.  The police state can’t be trusted, and as the writing on the wall is revealed to us through Michelle Alexander, we recognize that mass incarceration is the New Jim Crow.  "Injustice anywhere, is a threat to justice everywhere."-MLK,Jr. 

There’s a global worker’s movement for a green just economy on the rise.  And, there is no other plan in sight.  98% of climate scientists all over the world, paid from different sources, in different countries, all agree that we have ten years to reduce our admissions in order to have a 60% chance of survival.  They are not alarmist.  They are the opposite.  Climate change is happening faster than they’ve predicted.  We do not have more time, but possibly less.  We cannot afford another four years of climate denial.  Conservatives like to insinuate that we are cowards or fools for believing in science, while they were shaking in their boots over the Fox fabrication of a War on Christmas.  Now, they have QAnon on the brain, and they are completely lost.  But, we don’t have time to be cynical, or the luxury of apathy.

Ever since Bill Clinton turned his back on workers, Progressives have been leaving the Democratic Party.  It’s a very understandable cathartic response, yet ultimately, a losing strategy.  It only accomplishes one thing, handing power over to the Right, as in, Corporate Democrats in the Primary and fascists in the General.  When the Left drops out, the Right takes over.  Although, since 2018, Progressives have been taking over the party.  This will be crushed under fascism.  The problem is not #LesserEvilVoting, because the trend, before this, has been the exact opposite.  Disengagement has been the trend on the Left for decades, long before #DemEXIT.  Many on the left feel like they can’t vote for Biden because he’s on the Right.  The toxic attitudes of “centrist”corporate-Democrat voters and the Party’s corporatist agenda, has fractured the party, and Progressives on the Left.  What the Left needs to learn, is the concept of coalition building.  Anyone who thought Hillary was more electable than Bernie, was severely misinformed, at best.  Corporate Democrats are often wrong about pretty much everything except for their understanding that Trump & Republicans are worse than Democrats.  Years before an election, we can talk about 3rd Parties, but months, weeks, & days before an election, isn’t serious at all.  There’s only one serious strategy, days & weeks before an election, and that is to vote for the best candidate who has a decent chance.  In the Primary, that was Bernie.  Now it’s Biden.

Both corporate parties can appear to be the same, as long as you can overlook the progressive wing of the Democratic Party and the fascist leadership of the Republican Party.  The best way to beat the Corporate Democrats, is to stay registered, and vote them out. #BrandNewCongress [+] #ExpandTheSquad

Trump's fascist rhetoric rally's his base.  Remember when he campaigned on building a wall, blamed everything on immigrants, minorities, and poor people?  Remember when he kidnapped innocent children, put them in concentration camps at the boarder, destroying families forever?  Remember the militarization of the police and borders?  …the violence against the Left, against dissent, and the brutality toward peaceful protesters?  Remember the hatred towards anti-fascists?  …the kidnapping of innocent people on the streets into unmarked vehicles?  Remember, forced sterilization?  Remember how Uniting The Right ended in death?  Notice how all of this not only refers to Trump, but also Hitler.  Can you see fascism yet?  We have seen from the extensive footage, that practically all of the violence at protests comes from alt-right agitators and out-of-control incompetent cops.  We spend more on our military than the rest of the world combined.  We imprison more people than any other country.  We need to defund the bloated violent incompetent police state, and reallocate those funds.

The Right almost always punches down to worship the rich.  They only make exceptions to this, if the elite or authority in question are pro-equality / anti-authoritarian.  The Right is not about individualism.  It is thinly veiled authoritarianism.  They can’t question the military or police state.  They can’t question any U.S. war, because they can’t think around or outside of the propaganda slogan, “Support the Troops.”  It’s very effective at stopping conservatives from questioning any U.S. policy of war.  Their selfish slogan is “America First,” which amounts to American hegemony, war mongering, and increased violence around the world.  The Right cannot improve America, because they support all of the worst ideas ever devised, from torture, pollution, preeminent strikes, to bigotry and endless inequality.

For decades, capitalists have tried to claim that collectivism equals authoritarianism, but that’s just another right wing lie.  Using Venezuela as an example of socialism is as disingenuous as using Saudi Arabia as the quintessential example of capitalism.  So then, what do Bernie Sanders and progressives mean by socialism?   This is easy. We mean, the very policies that gave us the greatest economy we ever had: USA 1945 - 1975, and the most stable economies in the world today, Denmark, Sweden, Portugal, etc…   You got it, the corporate media has a corporate bias (i.e., a right wing bias), as usual, just the opposite of what Fox has been telling you. They’ve got all of the lies backwards.

When Trump incites violence at his rallies, the crowd cheers.  We all hear them loud and clear.  On the contrary, when you listen to the Left, say a Bernie rally for instance, you hear the crowd cheer for peace, equality, solidarity, and to fight for a just world.  When Bernie supporters first started chanting Bernie, he stopped them, and said, it’s not me, it’s us!  And, hence his slogan became, “Not Me, Us” which is quite a contrast to the selfishness of Trumpista’s, Me First sentiment.  Remember when Trump said, he’s the only one that matters.  This is a theme for them.  Bush was the decider.  They both expressed their love of dictatorship.  They’re spelling it out for us, and conservatives love it.  The one thing that the Trump administration has done, is that it has removed all doubt around and concerning illegitimacy and sickness of right wing ideology.  Individualism on the Right merely represents excuses for selfishness and greed.

Trump supporters are murdering innocent people in the streets, and still they try to blame peaceful protesters.  Trump incites violence at all of his rallies, and his supporters cheer and comply.  Just remember their lies and outrage over the most peaceful protests in the history of protests, kneeling before the flag during the anthem.  No matter how many times they were told it’s about police brutality, they responded with lies saying it’s about the flag or the troops.  With that level of outrage over the most peaceful protests imaginable, of course they’ll lose it over street demonstrations.  We’ve seen them ram cars and trucks into crowds, violently infiltrate protests, storm public buildings with military grade weapons, and cry about wearing a mask during a pandemic.  If you think the conservatives are the peaceful ones, you haven’t been paying attention.

There’s enough footage of the protests to make an estimate that over 90% wore masks.  There’s also enough footage and reporting to show that it was actually right wing agitators and out-of-control incompetent cops committing all of the violence.  People who believe in peace and equality and risk their lives to stand up for people they don’t know and have never met, are not the violent ones.  Protests against police brutality are always met with police brutality, unless you're peacefully kneeling before the flag during the anthem.  Then, they just lie, and say it's about something else.  The BLM demonstrations are no exception.  The establishment media tends to side with the corporate establishment, not civil disobedience.

Trump ran to the left of Hillary, now he’s trying to run to the left of Biden.  If Biden lets him do that, we’ll probably lose again.  Bill Clinton ran as an economic conservative and only won because Ross Perot divided the vote on the right.  Obama won because he campaigned as a progressive.  Unfortunately, he governed as a Republican and continued to disaffect the working class, which is how we got to Trump.  The most popular programs are Social Security and Medicare.  The most popular president in our history, is the one who taxed the rich.  …FDR, of course.  He was elected four times until he died.  I know, Republicans used to be more progressive than Democrats on social issues, but that all change after the Civil Rights Acts of the 1960’s, and Nixon’s Southern Strategy.  But then, since Reagan, both parties have moved to the far right on the economy, with Democrats usually managing to be a little better.  If Obama implemented Medicare For All, instead of Mitt Romney’s Republican corporate healthcare plan, Democrats would be loved so much Republicans could never win again.  Obama also extended the Bush Tax Cuts, deported more immigrants than Bush, escalated the war in Afghanistan, increased U.S. drone attacks, and renewed the Patriot Act.  He was elected to do the opposite.  Now, do you understand why progressives left the party?  Republicans speak to, and rally their base, while Democrats malign their base, and then wonder why they lose.  We have to face the truth to win.  Only the Right is fueled by lies.  We have to beat Trump, and then we have to primary all of the corporate Democrats.  This is the only plan the left is coalescing around.  It’s the only plan, which speaks to the non-voting majority, and if we don’t come together on this, we very well could be looking at an ever increasingly unstable spiraling descension towards our own extinction.

Remember, FDR was not progressive, he was pushed by socialists, communists, and unions to implement the socialists policies that gave us the best economy we ever had.  It wasn’t enough.  It left room for the Robber Barrons to come back in their Reagan / 3rd Way / Milton Friedman Revolution.  So now, in many ways, we are back to a New Gilded Age, fighting extreme inequality, depression, and fascism.  Just as FDR could be pushed, we can push Biden.  It’s all about organizing.  “We need to change the conditions under which we can organize, so that we can organize more.”-Jane McAlevey.
If we let Trump take another four years, we stand to lose what shred of democracy we have left.  Democracy is weak in the U.S., but it’s not dead yet.  We know Biden is a right-wing corporatist, but his administration will still be much better than the far right fascist Republican administration.  Kamala Harris is now looking the presidency, and she knows she will be challenged from the left if she continues to represent her corporate donors over public interests.  With mass movements on the rise, they can be pushed, Republicans can’t.  Trump will continue to kidnap protestors on the left into unmarked vans.  What we have seen so far, is obviously, just practice for what’s coming, if we decide not to make the only vote, which has a chance of being counted against fascism.

Trump will not win the popular vote.  Republicans almost never do.  He will be the loser again.  The only question is, can we win by enough, to override the corruption in the system?  It all comes down to… …How much do we want to avoid living under a fascist dictatorship?  Because, we’re going to have to win by 6,000,000 votes, most likely, to get the electoral college.  40% of the electorate do not vote.  Most of them agree with progressive policies.  So, we cannot win them over by pretending Biden’s progressive, they know he’s not.  And, we can’t win them over by pandering to the right.  The best strategy is the honest message that he can be somewhat influenced by a mass movement for economic, environmental, and social justice, where as Trump cannot.  Trump panders to his xenophobic base and wins.  Democrats malign their progressive base and lose.  Let’s not have a repeat of 2016.

We are tired of this, we never wanted this, but as long as we are alive, we are in it.  This is not going away soon.  Voting is not everything, but it’s not nothing.  We’ve never gotten the greater evil, because too many people voted for the lesser evil.  Remember, the lesser evil, is still less evil.  The time to vote for a great candidate was in the primary.  We didn’t lose, because the centrists wouldn’t let us win.  We lost because of exhaustion, dispiritedness, apathy (the corporatists we need to vote out), and the failed strategy of DemExit, which has been the ever increasing trend for decades.  I’m not here to blame anyone.  I’m here to ask you to rethink your strategy, considering this dire moment.  A year before an election, we can support whomever we think is best.  But now, just days before the election we know it will be Biden or Trump, a corporatist or a fascist.  That’s not hyperbole.  They’re not exactly the same.  One administration will clearly be better than the other.  And, to pretend otherwise amounts to nothing more than an exercise in futility and disempowerment.  Thinking that someone else could win at this point is obviously delusional.  A non-vote or 3rd party vote is a message sent to no one.  It will not be received.  It is also not a moral act, since moral acts are not predictably meaningless.  If you care about results, it will have no effect on the outcome.  But, since 2018 the strategy has been clear. 

When the Democratic party was the party of workers, we were also the dominant party.  That was no coincidence.  With Justice Democrats, Brand New Congress, and your local DSA, we can organize and take the party back. Democracy is dying, but it’s not dead, yet.  Voting does not contribute to the system of corporate billionaire class control over our lives.  It is one tool that we have, along with other types of civic engagement, and civil disobedience.  We need to use them all.  Remember AOC.  My nephew and I canvased for her in October of 2017, before her campaign took off.  There was no way of telling at that point that should could win, other than her being an incredible talented candidate.  As you know, she went on to take out the forth most powerful Democrat.  And, in primary after primary since then, we’ve been electing progressives.  Every time we elect a progressive, we take out a corporatist.  There’s your new party.  But, this will eventually become impossible, if we keep becoming more fascistic.  Scholars around the world believe the U.S. has only a 20% chance of not becoming a fascist dictatorship.  The mail-in ballots will take weeks to count.  Trump will probably stop the count within a week due to Proud Boy protests  Most polling stations should be as safe as going to the supermarket.  So, if you can, vote in person.  I’m afraid it might be more of a threat to our lives, if we don’t.  Unless you have some other tragedy November 3rd, please do the one thing that could count against fascism.  We will achieve more fighting Biden, than fighting Trump.  But either way, there is no giving up.  Until we become refugees fleeing fascism, the fight continues. …and even then, it will continue.
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Post by: Kurt Riebel: artist, activist  

#ResistTheCorporatists  @uResist
 When The Loser Takes Office 
                No One Wins  
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Saturday, September 26, 2020

● From Now Until November

📊 From now until November, 
when all the votes are counted, we cannot rest.  We can’t spend one minute thinking Republicans won’t do the worst possible thing imaginable.  If we can face hard truths and take action, there’s a slight possibility we won’t lose what little democracy we have. 

Trump has clearly stated he will not step down.  He’s doing everything he can to create chaos at the polls and with the Post Office.  He plans to do what he said he will do, throw out the ballots.  Far-right lawyers will give it an air of legitimacy.  It will go to the Supreme Court, and they’ll pull a 2000 on us.  If he gets away with it this time, he will just keep doing it, if for no other reason, to avoid jail time once out of office.  Anyone who helps him will keep helping him, for that same reason.  And, some will help him.  We can’t afford to delude ourselves. 

If Trump continues to stay in power, he’s not leaving, and it will be all of our faults, not no one’s fault.  For instance, the best way to win is to bring out the young vote, except they want a progressive, and they know Biden is a corporatist.  Centrists decided to repeat 2016, by pandering to the right, and ignoring the left, hence depressing the vote on the left.  On the other hand, progressives who wanted a stronger candidate should face the fact that #BernieWouldHaveWon the primary if it wasn’t for #DemEXIT.  Anyone, who had the ability to register and vote for Bernie and didn’t, is in part to blame.  DemEXIT hands power to corporatists in the Primary and fascists in the General.  It may be understandable, it may be cathartic, but it is nothing more than an exercise in futility and disempowerment.  Suggesting a 3rd party has a chance in this election, is not a serious argument.  Voting is just one tool that can work, it’s not about identity, unless we’re narcissists. 

This is not about shaming, it’s about the best strategy considering the predicament we’re in.  We have to mobilize Zoomers to vote against fascism, so that we have time to organize.  From AOC to Cori Bush, we just voted in a dozen progressives, while taking out a dozen corporatists.  This trend will be crushed under fascism.  Organizers are already being kidnapped off the streets into unmarked vans.  We are just beginning to organize, but we are nowhere near ready to fight a fascist dictatorship.  If we want any semblance of democracy, we need Trump out of office.  If it’s close, Trump will be able to steal it.  He may be an idiot, but this he knows.  We shouldn’t be calm.  Unless you’re already packing your bags, we need to be obsessing about winning. 
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Post by: Kurt Riebel: artist, activist  

#ResistTheCorporatists  @uResist
 When The Loser Takes Office 
                No One Wins  
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Saturday, August 24, 2019

● Political Paradigm

📊 Political Paradigm

This graph plots five 2020 presidential candidates according to their statements, actions, and policies (and policy proposals) considering history and the rest of the world.

There is a wide range, from the least hierarchical (most collectivist), anti-authoritarian society to the most extreme hierarchical (intolerant) authoritarian regime. Where do we find ourselves in this paradigm, and whose policies should win out? It seems pretty obvious. We all know corruption exists, and that the news media is not always perfectly straightforward and 100% honest, but most of us still feel that we have a general understanding of the big picture. Whether you read The New York Times, Washington Post, watch CNN, MSNBC, FoxNews, or consume no news at all, you probably feel you have a general sense of how the world works. Unfortunately, most of us are wrong in our assessment of important details. We all know we are being lied to, but if we are wrong about who is lying and what those lies are, we will act against our own interests. For many, this graph seems to put the center in the upper right. Obviously, the Overton Window is placed on the graph where the corporate media tries to pass off as the center., somewhere between corporatism and fascism.  Ever since Reagan, we've been sold the idea that a corporatist is a moderate.

This graph, which plots five 2020 presidential candidates according to their statements, actions, record, and policy proposals, may seem off to some. If your idea of the center, fits within the confines of the Overton Window, you may want to reexamine some basic facts.

The candidates who are the least authoritarian and the farthest to the left, Bernie and Warren, are placed near the center (of the graph, outside the Overton Window) for a reason. Warren is in the upper right quadrant because she leans more toward capitalism than social democracy. She voted (in 2017 & 2018) to increase military spending. She’s a capitalist, and she calls herself a capitalist. Even though, her record is problematic, she’s a great candidate by comparison. If we had no better option, it would make perfect sense to put our full support in her candidacy. But of course, Bernie is running. In Europe, he would be on the right, which is one reason why he’s placed near the center of the graph. Another reason, is that (even though he’s the most anti-authoritarian leftist in the race) he’s still to the right on the economy of both the Democrats and Republicans of the New Deal Era. During the 1950’s & ’60’s we taxed the rich over 90% on the top marginal tax bracket. Even Eisenhower, a Republican, taxed the rich over 90%. But, when AOC said 70% is moderate, the corporate media went nuts. This is how far to the right we have gone, and the inequality is destroying us. When we had a good economy, during The Golden Age of Capitalism (1945-1975), we taxed the rich more than anyone today has suggested, which is why Bernie is placed near mixed economies and Keynesianism on this graph. Bernie is a great candidate, the best we’ve seen so far, but he is a centrist if you can see the big picture. He is not extreme. The so called “crazy” leftists today, are simply people who are not right-wing. We just want to give everyone health care, like every other first world country, and tax the rich, like we did when we had a good economy. …and we want to deal with climate change, you know, so we don’t all die. The far left in today’s political paradigm, are actually the only people who are not crazy. In a world where extreme inequality and endless war are the norm, peace and equality are crazy ideas.

Science tells us we have about 10 years to reduce our emissions before climate change catastrophes become uncontrollable. This means we really have about ten months. We cannot afford to be delusional. We know that a corporate democrat will put the concerns of his donor base over the interests of humanity. If you’ve been paying any attention to politics at all, you know this to be true. The failure of corporate interests to lift up humanity, couldn’t be more stark. Socialism polls better than capitalism in America today. This is a new era, and a gaffe machine with vague platitudes won’t cut it. We need someone with broad base support across all districts. We don’t need someone who will fight for the big banks, weapons manufacturers, or the fossil fuel industry. We need someone who will fight for humanity.

Remember, 40% of the electorate are independents, who cannot vote in the democratic primary. Polling continues to show that they will come out to vote for Bernie in the general. They understand that Bernie is for the working class. Sanders has the most popular and aggressive policy proposals, the most individual donors, and the most enthusiastic energized base, with over a million volunteers. Bernie polls to beat Trump by double digits in the general, has the policies to fix what’s broken, and is the only candidate with the grassroots movement needed to push these policy proposals through. In 2016, they called him crazy. Now, they’re imitating him. Corporate centrists still try to dismiss him, as they follow those who are following him. He’s not only the leader of a movement, he’s the leader of the other candidates, as they strive to sound more progressive, more like him. So, it’s time we take a step back to examine the big picture, to support a real progressive, and, for once, elect a winning candidate.
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The #BlueWaveIsHere because the #ProgressiveWaveIsHere. The winning #BlueWave strategy is the #ProgressiveWave.
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Post by: Kurt Riebel: artist, activist  

#ResistTheCorporatists  @uResist
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Wednesday, August 21, 2019

● The Majority Report

📰 The Majority Report is a daily, political talk show, and 5x award-winning progressive news outlet, which brings you longform conversations, accurate assessments, thoughtful commentary, and incredibly useful indepth analysis of politics and policy. The Majority Report is a must, for navigating our current political landscape.

[ The Majority Report with Sam Seder ]
[ The Majority Report with Sam Seder ] 

Sam Seder, Michael Brooks, Jamie Peck, Matt Lech, and Brendan Finn all provide individual insights, unique outlooks, and historical context to the news of the day, without the typical inherent rightwing bias of the major corporate media outlets of the 1%. 

📝 Subscribe: on YouTube:
📻 Listen: daily (Mon.-Fri.) audio show, LIVE
      @ 12:Noon.EST: 
📺 Watch: livestream, daily on YouTube: 
You can also find the Majority Report LIVE on their app and/or download it from your favorite podcast platform. 📽 

Monday, September 10, 2018

● The Progressive Wave Is Here

    A Concise Depiction of the Obvious

🌊 The Progressive Wave Is Here !
Today’s Progressives are the Defibrillator of Democracy . . . 
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Sometimes, as we rethink and reframe our perception, we can hone our rhetoric with precision. As we navigate the shifts within our political landscape, we no longer have the luxury of cynicism or apathy. …actually, we never did. So, with clarity and vision, make way for progressives, the defibrillator of democracy. The corporatists will lose. As the Third Way Corporate Democrats cling to power, progressives like Bernie, AOC, Ilhan Omar, and Brand New Congress candidates propose time tested solutions. From Northern Europe (Scandinavia: Denmark, Norway, Sweden, etc... ) to the United States’ New Deal economy (of the 50’s and 60’s), these democratic-socialist policies have been proven to work. These “socialists” or New Deal Democrats (Social Democrats) are ideologically centrists when compared to history and the rest of the world. In other words, they’re far from extreme. Don't fall for corporate media propaganda. We will fix the economy, and we will win! The winning Blue Wave strategy is the Progressive Wave. The Blue Wave is here because the Progressive Wave is here.

The progressive wave is here in the U.S. today. If you don’t see it, you just might be dedicated to self-deception. Progressives have been winning in local elections all around the country. We are in the midst of an anti-authoritarian leftist movement. Even though, the bigots on the right have been rallied by Trump’s openly racist rhetoric, leftwing policies are just as effectively rallying the left. Obama was voted in to be the next FDR (well, the next non-racist anti-war FDR), but instead we got a Reagan Democrat in 2008, and then lost 1000 seats throughout his term. We haven’t had a true progressive in the White House since LBJ. Obama referenced FDR when he asked the public to make him pass progressive legislation. Apparently, Occupy wasn’t enough.

Trump's zero compassion policies are fascist! Tell your right-wing family members they've lost their moral compass. If they don't respect your opinion, you have nothing to lose. We have everything to lose by being silent.

📰 The Overton Window stands at the edge of fascism, but we can fight back! Don’t let it move one iota to the right. The corporate media is in part responsible for normalizing corporatism, which has led us to fascism. Of course, Democrats are better than Republicans, but Democrats have also played their part in leading us to fascism.

Bill Clinton’s Third Way officially declared Democrats as being center-left on social issues, while being center-right on economic policy. …as the center moves further to the right. This is the Neoliberal Era, an era in which the Democratic Party has betrayed the Left. The party has betrayed the working class. For the past four decades the party has betrayed its base. This has been a losing strategy. In 2016, the Democrats couldn’t even beat the easiest candidate to beat. Trump campaigned to the left of Hillary on a number of issues. He was lying, of course, but it shows that even a fake populist can beat an establishment corporatist.

The general election in 2016, was an election between the least popular candidate and the second least popular candidate. ...and the one with less votes won, in a democracy so weak, it produced an undemocratic result. The U.S. population is far to the left of D.C. on practically every issue. So, between a racist and a corporatist, there was no one to rally the left. …but, there was during the democratic primaries. Bernie Sanders was polled to beat Republicans, a year before the election, six months before, during, after, and since the election. Practically all of the polling results show that, dollar for dollar, Progressives are better candidates, because their policies are inline with the public. The establishment media still continues to dismiss the most popular politician as having never had a chance.

So once again, in 2020 as in 2016, the real fight will be in the Democratic Primary Elections. We know that 40% of the electorate are Independents, who would vote for a Progressive over a conservative. And, 30% are Democrats, who would also vote for a Progressive in the General, making it very unlikely for a Republican to win. Independents do not want to vote for a corporate centrist. So, it’s up to the voters on the left to ignore the corporate media, and pick a winning candidate for once. The time is now to speak the truth and push for truly effective progressive policies. All of the data shows that progressive policies bring about more peace, equality, and a strong stable economy. And, our best bet in defeating the right-wing’s rising fascist wave, is with a strong left-wing progressive wave.
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The #BlueWaveIsHere because the #ProgressiveWaveIsHere. The winning #BlueWave strategy is the #ProgressiveWave.
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Post by: Kurt Riebel: artist, activist  

#Resist #ResistTheCorporatists @uResist
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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

● Why go to church? [2/2]

    The Truth Will Set You Free...
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…from Religion
 📖 Why go to church?  [1/2] previous
📖 Why go to church? [2/2]
This article is Part 2 of an email thread that began with the question, “Why go to church?”. Read Why go to church? [1/2] first.
This was the response to my initial response:

"We are all sinners and fall short of the glory of God.  You quote much of the old testament. Jesus changed that, He died for our sins.  I pray that you accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior."
This was my response: 

It’s true that I quoted the old testament. I’m glad we can agree that the old testament can be dismissed as irrelevant at best, but my main points deal with the new testament. The new testament condones slavery, yet claims god is love. Love does not condone slavery. This should be obvious to any thinking person. If you’re going to personify love, you have to do better than the new testament god, because that’s just another obvious failed attempt. It’s certainly not the word of Love. I hope I don’t know anyone who condones slavery.  So, as far as I know, I don’t know anyone whose morals could be improved by this deeply flawed book. The god of the new testament as well as the old, has repeatedly fallen short of the most basic principles of morality, and that’s not love.

You don’t have to pray for me, because no one’s sins have ever been absolved by the killing of an innocent person. No human sacrifice was ever good news. That’s not how morality works. Every human sacrifice (murdering the innocent as atonement for sin) has been and still is a sick twisted act of unimaginable lunacy. Jesus did not end the belief in human sacrifice. The story of Jesus has prolonged this belief, as you exemplify by saying, “He died for our sins.”  It doesn’t make it any better if it’s a good person (or a pure person without sin), as the sadistic theory goes. It doesn’t matter if it was last week or at the dawn of the age, it’s still an immoral act that would never be condoned by Love, let alone required by any moral being. Why couldn’t he just forgive people? Do you want to know how to forgive someone? You just decide to forgive them. That’s how you do it. How is it that the almighty god doesn’t have the power that every other living being has? At some point, your faith has to hold up to your questions, and if it doesn’t, then it’s time to change your belief system to a more rational moral view. To accept a human sacrifice as a legitimate effective act, is a moral low point to which I cannot stoop, and neither should you.

I understand why you believe it. Your parents, grandparents, and family going back generations probably believed it, because it’s embedded in the culture. In fact, the only difference between a cult and religion is size. Once a cult becomes large enough to influence an entire population’s culture, it acquires the status of religion. Popularity doesn’t make the beliefs any more rational. Thinking for yourself is difficult, which is why so few people do it. Even though, everything I said should be pretty obvious, it’s difficult for anyone to think outside their own cultural paradigm.

Your belief system requires you to not question. "Blessed are those who believe without seeing.”(John 20:29). Blind faith is seen as a virtue, when it’s actually a dangerous requirement of any religion. Since they are all made up, unquestioning blind faith is imperative to keep up the big lie. An honest belief would welcome scrutiny. "Lean not on your own understanding."(Proverbs 3:5). This fear of thinking should be your first sign as to the dishonesty of the doctrine. The fear of questioning is built into religion, as it is with any propaganda system. Allegiance to a party, team, or group, rather than principles, is not morality. Admiring the rich while obeying authority is not morality, it’s authoritarian. Anything worth doing in life (aside from immediate concerns of survival) ultimately deals in some way with questioning authority and the status quo. The least we can do is advocate for improving the system, while dismantling authority whenever it’s found to be illegitimate. And, that also holds true for any imagined celestial dictator.  Don’t forget I went to church for twenty years, and every sermon had at least one message about the dangers of thinking, and the danger of any person who might make you question. Beware of the fast talker. It’s a ploy to make people afraid of rational thought, or any honest question about religion. Because, if you allow yourself to think for two minutes without fear, everything I just said will become absolutely clear.
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Post by: Kurt Riebel: artist, activist  

 #ThinkLove #ThinkLoveIdeas #Atheism #Resist @uResist

  T H I N K     L O V E     I D E A S  
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