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Bernie's Health

The Clinton campaign has gone after Sanders by trying to plant doubts about his ability to serve as President, due to his health. I don't know about Bernie's health, but I have great concerns about his age.

I have other doubts as well. I ask if someone as far left as he appears to be, could ever win in places like the Midwest and the South. I don't think he has much of a chance. As far as being President is concerned, with all his angry screaming about the inequality in the country and the piracy of big business and corporations (things, which incidentally I agree with), I don't think he would make much headway with a Congress that is likely to be Republican dominated.

Bernie Sanders reminds me of Ralph Nader, the destoyer of Democratic Candidates, and the on of the main reasons that George Bush got into office, and Al Gore lost. Bernie will never win the votes of most people in this country, but like Ralph Nader, whose supporters blissfully believed that they would buck all odds, Bernie's followers will lead us into the pits, but as they do so, they will be cheering wildly. A vote to make him our candidate is the surest way to assure that Donald Trump, or maybe worse yet Ted Cruz will be our President.

Sure, what Sanders preaches makes sense, but the chances of his getting his agenda through congress are exactly null. Even Democrats in Congress may not support his agenda. As far as the health issue is concerned, Bernie is currently 74 years old. That would make him 75 by the time he is inaugurated. If he is lucky enough to get through his first term and was elected a second time, that would make him 83 by the time he left office. I really can't think of someone in his 80's having enough energy to cope with the hostile complexities that surround us these days. The likelihood that he would become non-functional while in office is great, and who we are voting in as Vice-President may next hold the office. Clinton would be 76 by the time she finished her 2 terms – merely 2 years older than Sanders is now.

If the world suddenly turned into a fantasy land, Bernie would be my choice for President. But as things are, I figure that despite some of her faults, faults which the press has so gleefully broadcast, I think she would make an excellent President. I think she has a far better chance of being alive at the end of her 2 terms, and a much better chance of challenging the vicissitudes of the modern world.

Democracy in the US

I originally posted the following in another community in response to someone who believes that American Democracy merely exists on paper. I really like what came out of me in this post, and I have decided to post it here.

People seem to think that in an ideal democratic society, everyone just sits around all day and sucks in the nectar of liberty. This is not so. Democracy is, and always has been a debate -- sometimes a violent debate.
In the United States, sometimes big business has had all the power, for instance in the Gilded age that lasted between 1865-1920's, and that age's more modern version characterized by things like the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision.  Sometimes a more populist form of government took charge, for example in the Progressive era, started by Theodore Roosevelt, or in the era of the New Deal, Initiated by his cousin Franklin. Other democratic reforms (in the sense of those citizens other than the rich), occurred under Lyndon Johnson, in the form the the Great Society. Under Johnson, the Civil Rights laws were passed, and Jim Crow was outlawed.
There have been people who assisted democracy in finding it's way. People like Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, and at a later date, people like Henry Clay and Abraham Lincoln. The Emancipation Proclamation was more than "just on paper", was it not?
No doubt, in your post, you are referring to the modern status of US politics. Right now, the rich are ruling things. But there are movements afoot that are re-asserting the rights of the 99%, for instance Occupy Wall Street,  the populism of the Tea Party and of the supporters of people like Bernie Sanders. Although I have many, many objections to the Tea Party and to the followers of Donald Trump, I am also aware that they are a response to the elitism that has taken control of the US. However, I am sure that eventually, the primitive form of populism that exists in the US will iron itself out, and will manifest in rational changes to our society.
One final point. I live in Brooklyn, NY. In my neighborhood there is a great deal of cultural diversity. We have Hassidic Jews, Middle Easterners, people from the former Soviet Union, Carribeans, and those of us of Western European descent. Despite the ravings of Trump and his followers, in my neighborhood, all of these cultural types get along just fine. We respect each others customs, and believe that each culture has a right to see the world as it does. That is democracy in the US. It is why people from all over the world want to come here: they know that ultimately they will be given a fair shake -- at least they will receive fairer treatment than they would almost anywhere else in the world. And that is proof that democracy does not exist only on paper.

Democratic Debate

And so, the third Democratic Debate has taken place. Although many hopeful Republicans were hoping that Hillary and Bernie would go after each other, fangs and claws ready to rip each other apart – a scene that could easily be imagined in a Republican debate, featuring that master of insult and chaos Donald trump – no such episode occurred. Bernie simply apologized to Hillary, she accepted, and they both resolved to go on to other, more important issues; issues like the uneven distribution of wealth, realistic tactics for dealing with Isis, gun control, racial profiling and the demonization of all Muslims, and education. Nobody called anybody else stupid or weak or ugly. They simply stood with the issues.

It is very unlikely that I would ever vote for one of the current Republican candidates, but I respect true conservatism, and would really like to hear a discussion by well informed men and women about where they would take the country. Instead, we are destined to hear endless statements like the pyramids being built to store Joseph's grain, how we should all buy guns and shoot each other, and how stupid, or ugly, or weak all the other candidates on the stage are. Republican community—GET A LIFE!

Trump or Cruz? What are people thinking?

So at this point, it appears that either Donald Trump or Ted Cruz are going to get the nomination for president. Moreover, tens of thousands of people cheer wildly while either of these men make the most outrageously bigoted, or false statements.

The talking heads like to say that these two candidates are attracting so many followers because people are tired of the way Washington operates, and while this is probably in small part true, I think there are far more devious factors at work at the phenomenon we are now witnessing.

It does not destroy the culture if people like Trump or Cruz spout craziness from the podium. It is those cheering tens of thousands that frighten me the most, those who are being made to respond as they are currently responding because they now feel that they have permission to express their darkest bigotries and hatreds without the fear of social ostricization. Years of resentment are being dumped out of people's souls, and people like Trump and Cruz are smart enough to be able to benefit from it.

However Trump and Cruz are just exploiting the ground that has been so well laid out for them by years of the indoctrination of the American People by the Republican Party. It is so obvious to me that the Republican Party has been using brainwashing techniques to get people to vote for them. They have been doing this for decades. They have used the ingrained bigotry that is so prevalent in our society. In addition to good old fashioned racial discrimination, there is great resentment among certain white middle class types that the various measures that have been put into place to assure equality for various minorities. Many of these people see these measures as having destroyed their economic and social well-being.

The Republican Party has been using these tactics since the days of Richard Nixon. In those days they used to call it The Southern Strategy. But they have done their work so well, that now members of the establishment Republicans are frightened that those they have sought as supporters, have turned into a mob of monsters. I am reminded of the incident that occurred during the one of the 2008 Republican Debates. A soldier, who was at that time serving in an active zone, shared to the assembled crowd of Republicans that he was gay. Without any consideration of the service he was giving to his country, the crowed booed. I was reminded of a scene from Orwell's 1984. In the scene, a film was shown of a boat filled with “enemies” was torpedoed, and the survivors were show sinking to their deaths. The audience was being monitored for “face crime”, and whatever horror they may have felt, they were required to cheer as the enemy suffered.

Is that what our country is becoming?


Once again, this country has been thrown into a panic. A threat had been issued that a school will be blown up in LA (also in NY), and your average American sheep is up in a panic. It does not matter that this is finals week in LA, and it is just as likely that the threat was made by some pimply high school student who spent more time partying than studying and is unprepared to take the finals, as it is that the threat was made by some Isis agent.

Even if the threat is valid (and the officials in New York believe that this is highly unlikely), it is unbecoming of a great people, like Americans think they are, just to jump in a hole everytime a threat is made. Their behavior in these situations has been programmed into the American People's mind for political reasons, rather than to protect the People from harm. It is a product of the Republican's constant pounding into the public discourse the fantasy that Obama is a weak president, and it is only with the rise of a Republican President and Congress that America can be safe. This desire to "overthrow" this president has nothing to do with safety, but has everything to do with Republicans getting close to absolute power, so that they and their friends in the oil companies can make lots and lots of money.

There is no question that the West really is threatened. But if we allow our society to cease functioning, and if we allow our country to become a place where bigotry wins the day, then the terrorists have definitely succeeded in their goals.

My God! There are so many things happening in the world right now, and I have so much to say about all of them, that I don't know where to start. I suppose as a first step, I should write down the topics that grab my gut, and organize them in that way.

Election Issues:

  1. Donald Trump

  2. Is Ted Cruz any better than Donald, or is he merely a more polished liar and cheat?

Civil Rights Issues:

  1. Police shooting black people on sight.

  2. Voting rights being taken away.

  3. Muslim rights

  4. Gay marriage

  5. Separation of Church and State.

  6. Society beginning to express bigoted views that they formerly kept to themselves. This being encouraged by politicians.

So there's a start. These are the subjects that grab me in my belly, and cause me to scream at the TV set when they are discussed.


In a way, it does not matter what the circumstances of the murder of Michael Brown were. What does matter is that there is probably no one in this country who does not believe that it is possible that officer Wilson killed Brown because of his perception of blacks, and that he had no regard of Brown as a human being. Americans have heard about such incidents for decades, and it is really quite unbelievable that suddenly a Missouri police force, that a mere several decades ago actively prosecuted blacks who walked the streets after dark, has suddenly become an active supporter of a multiracial society.

The other evidence of this police abuse is the fact of the demonstrations themselves. Regardless of the circumstances of Brown's death, we are seeing thousands of people going into the streets in protest. Is it even conceivable that all these people are in the streets because of some perverse element of the black psyche that just hates police, just for the hell of it? Or is it more likely that each and every person who is in that street can tell tales of how they were treated unjustly by the police, or how some relative was shot down for committing some petty crime?

Another issue is the issue of witnesses. Some of these witnesses have been interviewed on TV, and to me they sounded pretty sincere. Yet, one continually hears that these witness must be checked for possibly lying. And why would they be lying? Well, obviously because they are black and have that psychotic element of their black psyche that simply hates police, and will incriminate them at every opportunity. Oh, and by the way, there are a "hand-full" of witnesses who saw Brown go for Wilson's gun. But none of these have come forth to the public, and we merely have the word of the Police that they exist at all.

"He went for my gun." That's about as traditional as "good-cop/bad-cop". It's exactly what George Zimmerman said when he testified at his trial. And it's an excuse that Jim Crow has used many, many times to justify shooting a black man.


Let me tell you one of the things that really confuses me. It is so obvious to me that the Republican Party is using brainwashing techniques to get people to vote for them. They are obviously using the ingrained bigotry of many of the citizens of this country to turn people against Obama and his administration. Of course, they are not doing this because they think they have a superior way of building up this country. They do it simply to gain the power to a lot the resources of this country and this planet to the rich. The confusing thing is that so many people are blind to this manipulation. The will hear someone like Romney say that he thinks that 47% of the people in this country are essentially wasted protoplasm, but, in their hate of black people, they will march out in legions to vote for him anyway. They will hear Paul Ryan say that he is going to cut away any support that anyone in this country who does not own a thriving business, and they will hear that he is going to cut support for black people, never suspecting that he is talking about them as well. Yet they will don their tri-quarter hats, play American Revolutionary, and vote him into office. They will know that Ted Cruz threaten to close down the economy for everyone, but think he is just talking about closing it down for blacks and other minorities. And when he runs for election, they will scream to make him president.

I sometimes think of Robert Graves' portrayal of Cladius the Roman emperor. According to Graves, Claudius vowed to be as bad an emperor as possible, so that he could convince people that only a Republic could possible produce the kind of government people desired. I sometimes wish that in the next election, 100% Republicans were voted into office. Let them have all the power there is to have. Then I would watch as the country sank under floods caused by global warming, the corporations managed to take away all our rights, paid us $1.25 an hour for our work, and claimed that as people they had more rights than anyone.

Reading and Enlightenment

I have been reading further about the Revolutionary war. I have been reading from several sources. Some of them follow the conventional mythology about how great the founding fathers were, but some of the sources are quite cynical about the motivations of the founding fathers. They say that when the founding fathers spoke about “we the people” and about liberty, they really didn't have in mind giving these things to everybody. What they really wanted to do was preserve the social order that was practiced in England, but to be free from the rule of the King, the Parliament, and the Church. In other words, they had in mind an elite class, that would be free to make all the money they could, while those that were less than elite remembered their place and served the rich. To put it crudely, they were pissed off because the King was getting to steal before they had the opportunity to steal

This explanation of things matches my perception of what things are like in modern day America, and it explains how things got that way. It also explains how people like Scalia and Roberts get to the interpretations of they Constitution that they do. The Constitution was in no way intended to protect the rights of the common man, but it was meant to protect the advantages of the rich – a thing that the conservative Supreme Court very much intends to uphold. It also allows me to dispense with some of the awe that one is supposed to feel when discussing the constitution, and although I suppose people like me would not even be allowed to live here if it weren't for the Constitution, it certainly need not hold us to things that are clearly not just or that are destructive.

More about our History

I have been fascinated to learn that many of the political battles that are being fought in Washington today are almost identical to the fights that took place in Washington's, Adams', and Jefferson's time. Even in those days, there was a fight of the elite against the common man; there were fears by the Federalists that the filthy masses would take things over and completely ruin the republic; and on the part of the Republican's the fear existed that a self-appointed elite would take over the government, give themselves lifelong terms of office, and institute a system of hereditary power. Admittedly, the particulars of modern vs. eighteenth century politics are different: we no longer worry that a monarchy will be established in the U.S., but we do worry that a virtual monarchy will arise, imposed by the corporations, and by people like the Koch brothers.

Moreover, because of the threat of the breakup of the Union over such things as excise taxes, and the refusal of the government to relieve people of their debts, and the added threat of retaliation by England, after the Revolution, people like Washington and Adams believed that they must ignore the civil rights of the people. They attempted to curtail such rights as freedom of assembly, and the right of the press and political opponents to criticize the government. They broke up protests by the use of violence, and threw journalists, and even politicians into prison for criticizing the government. There were even demands to impeach George Washington for allegedly ignoring the mandates of the Constitution. .

These actions bring to mind the modern crises entailed in the so called Patriot Act, and in the intrusion of the NSC into everybody's business, allegedly to protect us from the evils of terrorism.

I was especially surprised by the tactics that Hamilton and the Federalists used to frustrate the workings of Democracy. They used every trick in the book to illicitly defeat Jefferson in the 1800 election. It reminds me of the tactics the Republican Party has been using.

I was surprised by the facts about the early days of the Union that I have been learning; but I, in a way, I am also reassured. It proves that this country can survive some really traumatic crises, and yet continue to be the only country in the world with the freedom that we possess.