SteveG’s Posts

Sample The Thoughts of Communities Of Others

I have been finding a lack of understanding of people of color in the mostly white Bernie Sanders’ fan base. I thought I might be able to act as a conduit of people from communities other than the majority one. Even though I had some feeling about the issues of other groups, I thought I might try to interview some local people to find out their views more exactly.

What I have discovered, much to my chagrin for not having figured this out before, is that there are plenty of outlets for these voices, but we, the majority community, have to seek them out and listen to them.

Using a hashtag of #BlackLivesMatter (Too) on twitter and on Facebook led me to instant results.

Here are just a few things I found. There is a much, much larger universe to explore.

wolbbaltimore has the article What Is The Ask: Iyanla Vanzant Addresses #BlackLivesMatter Controversy featuring the “video” below.

News One has the article Should The Black Lives Matter Movement Hold A Presidential Candidate Forum To Address Our Issues? The article features the “video” below.

Everyday Feminism has the article Here’s What It Really Takes to Be An Ally to Black Justice Movements. This article features the video below.

Debacle, Inc.: How Henry Kissinger Helped Create Our ‘Proliferated’ World   Recently updated !

Naked Capitalism has the post Debacle, Inc.: How Henry Kissinger Helped Create Our ‘Proliferated’ World

Less well known is the way in which Kissinger’s policies toward Iran and Saudi Arabia accelerated the radicalization in the region, how step by catastrophic step he laid the groundwork for the region’s spiraling crises of the present moment.

When I linked to this article on Facebook, I commented as follows:

I won’t mention any names, but how many of you know which current Presidential hopeful counts Henry Kissinger as one of the people she admires? As Secretary of State, her foreign policy looked remarkably like one that could have been advised by Henry Kissinger.

Again, not mentioning any names, but which Presidential hopeful seems to disdain the realpolitik tendencies of Kissinger and his acolytes? He came out pretty firmly in support of the recent deal with Iran on nuclear weapons. Perhaps in an effort to undo some of the damage that Kissinger has done.

Wolf Richter: This is When Bonds Go Kaboom!

Naked Capitalism has the post Wolf Richter: This is When Bonds Go Kaboom!

But the $40-trillion US bond market is not an entity by itself. Many of these companies are publicly traded, and stockholders are at the low end of the capital totem pole. Even the lowliest, most kicked-around unsecured bondholders come ahead of them. That’s how problems in bond land tear into stocks. To get an idea where Chesapeake’s and Olin’s stocks are headed, watch their bonds.

Now this is some financial advice that I had not thought about. Perhaps I have been spending too much time on politics, and not enough time watching my portfolio. Actually, there is no perhaps about it.

Bill Black on the Department of Justice’s Failure to Prosecute Individuals and Promises to Do Better

Naked Capitalism has the post Bill Black on the Department of Justice’s Failure to Prosecute Individuals and Promises to Do Better.

Here is the video featured in the article.

When I posted this article on Sturbridge For Bernie Sanders Facebook page, I introduced it with the comment.

Even some of Bernie Sanders most ardent fans do not know how much we need the revolution. Those of us who have been following this for years have been trying to get the word out. Now is the time to enlist the followers of the Sanders campaign to rise up in protest, and demand the revolution.

For those who wonder why we go after the oligarchs for their success in making money, the answer is “Because they didn’t earn it. They stole it through criminal fraud.”

Transcript: Pope Francis’s speech to Congress

The Washington Post, acting as a responsible media outlet, has published Transcript: Pope Francis’s speech to Congress.

All of us are quite aware of, and deeply worried by, the disturbing social and political situation of the world today. Our world is increasingly a place of violent conflict, hatred and brutal atrocities, committed even in the name of God and of religion. We know that no religion is immune from forms of individual delusion or ideological extremism. This means that we must be especially attentive to every type of fundamentalism, whether religious or of any other kind. A delicate balance is required to combat violence perpetrated in the name of a religion, an ideology or an economic system, while also safeguarding religious freedom, intellectual freedom and individual freedoms. But there is another temptation which we must especially guard against: the simplistic reductionism which sees only good or evil; or, if you will, the righteous and sinners. The contemporary world, with its open wounds which affect so many of our brothers and sisters, demands that we confront every form of polarization which would divide it into these two camps. We know that in the attempt to be freed of the enemy without, we can be tempted to feed the enemy within. To imitate the hatred and violence of tyrants and murderers is the best way to take their place. That is something which you, as a people, reject.

The pomp and the hoopla are fine, but let us not forget the real issues that should concern us.

Private Equity Asset-Stripping Strategy Meets Charter Schools to Produce Even Better Looting

Naked Capitalism has the article Private Equity Asset-Stripping Strategy Meets Charter Schools to Produce Even Better Looting.

Have you ever wondered how you could make a private (charter) school that would provide a better education and cost less money than a public school and yet turn a profit? As with all the other efforts to privatize public services, haven’t you suspected that there must be some trick to this? Well this article exposes one of the key tricks.

If you read about how banks could make fraudulent mortgages that had a built-in high rate of defaults, and still make some people rich, then this will be no surprise. If you knew how Mitt Romney made his fortune by buying failing businesses and “turning them around”, then you won’t be surprised by this article.

I suppose what might surprise you is that you didn’t see this scam coming.

Bernie Sanders and the Black Vote

The New York Times has the Op Ed Bernie Sanders and the Black Vote.

The author of the article doesn’t offer any hints for a solution for Bernie Sanders’ “problem”. However, I found one comment to be instructive. As you read this comment, try not to start mentally refuting it as you read it, but try instead to understand how Ahmina could have formed her opinion.

Ahmina Detroit September 13, 2015

As an African-American woman I will vote for whichever Democratic candidate ends up on the ballot, because I know in the end my community will fare slightly better under a democratic president. However I am under zero illusions that Bernie Sanders is the saving grace for blacks in America. His analysis is one based solely on income, and he only added race to his agenda because he was pressured into it. When he was really confronted with the issues of race and racism, in Seattle and at Netroots, he reacted as most white liberals do – with arrogance and anger. White liberals are worst than conservatives when it comes to race because they truly believe they have it all figured out, and that they stand beside us in equal condemnation of “those” racist, conservatives. When in reality they stand atop us in condemnation of “those” others, propped up by their own white privilege and society’s emphasis on white supremacy. Class, income, and whether someone is middle class WILL NOT alone solve the issues of racism in this country, and as long as liberals continue to believe this we will never be a united left. For those who would like to discount my last point please research environmental justice, mandatory minimums (i.e. crack vs cocaine), and the prison industrial complex before wasting my time.

I believe part of the problem is that when Bernie Sanders is confronted about his problems with garnering more votes from people of color, he immediately jumps to income inequality and minority unemployment. By the time he gets to the issues of concern identified by Ahmina, he has already lost the attention of the audience he needs to be addressing.

I intend to do more outreach to the African American community to find out if my analysis is a correct one. I have heard from some black people that I may be on the right track.

I was pleased to see that handing out Bernie Sanders flyers in Worcester yesterday, I had little difficulty handing them out to minority voters. I only had a few people who did not want a flyer.

What Bernie Sanders means by ‘democratic socialism.’ (You still have your choice of pajamas.)

The Washington Post has the article What Bernie Sanders means by ‘democratic socialism.’ (You still have your choice of pajamas.)

I’ll use this excerpt of what he said about Scandinavian Social Democracies to give you a hint at his great explanation.

“Are these democratic societies? Obviously they are,” Sanders said, relaying that voter turnout in Denmark tends to approach 90 percent.

“Is it a society where the government owns every mom-and-pop store?” he asked. “Of course not. You have all kinds of capitalist entrepreneurship going on, a lot of wealth being created. But what else do you have? … An effort to make sure that all people benefit from the wealth that’s being created. So you have a much more equitable distribution of wealth and income. … I talked to a guy from Denmark, and he said, ‘In Denmark, it is very hard to become very, very rich, but it’s pretty hard to be very, very poor.’ And that makes a lot of sense to me.”

Read the rest of his explanation so that you can better understand what he wants, and you can better explain it to other people.

Bernie Sanders at Liberty University with Q&A – 09-14-2015

YouTube has the video of Bernie Sanders at Liberty University with Q&A – 09-14-2015.

Bernie Sanders speaks at Liberty University and answers questions from the University after speaking.

Liberty University is a private, non-profit Christian university located in Lynchburg, Virginia, United States, that describes itself as a Christian academic community. Liberty’s annual enrollment includes 13,800 residential students and over 100,000 online students as of May 2013. When including the number of people taking its online courses, LU is the largest Evangelical Christian university in the world, the nation’s largest private non-profit university and 7th largest four-year university, and the largest university in Virginia.

Today, I learned of a response Biblical Argument for Bernie.

Jim, a Liberty University Alumnus, explains how an Evangelical Christian can be both theologically conservative and politically liberal, and support Bernie Sanders.

The Daily Kos has a partial transcript of the above audio in its article An Evangelical responds to Sanders’ speech at Liberty U.

If I can find where I made comments on the original presentation at Liberty U., I will post them here. I, too, noticed the sour faces and muted response at Liberty U that Jim speaks about in his response.

Saving Capitalism by Robert Reich

YouTube has the video Saving Capitalism by Robert Reich.

From the author of Aftershock and The Work of Nations, his most important book to date–a passionate yet practical, sweeping yet minutely argued, myth-shattering breakdown of what’s wrong with our political-economic system, and what it will take to fix it.

I commented on his YouTube posting

This is an explanation that should be shared far and wide. Whenever you hear a “conservative” friend tell you about the free market, you should point her or him to this video. I am putting this on my blog and on my Facebook page.

I’ll get the Reich’s own Facebook posting of this video as soon as I can get it from the lost bowels of Facebook, and as soon as Facebook will start responding to me again. Facebook is still circling the drain trying to respond to my connection request.

Here is the Facebook post by Robert Reich. The loss of memorable items on Facebook is exactly why I post on my blog, with Facebook posting as a teaser for this blog.

I may have to buy this book, even though just about every book of this type that I read is wonderful in diagnosing the problem, yet disappointing in describing what we can do to fix it. I can’t really blame the books for this failure. Diagnosing and describing the problem the way that Robert Reich does is a magnificent talent. Figuring out how to fix the problem is orders of magnitude more difficult.

Bernie Sanders’ run for President is an attempt to tackle the much more difficult problem. That is why I cannot pass up the opportunity to vote for him even if the odds are stacked against his success. If it were easy, someone would have done it already.