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Bernie Sanders’ Real ‘Political Revolution’ Could Happen This Fall

The push to make Sanders the Green Party's presidential candidate

 

Philadelphia -- Bernie Sanders, to the consternation of critics in the Democratic Party, pundits in the corporate media, and purists on the hard left, has accomplished an amazing thing. Up against Hillary Clinton, surely the biggest, best-funded corporate-backed candidate the Democratic leadership has run since Walter Mondale lost to Ronald Reagan in 1984 over three decades ago, the once obscure independent Vermont senator has battled Clinton to almost a draw, down by only some 319 delegates with nearly 900 to go (not counting the corrupt “super delegates” chosen for their fealty to party leaders, not by primary or caucus voting.)

By doing this well, as a proudly declared “democratic socialist” who on the stump has been denouncing the corruption of both the US political and economic systems, and as a candidate who has refused to take corporate money or money from big, powerful donors, instead successfully funding his campaign with only small two and three-digit donations from his supporters, Sanders has exposed not just his opponent, Hillary Clinton, but the entire Democratic Party leadership and most of its elected officials as nothing but hired corporate tools posing as progressive advocates of the people.

A Sanders-Stein Green Party dream ticket or just a dream? Sanders and Green activists are trying to make it happen.A Sanders-Stein Green Party dream ticket or just a dream? Sanders and Green activists are trying to make it happen.
 

But now Sanders faces a truly momentous choice. Defeated by the combined assault of a pro-corporate mass media and by the machinations of the Democratic Party leadership -- machinations both long-established with the intent of defeating upstarts and outsiders, like front-loading conservative southern states in the primary schedule, and current, like scheduling only a few early candidate debates and then slotting them at times (like opposite the Super Bowl) when few would be watching them -- Sanders knows that barring some major surprise like a federal indictment of Clinton, a market collapse, or perhaps a leak of the transcripts of Clinton’s highly-paid but still secret speeches to some of the nation’s biggest banks, he is not going to win the Democratic nomination.

So does he, after spending months hammering home the reality that Clinton is the bought-and-paid candidate of the the banks, the arms industry, the oil industry and the medical-industrial complex, and after enduring endless lies about his own record spouted by Clinton and her surrogates, go ahead and endorse her as the party’s standard bearer for the general election? Does he walk away and return quietly to Vermont? Or does he instead continue to fight for his “political revolution” by another route?

Where the Bern is Fizzling

Why the Best Candidate Can't Win the Support of People of Color

 

In the recent New York primaries, Bernie Sanders experienced some very cold water thrown in his face. Not only did he lose, and soundly, but he was served a major lesson about one of the primary deficiencies in his campaign.

While the pundits joined his campaign organizers in attributing Hilary Clinton's victory to her past as Senator from the state, most have ignored the problem the this defeat laid bare: Sanders' campaign is weakest among people of color and, among black people, it has virtually no constituent support.

In today's United States, you can't become the Presidential candidate of the Democratic Party without that support. Bernie doesn't have it and probably won't get it and so those of us who support his candidacy -- which merits support for his integrity, thinking and progressive commitment -- are left to analyze why and observe with frustration what could have been. Had Bernie Sanders done a few things differently, he could well have been our next President.

 Great politics and a major deficiencyBernie Sanders: Great politics and a major deficiency
 

The tale of woe spins on a problem that will plague the Democratic Party from now on if it doesn't make the needed adjustment, an adjustment that movements of struggle all over this country have been trying to make for the last 15 years. It starts by answering a simple question: What exactly is the role of people of color, particularly those of African descent, in American politics and how does a progressive campaign like Bernie's recognize and address that role?
To hear Alfredo Lopez and Dave Lindorff discussing Sanders and the future of his campaign, click here or on the imageTo hear Alfredo Lopez and Dave Lindorff discussing Sanders and the future of his campaign, click here or on the image
 

Please contribute to Our Indiegogo Campaign to Raise Funds to Support Investigative Reporting on the TCBH! Site

We need this fund-raiser to go viral, so send out the word!

 

We know from site-monitoring stats that ThisCantBeHappening.net has developed a devoted regular following of several tens of thousands of daily readers who visit our site regularly to get news and opinions they can't find elsewhere. On that basis, we a few months ago kicked of a fund-raiser on Indiegogo aimed at raising $50,000 to support our work -- specifically to fund the hard-hitting reporting we do here to get out the truth that the rest of the media ignore, cover-up, or misreport.

So far, the result has been dismal -- just a few hundred dollars! Not only are people not ponying up and giving what they can (even $5 would be great if it came in from many readers).

Even more disappointingly, our readers aren't even making the effort to help the fundraiser go viral by going to the Indiegogo site and using the links there to help make it go viral on Facebook and Twitter.

That's a disaster, and we need to urge you, our readers, to do better. If you can spare even a few bucks, please make a contribution to the fundraiser. If you can't, then at least promote it on the Indiegogo site so someone else will contribute!

Look, we shouldn't have to explain this, but here's how it works: We in the TCBH! collective don't get paid for our work. We do this out of a sense of journalistic and political commitment, but because we all have families and have to make a living, we do it in our spare time, which limits what we can accomplish. If you value our work and value this site, we need you to make some kind of cash contribution, and we need you to promote our fund-raiser to everyone you know. If that happens, we should be able to raise enough money that we will be able to devote real time to the project, and not just spare moments.

So please. help this fund-raiser to take off!

Thank you from all of us here at TCBH!:

Linn Washington, John Grant, Dave Lindorff, Gary Lindorff, Jess Guh, Alfredo Lopez, Lori Spencer and the late Charles M. YoungThe TCBH! Collective: Linn Washington, John Grant, Dave Lindorff, Gary Lindorff, Jess Guh, Alfredo Lopez, Lori Spencer and the late but ever-present Charles M. Young

Sucking the bones of the bee

New TCBH! poem:

 

We are
breaking the little bones of earth
(bones of coral, bones of red wolf,
bones of bat and bee,

bonobos, their little fingers). . .
Now that all the bigger bones have been broken
to extract the marrow,
we are breaking all the little bones . . .

to make ourselves powerful
to defeat our enemies in battle,
to feel superior to our enemies
because we are so vulnerable,

vulnerable to fear and pain
and hunger and feeling alone,
alone with each other
whom we do not trust

to feed us when we are hungry,
to care for us when we are wounded,
when we are old and helpless.
We are

very busy
breaking the little bones of mother earth,
now that all the bigger bones
have been broken.
New poem by Gary Lindorff in ThisCantBeHappening.net: 'Sucking the bones of the bee'

--Gary Lindorff

Free College for All Worked in the US for 100 Years Until Elite Took It Away

Bernie's right on free tuition -- we had it once

 

Editors' Note: In the increasingly tight and bitter contest for the Democratic Party’s nomination for president, candidate Bernie Sanders has gained critical and enthusiastic support from young people in part because of his stirring call for free public college education -- no surprise given that student college debt has passed the $1.3-trillion mark. Critics, including Sanders’ opponent Hillary Clinton, say he is proposing an unaffordable fantasy, though his plan sensibly calls for funding the idea with a tax on speculative stock and bond trading. In reality though, Sanders’ idea of free college (which is offered in most of Europe) is hardly a new idea in the US. Indeed, it’s the way things used to be here as recently as the 1960s -- a point voters in upcoming primaries like the ones to be held in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Delaware next Tuesday should bear in mind. Robert M. Nelson (CCNY ’66), a Senior Scientist at the Planetary Science Institute, recalls in the following article, free college was actually taken away by the country’s ruling elite not that long ago. As Nelson writes:
 

In 1837, a remarkable politician, Horace Mann, became Massachusetts’ Secretary of Education. He argued successfully that universal, public, nonsectarian education in culturally diverse common schools was imperative for our new nation. Mann’s idea spread like wildfire. The free common school concept was adopted in every state in the union.

After the Civil War, the free tuition principle was expanded to include higher education. It worked brilliantly for a century for millions of Americans, including me. 

A Pathway for Immigrant and Working Class Children

In 1966 I finished college. I joined my sister as the first generation of our family to cross the divide. My father was an immigrant; my mother was the daughter of immigrants. The family had little wealth to show despite their life of hard work.  

How could low-paid immigrant families and ordinary dirt-poor working-class families send their kids to college? It was simple. I graduated from the City College of New York. My sister graduated from Brooklyn College. Both schools were tuition-free. It's easy to forget in today's America where the "free market" is the national religion that it's the way things still were a just half a century ago. 

CCNY was founded as the Free Academy of the City of New York in 1847. Its mission was to provide the sons of immigrants and the poor with access to college education. In 1870, Hunter College was founded for New York’s young women. In 1930, Brooklyn College became New York’s third tuition-free college.

CCNY students at a 1968 protest against tuition charges at New York's oldest public, and once free, universityCCNY students at a 1968 protest against tuition charges at New York's oldest public, and once free, university
 

For more than a century the taxpayers of New York provided free higher education to all who qualified. Graduates of that system include a child of immigrants from Jamaica, Secretary of State Colin Powell (CCNY ’58), the daughter of an immigrant from Austria, Sen. Barbara Boxer (Brooklyn College ’62), and former NASA Administrator Dan Goldin, (CCNY ’62).

Clintonian Political Calculus And The Culture Of Hooey

New York Democratic Primary Special!

 

Hooey –- silly talk/nonsense –- frequently has slimy characteristics and slime is slippery.

Former President Bill Clinton recently slipped on some silly talk when trying to dance around a slime trail oozing from his presidency during the 1990s.

This hooey moment came during Bill Clinton’s finger-wagging attempted smackdown of a Black Lives Matter activist who called-out Clinton during a campaign event for the devastating impact the 1994 federal anti-crime bill he sought and signed had on black communities nationwide.

Bill Clinton, when he dressed down the BLM activist with delight, defended his backing of that mass-incarceration accelerating/police abuse-aggravating measure. He also defended his wife Hillary for having tagged many black teens as “super predators” during her anti-crime lobbying as First Lady.

The Bill & Hillary Clinton response to BlackLivesMatter critics has been self-righteous finger-waggingThe Bill & Hillary Clinton response to BlackLivesMatter critics has been self-righteous finger-wagging
 

And Bill Clinton shoveled other such hooey as his assertion that BLM activists defend criminals and BLM activists are obstructionist in ways comparable to GOP members in Congress.

Bill Clinton’s defense of his 1994 crime bill came during a recent political campaign appearance for his wife Hilary in Philadelphia, PA, set to hold a critical Democratic primary between Hillary and Bernie Sanders next Tuesday, April 26. Philly is the same city where Bill Clinton in July 2015 had apologized for the damage done to blacks by that ’94 bill during a speech before the NAACP, America’s oldest civil rights organization.

Hysterical Cold-War Style US Reporting as 2 Unarmed Russian Jets Buzz US Destroyer Sailing Near Russian Port

Brinksmanship, but by whom? Russia...or the US?

 

US news reports on an incident Tuesday in which two Russian jet fighters buzzed very close to a US destroyer, the USS Donald Cook, in the Baltic Sea, make it sound like a serious threat in which the US might have been justified in defending itself against a simulated attack on the high seas.

Nowhere in the reports in the US was it mentioned that the Cook was itself engaging in provocative behavior.

The Baltic Sea is an international waterway, bordering the countries of Denmark, Germany, Poland, Russia, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Finland and Sweden, and as such, if the US wants to sail a military ship there, it has every right to do so. But honest reporting on this incident should have included that the Cook wasn't just sailing around innocently in the open waters of the Baltic. It had moved to within a 70-mile radius of the Russian port enclave of Kaliningrad -- an isolated and thus sensitive part of Russian territory located on the Baltic coast that is bounded by Lithuania and Poland and thus is separated from the rest of Russia. Kaliningrad is the site of a major Russian naval base, and is also home to 500,000 Russian people.

Here's a map of Kaliningrad showing the 70-mile radius within which the USS Cook had positioned itself at the time of the multiple flybys by two Russian Su-24s (and where it was engaging in landing and takeoff exercises with Polish military helicopters.

XX

The US reporting on this whole incident has been hysterical.

CNN's Pentagon reporter said the jets were "demonstrating a simulated strafing run" and implied that it was dangerous because "if it had been a real strafing run, we wouldn't have known it until it was too late." Of course, Russia and the US are not at war, so why would Russia have strafed a US destroyer? The reporter didn't say. Instead, he said the ship's commander deserved "kudos" for keeping his cool and not loosing the ships anti-aircraft defenses on the two jets.

WTF! John McCain Saluting an American Communist?

Heartfelt message or political gamesmanship?

 
In the Lenin Barracks in Barcelona, the day before I joined the militia, I saw an Italian militiaman standing in front of the officers’ table. ... Something in his face deeply moved me. It was the face of a man who would commit murder and throw away his life for a friend -- the kind of face you would expect in an Anarchist, though as likely as not he was a Communist. ... I hardly know why, but I have seldom seen anyone -- any man, I mean -- to whom I have taken such an immediate liking.
                                                                              -- The opening of Homage To Catalonia by George Orwell
 

John McCain is certainly an interesting American politician. To be politically correct, maybe I should call him an American “warrior/politician,” since he’s a key leader in the post-911 culture saturated with the warrior-ethos. Last month, this warrior/politician wrote an op-ed in The New York Times that I can’t get out of my mind.

In the piece titled “The Good Soldier,” McCain saluted Delmer Berg whose obituary had run March 2nd in the Times. (Belatedly appreciating the irony, the Times changed the op-ed's title online to: "John McCain: Salute To a Communist.") Berg, who died at age 100, was presumably the last living American veteran of the famous Abraham Lincoln Brigade that fought on the Republican side in Spain against a 1936 fascist coup led by the caudillo general Francisco Franco, certainly a warrior/politician of his day. The Republic had been constitutionally set up and its leaders duly-elected after the monarchy collapsed in 1931. The Soviet Union supported the Republican side and Hitler and Mussolini supported the Fascists. The Republican side had a romantic, underdog quality that drew writers and adventures like George Orwell and Ernest Hemingway.

Proud American communist Delmer Berg in 2014 and in 1938 in Spain, second from right in beretProud American communist Delmer Berg in 2014 and in 1938 in Spain, second from right in beret

In 1937, Berg was a 21-year-old dishwasher who saw a poster for the Lincoln Brigade and signed up. He soon shipping out to Spain on an ocean liner; he was eventually wounded and sent home. Of the 3000 American volunteers who fought in Spain, around 800 were killed. The Fascists prevailed in 1939. Berg joined the Communist Party in 1943. The Times called him “an unreconstructed communist.” A newspaper in California asked Berg what were the proudest moments of his life; one he said was “when one of my grandsons was valedictorian at his Oregon high school graduation and said in a newspaper interview, ‘My grandfather is my inspiration. He’s a Communist!’ ”

FDA Change to the 'Abortion Pill' Overrated

New Mifepristone label approval just a band-aid

 


Women’s health advocates were uniformly jubilant on March 30, 2016 when the FDA updated its labeling for the medication, mifepristone. Mifepristone, sold under the brand name Mifeprex by Danco Laboratories, is commonly referred to as “the abortion pill.” It is used in combination in the United States with misoprostol to provide medical abortions. Medical abortions account for nearly a quarter of all abortions and over a third of all abortions before nine weeks of gestation.

Raegan McDonald-Mosley the chief medical office of Planned Parenthood described the change as “a significant step forward for science, for women, and for health care providers.” Vick Saporta, the president of the National Abortion Federation said that she was “delighted” by the change. Amy Hagstrom Miller, the president of Whole Women’s Health, the plaintiff in the case against Texas HB2, stated “[the] label change…is a significant advancement for women in the United States.”

Their elation is understandable. In an era of illegal and misleading smear campaigns and aggressive TRAP laws (“Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers"), the FDA announcement is a welcome victory. Since 2010, states have adopted 345 abortion restrictions, an unprecedented number of assaults on women’s health.

Youth Violence Solution? Authorities Should Stop Ignoring Activists

Ticking time bomb

 

London and Philadelphia -- Over three thousands miles and more than forty years in age separate anti-violence activists Bilal Qayyum and Noel Williams, yet each advocates a similar solution to ‘the problem’ they seek to solve in their respective cities located on separate sides of the Atlantic Ocean.

Qayyum, 69, of Philadelphia, Pa and Williams, 25, of London, UK each see employment as the critical tool needed to counter violence among youth and young adults living in low-income communities.

“In all my years of working to reduce violence, it’s very clear to me that jobs are a major solution to reducing violence in low-income communities,” Qayyum said, speaking about his roots in violence-reduction efforts dating back to the 1970s when he was an anti-gang worker.

“Jobs, well-paying ones, give people a strong feeling of worth. Poverty breeds violence.”

Sadly, Williams and Qayyum each see the same roadblock on violence reduction: the persistent failure of public sector authorities on both sides of the Atlantic to fully engage community-based persons with the front-line experiences required to effectively resolve the "violence problem" that authorities proclaim they want to solve.

Noel WilliamsNoel Williams (all photos by Linn Washington, jr.)
 

Williams, an ex-gang leader in southwest London turned university student, said, “Who comes to me and asks for advice? I know gangs. I know how it feels to be shot and how it feels to walk down the road feeling oppression from police.”

Williams bristles at the fact that authorities continually employ persons with no life-connection to violence as paid staff to lead violence-reduction initiatives.

“If you want to help people who’ve been to prison, why is it that people who’ve been in prison are never hired?” ex-inmate Williams asked.

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Fightin' Cock FlyerFightin' Cock Flyer

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Here's the link to prairie radio radical Mike Caddell's Radio Free Kansas program, where you can hear the podcast of the whole group interview that was conducted on Saturday, May 8.

Also, listen to Dave Lindorff on Chris Cook's Gorilla Radio on CFEV Radio in Victoria, Canada.

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by Dr. Radut