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The Left Needs to 'Own' Bernie Sanders to Ensure He Delivers on His Campaign Promises

A conversation with activist Alfredo Lopez on "This Can't Be Happening!" radio:

 

Activist Alfredo Lopez discusses Bernie Sanders and how the left should respond to his campaign for presidentActivist Alfredo Lopez discusses Bernie Sanders and how the left should respond to his campaign for president
 

Dave Lindorff, host of PRN FM's "This Can't Be Happening!" weekly radio program, talks with long time internet and Latino political activist Alfredo Lopez, about Tuesday night's dramatic New Hampshire Democratic primary blowout win by Bernie Sanders, the independent and self-described democratic socialist junior senator from Vermont, who trounced opponent Hillary Sanders winning 60% of the vote to her 38% showing.

Lindorff and Lopez, both members of the ThisCantBeHappening! collective, discuss how the left should respond to Sanders' surge in the polls (he's now running neck-and-neck against Clinton nationally), and to the possibility that he could win the Democratic presidential nomination, and even the presidency in November. Sanders, they agree, is something new in modern US national politics -- something not seen the early part of the 20th Century when Eugene Debs was running for president on the Socialist Party ticket. But because he's running as a Democrat, they speculate about how he can be held, if elected, to his promise of a "political revolution," and to the bold promises he is making.

To hear this conversation, click on the image, or go to the podcast at PRN.fm.

Trophy Hunting

New poem:

 
 
OK, just stand there behind the blind,
Get ready,
Watch the bait. . .Keep watching, keep watching.
There! Shoot!
Wait!
That’s the Lion King! Don’t shoot.
 
OK, whew! Ready, big guy?
Watch the bait.
Keep watching, keep watching.
There! Shoot!
Wait! Don’t shoot.
That’s King Leonardo!
 
OK, whew, ready tiger?
Watch the bait. . .Keep watching.
There! Shoot!
Wait! Don’t shoot.
That’s the Friendly Lion.
(Oh, look, he’s waving his tail
To thank you.)
 
OK, whew, ready Bud?
Watch the bait. . .Keep watching.
There! Shoot!
Wait! Don’t shoot.
That’s Aslan of Narnia. (Man, that’s creepy
The way he looked at you.)
 
Hey, stay where you are, pal.
What are you doing!
Don’t leave the blind!
Those may not be “real” lions
But fantasy is powerful.
You of all people should know that,
son.
 
 
--Gary Lindorff

The 'Bern' and the Internet

He's the best but is he all we need?

 

Bernie Sanders' stunning success in the campaign for the Democratic Presidential nomination, highlighted by what is effectively a victory in the Iowa caucuses this past Monday, provokes serious thinking about what a Sanders presidency would look like.

Were he to take office, he would be doing so at a moment where the human race is considering the possibility of its extermination and thinking about ways to survive. In that conversation about survival, the Internet takes part of the center stage. It is not only a critical tool for education and information on our present and future but the communications tool in the struggle to have a future.

It is here that Sanders can mark his progressive territory because the Internet is so important to people's lives and our movements of struggle. If Sanders is serious about this "political revolution" he talks about and has yet to really define, we're going to need the Internet to make it happen.

 What are those possibles?Bernie Sanders: What are those possibles?
 

So the question is how good are Bernie's politics on Internet issues. The answer is better than any other candidate's. On issues of the Internet, Bernie is a vocal and public supporter of the Internet's progressive movement but he's not yet a leader. Whether he becomes a leader may impact the Internet's freedom and, in the process, his own presidential aspirations.

Israel Moves to Check Its Artists

Trying to require art to support the Zionist cause:

 
A new thought occurred to Rami. It soothed him like a gentle caress. Not all men are born to be heroes. Maybe I wasn’t born to be a hero. But in every man there’s something special, something that isn’t in other men. In my nature, for instance, there’s a certain sensitivity. A capacity to suffer and feel pain. Perhaps I was born to be an artist.
                                                                - Amoz Oz, Elsewhere, Perhaps, a 1966 novel of kibbutz life
 

As a writer/photographer and a tax-paying American citizen, a story in the New York Times about Israel’s culture wars made me cringe. It seems the powerful, militarist right in Israel -- so committed to expansion and settlements in the West Bank -- is now trying to suppress ideas among the nation’s artistic and literary minds.

Albert Camus; the banned novel Borderlife and Amos OzAlbert Camus; the banned novel Borderlife and Amos Oz

Human creativity amounts to an individual human mind with its rich, active sub-conscious engaging in a dialogue with the outer realities of life. The mash-up that results is called Art. It’s a process that’s often infused with a subversive sensibility at odds with established power. In his perfect republic, Plato banned poets. Tyrants throughout history have been threatened by artists and writers. Hitler, of course, gave up on an artistic career in order to rule Germany and the world as his own personal work of art; he had men like Joseph Goebbels to assure artists and writers weren’t a threat. Art that didn’t promote Aryan purity and German superiority was “decadent” and banned; careers were destroyed. The impulse to attack artists and to cut off their patronage and funding is as old as tyranny itself.

It’s the perennial struggle between Power and Truth. In the short-term, Power can, and often does, run over Truth like a tank in the streets; while in the long run, Truth has the tendency to eat away at, and undermine, that Power. It’s at this juncture -- when Power has made its play and relegated Truth to writhing in the dust -- that the book burners and the state culture warriors begin to attack the arts for disloyalty, a failure of patriotism or in the end with trying to destroy the state.

In the novel Elsewhere, Perhaps, Amos Oz uses a mixture of third person and first person narration that ends up making the kibbutz called Metsudat Ram a character in his story. The character Rami, referenced in the quote at the top, is a sensitive young man. His father is dead and his older brother Yoash was killed in the Suez action. Part of him wants to be a hero like Yoash. He doesn’t want to be a mama’s boy. So he joins the infantry to fight Israel’s enemies. While away, his girlfriend Noga takes up with an older man. Rami’s artistic sensibilities haunt him. In the end, he becomes a synthesis of tough and sensitive and marries Noga.

ThisCantBeHappening! Has Launched an Indiegogo Campaign to Raise Funds to Support Investigative Reporting on the Site

Three-two-one blast off!

 

We're off and running with a fund-raiser on Indiegogo aimed at raising $50,000 to support our site and the hard-hitting reporting we do here to get out the truth that the rest of the media ignore, cover-up, or misreport.

We're hoping everyone who reads this site will visit our Indiegogo page and make a contribution, or whatever amount you can afford, and that you will help our fund-raiser go viral by sending a link to everyone you know.

Where else can you read about the real reason the Federal Reserve is raising interest rates (hint: it's not, as claimed, for fear of rampaging inflation, or to "reassure" investors).

Where else could you read that the FBI knew about a well-developed plot, possibly by Houston Police or by private security people hired by Houston's oil and banking industries, to murder Occupy Houston leaders with "suppressed sniper fire," and that the bureau did nothing to stop it, and never made any arrests?

Where else can you learn how Israel's IDF, in commandeering a peace flotilla ship heading for Gaza, murdered a 19-year-old US citizen, and that the Obama White House, instead of protesting, hid from the US public a report by the Turkish Forensics Society. delivered by the Turkish US embassy, detailing how the unarmed youth was murdered by shots to the head?

What other US news organization has the distinction of having been labeled a "threat" by the US Department of Homeland Security -- a testimonial to our aggressive reporting on that agency's and the FBI's role in orchestrating the brutal crushing of the 2011 Occupy movement? Indeed, here's what Homeland Security wrote in a memo to 72 so-called Fusion Centers about our reporting on their nefarious role in crushing a legitimate protest movement:
 

“Although at this time these reference to fusion centers and Occupy seems [sic] to be compartmentalized I wanted to make you aware of these references in case the national news media begins [sic] speculating about fusion center involvement.”
 

That's high praise for us, and about as good a reason as one could find for supporting this site, because the sad truth is that the "national news media" never did report on the federal government's central role in crushing Occupy protests nationwide, nor did the national news media ever report on our being labeled a "threat" to "national security" for doing so.

We're not asking for a lot. We often have 50,000 readers of this site, so if even a fraction of you were to pony up $5 or $10 or $20, we'd reach our goal.

Why do we need money? We've been writing original journalism for this site now for almost five years, and doing it for nothing. Our donations come to just a few thousand bucks a year, which goes mostly for costs like travel, web hosting, and the like. We aren't paid anything for what we do.

That means that we all have to do our ThisCantBeHappening! work in the spare time we can find when we're not trying to earn a living at our "day jobs."

If we can raise this money in the current Indiegogo campaign, that will change. We'll be able to dedicate time to our ThisCantBeHappening! reporting, and we guarantee that you will immediately notice the change.

So please contribute to our campaign, and even more important, send a note to everyone you know linking to our site, and urging them to support us and to spread the word.

Thank you from all of us!

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

Report Finds Racist Law Enforcement In England...Again

'Injustice writ large'

 

London, UK -- Police and prosecutors scheme to secure convictions of persons who did not participate in any crime. Racial minorities disproportionately bear the brunt of this improper practice.

Sounds like too many cities across the United States.

However, this practice of racist law enforcement is also rampant in three of the largest cities in England, including the capital city of London, according to a report released recently by the Centre For Crime and Justice Studies of Manchester Metropolitan University.

“The key findings [indicate] the criminal justice system is more flawed than we might imagine,” states the conclusion of the report entitled “Dangerous associations: joint enterprise, gangs and racism.”

The study documents that claims by police in Britain that young blacks dominate gang membership and thus are demonstrably the most violent are incorrect. Police and court data cited in the report document that black youth were not those who committed the most serious youth violence. In London for example, police list blacks as 72 percent of that city’s gang members. But official data collected for the report stated non-blacks committed 73 percent of the serious youth violence in London.
Tottenham rights activist Scott with report co-authors Clarke (left) and Williams (right) -LBWPhotoTottenham rights activist Scott with report co-authors Clarke (left) and Williams (right) -LBWPhoto
The report found that prosecutors during trials of youthful suspects seize upon on the gang label levied by police to create a sinister perception of criminality that boost prosecutors chances of obtaining convictions. Prosecutors often push non-crime related ‘evidence’ such as listening to rap music and texting friends, particularly in cases where the defendant was not at the scene of the crime…or even where the defendant may not have known a crime would ever occur.

Even with treatment for Hepatitis C, Abu-Jamal’s health not guaranteed

Prison health care in America is a crime:

 

This is the final part of a series on Mumia Abu-Jamal’s fight for appropriate health care for himself and for over 2 million prison inmates across the country. (Click here for Part I, here for Part II, or here for Part IIIa)

In Abu-Jamal’s case, most of the legal and media discussion has focused on the denial of hepatitis treatment to him and inmates across the country. And while that alone is malpractice, what is even more appalling was the failure to diagnose and then treat his diabetes. Diabetes care is a cornerstone of basic healthcare. Abu-Jamal’s case illustrates that inmates are denied not only expensive medical treatments but also widely available, inexpensive treatments. Moreover, it demonstrates a failure of correctional healthcare systems to provide even the most basic health care for its patients.

Abu-Jamal, nearly a year ago tested positive for diabetes while imprisoned, and yet his case was intentionally left untreated. In his medical records, blood tests taken on March 8, 2015 showed a glucose level of 419, well exceeding the diabetic level of 200.

There are two major forms of Diabetes. Type 1 Diabetes is the kind that frequently presents young in life. While it is very common for this form of diabetes to be initially diagnosed in a crisis setting (coma, severe dehydration, electrolyte disturbances), Type 2 Diabetes, the form that typically starts in adulthood and the form that Abu-Jamal has, very rarely gets to that point because it develops more slowly and is discovered early before it ever reaches that level of severity.

In his chart, someone circled the blood sugar value and wrote by it “on steroids.” What this note suggests is that the provider felt that since there was an explanation for his high blood sugar, there was no need to treat it. That lack of action is equivalent to looking at a patient whose pneumonia is so severe that they need a breathing machine and then saying, “We know why they’re not breathing well. They have pneumonia.” Just because you know the cause of a finding doesn’t mean it doesn’t have to be treated.

Lab results from Abu-Jamal's medical recordLab results from Abu-Jamal's medical record

Standard of care for a blood sugar that high is to immediately give medication to lower it, or at least monitor three times a day. One of the main medications for the treatment of diabetes is metformin. It costs $4 a month. But because prison doctors didn’t provide any treatment, his sugars climbed to levels so toxic that his brain stopped functioning and he went into a diabetic coma.

Countrywide epidemic of neglectful healthcare

Sadly, Abu-Jamal’s healthcare is not an exception. It’s an example of the poor healthcare that is rampant in prisons and jails across the country. Cases of this felonious level of healthcare are so numerous that it would be impossible to list them in their entirety. However a few examples illustrate the severity of the negligence.

Former NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg, Fearing a Trump/Sanders Race, Eyes Running for President

A candidate of by and for the 0.01%

 

Even as Bernie Sanders’ insurgent “democratic socialist” campaign for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination is really starting to look like it might actually succeed, with polls now showing him ahead of Hillary Clinton in both the earliest primary states, Iowa and New Hampshire, and with Republicans engaged in a circular firing squad where all the people with guns are nut-jobs of one kind or another, making a Sanders presidency even seem possible, we read that former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg is contemplating running for the White House as an independent candidate.

Now while the idea of a mega-billionaire as president may be a sick joke, Bloomberg’s running for president on his own tab (he’s ready to spend $1 billion of his own money) is no joke at all. With Forbes magazine listing his current worth as $36.8 billion at the start of this year, he is the eighth richest man in America, just behind Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and just ahead of Jim Walton.

It is hard to think of a worse idea than having a smug, self-congratulatory billionaire – someone not just from the top 1% of the population but the top 0.01% -- sitting at the top of government telling us all what to do, but I suppose in the interest of fairness we should tote up his pros and cons. So in memory of the departed but not forgotten TCBH! co-founder Chuck Young (see his 2010 article Where Mayor Mike Can Push His Poll), here’s my list of five good and five bad things about having Bloomberg join the race for president as an obscenely wealthy independent candidate:
 

5. Good: Donald Trump, the likely GOP candidate at this point, will no longer be able to boast about his supposed business acumen. Forbes says Trump, no a self-made man but rather a trust-fund baby who got staked $1 million by his old man, is now worth $4.5 billion, making him only the 72nd richest man in America. That might seem a decent sum, but it’s just lunch money for Bloomberg ,who added more than that amount to his assets just over the past year, according to Forbes. And Bloomberg, who hails from an ordinary working family, made all his money himself (or rather, his employees made it for him), first in the securities industry and then with his Bloomberg financial information network.

Bad: Bloomberg is a tight bastard. During his three terms as mayor of New York, he allowed the New York public school system to sink into a funding black hole, as he tried to squeeze teacher salaries and pensions and to both close some schools and convert others to charter schools. The worst year was the Great Recession year of 2010-11, when revenues from the city budget for the city’s schools fell by 10.4% and from the state government, by 24.1%. Federal aid to New York City public schools was boosted that year by 1%, leaving the schools system short by 17%, or about $4.5 billion. Now maybe it wouldn’t be fair to have expected private real estate magnate Trump to turn over his whole nest egg to get the schools in his hometown through that one-year crisis, but Bloomberg in 2012 was worth a cool $25 billion according to Forbes. He could have funded the schools for the mostly impoverished kids of his city fully that school year and wouldn’t have evennoticed the difference.

Former Mayor Bloomberg's police goons defend Wall Street's tycoons from Occupy Movement protestersFormer Mayor Bloomberg's police goons defend Wall Street's tycoons from Occupy Movement protesters
 

Signs of Desperation in Hillary Camp as Bernie Looks Increasingly Likely to Win in Iowa and New Hampshire

Clinton campaign goes nuclear with red-baiting campaign against Sanders

 

Someone should have warned tHillary Clinton and the goon squad at the Democratic National Committee that old-fashioned red-baiting isn't going to cut it in today's United States. It's not the 1950s anymore and the Soviet Union and Comtern are ancient history.

With the latest batch of polls showing Bernie Sanders, in the wake of his feisty showing in Sunday's debate against Clinton in Charleston, SC, gaining on her in both early primary states of Iowa and New Hampshire, and nationally, the Clinton campaign and the leadership in the Democratic Party seem to have lost both their minds and whatever principles they may have had.

According to one poll, by CNN/WMUR, conducted just days after the debate, Sanders is now ahead of Clinton in New Hampshire by a blow-out 60% to 33%. That's nearly triple the margin the prior CNN/WMUR poll found in December when the numbers were Sanders 50% and Clinton 40%.

Meanwhile, the latest CNN/ORC Iowa poll, just released Friday, shows Sanders leading Clinton among likely caucus-goers in that state by 8 percentage points 51% to 43%. That is a big turnaround from the same poll done in December, which showed Clinton ahead 54% to 36% for Sanders. Even if there are other polls showing Clinton still marginally ahead in Iowa, the trend has been clear of voters moving from Clinton to Sanders, especially over the past two weeks.

Hence the Clinton campaign's panicky response, which has been to start having surrogates go out and paint Sanders as a "red."

Her campaign in trouble in Iowa and New Hampshire, and her poll numbers falling nationally, Hillary has turned to Sen. McCarthy for inspiration (Joe, not  Gene)Her campaign in trouble in Iowa and New Hampshire, and her poll numbers falling nationally, Hillary has turned to Sen. McCarthy for inspiration (Joe, not Gene)
 

They don't actually call him a commie, but they do the next closest thing, warning that if Sanders were to win the Democratic nomination, he would then be attacked by whoever is the Republican nominee, who would "surely" call him a communist.

How, actually, does this differ from Hillary herself just calling him a commie? Well, it doesn't. Her campaign is calling him a red.

Cooder-Skaggs-White Offer Up a Banquet of American Roots Music

Love this stuff or never heard it before, hie thee to a concert

 

The so-called music in this café would be very good for murdering giant lizards in hell. Then gutting them and eating their organs raw, and smearing yourself with their cold reptilian blood. While being flogged by Satan.

Other than that, it’s okay.

Which is to say, go and see Cooder-Skaggs-White. Hurry. It is music as good, or good as music. Well, it’s good music. It’s what music used to do, is supposed to do, for you. Not a murdered lizard in sight, no fires, no pitchforks. You know, like a Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers movie. It is no bit of careless whimsy that the tour is billed, “For the Good People.” Me, I wasn’t sure there were any “good people” left in this country, but that’s beside the point. If you build it, they will come. . .maybe that’s the idea here.

Yes, that’s Ry Cooder, the six-time Grammy-winning, musically peripatetic champion of Cuban, African, Indian, Hawaiian, Mexican music, and blues, jazz, norteno, folk, various fare too conveniently summed up as “roots music.” Now, at 68, he is delving into an archaeology of tunes from a bygone era called the 20th century. From a country even more out of reach than Cuba was, because it no longer exists. Think you know what American music is? You might, but then again, you might not.

Among the repertory: The Delmore Brothers, Flat & Scruggs, The Louvin Brothers, Kitty Wells, Bill Monroe, Hank Williams, Bill Carlisle, Merle Travis, Hank Snow, Blind Alfred Reed, Ralph Stanley. Among the tunes: “The Family that Prays,” “Take Me to Your Lifeboat,” “Sweet Temptation,” “Mansion on the Hill,” “On My Mind,” “Cold Jordan,” “Daniel Prayed,” “Hold What You Got,” “Pan American Boogie,” “A Fool Such as I,” “Above and Beyond,” “No One Will Ever Know,” “Gone Home,” “Wait a Little Longer,” “No Doubt About It,” “Wait A Little Longer, Please, Jesus,” “Pan-American Boogie,” “Unload,” “Above Yer Raisin,” “Reunion.”
Ricky Skaggs, Sharon White and Ry Cooder diggin' down to the rootsRicky Skaggs, Sharon White and Ry Cooder diggin' down to the roots (for a sample of the music, click here)
 

New to you? Hie thee to hear it. Old to you? Hie thee to hear it. Not your favorite kind of music? All the more reason to go. I did, a couple months ago in Santa Barbara, Calif., not quite knowing what to expect. Wound up with an education, and no socks. Fields of clover spread before me as I walked out of theater.

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Live Stream of the Occupation of Wall Street! The Revolution will be filmed after all! (Courtesy of Globalrevolution)
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Fightin' Cock FlyerFightin' Cock Flyer

Listen as Chuck, John, Dave and Linn Join Prairie Radical Mike Caddell of the Fightin' Cock Flyer on Radio Free Kansas

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.

Donate $50 to ThisCantBeHappening.net and get a free signed copy, postage paid, of Dave's classic tome The Case for Impeachment (St. Martin's Press, 2006). Just click on the cover image to go to the Paypal payment page, make your payment, and send a note to Dave calling his attention to the payment, and giving your mail address and the name you want the inscription addressed to.

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by Dr. Radut