11 09 2016

Today’s date, September 11th, is, to borrow President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s words, “a day that will live in infamy.” On this date in 1973, Salvador Allende, the Bernie Sanders of Chile, salvadorallende_251who, unlike Bernie, had succeeded in become his country’s President, was killed in a military coup that had the full backing of the United States and especially our then-Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger. The Chilean military, with the assistance of the United States, didn’t just take out Allende. They jailed, tortured, and murdered thousands of Chileans, and forced tens of thousands more into exile. The US then used Chile as a base for “Operation Condor,” which orchestrated the murder of thousands of mostly non-violent left-wing activists all over South America, most notoriously in Argentina, where “the dirty war” killed at least thirty thousand people. That’s a US government program, directly approved by Henry Kissinger, that targeted people like me and, probably, people like you. So, when I think about Hillary Clinton, who has repeatedly declared her admiration for Henry Kissinger, being President, when I notice the approbation with which her followers greet any mention of her faults or approval of the Green Party, when I read that a Clinton-supporting PAC has budgeted a million dollars to pay Clinton supporters to harass Sanders supporters and Greens on the internet, I start feeling a little nervous, and since today is the anniversary of the Chilean Bernie Sanders being murdered by Hillary Clinton’s inspiration, this becomes a more emotionally charged anniversary than it would be if a protegée of Henry Kissinger were not so likely to be our next President. Donald Trump is dangerous because he doesn’t really seem to have a plan.


Do not think about a Green Party!

Ms. Clinton, on the other hand, is dangerous because she does seem to have a plan–and it’s not one she’s sharing with the general public. With a horde of pundits and bloggers ready and willing to bend the truth to discredit any criticism of her, not to mention discrediting the critics themselves, I start wondering if we have a “Ministry of Truth” in our future.


Oh yeah, it’s also the fifteenth anniversary of the day a bunch of Saudis apparently hijacked several US airliners and flew them into the Pentagon and the World Trade Center, killing a mere three thousand people. OK, it was three thousand all at once, not one by one, but…. Anyway, because the Saudis did that, the US invaded Afghanistan and Iraq. If that makes sense to you, then you can accept the World Trade Center story exactly as the mainstream media portray it. It doesn’t make sense to me and I don’t accept the story, but that’s not what I’m here to talk about today. The Allende-Kissinger story is much more apropos. Read the rest of this entry »


11 07 2015
Not since the halcyon days when Rev. Martin Luther King broadened his perspective from civil rights for African-Americans to human rights for everybody, and called for an end to poverty, oppression, and warfare, has there been such thunder on the left.  Bernie Sanders has come out swinging, not just as a populist, but as a socialist, and he has tapped into a vein of enthusiasm that just might propel him into the Democratic Party nomination for President, and from there into the White House.
Bernie Sanders’ career has, over the years, built a solid foundation for such an attempt.  As a college student he worked with the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee in Mississippi, and he spent time on a kibbutz in Israel before moving to Vermont and getting into politics with the Liberty Union Party. He was a frequent losing candidate throughout the 70’s, and ultimately left the LUP.  Then, in 1981, friends urged him to run for mayor of Burlington, his home and the largest city in Vermont. Sanders ran as an independent and a socialist, won by ten votes, and went on to serve four terms, beating Republicans, Democrats, and Republican-Democratic fusion candidates.  Sanders’ tenure as mayor, according to Peter Dreier and Pierre Clavel, writing in The Nation, produced the following results:
… the city’s largest housing development is now resident-owned, its largest supermarket is a consumer-owned cooperative, one of its largest private employers is worker-owned, and most of its people-oriented waterfront is publicly owned. Its publicly owned utility, the Burlington Electric Department, recently announced that Burlington is the first American city of any decent size to run entirely on renewable electricity.
The city has largely continued in the direction Sanders set it in, with protégés of his winning election most of the time since his retirement as mayor in 1989.  The changes that Sanders made in Burlington have remained because they are so popular with so many people, independents, Democrats, Republicans, and socialists alike.  In 1990, again running as an independent, he won Vermont’s seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.  One of his first acts as a Congressman was to establish the “Progressive Caucus.” However, his role since arriving on the national scene has more as a conscience than as a get-it-done legislator.  He has introduced what would be landmark legislation if it went anywhere, but, between hostile Republicans and indifferent Democrats, only one bill, and some floor amendments, have Sanders’ name on them. The bill was a largely procedural one allowing Vermont and New Hampshire to co-operate on taking care of the Connecticut River.

Read the rest of this entry »


7 05 2011

First, I am pleased to report to you that North America has elected its first Green Party candidate to national office.  Elizabeth May, head of the Green Party of Canada, won election to a parliamentary seat in British Columbia, in a watershed election that also saw the New Democratic Party of Canada supplant the Liberal Party as the country’s chief opposition party.  The NDP is nowhere near as radical as the Greens, but it’s overall good news nonetheless, like having the Feingold/Kucinich wing of the Democratic Party separate out and beat the Democratic Leadership Council corporate whores who threw Ralph Nader under the bus and have been running the Democratic Party–into the ground–since Jimmy Carter’s day.  It’s worth noting that the first time she ran for federal office, Ms. May received just 272 votes. Goes to show, you can get there from here.

The bad news in this election is that Stephen Harper’s Conservative Party, which considers global warming and attempts to curb it “a socialist plot” has gained a working majority of seats in the Canadian Parliament for the first time and will thus have a free hand to destroy the environment and social fabric of Canada for the next four years.  Good news is, it will give Ms. May–and the NDP–plenty of material for stirring speeches.  Good luck to our northern neighbors–looks like you may need it!

Also, Friday night I found myself once again joining a group of my fellow barbarians in a sumptuous Roman villa, far out in the country, this one not a hunting lodge but a repurposed McMansion, now the headquarters of a nascent community calling itself “The Temple of Wisdom, Truth and Fun.”    Unlike last month’s Beltane/full moon blowout, the occasion was not a wild celebration of the rites of Spring, but a somewhat solemn convocation to view Albert Bates‘ new presentation on the subject of “Coolenomics”–how to change our economy’s priorities so that cooling the planet down makes more sense to more people than our present course, which, if left unchecked, could turn Eaarth into an overheated, lifeless sister planet of Venus.  The presentation, based on Albert’s new book “The Biochar Solution,” is definitely in the same league as Al Gore’s “Inconvenient Truth.”

Albert will next be making his presentation in Mallorca, in the Mediterranean, reputedly to a group of financial heavy hitters–who, let’s face it, are the people who need to be convinced to do something, because they’re the ones with the ways and means.  I don’t have time to go more fully into Albert’s vision this month  but I will be reading the book and giving you a full report on it in the near future–hopefully next month.

music:  Julian Cope, “Western Front, 1992 CE”

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