About Me

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For me it is All About Being of Service & Living the Life of the Give-Away....

Being Mindful of those who are unable to speak for themselves; our Non-Two Legged Relations and the Future Generations.

It's about walking on the Canka Luta Waste Behind the Cannunpa and the ceremonies.

It's about Mindfulness and Respect. It's about Honesty and owning up to my foibles.

It's about: Mi Takuye Oyacin

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Clinton:Kissinger The BIGGEST WAR MONGERS

I completely believe what Kissinger is saying:
The reason is, the men & women who enlist are those that (once enlisted) are not allowed to think for themselves...
They follow orders no matter right or wrong, they are brainwashed mindless drones, unable/unwilling to think for themselves....
Committing unconscionable acts of murder & terrorism against innocent people (which they most likely would not had they not enlisted) , then in turn causes havoc within themselves when the finally become free of their keepers and when out on their own.
In the end of their military time, most are nothing more than mental & emotional shipwrecks left to flounder in the dead pool of society.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Thursday, April 28, 2016


Philly’s Democratic Party Breaks Law for Hillary


Philly’s Democratic Party Breaks Law for Hillary

Philadelphia will always remain important in the history of the American experiment. The City of Brotherly Love was home to the First and Second Continental Congresses and, for the 10 years following the Revolutionary War, served as our fledgling nation’s capital city before Washington, D.C. assumed the role of home to the federal government. In today’s primary election, Philadelphia’s Democratic Party apparatus seems to have behaved quite undemocratically — and broke a law in the process.
At 7:30 a.m., Matthew Leister, a 26-year-old photographer and Democrat, was complying with his civic duty by voting at Benjamin Franklin High School, just north of Philly’s center. A man at the door to the polling place handed Leister his “sample ballot.” The “Official Democratic Ballot” — in red, white, and blue — had only one candidate for president: Hillary Clinton. 
The problem? The “Official Democratic Ballot” is a pro-Clinton campaign tool, and as such, the city’s Democratic Party wasn’t supposed to be handing it out within 10 feet of the polling place. Pennsylvania’s election law didn’t stop Philly’s Democratic Party from attempting to sway voters at Franklin High School or at other sites in the city.

At Fire Engine Company Number 13, just blocks away from Franklin High School, Democratic voterNik Harris, 29, faced some confusion when he received his “Official Democratic Ballot” at just after 3 p.m. 
“I didn’t know what I was looking at,” the model and musician originally from New Hampshire recalls. He wondered if he needed to hold onto the paper to vote, or if the paper was a guide on how Democrats should vote. 
“I saw Hillary at the top,” he says. “I flipped it over a few times. Bernie’s name couldn’t be found.” He asked the man at the check-in table about the “ballot,” and received no clear answers. 
The two people who were handing out the pro-Clinton flyer were inside the firehouse, sitting in the doorway. From their position — not ten feet from the polling place — they handed out their flyer to all voters who walked by, Harris says. “Very shady. Very ambiguous.”
An official at the County Board of Elections says that the agency received numerous complaints of irregularities. The man, who asked to not be identified, says that when a complaint is received, the agency sends someone to the site or calls the judge for elections. He says at least some of the complaints were substantiated, but retracts to “I know we sent people out all the time. I don’t know what they did or saw.”  

A lawyer for Philadelphia’s Democratic Committee, who also asked to remain nameless, says that the city’s Democratic leaders chose to endorse Hillary Clinton this year. The Committee, chaired by Democratic U.S. Congressman Robert Brady, did not endorse a candidate in 2008 so as not to “set people against each other.”   
This year, it seems, Philadelphia’s Democratic leaders, in their organization that functions as a political action committee, found it fit to set “people against each other” and violate their state’s voting law that only allows campaigning “at least ten feet distant from the polling place during the progress of the voting.” 
It is no secret that the U.S.’s Democratic Party has a favorite in this primary season. What is becoming clear is the extent to which that party will act to ensure that favorite ends up on the ballot in November. 
“Had I been someone who is not so inquisitive,” Harris says, “I would have seen that ['ballot'] and assumed Hillary is the only candidate.”

What Hillary Doesn't Want You to Know About Her Contributors

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Hillary Clinton Trolls Shut Down Pro-Bernie Sanders Facebook Groups


Champagne, and possibly other Clinton supporters, essentially mass-reported content in these pro-Sanders Facebook groups claiming the content was graphically violent, pornographic, or abusive — including the reprehensible content posted by Clinton supporters themselves. Facebook’s automated systems take note of how many individuals report a particular post, and if the post is reported enough, it will be taken down. This same process applies to groups, pages, and individual user accounts.
Bros 4 Hillary (B4H) sent US Uncut this statement on Tuesday morning:
Last night, a former member by the name of Casey Champagne  
 decided to engage in harassing behavior toward Facebook groups
 of Bernie Sanders and posted about it in the B4H Facebook group. 
 As stated above, this was not promoted or supported by the leadership of B4H, nor were we immediately aware of this conduct. We removed the offending posts and member as soon as possible. While our leadership team of administrators tries to catch every questionable post and comment, with over 7,000 members and on a 24-hour posting cycle, some fall through the cracks. We rely on members to “flag and report” harmful, offensive, or trolling behavior, and apologize to the groups that were affected. This member acted on his own authority, is not apart of our leadership team, and does not represent our ideals or our opinions.

Casey Champagne did not immediately respond to interview requests from US Uncut.
It’s still unclear if these gutter tactics are tied to Correct the Record, the pro-Hillary Clinton Super PAC that openly declared last week that it would launch a sophisticated social media campaignaimed at Bernie Sanders supporters. Correct the Record earmarked $1 million for the effort, named “Barrier Breakers 2016,” which aims to “correct” Sanders supporters who criticize Hillary Clinton on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, and Instagram. However, some of Casey Champagne’s recent likes are Correct the Record, Barrier Breakers, and an anti-Sanders page called “Pragmatic Progressives.”
The shutdown of pro-Sanders groups comes just one day before a crucial string of primaries in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island, where 384 pledged delegates are at stake.
 Amanda Girard is a US Uncut contributor covering politics, public policy, and social justice. She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Email her at girardamandaaaa@gmail.com.

Something STINKS: Oh It's the Harpy & DNC


Together we changed America, as you knew it.
THE ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF H Bush SENIOR'S CIA Director include, OUR PARTICIPATION IN many secret US wars and terrorist activities worldwide (directed at other countries and retaliations by others); With Ronald Reagan helped to create ALEC, while giving big tax cuts to big corporation and the wealthy (incidentally, a Democratic Bill) then increased taxes on working America with a minimum of 15 new taxes and fees Americans had never paid before; Was part of eliminating anti-monopoly laws and BEGAN THE DESTRUCTION OF THE US Free Press. Spearheaded the negotiations of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which would later be signed by his successor Bill Clinton, caused DESTRUCTION of over 160,000 Small Businesses and over one million Small Farms, lost jobs in the millions.
Accomplishments of Bill Clinton - Clinton signed THE1994 Crime Bill (incidentally, a Senator Joe Biden of Delaware Bill), which put millions of Americans in jail for small crimes, yet kept Corporate Executives out of jail for big White Crimes. A number of anti-monopoly and Glass-Steagall laws were destroyed. The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA), a Republican Bill, was THE start of taking money from the poor and using IT for US war efforts. More Taxes and Fees were added for the American Public to pay.
Accomplishments of W Bush Junior – He sighted laws that actually paid US corporations to export US jobs to other countries via Tax Benefits and Subsides. He was the first president that actually let Big industries such as Banking, Big Energy, Chemical, GMO and Pharmaceuticals to re-write their own deregulation laws. It is well documented that he and his administration ignored 9/11 warnings from the CIA, FBI and other countries months before the attack.
This page keeps Bush and Clinton families responsible for adding $16 trillion to our National Debt and THE bombings of AT LEAST 23 countries and creating terrorist attacks upon USA and in the world.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Hillary's Paid Trolls & the Bernie Black-Out

I'd normally rhetorically ask: "what the hell is this woman's problem"

But that would lead to an infinitely long & exhaustive list, which I do not have time to read!

11 mins
Admins, please carefully vet every new admin you've added, and don't add any new admins you don't personally know. Verify identities across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Also, don't open any links sent to you in Messenger, they may use some coding to get control of your group.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

If You Weren't Afraid of Hillary Before: You Better Be Now

You need to look at this & take it for what it is: A HUGE RED FLAG WARNING.

These men support nobody that they are unable to control & hold sway over.

So in essence, they know that they can persuade Harpy Hillary to do their bidding, in what would be their best interests; not the best interests of the people, of this country, the environment, or democracy.

Billionaire Republican megadonor Charles Koch is pictured.

Charles Koch: 'It's possible' Clinton is preferable to a Republican for president

Billionaire businessman Charles Koch said Sunday that “it’s possible” another Clinton in the White House could be better than having a Republican president.

Koch, the CEO of Koch Industries, made the comment to ABC News’ Jonathan Karl during an interview that aired on ABC’s "This Week."

Koch, his brother David and their associated groups plan to spend nearly $900 million on the 2016 elections.

The comment came after Karl asked about Bill Clinton’s presidency. Koch said Clinton was “in some ways” better than George W. Bush.

“As far as the growth of government, the increase in spending, it was 2½ times under Bush that it was under Clinton,” he said.

Karl followed up by asking whether Koch could see himself supporting Hillary Clinton.
Koch hesitated before giving an answer that didn’t rule out the possibility.

“We would have to believe her actions would have to be quite different than her rhetoric, let me put it that way,” he said.

On Sunday, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said on "This Week" that both Kochs "go out of their way" to appear nonpartisan.

"Charles Koch -- and I know David and Charles, and Charles in particular has oftentimes gone out of his way to appear non-partisan. And maybe he is. I don't know," Priebus says.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Hillary's Hired Trolls


BUSTED: Pro-Clinton Super PAC Caught Spending 

$1 Million on Social Media Trolls

A Super PAC headed by a longtime Clinton operative is spending $1 million to hire online trolls to “correct” Bernie Sanders’ supporters on social media.
Correct The Record (CTR), which is operated by Clinton attack dog and new owner of Blue Nation Review David Brock, launched a new initiative this week called “Barrier Breakers 2016” for the purpose of debating supporters of Senator Bernie Sanders — or “Bernie Bros,” as they’re referred to inCorrect the Record’s press official release — on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, and other social media platforms.
The “Barrier Breakers” will also publicly thank Hillary Clinton’s superdelegates and fans for supporting her campaign. The paid trolls are professional communicators, coming from public relations and media backgrounds.
“The task force staff’s backgrounds are as diverse as the community they will be engaging with and include former reporters, bloggers, public affairs specialists, designers, Ready for Hillary alumni, and Hillary super fans who have led groups similar to those with which the task force will organize,” CTR stated.
In a Reddit comments thread about CTR’s new project, Reddit user and Sanders supporter /u/workythehand, gave other commenters advice on how to identify and engage with one of David Brock’s paid commenters:
The best tactic to use against “professionals” is to simply downvote and move on. The more you argue with them, the more likely people will read the astroturfer’s posts.
Keep your eyes out for very young accounts, repetition of phrasing and syntax (the same “Sanders only diagnoses the problem…” talking points, for instance) in every post, and rapid fire posting – 10+ comments in the span of a few minutes is a good indicator.
Libby Watson of the Sunlight Foundation told the Daily Beast on Thursday that FEC loopholes allow the Hillary Clinton campaign and David Brock’s Super PAC to coordinate with one another, despite the Citizens United vs. FEC Supreme Court decision prohibiting a Super PAC’s independent expenditures from going directly toward a particular candidate.
“It’s not totally clear what [CTR’s] reasoning is, but it seems to be that material posted on the internet for free—like, blogs—doesn’t count as an ‘independent expenditure,’” Watson said. She continued by addressing the unprecedented nature of the project.
She concluded with a damning assessment: “Campaign finance lawyers are not that impressed with [CTR’s] logic, but they can get away with it because the [Federal Election Commission] is deadlocked and does nothing.”
Watson also made note of the unprecedented and bizarre nature of the program, saying, “Usually places like MMFA and CTR are defending her against the media and established figures. This seems to be going after essentially random individuals online,” she said. “I don’t know that they’ve done anything like this before.”
CTR boasts on its website that it’s already “corrected” at least 5,000 Sanders supporters on Twitter.

Tom Cahill is a writer for US Uncut based in the Pacific Northwest. He specializes in coverage of political, economic, and environmental news. You can contact him via email at tom.v.cahill@gmail.com.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The White House Eats Organic...... They Want Us to Eat GMO

Reports indicate White House meals are organic. What they want the rest of America to eat is another story altogether. The United States' first families continue getting wholesome organic foods while promoting GMO/pesticide-laced foods, hazardous to human health. All for Monsanto and other agrichemical giants. Isn't it time our elected leaders and their families do something to improve the health of the nation rather than padding the already-bloated bank accounts of Earth-destroying corporations?

READ: http://www.globalresearch.ca/hillary-clinton-endorses-gmos-white-house-meals-are-organic/5451481

#WhiteHouse #organic #healthy #food #GMO#pesticides #toxic #boycottgmos #labelgmos#bangmos #gmofreecanada #gmofreeusa

Monday, April 18, 2016

Ah Hillary

My problem is some of the GOP: Ann Coulter for one is as big of a Liar & Harridan as is Hillary....

Fracking Exempted From the Safe Drinking Water Act

Yet they were not disbanded. In fact, they went on to help create and lobby for the "Halliburton Loophole," which exempted fracking from the Safe Drinking Water Act in 2005. This exemption made fracking much more profitable than it would have otherwise been, in large part creating the under-regulated shale drilling and fracking boom plaguing communities all over the country.

As new research revealed by Desmog and Greenpeace reveals, IOGCC started working on the exemption in 1999, when they passed an internal resolution that would later make it into the 2005 legislation exempting fracking. When the exemption passed as part of the Environmental Protection Act of 2005, IOGCC bragged about their integral role in newsletters. 

The Shadow Lobbyists Protecting Fracking From Regulation: The IOGCC

Saturday, 16 April 2016 00:00By Jesse ColemanGreenpeace
The IOGCC claims to be a govermnet agency but acts like a shadow lobby for the fracking industry.

The Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission claims to be a govermnet agency but acts like a shadow lobby for the fracking industry. (Image: Jared Rodriguez / Truthout
The Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC) has an enviable position.
As a self-proclaimed "government agency," they pay no taxes, register no lobbyists, and freely converse with elected officials and government regulators. The Oklahoma government pays for their building, which is on the Governor's mansion property. Yet they also take major contributions from the fracking industry. When asked for information under Freedom of Information rules, they claim not to be an agency. It is truly the best of all worlds: industry funding, government position of authority, and no oversight.
And what has IOGCC done with their sweet spot?
As a deep investigative piece by Lisa Song of Inside Climate News has revealed, this unique group has played a quiet but crucial role in accomplishing the agenda of the oil and gas industry, especially in regards to fracking.
IOGCC and the "Halliburton" Loophole
The first thing to know about this group is that it is a state compact, a quasi-government agency usually created to allow states to share information. Drivers licenses, for instance, are governed by state compacts. However, IOGCC regularly transgresses the usual role of a state compact. Instead of innocuous information sharing, IOGCC has been a key cog in the lobbying machine of the oil and gas industry. And this is not new. As Song writes:
"The group has worked behind the scenes for decades to prevent federal regulation so stridently that in 1978, the Justice Department argued it should be disbanded because it had evolved into an advocacy organization."
Yet they were not disbanded. In fact, they went on to help create and lobby for the "Halliburton Loophole," which exempted fracking from the Safe Drinking Water Act in 2005. This exemption made fracking much more profitable than it would have otherwise been, in large part creating the under-regulated shale drilling and fracking boom plaguing communities all over the country.
As new research revealed by Desmog and Greenpeace reveals, IOGCC started working on the exemption in 1999, when they passed an internal resolution that would later make it into the 2005 legislation exempting fracking. When the exemption passed as part of the Environmental Protection Act of 2005, IOGCC bragged about their integral role in newsletters.
Writing Legislation With Lobbyists
The IOGCC is made up of appointees from the 30 oil and gas producing states. The Governors of these states select two or more people for IOGCC. These people are usually the top oil and gas regulator from each state.
IOGCC portrays itself as a group of state regulators trading best practices. In reality however, only one-third of IOGCC's membership are actually regulators. Another one-third are oil and gas lobbyists and executives.
These lobbyists and regulators meet at least twice a year at conferences funded by the fracking industry, where they drink and attend fancy dinners together. They also write legislation together, which the state regulators take back to their states and pass into law.
For instance, in 2009, IOGCC passed a resolution meant to keep Congress from overturning the Halliburton Loophole. Within months, ten states had passed resolutions mirroring the IOGCC's language exactly.
IOGCC Collaboration With Industry Front Groups
In addition to writing state legislation alongside fracking industry lobbyists and executives, IOGCC also acts as a mechanism to turn state oil and gas regulators into de facto lobbyists for the oil and gas industry. The group is a conduit between regulators and front groups like the Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA), who want regulators and state governors to support the industry's agenda at a federal level.
In one case that exemplifies the call and response IOGCC can command, CEA asked IOGCC for state support for their campaign to open the Atlantic coast to offshore oil drilling.
IOGCC passed the message to its state government members, who quickly answered the call. Nick Tew, the state geologist and oil and gas supervisor of the state of Alabama, promised support. Five days after CEA's request went to IOGCC, the Governor of Alabama sent a letter to BOEM with the same language, supporting offshore drilling, and naming Nick Tew as point of contact.
IOGCC itself also submitted a letter, which mimicked CEA's exact language.
CEA underscored IOGCC's importance to pro-oil and gas campaigns calling IOGCC "critical" to winning its campaign to open up the Atlantic to oil drilling. The IOGCC's power is two fold, they use the title of "government agency" when commenting on federal and state regulations, while offering the oil and gas industry the opportunity to "teach" state regulators how to talk about oil and gas issues. For example, CEA provided messaging and media trainings for state regulators in a 2014 annual meeting.
To this day, the IOGCC continues to avoid transparency, even calling the police on investigative reporter Steve Horn when he sought an interview. The IOGCC is a big reason why the fracking industry has so successfully captured the regulatory agencies meant to hold them in check.
Source: Greenpeace

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

One Piece You Must Read About HIllary


Photo by Mike Mozart, Creative Commons

The One Piece of Writing Every Hillary Supporter Should Read

You keep hearing the same refrain from several of your friends: Bernie Sanders is America’s savior. The Facebook posts are everywhere, the tweets, the memes. You’ve heard his impassioned speeches, and, yes, they are definitely fiery and exciting. The young liberal inside you applauds when you hear him speak out for justice, and if you were twenty years old right now, perhaps you’d even be convinced. But you’re not twenty years old anymore, and you’ve seen enough in this world to know that the idealism of youth falls short when dealing with the messy reality of human beings- especially in the world of American Politics.
And so, even though Hillary isn’t as exciting as Bernie, you begin to realize her message is much more sober: slow change for the better, much in the manner of Barack Obama. It may not be as flashy, but it’s definitely more certain, and in 4 or 8 years, moving forward a little will be better than moving nowhere fast. As the weeks go by and the Bernie supporters get louder, your faith in Hillary’s no-nonsense speeches grows stronger; your tolerance for drinking that Bernie kool-aid gets weaker. A revolution? Really? Besides, what could be more revolutionary than finally having a woman in the White House? Isn’t that, in itself, about as revolutionary as it gets?
If you identify with some, or all, of this point of view, you’re not alone. In an election that is bringing out some very ugly sides of humanity, Hillary Clinton is probably our best bet for sanity right now. This is no time for experimenting with Democracy; if ever we need to keep things on an even keel, it’s now.
All of the above would be true, except for the fact that it is very, very, very much untrue. But, wait- before you turn away from these words in frustration, thinking the last thing you need to read is another anti-Hillary rant, allow yourself to play devil’s advocate for just a couple of minutes longer. After all, if Hillary is the wiser choice, then nothing you can read below will change that irrevocable fact. But if the facts reflect a much different truth- if, in fact, they completely contradict the above argument- don’t you owe it to yourself to at least consider them? If only to better understand your opposition? Is the election simply about picking a team and rooting for them loudly until the season ends, or is actually about finding the best method to improve your country? If it’s the latter, read on. These are just words on paper, after all- you can choose to disagree with them and never have to worry about anyone’s opinion of you, nor damage a friendship because of political differences. They’re just words.
Why Not Hillary?
We’ll get to scrutinizing Bernie’s ideas and examining his criticisms, but let’s begin with Hillary. Will she bring about slow, but positive change in small ways? The best way to predict the future is to study the past. In 1986, Sam Walton, Wal-Mart’s founder, made Hillary the only female member in a board of 15. The move was clearly political: Hillary was married to Bill, who was then the governor of Arkansas, Wal-Mart’s corporate home. Putting Hillary on his board would help appease criticisms that Wal-Mart was a good ol’ boys club (which is still very much true,) and having the governor’s wife working for you made dealing with government regulations much less problematic. But that’s Sam Walton’s angle. What about Hillary? Did she manage to do anything good while she was there?
Remember, in 1986, Wal-Mart was not a household name, but it was about to become one. By 1990, sales had quadrupled over the five previous years, and by 1992, the year Hillary left Wal-Mart to become First Lady, none other than George Bush Sr. himself had awarded Sam Walton the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his financial empire’s success. With Bill Clinton now leading our country, the 90’s saw an unprecedented transformation in the workplace, as low-wage, part-time, benefit-free jobs became more and more common, spearheaded by Wal-Mart’s proud anti-union stance. In her six-year tenure as board member, Hillary Clinton never spoke out once about fair union practices or any of the related issues the Wal-Mart board must have discussed during her tenure. To be fair, there is some evidence that she managed to make small headway with improving women’s roles within the Wal-Mart organization and advocating for some environmentally-friendly practices, but neither of these issues threatened Wal-Mart’s wallet. Still, one could argue that Hillary was doing what she claims to be doing now: playing the game in order to fight the good fight in small ways wherever she can. Is this a good strategy? Does it yield results?
This is an incredibly important point to consider, because a lot of Hillary’s support comes from people who believe it is a good strategy given the reality of our surroundings. But Hillary’s record is unequivocally clear: the times she’s actually fought for something in her career are strikingly few, and within those, the battles she picked were far from the battles that needed to be fought. Her days at Wal-Mart underscore this point clearly. It’s impossible to stress just how much Wal-Mart’s practices have changed our workforce’s landscape for the worse; for working-class Americans, “normal” went from having a lifetime job with a decent pension, a health plan, and quite often a labor union that protected those benefits to working two part-time minimum wage jobs with no benefits and, most definitely, no labor union whatsoever. Let me repeat that: after Americans had spent most of the 20th Century creating a country where people could get an honest wage for an honest day’s work, Wal-Mart, with the help of our government, almost single-handedly destroyed it. The company’s directors have gone on record repeatedly lambasting the very idea of a union; if ever there was a battle for Hillary to pick, it was this one, about preserving a system that served as the backbone to generations of working Americans. By avoiding the one battle she was in a singular position to fight, Hillary Clinton silently supported the erosion of our middle class.
That’s not just liberal hype: things change for the better or the worse not because of magical, unforeseeable reasons but because of specific decisions made by specific individuals who have the power to do so. Our responsibility as citizens is to elect a leader whom we can trust to make the right decisions- and if they can’t do that, they can’t do their job. It’s especially ironic when you realize that the people Hillary get the most credit for advocating- America’s women- have been especially damaged by Wal-Mart’s practices. Today, 72% of Wal-Mart’s cashiers are women; google “wal-mart labor practices” and you’ll receive endless news stories of the abysmal treatment these women workers have received. 8 cents out of every U.S. dollar is spent at Wal-Mart, and 90% of us live within 15 minutes of one of its stores- yet, despite Hillary’s attempts to downplay her Wal-Mart ties, Billionaire Wal-Mart heiress Alice Walton was one of the top donors of Hillary’s recent “Ready for Hillary” Super PAC. In other words, you can’t just chalk her Wal-Mart involvement up to the folly of youth. Hillary is still very much working for Wal-Mart today.
So even if we are to believe that Hillary is sincere about her “work within the system” strategy, the question remains: at what point does this approach become part of the problem? How many times can you sleep with the enemy before you’re indistinguishable from the enemy? It’s a question each person needs to answer for her/him self. While we all understand that government is an imperfect entity, it’s imperative that we, as Americans, keep our values and goals as a nation clear, and be as objective as possible when analyzing our current situation. You cannot deny that Wall Street loves her, or that Goldman Sachs- the same company that got caught masterminding the biggest financial scam we’ve had in 80 years- has wooed Hillary with the vigor of a rich high school boyfriend (literally: they’ve donated half a million bucks to her foundation, and another half a million to her wallet as payment for two speeches. Count ’em: two speeches.) And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. For many of us, Hillary’s lifelong affair with the exact people who are trying to rob America blind is no mere coincidence- it’s a fact too gigantic to ignore or argue away.
And yet, you might already be completely aware of all these facts, yet fail to find it problematic enough to abandon her. If so, allow me to get to the heart of the disagreement: The Economy.
Economics 101
The rift begins and ends with the economy. To understand why Bernie supporters are so fervently anti-Hillary, one needs a genuine understanding of our Economic past and present. Here’s a quick, but accurate-as-these-things-go version: while the tension between rich and poor has always existed, America was, in general terms anyway, doing pretty well at keeping things fairly even for everyone until Vietnam, Watergate, and the formation of OPEC turned our prosperous golden dream into a polluted, rundown mess. Of course, “everyone” means “white people” (and specifically “white males,”) but that’s a different (albeit important) story altogether.
In terms of taking care of the populace it cared about, America’s strong economic health after World War II is an uncontroversial fact.[i]
Now listen to how this economic prosperity came about: the 3-hit-combo of the 1929 Stock Market Crash, the Depression, and the War gave Americans the motivation to band together in a rare display of social solidarity. That’s right, democratic socialism at it’s best. The Wall Street Crash of ’29 was the result of a bubble, artificially inflated by a market that chose to believe its own hype rather than reality, combined with a loosening of financial regulations- pretty much the same thing that happened in 2008. This financial collapse set Americans on a desperate call for Hope and Change, a call answered by our beloved Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who tried one crazy, untested, heavily-criticized, but often effective program after another (more commonly known as his New Deal.) One of his changes, 1933’s Glass-Steagall Act, split investment banks and commercial banks into two separate entities, making it impossible for your local bank to take your savings and gamble it on high-risk money-making schemes. Glass-Steagall was one of the wisest regulations America has ever given itself, a perfect way to prevent fallible humans from giving into the temptation of easy money, forcing bankers to stick to sound investments that benefit the public good. This wasn’t communism; capitalists were still free to gamble for high stakes- just not with your money.
If you understand the wisdom in that law, you’ll understand why Bill Clinton’s repeal of Glass-Steagall in 1999 was the reverse: one of the dumbest, most destructive moves America has made in recent years. It single-handedly opened the door to the Housing Crisis of 2008, by allowing Wall Street to once again use your soundly-invested bank money in its get-rich-quick schemes, all of which led to a zillion foreclosures and the destruction of many, many livelihoods in this country. Eight years later, a lot of us are still paying the price.
Now, is any of this Hillary’s fault? Well, no, not directly. But the economic philosophy that guided Wal-Mart into destroying small businesses while offering poorly paid jobs, which is the same philosophy guiding Bill Clinton’s hand into repealing Glass-Steagall, has a name: neo-liberalism, which has nothing to do with being liberal, and everything to do with having unshakeable faith in the idea that a free market with no governmental supervision whatsoever yields the best results. It’s a philosophy brought to life by Chicago economist Milton Friedman, an economic adviser to both Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher. And that’s where our trouble really begins: Reagan, as you may or may not realize, began taking a sledgehammer to all those regulations that had kept this country working so well since the depression. Many Democrats have no problem acknowledging this, yet they stumble with the next step: Bill Clinton, beloved king of the 90’s, expanded what Reagan had done to new heights (or lows, actually.) Not just with the aforementioned repeal of Glass-Steagall, but with NAFTA- the Trade Agreement that allowed American Corporations to ditch their U.S. factories and set up shop in Mexico at a fraction of the price, thereby managing to completely mess up the economies of two countries at the same time. Mexico lost a lot of its economic capital but was prevented from doing anything about it, while the U.S. lost hundreds of thousands of jobs. It was a lose-lose situation for everyone except the few that got rich off the deal.
We must pause now to repeat this point: Bill Clinton was a Democrat, yet his actions were, in many ways, identical to those of Reagan. Yes, they disagreed on some social issues, and you’d probably rather have a beer with Bill than Ron, but on economic matters, which is the foundation of everything else, they were virtually identical. That’s the thing about neo-liberalism: it doesn’t care what party is in charge. Its only real allegiance is to the goal of maximum profit. When Clinton apologists accuse Sanders of having a “one-note platform,” this is what they’re referring to- the fact that Bernie is always bringing things back to economics. But if you understand American History, and hell, World History, you realize that it is pretty much all about economics. For better or for worse, money- aka power in a concentrated form- drives people to do everything: from improving their education system to starting wars to saving or destroying the environment to creating classes of citizens based on skin tone or sexual organs. If you scratch beneath the surface, you’ll find that the reason why anybody has done anything in our history boils down to this drive for taking as much power for yourself as possible, which by necessity means taking as much power away from others as possible.
When you start examining Hillary Clinton under this light, you realize that she, like her husband, is right in the center of this seemingly unstoppable neo-liberal machine. It’s not just because she’s married to Bill, although you have to be incredibly naïve to deny that they have the same friends, hobnob with the same power brokers, and are funded by the same people who subscribe to the neo-liberal agenda. Can anyone honestly claim that these relations do not influence her decisions? Her track records as well, as both Senator and Secretary of State, have always, unequivocally gone along with neo-liberal policies. When Bush lied to us about those Weapons of Mass Destruction, Congress and the media both readily accepted his war proposal despite being given a government report that cast doubt onto that claim. But most Senatorsdidn’t bother to read it, yet voted for war anyway. Why would Congress choose to start such a reckless war with so little proof? The sad answer, if you don’t know, is that there were plenty of government contracts waiting to be awarded to private American companies like Dick Cheney’s Halliburton, which overcharged the U.S. government $88 million in a mere four months in the name of rebuilding Iraq, which, incidentally, it never did. Voting to invade Iraq was an irresponsible and cowardly Congressional decision destroying the lives of thousands of civilians, sowing the seeds for future terrorists (read: ISIS) and rendering the Iraqi economy dysfunctional even today- yet our Congresspeople still claim they didn’t know any better. That’s the neo-liberal machine in full swing, fully powered by Democrats and Republicans alike. Did Hillary Clinton vote for the invasion of Iraq? Yes, she did. Did Bernie Sanders vote for the invasion of Iraq? No, he didn’t.
I say that not to rub it in Hillary supporters’ faces, but because you see this vital difference between our candidates time and time again. You can take potshots at Bernie’s age or his idealism, but the fact is, the man’s record is spotless. In a career field where politicians are almost expected to lie, cheat and steal, Bernie has sincerely maintained his integrity for decades, constantly supporting issues that weren’t popular at the time but are now vindicated, like fighting for racial equality alongside Martin Luther King. This fundamental difference is what disqualifies Hillary Clinton from any kind of pro-Hillary argument. Assuming you care about the people you share this country with, you have to accept the facts for what they are: Hillary Clinton works for the neo-liberal system, and the neo-liberal system works for itself. Without it, she would never have been able to run in 2008 or 2016- literally,because neo-liberal corporations fully funded her campaign. Republicans may hate having Democratic presidents, but their whining is hypocritical; between Wall Street, Big Oil and the Military Industrial Complex, the last 36 years have all proceeded down one long neo-liberal road, with Republicans and Democrats hand-in-hand.
A Broken System?
Now, if your view is that the system is working just fine for everyone, I’m probably not convincing you of anything. Unfortunately for your view, fewer and fewer people agree. As globalization sweeps the planet and your expensive iPhones continue to be made by Chinese workers working 72 hour weeks at a tiny fraction of your salary, as Flint residents get lead-filled water while Nestle gets to bottle their bustling water business for free from nearby Great Lake aquifers, as rent prices continue to skyrocket while salaries stagnate, as colleges become the biggest money-making scam around and students convert themselves to eternal wage-slaves by taking out criminally-high loans, and as Barack Obama prepares to deliver us the Trans-Pacific Partnership (another “free trade” agreement that makes NAFTA seem like the kiddie trial version) more and more Americans are hitting rock bottom.
If you’re not one of them, thank your lucky stars- but don’t fool yourself. The reason you can allow your mind to even consider Hillary is that your life isn’t in the same spot as those of millions of Americans- because if it was, you’d be angry and frustrated too. Consider this: this is not the first time Donald Trump has attempted a presidential bid. It’s just that usually, everyone ignores him and he fizzles away, only to come back screaming for attention years later. So what’s different this time around? Did Americans all of a sudden become more racist? It’s an appealing argument to a liberal, but show me the data that supports it. Though racism is alive and well, it has always been alive and well in our country. What is different is the amount of desperate people living in the U.S. today, people who have been burned by the blanket “corporations aresupposed to make money!” ideology of the Free Market. The Tea Party, Sarah Palin and Donald Trump on the right, the Seattle WTO protests, Occupy Wall Street and Bernie Sanders on the left: the one thing all of these have in common is that they are expressions of American frustration, beyond anything we would have imagined 20 years ago… and yet, here we are.
This shouldn’t be surprising, really- every single empire in the history of mankind has gone through the same cycle, which always ends up in some kind of revolution. To think America is somehow going to be the exception is foolish; we are bound to experience one in our lifetime. The question is, what kind of revolution do you prefer? Bernie’s peaceful revolution, looking to take place within Washington? Trump’s ideological war on Women, Islam and Mexicans, not to mention anyone else he feels like targeting? Or perhaps something closer to Bastille Day, where folks grab their NRA-protected guns and burn everything they see down? That’s the thing middle-of-the-road Democrats need to realize: all these angry people to the left and right of you are not going away. And if Hillary does become president, they’re just going to increase in number, the way they did during the last 8 years of Obama’s presidency. Right now, you have the Bernie option. In eight years, it’s very likely that you won’t- and the amount of frustrated Americans angered by sixteen straight years of Democratic Presidents who have failed to affect any significant change could easily result in a new president that would make Trump look like a pretty decent guy the way he makes Bush look like a pretty decent guy.
At some point, we’re going to have to turn away from our embrace of the free-market love affair our last five presidents have been having. Yes, corporations are supposed to make money, but not at the expense of every living thing- that’s why we need a balanced economy that allows for both private enterprise to grow and the government to apply brakes as needed. That’s exactly what we used to have, before the last 36 years slowly ripped it to shreds. We’ve lost that precious balance, as anyone whose town has been destroyed by fracking or whose job has been shipped to India can tell you. That’s why, when Hillary refuses to clearly criticize any of these issues, people correctly call her out. This isn’t one you can chalk under “we have to play the game and hope for small, positive changes” because our planet literally cannot afford small, positive changes. We don’t have the time, and people are living in unacceptable situations because of it. It’s not just fracking- the environment is a ticking time bomb, and if Hillary truly continues Obama’s legacy, which is exactly what she’s claiming she’ll do, that time bomb’s fuse will be used up. That’s not environmentalist hyperbole, that’s the hard-scientific-data conclusion given by every single legitimate scientist working today. And yet, despite heat records being broken almost every day and the sea level rising even faster than we expected, Washington continues to do absolutely nothing. With this in mind, supporting Hillary’s “slow, incremental change” plan isn’t just naïve, it’s downright criminal.
What About Bernie?
But let’s put aside that alarmist talk for now and focus on Bernie. Let’s pretend America has all the time in the world to improve, and examine Bernie’s promises of unicorns and rainbows. Can this pigheaded socialist really accomplish anything in the realpolitik landscape inside of the Beltway?
Again, we must turn to history for the answer. Here’s another brief excerpt: after we became the U.S. of A. our economy struggled for a while to find its footing. One thing that helped it do so (in the South, anyway) was the invention of the cotton gin in the 1790’s, which made cotton a cheap and popular commodity, which made slave ownership a very profitable and attractive thing. Fast forward to the Civil War, which found the North printing lots of new money to buy much-needed war materials. This demand made a few people incredibly rich incredibly quickly, and after the war, they stayed rich- giving them unprecedented power in an American economy that had never experienced such disparity in wealth. In other words, we didn’t have many regulations in place because there had never been anyone rich and powerful enough to regulate.
For the next few decades, people with names like Vanderbilt, Carnegie, Mellon and Rockefeller became so powerful with their monopolies, they could literally boss Washington around. If people attempted a labor strike, they commandeered the U.S. Army. If congressmen or state governments tried to regulate them, they would make sure those people did not get reelected. Thus, Congress switched from serving the voters to serving the oligarchs. Is this starting to sound familiar?
And just like our economic system today, the system back then went out of balance and began to crumble. The 99% of the late 19th century was also feeling the burn- the burn of long hours, low wages, and a complete lack of job safety regulations, unions, and infrastructure. This scenario wasn’t just the natural result of the free market: just like today, the American Government was writing laws that gave large corporations unfair advantages. In 1886, the Supreme Court declared corporations were “a legal person,” and, as such, had a constitutional right to make money even when it came in conflict with state laws. In other words, corporations trumped local laws; a neo-liberal principle decades before the term existed. In 1890, New Jersey allowed corporations to own stock in other corporations- a common and accepted practice today, but totally unheard of back then. This allowed corporations to grow at an unprecedented rate… and so on. The corruption was so rampant, U.S. President Rutherford Hayes actually publicly declared the following: “this is a government of the people, by the people, and for the people no longer. It is a government of corporations, by corporations, and for corporations.”
Let’s pause again to think about that: things were so bad, our own president was fully admitting that corporations were the ones in charge. If Bernie Sanders had run for president then, who would have believed his ridiculous claims that he could clean up Washington? Everyone knew the system was broken beyond repair; such promises were either hopelessly naïve or outright lies.
And yet, Bernie Sanders did run for president, except he was a Republican by the name of Theodore Roosevelt. Teddy was as progressive as they came, full of fire and anger against the people that had turned his country into a monopoly. The Hillary supporters of 1900 would have scoffed at his rhetoric, yet Roosevelt’s eight years succeeded beyond anyone’s expectations, as he used his position as president to break up corporate monopolies and protect huge chunks of American land from being developed. Everything Hillary Clinton supporters are claiming Sanders will never achieve was achieved under very similar circumstances a century ago, for one very simple but powerful reason: there were finally enough fed up Americans to back Roosevelt up, and that made Congress more afraid of the public than of the rich oligarchs who’s pocket they were in. For the first (and almost only) time in our country’s history, Democracy actually worked, but only because people wanted it to work. Muckrakers like Upton Sinclair exposed the hidden underbelly of industrial America with books like The Jungle, shocking the public out of its slumber and inciting the country into becoming active participants in our political process. We’re going through a similar muckraking awakening now with the advent of the internet, which has allowed our society to break free from the stranglehold that corporate-owned news sources like CNN and The New York Times have long held. This is the tool that has allowed a minor Senator from Vermont with no corporate backing to catapult onto the front stage, and if we’re ever going to witness any real change in our country, the internet will be the hammer that brings it about.
And so the answer is a resounding “yes”. Yes, Bernie Sanders can actually make a difference, yes, history proves it to be possible, and yes, it’s only going to happen if you want it to happen, because if we don’t show our Congresspeople we mean business, they’ll remain more scared of Monsanto and Mobil than they will of you. This isn’t just idealistic rhetoric talking, it’s history and fact. Look it up if you don’t believe me- in fact, please look it up, and learn the history of the country you’ve inherited. The philosophy of “working within the system” is a myth- especially when the system is so entrenched and widespread. Anyone who starts off with good intentions gets sucked into its orbit and spat out four or eight years later completely defeated. Look at Barack Obama: hope and change he promised, but despite his wonderful speeches, his economic (Wall Street, TPP, bailouts) environmental (Climate Change Summits) and military (Afghanistan, drones) records are pretty abysmal. I’m not saying he’s a bad man; I’m saying his strategy of compromise has gotten us nowhere, and he started out with all the positive energy of the American Public behind him.
That’s why Wall Street is pouring as much money as they’re allowed into Clinton’s campaign. A Hillary presidency is a safe presidency- safe, at least, for those for whom the system works. Yes, from a personality standpoint, Trump wins the award for biggest asshole, but that doesn’t make a Clinton victory that much more appealing. In the end, a victory for either of them will still make things worse in this country. With Donald, you arrive at worse quickly; with Hillary, worse takes a little more time. Is this really the best we can do as a nation?
Paying For It
And yes, universal health care, free college tuition and other important social benefits are not just possible, but essential. Bill Clinton’s own Secretary of Labor, Robert Reich- a Washington insider with the kind of experience Hillary supporters praise- has not only publicly claimed his support for Sanders’ plan, he thinks we can- and should- go even further. Again, Sanders’ plan is not magic socialist fairy dust, it’s actually right in line with the kind of action two of our greatest presidents took when facing a similar problems in America. And how do we pay for such wild promises as free college tuition? It’s really quite simple if you look at America’s budgets between World War II and Ronald Reagan. For example: in 1946, a single male who made $5,000 a year (the average single male only made $1,100 a year, by comparison) paid $700- or 14%- in income tax. That’s pretty low, right? But if you made $200,000 a year, you paid $148,000 in taxes- basically 75% of your income. In fact, from the 50’s through the 70’s, the top income tax bracket never went below 70%, and often hovered at a whopping 90%. That’s ninety percent of your income returned to the government! Today, the top income tax rate (if you make a million dollars or more) is a mere 27.4%- and that’s for reported earned income. The IRS has introduced plenty of loopholes and tax shelters to lower the amount of income the rich must declare- not to mention, a lot of the money the rich make is from dividends, and those are taxed at a mere 15%. In other words, the rich today pay a fraction of the taxes they paid during the time America was at its most prosperous.
What does all this boring tax talk mean? Simply this: the rich used to give us back a LOT more money than they do today. That money is what allowed America build a strong network of public schools and state colleges; it’s what gave us highways, social security, and countless programs that Americans benefited from between WWII and Ronald Reagan. This idea was not controversial; conservative right-wingers and rich CEO’s alike understood, inherently, that paying those high taxes was part of the social contract. Giving most of your earned money back to the government was not considered “socialist,” and this at a time when our fear of Communism was at its highest. The truth was, even with those high taxes, rich people were still plenty rich, and they knew it.
Bernie Sanders’ economic plans don’t bring us anywhere near the rates of that golden time period; they merely take us a couple of small steps back in that direction. To implement his plans, America doesn’t have to drink his magic kool-aid, and (depending on your income) you probably won’t even have to pay more in taxes, because the richest 1% will carry most of the financial burden easily and still keep more of their income than their grandparents did, year after year. When Hillary Clinton plays the part of the realistic pragmatist, she is playing pretend. The statistics I just quoted don’t come from a secret archive only I have access to; this is public knowledge, and it certainly is known by Wall Street and Washington. After all, they’re the ones that spent the last 40 years rewriting the rules.
I know Bernie fans can get pretty passionate, and even obnoxious. It can make you want to vote for anyone BUT Bernie. I’m hoping you can look past that for a moment and understand why those people are loud and passionate. They’re angry- for all the reasons you just read. They’re excited, too, because for the first time in their lives, someone on TV is admitting what we all knew but no one wanted to say. Not just that- this guy is offering practical, working solutions to our biggest problems. If the rich contribute more, we can provide better education for more people- more under-served people like all our minorities trapped in a cycle of poverty. More educated people means less ignorance, less crime, fewer people choosing welfare because now they have legitimate job options. You want to see racism go away? Start by giving young people more possibilities with their lives, and see how a more educated generation will go beyond the thug-life stereotypes too many of our cops are wired to expect from them. Reinstating the financial regulations we used to have means less gambling by Wall Street with your money, and actual penalties if they get caught doing so. A universal health care system means a gigantic reduction in costs for not just you as an individual but small business owners all over the country, who can now use that money to invest in their business better, or afford that raise you’ve been asking for. Combine a better education with a smarter health care system and you’ll get a country eating better and exercising, thereby reducing health care costs even more. And so on- we live in an interconnected world where everything affects everything else. Fixing our economic system doesn’t solve every single problem, but it does provide the breathing room for people to solve the rest of our issues with a clearer head. It is a very important step number one.
Are You Experienced?
“Experience” has been a big selling point for Hillary Clinton, and perhaps it’s a big selling point for you as well. Which is logical, since experiencing things makes you wiser- usually. So let us ignore all the other criticisms we’ve been discussing about Hillary Clinton, and just focus on experience. Let us compare how much experience working in Washington other famous Democrats had before reaching the White House:
John F. Kennedy: 14 years in Congress
Barack Obama: 4 years in Congress
Hillary Clinton: 8 years Senator, 4 years Secretary of State
Bernie Sanders: 26 years in Congress
Yes, Bernie has double the experience of not only his opponent, but of the most famous Democratic president of the 20th Century, and six time that of Obama. Do with that what you will. This is a good moment to point out that, from a conventional point of view, Hillary is as qualified to be president as Reagan or anyone after him. In terms of competence and the ability to deal with this high-pressure job, there’s no doubt she can handle herself as well as Bush #1, and definitely better than Bush #2 or even her own husband. Any sexist attitudes that claim otherwise are wrong, and I will completely defend her abilities in this arena. But those skills, while important, merely describe competence, not integrity or wisdom. I’m sure her four years as Secretary of State gave her a lot of insight on things, but look at what she actually accomplished with that position: convincing Obama to trounce into Libya and assassinate Qaddafi (same thing we did in Iraq, basically) which only served to transform the country into an incapacitated mess and an incubator for terrorists. ISIS is thriving because of what we did to Libya. Even the incredibly-pro-Hillary corporate rag called The New York Times published an exposé on this story; they painted her in the best light possible, but the facts are pretty damning.
Yes, I would love to finally see a woman run this country. Yes, it would be an important milestone and let’s hope it happens someday soon. But people are first and foremost individuals, not historical symbols. Putting a person like Hillary Clinton in charge just so you can check something off America’s progressive bucket list is not just a bad move- it’s a dangerous move. I could point out every poll and statistic out there predicting that Americans will most likely never elect Hillary, and that Sanders has a better chance than she does at beating any Republican- but that’s not the point. If Hillary were a woman with integrity, a woman who really did have the compassion and focus she has never shown, I wouldn’t care what the polls said about her electability- I would back her until the end. Instead, I fear that a Hillary victory will actually set feminism back several decades- for once her tenure is over, too many frustrated people will unfairly say “a woman president? Never again.”
Which is too bad, because if anyone deserves to be president more than Bernie Sanders, it just might be Elizabeth Warren, another senator with the experience, intelligence, and moral fortitude the position of president demands. But Hillary doesn’t deserve your vote. She doesn’t care about you- she never has. Her lack of compassion for people is a constant throughout her career- not just evident in her actions, but in her interviews and dealings with average people. If this recent clip of a young, frustrated black woman being blown off by Hillary doesn’t bother you, what will?
It’s the combination of all these factors that makes Bernie Sanders fans so annoyingly excited. He is compassionate, he does have integrity, he does have sound ideas and economically feasible plans. The facts are there, for your sake and mine, and personally, they have made me excited about politics for the first time in my four decades of existence. It’s not because I think Sanders will usher in a utopia, or solve all the world’s problems. It’s because finally, the Change that Barack promised us is getting closer to becoming a reality. Whether or not it comes in the form of a Donald Trump, a Bernie Sanders, or a chaotic, violent parade of rifles and torches, none of us know yet- but change is coming for sure. You know what version I prefer. The question is, what about you?
[i] Pretty much all the American History summarized in this essay can easily be found in Michael Goodwin and Dan Burr’s Economix, which does the amazing job of consolidating a huge stack of history and economics texts into a single, readable narrative. I owe Michael a big thanks (and apology) for doing the homework I liberally pilfered. The book’s extensive bibliography will more than satisfy your need to know more, if you want to know more.