Bernie Sanders–Not Just Another Candidate

Bernie Sanders is not just another candidate, but a Democratic SOCIALIST calling for a POLITICAL REVOLUTION against the corporate fascist state. He is not just running for highest office, he is fomenting a rebellion. An article at the Huffington Post talks about Sanders’ appeal and how he is connecting with people, despite saying what would be seen by all the political “experts” as the “wrong thing.”  Bernie Sanders is the only mainstream presidential candidate who tells it like it is and people resonate with that, exhausted as they are of political corruption, party politics, platitudes, empty-headed reporting, and smug punditry. The folks so intent on spinning the lies that thinly disguise their support of elitist rule are frankly nonplussed by the appeal of the actual truth, something of which they have little awareness and to which they attach little value.

What is reflected in the polls is the growing awareness across all party lines that the elitist rule that rigs the system for its own benefit while impoverishing the 99% has to go and that the failure of both corporate-owned parties to address the pressing issues of the electorate must end.  Sanders is addressing real problems and unfairness, from corporate trade deals like the TPP and the polluting influence of money in politics to income inequality and social injustice and people are responding because they recognize the importance and reality of what he is saying and the sincerity of his desire to make a difference.  Sanders’ authenticity and integrity are pretty solid  and are evident when he speaks.  This can be faked by Hillary or Obama, and attempted without a shred of success by all the phony, hypocritical, and despicable Republicans, but Bernie is the real deal and his stated goals and ideals are backed up by his voting record and revealed by his speaking truth to power.

Whatever happens with Sanders’ run, may it bring with it the awareness of how far-reaching the problems are in this country, and that nothing short of a political revolution, including ending plutocratic rule by the corporate criminal elite and their fascist fundamentalist pawns will bring about the amount of change that is needed. Ultimately, what must happen in order to effect true democracy, is an end to economic exploitation inherent in capitalism, proportional representation, and a citizens legislature, run by the actual people, but Bernie Sanders is likely a bridge towards even more fundamental restructuring and for now, whatever the electoral outcome, a refreshingly honest and crucial voice for revolutionary change.

Google: The Surveillance State of the Art?

Big Brother EarthStill using Google, gmail, and now Google+?  I’m not.  Google seems to have inverted its motto, “Don’t be evil” and has been engaging in wholesale collection of data it gathers on its users and is now polluting what was once its premier product, its search engine, with commercialized, proprietary garbage. This has been going on for some time but many people still do not seem to be aware of it. See The Guardian’s “Google ‘improperly’ accessed Kenyan rival Mocality’s database” and read The Case Against Google for a comprehensive argument against using Google by Mat Honan on Gizmodo.com, both written in 2012.

Google was taken to court in a class action suit in 2013 regarding its intrusive data-gathering practices, a case that it lost.  In a victory for online privacy, an article on Consumer Watchdog.org entitled, ““Gmail Judge Holds Internet Accountable To Wiretap Laws In Key Consumer Victory” sums up the ruling against Google thusly:

“This is a historic step for holding Internet communications subject to the same privacy laws that exist in the rest of society. The court rightly rejected Google’s tortured logic that you have to accept intrusions of privacy if you want to send email,” said John M. Simpson, Consumer Watchdog’s Privacy Project Director. “The ruling means federal and state wiretap laws apply to the Internet.  It’s a tremendous victory for online privacy. Companies like Google can’t simply do whatever they want with our data and emails.” Read the decision here: http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/resources/GoogleGmailOrder092613.pdf

Google may be involved in much more than anyone might have imagined, and its influence/involvement may likely far exceed data collection. For a very disturbing examination of the larger issues of what Google may be involved in politically, see Google is Not What it Seems for a 2014 Newsweek article containing an excerpt of Wikileaks’ Julian Assange’s book, “When Google Met Wikileaks” regarding Eric Schmidt, previous Google CEO.

After reading these articles, you may agree that Google has abandoned its motto and is now being evil by its own definition as well as by that of many of its erstwhile users.  This is an example of the kind of dismissal of ethics endemic in capitalism, where profit trumps all, and is the larger lesson we need to learn from this betrayal.  Some of us would argue that a system predicated on profit is inherently corrupt, self-serving, and, well, evil.  It is no small matter that the NSA spying has been piggybacking off information gathered by tech giants like Google, Microsoft, and Apple and why these corporations need to be held accountable.  But even more disturbing, Google may be involved behind the scenes in larger world events.  This is why We the People need to take back control of our government and rein in these corporations who think they are “people” so that we can again have some privacy as well as some say in our lives.

Ferguson – The Police State Exposed

Ferguson simply has exposed what has been happening for many years now in the wake of the Patriot Act, NDAA 2012, HR 347, which transformed our republic into a police state and stripped us of our Fourth Amendment rights. Thanks to the military-industrial complex, which makes billions off endless wars, we now have militarized police forces as well, armed to the teeth with weapons of war. See: https://www.aclu.org/war-comes-home-excessive-militarization-american-policing

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/08/19/1322763/-Using-the-ballot-box-to-lawfully-disarm-the-American-militarized-police-state-Police-execution-video

Protesters nationwide hope to transform their anger into change and secure the guarantees of the U.S. Constitution & Bill of Rights. See Ferguson Protesters Hope To Transform Anger Into Change, and a quick look at social media offers insight into what people are thinking. Check out Twitter hashtags #sandydarity, #justicefor mike #protestpoliceviolence, #FergusonSyllabus, and Twitter handles @civilright.org and @ryjareilly. For more information, see the Atlantic Magazine, 8-25-14 article by Marcia Chatelan “Ferguson is on the Syllabus:” http://colorlines.com/archives/2014/08/following_ferugson_teaching_the_crisis_in_the_classroom.html

As far as the justice system response goes, Prosecutor McCullough may likely be using the grand jury as a “delaying tactic” to absolve a guilty police officer of shooting Mike Brown on the street of Ferguson, Mo near where he lived with his parents. Officer Darren Wilson will tell his tale to the grand jury and no doubt there will be no trained opposing force who will challenge his story.

According to Bill Simpich, an Oakland attorney and the 2003 Public Justice Trial Lawyer of the year, the 5th Amendment mandates the federal government to use the grand jury in capital cases, but he states that “it has fallen into disfavor over time and become an essential element of the New Jim Crow”. Simpich believes that “only a new civil rights movement can end this abuse of power.” This is part of a systemic problem that only can be corrected by putting the People back in charge of our government instead of a corrupt police state run by warmongering mega-corporations who care only about profits, not the human rights of an unarmed teenager.

Hobby Lobby – a Case of Corporate Rights vs. Human Rights

The Hobby Lobby ruling by the Supreme Court today is illustrative of just how urgently we need to pass the Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution as well as an amendment to abolish corporate “personhood” and money as “speech.” This ruling graphically displays the need for these two constitutional amendments as it empowers corporations’ so-called “personhood” while ignoring the actual personhood of 51% (!) of the population. It demonstrates how far the current court is willing to go to enshrine corporate constitutional rights while emboldening religious fanatics and stomping on the human rights of women. It is the perfect example of religious oppression and tyranny masquerading as religious “freedom” and the corporate 1% using any excuse to minimize costs and maximize profits.

The radical religious right has infested the Supreme Court in addition to Congress in the persons of particularly Samuel Alito, who wrote the majority opinion, and Antonin Scalia, who in turn were enabled by the other right-wing male members of the court. What is unbelievable is that the anti-abortion fanatics like Hobby Lobby have now gone after birth control, revealing their hypocrisy regarding abortion given the fact that birth control prevents abortions, which is no surprise to those of us who have always known their agenda. They are not the least bit interested in “life,” caring nothing for the lives of women, only feigning angst for non-viable zygotes, gametes, and fetuses because what they are actually interested in is invading and negating women’s bodily sovereignty, privacy, autonomy, and agency so that women have no freedom or control over their lives.

The attitude of fundamentalist fanatics is not only sexist, but male supremacist; women are seen as nothing more than sexual commodities, brood mares and chattel whose bodies are property to be allocated and controlled. These Christian fascists think they have the right to dictate to women their most intimate decisions about their bodies and their sexuality, an outrageous discrimination against only females as women are the only persons who use prescription birth control or need abortions and because procedures like vasectomies for men are not excluded. Their goal of female enslavement and bondage through forced childbearing is abundantly clear.

As Ginsburg warns, this decision will be applied broadly and open the floodgates for corporations to claim all kinds of exceptions to abiding by the provisions of the Affordable Care Act, whether it be certain procedures such as pap smears, mammograms, or even denying women equal pay. If it’s ok to discriminate against women in one way, why wouldn’t it be in another? This is just the beginning in terms of lawsuits to give corporate “persons” the right to openly discriminate against real female persons, an expansion of rights for artificial entities stolen from our Bill of Rights intended for natural persons, and these kinds of rulings will continue until we pass a 28th and a 29th amendment to the Constitution to end discrimination based on sex and to end corporate personhood and money as speech.

NOW, AAUW, and PDA are among the groups working for the passage of the ERA.  To speak out about Hobby Lobby, go to:

Undo Hobby Lobby!  and #JointheDissent on Twitter.

For more info see:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/01/us/hobby-lobby-case-supreme-court-contraception.html?_r=0

http://www.alternet.org/civil-liberties/10-blistering-highlights-justice-ruth-bader-ginsburgs-hobby-lobby-dissent?akid=11975.950734.0rtxF9&rd=1&src=newsletter1008624&t=5

Why I’m voting for Cindy Sheehan for Governor

I don’t know about you, but I’m voting for Cindy Sheehan for Governor. Here’s why she is getting my vote. Not only is she an outspoken anti-war/peace activist, she opposes corporate rule, is a woman (we need many more in office!), she is a third-party progressive (the only real kind, other than a few exceptions like Alan Grayson and Elizabeth Warren), and she is running on the Peace & Freedom ticket. Mr. Jerry Fracking Brown, the Democratic candidate, is certainly NOT progressive, bowing as he does to the oil industry and other corporate interests. Haven’t we had enough of the two-party corporate-owned tyranny?

Cindy writes on her website why she is running for governor: “primarily because I believe that California should be leading the nation in peace, education, health care, sustainable/renewable energy and democracy.” Secondarily, she writes that she feels the only way to halt the corporate stranglehold is by running as a third-party candidate, thereby challenging the two-party system which collaborates with and enables corporate rule. This is why I support her and the Peace & Freedom Party, which represents and fight for the rights and benefit of the 99%, not the over-privileged 1%.

P&F recognizes that capitalism is the vehicle of classism and imperialism and is inimical to democracy, and clearly states this in its platform without equivocation. Our system is in grave need of socialization, in every sense of the word, in view of the winner-take-all, mean-spirited, violent, war-obsessed plutocracy we currently have where profit rules supreme in a corrupt political landscape where money is “speech” and corporations are “people” while actual people are reduced to a commodity to be manipulated and ruled.

Remember to vote on Tuesday and remember we can now vote for any candidate of any party in California, so I hope you consider voting for Cindy Sheehan for Governor!

The California Peace and Freedom Party is the only socialist and feminist political party on the ballot in California and has the largest voter registration of any socialist party in the U. S., nearing 80,000 currently. P&F’s preamble reads, “The Peace and Freedom Party is an open, multi-tendency, movement-oriented socialist party. We are united in our common commitment to socialism, democracy, feminism and unionism and our common opposition to capitalism, imperialism, racism, sexism and elitism.” For more information, visit peaceandfreedom.org.

Net Neutrality: A First Amendment Right

Net Neutrality is a First Amendment right issue and fundamental to a democracy that is supposed to be of the PEOPLE, by the PEOPLE, and for the PEOPLE.  We cannot allow the FCC to adopt rules that allow corporations to exercise ever more control by imposing a “pay to play” mentality on Internet use.  If the new pay-for-priority rules are allowed to stand, it will allow Internet Service Providers to discriminate against smaller users, impose new fees, and even proscribe content.See: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/15/fcc-net-neutrality_n_5331278.html and http://www.salon.com/2014/05/15/fcc_passes_proposal_to_create_rules_on_net_neutrality_in_a_3_2_vote/

It may surprise some to know that it is the DEMOCRATS on the FCC who, while questioning the repercussions and noting the public outcry, have voted for this rule.  We are living in an ever more Kafkaesque world where what actually is true is the opposite of what appears to be true. While proclaiming his support of Net Neutrality, President Obama appoints a former telecom lobbyist to the FCC, who in turn vows to protect Net Neutrality, while doing precisely the opposite.This dark irony is intensified by the fact that Wheeler replaces the former FCC Chair, Michael Powell (a Clinton appointee), who now works for NCTA (National Cable & Telecommunications Association) in a corporate/governmental revolving door so typical of corrupt Washington politics.

The FCC ruling is another clear expansion of corporate rule and related to the abuse of the Bill of Rights by the application of the fallacious legal doctrines of corporate “personhood” and money as “speech.”  If net neutrality is destroyed, we lose our last bastion of free speech and free press:  the free and open Internet.  We must not allow this to happen.  In order to have true Net Neutrality, broadband needs to be reclassified as telecommunications and the Internet as a public utility so it may be appropriately regulated and big cable and telecom companies don’t monopolize and control it.

It’s Time to Defend Net Neutrality: Tell the FCC What you Think of its Proposed Regulations