Tag Archives: democratic socialism

Sanders and Trump represent hope and fear as responses to the nation’s crises

Both are older white men who have interesting hair and who appeal to disenfranchised voters, but that’s where the similarities between democratic socialist Bernie Sanders and fascist Donald Trump end. Presidential aspirants Trump and Sanders appear to be the natural result of the United States’ increasing political polarization and long slide into fascism, with the right trying to strengthen fascism and the left (the true left, not the center-right bullshit exemplified by the Clinton Dynasty and the hopey-changey Barack Obama) trying to destroy it and bring about an equitable system that benefits the highest possible number of people instead of only the plutocratic few at the expense of the masses.

The United States of America is in crisis, as it has been for some time now — arguably, it has been in crisis since its founding (ask the Native Americans, among many others) — and the presidential campaigns of Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump represent the two main responses to crises: hope and fear, the higher response and the lower response, respectively.

Hope and fear as responses to crises come from correctly identifying the sources of the crises and from incorrectly identifying the sources.

Donald Trump & Co. quite incorrectly have identified the main source of the United States’ ills as “criminal” Mexicans who come to the United States to rape our pristine young white women and to drop their “anchor babies” — the brown-skinned hordes whom we must fear and against whom We Must Build a Great Wall.

Bernie Sanders correctly has identified the main source of the United States’ ills as the billionaires who (in no certain order) don’t want to pay workers living wages, who don’t want to pay their fair share of taxes, who don’t care about workers’ conditions, who want to wipe out what’s left of our labor unions, and who don’t give a fuck about the environment that they devastate for their personal profiteering.

It’s the treasonous plutocrats, not impoverished immigrants, who have been destroying the nation since at least the days of the fascist Repugnican President Ronald Reagan. The vast majority of the wealth of the American working class and what’s left of the middle class has been going upward, to the plutocrats like Donald Trump and his treasonous ilk, not downward to the impoverished, including immigrants from Latin America. (Indeed, if it were, they wouldn’t still be impoverished. The wealth is going to those who are only getting richer and richer, obviously.)

But the “tea party” fucktards, like chickens idolizing Colonel Sanders, refuse to recognize this obvious fact, and, because one day they’d like to be like Colonel Sanders themselves, they worship Colonel Sanders. This is the dynamic that we’re seeing with Donald Trump: He’s Colonel Sanders (no relation whatsoever to Bernie Sanders) and his supporters are the chickens.

Donald Trump appeals to the base ignorance, fear and hatred, the bigotry and xenophobia, of the mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging fucktards — most of them white supremacists and jingoistic nationalists, most of whom would say that they are members of the “tea party” (or at least sympathize with it) — who are his followers and who are the psychospiritual (if not in some cases the actual) descendants of the Nazi Germans.

Even though most of Trump’s followers experience financial distress because of him and his fellow treasonous millionaires and billionaires, their lottery mentality leads them to believe that they, too, might become filthy rich one day (um, they will not), and because their juvenile jingoism is so easy to appeal to, all that Trump has to do is pose with a bald eagle and they orgasm.

The rise of Trump can’t be a huge surprise in a nation that has been sliding toward fascism for some time now. Lest you think that I’m tossing around the hippie term “fascism” lightly, know that one scholar defined “fascism” as “the government of the financial capital itself. It is an organized massacre of the working class and the revolutionary slice of peasantry and intelligentsia. Fascism in its foreign policy is the most brutal kind of chauvinism, which cultivates zoological hatred against other peoples.”

Yeah, that would describe a President Trump to a “T.” (Not that he’s the only fascist running for the White House; Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, et. al., are fascists all, and even Billary Clinton is at least Fascist Lite [doing little to nothing to counter fascism is pretty fascist in itself].)

I expect Trump to implode eventually — that is, I at least moderately doubt that he’ll ever sit in the Oval Office — but his current campaign, with anti-Latino-immigrant sentiment as its centerpiece, is chillingly reminiscent of the Nazi Germans’ scapegoating use of anti-Jewish sentiment to gain political power for themselves, no matter the brutal cost to their victims.

I, for one, would not idly stand by while a President Trump and his Schutzstaffel rounded up Latinos for persecution.

Trump leads the fascist, treasonous Repugnican Tea Party presidential pack by double digits in most recent polls, so it’s too early to dismiss him entirely. It seems to me that he could emerge as the party’s presidential nominee, but what I’m hoping is that the party’s panicked establishmentarians push him out of the primary race, piss him off by doing so, and so he runs as an independent presidential candidate, siphoning off votes from the Repugnican Tea Party establishment’s candidate.

Which would be a path to the White House for Bernie Sanders, should he emerge as the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nominee, as even the Millennial snobs at fivethirtyeight.com recently finally have acknowledged might actually happen. (Interestingly, one of them, in their online debate/discussion, even makes the point that I made last month: since John Kerry came back from the dead after having won Iowa and then New Hampshire in early 2004, winning him the vast majority of the rest of the states in toppling-dominoes fashion, why wouldn’t the same happen for Bernie Sanders?)

Speaking of Bernie, while fear, represented by the face (and that hair) of Donald Trump, is doing well on the right, hope, represented by the progressive agenda of Bernie Sanders, is doing well on the left.

Two recent nationwide polls of Democrats and Democratic leaners have Billary Clinton down by about 10 percent and Bernie Sanders up by about 10 percent in just a one-month period, from last month to this month.

A CNN/ORC nationwide poll taken August 13-16 puts Billary at 47 percent, down from the 56 percent she’d received in a CNN/ORC nationwide poll taken July 22-25. The August 13-16 poll puts Bernie at 29 percent, up from the 19 percent he’d received in the July 22-25 poll.

An August 11-13 Fox News nationwide poll puts Billary at 49 percent, down from the 59 percent she’d received in a Fox News nationwide poll taken July 13-15. The August 11-13 poll puts Bernie at 30 percent, up from the 19 percent he’d received in the July 13-15 poll.

The two independent nationwide polls average 9.5 percent down for Billary in just one month, and 10.5 percent up for Bernie in just one month.

That’s a lot of movement in just one month.

As I’ve noted, I welcome Veep Joe Biden to become a Johnny-come-lately in the race; his support would only further erode the support for Billary, I surmise, and that’s because while he and Billary are closely associated with the disappointing Barack Obama — the answer to Sarah Palin’s infamous, snarky question, “How’s that hopey-changey stuff working out?” is “Not very well, but that’s because the crypto-center-right Obama never actually even tried to actually deliver on his promises of hope and change” — Bernie Sanders, who his entire career in the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate has been an independent, the lone democratic socialist, truthfully can say that he’s been outside of the Democratic Party establishment.

Sanders and Trump are only superficially alike in that both of them are surging because a huge chunk of the electorate have had it with establishmentarian, duopolistic partisan politics. They correctly recognize that the Coke Party and the Pepsi Party stopped representing the best interests of the vast majority of Americans long ago.

But, again, the Trump side, in order to stoke up ungrounded fear for political gain, blames the wrong people for our crises — those on the Trump side, as all bullies do, pick on the weaker, on those who can’t much fight back — whereas the Sanders side blames the right people for our crises.

And that fight, which is the right fight, the good fight, is the much harder fight to fight, because our opponents — the treasonous plutocrats (like Trump), who of course would rather have us wrongly persecute immigrants than correctly come after them with our torches and pitchforks — aren’t weak, not financially, not politically.

But they are incredibly morally weak, and they are vastly outnumbered, which makes them defeatable.

We of the left could use the Colonel-Sanders-worshipping chickens on our side instead of on Colonel Sanders’ side, but we continue to fight even for them without them.

Because Barack Obama, Billary Clinton and the rest of the establishmentarian Democrats in name only, despite their betrayals and their failures, haven’t completely destroyed our hope.

P.S. I should note that Donald Trump’s hate-filled rhetoric is, of course, not harmless. And it certainly isn’t amusing. It’s chilling.

Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi, in a piece titled “Donald Trump Just Stopped Being Funny” (again, to me Trump never has been funny — fascism isn’t funny), writes (links are Taibbi’s):

So two yahoos from … my hometown of Boston severely beat up a [Latino] homeless guy earlier this week. While being arrested, one of the brothers reportedly told police that “Donald Trump was right, all of these illegals need to be deported.”

When reporters confronted Trump, he hadn’t yet heard about the incident. At first, he said, “That would be a shame.” But right after, he went on:

“I will say, the people that are following me are very passionate. They love this country. They want this country to be great again. But they are very passionate. I will say that.”

This is the moment when Donald Trump officially stopped being funny.

The thing is, even as Donald Trump said and did horrible things during this year’s incredible run at the White House, most sane people took solace in the fact that he could never win. (Although new polls are showing that Hillary’s recent spiral puts this reassuring thought into jeopardy.) …

That made Trump’s run funny, campy even, like a naughty piece of pornographic performance art. After all, what’s more obscene than pissing on the presidency? It seemed even more like camp because the whole shtick was fronted by a veteran reality TV star who might even be in on the joke, although of course the concept was funnier if he wasn’t. …

So already Trump has demonstrated that he’s a sociopath who should be nowhere near the White House. Of course his hateful rhetoric spurred a hate crime — gee, what a shock that the hate speech of a powerful billionaire running for president actually resulted in a hate crime — but of this hate crime Trump will only say that “the people that [sic] are following me are very passionate.”

This is a man (and I use the term lightly) who shamelessly freely used the freak shooting of a young woman in San Francisco by an undocumented immigrant from Mexico as “proof” that his xenophobic, cruel anti-Latino-immigrant platform is sound, but whose evil won’t allow him to take responsibility for the simple, obvious fact that his anti-Latino-immigrant hate speech — as was entirely predictable — resulted in a hate crime.

This is a “man” who wouldn’t flinch at building concentration camps for the nation’s new scapegoats for the approval of his “passionate” followers who only “love this country” (just as the Nazi Germans were “passionate” lovers of their country).

All of the signs are there. Trump refused to condemn a race-based hate crime that resulted from the fucking centerpiece of his presidential campaign, which is hate speech against Latino immigrants. Instead, he merely called the perpetrators of the race-based hate crime “passionate.”

We ignore the blatant signs of fascism that Trump is displaying for all of us to see at our own peril.

It strikes me that it’s quite possible that should this “man” ever actually make it to the White House, those of us who are true patriots are going to have to get “passionate” and deal with him, as Adolf Hitler needed to be dealt with.

The only good fascist is a dead fascist.

And after Americans just allowed the fascist George W. Bush & Co. to steal the presidency in 2000, we true American patriots cannot just assume that Donald Trump absolutely cannot make it to the White House. The precedent more or less is there.

P.P.S. Here is a frightening news photo of Führer Donald greeting his nearly-all-white adoring supporters in Mobile, Alabama, on Friday:

It looks quite surreal, but it’s quite real.

Of course, with American fascism (like with Nazi German fascism), we have to throw theocracy and toxic “Christianity” in there, too (along with the white supremacism, the jingoistic nationalism and the blind, self-defeating obedience to the titans of capitalism). “Lord Jesus” wants Donald Trump to be president! Of course! How can you argue with that?

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Sanders surges while naysayers blather

Bernie Sanders

A supporter holds a sign during a rally for democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Monday, Aug. 10, 2015, at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

Los Angeles Times and Associated Press photos

Presidential aspirant Bernie Sanders is doing quite well, bringing in massive crowds, polling well, and recently having been endorsed by the nation’s largest nurses’ union, yet some still persist with the worn-out “wisdom” that he can’t win the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nomination and/or that if he does, he can’t win the White House. (Perhaps especially if billionaire jackass Donald Trump does run as an independent, Ross-Perot style, Sanders can win the White House.) Sanders supporters are shown above at a gathering for him at a sports arena in Los Angeles on Monday.

Bernie Sanders is surging.

For the first time, a poll has him beating Billary Clinton in the critical state of New Hampshire beyond the margin of error, and New Hampshire is a purple state, only leaning Democratic a bit. So much for the “democratic socialism” thing being an insurmountable barrier.

Indeed, the conventional “wisdom” about Sanders being unable to win within our rigged political system is bullshit. While the corporately owned and controlled pundits continue to announce that he can’t do it, Bernie just keeps chugging along, doing it.

And as to Sanders’ electability, that should be up to those who actually cast ballots and participate in the caucuses beginning in February, not to the mediocre, soulless pundits whose paychecks depend upon their continuing to act as propagandistic guardians of the status quo.

Among other things, Sanders’ crowds just keep getting bigger and bigger. Again, Billary Clinton has yet to reach a crowd of 6K – and that was at her kick-off in New York – but within the past week, Sanders hit around 28K in both Portland, Oregon, and in Los Angeles.

I agree with this commentator’s view that it’s the Internet and social media that are behind Sanders’ surge. We, the sociopolitically disgruntled, are bypassing the gatekeepers of the corporately owned and controlled “news” media and are communicating to each other – by the millions. This explains why Bernie is actually doing what the corporate-whore mouthpieces are saying he can’t do.

I do credit much of the groundswell of support for Bernie to his fellow Vermonter Howard Dean, who pioneered the use of the Internet and social media to propel political candidates. Unfortunately for Dean, the wave that he created wasn’t large enough to propel him into the White House, but the disappointing, mostly milquetoast Barack Obama, by ubiquitously promising “hope” and “change,” certainly rode the wave that Dean created right on into the Oval Office.

But the Deaniacs never went away, and many if not most of those of us who weren’t with them at the time (myself included; in 2003 I supported John Kerry early on and I kept on supporting him all the way to the November 2004 presidential election) are with them now.

And because Obama punk’d us by apparently only pretending to be a progressive doesn’t mean that the values and desires of those of us on the left just went away. No, they just went latent, and Sanders has reawakened them.

Billary doesn’t excite a majority of Democrats because even the dullest Democrats and Democrats in name only recognize that Billary represents (at best) only more of the same. Only 35 percent of the Democrats in the New Hampshire poll that puts Bernie ahead of her said that they are “excited” about Billary, and I surmise that a sizeable chunk of those poll respondents were lying (or perhaps kidding themselves).

Vice President Joe Biden also apparently represents only more of the same to Democratic primary voters; he came in at third place in the New Hampshire poll, with 9 percent (to Sanders’ 44 percent and Billary’s 37 percent).

Bernie not only is drawing the massive crowds and is polling better than anyone had thought he would (perhaps even himself), but he also is proving himself amply able to adapt quickly to the demands of the campaign.

He has hired Symone Sanders (no relation to him), a black woman who has been a blacks-rights activist, as his press secretary – a hire that was in the works before “Black Lives Matters” idiots selfishly and aggressively refused to allow him to speak this past weekend at a scheduled event on the topics of Social Security and Medicare in Seattle.

Some would call the hiring of Symone Sanders pandering, but those very same people would criticize Sanders if he didn’t have any black American on his campaign staff, so with those people – who are haters and malcontents – Sanders can’t win anyway (usually because he’s white, because he’s not of the “right” race).

We progressives need to ignore these haters and malcontents (many if not most of whom, ironically, are much more racist than they accuse others of being); we progressives have a presidential election to win, and we cannot afford to waste our time and energy on these dead-enders.

Sanders also recently released his platform on racial justice, which also apparently was in the works before the “Black Lives Matter” morons commandeered his first of two appearances in Seattle this past weekend.

This isn’t pandering, either (and again, if he didn’t have it in his platform, he’d be criticized for not having it in his platform); this is responding to the demands of the campaign, and this demonstrates (or at least strongly indicates) that as president, Sanders would respond effectively to the demands of the nation’s highest elected office, which includes serving the interests of many different groups of people.

Bernie Sanders, to our knowledge, is heterosexual, but as a gay man, I have full confidence that as president he would represent the interests of and would fight for the rights of us non-heterosexual and non-gender-conforming individuals.

Why some apparently can’t imagine that Sanders would have their backs even if he’s not within their particular demographic eludes me. (Well, not really: it’s the result of an utter lack of sociological imagination and of empathy and it’s the result of of toxic identity politics, including misandry posing as feminism and anti-white racism posing as racial justice.)

Bernie Sanders could, I suppose, ultimately flame out, but because he has called himself a democratic socialist and because his fellow Vermonter Howard Dean flamed out doesn’t mean that Sanders will.

Nor is Sanders destined to be another George McGovern, the late darling of the left who, like Bernie Sanders is, was a U.S. representative and then a U.S. senator, and who then went on to lose the 1972 presidential election to Richard M. Nixon in a landslide. (Yes, the American voters sure got that one right, didn’t they?) That was then; this is now.

Little in politics is certain, but something that is fairly certain is that we progressives can’t win with Sanders if we don’t give it a serious effort.

The corporately owned and controlled pundit-whores and their conventional, “Surrender,-Dorothy!-And-crown-Billary-already!” “wisdom” don’t dissuade me from doing what I can do to ensure that the most progressive candidate (regardless of his or her demographics) emerges as the Democratic Party’s 2016 presidential candidate.

That candidate, hands down, is Bernie Sanders.

He isn’t concerned about the naysayers, and the rest of us shouldn’t be, either.

He is rolling up his sleeves and getting to work.

So should we.

P.S. E-mailgate is getting even worse for Billary Clinton. Apparently, “top-secret” information was exchanged via Billary’s home-brewed e-mail server when she was secretary of state. See this and this.

As much as some bash Bernie, I can’t see Billary going into the November 2016 presidential election from a position of strength. If the Democrats stupidly make her their nominee, she’ll be a considerably tarnished and weakened general-election candidate at best.

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A late-in-the-game Biden run probably would only help Bernie beat Billary

Is there enough of a political difference between Joe Biden and Billary Clinton for Team Bernie Sanders to worry about Biden jumping into the presidential race at rather the last minute? Methinks not. I see establishmentarian Democrat/“Democrat” Biden drawing more support away from DINO Billary than from Bernie. A perfect alignment of the stars for us progressives would be Biden running and helping Bernie to beat Billary for the Democratic Party presidential nomination, and Donald Trump running for the White House as an independent, Ross-Perot style, and helping Bernie to win the White House by siphoning votes away from the Repugnican presidential candidate, whichever wingnut that turns out to be.

The big political news now is that Vice President Joe Biden is thinking about entering the 2016 presidential race.

I am unmoved.

I don’t feel strongly one way or the other about Joe Biden; I don’t hate him, but I don’t love him, either. I was surprised when Barack Obama picked Biden to be his running mate in 2008, as Biden had done so poorly in the 2008 Democratic Party presidential primary contest that he withdrew on January 3, after having come in fifth place in the Iowa caucuses, with only 1 percent of the vote.

At that time, Biden said that his second run for the presidency (he had run in 1988 also) would be his last. (Biden dropped out of the 1988 Democratic Party presidential primary contest after he was damaged by the accusation that he had plagiarized speech material.)

Perhaps Obama didn’t want to be overshadowed by a stronger personality were he to win the presidency, making Joe Biden a Dan-Quayle-like choice for veep. In any event, it apparently has been clear to Biden, with the exception of a “gaffe” or two, that as vice president he very much has been the beta male. No Dick Cheney role for him (at least certainly not publicly).

As vice president Joe Biden has been unremarkable, and since he at least has given the public appearance of being on board with All Things Obama, and since I find Obama’s presidency to have been incredibly disappointing, to put it mildly — as I’ve written a million times, Obama’s biggest mistake was not pushing through a progressive agenda when the Democratic Party held control of both the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives in 2009 and 2010 (and yes, to me, the ubiquitous promises of “hope” and “change” signified progressivism, not more of the same) — for the most part I view Biden as jut another establishmentarian “Democrat,” along with Obama and Billary Clinton.

Yes, we do get to judge you by the company that you keep.

My support of Bernie Sanders for the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nomination remains unswayed and unchanged by the news that Biden might jump in.

I did enjoy, as I wrote at the time, watching Biden thoroughly thrash Paul “Pretty Boy” Ryan in the vice presidential debate of October 2012, which started the hilarious Internet meme that cast Biden as the Hulk and Ryan as the villainous pretty boy Loki, whom in the 2012 hit comic-book movie “The Avengers” the Hulk picks up and smashes to the ground, leaving him in a crater created by his own body.

But of course that doesn’t mean that Biden should be president, and after he dropped out of the presidential race in 1988 due to the plagiarism scandal and after he dropped out after the very first contest of the 2008 Democratic Party presidential primary season because he’d done so poorly in Iowa, I don’t see Biden as a strong presidential candidate now.

Yes, vice presidents often go on to run for the presidency, but of course they don’t have to. George H.W. Bush and Al Gore did (and both of them won [yes, of course Al Gore won the 2000 presidential election]), but even Dan Quayle and Dick Cheney knew better, and I put Biden’s strength somewhere between those two groups of vice presidents who did run for the presidency and who did not.

The touchy-feely report (which may or not even be true) that it (more or less) was the dying wish of Biden’s son Beau, who died of brain cancer in late May, that his father run for the presidency in 2016 might be touching for some, but it does not sway me. The presidency is far too important to allow emotional pap like that to decide it. I look at the totality of Joe Biden, and while of course I’d rather have him than uber-DINO Billary Clinton sitting in the big chair in the Oval Office, again, I still see him as a member of the Democratic Party establishment.

Bernie Sanders is not. Again, I’m still with Bernie. Whatever Biden does or doesn’t do, it won’t change that.

What I can see Joe Biden doing, however, is helping Bernie Sanders.

I can see Biden and Billary splitting the establishmentarian Democratic Party/DINO vote, which could only help Sanders, who has served in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate only as an independent, as a self-described little-“d” democratic socialist. (He is running on the big-“D” Democratic ticket now only because third-party/independent presidential runs are Herculean feats; it’s much easier to run for the White House within the duopolistic party system, as flawed and anti-democratic as it is.)

Sanders has distanced himself from the establishmentarian Democrats his entire political career, so his status as an outsider, which is what so many of us who are left of center want, is solid. (Perhaps you could call him the Donald Trump of the left.*)

The “democratic socialist” label hasn’t been toxic to Sanders, who for a while now has been polling nationally among Democrats and Democratic Party leaners in the double digits, more often than not second to Billary, with Biden more often than not coming in at third place, behind Billary and Bernie, when he is included in these polls.

Indeed, those who have a problem with the word “socialist” never, ever were going to vote for a Democrat for president in the first place. Indeed, even Obama, who has been a moderate at best — I don’t think that it would be inaccurate or unfair to describe Obama as having been center-right on the political spectrum — has been labeled by the lunatic fringe of the right as a “socialist.”

We shouldn’t worry about what the right-wing nut jobs who never are going to vote for a Democrat anyway are going to think. They never were going to be on our team in the first place, thank Goddess.

And young voters love Bernie Sanders.

While the enthusiasm that surrounds Sanders is not the same as that which surrounded Obama in 2008 — every presidential campaign season has its own flavor, and every presidential candidate has his or her own flavor — I’ve seen youthful enthusiasm for Sanders that I haven’t seen for the utterly uninspiring and uncharismatic Billary Clinton.

(Yes, I was one  of the thousands upon thousands of people who attended one of the thousands of Bernie Sanders gatherings across the nation on Wednesday night, and while the gathering that I attended was a good mix of generations, with young, elderly and middle-aged attendees, I’d estimate that at least half of the attendees, of which there were about 30 in total, were enthusiastic Millennials, one of whom identified himself as a Vietraq War veteran who had voted for George W. Bush until after he was sent to Bush’s bogus war in Vietraq.)

So I am perfectly fine with Joe Biden jumping into the race, even though it seems awfully late in the game for him still to be able to do so and to be successful. Not only is it perfectly his democratic right to do so if he wishes, but again, because he has been so closely aligned with the disappointing DINO Barack Obama, as has DINO Billary Clinton, I can see Biden only taking more support from Billary than from Bernie.

P.S. Should Al Gore jump into the race soon, as one Salon.com writer recently wrote he wishes would happen, that would be different. As Al Gore already won the White House in 2000, and as the writer for Salon.com correctly noted that Gore probably could bridge the establishmentarian “Democrats” and progressives (which, in my estimation, Billary can’t do and Biden can’t do much better than Billary can), I could see Gore winning the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nomination were he to run, even at this late date. He’d be a powerhouse.

But I doubt that he’ll run.

*While of course I loathe Donald Trump, the success of his presidential campaign thus far — right now he tops the Repugnican Tea Party presidential preference polls — demonstrates that a sizeable chunk of the American electorate remains displeased with the Coke Party and the Pepsi Party. (This seems to be fairly unchanged since Ross Perot, who always struck me as a wingnut [he might be labeled as libertarian or leaning libertarian, but the libertarians always have struck me as wingnuts], ran as an independent presidential candidate back in 1992, garnering just short of 19 percent of the popular vote.)

While the poor and the working class who support Trump (and the “tea party”) stupidly support him (and the “tea party”) like chickens stupidly supporting Colonel Sanders — they have the lottery mentality that they can be billionaires, too (of course, they can’t) — cannot identify the real problems of and the real enemies to the nation (the treasonously self-serving plutocrats like Trump, the Koch brothers and the Bush crime family [and yes, the Clinton crime family, too], not labor-union members and “illegals,” are destroying the nation), they at least correctly identify that the duopolistic, corporation- and plutocrat-loving Democratic Party and Repugnican Party stopped representing the majority of Americans’ best interests long ago.

Of course, just as I’d love Joe Biden to jump in and hopefully suck more votes away from Billary Clinton than from Bernie Sanders — which I surmise would be the case — I’d love for Donald Trump to pull a Ross Perot and run as an independent presidential candidate in 2016.

While some argue that Ross Perot’s run didn’t take more votes away from incumbent President George H.W. Bush than from Bill Clinton in 1992, I’ve always surmised that Perot, being right of center, of course siphoned more votes from Bush than from Clinton, thus helping Clinton to win the White House with only a plurality of the votes.

Similarly, I think it is inarguable that were Trump to run for the White House as an independent in 2016, of course he’d take more votes from the Repugnican candidate, whoever that turns out to be, than from the Democratic candidate, whoever that candidate turns out to be.

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Why I’m on board with Bernie

Democratic presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders acknowledges the audience's applause at a campaign event in Des Moines

Reuters photo

Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders waves to his audience at a packed Drake University auditorium in Des Moines, Iowa, on Friday. Sanders has surged in recent New Hampshire polling but still has work to do in Iowa toward winning the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nomination. 

Americans apparently still are hungry for the hope and change that they ubiquitously were promised back in 2007 and 2008. That, I think, helps to explain why U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont is doing better in his quest for the White House than even he ever had anticipated that he would.

Initially written off as a dark-horse candidate at best and a joke at worst (replete with mad-scientist-like flyaway hair), Sanders is in the news lately for polling quite competitively in New Hampshire, the first state to hold a presidential primary election (on February 9), right after Iowa’s caucuses (on February 1).

Sanders (who as of late has had his flyaway hair under remarkable control) reaps not only the allegiance of those of us (including yours truly) who still are waiting for that once-much-promised hope and change, but reaps also the anyone-but-Billary vote, since the likes of Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden very apparently aren’t running.

This is no poor reflection upon Sanders; you – or at least I – go with the most-progressive-yet-still-viable presidential candidate, and Sanders fits the bill. And kudos to Sanders for not being too timid to compete against Queen Billary, who deserves a coronation now no more than she did in 2008.

It is to Sanders’ credit that until now, with his presidential run, he has not identified with the Democratic Party, but has been an independent, a self-identified democratic socialist (I’ve seen “democratic” there capitalized by some, but that’s quite incorrect), ever since he joined Congress in 1991.

Not that this is good enough for everyone.

Fellow leftist Chris “Chicken Little” Hedges, with whom I agree on most things but whose frequent hysteria and hyperbole make me look quite tame by comparison, has remarked that Sanders “lacks [Ralph] Nader’s moral fortitude” and that Sanders “will, when it is all done, push his followers into the vampire-like embrace of Hillary Clinton. He is a Pied Piper leading a line of children or rats — take your pick — into political oblivion.”

Wow. Condescending and reductionist. (And again: hyperbolic and hysterical.) I support Sanders now (he’s a Democrat in name only, but in a good way, for once), but I won’t vote for or otherwise support Billary Clinton (who’s a Democrat in name only in a bad way) in any shape, way, manner or form. Sanders is not a gateway drug who will lead me into the Billary camp; he will not lead me, like a mindless child or rat, into “political oblivion,” as I’m quite capable of thinking for myself.

Sanders has stated that he had to decide whether to run for president as an independent, as Ralph Nader* has done, or to run as a Democrat, since it’s much harder for an independent to run for president than it is for someone who is aligned with one of the duopolistic parties. I don’t fault Sanders for deciding to run on the Democratic Party ticket, and while Ralph Nader, as much as we might want to vaunt him (and I do admire Nader quite a lot), never has won elected office**, Sanders has been in the U.S. House of Representatives (from 1991 to 2007) and in the U.S. Senate (from 2007 to present), at least pressing for progressive change (Sanders co-founded the Congressional Progressive Caucus his very first year in Congress and chaired it in its first eight years of existence), albeit with the constriction of being the only self-identified democratic socialist in Congress and more or less being able to caucus only with Democrats.

Chris Hedges proclaims that in November 2016 he most likely will vote for the Green Party presidential candidate, whomever that turns out to be, and that’s fine; that’s Hedges’ choice. I voted for Ralph Nader when he ran on the Green Party ticket in 2000, almost voted for Nader in 2008, and I voted for Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein in 2012. (In 2004 I voted for John Kerry, as ousting George W. Bush from office was my No. 1 goal, and from the get-go I saw Kerry as the candidate best able to oust the incumbent [and ousting an incumbent president is usually quite difficult], and in 2008 I fell enough for the promises of “hope” and “change” to vote for Barack Obama.)

If Sanders doesn’t win the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nomination, there’s a good chance that, like Hedges, in November 2016 I’ll vote for the Green Party presidential candidate, of which I have a history.*** (I know that I won’t vote for Billary, no matter what. No, I never would vote for a Repugnican, but that doesn’t mean that I’d have to vote for Billary, because I don’t and I won’t.)

But let’s face it: the Green Party is incredibly politically weak. True, that’s in no small part because the duopolistic parties do their best to kill third parties and independent candidates (which is why the independent Sanders isn’t running for president as an independent or on a third-party ticket), but at the same time, Hedges and his ilk encourage us to tilt at windmills (such as by supporting the Green Party) to the point that it’s abusive.

It strikes me that the Green Party had an opportunity to grow since 2000, but has squandered the opportunity – in no small part, of course, because getting leftists on the same page is like herding cats on crack on a hot tin roof.

Chris Hedges calls for all-out revolution, and while an all-out revolution would be great (indeed, I’m reading Hedges’ current book, Wages of Rebellion: The Moral Imperative of Revolt, right now), it seems to me that we’re still fairly far away from the critical mass that is necessary for one. “Every action we take now must be directed at ripping down the structures of the corporate state. This means refusing to cooperate [such as in the duopolistic electoral process]. It means joining or building radical mass movements,” Hedges proclaims, and again, while I’d love a progressive revolution, and while I suppose that a revolution (a progressive or a regressive one) could erupt in the United States (revolutions often erupt taking everyone by surprise), the fizzle of the Occupy movement leads me to surmise that a progressive revolution isn’t going to happen in the United States soon.

And to paraphrase war criminal Donald Rumsfeld, you go to political war with the army that you have, not with the army that you wish you had. Just as I saw John Kerry as the best “army” to defeat incumbent George W. Bush in 2004, I see Bernie Sanders as the best shot for an actually progressive White House come January 2017.

Hedges, of course, disagrees. “Any further energy invested in these elections, including championing Bernie Sanders’ ill-advised decision to validate the Democratic Party by becoming one of its presidential candidates, is a waste of time,” Hedges, whose columns so often read like fatwas, proclaims, but real-world politics is about getting the most that you can get under the conditions that you actually have while doing your best to improve those conditions. Real-world politics is not about pouting and repeatedly supporting the Green Party candidate who has a snowball’s chance in hell of ever winning, which is tantamount to scooping up all of your marbles and storming home in a huff. (And isn’t supporting the Green Party candidate still participating in the system that needs to be overthrown?)

I don’t see that Bernie Sanders is “validating” the Democratic Party by having become one of its presidential candidates, especially when he has identified himself as an independent and a democratic socialist since at least 1991 and clearly has explained why he is running on the Democratic ticket (again, it’s a procedural thing, not his agreement, tacit or otherwise, with the direction in which the Democratic Party has gone). I see that Sanders apparently is trying to change the Democratic Party from within, which is much more likely to succeed than is the national electoral success of a progressive third party. (Again, the Green Party remains weak and will remain weak for some time; only under a parliamentarian system, it seems to me, could the Green Party flourish in the United States.)

Bernie Sanders might not succeed in winning the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nomination. While he obviously is politically stronger than he has been considered to be (even by himself, apparently) – he seems to have roused a sleepy giant, one that has been disappointed profoundly by Barack Obama – I concede that of course he might not succeed in his quest for the White House.

But it is a worthy quest to at least try to elect the most progressive president that we can, and while that’s still a possibility, I’m on board with Bernie Sanders.

P.S. I found it interesting to read that musician Neil Young, who has a problem with plutocratic jackass Donald Trump having used his song “Rockin’ in the Free World” without permission during his bogus presidential campaign rollout, supports Bernie Sanders…

*Nader ran for president on the Green Party ticket in 1996 and 2000 and as an independent in 2004 and 2008.

**That’s not a slam, and perhaps Nader has been most effective fighting from the outside. In any event, the fight can and should be fought from both within and from without the current corrupt system, it seems to me; this either-or, puritanical bullshit doesn’t sit well with me. Politics isn’t pure; it’s a dirty game.

***Having lived in the very blue state of California since 1998, it doesn’t matter whether I vote for the Democratic presidential candidate or not; the Democratic presidential candidate always wins California and all of its electoral votes in the winner-takes-call Electoral College, which needs to be scrapped for a simple popular vote of the U.S. president. (The last time that a Repugnican presidential candidate won California was in 1988.)

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Obama’s failure on NAFTA-like TPP spells potential doom for Billary

Hillary Clinton is joined onstage by her husband former President Clinton after delivering her

Reuters photo

Democrat in name only Billary Clinton is joined onstage by her DINO husband during her official presidential campaign kick-off in New York City yesterday. Billary refuses to say whether she supports the NAFTA-like, anti-middle-and-anti-working-class, pro-plutocratic Trans-Pacific Partnership, because of course she supports it, just as her husband brought us the North American Free Trade Agreement, but such treasonous support is unpopular with actual Democrats. DINO President Barack Obama’s lame-duck failure to get the TPP passed in the U.S. House of Representatives on Friday indicates that the Clinton-Obama brand of politician — the DINO — is headed for long-overdue extinction. Actual progressive Bernie Sanders, who opposes the TPP, has my full support for the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nomination.

The United States of America has been looking past President Barack Obama for some time now, with talk of who the next president will be having been going on for many months now. Obama is not just a lame duck; he’s a zombie duck.

This (the lame-duck syndrome) is not unique to Obama, of course, and so I am not picking only on Obama; in 2007 and 2008, those of us who are sane were looking far past the unelected and thus illegitimate “President” George W. Bush (to whom I must give credit for being my main inspiration to start blogging way back in 2002).

But one suspects that while even Gee Dubya at least dimly understood that he was a lame duck in his last two disastrous years in the White House, the perhaps-more-arrogant Obama hasn’t yet received the memo.

Obama’s delightfully stunning loss on the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Friday demonstrates that all of us, Democrats and non-Democrats alike, are looking past him. As TIME.com puts it:

President Obama suffered a stunning defeat Friday when fellow Democrats in the House hobbled his push for a legacy-defining Pacific Rim trade deal.

House Democrats used a tactical maneuver to deny Obama the fast-track negotiating authority he needs to finalize that pact, sinking a worker assistance program that’s become a precondition for Democratic support of such agreements. The vote was 126-302.

The path forward for Obama’s trade agenda, his top legislative priority, is hardly clear. “I don’t think anybody knows,” Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.), a member of House Democratic leadership, said after the vote. …

It’s heart-warming that DINO Obama’s parting gift to us all was going to be another NAFTA-like, Clintonesque “trade” “deal” that further would decimate the working class and middle class. That Obama was depending on the Repugnican Tea Party traitors to help him push his pro-plutocratic, pro-corporate, anti-populist fast-track “trade” “deal” through the U.S. House of Representatives shines a blindingly bright spotlight on Obama’s dark heart and very apparently reveals, sickeningly, where his allegiances always have been.

But further shitting and pissing on the middle class and working class is not very popular right about now, which is why a President Billary would do that were she to win the Oval Office, I have no doubt, but is why she is promising, like Obama did in his first presidential campaign, hope and change.

Billary isn’t using the actual words “hope” and “change” — since it’s obvious to all of us how that turned out — but she’s essentially giving the same Obama-2008 bullshit message. As Reuters reports:

New York — Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton promised [yesterday] to fight for a fairer society for ordinary Americans, staking out a place on the left to cut off any budding challenge for the Democratic nomination.

In the first major rally of her campaign for the November 2016 presidential election, Clinton touched on many of the issues that energize liberal Democrats. She highlighted her support for gay marriage, women’s rights, income equality, clean energy and regulating Wall Street.

Speaking on New York’s Roosevelt Island, with Manhattan’s skyscrapers as a backdrop, Clinton promised to “make the economy work for everyday Americans, not just those at the top” if elected president. …

By far the front-runner to win the Democratic nomination for president, Clinton nevertheless faces some competition from the left, especially from liberal Bernie Sanders.

The independent senator from Vermont has drawn relatively large crowds at recent campaign events in Iowa, the state that kicks off the party’s nominating contests early next year. …

Well, yeah.

Anyone who has been paying even the slightest attention to Billary’s career of holding titles (first lady, U.S. senator, U.S. secretary of state, etc.) but having pretty much zero accomplishments knows that her sudden, new-found populism is compete and utter bullshit. Her presidency would be a continuation of the lackluster-at-best, center-right Obama administration — at best.

Was it long ago enough that we heard promises of “hope” and “change” to be able to believe Billary Clinton today?

I don’t think so, which might explain why a recent poll conducted by the Washington Post, ABC News and Quinnipiac University found that Bernie Sanders is regarded more favorably than unfavorably by Americans, but that Americans regard both Obama and Billary more unfavorably than favorably.*

I don’t know that Sanders can win the White House; wise men almost never do.

I have been a supporter of U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who not only is progressive — an actual Democrat — but is tough and tenacious (a real pit bull with lipstick) and who would fit the bill of being both our first female president and a probably-great and an actually progressive president.

But Warren isn’t running for the White House for 2016, and the closest that we actual progressives have to Warren is Bernie Sanders, to whom I’ve been giving all of the support that I would be giving to Billary Clinton if she were an actual Democrat instead of a Repugnican Lite (and maybe not even Lite).

Again, I don’t know that Sanders could win the White House — it wasn’t nearly long ago enough that Americans allowed the likes of George W. Bush to steal the White House (Al Gore beat Bush by more than a half-million votes in November 2000) — but I am confident that Sanders might beat Billary for the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nomination, especially if he wins in one or more of the earliest voting states.

When Sanders talks about standing up for the middle class and working class, he has his entire political career as a self-identified democratic socialist to back him up on that. (As there is no national socialist party in the United States, unfortunately, I don’t expect the “socialist” thing to be the problem for Sanders that so many say it would be, and socialism is looking better and better to millions of Americans right about now, especially for younger Americans, whose collective future treasonously runaway capitalism has severely jeopardized and for whom the Red Scare is just what it is: a pro-plutocratic, anti-populist propagandist relic of the paranoid, jingoistic 1950s.)

Billary Clinton’s background, by deep contrast, includes having been a “Goldwater girl” — yes, in her youth she supported wingnut Barry Goldwater (the “Goldwater girls” “got to wear cowboy hats,” Billary has said, perhaps while giggling. “We had a sash that said, you know, ‘I voted AUH2O.’ I mean, it was really a lot of fun”) — and having helped, with her husband and the now-thank-Goddess-defunct Democratic Leadership Council, to drag the Democratic Party so far to the right that year after year it becomes more and more indistinguishable from the pro-plutocratic, pro-corporate Repugnican Party to the point that I think of the two duopolistic parties as the Coke Party and the Pepsi Party.

I know my history, which is why I can’t, in anything remotely approaching good conscience, support Billary Clinton — who, of course, hasn’t made her stance on the Trans-Pacific Partership public** because of course she personally supports it (everything in her political history points to that fact) but knows that it’s politically unpopular (rightfully so) to come out in favor of it. Bernie Sanders, of course, publicly opposes the TPP.**

(Billary Clinton is nothing if not a human weather vane on crack; when she coldly calculated in the toxic, post-9/11 atmosphere that voting for the unelected Bush regime’s illegal, immoral, unjust and unprovoked Vietraq War in October 2002 would benefit her politically, she did so when she was in the U.S. Senate. [Bernie Sanders was in the U.S. House of Representatives at the time, and he wisely voted against the Vietraq War, as did 21 Democratic U.S. senators, so let’s not revise history to claim that Billary really had no choice; she did.]

When Billary coldly calculated that publicly supporting same-sex marriage would harm her politically, she did not publicly support it, and publicly supported it only after she had calculated that it was safe to do soshe waited until March 2013, for fuck’s sake.

This is a pattern of political behavior that amply demonstrates Billary’s character and that is plain to see once one gets past her bullshit use and co-option of the “Democratic” label.)

I was punk’d by Obama in 2008, when I truly believed that he might actually do his best to enact an actually progressive agenda.***

I wasn’t punk’d by DINO Obama again in 2012 — I voted for Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein instead — and I won’t be punk’d by DINO Billary Clinton in 2016.

Instead, I’m on board with Bernie Sanders.

*The Washington Post thought that it was awfully cute to throw in another, online poll conducted by Google Consumer Surveys to add fictional movie villains to the poll, but not only was movie-villain poll an unscientific Internet poll, but the individuals who were polled on presidential wannabes obviously were not the same individuals who were polled online by Google on movie villains, so by smashing the two poll results together into one bogus poll, Washington Post shit and pissed not only all over journalism, but also on the art and science of polling, and further dumbed down public discourse by melding politics with entertainment.

Great job, WaPo!

**Reuters reports today:

Bernie Sanders, the outspoken progressive U.S. senator challenging Hillary Clinton for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, urged her [today] to take a stand on a big trade deal that has divided the Democratic Party.

Clinton aides appearing on Sunday television news shows said she would not weigh in until negotiations were complete.

Sanders, a vocal critic of free trade, called on Clinton to join labor unions, environmentalists and other opponents of the trade package before it is brought up for another vote this week. Clinton is the front-runner among candidates to be the Democratic Party nominee for the November 2016 election.

“Corporate America and Wall Street are going to bring that bill back,” Sanders said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “If she joins us, we could stop this disastrous deal once and for all.”

Democrats in Congress dealt a blow to President Barack Obama on Friday when they rejected related trade legislation that would have cleared the way for a sweeping Pacific Rim trade deal, despite his personal plea that it was crucial to bolstering ties with Asia.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership is shaping up to be a significant test for Clinton as her party has grown more suspicious of the merits of free trade since her husband, Bill Clinton, signed the North American Free Trade Agreement into law as president in 1993.

Clinton has expressed reservations about free trade deals in the past, but she played a central role in trade talks with the 11 countries involved in the TPP as Obama’s secretary of state.

Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta said she would render a judgment when the deal is final.

Gotta love that last sentence (the emphasis is mine, of course): Billary won’t lead on this important issue now, but will wait so see how it shakes out politically, and then, apparently, retroactively will announce that all along she had supported whichever position apparently emerges as the political victor.

And Queen Billary can’t even be bothered to tell us commoners this herself, but has her surrogates tell us this.

***When I walked into my polling place in November 2008, I still hadn’t decided whether I would vote for Barack Obama or for independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader, for whom I’d voted in 2000. At rather the last minute, I cast my vote for Obama, knowing that he was going to win all of California’s electoral votes anyway, and feeling at least a little good about having voted for the nation’s first non-white president.

In 2009 and 2010, while I watched Obama jaw-droppingly squander his political capital by trying to sing “Kumbaya” with the treasonous Repugnicans in Congress — instead of enacting the actually progressive agenda that he’d promised to enact, and which he could have enacted, given that his party controlled both houses of Congress in 2009 and 2010 — I knew that my November 2008 vote for Obama had been a regrettable mistake.

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Hugo Chavez, rest in peace

File photo of Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez blowing a kiss as he arrives at a rally with supporters in Caracas

Reuters photo

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who democratically was elected as his nation’s leader four times in a row, died today of cancer at age 58. (He is pictured above in February 2012.) I fell in love with Chavez some years ago after I watched the excellent documentary “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised,” which is about the blatantly anti-democratic, treasonous — and, thankfully, short-lived — attempt by fascistic right-wingers in Venezuela to forcibly replace the popularly elected Chavez with an unelected corporatocrat and plutocrat in 2002 — much the way that the fascistic, treasonous right-wingers here at home stole the White House in 2000 against the wishes of the majority of the American voters.

Only plutocrats and fascists have cause to celebrate the death of democratic socialist Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, but, unfortunately, most of those in the United States who celebrate his death are poor to middle-class right-wing fucktards who actually would benefit greatly from Chavez-like socioeconomic policies here at home. (No, the corporate-cash-loving-and-corporate-ass-licking U.S. President Barack Obama is no “socialist.”)

Hugo Chavez became widely known as a “dictator” after the unelected Bush regime relentlessly repeatedly called him such even though Chavez repeatedly had been democratically elected by clear majorities of the people of Venezuela (who didn’t vote the way that they were supposed to vote, which is the way that a right-wing American would vote, you see).

Ironically, since George W. Bush never was democratically elected — Al Gore won more than a half-million more votes than Bush did in 2000, and it was the right-wing U.S. Supreme Court, not the majority of the American voters, who put Bush in the White House — Bush was the actual dictator, one who took power without first having earned the majority of the votes of the people.

Hugo Chavez wasn’t perfect — no leader of a nation is — but “dictator” Chavez’s biggest “crime” was that he actually did his job, which was to look out for the interests of the majority of the people of Venezuela and not for the interests of the plutocratic and corporatocratic few — you know, the way that a “good” Latin American leader “should”: sell out his people for whatever it is that the rich and powerful, especially in the U.S., want him or her to (in this case, oil, especially).

Hugo Chavez is dead, but the revolution in Latin America that he has inspired lives on.

The people’s revolution against their — our — anti-democratic, fascistic, treasonous, plutocratic overlords cannot be about one man or woman anyway.

¡Que viva la revolución!

And let’s hope that the Latin American revolution for the people over the plutocratic few spreads north so that we have a truly democratic nation — a nation governed by those who have the interests of the majority of the people at heart, and not the interests of only the comparatively tiny already-super-rich and already-super-powerful minority — here in the U.S. one day.

May Venezuela be the first domino that topples, spreading democratic socialism to even the notoriously anti-democratic, imperialistic United States of America.

P.S. I know that this is the United States of Amnesia, but Chavez-bashers should remind themselves of history: In April 2002, when the democratically elected and very popular Chavez was briefly overthrown by right-wing traitors, the unelected Bush regime at that time immediately recognized the anti-democratic, right-wing usurpers as the legitimate new government of Venezuela — which was not surprising, given that the members of the treasonous Bush regime had had no problem with the fact that Bush wasn’t elected, either. (The members of the right wing support and respect democracy only when elections go their way, and they feel so absolutely correct and superior in their ideology that they are untroubled with stealing office if they can’t win office legitimately, which they often can’t.)

Moreover, the CIA, at the behest of the White House, has had a long history of deposing left-leaning, pro-their-nation’s-own-people, democratically elected leaders in Latin America — and anti-democratically replacing them with unelected, right-wing usurpers who agree to do anything that the power elite of the U.S. ask them to do.

Chile’s Salvador Allende immediately comes to mind; his usurper was the U.S.-backed mass murderer and true dictator Augosto Pinochet, who should have been executed and not allowed to die a natural death. (It was the Nixon White House, natch, that used the CIA to remove Allende from power and install the murderous dictator Pinochet.)

It is likely that the Bush regime similarly had a hand in the 2002 coup attempt in Venezuela.

Even if the Bush regime didn’t (but it probably did), the fact that the Bush regime wasted no time in recognizing the illegal and unelected “new” “government” of Venezuela by itself was plenty of reason for Hugo Chavez to feel animosity toward the U.S. government at least throughout Bush’s unelected and thus illegitimate tenure.

(And there is a big distinction between the U.S. government and the people of the United States; Chavez’s problem was with the members of the Washington establishment who believe that Latin America exists solely to do the U.S.’s bidding. He never attacked the American people as a whole, although the wingnuts [who still call him a “dictator” after he won four presidential elections in a row with international elections observers present] worked hard to paint Chavez as an enemy of every American, and their propaganda campaign worked to an impressive degree on the bleating American sheeple.)

One of Chavez’s most (in)famous acts was in September 2006, when he remarked of George W. Bush, who had appeared at the same podium before the United Nations General Assembly in New York City the day before: “The devil came here yesterday. And it smells of sulfur still today.”

Bush indeed is one of the most evil entities still stalking the planet, a mass-murdering war criminal who still goes wholly unpunished for his crimes against humanity. (Chavez, despite being called a murdering dictator by the wingnuts, wholly unlike Pinochet and other U.S.-backed actual dictators, never had any of his political opponents killed. In fact, I know of not one confirmed murder or even one confirmed case of torture that Chavez as president of Venezuela was responsible for, when Bush was responsible for the confirmed murder and the confirmed torture of thousands and thousands of human beings.)

Chavez said something else at the UN that day in September 2006, something that strikes me as prophetic: “The Soviet Union collapsed. The United States empire is on the way down and it will be finished in the near future, for the good of all mankind.” (Note that he’s criticizing the idea of empire, of one highly militarized nation calling all of the shots for the entire globe. Also during his September 2006 UN appearance, Chavez correctly stated that the UN headquarters should be moved to another nation. It seems to me that for fairness, UN headquarters should move to different nations around the globe, say, once every decade. It’s fucked up for it to permanently be anchored in the U.S.)

You know, if Hugo Chavez had been just flat-out wrong, I think that Americans would have just ignored him. But they haven’t. A good chunk of them have hated his guts intensely, which, to me, is evidence of two things: (1) that right-wing politicians’ relentless pro-plutocratic propaganda (aided and abetted by the corporately owned and controlled media, the bosses of which certainly disagree with Chavez’s business model of nationalizing the media) can be very effective; and (2) that Chavez’s biggest “crime” was being right and being vocal about it, which certainly are two big no-nos here at home, where telling certain awful (but obvious) truths is considered to be a much larger crime than telling even the biggest lies.

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Ozzie Guillen guilty of telling the truth

Miami Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen listens to a question during  a news conference at Marlins Stadium in Miami, Tuesday April 10, 2012. Guillen has been suspended for five games because of his comments about Fidel Castro. He has again apologized and says he accepts the punishment.  (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Associated Press photo

In a nation that only claims to value the freedom of speech, Miami Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen was suspended for five games for having made comments to TIME magazine that (gasp!) offended Miami’s right-wing, pro-plutocratic Cuban Americans. Guillen is pictured above apologizing at a press conference in Miami today for having voiced his opinion on a politically charged matter, something that in a truly free nation he should not have been pressured to apologize for.

Before today I hadn’t heard of Ozzie Guillen, who is the manager of the Miami Marlins. Before today, I wasn’t even sure what type of sports team the Marlins is (um, it’s a baseball team).

While I am not big on sports (although I’m OK with men’s diving…), I am big on politics, and Cuba and Venezuela and the socialist revolution that has swept many of the nations of Latin America (since the United States has been meddling in the Middle East for the past 10-plus years instead of in Latin America, which for decades had been the target of the Eye of Sauron, which sits atop the Pentagon) are of great interest to me.

Ozzie Guillen made the mistake of exercising his right to free speech in Miami, Florida, you see.

Apparently Guillen recently told a reporter for TIME magazine, “I love Fidel Castro,” but then amended that comment: “I respect Fidel Castro. You know why? A lot of people have wanted to kill Fidel Castro for the last 60 years, but that motherfucker is still here.”

TIME also reports that Guillen, a native of Venezuela, has stated that he has respect for Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez as well.

Guillen might have realized that praising or even appearing to perhaps be praising Cuban leader Fidel Castro in Miami — which is home to the Ritchie Riches (would that be los Ricardos Ricos?) who fled Cuba when Castro’s revolution ended the capitalistic orgy there, and home to their brainwashed progeny — might not have been the brightest thing to do, politically speaking, but the Cuban Americans who want his head on a pike — here is a mob of them outside of a press conference that Guillen held in Miami today to apologize for words that he had no reason to apologize for:

Protesters

— are telling us a lot more about themselves than they are about Guillen: Namely, that they’re fucking hypocrites, that while they criticize Fidel Castro’s regime for stifling political dissent, they feel no hypocrisy or shame in doing the same fucking thing themselves.

It’s always perfectly OK to stifle left-wing political speech, you see, but it’s never OK to stifle right-wing political speech. Speech that is free only when you agree with it makes the whole idea of free speech moot, but that point is lost on the right-wing nutjobs, who by definition are hypocrites.

I don’t know everything that Fidel Castro has done, and therefore I don’t give him my 100 percent approval, but the fact of the matter is that, whether you love him or hate him or are indifferent to him, despite the United States’ decades-long attempt to cripple Castro’s rule — hurting the people of Cuba more than it ever hurt Castro himself, I’m sure — the fact of the fucking matter is that Fidel Castro indeed is one tough cookie to still be standing after all of these decades.

Hugo Chavez, too, is one tough cookie, having survived a blatantly treasonous and anti-democratic right-wing (and probably CIA-and/or-otherwise-unelected-Bush-regime-assisted) attempt to overthrow him in 2002 and replace him with an unelected, pro-plutocratic, right-wing usurper. That’s just a fucking fact, whether you love Chavez or hate him or are indifferent to him.

But Guillen’s biggest “crime” here, it seems to me, is that he hasn’t bowed down before the statue of the golden calf that is capitalism.

It is interesting that capitalists won’t shut the fuck up about “freedom,” yet they wish to deny everyone the basic fucking freedom of praising — indeed, even just discussing — any other economic system than capitalism, in which the goal is to become filthy rich yourself by fucking over everyone else.

I tell you fucking what: Mittens Romney, to name just one multi-millionaire, did not do multi-millions of dollars’ worth of work.

No. The only way to make that kind of money is to exploit others. You “win” in capitalism by paying your employees as little as you can get away with (including fucking them over on benefits, of course, and doing such things as firing them just before they can retire and collect retirement benefits, and by shutting their factories down and getting cheaper labor elsewhere, as Mittens can tell you all about) and by overcharging your customers for your product or service as much as you possibly can. You also “win” in capitalism by despoiling the environment in your insatiable quest for ever-increasing profits. In health/wealth care, the idea is to charge as much as you can for health insurance coverage, yet to deny as many health insurance claims as possible in order to increase your profits. Just like Jesus would do! Gooooo capitalism! (Indeed, the right wing loves to intertwine Christianity and capitalism, when even a grade schooler could read the New Testament and tell you that Jesus Christ, according to his own words, was against the rich and for the poor and was dead-set against shameless profiteering.)

The kind of shit that we see committed in the economic system of capitalism is not called “stealing” or “plundering” or even “exploitation,” however. It’s called “business” and “free enterprise” and the like, and while it’s sociofuckingpathic to knowingly harm others for purely selfish, personal gain, in the United States of America it is widely considered to be quite normal — even admirable.

If capitalism were so fucking inarguably inherently and self-evidently great, however, then why do the vast majority of its adherents try to prohibit the rest of us from even discussing capitalism’s obvious weaknesses and evils and from discussing other socioeconomic systems that might work better for us?

Why do the capitalist hypocrites claim that the “free marketplace” is the only way to go, but they absolutely won’t tolerate a free fucking marketplace of ideas?

Are they afraid that capitalism — which, increasingly, is good for only a few — can’t survive in such an environment?

And Cuban Americans need to shut the fuck up already. The Cubans who fled to the United States after Castro took over for the most part were the filthy rich Cubans who were exploiting other, poorer Cubans. And these rich Cubans’ beloved right-wing leader whom Fidel Castro overthrew, Fulgencio Batista, himself was a dictator who had thousands of his political opponents slaughtered — only he supported the plutocrats, so he was a good dictator, you see.

Castro’s Cuba has struggled not because socialism inherently cannot work, but primarily because the pro-plutocratic fascists in the United States for decades have done everything in their power to cripple Cuba and then say, “See? Communism doesn’t work!”

And old-school, big-“C” Communism indeed didn’t work, but little-“s” socialism can. Democratic socialism is the ideal socioeconomic system. (Old-school Communism wasn’t democratic, its major problem.) I’d even settle for a hybrid socioeconomic system, at least for now, with the essentials for human well-being and dignity, such as as quality health care and quality education, being made available to all regardless of their ability to pay for them, with the private sector able to continue to sell non-essentials. (Indeed, it looks as though Cuba is evolving into such a hybrid socioeconomic system itself.)

Corporatism, if we allow it to, will kill us all. The right wing now assures us that even more of the same will cure what ails us. That is as sane as asserting that the cure for arsenic poisoning is more arsenic.

And the people of Cuba, it seems to me, are much better off under Fidel and Raul Castro than they would be under another Fulgencio-Batista type, a “good” dictator who sells out his nation and his nation’s people to corporations for his own selfish gain and the selfish gain of his fucking cronies, who (and whose progeny) now populate Miami.

Ozzie Guillen has my support. I support his right to free speech, and I support a robustly free marketplace of ideas.

It’s too bad that the freedom-hating, anti-American wingnuts in Miami and their sympathizers do not.

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Red scare redux

 

The Cold War still rages on for some (namely, those who are still living in the 1950s).

This book, a must-have for any home-schooling parent or parent thinking about home schooling, actually is in amazon.com’s top-100-selling books as I type this sentence.

Wow.

It’s interesting. When the wingnuts can’t find any other argument against or criticism of Barack Obama, they resort to racism. When they can’t find any other argument against or criticism of the left, they resort to red-baiting.

Yup. For the treasonous troglodytes among us, the Cold War still rages on, and when they can’t win an argument against a left-winger, they resort to visceral denunciations such as “Communist” or “Socialist” or one of their variations. It’s the adult playground equivalent of calling your opponent a doodoo head.

For all of their blather of “freedom” and “liberty,” the members of the treasonous Repugnican Tea Party don’t want our children taught that any other socioeconomic system outside of capitalism is even a remote possibility. Didn’t the actual Communists absolutely forbid that any other socioeconomic system be taught to their children? Didn’t they also wish to brainwash their children, to shackle their minds? So the actual Communists and the Repugnican Tea Party traitors are different how?

(Similarly, the members of the Taliban and other “Islamofascists” and the “Christo”fascists here at home have an awful lot in common. The content of their delusional belief systems differ, but their hypocrisy, self-righteousness and their ignorance and evil are the same.)  

Capitalism is a key method of keeping peoples in bondage, so of course the members of the radical right defend it. Especially as the excesses of capitalism have pushed the American empire to collapse, and Americans just might be considering other socioeconomic systems right about now, those who benefit from capitalism on crack want to preserve the status quo that benefits them but harms the majority of the American people.

Capitalism is based upon the idea that when thievery and virtual slavery are committed in the name of capitalism (or one of its variations, such as business), they are good. Indeed, the nexus between capitalism and “Christo”fascism, which also teaches that evil is “good” when “Christians” commit it, is so strong that the two virtually are interchangeable (along with militarism, because God and Jesus love it when we slaughter us some more Muslims!).

Capitalism is based upon the idea that getting filthy rich by paying your employees as little as you can get away — by stealing the lion’s share of the actual value of their labor from them — and by charging your customers as much as you can get away with — by stealing as much from them as you can, too — is good. The key belief of capitalism is that screwing over your fellow Americans (and others) is good. That’s an awfully weak premise for a socioeconomic system, and the capitalists know it.

This blatantly greedy, selfish thievery that is capitalism isn’t called thievery or exploitation or slavery or even wage slavery or the like. It’s called “initiative” or “hard work” or the like, even though most of the rich and super-rich among us don’t actually do much work. (I don’t count protecting and expanding one’s own personal empire as work. I count as work as doing something that is productive, that benefits others.)

But to try to keep us serfs from going after them with pitchforks and torches, the plutocrats repeat this narrative that the rich and the super-rich are rich and super-rich because they are hard workers, and those of us who aren’t rich (the vast majority of us) aren’t rich because we are lazy. And the plutocrats have billions and billions of dollars with which to reinforce this propagandistic bullshit. It’s a good bet that their money is behind the book that is pictured above.

It is critical for those of us who oppose the right-wing traitors’ Orwellian attempt to snuff out Americans’ ability to even think that a better, more just and more equitable socioeconomic system is available to us to counter their red-baiting bullshit when we see it.

If I had a nickel for every time some right-wing fucktard threw the epithets “Commie” or “Socialist” at me, I’d be as rich as the Koch brothers.

But I don’t shrink away from the mindless red-baiting, which is meant to intimidate and to thus shut down the debate.

Yes, I am a socialist. I believe that the best socioeconomic system for the United States of America would be democratic socialism. It’s pretty fucking clear what runaway capitalism has done to the nation (and to the planet, with its melting ice caps), yet the treasonous, selfish individuals who are guilty of economic malpractice (and treason, because they have harmed their own nation) are the same ones who are crowing that what we need now is even more of their brand of capitalism.*

Capitalism is eating itself alive, like a serpent swallowing its own tail. Capitalism is dying because it’s a dysfunctional, defunct socioeconomic model. It brings misery for the masses and excesses for the few.

This isn’t opinion. This is just fucking fact. It’s quite measurable and observable. And it’s not just evident, but is fucking obvious, all around you.

Our children need to be taught facts and reality, not right-wing bullshit. Our duty to our children is to give them the knowledge and the tools that they need in order to make their lives and the world better. Trying to perpetuate the ignorance of the past — such as “creationism”; whitewashed versions of American history that make the conservative, “Christian,” presumably heterosexual white man the triumphant victor and keep women, non-whites, non-heterosexuals, non-“Christians” and other historically oppressed groups down; Bible-based homophobia (and other Bible-based hogwash); anti-science, pro-business/pro-profiteering stances such as that climate change isn’t real; and the assertion that any discussion of a socioeconomic system outside of capitalism is “Commie” (which we can’t even define correctly but just “know” is something really, really bad) — is to cripple our children, is to diminish their chances for success in a rapidly evolving world, a world that continues to evolve around us whether we want to evolve with it or not, whether we want to reach for the stars or whether we want to retreat into our caves (you know, to go back to the “good old days,” such as the 1950s, when women, non-whites, non-heterosexuals and non-“Christians” knew their place!).

And I feel sorry for our public-school teachers, who routinely come under fire from ignorant, backasswards, wingnutty parents for not passing down those parents’ abject ignorance and backasswardsness to all of our children.

The effect of this political pressure and oppression from the treasonous fucktards on the right is that all of our public-school children get, at best, a watered-down education that instead of teaching them to strive for solutions to our problems only teaches them to perpetuate our problems, which only ensures the collapse of an American empire that cannot remain competitive in an increasingly globalizing world.

*Amazon.com notes that Joe Kernan “is the co-anchor of CNBC’s longest-running program, the top-rated morning show ‘Squawk Box.’ Before television, he was a successful stockbroker with top firms such as Merrill Lynch and Smith Barney.” So a former Wall Street weasel sings the praises of capitalism. Oh, what a shock! And amazon.com notes that Blake Kernan is “a fifth-grade student” and apparently is the girl who is pictured on the book cover.

 Hey, why have children if you can’t infect and cripple them with your own sick belief system and use them to make a profit for you?

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Give me socialism or give me death!

The more things change, the more they stay the same. The right wing’s witch hunts during the Cold War and the McCarthy Era involved Communists and homosexuals. Must! Root! Out! The! Enemy!

Today, it’s “socialism!” instead of “Communism!” that the right wing bandies about, and we non-heterosexuals (along with immigrants from Latin America and Muslims and other historically less powerful minorities) remain scapegoats for all of the nation’s ills.

It’s interesting that for all of the wingnuts’ blather about “freedom,” serious discussion of alternative economic systems is so fucking taboo. Here in the United States of America, land of the free only to support capitalism, socialism isn’t an economic system; it’s an epithet meant to shut down any actual serious discussion of socialism.

It’s a pretty powerful way for the capitalistic plutocrats to maintain control, to make the masses think that any other way of doing things isn’t even possible.

If capitalism were so strong and so self-evidently the only feasible economic system, then why does the right wing do its best to stifle any serious discussion about alternative economic systems by branding those of us who wish to have such a discussion as traitors? Um, yeah.

Of course, it’s the millionaires and billionaires, like Rupert Murdoch and his little bitch boy Glenn Beck, who keep stoking the pro-capitalistic propagandistic fires, since Hey, capitalism sure has been good to them! (to the rest of us, um, not so much…).

Capitalism has, in the minds of millions of American sheeple, been equated with patriotism and Christianity — and all kinds of other things, such as militarism, and yes, colonialism (um, why wouldn’t Barack Obama or any other at least semi-sane and moral individual oppose colonialism, Dinesh Dikshit, since colonialism by definition is about the exploitation of the weaker by the more powerful, you fucking moron?).

The right wing, of course, for all of its talk about “looking forward, not backward,” equates socialism and (little-“c”) communism with tyranny and the like, as though we humankind are doomed only to repeat the mistakes of the past, as though we cannot create something new.

Democratic socialism could work quite well in the United States of America, and, if the nation survives the right wing’s attempt to destroy it in an Armageddon that it creates only through its wish for such an Armageddon, probably democratic socialism — which is about what’s best for the most number of individuals (in contrast to how capitalism is about what’s best for only a small number of individuals, at the expense of the majority) — is the only thing that’s going to save the nation.

This news story from the French (socialist!) news organization AFP, though, highlights the propagandistic obstacles created by the plutocratic propagandists that we Americans who want a better future and a better present for ourselves and those who follow us have to overcome:

New Castle, Delaware — Stephen Knotts, a blond, blue-eyed member of the conservative Tea Party movement, is deeply concerned about where he sees the United States heading.

“We are pushing towards European values. Socialism, that’s a European value,” he warns. “Everybody’s kind of zombified over there.” [Gee, has he even been “over there,” I wonder?]

Knotts is one of a crowd gathered at a Delaware shooting club, awaiting an address by Senate candidate and Tea Party superstar Christine O’Donnell.

He is one of many Americans who fear their country is lurching dangerously towards higher taxes and bigger government and cites with fear the experience of France and Germany.

“Sixty percent of what they earn goes for taxes,” he tells a reporter, though the actual figure is closer to 40 percent.

Paul Lamanna, a member of the shooting club who describes himself as a first generation Italian immigrant, is similarly concerned about what he sees as a turn towards European policies in the United States.

“They have communism, they have fascism, they have socialism, even today. I’m not interested in any of that. I’m interested in democracy,” he says.

In neighboring Newark, Delaware, 31-year-old Kevin Thomas pronounces himself “sick and tired of this big government coming in, taking our money, giving it away basically to people who don’t deserve it.”

“We’re building a nation of slackers,” he warns at a campaign event for O’Donnell….

Wow. So the millionaires and billionaires who get bailouts from those of us who actually pay our fair share of taxes aren’t “slackers” — it’s only the working class and the poor who are the “slackers.” Which is exactly what Uncle Rupert wants you to believe, and which is exactly what his legions of Faux “News” viewers parrot dutifully. (Trust Uncle Rupie! He has only your best interests in mind!)

Only the rich deserve even more, you see, while the have-nots deserve even less — because they’re lazy slackers. (It absolutely is not that they are exploited in a ruthless corporatocracy that dipshits like the “blond, blue-eyed member[s] of the conservative Tea Party movement” in the story above stupidly call “democracy.” [“Blond, blue-eyed member[s] of the conservative Tea Party movement” — hmmm… Reminds me of another fascistic movement comprised mostly of the blond and blue-eyed…])

“Everybody’s kind of zombified over there [in Europe],” the blond and blue-eyed “tea-party” dipshit remarks in the news story above, very apparently oblivious to the zombification of millions of Americans by the right-wing noise machine funded by the millionaires and billionaires like something right out of “The Matrix.”

The way that we non-heterosexuals have to get equal human and civil rights is to stand up to the bullies and to counter the propaganda and lies that the wingnuts pump out there. It’s a long, tough slog, but we’re no fucking slackers, and we are winning the war against bigotry and ignorance and hatred.

And the only way that we, the millions of us Americans who are the have-nots and are the living-from-paycheck-to-paycheck and are the just-an-illness-away-from-poverty are going to get a better future and a better present for ourselves is to counter the plutocrats’ blatant fucking self-serving lies that we are the lazy “slackers.”

It’s called projection — the rich are the slackers. And we don’t need them. They need us.

It’s a popular uprising that the rich fear the most, which is why they keep a steady stream of pro-capitalist propaganda flowing to keep the “patriotic” sheeple zombified. (And it’s also why they live behind their gates with their private security.)

You gotta hand it to them, though: The plutocratic propagandists are quite successful — I mean, millions of Americans tolerate, even praise, an economic system that clearly works only for those relative few at the top. Millions of Americans stupidly incorrectly believe that this system of institutionalized exploitation — capitalism is nothing but legalized thievery — one day is going to make them rich, too. (This I call the “lottery mentality.”) Millions of Americans stupidly would defend, to the death, the very same economic system that is killing them slowly.

This slow death these dipshits call “freedom.” (George Orwell put it best when he invented Big Brother’s slogans of “War is peace; freedom is slavery; ignorance is strength.” This is the credo of the Repugnican Tea Party.)

That the filthy-rich powers that be have demonized socialism to the extent that they have demonstrates that it is a clear and present danger to them. If they want you to reject it, there must be something about it that’s quite good for you. 

Only when the majority of us Americans demand democratic socialism — instead of continuing to acquiesce to the pro-plutocratic, pro-corporatocratic, duopolistic partisan charade that we call “democracy” that is incapable of delivering anything even close to hope or change, since it is designed only to perpetuate the status quo of perpetual hopelessness for the majority — will we overthrow our capitalist overlords who call us the lazy slackers while they continue to steal from us.

We Americans, quite to the contrary of the claims of the “tea-party” dipshits in the news story above, could learn quite a lot from the Europeans, perhaps especially from the French, who fucking fight for better conditions for themselves.

Reports The (capitalist) Associated Press today:

Paris – A nationwide strike by major French unions canceled flights and trains and shut the Eiffel Tower [today], disrupting daily life for many and putting new pressure on the government to drop a plan to raise the retirement age by two years.

Unionized train and Paris public transport workers vowed to stay off the job for at least another day, and police said at least 1.2 million people marched in protests against the plan, the largest turnout in four nationwide demonstrations over the last five weeks.

That could be a signal of rising momentum for the movement facing off against President Nicolas Sarkozy’s governing conservatives over its proposal to raise the retirement age from 60 to 62.

The government has refused to back down, saying the plan is the only way to save the money-draining pension system. Some unions upped the ante by declaring open-ended strikes starting [today], meaning walkouts could drag on for days or even weeks.

The outlook for Wednesday was still uncertain in many sectors, but many workers at the national railways planned to stay off the job, as did some employees of the Paris transport network. Some oil workers pledged to keep up a protest at refineries, and one union warned of looming gasoline shortages.

[Today] hundreds of tourists visiting the Eiffel Tower were ushered away after workers there voted to join the strike.

“The closure of the monument is a symbol,” said Yann Leloir, a striking employee. The tower — France’s most-visited monument — is to reopen [tomorrow] as usual….

This is why the American right wing, led by the millionaires and billionaires, bashes labor unions: because labor unions can accomplish something for the common working citizen. Labor unions can make the playing field more level.

Yet millions of Americans — working Americans — have been brainwashed by the filthy rich into believing that unions are bad for them. No — unions are bad only for the rich.

Change in the United States of America will come. The capitalist center cannot hold. It will not hold.

The only question is whether the revolution for what is right and what is fair and what is just — an end to the exploitation of the masses by the few — will be a bloody one or whether the rich will save their own necks from a repeat of the French revolution here at home.

Otherwise, those torches and pitchforks, methinks, are going to materialize sooner than most would ever guess.

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