Compromising with People’s Lives


This is a rant about humans and the problems we face.

I saw a comment in an article about Bernie Sanders that struck me wrong.  The article was about how Sanders had come out with a statement about the so called “historic” Paris climate agreement. Sanders had stated:

“While this is a step forward it goes nowhere near far enough. The planet is in crisis. We need bold action in the very near future and this does not provide that,” Sanders said in the statement.”

The comment, which was on a popular partisan Democratic party blog and received over 40 “rec’s” went thusly:

“My opinion, completely separate from the diary, is that Sanders is never happy with anything. It is almost like he doesn’t realize we live in a big world, with a lot of countries. Sometimes for the betterment of the world, you have to make compromises and agreements to get other countries on board. “

This reminds me of discussions and observations I’ve had over the years regarding U.S. imperialism or as those that want to ignore the imperialism like to say, U.S. foreign policies. When I’ve pointed out the cost to human life should require no more compromise with our politicians, including Bernie Sanders, it’s invariably met with excuses such as the above. “You have to make compromises, that’s the way of the world, that’s the way it’s always been, don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good, that’s politics”.

While people die and the planet slowly becomes uninhabitable.

It also reminds me of voting. In recent years I’ve become a proponent of a boycott against the U.S. representative political system, i.e., a voting boycott at the national level. I do this because I’ve come to believe we can no longer compromise by participating in ruling class systems that perpetuate their rule. It’s getting too late. Too many wars, the climate, economies, everything. We have to force a major change of how humans live on earth.

We don’t live in a democracy and everyone with a brain knows it so exactly what are we voting for? We know the 535 people that are elected to represent over 300 million of us are not representing us, they’re representing the rich and powerful who control our government. We know that. But when the question of a voting boycott comes up, many can’t go there for various reasons. But when we vote, we’re compromising all right. We’re letting it continue because that’s the only thing we know, the only thing we’ve been conditioned to know as our way to participate in American “Democracy”.

Bernie Sanders, although correct in his assessment above, is another example of compromise.  I’ve been against Sanders’ candidacy from the beginning because of his support for U.S. imperialism and Israeli Zionism.  I’m also against the fact that he’s running as a Democrat but even if he ran as an Independent I would not support him because of the above two issues.  I am not willing to compromise the lives of millions of people affected by U.S. imperialism and Israeli Zionism in exchange for fifteen dollars an hour and expanded Medicare.  Sanders supporters are able to look past his stances on those issues (compromise) because of his faux socialist rhetoric and his more progressive stances than the crazy republicans and the eveeel Hillary Clinton.

The commenter above and many others based on the large number of approvers, feels it’s normal to compromise on an issue such as the Earth’s climate in the 21st century. It’s being called an “existential” crisis that we have little time to address and they feel it’s OK to compromise because that’s the way of the world.  In other words, they’re willing to compromise EVERYTHING.

Fuck the way of the world. That’s how we got to where we are. This is the mentality that led us straight to this place we inhabit with wars, environmental destruction, unbelievable inequality, and outright fascism enveloping the planet.

That’s why I say, no more compromise. Humanity and the planet are not something we can compromise about any longer. Hopefully enough people will eventually get to that point, before it’s too late.

30 responses to “Compromising with People’s Lives

  1. Thanks for the warning wendyedavis. I enjoyed getting the reinforced analysis of the Bern-out as I watch some of the local Democrats clutching their pearls while deciding if they should overlook the Hillary. First time I visited the Bern’s site though, thanks for the link.

    It’s as if Hillary’s shadow backers have hired the Trumpet to skew moderate conservatives to the left, hedging every big money bet, just in case the Burnout gets much more apparent enthusiastic support than their initial analysis predicted.

    I guessed correctly at the two summary paragraphs you wrote upon reading your first sentence at the top. In full agreement. F’em!

    56F and chance of localized flooding, but we’re not shoveling this downpour. Luv and hugs to you and yours.

    • actually, this diary was written by bigal3111, nonquixote. i wrote one post on the bern here, just to let folks who care know that he is an Imperialist,

      i have laughed over headlines that he and o’malley are in a contest to see how great their climate change plans are (with hillary lagging behind, it seems), but we know just exactly how far pretty words and false promises go, don’t we? cop21 is over, the final text has been approved…i put up a few conclusions on my part IV somewhere down the diaries page. pffffft. fiddling while the world burns, and profiting from it to boot.

      oh, and the alleged left has already begun the ‘oh, rancid left’ rebecca solnit-esque lote-vote rubbish, and a poor job they’re doing of it, imo.
      5 inches of snow here last night, clear today, sub-zeroes due soon. i send love and hugs to you two, as well.

  2. Here’s some burnout, given my current level of angst and anger. Thus, this is what I posted as my column of Friday at the Chicano Veterans Organization (CVO). And no, I’m not selling the traditional Vet Story to you!

    Taking Your Patience With You Whenever You Travel!

    One of the more memorable moments in this here life of mine, is in acquiring the opportunity to write a column of periodic angst and anger, and of both the strengths and frailties of this Human Endeavor, and in doing, I have been given wide latitude to address issues that in normal times, would not be considered significant when measured by national history despite the deleterious impacts on the individual.

    And with this Holiday Season upon us, perhaps, I should be more circumspect when I consider the “context and content” and yet, today’s moral cowardice is endemic of the Hate espoused by my fellow citizens and which must be challenged. And in doing so in this instance, several issues will be addressed! However, attention of issues concerning Spanish-speaking military vets are never addressed, notwithstanding the seldom when it surfaces So, here goes it.

    1. War and Peace. With the plethora of public opinion polling outfits, none have, for these past sixteen years, focused on Spanish-speaking military vets and done in the context and content of an approximate 100 vets that are prevalent in the halls of the American Legion and VFW located here in our wonderful Sonoran Desert. This taking the “results” of this non-presumptive poll, and therefore, traveling to Iowa and New Hampshire and ‘measuring’ the opinions of 100 non-Spanish-speaking military vets located in the halls of the American Legion and the VFW, would bring full circle the equivalence in which these non-Spanish speaking vets would be focused on War. In contrast, the Spanish-speaking military vets would be focused on Peace and the wealth of related issues for strengthening our Democracy and a Democracy focused on the “unmet needs” to perpetuate a newer and better Democracy into our inevitable future.

    2. Populism on the Right and Populism on the Left. Today, the latest public opinion polling that’s ‘measuring’ Populism, Donald Trump, among conservatives, is garnering an approximate 29% among the Republican voters in both Iowa and New Hampshire. And by way of contrast, Bernie Sanders is garnering 30% among the Democrats in both of these states and where the caucus process begins the first of February in Iowa. Thus, here in the Sonoran Desert, we view Donald Trump as preaching Hate and Sanders is being viewed as a much-maligned optimist for his refusal to pander to Hate among the Democratic voters, and in particular, to the former Reagan Democrats.

    3. Scalia’s not-so-nice Hate. Yesterday, the Supreme Court conducted the second legal step, after accepting any writ, for its eventual decision making and which consisted of the challenge to the University of Texas Systemic for accepting newly graduated high school students. Thusly, under Texas law, the University accepts an enrollment of all top ten percent of high graduates and of the remaining 20% of students accepted, take into account, a variety of societal factors pertaining to these new enrollees. And in this instance, Associate Justice Scalia, long an opponent to Affirmative Action, stipulated that African Americans are far too challenged to compete in an educational environment with the educational-acquisitioned and talented white students. Of course, Scalia is touting his historical belief that the now non-existent Jim Crow laws should be possibly revisited as public policy, and if done, would continue to have a societal viability that is much-needed today. Or perhaps, he, too like Donald Trump would like to see a ‘ban on Muslims’ entering the United States. In contrast, we the former Privates, Corporals and Sergeants, did not concern ourselves with Affirmative Action, given the wealth of empty seats found in almost any classroom, our concern was and has been truly “focused” on acquiring the monies necessary to pay the educational costs, as well as our accepted subsistence level and done in order to achieve our self-recognized Test of Ambition. And the Court’s decision will be duly rendered in June of next year. And as such, I am looking forward to an expectant political decision consistent with a 5-4 result since none of the 9 members recused themselves from hearing these oral arguments.

    4. Journalistic Cowardice. On the cable talk fest that is MSNBC, Joe Scarborough brought up President Obama’s speech on Terrorism and thusly, the verbal exchange resulted in the fear attached to America’s children, given that Obama’s speech was “tepid.” And Charles Pierce, a nationally recognized columnist, was having none of this crappola. As such, Pierce wrote by way of contrast, the following: “Every day, there are kids on the west side of Chicago who go to school with gunfire in the background. There are kids in the Mississippi Delta who go to school hungry, and who are sick with preventable diseases. There are kids in Appalachia who are sick because good dental care is unavailable to them. There are kids in Israel, and on the West Bank, in Somalia, and all over the world who get up every day with actual war being made all around them.”

    5. This year’s biggest story won’t be highlighted. Of course, I am speaking of sexual assaults in today’s military ranks. And I speaking of the over 22, 000 sexual assault cases of just this year. To wit, two senators in Congress crafted their respective versions of legislation and which ultimately failed given that no consensus could be achieved. And yet, any legislation subjective to sexual assaults must commence by reinforcing citizenship and any thing less moves this important debate into the political gutter. Take, for example, a soldier being subjected to sexual assault should have the opportunity to call the military police and be taken to a medical facility. And afterwards, the military police would take the effected soldier to the nearest local civilian police station and done in order to file the appropriate and legal charges that is necessary, Otherwise, the Standard Precedent of “conduct unbecoming” not only fails but becomes a joke that has been leveled and placed on the military and done by the civilians, fails utterly.

    E’nuff said?


  3. Using today’s “pretty” Words!

    Given that my “history” is Indigenous and well over 50, 000 years old and thusly, my view of a “natural democracy” is not much practiced today since the Talking Stick is not much in use, and as such, the role of talking stick has been overtaken by the Journalistic Screed Monsters of today.

    So when I “listen” to the European-oriented Rhetoric that is and has always been found in the denial Code Talk, I come away somewhat amused. And at the top of this list is “imperialism.” Therefore, Boycotting the Ballot Box, has already taken place given that half the adult population doesn’t vote. Subsequently, our challenge is to pass a public law that requires “everyone” to vote, as in Mandatory Voting with the sole exception being that of “under doctor’s care. If so, the demo=dogs of today’s Power Usage, would no longer be prevalent. Or perhaps, today’s Democracy would be in further shambles? And yet, having everyone on the same page for self-governance, would bring about sizable change, changes for good and the changes for bad, as well.

    And given that I am much-maligned Optimist and a self-appointed Pastor of the Church of Matriarchal Renaissance, I remain satisfied that America’s “change” will occur in the next twenty five year due to the pending demographics, and which will provide a leadership role for the Millennial Generation. If so, today’s parents can pat themselves on the back and done loudly. If not, America’s survival instincts will kick in and in the form of multi-million dollar homes will be razed to the ground and replaced with planned mobile home parks until the sun sets in the West…


    • Another interesting rant, Jaango and I thank you for showing that Native Americans can also be Paternalistic and Authoritarian. Forcing people, using a corrupt government, to participate in the corrupt political system or face threats to their liberty is hardly visionary but at least you admit it will likely change nothing because voting is not democracy only one of its components. Without real public control of the whole system of democracy forced voting becomes much like, the beatings will continue until morale improves.

  4. In the United States’s representative democracy, it takes roughly 175,000 votes for one candidate to win a seat in the House. There are 435 of those that slice and dice counties so as to concentrate Democrats into some and Republicans into others so as the party that did the redistricting last (some states excepted) can gerrymander a majority of seats contrary to the overal state popular vote for that party. Candidates running for those seats believe that they must appeal ideologically to the gerrymandered index (called the PVI) in order to win. Both major parties use consultants for hire and no consultant will depart from this received wisdom. Of course the PVI is biased in that it does not count people who did not vote or did not register; that is not from evil intent but it estimates what typically actually happens and projects it to the future. So Congressional districts are scored stuff like R+5 or D+2 and maps of Congressional districts are shaded in lighter or deeper shades of red or blue. This is an important thing to remember because it propagandizes the duopoly through news coverage of political analysts. And tends to demoralize people who are not in the prevailing party; it tends to be self-fulfilling.

    In fact in a sufficient number of districts, if someone has the legal team and organizational skills to turn out 175,000 people or more to vote for them, it is possible for almost anyone to win. Just look at the backgrounds of who currently is in the Congress.

    US Senators and the President operate on the same grid to the extent that people vote for the same party up-ticket as for the member of Congress [by the way, isn’t that title for legislators just the thing to let you know that the people are going to get screwed?] They just have higher numbers to turn out as they are both state-wide races. And then the President has to capture the geographical diversity of the electoral college. Just to point out, geographical diversity is not a strong suit for ideologically driven politics; people with similar ideological views tend to cluster. And down-ticket for state senators, state legislators those numbers are smaller. Sometime four years before an election, instead of the usual two months, lefties need to look closely at just how many votes it takes to win a primary and a general election in their area. In some areas, not very many at all as the representatives seem to operate for life. In others even within the same party representatives change frequently; take the fate of Eric Cantor as an anectdotal example.

    The second thing to notice is that modern day representative politics has been reduces to an Edward Bernays-style psychologized marketing and consumption process that is heavily reliant on high-cost (high-profit) media who treat election season as their counterpart of retailer’s Christmas season to pad their bottom line. Although thinking that they are delegating power, citizens essentially are sold a commodity with an increasingly (since the electronic media of radio got involved) more virtual and nebulous product. (The 2008 Obama campaign was the most recent innovation in virtuality.)

    The third thing to notice is that once in office, representatives become in fact a asset marketing itself to patrons among the clients of lobbying firms and receiving consideration in a variety of forms other than the traditional outright bribes. The currently popular one is lucrative post-politics employment. Someone more up on commodity theory say what more it would take to consider politicians commodities.

    The only way that people power can break that money power is through breaking that commodity-marketing system of mobilizing voters to show up at the polls and mark ballots. I’ve not seen any movemental effort on the left or the right to figure out how to do that and test it on a few districts in a few election cycles.

    The fourth thing to notice is that LOTE voting is within that commodity-marketing structure. And in ordinary shopping, especially for absolute necessities (food, for example), your choice of LOTE food or fasting never really occurs to you because unless you are really detailed in your study, you don’t see the complete moral choices involved in choosing between celery and coconut oil [which farmworkers are you going to exploit this eating cycle]. The commodity does not come with a moral manifest like the nutrition label [as rigged as it is]. And neither do the candidates and parties in the carefully contrived messaging of a campaign. And yes, failing to vote for a corrupted choice is more like fasting than throwing away your vote. You can’t do it all the time or the system suffers in unpredictable ways that might be more harmful than the moral consequences of LOTE voting. It becomes an individual calculus and a personal moral decision. But the problem even then is that it is within a commodity-marketing system.

    I don’t know what kind of political process counters the commodity-marketing form of getting a candidate elected. I think that spending time to figure that out might be a little more productive than the quadrennial circular debate about LOTE voting and polling place abstinence.

    My first thought is that it is a commissioning process in which networks of individuals consent on the values in a candidate, recruit candidates through enlarging the network, vet candidates and agree on a candidate be seeing who remains when there is a network of the minimum number to gain the candidate’s election (175,000 for a Congressional seat). So internally as a network you have some assurance of winning by the size and trust of the network. How much time will it take how many people to have this alternative to media-dominated campaigns real? The current system really is convenient for low-information, information-overloaded-elsewhere voters.

    My second thought it how to protect the integrity of the process from being gamed. I don’t have any good answers for this one, but we see how non-media consensus processes can go awry and be manipulated.

    My third thought, given the election makes the candidate a walking commodity in DC or the state capital, is how do you use that network to maintain accountability to the point that if they sell out, it relatively easier to find a new candidate who realizes who they are working for.

    There are other possible alternatives to the commodity-marketing campaign process.

    As for election day abstinence, it doesn’t end there. The election happens anyway. There are consequences of that election. Even if only 10% of the voters vote, the system declares a winner and legitimacy as far as the system is concerned passes to them; they have to create their own power from that. But for the abstaining voters, then what? The electoral process does not destroy itself because 90% of the public failed to vote. How do those 90% excercise power they have outside the existing structures of power of the PTB?

    For Americans, the 2016 election gets about as sucky as it gets for choices for President because everyone is assuming (including the candidates) that the House will remain Republican and the Senate might or might not flip back to the Democrats. What is guaranteed is more stalemate with compromise the result of hostage-taking politics. The key personalities in dealing with this are the Senators and members of Congress, who no one is paying attention to.

    And left populist ideology does not of itself create a left populist movement that gains power no more than environmental data and insight creates an environmental movement with the power to stop the drift toward climate change that cannot support human life. But despite the thunder from the Presidential lectern and the brave words at local cafes and other meeting places, there is no populist right either except in the fevered brains of the Wall Street media. At the moment, the voting populace looks like sheep waiting to be fleeced by the most clever rhetoric.

    • Thanks for the tutorial on how our Oligarchy functions under the guise of representative democracy.

      The idea that anyone can be elected and that it is those 175,000 votes that actually brings them to their positions of power is a bit naïve, we only know what we are told about the results of our elections. Except for Bernie Sanders few if any people can operate outside the two party system which is very selective in who gets to represent the Oligarchs. You put too much faith and belief in a system that was never designed to represent the mob just the mobsters.

      It’s telling that the Boycott Elections discussion is only seen as a threat by Democrats who are desperate to maintain their positions as servants of the Oligarchy while the Republicans are more worried about insurgents such as Trump undermining their parasitic political positions.

      It’s probably true that if only 10% of voters showed up at the voting pens the system would continue but it would be clearly evident to everyone that the Emperor/Oligarchs had no clothes.

      • Is Trump an insurgent? Really? Is that why some right-wing commentators think he’s a Hillary ringer? Pray tell, how does Trump undermine the parasitic political positions of Republicans. Oh, I get it. He floats new parasitic political positions that they can parrot and grift from.

        Other than a convenient excuse not to participate in political processes of any kind, I’m not altogether sure exactly how boycotting intends to bring down instead of reinforce the Oligarchy. Please enlighten me as to how that works. It seems to me that primary challenges would bring down Democrats who are desperate to maintain their positions as servants of the Oligarchy better than boycotts would. Oh, but then there’s the problem of vetting those challengers to make sure they really really want not to be servants of the Oligarchy. Or the difficulty of getting all 535 DC legislators to be free of the Oligarchy. There are all of these problems no matter what.

        Might as well do nothing and let the happening happen.

        But then regimes really never collapse; they are pushed — sometimes without a whole lot of casualties; sometimes no. Which do you prefer?

        • Are you saying “more and better democrats” is a better answer than a boycott? If so, I’ve seen no evidence of that and believe the Democratic party is useless at this point. It’s completely corrupted as is the Republican party. A boycott could focus just on those two parties or in this case it could just focus on the Presidential election particularly if it winds up Clinton vs. Trump (or Clinton vs. any republican).
          The boycott could (should) also focus on changing the political system of 535 representatives. It’s not working and is the oligarchy by definition that works for the plutocracy/corporatocracy. A small group of people making decisions for everyone else (535 representatives) is an oligarchy. That’s what our system is, not democracy but an oligarchy that is corrupted by the plutocracy, those who have the money. Sure, if we stick with this system we’ll always have these problems. That’s the point. It’s not to boycott how the system is working but to boycott the system itself.

          • I’m saying more locally initiated recruitment of candidates to the ballot, listed Democratic, Republican, a locally registered party, unaffiliated, whatever. But know that you have to figure a way to organize 175,000 people to show up at the polls and do one thing: vote for your candidate. After you get through all the inevitable legal bureaucratic challenges (which you might be able to use to spur organizing), you still have to deliver the votes for that one independent district (even if it is under a party brand, it is the 175,000 voters who now own the candidate because they are not waiting for party money or PAC money or other owners of the candidate to take away their effort. Yes, it will be damn hard to break a district machine. But you are building a replacement with a popular base are you not? The legislative branch is a key structure to building the environment in which a movement has more freedom to operate. The conservative movement certainly has worked these structures from the day Goldwater lost in 1964 and not just within the Republican party.

            Replicate that at the same time or over successive election cycles with similar local independent candidate selections and you gradually take away the volunteers the the Oligarchy depends on to do the canvassing and turning out the vote for Oligarchy candidates selected in DC. But it doesn’t happen unless you win the district. Nurture those 175,000 voters with a political process that results in their turning out in successive elections, in identifying when a representative is going astray and vetting a new candidate. Several election cycles of accountability and the remaining players if not the PTB recognize that you have a responsive Congressional district. Replication of this process increases the recognized power of that movement and its decision-making.

            Get enough Congressional districts and you have the power to place certain constraints on any President just as long as you hold the local loyalty for those decisions of your 175,000 voters. Individual people are corrupt; parties are institutions that are as corrupt of their individuals and their organizational cultures. Working within organizations to change the system is difficult and subject to high risks of co-option but it provides for more flexibility in tactics. Owning a member of Congress on the inside has its advantages for movemental policy on the outside.

            The proposal for changing the 535 members of Congress is essentially saying that the current structure of government is not capable of prudent governance of a nation the size of the US. Enlarging the number makes the governing body more dysfunctional than it already is. Europe is already experiencing this and looking a devolution in Scotland, Catalunya, and other places. Over the past half century, there have been several proposals for partitioning the US into various number of independent nation states. Those devolutions still leave a political oligopoly, which can align for or against the economic oligopoly depending on the alignment of the cultural oligopoly (in broad terms). Although united in threats to their power and wealth, oligopolies/aristocracies are still fragmented in competition for position within the oligopoly.

            The alternative is to figure out a workable direct democratic process that can self-govern 300 million or even 7 billion people. I don’t know anyone even after Occupy Wall Street who has a practical grasp on how to get this done.

            Finally, boycotting a Trump v. Clinton race winds up with the same winner winning. To me, it seems a wash. Boycotting and having alternatives downticket in Congress and legislatures makes more sense. Congress and legislatures have checks on any President — more so on domestic than foreign policy. The persistence of external popular movements of some size seem to me at the present moment to be the backstop to constraining runaway power.

  5. wayoutwest,

    When looking at Venezuela, the sole revenue source of oil, will take out the “socialism” envisioned. And of course, Iran and Saudi Arabia creates a different “vision” of what authoritarianism and can and will be. So, what’s the alternative for the general public of nation states?

    I have a couple of ideas for the usage in the next Arc of Power and that coming to the public would be a “Renege and Repatriate” Movement, And yet, this too borders on FantasyLandia.


    • I still try to be hopeful for the people of Venezuela and their Bolivarian Revolution and the possibility of the PSUV rededicating itself to real revolution. The fact that the government depends so heavily on oil rents, that blessing and curse, makes the way forward even more difficult.

      If Chaves had taken the authoritarian route the PSUV would still hold power and the economic war, waged by the rightwing Capitalists, would never have happened because they would have been nationalized long ago. There would still be major problems due to Dutch disease and corruption from their oil wealth and the Revolution’s democratic ideals would have been sacrificed.

      Fantasies are all we have these days and power is poison so I just hope to be able to wander some of this beautiful land and visit old friends and make new ones.

  6. ALL the vets and currently deployed dupes just(ly) need to return Home, NOW; ala this carol’s conclusion:

  7. i’m jammed for time, but i thought i’ a couple quick things. one, i won’t vote for any candidate for federal office, but i will mail in my ballot and vote in some down-ticket races.

    i looked for evidence of the several vote boycotts that some reckoned were effective, but all i found was a chart of da wiki, not terribly useful for me, anyway. but i did find missy comley beattie’s june 2014 ‘Boycott the Vote’ at counterpunch, although no site that had reprinted it had any comments.

    but she did cross-post it here,, referencing danny haiphong at BAR about the same time.

    on twitter:

    • Danny Haiphong’s argument did have a linkage that avoided the trap of laziness. Connect the boycott to a movement to get recall of elected officials. The progressives of 100 years ago succeeded in getting several procedural ideas enacted: primaries, ballot initiatives, and recall are three. After 100 years, the states that enacted them have since diluted their democratic power and most states never enacted them to begin with. Any proposals that would deal with deception and gaming the system to frustrate the popular will could be organizing alternatives that might put some chinks in the system. Spontaneous collapse of the system at the moment looks neither likely, effective, nor desirable. It is very clear from the arguments here that there must be a strong external movement that is the main focus of the strategy (reference to what blacks accomplished in the 1960s surely points to an external movement) and that election boycott is a minor tactic in the larger strategy of that movement.

      • Certainly it’s just a tactic, how minor depends on how it’s done and who’s involved. Basically I’m talking about a revolution, overturning the power. I said it in an earlier diary that we have to stop the evil fuckers at the top before they kill all of us. I’m not content to leave my children and grandchildren a planet controlled by psychopaths if I don’t have to. Like in the external occupy movement, many referred to Gene Sharps Revolution – 198 Methods of Nonviolent Action”. An election boycott is just one of the many things to be done. But I’ve been saying since last year when it started to look like Bush vs. Clinton that it would be a good time to start one.

      • the key paragraph in haiphong’s essay was this, imo:

        “Jackson warned that imperialism ensured that the US government could no longer reform itself in the last stage of capitalism to appease certain sectors of its exploited subjects. And he was, and still is, correct. The ruling class went on an offensive that has yet to end, brutally repressing revolutionary upheaval in the US while making calculated and necessary changes to ensure the survival of capitalism on the global stage. Some of these changes included ending of the Vietnam War, monopolizing corporate power into the realm of finance, and most importantly for the purposes of this article, opening up avenues to Black candidacy in corporate and political office. These “reforms” isolated revolutionary organizations like the Black Panther Party and re-directed popular energy toward what the imperialist ruling class deemed acceptable forms of political participation.”

        creating a comprador class 2.0…or 3.0, depending. the split of the black panthers on the west coast (oakland?) as well.

        as joss would have it, i’ve been working on a black/brown lives diary after having running into several related essays, in one of which the author maintains that the current movement is not, cannot be, civil rights 2.0. i may have to give up on if for today, though, busy day and all that jazz.

        the 2012 group he mentioned may have been the one that posted at my.fdl ahead of the election, but clearly the call didn’t make as much difference as haiphong believes, i think, evidenced by the twitter account really having nothin’ new, so… but i’ll enter the #billionpeepsmarch again below. might pop up there; who knows?

        but as with demonstrating that the US police are collectively illegitimate, declaring the US government (and many other nations as well) illegitimate, is a worthy pursuit.

        oh, by the way, the CCR’s newsletter just came in, and had this:

        “Appeals court reaffirms Ashcroft may be sued for 9/11 abuses

        On Friday, CCR scored a victory in our longstanding efforts to hold high-level Bush officials accountable for the post-9/11 immigration detentions, abuse, and religious profiling of Muslim, Arab, and South Asian men. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the government’s motion requesting that the full court review the historic decision of a three-judge panel allowing CCR’s lawsuit against Attorney General John Ashcroft, FBI director Robert Mueller, and INS Commissioner James Ziglar to go forward.

        In the months after 9/11, hundreds of Muslim, Arab, and South Asian men were swept up and imprisoned, detained as “suspected terrorists,” and physically and psychologically abused. Among other abuses, men were placed in solitary confinement and many had their faces smashed into a wall where guards had pinned a t-shirt with a picture of an American flag and the words, “These colors don’t run.” The shirt was smeared with blood and stayed up for months.”

        (turkmen v. ashcroft)

  8. Well, my personal 6/27/14 response to Ms. Beatty was
    ‘ “We Shall Overcome”?
    (What, the divine rights of King?).
    Thanks for the practical Boycott The Vote alternative to these JuggerNutz!’
    (Their smiling insincerity was reinforced by even their Arms Being CROSSED!)
    WTF, Indeed.

  9. Ditto, regarding WD’s sentiment–

    “oh, and the alleged left has already begun the ‘oh, rancid left’ rebecca solnit-esque lote-vote rubbish, and a poor job they’re doing of it, imo.”

    Excellent diary, Al.

    IMHO, the Dem Party is simply too corrupt to even care about ‘saving’–for lack of a better word. The sooner it collapses, the better.

    Maybe then, we can move on.

    I suspect that once Senator Sanders bows out of the race, and throws his unqualified support behind Clinton, any movement that he’s built will pretty much collapse.

    Not that I’m necessarily wishing that it would happen. Just that I can’t imagine ‘how’ Sanders can continue to inspire folks to foment a revolution, at the same time that he’s trying mightily to get a unadulterated corporatist neoliberal icon like Clinton elected.

    But, maybe I’m missing something.


    (I say this as a former, lifetime Democrat, and Party activist until 2004.)

    Have a great evening, Everyone!


    • Thanks Blue,
      doesn’t sound like you’re missing anything. There’s too much history, too many books that have documented the facts about how our President is
      (s)elected. I can’t see how this time is any different and Sanders is certainly playing his part. They (the deciders) needed someone like Sanders in the race. Trump might be another story, the dude’s a wacko, but he has ties to the Clintons so who knows. That’s what I’ve been saying since Sanders started his “revolution” line, it’s simply an effort to get more democrats elected to counter the republicans. Like that’ll work. It will be interesting to see what the Sanders supporters do when it’s all said and done and Clinton is the nominee. A whole bunch have indicated they won’t vote for Clinton but we’ll see Sanders out there telling them they need to.

  10. Testing!

    Gonna attempt to post a video (as a test) that is totally irrelevant to this conversation/thread.

    Hope that’s okay.

    Happy to see that the ‘blockquote’ HTML code works.

    If this works–H/T Joe. Had never heard of this artist, but thought this tune was sorta cool.


  11. Here’s the video attribution,

    [peppermint harris …wait until it happens to you, kiddysoulgirl99, YouTube]



  12. sorry; mine eyes are shot, so i couldn’t tell which comments via email might have been mine. caught on to blue’s, though. here, just a youtube url embeds one, although i created css coe with help, to resize them smaller. same with tweeties. please pay the cashier $1.99 on yer way out the door.

    yup; full disclosure: casale, the bass player, was my first (ahem) heavy beau when i was fifteen. and ‘oy’, so it went.

  13. i’d put this on my most recent cop21 thread:
    ‘from adbuster’s culture jammers (UK) who arguably may have been the origin of Occupy global:

    “Hey all you wild cats, dreamers and redeemers out there,
    It’s been awhile since Occupy Wall Street came and went. Now the revolutionary spirit is stirring again. We’re building a global people’s power bloc – and it all begins with the #BILLIONPEOPLEMARCH.
    On December 19, I’ll be one in a billion! We’ll take to the streets in a global big-bang moment that will, for one beautiful day, make business as usual impossible. In every major city of the world, we will come together in our rage, sorrow, compassion, defiance and determination. A revolutionary carnival against the whole dysfunctional system that keeps us on the brink of climate catastrophe, financial meltdown and World War Three

    now the ‘join the blackspot collective’ map doesn’t seem to indicate that lot have joined, but we’re still five days out, and what with prying eyes, and all that, who can say? i did find this, though:

    December 19, 5:12 PM
    Prichard Park, Asheville, NC


    • Now if we could get those billion people to all sign one petition demanding the end of Rule by the Rich worldwide and present to the U.N with a giant sit-in. That would be a peaceful global revolution and actually might work. Maybe even two or three billion signatures. It’s going to take something very big to overturn the power behind the curtain.

  14. I hate to be so cynical but these twitter follies for the masses, that don’t even attract much mass seem pathetic and delusional.

    Even if they could get a billion signatures on a petition to the UN they would be laughed at by the clowns who run the UN who know who has the Power.

    Most of the people who might sign this petition probably don’t have computers, such as the Asian slaves peeling our, and the UN’s shrimp, so under the new Climate Change rules they will be penalized for wasting paper resources.

    • I agree about these ongoing efforts at one day marches that don’t seem to ever get anywhere. But a petition with a billion, two billion signatures on it? If it was supported by the right people who could help make a big deal out of it, and it was presented officially to the U.N., then it’s possible it could be taken up, particularly by Latin American countries at the U.N. It’s has to be something that gets the world’s attention, can’t be ignored by the ruling class media, and is pushed incessantly. It would be similar to getting a state initiative or state referendum on the ballot where signatures have to be collected and verified before it can go on the ballot. A major effort after WWI resulted in the Kellogg=Briand Pact which was to end all war. Of course the nation’s who signed it, led by the U.S., didn’t abide by it, it never became official law. But it was the result of a worldwide effort to end the horrors of war that were seen during WWI.
      Which brings up another idea, a national referendum/initiative process.

    • cynialc or realistic? i dunno, but i’d say look down the long page for more flavorful possibilities.

      but i ran into this via one of the authors of the essays i’m working to weave together:

      #toChangeEverything on dec. 16 NYC Anarchist Black Cross

      NYC Anarchist Black Cross Organization

      something seems to be stirring in the zeitgeist, maybe even in the noosphere. more power to all of them, i say.

      • great photo wendy. lots going on. what will the on-looking crowd do? (i saw this photo recently. it’s a brazilian gold mine in the 1980’s.)

        in other news, this cop21 thing has really bro’t out people’s desperate desire for some good news and thus their vulnerability to delusional & fantastical thinking. I overheard a prayer in which some earnest soul offered unfeigned gratitude for the Almighty’s work to save the planet for our children and grand children thru the good folks at cop21, esp. the lard’s anointed servant, Barak. i’m like, cracker, please. the spirit was groaning & sighing at that puddle of toxic pig shit he just barfed up.

        certain americans are so ready to believe that another cabal of rich assholes meeting cloistered away from all but select media figures will save us by councils so awe-inspiringly sacred that no outsiders can be let into the mystery. why does this delusion have a superior intellectual claim than being an outright troglodyte climate change denier?

        people who have benefited from the structure of power relations will have a hard time swallowing that those power relations must be overthrown, root & branch. Uncle Sam has worked just fine for them; US exceptionalism & benigh intent is easy to accept. if one’s been successful, the easiest thing to say is that “other people are not so successful b/c they don’t act like me.” So if cop21 “fails,” it will be b/c other nations (Russia, China) are not reciprocating US good intentions in kind.

        i mean, if the environment were more than a PR problem, wouldn’t the 1st thing to do be to dismantle all nuclear arsenals? stop bombing? raze the pentagon to the ground? that sort of thing? just how much astro turf is one supposed to munch on from the guy, the team, destroying the middle east?
        remorseless men w/o conscience who pull off shit like vietnam & iraq are supposed to save us? people who daily threaten to nuke iran?

        • awesome comment, jason, and glad you’ve placed the photo. i’d thought it might have been from the miner’s strike in south africa in which so many were murdered.

          i know it hasn’t earned me much thanks here, but i try to follow the funding of the media darlings in all of this…including, naomi klein, and the grand parades in paris, etc. to me, it tells the tale. (and yeah, i posted some of it on my cop21 part IV wherever it is now). ‘look over here what’s important’ while they allow industry to rule. and fuck it, yes, popular resistance is chock full of ‘inspirational’ ‘what’s next’s?’ it’s a play on ralph nader’s ‘only the rich can save us!’ schtick. now it’s ‘only corporate/private/public solutions can save the planet’. cripes.

          and none of them save for the indigenous are railing against ‘climate smart agriculture’, bogus false solutions in the sector where 50% of the greenhouse gases are produced. makes me sick.

          your final paragraph makes smoke come out of my ears, and at the same time…makes me weep in despair, it’s so right on.

          fook it; i dug out part IV. see the end of the comment thread.

          i spent too much time reading at (not terribly socialist) jacobin, three essays examining klein’s TCE, all written by women, actually. most protected her, save one that was something like: Klein v. Klein, pointing to the seeming unacknowledged contradictions in her work. like: without the state, how can any of this change? or something. maybe i’m too ignorant to understand that she’s correct, who knows? especially if: ‘the state’ is now…a corporate state.

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