Peace Is Not A Secondary Consideration

Many people who support certain candidates want to support universal healthcare and place peace as a secondary consideration or make peace completely optional.

The same people or many of them want to increase wages with the same view toward peace.

Peace is not a secondary consideration. Peace is not optional. This entire thought process brands the holder of these views as nothing better than an unethical capitalist. Right in line with weapons manufacturers and vulture capitalists.

When one is willing to place peace on a back burner while crying for universal healthcare and higher wages, allegedly socialist policies which benefit them, they are literally stating they do not care about the deaths and injuries our country inflicts upon brown-skinned people in other countries. Just as long as you are making a profit or reducing your costs, any atrocity done in your name is acceptable. Because that is all you are thinking of. Your bottom line.

It’s amusing (sic) when so-called “leftists” (sic) place themselves morally above WAR Street executives or candidates who pass tax cuts for the rich. Yet at the same time are willing to blind themselves to the warmongering policies or political double-speak of their preferred party or candidate. Double speak which includes phrases like, “(We will) Work with pro-democracy forces around the world to build societies that work for and protect all people.”

Never question what this means. Never ask who defines what is a “pro-democracy force”. Never ask why the use of the word “force” is necessary in such a statement. Never ask why the candidate who makes this statement has remained silent on election fraud in 2016 for three years, yet disparaged the Venezuelan election, which was monitored by observers from FORTY countries and deemed legitimate. Is the US the one to determine which countries are “pro-democracy”, while we still have gerrymandering, the Council on Presidential Debates and superdelegates? Never question how we will behave toward governments which are deemed NOT “pro-democracy”.

Just pay no attention to what is not said.

Domestic economic policy is continuously compromised by the expense of our foreign policy. The way we “support democracy” involves dropping over 120 bombs a day at an average cost of $80,000 each. The detainment, torture, dismemberment and slaughter of unknown millions of innocent civilians, including men, women and children. The starvation of millions more via sanctions we have no right to impose. Military and “intelligence” operations around the globe, overthrowing democratically elected governments that refuse to bow down to the US Empire. Over 1400 permanent military bases globally, an unknown number of black ops sites and temporary bases or encampments, mass surveillance of our own population, legalized propaganda and censorship domestically. All paid for with your tax dollars, past, present and for generations to come.

In other words, our “support of democracy” costs us well over $1 trillion a year.

Never mind that this expense is used as the primary excuse for saying “we cannot afford universal healthcare”, for reducing food stamps and housing benefits. Never mind any of that.

Focus instead on what this says about you, as a person. How much you are willing to place your own profit, your own benefit above the lives of those in other countries. Focus on the fact that you are you can be reading this right this second and are struggling to make excuses to defend it. Focus on the fact that you will be angry at me for saying these words, rather than awakening, realizing the truth or even considering the truth behind these words. You will be angry but not the least bit ashamed.

You’re no different from the worst capitalist you so disparage. You’re worse because you know what the truth is. You’re worse because you will not have a guaranteed bonus for your words and actions. Your stock package will not increase in value. You will not get a promotion. You will not have your image posted in some business magazine, praised as a “success” and a “leader”.

You’re worse because you tell yourself there is a choice between what you want and peace. Peace is the only choice we should even consider at all.

Know what else WAR Street capitalists do the same as you? Portray themselves as being concerned with others. Listen only to voices in their own circles and reject all others. Tell themselves they are “better than” and that they “deserve” their profits, even if someone else suffers.

So you can stop hating on those capitalists until you look in the mirror and can HONESTLY say you are different.

Yes, Tulsi IS More Progressive Than Bernie

Yes, I did a video on this subject but it had very few views. So I guess I will put it in writing and bring in even more points to consider.

Many Bernie Sanders supporters absolutely insist that he is the most Progressive candidate. No, he is not. By a long shot. He is simply the only candidate they have paid any attention to. It is willful ignorance and cult mentality. The very thing they wish to criticize in others. They believe he can do no wrong or that any wrong he does has been forced on him.

I have said many times that if Bernie has been threatened or forced in some way, that means he was controlled, is currently controlled and will remain controlled. Even if elected.

None of this means I think Tulsi is perfect. My personal preference is Hunter of the Green Party. However, as far as the two major parties, Tulsi is absolutely the most Progressive candidate. You need only do two things to understand this:

1- Read their policies objectively.

2- Understand the difference between policies and talking points. The more vague any statement is, the more it is a talking point, not a policy. Both candidates have areas in which their policy pages could be far more specific, so they come across as talking points.

With this in mind, let’s take a comparative look at the policies between Bernie and Tulsi. Anywhere quotes are offered, the quotes stated are copied and pasted directly from their websites, so you can look these things up and confirm them as you go.

Healthcare. The one which most Bernie supporters focus on solely and all else is fluff. Universal healthcare.

Bernie: “ Joining every other major country on Earth and guaranteeing health care to all people as a right, not a privilege, through a Medicare-for-all, single-payer program.”

Tulsi: “Too many people in this country are getting sick without the care that they need. As president, I will work to ensure all Americans have quality healthcare incentivized to increase health and prevent and heal disease.”

Also Tulsi: “If you look at other countries in the world who have universal health care, every one of them has some form of a role for private insurance.”

BOTH are for universal healthcare. When you look at these two, many believe Tulsi does not endorse universal healthcare. She has made it clear since 2016 that she absolutely does. It is also believed that Bernie opposes supplemental health insurance. Yet there is no indication he would oppose such a thing.

Supplemental coverage is in all countries with universal healthcare. It is fact that nearly or all countries that utilize universal healthcare have some form of supplemental health insurance. Don’t believe me? Healthcare Triage on YouTube did an entire series comparing universal healthcare in the countries that offer it. The channel is very much favorable toward universal healthcare and the series is expertly, professionally, objectively done. https://www.youtube.com/user/thehealthcaretriage

Medications. Both candidates have virtually identical stances on medication prices.

Bernie: Allow Medicare to negotiate with the big drug companies to lower prescription drug prices with the Medicare Drug Price Negotiation Act.

  • Allow patients, pharmacists, and wholesalers to buy low-cost prescription drugs from Canada and other industrialized countries with the Affordable and Safe Prescription Drug Importation Act.
  • Cut prescription drug prices in half, with the Prescription Drug Price Relief Act, by pegging prices to the median drug price in five major countries: Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Japan.

Tulsi: “No one should be forced to choose between putting food on the table and paying for life-saving medication. But that’s exactly what’s happening to millions of Americans as a result of Big Pharma’s chokehold on Medicare. They’ve managed to buy access into Congress, barring the government from negotiating cheaper prices for consumers, so they can continue to price-gouge those trying to buy life-saving medication and rake in profits at the expense of the American people.”

Foreign Relations. This is where these two candidates part ways most severely. You can read their entire pages but here I will focus on the most crucial differences.

Bernie: Work with pro-democracy forces around the world to build societies that work for and protect all people. In the United States, Europe, and elsewhere, democracy is under threat by forces of intolerance, corruption, and authoritarianism.

Tulsi: I think it’s important, for the sake of our country’s national security, to keep the American people safe, and in the pursuit of peace, for our president and commander in chief to have the courage to meet with leaders of other countries — whether they be adversaries or potential adversaries — in order to achieve peace and security.

Why are these statements different? If you are old enough, think back. Matter of fact, think of now. What are the words, “pro-democracy forces” code for? Haven’t we heard these words before? What followed? What Bernie is saying is that he will work with countries that are already our allies, that bend to our will in worship of the American Empire. Otherwise, he will oppose them. Oppose how? Those options are really limited, aren’t they? Sanctions which kill or military force tend to be the only options available once you remove diplomatic relations with those you disagree with.

Tulsi has already clearly demonstrated that she is willing and ready to meet with foreign leaders with whom we do NOT agree for the purpose of diplomatic relations. Force and threat are used as final options. Bernie has not made any statements even alluding to such an approach.

Why is this important? If you want universal healthcare, improvements in the economy and social support programs, military spending MUST be reduced. The military budget is used as THE biggest excuse for ripping money away from or saying we cannot afford these programs. To reduce military spending, it is MANDATORY we strive for peace with other countries. Tulsi makes it clear that she would divert those funds from military spending to social spending.

“..democracy is under threat..” These are highly troubling words by Bernie. They indicate clearly that he is continuing to push Russiagate and will follow it right through with Ukrainegate, both of which are nothing but cover stories for corruption of DNC elite.

Elections. Both have similar policies regarding election rights. However, Tulsi is the only one who mentions implementing an auditable paper trail.

Criminal Justice Reform. Both have similar policies on criminal justice reform, including legalizing marijuana, ending for-profit prisons, stricter penalties for white collar crime and ending cash bail. (I have heard Sanders speak on these subjects but ending cash bail is not on his policy page.)

Wall Street Reform. Both have similar policies regarding reinstating Glass-Steagall and breaking up “too big to fail” banks. I will state Sanders has some more Progressive policies regarding public banking, capping interest rates and controlling ATM fees.

This guide is not meant to be comprehensive. It is intended to encourage voters to actually read the policy pages of the candidates and listen closely to what is being said and WHAT IS NOT BEING SAID. When I say “Do Your Research” I MEAN IT. I am telling you to go straight to the source, as you should be doing, any way.

In all cases, stop allowing corporate media or biased pundits tell you what to think. Get out of the echo chambers. If you want actual progress, you have to think critically about what that means.

Would I support a ballot that has both of them on it in the general election? Yes but ONLY with Tulsi as president and Bernie as VP. NOT the other way around.

Peace Before Healthcare Is Mandatory

We keep hearing how we cannot afford universal healthcare because we “MUST” keep paying for bombs.

Then the bombs never stop. 

Which candidate is actually MOST in favor of real steps toward peace?

Look at policies and history. Not talking points.


https://youtu.be/ZryNBKKZ-8Q

Yes, Bernie Had A Heart Attack

On Wednesday, 10/2/19, Bernie Sanders had an episode of chest pain. He was rushed to an ER and received two cardiac stents.

There has been debate among those with cognitive dissonance, some claiming that he did not have a heart attack. I can absolutely assure you he did.

I have many years experience in cardiac and emergency medicine, including ER, ICU, Cardiac Critical Care, Intermediate Critical Care and Telemetry. The sequence of events lead to one conclusion and one conclusion only.

On experiencing chest pain, Sanders was taken to an ER where he received an EKG, lab work including Troponin which tests for damage to the heart muscle, a chest xray to rule out lung problems causing the pain. He may have had a 2 dimensional echocardiogram or chest CT to identify which vessels were occluded and to what extent. Then he was taken to the Cardiac Cath Lab, where they inserted a long catheter into his femoral vein and two cardiac stents were placed via that catheter. He was kept on complete bed rest for a number of hours to prevent bleeding at the groin insertion site and allow recovery while direct pressure was kept on the groin site.

At this point, he is on statin drugs for cholesterol and possibly blood thinning medications.

When he restarts his campaign, it will be with a reduced pace.

Many people return to normal activity after a heart catheterization and MI (Myocardial Infarction, the medical term for heart attack). However, one must keep in mind that being a president or even campaigning for president is not what most of us can consider “normal activity”. Being president is a position which includes immense stress and ages any person. Becoming president at this particular point in history would be the most stressful position any president has ever encountered.

Like it or not, this in conjunction with his age brings into question Sanders’s physical capacity to maintain the position of president at this point in time.

This is one of my greatest fears. His supporters will still continue to support him. Or they will not. This will be used against him by the media on both sides. I expect to see his poll numbers plummet.

So the question becomes, who will people now support? You either move left or right. If Progressives are not moving left to support either Tulsi or the Green Party, they will move to the right. Which is exactly where we do not want to go.

In all ways, the Green Party is to the left of Bernie and have had many of “his” suggestions (which from him are suggestions, NOT policies) on their party platform since 2014. Yet none of those ideas are new, they have been around longer than anyone reading this has been living. Many of “his” ideas have been around longer than Bernie has been living. So STOP calling them “his ideas”. Just because you haven’t heard of something before does not make it new!!

In many ways, especially the most important ways, Tulsi is far to the left of Bernie. I will detail that in an upcoming video this weekend.

EVERY other candidate, no exceptions, stands to the right of Bernie. This is my greatest fear. Bernie is far enough to the right, no matter how his supporters engage in wishful thinking to say otherwise. Yet any other candidate will continue the march to the right which the DNC has perpetuated for nearly 30 years. Most people today don’t even grasp how far right the DNC and Establishment candidates are because centrism has been so constant for so long that their memories fail to recall any party being on the Left or they are too young to have seen it at all. So it has become too difficult to imagine what being a Leftist really is for the majority of people today.

There Is A Massive Difference Between Populism and Rationality

Right now in America we have people claiming to be political supporters, radicals, dissidents, activists, revolutionaries and patriots.

One one side we have so-called patriots who think that their rights are being taken away if they’re not allowed to personally own a Vulcan large bore, 6 barrel, 6600 round per minute machine cannon. Meanwhile they are perfectly fine with allowing corporations to think for them and determine what rights they do or do not have. Tune in to Fox News.

On another side, we have neoliberals who support the DNC manipulating and rigging elections. Also allowing corporations to determine their rights and think for them. Just tune in to Rachel Maddow and the corporate heads at MSNBC or CNN.

Then we have Libertarians and MMT cultists, who want to hand the entire economy, environment, healthcare and wages to capitalists.

Then there are the Communists who want all wealth seized and redistributed. No need to study or understand basic psychology and human motivation.

The one thing all groups agree on is that our government is not representing our interests. What is bad is that these groups have been driven to despise one another so much that they refuse to talk to each other. They have been conditioned to respond to any attempts at civil discourse with extremism, offense and aggression. All think they represent this country and anyone outside of their exact mindset is “the enemy”.

This is what causes me the most emotional distress. Some people try and portray me as or accuse me of being an extremist. Why? Because I refuse to join an extremist cult or follow any candidate/group blindly. Because I always promote the concept of paying attention to policies. Because I listen and illustrate not just what is being stated but what is not being stated. I ask questions and demand answers.

What is popularly called centrism is not centrist. Being pro-corporate, pro-war, pro-WAR Street, pro-party, pro-hate-Trump, pro-Trump is not centrism. Every one of these attitudes are extremist.

The very term centrist means being in the middle. It means striving for balance. It means being against war while agreeing defending our own country is necessary, defending corporate profits at the cost of human lives is not necessary or desirable. It means being in favor of capitalism while imposing strict controls on capitalism. It means allowing the rich to be rich but not so much that they destabilize the entire global and national economic balance. It means being in favor of election reform so that our governmental structure represents the people of this country and should not be in any way attached to the bribery of the most privileged. It means knowing our service members should be respected, not worshiped. The same is true of our police. It means knowing our media should be forced to equally represent opposing views and opinions are not news.

Our entire government and media have devolved into partisan bickering and attacks with no discussion on the merits of policy. Political ethics, if there were such a thing in this country, would demand that to be the focus of all political discourse. Any and every elected official should be sanctioned for name-calling, personal attacks or intentional partisan division.

This tends to be the entire goal of my writing. To discuss the pros and cons of policies and attitudes. To explain where things are damaging, what the damages are, what options are better choices and detailing exactly why.

We cannot continuously be cheer leaders for populism. Just because a given candidate is popular or has one or two policies you approve of does not mean you should be ignorant or dismissive of the dangers their other policies pose. There is far too much of this going around.

This is how we got where we are right now. By Americans reacting emotionally with no critical thought. Many people voted for Trump not because they supported Trump but because they opposed Clinton. In most cases on both sides, the candidates had no definitive policies that supporters approved of, in some cases their supporters did not even know what the policy proposals the the candidate were. Now we are headed into 2020 and many are either blindly supporting Trump because of his false and ludicrous claims or supporting certain opposition because of an emotional claim that, “We have to beat Trump”.

That’s not good enough.

No matter how much you tell yourself that that is good enough, it’s NOT good enough.

Simply getting rid of Trump as a singular goal means running the risk of winding up with far worse than we have now. It is mandatory that we move leftward on policies starting immediately if we want effective change.

It is mandatory that you know what you are voting FOR, not just against.

It is mandatory that you are not assuming that a candidate represents your values. They must actually state that they will work toward peace and explain precisely how they will do so. Universal healthcare will count for nothing if we wind up in nuclear war. Guaranteed jobs means nothing if there are no jobs. Increasing wages means nothing if the economy collapses and inflation runs double and triple digits.

I really do not care how popular your chosen candidate is. Joel Osteen is popular. NFL football is popular. Professional wrestling is popular. Trailer park wives of whatever are popular. The Kardashians are popular. Popularity doesn’t mean anything at all. If candidates only speak about domestic economic issues, that’s not enough. They HAVE to address international relations in terms which do not include bullets, bombs, sanctions and threats. We will NEVER have prosperity without peace. They HAVE to address election integrity and methods of permanently removing corporate money from politics. Peace and election integrity cannot be vague, meaningless talking points. They cannot be assumptions you make. Incremental change is not an option.

You know what the truth is. Stop denying it. Stop making excuses.

The Case For Forgiving Student Debt And “Free” College

I have been in favor of forgiving student debt since first hearing Jill Steintalking about the subject. To be honest, while I have been in favor of universal adult education for decades, I had not considered this possibility until I heard her speaking about it.

I get sick of hearing people calling this idea “Bernie Sanders’ idea”. No, it’s not. Fact is, this has been on the Green Party platform since 2014. Yes, the party platform. Compare to the DNC, which opposes the idea as a party. This is not something which will make it to the DNC platform any more than universal healthcare will. BTW, universal healthcare is also not “his idea”. I have been in favor of universal healthcare for decades also. Numerous countries have had universal healthcare and adult education for as long as 70 years.

If you truly support an idea, an issue, that means voting in a way that you can believe it may be acted upon because it takes more than one person to bring it to reality. When a party opposes legislation and a candidate has a history of compromise on vital issues, then talking points mean nothing at all.

No matter who may or may not bring student loan forgiveness into being, it is a very good, very effective idea which would benefit the economy to a great degree. So, let’s explore how it would help the economy and real people on the ground.

First of all, this would free up billions of dollars in a single year which is currently being paid to banks. In other words, this money is suspended from being used in the general economy. So forgiving student loans would put money back in the pockets of consumers. This is money which would nearly all be spent in the general economy. This would increase real profit margins, maintain and create jobs.

Obviously, this would generate sales tax revenue for municipalities and states. In addition, it would increase income tax revenue from workers who benefited from the jobs maintained and created.

This would not be a short term boost to the economy. A one time forgiveness of student loans would mean increased money in the general economy for years, even decades. Students who currently have large student loans with years to pay on them would instead be boosting the economy with the money currently going to banks for the entire length of the remaining time left on their loans. So this would not be a one-time-and-done deal. Nor would it be like tax breaks for the rich, which just went to increased profit margins and stock repurchases.

Student loan forgiveness would be best if coupled with universal adult education. In other words, “free” college for US citizens.

However, in each case this should come with certain limitations and exceptions to truly benefit the economy.

First, both student loan forgiveness and free adult education should have an income cap. Being reasonable, say only available to students whose family incomes are below $200,000 a year. (Income meaning from all sources.) For families with incomes above that, it would simply result in more welfare to the rich. The wealthy simply don’t even feel the cost of education like poor and middle class people do. That’s not saying they could not deduct tuition, fees, books and student loan interest on their taxes, so that amount is not taxed.

There should also be legislation placing a cap on profit percentage for adult education facilities and organizations. Something reasonable like 15% at most. No deductions allowed for executive bonuses, sports facilities and related expenses, advertising and extracurricular events/facilities/etc. This would limit the continued rise in the cost of education.

Participation in universal adult education should not be mandatory. Colleges and universities that choose to opt out should be allowed to. However, this should come at the cost of no longer receiving any federal or state funding at all. No federal research contracts, either.

For those that object to student loan forgiveness because “I paid for my college”, I challenge you here and now. Pick a college or university. If the one you attended still exists, use that one. Go to their website and look at what the current costs are to attend compared to when you attended. Be sure to include all fees. Then look up the cost of textbooks for the subject you studied. Multiply the cost per credit hour times the number of hours you completed. Do not comment until you do so. When you do reply, be sure and include how much you paid and how much the same program costs now. Then and only then, explain how you don’t understand the situation students face today. No insults, no profanity, no diversions, no exceptions.

If enacted these issues would improve the US economy, the standard of living for millions of Americans, expand availability of higher education and improve the education level of the US, which has badly fallen behind other countries.

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I am an independent writer with no corporate sponsors or backing. The only income I make from my writing comes from views. At least I have reached the point where it makes more than it costs me! lol! (Not by much.)My writing is done in between full time (and overtime) nursing, shared custody of my brilliant daughter and mundane existence.

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Bernie Is The New “I’m With Her”

Something which started small and has continued to expand as we get closer to 2020 is something I completely expected. Bernie is the new “I’m with her”.

What do I mean by this?

Never question. In 2016, we were not allowed to so much as question whether Hillary had done anything wrong. If you did so, you were ostracized, belittled, called a trump supporter or a Russian troll. Now it’s 2019 and the same thing is being seen by Bernie supporters.

I am a Russian troll. I find it especially ironic to be called a Russian troll by Bernie supporters, seeing that there were claims in 2016 that he was a Russian puppet. That was followed by Bernie himself stating that if his own supporters questioned Hillary, they were Russian trolls or had fallen for Russian propaganda. He used the usual Establishment tactic of making his claim vague, nonspecific and offered no detail on what, exactly, the exact propaganda was. He continues pushing Russiagate even now. Even after the Mueller report, even as millions of his own followers have said they will not vote for him if he continues doing so. There is never mention of the cost measured in tens of billions of dollars in increased “defense” spending. Never mention of the risk of an actual World War which would all stem from this fabrication.

No mention of election fraud. Through 2016 and up until today, the DNC has never directly addressed allegations of election fraud in the 2016 primary. Neither has Bernie. He simply doesn’t talk about it. Which means nothing will actually be done about it. Superdelegates still exist, still hold enormous power within the DNC. The number of DNC candidates is an absolute insurance plan that superdelegates will have their say in second round voting for the DNC nominee.

Election reform? One vital step we need in election reform is a paper trail. If Bernie has mentioned this, it has only been in the form of attacking the GOP for not approving federal funding for paper ballots. He does not mention that this is something funded and implemented at the state level, not federal. So it is simply a divisive tactic created and dictated by the DNC. Do we hear him talk of ranked choice voting? His followers may openly discuss ranked choice voting but does Bernie, himself? Eliminating corporate money from politics would be an extremely valid option for having more valid elections. Rescinding Citizens United is not enough for that. The only real way to eliminate corporate money in politics would be through federally funded elections. For a self-proclaimed Socialist, don’t you find it strange Bernie has not suggested that?

Passive-aggressive warmongering. In the case of Venezuela, Bernie has issued mandates to Maduro, saying Maduro must hold another election. A “supervised” election. Supervised by whom? The election in Venezuela was monitored by observers from 40 countries and deemed valid. Bernie pushes that 50 nations back Guaido but fails to mention that at least 75 countries back Maduro. Bernie also insisted Maduro must allow Western aid into the country. He never mentions that Venezuela received aid from numerous other countries. Russia, China, Mexico among them. While Bernie claims to be against regime change, notice that he never says what should happen if Maduro does not comply with the mandates. Sanctions? Sanctions kill. They are acts of war. Sanctions are how Venezuela came to be in the condition it is in. All of this being aside from the fact that all these demands are exactly what Trump has been demanding. No doubt Hillary would just have Maduro assassinated but regime change is still the end result. US hegemony is still the end result.

Kindly explain to me in rational detail how Bernie is raging about election integrity in Venezuela yet still silent about the 2016 primary rigging. I’ll wait.

DNC Loyalty Pledge. Bernie publicly signed the DNC Loyalty Pledge, stating if he does not get the Democratic nomination, he will endorse any candidate the DNC runs. Any candidate. Think about that. How is that any different from 2016? He has literally promised to do the same thing as 2016 all over again if he is not the nominee. Admittedly, Hillary demanded the DNC be loyal to her rather than the other way around but the result for us is still the same, that none of that loyalty is to we, the voters.

Your choice. None of this is saying Bernie is completely evil. He promotes and has promoted some good ideas. I campaigned for him ferociously through the 2016 primary. I will not say do not vote for him. What I am saying is that you should not be blind to facts. Don’t be another “I’m with her” voter who denies all doubt, all discrepancy, all danger. Don’t cheer for Medicare For All when there is so much else attached to it. We can work toward universal healthcare. It does not need to have one name attached to it when the majority of Americans support the concept.

We have no heroes. We are our own heroes. Let’s act like it.

Playing Both Sides Against The Middle

If a candidate (or anyone else in general) appears to be or claims they are being criticized or attacked by two or more sides of an issue, there is a good reason for that.

They have not actually chosen a side. Or they are being deceptive regarding the side they have chosen, considering their intended audience.

Not clear enough? If a candidate claims to be Progressive but adopts centrist or right wing opinions and policies, they will not just say so.

There are several things to note about a person being attacked from multiple sides. For one thing, it may be intentional to get attention. They make themselves the victim so followers defend them. Even when the followers originally disagree with the opinion. This is a form of manipulation and brainwashing. The followers have come to oppose their own opinions willinglyso much that they will go on the attack against people who voice the very opinion they once had. That is, before they signed on to defend a name.

A candidate who is always attacked from both sides consistently espouses opinions and plans which ride the middle lane, trying to dodge attacks from either side while being assailed, rightly, from all sides.

A candidate who rides the middle lane, straddling the center line is not a revolutionary leader. They may be able to enact some minuscule changes but not the radical change that is needed at this time. We have been dealing with incremental change for decades and the changes that have occurred have dragged us ever further to the right, to the edge of the abyss we now face. We are teetering and about to go over in the next errant breath.

Nobody can please all the people all of the time. Nobody can be loyal to the people and a corporate-friendly war machine party. It has to be one or the other. If they will not make a choice, it is up to use to make that choice for them and walk away. We can do better. Stop making excuses.

Nobody can be loyal to one country realistically while opposing the sovereignty of other nations. While propagating stories fabricated to divide, to cause tensions with dangerous opponents that could be powerful allies in the times ahead.

No leader should propose sanctions which injure our allies. Our allies have suffered enough damage from us and it is only a matter of time before they are no longer allies. Sanctions which innocent human beings. Stop calling sanctions peaceful.

Our country comprises 5% of the earth’s population. We neglect and bully our friends while we antagonize our opponents. What happens when the other 95% just get sick of our shit?

Our country is dominated by 0.1% of the population. So we have 0.1% of 5% of the world population attempting to dictate rules to the entire planet. And people are terrified puppets, fawning slaves and slobbering, mouth breathing, knuckle dragging sycophants to these less than 200 people on a planet of 7.7 BILLION.

If you’re not standing up, you’re useless at this point. Stop standing in the middle of the road before the rest of us run you down. Pick a side and stop blocking traffic.

Russiagate Is Not Benign

With the 2020 Democratic campaign ramping up, many voters and the media make it seem as though Russiagate is merely an electoral issue.

For years, the media has portrayed Russia as an aggressive threat while also portraying Russia as a weak power easily contained. Meanwhile, we are now in our 18th year in Afghanistan against the relatively poorly armed Taliban and 17th year in Iraq against terrorist factions with resources dwarfed by our own.

One thing to understand up front is that Russia and China are military alliesin an arrangement similar to NATO. If one is attacked, they will both respond. Something else our media does not make clear, so most Americans do not grasp.

The US currently has military bases and ships encircling both Russia and China in threatening postures, invading their territorial waters, in some cases attempting to block their shipping lanes. Meanwhile we are engaging in trade sanctions and tariffs meant to limit their trade options, even though our allies largely oppose US actions due to the increased cost and negative effects on their outgoing trade with Russia and China. Europe was trading with Russia, China and Iran before the US ever existed as proven through the archaeology and historical record.

At this point, the House already closed their Russia investigation last year, citing no evidence. The Senate investigation remains open but not for long, as they released a report also stating no evidence of Russian “collusion” regarding the election. Just don’t ask certain neoliberal sources who continue fabricating stories. Mueller is expected by all sources to close his investigation soon with no convictions related to the sole purpose he was granted special counsel authority. The indictments he has issued to that effect have been all theater which resulted in either no defendants (Russian Intelligence officials) ever expected to be in court or defendants having representation in court, which was hilarious! The 13 Russian internet trolls were not expected to have lawyers arrive for court but did. To which Mueller’s team attempted to deny discovery of evidence based on classification of evidence. The judge said that won’t work, discovery is mandatory. Nobody can be litigated without the right to see the evidence being used against them. That was the last I heard of that case.

If Saint Mueller issues his report with nothing directly against trump, the very people who have been screaming, “Just wait for Mueller!!” for two years will crucify the Saint. His investigation is not supposed to be about findingevidence, it is supposed to be about fabricating evidence. Though if that was what he were doing, he would have been finished long ago. Trust me, he’s done the best he could and not get busted.

Still, the worst things about Russiagate are the very real consequences which we have only begun to see the effects of. So far, those results have been non-violent compared to what they could have been.

We have seen confrontations between US and Russian military forces in Syria. Those would have wound up with a hot war if not for Russia’s restraint on the matters. We also saw Israel shoot down a Russian bomber, to which they did not respond militarily. Some claim this is a sign of cowardice. Since when is not wanting WWIII cowardice instead of sanity?

We have seen our very own independent media being censored with “Russia” being stated as a rationale. Much of the media censored was Progressive and anti-war media, such as Antiwar.com, Police The Police, the Ron Paul Liberty Report (Because we all know Ron Paul is a Russian stooge, right?), Reasonable People Unite, Counterpunch among others and temporary bans on Caitlyn Johnstone, Venezuelanalysis, Telesur and more. Do you really believe that neoliberal corporate media that works hand in hand with CONgress would not continue their censorship? Just wait until 2020, Mueller or no Mueller.

Immediately after the midterm elections, when the Democrats gained a House majority, they announced no less than 85 additional investigations regarding Trump. Investigations which did not exist before the election. Those “investigations” divert time, attention and resources which should be spent on governing this country. Between “investigations”, fundraising, campaigning, caucuses, primaries and conventions, how much governing do you expect to see before at least 2021? It’s already sounding like half the Democrats in CONgress eligible to run for president will be running.

Russiagate has resulted in the “defense” budget being increased by over $100 billion per year over the last two years. With another increase already planned for next year. To “defend” against a country that spends only 6% or less of our military budget for their military.

Since this debacle began, NATO has expanded further and further eastward to Russia’s doorstep. Then our government blew a gasket, calling it “Russian aggression” when they conducted their annual military war games without crossing outside their borders. Yet we are arming the Ukrainian military.

In addition, Colombia was offered membership in NATO. As a reminder, NATO is the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Tell me, what part of the North Atlantic does Colombia occupy?

Of course, the reason for that is that Russia and China have over $80 billion in trade investments in Venezuela, next door to Colombia. This is an attempt to bring all of NATO into the conflict if the US invades Venezuela to illegally seize that country’s oil, resulting in a direct confrontation with Russia and China, who would be defending Venezuelan sovereignty along with their own investments.

Now the US has withdrawn from the INF Treaty. You know, because that’s what Putin wanted. Sure. Now Russia has stated that if the US places intermediate range nuclear missiles on their border, they will place their own in international waters off our own borders. Only theirs are hypersonic and would have a flight time of merely seconds once launched to reach our shores. plus they are mobile, mounted on submarines and ships. Have fun targeting that.

So, keep considering Russiagate to be a harmless or inconvenient electoral issue that poses no threat, has no consequences. Go ahead and encourage the candidates who push this narrative. By no means should you hold them accountable for their words and actions. Donate money to show you approve of these risks.

What’s the worst that can happen?

Why Be Offended By The Term “Cult”?

A number of people have been offended by my use of the term “cult”. So, I find it somewhat necessary to delve deeper into my rationale for the use of that term. It is a term less judgmental than an honest analysis of too common behavior.

First, I want to offer a similar viewpoint by Marley K, while she refers to the same phenomenon using the term “groupthink”.In her article, she references the book by Irving L Janus, titled “Groupthink”, published in 1972. So this is not exactly a new observation. https://medium.com/@marleyk/how-social-media-encourages-groupthink-e4b4b2f2a5f8

BTW, Marley is a great writer who you should be following.

The reason for the term “cult/cult thinking/cultism” has a goal associated with it. It’s a simple goal. Spreading personal awareness. To make people examine their own behavior and attitudes critically. If a person finds the term offensive, there tends to be a reason. That they see some aspect of that term in their own behavior. I expect many people to be initially offended by the term. I probably would be, myself.

My own cultist past. The entire reason I understand this is that I have seen it in myself at times in the past on limited subjects. I was pretty much a ferocious cultist for Bernie in 2016 and truly believed. I expected him to contest the convention, which of course did not happen. never expected him to campaign for Hillary. Or do the DNC Unity Tour. Or push Russiagate.

My first use of the term. The first time I used the term “cult” was in reference to Trump supporters in 2016. Then, over time, I stepped back and realized that my own view was limited. That was when I realized that all parties are cults. Then that evolved to the understanding that all names are cultsWhich then became one of my mottoes or most often used statements.

Back to 2016 tactics. Now previous Hillbots have been using the same references they did in 2016, calling me “butthurt” and similar terms, only this time to say I should support Bernie. Because that behavior worked so well in 2016.

A candidate has to earn my vote with policies. Let me say it now. Bernie has no right to my vote. He has to earn it. Yes, you do need the true Progressive vote. So don’t start with the Hillbot behavior of saying, “We don’t need you” or “Beat Trump”. That is not enough and it’s not going to do it. That is cult thinking at it’s finest.

Definition. So let me define this. Cult thinking includes:

The conviction that “nobody is perfect” and using it as a rationale to ignore any danger involved with blindly supporting a candidate. Including such dangers as war with Russia. (Jonestown or Heaven’s Gate, anyone?)Which, as I detailed in my last article, includes the censorship of independent and social media, plus the attacks on Julian Assange. You cannot support a candidate who promotes Russiagate and support Assange, they are directly opposed to each other.

You reject any and all negative points regarding a candidate or party without reading or listening to the points being raised. You consider all negative statements to be untrue, including questions.

You consistently seek out only articles, shows and even memes which support your views.

You limit your social interactions to people that reinforce your views. Even going as far as attacking anyone with differing views. To the degree that if someone says you want to hear from all candidates, not jump into a commitment to a candidate when 2020 is still 10 months away. Not all the candidates who will be running have even announced their campaigns yet. This is a form of declaring someone a heretic for not sharing your belief system. You feel you must convert them or sacrifice them to prove your own True Faith, that you are a Believer.

When someone tries to discuss issues, you divert the subject to personal attacks on the person directly, refusing to stay on topic.

You have cognitive dissonance and may actually know it but don’t care. If someone brings up a point with documented facts, reasonable, rational questions that manage to break through, you can feel your eyes glaze over as you seek something to respond with to reaffirm your faith, not to address the evidence.

You are willing to accept “evidence” which has no proof to back it up. As long as you can quote someone who agrees with your beliefs, that is considered evidence to you and sufficient.

You will give your time, money, effort to your chosen cult without reading the fine print. You don’t need policies. Because you have been promised heaven later for your dedication today.

You quote things which the person never said, cite policies that do not exist, accomplishments which never happened. When asked to name your source, rather than provide it you tell the person asking to look it up for themselves. Because you know that will never happen again, right?

You don’t want to discuss issues. You just want to silence any and all dissent. Then call it democracy.

You are willing to harm other people or close your eyes to harm for your Faith. If someone does not Believe, they deserve what comes to them.

You criticize others for an “us versus them” or “those who are not with us are against us” mindset, yet are guilty of the same thing.

Exaggerated emotional response. Let me repeat that. Exaggerated emotionalresponse. Emotions displace critical thought. Responses from a cultist are based on emotion regarding the cult and most often include only emotion.

Summary. As you can see, people are literally turning political campaigns, parties, candidates into actual religious cults. It is too soon to even adopt a specific candidate when the primaries are over a year away, national election a full 21 months away, barely under two years!!

We already have the longest election cycle of any country on earth. That would be fine if that time were used to announce and examine policies so voters were more informed. Instead, that time is used for personal attacks by candidates and supporters. We don’t choose who is the best candidate, we choose who is the most popular. Which means some high school elections are more valid and fact-based than our official elections.

We cannot keep doing this as a nation. At ground level, this is what is destroying us as a country. If you see cult thinking in yourself, it’s okay if the statement offends you at first, that’s understandable. It’s what you do after that which matters. Watch for cult thinking in yourself and be brave enough to call it out in others when you see it. It’s difficult but necessary. If you have ever been a teacher, a leader, a manager or a parent, you know that correcting harmful behavior is unavoidable. Don’t try to be popular, don’t try to be in the “right group”. Be informed. Discuss issues and policies objectively. That is how we plan for a future.

Final note and reference. If you truly doubt my assessment above, which was written from my own knowledge of cults, then read this from an expert on cults and a former cult member. Then assess again. If you still doubt, do a web search on cult characteristics. If you find something which contradicts what I have to say, I’d be happy to hear it. http://cultresearch.org/help/characteristics-associated-with-cults/